July Favourites

I’m back with another Favourites already! July has been an extremely busy month, not to mention the amazing/face-meltingly hot weather, meaning that getting ready has been a challenge to say the least! So here’s what I’ve been loving this month…

 

1. Vaseline Spray & Go Body Moisturiser in Aloe Fresh (£4.99 via Boots) – I’m not sure quite how I would have survived without this over the last couple of weeks. I’ve gone off the Radiant Cocoa version because the smell is a bit much over my perfume, but the aloe is ideal for the hot weather – cooling and soothing on overheated skin. This was a lifesaver after showering – spray all over, rub in and stand in front of a fan. You’re welcome!

2. Lorac Pro Palette ($42 via Ulta, no UK shipping) – My new favourite go-to palette. Few palettes have such a perfect mix of both mattes and shimmers in a super-slim palette that would take up minimal space in your travel bag. It’s not your typical neutral palette either, featuring the standard bronzes and browns as well as pink, mauve, white and a suit-all blue-silver shade – the matte white highlight shade has been a favourite for wearing on my browbone and the inner corners of my eyes, and the mauve shade makes an unusual and lovely crease shade for a subtle neutral eye look. And the formula – wonderfully pigmented, soft, easy to apply and blend. Brilliant value if you can get your hands on it!

3. MAC Pro Longwear Concealer in NW20 (£17 via MAC Cosmetics) - I’d had my eye on this for a while after reading some rave reviews on it but couldn’t quite justify the price for such a tiny little tube of product. Luckily my amazing mum treated me to one, since I’d been after it for so long. And so far it’s been perfect – brilliant coverage, zero creasing, spot-on colour match, and the tiniest amount goes a long way – I only need half a pump to cover up my under-eye circles. I can see this lasting a long time, so it’s absolutely worth the money!

4. Lush Sweetie Pie Shower Jelly (£3.25 via Lush) - I’ve already gone on about this lovely novelty product in my Lush Haul post & I’ve been enjoying using it so much since. Although crumbly & can be a bit of a challenge in the shower, it’s best used as a whole (ie. taking the whole thing out of the pot and using like a bar of soap..careful not to drop it!) or a small amount rubbed into an exfoliating cloth for a fragrant all-over scrub. It smells a lot like my favourite Lush scent, The Comforter, which isn’t readily available in shower gel form – fruity and delicious. After a good few baths it’s lasting well, so very good value for money!

5. Lush 29 High Street Perfume (unavailable online) - Normally Poole isn’t the most exciting place to live (although I do love the beach), but one of our town’s claims to fame is that it’s the site of the first ever Lush store! The tiny shop is a bit of a walk from the regular high street & it’s absolutely worth it to get hold of this ultra-rare fragrance! I didn’t buy it til now because I’d never given it a chance – smelling straight out of the bottle it has a very strong tobacco/alcohol/lemon kind of scent, which was completely offputting. But give it a chance – have a spray and leave it to dry down for 10-20 minutes – it then smells completely magical and only then can you truly appreciate this complex fragrance. Like an entire Lush store crammed into a bottle. Not quite sure how they do it, but I can detect hints of favourite scents like Karma, Flying Fox, Butterball, Creamy Candy..strange isn’t it! It’s funny how anyone else who smells it can also pick up on their favourites in there too. It’s very concentrated and only a spray or two is needed to enjoy this unique scent, so this tiny bottle (around £30) should last for a very long time. I’ve been mostly sticking to lighter scents at the moment but I’ll be all about this as soon as the temperature drops a little.

6. MAC Flamingo Lipstick (£15.50 via MAC Cosmetics) - MAC lipsticks have gone up by another 50p over the last few weeks; luckily I got this right before that unannounced price hike! Flamingo is one of those shades I never thought to try since it looks so incredibly neon and bright in the tube, but being a Lustre formula it’s much more sheer and glossy, coming out as a lovely & wearable bright red-pink summer shade that isn’t going to drain your face of colour or highlight skin discolourations, as neon lip shades tend to do. I can imagine this suiting just about any skin tone, pale or deep. Absolutely worth trying if you’re in the MAC store! Though I’m now going to put off buying more MAC lipsticks til I can go to the US where they’re a little more affordable.

 

Those are all my favourites for July! Hope the first few days of August have been wonderful, and be sure to share your current favourites below!

My Summer Makeup Bag

As if all my makeup fit in one tiny bag (and another even smaller one)! Nope, I’ve condensed some of my favourite summer must-haves into a small zip-up makeup pouch ideal for sorting my face out on the go this season. Read on to find out the best summer base in existence, sweat-proof eye makeup and the new lipstick I’ve fallen head-over-heels in love with…

I don’t often take much makeup with me throughout the day, but summer calls for occasions where you find yourself needing to redo your face multiple times a day. Summer walks in the heat, swimming, the beach, going to dinner..it’s hard to keep the same stuff on your face throughout the day. Here is what I took with me to adjust myself from bare-faced lazing around in the heat mood to evening-ready in less than 10 minutes! Welcome to the tour of my sumemer makeup bag.

