April Favorites

Makeup

Hourglass Translucent Setting Powder

You know how skin just looks better in candlelight or during the golden hour? Somehow under these conditions, our skin looks like a snapchat filter has been applied IRL. Well, this powder that I didn’t want to love (due to its high price tag), does just that. You guys, it’s ridiculous how beautiful Hourglass Veil Translucent Setting powder makes your skin look. One try and I was instantly addicted. I’ve never, ever, ever loved a powder so much. It just applied this candle lit-perfection finish. It blurs, sets makeup, and gives just the perfect amount of glow while diminishing shine in a beautiful, perfecting way that can only be described as snapchat-like magic.

Luckily it’s available in mini for $20 (praise the good lord), but I guarantee once you try, you’ll be going back in for the full size. Thankfully a little goes a long way though so you do get an intense bang for your buck. So if you want the most gorgeous skin you’ve ever seen, you need this in your life. I know mine will never be the same and this gem will henceforth always be by my side.

Kevyn Aucoin Emphasize Eye Design Palette in Magnify

This month I treated myself to a very great treasure, a beyond gorgeous eye shadow palette by Kevyn Aucoin. My god is it perfection itself. I was looking for a cool-toned palette and the instant I saw this I knew I had to have it. I knew I’d love it the moment I saw the beautiful shades, but I didn’t realize just how greatly I’d fall in love. The Emphasize Eyeshadow Design Palette are not only exquisite shades, but they are also blendable and incredibly long-wearing. You can use them with or without a primer (this is very rare for me since my lids are so notoriously oily), and you will get a full day or night’s wear without any smudging or wearing off. I was actually a little shook when I first wore these out for a lengthy period of time (out all day for some brunching, wine tasting and lunching), I checked my makeup in the late afternoon, expecting to do my usual touch up and what do I find? My glorious eyeshadow, as perfect and as fresh as when I first applied it. (I’m telling you, this type of long-wear is practically unheard of for me). I just adore everything about this palette and I am so glad I treated myself to it. If you’re looking to level up your makeup game or you just want to treat yourself to one of the most glorious, long-lasting eyeshadow palettes of all time, look no further than his holiness’s line. Kevyn, we are not worthy.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Glow Kit in Sugar

Despite an (over)abundance of new highlighters out and about, I found myself reaching for an old flame, the Sugar Glow Kit by ABH. What can I say, Anastasia just gets it right. These four highlighters are beautiful as all hell, but what I truly love about them and what got me reaching for them over newer releases is their versatility. These highlighters do it all, from a soft and subtle, natural leaning gleam to a full-on, wet and visible from outer space beam (and of course everything in-between). And each shade is just so flattering and beautiful too. I also love mixing and matching the shades, layering them to create beautiful new effects. If you’re looking for a highlight palette that you can count on to make you look your most beautiful, Sugar Glow Kit is the one.

Also, a little tip, for an extra sexy oomph, try dusting these on your collar bones and shoulders and instantly go from dull to a full-on sex goddess in one fell swoop.

Skincare

Isle Of Paradise Self-Tanning Water

I live for self-tanning. There’s no easier way to amp up your look, skin just looks so much more beautiful when it’s sunkissed. Tans also have so many hidden benefits, they slim down the face and give the best instant contour, they also mask blemishes and minimize fine lines. The catch, finding a good self-tanning product can be challenging. I thought I had found the best until I got my hands on Isle of Paradise and the gates of Heaven themselves opened up and ushed me into the land of tanning nirvana. For the sake of all that is good and beautiful, listen to me very carefully right now.

This tanning product, Isle of Paradise Self-Tanning Water will rock your world. It gives the best self-tan of your life in the absolute easiest application imaginable. It truly is foolproof. You could apply it drunk, in the dark, during an earthquake and your tan would still come out the best that you have ever seen. It’s unreal. All you do is spritz the tanning water on. That’s it. You can rub it in gently with a tanning mitt if you want, but it doesn’t really make a difference, all you need it a spray or two. It takes all of twenty seconds and it dries down right away too. I live and die for this product, it has changed my tan game and my entire makeup game as well. I have been using it for a couple of months now and I can’t imagine ever not using it. I love how my skin looks with a tan, it just perfects everything and makes me feel extra beautiful and confident. I love how it also minimizes my need for foundation, since the tan masks blemishes and blurs texture and other such issues, I feel like some days, I hardly need foundation at all. If that isn’t lovely, I don’t know what is.

Oh, and I’m forgetting something V important, you can use this product on the rest of your body as well and it’s just as easy and flawless. God, could it get any better? I think not. The only nasty thing about it, it’s notoriously sold-out. That’s right, word is out that this stuff is life-changing and it’s extremely hard to find it in stock, so get yourself on an email list for when it becomes available and stock the hell up when you get the chance. I’m thinking of stockpiling it in case we ever go through an apocalyptic scenario, god forbid I go through those type of horrors while being pale. Jokes aside, if Isle of Paradise ever reports a discontinue of this, I would very literally stock up with a life-time supply. Not kidding. I’d also protest them and go to whenever means necessary to ensure they kept it in stock. Any. Means. Necessary.

