This is my first quarterly favourites post for 2017. I’ve been taking down notes on various items that I’ve enjoyed between January and March:
I try to have a balance of items but it looks like this is more heavy on the makeup front. 😛
• Illamasqua Hydra Veil – Although Illamasqua maintains that this is much more than a primer, I mainly use it just as a primer. I don’t think it’s possible to replace my moisturizer with just this. It’s an excellent hydrating primer though – when I want flawless looking base, I use this in conjunction with Illamasqua Skin Base Foundation.
And half the fun of using this product is the experience of it: the packaging, the spoon, and the jelly texture.
• Alpha Hydrox Enhanced Lotion 10% AHA – I use this like a serum at nighttime, applying a thin layer to cleaned skin after toning and before applying my Shiseido Bio-Performance Advanced Super Revitalizing Cream. It’s a basic but effective chemical exfoliant. My skin feels so soft and my winter flakes have been kept at bay. The only downside of this product is that it’s not readily available here – I only see it from time to time at Winners (which is where I found this).
• The Body Shop Drops of Youth Eye Concentrate – I have a weakness for eye serums in roller balls. This one has a neat dispensing mechanism where you press down and the product oozes out – one full pump is WAY too much so I do half a pump and that’s enough for both eyes. I only use this on my eyelids to depuff – it feels so soothing on the eyes and has replaced the discontinued Mary Kay eye serum roller ball – I was so worried about not finding a worthy successor but it looks like I have!
• Allie UV Mineral Moist Neo SPF 50 PA++++ – I bought this in Japan and started using it at the end of January. The formula is outstanding! Very lightweight and feels hydrating – it’s more like a light lotion than sunscreen. I’ll do a thorough review soon.
• Ole Henriksen Truth Serum – I used this up last month but I had enough foresight to take some photos before it was all gone. This was a deluxe sample (15ml) lasted me 2 months and provided good hydration as well as bringing luminosity to my skin. I’d like to get a full size so see more long term effects.
• Hydrocolloid bandages – My skin has been acting up lately with hormonal acne on my chin and I decided to give these a go after hearing good things about them. The trick with these is that the pimple needs to have popped or have an opening for the stuff to get sucked out. I know, super gross. But, these little miracle workers really shrink blemishes and my skin is smoother by morning!
• Tigi Bed Head Foxy Curls Extreme Curl Mousse – The scent of this is what got me initially. It smelled like candy but I couldn’t identify it until about the third usage – banana Runts! The trick with this one is to thinly and evenly distribute it through damp hair or else it can cause crunchy bits. It has amazing hold.
• Bath & Body Works Foaming Shower Gel in Tiki Mango Mai Tai – This dispenses like a gel and expands into foam, similar to foaming shave gels. That’s half the fun with this shower gel BUT it is also very moisturizing and smells like a tropical (non-alcoholic) beverage. Sadly, this is a limited edition item but you may be able to find them at outlet locations.
• Bath & Body Works Body Mist in Twisted Peppermint – I am officially obsessed with this scent. It smells like peppermint cotton candy. It’s a completely juvenile scent but I don’t care – it smells so refreshing. I haven’t been as enamoured by a Bath & Body Works scent since Waikiki Beach Coconut! The downside is that the lasting power of this is fairly weak so I have to spritz a lot on – look at how much I used and I only got this in January!
• NuWorld Botanicals Whipped Borage Oil Hand & Foot Butter – This stuff is incredible in creating a protective barrier on the skin without a greasy feel. I’ve been using this nightly on both my hands and feet and I wake up with super soft skin.
• Trader Joe’s Coconut Body Butter – I asked a coworker get this for me last year since I heard such great things about it. It really IS amazing! The texture is super thick but not at all greasy – it feels almost like silicone but I see none listed in the ingredients – I’m not sure how they’ve done this. And it smells like coconut ice cream! Also, the lid flips up rather than screws off, which I find to be very handy. And this costs only $4.99 USD. Oh why oh why isn’t Trader Joe’s in Canada yet?
• OPI My Pointe Exactly – very sheer formula that requires 3 coats to provide a tint of grey but this is intentional, as this polish was part of their Ballet collection. This gives such a clean understated look to my nails.
• Sephora Formula X in Iconic – this is a one coat wonder. I got this for Christmas 2 years ago and this is the first time I’ve worn it. 😳 It’s a shifting chrome finish that’s green-y gold.
• Revlon Untamed – this looks like an indie polish, it’s such a complex and interesting colour (brown / black / pink / gold?), with irregular bits of glitter.
• ILNP Central Station – I just picked this up recently and I couldn’t wait to slap it on my nails! Two words: holographic. taupe. 😮
• Illamasqua Powder Blush in Disobey – I got during Black Friday sales last year. This is labelled as a blush but the shade is more of a bronzer. It’s quite ochre undertone rather than orange / terracotta that’s typical of bronzers. It’s very pigmented so I have to use a light hand and a duo fibre brush. But it warms up my complexion really nicely when I apply it to the outer perimeter of my face (using the backwards “E” and “3” sweeps).
