Monthly Must-Haves for April 2014

Today is the second day of May. WHAT IN THE. Wasn’t it just 2013?? Anyway, with every new month comes an installment of my “Monthly Must-Haves” blog series and this month is no different. We’ve had some nasty weather in this neck of the woods the past few days and were without power for quite a while, thus explain this video being a little late. Better late than never, right?

Anyway, I was getting ready for dinner the other night when I realized April was almost over and I hadn’t completed my “Monthly Must-Haves” video yet. So, after I got ready for dinner and while sipping on one of my new favorite beers (Back in Black from 21st Amendment Brewery) I recorded April’s video. I was only 2 beers deep so don’t worry, it’s totally coherent.

So, without further ado, check out my video and blog post to find out what my April 2014 Monthly Must-Haves are!

1. CARGO HD Picture Perfect CC Cream

With all the confusion surrounding BB, CC, and now DD Creams, it’s difficult to know which will work best for each person. That’s a post for another day, and don’t worry… I’ll get to it, but for now, I’ve discovered CC cream is best for me.

I’ve tried several BB Creams and I wasn’t all that impressed. However, since my issue seems to be redness and occasional acne, CC (Color Correcting) cream is better for me. This specific CC cream gets a great deal of redness out of my face. It comes in three shades: Light, Medium, and Medium/Dark. The cream is white at first, but once you “warm it up” by rubbing it in your hands, you will notice the tint changing. That’s because it features “breakthrough color adapting pigments and color correcting technology”, meaning the pigments will actually self-adjust to match your skin tone. The result is even, natural coverage with a post-yoga glow. I love using it for everyday lightweight coverage.

Find it here: CARGO HD Picture Perfect CC Cream, $39 at Ulta

2. SMASHBOX Photo Finish Color Correcting Primer

I wrote about this primer in my post where I explain how color correcting concealers work. Once I realized my issue was mostly with redness and needing to conceal it, I thought I might as well give this a try. Since green negates red, it’s no wonder this masks my redness so well. In a perfect world, the CC cream I bought would also serve as a primer, but it definitely does not. I made the mistake of wearing it as a primer ONCE and my foundation sunk into my fine lines and split. I looked like a hot mess! Anyway, this primer is a quality one that conceals my redness while filling my fine lines and making my pores appear much smaller. Way to go, SMASHBOX!

Side note: I do still love my tarte clean slate 12 hour poreless primer that I wrote about in last month’s must-haves.

Find it here: SMASHBOX Photo Finish Color Correcting Primer, $38 at Sephora

3. BECCA Cosmetics Shimmering Skin Perfector

becca_shimmering_skin_perfectorLet me just start by saying I am absolutely OBSESSED with this stuff! Seriously, I have never found another highlighter that even comes close to this. It’s a sheer, creamy liquid that you can mix with your moisturizer, primer, foundation, or apply alone. It has “light-reflecting pearls” to create a “soft, natural glow”.

When you first apply it, you might be worried because it looks really shiny, but it doesn’t stay that way for long. It works well under every type of foundation I have tried so far. It also looks amazing in any light. No joke — I am in love. I don’t think I will ever do another bridal makeup application without using this!

I’m wearing it in the photo to the right. I took this photo on my phone in pretty bad lighting, but even then, my cheeks perfectly catch the little light there is to create a beautiful glow.

Find it here: BECCA Cosmetics Shimmering Skin Perfector, $41 exclusively at Sephora

4. VERB Dry Shampoo

Dry shampoos can be a real pain for people with color-treated (*ahem* bleached) hair. Since chemically treated blonde hair is already incredibly dry/porous, spraying a dry shampoo on your roots and combing through can sometimes result in brittle hair. It’s definitely a catch 22 though. Shampooing every day is awful, so dry shampoos are often the best solution to combat greasy roots… except for the fact that when sprayed, they can also wreak havoc on your hair.

That’s why I love this product. The pointed tip makes the powder dry shampoo super easy to apply, without having it get all over my already dry ends. Not only does the direct application allow the powder to cut through the oil at my roots, but it also instantly creates some serious volume. Oh! And the best part about this dry shampoo as well as all of VERB’s other products? They are all $14. Incredible.

I got mine from Pageboy Salon here in Athens, GA (so you locals can hit that up), but if you aren’t in the area, you can purchase it online at for $14.

5. Pureology Colour Fanatic

Let me start by saying I love most things in the Pureology line. All of their products are free of harmful sulfates, paragons, colorants, and drying alcohols. This specific product is a fantastic leave-in conditioner. They claim it has “21 Benefits”, and they even list them all on the back, but in all honesty, they are just saying the same thing several different ways… Clever marketing, guys, but it didn’t get past me.

Anyway, it does do a great job conditioning my color-treated hair. I’ve been looking for a leave-in conditioner with a lotion-like consistency that I could spray on my hair for quite some time, and finally, I’ve found it.

This is another product I got from Pageboy Salon here in downtown Athens, GA, but if you aren’t in the area, you can purchase it online at for $24.

So that wraps up my April 2014 list of my must-have products. What do you think of my list? Have you tried any of these? Did you discover any new products you fell in love with in April? Tell me in the comment section below!