September Favourites

It’s the Favourites time of the month again! I really wanted to put together a very exciting new blog post earlier in the month, but I’ve been suffering from a reallly long, drawn-out flu/viral infection, which has meant I haven’t been able to do a great deal unfortunately! I didn’t want to put up a rubbish post just for the sake of posting, so hopefully I can have that up very soon instead! Until then, here are some of my favourites this month: mostly classics with a couple of new ones! Have you tried any of these before?

1. Bee Good Honey & Wild Water Mint 3-in-1 Cleansing Water (£10 via Waitrose) – At £10 for just 100ml of cleansing water, this has got to be one of the pricier micellar style cleansers out there! I did receive this in a BBB Box a while ago, and whilst I haven’t read or heard much about it otherwise, it’s an excellent one! It has a very mild natural, earthy honey/mint scent, is gentle on even the most sensitive skin, and doesn’t leave a film or residue on the face. Very refreshing in the morning! The only downsides for me are the price as mentioned, and that it isn’t the most travel-friendly container with the large plastic lid, so I’ll most likely be bringing my mini Bioderma away with me next month instead. Though for everyday use at home, this is now my favourite.

2. REN V-Cense Revitalising Night Cream (£32 via Space NK) – Infamous for forever changing product names, this is REN’s staple frankincense night cream that has been around for a while, same formula and all. Annoyingly, I think this tube is even smaller than before – £32 for just 50ml of product is a bit steep! However I’ve been trying out different night creams and after waking up with blackheads, greasy skin and breakouts from other formulas, I’ve returned to this old favourite. This soothing night cream is ideal for all skin types – my combination/sensitive skin always wakes up looking calm, refreshed and feels soft and nourished – not greasy or irritated at all. I may be sticking with this old favourite for a while – despite the price, my skin is so glad I came back to it!

3. Bath & Body Works Leaves Medium Candle ($12.50 via Bath & Body Works) – Getting my favourite cold weather scent out today! I’m really not one of those people who gets in a Pinterest-fuelled frenzy for pumpkin spice and knits as soon as the first day of Autumn arrives – I feel like the only people who genuinely look forward to the colder weather are those who don’t have to worry about affording their heating bill! But Leaves is the kind of scent that makes you feel warm and cosy – nectar, red apple and spiced berries carry all the way through from the first day of Autumn to Christmas and beyond. I’m so glad there are new Medium candles out this year, as some scents are just better with a more subtle throw – some of the larger candles make even the most pleasant scents really overpowering. I’ll definitely be picking up another whilst I’m away!

4. Lush Yuzu and Cocoa Moisturising Shower Cream (from £4.75 via Lush) – Initially I didn’t get the Yuzu hype, always overlooking the bubbleroon of the same scent in Lush stores, but since picking up the bright yellow shower cream when the Oxford Street store opened several months ago, I’ve definitely fallen for it a little bit more. Most dramatically when pairing with my last Golden Wonder bath bomb recently (packed with the lime-laden Celebrate scent) and realised what a perfect combination it was! And I quite enjoy smelling like a chocolate orange. I’m looking forward to trying this out with more citrus-scented bath products I don’t usually reach for, as they are a heavenly match together – I couldn’t stop smelling myself.

5. Lush Vanilla In The Mist Soap (currently unavailable) – Unfortunately a Kitchen exclusive and one that isn’t much to look at, but one I’ve been obsessed with lately! I use the solid Lush soaps to wash my hands (although you can use them in place of a shower gel too), and having hands that smell like delicious Lush scents makes such everyday chores that much more lovely. If you ever get the chance to purchase one, Vanilla in the Mist smells just like you’d expect – sweet, natural, non-synthetic vanilla. Like expensive vanilla ice cream. I’m very picky with vanilla scents & this is vanilla perfection for me!

6. Escentric Molecules Molecule 01 (£27 via Cult Beauty) – One that’s become something of a signature scent for me, now returning as the weather gets a little chillier. I can never get enough of it as it always smells a little different – mostly it smells of fresh paperback books, a little woody, a little floral – an enigmatic, mysterious scent which is totally unisex and never too strong or overpowering. I’m on my second bottle of this and prefer the refill size as they’re easy to travel with – my Sephora Travalo only holds enough scent for a week or so. I’m not sure how much I believe the claims of using pheromones to produce a unique scent on each person, but it is one of those rare scents I just don’t get tired of. One that everyone needs to try.

7. Ten Digit Creations Whipped Body Butter in Tuca Tuca (from $6 via Ten Digit Creations) – I didn’t buy a whole lot beauty-wise this month as I’m trying to save up for travelling and use products up, though I did treat myself to a TDC order. This wonderful company produces handmade, affordable bath, body and home scents, many inspired by your favourite scents by Lush, Bath & Body Works, Victoria’s Secret as well as their own blends. Ever tried a shower gel/bath bomb by Lush and thought “damn, I wish I could smell like this all the time”? They probably have a scent dupe for that, and you can smell like Lord of Misrule, Northern Lights and more as much as you please! Since getting hooked on the now-discontinued Tuca Tuca scent after thoroughly enjoying Lush’s new Don’t Rain On My Parade shower gel in the exact same scent, I wanted a lotion to pair with the shower gel so I can smell delicious all the time. This lotion is truly spot-on scent-wise, the whipped texture is a delight to apply, and the mixture of shea butter, olive oil and vitamin E makes my skin feel incredibly soft. The only downside is that international shipping can be pricey and you risk getting hit with expensive import taxes and handling fees, though it’s one that’s absolutely worth trying out.

I hope you enjoyed checking out my favourites for the month of September! What have you been obsessing over this month, beauty or otherwise? I’m heading off on my travels at the end of next month, so expect a few more posts before I leave (and maybe a naughty US haul when I return)!

August Favourites!

Hope you’re having a wonderful September so far! I’m currently battling a weird flu/virus so have felt totally drained of energy, but really wanted to share my favourite products during August with you all – hope you enjoy!

