Some Beauty Products...

I've been thinking about doing a post sharing some of my favorite (for lack of a better term) "beauty products" for a while...

As much as I'd like to be able to claim that I'm a low-maintenance gal that eschews make-up in favor of a bare-face, well... I can't. I like products. I always have. One of my most fond childhood memories is watching my grandmother (with whom I was extremely close) getting ready for work in the morning. Perched on her little bathroom vanity, I would study her intently as she carefully lined her eyes and powdered her nose. It was mesmerizing.

I was also endlessly intrigued by my mom's groovy homemade masks, which she would apply after holding her face over a big steaming pot of chamomile infused water on the stove, towel draped over her head. It wasn't long before she had me steaming my face too. I think I was about nine. My mom is an licensed aesthetician now and is a wealth of info about awesome skin products. She's way in the know.

In college, I worked at The Body Shop...I was in "product" heaven. And then after I graduated (mind you this was in the mid-90's when the best prospect for college grads with English degrees was working at a coffee shop), I moved to Boulder and worked as a make-up artist at the Chanel counter in the mall until I landed my first "real job".

So I have a history with make-up (and moisturizer and hair stuff and perfume)...how could I not share what I love? Also you guys have asked. I think one of my most frequently received e-mail questions is: "what are some of the products that you use?"

So I'm going to tell ya. Here goes...


  • I wash my face with just a gentle Aveeno cleanser...nothing fancy. But, at night I use it with my Clarisonic face brush, which I am kind of in love with (not to be overly swoony). This little gadget makes my skin super-soft and glowy. It was worth every penny.

  • After I wash my face at night, I mix together a little dab of Tazorac (a super-strong, prescription retinol) with a couple of pumps of Bliss anti-aging serum. It's really lightweight (I can't use heavy moisturizers) and makes my skin glowy...I'm big on glowy. If I'm feeling especially dry, I might also use a drop or two of Dr. Hauschka Normalizing Day Oil.

  • Around my eyes, I've been using a little dab of Creme de la Mer from a sample I've been desperately clinging to forever. This stuff is amazing, but crazy pricey, and I have two kids to send to college. I'm not sure what I'm going to do once my sample is empty... I'm open to eye cream suggestions friends.

  • For body, I swear by Kiehl's Creme de Corps. It's super moisturizing (which is good since I am currently seriously lizard-like) but not greasy at all. Greasy = Bad.


  • My #1, all-time favorite product is Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer in Nude. I can't say enough about this stuff. When I'm about half done with my tube, I go buy another one, as I have this sort of irrational fear of it disappearing. It's not really foundation (which scares me) but more than moisturizer. And, again, makes me glowy. (I know, I know, it can't be helped.)

  • I wish I was one of those girls that could pull-off that awesome orangy-red Nars lipstick that's all over the place right now. I love that look. But sadly it doesn't work on me...at all. My look is more smoky/sooty eye. I know it's crazy, but it makes me feel a little rock & roll, which is kind of necessary for a working mom of two living in middle-America.

    To do the smoky eye, I smudge Laura Mercier powder eyeliner in Ebony Black over my lash line (top and bottom) with a brush, put a sweep of Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick in Beige on my lids and then a coat or two of Benefit BADgal Lash mascara in black. It's a pretty fool-proof enterprise.

  • I also use a little Nars blush (this shade, which I refuse to write on my blog) and for lips pretty much just lip balm, as I reason (and I know this is cliche) that with the sooty eyes, I have to have way low-key lips. Right now I'm using Primavera Neroli Cassis lip balm that Nicole gave me, but if I'm going out, I'll use Bobbi Brown Glitter Lip Gloss in Nude.


  • On the hair front, I'm digging Kevin Murphy Hydrate Me shampoo and conditioner for my ombre (read: trashed) ends...it's smells a little like patchouli, so there's that whole hippie-vibe thing going. I only wash my hair every other day, so I use his hair powder on my roots on day two to avoid channeling Johnny Depp.

  • And now that I have the effortless bangs, I just blow-dry my hair with a round brush and go...totally easy.

The Extras:

  • I hardly ever paint my nails, but when I do I've been using Chanel Particuliere...I use it on my toes too. I always paint my toenails.

  • I love Yuzu Rouge perfume by 06130, and I'm also a big fan of Stella by Stella McCartney.

  • And last but not least, every single day I take 2000 milligrams of Omega 3&6 fish oil, 1000 milligrams of vitamin D and a multi-vitamin. The fish oil is a miracle...it's made my skin and hair better, and I just feel better when I take it. I also drink the most disgusting concoction of all-time every morning -- 1 cup of organic cranberry juice blended with a scoop of Garden of Life Perfect Food Super Green powder. It is truly foul, but it makes me feel like a super-hero, so I'm strangely addicted.

