Most Valuable Products: November 2012

Monday, November 26, 2012

I'm back with a roundup post of things I've really been relying on this past month. I believe I spent the last MVP post trying to explain how this is totally different from monthly favorites, but obviously, folks, it's the exact same thing.

1. V. Rohto EX Eye Drops: As anyone with dry eyes well knows, Rohto V is top notch as far as eye drops go. But this particular type (purchased in Taiwan) is super-strength, extra tingling and cooling to the point where those with sensitive eyes might tear up after using it. They're great for hydrating, but even more so for refreshing tired, burnt-out eyes--I imagine anyone who suffers from allergies would adore these. Between extra long hours of reading small type at work and school, a few drops of these revives my peepers and doubles as the perfect wake-me-up at three in the afternoon. It's actually gotten to the point that I can't go anywhere without them. I'm not sure if they're available outside of Asia, but you really can't go wrong with any Rohto drops.

2. La Roche-Posay Lipikar Hand Cream: This was featured in a post on my favorite hand creams, and it's been getting even more love since then. A little bit too tacky (I'm talking consistency here!) to throw in my bag for everyday, this has become my favorite "treatment" cream. Meaning you have to work with it a little bit more and take the time to rub it in, but you're left with gloriously soft and smooth hands. If you didn't read the hand cream post, it focuses on repairing and restoring, so if you're frequently outdoors in chapping wind, go ahead and try this out. I was lucky to get mine on clearance, but I would still pay the full price ($16) for a tube of this. 

3. Tarte Concealer Brush: I don't typically use makeup brushes when fingers can do the job, but lately I've found that my undereye concealer needs some help to be fully blended in. This has never been a problem with my more moisturizing, light concealers, but with my beloved Estee Lauder DoubleWear, the brush becomes a necessity. Like with a lot of products with excellent staying powder, you really need to blend it in, and my fingers just couldn't get the concealer as smoothed out as I would like. But this synthetic freebie brush can get right in there (it's quite fine-tipped for your average eye brush) and simply blends it all away. DoubleWear is sort of the concealer equivalent of my Revlon ColorStay so it's that same principle of a beautifully long-wearing product that just needs a bit of help to look completely natural. 

4. The Body Shop Spiced Pumpkin Shower Gel: Every year, every single year, when Philosophy launches their holiday shower gels, I cannot resist. I know how stupid it is to spend $20 on a bottle of plain drying soap with a scent, but whether it's cinnamon buns or pumpkin caramel latte, I can't help but give in. Luckily, over the summer, I popped into The Body Shop and saw that they had a few bottles of limited edition shower gels for $1 each and promptly picked up the Spiced Pumpkin. The minute Philosophy released their fall scents, out came this little bottle, and I have since walked past every Philosophy counter without a glance! Product-wise, it feels like the exact same plain old soap, and while the scent is certainly pumpkin, it's not as full-bodied as the Philosophy fragrances, and definitely more artificial-smelling. Still, it's enough to satiate my craving. I suppose this is the shower gel equivalent of replacing ice cream with yogurt, only it's money I'm saving and not calories!

5. Ojon Restorative Hair Treatment: Waking up before dawn and having to get ready for work has been more difficult than usual, so I've found myself sleeping in and then rushing through my routine, with no time left for even hair product before dashing out the door. My mess of a mane aside, my hair is dry enough to thrive on leave-in product, and lacking that in this cold weather has left my ends parched. The solution would obviously be to get up when I'm supposed to, but since that's not possible likely, I've started with nighttime treatments. Overnight hair treatments can be good, but I find them to be a bit gimmicky as well, because you can just as easily take a deep-conditioning product and put that into wet hair before bed. Bam--overnight hair treatment! I've had this Ojon one for ages, but had never gotten around to using it up. You could just as easily do your whole head, but I just pinch a bit of the solid product, rub between my fingers until it turns into an oil and apply to my ends before bed. Wash out the next morning (I don't necessarily have to, though) to reveal healthy hair before running to catch the subway!

6. Paddywax Christmas Candle: This candle haunted me. I couldn't walk near a Barnes and Noble without dashing inside to smell it. Since I refrained from making a single Bath and Body Works candle purchase (yes I did!), I finally allowed myself to make this purchase and have not looked back. Just as the quote suggests, this candle is Christmas. Warm, spicy, with heavy splashes of berry and orange this candle is such a lovely harmony of notes that really only could be Christmassy. I'm trying to burn it sparingly, and in doing so have actually found that this candle is so fragrant, it doesn't even need to be lit to fill a room.

7. MAC Bite of an Apple Blush: Cold weather for me is either reddened lips or reddened cheeks, and as I've just pulled out my favorite red lip (Tarte Lipsurgence in Lust), I wore this blush through most of November. Limited edition from the Disney Villains collection, this matte cheek color adds that gorgeous, just-pinched, bright pinky-coral flush. Perfect for mimicking an "I've just been rolling around in the snow" look. It's one of my most high-impact blushes, as the the formula really delivers, and yet is surprisingly buildable. I tend to prefer some sheen on my cheeks this time of year, so I'll typically pair this with a stripe of Benefit's Watt's Up on the cheekbone.

*If anyone was wondering why these MVP posts are on the shorter side, it's because I show you products I enjoy using throughout the month. A lot of the posts I put up are in fact, favorites, by virtue of the fact that they appear on my blog. (The ROC Stress Repair Night Cream (post) and CeraVe body Lotion (post), to name a few).

I just like these MVP lists to show you things I haven't mentioned, or to emphasize how much I enjoy a product I've already talked about.

Hope that clears things up!

Happy Monday!

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