5 Products I Can’t Live Without

Five Best Beauty Products

Truth: I live two blocks away from a Sephora. It is amazing, dangerous and terrible. (Mostly amazing.) It’s not an exaggeration to say I’ve tried virtually every product there at one time or another. Lately, these five have become my holy grail of beauty — and I’d love to hear yours…

1. The Hair Tool
Confession: I do not want to be a contestant on The Bachelor, but sometimes I can’t help but want the hairstyle sported by 99.9% of ladies who grace the mansion. You don’t even have to watch the show to know what I’m talking about: sleek-yet-wavy, beachy-yet-polished. This tool makes it happen. To get the look, I’ll divide my hair into four sections (top, back, and two sides), then wrap two-inch pieces around the wand for 5 to 8 seconds each. Voilà! You’ve adapted the very best part of America’s most popular franchise. Doing the ugly cry in a sequined gown is optional.

2. The One-Step Skin Perfector
It’s no secret that I love beauty products, but rarely do I find a formula that makes me want to dance. When I stumbled across Sunday Riley’s Effortless Breathable Primer, I did a little jig in my bathroom, because that’s how much I loved it. There are two ways to wear it: as a tinted moisturizer (in lieu of foundation) on days when you want light coverage, or as a primer (under foundation) to help your makeup glide on smoothly and seamlessly. Be prepared to get asked things like, “Did you just get back from vacation?” and “Have you been drinking more water?” It’s that good.

3. The Dry Shampoo
What did we do before dry shampoo? I honestly don’t remember. But while it’s a godsend, dry shampoo has its fair share of issues — it can smell weird, look chalky or just plain not work. Enter the deliciously scented Nirvana Dry Shampoo. The formula adds just the right amount of volume and texture, so your hair looks clean, yet artfully disheveled. I use Nirvana Black, with notes of violet, sandalwood and vanilla, but the musky floral Nirvana White is lovely, too.

4. The Perfect Red Lip
The best beauty tip I’ve ever gotten may also be the most obvious: When shopping, try lipstick on your lips. Your hand does not wear lipstick. In order to understand how a shade will work with your eyes, hair and overall complexion, you must see it on your face. At Sephora, not only will someone help you out with a sanitized sample, but you can try as many shades as your heart desires. I’m currently obsessed with their long-wearing Cream Lip Stain in Always Red, a color so arresting I flagged down somebody else’s waitress to ask what lipstick she was wearing.

5. …The Deodorant
Once upon a time two years ago, I ran around New York in the sweltering heat testing natural deodorants, which resulted in multiple evenings spent making self-conscious T-Rex arms. Since then, many great formulas have entered the marketplace. Chief among them is Lavanila’s Sport Luxe Healthy Deodorant, an even more effective version of their already-great aluminum-free formula. Heavens, part. Angels, sing. You can wear this to the gym and wave your arms with reckless abandon. Because after all, what good is bachelorette hair if you don’t smell nice?

What are your holy grail beauty products? Have you made any recent discoveries you can’t live without?

P.S. The best foundation and the one thing that’s always in my bag.

(Photo by Tory Williams, with design wizardry by Miss Moss. This post is sponsored by Sephora. Thank you for supporting the brands that help keep Cup of Jo running.)

  1. Emma says...

    Gawd I love these lists. From someone with oily breakout prone skin, I’m often not afforded the luxury of whatever products and makeup looks or smell nice, I’ll settle for ones that don’t break me out! So when I find a combo of both non-breakout-y and beautiful to apply, winner winner chicken dinner.

    Skin – Biore UV watery essence sunscreen. This is like liquid silk, so light yet hydrating, makes you look dewy AF. doesn’t break me out. I actually want to wear it (gasp from all my oily gals). I KNOW. SUNSCREEN that you WANT to wear. What. The. Hell.

    Rosehip oil. Just about the only oil that doesn’t break me out, plus leaves me glowy and bouncy in the morning. I layer it over retinol at night.

    Drunk Elephant B-hydra. All their stuff is good but I like this super light moisturiser mixed with whatever vitamin C serum I’m using for the morning, then I put on sunscreen. Neutrogena hydroboost gel feels exactly the same, but Drunk Elephant is for when I’m feeling fancy (and have Christmas vouchers).

    Makeup – Glossier cloud paint. Of course. They don’t ship to Australia so I have to go through a complicated 8 step process involving three separate sets of non-US international relatives and a conveniently timed overseas visit. But worth it. So spreadable and gorgeous. Love their sunscreen too but am not going to pay that for a bottle the size of a shot glass. Come on Glossier, do better. But I do love your boy brow. But I’m still mad about the sunscreen.

    General – lucas paw paw ointment. Yep, every Aussie girl really does use it. It’s like 4 bucks from woolies and lasts forever so yeah, we use it everywhere. But mostly lips. And God help you if you leave it in your car at the beach, that melted sh*t will go EVERYWHERE the next time you open it, spilling aaaaaall over your husbands centre console. Because we know how guys love cosmetics in their centre consoles.

  2. kimithy says...

    Yesss, totally seconding the very underrated value of a mister when you need a pick-me-up. I try to bring one on flights or road trips in particular, since I tend to get a little sicky/claustrophobic/grungy-feeling and a nice-smelling cold mist on the face never fails to feel AWESOME.