 

The Main Bag (in order of application)

1. Bourjois CC Cream – The ultimate summer base! This has been the most perfect, light and not-too-greasy product to use all over my face to neutralise redness, without having to cake on product to cover it up. SPF 15 means your skin will also have a little extra protection from the sun – if I was going out during the day, I’d definitely throw in my La Roche Posay Anthelios XL SPF 50+ to wear underneath – pale girls need this every single day of the summer!

2. MAC Pro Longwear Concealer in NW20 - A new purchase, but already a must-have for me. This is some seriously hard-wearing high-coverage concealer – I can wear this an entire day and it doesn’t seem to crease or budge. I don’t always sleep well in the summer because of the heat, so this covers up dark under-eye circles perfectly throughout a busy day.

3. Collection Brow Definer in Blonde - A favourite no matter what time of year it is! Ideal pigmentation, shade and texture for light brows and filling in the sparse areas without looking like you’ve Crayola-d them on. Other products I’ve tried have either been messy, or just looked far too obvious that I’ve used product on them!

4. MAC Brow Set in Beguile - Brow gel never used to be a thing I used at all, but now it’s an essential for me. Beguile is the perfect shade for blonde and light brown brows, giving a subtle tint of colour to those finer baby brow hairs whilst slicking them down for a tidy finish. Absolutely worth the money!

5. MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot in Painterly – Sadly the price of these has risen yet again! At least I managed to get hold of Painterly beforehand. I wish I could find a cheaper dupe to the Pro Longwear Paint Pots but I haven’t yet – the choice of colours is wonderful, and although Maybelline Color Tattoos have a similarly great ultra-long-wearing formula, their shade range leaves much to be desired. Painterly is the perfect pale pinky-nude shade for smudging all over the lid to brighten and even out eyelid discolouration, or a stay-all-day base for any powder shadows you want to apply on top. This can be applied using either your finger or a cream shadow brush, such as my Bobbi Brown Cream Shadow Brush, which I can also multi-task with and dip into the next product.

6. MAC Extra Dimension Eyeshadow in Silver Dawn - Unfortunately this was only brought out for the Magnetic Nude collection earlier this year – a gorgeous shimmery cool taupe shade. I seldom buy eyeshadow singles, but this is the most perfect shadow to apply and smudge out in the corner of my lids with the previous brush, especially over a shade like Painterly to give definition and colour whilst keeping it simple and neutral.

7. Maybelline Full ‘n’ Soft Mascara - Strangely enough this brilliant Maybelline mascara isn’t sold in the UK, yet it’s one I used for years and always find myself coming back to. I can’t stand mascaras that leave my lashes coated, flaky and crusty – this is the ideal antidote to those! Lashes are long and volumised whilst looking incredibly natural – pretty much the perfect mascara to me! After mascara, I then apply my pressed powder all over my face to minimise shine and set my concealer and base.

8. MAC Fafi Blush in Hipness - Another limited edition, though very similar to Benefit Coralista with less shimmer. The MAC formula always lasts a long time for a powder blush, not to mention great pigmentation. A bright peachy-pink blush like this in the summer will always help to look more awake and healthier, even if you’ve been eating Nutella bagels in front of the computer all weekend (ahem..). I apply with my Bobbi Brown Face Blender Brush, great for applying and blending out a natural-looking flush of colour, and still working well 10 years on.

9. Benefit Hoola Bronzer – To finish off, I use my fluffy synthetic brush by Sephora Collection, the Classic Rounded Blush Brush 41 (picked it up for $3 on clearance last year, no longer available) to dust some bronzer from my Hoola mini under my cheekbones and onto my temples, to give a healthy, lightly tanned look to my pale complexion. This particular brush is ideal for me, since it deposits a slight hint of colour evenly wherever I use it, rather than ending up with brown streaks all over my face! Pale girls like me have to be careful with bronzer or it can get a bit too over-the-top!

 

The Touch-Up Bag

1. Collection 2000 Shine Away Compact Powder - Sadly this has also been discontinued! If you can still find it online, it costs you £2-3 for a sturdy mirrored compact with a great pressed powder inside, invaluable for travelling. I wish they still sold this powder in stores, but at least there are still a few floating around online!

2. E.L.F Kabuki Face Brush - A cheap yet soft, fluffy and good quality kabuki I can carry around with me and not worry too much about losing or ruining it, since it’s so affordable. My Bobbi Brown Face brush kabuki, on the other hand, would be another story. Perfect for swiping on the above powder when my face starts to look shiny during the day.

3. MAC Flamingo Lipstick - Another MAC product that’s suddenly gone up in price! Very glad I bought this a couple of weeks before. Expect to see this new stunner in my monthly favourites – it’s my new favourite bright lipstick, easy to apply and comes everywhere with me. Can’t love it enough.

 

Hope you enjoyed the brief tour of my two little makeup bags! Now if only I could downsize the rest of my collection…

A Mini Lush Haul

Hope you’re having a lovely weekend! I’m still currently on a low-buy/no-buy to save up for (hopefully) a fun trip to the US in October, but Lush is one of my weaknesses! I can’t say no to their sweet-smelling bath bombs, all-natural products and genuinely lovely staff. Here are some of the goodies I picked up!

