It has come to my attention how nasty the world can be at times. It has a remarkable way of putting you down, making you feel at your worst; yet, it has the ability to make you feel like you’re on top of the world. You might be thinking, “How could this be relevant to this article?” There are so many beautiful things in this world. Beautiful things that no matter how hard you work, money can’t buy — such as true creativity, passion and confidence. I’m not writing this because it’s my first article of the year- I’m writing this for the simple fact of it’s never too late for anything. Listen to your heart; open your eyes and head confidently in the direction you desire to go. One of my pathways in life just happens to be beauty.
Let’s jump into my monthly favorites! The weather has been taking a toll on my skin like no other, my hands in particular. I received a lotion from Bath and Body Works lotion for Christmas and it’s wonderful. It’s from the aromatherapy line — Energy Lemon Zest. I feel like my hands takes forever to absorb lotions and all it does in the end is make everything greasy, and I want to do nothing but wash it off. This seriously, I kid you not, it’s the first lotion that I have used where I haven’t had a bad experience and actually works!
Another body favorite is my new dry shampoo that I picked up from Ulta. It’s called Pssst Instant Dry Shampoo. I have a couple, but I have been going back to this. This is perfect for those days where you are on the go — whether school, work or just going out. You section off your hair and spray a nice even layer. What I like to do is to take a toothcomb brush and backcomb so that the powder is no longer visible. The smell is nice, refreshing and clean. It has no specific scent, but rather a “how clean hair should smell.”
My last and final favorite might sound silly, but I have been using it everyday, twice a day– can you guess what it is? That’s right, my toothpaste. The first thing I notice when I talk to others is their teeth. So if anyone is like me, you want to make sure you have the whitest set of pearly whites. This does exactly that. I know, I know, who has a toothpaste as a their monthly beauty favorite? This girl! The Aquafresh Extreme Clean Whitening Action Toothpaste works amazing and doesn’t feel like there is any product left after you rinsed your mouth.
The final thing is the Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs. I got this from Sally’s Beauty Supply. Oh my goodness! This stuff is like instant pantyhose on the go. Any imperfections you have on your legs such as bruising, ingrown hair or even razor bumps — this makes your legs looks flawless! Your legs look healthy, hydrated and. well. loved! If your legs could thank you, trust me, they would.
For my face, I have just kept it simple. Being busy with school and work, being on the go seems to my only choice. No matter what concealer I use, I always go back to my holy grail which is MAC’s Prolong Wear Concealer. I have scars and discolorations and this covers them right up! If you get the wrong shade of concealer, it’s going to peep through your foundation. However, that being said, I did pick up a concealer from Benefit that is really nice and creamy. For days where I want very little to minimum makeup, I use Benefit Fake Up Concealer underneath my eyes and troubled spots. Tap a little finished or pressed powder (if you are wanting more coverage), add mascara and you’re set!
I don’t know about you, but eyebrows are the frameworks to the face. They are kind of a big deal! Everyone has their own preference on how they are supposed to be (just like anything and everything else) but I think it’s safe to say that we want eyebrows to look well-shaped, healthy and — to an extent — full. Not all were blessed with perfect eyebrows, so if you are anything like me, there should be no shame when it comes to filling them in. When I am done filling them in, I put a bit of brown, matte eye shadow to add more dimension. Again, this just is just an eye shadow; I got mine from ULTA, their generic ULTA brand. (TIP: Regardless of what you choose to go with, just make sure it is matte. Glitter in your eyebrows is definitely not something that we prefer. To seal the deal, I have been loving Benefit’s Gimme Brows in the shade medium/deep. This literally sets everything — puts stubborn hairs in place and gives your eyebrows their perfect shape. Don’t want to spend that much? For a more wallet-friendly option, try some clear mascara — it works great! I actually always used Maybelline mascara that’s called “Great Lash” in clear (you know, the pink and green one). I grabbed it at my local drugstore.
Moving on to lips. My two favorite lipsticks are actually ones I got from the summer, I realized how much I loved them and wondered why I ever stopped using them. These guys are the Rimmel Matte lipsticks in shades 101 and 113. I am a sucker for good packaging; however, I don’t let it fool me. I had to give these puppies a try and when I did, I saw what all the hype was about. These guys are filled with great color pigments, creamy and rich (not drying for a matte finish and pretty long lasting). I feel like they are great duplicates for some MACs lipsticks and for a couple of dollars at any drugstore, who wouldn’t want them?
For my facial products, I have decided to splurge a bit. For my face primer, you guessed it, I’ve been using my holy grail product and that is Hourglass’s Veil Primer. I am not a fan of the silicon-based primers; they just seem more time-consuming because I have to really work it into my skin but even then, they never seem to absorb. This primer however, is similar to a lotion or a light cream. It absorbs so fast! (TIP: No matter what, always wait a couple minutes for the products to sit in. This includes moisturizers, primers and, of course, liquid foundations.)
