Hi! Welcome to my first favorites post of the year. I feel like this month was reallllly long for me- I’m so sick of it being dark when I leave for work, and dark when I get home. While I love winter weather, I’m not a fan of the daylight hours. It makes taking blog pics a lot harder! A lot of the products I’m mentioning were some that I actually traveled with when I was in Virginia this month, so I really got to put them through the ringer while I was away.
Maybelline Fit Me Finishing Powder / This powder is a new holy grail drugstore product in my collection. I was getting a little tired of the flashback and scent of Coty Airspun, even though I love the finish it gives. This Maybelline powder is all around perfect to set my liquid base makeup and they have a nice shade range instead of the typical translucent whites.
Cool Toned Smokey Eyes / I’m loving using greys, browns without orange, black, and purple mattes to create my eye looks lately. I feel like silver/black/cool toned classic looks will be coming back and I’m really excited because warm shadow has had it’s moment in the spotlight for plenty of time now.
Redken All Soft / I have never considered my hair “soft” until using this conditioner. It’s almost concerning how much better my hair texture feels after I shower with it.
Sally Hansen Plums The Word / Everytime I paint my nails this color I want to keep it on forever! This is the perfect cool toned plum and the Sally Hansen formula is easy to apply and lasts on my nails.
Tree Hut Moroccan Rose scrub / This scrub was a Christmas gift and smells so nice. It is a very sweet rose scent, more like a candy-ish smell than the actual flower.
Fenty Beauty Hu$tla Baby Highlight / This highlighter has been a go to all month for wearing on my cheeks and the inner corners of my eyes. It’s a bit powdery so I think it’s best to bounce a wet beauty sponge over top to blend it in with the other makeup on my cheeks, but I do that for every highlighter I use so I don’t mind. I’m currently wearing the gloss that comes with this kit and it smells like watermelon lemonade.
Panoxyl 10% / Another drugstore holy grail find. This cleanser is Benzoyl Peroxide based and if you have zits I would definitely recommend it. This is quite drying, but as long as you follow up with a moisturizer you’re good. I found it at Target. I use this at night as a cleanser, spot treatment, and face mask.
Black eyeliner / Smudging black liner on the outer third top and bottom of my lash line is such a throwback technique for me. It makes me feel like I’m back in highschool but I have rediscovered doing this after a VERY long hiatus. For the most simple matte eye look EVER, I prime my eyes, set with a matte foundation powder, put bronzer in the crease and lower lash line, then make two lines on the top and bottom outer corners of my lash lines (not waterline/ tightline) and buff them out with a small brush until it looks smokey. Put on mascara and you’re done. It gives definition to my eyes and doesn’t take much work. Using a pencil instead of a dark eyeshadow to define gives it a lot of staying power. Along with this simple method, I also like adding smudged out black or brown liner with more glam looks or under a winged liner. I’m happy to finally be using up all the black liners I have in my collection that have been sitting idly for way too long.
L’oreal Voluminous lash primer / I have been priming my lower lashes to try to beef them up as much as possible before adding mascara. I apply lash primer, mascara, then a coat of Nyx Control Freak brow gel to prevent smudging.
L’oreal Infallible Pro Matte Foundation / This foundation is an old favorite that I was feeling nostalgic for. I feel confident in saying that this is the most matte foundation I own. It is extremely easy to cover blemishes with but it doesn’t have a mask- like opaque finish. I was wearing it in this post.
Powder Before Foundation Technique / This technique has been around forever and has always seemed odd to me. Powders are usually applied after liquid products, not before. Wayne Goss has been credited for coming up with this technique, and I have been doing it every time I wear makeup out. I moisturize, prime, dust a little translucent powder all over my face, then go in with foundation. The idea is that having a powder barrier will absorb excess oil and it definitely works on my super oily skin.
Clairol Flare 6RR / Instead of my usual auburn Loreal Mega Reds, I bought a brighter red dye to add some color back into my hair. I used 10 volume developer to avoid giving myself bright red hot roots. If you use red dye this is a great shade that I will definitely be repurchasing. I can see my brown roots growing in a little bit more obviously in contrast to the red, but that’s ok. I attached photos of how my hair looked a few days after dyeing it.
