Beauty Challenge: Name Your Top 5 Products

Last night my homegirl Luvvie asked me a ridiculous question. Ridiculous.

She goes, “what are your top 5 beauty products?”

And I’m like…huh? What a big question! Do you mean makeup, or skincare? Beauty products? OMG I can’t even begin to wrap my mind around that.

I was getting the vapors just thinking about it.

But Luvvie pressed me to name my top 5 actual items – including both makeup and skincare.

I had to think hard, and fast. What are the products I absolutely can’t do without, can’t recommend a similar product that works just as well, and will happily buy again as soon as my package begins to show signs of running low?

Here were my answers, in order.

1. MAC Studio Fix fluid SPF 15 foundation. I won’t leave home without it. Seriously. Tia Dantzler was able to look at me and tell me my exact shade, and ever since then I have been hooked. If I’m out somewhere special and I’m going to be photographed, I NEED to be wearing my Studio Fix!

2. Maybelline Full and Soft mascara. An oldie but always a goodie. Maybelline Full and Soft is my stand-by, my go-to, the mascara that makes my lashes look lush, for an affordable price. I will happily try any expensive mascara on the market, but I always come back to Full and Soft.

3. NYX lip pencils. I really need to write a big blog post all about NYX sometime soon. I gotta give a hat tip to my homette Clumps of Mascara for convincing me to seek out the brand! NYX is all about high impact and low prices. Their eye pencils are awesome, and their lip pencils are the BOMB, especially for black women looking for color impact and lip pencils that last. I was looking for a lip pencil in the perfect shade of dark brown for a long time, and NYX had my shade and then some! In thin lip pencils and thick. If you’ve had a hard time finding lip pencils in all the tints and tones of brown you need, get thee to an Ulta and get you a piece of their awesome.

4. Jolie MD. I’ve reviewed this product before, so you already know my feelings. All I will say is, I have yet to find another skincare serum that is as effective for my skin’s needs. And believe me, I’ve looked!

And…number 5. Oh man, how to close this list out? Part of me wanted to say the Clarisonic brush. But in the interest of reviewing something new that I’ve been using particularly recently and am head over heels about, I gotta go with the Dr. Lancer Method.

It’s a three part skin care system that makes my skin look and feel clean, fresh and glowing. The skin polish is more refined and effective than just about any I’ve used. The cleanser feels amazing – tingly, refreshing, and I love the little beads! And the Repair AM/PM Nourishing Treatment makes my skin feel replenished. I use it right when I get out of the shower. Then I can add my moisturizer with SPF, foundation etc and I am good to go!

It was super hard to come up with my top 5 products, but that’s what I came up with under pressure. I keep thinking of more products I should and could have added…but those were my top 5 when asked. Now it’s your turn. What are your top 5 beauty products? I know! It’s super hard, right?

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Comments

  1. Bobbi Brown foundation sticks (Golden in winter months and Warm Almond mixed with Golden in summer months)

    Plain old pure witch hazel. This stuff cleanses, refreshes, removes makeup…and it’s incredibly cheap

    Aveda lipstick in ‘Cherrybud’. This is a luscious true red that is packed with natural ingredients and tastes of peppermint. It’s very moisturizing and the colour is divine.

    Omega 3 capsules – not a cosmetic exactly but works from the inside out to give you amazing skin and well-conditioned hair

    Pure rosehip oil: the best moisturiser. Ever. Also fades scars.

  2. I cancelled my Jolie MD order & I’ve been agonizing ever since. I’m going to go ahead & re-order it. I’ve improved my skin alot over the last few months, now I just need to smooth it out & “perfect” it. I’m hoping this does the trick. Afrobella, do u use other products like Dr. Lancer with it? I was thinking I’d just have to use Cetaphil or some other mild cleanser. Not sure.

    As for my top 5 beauty products:

    1. Clairsonic Face brush. Life changing!! My skin has never been so clear & blemish free & I know that it’s b/c the Clarisonic cleans & exfoliates so well that it allows my products to properly penetrate & treat my skin. I will use this forever.

