Friday, 31 January 2014

New Skincare Routine & First Impressions

I've recently purchased and received a lot of new skincare so I decided I wanted to give my skincare routine an overhaul for 2014. I thought I'd discuss which products I'm going to incorporate into this routine and share any first impressions I have with you all. I'd love to hear your thoughts on these products too if you have used them.

REN Rosa Centifolia Hot Cloth Cleanser (REN £16.00) - This is a very recent purchase that I haven't tried yet but I couldn't resist it after seeing it in Marks and Spencers last week. I've enjoyed using hot cloth cleansers by Elemis and Liz Earle in the past so after loving REN lately, I thought it would good to try this one. I was quite surprised this cleanser is only £16 too, I thought it would be over £20 so that's a good start.

REN Rosa Centifolia No.1 Purity Cleansing Balm (REN £23.00) - I received this for Christmas and have been using it throughout January. I think this is such a good cleanser. It's really soothing on the skin, has a gentle rose scent and leaves my skin feeling soft and moisturised. I hate cleansers that strip my dehydrated and slightly sensitive skin so I'm glad this one doesn't do that. My only criticism of this cleanser is that it stings my eyes so I can't use it for eye makeup removal. That doesn't put me off this though.

L'Oreal Paris Skin Perfection 3 in 1 Purifying Micellar Solution (Boots £3.33 on offer/£4.99) - Not a new product considering this is my fourth bottle of the stuff and it's nearly finished but this is going to be in my routine for a long time. It's such an inexpensive, high performing makeup remover that is gentle enough to use on the eyes as well as the rest of the face.

Elemis Rehydrating Ginseng Toner (Time to Spa £21.00) - I've mentioned my love of Elemis toners before, my favourite being the Soothing Apricot Toner, and I've repurchased them so many times now. They are amazing toners that are alcohol-free, delicately fragranced and incredibly soothing on the skin. They have a spray nozzle for direct use on the face or for spraying into a cotton wool pad. I don't like being without one of these toners.

Clarins Gentle Exfoliator Brightening Toner (Clarins £25.00) - This toner is a blogger favourite that removes the build up of dead skin cells as well as encouraging cell renewal. This can be applied once or twice a week. I do find that it leaves my skin feel quite tight after use but this is quickly rectified on application of my moisturising products. I don't think I've used this enough times to see a big change in my skin yet but I do think the area either side of my nose is improving as this is where I usually see dead skin cell build up, yuck! The one thing that worries me with this product is the fact that it warns you to use sun protection with it as it can increase your skin's sensitivity to UV rays. Obviously it's recommended that you use sun protection every day anyway but I don't like the thought of making my pale skin even more sensitive to the sun!

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo + (Escentual £15.50) - Another blogger favourite is Effaclar Duo, which I thought I had ordered from Escentual but then this new '+' version turned up. My research tells me that this has all the same benefits of the regular version but it also is good for reducing and preventing the scars that blemishes can leave behind. I suffer with this on my chin so I'm happy they have improved the formula! This product is suitable for all over the face but I've just been using it on the chin area where I get spots. I haven't noticed any reduction in red marks yet but I do find this very soothing on the skin and I think it reduces any spots I have as well as stopping spots in their tracks when they first appear. I've found this works well under makeup and doesn't dry the skin out at all like other spot treatments can do.

La Roche-Posay Hydraphase UV Intense Riche (Escentual £16.50) - I bought this from Escentual as well after deciding I wanted to dabble further with La Roche-Posay skincare. This seemed to be the perfect moisturiser for dehydrated skin. It comes in 4 versions, a light and an intense without SPF and a light and intense with SPF20. I opted for the intense due to the freezing cold weather drying out my skin and the SPF20 due to using the Clarins Exfoliating Toner as mentioned above. This is a really rich lotion that adds a lot of moisture to the skin. I like this element but I do find the product makes me a little shiny in the t-zone area. A bit of powder can easily fix this though. I'm really glad I tried this and I might try the light version in the Summer months. This product comes in a bottle with a pump so it's nice and hygenic, not to mention easy to dispense.

