Seriously can’t believe it’s already November. I can’t say that October flew past, but seriously, November? That’s nearly Christmas!!! How?! Anyway, since another month has passed, it’s time for yet another Favorites post. I’ve had an interesting month skin-wise, which I may go into more in a separate post depending on how it progresses. Basically, I decided to ditch all of the prescription products I’ve been using for years because I thought they might actually be making things worse. Still kind of on the fence about whether that smart or not. Anyway, because of that I have a good amount of skin care favorites, but fear not! There’s still some makeup as well! Let’s dive right in, shall we? J
Since I mentioned skin care, I’ll start there. For washing my face, I have gotten back into using a Konjac Sponge. It’s basically just a reusable vegetable fiber sponge that softens with water. Using your cleanser, you massage it over your face for gentle exfoliation. It leaves my skin softer and less flaky without irritating it. Fantastic stuff! JRight now I’m using the EcoTools Pure Complexion Facial Sponge – Deep Cleansing. I had tried a Dew Puff version before and liked it, but I hung it on my sink faucet, as you’re supposed to, but it crept toward the nasty sink bowl where water would splash onto it every time I washed my hands. I like the string idea, but I need to get a hook or something to keep it away from the actual sink bowl. Anyway, the EcoTools version doesn’t have a string so you have to rest in on something. I’m not a huge fan of that either, but the sponge is so thick and shaped in a way that I really only find myself using one side. I just rest the unused side in a little dish near the sink and, though it doessit in a small bit of standing water – gross! – I don’t feel like bacteria collects too quickly on the side I use. I have yet to find my ideal setup for storing the wet sponge, but I have definitely enjoyed using a Konjac Sponge this month.
The past few months I have been trying out using toners. I never used to use toners because it just seemed like an extra and ineffective step. Then I discovered that some come in spray bottles and I was sold! JI’m still not sure they do much, but I really do like the Acure Balancing Rose + Red Tea Facial Toner. It has a really nice, even, fine mist and the bottle not only looks pretty, but is rather satisfying to hold. The ingredients are wonderful, organic and simple too – Organic Rooibos, Organic Calendula, Organic Chamomile, Organic Witch Hazel, Organic Bulgarian Rose Water & Organic Glycerin. It’s soothing and the Witch Hazel makes it good for acne-prone skin. I can’t say I’ve really noticed any difference – good or bad – that I can directly attribute to the Acure Facial Toner, but I just love the bottle and the mist so much that it’s a real pleasure to use!
Sticking with toners (sort of), I have something that’s more of a technique than something specific. I believe I first heard this mentioned in a video from makeupTIA
on YouTube – check out her videos here
because she’s just so soothing and relaxing. I feel like I’m watching Opera while in a spa. J
She also has been switching to a lot of “green” products lately and many of them are cruelty free! Anyway, she recommended adding a toner to facial oil and then applying the combination to your face for better absorption. I’ve been trying that with the Sibu Beauty Clarifying Toner
and the Josie Maran Agran Oil
and it really does work! Usually the regular Argan Oil from Josie Maran leaves me a little bit greasy, but when mixed with the toner, it absorbs like a charm – no grease whatsoever! Not even by the time I wake up in the morning! It’s also a nice way to add a toner to your routine without really adding any time. I chose the Sibu Toner because the mister bottle was horrible, but I like the supposed benefits and the Argan Oil because I have a bottle that I just never reach for, but don’t want to waste it. Together they instantly soak into my skin and leave my face hydrated without the grease! J
If you like using a facial oil – or are scared to – but feel like it either leaves you greasy or takes too long to absorb, definitely trying mixing it with a toner. Life changing I tell you. J
Moving on to makeup favorites, I’ve rediscovered my Urban Decay Naked Skin Foundation
. I reviewed it shortly after it was released here
if you’re looking for a more detailed review. Not sure why I stopped using it for a while, but I did. This month as my skin has looked a bit better, I found myself reaching for it frequently. The coverage is good – buildable light to medium – and it doesn’t turn me into a grease-ball by the end of the day. It also stays put! I don’t really have a whole lot more to say about it. It’s just a nice foundation!
For blush, I’ve been absolutely addicted to the new Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette
! It is so
gorgeous! I recently reviewed it here
if you’d like more information and swatches. Every color is incredibly wearable – at least for my skin tone – and I really love the formula. Initially I gravitated towards “Mood Exposure,” which is a gorgeous neutral plum – not a shade I’d typically seek out, but definitely try it because it’s stunning! Soon I started using “Luminous Flush,” which is a nice kind of neutral rose. Also stunning and so wearable! And though I’ve worn “Incandescent Electra” the least, it also a beautiful, very wearable everyday kind of blush. The palette is
pricey, but for three great and really wearable blushes, it’s actually a great value.
My eye shadow staple has definitely been “Cappuccino” from Milani’s new Bella Eyes Collection. There’s nothing terribly exciting about it, but it’s a fantastic transition/blending shade. I’m no master blender, but I just love this shade for deepening up the crease a tiny bit with minimal shadows, blending out darker shades and for the lower lash line. It’s really nice and affordable as well!
Now for the most exciting makeup – to me anyway! J My favorite lipsticks this month have been hands down the new Butter London Moisture Matte Lipsticks – again! I absolutely love them! I have two shades and I really don’t know which would be my favorite. There’s “Ruby Murray” which is a deep berry shade and then “Loved Up” which is more of a deep raspberry shade. They sound similar and they actually are pretty close, but Loved Up looks more pink, where Ruby Murray is more of a classic deep berry. The finish of these ismatte, but it doesn’t look sickly, patchy or pasty as some mattes do. There’s still some life to them somehow. The formula of these is also fantastic! I typically hate matte lipstick, but these are socomfortable. They’re not as creamy as most cream formulas, but they aren’t at all drying. They last for ages and stay where you put them! Butter London has nailed the formula with their Moisture Matte Lipsticks!
Finally, I feel like I need to add just one non-beauty related favorite. For the past few weeks, I have finally become addicted to Instagram
! I know. Late on the bandwagon. I’ve had an account for ages, but rarely post anything. For some reason I’ve just been obsessed with it this month! I’ve been challenging myself to post at least one picture a day, which has been fun and often harder than I expected! Don’t know how long my obsession will last, but for now I’ve been glued to it. J
If you’re on Instagram and would like to follow me, I’m @makeupguineapig
I think that’s going to do it for my October Favorites! I could add a few more items, but this is already quite long – thanks if you’re still reading! I guess it’s been a good month for favorites. And now I think we’re officially entering the Holiday Season!!! Agh! Thanksgiving and Christmas are so close!!! Let me know what you’ve been loving this month, or if you have any Holiday themed requests. No promises, but I will see what I can do if there’s something specific you’d like to see. As always, thanks for stopping by and I hope you’ll come back for more! J