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!

A Bumper-Size Lush Oxford Street Haul!

If you’ve been reading for a while, you may realise I have a slight obsession with Lush. Just a little bit. I mean, I only have two giant storage boxes and a bathroom full of it. I only visit there every single week, and obsessively order from the Lush Kitchen. And I’ve only applied to work there 4 times, you know. Okay, maybe I have a major Lush obsession, but there really are worse things to be addicted to! As I’m planning on a long trip 4000 miles away to see my favourite guy, I’m trying to be good with my money and not shoving it all at Lush for once, but I couldn’t resist checking out their brand sparkling new 3-storey Oxford Street store the first chance I got! And I wanted to share all the goodies with you too!

Heaven is Lush Oxford Street…

The store itself is absolutely stunning; I just wish I had taken more pics but as you can imagine I was a little distracted! Above you can see some of their beautiful new bath melts, including the delicious-smelling Shark Infested Custard, which sold out in a flash in the Lush Kitchen this morning! They reminded me of the old-fashioned pick ‘n’ mix sweets! On the far wall behind the mirror you can catch a glimpse of the brightly-coloured Experimenter bath bomb and wintery, sparkly Frozen bath bomb, and some Oxford Street soap and the Dragon dual bubble wand reflected in the mirror behind me.

My initial haul photo – clearly I have a thing for shower gels!

I picked up..

  • Life’s A Beach Body Scrub Powder – I still haven’t opened this as I have so much other body scrub to work through right now, but after a very similar version was released in Australia to rave reviews a while ago, I knew I had to grab one for myself! I’ve been informed this is vanilla-scented however; whereas the down-under version smelled of watermelon.
  • Don’t Rain On My Parade shower gel – This dreamy shower gel seems to be one of the most popular, with a gorgeous blueberry-vanilla scent. Haven’t tried this in the shower yet either, but I really hope there are more products to come in this scent!
  • Lord of Misrule Shower Cream – When I found out the store was carrying Lord of Misrule products, I may have screamed a little bit. This was the single product I was most excited for. Although I’m not totally disappointed: it doesn’t have quite the balancing creamy sweetness that the perfume and bath bomb versions have, instead smelling very strong and more bitter to me – I guess they went a little too heavy on the patchouli and black pepper. And it is much runnier than I expected for a ‘cream’ product. The perfume version would always be hard to live up to, but still, I’m glad there is now  something that’s pretty close to the beloved original scent, & I’ve still been quite enjoying using this for my bathtime!
  • Yuzu and Cocoa Shower Cream – I was never one to reach for the Yuzu and Cocoa bubbleroons in store previously, but I’m always keen to try out new shower gels (as you can see). Described as a ‘chocolate orange’ scent, it definitely smells more coconutty to me than anything, and as I’m not keen on coconut scents I’m a little skeptical, and can’t decide just yet if I’ll like it or not. But I’m excited to try it, I may love it a whole lot more in the shower!
  • Wash That Man Right Out Of My Hair Shower Gel – A brand new Lush scent – I’m surprised this one hasn’t been more popular already, as there’s really nothing else in the store currently like it! It smells very fruity to me but in a grown-up way (this isn’t anything like the bubblegum fruitiness of Snow Fairy), probably due to the fig, guava and rose. I can’t imagine anyone disliking it as it smells truly delicious & unique!
  • Comforter Shower Cream – Everyone knows how much I love the blackcurrant and cassis fragrance of the Comforter! I already have the shower gel version, and of course needed to try the shower cream too. This smells creamier and more true to the bubble bar scent than the shower gel, & all fellow Comforter fans really need one of these too! I got a mini size so I could take it on holiday with me – I used my guy’s Old Spice shower gel last time & truly learned my lesson, as I smelled far too manly for my liking!
  • Bath Oil Selection – I got a few Shark Infested Custards (super-cute and smell just like vanilla custard!), a few Johnny Appleseeds (delicious green apple scent!) and Oil on Troubled Waters – a super-relaxing yet subtle scent for a chilled bathtime.
  • The Experimenter Bath Bomb – Due to some of the truly incredible preview photos of foamy rainbow goodness of this bath bomb in action, I had to pick up one for myself! And I wasn’t disappointed – it was truly the most beautiful bath bomb I’ve ever used, with a spicy scent and full of bronze-coloured glitter. Check out my video of the beauty here, and a photo of the stunning aftermath here!
  • The Rough With the Smooth Body Scrub – Again with the Lord of Misrule obsession! This LOM-scented sugar scrub dissolves fast in the water so would only be good for a few uses, but lives skin silky-soft and smelling lovely! I’d love to try out more of the solid scrubs in future.
  • Golden Slumbers Bath Bomb – The perfect remedy to a stressful day, this lavender and chamomile bath bomb makes for an ultra-relaxing pre-bedtime bath. It was previously a spa exclusive so I was really curious to try it after spotting it in store. I really enjoyed using this one and it fizzed for ages, as well as releasing a ton of fine gold glitter! However since using around a week ago, I’ve been finding gold glitter everywhere! Hopefully it’ll be all vacuumed up and washed out of everything soon, but steer clear if you’re not a glitter fan!
  • Frozen Bath Bomb – I imagine this bath bomb will sell more for the name if anything! I haven’t used it yet, but as I was also picking up one for a friend, the sweet grapefruit and neroli scent as well as the pretty, wintery blue and white colours made me throw one in my basket. I can’t wait to try this!

I would have loved to have picked up more, but all this cost me almost £70! Plenty to be getting on with, but my inner Lush addict just wanted me to buy everything, especially seeing all the beautiful exclusive products!

Last week I’d had a particularly awful trial shift at a local restaurant I applied to work at, so as my dad was working in London that day he very kindly picked me up a few amazing things – shout-out to my dad for being awesome!

This is what he kindly picked up for me..

