val monroe

Photo: Peter Rosa/Studio D.

Dear readers, this is my final column at O. Over the past nearly 16 years, you have shared with me some of your most intimate feelings and asked me the most thoughtful, intelligent questions. Thank you for being my faithful collaborators and for helping me learn so much about beauty and women and life. The most important lessons: Love yourself. Love your face. Celebrate your assets, whatever they are. And, as the “O” of O said to me recently, go forth into the light.


Photo: Jeffrey Westbrooks/Studio D

Clockwise starting top left:

Your Treat!
If you’re anything like me (and most of my fellow beauty editors), you'll try one Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment Sunscreen SPF 15 ($24 each) and develop an insatiable craving for them all. Each of the 12 shades is the kind of easy-to-wear color you can just throw on and presto! You instantly look like someone who actually made an effort. The newest, bright pink Candy (above), is full of moisturizing oils and antioxidants, just like the others. Wear it sheer as a gloss or layer it for a more opaque finish. Sweet!

Lush Life
I'm always in the market for a beauty indulgence. So when By Terry Baume de Rose Body Cream ($95) crossed my desk, I wasted no time dipping into the decadently rich moisturizer and smoothing a bit along my shoulders, neck, and collarbone. The scent of fresh roses followed me all day, as if an English garden were just around every corner.

Lovely and Amazing
Shea butter is a terrific moisturizer—but I have a different kind of soft spot for Eu’Genia Shea, a mom-daughter Ghanaian-American business that offers women in Ghana jobs with fair wages and donates 15 percent of profits to an education fund for those employees. Each of these cute little tins (Everyday Shea Butter Gift Pack, $40) is packed with two ounces of moisturizing magic.

One-Sentence Review
Miss Dior Foaming Shower Gel ($52): Give your morning shower a luxurious upgrade with this hydrating lather, which leaves your skin silky with a hint of damask rose fragrance.