With the obligatory annual "best of" lists that pop up at the tail end of each year, I wasn't planning on posting a December Favourites. However, I came across a good number of products this month that I felt deserved their moment in the spotlight. Most were new acquisitions that I found myself genuinely pleased with, while others were rediscoveries of previously neglected products that I managed to put to good use.
Caudalie Make-Up Remover Cleansing Water Organic Grape Water & Camomile
My Bioderma Créaline H20 was leaving my skin feeling a little dry when I used it remove makeup from my face. Then I remembered this micellar water from Caudalie that came in the Must Have Set I purchased in March from Feel Unique. I find this cleansing water more refreshing and distinctly more moisturising than the more clinical, no-nonsense Bioderma, even if I still use Bioderma to get rid of more stubborn eye makeup. It has a "green" scent that reminds me of something vegetal but sweet. With a finishing spritz of Avene Thermal Spring Water all over, my skin feels hydrated and plump, like it can finally relax and breathe.
Topshop Blush in Head Over Heels
I've been putting off buying this cream blush for probably a couple of years and recently finally caved. It's a fairly affordable $12 and the packaging is compact, functional and adorable. I have no shortage of similar shades (or rather, I have no non-similar shades), but the texture is what impressed me. It reminds me a bit of the Chanel Le Blush Crème de Chanel cream blushes. It's not wet or emollient, it's more thin, dry and on the powdery side, but super easy to blend out, not patchy and very pigmented.
Napoleon Perdis Cream Blush
I was prepared to largely disregard this unnamed cream blush that was a freebie with the November issue of Australian InStyle magazine, dismissing it as generic and unexciting, but seeing it pop up in a couple of Monthly Favourites posts from Tashi and Kat made me revisit it. I was surprised at how this looked patted onto my cheeks after foundation — dewy, fresh and an instant complexion pick-me-up. Not too red, not too brown. A rare thing: a pink that I can pull off.
Rimmel Wake Me Up Concealer in Classic Beige (030)
I've heard good things about this concealer from Tanya Burr and I enjoy the Wake Me Up foundation (despite buying about 3 shades too dark), so this was another thing I picked up during Priceline's 40% off sale. As I mentioned in my outback packing post, I've had to tackle a lot of random dark spots on the lower half of my face from pimples that have diminished but left their mark. This concealer, while slightly lighter than my skin tone, works well to cover the spots so they're almost undetectable. It has a texture similar to Maybelline Fit Me concealer, except a bit more liquid, thinner and radiance-boosting. It also neutralises redness around the edges of the nose and brightens darker areas around the corners of the mouth.
Maybelline Volum' Express The Falsies in Blackest Black
I've been meaning to try this mascara for an age and finally picked up a tube from Chemist Warehouse when they had a 2 for $20 deal on Maybelline mascaras. I'm happy to report this mascara is a breeze to use and I've been reaching for it almost every day since I opened it. The wand isn't overly wet or overloaded with product and it provides good separation and length for a defined, natural look. I've experienced no noticeable issues with clumping, smudging or flaking. The curved wand helps lift the lashes upward from the roots and it's one of the best mascaras I've tried for the lower lashes, second only to Max Factor Masterpiece Max.
DKNY Be Delicious
I'd almost forgotten I owned this perfume but on a whim one morning decided to spritz it again. I don't know why I haven't worn this more because it's so much better than I remembered. It's comforting, sophisticated and warm, with top notes of grapefruit, cucumber and magnolia, middle notes of apple, tuberose, lily of the valley, rose and violet, and base notes of white amber and woods. Oddly, I don't detect that much green apple. It's a little sweet, a little tart, clean and mellow. Longevity and projection are excellent.