Makeup & Beauty

What Do Beauty Bloggers Spend Their Own Money On?

Have you ever gotten the chance to look inside the cabinet of a beauty blogger?

It is INSANITY. I host two beauty-focused shows for Allure so I test out a lot of products to see what I want to incorporate into segments (and reviews on RG)…but for-real beauty bloggers? Literally have boxes and boxes and boxes full of review samples filling their bathroom cabinets from companies hoping that a product will catch their eye. And they spend virtually every day sifting through products in search of the best of the best…so for them to actually walk into a store and buy a beauty product for their own personal use, it must be CRAZY good.

So for this post, I thought I’d do something kind of different and ask a few top beauty bloggers (and friends of mine) what products they love so much that they never fail to make room for them in those already-overstuffed bathroom cabinet.


Nadine Jolie is an author (check out her books here), travel, beauty, and royalty blogger, and self-described “professional oversharer.” She’s also one of my best friends, and is brutally honest – I trust her beauty recommendations more than anyone else on the planet’s.

Here are her picks, in her own words:

  • Amala products (specifically the Brightening Emulsion): I discovered this organic line on a press trip to Germany to visit their headquarters. They are NOT cheap, but their products are effective, organic, made with love, and just divine.
  • Kiehl’s Bath and Shower Musk Gel: My husband and I are addicted!
  • Lucas Papaw Ointment: Best lip balm on the planet. I discovered it in Australia on my honeymoon and now order it online in bulk.
  • Tom Ford Black Orchid Perfume: Sex in a bottle.
  • Givenchy Pi Cologne: I discovered this spicy, soapy men’s fragrance nearly 15 years ago and have been loving (and buying!) it ever since. Whenever I’m flying internationally, I check duty free to see if they have it.
  • BareMinerals Original SPF: I can’t survive without this. Usually I’ll have one extra in stock from the company’s PR, but if not, I always purchase immediately and happily!
jeannine morris

Jeannine Morris is an on-air beauty expert who has appeared on E!, the Today Show, and Wendy Williams. I’ve known her practically since I got started in this whole blogging thing (we appeared together in a BetterTV series way back in the day), and her take on beauty is refreshingly straightforward and open.

Jeannine’s best of the best:

  • Dove Deep Moisture Nourishing Body Wash: I’ve been pretty much exclusively using Dove since I was a child and this body wash lathers so richly and does its job while moisturizing my skin. I’m obsessed.
  • John Frieda Color Refreshing Gloss in Cool Brunette: To keep my hair from getting brassy between colors, I use this once a week. It’s an in-shower treatment that deposits color in my shade and tone and keeps my hue looking fresh and shiny.
  • MAC Fast Response Eye Cream: This is a lifesaver for early call times and TV segments, because it instantly reduces puffiness under my eyes.

Amber Katz is the founder and writer behind Rouge18, and a contributor to Teen Vogue,, Daily Glow, and Refinery29. Her site was named one of the ten hottest beauty blogs by Women’s Wear Daily, and has been featured in The New York Times, Marie Claire, Vogue, and Glamour. Amber’s also one of my favorite people to run into out and about in the city, mostly because she’s just so damn fun. 

What Amber never lets herself run out of (and why):

  • Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream: I got a mini sample of this and am having MASSIVE separation anxiety that I can see the bottom of my little jar, and am preparing to buy my own moisturizer for the first time in the better part of a decade to replace it. It makes my skin looked rested even when it’s patently not and includes SPF 15. In short, the name is NOT hyperbole.
  • Pureology Hydrate Shampoo and Conditioner: I’ve bought this multiple times. The sulfate-free shampoo cleans my color-treated hair without stripping it of moisture or my painstakingly balayaged strands (thank you, Dana Ionato at Sally Hershberger!) and the conditioner yields a “minty on my head” refreshing feeling while it imparts moisture. I sometimes score this stuff at Nordstrom Rack at Union Square and feel very virtuous for saving a few bucks on it.
  • Kate Somerville 360 Body Tanning Towelettes: Though I live in a constant episode of “Sephoarders” (beauty product-specific hoarders), sometimes people will give me gift certificates for the store and I’m grateful because I can’t ever run out of Kate Somerville’s self-tanning wipes. They don’t leave me streaky or smelling like Scrooge McDuck post coin-swim, nor will they clog my pores when I use them on my face.

nars eyeshadow palette

And, finally – not putting myself in the same league as these ladies (who are for-real beauty experts as opposed to fairly well-informed dabblers, which is the category I consider myself a part of), but just for fun: here are a few of my own must-have beauty products that get purchased the moment they begin to run low (thank you, Amazon Prime):

MAC Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation: This is the one makeup product I literally do not leave the house without. Ever. I’ve been using it for a good decade now, and it perfects your skin instantly: covering blemishes, evening out tone, and cutting shine. Total must-have.

Sephora Liquid Eyeliner in Black: I’m a total liquid liner addict, and this one is just about perfect: precise tip, smooth application, long-lasting formula. Oh, and it’s cheap (ish).

African Botanics Marula Oil: I cannot tell you how obsessed I am with this oil: I use it whenever my skin is feeling in need of a little extra TLC, and wake up the next morning virtually glowing.

Dove Nourishing Oil Care Spray Detangler: I worked with Dove as their brand ambassador for a couple of years and love pretty much all their products, but my hands-down favorite is the spray detangled. I buy it religiously, and never brush my wet hair without spraying it first: it leaves my hair soft, shiny, and so easy to comb through (and can even be used on dry hair if it’s all snarly).

Now tell me, please: what can’t you live without?! 

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