January Product Empties 20′

January is upon us, and it’s time to kickstart a whole new decade. A new year usually brings upon a time of reflection, re-evaluation, and also a feeling of promise to what the new year would have in store for us.

A new year also reminds me to a bit of a clear out and bring out the big pile of empty products stacking up in the corner of my room.

Time to have a declutter

I’ve finally finished a fragrance. I think that it has actually take me years to finish my Jo Malone Nectarine Blossom & Honey Cologne. It’s definitely a very sweet spring-like scent. I probably won’t repurchase this at the moment because I have  quite a few fragrances that are similar. I like to chop and change the fragrances I wear with each occasion and different season and often I get bored of the same scent and pass them onto friends so that they can enjoy them.

Over the past couple of months, I have had really bad bouts of eczema on my hands, usually caused my stress. I could have one bad day and I would wake up the following morning with swollen, itchy and very dry hands, which would take months to shift. I would share pictures, but I think you can probably picture what I’m talking about haha! Scented products didn’t bother my hands at all so I could still use my beloved La Roche-Posay Lipikar Hand Repair Cream, as well as L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream. I even finished off my Kiehl’s Intensive Treatment and Moisturizer when I found out that it was back in stock after what felt like years of being unavailable.

 L'Occitane Kiehl's La Roche-Posay

Of course it wouldn’t be an empties post for me without mentioning my No7 Lash Extender Mascara. It provides both length and volume without breaking down and leaving pieces all down my face. I also used up two Chanel complexion products. In July I discovered the Les Beiges Eau de Teint Water Fresh Tint. It was popping up all over YouTube and seemed like the perfect product for me. In the warmer months I try to wear less makeup and focus on having glowy skin. The product was so hard to find as it was out of stock everywhere. Eventually by pure luck I found it in Harrods. It gives the perfect ‘your skin but better’ look and was my absolute favourite for months. Then when it came to re-purchase, it was still out of stock everywhere, so I went back to a different foundation in the range, the Les Beiges Healthy Glow Gel Touch Foundation Cushion. This foundation gives a a bit more coverage than the Water Tint but has a similar effect. I won’t be buying any more cushion refills unless the Water Tint goes out of stock again, because it dries up very quickly and has an incredibly high cost per wear because of this.

In terms of skincare empties, I’ve used up a lot of my favourites such as Clinique Moisture Surge Moisturiser, Drunk Elephant C-Tango Multivitamin Eye Cream, Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish Sweet Orange and Mint and La Roche Posay Serozinc Mist. It took me a while to use up Vichy Mineral 89. I was using it at night but it always felt like it wasn’t as hydrating as my other serums, but later I discovered that it performed a lot better in the morning as the last step of my routine before makeup.

Bath and Shower –
Clarins Tonic Bath & Shower Concentrate
Rituals Sea Treasure Shower Foam
The Body Shop Raspberry Shower Gel

Fragrance –
Jo Malone Nectarine Blossom & Honey

Hair –
The Body Shop Ginger Anti-Dandruff Shampoo
Nioxin Scalp Therapy Revitalizing Conditioner

Hand and Body –
Kiehl’s Intensive Treatment and Moisturizer
La Roche-Posay Lipikar Hand Repair Cream x2
L’Occitane Shea Butter Dry Skin Hand Cream

Makeup –
Chanel Les Beiges Eau De Teint Water Fresh Tint
Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Gel Touch Foundation Refill
No7 Lash Extender Mascara

Skincare –
Clarins Instant Eye Make-Up Remover
Clinique Moisture Surge
Drunk Elephant C-Tango Multivitamin Eye Cream
La Roche-Posay Serozinc
Lancome Eau Micellaire Douceur
Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser Sweet Orange and Mint
Vichy Mineral 89

Hy-Care x3
Biotrue Solution x2
Carex Aloe Vera Hand Gel

2019 Favourites

It’s that time of year again! It’s time to do a big old roundup of everything that I have loved using this year. I find these posts very useful to revisit throughout the year, as a little reminder of what were my absolute favourites and what I should put back into my routine. I have definitely been trying to finish products and not to hoard/ overbuy items unnecessarily.

