Current favorites: January 2016

I’ll be the first to admit-my favorites this month are a little boring. I haven’t been using anything super exciting and new makeup-wise for long enough to call it a favorite and I’ve actually been jumping around in terms of eyeshadows, blushes, and lip colors. I’ve been trying to narrow down what I really like and what’s worth keeping to do another makeup purge at some point.

There are a couple of new things in there that I got this month that are worth a mention and some oldies that have been used more frequently too.

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Current favorites: November 2015

December is just another day away and I’m feeling mixed emotions. I’m excited and anxious about Christmas (my favorite holiday, but ugh, I should have started shopping a month ago) and Ava is turning two (so happy, but just thinking about it gets me all teary-eyed). My class is coming to an end in about a week and my last exam is coming up. We’ve had our tree up for about two weeks already (M keeps trying to shame me by saying we’re the only ones in the neighborhood with a tree out already, ask me if I care) because I just wanted to enjoy it for as long as possible, and it just makes me happy. It almost feels like fall lasted about a second and it suddenly became winter.

Anyway, my favorites this month are half new and half rediscoveries.

Tony Moly Bbo Bbo Honey Lip Balm
. This got pushed to the back of my drawer and lost in the mess. My lips have been so dry lately and I thought I’d start using this again. I forgot how well this stuff works! It really does moisturize your lips, not just coat it for an hour before wanting to apply more. I’d definitely repurchase.

Tony Moly Pocket Bunny Mist. I’ve been using this after applying my makeup to kind of meld everything together, I’m not sure it really makes everything last longer like the Urban Decay All-Nighter though. I also use it as a refresher if I feel like my makeup needs a pick me up. I feel like it does make a difference, my makeup just looks better when I use it. I’ve had this since the summer, but never used it much until now.

Burberry Face Contour Pen. I’ve really been enjoying this, but I’m afraid to see how much of it I’ve gone through this month. You can read my full review here. It’s definitely not cheap, but I love the natural contour effect it gives.

Cover Girl Ready Set Gorgeous Foundation. I’ve been loving this to mix with my tinted moisturizer or CC cream to warm them up a little. It makes the finish a little more natural for anything on the matte side. I’ve pretty much given up on the Cover FX drops, the bottle is so messy I just want to throw it out!

Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray. This is perfect for adding some ‘grit’ when my strands are too slippy after a wash. I tend to wear my hair straight daily since I cut it and it needs that little extra texture so it doesn’t lay so flat. It’s another super expensive product (40 bucks a pop!), but I love it so much I’d repurchase. I’ve had this can for a few months now, but I don’t use it daily. Another point worth mentioning, it has a strong scent you’ll either love or hate. I think if it lingered, I’d hate it because I can’t tolerate strong scents for long.

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and is enjoying the last of the weekend!

Current favorites: October 2015

My favorites of October definitely reflect the change in season.

Here we go.

Dermablend Smooth Camo Liquid Foundation. I’ve had a few breakouts lately (I tried a new product which might be the culprit) and this has been my savior. Since the cooler weather has set in, everywhere but my T-zone has been a little drier so I haven’t been as into powder foundation. This gives a good medium coverage and it doesn’t cause breakouts while the ones I have are healing.

Tarte Tartelette Palette. I’ve just been doing pretty basic eye looks for the daily, just sweeping a cream shade all over my eyes and putting a medium brown into my crease. And the days I needed to make it more ‘nighttime’ I’d just use the darker shades in my outer V.

Rimmel Salon Pro by Kate Nail Polish in Venus. This is the epitome of fall nail polish to me, it’s that deep wine shade that I’m always looking for at the nail salon. Except now I don’t have time to go as often and I’m left to fend for myself. This glides on smoothly and it does have great lasting power (5-6 days before chipping).

MAC Matte Lipstick in Whirl & Kat Von D Studded Kiss Lipstick in Lovecraft. I’m grouping these together because I reviewed them together recently here and I don’t want to be so redundant. I’ve been wearing either one or both together everyday since I got them. I’m pretty surprised by how often I’ve been wearing ‘Whirl’ because it’s on the darker side of what I typically wear day to day, but I’m really loving it since my eye makeup is pretty simple.

Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Exposed. This comes back every fall, no fail. It’s this perfect matte nude pink blush that just goes with every makeup look for the season. It’s just a no-brainier for me.

Cle de Peau Beaute Concealer in Ochre. Because breakouts. On days when I didn’t want to wear much makeup, I’d pretty much just use this a little under my eyes and over my blemishes and that was it. It’s such a close match to my skintone that it blends in without that obvious look and it dries down so that I don’t need to set it with a powder.

I hope you enjoyed my favorites this month! We had a little Halloween party last night for the kiddos and I wanted to share our family costume!

Ice bear was hungry. I had to use the lumpia to get her to calm down for the picture.

If you haven’t watched We Bare Bear yet, you must! It’s funny and the bears are too cute! M was a really good sport going along with me for this one. It was Ava’s first time trick or treating and she wasn’t as into it in the beginning, but by the end she was saying “trick or treat” at every door. I think at first she was thinking, “What the heck are we doing? I don’t want to go to this stranger’s door!” It was fun seeing all the kids dressed up and I’m looking forward to eating her Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups tomorrow!

Hope everyone had a fun Halloween!

Current favorites: September 2015

I almost skipped posting all together this week, I had all my photos ready, but not much time to write. But I just couldn’t let a whole week go by without at least one post, so I’m squeezing this in before I go to sleep tonight. We had a great weekend-I took Ava to a first birthday party on Saturday, and on Sunday we brought her to a local amusement park. Later that night we got to see one of my best friends (also Ava’s godmother) who moved out of state, but came home for a few days. It was so cute, Ava usually doesn’t take to people she doesn’t know well, but she immediately grabbed her ninang’s hand and started leading her all over the house. I was so surprised! It always makes me happy when I see her being friendly with other people she doesn’t see so often.

Anyway, on to the faves.

L’Oreal La Palette Nude 1. This palette is just so good for everyday makeup looks, you really have everything you need here. Although it’s not super unique, it is versatile, whether you just want a quick wash of color over your lids or a brown smokey eye. I’ll link my review here if you’re interested.

Chanel Bronze Universal. I almost forgot about this stuff and I’m not sure why I hadn’t used it more often. I finally started using it this month and I wish I had more at the start of the summer. I remember this was a highly talked about product in the YouTube beauty world, and man, it wasn’t easy to get my hands on. I remember asking about it everytime I passed a Chanel counter and it always being out of stock. It’s a cream bronzer that dries down to a powder finish and it really does give a beautiful warmth to the skin. I really like applying it with the Real Techniques blush brush.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Diffused Light. This is definitely going to be a must-have for me, it’s the best powder I’ve used for setting my under eye concealer. It’s brightening, doesn’t make my skin look look dry, and it’s so fine it doesn’t look heavy. All around love. It also works for setting my whole face if necessary so it makes a good travel companion too. Also reviewed here.

Chanel Perfection Lumiere Foundation Powder. I’ve been sticking to powder foundation most days this month and the more I use this, the more I like it. I did review it here. It gives a good medium coverage and it doesn’t look overly powdery. And it wears well when I set it with the Urban Decay All-Nighter makeup setting spray. I still want to try the It Cosmetics powder foundation, but if that’s a bust, I’d go back to this.

And for non-beauty faves:

I’ve been wearing more silver lately, I’ll share more on why in another post, but this bow necklace from Dogeared and these stud earrings from Anjolee have been go-to’s. The necklace is easy to layer with and earrings pair with pretty much everything I wear. They were given to me by Anjolee for review, which you can read more about here.

I’m excited for October to get here, we’re apple picking next weekend (Ava’s first time) and I can’t wait for Halloween! We have a coordinated family costume this year that I got last week, and Ava looks SO CUTE. I’ll definitely be sharing pics. We’re also hosting her little friends that night for pizza and trick-or-treating in our neighborhood so it will be some major cuteness overload at our house that night. 🙂

What are you looking forward to in October?