Think of it this way, when you paint your nails and want them to last longer, what do you do? Add a base coat, your first layer of color, then your second, and then, finally, your topcoat. Waiting a couple of minutes until each section is completely dry before moving onto the next one is key. You need to take care of your skin and prepare it for the makeup you are going to be applying. That being said, I’ve been on the hunt for a good foundation that helps my skin, not make it worse. After looking for so long, I came across Chanel Perfection Lumiere. Now, this is pricey. It’s a medium coverage foundation, which is a little bizarre since I am more of a “full coverage” type. This nice, velvety foundation glides on so smoothly; all you need is 3-4 pumps for your whole face. My skin could finally breathe again!
I am aware my skin is not perfect, but I am confident in it. So when I do decide to wear makeup, I like to feel a bit more glamorous. This foundation does exactly that. A makeup that makes your skin look flawless and makes it feel even better, all while taking care of your skin? Yes, please.
I am big, big fan of L’Oreal’s shampoos. These are the L’oreal Paris Advanced Skin Care Volume line that I am talking about. There new line came out sometime last year; however, in the last month or so L’Oreal just came out with a volumized one and as you know, I am all about that! I picked up the shampoo and the conditioner as planned, but then I saw that there are little volumized capsules that just gives a boost of more volume, so you already know I had to add that to my pile! It’s the Volume Filler Fiber Amplifying Concentrate. Oh my goodness you guys, this shampoo smells so yummy! It foams up just to the perfect amount, making me feel like I am at the salon!
It’s not until you blow-dry your hair that you notice a huge difference. This makes me feel like a professional hairdresser. It’s amazing how volume can make you look so glamorous! I just blow-dry my hair in sections with a big, round brush. I know this can be difficult for those who are not use to it, especially if you don’t like to blow-dry your hair. Last year however, I went to Target and I invested in the Instyler. The commercial got to me; so I had to try it out for myself and it’s something that I just brought back out again. I just wrap my hair in a towel, after half an hour or until my hair gets about halfway dry, then I would go and divide it into small sections and use the Instyler. It’s a two-in-one machine!
For skin, I haven’t really switched it up. I picked up Dr. Jart+ Water Fuse Water-Max Sleeping Mask and it’s a wonderful moisturizer that brings your skin back to its balance, especially for these harsh cold, winter nights. By the time morning rolls around, your skin will feel baby soft. Restless days and nights definitely take a toll on your skin. Everyone has been talking about Origins GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream to brighten and de-puff. This is really nice; you definitely have to work it into your skin. (TIP: always apply under eye creams or serums with your ring finger, the skin around your eyes is thin and your ring finger happens to be the gentlest.) After a week, I saw a visible difference!
The final step I take is to treat my personal imperfections. Occasionally when I do get a pimple, I want to make sure that it’s under control. I put on Mario Badescu Drying Lotion- I know it’s tempting, but do not shake this little guy. Simply grab a Q-tip, dip the end of it into the bottle and apply it onto your troubled spot. While you’re sleeping, it works its magic. Sure, you might look silly, but when something works well and is good for your own benefit, you can’t help but to shrug your shoulders and say, “Who cares?”
A lot of people think that when I try something new, I love it, but that’s not always the case. So I’ve added a new section called “Leave it at the store”:
Okay, so here is the thing, I needed something to bring my skin back to its original, manageable self. This is a simple two-step process you do after you wash your face. You apply the first pad and then apply step two after a couple of minutes. After doing that, I just continued my nightly routine with the moisturizer, eye cream and the occasional drying lotion. I did this three to four times a week and after a month, it’s safe to say that I saw no results. Now, every skin is different. If you’re like me — with combo to oily skin and acne scars — I would steer away from this product. It is pricey and I typically wouldn’t mind if it actually worked, but there was nothing special about it. It’s definitely overpriced and not worth the buzz. I say, leave it.
OK, so I have tried the POREfessional primer by Benefit. It’s silicon-based and you guys already know, I don’t like that texture; however, I don’t mind it occasionally. A little tube of the POREfessional primer is pricey, so when I saw the dupe, I had to try it. This one was not like the POREfessional — it would not settle into my skin; it felt like it was sitting on the surface. After waiting for so long, thinking it would absorb, I applied my makeup. My makeup felt like it was all over the place! Nothing would settle in its place, not my foundation, not my pressed powder, not blush or bronzer- nothing! Again, I always encourage people to try things out for themselves because even if we have the same skin type, everybody is still a little different. However, if you don’t want to deal with something that may or may not personally work for you- I would say, if you see this product, continue walking right pass it.
Have any advice, suggestions or simply just want to let me know what you thought of these products? Leave them in the comment section below.
Until next time!
— By Aygin Ghorbani
Aygin Ghorbani is a 2012 graduate of Meadowdale High School, where she wrote a beauty column for the high school newspaper. Aygin is attending Edmonds Community College and plans to transfer to the University of Washington.