Sweetie Pie Shower Jelly - I’d been put off shower jellies after receiving a Christmas one years ago that was just impossible to hold onto and actually use, but this smells too good. Grab a small piece of the purple, glittery, cherry-scented wobbly jelly and rub it all over. I tried this out in the bath and bits of jelly do go astray, but it smells so incredible..drool!

D’Fluff Strawberry Shaving Soap – A bit of a weird one! I was drawn by the unusual whipped texture and supposed strawberry scent, but this smells more like Ro’s Argan Body Conditioner than anything strawberry. I tried it out in the bath – it took quite a lot of product to get near a lather, and it left my legs feeling a bit dry immediately afterwards, like I’d used a cheap bar of soap all over (and this isn’t exactly cheap). However they did feel a bit softer after I dried them off, I just hate that weird dry feeling of the skin after using most soap bars!

The Comforter Bubble Bar - A classic favourite, need I say more? I save these deliciously fruity scented bubble bars for days where I feel rubbish and need some cheering up. You can never have too many.

Lovely Jubblies Breast Cream - My 3rd pot of this! I’ve never used any other ‘boob cream’ and although this won’t give you magical surgical results, it makes the area much softer, the skin feel slightly firmer and generally makes the area feel cared for, as I try to avoid using non-natural creams and lotions on the more delicate parts of my skin.

Dorothy Bubble Bar - My other favourite Lush bath product! The very kind sales assistant mislabelled this, probably because I was distracting him by asking questions about something else. Sorry! This is my other ‘rainy day’ must-have, for when rubbish and stressful days need some cheering up. And you can’t be sad when your bubble bar has a pretty rainbow on.

 

That’s all I picked up in my last Lush trip! Have you used any of these products before? What are your favourite Lush must-haves?

May & June Empties

Oh hey, it’s Empties time again! This time I have a bag stuffed completely full of wonderful things I’ve used up – some amazing; some I’m happy to see the end of! Here is proof of the extent of my empty product hoarding, a trip to the recycling bin is long overdue..

 

On to all the products!

Bath and Body

1. Bath and Body Works Black Raspberry Vanilla Moisturising Hand Soap (similar £6.50 via Bath and Body Shop) - It’s almost criminal how much resellers charge for B&BW products in the UK..but I love their soaps and candles so much! Sadly the excellent Moisturising (or ‘Moisturizing’ if you’re American) formula has been discontinued, which is a great shame as I find their antibacterial soaps so drying. This particular version had a sour fruity scent with a hint of vanilla to it, and also left my hands feeling pleasantly soft afterwards. Repurchase? Yes, if available

2. Dove Deeply Nourishing Body Wash (£1.20 via Boots) - This body wash is so old, it even has my name written on in Sharpie from living in a student house! I grew sick of the strong powdery scent pretty quickly, yet it took so long to finish the huge bottle up. It was decently moisturising, but left residue in the bath (and again, the smell). I much prefer my Lush shower gels. Repurchase? No.

3. Superdrug Sensitive Shave Gel (£2.85 via Superdrug) – Superdrug own brand products are excellent value for money, yet can be fairly hit-and-miss for quality. Saving over 60p on the Gilette version, this one is pretty much the same product (great lather for leg-shaving, ideal for sensitive skin) – it’s just the packaging that isn’t the most brilliant, as the product has a habit of foaming up into the lid. Nothing major, but when Gilette isn’t on offer and you’re in need of shave gel, this is definitely the most wallet-friendly option. Repurchase? Yes.

4. Vaseline Spray ‘n’ Go Moisturiser in Cocoa Radiant (£3.32 via Lloyd’s Pharmacy) - Such a raved-about product yet I’ve only just managed to finish mine! I have the US packaging, which is definitely easier to hold, but the product is exactly the same. Ideal for mornings where you’re in a rush but don’t want to spend valuable minutes frantically massaging in body lotion. This mega-easy spray is easy to apply and sinks in within seconds, truly revolutionising your morning routine. My favourite is the Cocoa scent, but I really want to try out the Essential Moisture and Aloe versions to compare. Repurchase? Yes.

5. Mellor & Russell Macadamia Oil Moisture Rich Body Butter (£1 via Poundland stores) – Have to say how much I adore this body butter – I really wasn’t expecting to enjoy something from Poundland quite so much! The packaging drew me in as it looked similar to that of the expensive Macadamia hair products, yet I’m certain this super-light & nourishing lotion could pass for a similar high end product. With shea butter, macadamia oil and Vitamin E, this body butter has a wonderfully light, almost whipped texture, allowing easy application. It doesn’t feel the least bit heavy or greasy, absorbs fast and leaves skin feeling soft, smelling good and moisturised after shaving. Who knew Poundland beauty products were so great? Repurchase? Yes.

6. Dove Original Roll-On Antiperspirant Deodorant (£2.20 via Tesco) – Another Dove product? Unsurprisingly, this wasn’t a favourite either. I’m all for products that claim to be gentle on the skin, and I can put up with the light powdery scent briefly, yet once I applied this I stank. I had to tissue this off and apply something else since it made me feel nauseous – I don’t think the scent works with my body chemistry at all! Back to square one – any deodorant recommendations?! Repurchase? No.