  3. I have to mention Milani Luminoso first. I have used it as my one and only blush for years because it’s just so perfect nothing else comes close to being as pretty. A perfect product!

    Also, after months of longing, I finally broke down and bought RMS Living Luminizer. I have to say it is worth every bit of the hype! A total HG product.

    Cupcake Chapstick (the Chapstick brand) The only lip product I use.

    Neutrogena Healthy Volume mascara! Great stuff, just the right amount of dryness..if that makes sense. Helps it to add volume without making lashes clump together, and it never, ever flakes.

  4. kendra says...

    I tried YSL touche eclat, but didn’t want to spend that kind of money. I hated all other highlighters, because they were shimmery. it reminded me of the glitter makeup tragedy of 1999.

    Benefit just released a new highlighter called “Shy Beam”. It’s glorious. No shimmer. And only $26. I’m obsessed. It makes me look younger, more awake…amazing.

  5. Myra says...

    My favorite primer is Son & Park Beauty Gel. Its Korean but you can get it on Korean beauty sites. I look like I’m glowing!

  6. Laura says...

    Tarte sunscreen has been my best Sephora find! It’s zinc oxide based but doesn’t turn your face life-guard white. The answer to my prayers once I started getting an itch bumpy rash from my usual sunscreens (with synthetic sunblocks – must have developed an allergy). It also smells like dreamy spring perfume.

  7. Sarah says...

    Your mules in the photo are SO cute. Where are they from?

  8. Yes, dry shampoo for the win! Such a lifesaver, I will have to check out the other products you’ve suggested!

    Thanks for sharing,



    • Cookie Flores says...

      I know it’s become pretty popular after Shark Tank, but I have been using Piperwai since early last year and it is ….amazing!

  9. Kendra says...

    This was great. Caroline – you will be so missed!

  10. Lisa says...

    I’m going to miss your posts! I love your writing style – so funny.

    My favourites are:
    – ysl ink something foundation (previously reviewed here). It’s literally amazing – you put it on and just look like a really rested version of yourself
    – nars multiple in portofino. My skin just seems to absorb all colour (so lighter shades make no impact) whereas this one is a nice pinky corally shade which makes me look perky and healthy
    – max factor 2000 calorie mascara. I’m of the cheap mascara school of thought – it always looks better when the tube is new, and I’ve tried expensive ones and just not noticed that much of a difference
    – bio oil. I have a big scar on my knee from surgery, and the surgeon recommended bio oil to help fade the scar, which it did. So much so that other medical staff didn’t believe how recent the injury was. I’m hoping it will fade the stretch marks I got from pregnancy. I got to 38 weeks without any, and then in the last three weeks they just went nuts
    – eve lom cleanser. I’ve used this for years – it’s awesome, gentle on your skin and although it’s expensive, it lasts for ages

  11. Jessie B says...

    Consonant Skincare’s natural deodorant is amazing! You have to try it. It’s 100% natural and they have an unscented version for people with sensitivities. I use the citrus version myself.

    I also swear by RMS Beauty for their living luminizer and lip 2 cheek.

  12. Danielle says...

    Berts Bees Almond and Milk hand cream- my hands have been so dry, but a lot of stuff have been too heavy or too light.

  13. Jenny says...

    I love Sephora and hate that there’s not one in London.

    – Laura Mercier hydrating primer
    -You be moisturizer
    -Korres lip butter
    – Chi twisted fabric

  14. Rachel says...

    Trader Joe’s antioxidant facial serum-this stuff is amazing! it makes my skin feel like silk leaving a more even, radiant complexion. Bonus: all natural and only $10!

  15. My beauty must haves:

    1. Eyelash Extensions. I get them every 3 weeks, and then basically wear them and a little blush and am out the door in 30 seconds every day.

    2. Aquaphor Healing Ointment. I use this on my cuticles and lips at night. It lives on my bedside table.

    That’s pretty much it!

  16. Bridget says...

    I know we’re talking about makeup, and I may have found an answer to my chalky/chemical-smelling dry shampoo woes, but WHERE ARE YOUR SHOES FROM?

  17. alyssa says...

    -glossier face wash
    -mac girl about town/mac red lipsticks
    -revlon photo ready highlighter
    -nyx eyebrow pencil with the spoolie thing
    -nyx eye primer
    -covergirl lashblast in the green tube

  18. Tyler says...

    My everydays:
    Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer in Nude
    Orgasm blush – I stopped using it and tried a bunch of others and recently went back – not sure why I ever stopped. Its the best.
    Cover Girl Perfect Blend pencil eyeliner in black/brown – have used it since 7th grade
    Bad Gal mascara by Benefit – its the only one I’ve tried that doesn’t clump and is easy to get off
    Jo Malone and MCMC scents – both discovered thanks to Cup of Jo :)

    Also have discovered Ren and First Aid Beauty skincare at Sephora – both really good, affordable brands that don’t contain harmful chemicals.

