August Favorites

I haven’t been posting about makeup as much lately because I’ve just been really pleased with the items in my current stash. There’s actually only one new item to my collection that I purchased mid-August but I’ve been using it everyday since and it’s already become holy grail (although I want to try that new MUFE Ultra HD foundation stick). Everything else I’ve had for awhile but I didn’t start using them as intensively as I have until this past month and it wasn’t until recently that I realized (or recalled) how much I really love them.

August 2015 Favorites:

  1. Dermablend Cover Creme (Warm Ivory)
  2. The Conservatorie Pressed Mineral Complete Coverage Foundation (Vanilla)
  3. Revlon Lip Butter (Sugar Plum)
  4. Born Pretty Lip Stains (#4 & #6)
  5. e.l.f. Studio Small Stipple Brush
  6. Dannon Oikos Traditional Greek Yogurt in Lemon Meringue
  7. Hannibal (TV series)

Dermablend Cover Creme (Warm Ivory), The Conservatorie Pressed Mineral Complete Coverage Foundation (Vanilla), Revlon Sugar Plum, Born Pretty Lip Stain (#04, #06)

I plan on doing a full, in-depth review of the Dermablend Cover Creme soon but for I’ll say that it’s everything I’d hoped the Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer would be. The Cover Creme offers full coverage but isn’t as fussy to use as the SSE which I’d have to dilute and mix with moisturizer so it wouldn’t look as thick or dry on my skin. I also like the finish of the Cover Creme which looks very natural; it’s not too matte or too dewy but a good in between. I purchased it in the second lightest shade, Warm Ivory, and while it’s just a touch too light for me right now with my summer tan (NC20+), it’s doable if I blend well. I think the color will be perfect once we hit late fall/winter and I get paler (NC15). I use it strictly as a spot concealer and not as a foundation.

I’ve actually mentioned The Conservatorie Pressed Mineral Complete Coverage Foundation before in another monthly favorites post but in a lighter shade. When I first got this powder foundation I bought it in three shades because I wasn’t sure which one would match me. At the time, the lightest shade ended up being perfect and I was all set to sell the other two because I couldn’t imagine ever getting that dark. However, my doctor told me not too long ago that I’m severely deficient in Vitamin D and need to get more sun, so that’s what I’ve been doing and I suddenly found myself needing darker foundation. I pulled Vanilla, the darkest and yellowest powder, from the purge pile and I’ve been using it for the past month. This is the best powder foundation I’ve ever tried for dry/very dry skin because it doesn’t contain any of the really drying and mattifying ingredients usually found in most powder foundations (i.e. talc, silica, kaolin, nylon-12, starch) and has fantastic coverage (about the same coverage as Lucy Minerals but less drying). It’s a shame they’re no longer selling it. The Consevatorie’s website has been down for months.

I purchased Revlon’s Lip Butter in Sugar Plum ages ago during one of CVS’ semi-annual clearance sales and recently rediscovered it hiding in one of the side pockets of a purse. I forgot how wonderful it is, really just a perfect MLBB (my lips but better) with a hint of berry. It’s unfortunate that the shade has been discontinued. I’ve found that’s a common theme in my life. Whenever I fall in love with something, it ends up getting discontinued.

I didn’t expect to ever replace my BECCA Beach Tints with some cheapie lip stains but that’s exactly what I’ve done. I received two of the lip stains as PR samples from Born Pretty Store a couple of months back, reviewed them and really liked them but set them aside in favor of the BECCA Beach Tints. (You ever have a product that you feel obligated to use because you spent a lot of money on it?) But recently the weather’s been really hot and gross and the Beach Tints’ fruity scents have felt really cloying and overwhelming, so I pulled out the Born Pretty lip stains to use and remembered how much I really liked them. The consistency’s really light — like water literally — and very pigmented. They’re much more pigmented than Benefit’s liquid stains and completely fragrance free. Although technically lip stains, I’ve actually been using them as liquid cheek stains. I put two drops of the stain onto a clean laminated ID card that I no longer use (but any clean surface or makeup palette would suffice) then dab the e.l.f. Studio Small Stipple Brush into it a few times to make sure the color’s evenly distributed onto the tips of the bristles and stipple the blush onto my cheeks. The color payoff is wonderful and the finish is incredibly natural and non-sticky. I ended up selling off two of my BECCA Beach Tints because of how much I like the Born Pretty stains.

