+UBeauty Lip Plasma. I did not want to love this $68 lip product, but…I love this $68 lip product. This ties for my favorite beauty product I tried this past month, and I know many of you swear by it, too. It plumps and fills the lips in a way I’ve never experienced before? I love the pillowy effect! The brand sent me a few colors to try, and my favorites are Rose and Bellini. If I were you, I would sign up for a restock of the Rose color (which keeps selling out!) — it’s divine. Sort of like augmenting the color of your God-given lips and adding an alluring layer of glossiness. I’m not typically a gloss gal (the only other gloss I like is Merit’s, which I still enjoy but it does not deliver the lip-filling/lip-plumping qualities that UBeauty does), but I have been wearing this every day, occasionally swapping out for the Bellini, which is a bit brighter but still doable for everyday. There are so many good colors to test, though! Already tempted to buy more. These would also make a great, luxe Christmas gift for girlfriends. (Always thinking ahead…!)
+Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo. (Ed. note: If you are reading this during Prime Big Deal Days, you can buy a jumbo 9.9 oz size for the same price as the standard 5.5 oz bottle here.) Where have I been?! This ties for first place this month. Guys — this is it. A dry shampoo that actually works and smells fantastic. For my entire adult life, I’ve washed my hair begrudgingly every other day. This dry shampoo easily buys me a third day between cleansings. It is magic, I tell you. Erases greasiness, adds volume! LOVE. I’ve been using every third day, and feeling good enough about my hair that I’ve gone out to dinner with third day hair!
+Motif Abundance Face Cleanser. I’d seen a few creatives I follow on Instagram raving about this and was eager to test out when Motif sent me a bottle to try. It arrived at an interesting moment because I’d just read that you should spend the least amount of money on your cleanser, as it spends the least amount of time on your face, and therefore I went into using it with the sense that $65 for a cleanser feels a bit pricey. However. I really love this cleanser. It has an almost cream-like consistency, with microbeads for exfoliation — very similar to Tata Harper’s Regenerating Cleanser, which I used for years and years on end. I stopped using Tata Harper because I felt it was too abrasive to be using exfoliating beads daily, but I do miss the scrubbed-clean feel it affords. Motif offers that, but mitigates it a bit with its slightly creamier, more hydrating consistency (and a lower density of beads — Tata’s is much more gritty). Still, I have been using Motif every other night, alternating with non-exfoliating cleansers, because I don’t want to strip my skin too much. That said, Motif is a deeply impressive brand. You can read all about the science of their cleanser, and why it works well for all skin types, here. I especially appreciate that they designate which products are pregnancy safe — that always felt slightly harrowing when I was expecting!
+Oribe Royal Blowout Heat Protectant Spray. Currently 20% off, and I love that Oribe offers most of its products (including this spray) in travel sizes, so you can test before fully committing. I polled Magpie readers for their favorite heat protectants / detanglers / priming sprays, and this was the overwhelming top vote getter. I ended up trying this and the other top-vote-getter, a combo of Lolavie’s Detangling Spray and Leave In Conditioner. (Lolavie is Jen Aniston’s brand!). I was smeh on Lolavie — it was OK, but it didn’t blow me away, whereas Oribe’s formula absolutely detangled and conditioned my hair, also leaving it very soft and shiny. I’m hooked.
+Goop Vita-C Brightening Eye Cream and Biossance Squalane + Marine Algae Eye Cream. Lumping these two together because I tested them comparatively back to back. I’ve been on a quest for great eye cream for a long time, and everything I try is “this is nice, but I could live without it.” These unfortunately fall into the same category for me, which is mystifying because I know so many people love both of them. Maybe I’m expecting too much from an eye cream? Both do a good job of hydrating the area, but I don’t know if they do that much brightening or, really, anything else? If choosing between the two, I’d suggest the Biossance. I prefer its texture — a bit thicker and more hydrating — whereas Goop’s is a tad runny. I will absolutely finish both tubs of these to the very last drop, but neither leaves me enthusiastic.
+Goop Color Blur. This is skincare-grade cheek color! It is packed with nutrients and hydration, but delivers great, buildable color (and I love the inaugural color palette they launched with — all the colors are so good!). I will say that I still find Merit’s flush balms slightly easier to reach for in the mornings because you can just slick the balm right onto your cheek, and it’s a tiny bit glossier/easier to spread. But the Goop has longer staying power, so it’s a tradeoff, I suppose. I really love the Afterglow color — it looks like it would be super-dark and intimidating, but it delivers this beautiful “Winona-Ryder-in-winter” flush. Beautiful.
+ROZ Foundations Shampoo and Conditioner. OK, this might tie for “first place,” too. This is my new favorite everyday shampoo/conditioner duo. This is fantastic for fine hair (some other products I’d been testing previously had really weighed mine down), has a wonderful handfeel and luxurious scent, and the absolute best lather I’ve ever achieved at home. I love the result, too — soft, shiny, happy hair. This rivals Oribe’s Signature formulas, which I’ve long insisted are the best on the market — a splurge, but a wonderful everyday extravagance. I would put Oribe and Roz on equal footing — they feel and smell similar, with great results, but Roz is less expensive, and you can get 15% off at ROZ with code MAGPIE15.
+Merit Solo Shadow. This was a miss for me, mainly on account of color options. I usually prefer an eye shadow that can brighten the eye area, but I went with Vachetta — a warm brown color — and I don’t like it on my skin. I feel like it comes off like a dullening gold/yellow? The formula is fine but nothing that wowed me. If you’re looking for a neutral eye shadow that can be applied with a finger, I’d vote for Ilia’s Eye Tint, which I absolutely adore. I have it in the matte cork color and it’s gorgeous for everyday. Eyeing some of the others to expand my collection. For evening, I have been reaching for RMS Beauty’s Cream Eye Shadows, which have more metallic/luminous effect that feel better suited to evening. I love the Moondust color. Brightening and so pretty on the lid!
+Unnaturally Natural Cleansing Balm. I ran out of my Farmacy cleansing balm (I initially bought the travel size to test), and this arrived in a PR package before I broke into my full-sized Farmacy balm, so I gave it a try. It’s wonderful. It’s hydrating, makeup-melting, and clean. It is scentless (which I know many of you find appealing) and leaves skin soft and hydrated. I think it’s very similar to Farmacy, which is less expensive, though.
Next month, I’m planning to review Clarins’ heavily hyped Cyro Flash Mask. If you’ve been a reader for awhile, you know I lose my mind over their Depuffing Face Mask. It is the best and I always have one open plus a backup in my beauty closet. I didn’t even know my face sometimes looks puffy until I used this? It chisels your cheekbones and jawbones. It’s incredible. I put it on before any evening out. I’ll leave you with this: I used it before going out to a party last weekend and a partygoer commented (unsolicited) on my “fine bone structure.” Haha! I’ve literally never had anyone comment on my facial bone structure before and I am convinced it has to do with Clarins!
The other beauty item I’m on the hunt for: a good everyday moisturizer. I’ve used several solid ones but none I’m wedded to. I’m of course intrigued by Augustinus Bader but still uneasy about the spend. I’ve also heard great things about the brand Yina? Any other strong recs for an everyday moisturizer for colder months?
P.P.S. The only recipe you need for buttermilk biscuits.
P.P.P.S. What do you keep in your guest room?
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