Sunday, September 28, 2014

My Favorite Things: September 2014

Hi friends! It's the end of the month, which means it's time for me to talk about what new products I've discovered, rediscovered, and undiscovered(!?). This is some new things, some things I started using again after neglecting them for awhile, and some products that I tried and just plain disliked. But enough about that--let's get to the good stuff!  

Sulfate-Free Haircare: 
Coolway Cool Cleanse & Hydrate Shampoo/Conditioner ($20 each for 8.6 oz each)
Number 4 Shampoo/Conditioner ($34 each for 8.5oz each)

Yes, I am on a sulfate-free hair kick again (cue Throwback Sunday, or whatever). I received these in my Beauty Box 5 May 2014 and Birchbox May 2014May was a month of good hair care for me, I guess! In typical Beauty Buff fashion, I'm just getting to both of these now, but I'm glad I tried them! Since I cut 10 inches off my hair, I've been going through conditioner so much more slowly, but my shampoo usage is still going strong. I finished my Number 4 Conditioner and Coolway Shampoo, so now I'm using what's left. I think I prefer the Number 4 line, but to buy full-sizes of their shampoo and conditioner would cost me $68! Yikes! I'm in this phase where I'm using up all of my sample/subscription-service-size shampoo and conditioners, so my sulfate-free kick will end when these samples do. It's nothing personal, because as much as I love how soft and flyaway-free these products leave my hair, they also require use of dry shampoo on Day 2. 

Sexy Hair Healthy Sexy Hair Soy Renewal Beach Spray ($19.95 for 5.1 fl oz)

Yes, I got this in my Ipsy Glam Bag July 2013, and yes I am now just pulling it out. I apply it to damp (not dripping) hair after a shower, and I really like this! It's great for adding texture when you have straight hair (aka me). It gives hair a bit more hold, kind of like hairspray, so if you "pouf" your hair up a bit, it'll stay that way. Just be sure not to overspray--a little bit gives beachy waves when you scrunch it, but too much just makes your hair crispy when it dries. Plus, too much will make your hair really hard to brush through the next morning, so unless you have a detangler I wish you luck with that. Overall it adds nice volume, hold, and overall beachiness. Even though it's currently fall, it was 80 degrees in Boston yesterday so I have decided it's still summer. So, there. 

Batiste Dry Shampoo in Floral & Flirty Blush ($7.49 for 6.73oz)

So, I don't know where I've been, but I just got around to trying this! I got it for $5.99 at Marshalls!, because I don't pay full-price for anything, and it's been a lifesaver! I have blonde hair, so I can get away quite easily with using baby powder as dry shampoo, but this is a total gamechanger. It takes seconds to spray in my hair and rub in, and not only does this make my hair look clean, but it feels clean. A miracle, I tell you! It also doesn't give that whitecast if you put in too much, unlike baby powder (which is totally obvious). The only downside is I'll be using this bottle way quicker than a container of baby powder, so that makes it a higher cost for me. I love it, though! And it's way more affordable than a lot of other dry shampoos out there.  

Marcelle BB Cream in Golden Glow ($27 for 1.6oz)

This is definitely the month of trying things that I should have tested out months ago. I got this in my Mail Time! January 2013 as a free sample with my Birchbox order. Marcelle is actually a Canadian brand. When I saw the words "Golden Glow" I thought this would look awful on me, but I was actually quite pleased with the results. My skin tone, though pale, generally leans towards orche/yellow (though Bobbi Brown insists everyone's a little bit ochre). When I first apply this, it looks a little dark and yellow for me, but once it sets, it seems to fade more into my skintone and look really natural. It's also half the price of my beloved Dr. Jart+ Premium BB Cream, which is always nice. I may consider repurchasing this in the future, especially if I'm out of BB Cream and have extra Birchbox points lying around.  

It Cosmetics Tightline Full Lash Length Black Mascara Primer ($24)

I don't know how well the picture conveys this, but the mascara wand is the thinnest wand I have ever seen. It's so cute, I was showing my roommate like "Look at this teeny tiny wand, how cute." The metallic silver packaging is pretty, but unfortunately does not lend itself well to photographing. I've been using this as a mascara all month, rather than a primer (as I just don't feel the need in my personal life to use a mascara primer). A review of this will be up in the near future (I swear, it's in my drafts all ready to go)! 

