Emily’s Essentials: Fall 2013


I had a wonderful Labor Day off, filled with sunshine, Coronas, and laughter. Psssyyyychhh!!! I locked myself in my apartment (it was raining, so no real point in being at the beach) and did a MC: Massive Cleanse. Not of myself, but of my stuff, the piles of which had grown so unmanageable and scattered that there were a few weeks there over the summer when I’d Citi Bike around lower Manhattan just to avoid being home alone (with the stuff). And then I got delirious with empty-room envy during a weekend visit to the James Turrell exhibit at LACMA. I longed for vast expanses of empty table/counter/vanity space; of reaching for a cream without fear that an entire shelf of products would topple over like a house of cards. People talk about body cleanses like there’s no tomorrow—what about apartment cleanses? Clutter, according to feng shui, drains your energy just as much as a Snickers bar (shove it, Snickers—you are a delicious but temporary fix). In my humble opinion, having tons of products and furniture and magazines and clothes is not luxurious—living minimally is. Why? Because it takes, arguably, more time, more decisiveness, but NOT—wait for it!—more dollars. Unless you hire a professional feng shui specialist, or, I don’t know, a butler, neither of which I could afford. So let’s get to it, shall we? The fruits of my labor, the chosen few: the tactful beauty edit.

I’m pretty excited about powder. The resurgence of '90s fashion (and the fact that I was fifteen when that decade ended) paired with the advent of fall has led me to embrace a Winona-in-her-heyday matte face, which, believe me and my dewy-loving soul, I never thought I’d say. 'But, won’t you look cake-y? Overdone? ‘Made up’?' I hear you ask. Not using the following products, paired with a light hand: Giorgio Armani’s Face Fabric is a medium-coverage foundation with a velvety finish. After sweeping a pump of Sunday Riley Effortless Breathable Tinted Primer in Medium over my face, I mash up Face Fabric in shades #2 and #3 on the back of my hand with Bobbi Brown’s Foundation Brush and buff it over my t-zone and under my eyes. Goodbye, blotchy redness! Then come the powder products: using one of the best brushes ever invented, the Beauty Is Life Fan, I’ll do a casual dusting/layering of Bobbi Brown Retouching Powder in White and Tom Ford’s inordinately large flying-saucer of a Bronzer all over. Then, un-blush: a pale, dusty neutral pink—MAC Tenderling—Nike-swooshed under and up the cheekbones. If you can see the makeup from a mile away, alert me, but I’m telling you—it doesn’t look like a lot. It just looks…finished? Polished. Fingers crossed.

On to the eyeballs! So many exciting developments. No, really—like (as one text from a friend read recently), have you tried Tom Ford’s eyebrow thing? The Brow Sculptor. In Chestnut. Thus far in my 28 years I’ve yet to put anything more than Benefit’s wimpy (in a good way) gel on my eyebrows without looking like a terrifying, much older version of myself…until this. It’s a foolproof, chalky, slanted pencil on one end and a spool on the other, and it’ll make you believe that groomed brows “totally change your face.” I go light on shadow, literally, with my latest shadow obsession, Chanel Hasard, a pale lavender that I dust all the way around with Lancôme’s delightful poof of a brush, #17 (the Blending Shadow Brush), to give me that romantic “natural shadow” that French girls acquire from staying out all night. Sometimes, for a little more dimension, I’ll line my lower and upper waterline with Chanel’s Khaki Précieux pencil (an excellent alternative to black)…and when I really feel like going for it, I’ve been going full-blown Rodarte with the liquid liner, courtesy of Nars' ultra-precise Stylo pen. Because, you know, it’s all about a statement eye right now. OH—and I rarely leave the house without a coat of Kevyn Aucoin’s genius The Volume mascara. It creates shiny tubes of jet-black inkiness around each individual lash, which slide off with, I discovered during a freak cleanser shortage, water alone. Much like the Diptyque Tilleul graveyard in my freezer (tap out the remains and voilà! Storage options/vases/drinking cups), you’ve got to see it to believe it.

Also in things you have to see to believe: your skin, after using the Somme Institute’s exfoliating padsserum, and moisturizer. Nick might as well do their PR, because he kind of does already: between his face, which has never looked more radiant, and the 10-odd friends (including Sophia, Leandra, and me) he’s brought over to the bright side, the man deserves reward points or a lifetime supply or a cruise or something. I did go through a brief phase (well, through a bottle) of Caudalie’s Premier Cru cream, which has the most comforting, enveloping texture, and also gives you a nice glow. And every other night or so, I’ll smear on some Clarins Instant Smooth Golden Glow to continue looking “healthy” even when I’m not. For a little at-home facial, there’s something oddly home-ec about the masks from Eminence Organics, a Hungarian line with a hippie-dippy feel and an emphatically natural message. The Seven Herb Treatment feels like food for your face, probably because it really is food for your face—as in, it separates and goes bad after a while—which means you should enjoy every last drop. This isn’t hard: it’s a once-a-week special treat that soothes, moisturizes, purifies—the whole lot—because how many masks do you really want to own?

