Where do I begin. It’s actually been tricky to figure out a way to do my own Top Shelf, because my routine is constantly evolving—but so is everyone’s. So, no excuses. Let’s start with a skin care post: the foundation and really my biggest beauty obsession. I love a new lipstick, don’t get me wrong, but you know what that lipstick looks great with? Glowing skin.
The never-ending quest starts in the shower (not pictured): I’ve loved Jurlique’s Balancing Foaming Cleanser since the moment I realized it took off all my eye makeup and cleaned my face at the same time. Sometimes I’ll do a second pass just to make sure the mascara is rinsed away. Or, if I’m feeling particularly luxurious at night and want to pamper myself, I’ll squeeze a big blob of Aesop’s Purifying Facial Cream Cleanser into my palms and maybe mix in a sprinkle of Aesop’s Tea Tree Facial Exfoliant, which is literally powder that you can add to almost any cleanser to make a paste. (Dermalogica also does the fantastic powder Daily Microfoliant that lathers up with water.) Aesop is great like that—they encourage mixing their products. It’s an Australian line that Gaia Repossi introduced me to, and I’ve become obsessed with it. They’re opening four stores in NYC soon and I can’t wait. Anyway, if I’m going the cream cleanser route—or, with any mask—I run a washcloth under hot-as-you-can-handle water, ring it out, and do several passes over my face to wipe off the product. This is a simple trick to add to your cleansing routine that does wonders for your skin.
After cleansing, here we go…I do a few spritzes of Intelligent Nutrients’ Anti-Aging Mist as a toner. It’s about as organic as a product can get and packed with anti-oxidants, so I figure it’s a good first layer (I also use their lip conditioner). Then, on goes a dollop of Nude’s Advanced Cellular Renewal Serum, another super-charged nourishing cocktail. Then, I’ll smear some of Aesop’s Camellia Nut Facial Hydrating Cream onto the back of my hand and add a few drops of their Fabulous Face Oil, before working that concoction into my face. If there are two skin care beliefs I stand by, it’s that (the right) oil is a good thing, and you can never load on enough (good) moisturizer. And my skin isn’t even particularly dry.
I do an eye cream at night, and lately I’ve been loving an organic gel-like formula from French line Absolution, which just got picked up by Space NK in the states. I’m impressed with the armload of Absolution products I’ve played with, but this eye serum is my favorite. It has the faintest patchouli-esque, hippie-dippy scent that really drives home the whole "natural" thing, and I think it’s best at de-puffing and brightening. I try to do a mask about once a week, and have been using this F10 Smooth and Renew Peel Mask by REN for a couple of months. It’s a clarifying mask for sensitive skin, so it’s gentle, and it feels like you’re squeezing papaya jelly (it’s fruit enzyme based) out of the corner of a Ziploc bag, which is oddly satisfying. So I’ll sit with that on for a while, and then go at it with the hot washcloth and finish with a boatload of moisturizer.
In the summer I try to pay more attention to SPF, and I’ve been wearing this Josie Maran Argan-oil based formula for the last few weeks. It doesn’t have the "sunscreen" smell, which thrills me to no end, and it conditions the skin. Her body sunscreen is equally great. I’m not so big on body creams and potions—I always feel greasy when I use them, unless it’s in the dead of winter—but I do like Burt’s Bees Richly Replenishing Cocoa & Cupuaçu Butters Body Lotion for smoothing onto just-shaved legs. Oh, and that empty Diptyque candle jar in there? Totally inspired by Jen Brill—so, so great for filling with Q-Tips, and there’s one next to it with cotton pads.