1. Bath & Body Works Mango Tango Twist Fine Fragrance Mist ($7 via Bath & Body Works) – Firstly, how cute and pretty is this packaging?! I was tempted to buy one just for the novelty packaging alone, but after my cousin picked herself up one in the store I had to buy my own, especially for just $7. This is the perfect warm weather light fragrance, fruity and delicious mango blossom with a little blackberry, so more unique than other typical mango fragrances. The Fine Fragrance Mists are lighter than a regular perfume, so this is ideal as a go-to everyday scent for warm days and holidays, or when you don’t always want to wear a heavy perfume. I’m wearing this today & I smell good enough to eat!

2. Lavanila The Healthy Deodorant in Vanilla Grapefruit ($14 via Sephora) – I’ve had this a while and really didn’t enjoy it at first as I find cream formulas take forever to dry on me, but I’ve really been enjoying it as my deodorant of choice lately on a lazy day at home, or after bathing in the evening. Unfortunately I can’t wear it on days when I’m out and about as I do get sweaty easily, but it smells gorgeous – presumably it’s weird to sniff your underarms?! I’d love to move to using more natural products and this is a good start, but whilst I’m eternally putting up with teenage levels of sweatiness, I can’t use this sweet-smelling deodorant quite as much as I’d like!

3. The Body Shop Aloe Calming Toner (£9.50 via The Body Shop) – I’d ignored this toner for a while, but really glad I rediscovered it! Most toners just seem to make my skin irritated no matter how ‘gentle’ they claim to be, but this one truly feels calming on the skin and I can actually feel it tightening my pores without causing redness or irritation. Alcohol-free and fragrance-free, this is a must-try for anyone else with sensitive skin.

4. Lush Dream Cream (£5.95 via Lush) – What kind of Favourites post would this be without a Lush product? Dream Cream has been ideal to use on my dry skin patches, especially under my arms, which soothes and absorbs so fast. I’ve already praised this item in my last Empties post – I’d highly recommend it to anyone with dry skin problems or eczema, as it’s a wonderfully soothing product that makes short work of uncomfortable dry skin.

5. Living Proof Perfect Hair Day 5-in-1 Styling Treatment ($26 via Sephora) – Like my Lavanila deodorant, I’d bought this on my travels a good few months ago but hadn’t given it much of a chance until recently! The Living Proof PHD range is unfortunately only available in the US at the moment, not sure why as this product in particular is wonderful! I use a bean-sized amount and rub evenly through damp hair from root to tip. Normally my hair is very fluffy and hard to style the first day after washing, but after using this product it’s so much sleeker, smoother and more manageable, as well as giving a small amount of extra volume. If you use too much it can make your hair feel greasy and waxy – only the smallest amount is needed so it’s excellent value for money, as this chunky tube will last me ages!

6. MAC Fix + To Go [Travel Size] (£10 via MAC Cosmetics UK) – One of those products I hear raved about but hadn’t actually tried for ages! I bought this a while ago and have only been enjoying it recently. I use it as a setting spray on top of my matte foundation so it looks more dewy and natural, as well as helping it stay in place a little better – especially good on top of my L’Oreal True Match foundation as well as my Revlon Colorstay, since they can look a bit too matte otherwise. Some setting sprays can make your skin feel tight and uncomfortable, but this is actually very soothing and hydrating!

7. MAC Maleficent Sculpting Powder in Sculpt (no longer available) – This exact compact was limited edition, but you can buy the same shade here in Pro Pan / depotted form, to be inserted into an existing blush palette. I’m not sure why this isn’t available in a separate compact anymore, as it is the most perfect contour powder for pale, cool-toned skin (I’m MAC NW20 for reference)! I’d been using up Sombre in my Kat Von D palette a little too fast, and this is an excellent dupe in terms of both colour and texture. And also means you don’t have to cart around an entire palette if you need to take it on your travels! I’d found this as a bargain via Depop – hopefully I can find a backup soon!

That’s it for my favourites this month – hopefully I’ll be feeling better soon. I hope no one else has got sick lately! And don’t forget to let me know your monthly favourites below, or link me to your own post – I’d love to know!

July & August Empties!

Welcome to a brand new edition of Empties for July & August! Okay, I haven’t used up a huge amount of products, but I did spend all of July across the ocean & have some travel goodies to show you, as well as plenty of makeup as well as Lush products I finished up! Read on to find out what I thought…

Skincare (Face)

1. Boots Essentials Fragrance Free Cleansing Wipes (£1.50 via Boots) – Unfortunately not a fan of these – I think I’d bought lots ages ago on offer! They’re very thin, dry and don’t do enough to get off stubborn makeup. They’re fine as cheap wipes for festivals or travel, but typically I’d want something a little better quality than these! Repurchase? No.

2. Mudd Original Deep Cleansing Mask [10 Application Pack] (£5.10 via Amazon) – Always my go-to mask when I need something to remove blackheads and clear my skin! I’m sensitive to ingredients in most face masks including menthol, but this is ideal for my super-sensitive skin – thoroughly cleansing pores and removing dead skin and dirt without causing any redness at all. These resealable packs travel well and are great value for the price – I always try to stock up on Amazon. Repurchase? Yes!

3. La Roche-Posay Hydreane Light Moisturising Cream (£11.45 via Escentual) – My everyday moisturiser! I’ve gone through numerous tubes of this and it’s still my number one choice. Being fragrance-free, it’s ideal for sensitive skin types, and hydrates without being oily at all. I apply a small amount after toner or serum in the morning and before applying makeup. The only flaw is having to cut open the tube to completely finish it up! Repurchase? Yes.

4. Benefit ‘It’s Potent!’ Eye Cream [Travel Size] (£25.50 for full size via Feel Unique) – I received a mini size of this eye cream as part of a set, and it was ideal for my little travel bag! The glass jar isn’t the most ideal for travel, but it’s still super-tiny. There wasn’t quite enough in the jar to properly trial it as a skincare product, but the thick cream did sink in quickly and make my undereye area feel hydrated. However it did make my eyes sting a little when I applied too much, so just be aware if you have sensitive eyes! Also it is a little pricey for a full size, so I’ll be sure to try out some more affordable alternatives first. Repurchase? No.

