10 Current Beauty Favorites – New & Review

This week, I want to share with you some of my current skincare and makeup products that I have acquired in the last few months. I shot these products back in December hoping to get it up at the end of the year, but here we are, the third week of January. Oh, how fast time goes by! For this year, I want to style and do more creative shoots like this, so let me know if you have any specific requests for fashion or more beauty favorites like this! Perhaps a collab with some local bloggers? Leave your suggestions in the comment section at the end of this post, and I would love to create something for you guys!

Here are my 10 current beauty favorites with my honest reviews and a Yelp 5-star rating.

1. EM COSMETICS Color Drops Serum Blush

Em Cosmetics is Michelle Phan’s makeup brand. If you don’t know by now, she’s a Vietnamese YouTuber that I have watched and followed for years. I had not personally tried any of her products but was particularly drawn to these serum blushes the day that they were launched. I bought Sunset Sky, a warm coral shade, and Pink Nectar, a watermelon pink shade.

FORMULATION: These blushes come in a liquid, serum-y formulation, so pigmented, and lightweight. The shine youthful finish comes from the Sacha Ichi oil that has a high concentration of fatty lipids. There are also Squalane, Hyaluronic Acid, and Vitamin E which explain Michelle Phan’s glowy blushy cheeks all over her social pages lately, and I’m here for it.

BUY HERE:

The dusty powdery shade of Pink Nectar complements my Asian olive skin tone so nicely, and I reach for it so often ever since. Sunset Sky is Katie Jane Hughe’s favorite, but I quickly find out that I don’t like how orange blushes and lipsticks on me so much for some reason.

PACKAGING: I have to point out the fact that the matte glass packaging and the shape of these blushes are just so cute! They’re great on my makeup counter as display items. However, the matte finish on the bottles and the caps are now kinda rubbed off. It’s so easily scratched, so be careful when you pack them on trips! In addition, the dropper does not seem to work, ever, so I just dab the tip of the dropper on my cheeks and blend it out with my fingers. I think Michelle can definitely save some money by eliminating the dropper and replace it with a glass or sponge tip, and that will work just fine!

PRICE: $25

RATING: 4.5/5

left: Pink Nectar right: Sunset Sky

2. LANEIGE Cream Skin Toner & Moisturizer

Ever since I heard of this milky moisturizing toner existed, I knew I had to have it. In my head, Korean skincare products that have a Sephora’s presence and if I hear it being mentioned a few times by some of the beauty Youtubers I watch, I’m sold!

FORMULATION: This Cream Skin Toner and Moisturizer is such a beautiful toner-moisturizer hybrid product, and there is really nothing I can tell you besides to go pick it up now. I have dry skin, and especially in the winter, so I’d take any extra moisturization layer I could. It feels like I put milk on my face, weirdly satisfying as I must say so. I just pour directly into the palm of my hand and apply it on my face right away. It’s fast absorbed and gets my face so moisturized! Just to keep in mind, I don’t rely on this as the only moisturizer for the night but rather use it at the toning step. Watch my skincare routine, here!

I cannot pick up any particular scent in it which is nice! White Leaf Tea water is rich in amino acids that help strengthen, moisturize, and soothe the skin. It’s fast absorbed, lightweight, slightly sticky but nothing annoying like some of the reviews online say to be honest.

PACKAGING: The soft-touch bottle feels so nice on the hand, quite a substantial size because you don’t really need a lot. The cap is heavy which makes it easy to be twisted off, great for when I’m too tired to deal with things, especially late at night!

PRICE: $33

RATING: 4.6/5

BUY HERE:

3. Milk Makeup x Sephora Collection Studio Brush Set

This is the only product that is sold out, unfortunately. But in case you don’t know, MILK is one of my most favorite makeup brands. I love their branding, designs, and products!

I got the brush set on the Sephora website, hopefully, they will restock it in the near future. There are 5 brushes: for Cream Sticks, Setting Powder, Foundation, Highlighter, Concealer. It comes in a frosted storage canister, perfect to travel with, but I just throw my brushes into the Muji makeup bag with other products to save space.

