Some things I purchased or received as gifts during the month of February.
1) Coastal Scents 88 Warm Palette
I cannot rave enough about this palette. It has an incomparable variety of neutral shades, from browns, blacks and grays to plums and many highlight shades. Shadows range in finish from matte to shimmer. I use this palette almost on an everyday basis and have especially been loving the shimmery copper and bronze shades for the lid with a deeper chocolate brown in the crease, followed by a shimmery highlight. If you are looking into getting your first CS palette, I would urge you to go for the 88 Warm over one of the color palettes. This palette is more functional for daily use and has colors that will flatter every skin tone!
2) CS Pink Oval Fluff Shadow Brush
What can I say? I'm addicted to the Coastal Scents brushes, especially the pink ones! Not only are they incomparably priced, but they are fantastic quality. This is just your basic eye shading brush, very similar to the $1 elf eye shadow brush in terms of quality and application. The bristles are very soft and fluffy, and really pick up and apply powder shadows perfectly. You can use it to either pack on color or sweep it gently over the lid for a subtle wash of color. At less than $2 each, I suggest getting a few. You can never have too many regular shading brushes in your collection.
3) CS Pink Round Crease Eye Brush
As shown in the photo on the CS site, this brush has very short domed bristles. It is slightly denser than your typical crease brush and therefore ideal for deepening the color in the outer V of the eye. For those with larger eyes, this brush may even be small enough to use as a pencil brush for application of shadow to the lower lash line. Again, very soft bristles and zero shedding after two washes. I don't recommend this for blending. I use it to apply the color and use a clean fluffy blending brush to diffuse the color.
4) CS Pink Angle Taklon Liner Brush
This brush has a tiny, tiny head, making it your best bet for precision lining with gel or cream formulas on the upper or lower lash line. The bristles are stiff enough to apply a precise line without scratching or irritating the lid. I also wet this brush slightly and dip into dark shadows to transform them into liners when I want a softer line. Could also be used to fill in brows, though the small size would necessitate many strokes.
5) Sally Hansen Diamond Shine nail polish - "Wedded Bliss"
I was attracted to this beautiful, pastel pink color to help build my springtime nail polish collection. The polish has a cream finish and required 3 coats for me to get an opaque finish. I adore the color but am not as impressed by the formula of these polishes. The brush is poorly designed so it applies color "goopily," and with streaks if you're not careful. It also takes quite a long time to dry, meaning you're more prone to ruin or dent the polish unless you avoid using your hands altogether for a good half hour. Perhaps OPI's drip-dry or the Seche Vite top coat could remedy this problem, but I used to nail polishes that don't require so much effort to make them look decent.
6) Milani Sunset Duos Blush & Bronzing Powder
After hearing about this product from EmilyNoel83 on YouTube, I gladly snatched it up when I noticed it on clearance at CVS. It includes two beautiful shades - a pink blush with peachy undertones and a bronzer. Both have a very, very slight pearl finish to them, but have no noticeable glitter or shimmer. This makes the bronzer a perfect candidate both for an all-over glow or for a cheek/nose contour.
7) L'Oreal Color Riche Lipstick - "Pink Lady"
I fell in love with the formula and packaging of this lipstick when I got the "Peach Fuzz" shade in December, and eagerly repurchased when I saw this shade on clearance. One coat of this lipstick applies fairly sheer for those looking for a subtle color. For those wanting more pigmentation, the color is easily buildable. "Pink Lady" is a dusty pink color with a high-shine finish, so no gloss is needed to top off the color. Additionally, I find the taste/scent of these lipsticks very pleasant, unlike others I've tried.
8) L'Oreal Voluminous Original Mascara - Black
This is my all-time favorite mascara for the false lash effect. As the name indicates, this mascara gives you thick, dramatic, voluminous lashes with just one coat. My only complaint is that the mascara does occasionally clump lashes together because of the brush design, but it's nothing that can't be remedied by running a mascara spoolie through your lashes between coats. The next time you're at Sephora, pick up a few of these mascara spoolies (they're at the end of most aisles so you can sample mascaras in a sanitary manner) so you don't have to buy one yourself. :)
9) Up & Up Makeup Remover Wipes
This is the Target brand and is designed to compare to the Ponds Clean Sweep makeup wipes. I haven't tried the Ponds variant so I can't say whether the comparison is accurate, but I can say that I am satisfied with the Up & Up version. I cut mine in half and use one half at the end of the day to remove my eye makeup and whatever's left of my foundation. It will not remove mascara unless you really scrub your lashes, which I wouldn't recommend, but as for shadows and liner, it does a great job. I only use these at the end of the day just before using my nighttime facial cleanser. I find if I don't cleanse my face after using them, it leaves a somewhat sticky residue.
10) Monistat Chafing Relief Powder Gel
I'd heard about using this strange product as a face primer from a few videos on YouTube. Its top 3 ingredients (one of which is dimethicone crosspolymer) are the same as the top 3 ingredients of the Smashbox Photo Finish Primer, which retails for $38 - $49 at Sephora for either 1 or 2 oz, respectively. The Monistat gel, though admittedly less glamorous, comes with 1.5 oz and costs only $5-6. More in-depth review will come very soon!