Our Editorsā Beauty Capsule Routine
What are you wearing on your face right now? Are you done up, or proudly au-naturale? You might be surprised to find me often sporting a bold lip on days where I have Zoom meetings. Alongside the serious and heavy things, this past year has been my ālipstick testing groundāāwhere I explore new shades and hone my technique. The stakes feel lower on a pixellated video screen, so I donāt feel as self-conscious about coffee cup smudges or errant flecks of red on my teeth.
After months of varying degrees of success, I think Iām ready to go pro (aka into the real world with a bold pink lip once itās safe to go mask-free). But this personal renaissance has me wonderingāwhat beauty products or āhacksā are my team members at ē½ē«åē§° loving right now?
Below, each of our editors shares four of their current favorite products, pulled directly from their routines. Whether itās skin care, makeup, hair care, or otherwise, hereās what helps us all feel a littleāa littleāmore pulled together.
What are your favorite natural beauty products or tips? Drop them in the comments below!
Because Iāve been spending more time on video than ever, Iāve opted for more color than less. I get washed out easily, and my face looks like a blank thumb if I donāt add a little dimension to it before logging on. But I keep it simple: SPF, eyes, lips, and cheeks, and Iām ready to go. Sometimes when Iām feeling dramatic, Iāll add a little brow tint to my barely-there blonde eyebrowsābut most days, I donāt have the emotional bandwidth for it, you know?
Iām currently squeezing the last drops out of my ILIA foundation, which according to Twitter, is the same product that AOC uses, so I consider that a hearty reco. The coverage is just rightāI get a slight sheen from it at first, and once it fully settles, youād never know I was wearing anything. I dab a little color and highlighter from NOTOās multi-purpose sticks on my cheekbones and gently blend with my fingers (their Hydra Highlighter makes me feel like an Instagram model). I swipe on whatever mascara I can reach first (usually ILIA).
The hero of my look is usually a Kosas lip product. The lipstick colors are perfect, and they last a large portion of the day without re-applying. (If I am wearing a mask, a light tint works tooāthis hyaluronic lip balm gives just enough color. Itās so hydrating that sometimes I put it on before bed...but then it gets all over my pillowcase, so I wouldnāt recommend it if youāre precious about your linens.)
Speaking of bedtimeāI drink at least one large mug (sometimes a full pot) of peppermint tea every night. I canāt get enough! I tend to wake up less crusty-feeling whenever Iām adequately hydrated before sleep, and this loose-leaf tea from Rishi is organic, US-grown, affordable, and extremely delicious. (A one-pound bag lasts me almost six months!)
I inherited dark under-eye circles, so when Iām not in the mood to apply makeup or am simply having a day that I want to embrace rather than conceal them, I combat their ātiredā connotation with a few favorites.
First things first, to quite literally glisten, I rub a few drops of organic rosehip seed oil onto my face. (If Iām going outside though, I opt for a sunscreen with a bit of sheen as opposed to a mattifying one.) Even once the oil fully absorbs and I lose the shine, I know that Iām still getting its antioxidant and hydrating benefits. Then, the real rescuer: I apply Burtās Bees Lip Shimmer (in cherry or rhubarb) to my lips andāwait for itāmy cheeks! A blot on the former and blending on the latter immediately makes me look and feel rosy and refreshed. (I also use an eyelash curler, sans mascara, to further awaken my eyes.) Together, Iāve found these two can usually fend off even the most dulling effects of Zoom cameras.
In the evening, I care for my curly hair with a long, restorative routine. Once a week, after shampooing and detangling, I comb a few dollops of deep conditioner from my roots to my ends, pin my curls up, and cover them with both a shower cap and twisted towel. (This naturally creates moderate heat for a better penetrating treatment.) I leave the conditioner in for at least 30 minutes and use that time to pursue any self-care practice of my choiceāwhich is often doing absolutely nothing.
Finally, before bed, I gently work Ursa Majorās Recovery Cream into my face. It smells delicious (which instantly puts me in a good mood), is rich but goes on silky, and Iāve convinced myself that its golden colorālikely courtesy of the calendulaārubs off on me a bit too for a golden glow.
When it comes to beauty and skin care, I prefer to keep things simple. Too many serums and oils in my tiny bathroom cabinet feels overwhelming, to the point that I end up skipping it all and opting for a splash of water on my face. Iāve learned to focus on actionable skincare steps instead, like hydration and sun protection, and then only invest in a few quality products. These are the ones Iāve tested and love enough to spend money on. They nourish my skin and enhance natural beauty rather than masking or changing it.
