first up i have to apologise for disappearing from the blogging world. sometimes real life gets so busy and once you've fallen behind it feels pretty daunting trying to get back on top of blogging again. luckily most of what's kept me busy has been good - my brother's wedding and all associated family activities, between 2 and 5 gigs every week, and some HUGE plans that i can't really talk about yet. so thank you to everyone who has stuck with my little blog, and to everyone who has subscribed even during this quiet time, welcome! :) i've decided to get back into things by talking about some products i've been loving this year. a lot of bloggers post their monthly favourites but since it's a little late for that i thought i'd do my favourites from the first quarter of the year (scary!) because everyone likes a good product recommendation or 13, right?
sleek blush by 3 palette in californ-i-a ($14.99 US) i've talked about my love for sleek blushes before so when is saw they'd launched two new blush palettes (the orange-y coral californ-i-a and rosey pink lemonade) i ordered them both straight away. a lot of sleek's shades can be too deep for my super pale skin but these two palettes are perfect for fair-skinned girls. californ-i-a has all cream blushes, while pink lemonade has two powder and one cream. both their cream and powder formulas are really high quality, strongly pigmented and easy to work with. and the shades in these two new palettes are so wearable and slightly more muted than their usual bright offerings - if you're thinking about trying something from sleek these palettes won't disappoint!
physician's formula mineral colour correcting powder in translucent ($13.39 US) another product that's great for fair skinned girls. i can get quite shiny in my t-zone throughout the day so i always have some powder on hand to top up, especially as i go out after work several nights a week. i do like the powder i keep in my bag to have a bit of coverage for that reason, but i've found a lot of powders can make me look a bit on the orange side, so here's where this comes in. i think if you have a darker skin tone or if you prefer to look tanned then you might find this leaves a white cast on your skin, but since i have no fear of that, this suits me perfectly. it's colour correcting and i really can notice it blurring imperfections on the skin. definitely check if out if you're after after a powder that adds coverage but not colour.
NARS radiant creamy concealer in vanilla ($35.00 AU) this has got to be one of the most hyped up products around but after using it i can see why! better than any other concealer i own, it's super high coverage but doesn't cake up and it's perfect on blemishes and under the eyes. and another thing i think is great, it retails for $35 from Mecca Cosmetica in Australia and $29 US in the states, so there actually isn't a huge markup on these.
lime crime velveteen matte lipstick in red velvet ($20.00 US) now this is how to do a matte liquid lipstick! not only is the shade and packaging lovely, but the formula is too. it's super long-wearing, but it also fades really cleanly so if you eat while wearing this it'll disappear completely from the middle of your lips but still stay near-perfect on the outside. so when you top up you only have to add product to wherever it's faded rather than build up product all over your lips, which i find makes them dry out.
real techniques base shadow brush($18.00 US for a set of 5 brushes) i never hear a bad word about real techniques brushes, and it's for a reason. they're affordable, versatile and great quality. i picked up their base shadow brush as part of their eye brush set, and i love it for applying a cream base to my eyelids. i used to use my fingers but since i have long nails it's hard for me to get a neat application without poking myself in the eye, so this brush works really well for me.
bourjois colour boost lipstick in red island ($11.88 AU) of all the brands releasing lip crayons, i think these bourjois ones might be my favourite formula. they're super creamy and comfortable on the lips, all the shades are lovely and once you've put on your first application, they're the kind of product you can touch up without really needing a mirror. i also find that that these stain the lips so when they fade it's not a total mess which is always a plus. when these were launched last year they brought out four shades and now they've added two more including this deep red, so naturally i had to add it to my collection as soon as i saw it.
rimmel apocalips lip lacquer in across the universe ($12.85 AU) like the bourjois lip crayons, this is a new shade in the expanded line of apocalips lip lacquers. i love the formula of these, they're super pigmented, glossy without being sticky, and they last forever on the lips. this is a beautiful deep red shade that the line was missing and i've been loving it ever since i bought it.
topshop glow highlighter in polish (£9.00 / $18.00 AU) now i've been pretty faithful to my mary lou-manizer since i bought it but i wanted to try out a cream highlighter and this one has received its fair share of hype. i just dab a bit of it on my cheekbones, down my nose and on my cupids bow and it adds a really pretty subtle glow to the skin, the only downside is that it's in a pot, which can make it difficult to get product out with long nails.
rimmel lash accelerator mascara in black ($14.99 AU) this is a mascara i wasn't really all that impressed with when i first used it, but after trying a few others and coming back to it i've decided i love it. the formula contains micro-fibres so it really lengthens your lashes and makes them super black and the bristles on the wand are quite spaced out so it doesn't clump your eyelashes together, which is something i really don't like about other mascaras i've tried.
australis pout paste in love bites ($12.95 AU) and for my fourth and final red lip product (oops) this is a highly pigmented, non-sticky gloss in a really bright juicy red shade. it's actually the only shade i like from the line but it's worth checking out if you're in australia and can get your hands on it.
antipodes grace gentle cream cleanser ($47.50 AU) i know this is an expensive cleanser, i actually picked it up in the post-christmas sales with the antipodes hydrating toner and moisturiser for less than the price of the cleanser on its own, but it really is one of the nicest cleansers in my collection. the formula is so rich and creamy (duh) and it gently removes any makeup that might be leftover after my balm cleanse at night. if you want to splurge on a nice, organic cleanser with no parabens, sulfates, etc this is a great option.
origins clear improvements active charcoal mask ($34.00 AU) i've loved this mask for a while now, but recently i've started using it as an overnight spot treatment on blemishes and although it doesn't magically make them disappear, it definitely shrinks them down and helps to absorb all the gunk that's hiding below the surface. and of course it's great as a clarifying all-over face mask too.
alpha-h vital c serum ($89.70 AU) i had a facial at the start of march before my brother's wedding and while talking skincare with the facialist she said i should try a vitamin c serum to help fade acne scarring and pigmentation. i already had this guy in my stash (adorebeauty offered a choice of serums free with purchases over $100.00 a while back) but i hadn't been using it consistently enough to see results, so i decided to include it in my morning routine everyday and i've definitely noticed a difference. scars that i've had for a while have finally all but disappeared, and while some newer ones are still hanging around i'm trusting this to get rid of them more quickly.
do you have any stand-out products of the year so far?