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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

September 2013 Monthly Favorites!

September 2013 Monthly Favorites!


I love doing these monthly favorites posts, but I gotta tell ya - they're hard! I'm making a concerted effort to find the balance between using a variety of products, yet using them long enough to actually have a semi-educated opinion on them, and falling into a beauty rut where I only use my tried and true products. So here are my selections of favorites for the month of September {some were sent for review and some were purchased by me}...


For my body...

I've noticed a remarkable difference in the texture and health of my skin since I started a 1-2-3 method every time I shower: exfoliate-oil-moisturize. For the past month and a half, I've reached for the SheaMoisture Olive Oil & Green Tea Body Scrub (sent for review; $10 at Target) more than any of my other scrubs. Not only does it smell divine, the ultra-moisturizing sugar scrub does a stellar job of exfoliating, leaving my skin feeling so soft and smooth, yet wonderfully hydrated. I actually recommend using this as a dry scrub before you turn on the water in your shower, because of its drier texture {it tends to be a bit messy}. Once I step out of the shower and while my skin is still damp, I apply body oil all over. I'm trying to work through my bottle of SkinnyGirl Mommy Soothing Body Oil (featured here; sent for review; $13 at Amazon) and I have to admit, I'll be sort of sad when it's gone. It's a bit thicker in consistency, which makes it easier to work with {because slipping in oil that dripped on the bathroom floor is not a good look}, and while the scent is pleasant, it's not overpowering, so it works well with whatever other fragrances I want to pile on. After that, I apply an additional moisturizer {sometimes all over, but usually just areas that will be visible or that tend to be drier-like my feet, knees, elbows, and derriere}. I'm obsessed with SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Body Butter (sent for review; $10 at Target); as with all SheaMoisture products I've come across, it smells SO GOOD {which I already knew since we are HUGE fans of the Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie}, and it's made natural and certified organic ingredients. My skin is legit baby soft every time I use it {like that sort of soft where you can't stop touching your own skin}. It is THE BUSINESS and I want every single variation of it!

For my face...

Since I'm going outdoors on a daily basis now {even if it is just to go to the bus stop}, I make sure to put on a good sunscreen. I've been loving on Jurlique Purely Sun-Defying Moisturizer with SPF 15 Sunscreen  (featured here; sent for review; $58 at BeautyBar.com) for a few reasons: a small amount is all I need to cover my face and neck, it provides sun protection AND fights free radicals, it's a great base of whatever makeup I decide to put on, AND I've had it for a while, so I need to hurry up and use it before the active ingredients stop working. I've also been reaching for L'Occitane Immortelle Brightening Mist (featured here; sent for review; $27 for similar product at L'Occitane) as my daytime toner. It feels light and refreshing and I have noticed an improvement in the brightness of my skin {ie, a more even complexion, and fewer dark spots from previous breakouts}. Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant (purchased by me; $20 at most department stores) has been a part of my daily routine for a good while now, but I reached for it even more this month because of an allergic reaction I had to a lip product. It was soothing, hydrating, and non irritating and as soon as my lips cleared up, they were soft and supple. This is a product that I think every woman should have in their beauty cabinet. Not only is it great for regular use, it is PERFECT for prepping your lips for matte and dark lipstick colors.

For my hair...

I've been wearing my hair straight for almost have the month, so I thought I'd focus on the products that helped me get it there! I started with Sally Hershberger Wave Shaper Frizz-Free Shampoo and Conditioner (sent for review; $9 each at ulta.com) to wash and condition my curls. They smell so good and the shampoo cleansed my hair and scalp really well without leaving them feeling stripped while the conditioner was the perfect detangler and left my curls soft and smooth, but not heavy or greasy {I think it's the jojoba oil in them}. The conditioner combined with the Aqua Splash Tangle Teezer (sent for review) made the job of working through my mass of curls super easy. I really like the Aqua Splash Tangle Teezer because its unique shape makes it really easy to grip in the shower {even when your hands are soaking wet AND coated in slippery conditioner}, plus it works through curls very gently but effectively. In fact, not only is the Aqua Splash Tangle Teezer a favorite of mine this month, the original had been my go to now that my hair is straight, Lo won't let me use anything other than the adorable Magic Flowerpot Tangle Teezer {made especially for littles} to go through her curls, and Peyton won't leave the house without her Compact Styler {she really loves the British Flag design on hers}...



