September was a fun makeup month for me. I tired several new products that really impressed me, couldn't get enough of old favorites, and was able to talk myself out of buying several hyped and unnecessary purchases.
But a few things stood out among the rest, and they were certainly favorites this month.
Morphe 35OS palette
This was my biggest surprise of the month. Several months ago I purchased and reviewed the Morphe 35T palette, and my general thought was "it's good for the price, but not that great overall." Many of the shimmers were gorgeous, but my two biggest complaints were that the matte shades were pretty bad and that there were many shades that looked exactly the same.
There's a store where I live that sells Morphe palettes, so I have the uncommon opportunity to personally see the colors and swatch before I purchase. After my experience with the 35T palette (which I have since depotted and gotten rid of all but nine shadows), I was pretty positive I would not buy any other Morphe palettes.
It's difficult for me personally to trust the majority of positive Morphe reviews (especially from those with affiliate codes) because those reviews differ so greatly from my own experience with the formula. I will admit, though, that the color scheme of the 35O always interested me. I love beautiful orange, rust, copper, and bronze shades. That palette was perpetually out of stock online, and even though it was inexpensive, I just didn't think it would ever be worth it since I would only ever like the shimmer shadows.
And then the 35OS was released, and every single shadow was of a shimmer finish. As soon as I swatched it, I knew I had to have it. And in all honesty, this is all I have been really wanting to wear this month. That is highly unlikely for me. I have a pretty large palette collection and usually don't wear the same palette two days in a row, but I have just not wanted to stop using this palette. Every single shadow is beautiful and great to work with. I still have a similar complaint that there are certainly not 35 unique colors, however. Many colors look exactly the same as several others, and that is a downfall.
It is also important to note that for me, this is absolutely not a stand alone palette, and I do have to bring in matte shadows to complete any look. With it, I have exclusively used...
Kat Von D Shade and Light Eye palette
This palette has really been fun to use this month. I've primarily used the warm (far right) quad, but have also gotten a lot of use out of the neutral (far left) quad as well.
As I have said many times before, in my eyeshadow looks, the shimmer shade on the lid gets the attention, but the mattes are the unsung heroes the really make a look work. And that was absolutely true this month especially while I was using the Morphe palette.
This palette is one of my top two favorite all-matte palettes that I have ever tried. The other favorite is the Viseart Neutral Matte, and to compare the two, I find the Kat Von D more intense in pigmentation. Sometimes the pigmentation is way too much, especially if I am wearing a more subtle look. On those days, the Viseart shadows are perfection. But on the days when I have a foiled shadow on the lid (like I did for most of September) the Shade and Light Eye is the palette to perfectly complement and balance the intensity.
L'Oreal Pro Matte and Pro Glow foundations
Little known fact about me is that I have only very recently dipped my toes into the liquid foundation game. I have never been one to really want or need a ton of coverage, and I have very sensitive skin that is prone to irritation or breakouts when exposed to new products. As a result, I have almost always been exclusively a powder foundation wearer, and my go-to was the Laura Mercier Mineral Powder.
As the seasons changed, I found myself looking a little too powdery with the Laura Mercier, and I wanted to explore some other options.
Months later, I tried the L'Oreal Pro Matte foundation. There was so much that I liked about this foundation. The coverage was good but not too much (especially when sheered out with a bending sponge), the finish was nice, and it stayed on my skin throughout the day.
But, it was just a little too matte for me.
I then tried the L'Oreal Pro Glow foundation as it had received really great reviews and seemed a logical deviation from the Pro Matte. This one had all the same positives of the Pro Matte, except with a much more beautiful finish. I really liked how my skin looked.
However, within a few hours, I was looking really, really shiny. Not even oily, as my skin isn't excessively oily, just too shiny. Like I had applied highlighter all over my face.
So I decided one day to mix the two foundations together, adding just a little more Pro Glow than Pro Matte. And, I have to tell you, the result was perfect. The finish was exactly what I wanted. Dewy, but not greasy. I'm sure there is a better foundation out there for me where I wouldn't need to mix two to get the finish and coverage that I like, but for right now, I have these two and I am perfectly happy mixing them.
Laura Geller Baked Balance and Brighten Foundation
Now, this could be cheating since I haven't actually used this product on its own this month. I have no idea how it would perform alone, but I have to guess that it would be pretty great.
I have used this exclusively over my Pro Matte and Pro Glow combination and under my Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Light. As soon as I put the Balance and Brighten on my skin (applied lightly with a fluffy brush), my skin looked incredible. Healthy. Lit from within.
I had previously been using my MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural, but quickly tossed that one aside because the Balance and Brighten was superior.
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzer
This is an old favorite, but such a beautiful product. This is what gets me through the season change because it truly mimics the way I look when sun kissed. I don't use it too much in the summer because it would be excessive with the actual tan I always seem to get, but when it gets a little dreary out (like today), I like to wear it and pretend it's warm and I've been on vacation.
Hands down if I could only have one bronzer, this would be it.
Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Exposed
This is another product that has been talked to death, but is actually very new to me. A few years ago, when this was all the rage, I went to Sephora many times to swatch it on my hand only to be disappointed. It looked like nothing on me. It didn't matter how much I dug into it, it was nothing.
I realized, however, that with a warm olive complexion, this kind of shade is the most flattering, more so than pinks or corals or peaches. Despite my negative experiences in the past, I finally decided to purchase it.
And I have worn nothing else since. It is the perfect color on my skin.
But if left me wondering why it always looked like nothing on me in store. This is my best guess. I have owned one Amazonian Clay Blush before, and I ended up getting rid of it because the color was a bad match on me and because the color payoff seemed lacking. But what I think happened is that it developed hardpan. And I would have to assume that the testers inside Sephora get hardpan nearly immediately from everyone always touching it. (Kind of gross when you think about it.)
This may be a formula that I have to observe and make sure that no hardpan is forming, but for right now, the shade is perfect for me, and I love it.
Smashbox Primer Water
This one was a surprise as well. I have only heard mixed reviews on this item. It either really works and people love it, or it does nothing at all and seems a giant waste of money.
I'm happy to say I'm in the first camp. I love this stuff. I bought the travel size originally, just to see if I would like it, and I've already gone through nearly half the bottle in just under three weeks. I'll absolutely purchase the full-size when I run out.
I use this under my pore-filling primer as well as over my entire face to set everything and bring down the look of powder. The combination of all of my face products is working really well right now, and everything stays on and looks great well into the night.
It has a nice, soft spray (unlike MAC Fix+ that would leave globs of water on my face), doesn't have any detectible scent, and doesn't feel like it dries out my face. I've really been enjoying it.
These products have been my favorites of the month, and I think I may start a new "One Week, One Palette" series in October and really get some use out of all the products I already have while talking myself out of all the new releases.