It’s that time of the month again – a round up of all my beauty favourites. And what a month it has been! I’ve been trialling a little more than usual, because I’ve been focusing on improving the condition of my skin (I’ve written a whole post on this, if you fancy catching up here) – so if skincare is your thing, then you’re in luck!
Time Bomb Over-Exposed Sun Damage Rescue | link
Time Bomb specialise in anti-aging products and I’ve previously reviewed their face cream, which I found to be amazing for hydrating particularly dry and dull skin. So I was delighted when a little sample of their Sun Damage Rescue popped through my letterbox. I wouldn’t say that my skin is sun damaged per say but it can look a little dried-out, especially on holiday when I tend to bask in the sun for as long as I can (with SPF though, I must add). With holiday season on the horizon (I have some amazing places booked this year), I thought I’d trial this out – with a view to keeping this in my suitcase as a summer staple.
Containing milk peptides, this powerful product really impressed me from the beginning. It wasn’t too thick and it melted into my skin instantly, making it a perfect pre-foundation option (always a winner). It boosted any dry areas (it didn’t banish away the dry skin completely but really helped to keep it hydrated under my make-up) and softened the look of any bumpy red patches. It claims to use a rich vegetable-derived oil to recondition dried-out skin, so I can imagine this would be very handy if you do have sun-damage, as it boosts suppleness and eliminates that ‘leathery’ skin look. I wasn’t expecting much from this, seeing as I didn’t suffer from the problem it was treating – however I really love using it and will continue sneaking it into my skincare regime.
Nude Skincare | link
Nude are a brand I already love, as their ethos is rooted in nutrition and skin goodness. They base their ingredients on antioxidants, omegas, minerals and probiotics – basically all the good stuff – and this definitely shows when you begin using their products. My skin has been looking a little dull this month – I think partly due to the fact it’s absolutely awful weather – and so I wanted to try out something that was going to give them a much needed boost. I had drier areas around my eyebrows and eyes (odd place, I know) and I wanted to gently exfoliate these while also providing a much needed boost of moisture. First up on my list to trial was the Brightening Fizzy Powder Wash, essentially a white powder which when teamed with water, fizzes up to reveal a foamy type consistency. It very very gently exfoliates and cleanses, with a variety of natural ingredients aiming to brighten and refine your skin. A particular addition I was very fond of was the Acerola Extract, which I know from prior experience really helps to refine the texture of your skin – making foundation application and a flawless finish far more attainable. This product is suitable for vegans and contains absolutely ZERO parabens, sulphates, synthetic fragrance or colourings.
Following on from their champion product (in my opinion), is their Omega Cleansing Jelly, another fantastic addition to the range. It transforms from quite an airy cool gel into a soft cleansing milk, sweeping away any dirt and excess make-up and leaving your skin feeling completely clean. The Omegas (6 and 9, in case you’re an Omega buff) and bitter orange extract help to make this a really luxurious feeling product, with a silky soft finish and a boost of moisture. I wouldn’t say I noticed a drastic difference in the appearance of my skin after using but it really does do the job of adding moisture and removing make-up effectively, so all in all – a really fab product!
And the final product I trialled from their range was the Progenius Omega Treatment Rescue Oil, which is applied using a little in-built pipette. It melts into skin almost instantaneously, without leaving any greasy looking residue. It smells and feels extremely refreshing (reminiscent of a spa, which is always okay with me – I need all the help relaxing I can get) and is a great addition to a moisturiser if your skin is looking very dull and dry (as mine was). You don’t need too much of this to get a really great effect, so use sparingly!
Body Fantasies Fragrances | link
These body sprays were launched over here this month and have already made waves in the UK beauty market. They are a firm favourite over in the US, with an amazing array of scents – and so their introduction over here was hotly anticipated. A slight step down from if Sephora launched in the UK (could you imagine) but you get what I’m trying to say. They’re super concentrated, so although the bottles are tinier than you’d expect (perfect handbag size, I must add) – they contain over 500 sprays each. My favourite is probably the Pink Grapefruit Fantasy, which is a really fruity, awakening scent that freshens you up – ready for the day ahead. They are quite strong scents and they do linger for a while (so much so, I was still sniffing my scarf on the train home) but I personally love this aspect, as it’s reassuring to know you’re going to smell lovely throughout the day, rather than just the first half hour of spritzing. The Twilight Mist version is a bit more musky – perfect for evening wear.
Blonde Addict | link
I recently went a bit blonder, thanks to the lovely people at Neville Hair – and so I’ve been eager to find a product that does interfere with my dry, slightly sensitive scalp but will hydrate and prolong the colour. Blonde Addict was the answer to this for me, with an effective but gentle formula. Each of the products contain Grapeseed Oil, which is great for hydration and this also gives them a refreshing, fruity subtle scent. Created by Reef Cosmetics and internationally renowned, this range has only really launched in the UK in the last six months, so it’s still relatively new and an unchartered discovery – but I’ve really found this has been fab at prolonging the blonder tones in my hair. Usually at the two week mark, I start to see mild fading – and some dryness on my scalp, but luckily – using these has prevented that headache from happening. I’ll continue using these and report back. First-couple-of-week-impressions = very good!
