Sunday, December 28, 2014

2014 favorites: skincare

It's 2014 favorites time! I'm splitting up my favorites into two installments, one skincare and one makeup. It won't be terribly exciting makeup wise because as I explained in my last post, I pretty much used the same makeup for most of the year in order to use things up. Still, I will do a post on it to explain what items made it and why I liked them.

Shu Uemura Skin Purifier Porefinist
I have tried a few different oil cleansers and so far this shu version has been my favorite by far. It has a very watery consistency which makes it very easy to rinse off and it also is very effective at removing all my makeup. Two thumbs up. I'd repurchase for sure. I think once I finish this I will try out a balm cleanser to see if I like balms or oils more.

La Roche Posay Toleriane Purifying Foaming Cream
I bought this months ago and I still have more than half of the cleanser left. It is the gift that keeps on giving. I really enjoyed this cleanser this year for a few reasons: you don't need much product to get a nice lather, it cleans thoroughly, and it doesn't leave my skin overly dry after rinsing off. It also doesn't burn my eyes if I open them which is somewhat of an important aspect of a cleanser to me. This is probably my second favorite foaming cleanser I have tried so far with the Clarins Cottonseed beating it just a bit more due to the better scent and richer lather.

First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads
These really caught me by surprise. I didn't think these would cause such an impression on me but they have. When I run out of these I plan to repurchase and not even bother trying to find a replacement as these work very well. I notice a difference when I stop using them when I am away for a weekend and don't bring them with me. My only wish for these is that they were more saturated in the formula, but it is a small complaint.

Puritan's Pride Retinol Cream
Another item I was completely surprised by. My mother gave this to me to try and I took it graciously but promptly ignored it once I got home since I was being a brand snob. My skin was parched one day during the beginnings of winter so I remembered this tub and used it. I was pleasantly surprised to see that this absorbed quickly and didn't leave my face greasy. I woke up with nice, supple skin. I think my skin reacts very positively to retinol as I have noticed blemishes on my face heal quicker when I use this cream.

Clarins Lotus Oil
Another bandwagon I tried this year and happily hopped on. With use of this I noticed severe reduction of oil production during the day. I am almost out of this and have a Dr. Hauschka oil to try after so we will see if all oils are created equal or not.

2014 was a good year of skincare trials. I liked almost everything I painstakingly researched and picked out for myself. I actually made a little video of myself getting ready for bed, or my nighttime routine, using all of these products which I will put in another post probably after the new year. Until next time, where I will talk about my makeup favorites...

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

my daily 10 minute face

I am not sure if you all have noticed but I haven't been feeling very inspired to do any makeup related posts. This is simply due to me being stuck in a very fixed makeup routine. 2014 is coming to a close and it was very much a year of me trying to use up as much of my makeup collection as possible with very little purchases. That being said, I thought I would show you just what products I have been using for my daily face. It is a quick, simple look that takes less than 10 minutes for me to apply. I stick with a thin base, a matte neutral eye, not much eye liner (shocker, I know), and a sheer lip.

For foundation I have been using Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation, which I am a fan of. It is pricey but it gives a really nice base that gives decent coverage while looking very skin like and natural. It doesn't cover major blemishes on its own though so for that I go in with my trusty Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage which is something I have been using for quite a while now. For under eye brightening I like the ever popular Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Concealer. This tube is on its last legs and once it is out I plan to repurchase as it really does a nice job at such a cheap price point. To set everything in place I have been using Maybelline Dream Matte Powder dutifully. I smashed up all the stuck product on the pan so I can use every last bit.

My current bronzer of choice has been theBalm Betty-Lou Manizer. This has a bit of a sheen to it but it isn't noticeable if applied sheer. The only makeup product that I actively switch up every few weeks is blush (got to spice it up in here) and currently my choices are Mac Vintage Grape and NARS Gilda. If I am feeling fancy and have some extra time, I will also swirl some MAC Lighscapade underneath my eyes and along my cheekbones to help with the brightening effect.

To start out my eye look I curl my lashes with my Kevyn Aucoin lash curlers. I like how this has a big opening so fitting my lashes into the space is a breeze, but I think the Shu Uemura curlers curl better if I am being honest. Next I apply a wash of Mac Groundwork Paint Pot all over my lid and under my lower lash line. From there I use my Smashbox Filter Eye Shadow Trio. This trio is almost finished you guys, I'm almost done with the mid-brown shade and the biggest hurdle that is left to tackle is the darkest brown. I use a mixture of both shades to apply in my crease and under my lower lash line.

Next I take the dual ended Urban Decay 24/7 liners in Zero and Whiskey. Now if you know my liner rep by now, you know I can't stand Urban Decay's 24/7 liners. For some reason they all smudge and never last on me. But as I mentioned at the start of this post, I am on a "use up everything" mindset so I'm dealing with it. I apply Zero on my upper waterline and then I use Whiskey on the outer portion of my upper lash line, which I then smudge in with my finger. Lastly I give my lashes a single coating of mascara, my current choice being L'Oreal Manga Mascara. I like this mascara, but it isn't my favorite L'Oreal offering.

For lips I either smear a dab of Aquaphor and run out the door or I'll apply a dab of Revlon gloss on my lips and work it in with my fingers. I've been trying to use up Pink Pop and Coral Reef so I switch between the two depending on my mood and blush choice.

Full look with all products mentioned. I applied Revlon Pink Pop on my lips and Mac Vintage Grape on my cheeks. I really like the effect of smudging my liner into my lash line, it makes my lashes appear fuller in an inconspicuous way.

This is what my makeup routine has been like for a good portion of this year. A little boring but seeing all the pan and progress makes me very happy. I also love how quick I am able to do this look since I have been doing it over and over again. I can't wait to be done with these products so I can come up with a new routine to get into.

I hope you all have a Merry Christmas! I plan to do a 2014 favorites post before the year's end so look out for that soon.