I Need to Brag About the Face Oil That's Given Me the Glowiest Skin I've Ever Had

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For my 26th birthday, I treated myself to a facial oil. It seemed like the one "grown-up" step in my skincare routine I hadn't devoted any time to, and I was seeing face oils everywhere. With promises to hydrate, fade discoloration, brighten, and tighten, the seemingly endless number of options to choose from intimidated me. I decided to splurge on one product in particular I'd been eyeing for months: the Mara Beauty Universal Face Oil ($72).

If you haven't heard of the Mara brand before, it launched in early 2018 by Allison McNamara, editorial director of Mane Addicts and former POPSUGAR video host (in fact, following her on Instagram is how I found out about her new venture and her first product, the oil).

After four months of using the Universal Face Oil morning and night, it's safe to say I'm obsessed. It's become an integral part of my routine, and I use it in place of moisturizer for incredibly hydrated skin that gives off a visible glow. It's fantastic under makeup and on its own at night. Thanks to the TSA-friendly size (1.18 ounces), the oil has also become an in-flight essential for me. When I travel, I avoid makeup and put a thick layer of this on my skin to combat dryness and breakouts.

I'm glad I discovered this product for a lot of reasons. First and foremost, this oil is clean and nontoxic. That means it's made without fragrance, parabens, added color, phthalates, PEGs, mineral oil, or anything synthetic, and it's cruelty-free. Through trial and error over the last couple years, I've learned that my skin is sensitive to a lot of ingredients, and if I was going to invest in a facial oil, I wanted it to be free of any "bad" ingredients that could cause irritation. Knowing that McNamara is extremely serious about her own clean beauty routine, I trusted her list of carefully sourced ingredients.

Smoothing this all over your face is like giving your dry skin the most thirst-quenching drink of its life.

Never mind what's not in this oil — let's talk about what is. Moringa is a superfood that is loaded with nutrients, antioxidants, and vitamins A, B, C, D, and E. It has more vitamin C than oranges, I was told when I bought the oil at Credo Beauty. A blend of plankton extract and algae is packed with fatty acids that plump and hydrate dull skin. Smoothing this all over your face is like giving your dry skin the most thirst-quenching drink of its life.

I'm not exaggerating when I say you can "sea the glow" — get it? — from, like, feet away. I've gotten so many compliments on my skin, and while I still have some stubborn acne marks to work on, I can confidently say this has helped to prevent breakouts and improve the texture of my skin. Don't believe me? Try not to be blinded by the photos ahead.

Mara Universal Face Oil Application

Mara Universal Face Oil Application

I use about a half dropper full of Mara Universal Face Oil ($72) under my makeup every day, and almost a full dropper at night. I splash it into the palm of my hand and then dab the oil all over my face, pressing it in so it penetrates. It's so hydrating that I've never seen a flake of dryness throughout the day or in the morning after using this.

You Can Literally "Sea the Glow"

Even with a full face of makeup on, the oil illuminates from beneath. When you capture a selfie in the perfect sunny lighting, your glow really shows. Here, I'm wearing the Mara Universal Face Oil under concealer, foundation, blush, a tiny bit of setting powder around my chin area, and highlighter.

It's Makeup Artist Approved

I could watch Katie Jane Hughes do her makeup for hours. The Instagram-famous makeup artist and queen of glossy skin shares tutorials and product recommendations regularly, and she vouches for Mara's Universal Face Oil, too. She mixes a drop or two with concealer on the back of her hand and blends it out with a brush for dewy, light coverage all over.

The Gorgeous Packaging Certainly Doesn't Hurt

Do I love using this and seeing it sitting pretty on my bathroom shelf? Yes and yes. I love the minimal look, and the bottle is designed well too. It stays closed tight, even through long plane rides. Plus, the glass is sheer enough that you can always see how much you have left.

I Couldn't Love It More
POPSUGAR Photography | Erin Cullum

I Couldn't Love It More

Side effects of wearing Mara Universal Face Oil might include shamelessly snapping selfies everywhere you go.