Dry Skin Picks

15 June 2016

products for dry skinI don’t know about you, but I suffer from dry skin even in the raging humidity of summer – dry face, dry legs, dry arms, dry lips – you name it, I’ve got it. I literally can’t get enough of moisture-giving products, but even makeup and skincare designed for dry skin often isn’t enough for me. Through trial and error, I’ve discovered the best genuinely moisturising products that keep me from looking like an old snakeskin bag, and today I’m sharing these with my fellow lizard-like gals!

THE ALL-PURPOSE MOISTURISER
I keep banging on about this but A-Derma Exomega emollient cream (£10.50 for 200ml) for face & body is the only moisturiser I’ve been using on a daily basis since 2016 began. Now, if your skin is not very dry, I absolutely don’t recommend this stuff for your face, but if it is (or if it’s extremely sensitive or eczema prone), this will make your skin act ‘normal’ and will stop any dry patches forming when you apply foundation (I use this as a moisturiser, as a primer or to mix with foundation to make a tinted moisturiser). Also, if you get scaly legs, this stuff will obliterate that until the next time you shower – I can’t live without it.

THE FOUNDATION
I reviewed the YSL Le Teint Touche Eclat foundation (£32.50) in full here, if you want to learn more about it or see what it looks like on. A lightweight, glowy formula, this is one of the few foundations that doesn’t completely dry my skin out. It’s a light-medium coverage so it’s a good one for summer when you don’t want to cake layers of makeup on.

THE BODY SCRUB
Another discovery that I haven’t stopped using since last summer is Sanctuary Spa Ultimate Salt Scrub (£1.75 for 60g sachet) – man this stuff is good. If you like coarse, oily scrubs I can’t recommend this one enough. It comes in a big old jar but it’s also available in these super handy sachets, which are perfect for travelling. It makes my legs look and feel infinitely smoother (even hubby notices when I’ve used this) and again, banishes scaly skin until the next shower.

THE CONCEALER
Concealers are notoriously cake-central even on normal skin so when you come by a heavy duty concealer that doesn’t leave your face looking like you’ve dipped it in sand, you know it’s a keeper. NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer (£22.50) is probably the only concealer I’ve come across that covers my dark circles effectively without the need for an inch-thick layer of moisturiser underneath.

THE FACE OIL
Prepping dry skin for a day of slap ideally starts the night before with a good face oil. This Works Active Oil (£45.00) is the one I’ve been using, giving me a decent moisture hit along with anti-ageing properties. I don’t find it too greasy, and it leaves my skin with a subtle glow come morning.

THE LIP BALMS
I’ve included two lip balms as I couldn’t narrow it down to one. At bedtime, I like to use Dr Lipp Original Nipple Balm for Lips (£12.00) (probably even more so than Nuxe Reve de Miel – it’s a lot more comfortable on the lips), which leaves my lips still moist come morning. Carmex Lip Tints (£4.49) are a dream to use, and are a great tinted lip balm if your lips are quite pigmented, and other tints struggle to show up. I reviewed the pink version here.

THE TINTED MOISTURISER
If you’re anything like me, you’ll rarely be able to muster up the energy to trowel on foundation on an average morning. However, if you feel like putting on a ‘lil somethin’, Bobbi Brown Tinted Moisturising Balm (£36.50) is a dream. Another warning here – if you’re not a dry skin sufferer, this will make you look like an oil slick in 30 seconds flat. If you do have dry skin and just can’t find a tint that glides on, you need to give this one a try (plus it’s got SPF 25). I do have to powder my nose with this one as it gets a bit shiny throughout the day, but if you’ve suffered from dry skin your entire life, this is actually a novelty!

What are your dry skin picks? I’m always dying to try new ones, especially for my legs!

Review: The Makeup Eraser

28 April 2016

eraser 2eraser 3eraserHola chappies! Does anyone else get sucked in by that shelf in Boots displaying the ‘new in’ products? Well, a few weeks ago I was languishing in the snail-pace queue of probably one of the very worst branches of Boots in London and noticed the infamous Makeup Eraser. For those of you unfamiliar with matters of overpriced pink cloths, the Makeup Eraser claims to remove all your makeup with just water. No cleanser, no oil, nada. Needless to say I was sceptical but I’ll give anything a try if it means simplifying my nightly routine.

