One of the reasons I started wit & whimsy over fifteen years ago was to share my favorite products. I have loved beauty for as long as I can remember and I was constantly giving recommendations to my girlfriends. To this day I truly enjoy testing out products and really learning about the science behind them. It’s such a fun part of the job!
But as much as I love discovering new products, I also often use the same ones over and over again. So to cull through all those I keep on rotation and boil it down to my holy grail favorites – it was a real exercise! I first wrote this post in 2017 and have finally updated it to reflect my latest favorites. That being said, many of these I have used for well over five years.
If you’re a beauty junkie like me, get ready to dive in to this lengthy post! If you end up giving anything a go, I’d love to hear about it.
Holy Grail Beauty Products
My favorite daily gel cleanser. Leaves skin super clean but not feeling stripped at all.
This toner is a game changer for breakouts. I discovered it first after wearing facial masks during the 2020 pandemic became a regularity and my usually breakout-free face started getting loads of angry pimples. The toner + the below Vinopure serum from the same line completed cleared up my maskne and healed my breakouts in less than two weeks. It features 100 percent natural salicylic acid to control oil and diminish the appearance of future blackheads and breakouts. If I ever feel breakouts coming on I reach for this toner right away and begin using it after cleansing. It goes to work right away.
This essence made a big difference in my skin when I began using it every morning. I apply it after my Vitamin C serum and before the Caudalie Anti-Dark Spot serum. It uses glycolic acid to gently remove dead skin and grape water to hydrate. My skin became brighter, smoother and my skin tone appeared more even. Be sure to press this product into the skin as you apply it.
This clay mask draws out impurities for whenever pores are feeling clogged.
Tackles fine lines to help them look diminished while also hydrating the under eye area. Easy to put makeup on afterwards. It lifts and plumps so it’s extra great for aging skin.
Longtime readers will know this is holy grail for me. It is pricey but the results are worth it. You skin will feel utterly amazing after this. The glow is REAL. With regular use my skin looks so good. It is powerful though so don’t leave on longer than the 20 prescribed minutes and be sure to nourish your skin with a favorite face oil afterwards.
Let’s start with the holy grail, cult-status SkinCeuticals favorite: their C E Ferulic. The formula was designed to fight signs of aging such as fine lines and wrinkles while also firming and brightening. With consistent use I promise you’ll see an improvement in your skin’s firmness overall. I’ve used many, many bottles of this stuff and think it is one of the reasons I’ve not yet done any Botox or filler (and I am in my mid-30s). It works for sensitive skin, too.
This cleansing balm is so amazing! It truly feels heavenly going on and just melts into an oil taking all of your makeup off oh so easily. Totally hooked on this stuff and it’s officially being added to The Best Clean Face Cleansers.
This night cream is the best for dry, dehydrated skin. You’ll notice an improvement in your dry skin in just one use. I add it back into my routine every November/December as the air gets colder and dryer and indoor heating kicks in. I’ve used up several jars and I’ve never found another cream to rival the hydration this one gives (even La Mer didn’t do as good of a job!) I have found that a little goes a long way and this cream will absorb best when you let your other skincare soak in first.
This serum has a cult-like following for good reason. It’s highly concentrated to get to work fast. It’ll combat any dark spots that are bothering you, even your skin tone and boost your overall radiance.
If you suffer from breakouts or overly oily skin – reach for this serum. It’s a lightweight gel powered by 100 percent natural salicylic acid to address blackheads, pores, breakouts, and excess oil. I use it whenever my skin is feeling congested or like I might be breaking out soon in tandem with the Vinopure toner. It has a bit of a soapy texture to it which I don’t love but I’ve found that as long as you let it soak in and dry before you apply other products, it’ll solve that.
A non-nano mineral SPF that’s lightweight without any whitecast. It delivers broad-spectrum protection and lightweight hydration and is great for all skin types. My go-to face sunscreen!
My go-to pimple patches for when I feel something brewing. They work so well to draw out the gunk!
A longtime favorite mask of mine, this mask warms on contact making it a soothing experience and it really works to re-hydrate skin that’s depleted. Skin will be more nourished and plump after use and if you have any blemishes this one is particularly great as honey serves as an antibacterial to help fight and heal them.
This light as air moisturizer applies like a dream and dries with a matte finish making it perfect as an A.M moisturizer you apply before makeup. Thanks to its formula featuring superfoods and antioxidants your skin will be better protected and hydrated with daily use.
I can’t live without this glowiest, lightest weight luminizer. It’s become one of my favorite beauty products and I use it almost daily. Thanks to Papaya and Vitamin C in the formula, you get a gorgeous, bright, radiant look.
You can wear it alone or under your foundation or tinted moisturizer (or mixed with it!) I use it as a primer applying it all over my face before my coverage products but you could also apply it more as a highlighter, too or even use it to accent your shoulders, chest, legs, etc! It feels like nothing going on (the gel texture is crazy good when applying) and
I love this stuff so much that I bought the mini size that Sephora carries to travel with! It comes in two shades & I use the shade Starglow.