Dr Bronners Peppermint Body Lotion

If you are looking for an ultra-moisturizing, light as a feather, fast-absorbing lotion that smells like peppermint heaven, it is my great pleasure to announce that you may stop your search here. Dr Bronners has served up a truly fantastic hidden gem of a product with their Organic Face & Body Lotion in Peppermint. It’s everything a lotion should be, and I have been loving it this past month. The peppermint not only smells divine, but it has a delightful cooling sensation that lasts throughout the day. It’s very subtle and not anywhere near the overpowering tingles that so many peppermint products go wrong with. And if you prefer a different scent, they have many others, you’re sure to find one that suits your taste. So put down that questionably smelling, smeary goo that you’ve been rubbing on your legs and find out what a lotion should be.

La Roche Posey Thermal Spring Water Face Mist

Anyone who knows me, truly knows me, knows that I am deeply in love with facial mists. I can’t get enough and for good reason too, nothing is more refreshing than a gentle face mist (except maybe a strong marg on the rocks after a long day). Bonus points if it smells good and has legit skin benefits. This past month my skin has been fed a healthy diet of La Roche Posey’s Thermal Spring Water Mist and I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon. I love the continuous mist, for one, it gives a super nice touch to your skincare routine and makes it feel extra luxurious. There are also noticeable results as well (which isn’t something all face mists can actually boast), after a mist or two from this thermal water you’ll see your skin looking extra glowy and moisturized, this is likely due to the antioxidant carrying minerals in this water, which is, after all, spring water. I use this mist during my morning and nightly skincare routines as well as throughout the day whenever my skin needs a little moisturization boost (or whenever I damn well please, thank you very much). I also have found that it works beautifully as a makeup refresher. If you find that your makeup starts fading after several hours of wear, whether it starts looking cracky and cakey or it starts separating and sliding off, a mist of thermal water and a couple of dabs of a sponge and you’re back and fresh as ever. We love a multipurpose, refreshing, perfecting queen of a mist. All hail La Roche Posey and their incredible Spring Water spray.

Sephora Collection Lip Scrub

If you’re currently alive you know that lip scrubs are all the rage. You can barely make it 10 feet down the street without being bombarded with lip scrubs that promise to give you soft, smooth lips that are perfectly ready for a wash of color in whatever form you choose. Lip scrubs not only make for the best possible lip product application, but they also aide in keeping that application perfect for as long as possible. Just you try putting on lipstick without first using a lip scrub and then after using one, you’ll notice your lipstick will crack and smear right off far faster without first prepping with a scrub. So now that we have demonstrated the necessity of lip scrubs, let’s talk finding the right ones, after all, not all lip scrubs are created equal.

Usually, lip scrubs come in a cute little pot and you use it by scooping out a little bit and using your fingers to rub it over and around your lips to gently exfoliate them and then you can wipe off the excess (or eat it if it’s food-grade, which some say they are). I have found this process cumbersome and sometimes counterintuitive in that it takes a longish time and has too many steps, and then wiping off part can be irritating and hard to get all the little granules off. Then if you lick it off it’s kind of silly because licking your lips dries them out after all. So I wanted something that was an easier, quicker and more effective way of prepping my lips for color. Enter Sephora’s Kiwi Lip Scrub. It’s a stick form, so right away that cuts out the steps of using your fingers and having to scoop. All you do is apply it like a chapstick, except you use circular motions to help exfoliate your lips. There will be some granules left but they are easily wiped off with a tissue or washcloth. The lip scrub is mixed with a balm so whilst your lips are being exfoliated, they are also simultaneously moisturized, which I LOVE. I also love the kiwi scent and color and the ultra-cute packaging and the nice as hell price tag. Win, win, and win.

Hair

Bumble and Bumble Pret-a-Powder

March was a certain kind of busy (I won’t bore you with the details as I assure you, they were boorish indeed) but mostly it consisted with a lot of late nights which of course resulted in a lot of hitting the snooze button. All this to say, dry shampoo was my best friend and I don’t think I could have gotten through this past month without it. I love Pret-a-Powder by Bumble and Bumble for several reasons, firstly, it works. You can count on its degreasing, refreshing, and volumizing powers. This dry shampoo is a cult favorite and loved high and low because it’s truly one of the best dry shampoos out there. It also smells downright heavenly. I love the way its aroma, it’s a fresh, clean and lightly floral scent. There’s nothing better than getting a whiff of it throughout the day, it’s just so lovely. Another huge benefit is the lack of white cast that so many dry shampoos fail miserably at. In fact, I first started using this dry shampoo when I was a brunette (gasp, the secret is out!), and I have never had an issue with even a mere hint of a white cast.

via GIPHY

I love using this on clean hair as well, whether you want extra volume, some beautiful non-crunchy texture, or you want to preserve and extend the length of your blowout (and of course all three benefits at once), Pret-a-Powder is your girl. She is mighty, hear her roar your hair into the hair of your dreams.

