Trésor's Top 10 Beauty Products
Trésor Prijs is a freelance writer and art director who was one of the first non-binary transgender individuals to be the face of a major beauty company, aka M.A.C Cosmetics (see below). After collecting fragrance and researching skincare and makeup for over a decade, Prijs is now sharing with us a beauty top 10 list that is so beautifully curated that I'm a almost bit envious. Here's the list and the description, in their own words:
Oh my, where do I even begin with Strobe Cream? If you ask any of my friends they’ll tell you of my peculiar obsession with this exquisite pearlescent dew - how I stash tubes in every corner of the house one could imagine or how I mix them together with any foundation, pigment or potion I can get my hands on. The texture is that of a lightweight lotion and the finish a multidimensional pearl that can be used all over for an ethereal glow or atop the high planes of the face for but a gentle caress of illumination. Bonus points to MAC for loading it to the brim with antioxidants as well so it’s actually as beautiful for the skin as it looks upon it.
I am going to make a bold statement here and say that every single other thing on my precious list could disappear into thin air so long as I was left with a bottle of Aromatics Elixir - that’s how unimaginably attached I am to this fragrance. Aromatics Elixir opens upon my skin as a display of emerald light being swallowed into the crepuscular shadow of a forest in which each corner is profuse with enchantment. As you follow the pulsing luminous tendrils into the darkness the verdant aura of bitter green grows dulcet, making way for a garden of blood red roses - their thorns deadly and dripping in celestial honey. As you lay in the spellbound garden day breaks through the canopy of winding trees above you and illuminates the amber woven through your tousled hair. I could not explain it any other way.
I picked one - I did it! I picked one single favourite red lipstick of all of my red lipsticks and you should be very proud. How did I come to my conclusion, you ask? Well, let me tell you. For me to truly enjoy a lipstick and consider it one of the greats it has to pass three tests. First, the formula needs to be on point without giving me one single thing to complain about (a tall order, I know) and Guerlain really hit it out of the park with this one - silken and rich with a delicate lustre that mimics that of freshly moisturized skin. Secondly, the colour has to inspire passion and excitement in my very soul alongside actually complimenting my skin tone. Garçonne flawlessly achieves this feat with a red (blue based, in case you were wondering) so opulent and dense with pigment you feel as you are wearing rubies made liquid by some divine alchemy. Lastly, packaging. I know it shouldn’t be important but I would be remiss if I were to tell you that it didn’t matter to me because in the case of lipstick (and especially a red lipstick) it truly does. The case for Rouge G is substantial with a weight that feels unbelievably luxurious, a clever little fold out mirror and perhaps *the* most satisfying click when closed. Aside from being perhaps the most glamorous and formal red I own, I use it nearly every single day to add vibrancy and life to my cheeks - two birds, one stone.
If there is one single part of my self-care regimen I find the most loathsome it’s washing my hair. It takes ages, there’s a whole lot of it and so many other things I would rather be doing with my time than trying to navigate through a pterodactyl’s nest with a handful of shampoo. Luckily I’ve happened upon a few products that elevate task at hand to something that’s truly a pleasure, my favourite of which is Serge Normant’s coconut oil based Meta Morphosis Hair Repair Treatment. After shampooing I work some of the sumptuous potion through my hair and pop it all into a shower cap until I am satisfied with my conditioning prowess - sometimes overnight if I am feeling particularly ambitious. Upon rinsing my hair feels ridiculously nourished and when left to air-dry, as is the case most of the time, maintains a splendid lustre and bounce that would have one believe I put some actual time and effort into making it look that way. Serge is an honest-to-goodness master of his art (as well as one of the loveliest human beings you could ever hope to meet) and this is no exception. I wholeheartedly can’t imagine finding a treatment I enjoy more.
In all of my years of wearing makeup, I’ve come to the conclusion that each person has “their” eyeliner, that one ride-or-die that they return to time and time again. For me, that eyeliner is Arden’s Smoky Eyes Powder Pencil, created in collaboration with the living legend and visionary makeup artist Mary Greenwell. I admit I’ve been adulterous in my long relationship with this pencil but I always come back and to this day its yet to do me wrong. The texture is rather delicate, something I don’t often happen upon with an eyeliner especially in this day and age where extreme pigment reigns supreme. Instead, the pigmentation is strong without reading as harsh or unworkable, boasting a powder finish that blends like an absolute dream. Creating a painfully chic Parisian haze that’s both elegant and artfully disheveled has never been easier. Oftentimes I’ll even caress a whisper of Strobe Cream over top for that sexy and lived-in, “could have slept in this makeup” look.
