A Primark Travel Haul!

I did it: I finally booked a return ticket to the USA for 3 weeks! I can’t wait to catch up with my family, enjoy the sunshine and do some serious shopping. But first, I perused my local Primark for a few must-have travel bits and pieces that I couldn’t possibly leave British soil without…

 

1. P.S. Cosmetic Pads (£1) – Whenever I head to Primark I have to stock up on these big packs of cotton rounds! Decent enough quality for everything you’d need – micellar water cleansing, removing eye makeup, sanitising brushes, etc. Asda has similar ones for pretty much the same price, but I’m more of a Tesco person so Primark is the place to go for me. Not to mention the packaging is a whole lot cuter than it used to be.

2. Opia 2-pack Headbands (£1) - Finally found some old-school 90s headbands, and at a great price! Though I won’t be rocking these outside the house anytime soon. These stretchy fabric headbands are ideal for wearing to bed or whilst doing makeup to keep hair off my face. Ideal for keeping in my hand luggage when doing an in-flight moisture mask, just to avoid getting my hair greasy and gross!

3. Plastic Travel Bottle Set (£1) - By far the cheapest set I’ve seen! This ultra-handy set consists of three semi-squeezy bottles, a small pot, a tiny funnel and useful labels, perfect for decanting all your essentials. These are a necessity for me: I pack with military-like precision, so there is no way I’ll be taking product I won’t use! I prefer decanting my own products where possible rather than buying minis of everything, as there’s nothing more depressing than spending valuable holiday time looking for a non-drying shampoo, or a cleanser that doesn’t make your face burn. Learned from experience!

4. P.S. Cosmetic Sharpener (£1) - Something I always forget! Not only does this invaluable tool offer dual sharpening holes for both chunky and slim pencils, the plastic casing ensures the residue from sharpening soft pencils won’t rub off all over your makeup bag afterwards. Not too bad for £1! A bargain compared to practically identical products from other stores.

5. x3 Pairs Cotton Rich Shoe Liners (£1.50 per pack) - My favourite summer socks to wear with my Primark canvas laceups / £6 Converse style shoes! A colour to compliment any outfit and so cute with the more subtle lace detail poking out of the top. I wear them so much and was so disappointed when the lace on two of the pairs somehow got stained grey and I couldn’t find more pairs. Luckily they’re available again! These tiny trainer socks are so small but stretch out comfortably when worn, so an excellent choice for packing whilst looking perfectly on-trend.

6. Opia Sunglasses with Case [not pictured] (£2) – A new pair of sunglasses for driving, hence why I left them in the car for now! All the sunglasses I own are from Primark – plenty of cute, on-trend designs costing from £1 – 2, so feel free to wear them at festivals and on waterslides, and not be too upset if they get broken or lost. My pair was featured horizontal blue and white nautical striped cat eye frames and a plain black case to keep them from getting scratched.

Things I Didn’t Get That You Might Want To Consider…

  • Luggage Scales – I believe these were just £2? My aunt already has one – they’re one of the most useful things you can pack in your suitcase. If you think you’re going to overload your case on the way home or just want to know how many more kilograms of shopping you can stuff in before your flight home, these will ensure you won’t get a nasty shock when you end up being charged for excess baggage at the airport.
  • Luggage Tags (£1 each) - If your luggage goes astray, a cute luggage tag will conceal your home address from less-than-savoury individuals whilst ensuring it can be returned to you if it does go missing. Don’t fly without one!
  • Hairdresser Sectioning Clips (£1 per pack) - Long black plastic crocodile style clips to help when styling hair, or just keeping a long fringe out of your face when flying. I always have a few of these on me when at home or travelling, mainly just for keeping hair out of my face when I want to relax.
  • Gilette Satin Care Mini Shave Gel (£1) – These can be bought in most large stores, but they’re cheapest in Primark. An essential for smooth, hairless legs when you’re away, without having to bring along a giant container of shave gel.
  • Cosy Socks - Nothing worse than having chilly feet on a plane or in a strange hotel! Bring a couple of pairs of Primark’s fluffy socks to keep your toes warm and comfortable – I have too many pairs to count these days.

