Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
My segue into a career in the beauty industry was an obvious path given the obsession that started when I was 12 years old. I still remember those first products that piqued my lifelong interest — a Lancôme Juicy Tube, an eyeshadow palette from Clarins, and Clinique’s Black Honey lipstick which still exists but is literally always sold out. Since my professional involvement in beauty began, I have always loved the aspect of testing anything and everything that makes its way to me. (As I write this I am staring at my desk which has around 30 new products I am intent on trying.) There are, however, eight products that I continue to come back to and stock up on regardless of the new products I uncover. Recently, I realized that I’m actually so loyal to these products that I’ve been using them for at least 10 years. Now I’m going to share with you the wisdom that has come with (my) age.
First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads
Shop now: $29 with code GIFTEASY (Originally $36); sephora.com
I have dabbled with toners beyond the First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads — for a while I even used the infamously stinky Biologique Recherche P50 — but I always come back to this. My skin is unpredictably sensitive but it also gets congested very quickly. Toner is not only the first product I use every morning, but it’s also the foundation of my skincare routine — the other products just don’t matter as much without it. This one does everything I could hope for. One swipe across my face leaves my skin feeling clean and tight but not stripped. There is no stinging sensation or irritation, and it absorbs quickly into my skin so I can move onto the rest of my routine.
Bioderma Sensibio H20 Micellar Water
Back in my day (but really) makeup removers were tricky. There were the wipes which even before the revelation that they are not so good for your skin, irritated my complexion and there were cream removers that were more like face washes than anything else. The prospect of an affordable and incredibly gentle remover with a water-like consistency was a revelation. I use a reusable cotton pad, place it on the pump, and drench it before swiping it gently across my face. The makeup, debris, and built-up product come off and my skin is left hydrated and soothed.
Caudalie Beauty Elixir Face Mist
Shop now: $39 with code GIFTEASY (Originally $49); sephora.com
This is a multipurpose product. Before the advent of COVID, the Beauty Elixir Face Mist could function as a toner, a refreshing spray, and a makeup setting spray. Recently it’s also been a useful trick battling maskne, thanks to the antibacterial and astringent ingredients mint and rose. My personal use has always been as the last step in my makeup routine — to set and awaken my face before I step out the door. Recently, I have been keeping a mini bottle in my purse to try and keep the breakouts at bay.