7. Wet Ones Be Cute Delicate Antibacterial Wipes x12 (£1.10 via Waitrose) – Okay, not your typical beauty product, but this is a good one to have on you all the time! These are so useful for travelling on public transport or in a city, I always have a pack on me when I travel to London. When you’re not able to find somewhere to wash your hands, these at least get rid of the dirty, grimy feeling from your hands and make them smell somewhat pleasant. Repurchase? Yes.

8. Lush Snow Fairy Sparkle Massage Bar - Unfortunately no link, as these were exclusives for Christmas 2013; hopefully they’ll return later this year! A neon pink fairy-shaped massage bar by Lush, sharing the same delicious fruity scent as the cult favourite Snow Fairy shower gel, these are ideal for rubbing all over your body after a bath or shower for a serious moisture boost. I was never into their massage bars, always thinking they were a more ‘intimate’ thing for couples (although they can be if you want them to!), but as this was a Christmas exclusive I had to try it out for myself. This particular bar is very ‘melty’ in warm hands so has to be used quickly! I find it’s best used before bed, since it does colour the skin pink slightly and skin feels quite greasy (although nicely moisturised) afterwards. Containing organic shea butter, murumuru butter and almond oil, these are quite the treat for your skin, but not one I’d use every day (despite the amazing scent) as they can be quite messy and don’t absorb quite as fast as I’d like them to! Repurchase? Yes, when available.

9. Lush Rose Jam Bubble Bar (£3.50 via Lush) - One of the lovely bubbleroons by Lush which can easily be split in half for two baths, this produces a brilliant amount of true rose-scented bubbles. I use this with the Rose Jam shower gel which was a Christmas limited edition and I smell like a rose garden – add some Ro’s Argan Body Conditioner for an extra boost of scent and added softness. I never used to like rose scents much, but the Rose Jam shower gel truly converted me! Repurchase? Yes.

10. Lush Sunnyside Bubble Bar (£3.75 via Lush) - The infamous glittery gold Lush bubble bar! This predominantly citrus scent (think oranges and lemons) is super-cheerful and uplifting – an ideal antidote to a dreary day. I cut this bar in half, lasting me two bathtimes. My body didn’t look obviously glittery afterwards, but I did have to give the bath a good clean afterwards! Repurchase? Yes.

11. Lush Brightside Bubble Bar (£4.50 via Lush) - An Easter exclusive I found in the bottom of my Lush basket (yes, I have a basket in my bathroom just for Lush bath things!), I was surprised I didn’t use this up sooner! A similar swirled, chunky format to the Comforter bar, this one is intensely orange-pigmented as well as orange-scented, the smallest amount turning your bath a vibrant orange. Luckily neither myself nor the bath was stained! It produced a good amount of bubbles and this lasted me 5 bathtimes, making it pretty good value for money! The Comforter bar is my all-time favourite, but this is great for switching things up a bit if I’m in the mood for something orange-scented! Repurchase? Yes.

 

Skincare

12. Lush ‘Let The Good Times Roll’ Cleanser [Sample] (from £6.40 for full size) – Don’t you love it when Lush make the rare decision to make a brilliant limited edition product a permanent addition? Despite this only being a tiny sample-sized pot, it lasted me ages! This caramel popcorn (yes, it contains real popcorn!) concoction is more of a scrub than a cleanser (keep away from eyes) – a pea-sized amount will scrub off any dead skin, leaving you with the softest face ever. I loved it, except it was a bit rough for my sensitive skin and left my nose a bit red afterwards. Repurchase? No.

13. Yes To Cucumbers Soothing Hypoallergenic Facial Wipes (£3.99 via Boots) – Like the ‘Yes’ wipes as they’re thick, durable and soft, but they sting my eyes if any of the moisture goes into my eyes! Otherwise pretty good wipes for removing the bulk of your makeup. Repurchase? No.

14. Mudd Original Mask (10 applications) (£3.99 via Fragrance Direct) - Favourite face mask! Ideal for anyone with oily or combination skin who suffers from blocked pores, these are perfect for sucking out dirt and leaving your skin baby-soft and clear without irritating in the least. I use this once or twice a week to keep my skin clear – love them! Repurchase? Yes.

15. Quick Fix Facials Calming Clay Mask (£4.99 via Boots) – On the other hand..this was horrible! I’m not sure how a product claiming to be ‘calming’ made it feel like it was burning my skin off – this hurt so much after a few minutes. Fairly sure I must’ve been allergic to something in the formula – this does happen with other face masks and I’ve no idea what it is. There definitely needs to be more good face masks for sensitive skin! Repurchase? No.

16. La Roche Posay Hydreane Legere Moisturiser (£10.20 via Escentual) - I used up 2 of these in 2 months! My favourite moisturiser – love how bland and gentle yet hydrating it is without being oily in the least. Many other moisturisers contain perfumes or other unnecessary chemicals which irritate my skin, yet this gives my sensitive combination skin the perfect boost of moisture without problems. I’m currently trying lots of different LRP products which I’m enjoying so much. I just wish they made this in bigger sizes since they don’t last long! Repurchase? Yes.