5. Kleenex Shine Absorbing Sheets (unavailable) – These are on every single Empties post of mine without fail, after bulk-buying them a couple of years ago for just 29p each at Home Bargains! They work just as well as the popular and more expensive Clean & Clear oil blotting sheets to easily remove excess oil without affecting my makeup – absolute essentials for travel and going out anywhere! Repurchase? Yes, if possible.

Skincare (Body)

6. Lush Rose Jam Shower Gel 250g (currently unavailable) – This Rose Jam wasn’t just from last Christmas, it was from the one before! Despite ‘expiring’ a good 8 months ago, it still smelled of its delicious trademark fruity rose scent, just not as strong. I’m not usually a rose scent lover, but this one is gorgeous – a rose/lemon combination that even my 90-year-old grandma is totally into (she uses it as shampoo). It also works really well as bubble bath, though a rather expensive one! It’s unfortunately been limited edition and only been released at Christmas for the last couple of years, so hopefully it will make a reappearance in a few months time, as the scent is so unique and lovely! Repurchase? Yes.

7. Lush Lovely Jubblies Breast Cream (discontinued) – I was devastated when this staple product of mine appeared on Lush’s discontinued list back in June! Despite being around £16 I stocked up on a couple to stash away, along with my seasonal and discontinued Lush bath bombs and lotions. In addition to moisturising well and smelling like beautiful jasmine, it gives a subtle tightening and firming effect to skin when used regularly – no substitute for surgery but I do notice when I haven’t used it in a while (I forgot to take it on holiday & missed it). I know other ladies also swear by this for undereye bags, thighs and bums, so this is a true multi-use product! I just hope they release something similar ASAP, as other products like this are even more expensive and it really does what it claims. Repurchase? Yes, if I could!

8. Lush Ro’s Argan Body Conditioner (£16.50 for 225g via Lush) – I actually picked a couple of these mini pots up at the car boot sale ages ago for mere pennies; I just wished I’d remembered to use them sooner as they were in date when I bought them! Unfortunately by the time I got around to finishing this, it had gone quite goopy and lost almost all its smell. But normally it’s a lovely lotion-y texture with the same sweet scent as the Rose Jam shower gel – they are wonderful used together, and you don’t even have to use a regular lotion afterwards. A real bathtime luxury! Repurchase? Yes.

9. Lush Dream Cream [Sample] (from £5.95 via Lush) – I received this as a freebie from Lush after I got super-dry underarm skin while I was away – lovely, right?! A combination of heat, humidity and regular shaving can cause the delicate skin to become very dry and sore, though after returning home to cooler temperatures, shaving less and applying this daily my skin returned to normal very fast. Dream Cream absorbs so fast and does a wonderful job of soothing and calming problem skin – I’d also recommend this for conditions such as eczema and for use on problem areas, rather than as an all-over lotion. Repurchase? Yes (if needed)

10. Gillette Satin Care Sensitive Skin Shave Gel [Travel Size] (£1.20 via Tesco) – A mini size from another trip away that I only recently used up! Hair conditioner is fine to use for shaving and all, but I really like the gel and foam texture of this shave gel, and the sensitive skin option is ideal for me. The small size uses up minimal space in your suitcase and lasts at least a couple of weeks, even if you’re shaving regularly. My only issue is that I still get some ingrown hairs with this, although I’ve yet to experience any accidental cuts. Repurchase? Yes.


11. Bobbi Brown Oil-Free Even Finish Compact Foundation in Warm Ivory (£33.50 via Bobbi Brown UK) – The first foundation I ever used, and one I continued to use for years! I’m amazed my foundation as a teen was so expensive compared to what I use now – I suppose I used so little makeup back then my parents didn’t mind buying it for me as a once-in-a-while expense! I had to get rid of this particular one since I must have had it around for years and it was smelling a little off. I do prefer the liquid formulas as they’re easier to work with (and not to mention more hygienic), although this formula blended well into skin and looked natural. This does come presented very beautifully in a thick, sturdy compact with a built-in mirror and soft sponge, but I’ll just stick with my cheaper foundations for now! Repurchase? No.

12. NARS Pro-Prime Multi-Protect Primer SPF 30 (£26 via Space NK) – Another expensive one but absolutely worth it for me! It’s lasted me a couple of years and wears wonderfully under makeup. The SPF 30 helps protect my skin on sunnier days, and I top up with dry mist sunscreen during the day if I’m out for more than an hour. Makeup applies smoothly on top, and it never clogs pores or gives a super-shiny look like many other sunscreen products. I did have to cut open the tube to get the extra product out, as considering the price I didn’t want to waste any! Repurchase? Yes.

13. Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara (£19 via Debenhams) – The mascara with the name that got everyone talking! Obviously it’s just a marketing gimmick, it is just a mascara after all. I received this in my BBB Latest In Beauty box a while ago, which was excellent value considering for £20 I got a whole bunch of other products as well. The metal packaging is heavy and feels very luxurious, and the hourglass wand is a bit of a novelty. The formula is thicker than I’m used to and made my lashes looking very long and thick, but a bit too spidery for my taste after a couple of coats. It can flake a little, and once a large flake landed in my eye while I was driving, which really did burn and made my eyes water – extremely dangerous when you’re trying to concentrate on the road! I’ll stick with my cheaper alternatives for now. Repurchase? No.

14. Fresh Sugar Shine Lip Treatment in Clear ($18.50 via Sephora) – A bit of a disappointment for me! I discovered I’m not a lip gloss person, and this clear minty gloss wasn’t anything special – it really didn’t deliver the moisture or ‘definition’ it promised. It went bad after only a few months, going discoloured and gloopy a bit quicker than I’d anticipated. A shame, as this isn’t the cheapest! Repurchase? No.

