I love a good deal, plain and simple. There’s nothing like coming across a $5 cream that actually lightens dark spots overnight or discovering a $12 serum that ; really truly does it all. But I’m also one who enjoys splurging. I wouldn’t say I get the same sort of adrenaline rush when I find a $185 cream as I do when I snatch up something for $10—I mean dropping that kind of money on a product isn’t a buy-on-a-whim sort of situation. It’s the type of purchase that needs to be thought about. I need to know I’ll treasure it and enjoy using it over and over (and over) again.
Throughout the years, I’ve found my fair share of these high-ticket items, and even though it’s painful to have to repurchase them when I run low, I can honestly say they’re 100% worth it.
This got me thinking about other people’s life-changing picks, so I obviously had to reach out to my co-workers to share. Here, we’ve rounded up a list of all the best luxury products that are totally worth the splurge.
I like to describe this as magic in a bottle. It’s made with over 22 active ingredients, all of which help fight signs of aging. It honestly just smells so dreamy and gives my complexion a perfect dewy glow. I use it in the evening, by applying four drops to my hands and pressing it into my skin.
This brand is new to me, and I’m already loving it—even my husband is hooked! This is one of the standouts, and I just love how super hydrating it is. It also helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and just brightens up my complexion—and neck! (Don’t forget to rub some in there!)
I’ve used the Laura Mercier body crème’s since high school, but only recently added this one to the mix. It’s just as luxurious as you’d expect it to be: It’s silky-smooth whipped texture feels amazing, and it really just makes my skin feel so soft and smell delicious. The scent actually reminds me of vacation, and honestly, everyone could use a mental escape right now, amirite?
There’s a reason this product is often found in the skincare routines of editors, celebrities, and It girls alike. In two words, it works. Trust me: You will see brighter, glowier, more youthful-looking skin within a few days to a week. The only thing that’s a slight downside is the product smells a tad like hot dogs. Once it dries though, I promise it disappears. A bottle usually lasts me four months, which works out to about $1.40 a day. For beautiful skin, I think that’s worth it! Alternatively, this $18 bottle from Dr. Brenner is a much-loved dupe.
I started using U Beauty Resurfacing Compound this summer, and my skin has never looked better. I get kind of overwhelmed when it comes to layering products and what products you should and shouldn’t use together, but I don’t have to worry about that with this since it’s kind of an all-in-one thing. It brightens, reduces fine lines, minimizes pores, smooths, hydrates, and fades dark spots. When I wake up in the morning after using it, my skin is so much glowier. I actually look like I got eight hours of sleep (which is rare). The only thing I do pair with it sometimes is a moisturizer on top, since my skin is dry. While it’s certainly pricey, the formula spreads really easily, so a little goes a very long way. One pump covers my entire face. I highly recommend this if you’re looking to scale back your skincare routine without sacrificing results.
The best way to describe this serum is that it makes my skin really happy. It’s never been brighter, clearer, or smoother—all the good things.
I had borrowed various friends’ Dyson hair dryers over the years and finally decided to buy one for myself a few months ago. I was desperately in need of an upgrade anyway, and I couldn’t be happier with my purchase. My hair dries insanely fast and feels so soft after using the dryer. It’s definitely worth the price tag because I’ll have it for years or maybe forever.
I purchased my first Aesop hand wash three years ago, as a little treat to myself. Little did I know it would become a necessity to me. I fell in love with the smell, texture, and feel and have never loved washing my hands more. Once my first bottle finished, I decided to use another hand soap, but it didn’t give me the joy of the Aesop—I haven’t been back to any other hand wash since. The lotion that accompanies it is silky smooth and goes a long way. I’ll scrunch my hair after I put on the lotion for extra smelly goodness.
This cleanser is the first face wash I used where I really noticed a difference in my skin. I use one pump a day, and it has lasted longer than expected. It brightens, smooths, moisturizes, and helps with my acne. To be honest, I’ll use random face washes priced around $30 to $40 because I never thought it mattered. But this! I have to keep repurchasing—it’s too good.
I got a NuFace a few years ago. It got damaged because I left it near my sink—don’t make the same mistake. I now have it safely hidden away in my medicine cabinet. That means I’ve purchased this face tool twice in four years—that’s how well it works! One time I had a bad reaction to botox and my eyelid was drooping, but I lifted it up with this device every day until the botox faded. For lifting and toning the face, you have to use this every day, and there are periods when I won’t use it for months (i.e. this entire quarantine), but it truly works with consistent use.
The price of this moisturizer is comparable to more glamorous options like La Mer or Augustinus Bader, but after having tried all of them, the SkinCeuticals option is the winner. This moisturizer was recommended to me by my friend Kristina who has pristine skin and has done thorough research on the best option on the market, so it’s safe to say that this is a sound investment.
If I could only use one body product for the rest of my life, it would be this luxurious body cream from Natura Bissé. It smells heavenly (like velvety lavender), and it provides the same lit-from-within glow as an oil, without the grease or tackiness. It features the brand’s oligo-collagen complex which also improves firmness and elasticity and is even touted to redefine the tone, texture, and contour of your skin. It’s a skin miracle, bottled.