17. Boots Simply Sensitive Face Wipes (£2.79 via Boots) - Intended as a cheaper dupe for Simple face wipes, these were a bit of a letdown! The wipes were scratchy, flimsy and made my eyes sting when I got them too close. How are these for ‘sensitive’ skin?! I was glad to finish these up. Repurchase? No.

18. Johnson’s Makeup Be Gone Extra Sensitive Wipes (£1.52 via Superdrug) - Too similar to the last ones – too scratchy and not that effective! I picked these up because my nan loved them, but unfortunately they’re nothing special – I’m going to keep looking for something better. Repurchase? No.

19. White C Mask Pack - Another goodie I received in my Makeupalley Secret Santa box at Christmas – my Secret Santa was so generous and sweet! I’d already tried one and this is the second. These sheet masks look hilarious on your face and cool the skin nicely, but I didn’t notice any huge difference afterwards. Repurchase? No.

20. Avene Eau Thermale 50ml (£2.75 via Escentual) - I am so late to the thermal water train, but I thoroughly enjoyed this. Currently working my way through the La Roche Posay version! This tiny spray was perfect for using after cleansing, or when my skin was particularly hot or irritated. I imagine this would be perfect for keeping in the fridge for using on holiday, or after you’ve spent some time outside in the sun. So refreshing and calming for my skin. Repurchase? Yes.

21. Lush Breath Of Fresh Air Toner Water (£3.95 via Lush) - Lovely and refreshing with a subtle, naturally pleasant scent, but I’m yet to be convinced that toner is a truly necessary part of my skincare routine! I used this up, but didn’t notice a difference in my skin. Repurchase? No.

22. B Pure Micellar Water (£2.47 via Superdrug) - This is hailed as a “Bioderma dupe”..and it is pretty good! I prefer Bioderma Hydrabio as my micellar water of choice, but this is a good backup to have, as Bioderma can be expensive. Gentle, non-irritating, wide availability and a great price. Repurchase? Yes.

23. Chanel ‘Le Nuit De Chanel’ Evening Recharging Face Care [Sample] (£60 via Selfridges for full size) – I enjoyed using this sample – it lasted a few days, leaving my face looking bright and feeling soft the next day. I didn’t like the perfumed scent in a product I was applying to my face. However, £60 for a small bottle of night cream?! Not quite within my price range, I’m afraid! Repurchase? No.

24. Origins Plantscription Anti-Aging Eye Cream [Sample] (£36.50 via Origins for full size) - Unbelieveably, this tiny tube lasted me over a month! The thick, creamy formula goes a long way, so only the tiniest amount is needed each time. I’m not sure if this made me anti-age at all, but it was pleasantly hydrating on my under-eye area. Now I just need another sample size for travelling! However I don’t think I can quite justify paying over £36 for an eye cream at the moment, however moisturising it may be – it would have to work miracles for that! Repurchase? No.

Makeup & Hair  

25. Cover Girl Clump Crusher Mascara (£8.99 via Amazon) - Bought on my last trip to the US, this cost me considerably less than the £9 link above! I’d heard a lot about this mascara, so I was curious to try it out. The packaging is definitely not the most practical – I keep my mascara in empty jars with my brushes, so it took up a bit too much room. The formula is definitely true to the name, no horrible clumps, which I have found with Maybelline Lash Blast and Too Faced Lash Injection mascaras in the past, not a look you’d want to be rocking. Added to minimal smudging, this is a great mascara formula I’m glad I bought a backup of. Now if they could just sort out that packaging! Repurchase? Yes.

26. Collection 2000 Eye Brow Definer in Blonde (£2.79 via Superdrug) - My favourite brow pencil! The perfect light brown taupe shade for pale brows, without looking red in the least. I use this to lightly fill in brow hairs, and then set with my MAC Brow Set tinted gel for my best-looking brows. A good brow pen is tricky to get right, and I’m glad this one does it well for such a reasonable price. Repurchase? Yes.

27. L’Oreal EverRiche Nourishing & Taming Shampoo (£5.99 via Superdrug) - So L’Oreal does EverSleek, EverPure, EverRiche..and then all the different sub-products underneath?! Slightly confusing! I didn’t even notice that mine was ‘Nourishing and Taming’ but there is also ‘Nourishing and Flowing’, just to confound you even more. Is there really enough of a significant difference? Bafflement aside, this was an excellent moisturising shampoo, wonderfully creamy without making my hair look greasy in the least. The lovely vanilla scent also complemented my Lush American Cream hair conditioner well too. My hair felt wonderfully soft and smelled so good afterwards. Repurchase? Yes.

 

Phew, that’s it for all my empty products over the last two months! Maybe I should do these more regularly, so it’s not quite as overwhelming. I’m beyond pleased with the rate at which I’ve been using things up – I’m one of those people who feels wasteful and stressed with cabinets full of unused products, and it’s great to use them up and enjoy them!

Hope you enjoyed, I’ll be posting my next collection at the start of September, so be sure to look out for it!

June Favourites

 

It’s almost July already! And summer is already in full swing: the weather on the South Coast has been glorious; even a little hot at times! Here are some of the warm weather-friendly products I’ve been loving this month..