    2. Tamanu Oil. This stuff is like a miracle oil in a bottle! I researched b4 purchasing & concluded it’s just good to have around since it works on acne, cuts, burns, abrasions, etc. I brush my face @ night & apply a tiny bit of tamanu oil to my face & neck. I haven’t had a pimple since. I have extremely oily skin & ALWAYS have a pimple or whitehead somewhere. Not since I got the tamanu oil, except the 2 nights I have failed to use it. I woke up the next morning with my customary chin zit.

    3. Hair One from Sally’s Beauty Supply. I am a no-pooer & I recently bought this & tried it. Love it! My hair is so soft & shiny. Lots of curl definition. It’s so full & doesn’t shrink as much either.

    4. Thread. OK I’m reaching lol. But I HAVE to mention a properly shaped brow. I get mine threaded & I look like a completely different (better) person when I’m freshly threaded. It just changes & improves my whole look. A well groomed brow just frames the face better than any make-up or add-on could ever do.

    5. Aztec Bentonite Clay. I love this stuff. It tightens my pores & just gives my face a refreshed glow. Plus it reduces my extreme oiliness which is a great blessing.

    • I need to get some bentonite clay!! Been meaning to for a while now. And you make me wanna go out to Sally’s RIGHT NOW for that Hair One!

      I am loving these responses!

  3. MAC is my makeup of choice, but I chose my 5 items from those that I use every single day:

    American Beauty Extra Clean Balancing Tonic from Kohl’s (I used to use Prescriptives’ blue toner until they discontinued the line).

    Lush’s Dream Cream- great on my face and also prevents ash on my knees and feet (one of their best sellers).

    Carol’s Daughter Healthy Hair Butter (I love it on my Caesar/twa)

    Shea Cashmere Body Cream and Shower Cream (2 products from Bath & Body Works– smells like cake).

    • I haven’t been to Bath and Body Works in FOREVER. Gotta try that Shea Cashmere, sounds divine. And I am a lover of Lush Dream Cream too!

  4. For I am a plain jane, my top 5 beauty products are a bit boring!
    5. Carol’s Daughter Almond Cookie Shea Souflee: this is the only moisturizer that penetrates into my super extra dry skin. and it smells hella good.
    4. Good Ol Chapstick: Cherry flavored prefered. I love it.
    3. Mac’s Studio Fix Foundation, compact: NW 45, thats my shade and I love it. I once bought NW 50 by accident before I was to go out that night, and because of the mix up, I REFUSED to go anywhere cause I looked crazyyyy!
    2. Cinnamon Floss: Flossin is Bossin!
    and lastly, Cetaphil. I love their soap and lotion, but the bar of soap is awesome!

    • How could I forget chapstick???? Lord I must have 10 tubes of that stuff strategically placed so that I’m never without it. My mother worries that I’m addicted. I just need to drink more water lol. But even when I do, I still gotta have my chapstick. I have like 4 tubes IN my bed every night. I don’t want to have to reach lol.

      Bella that bentonite clay is the truth!! I’ve tried it with ACV but that was too strong for my skin so now I mix it with water. It’s messy, so I bought one of those mixing bowls that colorists mix hair color in along with the brush & that’s how I apply it to my face. Alot of people use it in their hair but I can’t be bothered to try it lol.

      Hair One is also the truth! I didn’t even “comb” my hair today. Finger or otherwise. It looks so good!! It’s really full & bouncy springy curls. Loves it!

      • Kimmie,

        When I wore my hair natural during 2008 and 2009, I used bentonite clay along with ACV to loosen my curls. Yep, it’s messy but the difference was amazing.

  5. Great post! Ok my top 5 are:

    1. Cetaphil daily facial cleanser
    2. Olay complete all day UV moisturizer
    3. Black opal foundation stick in beautiful bronze
    4. Rimmel sexy curves mascara
    5. Neutrogena makeup remover cleansing towelettes

  6. 1.) Rosebud lip balm (strawberry flavor)
    2.) Maybelline liquid liner
    3.) Nars Bronzer stick (I forgot the name, its a newbie)
    4.) Clear brow gel
    5.) I don’t use it daily, but Queen Helene Mint Julep mask is hands down the best mask and great price!

