Nicole's Fav Secret Weapons II

Oh, there's more. Much more.

Hopefully you enjoyed (no longer) last week's introduction to my personal arsenal, which I said I would finish more promptly than I did! Let’s get right back into it.

IT Cosmetics CC Cream: It almost seems like cheating to include something more makeup-y than not, but when I want to wear makeup, this is what I reach for. It keeps popping up in the world to remind me of its goodness. My friend Amanda Mull was looking typically lush and fresh on Twitter the other day, and I was like “your fuckin SKIN, girl!” and she said “IT Cosmetics CC Cream!” and I swear it was just a week later that Sharon Stone name-dropped it as her daily standby. The coverage is light, as you expect from a CC cream, but murders redness, has 50 SPF, and comes in more shades than most CC creams (this is not high praise, often there are like three shades and this one has seven, so if you can find one for you, great, and if not, storm the castle and you will have my axe.)

Maybelline Baby Face Primer AND Hourglass No 28 Primer: As a card-carrying fancy person, my number one white whale is shit from the Hourglass line. It’s a money pit! Their products are SO gorgeous and SO luxe and NOT worth the money most of the time but sometimes they are? This primer is fab. FAB. And great for dry skin. I put makeup or CC cream or sometimes nothing over top and it’s all good and feels like moving a brush over a clean canvas. It costs too much money. I was heartened to see that Aubrey Plaza has also gotten suckered into it. That being said, let’s talk about the Maybelline Baby Face primer because it costs FOUR DOLLARS AND SEVENTY-FIVE CENTS and does the job basically just as well without feeling like God licking your face?? It’s SENSATIONAL. It stands up to any fancy product. Buy this one instead. If you come to my house, you can try the Hourglass one.

MISSHA Super Aqua Cell Renew Snail Cream: It is often the case that the best products in your arsenal escape notice due to the fact they work very reliably and boringly and do exactly what they say. When I say I like my moisturizers to simply hydrate without faffing about, that’s what this cream does, and does brilliantly regardless of what kind of skin you have. Snail mucin, in general, is fabulous for keeping your skin on an even keel, and I have seen friends with oilier skin experience a significant decrease in oil production with this cream AND friends with drier skin see a massive improvement in flaking and redness. As to WHY snail is good (snail, like ball, is life), you can read this cautiously optimistic guide.

(I must caution that you NOT purchase this particular product via Amazon, as I have seen numerous accounts of counterfeit knock-offs. Stick to SokoGlam.)

Origins Original Skin Matte Moisturizer: People are too dewy right now. There, I said it. I blame Glossier, frankly. At a certain point, you just look WET, and as the summer approaches, that’s gonna get old, fast. This product is my JAM. My absolute jam. It is a perfect daytime moisturizer, especially if, like me, you love face oils and serums and are pretty dang shiny and oiled up when it’s time to plop on moisturizer. This actually MATTES the stuff already on your face, while still hydrating??? Like it totally does the job of moisturizing, but also makes you look less like someone threw a bucket of water on your face. It’s fantastic.

Whal Myung Skin Elixer: WHAT is this stuff? I usually think that face mists and sprays are nonsense (and I am usually right) but you can use this as an essence after cleansing, a serum, a pick-me-up spray, whatever. It feels and looks sensational (I am sure a lot of that is the squalane, which I am really into these days), and it really ticks the secret weapon boxes since no one else will have it except you and others In The Know. The Strategist columnist writing about it at the link is correct, it’s a huge bottle and lasts for months and months and can plug various holes in your arsenal.

Garnier SkinActive Micellar Water: Because this installment has too many $$ items in it, I HAVE to draw your attention to this six dollar alternative to Bioderma or one of the other more spendy micellar waters. I love just swiping a cotton ball soaked with this stuff across my face on evenings I just cannot bear washing it. No rinsing! It’s magic. And you can usually find it at Walmart for closer to three dollars. Bury me with it.