Although I try new beauty products on a regular basis, I’m a creature of habit and will stick to something if it works (except for skincare – I love rotating products based on my skin’s condition & the environment). I still use almost everything from my travel must-haves post, and even many of the products here in my everyday makeup routine. Since it’s been a while, I wanted to share some updated favorites I’m loving (especially as there’s two good beauty events going on this weekend)!
Use code FRIENDS for 30% off apparel (40% off shoes today!!) + 15% off almost everything in their beauty department including makeup, skincare, and designer fragrance with free shipping over $49. Ends 4/23. This includes popular legacy beauty brands like Laura Mercier, Lancome, Clinique, and Estee Lauder, so if you’re not VIB level at Sephora it’s a better deal to get those there. I’ll post more on this sale tomorrow!
“Beauty insiders” get 10% off (code YAYINSIDER), and VIB level and above members get 15% off (code YAYVIB). All you have to do to be a beauty insider is sign up for a free account online to start earning points with each purchase. Ends 4/23. Popular products sell out FAST during Sephora events – I learned my lesson and had my cart ready early! Here’s some products I love that are not always easy to find at other retailers:
1. Farmacy Green Clean Makeup Meltaway Balm
Easily one of my favorite skincare buys. This cleanser has lots of natural ingredients and is gentle on my dry, sensitive skin. It’s quite effective at removing long-lasting makeup (see test on lipcolor swatches below) and is non-irritating around my eyes. I only need to use a little scoop each time, massaging it in a circular motion to “melt” away makeup. I prefer using warm water on a washcloth to towel it off. The balm + steam from the warm cloth is like a mini relaxing treatment I look forward to after a long day!
2. Biossance 100% Squalane oil (also sold at Biossance)
This was in my travel staples post, but I wanted to show the current packaging! It’s soo pretty BUT I don’t like the pump bottle for travel. Their rose + vitamin C face oil is a little pricier but I often use this regular one on both my face and body. On days when my skin is feeling irritated, I sometimes skip all the products in my nightly regimen and just go super simple with this moisturizing oil after washing my face.
3. Fresh Value Sets
This Boston-based brand is one of my longtime favorites to splurge on for at-home pampering! The first photo in this post was shot for an Instagram collaboration with Fresh + Sephora, but this blog post & the recommendations here are not sponsored.
– Fresh Rose Hydration Set. Great little set if you’re looking to try some of Fresh’s cult favorites! I apply the rose mask before showering and rinse it off there. I only started using the rose face cream in recent months (received it c/o), but I really like the smooth gel-cream texture and it keeps my skin moisturized throughout nights of blasting, drying heat.
– Fresh Masks Set. A set of three yummy-smelling face treatments. The Sugar Face Polish in this is actually one of my favorite Fresh products – I got a sample and will likely be purchasing when that’s gone. It’s a very gentle exfoliant that smells delish, due to brown sugar and strawberry seeds. I had tried Fresh’s sugar body polish and really did not like it (difficult to apply, left oily residue all over my shower), so had low expectations for the face version but it’s totally different! Note, Fresh masks are not the type that you peel off in one fun piece. The two masks in this set feel more like gels / fruit jams that you wash off after 15 minutes.
4. Creme de La Mer (also sold at Nordstrom)
This is one of the VERY few beauty events where La Mer is included (and from previous experience, the inventory does not last!). I restocked on the original Creme de la Mer face cream for Nick since it’s his only guilty grooming pleasure. This is a thick cream that is indeed super moisturizing and wonderful in the winter (I use it as a night cream) but you don’t get much for the price. FYI, the $85 jar is mini so don’t be surprised if you order. I like to generously apply my face creams down to my neck and upper chest, so rotate this with other (relatively) more economical favorites.
5. Spring Lipcolors
In the summertime I’ll venture out to colorful hues, but for the rest of the year I have a hard time straying from mauve pinks! This color family is so flattering, and works for professional, casual, and going-out wear. Here’s some of my current go-to’s in 3 different formulas (liquid, stick, pencil):
Longest-lasting liquid lipcolor: Kat Von D Everlasting Lipcolor.
Just picked up “Lovecraft” for Spring after testing a bunch of new colors – it’s a little more pink and brighter than my usual nude-mauve “Lolita” (which I’m wearing in tons of blog posts, like this one). I actually did not love the Everlasting liquid formula the first time I tried it, because I usually hastily swipe on lipstick while running out the door, and you do need a little more precision with liquid lipcolor. This is worth the extra 20 seconds of application time, because it has intense color pigmentation and incredible staying power (without feeling heavy on my lips) throughout eating and drinking!
Moisturizing lipstick: Urban Decay Vice Lipstick (also sold at Nordstrom)
This feels just like a moisturizing lip balm on the lips! The formula glides on and has a lot of nourishing & moisturizing ingredients like avocado, aloe, and jojoba oil. “Backtalk” is a medium, slightly warm pink with build-able color (not too sheer like tinted balms). This lipstick comes in 6 shade finishes from sheer to mega matte, and Backtalk is considered a “comfort matte.” As you can see in the swatch (and here on me in some pics), it has a satiny finish and is not a true matte.
BELOW: Even long-lasting liquid colors come off after massaging in the Farmacy cleansing balm.
Neutrals lip pencil set: Nudestix nudes lip & cheek pencils set
I receive a lot of PR samples that rarely make it to the blog, but this was one I was very impressed with! In this set you get 6 full-sized Nudestix lip & cheek pencils (typically $24 EACH) in a tin with a pencil sharpener. If you like NARS velvet matte lip pencils, give these a try as the formula applies very creamy and the matte does dry in a full matte finish with good staying power (not as long as the Kat Von D liquid, but much better than regular lipstick). Here’s how my two fave shades from the kit look:
Item DetailsFrom the Nudestix 6-pencil set: (Left) Magnetic Matte in “Rose” (Right) Intense matte lip + cheek in “retro” (darkest shade in the kit)
6. Other products in my everyday regimen (worn above in the selfies), included in sale.
NARS creamy radiant concealer (I use “Custard”), Brow powder duo (I use “Ash” – this will last you for EVER), Tarte Bloom Clay Eyeshadow Palette (they make the prettiest shadow palettes, and this one’s no exception).
7. Just ordered: Kevyn Aucoin The Contour Book
Been waiting for a discount to get this because I don’t “need” it. It’s already a crazy value for 4 full-sized contour products (both cream & powder options), since even one of the contour colors is $44 by itself! My favorite glowy bronzer (in “tropical days” – sold out at Sephora) is by Kevyn Aucoin and has lasted for 2+ years of daily use, so I’m super excited to try this.