These Are the Products Byrdie Editors Actually Spend Their Paychecks On
No, it's not necessarily a secret, and yes, it's naturally assumed, but as beauty editors, we get a lot of free stuff. To provide a quick visual, each of our desks, vanities, cars, and bathtubs could, without doubt, serves as prime real estate for an episode of Hoarders. While outwardly acknowledging our sky-high stashes has always felt a little uncouth (we never want to sound like we're bragging or being flippant), unboxing is, indeed, a huge part of our jobs, and we do, for the most part, strive to test and review every single compact and gadget that comes our way. If we love it, you'll hear about it. If we don't, we'll store it in the beauty closet for future photo shoots or donate it to friends, family members, or causes like the local women's shelter.
That's all to say this: We receive enough products on a daily basis that, if we so desired, would never have to buy anything with our own money. But, when we inevitably try something that inspires a head-over-heels, can't-live-without-it fixation (think Jack and Rose in Titanic), we happily spend our own paychecks on more of it 1) so we can hold onto our undying love for said products indefinitely (the bottles we receive aren't bottomless magic carpet bags, after all) and 2) to help support our very favourite brands. So, which beauty products do Byrdie editors actually spend money on? Keep scrolling for the products perennially in our shopping carts.
"At $19, this is probably the most budget-friendly beauty product I spend money on. I always have two on me at all times: one older, drier tube that goes on first (it almost acts like a primer and sets the length and curl) and one that's, well, wetter to pack on the volume and pigment. I'm a lash and mascara girl through and through—it's just my thing. In fact, I broke down my entire mascara routine (which, I'll admit, is unique) for any and all to see."
"I've been investing in this magical curling mascara since high school, and I have no intention of quitting anytime soon. It looks great on its own (think separation, curl, and super-black pigment), but I also really like layering it on top of my LashBlast to keep the curl intact all day long."
"Simply put, I can't do my makeup without this powder, and like clockwork, I buy it twice per year. I realise there are two camps within the beauty word (those who love powder and those who, well, don't), but I fall in line with the latter. Not only does MAC's formula deliver a weightless finish without altering the color of my foundation and concealer but it also staves off my previously inevitable under-eye and smile creases. Which I appreciate. Plus, it imparts a little bit of a highlight (although it's in no way shimmery), which gives my makeup application a healthy dose of dimension."
"You get such a bang for your buck shopping French drugstore skincare brands, especially when you buy them in Europe, which is why I always let myself raid the drugstores there when I go. This milky Avène cleanser is so gentle and hydrating it keeps my skin moisturised and never irritated when I travel."
"Caudalíe's beauty elixir is another standby I'll always purchase when I'm abroad. I use this stuff for everything: as a refreshing face spray, a toner, a setting spray. It's pricey if you buy it at Sephora, so when I'm OOC, I always take advantage."
"We're very blessed as beauty editors to be sent a ton of incredible beauty products on a daily basis (truly, you should see our office floor—you can barely see the carpet next to our desks), so I rarely have to purchase makeup or skincare products. But one product I run out of constantly and would rather not risk trying to replace with another brand is Nyx's Mirco Brow Pencil. It's one of the few formulas that stays put on my brows, doesn't smudge, and matches my brow color perfectly (I use shade Taupe), so I purchase it regularly at the drugstore. It's only $17, so I can't complain too much!"
"I religiously slather Aquaphor on my lips, cuticles, and dry spots every single night before bed and every morning before walking out the door. I had severe eczema as a child all over my arms, legs, and face. To combat this, my mum and I got our hands on this richly moisturised ointment fast. Along with my prescription creams, I grew up massaging this silky formula all over my problem spots to soothe my skin. My inflamed eczema areas would instantly calm down and feel hydrated for hours. Thankfully, I grew out of eczema, but I haven't been able to part ways with this magical stuff. It's my secret to dodging dryness by any means necessary."
"Out of all the fancy new launches that come across my desk, the few items I need the most on a daily basis seldom arrive: makeup wipes. Yes, I still use makeup wipes as the first step to removing my makeup, and yes, I'm aware of the talk around the harsh chemicals these leave on your skin. To be honest, I'm not sure if that fact rings true with these wipes, but to be safe, I always follow up with my double-cleansing routine to properly nourish my skin. These are super gentle and effective, so I never feel like I'm scratching my face with a rough surface, and one wipe removes a full face of makeup (mascara and all). I've been using these since high school and am not planning on giving them up anytime soon."
"I've never really been concerned with caring for my hands (even though they show signs of ageing just like the rest of the skin). It wasn't that I didn't like hand cream or didn't believe that it worked. It's just that I preferred to spend my beauty budget on makeup, haircare, and skincare for my face. However, one day I was coaxed into Aesop's Venice Beach store by the amazing floral fragrance that was radiating out of the doors, and I just happened to test the Resurrection Hand Balm. It was love at first smell, thanks to the woody, citrus scent. The super-moisturising formula and silky texture don't hurt either. Now I'm a firm believer, and I carry it with me everywhere—especially when traveling—so I can use it as for a personal stress-relieving aromatherapy session. Also, my hands look healthier and feel softer. So there's that."
"For me, exfoliation is paramount to a healthy, glowy complexion. Not only does it slough off dead skin and pore-clogging impurities but it increases cell turnover, too. I've been a loyal user of these pads for years but especially after learning about all of the wonderful benefits of regular exfoliation. These pads are doused in a mixture of glycolic and lactic acids, which chemically dissolve the 'glue' that holds all the icky stuff to the skin. After I use them (which is normally two to three times a week), my skin looks fresher, smoother, and brighter. I'm sort of—just a little bit—kind of obsessed."