June has been a relatively nice month in these parts, both in weather and in my perceived overall temperament of the month, were it an animate human being. The month began (literally) with my twentieth birthday where I was gifted a much improved new camera — a digital SLR — and was able to make some improvements here at Beautylit & Ramblings so things were rather good on that front but in terms of my life outside of my little space on the internet, I achieved less than the ideal productive human being. Anyway, this is a roundup of my standout products throughout the month.
Bianca Topical Gel ($90 CDN):
I must say that adding the prescription retinoid gel that’s formulated impressively without irritating alcohol back into my routine wasn’t so fun last month as it is one of the only skin medication that actually is proven to cause purging for the first month or so and that didn’t stop for me until the beginning of the month and as one would expect, some scars do remain but now that I’ve gotten through this stage I’ve been happy with the improved texture of my skin and lack of general bumpiness brought on by rapidly increasing cell turnover. Weirdly enough, it also seems to help with overall brightness without irritating my skin like most other prescription and non-prescription strength products that work known to man. It’s actually the most money that I have ever spent on a skincare product but my dermatologist recommended it to me so I went for it knowing it wasn’t covered by insurance annoyingly — note, later I was reimbursed for half from University-based health coverage so it wasn’t so painful in the long run.
By Nature Organic Rosehip Oil ($26 CDN):
Every time when my skin gets irritated, broken out, dehydrated and/or scarred, I always come back to this oil consistently to quickly sort things out. The orange-tinged dry oil is lightweight but manages to instantly soothe and hydrate the complexion, helps with active blemishes and does miracle work with scarring, brightening the skin over time. I’ve been reaching for this loads to help with that whole skin situation.
Boots No 7 Beautiful Skin Hot Cloth Cleanser ($12 CDN):
I’ve been using this cream cleanser to remove makeup and cleanse the face in general for going on three months but this month I really fell in love with this gentle and luxurious yet affordable offering especially while dealing with the general skin irritation and dehydration situation. With its convenient pump packaging, this rich cream cleanser removes makeup like a champ whilst soothing the skin and actually leaving it much more calmed and hydrated after removed with a washcloth. It does have some fragrance but it has a subtle spa-like scent that would lead you to believe that this is a much higher end product than the price would indicate, especially paired with the whole experience of massaging it in. I’ve deviated from my usual routine a little, in fact, as I’ve been enjoying going for this offering in the morning as well as it leaves the skin smoother and soothed in preparation for makeup and the like. It does come with a muslin cloth which has imparted me with the insight that I’m more of a facecloth kind of girl.
DevaCare Arc AnGel ($25/55 CDN):
I had gotten more into my hair in the last two months or so and I remembered loving my wavy hair last summer when I was using their gel as well as the leave-in protein treatment so when I was in the area of my salon, I picked the protein treatment up again and tried the firmer holding gel from the line in the economical huge litre tub. As with the Ultra Defining Gel, when used properly, scrunched in with care and all that jazz (in the style of the Curly Girl Method), this one gives great definition to my loose curls as well as adding life to the roots. However, this gel has to be my favourite because I find that I don’t need as insane of a quantity of it and it’s much more economical while providing even better definition and hold that keeps the shape in my hair for days. I’ve definitely been more of a fan of my hair this month and this is the product responsible for it.
Annabelle CC Colour Control Luminous Finish Instant Perfecting Base ($17 CDN):
I normally force myself to leave out products from these monthly posts that I’ve only had for the second half of the month, but after picking it up and talking about it here ,it has become a welcome addition into my daily routine and I can safely say that it’s my first primer love as of ever. The ridiculously named “CC” primer manages to not irritate my sensitive skin in any sort of shape or form whilst performing effectively; the opalescent silicone-based primer adds that luminosity that helps to blur imperfections rather than highlighting them and it also seems to keep foundation on the skin as it was applied for longer.
Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet Smooth-Effect Makeup in 10 ($48 CDN):
In the last month, I’ve talked about this new foundation that I’ve fallen for and I doubt I’ll be stopping anytime soon. I honestly can count on one hand the number of times I wore makeup that didn’t include this lightweight foundation and I was never happier with the way my face looked with all things considered. Being someone who suffers from dry patches and less-than-ideal texture on my face, I tend to avoid anything promising a velvety let alone matte finish but when I visited the Chanel counter at a local department store and let the lovely lady apply it to my face, I was sold. The fairest shade seems to be the ideal match for my skin and the lightweight formula looks and feels like skin, offering medium (but weirdly buildable) coverage with the velvety but luminous finish. This one manages somehow not to dry out skin in the slightest but control oil on my normal t-zone in a kind of unbelievable way. I’ve said it before and I’ve said it recently, but this really is the perfect lightweight foundation option for summer.