Ok that's it...whew!

Now your turn...what products do you use, what do you love, what can't you live without??


L said...

NARs blush rocks and really lasts. I use $in (winter) and Orga$m (summer). Not sure what you linked to, it didn't show.

Jordan said...

i had some samples of la mer eye cream too- boy was that a sad day when i finally ran out. i'm a big fan of kiehl's in general but this eye cream honestly comes in at a close second:


i love that its super thick and doesn't migrate into your eyes. it definitely stays put. and you can'd beat the price! hopefully this helps!

Katarina K said...

I've been using Stella for 6 years now, and currently addicted to Stella's shower cream ...mmm.
I also can't live without Liz Earle's Hot Cloth Cleanser...it was made in heaven I think! Dr.Hauschka is nice. I'm a big fan of stuff that's not been tested on animals too:)
Thanks for your tips!

Anonymous said...

Well for a few years now advice by my very own dermatologist cousin Pam (Rappaport Dermatology in Beverly Hills, CA) i use Dial Antibacterial liquid hand soap for my face wash. Your probably wondering "REALLY?". .....YES!!! it is amazing. Their was this one time in my life i totally broke out and i wasn't the type that would break out. My cousin advice me to try this and wow in a few weeks my face cleared up. :)

Anonymous said...

Love the kiehls body lotion as well. and the avocado eye cream.

Thanks for the eye tips, yours always look great. Do you use the Laura Mercier liner wet or smudge it on dry?

Jessica said...

I love my Clarisonic, too! It makes my skin soooo much nicer. I am also on the hunt for a good eye cream. I hear nice things about the Skinceuticals A.G.E one, which will probably be the next one I try.

Ana Degenaar said...

I am ecstatic that you decided to make this post. I've been thinking for what feels like ages now, that I need to take better care of my skin. So my list will soon look like yours but for now a whole bunch of natural organic cleansers, clarisonic face brush, rose water and that's about it. Insert blushed face here.

Little Bean Shop said...

I swear by Origins VitaZing Facial Moisturizer....it's amazing!

s.212 said...

I love anything from Kiehl's!

Deepali said...

Have been addicted to Allure by Chanel for years, it's the only scent I use.
Pregnancy = Kiehls body butter, every day, and not just on belly but everywhere, and I mean everywhere. I'm huge on makeup brushes, just can't get the right application without the right brushes and I've tried lots of brands. Love Benefit brow zings for my eyebrows and M.A.C. eyeshadow in Nehru to use as eyeliner (for the smudgy look) Max Factor 2000 calorie mascara is the best I've ever used and lately I'm loving Smashbox soft lights in Shimmer and Benefit highbrow for the "glow".

Amy@OldSweetSong said...

Why do I love talking about beauty product so much?

I love Origins A Perfect World skin care line. I'm kind of an all or nothing girl. Meaning I like buying a whole line from one brand, I figure they probably work better together. But that's most likely just a dumb thing to think. I also like Cetaphil for a super gentle cleanser.

I use Clinique almost makeup, more than a tinted moisturizer but less than a foundtaion. I use Laura Mercier loose powder. Benetint on lips and cheeks and Lorac eyeshadow. Maybelline Great Lash is kind of the best mascara ever. And a few years ago I started using an eyelash curler and I'm a huge fan now. I wish I was a lipsticker but I'm a gloss gal; Stilla or Nars.

I switch body lotions depending on my mood and the season. I like Eurcein for winter because it's so dang dry all the time. But I also love Origins A Perfect World body moisturizer because it smells like heaven.

And finally I worship Marc Jacobs perfume. And mint chapstick.

I also wanted to let you know I liked how you called your smokey eye process and "enterprise." That was awesome.

Joslyn said...

Thanks kelly! i user the liner dry...

Kate said...

I've been working on a beauty post for ages, it's taking me forever because I too love love love products and have too many! I spend so much at Sephora they upgraded my beauty insider card to VIP status, so I get super sized free samples. I can't decide if that's pathetic or awesome. ha!

Joslyn said...

kate -- that's awesome ;-)

i can't wait to see your beauty post!

Sarah Bradley said...

Great post! I've been thinking about doing a post for awhile now. Must get on it.

My stash is a bit different as the majority of products I use are considered safe for the environment and body.

Not all mind you, I still swear by Cover Girl LashBlast but I've found some great products by Tarte at Sephora and I think my skin has never looked better now that I've said goodbye to synthetic!

kate oates said...

