Beauty Brand Founders Choose Their Must-Have Products From Their Own Lines

Interviews are no big deal for some of the biggest names in beauty—answers to questions like “What is your inspiration?” or “What’s a piece of advice you would give your 20-year-old-self?” are ready to go before they’re even asked—so when thinking of something that would make these experts think, I knew I had to stray from the status quo.

From products that deliver unparalleled results to those that hold a special place in their hearts, these brand founders were asked to do what no parent ever can: Choose a favorite child.  

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1/11

Anastasia Beverly Hills

“I would have to say Brow Wiz ($21). I love its texture and versatility. You can use it to outline, fill or detail your brows. Plus, the spoolie end blends color and grooms, so you don’t need an extra tool or brush. If you could only own one brow product, this should be it.” 

–Anastasia Soare, Founder and CEO


2/11

Frederic Fekkai

“My absolute favorite product in the Fekkai Collection is the Essential Shea Shampoo ($20). It’s extremely moisturizing and keeps hair soft—this shampoo gives you the boost every woman needs!” 

—Frédéric Fekkai, Founder and CEO


3/11

Drybar

"We recently launched Mr. Incredible Leave In Conditioner ($26) and I could not be more proud of this truly revolutionary formula. Its jam-packed with the most remarkable ingredients including biotin, acai and coconut milk that help prevent breakage, repair, hydrate, smooth and detangle hair. I use it before every blowout and when I let my hair dry naturally."

—Alli Webb, Founder 

4/11

IT Cosmetics

“If I had to pick only one product, it would have to be our Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream ($38)! It’s life-changing and skin-changing for so many women. It starts its life as anti-aging skin care and we’ve infused full-coverage pigments into it plus SPF 50+ physical-only sunscreen, which is huge. So in one step you get your skin care, foundation and SPF 50+. And, because it’s physical-only sunscreen, you can wear it even if you have sensitive skin. Picking just one must-have IT Cosmetics product for me is like picking a favorite child, it is SO hard to do! But if I have to only pick one MUST-HAVE, this is IT!” 

—Jamie Kern Lima, Cofounder and CEO


5/11

Smashbox

“I cannot live without the Photo Finish Foundation Primer ($36). I created this product to help keep the flow moving on photo shoots. The product allowed the models' makeup to stay put during long shoots with hot lights, which is why every woman should own it! It has become so iconic over the years, that Smashbox now has more than 10 primers in the category!” 

—Davis Factor, Founder and Senior Global Creative


6/11

Dr. Dennis Gross

“The Alpha Beta Daily Face Peel ($88) is the best-seller in the line and the most popular among my patients (as well as the first product I developed). It is unlike the harmful glycolic chemical peels of the early '90s. I developed this peel to consist of a proprietary blend of different acids. This carefully selected formula yields maximum benefits without irritation. It literally addresses every skin care concern from acne to rosacea, reducing fine lines and wrinkles, tightening pores, improving radiance and tone, and producing an overall glow. For people who want brighter, smoother, more even skin tone and texture, the Alpha Beta peels are a no-brainer. You see instant results in two minutes and there are varying strengths for the first-timers or the more advanced peel fans.” 

—Dr. Dennis Gross, NYC Dermatologist and Founder



7/11

Deborah Lippmann

"If I had to pick just one product, it would be Deborah Lippmann Rich Girl Hand Cream SPF 25 ($28) because moisture is the key to having healthy hands and nails! It is so important to keep hands properly moisturized, and this award-winning cream is formulated with shea butter, avocado and jojoba oil. Also, it is essential to use SPF and protect hands from sun damage. Rich Girl Hand Cream is never greasy, and the easy packaging allows for you to take it anywhere and everywhere…throw it in your purse, keep it at your desk, next to your bed, etc." 

—Deborah Lippmann, Founder and Creative Director


8/11

GLAMGLOW

"My favorite mask is SUPERMUD ($69), which tightens pores, brightens skin and mattifies shine for crazy, gorgeous skin. This pore-refining mask combines activated charcoal, K17 clay and six different AHA and BHA acids to vacuum extract pores right before your eyes. It instantly calms skin, improves texture and skin tone and gives you a radiant, glowing complexion, making it the perfect pre-makeup treatment. After using SUPERMUD, your skin looks instantly flawless and foundation glides on smoothly for a perfectly even application." 

—Shannon Dellimore, Cofounder

"My favorite mask is YOUTHMUD ($69), GLAMGLOW's original mask which Shannon and I created on our coffee table for backstage use in Hollywood. With real green tea leaves, mud from France's Mediterranean Sea and ancient volcanic pumice rock, YOUTHMUD is a 10-minute facial in a jar that evens out skin tone, diminishes the look of fine lines and wrinkles and gives you instantly super sexy, radiant skin." 

—Glenn Dellimore, Cofounder


9/11

First Aid Beauty

If I had to pick just one product, it would be the Ultra Repair Hydrating Serum ($36). The serum is my favorite because it's truly like a drink of water for your skin. It delivers a concentrated form of essential moisture that all skin types need for plump, healthy, soft skin. The universal formula works on ALL skin types, even oily, and is perfect for ALL seasons.” 

—Lilli Gordon, Founder and CEO 


10/11

Peter Thomas Roth

“No one should ever leave home without Max Anti-Shine Mattifying Gel ($35), as it is the most powerful mattifier you will find. It absorbs oil, eliminates shine and minimizes the look of pores while working all day to keep skin matte, making it my skin must-have. An oily complexion is my own personal battle, and an oil-slicked face is not the same as a dewy radiant complexion. Max Anti-Shine Mattifying Gel gets rid of all excess oil and shine and is formulated with the most effective oil-absorbing and pore-minimizing ingredients that do not strip the skin of its natural moisture barrier. I keep one at home and one in my office and it’s the first thing I pack when I travel.” 

—Peter Thomas Roth, Founder and CEO


11/11

John Paul Mitchell

Paul Mitchell Shampoo One ($11) is my favorite product from the line. It was the original product my partner, the late Paul Mitchell, and I launched back in 1980. This product represents the vision we shared—to create a hair care line for stylists and the professional salon industry, which we remain true to today. I also find it symbolic of the brand’s humble beginnings and how much we’ve grown—the black and white packaging was originally selected because we couldn’t afford color, but we still opt to keep it to this day. It is a tried-and-true shampoo with a quality formula and has remained in our product portfolio for nearly four decades and continues to be used and recommend by stylists."

—John Paul DeJoria, Cofounder of John Paul Mitchell Systems