May 6, 2016

April 2016 Favorites

If this was a food blog, the picture below would be the absolutely delicious flatbread pizza I had for lunch today, or maybe the spicy vegetable soup I made last Friday night. Alas, we’re talking about beauty favorites today, so you’ll have to find your foodporn elsewhere. And, uh, sorry if I just made you hungry. On the bright side, I’ve got some great products to share with you today.

First up, the two foundations I’ve been absolutely in love with for the past couple of months.

Urban Decay Naked Skin Liquid Makeup in Shade 1
Urban Decay Naked Skin is one of my favorite foundations I’ve ever used. Not only is shade 1 the closest color match for my apparently weird skin tone (#PaleOliveProblems), it’s amazingly lightweight, comfortable, makes my oily-dehydrated skin look good, and provides just the right amount of coverage (for me). 
Urban Decay Naked Skin Liquid Makeup in Shade 1
If you’re a hardcore full-coverage foundation lover, you probably won’t like this foundation, but if you enjoy a light to medium coverage there’s a good chance you’ll love this. It looks like skin and lasts for several hours, but its one major flaw is that it doesn’t stand up to humidity or sweat. That’s part of why I’ve been mixing it with one of my other favorite foundations…
Rimmel Lasting Finish foundation in shade 100 Ivory
I picked up the Rimmel Lasting Finish foundation after I heard Kayla Hagey (Instagram, YouTube) recommend it, and it definitely did not disappoint. I have this in two shades 90 and 100 (above), which was the shade I originally purchased because I had heard that it was good for people with an olive undertone. I definitely would say that it’s one of the most green-toned pale(ish) foundations available, and definitely one of the best foundations from the drugstore. Unfortunately it’s a bit too dark for me, and shade 90 is way too pink. Mixed together, they make a color that is nowhere near my skin tone no matter what ratio I use, so I tried mixing it with the Urban Decay Naked Skin. 
Rimmel Lasting Finish foundation in shade 100
Ho-ly shit. Not only is it a perfect color match for me, it’s basically my perfect foundation formulation too. The Rimmel Lasting Finish holds up very well to sweat and humidity, and has a thicker, higher coverage than the Urban Decay Naked Skin. Basically, it makes up for anything that could be considered a flaw about the Urban Decay Naked Skin, without adding any of its own flaws to the mixture. In fact, I would actually call the Rimmel Lasting Finish a perfect foundation, except for one little thing: it doesn’t have a pump. Even without a pump, it’s one of the best foundations I’ve ever used, drugstore or high-end. I’ll be doing full reviews of both of these foundations later, but in the mean time, feel free to ask any questions you have in the comments down below.
Ah, we meet again my old friend.
My next favorite is a mascara I’ve purchased over and over again, which is really saying something since I almost never repurchase mascara. Between subscription boxes and gifts with purchase, I basically have no need to purchase mascara (or black eyeliner) for at least the next year, but the one thing I didn’t have in my stash was a waterproof mascara. I’d used the Covergirl Lash Blast Waterproof for a couple of years when I was a teenager, but as my stash grew, I stopped repurchasing it. After using it again, I’m reminded of why I love it. As the weather gets warmer, my mascara has a tendency to smudge, but this mascara stays put all day. It also helps my lashes to stay curled, which is an issue I’ve only been having for the last year or two. I normally prefer lengthening mascaras to volumizing ones, mostly because volumizing mascaras tend to be too clumpy for my liking, but this one keeps my lashes separated. There are two downsides to this mascara: first, that it’s quite dry, which can make the lashes feel a little bit crunchy. Second, it’s a bitch to remove. So much so that when I’m feeling lazy, I’ll take off all of the rest of my makeup and just leave the mascara ’til morning. It’s the only makeup I ever sleep in, but I love this mascara enough that I’m willing to forgive its flaws. 
If you’re wondering what nail polish I’m wearing, it’s Julep Florence.
The Sinful Colors Sinful Shine Top Coat is a surprise favorite. Not so much because it’s cheap, since I already know I love Sinful Colors polishes, but because it significantly outperforms the majority of the other top coats I’ve tried. The photo you see above is my nails after almost a week and I’m just starting to get tip wear, which is practically unheard of for me since I’m quite rough on my hands. The only top coat I can compare this to is cult-favorite Seche Vite, but I definitely prefer this top coat. The formula of Sinful Shine is very thin, as opposed to the thick, goopy texture of Seche Vite. The thinner formula also means that my polish doesn’t peel off in whole sheets like it sometimes did with Seche Vite. It also doesn’t change the color of my polish, which is a problem I had with Seche Vite. Seche Vite would give a slightly yellow tint to my polish, which was more noticeable with some polishes than others. I’ve used Sinful Shine with several different formulations of polish, and it’s worked beautifully with all of them. I can’t find anything negative to say about this top coat, it’s wonderful. 
