It is monthly favorites time again and this time I managed to pick more than 5 things woo hoo! I try a lot of new products (but also tend to do the same makeup for work daily), but I’m so picky that it’s hard for me to choose which ones really stand out to show you all.
1. Versace Bright Crystal eau de toilette ($52 for 1oz. at Sephora, but I bought mine at Nordstrom Rack in San Francisco for $29.99) – This month I traveled to San Francisco for the weekend and had some time to kill so I went shopping. I love getting new stuff on vacation because it reminds me of the good times that I had on my trip. This perfume is light, feminine, and clean smelling to me, but let’s see what the pros say: “Bright Crystal is a fresh, sensual blend of refreshing chilled yuzu and pomegranate mingled with soothing blossoms of peony, magnolia, and lotus flower, warmed with notes of musk and amber.” Ok so I was pretty close. My only gripe with this perfume is that it does not last!! A quick glimpse on the reviews at Sephora.com confirmed that I’m not the only one that feels this way. That is why I bought this perfume 3 weeks ago and about 1/4 of it is gone already and I didn’t even wear it everyday! I do always apply it very liberally and I also like to spray myself and my sheets before I go to bed because it smells awesome. If I hadn’t gotten this one for under $30 I definitely would not be spraying it so much.
2. Boots Botanics Rosewater Toning Spritz ($9 at Target) – I love a face mist. I really love MAC Fix Plus which I lovingly refer to as “Gypsy Water” but at $22 a pop I can’t generously douse myself in it everyday like I would like to. I will make a whole separate post on MAC Fix Plus spray to explain what the hell it is and how I use it in the future. This toning spritz smells exactly like roses and feels super refreshing and luxurious. I spray it on after washing my face or before I apply moisturizer. I also will spray some on my face before applying “a second layer of paint” aka another coat of makeup for night time when I’m in a rush. It’s supposed to “visibly tighten pores and remove the last traces of makeup” and claims that “Skin feels smoother, fresher, and prepared for moisturizing”. I only mist it on my face not on a cotton pad to remove makeup so I have no clue if it removes makeup well. Are my pores visibly tightened? Meh. Does my skin feel smoother, fresher, and prepared for moisturizing? Sure. I feel like this has been nice in the 90+ degree weather lately and will probably be nice and moisturizing when it gets colder.
3. Proclaim Professional Care Argan Oil Intense Hydrating Masque ($2 at Sally Beauty Supply) – This is just a nice moisturizing mask that’s ultra conditioning and it’s supposed to nourish hair making it soft, silky and manageable. I think it definitely did those things and my hair looked a little healthier after I used it. You can see that this one is opened because I’ve already used it twice and will probably be able to get 2 more uses out of it. Not bad for $2.
4. Anastasia Dipbrow Pomade in Taupe ($18 at Sephora) – I have talked about this product before on my How To Fill In Your Brows post. I got this for my birthday back in July, but have honestly been a bit intimidated at the thought of using it. When I’m getting ready in the AM my brows are one of the last things I do and I don’t want to be late because I’m trying to paint on the perfect eyebrows with basically a gel eyeliner for your brows. I thought this was going to be hard to apply or time-consuming, but it honestly has been way faster and easier than I thought. The other great thing about this is you need so little product that it will last forever unlike their pricey Brow Wiz pencils that I also love. The only problem I have with this is that it’s easy to go overboard and it gives you pretty seriously defined brows so you have to be careful or else it will look like you drew on brows with a Sharpie.
The last 2 products came in the Mally Beauty Bulletproof Essentials kit which was $49 at Ulta and includes a great volumizing mascara that I’ve been using daily (but I wouldn’t spend $20 on it so it’s not a favorite), a great eyeliner that works about the same as the majority of my pencil liners (but I probably wouldn’t spend $15 on it so it’s not a favorite), and the product that I bought this kit for was the Face Defender which was $40 for 0.46 oz. and in this kit it was 0.4oz which is why I spent the 9 extra dollars to get the mascara, eyeliner, eyeshadow stick, and liquid lipstick it just seemed silly not to. The Face Defender is supposed to be the first ever “clear setting powder” that keeps you from looking matte without the dry, ashy look of translucent powder. I’ve been trying to use it, but I still like I haven’t completely figured it out yet so it did not make the favorites cut this month. Another reason I bought this kit is because I have loved Mally since I was in high school and ripped out a picture of JLo from a magazine because she looked so stunning and saw “Makeup by Mally Roncal”. From there I have watched her videos on YouTube and she has the most insanely endearing, fun, positive personality ever. She also truly seems to believe in her products so I felt like it was time that I finally bought some! I also read her new book this month, but see more about that below.
5. Mally Beauty Evercolor Shadow Stick in Saddle Shimmer ($25 at Ulta, mine came in the kit I talked about and it is full size) – Remember those Maybelline Cool Touch eyeshadow pencils we all wore in middle and high school? Well this is the much more chic grown-up version of that. Mally does not lie when she says it’s bulletproof and it does not crease. I have been using this all over my lid, then blend it out with my finger, then I put another layer on top along the lash line to make a more vibrant eyeliner. I also put a little along my bottom lash line. This color has been working for me for both day and nighttime wear and it really is easy to apply. I think this color is pretty universal and would work on most skin tones and eye colors. I would totally get more colors of this if they came in another value kit (maybe I need to start watching QVC!) because even though it’s great $25 is a bit steep for an eyeshadow stick. Am I the only one who can buy all the familiar high end brands without batting an eyelash, but the second it’s a lesser known brand the price point I’m willing to spend is way lower?
6. Mally Beauty High Shine Liquid Lipstick in Starburst ($20 at Ulta, again mine came in the kit and was full sized) – The next thing I’m about to say may shock you. I hate lipgloss. It is so god damn annoying, sticky, messy, my hair is always getting in it, it’s just gross. This liquid lipstick however is different. It’s a little bit sticky, but in the way that keeps it on your lips not in the just feels nasty and doesn’t do anything way. The lip pen is easy to use and this color is a perfect pinky nude shimmer (but not too shimmery) color for everyday use which I love because when I use lipstick during the day it tends to dry my lips out and come off unevenly. This is a really nice subtle lip product that you can put on and forget about because it will last a little while and it won’t look insane when it starts coming off. I’ve been loving this and reaching for it way more often than I usually reach for ANY lip product. I want to get this in more colors.
And to mix it up a little more I want to add 2 books to my September favorites:
I found Girlboss very inspiring and I think that Sophia Amoruso has great advice for young, ambitious professional women. This book is also great for anyone that feels lost like they can’t find their career path.
Love, Lashes and Lipstick My Secrets for a Gorgeous, Happy Life by Mally Roncal was amazing. I talked about Mally above, but basically she is a makeup artist with a really positive, sweet personality and a great outlook on life. Her mom was diagnosed with breast cancer when Mally was 1 year old and she was told she didn’t have long to live so she taught Mally to really get the most that she could out of life and live everyday like it was her last. This book totally made me cry and I can’t remember the last time a book did that. Mally also talks about her husband and their very sweet story of love at first sight. She also has awesome tips and quick makeup tutorials for various looks. Even though she is pushing her products in the book (and hey it worked I went out and bought some right away) I also really admire her business sense and determination. Did I mention she has done Beyonce so many times that she considers her a close personal friend? If that isn’t credibility I don’t know what is.