My desert island must-haves. (You know, because it's important to be put together when stranded on an island.)

To my lovely male readers, unless you're of the metro variety, this post will likely bore you to tears. However, you may enjoy a little insight into what we ladies go through to smell good and feel soft. I mean, not that we don't wake up that way...

As a self-admitted product whore, I frequently yammer on about a whole battery of beauty stuffs. Many of y'all seem to enjoy these posts and even request additional recommendations/tips, so I thought it'd be fun to highlight some of my faves. Some are expensive, some are insider finds, and some are oldies but goodies that are remarkably accessible. Hopefully those of all budgets and tastes will find something fun...or at least waste some company time. (I would NEVER!)

By the way, I hope it goes without saying that the best beauty "product" out there is confidence. Most of my posts are pretty superficial and pithy (not by design, per se), but I am not advocating that as a way of life. I am sharing some light-hearted love up in here, and so much of what I do (because I'm a damn actress) has to do with looks, but that DOES NOT mean that is what's most important to me. Just so we're clear. OK, moving on...

FACE WASH - Skinceuticals Simply Clean ($30)
EXFOLIANT - Skinceuticals Retinol 0.5 ($52)*
EYE CREAM - Skinceuticals A.G.E. Eye Complex ($85)
ZIT CREAM - Skinceuticals Blemish Control Gel ($38)
SERUM - Skinceuticals Phloretin CF ($152)
MOISTURIZER - Skinceuticals Daily Moisture ($57)
SUNSCREEN (FACE) - La Roche-Posay Anthelios SX ($30)
TOOL - Clarisonic Skin Cleansing System ($150-225)

PRIMER** - Givenchy Mister Mat ($30)
FOUNDATION - Bobbi Brown Moisture Rich Foundation SPF 15 ($42)
POWDER - MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural ($26)
CONCEALER - Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer ($22)
BLUSH - MAC Powder Blush ($18.50) Peaches is my personal fave!
EYE SHADOW - MAC Eye Shadow ($14.50)***
EYE LINER - MAC Fluidline (Blacktrack) ($15) w/#208 brush ($19.50)
MASCARA**** - MAC Zoom Lash ($13)
LIPS - MAC Lip Pencil (Swirl) ($13), Burt's Bees Sun Protecting Lip Balm ($4)

SHAMPOO - Pureology Hydrate Shampoo ($28)
CONDITIONER - Pureology Hydrate Condition ($28)
STYLING LOTION - Shu Uemura Satin Design ($33)
TOOL - A large (ginormous if you've got long hair), round, boar bristle brush (~$25)

LOTION - Neostrata Lotion Plus ($35) or anything from Nivea
SUNSCREEN (BODY) - Skinceuticals Sport UV Defense SPF 45 ($37)

NAIL POLISH - OPI's Lincoln Park After Dark ($9), Essie's Ballet Slippers ($8)

I will probably also post a list of my favorite products on a budget (given my recent quandary) some time in the next few weeks, as I realize many of these gems are pretty steep. But if you happen to find yourself with a little extra scratch or are looking for a beauty sure-thing, I assure you won't be disappointed with any of these babies (unless, of course, you have different coloring, skin type, hair texture, etc. than I...proceed accordingly, lovelies).

*Tretinoin/Retin-A is definitely the best, but it's Rx only.
**This is a very important step that many overlook. I don't use primer every day (I don't even wear makeup every day), but any time I'm getting all dolled up (Girls Nite Out, premiere/screening, shoot, date nite), this is a must.
***Shale is my current favorite, but I load up on their awesome shadows from the Pro Stores so I can put them in the Pro Palettes. The refills are cheaper and it's a great way to avoid having pots of eyeshadow all over the place.
****By the way, if you can't remember the last time you replaced your tube of mascara, THROW IT OUT! Start writing the month with a marker on the bottom of the tube, and if it has been more than three months, chuck it. Maybelline Great Lash is only $6. No excuses, y'all.


  1. Lovee Mac products. I swear by them. Interested to see you don't have eyeliner on here? I rarely wear it, but when I do, the Mac matte eyeliner with the little brush is amazing!

  2. Lincoln Park After Dark is my hands down favorite nail polish ever.

  3. I use Ivory soap and fragrance-free shampoo.

  4. You know how much I love a product shout out! Thanks for the great recommendation!

  5. @Michelle, I knew I was forgetting something! Thank you for catching that. I just added it to the list. MAC is a very dangerous place for girls like us. :)

    @Rachel, It really is the best! And it looks awesome on everyone...once they're willing to venture into the land of dark nails.

    @Peter, Well, you're just naturally stunning. Not all of us can afford to be so low-maintenance, Sir.

  6. Much like yourself, I only use products that have been tested on baby animals. THAT'S how you know it's quality!

  7. You just made an impatient girl very,very happy. I have never put MAC on my face (GASP!)but everyone I know swears it's directly from Heaven.

  8. Dude, I not only am printing this out, but one of these days I am gonna need you to go shopping with me. I have no fashion sense and have no clue what to put on my face. If I didn't have friends I would always look homeless...

  9. Good to know, Nat. I'll have to tuck this list away somewhere for when I have extra money that's not going towards a mortgage or a new fridge or rain gutters or flooring or... You think they'll still be making most of this stuff in 30 years or so? Really though, it's awesome of you to share your secrets. I'll be eagerly waiting for your beauty on a budget list!

  10. Hey! Amazing your post is about your must haves! I'm planning a similar post! Great minds think alike. I was very interested to see your primer choice. I've always seen Smashbox primer winning the editor's choice in the magazines. Is Givenchy similar, and is it something that you would wear ONLY when you're wearing full makeup, or can you wear it alone?

  11. @Samantha, Can't wait to read your post! I have had Smashbox used on me at shoots and I definitely don't have any bad feedback about it, but I just adore Mister Mat. You can definitely wear it alone. It evens out the tone, mattifies, and feels like silk on your skin (without breaking you out).

    @Susan, For real! Every time I think I have some extra "play money," something goes to hell (car, my health, life in general) and I'm back to the bargain bin. But it could always be worse, I say!

    @Carissa, Anytime! And for the record, you always look put together and lovely. You must be doing something right!

    @Sketches, We can play with my out of control MAC stash! You'll fall in love...and then hate me for turning you on to pricey(-ish) makeup. But it lasts all day on your face, so really it's a better investment. (I swear, I can justify anything.)

    @Jay, Listen, Bacon Boy, not all of those lines test on animals. Many are vegan, enviro-friendly, etc., but admittedly some are not. I obviously prefer when they don't test on baby bunnies and whatnot, but when you're in lust with something, reason sometimes goes right out the window, you know?

  12. Good lord I'm in trouble. What the hell is primer? It's like I missed girl classes at school or something!

    Also, the 111th great thing about MAC is the recycling. Take in 6 of their products (ANY product) and they give you a free eye shadow or lip gloss. That's how I've built up a lot of my stash...and helped the environment. Look at me!

  13. Ha! I totally know what primer is. YES! I'm more of a girl than April. For once.

    Also, I'm not going Mac. I've heard once you go Mac, you never go back.