MY MOST-LOVED PRODUCTS OF 2019
After a month of reflection, evaluation, and procrastination, here they are: The essentials I reached for the most, the new launches I was most impressed with, and the products I tested that became part of my permanent rotation throughout 2019. All categories are mentioned here, because my excitement for these products is all-inclusive.
You know what they say: Better late than never.
SUPERGOOP! SUPERSCREEN DAILY MOISTURIZER SPF 40
Supergoop! made something that really didn't exist before: a daily face moisturizer with adequate daily sun protection that doesn't feel or look heavy like a traditional sunscreen. Impossible you say? I thought so too, but they did it.
Superscreen still smells like sunscreen, but tolerably (and nostalgically) so. It gives the most incredible sheen to the skin that only inorganic UV filters can, so it looks absolutely gorgeous under makeup. There are no organic filters (titanium dioxide + zinc oxide) so there's no chance of it leaving a white cast, either. If you don't apply this SPF 40 moisturizer as thickly as you would a beach sunscreen, and I'd imagine most won't, you'll still get much better sun protection than with an SPF 15 moisturizer applied the same way. And that extra protection can make all the difference.
At $38 it's pricey but not unreasonable, especially if you're someone who would already spend around $40 for a moisturizer or sunscreen. It definitely provides supple hydration too, so I'll usually go for water-based serums and maybe a drop or two of balancing face oil layered underneath. Those with combination or oily skins may prefer the City Sunscreen Serum, but I think most skin types could get away with wearing Superscreen and be happy with the results.
It's also worth noting that nearly every person I live with or work with has used Superscreen - coincidence or otherwise - and is just as head-over-heels in love, and I think that says a lot.
$38 for 1.7 fl oz
Available from Sephora
JOSH ROSEBROOK NUTRIENT DAY CREAM SPF 30
I can all but guarantee those tuned into the world of green beauty have heard the praise about Josh Rosebrook's SPF, and frankly, it's entirely deserved.
Nutrient Day Cream takes the cake as champion of daily mineral-based sun protection. Not only does it look seamless on the skin, but it feels just as light and airy. Despite being solely zinc oxide-based, this cream doesn't leave behind a chalky dryness nor a pasty white cast. I do find it layers best over an oil, oil-serum, or slightly greasy moisturizer because my normal to dry skin can tend to look flat if I just use this on its own.
Yes it's extremely pricey, and almost prohibitively so. With that said, I also think it's more or less the best daytime mineral sunscreen available. If you don't want to commit to a larger bottle, start with the 1 oz traveler from The Detox Market. Josh also offers a tinted version, s'il vous plaît.
I mentioned Supergoop! Superscreen above which is incredible too, and this would be the mineral-filter equivalent. Both are undetectable on the skin, and are perfect for daily use. Just wear sunscreen!
$85 for 2 fl oz; $150 for 4 fl oz
SUNDAY RILEY A+ HIGH-DOSE RETINOID SERUM
Nobody was less surprised than I was that this Sunday Riley retinoid worked wonders on my skin almost immediately. My overall complexion felt and looked more refined, a bit more firm, and more even in tone after just a few days. If I discontinued use and came back a few weeks later, I still got the same rapid results. The texture is non-drying, hydrating even, and has a slightly creamy consistency that absorbs quickly and leaves the skin feeling incredibly soft. I'll usually go for two pumps for my face, neck, and chest.
As I'm sure many of you have experienced, Sunday Riley products tend to work quite quickly. I absolutely love their Luna Retinoid Night Oil still to this day, but the astringent grape seed oil base can often dry out my skin. A+ takes Luna's performance but makes it easier to tolerate. It's sort of like mixing a shot with some seltzer, if that makes sense.
I'm getting to the point where my skin could benefit from more frequent retinoid application, and this is the one that I think will suit my needs the most. Here's hoping this will be a favorite at the end of 2020 too. Stay tuned!
$85 for 1 fl oz
DEVIANT SKINCARE CLEANSING CONCENTRATE
When a member of the skincare community on Instagram launches their own brand, you pay attention. Natalie of @roadtoglow knows her stuff, and created the exquisite brand Deviant based on that extensive knowledge - and taste, I should add. Not only are the formulas top-notch and essential for balanced skin health, but they're done so thoughtfully and beautifully.
