facial oil

October Favorites

Welcome back to another Monday! Instead of doing a Weekend Wrap-Up today I wanted to get in an October Favorites post before we get too far into November (and I head out of town tomorrow). You can tell that the cold has definitely hit NYC, as the majority of these products are dedicated to achieving vampy fall makeup looks or keeping my skin smooth and hydrated. Here are my must have products for the month of October–

october favorites

Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain (Crush) – The original drugstore chubby lip crayon, you really can’t beat the Revlon Balm Stains. They’ve come out with Lacquer and Matte versions recently (see the shades I picked up here), but I have to say the original Balm Stains are still #1 in my heart. This particular shade creates the perfect wine colored lip for fall, plus it stays put for hours and leaves behind a beautiful stain when it begins to wear away. My boyfriend even commented that he loves all the fall lip colors I’ve been wearing lately… the truth is it’s pretty much just been this one!

L’Occitane Lavender Hand Cream – I picked this up earlier in the month after my Sephora Skincare Basics course (actually more of a spa day– check out my post here). It’s a rich cream that I’ve been applying nightly before bed, and so far my hands have stayed soft and moisturized despite the chilly air. I’ve also sampled the Rose scent, which was great, but I’m really loving the Lavender best– it definitely has some soothing aromatherapy properties that help to totally relax me!

Real Techniques Base Shadow Brush – This brush comes as a part of the Real Techniques Your Eyes Enhanced Starter Set, and as far as I know cannot be purchased on its own. That’s really a shame, since I’d love about 10 of them in my collection. At the risk of inciting a beauty community war, I’d say that this fluffy blending brush does the job of a MAC 217– only better. An essential tool for packing color on the lid or blending out the crease, if I had to live with just one eyeshadow brush forever more, this would be it.

Milani Easybrow (Natural Taupe) – Let’s start by saying, my eyebrows are kind of crazy. I lust after the thick arches that Lily Collins is famous for, but instead I’m left with brows that are somehow both thick (the hairs themselves) and sparse (they’re few and far between). I’ve been on a quest for the perfect product to give them a little extra oomph, and would appreciate not draining my bank account in the process (Benefit and Anastasia, I’m looking at you). While the Miliani Easybrow pencil isn’t perfect (the tip is a little too wide for my taste and the packaging breaks easily), the color and texture of the product are the best I’ve come across. A cool taupe that seems to unite my naturally dark brows with my bleached blonde hair, the pencil has a slightly waxy consistency that holds my hairs in place and fills in gaps without being too noticeable. I wouldn’t give this one holy grail status, but I have reached for it most days this month, so I thought it deserved a mention.

Freeman Charcoal & Black Sugar Facial Polishing Mask – It seems that charcoal based detoxifying masks have been quite the rage lately, so I was excited to see Freeman’s came out with their version that allowed me to jump on the bandwagon at a drugstore price. The mask features activated charcoal to absorb oil and impurities and black sugar to exfoliate dead skin cells. This mask is fairly gentle and leaves my skin feeling smooth and clear after each use. It can be a little messy to apply and remove so I like to put on my bathrobe, apply the mask and relax on the couch for 5-10 minutes, and then jump in the shower to rinse it away.

The Body Shop Moringa Beautifying Oil – This all-purpose oil (they recommend it for face, body, and hair) has become a staple in my quest to keep winter dry skin at bay. It contains a blend of moringa seed, kukui, sweet almond, and marula oils, and I must admit I was first draw to it hoping it would contain the same skin benefits as the Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm. A few times a week I like to massage a couple of drops of this oil on to my face before bed and I wake up the next morning looking radiant.

I’d love to hear about any new discoveries or old favorites that you’ve been reaching for on the daily. Leave a comment and tell me about it!

-LMC ♥

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Weekend Wrap-up #4

Three cheers for me that I am finally back home with my beloved kitty, boyfriend, and comfy bed! My business trip went well, but I am so happy to be back to normal life this week. That also means access to my entire makeup stash, rather than just the bits in my travel bag, so expect more regular posts coming your way.

As I just got back on Friday night I spent most of the weekend relaxing and unpacking. We found ourselves in a bit of a mood on Saturday where we wanted to “spring clean” (fall clean?), rearrange furniture, and take care of lots of odds and ends that we’d been putting off for ages around the apartment. The result is still slightly chaotic, but we’re on the way to having everything sorted and in its proper place soon. New additions include a breakfast bar with stools and a chalkboard wall!

After we wrapped up everything on Sunday I headed over to  my local Sephora for a Skincare Basics course. I’ve attended one other class at Sephora in the past, an Intro To Smokey Eyes that was fun and informative, but nothing to really write home about. I expected the Skincare Basics course to be similarly, well, basic, but I thought it would at least be a good opportunity to learn about and try some new products.

Shortly after arriving and checking in with a sales associate I learned I was in for a big treat– everyone else in my class had canceled and I was going to have a 1-on-1 consultation and treatment with the skincare specialist teaching the class! Lauren, the skincare specialist who worked with me, was so sweet and helpful, and did a great job making me feel relaxed even though we were in the middle of a crowded store.

She began by removing my makeup, and then set me in front of the Dr. Dennis Gross Steamer to open up my pores. After that she did a quick cleanse using Shisedo Cleansing Foam and we moved on to a mask treatment, the beauty blogger favorite Glam Glow Youthmud Tinglexfoliant treatment! Coming in at a hefty $70 for a 1.7 oz tub, this was a mask that I’d heard raves about, but assumed I’d never have the opportunity to try. While I’m not sure if I can justify purchasing it myself, I loved the tingly feeling of the mask and the soothing bits of french sea clay and green tea leaf. While I had the mask on Lauren also applied a Boscia Pore Purifying Black Strip to my nose, which was like your average nose strip on steroids. At this point I looked seriously crazy sitting in the middle of the store with mud all over my face and a huge black strip on my nose– some girls even saw me through a window and came inside to ask me what I was doing!

As both treatments sat for about 10 minutes Lauren gave me a hand massage with a fabulous rose scented L’Occitane hand cream that I couldn’t help but purchase in the lavender scent after we finished– it was amazing! Then she removed my mask and pore strip and finished with a facial massage using a mix of Shisedo Ibuki Refining Moisturizer and a few drops of Marula Facial Oil. I had never thought about mixing a few drops of facial oil into my moisturizer before, so this was a great tip to pick up. At this point my face felt and looked more smooth and radiant than I’ve honestly ever seen it. This is the closest I’ve ever gotten to a professional facial, and if they yield results like this I can see why some people are so addicted! Overall I learned quite a bit about what skincare products would best suit my skin type, and came out feeling relaxed and refreshed to start the new week. Huge thanks to Lauren and Sephora Meatpacking for the fun evening!

Have you tried any classes at your local Sephora store? I’m signed up for another class (this time on Colorful Eye Makeup) in a few weeks, and I’m excited to report back on what I learn and what fun products I get to test out. Until next time, I hope you had a great weekend and that your week is off to a lovely start!

-LMC ♥