Monthly favourites posts can be a chore to write (mainly because my enthusiasm for something earlier in the month usually has diminished by the end of it), but I find them to be the best chronicle of my relationship with makeup over time. There's something inherently worthwhile in bringing together in one post what I consistently reached for, enjoyed and appreciated, discovered or re-discovered in the preceding month. Reading back on old favourites posts always evokes memories of that particular point in time and reminds me of products in my stash I previously loved but may have since forgotten. This month, I was focused on substituting things I wanted to buy with what I already owned, paying more attention to unloved high end products, and unearthing a couple of olfactory gems.
Savvy by DB Luxury Liner in Shimmering Slate
A theme I'm attempting to stick to this year is using up stuff. Sure, I completely failed at my no-buy list, but the main point is remaining conscious of reducing excess and appreciating/utilising what I have. This eyeliner has long been a favourite, and after a concerted effort to use it most mornings, I'm now half-way finished with the last of several backups I purchased 3 years ago. That actually makes me kind of sad, since it's a damn good pencil. Very smooth and creamy, very opaque, stays on and lasts the whole day. What more I could ask for.
Napoleon Perdis Ultimate Contour Palette
Well specifically, the highlight shade. How on earth did I forget or never properly notice in the first place how phenomenal it is? What I love about it: a) it is the smoothest, soft but not powdery, most finely milled powder that basically blends itself (seriously, one swipe with my Real Techniques Setting Brush and I have cheekbones) b) it's not too yellow/orange or too white/silvery, but a beautiful pink-tinged opal c) it's powerfully luminising, sits beautifully on the skin and isn't overly frosty or too subtle d) it doesn't fade or wear off completely by the end of the day. This is up, UP there with the best of the best, including Dior Amber Diamond, Jemma Kidd Dewy Glow All Over Radiance Crème in Rose Gold and theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer, and dare I say it, my current #1 out of them all.
Shay and Blue Salt Caramel
I was not intending to buy this, but so incredible was the smell, I was hopelessly hooked within minutes of first sniffing it at David Jones. It pained me to shell out $60 for 30ml, but I didn't want to be in the position of going home empty-handed and regretting it because in Kylie Minogue style, I couldn't get it out of my head. For those that follow me on Instagram, you may have already heard me wax lyrical about the smell. It's intensely buttery, almost popcorn/nutty, toffee-ish but somehow not cloying or artificial, with a sea salt note that cuts through and adds character and interest. Wear it and be a walking dessert.
MOZI Gardenia Hand Cream
Gardenia, you say? Sign me up. I love anything gardenia and am constantly seeking a good gardenia-scented product or perfume, so when I spotted this hand cream at Myer before Christmas, I had to try the sample. I adored both the delicate floral fragrance and the nourishing cream itself, but was hesitant to pay $30 for a 100ml tube. You can imagine just how thrilled I was then, to discover it on sale in early January. I believe this is a limited edition product (sob) and it was the very last one, so tell me that ain't fate.
Nude by Nature Soft Focus Illuminator
I've had this for an eternity but never used it, despite having opened the tube. I was contemplating just chucking it out (mainly because I was paranoid it would cause me to break out), but was primarily motivated to dig it out and give it a go after convincing myself of its similarities to Charlotte Tilbury Wonderglow. It probably isn't anything like it, but a close enough substitution to satiate my immediate curiosity. I had fun experimenting with a multi-purpose, subtly glowing, golden liquid highlighter. I liked mixing it with my moisturiser, almost like a radiance-boosting primer, then using it again on the high points of my face before applying foundation.
Laura Mercier Mineral Powder
This is one of those products that I lament not reaching for more. There's nothing wrong with it, but I find it takes a bit longer to slap on than liquid foundation — not ideal when I'm in a rush in the mornings. It's also a tad unpredictable, in that I can never know when I'll apply it too thickly and appear oddly white in sunlight or under flash photography. It's also super fiddly and powder gets everywhere when I'm unscrewing the cap or tipping a bit of the powder into the lid so I don't overload my brush.
All those quibbles aside, this powder is top stuff. I can be assured it doesn't break me out, it has excellent coverage, the finish is radiant without being greasy or shiny, and it controls oil better than most foundations. Some days I simply don't want to bother with liquid foundation, BB creams or tinted moisturisers — generally just anything wet. That's when I'm glad I have this. I can use it all over my face, including over my eyelids, and it doesn't leave my skin tacky or damp. It truly feels weightless and blends seamlessly into the skin with my Real Techniques Buffing Brush (though I usually go over with my fingers to get rid of any remnant cakiness). I had reservations that the shade Real Sand was slightly too light for me, but the effect is moderated by applying a relatively thin layer and adding bronzer/blush. Failing that, there's always Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Light to tone down any excess paleness.