When life hands you sleepless nights, reach for Becca’s Under Eye Brightening Corrector ($29). Not only does it completely eradicate any signs of tired-eye, but it also covers all under eye darkness. And it actually illuminates, so you’re left looking wide-eyed and well slept.
Here’s how: This full-coverage corrector is infused with ultrafine light-reflecting illuminators that won’t settle into fine lines or wrinkles, but rather preps skin for smooth, even concealer coverage. You’re meant to add a concealer over the corrector (Becca recommends their Ultimate Coverage Concealing Crème ($32)), but I’ve found that it works wonders on its own.
With so many luminizing correctors on the market (here’s looking at you, YSL Touche Eclat), I’m keen on Becca Under Eye Brightening Corrector because it’s thick without being cakey and full-coverage without looking like you’re wearing mounds of makeup. The product comes in a pot rather than a pen, which allows for precise finger-dabbing application. You can build your coverage from there. The pinkish formula evens skin tone (which is why it works so well with blue and purple under eye discoloration), while also brightening the area.
To all mommies – or any women with full schedules and fragmented sleep – this product is a life – and look – saver.
Stock up today.
PRICE TAG: $29 for .16 oz
My skincare routine has come to the point where my face doesn’t feel thoroughly cleansed if I don’t apply a serum, pre-moisturizer. I remember the good ole days of the 3-step routine: Wash, tone, treat. I’d even skip moisturizer! Not anymore. These days, I use at least 6 products morning and night. It usually goes something like this: Wash, tone, serum, moisturizer, eye cream, sunblock. And, at night, makeup remover, wash, tone, serum, moisturizer OR retinoid, eye cream.
I’ve been using Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Serum EX ($84) since receiving a bottle from the Glow Recipe girls in a Korean Vogue 20th Anniversary Best Of Korean Beauty Products kit. Sarah, from Glow Recipe, always has the best skincare suggestions (like this and this), so I was eager to try this new batch of products. While I could not read anything on the bottle, save for the title (the backside is written in Korean), I liked the clean scent and felt like it was kinda “natural,” so I decided to give it a go.
In a word: obsessed. It was as if my skin drank this sh*t up. Not that this serum is a surge of moisture or even an oil, it’s more like a tall glass of water for your skin — seriously. This lightweight hydrator soothes the skin without leaving any trace of residue. My face soaked it up and made subsequent products absorb that much better, too (hence the “activate” part of the name). No joke, I can feel my moisturizer penetrating deeper into my skin post-application. Now, when I leave the serum step out, my complexion isn’t as glowy and my face looks… dare I say… dull.
This is a can’t-live-without product for a healthy, bright complexion. It can be used on all skin types (even sensitive) and it won’t make you break out. It’s literally the perfect universal serum to combat a multitude of concerns without any downside.
I can’t wait to try the rest of this line: If the other products are as powerful as this serum, they’re about to become my face’s new bestie.
PRICE TAG: $84.00 (buy here)
Ever feel like your go-to makeup routine isn’t quite doing enough? Especially on days when you wake up late – and lazy – and just can’t seem to get it together, this trusted dependable products need some ramping up. Of course, that doesn’t always mean that a bright lip or bold eye is the right route. On these occasions, look no further than Wander Beauty Secret Weapon Pencil ($23).
This multitasking product is a bit like the brightening wand on Photoshop or a really amazing Snapchat filter. Tired eyes? Dab a bit on the inner corners and on the inner lash lines. Lips looking flat or undefined? Line your cupid’s bow. Missed your last brow shaping? Use the pencil on your brow bone to gently lift the arch. Need an overall lift? Drag the pencil across your cheekbones. The possibilities are endless.
Not only is this item a multitasking powerhouse that is extremely easy to use, but it’s filled with ingredients that are actually good for your skin. Olive fruit oil and jojoba oil condition and soothe, while vitamin E provides antioxidant protection. What’s not to love?