  • Aliens and Monsters Fun – I’m not normally a fan of Fun, but as it was so cute and Lord of Misrule-scented (most importantly), how could I say no?! This was sold out on my initial visit but luckily they had it last week! I haven’t yet tried it, but have kept it in the fridge to keep it fresh and prevent melting. I love the creativity of the new Fun bars!
  • Granny Takes A Dip Bubble Bar – The ultra-psychadelic bath bomb version of this is beautiful, so I’m really excited to try out the bubble bar version! The scent isn’t one that stands out to me in the store (ginger, pepper and lemon), so I’m curious to see what kinds of results this gives in the bath compared to the bath bomb.
  • Rosy Cheeks Fresh Face Mask – I’m not normally a Lush face mask fan since they don’t keep for long and don’t clean out my pores as well as others, but since this is advertised to soothe sensitive skin, how could I say no?! This has a beautiful rose scent, feels cooling on the skin, and I noticed the first time I used it the redness in my skin was much calmer that night and the next morning. I didn’t quite notice the same results after using it again last night, maybe I left it on too long? Worth trying if you suffer from sensitive skin and redness too!
  • Salted Coconut Hand Scrub – I’d tried this on my last visit after I’d already checked out, & really regretted not grabbing one! I use a small blob of this once a day after washing my hands, and rinse off. I’m not a huge fan of coconut as previously mentioned, but it leaves my hands feeling so silky soft I really enjoy using it every day!
  • Sea Salted Caramel Soap – Again with the salt theme! This doesn’t smell as sweet as I was anticipating, but it does smell delicious and I can’t wait to use it.
  • Sticky Banana Hand Soap – I’m a huge banana fan & wish more products were banana-scented! This actually smells amazing scent-wise combined with the above soap..salted banana caramel soap would be incredible! I can’t wait to try this either – definitely more of a natural banana scent than a super-sweet artificial one. Fellow banana lovers rejoice!

And £100 later I’m a very poor & very happy Lush addict – time to get back to being good and saving my money! The Oxford Street store is an absolute must-visit wherever you live in the world, it’s a truly unique shopping experience and there is so much to see, smell, touch and spend all your pennies on! Please let me know if you’ve had the chance to visit, or what exclusives are on your wishlist!

March & April Empties

Spring is here, and so is a brand new Empties post! They’re probably my favourite type to read on other peoples’ blogs, so if you love doing Empties posts too, please link yours below & I’ll check it out! It’s always fun seeing what others have actually been using up, & hearing honest opinions on it since they used up the whole product. Anyway, here are my Empties gathered over the last two months! 

Skincare, Bodycare & Fragrance

1. Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes (£5.30 via Amazon UK) – Sadly these aren’t sold in the UK except from resellers via Amazon who add hefty shipping costs on top, but these typically cost $7-9 each in the US and are usually on offer somewhere – I always cram as many as possible into my suitcase! I can’t find any wipes that are as durable, super-soft, gentle and effective as these – they remove my layers of mascara and eyeliner effortlessly. Of course I always do a full cleanse afterwards, but a great quality wipe makes the job much easier. Repurchase? Yes, when possible.

2. Johnson’s Makeup Be Gone Extra Sensitive Wipes (£3.29 via Boots) – On the other hand, I don’t like these so much! I’m not sure why they’re labelled ‘extra sensitive’ – the wipes are textured which irritates my skin a little, and they’re often on the dry side and don’t do the best job of removing makeup. My family used to buy these on offer so I still have a few to use up, unfortunately! Repurchase? No.

3. L’Oreal Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Elixir for Face and Body (£10.66 via Tesco) – I’m the last person you’ll ever find on a tanning bed or sunbathing, so this is how I give my skin a bit of colour! Not that there’s anything wrong with being a pale girl – my skin is naturally a little pinkish, and I find a subtle golden tan shade complements my summer clothing much better. This is fairly affordable for a self tanning product and delivers excellent results – no colour transfer, a natural-looking glow and it can be applied for up to 3 days in a row so you can achieve either the most subtle shade, or a more intense tan. It applies clear, so I apply and rub in well wherever I want some colour (usually chest, arms and legs), leave on overnight and I’m ready to go the next day – my guyfriend even commented that I was getting a “nice tan from the sun” whilst on holiday! Even on super-pale skin it looks extremely natural, and lasts for up to 2 weeks (I applied every 4-5 days whilst on holiday, only using for 1-2 consecutive days at a time). My only complaint is that I’m not a fan of the smell that lingers on my skin when I go to bed, but that is easily covered up with a sweet-smelling lotion. Repurchase? Yes.

4. Lush Celebrate Body Lotion (currently unavailable) – I received this in one of the (several) Lush Christmas gift box sets I bought myself on Boxing Day! In the past I haven’t been the biggest fan of citrus scents, but some of Lush’s unique concoctions have turned that right around. Celebrate is a mixture of oranges, almond oil, lime and cognac to create a very lime-heavy festive scent. Admittedly it’s not one of my all-time favourites, but it complements their other citrus family scents, like Avobath and Fizzbanger, quite nicely. The texture is fairly thick and buttery compared to other Lush lotions and this moisturises my skin well whilst leaving behind its refreshing, zingy scent. Repurchase? Yes, when available.

5. Indeed Labs Hydraluron Moisture Boosting Facial Serum (£24.99 via Boots) – A lifesaver for dehydrated skin; just a shame it runs out so fast & costs so much! A small amount of Hydraluron worn under moisturiser hydrates the skin perfectly, absorbs super-fast and isn’t greasy at all – it’s unscented and would be ideal for even the most sensitive skin. The hyaluronic acid hype is real! I took this on holiday with me – normally long plane journeys leave skin looking and feeling wrecked, but applying this a couple of times during my journey left it feeling and looking great afterwards. Wearing this at night also ensured my skin stayed hydrated and smooth despite changes in climate and environment during my travels – I couldn’t recommend it enough for anyone else with dehydrated skin. Repurchase? Yes.

