*Image via Rose Inc of the gorgeous Rosie Huntington Whitely.



Honest Review: Evan Healy’s Wild Carrot Nourishing Eye Stick.

The big surprise this month for me was EvanHealy’s Wild Carrot Nourishing Eye Stick. For years, I have hunted for an eye product that I feel even vaguely attracted to, and have finally found a product I really enjoy in this product. This is a wonderful eye-area moisturizer — leaves skin so well-hydrated! — but its key virtue is its ease of application. I LOVE the balm-style stick. It’s like chapstick for the under-eye area (you can also use ON lid if you have dry lids!), and it just feels so much easier to glide on first thing after washing my face in the morning versus another pot to unscrew and cream to dab on. I’ve read some reviews that complain that it takes time to absorb / feels a bit thick on skin, but I have not experienced this at all. If anything, I find it much easier to layer under makeup than the Olay Ultimate Eyes product I’ve been using for a long time. I slick it on, apply the rest of my serums/sunscreen, and my skin feels totally ready to accept concealer/foundation/any other “coverage” products. I like this product so much I apply it morning and night — I have to say, I have been a resistant or lazy eye product consumer for a long time because I rarely feel they do anything, but I do not mind adding this step to my bedtime routine with the EvanHealy. (As an aside, in the mornings, I typically apply this right after I cleanse my skin with this oil-based cleanser in the mornings and the combo of these two vegetal scents make me feel very earthy-crunchy, in a good way — as though I’ve just accomplished something meditative or medicinal and might be on my way to “earth” myself outside. I don’t hate starting my day this way. But, don’t worry — the carrot scent is very mild.)

Honest Review: Rose Inc Beauty Products.

I bought this gift set from Rose Inc so I could test some of the products from this heavily-buzzed-about beauty brand (founded by supermodel Rosie Huntington Whitely). Note that you can get 20% off your first order with code HELLO20! I am impressed with this brand and will absolutely go back to try more. I love the radiant lip and cheek color (I have in azalea — sort of like a rich rose hue) — it’s deeply pigmented and you only need a tiny dab or two on the cheek to achieve a beautiful flush. I will say I have a soft spot for lip/cheek sticks/gels/balms that can be applied with fingertips, as I also love Ilia’s lip/cheek pigment and Westman Atelier’s cheek stick, and I would rank all three in a similar category of excellence. Great colors, easy to apply, natural-looking. I like the way these three products seem to make you glow from within your skin. I was less impressed with the Lip Sculpt mainly because I don’t think the color I chose (“Beams”) “does it” for me — it was a bit too brown on my skin and made me feel moody? I like lighter/brighter pinks and peaches. That said, I could not believe the consistency of the product — it is like a melting gel that just glides right into the lip with barely any pressure/effort. I thought the Brow Renew gel was solid, but I got the clear version and think I’d prefer the tinted one to help with some sparse areas in my brows. Overall, though, loved the way this product shaped, volumized, and held without leaving brows “crispy.” I would say this product is on par with my longtime favorite product in this category, Hourglass’ Volumizing Brow Gel. (My main gripe with the latter is that it contains the tiniest amount of product and dries out / is gone within like a month of use.)

Honest Review: Fig.1 Vitamin C Treatment.

This month, at the suggestion of the inimitable Nellie Diamond (who is both an investor in and happy customer of the brand), I tried Fig.1’s Vitamin C treatment after finishing my bottle of Biossance’s Vitamin C Rose Oil (<<note that they are currently running a promo where you buy a full-size and get a bonus trial size free, which is great for travel!). There was nothing egregious about Fig.1’s product and I was impressed by the amount of product you get for the reasonable price and the clever, lower-waste system they have for refilling products like this one (you can order a cartridge to insert into the pump versus tossing the entire pump and buying a new one). However, the product smells a bit weird — like pennies? copper? — and I found myself constantly wanting to scrub my hands afterward, only to find the smell continue to linger. I also did not see the near-instant illumination I typically see when using Vitamin C products. Specifically, Biossance and Ole Henriksen’s formula immediately “turn the lights on” in my skin — it’s noticeably brighter and happier the minute I apply. Fig.1 did not achieve the same brightening quotient. I will be switching back to Biossance as soon as I’m done with this bottle!

Honest Review: MDSolerSciences BB Creme.

A neighbor of mine was raving about the MDSolarSciences products and I gave their tinted Mineral BB Creme a try. I didn’t love the texture — it feels a bit plastic/thick on the skin, but I think this is because I’m so accustomed to lighter-weight products like SuperGoop’s Glowscreen, which I have been using daily for close to a year now in lieu of tinted moisturizer. (If I need additional coverage, I supplement with Westman Atelier’s Foundation Stick and blend them together with my Artis oval brush.) I would say MDSolarSciences’ product is a bit more akin to EltaMD’s facial sunscreen but even thicker/more impermeable. I was very conscious of it on my skin. You also must shake it heavily or it will break. Overall, not my favorite product for a tinted moisturizer / SPF. I do like the other sunscreens this brand offers, especially the ones for children — very easy to apply.

Honest Review: Laura Mercier Setting Powder + Glow Brush.

I also tried Laura Mercier’s loose setting powder in the celestial light color this month and LOVE it. I can’t decide whether it dethrones Hourglass’ Ambient Lighting powder (I get in the “Ethereal Light” color) or not — they are both wonderful setting powders that truly illuminate rather than mattify skin. They are different, though: Hourglass is a compact and LM is a loose powder and I feel that because of that difference, LM has a more dappled effect when applied? Like it might not have hit every single pore / square inch of your skin but I think this means the effect is a tad more natural? Not sure. Perhaps some people simply favor a pressed powder versus a loose one. But both are best-of-breed, brightening setting powders and I strongly endorse the two. If you go with LM, you MUST buy this Glow Powder Brush, which is specifically designed to apply the setting powder to grand effect. At this point, 90% of my makeup brushes are LM and the other 10% are Artis. The Artis Oval 6 is used daily to apply undereye concealer, gel blush, and — if using — foundation. I just love its blending capabilities. But any powders (eyeshadows, setting powders, bronzers) have found their match in LM’s fleet of brushes, which are ultra-soft and flexible but somehow apply the color in JUST the right measure. I bought a set of LM brushes maybe twelve years ago and have never needed to replace — they are so well-made and long-lasting. If you are going to start with just one or two LM brushes, I have to rave about the eye color one (will not ever use another brush for powder eye shadow) and this finishing brush, which frankly I’m not sure what you are meant to use for but I like to use with my bronzer because it really disperses the color and achieves a light, natural application that I love. (I use this powdered bronzer.)

What have you been testing this month?

Beauty Products on My Radar.

A few other beauty products in my basket at the moment…I’m specifically excited to test GrandeLash, Merit’s Perfecting Complexion Stick (“It’s not a foundation or concealer, but it’ll replace both in your makeup bag” — !!), and Saie’s Dew Balm Marshmallow Highlighter (I am such a sucker for all highlighters!).

I am also in the market for some new cosmetics bags and think I will order this trio from White Elephant Designs. I had this exact makeup bag in the large size but kept it beneath my sink, and I guess the pipe was dripping without me knowing it — dripping DIRECTLY INTO the makeup bag, which was in turn quickly and irreparably lined with mold. I think I want to buy the entire trio now!

P.S. More honest beauty reviews.

P.P.S. Outdoor gear for good times.

P.P.P.S. You are my one, and I have not another.