‘I keep sweaters in my stove.”
If you remember the classic HBO show “Sex and the City,” you may also remember that the show’s heroine, Carrie Bradshaw, loved fashion. She had an abundance of clothes and shoes and accessories. She had so many pieces that there wasn’t enough room to fit them all in her New York City apartment’s closets and drawers. So, she stored sweaters in her stove.
My best friend, Gina (I talk about her a lot), once told me I was like Carrie Bradshaw with my beauty products.
“You’re going to live in a Glossier tube,” she once texted me.
And she’s not wrong. My shelves are full of products, ranging from things I buy to items brands generously gift to me for review. If I’m reaching for certain ones over and over, it means they’re worth it.
I’m constantly changing up products depending on my mood, the weather, the occasion and the season. This is a weird time when we’re in between fall and winter and there are a handful of products I recently introduced into my skin, makeup and hair routine that I’ve been loving. Here are some products that are optimizing my early winter beauty routine. (And no, I don’t keep them in my stove — yet.)
The Inkey List Oat Cleansing Balm
It’s no secret that I love a good cleansing balm, but I was seriously fatigued of having to use jarred products. I know it sounds crazy, but some nights I am so lazy that I need a product I can just pump or squeeze out onto my hands. This balm cleanser comes in a huge, squeezable tube, so it’s perfect for quick makeup removal. I also love that it’s a beautiful, greasy balm that melts off all of my makeup, even super stubborn waterproof mascara. It’s great for the winter, too, as it contains colloidal oatmeal, a hero ingredient for dry, irritated skin. Last but certainly not least, this hero product costs less than $10.
Milk Makeup Vegan Milk Moisturizer
Every winter, I am on the hunt for a thick, rich facial cream. This vegan moisturizer is packed with butters and oils as well as Kalahari melon, baobab, jojoba and aloe vera, all of which thrive in extremely dry environments. It absorbs fast, providing me the ideal hydrated and bouncy base to apply makeup or to seal in all of my serums before bed. Fragrance- and dye-free, it’s also great for those with more sensitive skin, like me, and hasn’t once caused breakouts or clogged pores. Add in Milk’s very cool neon yellow packaging, and this product is a slam dunk. $38; milkmakeup.com
Pureology Strength Cure Blonde Purple Shampoo & Conditioner
Any bottle blonde will tell you that keeping hair from turning brassy and ensuring that it stays hydrated are the main factors in maintaining bright color and healthy strands. The problems I have with most purple shampoos and conditioners, though, is that they’re too light in color and do nothing to help tone down my brass, or they aren’t nourishing and leave my hair feeling super dry. Pureology’s shampoo and conditioner pair, however, is a dark violet color to help counteract the orange tones in my hair. The conditioner has a super thick consistency, which leaves my hair feeling hydrated and soft. If you recognize Pureology, it’s because Meghan Koziel — who I profiled in this column in 2018 after she used beauty as self-care during her battle with breast cancer — swore by Pureology products as the reason why her hair grew back healthy and strong after chemotherapy. $31 (shampoo); $33 (conditioner); ulta.com
Dose of Color Baked Browns eyeshadow palette
Shimmery eyeshadows usually are the go-to look for the holidays, but I’ve been obsessed with these matte neutrals. This palette is truly one of the best eyeshadow formulas I’ve ever worked with. They’re buttery and soft plus easy to blend, and you can use several colors to do a full eye look or just one matte dark brown across your whole lid for a chic editorial vibe. Plus, this five-pan palette is easy to use for even beauty novices and makes a great gift. $32; doesofcolors.com
Bath & Body Works Warm Vanilla Sugar Moisturizing Body Wash
Sometimes you need a little pick-me-up — bonus points if it’s under $15. When I need a 20-second spa experience, I reach for this ultra creamy product that leaves my skin feeling super soft and hydrated thanks to its blend of rich shea and cocoa butters. The scent is what really makes this, though, as it’s made with creamy and warm vanilla, fresh white orchid and a sweet, sparkling sugar. The intoxicating fragrance stays on me throughout the day but never overpowers, so it just makes the perfect base for my go-to winter perfumes. $13.50; bathandbodyworks.com
Gia Mazur is an award-winning staff writer and beauty obsessive who joined The Times-Tribune’s Lifestyles department in 2015. She’s a product enthusiast who can’t live without an eyelash curler. A proud Virgo, Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Pillow Talk is her go-to. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; 570-348-9127; @gmazurTT