March didn't have any particular defining moments, except that it was my birthday month. New season of RuPaul's Drag Race gave me life. I raced through the third season of House of Cards and finished watching the last ever episodes of Parks and Recreation. Along the way, I bought more makeup and nail polish than I have in a while. I also ate a lot of food. Bad, indulgent food. The days of religiously preparing oats with fruit in the mornings and a salad for lunch, while avoiding sugar, deep fried food and carbs, are long over. And forget exercise. That's been nonexistent. I think it's time to become more health-conscious again.
Avene Soothing Moisture Mask
Undoubtedly my #1 discovery for this month. I liked the Soothing Moisture Mask so much that I've already made a mental note to purchase it next time Priceline has its 40% off skin care sale. I was contemplating buying it last time, but the ingredients seemed fairly generic and I had both the Clarins HydraQuench Cream-Mask and Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask at home. But when I tried a sample a friend gave to me, it exceeded my every expectation. My skin's been extremely dry lately, but the Avene has tackled flaky areas and restored moisture to my skin. It is scentless, non-irritating, readily absorbed and instantly hydrating, providing a smoother, more receptive canvas for any makeup that's applied after.
Lush Karma Kream Hand and Body Lotion
I was lucky to receive this as a birthday gift (my friends know me too well) and I was thrilled to finally have a body lotion worthy of replacing my used up Grown Mandarin and Rosemary Leaf Body Cream. Like the vast majority of Lush products, the fragrance of this is pungent and not for everyone. My mother for one, immediately asked what the putrid smell was after I wandered into the kitchen having applied some on my leg moments before. The lotion is based on their citrus-aromatic Karma perfume, with top notes of orange, lavender and lemongrass, middle notes of pine tree, lemon and cassis, and base notes of patchouli, fir resin, elemi and cinnamon. (Don't ask me what elemi is.) It's a kind of warm, spicy, citrusy, yet clean scent. Very unusual and unique. The lotion itself is a good consistency in that it's on the thinner side, but still very moisturising and quite luxurious feeling. Use it all over for a pampering, aromatic experience.
OPI Panda-Monium Pink
After receiving an OPI minis set for my birthday, I was enthusiastically back on the OPI train. After all is said and done, I still believe OPI make the best polishes, period. Perhaps not always the most inspiring shade selection (I'm more of an Essie fan in that department), but the formula and wide brush are hard to beat. I bought a whole bunch of OPI polishes, mainly from Cosmo Cosmetics (can't beat $8 a pop, at least in Australia), and Panda-Monium Pink was my favourite. A cool-toned baby pink with a hint of lilac, it gave my nails a feminine, polished edge while still introducing a touch of the unexpected. See it worn here.
Sigma F82 Round Top Kabuki
As I mentioned earlier, my skin's been really dry this month, which has caused a few headaches in terms of makeup application. I found that using my Real Techniques Multi Task Brush to apply foundation was no longer doing the trick. Rather, the foundation looked streaky and uneven, even when I spent more time trying to blend and buff it into my skin. Enter the Sigma F82. I rarely use this brush because it is SO dense and at times, feels uncomfortably hard and firm on the skin. It's also a challenge to clean, though the discovery of Daiso Detergent for Puff and Sponge has been a life-saver. As I described in my April 2013 Favourites, it's the density of the bristles that makes the F82 the closest thing to using your own hands to blend in foundation. It buffs away any streakiness and ensures a skin-like finish to your base.
Bvlgari Rose Essentielle EDP
A family friend gave me this 25ml bottle a while back, but I only started appreciating this fragrance recently. At first, I dismissed it as a well-made, inoffensive, "grown up" scent that didn't inspire much passion. However, it's really grown on me in the last month. This might sound odd, but I've been enjoying spritzing it on myself before bed. There's something sophisticated, feminine, but comforting about it. It's by no means a loud fragrance, but it has an uplifting brightness and purity to it, while still remaining refined and elegant. I was on the hunt for a good rose perfume to add to my ever-expanding collection (lusting after Tom Ford Private Blend Café Rose and contemplating Jo Malone Red Roses or Kiehl's Patchouli & Fresh Rose), but Rose Essentielle was under my nose this whole time. I think it deserves just as much attention and affection as that other rose perfume that's wildly popular: Chloé by Chloé EDP.