 

All of the items I purchased cost less than £10 in total, which I was quite happy about! Primark has so many brilliant travel beauty and non-beauty travel items in stock lately, all for bargain prices. Let me know if there’s anything I’ve missed out, and what you’ve bought in Primark lately?

July & August Empties

Thanks for all your kind words and likes recently! I’m no big-time blogger and just like to write about products to share my honest experiences with others and help you discover lovely new things, so any kind of feedback and sharing is so wonderful!

We’ve reached the end of August, which means time to empty out my enormous bag of rubbish and tell you all about it!

 

What a load of rubbish..

 Bath & Body

1. Garnier Intensive 7 Days Ultra-Replenishing Lotion in Shea Butter (£3.28 via Boots) - I think this is the 2nd giant bottle of this I’ve used up? My go-to body lotion: light and fast-absorbing, yet very moisturising and afforable. Ideal for when you don’t have time for greasy, sticky body butters – this stuff sinks right in and doesn’t interfere with your perfume’s scent – brilliant! Repurchase? Yes.

2. Bath & Body Works Anti-Bacterial Foaming Hand Soap in Vanilla Bean Noel (no longer available) - This was part of my Canadian beauty swap back in February, and it took me such a long time to use up this soap! Yes, I wash my hands multiple times a day – it’s just that this was a bit drying to use on my hands too much, despite the heavenly vanilla scent. As much as I love the variety of scents that B&BW offers, unfortunately these dried out my hands way too much. Repurchase? Nope.

3. Mitchum Powder Fresh Anti-Perspirant Roll On (£2.89 via Superdrug) - Despite the less-than-pretty old style packaging, this is by far my favourite deodorant. Talking about armpits and sweating isn’t the most pleasant topic, but getting the right deodorant is so important! As well as keeping underarms dry all day for just about everyone (even teens and athletes), the subtle scent isn’t at all strong yet disguises any odour, so this doesn’t interfere with other fragrances you might be wearing. Despite wearing this every single day, these take me the longest time to use up – the newer packaging is a bit more attractive! Repurchase? Yes.

4. Lush D’Fluff Strawberry Shaving Soap (from £5.75 via Lush) – I featured this in my Lush haul not so long ago, and look how quickly I used it up! It’s not that I’m monstrously hairy – just that you need to use quite a lot if you’re shaving legs as well as anywhere else, so it disappears quickly! Allows for a smooth, close shave and I’ve *yet* (fingers crossed) to cut myself shaving whilst using this. And it smells gorgeous, though more of a rose scent than a strawberry one. Definitely more of a luxury bath item, since if you’re shaving regularly it would get pretty expensive to keep repurchasing! Repurchase? Yes.

5. Lush Lovely Jubblies Breast Cream (£16.95 via Lush) - Lost count of how many times I’ve used and rebought this! Your delicate eye area needs a specialist eye cream, so why not other delicate areas? This keeps my chest and neck area well-moisturised and smelling gorgeous. It’s no boob-lift in a pot, but does give a subtle firming effect. A little on the pricier side, but I notice a difference when I don’t use it and it really does feel like a luxury product. One of those not-so-necessary necessities that I don’t want to be without! Repurchase? Yes.

6. Various Lush Bubble Bars, Soap & Bath Bombs…

  • Pink Fun unfortunately melted on me in the hot weather, but at least I could still use it in the bath! I’d bought this before and wasn’t that impressed, but received this as part of a Christmas gift so I used it up anyway. Smelling quite similar to the Creamy Candy bubble bars by Lush, this has a fruity and caramel kind of scent, very sweet and quite pleasant. However it didn’t produce many bubbles and I’m not really young enough to enjoy the novelty playdough aspect of it, but this could be the perfect thing to get little kids to take a bath! Repurchase? No.
  • Honey Bee - a sweet smell and sweet name, but a not-so-sweet bathing experience. The only good thing was the tasty honey smell. It looked like someone had urinated in my bath water and it temporarily stained the tub bright yellow, so I had to scrub it out vigourously after finishing – so much for a nice relaxing bath! Not to mention, it stained my pale pink toenail polish yellow – it looked like my nails were mouldy! Bath bombs aren’t exactly cheap, so I kind of feel I wasted my money with this one. Repurchase? No.
  • I got through two whole Dorothy bubble bars, a joint favourite with the sweet-smelling Comforter bar. I crumble half a bar under running water and the dreamy ylang-ylang and orange flower scent instantly relaxes me – not something I’d usually pick but it’s my go-to Lush product after a stressful day! Repurchase? Yes.
  • A new one for me! I tried out the Karma Soap as a hand soap after receiving a couple of generous sample sizes, and it may have swayed me from liquid hand soap for good. I got put off by the initial dry feeling of soap bars, but it doesn’t linger after drying your hands. Not to mention, the smell is gorgeous – Karma is one of my top favourite Lush scents, a love-it-or-hate-it blend of citrus and patchouli oils to create this dreamy, hippie-style scent. Who needs liquid soap when you have a sweet-smelling Lush soap? Repurchase? Yes.

