Life-Changing Products from Beauty Insiders

By Tara Thompson Rasmus

So, a story: when pitching ideas for this column for spring, the lovely Camille herself suggested that I do a story on beauty insiders’ favorite beauty products. Of course, I agreed — what better than to feature all of my favorite ladies, and cop their Holy Grail products and tips while I was at it? Funnily enough, as the responses came rolling in, it turns out that every single contributor, without fail, chose a skin care or complexion-perfecting product. Whether it was the perfect moisturizer, a non-irritating foundation, or a game-changing eye cream, it turns out that — surprise! — all we really want is bright, clear, happy skin. So, the focus of my story narrowed: rather than being a general beauty story, it was clear that I was meant to share the products that these savvy women turn to provide the perfect canvas for their beauty look (or touch up after a long day!). Click through to check out the secret skin weapons that these seasoned influencers rely on — your new fail-safe primper is ahead!

featured image by jennifer hagler


Laura Mercier Eye Basics

“Laura Mercier has an amazing eye primer for your eyelids. It covers any imperfections, discolorations and redness. Miraculously, you instantly look wide awake and fresh-faced, and no one knows your secret! It’s one of those little things that has made a huge difference in my beauty routine.” — Joanna Goddard, blogger, A Cup Of Jo

Clinique Even Better Compact Makeup

“I wish I could tell you that my life was changed by a rosewater spray from Paris or an exfoliating body mask from hot spring mud, but if I’m being completely honest, the thing that’s made the biggest difference in my beauty routine is this totally unassuming foundation by Clinique. It comes in a no-frills compact; it even looks kind of greasy in its container. But it was recommended to me by my esthetician Samantha Wright whom I see weekly because of my severe cystic acne—in fact, it’s the only makeup she lets me put on my face. Once I started using it and got off all other foundations, blushes, highlighters, bronzers, etc, my skin truly began to clear up. The coverage is so good and has such a natural finish that I can just use it as a spot treatment on my acne scars and leave the rest of my face bare. I recommend it to everyone with problem skin.” — Gabrielle Korn, senior editor, Nylon

IOPE Air Cushion

“IOPE Air Cushion is one of those amazing, I-need-to-tell-EVERYONE-about-this products that you don’t run across very often. Huge in its native South Korea, the compact holds a foundation-soaked sponge, and you use a puff to press in the product. Although the formula is incredibly light—seriously, it’s almost like water—it covers redness and blemishes but doesn’t look cakey or “makeup-y” in the slightest. Instead, it just makes your complexion look as though it’s naturally flawless and softly glowing. All this and SPF 50 (!!!) as well. Put it this way: I am sent product samples every day for work, but this is a product I will gladly pay for, over and over and over again.” — Annie Tomlin, digital beauty director, Lucky

Creme de La Mer

“From the first time I used La Mer’s Moisturizing Soft Cream, I knew it was a game changer for my skin. I immediately saw an improvement in texture, hydration and luminosity, and all my friends asked what I was doing differently in my daily skin care routine.  Now I can’t live without it – it’s always the one product you’ll find on my vanity or in my travel bag, as it is so protective and restorative in even harsh cold weather, after a day on the beach, or when I’m jet-lagged from flying.” — Erin Cohen, director, global corporate communications, Estée Lauder Companies

Bare Escentuals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream

“Before BBs hit the US market, my usual skin routine consisted of a serum, moisturizer, SPF, and foundation. Then I discovered BBs and I was down to serum, moisturizer, BB. The problem I find with most BBs is that they don’t give you the moisture you need to be able to just slather them on to bare skin — they won’t spread evenly enough. Not so with this glorious hybrid from Bare Escentuals. It gives you the hydration, sun protection, and coverage you crave in one handy, easy-to-spread, lightweight cream. I’m down to just two products in the morning and I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything. My skin doesn’t feel like I’ve caked a ton of product on it, it’s protected from the sun, and it looks even-toned and smooth. I’m totally smitten.” — Megan McIntyre, beauty director, Refinery29

Strivectin Radiance Refining Moisturizer

“Strivectin’s Radiance Refining Moisturizer completely changed my skin. I started using it about six weeks ago, and the dark spots along my jawline—which have resisted dozens of hyperpigmentation treatments over the years—have finally faded. An added benefit: my skin is SO much softer, and the dark circles under my eyes seem less noticeable.” — Lauren Caruso, senior digital editor, Allure


SK-II Facial Treatment Cleanser

“My life changing-product is the SK-II Facial Treatment Cleanser. It’s the type of product that provides results immediately. After massaging into your skin, the result is a smooth, radiant, and glowing appearance. I can’t get enough.” — Lauren Musacchio, founder, Straw and Gold

Onomie A.C.E. Illuminating Eye Treatment

“My own life-changing product is from a brand-new company started by some friends of mine called Onomie. Full disclosure: I was lucky enough to hear Onomie’s pitch months before they started, but I was still completely blown away when the actual product landed on my desk. Onomie consists of only two products (so far!): a dark-circle eradicating concealer, and this brightening, line-fighting highlighter. Onomie’s products are designed to seamlessly blend skin care and makeup, so these aren’t just products that you cake onto your face in the hopes that they’ll cover something up. This ballet-pink, sheer highlighter actually improves the appearance of the skin around your eyes, making you look as if you got at least two more hours of sleep than you actually did — if that’s not a beauty miracle, I don’t know what is! Trust me: stash this baby in your desk drawer to freshen up after a long work day, and you’ll be a believer, too.” — Tara Rasmus, contributor, Camille Styles