April Favorites

It’s gonna be May!

At the end of each month I like to look back at my favorite and most used products of the month and share my thoughts on each of them. So, let’s get into it!

  1. Mario Badescu Facial Spray ($5-20)

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I bought this facial spray on a whim after hearing so many beauty bloggers on YouTube raving about it. I figured, why not, and bought the travel size to test it out. I can honestly say it is one of my favorite skin care products on the market and I’ve already used almost half in less than a month. It’s top ingredients are: water, propylene glycol, aloe vera, and rosa canine extract. It smells ah-ma-zing. Just like roses so it has a very calming and soothing effect. I like to use this after I wash my face in the morning and right before bed. It does claim to be for all skin types and I haven’t had any problems with irritation or anything of the sort.

You can find this product at Urban Outfitters, Ulta, the Mario Badescu website, and at Saks Fifth Avenue from $5-20.

2.  Mario Bedescu Seaweed Cleansing Soap ($14)

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Another Mario Badescu product I have fallen in love with right away. My mom bought this soap for me after I raved to her about the facial spray. I have to admit this was not a “love-at-first-smell” kind of soap, but it did grow on me very fast. I think my initial response was because I am so used to the Bath and Body Works scents that you can smell from all the way across the mall. It has a very natural, beach-y smell that sort of smells like seaweed (I mean it’s in the name). But I was very curious after my new found love for the spray. This soap doesn’t specify if it is for your face or body or both but I have been using for my face only because most of this brand’s products are in the facial category. I immediately loved it once I used it. It is very light and natural with exfoliating “seaweed grains” that made my skin so smooth. It cleared up any problem areas I had which is a total plus as well.

This product’s top ingredients include water, Stearic Acid, Propylene Glycol, and Glycerin

Again, this product claims to be for all skin types and can be found at Urban Outfitters, Saks Fifth Avenue, Ulta, and the Mario Bedescu website.

3. Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 30 ($45)

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I admit that without foundation, I feel naked. Sheer coverage usually won’t do it for me but with summer just around the corner, I thought I should get used to the feeling. I can never find a tinted moisturizer I like. All the ones I’ve tried are either too heavy, too light, not the right color, make me look greasy, make me look one dimensional, or just don’t last. I then found the holy grail of tinted moisturized and it is Nars.

I didn’t own anything Nars besides a blush because it is a bit on the pricey side but I justify it by how much product you receive… Also this stuff is amazing and worth the price.

It comes in 12 shades with a sister matte foundation with the same colors if you prefer matte to a luminous look. The only issue I had was that the colors do seem a tad different between the matte and luminous ones. I went with the luminous finish (in Terre Neuve — yes, the lightest shade. I am very fair!) because the matte didn’t match my skin tone (it was more yellow-toned), but I ended up liking this one a lot.

I find it lasts 8-12 hours on me and it has SPF! SPF is something I really like to have in my foundations because I do burn easily, but I find it also makes the foundations somewhat water resistant and can make it last longer, especially with a primer underneath. It is a medium coverage foundation and I find that it can be built up for a more full coverage look, but it is still very natural looking for an every day look. A little goes a long way, so this should last you awhile.

4. Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer ($15-30)

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Another Nars product that I am now obsessed with. I blame the invention of Instagram and makeup artists constantly posting about the products they use on the red carpet. This isn’t a new product by any means, I’m just a little behind.

After hearing that this product was used by celebrity makeup artist Rachel Goodwin on Emma Stone and Brie Larson, I had to try it… I mean did you see their makeup at the Oscars this year?? Anyway I got this in the shade Vanilla which is a tiny bit lighter than my skin tone but I like to use concealer as a sort of under-eye highlight.

My first mistake was buying a sample/travel size in the Sephora check-out line, because I went through this in about 3 weeks. But that is also awesome because I got a lot of product out of a small tube — so if you do the math its not too much money… right?

I find that applying this in a checkmark shape works best for me in a one-swipe motion. I then like to blend it out with either a beauty blender or my fingers in a sort of bouncing motion, not a rubbing motion. I think if you rub it in you won’t get the coverage that it can potentially give you and you won’t get to experience the magic. This is magic because I have dark under eye circles (doesn’t every girl in college?) but once this stuff is on BAM they are gone.

