5 cult classic beauty products I love (and 1 I could do without)

5 cult classic beauty products I love (and 1 I could do without)

5 cult classic beauty products I love (and 1 I could do without) | Modern Mrs Darcy

How does a beauty product become a cult classic? Only a few products inspire that kind of devotion. These tried-and-true staples are loved for their great performance and timeless appeal. (Even if I could personally do without the last one.)

Essie nail polish in Mademoiselle: a Beauty Cult Classics | Modern Mrs Darcy

Essie nail polish in Mademoiselle

Essie describes this shade as a “classic, grown-up pink.” For a natural looking french manicure, use one coat. For a little extra color, use two. You can wear this classy–and versatile–neutral to the beach or down the aisle or anywhere in between.

Smith's Rosebud Salve: a Beauty Cult Classic | Modern Mrs Darcy

Smith’s rosebud salve

The Rosebud Perfume Co. has been whipping up this sweet-smelling multipurpose skin treatment since 1892. The obvious uses are for lips, chapped skin, and dry hands, but some use it as a blush for a subtle rosy glow, or even as a treatment for diaper rash. It comes in a pretty tin (though it’s also available in a tube these days).

This is the $6 impulse buy that always gets me in the Anthropologie checkout line. Or you can grab a set of 3 different flavors for $14 at Amazon.

Tweezerman slant tweezer: a beauty cult classic | Modern Mrs Darcy

Tweezerman slant tweezer

Fans swear these are the best tweezers you will ever use. Smooth, sharp, and accurate, these tweezers are a whole different beast than the cheap ones at Target. (Plus, Tweezerman will sharpen your tweezer’s hand-filed tips at no cost.)

Nars blush in orgasm: a beauty cult classic | Modern Mrs Darcy

Nars blush in Orgasm

Nars blush is available in 29 shades, but this is the one that inspires intense devotion. This sheer pressed-powder blush is a universally flattering peachy pink, with just a hint of shimmer, and imparts a natural-looking, healthy glow.

Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey: a beauty cult classic

Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey

This soft violet lip color is the universally flattering shade. It’s a chameleon shade: because it’s a bit transparent, it works with your natural lip color instead of masking it, and looks a bit different on everyone.

Solaroil nail and cuticle conditioner: a beauty cult classic | Modern Mrs Darcy

SolarOil nail and cuticle conditioner

This conditioning treatment of jojoba oil, almond oil and Vitamin E got a big boost when Serena Williams raved about it. I like the product, but it’s the one I could do without. I prefer a homemade coconut oil and sugar scrub for my nails.But I gotta admit, the SolarOil is easier to use every day, thanks to the handy bottle and brush.

Do you use any of these beauty cult classics? What’s your favorite beauty product with a cult following? 

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This is the twenty-eighth post in a series, 31 Days of Cult Classics. You can click here to see a list of all the posts, updated everyday in the month of October.


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33 comments | Comment


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  1. Carrie says:

    Kiehls Creme with silk groom has been on my wish list for ages. I’m not much of a beauty gal but you would have to pry my eyelash curler from my cold dead fingers lol!

  2. Jeannie says:

    That lipstick really intrigues me. I’m a makeup minimalist but I do like lipstick and have a very hard time finding a colour/texture etc. that I really like. I like dark lipstick but it is often too warm or bronzy which doesn’t suit me (being a Winter as per your earlier cult classic!). So I am definitely going on a Black Honey hunt!

  3. Amber says:

    I have that shade of Eddie. And I’ve used Clinque’s black honey for years! I have to admit, I think OPI works better on my nails.

  4. Erin says:

    As a fan of Essie’s Mademoiselle, Rosebud Salve, Tweezerman, and NARS blush, I gave a cheer at your picks. Even better, my lipstick color was recently discontinued & I’ve been on the hunt for a new shade. I will be stopping by the Clinique counter asap to try Black Honey! 🙂

  5. I haven’t stopped by a Clinique counter in ages, but I loved Black Honey lipstick back in the day! I’ve never really understood the hype over the rosebud salve stuff, but I need bright lipstick or it looks like I have no lips, so maybe that’s why.

  6. Lesley says:

    Ohhhh the Rosebud Salve. Love that stuff! Everything else is being added to my “list.” Amazon is a dangerous, dangerous place. (Didn’t know Rosebud was on Amazon. I always make a big trek to Anthro for it. No longer! Thanks!)

  7. 'Becca says:

    Dr. Bronner’s Liquid Castile Soap–especially the peppermint version–definitely has a cult following. It’s actually become a little less weird since Dr. Bronner died and his descendants edited the ravings on a variety of topics that fill the labels! Still a great soap, though, and now made with organic ingredients in recycled-plastic bottles.

    Thanks for the recommendations of classic shades of makeup. I’ve been not wearing makeup for the past 9 years, but if I feel too pale as I get older, I might go back to using a little bit…and it would be handy to have these shades as a starting point.

  8. Leigh Kramer says:

    I love Essie nail polish, though I go for, shall we say, bolder colors. My current favorite is Sew Psyched. I tried the rosebud salve many years ago and it actually made my chapped lips worse!

  9. Pauline says:

    I’ve never heard of most of these but then I guess I’m not in the right country for them! My absolute favourite is Benefit’s Bad Gal mascara. I love all of Benefit, but that mascara is by far the best I have ever found, it actually makes it look like you have extensions on your lashes, it is THAT good.

  10. Stephanie says:

    Those Tweezerman tweezers really are worth the extra price. SO much sharper and easier to grasp than cheaper brands.

    Also – I’ve always wanted to try the NARS blush.

  11. I think one of the very few that does not like Essie Mademoiselle, the color just looks strange on me? I do swear by coconut oil but I mix it with baking soda instead of sugar. I’m also a huge fan of witch hazel and Cetaphil.

  12. Rebecca says:

    Yes, ma’am. . .you know how to pick them!
    Love the one-coat of Essie Mademoiselle for my piano-playing, gardening, bread-kneading shorty short fingernails.
    I use rosebud salve on lips, to keep eyebrows in place, and to tame frizzy hair ends.
    I’ve used Black Honey for years. It’s one of the few lipstick/glosses that looks natural on a super-fair/freckled complexion.
    Can’t wait to try the tweezers and blush…going on my Christmas list.

  13. Heather says:

    Oh, I remember Black Honey! What a blast from the past. I love Essie’s Mademoiselle although like a few others have mentioned, I generally prefer OPI’s formulation. I use Solar Oil for my cuticles but wouldn’t swear by it or anything. It just happens to be what I have. I tried the NARS blush a few years ago but felt it didn’t look right on me, maybe b/c I am pale. For my chapped lips, I definitely prefer Aquaphor over the rosebud salve. Fun post!

    • Anne says:

      We use buckets of Aquaphor around here (which could be a cult classic in its own right) but I rarely use it on my lips. Thanks for the reminder–I feel like I need chapstick of some sort in every room and on my person this time of year.

  14. Ellen says:

    Almost Lipstick was the first “lipstick” my mom let me have as a teenager. 🙂 Can you buy Essie at Target? I’m so out of the loop on beauty stuff, and I never make it to the mall.

  15. Wanda says:

    I actually don’t use any of these. I love OPI nail polish. I adore my cheap Maybelline smokey eyeshadow. I use L’Oréal infallible black brown eyeliner. My weakness is scrub, I buy it by the truckload.

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