I’m not going to lie: I love shopping. I love products, and I love innovation in the fashion, beauty and lifestyle spaces.

As women, we’re marketed to all day long with messages saying, “You need this,” and “You aren’t complete without this,” so it can be overwhelming to know the difference between want and need, materialism and necessary buys.

In my life, I am practicing buying quality over quantity—instead of continuously buying cheap white tennis shoes that will fall apart, I’m looking to purchase well-made ones that I can clean and make last for years. Right now, I’m starting to switch all of my beauty products over to ones with clean, green ingredients. I’m excited to share with you some of my favorite products this season and highlight a few brands I believe speak to the everyday girl looking for quality. Maybe we won’t spend $10,000 on a purse, but some pieces are a balance of quality and investment worth saving for.

Hope you enjoy!

Note: I have not been paid to mention any of these products. Although some of these brands did gift me items to try, all reviews are genuine!

I visited Japan for the first time last year and became obsessed with the Asian philosophy of skincare. I have fairly sensitive skin and very sensitive eyes, so Koh Gen Do’s Cleansing Spa Water is a winner. It’s the BEST eye makeup remover I’ve used. All of Koh Gen Do’s products smell amazing and come beautifully packaged. Over the last month they’ve changed the appearance of my skin!

The Oriental Plants Facial Wash is creamy and moisturizing, the Oriental Plants Essence is light and fresh as well as the Oriental Plants Lotion II brings deep hydration.

I’m also obsessed with Tatcha’s Normal to Dry Skin Nourishing Ritual Set and was amazed at the quality of the product for the price. I have really dry skin and so this ritual is easy to use and has left my skin deeply moisturized.

The One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil melts away makeup while really holding moisture. The Classic Rice Enzyme Powder is a water-activated exfoliant of nourishing Rice Bran and conditioning Pearl which feels unbelievable! The Essence and The Silk Cream finish off the formula with a high level of hydration.

christophe robin

This Regenerating Mask with Rare Prickly Pear Seed Oil is a little more high-end, but SO worth it! The prickly pear seed oil is known for its antioxidants and regenerating properties. You only need to use a little and it lasts forever. In all honesty, when I use this mask, it changes the entire texture of my hair for a week.


ILIA Lipstick Crayons are packed with healing oils of coconut, sesame and cranberry seed and they don’t flake on your lips. They come in an array of gentle, beautiful hues that are really unique. Super natural, matte, but non-drying!


My hair is naturally curly, but I like to tame the weirder curls (those crazy ones!) with this Beachwaver Co. curling iron. I recommend the 1″ barrel diameter for getting that natural wave. It’s ceramic, has a small clamp for no kinks and rotates left and right based off which side you’re curling. It heats up in 30 seconds, the cord swivels and it shuts off automatically. Invest in this, it makes a huge difference!

Another great haircare item is the DevaFuser. It gives 360-degree airflow surrounds curls, even at the root which speeds up the whole drying process and creates great body and lift. No frizz with gentle drying by DevaDryer and DevaFuser!

My hair is dirty blonde, so finding the perfect color eyebrow pencil was a struggle until I found Lise Watier’s pencil in Chatain. This one wins all my awards for the perfect blend.

tee shirt

It’s a huge privilege to me to be surrounded by women who are both deeply encouraging and achieving incredible things. The Si Se Puede tee by Haute Hope was created by my friend Jess Puccinelli as “a reminder that nothing is actually out of reach.” She inspires me, and I love how this shirt reminds me of how many women I learn from every single day.


The white low-top sneaker is everywhere in fashion, and while I’ve loved other sports brands for the casual shoe, the beautiful French brand Veja is it for me. They’re soft, comfy and easy to clean (find a similar pair here). Plus, they come in so many fun colors at a great price point! Clearly, mine are well-loved.


It’s so hard to find cute pajamas and robes, but Recliner is leading the charge— another brand from whom I would wear every single piece on their site! Their Tuxedo Robe is a washable silk blend, so I love not having to think about dry cleaning it.

I first discovered this brand when traveling in Canada and love their sleek design and methods for making their products. Their products use vegan leather and recycled materials. Designs are innovative and simple and I love carrying around my Dean backpack and Vera small wallet.


At Darling, our interns come through our internship program as college students set on a mission and dreaming about what they’ll create themselves. When former style intern Tiffany Wong sent me a bag from her newly founded VELÉ line, I was so impressed with the craftsmanship, beauty and mission behind her company. The minimalist cross-body clutch was perfect for the trip I left for after receiving it.

Minimal jewelry is my ultimate go-to and when I found Maria Black, I realized I wanted every single thing on the site. It’s important to put quality metals in our ears, and this is a premium line at a reasonable price point for those nice, everyday go-to pieces. I love the finishes and the asymmetrical designs. Who says two ears have to look the same?


Paddywax candles have been a favorite of mine for both freshening up a room and adding a feeling of warmth. Everything here is so refreshing.

How do you discern between “wants” and “needs” and what to invest in?

Images via Valerie Pauley









Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.