14 Beauty Purchases I Made In New York

There’s good news and there’s bad news. Let’s start with the bad news: none of these products are available in the UK. In fact, some of them aren’t even legal here. But you came for the content, so now for the good news: if you live in the US or are heading State-side any time soon, I’ve basically written your beauty shopping list for you. Make room in your suitcase - it’s time to go shopping.

Heritage Store Naturals Rosewater & Glycerin

This face mist was cheap (I found it in the local bodega), but I mostly bought it because I always see people post about it on Instagram (I’m weak, I know). The scent is light and fresh, it sinks right into my skin and makes it instantly look dewy and feel hydrated, and (especially in the New York humidity) I appreciated the mist delivery for maximum refreshment.

Thayers Witch Hazel Original Toner

Another Instagram favourite which I found for $8 in the bodega, I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed with this purchase. It’s an astringest, skin-clearing toner which kind of acts like a complexion reset button. Not one I’ll use everyday, but one I’ll reach for when experiencing clogged pores or inflammation - it’s oil-regulating and redness-reducing, and my skin agrees with it.

AcneFree Terminator 10

Benozyl peroxide in high concentrations is impossible to find in the UK because of our super strict regulations, so naturally it was top of my list to purchase in Walgreens. This is the gold standard, 10%. I don’t want my skin to get desensitised to this or I’ll be screwed once it’s run out, so I’ll be saving this for when I need to bring out the skincare big guns or before a big event.

Glossier ZitStick

Another product which (again due to its benzoyl peroxide count) isn’t available in the UK. You might think I’m excessive picking up two similar treatments, but since this is only 5% benzoyl peroxide, my plan is to use this as my everyday go-to and save the above for when it’s not quite enough. I like the rollerball applicator of this (which dispenses just enough and not too much), and the fact that it’s light enough to layer under makeup.

MegaBabe RosyPits Deodorant

I certainly wouldn’t have ever have spent my holiday dollars on a deodorant if I hadn’t read 6472983 rave reviews about this particular one and heard about the 13,000 strong waitlist it amassed pre-launch. Needless to say, this was on my hit-list as soon as I booked my flight. Deodorant has always been a chore and bore to me, but thanks to MegaBabe for the first time ever I’m as excited to use a deodorant as I am to Instagram it. This one doesn’t just make my armpits not smell, it makes them smell good. It’s also natural and doesn’t stain my black t-shirts.

Differin Gel

As someone with persistent acne, I am always on the lookout for a product that’s going to help shift congestion and scarring. My skin is pretty much desensitised to the legal levels of OTC retinoids we can get in the UK so I was determined to pick up a tube of Differin (which is only available on prescription in the UK). It just goes to show how desensitised my skin is, because Differin is infamous for causing peeling and redness, but my skin has had no irritation issues, even after using this multiple times. The best part is it’s kept my skin miraculously clear since I started using it. I’m hooked.

Mario Badescu

These products I did not buy, as I was kindly gifted by the brand after an amazing facial(!), however I wanted to include anyway. The aesthetician used them (alongside some salon-strength/exclusive ones) to give me their signature facial, while also paying attention and tweaking to suit my skin’s specific needs. Everything she applied (plus some gentle extractions, steaming, and massage) left my skin glowing - proven by the fact I spent the rest of the day makeup-free and still felt cute. Since trying these out at home in the weeks since I’ve been back, my particular favourite is the Healing & Soothing Mask, which leaves my skin feeling deeply cleansed but not dry.

Differin Daily Moisturiser

Since skincare was on 3 for 2 in Walgreens, I picked this up alongside the Differin Gel and Terminator 10. Designed to be used alongside the gel (which dries out skin and increases its sensitivity to sun), it’s a basic but hydrating SPF30 which also happens to be lightweight, free from white cast, and perfect for layering under makeup.

Supergoop Daily Moisturiser SPF40

Hallelujah, finally an SPF that I can get behind because it is also hydrating af! I wanted to try something from Supergoop and this was the product I’ve scrolled past the most so it was the one I went to Sephora for. Turns out that everyone on Instagram was right, it’s amazing. Super light, spreads easily on skin, not chalky, not thick, and no white cast. Factor in the fact that it’s SPF40 and the packaging is incredibly cool, and you can see why I’m obsessed.

I Dew Care Disco Kitten Mask

This was an ad-hoc purchase from Ulta (it was $4 in the dangerously tempting queue system shelving) and it’s very middle of the road. Does it look cute and peel off in one go for Instagram? Sure. Is it the best face mask you’ll ever buy? Definitely not. It’s cute, fun, and wins points for packaging (if you’re into that), but it loses out for its undecipherable ingredients list.

Unframe The Beauty Liners

As a beauty editor, there is nothing more gratifying than when a brand brings out a product that you’ve had in your mind’s eye forever. These are the most extra of eyeliners and the formula is flawless. Easy, cool, goes on fast and stays on forever, gives you ‘a look’ when you’re literally just wearing concealer and brow gel. You can’t go wrong. I bought yellow, pink, and white, and wish I’d bought every other colour.

FlossGloss Hella Hilite

Now here’s a shade you don’t see everyday… I’ve been hunting for a true neon yellow nail polish since forever, but the shelves of Boots and Superdrug are seriously lacking for all but those set in their nude/red ways. In real life this is brighter than any picture will do justice to. Vibrant and happy, I get a kick out of pairing this with all black outfits and looking down at my hands when this is painted on.

Flesh Beauty Thickstick

I trekked to Manhattan’s only Ulta store (on the Upper East Side, conveniently next door to a Sephora) for Flesh Beauty’s FleshPot - the sparkly, shimmery magical gel you’ve no doubt seen all over Instagram. It was sold out, so I left with the brand’s Thickstick instead. It lives comfortably between a concealer and a foundation, making it perfect for skin that only requires spot coverage rather than an all-over base. I swipe it onto areas of redness and blend out with a beautyblender for light, weightless coverage.

Makeup, SkinGrace Day