 

1. Marc Jacobs Daisy Eau So Fresh Delight EDT (£44.20 via Escentual) - Do you recognise this from my birthday wishlist? I ended up getting this as a gift to myself (including some much-wanted Topshop clothes) since I couldn’t get it out of my head. I’d sampled it a couple of times before and fallen in love – Marc Jacobs can do no wrong with fragrances. It does smell like an expensive fruit cocktail with a decadant touch of floral – something that I can definitely get into. Undoubtedly an extravagant purchase, but it is so wearable in summer weather, and the bottle looks so gorgeous on the dressing table. In love.

2. Lush Ultrabland Facial Cleanser (£6.95 via Lush) – Cleansing balms are a huge deal in the beauty world lately, and Ultrabland is my personal favourite. The simple, natural formula gives the most gentle yet effective cleanse, removing dirt and makeup easily – ideal for sensitive skin. I’ve been using this every day for the last couple of weeks and my skin feels more calm than ever (not to mention so soft afterwards thanks to the almond oil). I’ve heard fairly good things about other (significantly more expensive) cleansing balms, but who needs them when Ultrabland does such a great job for a fraction of the price?

3. La Roche Posay Hydraphase Intense Masque (£10.66 via Feel Unique) – Anyone notice I kind of  love French skincare brands lately? The simple, bland formulas soothe my sensitive skin and do exactly what they claim without a hint of irritation. The Hydraphase mask came in particularly useful when I got caught outdoors in the sun whilst catching up with a friend for longer than I thought (clearly SPF 15 isn’t enough for my paleness!)  and I was left with mild but very sore and uncomfortable sunburn. My Avene Eau Thermale helped a little, but wasn’t quite enough to stop the chronic pain. The next day, I used this mask and it did wonders to cool, soothe and rehydrate my skin, as well as making it look less red. This would be ideal for anyone with dry or combination skin – a simple, truly hydrating mask without the extra unnecessary ingredients. A summer essential!

4. Bath & Body Works Frosted Cupcake Mini Candle ($3 – 4.50 via Bath & Body Works) – I still harbour a full-on obsession with Bath and Body Works candles, remaning amazed at how such brilliant and beloved cult products still haven’t made it to the UK (not officially of course – you can sometimes get them on Ebay if you’re willing to pay significantly more than RRP). Even these little mini candles smell incredible with an excellent throw – no obviously synthetic heave-inducing scents over here. I bought Frosted Cupcake from one of their outlet stores in the US last year and have only just got round to burning it. Glad I did, because it smells amazing – like a bakery full of freshly made vanilla cupcakes, without being sickly or overpowering. Perfect for getting comfortable in the evening and binge-watching some Orange Is The New Black!

5. Organix Brazilian Keratin Therapy Anti-Breakage Serum (£4.66 via Superdrug) – After 2 years of having this lying around and previously considering tossing it, I’m so glad I gave it another chance! I’d bought it long ago to combat the horrible frizzy-ness that the weird humidity of September / October on the South Coast brings, and worked pretty well to keep it under control. Usually I rub some Moroccan Oil into my ends to keep them looking healthy and smooth, but my hair had got used to it after so much use. I decided to give this a go on a whim and was amazed at the results! After washing, my hair is so sleek, smooth and shiny without being greasy – soft and touchable without being fluffy. It looks like I just had an expensive treatment done, but it’s only a 5p-size blob of this worked through the length of my hair after every wash. Since you only need such a tiny amount, I consider this little bottle to be great value and worth a try to anyone in need of a frizz-proof post-wash serum or treatment.

6. NARS Penny Lane Cream Blush (previously £21.50 via Space NK) – I have a horrible feeling this shade and formula has been discontinued since this product has proved near impossible to find in recent months, but I originally received this in a makeup swap from a lovely girl in Portugal, and then received a backup at Christmas last year – when you love a product like this, you really do need backups just in case of emergency! I’ve since hit pan on this one, so it shows how much I use it. I dab a small amount on my E.L.F. blush brush (perfect size for these little pans) and blend it in with the other side. This shade suits my pale, cool-toned skin, giving a beautifully healthy yet natural look, and the formula wears all day without problems. I actually prefer cream blush in the warmer weather, since it looks pleasantly natural yet seems to hold up better than powder blush without wearing off. I’m so glad I have a backup of this gorgeous shade.

 

I hope my June Favourites have inspired you! What products are you loving this month?

Ultimate Summer Lip Shades for Redheads

Being a redhead isn’t all fun and games, you know! I love my (dyed) flame red hair and all its multi-tonal goodness, but it can be tricky to navigate the myriad of colours available in clothing and makeup products without crossing the fine line between complimentary and clashing.

Since I’m slightly (ok, incredibly) obsessed with lip products, I’ve narrowed my enormous collection down to share with you my absolute favourite can’t-live-without lip products for the summer time, hopefully helping out other redheads with some ideas!

As not everyone has exactly the same colouring and skin undertones, shades that work for me may not be your top favourites as well, but if you’re struggling or need inspiration, here is a good place to start! I’m NW20 in MAC makeup, so I have naturally fair to light skin (mixture of Northern and Eastern European heritage) with cool undertones. I have naturally very pigmented lips, so the lightest colours don’t always show up on me, or just look very similar to another. I mentioned that my hair is dyed red with five different tones throughout, so it does rapidly fade from a warm dark colour to a lighter, ‘ginger’ one! Though whatever stage my hair is at, these lip colours are ones that always work for me.