Conversely, I want to own at least four…of the same deodorant. Because Weleda’s Sage Deodorant with Tea Tree Oil, ladies and gentlemen, is the first natural deodorant that 1) doesn’t just make b.o. smell like a slightly better version of itself, and 2) doubles as an excellent toner for, say, a pesky bump on your back. I’d gone through two bottles before deciding, hey, I definitely don’t want to run out of deodorant, so here I am with four of them, sidled right up next to the bottle of Gaiac 10—the elusive, no-longer-so-exclusive (hint: in addition to Tokyo, you can now find it at Barneys Madison Ave) Le Labo scent that chanteuse SoKo told me is her go-to because it “smells like clean laundry.” If there were a fragrance equivalent to MSG (or if fragrances can have MSG in them), this is it. I’ve never understood people who say they go through bottles of perfume; I can hardly make a dent in them. But Gaiac 10 is so subtle and weirdly alluring that I spritz like I’m putting out a fire. Again: tell me if you can smell me, while also seeing me, coming. #notagoodlook.

Mona, a freshman at Columbia and loyal ITG reader, saw me outside the Anna Sui show last week and told me, among other things (e.g., that she was the “first person in Saudi Arabia to use Bioderma Créaline”) that L’Occitane Almond Shower Oil is a must-try body product. It is! A welcome alternative to plain ol’ soap, it's got the creamiest lather and smells like heaven. I’ve also fallen into/resumed a regular pattern with my never-ending jug of Shu Uemura’s gentle, ultra-moisturizing Cleansing Oil Shampoo. And if there were some personal beauty-award system highlighting the product someone uses the longest, mine would go to Jurlique’s flipping fantastic Balancing Foaming Cleanser. Unlike Cetaphil, it removes your eye makeup without leaving any residue. And unlike Tracie Martyn’s Amla Purifying Cleanser (my other favorite), it doesn’t have any acid. It’s just a badass basic face wash—no bells or whistles; it gets the job done. It’s the only one I need. For now.

—Emily Weiss

P.S.: When you own a pair of haircutting scissors, you cut your own hair constantly. Especially late at night, especially after a glass of wine. It's as inevitable as death and taxes.

Emily Weiss, wearing a top and pants by Reed Krakoff, photographed by Mathea Millman in New York on September 17th, 2013.

Let’s Talk About It! JOIN IN
  • Vicki

    LOVE a good MC! I've been doing the same thing. I'm also in a marathon of using up all the stuff I started using before buying other stuff. It's a nice little pat on the back to see all the empties finally piling up! Because once everything is used up its time to go shopping again!!

  • http://fancylauren.blogspot.com/ Lauren Ashley

    Thank you! I really need to do a cleanse of my crap too - thanks for the extra push. I'm also loving a "finished" face for fall. Maybe it's a left over "back to school" mentality.

  • lisa_carbone

    EcoBeauty Tools has a beautifully soft large fan brush very similar to the Beauty is Life...think it set me back $6 bucks...
    Great recs!
    Cheers, Lisa

  • maria khan

    love this post emily.
    p.s. i might be the 1st person in Bangladesh to use Bioderma Crealine ;)

    • napstermonster

      you are not! That would be me, sister!

  • AltE

    Your Jurlique cleanser contains lactic acid. It's one of my faves. There are like 8 things from this list that I need, after a purge of my own.

  • Alison Bell

    "It's as inevitable as death and taxes." Brilliant! Emily, I love your twice-annual beauty edits. You may also have inspired me to do an edit/cleanse of my own. My sample drawer alone is seriously overflowing, and nobody needs ten mascaras. Nobody.

  • Amanda Lou de Perquise

    Great idea! We edit our closets so why not the beauty products?
    Are you coming to Paris fashion week?

  • http://www.ofstrangersensibilities.com/ Joy of Stranger Sensibilities

    Always curious as to what you are using. Great read!

  • steph beer

    Yes, to all of this.

  • Aubrey Green

    ah, you're gorgeous!

  • Celeste

    Ditto :) I've got at least half of these products on regular rotation. Currently obsessed with REN skincare and sheer red lips but that's the only real difference.

