One Beauty Editor. Ten Weeks. Ten Products.
With everything going on in the world, I didn't expect to find any solace in my beauty routine. These 10 products surprised me
When New York City officially hit the ‘Pause’ button on March 16th, I was frightened.
I had been deeply worried for weeks about my colleagues and beauty industry allies around the world; I was concerned for the health and well-being of family, friends, and loved ones in the city that I call home and all across the US; and I was frightened for myself too.
As much as I love my work as a beauty business news editor for CosmeticsDesign.com, and as much as I love a good manicure, given all my fears, I did not expect to find solace in any at-home beauty routine.
But here I am, ten weeks into what will be at least 12 weeks of stay-at-home coronavirus precautions, and I can honestly say I wouldn’t be nearly as calm, comfortable, and confident as I am today without these ten products:
1. These health supplements from Well Within Beauty ($65) are keeping me grounded and helping my skin endure the stress brought on by this global health and financial pandemic. The two-product routine helps my skin maintain resiliency and luminosity. The Antioxidant Blend (one capsule/dose) is formulated to promote skin balance and collagen production, while the Berry Oil Blend (two capsules/dose) helps with skin barrier function and luminosity. After about two weeks of taking both supplements each morning (with food!) I see an improvement. And during stay-at-home, I’ve slowed down to a dose every other day to help mark the passage of time and, of course, in hopes of having luminous skin longer.
2. Don’t tell anyone this, but I’m showering a bit less often than usual during the New York City ‘Pause.’ That means all-over exfoliation is key! I’m also fortunate to still be working full-time, so I don’t exactly have extra time on my hands for self-care, which makes a moisturizing body scrub all the more fabulous. Speaking of fabulous, the Himalayan Body Buff from Osmia Organics ($42) is my go-to shower time body scrub during lockdown. It smells like a lightly sweet and smoky, spicy rain. It melts slowly but isn’t harsh, and it leaves my skin wonderfully well moisturized. I just pat dry with a fluffy towel and that’s it.
3. The O’o Hawaii Rose Quartz Gua Sha ($24) that I’ve been using during this time is one I purchased recently. I had used a Gua Sha previously off and on, but I inadvertently shattered that one and only recently replaced it. Massage is very therapeutic and self-facial massage is no different. A routine with the O’o Hawaii Rose Quartz Gua Sha promotes circulation and lymphatic drainage as well as helping relieve facial muscle tension and bulk.
4. I love a comprehensive skin treatment. And cellular oil Skin Revival Serum ($185) from Ayuna Less is Beauty along with the brand’s terra Rejuvenating Treatment ($455) have been my go-to during this pandemic. I never would have used a facial oil under makeup until I tried the cellular oil from Ayuna. It keeps my whole face supple and all my different color and complexion products from feeling dry throughout the day. And the terra cream is a luxurious full-face product, saving me from the added time of tapping on an eye cream or applying a separate neck and décolleté product.
5. Now, if I may go from luxury to farmers’ market, the delightfully simple and handcrafted Carrot Facial Bar ($7.50) from Garden Goat Soap of Madison, New Jersey, is like fresh spring rain hitting good clean soil. And it’s my absolute favorite body bar. Before the Osmia Himalayan Body Buff, I always do an all-over wash with the Carrot Facial Bar. And it’s great on its own too. Having grown up on the eastern prairie of Montana, where water is scarce and rain is nothing short of a miracle, this soap brings me the promise of a rainbow every time I use it.
6. Oral care is as much about aesthetics as it is about health. Which is why I am not shy to say that I found my new favorite toothpaste at the Indie Beauty Expo in Los Angeles, earlier this year — remember when it was safe to brazenly travel from state to state? The Spotlight Oral Care Toothpaste for Rebuilding Teeth ($10) is just different enough from all those drugstore brands to be a true delight in challenging times. The taste, the texture, the packaging, and the results make me feel very clever and just a touch fancy about brushing.
7. And speaking of IBE, I was invited to judge the IBE Best in Show Awards last year. As a result, I received a box full of lip treatments (among other things) months and months ago. To do my job as a judge, I wholeheartedly tried all those products. And that’s when I discovered La La Lips ($20), the balm from a CBD brand called La La Leaf. This balm has great slip (like Vaseline without the stickiness or weight, thanks to the CBD) and a delightfully believable tangerine scent, and it keeps my lips soft day and night. Enough said.
8. Despite all admonitions to the contrary, I have been cutting my own hair during the NYC Pause. I’ve been wearing the same style for years now and have watched at least four different stylists have a go at it. The key to my success thus far has been a pair of Tweezerman brand thinning shears. I got mine years ago in some shop downtown, but these are similar ($34). I know what I want my hair to look like. But as observant as I may be, I don’t know all the ins and outs of ‘taking the weight out.’ So far, so good. But if this Pause goes on much longer, I am not so sure that YouTube tutorials and a pair of shears will suffice.
9. During the virus crisis, I am on-camera from home more than ever. My best tip for Zoom, FaceTime, WhatsApp, Teams, IG Live, and even media-ready video, is lighting, lighting, and lighting. After that, it’s Lumify ($20.99 at Target). Lumify is a curious new eye drop product from Bausch + Lomb that ‘takes the red out’ of your eyes. Even after use, a good look in the mirror can find hints of tiredness, but from a foot or more away — at a camera’s distance — the whites of my eyes are immaculate.
10. If I’ve watched hairdressers cut my signature piecey bob 50+ times in recent years, I’ve watched Bezayda De Jesus* prep and file and polish my nails to absolute perfection hundreds of times over. Looking at market research data during the pandemic, I know that I’m just another statistic ready to book my next manicure (and pedicure) as soon as it’s safe for Beza to return to work and for me to travel beyond the confines of my neighborhood. Until then, I’m trying my hand at DIY manicures with a Gel Effect Nail Lacquer in a deep denim/Prussian blue shade called Saturday Sky from Adesse New York ($18). It’s not a professional manicure by any means but it does make all the typing and phone tapping I do throughout the day a little more lovely.
* Since writing this, I’ve learned that Beza suffered a stroke and doesn’t have health insurance in the Dominican Republic, where she’s been waiting out the pandemic with her family. Her daughter Katherine has set up a go-fund-me page to help cover the costs of her care.