Physician's Formula Happy Booster Glow & Mood Boosting Blush in Natural ($11.95 for .24oz) 

This is another throwback, this time to my September 2013 Favorites. The packaging is "awww"-worthy, though the whole claim about actually boosting your happiness is utter bullshit. It's not the most pigmented blush, but if you're the shade of a friendly neighborhood ghost like me, then this blush will be nice for you. I like it for applying my makeup in the morning, because in my sleep-induced haze it's pretty much impossible to overapply. I know they have darker and more vibrant shades in their line, so I might someday check those out. However, I would never pay full price for this, because at  $12 I might as well spring for a blush from theBalm instead. Though, my local CVS (and probably other drugstores) always has awesome deals of Physician's Formula, from 40% off to $6-off everything, so that's when it's worth checking out new things. Because friends don't let friends pay full-price. 

Softlips Cube 5-in-1 Lip Care in Vanilla Bean ($3.49)

I received this from my Influenster Vitality VoxBox and I'm really liking it! It smells like vanilla and is moisturizing on the lips. I use it before putting on my makeup in the morning. These remind me of the EOS Lip Balms, but the glass makes them feel more expensive and classy. 

Boots Botanics Organic Facial Oil ($8.99 for .84 fl oz)

I really liked the Rosewater Spray by Boots in my Morning Skincare Routine, so I thought I would try something else from their line. I have been using this oil as a nighttime moisturizer for my dry-combination skin, and I've really been enjoying it! It has an ingredients list to die for, and the best part is that it has a plethora of different oils, which unlike using one oil (ex. jojoba), means you get the benefits of a number of different oils. I find that this doesn't clog my pores (which is especially a problem on my nose), so I'm loving that. One potential problem is that it's comprised solely of natural plant oils, and plants were not created for use on our faces, so they could be potentially irritating. Plus, since it's made from plants, it does have a fragrance (which can also be irritating to some).  If you have sensitive skin, I would do a spot-test first (I know if I test something on my wrist and the spot gets all red and irritated with little bumps, I shouldn't put it on my face!). Definitely check it out if you're looking for a new oil, but if you're using it during the day be sure not to forget your sunscreen! 

Egyptian Magic Skin Cream ($38 for 4oz)

I received this in my June Birchbox, but it wasn't until this month where I really got a chance to pull it out and try it for awhile. This has a balmy texture, kind of like a denser version of Vaseline, so I don't know where they got "Skin Cream" from (it's almost a solid). You can put this anywhere you have dry skin--elbows, knees, feet, etc. This is petroleum-free, for those who are wary of that (I personally don't care). I've been using this as my lip balm and cuticle treatment every night. This works well as both, though I personally prefer the feeling of slathering something on (think Aquaphor--see post here), but this is still moisturizing. You can sometimes find this at Costco for a discount, so definitely check that out if you're interested.

Gilchrist & Soames Neil George Shampoo and Conditioner Duo ($9 each for 3.38oz each)

I received these in last month's Birchbox. and I could tell from the ingredients list that I wasn't going to like them, but I gave them a go anyway. And you know what? I hated them. See, the ingredients lists never lie! The shampoo stripped my hair of any natural oils it ever produced in its lifetime and the conditioner did nothing to replenish that. My hair was all kinds of sad and gross and it was just a bad time in my life (I do melodrama very well). Anyway, I wouldn't recommend these to a cat, let alone a person. Also, I don't know who they're trying to fool, but 3.38oz isn't a full-size. 

"Bang Bang" - Jessie J, Ariana Grande, and Nicki Minaj

As my friend Sabbie says, "Ariana Grande is like a real life Disney princess." Seriously, I don't know what's wrong with me, but this month I went on a serious Ariana binge. Mainly "Problem," "Break Free," and "One Last Time," but especially her "Bang Bang" collab. I've been obsessed with it since the VMAs and it just makes me want to dance. Plus, Ariana's voice is all kinds of crazy powerful, and her range is awe-worthy. God bless.

What were your favorite things this month?

Disclaimer: Got the Softlips Cube from Influenster. I am not sponsored or affiliated with any brands in this post, not even Ariana Grande. 

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