Most Valuable Products: September 2013

Monday, September 30, 2013

I always enjoy monthly favorites posts (both writing my own, and reading other blogger's), but September consistently seems like an extra good edition. Maybe it's the launch of new fall products, but for me, it's the return to reality with more consistent makeup and actually doing my hair. Today's post is no exception, as like a September issue, this favorites post is jam-packed--makeup, skincare, hair and fragrance, this baby's got it all. 

Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum: After zipping through my Murad Rapid Age Spot, I was on the hunt for a new hyper-pigmentation serum and couldn't resist the set this came in (it was boxed with a miniature of my favorite Vinoperfect day cream). I love the consistency and hydrating feel of this serum, and genuinely feel like my skin has lately looked more even and bright. I don't normally make the time for a pre-moisturizer serum in the mornings, but I've made an exception for this particular product. It meshes terrifically well with my day cream, and you need such a small amount that this bottle will last for months. 

Hada Labo Tokyo Gel Cream Moisturizer: I just did a whole Budget Skincare Review post on the Hada Labo Tokyo range, and if you read that, you'll know this is my favorite product of the line. I've been using this almost exclusively for the past month, with no signs of stopping in the near future!

The Body Shop Honey Eau de Toilette: This was sort of a late entry for September Favorites, but I love it so much that it had to be included. I've fallen out with perfumes recently, given how terribly expensive they are, and how I didn't feel like there were any scents that I thought were really different and worth the money (except for Jo Malone Nectarine Blossom and Honey). The Body Shop Honey Eau de Toilette may not be unique, exactly, but it's still unusual and is incredibly affordable. It's a delightfully rich, full-bodied sort of sweetness that doesn't feel too cloying as it's swirled with beautifully fresh floral tones. It's a very dimensional, but still sweet fragrance that smells like it costs a lot more than $14. Being an eau de toilette, it doesn't last too long, but the small bottle means I can chuck it into my bag to re-spray throughout the day, and the price means I can replace it as often as I like. I really can't get enough of this at the moment and encourage you to give it a whiff.

Rene Furterer Dry Shampoo: I scooped up a mini bottle of this when I was (prepare yourself!) out of my beloved Batiste--if that's not a sign that my schedule has been crazy, nothing else is! I've heard good things about this dry shampoo, and while I don't quite love it as much as my Batiste (post), this stuff is really nice. It has a bit of that stiff texture that I normally don't like, but that goes away pretty quickly and is what causes this dry shampoo to cling to my roots in a way that keeps it looking clean for longer. Don't be put off by the weird orangey-beige color--it looks white in the hair until you blend it out. The powder with the sturdy aerosol spout make this so easy to use, so it might be my favorite high end dry shampoo that I've tried, but it still takes second place next to Batiste. 

Macadamia Natural Healing Oil Treatment: This was my favorite hair oil for ages, but fell out of rotation when I used it up, and was preoccupied with Bumble and Bumble and Moroccan oils. Still, I found myself missing this recently and thanked my lucky stars when I found it for half off at my Duane Reade clearance section. The first application was like a hug from an old friend that actually made me sigh (pathetic), and apparently my hair missed this as much as I did. My Bumble and Bumble Invisible Hairdresser's Oil (post) is great for shine and smoothing, but no other oil hydrates, nourishes and takes care of my hair like this one does. This really saved my long and lanky ends before I got my hair cut, and though it seems like an insignificant detail, I crave the smell of this oil when the weather turns cooler. This oil has that warm, almost nutty smell that makes you feel snuggly and delicious--even on gloomy Monday mornings. 

Hempz Pomegranate Herbal Body Moisturizer: My office is across the street from TJ Maxx, which is proving dangerous, especially as they have Hempz moisturizers for half off. I first fell in love with this when MakeupbyTiffanyD raved about it on YouTube years ago, but haven't repurchased because at $32 it's a little outrageous for a moisturizer. TJ Maxx didn't have the original one I love, but the Pomegranate version is very similar. It hydrates and sort of smoothes over my skin, but absorbs very quckly (almost as fast as my CeraVe) and never leaves a sticky finish. I still don't think I would pay full price for this, but have no problem getting out my wallet at TJ Maxx's 50% off rate. 

Shiseido Majolica Majorca Lash King Mascara: A rediscovered favorite! When my tube of Maybelline Big Eyes (post) dried up, I went to my stash of Lash King mascaras I had stocked up on last time I was in Taiwan. I originally reviewed it in this post, and a year later, I still can't get over how deliciously feathery this mascara makes my eyelashes. It doesn't hold the curl quite as well, but the fanned out look to my eyelashes is definitely worth the droop in curl. 

MAKE UP FOR EVER Aqua Lipliner in 2C: Meet step one in the most elaborate lip I have ever done. I never thought I would be a lipliner, lipstick, lipgloss girl, but the combination is a terrifically long-wearing lip, and this liner is the foundation for it. Just the right amount of pink and brown (though it may lean just a smidge more brown), 2C is a terrific match for my natural lip color so I can use this all over or to correct shape. I do find the liner to be a bit drying on its own, but a good lip balm takes care of that, and in any case, it's the dryness that keeps this liner anchored to my lips. 

Rimmel Moisture Renew Lipstick in Rose Blush: This has been my go-to lipstick for some time as it's a bit pinker than the natural color of my lips, which means it works especially well to cancel out any brownness from the liner. Annoyingly enough, I can't seem to get rid of the lipstick smell here, but I appreciate the moisturizing formula and how much more comfortable that makes it to wear. Due to its more hydrating formula, this doesn't have great longevity on its own, which is why I pair this off with the liner. 

Revlon ColorStay Lip Gloss in Peony: This gloss isn't terribly pigmented, so I almost never wear it by itself, but it makes for the perfect final layer in my three-part lipcolor. Peony runs in the same color family as the liner and lipstick (warm peachy pink) with the added bonus of light-catching shimmer. It can be a bit much if I put it all over my lips, but if I take it just over the center, my pucker gets some extra dimension without looking over the top. 

Rimmel Lasting Finish Pink Sorbet Blush: Ingrid (MissGlamorazzi on YouTube) was all about this blush for a while, so naturally I had to have it. It looks like a totally nondescript slightly earthy peachy-pink (aka the most standard blush description ever), but it really comes to life on your cheeks. It comes off as a pretty, gentle flush of pink that looks perfectly natural while still giving your face that boost of color. Blushes like these are absolute staples to have, and I love that this is a no-brainer product I know will go with anything, no matter how I wear my eyes or lips. Definitely a drugstore must-have!

My Favorite Drugstore Base Products (Part 3): Concealer will be up Wednesday! 

Hope you're well!

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