Thursday, February 28, 2013

February Favorites

I've had a few inquiries lately as to what some of my favorite beauty products are.  I thought it might be helpful if I started sharing some of my favorite products each month and tell you a little bit about why I love them.

I want to share a few of my stand out skincare products of the moment.  All three of these products are ones I picked up and started using this month and they've become fast favorites.  The Thayer's Rose Petal Witch Hazel with Aloe Vera and the Vanilla Monoi Oil were two products I ordered from Vitacost along with several natural skincare products.

I've been using the Thayer's Rose Petal Witch Hazel with Aloe Vera at least twice a day (morning and night) as a toner.  It is alcohol free and incredibly refreshing, leaving my skin feeling clean and comfortable.  On days when I'm hanging around the house, not wearing makeup, I also like to sweep this on throughout the day to refresh my skin and remove oil.

The Vanilla Monoi Oil has become my favorite body moisturizer.  I'll be honest... most days I'm just too lazy to bother putting on lotion and waiting for it to sink in, but this product has completely changed that!  I keep this bottle of Monoi Oil in the shower where it slowly melts with the heat of my shower as I bathe.  After I'm done washing up, I turn off the water and immediately apply the melted oil to my body.  It smells divine (like coconuts, vanilla, and gardenia) and is a real pleasure to use.  After I've rubbed it into my skin, I gently pat off any excess water with a towel.  The oil absorbs incredibly fast and leaves my skin softly perfumed.  I find using this product as part of my shower routine makes me a loss less likely to skip moisturizer.

The last skincare product I wanted to share is one that I found at Target.  The Up & Up Maximum Strength Acne Medication (the Target version of this gel) has been a little miracle worker.  I find it works fairly well in its intended purpose as a spot treatment, but what I really love using it for is as an all-over oil control gel.  As I've mentioned before, I have extremely oily skin.  I've tried countless products that claim to reduce oil production and none have made any improvement to my skin.  I usually have to blot/powder my face every hour if I want to keep from looking shiny.  When I apply a thin layer of this product over my face, I notice a decrease in oil production and I can usually go 2-3 hours after applying makeup before I need to blot/powder.  I do have to be careful using this product, only applying it once a day or it can be drying.  I definitely wouldn't recommend using this product all over if you have sensitive skin, but for me it's worked wonders in this application!

Now for a few of my favorite face products.  You may remember the Missha Perfect Cover BB Cream from my September 2012 GLOSSYBOX USA post.  I'm so happy I received this product because it's become my all-time favorite foundation-like product.  I've tried several high end and drugstore foundations over the years and the Missha BB Cream is hands down my favorite.  It applies so effortlessly, blending in beautifully and giving the appearance of gorgeous skin.  I find it has really great medium-full coverage and is very buildable.  I will say that the finish isn't the best for those with oily skin.  It does remain a little dewy and is best set with a mattifying powder.  Despite the dewy finish, I actually find that it holds up and wears better than any of the foundations I've tried that are marketed toward those with oily skin.  Something about the formula doesn't break down and wear off when my skin gets oily, which I find happens with every other foundation I've used.

To set my Missha BB Cream, I turn to my favorite powder (one that I have sworn by since high school): the Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder.  This is hands down my favorite powder to set my makeup and to use throughout the day for touching up.  It's finely milled and doesn't appear cakey and it does a fantastic job of setting my foundation and concealers.

The NYX Powder Blush in Dusty Rose has been my favorite cheek product all fall and winter.  It's the perfect neutral brownish/pink.  It's very smooth and pigmented and blends easily.  I find it's neutral enough to pair with a variety of eye and lip looks.  You can blend it out for a natural flush or build it up to be the focus of your look.  I also own and adore the NYX Powder Blush in Peach which is one of my favorite spring/summer blushes.

This month I've really been enjoying pairing a simple eye (with winged black liner) with a bold lip.  My favorite eye looks this month have come from two palettes.  When I'm going to be wearing a bold lip, I like to add a little extra definition to my eyes with black liner to balance out the look.  My favorite is the Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner in jet black.  I've had this eyeliner for about a year and it's still working great!  It has a thin, marker-like tip that makes applying a precise line and adding a little wing simple as can be.

As you can probably tell from the photo, my Urban Decay Naked Palette has been much loved.  This month I hit pan on two of my favorites shades from the palette, Virgin and Sidecar.  I use my Naked palette almost daily and always take it with me when I travel.  My go-to everyday eye look is a simplified version of this look from MakeupByTiffanyD.

My other favorite eyeshadows of the month are from the Tarina Taratino Eye Dream Highlight Duo in Jasper/Agate.  These light, shimmery shades are great as an inner corner highlight or as a brightening wash of color on the lids.  I like to wear these light, shimmery shades all over my lids with a mid-tone matte brown (such as Naked) in my crease for a little definition.  A sweep of the Stila liner across the lash line and I'm good to go!

My favorite lip products of the moment are the L'Oreal Colour Caresse Wet Shine Stains.  I have two of these stains: Rose On and One, which is a gorgeous everyday pink, and Infinite Fuschia, which is a stunning, bold statement.  These lip stains apply like a gloss and are incredibly comfortable on the lights.  They stay glossy for hours and leave a beautiful stain on the lips.

I've been a fan of the Revlon Colorburst Lip Butters since they released.  I have several of these lip butters, but Fig Jam has been my favorite warm, neutral lip this fall/winter.

On the left you'll see swatches of Revlon's Fig Jam and L'Oreal's Infinite Fuschia and Rose On and On.    In the photo on the right, you'll see just how amazing these L'Oreal Wet Shine Stains are.  This is how much pigment is left behind from the stains being on my skin for just a few minutes!

I couldn't end this post without mentioning the DIY Brown Sugar & Vanilla Lip Polish I made recently.  I've become absolutely addicted to this lip polish.  I use it once or twice a day and always before applying a bold lip.  The brown sugar in the polish will help exfoliate any dry patches while the coconut oil and honey help to soften and moisturize the lips.  It's incredibly effective and it tastes amazing.  I've used lip scrubs from Lush before, but they don't even come close to this DIY version.

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