6. Ten Digit Creations Wax Melt in Sex Bomb ($1.25 each via Ten Digit Creations) – There was no doubt my Lush obsession would eventually move on to home fragrance! I’d seen a lot of positive comments on Instagram regarding Ten Digit Creations and their perfumes and homemade fragrance products, some of which are great dupes for favourite Lush scents, so I was keen to try some out! Although they do ship to the UK, international shipping prices tend to be hefty, and as I was heading transatlantically anyway, I bought a few sweet-sounding things to have shipped to my aunt’s US address, including a selection of their wax tarts. I can’t fault their customer service – all my wax tarts arrived safely and promptly with a few freebies thrown in! Using my Yankee Candle tart burner, the scent throw is amazing and lasts at least a couple of full evenings. Sex Bomb is a gorgeous floral and musk scent, not one of my typical picks for Lush bath bombs but works beautifully as a home fragrance! Since purchasing in early March, the company has already added even more Lush dupes to their Lush Types wax melt selection, and I’m sure I’ll repurchase a bunch when I’m next in the US! Northern Lights and Twilight?! I need them! Repurchase? Yes, in the near future.

7. Lush Enchanted Eye Cream [Sample] (£12.50 for full size– I received this rather generous sample with one of my (many) Lush Kitchen orders – this tiny tub lasted me a good few weeks! Rather than being a powerful, scientific eye cream, it gently hydrates with almond oil, jojoba oil and lavender honey water. The super-light texture means it absorbs quickly and can comfortably be worn under makeup. I wouldn’t recommend it if you need something heavy-duty, but if you’re after something natural to gently hydrate then this is definitely worth trying. Repurchase? Maybe, after using up others.

Hair & Makeup

8. Batiste XXL Volume Dry Shampoo (£3.99 via Superdrug) – One of my everyday essentials! This dry shampoo is ideal for giving a little texture and volume boost to day-old, fine hair. Like other Batiste products, it does leave a white cast at first, but blends easily. My go-to product when I’m lazy and need to get ready super-fast (sshh) – my hair doesn’t look or feel the same without it! Repurchase? Yes.

9. Batiste Original Dry Shampoo Mini (£1.50 via Superdrug) – Is it bad that I get through more dry shampoo than actual shampoo? And that I used up two of these in total?! I left the other at my aunt’s after using it up! I use the above XXL Volume version on my roots, and this on the mid lengths to ends when my hair is particularly in need of washing; though in my defence my hair is coloured and often on the dry side, so I can justify only washing every few days. These little Batistes in the fresh Original scent are perfectly handbag and travel bag sized, and perfect for every event from work to music festivals to your summer holiday – I never go on a long journey without one. Repurchase? Yes.

10. Urban Decay Subversion Lash Primer Mini (£15.50 for full size via Beauty Bay) – Apologies that this seems to be sold out everywhere in the UK lately – wish I’d known this ahead of time, as I’m completely out! I received this mini Subversion alongside a purchase of the full size Perversion mascara by Urban Decay. I’d never used a lash primer before and was amazed at what a difference it made – my lashes looked longer, fuller and more defined, and mascara which would usually smudge or flake stayed put throughout the entire day. I’m currently using MAC’s lash primer and sadly it’s not quite doing the same job that this one did for me! Repurchase? Yes, when available.

11. MAC Brow Definer in Lingering (£13.50 via MAC Cosmetics UK) – My go-to brow pencil! I’d used a nicely taupey yet affordable one from Collection 2000 for a few years, but since realising what a difference the ultra-fine point of this one makes, I haven’t turned back. It’s wonderfully taupe and natural-looking, in a super-skinny soft retractable pencil which is ideal for drawing in individual fine hairs. The only issue is that you don’t realise you’ve run out until twisting it up and nothing else is there! Lucky I always have a backup on hand these days. Repurchase? Yes.

12. L’Oreal Volume Million Lashes Waterproof Mascara (£10.99 via Feel Unique) – Normally I go for cheaper options when it comes to mascara, but this one was a gift! Choosing a waterproof mascara is somewhat of a different game from choosing regular mascara – some of the formulas are just horrendous! However this one is truly waterproof, lengthening and volumising lashes without smudging or flaking. I’d happily used it on holiday in September last year, but felt it was time to give it up recently when tidying up my dresser, as it had mostly dried up. I’d strayed to others recently and been disappointed, so I wouldn’t hesitate to go back to this. Repurchase? Yes.

13. Maybelline Anti-Age Eraser Eye Concealer (£7.99 via Boots) – One of those products which made the rounds a while ago and everyone seemed to love except me! Firstly, I couldn’t stand the sponge applicator – it just seemed to tug at my under-eye area and not deposit enough product. It was more useable once removed and the formula was agreeable enough, but no matter how much I blended it just appeared too yellow-toned for my skin. I haven’t completely used it up, but close enough! Repurchase? No.

Lush Bath Ballistics & Bubble Bars

14. Lush The Comforter Bubble Bar (£4.75 via Lush) – My favourite go-to when I need a cheerful, sweet-smelling bath! I also have the accompanying shower gel in the same scent (okay, two of them) as well as the Comforter perfume! A little pricey but when considering you get 4-5 generous baths out of a single bar, it’s not too bad! Gorgeous cassis (blackcurrant) and bergamot make this a truly unique, fruity & comforting classic. Repurchase? Yes.

15. Lush Tisty Tosty Bath Bomb (£3.35 via Lush) – One for the romantic lovers, this contains real rosebuds and rose petals as well as floral geranium, rose and jasmine scents to create the ultimate lovelorn bath bomb. Not to mention, it’s also shaped like a heart. I really enjoyed the rose buds and light floral scent of the bath water – I’d buy as a once-in-a-while treat but for the price I prefer my bath products to do more for me. Repurchase? Maybe.

