13 New and Old Classic Beauty Products That Every Girl Should Own

I say “every girl” pretty loosely here, because we all have our favorites and go-tos; everyone’s collection of iconic make-up products differs because we’re all unique, individual ladies. Some covet Carmex like it’s their baby while others prefer Chapstick when it comes to a lip moisturizer. Regardless, we all have a lipstick tube, a shampoo brand or perfume that we keep coming back to again and again. Here are my top ten picks:


1. Ruby Woo by MAC, $16 at MAC 

Before Ruby Woo, I boldly laughed in the face of anyone who suggested I tried a “bold lip.” Reds, purples, oranges, it didn’t matter. I couldn’t pull anything off. After reading approximately a hundred articles on the dark magic that is Ruby Woo, I decided to give it a go. I was at the mall, so I stopped at MAC and picked up a tube without even trying it on in the store. Gutsy. I tried it on in my car, and lo and behold, it looked pretty good on me! It was a miracle. Since then, I’ve sworn by Ruby Woo.


2. St. Ives Apricot Scrub, $3.29 at Target

I learned about this gritty paste when I was a kid. My mom kept a jar (it used to come in these salmon-colored jars from what I remember) of it in the bathroom, and I’d occasionally open it up to sniff its apricot scent. Then I grew up and in order to battle the Acne War, I bought all kind of products. But ultimately I was lead back to St. Ive’s. The most amazing exfoliating scrub known to the human race. It’s natural and it doesn’t dry out your skin. I still use St. Ive’s Apricot Scrub once a week to exfoliate dead skin cells (gross!). It leaves my face feeling fresh and soft!


3. 5th Ave by Essie Nail Polish, $8.50 at Essie 

I have a bottle of 5th Ave from 7th grade that still has a $4.99 sticker on it and it makes me laugh and say to myself, “back when I was your age, Essie was only five dollars!” like a crazy person. Now, for almost 9 bucks a pop, you can own every shade of orange there is. 5th Ave is my favorite orange though, and no other brand seems to pull it off quite as well. It’s brighter than orange, almost red but not quite, and almost neon, but not quite either. It’s perfect.

Runner Up: Revlon created the classic red (actually, I’m not totally sure who exactly created the first red nail polish, but I know Revlon has been around since the ’30s) nail polish called Revlon Red and I’ve had a bottle since I was old enough to wear nail polish (my parents didn’t let me wear anything but clear until I was 8). I know there’s Big Apple Red by OPI and Russian Roulette by Essie, but Revlon Red will always have a special place in my heart. And on my nails! For $5, this polish lasts just as long as any other high-brow brand.


4. Daisy by Marc Jacobs, $75 at Sephora

Daisy is the new Chanel Number 5 of our generation, you guys. It has violet and jasmine notes with a touch of woodsy vanilla. It’s subtle enough to wear to any occasion, it’s classy, and it smells like youth. I always have a bottle (although I recently got Dot for the holidays, and it’s pretty darn good, too). I love you, Marc Jacobs. I love you.


5. Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion, $26 at Sephora

In college, I wouldn’t stop breaking out so for my birthday my mom took me to Clinique. The lab-coat wearing Clinique Lady gave me a skin test (I have combination skin –the worst!) and then piled a whole bunch of different kinds of  products into a fancy plastic bag worth more than my outfit. I still use Clinique’s three-step skin care products because even though I’m 23, I have naturally crappy skin (hooray). Although the cleanser and toner can be switched out with other drug store brands, their moisturizer cannot be beat. It’s super light. It doesn’t even feel like you’re wearing lotion. You won’t ever break out because of it, and it’s fragrance-free so as to not irritate your skin. It’s incredible.


6. Carmex, $1.39 at Vitacost

Just the weird almost-vanilla-y smell of Carmex makes me nostalgic for the Midwest and simultaneously thankful I probably won’t have to brave through another harsh winter again. During those times, I always carried a Carmex on me because otherwise, my lips would start to crack and it would become painful to even talk. Never go through winter without a trusty lip balm. Carmex is for heavy duty dry weather, but it’s just an all-around amazing lip balm that hydrates your lips and leaves them all tingly.


