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April & May Beauty Favorites 2017

Beauty, Skincare

Phew! It’s been a crazy past few months. It’s been so crazy, in fact, that I forgot to write a monthly favorites for April! Oops. To make up for my lack of monthly favorites during April, I’m combing April and May for aa huge spring favorites post. And unlike my other monthly favorites, the following products have been carefully curated and much loved this spring (so much in fact, I have to refrain from sounding overly sing songy). Proceed reading with caution, some of these beauty products might be the best of the best (and you might not want to go back to your old standbys ever again).

Skin Laundry Gentle Foaming Face Wash

I’m on a constant search to find a cleanser that is gentle enough for my sensitive, dry skin yet powerful enough to remove my makeup. I’ve searched tirelessly, and yes I’ve tried all the brands you’re probably thinking of: Simple, FAB, Burt’s Bees, you name it. It’s not that these cleansers are bad necessarily, it’s just that they’re not the best thing I’ve ever used. But this one, this hidden gem, might just be the closest I’ll get. I got this deluxe sample in my Sephora Play, and I didn’t think anything of it. But after using it daily for a few weeks now, I’m happy to say that this cleanser is amazing. The formula is gel at first, but when you suds it with water it foams up on the face nicely. It’s very gentle and non-irritating which my skin loves, but it also takes off basically everything but a little bit of left over mascara. Color me impressed.

Belif Hungarian Water Essence

This is another goodie found amid Sephora Play. I really like essences, and I enjoy their weightless feel, but sometimes I wonder if it’s even making a difference. This essence has helped to change my POV. I feel completely different if washed my face and not followed up with this essence. It is very hydrating, like water (as the name aptly says), and it provides the most wonderful base for my serum. 100% worth it.

Tatcha The Water Cream

I think I might have an addiction to face lotions and face creams. At one point in time, I most likely have 10 different lotions and creams to choose from. I’m not complaining in any way, but it does get hard to formulate a concrete opinion when there are so many options. This cream is, hands down, one of the best I’ve ever used. It ranks up there with my First Aid Beauty cream, and that’s high praise. What makes this so unique is it’s consistency: it’s a cream, but it’s not too thick. It’s watery, so it gets absorbed fairly quickly (which is ideal for spring time). At the same time, it leaves behind a very faint scent. It’s no wonder this is the #1 best seller right now at Sephora. It’s phenomenal, and I highly recommend to any skin type.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dolly Wink Liquid Eyeliner

I’d heard rumor that this eyeliner was good, but I didn’t image it was this good. This eyeliner blows other liquid felt-tipped liners out of the water. I first heard about the liner a couple months ago when Estee Lalonde talked about picking one up when she was in Japan. Estee happened to pick up the pencil version pf the liner. But when I was at Disney World Epcot earlier this spring , I found the Dolly Wink felt tip in Epcot Japan. TBH, I’m sort of obsessed with Japanese beauty right now (but more on that later – hint, hint, nudge). Since that day — literally — I haven’t stopped wearing it. This. Eyeliner. Is. The. Shit. Unlike other felt-tipped liners I’ve used and struggled with in the past, this liner applies in one flawless swipe, the pigment is true black, and it stays puts all day.

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Lip Shine

I’m unsure why other companies don’t put Hyaluronic Acid in more beauty products. I think Neutrogena is onto something with this product. Unlike most glosses or lip toppers that feel sticky and heavy, this gloss is light weight. For someone like me who doesn’t wear lip glosses every single day, it’s ideal. I love having this in my bag at all times (similar to the Korres Lip Butter Gloss), because it’s an extremely sheer rose color that just adds the slightest something something. I’m also a huge fan of the applicator: it’s a large oval that makes it easier to cover more surface area quicker.

March Beauty Favorites 2017

Beauty

march beauty favorites

True story: when I sat down to write this monthly beauty favorites, I thought it was for April favorites, not March. I’m clearly in a different mindset. My bet is that I’m craving my upcoming trip to Walt Disney World, and my mind is already prepared from May. But, since there’s still a little under a month until that trip, it’s time to honor the beauty products that helped me finish out the last of the winter weather and prep me for the beautiful springtime. Let’s just jump right in.

Wet n Wild MegaCushion Highlight

Nine months ago, finding an affordable highlight at the drugstore that had great color payoff was nearly impossible. Nowadays, highlighter has saturated the makeup market, and my favorite highlights are pennies compared to some of the high-end cult favorites. This happens to be one of them. This cushion highlight is only $6, and it’s absolutely spectacular. For any of my fellow dry-skin sufferers out there, this one is for you. I stopped wearing powder except over concealer on acne, so this cushion highlight layers wonderfully over my foundation. I take the sponge it came with (or my fingertips) and dab lightly on the high points of my cheeks, nose and Cupid’s bow. The color, a soft pink, is great for anyone with incredibly fair skin like myself.