  7. 1. Mary Kay Anti-Aging Skincare Line for oily skin
    2. A baby tub of Vasaline- for lips, kneecaps, whatever I wish
    3. Forever Sunshine lotion by Bath & Body Works
    4. Kinky Curly Curling Custard
    5. Sally Henson Hard as Nails 60 second drying topcoat

  8. 1. Meow’s Pampered Puss foundation in Inquisitive Siamese. It’s a foundation that matches my skintone perfectly.
    2. Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy, which is a must for sparkly eye shadows.
    3. Flirt! It Curls mascara in Bombshell Black. This has fast become my favorite mascara.
    4. My eye shadows – can’t choose just one.
    5. MAC Blush in Full Fuchsia – it’s awesome for my skintone.

  9. 1. Clarisonic Mia – my skin has never felt soooo good.
    2. Falsies Mascara/Diorshow iconic mascara – I can’t decide which I love more.
    3. Urbay Decay Naked Palette – I love ALL of the colors
    4. L’Oreal Studio Secrets magic perfecting base because I can wear it without foundation and not looking like the walking dead.
    5. Diorkiss in Iced Latte (711), it’s been my go to gloss for the past 2 years and it smells like a real iced latte!

  10. Hey Bella,

    Lovely list! I felt the same pangs when I decided to take on the challenge of writing about my faves over at Dasheen. But at least I got to name 10 lol. Love that Full n Soft is still one of your loves. Can’t say enough about it myself.

    1. Neu­tro­gena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sun­block
    2. Neu­tro­gena Oil-Free Acne Wash Pink Grape­fruit Cream Cleanser
    3. Estee Lauder Creme Caramel Shimmer Powder
    4. Milani lipgloss in Shimmering Glow
    5. and without question Full N’ Soft

    Looking forward to those reviews! Keep em coming!

  11. You have a great list…I forgot about Full & Soft mascara that’s good stuff!

    Okay here’s my top 5.

    1. Coconut Oil – I use this as lotion, hair oil, makeup remover, eyelash-glosser, it even works as a facial moisturizer in a pinch

    2. MAC Studio Fix concealer – this is wonderfulness in a pot

    3. Too Faced Caribbean in a Compact in Snow Bunny – the most gorge highlighter ever and doubles as eyeshadow.

    4. MAC Lipgloss in Love Nectar – goes with everything.

    5. Fresh Lemon Juice – makes a great toner and mattifier

    That was extremely hard!

    • Right on with Love Nectar! That has to be the perfect peachy shade for a nude lip. I like it on top of the Modesty lipstick too.

  12. professor says:

    This list is based on what I buy multiples without hesitation. It does NOT reflect the thousands I’ve spent on “the pretty” via other products just, oh, THIS YEAR! Since childhood, I’ve coveted, sampled, and kept VATS of beauty products, treatments, potions, lotions, balms, and creams. I love easily, but not forever. So many could’ve made this list on initial crush and infatuation alone!

    May I say that I’ve been surprised at the lack of big-named or obvious brands in the responses. That’s likely a lesson for us … that we won’t learn, LOL! We have cash, credit cards, and (XX) chromosomes: we SHALL continue to shop ’til we drop (or that Miracle Elixir is FOUND)!

    My 5 (based largely on Afrobella’s notion of “uniqueness,” that is, there is no other that does what these do the way I need them to do what they do):

    1. Estee Lauder’s Fruition: This potion didn’t put up with ANY facial disruptions, not even for one day; it handled my face and any other place that wanted to act up; alas: ’tis discontinued (sob)!

    2. Lipstick: High-end, lowbrow, mid-range, pearly, creamy, glossy, bright, bold, or muted: I am NEVER without a tube, EVER! I’ve slathered my lips while touring ruins, trekking thru a rainforest, taking the Bar, at the cemetery, and while making a phone call from the privacy of my home; it doesn’t matter: I will apply lipstick! I had a boyfriend who once went CRAZY when he walked into an office and watched a mutual (male) friend watch me apply a hot pink lipstick; boyfriend thought I was flirting; I was just BREATHING!

    3. Glide Floss: All the terrorists need to do is allow a bit of meat to remain lodged in my teeth for, oh, 4 minutes; I will fabricate national security secrets in exchange for 12″ … of Glide!