On first impressions, the Makeup Eraser is very soft and fleecy. There doesn’t appear to be any magical properties to it, but you do have to wash it before first use (I ignored this instruction at first but got a lot of lint in my eyes, causing temporary blindness so I wouldn’t recommend skipping this step). Now, on a regular day I wear some kind of base product, concealer, brow pomade, eyehsadow, eyeliner, eyeshadow, mascara (non-waterproof) and lipstick – which is what I have on in the ‘before’ photo. So, as per the instructions, I soaked the Makeup Eraser with warm water and proceeded to wipe the makeup off my face. This is where the disappointment began.

The Makeup Eraser doesn’t seem to get fully wet, if you know what I mean? It almost feels like it’s coated in some kind of teflon or water repellent. It does eventually get wet but not soaked like a flannel would. Anyway, I carried on wiping my face and the base makeup came off easily enough, but the cloth REALLY struggled with my eye makeup. I had to really rub hard to get anything removed, thus tugging my skin. Things weren’t helped by the weird dry-but-wet texture of the cloth so it didn’t really glide. The makeup removal process was already taking way longer than I’d have liked so I called it a day. You can see from the’after’ photo that there’s still a copious amount of eyeliner around. In fairness, it removed my mascara pretty well so I’ll give it that.

Another issue I had was that I found the Makeup Eraser too soft. Personally I like the gentle abrasiveness of a cotton flannel to help my face feel really clean. My face just felt a bit grubby after using this, sadly. But, if you have sensitive skin you might like the softness.

The Makeup Eraser does wash extremely well, and you don’t get left with those murky stains that flannels get permanently riddled with. But, at £16.50, I was hoping for more than just an easy-to-clean cloth. It has since been relegated to my pile of flannels and I occasionally use it with a cleanser, but to be honest I almost always reach for a humble Asda flannel.

Apologies for being a Debbie Downer with this one, but do let me know if you like it or I’m just using it completely wrong. Surely I am?!

The Makeup Eraser is available at Boots and costs £16.50.

Review: Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream

27 April 2016

smashbox bb cream reviewsmashbox bb cream reviewSmashbox bb cream
Hello, friends! If you’re not sick of BB creams yet, then keep reading. This post might be especially helpful for those of you who struggle with finding a decent shade match when it comes to BB creams. Because, let’s face it – generally if you don’t fall in either a light or medium light category then BB creams are off limits. Enter Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream, which comes in an impressive 8 shades so you’re much more likely to find a shade that doesn’t make you look like some weird waxwork figure. I opted for Medium/Dark which is a really good match for my NC42 skin.

It comes in a squeezy tube, and the formula is quite thick and smooth. I find that it works best on lightly moisturised skin and worked in with the fingers. I’d say the coverage is light and can be built up to medium – enough to even out my skin, partially conceal the darkness around my eyes, hide the fine lines on my forehead and generally make me look like I’ve caught a bit of healthy sunshine. It also keeps my skin feeling quite moist during the day which is quite the feat – most base products really dry out my skin. It’s probably worth noting if you have oily skin as you might find this a touch shiny as the day goes on.

As far as BB creams go, the Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream is one of the best I’ve tried, but then again I haven’t tried a great many due to the shade selections generally available. I’d be interested to know what others think of this as I hardly ever hear anyone talking about it.

Smashbox Camera Ready BB cream is available online and at Smashbox counters and costs £27.

March 2016 Favourites

11 April 2016

march 2016 favourites
Another month, another favourites post. This month has been pretty minimal in terms of makeup (again!) but I’ve been getting into BB creams more, thanks to the EXCELLENT moisturiser I’ve been using to get my dry skin to act like normal skin. So without further ado, let’s get a-cracking.

A-Derma Exomega Emollient Cream 200ml, £10.50
This emollient cream is what dreams are made of if you suffer from dry, flaky skin (I don’t have sensitive skin but this is aimed at very sensitive, sore skin). My skin had been so dry this past winter, to the point where I couldn’t wear any foundation or BB creams without it going all rough and flaky on my forehead and cheeks. I had a sample of the A-Derma Exomega emollient which had been in my drawer for a couple of years and I took it on a weekend away, and as soon as I came back I had to order it in this monster size. It is literally the only cream that genuinely hydrates my skin for a full 24 hours, and it’s amazing on my lizard skin legs too (it can be used for face and body). E45 has nothing on this stuff, and I can see this being a forever repurchase. Definite holy grail status!

