The 8 Best Product Purchases of 2019

Hey guys - happy FRIDAY! It’s my third favorite day of the week, but also the one I get most excited about. There’s something about the looking forward part, you know? The whole weekend is still in front of you and it is lookin’ good. What am I going to do? I might eat pizza and watch the entire last season of Mad Men. I might get up early, get all my chores out of the way, and feel motivated to do something productive. I might meal prep, but I might not. Like most people who live M-F on a structured to the max basis, not having firm plans on the weekend is such a luxury.

Definitely pizza and Mad Men though.

Anyway, it’s Friday and that’s when I shop and in a self-serving way, I want to talk about your favorite recent-ish purchases. I kept a list all of last year and I’m going to share that in a hot second, but I’m very curious about what’s on your list. I guess I’m always on the hunt for holy grail level stuff. Any keepers? Things you love enough to share gospel-style?

I have a long list that I broke into categories, so I'm going to start with products just for semi-brevity. Here are my holy grails that I feel pretty dang good about recommending to my friends.

And while you're here, do you have a really great liquid eye-liner? I've tried a few and never really loved any of them, so this is a years' long hunt. 

1.) Replica, By the Fireplace, $28 // I got a sample of this in a Sephora Play box last year and tossed it in a drawer with all the other vials of grandma perfume that I’ve gotten over the years. Then, over the holidays, I was Marie Kondo-ing my entire house and doing a quick sniff test on a few of those forgotten vials before trashing them. And trust me, “by the fireplace” was not a scent I was expecting to want to smell like. But I do. A lot. Enough to buy a full bottle. Come give me a sniffer if you don’t believe me - it’s good.

2.) The Ordinary, Buffet, $14 // This is a ROI win. The cost is low comparatively to the results, but I'm not suggesting this is Retin-A level life changing. This is the year I took my skin care up to level 2, which I describe as "I'm in my 30's and should probably accept that." Which is why I even know about buzzwords like Retin-A and chemical exfoliant. Anyway, Buffet is a really great, fairly basic moisturizing serum that is basically step 1 in a grown up, starting to age skincare routine.

3.) Laura Mercier Caviar Volume Panoramic Mascara, $25 // Man, I just realized that I am Sephora Play's perfect customer. This is another sample I got this year that I loved enough to buy the full-size product. I love huge, thick, super long lashes, but I also hate feeling like there is concrete on my eyes. This mascara is really great, doesn't clump, builds infinitely without getting crusty and comes off easily with makeup remover. It does NOT make you look like you're wearing falsies, which is apparently a metric if you read Amazon reviews, but it does make natural lashes look a little more emphasized without feeling heavy, and that's a win for me.

4.) Kristen Ess, Purple Shampoo and Conditioner, $12 // Key perks: smells so good, super easy to get, and pretty millennial pink packaging. Most importantly, it works. I’ve used Fanola as well, which I  also really like, but Kristen Ess is just more accessible (I buy it at Target) and I like the way it smells a lot. To that point, I actually find myself buying other KE products like hair water and texture spray just to be able to pump that scent in on non-wash days.

5.) Buxom, Full-On Lip Plumping Creme,  Hot Toddy, $21 // Okay, here's another SP sample I got and bought. Sephora, give me money! Seriously though, this is a holy grail because it's not shimmery or glossy, so it's not weird to wear it to work. It's a lip plumper that doesn't burn or sting, which is another anomaly. It's like having abs without having to do sit-ups.

6.) Clinique Almost Lipstick, Black Honey, $19 // Okay, that picture up there is literally the color I have, but I'm here to tell you that it doesn't go on nearly that dark. You could build it with a few layers to get there, but it's pretty sheer to start. Anyway, feels like a chapstick, lasts like a lipstick. Best of both worlds? Yes. Take my money.

7.) OPI Infinite Shine, Hold Out For More, $13 // First thing, I bought this at TJ Maxx for less than $4, and I always recommend checking them out for nice polish. They carry some nice brands for wayyyyy cheaper. I've been really into terra cotta colors since last fall and had this color on my toes consistently, and on my fingers at least once a month ever since. It lasts pretty decently, but I have yet to find anything that doesn't chip in at least a few days.

8.) Olaplex No. 3, $28 //  I heard about this stuff for so long, but it’s pretty pricey and I like to be sure-sure before I buy anything that costs so much for such a tiny bottle. It is expensive, but it’s the real deal. I use it 2-3 times a month and my hair always feels significantly smoother and easier to comb through afterwards. Two more things: a little goes a long way, so even though I use it frequently, I've had it for six-ish months and I'm about a third of the way through the bottle. Also, buy this from a reputable source. There's a lot of fakes of this product, especially on Amazon.


Last thing, I didn't intend to reference Sephora Play so much, but I guess I "discovered" most of the products I love with that subscription box, so I thought it was worth talking about. It's a 1x/month box that costs $10 and ships 5 samples and a fragrance. The samples are mostly deluxe, so they're bigger than average and can last months from my experience. If you like surprises and nice products, it's worth checking out. I linked the page HERE.

And for the record, I'm obviously not an influencer. I don't make any money from this. I just actually really like Sephora Play.

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