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Belle’s January Beauty Buys


1. The Body Shop Tea Tree and Vitamin C Microdermabrasion Masks ($2.50) // 2. Clinique CC Cream ($35) // 3. Burt’s Bees Mini-Salve ($2.49) // 4. The Honest Co. Sweet Orange and Vanilla Shampoo and Body Wash ($10) // 5. Nars High Seize Multiple ($39) // 6. Trina Pencil Makeup Case ($12) // 7. Paula’s Choice Resist C15 Super Booster ($45) // 8. Boots No. 7 Precise Liquid Liner ($9)

One. I discovered these little masks at Ulta before the holidays, and I love them.  The Body Shop makes several formulations.  The two above are an acne treatment with tea tree oil and a vitamin-C microdermabrasion mask for treatment and exfoliation.  They also make clay and seaweed mask for oil control and a vitamin-E mask to restore moisture.  These masks are a great way to treat skin without stressing it out with harsh scrubs or potent chemicals.

Two. The cold, windy weather has been murder on my skin.  To give it a bit of moisture, I switched from my usual foundation to this CC cream.  It helps alleviate dryness, sallowness and redness.  The perfect choice for that blah winter skin.  Need a cheaper alternative?  I’ve heard good things about this Almay CC Cream and this Avon Flawless CC Cream.

Three.  After walking around outside, I develop dry patches on my face and hands.  I keep this Burt’s Bees salve in my purse so I can tap a little onto the dry spots.  It relieves split cuticles, rough patches on my elbows and heels and that thin, sensitive skin under the nose.  It’s a bit of a cold weather miracle.

Four. I’ve been slowly weeding out the parabens and sulfates in my medicine cabinet.  To that end, I decided to try this shampoo and body wash from The Honest Co.  I love the smell and the silky texture.  It’s great as a body wash, but I’m not thrilled about it as a shampoo.  I have fine hair and it weighed it down a bit.  Next time, I’m going to try this RenPure Organic Shampoo.

Five. I bought this Nars stick after seeing it on the Makeup & Beauty blog.  I love the rosy-golden shimmer.  Many women avoid creamy color sticks because they don’t know how to apply them.  I learned how to apply creamy blushes using this video from Birchbox. (Hint: You’re supposed to use a brush.)

Looking for a cheaper cream all-purpose stick?  Try this No. 7 Blush Tint Stick or this NYX Stick Blush that comes in lots of great colors.

Six.  Need a makeup bag to carry in your purse?  Maybe something to hold your lipstick collection?  I own several Trina bags and they’re my favorite.  You can’t do better for the price.  I like this black and white bag with a hint of neon, but you might prefer this set in leopard or this one with a mint inner lining.  I bought this set of three pouches, they’re perfect for everything and a great price.

Seven. I added a vitamin-C serum to my makeup routine a few years ago.  While I like Ole Henriksen’s Truth Serum, the gel-like consistency isn’t my favorite.  This Resist serum is a liquid that is packed full with active ingredients.  I love it for ameliorating the effect of acne scarring and sun exposure.  Just don’t forget to wear your facial sunscreen because sun exposure and vitamin-C serums don’t work.

Eight.  I wanted to try an eyeliner in a color besides brown, grey, purple or black.  After searching around, I settled on this navy-colored No.7 liquid liner.  It’s a great buy for the price and the color is really vivid.  I also like the shorter brush, but the staying power could be improved.  I also liked the Maybelline Eye Studio liner in emerald-green.

Did you have any beauty buys this month that you would recommend?  Any we should stay away from?



  1. Nora says:

    1. I also am trying to rid my product collection of sulfates and parabens, and have had incredible luck with Living Proof for my haircare routine. I got one of the trial-size kits at Sephora (the “No Frizz” line) and loved it, but I gambled and bought full-sizes of the Perfect Hair Day line and OH MY GOSH it is amazing. Color-safe, sulfate- and paraben-free, and it really does live up to its name. I use the shampoo, conditioner, and product.

    2. I also didn’t love the texture of the Ole Henriksen serum, and switched to Renee Rouleau’s Vitamin C + E treatment, which is particularly amazing in this harsh winter weather. I also use Estee Lauder’s Idealist serum (the one for radiance, not the one for pores) and it has plenty of C in it as well, plus salicylic acid for my blemishes. It can be a bit drying, so I alternate the two depending on my needs.

