Most Valuable Products: August 2012

Monday, August 27, 2012

I've been consistently impressed with a handful of products lately, and some of them aren't even new to me, which makes them all the more worthy of a post. This is a bit like Monthly Favorites, only they're not just items I enjoy using, they're products I've come to rely on and are on their way to making themselves permanent places in my endless stash of beauty products.

Neutrogena Shine Control Primer: This range's powder (post) is a Holy Grail item for me, and while I have mixed feelings on the foundation (it tends to oxidize on me), this primer works wonders for my oily skin. Most days I don't even bother with priming as it seems like such an unnecessary extra step, but whenever I wear sunscreen, it becomes a must. Even the least greasy of SPFs (I like Cetaphil Oil Control SPF 30) combined with my oily skin would break down my foundation in a matter of hours. But the smallest bit of this powdery cream rubbed across my face makes an enormous difference in how my face makeup wears throughout the day. I find myself blotting far less frequently, and generally not worrying about my T-zone shine as much--especially when I use the corresponding powder. Definitely a must-have for oily skin!

Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara: I never thought I could wear mascara on my bottom lashes as the end result was always smudgey under-eye concealer and clumpy eyelashes, but this little guy has completely changed my mind. Even though it's another step and a whole 'nother product, this has also become a must-do in my everyday makeup. I swear, this mascara looks the same at the end of the day as it does in the beginning, and it has never smudged on me or caused any black specks in my concealer. I've heard a lot of people complain about it being difficult to remove, but with my oily eyelids waterproof mascara is a necessity, and I don't find this any harder to remove in comparison. 

Murad Rapid Age Spot and Pigment Lightening Serum: An absolute God-send for acne marks and hyperpigmentation. Normally I'm quite skeptical with pigmentation serums as the results are so hard to see, but this stuff has worked brilliantly for me. I've seen a definite improvement in the overall tone of my skin, and I can only credit that change to this. My cheeks aren't as blotchy, and the scars and marks from leftover cystic acne are far less noticeable. My mom has been using this as well, and she was thrilled to report some gradual lightening of her age spots as well. I know there's a tonnage of this kind of product on the market, so if you're looking to get something to even out your skin tone, let this be it!

HerCut The Ponytail Styling Lotion: I bought this in a Sephora sale ages ago, and am just now discovering how very useful it is. Ponytails and buns are how I usually wear my hair, and the tiniest bit of this stuff takes care of any and all obnoxious baby hairs and flyaways. You can run it through the length of your hair too, but for some reason or another, I never do that. The product is actually a cream, but it has the hold of a wax or pomade without any stiffness or the look of greasy hair. It's really a terrific finishing product, as the lack of flyaways is the difference between throwing your hair up, and a hairstyle you might have spent more time on. This tube has become almost invaluable to me in this humid weather, so much so that I think I'll decant it into a small bottle to keep in my purse. Perfect quick fix for bad hair/rainy days!

Essie No Chips Ahead Top Coat: For years I've been using a mediocre top coat (OPI Start to Finish) so switching to this felt almost life-changing. I don't tend to get chips in my polish, but I am prone to fading--especially at the tips--but with a coat of this, I never seem to have that problem. Again, I can't really test how anti-chip it is, but I find that my nail polish consistently looks better by the time I'm ready to remove it. I actually see the most difference post-shower, as all that hot water can sometimes cause my polish to fade, but this top coat almost works like armor to keep the pigmentation of the color sealed in. It's not the most dazzlingly shiny of topcoats, but I think the shine factor could satisfy most, unless you'd like to see your reflection in your nails. =)

Not all of these products are Holy Grail for me yet, but they're well on their way!

Happy Monday!

Have a wonderful week!

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