 

Hair

7. Lee Stafford Hair Growth Treatment (£7.99 via Boots) - Despite its over-perfumed scent and higher than average price for a hair product from Boots, I’ve really grown to like this deep conditioner! I leave on for 10 to 15 minutes and after rinsing out, my hair is strokeably soft, looking and feeling much more healthy on the damaged ends, meaning it has a better chance of growing out. It doesn’t make my hair feel greasy or heavy at all. Though I still really don’t like the scent – smelling like cheap perfume isn’t my style! Repurchase? Yes.

8. Tigi S-Factor Heat Defender Flat Iron Shine Spray (£11.55 via BeautyBay) - Despite using every few days, this took me well over a year to finish! It’s pricier than your typical heat protecting spray but well worth the money – not just because of how long it lasted me, because it actually works! Spritz this strawberry-scented product sparingly (I use 5-6 sprays total for my long hair since much more can cause serious oiliness otherwise) all over before using heated tools, and it will prevent your precious hair from getting fried and damaged by straighteners and blow dryers. Not to mention you’ll smell fantastic afterwards. Seriously the best heat protection spray I’ve ever used, I don’t ever want to be without it now! Repurchase? Yes.

9. Lush American Cream Hair Conditioner (from £4.50 via Lush) - The hair conditioner I always keep coming back to. It’s a bit of a nostalgic one for me since I’ve used it on and off for nearly 10 years, and it’s one of those products where the smell alone completely transports you back in time. This thick, creamy conditioner keeps hair soft and the mouth-watering vanilla and sage scent will earn you countless compliments – really, you’ll smell amazing. The only downside is that a few months after the expiry date the product starts to turn a strange consistency, meaning I can’t always have this in stock in my bathroom and instead have to go out and purchase it exactly when needed in fear of it expiring early. Repurchase? Yes.

10. Aussie Miracle Moist Shampoo (£4.69 via Boots) - The shampoo I’ll always go back to. Whatever products mess up my hair and leave it looking dried out and gross, I can always count on this to do the job time after time. It’s not the most moisturising shampoo out there, but definitely helps when you’re trying to condition dry and damaged hair without the risk of drying it out even further with harsh shampoo. I always have a bottle or two of this stashed away and ready to use! Repurchase? Yes.

 

Skincare & Makeup

11. Yes To Carrots Nourishing Gentle Cleansing Wipes (£3.19 via Feel Unique) - After recently trying out the Cucumber version of these and finding them thoroughly average, I needed to know if the classic Carrot ones were any better. They do have a slight citrus/carrot scent to them which I wasn’t too keen on. Sadly, just like the Cucumber wipes, these stung my eyes! They did an okay job of removing the bulk of my makeup (I’d never use wipes to completely cleanse my face) but I can’t put up with wipes that hurt my eyes. Repurchase? No.

12. Nuxe Contour Des Yeux Prodigieux Anti-Fatigue Moisturising Eye Cream [Sample] (£18.50 via Feel Unique for full size) – Being a big fan of French skincare and loving my Reve de Miel, I was thoroughly expecting Nuxe’s eye cream to blow me away; sadly that wasn’t the case! With a thick serum-like consistency, it did a decent job at moisturising my under-eye area, but I just couldn’t handle the absurdly strong scent for more than a few days. Surely anything this over-perfumed near the eyes can’t be doing them any good?! Repurchase? No.