PRICE TAG: $23
-Casey Sharbaugh is the blogger behind www.comfortablycasey.com
Our obsession with Amore Pacific has been long-running, but it’s the Treatment Enzyme Peel that has stollen our hearts (and faces). While Amore Pacific Treatment Enzyme Peel ($60) isn’t a new product, it’s definitely a cleanser worth revisiting – especially now that we’re entering transitional weather (a.k.a. the worst climate for our complexions).
How it works: The powdered papaya enzymes turn into a smooth, lathering foam when mixed with water. The enzymes activate fast – 30-60 seconds of gentle massaging onto the skin and they do their job: cleaning out pores and removing all traces of dead skin which leads to a lackluster complexion. Since these are activating enzymes, you don’t feel any sort of exfoliation (i.e. there’s no scrubbing to the skin). Once washed off, your left with a gorgeous, glowing complexion, primed to penetrate all other toners, essences, serums, and moisturizers. In fact, this enzyme treatment actually improves absorption levels of other products.
While even the most sensitive skin types can benefit from this treatment, it’s so gentle and effective that it can actually be used as a daily cleanser (and we highly recommend it!). Read: This is not your average peel. It instantly brightens the visage while longterm use will even out skin tone and texture. Obsessed!
*made without sulfates, parabens, or phthalates. Suitable for all skin types.
PRICE TAG: $60 (buy here)
True story: I’ve been traveling all over the east coast – think planes, subways, and jitneys – and my oversized toiletry bag has taken a serious beating. In the midst of said transportation, my beloved Bioderma Crealine H2O went bust, drenching my bag and making the bottle unusable. Since Bioderma is rather difficult to find in-store in the USA, I was forced to find an alternative to my favorite makeup remover which (read:) never.makes.me.break.out. Bioderma also gets everything off — including mascara — without the need to pull on skin and eyes (hence benefiting the anti-aging-no-tug-equals-no-fine-lines cause).
Alas, I chose Simple Cleansing Facial Wipes at my local Duane Reade because… well, they come pre-soaked so I didn’t need to lug around the bottle and they’re made with all-natural ingredients – no perfumes or dyes – so they weren’t going to irritate my super sensitive skin. WOW do I love these amazing wipes. While I don’t use them to actually cleanse my face – meaning, I do use a cleanser post-wipe – they took off all of my makeup with just a few gentle wipes of the cloth and just as successfully as Bioderma. They didn’t tug or pull or strip the skin, and they didn’t irritate my sensitive visage. In fact, they were so mild – yet effective – that I decided to use one in the morning instead of washing my face (as too much water and harsh detergents can actually dry out skin). I followed up with a Witch Hazel toner, my current Tata Harper Rebuilding Moisturizer (a true gem for combination, acne-prone skin), and, of course, Elta MD UV Clear Sunscreen. So far, not a single blemish has emerged!
At $4.50 for $25 wipes (meaning you can use these 25 times), it’s a no-brainer for travel and on-the-go. While my Bioderma will remain a staple in my skincare routine, Simple Cleansing Facial Wipes will be joining in my travel bag (and if I actually worked out, I would put these wipes in my gym bag, too!). I am officially obsessed.
PRICE TAG: $4.50
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Clay masks belong the in the skincare hall of fame as a non-negotiable part of your regimen. Unless your visage is majorly dry or sensitive, everyone can benefit from the deep cleaning and oil-absorbing properties of clay, especially in the summertime heat. Problem is, these adored masks can be an absolute mess to apply and rinse off, which can result in less frequent use.
It seems as though the skincare Gods heard our prayers and delivered us Patchology SmartMud No Mess Mud Masque Single Facial Sheet ($8).
Before this product, we relied on our favorite sheet masks to hydrate, plump, and brighten our skin. This is the first we have found that includes hero-ingredient clay. It comes in two sections for easy application, and quickly but effectively gets to work.
Besides the mess, clay masks can often be overly-drying and aggressive. That is far from the case with Patchology’s SmartMud. While it is cooling and deeply cleansing, there is no sense of tightness or redness post-application. In fact, it’s gentle enough that I tend to leave it on for 20 minutes as opposed to the recommended 10. What can I say–my pores need it!