  • graceatwood

    I loved reading your favorites. Have you tried Soapwalla's deodorant? It is insane - best natural deodorant I've ever tried, and I've tried them all!

  • Amanda

    Love the Almond Shower oil! Highly recommend using it with a damp loofa or a bodybrush in the shower. It makes the skin sooo silky and smooth and it's also a great way to get rid of those nasty bumps that can appear on ones arms and thighs during the colder months!

  • Chrissabella

    Great post

    Greetings from London,


  • brannen vick

    What's your skin type?

  • brannen vick

    Out of curiosity, what's your skin type? I'm eager to see if it'd work with more acne-prone, combo/troubled skin.

    • Aparnaa

      I have acne-prone, combo skin. It took about a month on the Somme Institute regimen for my skin to stop getting those bad cystic breakouts. My mom said "well looks like you've finally done something about your skin!" (She meant well even if it came out like that.) You can get about a month's worth out of the travel kit if you buy it!

  • Chantel

    Nice products. Thanks for sharing!

  • sashi

    Good for you- I am sure you really need it. Does it ever feel that you are the main character in a Morgan Spurlock type documentary titled "Sephora-ize me?
    Oooh... is this actually a brilliant idea?

  • dc

    just dont cut during full moon....trust me

  • http://www.kimberlyloc.com/ kimberlyloc

    Minimalism is back! But it's kinda hard to achieve when you're a beauty blogger. I shoved a bunch of products into a bag and brought it to work to give away ... yet I still have overflowing counter / cabinets! Editing is hard.

    I love that you have found a natural deodorant that works for you! The Weleda stuff in the green bottle stung my pits :(

    • eastvillagesiren

      I have the same reaction; the combo of alcohol and citrus oils gives me a very unattractive rash. Have you found anything that works? BTW, love your blog.

      • http://www.kimberlyloc.com/ kimberlyloc

        Thank you! :) I like Nourish Organic's deodorant ... it's really moisturizing and hasn't caused any reaction. I will have a full review of it on my blog soon (I'm behind on deodorant reviews!) xo

        • eastvillagesiren

          Oh, I'll give this a try. Thanks much!

  • Cait

    I recently went through an MC and gave away or tossed a mountain of products, including all the samples from Sephora and a gazillion little bottles from hotels. I swear those things multiply in the closet late at night. I'm down to only things that work and that I love... including the Somme Institute trio (I use Philosophy's Real Purity cleanser and Josie Maran's moisturizer with SPF instead of Somme's versions). Thank you ITG for introducing me to Somme!

    Now I just need some willpower to avoid being seduced by promos that offer deluxe samples or gifts with purchase.

  • Nina

    Weee, finally a new Emily's essentials! I LOVE the Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil shampoo too. I always wanna try out new shampoos (and conditioners), but I think I'm actually gonna keep using this one. It seems to balance my oily scalp a bit without drying out my ends, which is hard to find in a shampoo. Although I'm dying to try their Silk Bloom soon...

  • babs

    Oh Emily, I have such a crush on you. I always love reading your clever, funny and honest writing and hearing what you're using, since you get so many tips from the most glamorous people. Your routine has become so elegantly curated but it's great to see that you're still having fun experimenting with beauty (e.g. your eye make-up).

  • Babou

    I had the same cleaning craze just this week. I've cleared half the apartment : the bedroom and the bathroom so far. Result: 4 huge bags of things to give away, mostly clothes and 2 garbage bags. I feel so good when I open my wardrobe and see how neet it is.
    I still have to do the basement locker (where I have a stash of empty shoe boxes, coat hangers and half broken suitcases), the kitchen and "everything goes" tiny storage room filled with my husband tools, backpacks collection and misc papers... ugh...
    Old t shirts, clothes never worn with tags still on, bottles of shmpoo I tried and hate but kept, 3 extra tubes of depilatory crean (I use it only on my 'stach, so I have about 20 years worth of it )...

    Why can't I resist new things and just live out of what is in my travel toiletries bag, it's perfect as it is...
    Minimalism is best, but so difficult to reach !

  • Charlotte

    A quick way to get the wax out of the Diptyques cleanly is to pour some hot water and pop the wax out by sticking the back of a metal spoon into it! Swirl a few times with hot water and the sides of your glass will be clean too. Hold it with a towel, though.

  • blushingincolor

    Love the comment about the scissors! I know what you mean... Guilty. I thought no one else did that!


