August 21, 2012

Cosmetic Jungle! Pre-Fall Beauty Buys

As much as I loved being outside in the sun, swimming in the ocean, and frolicking all summer long, there's a harsh reality I need to face on this front: I've been doing quite a bit of damage to my skin and hair. Yes, I love the look of my hair after emerging from a dip at the beach, but all that salt water is ultra, ultra drying (don't get me started on the bottled versions of ocean spray!) - and even my face is suffering from a bit of sun damage, despite my daily devotion to SPF. Now, I'm on the offensive and doing some major skin-therapy as I gear up towards the new school year September. Isn't it funny that we still seem to use the academic calendar as a marker of new beginnings despite being out of school for years?

HAIR REPAIR (CAUSE, GIRL, YOUR ENDS ARE DRY)
I'd never heard of Rahua up until a couple of weeks ago, when I received some samples as a gift from my friends at Linda Gaunt, but I became instantly addicted to the Omega 9 Hair Mask. I mean, I seriously binged and used up the whole bottle in a couple of weeks. My summery-super-dry-locks are now lustrous, shiny, and silky-soft. Now, I have to learn to taper myself off to smaller doses of this magic elixir to make the most of the $58 price tag! Oh, but it's worth it for a once-a-week hair repair indulgence, indeed. The other essentials? Nuxe Huile ProdigieuKse (I run a few drops through my wet hair before drying), and Arrojo Dry Shampoo - perfect to keep my every-day-wash tendencies at bay! Another super inexpensive (but hardly picturesque) concoction is a few tablespoons of Virgin Coconut Oil; just heat up the oil (at room temperature, it becomes solid), and run it through your hair in the shower pre-conditioner, or use it as a mask!

FRESH FACE
Let's start with skincare. My skin has been a sensitive topic for me ever since I was 12-years-old and encountered my first awkward, painful experiences of hormonal acne. At 26, I still get hormonal break-outs, but changes in my diet (I went gluten free over a year ago) and major investments in some high quality skin care alongside with all-natural assistants have made my skin turn a complete 180. After starting a strict regiment of Cle de Peau products last fall, I quickly transitioned to the Future Solutions line from their sister brand, Shiseido - seeing pretty much instant results from their eye creme, face wash, serum, and moisturizers. The entire line is packed with Skingenecell, a restorative technology that helps prevent signs of aging and diminish fine lines. My dark circles have also vanished; the eye cream is that good! Though it is extremely expensive, the full-size products I purchased in February are only just running out; considering the tremendous improvement in the overall quality of my skin, I feel like it's been worth the investment. Caudalie's Beauty Elixir is an absolutely addictive toner (and this size, at $18, fits perfectly in my makeup bag for on-the-go refreshers). But, there are other low-cost products that have made their way onto my vanity that have become total staples. After picking up Avibon on my last trip to Paris, I'm not sure how I ever lived without it. I use a tiny dab nightly and it has evened my tone and dark spots and provides mega moisture. Alongside that puppy, I've been switching up my Shiseido cleanser with some raw honey; regular, organic, raw honey - straight from the grocery store. I use it as a cleanser; it has natural antiseptic qualities which help clear up acne!

Now, that fresh face make-up? Great skincare aside, sometimes I want a little extra help getting that smooth, even glow that can otherwise only be achieved with the help of some digital airbrushing...  And until Photoshop by AdobĂ© is a real beauty product, I'm sticking with these tried-and-true beauties: Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics' Conceal (oh my god, you guys. I could write a love letter to this product. It has literally ousted MAC Studio Finish from its decade-long reign) is a major winner; OCC is all-natural, vegan, and seriously pigmented - which means a little bit goes a long way. For photoshoot days (in fact, I'm off to a shoot with Stylecaster today!), I apply some Make Up For Ever HD Foundation and translucent powder... et voila!

