Hello and welcome to my monthly favorites series. As often happens prior to NYFW, August was a hectic month for me: I’ve been spending my time between New York, several U.S. travel destinations, and the Hamptons. As a result, I had a chance to try some on-the-go beauty products and really get on top of the facial mask game. Also, because I didn’t have time to get my nails done at the salon, expect tons of new nail polish shades too. Okay, without further delay let’s jump into what made it into my top beauty list this August.
Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Palette
I’ve been reaching for this palette more than any other this month: among all the sets I’ve tried over the past while, it’s my absolute favorite eyeshadow set. All the shades presented in this palette are very powdery, super pigmented, and effortlessly blendable. I love the range of shades this palette features that allow you to create so many different looks. My favorite shades from the palette are Antique Bronze, perfect for the crease of your lids, Tempera, an essential base shade, and Primavera, which is a spectacular golden shade that I use in so many different spots on my lids as well as on my cheeks when I apply it as a highlighter. If you are looking for a new palette or just want to try some eyeshadows by Anastasia Beverly Hills, definitely give this palette a try. It’s a really good one!
I rarely use mascaras that provide a false lashes effect, but this product is my absolute favorite. I love a bit of a clunky eyelash look and this affordable mascara provides a perfect amount of coverage to emphasize my eyes. It’s also one of those rare affordable mascaras that don’t irritate my eyes so I’ve been using it non-stop. I love the package this cute beauty product comes in and appreciate the fact that it has a very mild, not overpowering scent.
Shop It: $4.99 at Ulta Beauty.
This recent launch by Too Faced and one of my favorite YouTubers Nikkie is another palette I’ve been playing with non-stop ever since it was released (I purchased this palette within five minutes after it launched!). This palette is directly opposite to the one by Anastasia Beverly Hills, featuring some of the most unique, glittery colors I’ve ever tried: gold, silver, glittery purple — I love them all! This palette is very unique because it features blushes, a contouring shade, a highlighter, and comes with an extra set of makeup products such as a purple mascara (to die for!), an eyeliner (it was featured, in another shade, in my July Beauty Favorites post), and a loose glitter (OMG!). The Nikkie Tutorial palette tutorial is coming up on the blog next week, so stay tuned!
It’s been extremely hot this month and the only thing that helped me to keep my makeup on during the important events is this spray. Usually, a setting spray is the step that I always forget to use, but since exploring this miracle mist I’m literally addicted! It really prolongs the life of my makeup, especially on my oily T-zone, so I started using it regularly, not only on special occasions—love it!
Lipsticks of the Month
Gerard Cosmetics Lipstick in Mai Tai*: The perfect shade of orange red that brightens up my eyes and makes my entire appearance more radiant.
Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment SPF 15: I wear it during the day underneath my colored lipstick for extra SPF protection and added lip softness.
Essence Beauty XXXL Shine Lipgloss in #07 Big Night Out: This lipgloss goes against everything I usually love in a lip product (red shade, lipstick, no glitter), but somehow it really works! I adore how it sets on my lips and love how shiny it is.
Pixi By Petra MultiBalm in Soft Strawberry: I recently reviewed this product on my blog and it has since become by go-to product for situations where I need to get ready quickly and/or on the go, so I always carry this stick in my purse in case of a beauty emergency.
What helped me to tame my acne and deeply clean my skin is a purifying charcoal mask by Derma E. Prior to writing this review, I’d already finished two tubes of this mask, but just never had a chance to share this new favorite product of mine on the blog. Well, the time has come and I’m very excited to recommend this 100% natural, cruelty-free mask for those of you struggling with large pores and breakouts. This mask dramatically cleaned my skin, shrank my pores, and made my T-zone a bit less oily in a matter of weeks. This mask works on your skin in a few different ways: it exfoliates the skin, which is great for the skin renewal process, it cleans away all sorts of congestants, and it draws the toxins out of the pores and makes pores virtually smaller. The consistency of this product reminds me a bit of GlamGlow mud mask, which is very expensive. In my opinion, Derma E Charcoal Mask is a perfect solution for those of you who are serious about improving your acne-prone skin condition without overpaying. If you one of those people, definitely give this product a try!
Ever since I ran out of Retrouve Cleanser and finished the last few drops of my all-time favorite Philosophy Purity Made Simple Cleanser, I’ve been testing and loving this new gentle cleanser by Bioxidea. It works very gently on my skin, properly removes makeup, and leaves my skin looking more awake. My favorite part about this product is that it’s made without any harsh chemicals that are so popular in many other cleansers. It’s also doesn’t contain any oil, which is great, as my skin is prone to breakouts. I also tried a few other products by Bioxidea that I’ve fallen in love with and I’m planning on dedicating an entire post to it once I’m done testing the rest of this amazing skincare line!
