CND, creators of the two-week Shellac gel manicure, have launched another winner: Vinylux, a two-step, color-plus-top-coat system that promises chip-free color for seven days. We’ve all heard longevity claims from nail brands before—but this one is legit. I’ve gotten as many as nine chip-free days from this lacquer (and, as a hockey mom, that means it endured multiple skate lacings and post-game laundry). It’s available in 62 shades, but my go-to hues for fall will be Fedora and Faux Fur ($20 for color and top coat; cnd.com).
For blondes, the task of covering up dark regrowth is tricky. Most root concealers deposit temporary color on the roots, which works well for darker hair hues with grey regrowth—but is less effective on light hair with darker roots. So Color Wow’s new Lightest Blonde Root Cover Up ($35; colorwowhair.com) is some kind of miracle. An impressively opaque, tinted mineral powder in the palest shade of blonde, this re-growth eraser manages to naturally—and effectively—soften my mousey roots. Plus it’s water-resistant so it doesn’t run (or disappear) at my Spinning class.
Sure the cherry-red packaging makes it easier to find my Giorgio Armani Rouge Ecstasy Lipstick ($34; giorgioarmanibeauty.com) at the bottom of my cavernous bag. But it’s the way the lipcolor feels (like a balm but not sticky) and looks (slightly shiny but not too slick) that turned me into an Ecstasy addict. My must-have hue: Diva #503, a deep pink with a hint of shimmer.
When the temperature drops, I’m plagued by keratosis pilaris (tiny but annoying flesh-colored bumps). I’ve never found an easier, faster solution than Skinceuticals Body Retexturizing Treatment ($60; skinceuticals.com). After I shower, I slather a small amount on my legs, upper arms, elbows, and any other rough areas. It sinks in and works magic; I awake with the smoothest skin.
I suffered from chapped lips—and incessant reapplication of lip balm—until I tried this thick salve. Made with super antioxidants and hydrators like African Kola nut, honey, and Marula Oil, it instantly soothes and tastes delicious. My lips are healed ($20, nyakio.com).
I don't often splurge, but when I do, it's on one of Chanel's of-the-moment nail colors. This fall, it's the shimmering khaki-green Alchimie, a shade so current and flattering, my flash-sale wardrobe looks like couture ($27, chanel.com).
Bold fragrances just aren't my style, but I yearned for a slightly more serious scent for fall. At first, I was merely intrigued by the name of Calvin Klein’s new Downtown ($65; sephora.com), but the subtle blend of neroli, pear, gardenia, and cedarwood quickly became an obession. One spritz is like an instant cool factor: bright, interesting, and sophisticated.
I'm too intimidated to wear red lipstick, so I consider Burt's Bees Tinted Lip Balm in Red Dahlia ($6; drugstore.com) my cosmetic training wheels. It's hydrating and imparts the prettiest sheer red tint. I'd buy it in bulk if I could.
My natural skin tone makes Edward Cullen look like George Hamilton, so I'm always on the hunt for a believable self-tanner. This genius Ireland-based brand was my saving grace all summer and I'll incorporate their untinted formula for face to my routine this fall. Vita Liberata Untinted Self-Tanner for Face delivers a natural (and odorless!) glow and won't stain my pillowcase ($29; sephora.com).
Like wearing a cashmere sweater while drinking a hot toddy, this soothing bath soak leaves me feeling warm, cozy and quintessentially fall. The secret: a luxe blend of of ginger, cardamon, macademia oil and honey essence. Kneipp Warm Embrace Aroma-Bath ($20 kneippus.com).
I just started using this super lightweight moisturizing serum to counteract the drying side effects of my Retin-A prescription. It's packed with ceramides to boost skin's protective barrier and aloe vera to soothe irritation. And I love that it doesn't pill or flake when layered with sunscreen and makeup. Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin Liquid ($39; birchbox.com).