Alright. This post is incredibly late. It’s been written for weeks but for some reason or another, I have had the worst time getting pictures taken for it. I still want to post it because a) I still love everything mentioned, and b) I have nothing else to post anyway. Whomp, whomp, whomp. So I hope you still enjoy my ridiculously late Monthly Favorites post! Here goes…!
Yet another month has come to a close, which means it’s time for Cruelty Free September Favorites!!! Honestly September flew by so quickly that I don’t even remember it beginning. I have essentially spent the month continuing physical therapy (it’s surprisingly time consuming!) and taking one or more cats to and from the vet. Everything is ok…I will probably have a post giving more detail on life in general soon…but the vet has been needed thanks to my little Emerson (she’s 9 now so not so little!) being diagnosed with diabetes. Fortunately at this point, her A1C (sugar level) is at a good level and she seems to be doing well. Between all of that and continuing to test products for my now dry, Accutane battered skin (it’s actually not that bad, just a definite change), I don’t have a lot of genuine favorites again this month. I’ve been trying a number of things without definitive opinions which I’ll mention towards the end, but not a lot of genuine stand-out “favorite” products. I also have one product that I’ve had a bit of a change of heart about too! Not really a fail, just not as great as I remembered. So, with all that said, let’s get into the few Favorites that I do have! 😆
I’m going to start with the biggest hit of the month – the Supergoop! Forever Young Hand Cream with Sea Buckthorn Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 40 PA+++. I am a bit of a chronic hand washer and my hands started breaking out in a bit of a stinging, bumpy rash. I’ve had this happen before to a lesser degree so I figured it was probably from ultra dry skin. Well, I knew my hands were dry anyway, just didn’t notice they were getting that dry. Anyway, having the super convenient and huge 10oz pump of the Supergoop! Hand Cream and loving that it has sunscreen (your hands need sun protection too!), I turned to it for help. I had used it here and there before, but never consistently because I mainly only grabbed it when rushing out the door. I wouldn’t call it greasy, but it does take maybe 30 seconds to completely absorb. No big deal. It leaves my hands feeling nice and hydrated and, even better, cleared up that bumpy rash in about a day! I love that it is available in a supersized pump bottle that is fantastic to keep right next to the sink, as well as a convenient 1oz squeeze tube that’s great for on the go. So thank you Supergoop! Forever Young Hand Cream for saving my dry, bumpy, irritated hands. 🤗
This next product I’ve been loving for a number of months, but haven’t wanted to mention it because I haven’t been able to independently confirm that the brand is cruelty free. They claim to be and don’t appear to sell in China, but I can’t get a response from the company with more details. With that said, I feel weird trying it (I was getting desperate), let alone recommending it, but it really has been a wonder product for me. The item in question is the Briogeo Scalp Revival Charcoal + Coconut Oil Micro-Exfoliating Shampoo (if you have any info about Briogeo’s cruelty free status, please let us know!). This stuff has completely rid me of any and all dandruff as well as scalp itchiness! When starting on Accutane with an already uncomfortably tight, dry scalp prone to the white flakies, I felt like I needed to amp up my dandruff care. With few effective cruelty free options that are also color safe, this stuff entered my radar and I caved. It’s a rather strange shampoo in that the consistency is almost like a body butter – it’s thick and almost paste-like. The greyish (it includes charcoal powder to help detoxify the scalp) pasty goo is also chocked full of what feels like Jojoba Beads, though I don’t see them as an ingredient. I feel like whatever these little scrubbies are, they are the secret to eliminating and preventing dandruff. Scrubbiness aside, it’s a bit of an odd shampooing experience firstly because it’s contained in a screw-top pot. To be honest, I hate that about this product, but I can see it being a difficult one to package differently. The next oddity involves scooping a bit of product out of said tub (being really careful to avoid getting water inside the container…grrrr!). Then I rub it mainly into the roots of my hair and gently massaging my scalp. It doesn’t really lather which is a bit disconcerting, but my hair always looks and feels clean when I’m done. Occasionally I do add a bit of traditional shampoo to the lengths of my hair just to get a better sense of a traditional shampoo. Anyway, it smells wonderful! Kind of like Thin Mint Cookies – that glorious blend of chocolate and mint. Love the scent! I also really love the look and feel of my hair (not just my dandruff-free scalp!) after using this. It doesn’t weigh down my fine hair, doesn’t strip the color, doesn’t seem to leave a residue behind. It’s just lovely! A weird experience to use, but the results are spectacular and I would highly recommend it to anyone struggling with dandruff or an otherwise dry or problematic scalp…I just wish that I could verify Briogeo is 100% cruelty free. The Scalp Revival Shampoo does appear to be vegan, plant-based and color-safe at least.
