Sunday, March 18, 2012

Beauty Dream Team: March

'ello! Apologies for the lack of updates; I write so much in my daily life (here, here, here, etc.) that I've developed a very bad habit of neglecting this space. But that's all going to change now—promise! To kick off the soon-to-be frequent posting sched, I thought I'd start by rounding up my Beauty Dream Team for the month of March. Now that I've nailed down a pretty effective skincare routine, this month has been focused on hair and makeup. Here are the top 10 products currently in heavy rotation:

1. Urban Decay Naked2 Palette ($50): After giving this sold-out palette away on Racked, I had to pick one up for myself. I've been searching far and wide for the perfect palette of neutrals, so the Naked2 is pretty much heaven for me. Every pigment-rich hue is perfect for everyday wear and super easy to combine for various effects. My favorite shades are Foxy, Half Baked, Snakebite, and Verve. 

2. Aveda Damage Remedy Daily Hair Repair ($24): I use my Sedu every other day, so a heat protector is essential. After being a loyal John Frieda Heat Defeat fan for years, last month I had the sudden urge to switch it up—and I'm so glad I did! This leave-in treatment is a mane miracle-worker, for real. I'm convinced that the organically-derived quinoa protein it contains is the winning factor, because my hair has never been healthier. 

3. Jouer Luminizing Moisture Tint ($38): This was another random switch-up. After years of using my trusty Laura Mercier Oil-Free Tinted Moisturizer, I decided to give Jouer a go since I'm such a loyal fan of their other products. Both moisturizers are oil-free, contain SPF 20, provide light coverage, and offer a nice, dewy glow, so it was an easy transition. However, I still love my LM, so I think I'll toggle between both. (Side note: tinted moisturizer is the way to go. Ever since I bailed on foundation, I've never looked back.) 

4. NARS Semi Matte Lipstick in Pigalle ($24): I happened upon this shade last year when I visited the then-newly-opened NARS flagship on Bleecker St. in NYC. After a long day of meetings, I had a dinner date to go to, so I decided to dip in and get a quick makeup application. Although I requested a bold red lip (my signature), the in-store MUA suggested that I break from tradition and go neutral. It was love at first sight—and I'm not easily swayed when it comes to lipstick. Not only is the formula both hydrating and long-lasting, but the shade is this perfect natural pink with a brown undertone that complements my caramel skin. Tan girls: this is your neutral!

5. Moroccanoil Hair Treatment ($39.05): An oldie, but a goodie. I have really long hair that's privy to split ends, so I'm always looking for new remedies. After finally giving in to this wildly popular product late last year, I'm happy to report that the hype is right. Remember that a little goes a longgggg way so to avoid an oil-slicked disaster (I'm talking from experience, here), rub a minuscule amount into hands and lightly dab onto your tips. 

6. Chella Balancing Mask Clay and Seaweed Treatment ($45): I'm a sucker for anything that involves seaweed. Be it food, beverages, or beauty products, if seaweed is an ingredient, I'm down. I use this mask every other week to deep clean pores and give skin a healthy dose of hydration. It smells so good that I've even convinced my fiancĂ© to use it—just don't tell him I told you. 

7. Cinema Secrets Professional Brush Cleaner ($13): Now that I've rounded up a nice collection of high-quality makeup brushes, I want them to last as long as possible, so daily cleaning and weekly deep-cleaning them is a must. Although I've tried a variety of cleaners and even the good old baby shampoo trick, I wasn't satisfied with the outcome, so I decided to turn to the pros. This cleaner is coined as "the most requested makeup brush cleaner on the market," which is a pretty lofty title. Luckily, the product lives up to its reputation because my brushes look and feel like new! The formula has this nice vanilla scent, too.

8. CND Nail Polish in Brilliant White ($6.30): I used to paint my nails with white-out (yes, the actual liquid correction fluid) when I was in grade school, so this is a welcomed throwback. I love the minimalist statement white nails make amidst all the crazy nail art trends out there. It's clean, simple, effortless, and provides the perfect pop. I also adore CND's white because the color is pure and doesn't lend any off-white undertones. To add to the white-out effect, I use CND's Super Matte as a shine-eliminating top coat.

9. Bdellium Tools Vegan Kabuki Brush ($16.07): Believe it or not, but finding quality eco-friendly makeup brushes can be a challenge. While synthetic is definitely the way to go conscious-wise, some cosmetics buffs feel that the bristles are not as soft or effective as natural hair bristles. Enter Bdellium's Green Bambu series. I'm obsessed with their ultra-soft kabuki brush for applying liquid, cream, and powder products. Not only does the flat bristled head offer flawless coverage, but the tool is hypoallergenic, 100% cruelty free, and features a sturdy bamboo handle.

10. Jouer Eye Definer Pencil in Chocolat ($20): Although I've always been a black eyeliner girl, lately I've been experimenting with brown shadows and liners for a softer look. I love the bronzey color of this waterproof pencil and the fact that it easily glides on without tugging at the skin, thanks to Vitamin E. My new jam is applying Snakebite from UD's Naked2 palette and then using this pencil to line the outer corners and lower lash line midway.

Whew. Now that I've thoroughly amped my morning with makeup talk, I'm off to catch the last day of The Makeup Show LA. Ciao!

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