Category Archives: Monthly Favourites

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?!

October 2015 Favourites

15 November 2015

imageExcuse the very small favourites selection this month – things have been pretty boring on the beauty front lately. I’ve been in a bit of a makeup rut, probably because I’ve been hitting snooze 20 times per morning, leaving me no time to faff around experimenting with different products. My favourites throughout October have been much the same as last month, with a few extra products that deserved a mention.

bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Spice, £26.00
I’ve been slow on the uptake with the Complexion Rescue from bareMinerals, probably because bareMinerals as a brand has never excited me. To be honest, it still doesn’t but I gave into this tinted gel-cream after reading all the positive reviews. I love it, and have used it almost every day since purchase. I love that it’s really moisturising and never goes cakey or dry and gives a natural looking amount of coverage. One of the very few base products that genuinely feels like it’s doing my skin some good.

Tom Ford Noir Pour Femme 30ml, £53.00
This is amazing. Strong, feminine, heady, sexy…I could go on. This is a bit of a cringe way to describe it but it is truly intoxicating…in a good way. A very good way. It’s got an oriental, floral base but is by no means girly. I’d say Noir is an evening fragrance but I’ve been spritzing it on with gay abandon morning, noon and night. If you like YSL Black Opium, you will love this.

Makeup Revolution I Heart Makeup I Heart Chocolate Palette, £7.99
I’m not sure how much I agree with straight-up copycat products but the eyeshadows in this palette are straight-up fantastic. I do have the original Too Faced version (which I STILL haven’t used) but I don’t believe this can be too far off the quality, especially if you take into account the price. A neutral lover’s paradise, this palette has everything you could ever need. The pigmentation is pretty intense, and the texture is soft, buttery and smooth. I’ve loved experimenting with this. You can see it in action in my last Face of the Day here.

September 2015 Favourites

8 October 2015

sept faves 2september beauty favourites
I was actually flabbergasted when I realised my last favourites post was almost a year ago. There have been plenty of products I’ve enjoyed so I can only put this down to laziness. Soz! Anyway I’ve got all of my favourites on my face for demonstrative purposes above.

Anastasia Beverley Hills DipBrow Pomade, Dark Brown, £15.00

I’ve just reviewed this and you can find it here. Basically I hardly ever used this until I ran out of my last Brow Wiz (review here) and I haven’t looked back. Sweat proof, perfect brows.

Rimmel Glam’Eyes Liquid Eyeliner, Black, £3.99

I’ve probably gone through about 20 of these in my life but stopped in favour of pen liners or gel liners. After about a two year hiatus, I’ve come crawling back to Glam’Eyes. Yes, it’s very wet, messy and doesn’t survive more than a drop of rain, which may seem pointless for anyone in a maritime climate, but for precision and smoothness, it can’t be beaten. Perfect for flicks.

L’Oreal Elvive Extraordinary Oil Oil-in-Cream, Dry Rough Hair, £6.99

You know when you’ve been out in the rain, and your hair has gone all frizzy and you don’t have time to wash it so you attempt to ‘just run the straighteners through it’ and it ends up inexplicably looking greasy and dry at the same time? Well, this stuff is the secret ingredient – it turns weather-beaten hair into a soft and shiny mane. Plus it can be used as a leave in conditioner for wet hair or as a pre-shampoo mask.

The Balm Mary-Lou Manizer, £17.50

I’m sure I don’t have to go on about this. Stunning, stunning, stunning champagne highlighter with no obnoxious glitter.

Maybelline Color Drama Intense Velvet Lip Pencil, Nude Perfection, £4.99

As far as matte lip products go, these pencils are some of the cheapest, least drying and easiest to wear I’ve tried. Nude Perfection is literally, the perfect nude and has been my go-to lip almost every day. Thinking about it, I think this is the only lipstick that I’ve ever finished and repurchased. Full review of the range here.

October 2014 Favourites

6 November 2014

october beauty favourites
Thanks to the recent clock change, SAD is well and truly setting in and the constant darkness is wreaking havoc with my blog photo-taking. I apologise in advance for any hideous images but there isn’t much that I can do that doesn’t involve actually being organised with my life.

