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The very best of the Allure Best of Beauty Box

(Allure special projects editor and self-proclaimed creature associated with habit, Megan Salerno, challenges herself to snap away from her beauty rut with an Allure Beauty Box subscription. This week, she takes Allure’s 2016 Best of Beauty Box for a test drive and ends up on an impromptu vacation down memory lane).

In the early 90s, I started to generate an enviable collection of cosmetics. My Caboodle was a veritable treasure trove furnished with hand-me-downs and inexpensive drugstore ratings. I took great pride in the tiered trays loaded neatly with rows of iridescent lipsticks, imitation perfumes, and pastel eyeshadow palettes. By the time the first Allure Best of Beauty issue strike newsstands in 1996, I was just entering my junior year of high school; and although I was finally previous enough to flaunt my beauty finds outside of the home, I kept my morning beauty routine pared right down to the bare essentials: a dab of strawberry-flavored shine (Lip Smackers, of course), a coat of

, plus that’ s it. (Fun fact: The mascara, in the iconic pink-and-green tube, has been awarded an Allure Best of Beauty or Reader’ s Choice Award every single year for the past two decades, that is nothing short of amazing).

My mom was— and still is— a makeup minimalist, so I did not have a mentor at home to provide guidance. It’s also worth talking about these were the days of dial-up internet, when YouTube make-up tutorials were still a glimmer in my modem’s vision. I saw Allure because the end-all, be-all of beauty— and I still do. As the fascination with makeup pushed me to enhance my skills, We increasingly turned to the magazine, and of course, the annual Most of Beauty issue was a huge highlight. As I discussed within my original post , my current routine— from my foundation to my styling wand— is primarily comprised of Appeal Best of Beauty winners. So you can imagine the excitement when the 2016 Allure Best of Beauty Box landed on my table. Here’ s how my current test round is usually panning out.

Charlotte Tilbury Rock and roll ‘ N’ Kohl Pencil in Black Magic plus Amber Moon*

When I lifted the lid of the box, I was confronted by not one, but two smudgeable Charlotte Tilbury Rock ‘ N’ Kohl Pencils— one in Black Magic (onyx with a bit of glitz) and Amber Moon (a burnished bronze). * A smoky eye is simply out of the question for me personally; I have deep-set eyes, so whenever I try to produce dimension, the effect is more bar fight than beautiful. The particular rumor circulating the office, however , was that this versatile pad could rival the definition and precision of a liquid lining, so I decided to see it I could replicate my signature cat-eye with

in Black Magic. This pencil was not the particular intense pitch-black I was imagining. I’ d describe this as a muted charcoal, which, by the way, is infused along with flecks of emerald glitter. As I traced along our lashes, it handled well, but when it came period for the feline flick, this pencil did not quite reduce it. The tip was not fine enough to pull off the pointed, calligraphic stroke that I typically strive for with a cat-eye. Whilst I’ m not putting a hex on Dark Magic, it was almost completely eclipsed by its tawny counterpart, Amber Moon. Gliding on effortlessly, this color left my lids glistening and accentuated my steely grayish-green eyes with its metallic shimmer.

Verdict: I’ m delivering Black Magic packing, but Amber Moon is currently saved in my makeup bag for days when I want a more demure look.

* Your own box will contain one of these two shades; I function here so I got to try both: ).

Nars Dual-Intensity Blush in Adoration

At first blush, the particular powdery pink and matte magenta cheek palette produced me cringe. Why? Because when I unsnapped the small, I was flooded with deeply-repressed visions of ’80s powerglam beauty— and not in a good way. In that decade of decadence, blush was brilliantly colored— the brighter, the better— and dramatically angled. And this seemed like a delivery from Marty McFly, which is why the healthy, youthful glow

imparts was such a throughly modern surprise. May I suggest sinking a fluffy brush into both shades and dusting lightly across the apples of your cheeks?

Verdict: Now that I’ ve gotten over the initial shock, I’ m in overall adoration of this blush. It’ s temporarily replaced our tried-and-true Nars Orgasm and life is suddenly just a little bit rosier.

Living Proof No Frizz Nourishing Design Cream

The elements outside is frightful and unpredictable, but my hair’s reaction to it is anything but delightful. When faced with even the smallest hint of moisture, my curls will completely unravel and my heat-styled tresses fall immediately flat. To maintain my coif in check on a muggy or drizzly day time, I’ ll usually twist it into a low bun immediately after styling and take cover under a hood or perhaps a scarf for my commute. When the Allure Best of Beauty Box arrived, the particular five-day forecast called for rain and limp hair, and so i had ideal conditions to see if the

would live up to the expectations. The citrus-scented formula fulfilled its promise simply by tamping the frizz. But to test how well it could preserve my wand-created waves, I abandoned my bun for the week. While the curls were in tact right at the end of each dreary day, they were not quite as bouncy when i would have liked.

