Quarterly Retrospective the Fifth!

OMG, it’s that time! Let’s take the Wayback — or really the Not All That Far Just Three Months Back — Machine out for a spin and look at some favorites from the last 90-ish days! In typical Quarterly Retrospective fashion, these are things that I tried and loooooooved, and continued to love after days/weeks/months of use. OOOOO, WHAT COULD THEY BE?

MAKEUP STUFF

Okay I just got the Looxi shadows a week or two ago, but I’m seriously loving them. The green/blue-violet “Omega” in particular is just smashing, and all four are really fun (and relatively unusual) colors. I’m definitely getting best results using a primer, but that’s to be expected for most shadows on my oily skin.

I fully expected to haaaaate the Armani Lip Maestro in 400 Red. “UGH, what even is the point of a liquid lipstick if it’s not an insanely long-wearing matte?!” But this feels plush, creamy, amazing, and is a beautiful glossy texture but HECK OF pigmented, so the wear is surprisingly great.

Armani Lip Maestro “400,” blotted.

NON-MAKEUP FACE STUFF

Yep, finally got on the Asian-brand Sunscreen Bandwagon via Biore Watery Essence. Yeah, it’s got some alcohol in it, which I’m not crazy about (in theory) … but it’s got a lot of other great stuff too, and xtreem UVA/UVB protection, it smells nice, it’s got a lovely non-greasy texture, and it doesn’t break out my stupid fussy skin. HUZZAH, I am convinced! Are there better ones? Maybe! But I’m pleased with this stuff, and at about $22 for a two-pack on Amazon, they’re also way less expensive than my Malin + Goetz.

The day I commit to using one facial cleanser for more than six months is the day the world stops turning. Is it because there’re just SO MANY to try? Is it because I secretly (or not-so-secretly) loathe washing my face, and feel that I’m more inclined to do so (or at least do so less resentfully) if I’ve got something new and relatively exciting? Who knows, but if I HAD to commit to one forever, it might well be Vanicream. Crazy cheap at about $9/8oz on Amazon and also probably at your local drugstore next to the (boooo, yuck) Cetaphil and CeraVe, it’s super effective at removing oil/grime/makeup, yet it’s crazy gentle — low-key surfactants, no breakout-inducing fatty acids my skin hates, nothing at ALL irritating (to me, anyway). Is it exciting? Nah. But it’s legit EXCELLENT, and one that I’ll probably always have in rotation.

Oooooo, pearly!

HAIR & BODY STUFF

Shea Moisture’s Sacha Inchi conditioner made my “OMG YES FOREVER” list a long time ago — and the matching shampoo has now joined it. Love the “fancy soap” scent, love the gentle surfactants (no SLS/SLeS here!), love all the great oils and conditioning agents, love how effective it is at lathering and removing the absurd amounts of hairspray I use on this brutalized mop. As a bonus, its absurdly low price (compared to my previous faves from Aveda and R+Co) of (currently) $9.34/13oz on Amazon means buying something I legit love without cringing at the price tag. RARE.

Which, spkg of Shea Moisture, I kinda hated the African Black Soap shampoo … a lot. But in an effort to repurpose it and avoid waste, I discovered that it makes FANTASTIC body wash! That ingredients list of “mostly oils and plant butters, wait what are surfactants?” made it a freaking disaster for my hair, but on skin it’s magnificent — especially dry winter skin. I won’t buy this as shampoo again, but there’s a very strong likelihood I’ll pick up another bottle around November/December to help keep the weather-induced dry-itchies at bay. (I’m still spiking it with my own essential oils to tame that overly-sweet-creamy fragrance, tho.) And at about $10/13oz at Amazon or CVS etc, it’s still less than a lot of designated “shower gel” products.

And lastly, the search for a replacement for my long-beloved and now-discontinued Dermalogica Environmental Control deodorant has led me to a couple of viable options, the favorite so far being Baxter of California. Yeah, it’s pricey for armpit gloop, at about $18/2.65 oz on Amazon or $19 at Dermstore (tho you can try out a mini/travel-sized stick for about $10-12 bucks on Baxter’s own site or on eBay). But it’s got no baking soda, in case you find that irritating or unpleasant texture-wise, and it’s totally crystal clear, non-sticky, smells nice (“citrus musk,” they call it) and it WORKS. O HAPPY DAY. Also it’s pretty. <3

HOW ‘BOUT YOU? Any finds from the last few months — here or in your own stash! — that’ve joined the ranks of Super Faves? Discuss!