Thursday, February 26, 2015

February 2015 Favorites

Welcome to my GIANT February Favorites post! I'm kind of cheating by including things that I've been loving since the beginning of the year and haven't gotten around to gushing about yet. From haircare must-haves, to gorgeous new makeup launches, to delicious tea, I've come across some amazing products in the past month (...months...whatever) that I can't wait to tell you about!

Hair // I've been testing and enjoying quite a few hair products lately, but there are two standouts that I just can't get over. First off is The Wet Brush, an impulse purchase I made at Target after hearing many rave reviews from my favorite European Beauty Bloggers. HOW DID I LIVE WITHOUT THIS? I've got seriously long hair now, and while it's never been horrendous to comb through after I get out of the shower, whatever I was doing before seems barbaric in comparison to how this works. The long, flexible bristles detangle your hair so quickly and easily and truly minimize breakage. Whether you want to use it in the shower to help distribute your conditioner, or to smooth everything out post towel drying, this was seriously the best $8.99 I've ever spent.

And then there was the Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray. This crazy expensive, ultra-coveted hair styler has been on my to-buy list for over a year, and I finally, FINALLY bit the bullet (with the assistance of a coupon code and Birchbox points, naturally). Am I insane for wanting to own a $42 hair product? Maybe. But HOLY CROW is it glorious. It adds just the right amount of volume, texture, and grit to your hair to take it from meh to fabulous in a few spritzes. And the smell. When your boyfriend who never comments on how anything smells tells you your hair smells good, you know you've got a winner.

Makeup // I've got so much makeup to love this month. First off is the MAKE Calypso Eyeshadow Palette, which I got as part of the Limited Edition Vanity Affair Birchbox (that I reviewed here). It's got such beautiful shades and the quality of the shadows themselves are on point. I recently did a whole tutorial and review post about it, so if you're curious I'd recommend checking that out!

Speaking of eyes, I've been wearing Julep's Taupe Gel Eye Glider pretty much on the daily. It goes on incredibly smooth, and stays put all day. The taupe shade has a super pretty metallic sheen to it, but is also subtle enough to wear to work without looking overdone.

Thanks to Birchbox I also got to try Benefit's new Roller Lash Mascara before it hits stores and totally think it's worth all the hype! It adds beautiful length and definition to your lashes and really makes your eyes pop. It also lasts all day without any flaking, smudging, or irritation. The packaging is also adorable.

Another Vanity Affair box find has also become a new favorite - the Tata Harper Volumizing Lip & Cheek Tint in Very Charming. It's so creamy and blends beautifully on your cheeks for that perfect natural flush. While it's kind of pricey, it's also got an amazing ingredients list that's free of synthetic and filler ingredients.

On the less expensive side, Maybelline's new Color Sensational Creamy Matte Lipsticks are totally fantastic for the price. For a matte lipstick the formula is actually quite creamy and comfortable feeling, and it wears very well. I've got the shade Mesmerizing Magenta and it's a gorgeous berry pink.

And then of course there's the LORAC Natural Performance Foundation, which was an excellent investment of Kohl's Cash that I had accumulated. It's got a slightly dewy, light-to-medium finish that can easily be layered and built up if you desire more coverage. It's also free of oils, fragrances, and parabens making it much less likely to cause breakouts and irritation. What ultimately sold me on this, though, was that the shade NP2 was the first light foundation I'd seen in FOREVER that didn't have a pink undertone. I'm a yellow undertoned gal and pink toned bases can ultimately look orangey on me. I'm thinking I might actually be between shades with this and something slightly darker, but I've been making it work.

Skincare // Oh Caudalie, how I love you. I received this tiny sample of the Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet and it may just be my new favorite moisturizer ever. It makes my skin feel silky soft without even the slightest bit of greasiness. I also notice I get significantly less oily throughout the day when I'm wearing it under my makeup. Even though the full-sized price makes me cringe a little, I may invest in it down the road once I've cleared out some of the other products occupying my bathroom cabinet.

Another pricey-but-amazing skin care item I've been loving is the Michael Todd True Organics Pumpkin Nutrient Rich Facial Mask. I recently wrote up a review of the Michael Todd Mask Madness Trio that I got as a Christmas present, but this may just be my favorite of the bunch. Not gonna lie, this stuff is intense, so if your skin is sensitive you may want to pass. However, it's an incredibly powerful chemical exfoliator and it's been a lifesaver at keeping my skin from looking scaly all winter.

A more budget friendly skincare option that I've been kind of obsessed with is this No7 Beautiful Skin Melting Gel Cleanser. This stuff is kind of incredible. It dissolves away makeup, dirt, and whatever else has accumulated on your face without leaving your skin feeling stripped or dry. It's so affordable and performs just as well as any prestige cleanser.

Bath, Nails, & Everything Else // There's nothing I look forward to more at the end of a long, cold day than a soak in the tub. When I'm feeling extra achy or sore (especially on those post-yoga days) I've been using Dr Teal's Soften & Nourish Epsom Salts in my bath and it's basically the best thing ever. I love the milk and honey scent, and they leave my skin feeling really soft and pampered. Baths not your thing? Try using these Epsom Salts to exfoliate in the shower by mixing them in to your body wash.

Speaking of keeping cozy, I drink tea like a fiend. This month I've been particularly loving Harney & Sons Mint Verbena Herbal Tea. I find the lemony flavor of the verbena mellows out the mint, which can sometimes be very strong and harsh, making this particular blend really refreshing and yummy. It's also caffeine free, which makes it perfect for drinking at night when you want to unwind.

As a nail polish lover, having a good remover is so important to make polish changes quick and easy. I decided to try out Zoya's Remove + and it's awesome. The formula itself is great. It removes polish really well without being overly drying and has a lavender scent that makes the whole polish change experience way more pleasant. What I really love, though, is the bottle. The push down pump dispenser makes it so easy to get just the right amount of product on your cotton ball or pad, and it even has a locking mechanism so you don't have to worry about spills when the bottle isn't upright.

Another nail favorite from this month is the Julep Oxygen Nail Treatment. Sometimes you just don't have time for a full-out manicure, and this stuff keeps your nails looking great in between wearing polish. It adds a shine and a pretty pink tint to your nails and helps to keep them strong and healthy.

My final favorite from this month is a perfume from NEST Fragrances. While I've truly been loving everything in this collection I purchased back around the holidays, I've been gravitating towards Midnight Fleur, which is a slightly fruity, slightly spicey, and all the way sexy kind of scent. I also just adore the packaging on all of NEST's fine fragrances. The floral motifs are stunning.

I know this post was kind of a long and rambley one, so thank you for reading! If you've tried any of these products I'd love to hear your thoughts on them. Also, if you've got any favorites of your own from the past month, feel free to share. I'm always looking for recommendations of new things to try!

*This post contains affiliate links. For more information regarding my affiliations and disclosures click here.