You know you’re really excited and pleased with a product when you strike up conversations with new acquaintances about it. Needless to say, many of my friends know about these four beauty bad boys by now (and by bad I mean good), but in case any of you don’t know about them or how much of a fan I am of them, I happen to have some snapped pics of them and want to tell all.
I’ll start with Revlon’s Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Sweetheart. I have been buying and being disappointed with lip stains for years. I love the concept of a lip color that lasts (the way we all wish lipstick would and which it doesn’t), looks natural (when it comes to the shades of hot pink I love I mean ‘natural’ in the relative sense), and well, lasts! I picked up this balm stain on a whim while at Duane Reade, in preparation for last month’s BlogTour. I figured, “it’s under $10 ($7.50 online and $9 at retail) so if I don’t like it I can add it to the collection of other lip stains I don’t really like.” Well… I tried it and I liked it. It looks and goes on like a crayon with a minty flavor, and once you put it on it lasts until you use make-up remover to take it off. For the ‘balm’ moisturizing element you can re-apply it as needed and the color just keeps on going. Even while eating and having a cocktail, the Balm Stain doesn’t budge, which is why it’s now my go to instead of lipstick. Once I put it on I don’t have to think about it at all until it’s time to take it off before bed.
My next love: Sephora’s Retractable Waterproof Eyeliner in black. I’ve worn eyeliner every day for 10 years – always Chanel’s waterproof one, until one day, realizing I’d run out, I popped over to the Time Warner Center Sephora to investigate for alternatives. Sometimes you just want to see what else is out there and test to see if the brand you love is really the best fit. I love Chanel’s formula because it doesn’t budge and will not budge without waterproof makeup remover. It’s not, however, as black in pigmentation as I’d believed it to be for over a decade. I have black eyelashes and eyebrows, and for whatever reason had to take matters into my own hands that day that day (maybe because I’d run out!) by sampling a variety of formulas at the Sephora store. I was one swipe away from purchasing a Stila product, when a knowledgeable Sephora stylist told me that Sephora‘s waterproof eyeliner was exactly the same formula, but with an added smudger tip and embedded pencil sharpener, all for $12 versus Stila’s $20. I went back and did a comparison, methodically closing each eye and squinting at the other eye, to make sure they were in fact the same formulas, only packaged and branded differently. Sephora triumphed and I’ve been telling relative strangers about it and using it everyday since.
Number three on my list is Essie’s Mink Muffs Nail Polish. I don’t know what it is about this color; a perfect greyish-brown with a hint of purple that doesn’t jump out at you as amazing in the bottle but looks that good on, but I give myself a manicure with it just about every week. This week, to mix it up I did the good ol’ Essie Mademoiselle, but I’m already missing my slightly dramatic, crisply modern, and yet thoroughly neutral Mink Muffs.
Last but not least, we have the companion piece and gentle remover of above eyeliner and balm stain: Make Up For Ever’s Sens’Eyes Waterproof Sensitive Eye Cleanser. As a contact lens wearer since the wee age of 11, I attest that it’s tricky (i.e. rare) to take off eye makeup without irritating your eyes. With this Make Up For Ever formula, however, every night I practically rub this gel into my eyes (not on purpose, but while trying to remove liner from my lower lashes), and it doesn’t burn, hurt, or cause discomfort. It’s so gentle, too, that two months into using it every night I still have to remind myself that rubbing it with a cotton ball is completely unnecessary altogether – once you apply it, it dissolves makeup without the ‘standard rub,’ and can be softly wiped right away, just like that.
There you have it: my 4 current beauty faves. Leave me a comment: have you tried any of these goodies? Have any favorites of your own that you wouldn’t mind sharing? Do tell!
Images / Sarah Sarna /