Recent Favorites

Since my monthly favorites posts are so infrequent, I think it’s quite exciting when I can devote an entire entry to just my recent favorites. Pretty much all of the products here are items that I’ve had in my collection (except for one), and they’ve stuck around even after I’ve rotated products. I’m itching for warmer weather to get here, so I may be jumping the gun here in some ways; but nothing says spring like a new flirty scent and some bright blush!

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Dior Rosy Glow Awakening Blush 001 ~ $44.00 USD
This item is semi-new to my collection, and I only reach for it when I’m in a particularly Dior-happy mood. As a “universally flattering, finely milled blush [that] adjusts to your skin’s chemistry,” this blush is not as gimmicky as I once thought. It creates “naturally flushed, rosy cheeks” and seems to flatter most skin tones. The “ultra-fine powder texture and irresistible rose fragrance offer a moment of pure indulgence with each application.” Simply put, it’s soft, pigmented, and long-lasting on the cheeks. On my skin, it applies a bright candy-pink that blends well without looking harsh. There’s a subtle glowy-ness that comes without any shimmer, glimmer, or chunky glitter.

Benefit Cosmetics Bathina Silky & Seductive Body Oil Mist ~ $34.00 USD
As a “silky and seductive body oil mist,” this is my newest item in my beauty collection. I purchased it randomly on a whim simply because it smelled good. I like to apply this directly after a shower, onto freshly cleansed and mildly damp skin. I spray and rub the oil into my skin and it absorbs right away — leaving my body feeling moisturized and smelling fantastic. Benefit promises that this “seductive sheen and a hint of tempting fragrance” is impossible to resist. The “super-fine oil mist absorbs [fast] for immediate hydration,” and “includes sweet almond, olive, and avocado oils to leave skin feeling soft.” Bathina also includes vitamin E, which is known to help keep skin firm. I like it because it smells great and stays on the skin all day. It’s also a great way to skip body moisturizer and perfume!

NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in “Vanilla” ~ $29.00 USD
I’m still going strong with my NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in “Vanilla.” I love that on good-skin days, I can just skip foundation/BB cream in general and just dab this concealer onto needed areas. It’s a great way to save time, especially when I’m in a hurry. Recently, I’ve been pairing this concealer with the Laura Mercier Mineral Powder and I’ve been very happy with the combo.

Laura Mercier Mineral Powder in “Tender Rose” ~ $38.00 USD
My oldie but goodie — my old faithful — and my trusty mineral foundation that is always a re-purchased item: my Laura Mercier Mineral Powder in “Tender Rose.” It’s easy to forget about this powder foundation when I’m busy with other products in my collection. I admit, that most weeks, my LM mineral powder goes unnoticed. But, when I come back to it, I usually end up using it religiously for two months before moving onto something different. I always come back though; and, I like that this product is always there! I tend to gravitate towards this mineral foundation when the weather is warmer, since it gives me such a nice, warm glow without highlighters and bronzers.

Eco Tools Buffing Brush ~ $6.99 USD
Normally, I’m very loyal to either my natural-hair brushes or my Real Techniques brushes. But lately, since my obsessions has been my tried and true LM mineral foundation, I’ve found that a flat-top brush like the Eco Tools Buffing Brush is the best. I own a few Eco Tools brushes and I highly recommend them. This brush is ultra-soft, cruelty-free, and hand-cut to smoothly buff for custom coverage. It also features a recycled aluminum ferrule, a sleek bamboo handle. It’s lightweight so it’s easy to use; and, the bristles pick up the most perfect amount of product.

Shu Uemura Hard 9 Eyebrow Pencil ~ $23.00 USD
Another oldie but goodie is the Shu Uemura Hard 9 Eyebrow Pencil. It lasts for years and requires minimal sharpening. I’ve found that throughout all the eyebrow pencils I’ve tried, this one not only lasts the longest, but it’s the most natural looking on my brows. This product is difficult to swatch on the hand, but for some reason, when using it on eyebrow hairs this product is the best. Currently, since my brows are pretty much all grown out, I’ve got small gaps in the front that still need filling in. I also like to give some definition to the ends of my brows to they look a bit fuller. The Hard 9 pencil has been great option lately and I really love it.

Koji Dolly Wink Eyeliner in Brown
Normally, eyeliners aren’t really part of my every day routine. However, lately, I’ve been really into using a little bit of liquid eyeliner for some upper lid definition. While I favor black mascaras, black eyeliners have always been something I’ve skipped. The Koji Dolly Wink Eyeliner in Brown has been my go-to. You can find this product on eBay or at Asian grocery stores. The felt tip is thin and stable so it’s very easy to use — you can control the thickness of the line, so for most days, I like to keep it simple with a thin, non-winged liner.

What products have you been loving?

