Welcome back, or should I say bentornati, everyone. I was in Italy a few weeks for what was supposed to be a fun vacation, and while it turned out to be more of a family-focused trip, it was still wonderful. If you follow me on Snapchat, you know that I ate all the pizza and gelato that was offered to me (I was living sugar-free before the trip, ha!), and even had limoncello after dinner (I had not touched a drop of alcohol in years), so yeah, it was lit.
As per usual, I did a pretty awful job packing my beauty products (will I ever learn?). I brought waaay too much makeup, and definitely too little skincare product. The good thing, however, is that I wore makeup pretty much every single day, so I was able to give many products a good test-run. So here is a brief recap of what I used the most and was glad to have carried with me across the pond.
Clarisonic Mia Fit*. Due to the sugar-filled diet, air pollution, and lack of sleep, my skin quickly turned into a mess. Before the trip it had been clear and healthy for a very long time, so having to deal with breakouts, redness, dryness around eyes and mouth, and a lot of oil on my T-zone was very frustrating. I believe that the Mia Fit was the best thing to have around at that time, because makeup residues, dead skin, pollution, and excess oil had to be removed properly, and my skin clearly needed a thorough, deep a cleanse. I used it at least every other day, and after each use my skin looked so much better. I am going to post a full-review for the Mia Fit. I think it’s a really great tool for a deep cleanse, and it’s probably one of my favorite beauty finds of this year so far. You can check it out here.
Yuli Halcyon Cleanser. I have talked about this cleanser so many times, but if you recently found Genuine Glow, feel free to read my full-review here. It’s a one of a kind cleanser: gentle, easy to use, very effective. If I didn’t bring it, I would have probably gotten in serious trouble.
Gressa Skincare. I have used Gressa makeup for quite a while, but I had not tried any of their skincare products until recently. My favorite product, and one I almost finished during the trip, is the Purifying Oil*. It’s a face serum with a lightweight consistency. Quite possibly one of the lightest I have tried, which does not clog my pores or cause breakouts. I pat just about three drops onto damp skin, and it keeps my skin feeling soft, but not suffocated like some face oils do. Works extremely well (as expected) under the Gressa Minimalist Corrective Serum Foundation.
Concealer. The W3LL People Bio Correct Concealer is still my favorite one, and I am going to buy a new tube soon because I am almost out of it! I have never finished a concealer, especially one of the “natural” ones. It gives me good coverage (I would describe it as medium coverage, buildable), but it does not cake or emphasize lines. I use the color Light which I think is perfect for light-medium kin tones. I also used it on my eyelids to cover veins and redness, and it works great as eye primer, too. Just keep in mind it sets quickly. I squeeze a tiny amount on the back of my hand and apply it under one eye, blend it well, and then squeeze a tiny bit more and do the other under eye. Once it’s set I apply the tiniest amount of setting powder, and that way it lasts all day long. Available here. You can see also some swatches here.
Mascara. The only mascara I took with me is the newly re-formulated Honest Beauty Truly Lush+Lash Primer Mascara. It comes with a priming, conditioning side, and a rich black coating side. I like it a lot. The lash primer gives me a first layer of oomph. It makes my lashes feel soft and look a bit thicker. I let it dry for about 30 seconds and then I use the black mascara side. The wand, which is pretty thin, easily reaches all the lashes without getting product on the eye lid, like many mascara wands do. Once I have applied the mascara, I let my lashes dry and then I give them a gentle squeeze with a eyelash curler. The result is quite natural, but defined. I would say that it’s a lengthening/defining mascara, not a volumizing one(though if you have thin lashes you will notice a little more volume anyway). As for longevity, it stays on beautifully. I haven’t had any issues with smudging nor flaking. Overall it’s a great mascara, and I have used it both for daytime and evenings, too. In the evening I just drop a couple of individual lashes for a little added drama, and I’m good. You can find it here.