Every year I like to buy the Christmas limited edition Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser. Not only does it always smell amazing, but it’s my favourite second cleanse product in my routine. Its light creamy texture makes it so easy to use and remove. I definitely prefer the scent of the Christmas editions over the original Cleanse and Polish. My only wish is that the brand would continue the line throughout the year so that I wouldn’t need to stock pile at Christmas.

My skincare routine has remained pretty similar to last years round of of my favourites. My focus has still been to pack in as much moisture into my skin as possible. The most notable brands that I like to swap between are La Roche-Posay, Kiehl’s, Clinique and Clarins. I’ve also tried to scale back on the amount of products I have in my routine, because I am aware that my consumption can get a bit excessive at times, but also to allow the products to work, instead of putting layers and layers of different ingredients on.

Favourite products 2019

My sensitive scalp causes issues when it comes down to using shampoo. I don’t know whether I have an allergy or what, but it seems that I can use any shampoo however, the next day after using it I get very very itchy. I definitely don’t need to tell you that it isn’t pleasant having to constantly scratch your head at work and then to receive really strange looks from your colleagues haha! The only hair products that I found to not have this issue is The Body Shop Ginger Shampoo and the Kérastase range.

To be honest I haven’t actually worn that much makeup over this year. When I have done, I’ve tried to create the most natural look possible. My absolute favourite product being the Chanel Les Beiges Eau de Teint Water Fresh Tint. The product is made from 75% water which makes it incredibly lightweight and hydrating on the skin. The way I apply it is by pumping two pumps onto the back of my hand and using the brush provided with the product. I then swirl the product around popping the encapsulated pigments so that it applies perfectly onto the skin. I then follow this with the Nude by Nature Loose Finishing Powder to any particularly shiny areas and voila my natural healthy glowy look is complete!

Favourite products

2019 Favourites –

Shampoo – The Body Shop Ginger Anti-Dandruff Shampoo
Heat Protectant – Kérastase Smoothing Taming Milk
Shower – Rituals Shower Foam
Hand Cream – La Roche-Posay Lipikar Hand Repair Cream
Body Lotion – Garnier Intensive 7 Days Lotion

Eye Makeup Remover – Garnier Express 2in1 Eye Make-up Remover
Makeup Remover – La Roche-Posay Micellar Water Gel
Cleanser – Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser (Sweet Orange and Mint)
Toner – Fresh Rose Hydration Toner
Eye Cream – Drunk Elephant C-Tango Multivitamin Eye Cream
Serum – La Roche-Posay Hyalu B5 Serum
Moisturiser – Kiehl’s Calendula Serum-Infused Water Cream
Mask – Clarins SOS Comfort Face Mask

Primer – NARS Smooth & Protect Primer
Eyeshadow Primer – Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion
Foundation – Chanel Les Beiges Eau de Teint Water Fresh Tint
Powder – Nude by Nature Translucent Loose Finishing Powder
Eyeshadow – Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette
Highlight – Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Glow
Bronzer – Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzer
Mascara – No7 Lash Extender Mascara
Lip: YSL Volupté Liquid Colour Balm

2018 Favourites

I think it’s about time that I share what I’ve enjoyed using the most over the past year. I’m not really one to do monthly favourites because my routine doesn’t generally change a great deal month to month. However I love doing an annual roundup, and almost re-discovering products in my own stash that I’ve forgotten about.

Let’s start with fragrance. Back in New York, on the last day of my trip I made my last stop at Sephora before heading to JFK. I really didn’t need to get anything. To be honest I shouldn’t have gone in because I had literally been in a different Sephora every single day of the trip. I saw a stand for a Chloe fragrance. I was almost going to walk straight past it because you can buy it at home, but there was a promotion for a fragrance I had not seen before. Chloe Nomade is very different to the other fragrances I own. It has fruity notes with an intense oak base. I was only able to get a travel spray because I had no more space in my suitcase. It came with a free scented to candle to match and also a bespoke illustration from the artist ‘Bang’. As soon as I got home I bought the full size.

