Current Beauty Favorites

I’ve been trying out some new beauty products lately so I thought I’d round up a list of my current beauty favorites.

This is the perfect time to talk beauty products because the Sephora Beauty Insider Spring Bonus Event is going on now!

my current beauty favorites... just in time for the Sephora Beauty Insider Spring Bonus Event!

They have it set up so that their Rouge members have first access to shop the event at 20% off with code HEYROUGE, and then the sale opens to VIB and Insider levels starting May 2. VIB members will get 15% off, and Insiders will get 10% off.

If you’re not a Sephora Beauty Insider Member and think you’ll want to shop the sale, sign up now, and stock your cart with the items you want. Then when May 2 rolls around, you can take advantage of your discount! I’ll be sure to put out another reminder on 5/2, but I wanted to get this post up now so any Rouge members can take advantage.

Not everything in this post is available at Sephora, but if it is, that’s where I’ll link to it.

Current Beauty Favorites {April 2019}

Almay Eye Makeup Remover Pads // I’ve been using these for years to remove my eye makeup. They’re gentle, and they work. What else is there to say? Oh, yeah, they’re cheap! Well, at least compared to the rest of my beauty favorites. Ha!

Sport Continuous Spray SPF 50 in the Guava Mango // I love all Coola products. I use their sunscreen exclusively — the Guava Mango spray is my favorite all-over body SPF, and I also love the Liplux SPF 30 and the Classic Face Sport SPF 50 for my lips and face. I have a travel set from Amazon that came with all three plus the ER+ Radical Recovery After-Sun Lotion.

Clarins Self Tanning Lotion // This is my ride-or-die self tanner. I’ve been using it for years. It works well, doesn’t streak or cake up in your dry areas, and it doesn’t stink. It does have a scent, but it’s mild, and I don’t find it unpleasant.

L’OCCITANE Cleansing And Softening Shower Oil With Almond Oil // I absolutely love this stuff. It’s all I use in the shower. It smells sublime, and it’s moisturizing as well as cleansing. I use it to clean my body and also to shave with, so it’s really a 2-in-1. I still use lotion almost every time I shower, but it definitely makes my skin feel smoother and softer, and I feel like it helps me be able to skip lotion occasionally, when I’m in a hurry.

Kiehl’s Since 1851 – Creme de Corps // This is my current favorite body lotion. A little goes a log way, and this lotion has virtually eliminated my itchy, dry skin. It is unscented, so guys can use it too.

T3 Featherweight Compact Folding Dryer // I always bring my own hair dryer when I travel because I don’t trust the hotel to have a working one (I’ve been burned before, no pun intended.) Also, this T3 is so much more powerful than the ones most hotels provide. It folds up and comes with a little travel tote to put it in, although I don’t usually bother with that. I do use the velcro cord wrap though.

I also have the Whirl Trio Interchangeable Styling Wand, the SinglePass Flat Iron, and their full size hair dryer. Mine is old, and it’s been replaced with the Cura Professional Digital Ionic Hair Dryer. I love all my T3 products and highly recommend any or all of them.

Monat Black Shampoo + Conditioner // I’ve been using this shampoo for a couple of years. Yes, it’s for guys, but it was recommended to me by my consultant, Emily Hostetler, because I wasn’t seeing results with the other products I was using.

Did it make my hair grow in thicker? I don’t know. For a long time, I didn’t notice any difference in my hair loss (which was substantial), but I liked the product as far as how it treated my hair and that it has mostly natural ingredients, so I kept using it. In the past few months, my hair has stopped falling out and gotten thicker.

The timing doesn’t make any sense, but do you think I’m going to stop using this stuff now? Of course not!

FYI, I also use their Revitalize Conditioner because the Monat Black Shampoo + Conditioner doesn’t get rid of my tangles. The conditioner makes my hair super soft.

CND Solar Oil – Nail & Cuticle Conditioner // I’ve written about this product several times, but I have to include it here because this stuff saved my nails. It is the only way I’m able to get gel manicures on the regular.

I use it every night right before bed, and again during the day if I think about it. I notice almost immediately when I slack off because my nails get dry and brittle and start breaking. I have the 2.3 fl. oz. in my bathroom and the 0.5 fl. oz. on my desk, and I buy the refills to save a few pennies.

Skincare Favorites

The most significant difference I’ve made recently in my skincare routine is double cleansing. I should probably write a whole post on this, but for now, here’s what I’m using, and in order…

Colleen Rothschild Beauty Radiant Cleansing Balm // Love this. Feels so good, smells like a spa, and gets my face so clean.

Elemis Biotec Skin Energizing Cleanser // I read about this on another blog, and because I’m a sheep, I had to try it. You guys, I know this is an insane amount of money to spend on a cleanser, BUT… it smells like you’ve died and gone to heaven, and it should last me at least a year. You get 6.7 oz. in a bottle, and that’s a ton of cleanser because of the way it foams up; you only need two pumps. And the scent, ohmyword… it’s my favorite part of the day. I almost wish I’d never tried it so I wouldn’t know what I’m missing.

