As a closet beauty junkie I always notice when someone has incredible skin or long-lasting makeup, and I’m not afraid to ask her what products she uses. Most women are normally extremely flattered and are willing to let me in on their beauty secrets (shoutout to those amazing women!). And while asking complete strangers about their favorite products is always fun, I wanted to go to the experts to find out what their personal favorites are. Here’s what Charlotte’s skin experts recommend.

Expert: Dr. Elizabeth Rostan, Dermatologist at Charlotte Skin & Laser

Charlotte Skin & Laser|

Dr. Elizabeth Rostan of Charlotte Skin & Laser

What’s your favorite beauty item to splurge on?

SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore is an amazing corrective, anti-aging moisturizer that contains a maximized concentration of lipids and leaves skin feeling soft and luxurious.

Do you have a cheap thrill you’d like to share?

EltaMD moisturizer. It cures dry skin in a flash! Rub this moisturizer into your skin while still damp, and your dry flaky skin will be cured — all for only $10!

Do you have a “can’t live without” product?

Well technically this list is pretty long for me, but two products that I don’t let myself run out of are Skinceuticals Retexturing Activator and EltaMD Eye Gel. The Retexturing Activator normalizes the upper layer of skin, so despite daily use of a retinol and alpha hydroxyl acid, I almost never have peeling or flaking skin. I use the EltaMD Eye Gel in the a.m. to smooth the fine crinkles under my eyes caused by smiling.

What’s the most important part of your beauty routine and why?

Hands down, daily use of a sun block — it’s an essential part of ANY skincare routine! Sun causes wrinkles and brings out my melasma pigment.

Expert: Kerri Flanigan, Owner of Mud Facial Bar

Mud Facial Bar|

Kerri Flanagan, owner of Mud Facial Bar

What’s your favorite beauty item to splurge on?

Goddess Face Oil. It’s a small bottle, but it will last forever. It’s especially great in dryer months like winter, great for all skin types, has Vitamin C and fights against aging. Can’t live without it! I even use it on chapped lips.

Do you have a cheap thrill you’d like to share?

I’m a sucker for ChapStick.

Do you have a “can’t live without” product?

That’s so hard to answer! Goddess Rose Toner mixed with Goddess Face Oil is a perfect combo — it smells like fresh roses and keeps me hydrated the entire day.

What’s the most important part of your beauty routine?

Masking. It instantly revitalizes your skin and lightens dark spots. For a fast yet effective pick me up, we love the “Get Dirty” mud mask, which leaves your face super fresh and totally clean.

All products mentioned above are sold exclusively in Mud Facial Bar stores. 

Expert: Kelsie Stroupe, Senior Colorist at Planet 21 Salon

Planet 21 Salon|

Kelsie Stroupe, Senior Colorist at Planet 21 Salon.

What’s your favorite beauty item to splurge on?

Mason Pearson Boar Bristle Brush. These brushes were developed and patented around 100 years ago, and they have stood the test of time. They have specific brushes for all hair types — long, coarse, wavy and fine. These brushes distribute the natural oils while exfoliating the scalp and stimulate circulation of the hair follicles. They’re easy to use and glide through the hair.

Do you have a cheap thrill you’d like to share?

Clairol Shimmer Lights Shampoo and Conditioner. It eliminates brassiness on blonde and grey hair, shampooing away yellow. It maintains cool, ashy-toned hair. Use it once or twice a week. I mix it with my everyday shampoo to dilute it a bit and to also cover up the smell — no one wants to smell like their grandma. You can find it at Sally Beauty Supply for around $10! Another favorite and must have is a coconut oil mask. Melt about a half cup of oil in warm water and apply to damp hair and massage into scalp. This is an all-in-one to treat a dry, flaky scalp, moisturize ends and add a ton of shine. Leave on for at least 30 minutes, and if you are daring, sleep in a shower cap. Shampoo and condition as usual. You won’t be sorry. I use Nature’s Way Extra Virgin Organic Coconut Oil. I also use it to remove eye makeup — it’s super gentle and nourishes eyelashes.

