Friday, January 5, 2018

2017 Fragrance Favourites

Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess

If you were to ask my holy grail fragrance it would be Chanel Coco Mademoiselle but two favourites this year that always make me smile and bring about a waft of memories are those that I reach for as the seasons change.

As the leaves turn orange and a chill in the air beings I bring out Jo Malone Ginger Biscuit and I am instantly ready for the fun that Autumn brings and indeed the festive season. Original released in 2013 as part of the Sugar and Spice Collection it was an instant hit but alas Limited Edition. Thankfully my prayers were answered when it was added to the line up of returning fragrances available only in London's Regent Street store.

I defy anyone to not find themselves licking their lips at the description of Ginger Biscuit from Jo Malone website 'Just-baked biscuit. Spiced with ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon, melting into caramel. Butter crumbly with roasted hazelnuts. Warmed by tonka bean and vanilla. Irresistible.' literally good enough to eat.

This scent certainly has a sweetness but with an spiciness that makes it mature and warm and just perfect for this time of year. It's strong without being too overpowering and lasts well into the evening after it's first spritz. I am slowly coming to the end of this bottle so I will look forward to marking the arrival of Autumn this year with a trip to purchase a new bottle.

Summer still seems so far away but when it does indeed arrive I will be jumping straight back onto the Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess bandwagon. I first picked up a bottle two Summers ago and have finished off one bottle already but I'm lucky enough to have a new bottle lined up ready to go but will once again make a plea that they offer a travel sized version.

It's everything cliched about scent for the Summer months yet with an anything but cliched finish. Again like Ginger Biscuit it's different from the fragrances I'd usually wear but it just works so perfectly for the warmer months and reminds me now of so many holidays I have been on.

What scents have you loved in 2017 or indeed are you looking forward to trying in 2018?

*this post contains affiliate links

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Wednesday, January 3, 2018


The Ordinary Coverage Foundation Review

Today's review of favourite make up products from 2017 is quite interesting as 2017 was very different for my due to spending half of the year not working and the other half finding my feet in my job and getting back into waking to an alarm and getting myself into the office on time.

For those reasons the type of make up products I was using varied more than they would usually depending on what I might be doing beyond the routine of 'office make up' and also the fact I spent much of the time putting myself on a spending ban of sorts and committing myself to using the products that I actually owned or decluttering them.

I also looked back on my 2016 Favourites (Part 1 and Part 2) and there were one or two duplicates so rather than repeat them here I'll be doing a 'Where Are They Now' post next week so please look out for that.

I tried one or two new primers in 2017 including GOSH Primer Plus and Lottie London Insta Filter Power Eraser Stick but it's Benefit Porefessional I've returned to for the most part of the year. Whilst I know many aren't a fan due to it's silicone texture it's one I find that works best for me and smooths out the appearance of my pores before applying foundation. In the latter months I've been using this combined with a small sample of Wet n Wild Focus Photo Primer which despite being the Matte Version feels hydrating to my skin and gives the boost of moisture I need as my skin leads to dry at this time of year. I'm still keeping to my 'spending ban' in 2018, certainly until I visit the US again in April, but Benefits new release, Porefessional Pearl Primer may be the product to break it.

As I mentioned above my make up choices changed whilst I wasn't working and none more so than with the products I'd reach for as my base. When working full time of a weekend I will happily pop to the supermarket without a stitch on but whilst I was 'unemployed' I found my errand running and the fact I had some time on my hands did call for a little more coverage but certainly not one that would be too heavy and unnecessary. As part of my decluttering I decided to return to ByTerry Light Expert Click Brush* which if you refer to my initial review will possibly shudder at how old.

I had actually purchased this product in its original version and was then invited to it's relaunch event but due to the products light coverage it wasn't a product I would reach for day to day when working and again as I've said at a weekend I tend to be make up free but that meant it was the perfect product for those days when I wanted 'that help'. Interestingly the more I've used it on those days of 'unemployment' I've reached for it even on days in the office when I just wasn't interested in bothering with make up but didn't want to scare anyone! It really does give a velvety look and feel to the skin and if you want to fool people into think you're fresh faced this is the product to look at.

I'm torn between suggesting it's overpriced at £48 and then looking at the product I have left to use (just under half) and acknowledging it's had some very regular usage over the past year (in fact it was my base of choice for this past weekend celebrating New Year with friends at an AirBnb) and last such a long time when you consider it made an appear in March 2017's favourites post.