7. John Frieda Frizz-Ease Hair Serum Original Formula, $9.99 at Ulta

Before Moroccan Oil, there was John Frieda. One pump of the clear serum after a shower, and your hair became instantly manageable. Girls (and guys) with frizzy hair were relieved when their moms finally bought them this magic potion that made it okay to wear their hair down.


8. Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream, $19.50 at Sephora

I’m still not totally sure what the difference is between BB Cream and tinted moisturizer, but I know that my Smashbox BB Cream is all I use in the summer when I don’t feel like wearing too much makeup but still want to hide my blotchy skin from the rest of society. It’s light, you only need a pea-sized dollop to cover your face, and I’ve never known anyone to have issues with their skin tone selection.


9. Maybelline Great Lash Mascara, $4.19 at Target

I always have a tube of this pink and green classic beauty in my purse. It’s not the best out there, but it’s certainly not the worst. And it’s always hanging in the check-out aisle for your convenience for four dollars!

Runner Up: Clinique High Impact Mascara

If you want to spend ten more bucks on a mascara that never clumps and gorgeously and evenly thickens your lashes, get Clinique High Impact Mascara. I swear by it. I hate wearing false eyelashes because I did once and it felt like my real lashes were being ripped out when I tried to take them off (okay, just putting false eyelashes on is such a hassle!), so I need a mascara that just naturally elongates. Which this stuff does.


10. Garnier Fructis Shampoo, about $4 at Target

“Wooo hoooooo!” I sing in the shower when I lather up my hair. Garnier Fructis may not be the most natural shampoo ever, but it’s certainly the juiciest. I honestly feel like I am showering in a blend of grapefruit and strawberry juice whenever I use Garnier. Yum.


11. Freeman Feeling Beautiful Avocado & Oatmeal Facial Mask, $3.99 at Drugstore.com

What’s the cheapest way to feel like you’re at the spa, you ask? Freeman Feeling Beautiful masks, which cost less than a bottle of water (at Disneyland) and last for months. There’s all different kinds for different areas of interest, like charcoal and black sugar to detoxify your skin and cucumber to hydrate it. My favorite is the avocado and oatmeal mask because it feels like my skin is being tightened and hydrated at the same time! And it feels super smooth afterward. Affordable luxury and relaxation here I come, just slice up some cucumbers, please.


12. Naked Palette by Urban Decay, $52 at Sephora 

This slightly overpriced box of mystical powder is everything I ever wanted out of eyeshadow, so I haven’t bought any since our introduction. The Naked Palette contains every necessary tint you need, including champagne and the perfect gold that goes with any skin tone.


13. Victoria’s Secret Love Spell Body Spray, $10.20 at Complete Skin Care

So I’m half serious as I type this, but last weekend when I was at the mall I was seriously considering buying a bottle of Love Spell. It was every girl’s “signature scent” in 7th grade; every single day, the gym locker room smelled like a concentrated version of it, since we would spritz it on our way in and on our way out. I’m not sure why I want to associate myself with middle school because it was wretched, but I guess I kind of felt nostalgic for a time when body spray was perfume and Lip Smackers was lipstick.

Are there any products that you miss or swear by always?

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1614318553 Kathleen Hughes

    Nooooo that apricot scrub is so so so bad for your face skin! The beads are way too harsh for such sensitive skin. I’m sure that if you have a very gentle touch, it can be okay, but be careful with it. If you’re like me and scrub really hard, it does wonders on rough heels :) The rest of this list, though, is totally spot on.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100006457164142 Jenni Rose

      I would suggest Aveeno’s Positively Radiant Skin Brightening Daily Scrub. It’s PERFECT, but St. Ives is great for exfoliating the rest of your body!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1263780284 Brandi Frye

    I miss the “Buff-Puff” it was a miraculous invention

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1548011455 Shar Rowell

      Buf-Puf is magic! I get some other brand puff now. I love how it exfoliates my skin. Agreed!