  19. Erika says...

    Shiseido Benefiance Wrinkle Resist 24 Day Cream is like the Holy Grail. I live in Arizona, so the 18 spf is key, but the best part about it is how dewy/fresh/glowing it leaves your skin. I kid you not, people have stopped me in the street to ask what makeup I’m wearing, and are surprised when I say, “ain’t nobody got time for makeup – it’s all about the moisturizer.” Truly though, I’m 38, and it’s changed my whole game. Also have tried about 1,000 dry shampoos and for whatever reason, old school (and cheap) Batiste still does it for me. Good thing, cuz mama has expensive moisturizer to pay for!

  20. I don’t really use a lot of beauty products but I love the Sugar Advanced Therapy lip balm. It’s the only chapstick that’s every solidly cured my chapped lips so I don’t mind shelling out the dough for it.

  21. Lorna says...

    1. I try to use natural and organic products but I can’t give up my Cetaphil. I’ve tried so many different natural cleansers but I keep coming back to it.
    2. I love Tatcha sheet mask- It has become an addiction of mine.
    3. My Naturopathic doctor told me once that Rosehip Seed Oil has been proven to even out skin tones over time so I use it religiously on my face.
    4. I tried a lot of natural deodorants but nothing worked until I found Funk Gunk. I can go to the gym and sweat it out and still I don’t stink. It is Canadian made and I’m not sure if they ship to the US (funkgunk.ca) but if you are looking for a good product it is worth a shot.
    5. Tarte’s amazon clay mascara
    I am looking for a lip/cheek stain that looks good on a darker skin tone. Any recommendations ?

  22. Kukla says...


    Bamboo Kendi Hair Oil
    Lipstick (blotted off with a tissue) so just the stain remains
    Jo Malone Shower Oil
    Make + Model PJ or Anthropologie PJs

  23. Maire says...

    I would have to say Pacifica coconut water cleansing wipes, LashBlast Full Bloom mascara from Cover Girl, and TONYMOLY Panda’s Dream eye brightening stick (also it is packaging that is a panda figurine).

  24. Tanya P says...

    I love beauty lists!

    – coconut oil! For everything! It cleanses, moisturizes, and takes off eye makeup like a dream.
    – I moisturize with Aura Cacia grape seed oil with vitamin E
    – my makeup of choice is Alima Pure, lovely and simple stuff!
    – witch hazel toner
    – and someday maybe I’ll find the perfect red lipstick. My skin tone is funny and most reds look ridiculous. I keep trying :)

  25. Veronica says...

    I needed to pep up my Dry Shampoo game, so this was perfect timing. I’m super stoked to try the Nirvana Black Dry Shampoo! I couldn’t help it, I bought it immediately. The scent is absolutely beyond. Maybe it will be a big hit on my date this weekend?? Fingers crossed!

  26. Emily says...

    I love this list. Thanks for sharing!

  27. Tiffany says...

    Love your list! Thanks! Must try!

    My FAVES are:
    •Bumble & Bumble city swept
    •Soleil Tan de Chanel
    •Jane Iredale just kissed lip & cheek stain in Forever Pink…also LOVE a similar product called Arrow boost
    color enhancing lip balm
    •blinc mascara
    •Urban Decay 24/7 concealer pencil
    •Nova Scotia Fisherman lip balm
    •Clinique chubby sticks for eyes
    •buxom blushes in Euphoria and Breathless
    •L’oreal lumi cushion compact

  28. Tiffany says...

    Love your list! Thanks! Must try!

    My FAVES are:
    •Bumble & Bumble city swept
    •Soleil Tan de Chanel
    •Jane Iredale just kissed lip & cheek stain in Forever Pink…also LOVE a similar product called Arrow boost
    color enhancing lip balm
    •blinc mascara
    •Urban Decay 24/7 concealer pencil
    •Nova Scotia Fisherman lip balm
    •Clinique chubby sticks for eyes

  29. Linda says...

    Thanks for the recommendations!

    Here are a few of my favorites:
    Burt’s Bees- Radiance Eye Cream and also Lip Shine in Whisper
    Maybelline- Color Tattoo in Barely Branded and Bad to the Bronze
    Urban Decay- Naked Basics 2 Eye Shadow Palette

    Are you leaving?? I keep seeing people say they are going to miss you! I’ll be sad to, if that’s true. I’ve enjoyed your posts!

  30. Liz says...

    I’m very conscientious about the beauty products I use because most are filled with potentially harmful ingredients. Check out your products on http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ and you’ll be amazed at what you learn! From my research, I’ve found some great, less harmful products.

    I love Keys Luminos Hydrating Facial Moisturizer. It’s completely chemical-free and is very hydrating. I also use Keys Eye butter. It’s incredible!

    I’ve been using Aura Glow body oil in Lavender from The Heritage Store for years. Use it after the shower when your skin is still damp and it soaks in leaving you with hydrated, glowing skin.

    100% Pure’s Aqua Boost Hydrating Mask is also amazing, and it works!

    Caroline, would you ever consider trying natural, chemical-free products and reviewing them for CupofJo readers? Including less harmful sunscreens and make-up products?

    • Julia says...

      I’m with you there. I try very hard to avoid harmful ingredients. I recently came across Ireadlabelsforyou.com. She always tries new items and goes beyond EWG.

    • Liz says...

      Excellent, thanks! I’ll check that out!

    • CC says...