Last month I hit publish on a blog post featuring some new favourites under £6, one of which was The Ordinary Coverage Foundation, and if I had indeed published a December Favourites this would have been in it. Since I purchased it has been my go to foundation for daily use and looks natural with a medium coverage. It doesn't particularly last long after a day in the office so for those evenings I'm heading out, or indeed when I was running around London all day on job interviews or more recently when I knew I'm heading out for Christmas drinks I'll apply Chanel Le Teint Ultra Tenue Ultrawear Flawless Foundation, one of Chanels fuller coverage and long lasting foundations. For this reason it's not something I want to wear every day nor take the time to apply it as easily as I can the two previous products I've mentioned (those work well just using fingers) but it's my go to since they reformulated Make Up Forevers HD Foundation which was my original holy grail.

Finally are two products that I didn't instinctively think to include because I've allocated them in my own filters as 'Summer products' and certainly two that work as a duo, Bare Minerals Foundation in shade Medium Beige and B. Pro Contour Stick* in Universal Shade.

Bare Minerals Foundation is an old favourite with the B. Contour Stick being a new introduction this year. I favour the contour shade rather than the highlight and like that it is thinner than other contour sticks I've used in the past so ideal especially for contouring the nose. Applied first I then blend with the mineral foundation and it creates the perfect coverage and base for warmer days - it's just unfortunate I find it cumbersome of travelling with.

That brings part one to a close, what favourite products featured in your 2017 round up?

*this post contains press samples and affiliate links

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Monday, January 1, 2018

Happy New Year | 2018

Year 2018

Happy New Year - is there anything more satisfying than it beginning on a Monday?

I'm not typically one for reflective nor goal setting posts for my blog and I have sat in front of the laptop trying to put something of it's sort together and it does not appear to be happening. Yes I could offer some platitudes about my intentions for these pages but quite simply my only goal is to return to the more frequent blogging of previous years.

The good news for me is that whilst I've not found myself actually writing and hitting publish on posts I have still been working in background taking photos with the intention of sharing them so some of the hard work has been done.

For the next month I hope to publish on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays as I think that will work well with my lifestyle - time will tell and before I fail on the aforementioned schedule and the final hours of the first day of the new year slip away I shall hit publish and wish you all the best for 2018 - lets see where it takes us.

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Wednesday, November 29, 2017

New In Beauty and Skincare - All Under £6

As I gathered together my recent beauty purchases I realised that they were for the most part under £6 which is rather fabulous - although of course when you add them all up it's not so budget friendly but we'll overlook that for now!

Continuing with my current obsession with Aldi I threw their Activ Roll On Deodorant into my basket on a recent shop having seen reviews where people spoke highly of it and for 59p I thought it was an experiment I could afford. Thus far I'm pretty impressed. Whilst I do love Sure Maximum Protection it isn't the cheapest of products and I'm sure half is lost gathering in the holes of the lid no matter how clean I try to keep it. Whilst I don't think Aldi's will replace regular use of Sure it'll mix things up and add to Sure's longevity.

Sticking with the Aldi products, those of you who are regular Aldi shoppers will be familiar with their Special Buys, products that are released on either a Thursday or Sunday 'until stocks last'. They do make reappearances and range from the sublime to the ridiculous and their beauty and skincare ranges often cause bulk buying and stock piling from fans.

I really didn't need to pick up Lacura Mineral Powder and Aldi really isn't helping my streamlining of my make up collection but I was swept up in the moment. Having enjoyed using my Bare Minerals Powder Foundation this summer I thought, with a trip to the hot and humid Orlando next month perhaps this could be another 'dupe' (is Aldi becoming the new Make Up Revolution I ask myself).

First impressions were the packaging isn't ideal for the product. The lid is too deep to allow the brush easily sweep up the product and so I found myself tipping powder into the lid and back into the 'sifter' side to apply. The brush is also dreadful. I had heard mentioned that it shed and as I applied I thought I was doing ok until I went for a closer look and found a near on beard appearing. I'm currently on the fence with whether to put away till next Summer or admit defeat and clear space in my make up collection.

I have been using the Caviar Night Cream from Aldi in between other products but I really don't enjoy it. Despite not being a fan of Lavendar I thought I'd give their new version a try and it's another thumbs up from. Likewise the eye cream whilst not a replacement for my favoured Kiehls Midnight Recovery Eye helps avoid using either too quickly and cause a dent in the bank balance when it's time to replace. The Aldi offerings are both priced at £3.99, the cost of which can easily be hidden in my weekly shop.

The mascara's were another product everyone was raving about in the forums so I again decided to get involved. I have tried a mascara from Aldi previously and wasn't too impressed but these both had different brushes, the fuller type I like and were screaming volume. For £2.49 again it was worth trying them out.

I have since tried both products and been most impressed on arriving to the office and proceeding with my usual check under the eyes in the lift to remove any transfer that there was none. This is unheard off.

