I’m a beauty writer, and these are the 9 holy grail products I can’t live withou…

I’m a beauty writer, and these are the 9 holy grail products I can’t live withou…

Yahoo writers and editors spend boatloads of time researching and testing the latest and greatest items to bring you the very best. We don’t gate-keep here; to ensure shopping’s fun, not stressful, each month a different member of our team will share the tried-and-true essentials they’re obsessing over.

First up? Me! I’m a beauty writer with 10+ years of experience under my belt. While there are a gazillion items on the market and new launches popping up constantly, a few select skin-care, makeup and hair-care products have become stalwarts of my daily routine. Read on to discover the Revlon hair tool that gives me a salon-quality blowout and the Elizabeth Arden anti-aging serum my mom and I both adore. Below, I present the 9 holy grail beauty products I can’t live without.

Charlotte Tilbury

If you haven’t heard about Charlotte Tilbury’s Flawless Filter, prepare to be enlightened. The “glow booster” (the brand’s words, not mine — but it’s true!) is beloved by celebs and social media users alike, and I can confirm it lives up to the hype. The innovative formula uses smoothing airbrush polymers that give your skin a silky, pore-free finish — essentially making it look like you’re using a camera filter in real life. While technically a primer, I use it as a foundation, and nearly every time I’ve worn it over the past two years someone has commented on how great my skin looks or how glowy my complexion is.

$49 at Charlotte Tilbury


I’ve tried dozens of mascaras over the years, but this affordable Maybelline pick has been my go-to since high school. The brush separates each lash individually to darken, lengthen and volumize without any clumps. Even though the formula lasts for hours, it’s easy to remove at night with a quick swipe of micellar water. And you can’t beat the price!

$6 at Amazon$3 at Instacart$6 at Target


This has been my favorite moisturizer since early on in my career when I noticed every makeup artist I worked with had it in their kits. The barely-there base can be used as a daily moisturizer or a makeup primer, and it has a light scent that I love. I’m far from alone in my fandom — it’s been a staple in French women’s routines for decades. Tres chic!

$29 at Amazon


Another French pharmacy pick on my list is the aforementioned micellar water. This Bioderma formula is a gentle yet effective way to remove cosmetics without drying out your skin or leaving a sticky residue. According to the brand, it’ll take off 99% of makeup, dust and pollution. Honestly, it’s the only makeup remover I use, as I’ve never found anything that does a better job of getting everything off without irritating my skin.

$19 at Amazon$17 at Smallflower.com$19 at Target

Paula’s Choice

Unlike most exfoliators that have to be washed off, this innovator is applied like a toner after cleansing and before moisturizing. The key ingredient is beta hydroxy acid (BHA), which helps clear away dead skin cells, dirt and any buildup that can clog pores. After using it consistently, I found my skin tone was more even and my pores less visible.

$35 at Paula’s Choice

La Roche-Posay

With my beyond-fair complexion, wearing sunscreen on my face every day is a must, and this creamy formula from La Roche Posay is my fave. It blends into my skin quickly without leaving behind a dreaded white cast, so I never worry about my makeup getting ruined. Along with being fragrance-free and water-resistant, it’s also noncomedogenic so it doesn’t clog my pores.

$33 at Amazon$28 at Zulily$32 at Walgreens

Seraphic Skincare

Since adding this exfoliator to my shower routine, I’ve had the softest skin ever. The handy mitt’s rough-in-a-good-way texture removes dead skin with ease, no products necessary. Just get it wet and start scrubbing. It works so well, I can see my skin sloughing off as I use it — which I find oddly satisfying.

$6 at Amazon


This clever gadget dries and styles at the same time, taming frizz and leaving my hair looking and feeling smooth and shiny. Its round design and tufted bristles add so much volume and body, my hair is noticeably fuller. Whenever I try to blow out my hair with a regular dryer and round brush, it takes me nearly an hour to do (cue all the starting and stopping). But this one-handed gizmo gets the job done in just 10 minutes — and my hair somehow looks even better than when I try to style it that other, arduous way.

$36 at Amazon$58 at Walmart


There’s nothing I love more than a multitasking product. This double-duty stick works as both a blush and a lip balm and it’s super easy to use. I just apply it like lipstick or swipe it on my cheeks and blend it into my skin with my fingers. The color is buildable, so I add more if I want a bolder look, and it lasts all day when I use a setting spray afterward.

$36 at Ilia

Elizabeth Arden

My mom has sworn by these single-dose serum tabs for years and passed her love of the product down to me. I love that they’re pre-measured, so I get the just-right amount of collagen-boosting, wrinkle-fighting goodness every time. They’re great for travel. 

$54 at Amazon$31 at The Perfume Spot$35 at FragranceNet.com

About Edward Richardson

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