The 5 Beauty Products That Will Never Leave My Life

I'm nothing if not incredibly loyal.
Publish date:
November 6, 2013
shoppables, makeup, Kiehl's, skincare, Tarte, Gillette, Saffron James, neutrogena, sunscreen

I'm a creature of habit. Like, I can eat the exact same Hale & Hearty salad for a year and not get bored. If I love a TV show I will watch it over and over again -- see: "Alias," "The West Wing," and "Law & Order: SVU" just to name three.

I'm also a Scorpio, which means I'm incredibly loyal unless you cross me. We don't want to talk about what happens then, but I'd highly recommend against getting to know Stabby Abby.

Basically when I find something I love, I keep it with me forever. (And, yes, in case you were wondering, that applies to ex-boyfriends.) That's especially true when that beloved thing makes me look really pretty. Don't get me wrong, I ADORE the part of my job that is all about trying out new products. And my bathroom is filled with those, too.

But these, these are special. And I will never part with any of them, no matter what fancy new kid comes to hang out for a little while, or even joins the family.

In no particular order, I give you my Fab Five:


This product and I are about the same age, well, beauty industry age anyway. I remember early in my days as a beauty assistant at Jane magazine, a pretty redhead around my age named Maureen Kelly came by to show me and Jane L. (there were two Janes at Jane back then, the other being Jane Larkworthy, the beauty director) this new cosmetics line that she had created. I fell instantly in love with this push-up cheek stain and never looked back.

Back in '99 there weren't a million gel blush products with this kind of application -- I hated a makeup brush even then. Plus the "Flush" shade was perfect for my skin. (It works on loads of skin tones but they now also have a huge range.) The business took off on the back of this star product and the line has grown enormously large -- but this product is still my girl. I have a new one on its way to me right now as it's one of the few products I always use down to the end.


I just ran out of my signature scent this week and let's just say I'm a little distraught during this interim time. I've always loved perfume. My first scent memory is of my mom's Guerlain Shalimar when I was super little. She didn't wear it every day so when I smell it (even now), I think about her getting dressed up to go out somewhere with my dad -- which also meant babysitter fun and pizza or McDonald's for me! It's a happy memory and I would like to hope that when people smell this fragrance, or something similar to it, they think happily of me.

This line was created by a former beauty editor friend based on the flowers from her home state of Hawaii. Everything in the range is super unique but Punono is my jam. It's kind of rich and dark and a little woodsy without being heavy, made with Ylang Ylang, Vanilla, Tunisian Opium and Pikake (Hawaiian jasmine). It's simply heavenly and even the spray lasts forever (more like an oil) because it's not all alcohol-y like I find some big fragrance brands to be.


As I've mentioned, I'm a melanoma survivor. And as you can see from all my photos on the site, I'm SUPER fair. If I'm not wearing sunscreen, my skin will pink up on my two-block walk to the subway. So I'm covered in sunscreen every day, all year long. There are lots of great ones out there -- and I use many of them -- but I'm never ever without my staple Neutrogena, in all its many forms.

I love the sprays, which I could not have lived without on my solo vacay this summer. The science is super solid -- Neutrogena was all in on UVA AND UVB protection early in the game. They stay on as they're supposed to and I don't think there's anything better for the price. And frankly, they're way better than lots of fancy brands, too.

KIEHL'S CREME DE CORPS, $11-$75 (depending on size)

Before I ever knew how good their products were, I fell in love with the simplicity of Kiehl's packaging. The straightforward typeface and lack of girly frills has been and always will be so chic to minimalist me. They look great sitting in your bathroom and every boy I've ever dated instantly falls in love with anything Kiehl's. But the body lotion is just so fantastic.

I used to be really bad about taking care of the skin on my body. I neglected it terribly and would get all sorts of dry and itchy. Once I discovered Creme de Corps, everything changed. It's a post-shower must every day and my skin is so much happier for it. It's so rich but I don't feel like I'm going to slide out of my clothes once I put them on. Plus, it's not a budget breaker, especially for a non-drugstore product.

GILLETTE VENUS RAZOR, $6 (for the original model)

I started shaving my legs in the third grade. I know, it was early. But I had SUCH hairy legs and I was a very competitive swimmer so my mom caved and let me do it. (My coach probably would have made her by the time State rolled around anyway.) I remember sitting in the tub as she showed me how with her pink disposable Daisy razor. And I used those same pink babies (nicking my legs for YEARS) until 2001 when everything changed.

Life after Venus was just blissful. The shaves got smoother and those annoying cuts that bleed for a million years after getting out of the shower were gone. I still get very upset when I forget to pack mine for a trip and am forced to buy disposables at the hotel gift shop. Invariably I cut myself like five times. So thanks, Venus, for being invented.

What products are you forever loyal to?