With the changing leaves and chillier weather, it's finally starting to feel like fall, even more so now that Halloween has come and gone. How is it November already? Time is flying by and it's time for my October favorites (better late than never, right?). I've been on a bit of a drugstore buying spree, gathering products to test for my Full Face Drugstore Challenge, which is why many of my favorites from last month are drugstore lovelies. So, without further ado...
100% Pure Organic Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream ($25.00 1 oz.)
As it happens, this first favorite is not from the drugstore, but rather a generous sample I received in a Birchbox a few months ago. I was excited as I’m a fan of the 100% Pure line of cosmetics and skin care and had heard good things about the Caffeine Eye Cream in particular. I have to admit the first thing that caught and held my attention was the delicious smell… a combination of toffee, mocha, and oddly enough, caramel corn. It's so good! As I type this, I keep putting it on my hands just so I can smell it. If I’m not careful, I’m going to end up using it all as hand cream!
Of course, the eye cream itself is a winner. The caffeine from the extracts of green and cherry coffee beans is anti-inflammatory and helps to reduce puffiness and brighten dark circles under the eyes. There are lots of other great natural ingredients, too, many of them certified organic, such as aloe, rosehip oil, rosemary, and Vitamins E and C. All of these combined make this an excellent eye cream to smooth out fine lines and wrinkles, which is great because as I get older, I’m always on the look-out for products with anti-aging properties. Once my sample is finished, I’ll be more than happy to add this eye cream to my skincare regimen permanently.
Clairol Shimmer Lights Conditioning Shampoo ($9.29, Beauty Club Price $8.49 8 fl. oz.)
I've been blonde for over a year now and my hair can easily venture into brassy territory. I'm a firm believer in using purple-based shampoo and conditioner to help prevent those tones from settling in. Some of my favorites, such as Paul Mitchell Platinum Blonde Shampoo ($13.50), the AG Hair Colour Care Sterling Silver Toning line ($45.00), and Davines Alchemic Silver Conditioner ($23.46) tend to fall on the pricier side. I was recently in Sally Beauty Supply and was happy to come across Clairol Shimmer Lights on the shelf, which I'd used that last time I was a blonde. It's a more affordable option to some of the salon products and works just as well to keep blonde and blonde-highlighted hair bright and the brassiness at bay. It's a must-have for platinum or white blonde hair and is also great for women with grey or silver hair, too. And if you're a Sally Beauty Club member (which you should be!), the member price is even cheaper.
It's only fair, though, to include two possible deal breakers if you decide to try this shampoo. I've read some reviews from people who didn't like the smell, but it doesn't bother me. It's not terrible, just somewhat medicinal. This shampoo also contains sodium laureth and sodium laurel sulfate, which I usually avoid because sulfates can fade and strip color from the hair, especially for bottle reds; however, in this case, I'm giving it a pass because my guess is there probably isn't too much to strip away from my hair, given how light it is.
Maybelline Fit Me! Concealer 15 Fair ($7.49)
Maybelline Fit Me! Set+Smooth Pressed Powder 110 Porcelain ($7.99)
Maybelline is one of my favorite drugstore brands and I've been using the Fit Me! Dewy+Smooth Foundation ($7.99) for a few months now and it's quickly become one of my everyday, go-to foundations. I'd also read great things about the Fit Me! Concealer as a drugstore alternative to another favorite of mine, NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer ($29.00), so I decided to try it, and for good measure, the pressed powder, too.
The concealer is very similar to the NARS concealer in packaging and performance, but is much less expensive. It's also slightly thinner in consistency which I actually prefer as it buffs in beautifully to brighten and provide medium-full coverage under the eye, but has less of a tendency to crease.
The pressed powder is great, too; lightweight and true to color. I use it to set both the concealer and foundation and it's a more affordable substitute for my Urban Decay Naked Skin Ultra Definition Pressed Finishing Powder ($34.00).
It’s not often that I use foundation, concealer, and powder from the same line, but in this case, it's quite a lovely combination. I haven’t tried the matte products in the Fit Me! line yet, but I’ve had my eye on them… give me a few months and I’ll let you know what I think.
Milani Color Statement Lipstick Sangria 21 ($5.29)
Every fall I get the itch to try as many berry, wine, and plum-colored lipsticks as I can. And I've also wanted to branch out further into the Milani Cosmetics makeup line after having mostly used their eyeshadows (which are amazing). With the Milani Color Statement Lipstick in Sangria, I was able to kill two birds with one stone. It's a blue-toned deep berry (kind of like the color of, well... sangria) that goes on smoothly, is moisturizing, and has decent staying power. Sangria makes for a beautiful, bold lip and as with most dark lipsticks, I like to pair it with a neutral eye and black winged eyeliner. It's a classic, easy look for the fall.
Promise Organic Coconut Milk Body Wash (8 fl oz $6.99)
Promise Organic Argan Creme Body Lotion (6 fl oz $8.99)
I was in the bath & body aisle at CVS a few weeks ago and the brightly-colored packaging of the Promise Organic line, exclusive to CVS, caught my eye. I hadn't heard of the company before, but was impressed with the certified organic ingredient list for both the body washes and lotions. Each tube was sealed and although I usually don't buy body wash and lotions I can't smell, these were so reasonably priced, I decided to go for it. Luckily, I was not disappointed.
Both the body wash and lotion contain aloe vera as their first ingredient as well as cupuacu butter. Thanks to LUSH's Lushopedia, I learned cupuacu butter is derived from a tropical tree native to the Amazon, is related to the tree where cocoa beans come from, and has crazy awesome moisturizing and anti-oxidant benefits for the skin. The Coconut Milk Body Wash also has coconut milk and coconut oil as its other main ingredients and it probably comes as no surprise that it smells like coconut, but lightly so. The Argan Creme Body Lotion also contains super moisturizing shea butter as its second ingredient and the ever ubiquitous argan oil. Better yet, it doesn't contain petrolatum or mineral oil, which I avoid altogether when it comes to lotion. And I really love the light citrusy scent. These products pack an extra punch of moisture to help my skin transition from summer to fall and are quite a bargain given all the great ingredients they contain.
And there you have 'em. My picks for October. Click on the hyperlinks included to find more information on where to research and/or purchase. What favorites did you find?
Yours in beauty,
Lady Bon Vivant