February Makeup Favourites

I’ve been running around doing so many food and lifestyle posts recently, and have really neglected the beauty side of my blog. So without further ado, here are just a few products that I’ve been loving this month!

Miss Dior

I’d left my bottle of dry shampoo back in Cambodia, so once I was back I picked up a bottle of CoLab Extreme Volume Dry Shampoo in Tokyo (of course). It feels a lot more luxe and grown-up than my usual Batiste, with notes of sandalwood, orchid and mandarin. I am loving the scent, and finds it gives my hair a lot of extra volume – I definitely prefer this to my usual.

Next product is something I picked up in duty free – a bottle of Miss Dior EDT. I love the scent of this – it’s fruity yet musky, with notes of patchouli and rose. It’s such a classic scent that I know will definitely be a staple for a long time.

I took advantage of a recent 2 for £10 deal on Rimmel products at Superdrug and picked up a bottle of Rimmel’s Lasting Finish Foundation in Soft Beige. It’s got good coverage, although the overall effect isn’t as nice as the Wake Me Up foundation, so I’m not sure whether I’ll be repurchasing this from Rimmel in the future.

Mascara, eyeliner, concealer

I’ve also been loving this tube of Rimmel Wake Me Up Concealer, which is great for running underneath my eyes on early mornings.

Another duty-free purchase is now a holy grail product for me – Lancome Hypnose mascara has definitely replaced Fiberwig as my new all-time favourite mascara. I love the effect, and it comes off easily with a bit of makeup remover without any harsh rubbing. At £22.50, it’s not exactly cheap, but when you wear contact lenses like I do you have to be particular about what you put near your eyes.

I also picked up a Rimmel Brow This Way brow gel, which is great for running through my brows before applying powder with a Zoeva angled brush.

2015-02-09 17.51.19

Another drugstore favourite is the Delice de Poudre from Bourjois – it smells a bit like chocolate (although not as much as my favourite bronzer from Toofaced!) It’s been great for contouring and giving a little bit of a sunkissed glow.

After much searching, I found a Maybelline Color Drama Pencil in Nude Perfection at my local Superdrug. I love the creamy formula and the nude colour, as I tend to shy away from bright lipsticks colours as I’m usually sporting heavy eyeliner.

And speaking of eyeliner, I’ve rediscovered my love of Urban Decay’s 24/7 liner, which I found at the back of one of my drawers – it’s so pigmented and long-lasting, and I have honestly found that no other pencil liner compares.

I’d run out of eyeliner when I was in Thailand in January, and picked one up at a convenience store. Mistine is a popular high street makeup brand in Thailand, and I picked up their Super Black Fixed Eyeliner, which is liquid. It’s been really great – goes on smoothly, and is long-lasting and not to mention cheap – but not sure I’ll be able to get my hands on these locally!

2015-02-09 17.51.31

Another Asian beauty product was actually gifted to me for Christmas, and comes from South Korea. It’s a customisable palette from Etude House, a popular Korean makeup brand who do a great range of skincare, face masks (which I have been completely addicted to) and makeup. This palette has been great – all the colours were chosen for me, and they are perfect: minimal fallout, perfectly pigmented in some beautiful shades.

Etude House EyeshadowEtude House Eyeshadow

The packaging seems made for me, too – I’m a massive fan of Etude House.

ETude House Eyeshadow PaletteEtude House

The third and final product is the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge. My old Cosmopolitan Blend Perfection Sponge was looking very tatty, despite being washed frequently, and I was due for an upgrade.

I love using the sponge to apply foundation over a brush – I think when using a foundation brush, you need to allow yourself plenty of time to buff in order to avoid brush strokes on your face. But by simply wetting the sponge and buffing with some foundation takes about half the time, and leaves you with a lovely glowing effect on the skin.

Etude House Eyeshadow

Have you tried any of these products? What have you been loving this month?

The French Pharmacy Haul

Although I wasn’t able to go to Paris a few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to get a French pharmacy haul brought back for me. I love going into pharmacies and supermarkets when I’m abroad, and I’ve had my eye on a lot of these products for a while.

Nuxe huile prodigieues and reve de miel

First up was the Huile Prodigieuse from Nuxe. It’s a scented oil that can be used on your face, body and hair, and I am absolutely loving it. I’ve put a couple of drops in the bathwater too – it smells amazing, and makes a regular bath seem that much more luxurious. This bottle also came with the sample of the perfume, which has the same scent – and I’ve already run out of it, I’m enjoying it so much! I’d definitely repurchase the oil, but I definitely need to get my hands on the bottle of perfume first.

