Browsing Category:

favorites

In best, favorites, Makeup, swatches on
June 15, 2017

Lipsticks Most Likely to be Hiding in my Handbag

We all have those lipsticks that never seem to make it back out of our bags once they go in. The one we search our stash for only to find it hiding in a purse or a pocket later. Rather than sharing my favorite lipsticks (could I even narrow it down?!), I’m sharing the lipsticks I reach for in a hurry, the über wearable ones that I know I can always rely on, and the lipsticks I just can’t seem to stay away from. It’s kind of a parade of neutral pinks and browns, but there are a few wildcards in here that you might not expect. Here’s to the lipsticks that never let me down!

Read more

May Favorites 2017

Blah, blah, year flying by, blah, blah. Look ma, I’m a beauty blogger! I just finished writing a post on products that disappointed me and I think I forgot to put the sass fairy back in her cage. Hold on, be right back.

Ok, now where were we? Right, May favorites. I haven’t been doing favorites posts every month, so I do have quite a bit to get to today. Some of these are new products, but most are just new to me. Regardless, all of these are top shelf products that I’m excited to chat about. Grab a snack, settle in, and let’s get to it!

Disclosure: Erborian Glow Creme was sent to me as a PR sample, but I’ve not been asked to include it in this post, nor have I been compensated to talk about it. All of the other products in this post were purchased by me with my own money. This post does not contain affiliate links.
Read more

In favorites, skincare, swatches on
March 10, 2017

What I’m Loving Right Now: February 2017 Favorites

Y’know how sometimes after you go through a rut with your beauty products, you come out of the rut with like 30 new loves? Well, that’s what happened here. I haven’t done a favorites post in several months because there just wasn’t anything making me excited enough to call it a favorite. There are a few exceptions to that, things I’ve been loving for a while, but just forgot to talk about for one reason or another. Psshh, how rude of me. I’m making up for it now by sharing the goods, including a few product combos that I think are really stellar. Are you ready for this jelly? Good, then I’ll stop blabbing and get into it!

Disclosure: This post does not contain affiliate links. This post is not sponsored. This post does not contain paid/sponsored product mentions. This post does include a product received as a PR sample, clearly labeled as such.

Read more

Recent Favorites + A Flop

It’s been a few months since my last favorites post, but they’re some of my favorite posts to write. I’ve got some great products to share with you today that I’ve really been loving (including some non-beauty favorites!). Hopefully you’ll love them too!

Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Palette

 

C’mon, we all saw this one coming, right? I’ve said several times that the Anastasia shadows are my favorite formula, and if you’ve been following me for a while then you’ll know that I’m completely addicted to orange/red/bronze tones. This is a perfect everyday palette for me, I haven’t even touched anything else since I got this (with the exception of dipping into my MAC single in Blanc Type, which is what I pretty much always use on my brow bone). I foresee this being a favorite for a very long time.

The reason I love it, beyond the versatility of the color selection (don’t be intimidated by the orange and red tones, you can work them in in a way that still keeps a mostly neutral look, if that’s your jam), is because the eyeshadows are so freaking pigmented, yet blendable and buildable. I know a lot of people complain that the formula kicks up too much, and it does kick up a lot, so be careful not to use too much pressure when you dip your brush in and to lightly tap off the excess. Personally, I don’t mind the kick up because in my experience shadows that do that tend to blend better, and because I don’t get much fallout from most Anastasia shadows. They probably wouldn’t be the best shadows for a beginner because they do take a little bit of skill to work with. For a beginner, I would recommend something like the Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette because the shadows practically blend themselves out (they actually blend too much for my liking, to the point where I feel like they’re not intense enough, but that’s personal preference, and not a problem that most beginners are likely to have).