13. La Roche-Posay Eau Thermale Thermal Spring Water (from £2.95 via Escentual) - Invaluable for hot weather after cleansing! During the heatwave I was spraying this all over my face several times a day and it did wonders for briefly and blissfully cooling me down. When my skin’s particularly irritated, I use this in place of toner. Soothing and cooling without menthol or other unnecessary added ingredients. Repurchase? Yes.

14. La Roche-Posay Hydreane Legere (£10.20 via Escentual) - Still my favourite moisturiser, day or night – this ultra-light cream absorbs fast and adds moisture to the skin without appearing greasy in the least. I’m such a LRP fangirl lately, but their products work wonders for difficult and sensitive skin. Many products seem to give decent results but don’t actually last; this one has been keeping my skin looking and feeling better than ever for months now. The only drawback is that it runs out too fast – one little tube only seems to last 4-6 weeks for me. Worth it though. And let’s face it, there are far pricier moisturisers out there. Repurchase? Yes.

15. Kleenex Shine Absorbing Sheets (£2.99 each via Ocado) - Powering through these brilliant little sheets! Before purchasing online though, I urge you to check out your local Home Bargains where I bought a basket full of these for 29p per pack months ago. I keep a pack in each of my handbags at all times as well as at my dresser so I always have them on hand to blot any oiliness. Pretty much the same as the Clean & Clear sheets in texture, far better than flimsy tissue paper-like imitations. I always have my eye out for these, I really don’t want to run out anytime soon! Repurchase? Yes.

16. Origins GinZing Eye Cream (£23 via Origins) - As much as I appreciate what the brand is all about, nothing from Origins has yet to prove itself worthy of its price tag to me! I picked up the GinZing eye cream this time last year, shortly after the range was released. Due to its lighter texture and ‘illuminating’ properties, I used this as my daytime eye cream for 9 months – this stuff lasted ages as you only need a tiny amount. Sadly it’s really nothing special, the glowy-ness is due to the metallic sheen of the cream itself, not because of magic or the product actually working. Nothing special here – a shame, as the GinZing range seemed so promising! Repurchase? No.

17. Collection Longer Lash Waterproof Mascara in Black (£2.98 each via Asda) - Not one but two of the same mascara! The first one I’d opened around a year ago and used a few times (waterproof mascara is a must-have in sweaty, humid summer weather!), but unfortunately it had dried up over time so I chucked it. After enjoying the great longer, defined lashes and waterproof finish this mascara gave me first time around, I repurchased. Sadly, this new one must have been opened previously, as it was pretty much dried up by the time I’d brought it home! So disappointing – after trying repeatedly to get it to work, I just had to throw that one too. As much as I love this formula when it’s in its intended state, I really don’t want to buy yet another and discover I have to bin it right away. Factory-sealed mascara is the way to go. Repurchase? Probably not.

I hope you enjoyed checking out everything I’ve used up over July and August – it’s such a good feeling to finally recycle them! I love reading other peoples’ empties posts, so feel free to share yours below if you’ve written one too!

August Favourites

It’s already nearing the end of summer – it’s gone too fast! Hope you’ve had a wonderful month and have been enjoying the cooler weather. What have you been loving this month?

 

1. Bath & Body Works Be Enchanted Fragrance Mist ($14 via Bath & Body Works) – I can’t believe I haven’t mentioned this before – it’s my all-time favourite scent to spray on for a lazy day, or when I can’t decide what fragrance I want to wear. I’m not a fan of their lotions as they are so overly scented, but the fragrance mists are much more subtle and refreshing. ‘Be Enchanted’ doesn’t seem to be a popular choice with everyone, but personally I love it – a deliciously fruity pomegranate & passionfruit burst with more subtle floral notes of violet and honeysuckle, amongst others. Unique and delicious! Not to mention my lovely aunt uses other Be Enchanted products in her bathroom, and whenever I use this it reminds me of her! Can’t wait to visit the US again so I can stock up.

2. Lush ‘The Comforter Shower Gel (no longer available) – I may be a sucker for limited edition products, but this is by far the most gorgeous-smelling (and brightest) shower gel ever! No exaggeration. I managed to purchase one via the Lush Kitchen a few weeks ago when a limited batch was released, thrilled I managed to get hold of one before they sold out. Anyway, fans of the Comforter bubble bar need this in their lives – it has the same distinctive and divine blackcurrant and bergamot scent, but in a brighter, more liquid and shower-friendly incarnation. A devastating shame that this isn’t permanent – we can only dream!

