Style + Beauty

my 8 must-have beauty products

January 12, 2015

8 must-have beauty products // My SoCal'd Life, a lifestyle blog

I know hardly anything about makeup and still don’t know how to deal with my curly hair, but skincare? Skincare I know and love. Ever since I received my first Clinique 3-Step kit, I’ve been diligent about scrubs, moisturizers, SPF, eye cream, and everything that goes along with it, and part of my morning routine involves reading about other people’s routines on Into The GlossTop Shelf column.

Here’s a little rundown of what I use, what I love, and what you should try:

Almond oil—If I don’t lotion up after a shower, it just feels wrong, but after realizing how many chemicals are added to affordable body lotions, I decided to go au naturel with a 100% organic almond oil. It’s very cost-efficient and a little goes a long way. In the end, my skin feels moisturized—with a bit of a glow and without the grease (after it dissolves within a couple minutes.)

Glow Face and Body Lotion—Speaking of glowing, this SPF moisturizer I won in a recent blog giveaway has been a great addition to the mix. The mineral mica adds a subtle shimmer, and even though the consistency feels thick, it blends easily. Bonus points for the plant-based ingredients list.

Murad Active Radiance Serum—I’m approaching 30 years this year, and even though I’m totally fine to hit a new decade, I’m not fine with the fact that my skin doesn’t bounce back so easily anymore. This serum is filled with powerful ingredients that make your skin more radiant and fight environmental pollution. Since adding it to my routine two months ago, I’ve noticed a brighter complexion. It’s definitely a splurge, but fortunately, all it takes is one pump per use. (Look for it on Amazon, where it’s half the price.)

Burt’s Bee’s Eye Cream—When I was in college, my doctor friend mentioned that the skin under the eyes is the most delicate of all. Ever since then, I’ve diligently applied any moisturizer (with my ring finger, as it has the lightest touch) to the eye area. But re: that whole not bouncing back as quickly thing, I recently decided to spring for an actual eye cream. On the scale of eye-specific creams with natural ingredients, this one is relatively affordable. Plus, the squeeze tube is quite handy.

Alba Deep Sea Facial Mask—Truth be told, my favorite face mask is a neem powder I bought in India for $3. I’ve run out and while I bide my time until my mom brings me another pack from the motherland next month, I’m using this skin-brightening formula by Alba, a brand known for its mostly natural ingredients. You wear it for just 5 minutes, so it’s low-effort. The results aren’t earth-shattering, but my skin does look more fresh after use.

BeautyCounter Lustro Face Oil 2—At $64, this face oil is the most luxurious part of my regimen, but full disclosure, I was lucky to receive this bottle for free at a media preview. I use this jasmine-scented oil—like the almond oil and serum, a little goes a long way—to touch up any dry spots post-moisturizer. It smells divine, so I try to make it the very last step before I hit the sack so I can sleep with the scent on my hands.

Vicco Turmeric Skin Cream—With a blend of turmeric and sandalwood oil, this Indian moisturizer pulls from Ayurvedic tradition  and is formulated to brighten skin. Loyal fans love how gentle it is on problematic skin and many say this cream is the reason their skin has stayed so young and supple. On its own, it’s not moisturizing enough for my combination skin, so I follow it with the Lustro Face Oil. It’s worth mentioning that the aroma is strong. I love it, but it might not be for everyone.

Now Argan Oil—I may not know how to style my hair, but healthy hair is paramount to me, especially after struggling with issues of for a while. To combat the dry climate in San Diego, I’ve jumped on the argan oil wagon. Rather than paying extra for the famous Moroccan Oil brand, I bought this cheaper version. Just 2-3 drops midway down my hair, and my ends stay hydrated and healthy.

There are a few others in the mix, including a rotating set of cleansers and face scrubs from Simple Skincare and Neutrogena, but the above products are my favorites. (If I want to splurge, my absolute favorite face scrub is this Walnut Complexion version by Ole Henrickson.) If you need a primer on what order to layer your beauty products, check out this handy guide.

Would love to hear if you have any others I should add to my rotation!

6 thoughts on “my 8 must-have beauty products

  1. Dixya @ Food, Pleasure, and Health

    have you considered rose water for toner? my skin is very problematic and thrives on antibiotics/prescription medications but my friends talk about it all the time. also, coconut oil is supposed to be a great moisturizer. i have very recently bought an argan oil for hair though – it smells pretty good but havent really seen much results. Another thing I am using is Nail/Hair/Skin vitamin (which is basically a lot of biotin and vitamin C) I purchased on a whim at whole foods.

    1. Archana Post author

      I’ve never used a toner but love the idea of rose water. It’s one of my favorite scents! Coconut oil is a little too rich for my skin type but a great idea because it can be used in a pinch. I personally haven’t had luck with the nail/hair/skin vitamins. Thanks for all the recs!

  2. Shireen

    Just started following you! Love this blog. And I love reading about great beauty products. I do like dermalogica and origins brand products!


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