I was just lucky enough to spend a few days with some friends in New Orleans, and have some genuine girlfriend time in the process. There is nothing quite as good for the soul and for the ego as spending time with good friends. We gossiped, laughed, window shopped, ate some good food, daydreamed, watched some TV, gave each other makeovers, and I think ended up feeling better about ourselves and the world around us. Of course being told I had the skin of younger woman and that my hair was fabulous did not hurt this overall outlook. :) With that in mind, I thought I'd write about some of my current favorites in the world of beauty - some of the things that have kept my spirits up and my skin looking better than it has for awhile during this long cold winter. Feel free to share/recommend some of yours back.
- Dew Puff: since the first time I used the bamboo charcoal version of this little magic sponge, my face felt softer than it had in YEARS. I'm still not 100% sure what konjac is exactly, but it has a special place in my life. As I continue to use it, I feel the texture of my skin improves, and other products I use after, like moisturizer, do their job better. I'm hooked.
- Nuxe Rêve de Miel lip balm: it has been a long, particularly cold winter, and my lips had never been quite that dry/chapped. I had to start exfoliating with a mix of coconut oil and sugar regularly, but that wasn't enough. I had heard good things about this balm, so emboldened by a 20% off coupon, I tried it. The positive hype was all true. Super moisturizing, lasts for hours, and it feels like it is actually improving/healing my lips, not providing temporary relief - but then feeling dryer in an hour or two - like a lot of cheaper lip balms. It isn't sticky or shiny, it feels luxe, and I like the honey/citrusy scent. It has a permanent spot on my nightstand.
- Dr. Hauschka Clarifying Day Oil: I have had oily, acne-prone skin since forever. For years, I avoided anything with oil in it, thinking it would make my skin worse. Then I started reading that some oil might actually help stabilize my skin. I started using cleansing oils to remove makeup, and that worked out great. So then I decided to take the next step and maybe incorporate an oil into my skin care. This stuff is FANTASTIC. In the mornings, I cleanse my skin using the above mentioned Dew Puff, use a glycolic acid toner, then immediately pat in a couple of drops of this oil on my face. Ever since I started this routine, my oil production has stabilized, and breakouts are a bit more under control as well. My friends said I had a glow - and I think it's thanks to this stuff. Plus using it is almost like a little aromatherapy when I apply it, since I find the scent of this oil very refreshing. (Side note: I saw an interview where JLo gave Dr. Hauscka's rose day cream credit for her glow, so maybe the doc is some sort of skin glow expert.)
- Wet N Wild Coloricon Bronzer in Reserve Your Cabana: speaking of glows - this powder can make you look all glowy and healthy when you feel like crap - trust me on this. They call this a bronzer but there is nothing bronze about it, it's a highlighting powder, but one that gives you a nice natural sheen/glow, with zero glitter. Plus it has SPF15, so additional protection against harsh rays, it's super affordable, and from one of the few drugstore brands that doesn't test on animals.
- Milani Shadow Eyez eyeshadow pencils: particularly the shades champagne toast and almond cream. They're great as bases for powder shadows to make them pop and last longer, they're nice as lower lash liners to make your eyes look brighter/more awake, both work pretty decently as highlighters too. Multipurpose, easy to travel with, and affordably priced. What's not to like?
- L.A. Girl Pro Conceal HD Concealer: this stuff costs less than $5, (I got mine for $2.99) but works better than some concealers I've tried that cost 5 times that price for covering undereye circles. Plus I love that they have a really wide shade range. One of my favorite "discoveries" of this winter.
- Bath and Body Works deep cleansing hand soap in Crisp Morning Air: unfortunately, this is a seasonal scent, but fortunately I was smart enough to stock up on it during one of B&BW's super sales, so I still have some. This is supposed to smell like a blend of mountain pine, fresh juniper and pear. I think it just smells clean and fresh. And if you know me, you know I love a clean scent. I mean, my favorite perfume is literally made by a brand named Clean. I'm giving you the heads up: when fall/autumn rolls around, get ye to a Bath and Body Works and STOCK UP. (Their Autumn and Sweater Weather home fragrance stuff are my favs and I use them year-round to keep my home smelling fresh.)