3 Friends Picking their Top 3 Beauty Items Part IV

The 3 beauty products 3 of my friends swear by.

The best beauty products are like friends: they help us shine, they are always there when times get tough, and they help us feel like our best selves. As someone who did not always feel comfortable wearing make up, my friends have helped me learn about what best products work for me- that help me feel my best and not overshadow who I am. I am so grateful for those who have taken the time to guide me through Sephora or gift me products to help me through my beauty journey. So when the times get tough, I know I have my friends and a touch of Tarte eyeshadow (thanks Jahnvi!) to carry me through the day. (Stay tuned for next week, where I feature more friends and more finds!)

Victoria Kawas

#1 Favorite Beauty Product

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How often you use it

I use this whenever I feel like it’s a little more difficult to run my fingers through my hair in the shower, so once or twice a month. I also leave it on for longer than the suggested ten minutes – I quickly wash my hair once to remove excess oil and dry shampoo residue, gently wring out as much water as I can, and apply the Olaplex root to tip. I leave it on for maybe two or three hours while I do stuff around the house or watch something on Netflix. It’s important to shampoo afterward too!

What you like about the product

It’s the only hair mask I’ve tried that actually repairs the hair shaft so the nourishing effects are still noticeable a few washes after application. My hair looks and feels a lot healthier and less damaged, so I need less recent haircuts despite my balayage treatment.

How you found it

It seems like everyone was talking about Olaplex last year, and for good reason.

 
#2 Favorite Beauty Product
 
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Charlotte Tilbury Beauty Light Wand in Goldgasm

How often you use it

Whenever I wear a little more makeup than usual, especially if my skin is looking dull.

What you like about the product

I’ve suffered from dry skin for a minute, but last summer was downright intolerable. My skin looked red, angry, and more flaky than that friend who cancels plans when you’re about to call your Uber. When I tried this product on at a Chestnut Hill Bloomingdale’s, everything just seemed to calm down. I wore it home and Facetimed a friend and I just stared at my glowy cheekbones the whole time. My sad dry skin suddenly looked revitalized. I also love how natural the Glowgasm shade looks! It truly gives the illusion of perfect skin.

How you found it

I’ve followed Charlotte Tilbury on Instagram for a few years and it’s one of my dreams to have my makeup done by her. Every look is an absolute dream. I finally pulled the trigger on this product after seeing @milki.milki.milki, a really cool pair of Pakistani girls, rave about it on their blog.

#3 Favorite Beauty Product

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Retin A 0.025% (mine is Janssen-Cilag, but I imagine others work well as long as the component is the same – tretinoin)

How often you use it

I use this product 1-2 times a week, mixed into my moisturizer. I have very dry sensitive skin that has been damaged in the past due to improper retinoid use, so I’m being very careful not to overdo it.

What you like about the product

You can’t beat the OG HG. Retin A has been around forever – it’s the most well-researched vitamin A derivative and the results are evident. When I apply it, I consistently wake up with a reduced pore appearance and a more even complexion. It’s also the only product (along with SPF!) with proven anti-aging properties. I can’t wait until my skin grows to tolerate it so I can start applying it more regularly.

 
How you found it

As mentioned, I tried an over the counter retinoid a couple of years ago that absolutely *murdered* my skin’s moisture barrier, so I was terrified of ever trying the component again. My sister promised me I would be amazed if I used Retin A correctly, and gifted me with her expired tube. It still worked well, but was just a bit weaker. I loved it and haven’t looked back.


Devyn Wilson

#1 Favorite Beauty Product

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How often you use it

I use this product every time I wash my hair. I apply this product when I get out of the shower, while my hair is still damp. After I apply this product, I either let my hair air-dry, or I use a blow dryer. This product enhances my naturally-curly hair, and also makes it super easy to style if I want to switch up my look.

What you like about the product

Saints & Sinners Velvet Divine Leave-In Conditioner leaves my hair feeling incredibly moisturized and healthy. A small amount of this product goes a long way, and helps eliminate frizz and makes it easier to style my hair! The product is actually a thick cream, but can be sprayed as a mist. It is also free of sulfates and parabens, harmful ingredients that are present in most hair care products: I try to haircare products that have the best ingredients, but I have found that it is rare to find a product that uses quality ingredients AND performs the way I want it to. I also change my hair a ton! I have had extensions, my hair is naturally curly (but also thermally damaged because I style it so much), and I also color my hair quite often. Regardless of my hair style or condition, Saints & Sinners products leave my hair feeling repaired and restored.