3. REN Omega 3 Night Repair Serum (£23 via REN Skincare) - Despite using this serum for a year or so, this has only recently become one of my favourite, can’t-live-without products. I’d been using lighter skincare during our heatwave weather, but now it’s a bit chillier I whipped this one out again! I use a pump and a half every evening under my moisturiser, and even after only a couple of days of use this made a huge difference in the appearance and texture of my skin – it looks and feels smoother, brighter and more well-rested. Note that it’s recently been renamed and repackaged, but still the exact same product. Suitable for all skin tones, though anyone with oilier skin would get best results using this every other evening instead of every single night. Winter weather, I’m ready for you!

4. Bath & Body Works Dark Kiss Scented Candle (no longer available) – I spotted this on Ebay for a bargain price, and despite the fact that it smells more like a perfume than a home fragrance, it’s now one of my favourite candle scents of theirs. Shame it’s no longer available, as I’m so close to using it up! And there’s no chance of me getting hold of it again, since the only one available is nearly $50 before postage on Ebay USA. Before this turns into the limited-edition-sadness post, I do have to say I’ve really enjoyed the unusual but delectable dark berry and vanilla scent and hope this gets re-released in future! And what’s the point of owning limited edition products if you’re too scared to use them up and enjoy them? The only issue I have with this is that these medium candles as well as the smaller ones seem to tunnel – they don’t burn evenly and I end up having to use my makeshift ‘foil sleeve’ (tinfoil wrapped around the candle leaving space for the flame) to distribute the heat evenly – not ideal but helps when you’re trying to use them up well! However all the mason jar and 3-wick B&BW candles I’ve had have burned wonderfully.

5. MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Stereo Rose (no longer available) – Some might say I have something of a MAC addiction lately, not helped by finding so many great and affordable sold out products of theirs from lovely sellers on Depop – check out the app if you haven’t already! I got hold of this practically new Stereo Rose MSF for just £17 including postage, a limited edition favourite from the Fantasy of Flowers collection earlier this year. 2012 also saw the release of a Stereo Rose, but in a more pigmented pink-coral incarnation than this peachier shade. Despite general disappointment from long-time MAC fans, this newer coral shade features a fine gold sheen which when swiped across cheekbones looks divine – a must-have blush/highlight in one that would suit a variety of skin tones. I’ve worn this several times already – it’s so flattering on pale skin and doesn’t look glittery. Perfect for anyone like myself who skips the highlighting step in their routine – products like this do all the work for you!

6. MAC Powder Blush in Launch Away! (no longer available) - Another impulse Depop purchase! I got this for £7 including postage, as quite a bit had been used already. After sanitising it with my Pro Hygiene Antibacterial Makeup Spray, it was all ready for me to use. I was a bit disappointed when it arrived since it looks almost flesh coloured in the pan and doubted it would even show up on my skin, yet when this is blended into the cheeks and built up a little it transforms into a really gorgeous, flattering peach-pink with a lovely satin finish that lasts all day. This would suit all pale skin tones as a light, everyday blush which would go with everything. Shame I missed out on the stunningly packaged Hey Sailor collection first time around, but you can always pick up some pieces via Depop or Ebay for fair prices!

7. MAC Lustre Lipstick in Syrup (£15.50 via MAC Cosmetics) - Am I the only one who hesitates to use brand new, pricier makeup items? As much as I enjoy savouring a brand new lipstick, we buy makeup to actually use it – not as an expensive decoration! And Syrup is my current favourite which I’ve finally broken in after buying it months ago – the Lustre formulas deliver a buildable, non-drying wash of glossy colour which flatter just about anyone. I find most of the Matte and Amplified formulas are too drying or clashing to wear regularly, so I’m always reaching for the Lustres and Cremesheens! Syrup is a hard-to-find but easy-to-wear muted pinky-mauve shade, making it perfect for everyday wear and one I’ll always reach for as a tried-and-tested favourite.

 

Those are all my favourites for August! Will September finally be the month I get over my MAC / limited edition obsession? Who knows! What products have you been loving and reaching for this month?

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!