COLOR ME BAD
Even though I have read all about the expiration dates and shelf-lives of most beauty products, there are dozens that keep their place in my cosmetic drawer for years. That said, I love to recharge my beauty routine a couple of times a year with new, fresh products. The products I can't live without? A great liquid eye liner, blush, and mascara. After trying practically everything on the product, I've narrowed these guys down to my favorites; Rodin Olio Lusso Lip Balm; Stila All-Day Liquid Liner (if this is ever discontinued, I will seriously cry); Benefit They're Real (it can be layered with BadGal Lash for extra oomph!); Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Loose Color Concentrate and Lip Tar (lip tar can even be used as a blush - and it's perfect). I'm even starting to experiment with eyeshadow, something completely foreign to the last 10-years of my cosmetic life, and Urban Decay's Primer Potion is turning out to be absolutely essential in that process.

Next on my list? A great new fragrance (though at $495, Tom Ford's new "Cafe Rose" will definitely stay on the wishlist) and a perfect deep berry that complements my skin and hair... I'm open to suggestions on that front!

24 comments:

  1. I really need to go through my stuff and clean out. I know all about those shelf lives, and i used to swab my stuff and send it to my grandmothers old lab just to see what i found, it was gross haha. That got me super crazy about cleaning my brushes though, which i think helps the shelf life. I love Lip Tar's I haven't worn some of mine in awhile!

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  2. What a great post! I'll definitely try your "hair-repair" programme. I've never heard of the brand Rahua before but I hope I'll find it here in Europe as well. Dry hair is a huge problem for me too in summer and this sounds like the perfect solution.

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  3. I am going to have to check out Rahua as I am a HAIR junkie, but I love OCC and I am so happy to see them getting some love!

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  4. I just picked up Guerlain La Petite Robe Noire yesterday, and I am already in love with it. If you want a new scent, this might be the one for you! http://www.sephora.com/la-petite-robe-noire-P375386

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  5. This is a great post. I really love natural hair care products as well and one of my favorite brands right now is Shea Moisture, particularly the line of products in their yellow label. Here's the link if you are at all interest...
    http://www.sheamoisture.com/ They are sold at Target, Walgreens and CVS.

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  6. Which shade of lip tar is that? I haven't committed to one yet, but I really want to buy some OCC--love supporting vegan companies!

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  7. I love Nuxe's oils, I used their gold shimmer one everyday on my skin during Summer, and the plain to lock in moisture after I've showered. And Benefit's They're Real is amazing, right?!

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  8. I love this level of attention to detail! Thank you for the OC concealor tip and the admission of what acne can do to a ladies self esteen - I am currently in the process of an elimination diet so its reassuring to know it can be beaten this way! xx

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  9. Great post! I love this kind of detail in beauty posts. I also can not live without Urban Decay's Primer Potion. It's fantastic - it really helps eye shadow stay put. I love fragrances, but tend to change them with my mood and outfit, like I do with makeup, so I usually stay away from the really expensive ones. If you're looking for a great place to start, though, my friend, Caitlin, has a fragrance blog that is both in-depth and totally accessible: thissideofperfume.wordpress.com. Good luck with finding a fragrance you love!

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  10. Just looking at these pictures, makes me want them all. Thank you for the tips. I should definitely take your recommendations and try some of these fabulous products. Love you baby.

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  11. Great beauty buys! I love what you have here! I just found your blog not long ago and I think it's really cute and sweet! I've enjoyed scrolling through your posts and seeing the pastel tones in your photos so I bookmarked it! I hope you will be able to check out my blog too, it's a personal style and fashion blog from England. I would love it if you could stop by! Thanks! :) :)

    www.raindropsofsapphire.com

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  12. I'm obsessed with Avibon! Seriously France has the best drugstores!


    Abi x

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  13. I first found out about OCC from you, and thought of you this evening when I walked past it randomly on my way to Katz's. I've been wondering about a new concealer, too. Thanks for the recommendation, I love beauty posts ;)

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  14. Great post!
    http://fashionistablogg.blogspot.com/

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  15. our make-up bags are twins :)


    http://www.etsy.com/shop/GoingUnderground

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