15. MAC Brow Set in Beguile (£14 via MAC Cosmetics UK) – Amazingly this lasted through almost a year of daily use! This mascara-like tinted brow gel is so easy to apply, and looks so natural. I fill in my brows with MAC Lingering brow pen, and use this on top to colour fine, light hairs. It doesn’t smudge or transfer either – no complaints here! I used this old one until it was fully dried out (see where I’ve scraped the sides!) – I was almost devastated when I thought I’d lost my brand new one after using this up, as it’s a daily must-have for me! Repurchase? Yes.


16. Macadamia Deep Repair Masque 250ml (£23.16 via Feel Unique) – My holy grail hair mask! I used this once or twice a week – a small amount goes a long way and it lasted me months. Although it has recently been reformulated, it still seems to give great results. The old formula is a gold pearlescent colour and is a little thicker, and the newer one is a peachy shade. I leave this on wet, shampooed hair for 10-15 minutes whilst in the bath and then rinse out – once my hair is blow dried it’s always wonderfully soft and silky. It can usually be found for cheaper on legitimate beauty discount sites, so I’ve yet to pay full price. This was my number one pick for travelling last month and it really saved the condition of my hair from the chlorinated tap water and humidity! Repurchase? Yes.

17. Lee Stafford Hair Growth Treatment (£8.49 via Boots) – Not quite as good as the Macadamia mask in my opinion! It does give satisfactory results in conditioning the hair, but you do have to use a large amount in one go, so it can be wasteful! But the worst..the smell! Some people may enjoy it, but it’s far too over-perfumed for me and lingers in my hair. And as for the hair growth claims? I doubt it actively helps your hair grow and instead just keeps it in better condition. It does the job of deep conditioning, but not a must-have for me! Repurchase? No.

18. Fekkai Protein Rx Anti-Breakage Treatment Mask (now discontinued?) – I can’t seem to find this exact product online anymore, so I’m not sure if it’s being discontinued or just renamed! It used to be my go-to when I had very brittle and abused hair as it made it feel like new, and I decided to use it again after a long plane journey and 6 weeks of infamous Florida tap water (it’s known to be quite chlorinated and a friend of mine is allergic to it). My dried-out hair was back to its former glory after one use! I’d only use this once in a while since the results aren’t as stunning when used regularly, but I always have one in my cupboard for such emergencies. Repurchase? Yes, if available.


19. Bath & Body Works 3-Wick Candle in Espresso Bar (currently unavailable) – A freebie for me, as my guyfriend moved into a new apartment and the previous owners had left it behind! On cold sniff it smelled wonderful – I’m one of those people who loves the smell of coffee but hates the taste, and this smelled like an expensive coffee shop. However when lit, it wasn’t as pleasant! I think there is a ‘chocolate’ scent added which is much more apparent when lit; unfortunately it’s very much an American chocolate, which has a very odd smell to it compared to our lovely British chocolate! I had to quickly extinguish this and get rid of the wax, but at least I have this very pretty jar for storage. Repurchase? No.

Holiday Empties

20. Bourjois 123 Perfect CC Eye Cream (£7.99 via Boots) – A shame this got used up so quickly, as it was a brilliant under-eye concealer! This twist-up pen deposits a small amount of product at a time and I use my finger to apply it under my eyes. Rather than looking cakey or orange like some concealers, any uneven tones are neutralised and look very natural. I love Bourjois’ CC cream for all over my face, so it was no surprise I enjoyed the eye version too. Repurchase? Yes.

21. Gillette Satin Care Olay Sensitive Skin Shave Gel 75ml (£1.50 via Sainsbury’s) – I used up a very similar Gillette shave gel above, though this one is thicker, creamier and a little more moisturising. Sadly I still got ingrown hairs using this, but it does feel quite luxurious for the price! Repurchase? Yes (for travel).

22. Ole Henriksen Truth Serum [15ml and 30ml] (£39.95 / 30ml via Feel Unique) – I took both of these serums with me as they needed using up! I first purchased it in the US after trying out the mini size and thought it did wonders for my skin, but it was really the humidity keeping my skin hydrated! After using it at home I really didn’t notice a difference – it does smell lovely, like orange sherbert, but no point buying it if it doesn’t seem to be doing anything. A shame as I’d heard such good things about it! Repurchase? No.

23. Fresh Peony Brightening Night Treatment Mask [Sample] (£49 for full size via StrawberryNET) – Despite only receiving a tiny sample of this mask from Sephora, I did get a couple of uses out of it! It did a good job of retaining the softness and hydration of my skin and I woke up the next morning with super-soft, supple skin. It also doesn’t block my pores or break me out, nor does it feel greasy at all. I’ve been enjoying using the full size 1-2 times a week, although it does work well as a regular night cream too! Repurchase? Yes.

..I guess I did use up a lot of products this month! I really enjoy sharing my empties and opinions with you – I hope you find them helpful! What products have you used up lately, and what did you think? :)

July Favourites

So I’m back from 6 busy and wonderful weeks in sunny Florida, USA and still very jetlagged, hence the lack of posts! But thought I’d finally put up my most favourite things from the month of July to share with you all!

1. Contents at Target Floral Zip-Up Makeup Bag (currently unavailable online) – I grabbed this on my travels, as it was the perfect size to keep my makeup brushes and lip pencils clean, organised and safe, as I used the bathroom to do my makeup! Much more preferable to keeping them in an old ziplock bag. The colourful pattern brightens up any space or suitcase too – not so bad for a few dollars!

2. Givenchy Le Rouge Lipstick in 102 Beige Plume ($36 via Sephora USA) – My most expensive lipstick by far! When attempting to find a UK link for this shade and failing, I was a little worried it had been discontinued..which would be awful! I initially fell in love with this a couple of years ago when a Sephora employee tried it out on me during a makeover. I hadn’t used this much since, but have recently been reaching for it a ton, as it’s a slightly coral-peach dusty nude – ideal for the mild summer weather. Not to mention the beauty of the weighty, luxurious leather packaging. The formula is super-soft, feeling truly high end and much smoother than any cheaper dupe I’ve tried in the past. Absolutely worth the money in my opinion!

