Top 10: Favorite Beauty Products

by Lara on October 17, 2011

Let me be clear:  I don’t assume any sort of authority in matters of beauty.  I know I’m no Kate Middleton.  I do, however, claim experience of trial and error with a multitude of beauty products.

This is my list if I ever had to seriously answer the question about what beauty products I would bring with me on a desert island (which I would never seriously answer, because the person who chooses an eyelash curler over bottled water on a desert island is not someone whose blog you should be reading).

  1. Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel.   We’re all blessed with a couple of nice features, but good skin isn’t one of mine.  This cleanser has helped me manage my sometimes dry, sometimes oily, always fickle complexion.
  2. Hope in a Jar Moisturizer.   Okay, I was first attracted to this product because of the cute name and elegant packaging.  Turns out it’s really pretty dreamy: more affordable than other luxury moisturizers, compatible with many skin types, and moisturizing without being greasy. 
  3. NARS Orgasm Blush.   Another cult product that really is worth all the hype.  Beautiful color that’s as alluring as the name suggests 😉 
  4. OPI Red Nail Polish.   Hands down, this is the perfect shade of red nail polish.
  5. Bare Minerals Foundation.   The original mineral powder line, I believe.  I’ve tried the various spin-offs but always return to this set. 
  6. Bobbi Brown Gel Eyeliner.   I wore this on my wedding day.  A third grader could apply it and it would still look sleek and classy.  It’s that easy to use.  Just be sure to splurge on the accompanying brush–that’s the secret. 
  7. Biosilk Serum.   I haven’t met one person, male or female, who doesn’t love the way this product smells.  It is a thick serum, so I use it only as a light body moisturizer and not on my face or in my hair, but I hear it is great for frizz. 
  8. Benefit 10 Highlighter & Bronzer.   Great bronzer/blusher duo with a slight shimmer.  It’s great on its own for a more natural look, or layered on other cheek color for added drama.
  9. TanTowels.  My lovely beauty queen-turned-model-turned-amazing auntie tipped me off about these.  If you don’t trust me, trust her (trust me).   This is the only self-tanner I do not live in fear of; the application is pretty idiot-proof.
  10. Ped Egg.  I bought this on a road trip out of boredom.  It is the only infomercial product I have ever purchased, and I don’t regret it.  It really does smooth your feet.  Plus, it’s oddly gratifying to see all the dry skin flakes afterward.

What are some of your favorite beauty products?

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Andrea@WellnessNotes October 17, 2011 at 8:36 pm

I bought the NARS blush because of a tweet of yours a LONG time ago! Don’t know if I ever told you, but I love it! And whenever I use it, I think of you! 🙂

I use the Dermalogica Daily Scrub, and I love it.


Lara October 17, 2011 at 10:04 pm

How funny about the blush! I’ll be sure to check out that scrub!


miss megan sullivan October 18, 2011 at 12:53 am

Love this post, Lara!

I don’t spend much on beauty products these days, but I love a good MAC lipstick (my collection is up to 6 now) or OPI polish. My absolute favorite product though is Tate’s Natural Miracle Conditioner ( It’s a great hair conditioner, shave cream, face cleanser (consistency is comparable to Cetaphil), body moisturizer, frizz-serum, after-sun balm… the possibilities are nearly endless. Plus they make a great chap-stick, shampoo and nail polish remover I’ve tried as well. I first found it in Missouri but I’ve found it at health-food stores in Auburn and San Francisco, so I assume it’s available in lots of places. It’s the one multi-purpose item I couldn’t do without! I’ve even got my hunny hooked. 😉

I hope you’re enjoying Seattle and I hope even more to see you soon!


Lara October 18, 2011 at 8:33 am

Thanks Megan! I’ll check it out! Do let me know if you are ever up in Seattle 🙂


holly October 18, 2011 at 8:04 am

i use half these products…no lie. the other half i am going out and buying 🙂

p.s. nars orgasm blush was the only blush my grandmother wore until the day she passed away 🙂


Lara October 18, 2011 at 8:34 am

That’s so sweet about your grandmother <3


lynn @ the actor's diet October 18, 2011 at 8:11 am

cannot live w/o my bare minerals! i also have used kiehl’s tinted moisturizer for over a decade.


Lara October 18, 2011 at 8:50 am

I’ll check it out! I’m using one by Laura Mercier right now, but as you can see, it didn’t make the list 😉


Maren October 18, 2011 at 9:24 am

My skin is always going crazy too and it took me over a year of trying various products to finally get the one that worked. Surprise Surprise it can be found at target for around $20.00… Great list, I’ve always wanted to try mineral makeup.


Lea @ Healthy Coconut October 18, 2011 at 12:32 pm

I have tried all of these products at one point.

But the ones that have stuck or I am currently using is Orgasm Blush (but I have the duo pack, the one that includes a bronzer too) and Bare Minerals. I have used Bare Minerals everyday for about 8 years now, I love it. But when I need a thicker coverage, I’ll use MAC powders.

Fun post…it’s fun to see what others have in their make-up bag.


Susan October 18, 2011 at 4:06 pm

I use bare minerals too! The other mineral makeup does not compare. I love their new containers too. I remember when they first started and there was no cover for the holes. Disaster.


Lara October 18, 2011 at 5:04 pm

Haha yes! Those covers were so frustrating!


Kerry October 18, 2011 at 11:41 pm

This was a great post they all look amazing! X


Caitlin @ Vegetarian in the City October 19, 2011 at 1:23 pm

i am also a big fan of the nars blush in orgasm. it looks good on almost everyone!


Roz@weightingfor50 October 19, 2011 at 1:40 pm

Hi Lara. Too funny, I thought I was the only person who felt an odd satisfaction in seeing the “results” of pummicing my feet. I wonder if Kate Middleton feels the same way as we do! 🙂 Have a great day.


anneliesz October 19, 2011 at 6:09 pm

I’m a sucker for Nars. Red lizard might be the ultimate red lipstick for when you need that extra oomph. Their coral Heat Wave proudly painted my pucker on my wedding day…


Brittany October 20, 2011 at 5:02 pm

I used to work at a Sephora store and I would recommend Nars Orgasm blush and Hope In a Jar to basically all my clients. They are truely great products. I am also in love with anything by Benefit especially the Pores No More primer and CORALista blush!


Stacy October 21, 2011 at 1:19 pm

I use a lot of these products already, but a few of my must haves that I recommend to every girlfriend are:

Benefit: They’re Real mascara and nookie nookie lipgloss

Laura Mercier flawless skin face polish

Oh So Wet topcoat – I’ve bought this at Sally beauty supply and it is amazing it dries your nail polish in lightning speed.

I think these are my top can’t live without items.


Lara October 21, 2011 at 1:22 pm

I haven’t heard of any of these, so I can’t wait to check them out! In particular, I am still searching for a favorite mascara. Thanks!


Deb (SmoothieGirlEatsToo) November 13, 2011 at 10:45 am

My essentials: Tubs of zinc oxide sunscreen (This goes against all of your makeup tips above, so will be completely worthless to you…I don’t wear any makeup or foundation or tint or anything). Then if I care that my skin is now shiny (usually I don’t), I’ll pat on some untinted cornsilk pressed powder just to take away the shine.

I MUST have my Max Factor Lipfinity or Cover Girl equivalent that goes on and stays for hours. The only way that it CAN come off aside from being on for about 6 hrs is if you eat anything goopy with grease (sometimes that is how I know that restaurants lie to me about their oil content of their dish haha!)


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