      Liz- What do you use for anti aging/skin care? I have been trying to find something that scores low on EWG, works, and isn’t too expensive……

    • CC says...

      PS- I will usually look for something that has a zero cancer rating. I will make an exception if it scores higher in other areas, but always want a no cancer rating.

    • Liz C says...

      Hi CC! Keys Luminos Moisturizer has anti-aging properties…according to their website, they say, “Luminos was developed as a facial moisturizer that also offers calming therapy for the skin. The high concentration of Aloe Vera, avocado oil, black cumin oil and carrot seed oil have properties that provide strong anti aging properties. Luminos calms the skin while providing a softening effect that creates a visual reduction of redness, fine lines and dry patches.” And it’s true! My skin feels very hydrated, it’s soft and the dry areas I had are gone. I’m 34 and have some laugh lines, but they don’t seem to be getting worse (LOL!) I’ve been using it for about a year. http://www.keys-soap.com/ostore/product.php?productid=217

      I forgot to mention that I also use B Natural Organics Gentle Foaming Facial Cleanser. http://www.benaturalorganics.com/Gentle-Foaming-Facial-Cleanser-p/gffc.htm It’s very gentle, it doesn’t burn your eyes and it takes off most make-up. I hope this helps!

    • Cc says...

      Thanks Liz!!

  31. i’ve used the clinique lash power mascara for the past 6 years, obviously not the same tube, and love it so much. i’ve switched to other brands/types but will always go back to this! no makeup remover needed- will come off completely with warm water


  32. Batiste Dry shampoo, bareMinerals Complexion Rescue and MAC Patisserie lipstick. And that bit about always trying lipstick on your lips is so true! I’ve tried a fair few lipsticks on my hand thinking they look okay, only to find that they don’t work with my face at all. xx


  33. I have to say that I am completely obsessed with Sephora’s formula X nail polish system–it really lasts a full week and I’m really, really hard on my nails. That coupled with the somewhat random discovery that using Tweezerman baby nail clippers makes getting a nice shape a lot easier for me means that for the first time in my life I give myself a 20 minute manicure that’s super professional looking and doesn’t chip the next day. And I especially like the sheer strength colors–super understated and classy.

  34. My new go-to is the deodorant on Shark Tank – Piper Wai – it’s AMAZING! Absolutely no chemicals and it smells divine. I also love Fresh’s face wash because of how awesome it smells and it leaves your skin feeling really fresh and simple.

  35. Cynthia says...

    My top 5 favorites:
    Clinique City Block SPF 40. I’ve been using it for years, and I can wear it alone or under foundation. It’s oil free, and I like it because I don’t like the feel of sunscreen on my face, and my face is oily in warm weather.
    Clinique Dramatically Different Oil-Free Gel moisturizer. I buy the 4 oz. pump size and it lasts several months.
    Almay Smart Shade Butter Kiss lipstick. I have the pink for light skin tones, the berry for light skin tones, and the nude for light/medium skin tones. They go on smoothly, and are slightly glossy, and very moisturizing. Somehow, the shades blend with your skin tone, so the color is uniquely yours.
    Degree Dry Spray Antiperspirant. Leaves no white residue, and keeps me fresh, even when it’s very hot.
    Benefit Pore Perfection. My daughter introduced me to this, and while it’s very expensive(in my opinion), it does give my face a soft matte finish, and all my products go on smoothly. It’s really great on my eyelids, because my eyeshadow goes on smoothly and lasts all day. You can wear it alone, but I haven’t tried that yet, and you need to follow the application directions which come with it.

  36. Rachel says...

    I’m keen on trying that Sunday Riley primer. I currently use Smashbox Photo Finish primer (which works well enough) underneath my Kiehl’s BB Cream, but I’m thinking the extra bit of tint will be a good thing.

    Also, YES to that Nirvana Black Dry Shampoo. I’ve spritzed it on before while browsing Sephora and want it. I already wear and am in LOVE with that scent.

  37. Heather D says...

    Bare Minerals on my face. It’s the best.

  38. Caroline, I had been noticing that hairstyle EVERYWHERE lately (even in the fabulous woman who I randomly chatted with in the airport recently), and I kept wondering exactly how they did it. Thanks for the heads up :)

  39. Dry shampoo and sea salt spray! I only wash my hair every 5 days, so the dry shampoo keeps it looking fresh, while the sea salt spray makes it look intentionally messy on those final days.

  40. Caz says...

    – Eucerin SPF 50 Dry Touch Oil Control facial sunscreen is tops! It feels so lovely going on, not at all oily or gross on my face. I wear it every day under my makeup.
    – Bourjois Healthy Mix foundation – light coverage (you can build it up if needed) and it makes my skin look nicer than it is without being cakey.
    – Max Factor False Lash Effect mascara (just not the waterproof version because it’s a pain to remove)
    – Tarte Emphaseyes Liquid Eyeliner in black – at first I thought the tiny packaging would be hard to use, but the felt-tip style is easy to apply and it lasts all day, no smudging or transfer to my eyelids.
    – Tea Tree oil – I put it on blemishes at night as soon as I feel them developing (the teeniest tiniest dab is all you need)

  41. Awads says...

    I am a total Dr. Jart BB Cream devotee. It is just beautiful on my skin. I’ve been using it for 4 years now, and I’m never going to stop. If Dr. Jart stops making it, I shall throw myself into a well!