Verb Ghost Oil

My hair is drier than a desert down at the ends. It’s like the Saharah in the offseason if my ends were responsible for the livelihood of a herd of antelopes they would be well, deader than dead. So I am beyond desperate for moisture, I’m talking leave-in creams, hair masks, Olaplex on tap, and of course, oils. I have been a devotee to hair oils ever since I was 15 and I found Moroccan Oil. I’ve tried lots of different products to help my dry locks, and when I bleached them within an inch of their life I really had to step up my haircare game. There’s just something incredible about oil products that creams and sprays just can’t seem to hold a flame to, their moisturizing benefits far outweigh other products, but the catch is, they do this literally. While oils can’t be beat when it comes to moisturization, they do tend to be heavy on the hair. For someone with fine hair that is prone to oiliness on the scalp, this is especially problematic. So I have been on a hunt for an oil that can pack a heavy-hitting punch of moisture while doing so in a lightweight way. I want all the benefits and smoothness that an oil can give without any excess weight on my hair.

Verb Ghost Oil

I have found several products that can boast of all those claims, however, such a powerhouse of a product usually comes at a very high price point, which is why I’m so ecstatic that I found Ghost Oil by the haircare brand Verb. It seriously is the bee’s knees, and I love, love, love it. You get 60 mL for $16. Holy wow. I’ll take 10, give me a bushel of that ghostly goodness. This stuff works just as well, if not better than, some light-weight hair oils that are double or triple its price point. It’ll leave your hair feeling soft and smooth but not weighed down in the slightest. Ghost oil also gives incredible shine to the hair as well, I love applying it after my hair is dry as a smoothing and shine-inducing finisher. The best part is that after a few weeks of use, you will start seeing and feeling the results, it’s like a vitamin for the hair. You’ll start to feel softer, stronger strands, you’ll see less frizz and fly-aways and instead of being frustrated with your hair, you’ll start to fall in love with it. Talk about a happily ever after, thanks to Ghost Oil (who really is more of a hair guardian angle than a spooky ghost).

Lifestyle

Four Sigmatic

Guys, I jumped on the mushroom train this month, actually, I flung myself on it and there’s no going back. I tried Four Sigmatic after hearing all the buzz about how amazing it tastes and the health benefits of course and let me just say, it lives up to the hype. I am usually wary about trends, especially when they are involved with healthy food (how often do we jump on a health trend and say it’s delicious when it really can’t compare with stuff that actually tastes good, looking at you Kale. Even if you can convince yourself that it’s good tasting when you compare it to say, macaroni and cheese, or In’n’Out, or a pizza for crying out loud, Kale tastes like actual hot garbage. Luckily my beef with these health trends was quashed by Four Sig cause when you compare their products with their competitors, not only do they compete very well, they win. That’s right, Four Sig’s hot chocolate, I’ll take it over regular hot cocoa any day of the week. Their coffees, delicious as all hell, and that’s coming from a total coffee addict. I also live for their Chai. Oh my god. And one of the best little perks Four Sigmatic serves up is how easy and quick their drinks are to make! Instead of the lengthy processes of making hot chocolate, coffees and teas, all you have to do is rip open a little packet, dump it in a cup, add your liquid of choice and stir. It takes mere seconds, and it’s absolutely sublime.

I ordered a subscription because I realized I was buying so many of these and I needed to subscribe so I could actually save some money and so I wouldn’t have to keep running out to the store for more. They had a deal where you got a few special gifts when you ordered a subscription, I’m not sure if they are still giving these out, but regardless, if you love chocolate, chai and or coffee, you need to give Four Sigmatic a try. (And if you don’t love those aforementioned delights, try again, at life).

Lankanto Carmel Syrup

If you are looking to lessen sugar in your life without having to sacrifice any sweetness, Lankanto Carmel Syrup is the answer. I bought this because lattes. I miss sweet ones. I’ve had a super hard time with sugar and syrup alternatives, they either are way too sweet or have a weird after taste and so I gave up for a while. My lattes have sadly lacked sweetness -whoa is me- until now. Lankanto’s caramel syrup is the perfect substitute for any other caramel syrup out there, yes, even Starbucks. So if you want a caramel-filled life without any of the sugaring, carb-loaded regret, you’ve got to snap up some Lankanto. Don’t wait on this, live your life to it’s fullest and what life can be lived fully in the absence of caramel? Not a question.

Hannah Flack
Hannah Flack

I am a USC grad with a passion for beauty, health and science. I reside in beautiful California with my husband and puppy (@sebastian.thecavalierking).

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