Most Valuable Products: March 2014

Sunday, March 30, 2014

This month's favorites post is a bit odd, because the first half of the month was spent re-shopping my stash, and the second half was all about hunting for the "perfect" beauty products for my cousin's upcoming wedding. (And you thought I was exaggerating about how much I think about her big day!). I know I've been a bit slack this month with blog posts--seems to be a recurring trend--but I've got a whole slew of products in the testing phase, so I think I can safely promise a very blog-heavy April!



1. Koh Gen Do Oriental Plants Cleansing Cream: I ordered this off Sephora.com a while back, convinced that if Jessica Alba uses this brand, I needed to try it. Normally I have about 3-5 cleansers going at once, but this has been literally the only face wash I've used since I got my hands on it. It's a lightweight cream with a really silky texture and consistency that gets my face clean while feeling very comfortable and soothed. My skin always feels incredibly soft and nourished afterwards, but even though this can be used as a makeup remover, it feels like a waste to use it on anything but bare skin. I've got tremendously oily skin, and it's been wonderful for me, so I feel fairly confident saying it would be good for any skin type. It's expensive, and you do need a bit more product than you would with a traditional foaming cleanser, but I've been so happy with this that I just might have to repurchase. I've now got my eye on the entire Oriental Plants skincare line, especially the Deep Moisture Mask! What have I always said? Nobody does skincare like the Asian companies.



2. AmLactin Ultra Body Cream: I will talk about this product until I am blue in the face and you're ready to kill me if I mention it one more time. It is just.that.good. Here's the post I wrote on the original AmLactin, and here's where I first reviewed this product recently. For anyone getting their feet ready for sandal weather, skip the foot scrubs, soaks, sprays and whatever else--you may not even need a pumice stone. Slather this glorious stuff all over your feet before bed, throw on socks, wake up to gloriously soft, brand-new feet. At some point when I write my Holy Grail, I Don't Want To Live Without These Products post, this will be on it. Forever.



3. Clinique QuickLiner for Eyes Intense: I don't really think much about Clinique as a brand, despite their new, highly praised blushes. Ever since I stopped using the Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel (years ago!), I just haven't been into their products. I tried this liner off a friend's recommendation, and apparently I need to get back into Clinique. It's not the most long-wearing pencil liner, but holy hell, is it the absolute fastest to apply. Quickliner is the perfect name, since between its stellar pigmentation and ultra-smooth formula, I can literally swipe one line across my lashline and be done with it. No need to go over it again, and you even have time to smudge it with the rubbery bit if that's the kind of look you like. The liner will last through most of my workday and transfer a bit, but I've found myself reaching for this even when I'm not crunched for time in the morning. This is probably the smoothest, creamiest pencil liner I've ever come across, so I'm willing to sacrifice a bit of wear-time for an ultra-happy application.



4. Rituals Ginkgo's Secret Extra Rich and Caring Hand Balm: Rituals finally has a store in New York, and I stopped by last month for a snoop. Surprisingly, I didn't really take to anything, but picked up a hand cream because I have an addiction to it. This is slippier and more silicone-y than my usual hand creams, but I've been using it constantly this month because it's so moisturizing and there's something satisfying about that slip. I don't hear a lot about this particular Rituals scent, but it's beautifully fresh and a bit sweet without being overboard. It's definitely been my most-used hand cream this month (that means a lot!), as this tube is just about on its last legs. 



5. Marc Jacobs Marvelous Mousse Foundation: I just wrote a whole review post on this, but every single time I've worn foundation this month, it's been this one. (Except for yesterday and the day before when I was playing with Laura Mercier Silk Creme!).



6. CoverGirl Jumbo Gloss Balm in 225: People have been talking about these for a while--they're not new--but I'm referencing this shade specifically. Normally I'm all about warm, peachy-pink lip colors since they're the closest to my natural lip shade, but 225 is a gorgeous, cool-toned, slightly purple-pink. Dare I say, it's even something of an orchid shade--look at me, getting all trendy here! It's such a surprisingly flattering lip color that brings life to my face in a way that's reminiscent of MAC's Well Dressed blush, not to mention how gloriously spring this shade feels. I haven't been able to wear blush recently (cries) due to too much acne/acne scarring on my cheeks, but a swipe of this really puts color and lift back into my face. Plus, with all the moisture in it, this has been a great, ultra-comfortable lip for this half-winter, half-spring business. 



7. Benefit Gimme Brow: I really hate to mention this as YouTubers and bloggers who are frequently sent Benefit products have hyped this up so much, but it really is a good product. I tried to side by side with my Anastasia Tinted Brow Gel, and the Benefit actually is a different, and superior product. Whereas a normal tinted brow gel just puts down some color and locks your brows into place, the Gimme Brow really does have those fancy fibers that creates the effect of slightly thicker, more 3-dimensional brows. I do think the Anastasia is better at keeping my unruly brow hairs in place, but I still prefer the Gimme Brow overall, and will probably stick with it from here on out. 



8. Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse: Bringing this baby back! There was a time when everybody was buzzing about this, and I tried it and wasn't really into oils, but with the weather being as hellish as it's recently been, this stuff has been wonderful for my parched skin. I still don't like it for daytime, but I'll spritz a few squirts on after a nighttime shower, and let it absorb before pulling on some sweatpants just to make sure I don't get any residue on my bedsheets. It's really taken care of my dry patches, not to mention how much I love the signature Nuxe scent. It's getting more humid now, so I won't be able to use this as much, but I'm thinking about starting dry brushing and incorporating this oil into that routine.

I'll have an It Just Didn't Work Out Between Us post up on Wednesday, followed by a Nail of the Week post featuring a gorgeous princess nude nail!

Hope you're well!

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