4 Beauty Finds I Can’t Do Without

People are always asking me about my bare-bones beauty essentials.  The truth is, it comes down to this: good hair, good skin, good smile, good nails.  That’s all you need.  And if you accomplish all those things in an understated way- even better.

Everyone needs a really, really reliable and versatile straightening iron.  This one from Amika is all ceramic so it heats hair from within with infrared heat, won’t snag, and can straighten or curl your hair in a jiffy.  It takes 60 seconds to heat up to an adjustable 200 degrees Celsius.  Fantastic.

amika hair iron

When it comes to good skin, there are lots of good cleansers and moisturizers out there, but often people forget that they can deliver super-concentrated goodness with a serum.  I love Mychelle’s Vitamin A Serum.  It helps keep skin looking young, fresh, vibrant and never dull.  It naturally helps new cellular growth while fighting off nasty free radicals.  And it’s under $40 (love!).

mychelle serum

If you’ve got great hair and skin, you’ll probably be all smiles.  And that’s a good thing: smiling faces are ultra-attractive and help reel in new friends, lovers, and keep the people you love in your life. Accenting your smile with an easy (and not sticky) gloss is a great way to perk up your face.  I love the deeper tones because they make your pearly whites look even whiter.  These glosses from Peacekeeper help support impoverished women- that’s something to really smile about!


There’s nothing that says “classy lady” like nicely kept nails.  Girls: that means no crazy 2″ long tips, no wild stenciling, and generally no weird stuff.  If you wouldn’t wear it to a job interview, you shouldn’t wear it in general! Get a clean, polished look by filing nails, by starting with a coat of Duri’s Rejuvacote.  This stuff is really good- to the point that a recent house guest stole my bottle. Top with any color of your choice (even the super bright shades look great when your nails are trimmed), and a coat of fast drying clear.

duri rejuvacote

Disclosure: All products were provided for review. No monetary compensation was received for this review. All opinions belong to the author.

Bryce Gruber is a Manhattanite mom who can be found jet-setting off to every corner of the globe. She loves exotic places, planes with WiFi, summer clothes, & Sucre brown butter truffles. Bryce's aim is to do to luxury what Elton John did to being gay. Follow her on twitter @brycegruber