The Writer's Life
I sample so. many. products. It's so much fun and I really can't complain — even with the occasional reaction. My beauty clients make my job feel like play-time and I have picked up a few beauty secrets along the way. Some of them are from stand-out beauty reps (shout-out to my favorites — you know who you are), some of them are from skincare line founders, and some of them are from friends. Others, I have just accumulated over the years myself — like using an exfoliating peel pad to make my deodorant work better, or adding vitamin C boosters to my products for extra protection and brightening. Read on to enjoy a few of my personal favorite beauty hacks to try and live by, inspired by my post on Brit + Co.
1. Tea Tree Facial Towelettes for bacne and other gross breakouts:
Ew, while I am not proud to make this public knowledge, hot weather makes breakouts more likely. If you sweat and don't shower right away, you, too, can fall victim to dreaded bacne. Just because these towelettes were intended for the face shouldn’t deter you from using them wherever you need a little antibacterial support.
Try: Earth Therapeutics Tea Tree Cleansing Facial Towelettes ($11)
2. Change your pillowcase every night to prevent breakouts.
This is ridiculous and I don't do it — but I 100% would if I had a reserve supply of pillowcases to swap. A dermatologist herself made this suggestion, which is how I know it's legit. You can also get anti-bacterial sheets, pillow cases, or even silk pillow case detergent for the regular avoidance of breakout-causing bacteria.
Try: Silvon 2 Pillowcase Set ($70) or Diva Stuff Anti-Bacterial Pillow Mist ($14)
3. Facial oil for eczema spots.
I get scalp eczema from allergies-gone-systemic, including if I cheat and eat something with dairy. (F U, Nutella!) Other than buying air cleaners for multiple rooms in my house, I've also applied soothing topical facial oils to spots on my scalp for relief. Most recently, I've been enjoying the new launch from the green, vegan line: Luna Nectar. Hint: I also *love* their Moon Boost serum for lash and brow growth.
Try: Luna Nectar Heliophilia Glow & Fix Serum ($46) — I put one little drop on my scalp where it's irritated.
4. FAB Ultra Repair Cream for my itchy legs.
My friend Lucy swears by First Aid Beauty for sensitive skin. Their Ultra Repair Cream in particular has a cult-following. I will admit, their formula is impressive — it includes colloidal oatmeal, ceramides, and eucalyptus oil. This helps with itching, moisture-retention, skin barrier damage, and soothing. My good friend Ali recommends colloidal oatmeal baths for allergy-related itchiness (and she is a genius).
Try: First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream ($30)
5. Use a non-toxic top coat that makes gel manicures unnecessary.
I got so fed up with gel manicures destroying my nails that I switched back to regular nail polish ages ago. My favorite non-toxic polishes are made by Context, Cote, and Londontown. I got a lavender manicure and experienced no chipping until last night, a full week later, when I accidentally smashed my nail against the wall. That being said, this top coat is the safer, effective way to spare your nails the damage of post-gel mani wreckage.
Try: Londontown Kur Gel Genius Top Coat ($20) + Londontown Lakur Briolette ($16) for a lovely violet shade
6. Use a pre-shave oil to prevent razor burn + spritz aloe post-shave to soothe irritation.
I get such dry legs and recently learned from a dermatologist that applying ingredients like aloe vera post-shave is the way to go. Using a pre-shave oil will also help soften hair, reduce friction, and prevent razor burn from happening.
Try: Hampton Sun Continuous Mist Hydrating Aloe with Cooling Menthol ($28) + Trees Flowers Skin Before and After Shave Oil ($46)
7. A hyaluronic acid booster for dry feet.
Hyaluronic acid is known for its ultra-moisturizing effects, so I've begun applying a booster to my feet before bed. I am so sick of how dry they get in the summertime!! Another treatment I have tried that seemed effective, but that I discontinued because it was too harsh on my hands from applying it, is this exfoliating lotion for feet that helps moisture get through.
Try: Paula's Choice RESIST Hyaluronic Acid Booster ($34) + Alpha Skincare Deep Therapy Foot Cream ($10)
8. Oils for plumping dry lips.
My chronically dry lips drink up oil so thoroughly that they boost in size. Majorly. I love using Marula and Plum oils for my lips, but also tried this convenient little lip oil pen. It is 95% organic! My only complaint is that it broke almost instantly (but it can be easily applied anyway)... TBH, I still prefer liquid oils but this is more convenient.
Try: Ogee Sculpted Lip Oil ($21)
(Photo via Hair Romance)
9. Micellar water + Q-tips for the perfect cat-eye.
My go-to is to line my upper lids. For perfecting the cat-eye, you can try using a beauty tool set like The Vamp Stamp ($20)... or, you can soak the end of a Q-tip in micellar water and use it to perfect your liner. Violette, the Global Director of Beauty for Estée Lauder, does this, too!
Try: Organyc Beauty Organic Cotton Swabs ($9 for 400) + Lahde Hydrating Pure Arctic Miracle 3-in-1 Micellar Cleansing Water ($6)
Hint: My favorite micellar water of all time is this ultra-pure, New Zealand-sourced, crystal-infused blend: Girl Undiscovered Under the Waterfall Crystal Cleansing Water ($42)
Impossibly glam, I know...
10. Food-grade skin ingredients for a quick detox and skin re-set.
My end-all, be-all beauty tip is to turn to raw, clean, food-grade skincare ingredients when your face needs a re-set. I learned about the importance of detoxing your skin from Adina Grigore, author of Skin Cleanse and the founder of the clean line S.W. Basics, herself! In between testing products, I rely on LOLI Beauty because the entire line is the gold standard of healthy, non-toxic beauty. I absolutely cannot vouch for them enough. Using them makes me feel like Gwyneth Paltrow! But most importantly: I know my skin is getting pure benefits sans irritants with zero risk of adverse reactions.
Try: LOLI Matcha Coconut Paste ($48)
Bonus: Start drinking bulletproof coffee and octane oil for improved focus and energy.
I am extremely sensitive to molds, which is why my doctor first told me about Bulletproof Coffee. If you have ever gotten a weird sinus headache after drinking your morning brew, that can be a sign that you are also responding adversely to molds that have formed in the coffee beans. An added perk? The line of superfood coffee helps immensely with focus when paired with its brain oil supplement. Tom and I drink it every single day and it apparently works best with intermittent fasting (which is ideal for me because I hate eating breakfast).
Try: Bulletproof Brain Octane Oil ($23, Orig. $30)
P.S. I am wearing Dynamikos sunglasses in this photo — a luxury line that gives back 20% to global non-profits supporting vision!
Do you have any surprising beauty hacks to share? Tell me on Instagram!
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