Monthly Favorites and Fails for January/February 2016

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Jan/Feb Favorites

Jan/Feb Favorites

I blinked and we are already ten days into March.  Where is the time going?  It is definitely time for a Favorites post.  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.  Fails are products that simply did not work out and I do not recommend, because it is just as important to know what products to avoid as it is to know which ones to get. I mentioned at the end of January that I was going to combine January and February’s Favorites into one post.  It’s been a weird couple of months for me.  I’ve been really busy and distracted.  I’ve also been injured, so I haven’t been inclined to go out as often as I otherwise would have.  All of this is reflected in my Favorites and Fails because you will be seeing fewer makeup products and more body products in this post.  So let’s get into the products that I have been loving for the last two months.

It Cosmetics No. 50 Serum Primer and It Cosmetics Bye Bye Redness

It Cosmetics No. 50 Serum Primer and It Cosmetics Bye Bye Redness

Let’s start with this combination from It Cosmetics.  It is the No. 50 Serum Anti-Aging Collagen Veil Primer and the Bye Bye Redness Neutralizing Correcting Cream.  This was my go-to primer/foundation combo throughout January.  My skin was having trouble while I was testing out the L’Oreal Revitalift Volume Filler Skincare line, and these products helped me out so much.  I’ve talked abut Bye Bye Redness here on the blog before.  It blends easily and has great coverage, even for rosacea flare-ups. It has an ultra matte finish though, so that’s where the Serum primer comes in. No. 50 is extremely hydrating without being greasy.  It packs in a lot of moisture, but you can still apply foundation over it with no problem.  The formula is silky smooth and feels great.  If you are interested in the primer, Ulta has No. 50 featured during the 21 Days of Beauty of 4/2 for 50% off.  It is definitely worth checking out.

Maybelline Dream Velvet Soft-Matte Hydrating Foundation

Maybelline Dream Velvet Soft-Matte Hydrating Foundation

While I did enjoy my combination from It Cosmetics in January, as soon as I found the Maybelline Dream Velvet Soft-Matte Hydrating Foundation, I ran with it and never looked back.  Seriously, this foundation is the bomb.  It has a lovely satin finish.  I can get away with only one layer for nice, natural coverage.  It evens out my redness, but I can still see my freckles ever so slightly peeking through.  I love it.  Even my husband commented that it looked nice.  If you have normal skin or are only a little dry, you will probably love this foundation. People with very dry skin (thankfully I’ve managed to exit that category) or oily skin will have problems with this formula.  The color selection is also pretty tricky because many of the shades lean either strongly yellow or strongly pink.  But, if you can find a shade match and you are neither too oily nor too dry, this foundation is great.

e.l.f. Illuminating Palette

e.l.f. Illuminating Palette

I have really been enjoying my e.l.f. Illuminating Palette.  I did a review of the Illuminating Palette back in early January, so be sure to check that out for all of the details and some swatches.  The powders are finely milled and blend easily.  I really love the more subtle shimmer shades, as you can probably tell by how dirty the lower half of the palette looks in that photo.  They are both fantastic highlighting shades for my skin tone.  I am not a fan of the light pink shade in the upper right square, but the other three shades are great, and I am so glad that I got this palette.

Soap & Glory Hand Food

Soap & Glory Hand Food

Moving to body products, I’ve been loving Soap & Glory Hand Food.  This is such a nice hand lotion. I picked up a Holiday set that contained three different scents of Hand Food, and this is the original.  The original Hand Food has a delightful scent of fresh roses and tea with lemon.  What’s great about it is that Hand Food gives me the moisture that I need without feeling greasy.  The lotion dries down pretty quickly.  I hate lotions that linger after I rub them in and make me want to avoid touching anything for a few minutes.  No one’s got time for that.  Hand Food smells amazing and it feels great in the skin. If you haven’t tried it, I strongly recommend it.

Ahava Mineral Botanic Velvet Cream Wash in Hibiscus & Fig

Ahava Mineral Botanic Velvet Cream Wash in Hibiscus & Fig

My final favorite for today is the Ahava Mineral Botanic Velvet Cream Wash in Hibiscus & Fig.  I can’t even describe how luxurious this body wash is.  I picked up the Ahava Starter Kit from Ulta to try out some products from the brand.  This 3 oz sample was included in the kit.  “Velvet Cream Wash” is the perfect name for this formula.  It is silky soft, velvety, creamy, and all things luxurious.  It feels so moisturizing, but it doesn’t leave any sort of film on your skin.  I don’t know how they do it.  The scent is the perfect blend of fruit and floral to smell sweet, without being cloying and sophisticated without feeling old or dated.  I love this scent so much.  The full size 17 oz bottle is $24, so it isn’t something that I would buy all the time.  I do think that it is wort the occasional splurge, though, because it is fabulous.

That does it for my favorites, now onto my Fails.  Always keep in mind that my reviews are based on my specific experience with these products, and good or bad, you may have different results.  So, just because I give a product a bad review, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is a bad product.  It just means that it did not work for me.

Ahava Dead Sea Mineral Hand Cream

Ahava Dead Sea Mineral Hand Cream

Another product in that Ahava Starter Kit was the Ahava Dead Sea Mineral Hand Cream.  You know how when I was talking about Soap & Glory Hand Food, I said that I hate lotions that linger after I rub them in and make me want to avoid touching anything for a few minutes?  The Dead Sea Mineral Hand Cream is a big offender in that area.  The formula is so greasy, and what’s worse is that it isn’t even that mpoisturizing.  I end up wanting to apply more lotion to my hands within the hour.  It also has a funky small that is both herbal and powdery at the same time.  This sample is only about two-thirds of an ounce, but I don’t think that I’m going to be able to finish it.  I really hate the way it makes my skin feel.

ImPress Press-on Manicure

ImPress Press-on Manicure

The last product that I have to talk about is the ImPress Press-on Manicure.  Okay, before you judge me, I have a Youtuber that I have watched for years who uses these press-on nails all the time.  Her nail always look beautiful and these designs are gorgeous.  I don’t necessarily think that these nails are a bad product.  I think that my particular nails are too small for them and that’s why they didn’t work for me.  I have pretty small hands, and very narrow nail beds.  I had a really hard time trying to find nails in the Impress Kit that fit me.  In general, they all ended up being too big, so they felt really uncomfortable and in some cases mildly painful once they were on.  The adhesive seemed pretty good, but I could not handle keeping them on my fingers.  I think that if you have larger nail beds than I do, these may work well for you, but I couldn’t make them work for me.

That’s it for my Favorites and Fails for January and February.  I hope that you saw something that you liked.  What were some of your favorite items for the month?  Let me know in the comments below.

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