I basically called my mom for help. Except when I say mom, I mean an esthetician.
I often joke that my bathroom mimics an old-timey apothecary, but I'm 100-percent serious when I say it. The shelves are stocked with countless "potions" and oils and creams and powders, and I coo over them like a mother does her newborn child. Sometimes, I'll even find myself running a finger down a bottle — the way you would a spine of a book that affected you deeply — looking forward to the next time it's used.
I treasure them so much partly because I think they look so pretty perched together like a flock of birds. I also realized something somewhat profound after recently being asked, "When do you feel most beautiful?"
After thinking about the answer to that question, I realized I feel most beautiful when looking into the mirror, freshly cleansed, potion-doused, and with zero makeup and unkempt hair. I so look forward to devising the perfect skincare concoction. To me, it's a post-shower rite of passage — a reward for my skin after a long day or a hard workout.
Today, I wanted to highlight some of my favorites. Dropper tools are my favorite, and all of these have that going for them.
The star ingredient in this ampoule is broccoli extract, a powerful antioxidant, but it smells and feels nothing like the green vegetable. It actually smells a little bit like candy, though the scent dissipates almost immediately after application. The ampoule is a milky, creamy consistency that my skin soaks up instantly, leaving behind moisturized skin with a matte finish.
Camellia seed oil is one of my favorite types of oils, and I recommend it (and rosehip oil) to anyone looking for a good, inexpensive, natural moisturizer that works. Compared to rosehip, it's a thinner consistency and absorbs more quickly, so it's ideal for people who are nervous about oil in general. Consider it the slippery slope gateway oil to all other oils.
When I say that camellia is a dry oil, that means it doesn't sit on skin and leave an oily finish. Instead, it's is soaked up immediately. In comparison, coconut oil is not a dry oil and needs to be rinsed off. I use camellia oil on my face and on my cuticles. I've also used it in DIY beauty recipes for deep hair conditioners and creams.
Pestle & Mortar is a small, independent skincare company — run by one woman — with a total of three products. I like that, though, because it means she's put a ton of effort into the three items the brand does sell. Their Pure Hyaluronic Serum is proof of that.
This is a potent hyaluronic acid serum, and you only need a tiny amount to see results. It has a thin, soapy slip that spreads over your skin like a thin silk veil. I notice an immediate improvement in my skin's texture and radiance, and it does noticeably plump the area around my eyes to reduce fine lines.
It's no secret I'm a big fan of Sunday Riley. They have some of the best packaging on the market, in my opinion, and they have acquired a cult following because their stuff is that good.
JUNO is a no-BS retinoid oil, and it combines a highly moisturizing blend of fruit and vegetable oils, including blueberry, cranberry, red raspberry, broccoli seed and blackberry. I consider it a heavy oil, ideal for nighttime application when worn alone. If my skin is feeling very dry, I'll apply a couple drops underneath my makeup to amp up moisture. It also mixes well with creams, lotions and sunscreen.
I love this bottle so much. It reminds me of a genie bottle, and yes, it will grant you wishes. This oil is different from the above, as it's worn in between your toes, on your temples, behind your ears, and on pulse points.
It's a truly enchanting, invigorating, and calming blend of 100% organic, vegan essential oils, including rose, sandalwood, frankincense, neroli, jasmine, basil, chamomile, ginger, peppermint, rosemary and pomegranate. I like to apply it in the mornings after a shower, as I'm winding down for bed, and any time I need to take a break and invoke some chill.
Last, but not least, is Fresh's Seaberry Skin Nutrition Booster which comes in a tiny bottle, but has some potent effects. It contains an array of concentrated oils and extracts, including hydrating camellia seed oil, antioxidant rich seaberry oil and rocou extract, and lycopene-rich tomato extract. It's a lightweight, dry oil with no scent and it makes my skin feel so, so soft.
- What are your favorite old-timey-looking products?
- Do you prefer retro packaging over more modern designs?
- Have you tried any of the above?