Kiehl's Skin Rescuer (Kiehl's £29.50) - I picked this up for free a couple of months back as my local Fenwick were offering it for free with a skin consultation. I thought this was really generous. This hydrating moisturiser was developed for dull looking skin and uneven skin tone. I've used this a few times and it's good at putting moisture back into my skin and taking away some redness. I'll keep this on hand for red skin days!

Elemental Herbology Cell Food (Space.NK £45.00) - This is a milky serum that helps add radiance to my skin. A little goes a long way with this which is good considering its price! This is definitely helping to keep my skin hydrated during the Winter.

Clarins Blue Orchid Face Treatment Oil (Clarins £30.00) - This is another product where a little goes a long way. This is a rich oil that I put on my skin before bed. It does leave my skin feeling a bit greasy but it sinks into the skin throughout the night delivering a big dose of hydration which you can feel when you wake up in the morning. There are other versions of this oil for oily and dry skins too if this is something you like the look of.

Bobbi Brown Hydrating Eye Cream (John Lewis £31.00) - I bought this on a bit of a whim after it was recommended by the lady on the Bobbi Brown counter who sold me the Corrector and Creamy Concealer Kit. I'm really liking this cream though. It's not really heavy but it provides just the right amount of moisture for my dry under eye area. It makes it a lot easier to apply concealer to this area.

Nuxe Reve de Miel Lip Balm (Nuxe £9.50) - I love this thick lip balm so much this is my second jar. It really smoothes the lips and gets rid of any dryness. It smells great too with its citrus scent. This is definitely worth investing in.

REN Invisible Pores Detox Mask (REN £18.00) - I haven't got round to using the masks from this photo yet as I haven't made time for it but I have used a sample of the REN one before. I have some large pores around my forehead and nose which the mask massively reduced in size. They really did look invisible! It also left the rest of my skin looking really clean and more even too. I need to make time to use this full size one now!

Elemental Herbology Facial Glow Radiance Peel (Space.NK £40.00) - I got this deluxe travel size version in a set with the Cell Food serum mentioned earlier. I'm looking forward to trying this when I want an extra boost of radiance.

Nuxe Creme Fraiche de Beaute Mask* (Farmaline £16.81) - This is going to be my face mask pick for when I want to inject some moisture in the skin, in addition to all of the other rehydrating products I've got in this post. I'm thinking it might be good to use after one of the masks above to make sure my skin isn't left too dry or sensitive. I could even go for a famous 'Triple Threat Facial' a la Caroline Hirons with all three of these masks!

So that's a lot of new skincare products to use this year which I'm enjoying so far. Let me know what skincare products you've been into lately and I'd love to hear your opinions on any of the above.

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Clinique Bonus Time at Fenwick

Clinique was where I made my first high end beauty purchase. I remember being armed with a big overdraft and my first ever student loan payment and I saw a tempting offer of a free gift whilst walking through Fenwick. It was a Clinique Bonus Time gift. If you don't know anything about these, it's a generous selection of travel sized items from the brand that you receive for free when you buy two products from Clinique, one of them has to be skincare. I still remember my purchases, they were the Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel and one of their mascaras.

Throughout the years I've indulged in more Clinique products and I've found that Bonus Time is the best time to buy as you get lots of extra stuff to try and you know I love having lots of products! Who doesn't love getting more for their money though?!

Fenwick currently have a Clinique Bonus Time promotion running until Saturday 8th February 2014 and it contains some great picks. Fenwick Newcastle have kindly provided me with one of the gifts so I can let my readers know more about the contents.

There are 8 products in this gift and they are housed in this fab re-useable makeup bag. I love the colourful design of the bag and I'll definitely use it next time I'm travelling.

Products included:
  • Blushing Blush Powder in Sunset Glow
  • Duo of Different Lipstick in Raspberry Glace and Lash Doubling Mascara in Black
  • Quickliner for Eyes Intense in Intense Black
  • Repairwear Uplifting Firming Cream
  • Repairwear Laser Focus Wrinkle Correcting Eye Cream
  • Superprimer Universal Face Primer
  • Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion +

I think Clinique have chosen a good variation of products in extremely generous sizes. I'm really pleased to find two products that were new releases last year as well. The Superprimer is something I have fancied trying since it came out and it's good that they've put the universal one in the gift so it is suitable for all skin types and tones. It's a 15ml sample which is actually half the full size that retails for £20 so this is a fantastic way to try the primer.

The Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion + is the other new release. This '+' version has been designed to strengthen the skin's own moisture barrier which sounds great as I have dehydrated skin. I tried this on my face and it is such a light feeling lotion that sinks into your skin immediately but leaves your skin feeling instantly hydrated with lasting smoothness throughout the day. I love this stuff and I'm so glad I got to try it! Whilst browsing the Clinique website, I noticed that this 30ml size is available to buy for £9.50 so already with the first two products I've talked about, this is a great gift never mind all of the other goodies!

The Rinse-Off Eye Makeup Solvent looks great. It's always good to have small bottles of these for travelling or even just trying out new ones as you don't have to buy the full size first. The size of the eyeliner is impressive. It looks full size to me and its formula is very soft which I like. No sharpeners needed for this product as it's in a twist up pen format.

The Repairwear face and eye creams are very rich so will be very soothing in this freezing winter weather even if you don't have wrinkles I'm sure you could get use out of these or it could make a nice little present for an older relative.

I'm loving the makeup additions in this gift too. The blush is such a pretty shimmering rose shade. I think this shade would be suitable on most skin tones as it's quite pigmented and not too light.

It's a great idea to include a duo product as it's very handy for carrying round in your handbag if you want to spruce up your look for night time or something like that. The mascara is perfect for lengthening the lashes as well as providing a little volume. The lipstick is a nice shimmery raspberry shade in a satin type formula, not too shiny or matte.

I really do love Clinique Bonus Time gifts as you get so much for your money and it feels good to get a little present. If you're liking the look of this gift but aren't sure what products to buy, I would recommend their Chubby Sticks, a fab way to add colour and moisturisation to the lips. For the skincare purchase, I would recommend their Superdefense Moisturizer. I used to use this moisturiser a while back and it's great at hydrating the skin as well as protecting it from the sun. I used it on my face during a hot break in Paris and my super pale skin didn't burn at all. I was so impressed. The product has been reformulated for release this year in a light silky formula but I'm sure it's still as good if not better now. These are just my favourites though, I'm sure you have your own or will have fun browsing the shelves in Fenwick!

Have you ever picked up a Clinique Bonus Time gift?
Do you like the look of this one?

Monday, 27 January 2014

FOTN: Trying out some new products

Last weekend I went out for some cocktails in town with my cousin and I thought it was a good occasion to try some of my new makeup. In particular, I really wanted to try my NARS Radiant Cream Compact Foundation in the shade Siberia. I don't wear foundation on a daily basis so this was my first night out since I received it for Christmas. I also fancied trying one of my NARS blushes and using my Naked 3 palette. Another new product was the YSL Gloss Volupte I bought with my Boots points the other week.

I used the Maybelline Big Eyes mascara from my Maybelline haul and I'm not that keen on it really. I don't think it's as good as their Rocket Volum' mascara which I love. This doesn't really volumise or lengthen my lashes that well. I do quite like the smaller brush for the lower lashes as it does a good job at separating and defining those. I did buy the waterproof version of this by mistake so I'm not sure if I'm not liking it because of that, maybe the non waterproof version is better. I won't be buying this again to find out though!

I haven't used my NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer much since I bought it as every time I try it under my eyes I can't seem to blend it in very well. I need to have a proper go with this when I get more time so for this look I used my bareMinerals Stroke of Light concealer under my eyes with a slight bit of the NARS concealer over the top for a bit of extra coverage. I still need to give my Bobbi Brown Corrector and Concealer Kit a go! I can just see that taking a bit of time to use as well so once I've had a proper go, I think I'll do a post on it so I can show the effects of using it.

I really love the NARS Radiant Cream Compact Foundation. It was a bit strange getting used to using a cream compact when I'm more used to a liquid foundation but the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge works really well with this. This foundation is so easy to smooth on to the face and the tip of the sponge makes for easy blending around the nose area. I found this to be a full coverage foundation that covered my spots and redness up whilst leaving a dewy finish. After taking this photo, I did decide to add a little powder over my forehead, nose and chin to set the makeup but I do love the finish of this foundation. It doesn't feel heavy on the skin and it lasted well for the 6 hours I had it on.