Origins Ginger Essence Sensuous Skin Scent 50ml, £32.50
If anyone has ever tried the Origins Ginger range (not to be confused with GinZing), you’ll understand just how intoxicating and addictive the scent is. I had the Ginger Rush body moisturiser already but I’d always be sad when the scent wore off. I recently discovered it’s available as a perfume, and I was straight down to John Lewis to brandish my credit card about. I’ve worn this every single day and can’t get enough. It’s gingery, fresh, zingy…just go and give it a whiff. It’s THE perfect spring/summer daytime scent. Granted, the scent doesn’t last super long on me, but I love this enough to keep it in my handbag for top-ups throughout the day.

Smashbox Insta-Matte Lipstick Transformer, £19
A new release from Smashbox and definitely not as gimmicky as you might first think. This silicon-based clear gel turns any lipstick (from a bullet, not so much liquids or glosses) into a matte formula – amazing. You simply apply your lipstick, then rub a little bit of this on top and you get an instant matte effect (as the name would suggest). You don’t get that dry matte feeling as your lipstick remains a creamy texture so it stays super comfortable. Look out for a review on this soon.

Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream Medium/Dark, £27
It has been quite a month for Smashbox and I. Normally I don’t get on that well with BB creams as I find them quite drying. The Camera Ready BB Cream from Smashbox gives a more dewy finish which I love, and comes in a decent range of colours. The shade Medium/Dark matches my NC42 skin perfectly and it’s really easy to use. I usually just slap it on with my fingers and I’m good to go. I tend to pop on a bit of concealer under my eyes but I reckon I could get away with just this.

Makeup Revolution Lipstick Shade 11, £1
I am gobsmacked that this lipstick costs just one English pound! One! It’s creamy, pigmented (more so than a lot of MAC lipsticks) and it’s a great pinky nude for darker skintones (which are notoriously hard to find on the high street). I love this by itself or with the Smashbox Insta-Matte too for a different effect.

Have you tried any of these products? I feel like this month’s favourites are all unsung and underrated?!

Review: Seventeen Tattoo Me Liquid Eyeliner

4 April 2016

seventeen tattoo meseventeen tattoo me eyeliner
My relationship with eyeliner is quite complicated. On the one hand, I’m quite the fusspot when it comes to what I like but on the other, I will try anything once. I’m yet to find THE one and after trying the Seventeen Tattoo Me Liquid Eyeliner, I am sadly no closer.

Frustratingly, there are many, many things that this eyeliner does right (for my preferences anyway). It’s one of those very thin brushes as oppose to a nib so you get fully flexible movement. Also, you can get a very fine flick close to the lashline which sometimes I find trickier with a pen eyeliner. The formula is very wet and glides on beautifully (much like the infamous Rimmel Glam’Eyes one, but slightly thicker) which I personally like as it gives you the kind of intensity that pens and gels can struggle with. It takes a few minutes to dry fully and this is where you need to be careful – one false movement and you are guaranteed with eyeliner on your upper eyelid. It dries to an almost matte finish which I love – it isn’t glossy but it isn’t as flat as the Rimmel one. The product also claims 48 hours of waterproof wear, which I honestly have to agree with. Once it’s on, it doesn’t budge until you remove it with an oil-based cleanser. I have gone to bed with this stuff on, woken up and not had to touch it up – it’s that good.

My issue with the Tattoo Me Eyeliner is the formula of the liquid while I work with it. It’s pretty gloopy, to be point that I had to wipe off the gooey strands (ew) before I get anywhere near my eyes. That I can deal with but the gloopiness means I always get this all over the tips of my lashes and it dries solid. Even if I frantically try to wipe it off my lashes, it acts almost as like a glue and fuses them together. I suspect it’s because of this glue-like formula that makes it so long wearing. Nonetheless, it’s annoying enough to make me reluctant to use it on a daily basis.

As you can tell I’m very much in two minds with the Seventeen Tattoo Me eyeliner. At the end of the day, a £4.99 eyeliner probably won’t be the best in the world but this comes SO close which is what’s so frustrating. Obviously this style of eyeliner isn’t for everyone and can be difficult to work with but if you do like wet, brush-on eyeliners, I’d definitely give this a go – who knows your application angle might be better than mine!

