I think I've only done a handful of favourites posts in all my time as a blogger, and yet I’ve surprised even myself by having enough current favourites to put together another post about them - I know, who do I think I am?! But it's true that I wouldn't put together a post like this with anything other than genuine favourites, so here are some things (both products and techniques) that I've been loving lately.
The first thing that I’ve been really into lately is a technique that’s courtesy of Kate La Vie. She mentioned a little while back that she’s started running a light, shimmery cream eyeshadow along her lower lashline, and after trying it out for myself I’m converted. I’ve never really been into putting product on my lower lashline. I typically don’t use mascara there because of time/laziness, and I find that it often transfers to my under eye area, so I just avoid that whole mess. When it comes to shadow and liner, I find that dark colours make my eyes look a lot smaller and kind of drag my face down, so I’ve never really enjoyed how that looks on me.
I don’t own many cream eyeshadows these days because I found that I never reached for them and they eventually got decluttered, but I started using the Laura Mercier Caviar Eye Stick in Moonlight for this purpose and I love how it looks! It's the perfect colour because it's a very pale bronze, so it’s bright and shimmery enough to reflect the light, but still deep enough to add a bit of definition without making my eyes look tiny. The Laura Mercier shadows have a very creamy formula so it doesn’t drag along your skin when you're applying it, and I can definitely see myself doing this extra step for a while to come.
As well as this, a friend recently took me to a L'Oreal Brands outlet sale and I picked up one of the Lancome Ombre Hypnôse Cream Eyeshadows (which appear to have been discontinued) for a total steal. The formula on these is quite a bit drier than the Laura Mericer ones, and actually this shade is a little too light to be very noticeable on the lower lashline, but because of the formula I've been loving using this in a different way. After I've put powder shadows in my crease, I'll apply this to the inner part of my lid, sort of as a secondary primer before layering something shimmery on top. Because it’s that bit drier, it’s not so creamy that it messes with my powder shadows or is hard to control, but it's still slightly tacky so it helps my shimmery shadows stick down, and it makes them look really vibrant too. I’ve really been enjoying these two eyeshadow sticks lately and I’m glad I found a few new ways of using them.
I mentioned in my 2017 Makeup Favourites that I was obsessed with warm pinky-brown eyeshadows and that obsession is still very real. I'm not talking about anything that could be considered a bright colour, but rather, when everyone else seems to be wearing shades that lean orange or even red on the eyes, I've found that a dusty-rose sort of shade is what suits me best. Think along the lines of your favourite neutral blush – in fact I've even worn NARS Douceur (discontinued) and Too Faced's Babylove (my fave neutral blushes) in my crease a few times mixed in with other shades and have loved the results. I can't seem to find any palettes that give me what I want without at least 5 other shades I don’t want, so I've decided the best thing to do is to hunt down single shadows, and of course the first place I looked was MAC.
I have quite a few shades from them already, in fact Soft Brown is one of my all-time favourites, and it pretty much features in any kind of pinky-neutral eye look I do to add a bit of brown to balance out the pink. During my most recent MAC visit I picked up Girlie (AU), which they describe as a rosy pink and Jest (AU), the slightly pinkier version of Naked Lunch. I absolutely love how Girlie and Soft Brown look together in the crease, with Jest on the inner two thirds of my eyelid (plus those two cream shadow sticks, as mentioned). As much as I’m loving the pink vibes, I don’t want my eyeshadow to look TOO pink, which is why Soft Brown is the perfect shade to mix in and dial things back a bit.