I love the Urban Decay Naked 3 palette for the fab range of wearable shades. I only used one of the shades for this look though as I wanted to keep the eyes quite simple so I went for the pretty 'Dust' shade. It's a gorgeous light shimmery pink gold shade with small pieces of glitter in. I did get a little fall out with this but I expected it to be honest!

Following the pink eyes and lips theme, I went for a bright blue based pink on the cheeks too. I chose NARS Blush in Gaiety and as you can see, it doesn't transfer on to the cheeks quite as bright, which is good! You can easily build this up to the intensity you want and I think it looks really pretty. I'm looking forward to using this more and giving my other NARS Blushes some love too.

That's it for the makeup but I wanted to share a few pics of some lovely cocktails. I had a gorgeous Bubblegum Daiquiri that was like a bright pink slush with popping candy on. It was delicious but I forgot to take a photo of that one! After being rather chilly from that cocktail, my cousin and I spotted some hot cocktails on a menu in a different bar so despite feeling a bit silly, we chose those! They were like liquid Terry's Chocolate Orange! So good! I had to have a good old Amaretto Sour too while my cousin had a lovely Strawberry cocktail that tasted so nice!

What new products have you tried lately?
What kind of make up looks do you go for on a night out?

Sunday, 26 January 2014

M&S: Cute bras for bigger boobs

So this is a first on Suzy Hearts Beauty, a post about bras! Finding good quality, cute bras in larger sizes for a reasonable price is quite a hard task. For ages, I haven't really bought any nice underwear as I tend to stick to buying plain coloured Freya bras for around £30 each at Debenhams. As much as I like these bras and find them a great fit, there's only so much plain black, white and nude you can take. Also, £30 a bra really adds up!

I was browsing in Marks & Spencers earlier in the week when I spotted some bright coloured lacy underwear with a cute leopard print bow that I really liked. I automatically assumed they would only go up to DD but then I realised they did them in their 30-40 DD-GG range too! The bras are only £14 each too and come in several different colours. I, of course, picked up the brightest colours, purple and red!

I find the sizing to be great on these and the quality is excellent too. There is a choice of knickers to go with them. I chose the brazilian style but you can also get a thong or shorts, and these are all £6 each. I think £20 a set is great for these and I'll certainly be heading to the M&S underwear section again to see if they have any more gems.

If you're interested in seeing these on the M&S site, here is the link which shows the bras and knickers from this 'Fun & Flirty' range.

Where do you buy your underwear from?
Does anyone have any recommendations for cute, reasonably priced bras for bigger boobs?

Saturday, 25 January 2014

My new arm candy

I've been lusting over Michael Kors bags for the last year or so now and I purchased my first one back in September. I've really been wanting a 'Selma' since and I thought I'd buy it in black but they seemed to be sold out for ages but then I walked into Fenwick earlier in the week and saw lots of brand new stock including this lush blue Selma and a bright pink one! I loved them both and couldn't leave the shop without buying the blue one. They also have those colours in the some other styles too, very tempting!

These bags are so nice and stylish. I never thought I'd spend £315 on a bag but I guess it could be worse, it could have been a Mulberry! I actually prefer Michael Kors bags though, I would own most of them if I could!

I'm assuming this colour is limited edition for Spring/Summer and it's official shade name is 'Summer Blue' according to the tag. I love the silver hardware on it and it has a detachable long strap for carrying it over the shoulder as well as the shorter handles for hooking over your forearm or simply holding in your hand. The bag is generously sized so you can fit lots of beauty essentials in here along with your packed lunch for work and an iPad if you have one! There are some fab inside pockets too, one big one with a zip along with some smaller ones. The inside fabric is beige with the 'MK' logo throughout. There is also a leather strap inside the bag with a metal fastening to attach your keys to so they don't get lost in your bag. If I could describe this bag in one word, it would be PERFECTION! So basically I'm love with a bag!

Please excuse my disgusting chipped nail polish but I was desperate to show my lovely new bag!