16. Lush Twilight Bath Bomb (£3.35 via Lush) – One of my favourites – Twilight is the most dreamy, calming bedtime scent for those who hate lavender! The addition of tonka absolute makes the scent sweeter and creamier than your typical lavender – I’d love to have a stockpile of these so I could use one every night! Aside from smelling amazing, this turns the water a captivating pink, blue and purple with plenty of fine glitter to imitate a shimmering night sky. Beautiful! Repurchase? Yes.

17. Lush Floating Island Bath Melt (£4.35 via Lush) – A more recent discovery for me, but I’m so glad I found it! I add half a Floating Island melt to my bath when my skin is feeling particularly dry, and as it’s packed with cocoa butter and almond oil it moisturises wonderfully. Even a quarter of a melt would give some extra moisture, and its gentle sandalwood fragrance is so relaxing. Repurchase? Yes.

18. Lush Karma Bubble Bar (£3.25 via Lush) – One of Lush’s signature fragrances, and yet another favourite of mine! Half of this little bubble bar fills the bath with sweet orange oil and patchouli bubbles. I can’t get enough of Karma in the summer months, and having the Lush Kitchen Karma shower gel, Karma Kream lotion and Karma solid perfume in my possession, I’m more than happy to layer that fragrance up and smell like Karma all the time! Repurchase? Yes.

19. Lush Avobath Bath Bomb (£3.35 via Lush) – I actually received this as a kind freebie from my local store’s manager after receiving a dud product – gotta love Lush’s customer service! I’d never tried Avobath before, and after the unbelievable hype over the Lush Kitchen Avoshower shower gel recently, I felt I had to try it. As mentioned earlier, I’m not typically a fan of citrus scents, but the lemongrass and bergamot was wonderfully refreshing, and the avocado and olive oil left my skin feeling soft and lovely. Even if this doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, it’s worth a try! Repurchase? Yes.

20. Lush Kitchen Ne Worry Pas Bath Bomb (currently unavailable) – I added this to a recent Kitchen order to try out and wasn’t sure what to expect, but now I’m converted to violet scents! The plain white spherical bath bomb with the small purple hole is nothing incredible to look at, but the sweet violet scent is strong & not overwhelming, and the soy milk leaves the water milky and nicely moisturising. Repurchase? Yes, if more readily available.

21. Lush Kitchen Happy Bubble Bar (currently unavailable) – Another Kitchen exclusive, & one I bought last year! Happy Bubble Bar was my second ever Kitchen purchase, just because I was so intrigued by it – it’s quite strongly sandalwood scented, and I’m a definite fan of sandalwood. And who doesn’t love cheerful bath products?! These chunky bubble bars are ideal for being cut up and used for 4 baths, giving a lovely scent, although not as moisturising as other Lush bubble bars and bubbleroons. Repurchase? Maybe in the future, if available.

And those are my empties for March and April – hope you enjoyed! What do you think of these products? Any you’d consider purchasing? And if you’ve written your own Empties post, don’t forget to leave the link below!

April Favourites

It’s Favourites time again! I ended up having to skip last month’s due to unexpectedly ending up on a transatlantic flight towards the end of the month (oh, and completely falling for someone lovely whilst over there..), so here’s an April Favourites stuffed with my completely up-to-date beauty obsessions! 

 

1. Lush Roots Hair Treatment (£10.25 via Lush) – As anyone else who is worryingly attached to their longer hair knows, the mandatory ‘maintenance haircut’ to trim those looming split ends never fails to fill you with (slightly) irrational fear. As brilliant and talented as my hairdresser is, my trimmed hair always feels a little uncomfortably short and I’m counting down the weeks until my hair (hopefully) returns to its former glory; I doubt anyone else even notices but it definitely bugs me for a while! I’d tried Roots a couple of times before and wasn’t quite sure what to think, but have decided I actually quite like it! Applying an egg-sized dollop (rather than the entire half tub which Lush recommend!), I attempt to massage it into the roots of dry hair before washing (harder than it sounds, it’s much more tricky to apply it to the roots of longer hair), some coconut oil on the ends, and put in a big lobster clip to leave for half an hour or so, after which the peppermint & spearmint oils make it start tingling a little. After washing out and blow-drying thoroughly, the roots of my hair feel so soft, clean, volumised and healthy – the olive oil and honey condition and give shine to even fine hair. On top of leaving roots clean and healthy, the tingly minty oils are meant to stimulate the scalp for new hair growth, and of course the conditioning ingredients ensure the new hair is in top form. Pricey for a hair treatment, but I think the tub should last me 5-6 uses in total, possibly more for those with shorter hair. I’ll keep using this once a week in preparation for my next hair colouring in mid-May!

2. Lush Kitchen Twilight Shower Gel (currently unavailable) –  Two Lush favourite products in a row? You should be surprised it’s only two – I have a serious obsession, and my hoard of bubble bars, shower gels and lotions from the limited edition Lush Kitchen is getting wildly out of control – another reason to stick to a budget! But there was no way I could possibly turn down Twilight when Lush announced their first batch recently. More than just your grandma’s lavender shower gel, and aside from being beautifully glittery, the Twilight scent has the wonderful tonka bean note, which makes it sweeter and much more tolerable and beautiful than your regular lavender – everyone needs to try it. Twilight is also my top pick for pre-bedtime baths since the scent is so relaxing & helps me sleep!

3. Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara (£19 via Debenhams) – As much as I completely disagree with the name, you can’t dispute that this is a great mascara! I received this in a British Beauty Blogger box a while ago when the product was first released and have had it in my stash for a while – I doubt you’d see me paying almost £20 for a mascara myself! As much of a devotee of the cheaper ‘drugstore’ mascara I am, this one gives seriously impressive length and volume in a single swipe, without flaking or smudging. The only problem is, if you get it in your eye by accident it stings badly (learning from experience as always) and will make your eye water everywhere – so stay away if you have ultra-sensitive eyes! Fortunately it’s only happened to me once. On top of its great performance, the packaging feels heavy and luxe in your hand, and the shaped bristle brush allows the product to be applied flawlessly in all the right places. Still think they could have chosen a better name though!

4. La Roche-Posay Toleriane Fluide (£12.75 via Escentual) –  My new favourite go-to daily moisturiser, not to mention La Roche-Posay is one of those rare brands you can always rely on to do good for your skin, and won’t bankrupt you in the process. Toleriane Fluide is a super-lightweight moisturiser ideal for wearing under makeup and/or in the warmer weather, since it absorbs quickly and leaves the skin matte rather than shiny, whilst still hydrating the skin – everything oily and combination skin needs. And personally I love pump bottles, making the product so easy to use Perfect for holidays and summer – I can see myself needing to repurchase this soon!

5. Bourjois 123 Perfect CC Eye Cream in Ivory (£7.99 via Boots) – After picking this up as an afterthought in a 3 for 2 deal, I’d forgotten about it until I realised how much I dislike the yellow tones of so many budget concealers – that stuff doesn’t cut it on my cool-toned skin! The click-pen packaging is a bit of a novelty, and not to mention a bit tricky when you have foundation and/or primer on your hands, but it manages to seamlessly neutralise redness and discolouration without looking like you’re wearing makeup at all. This is a perfect easy product to quickly swipe on under my eyes when I’m in a rush or don’t feel like wearing much makeup, and is also a great product for travelling as it’s so slim and small. The only issue is it’ll be hard to tell when this is almost gone until I’ve used the whole thing up..

6. Grande Brow Eyebrow Formula (£52.42 via Overstock.com) – Firstly I didn’t pay quite so much for this product! A family friend in Orlando owns her own beauty salon, and after doing a fantastic job of shaping and tinting my brows during my visit, she recommended this for growing back the more sparse areas and sold it to me for the reduced price of $45 (around £29). I’ve always had issues with my brows being sparse thanks to an incident involving cutting them off as a child, as well as some slight over-plucking in the past. I’d been using MAC’s lash growth formula and after 3 months found it didn’t really do much. I’ve been using this for just under two weeks and have noticed far more growth than months of using the MAC one ever did! It is the same formula as Grande Lash MD eyelash growth serum, but with a thicker brush more suitable for applying to brows. I brush a small amount onto the front of each brow as well as just under the arch and tails (the thinnest/most sparse areas) every morning and evening. It is recommended to use this regularly for 6-8 weeks before using just a couple of times a week to maintain healthy growth. The brow version is fairly new and seems to be US-only for now, but if you can get hold of it for a reduced price I’d recommend it to anyone (£50+ is more than I can afford on one of anything, even if it’s excellent).

7. Sephora Collection Universal Atomiser ($16 via Sephora) – One of my new travel essentials! I originally bought mine off Ebay for a little less, but hadn’t had the opportunity to use it until my most recent trip. With air travel, every bit of weight really counts and so I’m very strict with what I pack. I really didn’t want to take my chunky glass bottle of Escentric Molecules 01 due to weight and potential leakage, but then again really didn’t want to be without it..what to do?! This was the perfect solution – this tiny atomiser was so easy and fuss-free to fill up, fit in my little clear makeup bag perfectly and didn’t leak at all despite lugging it around deep inside my suitcase and handbag numerous times. I took a couple of other spray perfume samples (one of which leaked), a rollerball and a solid, and despite using this one almost daily for 3 weeks, this tiny size lasted me perfectly. I’ll happily be filling it up again for my next trip and would recommend it for anyone, whether you’re travelling to Australia or travelling to work down the road.

8. Kat Von D Shade & Light Contour Palette ($46 via Sephora) – Contouring is undeniably a huge trend right now, & this is the palette everyone and their grandma seem to be lusting after (grandmas need hot cheekbones too). I’d previously been using Benefit Hoola bronzer for contouring, but needed something a bit more taupe and light for me. The lightest brown shade is perfect for using under my natural cheekbones applied and blended out with my Make Up For Ever 158 Double Ended Contour Brush, and a dusting of the middle brown shade is ideal for bronzer on my temples and around the outside of my face. The formula is so much more pigmented than cheaper contouring products I’ve tried, and applies beautifully onto the skin. My only complaints is that I wish the shades were sold separately, or at least in a smaller travel palette, as the palette is quite large and chunky, the highlight shades don’t really show up on my pale skin, and I can’t see myself using the darkest shade. Despite these minor issues, this has been ideal to keep on my dressing table and use for some everyday contouring.

Those are my current favourites for April! Hope you enjoyed reading, and would love to know if you’ve tried any of these out yourself! What are your favourite products this month? Feel free to link me to your monthly favourites post below!

January & February Empties!

The first Empties post of 2015! Have you been keeping up with your New Year’s Resolutions so far?! I’ve been trying my best to use up products, and simultaneously developed a bit of a Lush addiction – oops! But I’m still enjoying keeping track of what I’ve been using up and at least trying not to buy anything I don’t really need! Here’s what I used up through January and February…

Skincare

1. Clarins Pure Melt Cleansing Gel (£17.60 via Escentual) – My HG cleanser for taking off my makeup; shame it’s so pricey! Luckily Escentual has quite a good deal, but despite only using this on days when I wear heavy eye makeup, it still gets used up so fast. I remove the bulk of my makeup with a wipe and use this delightfully jelly-textured product on dry skin to literally ‘melt’ away my makeup, easily and gently – the most effective way to remove stubborn liner and mascara without irritating sensitive eyes. Repurchase? Yes – when I can afford it!

