In this day and age of nearly everything being available at one's fingertips-- aka e-shopping- I find there are still some things that I don't think I will ever replace in my beauty regime.
Topping the list would have to be emu oil. I have very dry skin and emu oil really seems to be my holy grail for moisturizing. I don't have a particular brand that I am hooked on since I order from various places like Snowdrift Farm or Majestic Mountain Sage so I usually buy from whichever one I'm making an order with because I hate to pay extra shipping for this necessity. Since emu oil is from a bird, it does have a certain "chicken fat" smell but I add a few little things to it that masks the chicken fat smell. One thing I add is coffee essential oil. I love coffee and figure that maybe the essential oil has a bit of caffeine in it-- which is good for the skin. It does give it a nice earthy coffee scent. I then also add a bit of lavender essential oil. I am not a fan of lavender but it is very good for dry skin so I add a tiny bit to boost my emu oil's skin care properties. Mixed with the coffee it's actually rather decent. My dogs both enjoy smelling me when I have just applied my emu oil-- I think they like the chicken fat smell though. LOL After cleansing my skin, I apply a few drops of emu oil concoction to the palm of my left hand. I then run the fingers of my right hand under the tap water and sprinkle several drops of water into the emu oil. Then I rub my hands together and gently pat onto my skin. No matter what other moisturizers I've tried, I always end up mixing in my emu oil routine. An aside-- there's a blood type diet that has my blood type as being a meat eater-- it seems my skin is the same way because plant based moisturizers often make me break out. =/ Emu oil is actually very cost effective as a moisturizer for me-- a few drops really do the trick.
Along the same lines as emu oil is humidifiers during the cold months. In summer, there is plenty of humidity where I live even when we have a drought, but as soon as fall starts drying out the air, I get out the humidifiers. I have one in my bedroom. One in the main part of the house and one in the basement. The kids also have one in each of their rooms. I notice a difference when I go to bed without using the humidifier during the cold months-- my skin doesn't like it at all.
For foundation application it is always my own foundation-- you knew that was coming-- seriously it's the best for my skin because I formulated for my skin in the first place. But I have to give a big shout out to My Minerals Bath and Body- MMBB-- because I use one of the sprays every time I apply foundation. My favorite is the Concord Grape because it smells like a tart, freshly picked grape- reminds me of my childhood where I would visit my maternal grandparents. They had grapevines with I believe concord grapes-- the skins were actually rather tart so you'd squeeze the grape and it would pop out of the skin and not have all those tannins from the skin. I've used the rose, neroli, and various others but my favorite is the Concord Grape. Another must have from MMBB is the jumbo buffer brush. It is the best brush for damp mineral application EVER. You know I'm a brush-ho so I know what I'm talking about. Lisa talked me into it and I am eternally grateful because I LOVE it. I got my daughter one and she too was amazed at how fast and easy foundation application is using it.
Another longtime love is sugar scrubs. I have pretty much eliminated sugar from my diet but it still has it's place in my skincare routine. I make my own face scrub using the cheapest sugar I can find (Walmart brand) because the crystals are nice and small- much better for the face. Then I use a little honey to mix it into scrub consistency. Sometimes I will use natural unscented soap- lather it up in my hands and then mix in a little sugar for a quick scrub. This sugar scrubs does wonders for refreshing my dry winter skin. For body scrubs I like the natural sugar because it has big crystals- my body can take them. =)
Natural soaps are another must have for me. I do my own emu soap- a melt and pour base with additional emu oil added to it. For my face, I never scent it- although I guess I could use lavender essential oil. I try to stay away from citrus essential oils for my face because most of them make one a little sun sensitive.
Last is my haircare- my go to product, even though pricy is Wen cleansing conditioner. Since I color my hair monthly-- started seeing grays at 20 and just too vain to go gray- my hair needs TLC. Wen leaves my hair clean but well moisturized. I've tried going back to shampoos but quickly find that they overstrip my hair so I keep paying for Wen. Another booster for haircare is Argan oil. I purchase it at Sally's Beauty. I add a little to the color when I'm coloring my hair. A drop can be applied after cleansing. I sometimes even apply a little to dry hair-- especially in winter.
Those are the things you will always find in my beauty routine now, and for a long time in the future I am guessing.