    4. Tweezerman Tweezers: I shudder to think what I’d look like if I didn’t have pairs stashed everywhere in my life (and I’m not particularly hairy)! And the company sharpens them for life for free???! I keep a pair in my bathroom, wallet, office desk, driver’s side door, car armrest, in my jewelry bag, in my makeup bag, in my bedroom, ….(get the picture?).

    5. MAC Pressed Blot Powder: This SHUTS the shine DOWN. I know I should be all New Age-y and Eastern; however, I’m not a rice paper gal; instead, I’m just an American GAL who NEEDS her mirrored compact and puff!

  13. My top five…hmmm…

    1. Burt’s Bees Replenishing Lip Balm with Pomegranate Oil
    2. Renée Rouleau Anti-Cyst Treatment
    3. Eucerin Dry Skin Therapy Everyday Protection Body Lotion with SPF 15 UVA + UVB Protection
    4. MAC Lipstick in “O”
    5. Wintergreen rubbing alcohol – good for preventing breakouts following brow and lip waxings

  14. The top five things that I use often (pretty much daily) and that are not replaceable by any other product of the same type are:

    1. Clarisonic brush
    2. My cleansing oil mix (castor, olive, sunflower, evening primrose and papaya)
    3. Clinique Even Better Skin Tone Corrector (I call it my magic lotion; it is probably the most expensive skin product I have ever bought more than twice)
    4. Coconut oil (for my hair and skin)
    5. Alima Pure Satin Matte [Mineral] Foundation (the best foundation I’ve ever used, great natural finish and their custom blend service allowed me to get the colour exactly right)

    • Mrs Mocha 313 says:

      dumb question alert: where can I get coconut oil? Every coconut body or hair product I come across has Petroletum in it! I can’t find pure coconut oil!!

  15. I love this! Hmm…

    1. C.O. Bigelow lip balm in just about any flavor. I wait until Bath & Body Works has a good sale, then I rack up.
    2. Too Faced Shadow Insurance. It just works well.
    4. MAC Chestnt lip liner. Safe, yes. My go-to liner.
    5. Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint Castille Soap. A multitude of uses for it…even the bottle says so.

    • I just started using the peppermint Dr. Bronner’s soap and I love it! The scent just wakes me right up. Good call on that one!

  16. Oh! I missed #3 (sorry, it’s late). Equate (wal-mart brand) face wash. It’s the equivalent to Neutrogena Acne Wash. Works well….

  17. drymartini says:

    I’ve had calculus class assignments easier than this question, here goes:

    1. Jojoba oil with a few drops of orange essential oil for body and hair
    2. Rosewater for facial toner and lovely light body fragrance
    3. Aveda’s Black Malva shampoo
    4. castille olive oil soap, the only body cleanser that doesn’t make me itch or give me hives
    5. Victoria Secret’s lipstick in Berry

    After several years of rotating through various lotions and potions, these are the workhorses of my hair and body products. Every 2 months or so I write down what I’m using and what is/isn’t working. These 5 are consistent faves.

  18. professor says:

    Can we have more of these, Afrobella? I love learning what you and the beauties out there are doing! And though I would’ve LOVED it? I’m glad you were asked and asked us about our top 5 vs. 10; that was a very useful exercise; it required us to make tough cuts and get TO it! :o)

  19. Keep it simple! Natural beauty.

    1. Aura Glow Olive Oil–use it to take off makeup and for moisturizing and lubrication of skin & even hair
    2. ORS Twist and Lock Gel–use this for twisting hair.
    3. Tweezerman–nothing like this
    4. Nylon Loofah gloves–any brand. Use them to exfoliate. I use them on dry skin all over and then take your bath or shower
    5. Nail Clippers–shape first with these and then file your nails. Gives a nice professional squared oval shape.

  20. Um, is it consider cheating if I did just the drugstore edition of my top 5?

    1. Ponds Cold Cream. This is in my medicine cabinet, always!

    2. Maybelline Soft N’ Full Mascara. It really lives up to it’s name without the clumps!

    3.Organix Hydrating Teatree Mint Shampoo. I love this shampoo! It gives me moist,soft and clean hair.

