I am such a sucker for products. I love to try new things, and when I find something I love, I want to tell the world about it! Seriously, you should ask my coworkers; occasionally I'll find a new food I'm in love with or some miracle product, and work will be put on pause while I host my own little infomercial complete with goofy hand gestures, but with the added benefit of real-time free samples. (Full disclosure: these informercials are usually received with a tepid "Uh-huh" and synchronized swiveling of chairs back towards computer monitors.)
That being said, today I'm going to break from the polish talk to share with you a round of my current (and in some cases, long-time) favorite beauty things. Hope you enjoy!
1. Freeman's masks - They're readily available (usually at Wal-Mart, and who doesn't have a Wal-Mart?), and come in LOTS of different scents, formulas and benefits. I try not to use them too much, maybe once every other week or so. I suppose I COULD use them every day, but that would ruin the effect. The effect, to me, is enjoying that certain something about sitting around (for the ten or so minutes it takes for the mask to dry) waiting for yourself to get more beautiful that just feels so self-indulgent. I feel like half the benefit of any beauty product is how much lovelier it makes you FEEL. It's all about self-confidence and setting aside the time to pamper yourself!
2. Beauty vlogs - Two of my absolute faves are Michelle Phan and Petrilude. Michelle has fantastic tips, DIY beauty treatments and "looks" for any occasion; and Petrilude does AMAZING costume makeup and drag-queen looks, which can really teach you a lot about concealing, contouring and shading to carry over into every day looks.
3. Twist-up application eyeliner - I've come to discover that most women have that "one thing" that they cannot do without in their makeup routine, and eyeliner is mine. I have naturally sleepy-looking eyes (heavy-lidded and downturned) and thin, short eyelashes. These qualities lead to my eyes seeming to disappear into my face. Eyeliner really helps them POP and wake me up! I typically only do a single line across my top lid, but will also line the outer half of the bottom lid when I'm going out. My favorite eyeliner at the moment (and for awhile now) is Avon's Glimmerstick Diamonds. I am NOT a cosmetics snob. I will spend where I feel it's worthwhile, but if a drugstore (or Avon) product makes me happy, so be it!
4. Burt's Bees Foot Creme, LUSH Lemony Flutter, and Aquaphor Healing Ointment - I lump all three of these products in together, because I will use their various benefits as needed on those bits and pieces that need major moisture. Burt's Bees Foot Creme is a great product for those times when you want to DRENCH your feet in moisturizer, throw on some socks and hit the hay while the product works its magic. The creme itself is quite greasy, and doesn't soak in easily, so you sort of want to cover it up and let it do its work. Lemony Flutter has a reputation of its own already as THE go-to cuticle butter. That reputation is not unwarranted! It's amazing stuff, and also does wonders when I really want to go after that knobbly bit of the ankle that is forever going chalk-dry on me. Finally, I learned about the joy of Aquaphor after my last tattoo, when it was recommended as an aftercare product. It is also fabulous on those bits of your body that just won't soak up enough moisture...the heals, the elbow, the ankles...you name it! PLUS, it's cheap and readily available and most any drugstore.
5. Bath & Body Works True Blue Spa Super Softening Hand Lotion - Yes, I've got two points dedicated to moisturizing. The one above was for baaaaaad cases, extreme dryness. This one is the best daily/nightly use hand lotion. It used to be "Look Ma, New Hands;" you may be familiar with that if you're a fan of B&BW products. This lotion is the good stuff. It soaks in easily, but still feels like it's doing it's job without feeling greasy.. Plus (and this is hard to describe) it has kind of a citrusy, tingly feel that makes you feel as though it's DOING SOMETHING. It's not cheap, but B&BW runs sales throughout the year, so if you're patient and keep an eye out, you can wait until they've been discounted and stock up. (PS, there were going to be two items here; the other was to be Nivea Renewal Hand Cream. I got this in my stocking this year, but my mom told me it was the only one in the store. This makes sense, now that I've gone to look for the link for you; it seems it has been discontinued. IF you can find it, though, pick it up. It feels GREAT.)