Verb Ghost Oil

 

I’ve tried Verb’s detangler in the past, and it didn’t work for me at all (to be fair, my hair is giant ball of evil, most hair products don’t help), so when I saw Verb’s Ghost Oil in my November Ipsy bag, I didn’t get my hopes up. Needless to say, I was pretty surprised when adding a couple of drops of this to my hair actually made a huge difference in my ability to brush my hair out (way less tangles!) and made it feel and look healthier. I split my hair in half along my part while it’s still damp, add a dime-sized amount of oil to my hand and rub my palms together, then rub my hands over my hair, being sure to coat all of the layers of my hair, not just the top and bottom. I also keep it about an inch or two away from my roots. Then, I repeat on the other side. Most people probably won’t need to section their hair or use quite so much oil, but I have absurdly thick hair that still requires quite a bit of product even after I chopped off several inches. What can I say, my hair is a problem child. This oil is also lightweight, and has a very light, barely noticeable scent that doesn’t really smell like anything specific. It’s definitely not something that would compete with your perfume or give you a headache. I’ve tried tons of hair oils, but this is by far my favorite.

Urban Decay Primer Potion in Enigma

 

Enigma is basically the product I’ve needed my whole life. I have super oily eyelids, and Urban Decay’s Primer Potion works significantly better for me than any other primer I’ve tried. What makes Enigma so special is the tint, which is a light beige. It works perfectly to camouflage the veins on my eyelids, which I’ve never been able to achieve with a concealer the way that most people can because my eyelids are so oily. Setting concealer with powder, applying concealer over a primer, nope doesn’t work, creases in 30 minutes. I don’t always want to wear eyeshadow, but the veiny-ness of my eyelids sort of acts like dark circles and makes me look tired and disheveled (I’m probably both, but no one else needs to know that!). Enigma allows me to look more put together without having to wear eyeshadow and keeps my eyelids from getting too oily throughout the day. Sometimes I wear it with eyeshadow, other times I wear it on its own with a little bit of face powder over top to take away some of the tacky feeling. As an added benefit, Urban Decay donates 100% of the purchase price of this product to charity organizations that support women. So far, they’ve donated over 1.28 million dollars!

Cosmo Monster Aqua Gel Sunscreen

 

I’m surprised I haven’t seen more people talk about this Cosmo Monster sunscreen, it’s a total winner! I hadn’t heard of this brand before, but I was excited to see a sunscreen in the Oily/Combo edition of the September/October Jini Beauty Box. After giving it a try over the past month+, I can honestly say I love this stuff! I’m actually surprised by how much I love it because I typically don’t like gel face products as they tend to feel quite sticky. This one feels like water (hence the “aqua” in the name) and doesn’t leave any sort of sticky or slippery film on the skin. It’s also clear, has a very mild sunscreen smell, and plays well with makeup. It feels so lightweight on my face, just like a moisturizer, but it has an SPF of 50, heck yeah! It’s also only about $10, so budget-friendly too! Like I said, I don’t know why more people don’t talk about this. I have nothing negative to say about it, and have even been reaching for it over my (super) expensive Radical sunscreen. Super glad to have discovered this thanks to Jini Beauty Box!

Too Cool For School Dinoplatz Magic Wand Makeup Remover Swabs

 

These makeup remover swabs are another awesome find from the September/October Jini Beauty Box. I’d heard of them before but hadn’t gotten around to trying them, until they arrived in my Jini Beauty Box. The way these work is you twist one end of the cotton swab and pull that end off, which releases makeup remover from the stick portion into the cotton portion of the swab. They’re a super easy and convenient way to fix mistakes, especially to clean up winged eyeliner. These would also be great for travel or to keep in your purse. The makeup remover in these is really effective and non-irritating. Love ’em!

