As it’s the last day of January, I wanted to share my favorite products of this past month. Since I was away from home for about 2 weeks, these makeup/skincare products were my most-used as well.
tarte Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Tinted Moisturizer in shade Agent 14 – I’ve sung the praises of Chantecaille’s Just Skin Tinted Moisturizer in Glow plenty of times, but I really love this one as well. It gives me a healthy glow that is darker than my normal shade (MAC NC 20-25), but it never looks unnatural. It has spf 20, which is great since I’ve been lazy about applying extra spf in the winter.
Urban Decay Naked 2 palette – I find this much more wearable than the original Naked palette, and the huge mirror has been so helpful while on the road. My favorite colors have been Verve over the inner 2/3 of the lid, Pistol or Busted in the outer 1/3, Blackout or Busted to set my eyeliner, and Bootycall for a lovely inner-corner highlight.
Laura Mercier travel brushes – These dual-ended brushes don’t lack any quality of the full-size versions, and they saved so much space. More than enough to do any eye look I wanted to do.
Real Techniques Concealer brush + mini Sigma E25 – I used the concealer brush with the next item I’ll talk about, and the mini Sigma E25 came in handy for extra blending.
Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadow in Birthday Suit – I used this as a base for the Naked 2 colors and also on it’s own. I’d forgotten how beautiful and easy it was. Never creased on me, and I have pretty oily lids.
Yes to Cucumbers Facial Towelettes – I used these to remove all of my face makeup at the end of each day (not strong enough for waterproof mascara), and I also packed some extras in a separate baggie to take off my face makeup on the long overnight plane rides to/from Asia. They were so refreshing to use on the plane when I couldn’t wash my face.
Chantecaille Rice and Geranium Foaming Cleanser – This was the only face wash I brought to Asia, and it was all that I needed. It has tiny granules that lightly exfoliate, and it’s gentle enough to use morning and night. I wouldn’t hesitate to repurchase this except that it’s $58 for 2.46 ounces (ouch!).
L’Oreal Super Blendable Blush in 225 Watchful Owl’s Blush – I LOVE THIS BLUSH!! It’s the perfect peach color and has tiny shimmers in it that look super lovely. I also brought my Jouer Blush in Blossom but I didn’t reach for it once with this as an option.
Real Techniques Blush Brush – Still my favorite, loved using it with the L’Oreal Watchful Owl blush.
Skindinavia Makeup Finishing Spray – I’ve long finished the original spray inside this bottle and have decanted some of Skindinavia’s No More Shine Makeup Finish Spray into it. I’ve gotten into the habit of spraying this if I’m headed out for more than a few hours at a time. I can’t say if it actually helps my makeup stay longer, but I like the finish it gives.
Shu Uemura Essence Absolue – This makes my hair so smooth and shiny, and it smells nice too. Way better than the Moroccan Oil for me (the smell was too strong).
Phyto Phytodensium Shampoo – I felt that my long hair was falling out more than normal, so I picked up this “anti-aging” shampoo at sephora.com. It’s supposed to make your hair fall out less, and I’m not sure if I’m imagining it, but I feel that it works! I’d definitely repurchase this when it runs out and use it in my shampoo rotation. I have the mask that I use as a conditioner, but I don’t feel like that’s anything special.
That’s all for my January favorites! What were your favorite and/or most-used products for January?
Happy 2012!! Reflecting back upon 2011, it was a big year in terms of beauty. I purchased, used, and passed on more products than I really want to remember. Here are the ones that “made the cut” and I still continue to use.
Color cosmetics & tools
- Chantecaille Just Skin Tinted Moisturizer in Glow – I’ve talked about this so much on this blog, so by now you know I love it. It’s very pricey but well worth it. Honorable mention goes to Tarte Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Tinted Moisturizer in shade Agent 14 to wear during the summer, and it has no scent, which I prefer in skin bases.