Seventeen Tattoo Me Eyeliner is available at Boots and costs £4.99.

Review: Canmake Lasting Multi Eye Base

23 March 2016

Canmake Lasting Multi Eye Base review
I’ve never really gotten into eye primers but recently I’ve been wearing more matte eyeshadows which I feel can be a bit wishy-washy without a decent base underneath. Also, I’m convinced that all the oil has been sucked from my face and migrated to my eyelids – 9 times out of 10, I end up with creasing half way through the day. So, I thought I’d finally give the Canmake Lasting Multi Eye Base a try, which I mentioned in my Hong Kong haul. In case you’re wondering what’s so ‘multi’ about it, it claims to hold eyeshadow in place, as well as eyeliner and eyebrow products. I can’t say I’ve tried it with eyebrow products as I generally use Anastasia DipBrow (review here), and that shizz can survive a nuclear war, with or without a primer.

Firstly, this primer is super thick. As in, you have to give the tube a big ol’ squeeze to get the product out. It comes out as a white paste-like substance and blends quite easily into an invisible finish. It’s very silicon-y and suitably tacky without being overly sticky. Because it’s so thick, less is definitely more otherwise you end up with a bit of an uneven base, and the excess crumbling off into little pieces. I’m also enjoying the tiny tube which takes up minimal space in my ridiculously bulging makeup bag.
Canmake Lasting Multi Eye Base review
Canmake Lasting Multi Eye Base review
For swatch purposes, I used the Stolen Chocolate eyeshadow from the Makeup Revolution I Heart Chocolate palette, which is a dark brown matte shade. The texture of this is already quite nice but you can see the colour come alive over the primer. I wouldn’t say the texture changes, but the colour is richer, more vibrant and comes off a bit darker than how it looks in the pan. On the lids, the eyeshadow applies nicely and evenly over the primer – I used the shades One More Piece, Thank Friday and Pleasure Girl whose colour payoffs performed much better over the primer.
Canmake Lasting Multi Eye Base review
canmake 8
I think where the Canmake eye primer really impressed me is how long it keeps eyeshadow looking flawless. The photo above was taken around 12 hours after application and there is no creasing, and things are looking pretty even – rather impressive I’d say!

The Canmake eye base has made me wonder why I didn’t get into eye primers before – it really is a must for eyeshadow wearers – whether you experience creasing, fading or just want eyeshadow (especially matte colours) to appear more pigmented.

Helpfully, I can’t remember exactly how much I paid for this primer but it was definitely less than the equivalent of £5. If you don’t happen to be travelling to the Far East any time soon, it is available from Amazon here.

FOTD #10

17 March 2016

fotd
Ever since I discovered my new favourite moisturiser (review coming soon), I have really gotten back into trowelling a load of stuff onto my face. Because my skin no longer resembles an iguana’s backside, foundations and BB creams have been looking so much better. I’ve finally given the Smashbox Camera Ready BB cream a proper go after not being that impressed by it when I bought it ages ago, and I must say I’m enjoying it. Proof that the most important step in your makeup routine is a well-prepared base! I also love that this BB cream has SPF 35 which is perfect now the sun has come out of hibernation.

COMPLEXION
Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream Medium/Dark
NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer Caramel
Rimmel Wake Me Up Concealer Ivory
Bourjois Healthy Balance Unifying Powder 53 Light Beige
Benefit Hoola Bronzer
theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer (review here)

EYES
Bourjois Colorband Brun Dadaiste  (review here)
L’Oreal Super Liner Perfect Slim Black
Seventeen Falsifeye HD Mascara Blackest Black (review here)