All that said, if you want to try double cleansing, you can try the Colleen Rothschild Beauty Balancing Gel Cleanser to use after her Cleansing Balm. It’s half the price of the Elemis, and it gets amazing reviews. It’s 6.8 fl oz (so comparable in size to the Elemis cleanser) and I thoroughly trust Colleen Rothschild products. In fact, I may order it if/when I run out of my Elemis.

Colleen Rothschild Matcha Tea Treatment Toner // This toner is so soothing, and if there is any makeup residue left on my skin — which there never is after double cleansing — it takes care of it straight away.

Colleen Rothschild Beauty Retinol Supreme Night Oil // Supposedly using retinoids is important for aging skin (hi, I’m 46!) and this product incorporates retinol without being harsh to the skin. It’s long been one of my favorite Colleen Rothschild products.

Jan Marini Antioxidant Daily Face Protectant SPF 33 // This has been my go-to daily SPF moisturizer for the past three years. It was recommended to me by the esthetician who does my facials, and I keep replacing it because it’s so good. It doesn’t leave a white film like some SPF creams can do, and it has a lovely, light citrusy scent. It isn’t cheap, but it’s a great quality product, and a little goes a long way so it lasts a long time.

I apply this daily, whether I wear makeup or not, and I make sure to apply all the way down my neck and onto my chest, as I tend to get a lot of “accidental sun” on my chest from daily living. I’ve got some sun damage from years of getting burned when I neglected sunscreen on my chest because wasn’t expecting to get any sun.

Makeup Favorites

Mally Beauty Perfect Prep Poreless Primer // I don’t use this every day, but I do when I’m going to have a photo shoot or times when I want especially flawless looking skin.  I love how easily it goes on and the way it instantly smoothes out my skin. It looks like it was airbrushed.

MAC Studio Sculpt in NW25 // I really like the Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Foundation I’ve been trying out. It goes on so beautifully and leaves a gorgeous finish, but the color I have is too light now that I’m using self tanner, and it’s pricey so I’m saving it for next winter and going back to my tried-and-true MAC Studio Sculpt. It’s a little heavier, but it has great coverage and also leaves a nice finish, and the price is a lot more palatable.

Charlotte Tilbury Magic Away Concealer in 4 // This is a recent discovery, and I’m loving it. It blends in so easily and covers mild discoloration without creating more luminosity, which I feel can tend to emphasize under-eye bags. I also like the way it covers scars and sunspots.

Nars Blush // I’ve been using this in the famed “orgasm” color for years, and while I’ve tried others that I like, I always come back to this one.

Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat Lip Liner in Pillow Talk // As you age, your lips can get thinner and lose definition, and that has definitely been true for me, so I always, always line my lips. Even if I’m in a rush, I line my lips before applying lipstick.

I love how this lip liner is designed to resize and reshape, and I do apply it a little outside my lip line on my upper lip. The best part, though, is that doesn’t allow your lipstick to bleed. Until I started using this, I always had trouble with my lipstick bleeding, and now it stays put.

Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Pillow Talk // This is my go-to daytime lipstick. It’s designed to help lips appear wider and fuller, and I need all the help I can get! It goes on smoothly and it has a lot of staying power. Pillow Talk is their best seller, and it really is a great neutral.

MAC Lipglass in Cultured // I always top off my lipsticks with this lipgloss. It’s moist but not sticky, and I feel like it helps my thin lips look plumper.

Anastasia Beverly Hills – Brow Wiz in dark brown// I’ve been using this for several years, and while I haven’t tried anything new since I discovered it, I haven’t felt the need to. If you have something else you recommend, feel free to share!

Dior Backstage Eye Prime // This is a phenomenal eyelid primer. It really helps give my eyeshadow staying power, and it evens out any discoloration on the lid so you can go without eyeshadow if you wish.

Urban Decay Naked3 Palette // I love all the Naked palettes I’ve tried, but this is my favorite for everyday. You can see my full eye shadow tutorial HERE.

I’m also still using the Trish McEvoy shadows I got a few weeks ago for my Nordstrom post but I want to go back and get a 4th color to fill in — something in between the blackberry granite and the rose quartz.

And I also still like the Lorac  pro palette from Kohl’s. I used to wear the same eye shadow every day, but now that I have so many good options, I’m enjoying changing it up a bit depending on my mood.

Lancôme LE STYLO WATERPROOF Long Lasting Eyeliner in Noir Intense // Still my favorite eyeliner, although I’m open to trying others. I wouldn’t call it waterproof, as it claims, because it doesn’t hold up that well in the summertime when it’s hot out. I’d love to hear your recommendations if you have any. What I do like about it is, it’s soft and goes on smoothly, and it’s easy to blend. I hate a dry eyeliner.

