A very late September Favourites. For two weeks I was overseas on holiday, so the products featured here are essentially my top picks from what I packed in my makeup bag and what I bought in Japan.
DHC Deep Cleansing Oil
I've wanted to try this cleansing oil forever but it's not stocked locally and I wasn't tempted enough to order it online. It seemed a little bit cheaper than the various Shu Uemura cleansing oils, so I bought the 200ml bottle to try for just under $30. I don't know how different it is to literally just rubbing olive oil over your face, but it's become my makeup remover of choice to take my face off at the end of the day. I was previously relying on Dove Foaming Make Up Remover which certainly gets rid of everything, but always left me with lingering paranoia that it was too stripping and ultimately detrimental to my skin. The DHC feels a lot more gentle and nourishing. It's silky smooth with a lot of slip, making it relaxing to massage into the skin. You have to concentrate on the eye area and go over it several times to get rid of waterproof mascara, but it dissolves everything eventually. My only complaint is that it does blur the vision when you get it around the eyes. It doesn't sting but just feels uncomfortable to not be able to see properly and have to rinse with water ASAP. When washed off, it leaves the skin feeling comfortably soft and properly cleansed with no oily residue.
LUSH Angels on Bare Skin Cleanser
Another product along with the DHC Deep Cleansing Oil that I'd heard a lot about but hadn't been lured into purchasing until my trip. After I'd bought it, I started to use it every day in the morning to wash my face, following with Melvita Damask Rose floral water and Trilogy Vital Moisturising Cream. This routine agreed with my skin tremendously. LUSH Angels on Bare Skin Cleanser is a bit puzzling at first because it just looks like some compacted gritty stuff in a container. You're meant to dig out a small amount and then mix it with water to form a kind of paste that you rub into your skin, then wash off. Invariably, some of it will fall around the vicinity of the bathroom sink rather than adhere to your face. It seems oddly abrasive to be used on a daily basis, so I definitely didn't do any extra exfoliation (manual or chemical) when I was using this daily in Japan. I now prefer to use this once or twice a week. It will do pretty much nothing in terms of makeup removal, so it's really only a morning-only cleanser unless you don't wear makeup. It appeals to my need for novelty, is pleasingly fragrant and leaves the skin incredibly soft and pampered.
MAC 217 Blending Brush
I've ummmed and ahhhhed over this brush for the absolute longest time given its cult status. Even when I was in the States two years ago, I just couldn't bring myself to spend $24 (pre-tax) on a single eyeshadow brush. I rationalised that was basically the cost of an entire Real Techniques brush set. I certainly wasn't going to hand over $37 to buy one here in Australia. But at Narita Airport, before my flight home, I decided it was time. And honestly, it's one of those purchases where you wonder why you hadn't committed earlier. It picks up just the right amount of product and makes eyeshadow application and placement foolproof. If you're asking yourself whether you need the 217 and haven't taken the plunge, just do it.
Garnier BB Cream Miracle Skin Perfector (Combination to Oily Skin) in Light
This is the one product I've been utterly impressed with during September in a way I hadn't anticipated. I threw it into my makeup bag thinking it would do, but it turned out to be exactly what I was after. It's a breeze to apply with the fingers, provides better-than-expected coverage and gives the complexion an inbuilt radiance that makes it appear instantly fresh and awake. The only negative is that it does transfer a bit and get shiny, especially in heat, but nothing that periodic blotting with a tissue can't fix. This is a great go-to base if you're after something light, fuss-free, natural-looking but with a luminous finish. It doesn't accentuate dry patches and works into the skin easily, so long as you've properly exfoliated and moisturised beforehand.
Rimmel ScandalEyes Shadow Stick in Bad Girl Bronze
Another product that I thought would be merely adequate, but completely outperformed my expectations. This is such a versatile, easy to use cream eyeshadow stick that's ideal for travel. I used it both to slightly smoke out my upper lid after applying a wash of Essence Pas des Copper, as well as to define my lower lash line. On the lower lash line, it honestly did not budge for the whole day and retained its metallic lustre. It's as good as my old favourite Benefit Busy Signal, except more convenient to use since I don't need a brush to apply it.
Benefit They're Real! Mascara
Why did I ever stray. All other mascaras are mere imposters, this is the real deal. With a good session of eyelash curling beforehand and diligent application, this gives me the actual appearance of flirty, voluminous, darkened eyelashes peering out from my monolids. And it's absolute magic on the lower lashes, so long as you're patient and have a steady hand.