I'm starting a series, maybe 9 or 10 parts, about some of my favorite beauty items. I have a list of 30ish items that are tops in my book. Some are specific items and some are categories of items. This series is not in any particular order. I wouldn't say these are Holy Grail because I own and love a lot of things. But because I own a lot of everything, when I call something my favorite, it's pretty darn good in my book. Would I be sad if any were discontinued? Maybe but I don't think so. Let's be serious, it's makeup.
Jack Black Lip Balm - I apply lip balm at bedtime and as the first step of my makeup routine. I don't apply lip balm during the day since I wear lipstick. Balm that is thick, heavy, slippery or oily is not for me. The once iconic Smith's Rosebud Salve gave me goose bumps, ugh. The now popular Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask makes me feel like I have a gorilla sitting on my lips. If I can "feel" a lip balm on my lips, I'm not happy. Jack Black absorbs into the lips rather than sitting on top of the them, it is a matte finish (Jack Black is a men's brand). I love the matte finish, it sticks to the lips rather than slipping down my chin. One tube lasts me 5 or 6 months which makes the price point of $7.50 not entirely outrageous. Two runners up are Vaughn 76 Lip Balm and Donell Lip Saver. Vaughn, another men's brand, feels like serious luxury. It's about twice the price of Jack Black so there's that. on the lips and Donell Lip Saver. We learned about Donell when my son was on Accutane and his skin was peeling off in sheets from dryness. His dermatologist recommended it. I had to chase it down online. A few years ago, I love Fusion Beauty Lipfusion XL. It claimed to be a lip plumper (not) but I used it because it absorbed into the lips and truly hydrated them. Hydrated lips are plumper lips but not visibly, in my opinion. I stopped using it because of Jack Black. Lipfusion is also ridiculously expensive. I have not tried by Terry Balm de Rose or Dior Creme de Rose. I don't like rose anything. Nuxe Reve de Miel Ultra Nourishing Lip Balm was another too thick version but tolerable, however, I didn't like the taste. As far as flavors, I think the Walgreens knock off versions of EOS are delicious, especially the Sugar Cookie. Swoon. As far as Fresh Sugar, I have a couple. I find this is one of those that sits on the lips rather than absorbing. Feels great while it's on but when it wears off or if I wipe it off, my lips are simply normal, not hydrated. Plus, this is as slippery as I will get without it making my No list. I know these have a cult following, The tubes I have came as extras or point perks from Sephora, maybe the Sephora birthday gift last year.
Lash curler - My lashes are not only stick straight, they have always pointed downward. Fast forward a few decades and now my hooded lids actually rest on my lashes pushing them even more downward. Lovely. This is a category favorite, rather than specific brand. All lash curlers have a slightly different design. Hold four lash curlers side by side, you will see the minute differences. In an area as small as your lashes, these minute differences are actually big differences. Some are more rounded, some are shorter, etc. so you need to know which works with your eye shape. Pinching is caused by the curler no matching your eyeball shape, not about the quality of the curler. The rubber insert is another factor. Some inserts are wider and more gently curved giving the lashes a softer curl, less likely to look crimped. Some are narrower with a firmer insert giving a more dramatic lift. Then, do you like that "springy" action or not? Springy curlers are less damaging and easier to handle if you like to do that bouncing action up the lashes. Personally, I love e.l.f.'s, with the finger grips - they have two styles, for $1.49? I also like Tarte's. My hand's down favorite is one I picked up while waiting in line at TJ Maxx, a no label brand. They fit my small eyes, therefore, never pinch! I want to try the Kevin Aucoin. I have quite a few including Shiseido and ShuUemura but they pinch me and, for me, the rubber insert is not curved enough. I like big cushy inserts with a nice big round curve.
Laura Geller French Vanilla Highlighter - if I were to honor something with Holy Grail status, this might win the title in my highlighter tray. Second runner up would be Lorac Spotlight. Most of my makeup is worn during the day, in the office. I'm either at my desk with bright, natural light from floor to ceiling windows or in a meeting room with some version of energy efficient lighting. If I'm lucky, it is softer up lighting. French Vanilla does not have individual shimmer or sparkle. If you are in the sunlight, you won't see any flashes, if that makes sense. It looks like a pearl. Hold a pearl and it is evenly luminous all over, unlike a diamond that sparkles and flashes. French Vanilla is never too much. I can use my e.l.f. small stipple brush or Real Techniques setting brush or a higher end luxury brush and it always looks right, always easy to blend, always easy on the eyes. It is especially perfect if you enjoy highlighting your cupid's bow, down the center of your nose or above your brows.
Hope you enjoyed! Let us know if you have a favorite lip balm, lash curler or highlighter. Make sure you tell us why it's tops in your book!
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