Hands down, my favorite Westman Atelier product. I’ve tried a lot of cream blushes before and never found one I loved. But this Baby Cheeks Blush – this blush is magic. I first bought the blush stick in Petal and then bought Chouchette and absolutely love both shades. The blush is a gorgeous, multipurpose cream color for cheeks, lips, and even eyes and it gives the most flattering flush of color. It’s ultra-buildable but a little goes a long way. I love the matte powdery finish on it so much- the perfect flush. I apply it with my fingers but you could use a brush or sponge to blend it out further.
I was so glad when I discovered this finishing powder because it is as good as the Laura Mercier powder I used to love but discontinued my use of once I learned it had talc in it. I love that it weightlessly blurs, smooths, and cuts shine with a soft-focus finish that doesn’t leave you looking dusty or have any sort of whitecast.
The formula has been milled five times—most powders are milled three – so you can get an airy feel that blurs imperfections and cuts down on shine. It also features aloe, rosemary, and oil-balancing bamboo so skin feels more hydrated and softer after application. This powder is so good as a setting powder for your makeup or you can use it for touchups during the day.
This is such a gorgeous bronzer. It really does apply like butter despite its powder appearance. This bronzer is a clean, velvety matte bronzer that leaves skin looking healthy, natural, and authentically bronzed. I was so impressed with how it applied and really love how it warmed up my skin. And even better? There’s absolutely no shimmer. It only comes in two shades at the moment – I wear Coup de Soleil.
I love that this has two colors to really blend well into brows to make them appear fuller. Related: Filling In Brows For Beginners.
My favorite foundation that gives skin a gorgeous glow without a lot of effort.
My favorite Kjaer Weis product and truly my favorite cream highlighter – this cream glow is just the best. Like a smooth, silky balm this applies so beautifully and gives the most gorgeous slow to the skin. You can use it on your cheeks, nose, brow line or even your décolleté.
If you watch any of my IGTV tutorials you’ve heard me rave about this brow gel. It is amazing. For someone who doesn’t care that much about her brows this product made me a believer in how much a good brow gel can do for your overall face. This tinted brow gel both fluffs and fills your brows for a fuller-looking finish in just a few swipes. I don’t have very full brows and this makes it seem like that’s not the case! And I use shade Blonde but could also probably use shade Medium Brown. I use this brow gel pretty much every day when doing my usual everyday makeup.
Behold – a contour stick that won’t leave you looking like you don’t actually know how to contour. This makes giving yourself a more defined face shape so easy. This creamy contour stick subtly sculpts and defines the face and blends out beautifully thanks to the formula made with moisturizing organic jojoba oil and mattifying China clay. Unlike other contouring products I have tried, this one doesn’t leave rough lines on your face or give any sort of ash-y finish.
I absolutely love this handy stick and reach for it daily! It comes in two shades and I use shade Biscuit. I hope they’ll extend shades soon.
I can’t quit this mascara that makes my lashes look oh so long and oh so fluffy and voluminous.
If you know, you know. Favorite makeup product – desert island beauty for sure. Like a filter for your face.
This bronzer is my latest Saie purchase & let’s just say I get the hype. It’s a super unique bronzer that melts into your skin. Despite looking a bit tricky to apply, the Big Brush really makes it effortless to get a “I summered in St. Tropez” kind of glow. The brush will buff and blend out Sun Melt into a glowy finish that’s buildable.
Best, best, best eyeliner of all time. It makes my eyes look bigger and makes applying eyeliner a snap. (Never thought I’d say that!) The brush is essential. My favorite is Black Ink and I love Caviar Ink for daytime, too.
14. MAC Eye Primer
For years and years I used Urban Decay’s eyelid primer and while it worked ok, by the day’s end my lids seemed oily and my shadow less intact. When I tried this MAC primer I honestly couldn’t believe how well it worked! Now I’ve been using it for over seven years and every time I try another brand’s I am left coming back to this far superior formula.
I can’t believe how much I love this lip product! I bought one and then wore it so much that I bought two more shades pretty immediately. It’s super plush, super velvety and really hydrating. It makes lips look so gorgeous and the tints are just beautiful. It’s made with naturally derived pigments and a unique gel-oil system to give you the perfect shine with zero stickiness. Organic jojoba, almond, and argan oils work to hydrate and soften lips, shea butter soothes and nourishes, while plant based seed oil offers a pillowy sensation.
A super easy to perfect matte concealer that works for under eye, redness and blemishes. Stays all day. I use shade B.Vibrant.
Such a great added step before concealer – this corrector helps take out redness and makes your concealer perform better.
Shade 722 is just so pretty. I reach for this gloss time and time again. A my lips but better gloss for sure.
The RMS Beauty Blush in Lost Angel is one of the best things in my makeup bag and every one of you who have bought it at my reco have also raved. I actually apply it over the Westman Atelier blush for the prettiest soft wash of glow-y color. The combo is SO good – trust.
