Well, after my massive Style Sprinter Beauty Awards 2016 I didn’t think that I have any more favorites left for this post. But when I started thinking about the products that I used while on vacation and when I got back to New York, I was amazed with the length of the list! I was thinking why it happened and figured that I missed my makeup collection while on vacation that is why I purchased lots of goodies while in Florida. Then, when I came back to my beloved beauty room, I started testing all the products that I couldn’t take with me on vacation. As a result, I was able to find a dozen or so of goodies that I can’t wait to share with you!
*Estee Lauder Double Wear Nude Cushion Foundation: For the last two months, it was the one and only foundation that I used and I’m totally addicted to it! If you remember from my Insta Stories, I received every single shade from the brand which allowed me to spread the love about this product among my family and friends and they have been giving me raving reviews too! In my opinion, it’s the most natural looking and long-lasting foundation I’ve ever worked with. For everyday use it even bits the original Double Wear Foundation that I save for special occasions.
NARS Blush in Orgasm: I tried this blush years ago, but somehow never repurchased it. This past month I did not only stopped using the rest of my blush collection and sticked to just this one shade, but also picked up the same shade for Ben’s mom. Both her and I are super happy about the coverage and ease of application of this product.
Too Faced Sweet Peach Palette: I resisted until last month to pick this palette as the reviews were mixed, but I do not regret purchasing it. I fact, I’m pretty thrilled how peachy colors worked with my pale skin. Too Faced might be really into something as I couldn’t put this palette down ever since I came back home from vacation. And yes, I purchased it online while in Florida as a birthday gift for myself!
NARS Radiance Primer SPF 35: I purchased this primer in attempt to find a sunscreen that can replace my previously beloved Dr. Dennis Gross Mineral Sun Spray. I had to say “goodbye” to that product as I found lots of sun spots on my skin after vacation even though I religiously covered my face with that sun spray…The NARS primer is my current favorite sunscreen as it’s very light and works great with all foundations. I apply it on my skin every single day, even on the days when I’m not wearing makeup. It’s not only protects my skin from sun, but also makes it glow!
*Maybelline The Colossal Big Shot Mascara: This mascara stole my heart at the first sight and became my favorite drugstore product. In comparison to my previously favorite affordable mascara (also by Maybelline), it does even better job with separating my lashes and adding volume. My favorite thing about this mascara is that it’s easy to remove with water so you don’t need to stretch the around eye area while trying to eliminate leftovers of a waterproof product.
*e.l.f. Illuminating Palette: I’m always surprised with the quality of e.l.f. products, but this one was even more than I could expect. I was truly impressed with the elegant finish of the highlighters that come in the set and had a good use of each shade—both for photographs and everyday wear. Without going deep into reviewing each shade, I have to say that this affordable product is a bomb! Definitely check it out!
*Pixi by Petra Glowtion Day Dew: Combined with a CC or BB-Cream, this primer transforms your skin into glowing magazine-worthy complexion. I simply love it!
Milani Lip Oil: Judging on the package of this lip balm, you can probably guess that I’ve been using it quite a lot lately. While my first impression was mixed (somehow product’s look and taste reminded me of kids makeup), it’s changed dramatically since I stated using the oil. This balm really helps to hydrate my lips, especially since I’ve been so into liquid lipsticks that made my lips dry. I also love a tiny rose tint that the product delivers. I haven’t tried any other lip oils from this line yet as these are constantly sold out at my pharmacy, but I do plan on purchasing a few other products from the line when I see them around.
Artist Couture Diamond Glow Powder in Illuminati: I received this blinding highlighting powder in my BeautyCon winter box and I’ve been addicted to it ever since. As it was correctly mentioned by so many of my favorite YouTubers, this product delivers the most unique and pigmented highlighter that works with every skin tone. Being a pale lady, I’m truly appreciating the golden glow that doesn’t look too yellow on my skin.
Don’t mind me complaining, but I feel that my skin is running for “The Most Tricky Skin Type” award! It’s super dry on the cheeks and around nose areas while acne prone in T-zone—with tendencies for discoloration and occasional sensitivities. While it seems like too much to handle, I’m trying my best to address each issue individually—that’s why you’ll see such diverse range of products for both oily and dry skin!
*Eve by Eves Hyaluroic Acid Express Moisturizing Brush Mask: Winter is the most difficult time for my skin as it’s getting much more difficult to handle with all the temperature changes that are going on. This season I decided that it’s time to tame my winter skin and finally find products that really work. In addition to skincare changes that I implemented while on vacation I started regularly using this moisturizing mask and the results are more than impressive! First of all, I love that it comes with the brush so the mask application process is not messy. Also, it does deliver the promised level of hydration and you can see the effect immediately. Usually, I use this mask before applying makeup so my foundation is not getting patchy on the dry parts of my skin—and it really works!
*Derma E Purifying Gel Cleanser: Since my breakouts are unfortunately coming back (perhaps, due to the climate change?) I decided to temporary change my cleanser. This gentle charcoal gel cleanser is the one I’ve been using lately and I really like it as it’s powerful enough to tame my oily areas while gentle enough to use on my dry patches too.
*Biore Baking Soda Acne Scrub: I “blame” this product for shrinking my pores in a matter of weeks and it’s a very satisfying thing to notice! While I continue using my weekly Biore nose stripes, I added this scrub to my pore cleansing routine (I only apply it on the oily areas of my skin) and the results have been amazing! This is a new product that just launched in pharmacies and at Ulta so if you are struggling with the same situation as I do, definitely check it out!