EYEBROWS
Anastasia DipBrow Pomade Dark Brown (review here)
2True Mascara Clear

LIPS
MAC Lip Liner Spice

Hong Kong Beauty Haul

21 February 2016

hong kong haul
As promised, I’ve taken on the mammoth task of writing up my Hong Kong beauty haul. If anyone is curious, Hong Kong is an amazing place to shop for makeup and skincare. You’ll find many of the standard Western brands but also plenty of Korean and Japanese brands too, which I was mostly frothing at the mouth with excitement over. I did the bulk of my shopping in the flagship Sasa store in Tsim Sha Tsui (it’s a bit like Sephora) and the Etude House store in Causeway Bay. I went a tad mad with the old credit card but I justified it by telling myself I can’t get most of this shizz in the UK. I’m yet to try any of these products out, but I’ll be sure to write about any stand-out products as and when I use them. So, make sure you’re sitting comfortably, here goes!
hong kong haul 2
MASKS
In case you didn’t realise, East Asians are OBSESSED with sheet masks. Go into any Hong Kong pharmacy and you will find a butt load of masks – literally hundreds. I picked up some black head ones, some brightening ones and some moisturising ones. I’m especially looking forward to trying this ridiculous-looking ‘pig nose’ mask, and the little honey packs too, which contain honey (obviously), ginseng, cactus and angelica. Most of these masks have very little English on them so it’s a case of trying them out and hoping for the best. This is what I picked up:

  • Combos Skin Brightening Dual Booster Masks
  • Etude House Skin Note Deep Moisturizing Mask
  • Etude House Skin Note Brightening Hydrogel Mask
  • Etude House Black Head Remover Dual Sheets
  • Etude House I Need You, Honey! Wash Off Packs
  • Holika Holika Pig Nose Clear Black Head Kit
  • Hadatuko Eye Masks

hong kong haul 3
EYE MAKEUP
Hong Kong is the place to go if you’re looking for false eyelashes, especially natural looking ones. There were so many varieties that are harder to get hold of in the UK, like bottom lashes and outer corner lashes. I also bought some brush-on false eyelash glue which could be handy for on-the-go applications. I’ve no idea if this stuff is waterproof like my usual Duo adhesive but I’m sure it will go the inevitable Friday night post-happy hour sobbing test. Mascaras are pretty big business in HK too, it took me an age to settle on the two I ended up buying, one being a fibre mascara. This is what I bought:

  • Canmake Glitter Powder Frosty Clear
  • Canmake Lasting Multi Eye Base
  • Koji Charming Kiss Eyelash Glue
  • K-Palette 1 Day Magic Fiber Mascara Black
  • Sasatinnie Bling Bling Mega Eyes Mascara Black
  • Koji False Eyelashes No.5 Little Feminine

hong kong haul 4
NAILS
I didn’t go too wild in aisles of the nail section, but I did choose this fabulous looking cuticle pen. It pushes, it trims and it dispenses cuticle oil, so I’m curious to see how well it works. Usually I run a mile when I see any hint of rhinestone but these Swarovski nail art gems caught my eye. I think a couple of them would look beautiful with some nice nude nails. I picked up:

  • Sasatinnie Gel Topcoat
  • Jewelry Stones Art 3D Rubber Art Collection
  • GR Collection 3-in-1 Cuticle Pen

hong kong haul 5
SKIN
Does anyone know if this Maybelline makeup remover is available in the UK? This stuff is awesome! I was in desperate need of an oil based makeup remover and saw this. It’s a dual phase formula and it lifts off stubborn waterproof eye makeup SO EASILY. I’m kicking myself for not buying more of it. I’m also champing at the bit to slap on this ‘mermaid skin’ gel onto my ruddy winter skin. In all honesty, I’m not entirely sure what it does but it’s got a whopping SPF of 50, and anyway, who wouldn’t want the glow of fish scales on their face?! I bought/received as free samples:

  • Lepoze Heat Clear Cream
  • Maybelline Clean Express Total Clean Eye & Lip Makeup Remover
  • Canmake Mermaid Skin Gel
  • Etude House Collagen Moistfull Cream
  • Etude House Collagen Moistfull Emulsion
  • Etude House Collagen Moistfull Facial Freshener
  • Etude House Precious Mineral BB Cream Samples

hong kong haul 6
LIPS
Surprisingly, I displayed a decent amount of restraint in the lip product department. I was intrigued by these L’Oreal lip tints that are in powder form (a similar version are making their way to the UK I hear). A nice idea but lips must be buffed smoother than a baby’s behind before you put these anywhere near your face. Etude House had some nice lip products too, the lip liner is especially creamy. All in all, I picked up:

