Sooooo. Long time no post, eh? I wish I could say that I’ve been trying, but I really haven’t. I have had absolutely no motivation when it comes to the blog. But there’s nothing quite like talking about my favorite products of the month to help motivate me again! So at least for today, I have a new post!!! Whoo! ? As far as the rest of life, well…. The President-Elect is still making horrible decisions and making me question the viability of being American, and beyond horrible news seems to be hitting some of my friends, but things are going well enough on my part so at least there’s that! ? It’s been a roller coaster of a month so I’m glad to see it go, but I do wish I could relive Thanksgiving. It’s been so long since my little family has had a Thanksgiving with everyone in relatively good health. Fortunately this year everyone was healthy enough to enjoy it and we all did! ? If you’re curious, the “we” consists of just me, my Mom and my Dad. Basically the only family that’s ever been around me with any regularity and I love them dearly. If you remember, the past two Christmases have been delayed – last year until February! – due to health issues in the family so I’m hoping that this Christmas will be equally as enjoyable…and on time! ? But now we’re getting ahead of things and we have a lot of favorites to cover this month! So, on to my Cruelty Free November Favorites. ?
I guess I’ll begin with foundation. I switched back to my old stand-by in November from the Urban Decay All Nighter Foundation and, as usual, I wondered why the hell I strayed! My current favorite combination is a mixture of the Cover FX Custom Cover Drops (full review here) and the Japonesque Luminous Foundation. I don’t quite know what it is about this combo, but I love it! The Japonesque Foundation has what I’d consider a light-medium coverage, which is not quite enough to make my skin look as even as I would like so I just add a smidge of the Custom Cover Drops for fuller coverage with no real change in the formula. It blends in beautifully with just my fingers (my preferred method) and has a very natural looking finish. I tend to get a little shiny throughout the day, but ordinarily I would get really shiny, so this seems to keep my skin under control. ? It doesn’t emphasize my skin’s texture – probably the best I’ve found in that sense! – and it’s just all around wonderful for me. Love being reminded of how much I enjoy something I’ve strayed from, so I’m really happy to have rediscovered the Custom Cover Drops and the Luminous Foundation.
Moving on the concealer. I don’t think I’ve mentioned this one before, but I’ve been using it almost exclusively since I purchased it. It’s the much raved about (and difficult to find) Tarte Double Duty Beauty Shape Tape Contour Concealer! This stuff is fantastic! Believe the hype people. ? Though I really do not like the shades available – there are few options and none of them seem to work that well with my actual skin tone, but I can make them work for under the eyes – the coverage is intense…in the best way possible! ? I do still use a salmon corrector on my horrid dark circles, but the Shape Tape works better than anything else at concealing those deep hollows. It also looks natural! You can go overboard because a little bit goes a long way, but once blended into the skin it’s virtually undetectable. It doesn’t seem to settle into lines, pores, texture, nor does it cake and look heavy. It’s absolutely gorgeous stuff! Highly recommend the Tarte Shape Tape!!!
Blush. Yes, that’s right. I have a favorite blush this month! Again, I’ve been using it non-stop since purchasing it and it is the NARS x Sarah Moon Blush in “Impudique.” NARS blushes are almost always great because they’re usually pigmented, long wearing and blend well. This limited edition shade is all of those things…not to mention it’s a beautiful shade! It’s a gorgeous deep reddish pink-toned berry with just the barest hint of a sheen (swatch at the end). Yes, it looks pretty intense in the pan for those of us on the fair side of life, but with a light hand it’s that perfect naturally flushed from the cold kind of shade. I suppose if you’re going for unique, it’s probably not but that takes away nothing from its beauty. ? I absolutely love this blush from the NARS Holiday Collection!
Ah eyes. These two palettes were Sephora VIB Sale purchases. I did not intend to love both palettes, but oh do I ever! I ordered the shades “02” and “04” in the Natasha Denona Eyeshadow Palette 5 because I couldn’t tell what they really looked like online. My plan was to only keep the one that I liked better. Well, that’s not happening! ? They’re both gorgeous (swatches at the end)! And the quality is absolutely superb (better be for the price!). I believe there’s only one matte shade in each palette and I don’t feel that either palette is really one I can use by itself, but they’re so pretty that I don’t mind. The palette simply called “02” is kind of a neutral minky-bronze palette with a pop of peachy-champagne and a plummy-brown. Palette “04” has gold, copper, champagne, white-gold and a matte medium brown. I find I tend to use just one or two shades from “04” with some mattes from another brand to create a complete look, but all of the colors are just so gorgeous on the eyes. The shadows are buttery soft without being crumby and have intense pigment even on a brush. What you see in the pan will pretty much be what you get when applying to the eyes with a brush. It’s quite impressive. As an added bonus, my shadows almost always crease at least a bit by the end of the day lately. Not at all with these shadows! I have never come across a shadow that I’ve been more impressed by and I highly recommend that, if your budget allows, you give some of the Natasha Denona eyeshadows a go!