I’m one of the lucky first people to try this new mask and it’s already my absolute favorite product! This mask is incomparable to anything else I’ve tried before. It instantly makes my skin brighter and more radiant. If you’ve followed my blog for a while you know that I do regular Botox injections, so wrinkles aren’t really a problem for me; my actual concern is that my skin doesn’t look as radiant as it used to. What Vitamin Nectar mask does is adds an extra shot of glow that my skin needs so much before important events. I’ve also noticed that it helps to improve the texture of my skin and makes it more radiant and soft so the makeup I apply after using this mask looks way better! Perhaps my favorite thing about this mask is that it’s made of real crushed citrus (50% of the jar is oranges, lemons and clementines that contain natural AHA fruit acid) and smells SO delicious! It reminds me of an orange jam that my granny used to cook herself back in Russia — I’m obsessed with it!
One ingredient I’m always looking for in skincare products is Vitamin C. This natural ingredient helps to make skin brighter, more refined, and clarified. I’ve heard that a lot of dermatologists call Vitamin C an “anti-aging superstar” and I’m all about products featuring this essential antioxidant. One of my recent favorite vitamin serums is the one by OZ Naturals. I love this particular product because, in addition to Vitamin C, it contains all sorts of additional ingredients that my skin loves: hyaluronic acid, Vitamin E, rose hips, and green tea. Usually, I apply this serum in the morning, after washing and toning my skin and before my moisturizer and a sunscreen.
I got introduced to this at-home gel nails kit at the InStyle event and it wasn’t love at first sight. When I had my nails done at the party, it was a very humid day and I didn’t wait enough time between coats, so my manicure smooshed. However, when I tried applying this gorgeous shade of light blue (mine comes in #660 Carry On Blue and it’s already sold out) at home, it was a completely different story! The product covered my nail plates perfectly and looked like a shinier version of a color gel polish that I get every once in a while at the salon. The difference between these two is that to remove a nail salon version of gel polish you need to soak your fingertips in nail remover and cover them in aluminum foil (which is horrible for your nails!), while Sally Hansen gel polish can be removed with your regular nail polish remover and a cotton swab. In my opinion, this is a huge difference. I truly love this quicker (it takes about 30 minutes, but it’s quicker than commuting to and from the salon), more affordable, and somewhat healthier version of a gel polish.
These affordable nail polishes surprised me with a high quality that I wasn’t expecting from a drugstore brand. I’m also pleasantly surprised with the color selection and already have favorites that I’m planning on repurchasing once I run out. If you are looking for a perfect shade of dark nail polish, pick up #27 Ink Spot, a beautiful shade of purplish black that looks so great on short nails. Feeling creative? #20 Tattle Teal looks very bright and unique—it’s such a summery shade of green! Finally, my absolute favorite shade of pink is #09 Hot Pink Rage which is simply perfect for any occasion.
Shop It: $3.99 at MilaniCosmetics.com.
Everybody knows how obsessed I am with amika perk up dry shampoo. I keep ‘converting’ people to using it (in fact, I rated it as number one in my InStyle magazine article The Best Dry Shampoos for Greasy Hair), and this is just another amazing product by the brand. When my hair was long, I hated blow-drying it, as it took too long. With my new asymmetric haircut, I blow-dry my hair every time I wash it. One of the products that help me add extra weight to my otherwise thin and fine hair is this miracle spray by amika. I simply spritz it before I start styling and end up having smoother, shinier hair. Love it!
Shop It: $10 and $24 at Sephora.
I recently changed my hair color and got a trendy asymmetric haircut and now, this gorgeous hair styler by ghd that I received for testing purposes from Influenster is my new styling hero! This straightener dramatically shortens my getting-ready time as it allows me to quickly put in some waves or straighten my hair and get ready to go. I love the fact that this styler does not overheat my hair while still providing superb results. Another great thing about this tool is that it automatically turns off after 30 minutes of going unused, which is super handy if you are just like me and always forget to turn off your styling devices.
This super affordable tool is one of my current favorites to create more voluminous styles. I use it to add a bit of extra volume on the crown and use its pointy handle to pick a side I’d like my hair to follow. Honestly, this brush was one of those accidental purchases where you pick a few items just to test them out without any hope of great results, but this affordable hairbrush has been one of my best beauty investments.
Shop It: $6.99 at HM.com.
Disclosure: I received the products marked (*) complimentary for testing purposes.