L-R: MAC Ravishing, Maybelline Color Sensational in Park Ave Peach, MUA lipstick in Juicy, Givenchy Le Rouge in Beige Plume, Revlon Lip Butter in Peach Parfait, L’Oreal CP Julianne, L’Oreal CP Cheryl, NYX Butter Gloss in Maple Blondie

As you can see, I find that peaches, peachy-pinks and brownish-pinks work best for me! I steer clear of cool-toned reds and pinks as well as pale nudes, since they make me washed out. Similarly, anything more brown than pink tends to give my skin a dirty look. I save the dusky rose and plum shades for winter!

 

1. MAC Ravishing – This does look a touch more orange in person! MAC Ravishing is the perfect ‘gateway’ coral-orange shade for anyone who’s never worn a similar shade before. The Cremesheen formula isn’t too drying yet wears well for a creamy formula, and also buildable, meaning you can go for a more subtle mood-boosting wash of colour, or add extra for more of a statement shade that won’t wash you out. This was my first ever MAC lipstick and one of my all-time favourites!

2. Maybelline Color Sensational Lipstick in Park Ave Peach- This shade was tricky to hunt down, but I eventually managed to get hold of one on Amazon for just a few pounds! A great budget dupe for MAC See Sheer, this is an ideal wearable red-orange shade which works well with a ‘no-makeup-makeup’ look,especially on holiday when makeup looks are more toned down – a bold shade but not overpowering.

3. MUA Lipstick in Juicy – Everyone’s favourite £1 lipstick! The formula and colours are an absolute steal for the price. ‘Juicy’ is a bright, energising coral-pink shade with a slight glossy sheen. A lovely, bright pick-me-up shade for summer weather that would suit almost any skin tone and hair colours.

4. Givenchy Le Rouge in 102 Beige Plume – From my cheapest lipstick to my most expensive! A very lovely Sephora SA used this on me in the US last year and I had to treat myself to it before leaving. During my many shopping excursions on that trip, I noticed every store (MAC, Sephora, and Macy’s, among others) always recommended me a more brown-toned lip shade, whereas beauty counters I’ve visited in the UK have always steered me towards pinker shades. The large silver and real leather case is a seriously luxe statement on its own, housing a very wearable pink-brown neutral with a divine creamy formula.

 

5. Revlon Lip Butter in Peach Parfait – Revlon seems to be more of a mid-range brand, especially in the UK at least, so I only own a few of their products! The Lip Butter formula is one of my favourites – a sheer wash of colour and very moisturising. Peach Parfait is a gorgeous shimmery peachy-pink, giving a lovely sheen rather than a glitterbomb. I’ve been wearing this with minimal makeup lately, as it makes me look more put-together when I don’t have time for foundation and eye makeup!

6. L’Oreal Collection Privee in Julianne’s Nude – I think I’ve mentioned already how much I love this collection! Julianne’s Nude is intended to be an ideal pinky-nude for redheads in a lovely creamy formula. An ideal suit-all nude to pair with a dramatic eye look.

7. L’Oreal Collection Privee in Cheryl’s Nude – Featured in my last Favourites post, Cheryl’s Nude is my all-time favourite go-to nude shade to wear with dramatic cat-eye liner and smoky shadow to even out my natural lip colour and give a subtle sheen. A pale beige-pink shade in a creamy formula, it complements my colouring perfectly – not so pale it washes me out, and not too dark. Shame these are limited edition, I’ll have to stock up!

8. NYX Butter Gloss in Maple Blondie – The only gloss on this list!  I tend to avoid gloss formulas since the weather is usually windy and there’s nothing more frustrating than getting your hair stuck to your lipgloss, and many formulas seem to be so sticky I can’t wait to get them off. NYX’s gloss formula is my absolute favourite – gorgeous vanilla scent, great shade range and all of the shine with minimal stickiness! I wear Maple Blondie most of all, since the shade is so flattering and really brightens up my complexion. I can’t wait to get hold of more of these.

 

That’s it for my summer lip edit, maybe I’ll do the same with other types of products in future! I really hope it was helpful and inspired you to check out some new & wonderful products for the summer months!

May Favourites

 

Hello! Welcome to my favourites for the month of May! This is the first month in a while I haven’t had many brand new products to rave about due to having to budget for so many birthdays this month, though that did allow me to rediscover some forever favourites that are seriously underrated!

 

1. Avene Eau Thermale (£3.15 via Boots) – I picked up this mini handbag-size thermal water spray on impulse, since I’d never tried a product like this before; lucky I ended up loving it! Not just ideal for misting on sensitive or irritated skin after cleansing, it is also like heaven in a bottle during hot weather. We have had a few real summer days already this year, and sprayed on a makeup-less face this is so calming and refreshing. After only a few weeks of use I’m almost out, so I’ll have to repurchase soon!