I haven't seen this colour on any websites yet so I'm unable to post a link for it but if you want this, I would definitely take a look in your local Michael Kors stockist. I absolutely love the Michael Kors department in Fenwick Newcastle. I must accidentally walk past it at least once a week!

Do you own a Michael Kors bag?
What is your favourite type of bag?

Friday, 24 January 2014

La Roche-Posay Lipikar Xerand Hand Repair Cream

The other week I placed my first order as I couldn't resist picking up some La Roche-Posay products with 20% off. I thought I'd share my thoughts on one of those products today as I've been absolutely loving it.

My hands have been so dry lately. It's probably due to the cold weather and I haven't been wearing gloves! I wanted a deeply moisturising product to repair my hands so when I spotted the Lipikar Xerand Hand Repair Cream for severely dry skin I thought this was just what I needed.

This is a paraben-free formula which I don't actively seek out but I'm glad when I see that on my packaging as I'd rather be putting fewer nasty chemicals on my skin if possible!

The first thing I noticed when I squeezed some product from the tube was that it's quite a light lotion. I expected it to be quite a heavy cream considering it's for super dry skin. It takes less than 30 seconds to massage into your skin and you're left with a non greasy finish and my hands instantly feel softer at this stage. The bit between my thumb and first finger has been getting especially dry and this just softens that up immediately. If you put this product on before bed, you will wake up with hands that are in much better condition. It really does feel like it repairs and moisturises the skin. I would go as far as saying it's the best hand cream I've ever tried! Oh and before I forget, I love the scent of this. It's just a gentle, fresh laundry sort of smell. Beautiful.

The other day my hands were exceptionally dry and sore after doing some tidying up and ripping up a lot of Birchboxes and the like for the recycling. Putting this on before bed meant my hands were restored for the next day and you would have never known what state they were in the night before! Just don't look at the chipped nail polish ;)

This is such a good price at £4.50 as it's cheaper than something like a Soap & Glory hand cream. I definitely recommend trying this product if you are suffering with dry hands too.

Have you tried this product or do you have any other La Roche-Posay recommendations?

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Maybe it's Maybelline!

Maybelline have brought out some great products in the last year including their Color Tattoos and Baby Lips lip balms. I've been loving their Rocket Volum' mascara too so I've been on the look out for their latest releases this month.

The thing I wanted most was, of course, the Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser, a massively hyped up product following on from the Baby Lips range. This is a silicone based primer which is meant to be similar to Benefit's The Porefessional primer which I have so it will be interesting to see if this is a cheap dupe for that.

Another product I've seen a lot of lately on blogs is the SuperStay Better Skin foundation which claims to even skin tone instantly as well as improving the skin within 3 weeks. I'm not too bothered about the improving skin part as I have a lot of new skincare products I'm going to introduce into my routine but I love a flawless base so I hope this is as good as I'm expecting. I also hope that their lightest shade '005 Light Beige' is light enough for my pale skin!


I don't do a lot with my brows apart from slick on some clear mascara to tidy them up a bit so I have been interested in Brow Drama since it's release last year as it's like a mascara wand but it's a tinted formula. I picked up the shade 'Dark Blond' so hopefully it will be a good match for my brows.

Maybelline are pretty good when it comes to mascaras in the drugstore so when I saw 'Big Eyes' I thought it looked good as it has an end for the upper lashes and a mini brush for the lower lashes. I've never had a separate upper/lower mascara before so I'm looking forward to trying this. I did notice after I bought it that I picked up the waterproof version by mistake though when I never buy waterproof! D'oh!

The ColorSensational Vivids collection came out early last year, if I remember correctly, and I loved all of the bright Summer colours but I only picked up the coral one. I'd always went back and swatched the Hot Plum one though so since there was a 'buy one get one half price' offer in both Boots and Superdrug, where I picked up these items from, it felt like the right time to get it.

I keep seeing the ColorSensational The Buffs collection popping up on American blogs/YouTube channels and I thought they seemed nice so when I saw a selection of nudes in Boots, I assumed this was the same collection and picked up the colour I liked most which was '725 Tantalizing Taupe', a nude brown shade which isn't something I normally go for. Upon doing some research, I'm now unsure whether these are our equivalent of 'The Buffs' or not as the shade names/range is different but I don't remember seeing these before. These are referred to as the ColorSensational Nudes on the Boots site so who knows. In fact, if anyone does know, I'd love you to let me know in the comments!

