If you read our Top 3 Staff Picks of 2018 post last year, you’ll recall how hard it was for me to write. Choosing only three favorite items to shout out was like asking me to choose a favorite child. Impossible. I’m a true product junkie!
So this year, I’ve narrowed it down for myself (aka I found a way to kind of cheat!) by picking three products I really love that were released in 2019! This is still an impossible assignment— there were so many fantastic innovations and new things released last year, but slightly easier than considering every fabulous product ever carried at Integrity Botanicals (shudder— too many great choices!!!).
And this year, I’m older (and hopefully wiser?) and taking this impossible task in stride. I’m lucky I get to write this blog every month and tell you more and more awesome things I use and love, so I will get many chances to tell you about the products I can’t live without in the coming months. Perhaps more importantly, I’m also learning that the “must-haves” of my life are always changing. Sure, there are things I will love no matter what forever, like Maya Chia Waterless Wonder Balm and Lily Lolo Mascara, but I am making peace with the fact that as our lives evolve, so do our skincare needs, our makeup favorites, and the things that truly work for our bodies.
Moving to California in 2019 was amazing for me. Realizing that everything I knew about my skin and hair was changing because of the new climate was… not as amazing. But it was also kind of fun— I’ve had a chance to rethink many products that don’t serve me as much in this climate, or that work differently away from the humidity and snow of the East Coast. It’s been such a learning curve, and an opportunity to branch out. You will see this change reflected in my personal picks, below, but first, I hope you enjoy reading about the rest of our team’s 2019 must-haves as much as I did!
Lives in New Jersey. Skin Type: Normal/Dry/Sensitive
My go-to finishing spray for every day. I can’t live without this product! I use it any time I wash my hair right after blow-drying to take care of flyaways. It’s also a great hair refresher too and fights frizz so well!
These lip serums are so good! They are not sticky or tacky; they are nourishing, last long, and make your lips feel and look so plump looking! I love Nudie for everyday and Bliss is my favorite in the summer to wear with my favorite highlighter from Rituel de Fille Crème Luminizer in Anthelion.
This lotion bar is so great as an all year-round product for me and our son Dylan, who is now a year and a half. He suffers from eczema and I also suffer for dry, itchy skin and this lotion is a skin savior for redness, dryness and itchiness. It moisturizes, absorbs nicely and smells so refreshing. I love that I can use a product on my body for myself and our son – it becomes so convenient when we travel.
Lives in New Jersey. Skin Type: Combination/Oily/Acne Prone
The perfect foil(and oil) for a Northeast winter. This body oil absorbs beautifully leaving dry winter skin feeling soft and smooth. The amazing scent blend of coconut, citrus and vanilla transports you back to a warm summer’s day.
This has been a long term staple of my skincare routine over the years. It’s a timeless classic, like your favorite album that you never get tired of listening to. But, with two small children who love to wake you up multiple times a night, it is a life saver. It soothes, depuffs and keeps those dark circles from checking closets for monsters at 3 am at bay.
3. Mukti 2-in-1 Resurfacing Exfoliant (launching this Spring!)
I love a good exfoliant. Mechanical, chemical, I like them all. This product from Australian brand Mukti combines both in a one-two punch of with a blend of very fine bamboo particles and melting jojoba esters(reminiscent of the micro beads in the cleanser you used way back when in your conventional product days, but eco-friendly) combined with AHAs from a blend of three lime extracts. It is one of the most fun and unique products that I have come across in a while. Did I mention it gives your skin a nice glow?
Lives in New Jersey. Skin Type: Normal/Dry
1. Love how it instantly brightens dull, tired skin without feeling like any of the moisture has been stripped from your face like some masks tend to do. It’s like green juice for your face.
2. I have always preferred bar soap over body wash, and Osmia soaps leave skin feeling clean and hydrated and they last so much longer than any other bar soap I’ve tried! Citrus Pearl is my favorite scent.
This brand has become a fast favorite since we started carrying the line a few months ago. The blue tansy infused whipped oil has a beautiful balm-like texture that instantly melts into skin upon contact, smells amazing and leaves skin with a dewy finish.
Lives in Florida. Skin Type: Normal/Dry
This product is a total game changer! As someone who struggles with skin that is as sensitive as it is textured, finding a product to combat that can be tricky. This product is gentle enough to use on a nightly basis and you notice results immediately! This is a forever repurchase from me.
I don’t know how I even lived my makeup wearing life before I found this foundation? Dreamy medium coverage, skin like finish, and long wear?! I wouldn’t change a single thing about this product, it’s that good.
2019 was the year of the gloss for me. I am a forever lover of the Fitglow Lip Colour Serums, but these new options from Ere Perez crawled their way right up there with them! They have the perfect pigmentation where you get a little color but it’s not too opaque, they are never sticky, and the applicator is amazing. Swoon.
Lives in Mississippi. Skin type: Normal/Sensitive
It was of no surprise to me when this was the first product that came to mind when I was choosing my top three favorite products… it is the BEST. Creating this list was honestly pretty tough for me to do, with how often I deal with the specifics of the products we carry, it made it super challenging. Each and every product is truly of the highest quality, and it shows. I chose this cleansing oil mostly because of the lovely sense of calmness it brings to my night routine, and sometimes mornings! It has an incredible scent, and it just feels amazing on the skin, plus it always leaves my skin feeling so clean with every use. Tip: I use this in conjunction with the RMS Coconut Cream when I have quite a bit of eye makeup to remove!
