17 Fresh Beauty Essentials
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Spot-cleansing wipes. “A cloth can remove makeup from just one part of your face, which saves you from having to start all over again if you slip up,” says Tina Turnbow, a makeup artist for Beauty.com. It also can give skin a full refresh when you’re on the go, perfect for traveling. Try L’Oréal Paris Age Perfect Rich Restorative Wet Cleansing Towelettes ($7 at drugstores).
Brow tamer. A clear gel neatly grooms rogue hairs into place; a tinted one can lighten or darken brows for added definition. Consider Bare Escentuals Finishing Brow Gel ($14, bareescentuals.com).
Multipurpose brushes. Experts rely on these inexpensive disposable wands to remove mascara clumps deftly from lashes and smooth eyebrows and the baby-fine hairs around the face. Use Mattese Black Spoolies ($8 for 20, Ricky’s, 888-574-2592).
Modern makeup sponge. Spherical ones, like the Sonia Kashuk Blending Sponge ($10, target.com), are easy to maneuver. And they “lay foundation on so thinly, skin looks flawless,” says Fiona Stiles, a Los Angeles makeup artist. Bonus: Wash and reuse them.
Pointy cotton swabs. Their dainty tips can touch up lipstick, mend eye-makeup mistakes, and fix nail-polish blunders. They’re also great for dotting concealer on blemishes. Try Dual-Tip Cotton Swabs ($3 for 30, wardrobesupplies.com).
No-pinch lash curler. "A curler is a must, and one with a colored pad helps you see if you’ve caught your lid before clamping down," says Troy Surratt, a makeup artist in New York City. Enlist the Kevyn Aucoin The Eyelash Curler ($20, beauty.com), which has a bright red cushion.
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Antioxidant treatment. “Products with vitamins C and E, coffeeberry, or green tea can help prevent and repair skin damage and lighten dark spots,” says Kenneth Beer, a dermatologist in Palm Beach, Florida. Smooth one on each morning after cleansing your face. A top pick: SkinCeuticals Phloretin CF, $152, skinceuticals.com.
Pearlescent cream. Backstage at fashion shows, many makeup artists wake up models’ tired skin with a few dabs of light-reflecting MAC Strobe Cream ($15, maccosmetics.com). Apply a dime-size dollop on cheekbones to brighten skin.
Powdered sun protection. Most sunscreens break down during the day. To bolster protection midafternoon, apply powdered sunscreen, like Peter Thomas Roth Instant Mineral SPF 30 ($30, peterthomasroth.com), right on top of makeup.
Power cleaner. Paired with your cleanser and used on damp skin, an electric face brush is gentle enough even for sensitive skin. "Its vibrations pull grime out of pores and prevent breakouts," says Anne Chapas, a New York City dermatologist. Try the Clarisonic Skincare Brush ($195 for the kit, sephora.com).
Souped-up sunscreen. Unlike old products, today’s protect against UVA and UVB rays. And the best contain light-stable ingredients, such as Helioplex (found in Neutrogena products) and Mexoryl SX (in La Roche-Posay Anthelios SPF 40, $35, laroche-posay.com).
Chemical peel. “At-home glycolic or salicylic acid peels refine skin’s texture and clarity,” says Laurie Polis, a dermatologist in New York City. Try MD Skincare Alpha Beta Daily Facial Peel ($78, mdskincare.com).
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Dry shampoo. A backstage staple at fashion shows, this oil-absorbing powder spray is used by stylists to freshen up day-old hair instantly and give it more body. A popular pick now available in the United States is Klorane Gentle Dry Shampoo With Oat Milk ($18, dermstore.com).
Mini bobby pins. Nothing like your mother’s, these half-size pins discreetly secure small sections of hair away from the face. Their knobby ends won’t stick out, and they come in several shades to match your hair color. Use Ricky’s NYC Matte Invisipins ($3 for 30, 888-574-2592).
Plastic elastics. With no metal parts, these smooth, extra-snug bands will hold hair back without roughing it up or breaking strands in the process. "Plus, in black, brown, and clear versions, they’re nearly invisible in your hair," says Helena Faccenda, a hairstylist in New York City. Try Sephora Snag-Free Hair Elastics ($3.50 for eight, sephora.com).
Velcro rollers. “They effortlessly give hair volume and smoothness,” says Nathaniel Hawkins, a stylist for Tresemmé. Roll in three at the crown after blow-drying, then remove after 10 minutes. Or put a few in your hair and cover with a shower cap before showering or bathing. The warmth of the water will help set your hair. Consider Goody So Finished Self-Holding Rollers ($10 for 20, goody.com for locations).
Hidden hairpins. The forgotten cousins of bobby pins, hairpins have been reenlisted by stylists. “Even if you have to use a lot, they’re undetectable in updos,” says Heather Packer, a stylist for Cutler/Redken. Try Conair Styling Essentials Hair Pins ($3 for 100 at drugstores).