1. Laura Mercier Kohl Eye Pencil
"Pretty much every brand has its version of a kohl pencil, but only Laura Mercier has such an awesome array of shades. I'm not much for black eyeliner, so I love that she has hues like Black Turquoise and Black Gold, which combine inky pigments with jewel tones to create a metallic, smoked-out line that's anything but boring black."
$20, available at Nordstrom.
2. Crazylibellule and the Poppies Rose À Saigon Solid Perfume
"This charming French brand specializes in solid perfume oils that smell like nothing else I've ever sniffed before. In the summer I use their Poule De Luxe vanilla-blended fragrances (vanilla and peach, mmm), but in the winter I turn to this sophisticated blend of vetiver, jasmine, ylang-ylang, rose, passionfruit, and mango. The great thing about these scented sticks is that — unlike a spray which envelopes you in scent — you can pinpoint where you want the fragrance to be, so you don't overpower anyone with your perfume. A swipe on the wrists, a dab behind the ears, and a dot on my decolleté is all I need to subtly scent my skin with this intoxicating aroma."
$10, available at Amazon.
3. Rescue Beauty Lounge Nail Polish
"I have long been a member of the RBL cult — Ji Baek is a mad polish genius and I'm always on the edge of my seat waiting for her to release a new lacquer. She does this amazing thing with her shimmers that adds intensity and intrigue to an already captivating color. I can't name a fave shade (that'd be like choosing a favorite child), but I can say that right now I am really digging Catherine H., a divine navy blue with pink and gold shimmer. I'm not usually one for dark blue (makes my pale hands look like I'm suffering from frostbite), but this polish has just enough warmth and is such a unique shade of navy that it just works and looks great with everything I wear in the process."
$18-$20, available at Rescue Beauty Lounge.
4. Kevin.Murphy Protection Wash Heat Protection Shampoo
"Most stylists I've spoken with have said that which shampoo you use doesn't really matter — it's not on your hair long enough to really make a difference — but I have to disagree when speaking about this groundbreaking cleanser. Without fail, every time I use this shampoo I get compliments on how gorgeous my hair looks. Featuring amino acids and chitosan — a polysaccharide naturally derived from the shells of shrimp and other sea crustaceans — this wash infuses your hair with natural protection from damage caused by heat styling, smoothing and hydrating your mane. Literally every good hair day I have ever had has been on a day when I used this."
$23.39, available at Sleek Hair.
Photos: By Grace Sun, MCV Photo
5. Caudalie Vinoperfect Day Perfecting Fluid SPF 15
"I'm all about multi-tasking, which is why this does-it-all skin cream is one of my go-tos. It's like a BB cream with training wheels: An airy hint of tint, plus illumination, hydration, brightening, and correction. It has built-in illuminators to instantly minimize the appearance of fine lines, dark spots, and discoloration, plus a natural compound derived from the vine sap of grapes that brightens, lightens, and evens out your skin over time. All that and a non-greasy finish means this is one skin perfector that always has a place in my ever-expanding beauty arsenal."
$72, available at BeautyBar.
6. Skinceuticals Phyto Corrective Gel
"As a long-time sufferer of mild acne, I've had my battles with breakouts. And while I've gotten minimizing zits down to a science, I've always been plagued by those telltale red marks that are left behind long after the breakout has passed. My dermatologist, Dr. Anne Chapas, turned me on to this little miracle worker and it's just the product I've been searching for to fight acne scars. A natural alternative to chemical lighteners like hydroquinone, it has thyme and cucumber to soothe and fight inflammation, a blend of plant derivatives (including uva ursi leaves) to gently fade discoloration, and hyaluronic acid to hydrate. You can use it all over your face, but I just apply a light layer to any red spots, morning and night, and it visibly speeds up the fading process better than any other product I've tried."
$60, available at Skinceuticals.
7. Shu Uemura Art Of Hair Essence Absolue Nourishing Protective Oil
"When my friends and fellow R29ers start raving to me about how much they love their hair oils, I tend to get a little melancholy — as a fine-haired girl, most of those slippery hydrators weigh down my locks and make it look like I decided not to shower for a month. That was until I discovered this amazing hair oil from Shu Uemura. Instead of the usual argan-based formula, it uses camellia flowers, which makes this nourishing oil lightweight and fast-absorbing. I smooth some over dry hair to get rid of flyaways, or saturate my ends at bedtime to help get rid of dry, strawlike strands. There are a ton of ways to use it and it works on literally every hair type, making it one of the very few universal hair products."
$68, available at Shu Uemura Art Of Hair.
8. Perricone MD No Concealer Concealer
"I know I need to use eye cream during the day — I've heard enough dermatologists strongly urge this to know that it's an essential preventative step — but I find that advice easier said than done. Every eye cream I've tried, no matter how fast-absorbing it seems, causes my concealer to slip-slide off and my eyeliner to smudge into that weird, raccoon-eye thing. No Concealer Concealer (awesome name, no?) solves that problem by being an eye cream and concealer in one. It has UV protection and a dark-circle camouflaging tint, plus vitamin C ester and neuropeptides to soften fine lines and fight signs of aging. I've also found it works great as a primer, reducing redness and helping my eye makeup to stay on longer. I love it when it's easy to follow good advice."
$45, available at Sephora.
9. Shiseido Shimmering Rouge
"I don't know where I would be without bold lipstick — probably moping somewhere looking sad, pale, and sickly. Besides curling my eyelashes, adding a bold lipstick is one of the easiest ways to make me look more awake and put-together. It gets a little tricky to wear bright lip hues in the winter (damn dry and flaky lips), but I've found Shiseido's Shimmering Rouge lip colors don't pose the same problem for my cold-weather look as other, less forgiving lipsticks do. It literally glides on and has a moisturizing finish, so I don't have to worry about getting that weird, white, dry lip line midway through the day. Right now I'm obsessed with Golden Dragon, a super-flattering cranberry red that's perfect for the holidays."
$25, available at Macy's.
Photo: MCV Photo