Wednesday, November 30, 2016

November Favorites

Personally, November could not have been more of a rollercoaster month for me. I felt sadness and fear in a way that I had never before experienced, and was disgusted to a level I didn't know was possible. But in the latter part of the month, I experienced such overwhelming joy. 

Makeup-wise, November was a great month. One week, one palette has been going great; I discovered new products that have shot to the position of all-time favorite; and I rediscovered some old favorites. 

These are the products that stood out to me the most this month.

My custom Inglot palette:

I used this palette the first week in November in my one week, one palette project, and I absolutely loved it. There was not a single look that I created that I didn't love, and it was incredibly difficult for me to put this away and move onto another palette. I love eyeshadow so much and really do love the majority of things in my collection, but using this palette for a week straight really showed me the negative side to having so many palettes. The fact that I won't be able to use this palette again until this round of my one week, one palette project is over kills me, especially because I have several more months to go. I'll probably sneak use on this palette here and there while engaging with this project because I just love the palette that much. 

Juvia's Place Masquerade Mini:

Using Juvia's Place Masquerade Mini in my one week, one palette project really was a turning point for me. I've always been terrified of color and stayed happily within my world of bronze, taupe, and rose gold, but challenging myself to use all colors in a palette has been really fun and enlightening. And I bought this palette because I was curious to see how I would like and use the colorful shadows.

 I cannot even express how much I loved this palette and how much fun it was to create all the different eye looks. Frankly, this is probably the most "all in one" palette I have because it has a ton of great shimmery neutrals, staple matte neutrals, and a variety of colors. It would also look incredible on a myriad of skin tones, and that is very unfortunately a rare trait. 

It Cosmetics CC+ Cream:

So, this product is great. I've heard people talk about this CC cream for ages and have even seen many people mention it as their go-to, all-time favorite foundation. But up until a few months ago, I only wore powder foundation, so I had no desire to try it. Added to that, It Cosmetics was only available at Ulta, and there are no Ulta locations where I live. 

But several weeks ago I went to Sephora to buy an eyeliner (that I hated and returned) and saw that they had a sample of the It Cosmetics CC+ Cream as a 100-point perk. I must have missed when Sephora started carrying It Cosmetics, but I was eager to try it, so I picked it up. 

And my goodness, I loved it. I loved absolutely everything about it. The color (Medium) matched my skin perfectly, the texture was lovely, the finish was gorgeous, and my skin just looked radiant and healthy. Now, to be completely honest, I have only tried a handful of liquid foundations. I've tried:
  • CoverGirl Clean Matte BB Cream (broke me out)
  • Milani Conceal and Perfect (all of the colors were too dark for my skin and the coverage made me look like I was wearing a mask)
  • MAC Face and Body (I loved the look of this, but it broke me out)
  • L'Oreal Infallible Pro Matte (mostly like this, but it is a touch too matte for my skin)
  • L'Oreal Infallible Pro Glow (way too shiny on its own, but I liked it mixed with the Pro Matte; however, it broke me out)
  • Maybelline Fit Me Matte and Poreless (I liked this the most out of everything in this list but hate that it doesn't have a pump and I have to pour it out) 
Without doubt, the It Cosmetics CC+ Cream is my absolute favorite. I do really like the Maybelline Matte and Poreless, but the color is slightly off, it clings to the dryness between my eyebrows, and it may have broken me out. I was using it in conjunction with a primer from Make Up For Ever that I think has been breaking me out, and I was also using it in a rotation with the L'Oreal Infallible foundations. The Pro Glow absolutely broke me out, so I can't be totally sure if the Maybelline one broke me out as well. 

Either way, the It Cosmetics CC+ Cream is essentially perfection on my skin for my specific skin type and what I like. However, It Cosmetics recently sold to L'Oreal for $1.2 billion, which I was very disappointed to see. I would not be surprised whatsoever if the quality of the CC+ Cream changes in the future under L'Oreal's control, but I really hope it doesn't. If the formula doesn't change, I would be happy using only this product in the future. I have no desire to look elsewhere for a foundation. 

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed in Opal:

This was a really pleasant surprise for me this month. The infamous Opal highlighter from Becca has always been a disappointment for me. It's not disappointing in quality or performance—it has always been beautiful in that regard—but the color was never quite right for me. 

Originally I had been applying highlighter with a fan brush, and Opal always looked like it was an almost yellow-gold stripe across my cheeks. I much preferred Becca's Moonstone and have even hit pan on it. I never understood why everyone loved Opal so much, and I had all but decided to declutter it from my collection. 

But then I purchased the Anastasia Beverly Hills 23 highlighter brush:

And on a whim decided to use Opal again. The combination of the It Cosmetics CC+ Cream and the application from the Anastasia brush made Opal an absolutely gorgeous highlight on my skin. I honestly can't even explain what really changed since the CC+ Cream is a fantastic color match for me, so it's not as though I'm wearing foundation that is darker than my actual skin tone. I have to assume it's the base the foundation gives my skin as well as the application the brush gives. 

I have a ton of highlighters (far too many at this point, unfortunately), and I haven't been able to use anything other than Opal since discovering how gorgeous it looks on my skin. I'm really glad I gave it another chance instead of just decluttering it because it is certainly a stunner. 

