Monday, January 25, 2016

Most Used January

I don't know about you, but I sometimes get stuck in a rut when it comes to hair & beauty products. I like trying new things, but it's hard to justify spending money on something that I'm not sure I'll like. I used to wear the least amount of makeup possible. Part of that was because I didn't like the way makeup looked on me, but it was mostly because I didn't know what products to buy or how to apply them. Pinterest and YouTube changed that for me! I am by no means an expert on applying the products, and won't be doing a tutorial anytime soon (I'll leave that to the pros), but I do feel like I have some knowledge about the products and I have a drawer full of makeup, so I decided to start a monthly feature on my most used products. It will mostly include hair & beauty products, but I'll also throw in few other things for fun.

I'll start at the top! I am always looking for the perfect hair styling product that will add volume, smooth, add shine, do everything! The Living Proof Perfect Hair Day 5-in-1 is the closest thing I've found to that. I use about a dime sized amount on towel dried hair and style as usual (in my case that means blow drying and straightening with a flat iron). Some days I want to add a little texture to my look, so I use the Living Proof Instant Texture Mist after blow drying, but I've started using it before blow drying and I'm really loving the look! I have a lot of flyaways and baby hairs, so I use Maybelline Great Lash Clear Mascara to smooth them down. I'm sure there is a product out there that is designed for that, but I haven't discovered it yet and the mascara works. I usually "paint" it on and then brush through it so it doesn't look crunchy.

This picture is kind of awkward, but it gives you an idea of the flyaways I'm talking about and how the mascara helps tame them.

Another blogger I follow raves about the Clinique Acne Solutions BB Cream so I decided to try it. I love it! It's very thin and liquidy, so you have to move fast when applying! I shake the bottle, pour some onto my fingers and quickly rub them together and put it all over my face. After I've done a good job spreading it out (not sure if that's the right word ~ kind of makes it sound like I'm spreading butter!), I go back with a flat Kabuki brush and blend it out. I follow up with the Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Highlight powder and a tapered face brush. I don't put powder everywhere, just my cheekbones, the bridge of my nose, and my cupid's bow.

For under my eyes, I alternate between the Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circle Concealer + Treatment in Shade 160 Brightener and the MAC Prep & Prime in Radiant Rose. Both work well, it just depends which one is closer. I usually use the applicator to put it under my eyes and then blend it out with my fingers.

My favorite blush this month has been my Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Ethereal Glow. It's actually down to the bottom of the pan, so I need to pick another one up soon!

I got the Urban Decay Gwen Stefani Eyeshadow Palette for my birthday it November, and it's been the only thing I've used since! The variety of colors allows me to do everything from a neutral eye look to a dark smoky eye. I always use an eyeshadow primer prior to putting on my eyeshadow ~ it really does help keep the shadow from creasing and I find it gives it more staying power. Lately I've been using the Nars Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base. For eyeshadow, I used to use the cheap brushes that came with my eyeshadow (you know, the foam teardrop brushes), but a few years ago I asked for some nice brushes for Christmas so Michael got me a Sigma Essential Kit (that should probably read: I ordered the Sigma Essential Kit and told Michael it was from him). I have three favorites which I've linked to below, but the one that I think everyone has to have is a great blending brush. It's great for blending out colors, and fixing mistakes! If you don't have a good blending brush you should definitely pick one up!

I was never very good with eyeliner until I discovered the Kat Von D Tattoo Liners. The brush tip allows for easy application (it's like a thin marker). I have both Trooper and Mad Max Brown, but this month I've been reaching for the brown more often. It gives a softer look. I finish my eyes with Maybelline Colossal Volume Waterproof Mascara. I've tried a lot of mascaras, both drugstore and high end, over the past few years and I always come back to Maybelline. It adds volume without looking or feeling clumpy (I used to pick my mascara off when I was younger because I couldn't stand how it felt, so this is important).

For my lips I prefer a gloss. My favorite is still MAC Lipglass in Explicit, but on days when I want something a little more pink, I wear Buxom Full On Lip Polish in Celeste. Warning: it's a lip plumper so it kind of tingles.

My favorite perfumes are the Elizabeth and James Nirvana Black & White fragrances. I occasionally wear them alone, but I prefer mixing them. I didn't realize when I bought them that Elizabeth and James is owned by Mary Kate & Ashley Olsen ~ who else is bummed they aren't going to be on Fuller House?

My most worn clothes.....The shirt I keep grabbing for is my ruffle-front blouse from Banana Republic. When I saw it in online I wasn't sure how the ruffle from wrist to wrist would look, but I decided to give it a try. I am so glad I did because I LOVE it, and it was perfect for our family picture! I actually ended up ordering a printed one in navy and a solid black one too, so I have some options. :)  My 7 for all Mankind skinnies are my most worn jeans, and they look great with my Toms Desert Wedge Booties, but I also love them with my Frye Paige Tall Riding Boots (pictured here)!

Accessories...I'm notorious for taking my jewelry off in random places in our house and temporarily losing them. That happened with both my Fossil two-tone watch and my gold initial necklace, so I've been wearing them a lot since finding them again. I'm trying to work out again, so I usually wear my Fitbit Charge HR as well ~ every step counts, right?

Well, there you have it! My most worn and used products for January! Hopefully this gives you a few ideas of some new things to try. What are your most used products?



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