3. Fresh Peony Brightening Night Treatment Mask (£46.10 inc shipping via Amazon UK) – Another expensive purchase, but one that’s really helped out my skin! I hardly bought much else from Sephora this time around (surprising, I know!) but wanted something that could help my redness and dehydrated skin. Funnily enough the Florida humidity did wonders for my skin (shame the same can’t be said for my hair) and I wanted to maintain that feeling. I’ve been using it for around 3 weeks now and my skin does feel softer, smoother, plumper and more hydrated, but I’ve yet to see massive changes in marks or redness – hopefully that will happen later. I’d been using it every night for the first week or two, but then realised it’s only recommended to be used 1-2 times per week – at least nothing bad’s happened yet! Hopefully this will continue to maintain the soft, smooth feeling of my skin and also deliver on the brightening promises in time.

4. Colab Dry Shampoo Extreme Volume in New York (£1.66 for 50ml via Superdrug) – I’d heard a lot of praise for the Colab dry shampoo line before I went away, so I grabbed a mini size of the fruity, tropical New York scent to take with me. This was ideal for freshening up hair in the nightmare humidity – I wore a hat almost the whole time since my hair looked lank and greasy as soon as I stepped outside, even if it had just been washed! This definitely helped before taking photos or before going out to give my hair a touch of volume and to take away some of the greasy look – I took it with me practically everywhere to spritz in my roots and rub through. Great value, especially if you can find it on sale.

5. Lush Twilight Shower Gel (currently unavailable) – One of my all-time favourites from the Lush Kitchen – they absolutely need to start selling this in stores! This deep purple vanillary-lavender shower gel smells divine, really helping me to get in the mood for sleep and fight this killer jetlag which keeps me up until 2-3am. Pair this with a Twilight bath bomb from Lush and you have the bathtime dreams are made of!

6. EOS Hand Lotion in Berry Blossom (£3.83 via Amazon UK) – These are around $2 pretty much everywhere in the US, including the supermarkets! I hated the EOS lip balms as they dried up my lips, so didn’t have high hopes for this hand cream. And I was proved wrong! The light, non-greasy formula absorbs into skin so fast, and hydrates hands without leaving them feeling sticky or greasy afterwards. This was ideal as a daytime hand cream for when I was cleaning up and doing housework around my guyfriend’s apartment and my hands felt dry – I could eat food or use the computer almost straight afterwards without fear of leaving residue everywhere. The small, flip-top tube is ideal for carrying in your handbag (but not so ideal for keeping in the TSA ziplock back as it’s an odd shape!) – glad these are so affordable!

7. Maybelline Full ‘n’ Soft Waterproof Mascara ($7.99 via Ulta) – Sadly this is pretty much impossible to get hold of in the UK..which is so sad because it’s consistently the best mascara I’ve ever used! I’d tried more expensive waterproof mascaras before going over, though it was ridiculous how many weren’t actually waterproof in any way whatsoever. This made my lashes look long, defined and voluminous, and didn’t budge at all even in the crazy heat and humidity. It’s also easy enough to remove with an oil-based makeup remover. I think I’ll use up all my pricier mascara backups and just stick to this when possible!

And those are all my favourites for July – what have you been loving this past month? Let me know down below! My beautiful quartz necklace is from Shop Dixi (get 10% off your first order using this link) – nearly all of my jewellery is bought there and I always get so many compliments on it. Look out for more posts very soon now I’m home again, and if there’s anything at all beauty-related you want me to write a post about, be sure to let me know!

May & June Empties

June is far from over yet, but since I’m heading to the US very soon to stay with my lovely guyfriend, I thought I’d post them early! I’ve still been eagerly working on finishing up products rather than wasting them, just so I can tell you all about exactly how I feel about them! So let’s jump into them already..

Skincare & Makeup

1. REN Frankincense Revitalising Night Cream (£32 via Look Fantastic) – Incredibly pricey for just 50ml of product, but this seems to be the only night cream that truly nourishes all skin types (including combination & oily skin) overnight and doesn’t break me out! I apply a couple of pumps of this over my night serum and my skin always looks and feels very moisturised and soft the next day, without causing any breakouts. Also the airless pump packaging is perfect, making it so easy and hygienic to use. I just wish it didn’t cost quite so much! Repurchase? When I can next afford it!

2. Johnson’s Makeup-Be-Gone Extra Sensitive Wipes (£3.19 via Boots) – Yet more of these blasted wipes! I still feel like the texture is way too abrasive for sensitive skin, they’re too dry and don’t do a great job at removing makeup (but I’ll use them all up anyway). Even the super-cheap Boots own brand face wipes perform so much better than these. Repurchase? No.

3. Lush Rosy Cheeks Fresh Face Mask (unavailable online) – My dad was awesome enough to pick this up for me from the Oxford Street store! I’ve already raved about it before, & finally finished it up – these little tubs are enough for around 5-6 uses, but need to be kept in the fridge and used within a couple of weeks. The results were most noticeable on first use, but not so much on consequent uses, although it still calmed my skin and kept it soft quite nicely. Beautifully rose scented and a must-try for anyone with sensitive skin. Currently it is an Oxford Street and Poole Lush store exclusive, but I have a feeling it’ll be more widely available very soon! Repurchase? When possible.

4. Lush 9 to 5 Facial Cleansing Lotion [Sample] (full size from £5.10 via Lush) – I’d been curious to try one of Lush’s non-scrubby cleansers, so it was a nice surprise to find this little sample in one of my Lush Kitchen orders! This creamy floral-almond cleanser smelled so lovely, but I felt it was a little too rich for my combination skin, and would definitely work better for someone with drier skin! I’d use an oil-based cleanser to remove makeup if necessary before using this, as it wasn’t so effective at removing mascara. Repurchase? No.

5. MAC Prep + Prime Future Length Lash Serum [currently unavailable] – I purchased this in January to use as a brow serum but strangely it has completely vanished from the MAC Cosmetics website since! Just as well since I wasn’t a huge fan – I used it religiously day and night on my brows for 3 months and only saw a very minimal amount of fine baby-hair growth, nothing that anyone else would ever notice. I believe it was around £25, so definitely not worth it in my opinion! In contrast, GrandeBrow gave me great results & brand new growth after only a couple of weeks, so I’d definitely recommend investing your money elsewhere! At least I have another empty for Back to MAC.. Repurchase? No.

