The Essentials

beauty tools and products

by Fiona Clarke

It’s good to shake up your beauty routine every once in a while. If you’re relying on the same go-to products and tools on the daily, you could be passing up some game-changers. Read on for my picks of the ten beauty essentials you didn’t know you needed — until now.

Above: NARS Orgasm Cheek Blush is radiant on almost every skin tone.

NARS : ORGASM CHEEK BLUSH

The perfect peachy-pink hue, infused with golden flecks, is what makes NARS Orgasm blush one of my all-time favorites. Introduced in 1999, it’s a healthy-looking shade that enlivens the complexion and provides a natural-looking flush. Suitable to complement every color of clothing imaginable, I keep a compact in my purse for a quick touchup. Radiant on almost any skin tone, the silky, superfine micronized powder pigments are soft and blend easily. Available at Saks Fifth Avenue. $30.

SIMPLEHUMAN: THE 8-INCH SENSOR MIRROR TRIO

With this mirror you have all the views you need for pro-quality makeup application. It’s three mirrors in one. One side uses an 8-inch mirror with five-times magnification for detail viewing. A quick flip and you get a one-times true view. A built-in 10-times window that eliminates background distortion, offers the perfect view for detail work like tweezing your brows and applying eyeliner. Two settings — sunlight and candlelight —allow you to see full color variation. Available at Neiman Marcus. $300.

SK-II : FACIAL TREATMENT MASK

These award-winning sheet masks may be considered a luxury but, once you’ve tried one, they quickly become a necessity. Packed with ingredients that help renew and firm skin, each 100-percent cotton hydrating face mask contains 30 milliliters of Facial Treatment Essence, soaking the skin with “Pitera” —a fusion of vitamins, amino acids, minerals, and organic acids — designed to refine texture and address uneven skin tone, dryness, large pores and oiliness. Available at Saks Fifth Avenue. Ten-pack, $135.

OLE HENRIKSEN : BANANA BRIGHT EYE CRÈME

This eye cream has the consistency of a soufflé: smooth as silk and light as a feather. Jam-packed with nutrients, containing collagen and vitamin C, the cream firms and hydrates, targeting fine lines and wrinkles. Drawing inspiration from a makeup ingredient frequently used in editorial shoots— banana powder — its pale yellow tint instantly brightens and color-corrects, making it the perfect preparation step for concealer intended to cover dark circles. Available at Sephora. $38.

 Above: The Dyson SuperSonic Hairdryer is worth every penny.

DYSON :  SUPERSONIC HAIRDRYER

When the time had come to replace my 12-year old hairdryer, the Dyson had only been on the market for several months. I was skeptical of both the “buzz” and the hefty price tag but, after a trusted friend’s endorsement, I took the plunge. Trust me — it’s the Rolls-Royce of hairdryers and worth every penny. Working its magic in record time, the Dyson is lightweight, easy to use and designed so that heat is distributed evenly, minimizing hair damage and reducing frizz. Available at Nordstrom. $399.

PATCHOLOGY : FLASHPATCH EYE GELS

Billed as “the anytime perk-me-up,” FlashPatch Eye Gels are the fast fix for tired eyes. Rich in Vitamin C and essential Omega 3 fatty acids, this  treatment works wonders to de-puff, hydrate, brighten and smooth underneath the eye area. More effective than topical creams or serums, this patch technology accelerates the delivery of five essential hydrating ingredients. Ideal as part of your pre-makeup skin care regimen or travel, jet lag and pre-party prep. Available at Neiman Marcus. 30 Pairs, $50.

TATCHA :  THE SILK CANVAS PROTECTIVE PRIMER 

The final step of the Geisha’s skincare ritual—and the beginning of her makeup regimé—is to press a thin layer of melted wax into her skin. This soft layer creates a smooth, poreless canvas to help her makeup last all day and protect her skin beneath. This is the basis of Tatcha’s Silk Canvas Protective Primer, a velvety priming balm of pressed silk that creates an even surface for makeup application while it provides a safety barrier, keeping makeup away from your skin. Available at Sephora. $52.

Above: The Slip Silk Pillowcase allows skin to breathe and hair to glide across the surface,

SLIP : SILK PILLOWCASE

Traditional cotton pillowcases scratch and tug on skin and grab and twist hair, resulting in visible sleep creases, damaged hair and bed-head. A Slip Pillowcase, made of the highest grade mulberry silk, allows skin to breathe and hair to glide across the surface, protecting and hydrating skin and reducing split ends. Soft, shiny, thick and durable, it’s recommended by dermatologists, plastic surgeons, hairdressers, and beauty experts. Available at Neiman Marcus. Standard/ Queen Size, $79.

CLÉ de PEAU BEAUTÉ : THE FOUNDATION

Anyone who wants medium, natural-looking coverage need look no further than Clé de Peau. This lightweight foundation contains a radiance-boosting exclusive Illuminating Complex EX which moisturizes, rejuvenates, re-texturizes and visibly repairs environmental skin damage for smoothing, even-toned, radiant coverage. A unique gel-oil base brings out the natural beauty of skin and blurs imperfections rather than covering them with powders. Available at Saks Fifth Avenue. $250.

ORIBE: LUST DRY SHAMPOO

Daily blow-outs, flat-ironing and monthly highlights were taking a toll on my hair. My stylist recommended that I cut back on shampooing. The concept seemed impossible, but then I discovered Oribe Lust Dry Shampoo. Every other day I “dry” shampoo my roots, then run my fingers through my hair, and voilà — instantly clean. A little goes a long way, absorbing product buildup, oil and impurities with translucent powders while soothing scalp and restoring strength and softness. Available at Neiman Marcus. $44.  : :