Face of the Day – “professional edition”

I’m not quite out of my makeup funk yet, but I’ve been trying to gain some inspiration here and there from various YouTube videos and fashion magazines in my spare time. Last week, I had to be “professionally appropriate” for presentations and meetings, so I definitely had to put forth a little more effort for that reason. I also needed my face makeup to last through the long days, the commute, and the hotness that we’re experiencing in Texas. Also, since I work in an academic setting, my makeup needed to reflect that as well.

As usual, I kept things simple but appropriate.

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Normally, I don’t powder over base products (unless it’s my T-zone); and, very rarely do I layer a mineral foundation over my original base product. For the sake of looking polished and extra put-together, I used my Chanel CC Cream and dusted my Laura Mercier Mineral Powder in “Porcelain” over everything. The finish was light and perfect. However, the layer did leave me looking a bit matte and flat. So, I added some glow by using the Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Baked Powder Compact in 01. For blush, I resorted to my trusty MAC “Well Dressed” to finish off the face.

The star of the show and my newest primer love is the Benefit Stay Flawless 15-hour Primer. After my skin care, I swiped this primer on before adding my CC cream on top. And, let me just say, this is what saved the day for me. If you’re looking for a primer that is strictly designed to make you makeup last — this is the primer you should be using. The glue-stick design is appropriate because it really does make you makeup stick.

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Not pictured is MAC’s Fix + face mist, but I needed something a little extra to help my skin look more natural and to diffuse the effects of the powder. My brow routine is the same and is still in its growing-out process nearly 8 months later, lol. For lips, I kept it simple with just some La Mer lip balm. As for the eyes, I dusted on a skintone-like eyeshadow (Urban Decay’s “Naked”) from a palette, added some eyeliner and mascara.

For me, looking professional and put-together is important; but functionality is important as well. I had these products on my face for nearly 14 hours and nothing melted or smeared. As mentioned before, the primer was truly the star and I would totally recommend that.

Weekend Face Routine

I hope everyone’s weekend was great; mine was pleasant — quiet and I totally enjoyed the cool, breezy weather that tends to be quite rare here in Texas. For the weekend, I wasn’t inspired nor was I motivated to be creative or experiment. I focused on skin and managed to slap on some eyeshadow for dinner. I wanted to emphasize glowy, dewy skin that was effortless and looked natural.

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I started off with the Neutrogena Healthy Defense moisturizer with SPF 50. It absorbs decently well and provides high sun protection. It’s nothing special and tends to get a bit oily on me, but it works for lazy days and on days when I’m not exposed to too much sun. With this, I can skip an extra layer of sunscreen so it’s a handy option to have. Then, I applied Benefit’s POREfessional as my primer on my nose, chin, and a little bit on my cheeks for pore concealing.

Because I’ve skipped an application of foundation or BB cream, I had to rely on a concealer that was going to work double duty: MAC Mineralize Concealer is a good option for me because it’s so blendable and provides semi-opaque coverage. On top, as my final “layer,” I dusted on Laura Mercier’s Mineral Powder in “Soft Porcelain” lightly with a fluffy brush.

I skipped blush entirely out of being just plain lazy, so packed on some highlighter to give me that glow. I picked Benefit’s Watt’s Up! highlighter for the tops of my cheek bones and nose bridge. This is super blendable and isn’t a hassle to apply. I just used my fingers since I was too lazy to grab a brush, lol.

I’ve been trying out the Anastasia Brow Wiz in “Brunette.” I can’t say that it’s anything special or new, because to me, a brow pencil is a brow pencil. It’s really all about the color. Since I’ve been in the process of re-growing my eyebrows, this pencil has been great with filling in some sparse areas. However, I still think a brow powder is the best way to go.

As always, thanks for reading.

Current Favorites – What I’m Loving Lately

I’ve been loving a lot of my newly discovered products lately; but, some of the products mentioned in today’s posts are products that have remained staple items in my collection.

As always, face products are on a constant rotation. However, the Chantecaille Future Skin Oil-Free Gel Foundation is still in my #1 winner’s spot.

Normally in the mornings, my mind is debating which foundation to use, and much of this thought process is dependent upon what my day is going to be like/where I’m going to be. With the Future Skin foundation, it’s my trusty automatic go-to product – it’s my favorite right now and forever – unless that’s just too dramatic. :) It’s the perfect blend between the dewy look and semi-matte look. LOVE.

I’ve noticed that I’m still loving the wear-time of this foundation. It doesn’t wear off or melt away as I’ve previously read in reviews. Even with the growing humidity in Texas, I haven’t noticed any difficulties wearing this foundation. Also, my shade – “Alabaster” – is the best color match I’ve ever experienced in a foundation. I realize this is not the case for many since the color selection in Chantecaille’s range is so limited. I should remind you that the foundation is made in Japan, and perhaps I love this foundation because I’ve had a long, long love affair with Japanese foundations. Either way, if you get a chance to give this product a try – DO IT.

