Over the past couple years, I’ve somehow managed to develop a somewhat intricate beauty and skincare routine, and that means I try a lot of products and have a lot of opinions. (The latter should not be surprising for longtime PurseBlog readers.) As I do periodically, I’ve gathered together my recent favorites in makeup and beyond and explicated exactly why I think each of them is so great. If you’re a Sephora VIB or VIB Rouge, today’s the last day to use your seasonal discount code, so I’ve selected five products you can get there for today’s rundown.

Dr. Jart Water Fuse BB Cream
$34 via Sephora

This is a product I used to use that I’ve recently come back around to. For me, it’s a perfect option for situations in which I want to even out my skin tone without putting on a full face of makeup, and those occasions are abundant in warm weather. (I think of it as perfect “weekend daytime” makeup.) Its sheer coverage and moisture-rich formula work well with my dry skin, but there is one downside: it only comes in one color, which is pretty light. (Dr. Jart is Korean, and like many Korean brands, it tends to cater mostly to skin tones and types well-represented in its home country.)


First Aid Beauty Eye Duty Triple Remedy AM Gel Cream
$36 via Sephora

I’ve loved most of the First Aid Beauty stuff I’ve tried; the brand’s products are reasonably priced and its formulations cater to the sensitive-skinned among us, of which I am one. I’m usually an eye cream non-believer, but this gel-cream has been a refreshing addition to my morning routine. Not only is it nice and cool, which helps with puffiness, but it’s also non-greasy and gentle enough to use on you entire orbital eye area, instead of just under-eye, like most creams.


Kat Von D Tattoo Liquid Liner Pen
$18 via Sephora

I’m not an especially brand-loyal beauty consumer; there’s too much stuff out there to try, and I’ve got but one face on which to try it. Eyeliner is a rare exception to that; rarely do I wear anything but a liquid cat eye, and my eyelids tend toward oiliness, so I need the best, hardest-sticking eyeliner out there. I thought I had found it.

I’ve used that Stila pen that everyone loves for the past year or so, but a couple weeks ago when I needed to re-up, the Sephora near the office was sold out. I’d heard good things about this one and it’s a couple bucks cheaper, so I figured it would do, and if I didn’t like it, I could always take it back. Well, turns out, I love it. To me, the application feels more precise than Stila’s pen; it’s easy to make a super bold line, but if you want to go very thin, that’s also not a problem. The liner set quickly, and on the two late nights out I’ve tested it so far, it’s held on tight with my normal eye primer.


Klorane Make-up Removing Water with Soothing Cornflower
$24 via Sephora

Makeup remover isn’t a sexy product, but it’s an absolutely essential one. This stuff comes in a big bottle that lasts several months, does a great job getting all the product off my face in the evenings and doesn’t irritate my eyes at all. If I’m wearing a lot of makeup, I use it as part of a double-cleanse, but if things are more moderate, I use a couple cotton pads full of this as an alternative to water cleansing.


Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask
$26 via Sephora

Of all the new things I’ve tried and old favorites I’ve returned to in the past month, this mask is probably my favorite. A close friend of mine works at Origins, and when I was complaining to her about some nagging dryness in spite of the expensive products I had been using all winter, she sent this over. (So, disclosure: I didn’t pay for this, but you probably figured that out already. It wasn’t given to me with the expectation of any kind of coverage, though–I just like it that much.) It has, to put it bluntly, solved all my problems.

Although this product is advertised as a mask, I’ve been using it like I would a regular night cream, and the results have been great. (There’s also a daytime version, advertised as a 10 Minute mask, that I’ve been using as a day cream and would also recommend.) When I wake up in the morning, my skin feels soft and moisturized, even in my dry, drafty, radiator-heated apartment. My makeup doesn’t settle into dry spots by the end of the day, my skin is clearer and more even–basically everything I would have wanted to happen, has happened. It comes in a big tube and only costs $26, so I plan to funnel the rest of my monthly moisturizer budget into my summer rosé fund.

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6 years ago

Amanda, forgive me if this is something you already have/do, but have you considered a diffuser? I use the large aroma diffuser from Muji and it really helps keep my skin more hydrated. Plus, the room smells lovely when I have an essential oil in it.

Amanda Mull
6 years ago
Reply to  Averil

I have a humidifier near my bed that helps a lot, but winters here are just so dry and awful that i think nothing will solve the problem entirely. There’s a new Muji near our office, though, and this sounds like a great reason to go shopping…

6 years ago
Reply to  Amanda Mull

Oh wow you already have a humidifier and your skin still gets so dry? Then yeah, a dinky little diffuser may not help at all. I was in CT for two months this past winter and I was so grateful it was a mild one because I got to experience how dehydrating heating systems are and it made me grateful that i usually live in a hot, humid climate.

I tried the MB herbal serum you recommended a while back and my dry cheeks absolutely loved it. Next, may give Embryollise a go. Heard very very good things about their moisturising concentrate, plus it’s easy to get from Sephora.

All the best!

6 years ago

The Kat Von D eyeliner is my all time favorite for all of time forever. I have a huge problem with my eyeliner transferring to my orbital bone/crease and this is the only liquid one that stays put. I can’t recommend it enough.

6 years ago

So far, I already like many of stuff you recommend here. I think I’ll try what’s on your list.

GG Pastel