Most people's skin concerns can't be summed up in one simple adjective. It's never just oily, acne-prone, dull or aging; for most of us, it's an unfortunate combination of issues. But whether you're concerned about fine lines, huge pores
or dark spots, one of the best tools you can use to improve the overall condition of your skin is an at-home peel.
There's pretty much a peel designed for every skin issue, and most of them use glycolic acid or other exfoliators to combat a wide range of issues. They're especially great for fighting blackheads, reversing signs of aging, fading dark spots, minimizing pores and exfoliating for a brighter complexion. Just be careful to use these peels as directed on the package, as overusing or applying to super sensitive skin can cause chemical burns. Here are a few of my favorites:
favorite for anti-aging/dark spots:Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Daily Face Peel,
favorite for dull skin:
Origins Brighter By Nature High-Potency Brightening Peel with Fruit Acids,
favorite for delicate eye area:Ole Henriksen Truth is in the Eyes Eye Peel,
If you've bothered to pick up pretty much any fashion magazine this fall, you know that the color of the moment for accessories, bags, statement pieces (read: pretty much everything) is oxblood. Bold yet sophisticated, and flattering on almost any skin tone, the deep red shade has begun to trickle over - no pun intended - into beauty trends, too.
My favorite iteration has been the plum, berry and deep wine lip colors that are slightly 90s-inspired, but also decidedly current. To avoid looking too washed out or vampire-y, be sure to pair these darker hues with a rosy, shimmer-free blush for a healthy flush of color. Here are some of my favorite lip colors this fall:
Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment SPF 15 in Sugar Plum
, $22.50, sephora.com
Dior Addict Extreme Lipstick in Black Tie
, $30, sephora.com
Maybelline Baby Lips Lip Balm in Grape Vine
, $2.99, target.com
Hourglass Aura Sheer Lip Stain in Scarlet
, $26, sephora.com
what it is:
JINSoon nail polishwhy i love it*:
It's fitting that this shiny new line of nail polishes launched in the middle of Fashion Week mayhem; their creator Jin Soon Choi is a fixture backstage, where so much Fashion Week mayhem occurs. She's basically the
rockstar of the manicure world: she does all of the top shows and major celebrity photo shoots, and she has three successful eponymous salons in NYC. That's why it's baffled me for so long that she hadn't come out with her own line of nail polishes (yet somehow we live in a world where the Kardashians and Justin Bieber have). This line of polishes couldn't come Jin Soon enough (wow, I'm really sorry about that). Enter Space NK's JINSoon line. I was lucky enough to try out Nostalgia, a pinky-nude color, and I can report that these long overdue polishes don't disappoint.
First, the shades: between the two "collections" (the "A La Mode" collection has trendier, bolder shades, while the "Quintessential" collection is more classic), there's really something for everyone. I'm pretty anti-shimmer when it comes to by nail polish choices, so I love that there's not one speck of iridescence in any of these shades. They also earn bonus cool points for being named by top models.
But in my opinion, the formula is really what sets these nail polishes apart. I'm not kidding when I say these lacquers made it feel almost impossible to mess up even a rushed DIY manicure. The nude color I tried was opaque with just one coat, which pretty much never happens with other brands (sorry, Essie Mademoiselle). The polish goes on smoothly and dries with a super shiny finish, so you can pretty much skip base and top coat. where to get it: spacenk.com
This should say "why I really, really, really, really love it." Yes, I am aware that I just wrote a love letter/ode to a nail polish. Try it and you'll understand.