  42. Ser says...

    -I second the Wet Brush! I have waist length hair and I can yank this through without it hurting!
    -Elizabeth Arden Pure Finish Mineral Powder. Great coverage and looks very natural
    – Eyelash extensions. ADDICTED. You wake up in the morning and look fabulous.

  43. Boots No7 Photo Fix – I never leave home or go on TV without it! This and my top three drugstore beauty buys are featured today at http://www.shopwithstyle.com, Instagram @amysewellstyle

  44. Eda says...

    Korres Almond Blossom Moisturizer simply can’t leave home without it on my face!

  45. Emily says...

    gah, being a girl is the best… i love oribe surfcomber mousse and their dry texturizing spray for volume. coconut oil straight after the shower for skin and laura mercier lipsticks. and i probably can’t live without (well, hopefully I could but why try) OPI taupeless beach nail polish. the perfect neutral and a terribly hilarious pun name!

  46. Joy says...

    Out of curiosity, what do you do for sunscreen?

  47. Hi Caroline,
    Glad to see a post by you again. Any chance you’d write another relationship post before you depart, maybe with an update on your relationship if you don’t mind sharing?

  48. Aga says...

    I’m starting to think that I’m the only female in North America who has never been to Sephora… And after reading all these comments about it being so great it’s dangerous, I can’t decide if I should run to one or stay away…

  49. Caroline, I’ll miss you around here! I love your writing style and content. But I know we’ll hear from you either through a book or your blog.

    Regarding Sephora’s levels of dangerousness… I live 10 miles away from it but still, the damage is palpable, haha! The lavanilla Healthy Deodorant is also my favorite, and this eyeliner by Estee Lauder is the only one I would wear and buy on repeat. http://eclecticalu.blogspot.com.ar/2015/04/my-tried-and-trusted-aka-favorites.htm
    Thank you for the red lip recommendation. I have no clue when it comes to red lips for me!

    • Patricia says...

      How do you use the sponge?? I got one as a gift and can’t figure it out. I’m afraid it’s going to feel like sandpaper against my face.

    • lol you have to wet the sponge thoroughly and then it softens up. I run it under hot water until soft and then put the cleanser on and by the time it touches my face, it’s still warm but not hot and then I continually keep adding water as I’m scrubbing until most of the cleanser is gone and then use the sponge without any cleanser to rinse my face.

  50. These are great suggestions! I dream of someday living near a Sephora again. My favorite product currently is Bumble & Bumble’s Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil. It keeps my hair smooth, protects it during heat styling, etc. I love it so much, I fear the next I have to fly since I’m not sure I could find a travel size… Guess I would check my bags.

    • grace says...

      just picked up a sample at sephora with my points maybe two weeks ago! or just get a goob tube!

  51. Theresa says...

    I am not a make up wearer, except for the occasional lipstick. I have the same MAC lipstick from my wedding six years ago! I decided I needed a new one (lol) and tried the new Burts Bees lipstick line. LOVE IT!! It won’t break the bank, they have great shades and it’s moisturizing! Moisturizing is one thing I haven’t been able to find in a reasonably priced lipstick.

  52. Erica H. says...

    Yay! Can’t wait to go shopping! Gonna miss you, Caroline. XO

  53. Rebecca Banadinovich says...

    Hi there,

    None of the links to Sephora worked – just said ‘sorry – this page doesn’t exist’. Bummer, i really wanted to know about the hair tool!

  54. Gina says...

    Hi, the link to the hair tool doesn’t seem to be working – is it possible to provide some more details? Thank you

    • Emily M. says...

      I had to click it twice to make it work. Maybe that’s because I’m in Canada though. It’s “amika, Switch Kit™ Starter Set.”

  55. TJ says...

    Man, I love lists, especially beauty lists. Okay, mine:

    Aveda Hand Relief for my perma-dry hands. Smells lovely and subtle. Moisturizes like a boss.

    Garnier eye roller thingy. It totally makes my wakey-wakey 40+ eyes so much less puffy.

    Aveeno CCC lotion. Face, dewy? Done.

    Ilia Crimson and Clover lipstick. So pretty and natural. Lovely red.

    DK Cashmere Mist deodorant. Dude, so not natural but it works and smells pretty.

    • Kelly says...

      I love the Garnier eye roll thing!! I also use the concealer one and it last forever and doesnt cake and really brightens the area!

  56. Jade says...

    Caroline I am going to miss your sense of humour around here!

    My Holy Grail Items are daggy but total game changers for me.

    1. Sally Hansen Miracle Cure- I use this as a top&Base coat every second or third day and it has stop my nails peeling like flaky pastry.

    2. The Wet brush! I have had professionals cut combs out of my curly hair and this is a total total life saver!

    3. Jojoba- it’s not actually an oil but a wax Esther that is so similar in molecular structure to the sebum we produce naturally that it penetrates the dermis layer of the skin and helps to restore and balance – I use it from top to toe!