Shampoos are products I constantly change. Once I finish a product, I would just pick out the next one to use. However, the one product that I will always go back to is the Kérastase Specifique Anti Dandruff Shampoo. It is the only shampoo that helps with my dry and itchy scalp. My favourite heat protectant is also from the Kérastase range. The Smoothing Taming Milk helps keep my baby hairs at bay.

The best shower product I have used is the L’Occitane Almond Shower Oil. I first discovered this when the brand did a collaboration with The Anna Edit and Lily Pebbles and released a beauty bag. The shower oil is the perfect indulgent shower product for an evening pamper.

I’m not the biggest fan of body butters, purely because of the amount of work needed for the product to be absorbed into the skin. I much prefer body lotions. My favourite was the Mixa Anti-Dryness Lotion. It leaves your skin so smooth and hydrated. My hand cream of the year was definitely the La Roche-Posay Lipikar Hand Repair Cream. It sinks into the skin quickly and isn’t greasy.

Last year I was definitely on the hunt to find products that put as much moisture back into my dry skin as possible. Some of my favourites were Kiehl’s Iris Extract Activating Treatment Essence, Pixi Hydrating Milky Mist, La Roche-Posay HyaluB5 Serum and Kiehl’s Calendula & Aloe Soothing Hydration Masque.

The best products I’ve tried for makeup removal were Clinique Take the Day Off and Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm. The next step in my routine would be the Pixi Glow Tonic, which I would use on alternate days.

Eye creams have always been a step that I used to skip. This was because I had never found one that actually did much. They were all ok but definitely not memorable. This was until I discovered Drunk Elephant’s C-Tango Multivitamin Eye Cream. It does a great job at brightening and smoothing the eye contour. La Roche-Posay Effaclar H was a re-discovery for me. I had just run out of Clinique Moisture Surge and wanted to switch up my routine a bit. I found Effaclar H in my already open box and it managed to pull me out of my ‘only water-based moisturiser’ rut. Haha! It really helped with soothing my occasional hormonal breakout.

Now let’s talk about some of my makeup favourites. NARS has been my go-to brand for primers. I can’t wear any eyeshadow without applying NARS Tinted Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base first. I got into the habit of just using my concealer on my eyelids, but found that by midday my eyeshadow would crease. Then I tried Nars and have not gone back. My eye makeup lasts till the end of the day and still looks perfect.

My everyday foundation was definitely the Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation followed by either the matching powder or bareMinerals Invisible Light Translucent Powder Duo. Concealer is a step I often forget when i’m rushing out of the house in the morning. When I have more time, I love using the YSL Touche Éclat to brighten my under eyes. My trusty Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit 3 is my favourite for both my highlight, bronzer and even a light eyeshadow. On dressier days I like to use Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette or my Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Palette.

No7 still continues to win on the mascara front. I just can’t find any other product that does not smudge under the eyes or have any fall out quite like the No7 Lash Extender Mascara. When I’m feeling fancy, I also use Clinique Pretty Easy Liquid Eyeliner.

I’m definitely still loving these products and have even gone back to some of my most loved from 2017. But right now I’ve stopped buying so many products and have been shopping my stash and discovering a couple of hidden gems along the way.

 

2018 –

Shampoo: Kérastase Specifique Bain Anti Pelliculaire
Heat Protectant: Kérastase Smoothing Taming Milk
Shower: L’Occitane Almond Shower Oil
Hand Cream: La Roche-Posay Lipikar Hand Repair Cream
Body Lotion: Mixa Anti-Dryness Body Lotion

Eye Makeup Remover: Clinique Take the Day Off
Makeup Remover: Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm
Toner: Pixi Glow Tonic
Essence: Kiehl’s Iris Extract
Mist: Pixi Hydrating Milky Mist
Eye Cream: Drunk Elephant C-Tango Multivitamin Eye Cream
Serum: La Roche-Posay HyaluB5
Moisturiser: La Roche-Posay Effaclar H
Lip Balm: Clinique Pep-Start Night Mask
Mask: Kiehl’s Calendula & Aloe Soothing Hydrating Masque / Garnier Glow Shot
SPF: Kiehl’s Ultra Light Daily Defense SPF 50

