I can hardly believe that we are already in the second week of 2016...the holiday season truly flew by this year! As we come out of such a busy time of year and enter a new year, it feels natural to start fresh & return to the basics. I've been focusing on creating really clean makeup looks for my clients recently and have been gravitating towards a minimal approach in my own makeup routine. This time of year prepping the skin for makeup becomes especially important as we battle the constant dryness of winter, so I've also been working on finding products that are able to give me quick results. My December 2015 favorites are the products I've been reaching for over and over again, for both my personal skincare and makeup routines & for my clients, and reflect the back to basics mindset that I've been gravitating towards.
My first set of picks this month are products that have allowed me to quickly create the perfect base for makeup despite the harsh winter conditions.
1: Coola SPF 30 Unscented Matte Tint
This sunscreen has got to be the most makeup friendly SPF I've ever encountered. We all know that wearing an SPF of at least 15 every. single. day. is crucial to protecting our skin & preventing signs of aging, but it can be hard to find a formula that plays well with makeup. Enter Coola! This formula feels just like a primer and works double duty to protect your skin and smooth out fine lines & texture to perfectly prep it for beautiful makeup. It features the mineral blocks titanium dioxide & zinc oxide, which are the best for protection from the sun's damaging rays, but tend leave a white tint on skin & can be tricky to blend in...so I really, really love the slight tint in this formula that makes it undetectable from the second it touches your skin. It also provides a matte finish, which is a welcome change from the usual grease-ball finish of typical SPF formulas that we all love to hate. Can I say enough good things about this one?
2: IS Clinical Reparative Moisture Emulsion
If you guys haven't discovered IS Clinical yet, you're in for a treat...the product line is amazing across the board & this won't be the last product you see me feature here. This moisturizer has a decadent texture that remains light enough for daytime use and it was created in conjunction with leading makeup artists, so you know the texture is perfect for makeup prep. It instantly hydrates, plumps, and retexturizes all skin types while protecting from environmental damage, making it my new go-to when prepping a client's skin for makeup.
3: Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs, and Rosewater
For skin that just needs a little extra love, this mist provides a hydration boost and calms irritated skin on contact thanks to its star ingredients: aloe & rosewater. I love using this one on extra dehydrated skin before moisturizer and after I've applied foundation & powder to set the makeup and provide a natural glow. Plus, it smells divine!
4: Benefit Watt's Up! Cream-to-Powder Highlighter
This is my new all time favorite cream highlighter. I've had it in my bag of tricks for a few years now & haven't ever really reached for it too often. I've been loving all the new powder highlights for the past year, but something about the seasonal weather change this winter has pushed me back to cream highlights. I love this one because the shimmer is so fine that it doesn't read glittery at all, it is incredibly easy to blend, and the stick formulation makes it oh so much easier to control than its more liquidy counterparts. I almost always prefer a warm highlight to a cool one, so naturally I also love the pretty champagne sheen it imparts on the high points of the face. Last but not least, the cream-to-powder formula provides the perfect glow without the super dewy finish that isn't so nice for combination & oily skin types.
My second set of picks are the color products that I can't stop reaching for. These superstars have allowed me to add the perfect amount of glow and color to everyone's skin over and over again.
1: Morphe 35N Matte Palette
This Morphe eyeshadow palette has been a stand out in my kit for the last month or so since I finally caved in and purchased it...no regrets here obviously! It contains 35 matte shadow shades & has been my go-to for all the fresh, clean eye looks I've been creating recently. And you guys, at only $20, its such a steal! But don't be fooled by the price tag, these shadows are seriously smooth, pigmented, and blendable...amaze!
2: Rimmel London Match Perfection Concealer
I picked up this concealer from Ulta when the under eye concealer I've been using for the last year or so finally ran out. Lisa Eldridge recommended it in one of her videos, so naturally I've been dying to give it a try, and it does not disappoint! Its creamy & blendable, but dries down to an almost powdery finish that lasts all day long without creasing, fading, or looking heavy at all. It brightens without any shimmer and provides virtually undetectable coverage...it may just be my new holy grail concealer! If you have quite dry skin, I'd be extra careful to hydrate that under eye area before applying this bad boy though, it tends to pick up on dry texture easily.
3: Nars Blush in Deep Throat
This blush just feels like the perfect winter flush...it brightens up skin that needs a little boost and looks great on just about everyone! Its a nice, soft warm pink that is incredibly flattering and I find myself reaching for it every winter.
4: Model CO Bronzer in Shimmer
I'm not usually a fan of shimmery bronzers, but I've been feeling pretty anti-contouring recently, and this concealer has become my new go-to for a pretty bronze glow. It doesn't read orange or heavy at all on my fair skin (which is enough reason alone to love it...pale girls, you feel me!), and the shimmer is fine enough that it makes the skin look healthy, not sparkly...love!