Annabelle Smoothliner in Black ($6-7 CDN):
It may or may not be apparent through viewing my posts in the last month, but I haven’t been feeling my usual winged liner — Don’t get me wrong, I may be wearing it in certain posts but I haven’t been loving it on — and because I’m a liner girl at heart, I’ve been forsaking it for this creamy waterproof offering. I’ve said this before but for me, these are the better version of the popular Urban Decay liners, actually creamy as compared to waxy and easier to smudge out. Because of its creaminess, this isn’t a liner that is super easy to create a precise line with but that’s a necessary sacrifice. Although they don’t last for 12 hours or anything on the inner rims on the eyes (probably because they aren’t the easiest to adhere too the inner rims), this is one of the very few that will remain on the upper waterline without transferring. Ahh, I’ve found a product to tightline with at last that doesn’t automatically transfer to the waterline and isn’t a menace to remove from my dry eyes at night.
Annabelle Lipliner in 405 Demure ($4-6 CDN):
So I hadn’t noticed how much I’ve been loving the affordable brand, Annabelle — woo, Canadian pride … jokes — but after putting this together, I’ve fully recognized this fact and have made a mental note to try more from this brand as I’ve been majorly impressed with what I’ve tried thus far. If you read my post a few weeks into the month where I picked this bargain up with a few others here,then I’m sure that you’re aware that I haven’t had this for the entirety of the month but it’s (yet again) another product that has fast-tracked its way into my daily staples. I didn’t use to be a lip-liner girl but after I picked this creamy rosy hue that sits as a warm-toned browned pink shade, I think I have been converted; its that perfect my-lips-but-better colour that suits my complexion (in my opinion) and works on its own or with a multitude of lipsticks ranging from nudes to rosy neutral kind of hues, perfectly suiting the next product worthy of mention…
MAC Patisserie Lipstick ($19 CDN):
I have sensitive and perpetually chapped lips and I’ve probably said this 47 times too many but here I go again. In the beginning of the month, I appear to have either burnt my lips spectacularly or had quite the reaction to spf in a lip product considering the chapped, sore and flaky lips that emerged and wouldn’t heal and when this happens and I want to wear a lip colour, moisturizing spf-free options such as MAC Lustres are a lifesaver. This shade is easily my go-to everyday kind of colour — a nude that isn’t exactly pale with some rosiness to it and the subtlest of brown undertones — and it might just be my favourite lip product of all time but independent of this, I’ve been slapping this on constantly this month, quite often over the above liner for increased longevity and a bit more of a kick on the pigmentation front. And case in point, the mother who only comments on my makeup maybe once every few months — more often and not in a way that resembles constructive criticism — has told me on a few occasions how nice this shade is, so I’m fairly certain is a good one. And it actually moisturizes the lips and camoflages these kinds of situations impressively. I went on and on in more detail about the combination in a recent post here.
Revlon Photoready Skinlights in Pink Light ($14-16 CDN):
This is not a product that is any means new to me as it’s been with me since early Spring and I’ve thought it was a nice subtle pink-hued illuminator that added that dewiness without emphasizing any of the unwanted things on the face and blended into the skin impressively but since going for less of a dewy finish with foundation and wearing less makeup in general, the dewy cheekbone situation has been much more enticing. In other words, I’ve been pulling this tube out and have been applying a few dots on the cheekbones, even going a bit lower than usual and blending it with my fingertips.
NYC Smooth Skin Bronzer in Sunny ($2.70 CDN):
There are very few makeup products available at the usual suspects that retail for such wallet-friendly prices and more than that, this hyped product has to be the perfect finely-milled warm-toned bronzer — because it’s on the warmer side of things, I do prefer it in the warmer months (especially when I’ve gotten some colour [while wearing SPF of course!]) but regardless it isn’t one of those bronzers that is just a touch away from being brick-hued and it has a nice texture to work with both for adding some shape to the face with a smaller brush and actually bronzing with a larger brush. I had been in the mood for more of a contoured effect in past months but as of late, I’ve been going for a much more diffused bronzed application of this one. It’s flattering and subtle on the skin while being lazy-girl approved, if you needed any further persuasion.
The products in use minus those of the lip variety
The lip products
And hopefully to benefit anyone reading this — P.S. I kind of adore you all — I continued my swatching kick, featuring the coloured makeup products (minus the foundation) from this post. Unfortunately, none of my photo attempts seem to be in particularly good focus… forgive me?
From the left: NYC Sunny, Revlon Pink Light, MAC Patisserie, Annabelle Demure Lipliner, Annabelle Black Smoothliner
I really was not intending for this post to be anywhere this long and for that I apologize and as always, I would love to know your thoughts on these products as well as your standout products of the month!