The wrapping paper has been strewn around the living room. The anticipation of a New Year is upon us and our pants are all feeling just a bit more snug. All sure fire signs that it’s time for some Cruelty Free December Favorites!!! For me, it’s been a strange month, but one of some great beauty products…and there’s mostly makeup for a change! 😜 It’s not been a bad month, just unusual. But we’re not gonna waste time on some fancy intro, so let’s just get into the good stuff, shall we?

I only have one skincare product from December (shocking, I know!) so let’s start there. My first favorite is the Derma E Hydrating Night Cream. This is a really good, thick, rich moisturizing cream that I use – surprise! – at night as my last skincare step. If you have seen my Cruelty Free Accutane Skincare post, you’ll remember this as a more recent addition to the routine and it is absolutely fantastic if you have dry or dehydrated skin. It contains one of my new favorite ingredients, Hyaluronic Acid. As mentioned in the post, Hyaluronic Acid is able to attract and hold an insane amount of water which really helps bind moisture deep into the skin. It absolutely provides a good, deep drink of moisture to the skin and is just what my super dry skin needs right now. I should add that though it is a very thick cream, it has kind of a water-whipped texture to it that does not have a heavy or greasy feeling on the skin. It is kind of the opposite consistency of the Farmacy Sleeping Night Balm that I also mentioned in that post. I feel like the Derma E Hydrating Night Cream is probably a crowd pleaser for most anyone with anything from normal to dry skin. Oiler skin types probably don’t need such a deep moisturizer, though I don’t think you would dislike it either because of the water-feeling base…especially this time of year! Bottom line? If you have dry, dehydrated or even normal to combo skin, I think you will really enjoy this moisturizer. I’ve been using it pretty much the entire month and don’t ever want to look back!

Sticking to skin, but on the makeup side of things, we have the Kat von D Lock It Concealer Crème. Though it’s ok under the eyes, I much prefer it as a spot concealer around the rest of the face. I still have some fading acne spots on my cheeks as well as some annoying sunspots around my face (I am now convinced that retinoids and chemical exfoliants make a huge difference in fading those suckers! But that’s a topic for another time…). The Kat von D Concealer is great because it is highly pigmented, full coverage, and best of all in my eyes, it stays put all day all by itself! I wouldn’t say that it “sets” in some noticeable way, but it really does stay put – with or without powder. Since my skin is drier than the Sahara now, any way that I can avoid adding powder makes me happy. It doesn’t get cakey, doesn’t age my skin, comes in 20 shades ranging from actual white to pretty deep with varying undertones, and the coverage is great! It blends into my skin seamlessly as well. Highly recommend giving this concealer a go!

My favorite blush and contour products are nothing new for December, but I have literally used them every day that I’ve worn makeup. For contouring, I’ve gone back to my trusty Kevyn Aucoin The Sculpting Powder in the shade “Medium.” I just love this powder. It’s a nice cool tone without being so cool that it doesn’t look like an actual skin shade. It creates a perfect shadow for my coloring (despite it looking rather dark and scary in the pan) and it blends so nicely that it is truly undetectable. After that subtle hint of cheek sculpting, the blush I’ve been reaching for is the Antonym Certified Organic Baked Blush in either “Peach” or, more often, “Rose.” Again, just a good never-fail-you kind of product. The powder is so soft and creamy but without excess product kicking up and over-coating your brush. The pigment is perfect – subtle with a light application, but buildable for a deeper flush if desired. I wouldn’t say that it has a shimmer, but it doesn’t seem flat matte either. It just has the most natural satin glow to it that’s beautiful and very much skin-like. It never looks overdone or unnatural and “Rose” in particular is just a perfect go-with-anything kind of shade. Highly, highly recommend checking out the Antonym Blushes as they are absolutely perfect in my eyes! (Being a baked product, they’ll last forever as well!)

