Quite honestly, I have grown to mistrust magazine editors because I've tried the newfangled hair products they recommended so fervently, sampled the creams they hocked on their glossy pages, and it was all a monstrous lie. I still believe the best recommendations come from those whom you know and love. Those friends who spend their hard-earned dollars and would rather get hit by a bus than have you waste your hard-earned dollars. In my constant quest to find amazing, efficacious products at all price points, I've discovered ten that are worth coveting.
With a smooth glide, an instant banishment of imperfections, and a tube that I've been told lasts forever, I have been sold on the glory that is the Clé de Peau Beauté Concealer ($75). Perfect for combination skin, the concealer is nourishing and provides coverage so that foundation isn't a requirement. While I understand that this is probably the most expensive concealer you will ever purchase, it is worth it.
Hot showers are requisite for the colder months, and nothing is more of an evocation of holiday than Philosophy shower gels. And although we're far from the Christmas season, lathering yourself in Philosophy's Silent NIght Soothing Lavender Bubble Bath ($16) is a welcome gift from the weekdays where you find yourself wanting to staple things to your coworker's heads. A three-in-one shampoo, shower gel, and bubble bath infused with the relaxing scent of fresh lavender, Silent Night leaves your skin fragrant, super soft and undeniably clean.
From almond seed oil to shea butters, I've become a woman who can't live without moisturizer. Luckily enough, coveting lotions rich in emollients doesn't require you to fork over your bank account. Currently I'm obsessing over Weleda's Pomegranate Hand Cream ($12.50). Formulated with organic pomegranate seed oil and organic shea butter, your skin will feel rejuvenated and beautifully soft without the dreaded grease effect. The subtle aromatics of the lavish pomegranate conjure the warm and exotic, a desperate escape for when temperatures tumble and your only solace comes from a cup of pipping hot.
As soon as leaves curl, crisp and burn, as soon as pumpkins are displayed in all their finery, as soon as it's essential to plan an apple-picking escapade, I turn to lush candles. Right now I'm loving NEST's Pumpkin Chai candle (8.1 ounces/$32).
The exotic, earthy blend of wild pumpkin, spicy masala chai, cardamom, ginger, and cinnamon, will immediately warm the room, weaving spice and smoky flavor through your curtains. The candle is subtle and aromatic, but not pungent, and certainly not an evocation of pumpkin pie (not okay!). What I loved most was waking to a home that spelled of ovens, of things baking and roasting -- a smell synonymous with family, with home.
When it comes to perfume, I've become to believe that samples are a cruel, beguiling temptress. Fanning her wares until you succumb to your basest instincts and indulge. For weeks I wore my Carnal Flower with pride, yet I'd have weekend affairs with my sample of Frederic Malle's Une Rose ($180, 50ml). Created by perfumer Edouard Fléchier, the sensual, fruity notes of Turkish Rose Absolute finish with a sensual and earthy black truffle accord evokes the essence of a rose garden. This isn't your common rose, rather it's dark, sinister, carnivorous. It lays on your skin like pyre -- warm, enveloping, all-consuming. But then it morphs into something deeper, like chrysalis, and I've found myself sniffing my wrists throughout the day to see where the journey has taken me.
Ever since Dermalogica changed my life, calling my skin down from the ledge, giving my pores reason to live and prosper like anyone in America should, you'll rarely find me espousing the greatness of another skin care line. From their Exfoliating Body Scrub to the magic of their skin-transforming Special Cleansing Gel, once one has reached nirvana, why would one seek comfort in the arms of another?
Because you are a fickle jezebel who sometimes cheats on your faithful lover. Because you are that moisturized heathen who fails prey to the luscious oils that hail from France. Lately, facial oils have become a mainstay in my moisturizing repertoire and I have found the new object of my affection -- Patyka's Huile Absolue Face & Body Serum ($75).
From the Hungarian translation for apothecary, Patyka offers decadent bath and body products along with a burgeoning skincare line, which is not only elegant in its packaging (think stark glass bottles, white labels and elegant typeface) but eco-conscious in practice. With ECO CERT certification, a dedication to home-grown ingredients and fair trade practices, you'll find a line free of abrasive chemicals, parabens and animal testing, while encountering cool mints and subtle florals and mandarins that transport you to Mediterranean groves. So while I'm faithful to my Dermalogica cleansers, I sometimes cheat when it comes to moisturizers.
And while I know that chocolate doesn't fit into ones makeup bag or beauty regimen, there is something about chocolate, possibly its deep saturation of cocoa and nut infusions, that creates a glow to ones skin. From chunks of hearty almond to sweet mint oils, Green & Black's organic, intensely flavorful confections are worthy savoring.