Current Favorites – March 2017

I’m not very good about doing consistent monthly favorites posts like other beauty content creators out there. Um, my bad? I just don’t try that many things every single month that I’d be able to have a whole list every month. Also, the beginnings and very end of the month are always very busy for me at work, so I don’t always have time to really give it some thought.

Anywho, here’s a few things I have been loving on lately, both in February and so far in March. I got a really nasty cold at the end of February, and some of these were just lifesavers that have helped me with that, since everyone knows being sick does GREAT things for your skin, right? ;) There’s a definite theme with these favorites: hydration. Being sick had me at lizard status.

Complexion-wise, I’ve been trying a lot of different foundations lately. Or rather, re-trying. I spent a lot of time earlier this year going through my foundation stash, which resulted in me wanting to try out a lot of foundations I hadn’t worn in a while. I also tried out the It Cosmetics Confidence in a Compact serum foundation, which I will have a full review on soon. However, when I got sick, my skin around my nose and upper lip was so dry and raw from being rubbed with tissues that no foundation went on comfortably (or attractively, I might add). I found one combination that worked enough to get me through the reptilian stage…

Trusty MAC Studio Fix powder (I wear shades N3 and NW10…wearing N3 in the pic above) and Make Up For Ever Full Cover concealer (I wear shade 2, which has been discontinued ūüė≠). I use about a grain of rice size amount of concealer to spot conceal areas I need to, and then just go over everything with a light application of the MAC powder. The powder has a lot of coverage, and it sat okay on my super dry skin without looking (t00) scaly. Then I just wear a really natural looking blush that kind of matches the redness in my nose so it looks like maybe I just have a little color vs. a bright red clown nose. My blush colors of choice are Urban Decay Afterglow blush in Video or Wet ‘n Wild Color Icon blush in Ros√© Champagne for something with more of a sheen. I’m wearing Video in the pic above.

Since being sick includes a lot of breathing through your mouth (cute, huh), that means dry lips! I’ve been kind of needing a break from all of the popular matte lips lately anyway, but that whole situation forced me to avoid them. For about a week straight I think I only wore lip balm. My lip balm of choice is Epic Blend. I like their Hemp and More Moisture formulas. For products with a little more color, I’ve been wearing my Vasanti Cosmetics tinted lip balm that I have loved for years. Unfortunately they’ve completely redone the line and I can’t recommend the new ones because I haven’t tried them. I also still use my It Cosmetics lip treatment quite frequently. It’s half gone. Eep!

Skincare-wise I have spent a lot of time slathering myself in moisturizer lately. I’ve been using a combo of Caudalie Vinosource S.O.S. Thirst Quenching Serum topped with It Cosmetics Confidence in a Cream. The rich cream combined with the extra hydrating serum have made it just a little easier to turn my lizard skin nose back into a regular person nose. ūüźĹ

Other than that, I’ve really been spending a lot of time just shopping through my stash and trying out a lot of various things, so no other true¬†favorites¬†to report at the moment. But I’m always curious to know what you guys have been loving, so let me know!

Updated Morning Skincare Routine – February 2017

I like to change up my skincare routine pretty often to suit my skin’s needs. I’ve found my skin changes every so often, especially because here in SoCal we’ve had some really varied weather lately. We’ll have days where it’s sunny and low 70s and then the next day be cold and pouring rain. What the hell? I adapt. Here is what has been working for me lately. You’ll see a lot of “or this”, because I don’t use the same things every day.

WAKEY WAKEY…LET’S DO THIS!

I start my morning cleansing with either Murad Essential-C Cleanser*¬†or Foaming Pumpkin Cleanser* by Alana Mitchell. Both cleansers smell¬†amazing¬†(Murad smells like citrus, and the pumpkin cleanser smells like a pumpkin spice latte even though it has no added fragrance, which is incredible), which really helps me wake up. Both cleansers are formulated to brighten and even out the complexion, though they have very different ingredients. They’re both gentle and pleasant to use. In the mornings I often use my¬†Foreo Luna* cleansing device. I have the version for normal to sensitive skin, which provides very gentle sonic cleansing. To be quite honest, I have been slacking on the Luna lately. But that’s just pure laziness. ;)

Depending on if I’ve done my cleansing in the shower that morning (I sometimes shower at night vs. in the morning), I may opt for an extra step. When I shower, my skin gets really sensitive to the heat and sometimes ends up looking red and blotchy. If this is the case, I give myself a good dousing with Mario Badescu’s Aloe Rosewater facial spray*. It calms my skin right down and smells so elegant. The facial spray has a chance to soak in and do its magic while I brush my teeth and towel off, etc. so by the time I’m ready to do the rest of my skincare I’m looking much less blotchy.¬†Pro Tip:¬†That facial spray is also FANTASTIC if you have a sunburn on an area that is otherwise prohibitive to treat, like your scalp.