  • L’Oreal Tint Caresse Tulip Blossom
  • L’Oreal Tint Caresse Peach Blossom
  • Etude House Rosy Tint Lips 07 Tea Rose
  • Etude House Soft Touch Auto Lip Liner 01 Soft Rose
  • Princess Majoca Lip Scrub

hong kong haul 7
TOOLS
By no means do I need another Shu Uemura eyelash curler but these cost half as much as they do in the UK so I thought I’d pick up a spare set. I also bought a metal lash comb to help sort out over-zealous mascara application, and a lip brush with a lid for my handbag. I bought:

  • Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler
  • Shishida Seishindo Metallic Lash Comb
  • Lu.Face Lip Brush

And there we have it. Let me know if you’ve tried any of these products out, or if there’s anything in particular you want a review on. Like I mentioned above, I’ll write up posts about anything that’s especially good (or, God forbid, shockingly bad).

Bye for now, gals and guys!

Review: bareMinerals Complexion Rescue

5 February 2016

bareminerals complexion rescue reviewbareminerals complexion rescue reviewbareminerals complexion rescue review
Hello friends, and apologies for the hiatus – I’m just back from my honeymoon (Hong Kong haul coming soon!). That, combined with moving house the very same week I left AND a lack of beauty motivation has resulted in a longer-than-expected break but I’m back now. I’ve not even unpacked all my makeup yet, but it’s a work in progress!

Because I’ve probably only trowelled foundation on my face maybe twice in the past two months, I’ve been reaching for easier, lazy-oaf-friendly options. Enter bareMinerals Complexion Rescue. I know everyone was raving about this last year and but let me say, it’s worth the hype. This is literally all I’ve been wearing for the past few months (obviously clothes too).

Described as a tinted hydrating gel cream, bareMinerals Complexion Rescue pretty much does what it says on the tin. It’s a tinted moisturiser, in a gel formula. The consistency reminds me of MAC Studio Sculpt foundation, but a bit lighter and a lot more hydrating, with less coverage. That being said, it does do a lovely job of evening out the skin and blurring imperfections. It’s packed with moisturising ingredients derived from olives, coconut and a whole load of other juicy-sounding additions. Plus it’s got SPF30, perfect if you’re too lazy to slap on a layer of sun cream every day. Can I just say, this is the first time I’ve come across a base makeup product that feels genuinely moisturising on the skin, which is a godsend if you have dry skin like I do.

Complexion Rescue comes in an impressive 10 shades, which is always helpful. As anyone darker than an olive shade can testify, these BB type products can be extremely hard to track down, so thank you bareMinerals for keeping us in mind (for reference, I use the shade Spice which is a perfect match for me).

If you look at the photos, bareMinerals Complexion Rescue doesn’t completely transform my skin (I’m fortunate enough to have skin that isn’t too problematic) but it does even things out and completely hides the fine lines that are starting to rear on my forehead.

So, to summarise. I bloody love this stuff. It does what it’s supposed to, moisturises, has SPF, comes in a squeezy tube and a decent colour range.

Do you love this magic gel as much as I do?

bareMinerals Complexion rescue is available at Boots for £26.

Empties #6

25 November 2015

beauty empties

My hoard of empties seems to get larger and larger each time…but that’s probably less to do with using more products and more to do with not being able to muster up the energy to write up this particular post! But the longer I leave it the more the monster will grow so let’s get started – it’s a long one.

Soap & Glory Foam Call Shower & Bath Body Wash, £6.50
At any given time, there is a Soap & Glory shower gel in my bathroom. This one smelled good and was definitely foamier than some of the other S&G shower gels. I didn’t use it in the bath so I can’t comment on that regard. I might pick it up again at some point but for now I’ve gone back to Sugar Crush which is actually less foamy but smells amazing in the morning.

Repurchase? Maybe

Johnson’s Daily Essentials Gentle Eye Make-up Removal Pads, £3.19
I completely forgot I ever had these which probably implies they didn’t leave a lasting impression. I do remember them being very gentle and soft and slightly on the drier side – definitely not like the oily versions you normally get. I just don’t know if I can be bothered removing eye makeup separately to the rest of my face.

Repurchase? Maybe

Veet Face Wax Strips, £6.29
Yes, that is two packs of 20 strips you see there. My ‘tache can be an unruly beast and these wax strips sort it out in no time. They’ve got a good amount of grip and don’t irritate my skin. I won’t go as far as saying they don’t hurt (they do) but it’s not unbearable.

