Happy December! After no Favourites last month, here is a slightly bigger November Favourites with a few extra treats thrown in! With the sudden drop in temperature and chilly winter weather (but really, how damn cold does it need to be?! I’m typing this at 5pm in my dressing gown..), I’ve been enjoying a few new and exciting products that I’m sure you’ll love too!
1. Bath and Body Works Mason Jar Candle in Leaves ($12.50 via Bath & Body Works, does not ship to UK) – Really, how many times do I have to confess my undying love for Bath and Body Works, and how dearly I wish they’d sell in the UK? Maybe if I keep on they’ll have to, right?! We really are deprived. Anyway! I actually managed to get this one via Ebay auction for a fair price after totally forgetting to pick one up in the US – I’d originally smelled it in store and wasn’t keen (and to me, actual leaves just smell like dirt, so that put me off a bit), but after hearing so many raves I realised I needed Leaves in my life. It is described on the site as ‘golden nectar, red apple and spiced berries’ – it smells like a lovely, warming but definitely not overpowering spiced apple. Perfect throughout Autumn and Winter, this is a perfect go-to, suit-all home scent which isn’t limited to a single holiday like some of their other options. One to light when you come in from the chilly weather and feel right at home!
2. Superdrug Cherry & Macadamia Body Butter (£1.98 via Superdrug) – Because when the lovely Adrienne recommends such an affordable favourite, you can’t just not get it. I’m not a fan of the greasy Body Shop body butters, nor do I love the smell of most cheap scented lotions (Asda/Nspa, looking at you and your vile ‘shea butter’ one!), but decided to try it anyway since it was around 76p with my student discount and £1 of Superdrug points, as it’s currently on offer. I’m not even a big cherry fan, but this lightly textured, cherry pie scented butter sank into my skin so well and made me smell good enough to eat. I rub this all over every night after showering or bathing – it leaves my skin soft, non-greasy and smelling amazing. A wonderful surprise for the price – I’ll be sure to try out the other scents too! No wonder Adrienne loves it so much.
3. Macadamia Deep Repair Masque (£24.25 for 250ml via Feel Unique) – Thanks to the cold wet wintery weather, my hair has been feeling far from its best lately! I’d heard so many great things about this particular mask, but couldn’t quite justify spending so much on a hair product (says the girl who shelled out for Oribe Dry Texturising Spray..). I spotted it on AllBeauty where it was significantly cheaper and managed to get myself a pot for around £16, but is now sadly sold out! I’ve tried many hair masks in my time and wasn’t expecting miracles, especially as it was so hyped up, and the weird ‘curdled’ texture of the product seemed a bit gross to me. It didn’t make my hair feel anything special after washing out; but it wasn’t until I dried it that I realised how beautifully soft my hair was! No tangles or frizz – just baby soft hair, even the dry bleached ends. The next day my friend couldn’t stop touching my hair because it felt so smooth! I really hope this is a product that keeps working and not just a quick fix. Regardless, I’m currently in love with this because of how it’s transformed my hair!
4. Make Up For Ever 158 Double Ended Sculpting Brush ($53 via Sephora) – So I went a bit nuts in Sephora on my holiday. Multiple times – of course. After realising how awful my cheap Boots travel blush brush was, I decided to treat myself to this beautiful specimen. It is perfect for travelling as it is essentially 2 luxury brushes in one – a blush brush and a contour brush. As expected from such a high end brand, the quality is excellent and the bristles are wonderfully soft. It washes easily with no problems whatsoever. Since I’ve been home this has become my go-to brush for foolproof contouring – simply swipe the angled ‘wavy’ side through your bronzer and follow under your natural cheekbones, then use the ‘straight’ side to blend out. Literally foolproof. I’d tried so many contour brushes but couldn’t quite seem to get the soft & subtle yet defined look I wanted. This has made the job so much easier and is absolutely worth the money, as I’ve been using it every single day. A worthwhile investment!
5. Urban Decay De-Slick Makeup Setting Spray (£20 for full size via Debenhams) – Another Sephora purchase! I grabbed this smaller travel size for just $10, but after enjoying it so much I’ll definitely be going for the full size in the near future. I never found setting sprays to be that effective, but after a good few days up in London lately whilst wearing foundation in the cooler weather, I’ve noticed they do in fact serve a justified purpose. Spraying a few times before primer and after powder in a kind of ‘makeup sandwich’, this noticeably prolongs the wear time of my makeup on those 10 hour plus days where you don’t always have the time or facilities to keep touching up and redoing your face. As I suffer from shiny t-zone sydrome throughout the day, this doesn’t completely eliminate that problem, but certainly helps a little. And anything that helps my least favourite makeup issue is a must-have for me!
6. Hydraluron Moisture Boosting Facial Serum (£24.99 via Boots) – As this was on offer for just £16.66 earlier in the month, I had to try the must-have skincare product that everyone’s been raving about. And as I suffer with unattractive dry patches around my nose in the cold weather, I was desperate to try anything. Hyaluronic acid is in everything lately and it’s easy to see why – it’s essential for keeping dehydrated skin fully moisturised and holds many times its weight in water, etc. This product has a really unusual but pleasant jelly texture, very cooling to the skin, and absorbs immediately – it’s like my skin eats it up. I use it at night under a serum with my night cream on top, but it’s fine to use as a day serum too. After using for over a week, my skin is so much softer and smoother (I couldn’t stop touching it at first) and dry patches are completely gone. I don’t have significant enough lines to verify the smoothing/plumping claims, but my skin looks and feels much happier in general. I hope it continues to work over time! If you’re suffering from sad winter skin, you need this in your life – thank me later. I just hope the little tube lasts, as it is quite expensive.
7. Elizabeth & James White Nirvana ($75 via Sephora, does not ship to UK) – Another Sephora must-have! After a few free samples, this turned into my ‘holiday scent’ and I couldn’t get enough of it. The white peony and musk scent would not be something that I’d ever gravitate to alone, but I’d heard a lot of praise for Elizabeth & James (brainchild of celebrity entrepeneurs Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen) and wanted to give these scents a try. I thought I’d prefer Black Nirvana (I’m a sucker for sandalwood and vanilla anything) yet this was the one I doused myself with each morning in my aunt’s huge Floridian bathroom – I’m sure she appreciate that! The light musky floral is so wearable and transcends the niches of season and occasion – I can’t think of when it wouldn’t be appropriate to wear, if you love it too. I’d recommend this to anyone else who loves Marc Jacobs’ Daisy and its other incarnations, as this will more than likely be your new favourite as it is quite similar, but new and different enough to warrant spending the money on. I just wish the bottle wasn’t completely opaque – I’m sure I must have used up most of it by now!
8. MAC Lip Pencil in Subculture (£12.50 via MAC Cosmetics) – Thanks to some celebrity I’ve never heard of, lip liners are a serious thing right now. I hadn’t really given them much thought previously, yet they give such a perfectly defined edge – an essential if you’re wearing a brighter colour, or something further from your natural shade. Although MAC Whirl is the must-have liner of the moment yet constantly sold out, Subculture is an excellent substitute as they are quite similar in tone. This also works work alone for a neutral beige-toned lip as well as a liner for your favourite 90s-inspired shade. My only criticism of MAC lip liners is that they can be quite dry and tug on the skin a little, but they are perhaps the most long wearing you’ll find.
9. MAC Lipstick in Velvet Teddy (£15.50 via MAC Cosmetics) – The partner to my Subculture liner. This is impossible to find in the UK again, yet I picked up two with ease from the MAC standalone store in Millenia, FL. Always one to be curious about products which are inexplicably popular, I did try this in the store and wasn’t keen at first – it looks so brown in the tube! I reluctantly bought one to take home (the US prices are excellent so why not), though as I wore it again I really started to like it..and promptly went back the next day to buy another! It doesn’t appear as a ‘woah, brown?!’ shade on the lips, more as a very wearable nude with a pinky undertone. The matte finish is ideal for winter weather and right on trend, especially partnered with Subculture or Whirl liner for a full & defined look. Velvet Teddy is absolutely worth a try if you can get your hands on it, especially if you think it probably won’t suit you.
That’s all for my November favourites! After my multiple Sephora splurges, I’m trying my best to use up my products over buying more, so stay tuned for a jam-packed Empties post at the end of the month. Hope you are enjoying the impending Christmas season; if not, it’s totally okay to hide out on the Xbox with a friend all day like I do! No shame! ❤