It's been a while since we've written a monthly favourites (or any blogpost for that matter) but a lot has happened over the summer and we kind of fell behind on the blog. But we're back now. We'll probably still post a little less frequently than before (because of exams and life and stuff), but bear with us, we'll get back to normal eventually!
So what better way to get back into the swing of things than with a 'Monthly Favourites'. Since it's been a while since we've written one of these, this blogpost might be a little longer than usual, so you might want to get cosy first. I say that now, but let's be honest, most of the posts I write are quite long. I'm sorry guys, I can't help it! Once I start talking, I tend to just ramble on. So, my apologies in advance ;).
Too Faced Cocoa Contour
Let's start this "Monthly Favourites" off with a product I've been using pretty much every day since the day I bought it (which is visible by how dirty the packaging has gotten). As you might have seen over on our Instagram-page, when I went to London with my dad this summer, I picked up a few Too Faced products, including this Too Faced Cocoa Contour. I had heard rave reviews about the Too Faced Chocolate Bronzer and was planning on buying that when I saw this little kit that included the Chocolate Bronzer along with another bronzer and two highlighting shades. So I decided to pick that one up instead. In all fairness, I've only used two of the powders (Light Cocoa and Medium Cocoa) regularly, since Dark Cocoa is just a little bit too dark for me at the moment and the Pop of Light is a little bit too glittery for my taste (I like to keep my makeup really natural).
I use Light Cocoa to set my foundation as well as to highlight ever so slightly (mainly my brow bone and my under-eyes). Medium Cocoa I use to contour. I don't really do a heavy contour (remember, keeping it natural), but I do like to try and hide that little bit of winter fat that has accumulated in my face ;).
I had already heard that Too Faced powders and eyeshadow were really creamy and they are. They apply like a dream and blend very easily.
Oh, and I almost forgot, the entire palette smells like cocoa powder. But don't let that scare you off, the scent fades almost immediately after applying, but it's just a little fun addition to this palette.
Kiehl's Butterstick Lip Treatment
This is by far the best lipbalm I've ever used. I use this both in winter and in summer when my lips start to get a little dry and chipped. It's not too greasy, so it wont turn your lips into a slip'n slide (as some lipbalms tend to do), but it works absolute wonders for your lips!
The main ingredients are lemon butter and coconut oil, so it's no wonder they're great at hydrating chapped lips to be honest. The lemon butter also gives it just a hint of a lemony taste, which is actually quite nice. It doesn't really have a scent to it, which is something I can really appreciate as well!
You can buy these Buttersticks in an untinted version (with or without SPF) or in a tinted version (they have a range of 3 to 5 different colors, depending on where you live). The tinted versions give just a hint of color to your lips while hydrating them. I currently own the Kiehl's Lip Treatment Butterstick in Untinted with SPF 25 (always wear SPF!) and in Naturally Nude. I've actually been looking to buy this one in Pure Petal as well, a beautiful pink color, but I can't seem to find it anywhere, so I'm afraid that color just isn't available in Europe.
Origins GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream
I've tried quite a lot of eye creams by now and this is definitely one of my absolute favourites. I bought this one on a whim, after getting a tester of the Ginzing day cream once and really liking it. I just thought: "If I like the day cream from this range that much, than the eye cream must be good as well". And it really is! With exam season coming closer, I definitely need something like this to get rid of my under-eye circles and bags, since I won't be getting enough sleep in the upcoming months, and this has turned out to be the perfect product for it.
One of the main ingredients in this eye cream is coffee, so this eye cream will literally work like a shot of espresso for your eyes. It also contains optic brighteners, which brighten up dark circles like a dream. The eye cream is lightweight and not greasy at all. You can apply makeup on top of it without any annoying interaction between the eye cream and the makeup. It's just a really good eye cream!
Stabilo Pastel Markers
This is kind of a random one, but I've been using these markers religiously since the summer (exams) so I feel like I just have to mention them here.
When I first saw these pastel markers I had my doubts about them. I really couldn't see the use of pastel text markers. The whole idea of text markers is that you make the important stuff stand out and how could you possibly do that with pastel colored markers? But boy, was I wrong! I now like these markers more than my regular fluo markers and I have bought them in all six available colors.
The reason I like these markers so much is not just because they are pretty (which they are). But I have noticed that the colors are much easier on the eyes, yet they still stand out enough to fulfill their purpose as text markers (which is to make the important stuff in a text stand out).
During exams you really have to go through a lot of text and notes and a bunch of textbooks in a short period of time, which is already quite straining on the eyes (and brain) and when all that text is marked with really vibrant and flashy colors, that makes it even more straining! And that's why I like these markers so much. They make an already exhausting and not so fun task, just a little easier.
Bluebird Tea Co. Loose Leaf Tea
This is actually a favourite from later on in the month. When I ordered my Advent Calendar from their site, I also ordered some different kinds of loose leaf teas. In general, I prefer loose leaf tea to bags. It's better for the environment (less waste), you can control how strong you want your tea (adding more tea to the water is the best way to make tea stronger, since just leaving the tea in to soak for longer can actually make your tea bitter), I don't know it's just a personal preference. I had already tried a couple of teas from the Bluebird Tea Co., since we regularly get them in our Sourcedbox and so far I had always liked them. And since I was ordering the Advent calender anyway, this seemed like the perfect opportunity to try out some more of their blends. We ended up ordering 'Birthday Cake', 'Victoria Sponge Cake', 'Vegan Snowball' (one of the Christmas teas) and 'Earl Grey Creme' and I like all of them.
We now also have a monthly subscription, since we liked the teas we ordered so much, with which we get 3 bags of loose leaf tea sent to our doorstep every month.
Harry Potter Book Set
I started re-reading the Harry Potter books in English two year ago (after having read a couple of them in Dutch when I was much younger), but stopped after the third book for some reason. When I saw this book set at the Boekenbeurs (a huge book fair in Antwerp, held every year), I instantly fell in love with the beautiful artworks on the cover and the box and decided to pick these up. I started reading them again that same night and I am currently on the second book. Unfortunately I don't have as much time to read now as I did when I was younger (because of school and work), but I do try to make a little bit of time free every evening before I go to bed. I have been doing this for the month of November and not only has it been really fun to get back into reading, it has also helped with my sleep. I sleep much deeper and wake up fresh and well-rested in the morning because I no longer stare at my computer screen right up until I go to bed, like I used to. Instead, I get ready for bed, read for about half an hour (with a nice cup of tea) and go to bed straight after that without looking at my phone again. It such a small thing, but it really has made a huge impact.
And with that, we have concluded my favourites for this month. I hope you enjoyed that I included some more random products in here, instead of just talking about makeup and skincare products. Let me know what your favourite products are in the comments and maybe I'll give them a try myself!
Talk to you soon,
P.S. My apologies for the not-so-good quality on some of these pictures. I lost daylight while shooting them and since I don't have any good lighting and didn't have time to reshoot them I had to make do. The pictures will be much better on the next post, I promise!