Most Wanted is a weekly series in which one Who What Wear team member or friend of the brand will share the top 25 fashion and beauty finds on their current wish list.
I'm thirty years old. Man, that still feels strange to write. Okay, technically, I'm only three days in, but it's official. And even though I'd been mentally preparing for the day to come for some time, on the morning of, I woke up feeling, well, the exact same way I've felt every other year: far from being a "real" adult. (I'm not even sure what I was expecting, to be honest—the whole thing was kind of anti-climatic.) Don't get me wrong—there's nothing wrong with aging, and by no means is 30 "old."
So I did what anyone would do first thing on a milestone birthday: examine my face in a magnified mirror. I definitely have more sunspots, wrinkles, and lines than I did 10 years ago, but considering all the shit I put my body through prior to this (baking in the sun, no SPF, hot tools every day, etc.), I feel like I look (and feel) pretty damn good.
I've had three decades to realize there isn't one magic product out there to keep me (or anyone) looking young forever. Luckily, I've conducted a lot of trial and error over the years and have a deep obsession with skincare and makeup. So here we are. Keep scrolling for the 25 best beauty products to help keep you looking young.
Koh Gen Do Spa Soft Gommage Gel ($60)
I'm sure you've heard it before, but regular exfoliation equals more radiant skin. I haven't found an exfoliator I like as much as this, and it's been six years since I've started using it. What I love most is that it's a peeling gel and not harsh at all. I apply a thin layer to my face and let it sit for a few minutes before massaging it in a circular motion. As the gel is rubbed, it rolls up off the skin, picking up the outermost layer of dead skin cells. Gross? Yes. But totally necessary to do a couple of times a week to keep my complexion youthful-looking.
U Beauty Resurfacing Compound ($148)
Full disclosure: I've only been using this for three weeks, but man, it has made a huge difference in my overall skin tone and texture. The first few days my skin was pilling (a lot) and I had a few more blemishes than normal, but I think my skin was just adjusting. Anyway, it does a whole bunch of things because it's formulated with antioxidants, vitamins C and E, and retinol. This helps minimize pores, brighten dark spots, and fade fine lines and wrinkles. It's super lightweight, spreads easily, and dries to a taut shield, so you should definitely follow up with a moisturizer.
Vintner's Daughter Active Botanical Serum ($185)
I'm mad at myself for caving and buying this last year because it's really pricy, but it's also really, really effective, so I try and remind myself of that every time I have to replenish it. This stuff is magic in a bottle, probably because it uses over 22 active ingredients that work in synergy to help fight signs of aging and create a clear, even-toned firm and radiant complexion. I put a few drops into the palm of my hand and press the product into my skin for a few seconds and repeat, pushing and pressing it in on my entire face. It also smells dreamy. I will never say enough good things about it.
Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream ($52)
I've used this cream on and off over the years but always come back to it when the temperature starts to dip. It's heavier than I typically go for, but when my skin feels extra tight, dry, or flaky, this stuff brings it back to life and makes my overall complexion more supple.
Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen ($34)
The absolute worst thing you can do to your skin is not wear sunscreen. Seriously. I put my skin through so much shit growing up and really wish I listened to literally anyone who told me I should wear SPF daily. I probably wouldn't have as many sunspots had I listened! My SPF of choice is this because it goes on easily, doesn't leave a weird white cast, and I can still apply my makeup without it getting all creased and weird-looking.
Brush + Lomb Lumify ($12)
I feel like as soon as I turned 25, my eyes completely changed. Some days, I wake up totally normal, and other days, my eyes are bloodshot or swollen. Aging is weird, everyone! But this stuff works in like a minute and always makes the white of my eyes so much clearer and brighter.
Sunday Riley A+ High-Dose Retinol Serum ($85)
If you're in your 20s, you should be using some form of retinoid or retinol solution if you want to see results, no ifs ands or buts. Retinoid and retinol are both vitamin A derivatives, but retinoids have a higher concentration of the active ingredient, so it's a lot stronger. Straight-up retinoid hasn't worked for me, but this high-dose retinol serum has done wonders for my skin. It's lightweight, not drying at all, and delivers results without any drawbacks, really.
Olehenriksen Banana Bright Eye Crème ($39)
Vitamin C is basically a dream ingredient to use for delivering age-defying results, but combining it with banana powder? That's a whole other story. This eye cream is a brightening powerhouse and I always seem to come back to it. It helps reduce discoloration and signs of aging while just brightening up the entire eye area.
Joanna Vargas Bright Eye Firming Mask ($60)
Eyecare is a big thing for me. I love throwing these on while doing other things on my to-do list. They're infused with a potent peptide ingredient that brightens, reduces the appearance of puffy, sagging skin, and even prevents the appearance of wrinkles.
