Monday, July 24, 2017

My Favorite Beauty Products of All-Time

Hello, beautiful! Lately, I've been trying to really downsize my beauty collection to just the products I use every day. During this process, Ryan actually was the one to suggest I write this post - so here I am following his advice!

Essentially, I'm here to tell you exactly what the title suggests: I'm here to talk about my favorite beauty products of all-time. Some of these products are traditional skincare, haircare and makeup products you can find in any makeup bag or in your local Sephora, while others are a little more out-of-the-box and not something you might see every day.

Since I'm not good at narrowing down my favorites (never have been, probably never will be), we have a lot to talk about - so, don't let me delay any further. Let's start talking about the best beauty products of all time! (In my opinion...)

Beauty Favorites

Burt's Bees Facial Cleansing Oil

I haven't used this oil for very long now, but I can't rave enough about it! In fact, I'm a big proponent of the Burt's Bees line in general. I have combination skin and I wouldn't have dreamed of putting oil on my face before this year. However, through my Fiverr account, I actually ended up writing a post on double-cleansing (click to read more on this controversial method) and was convinced to give the method a try. On its own, I would never use the Burt's Bees Facial Cleansing Oil - made from coconut and argan oils, this cleanser is fairly light, but it doesn't leave my face feeling as squeaky-clean as I would normally like. On the other hand, as part of a double-cleansing routine, this is the perfect oil-based cleanser for me. Not only is it affordable and available at your local drugstore, but it also smells amazing and removes makeup (that's right, even waterproof mascara!) like nothing else I've ever used before. Altogether, Burt's Bees Facial Cleansing Oil definitely makes my list of my all-time favorite beauty products! Get it from Burt's Bees for just $16.00. 

Pacifica Coconut Probiotic Water Rehab Cream

On my quest to start using more cruelty-free beauty products, I purchased a bunch of products from the Pacifica line. (In case you didn't know, Pacifica is a 100%-vegan and cruelty-free beauty line that offers natural makeup and skincare.) Anyways, I purchased this product for the first time a few weeks ago, and already I know this product will remain a staple in my daily routine. If your skin suffers from stress, lack of sleep or dehydration, this moisturizer will completely repair all of that damage in an incredibly short amount of time. I love it because it's affordable (you can get it at Target!), smells amazing and contains probiotics - which, if you haven't read my post on the best health trends of summer 2017 yet, are all the rage right now and so important for your gut and skin health. Get it for $16.00 at Pacifica.

Missha All Around Safe Block Essence Sun SPF 45

This sunscreen is one of those random Korean beauty buys you find in the most unexpected places (don't you just love when that happens?). I found this sunscreen on Amazon when I was trying to create a solid skincare routine for myself last winter, because I know how important it is to wear sunscreen every. Single. Day. Even when it's dark and gloomy outside! Now that I've tested this product in the heat of summer, however, I can attest that it's the only sunscreen that has ever 100% protected my pale, sensitive facial skin from sunburn. And that's saying a lot, since I'm normally the type of person who burns within 10-15 minutes of walking out my front door. For just $11.00, order Missha All Around Safe Block Essence Sun SPF 45 on Amazon - I promise your skin (and your doctor!) will thank you :) 

Origins Original Skin Retexturizing Mask with Rose Clay

I cannot possibly stress enough how much a life-changer this mask has been for my skin's health and vitality. TBH, I'm still using the sample size of this mask that I got at Sephora - which is one of the reasons why I love it so much! This face mask lasts, and lasts, and lasts. A little truly goes a long way! But besides that, it's also one of the most effective exfoliators I've ever used. Not only does it double as a face mask and scrub, but it dries faster than any other mask I've used, making it a quick 'n' dirty way to treat yourself even on the busiest of days. As a girl with combination skin, I 100% recommend this mask as a way to sap up oil and grime without irritating dry, sensitive skin. Get it for $26.00 at Sephora. You won't regret it; I promise.

