Wednesday, April 29, 2015

April 2015 Favorites

It's hard to believe April is already coming to an end! Life has been crazy busy, so I feel like time just has a way of magically disappearing on me. Amid the hustle and bustle I've been able to play with lots of awesome beauty products, and have a few favorites to share. Many of these I've already been raving about all month, so I suppose my choices won't come as a huge shocker to any of my regular readers. Let's dive right in.

I know a lot of people are up in arms about the fact that Shea Moisture changed the formula of this shampoo, but having never tried the original, I can't hate on this version. The Shea Moisture Yucca & Plantain Anti-Breakage Strengthening Shampoo ($10.99) is incredibly rich, and although it's sulfate free, lathers pretty well. Compared to some other shampoo formulas I've tried, your hair feels immediately slippy and conditioned as soon you rinse. It also smells divine - not too heavy or perfumed, just with that light slightly fruity, slightly starchy hint of plantain. My store was out of the conditioner the day that I purchased this, and I feel like I definitely want to give it a try and experience the whole system. But honestly this shampoo hydrating enough that I could probably get away with just using a leave-in conditioning treatment (and I did purchase the Thickening Milk from this line) post-shower and towel drying. Even though it's a really nourishing formula, my hair hasn't felt greasy or weighed down by it. Just extra silky and happy. I'm pretty sure my hair has also started to grow more and break a bit less. Basically it's great, and has me itching to try more from the brand.

I touched upon this game-changing facial spray back in my drugstore haul post, and it's no big shocker that it made it to this month's favorites. The L'Oreal Paris Infallible Makeup Extender Setting Spray ($16.99) is a lightweight mist that will lock down your makeup without altering the way it looks and feels. This type of product is perfect for those of you who aren't into using powder to set your makeup, because you can get the same increase in wear time without feeling cakey. But don't worry, if you're a powder lover this spray will just work as an extra layer of budge-proof protection. In general, setting sprays are kind of amazing, but up until now there have been very few budget friendly versions available. I know that $17 may seem like a lot to spend on a drugstore beauty product, but most prestige versions (like Urban Decay's) cost somewhere between $30 and $40. If you consider the frequent 40% of sales hosted by Ulta, buy 1 get 1 50% off sales at CVS, or the multitude of coupons you can find online or in your Sunday paper, I guarantee you you'll be able to snag this product at a fraction of the price if you want to!

I'm such a sucker for any product with the word texture in it, I swear. I received this travel sized Rusk Texture Dry Finishing Spray ($18 for 8 oz) in a Birchbox a while back, but I've been paying more attention to it lately and I've really been enjoying it. First off, it smells hella amazing. Really, though. When you start getting compliments on how awesome your hair smells, you know you've stumbled upon greatness in a can. This product definitely adds grip to your hair and sets flyaways into place, without making your hair feel shellac-ed down to your head. It's less workable than my Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray, but I also recognize that it isn't quite intended to do the same thing. As the name suggests, this product is meant more for pumping some last minute volume into your roots and setting your look in place, opposed to adding texture and volume prior to styling. I really like using this post blow drying or curling my hair to give me a polished look without weighing my fine hair down.

This product is one of those miraculous finds that I sort of stumbled into, and may just be my new HG facial primer. I ended up trying it because I happened to receive a sample by chance, having done no prior research, and decided to use it on a whim in my Spring Formal Makeup Tutorial. I have to admit that I was a little turned off by it at first. The texture of the Becca Ever-Matte Poreless Priming Perfector ($36) is unlike any other primer I've tried. It's wet, sticky, and (not gonna lie) kind of unpleasant as you first start to apply it. However, as soon as it dries on your skin it creates the most ridiculously velvety matte canvas to work with. After a bit of experimentation I've found that you really need to use a buffing brush or sponge to apply your foundation on top of this, and you need to work quickly to create a smooth, even finish. It makes whatever base you're using set ridiculously fast, which could result in crazy streakiness if you try to blend things out with your fingers alone. I also think that matte finish foundations (like the L'Oreal Infallible Pro-Matte that I'm kind of obsessed with) pair best with this primer, as really creamy formulas will leave your skin feeling a bit tacky unless you set them with powder. While this primer is a bit more fussy than others you can just slap on under anything, its mattifying powers are unbelievable. I've honestly never tried something that does this good a job of controlling oil before. And since it really fills in pores and creates a barrier on top of your skin, thoughtfully applied foundation will give you an incredibly flawless look.

I seriously cannot get enough of the summery joy that exists in this bottle. The Maison Martin Margiela Replica Beach Walk Rollerball ($25) is an affordable and handbag-friendly way of getting your Replica fragrance fix. This particular fragrance combines notes of bergamot, coconut milk, lemon, pink pepper, and musk to evoke that feeling of the sand between your toes and the salt air blowing through your hair. It's a light scent that won't overwhelm you, but strong enough to last for several hours. It's definitely going to be my go-to perfume of choice in the warmer months!

Earlier this month I reviewed the Sumita Must Have Brow Kit, and while I think the whole thing is great, I found myself particularly attached to the Brow Base Pencil ($11). Its creamy and light formula blends like a dream, and can be used for a number of different things. Sweep it under your brows to add a subtle highlight and to cover up any baby fine hairs or regrowth in between waxes. Use it on the bridge of your nose or cupids bow to add a little dimension to your face, or on your lids as a primer for eyeshadow. For $11 I think you really get your money's worth considering its multitasking abilities. Fellow Chella Ivory Lace Highlighter Pencil fans will definitely want to check this out if they're looking for a cheaper alternative!

I'm pretty sure I've raved more about the L'Oreal Colour Riche Collection Exclusive in Julianne's Nude ($8.99) than any other product this month, but it's for good reason. It's such a gorgeous shade, and everything from the packaging and the formula makes it feel more expensive and luxe than you'd expect from a drugstore product. The same really goes for the L'Oreal Infallible Silkissime Eyeliner in Highlighter ($8.99). I've found that light colored eyeliners are often lacking in pigmentation, but this one is just absolutely stunning. It also glides on super smoothly, and stays put without budging or fading all day (on the top lid, on the waterline I'd say it's a little less stable). Since a picture often says things better than I could just by rambling on, I'm wearing both of these products in this picture. As you can see, both are soft, but add a certain sort of luminosity to your look.

Last but most certainly not least is this gorgeous Rifle Paper Co. x Birchbox Floral Canvas Tote ($35). I was able to snag it at a discounted price as a "Birchbox Plus" item that shipped with my monthly subscription. Would I have bought it at full price? I'm not entirely sure. $35 is a lot to spend on a canvas tote bag, but I'm addicted to floral and I absolutely love Rifle Paper Co.'s artistic styling. It's really quite long (18" tall, to be exact) and roomy, and makes a great bag for shopping, the beach, or whenever you might need to carry around a change of clothes and a few beauty products. Even if it's a little splurgey I have zero buyers remorse, and I know I'll totally be toting (hah) this around with me all spring and summer long.

Have you tried any of these beauties? Are you also smitten with them? What other products have you been loving this month?

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