Nothing but brow gel / Instead of going in with a brow pomade to fully darken my brows, I have been just combing through my brows with a tinted gel. It’s SO fast and I just take my usual brow brush to lightly define the bottom of my brow form a more structured arch. The tint of the brow gel keeps those lines subtle, and I don’t find that I need any other products. My favorites are L’oreal Brow Stylist Plumper & Ulta Brow Tint
Milky Jelly Cleanser / I wanted to mention the Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser as an unfavorite product for January. The first time I wrote up my feelings on this, it was pretty scathing so I’m going to try to tone it down to be a tad less passionate about a face cleanser. I have been using this every week day since July, and at some point I realized that it was a negative experience. I use 1-2 pumps, and it feels like nothing, which some may like. It is advertised as being gentle, but is heavily fragranced, so it’s not all that gentle for sensitive skin. After using it for six months, I noticed no improvement in my skin. When I tried to use it to remove my makeup, I still had to use Philosophy Purity to get the rest of it off. The only product I have repurchased from Glossier sadly has been their Balm Dot Com lip balm- such a good one. So far it seems like most of their products are overhyped, over- fragranced, and have too little active ingredients for the price point.
I finally took this out of my gym bag so I didn’t have to deal with the damper it was putting on my shower. So dramatic I know but now that I’m using Acure Brightening Facial Scrub Sea Kelp plus Chlorella Growth Factor, I’m a lot happier and so is my skin. The Acure scrub is a favorite this month in that sense! It is an ultra fine physical exfoliant that feels so amazing, but isn’t a harsh sharp scrub.
Black Mirror / I got the chance to binge watch during downtime on my work trip, and I absolutely love the show. Season 4 has been really good and you should definitely try it if you like dystopian technology stuff that is realistic and non- sci fi. It is NOT scary in my opinion! You can watch them in any order- they are their own little mini movie and don’t really correspond with each other. DON’T go chronologically… or if you do don’t start with season 1 episode 1, it will turn you off the show. Black Mirror makes you think days after the episode is over.
Bachelor / Arie seems chill and I don’t like Bekah or Krystal. I love watching every Tuesday on Hulu without commercials. Between this and Siesta Key, I’m happily watching lots of reality tv right now.
Lysine Supplement / I have been incorporating a few supplements into my diet to battle acne from the inside out, and Lysine has been really helping my skin stay clear. I went more in depth about everything I have been taking in this post.
The Big Sick / This was the best movie I have seen in a really long time! I highly recommend it and feel like I’ll give too much away if I try to describe it.
Christmas Haul Items / Everything I mentioned in my Christmas Haul has become my favorites pretty much, so I will just link that post here.
The Last Mrs. Parish / I don’t think I have ever gone through a book so fast as I did this one. I was hooked on it from the very beginning because it starts off fast- no boring build up. It had an awesome twist that I didn’t expect. Right now I’m reading Ready Player One, which has also been a major page turner. I hope my roll of good books continues because sometimes I get in lulls of every book I pick being super boring.
Iphone ring / Don’t hate me if you have one, but I just don’t really like the look of a bulky popsocket on the back of a phone. I did some research on more sleek options, and I love this ring. The linked set comes with four. I have had mine for over a month now and it has stayed firmly in place.
Express camo coat / This coat was originally $178, and I got it on sale for $40 at Express. They are constantly having sales and this coat fits like a glove. I have way too many camo clothes at this point but I love them!
Chai Lattes / I went on a work trip this month, which meant lots of Starbucks trips. That combined with Starbucks gift cards from Christmas has had me going there WAY too much! I order a chai latte with no water and two pumps of smoked butterscotch syrup, and sometimes with an extra shot of espresso when I feel like spending $6 on ONE COFFEE ugh. BEST DRINK EVER but so many calories 🙁 I also tried the golden chai latte from Peets Coffee and it was absolutely delicious- it has turmeric which goes extremely well with the cinnamon-y chai taste.
Skald Pre Workout / I wanted to mention this pre workout powder because it has been helping me get through my gym sessions and work much harder than usual. It has a nice dose of caffeine and doesn’t give that skin- itch or overheating experience like some pre workouts. I used to use C4 and this is a lot better. With one small scoop, I’m able to do cardio without hitting a wall after ~35 minutes, and it helps me want to actually keep going for longer. The only issue is that I feel like I will be a bit reliant on it, which is not a good thing. I will be repurchasing for sure.
Primula Cold Brew Coffee Maker / When I haven’t been at Starbucks I have been drinking cold brew coffee. I just bought a bag of loose chai tea so I can try to replicate the chai latte I’m addicted to without spending all my money. I’ll never go back to Keurigs because this is MUCH stronger.
That’s pretty much it! I guess I can mention my last favorite- I’ll be doing more wedding makeup this year and it’s pretty much the main thing I’m looking forward to in 2018. Along with being a bridesmaid myself in a couple weddings for my awesome group of engaged friends, there will be lots of glam makeup to be done soon. Hope you all have exciting things to look forward to this year too!