P.S. I’m already late on my blog posting schedule, I totally forgot to schedule this for 9 AM. Oh well.

*The earrings mentioned in this post were given to me by Anjolee for review, as always, all thoughts and opinions shared here are my own.

Current favorites: August 2015

It’s that time again, and I’m actually a little sad. The summer didn’t really fly by for me, but I’m still sad it’s getting closer to fall. It was actually more on the cool side today, which was a welcome relief from the usual humidity, but it almost felt too fall-like. Then again, fall is my favorite season, I just wish it lasted longer and it never got so cold.

Here’s the beauty stuff that dominated August.

Nars Virtual Domination Palette. I got the this palette awhile ago, and while I liked it, it just never hit heavy rotation. I pulled it out again and started using the Laguna bronzer and Final Cut blush (the matte peachy shade). I’ve been using the bronzer a lot more lately, I think it just looks better on me when I’m tan. And I love a peachy blush in the summer so this palette just worked. You can read my review on it here.

MAC Creme Lipstick in Vegas Volt. I don’t have lip favorites that often because I tend to just jump around a lot, but I have to say I really enjoyed this lipstick in August. I was just craving brighter colors and I always go for lips when I want to do color. And this orangey coral shade was perfect for that.

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Opal. This was a Sephora point perk that I was pretty excited about for obvious reasons. I feel like all makeup lovers have heard about it. I didn’t want to invest in it because I don’t need it, so this was the perfect excuse to get my hands on it. And I’m definitely buying the full size if I ever use it up. It’s a beautiful pale golden shimmer that I can’t stop reaching for.

Stila Nouveau Natural Palette. I’ve noticed that I kind of stick to one palette every month lately, whichever one I’m missing most I attach myself to and this one was it. Mostly because I’ve been obsessed with Kitten on my lids. It just brightens my eyes and makes them seem bigger. All in all, it’s a great mix of neutrals that for me work day to day.

Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Liner in Jet & Nars Larger Than Life Long-Wear Liner in Via Veneto. I grouped these together because they are equally good, gliding on easily and definitely staying put all day. I use them mainly to tighline and I pick whichever one my hand lands on first. I will say that I like that the Nars version is retractable so I don’t need to sharpen it.

Bumble & Bumble Don’t Blow It (H)air Styler. I mentioned this product in my recent beachy waves post. I use it pretty much everytime I wash my hair because I’m just not into blow drying it and having it straight lately. It helps my hair to air dry without looking completely frizzy and crazy, and helps to bring out some of the natural wave it has after some scrunching.

I’m still holding strong with my semi no-buy, but there are so many new releases lately that I’m just dying to try! Has anyone got there hands on the new MUFE Ultra HD Stick Foundation? And Charlotte Tilbury has a LIMITED EDITION Filmstar Bronze & Glow Palette for medium to dark complexions. There’s no way I’m going to run out of a bronzer or highlight ever. What products have you been lusting after lately? Not that I need anymore ideas, but hey, a girl can dream. 🙂

Current favorites: July 2015

No new products this month, everything here is an old, but reliable favorite. There are a couple new hair products I got this month, but I’m still trying them out. Since deciding not to buy any new makeup unless truly necessary, I’ve just been really trying to make use of what I have instead feeling like I’m never going to run out of anything because I have too much. I was looking through my foundations and realized I have some expensive ones that are too old to keep using and I probably only used halfway! Anyway, let’s get started.

1. It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Color Correcting Full Coverage Cream. Seriously, some brands go a little overboard with the naming. But in this case all is forgiven because this CC cream is good. I’ve reviewed it here. I’ve been applying it with my fingers for more sheer coverage, but it’s definitely more full if using a brush. It has SPF 50, which I love for summertime and it doesn’t make my face feel overly greasy–also a plus for this time of year.

