Quarterly Retrospective the Sixth!

I know, it’s Thursday — but instead of a kinda-boring outfit, we’re doing our Quarterly Retrospective and revisiting all the stuff from the last few months that we’ve not just liked, but LURVED. Yay! LET’S SHOP. Or take a walk down recent-memory lane, or whatever.

MAKEUP STUFF : 

A long while back I tried the black Starry Prism cream shadow and was favorably impressed — more recently, I tried three more of the same formula (blue, purple, and silver) and you know what? I freaking love them all. They’re easy to apply both opaquely and sheerly, they blend out nicely, the blue and purple can function as liner, and the silver gives the most GORGEOUS transparent sparkle-wash and has become one of my most-worn shadows. Also? THEY’RE A DOLLAR.

I really haven’t been buying a ton of makeup lately — I’ve just got SO. MUCH. STUFF. It’s kinda overwhelming, I’m sharing storage space with another human now, and I already have so many products I forget I’ve got half of them and have to repeatedly “shop my stash” to remind myself of what’s even in there. But! I will NEVER stop buying the AOA Studio liquid lipsticks, because they are legit my FAVORITE liquid matte formula, and the mattes and metallics are both A DOLLAR so there’s almost no guilt involved. Extra and Echo are getting worn at least once a week ’round here.

SKIN CARE STUFF : 

The Baxter of California deodorant was terrific, but their cleanser is even BETTER. This is hands-down my all-time favorite face wash (so far) — it’s sulfate free, it’s gentle, yet it’s thorough and takes my makeup off with ease, I dig the utilitarian (yet rather minimalist-chic) packaging, and I’m still not over the faint Fancy Swimming Pool scent. $22/8oz on Amazon and elsewhere, which is not bad at all. 

Oh how we hate it when we find something we love that’s expennnnsive. I’m not a world-class skincare junkie by any means, but I feel like I’ve tried plenty enough fancy face glop to not easily be swayed by swank — and the Cotarde Day Dream and Face with a View creams are both legit A+. Super moisturizing yet non-heavy and non-greasy, silicone-free (YEAH!), and the Day Dream Mousse Cream does indeed work pretty damn well as a primer! I hate that they’re $64/oz each, but I love everything else about them.

AZELAIC ACID IS MY HG. You’re probably tired of hearing me talk about azelaic — almost as tired as I got of trying to find a good one that wasn’t crazy expensive, or involve a semi-shady order process and crazy-expensive overseas shipping. Et voila, MELAZEPAM. 20% azelaic, about thirteen bucks for 1.7oz, works like a charm (I swear to god I think it’s doing better for me than Skinoren or Aziderm?), and easy shipping via Amazon Prime. WHERE YOU BEEN ALL MAH LIFE.

HAIR STUFF : 

I’ve been pretty het up on the Shea Moisture Sacha Inchi line for quite a while now, but I recently revisited previous-fave brand R+Co — and behold, their Television shampoo and conditioner is seriously great shit. My hair hasn’t been this shiny since … well, since I started bleaching it. :\ I’m not wild about the scent, but it doesn’t linger, and I love their packaging (as always) for both its aesthetics and its simple functionality, and holy shit this stuff is just FANTASTIC. Whether it’s worth its $28 (shampoo) / $32 (conditioner) price tag is up to you — but for me? YEP.

Dry shampoos have always been a big fail for me — everything I’ve tried either accomplished nothing (Klorane) or kinda worked but stannnnnk (every single Batiste). Took a gamble on this Hask one in the drugstore, and WHOA. This actually works well, AND it smells like crisp lemongrass instead of cheap sugary perfume for teenagers! And since it’s only about eight bucks at Amazon and most other places, I don’t even mind that it takes a good bit of product to do its thing (which I think is pretty typical?). Yeah, this is a bathroom cabinet staple for me now. (FINALLY.)

OTHER STUFF : 

Okay the last category here has three items, and oddly … all three of these new favorites were discovered because my previous favorites (all of which were Quite Fancy And Rather Expensive) got discontinued. And in looking for replacements, I actually deigned to explore drugstore/grocery store products, which I rarely do — not because I’m a brand snob (witness my undying love for the cheap-as-hell offerings from AOA Studio), but because drugstore shit usually let me down. BUT! Herein, three very pleasant surprises!

A deodorant that uses the same antimicrobial as Baxter’s $19 stick (versus the $18 stick of discontinued Dermalogica Environmental Control I was trying to find a perfect replacement for), smells herbal and fresh and lovely, and is UNDER THREE BUCKS at the damn Walgreens or Target or wherever. Yep, Arm & Hammer Essentials is indeed essential, it is indeed deodorant, and I don’t even care that the “unscented” is totally effing scented because it actually smells really good. 

Last week we also looked at a batch of shower gels, because my long-beloved Kaffe Fassett Achillea — which was like $20+ for a 10oz bottle — also got discontinued. And shockingly (since I’m so damn picky about scents), I actually liked most of them! And I now officially LOVE the Olivina Juniper Tonic. At about $15/16oz on Amazon, it’s not dirt cheap, but it’s still way less than what I was using before. Plus, it’s sulfate-free, has a load of really nice skin-friendly ingredients, and it smells crisp and bright and just … happy. YAY.

Freaking Bliss, man. I was so happy when I saw their ICONIC Lemon + Sage Body Butter now priced at ten bucks a tube … until I realized that they’d changed the formula. BOOOOOOO, BLISS. It’s now “an acceptable light lotion for summer use,” rather than the ultra-lush, ultra-lush, super-emollient-yet-non-greasy pinnacle of lotionhood it once was. So I gambled on a cheapo offering from Mrs Meyers, because I like their packaging, and I already knew I liked the basil scent, and … hey, it’s actually pretty good stuff! It’s more akin to New Bliss than Old Bliss, but the lovely light fragrance and the convenient pump make it just a delight to use. Plus it’s like five bucks a bottle, so I’m totally down with this and I’ve been using it almost daily.

Got any recent finds that’ve turned into new faves? Share! <3