If you want to take care of clogged pores without clogging your sink with mask remnants, this mask is for you.
PRICE TAG: $8
Casey Sharbaugh is the blogger behind www.comfortablycasey.com
Dry hair, don’t care: Famed French celebrity colorist Christophe Robin’s Regenerating Mask is the only mask you’re dehydrated strands will need. Winter sucks the life (and moisture) out of our manes, but so does summer. Sun, chlorine, and salt water are all elements that work against our precious locks. To combat the seasonal certainties, turn to Christophe Robin Regenerating Mask.
Infused with prickly pear seed oil to nourish, plant ceramics to strengthen, and Inula flower to revive, this mask will certainly take care of all of your hair’s summer needs. But my favorite part about this delicious deep conditioner is the way it moisturizes without weighing it down. The formula is so special that it’ll take the most damaged, whacked-out hair and, with one use, turn it into smooth, silky, gorgeous strands (of gold!). It’s also great for post-color treatments.
I like to use the mask twice a week and I keep it on for 3-5 minutes. For more damaged hair, leave on for 20 minutes (if you’re really feeling adventurous, wrap hair in a plastic shower cap and use a blowdryer for 5-10 minutes). For thinner hair, use less, but keep it on for the same amount of time. Rinse and style. First day hair has never looked so good, guaranteed!
PRICE TAG: $71 (pricey but worth it)
Oh, the joys of a multitasking product! Darphin’s new Stimulskin Plus Serumask is (yep, you guessed it) both a serum and a mask that reaps the benefits of hydrating the skin in the convenience of a mask (feet up, lay back), which is then tissued off and you can allow the remaining serum to stay on the skin for a full-blown overnight treatment. The results: soft, glowing, youthful skin.
A word (or several…) from the company:
“The ultimate youth-revealing hybrid mask, the Stimulskin Plus Serumask is the perfect fusion of a serum in the comfort of a mask to reveal a younger and divine looking complexion. This age-defying experience technology targets radiance, texture, lines and wrinkles, firmness, and skin contours. Enriched with Pink Coral Seaweed which contains a high level of micronutrients that help restore hydration to the skin. Over time, skin reveals a younger-looking self. Texture is beautified, lines and wrinkles are visibly minimized, firmness is improved, and skin contours appear lifted and redefined.”
I loved the slight cooling/ tingling effect (which made me think the mask was actually working) and the way my skin glowed when I tissued off. But my favorite part was sleeping with the serum on. Usually, I’m fearful of an unfortunate acne breakout, but I’ve used this serumask three times now, and have yet to get a zit. It’s like my skin actually needs whatever magical ingredients are in this potion because when I wake up, I look oddly more rested. Basically, if you want to look younger (and who doesn’t?!), invest in this product today.
My only caveat is that I loathe fragrance in my skincare products and this product has a pretty potent perfume, but the benefits outweigh the scent, so it’s staying in my beauty cabinet for good, fragrance and all.
PRICE TAG: $180
A couple of months ago, my hair could be described in one word as: meh. There was nothing obviously wrong, it just wasn’t looking great. While I was happy with my color, cut, and texture thanks to this hair god (New Yorkers, he is a must and comes to YOU!), I just felt that my locks looked lackluster and overall dull. On top of that, I was noticing a good deal of breakage.
Enter: Shu Uemura Color Lustre Brilliant Glaze Treatment. I’ve started using this once or twice weekly, and will for the rest of my life. Okay maybe that’s an exaggeration, but I feel like I’ve met *the one*–at least as far as hair masks go!
Packed with superfood goji berries to help with fading and fatty acid-rich musk rose oil for deep hydration, this beauty makes hair soft and shiny without a hint of weight or grease. While the smell isn’t my favorite, I couldn’t care less because of the product’s formula and effectiveness. And for someone who is big on smell, that’s saying a lot.
Love your locks enough to show them some TLC.
PRICE TAG: $68
-Casey Sharbaugh is the blogger behind www.comfortablycasey.com