NARS And God Created the Woman Eye Palette
Let's begin with the most exciting favourite of June. The limited edition NARS And God Created the Woman Eye Kit (which includes a mini primer and #3 brush) first made an appearance on the Mecca Maxima Facebook for a mere $95 back in March. Even at that laughable price, it was sold out on their website. I thought I might be able to inspect it in person at Mecca Cosmetica, but one the assistants there swiftly put an end to that hope. After many nights spent trawling through blog/YouTube reviews and searching for places I could buy it online, I finally caved one night and ordered it from Sephora (where it retails for US$59) and had it shipped to me via Price USA. Incredibly, while waiting for my package to be delivered, I spotted just the palette on a local blog sale. A second palette for hoarding/potential gifting/insurance purposes wouldn't go astray...
Putting aside my mortification at how much I'd spent on it, this palette is everything I hoped it would be. Everything about its compact size, portability, shade selection and the quality of the eyeshadows delights me. While all the shades are delicious, I'm especially smitten with Kalahari. It's easily become one of my favourite eyeshadows ever, to the extent that I'm contemplating buying the original duo. I just needed to find the right brush to apply it as it can be a bit sheer and chunky. I'm using the Ecotools Petite Eye Shading Brush from the Bamboo 6 Piece Eye Brush Set to gently pat the colour on my lid. I've previously derided this brush for being too small to be useful, but it's come in handy recently so I take it all back.
Lancôme Baume in Love À La Folie, Cherry (130)
I confess I bought this for two reasons: a) the packaging b) it was on sale. I'd always wanted one of the Rouge in Love lipsticks but they were a little out of my price range. The Baume in Love comes in identical packaging but instead of a lipstick inside, it's a tinted lip balm. The colour that I bought (known as Midnight Rose in the US) seems to be the darkest of the four shades available. I thought the plummy, rosy pink might be similar to a very sheer MAC Plumful. It has a relatively thin texture and feels more like an balmy barrier on the lips than anything super hydrating, but it's comfortable enough, smells faintly of caramel, provides a subtle, flattering wash of colour to the lips, and did I mention it looks good in my purse?
Sukin Certified Organic Rose Hip Oil
One day, I was struck by an overwhelming need to buy a rose hip oil. I was originally going to get the Trilogy one, but I saw that Chemist Warehouse was having 30% off all Sukin products. I figured how different could the two possibly be? I ended up bringing the Sukin home and I've been really pleased with it. Next to Josie Maran Argan Oil (which I've almost run out of ... sob), I think this rose hip is my favourite face oil. I usually mix 2-3 drops in with my regular moisturiser, morning and/or night, and smooth it all over my face. In the mornings, it injects a subtle glow to my complexion and provides instant, soothing hydration. In the evenings before bed, this is a simple but effective serum/treatment to help improve the condition of my skin and leave it looking plumper, smoother and clearer in the morning.
Ecotools by Alicia Silverstone Finishing Brush
This gem came in a brush set that I purchased ages ago when I was first getting into makeup. It's a duofibre/stippling brush that is perfect for mineral powders or anything where you need to evenly buff powder all over your face. I use it to apply my Laura Mercier Mineral Powder — I think it works better than the Real Techniques Buffing Brush which is too dense and more suited to liquid foundation. It's also the only brush I have that can apply bronzer all over my face to darken my skin tone if the foundation I've put on is too light. It works amazingly well for a more soft, seamlessly blended contour along the cheekbones and sides of the face. It's also great for powdering in general, either to mattify the skin or to set your makeup with an illuminating finishing powder. It's one of the softest, if not the softest brush I own. I wish this brush was sold individually, but it came from a limited edition set so it's definitely one to treasure.
Savvy by DB Luxury Liner in Brilliant Bronze
When the very sweet Tram thoughtfully sent me a brand spankin' new one of these discontinued pencils (along with a Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butter in Creamsicle and an adorable hand-written card!), I finally felt I could go back to using my existing one which I'd been saving and rationing so I wouldn't finish it up too quickly. I find it warmer and richer in colour than the Australis 10 Hour Waterproof Eye Pencil in Bombastic Bronze that was my previous go-to, and it just edges out the Australis in staying power as well.
Antipodes Reincarnation Pure Facial Exfoliator
I didn't touch this exfoliator for a long period of time after I initially bought it, but this month I made a concerted effort to pop this in my shower caddy and use it regularly. It's a truly gorgeous product. Since I always use this in the shower, it can lose its creaminess and get a bit watery if diluted, but it feels soothing, calming and nourishing, and leaves the skin cleaner and never tight or dry. Exfoliation is essential to any skin care routine, and without any chemical exfoliant to play around with at the moment, this Antipodes is serving me well. It's extremely gentle (you can barely feel the jojoba beads on your skin) so it can be used daily, though I prefer to use it every second day. The mild sweet orange scent is super nice and I love the fancy toothpaste packaging as well. Every time I use this, I think to myself ... would I pay $42 for this? I scored this as a gift with purchase for spending $39 or more on an Antipodes skin care set at David Jones late last year. It would've been absolutely crazy to me to spend that much on an exfoliator, but the more I use this, the more I entertain the prospect of repurchasing.
l-r: Lancôme Baume in Love in 130, Savvy by DB Brilliant Bronze, NARS Kalahari