By Robin Tolkan-Doyle, Beauty Editor
After eight months of pandemic life wearing elastic-waisted bottoms, my son’s band t-shirts and no makeup, except for an occasional concealer swipe to hide my chin maskne, making myself “date night ready” hasn’t been top of my agenda. To be even more transparent, my entire family just recovered from the corona virus and haven’t left the house in what feels like ages.
The other day when my husband commented that I looked “cute” in the old peach-colored sweats that found its way back into my wardrobe rotation, I knew we needed to mix things up. “Let’s go on a date,” I said. “And try to look like we care.” I was obviously referring to myself. It doesn’t take much for him; just a shave, a spritz of cologne, a clean shirt that’s not covered in Chihuahua hair, and he’s ready to rock.
For me it’s whole other level of complicated that requires primping and preening…and lots of products. Thank goodness I work in the beauty industry where I have many of the latest launches at my disposal. Once we decided on the right restaurant that offered outdoor dining, the idea of not having to wash those dishes was already getting me excited.
Read on to find out what products I used to transform myself into someone ready for the outside world! Please note, as the Beauty Editor for Coco Eco, I only use clean, cruelty free and vegan products.
This volumizing spray is like steroids for your locks. As the owner of shoulder-length fine hair, I’ve tried tons of mists, mousses and serums promising to pump, thicken and blow up my ‘do. Very few do the job. And even less make my hair feel like hair after it’s been coated in ingredients. This lightweight texturizer is formulated with nutrient-dense rich Brazilian super oils Buriti and Brazil nut as well as Aloe Vera, which resuscitated my ‘do, leaving it shiny and bouncy. After using my blow dryer, I sprayed this on my hair from roots to tips and then used my curling rod to add some loose curls. I tussled with my fingers and poof, my hair full and fabulous.
A professional facial is definitely a fuzzy pre-pandemic memory and one my complexion has pined for over the last several months. The next best option? Slathering on a couple pumps of Drunk Elephant’s 25% AHA / 2% BHA creamy goodness. As soon as I felt that tingling sensation across my cheeks and forehead, I knew those exfoliating enzymes were sloughing away dead cells, opening up my pores and basically resurfacing and smoothing out my face like a Zamboni machine on an ice rink.
PC: Drunk Elephant
Confession time: just because I’ve been writing about how to apply eye make up for more than 20 years, doesn’t mean I’m any good at applying it on myself. This handy eyeliner tool (which also happens to be Halal certified) really upped my game. And with mask wearing, you really want to play up your eyes these days. With a winged stamp on one side and a smooth, sleek black felt tip pen on the other, a fun and flirty cat eye look can be effortlessly yours.
PC: Lyda Beauty
Nothing says glam like a little shimmer. But when that radiance-enhancing effect settles into your fine lines? Not so much. Unfortunately, that happens with a lot of highlighter formulations, but the creamy shea butter, aloe, and berry fruit peel wax formulated Dream Beam highlighters available in luminescent shades of pink, opal and gold from C’est Moi give skin just the right amount of lustrous glow without retreating to unwelcome creases.
PC: C'est Moi
The directions on the packaging of this cute little lip stick says “Apply to lips. Head out into the world and do good things.” If that’s not enough to make you want to try Pacifica’s newest lip treat, which is more like a smash up between a gloss and a sheer lipstick, than perhaps knowing it’s housed in a 100% recycled component, will urge to consider. The barely-there tint of moisturizing color is perfect for enhancing your lips’ natural and beautiful shade, and it won’t stain the back of your face mask.
A luxurious shade of shiny, fashionable, and high-quality nail polish is a quick and fail-proof way to dress up your hands in a pinch. I chose this plant based lacquer, which is a rich, deep purple. I love that this brand is 21 free, which means its free from formaldehyde, acetone, parabens and 18 other not-good-for-you ingredients.
For a boost of sexy confidence, I spritzed myself with this tropical and luscious fragrance containing notes of Balinese Coconut, Jasmine Petals and Fig Leaves. Fragrance is one of those items that’s hard to justify since you don’t know what’s in them. Floral Street scents are not only vegan and cruelty-free, they use sustainably sourced ingredients, and their packaging is reusable, recyclable, or compostable.
PC: Floral Street
I first came across this silky body lotion at a hotel stay. I remember swiping the bathroom counter clean of all its mini Lather bottles and have been using them since. I love the way this moisturizer hydrates my skin while leaving me enveloped in its unique uplifting scent made up of lemongrass, cedarwood, geranium, jasmine, and vetiver.