    4.Almay Eye Makeup Remover Pads(Moisturizing). Takes off any brand of mascara, waterproof or regular and I don’t need no more than 2 pads!

    5. It’s a tie between Ecotools & Sonia Kashuk brushes. They are everything!

  21. Hmm this is an excellent question especially if you are a product junkie.
    My top five products are:
    1.Eco styler olive oil gel( really makes great wash and gos)
    2.loreal voluminous mascara
    3.nail magic
    4.thread for the eyebrows
    5. Aubrey organics honeysuckle rose shampoo and conditioner

  22. 1) Aztec Bentomite Clay Mask – I’m a fan of masks for the humid climate of South Florida. This is the cheapest of the ones I’ve tried and hate to say it, but perhaps the most effective especially when I’ve been a bit lazy with my skin.

    2) Lush mask of magniminty – Ok Lush, why does this bowl of mask have to be $20 compared to #1 ($7.99)? But you’ve got me hooked. This is for the mornings I just need a fresh take on my face. And it does last long, so I’ll give them credit. Sometimes Aztec makes my face red and longer to take off – not something you want for the morning rush.

    3) Rosebud Salve – This is my lipgloss, cuticles ointment, a quick hand cream, etc.

    4) Purity made simple – Takes everything off at the end of the day. Love this cleanser so much that I bought the “supersize” 32 fl oz version.

    5) Maybelline Lash Stiletto Volumptuous (Waterproof) – By my aforementioned choices, if you pegged me as the effortless girl in her beauty routine, you’re right. But other than masks, I’m always on the hunt for the holy grail of mascara. I’ve tried many but I keep coming back to this red tube version from Maybelline in the last year. A little to look polished for the day. And a couple of coats for the glam of the night. LOVE IT!

  23. I’m definitely waaay more into maintenance/prevention products. That said, my top five products are:

    1) Oil of Olay Sensitive Skin moisturizer, SPF 15
    2) Alpha Hydrox Retinol ResQ
    3) MAC bronzing powder in Golden
    4) A cuticle oil (even if my nails aren’t polished, this makes them look presentable).
    5) Cover Girl Eye Enhancer “Dance Party” 3 Shadow Kit (the pale color can be used as a shadow and the dark as an eye liner).

  24. oh boy…i have way too many things i love to name just five but im gonna try anyway lol

    1. my clarisonic. i’ll cut somebody if they tried to take it from me, its that serious!

    2. Facefront Fully Baked bronzer. hands down THE BEST bronzer for black women and a truly slept on. I use it every-single-solitary-day!

    3. Urban Decay De-Slick mattifying powder. I get oily, this takes care of that without making my face cakey.

    4. Rosebud Salve. Makes my lips buttery soft. I use it before I apply any lipstick and it works like a charm.

    5. Urban Decay Zero liner. I’ve tried many many black pencils, UD’s staying power is best for my oily lids/waterline situation. love it.

  25. Wow-this is hard to narrow down. I use some of the same products the other ladies have listed. But, here’s a few of my current favs:
    1.Dermae Glycolic facial cleanser-a new fd kissed my cheek the other day and said it was sooo soft.
    2. DMAE Alpha Lipoic C-Ester Serum (my skin loves this!)
    3. Derma Blend Smooth Indulgence
    4. Vera Wang Fragrance
    5. Bag Balm – I have a foot fetish-so B.B. is essential in keeping my feet soft.You can find at Walmart etc in the pet section. I figured if it can soften a cow’s udder its perfect for my feet. By the way, I was at the hospital last week and met a Dr. He noticed my feet from behind the wall and had to see who had the beautiful feet and legs. LOL! So, ladies go try it.

  26. Angelicque says:

    Great Post Bella’
    My faves are
    1. Studio Fix Fluid NW45
    2. Eve Lom Cleanser
    3. Mac Blusher in Love Rush
    4. Mac Lip Pencil in Chestnut
    5. Mac Lip Stick in Hot Gossip

  27. 1. Cetaphil Cleanser
    2. Coconut Oil – hair and body
    3. Mac “O” lipstick
    4. RX for Brown Skin Serum – I don’t know what I’m going to do when my last bottle runs out!
    5. CND Stickey Base Coat – my pedicures last forever!