The Cleansing Concentrate is made with organic hemp, cucumber, and camellia oils, so it offers calming and reparative benefits with each use. The relief is felt almost instantly, and because there's no essential oil or fragrance components to this cleanser, it's incredibly well-tolerated no matter what state your skin is in.
Some balms can feel waxy or overly dense, but this Cleansing Concentrate is the opposite - it's melt-y, oily, and smoothing. The consistency invites you to spend time massaging your skin, even leaving it on as a mask for extra comfort and nourishment. It rinses beautifully without the addition of a cloth, though devotees to balm cleansers will love using this with a warm flannel.
This is the type of cleanser I like to use in the morning when my skin looks a bit tired, or at night when I want a reparative indulgence. I don't use this balm to take off makeup, though it absolutely works for that. I wouldn't dare waste any of the green goodness on powdery pigment.
£29.00 for 1.69 fl oz
Available from Deviant Skincare
GLOSSIER BUBBLEWRAP EYE + LIP PLUMPING CREAM
I was extremely thrilled to be part of Bubblewrap's launch in Spring 2019, from a focus group of fellow Glossier Reps to creating how-to content for their Instagram. I was even more excited to genuinely fall in love with the product, reaching for it consistently throughout the year and into the present.
If you're looking for depuffing, brightening, or potent firming benefits from your eye cream, this isn't it, and it's not designed to be. This is best for someone who deals with fine lines from surface dehydration, or someone who just needs extra moisture and comfort around the eye area. The texture is smooth and creamy, lightweight but still protective, and creates a beautiful canvas for makeup.
I love that this can be used on the lips too, and it performs just as effectively. Don't think plumping like a tingly lip plumper, think plump as in deeply re-hydrated and juicy. Bubblewrap layers brilliantly under lip balms at night, for example, if you're looking to really inject some moisture back into dry lips.
I love the airless pump bottle for ease of application, especially since the nozzle is quite precise. Plus the total volume of product is 50% more than most other eye creams - score!
$26 for 0.74 fl oz
Available from Glossier
KAHINA GIVING BEAUTY PRICKLY PEAR SEED OIL
I've become a huge fan of prickly pear seed oil formulas in the past few years, but I've never tried the ingredient in its pure state. Enter Kahina Giving Beauty with a gorgeous 50mL bottle of the stuff. It's rare that I find a single-origin oil which has such an immediate impact on the skin, but this joins the ranks as one of the few.
The sheer amount of Vitamin E contained in prickly pear seed oil is unparalleled - it has about 150% more than Argan oil, which already had a lot. This offers immense antioxidant protection for the skin, creating a reparative "shield" against free-radical damage that also glows with radiance. This oil is absolutely beautiful under makeup as it provides tremendous vitality almost immediately after application, and not the kind of glow that just looks like oil on the skin.
There's also a significant amount - around 60% concentration - of linoleic acid in prickly pear seed oil, an unsaturated fatty acid which strengthens the skin's barrier and prevents sebum from hardening, an added perk for blemish-prone skins. Shout out to the high Vitamin K content too, which can help brighten the look of undereye dullness and discoloration and in my experience, absolutely does.
It's rare to find an oil that's so universal in application, but this a gold standard exception. All skin types, all skin concerns, all times of day. Another exception? You *actually* only need a small amount at a time - the texture is ultra-spreadable.
$150 for 1.6 fl oz
Available from The Detox Market
OSEA OCEAN CLEANSING MUDD
I'd say this Ocean Mudd cleanser from Osea is the closest thing to bathing in sea mud short of actually getting in the ocean and having a moment. The mineral and salt content of ocean water closely resembles our human blood, so any products with marine qualities pique my interest. This muddy gel cleanser feels quite sticky when applied to dry skin, but emulsifies easily with just a touch of water. It will rinse completely clean, but works best with a nice hot washcloth - just make sure it's not a white material.
There's a briny, oceanic quality to the scent and experience, and gladly the same amount of benefits. There's a replenished radiance that emerges, especially with consistent use. Skin texture is more refined, but it doesn't feel over-exfoliated or stripped. Oily skins that aren't prone to irritation will love this especially, but it's also great for those who want a deep-cleansing boost a few times a week.