Makeup Remover Cloths
I've not pictured these because they're not that pretty to look at, but I recently picked up a two pack of makeup remover cloths from Sephora. There are a few of these on the market now, and initially I thought they were bullshit, but actually they work pretty well. I'm not using them to remove a full face of makeup or anything that’s super waterproof, and I still follow up with two cleansers and a muslin cloth 100% of the time, but I thought these would be good for at least removing my eye makeup. They’re a far less wasteful option than micellar water and cotton rounds, because I go through cotton rounds at an alarming rate and it’s not really necessary. I'm still going to use cotton for things like applying toner or removing nail polish because there isn’t really a substitute for that, but where I can cut down on my usage of them I thought I might as well. I just wet the cloth with warm water and wipe away my eye makeup before going in with my cleansing balm and it works about as well as micellar water does for me. I always have a bit of mascara still hanging around, but since I follow up with a balm cleanser, and then a cream cleanser, they make short work of it. I have to say if you’re a fan of waterproof mascara and typically use a bi-phase eye makeup remover then these probably won’t cut it, but for most situations so far these have worked a treat for me.
I'm very picky with my fragrances and really like something warm and spicy rather than fresh or floral. At that same L'Oreal sale I picked up a set of 3 mini Replica fragrances that contains the scents By The Fireplace, Jazz Club and At The Barber. I gave At the Barber to my boyfriend, which he really likes, but the other two are what I bought the set for, since they’re the two scents I was most interested in from the brand. While I like and will wear both of them, I have to say By The Fireplace is my favourite. It’s very warm and smokey, but quite sweet at the same time. Both scents remind me of Elizabeth & James Nirvana Bourbon (which I have in a rollerball) and I’m glad I got the chance to try them both out in the smaller size. Frankly, perfume lasts me a really long time so I can’t see myself needing to buy a full size of either of these anytime soon, so this was the right way to go.
In any case, as Tenneil mentioned in her recent Anti-Haul, something that bothers me about the brand is the way they choose to label their fragrances by gender, which is really stupid and exclusionary. The set that I picked up was labelled as a male gift set, as opposed to the female one they also offered. My tubes don't have much labelling on them, but the full sized bottles literally have gender labels on them – according to the brand Jazz Club is considered "male", while By the Fireplace is “male and female”. It's bizarre, completely unnecessary, and frankly offensive to people who don’t necessarily identify with either gender.
It doesn’t make a difference to me personally as I’ll wear whatever I like and don’t care if it was made with men in mind, but it’s something that doesn’t need to be added to the packaging. A lot of luxury fragrance brands like Byredo, Jo Malone and the Tom Ford signature line offer their scents as unisex, because people are allowed to smell something and decide if it's right for them based on that alone and don't need to be told what to think.
Anyway, one more fragrance I've been liking recently was a gift with purchase from Sephora - a super cute mini of Jo Malone's Wood Sage & Sea Salt (AU). Most of the scents from Jo Malone tend to be fresh, floral and fruity, aka not my thing at all. This scent is still quite fresh, but I do like it and I will wear it. It smells a bit like being by the sea, which brings up nice memories for me. I probably wouldn’t buy the full size because it’s a bit too light for me (for that kind of money), and I don’t find that it lasts particularly well on me because of that, but I'll definitely enjoy using my mini (which is a generous 9ml).
An Old Faithful Foundation
I don't think favourites always have to consist of new things you've just started using, sometimes old faithfuls get a lot of use and you realise how much you rely on them, so I decided the Estee Lauder Double Wear Light (AU) deserved another mention. I did recently mention this foundation in my post about products I'm using up and I've been making an effort to reach the end of this tube because I've got my next one ready to go, so I've been using it most days of the week and just wanted to reiterate how much I love the results. It has a really beautiful, skin-like satin finish, while still being really long-lasting, which is a very hard combination to find. I think this would be a winner regardless of skin type, but if you’ve got oily skin but don’t want anything too matte or full coverage, then this is definitely one to go for.
I’ve also been really enjoying using a sponge to apply my foundation lately. I’ve never been one of those Beauty Blender obsessives, but I do go through phases of using a sponge over a brush, and lately that’s what I’ve been doing. I’ve also started playing around with where I apply my foundation too. Instead of automatically applying it all over my face and blending, I’ve started to focus on the centre of my face first and blending the product outwards from there. Not only do I use less product because actually, the edges of my face don’t really need any coverage, but it looks really natural because there’s some real skin on show. Plus you’ll never end up with that foundation line around your face, which is always something I try and avoid!