Happy Friday! It’s November 1st, and I hope you’ve thoroughly exfoliated your face after wearing crazy Halloween makeup. I personally don’t think I could stand to wear all that heavy makeup knowing my pores are clogged and that I’ll wake up the next day with one-too-many blemishes. However, I admire people like Heidi Klum who aren’t afraid to apply pounds of makeup to, say, look like an old lady (, by the way). But I take my skin care routine way too seriously to agree to something like that and, as a beauty blogger, that’s probably a good thing.
I’m also not lying when I say that beauty samples are my form of Halloween candy. Which is not to say that I don’t like Halloween candy – I do; I just can’t handle too much of a sweet thing. Moreover, as a 20-something who has outgrown (but very much misses) trick-treating, I propose an age-appropriate update to the longstanding candy tradition: beauty samples. It would be like Birchbox times ten. Since this doesn’t exist yet, and probably never will (we can dream, right?), I’ll share my current beauty obsessions, all of which were sampled last month either through Birchbox or gifts.
1. Hydroxatone Anti-Acne CC Cream: By far my favorite CC cream – and I’ve tried several. I’ve been hooked ever since I received a sample from the beloved brand (it has its own cult following judging by Twitter and beauty reviews). Warning: because it contains salicylic acid to fight acne, you’ll want to moisturize your skin very thoroughly before application. Even as someone with oily/combination skin that is still prone to the occasional pimple (I’m too old for this!), I opted for a face oil underneath to combat any dryness. Nonetheless, the CC cream is pretty much perfect. It helps reduce and prevent blemishes, doesn’t clog pores, provides flawless coverage, and is perfect for those with neutral or pink undertones (that means no icky orange tint). Moreover, there are many tones to choose from, including a translucent option for a barefaced look. I can talk about this cream all day but I must move on to the next amazing products.
2. bareMinerals Marvelous Moxie “Lead the Way”: Remember when I discussed attending LuckyFABB in my post on blogger SEO tips? Well, I received a huge gift bag that included this lovely plum shade of lipstick. Here are some things I’ve concluded upon application: 1. plum is the new red; 2. plum looks flattering on literally everyone, especially during fall and winter months; and 3. this is one of the most moisturizing and long-lasting lipsticks I’ve ever used. Move over MAC, bareMinerals is stealing a spot on my future lipstick holder.
3. Red Carpet Manicure Youth Creme: We’ve all heard the adage that a woman’s hands reveal her true age or something like that. As the weather gets cooler and drier (and as I get older), I increasingly find myself hydrating my hands more than my face, which makes total sense considering hands are exposed to hot water more than any other part of the body. This cream by Red Carpet, which was one of many goodies in my LuckyFABB gift bag, softens hands and improves skin’s texture and appearance. Not to mention, I’m addicted to the scent. One caveat: I’m a little disappointed that this lotion contains alcohol, but for now I’ll be using this until I discover a gentler alternative.
4. Dr. Brandt “Pores No More Pore” Refiner: Another goodie from my LuckyFABB gift bag, this pore refiner does what it promises, which is reduce pores and shine for a polished matte finish.
5. theBalm Stainiac: You may recall my tutorial last month on how to get a berry-stained lip. If so, you may also recall that I was a little dissatisfied with the stain’s subtle tint. That is, until I applied it over bareMinerals “Lead the Way,” which gave me the dramatic, runway-inspired “i-just-ate-a-popsicle” puckered lip I was coveting. The stain’s versatility for a day or evening look, in addition to its long-lasting and nondrying qualities, make it a fall must-have.
6. Olie Biologique Huile Radicale 005 Rejuvenating Oil: Last month, I experimented with several different face oils in an attempt to find the perfect one. Having previously tried Seventh Generation’s Hydration boost serum, which is intensely hydrating, although greasy, I decided to sample face oils from other notable brands including Aesop and Fresh. However, I found myself preferring Olie Biologique’s 004 and 005 oils, for day and night, respectively. Formulated with 100% organic Argan oils, Huile Radicale 005 absorbs into the skin without clogging pores or leaving skin greasy. Best of all, it gives my skin a smoother, softer texture.
7. Murad Post Acne Spot Lightening Gel: There’s few things more annoying than a zit in your 20s, except maybe a zit that that leaves behind a stubborn red spot and requires concealer for the rest of your life. Luckily, there’s a post acne spot elixir from Murad, which definitively lightens red spots better than any other brightening serum I’ve used including Origin’s brightening serum. At a hefty $60, rest assured this is the only post acne spot treatment you’ll ever need. Note: it can be drying (but it’s so worth it).
8. Avène Cleanance Soap-Free Gel Cleanser: Don’t be fooled by its “soap-free” demeanor; this is one of the few cleansers that thoroughly, but gently, removes eye makeup without the need to resort to makeup remover towelettes afterwards. Infused with French spring waters, I found it greatly effective for reducing blemishes and balancing my combination skin. Follow with Olie’s 005 rejuvenating oil for hydration.
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