2. REN EverCalm Gentle Cleansing Milk (£16 via Space NK) – Another cleanser, though I don’t love this one quite as much as the Clarins. I used this on days when I was wearing less or no makeup, since it required a bit more work to get everything off! However its creamy, gentle formula meant it didn’t irritate or dry my skin at all – ideal for no-makeup days, and the pump bottle made it so easy to use. Though I definitely need something more oil-based to get all my makeup off, and £16 is a bit steep for me at the moment! Repurchase? No.

3. Barleans Coconut Oil (£17.99 via Amazon) – First I have to say this was around £10 when I bought it – Amazon prices seem to change a lot, and I don’t tend to discriminate between brands of coconut oil as they all do the same thing! I’m sure everyone and their great grandma has already heard how miraculous coconut oil is, and I’ve been using it for just about everything these days, but mostly for areas of dry skin (my skin does not like this winter weather) and as a treatment on the ends of my hair, left on for at least half an hour before washing. It makes quick work of dried-out skin and damaged hair, better than many expensive lotions and conditioners – a must-have multi-use product for just about everything! This giant tub lasted me well over a year, so it’s also excellent value for money. Repurchase? Already did.

4. Bioderma HydraBio H2O (£10.20 via Escentual) – My quick morning cleanser! After waking up, I drop some of this on a cotton pad, swipe all over my face and leave – I love a good micellar water, and this is my favourite. I have to say I don’t notice a huge difference between the HydraBio version and the regular Bioderma, but I find this brand doesn’t dry out or irritate my skin at all – it’s definitely the most gentle and effective I’ve tried. A must-have for me – makes cleansing in the morning so easy when I’m half-asleep! Repurchase? Already did.

5. Johnson’s Extra-Sensitive Wipes (£3.29 via Boots) – I have a considerable stash of these, since my nan would always buy loads when they were on offer! To me, they’re nothing special – despite being labelled ‘extra sensitive’ they are quite rough on the skin and don’t do the best job of removing makeup, but they’ll do when I don’t have others. Neutrogena are still my favourite; though sadly not sold in the UK! If I have to buy wipes in store, I usually go for Simple instead. Repurchase? No.

6. Kleenex Shine Absorbing Sheets (no longer available) – These always make a regular appearance in my Empties posts, so I won’t go on about them too much! If you can get them cheaper than the much-loved Clean & Clear blotting sheets, they are most definitely worth it – a handbag essential for anyone else with oily skin.

7. La Roche-Posay Hydreane Legere Moisturising Cream (£10.20 via Escentual) – Another regular in the Empties that I won’t go on about too much! My everyday moisturiser – I’ve been layering this over my Hydraluron serum during the cold weather, for some added moisture. I always go back to this – it’s hydrating yet non-greasy, kind to sensitive skin – an ideal daytime moisturiser for wearing under makeup. And luckily it’s not too expensive! Repurchase? Yes.

8. La Roche-Posay Redermic Eyes (£20.80 via Escentual) – So maybe I’m not old enough to need any kind of heavy-duty anti-aging eye creams yet, but creasing under my eyes is enough to make me a little self-conscious. Of course, on my young skin it didn’t make a huge difference, but the light creases have certainly improves a little; not so much with dark circles though! Repurchase? Maybe when I finish up other eye creams.

Bath

9. Kneipp Herbal Bath Stress Free in Mandarin Orange (£7.99 via Fragrance Direct) – I received this as part of one of my BBB boxes last year – a lovely surprise which I quite enjoyed! I never really use bath oils, but this gave a gorgeous, uplifting orange fragrance that was wonderfully relaxing in the evening. I’m more of a bubble bath / bath bomb person, but I did love this while I had it! Repurchase? Possibly not.

10. Lush Sweetie Pie Shower Jelly (from £3.50 via Lush) – I tend to stay away from Lush’s shower jellies after finding them thoroughly frustrating a few years ago, but I just couldn’t say no to this delicious scent! Sweetie Pie is a coconut, cherry, blackcurrant and bergamot-scented sparkly jelly, not too far from the scent of the much-loved Comforter bubble bar. I still find these wriggly, slippery jellies annoying to work with in the bath, and don’t use them in the shower at all since I’d constantly drop it, but this did smell gorgeous, & fairly useable squished into an exfoliating cloth! Repurchase? Yes, in future.

11. Lush Snow Fairy Shower Gel (unavailable) – Found this in a little Christmas gift box from 2013 which I’d forgotten about, oops! It still smelled good but the pretty colour and glitter had all stuck to the bottom, and I have another mini one to get through in the meantime, so I used it as a bubble bath instead! Snow Fairy is a real love/hate product – its scent being almost overwhelmingly sweet, a fruity, sugary, ultra-sweet marshmallow fragrance. I used to love it but now I’m fairly indifferent – a bit too sweet for me! I’m happy to use it up somehow if I’m gifted it, but not one I rush out to buy! Repurchase? Probably not.

12. Lush Roots [Sample] (£10.25 via Lush for full size) – An invigorating treatment for the roots of your hair – clue is in the name! It’s hard to tell from a tiny sample if your hair will like this, so I bought the full size anyway. So far? I used it a few times in the run-up to dyeing my hair in order to help get it in great condition. It’s rather difficult to apply to longer hair – messy and tangly, ouch! After 20 minutes it feels rather tingly from the peppermint, and you wash it out. I haven’t used it near enough to notice if it encourages hair growth or helps maintain condition over time, but I did notice it give a little more volume, and the hair at my scalp felt particularly clean and fluffy afterwards. I’m not totally sure if it’s safe for coloured hair, so I have it stowed in the cupboard for now! I’m not sure if this is really a necessity for me personally, but I’d encourage anyone with dandruff or a dry scalp to try it out, it might really help! Repurchase? Not sure yet!