Lancôme HYPNOSE DRAMA Instant Full Body Volume Mascara // Still my favorite mascara. I’ve been using Lancôme mascara since high school. I’ve tried others over the years, but I always come back to it. For the past ten years or so, I’ve been loyal to the Hypnose Drama, but lately I’ve been trying out the Monsieur Big Mascara, and I like it too.

I’m sure I could come up with more beauty favorites, but this hits the highlights. I’m not beauty guru, by any means, but I do enjoy trying products and sharing what I find. Let me know if you have any questions!

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photos: Alison Cornell

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20 Responses

  1. Great post!  I have a question about your shellac manicures….  I started getting shellac manicures every two weeks right after the holidays and am feeling like my nails “need a break” from the shellac.  I’m pretty sure that my nails have gotten thinner as a result of the shellac.  My guess is that it has to do with the removal process.  I do go to a “nicer” nail salon, but they use a metal tool after the acetone soak to help push off the shellac.  I always try to use my CND Solar oil, but some days I totally forget….  What have you done to enable you to get them regularly?  I love the look of a polished nail, but I don’t think I can continue with this on a regular basis anymore!  

    1. Hey Katie. I think the removal process is a huge part of it. Mine use the metal tool as well, but they’re gentle with it. They let me soak for a good 5 minutes and by then the polish is usually coming up on its own and it doesn’t take much work with the tool. That said, if you haven’t taken a break since the holidays, it is probably time. I do take a break every few months and apply Nailtiques daily for 2 or 3 weeks. It helps a TON. And the Solar Oil really is key. Apply it at least daily, 2 or 3 times a day if you can. Hope that helps!

      1. Thank you!  I had coffee with a good friend this morning and she also says the oil is the only way to keep your nails in good health while using the shellac.  I am just not consistent enough with it, I guess!  I did slack off for awhile using the oil- first world problems!  🙂 Anyways, thank you!  My nails need a break over the summer and then I’ll see if I get become more consistent with the nail oil!

  2. Love the brow wiz you had written about earlier. Finally I think I have found the right brow pencil! Age has finally caught up with my brows! I have always used the CND solar oil for my nails. Yes, it makes a difference!
    About your flowers this time of year – if I know we are going to get a frost (I haven’t even done any pots yet, that is how cool it has been here), I cover the pots with a sheet (or pillow case.) Just drape it over the pot, and it is protected from a frost. (I do this in the fall to keep my pots of flowers as long as I can.)

  3. Do you find the Clarins self tanning gel takes a long time to dry? That was the complaint in the reviews, do you use the lotion or the gel??

    1. I dont’t feel like it does at all. I usually put it on soon after I dry off and then don’t get dressed right away, but it dries pretty quickly. I wear a robe while I apply makeup and dry my hair, but I definitely don’t need to wait that long to get dressed after applying.

  4. This is how I know you’re having a great influence on me:  I have several of these already.  I use: Clarins Self Tanner, Charlotte Tillbury Magic Away concealer, Urban Decay Nude palette, Lancome Mascara, Lancome LeStylo eyeliner, and CND nail oil.  The Magic Away concealer (color #4!) is very nice!  Great post, as always!

  5. I’ve never shellaced my nails. How is it different from gel? I do the gel dip which I just love. It stays three full weeks. I clean houses and it never dulls or comes off! Woohoo!……..I have had a horrible time with my liners smudging off my eyes to the under part of my eye. Any suggestions for a liner that won’t do this? I have tried so many of the expensive brands and they still do it. Grrrr!………….Glad I get your postings every day!

    1. Shellac is the CND brand name. OPI does the Gel. Same idea, but my salon believes the CND to be a superior product – more gentle on nails. As for the dip manicures – I have never done those, and my salon doesn’t offer them. That is what Cyndi does, and she loves them. If it works for you, that’s awesome. My Shellac doesn’t last 3 weeks. Two is all I can get out of it, so I have a standing appt and go in every other Thursday. 🙂

      Liners… I don’t apply under my eye — just the waterline, and I use eye shadow under my eye wit a very small “smudge brush” and that doesn’t run.

  6. Stick to what you know and love. You do a good job with clothes and makeup. You analyze and report. You show different price levels which I find totally interesting. You keep us abreast of sales, I totally like that. Don’t do food,etc and stretch to areas you are not totally comfortable. Keep up the good work.

  7. I would be interested in learning more about the double cleansing you’ve been doing.  Please consider writing a blog post on the subject.  Thanks JoLynne.

  8. I finally tried the brow pencil when it was 50% off at ULTA, and omg, you weren’t kidding! I should have stocked up!
    I’ve been looking for a more affordable eye makeup remover, so I’m going to try your recommendation. I love that they are pads with the remover already on them. Seems much more convenient than the bottle and cotton balls I currently use.

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