Winter Beauty MVPs

Beauty Idealist

The time between Thanksgiving and Christmas is the most maddening time of year. Years spent as a student has given me near anxiety of wanting to experience and enjoy the seasonal merriment while also buckling down for the finals that loom in the ever approaching distance. While I’ve usually focused on skincare, this post is about those most valuable products that I’ve found myself relying on lately to look and feel my best whether it’s meeting a professor, stopping into a store for a gift buying session or catching up with busy friends over holiday cheer.

Byredo Gypsy Water

To me Byredo will always represent the first niche line I ever tried. What an exciting time that was to venture out of my comfort zone of Tom Ford, Armani and Chanel fragrances to try this then little heard of company with growing cult status. Now Byredo is game changer, managing to retain it’s cult-favorite status while expanding their doors in a major way.

In a line of simple and sometimes alarmingly stark selections, Gypsy Water is the signature in my opinion. It goes on citrus and dries toward incense. Surprising and captivating, making me feel somewhat powerful yet understated enough throughout the day.

Celine Bicolor Clutch

I’ve not discovered anything more versatile and understated as these now iconic two tone clutches from Celine that go with everything. They’re just the right size to fit the necessities: phone, cards, keys and the extras.

Kjaer Weis Lip Tint

I have to be honest that I didn’t like this at first. As the first green lip product I tried, I found the color to be a little basic and the texture to be dry/rough compared to the silky lip products I had been using. Yet I persisted, for two main reasons: 1. The Kjaer Weis packaging is just so damn glamorous. It literally turns heads as I reapply after meals. 2. Complaints aside, the sacrifice is worth it for safer ingredients since we eat the majority of what we put on our lips.

Over time this grew on me and Dream State is that perfect nude that doesn’t give the impression that you “dressed up” for any occasion but just that you look “together”. It also keeps lips moist (thanks to jojoba oil, shea butter and beeswax) and although you will need to reapply throughout the day, it’s not like that’s a bad thing, especially when it’s another opportunity to whip out the metal slider!

Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation

The Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation collection might be limited in color range but it makes up for it in perfect coverage and wearability. You’ll frequently hear beauty editors talking about how the HG foundation should give that perfect “your skin but better” appearance and this is as close as it comes to that in real life. This foundation is so light and layerable for deeper coverage yet the result is always a near nude never cakey appearance. You can go an entire day without feeling like you’re wearing any foundation. I’ve sang its praises time and again on Twitter but a good product deserves accolades.

Yuli Metamorphic Elixir

Yuli’s line is just genius and their elixirs have been on quite an editorial role lately. This elixir in particular seems to be making waves right now among the beauty heavy hitters, between make-up artists and celebrities. It’s my latest purchase from them and although I was initially hesitant since this is for dry/mature skin, I took the plunge after reading through the ingredients: a rose complex of 5 types of roses, hyaluronic acid that they make themselves from organic botanicals, Vitamin C, and the list goes on. And I’m glad I took the chance because this is perfect for winter and so so necessary. Where I usually get dry, flaky skin around my lips and cheeks this has helped keep my skin plump and hydrated. Since this is a hydro-based product (rather than oil based), it also addresses the water aspect of moisture (managing dehydrated skin rather than just dry skin) that balms, oils and butters will not address which is probably why my skin has never looked better.

Oh and the smell, the roses are light and luxurious. It makes me think of what a wealthy Upper East Side lady with a light, sophisticated touch would have in her beauty vanity. Each spray makes me feel wrapped in luxury. A knockout.

Look for in-depth reviews of these in the future, but in the meantime are there are products on my MVPs list that are also yours? 



  1. Laura
    December 17, 2014 / 12:21 am

    Lovely post. I also like kjaer weis dream state, but also like the texture/stick form of the ilia tints. I know what you mean with the perfume – i have used honore des pres vamp a ny for many years and it gives me the same feel yoy describe. Have you tried ilia’s tint/kjaer weis foundation? I found them to be good green alternatives for normal foundations (although i’d prefer ilia to be silicon free).

  2. December 23, 2014 / 12:24 am

    Sweet MVPs. I’ve recently got Kjaer Weis and I was a little disappointed with the colour itself. The packaging is amazing but if i’d seen it in the flesh rather than ordering online I wouldn’t have picked it. That Yuli serum sounds delectable and has been top of my want list.

  3. Mary B
    December 28, 2014 / 9:48 pm

    love that perfume, byredo is an amazing brand too bad they are soo expensive:(

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