Over the years I have tried tons and TONS of different beauty products. And to be realistic I will most likely keep trying new products. I'm always willing to see if a different product works a little better than my current fave. However, the following are my current essentials and I haven't been swayed away from them yet!
1. Matrix Sleek Look Shampoo, Conditioner, and Extreme Creme
Luci got me hooked on Sleek Look products when I was about 16 and I haven't looked back since! I have wavy/curly hair and the sleek look products, although designed for straight strands, leave my hair frizz free and well... sleek! I usually blow dry my hair and then run a curling iron through it. These products encourage my curls while keeping them in control.
2. Neutrogena Eye Makeup Remover
I used to be a big fan of Clinique's eye makeup remover. Once college rolled around I started wearing eyeliner AND paying for my own toiletries. In short, I needed a cheaper alternative. Enter the answer to my makeup "prayers" Neutrogena Eye Makeup remover. This stuff works just as well as the Clinique brand but sells for half the price! Most importantly it removes every trace of my stubborn black mascara and doesn't leave an oily residue (ick). Miracle in a botttle.
3. L'Oreal Eye Defense Cream
It's obvious to me just how sensitive the skin is around your eyes and how important it is for you to treat this skin delicately. This eye cream is a little pricey ($10-$12) but it lasts me about 6-7 months. Just a little dab under each eye will do! It moisturizes well and doesn't leave the skin oily. I use it in the morning and at night and haven't found an eye cream I prefer to it (although Tyra Banks swears by Vaseline!)
4. OPI Products
Over the last few years I've developed a greater appreciation for manicured nails. They have the ability to complete an outfit or simply polish off your look. I'm unable to afford weekly manicures and often grow frustrated with my nails chipping and peeling after 1 or 2 days. Then I discovered OPI nail polish. I was very hesitant to buy any of it at first ("$8 for nail polish?!!"). But once I tried it I quickly realized that if I was going to spend any time and effort on my nails I wanted the manicure to last! OPI nail color seems to last much longer and go on much smoother than most brands. Not to mention the fantastic brush - it really helps the nail color go on evenly and moves with the natural contours of my nails. Due to the price I don't buy a lot of colors (and perhaps that's the downside) but I developed a nice collection. I'm particularly in love with Royal Rajah Ruby (pictured above) which is a nice, dark red color that is appropriate enough for the office.
5. Burt's Bees Lip Balm and Lemon Butter Cuticle Creme
I fell in love with Burt's Bees lip balm a few years ago simply due to the minty effect it has on your lips. Can't resist the tingles! Besides that it's all natural, super moisturizing, and a great base to your lipstick or lip gloss. I use it every morning and every night before bed. Burt's also has this great creme for your cuticles. My cuticles tend to get very dry during South Dakota winters so I keep a little jar of this at my desk. I swipe some around my cuticles once a day and have noticed a significant difference! An added bonus? It has a delicious lemony scent.
6. Kenra Volume Spray 25
Try this hairspray and you WILL NOT go back! I have converted several of my friends to this hairspray and it continues to be the secret to getting my hair just. how. I. want. it! It smooths fly aways, holds curl, and shapes flawlessly. I have tried switching to other hair sprays but after using this it is impossible to use an imposter. My two sisters, my mother and myself all swear by it; 4 women with amazing hair can't be wrong!
7. Cetaphil Facial Cleanser & Clean and Clear Morning Burst Shine Control Cleanser
I'm a fan of Cetaphil because it is incredibly gentle so it's great for people with sensitive skin like me. It leaves my face feeling clean and not stripped. I'm a big proponent of washing your face daily - never go to bed with makeup on! I've also taken a liking to Clean and Clear's Morning Burst Shine Control Cleanser. It's great for providing moisture while keeping my annoying t-zone in check. Now if only they would come out with the same moisturizer with some SPF 15. That's the only downside to this product!
What are your tried and true beauty essentials? Do you prefer to buy them in the stores or order them online? A lot of people utilize drugstore.com because let's face it, it's never out of stock! I find myself wondering if it would be smarter to buy this way (hello, free shipping). Up next, my makeup essentials.