To call me a beauty product junkie would be understatement. I'm a years long lurker in the SkincareAddiction subreddit who's pushing Rouge status at Sephora. I have enough goop in my bathroom to moisturize, exfoliate and de-wrinkle half my city's population and been known to schedule time with friends for the sole purpose of talking about skincare over a bottle of wine. (Which IMO is way more fun than a book club.🤷♀️)
It's one of my favorite topics and as Motherly's Commerce Editor, it's also part of my job. So for personal and professional research, I asked Team Motherly: If you could only have one product for your hair, makeup and skincare, what would it be?
(Be warned, you may not make it out of reading this without adding to cart. I know I didn't.) Below, find editor beauty favorites for your cleansing, moisturizing, and wrinkle-reducing needs:
Morning Song Gardens• $23.99
Facial redness is one of those fun post-pregnancy side effects I had after giving birth to both of my girls. I’d never experienced anything resembling rosacea before, so I didn’t know how to treat it (or if you even could). I was given this Hemp Seed + Black Cumin facial oil from an all-natural skincare company for Christmas last year, and within days my redness was just…gone. It helps with acne, too. It’s truly a miracle worker in a one-ounce bottle! (Bonus: Morning Song Gardens is a small, family-owned business and 100% of their products are made by hand.)
Cassandra Stone, Trending Editor
Westmore Beauty• $39.95
As my skin ages, I find I need a couple of things for my face: coverage (because I think I spent the 70’s-90’s literally slathered in baby oil on my parent’s deck – back when “laying out” was a verb) moisture, and even tone. I bought this product from an Instagram Ad that promised so many things – and it TOTALLY delivers. This product is my foundation, but I can also use it on my hands, legs, etc when I want to even things out. Seriously. CANNOT live without this. Bonus: Their under-eye concealer cream is the most amazing stuff. Dries with a matte finish and tightens things up a bit.
Julie Tozier, VP Brand + Emerging Business
In a pandemic pivot I moved to the mountains and have discovered dry skin and lips over the last year. A friend gifted me Laneige Lip Mask and I’m obsessed. It’s so hydrating and I noticed a difference the first time I used it. I now use it several times a day and because the Berry color has a slight pink tinge and gloss. I even use it as a lip gloss when going out for the night. It’s perfection and a new cult favorite amongst my friends, too.
Jill Koziol, CEO
Dry Bar• $39
Arguably, I have the thinnest, finest hair on the planet. Each hair follicle sticks to my head and is greasy by nightfall. Drybar dry shampoo has been my lifesaver in pre-, during- and post-pregnancy. Not only does it dissipate any spot of grease, but it adds some volume to my otherwise lifeless hair. If I don’t have time to do anything else in my measly 5-minute beauty routine, I always use this product to look somewhat put together. It’s not the most affordable dry shampoo, but I have truly tried them all and keep returning to Drybar.
I recently discovered the miracle that is Vanicream and I have to admit–it’s making me rethink everything. I came to it through a reddit suggestion after two consecutive months of eczema flare ups that seem spurred on by ovulation (how fun is that?!). After the swelling and wake-you-from a sound sleep itching subsides, it leaves a red, flaky mask in its wake. I swear after one application, this gel-like gift from the goddesses sunk right in and improved the situation almost completely. Made with barrier nourishing hyaluronic acid and ceramides and no fragrance, essential oils or anything to irritate it’s super hydrating without being heavy or greasy. I then cut out literally every other step of my routine for two weeks. Simply used this morning and night and I have to say, my skin has never looked better. I’m slowly adding back other tried and trues (Most notably, Dr. Dennis Gross Peel Pads) but this is grabbing a permanent spot.
Thrive Causemetics• $24
When it comes to my daily makeup routine, I am a minimalist to say the least. The one product (besides a quick mascara application) that I live by is this Brilliant Eye Brightener by Thrive Causemetics. It comes in a variety of shimmery, translucent colors (Stella, Muna and Callie are some of my favs). I love it because it’s multi-purpose and makes me look more awake! You can use it to brighten your brow-bone, place it on your water lines for an instant eye pop, or rub a little on the inner corner of your eyes. The BEST thing about Thrive is that for every product you purchase, Thrive donates to help a woman thrive.
Meghan Kludt, Director Brand Partnerships
Augustinus Bader• $170
There’s a reason that Augustinus Bader’s The Cream has cult status – it will change your skin. It was created by a doctor and scientist who developed a groundbreaking product to heals severe skin traumas without the need for surgery or skin grafts. That’s the technique that inspired his skincare line, which was created in part to fund this research. I bought into the hype a few years ago, when I first noticed a resting forehead wrinkle. After a month of use, friends and family started asking me what I was doing to my skin. Yes, it’s pricey, but it does everything to the point where you can skip other serums and moisturizers entirely. Plus, a bottle lasts a good 3-4 months and you can feel good knowing that your purchase is helping further regenerative therapies.
