Happy Monday everyone! Lately, it seems like there are new beauty launches every other day, and to be honest, even as a beauty blogger, it’s hard to keep my head on straight sometimes. There’s a new miracle ingredient here, an amazing breakthrough in this formulation there, and the list goes on! As a result, I’ve become rather cautious when it comes to these grand marketing statements and leave it up to my own research and trials to figure out what works and doesn’t. After weeks, if not months of trying many of these items, I’ve discovered a handful of true gems. And while I’m not a fragrance expert, I just had to include two scents perfect for the summer as well. Here they are, my latest beauty loves that are tested and true!
To provide a little insight into how I test beauty products: while it’s tempting to dabble with something for just a few days and pass judgement, I try to stick to my guns and test a product consistently for a minimum of two weeks (if not longer) before forming any sort of opinion. I also make very few changes in my routine during this time to ensure any effects are the results of the one incremental new product. (This is also the reason why it takes me quite a while to try new skincare goods.) There are also items I try on and off over the course of months or even a year, simply because I want to be sure of any recommendations to my audience. So rest assured, I stand behind my claims.
Lately, I find myself raving about the following products in particular. They follow:
Malin + Goetz Vitamin E Moisturizer
Lightweight, moisturizing, amazing value for the amount – what more could you want? I’ve been falling hardcore for a lot of Malin + Goetz products recently (their Mojito lip balm is one of my favorites, and their latest Dark Rum Eau de Parfum is intoxicating). What strikes me about the brand is a streamlined focus on delivering good ingredients to your skin and keeping it healthy. There’s no nonsense marketing or hype. The Vitamin E Face Moisturizer in particular provides not only oil-free hydration but also ph balance, which is critical for those with acne-prone skin, but in general very important for all. This moisturizer is a must as we head into warmer weather.
Caudalie Vinoperfect Overnight
Cauadalie as a brand has always held a special place in my heart as it was one of the first prestige beauty brands I bought during a particularly trying time in my early skincare days (think awful dry skin combined with awful stress-related outbreaks). Not only did the cream work, it was my skin lifesaver during this time (the particular product was the Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet). The main reason is the brand’s use of grapeseed oil, which is amazing for oily skin. Recently I’ve been trying their Vinoperfect Overnight Renewal Cream and have been thoroughly impressed. Not only do I wake up with less oily skin, but I’ve also noticed increased hydration and smaller pores as the cream helps with gentle overnight exfoliation. It absorbs beautifully with no messy residue left on your pillows, and the scent is quite similar to the rest of the brand’s products- light, herbal and delightfully relaxing to fall asleep to at night. It’s truly hard to go wrong with this one.
me™ Clear Anti-Blemish Device
You all know how much I love my high-tech skincare. Music to my lazy but blemish-prone skin, me™ has created an amazing device that puts the power of blue-light therapy for acne right at your fingertips. Not only does the Clear Anti-Blemish Device kill pimple-causing bacteria with the blue light, it also utilizes sonic vibration to allow for gentle agitation of the skin to interact with the light as well as a heating element to further open up the pore. Both the vibration and heat are quite soothing on the skin, and more importantly, the combination works. Treated blemishes didn’t disappear overnight, but they did shrink significantly and the device absolutely helped with redness. I don’t believe in overnight fixes especially for stubborn pimples, but this device truly does help. My only tip: the cap stays on thanks to magnets, but it’s rather weak and comes loose quite easily. It’s best to take note and pack it accordingly. Also, don’t forget to disinfect the top with alcohol after every use so bad germs don’t linger. All in all, it’s only 14% of the price of better known, but not necessarily more effective, competitors so you might as well try (and you definitely should).
NeoCutis Neck & Décolleté Rejuvenating Complex
People weren’t lying when they said your neck tells your age more than the face. This is because the neck & décolletage are so often neglected- hardly do people get excited about a new neck cream or even remember to moisturize it. Now go look in the mirror, I dare you. If you’re not happy with those neck lines, it’s time for you to get this cream asap.
Where do I even begin with this?? Anybody who knows me has probably heard about it at some point over the past year (that’s how long I’ve been using it!). The NeoCutis Neck & Décolleté Rejuvenating Complex is THAT good. You’ll find wrinkles becoming softer in just a few days and a more svelte neckline in just a week. And no matter how many times I use, discontinue, then use it again- it always yields the most amazing results. My guess as to its secret? The glycolic acid (second on the ingredient list), which helps exfoliate dead skin cells, and Tricaprylin (third on the list), which increases the skin’s ability to hold in moisture and in turn plumps up skin. In addition to its sheer efficacy, I also love the hygienic pump dispenser, which keeps air and germs out and prevents ingredients from breaking down. My personal tip: use Joanna Vargas’s Euphoria Mask for a luxurious facial, pat in excess serum into the neck, then moisturize the area with the NeoCutis Neck & Décolleté Complex. Your neck will look even more luminous than your face!