L’Oreal True Match Foundation, W8 Golden Cappuccino £9.99

I first bought this a few years ago when I knew nothing about foundation. The colour was wrong, the tone was wrong and my face looked unspeakably wrong. However, all this talk about it being the cheap little sister of Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk (which I’ve never tried so can’t confirm) got me a bit hot under the collar so I repurchased it recently in my actual colour. I’m going to be honest – it’s the only drugstore foundation I’ve been reaching for this month. It’s quite a runny little bugger so it blends in quickly and evenly and it gives me nice coverage. I’ve had two whole compliments wearing this – it’s glowy, smooth and doesn’t emphasise my dryness. And bravo, L’Oreal for the wide shade AND tone selection and pump!

Tangle Teezer Compact Styler, £12.49

Not a new favourite as such but I’ve been appreciating teezing my tangles with this little one since getting my weave put in. Weave is notoriously prone to forming rats’ tails but this brush sorts it out in no time. It’s also the only brush that doesn’t cause me severe amounts of pain. I have no idea how they do it and I don’t care – I refuse to be without it. This compact version comes with a handy cover so withstands the manhandling it receives in my handbag.

Anastasia Dipbrow Pomade Dark Brown, £15.00

A heads-up for anyone in London: THERE IS AN ACTUAL SHOP THAT SELLS ANASTASIA PRODUCTS. Blow Ltd in Slingsby Place has a decent selection (as well as other elusive brands). I’d been umm-ing and ahh-ing about this for approximately 137 years as I didn’t know which colour would suit me best. I went for Dark Brown (along with the Anastasia Mini Duo Brush) and have literally worn it every single day. It’s surprisingly easy to use (my naughty brow has now become my good brow thanks to this) and doesn’t budge. The formula is smooth without being slippery so you get a decent amount of control – ESSENTIAL if you want Pinterest perfect brows.

Jo Malone Blackberry & Bay Cologne, £82

I got this last Christmas and definitely feel like it’s a colder-weather fragrance so I’ve been cracking it out over the past week or two. It’s fruity but quite crisp and a bit woody too. I’d say it’s feminine and elegant without being too girly or sweet. I love this but the scent wears off quicker than it takes Katie ‘Pricey’ Price to find a new husband. Being my only Jo Malone perfume, I can’t compare the staying power with other fragrances in the range but I’ve heard on the grapevine that Blackberry & Bay is the main offender.

Una Brennan Vitamin C+ Brighten Skin Renew Cleansing Oil, £10.99

This is another old purchase that I’ve developed a new love for. I usually use this as the first step in a double cleanse to get rid of all my makeup, especially if I’m wearing a lot of eye makeup. You can really massage this into your lashes and it doesn’t cause the colossal pain that makes you want to scoop out your eyeballs with a teaspoon like most cleansers do. I use this with a flannel to give my skin a good scrub and it leaves my skin bright and smooth without the greasiness you might expect from oil.

September 2014 Favourites

12 October 2014

september 2014 favouritesBeing a Negative Nelly last month, there wasn’t much stuff I can say I loved. Makeup, masks and skincare fell by the wayside and even taking off my makeup before bed became a rarity. However, this did mean I took a much more simplistic approach to my daily makeup which is reflected in my few favourite products this month.

Maybelline Color Elixir Caramel Infused, £6.99

The thought of gloss usually strikes fear into my heart. But, this nude-pink gloss from the new Maybelline Color Elixir range surprised me. Does anyone remember Blair’s lips in Gossip Girl? I’ve been watching re-runs and literally couldn’t get over how smooth and plump her mouth looked (do I sound creepy yet?). Anyway, this is the only stuff I’ve found that gives the same effect – it fills in all the lines in my lips and makes them look the smoothest they’ve ever been.

Vichy Dermablend Corrective Cream Stick 55 Bronze, £15

Whenever I see a concealer stick, I always assume it’ll be like the ones in the 90s from the likes of Miss Sporty and Collection 2000. Remember the ones with the appearance and texture of a very dry, matte, white lipstick? Well, this isn’t like that. It’s creamy, blendable and the coverage is insane. I use it under my eyes and it’s the only concealer I feel doesn’t need a corrector underneath. It does need a setting powder on top to stop creasing but I am bumming this and refuse to carry on my existence without it.

Garnier Miracle Skin Cream, £12.99

Foundation has been quite frankly, absent from my life lately. I just can’t be bothered. This is all I’ve been using as a base all month and it makes my morning routine so easy. It’s a tiny bit light in colour for me but it’s nothing a bit of bronzer can’t sort out. It’s a moisturiser, it’s an SPF, it’s a skin-tone-even-outer, it’s an anti-ager and it’s all I need. I love that it’s yellow-toned and it makes my skin look even, bright and smooth. I’ve done a review here, if you want to see it in action.

