I never thought my inaugural NewBeauty story would come during quarantine. While the world has been a tailspin, I, like most of you, have never spent so much time indoors. The only true escape has been my “me” time with my beauty products. Read on for picks I’m loving now.
My monthly—or only when I don’t feel well or have a muscle ache—baths are now an almost daily occurrence. The C.O. Bigelow Cold and Flu Soak ($18) has been my go-to. With the weather going hot to cold then to rain, the paranoia over getting sick is real. Ending my day with the soothing smell of eucalyptus instantly relaxes me. It also blends in peppermint, ginger and echinacea to help ease symptoms related to cold and flu symptoms. I should also note C.O Bigelow delivers to NYC both prescription and products from their iconic West Village Apothecary. I also stocked up on the Merci Handy 5 bottle pack of Hand Sanitizer ($17.50): “Namaste” seems to be the popular scent but I’ve been partial to “HelloSunshine,” which smells like the beach. It smells so good and doesn’t leave my hands dry.
This time has also afforded me the daily ritual products I sometimes don’t have time to commit to. I’ve been flossing daily with the eco-friendly brand, Terra & Co Brilliant Black Dental Floss with Bamboo and Charcoal ($8), which uses activated charcoal, bamboo fiber, and coconut oil to remove buildup and uses anti-inflammatory essential oils, like peppermint to fight tooth decay and eliminate bacteria from gums and teeth. And it’s biodegradable! I come from a family of dental floss snobs and this was the family favorite from our quarantine home to yours.
I’ve also been using theOralgen NuPearl Pro Advanced Whitening System ($60),which features an Ultra Pure 12% Hydrogen Peroxide gel and natural peppermint essential oil you apply to the NuBright LED Whitening Light mouthtray and wear for 20 minutes two times day. Within four days my teeth were noticeably whiter, and by the end of the week they were glowing. Oralgen also offers a peroxide free version for sensitive teeth and both kits include a bonus Perfecting Whitening Pen.
Luxe Beauty Buys
I’ve also never appreciated a beauty set the way I have NewBeauty’s Limited Edition Gold Tube ($99). I’ve been saving mine for a rainy day, and that day (or month) has come! It features seven full-size products and a Mimi Luzon sample valued at over $525 and includes a jumbo size of Doctor Rogers RESTORE Healing Balm ($66 value), which is the only thing keeping my eyelid eczema under control, and extremely dry elbows and hands from the constant hand washing. It also features a six-month supply of Grande Cosmetics GrandeLash-MD lash grower ($120 value) for everyone trying to grow their lashes, especially for anyone freaking out over not being able to get lash extensions. It also includes a Foreo Luna, Amika Cream Cleansing Conditioner, Knesko Face Mask, Juice Beauty lipstick and StriVectin Moisturizer. For $99, this box is a steal!
I got the memo spring is here, but my skin is still feeling dryer than ever. Over the winter I discovered Nouveau Glow USDA Certified Organic Restorative Face Cream ($28). It’s the most exceptional moisturizer for dry skin and melts right in delivers rich hydration without any of the heaviness. Unlike most moisturizers that open with water, this blend is made up of 100-percent cold-pressed oils, organic plants and rich minerals including organic green tea powder, shiitake mushrooms, selenium, and antioxidants to protect against wrinkles, and discoloration caused by environmental stressors. This blend of oils in a cream consistency not only instant moisturizes skin, but lasts for hours and can be used under eyes (green tea powder is great for dark circles and puffiness).
Meanwhile, I can’t believe just before quarantine or any talks of COVID hit I was hanging out with Drew Barrymore for the launch of her Flower by Drew Blue Light Computer Glasses ($20), a line of seven non-prescription optical frames designed to eliminate harmful UV and blue light rays that can cause potential retinol damage and the skin around your eyes (think SPF for your eyes/eye area from the harmful rays omitted from your screens). Now under quarantine glued to my phone, computer and television these haven’t left my face. A few skin-care brands such as DermaE and Volition Beauty have also launched blue-light shield sprays which are on my radar.
A visit with Drew is never complete without a beauty chat, she’s a true skin-care enthusiast and beauty gal. High on her list was some of my OG favorite products: Caudalie Instant Detox Mask and Elta MD SPF. Funny enough, at the time I was packing for Hawaii and the EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46, ISDIN Eryfotona Actinica SPF 50+ (two of my favorite derm brand SPF’s) and Fre Protect Me Defense Facial Moisturizer were all packed for the trip (I take SPF very seriously and safeguard ever running out).
While I’m social distancing, I still spend at least 20 minutes per day outside in the backyard to get my healthy dose of vitamin D, and have SPF completely slathered on all exposed areas—mainly my face, neck and hands. Fre Protect Me Defense Moisturizer ($50) is a hydrator packed with antioxidants and essential fatty acids and features a sweat-resistant SPF 30. It’s my go to for my former daily runs and outdoor workouts.
Beauty for Good
A big part of the Pretty Connected brand and platform is sustainability and give-back programs as it relates to beauty. With the pandemic affecting so many, I was getting tons of requests to promote various GoFundMe causes. After donating to Feeding America, Social Tees, masks for the medical community, and additional hunger relief programs, I was having a tough time financially keeping up and asking my followers to keep donating with so many in need.
After launching a give-back program with Loop & Tie, a customer gifting program, to donate part of my beauty closet to frontline workers, teachers and community leaders (this was filled in mere hours after posting to my social channels; we expected it to run for weeks), I realized I could connect the demand for beauty products and donations to make a bigger impact. Having tons of mailers and beauty products in my office, I decided the best way to make an impact and give back was to host a virtual beauty sale with all of the net proceeds going to various causes starting with my community in Queens to provide emergency food to families in need. I will be hosting an ongoing sales throughout this crisis. The sale is open to anyone in the U.S. Learn how to get on the list here.
Until next time, you can catch me trying every product under the sun on my stories @prettyconnected.