Fourteen Fab Beauty Products I Can’t Live Without…

Beauty Reviews - Fourteen Fab Beauty Products I Can't Live Without

You know how you have your “go-to” beauty products that you MUST have in your life? Products that if they were to become discontinued bloodshed and gnashing of teeth would follow?

Well this is mine…These items are in no particular order and I am not affiliated in any way with the companies that make these items. I just love them and hope that they never go away. Maybe this will inspire you to try something new. 

1. Creme de la Mer

You don’t have to be rich to afford this luxe facial moisturizer. Although it retails for $140 an ounce (and is worth every penny), sample sizes of .25 oz. can be found on Ebay for around $30…this sample size can last me up to a year, as a little goes along way. Very emollient. Great of fine lines under the eye or for dry, dehydrated skin.

creme de la mer cream
Creme de la Mer

2. MAC Lipglass in shade “Underage”

I’ve been a fan of this shade of MAC Lipglass for years. It’s the perfect combination of sheer and shiny with the right amount of pigment to look great on it’s own or to lighten up too dark lipstick. A nice neutral beige pink. Retails for $14.50.

MAC Lipglass in Underage
MAC Lipglass in "Underage"

3. Becca Loose Shimmer Powder in “Angel”

This has been a staple in my makeup bag for years. I use this as my eyeshadow base. It’s a perfect combination of a nude pinky beige with a light shimmer. Formerly sold at Sephora, this Australian cosmetic line is now increasingly hard to find in USA stores.  Becca Cosmetics are available on and Unfortunately, I have been having trouble finding this item in the featured shade of “Angel”. Retails for $20.00.

Becca Shimmer Powder in Angel
Becca Shimmer Powder in "Angel"

4. Jonathan Beauty Water Shower Filtration System

After moving into a new home, my hair became dry and brassy. Upon some research, I found that there was a high amount of iron in our local water supply. I stumbled upon this item while desperately searching for a shampoo that would bring back some life to my thin, dry hair. After reading many positive reviews, I decided to give it a try. I love it! My hair has been transformed, amen! Retails for $95.00. The filter cartridge (about $40.00) must be replaced about every 6 months.

Jonathan Beauty Water Shower Filter
Jonathan Beauty Water Shower Filter

5. Clinique Skin Supplies for Men Nonstreak Gel Bronzer

I have to say, I’ve been using this bronzing gel for probably at least ten years. Clinique, please never change the shade or formulation. This bronzing gel is great to apply over foundation for a sun-kissed glow, or mixed with body lotion for application on arms and legs. It’s nice because it washes off (unlike self-tanner), is odor-free and doesn’t have that “orange” tinge to it. 

Clinique Men's Bronzing Gel
Clinique Men's Bronzing Gel

6. La Femme Pressed Eyeshadow in “Iridescent Brown”

Although this item photographs lighter than it looks in person, La Femme’s Iridescent Brown eyeshadow is a must have staple in any girl’s makeup bag. Totally neutral, it works perfect on both cool and warm skin tones. It’s highly pigmented and has great staying power…The best part of all, it’s only $4.99. La Femme can be tricky to find in some small towns. I usually buy online or hit up theatrical makeup supply houses like Naimie’s when in Los Angeles or Alcone in New York City.

La Femme Eyeshadow in "Iridescent Brown"
La Femme Eyeshadow in "Iridescent Brown"

7. Latisse Eyelash Growth Solution by Allergan

What can I say?…well for one thing, I’ve been asked if I was wearing false eyelashes after a couple months of using Latisse. Bravo Allergan…Latisse has transformed my sparse, short eyelashes back to the full, dark eyelashes that I had in my teens. It may sound pricey at $120 a bottle, but I get about 6 months’ use out of each bottle. Now that I’ve been using it for over a year, I only have to apply it 2-3 times a week to keep my eyelashes staying long, dark and full. 