I'm loving Maybelline already this year and that's without even trying any of these products yet! I'm looking forward to seeing what else they bring out and I sure hope they bring the Color Elixirs to the UK as they seem amazing! Also spotted on the US site is a Falsies version of the Big Eyes mascara I bought so I'd be keen to give that a go too.

Have you tried any of these products?
What drugstore releases are you looking forward to in 2014?

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

L'Oréal Paris: Nude Magique Eau De Teint Foundation

The L'Oréal Paris Nude Magique Eau De Teint* foundation was a new release in 2013 and I was instantly intrigued about it as soon as I saw it. It promises a 'fresh feel' and 'weightless bare perfection' which is very appealing! I was lucky enough to be sent this for review so I was rather pleased when I opened this package!

First of all I wanted to start with how much I like the packaging of this product as it's really nice for a drugstore foundation. It's a frosted glass bottle with metallic lavender text across the front and a matching lid. It certainly looks nice on your dressing table.

The foundation is a very thin liquid which can be difficult to dispense at first as there is no pump on the bottle so you need to get used to how quickly you need to tip the bottle to get the right amount out. It's best to use your fingers to apply this foundation as it almost melts in to skin on first contact. It's really unique as when you rub it on to the skin, it feels like it turns to a powder as it's so light textured but it doesn't look powdery and it's easy to blend over the face.

This is quite a light coverage foundation so if you have a lot of spots, it's not going to cover them all but it definitely does a great job at covering redness and some blemishes. It feels so light on the skin that it doesn't feel like you have foundation on at all. It also makes me want to keep touching my face as it makes the skin feel velvety smooth.

As you can see from the arm swatches, the foundation is a bit too dark for my pale skin tone. I was sent the colour 110 Warm Ivory but there is a lighter colour called 100 Porcelain that would be a great match for me. 

Pre foundation photo

Me wearing L'Oreal Paris Nude Magique Eau De Teint foundation in Warm Ivory

Me wearing L'Oreal Paris Nude Magique Eau De Teint foundation in Warm Ivory

The price of this foundation is pretty fair at £9.99 for 20ml, especially considering it's quite different to other foundations in the drugstore.

I think this is a great option if you have fairly blemish-free skin with maybe some redness that you want to cover up. It's a massive plus point that you can't feel this on the skin as I hate the feeling of products all over my face!

Have you tried this foundation?
What foundations have you been loving recently?

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Last weekend's haul

Last weekend, like most weekends, I headed to town to check out some of the new Maybelline releases which unfortunately were either sold out or not on display yet! The initial disappointment soon faded though and I set my sights on other things!

As I mentioned in my 2013 Favourites post, I bought lots of Real Techniques brushes last year and have been so impressed with the quality and results. I decided to pick up the Miracle Complexion Sponge to use with my NARS Radiant Cream Compact Foundation and I think the Setting Brush will be perfect for setting the powder from the Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer Kit.

I had some Boots Advantage Card points to spend and I thought about buying the Dior Creme de Rose lip balm but I feel like £20 is quite excessive for a lip balm which isn't a particularly exciting purchase. I then spotted a deal on Lanolips which I've been wanting to try anyway so decided to save my points for something more special which I'll tell you about in a minute. The deal on Lanolips was buy the Lemonaid Lip Aid for around £9 and get the Rose one free! Sold!

I decided to stock up on some boring essentials like these double faced cotton wool pads. I always buy these ones as they are great quality. They are soft and don't fall apart when using liquids with them. They always seem to be on a 'buy one get one half price' deal too. I also stocked up on these cheap as chips Boots own brand cleansing wipes. I find these best for quickly removing my mascara as I can wrap the wipe around my lashes and ease the mascara off. Obviously this isn't the best method and you need to be careful but it suits me when I need to do it in a rush. They were 3 for £3.

