It has been a while since I had a monthly favorites post, and that's because I haven't really had any new favorites lately. I feel like a lot of people have monthly "favorites" that are just the new products that they have tried and liked. And while that is totally fine, that's just now how I approach the topic. For me, for something to be a monthly favorite, it has to be something that I have genuinely used and loved all month, not just for a little bit.
Most of the things that are my favorites are all-time favorites that I've already talked about, so I don't know how interesting it would be to find out that I'm still loving Becca Moonstone or Physician's Formula Butter Bronzer.
But this is what I've loved in July.
Australian Gold Botanical Tinted Sunscreen
I typically like to wear a sunscreen every day, but I have finally come to accept that it's just not all that necessary when you live in New York City. To my great heartache, the sun hardly ever shines on me. Even when it's a completely sunny day, the buildings just block everything, and I am perpetually in the shade. All of the "foundations" that I use have SPF in them, and I just haven't felt the need to have a sunscreen as well. But then I switched foundations (I'll get to that in a second), and with it being summer, I felt I needed a little extra SPF, even if the sun still was never shining on me. I decided on this one from Australian Gold because it's tinted, and I thought it might give me some additional coverage. And I love it. It doesn't break me out, works great under my current foundation, and has an SPF 50. The best part is that it is so inexpensive. For years I was using sunscreens that were very expensive for little product because they were specifically for the face and didn't break me out. I absolutely loathe the feeling of greasy sunscreen, and it has always been a no-go for my face. So that fact that this is non-greasy, made for the face, and only $15 for a ton of product makes this an instant favorite for me.
Chantecaille Just Skin in Vanilla
So, this is an expensive product. And while I wanted to like it (since it was so expensive), I also didn't want to like it (since it's so expensive). This is kind of the perfect "foundation" for me, and I put foundation in quotes because it is a tinted moisturizer. I didn't even wear any kind of liquid foundation until about a year ago, and I've always preferred a sheer coverage. Just Skin is perfectly named. This product just makes me look like I have good skin. (For reference, I have pretty okay skin. I don't have acne and only break out if I don't properly wash my face or if I use something that irritates it. I used to have a lot of sun spots and hyper pigmentation, but after years of skin care and sunscreen, almost all of that has disappeared.) If someone has what they would consider "problematic" skin, I can see this not being a great product. But I really love how this looks on my skin. It doesn't look like I am wearing foundation, which is my goal. I don't mind having crazy eyeshadow or blush, but for some reason, I just don't want it looking like I have visible foundation. The only con I had with this product was that it wasn't all that long wearing. Funny enough, pairing this crazy expensive tinted moisturizer with the inexpensive sunscreen has completely fixed that for me, and I love the way this looks. I apply both sunscreen and tinted moisturizer with my fingers, and everything melds together. I love it.
Chantecaille Faux Cils Longest Lash Mascara
Eff this stupid, effing expensive, amazing mascara. I purchased this mascara (along with Just Skin) shortly after my first surgery to treat myself. Plus, I was genuinely curious to see if this mascara would live up to its claims of lengthening lashes. I don't have bad lashes, but I am surrounded by people who have the world's best lashes, so I am always looking for something to make my lashes grow. (I know false lashes are all the rage right now because people on YouTube look better on camera with them, but for every day life, that just seems so impractical and frankly high maintenance to me.) Speaking of impractical, I bought this stupidly expensive mascara. And guess what? I have completely fallen for it. I've had it now for about a month, and I have used it every day. I instantly liked the mascara, but I couldn't tell if it was making my lashes grow (which would be the ONLY reason I would consider repurchasing). But, lucky for me (I guess), I have been taking pictures of my makeup for several months, so I had something to compare. Let me show you.
After about a month of use:
When I compared these photos, I have to say that I was actually quite surprised. I think the difference is really apparent, even in my lower lashes (which have always been pretty much nothing). In addition to what I feel is pretty obvious growth, this is also just an incredible mascara. I don't remember the mascara I used in the top photo, but I do know that I've only used mascaras that I really enjoy. So whatever it was that I used, I thought it was a great mascara. The price point on this, however, it literally more than three times more expensive than the most expensive mascara I've purchased. I was able to justify it as a treat to myself following a major surgery, but every couple months? I don't know. But, when you look at the cost of lash growth products or the cost of eyelash extensions, then the price of this mascara is a little easier to swallow. I'll have to consider if this is a luxury I am willing to pay for, but I have to say that this is hands down the best mascara I've used.
Wet N Wild Brulee
On the complete opposite side of the price spectrum is this incredible Wet N Wild eyeshadow. I've owned Brulee before and really loved it, but eventually threw it away in one of my big declutters because it was several years old. It took me a few more years to repurchase, but I am so glad I did because I use this guy all the time. When I started getting really into my single shadows, specifically my indie shadows that are loose and can't be put into a palette, I really wanted to have a great brow bone single that I could easily grab for. And I knew that no other shadow would fit that bill for me. Only Brulee. This is definitely one of my favorite brow bone shadows, and considering that it is, what? A dollar? That completely blows me away. I am someone who enjoys luxury makeup, but more than that, I love when a product just works. And this shadow beats out (for me) the likes of Viseart and Tom Ford. You can't really tell in the photo, but I have a pretty good dip going on the upper right side of the shadow, and that's always a sign of how much I love something.
Urban Decay Roadstripe
I first heard about this shadow from Elle S on YouTube. (If you haven't checked out her channel, I recommend doing so. She's someone with a "makeup rehab" mentality, but she is also just super crazy passionate about makeup and using products that you have and love. I love her inspiration and colorful looks.) She raved about this shadow for months on end, which tells me something. Like I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I feel that what happens most often in the beauty community is that people have new loves of the moment and then they move on to whatever's next. So to hear someone talk about the same eyeshadow month after month told me that there might have been something special here. I've written before about my complete love for Illamasqua Cascade, which is the most beautiful blue duochrome that I have ever used. And Roadstripe is like the violet version of that. To be completely honest, I think Cascade is definitely prettier than Roadstripe, but there are a lot of days where a purple inner corner just looks better than a blue inner corner. And on those days, I go for Roadstripe. This is also a shadow that I have a sizable dip in (on the right side), and I've been surprised to see that I have used this so much. I've been wearing nothing but duochromes in my inner corner for the better part of this year, and this is definitely a favorite of mine.
Bobbi Brown Camel
I know I have mentioned this shadow in a favorites post before, but I definitely think it warrants another mention. I recently realized that if someone asked me what my all-time favorite shadow was, my answer would be Bobbi Brown Camel. And I guess the reason I never realized that before is that I expect that my favorite shadow should be a really stunning shimmer, not a matte brown. But, this is it. Ever since I bought this shadow, I have been using it all the time. I use it at least once a week, but usually more. It's just the perfect color for my skin tone that is neutral but still very interesting. And I have yet to find a shadow that duplicates Camel. Rubbish from the Melt Rust Stack is close, but a little more yellow than orange, and Makeup Geek Desert Sands (a shadow some people consider a duplicate) isn't all that similar, in my experience. There is just something about the mustard undertone of this that just flatters my eye, and I love it so much.
Here are some of my favorite looks featuring Camel: