Afternoon makeup lovers! So, not only is February an amazing month because it houses my birthday, but it's turned out to be a great month for new products - both makeup and skincare alike. So, since I put a high value on word-of-mouth and user reviews I'd like to share with you some of the products that I've been using this month and love. I have purchased some of these this month, however most were generous birthday gifts to add to my collection.
Kheil's eye cream w/ avacado. LOVE this! So rich and creamy, instantly has a "gleamy" brightening affect after applied. Absorbs into skin so as to not leave a greasy feel. I use both morning and night.
Olay active hydrating original cream. GREAT face moisturizer. Those that know me, know how picky I am about my lotions and face creams. For the price of this long-standing drugstore staple, you can't go wrong. For about $7 it's amazingly moisturizing, non-greasy and leaves your face so soft and ready for makeup application. I'm also loving Clinque's Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion. And I've been alternating between the two. Same affect, though Clinique's is a lil liquidy-er and doesn't smell as nice and feminie as Olay. I have also been using Cinique's Mild Facial Soap (pump) and the Mild Exfoliating toner. Love these both as well. Again with my face, I look for something that leaves my face fealing clean, yet not dry as soon as I step out of the shower. I had tried an Aveda one first and it made my face feel really dry after. Back to the store it went!
Smashbox Primer (original) Love the clear, silky, serum-to-powder feel of this formula. Leaves your skin even-toned and well prepared for makeup application.
Pureology Volume Shampoo and Conditioner: Although I love this brand and think the Hydrate line is amazing, I was skeptical to try this because a lot of volumizing products get a bad rep for leaving hair feeling more dry. Not with these. In my case anyhow. Hair felt just as great after the shower, sans the tingle, of the moisturizing one. I then used Pureology Amplified Blowdry serum, dried my hair and then flat ironed. I kept touching my hair throughout the day noticing more fullness and body than usual. Whether it was one or the other, or using both - I definitely feel it worked somehow to give me fuller feeling hair.
Makeup (my fav!)
Ahh what did I NOT try this month? That might be easier! LOL (I'll break it down by brand)
129 Brush: great for applying blush or even bronzer. Love how soft and dense this is.
187 Dual Fiber Brush: L-O-V-E this one for applying foundation! Also works great for applying other powder and cream based products such as blush and bronzer. The bristles are soo soft and it gives you the most flawless, airbrushed look when you use this to first stipple on your liquid/cream foundation, and then buff into the face using light, circular motions around your face. It's a bit pricey @ $42, but soo worth it. If you invest in the right, quality tools you will make the most of your makeup investments and how they look on your skin. This is true girls!! If you can't afford the investment just yet and would like to try out this type of brush, I recommend checking Target's brush line. Their's is about $13 and I have this also.
182 Kabuki brush: another wonderful MAC staple. Super soft bristles and nice and densely packed. I use this to apply my setting powder(later mentioned). It would also work great for applying bronzer to the key points on your face("E" motion on both sides - over temples up through forehead, contour of cheeks and under jaw bone).
Studio Fix Fluid Spf 15 - great foundation, nice even flawless coverage. Can't feel it on. Med build. coverage.
Mineralize Skinfinish Natural Powder - I love this! I use this powder as my setting powder. It can also be used on it's own for a more natural skin look w/ a lil bit of color for even skin tone.
Well Dressed Blush - very pretty, light pink. This would go great on most skintones. It's what I reach for on a daily basis if I'm not going out, or to anywhere that I want a more "dressed up" look. (my Pink Swoon is still my fav MAC blush though!)
Lipsticks (favs for this month): Lady Gaga Viva Glam! Creme d'Nude, Up the Amp, Blankety, Myth, Underage Lipglass. There are tons more, but some of the few I've been loving and using most this month.
Studio Fix Concealer spf 35 - very creamy and great coverage. Great under the eye. Probably best to use your finger and swirl a bit in the pot to warm up product so that it goes on easier and blends well.
Satin Taupe eyeshadow - great staple to have. The Spring Color #3 collection eye quad. Amazing purples that look esp. great on medium/olive skin tones.
Fluidline gel eyeliner in Blacktrack - great gel eyeliner, goes on creamy and smooth, and lasts! I recommend getting a slanted tip eyeliner brush (esp for new users) makes super easy to apply!
Last, but not least - Studio Fix Lash in Black. LOVE LOVE LOVE this mascara! It is amazing, and again I am super picky about mascaras. I use my Clinique lash primer first, then put this on. I swear, my lashes look so long and high it's like I have fake lashes on. I will usually apply a volumizing mascara after just to give extra fullness/thick affect (i.e. Maybelline Collosal, L'Oreal Voluminous or Cinique High Impact = all great). This mascara deserves more recognition amongst MAC's line that is often given negative reviews. (Their Zoom is also great, I've used this for a while though it can get clumpy and give a "spidery" affect if too many coats are applied) With a dept. store price tag of $13 I would tell anyone to try this mascara. I've tried most of the higher-end lines, and I personally feel this blows some of the "over-hyped" Dior formulas out of the water. No joke. I've returned Diors, Cargo brands, etc. This one is amazing.
Other brand mentions:
NARS lipgloss in Turkish Delight. Such a pretty light, milky pink color. I love this over MAC Myth or Angel. (also the combo Kim Kardashian is often seen wearing)
NARS blush: Orgasm and Deep Throat (yes..the names can make you blush on their own). I love the shimmery pink color of DT and of course the "cult favorite" O* should be one that everyone tries. It's a great peachy-pink shade with sublte shimmer.
Revlon Photoready Foundation. Great medium cover, slight iridescence to it and looks great in photos. I switch between this and my Studio Fix Fluid.
Maybelline Whipped Mousse Concealer (name?) this is another great, light but creamy concealer. Some compare this to MAC Studio Sculpt concealer, however I feel it's still lighter in texture and application than the MAC. Works great though and for less than half the price of the MAC ones.
One last well deserved mention is the Shu Uemuera (sp?) eyelash curler. I, like many, have been a skeptic for years, all the while hearing about the wonders of this pricey curler. My friend Amy and I decided to give it a try when we found the 24K gold LE one they put out during the holidays at our local outlet. Well, we both fell in love. It is true what they say about this lil wonder. I have not reached for my trusted Revlon one since. It really does give you such amazing curl and staying power to your lashes before applying mascara. I dont know how they do it, but they do! If you see this on sale at an outlet it's def worth the try! Sephora also carrys the line.
Ok beauty lovers - sorry for the novel, but with my birthday and all this month, I've picked up alot of products (most gifts - yes I asked for makeup for my bday! lol) and had the chance to try some great makeup and skincare that I've long heard raved about. I think it's important to share what products you feel work great and those that aren't worth the money. I like to pass on the knowledge. Happy Shopping and let me know if you've tried any of these, what you think - or what favorite you might have that would be great for me to know and others.