To ensure my hair is protected against the heat I have to use to get {and keep} it straight, I've been using Carol's Daughter Monoi Oil Repairing Sacred Strengthening Serum (sent for review; $30 at Sephora) {I use it sparingly, but I love that it is lightweight enough that it doesn't weigh my hair down} from about mid shaft down and the Monoi Repairing Split End Sealer (sent for review; $25 at Sephora) on my ends {because I'm not gonna lie, it is SO time for a trim}. Now I don't expect the sealer to take the place of a hair cut, but I have noticed that my ends don't look as frazzled, nor do they tangled as bad as they did before I started using it. And I don't put in all the work to get my hair straight just for it to revert back as soon as I step outside, so I've also been loving Joico Humidity Blocker Finishing Spray (sent for review). It's been two weeks now, and my hair still looks fantastic, despite the rain and humidity we've had.

Makeup...

The Pacifica Mystical Eye Shadow Palette (sent for review; $12 at Target) has been used on my eyes in some way, at least once or twice a week since I received it for review. Not only are the colors pigmented, they feel silky smooth on the lids and wear extremely well. All four shades have some degree of shimmer {but none of them give you any fallout}: there's Opal, a beautiful champagne that's perfect for all over the lid, in the inner corner, and to highlight the browbone;  Celestial, a light gold and Moonbeam, a grey/silver that are both excellent all over the lid shades; and Stargazer, a gorgeous blue/purple that's perfect for the crease, as a liner, or to create a beautiful smokey eye. I've also been wearing the Pacifica Stellar Gaze Length Strength Mineral Mascara in Supernova (black) (sent for review; $14 at pacificaperfume.com) almost every day. My eyes are small, so I gravitate towards mascaras that will lengthen my lashes and add a bit of volume, but not too much since that tends to make my eyes look smaller. This formula is perfect for that-it lengthens, separates, and adds just the right amount of fullness to my eyelashes. The awesome thing about the Pacifica products is that they both are infused with coconut {and y'all know how I feel about all things coconut}. Another product that I've been reaching for on the daily, has been Rimmel London's ScandalEyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal Liners (sent for review; available at Target and most drugstores). There are 10 shades and every single one of them is BEYOND! The Black is on par with my beloved Milani Liquif'Eye liner, and when I'm feeling lazy I love to use it to create an easy cat eye,  with either the Nude or Light Blue shade in my waterline.

etc...

Y'all know I'm a fragrance fanatic, but I'm trying really hard to make it through at least one bottle in my stash {a feat that I have yet to accomplish}. Since I was already close to being finished with my bottle of Thierry Muegler's Angel (purchased by me) I focused on using it. I was worried that I would OD on it and get tired of wearing it, but I'm still going strong-I really love its deep, warm, chocolatey, sexiness. It is the perfect scent for transitioning into the Fall season. And completely non related, my other favorite this month has been Celsius Pre-Workout Drink (sent for review; $18.55 for a 12 pack variety case on Amazon). Not only are they yummy {the hubby likes the Sparkling Cola flavor and I like the Peach Mango Green Tea}, this negative calorie drink actually helps you to lose weight. Celsius has been proven by clinical studies to help you burn an extra hundred calories with your workout, so I use this as my afternoon pick me up before Kenzie and I trek out {the roundabout way} to the bus stop.

So there it is, all the stuff I've been loving this month! What have you been reaching for time and time again? Anything you recommend me looking in to? My inquiring mind wants to know! Leave a comment below and let me know what you think! Until next time...






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