I find this lasts about 5-7 hours and might crease or cake up if you use too much product so apply heavily at your own risk. It claims to be a ” lightweight medium to high buildable coverage” concealer with multi-action skin benefits. It also comes in 16 shades for a variety of different skin tones.

5. The Shock Volumizing Mascara by Yves Saint Laurent ($29)

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My new favorite NON-waterproof mascara. I put emphasis on the “non” part because this mascara is, in no way, waterproof. It doesn’t claim to be so I can’t say anything about that, but it is worth mentioning. What I really like about this is how it makes your eyelashes look almost like false eyelashes. Eyelash fillers are very popular right now, but also very expensive and don’t last very long. If you’re thinking about getting eyelash fillers but don’t want the price tag, this is a great alternative.

When I say these make your eyelashes look like their false, I mean that in the best way. They add a ton of volume to your lashes and darken them completely. When I say false, I mean a natural false where you will have people wondering “are they or aren’t they false?”

Going back to the waterproof discussion: this is NOT a waterproof product. Which is great when you want to wash all your makeup off, including your mascara. A lot of non-waterproof mascara can build up and make your lashes look clumpy and heavy even after washing them. This product comes completely off with water with no lasting buildup. So before you go to the beach or pool, make sure you’ve washed all of this off even before applying waterproof mascara because it will run like no other. It also has a strong scent that smells a little off. It’s not overwhelming, but it is defiantly there so maybe take a whiff in the store before buying to make sure it’s something you feel comfortable with.

It comes in three colors: black, burgundy, and blue and can be found at your local Sephora, beauty counter, or the Yves Saint Laurent website.

6. Black Coffee Air Roasters ($12/bag)

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We can take a little break from all the beauty and skin care to talk about coffee. Coffee is my soul mate, my better half. Without it, I am a grumpy person who can be hard to be around. This has been one of my favorite for a long time despite being black coffee. Its very strong but also really good. I love it so much I even bought a t-shirt with the logo. I like to drink this with almond milk and a little bit of sugar to sort of diffuse it. I also like to use it in protein shakes and iced coffee.

Where do you buy it? That’s the hard part. Its sold and served at the restaurant I work in, and that’s the only reason I know about it. As far as I know, it isn’t sold in stores. But you can buy it on their website that I will link below. Where I work we sell it as coffee beans so when/if you buy this, don’t be surprised that it isn’t already ground up.

Where to purchase: http://www.blackcoffeela.com/freshroastedcoffee/

7. Zaful.com

For all you ladies out there who love to shop but you find your wallet empty more than it’s full, this website is for you.

Zaful is an online store based in China that is totally affordable and secure. Believe me, I had my doubts. I’ve heard horror stories of people having their card information stollen or never receiving their orders due to a total scam website. Zaful, in my experience, isn’t a scam. I have ordered from their website several times and have received all orders as promised. Before ordering, I did a ton of google searches, watched YouTube videos, and read reviews. I never trust reviews where there are no pictures of customers with the product, so I made sure to check for that on my first order as well.

What’s great about Zaful.com is how affordable it is. With summer just around the corner I have become swimsuit obsessed and Zaful has catered to my every need. You can buy bikini sets for under $20 and one pieces as well (which are very in at the moment) without breaking the bank.

So what’s the catch? It does take quite some time for orders to arrive so you need to be patient. No, you haven’t been scammed, it’s just a long processing time. The shipping is nothing like Amazon Prime, you need to wait around 2 weeks (sometimes 3-4) for your order to arrive. They also might ship pieces separately so don’t worry if you don’t receive everything the first time around.

Of the items I’ve gotten, I have no complaints. Everything I’ve received looks as pictured and fits pretty well. Something that is really important is sizing. Because this website is based in China, the sizing is a little bit off. I’ve ordered a size medium in everything so far and it has all fit (apart from one bikini bottom that is a little too tight). It is a bit of a guessing game and that could be why a lot of people don’t like it. For reference, check reviews and see what people have said about the product and how it fits them. For me, I am 5’2 with the measurements 34-27-36 (in US inches). I normally would get a small top but you can’t pick and choose sizing — its either all small, medium, or large. From all the reviews I’ve read, most people are satisfied with a size larger than what they normally would get so I recommend you size up. Again, read reviews and see if anyone has similar measurements to you and see what they’ve ordered to get the most out of this website.

