July 25, 2013

10 Tried & True

When it comes to beauty products, clever marketing and pretty packaging quite often suck me in. But despite the initial attention grab, and my easy go-lucky willingness to give things a go, I do tend to take a step back,  review the dollar worthiness ratio and carefully research products before giving into the hype 100%.
On the other hand, I quite enjoy going through the motions of searching for the "holy grail" of beauty products like the perfect foundation, the perfect mascara, or the perfect scent, so its quite rare that I have the same items sitting in my makeup case / makeup bag / bathroom cupboards which I reach for, and refill time and time again.

In this spirit, I thought to have a once in awhile series of my top ten "tried and true" beauty products. Beauty products that I'm loving for the moment and are suited to my situation. While I know that things like skincare items, haircare and scent products are a very personally tailored choice, I'll try my best to detail why I have reached for the below items time and time again*

One. Rimmel Exaggerate Liner in Noir. On a whim, about a year ago, I decided I wanted to try more drugstore brands to save on the pocket, and picked up this little waterproof number from my local PriceLine. I will say that my eyes are very prone to having eyeliner or mascara 'drop down' past my lower lash line through out the day, hence the need for me to choose a waterproof liner (trust me, it helps!). This has become my daily go to, defineable, smudgeable and reliable liner. The one above is probably my 8th or 9th refill purchase.

Two. Soleil Tan de Chanel. This bronzer is pitched as a universal bronzer, suiting every skin and, at first when I bought this blind (based on online reviews from my fave YouTube beauty gurus), I was shocked at the slight orangey tinge of the brown and had immediate regret. However I was pleasantly surprised that this is more of a buildable product, and its important to use light layers. It is a cream bronzer, but after application almost sets with a powder finish. I alternate with applying it on top of powdered or foundationed or naked skin to give myself a bit of a warm glow and feel happy with either application. I've also used it as a natural eyeshadow. Like most high-end makeup products, this has a slight scent which I actually like, and can only describe it as a "clean" slight rosey scent (if that even makes sense). While the price point is high, I haven't needed to buy another pot, it's brilliant. See one of my favourite Youtube beauty gurus use it in various ways here!

Three. Revlon Just Bitten Kissable balm stain. Unlike most drying lip stains, this benefits 2-fold by giving your lips quite a good tint of colour, coupled with moisturisation of a lip balm. Has a wide range of colours... I own 4. The one in the pic above is in the shade 020 Lovesick.  I've worn this one in this post here, and absolutely adore it. Easy to apply, and while the balminess wears off during eating and drinking, the coloured tint remains a lot longer!

Four. Garnier BB Cream Miracle Skin Perfector for Oily/Combo skin in shade Medium. BB creams aren't designed to be full coverage, but more of a skin tone corrector and I would have to say this one doesn't disappoint.  It manages to even out my skin tone, seemingly fading undereye circles, slight redness around my nose and slightly fading small brown spots (leftover from acne). I compare this to the higher end BB cream NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser in 'St Moritz'. While I had my reservations about buying a face makeup product from a supermarket (yes, I decided to pick this up after perusing the supermarket hygiene aisle!), I have to say it performs MILES better than I would ever expect of such a low priced product. And whilst I did love my NARS tinted moisturiser in comparison, this one totally wins on price point, and the ability to not leave my face in an absolute oil slick. There is still the need to blot my forehead and nose at some points in the day, the office aircon environment is quite drying for my face and the natural reaction is to produce more oil (I doubt any skin makeup could 100% help in combating aircon woes). It is top of my list in terms of value for money. I will also mention that my face is prone to becoming quite an oil slick by the end of a work day, and I have had BAD acne issues in the past, and have found no pore clogging issues from this cream after using it for 3 months of use (the tube is still going might I add!).

Five. Real Techniques Stippling brush. After being quite a big MAC brush product pusher, I am floored that I didn't try this brand sooner. I was a bit fed up with some of my brushes shedding hairs when I decided to go on a whim and explore drugstore priced brushes. Developed by one of my favourite YouTube beauty gurus and long time makeup artist; Samantha Chapman from Pixiwoo, this is a dream for buffing on foundation, cream bronzers and blushes, powder blushes and even concealer under the eye. 

Six. Neutrogena Natural Purifying facial cleanser (c/o).  The best facial cleanser for my once-acne-ridden-skin / prone-to-pore-clogged skin was the Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel. And one day when that ran out, this Neutrogena gem (kindly given to me from the folks at Johnson & Johnson), was waiting to fill in those shoes. I love anything organic, so something near to that level in a beauty product, showing a good level of natural ingredient transparency, did catch my eye. Whilst I would have to say it doesn't cleanse to the same level as my Dermalogica favourite, I've decided that it's a nicely priced substitute and am already using my newly bought second bottle.

Seven. Garnier Body Tonic Sugar Scrub. I bought this the first time to help exfoliate my dry skin on my legs. The second and third time I have bought this is not just for the functionality (it's a great sugar scrub!), but for the refreshing lemony scent. Using this at anytime of the day in the shower is totally uplifting and soul soothing. LOVE IT. I'm not so sure of the 'anti-cellulite' side of this product, as I haven't used it consistently enough to notice a difference.

Eight. Redken Diamond Oil Conditioner. This came at the recommendation of my hairdresser, light yet very moisturising for my long hair (which has currently grown past my bra line!). I'm a girl that needs to wash my hair every day otherwise I get a very oily scalp, and have hair of a coarse nature. Moisturising the strands enough without making my hair feel heavy or eliminating volume.

Nine. KMS Hair Play spray wax (c/o). I use this mainly to make my fringe or side part stay in place if its not behaving. It's great for those times where your hair isn't behaving and you need some help in remoulding/shaping, without needing to stick your fingers in a tub of wax or clay. Works like a hairspray but functions like a light wax. Perfect to smooth down flyaways, reshape parts, and hold up the most stubborn hairstyles.

Ten. Glasshouse candle in 'Avallon - Cassis & Vanilla'. I've really been into my candles for the last year, mainly for feeling of calm at the end of a work day, and the lovely glow of light I like to see in the background whilst I type away on this blog. I find burning candles is a great way to get rid of any weird leftover food smells you may have still in the air of the house, like from pan-frying a good steak or using oils to a high degree in the kitchen. I've tried many Glasshouse candles, and whilst 'Oahu - Milk & Honey' has been my fave so far (a clean, fresh laundry-like, talc like fragrance), this "Cassis & Vanilla" one has been the favourite of the month. Fresh berry scent mixed with a glimmer of warmth from the Vanilla, it somehow gives me an summer berry pie feeling! As candles aren't the cheapest homely thing you can buy (these ones are $AUD40 a pop), its really important to me that they don't lose their scent more and more after every burn. I have to say Glasshouse doesn't disappoint, and the fragrance is like new every time I light it up!


* I do have to say though, I can't guarantee that all of the make-up and/or skincare and hair care products that I state here are 100% suited to you. I will only post up tried and true products that I personally think are good after having used them on myself, my friends or clients. Everyone's skin is different and preferences even more so, and its possible to be allergic. So always try a tester if you believe the product contains ingredients you are unsure of! 'C/o' denotes a gifted product, but all opinions are of my own and not of the company that provided this product!

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