Martha Hill Skincare | link
Another day, another skincare review – and this time, I’ve been trialling the Martha Hill range. Consisting of a Cream Cleanser, Gel Toner, Day Cream and Overnight Cream, the range is a complete package for healthy glowing skin. The packaging itself is a bit unassuming, with pastel blue and white coverings – however whats inside far surpasses your expectations. Martha Hill is actually a family business, spanning a 60 year history (and being passed down through two generations). This aspect is definitely maintained in the feel of the range, as simple, homely ingredients are used and there’s nothing artificial whatsoever.
I sampled each of the products for two weeks continuously and was pleasantly surprised at how hydrating they were. Usually I have to go for quite a strong product to get the effects I need (i.e.: helping my ridiculously dry skin out) however on many occasions, I just used their creams and was able to get away with not digging into my ‘specialist skincare kit’. There’s no particular scent to the products, which doesn’t bother me – but they’re very plain and basic in the way they look. Put rather bluntly, they’re simple and rather unexciting, but they certainly work – and if you have dry or ‘normal’ skin and need a moisture boost for the Winter months, without looking ‘shiny’ or suffering from your make-up sliding off your face, then these products might be one for you to try.
Queen Tea Cosmetics | link
This month I’ve definitely taken to having more baths – partly because the shower was being re-fitted, but also because I needed the time out from blogging, a mountain of emails and dissertation research (joy). Queen Tea Cosmetics have been my go-to for making my baths just that little bit more interesting, with their bath oatmilk powder (I may be lactose intolerant but this won’t stop me pouring the equivalent into my bath) and their amazing bath ‘tea-bags’. With citrus scents (it’s all natural though, don’t worry) – it makes for a very revitalising experience and I find it’s much softer on your skin than a bath bomb or equivalent. If you’re into your baths – this is definitely one to try!
Lipcote | link
I suppose you could call February the month for kissing (we do have Valentine’s Day in the middle of it after all), so this product fits in rather nicely. Described as ‘lipstick’s best friend’ it seals your favourite lip colours so that they’re protected against smudging, feathering, fading and kissing. So nope, your other half won’t end up with MAC Ruby Woo all over their disappointed face ever again.
With a new Vanilla Fragrance (which smells good enough to eat – although resist, because this would defeat the point of the product), you simply apply your favourite lipstick, blot with a tissue and evenly brush a layer of Lipcote over the top. It dries super quick (don’t close your lips until it’s dry though) and then you’re ready to go. It was a lifesaver during London Fashion Week, when a hectic schedule meant that I couldn’t top up my lipstick as much as was usually needed. Top tip – try and apply a thinner layer rather than getting a bit too application-happy. It does dry and it does work if you use too much, but I found it was less sticky and more effective if you were a little more stingy in the applying stage.
Benefit Posie Tint | link
Benefit and Starbucks have teamed up for their #BestFriends campaign – which I love the ethos behind, since the ‘month of love’ is usually only dedicated to romance rather than friends, who obviously you love too! Essentially, you can pick up a coffee sleeve from any Benefit store – which will entitle you to 2-for-1 coffees (one for you, one for your bestie) in any Starbucks store. Alternatively, you can pick up a coaster in any Starbucks and receive a free make-over at your chosen Benefit store. It’s a cross-platform collaboration like no other and to celebrate, they kindly sent me a big box of goodies this month – which I’ve been working my way through. Their Posie Tint was one of the samples included and I’ve been absolutely loving incorporating it into my make-up routine (which I’ve recently switched up – more on this in another post). If you haven’t come across this wonder product before, it’s essentially a lip and cheek stain, with a poppy pink pigment. You can use it to gently create a flushed pink glow on dedicated areas – and it has amazing staying power.
I first used one of Benefit’s Tints aged 13 (BeneTint – if you were curious as to which one) and although it may have taken me a few years to get the hang of it – cue walking around with tiny red dots on my face a couple of times, I loved how pigmented it was and the natural effect it gave. Posie Tint is a great option if you’re not a fan of the OTT look that some blushers can give. This is a very subtle hinted glow rather than a full on beam – and when applied to your lips, it gives a beautiful stain matte look rather than a glossy overdone lip. It’s a great everyday product and since it’s applied as a liquid, it doesn’t collect or dry out your skin. A winner all round in my opinion!
