November Beauty Favorites

Blonde Applying Makeup

Anyone who's ever met me knows that I'm absolutely addicted to beauty products.  I'm constantly reading about new products and watching youtube tutorials; I've spent more time at Sephora than any non-employee should.  Over the years, I've learned a few things about makeup (and by a few things,  I mean I've been known to identify the exact lipstick a complete stranger is wearing) and have become the go-to person for my friends and family whenever they have a beauty related question.  

Even when I find a product I love, I can't help searching for one that may be even better.  Which I've why I've decided to launch this new series, Monthly Beauty Favorites, chronicling my search for the best of the best in makeup, skin, and hair care.  Each I'll month I''ll be sharing new products that I've discovered and loved,  as well as some old favorites that are perfect for each season. 

If you've tried any of these products before, or have some new favorites of your own, leave me a comment below, I'd love to know what you think!

Beauty Blender

Beautyblender 

If you've picked up a fashion magazine or watched a makeup tutorial in the last five years, chances are good that you've already heard of the Beautyblender. This reusable sponge makeup applicator is famous for its ability to apply foundation in a way that leaves your skin looking flawless, pore free, and totally natural, no matter how much makeup you've applied.  When I first tried the Beautyblender three years ago, I didn't understand what all the hype was about. I recently decided to give it another try after watching a few makeup tutorials and realized that I may have been using it wrong.  Now that I've learned how to use it properly, I'm obsessed!  Its ability to apply concealer in a way that looks totally natural and stays put all day long has earned it a permanent spot in my makeup bag.

Ilia Balmy Nights Lip Exfoliator

 

Ilia Balmy Nights Exfoliator 

 On top of being painful, flakey lips are a complete eyesore and ruin even the prettiest lipsticks.   This chic exfoliator is made of essential oils and volcanic stone powder, a quick swipe leaves your lips flake free without being overly harsh.  All of the exfoliators I've tried in the past have been in jar form, I hated having to scoop it out with my fingers (so unsanitary!) and getting granules stuck under my nails, the stick formation is one of many reasons to love Balmy Nights!

Korres Greek Yoghurt Advanced Nourishing Sleeping Facial

Korres Greek Yoghurt Advanced Nourishing Sleeping Facial

The hard thing about skincare is that as soon as you think you've got everything under control, a slight change in your hormones or your environment can bring you back to square one.  I've been using the Obagi Nuderm system since June and things had been going really well, until I visited New York a few weeks ago.  The cold, windy climate was too much for my skin to handle on top of the Retin A in my usual routine.  After my first day in the city, my face was left peeling and red. I was in desperate need of something that would soothe my irritated skin without breaking me out.  I remembered reading about the anti acne benefits of greek yoghurt so I decided to give this mask a try.  I applied it at night and woke up the next morning to skin that looked even and felt totally hydrated.  I've been using this mask twice a week for the last month, my skin has felt more balanced, it hasn't caused any breakouts.  I highly recommend this for anyone with combination skin, this is my favorite hydrating face mask! 

Bobbi Brown Intensive Eye Concealer

Bobbi Brown Intensive Skin Serum Concealer

 I've been using Bobbi Brown concealer ever since I started competing in pageants, over ten years ago.  I've tried other concealers out of curiosity, but I always end up going back to Bobbi.  I used to use the Creamy Concealer Palette, but I discovered this concealer in liquid firm during my last visit to Bobbi Brown  and I decided to give it a try instead! The finish is nearly identical to the creamy concealer but I prefer this because of the wand applicator, it is easier to apply and removes any tugging on the delicate eye area.  

Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow

Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Glow Palette

I love, love, love Charlotte Tillbury! This woman could sell ice to an Eskimo, she oozes confidence and is the definition of fabulous.  I was so excited to try her makeup line but was afraid that the products wouldn't live up to the hype. I've tried several products from her line now  (I will be posting a review of those soon) and am happy to report that many of her products are as effective as her marketing is.  My absolute favorite is this contour and highlight palette.  I've tried so many contouring/bronzing palettes trying to achieve the super sculpted face that is so popular right now, only to end up looking dirty because the products were the wrong color for my skin.  Charlotte Tilbury's palette has the perfect colors for my skin tone and is ridiculously easy to use, a must have for anyone with fair skin.

 

Boots No 7 Contour and Highlight Brush

Boots No 7 Contour and Highlighter Brush

After falling in love with Charlotte Tilbury's Bronze and Glow palette, I considered purchasing her contour brush but couldn't bring myself to spend so much when I could likely find something similar for less. I found this brush at Boots during my last trip to London and its proved to be a great dupe! The hair feels high quality and I love that it is double sided, leaving you with one fewer brush to pack when traveling.

Nars Satin Lip Pencil Hyde Park

Nars Satin Lip Pencil in Hyde Park

I'm a big fan of Nars Lip Pencils; they're highly pigmented, easy to apply, and they never dry out my lips.  Hyde park is my favorite color for Fall and Winter.  It is a gorgeous, rich red with cool burgundy undertones making it feel especially appropriate for the season.