Beauty survival kit

Happy March, peeps! The first of the month is always so refreshing, isn’t it? Well, besides rent being due. Ugh. Anyway, 2015 has been a year full of discovery for me: from discovering things about myself, to discovering new ways to view the world around me, to the topic of focus today: discovering new products that I don’t how how I ever lived without.

Here’s a breakdown of three things in my beauty drawer I’m currently obsessed with:

1. Handmade Vegan Gluten-Free Lemon Eye Serum

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Don’t let the name scare you, this is an all-natural eye serum my good friend and soul sister Erin makes and sells. It consists of just four ingredients, all with unique benefits: apricot oil for anti-aging and wrinkle prevention, Vitamin E oil for softening skin, jojoba oil for moisturizing, and lemon oil for brightening skin (not to mention a heavenly citrus scent). Before you mentally block this entire post out because you think putting oil on your face will cause it to break out, let me be the first to inform you that your whole life has been a lie. Putting oil on your face actually makes it less oily and less prone to breakouts. I’m serious. Look it up!

I initially purchased this as a natural alternative to the Neutrogena Deep Wrinkle Intensive Night Cream I was using. I only started using a wrinkle cream as a prevention measure (my mom – who has flawless skin – said she started using it in her mid-20s), but making the switch from a wrinkle cream to this stuff was the best decision I could have made.

I have been using Erin’s homemade serum for about a month now and am starting to see some clear benefits beyond just wrinkle prevention – my under-eyes actually look and feel more firm, and I have almost completely lost the dark under-eye circles that have plagued me since I was a teenager. I love that it’s all natural, and because of the individual benefits of all the components, I’ve also experimented with applying the serum on acne scars and on my forehead as well. What’s even better, is I’m pretty sure this bottle will last the rest of my life.

You can buy this product directly from Erin on Etsy!

2. Big Sexy Hair Volumizing Dry Shampoo

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I have to admit, my mom got this for me probably more than a year ago, and I threw it in a drawer and never thought of it again. Having short, dark, and thick ass hair, I try to only wash it two or three times a week, making dry shampoo a must in my morning routine. I experimented with so many different types, from powders to spray and everywhere in between with no avail. I always ended up having this gunky residue left behind near my scalp, making it look like I had dandruff. I even tried different techniques, such as applying the dry shampoo before bed and letting my pillow work it into my hair. Nothing seemed to be working, so I essentially gave up, and just resorted to teasing the crap out of my hair on especially greasy days.

Then, while packing for Vegas in January, I found this bottle amongst all of my travel-size shampoos and body wash. I threw it in my bag, with little expectation to actually use it. Well… Vegas happened, and the first morning I woke up to find my hair a grease pit. So I gave this stuff a try– and imagine my surprise when it went on perfectly, didn’t leave any residue behind, and gave my hair wicked volume in the process! I love this stuff, if you haven’t found your go-to dry shampoo yet, I suggest you give this one a try.

You can buy this at virtually any beauty store, including Ulta.

3. Rimmel London Lipstick and Lipstain

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I have no idea what kind of voodoo magic Rimmel London has been working with, but every lipstick I have tried by them have been outstanding. They are affordable (~$5-$10 a pop at Target), lightly scented, the color is rich, and most importantly they don’t dry my lips out (even WITHOUT a lip primer, which I always seem to have to use with the $16 MAC lipsticks…). My two faves are pictured above – Provocalips 16HR Kissproof Lip Color (left) and Lasting Finish by Kate Moss (right).

I don’t have much more to say beyond the application is easy and smooth and the results are amazing. I rarely — if ever — have to reapply, even after eating and drinking. Removing it at the end of the night doesn’t leave any stain or residue behind on my lips (which, as much as I love you, Just Bitten, you really suck at). When it comes to drugstore lipstick (which tbh is the only thing I can afford right now), Rimmel really gives the big names a run for their money (aside: how am I just now understanding what that saying means?). Now excuse me while I go cry over all the money I wasted on MAC lipstick.

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Provocalips in ‘Kiss Fatal’

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Lasting Finish by Kate in ’10’

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