    4. If your into liquid lipsticks the Balm’s Meet Matte Hughes is my favourite formula & totally gets overlooked- they taste & smell like after dinner mints and the shade devoted is Just a little bit more cherry neon then Sephoras on me- it’s a stunner!

    5. Make Up Forever Ultra Hd Liquid Foundation.
    Evens everything out but still looks like skin and there are 40 shades so yay for anyone like me on with glow in the dark white skin !

  57. Jacy says...

    Recently, I started using l’oreal no sulfate volumizing shampoo and Living Proof no frizz conditioner. It has changed my whole hair game.

  58. Sarah says...

    Help! The link to the hair tool takes me to the main (Canadian) Sephora page. Can you please include the name of the beachy wave-making magik?

    • Erin says...

      Hey Sarah, it’s this one: amika Switch Kit™ Starter Set. There are other models, but this is where the link takes me.

  59. Jen Vercelli says...

    Thankful for the natural deodorant reco! I am currently using Malin+Goetz deodorant and some days I just smell. It’s mortifying!! If it wasn’t so expensive it would have gone in the bin after the first day.

    • Kara says...

      I tried the Lanvanila’s Vanilla Lavender (after reading about it on Cup of Jo!), and gotta say it didn’t work well for me. The sport may work better, worth a try. But! I bought it at Sephora who’s return policy only rivals Nordstrom. So I used it for 2 weeks, saved the receipt, and am now taking it back and asking for my $18 bucks back :)

    • Jen Vercelli says...

      Thanks Kara, sounds like I should experiment with Sephora deodorant next time.

  60. Nicole says...

    Boo Caroline on unnecessary use of aerosol (get some dry shampoo that is non aerosol- unfortunately last I checked Sephora/Ulta had maybe one option)! :( from Scientific American FYI: Of course, just because those deodorant sprays and shaving cream cans aren’t depleting the ozone layer doesn’t mean they are actually good for the environment. They still contain hydrocarbons and/or compressed gases notorious for their contribution to global warming. Every time you hit the button, then, you are raising your carbon footprint, albeit ever so slightly

    • Nicole Brant says...

      Giovanni, at Target, makes a very good non aerosol dry shampoo, and it’s even cruelty free!

    • Lisa says...

      The French brand Klorane does a non aerosol dry shampoo which is awesome.

  61. Surbhi says...

    Oh yay! I love beauty products!

    Deodorant: Schmidt’s in Bergamot and Lime – such a fantastic natural option.

    Skincare: I just switched over to a Korean skincare routine, and my skin has never looked or felt so wonderful. I have that lit from within look, and my face feels like satin.

    Makeup: Physician’s Formula for a natural mascara and Tarte for a natural tinted moisturizer.

    Oil: I use a ton of oils on my face, including Jojoba and vitamin E. It’s a great way to remove eye makeup and moisturize the face and neck.

    Face: I also use Waxelene, a natural petroleum jelly alternative made with beeswax, vitamin E, soy oil, and rosemary oil. I’ll slather that all over my face a couple times a week, and my skin is moisturized, soft, and supple. I also use it on my lips, since it gives a lovely shine and moisturizes. I also put aloe vera on my skin twice a week to clean and clear.

    Teeth: Up & Up’s pre-brush whitening mouthwash. Swish around for 60 seconds, and your teeth are sparkling!

    Hair dye: Madison Reed – the best ALL NATURAL hair dye! It’s incredible! It doesn’t damage your hair and makes you look like you stepped out of a Pantene commercial. The shades are multi-tonal and give lots of dimension. With undertones of gold, ash, or reds, your hair looks like it was professionally done.

    • Erin says...

      Which Korean skincare products are you using? I’ve had my eye on some of the more natural lines for awhile.

    • I’ve actually started using Boscia which is all natural I believe and love them.

  62. Nicole Brant says...

    Great post! I love finding new things to try.
    My can’t live without products are Stowaway’s Creaseless concealer and Paula’s Choice Resist Super Light Daily Wrinkle Defense (I know, it’s a mouthful, lol). It’s the best tinted moisturizer I have found. My skin glows magically after putting it on and I don’t need makeup after but if I did, it doubles as a fantastic primer. It’s full of skin benefiting ingredients as well, plus SPF. Just a fantastic product.

    • Twyla says...

      I’m in love with that moisturizer too! It’s so mattifying – when I’m running low and use something else my face is a grease factory by the end of the day. Plus its SPF 30. Amen.

  63. Natalie says...

    I am currently in love with the Drybar’s dry shampoo. I have oily hair, and this stuff actually absorbs it without my scalp feeling like the Sahara (or, worse, not absorbing enough). It also smells divine–kind of cedar-y.

    My second thing is Clinique’s Black Honey Almost Lipstick. It’s so 90s-riffic, but I find the shade so wearable and comfortable.

  64. Susan says...

    Sephora is dangerous to have nearby, true! But on the dry shampoo question: dry shampoo has been around since ancient times. Not even kidding. And also, it’s really not good for your hair/scalp. So use sparingly, puhleeze.

    • Jill Palumbo says...

      I don’t quite understand the obsession/trend with dry shampoo. I remember trying it as teen (I’m a lot older now lol) and being not impressed. It seems like it is a badge to wear these days – dirty hair. I don’t get it. For all the work to dry shampoo, restyle, more hair products and maybe finally a messy bun, braid……why not just wash while you shower? Do people not shower as often if they don’t wash their hair? Very puzzled here…….

