Skip to main content Skip to header navigation

Editors’ top picks: Must-have beauty

Whether it’s a gloss, cream, lotion or potion, we all have our arsenal of beauty products that we’d never go without (at least not without putting up one heck of a fight!). Your team of SheKnows editors came together to discuss their all-time favorite beauty items. Check out what each editor swears by!

Jenna Busch, SheKnows Beauty Writer & Makeup Artist

Smashbox Camera Ready Full Coverage Concealer

“First, I’ve been in love with the concealers from Smashbox in all of their incarnations. I loved them in crayon form and now I love the Camera Ready Full Coverage Concealer. It’s creamy so it doesn’t flake or collect in dry patches. It’s not oily so it still looks good after I’ve spent hours under hot lights or out in the LA heat at a red carpet. I have it in my makeup kit and I use it at home. I never travel without it.”


Adara Coconut Oil
8.4 oz. for $30 or 2 oz. for $12 at

“Adara Coconut oil will never leave my makeup bag. It’s an incredible makeup remover, especially for things like waterproof mascara or lash glue. I use it to moisturize my legs before I wear a dress. I use it in my hair to calm frizzies, on my cuticles… I’ve even used it to moisturize dry lips. Plus, it’s a fair trade product. My favorite scent is Lavender, and when I wear it, people stop me to ask what I have on. I can’t live without it.”

Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey

“I have pale lips so I have to keep something on them at all times. I’ve loved Clinique’s black honey shade since I played with it in pot gloss for in my mom’s cabinet. These days it comes in the slim tubed Almost Lipstick form. The color is a sheer raisin that works (and looks very different) on almost everyone. On my pale face, it’s a lovely berry stain. It’s my go to color, no matter what else I’m wearing.”




Joanie Segall, SheKnows Food Editor

Kiss My Face Olive & Aloe Ultra Moisturizer
$13 for 11 oz. at

“If I left the house without lotion on my face I’m convinced I would turn to dust. The desert climate I live in isn’t friendly to dry skin in the winter, but the battle between my skin and the moisture-sucking heat reaches Tolkienian proportions in the summer. I don’t have the patience to use a separate lotion for face and body, so I stick with Kiss My Face Olive & Aloe Ultra Moisturizer which is gentle enough to use anywhere. I also love the organic, natural ingredients and barely-there fragrance.”

Kai eau de parfum
$76 for 1.7 ounces,

“Kai eau de parfum is my new fragrance obsession. I went to Kauai for my honeymoon and this vacation-in-a-bottle takes me right back to the islands every time I spray it on. The scent it a little more floral than I usually gravitate towards, but a friend of mine who lived in the tropics always has to do a double take when she smells it on me – the scent of exotic white flowers are undeniably Hawaiian.”



Olive Oil
“I know it sounds crazy, but whenever I’m out of my expensive make-up remover I reach for the olive oil. It works just as well (if not better) than conventional removers and you can rub it all over your eyes and it will never sting. I also sometimes use it to sweep up the make-up other removers leave behind. Another benefit is you don’t have to wonder what scary ingredients you’re putting on your face without knowing it.”






Jaime Fowler, SheKnows Local Editor

Curly Sexy Hair Curling Creme
About $16, drugstores nationwide or

“Provides the perfect of amount of strength for course curly hair to whip it into a less “fro” like appearance with the proper curl twisting form.”

Available for $14 at Target.

“This stuff is great for next-day touch ups. This super sticky, wax (which sounds awful but actually works) perks my tired curls right up.

Available for $16 at drugstores nationwide.

“Hydration is key with curly hair (trust me, I know!) — otherwise it looks like straw. There is a reason my jr. high nickname was hay bale head!!”



Melissa Dunlap, SheKnows Living Editor

Biosilk Silk Therapy Cure Hair Treatment
$24, drugstores nationwide

“Living in the desert means that I’m constantly battling dry hair. Biosilk keeps my strands silky smooth and keeps my do from looking like a Chia Pet. In the dry winter months I call in reinforcements and upgrade to Moroccaniol.”







MAC Eyeshadow in satin Taupe

“I’ve been a cult follower of MAC cosmetics since I started wearing makeup. Why I bother to try other eye shadows is a mystery to me; I inevitably go back to MAC because no other shadow has the same staying power. Satin taupe is my favorite color – it goes with everything. Plus, the minimal packaging that is available with their pallet products and their product recycling program means that I feel somewhat environmentally responsible with my purchases (giving me another reason to try the latest seasonal trends).”

Chanel Double Perfection Compact Natural Matte Powder Makeup

“At $50 a pop, it took me awhile to try Chanel’s compact, but after constantly hearing rave reviews I had to try it. It was a game changer for me and my makeup routine. The powder offers enough coverage that I can eliminate liquid foundation, yet is still light enough to use for mid-afternoon touchups. Even on days that I’m scrambling to get out the door, I always make sure to put on my Chanel compact, blush, and lip gloss and I’m good to go.”




Alison Bills, SheKnows Managing Editor

Tarte Light, Camera, Lashes!

“If I only leave the house with one touch of makeup, it’s mascara – so I take my mascaras very seriously. This one is a gem! It also doubles as a lash strengthener, so the more I use, the better my lashes look.”




Sally Hansen Diamond Strength Instant Nail Hardener
About $4, drugstores nationwide

“I’ve never been able to break my childhood habit of biting my nails. So unless they’re polished at all times and completely chip-free, I’ll nibble them down to the nub. Yes, gross – I know, Mom. I use this nail hardener as a base coat every time I change my nail color, and they really do become instantly stronger.”