PS: On a scale of 1-10 on the peppermint tingle scale, this sits comfortable at 8.5 to 9.0. You will feel it frost your eyes, cool your nostrils, and freeze your complexion almost instantly. Seriously. If you're sensitive to mint, this will undoubtedly be too much for you. Don't use this cleanser too close to your eyes or it will burn. However, if you live and die for a minty chill, you'll love. Just bring a sweater.
Available from Credo Beauty
MŪN PROTECT + REVIVE MOISTURIZER
Moisturizer is tricky for me. It's rare that one really stands out because I find most of them to be incredibly similar. MŪN's Protect + Revive packs the punch of a serum plus the moisture of a perfect gel cream, but without a hint of silicone. It wasn't until I sat down to write this post that I realized I've finished a bottle and a half since it first launched, and for me that's an achievement!
Rich with niacinamide, black cumin, prickly pear, and kalahari melon seed oils, this is skin repair and refinement in a bottle. MŪN harnesses the power of prickly pear seed oil in nearly all of their products, which means antioxidant protection and lots of linoleic acid. This moisturizer would be great for someone who struggles with blemish-prone skin and/or dehydration. I love applying it over an oil - it gives just the right amount of 'finish.'
Editor's note: MŪN is currently working on phase two of this moisturizer, so all that's available is the 7mL travel size. Stay tuned for more info.
$65 for 1.7 fl oz
Available from MŪN
PS: Use the code TOPHCAM for 15% off your first order
VOTARY NATURAL LIP OIL
This gorgeous lip oil from Votary delivers a slick sheen and super lightweight comfort in one swipe. The texture is quite thin and concentrated, so I don't find very much product is needed in order to get the gloss and/or feel moisturized. It smells like tangy mandarin too, which only adds to the delight in applying this all over parched lips.
This is the type of product I throw on right as I walk out the door, because it adds polish to the lips without looking like a traditional lip gloss. I tend to reach for gloss midday when I can easily touch up, especially if it has color in it. I'll use this Natural Lip Oil before bed if I don't need something particularly rich or occlusive, knowing that I can still count it to deliver comfort and moisture.
Sometimes I'll even take a bit and dab it over my brows and on my cheekbones to highlight, which has never let me down when I need a quick gloss and go.
$46 for 0.27 fl oz
JOSH ROSEBROOK HYDRATION BOOST CONCENTRATE
The release of this serum was long-awaited by fellow Josh Rosebrook fans, and I can happily say it does not disappoint. Rather than a traditional thin, watery fluid, this is a gel-like serum concentrate that melts down as you spread it over the skin. One drop is enough for the face, two if you're doing neck and chest. Once applied, it creates a breathable moisture mesh on the skin, sealing in hydration underneath it, so it's most effective when applied after misting or toning.
There's a gorgeous blend of plant hyaluronic from Indian Senna, vegetable glycerin, hydrating Horse Chesnut, and softening White Peony in this serum. However, it's oil and essential oil-free, so sensitive and reactive skins may get along especially well with this.
When I'm in a hurry, I'll mix a drop of this and a few drops of oil to create my own mini emulsion, then apply it on damp skin. It's a great way to increase and seal-in hydration in one easy step. I can't say enough about this unique concentrated serum. It's just further proof that Josh just makes incredible products, period.
$42 for 0.5 fl oz
FUR FUR OIL
I can confidently say that I used Fur Oil every single day of 2019, and each application was an absolute pleasure. It's taken consistent use to really appreciate the benefits of an oil that softens both skin and hair, but frankly I'm forever hooked.
Generally I prefer to trim my body hair rather than completely shave or wax it. My skin is happier when I do, plus I like the aesthetics more anyway. However, I am still prone to ingrown hairs and the occasional bump, which is part of why I love Fur Oil so much. It softens and smooths skin and hair at the same time, and minimizes discomfort in the process. I apply it on my underarms at night, my facial hair twice a day after cleansing, my pubic hair after bathing, and on my arms and legs, whenever. I'll also apply a bit to my scalp before shampooing a few times a month, and on the ends of damp clean hair to add shine and tame frizz. I truly live, breathe, and bathe in this stuff and all of my skin and hair have never looked better because of it.
It's also worth noting that I spend a ton of time talking to people who use this product for my job, and the praise is near universal - it just works.