Stok Cold Brewed Coffee Shots

These little pods of joy are a life saver. Not literally. Well, maybe a little bit literal if you’ve ever seen me after I’ve been drinking crappy hotel coffee for a few days. Have you ever wished you could amp up the amount of caffeine in your coffee? If you have, you’ll probably fall in love with these. Housed in little pods like the creamer you get at a diner, Stok is a pod of cold-brewed, highly caffeinated black coffee. I found them at my local Smith’s (Kroger in some parts of the country) about a month ago, and since finals were coming up, I threw them into my cart without a second thought. Not only were these great for adding caffeine to my coffee and keeping me sane during finals, they also prevented disaster yesterday morning when the only coffee left in the house was decaf. Decaf coffee, man. Not only is it caffeine-free, it just doesn’t taste right. Thankfully, we were well stocked with Stok, so no one had to go caffeine-free! I’ve also been experimenting with other uses for these. So far I’ve tried adding them to hot cocoa and oatmeal, by subbing a little bit of the water for a pod of Stok. Works great! Adds a tiny bit of coffee flavor (plus caffeine!) without overpowering the other flavors. In the future, I want to try adding them to brownies (if you’ve never tried adding a bit of coffee to your brownies you’re missing out!), protein shakes, and maybe even homemade protein bars. There’s a lot of applications for these beyond adding them to a cup of coffee. I can’t wait to play around with them some more!

Better Oats Oat Revolution Maple & Brown Sugar Oatmeal

This is my favorite oatmeal ever. I’ve actually been eating it for years, but just recently went back to it after awhile without it because I was sick of eating bars for breakfast every day. I hate making breakfast in the morning, if I can’t find something quick and simple, I’m just getting by on coffee until lunch. For this reason, it’s not uncommon for me to reach for something unhealthy for breakfast, but this oatmeal gives me a healthy option that doesn’t require much brain power or effort. I love the way this oatmeal tastes, I love that it has added flax seeds for omega-3s, but most of all I love the measuring cup pouch. After you dump the oatmeal into a bowl, you fill the pouch up to the line with water and dump it into the bowl, no need for a separate measuring cup! Simple enough for my mornings, but so good I eat it for dinner sometimes!

FitnessBlender

If you workout at home like I do, but are tired of the same boring, overly peppy or bootcamp style workouts that are popular for at-home workouts, try FitnessBlender. I found them years ago and have been working out with their videos ever since. I recently got back into working out after not having the time or space for it for the past two years, and it felt great to come back to their videos. They have over 500 free workouts on their YouTube channel, ranging from beginner to advanced, kickboxing to yoga, and a wide variety of workout formats to keep things from getting boring. They also have workout plans that you can purchase if you’d like someone to do all of the workout planning for you, but they never push you to buy their plans, and all of the videos are completely free. There’s no gimmick to FitnessBlender, and the workouts truly work. In the past I lost quite a bit of weight with FitnessBlender (I never weigh myself, so I don’t have an exact number, but I’d estimate it was 30+ lbs), and their workouts also helped me to significantly increase my endurance and strength. I’m so much healthier thanks to FitnessBlender, and it’s been so great to get to workout with them again. Seriously, I can’t recommend them highly enough, give them a try!

Flop:

L’Oreal Brow Stylist Plumper Transparent Brow Gel

I hate this brow gel, plain and simple. It’s a total disappointment. Like when your parents tell you they’re getting you a puppy for Christmas, but they come home with some animatronic thing from Toys R’ Us. Yeah, that bad. Sure, it’s clear and it doesn’t flake off in weird white patches that look like dandruff, so it’s got that going for it. But ya know what else it doesn’t have? Hold. Staying power. Things a good brow gel really needs to have. The brush on this is nice and small, but the brow gel itself doesn’t hold my brow hairs in place at all, it just has some weird waxy feel that makes it seem like I put Vaseline on my eyebrows. Not cool, man, not cool. I wasn’t expecting this to be as good as Anastasia brow gel, but c’mon. Even my Essence Make Me Brow (a Benefit Gimme Brow dupe) has better hold than this, and that’s meant more so for adding color and volume to the brows, the hold it just an added bonus. This L’Oreal brow gel isn’t even worth the $6 I paid for it. Pass.

That’s it for this month! What are some of your recent favorites?

-Cristine

July 2016 Favorites

 

Things are a little bit crazy for me at the moment. I’m starting classes at a new university (if you’re curious, I’m working on a Bachelor’s of Science in Communication), preparing for a friend’s wedding, which I’m also a bridesmaid in, and doing the bride’s makeup, starting a new job, and to top it all off, I’m in the process of house hunting (stalking them from the bushes and everything*) and getting ready to move. Hence the lack of blog posts recently. I’m trying y’all. I’ve got a few long-awaited reviews in the works and lots of empties posts coming up, I’m just trying to find a way to sneak them in amidst the chaos.

