Same Same But Different: Our Beauty Editors’ Current Favorite Products

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same same but different

Welcome to Same Same But Different. As Gen Z and millennial fashion editors, respectively, we know a thing or two about shopping—for all ages, and especially our demographics. As we find the best products for you, we can’t help but do a little shopping for ourselves and build our personal (age-appropriate) wish lists. And now, we’re sharing them with you. Ahead, check out what’s in our hearts and in our carts lately.


Danielle James: I can’t believe that it’s already the holiday season. It seems like this year has flown by! As we wrap up 2023, we beauty gurus are giving Dale and Meg a respite and taking over this month’s Same Same But Different to debrief on the products we’re wearing this holiday season. One thing I’ve loved is that my makeup has been applicable to multiple trends that are happening. Like the mermaid trend is perfect for holiday beauty—shimmer and shine me, please! The Danessa Myricks ‘I Am’ Palette is so pigmented you can see color from across the room! I also like the way the palette formulas feel. They are so cushiony it makes me want to apply with my fingers. Actually, I’ve been applying my makeup more with my hands as of late, versus using brushes and beauty blenders. What has been your holiday go-to, Nerisha?

Nerisha Penrose: You (and Danessa Myricks) do shimmer so well. Honestly, I’ve been thinking a lot about this winter deep-berry cocktail I had during a recent stay at Hôtel Barrière Fouquet’s, and dark berry hues have been my beauty mood ever since (hence the burgundy gel extensions on my nails). Yes, yes, you know I’ve had an aversion to -core beauty aesthetics since “strawberry girl” makeup emerged. And up until this past month, colors in the burgundy, deep cherry family gave me “auntie” vibes. However, I think I cracked the code on how to make the color work for my beauty aesthetic (full glam girls, stand up!), and the star of the show is none other than Mrs. Hailey Bieber’s Raspberry Jelly Rhode Peptide Lip Balm. The lip treatment is the base of my current go-to lip combo rotations and melds well with my brown lip liner to give me juicy, just-bitten lips. I keep things simple on my eyelids but love a pigmented one-swipe, and nothing beats a Juvia’s Place eyeshadow palette. I always finish off my look by adding a little dazzle here and there and packing on the blush—because have you seen Patrick Ta’s “She’s Wanted” blush?

DJ: I love it when you put pigment in the inner corner of your eyes and create a colorful highlight. It always looks so good, and I think it’s a great way to play with color if you are a bit shy about having it on your entire lid. The peptide lip balm has a chokehold on me. It is so soothing to the lips, and yes, I’m so happy it now comes in colors. The raspberry jelly is the only one I have—they disappeared so quickly from ELLE’s beauty closet!

I’ve been thinking of my beauty like the five senses—and smell has been a big focus this year. The Noteworthies were so much fun, and I’m really loving the fall/winter fragrances on the market. I’ve noticed a big tobacco trend—and while in the past, I’ve tended to shy away from stronger scents like this (I’m a big fresh, floral girlie), now, I can’t get enough! I find myself consistently spritzing Killian’s Smoking Hot. I love his spin on tobacco by blending it with Apple hookah; it instantly transports me to Pergola nights in New York City….well, the ones I can remember anyway.

NP: Funny enough, I’ve been easing away from my stronger, bolder scents to embrace the cozier, toastier ones in my collection. I dread the winter chill, so any scent that makes me feel like I’m wrapped up in a warm blanket gets priority this season. I take scent layering seriously, so every product I use, in-shower and post-shower, needs to flow together. I love building on 54 Thrones body wash, which has a faint vanilla-honey scent (and a super moisturizing formula) that creates the best base for my favorite body lotion, Kyoto in Bloom by Glasshouse Fragrances, and the Kubra oil to stick to.

Don’t laugh, but I like to adopt a personality to every fragrance I own—who would wear this scent? How would she act? Well, upon sniffing Byredo’s Rouge Chaotique, Martha May Whovier (from my all-time favorite Christmas movie, How the Grinch Stole Christmas) came to mind. Rouge Chaotique is striking and sultry yet sophisticated and smooth. Martha walks around Whoville like that girl, and that’s exactly who this fragrance is for.

DJ: A scent personality?! I love that! So well thought out, like character development in a movie or TV show. I’m all about romanticizing my life, and finding the right fragrance is a great way to delve into your dream world. Also, you have been raving about this 54 Thrones body wash—WHY didn’t I buy that during Black Friday?! Oh well, I’ve been influenced. (*Adds to cart*)

I’m still thinking about your comment on having a scent personality—I’m going to try that for New Year’s Eve and maybe even set a scent intention for 2024! May your holidays be merry and glam.

Headshot of Danielle James

Digital Beauty Director

Danielle James is the Digital Beauty Director of ELLE.com. Previously, she was the Fashion and Beauty Director of HelloBeautiful.com and MadameNoire.com. She’s written for The Cut, InStyle, Allure, The Business of Fashion, Nylon, Essence, Good Housekeeping, and more. She enjoys sailing, thrifting, Japanese whiskey, Naomi Campbell’s runway walk, and Rihanna in the comment section.

Headshot of Nerisha Penrose

Beauty Commerce Editor

Nerisha is the beauty commerce editor at ELLE.com, covering all things beauty (and fashion and music). She has a penchant for sneakers and nude lip glosses, and spends way too much time re-watching 90s sitcoms.

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