I just did a beauty post. Actually, it was more of a New Year's resolution post seeing as how I'm about to pop with our first kiddo any second and I'm turning 31 this month. Needless to say, I want to take care of myself this year. Hands down my favorite product as of late is Olay's Regenerist Microdermabrasion Treatment. It is changing my less than perfect skin due to pregnancy. I can't say enough good things about it.

tiffany said...

ah I love this! You should definitely share the recipe for the homemade masks - I've been searching for the perfect one.

Heidi said...

Very fun post. I especially appreciate your vitamin tips. I don't take any vitamins but constantly feel like I should. Now I know what to look for. Thank you! As for my products, these days all I use on my face is Cetaphil, Jojoba oil and Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer. I also like Juice Beauty Green Apple Nutrient Eye Cream. And for the body, Egyptian Magic! Works wonders on the feet!

modernboom said...

fun post!

things i can't live without.
• laura mercier tinted moisturer in fawn (i too need two)
• chanel concealer #10
• mac's lipstick in pervette (always buy two)
• morning song gardens almond vanilla face cream from
whole foods.
• shakley vitamins and a good run with my dog!

Mel said...

Ha, I loved this post and found some of my fave's listed too. I too use Mercier's tinted moisturizer in nude, but the have an illuminating one too that I sometimes mix in for extra glow (use sparingly). I just recently splurged on creme de la mer and rationalized that a) you only live once and b) you use so, so little that it does last a long time :) ninjawhat's comment above about using dial soap to clear up skin, I'll have to give that a go trying Jurlique right now, meh. Since my youngest is now starting solids and nursing has lessened my forehead/temple area is breaking out like crazy and I've never had breakouts before, so I will try that! Also I'll borrow your tip on fish oil. Tried the green stuff years ago and couldn't hack it. You rock for doing so. Thanks for this fun post. My last post was a product post too, must be in the air, love it!

Cherry Blossoms said...

I also love the Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer. Another tinted one I like and use in the summer is Smashbox's tinted primer! I am there with you on the Nars blush color! Such a good natural shade that seems to work on many skin tones. Trish McEvoy like her makeup as well! I could play with makeup all day long!

erin said...

oh! a whole new world! i've never quite gotten past the steam bit...but feeling glowy and rock-and-roll is an awfully good endorsement for stepping up my routine. must find something...

Jillian said...

i'm a lover of beauty products myself!

i've heard such great things about laura mercier products! i'm dying to try them out, but it's just so pricey! though i'm a fan of glowy skin too so i may have to fold for the tinted moisturizer.

elizabeth said...

Joslyn- you rock my world. I love products too! and I am more than obsessed with my clarisonic. And funny enough, I also once got a free sample of La Mer from Neiman Marcus that I made last foreeever, because I loved it and knew I could never afford it. :) I love all your other tips... and there are plenty on there I've never tried, so as a major product junkie, I must! Love the post, thanks!!

Anonymous said...

So glad to hear other folks have milked their La Mer samples for all they're worth. For one glorious month in college I had a sample and my skin was heavenly. One day. I'm a big fan of Philosophy products. Their Purity cleanser is wonderful and their peel is great - perfect for glowing =)I've been brushing my skin lately and using a homemade EVOO, honey and sugar scrub and it's made such a huge difference. Not to mention it's a nice little treat in this wintery weather. Love this post!

mamacita said...

I tried Yuzu Rouge a few months ago when you first mentioned it. It is indeed divine. I also like Stella and the Kai you have in the photo. It's always nice to find someone with the same taste.

Emma said...

My husband has been trying to get me to take fish oil pills for years (and vitamin D)! Tonight, I finally asked him for some of his stash! We'll see what happens.

molly said...

i too am a lover of beauty products. even though I keep my look simple, i still love my products. quality over quantity for me.

I just tried a new shampoo and conditioner by LUSH. I'm in LOVE. They have a store at North Park you simply must visit. Think fresh handmade cosmetics. My hair is super soft and shiny and my skin is softer than it has ever been. And I am super picky about scents but was smitten the moment I walked in.

I stick to lip balm mainly since I like to kiss all over baby N. Favorite is strawberry lip balm and moisturizer by ROSEBUD PERFUME CO. You can buy it at Anthropologie or online on Amazon. i love it so much i keep a tin in my purse, one by my bed and one in the kitchen. i'm afraid i am a bit addicted to lip balm. constantly put it on during the day.

Love both Laura Mercier and Bobbi Brown. That is the majority of my make up right there.

My toes are (almost) always painted. Note to self - need to get that chanel color. it's perfect.

Bobbi Brown has a good eye cream I like, but right now I am using a sample of GinZing by Origins. Because right now I need help looking not quite as tired as I feel.

