15 Beauty Products That Got Us Through Heartbreak & Hard Times

Many of us have beauty products that make us believe we can shatter glass ceilings. But what about ones for getting us through our darkest moments? During hard times, we call our friends, binge-watch nostalgic shows, and cry into our wine — and that all helps — but some of the best pick-me-ups, we've found, are also on our vanities.

Bad breakups, family feuds, shitty jobs — we asked staffers to share the products they keep on standby for when things go sour. From red lipsticks to relaxing bath salts, here's the stuff that helps us see the silver lining. (Oh, and you won't find tissues ahead, but you're going to want to stock up on a lot of those, too.)


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"I don't fully understand why, but whenever I'm depressed or stressed or going through a breakup, I tend to wear sleeping masks way more often. I think it's something about forcing my eyes to close so I can't stay awake staring at the ceiling. Plus, they make crying harder to do and black out the room. I find them really comforting — but only during sad times. (Any other time, and I'm fidgety and can't stop adjusting them and feel claustrophobic.)" — Alix Tunell, senior beauty editor

Slip Silk Eye Mask, $45, available at Saks Fifth Avenue.
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"I was really unhappy at my last job, and was feeling overwhelmed and confused about where I was going with my life and what I wanted. I took a long bath after a long day at work, and it was nice to just decompress and remove myself for a minute. During that time period in general, I was trying to get more in touch with myself, because I felt like I had lost sense of that, and that product really helped in forcing me to spend time with myself while also relaxing me." —R29er, brand experiences

French Girl Sea Soak in Rose/Ylang, $17.99, available at Domino.
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"For me, it's always been a good sea-salt bath scrub. It peels off the worries and any bad energy — it's like giving myself the sense of a spa visit right at home.

"As a true Israeli, I love any product that is from the Dead Sea. It reminds me of being there, floating in the oily sea — it's true nirvana." — Adar Beck-Levran, assistant editor

Sabon Butter Scrub, $35, available at Sabon.
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"My skin got really bad from the stress of the election — I had a massive cystic pimple right in the middle of my face, and it made me feel really down on my looks during a time when I already was feeling awful. Naturally, I picked at it, exactly as I am not supposed to do. Dr. Dennis Gross Daily Peel Pads, combined with the Valmont Clarifying Pack, shortened my healing time and eliminated a lot of the scarring that happened in the aftermath." — Elysia Berman, designer for Snapchat Discover

Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel Extra Strength Daily Peel, $88, available at Sephora.
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"Also, from the stress of not sleeping, I got some nasty dark circles. Glossier Stretch Concealer was the only thing that covered both my dark circles and a giant pimple scab well enough for me to feel good going into the world." — Elysia Berman, designer for Snapchat Discover

Glossier Stretch Concealer, $18, available at Glossier.
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"Establishing rituals is super-important for me. After a long and tumultuous relationship ended last year, my anxiety got worse and I needed some help focusing and not letting my mind wander. I'm not a meditation buff, but I do like spritzing this essence spray all over my bed or my clothes before I need to get stuff done — or sleep. The lavender calms me down, and the fragrance is so refreshing that I focus on that way more than on my scattered thoughts." — Samantha Sasso, beauty editorial assistant

Aquarian Soul Cactus Flower & Quartz Essence Spray, $22, available at Aquarian Soul.
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"I went through a school shooting at my college two years ago, and I immediately dyed my hair purple while processing and healing from it. The traumatic experience encouraged me to do whatever I want with my life, and in this instance, it was changing my appearance to fit who I am. Since then, I've done whatever I want with my hair. I shaved the side, and now it's extremely short." — Emma Manley, post-production intern

'N Rage Purple Plum Demi Permanent Hair Color, $10.49, available at Sally Beauty.
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"Herban Essentials lavender wipes were great for me when I was going through a really stressful and depressive time. I would use them to find a moment of calm, and the soothing scent helped me remember to breathe and find stillness in my day. Plus, they kill germs, which helped ease some anxiety as well." — Julianne Baker, growth strategist

Herban Essentials Towelettes in Lavender, $7, available at Anthropologie.
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"Spending $50 on a body wash sounds ridiculous — and maybe it is — but this served as so much more than that when I was going through my first big breakup last year. The creamy lather and rich, indulgent scent was like getting a massive hug every morning. And it lingered on my skin all day, reminding me to take care of myself, too." — Cat Quinn, beauty director

Byredo Mojave Ghost Body Wash, $50, available at Byredo.
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"When I am stressed or upset or going through any emotionally trying time in my life, I get very bad eczema and just generally red, sensitive skin. The only thing I can use is La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Baume. I slather that shit on." — Emily Gray, vice president, partnerships and distributions

La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Baume B5 Soothing Multi-Purpose Balm, $14.99, available at Target.
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"MAC's RiRi Woo [Ed. note: The shade is discontinued.] helped me get through a breakup. For the first few weekends after it last January, I went out with my girlfriends and had lots of drinks. It made me feel sexy and confident — and it's actually now running low, which makes me very, very sad because it's sold out everywhere!" — Arianna Davis, entertainment features writer
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"A couple drops of lavender oil behind the ears always makes me feel better." — Sloan Wilson, production management intern

Vitruvi Lavender Essential Oil, $14.90, available at Vitruvi.
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"When my boyfriend and I broke up a couple months ago, I really just wanted to switch up my look and started experimenting more with my long-standing beauty routine. Lo and behold, I ended up finding the foundation of my dreams. Full disclosure: I already owned it after snagging it at sale price, but had left it unused for months because I was always more of a tinted-moisturizer kind of girl and was a little nervous to try out something as heavy-duty as foundation. But after trying it once, I was hooked, and definitely got my confidence back.

"It has a pretty sheer coverage, which is exactly what I need in a foundation and I love how it keeps me looking alive, glowing, and fresh even at the very end of the day when I typically look pallid and tired. It's been a game-changer for my skin and makeup routine — and, dare I say, my love life as well?" — Sophie Ross, editorial assistant, brand experiences

Dior Diorskin Forever Perfect Makeup Foundation Broad Spectrum 35, $50, available at Sephora.
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"Epsom-salt foaming bath for post-breakup and post-workout." — Whitney Husnik, producer

Dr. Teal’s Foaming Bath Sooth & Sleep, $4.89, available at Target.
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"This Too Faced Chocolate Bronzer got me feeling like I was on the beach with a chocolate frosty in hand, even when times were tough. ​I bought two of these at once when my long-term ex and I broke up, and I needed that extra cocoa love!​" — Rachel Chen, junior audience development editor

Too Faced Soleil Matte Bronzer, $30, available at Sephora.
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