Most Valuable Products: October 2013

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

I'm actually not a huge Halloween girl, so my excitement over October 31st is more about the arrival of November, which kicks off my favorite time of year. But before I jump into all things Thanksgiving and Christmas, a recap of this month's best-loved beauty products is in order. October tends to be a good month for favorites, as it's sort of the first switch into actually cold weather--which typically means different skincare and cracking out the highlighters. Today's edition covers my favorite seasonal face powder, my skin's massive freakout, new products and rediscovered old favorites. 

1. Got2B Dry Oil Mist: I've been hearing more noise about dry conditioner lately, and how you're meant to spray a light moisturizing mist into your hair every time you use dry shampoo. The theory is that the dry shampoo refreshes your roots, but the lengths and ends of your hair need some love too. I've tried a Suave dry conditioner before and didn't especially like it, but I realized this Got2b product is practically the same type of product. I talked about this at length in my Buy This, Not That!: Hair Oil Mist Dupes post, so you might remember this as a great hair-finishing product. A spray of this stuff adds tons of shine, a bit of moisture, and the look of health to day-old hair. Normally I use a bit of hair oil (usually Bumble and Bumble's Hairdressers) into day-old hair if I'm using dry shampoo, but there's something nice about using sprays for both. (Plus, I get to smugly congratulate myself on shopping my stash and having one product do double-duty!). 

2. Soap and Glory Sexy Motherpucker Glosstick in Plum Jam: FleurdeForce has gone on and on about this lip product for a while, and when I finally tried it, I wanted to kick myself for going so long without it. It's everything she said it would be: pigmented, smooth, almost balm-like, minimally sticky and extremely comfortable to wear. This is everything I love about the ease of a tinted lip balm, but with all the color and shine of a gloss. Fleur has this in Nudist which she swears is the prettiest shade, but I'm going to disagree with her and say Plum Jam is where it's at. This shade goes on a bit lighter than it looks in the pencil, but it's still a slightly deep rose color with some berry tones swirled in to make it incredibly flattering. I got this towards the very end of September, and the product in the above picture is all I have left. I picked one up for my cousin, who's a strictly lip balm kind of girl, and even she loves and frequently uses this. It's pretty much the only thing I've worn on my lips this month, and if I didn't have so many other lip products, I would dash out to repurchase this when I've finished. 

3. Benefit Powderflage: A total blast from the past! This was one of the first beauty products I bought due to the influence of the online beauty community (we're talking three or four years ago). MakeupByTiffanyD was raving about this for setting under-eye concealer, and although I bought it straightaway, I used it for a few months and then forgot about it. I haven't touched it in literally two years or so, but I fished it out again and remembered why I liked it. I can usually get away without powdering my Estee Lauder Double Wear concealer, but I occasionally get some smudging from eyeliner and such, so a dusting of this fine powder is exactly what I need. I go through phases of being okay with loose powders and then cursing their messy existence, so while I might hate this in a couple of weeks, Powderflage and I have been on very good terms this month. 

4. Pixi Lid Last Shadow Pen in Perfect Plum: I hauled this earlier this month, and originally planned on using this as an all-over lid shade, but quickly discovered an even better way to use it. This shade is just a little dark for an everyday lid color, but it's perfect for doing a bit of lower liner. I like the drama of lining the lower lashline, but have to be careful because my eyes are small and downturned, so even just a bit too much darkness underneath closes my peepers up. This pencil has been terrific for giving me the right kind of depth, but the warmth of the plum takes the edge off the intensity. That, on top of how beautifully it stays put in that notoriously smudge-prone area is why I've been stalking the whole range of colors online. 

5. Tatcha Luminous Dewy Skin Mist: I'd had my eye on this swanky face spray for a while, and in a moment of screw it, I've had a bad day and I deserve a treat, spent way too much money on this luxe bottle. I don't regret buying it in the sense that this really is a lovely product, but I still shouldn't have spent the money. On the bright side, I've gotten a ton of use out of it and will continue to do so. I normally have a hard time finding the place for face sprays in my skincare routine (I don't like them as toners), but have been using this as a sort of mid-day moisturizer on clean skin. Lately, I've been taking off my makeup when I come home (instead of right before bed), and this spray is just the right amount of moisture to keep my skin hydrated afterwards. I never want to pull out a moisturizer at that point if I'm going to go through my pre-bedtime skin routine in just a few hours, so this is fantastic for the right amount of hydration but none of the fuss or weight. It only takes a few spritzes to do the job, and the liquid really is loaded with moisture and gives a beautiful dewy finish. If you're in the mood to splurge, dry skin types, this is worth looking into!

6. Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser: My skin had a massive freakout this month. On top of my usual zits, blackheads and lovely discoloration, my face suddenly turned incredibly dry to the point of flaking and peeling. I even had some sort of reaction on my neck which turned into a hideous rash. I had no idea what caused it, and while I have a whole post coming on the S.O.S products I used to cure myself, I have to mention my go-to safety cleanser. I always keep a bottle of this Cetaphil wash on hand for situations like that, when I have to strip down my face routine to the simple items that I know won't stir up my skin. This is a skincare classic for a reason, and while it's not the whole reason my face went back to normal, it's definitely a contributing factor. 

7. Hourglass Ambient Light Powder in Dim Light: It's not fall until I can break out this powder. It's just not. I actually whipped it out a bit early, as I still need an oil-controlling powder (Neutrogena Shine Control) over my T-zone, but this baby goes everywhere else. I'm not sure what I can say about this that everybody else hasn't already said, but I keep coming back to it because nothing else in my collection does what this can. This is truly an instantly-look-prettier product, and even though you're putting on a powder, it actually makes you look like you're wearing less makeup. It's one of my favorite products of all time, and though I'm proud of myself for not purchasing the holiday Ambient Lighting palette, I still want to try other shades of this glorious thing. 

8. Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer: Okay, I'm cheating a little here since I only had this for the last week and a half of October, but I just had to include it. I've used it everyday since my parents picked it up for me in London, and desperately wish I had two so one can permanently stay in my on-the-go bag, and the other at my vanity. The coverage is just as phenomenal as the hype around this product would lead you to believe, and yet it doesn't look cakey on the skin. Lately, I've been dabbing it onto my areas of discoloration and then tapping the product in with my foundation buffing brush (Sigma F80, post) for a perfectly even complexion. Come to America please, Collection?

9. Joico K-PAK Revitaluxe Restorative Treatment: This isn't one of those masks that make your hair baby-soft and beautifully shiny, but I really do feel like it helps heal damaged strands. I've been blow-drying and curling my hair more than usual this month, and have been rotating in this treatment to help my hair recover. I know nothing can actually reverse heat damage, but my hair always feels stronger and somehow sturdier after using this, though it doesn't have the lovely silky feeling I get with Joico K-PAK Reconstructor. Somehow, I don't think of this as a frequent-use mask--more of an emergency product--but no matter what state my hair is in, it always feels much healthier when I've rinsed this treatment out. I think it's a bit overpriced at $40, but I got mine on sale for $25, so shop around for different deals if you'd like to try this. 

10. Crest 3-D Glamourous White Toothpaste: This has been my go-to toothpaste for a while now, but I recently switched to something else and only made it about a week before running back to my old favorite. It's pumpkin spice latte season, folks, and that beverage is literally orange so my teeth need all the whitening help they can get. I'm too lazy to do any whitening strips or treatments, but this is just what I need to counteract my coffee habits. My teeth aren't blindingly white or anything, but they're definitely a bit pearly and very healthy-looking. I used to think about whitening strips before this toothpaste, and haven't even thought about them since I started brushing with it. I all but refuse to use any other toothpaste since, as the little anecdote mentions, the whitening effects come to a crashing halt if you do. 

Hope you all had a good October, and are as excited for November as I am!

Have a happy Halloween, and be safe!


  1. for the best whitening tooth paste, YOU NEED TO TRY ARM AND HAMMER. i think any kind of arm and hammer tooth paste is awesome.

    i first heard about it when i complimented a girl on her teeth and she said "oh thanks! another girl with really white teeth told me about it so i started using it, maybe it actually does make a difference!" Since i've started using it, i have gotten many compliments on the whiteness of my teeth! in fact, my parents keep telling me to quit using whitening strips- i'm like i swear i haven't! it's the tooth paste!


    1. Oooh, really sounds amazing!

      I haven't tried anything Arm & Hammer apart from their deodorant, but now I know what I need to get.

      Great timing too, Tiffany--I'm almost out of my Crest 3D White!