December, being the final month of the year, always propels me into a frenzy of sorts. From trying to complete a near impossible list of goals before the end of the year to attempting to set out a semblance of a plan for the next year, December is always intense.
The intensity of the month left me with little time to focus on my skin, diet, exercise routine and pretty much everything in between. The side effect of this intensity, though, was a pleasant surprise. Instead of my usual fluttering between dozens of skincare and makeup products, the past month saw me, in an exhausted stupor, only reaching for a handful of products that I deemed truly effective and good for my skin and, in a sense, I had built my ideal capsule collection of skincare and makeup products. These are products that are staples in my skincare and makeup routine but sometimes get lost among the throng of new products that hit my beauty closet every few weeks.
And so, without wasting any more time, let me take you through my December Favourites.
Skincare: My normal skincare routine usually involves a fair number of steps, from double cleansing to layering multiple serums, creams and oils. This last month though, my cleansing routine was a far cry from the usual with me relying solely on the Parsley Seed Cleanser by Aesop to cleanse my skin. This cleanser, has been perfect for my skin in this cold, dry Delhi weather as it leaves my skin comfortable, hydrated and not stripped in the least. The lactic acid in this cleanser ensures that my skin is free from any dead skin build-up and allows me to avoid using harsh scrubs on my already sensitive and dry skin, while the licorice root and blackcurrant and parsley seed extracts have been instrumental in keeping my skin clear and calm. Apart from being brilliant at keeping my skin in check, this cleanser is also very effective in removing makeup. This product has allowed me to keep my skincare routine basic and clean.
Moving on from cleansing, my toner of choice this month has been the B6 Vitamin-Infused Complexion Prep Spray by Urban Decay. This toner has been in my arsenal for a while now and I absolutely adore the way this facial spray hydrates my skin while also leaving a beautiful matte finish on my skin. This product is especially effective at bringing down any irritation that I may have and keeps my skin matte long after application. I find that makeup lays beautifully atop this facial spray as well.
The backbone of my night-time skincare routine in December were the Midnight Recovery Eye by Kiehls, and the Bio-Retinoid Anti-Wrinkle Concentrate Oil by Ren. After arduous experimentation with countless eye creams, this eye cream by Kiehls has claimed the top spot. Apart from keeping my under-eye area smooth and hydrated, this product is the only one I have come across that has been successful in reducing the darkness under my eyes. This is the only criteria, in my mind, that elevates an eye cream to exalted status and makes it worthy of having a permanent place in my skincare routine. Need I say more? As for my love for the Bio-Retinoid Anti-Wrinkle Concentrate Oil by Ren, I have posted an in-depth review of this facial oil in an earlier blog post. To say the least, this facial oil has single-handedly addressed every single skincare concern that plagued me this past month, from clogged pores to breakouts and dryness. In absolute love with these two products!
I am a big believer in using masks to keep my pores clear and look forward to slathering my face with them at least twice a week. This past month, in an attempt to keep my skin hydrated, I have tried to steer clear of more intense clay masks that, despite having the most fantastic clarifying effects, often suck the life out of your skin. The Super Volcanic Clay Mousse Mask by Innisfree has been a wonderful middle ground. I love the mask’s mousse-like texture as it makes it extremely easy to spread on my face. After use, my pores are left clarified without my skin feeling sucked dry and lifeless. Incorporating this mask into my winter skincare routine has made a world of a difference to the clarity and tone of my skin.
Makeup: My makeup routine last month was all about perfected bronzed skin, flushed lips and fluttery lashes. For my base, my go-to products were the 9 to 5 Weightless Mousse Foundation by Lakme and the Sensual Skin Enhancer by Kevin Aucoin. The texture of the mousse foundation by Lakme is unlike any other foundation I have tried and allows me to do without primer underneath. The foundation has light to medium coverage but leaves a natural finish on my oily skin while evening it out beautifully. To tackle more troublesome spots on my face, I relied on no other than the cult favourite Sensual Skin Enhancer by Kevin Aucoin. This full coverage concealer takes care of any unwanted spots in a jiffy without leaving a heavy, cakey finish. A light hand with this concealer takes care of dark circles as well. I have to say that this is my favourite concealer of all time.
To bring back some colour into my skin and give it a glow, I busted out my Bronze Goddess Powder Bronzer by Estee Lauder, which gives my skin the most beautiful glow and makes me look like I have just been on holiday. For mascara, I went back to one of my favourite mascaras from the drugstore – the Voluminous Original Mascara by L’oreal. The formula of this mascara gives my lashes incredible volume, length and a slight amount of clumpiness that added just the right amount of drama to my look.
Of all the lip tints that have launched recently, my favourites have been the Lip and Cheek Stains from The Body Shop. Apart from having amazing lasting power, these lip tints are very pigmented and are hydrating on the lips without any hint of stickiness or heaviness. The colour, Red Pomegranate, was my favourite last month as it is the best colour to achieve the perfect rosebud lips.
Fragrance: I love warm, creamy fragrances during the winter as they do wonders to elevate my mood during the cold, dreary months. The gourmand honey-amber notes in Illicit by Jimmy Choo have been my steady companions over the last month and I suspect this will be the case when winter rolls around next year as well.
As I sign off, I would like to wish everyone a very Happy New Year again and hope that you have had a lovely year so far.
Till we meet again…
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