The Lip "Ink" That Wears Forever and Feels Like Air
Judging from the Instagram stories of pretty much all the other beauty editors I follow, Maybelline SuperStay Matte Ink Lip Color, $9.49, is the real deal.
Despite the endless stream of rave reviews, I was hesitant to try it — mainly because longwear lip colors don't tend to mix well with my perpetually chapped lips. But desperate for a moody crimson one day, I spotted the shade Founder on my desk and finally decided to take it out for a spin.
And reader, I fell in love.
The first thing I found myself swooning over was the shade — even sheered out and applied with a finger, Founder brought the retro drama. Then, there was the staying power, which really does seem to defy logic: Even after layering over a coat or two of balm (Weleda Skin Food Lip Butter, $6.99, is my go-to at the moment), drinking a La Croix and a Diet Coke and eating a rather messy burrito for lunch, it stuck around. Yes, it was slightly drying, but the fact that it can be sandwiched between coats of lip balm helps to offset that.
Suffice it to say, these lippies live up to the hype — and with an extensive shade range and a wallet-friendly price point, it may just be time to stock up. — Rosie Narasaki
Cover image via @maybelline
The Nifty Shampoo I Never Travel Without
Suffice it to say, whether I'm roughing it or traveling in the lap of luxury, I've developed a list of must-have beauty products that I always take with me. These products allow me to look and feel my best when I have limited tools and resources at my disposal. One such product is Lush Shampoo Bar, $11.95.
My first thought when I saw the tiny, circular bar was, "There is no way this is going to clean my hair without stripping it and drying it out." Luckily, I couldn't have been more wrong. Take the soapy disk into the shower and wet your hair. Rub the bar between your hands until a nice foamy lather forms and rub that into your hair (alternatively, you can also scrub the bar right into your scalp). Lush offers many different formulas to choose from, but my favorite is Seanik. The turquoise-hued bar has a pleasant oceanic scent and contains two types of seaweed to soften your hair.
The bar gets strands squeaky clean, while leaving them truly soft and easy to run a comb through. It's also gentle enough to use on color-treated hair without causing any fading. My favorite part about the shampoo, though, is that it comes in a tiny metal tin that fits so compact into your travel case — meaning you never need to worry about a spill (Lush also offers solid conditioners to keep your toiletries extra light). Also, one bar will last you a very long time — mine's been with me on quite a few trips already and shows no signs of slowing down.
I no longer have to shell out a fortune on tiny travel sized bottles or spend half a day trying to funnel full-sized products into refillable travel bottles. Nowadays when I'm jet-setting, my hair is soft, shiny, full of volume... and my travel kit is compact and spill-free.
To see more of my beauty and travel favorites, follow me on Instagram @hannah_savin
Cover image via @lushcosmetics
This Funky Face Oil Works Small Miracles
If you've used Sunday Riley U.F.O. Ultra-Clarifying Acne Treatment Face Oil, $80, you know it has a singular fragrance. Made with tea tree oil and black cumin seed oil, the scent is something like acne cream mixed with tacos — a strange brew that smells particularly funky when you've got a hangover, as I was the first time I tried it. Oof.
I'm glad I got over my hang-ups about the smell. This is the most effective face oil I've ever tried. It's kept my skin clear, smooth and hydrated through a harsh winter. Plus its brightening ingredients (licorice root and hexylresorcinol) have helped fade dark spots that persisted against years of IPL treatments and Retin-A.
If I stop using U.F.O. for a few days, the consequences are immediate: My skin becomes sallow, uneven and sad. In other words, I'm fully committed to it now. Taco face for life. — Katie McCarthy
Cover image via @sundayriley
The Goof-Proof Eyeliner That Makes Cat Eyes Simple
"I'm a bit of a liquid liner aficionado and CoverGirl Intensify Me Liquid Eyeliner, $7, has been my absolute favorite for years now. Sure, I try new ones as they launch, and they're...fine. But I always, always come back to this one. Here's why I love it: It has a deep, inky black color that goes on strong and doesn't bleed or transfer. But the best part is that it's so freaking easy to use! The unique, rubbery tip is paddle shaped and glides along your lids easily every time. I get a perfect line — ultra-thin and natural or graphic and more dramatic — with minimal effort required." — Alyssa Hertzig
Cover image via @covergirl
The Jelly Eyeshadow That Makes My Eyes Sparkle Like the Stars
Look, I'll admit that I have a bias towards jelly-textured beauty products, from jelly skin care to jelly makeup. But my love for the Jill Stuart Beauty Jelly Eye Color, $20, goes beyond its pleasantly jello-like jiggle.
First off, the color payoff is satisfyingly intense — the tiniest dab yields near full-coverage and it's easy to either sheer out or build up. And even more impressive than the coverage is the sparkle factor, which reaches supernova heights. There's some fairly large glitter mixed in with more subtle shimmery pearl and the result is a glistening shine that always manages to catch the light just right (somehow while still staying subtle enough for every day wear).
You'll also find that the wear time is very good — I even find it wears well on my lower lash line (usually a no-no with my perpetually watery eyes). Oh, and did I mention the packaging yet? It's so ornate it's almost over the top; it's like something you could imagine Sailor Moon using to make one of her magical transformations. And if that's not a huge selling point, I don't know what is.
Though new to U.S. markets, Jill Stuart Beauty has been popular in Japan for quite some time now. If you're curious about giving the brand a try, I highly recommend starting with this shadow. — Rosie Narasaki
Image via @jillstuartbeautyus