Next up, toner. I have raved previously about the Pixi Glow Tonic, which is an extremely gentle (but potent at 5%) glycolic toner jam packed full of other delicious ingredients like aloe and ginseng. Since I’m very fair, I love anything that is formulated for evening out my skin tone. I feel like every little mark or blemish is that much more noticeable when you’re casper white like me.

After my acid toning step comes serum. I jumped on the Drunk Elephant bandwagon and splurged on their C-Firma vitamin C serum, and you know what? I am not in love with it. I know vitamin C serums aren’t supposed to smell good, but guys it smells¬†baaaaaad.¬†Like really bad. I’m doing my best to work through it, but it’s the type of product that you only need to use every few days. On the days I’m not using the C-Firma, I’ve been really enjoying the It Cosmetics Bye Bye Lines serum*. I turned 30 last August and gosh darnit those¬†smile lines actually starting to bug me, so it’s time to do something about them. I’ve been using the It Cosmetics serum for about a month as a preventative measure. So far, so good. It’s very hydrating and seems to plump the area up at least.

Sometime around this time is when I put on my eye cream. I have a few that I love, but lately I’ve been really liking the It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye* eye cream. This claims to smooth, brighten, and depuff. It definitely hydrates and depuffs my eye area. I have been using it about a month and have barely made a dent in it because a little goes a long way. As far as brightening goes, I don’t have a ton of darkness around my eyes so I haven’t noticed a big difference or anything at this point. But I do know the cream doesn’t break me out or anything, and it seems good so far.

At this point it’s time to get my moisturizer on so I can start the fun part (makeup!!!!). I’ve been working from a deluxe sample of Ole Henriksen Sheer Transformation Perfecting Moisturizer lately, and really liking it. It’s a pretty expensive product, so I am glad to have a sample to try. So far I like it a lot. It sinks in quickly and I’ve noticed slightly less redness. Other moisturizers I’ve used in the morning and enjoyed recently¬†are the Caudalie Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet, Proactiv Green Tea Moisturizer*, and Garnier SkinActive Moisture Rescue Refreshing Gel-Cream (for Dry Skin).

Once the moisturizer sinks in it’s time to paint my face and gooooo! :)

Note: Products marked with * were sent for promotional consideration. I was under no obligation to mention these products, but I happen to quite like them! 

February Beauty Favorites

february beauty favorites

Hey everyone! Let’s talk Feb Faves. As I was compiling my favorites from the month of February, I realized there’s a very pinky theme. That was totally unintentional…just kinda worked out that way! I do really love pinky rosy shades on me though, and have been digging a sort of monochromatic look where I have rosy tones on my eyes, cheeks, and lips. The rose colors always look amazing with green eyes, too.

Fragrance

February was¬†dominated¬†by one single perfume for me: Marc Jacobs Oh Lola. Oh Lola is a fruity floral scent that I’ll admit, I did not love as much when I first took a whiff. It’s very sweet. But my reason for loving this perfume is the dry-down. Oh my¬†god.¬†It’s the sexiest dry-down I’ve got in my collection. The notes of Oh Lola are listed as “pear, effervescent raspberry cocktail, peony, magnolia, cyclamen, sandalwood, tonka bean, and vanilla absolute”. Once the fruit and peony are done punching you in the face and they settle down and snuggle in to the base notes, this fragrance is incredible. If you spray your decollete with this perfume, by midday/evening you’ll want to motorboat yourself. The 1.7 oz bottle I have retailed originally for $68, but since this perfume launched in 2011 it’s available at a bunch of outlets for much cheaper. If I had one criticism of this perfume it’s that the 1.7 oz bottle is a bit top heavy, so I have to be careful I’m not knocking it over all the time.

Skin  Care

My skin still goes through times when it’s super dry, but lately has been more¬†combo. I am super dry around my nose and mouth, but oily on my chin, and normal everywhere else. Every day I used to use the Makeup Forever HD Elixir on my nose to give it that extra surge of moisture before makeup application. I used up my HD Elixir and…it’s discontinued. That product was not cheap, but my little bottle lasted over a year. I was willing to shell out a pretty good chunk of cash for a proper substitute, and with that in mind I picked up Caudalie Vinosource S.O.S. Thirst-Quenching Serum on my recent trip to Frends Beauty. I had read about this serum on Sephora’s website, but after talking to someone at Frends who had used both the Caudalie and the HD Elixir, I was sold. She was also bummed about HD Elixir being discontinued and said the Caudalie would be good to use instead. I’ve been using it pretty much every day for the last couple weeks, and I love it. I apply it before my regular moisturizer to the areas that need extra hydration, and my makeup goes on smoothly instead of clinging to dry patches.

