Jar of exfoliator

If you're dealing with dry patches or clogged pores, you might need an exfoliator to help slough away dead skin cells. Don't exfoliate more than once a week, though. On your face, use a gentle scrub that contains smooth microbeads; on your body, try a sugar or salt formula.

Great Bets: Dr. Brandt Microdermabrasion Exfoliating Cream ($75; Sephora.com ); C.O. Bigelow Lemon & Orange Blossom Moisture-Rich Body Scrub ($15; BathandBodyWorks.com ).

Jar of eye cream

Eye Cream
Look for a formula that addresses your primary undereye concern: Caffeine helps reduce puffiness; niacinamide and retinol smooth fine lines. The best treatment for pigment-related dark circles, though, is sunscreen, says Leslie Baumann, MD, author of The Skin Type Solution . Use an eye cream that contains a physical sunblock (like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide), which is potentially less irritating than one containing a chemical block (like avobenzone).

Great Bets: RoC Retinol Correxion Eye Cream ($22; drugstores); Philosophy Eye Hope Advanced Anti-Aging Eye Cream ($48; Sephora.com ).

Tube of tinted moisturizer

Tinted Moisturizer or Foundation
Concealer goes a long way toward evening out your complexion, but for a flawless finish, you'll want a tinted moisturizer (for sheer coverage) or foundation (if your skin has areas of blotchiness or discoloration). The right color disappears into your skin with one swipe—even before blending, says New York City makeup artist Emily Kate Warren.

Great Bets: Sonia Kashuk Tinted Moisturizer SPF 15 ($13; Target); Sephora Perfecting Tinted Moisturizer ($21; Sephora.com ).


While curling your lashes and using mascara will make you more bright-eyed, adding eyeliner emphasizes your eye color. Pencils are the most foolproof, and dark brown is the most universally flattering shade.

Great Bets: Avon Glimmersticks Diamonds Eye Liner in Brown Sugar ($6; Avon.com ); MAC Eye Kohl in Teddy ($14.50; MacCosmetics.com ).

Bronzer compact

It adds warmth to your skin tone and creates flattering contrast with your eyes. Apply it after blush, dusting the temples, cheekbones, and tip of the chin. Powder formulas are easier to use than gels and sprays; never go more than two shades darker than your complexion.

Great Bets: Jane Iredale So-Bronze 3 ($41; JaneIredaleDirect.com ); Physicians Formula Healthy Wear SPF 50 Pressed Bronzer ($15; drugstores).

Tube of self-tanner

For flaw-minimizing color that will last past your next shower, try one of the lotions, mousses, sprays, and foams that give you a glow. They smell better than ever, and you'll avoid the Oompa Loompa effect as long as you stay within two shades of your natural skin tone. Or use a self-tanning moisturizer that gradually darkens skin over several days.

Great Bets: Clarins Self-Tanning Instant Gel ($32; Clarins.com ); Jergens Natural Glow Revitalizing Daily Moisturizer ($9; drugstores).

Bottle of deep conditioner

Deep Conditioner
A deep-conditioning treatment contains higher concentrations of moisturizers than regular conditioners and seals the shaft of each strand to leave your hair silky. Use one once a week (only on ends if you have fine hair).

Great Bets: Nexxus Humectress Hydrating Treatment ($15; drugstores); Kiehl's Olive Fruit Oil Deeply Reparative Hair ($26; Kiehls.com ).

Box of whitening strips

Teeth-Whitening Strips
A white smile isn't just youthful—it brightens up your whole face. And you don't need to drop hundreds of dollars to get one. "Drugstore whitening strips get your teeth almost as white as a treatment at the dentist's office," says New York City dentist Jeff Golub-Evans. "But you have to use them religiously for a couple of weeks." To figure out if you're a good candidate: Hold a piece of white paper up to your teeth. If they look yellowish, they'll lighten pretty easily; if they're gray-tinged, you have more than surface stains, and strips won't do much.

Great Bets: Rembrandt Whitening Strips ($24; drugstores); Listerine Whitening Quick Dissolving Strips ($15; Drugstore.com ).

4 organizers to help you streamline your beauty routine