I know that since the beginning of the new year, I’ve been constantly rambling on and on about my workload and stress but this has just been quite a semester for me schoolwise but as we head into exams, this month has been the busiest and most stressful yet and it wont stop for another three weeks or so. Because there’s been so much on my plate, I haven’t really had time to put any thought into the beauty routine or put all that much time into it and oddly enough I discovered a fairly large mix of products that we’re essential this month – I think because of the lack of time to experiment or really think about it all.
Dove Refresh + Care Invigorating Dry Shampoo ($6-8 CDN)
I’m kind of new to the whole dry shampoo thing, having hair that can go for ages without needing to be washed, but I found that this one brought some much-needed texture and volume to my loose curls.
Organix Kukui Oil Frizz-Defying Curl Cream ($9-12 CDN)
I have the kind of hair that (a) refuses to conform to any style other than my natural wavy-curls (b) is dry and the tangliest hair that I’ve ever heard of despite not being damaged on account of not being dyed and not using heat on it on the regular and despite my past experience with curl creams being reduced to weighing down the hair rather than defining the curls (with a few exceptions) and providing no sort of hold, I was tempted to pick this one up to try out. Yes it is silicone-based but I think the cream redeems itself with its high concentration of nourishing oils that does not feel heavy in the hair. This is much appreciated in the moisturization and tangliness department for me and the cream also helps to define the tighter curls I have towards the end of my hair into more of a spiral-y pattern.
La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Baume ($16 CDN)
I actually only picked this up a bit before the middle of this month but it was an instant love, providing results in the nick of time and generally just being a lifesaver. Towards the end of the month, the weather got really chilly (-20 C) and then we had a blizzard and this balm with vitamin b was sort of an absolute lifesaver. It really soothes and repairs the skin when it gets in that irritated fragile state – presumably because of its anti-bacterial and protective properties – and while being affordable is a savior for healing the lips, sorting out eczema while reducing the itching factor and sorting out dry patches on the face like a champ despite being that thick balmy texture. I don’t know why I put off picking up the versatile balm for so long, unless I go to that place where I recognize my lack of rationality…
OPI Nail Envy ($18 CDN)
I’ve had this “nail strengthener” for a good year now and while I’ve liked it, I haven’t been compelled to rave about it until now. In my stressed-out state, I had taken to peeling and picking my nail polish off and this left my normally strong nails quite weak and flaky and this sorted it out rather quickly while also performing well as a top coat and base coat. Although I haven’t tried Seche Vite (but want to), I’ve tried a good number of topcoats and this one while nourishing the nails helps to keep polish on my chipping-prone nails for the longest out of the bunch. I wouldn’t normally be tempted to spend this kind of money on a topcoat but after receiving this one as I gift, I plan on forking out the eighteen bucks again.
Rimmel Wake Me Up Concealer ($7-8 CDN)
After loving the foundation from the same line and hearing great things about the medium-buildable coverage liquid concealer that blends seamlessly into the skin, I picked the bright tube up. I reckon that it’s similar to the Maybelline Fit Me concealer (albeit more illuminating) but the Very Fair shade in this concealer is a much better colour match for my fair skin with yellow undertones than any of the shades that the other concealer offers. Something more pink-toned would be ideal for underneath the eyes but this shade is a good match for the actual skin on my face and covers up discolourations effectively without highlighting dry patches.