I really wanted to include a hair product that I use daily (or every time I wash my hair), not just to show how wonderful this Serum Spray is but also because my hair has thanked me since switching to natural products. I have noticed more growth and my hair, in general, feels healthier and more full. I love this Josh Rosebrook product specifically because it is truly an all in one, that also smells amazing. If you’ve been searching for a product that protects your hair from heat tools while also doing a multitude of other beneficial things, this is the one!
I cannot express my love for this product enough… I have had people recently say, “wow your skin looks so glowy and good.” Every single time I have told them it must be the bronzer I have been using because it just creates a gorgeous and natural look! It was a part of a product shoot I did and I was lucky enough to try the bronzer after the fact and it has been life-changing to my makeup routine. Bronzers that work for my skin type and complexion have been few and far between, but at last, Gressa has completely solved my search.
Los Angeles, California Skin Type: Normal/Dry
And I’m still going to cheat and pick five things! Ha! So there.
This wins the award for “Best Thing I Didn’t Know I Needed That I Now Cannot Live Without.” As I mentioned above, the new-to-me climate of California has meant a lot of different skincare routines for me in the past six months, which just happened to coincide with the launch of Josh Rosebrook’s genius HBC that literally does what my skin needed now that I live in the desert. I needed a boost of hydration, and Josh magically knew that and solved all my problems. This treatment under his genius Vital Balm Cream is all I need to really seal in some serious hydration AND moisture and take care of my skin’s suddenly-complex needs.
(Honorable mention to Mahalo’s The Hawaiian Hydration which I also adore, but it came out late in 2018 so I can’t include it in my 2019 list. But it’s really super and accomplishes a lot of the same things Josh Rosebrook’s Hydration Boost Concentrate does!)
Because of this amazing job of mine, and because I’m the luckiest person, ever, I got to try a preview of The Refresh Mint last year before it launched. I told the founder, Susanne, that this mask was going to be huge, and I was right! The Refresh Mint is so unique because it’s gentle enough to wear for a long time, yet never irritating, plus it both exfoliates AND moisturizes, which is basically unheard of. And it smells good! And have you seen the pretty blue color?! This is a product I liked a lot when I lived in New York, but once I moved out to the dry desert, I cannot live without it. (Followed by a healthy coat of my beloved The Super Blend Pressed Serum, another product that has become even more beloved to me in this new climate/phase of my skincare needs!)
Vapour was the first green beauty cosmetics line I really fell in love with, back in the early 2010s, and now, after a decade, I am still head-over-heels for Vapour. The brand got a whole new look and feel this year, with sleek and chic new packaging, upgraded formulations, entire new product categories like powder Eyeshadow Quads and mascara (!!!), each one just as vivid and rich and pure as Vapour has been since day one. They’ve always been my gold-standard, and Vapour really exceeded my high expectations with this refresh. I didn’t think they needed to change a thing– I didn’t think Vapour could get any better!– but it did, and I’m so thrilled.
4. Live Botanical everything
I’ve loved Live Botanical for a few years now, but in 2019, not only did they join our Integrity Botanicals family, they also did a whole re-branding that includes absolutely stunning new packaging, refined formulas, and next-level sourcing. I’m so happy to have Live Botanical in my life and on my shelf at home. It is accessible and luxe and thoughtful, all at the same time. We need more of that in the green beauty world– and in the world, in general!
I feel like this brand is the definition of both “Integrity” and “Botanicals.” This company could have put out 30 different products by now and they’d all surely be bestsellers, but they have the integrity to focus on just two truly exceptional things. Their second product, Active Treatment Essence, came out this year and has just absolutely been a game-changer for so many people I know. This line is what I like to call the “Great Gateway to Green” for tons of skincare fanatics. They think that “natural” can never be as effective as conventional products, and then they read about and try Vintner’s Daughter and become converts to pure, botanical-based skincare. For that, and for the amazing skincare products, we all owe them a debt of gratitude.
Is it too late for me to add another ten things to my list of favorite things from this past year? Because what about One Love Organics‘ TWO new facial cleansers, Botanical A Facial Cleanser and Botanical B Cleansing Oil Solid, both of which are absolute must-haves in my routine. And what about Ayuna’s new Cellular Oil– it’s so great. And, oh my goodness, Plume‘s new REFILLABLE Eyebrow pencils are THE BEST. And there’s Fitglow’s Vita Shield SPF 30 I’m loving! There’s just too much goodness! Our cups runneth over.
It’s the best problem to have, I suppose– way too many amazing, clean, natural options from which to choose, just among the new releases from this past year! I wish I could go back and tell 2010 Emily that someday, there would be this many wonderful green beauty products out there. She would not have believed me! Back then, as many of you probably remember, it was hard to find such high-quality, sustainable, thoughtfully made beauty products. 2020, we can’t wait to see what you have in store for us. If it’s anything like 2019 was, in the way of amazing new skincare and beauty products, we’re all the luckiest!