Luxury Self-Care Essentials to Blow Your Paycheck On 

By: Kathy L. Nguyen | Published 2.20.23
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Money can't buy happiness but, sometimes, it'll buy you a smile.

Though typically frugal in nature when it comes to spending my own hard-earned money, I do have a penchant for the ridiculous. I've prepared a list of some of the high-end essentials I'm always down to ante up for. So, without request, here are some life-improving, albeit, decadent items that I never hesitate to splurge on. 

Fresh Sugar Advanced Therapy Lip Primer and Lip Balm

Please allow me to defend myself by letting you all know that I live in New England, where the winters are extremely dry. For a native Southern Californian, this caused issues that I was not previously accustomed to such as chronic dry, itchy lips, even when I knew I had enough water in me to be hydrated. 

Before using Fresh's lip primer, I was going through 2 or 3 tubes of their Advanced Therapy lip balm a season. I don't understand the science of it and you'll be able to learn more on their website but what I can tell you is that just a drop of this stuff in the morning and then again at night makes it so I'm only needing to apply lip balm a few times a day, rather than constantly reaching for it. My lips have never looked plumper and juicier, especially in the winter. By using the primer, you'll definitely be using less balm, which will save you money.

When it comes to high-end lip balm, nothing beats Sugar Advanced Therapy Lip Balm. I have experimented with other well-known products such as Kiehl's Lip Balm #1 and Clarins' Hydra-Essentiel Moisture Replenishing Lip Balm and they don't even hold a candle to Fresh's (IMO). Perhaps it's a preferential thing,  I like my lip balm to be a spreadable solid rather than a more viscous gel, which feels more like lip gloss.

Trust me, these two items from the Sugar Advanced Therapy line feel more like healing and medicinal than cosmetic. If you are suffering from chronic dryness, chapping, flaking, and itchy lips, relief is here. Go ahead and take care of yourself, baby.

Beauty of Orient's Mulberry Silk Scrunchies

There was a time when I also suffered from chronic frizzy hair, breakages, and flyaways. Luckily, about 3 years ago, a close friend gifted me with high-end, pure mulberry silk pillowcases and I gifted myself with these 20-momme, grade 6A, 100% pure mulberry silk skinny scrunchies. Since then, my hair has made a complete turnaround. 

Some of you might already know that I'm a freelance featured writer for, so I have done lots of research on silk and its effect on hair including reading many peer-reviewed, scientific studies during my research. 

Folks, it's literally science. Only silk will prevent friction damage and keep your hair hydrated which will promote healthier growth. Periodt.  

Dior's Addict Lip Tint and Addict Lip Glow

When it comes to my beauty routine, I can't be bothered by re-applying or touching up my makeup all day. When I need to look presentable, these are the two lip products I'll reach for.

Lip stains are often very drying and they often don't apply very well. A bad stain can leave your lips looking dried out and a bit too bold for my taste. I was hesitant before trying Dior's Addict Lip Tint. It seemed too good to be true that a lip stain could be moisturizing and had it not been for the high reviews left by users supporting Dior's claims, I probably wouldn't have made the purchase. 

I like to line my lips with Rare Beauty by Selena Gomez's Kind Words Lip Liner in Wise, a warm brown nude, and then apply the Addict Lip Tint in Natural Tea - Brick Red. Then I'll apply the Addict Lip Glow in Mahogany to add some moisture and a satin finish. The blend of the 2 shades creates that perfect 90's supermodel neutral brown that's perfect for my complexion. Unlike lipsticks, using these two products feels weightless. It's 2023 y'all, that Kylie Lip Kit matte lip look is sooooo over.

If I'm feeling a little sassy or going out at night, I might use Anastasia Beverly Hills's Crystal Lip Gloss over the tint, that's another great product that's actually moisturizing.

HoomBand's Bluetooth Sleep Headphones 

Sharing a bed or perhaps traveling on a long flight and needing to listen to your wind-down podcast as your drift to sleep? I like to draw mine over my eyes to double as a sleep mask. Pure comfort. ZzZzZz

Don't Fall Too Deep: Consumption Culture is a Dangerous Playground

Nice things are nice but ultimately these commodities are just objects. I'd like to think that treating ourselves occasionally for items that'll enhance or add color to our lives is something worth indulging in from time to time. We'll want to remember to shop responsibly and consider our needs before making any extravagant purchasing decisions. Let's shop for reality, not fantasy. 

Happy shopping!