Nuxe

Also from Nuxe was the Reve de Miel face cream. It’s a thick, lightly honey-scented day cream that is really moisturising. The only downside is that I like my day creams to have SPF in it – when Mr. A mocks me about my day/night face cream routine, I can’t justify the difference between day and night cream without SPF! Otherwise, it ticks all the boxes for me.

la roche posay

Next is the La Roche-Posay Serozinc toner and Effaclar Duo Anti-Imperfections cream. I like the toner, although I don’t get why toners need to come in spray form – I like to put some on a cotton pad, as I feel I’m wasting a lot of product through the spray (and that it’s ‘toning’ my hair, too). The Effaclar Duo cream really smooths over blemishes and feels great.

Bioderma

I’m a big fan of the Garnier micellar water, and when I tried the L’Oreal version I really didn’t think it compared. The makeup didn’t melt away, and it left my skin feeling tight – which is why I love the Garnier micellar water, because it doesn’t do that. I think the Bioderma is of an even higher standard. Colourless, odorless, a few drops of this on a cotton pad and my makeup is swept away. I love!

If this is standard for all French personal care products, I think I’m going to have to make trips over the channel more often!

For those of you who have favourite French products – what do you recommend?

French pharmacy haul

September Glossybox Review!

This month’s Glossybox is my fourth so far. I really look forward to the arrival of my Glossybox each month: I was given a six-month subscription as a birthday present, and that birthday feeling still keeps coming with this! This is probably not the case for everyone, but my boxes always seem to be delivered at the most convenient time – usually around 7, when I haven’t left for work yet. It’s brilliant!

Karen Millen Glossybox

I love the different boxes: they are the perfect size to store items like makeup, or cables/adaptors in and they look nice, too. The design of the box this month was lovely: designed by Karen Millen, presumably to tie it in with fashion week, it shows the London skyline. Not surprising, then, that one of the first things in the box is a £25 off any £150 purchase at Karen Millen until late September. I’m trying to save money this month, so I won’t have a chance to redeem it but I’m very tempted by this!

Karen Millen Glossybox Karen Millen GlossyboxKaren Millen Glossybox

In terms of products that have the potential to be incorporated into my daily makeup routine, this Glossybox has been the best yet. When it comes to makeup and hair I am definitely a creature of habit, so I was happy to see this month that the products were often higher end variations of current staples.

Kiss eyelashes Glossybox

The first item that caught my attention were the Kiss Haute Couture Lashes. When I was a student up in Manchester, false eyelashes were often part of my look on a night out, but since I’ve moved down south I don’t think I’ve used any at all! I’m not sure if it is because now I’m working, I tend to go out straight from the office, or because of the differences in style. Regardless, I’m really looking forward to trying these out!

Skin Pep Glossybox Samples

Next up were some SkinPep samples: a dark circle eraser eye cream, and a couple of sachets of Enzyme and Acid Peeling Gel. Containing extracts of pineapple and papaya, these gels are meant to gently exfoliate and reveal soft, bright skin. I haven’t heard of SkinPep before, and while I’m not a massive fan of sachets I’m looking forward to trying these out as I love a peel-off mask.  The ‘Enzyme and Acid Peel’ part is slightly daunting: the last time I used anything similar was rather unpleasant, but I was around 15 and didn’t have a clue what I was doing so that might have been a factor, hmm…

Loreal Mythic Oil Masque

The hair product this month was a 75ml pot of L’Oreal Professionnel Mythic Masque. I love the L’Oreal Professionnel hair oils, and I absolutely adore masques for my thick, sometimes unmanageable hair so I’m really pleased with this little pot. Smells nice, too! The last few products were my favorites for this month: a peachy cream blusher from GOSH cosmetics and ModelCo’s More Brows fibre gel.

GOSH cosmetics stick cream blush ModelCo More Brows fibre gel

The peachy blusher stick from GOSH is the first time I’ve tried blush in this form, and I really liked the tone and texture. I usually tend to go for pink blushes, but this color might suit me more – and would be great for traveling as the product won’t run the risk of crumbling all over your suitcase.

The only brow gel I’ve used previously was Maybelline’s Brow Drama gel. Up until yesterday, I was perfectly content with it, but now I’ve discovered this the difference is astounding: it’s been like going from grape juice to champagne. With the brow drama, I’d have to apply powder, and run the brush through my brows, often making them slightly clumpy (attractive). With this, you just apply in short, upward strokes, nothing underneath, and you get the same visual result as it dries to a natural finish. It’s so simple and makes the brows look neat and more full. If any product can reduce anything to one step, I’m interested.

In the image below, I’m wearing some Urban Decay BB cream, liquid eyeliner, mascara with the GOSH blush and ModelCo brow gel.