Beauty Blender Solid Cleanser, £14

I reviewed this here. If like me, you hate cleaning your makeup brushes, and need to inject some fun into your dull life at the moment, this will give you a reason to carry on. My single favourite purchase of the summer.

P.S UK readers, don’t forget to enter my lovely jubbly MAC giveaway here.

July 2014 Favourites

6 August 2014

july 2014 favourites
Philip Kingsley Elasticizer Extreme, £27.50

I mentioned this in my last Repurchases post and can see it being repurchased until kingdom come. After I’ve used this and then shampooed and conditioned my usually frizzy barnet, I can instantly feel the difference. My hair has that ‘slip’ and movement that non-Caucasian hair types are absolutely desperate for. My hair is finally getting longer and snapping less, and I’m certain it’s because of this. Worth every penny.

Lush Lip Scrub Bubblegum, £5.50

Later you’ll see I’ve been absolutely BUMMING bold matte lips recently and my lips needed some TLC. This is basic sugar scrub that exfoliates the lips and gets rid of flaky skin. It does the job pretty well and tastes quite nice, prepping my lips for a slathering of balm.

Nuxe Reve de Miel Lip Balm, £9.50

I use this most nights and I love everything about it. The taste, the consistency, the little glass pot, the matte finish, the way it moistens my lips (not those ones, you cheeky scoundrel) until the morning…if I could marry this and have tiny Reve de Miel babies with it I would. I had £5 off at Space NK when I got it but I’d still definitely pay full price for it. Luxury at its best!

Sleek Face Form Medium, £9.99

I think this was my first ever Sleek product and it sparked a passionate love affair with the brand. If you have dark skin and you’re looking for a drugstore contour powder, I can’t recommend this enough. It comes in four shades and there’s literally a palette to suit everyone. The bronzer is quite nice, and the highlighter is okay, but I’d buy this for the contour colour alone. You can see it in action in basically any FOTD I’ve done.(Butterfingers here dropped it and broke off the lid in case you were wondering what the hell happened.)

MAC Matte Lipstick Ruby Woo, £15.50

I mentioned this in my MAC haul and although I’ve only had it a couple of weeks, I have worn it so many times and I now see why it’s such a classic. It’s the perfect red and it’s impossible to not feel like a sexy siren with it on. I wore this to a wedding last weekend and had so many compliments – even from the bride herself – if that’s not enough to make you want to try it then I don’t know what is.

MAC Lip Pencil Cherry, £12.50

Don’t believe anyone who says you don’t need a lip liner with a bold lip – they’re probably not your friend…I’m your friend now. This is SO pigmented and creamy but stays in place all day. With this on, I only had to touch up Ruby Woo twice the WHOLE day (she loved it), as in noon to midnight. Impressive. Definitely going to purchase in Spice to wear with nudes.

June 2014 Favourites

13 July 2014

june 2014 beauty favouritesGosh Boombastic Mascara Black, £8.49

I heard about this from Zara from Mouldy Fruit, and it is truly an unsung hero. It makes my lashes super thick, long and curled and I’ve been using it every single day. The formula stays good in the tube for ages too which can’t be said for many high-end mascaras. This does clump slightly if you’re too over-zealous but I don’t mind that.

NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer Caramel, £22

I bought this about six months ago and have been using it on and off but I wasn’t blown away by it. It was until I started experimenting with other concealers that I realised what all the fuss was about. It’s super high coverage, creamy, doesn’t look grey on and doesn’t cake – and the generous shade range deserves a round of applause (although actually tracking down the right shade you want is a bit of a pain in the ass).

Benefit The Big Easy Deep Beige, £27.50

I did a full review with before and after photos here so I won’t bang on about this. It’s still going strong and has been my saviour on sweaty days.

Seventeen Trio Eyeshadow Metallic Toffee, £5.49

I don’t even remember buying this but I think I just chucked it in my basket during a Boots 3 for 2 frenzy. Three buttery nude shades and all you need for an on-the-go smoky eye, this has been a godsend. I’ve been wearing all three shades to work almost every day, and the lightest shade makes a superb inner corner highlighter. A great find!

