This month hasn't been the most adventurous in terms of makeup. I've reverted back to Benefit Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow for my base, relied on the most brainless and fuss-free options for eyeshadow, and tried to switch up my blush almost every day (as you do, when you have about 17 varieties of essentially the same thing). My favourite products for April are more about finding the right tools to be able to appreciate or better use what I already have. I also love the loud, bright lip for a night out, continue to happily dabble in face oils, and discover what it means to have a good-enough-to-eat shower experience.
philosophy Cinnamon Buns Shampoo, Shower Gel & Bubble Bath
I was ecstatic when I found The Cookbook set of Old Fashioned Eggnog, Hot Buttered Rum, Cinnamon Buns and Peppermint Bark (120ml each) on sale at David Jones for $24. I was tempted to buy it at full price last Christmas, but wasn't prepared to spend $49 on four small bottles of shower gel. It did go on sale post-Christmas, but I still wasn't too keen on spending $34. But with a further 30% discount? I didn't hesitate. My favourite of the four would definitely be Cinnamon Buns. Every time I use this in the shower and lather it all over, I'm enveloped by deliciousness and I just want to take a bite out of my arm. Creamy and scrumptious.
Caudalie Divine Oil
I've been wanting to try Divine Oil for a while now (ever since Estée wrote about it in August last year), but it was this recent review by Emma that finally swayed me. I was determined to find out what the fuss was about. I didn't particularly want to splurge on the 100ml bottle in case I hated it, but stumbled across the Must Have Set on Feelunique and thought it would be an ideal way to test the waters (and also replenish my dwindling supply of the Beauty Elixir). I haven't been using it for too long, but I find that it delivers similar results to my Antipodes Divine Face Oil. I like mixing it with my moisturiser at night for a hydrating, nourishing boost to the skin. I also tried pouring a bit onto my hands, rubbing them together and gently patting my face with it after I'd already moisturised, but all that did was leave my skin feeling extremely greasy. Maybe I just put too much, but it's very hard to control the amount when the packaging comes without a pump. The floral scent is very strong, so those sensitive to fragrance might want to stay away.
Sigma F82 Round Top Kabuki
One morning, I realised my Real Techniques Buffing Brush was in desperate need of a thorough clean, to the extent that I wasn't all that comfortable with the idea of using it on my face. Hygiene was one factor, but application issues from a dirty brush was probably the main concern. I fished out my oft-neglected Sigma F82 from my brush holder and began using it, and continued to every day for almost the whole month.
I'm normally hesitant to use the Sigma F82 because it's hard and punishing labour to clean. But it's worth it. Because of the sheer density of the bristles, it's probably the closest thing to mimicking the effect of using your hands to smooth out foundation over your face. It results in a completely streak-free, second skin finish. It's a bit more work to use than the Real Techniques Buffing Brush because the brush itself is harder, denser, larger and heavier, but it really works a treat for liquid foundation. I've been using the Real Techniques Stippling Brush exclusively to apply my Make Up For Ever HD foundation, but I tried it with the Sigma F82, and the results were much better, only reinforcing my belief in the brilliance of this brush.
Models Prefer Mystique Angled Blush Brush
I picked this up from my recent Priceline haul, and I honestly didn't have high expectations about the quality or functionality. It was more for the novelty of finally having an angled blush brush in my collection. Despite initial concern when it shed a few hairs after I first washed it, I haven't been using anything else to apply my blush since I bought it. What I most like about this brush is that the softness and shape of the bristles make it ideal for more highly pigmented blushes. I don't have to worry about the brush picking up too much product. It strikes a seriously good balance between blendability and control, and the relative ease of application when I use it has encouraged me to rediscover blushes that I don't give a lot of love to.
Maybelline ColorSensational Vivids in Fuchsia Flash
I ended up buying 5 of the Vivids lipsticks, a fact that's slightly more horrifying to me than pleasing, given a) I don't even wear lipstick that much b) I easily have over 50 lipsticks. Of the Vivids I bought, Fuchsia Flash is my definite favourite. It's a lipstick I look forward to being able to wear for a casual dinner with friends or a girls' night out. I love that it's so similar to MAC Pink Pigeon and MAC Candy Yum Yum. That alone is super exciting to me. Intense colour payoff, not drying, wears evenly and doesn't stain too much. Consider me impressed.