Dermacolor Camouflage Cream from Kryolan
I’m gonna be entirely transparent with you here and say that I’m not sure I’d recommend this product to anyone but those with either a background in professional makeup, the patience of a saint or someone who is as stubborn as a mule when trying to make things work. Which am I, you ask? Stubborn as a mule, naturally. I’ve seen so many artists whom I admire and respect with all of my heart use this formula to create the most flawless, otherworldly skin and I was not going to rest until I learned how. I tried with this stuff for months and after dozens of trials along with some words I won’t repeat here it clicked and I learned how to make it work. The coverage is INSANE and the stuff is as hard as a rock inside the pot, but with some tactful skin prep, mixing and patient blending the result is the most beautiful my complexion has ever looked. Of course, I choose more user-friendly options for most days of my life but if I were forced to pick just one base to use ad infinitum this would be it.
If I could choose one piece of the skincare advice I’ve ever received as the most crucial it’s this: wear sunscreen! Every single dermatologist will tell you same, protecting your skin from ultraviolet radiation will not only safeguard the integrity of your complexion for the long haul but also dramatically reduce the risk of developing skin cancer - it’s serious stuff! The thing with sunscreen, though, is that it’s not always the most pleasant experience - that’s where Chem-Free Active Defense comes in. The texture is beautifully lightweight considering the impressive amount of zinc oxide (17.5%) inside and sets to a smooth, demi-matte finish upon the skin which works a treat beneath makeup. 10s across the board!
After sunscreen, I firmly believe that the most effective ingredient you can incorporate into your skincare arsenal is a retinoid, a derivative of Vitamin A proven to not only treat acne but also reduce signs of aging like hyperpigmentation, wrinkles, and uneven texture. It’s perhaps the most well documented of all active anti-aging ingredients with studies dating all the way back to the 1970’s. It’s available in both a powerful prescription form known as tretinoin, but also over-the-counter as retinol like this product here which serendipitously happens to be a personal favourite. The texture is a lovely hybrid of a serum and a lightweight lotion that works incredibly well beneath a more substantial moisturizer (or on its own if you find you have particularly oily skin). The formula packs not only a properly effective dose of retinol but antioxidants, peptides and a number of skin soothing goodies to combat some of the potential irritation that can come along with an active this powerful. Bonus points to SkinMedica for including two other, more gentle formulas for those just beginning to explore.
S111 Blush Brush from Hakuhodo
I thought to choose a single red lipstick for this list was an arduous task but girl, I was wrong. It took me days to settle on just one brush to mention in this list and honestly, I don't think I could have come to a more satisfying conclusion. Thoughtfully handcrafted in Japan, Hakuhodo brushes are unquestionably are some of the most breathtaking in the world. With a sleek lacquered handle in striking vermillion and blue squirrel bristles as soft as a seraphim wing, it applies powders with a touch delicate and refined as glistening powder snow. The flat, compact nature of this brush afford it the abilities it to both effortlessly dust as well as gently press product into the skin to achieve seamless cosmetic fusion with remarkably minimal effort. I prefer to use it to apply a loose setting powder to select areas of the face that desire a velvet finish without risk of over-application, but also for a kiss of crimson blush across the cheekbones and bridge of the nose. It is admittedly a bit of an investment piece, but a tool well worth the cost.
As much as I fawn over my skin I truly do put it through a great deal - everything from bi-weekly chemical peels and laser treatments to high-powered serums and prescription strength retinoids. As efficacious and rejuvenating as all of these things may be long-term there are times where my skin has simply had it with my tomfoolery and decides that I’ve gone too far. The nerve! I’ve tried a lot of things in my journey to calm my poor visage when it throws one of these tantrums and the best of them all has been this delightful mask. It owes it’s uber moisturizing, deeply reparative and calming abilities to a laundry list of actives like rich shea butter, ceramides, peptides and the hydrating superstar hyaluronic acid. I tend to slather on a thick layer and leave it to do its business overnight, waking up the next morning to a complexion that’s forgiven me for all I’ve put it through the day before.