Monday, February 17, 2014

5 Underrated Must-Try Products

MAC Face & Body foundation, Shu Uemura Hard Formula brow pencil, Skindinavia, CoverGirl Clump Crusher...these are all products I love and blog about regularly. But I'm not the only one: those are true cult favorites, the kind of stuff most beauty bloggers have at least tried, if not recommended. Raving on about them would be pretty pointless, not because they aren't worth it, but because you've probably already heard of them.

I'd like to take a different route today. Here are 5 products I absolutely adore and recommend on a weekly basis, but you never see them mentioned on YouTube or the blogosphere.

Paula's Choice Barely There Sheer Matte Tint -- The best tinted moisturizer I've ever tried.  It definitely is sheer and matte, but that doesn't mean it's non-existent or chalky. This will even out your skintone and provide some coverage, and while it certainly isn't a dewy product, it also isn't flat or drying. It lasts decently on my oily nose and looks like bare, healthy skin on the rest of my face. I also love that it has SPF 30, which is more than the standard SPF15 in most tinted moisturizers. If I'm in a hurry, I'll slap this on as my sunscreen, foundation, and concealer.

Elizabeth Arden Crystal Clear Gloss -- I've been very vocal about my dislike of gloss, with its goopy texture and poor staying power, so putting a gloss on a Top 5 list might seem suspect. But I can't deny it: this stuff is the best. It's completely clear, so I can use it over any lipstick or lip pencil, and it's thick enough to stay on my lips without feathering, but not so sticky that it's uncomfortable. A matte lip will almost always be the longest-lasting lip, but I will say that this stuff doesn't eat through my lip color the way most thinner, more slippery glosses do. And it looks nice on bare lips and eyelids, too!

Kevyn Aucoin Creamy Moist Glows -- These pigmented cream blushes don't come in a wide range of colors, but the colors they DO come in are all gorgeous. I currently own Isadore (pictured) and Tansoleil, and they're both staples in my collection. The texture is slightly tacky under your fingers, but the product is weightless on my face and blends out like a dream. One of the cool things about these is that they show up true-to-life on camera. If you're like me and you use HD on the regular, you know that's a big deal, since you usually have to pile blush on and look like a clown in real life to get it to show on film.

Elizabeth Arden Lip Fix Cream -- Sometimes described as a "balm" or "moisturizing," this product is truly neither. It's not DRYING, but it's not going to make your lips plump and luscious, either. What it will do is smooth over the surface of your lips, reduce the appearance of fine lines, and prevent feathering when you apply your lipstick. And if you wear as many bold lip colors as I do? It's an absolutely invaluable tool.

E.L.F Makeup Remover Pen -- A $3 miracle worker. I'm a complete slob when it comes to applying my mascara, and I still make the occasional mistake when I wing out my eyeliner. This guy cleans up even the most waterproof makeup in a second, and it's perfect for removing the littlest boo-boo without messing up the rest of your face. The tip is 2-sided, so if one end gets filthy (and the one pictured here is, oops), you can just flip it around. Store it straight up with the tip pointed down for the best results.

And here's a picture of me wearing all five products. (Purposely taken straight on instead of at my usual 3/4 profile, because the Blogger Head Tilt was mentioned on Makeup Alley recently and I decided to break the habit at least once. Shots like this actually make it clear why I tilt my head, but whatever, here it is, nobody's perfect, move along, nothing to see here.)

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