The Smashbox BB Cream Eyes has been a favorite for quite some time now. Unfortunately this concealer has a few negatives, but it’s still one of my favorite concealers. Concealers are a tricky product for me in general since I have ungodly dark circles under my eyes, but this is one of the most pigmented concealers I’ve tried that doesn’t have the heavy, creamy texture that tends to slide around or melt off throughout the day. It stays in place wonderfully without making my under eye area look dry, and with the added SPF, it’s my go-to concealer for summer.
Smashbox BB Cream Eyes in Fair/Light
It’s a totally underrated concealer, but there are a few flaws which are what I suspect prevents it from being talked about more frequently in the beauty community. First, the packaging is messy. The brush-tip applicator does make it easy to apply, which is a plus, but while spreading the product, it tends to get messy, and like all other concealers that dispense this way, it’s difficult to control how much product comes out, often leading to a messy cap. It’s also got a limited color range, and none of the colors match me exactly. I use Fair/Light first, almost like a color corrector, then apply Fair on top to get it to match my skin tone. Together, they work amazingly to conceal my dark circles, and it lasts all day. Considering the issues I have with concealers, I’m willing to forgive a little mess.
I’ve been loving the Naked Cosmetics pigment in Sierra Nevada since I received it in an Ipsy bag. I just can’t resist that gorgeous gold shine. It actually reminds me a lot of Urban Decay’s eyeshadow in Midnight Cowboy Rides Again, a shade which I love dearly, but often avoid because of the glitter fallout. Sierra Nevada provides a similar effect without the fallout, so I’ve been turning to this as an alternative. It’s surprising that a pigment could be less messy than a pan eyeshadow, but somehow, it is.
Naked Cosmetics Pigment in Sierra Nevada
Another product that I received in an Ipsy bag was the ‘Just Blending In’ brush from L.A.B.² It’s an excellently crafted brush—the bristles are just the right length, with the right amount of give to create a easy blend. 
As an added bonus, it’s super affordable at $6.99, but you’d never know it from the quality. The bristles are soft, it doesn’t shed at all, and the entire brush feels very sturdy. 
If you’re looking for a way to add some color to your look for summer, the Urban Decay 24/7 Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner in Woodstock is an easy, gorgeous way to do it. 
It’s got a fine brush tip that makes it easy to draw a wing, and it truly is long-wearing. This even holds up to my watery eyes, though I don’t think it’s quite waterproof enough that it could withstand swimming underwater—but you’re welcome to try. Just be sure to shake it up first for full color payoff. 
I’ve also been loving the Afterglow blushes from Urban Decay. I have Video and Kinky, but I’m totally dying for the whole line. They’re basically my perfect blush. They’re blendable and buildable, and offer a great range of shades that will suit every skin color from fair to deep. They’re also wonderfully silky. For me, blush is a product I can easily do without, but these have me reaching for them almost every day.
Video—Matte dusty rose
Kinky—apricot with a subtle gold microshimmer

Left: Kinky Right: Video
The final products I want to talk about today are two lip + cheek pencils from Nudestix. The first, Whisper, is a cool-toned muted rose.
Nudestix Lip + Cheek Pencil in Whisper

The other shade I’ve been loving is Mystic, which is a soft raspberry shade. I love both of these because they’re such easy to wear, comfortable lip products. There’s a bit of a difference between the formula of the two shades: Mystic is a bit glossier and a bit more hydrating, but they’re both excellent products. 
Nudestix Lip + Cheek Pencil in Mystic

Left: Whisper Right: Mystic They look super similar here, but Mystic is warmer and more red than Whisper is in-person.
That’s it for this month’s favorites. It was really a couple of months worth of favorites since it’s been a little while since my last favorites post. Let me know in the comments if you’ve tried any of these products and what your favorites were this month. If you’d like to, you can also follow me on Instagram and Twitter. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!
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