$46 for 2.5 fl oz
Available from Fur
PS: Use the code CHRIS20 for 20% off your order
Note: No affiliates - I work at Fur. Hi :)
NÉCESSAIRE THE BODY LOTION
Vanilla ice cream. Crisp white t-shirt. Fine red wine. Things that are so essential, it’s easy to take to take them for granted when they're done perfectly. In my opinion, Nécessaire's The Body Lotion is the best body lotion you can currently buy. It’s deeply moisturizing, and more importantly hydrating, non-greasy, and fragrance-free so it doesn't irritate or interfere. The texture is a lightweight serum-y lotion, with a touch of balmy moisture but no oily residue. It's cooling but not minty, and quenches the skin almost instantly.
This lotion makes the skin feel more replenished and fortified with continued use, which creates the look of firmness and evenness of tone. There's a blend of vitamins, peptides, omega-rich plant oils, and juicy humectants, but no silicone, solvent alcohol, or mineral oil. I'm into it.
If you want to try something from the Nécessaire line, I'd start with this. I think it's their best product. And at $25, it’s a splurge that doesn’t feel egregious. For me, The Body Lotion is the best version of something I've used every single day for most of my life.
$25 for 6.8 fl oz
FUR SILK SCRUB
I can only count a handful of showers in 2019 in which Fur's Silk Scrub was not featured. This product has become all but essential for my bathing routine. The gel-like texture contains enzymes from papaya and pineapple, glycolic and lactic acids, plus a touch of willow bark for good measure. Alongside the chemical exfoliants are smooth wax beads derived from castor and jojoba oils, which aid in physical exfoliation without scraping the skin. I love that this workhorse formula can be used from the face all the way down to the feet.
Silk Scrub is unique in that it can be used as a quick scrub on sensitive parts of the body, or left on for up to 10 minutes as resurfacing mask. The latter of the two has proven to be most effective on some of my tougher, rougher skin.
I deal with coarse and bumpy skin texture plus the occasional ingrown hair on my hips and thighs, and this combats that without much effort on my part. I'll apply a dollop on any skin I want to smooth about 4-5 minutes before I step in the shower. Then I'll let the steam work its magic for a minute or two before adding water, buffing, and rinsing thoroughly. The results are smooth and resurfaced, but never irritated or inflamed. We stan!
$48 for 6 fl oz
Available from Fur
PS: Use the code CHRIS20 for 20% off your order
Note: No affiliates - I work at Fur. Hi :)
ACT+ACRE COLD PROCESSED HAIRCARE
Easily the most incredible daily hair system I have ever used, and I don't say that lightly. I haven’t been impressed with a shampoo & conditioner duo in a long time, but never before has my hair instantly felt healthier, more manageable, and more instantly replenished than when I started using this system. In the same sense that cold-pressed oils and juices contain more nutrients and thus more benefits, all of Act+Acre products are produced without the use of heat. This seems to have had a profound effect on the formulas because the products feel like they're nourishing and revitalizing both my hair and scalp with every use.
However, the Scalp Detox is what puts Act+Acre in a class of its own. It's an ester-based blend of oils and extracts that you use a few times a week before shampooing. It truly works wonders at breaking down product build-up, dead skin, sweat, and general grime. I like to separate my hair into 6 sections and apply small drops on my scalp from front to back before massaging thoroughly. Before I had a demo from founder Helen Reavey, I was applying way too much product and hating the results. A small amount of oil, really worked into the scalp, is much more effective.
After letting the Scalp Detox soak for 20 minutes, you hop in the shower and shampoo twice, the same way you'd double cleanse your face. Rinse thoroughly as with any shampoo, and when you do, you'll notice your hair feels stronger and more resilient to the touch. Apply conditioner and leave on for a few minutes, and the smoothness and softness is all but obvious. It's the kind of healthy that doesn't feel like it's weighed down with product or overly stripped of oils. When I got my hair done by Helen, she blew out my hair and let it set in some rollers, but used zero styling product. Here was my hair afterwards:
Need I say more?
Hair Cleanse & Hair Conditioner - $28 for 10 fl oz each
Scalp Detox - $42 for 3.4 fl oz
Available from Act + Acre
PS: Use TOPHCAM15 for 15% off your purchase
BUMBLE AND BUMBLE. BB. CURL PRE-STYLE/RE-STYLE PRIMER
This Bb. Curl Primer will always have a place on my "best of" lists because it's so perfectly suited for my hair type and texture. It's really the best styling product I have ever used because it enhances my curls and adds unexplainable softness without adding weight, stickiness, or drying my hair out. This spray goes beyond leave-in conditioner by adding definition and gentle hold to my hair and is essentially an all-in-one.