Victoria's Secret Beauty Rush Lip Gloss
About $7,

“I’m a total lip gloss junkie and this one is with me all the time. It has just enough sparkle for everyday use, and though it’s stickier than most glosses, it stays put. I love nude lips, and this one is a winner with just a touch of peachy-pink.”





Michele Borboa, SheKnows Health Editor

Olay Definity Color Recapture Anti-Aging Moisturizer SPF 15

“As an active mom, I don’t want to apply a moisturizer, a sunblock, and make-up. Olay Definity Color Recapture is a convenient three-in-one product that leaves my skin feeling supple and looking smooth.”



Sanitas Vita C Serum

“The minute you smooth this on your skin, you can feel a difference in your skin’s texture. I apply it at night and hours later when I wake up, my skin still feels healthy and hydrated. I spend a lot of time outdoors, and though I wear sunscreen every day, I know that having healthy skin is a primary defense against sun damage.”

Dessert Essence Exfoliating Shea Butter Body Scrub

“The dry air in Montana takes a toll on my skin, regardless of the season. This shea butter body scrub helps me combat dry skin by gently exfoliating and moisturizing. After I use it, my skin feels ultra-soft, stimulated, and ready to fight the elements. As a bonus, it smells delicious.”




Ana De Souza, SheKnows Beauty Writer

Alterna Summer Hair Sun-Kissed Mist
$20, Sephora

“I’ve tried a good number of sea salt sprays, but unfortunately, the high salt content always ends up making my hair super-matte, dry and straw-like in the long run. This impulse purchase immediately intrigued me – tiny bronze particles float through the formula as you shake it, and when applied it offers shine, texture, and a hint of shimmer you can see as you toss your hair around. Plus, it smells like sipping coconut water while lounging seaside!”





Chanel Vitalumiére Aqua Foundation
$45, Nordstrom

“I’ve always had a hard time finding the right foundation. I’m consistently testing new products so my skin might be oily one day, combination the next – not to mention parched and flaky if I’m dabbing on prescription retinols at night! This is the only foundation that when applied with my fingers immediately melts into my skin and doesn’t crease or build up in large pores and fine lines. I create a double-layer to conceal dark undereye circles and it truly brightens the area and never looks cakey. Let’s just say that whenever my boyfriend compliments me on looking naturally pretty – this is the foundation I’m using!”

Laura Mercier Cafe au Lait Eye Colour
$22, Sephora

“While I gravitate to bronze-y, shimmery shades, just a fluffy-brush bounce of this matte color on the outer third of my eye seamlessly mattifies it for a more grown-up look. For daytime, I love using creating a sheer wash of it on my lids and blending it onto my lower lashline – it defines without harsh line, plus this shade is perfect to fill in sparse eyebrows- it looks completely natural!”









Nina Sutton, SheKnows Beauty Expert

About $11, drugstores nationwide

“This is the one product I would take with me on a desert island! I use it on my face morning and night and on my body. It is amazing to even out skin tone, and add much needed moisture to my face. After I started using this product, I had so many comments on my skin- and this really was the main product difference! Not only does it work, but it is inexpensive. I LOVE IT!”

Shampowder Dry Shampoo

“For a busy mom, dry shampoo is my life saver! It saves me time on washing my hair and money on shampoo. It also gives amazing volume and makes hair look full.”






Too Faced Primed and Poreless

“Truly, this is my favorite new product. I wear it all the time and it has almost replaced my beloved Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20. I also love that I can wear it alone or under makeup. When I wore this on a recent girl friend trip, all my friends loved my skin so much they all had to try it and they all loved it- no matter what skin tone they had.”





Jamie Beckman, SheKnows Love writer

Claudalie Pulpe Vitamine Eye and Lip Cream

“I’m normally not one to drop this kind of cash on a single product, but, ladies, let me tell you: This stuff works. Gently pat it around your eyes at night and in the morning, and you’ll look like a dewy, young Hollywood starlet — even if you’re running on next to no sleep.”



Wet 'n' Wild MegaLiner Liquid Eyeliner in Black
$3, drugstores nationwide

“I bought this eyeliner on a whim once, and I keep going back to it again and again. The brush comes to an artfully tapered point, which makes it easy to sweep across your lash line without messing up. The formula is fantastic for drawing the perfect cat-eye look, and it adds serious drama to a smoky eye.”


Cargo Cosmetics OneBase Concealer

“Not to be weird or anything, but I still remember the day I found this concealer at Sephora. It blended into my skin so seamlessly that I practically ran to the checkout counter to buy it. This concealer isn’t chalky or thick, and it covers well, especially any redness. Not all Sephoras are stocking Cargo these days, but you can order it elsewhere online (that’s what I do!).”



Jessica Padykula, SheKnows Beauty writer

Mario Badescu Enzyme Cleansing Gel
$12 for 8 oz.,

“I’ve been using this fresh-smelling cleanser for years and love what a great job it does removing all traces of makeup without over drying. It also has a silky texture that feels great on my skin, making cleansing an almost spa-like experience.”

Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant

“Having sensitive skin I shied away from exfoliators for years – until I discovered this one. It’s gentle enough to be used almost daily and I love how smooth and bright my skin looks and feels after using it – like I’ve just had a facial.”


Kiehl's Ultra Facial Tinted Moisturizer

“Perfect for summer or on days where I don’t feel like wearing a full face of makeup, this light-weight tinted moisturizer gives my skin a fresh, dewy finish and sun kissed glow. I love how even-toned my skin looks after only a quick swipe.”




TELL US: What are your top beauty products? What items do you splurge on and which ones can’t you imagine ever living without?

Leave a Comment