This next product I’ve been using on and off for quite a while now because I initially had a bit of a love / hate relationship with it. It is the Glossier Boy Brow in the shade “Blond.” My issue had been that though it would keep my brows in place beautifully, I had trouble getting it to blend in with them and always felt like people could see my brow gel. I started with the shade “Blond” and eventually bought it in “Clear” once it was available. I might actually want to try the next deeper shade, but I see no need for yet another tube right now. Self control, yes! 😜 I actually like the tinted version better because I feel like the “Clear” kind of clings to the brow hairs and stands out more somehow. I’m not selling this yet, am I? 😄 Let’s start over a bit, shall we? Though I rarely use it on its own as some people with a better starting brow might be able to do, I still feel that the Boy Brow is hands down the best brow gel I’ve found for not only keeping my brows in place, but doing so without feeling crunchy or making them feel plastered to my face. I hate that! The tiny little wand is perfect for applying to sparser brows like mine, though I do still get a bit on unwanted parts of my skin from time to time. It wipes away easily enough before it dries. I do find that I tend to get a bit more product on the brush than needed for my brows – thus why I always felt like the gel was more visible than I would like. If you wipe the wand either on the edges of the tube opening or even on a tissue, I feel like all issues are solved. It also naturally applies less as it gets drier too. If you can figure out the proper amount of gel to apply, or brush some out with a clean spoolie, I think you’ll find that the Boy Brow lives up to the hype because the brows stay put without that crunchy or flaky caked on effect. It’s a brilliant brow gel!

Another everyday makeup staple for me has been the Marc Jacobs Highliner Matte Gel Eye Crayon in the shade “(Earth)quake.” I use this pencil on the upper waterline (ya know, the skin kind of between the eyelashes and your eye – the creepiest place ever to put anything) and it’s just perfection! It’s a deep, dark neutral brown so it’s not too harsh but still adds definition to the lash line and it works with pretty much any look. The pencil itself is incredibly soft and creamy, but it also stays put and draws on easily even in that particularly delicate eye area. It’s a twist-up pencil so it doesn’t require sharpening, which is a big plus when I’m in a hurry. There’s really not a lot more to say other than it’s just a fantastic eye pencil in consistency, staying power and shade. Don’t love the price tag, but it’s worth it for this divine eye pencil.

Last but not least, I MAY HAVE A NEW FAVORITE MASCARA!!! That’s right. December brought me the marvelous Wander Beauty Unlashed Volume & Curl Mascara and it is absolute perfection! Well…for my lashes and preferences at least. I would say that this is predominately a volumizing mascara, but it does add some length as well. It’s a good, deep black shade with a drier formula. The brush has natural bristles in a curved shape. I wasn’t sure how I would feel about the shape since I seem to get mascara all over my lids no matter what, but I’ve been finding this wand surprisingly easy to use. It kind of mimics the lash line so it’s easy to place the wand nearly against the eye and brush the lashes up without too much mess. I tend to flip the wand around for the tips of the lashes as well as coating into the outer corners a bit better. I actually really like the shape of the brush, and the fullness of the bristles is just perfect to keep the lashes nicely separated without getting too separated. I haven’t had any trouble with clumping, flaking or smudging either! Though I always curl my lashes, this mascara helps keep that curl locked in place as opposed to weighing down the curl I just worked so hard to get! Because the formula is on the drier side, I’m hoping the tube won’t dry out ridiculously fast – so far so good, but only time will tell. I almost always prefer a drier formula so I’m not surprised that I like the Wander Beauty Mascara as much as I do. If you’re someone looking for more volume than length, have trouble with your lashes holding a curl, or are one of those people like myself that always ends up with mascara everywhere, I would give the Wander Beauty Mascara a go!

That’s it! All the confetti has fallen and it’s time to clean up. December Favorites are over…and so is the year I suppose! I hope everyone has had a fantastic December and a great year! If not, I hope you’ve at least had some great pampering items to help pull you through, and cheers to better times ahead! I’m hoping to have some “Best of 2017” posts up next week, but every time I say that, they never end up being posted. Fingers crossed that luck (and motivation) is on my side this year. 🤣 This looks like it’s going to be my last post of 2017, so may you all have a fantastic New Year’s Eve! Personally, I will be chilling with the furry fam either in my PJs or all dressed up with nowhere to go. 😄 Ya know, the usual…and the way I like it. So Happy New Year!!! May 2018 be filled with love, happiness, and just lots of great things.

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