I only ever wear ginger essence perfume by Origins.

And I am dying to get my hands on a clarisonic.

Question : the day oil, do you use that in the AM too? I have a terrible time trying to find a moisturizer that doesn't cause me to break out.

And, I just wrote a ginormous comment. You've inspired me to put together a beauty post lady!

Chelsea said...

Wow what a regimen! No wonder you always look stunning. Now I will really love you if you can tell me about fantastic organic+ natural products. I am a bit paranoid ever since I saw a documentary about our make-up here in the states. In Europe they have over 300 ingredients banned from beauty products. In the US we only have 30 ingredients banned. Not to be a total downer but it's a lot of cancer-causing stuff! It's hard to find organic and natural products that really work. Love the fish oil idea!

htownjenny said...

My skin is sensitive to fragrances, so I had to give up my beloved Chanel Sublimage creams, which I used to get new on eBay to save $.

Now I use Cetaphil or face products and lotions from Suki Naturals, all of which are lovely and fragrant, especially the exfoliating lemongrass cleanser—it smells so sweet, I'm pretty sure it has sugar in it!

Oh, and the Clarisonic has been at the absolute top of my list for ahwile. Really want one now...

Megan Taylor said...

I love this post!

Lately, I've been thinking a lot about products, skin care and make-up. Saturday I went to Sephora and picked up some Nars items: Gispy lipstick and Bellissima eye shadow. Sometimes I like to use rosebud salve lip gloss as a bottom layer - before I put my lipstick on.

In terms of my face, I always use a Jurlique wash for sensitive skin, because that's exactly what I have!

That's all for now...I just love how beauty products can make you feel so good! Also, I love that you used an old Diptyque candle as part of your make-up regime.


Sarah's Fab Day said...

For the past several years I've been an Obagi skincare devotee and today I cheated on it with Kate Sommerville. I'll let you know how it goes but they did send me home with a baggie full of samples which is always fun.

Violet said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Violet said...

this post got me thinking and i ended up here:

and then there is this:

eye opening and worth some time to look into
: )

molly said...

Kate sommerville has a good exfoliator.

Joslyn said...

Molly -- I only use the day oil at night (odd based on the name, I know) but I use the bliss serum day and night. It's really light. You'd love it!

Chelsea -- I hear ya on the organics. I'm trying to work more in, so I'll let you know if I come across something I love.

Violet -- This is a great (sobering) site. Thank you. It will help with my above quest!

Senibua said...

ooh oooh I have to dash to the dentist but I certainly use the Kiehls cream but also Aqueous cream, not greasy. In the UK it is a over the counter in a pharmacy stuff. Clarins calm cream but am also looking for the holy grail of eye creams. Oh and I have just discoverd Laura Mercier...oh I laughed when you wrote 'lizard skin' just like me....be well...windy but sunny in London town...x

Carlie said...

I have never heard of the skin brush you're using but it looks positively divine. I put it on my wishlist forthwith. I'm also going to go hunt for Laura Mercier and Creme De La Mer since there are so many raves and I'm a sucker. maybe you could put together a post of all the beauty posts...a round-up of sorts? I'd love to see what everyone has to share and I'm sure everyone would love bloggy publicity too.

Laura said...

What brand do you use for your 3 vitamins? Thanks!

Lakshmi said...

Kajal whether it be by Gabriel, Shenaaz Hussain or any other (preferably without a truckload of chemicals in it) brand. I think I could walk out of my home with just a moisturizer (currently I use Himalaya's organic brand) and kajal on my lower lids.

nonchalant mom said...

its time to add skin brushing to your regime!! it's wonderful, adds vitality and I promise you will be healthier!! (you can get it from me)... it's really the best!!

onesilentwinter said...

thank you for this post, i always wonder what others use for "beauty products" you do have a glow!

ps. yesterday after reading this i bought a few things and maybe ten minutes ago applied some make up for the very fist time in years! where am i going, i wonder:)

kikiazure said...

I love the body shop shea body butter as well as cocoa body butter. They're so moisturizing and smell yummy as you already know. I also love Lola by Marc Jacobs, I recently re- discovered it. I use aloe vera as my nightime moisturizer and Clinique for daytime along with ginzing eye cream.
Love your blog very much, Thanx :)

Joslyn said...

Laura -- the fish oil and vitamin D are from Nutraceuticals (i get them on vitacost.com) the multi is just a centrum.

Carina -- yes!! i've been wanting to try skin brushing...it's on my list for sure!

Anonymous said...

amazing eye cream - skyn iceland
it makes my skin glow!

Unknown said...