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=616965867 Sherlock Rhodes

      OMG! The “Buff-Puff”! I loved those. Walmart sells little face ones that are soft and wonderful. Different brand, but same idea.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1493580707 Lauren Byrd

    I can’t use St Ives on my face – I’m way too sensitive, but I love the smell. I found a good middle ground in L’Oreal Go 360 Clean- smells like peaches and comes with the really soft scrub pad. Love it. The only other thing I can’t use is the Clinique lotion. I know! But it makes me break out. :(

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=116701130 Christiana Dinkelmeyer

    I’m with Kathleen and Jenni; that St. Ives scrub is SO bad for your face. I used to be a Mary Kay rep and their microdermabrasion is the best I’ve found (followed by Aveeno’s Positively Radian Skin Brightening Daily Scrub…which should not be used daily.) You could seriously damage your face with the St. Ives scrub, it’s too sensitive for that.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1005726121 Dawn Henry

    1. you convinced me to get Ruby Woo – i hope you have associate links on here for commission.
    2. st ives apricot scrub is awesome for getting makeup off my hands after the morning warpaint application ritual.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1567723722 Carolyn Pile

    My favorites are Dove bar soap and peppermint Chapstick. The peppermint flavor is usually only available around Christmas, and even then it’s hard to find. I once ordered a case of it from Amazon.
    The Dove soap (my favorite is pink) smells wonderful and moisturizes while it cleans. I love the way it makes my skin feel.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1117419432 Anamaria Davila

    Nars Cruella lip pencil is to die for! I prefer the dry matte look over traditional creamy ‘lipsticks’.

    I also am a slave to Oil of Olay moisturizer for ‘sensitive skin’. I love that it already contains SPF! I have tried Clinque for years but hated having to layer my skin with moisturizer AND an SPF.

    Thanks for this!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=507266183 Megg Clement

    Love everything on this list…except St. Ives. Like the other gals said, it’s much too rough for your face. The scrubbers in it are jagged and can cause small cuts in the skin. If you have active acne, they may even help spread the bacteria that is the root of the acne. I’m an esthetician and I always tell my clients that they can go ahead and use it on their elbows or knees but not their faces. I really like the perfectly round beads in Aveda’s Tourmaline Charged Exfoliating cleanser or Lather’s Sweet Almond Exfoliating Creme.

    But please keep up the good work! I love Hello Giggles!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1551120067 Sara Newsome

    the st. ives scrub causes micro-tares in your skin, which cases micro-scars which makes you ages faster. I would go with a more gentle scrub like dermalogica daily microfoliant, Olay Skin Smoothing Cream Scrub.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1352314578 Sara Jenkins

    …Am I the only one that thinks that Victoria’s Secret Love Spell smells like an alcoholic stripper from the 80’s?

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=755965864 Jordan Barber

      Strangers told me I smelled like beer when I wore love spell in high school.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=46901672 Lauren Nicole

    Love Spell definitely makes me think of Middle School. Covet by SJP and Chanel Chance make me think of College :)

    And I don’t know if they even make these any more but Bon-Bons were the BEST! I wasn’t allowed to have grown-up nail polish but I could buy as many of these little 99cent suckers as I could carry. Aaaahhh the good ole days.

    • Gina Vaynshteyn

      They have them at Walmart!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=506486060 Rachel Clare Murray

    St. Ives scrub is terrible for the face, but I LOVE it on my legs :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1558473070 Alicia Gadus Thompson

    St. Ives is awful for your face! The crushed up apricot pits are abrasive to the skin causing small scrapes and cuts. It will age your skin prematurely. Best to go with a scrub that has perfectly round micro beads to gently exfoliate. Otherwise, use a moisturizing sugar scrub on your body. My fave is Vitabath Fresh sugar scrub.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1545017017 Bonnie Guo

      The St. Ives was formulated for your body, not your face. Totally agree.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1332780030 Lisa Grosso

    Can’t get past the “top ten picks” in the intro paragraph introducing 13 items.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=674040108 Chelsea Beck

    I have to tell you as a girl almost through Aesthetics school that Apricot Scrub is terrible for your skin! The exfoliating agent in it is actually much to harsh for human skin and it is exfoliating but it is also creating miniscule cuts all over the surface of the skin! A great exfoliant is Circadia’s Micro-Exfoliating Honey Cleanser… link here —-> http://www.circadia.com/product/micro-exfoliating-honey-cleanser. Only use it 3x a week in addition to your usual cleanser. It’s a dream!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=21420887 Cassie Kemple

    With all the estheticians in the house I got to ask…I totally agree on the St Ives, way too harsh and haven’t used since my teens…however with all the recent talk of the dangers of microbeads to aquatic life, what is a better alternative? I’ve tried a couple sugar scrubs but they reminded me of the pain of St. Ives…suggestions???

