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I know it has been a long time since I’ve shared my favorites. When you’re going through the motions, it is hard to get excited about anything. There were six products that stood out ahead of the others. So, I decided it was time to bring my favorites out of semi-retirement to talk about them. My plan is to have 5 articles a year, one for each season and one for my overall favorites from the year.
Welcome to the place where I like to discuss my favorites from each season that I did not finish. Anything I’ve finished this season made it into my Empties article. Items I am still in love with as I empty them become FabuFinds. While I cannot promise I will ever finish these (some products expire before I can empty them) and I cannot promise I will still love them enough to label them as FabuFinds upon completion, I loved them throughout this season. These are items I reached for many times even though I have plenty of similar items in my stash collecting dust. Many of these items are serious contenders for my Top 10 of the Year. Like my FabuFinds, these are items I consider great deals. The deal discoveries do not need a discount to earn their value (although I will always try to find one if I can). Most of the time they are new to my collection. That is mostly due to the large amount of new products I try each year. Sometimes, they are items I’ve tried in the past but love more upon rediscovery. While I try to edit mini reviews into any article I mentioned these items in, I like to dedicate more time and attention to items I feel are worth the extra effort. They are core items to my collection.
When it comes to highlighters, I usually prefer a wet look. That is mostly because my skin is dry, and I love a dewy glow. This Too Faced Diamond Highlighter Multi-Use Diamond Fire Highlighter is a more powdery highlighter. If you do not blend it in, it will look too strong on the face. It is pretty sheer and subtle once blended in. This has pink, blue, and canary hues, but they do not overtake the pearl color. Where this shines is when the light hits it. From almost every angle, I can see a different colored shimmer subtly lighting up my face. My guess is that comes from the crushed diamonds and pearls infused into the formula. Diamonds shine bright and look holographic when the light hits them. I’ve tried holographic highlighters before that missed the mark. One thing I like and dislike at the same time is how every highlighter is different. While that definitely gives it a cool diamond vibe, you could theoretically have one you love and purchase a second (after perhaps losing it because you will never pan this highlighter), that you do not even like. Granted, the formula would still be the same, but how much it shifts can vary. Although the cheap, cardboard packaging is adorable, I wish Too Faced would have invested in the packaging (given the $34 price tag) as it has in a lot of recent releases. That said, I have a lot of cardboard packaging that is still doing just fine.
The funny thing about the Benefit Cosmetics GALifornia powder blush is I got it when I still lived in California, but I never tried it until after I moved it away. Since trying it, I have not really used any other blushes. This pink shade with shimmering gold warms my skin so beautifully. It really makes my cheeks glow without being overly shimmery, and it pairs wonderfully with a warm-toned makeup look. Go in with a light hand and build the color up if needed, because it is very pigmented. I’ve wanted a pink blush that looks great with warm tones, and this is it. Winter is usually a time when I create more cool toned looks, but this blush inspired me to go warm more than I usually do. My dry cheeks have a hard time holding onto color, but this lasts longer than a lot of other blushes, including some others I own from Benefit.
The final makeup piece that completed my perfect winter face trifecta was the Too Faced Sweetie Pie Bronzer Radiant Matte Bronzer. Of the 3, this is the one I’d place at the top of the list. It is something I never would have considered purchasing had Sephora not sent this to me for free. As cute as it looks and as beautiful as the packaging is, I thought there was too much pink to use it as a bronzer and too much bronzer to use it as a blush. When it blends together, there is a slight hint of pink, but it is not even close to how pink the Pink Leopard Bronzer is. There is an overspray on this, which will give a slight shimmer until the overspray rubs off. That does not bother me at all, because I use both matte and shimmer bronzer depending on my mood. With a light hand, this can look extremely natural. Using a heavier hand, it will really warm up the skin. The slight hint of pink adds a radiant touch. This seriously might be my favorite Too Faced bronzer. While I still think Endless Summer is prettier, you can no longer buy that. It comes down to this and Chocolate Soleil (which I also love) for me. I’d grab this over that more often than not.
Yes, the L’Oreal Infallible Blend Artist Foundation Blender above is dirty. I wash them after every use, but I have a lot of different sponges to get me through until my next washing. Knowing I was going to label this as a favorite, I tried not to use it so it would be clean. It is too hard to resist, because I love it that much. I purchased A LOT of beauty sponges to do a comparison series on each one and see how they stack up against the beautyblender. That article is still a while out, because I left a lot of sponges I need to test at my ex’s house. Despite purchasing this with another L’Oreal Sponge from Ulta during a buy one, get one 50% off sale, I have not even tried the other one. This one is that great. Spoiler alert. While it is not exactly the same as a beautyblender, it is the best one I’ve tested so far. At up to $7.99 (less depending on where you get it or if you wait for a sale), it is less than half the cost of the beautyblender. It is just as soft, bounces just as nicely, washes out well, and does not absorb a lot of my makeup. We may have a dupe on our hands.
Winter severely dries out my skin. This is the first time I decided to add a moisturizing serum to my routine. Who knows why I did not think of it sooner! There are already so many amazing products from h2o+ that I love so I decided to start my moisturizing serum journey from the line that literally means water. The h2o+ Oasis Moisture Boost Serum has not let me down either. It is the first winter ever where I did not struggle with insane dry skin. As it was one of the only two new products I added to my winter routine, I think it works beautifully. I’ve already purchased others so I can try more options when this is gone, but I know this works and can grab it again if the others do not work out.
I saw a set (and you know how I feel about purchasing sets) with a GLAMGLOW VOLCASMIC™ Matte Glow Moisturizer and some samples. The whole set cost the same as the moisturizer cost on its own, and this is a moisturizer I already wanted to try. As someone with dry skin, I do not usually go for a matte look. This advertises a matte glow, and it intrigued me. Thankfully, I never looked at what skin types this is for, because it is not suggested for people with dry skin. As I mention in the Sephora Birthday Gift article, this works better and moisturizes deeper than the moisturizer from this brand for dry skin. It is also a little thicker. My favorite thing about this is the scent. If you love orange sherbet (or Skittles according to my youngest son), you will love the way this smells. The deeply moisturizing cream gives a matte glow as promised. Yes, I know that sounds oxymoronic but skin looks lit from within without appearing shiny. Other than the hydrating serum I discussed above, it is the only skincare item I added to my winter routine. Winter usually wreaks havoc on my skin, but this was the first winter ever where my skin made it out mostly unscathed.
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