Can’t live without product?

Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray. I don’t know what I used to do until this product came into my life. It adds texture and volume at the root while also soaking up any oils to make your blow dry and style last for days. It doesn’t leave a white residue like other dry shampoos tend to do. Shake, spray, go.

Most important part of your hair routine?

You can’t have a good hair day without a good blow dry. The JRL Feather 3000 is lightweight and powerful and comes with a concentrator that fits the end. I’ve had clients tell me that they don’t use the concentrator, and I can’t believe it! This is what controls the air flow against your round brush and eliminates frizz and builds volume. The round brush is just as important. You want to find the right size for your haircut. I prefer Olivia Garden NanoThermic Brushes. They have great tension, grip and are gentle on the hair. You can find them at Ulta at a great price point. Don’t limit yourself to one brush. Have multiple sizes handy for length, layers, face framing and fringe. Product is a must! Whatever your specific hair needs may be, you can find the perfect regimen with Oribe. They use the finest ingredients and are all paraben- and sulfate-free. And they’re safe for those who have a keratin treatment.

Expert: Caci Thompson, Esthetician at Toccare Day Spa

Toccare Day Spa|

Caci Thompson of Toccare Day Spa

Favorite beauty item to splurge on?

Eminence Citrus and Kale Vitamin C Serum. I love the effectiveness of this product!

Cheap thrill?

RMS coconut wipes — they’re great for cheat days and travel! I’m a sucker for an “all in one.”

What’s the most important party of your beauty routine and why?

The most important part of my routine would be a monthly facial. My dry/dehydrated skin really benefits from the monthly attention. I love the results, and I love having scheduled “me” time.

Expert: Mary Inman, Retail Manager and Resident Artist at Jeffre Scott Apothecary

Jeffre Scott Apothecary|

Mary Inman of Jeffre Scott Apothecary

Favorite Splurge?

Natura Bisse Life Infusion Serum. It’s a super powerful rejuvenating night treatment, capable of regenerating the skin an average of 3.9 years after just seven days.

Cheap thrill?

Kenra HiDef Matte Finish Hairspray. It’s a no clog, super fine spray. This non-shine finish is great for fine hair, with a medium/flexible hold. And it’s at an awesome price point at $24 for 8 oz.!

Can’t live without product?

Ellis Faas Skin Veil Foundation & Skin Veil Concealer. This oil-free foundation has a medium buildable coverage with light reflecting minerals for a beautiful, radiant skin-like finish. It has a built-in primer and is fortified with vitamins A & E. It’s my favorite all time foundation! The concealer is a perfect pair with its full coverage, hydrating, non-crepey formula. It also has vitamins A & E, as well as shea butter. Perfect for under the eyes or for spot concealing.

What’s the most important part of your beauty routine?

I remove makeup with either Eve Lom or Colleen Rothschild Cleansing balm, then exfoliate with either Goldfaden MD Doctor Scrub or Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel Pads. If you aren’t regularly exfoliating after cleansing, you’re basically showering with a rain coat on. Eve Lom is a multi-award-winning, multi-purpose balm cleanser, and it is hands down my all time favorite! It deep cleanses without drying or stripping the skin and removes even the most stubborn makeup. It is made of plant oils such as clove, eucalyptus, hops, Egyptian chamomile and cocoa butter. All these oils do a wonderful job of decongesting and softening. The Goldfaden MD Doctor Scrub is an amazing exfoliator that contains crystals that polish away dead cells, leaving skin brighter, clearer and younger looking! It’s also formulated with hyaluronic acid, which plumps fine lines and majorly hydrates and is great for all skin types. As for the Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel Pads, these are awesome because they’re safe to use daily to target the common signs of aging — uneven skin tone and texture, fine lines, wrinkles and enlarged pores. The alpha and beta hydroxy acids exfoliate without causing any damage!

Thank you to Dr. Rostan, Kelsie, Mary, Kerri and Caci for sharing your beauty secrets with us. To read more of our beauty articles, visit our health and beauty archives.


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