Olay X Pro Face Brush
I bought this brush back in May. I had been wanting a brush like this, but wasn't willing to pay the price of the Clarisonic. I thought why not try this one first to see how I like it? I instantly loved this brush! I used it as soon as I got home and immediately noticed a difference! My skin looked smoother and brighter. After a week or so, I noticed that my pores had become smaller. After I wash off my makeup, I put my face wash on the brush and get a deeper clean. You will notice even more makeup coming off that you didn't even know was there! When I first bought this I used it day and night. Now, I usually use it once a day. I like to do it before bed to make sure that my face is really clean and exfoliated so my serums, moisturizers, masks, etc. can really penetrate my skin. My mom also bought one for herself on the same shopping trip. She is 55 and noticed the same things that I did. We are so happy that we spent $40 instead of $150-$200. Plus, the replacement brushes for these are much cheaper and easier to find. I buy mine on Amazon. I get 2 for $8. The brush is battery powered and I have not had to replace mine yet. This brush did not come with a storage or travel bag, but I use an Ipsy bag for mine and it fits perfectly. As far as brush maintenance, I rinse it really well after each use and clean with bacterial soap. I then let it air dry. Make sure you keep your brush really clean, so you don't cause any unnecessary breakouts or irritation.
Dr. Dennis Gross Daily Alpha Hydroxy Peel
This is a more recent skincare find for me. I started using these in November. I received 3 samples from Sephora with an online purchase. I had never heard of them before, nor had I ever tried an at home chemical peel. I had no expectations, but when it comes to skincare I am happy to try it all! All I can say is WOW!! These things made a noticeable difference INSTANTLY! It was unbelievable! My face was brighter, smoother and softer after the first use. After a few more treatments, my freckles and brown spots are lighter, my skin is tighter and lifted, my texture is so soft and smooth, and fine lines are far less noticeable. I knew that I could not ever be without these, so I immediately placed an order. At first I used the peels 3 or 4 times a week. Now I use them twice a week on Tuesday and Saturday. These can be used twice a day, but after some time using them I think you can back off a bit. It's all in the results that you see and how fast your skin reacts to the treatments. Mine reacted very quickly.....immediately!
L'Oreal True Match Lumi
This foundation was on my best of list last year. If you like a light to medium buildable, luminous finish,with a great color selection, that has the look and feel of high end packaging at a drugstore price.....this is for you! It lasts well on me and doesn't make me oily or breakdown. I do always set my foundations with powder and often use a setting spray, so that will also help with longevity.
Kat Von D Lock It Tattoo Foundation
This was in my December favorites, and even though it is new to me, I don't have anything quite like it. I know I will be wearing this foundation for a long time. This is the first product that I have ever tried from the Kat Von D line. I am excited to try more to see if I like the line as a whole. As I mentioned in my favorites, this is most comparable to the Estee Lauder Double Wear. For me, I like the finish and coverage better though. The finish isn't quite as matte as Estee Lauder. It is more of a natural or satin finish, and I think the coverage is a little better. I think the longevity is the same, and the price is the same as well. I do like the Kat Von D packaging much better though. The bottle is a lot prettier, plus it has a nice pump, where the Estee Lauder doesn't. I really couldn't be happier with this foundation!
Too Faced Amazing Face Foundation Powder
I started wearing this powder over a year ago. It is still my favorite face powder. It gives extra coverage, doesn't cake up or look dry, and has a satin to matte finish. I use this twice when applying my makeup. First, I apply it after applying foundation. Then, I apply it once all of my face makeup is done by lightly buffing it over everything just to give a smoother, flawless, blended finish. I do not apply this under my eyes. I have had some trouble finding it, but can still find it from time to time on Hautelook.com.
Laura Geller Baked Blush N Brighten
This year was the first year that I had ever tried anything from the Laura Geller line. I bought a box set of 5 items or so around my birthday, because I really wanted to try the brand. Two products really stood out to me.....this blush and their Baked Balance N Brighten Foundation Powder. This blush is just gorgeous and long wearing, but what makes this one a little different is that it is a two-in-one product. It is a marbleized blush as well as a highlighter. Because it is marbleized, you get that dimension on your cheeks that I really like (I mentioned using several cheek products to achieve this look in my last post). Therefore, I think this blush is great for everyday, when you don't have a bunch of time to get ready and are heading to work or school You just take a few second to blend this on your cheeks and you have everything you need for cheek products! We are all looking for simple, quick, and easy with great results!
Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes
For the second year in a row this mascara along with the Better Than Sex mascara has been my favorites. I sometimes wear them separate, but really think I get the best results when wearing them together. Lights, Camera, Lashes has more of a gel consistency with a slightly smaller yet traditional type of brush. It really separates and lengthens, which is why I like to apply it after the Better Than Sex. It is also great for the bottom lashes. It does not transfer or flake on me at all. When I am going for a quick, more natural look, I wear this on it's own and looks great also!
Too Faced Better Than Sex
This mascara is equally as good, but different. It is very much a volumizing/thickening mascara. It really gives you the thick lash look. It isn't so much separating, which is why I like to use the Tarte mascara afterwards. The only potential problem that I could see with this mascara is in the brush size. It is extra large, so if you have small eyes application may be difficult and messy. If they are average size or bigger, I think you will be just fine. I do not recommend using this on the bottom lashes though, because of the size. The Tarte and the Too Faced mascaras together are just an excellent combo. They give you the false lash look without the false lashes, which is why I rarely ever wear them anymore!