Allie Litwak, Sr. Director, Brand Partnerships
The pandemic drastically changed my makeup routine at a time when I’d already cut way back on glam (motherhood!). However, there’s one thing I never fail to wear, even if the rest of my face is bare and I’ve got no Zooms scheduled for the day: Boy Brow. I lived through the ‘90s, and my eyebrows have never recovered from my aggressive tweezing, no matter the serums or solutions I’ve tried. Fast forward to Glossier’s debut of their life-changing (that’s right) Boy Brow, and it was like my brows finally came back home to me. My love for Boy Brow is absolute, as will my future beauty advice to my daughter: “Put! Down! The! Tweezers!”
Shannon Vestal Robson, Editorial Director
I have never been someone who got compliments on her skin. But after I added Belif’s The True Cream Aqua Bomb into my routine, that all changed. I am obsessed with this moisturizer (TBH, I love all of Belif’s skincare products.) If I could go back in time to tell my teenage and twenty-something self anything about skincare, it would be to moisturize! I used to think that the drier my skin was, the less acne I would have, and the better my makeup would look. My goodness, was I wrong. Belif’s moisturizer makes my skin feel like a literal baby’s bottom. And it is clearer and healthier in my 30s than it has ever been. It’s a little on the pricey side, but it lasts for a long time and is totally worth it.
Kathryn Little, Senior Manager, Sales Marketing
I have extremely sensitive skin, so I have to be very careful of what I use. I have used the same Olay Complete All Day Moisturizer with SPF 15 for the last 16 years. I like that it provides great moisture for my skin without being greasy, provides spf protection (that often some of us african american women don’t even think about needing), works for my picky skin, and is helping me to age gracefully.
Tonika Starks, Director of People
I’m lucky to live in the Bay Area where I spend a lot of time outside. And since I’m a stickler for sunscreen, I need a facial SPF sunscreen that’s gentle enough to wear daily and won’t make my skin look shiny or feel tacky. Enter: Supergoop’s Unseen Sunscreen with SPF 40. I religiously wear this every day and while I’ve tried dozens of other SPF products, I keep coming back to this one. It’s literally unseen and glides on easily, doesn’t break me out and feels completely weightless. Plus, I love that Supergoop is super transparent about their active ingredients and what they never put in their products—check out the full list here.
Erin Lem, VP Content Strategy
Incorporating Retin-A into your routine can present a challenge, and far more so without boscia’s incredible exfoliator. Bye-bye, morning (and afternoon, and evening) flakey skin. So I start my day with their lightweight Exfoliating Peel Gel before I do anything else. This physical peel sweeps away the outer dead layers of my dead skin cells, and just like that, I get a bright and new smooth surface that is ready to be pampered and primped. This gel is gentle—non abrasive and non irritating—so I can use it again at night to prep my skin for the rejuvenating serums and moisturizers I employ alongside another therapeutic coat of Retin-A. This is a must-have for anyone, flakey skin or not.
Anne-Marie Gambelin, Science + Research Editor
Glow Recipe• $39
I’m always game to try something new when it comes to beauty products, regardless of the fact that my usual routine nowadays is largely under eye concealer, mascara and a lip balm. I discovered Glow Recipe’s overnight watermelon mask a few years ago and am now obsessed with their Watermelon Glow Pink Juice Moisturizer. It’s light, which is great for day-to-day wear and doesn’t leave my face looking like an oil slick mid-day which is a huge win for me. If I want to go even lighter on the moisturizing, their hydrating mist is a great runner up recommendation for that. Plus, it smells good to boot!
Jen Watro, Head of Audience Development
Dr. Nigma Talib• $185
I recently received a sample of Dr. Nigma Talib’s The SERUM, a face serum created in collaboration with actress, Kate Bosworth. I was curious: would I—with two toddlers, 2+ years into a pandemic—look as glowing as a Hollywood actress? The answer is complicated. The truth is like most burnt-out moms, it’s going to take much more than a serum to make me look like a A-lister. However, even as my kids continued to treat 3 am like peak playtime, The SERUM did noticeably help my skin. Not only did daily use help clear up my hormonal acne, but I noticed a brightness that wasn’t there before, despite my lack of shuteye. I love that it’s fragrance-free and includes prebiotics to help preserve the skin microbiome, triple hyaluronic acid to hydrate, and seaweed extracts to help restore the skin’s health. Using it daily felt luxurious and gave me an excuse to extend my usually-rushed morning routine. Since I’ve been using it daily, I’m feeling more confident to leave the house (and hop on my many video calls) sans makeup, which I never would’ve considered doing in the past. So while I may not be Hollywood-ready, I do love how The SERUM has made me look and feel.
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