Eau Thermale Avene Cold Cream Nourishing Lip Balm ($14)
There's nothing healthy-looking about dry, cracked lips, but this treatment keeps my pout at its best. It's soothing, nourishing, and leaves a thin layer of coverage that looks like a gloss. People always compliment me when I'm wearing it.
Noto Deep Serum ($50)
It's been said that one of the things that can give your age away is your neck. I don't have any good reason as to why I never really paid much attention to mine earlier in my 20s, but I 100% regret it (though this serum has helped). I'm not obsessing over the little horizontal lines nearly as much as I used to, so there's that. This serum is a delightful blend of things like rose-hip seed, sea buckthorn, caffeine crystals, and more that help tighten, brighten, heal, and nourish the skin. The scent alone is healing—especially after a long day.
Kingsley's Natural Bristle Body Brush ($6)
I'll be the first to admit that I'm not as diligent about keeping the rest of my skin in tip-top shape as I am with my face, but dry brushing a few times a week before hopping in the shower makes all the difference. It increases circulation, stimulates drainage from the lymphatic system, and just makes my skin look healthy instead of a dry, flaky mess.
Rosenice Aventurine Gua Sha Scraping Massage Tool ($10)
This is one of my favorite tools of all time. It's a facial scraper that increases blood circulation, which increases elastin and collagen. It also helps with lymphatic drainage. My skin always looks way more lifted and brighter after using it.
Esarora Ice Roller for Face and Eyes ($15)
Sometimes, I wake up and my skin just looks like crap—plain and simple. But using an ice roller first thing in the morning really wakes my complexion up. Not only does it calm redness and irritation, but it also minimizes the appearance of pores and gives my skin a post-workout glow.
NuFace Mini Facial Toning Device ($199)
I started using this a few years ago and have nothing but good things to say about it. It's a microcurrent facial toning device. Think of it as a five-minute facelift without any surgery (or pain for that matter). After cleansing, slather on a gel primer and slowly glide the device over your face and neck. It really does help tone facial muscles while improving contour and skin tone.
Stacked Skincare Micro-Roller .2mm Stainless Steel Needles ($30)
Like I've said before, one of the best things you can do to reveal younger-looking skin is to exfoliate, and this micro-roller helps to do just that. It has tiny little needles that gently exfoliate the top layer of skin, which helps boost radiance, decrease the appearance of dull skin, and makes your complexion look so much smoother, plumper, and firmer. I try—keyword, try—to use it at least once a week.
Angel Kiss Beauty Bar 24k Golden Pulse Energy Facial Massager ($11)
This is another little facial massager I swear by. I try and use it every night and always feel like my skin looks more awake and less dark and dull. It also just feels good at the end of a long day.
Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer ($46)
I tend to stay away from foundation (unless it’s my beloved Armani below) and prefer something that’s more lightweight and hydrating like this tinted moisturizer. I’ve been using it since high school because it gives my skin such a natural glow. I never feel like it accentuates any of my flaws (or lines); it just enhances my overall complexion.
Armani Beauty Luminous Silk Foundation ($64)
When I have an event, I usually turn to this formula because it’s the only one I’ve found that actually keeps my skin looking like, well, skin. The formula has flat pigments instead of round (which helps prevent it from separating and flaking on from skin), making it the best formula for blending, IMHO. It also leaves this perfect luminous finish that always earns me a compliment or two.
Beautyblender Original Blender ($20)
The secret to getting my face makeup to look flawless? This.
I have big eyes to begin with, but anything to help them look bigger and brighter is a go in my book. Plus, adding a nude liner to my waterline never hurts.
Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer ($30)
There's no concealer that blurs the look of wrinkles quite like this one with a creamy formula. It's infused with good-for-skin ingredients that help hydrate the under-eye area while reducing the appearance of fine lines. It's basically a miracle in a tube.
Benefit Cosmetics Goof Proof Brow Pencil ($24)
I can't really complain when it comes to my brows. They're a nice shape, are fairly full, and always look great after I get them done. So in-between appointments, I rely on this brow pencil to fill in all the sparse areas. It's crazy how much of a difference it makes in my overall complexion.
Maybelline Express Colossal Mascara ($5)
One of the things I worry about as I get older is my lashes thinning. Instead of using a thickening mascara, I like to use a volumizing or lengthening formula because it's generally lighter, meaning I don't need to worry about product weighing down the lashes I do have.
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette ($64)
Now that I'm 30, I've realized that my skin has begun to lose its radiance. (Hence why I rely on everything in this article to bring it back.) So I like to think that bringing extra light to my face will enhance my features—just not in a disco-ball sort of way. Instead, I sweep a bit of this along my cheekbones, jawline, and use a little on the inner corners of my eyes. It's just a little something extra that helps wake up my entire face.
This article originally appeared on Who What Wear
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