Beauty Best Bets - October Recap

My sister and I both really enjoy discovering great new hair or cosmetic items, and frequently text or email each other when we find winners. I thought it would be fun to share our favorites with you each month here, and perhaps you'll find something you love too!


1. Victoria's Secret Mineral Bronzer in Sunstruck
I don't normally buy cosmetics from VS, but I received a $10 off of any purchase coupon in the mail, and I was running low on my Hula bronzer from Benefit, so I decided I'd try one of their bronzers. If it wasn't good, I would only be out $1 out of pocket. I chose the lightest color, since we're heading into the winter months, and I'm pretty fair naturally. Though the product packaging feels light and kind of cheap, the product itself is pretty great! The color is natural, doesn't have a lot of fake shimmer in it, and it doesn't seem to oxidize during the day. I really like this product, and will probably continue to use it for the cold months each year.

2. Revlon Photo Ready Perfecting Primer
I actually bought this back in July or August, but after a couple of tries, decided I didn't like it. I'm not sure why though, maybe I was trying to use it to soon after applying moisturizer before? Regardless, I gave it another shot this month, and I really like the result. I was reaching a point where I thought I'd have to change foundations (I use MAC Studio Fix Fluid, and have for years) because it just wasn't staying even. However, I'd also quit using a primer when I ran out of my last one and it was out of stock at Ulta. So, as a last ditch, I tried the Revlon Primer again, and for whatever reason, this time it's working like a charm! My foundation stays smooth and lasts much longer now. I believe I purchased I paid $11 for the primer.

3. Bare Minerals Eyeshadow Quad in The Truth
I first heard about this quad and how awesome it was in a make up tutorial by Tiffany D but had put off purchasing it because of its $30 price tag. But, when Ulta sent me a 20% off my entire purchase coupon, I figured it was finally time to give it a try. I'm so glad I did! Though I have quite a few brown and neutral shadows, I really think this quad is something special. The tones are a little bit on the cooler side, almost leaning towards grey silvery-brown on the lighter shades, but they are so flattering! I feel like they brighten my eyes. They go on silky, are well pigmented and stay on all day with a shadow primer (I use Urban Decay's Primer Potion, which they've been selling for less than half price at our local Nordstrom Rack store, woot!). There is a little bit of fall out on the darkest shade, so be sure to clean up the under eye after finishing your application, but beyond that, I LOVE this quad.

4. Essence Lipstick in In the Nude
This lipstick is all of $2.97 at Ulta, and is amazing! It smells delicious, slightly fruity, goes on super smooth and feels moisturizing. Beyond that, In the Nude is really a perfect, natural nude lip color. I've been wearing this with item #5, and I really can't describe how nice it feels and looks properly, just try it, ok? You won't regret it.

5. NYX Pump It Up Lip Plumper in Angelina
This shimmery gloss is gorgeous over any nude or peach lip color, and it does definitely plump the lips, taking away the appearance  of any fine lines in the lip. It doesn't really burn like some plumpers do, but it does feel a bit warm at first -- but it's not uncomfortable. I am considering getting another shade of this product as well, I really like it. I believe it was $5.97 at Ulta.

6. NYX Auto Eyebrow Pencil in Taupe
I've been using a Sephora store brand liner for about 4 years now, because I had a hard time finding anything else in a shade close the what I needed (my brows are a little darker than my hair, but a lot of darker blonde pencils are too dark, and light blonde ones often lean reddish). Also, I've found a lot of pencils to be overly waxy and lacking in pigment or staying power. This pencil was $4, (my Sephora favorite was $12) and I really like it. It wears well throughout the day, staying put, (though I haven't used it on days wear I got sweaty, so I'm not sure about summer use at this point) but I'm thrilled to have an affordable new option, at least for the cooler months.


1. Avon Ideal Flawless Invisible Coverage Cream-to-Powder Foundation 
Winter weather means cold temperatures and dry air. Accordingly, I switch from my lightweight
summertime powder foundation (Palladio Herbal Dual Wet & Dry) to a cream foundation to retain
some of my skin’s moisture as the temps and humidity levels drop. In the past I used Cover Girl’s Aquasmooth, which is a wonderful foundation especially for being so cheap. Sadly, I’ve never been able to find a perfect color match with it and I always ended up looking a little pinker than I am. This year I randomly stumbled upon Avon’s Ideal Flawless Invisible Coverage Cream-to-Powder Foundation and I absolutely love it. Easy to match with skin’s color and tone, even if you’re shopping online and the coverage is quite beautiful. It looks natural and radiant while still hiding flaws. This foundation lasts all day and into the night without running, oxidizing or fading. It costs all of $11.00 (if you’re too lazy to Google a coupon code) but performs as well as a $30.00 foundation. This, my new favorite seasonal foundation, is so good that it’s probably going to become a year round affair.

2. Neutrogena Revitalizing Tinted Lip Balm
Chapped lips are one less winter worry for me ever since I discovered this great lip balm. I’ve tried
expensive ones from Fresh, cheap ones from Nivea and everything in between and this is the absolute
best. Not just the best lip balm I’ve ever tried either, but the best lip product overall. Neutrogena Revitalizing Tinted Lip Balm in Petal Glow is my lipstick soul mate. The color is the most flattering shade I’ve come across in a lip product, which looks lovely and natural with one coat and a bit
more dramatic when layered. The balm soaks in well; moisturizing lips without making them feel goopy. It fades off cleanly, no white lines or residue and leaves lips looking a little bit rosier and fuller than they did before. It’s less than $10 and has SPF 20 protection to boot. This is my daily (and often nightly) go-to lip product.

3. Bed Head After-Party 
 Cold, dry air can make hair mercilessly frizzy and staticky. Thankfully, a friend introduced me to Bed Head After-Party Smoothing Cream many years ago and I no longer have to worry about keeping dryer sheets in my bathroom (though they do work okay in a pinch). This frizz fighting, hair smoothing, shine boosting cream weighs down frizz without weighing down hair. I rub a little in my hands, then through my ends and whatever residue is left after that, lightly over the roots. Smells great, makes hair feel and look better and doesn’t create product buildup. $15 - $19, depending on where you buy it.

4. Straight Sexy Hair Smooth & Seal 
An aerated finishing spray, great for spraying all over hair after finishing a blowout to keep it protected from the elements (wind, rain, etc.). This helps seal the cuticle to prevent frizz and fuzz and adds temporary shine, all without greasing up the hair. Also $15 - $19, depending on where you buy it.

We'd love to hear about your best bets! If you have a product to recommend, please leave us a comment!

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