Along with the Future Skin foundation, I’m obsessed with my Chanel luminous bronzing powder in #907 Sable Beige, MAC blush in “Pink Tea,” and setting everything very lightly with the Laura Mercier mineral powder in “Soft Porcelain.” A few weeks ago, I skipped powdering my t-zone because I didn’t really need to. Unfortunately, the Texas heat is coming on strong now since we’re heading into the summer months with full force. ICK.

Lazy days – like Sundays – require minimal effort for getting ready. Because I reserve Sundays for my face mask and bubble bath routine, I try to allow my skin to take the day off from makeup. On days like this, I quickly dab on my Clé de Peau concealer in “Ivory” and dust a light layer of Laura Mercier mineral powder in “Soft Porcelain.” If I’m in the mood, I’ll add some blush to give my skin some life. But most of the time, I skip it because I’m feeling lazy.

Eye makeup has remained basic but I’ve been “shopping my stash” lately. I’ve re-discovered my past favorite MAC eyeshadow in “Hypnotizing” and paired it with my long-time favorite shade in “Handwritten.” I still curl my lashes with my KOJI lash curler and use my Shiseido mascara base with my trusty majolica majorca expander frame plus mascara.

I’ve been skipping liner and anything else complicated. I have added something new – which is the MAC brow set. As a mascara for the brows, it’s easy to use this on days when you don’t want to meticulously draw in/pencil in/shade in your brows. A few quick swipes and you’re good to go – I use the shade “Beguile” which is a dark brown shade.

Favorite lip products as of late includes an oldie but goodie – the Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector 01, which is a light pink shade that’s glossy and moisturizing (and non-sticky). When I’m wanting a bit of color on the lips, I’ve been reaching for my MAC lipstick in the shade “Lovelorn.”

What are your current products?

*Pictures taken using CANON POWERSHOT SD1300 IS DIGITAL ELPH (12.1 Megapixels)

Laura Mercier Mineral Powder SPF 15

I think many of you may remember my dilemma with Bare Minerals – and basically, my issue is that I have a love-hate relationship with it. A few posts ago, I explained I was going for the minimal, bare look for the hotter months approaching and at the time I was “in love” with Bare Minerals.

Now, I hate it. Again.

I’ve been unhappy with its performance:
1. The lack of oil-control;
2. Occasionally I get itchy and a bit pink from irritation;
3. I swear there’s no good color match me – even the Golden Fair

In a huff, I stormed back to Sephora hell bent on returning BM and getting something else. And then, Laura Mercier’s Mineral Powder caught my eye. Her lip glosses have been my recent fave because of the texture. If I were to have the ability to make my own glosses to match my every desire – it would be just like Laura Mercier’s. THAT’S how much I love it.

The sales associate insisted that I was the color “Real Sand,” but after further inspection, I just had to disagree. Yes, it was created for light complexions with yellow to neutral undertones, but I’m fairer than that so I went against her advice and picked up “Soft Porcelain.” And, I’m quite pleased with the decision I made.

Sephora’s website describes this as a “finely milled powder composed completely of natural elements with 15 active amino acids.” It claims to “clear the skin of toxins, promote healthy skin cell growth, and fight the aging process.” This mineral powder is “oil-free and water-resistant [and] can be applied either as a buildable foundation or a pigmented powder.”

The jar is much bigger than BM and the frosted, thick tub reminds me of Chanel’s loose powder (but not as big). I like the I can turn the tab and adjust exactly how many holes I want to expose to release the powder. When traveling, I can just snap the tab closed and not worry about powder going everywhere. The only thing about traveling with this is that it’s a bit bulky, but oh well – you win some, you lose some!

LM’s Mineral Powder exceeded my expectations, has replaced Bare Minerals forever, and now I think I’m kind of addicted to mineral makeup. I apply this thinly with a kabuki brush and the coverage and finish is amazing. I don’t need concealer or additional powder on top; it’s super easy to apply and it’s fast. Also, the finish is semi-matte and slighly luminous – just enough to fake natural perfection, but not so luminous you’re looking shiny, and not so matte you look flat and fake.


[Pictured: Laura Mercier Mineral Powder in “Soft Porcelain” + MAC blush in “Blushbaby” + Dior Amber Diamond highlight]

The overall wear is impressive – up to 12 hours for me with some blotting halfway through. The powder itself looks like there’s bits of shimmer in it but it’s hardly noticeable when buffed onto the face. I feel like the powder melts into a cream on my face – LOVE. My only warning with this product is if you apply too much it will look like a mask of fakeness. One layer is good enough; and if you want additional coverage, I suggest you layer this on over liquid foundation with a light hand.

I wish I had discovered this sooner. And, too bad BM almost ruined it for me regarding mineral makeup, lol. If you’re not happy with BM or any other mineral powder/foundation for any reason, give this a try because it will totally blow your mind.

Size: 0.34 oz
Price: $35

*Pictures taken using CANON POWERSHOT SD1300 IS DIGITAL ELPH (12.1 Megapixels)
*All pictures taken in natural lighting.