- Anastasia Brow Wiz in Medium Ash – This fine-tipped automatic pencil is so easy to use to pencil in my eyebrows, and I love that it comes with a spoolie on the end. I always travel with this.
- Majolica Majorica Lash Expander Frame Plus Mascara in Black – This is my favorite mascara of all time. Majolica Majorica is part of the Shiseido house of brands, and I generally like anything Shiseido puts out on the market. This mascara is waterproof, holds a curl really well, and lengthens like no other. It’s only accessible online via some online retailers that sell Asian cosmetics, so that’s the only downside. I plan on stocking up when I go to Asia in January. (My drugstore mascara favorite is CoverGirl Lashblast Volume Waterproof, which was a 2010 favorite).
- Sephora Collection Ultra Shine Lip Gloss in 20 Shiny Perfect Nude – I have a lot of lip glosses, but when I want a light nude lip gloss in the evenings I always reach for this.
- Cream blushes in stick form – These just look so natural and apply beautifully. My favorite on-the-go color, the one I use when I need to put on some makeup in the car/on the plane, is Josie Maran Argan Color Stick in Rosey. Goes hand in hand with the Sigma F84 below. I also love my NARS The Multiples.
- Sigma Sigmax F80, F82, and F84 – These brushes make applying liquid foundation and cream products SO EASY and FOOLPROOF. I like the F80 and F82 for liquid foundations, and I LOVE using the F84 for cream blushes.
- RealTechniques Blush Brush – You know this is my favorite blush brush. I have Bobbi Brown and Shu Uemura blush brushes, which are both great, but this one just diffuses the color out really nicely.
- Zoya Anchor Base Coat – I don’t like nail companies that tout themselves as natural (because it’s NOT), so I’ll let that slide, Zoya. I do like this base coat though – it holds my nail polish colors well. I also like their top coat, Armor, but I’m ~70% through the bottle and it has completely gooped up on me, so I’m not including that. Does this happen with all top coats??
- Naturopathica – I can safely now say that I am a huge fan of the Naturopathica products I’ve tried. They are all natural, and THEY WORK. I have been using some of the products in their age defense line, namely Vitamin C Revitalizing Complex and Botanical Skin Brightener along with the Vitamin K Brightening Eye Serum, and my skin has been looking more glowy than ever. I’m really happy to have finally found an eye serum that does not give me milia, which are the tiny white bumps that can appear under your eyes if you put on products that are too heavy. I love these products, and I plan on checking out more Naturopathica products the next time they run a promo code.
- Kate Somerville Purify Facial Cleanser – I LOVE the peppermint scent, and I feel like it really kept my skin clear. I went through 2 tubes in 2011 before moving on to an Aveda face wash, but I’m going back to it as soon as I’m done with the Aveda (pictured is my backup).
Hair and body care
- Desert Essence Shampoo and Conditioner in Green Apple & Ginger – I’ve talked about how much I like this, so to summarize, they are awesome natural shampoo and conditioner that actually work (can lather and clean as well as traditional shampoos) and have a light apple scent.
- Shu Uemura Essence Absolue – This is an honorable mention since I got it late in 2011, but I really like this oil. I tried the Moroccan Oil but could not stand the smell – this scent is non-offensive, and it leaves my long hair smooth and shiny after blow drying.
- Creamery Creek Farm Goat Milk Soaps – This family-owned and run farm has it’s own Nigerian Dwarf Goats that produce the milk used to make these soaps. They are totally natural, have a huge selection of scents, and they lather SO WELL. Because they don’t have sulfates (detergents that are in most soaps and shampoos), they don’t dry out my skin. Read here for more info on why goat milk is so great for your skin.
- Kiehl’s Creme de Corps – My HG (holy grail) lotion, but I really wish that it didn’t have parabens so I’m making it an honorable mention. I’m actively looking for a more natural alternative (maybe Burt’s Bees?).
What were your favorite products of 2011? Please share the knowledge!