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We had a little epiphany last weekend and are sort of *blown away*. Saturday was lost to Marie Kondo’s new Netflix show, “Tidying Up With Marie Kondo.” Fascinated by Marie and her ability to divide and conquer a house full of chaos and unnecessary excess, we began fantasizing what life would be like with a “Kondoed” apartment. While we don’t necessarily like to follow the crowd, we’d happily follow Marie into any KonMari, Neat Freak Cult, which is why Saturday night was spent on the living room floor sorting through our overgrown beauty stash.

Things got a little weird. We may have told a Tom Ford bronzer how positively joyous we felt when wearing it. A few tears were shed (truth check: those were sobs) and an incoherent, “Thank you” was muttered to a few lipsticks that all happen to be in the same shade of red. Hand to heart they were all different shades when purchased but nevertheless we parted ways….

Once our collection was culled, we took a step back and couldn’t believe our eyes! There amongst the ruins sat some OG, basic, solid beauty products long forgotten in the flurry of new launches that seem to bombard us more frequently than ever. Our MAC Ruby Woo lipstick had been lost in the shuffle of all those red liquid lipsticks. But why? Ruby Woo is classic. Ruby Woo is timeless. Ruby Woo is red lip life. This is the lipstick that spawned a thousand imitators yet none of the other reds can duplicate the matte, slightly smudged look that is the Ruby Woo.

Once we realized the error of our ways, we vowed to start using those tried and true classic products that are the true giants of our collection. Needless to say, this week has been cosmetically magical. It’s so good to be home again.

In no particular order, the basics of any makeup collection: 


Most foundation launches last year were medium to full coverage formulations, and while there is a time and place for the full face look, there’s something to be said for this light, water-based formula that meshes with skin and becomes nearly indetectable. Best applied with clean fingers, the first layer evens out skin tone and a second, light layer blurs skin leaving it with a dewy, natural finish. The secret is you can flex up coverage with your concealer if you need additional perfecting. Oily skin wearers should powder, especially during warmer months. If we could only have one foundation this would be it.


We get it. Skincare can be so very confusing. Polypeptides, antioxidants, secret broths, enzymes - reading about these products feels like decoding a secret language. There are times we just want a frill-free moisturizer that will hydrate our skin without irritating it with a lot of extra ingredients. And when we get that feeling, we want Weleda Skin Food healing (so, so sorry!). It’s a basic balm in a boring tube but when you warm the cream on your fingers and press it onto your face (or hands, elbows, and feet), something pretty spectacular happens: your skin glows. And plumps. And looks so nourished you can’t believe you only drank one glass of water the entire day.


Rumor has it that 2019 will be the Year Of Blush, which we adore. Blushing is underrated and we’re so glad cheeks are going to get their moment. Not gonna lie, knowing this made it tremendously difficult to narrow down which blushes brought us joy and which needed to be gone forever, but listen - we’re all adults here - a blush called Orgasm brings us joy over and over and over again. It’s the perfect pink with a hint of gold shimmer. It’s a natural color that flatters a spectrum of skin tones and looks good when wearing most lipstick colors.


Not to be a gossip but we heard Diorshow Mascara was created when the brand noticed Dior makeup artist Pati Dubroff using a toothbrush rather than a wand to apply mascara on the models. We can’t substantiate this story, but that’s the word on the street. The product developers quickly set off the create a new mascara with the biggest brush ever (it’s called the original XXL brush). In 2002, Diorshow launched to much fanfare over the size of its wand. Love it or hate it, Diorshow is still going strong and it provides a natural and voluminous lash look that stays put all day long.


Before strobing was even a twinkle in the cosmetic industry’s eye, there was High Beam Liquid Highlighter with it’s majorly beautiful, pearly-pink glow. Don’t be scared, it works on light to medium skin tones and Benefit’s Sun Beam Liquid Highlighter works on darker skin tones. There is no chunky glitter to be found in this formulation yet it manages to radiate healthy skin. We’ll even let you in on our little life hack: we apply High Beam under our eyes before applying concealer to lift the dark circles and prevent a matte, cakey look. Try it. You’ll look like you slept for a decade.


This old school lip treatment is one of our favorite go-to products. That’s no easy feat; a LOT of lip thingees did not made the Konmari cut. Lip balm (with SPF!) and sheer lip color meet to create this nourishing formula. It hydrates without any stickiness and the color payoff is even and subtle. We wear this on days we want to look polished but don’t have the energy to apply actual lipstick. The collection has grown over the years to include 15 colors that range from warm honeys, to poppy pinks to spicy nudes. Your lips will be so joyous. Promise.


Why did we ever stop using Fix+? This spritzer is a workhorse; use it before foundation to prime skin, use it after applying powder to take away the flatness of mattified skin, use it when finished with your makeup application to set everything in place. Our skin never looked so happy, which is mostly due to the chamomile, cucumber and green tea, but we like to think it’s because we’re just naturally glowy and newly organized. Either way, it’s a look and we’re going with it.

Did we miss any old school basics? Let us know in the comments below!

Catherine Spinley is a sometimes-writer and photographer based in New York. When not stalking other people’s dogs or yelling at people who refuse to walk up the left side of the escalator, she works in the beauty industry and practices yoga. You can read more from her at