How you found it

(Shameless plug) Saints & Sinners Haircare is actually a company my family owns! My mom, a licensed cosmetologist, formulated all the products after discovering a gap in the market- so many hair care products perform well, but only because they use poor ingredients. Conversely, the hair care products that use healthy ingredients tend to under-perform. Saints & Sinners Haircare uses the best ingredients but also does it’s job in making your hair look AND feel its best. This is the only haircare that I use.

#2 Favorite Beauty Product

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How often you use it

I use this product to complete my makeup look. Adding a shiny lip is on trend right now, and I love using it with a simple day-to-day look (simple eyeshadow, light makeup, etc…). I really love this product for a spring and summer look, since it’s super light but adds just enough pigment to look somewhat natural.

What you like about the product

This product doesn’t dry out my lips (if anything, it is super moisturizing! It uses an ingredient called cherry oil, which actually protects against drying), and it lasts a really long time! It’s not sticky at all, and it adds a lot of shine and dimension. I love how it’s tinted too, my favorite shade is ‘rosewood,’ as it naturally brings out the color of my lips! I love wearing it with a champagne colored eyeshadow and light contour. It looks super natural but it also makes your lips pop!

How you found it

I go shopping with my sorority sisters quite a bit. My friend, Liz Castellano (who has the BIGGEST makeup addiction I have ever seen), actually recommended it! I love shopping with friends: it has taken a lot of trial and error to find a lip gloss that I consistently use, so it is super helpful to get opinions and recommendations from your friends who are also going through the same trial and error process.

#3 Favorite Beauty Product

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How often you use it

I use this product in the morning and night, after washing my face. I like to use a toner first, and then I apply this serum (I use a roller to make sure it is absorbed into my skin) and follow it with a moisturizer!

What you like about the product

This product makes my skin texture look soooooo much more even! It also makes my skin look (and feel) super healthy. I spend a lot of time outside and in the sun during the summer months, so using this product has made my tan look so much better. I have also found that it has helped prevent acne: my skin is super sensitive so it is hard to find products that actually work that don’t irritate my skin. I also really like this product because it is free of a lot of the harmful ingredients you would find in a lot of other beauty products (parabens and sulfates, for example).

How you found it

No shame… TikTok
 
 

Nicole Yapijakis

@nic.yapi

#1 Favorite Beauty Product

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How often you use it

365 day & night – the only cleanser you’ll want or ever need to use!

What you like about the product

 I have sensitive skin so it was great to find a cleanser that gently cleans and exfoliates. My skin feels super soft and moisturized after. It is really easy to foam and calming to use particularly before bed. The mainly plant-based ingredients naturally protect my skin from so many different things, making this a great all in one product.

How you found it

I use samples when I travel as a way to not only try new products, but pack light. When I got a sample of this cleanser, I ended up using it even after my trips. I was squeezing every last bit out of that container and lucky for me, only a small amount is needed each time so it lasted long enough for me to buy a full tube.

#2 Favorite Beauty Product

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How often you use it

Typically any morning before I leave my apartment. For the beach, I typically alternate between this and a stronger face sunscreen.

What you like about the product

I don’t like to wear makeup everyday, so this is a great product for more natural coverage. It also has great sun protection (which is super important all year round) without clogging your skin like other creams with SPF.

How you found it

I was recommended this by the place I go to get facials. They said it is great for everyday protection from sun exposure and minimizes acne.

#3 Favorite Beauty Product

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How often you use it

All the time – In the morning I will put a little on my lips and eyelids to make sure I am moisturized. I had a friend who would even use it as a highlighter on her cheekbones. During winter nights, I will lather a bit more on any dry spots of my skin.

What you like about the product

My lips can get very dry and cracked in the winter, so it has always been a great solution that is quick & reliable. A friend also shared with me that Aquaphor is great for preventing wrinkles because of the level of hydration it provides skin, so I use a little around my eyes when it feels dry. If you have some in warmer settings, the product takes on a more liquid consistency similar to an oil or serum. I prefer this because it makes it easy to get a more glossy look, while also using less product each time.

How you found it

It has always sat somewhere in the medicine cabinet since I was little. My parents would use it for my sensitive skin as a kid and I found that it’s an affordable solution to maintain good hydrated skin.

 

Stay tuned for next week’s post where my friends Aliona Zamarin, Gacy Tanoesoedibjo, and Rose Dexter share their three beauty favorites!

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