By Linda Leppanen
1. Better than Sex Mascara - Waterproof | Too Faced
You could call me an advocate of this mascara, because I’ve been using it for the past 2-3 years (not even sure how long honestly because it seems like forever). The formula is extremely rich and you should take caution when applying it or you’ll end up with sticks in the place of your eyelashes (trust me, been there). The best thing to do when you first open a new bottle is use it normally the first time and the second time you open it, you should pass the brush through some paper to remove the excess product so you don’t go too heavy handed with it.
I’m extremely picky when it comes to beauty products, and throughout the years of making nonsense buying decisions I’ve realised the value of good products. The problem with finding them obviously is that you have to buy them first, and that’s why I like to stick with what I know works for me (also, my wallet and student budget appreciate this). Before you continue, you should know that I have extremely sensitive skin, and I battle with the dryness of it every single day of the week since I have eczema. I try to balance this with using rich but calming creams and soothing makeup removers, while I also use products that prevent breakouts that the richness of the creams might result in. Anyway, here’s my 10 ride or die products!
2. Sheer Glow Foundation | Nars
If you have sensitive skin like me, you need this foundation in your life. I have been using it since last summer and it has completely changed my base makeup game. The formula has no added fragrances but contains Vitamin C and Turmeric, and promises to improve your skin with long usage. I did not believe this at first but after a year or so of testing I can really say it works!
3. Retractable Brow Pencil - Waterproof | Sephora Collection
Currently going on somewhere between number 10 or 15 of this pencil since having bought it the first time in 2016, I think it’s quite obvious it’s a product I can’t live without. Easy to use, giving either natural or dramatic brows and with a blending end (which I am not sure of in terms of technical names), it’s just a perfect product for everyday use.
4. Eyelash curler | MAC Cosmetics
As a gal who’s a part of the long, straight eyelashes club I can’t remember a day when I would have applied mascara without curling my eyelashes first. Now, some of you might scream “you’re destroying them!” but trust me, eyelash curlers are not the cause you might lose or damage your eyelashes, it is the mascara you use and the way you take that product off. The curler I use is from MAC and I buy the plastic bands from Muji (which are so durable and they go with the black colour of the curler itself!).
5. Daily Lip Conditioner | Blistex
This is one of the things I carry with me wherever I go, I just can’t go about my day without having it in my bag. This one by Blistex is my favorite one at the moment because it has a nice taste/smell of mint and the formula is nice and thick which feels super moisturizing on the lips.
7. Face Cleansing Brush | Imetec
The result of a late night Amazon scrolling, this product has actually become a daily staple for me! I use it usually in the evening after removing my makeup to make sure I don’t leave any residue behind. The cleansing product I use with it is the La Roche Posay Effaclar Purifying Foaming Gel for Oily-sensitive skin.
9. Shea Cleansing Oil | L’Occitane
In the past, I used to use coconut oil to remove my makeup, however last month I decided to change and opt for something new. Haven’t regretted it for a second because this stuff is insanely AMAZING! It removes the toughest waterproof makeup gently and it leaves my skin feeling super soft.
6. Thickening Tonic | Aveda
Part of the thin hair gals club? Here’s a product for you; I use it everyday I have to my hair before I dry it and it gives that extra bit of volume I need to give some life into my hair. I also use the shampoo and conditioners from Aveda, and I am currently using the thickening formula that they have. You can find this easily from online, although it is a bit on the pricey side.
8. Aloe range & Olive Body Butter | Body Shop
Having discovered both of these during my last holiday in Singapore, I can’t imagine going a day without. I use the Olive Body butter in the morning and evening all over my body (it is super heavy duty, but my skin needs it) and trust me when I say that it is the only cream that does not burn on my skin even when my eczema is flared up. From the Aloe range, I use the day and night face creams as well as the toner and the eye cream (which is the best eye cream if you have sensitive skin).
10. Effaclar Duo (+) Corrective Unclogging Care Anti-Imperfections, Anti-Marks, Anti-Recurrence | La Roche-Posay
I have been using this product for about a year now, day and night and I absolutely adore it. Even though I have very sensitive and dry skin, I feel like this product makes sure I don’t break out and even if I do, it literally gets rid of the marks in almost one night, without drying or damaging my skin. I usually apply it after my toner, followed by other products so that it can affect properly under the heavier creams.