Beauty Products You Should Be Using in Pairs

Some things — peanut butter and jelly, Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen, Mulder and Scully (what?) — just work better in twos. The same can be said of beauty products. Granted, using multiple products at once is hardly a new trick, but certain treatments, when combined, really pack a punch. Be it the way their ingredients invisibly interact to better shield your skin against sun damage or, on a more superficial level, the lewk they achieve when applied in direct succession, the skin care and cosmetics world is full of game-changing duos that should be as ingrained in your neurons as the aforementioned condiments/fashion designers/FBI agents.

Antioxidants + SPF

If you have skin, sunscreen is a nonnegotiable. But to really get the most out of your SPF, you’ll want to team it with a powerful antioxidant like vitamin C, which zaps free radicals and is incredible for brightening skin. Per New York dermatologist Dr. Patricia Wexler: “In serums, [vitamins C and E] have been shown to enhance the function of SPF formulations when used in combination, reducing the incidence of sunburns and increasing the SPF’s stability.” As far as SPF goes, we’re partial to Supergoop’s latest formula, which protects against UVA rays, UVB rays and the infrared and blue light emitted by your electronic devices. Couple it with The Ordinary’s ultra-lightweight, ultra-affordable ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate/vitamin F serum. (Ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate is “an oil-soluble derivative of vitamin C that can be used in higher concentrations without drawbacks”; vitamin F equals essential fatty acids.) Either pat the oil on first or add a few droplets to your daily sunscreen dollop. Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 40, $32 at Sephora The Ordinary Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate Solution 20% in Vitamin F, $17.80 at The Ordinary

Moisturizer + Full-Coverage Concealer

For a naturally glowy finish and soft, bouncy skin, combine two cult favorites: Nars’ creamy Soft Matte Complete Concealer and Weleda’s ultra-moisturizing Skin Food. (The concealer-to-lotion ratio depends on the level of coverage you require. Also, don’t let the blend’s rich texture deceive you — it’ll melt right into your skin.) It’s like whipping up your own custom BB cream. NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer, $30 at Sephora Weleda Skin Food, $9.89 at Target

Matte Lipstick + Setting Powder

When using a highly expensive, highly esteemed lipstick (i.e. one of Pat McGrath’s Best of Beauty award-winning MatteTrance tubes), you want to make it last as long as possible. Enter Laura Mercier’s Translucent Loose Setting Powder. Just as it does to the rest of your makeup, the powder will mattify your lipstick and keep it in place. Here’s what you do: after applying your color, place a single-ply tissue over your lips, then lightly brush the setting powder over the tissue using — what else? — a big, fluffy powder brush. Next, remove the tissue and continue on with your life, unplagued by the nagging desire to check your face in the mirror. Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder, $23 at Sephora Pat McGrath Labs MatteTrance Lipstick, $38 at Sephora

Glycolic Acid + Hyaluronic Acid

Those who suffer from acne and dryness, meet your skin super-duo. Kate Somerville’s best-selling cleanser re-texturizes and de-gunks skin using natural fruit enzymes, lactic acid and glycolic acid (the teeniest and most efficacious of the alpha-hydroxy acids, due to its ability to deeply penetrate skin). Follow up with Peter Thomas Roth’s light, airy, water-vapor-trapping cream. Hyaluronic acid, which we’ve written about at length, is a lightweight but heavy-duty moisturizer — each molecule can retain up to 1,000 times its weight in water — found in just about every anti-aging product. It quenches and plumps your skin without adding any oiliness to the equation, which, if you’re pimple-prone, is more than ideal. Neither it nor Peter Thomas Roth can do any wrong. Kate Somerville Exfolikate Cleanser Daily Foaming Wash, $38 at Sephora Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Cream, $52 at Sephora

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