LOVE the 06130! Once upon a time when I was a very underpaid magazine editor,the owner of that company sent me a bottle of it and I was in love. So glad to know it's still around...I think it's time for a refill to get me through the rest of winter.

Emily said...

love this post. i am a sucker for products as well.

no lipstick for me as well. i use to love kiehl's #1 lip balm but now think aquafor is just as good (wish it had a prettier bottle) and am sadly getting addicted to fresh sugar lip balm 9 (untinted and plum). stila tinted moisturizer, nars eye shadow in ondine- very rock star and their cream eye shadow in lido (looks really different on).
nars blush in Gina. (I have orgasam as well, but i like this less shimmery cousin).

i also love bobbi browns gray eyeshadow and gunmetal for dry liner (more rock n' roll)

this post finally got me motivated to call about getting my clarsonic replaced. my husband and i used it to death. it's death.

NuyBeauty said...

Love, love, love this! Fantastic!

nichole said...

Love beauty posts! ;)

I use a lot of the products you use (Laura!), and I recently added Josia Maran's Argan oil to the mix. Just one drop is the best hair smoother ever, and even my long, fine hair isn't weighed down.

It's also great for your face - I exclusively use oils on my face and can never go back to regular creams.

Anonymous said...

If you like kiehls you might try their creamy eye treatment with avocado. Probably my favorite product from them. Besides their tinted lip gloss which I can't live without either. And MAC lipstick in Russian Red. The. Best. Red. Ever. I enjoyed this post and the comments. I love reading about what everyone else has in their medicine cabinets or makeup stashes.

cerebral e said...

I second Jordan's recommendation of the Kiehl's creamy eye treatment with avocado. It's so thick and doesn't run into your eyes. I don't have any eye wrinkles (yet - touch wood as I have just turned 30 so they will probably start coming on thick and strong) so I'm not sure how much effect it has but it feels nice.

I worked at the Body Shop during university too. Also, I love a few of the products you use, such as Stella by Stella perfume. My other new fave is philosophy's On a Clear Day retinol clarifying lotion.

la la Lovely said...

First of all.. I knew you had some mad magic kind of eye makeup skill when I saw you at Alt. In fact, I almost asked how you applied you're eyeshadow like you did.

I am a beauty product junky. For some reason this is how I like to splurge and on most of the same products you listed (LM Tinted Moisturizer in Nude for me too). I had the La Mer and now moved on to Caudalie (which you can get at Sephora) and I'm really liking the eye cream and face serum

Do you have the Laura Mercier eye lash curler? I'm a little obsessed with it. I used to heat my eyelash curler with the blow dryer - not anymore.

The Badgal mascara was always my fave but I did venture out (which I don't care to do, usually, with mascara) and tried the Dior Show and now I'm hooked. I think it's even better, if that is possible.

Thanks for the tips on the Kevin Murphy hair products. I'm always switching around and looking for something I love.

Oh and my other random very favorite product is
Amori Pacific Moisture Bound Skin Energy Hydration Delivery System
(fancy speak for a refreshing misty spray)


xo Trina

Joslyn said...

Trina -- i've been wanting to get an eyelash curler. you've convinced me!!!

About Last Weekend said...

I found the eyelash curler the best thing ever. Obsessed with really heavy conditioners as have such dry hair but now have to use the Brazilian which they say you have to use once you've had the hair straightening (I'm not sure if it's just a ploy to get more of your cash...)

Kim said...

Eye cream: Rodin + Fields Anti-Age. FABULOUS. Also has greatly reduced my undereye circles!!! :)

Unknown said...

So happy to have just stumbled upon this pitch-perfect post now! Thank you for all of the fabulous recommendations and have a gorgeous Valentine's holiday. xo Lola

julia wheeler said...

clarisonic is THE BUSINESS. my face has totally transformed!

marta said...

ooh la la, i had this post starred and just came back to it. you have great taste in makeup. i adore badgal lash and can't wait to try out that laura mercier stuff. yay. i am a product lover, here are my faves.

MAC eyeliner pencil in Teddy.
(dark brown w/ subtle gold shimmer)

Bobbi Brown eyeliner gel pots
(genius for smoky eyes w/ staying power!)

Bobbi Brown foundation sticks and under eye concealer (with powder attached) are very worthwhile purchases.

and i love MAC Viva Glam V lipstick too. but who doesn't?!

p.s. i love to blast my eyelash curler with my hair dryer too, for a second or two.

Sarge in Charge said...

Joslyn- Would you consider doing an update on your products? I am really curious about the Tazorac - serum combo because I have had trouble using retinoids without my skin flaking off like crazy. Which Bliss serum do you use (link doesn't work), do you still use that combo, etc.?