Saturday, April 30, 2011

April 2011 Favourites

This is my first monthly fave post. I'm not sure if I'll devote myself each month to such a post, but since one of the purposes of this blog is to discover holy grail products worthy of stopping the constant testing and searching, it's worth pointing out what some of those products may be.

1.  Benefit Hollywood Glo Complexion Highlighter - Unfortunately this is a discontinued product. Benefit is constantly discontinuing gimmicky old faves and putting forth new gimmicky things. I can barely keep up with them. If you have a favourite product from Benefit, you had better stock up on them because they do tend to disappear off the shelves quickly without notice. Hollywood Glo is a few years old but I never used it despite having had it in my stash all that time. I had bought it for the fun of it but had no idea how to use luminizers, highlighters and complexion enhancers then. After watching Lisa Eldridge videos recently, I was inspired to pull it out from deep within the train case and give it a whirl. And the result is a subtle glow that never fails to garner compliments! I've avoided highlighters in the past because I have oily skin and I could not imagine being any shinier or "glow-ier" than I am already by mid-afternoon, but the very subtle shimmer is quite distinguishable from and not to be confused with a shiny T-zone as long as I blot faithfully. Though this product is no longer available in stores, it can still be found in various retailers online.

2.  Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer SPF 15 - BEST.PRIMER.EVER. I do believe I've found my HG primer and it took a long time to work up the nerve to cough up the money for it. First I took home a sample from Sephora and wore it faithfully for two weeks to ensure that it would not make me break out nor prove false to its claims. According to the Sephora website:

A mineral-based, water-resistant primer with SPF 15 that neutralizes the skin, minimizes shine, and creates a smooth, uniform canvas for flawless makeup application.

It was the water-resistant part that sold me, as well as a rave review by Beauty Editor and this Zuneta video (the MUA is hilariously over the top, leaning heavily towards spastic and annoying/enthusiastic and passionate). I'm looking forward to seeing how this performs in the hot summer months. This primer mattifies my oily skin so well that I don't have to blot until noon or mid-afternoon, when normally I find myself having blot at 9am after the subway commute to work. Yet it isn't drying and provides a smooth canvas for foundation application. It's well worth the horrifying CAD$70 spent at Sephora. I'm not sure how this will work on dry skin, but if you have oily skin and haven't found your perfect primer, try a sample of this immediately. It will change your life.

3.  Vasanti Conquer 3-in-1 Stick - I already reviewed this once in my chapstick/lip balm inventory (and Vasanti was kind enough to quote me on it on their website - surprise!) but it's worth another mention. I really really like this balm. I keep my almost-empty tin of Rosebud Salve by my bed, but this Vasanti stick was a constant fixture on my desk during the crazy study bouts before finals. I sat for hours and days at my desk, pulling all nighters and picking at my chapped lips until they bled (terrible habit since childhood), and this Vasanti lip balm was a lifesaver through it all. It's smooth and soothing without being greasy or heavy. It does moisturize and last through the night so long as you're not licking your lips during your sleep. It's about CAD$15-17 at Pharma Plus/Rexall, so it's not the cheapest option out there, but I like it so much that it has overthrown the Burt's Bees Pomegranate Oil Lip Balm as my favourite lip balm/chapstick.

4.  Benefit Coralista - I received this as a 500 points perk at Sephora over the winter. I had tried Dandelion and Dallas in the past and generally like what's dubbed the "Benefit Box of Blushes" but felt in  recent years that I had outgrown them or possibly even the brand. However, considering that 3 of the 7 featured products today are from Benefit, that's not the case at all, is it? I have a fondness for coral which I chose not to indulge in for the longest time, for whatever reason, and I was glad for a chance to experience the greatness of Coralista without having to pay for it. Initially, I was disappointed by what I thought was the lack of vibrancy or pigment. Coralista isn't a pure coral but a coral-pink, and it applies very subtly at first. However, after trying it a few more times, it has become one of my favourite blushes of all time. There's a pretty shimmer that's surprisingly wearable, the shade balances wonderfully between both warm and cool somehow and seems to actually be a universal colour for all skin tones. I know there are mixed reviews of Coralista out there, but currently it ranks right beside my other favourite blush, TheBalm's Hot Mama.

5.  Clarins Instant Sun Light Summer Glow Palette SPF 15 - I didn't even know that this had SPF 15 until I just looked it up for a URL to link to. Unfortunately this was a limited edition item from last summer, which I had no idea about when I picked it up for 50% off at Sephora. Here's a great blog post on the collection with a nice pic of the palette. I use it as a bronzer/blush, depending on what I feel like. I'm not a huge bronzer user, but right now I am at my most pastiest and feel like a light touch of the bronzer makes a whole lot of difference in the complexion. The palette is also so pretty that looking at it has the instant effect of cheering me up. The quality is also fabulous and makes me look twice at the brand Clarins in general.

6.  Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadow/Liner - I've seen mixed reviews on this. Some hate it because it doesn't stay put without a primer and some love it because the shades are pretty and they don't mind priming the lids since everything else now seems to require a primer anyway. I'm with the latter group. I've developed a love for little glass pots full of delightful colours and this Benefit line of cream shadows are just that. I have four of them (R.S.V.P., Birthday Suit, Skinny Jeans and Get Figgy) and feel such a thrill every time I open up the lid and dip my finger into the smooth, creamy texture and pat over my lid. I find that they last best with either the Urban Decay Primer Potion or the Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Cream Shadow layered beneath. (It doesn't seem to blend as well over a MAC Paint Pot.)

7.  Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil - This is the Zero/Whiskey duo that came in the Naked Palette which I dedicated an epic post to some time ago. The best thing about the Naked Palette, for me, was the discovery of these 24/7 pencils. I could not keep an eyeliner on for anything until this pencil. Urban Decay is riding a huge hype wave right now over many of their products and I stubbornly resisted until I tried it first-hand, and now also am a huge fan of these liners. My search for the perfect pencil liners has now ended. These pencils will remain even on the tricky waterline for a goodly amount of time, not budging until I remove with a good quality eye makeup remover at the end of the night. Well done, Urban Decay. Well done.

What are your faves of the month? Have you tried and loved any of these products?


  1. Nice faves! Except for Coralista-I'm one of those people that hated it. :) It did nothing for me. I've heard so many good things about the Hourglass primer-think I'll need to get a sample to test out too.

  2. I love these posts, I haven't been faithful to doing one every month but they are so fun to read! I really love Benefit, I find I have a few faithful favourites from their line. I have that Hollywood Glo & you've inspired me to fish it out. The Hourglass primer sounds lovely but double yikes on the!

  3. @Tracy - Ooh, let me know how it works out for you if you do! I haven't encountered anybody who disliked it.

    @Tracy D - I love reading these types of posts, too! I hope you get back into doing them. I'd love to see your list!

  4. The Hourglass primer sounds like really good stuff. I have oily skin and haven't had much luck with the primers I've tried so far so I might give this one a go (if it's available in the UK?)

    The Clarins Summer Glow Palette looks really pretty! Shame it was limited edition.

  5. @Nat - I don't know if it's available in the UK but I'm sure you can order via online retailers! I didn't have much luck with mattifying primers before this either.


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