Tuesday, February 7, 2017

January beauty favorites 2017

January and February are always rough for me as far as feeling inspired and motivated.  Thus this post is overdue because I'd much rather be hibernating like a bear.  I've been fantasizing about the "good old days" when people supposedly rose with the sun and went to bed when it got dark.  It just seems so much more natural that way, and in sync with things, but how did they get anything done?  And did they in fact really do that?  Maybe the farmers....

But I am not a farmer.  I am a beauty blogger living in an urban environment, with a crippling reliance on electricity and the internet.  So after binge-watching skincare queen Caroline Hirons YouTube videos I am finally feeling a modicum of inspiration (if you are passionate, or even just curious about skincare, you really need to check her out.  She's a "cheeky" Brit on youtube** and blog).
And just to clarify, I wasn't un-inspired about these products, it was only the writing bit that had me procrastinating.  The products themselves I LOVE!

In January I ended up buying a lot of Pixi Beauty skincare and fell hard for their Hydrating Milky Serum.   I really like their Glow Tonic glycolic toner, Glow Mist setting spray, Rose Oil Blend, and the new Caroline Hirons Double Cleanse, but to me the Milky Serum was the most amazing.  My skin had been beyond dry this Winter and nothing was helping until I bought all the new Pixi gear, however it became clear the serum was the heavy-hitter.  I tried the serum by itself first and saw some results right away, then after a few days of accumulation my skin was dramatically different.  If you haven't tried Pixi skincare you should, the price isn't too high and the products are apparently very effective.  My Target is usually sold out of a lot of their stuff so I just order online from their website.

Now that I have raved on and on about Pixi Beauty I want to rave about my mirror.  The Sanheshun 7X Magnifying Lighted Travel Mirror, Locking Suction Mount, battery Operated, Square has been my best beauty investment of 2016.  I often take it for granted so kept forgetting to put it in my favorites in 2016, but will mentioning it now.  It is a 5.2 X 5.2 inch mirror that I attached to my mirrored medicine cabinet in the bathroom.  Despite its title I don't travel with it, it stays put in my bathroom and I use it many, many times a day.  I use it to monitor my skin's hydration levels, make sure my foundation has gone on seamlessly, and apply most of my makeup using it, only double-checking it in my big mirror.  I love a constant check in throughout the day.  And for some weird reason I also like to watch myself brush my teeth up close in it.  When I bought this mirror I had no idea it would make such an impact in my life but now I can't imagine not having it.  I find it to be the perfect amount of magnifcation;  any less wouldn't be enough and any more would be too much for doing my makeup.  I got it on Amazon, who are now out of stock, perhaps permanently.  As of 2/7/2017 Walmart and ebay are currently, temporarily, out of it so my link is to Quality Beauty Supplies who I know nothing about except that they do have it in stock right now. 

My favorite impulse buy last month was the Sol de Janeiro Lip Balm Brazilian Kiss Cupuaccu Lip Butter.  I tossed it in my basket while waiting in line at Sephora without even checking the price (you know their treacherous check out aisle lined with goodies designed to do exactly that).  It was almost a dumb move because it turned out to be quite expensive ($18), but I ended up loving it so much it wasn't a regret.  Also it's a big fat .21 oz twist-up tube which almost justifies the price (Burt's Bees, Chapstick etc. run about .15 oz).  Sol de Janiero is a Brazilian brand that took the world by storm with their famous Bum Bum Cream (details in my November favorites), and this lip balm is turning out to be just as addictive.  It is all natural and the main ingredients are Cupuaccu Butter, Acai, Coconut Oil, Sunflower Oil, and Beeswax.  It has a faint almost bakery scent and feels like really silky actual butter on your lips.  I keep it right next to my laptop and apply throughout the day.  Of course it is very hydrating too!

Another lip product I am loving is the Tarte Lip Facial Lip Scrub.  Tarte released this months ago, in the Summer I think, and it swiftly sold out everywhere, never to return.  Or so we thought.  But recently, like magic, it reappeared in my local Sephora and I snapped it up.  I had been kicking myself for not buying it the first time round so am very relieved to finally have a go at it.  In fact I better return and buy a few more just in case, because I absolutely adore it.  For me, it is the best lip scrub I have ever tried.  No lie. I like the chubby pencil format that is hydrating as well as exfoliating.  The minute scrubby grains aren't harsh at all (the exact right consistency) and are contained in a creamy, slightly sticky lip balm that tastes sweet.  I hope Tarte manages to keep it on the market on a permanent basis because I am recommending it to absolutely everyone.

Flower Beauty, Drew Barrymore's brainchild at Walmart, recently released some terrific new makeup.  I bought the Flower Pots Powder Blush in Sweet Pea and the Shimmer & Strobe Highlighting Palette.  Don't make the mistake I made though of assuming all Walmart stores carry the Flower Beauty brand.  I drove a half hour to go to the BIG Walmart, assuming that of course they would have the new releases, and was pissed when I got there because they didn't have any Flower products at all.  I ended up ordering my goodies on line and paying shipping.  Hmph.  But anyway it was fine because I ended up loving them.  The packaging on all the new stuff is so so pretty!

The blush looks like a smaller version of the Milani Rose Powder Blush, in other words a beautiful embossed rose.  It is a velvety texture with very good pigment and it lasted most of the day on me.  The color Sweet Pea is a muted dusty pink that looked natural and flattering if I applied it lightly; pretty bold and more bright if I applied it heavily.

The highlighting palette is on the powdery side but blended into my skin quite well.  It is just a teeny bit sparkly (not glitter, not chunky!) which may or may not be your thing.  I liked that it was easy to go for a kinda subtle look with this, but you could build it up even more if you prefer.  The palette contains three different colors of highlighter:  a true gold, a soft pink, and a light champagne.  They seemed to wear almost as long as most highlighters do on me.  Certainly for the price point they are great.  And fun!

What are your favorites so far for the new year?

** Her "Empties" videos are so much fun!

all products reviewed were either bought, researched, or sampled by me. And product pictures were stolen from the link's websites. I am not financially compensated for my reviews

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