Friday, August 30, 2013

Monthly Favorites: August 2013

Hey, friends! It's time for my monthly favorites! Should continue to call them my "Monthly Favorites"? I feel like when I say "Monthly Favorites," it's as if I'm including things I only used this month. Most of my favorites continue from month to month, but if I discover a new way to use a product or rediscover something hanging out in the back of my cabinet, I always like to share that piece of information with all of you. I might start referring to these posts as "My Favorite Things," since it reminds me of that song from The Sound of Music. And it sounds more inclusive of miscellaneous things, like music and such. What do you think?


Seventh Generation Soothing Skin Serum ($15 ~ 1.5oz)

I did a whole post on this product last week, and I still can't stop talking about it. This serum has a whole slew of antioxidants, which can help fight off the appearance of old age (sold exclusively at walgreens), is paraben-free, and contains only all-natural ingredients. What's not to love? I find this serum incredibly hydrating, preventing any tightness in my dry areas, but not overly moisturizing in my oily T-zone. I use this every night, and it has actually allowed me to switch to a lighter moisturizer because of how moisturizing it is. After using this for a few weeks, I have also noticed that the redness around my nose has died down. I'm obsessed with this, and when I finish this bottle up (which takes a long time, at one pump a night), I'll definitely go out and get another. 


Mirabella Prime ($29 ~ .45oz)

I received this in an Ipsy bag months ago and originally set it aside. This contains silicones (see ingredients picture below), so I figured the makeup would just slide right off my face. Plus, I try to avoid silicones in hair care, so why would I use them on my skin? Though, I decided to try it just for giggles, and I have to say, it really does work! My eyeshadows are far more pigmented (which I don't understand, because this is has a clear gel-like consistency, unlike Urban Decay's Primer Potion) and they stay on for longer. Although I do not use it every day--I don't have terribly oily eyelids, so I don't have too much of a problem with my eyeshadow creasing--I do use it occasionally if I know I'm going to need my makeup to last all day. I don't use this on my face, simply because I already have one that I like (the Smashbox Photofinish Hydrating Primer, it's amazing) but I do use it for my eyes! 

I also mentioned this in last month's favorites post.  I really love this lip balm. It feels more moisturizing than other lip balms that I've used, and it doesn't contain petroleum, which I like. Also, if someone doesn't know it's a lip balm, it can look like you're using a glue stick on your lips! 

EVOLVh UltraShine Moisture Shampoo & Conditioner ($15 ~ two 2oz. bottles)

I received this shampoo and conditioner set in my Total Beauty Mystery Collection (aka the "Total Crapbox," but more on that in a future post). I have to say, though, these are definitely not crap, and I'm glad I purchase the box even just for these products. They're amazing! These two can be purchased in the travel-sized set (featured here) for $15, or individually (in 8.5oz bottles) for $24 (the shampoo) and $25 (the conditioner). 

After getting pink streaks put in my hair, I wanted to switch over to a sulfate-free shampoo that wouldn't strip the color out. I had received my Total Beauty box at the very end of June, and until now, it has just been sitting in my drawer of unused toiletries (yes, I have a problem). I never realized how truly drying sulfates were on your hair until I removed them from my hair care routine. I've gone from doing two rinses of a drying, soapy sulfate-stocked shampoo to one rinse of a sulfate-free shampoo, and my hair comes out just as clean. The only difference is that now my hair is soft, silky, and shiny, even at the roots (without appearing oily, it's magical). And I've found that I can still wash my hair every other day, just like before, without my hair looking oily or flat. I've even gotten compliments that my hair looks shinier!

You all know how much I love Wen Cleansing Conditioner. Well, I decided to put my anxiety of using a new conditioner on the shelf and try this one out. I normally don't test out a shampoo and conditioner at the same time, nor do I usually buy both in the set, but I figured I would make an exception for this. And I'm so glad I did! I was surprised at how much I liked this conditioner; it's paraben-free, and it's thick and creamy, a similar consistency to Wen. It's a little more lightweight, and not as moisturizing, but I'm still very pleased with it and will be using up the bottle. I've always found that WEN weighs my hair down just a little bit, and this does not do while, while still providing that soft, silky feeling and shine. I've also found that I really don't need a detangler with this--my hair is even easier to comb through than it is with the Wen. Am I a total convert? No, of course not. Plus, I have bottles of unused Wen lying around in my bathroom. But it's good to know that other conditioners rivaling my beloved all-time-favorite are out there, just waiting to be discovered.


I discovered this month that all of my favorite YouTube artists (Meghan Tonjes, Gabe Bondoc, Jay Loftus, Alex Goot, Sam Tsui, Kina Grannis, Marie Digby) are on Spotify! Rather than having to load their videos one by one or look for a playlist on YouTube, I can just make playlists on Spotify. It's so much easier, and every listen pays them back, which I always like. I think they only get a few pennies per song played, but they're probably making dollars off me at this point. And it's completely free for me! Unless you get Premium, but I don't mind the ads too much.

In particular, though, I've been listening to Sara Bareilles' new album, The Blessed Unrest (especially "Brave") and Jillette Johnson's album Whale in the Water (specifically "Last Bus Out"). I listen to them both almost every day! Apparently Bareilles wrote "Brave" about her close friend who was struggling with coming out, which I think is really inspiring. I just love her so much!

Well, that's everything! I hope you enjoyed this post! I'm so excited for fall makeup, but I have to keep reminding myself that it's still summer, even though school has already started for me.

What were your favorite things this month?

Disclaimer: I bought everything here myself, except for the Seventh Generation Serum, which Lucky magazine sent to me (but that doesn't make me love it any less). 

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