6. Maybelline Full ‘n’ Soft Mascara (£4.84 via Amazon UK) – The mascara I always go back to! As much as I love trying out new products, this is the trusty mascara I always end up returning to when I’ve had enough of overpriced & rubbish formulas. Everything you want in a mascara – lashes look long, luscious and defined without flaking, clumping or looking spidery in the least. Unfortunately it isn’t sold on Maybelline displays in the UK, so you have to get it online or from the US! And after trying out some pretty terrible, overpriced mascaras recently I definitely need another asap! Repurchase? Yes.

Skincare (Body)

7. Mitchum Advanced Control 48 Hour Roll-On Deodorant in Powder Fresh (£2 via Boots) – My everyday deodorant that never fails! I’ve been using the Shower Fresh scent in the new packaging recently, and I don’t know if it’s been reformulated or if my body’s not responding to it as well as usual, but the other variety hasn’t worked quite the same! The scent is light and unobtrusive, and it really does work all day, even if you feel like you sweat a ton compared to others. I just wouldn’t recommend using it for the full 48 hours! I’ve already bought another Powder Fresh, so hopefully it still works just as well as ever! Repurchase? Yes.

8. Gilette Satin Care Olay Sensitive Shave Gel [Travel Size] (£1.50 via Sainsburys) – A great mini size ideal for your next holiday or trip away! This lasted me a couple of weeks of regular shaving, and the Olay formula felt nicely luxurious and softening on my skin – expensive but I enjoyed it! Not exactly a necessity as my regular shaving gels work just fine, but this is definitely a little more softening. Repurchase? Yes.

9. Bath & Body Works PocketBac in Flip Flopped Fruit ($1.75 via Bath & Body Works) – A bit of a victory for me, since I either lose these or get fed up of the scent before finishing them! This exact scent is no longer available, but Bath & Body Works (only available within the US unfortunately) has such a variety of scents there will definitely be something for everyone. I received this in a makeup swap quite a long time ago, and this one smelled like a delicious fruity tropical cocktail – a lovely reminder of summer even when the weather is grim! I use these a whole lot when I’m up in London, they’re so useful when you’re out for the day and need your hands to feel clean and germ-free. Repurchase? When needed (as I have lots).

10. Lush New Charity Pot Hand & Body Lotion (from £6.95 via Lush) – A lotion that is wonderful for your skin as well as the planet – 100% of the profit goes to one of Lush’s carefully selected good causes, which is a wonderful incentive to buy! This thick lotion is ideal for use in the evening, as it has a light floral scent and can be a little greasy, but is very moisturising, and works well with most shower gel scents after an evening bath or shower. It took a while to use up this little pot even with regular use, so you definitely get value for money! Repurchase? Yes.

11. The Body Shop Hemp Hand Protector (from £5 via The Body Shop) – My all-time favourite hand cream! Nothing else is quite as good as this – it’s super-thick and definitely more of a nighttime cream as it is a little greasy and smelly (you either like it or hate it), but the resulting baby-smooth hands speak for themselves. I’ve gone through so many of the large tubes as I’ve been using this since I was 10! There’s always a backup in my bedside drawer, and always recommend this to anyone. Repurchase? Yes.


12. TiGi Bed Head Queen For A Day Thickening Spray (£13.05 via Feel Unique) – A giant can that I’ve had lying around for ages! I used this before blow-drying. I have to say I didn’t notice much of a difference at all, since I use a volumising mousse as well and haven’t missed it since finishing it up – it didn’t seem to do anything noticeable. Probably just as well, since it’s fairly expensive! Repurchase? No.

13. Aussie Colour Mate Conditioner (£4.19 via Boots) – This lasted ages, and I loved the delicious peachy smell! It didn’t seem to do anything mind-blowingly spectacular, but it worked just fine as a creamy conditioner and didn’t strip the red dye from my hair. Repurchase? Maybe in the future.

14. Lush American Cream Conditioner [Sample] (full size from £4.50 via Lush) – I’ve used full sizes of this up before, and while it isn’t the most moisturising conditioner out there, it smells incredible! I have a perfume and body lotion in this scent as I can’t get enough of the delicious vanilla and sage aroma. Super-dry hair may need something more intense, but this one’s about the smell more than anything! Repurchase? Yes.

Candles & Home Scents

15. Yankee Candle French Vanilla Medium Housewarmer Candle (currently unavailable) – Sadly this candle has been discontinued in the UK! I got this as a lovely gift from someone a couple of years ago, and steadily burned my way through it. I always reached for this whenever I wanted a true, rich vanilla scent which didn’t smell at all artificial or overpowering – I really do hate vanilla scents that smell fake. I found it didn’t burn all the way to the edges, but still did quite well! I haven’t found anything quite like it since, but if I spot one I’ll be sure to pick it up! Repurchase? Yes, if possible.

16. Bath & Body Works Paris Amour 3-Wick Candle (currently unavailable) – Bath & Body Works has a full range of body products in this delightfully fruity-floral, girly scent, but I can no longer find the candle on their site. If you typically love your fruity-floral scents, this is a good one to go for! As with all B&BW candles I’ve tried, it had an excellent scent throw; but unlike most of their candles I’ve tried this didn’t burn very well! Two of the wicks kept drowning and extinguishing themselves, so I periodically had to dump some of the wax to save it, and even then it didn’t burn all the way down, so it was a relief to finish it up in a way. In the meantime I’m trying out other ones! Repurchase? Maybe in the future.

17. Ten Digit Creations Wax Melts in The Comforter and Rose Jam ($1.25 each) – Yet more of these lovely melts I’ve used up! Both fragrances are Lush dupes which smell true to their original products – The Comforter smells exactly like the blackcurrant goodness of the Comforter bubble bar, and Rose Jam smells identical to the delicious-smelling limited edition shower gel of the same name. The quality and throw was excellent – I’ll definitely be ordering more when I can; just a shame that shipping to the UK is expensive, so I had a bundle delivered to my aunt’s home in the US. Repurchase? Yes, when possible.

