Friday, October 25, 2013

Monthly Favorites: October 2013

Hey, friends! Can you believe it's almost the end of October? Today I'd like to share with you the products I've been loving this month. These are the products I've used often, discovered, and rediscovered this month, that I've found myself reaching for over the rest. Without further ado, here are my favorites for the month of October.

Smashbox Photo Finish Hydrating Foundation Primer ($42 for 1oz) 

I've really been enjoying this primer lately. I hadn't used it because I don't usually wear foundation (I prefer the lighter coverage of a BB cream) but I decided to pull it out this month to test out. I love the refreshing sensation of applying it, and the moisturizing benefit it gives to my dry skin. It also creates a sort-of barrier between the makeup and your skin, preventing it from getting into your pores. Will I continue to use this $42 primer under a $7 BB cream? No, because it feels like a waste of money, but on days where I decide I want a heavier coverage and opt for a foundation, I will happily use this. I just don't want to use it all up, because the chances of me repurchasing this primer are slim. Don't get me wrong; it's awesome, but spending $42 on anything just isn't in my budget. I recommend buying this if you have dry skin and like to wear foundation. It makes everything look so much smoother and preventing a patchy, flaky appearance. 

Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream in Light Sheer Tint ($7 for 1 oz)

This was a monthly favorite last April, before I discovered good ol' Dr. Jart. I thought after trying a more expensive BB cream with better coverage, I wouldn't like this anymore, but I still do. I find comparing this to the Dr. Jart Premium BB Cream is like comparing apples to oranges. This gives a sheerer, more dewey finish and looks more natural than the Dr. Jart. The Dr. Jart has a more opaque coverage (compared to other BB cream). I also find it more hydrating, which is nice because it's (finally) starting to get cold here in Boston, and my combination skin is starting to lean more toward the drier side. I would repurchase this, but the curious makeup fiend in me prevents me from repurchasing much of anything for awhile.

Benefit Fake Up (Sample-Size [.5g]: about $3.50) (Full-Size [3.5g]: $24) 

I was so excited to receive this in my Birchbox this month. This is only the same size--the photo shows the product twisted up all the way--so I'll be sad to see it go once I finish it. I think it gives a pretty good amount of coverage for my dark undereye circles, yet also does a wonderful job of highlighting and brightening the area. I like to apply this in a downward-facing triangle so gives off that luminous Kim Kardashian effect. I might use my Birchbox points to buy the full size when I run out!  

MAC Mystic Cool Eyeshadow Palette ($36 for 6 shadows)

This has been seen in multiple of my Outfit of the Day posts. This is from MAC's 2009 "Magic, Mirth, & Mischief" Holiday collection. This month, I've been mainly using the two pink shades on the bottom. Shhh, Don’t Tell is a pale, dusty pink and Rose Potion is more of a frosty rose color. Typically, I've been using Shhh, Don't Tell as an all-over lid color and Rose Potion in the crease and outer-v for a natural look. I think I'm starting to get tired of pinks, though. Now that it's finally starting to feel like fall around here, I think I'll start diving into more autumn-esque colors and bring out the golds and browns.

Revlon Colorstay Smoky Shadow Stick in Torch ($9 for .07oz)

I included this in my Back-to-School Beauty Essentials post. When I'm crunched on time and I'm trying to apply my makeup in a hurry, I love to use the lighter, light pink side of this stick as an all-over lid color. I can't speak for oily folk, but I find that this cream shadow doesn't crease on me or fade throughout the day (and my days are very long). It's super easy; I just apply it and then blend with my finger, before rushing out the door. It's a shimmery, pale pink, and it makes me look a little more awake. It also makes a great base for powder eyeshadows. I'm not too crazy about the brown side, but I hate wasting, so I can't see myself repurchasing this until I find a purpose for the brown side.