 

If there’s any sort of theme to this month’s favorites, it’s definitely “get ready in a hurry.” I’ve had to be ready to go with very little time to get ready, especially by my usual standards. I’m notorious for taking forever to get ready, so I’ve been having to change up the way I usually do my makeup. For instance, one of the things I like to do most is to change my look nearly every day. It’s not often that I wear the same combo of eye makeup or lip color two days in a row. I get bored easily and I like change, especially when it comes to makeup. However, in order to adapt to my lack of time, I’ve set aside a few products that work with nearly everything, are fuss-free, and free up more of my time so I can maybe not have to lose sleep to get everything done… yet. I’ve pretty much already resigned myself to the reality that I’ll be sleeping in 2-3 hour chunks throughout the month of September. Ok, I’m done whining now, back to the products.

Disclosure: This post does contain referral links, all of which are clearly marked so you can decide for yourself if you’re comfortable using them. If you do, thanks so much, I really appreciate it!

NARS Lipstick in Dolce Vita

 

The first of these products is NARS Dolce Vita lipstick. This is the lipstick I reach for if I don’t have time to pick something out or I have no clue what I want to wear. It’s sheer, and it’s close to my natural lip color, so for me it goes with pretty much everything, ever. It goes on smooth, is hydrating, and it’s easy to touch up throughout the day. The downside is that if you have a medium to deep skin tone or have really pigmented lips, it probably won’t show up on you. If you’re pale to light-medium, however, this would be an excellent lipstick for you, especially if you’re looking for an easy, everyday lipstick. I like to build it up with a few layers to make it more opaque.

Left: One swipe of NARS Dolce Vita Right: Dolce Vita built up ~4 to 5 passes

Available at: Sephora | Nars | Nordstrom

The other big change I’ve made to my routine is using just a couple of brushes that can do nearly everything instead of using a specialized brush for each step. I’ve got three brushes to share with you today that I consider to be must-haves for multi-functions.

Makeup Geek Cheek Highlighter Brush

 

 

It’s slightly damp from being spot cleaned with the Garnier Micellar Water, it doesn’t look quite so spiky when it’s completely dry.

First up, the Makeup Geek Cheek Highlighter Brush. This one is a bit amusing to me because pretty much the only things I don’t use it for are eye makeup and highlighter. For me, this is too big to use for highlighter, but I do love it for blush, concealer, foundation, bronzer, and occasionally setting powder. I’ve pretty much been doing my whole face with this brush because it does a great job of applying and blending products-whether they’re liquid, cream, or powder-without having to change brushes. For my face, it’s the perfect size to apply blush and bronzer without giving me an overly heavy or wide application. It’s also a great brush for stippling on foundation, which I often do. Then, I’ll either blend it in with this brush or my BeautyBlender, and BOOM, done. Even though it’s a smaller brush, it only takes about the same amount of time as a BeautyBlender and doesn’t absorb as much product.

Available at: Makeup Geek

Essence Precise Eyeliner Brush

 

 

For my eyes, there are two multi-functional brushes I’ve been reaching for. I’ve previously mentioned the Essence Eyeliner Brush in last year’s year-end favorites, but I’m mentioning it again because it’s a crazy affordable brush that should be in everyone’s collection. It’s a fine tipped eyeliner brush, at a great price ($1.99!! at Ulta), and great quality. I’ve purchased two of these so far, one I use for eyeliner, and the other I use to do my eyebrows with NYX Tame & Frame brow pomade. Despite their low price, I’ve never had any issues with bristles coming out, the ferrule is still completely firm and intact, and all of the writing is still on the brush despite me having washing it numerous times over the 9-12 months I’ve had them. One of the brushes is older than the other because I purchased a second one after realizing how great it was. Despite the age difference (only a couple of months, but still), you can’t see any wear and tear on either of the brushes. The one thing I can see being a negative for some people is the thin, plastic handle. Some people will likely feel that it’s difficult to grip, or may prefer a more weighted handle, but it doesn’t bother me one bit. Excellent brush, excellent price.