Eye primer. Jane Iredale just launched these new eye primers* called Smooth Affair for Eyes that come in several colors. They are very creamy and moisturizing, so they are particularly suited for mature eyelids. They make the eyeshadow colors stand out more and stay put all day long. These will also be on the blog soon with swatches and a full review, and I may even have some to give away. *wink*
Eyeshadows. I was actually pretty conservative with eyeshadows, and it was just the right amount of options. I brought two Honest Beauty eye palettes (they are eyeshadow trios), called Sable brown and Soft Sand. They are both neutral and look very similar, but the similar colors have different finish. One has a matte highlighting color, and the other ones has a shimmery one. I use the matte highlighter from the Sable Brown palette as a base color all over the lid, as a brow bone highlighter, and as a inner corner brightener. The shimmery highlighter from the Soft Sand palette is beautiful when used on the center of the lid for a pop of brightness, or in the inner corner of the eye for a more intense, evening look. I like to mix and match all of the other colors for a nice neutral eye look, and I can keep it soft for the daytime or intensify it for the evening. The Honest Beauty eyeshadows are great: pigmented, soft, easy to blend, long-lasting. I can’t think of absolutely nothing that I don’t like about them. They are also fairly priced, considering that one palette comes with three colors and retail for about $25. The packaging is also fantastic for traveling, because it protects the eyeshadows while still being lightweight. You can find them here.
The other eyeshadows I brought are from Kjaer Weis, and I placed them into a Z-palette (like this one) for easy carrying. I chose to bring Grace, my all time favorite eyeshadow, (reviewed with swatches here), and Transcend (full-review here). I was tempted to bring more of these because Kjaer Weis has some fabulous eyeshadow colors, but I only brought those two.
Another eyeshadow I brought with me is the shade Luxe* from Alima Pure new pressed eyeshadow line. This is an intense golden copper color, so it was perfect when I wore a more bronzed look with bronzer on my cheeks, brown eyeliner, and a golden highlighter on my cheekbones. Alima Pure pressed eyeshadows are also very good quality shadows, formula-wise. They are available here.
That’s it! I feel like I deserved an extra gelato for being so conservative with eyeshadows, but I didn’t do as great with lip products. What’s most upsetting is that of all the lipsticks I brought, I kept wearing the same ones over and over again…
Lipsticks. If you follow me on Snapchat or watch my Instagram stories chances are you saw me wearing one of the new Kjaer Weis lipsticks: Honor, Believe, and Adore, which are, respectively a pink-nude, a plum (your lips but better type of color), and a classic red. I will review them more in depth soon, but I will tell you that I have rarely worn anything else since I got them. Find them here.
I brought quite a few brushes, (about 20 which is ridiculous, right?), and I regretted it, but it’s because I did not expect to use the same few ones so much. In fact I came back with a little bag full of clean brushes I didn’t even touch. The brushes I used the most are:
Artis Brush Oval 7. This.is.amazing!!! Though I used other foundation brushes that did a pretty good job applying foundation, I always ended up using my fingers or a beauty blender to smooth out the foundation. With this brush (and the one I will mention next) I don’t need any additional step because they apply it evenly, leaving no streaks. Find it here.
Artis Palm Brush. There’s this one Elle gorgeous beauty editor, Julie, who makes me want to try everything she uses to do her makeup. She seemed to be pretty obsessed with this new Artis brush, so I couldn’t wait to try it. Sure enough, now I am obsessed, too, and words don’t even do it justice. It’s super soft and densely packed, so it applies and blends face products like a dream. It’s like the Oval 7 but in an ergonomic, palm-sized version, so it can be used for the body as well. Don’t let the weird shape intimidate you, because the Artis face brushes work amazingly well, especially if you want to achieve good coverage without caking up too much foundation. Th Palm brush is available here.
Right before leaving for Italy, I ran out of both shampoo and conditioner and completely forgot that my favorite ones could not be delivered in time to pack them. I was undecided between running to the closest Target to pick up some by Acure, rely on the two-day shipping with Amazon Prime, or just pick up something in Napoli, once I got there. I ended up picking up some by Acure but forgot it at home. Brava, bravissima!
The only products I ended up packing and using are the Innersense Leave-In Conditioner and the Yarok Feed Your Shine Hair Serum, which is a weightless oil treatment that (applied on the ends) does not make my hair look greasy, but nourished and shiny.
I took advantage of being there and went to see my trusted hairdresser, and he gave me a new cut and color, which I’m in love with. I didn’t go as blonde as I planned to (he advised against it), but it feels just a bit new and lighter, which I needed. What do you guys think?
I am officially back! :) and a new post will be up soon. Tweet me, DM me, snap me, email me with any questions or requests.