I'm Mary. It's nice to meet you. This blog is a tiny space on the internet to document my musings on style, travel and culture. Enjoy!

My Top Ten Beauty Products, Part 1

I realized the other day that I haven't done a beauty-themed since I started this blog, so I thought it'd be fun to write about my absolute must-have beauty products. These aren't just the products I'm using lately — they're beautification tools I require to stay sane. Like, I immediately rush to the nearest makeup counter or drug store whenever I run out.

This post got a little long (who knew I had such history behind each product?), so I'm going to break it up into two entries.

First things first, my undying love, a chapstick that comes with me wherever I go.

Softlips SPF 20 Vanilla Lip Protectant

I'm painfully addicted to this stuff and will likely be using it until the day I die. If I forget to bring it along when I go out, I'll make a pit-stop at the nearest Walgreen's just to pick one up. It's the perfect lip balm and actually does make your lips nice and soft. That, and it stays on for a while (though I'm still guilty of over-applying). I've tried all the Softlips flavors and vanilla is the only one my boyfriend can stand. Fine by me! Oh, and bonus points for sunscreen!

Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream


I have to credit my friend Jennifer Whigham for introducing me to the world's perfect lotion. She's addicted to the stuff like I am to Softlips (seriously — she carries a tub of it around in her purse and once wrote the company asking them to please make a more compact version) and has turned so many people on to it, Cetaphil ought to put her on commission. This stuff isn't fancy, cheap or portable, but it does exactly what you want a lotion to do: moisturize your skin without turning it greasy and keep it that way. I wish they could figure out a way to add in sunscreen because I cover my skin with it every morning after getting out of the shower, and that'd help me kill two birds with one stone.

Almay Moisturizing Makeup Eye Makeup Remover Pads

I searched long and hard to find the right eye makeup remover. For several years I used Andrea EyeQ's Make-Up Remover Pads, but the Walgreen's by my house stopped carrying them and that was the only place I'd ever found them. Turns out there are quite a few comparable products and Almay's Moisturizing Eye Makeup Remover Pads is one of 'em. I love that you can basically stab yourself in the eyeballs with this stuff and it won't hurt — but using the moisturizing version is key; the oil-free stuff hurts my eyes. Anyway, these pads are great for quickly removing every last bit of eye makeup and way more efficient than plain ol' water.

Revlon New Complexion One-Step Makeup SPF 15



A few years ago, I was getting my makeup done for a fashion show in which all of the models were asked to bring their own foundation. I brought the above Revlon cream-to-powder foundation/concealer in "ivory beige" that I'd been using for years, and the makeup artist who applied it to my face couldn't stop marveling over what a close match it is to my natural complexion. And she's right! This stuff is the closest match I've ever found, and I feel so lucky that it's a readily available drug-store brand. I love how smoothly it goes on and how quickly it dries, and I even dig the little pad compartment underneath the cream. Of course, major bonus points for sunscreen!

Paul Mitchell Flexible Texture Spray Wax

My stylist introduced me to spray wax after a particularly choppy, layered, dramatic haircut, and it revolutionized my world. Those of us with fine hair know all too well the difficulty that comes with getting volume and staying power — our locks are too healthy, clean and slippery to make them to do what we want. Spray wax is basically a way to dirty up your hair and make it more moldable and thick. When I'm getting ready to go out, and in a bit of a hurry, I'll just spray some of this all over my head, scrunch up my waves, and voilà! Sexy, voluminous, touseled bedhead.

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My Top Ten Beauty Products, Part 2

Halloween ... sigh ...