A few weeks ago I found myself locked out of the house.  I’ll skip over the relevant details of my misguided faith in humanity, and my totally appropriately guided abhorrence for our odious HOA, and just say I was locked out.

Thankfully the episode predated the absurd cold, but even so I realized how much I take for granted having a warm, safe, shelter to call home every day. I am very very lucky.

So, having said that, please know that there are at least eight thousand things in life I’m thankful for that supersede what I’m about to write (such as learning the word “odious” from Gilmore Girls), but this isn’t a column about self-reflection. It’s a column about the self you see in your reflection. It’s about beauty.

Thus, get excited, because in the true spirit of giving, sharing, and celebrating a New World, we’re going to talk about the 5 beauty products for which I’m most thankful! (Cue the chorus of elated turkey gobbles.)


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1) Clinique’s Take the Day Off Make-up Remover

Over the years I’ve tried wipes, lotions, mitts, baby oil, and endured a particularly sobering disaster with a “tonic”, all purported to remove my make-up in one easy step. Lies. Lies lies lies lies lies. Advertisers are basically the frat boys of commerce — they’ll say anything they think you want to hear to get all over your face.

Clinique’s remover is a gentle liquid that feels like a sophisticated cousin of baby oil. I’m not exactly sure what’s in it, miracles I suspect, but it works better than anything I’ve tried thus far. It’s impressively effective at removing both eyeliner and mascara of the waterproof variety. That’s saying something.

2) Maybelline’s Great Lash Mascara in Very Black or Blackest Black

It’s a standard for a reason. Professional make-up artists even keep it in their stash. At least, they say they do on YouTube (And I wonder how the advertisers get me… “Oh, they said it aloud, it must be true!”). At roughly $5.99 it’s one of the best bargain’s I’ve come across. I think it performs just as well, if not better, than Dior Show Blackout (which retails around $24.99).

3) Laura Mercier’s Tinted Moisturizer in Nude (or whatever shade suits your skin tone)

This is a product that is worth the price tag. It is what it says it is — a lightweight moisturizer that has enough of a hue that I wear it as my quick, easy foundation most days. I don’t like feeling like I have a lot of product on my face. I sort of feel like a clown and am distractingly self-conscious all day long.

This leaves my face dewey, a more or less unified color, and has the added bonus of SPF 20. I wouldn’t wear it for like, prom, or my wedding, or whatever make-up worthy occasion comes to mind, but for regular ole life, it’s awesome.

4) Urban Decay Naked Basics Eyeshadow

This is like a little travel edition palette of the popular Naked line. It has natural, neutral matte colors only, which I like because as much as I love glitter, I don’t really wear it on my eyes that often. Also, I’m cheap and have a hard time justifying a price tag over $50 for eye shadow (the price point for the full palette).

For work and amping up my everyday look on weekends, this smaller version does what I need. What sets it apart from drugstore eyeshadows is the blend-ability. It’s like the aurora borealis of eyeshadows. The colors mix and merge beautifully and seamlessly with a few swipes of your brush.

5) Vaseline

I know, but petroleum basis aside, it’s so versatile and affordable. Lip balm? Done. Lip gloss? Check. Eye gloss? What’s that. Taming eye brow hairs? Yup. Addressing the driest of dry skin? You betcha.

They’ve recently come out with a new flavors of Lip Therapy that include Cocoa Butter and the Rosy Lips I have featured above. I love the Rosy Lips. Yes, it’s less multi-purpose than traditional Vaseline, but it adds a subtle, natural pink tint to your lips and smells like roses. In a pinch you could probably use it as a cheek stain. Or you could just actually pinch your cheeks.

So, what do all these say about me? I don’t know. But they’re some of my faves and it bears mentioning that these are all products I purchase myself and the opinions are my own.

Let me know what products you’re most thankful for in the comments below. Have a safe, warm, Thanksgiving and I’ll see you next week!