The Serum That Gives You Glowy Skin While You Sleep and 4 Other Beauty Products I Used Till the Last Drop

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Sleeping, as we’ve all newly discovered, is wonderful. But I’ve found that just as essential as all the gadgets and eye masks that help you sleep better, is a serum that makes your face look like you’re sleeping well. In the past month, I found a serum that somehow moisturizes and exfoliates your face while you sleep, a snail serum that doesn’t feel slimy, a Korean beauty product that got me an instant compliment on my skin, and a few other beauty products that I used till the last drop.

Erasa XEP30 Extreme Line Lifting and Rejuvenation Concentrate
$160, Amazon

Linda Wells and Linda Evangelista both love this serum and so do I, despite being a non-famous non-Linda. It’s for good reason — we’ve all noticed that this one serum has been able to do what multiple serums are unable to accomplish. Since I started using it a few months ago, some of my dark eye circles have lightened, my slight smile lines are softened and less crinkly, and hyperpigmentation from old acne scars is fading away, fast. The formulation, created by Jules Zecchino, the scientist who formulated Estée Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair, won Allure’s Breakthrough category in their beauty awards, and contains noninflammatory snail cone venom peptide (really) that smoothes and soothes the skin. The texture of this serum is a little unusual as it’s a little gluey (don’t worry, it’s not mucus-y) but don’t be afraid to spread it liberally. I found that the slightly sticky texture actually helped it to feel more moisturizing, and I used it all winter into spring.

REN Wake Wonderful Night-Time Facial
$36, Amazon

Products that work while I sleep are my favorite category of beauty product. This miracle serum somehow both exfoliates and moisturizes my skin all while I try to catch eight hours. Give me all the acids possible in skin care and I will use them, and this formula gets all the A-list acids in there: A blend of exfoliating lactic, glycolic, and alpha hydroxy acids. Despite all that exfoliating, using this didn’t make my face at all flaky, which I attribute to the product’s blend of moisturizing sodium lactate and other face oils. This is a particularly strong product so I didn’t use it every night, but the day after use, I’d notice that my skin simply looked better — smoother and less dull.

Note: This is selling out fast on Amazon. This product is also available on Sephora for $48.

Tom Ford High Definition Eyeliner
$42, Nordstrom

Ever since Selena Gomez’s makeup artist Hung Vanngo showed me that a brown eyeliner pencil is invariably the most flattering shade 99 percent of the time, all my basic black eyeliner pencils have cracked and dried out from lack of use. This particular brown liner from Tom Ford got a lot of heavy use because it’s the perfect shade of yummy, chocolate brown. It’s brown but with a sexy, almost charcoal undertone to it so that it easily smolders when you smudge it out — with a Q-tip, with a brush, with a finger, anything really. It’s a brown with dimension, so the color of your eyes look more alive and captivating. I have always described my eye color as “boring brown” but this pencil makes them look almost navy-gray-brown and softens the color. The pencil is also super soft, which makes it easy to blend, but not so soft that it gave me instant raccoon eyes when I was in humidity or sweating.

Paula’s Choice Resist 10% Niacinamide Booster
$42, Nordstrom

If my daytime beauty routine was a smoothie, this skin-care “booster” from Paula’s Choice would be like a delightful garnish, a sprinkle of artfully Instagrammed berries on top — it just made it better. My morning routine was to add three drops of this to any moisturizer (including drugstore ones, I tested it out) and mix it together in the palm of my hand like I was creating a custom beauty Cold Stone Creamery lotion. Invariably, my newly mixed-in and upgraded cream with the addition of these booster drops was richer without being greasier, and went more smoothly and easily onto my skin, making my pores look extra tiny. For two months straight, I didn’t stop using this, which is why it’s now all gone.

Sulwhasoo ‘Perfecting Cushion’ Foundation Compact
$60, Nordstrom

“Your skin looks so good,” someone said to me the other day. Despite occasionally getting to try some of the world’s fanciest eye creams and facials, this is not something that people tell me every day (yes, pull out the world’s tiniest violin). The only difference between that day and all the other, many days on which I don’t receive skin compliments is that I had used Sulwhasoo’s cushion compact. An invention from Korea from several years ago, it still does the best and easiest job of making no-makeup actually look like no-makeup and with very minimal work — better than any tinted moisturizer or BB cream I have tried. Many cushion compacts are pretty good, but this one is great because it has the lightest and most radiant formula. The shade selection is unfortunately minimal, but MAC also offers a good alternative.

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