Available at: Ulta | Essence.eu

OCC Angled Blending Brush

 

 

The final brush I wanna talk about today is the OCC 005 Angled Blending Brush. I originally purchased this hoping it would be great for concealer because of the shape, but unfortunately it’s not stiff enough. It is meant to be an eye shadow brush, so I really can’t fault it for that. Ultimately, the shape of this brush is what I love about it. It’s super easy to get into the innermost corner of my eyelids and right up against the lash line because of the narrow tip. The flat angle of the brush also makes it easy to lay down color all over the lid or at the outer corner (although I wouldn’t use it with a shadow that’s prone to fallout, the bristles aren’t dense enough to keep a firm grip on something too loose or powdery). Then I can flip it around and blend that color out, or add a transition, crease, or brow bone color. It diffuses powders really well with very little work, which has been a major plus for me lately. I’ve also used this brush to highlight my cheeks from time to time, although I have a different brush I prefer to use for that. I’m considering purchasing more of OCC’s brushes, so if any of you have any experience with them, please let me know your thoughts good or bad!

My “assistant” approves of this cruelty-free, vegan brush.

Available at: OCCmakeup.com | Nordstrom | BeautyBay

 

BeautyBlender Pure

Ask me how long I spent trying to photograph a sponge -_-*

Unpopular opinion: the BeautyBlender Pure is the best BeautyBlender. If you’re experienced with the various colors of BeautyBlenders then you’ve probably realized that they have different textures. I’ve only tried the white and the pink versions, but I can say for sure that there’s a difference between the two. The BeautyBlender Pure was designed with sensitive skin in mind, so it doesn’t contain any dyes. This is one of the things I love about it because it means I don’t end up with a pink sink from all of the dye leaking out, which, if you’re not familiar, does happen with the pink BeautyBlender for several washes. The BeautyBlender Pure is also bouncier and more squishy/soft/fluffy/lightweight whatever you wanna call it. Not only does it feel nicer on my face, I’m happier with the way it applies my foundation. With the original BeautyBlender, I have trouble with foundation looking a little streaky on my nose, but despite using the same foundation, the same thing doesn’t happen with the BeautyBlender Pure. On top of that, I have a theory that the BeautyBlender Pure absorbs less product that the original does, likely due to its slightly different texture. I know a lot of people avoid the BeautyBlender Pure because they think it will get super dirty and will be difficult to get it clean, but with the right cleanser and technique, that’s actually not the case at all. Enter my next favorite for this month, the Sephora Collection Solid Brush Cleaner.

Available at: Sephora | BeautyBlender | CultBeauty

Sephora Solid Brush Cleaner

 

I received the BeautyBlender Solid Cleanser along with my very first BeautyBlender in a subscription box a couple years ago. When it came time to repurchase the cleanser, I decided to give the less expensive Sephora Collection cleanser a try, especially since they had just come out with a smaller size that was only $8. In my opinion, the less expensive Sephora version works just as well as the BeautyBlender Solid Cleanser. I use it for all of my brushes, and it keeps them all clean and soft. As for my technique for keeping the BB Pure clean, I wet the sponge, swirl it in the Sephora Collection Solid Brush Cleaner, then gently massage the sponge with my fingers and lightly squeeze on the areas where I can clearly see foundation and concealer to work it up from the inner layers of the sponge. It comes right out and my BB looks good as new. One thing I wanna mention, however, is that some foundations come out of BeautyBlenders easier than others. The MAC ProLongwear concealer and Revlon’s ColorStay foundation are two products that I know are especially difficult to get out of a BB. I haven’t used Revlon ColorStay in several years, so I can’t say whether or not the Sephora Collection Solid Brush Cleanser will be able to get that out of a sponge, but I am able to get MAC ProLongwear out by washing it two or three times. The other foundations I use, such as Urban Decay Naked Skin, and Rimmel Lasting Finish come out without an issue. The sponge pictured above has had around 3 months of use. There are two small stains at the top and bottom of the sponge, but other than that, it still looks clean.

Available at: Sephora

Urban Decay Eye Shadow in Sidecar

 

I’ve been on a no-buy for the last month or so, which means I’ve been rediscovering some old favorites. One of those favorites was Urban Decay Sidecar. I’ve depotted most of my UD shadows, so I’m not sure which palette this was from, but it’s available as a single if it’s something you’re interested in. It’s one of the shadows I’ve been keeping in my “go-to” palette (a few of my favorite shadows in corresponding shades that I’ve been keeping in my Makeup Geek Travel Palette) lately because it’s a mid-tone slightly warm beige that pairs equally well with warm and cool tones. I absolutely adore Urban Decay’s eye shadows, there’s a reason they’re known for having some of the best formulas in the beauty industry. Sidecar is a super smooth beige with silver  microshimmer that adds a bit of texture to a look without screaming glitter or creating a fallout nightmare (earlier formulations of this color had a lot of fallout, but I don’t have problems with this one, and I’m pretty sure the problem has been corrected in the singles). I’m probably in the minority here, but for me this is an everyday shadow. I rarely wear entirely matte looks, and I like to make my eyes stand out most days. Sidecar definitely does that for me. As with any of UD’s shadows, this is long-wearing, silky, and pigmented.

Available at: UrbanDecay 

Earn points towards future purchases by joining the Beauty Junkies program If you sign up using my referral link, we both get 10 points.

 

Left: Swatched with finger, no primer. Middle, top: Swatched with brush over Too Faced Shadow Insurance. Middle, bottom: Swatched with finger over Too Faced Shadow Insurance. Right: Swatched with brush, no primer.

Estee Lauder Pure Color Lipstick in Tiger Eye

Left: One pass of Estee Lauder Tiger Eye. Right: Three passes of Estee Lauder Tiger Eye.

Another gem that had been hiding in my makeup collection was Estee Lauder Tiger Eye. My mom received it as a gift with purchase awhile ago and promptly handed it over to me because there was no way in hell she was gonna wear a shimmery bronze lipstick. Actually, at first, there was no way in hell I was gonna wear a shimmery bronze lipstick either. I’ve tried it on so many times I’ve lost count only to wipe it off after a minute or two because it just didn’t look right. Cut to last month when I had gone through nearly every lipstick in my collection trying to find the right match for the look I was wearing. I tried Tiger Eye as a last resort and immediately wondered why I had ever thought this lipstick didn’t look good on me. It’s gorgeous and completely unlike anything else in my collection. I’ve realized that I’m a sucker for colors like Ofra Miami Fever and ColourPop Taurus (both collabs with KathleenLights), essentially super warm-toned, out-of-the ordinary colors. I think they look amazing with my green eyes and I love the way they add a bit of edginess to a look without having to be bright and colorful. Don’t get me wrong, I love colorful makeup, but I don’t always want to wear bright colors. It’s smooth, pigmented, hydrating, and shimmery goodness, and the peachy bronze is oddly flattering with my green eyes and copper hair. The one thing I dislike about this lipstick is the scent, which is a sweeter version of a granny scent. Other than that, this is a complete win for me. I can’t believe I’ve missed out on so many opportunities to wear this! With metallic lipsticks becoming a trend again, it’s definitely one to consider adding to your collection.

Available at: EsteeLauder | Nordstrom | Macy’s

With all of the craziness going on, I’ve been majorly slacking on my skincare. Despite this, I still have three skincare favorites to share with you this month, then we’re done, yipee!

These next two products were sent to me to review last month by 0.8L, but I’m including them in my favorites because I genuinely loved them and plan to repurchase them with my own money. My discussion of these products here is in no way sponsored, nor was I asked to include them in this post for any sort of compensation. I just wanted to let you guys know that I didn’t purchase these products myself in case you feel that could effect my review (I don’t feel that it does, but make your own decision). I’m all about keeping things honest!