I do find the brushes a little too big that I get a lot of product on my lids, more so with the XXL Extreme Version and yet on my lashes there isn't so much. It's nicely defined and really does lengthen them but at the weekend I applied to one eye and the other with my L'Oreal Lash Paradise and the latter was certainly more evident and volumised although if you don't like that heavy look then you may indeed prefer Aldi's offering.

I don't think I'd necessarily look to replace either of these or 'bulk buy' as many seem to do when they are re-released but they were both worth trying and are serving me well currently.

Finally I was holding off hitting publish on today's post as I waited to have sampled The Ordinary skincare items; as weeks have passed and I've still yet to dabble yet am loving the foundation I thought I'd hope that publishing my post would finally give me the kick I need to add them to my skincare regime.
Starting with The Ordinary Coverage Foundation which I am loving and it's my go to foundation of choice at present.  I wouldn't say it's the fullest coverage foundation I own but it balances the bridge between natural and full nicely for me. I do find that it suits me better when my skin is on the oiler side, if not gets better throughout the day as my natural oils escape so I'd be conscious if my skin type was the end of either.
The packaging is fantastic and for its size and how frequently I'm using I expected it to be one of those products you think is a great price until you're replacing so frequently you should've invested in more expensive products but it's still going strong.
The Retinol and Vitamin C products I picked up completely consumed by the blog coverage until panic set in about how to use, ensuring SPF is worn and being wary of the side effects of retinol usage but I think I've done sufficient research to start adding them to my routine.
What products have you been buying recently?

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Friday, October 20, 2017

Products I Used Up | September 2017

Another delved into the pile of beauty trash I amassed over the past months starts with the usual regular appearances of Sure Maximum Protection* and The Wet Brush. Both are staples in my daily routines, although the former may be opted due to a new deodorant I've discovered recently so stay tuned for that in a later post. The Mitchum Deodorant mini is the usual type I have thrown in my bag for freshening up on the go.

I'd love to hear from other Wet Brush users and whether you have to change yours as regular as I do - especially as I don't think I have particularly thick knotty hair to battle. It's probably my only gripe that I do sometimes feel I'm replacing it every month or two but it does give me an opportunity to try out a new colour and there's nothing like a fresh new hairbrush.

Sticking with haircare and shampoo of the dry and regular varieties; Catwalk by TIGI Transforming Dry Shampoo* and John Frieda Sheer Blonde Honey Blonde Colour Illuminating Shampoo*. Both were products that worked as they should and I enjoyed using. You can read full reviews here and here but I suspect any repurchase will be made at John Frieda. As much as I loved the scent of the TIGI Dry Shampoo, I'll still with paying a few pound for the regular offerings.

The cooler temperatures means allowing my hair to air dry isn't so much of an option and it's time to reach for the hairdryer. When I was I powered through TIGI Bed Head Queen Beach Salt Infused Texture Spray* with it's beachy scent and more moisturising offering that left hair less crispy. I would repurchase again, and indeed would for my forthcoming holiday were it not for one or two other bottles lurking around I'd like to use up before the year is out. You can read my original review here.

I've been trying some new skincare items recently so we only say goodbye to Dermalogica Multi-Active Toner* and Lacura Expert Eye Gel. Interestingly and for transparency both these items were ones I loved in it's early stages but later started to find fault and hence there appearance in the basket. In the case of Dermalogica I think I was at fault and had allowed the product to hang around to long in amongst many other skincare products. At first it seemed fine when I reached for it again but the first tell tale sign with any product if the smell seems off it's time to get rid.

The Lacura Expert Eye Gel appeared in my April Favourites I liked it so much in it's early stages but as time went on I found it was a little drying and not quite doing what I wanted. That said a few other gel eye creams I've reached for I've found the same result so think in my older years I need something a little more powerful.

Two products I'm sad to say goodbye to are my Carmex Classic Wild Pot* and Revlon Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lip Colour in Devotion. Again I'm trying to use up lip balms I have in my collection before buying others but I really am missing Carmex although I'm not a fan of the pot. Stiletto nails do not create the perfect conditions for dipping fingers in but the product was fantastic at keeping lips moisturised.

Revlon's Devotion was my go to lip when I wanted some colour but I wasn't in the mood for the maintenance of a red lip, it also works well whatever the weather. I realised as I was wearing this week that it was becoming less easy to work with and dispense the product so I decided it was time to favour other products. I would repurchase but also as part of my decluttering I'm allowing myself time to discover if indeed I am missing certain products before hitting the repurchase button.

The ever present hand creams that I used up this month were again disappointments. Sorry for this months empties post appearing on the negative side but I guess thats how some months go. Weleda Almond Sensitive Skin Hand Cream* but as with Leighton Denny Best Defence Hand Cream* I found that my hands would not feel so moisturised after I'd applied. They were not dry in the same way as when they come out of water but I still find it was my usual experience.

*this post contains press samples and affiliate links

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