Everyone has a must-have list, and they’re usually all good because they cover the basics. But here are some products I’d add because—whatever your personal needs—they work on absolutely everyone: male or female, young and old. I always have them with me. And although winter is almost over, they’re also a great bridge into spring: The bronzer works beautifully with that season’s lighter colors and textures; the lip balm is perfect year-round.
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 Benefit Silky Lip Balm & Buffing Lip Beads
Heaven’s answer to chapped lips. Buff first with the beads, then apply the balm. Never shiny, so guys can use it and it doesn’t look like they’ve just got done eating a pork chop. $28 for both
 Estée Lauder Bronze Goddess Soft Matte Bronzer
Unlike most bronzers, this will never make you look like a Sunkist orange since it’s a brown tone, not a blue-red one. Even very pale people can wear it, and it’ll never look fake. $29.50
 Prescriptives Concealing Wands
This is available in a very large color selection, including color-correction shades. Great for either sex, since it blends right into the skin. $12.50 per color
 Nickel Eye Contour Lift
Second only to Preparation H for removing those undereye bags; this cream uses caffeine, which is far more gentle—and not icky at all. It’s made for men, but women can pat this on over makeup and it still works wonders. $27 for 0.67 ounces
 Sonia Kashuk Eyelash Curler
Effortlessly curls your lashes, even if you don’t plan to wear mascara. Just start at the roots and—gently—work toward the tips. It’s just as good as the Shu Uemura curler, but easier to find. And cheaper! $3.99 (exclusively at Target)
 Estée Lauder Idealist Skin Refinisher
It’s the quick fix: Your skin immediately looks and feels smooth as silk. It’s an exfoliant, not a moisturizer—but it makes whatever one you use work better since exfoliated skin actually holds moisture better. $46.50 for one ounce
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on March 8, 2005