I have spent many years in the beauty trenches. More than I — as a beauty writer driven by vanity — can be expected to own.
I’ve weathered trends from gold leaf and caviar to snail mucin and snake venom, experienced facial massages in LA and vitamin A peels in NYC. I’ve sat under red lights, blue lights, white lights and highlights. Been scarred by bad extractions and misused lasers — and been saved by the same.
In short, my skin has seen a lot. And, in that time, many a great product has come and gone, some inciting panic attacks when they were discontinued. (I’m still mourning Lili Mineni’s A and C serums, which I just discovered are gone while writing this story. At least, she’s still available for the world’s best facials if you’re ever in LA.)
Fortunately, some of the greats have endured. A tiny portion of the bazillions of products I’ve sampled (and continue to cycle through) have risen above and become solid keepers for me — more experiences than simply skincare.
These are my ride-or-die besties, my must-haves, my desert island picks (if that desert island came equipped with a porcelain sink and a sanitized washcloth). These are the lotions and potions that, after I tried them gratis, I started buying for myself — a beauty writer’s ultimate compliment. These have transcended fads.
Some people have a bucket list. For better or worse, I have this. And now you have it too.
This face oil raises the bar. It’s not every day that a product hits the trifecta — great smell, great efficacy, great packaging/ingredients. (Wait, that’s four…oh, well. No one ever said I was good at counting.) Personally, I use this product every single day and, while I usually think the idea of turning your face washing routine into a ritual isn’t that realistic (aren’t we usually either rushing in the morning or exhausted at night?), I actually do that with my Vintner’s. Almost every time I use it, I close my eyes and inhale the essential oil scent for just a second and it really does relax me and lift my…