Papa Recipe Bombee Honey Sheetmask

 

The Papa Recipe Bombee Honey mask is one of the most hydrating sheet masks I’ve ever used. Throw in the soft, sweet honey smell and the super thin material, and you’ve got a great mask for dry or cranky skin, or just a nice relaxing sheet mask when you want to do something indulgent for your skin without the hassle of a long routine. These do leave a bit of a sticky honey-ish film behind, so I definitely wouldn’t recommend using these before you have somewhere to be, but if you’re just kickin’ it at home or getting ready for bed, these are amazing.

Available at: Amazon (10 pack) | Memebox | Masksheets

When you use my referral link, you get 20% off your first purchase at Memebox, and I get a $10 credit.

Ultru I’m Sorry For My Skin Black Mud Mask- Tightening

 

Photo from Memebox’s website since I’m currently out of these masks.

I can’t wait to get my hands on more of these I’m Sorry For My Skin mud masks, especially the black mud mask. It’s not only one of the most interesting and innovative skincare products I’ve ever used, it’s also one of the best performing. If you’re unfamiliar with these masks, they’re sheet masks that have been coated in a mud mask mixture. It makes it much less messy to use a mud mask (though there is a bit of a mess initially as there’s a bit of moisture in the packet) and it’s also much easier to rinse off than a traditional mud mask because as the mask dries, it sticks to the sheet rather than your face. Rinsing a traditional mud mask off is the part that I dread, so for me, this is awesome. The effects are also quite surprising. It made my skin smooth and soft, my pores looked smaller, and there was some serious brightening action going on. So much so that I had to reach out on Twitter to see if anyone else felt like it had made their skin tone look 2 shades lighter or if I was just losing my mind. Turns out, other people have experienced similar results. It’s a temporary effect that’s pretty much gone by morning, but it’s a very noticeable effect for the duration. I loved both the green mud and black mud versions, but the black mud gave me more noticeable results, so I’ll be repurchasing that one for sure.

Available at: Memebox | Cupidrop

Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water

 

Finally, a product recommended to me by several of you (you cheeky little enablers): the Garnier Micellar Water. After I mentioned that traditional cleansing was too dying for my skin in the mornings, a few people suggested that I try cleansing with a micellar water in the morning instead of using plain water or water and cleanser. I had a sample of Bioderma from Beautylish, and after using that a couple of times, I found that my skin felt less tight than it did after cleansing with just plain water. I’d heard that Garnier’s micellar water was comparable, and since it’s cheaper, I briefly broke my no-buy to pick up a bottle from Amazon. No regrets, y’all, no regrets. It makes my skin feel so much more comfortable, I feel like my skin is more balanced, my makeup goes on better. I love cleansing with a micellar water in the morning and have absolutely nothing bad to say about this particular micellar water. Thank you so much to everyone that suggested it to me!

If you’re wondering how it removes makeup, I think it definitely does a good job of that as well, though there are some mascaras it doesn’t take off, such as Maybelline Lash Blast Volume, but I’m convinced that mascara could survive the apocalypse, so it really doesn’t surprise me. I still use a 2nd cleanser after it like I nearly always do if I’ve been wearing makeup, (more on how and why I double cleanse here), but I’ve also used it on its own on nights when I was too tired to make it to the sink for a proper cleanse, and it didn’t cause me to breakout or make my skin feel clogged at all. I’d still advise using another cleanser afterwards if you’re removing makeup just be sure that you’re completely removed any residue. Speaking of residue, I know some people feel this cleanser leaves a residue on their face. I can see what they mean, but for me it’s such a slight oilyness that it really doesn’t faze me. My face still feels refreshed and clean after I’ve used it, without feeling stripped at all, which is exactly what I was looking for.

After one swipe with a cotton ball covered in Garnier Micellar Water
After a few more swipes of the cotton ball w/ Garnier Micellar Water

Available at: Amazon | Ulta | Target | Walmart  (For my international readers, it’s also available at Boots, Superdrug, and Priceline)

That’s it for this month’s favorites! What were your favorites this month? I hope everything is going well for you!

xx Cristine

*kidding, the roof has a better vantage point