PACKAGING: To my surprise, I reach for these brushes so often ever since! They are compact and comfortable to use, plus the silver handles make them look so nice both as a display on my makeup counter and are so satisfying to use! The round dense brush for blushes is what I reach for the most because I’m really into cream and liquid blushes lately!

PRICE: $58

RATING: 4.3/5

4. BRIOGEO Scalp Revival Charcoal + Coconut Oil Micro-exfoliating Shampoo

I have a very dry itchy scalp. Sadly, Head and Shoulder shampoo doesn’t work for my hair anymore ever since I’ve moved to Seattle. There is just something about the PNW rain and air in the winter that makes my skin and scalp extra irritated and dry. For my scalp especially, I have tried so many types of dandruff shampoos in the market and even got myself a foam treatment prescribed by my Dr. But nothing seems to solve the problem up until this day!

Briogeo is a haircare brand that has popped into my radar for about a year, and I finally give in and try this Scalp Revival exfoliating shampoo.

FORMULATION: I love how it’s a gel-like consistency, a lot more dense in consistency than a liquid shampoo that I’m used too. It lathers quite nicely surprisingly, but sometimes I have to shampoo my hair twice to get a totally clean feeling. That part is quite annoying because it’s an expensive product.

Here is the thing! I have fine hair, so I tend to use a lot of styling products in hope for the volume and hold that I like because I have short hair. My dry itchy scalp would get upset and super oily at the end of the day, and my hair just looks flat and gross as well. Every time I wash my hair, it feels like a relief because all that is product build-up.

Going back to dandruff and itchy scalp struggle, this shampoo would dry out my scalp, and it sheds like snow the second week after. But I notice that I get super itchy days, but most days are ok. It’s confusing, so I cannot say this shampoo is the solution for my dry itchy scalp with occasional dandruff yet. I still use it now because I like how it makes my hair feels (Well, most of the time!)

PACKAGING: I don’t like how it comes in a tub like this! Such a hassle to dig my wet fingers to scoop up the product. But this way, I know I’ll get to use every last bit of it compared to a regular pump bottle. So I’m not mad about this either!

BUY HERE:

PRICE: $42

RATING: 4/5

5. ANASTASIA BEVERLY HILLS Norvina Eyeshadow Palette

I love Anastasia Beverly Hills (ABH) eyeshadow palettes, and this Norvina Palette is the second palette from ABH that I own.

MY REVIEW: Great pigmentation and shades. As you can see in the photo shot below, there are lots of fallout, but I don’t really mind it. I reach for the bottom matte row way more often than the shimmery row on top. It just what I gravitate to for work or just daily casual makeup.

PRICE: $42

RATING: 4.6/4

BUY HERE:

6. OUAI Matte Pomade

If you have short hair, this Ouai Pomade is a must-have!

FORMULATION: It’s a paste that contains beeswax and kaolin clay that deliver a pliable and long-lasting hold. I’d usually just pick up some product with the tips of my fingers and apply it on the ends of my hair. It’s lightweight and helps me achieve that piece-y looking ends. I also love the floral musky scent, super pleasant to use!

One thing to note though, it does not seem to ‘work’ once my hair grows a bit longer. With a freshly cut (short bob), it gets difficult to wrap my hair around the curling wand, especially at the back of my neck. Then this product is a hero that helps me achieve that beachy piece-y ends for that particular period of time.

PACKAGING: It’s a pretty good size for the price, and a little goes a long way! I like its matte finish glass container!

PRICE: $24

RATING: 4.2/5

BUY HERE:

7. THEN I MET YOU Living Cleansing Balm

Sokoglam’s founder, Charlotte Cho, is the person behind Then I Met You’s magic! I buy because Michelle Phan uses and loves this product. And it works great!