what it is:
Keihl's Midnight Recovery Eyewhy i love it:
This deeply moisturizing cream does exactly what the title claims: it helps your skin recover and bounce back from a late night or a few days of neglect. Light enough that it doesn't feel greasy but hydrating enough that it does its job, this product brightens and smoothes skin around the eyes like Photoshop in a tube. I love to use it as a base before I apply my makeup because it seals in moisture and serves as a kind of primer to help my undereye concealer stay on throughout the day.where to get it: keihls.com
what it is:
Face Stockholm for J.Crew lipstick in Chili Flakewhy I love it:
I was doing a little browsing to escape from the NYC heat the other day, and obviously ducked into J.Crew to see what's up with pre-fall over there. I usually don't gravitate to the beauty products because of the backhaul I have at home, but at the sight of a shade called Chili Flake, one of my favorite seasonings of all time, I had to see what was inside. The picture above doesn't fully capture how amazing this shade is. It is
a red, but with a touch of orange and the slightest hint of a coral that makes it more striking than almost any other red I've seen. I kept taking the top off of the lipstick and looking at its amazingness. At the time, I was just taking mental inventory of what's in store for the season, but this has been on my mind for almost a week now, so I think I might have to go pick one up, even if my lipstick collection is heaping over the tray where I store it.where to get it: J.Crew
what it is:
Estée Lauder Idealist Even Skintone Illuminatorwhy i love it:
This lightweight illuminator is the one thing missing in your skin care routine, trust me. Here's the reason: whenever you see a photograph in a magazine where the model's skin looks amazing, the trick behind it (besides Photoshop) is always lighting. This product creates a similar effect on your skin, even if you don't have a professional photography team following you around at all times. It evens skin tone and fades dark marks while leaving behind a light scent and subtle shimmer. I especially love what it does for skin's texture and overall luminous-ness; you really do end up needing to use less makeup, which is always a plus. where to get it: esteelauder.com
what it is:
Bite Beauty High Pigment Matte Pencil in Grapevinewhy i love it:
You know how you have that one shirt that people always
compliment, without fail? This lip color is the beauty product equivalent of that. Every time I wear it, at least one or two people compliment me or asks what brand it is. I love this product because the fuchsia color is rich and saturated, but it's also blendable and buildable, so you really can achieve whatever look you want. The pencil applicator also helps with precision and the texture of the lip color itself is smooth and matte without being drying. It's the perfect final touch for a night out, and something I always keep stashed in my purse.where to get it: sephora.com
If I had to choose my favorite hair product, it would undoubtedly be dry shampoo. I love my serums and sea salt sprays, but the many benefits of dry shampoo sets it apart. Besides the obvious lazy girl aspect of not having to wash hair as often, it also adds texture, breathes life into styles and doesn't strip hair of its natural nourishing oils. A truly great invention, hair scientists.
But that said, there are tons of different dry shampoos on the market. Within the past few years, almost every brand has come out with their own version. I've tried quite a few, from the expensive salon versions to the cheapest products from the drugstore, so now I bring to you the dry shampoo throwdown. See how each of these different brands measures up. Rankings are based on a scale of 1 (don't put yourself through that kind of torture) to 10 (absolute miracle in a bottle).
| |Suave Professionals Dry Shampoo,
Lightweight (so it doesn't get white and chalky) with a subtle scent, this bargain product is actually one of my favorites. But it's also not as effective on seriously greasy hair, if that's what you're working with.Overall ranking:
Big Sexy Hair Volumizing Dry Shampoo
, $17.95, ulta.com
Perfect for prepping hair, adding texture or refreshing yesterday's style, this is my favorite of the four. It makes unwanted oil seemingly disappear but doesn't leave any residue behind. Overall ranking:
| |TRESemmé FreshStart Volumizing Dry Shampoo,
A good basic dry shampoo that's good for daily use and effective on limp hair. The only drawback is that it can tend to leave white residue on hair if you use too much.Overall ranking:
Blow Faux Dry Dry Shampoo,
Typically I'm a huge fan of Blow products, but even though this is the most expensive of the four brands, it's also my least favorite. The superfine powder simply isn't effective compared to the other brands.Overall ranking:
what it is:
Dr. Jart+ Water Fuse Beauty Balm SPF 25why i love it:
My skin is far from perfect, but I absolutely hate
the feeling of wearing heavy foundation to even it out. My belief is that heavy makeup that can sink into pores is far worse than no makeup at all. This BB cream is pretty much the best of both worlds, because it evens skin to perfection but feels weightless, almost like you're not wearing any makeup. If you still don't know what BB cream is, it's pretty much the best invention ever. Think of it as the Swiss Army Knife of foundation or a tinted moisturizer on steroids: it's an all-around over-achieving makeup, moisturizer and treatment in one. I especially love this "Water Fuse" formula because it forms a dewy barrier on the skin, regulating moisture (so your skin stays nourished but doesn't get greasy). Dr. Jart, whoever you are, I commend you.where to get it: sephora.com
what it is:
Tarte The Bright Side Double-Ended Eye Brightenerwhy i love it:
Are you awake yet? No? Meet your new best friend (that can't be ordered at Starbucks). First, a tip: to de-puff tired eyes, refrigerate your eye cream. The cold moisturizer will help tackle puffiness and also feel amazing. Then, use this handy product to fake a wide-eyed look.
After applying under-eye concealer, use the less intense daytime highlighter on one end to brighten anywhere you might need it: tear ducts, brow bones, cheek bones. The powder is super blendable and subtle, and the applicator allows for precision. The nighttime brightener has more of a purple hue that catches the light even more, which means you can use it more sparingly or when you want a more dramatic look. where to get it: sephora.com