Friday, May 11, 2012

Adored In April

I'm a bit late in to the month with this but better late than never, right?

This month wasn't too revolved around makeup but rather nail polishes. See proof here. But I still managed to have a few beauty and non-beauty favorites.

First up are the beauty/makeup/skincare-related things of the bunch:

1. Avene Thermal Spring Water ($16): Basic and simple in theory because the ingredients are just Water and Nitrogen but I find it extremely useful to have on hand for various purposes. Some ways I use this: sunburns (my mother recently got sunburnt after forgetting to wear SPF by forgetting she was a) using Retin-A and b) extremely pale) and this is the only thing she found soothing in conjunction with using cool Aloe Vera gel); de-powdering the face after makeup has been set (similar to MAC's Fix+ but without the moisture from the glycerin); face refresher; and as a toner. Some people find this a bit drying on its own (possibly due to the nitrogen?) so if using as a toner just follow with some moisturizer.

2. Almond Oil: My favorite nighttime moisturizer, period. I love this because not only is it an oil my skin loves (no breakouts or clogged pores), it is also nearly scentless and is extremely soothing over Retin-A or irritated/flakey skin. I keep almond oil in a little vial next to my bed to apply on cuticles as well as under hand cream. And it's great for hair too.

3. Essie 'Shine of the Times' ($8):  Again, if you saw my previous post then you'll know I was on a nail polish kick all through out this month but out of all the ones I got my favorite would be this one. Shine of the Times is a flake-holographic-uber-multidimensional top coat and when I saw the swatches on Google Images, I was almost certain it would be "one those" highly-coveted polishes and would be on eBay selling for 300% more than retail price. Turns out, it is still available on Amazon! This is amazing to pair on top of pale pastels and to brighten any muted polish up. Some say it's a dupe of the Sally Hansen unicorn "Hidden Treasure" so if you were hunting for that, this may be a better option.

4. Laura Mercier Velour Puff ($12): I'm not a fan of setting loose powder with anything other than puffs, especially when setting concealer. This puff is a basic velour puff and many brands make these but what I like about this one is that this in particular is a bit larger than standard velour puffs and really helps push product onto the skin. My favorite technique of applying loose powder using a velour puff is shown here by a Laura Mercier makeup artist, and he describes it as their method of applying loose/translucent powder.

5. Donna Karan 'Cashmere Mist' Anti-Perspirant Deodorant ($13-$19): It feels odd putting a deo in here but seriously, this smells GORGEOUS (the kind where you constantly lift your arm to catch a whiff, ahem) but most importantly this actually lives up to the claims it makes. Purchased this month and it's already a winner! Trust me, this lasts through out the day and even intense cardio sessions.

6. Retin-A Micro 0.04 % Topical Gel ($ varies//prescription only): Not every skin can handle Retin-A but is is the only proven anti-aging product on the market which is shown to reduce fine lines and wrinkles. I started using this a month or so ago and a days into using it the stubborn pigmentation leftover from previous blemishes already started fading and approximately 25 days later, they were completely gone. The only downside is that it will cause you to sunburn so SPF is a must. I'm religious about SPF and will be about Retin-A as well. Seriously, AH-mazing.

7. Guerlain '164 Chamade' Rouge Automatique ($35): Pinky-coral with a fantastic formula. Perfect for the summer and a brighter variation to the typical muted my-lips-but-better shades. The packaging is rather gimmicky mechanical but I love that kinda' thing.

8. L'Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes Mascara ($8.99): I use the waterproof version in Blackest Black and this has been a favorite for over a year. It adds length, pigment, doesn't clump, it's waterproof so it holds curl and doesn't flake or budge. And the wand (plastic bristles) is perfection.

My mascara motto: Length > Volume. And for length, it's not too bad, eh?  
9. Careprost + brush ($11): For those that don't know, Careprost (Bimatoprost) is the generic version of Latisse. I started using Careprost approx. 5 days ago and already noticed the length starting to come in. Apparently, it's not surprising to see results that fast and with it being a fraction of the price of $110 Latisse (prescription only), this has quickly become a favorite already.  I get mine via I'll be posting a thorough review + experience after using it for at least a month or so. Note: the picture above is pre-Careprost, of course.

10. Laura Mercier 'Secret Camouflage Brush' ($26): You know how certain things induce Aha! moments immediately after an encounter with them? I had my Aha! moment when I used this brush and it was then fussy concealers with high learning-curves clicked. Those concealers include Laura Mercier's Secret Camouflage concealer as well as Kevyn Aucoin's Sensual Skin Enhancer. I will never be without this brush. If you can't get certain concealers to work for you or need precise placement to prevent starkness, this is the brush to get.

11. Rock & Republic 'Bedroom' Contrived Pressed Blush ($40): A gorgeous warm peachy-pink with a matte finish. And the formula? Flawless. The only downside is that this range of blushes were discontinued late 2010 or so. Le sigh.

Now for a completely random favorite[s]:

If you follow me on Pinterest, you'll know I have a soft-spot for blank journals and books in general. Books are a big thing in my house and my siblings (all boys, nonetheless) and I love to read. Two of my favorite [coffee table] books this month were Encyclopedia of the Exquisite: An Anecdotal History of Elegant Delights and Kevyn Aucoin: A Beautiful Life. Both are filled with fascinating knick-knacks and beautiful photographs. Anyone with a strong aesthetics sense would LOVE these. Ironically, the photograph below was taken on my living room coffee table. >.<

As for journals, the red one is a Moleskine which I thought would be perfect to use as a future wedding journal since South Asian wedding tend to revolve around the color red, ahem. Next to it are two by Ecosystem in Grape (for my purse and to take notes for blog-related purposes) and in Watermelon (a hot pink to match my hot pink KitchenAid Mixer. This one is to note down recipes, YAY!) I find the Ecosystem journals to be far more superior in quality than Moleskines. And last is the cutest little journal ever! It's a One Line a Day: A Five-Year Memory Book which allows you to write a line a day for 5 years in a row. Wouldn't that make for a perfect heirloom journal? 

KitchenAid Mixer // Pseudo recipe journal 
Now that my no-buy is nearly over, I have a feeling the upcoming months will be promising for makeup/beauty buys. :)