It’s the end of the month, which means that it is Monthly favorites time. Today I have my monthly favorites for November and December. I didn’t get the chance to do my favorites for November because I was driving cross-country for the move, so this time around you get my favorites for both months. For anyone new to the blog, Monthly Favorites are those products that particularly stood out to me and ones that I reached for over and over throughout the month. Since most of my makeup was packed away in a box (only two casualties in the move, and both were inexpensive products that will be easy to replace) I used pretty much the same products for most of November and December anyway, so it works out that I am combing the two months. I have finally been able to unpack my makeup and can get some variety again, but for the move I relied on some old reliables that I knew I could depend on with a few new favorites thrown in. So, let’s get into it.
First off, the one product that has been a super star for me over the last two months is the Lorac Pro 2 palette. I love this palette. It is seriously one of the smartest buys that I have made. I can get so many different looks out of it for both everyday and special occasion. The entire top row of shadows are matte shades and the bottom row are satins and shimmers for 16 shades total. There are plenty of neutral shades, but there are also the Plum, Navy, and Jade shades for a pop of color. I think that it is so versatile. They are a great range of shades from light to dark and with both cool and warm tones to suit a variety of people. The formula is great, and I have gotten so much use out of this palette over the last few months. You can read my full review of the palette and see swatches by clicking this link. I strongly recommend taking a look at the Lorac Pro 2, if you haven’t already.
I don’t remember if I have mentioned the brow product that I’ve been using for the last several months, but I have been really been enjoying the Coastal Scents Hot Pot in Timeless Taupe. My brows are practically non-existent, so I find that a powder gives me the fullest coverage while still looking the most natural. I found Timeless Taupe over the summer, and it is a great match for my coloring. It is a great neutral shade, neither too warm nor too gray. Coastal Scents describes it as “An antique brownish-grey hue with a matte finish”. Coastal Scents sells a 4 Piece Interchangeable Palette that you can plug any Hot Pots into, as well as a 4-pan magnetic palette designed specifically for brows that includes Timeless Taupe. I have no issues with fading or smudging with the Coastal Scents Hot Pots, so I definitely recommend them, especially at under $2 each. (Don’t forget, there is still time to take advantage of the 40% off sale at coastalscents.com, through 12/31.)
For a fun pop of color and some instant drama, I have been using a gold liner on my bottom lash line. Gold goes with a variety of eye looks, and such a small thing adds so much whimsy to your look. The liner that I’ve been using is Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Eye Pencil in El Dorado. I picked up one of the last ones that UD had on super sale well after they changed the formula, so El Dorado isn’t available anymore. However, any bright metallic gold liner would work for the look. I have been enjoying it for Holiday looks throughout December, but it would also be great for New Year’s Eve.
On days that I have been rushed to run out the door, or days when I wanted low-key makeup to simply wake my face up a bit, I’ve still been reaching for my e.l.f. Essential Smudge Pot in Cruisin’ Chic. It is such a simple “one and done” makeup product. I don’t even need an eyeshadow brush. I can simply apply it on the lid with my fingers and be done. Cruisin’ Chic is a gorgeous metallic taupe shade with a ton of dimension and life, so I really can leave it to stand on it’s own. The Smudge Pots are only $3 each, and e.l.f. is constantly running a sale, so there really is no reason not to pick Cruisin’ Chic up. It’s worth it.
For blush, I needed something that would work well with pretty much any look from a barely there makeup day to Holiday makeup. I chose Coastal Scents Forever Blush in Poetic. Poetic is a warm, nude peach with a satin finish that looks good for any occasion. I have raved about the Forever Blush formula before, so I won’t go into too much detail. It applies smoothly, and the blushes have great pigmentation and staying power. You can read my full review to see swatches and get more details on the Forever Blushes. Poetic is such a universally flattering shade, that I strongly recommend it.
On my lips I have been leaning toward reds and berries. One product that I can’t get enough of right now is my Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Treatment in Sugar Berry that I got in the Fresh Sugar Lip Legends Holiday Set. For a reminder of what the set looked like and swatches of 7 of the Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Treatment line, refer back to this post. Sugar Berry is a sheer, plum-toned berry shade. The Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Treatments feel so good on the lips and add so much moisture. I love the formula and Sugar Berry is a beautiful color for this time of year. I am a fan of the whole Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Treatment line, and though it is a splurge, I recommend that you treat yourself.
Finally, what would the Holiday Season be without a red lip, right? My favorite red lip these days is achieved with Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm in Standout. It is a gorgeous Christmas red that is opaque and very pigmented. I was a little wary of the Matte Balms at first because I have dry lips, but the formula is comfortable on the lips and doesn’t accentuate dryness or lines like other matte lips products can do. Standout has great staying power, and is just a really beautiful red lip. When I want a little shine, I have been reaching for the NYX Butter Gloss in Red Velvet. It does not have the staying power that Standout has, so you will need to re-apply throughout the night, but Red Velvet gives you an absolutely stunning red lip. I personally have not had any issues with the the shade feathering or transferring to my teeth, but I have worn it with a lip liner, and that usually keeps those types of issues at bay. I recommend both products for lovely bold red lips.
And here is a swatch of the color cosmetics, minus El Dorado because it’s not available. The top row from left to right is Coastal Scents Hot Pot in Timeless Taupe, e.l.f. Essential Smudge Pot in Cruisin’ Chic, and Coastal Scents Forever Blush in Poetic. The bottom row from left to right is Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Treatment in Sugar Berry, Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm in Standout, and NYX Butter Gloss in Red Velvet.
I don’t know about you, but I am ready for 2014 to be over and for 2015 to kick off. I have high hopes for the coming year. My main goal for 2014 was to get back to California, and though it took all year, that has finally been accomplished. I am very glad that the move is over, and now it’s just a matter of unpacking and trying to settle into a new life here. It may take a little bit to find my groove in my new surroundings, but I will get there. It was a long and difficult journey to get to California, but it was absolutely worth it and I couldn’t be happier. I have new projects to look forward to and, honestly, I have no idea what to expect from 2015, but I am excited to see what life brings me. I hope that you are also looking forward to the New Year and that 2015 brings you everything that you are hoping for.