My new favorite beauty products, and ones I will be returning

When I find products that I love, I live for them! I speak about them to my friends, I throw them in birthday gifts, I shout it from the rooftops. (Shout out to Thayer's Witch Hazel. You save my life, every day). And for the most part, I feel like I've got my beauty regiment to a nice, well rehearsed standard but I am a lover of all things skincare, and products that give my dry skin that youthful glow. I do try to stay abreast of what is new in the beauty community, even if I will not be purchasing those items ever (KKW or Kylie products). 

And when I do experiment, sometimes I fall in love, and sometimes I go back to return my purchase because it doesn't make sense for me to spend my money on it, and I don't have space in my one bedroom apartment for it anyhow. 

Note to all you beauty shopping lovers:

  • Ulta has been reported to put returned items back on the shelves. Shop there at your own risk.
  • Sephora will take all of your gently used items back, no matter how many or how expensive. If the product doesn't suit you, do not keep it. Do not be intimidated, because no one will demand a thorough explanation.
  • It's not sanitary to try those products on yourself in store, as the cosmetics are essentially little petri dishes of bacteria, growing hourly. Buy the product of interest, and return it if it doesn't work for you. This applies to everything - blush, foundation, serums, masks, etc. 

Letting go

MAC Studio Waterweight Concealer

When I had the MAC artist apply some of their Waterweight concealer, I really liked how it went on and stayed very sheer and pretty. But after a couple of sleepless nights, I realized that it’s a little too liquid-y and sheer. I still have it and enjoy the product but I’ve switched it out to the Chanel concealer which goes on a little thicker, and lasts a little bit longer. I also went with a lighter, more yellow-y shade which matches my skin better, and brightens my under-eye more. The MAC concealer is not bad by any means, it's just not right for me, when I want more coverage, at a faster rate. 

Tatcha Silk Canvas

Tatcha Silk Canvas

The Silk Canvas is a primer that promises to set your face up to be covered with a sheer layer of "pressed silk" which helps the makeup go on smoother and stay on longer. I have found very little results with this product, but that could be due to the fact that my skin is dry, and the primer noticeably diminished some of that shine that I love to keep on my face from products like SPF, Vitamin C, moisturizer, etc. I typically use the MAC Strobe Creme which gives me a nice glow from underneath my foundation, and of course, acts like a great highlighter on top.

I would recommend you try this product if you have oily skin, in which case it may be more helpful with getting rid of some of that excess shine. 

Tatcha Essence Skin Plumping Softner

Again, I don't know whether my skin is not the perfect candidate for Tatcha or perhaps it's in a fine, stable condition to where Tatcha's magic isn't powerful enough to work on me, but for some reason this essence did nothing for me. In fact, if you replaced it with water, I would think it's the same product. It smells fantastic, and it was a nice part of my ritual, but at almost $100 per bottle, I'd expect to see some more of a glow, or a lasting softness of the skin, or at least a litttttleeee bit of unicorn tears. Give me something Tatcha. 

Does anyone here use and live for Tatcha? Please advise. Am I doing something wrong? Am I wrong on this one? 

Chanel Illusion D'Ombre Long Wear Luminous Eyeshadow

I purchased my first eyeshadow in a long long time, and sadly had to return it because while it looked very pretty in the pan, and subtle on the eyelid, after doing a quick comparison, my Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder Luminous Light laid on top of some MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot in Painterly does a much better job looking beautiful, bright, feminine, and even all over the lid. I felt that the Chanel eyeshadow was too sheer for the lid, and it was difficult to dip into the shadow to build it up. 

If you're looking for a subtle shadow, and are a fan of the creme based ones, certainly check these out, but if you've got substitutes in your kit, I would avoid these as the pigment is too subtle.

NARS Liquid Blush Orgasm

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The fact that I am not repurchasing this product is not because the product is unfit to be in my collection but rather because the packaging made the entire experience very very messy. You're not supposed to swirl the bottle open but rathe pull the cap up so that you get a pump.

Through my time using the blush, I thought it was very pretty and buildable. It went on rather sheer and almost mistake-free so I would recommend it to all who are considering this blush. I won't be repurchasing this yet, because I still have the Orgasm Blush in the original, powder form, and since I still haven't hit pan, I didn't see the point of keeping this. But I do like this product for my dry skin, and will buy this in the future. 

Repurchasing

OUAI Wave Spray

When I first purchased the Wave Spray, I didn't understand how to use it, what to do with it, why it didn't make a difference to my hair (which happens to be naturally straight, but still). But then my friend styled it up, curled it a little, and sprayed me up real well with some of the OUAI wave spray and I was in love. My hair is suddenly big, wavy, voluminous, sexy! I couldn't get enough. I ran to Sephora to get more of their products and am currently experimenting with the OUAI Volume Spray, and the Soft Mousse

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The trick with the wave and the volume spray that I found is that, I was straightening my hair out by brushing it through after the shower. Now, I brush it with a large comb while I am in the shower to make sure there are no tangles, roughly dry it with a towel, spray it with my OUAI products, and go. No more touching, brushing, curling, etc. Just go. The hair sits nicely, and looks very healthy and volumized. 

Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Rescue Mask

When I was younger, I didn't really pay attention to what I was putting on my face, as long as the immediate results were good. I loved the St. Ives scrubs and didn't ever think twice to check whether it's actually good for me, because frankly, while it was a little rough on the skin, I felt pretty great after using it. My dead skin cells were off, my skin seemed to not break out, etc. But once I got older, I realized that I shouldn't be using scrubs with thick, sandpaper-like beads just to get that soft feeling.

In fact, St. Ives even had a lawsuit filed against it due to its effects on the skin. Allure Magazine reported: 

...Two women have recently filed a $5 million class-action lawsuit against St. Ives's parent company, Unilever, after claiming the scrub caused irritation due in part to its "sandpaper"-like feel on the skin. But that's not all: The lawsuit also claims the scrub may accelerate the aging process, as the remnants of walnut shells used in the formula can lead to inflammation.

All of this to say, that we should all be very gentle to our skin, and through my process of searching, I found Fresh products, including the Youth Preserve Rescue Mask. You can use it two ways - as a mask (by letting it sit on your skin for five minutes) or as a gentle scrub (by using it in the shower for 3 minutes, scrubbing your face, and letting it sit for a couple minutes more). My face feels smoother immediately when I step out of the shower, as though there is a thin layer of protective film on it. It's fantastic, and helps me achieve that very youthful, glowy, healthy complexion; the "pinkish hue" as George Costanza would exclaim. 


How about you? What products have your been loving? Which ones will you not be repurchasing?

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Khrystyna OrosComment