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Zero ($19 for .04oz)

I received this in my Ipsy bag last December and wrote a full review on it. It';s getting pretty small, and I'm going to be really sad when I run out. It's the best of both worlds: it's smooth and creamy, stays put until you remove it with makeup remover, but can also be smudged for the first 30 seconds or so you apply it if you want a smoky look. It's really kind of the perfect black eye pencil. Urban Decay, I love you so. I just might have to shell out the money for a new one once I'm done. Or maybe I'll chicken out and buy a NYX one instead, since I hear those are just as good. We'll see.

Benefit They're Real! Mascara (Deluxe Mini Size: $10 for .14oz) (Full size: $23 for .3oz)

After using up my CoverGirl Lash Blast Volume Mascara this month, I pulled out a sample I hadn't opened yet. This deluxe sample of the Benefit They're Real! Mascara came in my Sephora free birthday gift (their Beauty Insider rewards program is the best--sign up, it's free!). This mascara is definitely leaning on the dramatic side of things, but I'm growing to love it. It's kind of hard to get a subtle look, and since I apply my makeup before going out for the day, it can feel a little intense for the conservative girl in me. The brush is very flexible and the way the brush is made makes it easy to get the little baby lashes. I think I'll do a full review on this mascara at some point, just because if I keep going, this post will get way too long! Will I repurchase? No, because if the drugstore has one thing down, it's mascara. However, I do love pampering myself by using a high-end mascara, so maybe someday I'll come back to it. It's also sold on Birchbox, so I could always use my points to buy another one when this runs out.

My Sally Hansen Speed Shine 10 Day Top Coat, seen very frequently in my Nail of the Day posts on this blog, is time to be retired. It's gotten very thick and it's years old and it creates bubbling on the nail, and there's nothing worse than painting a great manicure on your nails, only to ruin it at the last second. So, I was in search of a new top coat and decided to pick this one up. I'm happy to report that I like this one so much better than the Speed Shine 10 Day! A lot of people probably felt this is way, which is most likely why they discontinued it. The brush is nice and wide and distributes an even amount of product without glopping it all on and creating too thick of a coat. Once I need a new top coat--which won't be for a while, being both a painter and a props master wrecks havoc on my nails--I will be glad to repurchase this.

I received this in the mail as a free gift from an HSN sweepstakes. I can't report on the youth-enhancing qualities (being a 20-something), but I love the luxurious feel this cream has. The jar is made of glass, and it feels very expensive (and yowza, it is!). The cream is incredibly light, but when it sinks into your skin, it's incredibly hydrating. This moisturizes my T-zone and doesn't make it look greasy (curse thou, combination skin). The only thing I dislike is that this doesn't contain an SPF, so I have to crawl out of bed a few minutes earlier to slap on some sunscreen before applying this (mornings are hard). This makes my cheeks feel so soft and smooth, and although I'll never be able to afford to repurchase this, I'm going to enjoy it while I can. I'm hoping I can find a drugstore dupe somewhere that has the same consistency and hydrating effects (anti-aging always amps up the price) because I'm really loving this. 

LANCĂ”ME Bi-Facil Double-Action Eye Makeup Remover (Sample-Size [1.7 fl oz]: $11) 
(Full-Size [4.2 fl oz]: $28)

This was also in last month's favorites. Lancome's makeup remover takes off eye makeup like a champ, even mascara. I'm really happy with the results of it. I'm almost out of my second and final bottle that my mother had in her medicine cabinet, so I'm going to see if I can live without it. I picked up some CVS makeup remover when they were having a sale, so hopefully it'll be adequate. Why do I love all of the expensive things? 

I've been absolutely obsessed with Pentatonix this month, especially their cover of "Royals" by Lorde and their song "The Baddest Girl" (on their album: Pentatonix Volume 1) You can find both of these, among other amazing ones, on their YouTube channel, Spotify, or iTunes. They're an a capella group with an amazing sound and I have a Spotify playlist just for them. I also discovered this month that two of the members from this group sang in Kina Grannis' cover of "The A-Team," which was one of my favorite songs back in August. Check them out! 
What were your favorite things this month?

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with, nor sponsored by, any of the brands mentioned in this post.