First up is the day bottle from Bink. I knowāitās not a beauty product, but hang with me. I recently purchased this 27 oz glass bottle, and I love it so much that I bought a second one as a gift. It comes with a hydration tracking sleeve, and you can add-on the food-grade silicone lounge straw + cap (do this). I drink so much more water when using a straw, especially when sitting at a desk all day. Hydration, IMO, is really everything when it comes to healthy and glowing skin, which is why I consider a fancy water bottle a beauty essential.
Next up is a baseball cap. Again, not a beauty product, but I digress. I wear hats pretty much everywhere in the spring and summer. My hair is super thin, so it gets oily, and ball caps are the perfect low-maintenance fashion staple, especially in a pinch. Better yet, they protect my sunburn-prone skin and scalp from LA rays. This one from tentree is ethically made from organic cotton, and 10 trees are planted for each product purchased.
For actual beauty products, there are two that I absolutely love: Biossanceās Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil (EWG verified, cruelty-free and vegan) and Town & Anchorās Golden Masque (made with organic, cold-pressed oils). I love keeping the mask in the fridge so that itās cold on application, and the oil is a nightly ritual that is as easy as it feels luxurious. Though not cheap, a few drops go a long way, and itās worth it to wake up with soft, silky skin.
My husband and I recently moved to the West Coast, which is pretty much the catalyst behind most of my current products. Allow me to explain.
The water is much harder for my hair than I was used to in NYC. So the first couple of weeks, my hair felt prettyā¦weāll go with the word grimy. It never fully dried, felt oily and clumpy, and not at all what Iām used to. After getting a water purifier for the shower and this Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo, my hair is feeling so much healthier and silkier. I love that itās USDA-approved as a Biobased product and has so many certified organic ingredients.
We also moved cross-country during a pandemic (4/10, would not recommend unless absolutely needed). That stress and maskne combined with recent laser hair removal on my face means my skin has been acting up like never before. Iāve regularly woken up with new ingrown cysts or pimples along my mask lining when I normally have pretty smooth skin. So Iāve been using two natural products that have helped calm down both acne and redness: Nuriaās Hydrate Moisturizing Toner and Biossanceās Squalane + Probiotic Gel Moisturizer.
The toner is vegan and cruelty-free, made entirely of green ingredients, and sales benefit my favorite nonprofit Sheās the First! And then the gel moisturizer is a God-send; I could see the effects almost overnight, which Iāve never really said about any product. I ended up buying it originally in a Biossance sampler kit, and now Iām a committed believer.
Finally, my skin has been drier out in California compared to the humidity Iām used to, so itās also quite rough at the moment. Iāve been excited to try xo Brown Girlās Body Nectar, especially because I am obsessed with floral scents. Itās made in small batches with plant-based ingredients, particularly ones that work for melanated skin like mine, so it checks allll the boxes. Iām just impatiently waiting for it to get to my mailbox.
Social & Community Lead
Ahh, this is my most dreaded question! Everyone on the team knows that I only just started washing my face about two years ago. (Okā¦one year ago. Donāt shame me!!). Since the start of COVIDās sheltering-in-place orders, Iāve found myself leaning into beauty and skincare, reading more about how to pronounce bakuchiol, what order to layer skincare products in, and so on. My biggest issue with skin care is that itās all trial-and-error, and as an indecisive person, this is hard for me! These products are things that Iāve found to swear by and that my dry-as-the-desert skin seems to respond well to.
My number one most favorite beauty hack is sunscreen, especially for your face. HELLO! Youāve gotta wear it every day, whether you want to or not, even indoors. I learned that after researching a Reels we published on blue light (hint: itās not great for skin). Iāve religiously applied body sunscreen since I can remember, thanks to my motherās English genes, but Iāve recently been trying out different face-specific sunscreens and love this one by Supergoop.
Any additions to my new ābeauty routineā are few and far between, but when I do feel like it, Iāll apply a colored eyeliner (if Iām feeling playful) and a swipe of mascara. I realized pretty quickly into the pandemic that I donāt actually care if I feel like Iāve painted a face on, so to speak. It doesnāt make me feel any more āme!ā Instead, Iāve been focusing a lot on my eyebrowsāI love that brushed up, bushy look, so lately, Iāve been applying castor oil at night and vowing not to touch them. Even the strays! I like the way theyāre naturally filling in, especially since I used to powder-fill them. I stopped that on March 12, 2020 and havenāt looked back.
Another before-bed, overnight treatment I love is the Cocokind resurfacing sleep mask. As I mentioned, I have no established skincare routine ?, so I love that I can put this on, forget about it, and rinse off in the shower the next morning. It makes me feel like I glazed donut when I wake up. Itās the easiest way to glow-up. ?
Emily Torres is the Managing Editor at ē½ē«åē§°. Sheās a Los Angeles transplant who was born and raised in Indiana, where she studied Creative Writing and Business at Indiana University. You can usually find her reading or writing, caring for her rabbits, or practicing at the yoga studio. Say hi on Instagram!