Tuesday, September 29, 2015

September 2015 Favorites

Holy crow...how is it the end of September already?! I feel like I say this every time I'm writing up my monthly favorites post, but man, it seriously feels like August was yesterday. It's been a busy month for me both blog and life wise, which is probably why time just seems to evaporate. In addition to trying a whole bunch of new amazing products, I've also been working hard to get my YouTube channel off the ground. As much as I really enjoy writing and photographing posts to share with you guys, I think videos lend themselves really well to things like tutorials. It's so much easier to actually demonstrate how to contour or blend out an eyeshadow than to try to describe it in writing. If you haven't seen it yet, I posted a fall inspired makeup tutorial last week that you might want to check out as well as an unboxing video of a YSL VoxBox that I just received.

Anyway, on to the real reason you're here! There are so many good products to share this month it's hard to know where to begin. Trying to pick and choose what to show you out of what I've been using was no easy feat, although I think I managed all right. Let's dive on in, shall we?

Skincare. I've been on a serious skincare kick lately, especially with products from natural and organic ranges. I've been reading labels and researching ingredients more than ever, and in doing so have come across some powerhouse products that I think you all will love.

One of my newest obsessions is the LUSH Cup O' Coffee Face and Body Mask ($19.95 for 11.4 oz), which you can totally see me rocking on Instagram. I cannot say enough good things about this mask. Putting aside its absolutely intoxicating scent, the things it does for your skin are incredible. It helps to draw out impurities, tones and invigorates the skin, and also provides deep exfoliation. I was seriously blown away by how baby soft this made my face after even one use. It's basically the ultimate treat to jump start your morning.

Another product I can't seem to get enough of is the Pacifica Sea Foam Complete Face Wash ($10). After hearing a fellow blogger (Tiffany over at Will Work for Makeup) rave about it, I knew I needed to give it a try. Let me tell you...I cannot thank her enough for her recommendation because this stuff is SO GOOD. As with most gel cleansers this does an awesome job of getting skin super clean, but without any of the skin-stripping dryness of other formulas I've tried. It also smells like coconuts (which I think is awesome) and is made with an impressive list of natural ingredients. For $10 I don't think you can find a better product to wash your face than this!

Speaking of affordable and natural beauty products, I've been using the Maple Holistics Vitamin C Anti-Aging Serum ($11.77) on the daily since I got it. It's chock full of powerhouse ingredients like Vitamins A, C, and E as well as Hyaluronic Acid to help reverse visible signs of aging on the skin. I wrote an in-depth review on it earlier this month in case you'd like to learn more, but the take home message is that it's an amazing product for the price!

I fell in love with the Balance Me Congested Skin Serum ($30) in August, truly, and didn't include it in my monthly favorites purely because I didn't want my post to be a mile long. However, this stuff is too great to go without mentioning this time around. With a 99% natural formula, this lightweight serum helps to minimize blackheads, breakouts, and general skin congestion. Unlike some acne products, this does not dry out my skin, and does an amazing job of making it look and feel more refined and clear. A full sized bottle is kind of pricey, but you need just the tiniest dab of product for each application so I'm sure it'll last quite a while.

And of course, I had to give a shout out to my 100% Pure Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream ($25). As someone who never uses eye cream, this formula may have converted me. It's very buttery and rich, but doesn't leave your eyes feeling greasy, and the smell. OH THE SMELL. It's absolutely divine. Perhaps more sweet than it is coffee-ey, but divine none-the-less. I know that some people have complained that this formula is not the most effective for visibly reducing dark circles, but thankfully that is one skincare issue I don't have to worry about. I just find that it perks up my under eye area a bit and generally makes me feel more awake.

Hair. After over two years worth of Birchboxes, I FINALLY got my hands on a Davines hair product and I totally understand what all the fuss is about. The Davines OI All in One Milk ($30) is a leave-in conditioning spray that both detangles and softens my hair while simultaneously giving it a bit of lift and bounce. It's got a sort of musky scent that some people complained about in the reviews on the Birchbox site, but I actually really dig it. Plus, nothing else I've used in a long time has made my hair feel this silky soft or look this shiny. Apparently this travel-sized kit of the entire OI line is available in the Birchbox shop, and it's definitely going on my to-buy list!

