Most Valuable Products: September 2012

Thursday, September 20, 2012

I did one of these posts back in August and am thinking it might turn into a monthly thing. Kind of like favorites, only they're not just products I like and enjoy, they're ones that I've been consistently relying on due to how well they perform. 

So maybe a bit like favorites. =)

In case you haven't noticed by the slight slacking with my blog, this semester has been incredibly busy so far, and it doesn't show any signs of slowing down. Working 10+ hour days on top of my regular course load is rough, and has resulted in a very peculiar mindset. These days my schedule is a dichotomy of the wearily long workday and the laid-back, significantly easier school day, and this idea has reflected in my beauty routine. 

This bipolar theme is precisely why some of these products are geared towards longevity and looking polished, and some are all about what's quick and easy. Enjoy!

1. Bumble and Bumble Straight Blow Dry: I mentioned this in one of my Temptalia posts a while back, and it's been a key part of my hairstyle these past few weeks. Yes, I finally found a presentable way to wear my hair to work--post coming soon--and this is how I get that sleek and professional look. I've never tried it with just free drying (and I don't think I would recommend that), but if you dry your hair section by section, the difference is huge. My hair in particular tends to puff up and frizz if I use a hair dryer, but this (and the sectioned brushing) keeps everything tame and smooth. The effect even lasts for a few days, which makes it a definite must for the DIY blowout.

2. Bobbi Brown Longwear Gel Eyeliner in Twilight Night: I hauled this eyeliner a few weeks ago, and haven't been able to stop using it since. Without fail, it is always the part of my makeup that looks nearly perfect at the end of my workday. It stays put beautifully and doesn't come off against the back of my eyelash curler which I'm a bit anal about. I do find that it transfers beneath my brows, but between my love for this sparkly charcoal color and its longevity, I don't really mind. I used to think gel liners took longer to apply than pencils, but that's only marginally true with this product as it glides on beautifully. 

More helpful picture coming soon!

3. Klorane Cornflower Eye Patches: I have to wake up at an ungodly hour for work, and unfortunately, my droopy, sunken-in eyes will let the whole world know it. I don't like to use these too often since they're expensive ($18 for 7 pairs) but every time I do, I almost can't believe the difference. I don't get bags or puffy, but very little sleep will make my under-eye area look paper-thin and almost parched, no matter how much eye cream I use. Simply stick these foamy patches on, let them work for 20ish minutes (I get ready with them on, then take them off and apply concealer right before heading out), and presto! Suddenly, my under-eyes look plumped, refreshed, and like I've slept for ten hours. If you want extra smoothing and refreshing action, pop a pair in the fridge the night before, as that cold factor will help reduce swelling, not to mention wake you up! Klorane actually recommends putting them on the night before, but my eyes look fine then, so I'm not sure I see the point in that. These have made me into a bit of an eye patch fanatic, and I've found some lovely Asian ones as well. They're just so much easier than full-on eye masks--you can still see and go about your business, all while getting in some pampering. 

4. Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream: You know I love the Garnier one (post), but this has lately eclipsed that, simply because it provides more coverage and higher SPF (30). If I'm just running to class, or it's another lazy weekend,  this is perfect to just slap all over and be done with it. With the Garnier, I have to powder to take down some of the glowiness, but I don't feel that need with this one. I still apply powder, but that's more for full-day longevity as the finish is very natural--neither too matte nor too radiant. I may come back to the Garnier in the winter, but for now, this one is what I'm constantly using for a no-fuss school day base. 

5. VICHY Normaderm 3-in-1 Cleanser: Another product from my recent haul! My cystic acne is mostly gone now(!!!!), but with all the weird sleeping habits and stress thrown into my schedule, I've been getting some minor zits/whiteheads. They're a damn sight easier to deal with than those cystic nightmares, and this cleanser is proof of that. I've found that just a quick wash or two with this stuff (that contains .5% salicylic acid) can just about get rid of the blemish. For more serious stuff, the Effaclar Duo will get pulled out, but most of the time the cleanser can do the trick. 

6. Batiste Dry Shampoo (Mini): This miraculous stuff is always, always, an MVP, but it's actually the miniature version that's gotten some love lately. I positively loathe having to buy those small canisters  as it's only a few dollars less than the full size, and only contains a few uses--overall it just feels like a waste of money. However, I've discovered that while my day-old hair still looks clean in the morning, by the end of my workday I'm in need of a shampoo. These little guys are so convenient for popping into my bag and then doing a bit of hair refreshing during lunch (when the bathroom is just about empty). Mostly, it's just easier to hide when you need to walk past everyone's cubicle to the ladies' room!

I'll try and sort out my general schedule this weekend to keep on top of my blogging routine!

NOTW will be up on Saturday!

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