On clean damp hair, I'll spray in sections from root to tip, then scrunch to "activate." After a few seconds, my hair looks more sleek and infinitely more polished, my curls less frizzy and my ends less dry. It pairs beautifully with other curl enhancing gels and creams, but can hold its own as a standalone product. Plus, it can be used on dry hair to refresh curls and tone down frizz, but again, without adding weight.
After finishing numerous bottles over the past few years and no plans to stop any time soon, this Curl Primer is what I'd call a "forever fave."
$28 for 8.5 fl oz
RANAVAT BOTANICS MIGHTY MAJESTY HAIR AND BODY SERUM
If you want delicate luxury with incredible impact for your hair, this is it. All you have to do is ask someone who's used Mighty Majesty and they'll tell you the same thing: It's beautiful with a capital B.
A smoothing and softening base of organic sunflower oil houses a heady Jasmine oil and vitamin-rich Amla extract. Amla has a long history in Ayurveda with regards to hair, scalp, and skin health. It contains potent amounts of Vitamin C and protective polyphenols, which we love. This is the type of hair oil that really is a treatment - don't hesitate to use it on your scalp to do a thorough massage before bed and shampoo the next morning. The Jasmine aroma here is utter perfection - raw, unrefined, and intoxicating. A pump or two on the neck and chest before bed feels like falling asleep in a field of Jasmine petals - and that's the tea on that.
As a styling product, I love using two pumps on damp hair before putting it in a turban to air-dry. It helps my hair detangle more easily, and adds a really brilliant shine and sleekness. A pump of this oil applied on the very ends of dry hair is a nice plant-based alternative to silicone serums, but adds a similar amount of smoothness. She really can do it all.
$55 for 1.7 fl oz
YVES DURIF COMB AND PETITE BRUSH
I haven't really invested in any hair tools since I started growing my hair out a few years ago, so I was overdue for some quality basics. Since my job allows for frequent travel, it only made sense that I got portable versions of a brush and comb. While these from Yves Durif are small, they still feel like quality tools, and pack extremely well in my suitcase. The grey pouch they come housed in has held up nicely too, and keeps them safe inside my luggage.
A few weeks ago, I dropped the comb on hard tile and one of the teeth fell off, which was nothing a bit of superglue couldn't fix. Sometimes the brush can deflate on itself when you are trying to clean hair from it, which requires that you pull at the base of one of the bristles with a tweezer to regain the domed shape, but these are minor issues in what are sturdy tools overall.
Plus, just look at them.
Available from Violet Grey
KOSAS WET LIP OIL GLOSS
This product is perhaps the most important of the year for me for one simple reason: it gives me hope that there's still originality left in the beauty industry. A baby blue cap with architectural ridges along the edge? A thick acrylic rectangle that houses a juicy gloss with the word Wet emblazoned across the top? The fact that the clear shade is called 'Jellyfish'?
D. All of the above
For years I've seen bland regurgitations of the same neutral palette, the same private label packaging, and brands that exist to satisfy trendy niches rather than aim to change the status quo altogether. Kosas is trailblazer for me, as new and relatively curated as it still is. They remind me of NARS back in the early 2010's, when you got this slight adrenaline rush from holding one of their products in your hands. Do we have a new icon in the making?
Rather than inadvertently perpetuating beauty stereotypes in an attempt to boast "inclusivity" or "non-toxicity," they're just doing good products formulated thoughtfully and released with some brilliant branding and marketing campaigns. That comes at with a slightly elevated cost - this Lip Oil is $27 - but it doesn't feel exorbitant.
I wish Wet left my lips glossy for a bit longer, but I appreciate the balmy texture that's left behind after an hour or so. I've heard this same feedback from my peers, so take that for what you will. I haven't tried any of the other shades, but Jellyfish is already perfect for me.
$27 for 0.15 fl oz
This product feels like the apex of the highlighter renaissance of the 2010's. Unlike the cheek (or lip) glosses that are used backstage which give the skin a glassy, plastic-y shine, Futuredew isn't sticky and it doesn't travel around on the skin. And unlike the shimmery, frosty, metallic pigment-based highlighters and face primers available, Futuredew doesn't add any visible sparkle or tone to the skin.