• Becca Beach Tint Shimmer Souffle in Watermelon / Moonstone and Raspberry / Opal – I picked these up during the January clearance sales and they’re so effortless and leaves a beautiful finish on the skin. I was also surprised that they last all day on my cheeks and they’re not sticky. The texture is fun: a malleable cushy gel – it’s best to apply these with fingers.
They both have light fruity scents that correspond back to their names (the smell do not linger). The best part about these is that they have the highlighter built-in so I can blush and highlight in one step. 😛
• Smashbox High Definition Concealer in Light – I’ve owned this for a couple of years but only recently came to appreciate how nicely it looks layered lightly over other concealers for the under eye area. On its own, I don’t find it has enough coverage, but layered, it provides a highlighted and lifted appearance.
• Seventeen Mono Eyeshadow in Rose Quartz – I received this in a swap with DanniiJane and although it arrived crushed (no one’s fault, apparently these are very fragile! Watch FleurDeForce talk about how hers “smashed” here) – I simply emptied the pan into a jar and use it like a loose eye shadow. It is a gorgeous shade of lilac-y taupe – I love wearing this all over the lid and just blending the edges with a warm transitional shade. It wears really well too – no fading or creasing for more than 10 hours.
• Anna Sui Eye & Face Colour in A500 Tree and V500 Amber – These surprised me with how good they are – they’re certainly not just a pretty face!
The Amber shade is a velvet finish – it applies so smoothly and blends out really well. The Tree shade is a satin finish which has more shine – both colours lasts all day on my lids with no fading or creasing. I’ve got my eye on more of these refills so I can fill up my palette (it can hold 4 more!) 🙂
• Joe Fresh Fine Tip Liquid Eyeliner in Dark Brown – I wasn’t sure I’d like this because it’s a not a brush tip, but rather a felt tip. I typically find felt tip liners to get clogged up and don’t dispense the product as evenly as brush tip liners. But this one has been going strong for the past 3 months – the line isn’t as fine as some of the Japanese made ones (this one is US-made) but the formula is quite good – it dries down matte and lasts well. Really affordable at only $8.
• Fleur de Force Lip Gloss in 020 Written in the Stars – it was love at first use! This MLBB shade is more like a liquid lipstick to me than just a lip gloss. It’s not sticky and smells like sweet cake batter! Interestingly, this is made in Czech Republic. I won this from Rachael’s giveaway!
• bareMinerals Marvelous Moxie in Big Tease – this came in a kit and has been living in my purse. I don’t love the minty tingling but the gloss is so easy to wear that I can get over it. The finish is shiny but not at all sticky – I like pairing this with a MLBB lip liner.
• Mary Kay Lip Liner in Neutral – this has been residing in my purse lately. The colour is a rosy MLBB and the formula is long wearing. I also like that it’s an automatic pencil so I don’t have to sharpen it. I don’t see this particular shade listed any more but I suspect it’s similar to “Medium Nude”.
• NYX Lip Liner in #825 1000 Years – I’m still on a lip liner kick and I’ve been wearing this muted taupe shade with a lip balm. It’s creamy and lasts well on the lips. Supposedly, this shade is a dupe for MAC Stone.
• MUJI Cotton Buds – I’ve discovered the teeniest tiniest cotton buds! Look at how small it is compared to regular Q-Tips and The Face Shop ones:
I love that the MUJI one is so precise – I’ve been using these to clean up mascara smudges. No lint at all!
• Daiso Japan Reusable Silicone Mask Cover for Sheet Mask – I picked this contraption in Japan and it’s been a great addition to my masking routine. You can use this several ways: over serum, over a sheet mask, over cream mask. I mainly use it over sheet masks. At first I found the fit to be a bit tight with the ear loops digging into my ears but I learned that it can be trimmed, which improved the fit.
• Japonesque 150 Degree Eye Crease brush – I misplaced this for a while and I was so sad about it! Happy I found it hiding among taller brushes! The unique angle of this brush is ergonomically designed to help with natural angles when applying makeup – I find it reaches the eye area better. And the bristle head shape is perfect to fit into the eye socket to diffuse deeper shades. It’s a well-made brush: the hairs are natural fibres and the handle is metal. I originally found this at Winners and I’ve been trying to find a backup!
• “Baking” – I’m probably the last person in the beauty community to try “baking” under eye concealer. I’ve been wanting to for a long time but worried that it would make my under eye area look really dry. It turns out that it doesn’t, as long as you use the right powder. I’ve been using the Elf HD loose powder along with a thin foam foundation sponge to lay down the powder. I don’t really keep the powder on too long – since I’m usually rushing out the door – then I use a larger fluffy eye blending brush (this one shown is from Inglot, #4SS) to brush off the excess. Part of me thinks I’m not really baking, more so pressing the powder onto my skin for a stronger, more even application of powder. *shrug* It does help my concealer not crease and not fade during the day. 😀
Those have been the items that I’ve been particularly enjoying for the last 3 months! What have been your favourites lately? 🙂