SheaMoisture Peace Rose Oil Sensitive Skin Mud Mask

You might be sensing a trend when it comes to me and rose masks :) But in all seriousness, I love rose oil as an ingredient for both the fresh scent it gives this mud mask and the wonders it works on my sensitive, combination skin. SheaMoisture's Peace Rose Oil Sensitive Skin Mud Mask is one of those game-changing drugstore products I'll forever swear by. Every few weeks, I'll pick up a packet of this at Target (though it says it's single use, I can easily squeeze two or three uses out of one packet) and use it to have a DIY spa day at home. Every time I use this mask, I can feel my skin tingling as the mud sucks out the impurities from my oily T-zone; meanwhile, the rose oil calms and soothes my dehydrated cheeks. I love it, I love it, I love it - and I hope that you will, too! Try it out for just $14.99 (for a whole jar, not a single-use packet) at Target.

Burts Bee's Milk & Honey Lotion

Though I do follow a vegan diet, meaning I don't drink milk or eat any milk products, I still haven't been able to let go of this hydrating lotion from Burt's's sort of a guilty vegetarian pleasure of mine! This lotion blends milk, honey, Vitamin E, coconut oil and grape seed oil into the most delicious-smelling, moisturizing product you'll ever use. I love slathering this lotion onto my entire body after I get out of a hot bath at the end of a long day - there's absolutely nothing else in this world like it. I encourage you to try it for yourself! Get this product for $10.00 at Burt's Bees (such a steal!).

Healthy Sexy Hair Soy Renewal Oil Nourishing Styling Treatment

I recently rediscovered this product on my shelf after years of ignoring it. It was something I bought for myself after a hairstylist used it on my hair at the salon, and promptly forgot about when I moved onto something cheaper and better. At the time, I guess it wasn't worth remembering - but now, I'm so happy I found it again! This product will definitely be a staple in my beauty routine from now on for its hydrating and smoothing properties. I love using this oil on my hair after I get out of the bathtub or shower at night to smooth down flyaways and repair split ends. This works great as not only a deep moisturizing treatment, the way I mostly use it, but also as a styling treatment for blow-drying, heat-styling or even air-drying. As someone with wavy, frizzy hair, this product has made an amazing difference in the way I wear and style my hair, and I can't possibly imagine going back to anything else. Get it for $22.95 at Sexy Hair.

Maybelline Dream Velvet Foundation

Okay, switching back to face after my brief detour into hair! The Maybelline Dream Velvet Foundation was a fairly recent purchase, but it's not the foundation itself that made its way into my all-time favorites; rather, it's the way I've been using it lately. Don't get me wrong: the Maybelline Dream Velvet foundation is great on its own! Originally, I bought it as a lighter foundation for summer, but was pleasantly surprised by the amount of coverage it provides. It goes on as a cream but dries matte, so it's buildable and offers great light-to-medium coverage. However, lately I've been mixing a little bit of the Maybelline Dream Velvet Foundation in with my sunscreen in the morning and using it as a primer. This allows me to get as much, or as little, coverage as I desire on a particular day - for example, if I'm feeling brave, I might go out with just a little mascara and filled-in brows, but if I need a little more coverage, I layer a powder foundation on top of it before finishing my makeup. Get the Maybelline Dream Velvet Foundation for $10.99 at Maybelline.

BareMinerals Loose Powder Matte Foundation SPF 15

As you'll probably see throughout this post, BareMinerals is one of my favorite beauty brands, if not my number one favorite, of all-time! I received BareMinerals' Loose Powder Matte Foundation for free as a thank you for participating in their Sleep in the Bare event with my sorority. Lately, I've been loving using it on top of a combination of SPF and a light foundation. This powder foundation works great to build coverage on top of a preexisting base. Plus, its golden undertones bring warmth to my face without leaving my combination skin shiny or oily-looking. In short, it's basically a miracle - and you have to try it. (And did I mention it's SPF 15? I low-key just found this out doing research for this post...just when I thought it couldn't get any better!) Get it for $28.50 at BareMinerals.

Nyx Dark Circle Concealer

I happen to possess a lucky genetic trait that gives me deep, puffy dark bags under my eyes. Regardless of how much sleep I get at night, they never go away. I've tried dozens of luxury concealers to try and cover my dark circles, but ironically nothing works better than this $6.00 concealer from Nyx. The concealer contains orange undertones that help to negate the purple in your under-eye circles, but don't worry: it won't leave you looking like an Oompa Loompa. In fact, it's one of the most natural-looking concealers I've ever used - and it doesn't crease like literally every other drugstore blend. That's right - it's matte, it's not greasy and it won't wrinkle like the back of an old lady's hand by the end of the night. So, what are you waiting for? Grab it for $6.00 from Nyx today! 