Finishing the eyes I’ve been using a sample of the Marc Jacobs Beauty O!Mega Lash Volumizing Mascara and I really like it! Kind of wish I didn’t because I’m a bit torn on my feelings with Marc Jacobs since the fragrance brand is not cruelty free, but the beauty company is. Just sits weirdly with me. But alas, this is a great mascara! I do feel like it’s already starting to dry out faster than most though. If you can look past that, it builds great volume without any clumping. It lengthens as well and is as black as can be. I feel like I have started noticing a flake here and there as the tube has been open longer, but nothing too noticeable and I don’t recall having any flakes initially. I’m not certain that I would want to buy a full-size tube because this seems to be drying out faster than I would like (and it’s expensive!), but it’s been a definite favorite throughout November…probably most of October as well actually.
Finishing off the makeup is a lipstick that, again, I’ve been wearing pretty much the entire month. It is one of the limited edition shades from the Kat von D Studded Kiss Lipsticks – Holiday Kiss Collection in the shade “Double Dare.” This collection of lipsticks is actually three of Kat’s best selling shades from the Liquid Lipstick range, but in her Studded Kiss Lipstick formula (and super fancy silver studded packaging). I much prefer the standard lipstick formula, but I’m not the biggest fan of most of the available shades. However “Double Dare” I love! It’s just a perfect everyday deep brownish-rose kind of shade (swatch at the end). The formula itself is on the dry side, but I wouldn’t exactly call it drying. It’s certainly not hydrating either, but it’s kind of that perfect in between that kind of feels like nothing but naturally bare lips. I find it perfectly comfortable, though I do prefer a lipstick that feels a bit creamier. That said, this lipstick wears so amazingly well that I will gladly sacrifice a bit of creaminess for wear time! Like I said, it’s not drying and it doesn’t tug on application so I will gladly trade that hint of creaminess for the longer wear time. ? I wish I liked more of the shades in the permanent line because I’ve come to love the formula, but I can happily live with just the limited edition “Double Dare” for now.
Lastly I will briefly touch on two hair products that have been helping me feel like I have more hair than I currently do. You may have seen mentions here and there about my hair thinning – which it still seems to be – and though I had been using these two products for quite some time as it was, I am really appreciating them now. They are both from the Living Proof Full range and they really do help my hair to look and feel a bit thicker than without them. The products I’m referring to are the Full Thickening Mousse and the Full Thickening Cream. I use them in reverse order on damp hair and then let it air dry. Once dry, I’ll use my flat iron (it’s the T3 Singlepass Luxe which is another love that I won’t go into here) and my hair still has the appearance and feel of its former thicker self without a touch of crunchiness, stickiness, flakiness or otherwise unpleasantness. I do not know how Living Proof does it, but the Full styling line is an absolute lifesaver on my thinning hair these days!
As I said, there was a lot to get through this month, but fear not. You’ve made it! ? It’s been a great month for these products as witnessed by my constant use of pretty much every single one. I rarely do that so I know these are truly favorites. And may I just say that I’m getting so excited for the impending Holidays!!! I hope everyone else is as well…assuming you celebrate anything. I’m going to be baking up a storm in a few weeks as I’m preparing all kinds of goodies for my dad’s office this year. Squuuueeeel! ? So excited! Hopefully none of them just read that, but if so, keep your mouth shut! ? I’m also “making” an advent calendar of sorts for Barclay (the dog) which he loves so far. I’m just wrapping up little treats and giving him one package to open each day until Christmas. I think opening presents is his favorite thing in the world so I’m hoping it’s a hit! ? Here’s hoping that all of you have had a good month and have an even better December!!! Not sure when I will post next, but I’m trying to get back on track so hopefully soon. As always, thank you so much for stopping by!!!