Soap & Glory Scrub Your Nose In It ($22 CDN)
This was one of my riskier purchases, as it not only provides manual exfoliation with its grainy texture and it promises to control the oil and unclog pores — products that have these claims tend to irritate and dehydrate my dry sensitive skin — but after going without a manual exfoliant for ages and wanting to go for something very gentle, being interested in trying the UK-based brand and seeing that it contained AHA’s (chemical exfoliant) in high quantities without irritating alcohol or drying detergent agents, I gave in. The risk paid off, let me tell you. It comes in a hygienic tube and comes out as a green clay-based textured scrub that promises to do double duty as a mask if left on for a few minutes. It smells lovely and minty due to the menthol and while it doesn’t irritate my skin per se, I know it’s not one of the ingredients I approve of in my skincare. It decongests the skin when left on for a few minutes while also buffing off dead skin cells and I find my skin afterwards is brightened and smoothed, with improved texture. Although it feels quite clean afterwards, it was not the kind of clean that results in patches of irritation and dehydrated skin – it was merely the clay. I quite enjoy how this performs double duty, especially when I’m both a little congested and dull as it remedies both issues at once with good results. I like to leave it on for the 4-5 minutes most of the time because it allows the AHA’s to stay on the skin longer and remain more effective. It is one of the gentlest of scrubs, just slightly grainy in texture rather than having microbeads, and it doesn’t make my skin react and become red as it tends to. I suppose I couldn’t talk about this without giving a mini-review, whoops…..
Victoria’s Secret PINK Warm & Cozy Body Spray ($8/ travel size)
As odd as it is, this is the first body spray that I’ve ever bought. They’ve never really appealed to me in the slightest and I tend to associate them with those sweet fruity smells of that I’m not a fan of but this one was different — while being sweeter than what I usually go for on account of the vanilla, the warmth and slight floral kick to it keeps it from going to far in that direction. Being a body spray, it doesn’t last for ages but lasts for a good few hours and is non-offensive. Overpowering scents aren’t my cup of tea and this is far from overpowering.
MAC Tenderling Powder Blush ($21/25 CDN)
After having this for a couple of months with a decent amount of use, I think I fell into love with this one this month. When you’re short on time but are a blush-bronzer-and-maybe-highlight-too kind of girl, these multitasking products are essential. The sheer tone finish is matte but the powder is a nice and soft one bringing that warm rosy-tan shade to both add definition and a little bit of colour to the face. It doesn’t look like anything on the cheeks, which I have been really appreciating as it both adds life to the face while pairing with any different sort of lip option. This is my first neutral blush love and it stood out for me when I wanted to wear a bolder lip while still looking relaxed.
MAC Dreaming Dahlia Lipstick ($19 CDN)
This has received a fair amount of mention from me in the last month, but I couldn’t go without mentioning it here. While still being actually hydrating and low-maintenance on the lips, the lustre formula provides a nice pop of coral on the lips. I’m someone who loves coral blushes and lipsticks as they seem to bring my fair skin to life and I expected to like this lipstick but I didn’t expect it to be as versatile as it proved itself to be. The forgiving formula lasts for around four hours without minimal eating and a bit of drinking and not only looks nice with minimal makeup but adds some colour without clashing with brighter cheek and eye products. It’s nice to have a slightly brighter but still easy-to-wear shade that suits minimal makeup to add some instant impact while still being wearable with any sort of makeup look. When you’re in a rush like I’ve been this month, it’s nice not to have to think about what I’m grabbing. Oh and it’s limited edition, sorry….
MAC Coquette Eyeshadow ($12/18 CDN)
This trio of MAC makeup was not intentional and to be honest I didn’t notice the high volume of MAC products in this post until I began to write it. I know that as of late, many in the blogging/vlogging world of beauty seem to be set against MAC, and while I can see why in some instances, the brand remains one of my greatest loves. At the end of last month, I finally plucked my eyebrows again and in doing so, I somehow gave my unruly-yet-sparse brows some shape and my love of the ashy-taupe MAC Coquettesolidified further. The shade dubbed a member of the “satin” family (but matte in my view), delivers a punch of pigmentation with impressive texture, adding natural definition to my brows without delivering any sort of reddish tinge. The shade is a workhorse in my routine and I’ve been wearing it in the crease and outer corner of the eye and enjoying the quick resulting definition. I talked about this in January’s post but believe me when I say that it deserved another mention.
If you made it through my long-winded essay of a post, then well done. I’ve been strangely decent on the buying front lately and would perhaps enjoy hearing your favourite product(s) of the month in the name of research…
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