BATH, BODY & FRAGRANCE
A dreamy body wash that you’ll look forward to using! This gel-oil hybrid body wash combines three luxurious oils—marula, cacay, and meadowfoam—with plant-derived surfactants to gently cleanse skin. If you don’t love scent, get the fragrance-free version but Eucalyptus is my personal favorite. Offers a far more luxurious experience than your average drugstore body wash.
This is my favorite body oil. It’s gorgeous to apply, doesn’t get slick or sticky and soaks in right away. Especially great during winter! Pro tip: Put a few pumps into your bath, too!
One of my favorite scents on the planet – this bath oil is pure luxury I can’t quit.
The only body self tanner that works well on my fair skin.
These CBD bath salts smell amazing and allow for a totally zen experience in the tub.
This bestselling body scrub is so damn luxurious. It leaves your skin feeling so very soft and super hydrated.
I first smelled this gorgeous, summer-y perfume when in France several summers ago and now it is one of my signature fragrances. I often buy fragrances as a means of sensorial transport back to happy memories and this one certainly does that for me. I’ve smelled it numerous times in France since that first smell I took and therefore it reminds me of the beautiful Chanel store on Rue Cambon in Paris as well as the striking Chanel counter at Le Bon Marche. It’s appropriately named after the striking seaside down in Southern France and it’ll transport you right there.
To me it smells of sunny days and salty French Rivera ocean air. It’s not overpowering but rather subtly romantic and perfectly bright + fruity. If you’ve never read about how Chanel and other high end perfumers make their perfumes in Grasse, France I highly recommend doing so — it’s pretty amazing!
Radically improve the appearance of your cuticles with this super nourishing balm. Put it on at nighttime and wake up to healthier looking nails. A little goes a long way so this will last and last.
This fragrance gives me all the summer feels instantly. It features sunny top notes of mandarin and Californian lemon but with moody notes of neroli and Arabian jasmine as well. It makes me feel instantly energized the moment I spray it on.
An essential to have on hand for dry lips, scars, scrapes – you name it.
A little roller ritual I do before bed. I apply this to my inner wrists and breathe deeply as I fall asleep. It instantly calms me.
I’ve used Whitestrips – and the Professional Effects version – for nearly two decades. I do a touch up of fiver or so treatments usually once a quarter. They work so well!
Va Va Voom texture and volume. A cult classic for a reason.
Absolutely love this hair spray because it doesn’t feel like a hair spray but performs like one. Was so glad I was introduced to it via this collaboration.
I use this in place of hair spray most days for a soft hold of my curls.
My favorite conditioner for when I am coloring my hair blonde.
A great gentle dry shampoo that goes to work quickly.
Less damaging hair ties I use to hold my hair back when at home or traveling or sleeping.
My preferred shampoo is this salt scrub that helps calm any scalp irritation. Feels like a spa treatment to use – I’ve used this for nearly a decade.
A favorite Sunday ritual is to apply Olaplex No. 3 to revive my locks – particularly when they are color treated. Hair is left stronger and softer.
A great detox shampoo that helps with scalp health and leaves hair feeling strong.
A lightweight oil you can use both on dry and wet hair.
Hair.So.Good. A little bit of this mask goes a long way and it revives hair in a major way. My hair feels so, so much softer and so much healthier after I use this on a weekly basis.
A great dry shampoo for travel you work this paste into powder into your roots to soak up oil and get volume.
I sleep with my hair up in these often and also use them when curling my hair.
My go-to frizz fighter.
I 100% get the hype now – this brush made me actually want to brush my hair (I used to never!) and it helped make my hair healthier this year. I got the pocket sized one since I don’t have tons of hair and because I couldn’t stomach the full size brush price ;).
BEAUTY TOOLS, ACCESSORIES & BRUSHES
A great blow dryer that I’ve relied on for years.
The best brush to apply any facial base products with. Seamlessly blends out foundation and BB cream. I’ve never found anything that compares to it!
A wonderful way to give your skin some TLC and make sure your products absorb better.
A gentle shampoo that makes cleaning all your makeup brushes less painful.
I’ve used this wand to curl my hair for nearly a decade!
A favorite body ritual – this helps lymphatic drainage and sloughs off dead skin.
My go-to brush for applying my favorite Ilia Setting Powder.
A must to apply the Bobbi Brown Gel Eyeliner with ease.
My go-to eyeshadow brushes.
Never going back to a traditional lash curler again! I love how this lifts my lashes so quickly and impact-fully. It sold out time and time again last year after going viral on TikTok so if you see it in stock don’t miss your opportunity to grab it.
The perfect applicator for the Saie Sun Melt Bronzer.
Gorgeously applies pressed blush.
A super, super fine setting spray to get all your makeup staying put.
The best way to get rid of rough skin on your feet at home.
15. Beauty Blender
The OG and best. Such a great multi-tasker.
My favorite Sunday ritual. I love using this steamer for 10 minutes before doing some face masks. It opens up your pores and helps products work better.
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