This might be one of the most expensive foundations on the market, but I can’t even fault it because it’s also one of the absolute best. This foundation’s skin-perfecting powers are great on their own, but there’s something about buffing the high-tech formula in with the coordinating foundation brush that creates pure magic on your face. All of a sudden, pigmentation, uneven texture, and/or anything else you’re looking to camouflage with your foundation completely vanishes. That said, the formula is so serum-like and lightweight that you don’t even feel anything on your face. If you’re sick and tired of searching for the perfect foundation, this one, though pricey, will conclude your search.
I feel like every single person in the world talks about this serum (from celebs to editors to skin experts), but this multitasking serum really is worth the hype (and I’m not even a serum person!). I use it every other night after I cleanse and before I add my hyaluronic acid serum and moisturizer. In short, it’s single-handedly improved my acne (and stubborn acne scars), evened out my skin texture, and boosted the overall luminosity of my complexion. It even has anti-aging benefits like preventing and minimizing fine lines and wrinkles. It’s one of the few skincare products that literally everyone can benefit from.
More out of boredom than anything else, I started using this brow-growth serum at the beginning of quarantine to try to help my brows live their best life until the next time I’d be able to see a professional. I’m usually a skeptic about these types of products (plus, many are irritating!), but this serum works. I’ve had so much new growth where hairs refused to grow before, and I also love that it’s double-ended, so it works double-duty as kind of a clear brow gel and setting situation. I have to use it every morning now.
I feel like I talk about this high-end (but seriously effective) device until I’m blue in the face practically every day of my life. You can read my full review here, but essentially, this adorable little device sculpts and lifts the heck out your face using cutting-edge microcurrent technology. (A treatment that’s typically offered in-office and which celebrities love.) Though it’s an investment upfront, microcurrent treatments are this much and then some when you go to see a professional, so really, you’re saving money in the long run. You’ll just have to restock on the special gel that you’re required to use in tandem with your device.
I can count on one hand the number of beauty products I’ve remained loyal to since first becoming a beauty editor, and this cult-loved peel from celeb facialist Renée Rouleau is at the top of my list. No other mask, peel, or exfoliating potions can come close to the smooth, ultra-glowy results of this formula. You will not regret this purchase! It’s also safe for sensitive skin types. I make my dad use it whenever I visit my parents because he only ever touches his skin with soap. The before and after is always amazing!
This eye serum–gel hybrid has such a hefty price tag, but the results really do what the name suggests. I use it daily and can definitely say I’ve noticed more lift around my eyes in addition to less puff, fewer fine lines, and far less shadowy circles. Plus, I’m addicted to how smooth and feathery-light the texture is. It’s a dream underneath makeup.
Okay, sorry for all of these expensive eye products, but seriously, never has my under-eye routine been so expensive but never have my under eyes looked so healthy and well-rested! (And no, my sleeping habits have not changed!) This rose-spike French elixir is so moisturizing and soothing, and it has a super-subtle glimmer that immediately adds luminosity and brightness.
Sure, there are plenty of hand creams a fraction of the price of this one from Augustinus Bader, but this hand cream makes your hands feel like cashmere for days on end and features the brand’s patented technology that basically ages you in reverse.
$50 is a significantly steep pop for a lip gloss, but also, this isn’t your average lip gloss! It’s developed by Lara Devgan, MD, (a celeb plastic surgeon based in NYC), boosted with SPF, and has a cutting-edge blend of niacin, mixed-molecular-weight hyaluronic acid, and ceramides that give you major plump, shine, and overall lip enhancement with zero syringes involved. Plus, the zesty tingle intensifies your natural lip color for a true your-lips-but-better vibe.
If anyone has been struggling with acne during quarantine, I highly recommend Stack Skincare’s high-frequency tool, and this handy acne starter kit is a fool-proof introduction. The wand (quite literally) zaps your zits and helps safely kill acne-causing bacteria, reduce inflammation and redness, and also stave off future breakouts. If you feel like your products alone aren’t doing enough, I recommend adding this worth-it system to your routine.
Chantecaille is one of my all-time favorite beauty brands, and although their products are expensive, there isn’t one weak link in the bunch. (I’d include every single one in this roundup if I could!) That said, I’ve been especially obsessed with this radiance elixir recently. Add a drop to literally anything (your serums, SPF, creams, foundation), and you’ll be gifted with the most enchanting glow that doesn’t look like it came from a product. (Unlike, for instance, a powder highlighter.) It’s crafted in Switzerland, teems with the highest quality botanical ingredients, and in addition to that pretty glow I mentioned, it also helps correct redness and pigmentation while simultaneously leaving your skin looking plump and healthy.
I know what you’re thinking: This tool looks weird. But don’t let the shape turn you off! According to the box, the roller is supposed to replicate an esthetician’s gripping and gliding technique, helping to achieve more firm and radiant skin (which I’ve totally found to be true). But according to me, it just feels like a really freaking nice massage on your face. I’m pretty sure the heftier price tag is due to the fact that there’s an actual solar panel on the handle that generates microcurrents. Yes, it’s a little bougie, but it’s totally worth it.
$55 for a soap? Usually, I’d roll my eyes, but I just can’t get over the smell of this one—it’s heaven! I only use it on the weekends for a little treat.
Next up, the best $20-and-under skincare formulas you can buy at the drugstore.