    January 29, 2014/Reply
  2. Mary Ann says:

    Belle, have you tried a lot of the Paula’s choice products? How do you think the C15 product compares to the Skinceuticals serum or the iS serum that you’ve mentioned you use? Are they comparable or should I be using both of the serums??

    January 29, 2014/Reply
    • Belle says:

      I like it the same as the Skinceuticals. I’ve been using it instead of IS at night because I think it might be too harsh together. I’ll probably start using the C15 during the day and IS at night.

      January 29, 2014/Reply
  3. J says:

    I just bought the Body Shop seaweed clay mask yesterday and used it last night. It’s burns so if you have really sensitive skin i’d opt for the Tea Tree formula instead. But it definitely pulled all of the oil out of my pores in the t-zone and my skin is glowing today.

    I was using the Clinique BB cream for a while but got a free sample of CC cream recently. The CC cream is a bit thicker than I’d like. I usually mix it with a bit of my regular moisturizer for smoother coverage.

    January 29, 2014/Reply
  4. SJ says:

    My savior this winter has been Chapstick Hydration Lock. You’re probably thinking, “Huh, Chapstick? How boring is that!” But no, you have no idea — this is hands down the best I’ve tried and it has saved my normally winter chapped lips this season.

    I can’t believe I’m gushing about Chapstick, but really. I don’t know what they put in the mix for this product, but it works.


    January 29, 2014/Reply
  5. KRF says:

    In an effort to reduce the number of products used and costs I spent the past few months determining what I can’t live without and what I am willing to pay for a certain product. There are two inexpensive items that have worked great for me this winter: Neutrogena hand cream and Neutrogena foot cream. There is nothing fancy about them, no amazing scent or anything but they have worked really well. I also tried some of Trader Joe’s bath products and especially love the tea tree/mint body wash–lasts a long time, nice smell to get you going, and its a great price. Stay warm!

    January 29, 2014/Reply
  6. Meg says:

    I’ve been really into moroccan oil this winter- old news, I know, but it keeps my hair so soft and is so quick and easy to apply.


    January 29, 2014/Reply
  7. Eleni says:

    I’ve struggled with acne for years. I’m 32 and have been a loyal MAC user but I recently discovered Cover FX Total Cover Cream Foundation and I’m in love with it. It’s Light, covers great and I don’t feel like it’s suffocating my skin and making my breakouts worse.

    January 29, 2014/Reply
  8. Emilee says:

    Okay, I need help with that CC cream… I find that it does not blend well AT ALL into my skin. And then I do not think it “color corrects” my skin- my cheeks are very red and I don’t see much of a difference after applying it. Thoughts??

    January 29, 2014/Reply
    • Belle says:

      You might try their redness solutions foundation instead if your goal is to cover redness. Beyond that, I do what the reader above did, mix it with either primer or moisturizer. I also stipple it on, instead of wiping.

      January 29, 2014/Reply
  9. MCF says:

    I have very fine hair that is oily on top and frizzy on the bottom, which presents some challenges. I recently bought the Whole Foods brand (365 or whatever it’s called) lavender shampoo (I think it is the Normal to Dry formula) and LOVE it. It’s all natural, inexpensive ($3-4), smells great, keeps my oily hair in check, and also de-frizzes it. Because it’s all natural, it doesn’t suds up as much as regular shampoos, which took some getting used to. I also think that I use more of it than I do with my regular shampoo, but for the price, that’s irrelevant. I’ll definitely be sticking with this shampoo!

    I also got a Klorane dry shampoo spray in my Birchbox this month and it’s great. It keeps the oil in check and works well for those days when your alarm clock doesn’t go off and you don’t have time to shower.

    January 30, 2014/Reply
    • Belle says:

      I’ll try Whole Foods, thanks.

      January 30, 2014/Reply
  10. jill says:

    Not new but I love the good old-fashioned Dove soap for bathing and hand-washing. It even works as a non-harsh laundry spot treatment. Love the scent. A drugstore bargain.

    January 30, 2014/Reply