Over the years, as a beauty aficionada, I’ve had a chance to try many, many products. Some I’ve liked and other I’ve hated. I’ve also come across products that have crept into my top shelf, things that are so indispensable to my kit that I cannot imagine my maintenance and unique rituals without them. Every beauty blogger has this “list” and so do I. These are products I stand by, and they have worked amazingly for me.
While saying this I also understand that not everyone is same and what might work for me might not for others. But the recommendations for these products have been backed by years and years of usage, and I’d definitely love it if you try any one of these and let me know how you felt. I’d also love more of your preferences – products that make it to your “list”.

1. Lotus Herbals WhiteGlow Skin Whitening & Brightening Gel Cream SPF 25 PA+++

Contrary to the name, this doesn’t whiten. Trust me, I’ve tried bottles and bottles of this stuff and it never whitened me. But what I love about it – the gel cream texture, the non white caste leaving mild SPF. It adds a certain plumpness to the skin and moisturises pretty efficiently. I’ve “noticed” a fresher complexion using this, but definitely not “whiter”. I think they’d sell more of this if they removed that claim from the packaging…
Get yourself one here.

2. Loreal UV Perfect Sunscreen range

The entire range has been a go-to sunblock for me. As it is there are pretty few functions a sun block can do and somehow most of them screw even that up. It does leave a slight white caste but it goes away after a minute. Get yourself one here.

3. Colorbar Just Smoky Kajals

This is definitely one of the good ones in the Indian market. It’s dark, soft enough to not tug on your skin while application (important because hello! wrinkles!), sets and stays put, smudges well for a smokey eye, and is available in gorgeous colours. I have used 6 of black and have one in Just Teal – a blue black teal with a matte finish, and Just Brown – a medium coppery brown with gold and brown shimmers.
Get yourself one here.

4. The Body Shop Lip and Cheek Tint

This lipstain gives a seamless flushed look. I’ve had this for years and years in my makeup kit because of its versatility. It’s also a favourite of Emma Watson and for good reason – it is extremely long lasting for the price, one bottle lasts you around 1.5 years, you don’t need much, you cannot over do, and it’s best for people looking for products that are minimalist and quick. Get yourself a bottle here.

5. Bioderma Sensibio Micellar Water

This figures in a staple of all celebrity makeup artists. It’s so gentle, does its work, doesn’t sting my eyes, one bottle lasts for 6 months. Any skin care and makeup fanatic will tell you of how amazing this is. One con – it doesn’t remove waterproof mascara as well, I recommend using a bi-phased one to do that – but other than that all good.
Get yourself one here.

6. The Body Shop Vitamin E Overnight Serum-in-Oil

This is one of my favourite facials oils because it moisturises and it repairs my skin barrier pretty well. It also smoothens my skin’s texture. It does have wheat germ oil so if you have large pores it can clog them. But I’ve never faced any such issues. One bottle will last you 3-6 months approximately – you need 3-4 drops only once a day anyway.
Get yourself one here.

7. Juicy Chemistry Rosehip and Helichrysum Oil (Cell Construction Serum)

Okay, this is one of the first facial oils I’ve used and it smells divine. I’ve used around 5 bottles of this, and so much so that the smell automatically has conditioned me to fall asleep. Could be also because of the lavender extracts as well. It also has Vitamin A (retinol), carotene (sun protection) from the carrot seed oil, and helichrysum which helps with skin repair and cell regeneration.
Get yourself a bottle here.

8. Inglot Matte Lipsticks

I’ve repurchased both these shades. They’re one of the best matte lipsticks in the market – but let me let you know, they can be drying and I can definitely stomach extreme matte lipsticks. I adore them the most for their colours. 410 is a pink toned nude which is universally flattering and 445 is a terracotta peach nude which will suit fair to medium skin tones best. For reference I’m an NC30.
Get yourself one from the shades 410 and 445 here.

9. Anastasia Beverly Hills Ashton

This again is one of my favourite nude lipsticks. Definitely falls in one of the best lipsticks I’ve used so far. I require very few things for my liquid lipsticks – they should be comfortable and not cakey, pigmented, long lasting, not drying and odorless. This ticks all of it. If it sounds like you, definitely spend some coins here. Ashton is a medium brown nude with undertones of pink – a perfect 90s nude lip.
Get yourself one here.

10. Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara

This drugstore mascara is AMAZING. It lengthens and fans out your lashes in the most natural but exaggerated way possible – kind of like my lashes but better? Does that term even exist? The formula balances just between the thick and smooth that promises no clumps.
Do try here.

11. Wet n Wild Retractable Brow Pencil

For the price this brow pencil is extremely underrated. I love the spoolie – it feathers your brows extremely well. It is the exact kind of soft and hard you want eyebrow pencils to be and is very long lasting. I used a medium brown.
Get it here.

12. The Body Shop Fijian Water Lotus

The first time I wore this to college, I swear to god, around ten people turned around and asked me what I was wearing and for good reason! It has a beautiful fresh, crisp, aquatic scent which will never give you a headache. The downside is that it doesn’t last long – you might have to reapply. The silage is great on this one, though.
Get a bottle here.

13. Innisfree Super Volcanic Pore Clay Mask 2X

I use it once a week, but it is one of the best clay masks that is not at all drying. It pulls all the gunk off of your pores and over time you’d actually see your skin loose a lot of blackheads. It works.
Try a capsule pack or commit to a full jar here.

14. FabIndia Tea Tree Facewash

I’ve gone through some 3,4 tubes of this. Don’t remember but now this facewash and I are inseparable. This controls oil and cleans your skin pretty well but without the stretchy scratchy feel. It lathers well but doesn’t behave like a soap – meaning, it is not drying at all.
Buy it here.

15.YBP Color Cream in The Goddess

You guys, if you want a seamless, smooth, dewy highlight get this. It is the closest dupe of Glossier Haloscope in effect. I hope they come up with new shades soon. It’s so user friendly and you only need half a drop for each side of the face. Totally worth the price.
Get one for yourself here.

16. Pixi Glow Tonic

I’m not going to even begin to describe my obsession with this toner. (You can read my opinion here.) It is also a great makeup prep step. If you struggle with dry patches after applying your base, try using this as before you begin your complexion. It also plumps, hydrates, gently exfoliates and great for all skin types.
Try a bottle here.

17. The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA Peeling Solution

Ten minutes and twice a week is all you need for this treatment. It leaves your skin all kinds of nice – glossy, even toned, deals with scars and hyperpigmentation. I love it! I’ll never go back to using physical exfoliators again. The effects peak at about the 3-4th use, and it is not for people who have very little experience with acids. They’re meant to be used incrementally.
Read all about acids in skincare here and if you’re ready, buy a bottle of this magic potion here.

18. Innisfree Bija Trouble Spot Patch Kit

Hands down the best pimple patches ever. They really do pull out all the yucky stuff overnight, especially if you have a blind pimple. It also comes with vials of bija extracts that help calm the pimple, reduce redness, and dry it out as well while disinfecting it too. It’s slightly higher on the cost scale for the amount you get but once you use it, I promise you it’ll become a staple in your kit.
Get yourself a pack here.

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