Decision: It is perfect for combatting frizz, but that’ s not my mane— er, main— concern, and so i think I’ ll skip this extra step.

Get caught up on the Allure Beauty Box problem:

  1. An Editor Looks to the Allure Beauty Package to Break Out of Her Beauty Rut
  2. The November 2016 Attract Beauty Box: One Editor’s Brutally Honest Review
  3. The 2016 Allure Best of Elegance Box

Clarins Multi-Active Jour

In between my oily skin and watery foundation, finding a good a. m. moisturizer has been an exhausting endeavor to state the least. After trying countless products and shelling out way too much money, my quest was starting to feel futile. Enter

: this particular non-greasy formula absorbed quickly, kept my foundation in position, and has not (knock on wood! ) caused any kind of unwanted break-outs. With SPF 20, it works double-duty in order to fight wrinkles and provide an extra layer of protection from the particular sun’ s damaging rays.

Verdict: Double thumbs-up! This one will be the crè me de la crè me.

Clinique All About Eyes

The key ingredient in

is caffeine, therefore after a night of tossing and turning, it is quite literally the jolt of java for your eyes. Aside from decreasing swelling, reducing dark circles, and canceling out wrinkles, the unslippery formula promises to keep makeup in place. It seemed like a miracle moisturizer, but , ever the skeptic, I had been only cautiously optimistic. After two weeks of twice every day application, the area around my eyes is noticeably plumper, make-up applies smoother and does not slide. As for my stubborn darkish circles, they have not budged a bit.

Verdict: I’ ll continue my twice-a-day routine until the 0. 5 oz . trial runs out (the itsy-bitsy tube has lasted method longer than I would have imagined). Whether or not it reaches stick around will depend on how well it diminishes the staining.

Julep Konjac Face Sponge

In the world of beauty, grilling with charcoal is the new black, popping up in everything from toothpaste in order to sheet masks. With so much hype, I was curious to find out if it was just another passing fad— RIP goji berry— or if it deserved a permanent place in my routine. The particular

is made from the fibrous root of the konjac plant. The particular charcoal absorbs toxins and pollutants, while the unique structure buffs away impurities. After sticking it to my bath wall and using it religiously for two weeks, I just acquired one complaint: It’ s not quite as coarse because my usual cleansing pads, which means it’s not as good with sloughing away the dry flakes along my face and brow bones.

Verdict: I’ m wishy-washy for me personally, but it’ s a perfect stocking stuffer for the attractiveness junkies on my holiday list.

St . Tropez Self Tan Express Bronzing Mousse

From swearing off sunscreen to imprecationexecration by questionable spray tans, I committed countless attractiveness blunders in my salad days. In my mid-20s, I lastly threw in the sunless tanning towel, leaving behind only a lingering storage of that inimitable offensive odor. Which is all to say, I had been more than trepidatious about returning to the fake tan arena. But this bronzing whip had an almost floral fragrance and left my skin sun-kissed and not one little bit streaky.

Verdict: My desire to be tan offers completely faded. Now that I feel comfortable in my own soft skin, I don’ t see myself incorporating

straight into my routine. But for anyone who does aspire to have a 365 days a year summery glow, it’s a pleasantly-scented slam dunk.

Supergoop Forever Young Hand Cream SPF forty

SPF plus hydration go hand-in-hand when it comes to defending against the signs of ageing.

does both, instantly restoring moisture while fending away from crepey-making UV rays. The fresh eucalyptus scent encouraged application. However (har), I found the formula to be more oily, less creamy. It also didn’t exactly absorb quickly, therefore I’d wait to apply at night once I completely unplugged for the day.

Verdict: As I’ m unwinding in front of the TV prior to bed, sure! While I’ m writing a two, 000-word article on a deadline, absolutely not!

FragranceLock

is really a finishing spray that slows the evaporation of your scent and gives it up to twelve hours of staying power. I actually spritz myself with Lanvin Rumeur every morning; for 2 weeks I followed up with a mist of FragranceLock. This is a product that means business. By the end of a full workday, my perfume was still going strong. Thankfully, my hubby likes my perfume, because he noticed too.

Verdict: Yes, make sure you! If anyone is wondering what to get me for the vacations, this would definitely put a smile on my encounter on Christmas morning.

Here’s how Allure does party makeup:

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