NARS Goulue Blush:

This blush was given to me by Sephora when I made VIB Rouge for the third or so year. Like many people in the makeup rehabilitation world, VIB Rouge status is an embarrassment for me, not a point of pride. I'm not sure if I will realistically ever not be VIB Rouge, however, because I spend a ton of money on skincare each year. My makeup purchases alone could have potentially pushed me over the Rouge edge, but skincare is really where most of my money is spent. 

So, Sephora gives me this eyeshadow-sized blush as a "thank you" for spending an absurd and alarming amount of money in a year's time. Great. When I received this, I was pretty happy with the state of my blush collection. I had all the colors that flattered me covered—rose bronze, pink, peach, and mauve—and wasn't interested in adding anything new. But before decluttering it, I decided to try it on, and I was surprised by how much I loved the color. 

I didn't have a color quite like it in my collection. On me, it is somewhere between pink and mauve. I decided to keep it in my collection and monitor how often I reach for it. If it didn't get used, I would declutter it within a few months. To my surprise, I've been reaching for this blush quite frequently. When I can't quite decide if I want a pink or mauve flush, I reach for this and am always happy with the result. 

This is currently the only NARS blush in my collection, but I have owned a handful of them in the past. NARS has one of my absolute favorite blush formulas, and I love the longevity of them. I considered purchasing a full-size of Goulue since it is listed as a limited edition product, but the reality is that I will likely never finish this mini size, so there is no need to spend the money to buy a backup. 

Garnier Anti-Dark Circle Eye Roller:

I haven't heard anyone talk about this product in years, but I wanted to give it a mention this month since I've recently purchased a new concealer and will be testing that.

My relationship with concealer has been really complicated. I'm fortunate in that I don't really have dark circles or extreme darkness under my eyes, but I still like to have a bit of coverage in that area. I'm unfortunate in that the skin under my eyes does not play well with most products. I've tried countless concealers (mid range and drug store) with various application methods, and all of them left the skin under my eyes looking dry, creased, or cakey. 

The last one I had tried was the Urban Decay corrector in Pink. The corrector in Peach was way too dark for me, and the Pink one seemed to be a good color match (and that was weird because of my warm olive undertones). While the color looked fine, the same thing happened with the skin under my eyes looking terrible. I felt so frustrated at my inability to find a product that worked when I remembered something I tried years ago and really liked: the Garnier Anti-Dark Circle Eye Roller. 

I don't know if it's the rollerball application that makes this product work so well on me, but I love it. It provides just enough coverage to correct the slight darkness under my eyes, doesn't crease, and never looks dry. I apply it directly onto my skin with the rollerball and then blend it in with the tip of a damp Beauty Blender. 

What's even more amazing about this product is that it looks incredible on my warm olive skin and also looks incredible on my friend with pale, cool-toned skin. I was sure that the undertones would be too warm for her, and when I first applied it, the color did look quite off, but as soon as I blended it in, it was a seamless transition that looked amazing. Based on that experience, I would assume this product could work well on several different skin tones. Or maybe she and I just have a Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants Concealer going on. 

NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base:

This product has an interesting story with me. I always heard people talk about this eyeshadow primer and say that it was the best. It took me years of consistent use to finish my Too Faced Shadow Insurance, and I never had any problem with it, so I was curious to see if the NARS one would really be that much better. 

I'm not a fan of how this product applies. The stopper is so severe that barely any product comes out with each dip, and I always have to dip it at least twice to cover both eyes. A few months into using it (keep in mind that it took years to finish the Too Faced primer), I was barely getting any product on the brush and I had to really dig to get anything. I watched a tutorial online about how to pull out the stopper with tweezers, and doing so ruined my Tweezerman tweezers. But with the stopper out, I was shocked to find there was so much product left in the tube that I could use it for another several months. So this primer really is a ripoff unless you plan to remove the stopper. 

When I finally finished it up, I decided the packaging was too much of a problem for me and I was not going to repurchase. I hadn't noticed much of a difference between it and my Too Faced primer other than the fact that on the rare occasion that I would fall asleep before removing my makeup, my eyeshadow looked incredible the next morning. I absolutely hate falling asleep before I have the opportunity to wash my face, but it was weirdly awesome to see my eyeshadow look incredible the next morning. 

I purchased three different primers to replace the NARS one: MAC Paint Pot in Painterly, Milani Eye Primer, and the Urban Decay Primer Potion in Anti-Againg. The Urban Decay primer was the worst for me and has since been returned, but the other two are fine enough. I like having a Paint Pot for the times when I want to put down a colored based on my eyelid, and the Milani one works fine for certain shadows. 

With the MAC and Milani primers, my eyeshadow looked good for the majority of the day, but I started noticing that at night the shadows started breaking down. And that was odd for me because it never happened with the NARS one. But it was using the Juvia's Place Masquerade palette that I really saw how much I missed the NARS primer. As I mentioned in that post, no matter what primer I tried with Masquerade, the shadows creased terribly by the six-hour mark. I haven't yet had the opportunity to try Masquerade with the NARS primer to compare, but I used the NARS primer with the Juvia's Place Nubian 2 palette, and I had no issues with creasing. 

I decided that as much as the packaging is not the most functional and kind of sucks, the product is still the best I have ever tried. I obviously never want to fall asleep with my makeup on and certainly don't care what I look like the next morning since it all gets washed off immediately anyway, but there is a certain confidence I have in knowing my eyeshadows will look amazing for hours on end until I decide I want to take them off. 

1 comment:

  1. HI, new reader to your blog! Love it! What is in your custom Inglot palette?? I need those!