Some say the medicine cabinet is a dumping ground for the old, the discontinued, even the expired. It’s where moisturizers, toners, exfoliators, wrinkle creams, night creams, and serums go to await an undignified death, that fateful toss into the trash.
But for me, the medicine cabinet is where the very best of my beauty buys get into a regular rotation, are slathered and spritzed freely, and then replenished faster than Trader Joe’s groceries. Yes, I shop around constantly for new trend products on a weekly basis, but it’s the beloved staples that—regardless of price, packaging, and pomp—earn a coveted spot on my small, hidden shelves. Which would those be? Here’s what’s behind my bathroom mirror:
Rembrandt Intense Stain Toothpaste ($6.99)
In my experience, nothing beats the brand at keeping teeth white. Yes, I’m OCD about my brushing. But this is one of the best pastes at dissolving those hard-to-remove red wine stains with high tech micro-polishers, and it works to protect your sensitive enamel.
Erno Laszlo’s Pheliyl Cleansing Gel ($39)
Harsh cleansers can strip skin of natural oils. I find this lightweight gel not only removes my grimy blend of makeup and SPF, but it also safe enough to use around my eyes thanks to cucumber and green tea extracts.
Kate Somerville Exfolikate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment ($85)
I rely on the natural papaya, pumpkin, pumpkin enzymes once a week to polish my skin. It de-flakes dead layers without a harsh gritty scrub. Exfoliating regularly helps my serums and night cream penetrate (and thus work) much better.
Philip B. Katira Hair Masque ($40)
I’m lazy with my hair care regime, but trust in this plump cream to put moisture back into my long locks, which are prone to split ends when I go too long without a trim. The high-tech L-Amino Acid complex really works. It leaves my hair soft and manageable without making it feel greasy.
White Narcise Body and Soul Spray ($48)
A prettily scented body mist feels a bit more lavish and indulgent than other options—I spray it frivolously without the guilt of using up an expensive perfume.
Kneipp Joint & Muscle Mineral Bath Salts ($19)
When stress gets in the way of feeling good, I rely on half a bottle of these natural thermal crystals. The salts are harvested from an ancient underground salt water sea in Germany—but more importantly, they relieve me of back and neck pain that comes with driving on the 405 freeway.
It’s the gooey truth: Nothing saves the day like inert gunk. I’ve used it to groom brows, remove glued-on lashes, and wipe off tenacious lip stains. Vaseline’s uses are endless, and the best part is it never expires, no matter how cruddy the jar gets.
A native Angeleno, Navdeep Mundi is a Leo, hates cilantro, and has studied beauty products for more than 18 years. She spends her days directing media and strategy and her nights sniffing out slightly quirky yet impeccably pretty things along with her German Shepherd, Le Tigre.