Disclaimer: In the name of full transparency, please be aware that the Amazon ads at the end of the Simply Shannonagins May 2018 Beauty Picks blog post and the Amazon links within contain affiliate links and any purchases made through such links will result in a small commission for me (at no extra cost for you).
Over the last year or so, my life has had some drastic changes. In grad school, I got to a point where I didn’t really care about my outward appearance anymore. Then, as my health declined, I cared even less. I stopped taking care of myself because I really didn’t feel like I had the time or the energy. Fast forward to moving home and starting to get my health under control again, and that’s changed a bit. Skin care is now a BIG part of my self care routine. I’m getting out more often and have more reason to do my makeup, paint my nails, etc. Finally, I’m feeling human again and I’m so excited. I’m not going to claim to be an expert in beauty, makeup, or skincare, but I have found some products that have been working wonders for me! So, I wanted to share my beauty picks with you, too!
Skincare Beauty Picks
Cocokind Skincare Collective.
I’m not going to lie. I use A LOT of their products. I’m a little obsessed. Not only do they work incredibly well, but these products are super clean (they’re basically made from food) and pretty dark affordable. Although I use quite a few, I’m going to only share my top 3 of their products. My favorites are the Facial Repair Serum, the Rosewater Toner, and the Turmeric Stick. The Facial Repair Serum is ideal for me because I have really dry skin with a lot of over-pigmentation. The coconut oil and avocado oil work to moisturize while the rosehip oil helps treat red spots! I also use the Rosewater Toner to help balance the pH of my skin without drying it out. And the Turmeric Stick is by far the most effective acne spot treatment I’ve ever used. Just don’t wipe it on your clothes! (Yes I’ve done that. No, I’m not proud of it.)
Charcoal Facial Soap.
I started using the Biore Pore Penetrating Charcoal Bar years ago and it’s been a staple in my skin care routine ever since. More recently, I found a local company called Love Craft Soap Co. that makes a charcoal bar with rose that I’m equally in love with as well! I only use this about 3-4 times a week, as it can dry out my skin with overuse. But, I do think it’s a big part of why my skin has been much more manageable in recent years.
A little while back, I was really frustrated with my dry, flaky skin. I still have my days, but it’s gotten better since using one of my favorite beauty picks: a cleansing brush! I went into Ulta with a coupon one day (never a good idea, I know) and found the Soniclear Petite Antimicrobial Sonic Skin Cleansing Brush on sale. So obviously I had to buy it. And guys, I’m in love. It’s just such a refreshing feeling to exfoliate like that once or twice a week. I use the Pacifica Sea Foam Complete Face Wash with it and I swear I feel like a new person afterwards. But, again, this is something you only want to do a couple times a week!
Makeup Beauty Picks
I used to love doing a full face of makeup, but these days, I tend to go for a more natural look. Obviously for special occasions I do a little more, but for everyday wear, I’m in love with the Tarte Amazonian Clay BB Tinted Moisturizer. Even with my dry skin, it leaves me with a soft, dewy glow while providing relatively decent coverage. Better yet, it’s SPF 20! If I want a little more coverage, I do a little concealer and a coat of the Benefit Hello Flawless! Powder Foundation, and I’m good to go!
I’m a big fan of satin nudes when it comes to eyeshadow. I like to keep things natural, or do a subtle smokey eye. BareMinerals doesn’t make my favorite palette anymore, unfortunately, but here’s a very similar one. I also recently picked up Leave Your Mark Palette from Tarte and it’s pretty incredible. I love that they make the base color the largest on the palette, as that’s the shade I use the most. Also, side note, the eyeshadows smell like candy. It’s incredible.
Anyone who knows me well knows I literally only wear one mascara: Better Than Sex Mascara by Too Faced. I’m not exaggerating when I say it’s literally the best mascara I’ve ever used. It’s definitely not non-toxic and it may be a little on the pricey side, but it’s worth it. I promise.
I’m definitely not usually a lip gloss person, but as I’ve mentioned, I have super dry skin. My lips are not excluded from that. And the only thing I’ve found that really does a phenomenal job of fixing that is the Hempz Ultra Moisturizing Lip Balm. It’s glossier than I normally go with lip care, but my lord does it work. If I don’t have that on hand, I reach for the Burt’s Bees chapsticks in literally any flavor. You can’t really go wrong. But I will say, for chapped lips, my favorite is the Burt’s Bees Ultra Conditioning Lip Balm. It really does a great job, but I will say the Hempz has been the better option for me.
Miscellaneous Beauty Picks
I’m a big fan of having my nails done, but since I honestly just haven’t been able to justify it much these days. So, I’ve taken to painting my nails at home. Trying to keep it minimally toxic, I found a line I’m pretty obsessed with: The Breathable Line by Orly. Free of the top 13 of the most-used chemicals in nail polishes, it’s about as non-toxic as it gets when it comes to relatively inexpensive nail polish. Also, it honestly stays better than most traditional polishes do for me!
Franklin and Whitman.
Another company I love is Franklin and Whitman. They’re a clean beauty company with a love of animals. I mean, 5% of every sale is donated to dog rescue organizations! How cool is that? I personally use their East Falls Hair Oil and Oak Lane Face Mask. Frizzy, wavy hair is something that runs deep in my family. The amount of flyaways I have and the dryness of my hair some days is ridiculous. I’ve taken to only washing my hair twice a week now to help maintain some of those natural oils. But when I do wash my hair, I make sure to run the East Fall Hair Oil to calm the frizz and keep my ends from splitting! I’m also obsessed with their Oak Lane Face Mask. Not only does it smell like chocolate, but it has turmeric and activated charcoal in it as well to help fight acne and inflammation! I usually do a little at-home spa evening with this mask about once a week. And let me tell you, my skin has never felt so nice!
Makeup Remover Wipes.
I’m not going to lie to you guys. I usually kind of hate makeup remover wipes. They aren’t very environmentally friendly, they don’t usually work very well, and they usually irritate my skin and/or my eyes. However, when I was traveling a while back, I picked some up at a Safeway and quickly fell in love. While they still produce waste, the Open Nature Sensitive Facial Cleansing Wipes quickly became one of my go-to beauty picks. And they don’t irritate my skin or my eyes! These wipes are made of relatively clean ingredients and work super well while traveling, or if you just want to quickly take off your makeup. You can find them at Safeway or Albertsons. For my more environmentally conscious readers, reusable makeup wipes like these might be the way to go! I have some that I use with Pacifica Cactus Water Cleanser and I really love them!