I can’t believe another month has come and (almost) gone! I keep thinking I’ll start a regular series of product round ups since I go through so many great ones every month. Man, I always say I’ll do this. Here’s hoping. ANYWAY, there are always a few that I keep coming back to after testing them, so here are some that really held it down for me this month:
1. Kiehl’s Vital Sun Protection Lotion SPF 30, $19.50. It’s hard enough to find a sunscreen that’s not sticky, and won’t irritate skin. The best part about this sunscreen from Kiehl’s is that it’s super lightweight and moisturizing (it has skin-loving ingredients like aloe, vitamin E and soybean oil). If you’re on the drier side, you’ll love it too. I wouldn’t recommend if you have already oily skin, but if you’re going to be in the water, this will protect you for a good 80 minutes before you need to re-apply.
2. Clarks Botanicals Anti Puff Eye Cream, $87. I recently wrote about this in a round-up of awesome gifts for your guy, but don’t get it twisted — it can work just as well for you. I’m actually pretty sensitive to eye creams (I’ve had a few next-morning-puffy-eye mishaps), but this one is so gentle and contains skin-firming ingredients and botanicals, including skin lightening vitamin K.
3. Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Opal, $41. I just recently got an up-close look at the whole Becca line, which is amazing for women with darker skin tones because they have the most shades of tans and browns in their color foundation collection and difference variants in coverage. But after achieving more even skin with these brightening products (which are doing wonders for me so far), I’ve turned to Becca’s Shimmering Skin Perfector for even more glisten (day or night!). Dab this on your cheekbones and brow bones for a very natural, dewy sheen that’s just blends in beautifully. It doesn’t look like any makeup but some extra oomph when light hits these light spots. No disco balls here — just a lovely, pearlized finish. I just use my finger to dab it on. It’s $41 but it will last you approximately forever. Even one pump is too much for one use — I try to do half a pump to cover just the high points of my face. I use it in Opal which compliments my skin tone the best. Check out this YouTube video from Lisa Eldridge to see exactly what I’m talking about. Plus it has SPF 25 that helps protect against 97% of UVA/UVB rays and also has anti-inflammatory ingredients/antioxidants like vitamins A, B, D, E. Tip: Use a setting/mattifying powder on your T-Zone to keep the focus on your cheek and brow bones.
4. Sebastian Potion 9, $16. Not sure what took me so long to discover this, but it contains a magical mix of 9 botanicals that softens and smoothes my frayed ends and add a gorgeous coat of shine. Just use a little on wet hair and blow dry. Ever more essential to keep frizz at bay during these more humid times in NYC.
5. Benefit Stay Flawless 15-Hour Primer, $32. I’ve all but written most primers off, until this got sent my way. It’s a paraben-free twist up stick that you can easy apply right after sunscreen (at least that’s how I use it) over my T-Zone and cheeks before applying foundation. I found a couple things using this: (1) I use less of my foundation when I use this, since it helps the color stick to my skin; (2) it doesn’t cake up and helps mattify areas where I apply it; (3) no touch ups needed; (4) it keeps my makeup in place so it doesn’t rub off on my clothes or collars. It definitely lives up to its promise to keep your makeup going and going.
6. Ouidad Curl Recovery Melt-Down Extreme Repair Mask, $40 . I don’t have curly hair, but I loveee using products recommended for curly hair types because it’s heavy-duty with its moisturizing properties. This one from Ouidad smells like heaven, and has nutrient-rich ingredients like mafura butter and kalahari melon seed oil. Whenever my hair is looking dull, I’ll use this to help rebuild every strand with its chock full of fatty acids and helps protect from more damage. I’ve been using it weekly for shiny locks.
7. Poe Mandarin Marine Moisture Mask, $52. Sometimes I come across products purely by accident, and this was one of those things I picked up at work and just thought I’ll try it — why not? Whenever I’m feeling like my skin is getting more sallow, I’ll use this as a quick pick me up. They describe it as a ‘tall glass of water for your skin,” and that’s exactly how it feels. It has skin plumping hyaluronic acid, and hydrating algae extract and anti-inflammatory ginger root infused in a clear jelly consistency. A nice dose of antioxidants (vitamin C!) that help rebuild collagen. It’s a light mask but it can tingle just the tiniest bit so I’m not very keen on recommending for for super sensitive skin types. Mine is a bit combo and can handle this once a week. If you’re on the drier side and don’t have sensitive skin, give this one a shot.
8. Caress Fine Fragrance Elixirs Body Wash in Tempting Whisper, $5. When it comes to scents, I can be kind of OCD about layering them and it starts right in the shower. This one is like taking a bath in perfume — wild peony and red plum that smells like a $50 fragrance for only $5. Just don’t blame me when you find yourself taking longer showers because of it.
9. Crown Brushes, $10 and up. I whole-heartedly believe your makeup is only as good as your tools — in this case, brushes. I’m in love with this brand which makes professional-grade brushes at a fraction of the price ($10 currently another 10% off your order? WT&!@#). This double-ended foundation brush and small kabuki brush blends my makeup base on with no trace of bristles left behind on my face (a more common problem then you’d guess), and feels ultra soft against skin.
10. Lumene Complete Rewind Intensive Repair Day Cream SPF 15, $30. I’m all over the anti-aging game, and I learned so much about this line specifically recently (sold at cvs.com, and dermstore.com). So the deal with these products sourced in Finland is they’re a prestige line overseas that have come here at a much more affordable price. This line specifically uses anti-glycation technology (sugars break down skin’s collagen and this fights against it), plus it contains ingredients like the Arctic’s most resilient plants (sea buckthorn for its anti-oxidant properties) and fatty acids like omegas 3, 6, and the rare omega-7 to keep skin firm and bright. I’ve been using this day time cream for weeks and my skin is thanking me in return with soft, soft skin (also thanks to olive oil and shea butter). The only thing is this won’t be available until August for consumers (sorry guys, I hate me too when I do this, but keep a lookout for it!).
11. Arm & Hammer Sensitive Whitening with Orajel, $4. Is it weird to put toothpaste on this list? Considering I’m a dental hygiene freak, I think not. Last time I did this round-up I mentioned Rembrandt’s Deeply White Toothpaste which is amazing for whitening. People I’ve talked to seem somewhat polarized about Arm & Hammer’s toothpaste — seems like people either love it or cringe at the thought of baking soda in their toothpaste. Not sure what the deal is, but I find nothing offensive about its taste (is it just me?). It’s easy on teeth and gentle on enamel and removes surface stains for a distinctly whiter smile.
12. Reporter’s Journal. The cutest reporter’s journal my roomie, Shazia, got for me. Healthy reminders that I’m around good people.
Anyway. Enough about me. What’s been getting you through this month?