We are already into the first week of May, and that means that it’s time for a Favorites post. How can it possibly be May already! This year is flying by. Today I have my April Favorites and Fails. 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’ve been preforming with my band at the Southern California Renaissance Pleasure Faire all month long. We have a stage show, so my makeup has been very specific to go with the guidelines that our costume designer has set forth. I’ve been playing with some new items, and also busted out a few old favorites that I hadn’t used in a while. Let’s take a look at what I’ve been reaching for all month long.
My first Favorite that I want to talk about is the Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask. This stuff is amazing! I had a sample from Sephora around the Holidays that introduced me to the product. I loved it so much, that I featured it in my December Favorites post. I have chronically dry lips, and this lip treatment makes a huge difference. I am going to say right off the bat that this formula is not going to be for everyone. It is thick and waxy when you apply it, but once it warms up on the lips it melts into the skin. This isn’t a lip balm that you throw in your pocket. It is definitely an overnight lip treatment mask. The main ingredients are lanolin, agave nectar, and jojoba oil. A little does a long way, and even though the tube is only half an ounce, I am sure that it is going to last me a year. I don’t love the $26 price tag, but I think that for my lips it is worth the splurge because it is wonderful. (Although, I lucked out because I had a gift card to Sephora, so thanks Sarah, I put it to good use. 🙂 )
Speaking of lips, a surprising Favorite for the month was the ColourPop Ultra Matte Lip in Bumble. I really did not expect to love this product so much. I was worried that the ultra matte formula would be too drying and uncomfortable on my lips, but it really isn’t. With long hours that I’ve been spending out at Faire, I wanted a lip color that would stay all day through singing and drinking a lot of water. I also can’t stand it when my lip color transfers to cups or straws. Bumble does not budge, and it is exactly what I was looking for. As long as I don’t eat anything greasy or oily, then I am golden. (Oil breaks most long-lasting lip colors down.) These lip colors go on as a liquid lip color and definitely dry down completely matte. You can see a reflection is this photo where the swatch was thicker and hadn’t quite dried yet, but the rest of the swatch is matte. ColourPop describes Bumble as a “dusty warm terracotta” shade. It is beautiful, and has been the perfect lip product for me this past month.
I’ve been playing with some different primers lately, and I rediscovered my NYX Q10 Renew Skin Elixir. I forgot how much I liked this primer. It has a creamy, lightweight formula with a fresh, unassuming scent. It infuses the skin with CoEnzyme Q10 that brightens and softens for a flawless foundation application. NYX Q10 Renew Skin Elixir is especially lovely for those with slightly dry or mature skin. The added moisture boost will leave your skin soft and supple, but not so much so that it mucks up your foundation. CoQ10 boosts collagen and elastin production, which wains once you leave your twenties behind. The Renew Skin Elixir will help to temporarily gain a smooth, bright, and youthful appearance. I think that NYX Q10 Renew Skin Elixir is targeted at those with normal to slightly dry skin or mature skin. The Elixir does a great job at smoothing out flakes and rough patches so foundation doesn’t get stuck on them. The formula absorbs quickly and does not leave skin tacky or sticky. It feels lovely and my foundation lasts all day.
Another surprising Favorite for me is the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge. For years I have said that I prefer flat-top kabuki brushes to apply my foundation. I’ve tried beauty sponges, including this sponge, and never understood the draw. My skin went through a period where it was rebelling, and I’ve had some texture issues. I just wasn’t liking the way my foundation was laying on my skin, so in desperation, I tried the Real Techniques sponge again. You guys, seriously, I don’t even know what to say. It’s like someone flipped a switch in my brain and I suddenly get it now. I have seen the light and I am freaking loving this silly little sponge. I’ve been using the Cover Girl Outlast Stay Fabulous Foundation for it’s staying power, and the sponge applies it beautifully. The foundation lays really well when I use the sponge, even over texture issues. I am not saying that I will be giving up my flat-top kabuki brushes forever, but beauty sponges in general, and this Real Techniques sponge in particular, will definitely be a part of my regular rotation from now on.
A new item that has become a fast Favorite is the Makeup Revolution New-Trals vs. Neutrals Eyeshadow Palette. I promise to do a full review with swatches soon. In the mean time though, let me just say that you all need this palette. According to Ulta: “New-Trals are the new Neutrals! Upgrade your new natural eye looks with the new generation of natural shades in Makeup Revolution’s New-Trals vs. Neutrals.” I bought this palette because the shades looked similar enough to the Too Faced Sweet Peach Palette to allow me to resist temptation. The shadows are gorgeous and they apply smoothly. I don’t have issues with flaking or fading, and I think that the Makeup Revolution formula is really nice. The formula reminds me of the Wet N Wild 8-pan palette shadows. Bonus, this palette is only $10 and you can use the Ulta $3.50 off of $10 coupon, so you can get it for $6.50. Seriously, put this palette on your list.
My final Favorite for April is The Body Shop Brazil Nut Shower Cream. It’s an odd scent for this time of year, I know, but it smells so good that I can’t resist it. I love the Shower Cream formula. It is so moisturizing. The formula is silky and smooth, and so luxurious on the skin. I love the Brazil Nut scent, though it’s hard to describe. It’s like caramel, white chocolate, or vanilla, but… not. It’s sweet and nutty and delicious. I’ve really been loving it. (So, I got this bottle a while ago and didn’t realize until today that The Body Shop has discontinued the scent. You can still get it online, but not from The Body Shop. Sorry about that.)
That does it for my Favorites, now onto my Fails.
I only have one Fail for April, but it was such a disaster that one was definitely enough. I’m talking about the LORAC Color Correcting (CC) Cream. I got the CC Cream as an Ulta 21 days of beauty special, so it was only $15 instead of the full $30 that it normally retails for. This product is straight up horrible. The CC Cream is supposed to “instantly neutralize redness and imperfections with a natural-looking, semi-matte finish. This 6-in-1 specially-tinted makeup neutralizes, primes, moisturizes, brightens, soothes and helps your skin look healthy and youthful. CC Cream is oil, silicone, paraben and fragrance free and is suitable for all skin types.” What the CC Cream really does is apply streaky, sinks into pores, and emphasizes every flaw. I got the “Light” shade, and it is very light with highly yellow undertones. I tried it on two separate occasions, applied once with a brush and once with the RT sponge I mentioned above, and both times were so disastrous that I had to completely remove my makeup and start over from scratch. Am I missing something? Do any of you have this CC Cream and like it? Please tell me your experience and let me know if you have any tips because it didn’t work for me at all. It’s like my skin was rejecting the formula. I really don’t know what LORAC was thinking.
That’s it for my Favorites and Fails for April 2016. I hope that you saw something that you liked. I still can’t believe that it is already May. I’ve been super busy and will continue that way for at least another month or so. Things should ease up over the summer. I don’t know if I mentioned it here on the blog, but I injured my knee pretty seriously over the Holidays, and I am still healing. I am doing much better now, but I am still using a crutch or a cane and keeping my knee in a brace. My difficulty getting around makes me so much more tired and makes it a lot harder to get things done. I’m sure that you’ve noticed that my posts have been pretty few and far between lately. I’ve just been having a hard time over the last several months and I’ve had to let go of the blog a bit. That’s the way it goes sometimes. Anyway, what were some of your favorite products for April? Let me know in the comments below.