Wednesday, March 1, 2017

4th Annual Beauty Awards

Typically, each fall I like to put together a post on my favorite beauty discoveries. However, last fall came and went without such a post because I hadn't uncovered any new beauty finds that felt worth writing about. Then suddenly, all the great beauty products I'd been looking for seemed to find me all at once. Thus, I present the 4th (almost) annual belly dance beauty awards.

Note: I am not paid or compensated in any way to write about the products I pick. I haven't even received free samples of any of these items. I just include 'em cuz I love 'em.

Kayo Concentrated Slimming Serum

In my day job, I sit at a desk 8+ hours a day. And like most other Americans, when I'm not at a computer, I'm still frequently looking at my phone, Kindle, iPod, Fitbit, or other electronic device. Whih means a lot of looking down. And what does that translate into? Tech-neck wrinkles. Yup, horizontal lines on your neck that have developed from the frequent and prolonged head position of looking down. I have them. I purchased this product after reading multiple reviews that other users weren't using it as intended for cellulite, but instead were using it for neck wrinkles to great effect. I was hesitant about spending the money on this item, but finally decided it was worth a try. So glad I took that leap. Are my tech-neck wrinkles gone? No, it's not magic, people. But are they greatly reduced? Yes. Was the money worth it? Absolutely.

Cosrx Acne Pimple Master Patch
These are a game changer. Despite being in my 30s, I still get the occasional breakout. And like everyone of any age, if I have a zit, I want it gone as fast as possible. Enter the Cosrx patch. You just place the patch over the blemish before you go to sleep, take it off in the morning, and ta-da! Your unslightly pimple is either gone or greatly reduced. If it was a larger blemish, it might take more than one application. The patch acts as a small hydrocolloid bandage and literally pulls the gunk out of your zit (which you will see in the patch when you pull it off). When my husband recently had a zit, I gave him a patch to try and he was surprised to see how well it had worked by the next morning and gave them his stamp of approval. My recommendation: keep these stocked in your medicine cabinet.

Aveda Tulasara Wedding Masque Eye Overnight 

It doesn't matter how much sleep I get, I have dark circles under my eyes. I'm sure that I could pull a Sleeping Beauty, sleep for 100 years, and still wake up with dark circles. It's just genetic. Thus it been my lifelong battle to try and diminish the look of those circles. Enter Aveda's Tulasara eye treatment. They call it a masque, but to me it doesn't feel any different than putting on eye cream. However, the result is very much different. Are my dark circles completely gone? No, pretty sure I'd need a fairy godmother for that one. But they are drastically reduced, to the point that I'd even consider going to the gym or grocery story without undereye concealer on, something I never would have done before.

Verb Blow Dry Brush

I've been a Mason Pearson user for a long-time, so I was a bit surprised that I went from liking a $100+ brush, to loving a $14 brush. When I blow dry out my hair using this brush, it ends up shinier and smoother than I can recall it being in a long-time. I also like that the bristles have just the right balance of firmness and flexibility, as well as being long enough to reach and massage the scalp while brushing (which promotes hair growth). Winner.

Christophe Robin Cleansing Mask with Lemon

I've been coloring my hair purple for about a year now. To get a vibrant shade of purple, I have to unfortunately bleach the hair shaft first. As can be expected, my hair is not that pleased about having such a harsh chemical applied and I can see more damage and frizziness than I used to see. Which is why I love this hair mask. It fixes hair color, while promoting shine and restoring the scalp. It hydrates hair while cleansing, exfoliating, and nourishing the scalp. It's your ultimate hair and scalp multitasker. Now I can have my proverbial purple cake and it it too.

Hum Nutrition

Beauty starts on the inside. I'm a fairly big proponent of using vitamins to help supplement a healthy diet and lifestyle. In our fast-paced modern lifestyle, it can be hard to consume all the nutrients we need. Or some of us may have environment factors working against us (hello, lack of sun in Seattle!). Or perhaps an illness or disease where the body has increased nutritional needs. I've been taking vitamin supplements pretty much my whole life. But it wasn't until recently that vitamins have turned over a new "glamorous" leaf and become chic and sophisticated.

Enter brands like Ritual, Care/of, and Inner Me. However, my favorite of the new wave of vitamin manufacturers is Hum. From what I can tell, Hum maintains high quality in their products, while making it fun and chic to take your daily pills. You can take their 3-minute quiz and go with their selections, or go with your own choices. Two choices that I like (and are also on the cheaper side of their options) are Killer Nails (Biotin) and Here Comes the Sun (Vitamin D). I take these two daily and can tell the difference when I don't. You can buy items individually through Hum or Sephora, or you can can sign up for a Hum monthly subscription to reduce the cost.

Want to check out the beauty archives? You can also read the 1st Annual Awards, 2nd Annual Awards, and 3rd Annual Awards.

Photo Credits: Good Housekeeping (top image), all other photos via manufacturers websites