Makeup. I've been going a bit makeup crazy in the past month, so it was incredibly difficult to pick just a couple things to share with you guys. I'm having a bit of a blush moment in particular, so I think I'm going to have to write an entire post dedicated just to my current favorites sometime next month. However, if I had to pick one to share right now it's got to be the Vapour Organic Beauty Multi Use Blush Stick in Courtesan ($36). I actually picked this up in a Limited Edition Birchbox at the beginning of the year, but hadn't opened it until about a month ago to try. Lord, I didn't realize what I was missing! This blush is so creamy, and the formula blends out perfectly. Courtesan is a perfect natural pink flush color and it goes with just about any lip or eye look I come up with. The stick format is perfect for travel, and the all-natural formula is incredibly skin-friendly. The only thing I will warn about is that there is Frankincense in the formulation and you can definitely tell from the scent. It's not my favorite smell, but (if you can't tell) my nose is not the most sensitive so I can get over it. However, if you aren't into super earthy smells, this may be a little off-putting for you.

Earlier this month I did a review of the Sephora Favorites Brow Wardrobe, which was one of the best kit purchases I've made possibly this entire year. I've really been enjoying all of the products in it, but perhaps the standout for me is the Anastasia Brow Wiz ($21). Everyone raves about how amazing this product is, and now I totally understand why. It's got an incredibly fine tip, so you can get perfectly defined brows, has amazing pigmentation, and yet somehow manages to look incredibly natural. It also is ridiculously long wearing. Even if the rest of my makeup was melting off in the heat, my brows would still look on point at the end of the day.

This last makeup fave is such a ridiculous, splurgey product, but since I don't often get excited about lip gloss I kind of felt obligated to include it. I finally decided to crack open my Chantecaille Luminous Gloss in Lychee ($34) from my Vanity Affair Birchbox and it is everything one would hope from a $30 lip gloss. It's gorgeously shiny, leaves your lips with a sheer but beautiful wash of color, and is incredibly moisturizing. Would I ever actually go out and spend $34 on a lip gloss of my own accord? ...not so much. Will I totally enjoy every second of using the one that I have. Oh hell yes! On that note, this is why limited edition Birchboxes are so awesome. They often are worth double or triple what you pay, and have really fun luxury items that you may not ever get a chance to try otherwise.

Tools. I finally put the Japonesque Makeup Brush Cleanser (Travel Size, $6) I snagged in my last Ulta haul to the test and am happy to report back that it is GREAT. I've been using the same cheap-o brush cleaner forever, and never realized how good one could be until I tried this. It's almost got a dry oil-like texture that takes makeup off brushes incredibly well, conditions the bristles, and doesn't leave them feeling overly wet. It also smells delicious, like straight up orange oil. Apparently there is also a new rosewater version as well that would probably be equally lovely. Now that I know this stuff works well I may just invest in the giant $30 bottle and use it to continuously refill this one. The small size is really convenient for travel, but it'd be way more cost effective to buy in bulk rather than repurchase the mini itself.

And of course, to go alongside my new brush cleanser I have give props to my new BH Cosmetics Sculpt & Blend Set ($30). It's crazy affordable and the brushes themselves are really quite nice. Pictured here is the round blending face brush, which I've been using constantly to buff in my foundation. I wrote up an in-depth review of the entire set earlier this month in case you'd like to learn a little bit more about them.

Before I wrap up this post there were two other quick favorites I had to mention. I got a small sample of the YSL Black Opium Eau de Parfum ($67 for 1 oz) which I could not find for the life of me when I was trying to photograph this post, but I am OBSESSED. This fragrance is so perfectly me I can't stand it. Its slightly sweet, slightly floral, slightly spicy. It's basically just a perfectly well-rounded, sexy, ultra feminine scent. I think it's definitely going to be going on my Christmas list this year!

And last but most certainly not least I need to share my latest tea obsession. I've been all about the David's Tea Fall Collection ($25) that I picked up a couple of weeks ago. All 5 flavors of tea are so unique and perfectly capture the essence of the season. If you're a tea fan, I highly, highly recommend you check it out!

So there you have it! Another month's worth of awesome beauty finds down. If you've also tried any of these products, I'd love to hear your thoughts. Post a comment and let me know if you're as crazy obsessed as I am, or if you think I'm just crazy.

What products have you been loving this month?

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