So that’s my empties for the last month and a bit! I left out Lush bath bits this time since I always use up SO many the list gets endless, and now I wrap my Lush bath bombs with cling film to stop them going bad, it’s hard to keep track of the little paper bags. What do you think, should I include them next time? Or include them in my blog some other way, since I’m a little obsessed? I hope you enjoyed this post – let me know what you’ve been using up lately! And I’m going to be away for a while having some much-needed catching up so there probably won’t be any posts on here in that time, but if you want to follow my adventures via Instagram my profile is @beckyalyssa – I’ll follow you back & we can be Instagram friends!

May Favourites

I know everyone is saying how fast the month has gone, but since it’s just turned my birthday today, and I’m also  going away in just over 2 weeks the time couldn’t have gone more slowly for me! I won’t be back until the end of next month (that’s a lot of makeup & beauty packing!) so I won’t be able to post a Favourites until the end of July / beginning of August unfortunately! But here are my favourites for this month, and you can probably tell I’m a big fan of one brand in particular (try to guess which one)…

1. Lush Don’t Rain On My Parade Shower Gel (from £4.75, only available from Lush Oxford Street) – As you probably know, there were few things more exciting to me than the incredible new Lush store on Oxford Street in London: three floors of exclusive, beautiful-smelling products to sample and enjoy! What more could you ask for, really? The exclusive shower gels are absolute must-haves, and this is one of my favourites – a beautiful turquoise blue shower gel scented with sweet violet and vanilla (and blueberry too, apparently). I’ve been pairing this with Lush’s Violet Nights bath oil and Ultraviolet bubble bar for the loveliest floral baths! I adore all of the new shower gels, but this is the one I’ve been reaching for most of all – I can’t get enough of it.

2. Lush Dark Angels Face & Body Cleanser (from £6.75 via Lush) – Definitely not the prettiest-looking cleanser to use, or the tidiest, but after trying a sample of this and seeing what an amazing difference it made to my skin, I had to get hold of the full size. Simply pinch a tiny piece of this black squishy cleanser, mix with water and gently rub all over the face and neck (and body, if you suffer from body blemishes). And try not to laugh at yourself in the mirror. Suitable for even sensitive skin (just don’t scrub hard), it has made my face incredibly smooth, clear and kept even the hormonal blemishes away. Yes, it’s a messy one, but worth the wiping up afterwards! I use every couple of days and my skin texture has never been better. I’m just going to have to apologise to my guyfriend for the black stuff all over his bathroom when I take this away with me..

3. Lush Rosy Cheeks Face Mask (£5.95, only available from Lush Oxford Street) – Another exclusive – I had to ask my dad to pick this up for me since I couldn’t find it on my trip there! And I’m so glad he did. My skin can be super-sensitive and therefore prone to redness, so I’m thrilled Lush finally has a mask specifically designed to soothe sensitive skin. It immediately relieves any soreness as it’s both cold from the fridge and filled with calamine (ultra-soothing), not to mention the true rose scent is gorgeous. I noticed the biggest difference after my first use, and when used every few days my skin looked and felt much more calm. I hope this becomes permanent asap – I’m not so keen on the other masks but this one is excellent!

4. Lush [New] Charity Pot (£6.95 via Lush) – My current go-to lotion! The light floral/cocoa scent seems to go with most scents, so this is what I’ve been reaching for after an evening bath. Not to mention it’s wonderfully moisturising and leaves skin feeling baby soft the next day – it can feel a little greasy if you use too much, so best to use before going to bed. On top of being a great product in itself, the whole cost of the pot (minus VAT) goes to wonderful charitable causes, meaning it does good for others as well as being great for your skin!

5. Escada Born in Paradise Eau de Toilette (£25 via Debenhams) – I did buy this last year, but unlike many other fragrance purchases I’m still enjoying it! I feel like Escada fragrances are targeted at a younger audience and therefore underrated by most, but this is really just like summer in a bottle, and I feel instantly uplifted and ready for sunshine whenever I wear it! Consisting of pineapple, watermelon, guava and coconut, this is like an irresistable tropical cocktail in spray form, and I love it! Now we just need the tropical weather to go with it..

6. MAC Lipstick in Patisserie (£15.50 via MAC Cosmetics) – This has been my go-to the last couple of months, especially since recolouring my hair a touch too red meant my beloved MAC Creme Cup isn’t quite as flattering as usual. I used to dismiss Patisserie as a ‘boring’ shade, but it’s actually the ideal suit-all casual nude which looks especially good with red hair and dramatic eyes. One of those shades you don’t need a mirror to apply, but effortlessly disguises bare lips with the prettiest pinky-nude hue to pull a look together. I’ve yet to finish up a lipstick, but with the amount I’ve been wearing this lately this could be the one!

7. NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Sex Machine (£19 via Space NK) – A product my mum actually gave to me after disliking it on her own lips is an all-time favourite of mine – so glad it made its way to me! NARS definitely like their risque names, so this one is a little awkward to ask for in store! The prettiest matte dusty pink-rose shade in a soft, easy-to-apply chunky pencil – easy to pair with just about any look, and looks especially pretty on fair skin tones. As you can see this has been well-loved – shows how much I use it!

8. Tarte Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Airbrush Foundation in Fair Honey ($36 via Sephora US) – My go-to lazy day foundation! I have to say this really isn’t ‘full coverage’ to me, more of a light to medium. I love that it’s super-easy to apply with a fat fluffy kabuki brush (the recommended Tarte brush is a bit too stiff & dense for my liking) and take seconds to apply, rather than spending ages blending liquid foundation with my fingers and washing messy hands afterwards. This is ideal for covering most of my redness when I have to leave the house in a rush – it feels so lightweight and fuss-free, and the Fair Honey shade is ideal for my light cool-toned skin. I think I’ve almost finished this one, so guess what I’ll be repurchasing when I’m away later this month!

I hope you love my Favourites for May! Have you tried any of these products? What are you loving this month? Let me know below, & if you’ve written a Favourites post too I’d love to read it!