Korres Lip Butter Gloss

At the beginning of March, Jorge and I were showing his cousin around SoHo when we stumbled upon (quite literally) a sample sale. As we know from my previous beauty sample sale hauls, I can’t say no. This particular sample sale happened to be exclusive to Korres skincare and makeup, which is a recognizable name to those who frequent Sephora. For this sale, I limited myself to just a few tiny purchases, and I grabbed some concealer and a pack of lip butter glosses. I assumed these would be similar to my favorite NYX Butter Glosses. I have to say, these might be better. Although I love NYX’s butter glosses, these have a much better consistency: glossy without the stickiness. I love all three colors I got at the sample sale, but this one in nude is a staple. Come to think of it, I don’t think I’ve taken it out of my purse since day one.

march beauty favorites close up

Glossier Perfecting Skin Tint

I really didn’t expect to fall head over heels for this tinted serum moisturizer. I assumed I would wear it occasionally on weekends or lazy days, but I’ve been wearing it during the work week for almost all of March. The formula of this product is something I’ve never experienced before. It’s lighter weight than a tinted moisturizer or BB cream, it has a the lasting comfort of a serum, and it evens out redness without being high coverage. Glossier describes the formula, saying it “evens out discoloration and leaves your face looking toned, smooth, and dewy.” The best part? I’m very sensitive to skin makeup and always look for something that won’t feel too heavy, clog my pores or break me out. This skin tint is “Hypoallergenic, dermatologist tested, appropriate for all skin types, non-settling, non-creasing, non-poring, non-irritating, paraben free, alcohol free, fragrance free,  [and] cruelty free.” AKA, it’s perfect.

GLAMGLOW Glowstarter Mega Illuminating Moisturizer in Nude Glow

It’s rare when I fall in love with a sample size product I receive from a monthly beauty box. But, when I do, they tend to become a holy grail essential to my everyday routine . Take my coveted Caudalie Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet and Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper; both are treasures I first received in my Sephora Play box. In my March Sephora Play, I received a deluxe sample of GLAMGLOW’s Glowstarter Mega Illuminating Moisturizer in Nude Glow. I use this in the mornings as a primer before applying makeup. Not only is Glowstarter incredibly soft and moisturizing, but the smell is truly out of this world. For those who are sensitive to smells, this might not be the best product for you. But those who enjoy a little pick-me-up in the morning, this moisturizer smells like orange creamsicles. It smells like summertime, and I can’t get enough. You only need a little amount of this: it goes on evenly and leaves your skin with an effervescent all-day glow.

My Go-To Weekend No-Makeup Makeup Routine

Beauty

I’m one of those people who really loves and appreciates very natural no-makeup makeup. Although I also celebrate glam makeup for the artwork that it is, my personality suits a much more peachy, nude-y glow. And when it comes to the weekends, my natural makeup routine can be extremely bare bones. Some weekends, I go for an amped-up skincare routine and no makeup at all, whereas most of the time, I like to go for something casual that makes me feel dolled-up in a very soft and easy way.

Insert: my go-to lazy weekend natural makeup look. This look is ideal for the spring season transition, during long stretches of weather that can decide to be cold and dry or sunny and rainy.

Prepping The Face

I start this look after prepping my skin with a gentle wash and moisturizer. I follow this with a primer if I’m feeling it. I’ve mentioned it before on my blog, but my holy grail primer is the Too Faced Hangover Primer. It’s so moisturizing and soft, and it smells like coconuts, which is honestly 70% of the reason why I use the product so often.

 

After prepping and priming, I love going in with my trusty Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 20. I’ve raved about this tinted moisturizer before on the blog, and I even listed it as one of my favorites a couple of months back. During the weekdays, I’ll go in with this tinted moisturizer using a damp beauty blender. On the weekends, though, I just use a small amount on my fingers and evenly spread it around, all over the face and down the neck.

 

During the weekdays, I tend to go a bit heavy-handed with my favorite NARS concealer. But on lazy weekend days, I don’t need much. I love the Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Concealer. This concealer is meant for the under eyes exclusively, but I’ll dab it on my chin and red spots as well. It does a great job at hydrating and giving medium coverage.

The Details

Next, I can’t go without giving my brows a little TLC. My forever forever forever favorite is the NYX Micro Brow Pencil. For my fair cool toned skin, the color “Ash brown” is ideal. I have yet to find another drugstore eyebrow pencil that has the same color match (drugstore eyebrow pencils are always SO red-toned).

 

Next, I can’t go without a swipe or two of mascara. Even the most natural makeup days can benefit from a little lash love. I have no idea why I never tried L’Oreal Voluminous Original Mascara sooner. I’ve heard so many people hype this product up for years, and when I recently ran out of mascara, I decided to give it a try. The hype is REAL. Just a couple of strokes of this on my upper lashes gives my eyes a little life.

 

To finish the look off, I love a pop of color on the cheeks. For spring, I’m very into a bright coral or peach. Yes, it’s a classic. But something about it has been calling to me recently. On a spur of the moment ELF shopping trip a few weeks ago, I grabbed the e.l.f. Beautifully Bare Blush in Peach Perfection. I cannot sing enough praise for this product. It’s a cream blush that’s formulated with argan oil and Vitamin E, so it blends evenly with the fingertips and feels very moisturizing on my impossibly dry skin. I need to pick up the other color of this blush, because I can’t get enough of it. I have chosen this blush day after day after my high-end Lorac, Laura Gellar, NARS and Becca blushes. For $4, this blush is an absolute steal and the product I’m most excited about at the moment.

 

All in all, this simple lazy day routine takes about five minutes and it takes no makeup brushes (which totally makes it a breeze). I’m a huge fan of the no-makeup makeup look, and on the weekends when I want a little something to help me feel a little confidence and excitement, this beauty look is ideal.