I switched toners in February, sort of on a whim. I finally joined the rest of the class in 2016 and got myself a Target RED card, which got me 15% off. I picked up Pixi Glow Tonic after hearing tons of raves from bloggers and Youtubers. The ingredients are what drew me in though, because it’s a 5% glycolic toner that claims to also be gentle enough for all skin types. It does contain calming ginseng and aloe, and so far is extremely gentle. It’s also alcohol free. I’ve been using it about a month, and it’s been great for my pores, and some of the hyperpigmentation I have from previous breakouts. It doesn’t sting at all, and doesn’t leave my face feeling dry or stripped after using it. The bottle Target sells is 3.4 fl oz/100 ml for $15. It’s very nice, and if you are looking for a new toner, I suggest checking that out. Pixi’s website also carries¬†a larger size 250 ml bottle for $29 (free shipping on $25+), which I might grab after this little guy runs out.

Makeup

I’ve been shopping my stash and not adding too many new makeup items to my collection the past few months. Shopping my stash lead me to rediscover my It Cosmetics Vitality Lip Flushes. I have two, the more well-known Je Ne Sais Quois, and Damsel. Damsel is my love, my baby. I’m obsessed. I have worn this lipstick practically every day in February. Even if I don’t start out with it, I’ll put some on later in the day. It’s so pretty, so flattering, and soooo comfortable to wear. It leaves a nice pinky stain afterward. I’ve worn quite a bit of mine down, and this is one of those few makeup products that I will not wait to run out before I purchase a new one. I do not ever want to be without this again! Here’s a pic of me in Damsel:

medamsel

With that lipstick I’ve been wearing a lot of rosy, pinky eye looks. On my easy lazy days I use MAC Girl Friendly paint pot (discontinued). If I’m going for more of a put together look I add shades from either the Urban Decay Naked 3 palette or the Tarte Tartelette palette (particularly from the middle row). I’ve also been feeling a fleeky highlight lately, and there’s nothing subtle about TheBalm’s Mary Lou-Manizer. I apply that with a fan brush and glow to the gods. I’ve also put Mary Lou on my eyes for a nice pop of shine.

Beauty Tools

I’ve rekindled my romance with my Beauty Blender! We are recommitted and very much still in love. I had lost mine, or so I thought, and purchased a new one from Frends not too long ago. And of course right after she arrived, I found my old ones. The old ones are still in decent enough shape, so now I just have a family of pink sponges. Also on my recent trip to Frends, I picked up a new brush. I have no business buying new brushes, but I fell in love with the Stilazzi S133 Synthetic Brush. It’s a small tapered brush in the perfect size for setting my undereye area with powder. And it’s. So. Soft. Another brush I’ve been loving on a lot recently is my Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Small Powder/Blush brush. OCC gets a lot of recognition for their cosmetics, but their brushes are really awesome. The small powder brush is the perfect little brush for applying blush to the apples of my cheeks. The fibers are a custom blended synthetic (vegan, cruelty free, etc.), and again it’s just so soft and feels nice when I use it.

That’s it for my Feb favorites! What beauty products were you loving this past month? Anything you’re excited to try next month?

Updated: What’s In My Shower?