Pixi Natural Brow Duo

Brows are tricky territory for me, because while I have dark brown hair, my eyebrows aren't nearly as dark as the hair on top of my head. However, most traditional eyebrow pencil companies make only a brown and a blonde pencil, while I tend to fall somewhere in-between. Usually, if I buy the darker pencil, I end up looking like Freida Kahlo, and if I buy the light pencil, no one will ever know I filled in my brows at all (and not in the good way). That's where Pixi's Natural Brow Duo comes into play. Thankfully, they make a light brown pencil so I don't have to submit to either one of those two extremes! It's also a duo, so you get both a brow pencil and a tinted brow gel in one handy, convenient package. Not only are Pixi's products free from many chemicals and cruelty-free, but they're also easy to pick up at your local Target on the cheap. Get it for $16.00 at you-know-where!

BareMinerals Lash Domination Volumizing Mascara

A lot of people tend to think that all mascaras are the same, but I disagree, if only because this mascara is so different from any I've ever tried before. I love the Lash Domination mascara for the way the uniquely-shaped brush catches my lashes to lengthen, strengthen and blacken them. Plus, this mascara is so waterproof - I cannot possibly emphasize how waterproof it is, other than saying that I'm constantly waking up with last night's mascara smeared under my eyes, even after I've washed my makeup off for the night. (And as someone who tends to tear up at things as stupid as cute puppies in commercials, waterproofing is key for me.) I've been using this mascara for at least 2-3 years now, and now that I've gone Lash Domination, I don't think I can go back! Try it for yourself for $19.00 at BareMinerals.

BareMinerals Gen Nude Matte Liquid Lipstick in Boss

I have to rave about one last BareMinerals product (I told you there would be a lot of BareMinerals here!): the Gen Nude Matte Liquid Lipstick in Boss. This is another product I received for free at the Sleep in the Bare event with my sorority, which is how I know that this shade looks absolutely fantastic on everyone. In my chapter of Kappa Alpha Theta, we have tons of girls with a wide variety of different lip shapes, skin tones and more, yet this color looks so incredible on every. Single. One. It's literally gotten to the point where we can recognize when someone we know is wearing that color, and without fail, that girl is always showered in compliments! The best part? A little goes a long way, so this color will not only earn you tons of attention, but it will also last you FOR-EV-ER! If you don't believe me, you have to try it on...get the Gen Nude Matte Liquid Lipstick in Boss for $18.00 at BareMinerals.

Burt's Bees Lip Shimmer in Fig

I have had this lip shimmer since I was about 10 years old, and honestly, as a grown-ass woman I still love this product just as much as I did back then! Burt's Bees' entire line is all-around amazing, but their chapsticks and lip shimmers in particular excel. I love this lip shimmer because it's the perfect my-lips-but-better tint for days when you need just a little bit of color. Target describes this lip tint as "a rich, vibrant plum color," but personally, I think it goes on a little bit redder than that. Unlike other lip tints, the color from this lip shimmer lasts, and lasts, and lasts throughout your entire day. Even after kissing Ryan on the cheek, I don't notice any color on his skin or any less color on my lips! Another plus to using this product? The lip shimmer leaves your mouth with a bit of a minty tingle, making you feel fresh and energetic no matter the time of day. As a cult favorite drugstore brand, Burt's Bees is also highly affordable and perfect for any college girl's budget. Get it for just $4.99 at Target today!

Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment in Sugar Rose

Last but not least, the Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment is one of my all-time favorite natural lip colors. Once upon a time, they used to offer this lip treatment as a free birthday gift at Sephora, which was how I fell in love with the color Sugar Rose. I used the entire sample up, and when it ran out, I bought a brand-new tube that I'm still using today! (A little bit gross given how long I've had this, but still true.) Much like the Burt's Bees lip shimmer, the Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment is more of a tinted lip balm - rather than leaving you with a pop of color, it adds just a hint of rosiness to your lips, both enhancing them and making them look naturally beautiful :) It's also SPF 15 - which, if you've ever had a lip sunburn (painful, painful, painful), you know is KEY in the hot summer months. Get it for $24.00 at Sephora.

What are your favorite beauty products of all-time? Let me know @haleymarieblog or in the comments below!

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