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1399869982 Jenny Bradley

      I go the cruelty-free and vegan route when I buy an exfoliating scrub. Sibu Beauty, Own, and Odacite are all gentle yet effective. I have sensitive skin, but I like a good scrub and I trust these brands.
      A tip my esthetician friend told me, because I do have sensitive skin (although I didn’t know it til she gave me a facial) is to be very gentle with a scrub on my cheeks!

      I love this list! I don’t use any of these products anymore because of my vegan lifestyle, but it totally brought me back! Remember Revlon’s Fire and Ice perfume? I used to put way too much of that on before boarding the school bus, no wonder no one wanted to sit next to me! OR ANYTHING BY BONNE BELL!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1087416357 Erika Marie Moran

    Ok, I’ll look for a replacement for my St Ives apricot scrub, but St Ives did have a fabulous clay mask that helped w my combo skin: soothed sensitive part and de-oiled the other! Where did it go?

    Neutrogena’s Almond Body Oil is HEAVEN! Great for shaving in shower, moisturizing entire body without oily residue, and the scent is divine, laying a base down for your perfume to last longer.

    Organix Moroccan hair oil has been amazing for my winter tortured/swim challenged hair-also nice leftover on hands. Which leads me to my fav deep moisturizing product for the body; Palmer’s cocoa butter! Gloves and socks over a layer of this and wa laaaa! Soft, silky skin again!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001500589289 Luna Lith

    If you love and cherish animals, then you better not use most of these products as their production involves animal testing…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=752065385 Marie-Pier Desjardins

    Your list is great. I actualy use some of those products.
    Here are a few others:
    – Nailpolish: Rimmel’s Cherry Fashion.
    – Lipstick: Maybelline’s Super Stay 14HR in Infinite Iris and Please Stay Plum (best lipsticks ever!)
    – Perfume: I also love Marc Jacobs but mine is Oh Lola.
    – Body cream: Lush’s Sympathy for the skin
    – Face cream: Vichy’s Aqualia Thermal in gel (for oily or combination skin)
    – Chapstick: Good ol’ Blistex
    – Hair serum: Joico K-Pak
    – Mascara: Rimmel’s Accelerator
    – Foundation: Loreal’s Lumi.
    – Shampoo/Conditioner: For very damaged hair: Sebastian’s Penetraitt. Every day: I really like Loreal’s ”Ever” collection.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100007774869665 Rebecca Chapman

    Mitchell’s Wool Fat soap on skin tails (face and body), then scrub with Trader Joe’s vitamin C crystals. I am not sure the crystals are abrasive on the skin or not, but they freshen the skin better than any other scrub I’ve tried. Josie Maran products for face – all of them if you can afford it, if not prioritize. I’d start with the foundation. It goes on skin white and purports to blend with your natural skin color. Also, all the products are animal testing free. A milk (preferably raw) and honey (again preferably raw) mask 2-3 times a week exfoliates and mosturizes skin. Rose water or lavender water as a toner, either store bought or homemade. For acne, a combo of apple cigar vinegar water, flavor free Listerine, and green tea as a tonic. For lips, any red ass lip liner beneath that Clinique black honey almost lipstick. If that still had it….that magic powder from prescriptivist..can buy on ebay but pricey since it’s an extinct product. I swear by these things, but I have depression issues and quite often fall asleep without even brushing my teeth.. For hair, kerasin stuff…baking soda mixed into shampoo, used only on scalp…and any conditioner that comes with DIY hair dye,,, you can get hair dye for under $5 at the Christmas Tree Shop. Once a week mix a keratin deep conditioner with eggs and avacoda and wear those caps that come with the DIY hair dye and blow dry for 20 mins. Also, spearmint tea is a good hair rinse for unruly splits. I may look like a slob and act like a depressive nutcase…but even I can clean up nice,

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