Are you afraid of Friday the 13th? Do you avoid walking under ladders, black cats, cracks in the street? Are you the unluckiest person on earth like my friend Ann Ragan, who broke both of her wrists and ankles falling outside of a Shake Shack? Are you allergic to pineapple, like me, because clearly a witch put a curse on my family and we all suffer from the most annoying and circumstantial allergies? Either way, Friday the 13th is nothing to be afraid of… as long as you’re not a risktaker. If you are, maybe you should steer clear of anything on this day.
As a beauty writer, I get asked to test and try out a lot of things, and that is the biggest pleasure and curse of my job — not everything that works for someone works for me, and not everything that works for me works for someone. I’m lucky enough to be blessed with rather resilient skin that can tolerate a lot, but I still err on the cautious side. But when I do love a product, I am loyal to it for a lifetime — like conjoined twin level loyal. If you marry me, you accept a lifetime with these products. I won’t go so far as to say they’re my good luck charms, because we all know I’ve definitely had some bad luck days with these products on my face. But these are, by all accounts, the best received products when I recommend them to other people, which to me, makes them lucky, because taking the gamble to recommend a product to a loved one and having them like it is truly a risky bet. I may not be good at gambling, but I always rely on these products to bring me the best of luck day in and day out.
This is likely the product that sparked my love for skincare. Back in the old days of the internet when I was reading XoVain (RIP) every single day, this glycolic acid toner was always recommended. It’s one of the longest and most committed relationships in my life. Glycolic acid helps to exfoliate and brighten skin, and I love her always and forever. Pixi is one of those brands that never misses, and the Glow Tonic was one of their OGs.
Did I feature two items with glycolic acid? Yes, I absolutely did. But this Vitamin C serum truly made me stop and look at myself in the mirror one day after a few weeks of use and ask “What is different about my face?” I look at myself professionally, and I was taken aback by how beautiful and clear and bright my skin looked.
I blame Shani Darden herself for my love of this product. After meeting with her last year, I was sent over a bottle of this. I had tried retinols prior without feeling or seeing any improvement or change — not Darden’s. There’s a reason all the celebrities love her, it’s because she absolutely knows what she’s doing, and she’s completely transparent in doing so.
Another thing I didn’t get the hype around? Eye cream. It wasn’t until my genetic undereye circles darkened in my late twenties that I got into it — and this tiny bottle from Renée Rouleau made me a long-time believer.
TATCHA THE LIQUID SILK CANVAS: FEATHERWEIGHT PROTECTIVE PRIMER, $52 VIA SEPHORA. SHOP NOW.I’ve talked before how about how I don’t actually wear a lot of complexion products — the beauty industry rarely makes foundations in my shade, so I leaned into skincare hard so I wouldn’t have to worry about my face matching my neck, or being reminded that I work in an industry that doesn’t want to expand to make me feel included, but that’s a deeper thought for later. But this Tatcha Liquid Silk Canvas sets pretty much everything else in place, while also adding a gorgeous blurring effect to your face. I’ve tried the original Silk Canvas and found that it was a little too powdery for my skintone and made me look Casper met Wendy and they had a baby and that baby was me. But the liquid edition works beautifully — and everyone I’ve recommended it to agrees.
MAC COSMETICS LIQUIDLAST 24-HOUR WATERPROOF LINER, $22 VIA MAC COSMETICS. SHOP NOW.True Facts: A girl I went to college with borrowed this eyeliner from me, got arrested, and her eyeliner still looked perfect when she got out of jail two days later. I fear the day MAC discontinues this eyeliner, and truly hoard tubes (I believe I have at least four as a backup) just in case that fateful day arrives, or, you know, there’s an apocalypse and I want something that I know will stay put in the face of incoming danger.
I do not know what they put in these blushes, but it’s magic. It has to be magic. I do not know a single person who doesn’t look good in a shade from Mented, but the Clay Too Much is my ultimate favorite. I have given it away as gifts to so many people.
I love these bareMinerals highlighters not only because the palette is huge, making it nearly impossible to hit pan unless you’re highlighting for the tailgaters in the parking lot; but because they go on so easily. The tiniest bit goes a long way, and they all blend in beautifully without leaving bizarre streaks on your face that yell, “THIS GIRL IS HIGHLIGHTED FOR THE GAWDS, MAMA.”