Latisse Eyelash Growth Solution
Latisse Eyelash Growth Solution

8. Graftobian Hi-Def Glamour Creme Foundation in “Glamour Girl”

This may be one of the most important items in my makeup bag. Created for actors on high definition television, Graftobian Hi-Def Glamour Cream Foundation is my go-t0 “secret weapon” for when I know I’ll be photographed. This highly pigmented cream foundation gives the appearance of flawless, airbrushed skin. For those of you familiar with Joe Blasco theatrical foundations, it’s similar – but better. Great for normal to dry skin. Retails for $14.99. Easy online ordering from

Graftobian Hi Def Cream Foundation in "Glamour Girl"
Graftobian Hi Def Cream Foundation in "Glamour Girl"

9. Jane Carter Solution Revitalizing Leave-in Conditioner

See item # 4 above. When I was on my quest to find something that would get my dry hair back in shape, I decided to look for hair products that contained natural ingredients and did not contain silicone. This leave-in conditioner is the perfect solution for tangle-free, protected hair. Just spray it on after towel drying and comb through. The amazing scent is to die for! Retails for around $9.00. Can be found at Vitamin Shoppe.

Jane Carter Revitalizing Leave-in Conditioner
Jane Carter Revitalizing Leave-in Conditioner

10. Philosophy the Fragrance

Ok, this fragrance has been discontinued, but I have to add it to my “fav” list because I love it so much. Please Philosophy, if you’re reading this, please bring “The Fragrance” back, even if only as a limited edition. The only way I can explain this scent is fresh laundry mixed with lemons, sunshine and love. A very light, unisex fragrance. I would bathe in it if I could.

Philosophy the Fragrance
Philosophy the Fragrance

11. DayWhite 38% Carbamide Peroxide Teeth Whitening Gel

Perfect for when I get a last minute invite, DayWhite’s 38% Carbamide Peroxide Teeth Whitening Gel whitens my teeth at least 2 shades in fifteen minutes flat. You can use it if you have teeth trays from your dentist, or as I do, use it with a rubber mouth tray purchased at the drugstore or at Walmart. No prescription is needed. Retails for about $20.00 for four syringes. I usually purchase mine on Ebay.

Day White Whitening Gel
Day White 38% Carbamide Peroxide Whitening Gel

12. Tazorac Cream by Allergan

This product is my best anti-aging friend. Similar to Renova or Retin-A, this retinoid formula helps firm sagging facial skin and smoothes fine lines by promoting collagen production within the skin’s layers. Many people have trouble getting used to retinoids due to irritation and redness and give up before they have a chance to see results. Trust me…if you can get through the initial redness and irritation, you’ll be glad you stuck with it. Applied nightly (with a doctor’s prescription). Sunscreen is a must if you’re using this product.

Tazorac Retinoid Cream by Allergan
Tazorac Retinoid Cream by Allergan

13. Blue Lizard Chemical-Free Sunscreen 30 SPF

Blue Lizard sunscreen was recommended to me by a fellow Esthetician. This natural sunscreen provides both UVA and UVB protection in a chemical-free formulation. Turns sheer within a minute of application. It’s never irritated my sensitive skin, nor caused an breakouts. Retails for around $10.00 a tube. Find it at, etc.

Blue Lizard SPF 30 Chemical-Free Sunscreen
Blue Lizard SPF 30 Chemical-Free Sunscreen

14. Crede ER Treatment Conditioner

My hair saviour! First introduced to me about ten years ago by a friend in LA, I’ve never strayed from this rich conditioner. I found myself in a panic when a jar of this miracle worker was seized from me by TSA on a recent flight. Funny, the scissors I had in the same bag were apparently ok to board the plane with. I use this as a “special occasion” conditioner when I have to absolutely look my best. Retails for around $30.00. Hard to find in stores. Great deals for Crede ER Treatment can be found on Ebay.

Crede ER Treatment Conditioner
Crede ER Treatment Conditioner

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“It’s all Smoke and Mirrors” is my medium for expression through fashion, style, random thoughts, and whatever else inspires me at the time. As a Photo Stylist, Esthetician and Make-up Artist, I will share my personal insights on beauty, style and my fear of my favorite products being discontinued. I will also share some honest product reviews, informative tidbits and tutorials. Please note that I am not paid to do these reviews of products, all items were purchased by me for personal use. As a former Los Angeleno, I will share musings of my life living in the Valley as a struggling actress/model. As a former New York city dweller, I will share rants about my former life in NYC and the way I viewed the world from my tiny apartment on East 77th. As a business owner, I will share my struggles, travels, achievements, and how I got to where I am today. As a girl who’s “not in her 20′s” anymore, I will share laughs, fashion and style tricks, and other personal insight that has helped me along the way to becoming the woman and mother that I am today.

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