This year I went new places (New York Fashion Week) and met new people (fashion and beauty bloggers) who shared and taught me so many things about the best beauty products and hair tools on the market. I’m sharing what I feel are the best beauty products of the many dozens of things I got to try.
- Nars Mascara. Nars dropped all their other mascaras and only makes this Audacious formula because it is thickening and lengthening. I love that it doesn’t flake or wear off because the dark circles under my eyes are bad enough without that! The Too Faced “Better Than Sex” mascara has been highly recommended to me but my local beauty shop doesn’t carry this brand so I’m going to order it the next time I need mascara. My favorite drug store mascara is L’ Oreal Telescopic which really could hold its own against the NARs formula but doesn’t have quite the same staying power. Both formulas your lashes look so long.
- Bronzer. The Tarte clay bronzer in Park Avenue Princess has been my go to since before 2016. It’s subtle and doesn’t make my face look dirty like some darker shades. A few months ago I also found the Lune + Aster Contour Palette which I love – but the highlighter especially has some shimmer, which may not be very everyone. It’s subtle though and is what I am using now in the Winter months.
- Juice Beauty. Organic skincare and cosmetics!! I am a big fan of brands that care about using clean ingredients. My favorite juice products are the creme blush and the lip crayon. The lip crayon is so moisturizing but doesn’t slide off your lips. My skin is quite dry in these Winter months so I use a creme blush for extra moister.
- How many days can I stretch my hair? That was my question (and perhaps goal) in 2016. Most of the year my kids didn’t overlap a nap since Cam was an infant and Mac a preschooler. I prefer not to shower close to bedtime because I don’t like to go to bed with wet hair or make the effort to dry it that late. So let’s just say I spent more days with dirty hair than clean in 2016. I love this texturizing dry shampoo from R+Co but it’s a little pricy so I also sub in Batiste Dry Shampoo as well. I have fine, silky hair stands so a texturing dry shampoo gives me hair a little more grit if I want to wear my hair back. I am not devoted to a particular shampoo or conditioner brand right now so I’d love to know what you love.
- Hair tools. I love my T3 travel straightener and dryer. I share a bathroom with 3 boys so I don’t have much space so I use some travel size items as my everyday beauty tools to save space. My hairdresser (at Sugar Salon if you’re local in West Hartford) said that T3 is a coveted brand even amongst the professionals. She particularly raved about the dryer but I see a lot of bloggers obsessing over the T3 curling tools. I am hoping to try them soon. Apparently I have been living under a rock because I only just learned to curl my hair with a straightener thanks to my sweet friend Savanah. If you need help here is her curling tutorial. Using a straightener to curl my hair allows me to pack lighter for vacations. The loose curls also have a lot of staying power when you create them with a straightener. It definitely takes some practice but it’s worth learning!
- Faking a timely blow out is so easy and the tool to get you there won’t break the bank. This blow-dry brush that I talked about in this post about time saving beauty tips and tools is less than the cost of one trip to the blow dry bar! I have heard amazing things about this blow dry serum which supposedly cuts your drying time in half.
- Foundation. I don’t wear foundation on an everyday basis because I like to let my skin breath and I am concerned about the ingredients in almost every foundation that works well. I recently tried the Make Up Forever Invisible Foundation and it works great. If I have a special event I do wear foundation. Make-up Forever recommends using this foundation brush but I used an old one I had at home so I can’t speak it its effect. They also recommend their hydrating primer (it’s Winter, so I definitely need hydrating on my skin) which I found to work similar to the Elf Mineral Infused Primer you can buy at Target. My favorite drug store foundation is the Revlon Colorstay Whipped Foundation. If I am leaving the house I do usually wear a small amount of make-up and this Bare Minerals Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream has been my go-to “coverage” for awhile because my skin is not acne prone or overly discolored.
- For a flawless finish to your make-up routine I would recommend the Laura Mercier setting powder. It holds your makeup in place and gives a soft, matte finish to your skin. Around the holidays I used this to top off a dark lip to matte it and give it more staying power while I sipped cocktails.
- My glam holiday lip was this Milk Make-up Lip Color in Dip-Out. It’s a far darker lip shade than I would have picked out myself. A makeup artist at New York Fashion Week put it on me and I was surprised how much I loved it. It’s definitely an evening color for me.
- And what can make us more beautiful than a lengthy night’s sleep or the best beauty products on the market? Well, there’s an app for that, of course! Facetune, if you haven’t tried it, will fix a lot of flaws even the best make-up cannot hide. It’s like Botox and rejuvenating sleep all at your fingertips. I find if I use it to blend out my smile lines I don’t even look like myself. So instead I find myself using it more for times when I realize my makeup wasn’t blended well or I have a large scar or zit that’s stealing attention.
You can also shop many of the products below:
I’d love to hear your suggestion on your must have beauty favorites! Do share!!