On the Beauty Group, a Facebook community co-founded by the Cut and the Strategist, people chat all day long about the products they love — the ones so good they’ll make you hit that little “auto-refill” box at checkout. Below, we asked one of our favorite beauty pros to share her own selections.
Hope Smith’s entire body was wrapped in cellophane when she conceived the idea for her skin-care brand MUTHA. She was pregnant at the time, and a makeup artist had told her that the key to preventing stretch marks was lathering her belly and chest in La Mer twice a day and then covering herself in plastic wrap. “It was so uncomfortable!” she remembers. “I knew that this wasn’t a sustainable solution for the next nine months for me. I personally wanted a product that was cleaner in ingredients — something with no filler, something that put heavy amounts of efficacious ingredients first.” She turned to her KitchenAid.
“My kitchen became a science lab of raw ingredients until I developed our Body Butter,” she says. “At the end of both pregnancies, first with my son Hendrix and then with my son Legend, I was stretch marks-free and had improved the texture of my existing stretch marks from puberty.” And once friends saw her results, they began requesting Smith’s mix of shea, mango, coconut, and cocoa butters for their own pregnancies.
In the process of creating MUTHA, Smith interviewed plenty of labs, but found that they all asked the wrong questions. “They asked what I wanted our product to look like, what color it should be, what the texture should be, what it should smell like, and finally what it should cost, but they never asked me what I wanted it to do for the skin, which I thought was absurd.”
Smith extends MUTHA’s guiding principles to the rest of her beauty favorites and sticks mainly to “clean” picks. And while she’s all about the INCI, she admits that she also wants “product design and packaging that is beautiful and something you want on your vanity.” Maison Francis Kurkdijan’s Baccarat Rouge 540 Eau de Parfum is an example. “Expensive but worth it!” she says of the jasmine, saffron, and cedar mix. “It’s original. It’s a scent to remember and something you notice.”
Her favorites include plenty of makeup picks — like Pat McGrath Labs’ Lipstick in Full Trance 005, which she says “is flattering for everyone and never disappoints” — but she’s mainly focused on her lashes and her skin. For product recommendations, she turns to clinical studies and Instagram accounts like Chemist Confessions, Georgia Louise, and Stephen Alain Ko.
Below are 21 of the products that Smith continuously restocks, including, MUTHA’s Face Oil (“Most oils look and feel like an oil, but this blend of 22 active botanicals absorbs beautifully into your skin and finishes like a dry oil while giving you the glow you want”); Charlotte Tilbury’s Lip Cheat in Pillow Talk (“You know how when you have no lipstick on, but you rub your lips to bring color into them through blood flow? This gives you that perfect you hue”); Supergoop! Glow Screen SPF 40 (“Every beauty lover’s best kept secret!”); and Briogeo’s Don’t Despair, Repair Deep Conditioning Hair Mask (“I have naturally curly, dry hair, and this beats every other hair mask I’ve used”).