I called up my self-described empath BFF this week and asked “Are you like…hella stressed right now?” We then spent an hour discussing the ways our physical and mental health were beyond out of whack from the never-ending stream of bad news.
In early March, the World Health Organization warned of a mental health crisis that could result from the isolation, fear and uncertainty of Covid-19. On top of that, we each have concerns about financial stability, the health of our families and countless other factors.
Pair that with the undeniable reality of police brutality and racism in our country –– and the murders of too many Black and Brown Americans just in the last month –– and you create a seriously depressing state of reality.
Even with blips of positivity like the recent win for the LGBTQIA+ community, this year has taken a serious toll on everyone’s wellbeing.
Weddings, concerts and family gatherings have all been canceled. And with the stress of the last six months, I’ve been looking for something (read: anything) to replace newness and joy in my life. No surprise, I found myself hitting “Add to Cart” on brands I’d drooled over for months.
Time for a #PanicBuy
Buzzfeed recently reported that the pandemic had reduced shopping behavior. But to be honest…I just don’t care what makes sense right now. Even if I’m spending way more time at home and only contact the outside world happens via Zoom, I need these products.
This was actually a surprising realization because over the last year, I resigned to the idea that I “didn’t need” makeup. At first, it felt like a victory –– like I’d won some body-positive battle of not minding my bare face in the mirror. Now, I’ve realized that all I did was wall myself off from one of my favorite hobbies, and it really wasn’t making me any happier.
So, these are the products I’m indulging in at the moment. I’ve eyed them for so long, and if there was ever a time to #TreatYourself, it’s now. I’m doing so in the name of self care and because really…who else needs to give a f*ck?
It Cosmetics CC+ Cream
This is an old favorite of mine, and I’m so excited to welcome it back into my collection. The It Cosmetics CC+ Cream comes in 12 shades ranging from Fair to Deep with warm, neutral and cool undertones. The creamy, nourishing formula somehow miraculously combines an anti-aging serum, SPF50 physical sunscreen and full-coverage makeup into a CC Cream. No joke.
This product gives me everything I need in a foundation: hydration, protection and a super flattering, even glow. For my normal-to-dry skin, I love combining this with an oil for a super dewy finish and skipping the concealer (the color correction power is amazing). Collagen, peptides, niacin, hyaluronic acid, antioxidants and vitamins all make an appearance –– perfect for an ingredient nerd like me –– so I know this formula is as good for my skin as it looks.
Kosas Color & Light Palette in Velvet Melon High Intensity
I’ve spent many-a-times drooling over Kosas with fellow clean beauty lovers in the office. And to be honest, I want everything this brand makes. But, I’m starting with The Color & Light Palettes. These cream blush and highlighter duos are absolutely stunning. There are four shades, each with a “High Intensity” version that, as you could guess, amps up each color to suit deeper skin tones.
Lately, I’ve been eyeing Velvet Melon High Intensity. It’s a deep, almost-rosy peach blush with an equally beautiful, deep highlighter (or bronzer on my skin tone). The line is made with buildable pigments that complement one another perfectly, plus a clean formula, something I’m always on-the-look for. Described as a “skin-conditioning blush” that creates “youthful vitality and juicy dewiness,” I’m all in.
Tower 28 SuperDew Shimmer-Free Highlight Balm
If you’ve read my articles before, you can tell clean products and dewy skin are my M.O, and Tower 28 SuperDew Shimmer-Free Highlight Balm gives me both. This indie brand is one I’ve come across a few times on Instagram, and I’ve always been wowed by their simple-yet-trendy packaging. Not to mention, their website is just as cute! The aesthetic is super pleasing, the ingredients are healthy and their tagline #ItsOkayToBeSensitive speaks to me on a spiritual level.
As for the SuperDew Highlight Balm, it’s for everyone out there going for that semi-sweaty highlight. Perfect for no-makeup makeup looks, a few finger dabs of this formula add sheen –– not glitter –– to accentuate your highpoints, temples and Cupid’s Bow. The entire brand is “non-toxic, free of sensitizing irritants, full of calming, nourishing ingredients, plus a healthy dose of FUN.” Yes, please.
ILIA Limitless Lash Mascara
Although mascara is a staple for so many of us, flaking and smudging is an undeniably huge turnoff. For that reason, I’ve been choosing to go bare lashed most days. But, the ILIA Limitless Lash Mascara finally has me excited again! This 2019 Allure Best of Beauty Award Winner has a reputation for its natural, buildable and flake-free application.
It’s made with organic bee and carnauba waxes that condition lashes while staying weightless and lifted –– big claims. But, with the rave reviews in the online clean beauty community, I trust it. Plus, its unique, double-sided wand has one half designed for volume and curl and another for definition and length. For a little extra touch that really catches my friends’ eyes on FaceTime, I’ll be reaching for this.
Kosas Wet Lip Oil Gloss in Jaws
Okay, one last Kosas reco. I swear! To wrap up my full face of apocalyptic beauty, I’m only missing one thing: a juicy lip! Although their famous lipsticks –– the Weightless Lip Color –– looks succulent and delicious, I can’t be bothered with super-saturated color ATM. Instead, I’m drawn to the Kosas Wet Lip Oil Gloss in Jaws. This juicy lip treatment, gloss hybrid meets my number one gloss requirement: no stick. Instead, it hydrates and plumps with hyaluronic acid, peptides and evening primrose oil.
This light, comfortable formula delivers bold color that’s still wearable. With a glassy glaze of red, you can wear this formula on its own or pair over your favorite balm or lipstick. Pick from five shades –– Jellyfish, Dip, Malibu, Jaws and Fruitjuice –– for a perfect summer shade that quenches your thirst and your beauty needs.