    • Caroline Donofrio says...

      Ha, I hear you, the dry shampoo craze has reached a fever pitch. I shower every morning, but only wash my hair every other day since it takes so long to dry (I wear a shower cap on the “off” days). For me, the dry shampoo is less about standing in for real shampoo, and more about lending a little volume when I need it. And not all dry shampoos are created equal! Some are indeed unimpressive. Hope that helps!

    • Ooly says...

      Not everyone’s hair should be washed daily. And that’s *not* dirty. My hair isn’t oily. Over washing causes it to break.

    • I wash my hair daily (it gets oily…), but I still use dry shampoo – it gives volume and hold to my stick straight, fine hair like nothing else!

    • Caz says...

      I can definitely understand Jill’s tiredness at the dry shampoo trend reaching fever pitch (I’m like that with highlighter at the moment!), but I love it. I think it really depends on your hair type. I have very fine hair, so even the tiniest bit of oil makes it look limp and horrid. I usually wash it every 2nd day, but you know, sometimes, you wake up late and don’t have time. A quick spray of dry shampoo means I can get to work on time without looking sloppy. I’m a fan of Batiste because it works and it’s affordable (just be careful not to use too much or it goes white.)

    • Jill Palumbo says...

      Thank you for all the responses! I didn’t mean to imply anyone hair was dirty, I was just going by many of the blog and instagram posts where the ladies actually boast about “dirty hair, don’t care” comments. My hair is very fine and thin, but these responses have me curious to try the dry shampoo just for texture. I wish I didn’t have to wash every day, but when I don’t, it’s flat and separates and my scalp itches (tmi!).

  65. Mara Rae says...

    Hi Caroline! I’m going to miss you too! Excited you’re pursuing your writing though. :) Question: what shade of the primer do you use? I don’t want a makeup that makes me look even paler than I already am, but I don’t want to be orange either…

    • Caroline Donofrio says...

      Thanks, Mara! I use the primer in Light. It’s relatively sheer and blends in well with your skin tone, so I don’t think it would make you look pale or washed out. Hope that helps!

  66. hah i loved that deodorant post! i’m allergic to fake fragrance, aluminum, etc (fun!), so i have really limited options in what i can use. it’s weird to think that SO much makeup has fragrance in it AND how many “organic” products aren’t actually organic. i have mostly come to terms with the fact that i will be using the same handful of products forever and ever, but would you guys ever do a post on natural/organic makeup or body products (aside from deodorant)? the inner binge makeup buyer in me is so sad ever since that fateful allergy test.

    • Nicole Brant says...

      Have you tried Honest Beauty, Stowaway (they are even EU compliant), Paula’s Choice, and 100% Pure? I know Paula’s Choice products never have fragrance. Funny how bad fragrances are for skin and yet most products have it. Smh.

    • Liz says...

      Hey Nora – another site I follow, Sprouted Routes, just did a whole organic makeup beauty tutorial with all totally organic brands. I think she’s pretty stringent about ingredients – she talks about it a lot. Worth checking out! It’s sproutedroutes.com, I believe.

    • Miriam says...

      Don’t be sad Nora there are so many safe & beautiful make up options for you, you just have to know where to look. Just off the top of my head I’d recommend trying brands such as RMS, Ilia, Kjaer Weis, Jane Iredale, Juice Beauty & Lavera but there are so many more. I’m in the same boat and it can definitely be a challenge but I read natural beauty blogs to get ideas & then order samples when possible. There are tons of blogs out there but here’s a few suggestions just to get you started:

      nomoredirtylooks.com – Highly recommend browsing as a start. These girls wrote a book of the same name about whats really in our cosmetics & now host this blog with lots of interviews & product reviews & a great little community.
      genuineglow.com – blog with lots of make-up reviews including photos
      thebeautyofitis.com – a professional make-up artist’s blog
      makeupcounterculture.com – lots of swatches

      Also browsing natural beauty stores online always gives me lots of ideas. My favourites are Naturisimo & Being Content. (I think they ship internationally from the UK but I’m sure someone can suggest US shops too)

      I know it takes a while to transition to finding safe products for you when you discover allergies like those but it does get easier & you will find some very beautiful & fun products in time. A whole new array of products for the binge makeup buyer in you to indulge in! ;) Good luck!

  67. My holy grail is my Estee Lauder Double Wear eyeliner that doesn’t smudge on oil-soaked lids! So good. I’ve bought it multiple times and still going!

  68. I love beauty products! I typically wear my hair in a messy braid and minimal make-up to work, but hiding under all of my frumpiness is a girl who loves the world of beauty. My current faves are:
    1. Tarte Amazonian Clay Foundation. I actually discovered it via Cup of Jo. It’s perfect for all day good looking skin.
    2. Drybar Detox dry shampoo. Although I might try Nirvana… the smell alone sounds worth it.
    3. Benefit Brow Zings Shaping Kit. I love it. Wish I discovered it sooner.
    4. Hot Tools Marcel Grip Curling Iron. Once you master the grip, you’ll love it. It makes curling hair 10x faster.
    5. Jo Malone Wood Sage and Sea Salt… it’s lovely. It smells exactly like a cabin in the woods within walking distance from the beach that would be perfect for extended stay to write all of your future books. At least, that’s what it makes me think of. Unfortunately, it’s also prohibitively expensive.