SHOP HERE:

This Living Cleansing balm is a balm to oil to milk cleanser that I use as the first cleanse of the night routine. It’s expensive, so I tend to use it on heavy makeup days only. I’d highly suggest going over with a water-based or gel cleanser as the second cleanse. Then I always follow up with a toner to make sure no products left on my face before applying skincare.

FORMULATION: I love the light citrus orangy scent and how it melts my makeup as I rub it into my skin. Such a great product and experience to use! Its unique yellow color is from the seaberry aka sea buckthorn which is rich in antioxidants and fatty acids. There are persimmon extract, olive oil, and vitamin E which are all great skin-benefiting ingredients.

This jar is TSA friendly, fyi!

PRICE: $38

RATING: 4.7/5

8. THE ORDINARY Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5

Hyaluronic acid is the ultimate solution to treat any dryness issues. I love this particular product to mix it in with my regular moisturizer. Right now, I use it in tandem with my Krave Beauty Oat moisturizer, and it elevates and helps the moisturizer does a better job! more on that in a Krave Beauty brand and product review! I’ve even used it after the moisturizer step, and it does a great job at sealing the moisture and my face feels great the next day!

FORMULATION: It’s a pure vegan hyaluronic acid. As stated by the brand, the formulation combines low, medium, and high molecular weight hyaluronic acid and a next-gen H.A. cross-polymer 2%, and this just means that you’d get moisture seeping through multiple layers of your skin. B5 is also great hydration as you’d see it’s used in lots of moisturizing products for skin and hair!

It doesn’t have any particular scents. I like that it’s clear and comes in a bottle with a dropper application, and that means it’s mess-free! It has a gel-consistency that is super easy to mix with other products. A must-have product to have in my collection for sure!

PRICE: $6.80

RATING: 4.7/5

SHOP HERE:

9. RMS Living Luminizer

If you know me by now, I’m a fan of a glowy natural look. I never leave the house without some glow on the cheekbones!

SHOP HERE:

This is the first and only RMS product I have, but it won’t be my last! I love their branding and how their products come in cute little pots. Super cute to have in my makeup counter!

FORMULATION: Living Luminizer is a cream highlighter that gives off a wet highlighted look, so natural, and long-lasting on the skin. I love that the highlighted ingredients are Buriti oil, jojoba oil, and coconut oil, and it comes in recycled packaging.

It is so easy to blend, not beaming bright nor too sheer, just right in between. I like to do a few swipes with my fingertips and dab to blend into the skin on the high points of my face: cheekbones, nose bridge, cupid’s bow and sometimes brow bones. I know makeup artists use this on the center of eyelids to achieve that wet-looking editorial lids, super cool but I’d be too afraid it would smudge so quickly on me!

PRICE: $38

RATING: 4.7/5

10. LIVING PROOF Perfect Hair Day Body Builder

I got this ‘body-builder‘ per a Sephora sale associate’s recommendation. It was on sale for $15. Hence, I’m happy to give it a try, and it works! As mentioned above, all I need are products that are lightweight and give me volume!

FORMULATION: This gives a light to medium hold, build-able, and so airy. I love the scent, quite fresh and not overwhelming at all. My hair doesn’t feel crispy nor weighty regardless of how much of this product I use which I really like!

Living Proof’s Perfect hair Day is a trademark thing from the brand that includes a customizable nozzle that adjusts the particle size and spray rate. It is a pleasant experience to use, and I’m sure you’d agree as well! I’m a fan of the brand!

PRICE: $29

RATING: 4.5/5

SHOP HERE:

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I hope you’ve found this post helpful. Happy Tet/Lunar New Year if you do celebrate it! Check out my previous beauty related blog posts for more cool finds!

My Skincare Routine – A/W 2019

5 High-End Beauty Products Worth the Splurge

5 Fashion & Beauty Tools That Changed My Life

Let’s Talk About The Hair & Skin Down There

Stuff That Got me Through Winter

Glossier & ‘Glossier You’

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An Trieu

Currently based in Seattle, Style & Senses is my digital life and style journal of all things that inspire my senses and beyond. Hope you stay inspired, as always! - An Trieu.

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