Instead it is exactly as described: a finishing serum that creates the effect of freshly applied skincare. It catches the light in a way only emollient ingredients can, creating a healthy sheen on the skin that transcends tone and texture. On first pump it looks like a milky-peach, but after blending, becomes almost totally translucent. In bright, artificial lighting (like a phone flashlight) there's an extremely subtle pink pearl, but in natural light or daylight, the effect is purely dewy and not shimmery in the slightest.
The recommended amount is 2 pumps which I find to be excessive, and I have a large face. Start with one pump for face and neck, then apply half a pump more at a time onto the high points of your face. The most important thing is to really melt the product between your fingers first before applying in a dabbing and pressing, not swiping, motion over the face. Trust me, the effect is more seamless and less fussy when you apply it that way. I've already used 2/3 of my bottle - I'm hooked.
$24 for 1 fl oz
Available from Glossier
KJAER WEIS COLLECTOR'S KIT
I spent a huge chunk of 2019 on the road for work, which meant that I needed to get good at packing efficiently. I still haven't quite gotten there, but I can say that I've got my makeup down pat thanks to the Kjaer Weis Collector's Kit. In a case that's about the size of an iPhone plus, I have my foundation/concealer, blush/bronzer + highlighter, tinted lip balm, all-over lid shadow, and brow color. And a mirror.
The magnetic closure is quite sturdy, and I've never had a problem with the lid popping open or with my creams drying out. I still have to pack a separate face powder, bronzer, brown shadow, and brushes, but that's a small price to pay for having the rest of my face contained in one small case.
Not only that, because the kit holds refill pans, I can change the colors out whenever I want. The layout pictured is my default setup, but sometimes I'll switch the blush out to Sun Touched in summer or Lovely in fall.
Here's what I use year-round:
Foundation - Feathery
Glow - Ravishing
Cream Blush - Desired Glow
Eye Shadows - Charmed (Warm Beige) & Onyx (Charcoal)
Lip Tint - Sensuous Plum
Sure it's an investment even to buy an empty Collector's Kit, but if you're a frequent traveler, and you need something complete, compact, and customizable, this is it.
Collector's Kit - $76
Refill Pans - $27 to $40
I can almost guarantee you'll all but fall in love with at least one fragrance from the DedCool lineup. Personally I'm quite partial to the Series // 2 collection, which boasts bigger bottles and slightly more eccentric scents. The unisex eau de parfums are inspired by classic colognes with crisp, effortless and you know, 'DedCool' vibes, and won't suffocate your senses. Additionally, because they're formulated to include plant extracts along with the fragrance components, you're always going to get a familiar, vegetal quality that wears effortlessly on the skin.
Rocco(Mint) is all about Moroccan mint tea, jasmine, and oakmoss. The oakmoss here doesn't become dank or moldy, but adds a subtle chypre quality that, frankly, reads as something that could come from a house like Guerlain. It's quite sophisticated, yet easy at the same time. The jasmine isn't too heady either, and seems almost bright alongside the mint tea, which gives an overall smoothness and tingly tang. Check out Velvet(Monroe) if you're into the mystery of juniper and incense, or Ivy(Blanc) if you go for the 'boyfriend's sexy grey sweater' kind of vibe.
$130 for 3 fl oz
D.S. & DURGA '85 DIESEL
This candle was by far my most treasured of 2019. I saved burning it for special occasions, and savored every single second of its tanned leather aroma. In general I think D.S. & Durga make particularly robust candles, and '85 Diesel is nothing but impeccable.
Great for car lovers and mood-setters alike, it feels nostalgic and modern at the same time. Think plush leather car seats in a luxury automobile, not the artificial "new car smell" that you clip on to your air conditioner vent. There's a pureness to the warmth of the leather note, it doesn't feel cheated by cheap musk or robbed by synthetic woods.
If you get a chance to smell any of this brand's candles, please do. Especially if you're tired of being let down by candles in a similar price bracket.