*Patchology Smartmud Detox Sheet Mask: If there was an award for the best break-through mask of the year, that would be it! The mask combines the best qualities of a regular sheet mask (convenience of application and removal) with the benefits of a clay mask (pore purifying and overall skin detoxification). I used the mask for a few times and it really helped to clean up my skin without over drying it. I used this mask right after exfoliating and applying a pore cleansing nose stripe and the results have been very satisfying!
*Murad MattEffect Blotting Perfector: Another problem that I’m always dealing with in winter is extreme oiliness on the sides of my nose. Luckily, this season I was able to keep situation under control by using this uniquely formulated blotting cushion that effortlessly eliminates the oiliness while not ruining your makeup!
This month, I’ve been all about nourishing my hair. If you remember, I’ve changed my hair color four times last year and it definitely had a toll on the health of my hair. This year, I decided to lower the heat damage to minimum, while exploring all sorts of hair masks and treatments. As of now, these are three of my favorites:
amika Nourishing Hair Mask: You probably already know that I have a sweet spot for amika haircare products—this brand got me on dry shampoo. And every time I explore any additional products by the brand, I’m impressed again and again! For instance, this hair mask is so nourishing that my hair feel like after a salon procedure—so much more manageable and shiny!
*Maui Moisture Hair Mask: It’s a product from a new haircare line that has just launched at drugstores, but I had the opportunity to test this mask a few weeks prior the launch. Compared to amika mask, this one doesn’t feel as thick so I’ve been using it almost every wash instead of a hair conditioner (no worries, it doesn’t make hair feel heavier!). I’m also addicted to the scent of this mask—it’s so tropical, refreshing, and so yummy!
*Curls Blueberry Bliss Reparative Hair Mask: This hair mask was designed for curly hair, but I found that it really works for my straight and fine hair too. You probably remember my Insta Stories report where I learned that you can add oil to your hair mask to make it even more effective. That’s exactly what I’ve been doing with this mask! I use Curls Hair Growth Oil by the same brand that I mixed in with the mask before application and let it work as usual. I felt that this extra oil trick made my hair a bit more shiny (which is always a great idea!).
*Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Grow Thermal Protectant: I’ve been also much more consistent with using a heat protectant this month too. Usually, I tried skipping this step and just let my hair air dry. But then I’ve been curling my hair a few hours later and I didn’t apply any product at all! These days, I feel that it’s better to use a hair dryer on a cold regime and use it with a heat protectant. Obviously, it will take time to report on how my hair has changed since starting with this new technique, but as of now I’m enjoying the results!
Even though I had nail extensions during the winter holidays, at the end of the month I still had a chance to explore some of the best nail products for natural nails. From high-end luxurious nail polishes to super affordable gel colors, January has been a great month from nail care perspective!
*Smith & Cult Nail Polish in #1972: I’ve heard many times before how amazing Smith & Cult nail polishes are, but I only had a chance to test one this month. It was a luxurious looking shade #1972 that I immediately fell in love with! It’s not only about the shimmering rose gold metallic shade that reminds me of my first experiments with nail polish, but also about the quality of the coverage and the longevity of this nail polish. I don’t remember if I told you, but I literally repaint my nails every other day as there is no polish that stays on my nails for more than a few days. This exquisite nail product by Smith & Cult is one of the rare exceptions! I was able to rock it for entire week while receiving lots of compliments on the shade of this polish from my beauty blogging buddies (which in my book counts as a double complement!).
Wet N Wild 1 Step Wonder Gel Nail Colors: I purchased one of these nail polishes while on vacation in Florida. It promised a long lasting coverage without the need of using a UV lamp so I decided to give it a go. I was super impressed with the coverage this gel nail color provides as for some shades all you need in just one coat. The coverage didn’t last for more than 2-3 days, but I really enjoyed how quickly the products sets on my nails so I didn’t mind re-applications. As you see in these pictures, ever since vacation in Florida my collection has expanded and I’m on a mission of having every single nail polish from the line!
Among other changes that I started implementing this year is more organic approach towards body care. Usually, I concentrated too much on finding natural products for my face, but somewhat disregarded my body. Since the beginning of the year I tried finding more all-natural body products and my skin looks so much better moisturized now!
*Aveda Candrima Creme Cleansing Oil: When I got tired from my typical Black African Soap, I decided to give a try to this all natural cleansing cream. I realized that it not only smells delicious, but it also doesn’t dry off my skin as much as my favorite soap (even if it’s a moisturizing one). I put all other body gels on hold as I’m truly enjoying this one!
Pacifica Coconut Milk Shave Whip: At first, I was of that impressed with this shaving cream as I still preferred using my shower gel for these purposes. However, when I noticed that this shave whip dos not only provide smoother shaving experience, but also moisturizers my skin, I started using it all the time. In fact, I’m almost out of this tube and about to repurchase another one!
*Sky Organics Sweet Almond Oil: My friend Nina has been telling me about this trick for years, but I never really used it. Basically, she applies sweet almond oil while still in shower on damp skin and then removes leftovers of the oil with a towel. Finally, I decided to try it myself! Realizing that after just a few weeks of this regime my skin has dramatically improved, I regret that I didn’t start it earlier. If you are just like me and your skin is super dry, definitely try this trick as it’s life changing!
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I hope you didn’t mind this super long list of favorites and found some ideas for beauty products to try. Please feel free to ask any additional questions about these products in the comments area below and don’t forget to share your favorite products of January!