2. La Roche-Posay Effaclar Purifying Foaming Gel for Oily Sensitive Skin (£11 via Boots) – I seem to be on a bit of a French skincare kick this month! Honestly though, I always thought ‘natural’ skincare was best for sensitive skin, but the essential oils and plant extracts only ended up irritating it more. The French really do bland, truly effective skincare well, and at a reasonable price too! This cleanser is not to be used for removing mascara or eyeliner, but it does a great job of deep cleaning pores without drying skin out at all. It’s so hard to find a cleanser that works for sensitive oily skin – they either seem to not do a great job or strip and irritate, but this really has made my skin look much more clear!

3. Urban Decay Naked Eyeshadow Palette (£37 via Debenhams) – One of my oldest palettes – I’ve had this for nearly 3 years! I hadn’t used it in a while, deciding to come back to it only recently and I’m so glad I did. The Urban Decay eyeshadow formula is probably my all-time favourite, soft and pigmented with a gorgeous range of shades. I always stick to palettes rather than individual shadows, mainly because all the shades complement each other well – pretty much taking out all the effort of choosing colours for you! The original Naked palette is my current favourite of all my eyeshadow palettes – great formula, gorgeous mix of mostly shimmer shades with a couple of mattes, and suits most skin tones, especially my cool-toned skin. I’d rather spend my money on a Naked palette than on any of the cheaper knock-offs any day!

4. Maybelline Eraser Eye Concealer in Light (£7.99 via Superdrug) – This product almost went into the bin at first..now I’m glad it didn’t, since it’s a new favourite of mine! The Light shade seems to be sold out everywhere and so many bloggers and Youtubers rave about this product, so I was thrilled to eventually find this in my local Tesco Extra store. Sadly I hated the sponge applicator which irritated my under-eye area, barely allowing any product through, certainly not enough to cover my dark circles. Luckily I had the bright idea of ripping off the sponge and using it straight from the twist applicator – now it’s a whole different story. The product itself is thick and blendable, now giving decent coverage and doesn’t crease at the first sign of oiliness or perspiration – I was amazed after a crazy day of climbing, walking and generally being idiots with friends on a hot sunny day that my concealer was still intact in the evening. Nice job Maybelline!

5. Bourjois 123 Perfect CC Cream (£9.99 via ASOS) – I don’t think I’ve ever quite been so excited at a face product. I really disliked the Healthy Mix foundation, so I didn’t have the highest hopes for this; however I was proved well and truly wrong. Despite its runny consistency, it blends easily onto bare skin, magically neutralising annoying redness and undereye circles. Not sure how it does this, but I’m seriously impressed! I wore this every day on my trip to Amsterdam at the beginning of April and most days throughout May. Quick and easy to apply, the light texture makes it perfect for warmer weather, ideally over sunscreen if you’re outdoors, since the SPF 15 it contains would not be enough for any more than brief sun exposure. My only issue is that the shades do run dark – I accidentally bought the 2nd shade of 4 (Light Beige) first time around and it made me look far too dark! Luckily, Ivory is an ideal match for N15 – 20 skin – I’ll be wearing this all summer.

6. L’Oreal Paris Color Riche Collection Privee Lipstick in Cheryl’s Nude (£8.16 via Feel Unique) – I’m not sure anyone quite understands the love I have for this particular lipstick. No, it’s not a Hello Kitty lipstick, it’s Cheryl Cole for L’Oreal, but I couldn’t stand the ideal of having her name emblazoned on the front! I’m definitely not one of her biggest fans. The reason I have and love it is that it’s the perfect creamy nude lipstick for pale-skinned redheads and brunettes, much preferable to the ‘concealer nude’ and brown nude shades of the past. I wear this on an almost-daily basis and I couldn’t have asked for a better muted pinky-peach shade to accompany a more dramatic eye look. I also love Julianne’s Nude from the same limited edition collection, which also suits the same skin and hair colours as this, but leans a touch more pink than peach. I took advantage of Superdrug’s 3 for 2 promotion and got myself a backup of both shades – Cheryl’s shade is my favourite and I don’t want to be without it!

7. Zoeva brushes in 223 and 231 (EUR6.20 each via Zoeva Shop) – Can we talk about how wonderful and perfect Zoeva brushes are? These days it’s entirely possible to get hold of good quality brushes which are also affordable – think Real Techniques! I’d heard about them via MakeupAlley and after some investigation, decided on filling out my sorely lacking eye brush collection with a few choice items. The 231 Petit Crease has made applying shadow to my eye crease so much easier than before – the uber-soft bristles don’t pull or irritate my eyelids and the slightly tapered end fits the small area perfectly. The 223 Petit Eye Blender has revolutionised my blending technique – no more using my fingertips! The soft, ultra-dense bristles allow me to easily blend out my shadow, even on top of primer which can sometimes make blending much more tedious. As well as looking sleek, performing well and feeling like excellent quality all around, they also wash flawlessly, ready to be used again. Despite the steep shipping costs (£7.50 per order to the UK from Germany), the low price of individual products makes the cost absolutely worth it. I had a great experience ordering directly from Zoeva and really want to look into trying out their face brushes in the near future – I’d pick these over other eye brushes from a premium brand any day.

 

That’s it for my May Favourites! This is up a little late due to my birthday on the 1st June – I had a great time & will post all about my birthday purchases very soon! Let me know what your favourites were this month down below!