My Travel Essentials: Don’t Leave Home Without Them!

Packing for travel is always something I plan and organise meticulously – there is just so much to share on the topic, & too much to fit into just one blog post! Since holiday season is coming up, I thought it would be best to break down this involved subject into a few different posts. I probably do travel around more than most, & always do my best to make sure my packing is both streamlined and somewhat affordable! Read on to find out my top non-makeup beauty essentials to pack before jetting off yet again..

 1. Invisibobble Hair Ties (£3.75 for 3 via Feel Unique) – I’d originally received some of these in a beauty box ages ago & hadn’t touched them, but since I have longer hair now they’ve become an essential for me! The last thing you want to worry about whilst travelling is having hair in your face, and these keep even the slipperiest, finest hair up in a high ponytail or bun without budging. I use them for such occasions, or for when I’m doing my makeup and don’t want hair in the way!

2. Bath & Body Works PocketBac (£1.95 via Ebay) – My particular one is a fruity special edition from Halloween! I’m amazed how cheap these are to buy in store if you’re lucky enough to ever visit a Bath & Body Works – only $5 for 5 in the USA. They’re tiny, smell great and come in a range of scents to suit just about any taste. Especially good if you’re having to deal with public transport, or for taking in your bag if you’re going out to eat!

3. Boots Mini Emery Boards (£2 for 3 via Boots) – Nothing particularly amazing, but this mini-size emery boards are a lifesaver if you’re stuck with a broken or ripped nail as you can file it down with ease – always carry one with you wherever you go for such emergencies!

4. The Body Shop Hemp Hand Protector 30ml (£5 via The Body Shop) – My favourite hand cream! I’ve used it for over 10 years and nothing else seems to compare – I leave it on overnight and the next day my hands are always smooth and baby-soft. The mini 30ml size is ideal for your travel bag, as the 100ml one is huge (although better value)!

5. Indeed Labs Hydraluron Moisture Boosting Facial Serum (£24.99 via Boots) – I’ve gone on about my love for Hydraluron before, but there is really nothing better when you’re dealing with air travel. Other moisturising products leave my skin greasy and a little congested after over-using on a flight, but a small amount of this before and during a long haul flight means skin is wonderfully hydrated and ready to go once you’re off the plane, rather than dealing with blackheads and dry patches for a few days afterwards! If it wasn’t quite so expensive I’d use it every day, though it really is an essential in preventing dried-out skin when you’re staying in a different climate.

6. Boots Large Patterned Mirror (£5 via Boots) – I didn’t realise how much I needed this mirror until I got one for myself! An essential if you know you’re going to be sleeping on a friend’s sofa or floor, or sharing a bathroom with someone else. I’d even recommend it for festivals, as it’s quite inexpensive too. This portable mirror can be folded back on itself and stood on a flat surface so you can do your makeup wherever you go and don’t have to hog the entire bathroom. It’s very slim and the size of an A5 notebook, so really easy to travel with, especially since the plastic cover prevents it from getting dirty or scratched in your bag. Much more convenient than trying to apply your full face peering into a tiny compact mirror!

7. Primark Dual Pencil Sharpener (£1 via Primark) – Great for keeping your lip pencils and liners sharp on the go – it is unbelievably frustrating needing one and not having it! The dual sizes accommodate pretty much any size of pencils (my NYX chunky crayons and Nars lip pencils also fit), and the plastic lid prevents stray shavings from dirtying your bag.

8. Elizabeth & James White Nirvana Rollerball Perfume ($22 via Sephora US) – Or any rollerball perfume really! White Nirvana is so fresh and floral, and reminds me of being away visiting my lovely family. It’s a shame that rollerball perfumes aren’t really sold in the UK, but fragrance samples, or a solid perfume from Lush would be just as useful! The bonus with Lush’s solid fragrances is that they won’t spill, only cost £6 and don’t count towards your liquids allowance so can be taken in hand luggage no problem. My favourites are Lush Karma and Lord of Misrule (limited edition). I really try to stick to solids or rollerballs whilst en route and in close proximity to others, as some people are allergic to perfume, or just won’t appreciate a spray of it themselves!

9. Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micelle Solution 100ml (£4.80 via Escentual) – How cute are the mini Biodermas?! This 100ml size has lasted me a couple of trips already, despite using every day as well as on the plane to remove dirt and makeup from my skin – just sprinkle onto a cotton pad and wipe all over. This formula is super-gentle and non-drying too. The small size also means you don’t have to cart around a giant bottle of the stuff.

10. The Mini Wet Brush (£6.99 via Cult Beauty) – I’m a huge fan of the regular size Wet Brush, so was delighted when I came across a cute little purple one! I used to use the Tangle Teezer in my travel bag, but since dropping it on a tiled floor it now makes an annoying rattling noise when using it, so I decided to invest in one of these instead. The Wet Brush may look like any other hair brush, but is unbelievably gentle on even the knottiest of hair. I imagine these would be ideal for children as well, as they don’t tug the hair at all.

11. Bumble and Bumble Pret-A-Powder 0.3oz ($12 via Sephora US) – I hadn’t actually tried this product before, but after spotting this adorable mini size in Sephora I couldn’t turn it down! As well as being an ultra-small size for your travel bag, this is ideal for combining with your regular dry shampoo to add a little volume boost – I can’t go without big hair wherever I am, & most volumising products usually come in massive containers! The perfect antidote to dull, flat hair in a super-compact size.

12. Nivea Sun SPF 30 Pocket Size 50ml (£4 via Boots) – I’ve had this well over a year, so will probably buy myself a new one before going anywhere else! In the UK it’s rare we have the weather for getting our body sunscreen out – and who’s ever finished off a giant bottle of the stuff?! This tiny size is airline-approved and pocket/handbag sized, and you’re more likely to actually finish the whole thing up, so you won’t be spending on product that’s going to end up in the bin!

Hope you enjoyed having a look at my travel essentials! Let me know below if there’s anything that’s a must-have for you when you’re on holiday or travelling anywhere!