WRITTEN BY Lesley Holland Downey
While I still love some of my old school beauty treasures, the last 10 years have given us some true innovations—at-home devices for skin treatment, more tolerable forms of retinoids and, most notably, skin care backed by science. Cosmetic formulas are both more effective and less irritating thanks to a new crop of “greener” brands. Here are my top 10 beauty picks:
SkinBetter Science AlphaRet Overnight Cream Long gone are days of having to endure your whole face shedding when starting a retinoid — effective and gentle for most skin types. Their innovation is combining vitamin A and glycolic acid to stimulate skin with skin soothing emollients, vitamins and peptides.
Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Setting Spray Move over setting powder — this product truly extends the wear time on any product without looking dry or cakey.
Sunscreen Thank goodness we now have sunscreens that you actually want to wear. Without a daily sunscreen, we are just throwing our money away on anti-aging products. Just one-fourth teaspoon on your face and neck every day. Supergoop! sunscreens cover all the bases — glowy, mineral only, completely transparent, multitasking with vitamin C included. Find one you love and use it!
Nude Lip Pencil The right nude lip liner is a hero product to me, and brands are finally giving us ones for all skin tones. Even out a fading lip line, add dimension and even sub for a longwear lipstick — just throw on lip moisturizer and go. Find one based on your skin tone and it will be the only one you’ll need. Two to try — Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat Lip Liner in Pillow Talk or Supersize Me and Make Up For Ever Artist Color Pencil Brow, Eye & Lip Liner in Wherever Walnut or Endless Cacao.
Westman Atelier Lit Up Highlighters I’m obsessed with all things Westman, but these highlighters are truly the key to faking glassy, just-back-from-a-facial skin. I love to swipe a little on the tops of my cheeks mid afternoon — it’s like a cup of coffee for my face.
LED Face Masks Light therapy, used by professionals to treat skin for a variety of issues from acne to aging, is now available for at-home use. The Omnilux Contour light therapy device is dermatologist-recommended and backed by a two-year warranty.
Polymer Mascaras These “tubing” mascaras have been around since the mid-nineties, but I feel like this innovation is now accessible at all price points. Truly a great alternative to waterproof — to remove, just use warm water to dissolve the polymers and little lash-like pieces glide right off. Try Trish McEvoy Lash Curling Tubular Mascara, Thrive Causemetics Liquid Lash Extensions or No7 Stay Perfect Long-Wear Tubing Mascara.
Skincare/Makeup Hybrids Try these formulas that both enhance and treat the skin. Aging undereye area? Reach for an eye treatment with dual benefits like Loveskin by Angie Thomas Peptight Eye Cream (from my long-time esthetician) or Kosas Revealer Super Creamy + Brightening Concealer. Rosacea prone? Westman Atelier’s Vital line calms redness.
Social Media Though this isn’t a product, it is something that has exploded in the past 10 years and is a great way to get information. Need to apply fake lashes? YouTube it. What about makeup for maturing skin? Instagrammers abound — find one you like. Skincare recs? Follow your favorite esthetician, injector or physician who is also skincare-obsessed. Just remember that most of them use commissionable links, so choose wisely and find someone who isn’t just in it for the clicks.
Skincare For Your Body Maintaining your skin shouldn’t stop at your face. Brands are now finally in the game with truly beneficial body care that includes active ingredients like niacinamide, glycolic acid and peptides. Explore body care lines from Alpha Skin Care, Nécessaire and Osea to find the right products for your skin.