Wen Cleansing Conditioner
I have been using Wen for 31/2 years now, and I love it! I grew my hair out from a very short pixie, and now it is in the middle of my back. I really attribute Wen for making my hair so healthy during the growing out process. It doesn't break. I don't have a single split end, and I color treat my hair often and the color lasts and lasts! I use Wen once a week, and just recently added the 6 13 Wen product to it. I also do a Wen hair mask once a week and leave it in overnight. Every few days, I use dry shampoo instead of washing, and that's it! I know that some people do not like Wen, but I think that depends on your hair type and I do think there is a descent amount of user error with it, because it is so different from regular shampoo. I have medium hair that is silky soft, much like Asian hair, but is also naturally wavy. I typically get mine from QVC and they have a 30 day money back guarantee if you are unhappy with any product, so I think it is definitely worth trying.
Too Faced Love Flush Blush
These just came out this year, and I instantly fell in love with them! I bought two.....love hangover and your love is king. Then, they came out with a limited edition blush palette and I just felt like I had to have it! It is so beautiful! The line has a great shade range, adorable packaging, adorable names, and the colors are so pretty, pigmented, and last all day! I love blush and I love the Too Faced brand. The entire palette is $36, which if you know what one full size blush costs, you know this is a good deal! If you are interested in the palette, don't wait too long because it is limited edition. FYI: This is not sold in Ulta stores, but on ulta.com. You can also purchase on toofaced.com.
Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Bronzer
This product was on last years favorites list as well. I like this one so much, because I think it works well as a contour or bronzer. It isn't too cool or too warm. It is matte, so not sparkles, which you wouldn't want that to contour. This product has lasted me so long that it's ridiculous. I haven't had to purchase it alone. I keep getting it as a deluxe sample with points or in a Too Faced kit. It is so pigmented yet blends so nicely. I have no complaints. I would recommend this to everyone. If you are very fair to light, they have the milk chocolate bronzer. If you are darker than medium, they have dark chocolate, so all the shades are covered.
*This is a deluxe sample that I have been using for over a year! Obviously, a little goes a long way. I love that this shade is neither too warm or too cool, so it works for contouring and bronzing.
First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream
I'm not sure when I first tried this. It had to be at least a year or so ago. I just impulsively picked it up in that "we'll getcha before you leave" section at Sephora. I grabbed it because it claimed to be good for eczema. My psoriasis shows up first on my hands and feet, so I like to put this on regularly. I keep one in my purse and one on my nightstand and use it daily, especially in the winter. One day during the summer, I got a real bad patch not the side of my foot by my big toe. You could see it because I was wearing sandals. I was at Easton with my family, and when I got in the car I applied the lotion. A few days later my mom was over and I was bear foot and she checked to see how my psoriasis was doing, and the patch was almost gone! I told her that I hadn't applied the lotion since that day in the car and she couldn't believe it!! I have also recently started using tea tree oil on my psoriasis spots and it really helps as well. If you suffer from dermatitis, psoriasis, eczema or any other skin condition, gives this cream and tea tree oil a try!
If you want one product that is inexpensive, natural, good for you, and is an all in one for a variety of things.....you NEED coconut oil! We have all heard a lot of hype about coconut oil in the past few years and for good reason. It's benefits are enormous! When it comes to beauty, I use it as a makeup remover, eye makeup remover, hair mask, face moisturizer, and all over body moisturizer. I can spend anywhere from $8-$15 for a jar and ir will last me forever! I do buy the virgin, organic, cold pressed. For as cheap and long lasting as it is, I figure I should get the best I can find. Your skin absorbs 99% of what touches it, so it's basically like drinking whatever products you use. Think about that!! Another reason why I love coconut oil is that it is antimicrobial, antibacterial and has a natural SPF in it. It can also help aid in weight loss! Many years ago, farmers started giving their cows coconut oil in an attempt to fatten them up even quicker., but what happened was just the opposite. They actually lost weight! So whenever I make a smoothie, I like to add in a tablespoon. It is also great to use in baking to replace your traditional oil. Quite some time ago I did a post on coconut oil. If you would like to learn more, Click Here!
So, that's my list! Of course, I found many, many great products this year. Probably more this year than in any previous year. If you are watching your budget and only want to invest in a few things, I suggest investing in skincare. No matter your age or condition of your skin. Your face is the first thing that people see, the first thing that you see, and the first thing that ages. Take care of it. It deserves the extra time and attention. I don't care how much makeup you have or how expensive and wonderful it is, if you have bad skin that you don't take care of, the makeup won't do much to help you. If you are young and think that skincare is unnecessary for you at this point, I promise you that you couldn't be more wrong! The neglect may not show up on your face today or tomorrow, but I promise that it will and it will show up quicker than it should. Take care of every aspect of your body.....EVERY ASPECT! That is the best advice that I can give you, because if you don't, one day it will be too late and you will be stuck with the result of years and years of neglect. Life is too short to be unhealthy, unhappy, in pain, insecure, and living a life that is less than who you are.