Don’t you appreciate sincere, tried-and-true recommendations from friends? This page is FULL of things I love and use, if not on a daily basis, as often as it calls for. I’ll offer them by category, and welcome your favorite suggestions as well.
Note: none of these are sponsored products, they’re all items I use because they’ve proven themselves over time!!
Must-haves for women 40 and better
Magnification mirror. You can get these for around $10, and trust me, the first time you study your face, you’ll understand why this is necessity, not optional. I’d opt for 10x or higher. Keep one in your car and in your toiletries bag–never know when you’ll want a quick check.
Good tweezers. Quality matters.
Pursue the Intentional Life by Jean Fleming. This book and the two items above have become a go-to gift of sorts for friends on their 40th birthday. I read this book when I was well into my 40s, and I love how it challenges you to live with great purpose. Jean offered ideas I had never before considered, and it’s a great resource to revisit every few years.
Daily beauty products.
These are my go-tos every day. My morning and evening beauty routine might take all of 12 minutes–I’m not that fussy. These products help me git ‘er done fast. You can buy higher end versions, but after sampling, these are the ones I’m using (most) every day.
Oil of Olay Moisturizer. For a while I was using a medical-grade skincare line, and it was good. The thing is, I couldn’t tell a big difference from using my drugstore quality items. Daily moisturizing is a must, and you get the added bonus of SPF protection if you choose.
Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes. By bedtime, I’m tired. I used to not always remove my make-up. But the convenience of Neutrogena’s cleansing towelettes changed that; they do a great job. Occasionally I’ve tried discounted fancier versions at TJ Maxx or Marshall’s, but I have yet to find one I like better. The next morning I splash water on my face and use Neutrogena Oil Free Eye Make-up Remover to finish the job. On days when I haven’t put on make-up, I’ll douse a cotton square in Neutrogena’s Alcohol-free Toner and I’m good to go.
IT Cosmetics, Your Skin But Better CC Cream with SPF 50+. This isn’t cheap, but it lasts f o r e v e r. I’m still on the original tube I was given 18 months ago. Wowza! It’s light, evens out your skin tone, and provides great SPF protection.
UD Naked Eyeshadow Palette. Urban Decay has three palette choices and my favorite is 2; I actually use all the colors. And while I had sticker shop and a hard time pulling the trigger on the purchase, I have used this same palette for over two years and never regretted the purchase.
Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real! Mascara. Sticker shock warning, again…but, man, I keep going back to They’re Real! mascara. I swear I’m not going to buy it because it’s expensive, but I ALWAYS have buyer remorse when I pick up a drugstore brand. I’ve had recommendations for similar products, but I’ve never one that I like as well as this. Sometimes you DO get what you pay for.
In the Kitchen
Swiss Diamond Nonstick Fry Pan Years ago, I attended a cooking class and our instructor convinced me I needed a Swiss Diamond pan. I felt a little foolish being so easily swayed, but to this day, it’s my favorite pan. It pan fries chicken and fish perfectly, but you can use it for anything. I didn’t splurge and get the lid, but to this day, I regretted that.
DeLonghi Automatic Cappuccino, Latte & Espresso Machine. This took us a few years of researching, saving and justifying the expense–it ain’t cheap. BUT, after living in Germany for a year, we got spoiled on amazing coffee, and we finally decided in the long run + based on us USING IT EVERY DAY, it was worth it. We rarely buy coffee out anymore, and we can make everything from a perfect wee cup of espresso to a decadent caramel macchiato. We have had zero buyer’s remorse.
Miscellaneous (not daily) favorites
Nailtek. I never had nails that could grow until someone recommended Nailtek to me. Even with only occasional use, my nails will grow as long as I want them. If your nails have been damaged after acrylics or shellac, this product will work wonders on repairing them.
Four-sided nail buffer. My husband bought me a nail set years ago and it had one of these in it. Turns out, he was held hostage by a kiosk mall employee who demonstrated how this works on one of HIS nails. He was amazed by how shiny it was after all four sides were used to buff it…so he bought me a kit. Over ten years later, this is a product I continue to buy and use til it’s worn out.
Favorite Nail Polish. OPI and Essie. Good-googlie-mooglie it’s a toss-up.