Sunday, February 14, 2016

January 2016 Favorites and Empties

I know it's halfway though February, but here are my January favorites and empties.

First, my favorites.

It took a snowstorm to get one particular set of items out of constant usage. There's something about snow to make me snap out of warm neutrals and into cool, icy tones. There's one collection that dominated my favorites this month: MAC x Ellie Goulding.

In terms of "base" products, I really loved three in particular in January.

I have two extremes for foundations here- Iope's Air Cushion XP (a sister brand to AmorePacific) and MAC Pro Longwear Nourishing foundation (look for an upcoming review). They both served me well in January. Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder is my secret undereye weapon.

In terms of lips, I was honestly boring this month.

My go-to default combo was MAC Only You lipstick with Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat in Pink Venus. Effortless and neutral.

January's all about warm glow. Laura Mercier Baked Matte Radiance Powder for golden highlight, MAC x Ellie Goulding Halycon Days with cream color bases, Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Light for everyday glow, MAC Lustre Drops in Pink Rebel were a new discovery, Becca Pearl in travel form for touch-ups and MAC x Ellie Goulding I'll Hold My Breath was my go-to bronzer and blush.

More glowy, warm neutrals on the eyes for January. MAC Foiled Eyeshadow in Enchanted Forest, MAC x Ellie Goulding Halycon Nights, MAC Blitz n Glitz Fluidline, Giorgio Armani Luxe is More palette from holiday 2015, MAC Paint Pot in Painterly as a daily staple, Burberry Eye Colour Cream in Festive Gold, Chanel Stylo Yeux in Erable, and Sephora Colection Wink-It Felt Eyeliner in Little Black Dress.

I told you January was all about neutrals.

Now, the empties.

I started 2016 with a very productive month in terms of "use-it-up". I have a new philosophy when it comes to my staples- I tend to stock up and have backups ready for most of these products. I know that there's a market out there for these type of posts, plus it keeps me organized. In addition to this, I also Back2MAC'd for a few lipsticks.


NARS Concealer in Chantilly-This is one of my two daily concealers, and I've always got at least 2 BUs in the drawer. This is my favorite concealer for all-over work, and it blends beautifully with any number of foundation formulas. ($25, 0.07oz at NARS counters and Sephora)

Smashbox 24 Hour Photo Finish Shadow Primer- I love this primer for working with any number of formulas. Unlike others who won't use a primer, I actually usually double prime (primer and a cream shadow) because of the length of my workdays. Smashbox's primer is awesome and plays nicely with shadows from all brands. One tube of this lasts me about a year. ($20, Sephora, Ulta, and Smashbox counters)

Revlon Color Stay Mineral Lipglaze-555 Overtime Wine- I went on a budget lip buying spree about 18 months ago and finally finished this. Unlike the 2 prior HG products, I won't be repurchasing. I could probably get a little more out of it, but since I didn't particularly enjoy it, why bother?

Chanel Beaute de Cils Nourishing Mascara Base- I completely broke my one-month mascara rule when it came to this mascara base. I've been devoted to Dior's lash primer for years (and actually have switched back to it so I can make a real, direct comparison) but decided to try out Chanel's version after a friendly counter gave me a sample and I fell in love. My lashes are in great shape, despite the amount of abuse I put them through. ($32)

Chanel Le Volume Mascara- Ultra Noir- I'm gutted to have to retire this tube of mascara. It symbolizes why I should never buy mascara since I'm committed to throwing them out on time. This was LE last fall (I can't remember which collection, sorry!), but it was extra black and extra amazing. It took about a week for the formula to become perfect, but even now it hurts to throw it out.


Redken Extreme Anti-Snap Anti-Breakage Leave-in Treatment- This has been part of my daily routine after I had a disastrous experience at a nationally-known chain salon that ruined my hair. I used to be able to grow it out; now I'm pretty much stuck at shoulder length and trying to grow out the "layers" of breakage. It's been about 18 months and my hair is still terrible. No, I won't mention the name of the salon but it soured me on the chain. This is a detangling, anti-breakage treatment that does seem to help quite a bit. I don't break as much hair straight out of the shower ($18).

Living Proof Full Thickening Mousse- Mousse is a relatively new addition to my hair routine, and after testing a few different brands I settled on Living Proof's Full Thickening formula. Gee, who would've guessed it? I don't have crunchy hair, but it's very easy to work with the next day. ($27)

Living Proof Style Lab Prime Style Extender Spray- I'll rave about this at a later date (I have a winter hair post planned), but it's gone from "what's that?" to "I cannot live without it" in just one bottle. I'm not sure what it does, but it has changed my hair. ($20)

Living Proof Restore Conditioner-  This is one of my HG combo of shampoos and conditioners. I've gone through so many bottles of it that's sad. ($28)

Living Proof Restore Mask Treatment (mini)- This is my favorite nourishing hair mask in the winter. I keep putting off buying the full size but was able to pick up a few minis from Ulta as part of a GWP last fall. You only need a little bit, once a week. ($42)


Shiseido Eudermine Revitalizing Essence- This was recommended to me a long time ago and I ignored that recommendation. Silly me, this is awesome and my skin is much happier.

MAC Cleaning Oil (minis)- I can't decide who makes my HG cleansing oil- MAC or Tatcha. MAC's cuts through even the most stubborn makeup without tugging.

Chanel Demaquillant Yeux Intense (Gentle Biphase Eye Makeup Remover)- My HG. The end.

Philosophy Purity Cleanser- Confession: I use Purity as a supplement to my brush cleansers about every week. So when I've finished liquid Purity, it's because of my brushes and not generally my skin (although I've been known to grab a mini for a short time and clean both brushes and face with the same product!)

L'Occitane Precious Cleansing Foam- This is my first time trying a lot of L'Occitane's skincare. I love this cleanser and will be buying a full-size once I use up some of the cleansers I have in rotation.

Fresh Sugar Advanced Therapy Lip Balm (mini)- Although my favorite lip balms as of late are in pots, there's something nice about having a stick form for the night stand for grabbing in the middle of the night without turning the lights back on. I've been working through this very light but nourishing


I'm going to just list these since they're mostly LE.  L'Occitane x Pierre Herme Pamplemousse Rhubarbe Body Lotion was a great discovery and I stocked up, Bath & Body Works Vanilla Chai & Biscotti Shower Gel and Bath & Body Works Vanilla Chai & Biscotti Ultra Shea Body Cream were great LE discoveries that led me to an amazing combo. Two of my favorite almond products also show up here-  L'Occitane en Provence Almande Shower Oil and L'Occitane en Provence Almande Delicious Hands (mini).

Not bad for January, and most of these products were all winners.

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