2. Rimmel Stay Matte Long Lasting Pressed Powder. The packaging of this products leaves much to be desired, the cover of mine is all cracked up. But it definitely keeps my T-zone at bay when the heat hits. I mostly use it for a midday touch-up around my nose and forehead, after using a blotting sheet. After that I’m pretty good for the rest of the day without worrying about getting too shiny again.

3. Anastasia Beverly Hills Duo Brow Powder in Ebony. I’ve had this since I started filling in my brows a few years ago and it’s still going strong. I like that it has a darker and lighter shade to give some dimension and I’m just enjoying the softer look it gives. I usually set it with a lighter brow gel to balance out the color.

4. Rimmel Exaggerate Full Colour Lip Liners. I have a few of these, but my most used shades are East End Snob and Natural. My lips are slightly darker along the edges so these help me even out the color and keep my lipstick on longer. I also use them to make certain lipsticks that are too bright or too light more wearable.

5. MAC eyeshadows. No particular faves here, just the shadows in general. I’ve been using this palette daily just to create a little definition in the crease and give an even base to my lids before doing winged liner. It’s just easy since the palette has all the colors I need.

Hope everyone had a great July and is ready for a new month to begin!

Current favorites: June 2015

June has been a whirlwind, I’ve been so busy that couldn’t even manage to get a post up last week! I did want to quickly share my recent faves before the month comes to an end.

1. Maybelline Age Rewind Concealer. I put my Nars Creamy Concealer to the side this month and have been addicted to using this stuff again. It’s just more lightweight and easy for the summer months when you don’t want to layer so much on your face. I’m really happy I pulled his out again because I’ve forgotten how good it is! I’ve been using Medium and the Neutralizer (review here) shades for a little bit of a brightening effect.

2. Cover FX Custom Cover Drops. I wasn’t super stoked on this product when I did my review and honestly I’m still not sure that I’d repurchase. But, I have been using the heck out of this month to more as a shade corrector when I use foundation.

3. Peter Thomas Roth Retinol Fusion PM. My skin has never been better thanks to PTR. I won’t say more other than you can read my rave review here.

4. Coconut oil. I ran out of my body butter and remembered I had a jar of coconut oil sitting in my kitchen cupboard. I’d been planning to use it to cook, but I figured, may as well try it as a body moisturizer and see what the hype is all about. Well, I’m joining the bandwagon. It’s definitely keeping my skin way more moisturized and I feel like the jar will last me forever. I tend to shower at night then apply this because it does take a bit to fully absorb into the skin.

5. Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs. Despite a week in the Caribbean, my legs still are a bit paler than my arms. I also tend to get more sun on my arms just because I’m wearing sleeveless tops during the day and my legs just don’t get the same amount of sun since I’m not laying out. I also ended up getting some spider veins on my thighs when I was pregnant from being on my feet so much while I was working. Sally to the rescue! I mix this with lotion and smooth it onto my legs to get everything looking more even and tan. Make sure to put this on before getting dressed and give it a few minutes to dry down.

I hope you all have had a great June! It was a busy one for us, with Father’s Day and M’s birthday both falling within last week, I pretty much put blogging on the back burner. I’m hoping to be more consistent next month with posting, reading, and commenting!

Current favorites: May 2015

These are all the items that I’ve been reaching for the most this month, a couple aren’t really new to me, but are always reliable. I consistently reached for them when I was doing my makeup (or skincare). Let’s get to it.

1. I got the MAC Mineralized Blush in Warm Soul while on vacation this month. This warm golden blush gives a gorgeous sheen to tan skin and is perfect for the summer. I haven’t stopped wearing it since coming back from vacation. Literally.

2. I took a long break from winged liner, but the hiatus is over. I’ve been doing a wing pretty much everytime I do my makeup lately and the Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper (review) is still hands-down the best for getting the perfect flick. It’s also super long lasting, doesn’t smudge, and very black. I haven’t found a gel liner that is as long-lasting, the Maybelline one smudges by the end of the day, no fail. If you have a recommendation, let me know!