On to my beautiful, special purchase using my Boots points. Just look at this amazing lipgloss from YSL. The Gloss Voluptes are a new release at the YSL counter which are in their permanent line but looking at the YSL site, I think the shade I bought is a limited edition Spring 2014 shade. My shade is 15 Grand Pepite and it's a beautiful coral pink shade full of shimmer. My photos do not do this product justice at all, I really need to get reading my Canon 600D for Dummies book! The packaging on this product is, as you'd expect with YSL, luxurious and stunning! I'm loving the formula of this gloss too. It's really balmy so it feels nice and moisturising without being sticky. The colour payoff is pretty good too as it's not one of those really sheer lipglosses, you do get a nice pop of colour with this.

Finally I thought I'd take a look at the latest MAC collection called Magnetic Nude. It contains lots of Extra Dimension products and some other things like lipsticks and Fluidlines. I did like the look of one of the Extra Dimension Skinfinishes but decided against buying it as I bought the 'Superb' shade last year and I didn't really get much use out of it so ended up selling it in a blog sale. I did end up buying one of the Extra Dimension blushes though and went for the pretty, shimmery light pink shade called 'At Dusk'. I think it will look great on my pale skin. The other purchase I made was one of the lipsticks from the permanent line. This is a shade I've been wanting to buy for about a year and for some reason didn't take the plunge. It's 'Creme Cup', which I'm sure you have seen on numerous blogs and may even own yourself. It just looks like the perfect creamy, pinky-nude shade. 

Have you done any new year shopping yet?
Maybe you're being sensible and using the stuff you got for Christmas though...

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

2013 Favourites

Today I present to you my favourite beauty products of 2013. If you're not sick of reading these posts already then read on to see what I loved in 2013!

I think 2013 was a great year for L'Oréal Paris. They had some great new releases and I've generally loved everything I've tried from the brand. Sometimes I find it hard to find shampoo and conditioner that 1) doesn't weigh down my fine hair, 2) still provides enough moisture so that it isn't dry and 3) doesn't irritate my fairly sensitive scalp. Often when using shampoos and conditioners I find that I have to alternate them with Head & Shoulders to stop my scalp from becoming too itchy. I decided to give the much raved about L'Oréal Paris EverRiche haircare range a go as it sounded great with it's botanical oils and paraben free formula. It was love from the very first wash with these! I originally tried the Nourishing & Taming variety of shampoo/conditioner within the range but I've went on to the Nourishing & Flowing range pictured above. Both varieties are amazing and smell really nice. The shampoo creates a rich lather leaving my hair feel super clean but not stripped. The conditioners are both rich and leave my hair with the right level of nourishment. I've got some shampoo and conditioner from the EverStrong range to try next as I reckon they will be great too!

Lots of beauty bloggers rave about Bioderma Micellar Solution for removing their makeup but I didn't really think it was worth the hype. I found it to be pretty expensive and it didn't remove my makeup as well as I would have liked. When L'Oréal Paris released their own version this year I thought I'd give it a go to see if I liked this version any better. Honestly, the Skin Perfection 3 in 1 Purifying Micellar Solution is simply amazing! The one pictured is my 4th bottle of the stuff! The price is unbeatable, especially when it's on offer for just over £3, it removes all of my makeup easily and it's available in lots of places (Boots, Superdrug, supermarkets, etc). What's not to love really?!

I haven't tried a lot of Bumble and bumble products but one of my most lusted after products was their Thickening hairspray so you can imagine my delight when I saw a travel sized version free with Elle magazine in the Summer. This is great for applying to wet hair before blow drying to add thickness and volume to fine hair. It doesn't make the hair feel sticky either so that's great. I've since bought another bottle of this from the sales for when this runs out!

In 2013, I bought a lot of new makeup brushes, mainly from Real Techniques and a few from EcoTools. I have to say, as brand in general, I've been loving Real Techniques. Their brushes are really good quality for the price and I'll happily keep adding to my collection! My most used brush from Real Techniques is the Buffing Brush which I love to use for flawless foundation application but I'm quite looking forward to experimenting with my other brushes this year too.

The EcoTools Bamboo Blush Brush is also very affordable and great quality. I like the size and shape of this one for (obviously) applying blush. It works for both cream and powder blushes but I do prefer it for powder application. It's also really soft!