Repurchase? Already have

Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré, £13
Apparently loved by makeup artists the world over, this is a pretty rich moisturiser. I wouldn’t use this every day (I don’t think it has any SPF) but I love this under a heavy base of makeup. Because I’ve got dry skin, most primers don’t really work for me so I use this instead. It creates the perfect base but it might be a bit rich for oily skin.

Repurchase? Already have

Biore Ultra Deep Cleansing Pore Strips, £7.99
These never stop being grossly intriguing, and they get the job done. I like to indulge in these pore strips once every few weeks to smooth out the surface of my nose. I’ve tried cheaper brands but always come back to these.

Repurchase? Yes

Indeed Labs Hydraluron Facial Serum, £24.99
I had high hopes for Hydraluron after the beauty world went a bit mad over it. I didn’t feel like it added anything to my skin, and definitely not any extra moisture. I used it daily until it ran out and couldn’t detect any improvements in my skin, which was extra disappointing considering the £25 price tag.

Repurchase? No

Korres Wild Rose Brightening & Line Smoothing Serum, £30
This was my first foray into face serums. It was fine, and I did feel like it added a bit of moisture to my skin. I’m not sure if my fine lines were reduced but I did notice a little bit more radiance. I just didn’t feel wowed by it so the search for the perfect serum continues.

Repurchase? No

L’Oreal Elnett Precious Oils Hairspray, £3.99
Not too much to say on this one, I’ve been buying Elnett in its various varieties for over a decade and don’t see myself stopping. The precious oils one adds a bit of shine, but to be honest I couldn’t tell much difference between this and the other regular versions. I have bought it again in the large size as I get through these cans pretty quickly.

Repurchase? Already have

Dove Beauty Finish Anti-Perspirant, £2.99
Does the job, smells good. Not a lot more to say on this one.

Repurchase? Already have

Sure Cotton Anti-Perispirant, £2.10
Ditto. I’m not particularly loyal to any deodorant but I do like these compressed cans.

Repurchase? Probably

Bioderma Sensibio H2O Make-up Removing Micelle Solution, £10.20
I have a LOT of bottles of these to get through after picking them up in Paris earlier in the year. I’ve been using Bioderma every day and it does a nice job of removing most of my makeup without irritation. I will say that after I’ve gotten through my stash, I will probably go back to the Garnier version.

Repurchase? No

Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water, £4.99
I think this was one of the first micellar waters on the market after Bioderma sent everyone into a frenzy. To be honest, I think the Garnier version is just as good as Bioderma, and you can’t argue with that price.

Repurchase? Yes

Champneys Super Rich Cleansing Balm, £15.00
I really liked this but I have a feeling it’s being phased out (it’s not in Boots anymore). It feels truly luxurious and is a gorgeous second-cleanse product. It’s one of those that starts off as a solid and melts into an oil on the skin. Leaves the skin clean, soft, nourished and moisturised. Also smells more expensive than it really is. Review here.

Repurchase? Yes

Boots Botanics All Bright Hydrating Day Cream, £4.99
This was quite a thick little cream and was a decent moisturiser, considering the price. I didn’t notice my skin looking any brighter though, and didn’t feel excited to use it in the mornings, if you know what I mean?

Repurchase? No

Sanctuary Spa Radiance Exfoliator, £10.50
My go-to facial exfoliator. Sensitive skins might not like the scrubby bits but this leaves my skin SO smooth, soft and bright. I love that Sanctuary Spa products do what they claim without the high price tags. A truly underrated brand in my opinion. Plus this comes in a tiny travel size – I take it everywhere.

Repurchase? Yes

Sanctuary Spa Fresh-Faced Purifying Wash, £9.00
This is one of the few non-exfoliating face washes that leave my skin smooth and bright. I like to use this with a hot flannel as a second cleanse. Sometimes I try out other face washes but I’ve come back to this several times.

Repurchase? Yes

Una Brennan Superfacialist Vitamin C+ Brighten Cleansing Oil, £10.99
Another product I forgot about! I remember loving the orange scent of this, and it took my makeup off easily. I don’t think it irritated my eyes too much (but I do think the Body Shop’s Camomile cleansing oil feels gentler on the eyes).