Benefit Hoola, £23.50

I understand that this has been enjoying a bit of a second wind thanks to a recent PR push. So, I dug out my old Hoola and gave it a second chance after demoting it to the back of the drawer a few years ago. I don’t know why I didn’t like it before but I’m really liking it now. I use it as a natural contour for daytime and it really helps to slim down by saggy jowls.

Maybelline Gel Liner Black, £7.99

I’ve been banging on about this for a while but don’t think I’ve ever included it in a favourites post. After discovering the least frustrating method of application a few months ago, I can’t be without it now. I’ve had strangers come up to me asking me what eyeliner I’ve used for my cat eye and it’s always this. You can see it in action here.

April 2014 Favourites

6 May 2014

april 2014 favourites
YSL Le Teint Touche Eclat Foundation BD60, £30.50
I won’t bang on too much about this as I have a full review with photos here. I’ve been loving this especially when the sun is shining, very nice!

Maybelline Fit Me Concealer 25, £5.99
I’m not sure what makes me reach for this every morning but it’s what I’ve been choosing over the NARS Creamy Concealer nine times out of ten. Its packaging is really similar, although feels a bit cheaper (probably because it is). It’s creamy, easy to blend and covers up the dreaded dark circles without being heavy. Be warned though, the packaging is horrendously leaky.

Max Factor False Lash Effect Fusion Mascara Black, £11.99
I’d run out of the regular False Lash Effect but the recent mass hype for it meant I couldn’t find it in any of my local Boots or Superdrug stores but I did find this ‘fusion’ version. Not sure what makes it fusion but it seems similar to its more popular cousin. Length, volume and no flaking – yes please sir. I especially love what it does to my bottom lashes (photo at the bottom on this post).

Sleek Blush By 3 Palette Lace, £9.99
This was one of these products that lurked in my drawer which I never really gave the time of day to. Well this month I have been bumming it with a passion, especially the coral shade, Chantilly and Guipure which is almost idential to the always sold out Rose Gold. The colours are so pigmented so I can see this palette lasting until kingdom come.

Sleek Brow Kit Dark, £8.49
This has been my eyebrow product of choice this month. Unless I’m in a massive rush I’ve been using this shockingly good brow kit every day. I’d swatched this on my arm and the wax literally didn’t rub off for about two days despite a few showers. I like to use the wax to lightly outline the shape and blend the colour into the hairs, then set with the powder. Includes two little brushes which I do use and a pair of tweezers which are quite honestly too frustratingly small to use.

Maybelline Color Tattoo Eyeshadow On and On Bronze, £4.99
I had this for ages but didn’t use/appreciate it until last month and now I feel like quite the guilty owner. But now I’m smothering it with love as well as feverishly smothering it on my lids. I’ve been using this every day as part of my daytime look and loving it. I simply swipe a bit on my lids with my finger and that’s it! The understated shimmer adds dimension without the hassle of blending in other colours, ideal for me because I’m generally lazy and in a rush.

Barry M Gelly Nail Paint Blue Grape, £3.99
I came across this when Gabby from velvetgh0st mentioned it in one of her videos. She said it would look insane on tanned or dark skin so I had to give it a go because it’s something I’d have overlooked. It’s fine with one coat but I prefer two but the colour is beautiful. I feared it would look too young and zany but it was surprisingly classy and unique – it’s true love.

March 2014 Favourites

7 April 2014

march 2014 favouritesSally Hansen Nailgrowth Miracle (£9.99, Boots)

I was dreading moving flat a couple of weeks ago, not because of all the packing and general strenuous activity but because I was fearing my nails would break. They were already peeling so I smashed down to Boots to get my hands on some strengthener. Not sure if the bold growth claims are true but it has definitely stopped any inevitable breakage. Fast drying and glossy too, it looks great on its own or under nail varnish.

Dr Lipp Original Nipple Balm For Lips (£11.50, Space NK)

I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve proffered this to my manager and him politely declining while looking quite frankly, disgusted. Thick and luxurious, this sorted out my chapped lips in no time. I just try not to think too much about what lanolin actually is because it makes me feel a bit ill.

Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water (4.99, Superdrug)

A superb happy medium between the elusive and expensive Bioderma and rather average L’Oreal. It takes off the bulk of my makeup, prepping it for the second stage of cleansing. It won’t take off every scrap of eye makeup but it’ll give it a jolly good go. Jumbo bottle at a not-so-jumbo price, this is a winner in my eyes. The packaging doesn’t leak all over the shop either (I’m looking at you, L’Oreal) meaning the bottle will last ages.

Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm Standout (7.99, Boots)

Yes, I know these are old news but I have just got round to using these. I bought a bunch of these in a bit of a pay-day frenzy and didn’t use them for weeks. I’ve been using Standout the most for night time looks. Creamy and easy to apply, this highly pigmented blue-toned red is a true joy to wear, and I always get compliments when I have it on. As long as you avoid eating slippery Japanese food, you won’t get too much awkward fading but I’d keep an eye out just in case.

Soap & Glory Bright Here Bright Now (£12, Boots)

Again, I bought this months ago and didn’t start using it properly until recently. If your skin is on the drier side, this, mixed with foundation will give you a beautiful, nay, ethereal glow. I cannot get enough. I’m quite heavy handed with it as my dry skin can take it, I use a little in the day and a lot for night to give my skin a Victoria’s Secret angel effect. I just wish I had the body to match!

Accessorize Baked Blush (£5, Superdrug)

I reviewed this a while back (here) but it kind of got relegated to the back of the drawer. Anyway, it was rediscovered and I’m liking it even more this time round. It’s pink with a gold sheen to it, making it perfect for summer. It’s so subtle and easy to wear, I’ve barely used any other blusher this month.

Smashbox Full Exposure Mascara (£18 for the full size, Boots)

I received a sample of Smashbox Full Exposure mascara when I bought a couple of products and, being the hoarder that I am, kept this for ages without using it. Oh my, what a mascara. In terms of volume and length, this is one of the best I’ve ever used. The wand is HUGE and really grips the lashes. I LOVE this and will be buying the full size version.

February 2014 Favourites

4 March 2014

Happy March pals, we’re on the home straight to summer! It’s been relentlessly wet, cold and windy in the UK for what seems like a decade, meaning I have been forced to hibernate under the duvet for the majority of 2014. Sadly, I just haven’t been bothered with wearing that much makeup. However, my lazy attitude has paved the way for skincare, meaning my skin has been looking fabulous, if I do say so myself. So, on with the February favourites.february beauty favourites

Una Brennan Super Facialist Vitamin C+ Skin Defence Daily Moisturiser (£16.99, Boots)

This has been pretty much the only day cream I’ve used since I bought it a couple of months ago. Just like the rest of the Una Brennan Vitamin C+ range, the best thing about it is the divine smell. If you’re a fan of the Origins GinZing moisturiser, or indeed, the Body Shop Satsuma range, you will love this. It’s so refreshing, it quickly absorbs and brightens my complexion – perfect for the morning.

NARS Sheer Glow Foundation Barcelona (£31, Space.NK)

I bought this last summer, used it a couple of times, realised I was colour-matched incorrectly and relegated it to the drawer of stuff I don’t use. I’m pretty sure I’m supposed to be Syracuse but over winter I felt sufficiently pale enough to give Barcelona a second chance. Still not exactly right but I’ve fallen in love with it. On the days when I have bothered with foundation this month, this has been the one I’ve slapped on. I’m wearing it in this FOTD – need I say more?

Olay Total Effects Night Firming Moisturiser (£14.99, Boots)

I love the juicy, plumpy feeling this gives. Has that retro scent from days of yonder which reminds me of mums. Great pump, easy absorption and all round do-gooder. It glides on beautifully and my mug is still satisfyingly moist in the morning.

Champneys Spa Skin Super Rich Cleansing Balm (£13, Boots)

I know this might make me look like a scumbag in the eyes of other beauty bloggers but this is the first cleansing balm I’ve ever used. I read Caroline Hirons’ review on this and I was sold. It melts into a glorious oil upon contact with the face and gets rid of all traces of makeup. It is slightly exfoliating so I’d avoid scrubbing this into the eyes – unless you have masochistic tendencies, then be my guest. Read my full review here.

MUA Intense Glitter Eyeliner, Malt Chocolate (£1, Superdrug)

I’m usually a bit sceptical of budget eyeliners as they tend to leave agonising shards of debris in my eye. Now, the MUA eyeliners are not exactly creamy but they’re certainly not the worst I’ve tried. This stayed put all day and can be blended slightly. And at oneEnglish pound you’d be mad to overlook these. I’ve been weaning myself off heavy black kohl and have been using this delightful slightly metallic brown during the day instead. The little glitter bits aren’t too over the top, making this acceptable for the office.

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