My beauty routines have been pretty stable for a while, so it's been a couple months since I'd tried enough new products and tools to report back on how things went. I finally have five I can solidly recommend, though, so let's get right to it. Also, if you've tried anything you've been into lately, let us know in the comments. (Seriously, I love buying new beauty products.)
Drunk Elephant B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Gel
$52 via Sephora
I had heard a lot of good things about Drunk Elephant in general and was almost out of my existing moisture serum, so it seemed like a good time to give this a shot. So far, the results have been great--the gel feels light and refreshing, but I've noticed no drop-off in hydration from the oily serum I had been using. I bet this will be particularly useful in summer.
Erborian Bamboo Creme Frappee Skin Reviving Fresh Gel
$43 via Sephora
I've tried out two priming moisturizers recently, and this is the first of them. Gels usually aren't moisturizing enough for me, and this one has dimethicone in it as a priming agent, which usually sucks all the existing moisture, such as it is, out my skin. I had a big sample of this stuff, though, and I didn't pay much attention to the label, so I put it on anyway. Somehow, even with my bad track record with similar products, this stuff felt great on my skin and my makeup looked good on top of it all day. I'll probably pick up a tub of this stuff for when it's really hot outside.
First Aid Beauty Coconut Skin Smoothie Priming Moisturizer
$28 via Sephora
This is the second of the priming moisturizers I've tried, and I'd recommend it for non-sweltering days or for people who don't want silicone in their products. Even though it lacks the silicone that most heavy-duty primers use to smooth out your skin and give makeup some grip, I was very impressed by how it minimized the appearance of my pores and kept my makeup in place all day. It's also a bit glowy on its own, so it'd be a great finishing product for a no-makeup day where you want some extra radiance.
Nudestix Nudies All Over Face Glow in Illumi-Naughty
$30 via Sephora
Putting aside the embarrassing product name we're dealing with here, I've enjoyed this highlighter a lot more than some of Sephora's reviewers. I'm not generally what you'd call a "full face" girl, so sometimes powder highlights feel a little too shimmery and heavy on me, relative to the rest of my makeup. This balmy, stick-style highlight strikes me as particularly good for people with dry skin who don't want to put more powder products on their faces than necessary, and the finish is more ultra-dewy than glittery or shimmery. It's a perfect option for a light-to-medium makeup day.
Sephora Collection Bounce Large Round Thermal Ceramic Brush
$22 via Sephora
I got too dependent on my salon near my apartment last year and spent too much money on blowouts, so when the weather cooled down last fall, I resolved to do my own hair. My existing brush wasn't holding up well to the heat of my dryer, so I ordered this one on a whim because of its good reviews and moderate price. So far, I totally love it--I got a very smooth, bouncy blowout from it, and although I didn't time myself, it felt like I was done a good bit more quickly than with my previous brush. It's also light as a feather, which is great for styling.
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