Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Fall 2014 Drugstore Beauty Haul

Retail therapy. It's most certainly my favorite form.

It seems I've done quite a bit of it in the past month. Arguably I needed it (or at least that's what I'm telling myself). After several doctor's appointments and a round of allergy testing (57 needle pokes…was not pleasant) I treated myself to a few new goodies. On a related side note, I was able to score all of this stuff for ridiculous prices, thanks to some shopping know-how. I've had plans to write a post about all of my money saving secrets for what seems like a good six months now. This is my public promise to all of you that it will happen.

ANYWAY. Fall. Beauty products. Back to that! I've hit up a little bit of everything in my rounds at Target and CVS, from haircare, to skincare, and makeup. Let me show you a closer look.

One of the product launches I've been excited for lately is the release of Milani's New Bella Eyes Gel Powder Shadow. In 32 gorgeous shades with finishes ranging from metallic, to shimmer, to matte, to satin there's definitely something for everyone. And priced at only $4.49 each, you won't have to fret between your two favorite shades. You can have them both and still spend less than you would for a high end eyeshadow. I picked up four shades - Bella Gold (gold metallic sheen), Bella Purple (rich purple satin matte), Bella Emerald (shimmering emerald green) and Bella Charcoal (shimmering dark charcoal). I thought they were all very fall appropriate, and also gave me the opportunity to try a few different finishes (metallic, shimmer, and satin).

I was really quite pleased with how smooth these shadows went on and how decently pigmented they were. My last go-round with a Milani eyeshadow ended in a fair amount of disappointment, and I think this new line has definitely put the brand on the path to redemption. These swatches are sans primer, and don't really do the shimmer factor any amount of justice. I realize now that I have not yet tried these shadows wet, but I think they would look amazing. If you'd like to see a wet versus dry swatch, let me know and I will share one!

Lately I've been all about the lipstick, especially in bold berry hues and rich nudes. Even when I'm wearing my scrubs and looking like a total bum, a little swipe of lipstick makes me feel dressed. Maybelline's Color Sensational Lipcolor has become a frontrunner in my quest to find the perfect drugstore lipstick. The formula is creamy and long wearing, and it doesn't cause my lips to become overly dry. The two shades I've been obsessing over most recently are Rum Riche and Party Pink. Both have a satin finish, sans shimmer (cause I'm really just not feeling frosty, glittery lips at the moment), and offer a little drama while still being totally work appropriate. I've also seen that they've recently released a Color Sensational Matte Collection. That may or may not be immediately going on the to-try list.

Left: Rum Riche, Right: Party Pink
Of course, lipstick always goes on better over smooth, well hydrated lips. I've been keeping mine in tip top shape with the new EOS Visibly Smooth Lip Balm in Coconut Milk. At $3.29 a pop you really can't find a better lip balm for the price. While so many inexpensive formulas are full of mineral oil and other nasty stuff, EOS lip balms use 99% natural ingredients to keep your lips looking and feeling lovely. They're also kind of adorable and horribly easy to collect (because how can you NOT want all the flavors?!).

A new season also means its time for me to step up my foundation game and trade in my BBs and CCs for something with a little more substance. I decided to give Revlon Colorstay Whipped Créme Makeup in Sand Beige a go. I've seen a lot of "whipped" makeup formulations, but hadn't gotten around to trying them, so a lot of my choosing this formula was purely out of curiosity (and also coupons). It's definitely got a lot more coverage than the bases I've been wearing all summer, but I kind of like the super smooth, velvety finish it gives. I also think it will photograph comparatively well, as much of my summer makeup was loaded with SPF and always gave me a bit of a whiteish cast in pictures. Because it is a bit heavier I'm also a little dubious as to whether or not it will cause my skin to break out more. As a result I've been extra diligent come bed time about taking it off and using skincare that will help to clean out my pores.

I also realized that I was greatly in need of a new concealer. Concealer isn't something that I buy often (or almost ever, really) but with my acne scaring and occasional dark circles I think it's about time I work it into my beauty routine. This new Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Spot Concealer + Treatment seemed right up my alley. I've been loving Ole Hendriken's Vitamin C products on my skin lately, so I thought that the Vitamin C complex in this concealer would be a happy addition to my makeup routine. So far I'm actually pretty happy with it. The sponge applicator is pretty nifty for easy application, but makes me a little leery in the hygienic sense. I've been using the light/medium shade and find it to work decently well with my complexion, which is relatively light with yellow undertones. It appears to cover decently well and last throughout the day. I'm not sure it's of miracle status, but it certainly gets the job done. As for whether or not it visibly reduces my acne scarring, I guess we will see in a few weeks!

I'm very much nearing the bottom of the bottles of the shampoo and conditioner currently living in my shower, so purchasing a new set was as much out of interest as it was necessity. Said shampoo/conditioner duo is actually also from L'Oreal (their EverCreme Nourishing Line) and since I've been liking them quite a bit, I thought I'd see whether or not I had as much success with another formula. Offering deep nutrition and illumination sans sulfates, I have high hopes for the OleoTherapy line. It doesn't hurt that it also smells quite nice.

I also couldn't resist picking up a can of the Dove Refresh + Care Volume Dry Shampoo. I'm totally a rider of the dry shampoo bandwagon, and I had heard some great things about this particular formula. I have to say…I'm a little underwhelmed. It did little in the way of giving my hair much volume, and it's hard to say that it made it look much cleaner. It smells nice, and it didn't leave any white residue, which is always a plus, but I can't say that I found it to work wonders.

Cleansing cloths are a must have in my beauty arsenal. Whether I'm in need of a mid day/post workout refresher, or I'm so damn exhausted at the end of the night I can't stand at the sink to properly wash my face (it's terrible, I know, but don't tell me you haven't been there before) they are often my face's saving grace. I'm almost at the bottom of the pack of my Yes to Cucumbers wipes, and I thought it might be fun to try out the Grapefruit ones next. Plus, how could I say no to a bonus Facial Scrub mini??

Needless to say, I have so many new fun things to play with, and so far I've been pretty happy with all of it. I've got so much more to share with all of you - a LUSH haul with bath bombs galore, an overview of my favorite natural beauty brands, and an update on my daily makeup routine to name a few. And of course, if there's anything you'd like me to write about or try next, I am always up for suggestions!