Finally getting into a bit of makeup! I’ve been using the ColourPop Pressed Powder Highlighter in “Here Kitty Kitty” for a few months now too. I’ve hesitated mentioning it because though I always love the way it looks, there’s just the tiniest bit of superfine glitter in it and I don’t really like glittery highlights. I wouldn’t really consider this glittery and I honestly can’t decide if I think the glitter even shows up when applied, but I do know that it looks absolutely stunning on the skin! It’s not the most natural highlighter, but it’s also not intensely in your face when applied lightly to moderately (I always apply it before my blush which helps to further meld it onto the cheeks). Every time I wear it, if I catch myself in a mirror, I think, “Wow! That glow is amazing!” I rarely notice that kind of thing throughout the day, but something about this is awesome! I don’t know how ColourPop does it – constantly releasing new shades and new products…at a totally affordable price! I don’t know about the rest of their Pressed Powder Highlighters, but “Here Kitty Kitty” is definitely a winner in my book.
Another great makeup item that I’ve been using for a couple months now is the Lottie London AM to PM Kohl Eye Liner Pencil in “Mocha.” It’s soft, creamy, very pigmented, and it stays where you want it. It also sharpens really easily…probably one of the easiest and best pencils I’ve ever sharpened. Oh, and it’s totally affordable at $4.49! What more could you ask for?! I guess if I wanted to find a criticism, it’s the color range – I want more! There are 6 pretty standard shades – a nice deep black, the brown shade I’m highlighting here, a grey, a purplish-burgundy, a teal & a nude. Great options, but more would be fun too. This liner absolutely matches up with its much pricier counterparts and it’s so affordable! Highly recommend checking these liners out…if you can find them in stock (available at Ulta)! 😉
That’s going to end the actual Favorites from September. As for things I’ve been testing out and haven’t come to a decision about yet, they’re all foundation-like products. I’ve been half-heartedly trying lip products too (meaning wearing them for a short period of time and eventually just applying lip balm over and over again), but I don’t have any in particular to mention yet this month. But back to the complexion-perfecting products…. I’ve been trying them in a variety of different ways – different primers, powder vs. no powder, different concealers, brush vs. Beauty Blender, etc. And to be fair, a lot of days I just go bare faced so the testing process is a slow moving one! But I’m giving these a go and wanted to mention them. I may try to do a separate post going into more detail about each one, but for now here’s a basic rundown.
Probably the one I’ve reached for the most is the Too Faced Born This Way Foundation. I reviewed this shortly after it released (check it out here) and I believe I liked it, but it was just too oil-inducing for my skin at the time. Testing it now, it’s fantastic…almost. It looks great right after application, but eventually settles into the pores on my checks pretty badly. And by settles, I mean it looks like the foundation is being drawn into my skin to suck out every ounce of moisture from the foundation into my cheeks. For me it’s a really odd problem that I’ve never quite experienced before and it’s an ongoing theme among these. No matter what I’ve tried (and granted I haven’t tried everything…yet), it keeps happening. I also can’t really repair it with setting spray or something of the sort. I’m still hoping I can make it work because it really is a lovely foundation.
Similarly we have the new Bare Minerals Bare Pro Foundation. Same problem with the checks sucking the life out of the foundation. I also can’t decide if I like the matte finish it provides. It’s nice, but now that I’m so dry I kind of want a bit of my old glow back! So here I’m also trying to use dewy primers, the Cover FX Illuminating Drops and glowy setting sprays. So far I haven’t found the right combination. I will also say that this seems to accentuate any hairs on my face. It’s fine over texture, just not facial hair (and I have rather minimal facial hair). Weird. 😄
This next product I have a bit less trouble with the appearance over time, but I can’t decide if I like the formula. It’s the W3LL People BioActive Tinted Moisturizer. I want to love this and it has surprisingly good coverage…especially for a tinted moisturizer, but there’s something about the texture that I’m not sure I like. It’s kind of tacky and I’ve decided it absolutely needs to be set with powder to be comfortable. If I set it, it feels fine on the skin but I’m still not sure I like it. Initially I loved it. Next try I didn’t. And that continues so I’m torn.
As for my re-try that turned into a dud, it’s another W3LL People product. It’s the BioActive Mascara. I had a sample-sized tube of this a while back and I thought it was great for a more natural looking mascara (as well as being a more “natural” mascara!). I picked up a full size recently and tried it again and, “Ouch!” I find the wand really pokey which is no good in my book. It still makes for a nice natural mascara look (though I find that unappealing lately), but applying it is rather uncomfortable. I’m sad to say that this has already gone back.
Well, that ended up longer than expected! Story of my posts! 😄 I hope everyone is doing well and that you and your loved ones are surviving all of the recent horrible disasters that seem to crop up at least once a week lately. I hope this has been a nice distraction from reality and you’ve enjoyed hearing about my random lot of Favorites from September. I’m hoping to get back to posting more regularly, but I’ve just had the worst writer’s block lately…not to mention a lot of life distractions. Wish me luck! 😜 Wishing you all nothing but good things, and I hope to see you back soon. Until then, thanks so much for stopping by!!!