My Top Five Favorite High End Cosmetic Favorites Worthy of Their Price Tag
Since I joined Birchbox’s sampling program back in April I’ve had the opportunity to try some really incredible products – many of which I’d never heard of. (In case you haven’t discovered Birchbox yet, it is the best way to discover new beauty, grooming and lifestyle products. Men and women can join to receive monthly deliveries of top product samples from high-end brands.) We did get an Ulta Beauty store at our local mall late last year, but I really haven’t had the time to hit the mall and peruse their offerings. So Birchbox has been like discovering an entirely new world of beauty brands for me. I love that they have unbiased reviews of all of the products they sell. It makes it easier to try new cosmetics and beauty products that I haven’t yet had the opportunity to sample. And their points program allowed me to score $30 off my most recent full sized product purchase which I was particularly happy about since some of these products aren’t in my everyday price range.
However, my top five most recent cosmetic discoveries are well worth their price tag and will stay part of my regular beauty routine for as long as I have the extra cash (and points!) to purchase them. They are (in no particular order): 1. Marcelle BB Cream (a Birchbox Exclusive), 2. Youngblood Anti-Shine Mattifier, 3. Benefit Bad Gal Lash Mascara, 4. Dr. Lipp Original Nipple Balm for Lips, and 5. Le Métier de Beauté Anamorphic Lash Waterproof Mascara.
I have combination skin so my cheeks are anywhere from normal to dry while my nose, forehead and chin tend to be oily. I can put on makeup and an hour later my t-zone looks shiny. By the end of the day – especially if I head out for a night of dancing to a local band – basically all of my foundation has come off entirely. So I’d been anxious to try Youngblood’s Anti-Shine Mattifier for some time as well as a BB Cream as a primer underneath of my foundation. As Birchbox carries the Marcelle BB Cream and it had rave reviews, I chose to go with it as a first time purchase. I was not disappointed in either.
The Youngblood Anti-Shine Mattifier does exactly what it claims. It prevents shine and soaks up excess surface oil. I apply this to my entire face after I’ve applied my own Handmade Eternal Spring Under Eye & Anti-Wrinkle Cream. You can immediately see a difference. I then follow it with the Marcelle BB Cream in Light to Medium. I have very fair skin and was really pleased that this BB Cream did not look fake on my skin. It blended beautifully while providing hydration – I use this in lieu of a facial cream – and helping to control shine as well.
I then follow with my regular drugstore foundation, Almay’s TLC 16 hour makeup in ivory. Next I apply blush – I have been using Revlon’s powder blush in Berry Rich for a good ten years now – then dust on Cover Girl’s Clean Oil Control Pressed Powder in Classic Ivory with a brush. I am new to using this as I had tried it to control shine, but it would wear off very quickly. Next I follow with my eyeliner and shadow – I’m currently stuck on the 29 Preserves I-Block Grape Seed Age Protecting™ Eye Shadow (also via Birchbox) – and a thin layer of NYC Pressed Face Powder in Translucent, and then I apply my mascara and lip gloss. It may seem like a lot, but it actually looks pretty natural and lasts all day. Prior to using the Anti-Shine Mattifier and BB Cream, nothing would stay on my face.
Incidentally I tried out these two products in several different ways and settings. I wore it to work and came home with no shine. (I checked the mirror at work throughout the day and was honestly surprised that my face didn’t shine as it’s usually shiny by first pit stop to the restroom in the morning.) I slept in it and woke up to no shine. I went out late night to a restaurant/bar for dancing and drinks and came home late – still with no shine. I suffered through the worst allergy attack ever and must have blown my nose a thousand times and still didn’t have any shine. But the true test, I think, was on Saturday when I attended an all day outdoor festival in ninety degree heat. Even at the end of the festival my face remained a lovely matte (as pictured above at the end of the day.) I did get a touch pink even with SPF 30 under everything, but all my makeup lasted through the festival and without any shine to speak of.
I received the Benefit Bad Gal Lash Mascara as a free sample with one of my purchases from Birchbox and was really pleasantly surprised. This mascara is truly both clump free and lengthening even with just one coat. This is tied with the Le Métier de Beauté Anamorphic Lash Waterproof Mascara in Brownish Black as each has benefits the other doesn’t. I love the Bad Gal Lash Mascara for nights out when I want a more dramatic look, however, it’s not waterproof which is my preference. The Le Métier de Beauté Anamorphic Lash Waterproof Mascara is waterproof and provides beautiful full lash coverage with zero clumps in literally one swipe while Benefit’s Bad Gal Lash Mascara requires an extra coat to really reach its full potential. However, the Le Métier de Beauté Anamorphic Lash Waterproof Mascara doesn’t provide the same stunning length that Benefit’s mascara offers. Prior to discovering these two mascaras my favorite mascara was Cover Girl’s Waterproof Exact Eyelights Mascara in Black Gold as it was waterproof and clump free and allowed you to build some length and volume.
Finally is the Dr. Lipp Original Nipple Balm for Lips. As the name implies you can use this as a nipple balm. It also works great as a lip balm and gloss and to heal cuticles, split ends, sunburns, and even diaper rash. I received a sample of this and will be purchasing the full size product to add to my beauty arsenal. I used this on my chapped nose when I was sick and it worked wonders to heal it quickly. I also used it on a patch of eczema on my calf and on my lips with wonderful results. This product is the consistency of a super thick petroleum jelly, but is 100% natural and is even medically proven to reduce skin roughness by up to 40% in one hour. I love this both for its effectiveness and it’s many applications.
If you’re interested in sampling high end beauty brands like these for yourself, then sign up for a monthly Birchbox subscription! At only $10 per month (billed monthly) it’s a really affordable way to try new bath and beauty products without having to make a huge commitment. Plus both your monthly Birchbox subscription and your purchases earn points towards free products. Every dollar you spend earns you ten points. At 100 points, you get $10 to spend in the Birchbox shop. Monthly boxes each give you ten points and you also earn 10 points each for reviewing each product in your monthly box. There are also free gifts and free samples with your purchases in the bonus shop!
Want the ability to choose your own beauty samples? Join Beauty Army and choose six samples based on your personal beauty profile for just $12 a month with free shipping!
What are some of your favorite bath, body and beauty products that you love to indulge in?