September 2014 Favorites

Fall is my favorite season even though you can’t tell that it’s a different season here in Texas. While it’s slightly cooler than it was in the summer months, I find that most of my routine products stay the same, and others will remain on rotation so they get used up. I’ve noticed, however, that my skin has been on the drier side which is a bit unusual for me. I’ve had to focus a lot this month on putting back moisture into the skin to help it look and feel healthy and glowy.

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Clarins Beauty Flash Balm
Not surprisingly, skin prep is important; and, I’ve found that this product is essential for when my skin transitions. As a “balm that instantly moisturizes, brightens, and tightens facial contours so skin looks rested and relaxed,” this “ultimate pick-me-up” is perfect for mornings when my skin needs something extra but I don’t have time for a mask or other treatments. Before makeup application, I apply this to my forehead and cheeks for an instant boost. No matter what, this product helps my skin look healthy and bright naturally; and, my skin feel comfortable and hydrated all day.

NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 30
As a goodie but staple oldie, this TM is still one of my faves. This is a “lightweight tinted moisturizer that evens skintone and provides a translucent veil of protection.” It provides nice, even coverage that is sheer but not too sheer. It’s brightening and helps my skin look better in a natural way. The texture is light and smooth and blends so easily. For mornings when I can’t be bothered, this is an easy product to use. It’s also great for travel as well since it’s so low-maintenance with great results.

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in “Opal”
Pictured here is the travel-size version of the shade “Opal,” which is a golden pearl shade that is perfect on its own or mixed in with your base makeup. Depending on my mood, I’ll apply this along my cheekbones and down the bridge of my nose; or, I’ll mix it with my NARS TM for a light, glowy effect that doesn’t interfere with coverage or pigmentation. A little bit goes a long ways with this product, so use a light hand. As a “sheer crème-liquid that perfects skin with light-reflecting pearls for a soft, natural glow,” this product makes the most difference in the condition and appearance of your skin — yet, it’s so light and subtle it doesn’t even look like anything.

Benefit Majorette
This has been a recent favorite of mine. It is a “peppy booster blush that amplifies cheeks” that is the perfect cream-to-powder blush. It’s smooth and creamy, but isn’t sticky or messy to apply. It looks like powder once applied and feels amazing on the cheeks. The shade looks like a dark orange-red, but really, it’s a “spirited pink-peach shade” that looks perfect on my skintone everyday. Despite its creamy texture, it’s so easy to apply with a small synthetic buffing brush.

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Benefit Lollitint
I’ve been using the Benefit Lollitint on my lips as a candy-orchid lip tint. It’s a subtle orchid-purpley color that mixes well with my original lip shade. It stays put for hours but can be a bit drying. I apply some lip balm underneath and it’s no big deal after that. I like this for fall because it isn’t peachy or pink like many summer/spring shades; and, it’s not a dark, vampy shade either since I don’t tend to think those “traditional fall” colors do much for my skin color. If you’re looking for a fall alternative that isn’t a dark berry tone, give this a go!

Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circle Treatment Concealer
No surprise here, but I’m still relying on my Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circle Treatment Concealer for under-eye concealing. I’ve re-purchased this many times, so there’s nothing more refreshing than busting out a fresh product, lol. This product is a must-have for me; and, I feel that when I don’t use this I can tell a huge difference. The sponge-tip is perfect for under-eye application, and then I use my finger to blend lightly as well. This doesn’t smudge or cake under the eyes so that’s a bonus!

Kiehl’s Since 1851 Lip Balm #1 – Mango
Lip balms are a must not matter what the season is. Currently, my favorite lip balm on rotation is the Kiehl’s Since 1851 Lip Balm #1 in the Mango flaored and it is to DIE for, lol. The scent is lovely and the texture isn’t too thick and goopy. It moisturizes and hydrates perfectly without getting gross on the lips. It’s also great underneath lip colors and lip glosses so that’s excellent as well. The opening for this lip balm is just a teeny hole so it’s a little inconvenient to have to apply the product with my fingers. I leave this in my makeup bag at home so it doesn’t get un-hygienic.

What are your current favorites?

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?

October Favorites 2013

Another month has flown by again and I’m finally ready for my monthly favorites post. If you remember from my last monthly favorites post, it was back in July 2013, where I state it’s rare for me to have products that are worth mentioning on a monthly basis. Here we are a few months later, and I’m proud to say that these babies have made the cut for all the right reasons. :)

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Living Proof Full Shampoo & Living Proof Full Conditioner
It’s not that often I rave about hair products, and I don’t even think I’ve ever mentioned a shampoo and conditioner on this blog — ever. I’ve got quite a thick head of hair, but it’s temperamental and rarely behaves — meaning, it’s difficult to style at times. The “Full Shampoo deeply cleanses fine, thin hair, removing all traces of dirt, oil, and product build up, and is “formulated without damaging sulfates.” This shampoo “properly cares for and prepares lifeless, limp hair for optimal styling.” The “Full Conditioner properly cares for fine, thin, lifeless hair by adding weightless hydration, without silicones, oils, or heavy moisturizers.” All the claims are true; the shampoo is better than using a traditional clarifying shampoo, which can be drying and harsh on the scalp; and, the conditioner is so weightless that it adds body to the hair since it’s not being weighed down. Only sample sizes are shown in the pictures, but I’ve already purchased the full size bottles and I’m happy with them!

Yves Saint Laurent Youth Liberator Serum Foundation
This foundation is not new news and it’s been incredibly popular every where. Based on rave reviews you be the judge — is it worth the $70? I love this foundation and feel that it’s truly perfect for the finish and coverage it provides. See this foundation in action here — in a full face of the day post, and you’ll be amazed at the un-retouched and unfiltered photo of my skin.

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Topshop Nail Polish
I’ve been into green nail polishes this month for a variety of reasons, but I was mainly inspired by this shade in “Green Room.” Topshop nail polishes are expensive for the size at $10 a bottle, so I try to pick unique colors wisely. “Green Room” is a strangely pretty color — it’s a bright turquoise-green that’s glossy in finish and texture; and dries shiny and fast. They’re worth checking out in person for sure.

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Diorshow Mono Eyeshadow
This shadow is an oldie but goodie; and, the most perfect nude-skintone shade. “Grège 726” is described as a “peach beige sheen,” and is a soft eyelid color shade that evens it out, softens any harsh edges of other shades, and is perfect for when you only want to wear eyeliner (but need something extra as well). The Mono Eyeshadows “boast a unique wet/dry formula for a custom and professional finish,” and they’re smooth, long-lasting, and so naturally pretty. For no makeup days, this is perfect.

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Bobbi Brown Ultra Fine Eyeliner Brush
This brush is a unlikely brush to fall in love with because it looks so small and simple. However, the densely packed synthetic tip is perfect for applying gel eyeliner or smudging pencil liner. The brush hairs are finely pointed and tightly packed for precise application, and applies liner smoothly and effortlessly without getting messy. If you want to apply liner thick, use the flat side of the brush; and, if you want a thinner line, use the edge. Truly useful and versatile — I recommend.

With the exception of the YSL Youth Serum Foundation, all the other items featured in this post were products that I already had in my collection. It was nice to shop my stash and regain love for products I had already loved to begin with. It’s always fun rediscovering items and falling in love with them all over again. What products — new and old — caught your attention this month?