I don’t know if it’s the voyeur in me or if I’m just super nosy but I love “what’s in my…” type posts, like what’s in my bag, etc. I did a what’s in my shower post previously, but the contents have changed! So let’s take a look at what we’ve got, mkay?
The Storage Itself – 
The corner suction basket/bucket thing and the mirror next to it are from Target. I love the bucket thing because it looks attractive, holds a surprisingly large amount of things, and also seems to be able to hold a lot of weight. It gets crap reviews on Target’s website, but whatever. I like it. I actually have another similar container that recently fell off the wall (see the lone suction cup stuck to the tile?) so I’m figuring out a solution for that…might have to get another one of these! I love that it has a hook on the corner, perfect for hanging a bath pouf or in my case, comb. There’s also a little tiny side pocket on the other side that I keep a razor blade refill in. I don’t know about you, but I never remember to change my razor blade until I’m actually in the shower. D’oh.
I really like having a mirror in my shower. I find it’s helpful to make sure I’ve removed all my eye makeup, and also helps me decide if there’s any specific areas I ought to target w/ my Clarisonic when I’m using it in there.
Hanging on the Mirror – 
My razor of choice is the Venus Embrace. Not to say I haven’t tried other razors and liked them (the Schick Intuition is also pretty good, especially if you have dry skin), but I always go back to the Venus Embrace. It has 5 blades and gets such a close shave. I don’t like to mess around when it comes to shaving. I don’t wanna have to go over the same place a million times. This gets the job done!
In The Basket – 
One product has remained constant this entire time– Kiss My Face Moisture Shave. I prefer the Peaches & Creme scent (SO yummy!) but I am not sure if they still make that as I can’t find it on their site. If it’s discontinued I’ll be kinda devastated (even though let’s be honest you KNOW I have like 6 bottles of it under my sink – I bought it in bulk from Amazon). However, I’ll use what I have and (in 20 years) switch to a different scent. If you have sensitive or dry skin you NEED to try this product. Not optional. NEED.
Other body-related yummies in my shower are the Bath & Body Works Supercharged Body Scrub in Coconut Lime Breeze that I reviewed previously and B&BW shower gel in Winter Candy Apple (one of my fav B&BW scents of all time – so glad momsy got me some for xmas!).
I change up what facial cleansers live in my shower (because I have lots, and also because I change depending on how my skin is acting). Right now I’m back to loving on Caudalie Instant Foaming Cleanser. I’ve been using it more than my Neaclear because I’ve been wearing a lot more makeup and Caudalie’s cleanser is better at removing makeup. 
Peeking out in the back of the basket you can see my shampoo & conditioner of choice – Alterna Caviar Moisture Shampoo & Conditioner. Ever since I first tried Alterna in 2010 I have loved these guys. Others I have tried and enjoy very much are Redken (Color Extend) and WEN.
A couple products mentioned in this post were originally given as samples by PR, but I have since repurchased (or plan to) on my own.

Caudalie Instant Foaming Cleanser Review

I recently had the extreme pleasure of being introduced to the brand Caudalie. It’s one of those brands that I’d seen around but never really thought to try for whatever reason. I’m glad I can no longer say that! I have tried three products, and I can say I’m madly in love with two of them. One of those that I love is the Instant Foaming Cleanser
I am first to say I’ve never been a huge fan of foaming cleansers. I know some people feel that foam = clean, or that the more something lathers the more it’s doing its job. I’ve never been that attached to foam or lather, though it feels nice. Often those cleansers that foam or lather a ton contain harsh detergents to get that effect, and those can be very stripping. Let me be very clear that this cleanser does not do that to my skin at all. Caudalie claims this cleanser to be gentle and for all skin types, even those with very sensitive skin. I’m skeptical of products that say they can be used on any skin type, but I gotta say this cleanser is actually very gentle. I never feel like my skin is stripped after using it. Instead I just feel kind of pampered actually. The cleanser is completely soap-free, which makes it more gentle. It contains extract of sage and chamomile, which have calming and soothing properties. 
And then there’s the scent. It’s hard to describe. It’s very light and unobtrusive, and faintly wine-like. Not like gross wine that’s been sitting out over night after a party, but a soft pleasant wine-like aroma. The cleanser does contain parfum but I think this is also due largely to it containing grape water. Yum.  
Caudalie is available at Sephora, and at Caudalie’s website. It’s $26 for 5 oz, which sounds expensive but it’ll last a long time so it’s a trade-off. If you have really sensitive skin you might like this very much. If you have dry skin, look into their Gentle Cleanser instead. 
Full Ingredients: 
Aqua (Water), Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Fruit Water*, Glycerin* Sodium Lauroamphoacetate, Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate*, Cocamidopropyl Betainamide Mea Chloride*, Sodium Chloride, Laureth-16th*, Parfum (fragrance), Butylene Glycol, Trisodium Edta, Citric Acid*, Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Leaf Extract*, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Extract*, Citronellol, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Linalool.

The fragrance actually does come in perfume form, and I’ve been wearing it almost exclusively for a good month now. It’s such a perfectly light and neutral fragrance. It’s not cloying or overpowering. I really like it for wearing in an office setting because (unless you douse yourself all over repeatedly) it’s the type of perfume you can only smell if you’re in very close quarters with someone (such as a hug). I feel fresh, smell yummy, but I am not creating a toxic perfume cloud in my cubicle either. We’ve all experienced that. No thank you. ;) The fragrance is $56 for a 3.4 oz bottle, which is actually pretty inexpensive as far as perfumes go if you’re buying the big size.

If you’re curious, the third product I have from Caudalie is Vinopure Matte Finish Fluid, and I will be reviewing that at a later date after I play with it more. 









Samples provided for editorial purposes.