13. Lush Northern Lights Bath Ballistic [x2] (unavailable) – Possibly my favourite bath product from Lush’s Christmas collection last year! This unusual cylindrical bath bomb is dreamy in every way – gorgeous ylang ylang and jasmine scent, purple, covered in tiny stars and fizzes and foams into beautiful purple, blue and yellow swirls in your bathtub, reminiscent of the Northern Lights in the skies, hence the name. I wish this was a permanent product, but at least I stocked up well! This is my go-to bath product to use for a lovely relaxing evening. Repurchase? Yes, if possible.

14. Lush Unicorn Horn [unavailable] – The beautiful must-have, sparkly, candy star-encrusted, conical bubble bar from Lush’s Valentine’s collection this year! Needless to say I stockpiled these too – they’re just so pretty, not to mention the calming lavender fragrance that is a perfect partner to the Twilight shower gel or bath bomb. I was feeling gluttonous so used an entire bar for one bath, but this could easily be used for two, making them decent value for money. I hope they bring these back next year! Repurchase? Yes, if possible.

15. Lush Christmas Penguin [unavailable] – Sorry for all the limited edition products! I have reviewed Christmas Penguin briefly before, but wish I’d bought a few more at the time. Aside from being completely adorable, this smells very much like the wonderful Olive Branch shower gel, citrus and bergamot scented – one that’s unisex and an all-round pleaser. Why do they not do these all year round?! Repurchase? Yes, if possible.

16. Lush Heart Throb Bubbleroon [unavailable] – My other favourite from this year’s Valentine’s collection, besides Unicorn Horn! One bubbleroon is enough for two baths – the bright red hearts easily break away from the gold glittery middle. Scented with ylang ylang oil, geranium, vanilla and frangipani, this is a slightly floral, slightly spicy, a little bit gourmand fragrance – quite an unusual one. Crumbled under the tap, this produces luscious red bath water, a good amount of bubbles and leaves skin nicely moisturised after. I’d have been more than happy with a few of these for Valentine’s Day. Repurchase? Yes, if possible.

17. Lush Star Light Star Bright Bath Melt [unavailable] – Last one of the discontinued bath bits for now! This was included in one of three (!) 12 Days of Christmas gift sets I bought in the 50% off sale – really good value considering the wonderful items inside! I was really hesitant to use it as it’s somewhat of a glitterbomb (I’m still finding glitter everywhere!) though I changed my mind once in the water. This melt faded into a stunning deep blue, the glitter adding to the beautiful shimmery night sky effect in the water – so pretty! And not to mention ultra-moisturising – my skin felt incredibly soft afterwards and I didn’t need to use lotion. Repurchase? Yes, if possible.

18. Lush Phoenix Rising (£3.35 via Lush– A new favourite of mine – not sure why I never tried it before! My personal style lately is very much a witchy/hippie kind of thing, and this divinely spicy cinnamon and bergamot delight just adds to that. I cut it in half before use, which left plenty for one bath. It looks gorgeous in the water – purple and then fizzing into the blue middle. Cocoa butter and shea butter leaves your skin feeling soft and smelling luxurious. A rather unique one that I wish I’d tried out sooner – can’t stop smelling myself afterwards! Repurchase? Yes.

Makeup

19. Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation in Ivory (£8.99 via Superdrug) – My go-to daily foundation for a while, but now I’m favouring L’Oreal True Match since it controls my oiliness a little better. Though this is ideal for when you’re looking and feeling a little tired to create a foolproof radiant look that isn’t just shiny – this saved me many days whilst at uni! Great medium coverage and colour match, easy to apply and pump packaging, which is perfect. A must-have for anyone looking for an affordable, natural-looking, slightly glowy base, even on oilier skin. Repurchase? In the future.

20. MUA Makeup Academy Fixing Mist (£5 via MUA) – I was looking for an affordable dupe for the Urban Decay fixing sprays; sadly this didn’t live up to expectations! It wasn’t a disaster or anything, but just didn’t make my makeup last longer – why waste money on a product that doesn’t do anything? Repurchase? No.

Hope you enjoyed nosing through my empties from the last couple of months – hopefully I can rein in my Lush addiction and start using up more products..especially since I’m going away next month and need to save money! What have you used up lately?

February Favourites

We’ve almost made it through the dreary winter weather, people! Today is looking rather, dare we say, spring-like?! Sunny and not horrendously cold for once. Anyway, my Favourites this month is a little sparse as I’m hoping to be hopping on a plane next month and so saving up money just in case! So here’s what I’ve been adoring during February…

1. Lush Calacas Shower Gel (unavailable) – It’s no secret that I’ve been somewhat obsessing over Lush lately! This was available in the Lush Kitchen a few weeks ago, but I didn’t pick it up at the time, since I’m not usually a fan of citrus or lime-scented products! Instead I took a chance on it, buying one from a lovely seller via Depop, and so glad I did! However this isn’t quite your typical lime – it’s sweet and fruity as well as zesty and energising, perfect for a morning shower! Maybe it’s the neroli which gives it that twist? Calacas is a must-try for anyone who needs a little extra something to wake them up in their morning shower!

2. Lush Lord of Misrule Solid Perfume (unavailable) – I’ve been wearing this layered with the scent of Calacas after showering in the morning – I just can’t get enough of the Lord of Misrule scent! It’s a mix of patchouli, vanilla and black pepper – quite an unusual combination and wasn’t quite sure when I smelled the limited edition bath bombs late last year of the same scent, but it’s distinctive and gorgeous – sweet, warm and a touch earthy. I’d love a liquid version, as well as shower gels and lotions, so I can smell like this all the time!

3. L’Oreal True Match Foundation (£9.99 via Boots) – Admittedly an impulse buy after reading claims of this product’s longevity on oily skin, but turned out to be a great one! A lightweight medium coverage liquid foundation that is perfect for everyday. I use just a single pump to cover my entire face. This wears so well throughout the day without feeling heavy, separating, oxidising or getting too oily – I only need to blot once through the day, if that. And it doesn’t cling to dry areas (thanks, winter weather). I’m NW20 in MAC / Buff in Revlon, and shade C2 Rose Vanilla is a great match for my light, cool-toned skin. A pleasantly affordable must-try for anyone else with oily and combination skin looking for a new everyday foundation!