3. I ran out of cotton rounds and had M pick some up for me. I usually the Target brand, but he found these Full Circle Premium Cotton Rounds at our local grocery store. First, I was like you spent $4 on those?! I get them at Target for way cheaper and the pack comes with 100 rounds versus 80. But after using them I might be a convert. The Target ones tend to shed a lot and I end up with fuzzies all my face after using them. These are almost woven together like fabric and are smooth, so I don’t have that problem. I’m not picking cotton off my face before doing my makeup anymore which is a plus when you’re in a rush. I’m not sure where else they’re sold, but if you’re looking for a really good cotton round for makeup removal, toner, whatever, this one is awesome!

4. This Hakuhodo blush brush (J210) has risen to be the most favorite brush I’ve ever owned (for a review of my Hakuhodo brushes, you can refer here and here). It’s so soft and the application it gives is perfect. I like that it’s more flat and round at the top instead of tapered like most blush brushes, I can almost buff the blush in instead of sweeping it onto my cheeks and it just disperses the color so well. The size of the brush head is just right so the color isn’t getting all over the place. I actually washed all my brushes last night so that I could take a picture of it clean and of course, I totally forgot and used it this morning. Oops.

5. This could probably be on my favorites list every month, but this month I’ve been especially into a very natural, slightly defined brow. I’ve just been brushing the L’Oreal Brow Stylist Plumper (review) through them to add a little more fullness and softer definition. The size of the applicator works well for getting all the brow hairs; the tapered tip is nice for getting the tail end of my brows without making a huge mess.

What beauty items did you love this month?

Current favorites: April 2015

April was skin hell for me and as you can probably see from my choices this month, it was also pretty makeup-less. I didn’t want to aggravate my skin and cause more breakouts so I really put a hold on my usual daily makeup wearing. It was actually quite refreshing, I think I’m so used to seeing myself with makeup on that all my flaws are maximized when I see my bare face. But since I’ve been bare faced much of this month, all of my flaws aren’t as bad as I remembered and it actually made me feel more confident about my skin, despite the scarring. Here’s what made the cut this month:

1. Ole Henriksen Nurture Me moisturizer. This was the moisturizer I’d been using for several months, however decided to try a new one that I thought would be even better, but I was wrong. Once I finally realized my mistake, I ran back to Sephora to exchange it for this and I’m so glad I did. My breakouts are gone and my skin is back to normal with a few scars from it all, but I have to thank Nurture Me for that. It’s moisturizing and actually marketed for sensitive skin. It also has a strong candy scent, so if that bothers you I’d stay away. For me, it keeps my skin hydrated and doesn’t cause breakouts. Just goes to show, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

2. Batiste Dry Shampoo. I was at Target and thought I’d try another dry shampoo since my bottle ran out. Big mistake, it left my hair even greasier looking due to all the residue from the spray. M was out at Home Depot so I had him stop by CVS to get my beloved Batiste for me. This is the best drugstore dry shampoo I’ve ever tried, although it’s also in spray form, it doesn’t leave a residue, it absorbs any oils, and gives my hair a little body at the roots.

3. La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo. I won’t go too much into this, I have a review here. I was actually not even using this before my breakouts started, but once they did I was using this day and night all over my skin in a thin layer. I’m back to just spot treating as needed, but this definitely helped to heal my skin and shrink those pimples!

4. Tony Moly Panda’s Dream Brightening Eye Base. I’ve also reviewed this here. Since I wasn’t wearing any makeup, I used this often to just give my under eyes a little wake-up call for the day. It’s not going to add coverage to your dark circles, it’s just going to make the area look brighter. It’s also a nice base to your usual under eye cover routine.

5. Sheet Masks. I have definitely fallen for sheet masks as a nice, pampering addition to my skincare routine. I got a bunch from Beautique for review in their April Mask Maven Bag and I’ve been loving the whole experience of using them. It’s like a spa treatment at home. And my skin feels so nourished after using them, this may become a new addiction.

What products had you hooked this month?