M-61 Hydraboost Eye Serum
For those unfamiliar, M-61 is Bluemercury’s proprietary brand, created by Co-Founder and CEO Marla Malcolm Beck, and the result of 13 years’ worth of experience in the beauty industry to provide the most effective and safe products. If you’re still lost, that’s ok- Bluemercury is a growing luxury beauty retailer that is making waves in the space (move over Sephora!) and now growing faster than ever after its acquisition by Macy’s in 2015. Normally, I don’t trust private labels as they’re usually substandard, but this M-61 Hydraboost Eye Serum is the real deal. It has a liquid-like consistency and soaks in like a dream while keeping the eye area hydrated all day. The ingredients are also impressive: Lactobacillus Ferment, which offsets harmful bacteria, is fourth on the list as well as three different kinds of peptides that follow thereafter with panthenol (aka Vitamin B5) and caffeine further down the list. Not only has this been my go-to eye serum lately, but I also anticipate this will be my summer staple for lightweight hydration.
La Mer The Lip Balm
La Mer’s Crème de la Mer is undoubtedly the brand’s most well-known product, but another cult favorite, albeit lesser known, is the Lip Balm. I recall this was the first product I ever tried from La Mer, and it remains a staple in my purse to this day. It was also a great way to dip my toes into the brand and get a sense of their high quality products. It’s definitely one of the pricier lip balms out there, but also much more effective than alternatives. One swipe of this will hydrate your lips and keep them so all day, while lower-priced competitors will require multiple applications to achieve similar results. I’m also a fan of the cooling sensation and the light, minty scent. If you’re new to La Mer, make sure to give this a go.
IGK Smoke & Mirrors
Conditioning Hair Cleansing Oil
I’m rather lazy when it comes to my hair and leave it up to professional treatments for any management. That said, the IGK Smoke & Mirrors Conditioning Cleansing Oil is literally the only in-shower hair product I’ve ever continually used because it’s seriously praiseworthy. Basically a cleanser and conditioner in one, it left my hair feeling unbelievably smooth and hydrated, not to mention clean. Rarely do similar hair products combat scalp oiliness and dryness in the strands concurrently, but this does. Another benefit is the amazing scent, IGK’s own blend titled NYC of black pepper, blackberries, violet, geranium, and leather accord. Perhaps it’s my New Yorker bias, but this product has found a permanent spot in my shower.
Jo Malone Wood Sage & Sea Salt
Molecules 04 by Escentric Molecules
The world of fragrances is one that deserves a longer, if not series of, post(s), because it’s beautifully complex. There’s everything from the various layers of the fragrance notes, ingredients and methods used, the various olfactory (aka sense of smell) families, etc. But let’s dip our toes here with a mention of my two latest favorites.
Jo Malone’s Wood Sage & Sea Salt is a recent favorite, reminiscent of a light sea breeze and a summer jaunt through an open forest. The woody sage grounds the fragrance while the subtle salty notes also keep it airy. This is a beautiful and intimate scent, perfect for the summer, and I love carrying it around on my most-carefree days.
Lesser known to the masses but heralded as genius among fragrance connoisseurs, the Escentric Molecules brand is unique in that for every launch, there are actually two perfumes. The first is the Molecules perfume, which consists entirely of the main aroma-chemical diluted in alcohol. The other half of the pair is the more traditional fragrance, with various notes that complement the aroma-chemical. For the Escentric Molecules 04 launch, the main aroma-chemical is Javanol, a sandalwood molecule. While the Escentric 04 scent is also lovely, consisting of a javanol base with grapefruit, juniper, and rose notes, I’m especially partial to Molecule 04 scent. The milky sandalwood note is so subtle and fleeting- you’ll catch hints of it throughout the day as it comes and goes- that it remains ever alluring and enigmatic, just like the beautiful bottle in which it comes.
And there you have it guys, my latest beauty loves (one might even go far as to say obsessions). Do yourself a favor and give any or, better yet, all of them a go this Summer. And if you ever have any questions or concerns, reach out anytime via the comments, my contact form, or IG Direct Messages as many of you already do.
As always, thanks for reading and hope you enjoyed!