Repurchase? Maybe

Yes to Grapefruit Brightening Facial Wipes, £3.99
My skin is by no means sensitive but I found that these stung the hell out of it. I wasn’t sure whether to feel scared or impressed that something was finely able to irritate my skin! I didn’t dare use these near my eyes, and they dried out before I’d finished them, which is a shame given that there’s a proper lid.

Repurchase? No

Nivea Facial Cleansing Wipes Travel Pack, £1.39
These were how face wipes should be! Easy, quick and gentle. I like this travel pack for weekends away and because there are only seven wipes, I got through them quickly, meaning they didn’t have a chance to dry out.

Repurchase? Probably

Clarins Pure Melt Cleansing Gel, £20.50
I really liked using this with a hot cloth and it was ok removing eye makeup too (it did cause a tiny bit of irritation but nothing major). It feels luxurious and leaves skin nourished and soft. Not an essential but nice to have nonetheless.

Repurchase? Probably

COLAB Sheer & Invisible Dry Shampoo Tokyo, £1.99
I don’t really get on too well with most dry shampoos but loved this one. The sheer formula is a godsend for brunettes and gets rid of excess oil really well. It also adds a little bit of volume at the roots which is never a bad thing.

Repurchase? Already have

Bourjois Magic Nail Polish Remover, £4.99
Still with me?! This pot has ruined me. I’ve never gone back to regular nail polish remover and don’t intend to. This is quick, easy and perfect for the lazy girl.

Repurchase? Already have

BeautyBlender Solid Brush Cleanser, £14.00
Speaking of lazy girls, the BeautyBlender solid cleanser is the only thing I use to clean my makeup brushes. It cleans them SO quickly and you don’t have to faff around with other bits and bobs. You simply wet the brush, swirl into the soap and rinse. Review here.

Repurchase? Already have

Carmex Moisture Plus Ultra Hydrating Lip Balm Pink Tint, £4.49
Great lip balm, looks more like a gloss but without the stickiness. I have brownish lips and this is one of the few tinted lip balms that shows up as the colour it’s supposed to. It’s got the standard Carmex tingly feeling so if you’re into that, this is your guy. Review here.

Repurchase? Already have

Blistex Lip Brilliance Blushing, £2.59
I didn’t find this overly moisturising and wasn’t too keen on the shimmery red colour. Very average!

Repurchase? No

Rimmel Glam’Eyes Liquid Liner Black, £5.29
Another one I’ve been going back to for years. By far the ‘wettest’ eyeliner I’ve come across, meaning it glides on extremely smoothly. It’s great for the outer half of the upper eyelid if you want a very fine, precise flick, anywhere else, you are guaranteed smudging.

Repurchase? Already have

Bourjois Volume 1 Seconde Mascara Black, £9.99
Call me controversial but I think Bourjois trump Maybelline mascaras by far. This mascara was one of the few hyped up mascaras that I believe lived up to expectation. Great volume, great length and great staying power.

Repurchase? Already have

Soap & Glory Archery 2-in-1 Brow Filling Pencil & Brush Hot Chocolate, £8.00
This is the closest thing to Anastasia Brow Wiz I’ve ever tried, and I’ve tried more eyebrow products than is deemed healthy. The colour is slightly too chocolatey (only very, very slightly) for my eyebrows but it’s got a similar consistency to the Brow Wiz. When I’ve run out, this is usually my back up.

Repurchase? Maybe

Maybelline Color Drama Intense Velvet Lip Pencil Nude Perfection, £4.99
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. This is one of my favourite lip products of all time. The formula is perfect, the colour is perfect and the sharpen-able design is perfect. I would happily spend £20 on this which is why I find the £4.99 price tag mind boggling. Review here.

Repurchase? Already have

Anastasia Brow Wiz Ebony, £15.50
My go-to brow product on the days I don’t use the DipBrow Pomade. A forever repurchase, and completely worth the money. Review here.

Repurchase? Already have

Maybelline Eye Studio Gel Liner Black, £7.99
And last but not least…another product repurchased for years. The formula is smooth and creamy and stays in place for a decent amount of time. I like that it’s super black and super matte. Review here.

Repurchase? Already have

Phew! And there we have it. Let me know if you’ve tried any of these products and what you thought of them.

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