$65 for 7 oz
Available from Nordstrom
DIPTYQUE EAU DE SENS HAIR MIST
The Eau de Sens fragrance is a bright, sunny, zesty orange blossom with incredible potency and longevity. I have the hair mist after seeing Bart (@omgbart) rave about it multiple times, and I think it's absolutely the way to go with this scent. Stay with me here, but the crisp, sunny quality of this scent coming from the top of your head feels extra beachy, and somehow all the more appropriate. Plus it's an easy way to catch a whiff of an incredibly clean and true orange blossom when you turn your head - fabulous.
This has the bitter, tangy, zesty, and spicy qualities you'd want from an orange blossom scent, yet it retains such a bright sweetness that doesn't go overboard. If you like Neroli Portofino, check this out.
$52 for 1 fl oz
SIGIL AMOR FATI
Palo Santo lovers, listen up. This is the same tangy, creamy, warmth of the unburned wood but in fragrance form. There's an almost stoic quality to this scent - it takes on the form of a wallflower and not the center of attention.
There's a grounded richness that gives this fragrance depth without making it dark. A creamy minty note prevents some of the deeper tones from reading too heavy. In general, Amor Fati has an airiness and sunny quality to it, despite being a cozy warm-wood scent. It's the kind of warmth seems more suited for some easy linen pants than fuzzy slippers, if that makes sense.
In all, this gender-inclusive scent is one that could be worn during the day or at night, during all seasons, and for nearly all occasions. It's sexy but appropriate, natural but still mysterious, and seems to be the kind of thing you just want to get a whiff of at any time, all the time.
I was introduced to Sigil through a special fragrance edition of Boxwalla, which offers curated products from incredible green beauty brands at significant savings. I can't recommend them enough!
$120 for 1 fl oz
Available from Sigil
HALO BEAUTY HAIR SKIN & NAILS BOOSTER
What can I say? Ms. Tati did the damn thing. I took Halo Beauty every day for 3 months an in that time, the skin on my face and body was incredibly smoothed and didn't dry out as easily after bathing, my nails were stronger and denser, and my hair grew easily 1 ½ to 2 inches in length. I started noticing results after month two, with best results setting in during the middle of month three. I have really thick, coarse hair naturally and was looking for something to minimize hair loss after brushing, washing, etc. I don't know that I took Halo long enough to see a difference in that respect, but the growth and shine were definitely noticeable.
The capsules themselves are quite ginormous and require a ton of water to wash down, so if that's not your thing, Halo may be hard to swallow - literally. Supplements aren't for everyone and it's up to you to decide if you think they work. The ingredients seem legit: rose hips (source of vitamin A), the patented Ceramide Rx, vitamin C, amla extract (natural vitamin C), zinc, copper, astaxanthin, vitamin B6, and Biotin, obviously. All of the before-and-after photos seemed hard to believe at first, but with visible results after just 3 months myself I can't help but think they're onto something.
$39.95 for 60 capsules
Available from Halo Beauty
WILDFLOWER CBD+ COOL STICK
I've talked about this incredible product on many occasions, and for good reason. With shea butter, peppermint, menthol, and arnica, there's some cooling relief felt almost immediately. And at 300mg of full-spectrum CBD per stick, there's enough per application for effective relief, especially if you're trying to tackle targeted discomfort.
I had a severe stomach bug at the end of 2019 that left me feeling incessantly nauseous. I applied this balm in circular motions on my stomach and it helped soothe and calm the feeling of upset. In fact, it was the only thing that helped. I've tried other balms and salves, but the convenience of application and efficacy of function will keep me coming back to Wildflower.
$60 for 2.5 oz
BUZZN CHILL MINT CBD OIL
I turn to sublingual CBD tinctures, especially mint-flavored ones, to relieve nausea, stomach discomfort, anxiousness, and overall irritability. In my experience, they really work too. The one I enjoyed the most last year was Buzzn's Chill formula, which has 500mg of broad spectrum CBD oil plus peppermint. For me, the addition of mint makes taking the tincture easier, and provides additional relief.
While the jury is still technically out on CBD's efficacy beyond anecdotal proof, those with an understanding of the cannabis plant rally for its abilities. Personally, I've had incredible success with hemp products, especially as someone who's all but the perfect candidate for the type of relief they provide. I like to look for broad or full-spectrum hemp oil, which includes all of the other cannabinoids and terpenes of the plant, and offer additional benefits.
$70 for 1 fl oz
Available from Buzzn
*Products provided for review consideration or purchased by me. This post is not sponsored, and all thoughts and opinions are my own.