I’ve noticed a big shift in my beauty focus within the past year. I used to not be able to walk out of Sephora without a new mascara to try or blush to swipe on—my beauty bag was overflowing and it was seriously becoming an issue. Recently, though, I’ve really paired down my collection to just tried-and-true favorites and put a larger emphasis on my skincare and haircare routines. I’m someone who—like all of us on occasion I’m sure—sometimes used to skip washing my face or throwing on sunscreen (I know, I’m not proud). But I’ve been making a concerted effort to change that (I even washed my face after a late night out filled with vodka tonics recently. Bonus points for me?!) and in the process have found several new-to-me products that I know will be mainstays in my medicine cabinet. Here are nine new favorites:
Davines Love Shampoo, $24
I was dying to try one of the most highly recommended shampoos from Italian hair care company Davines, but I have to admit, I wasn’t exactly jumping out of my chair to spend $24 on shampoo (I mean that’s sending money down the drain, literally). Their “Love” shampoo is specially formulated for dry, frizzy, curly hair—which is pretty much me during the summer in a nutshell, so I knew I should try it out. Luckily, our beauty director at Good Housekeeping granted my wish when she deposited a fresh bottle on my desk one day. Let me just say—this baby is the real deal. It left my hair feeling much smoother and healthier than I’m normally used to, without weighing it down and causing it to go limp. I love that it’s packed with a ton of natural ingredients (like Indian fig extract, to help moisturize parched strands) and my natural curls were a bit more relaxed and manageable (it also delivered great results when I gave myself a blowout for a night out!). All in all, definitely worth the price tag if you’re someone like me who can sometimes struggle with unruly frizz or texture.
My skin is really dry year-round, and I’ve found that I much prefer oils to body lotion—for me, they deliver better moisturizing results. The problem? A lot of body oils feel super heavy or worse, leave me a sticky mess for hours afterwards. Not Wedela’s though! I picked this up on a whim in Whole Foods one night, mostly because I love the scent of lavender, and it’s now completely integrated into my bedtime routine. It’s 100% natural, so I don’t have to worry about using it on my skin, and it soaks in quickly, meaning I can slather it on right before bed and hit the sheets shortly after without worrying. The biggest bonus is the change I’ve noticed in my skin—fewer flakey or dry patches and better tone overall. It’s also been a lifesaver on the (few) sunburn spots I’ve had so far this summer!
Ah, eye cream—aren’t all 20-somethings on the quest for the holy grail item that will stave off wrinkles and dark circles? Is this it? Hm…maybe. I’ve always been pretty religious about caring for the delicate skin around my eyes—I wear contacts (and have for 15 years), so I’ve been using a cream to counteract all that tugging and pulling for upwards of five years. My usual go-to is Clinique’s All About Eyes, which I’ve really liked. However, I find that while it’s a master at combating puffy or saggy eyes, it doesn’t really do much to rectify wrinkles, fine lines or dark circles. That’s where this Philosophy number comes in. It’s a retinoid, which is basically a fancy chemical way of saying it’s an integral part of eliminating signs of aging around your eyes. I definitely noticed that the appearance of my fine lines was reduced and I haven’t experienced many dark circles—if any—since starting to use it in the mornings and evenings. However, it doesn’t combat puffy or saggy eyes the way Clinique does—so I’m thinking my holy grail eye product may actually be a combination of the two. P.S: I know it’s pricey but a little goes a long way! I’ve had mine for over four months now, using it twice a day every day, and I’m still going strong!
Summer is the perfect time for beach-y texture, and this sea spray is definitely one of the best I’ve come across. The smell is delicious and it gives hair body and a little bit of “grit” (the good kind) without making it totally knotty or unmanageable. I like to use this on a second day blowout that could benefit from a little texture—I’ll spray it into dry hair and muse it up a bit to create a fresh-from-the-beach feel.
I’ve recently started to walking to work on occasion (a whopping 8 miles!) and if I can be so frank, that sometimes necessitates a reapplication of deodorant upon my arrival to work. Let’s just call it like it is, you guys—it’s hot, it’s freakin’ summer, and sometimes you really need to reapply. These little packs of deodorant swipes from Whish are so much more discrete (and lighter!) than a stick of deodorant. They smell great, don’t melt like deodorant can and even contain (natural!) ingredients that can inhibit hair growth. I’d say that’s a scent-sational win-win (see what I did there?).
I recently visited a dermatologist for an annual skin cancer screening and while I was there, we got talking about skin texture and my desire for mine to feel more even and smooth. My derm (who, by the way, has literally the most INCREDIBLE skin on the planet I’m pretty sure) highly recommended I pick up Arcona’s Brightening Gommage and give it a shot. Like any smart woman in search of glowing skin, I listened to the pro and did what I was told. Best. Decision. Ever. This stuff is seriously worth every penny. Unlike a lot of scrubs out there, this is a very refined grain so it really polishes the skin more than rips off the top-level (something like St. Ives Apricot scrub can actually cause more damage to the skin if you’re not careful because the grains are so large and abrasive). You’re supposed to use this once a day in the morning, but I found I had to ease into it a bit so I didn’t irritate my skin (I currently use it every other day during my morning shower). I’ve noticed a vast improvement in the texture of my skin, as well as a reduction in the appearance of dark spots/scars. You really will glow!
I love this spray for two reasons: the incredible smell, and the soft, tousled texture it gives my hair after I blow it out and use a curling iron. Unlike dry shampoo, which can add a coarse film to your hair in order to soak up grease, dry conditioner is a lighter moisturizer that adds a bit of volume and body without weight (think of it as a fabric softener for your hair!). I really love Oribe products, and this is another winner to add to the list. Pricey, but lasts forever.
I’ve learned that toner is a non-negotiable step in any skin care routine. Not only does it restore the pH balance of your skin (which can get off kilter due to cleansing) but it also removes stubborn lingering makeup and can help any topical products you layer on top work better (because they’ll absorb more completely on damp skin). I’ve cycled through a few different brands (I also love S.W. Basics’ Toner), and my most recent purchase from Caudalie is a contender for the number one spot. It smells like a really high-end facial (definitely not a bad thing!) and maybe I’m crazy, but I swear I noticed brighter, clearer skin the first day using it. My skin is left feeling supple and hydrated, instead of that weird “tight” feeling other toners can leave behind.