  28. Purity facial cleanser by Philosophy

    Rosebud Salve

    Dove soap

    Mac Feline Eye Kohl

    Carol’s Daughter Almond Cookie Perfume

  29. OK…I see you opened ‘Pandora’s box’!!! Its all good.

    1. Oyin afterbath in Rich Almond
    2. MUFH HD foundation (LOVE of my make up life)
    3. MAC chestnut liner (go to)
    4. OYIN Juices & Berries (great to hydrate the TWA)
    5. drumroll….MAC’s Mineralized blush in Fad-dabulous

    tis all for now

  30. Mslongtall says:

    1. Coconut oil (skin and hair) such a soft wonderful aroma.
    2. Bare Escentuals mineral foundation& mascara (this stuff is awesome!My skin looks flawless and My lashes look false…me likey!)
    3.NYX eye shadows
    4. NYX Lipsticks…I don’t even have to blend it!
    5. Black opal facial cleanser….I absolutely love this stuff and a little goes a long way!! Yay!!

  31. MAC Lipstick in Violetta ,Girl About Town, and So Chaud
    Mac Eyeshadow in Carbon, Mulch, and Parfait Amour
    Mac Lipgloss in Entice, Pink Poodle
    MAC Studio Fix +. Its great for applying Mineralized Eyeshadow

    Mattese NYC’s Star Dust Powder Eyeshadow in Pookster, Fabulous, and Undress

  32. I’ve spent a small fortune on hair, nail and skin care products
    over the years, so basically I’ve tried it all!

    My faves would have to be:

    Clinique’s Superbalm- Best lip balm that I have ever tried. Does miracles for super chapped lips.

    Mac’s fluidline in black track-Stays put all day and works well on the whole lid for a dramatic evening look.

    Philosophy’s Microdelivery Mini Peel pads-these pads helps exfoliate the skin and are gentle enough to use daily. They’re also good for the chest, neck upper arms, or upper back.

    Biolage’s conditioning balm-gives great slip and really moisturizes my super dry hair.

    Narcisso Rodriguez Essence-If you asked me to pick my favorite fragrance 5 years ago, I would have felt like you were asking me to sell a kidney. But I’ve narrowed down my collection since then. This fragrance is so light and pretty, you can wear it every day. I feel so sophisticated when I wear it…even if I’m wearing a tee shirt and jeans.

  33. i think i’m realizing that i’ve really minimized my beauty regimen lately! here goes:

    1. cetaphil gentle skin cleanser
    2. oil of olay sensitive skin moisturizer, spf 15
    3. oyin honey hemp conditioner (will not live without it!)
    4. mac plushglass in full for you
    5. china glaze nail polishes (which there are dozens of, but in my opinion the best polish brand)

  34. scratch that china glaze….i cannot live without dr. bronners liquid castille soap in peppermint or lavendar. perfect for deep cleansing my locs.

  35. Mrs Mocha 313 says:

    Great topic, Bella!!! My Fab Five are :

    1. Baby Magic baby lotion: it smells sooooo good right after a shower!

    2. ‘Pleasures’, the perfume by Estee Lauder: its so clean and light!

    3. Maybelline Great Lash Mascara in Blackest Blasck: makes my lashes look like falsies!

    4. Pure Vitamin E oil: I wash my wash my face at night and apply a thin layer. It erases any blemish on my skin and moisturizes without leaving my face GREASY. Be cautious though and only apply to FRESHLY WASHED SKIN! If not, it WILL break you out!

    5. BH Cosmetics 120 Color Eyeshadow Pallete. If you like makeup (like me!) then you will LOVE these bright and vivid colors: ESPECIALLY the way they look on our beautful brown skin!. All of the colors are true, so you needn’t a butter knife just to apply them! The way they look in the package is the way they look ON! And the palletes are HUGE: 120 colors in just one pallete!

  36. My faves are:
    1. Castor oil/Grapeseed oil for the il cleansing method
    2. Aztec bentonite clay
    3. MAC studio tinted moisturizer (foundation is too heavy for me)
    4. Urban Decay show pony shadow box
    5. Smashbox photofinish primer(keeps my makeup smooth)

    ughhh i have so much more to say lol

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