  69. Caroline, where are your shoes from? I love them and I need them.

    • Caroline Donofrio says...

      Thank you! They’re from No. 6

  70. Christine says...

    I just want to say how much I will miss Caroline on COJ.

    • nicole b. says...

      Seconded. xo

    • Margo says...

      Me too.

  71. I get extremely anxious when I don’t have these items in my bag:
    – at least three tubes of Burt’s Bees tinted lip balm in Rose or Hibiscus. Their new lipsticks are also really good.
    – a well known choice: Yves Saint Laurent’s Touch Eclat highlighter/concealer.
    – a little spray bottle of Thayer’s Rose Witch Hazel with a few drops of tea tree oil added. I use this for everything.
    – Benefit They’re Real Mascara.

    • I love your little list, Katherine. What do you use the witch hazel spray for? Are there multiple uses?

    • I love Thayer’s Rose Witch Hazel. I use it every single day!

    • Hi! I use the witch hazel spray on my face if I feel grimey, mostly.

    • Tawny says...

      Katherine, please explain more regarding the little spray bottle of Thayer’s with tea tree oil! I use it straight from the bottle on a cotton pad but I want to know more about your uses for it! Do you spray it straight onto your face? Do you spray it onto a cotton pad? Tell me more, tell me more!!! I love Thayer’s Rose Witch Hazel sooooo much!

    • Katherine says...

      I sometimes mist my face, but usually use it on a cotton square and wipe my face down — after I’ve taken a walk at lunch, if I need a quick racoon eye fix, or if I just want to smell good and cool off (I live in LA).

      TMI full disclosure: sometimes I use it on my girl bits (just the outside!) if they are irritated or sweaty, or during my period when I wish I could go home and take a shower but am stuck in the bathroom stall at work. I find it really refreshing.

  72. Katie says...

    I had to order new foundation, so I’m trying that primer, as well. Hopefully it works well for me, too! I have uneven skin due to acne issues, and haven’t found something that helps with that yet.

  73. Emily M. says...

    I’m wearing the Sephora Cream Lip Stain in Marvelous Mauve RIGHT NOW! As a ginger, I’m constantly looking for a lip colour that will suit my colouring while not overpowering my face– and let me tell you, this one’s a winner. Plus, the formula is super user friendly for those of us who may have a constant stream of food entering her mouth.

  74. Megan says...

    I got started on 2 products from the Drunk Elephant brand and regret it so deeply because they are *so good* and *so expensive*. The vitamin C serum and the overnight face acid stuff turn my otherwise sensitive skin clear and soft and glowly. Dang it.

  75. Jenna says...

    I was just looking for a new tinted mosterizer/BB cream/CC cream and was thinking…i wonder what Caroline uses! Thanks! I can always count on you for an honest recommendation.

  76. Bumble and bumble hair lotion, Lancome Nude Miracle foundation, and Hermes eau des merveilles perfume. No telling what will happen if any of them are ever discontinued :)

    The Elizabeth and James dry shampoo is my go-to as well!

  77. Megan says...

    Yes, that Cream Lip stain in Always Red is A+! I love it.

    That deodorant has also been on my to try list once my current one runs out–glad to hear it got your seal of approval!

  78. Caroline, I love reading your words and will miss you when you leave Cup of Jo! You have such a fun, friendly and familiar voice. Feels like talking to a good friend.

    • Michelle says...

      100% agreed!!

    • Nicole Brant says...

      Me, too!

  79. Kelsey says...

    The Sephora lip cream stains are the best! They need to add more shades stat. I love the Always red, Strawberry kiss and Blackberry sorbet.

    I really want to try out the Kat Von D liquid lipsticks. They have a larger shade range.

    Bold lipstick is how I compensate for poor eyeliner skills, haha.

    • Nicole Brant says...

      Haha!! That’s how I am, too! I’m addicted to lip stuffs. One great, super cheap one to try is Wet n’ Wild mega lipstick. They have bold colors that last, and at $3 a pop, are a steal.

  80. Rosey says...

    That cream lip stain went IMMEDIATELY into my cart! I used to live in NYC and my office was about two blocks away from a Sephora… dangerous! Now I just use their app to shop on my phone, and while I’m laying on the couch drinking wine, it’s just as dangerous as being there ;)

    • Caroline Donofrio says...

      It also lasts FOREVER. Like, hours-and-meals forever. I hope you love it!

    • Carrie says...

      I have to mention Milani Luminoso first. I have used it as my one and only blush for years because it’s just so perfect nothing else comes close to being as pretty. A perfect product!

      Also, after months of longing, I finally broke down and bought RMS Living Luminizer. I have to say it is worth every bit of the hype! A total HG product.

      Cupcake Chapstick (the Chapstick brand) The only lip product I use.

      Neutrogena Healthy Volume mascara! Great stuff, just the right amount of dryness..if that makes sense. Helps it to add volume without making lashes clump together, and it never, ever flakes.