My food favorite of the month was Dannon Oikos Traditional Greek Yogurt in Lemon Meringue. I’ve always been a big fan of Dannon yogurt. Not the Light & Fit variety which has a thinner consistency and uses artificial sweetener but the regular Fruit on the Bottom type. Compared with Yoplait, Breyer’s or any other regular (non-Greek) mass market yogurt, Dannon’s is thicker, isn’t as runny or sickeningly, syrupy sweet which are all characteristics that I look for in a yogurt. I’ve also come to the conclusion that Dannon makes my favorite flavored Greek yogurt. I’ve tried Fage and Chobani but I prefer Dannon Oikos by far. It’s not as sharp/sour flavored or chalky as those. Oikos yogrut has a much thicker, creamier, richer texture and flavor. My favorite flavor is the recently discovered Lemon Meringue. If you like lemon tarts, lemon squares, lemon meringue pies or lemon desserts in general, you’ll love this. I usually shy away from lemon flavored yogurt because most end up tasting like lemon cleaner but this yogurt is so yummy. It’s nothing like lemon cleaner. The flavor and thick, rich consistency feels really indulgent and decadent like a pudding crossed with a mousse but you know it isn’t because it’s a yogurt.

My “sort of fail” for the month is Lay’s Kettle Cooked Greektown Gyro flavored chips. It’s one of the contenders in this year’s Lay’s Do Us A Flavor competition. I’m a fan of thicker cut chips so I always love the texture and extra potato-y flavor of kettle style chips but the flavor of these Greektown Gyro chips is just weird. They’re trying to recreate the flavors of a gyro — feta cheese is mentioned in the flavor description on the back of the bag — but it just tastes kind of rancid. Feta is a sheep’s milk cheese which I always find kind of gamey naturally (the same way I think lamb and lanolin lip products are gamey but perhaps I’m overly sensitive when it comes to sheep) and that doesn’t translate well into a chip. It would’ve been nice if I had gotten some roasted meat flavor but nada. I still ate the entire bag because a chip is a chip and I love potato chips. I also hate being wasteful with food so I couldn’t imagine throwing the bag out unfinished. But would I ever repurchase? No.

My biggest favorite of the month and this entire summer was Hannibal the tv show. I literally discovered this show two weeks before NBC announced its cancellation. Figures. Not only is the show visually arresting but it’s also well written and well acted. It can get a bit artsy fartsy sometimes but even then it remains provocative and interesting, never dull.

If you love crime dramas, psychological thrillers, action, dark humor, horror (it’s about Hannibal “the cannibal” Lecter after all), food porn and romance (kind of) you’ll love this show. It’s definitely a program that’s perfect for binge watching. The first two seasons go by really quickly. The first half of the third season went a bit slowly if you watched it live as it aired because they were introducing new characters, a new story arc, setting up the groundwork for later episodes, and it was more dialogue intensive and introspective but the back half of the third (and, sadly, final) season really picked up in terms of plot and action and I thought the series finale was great. If you binge watch the show all in one go, I don’t think you notice the slower pacing of Season 3 as much.

You might recognize Hannibal show-runner Bryan Fuller as the creator of Wonderfalls, Dead Like Me and Pushing Daisies. Famous faces on the show include Mads Mikkelssn (Hannibal Lecter) who you might recognize as the villain Le Chiffre from the James Bond movie Casino Royale; Hugh Dancy (Will Graham) married to Claire Danes and who you might recognize from Daniel Deronda, The Jane Austen Book Club and Confessions of a Shopaholic; Laurence Fishburne (Jack Crawford) of the Matrix movies; Raul Esparza from Law & Order: SVU; Richard Armitage (Francis Dolarhyde) from The Hobbit and my favorite British costume drama, North & South; and the fabulous Gillian Anderson (Dr. Bedelia Du Maurier) of The X-Files fame who just gets better and more beautiful with age.

Highly recommend!