  • Janine

    Funny, I'm cutting out products as well. Although, my minimal "look" takes 8-10 products. I guess it comes with age. I've been curious about Jurlique products (the only product I use is their Rose rollerball oil scent).
    EW, I wait for your product list...thank you!!
    Are you growing out your hair? :)

  • http://clickwatchwrite.com/ Hannah M.

    I'm so glad that personal hair-cutting is such a trend now. People need to calm the f-ck down about their hair and let loose once in a while! The world will not end if your bang trim is a little wonky, but you will probably have a lot of fun trying.

  • Nicole B.

    I've also been doing a cleanse of clothes and beauty products I don't use anymore. It is so satisfying to have less clutter! I also have been giving away beauty products I don't use to friends, I like to know it will be used instead of just thrown away.

  • megm115

    Emily, this is so great - your ability to keep it fresh is seriously enviable - but important question: What are you wearing on your mouth these days? Even if it's just balm, a fellow lip product addict needs to know!!

    • IntoTheGloss

      Hiya! I've been using Homeoplasmine, which melts on your mouth and leaves a satin finish. Don't know what but just haven't been feeling like much of a lipstick gal these days. It's all about the eyes! xE

  • Amy

    Use a cotton ball and some rubbing alcohol to get those soot stains off your Diptyque candles.

  • http://www.editorialite.com/ Maggie Winterfeldt

    Winona sure did rock a gorgeous matte, alabaster complexion in the 90s! I'm looking for a new primer--I'll have to check out the Sunday Riley you suggest!

  • Second HandBlog

    omg! your blog is just imazing!!! love it!!!!

    http://www.mynaturalook.blogspot.com SECOND HAND BLOG :)

  • Gemma

    Would love to see a video of you cutting your own hair!

  • Cat

    I feel I get that "french" effect with the mac paint pot "quite natural" (we are all nuts btw haha). It looks dark brown on the pot, but on my skin it turns into a natural, slightly bruise-y color that I am obsessed with. It may be the only mac product I will ever get to the bottom of! (Not because I don't like them, but because they are sooo pigmented, they just last a lifetime).

  • washingtonsquareparksucks

    i just cleaned out my fall /winter clothes.. 3 duffle bags giant went to goodwill on 8th st... and now im home to do more... the MASTER cleanse of clothes and stuff... GOODBYE

  • Cat

    Well that's pretty much my approach Wendy (plus a few birthday/christmas extras) and it has worked well so far! One or two products per month. You'd be surprised how much good quality stuff you can build up that way. Next up for me is: Omorovicza sunscreen/primer! They're doing 20% off with the purchase of any 2 products on their site till the end of this month :D

  • Tra

    Hi Emily, thanks for posting this. I just wanna ask if you ever use any oil treatment on your hair? I know you love volumising or texturising products but does that mean you don't bother about hair care? would love to know your thoughts on oils (morrocan oils or macadamia oils etc) x

  • Kara

    I love that the Tom Ford Brow Sculptor also has a hidden sharpener. Talk about a multitasking life saver!

  • Restless Blonde

    Yeah Fall is this time of the year when I remind about L'occitane Almond Shower Oil. It's just perfect with its warming scent... :)


  • Tary

    Emily, could you do a post on your beautyful tatoo? I love it and am curious about it. Thank you!

  • T

    I wonder what "Nike swooshed under and up the cheekbones" means


Giorgio Armani
Giorgio Armani Face Fabric Foundation
Sunday Riley
Sunday Riley Effortless Breathable Tinted Primer
Bobbi Brown
Bobbi Brown Foundation Brush
Beauty Is Life
Beauty Is Life Fan Brush
Bobbi Brown
Bobbi Brown Retouching Powder in White
Tom Ford Beauty
Tom Ford Beauty Bronzing Powder
MAC Powder Blush
Tom Ford Beauty
Tom Ford Brow Sculptor in Chestnut
Benefit Speed Brow
Chanel Eye Shadow in Hasard
Chanel Waterproof Long Lasting Eyeliner in Khaki Precieux
NARS ‘Stylo’ Liquid Eyeliner
Kevyn Aucoin Beauty
Kevyn Aucoin Beauty The Volume Mascara
Diptyque ‘Tilleul’ Candle
Somme Institute
Somme Institute Transport Toner Pads
Somme Institute
Somme Institute Serum
Somme Institute
Somme Institute A-Bomb
Caudalie Premier Cru Cream
Eminence Organics
Eminence Organics Seven Herb Treatment
Weleda Sage Deodorant Spray
Bioderma Créaline
Jurlique Balancing Foam Cleanser
Tracie Martyn
Tracie Martyn Amla Purifying Cleanser