4. Lush King of Skin Body Butter (£5.75 via Lush) – An unusual concept for moisturising the skin, but has proved really effective! This solid bar is simply massaged into the skin, melting with the warmth of your body and leaves skin non-greasy and beautifully soft. Hardly any more hassle than using lotions, and also smells good enough to eat. Fair trade cocoa butter, shea butter and coconut oil work their magic to thoroughly moisturise dry skin and leave it baby-soft. I received this in a Christmas gift box and was a little skeptical as I don’t really use their massage bars, but I’m so pleased with the results and will now be using it all the time! And who wouldn’t want to smell like delicious cocoa butter?!

5. MAC Creme Cup (£15.50 via MAC Cosmetics UK) – One of those lipsticks I always seem to go back to – as you can see, it’s now little more than a nub and may possibly be the first ever lipstick I use up completely, how exciting! I thought I’d lost it the other day and was so distraught I went to pick up another (by trading in 6 empty MAC products at my local counter using their Back2Mac programme), and of course, found it again a couple of weeks later! Typical. I’ve recently had my hair re-dyed a dark reddish-purple with blonde, and I love how this creamy, warm pale pink nude contrasts with the purple. It is also really hard to find an affordable dupe for this and so definitely worth investing in – one of those wearable pink-nudes that will suit just about everyone.

And that’s it for my favourites this month – my January/February empties will be coming soon! What have you been loving this month?

Top 5 Makeup Items Tag

A tag that was floating around on Depop recently, so I decided to share mine on here too! The idea of this tag is to share your top 5 holy grail, can’t-live-without makeup items. Maybe it’s the items you use and abuse daily, or a favourite ‘special occasion’ piece! I couldn’t quite narrow it down to just 5 so I cheated a little and chose 7!

1. MAC ‘Launch Away’ Blush – My go-to, everyday peachy-pink blush! As you can tell, I really do use this a lot – truthfully I haven’t touched any other blushes in a while, despite having a fairly sizeable collection of the things! On the skin it has the most lovely satin finish and is very difficult to overdo. I have multiple backups of this, so hopefully I’ve never have to be without! A shame it was limited edition a couple of years ago and therefore quite difficult to get hold of.

2. Revlon Colorstay Whipped Foundation in Buff – Another product possessing unicorn-like levels of rarity, in the UK at least. I always snatch up a few of these on Ebay or Fragrance Direct whenever I spot them available at a good price, though you can always pick them up in the US (or ask someone nice to get some for you). Although I really hate the heavy glass packaging (could it be more awkward?!) the formula itself simply cannot be beat. An ultra-lightweight whipped texture with excellent coverage and the perfect shade for my NW15/20 skin. It stays put during the longest and busiest of days and is virtually oil and sweat-proof, only needing perhaps one touch-up over those 12+ hour days where you need to be looking your best morning til night. Though it is very much full coverage so I don’t typically wear it every day – only when I’m on an evening out, or have a very busy full-on day. Not sure how I’d cope without this now!

3. MAC Pro Longwear Concealer in NW20 – The best concealer I’ve ever used! True to the name, it really does stay put all day and offer maximum coverage for dark circles and marks. I only tend to use this under my eyes and doesn’t crease, as long as only a tiny amount is used. I have a tiny red vein mark under one of my eyes which I’m quite self-conscious about, but this covers it perfectly. The only issue is the packaging – as handy as the pump is, sometimes it does deposit a bit too much product which inevitably gets wasted – a bit of a shame considering this isn’t the cheapest! I’ve tried other concealers but have found they’re too yellow, too sheer or just all too prone to horrible creasing.

4. Maybelline Color Whisper Lipstick in Made-It Mauve – Again with the hard-to-find products – so sorry about that! These lipsticks deliver a sheer yet vibrant and very comfortable wash of colour to the lips, perfect as a grab-and-go product for any look, or even just to brighten up your face and look at least half put together when you’re getting ready in a rush. A lovely, easy-to-wear wintery berry shade which would suit any skin tone.

5. MAC Brow Pencil in Lingering – I found my holy grail brow product! A must-have for defining sparse brows whilst looking soft and natural. This self-propelling pencil allows you to draw individual hairs with the ultra-fine end, a particular necessity when you have brows like mine which grow in patches. I finish with MAC Brow Set in Beguile to tint the lighter hairs and tame flyaways for full, natural looking brows. I’d be somewhat lost without this!

6. Collection Extreme 24 Hour Felt Tip Liner – My favourite eyeliner, and possibly one of the cheapest around! I really don’t get on with typical liquid liners, but this pointed felt tip style pen is virtually foolproof – so easy to use, and a must-try for anyone else who typically has issues getting eyeliner just right due to sensitive eyelids or any other reason. Create a fine line or a thick, dramatic cat eye look – nothing else I’ve tried has been quite this simple!

7. Make Up For Ever 158 Double Ended Sculpting Brush – Does a brush count as a makeup item? It definitely isn’t the cheapest out there and quite a lot more than I’d normally like to spend, but if you think of it as two separate brushes it isn’t quite as much. This works as my foolproof contour brush – I use the angled end to sculpt my bronzer of choice (usually Benefit Hoola) under my cheekbones in a line, then use the larger fluffy end to blend out. Simple, subtle instant cheekbones from one brush and one product! I really don’t like anything too obvious in the way of contouring, so this is perfect for me – and a great investment!

So there are my top 7 products – sorry, I couldn’t quite narrow it down to 5! I tag anyone and anyone who’d like to do this – link me to your top 5 below!