BareMinerals BareSkin Concealer | link
Good concealers are pretty hard to find. My two favourites are Dior Skin Nude and Mac Longwear – however I seem to steam through these and it’s getting rather expensive to keep having to replace them. Luckily the answer to my concealer-woes was presented to me earlier this month, with a surprise delivery from BareMinerals. Their new BareSkin concealer offers complete serum coverage, meaning it’s super hydrating but also very good at covering up those one-too-many-cocktails-eyebags.
When you start to apply it, it can look a little thin (I guess this is the ‘serum’ aspect – which I personally love – as I need all the hydration I can get) but it builds to form really effective coverage. The colour is fab for contouring too, if you so wish – as it buffs into skin really easily but also brightens and lightens certain areas as is required. I spoke to the lovely Steph at BareMinerals (because I wanted to rave about how much I loved it already) and she mentioned that many people are choosing to use this particular product as an all round foundation – which I wasn’t surprised about. It’s fab!
Michael Kors Coral | link
With summer just a few months away (come quick, please) I’ve been starting to think about signature scents for my upcoming holidays. I know it sounds a bit silly, but I always take a new scent to a new destination with me (one I love, obviously) but because I know that using it over there will forever remind me of that particular trip. For example, whenever I spray Rihanna Rebelle, I am instantly taken back to an amazing family trip to Florida when I was 18. Fragrances are more powerful than we think and they hold memories, so I love experimenting with this aspect.
Michael Kors Coral popped up on my radar and I couldn’t wait to give it a try, with promises of fruity, floral, summery notes. From the very first spritz, I was sold – as it’s such a fresh, feminine fragrance which immediately transports you somewhere hot and sunny. There are ‘tropical notes’ such as grapefruit and raspberry, but it also maintains quite a musky, subdued and sexy scent – with thanks to the sandalwood. The bottle is another ‘holiday inspired’ aspect, with bright orange and gold packaging. I think I’ve assigned this to my trip to Mykonos in May. And I can’t wait!
Benefit Browzings | link
Benefit know how to do brow products – that’s for sure. It’s something I’ve discovered over a number of years, forever staying loyal to their amazing powders, pencils and other somewhere-in-between products (like Gimme Brow, which is incredible – more on this in another post). The Browzings kit is great for beginners and brow-experts alike, as it’s so easy to use and build your perfect ‘brows’ from start to finish, with a pigmented wax for shaping, a natural shaded powder for setting and two angled brushes for blending and perfecting. My brows have recently vamped up their game a little (I noticed they were looking a little pale and non existent in pictures) and so if you fancy seeing what I’ve done, head on over to my Instagram and take a look at my recent pictures!
Elemis Nourishing Omega-Rich Cleansing Oil | link
I’ve previously used Elemis as a go-to for all things hydrating, as I purchased their cleansing wash a couple of months ago (eager to see if it would help with Winter-y dry patches – it did) and so when this launched, I was excited to give it a go. Cleansing Oils have quite greasy connotations, but I don’t think this applies necessarily with this product – as although yes, it is an oil, it’s quite a dry one – meaning that it’s smooth and soft, without any residue.
You’d use this as instructed to soothe, soften and lift any impurities without stripping skin of any goodness. Containing Winter Rose, Chia Seed and Omega-9, it is vitamin rich and ready to remove make-up without scrubbing away and leaving you feeling dull and dry. When added to water, it forms quite a milky lather – which is again, another reason not to ‘judge an oil by it’s cover’ and it leaves your skin feeling very nourished afterwards. If you’re in the market for a new cleanser and want something with a little more moisture, this is definitely an option to look into. The pump style application is also great for incorporating it into your skincare routine, as it’s simple and easy to use – and doesn’t involve squeezing helpings into your hand and then trying to screw the lid back on.
Batiste Dry Shampoo Sweetie | link
I won’t go into too much depth with this product, as I’m sure you all know how fab Batiste products are at freshening up even the greasiest looking of hairs (I know it’s helped me out on a number of occasions), transforming slick back gross locks into something salvageable. However I wanted to mention a new launch of theirs this month – a ‘sweetie’ scent, which has notes of raspberry and vanilla. I know scent isn’t always a major thing when it comes to hair products, but this does smell pretty delicious and hey – if you can have improved hair both in appearance and smell, then surely that’s a good thing?
Pearl Drops Specialist White | link
As many of you know, I have had my teeth whitened a couple of times over the past few years – each with varying effects. The best results came through laser whitening, which I’m not even sure they do anymore – however recently, they’ve started to look dull and a bit yellow again. I’ve been experimenting with whitening strips, which I’ve found super helpful in improving their appearance – however I also wanted to find a toothpaste that would support my efforts. Along came Pearl Drops Specialist White – which focuses on removing stains (all those coffees and green teas have their downsides) and generally buffs away at any darker bits, improving the brightness and appearance. I wouldn’t say that this is going to give you miraculously white gleaming teeth when used on its own, but it’s a fab accompaniment to your other whitening methods – and it’s very affordable for use every day!
Do you have any product recommendations or favourites this month?