A great concealer find this year is the Bare Minerals Stroke of Light which is really good for dark circles. It has a very peachy tone to it which is great for cancelling out blue tones! It's also really easy to apply with its long flat spongy applicator and feels cooling when it touches the skin.

Bourjois is another brand who seem to be bringing out great products lately and I was rather excited by the new primer offerings this year. They have matte and luminous versions but I went for the luminous version having quite dehydrated skin in need of a boost! It's from the Happy Light range that they released including a foundation and concealer. Unfortunately the lightest shade of foundation and concealer seemed rather dark so I can't try those but the luminous primer is amazing. It doesn't look much when I first apply it to the skin but I find it really does make my skin look luminous once I have my foundation on. It makes foundation easier to apply, I feel like it glides on better and you don't need to use as much. It's the only primer I've used that makes my skin look radiant.

My obsession with lip products went off the scale in 2013 and I seemed to accumulate a rather large amount of lipsticks as I've become more confident wearing bolder colours and different formulas. I took my first foray into matte lip products starting with the Maybelline Super Stay 24 Bold Matte in the shade Peach Cocktail. First all of all I would like to say how beautiful and bold that colour is. It's the perfect peachy-pinky-corally colour! Amazing for Spring/Summer nights out. You apply the colour end of this in a thin layer on to the lips and it is so pigmented. Once it dries it stays on for hours even after drinking numerous cocktails! It feels so comfortable on the lips too, especially with the addition of the balm end of the product. I've looked at other colours in this range and none of them have quite taken my fancy as much as this one but I'll certainly keep my eyes peeled for more in the future.

The YSL Rouge Pur Couture lipstick in the shade Fuchsia Clandestin was one of my favourite 'purchases' (free with Boots points!) of 2013. It just screams luxury with it's heavy gold casing and the product is beautiful. It's a glamourous pinky red shade and once applied it stays on for hours and hours! It's not even a matte lipstick so I'm amazed at its staying power! I'm definitely on the look out for more of these this year.

Lip crayons have become massive in the last year, with every brand appearing to create their own version. I'm definitely a big fan of these and would say my two favourite offerings have been the L'Oréal Paris Glam Shines especially in the shade Sin for Peach and the Bourjois Color Boosts. I love that these are quite glossy versions but still pigmented at the same time. The Bourjois Peach on the Beach shade is just wow! The peachy colour just makes you think of Summer doesn't it?

An item that I use pretty much every day is the original Urban Decay Naked palette. I tend to use the lighter shades on the left for an every day wash of colour that's suitable for work. Sometimes I do experiment with the other shades for nights out but certainly not enough! I get too lazy or I have too many other products! For some reason, despite loving this palette so much, I never bought the Naked 2 palette even though the cooler shades in that one are probably more suited to my skin tone. However, in December when the Naked 3 palette was released I went crazy for the rose gold packaging and super pretty pink toned eyeshadows. I can see this featuring in my 2014 favourites!

MAC Paint Pots are something I got round to trying in 2013. I think it's because of cream eyeshadows becoming quite popular among the drugstore brands, I fancied trying the MAC version which had been around for years. I now have two in my collection but the shade Vintage Selection is definitely my favourite. I've been loving this for nights out. It's so easy to swipe on to your eyelids with fingers and this one is a neutral colour that will go with most blush/lipstick but it also has an element of glitter/shimmer making it perfect for partying. It's really long-lasting too.

Finally, I thought I would mention nail polish. I've bought a lot of nail polish in the last few years so this is something I need to cut down on and try and get rid of some of the older bottles lurking around in my collection. Through experimenting I have found my two favourite brands though and they are Essie and the Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine formula. 

Essie feels quite luxurious to me for some reason even though they are cheaper than other brands such as Nails Inc. I just really like the packaging, the colour range and the wide brush that makes the polish so easy to apply. They have really fun seasonal collections too and I pretty much always have to buy at least one from each collection!

The Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine range is super affordable and a lot of their polishes are opaque in one shade which makes a sometimes tedious job, not too bad! They have really fun colours and the gel finish is really nice, making them look more expensive than they are.

The shades pictured are Essie Peach Daiquiri and Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine