Five Skin-Care and Makeup Products I Used Till the Very Last Drop

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Murad’s Retinol Youth Serum and It Cosmetics CC Cream.

After a month of fashion weeks, my rolling suitcase and skin-care and makeup products got a good workout (my neglected biceps on the other hand … ). Here were some of my favorite beauty products from the past few months that I used till their broken, squeezed-out, last-pumped end. Read on for the bronzer I’ve been using every day for the past two years, a retinol serum that never made me look red or flaky, and a light yet highly impactful moisturizing eye cream.

Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow
$68, Violet Grey

This Charlotte Tilbury palette has traveled so much that it deserves its own passport. I carry it with me on every trip and use it every single day. This morning though, I dropped it in my bathroom and the bronzer half, which was already close to hitting pan, broke. R.I.P my favorite bronzer, which was never streaky, orange, or glittery, and never made me look I had two chocolate bars of contour unevenly blended on my cheeks.

It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream with SPF 50+
$15, Sephora

Apart from walking on the shady side of the street, I like my SPF to be 50 and above but that’s hard to find in any skin-coverage product. The closest I’ve found are the Korean cushion compacts, but sometimes I’m a little more sleep deprived than that, which is why I like this foundation from It Cosmetics. They say it’s a CC cream, but it honestly offers medium-plus coverage that blends really easily and seamlessly over skin, so it has the feel of a foundation. Don’t be scared — it comes out a little thick but it’s great at covering up redness and giving coverage that looks smooth, polished, and natural. If you don’t believe me, Jamie Kern Lima can show you on QVC.

Murad Retinol Youth Renewal Serum
$88, Dermstore

Do you hear the word retinol and think, “huh,” what for? This product is for you. If you read our retinol explainer and thought, “TL;DR”, in short, retinol is a form of Vitamin A that makes your skin shed skin quicker, thus enabling you to get newer, baby skin cells faster, resulting in smoother, younger skin. The problem is that the dermatologist-grade versions of retinol often give you the skin flakies, but the non-dermatologist ones are often too gentle to make any real effect. Murad did the work for you, with a gentle-yet-effective retinol derivative. The cream goes on seamlessly, doesn’t cause any irritation, and won’t make your skin look like you got beard burn.

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye Serum Synchronized Complex II
$66, Neiman Marcus

I really miss this eye cream. It was the last thing I thought about before bed, the first thing I thought about when I woke up in the morning, and it had a soothing, silky fluid texture that I loved smearing above and under my eyes. Some parts of my skin-care routine feel like work, but this wasn’t it. Putting it on made my old standby mini under-eye wrinkle — long christened Fred, a little less Fred- and crepe-like in nature, and even reduced the beginning signs of the smile crinkles I think I’ve started to develop. Not smiling isn’t an option, but reducing Fred’s appearance is, and I’ll miss this eye cream in my skin-care rotation.

Sisley Cleansing Milk with White Lily
$120, Nordstrom

Milk isn’t necessarily something I want in the shower, yet this “milky” cleanser from Sisley became one of my favorites. I loved the delicate, non-oily, almost-cold-cream texture of this product, which belied how efficiently and capably it could remove an entire day’s grime, oil, and stress. It doesn’t foam but the milky texture makes it all the more soothing to skin, and it’s been a longtime favorite of Sisley customers with sensitive skin. It is very expensive for a cleanser, but this bottle lasted me well over three years. Using this made my skin feel so pure and good I almost forgot that it was my second time washing it.

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Five Beauty Products I Used Till the Very Last Drop