Primer: NARS Smooth & Protect Primer
Eyeshadow Primer: NARS Tinted Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base
Foundation: Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation
Powder: Bourjois Healthy Mix Powder / bareMinerals Invisible Light Translucent Powder Duo
Eyeshadow: Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette / Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Palette
Highlight: Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette Edit 3
Bronzer: Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette Edit 3
Blush: Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Blush
Mascara: No7 Lash Extender Mascara
Eyeliner: Clinique Pretty Easy Liquid Eyeliner Pen
Brow: Benefit Fool Proof Powder
Lip: YSL Volupte Tint-In Balm / Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector

Best of Beauty – 2017

I thought I would share with you my best of beauty picks from 2017. Some old favourites and some brand new discoveries that have now found a place in my everyday routine.

Lets start with makeup. The best primer that I wore almost every day is the Becca First Light Priming Filter. It gives a wonderful lit from within look and smooths everything over giving you the perfect base for your foundation. My two favourite foundations of 2017 are actually both from Lancome. First up is the Lancome Miracle Cushion Foundation in 01 Pure Porcelaine. It’s perfect for when you are short of time in the morning but still need to apply a quick base before you head out. It has a light to medium coverage and is very easy to build. I also loved using Lancome’s Teint Idole Ultra Wear in 010 Beige Porcelaine. This is a great long lasting foundation medium coverage foundation and will not budge all day.

Next up is eye makeup favourites. First is an eyeshadow palette from Dior. It’s the Eye Reviver Backstage Pros Palette. its perfect for creating a everyday nude look. These creamy shadows have great pigmentation and are so easy to blend. In 2017 I have discovered some products that have managed to beat my oily lids. First up is the Lancome Artliner eyeliner. It creates very precise lines with it’s soft foam tip, dries quickly and is also easy to remove. Artliner is the only eyeliner that I have found that once applied, it will not budge. I cannot wear any pencils or gels because they end up smeared across my lids seconds after being applied. I also have the same issue with mascara. In 2017 I have gone through several tubes of No7 Lash Impact Waterproof Mascara. I can wear this all day without it smudging. The clump free formula separates and defines lashes for maximum impact.

2017 hasn’t really been a blush kind of year for me, but I have been using lots of different bronzers and highlighters. My favourite was the Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Glow Face Sculpt & Highlight palette. The sculpt shade is the perfect mid toned brown and the highlight is very subtle. Put them together and it creates the most healthy looking glow.

Brow products are tricky to get right. Finding the perfect shade that compliments your face without looking like slugs on top of your eyes is hard. My favourite has been the Fleur De Force by Eyelure Brow Palette. It creates the most natural look with the two shades and the powder gives you control over where you want to define.

Next is skincare. My favourite make up remover has been the La Roche-Posay Micellar Water Gel. I love micellar waters, but the gel version is even better. It leaves the skin feeling clean and fresh. I usually follow this with Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser. The combination of eucalyptus and rosemary leaves your skin feeling refreshed and squeaky clean. If I am wearing a bit more make up, I will use Pixi + Caroline Hirons Double Cleanse. The solid cleansing oil will melt your makeup away. I love it. Then the cleansing cream, will remove anything that is left on your face.

My favourite serum has been the Kiehls Hydro-Plumping Re-Texturizing Serum Concentrate. I have been on the hunt for any product that will add moisture to my skin. This product does just that.  This is then followed by Lancome’s Energie De Vie Nuit Overnight Recovery Sleeping Mask. The gel texture smoothes and hydrates dull and tired looking skin.

The one fragrance that I constantly found myself going back to was Miss Dior Blooming Bouquet. It is both fruity sweet notes of orange with a touch of floral rose and peony.

These are just a few of my top beauty picks of 2017. I can’t wait to try some of the new exciting releases that are coming out soon in 2018.