FOTD Glossybox

The products this month will definitely work their way into my day-to-day routine, so I’m really pleased. It’s the best part about Glossybox: trying out new products you wouldn’t necessarily pick yourself! The Glossydots system also allows you to earn points but filling out surveys on products from the previous boxes. By earning 1000, you can get a free Glossybox. You also get points for inviting people, so I’ve included my referral code below.

http://www.glossybox.co.uk/referal?CI=MTY3ODgx

Do you have a subscription box? What’s your favorite?

What I loved in August

September already?! The time has just flown by recently, and I wanted to do a quick update about products I really enjoyed in August. I’ve also been experimenting with gluten free baking and cooking – recipes to follow!

August haul: naked 2, lush products, misfit

My sister went to visit my mom in New York earlier this month, and I got brought home a Naked 2 palette which I’ve been coveting for ages. The colours are perfect for blending, and I’ve been a fan of Urban Decay eyeshadow for ages (anyone else remember the early noughties midnight cowboy craze?) so I am absolutely over the moon with this!

Naked 2 Palette I’ve also been accumulating more Lush products. This toner might be the best one I’ve ever used: my skin has never looked better and it feels so refreshing (and smells great, too!). I’ve been looking for a sunscreen lotion that doesn’t end up looking too cake-y, or like something out of Memoirs of a Geisha under makeup, and this might be it. It’s definitely not for you if you aren’t a fan of sesame – the scent is really strong but it provides enough sun protection for me (SPF 10) while not messing up my base too much. I’d only really use this in England though, it won’t provide enough protection for holiday wear.

The Lush toothy tabs have really exceeded my expectations. Marketed as ‘natural, solid toothpaste’ I was a bit skeptical, as it seems quite gimmicky. You grind the tablet with your front teeth, and then start brushing. A foam develops, and it makes your mouth feel like you’ve just been to see a dental hygienist (minus the awkward chats with the receptionist).

I’ve included my Misfit Shine (which I reviewed here) because they recently did an upgrade, and now it syncs to My Fitness Pal which made me more happy than it should have.

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Compact tangle teezer

I’ve succumbed to the charms of a compact, travel version of my tangle teezer. If your hair is as monstrously thick as mine, I definitely suggest one of these for travel, or for your handbag: it’s kept me presentable!

One of these is a freebie, and the other is from my latest Glossybox. I’m definitely going to have to invest in the full-size version of the Too Faced Bronzer because IT SMELLS LIKE CHOCOLATE! If that’s not a reason to buy bronzer then I don’t know what is. (It’s also great for contouring). The Glossybox branded Kryolan highlighter also made it in to this list because it’s the first Kryolan product I’ve tried. I’d only ever heard of the brand before because I have an unhealthy obsession with RuPaul’s Drag Race, and they were once a sponsor. This highlighter has been great, and I can’t wait to see what else they have to offer!

A Day at Selfridges

It all started because of the heat.A Day at Selfridges

My Japanese grandmother is in town, and the heat of the city was beginning to get to us. Yes, it is hotter and more humid in Japan, but all the buildings are heavily air-conditioned, and our tiny flat had nothing of the sort. So we got the train into central London in search of cooler air, afternoon tea and souvenirs, and ended up at Selfridges. My grandmother made a beeline for the Cath Kidston section, which seems to be wildly popular in Japan – the kitschy flower and retro-style prints that are so quintessentially British have a great appeal over there. If you are ever in doubt as to what to buy a Japanese high-school girl, Cath Kidston would be a pretty safe bet.

It got a bit dangerous once we discovered that the department store accepted Japanese yen. As a late birthday present I was treated to a Michael Kors Selma handbag. For Christmas I’d been given the Jet Set Travel Tote, which I am rarely without – however its large size often meant I was filling it with unnecessary things, and the lack of a zipper always made me slightly nervous on the tube, so the Selma was a welcome addition.Michael Kors Selma I also got myself a new pair of loafers from Office. I bought some Oxblood ones for work last year and wore them until they got unbelieveably tatty. These grey ones are perfect – comfy, cute, and great for the office. The colour is unusual too, but not too ‘out there’ for work. Office loafer extravaganza

We moseyed round for a couple of hours and headed up to Aubaine on the second floor for a few refreshments.

A Day at Selfridges A Day at Selfridges

It was a really lovely atmosphere – we shared a pot of the Ceylan, and I had a couple of mini macarons. My grandmother had a scone and it was all delicious. The lunch menu looked amazing too, I’d definitely want to go back!Tea at SelfridgesScones at SelfridgesMacarons at SelfridgesAubaine, Selfridges Aubaine at Selfridges

I had a really lovely time at Selfridges – although we went midweek during the summer holidays, it was definitely calmer and less crowded (and not as full of tourists!) as some of the other department stores can get during this season.