8. Shiseido Extra Smooth Sun Protection Lotion ($34)

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As I have mentioned, SPF and sunscreen is very important to me. I do have very fair skin that will burn very quickly. Just a few weeks ago I forgot about how important sunscreen is and within an hour I was roasted. I’m fairly certain I had sun poisoning and am still feeling and seeing the effects weeks later. Seriously, I was so burned that I could barely walk. If that has ever happened to you, you know how important sunscreen and after sun care became to you. I used to use this sunscreen when I was in Junior Life Guards in elementary and middle school after my neighbor (who surfs more than she doesn’t) recommended this to me. This sunscreen is completely water resistant and will stay on for hours. For those of you not familiar with Junior Guards, it is basically 3-4 hours out in the bright, hot sun on the beach swimming and running about a mile per day. I can proudly say I never burned once and I have this sunscreen to thank for that.

This sunscreen can be used alone or under foundation and can act as a great primer if you do want to use it under foundation. Shiseido does have a ton of different products but this one is by far my favorite. It has an SPF of 38 and smooths the skin for an even look. It is very liquid-y so don’t be surprised when it comes out looking like water. But I actually like this because a little goes a long way and can last you all summer if you are just using this for your face like I do. There is an option for a face only as opposed to face and body, but it is thicker and harder to rub in so it can make you look like a ghost if you’re not careful.

You can find this product at Sephora, Macy’s, the Shiseido website, Nordstrom, and Amazon.com

9. Physician’s Formula Butter Bronzer ($14.99)

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Another makeup product but I have to talk about this.

Being the fair skinned girl I am, finding a natural-looking, budget friendly bronzer is nearly impossible. If you’re anything like me, all bronzers are either too dark, too sparkley, too orange, too yellow, or too red. Yes, there are plenty of options at Sephora but I am a broke college student. When I first heard about this bronzer, I figured it would be like every other one on the market. But I saw it was on sale for 50% off and I thought I’d give it a try.

My prayers had finally been answered: a bronzer that looks natural with my skin tone. It is a very light, barely there bronzer that gives a natural glow without looking like there’s anything there. It has a little bit of shimmer but it is not sparkley. It gives you a radiant, glowing-from-within look that I absolutely love. It also smells amazing, just like the beach. It comes with a sponge-like brush(?) I guess you could call it. I haven’t used it because I’m not exactly sure how you do if I’m being honest, but I like using a brush anyway. I’m thinking the sponge gives you a sharper looking contour, but I was looking for something more natural anyway.

This product comes in two shades: Light Bronzer and Bronzer. I have the shade Bronzer and it is not too dark at all. But if you are looking for a VERY natural look and have very light skin, maybe try the Light Bronzer. There is also a Butter Blush that also has very natural colors that I am eager to try and hope to do so within the next month.

This product can be found at Ulta, CVS, Walgreens, Target, Amazon.com, and Walmart

10. RMS Living Luminizer ($38)

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And last, but certainly not least, is the RMS Living Luminizer.

With the whole strobing and highlighting trend going on, I find it really hard to find a natural, glow-from-within highlighter. Most highlighters on the market right now are very sparkly, iridescent, and colorful just to name a few. Don’t get me wrong, I am loving some of these crazy, see-you-from-space highlights but I am also a big fan of the natural, dewy look as well. If you want a natural look then this product is for you. It is almost like a cream highlight with tiny bits of shimmer that gives you a reflective look without being blinding. It is very buildable, but don’t use too much or you may end up looking greasy.

It is a very small pot but it will last you a long time. I’ve been using this for about 2-3 months now and I have barely made a dent in it. A little goes a long way so if you need someone to help justify the price, I can be that person for you.

Just a little warning: when you apply this, you may not see the highlight because it is so light. But trust me, it’s there. Don’t keep building it up until you can see it in your mirror because that might make you look greasy or sweaty when you go into the light. It is extremely natural looking so at certain angles you’ll see it and others you won’t as much. To me, this is probably my favorite highlight because it is so light. I find it so pretty and perfect for the “no makeup” look. I highly recommend if you are looking for something that isn’t so in-you-face and you want something that will look dewy.

You can find this product on the RMS website as well as the Sephora website (online only)

 

That is all I have for this month, but I hope you guys enjoy! Comment down below what you guys think or if you’ve tried any of these products before! Or if there’s anything you think I should try out this next coming month I’d love to hear your suggestions!

 

Xoxo,

Micaela

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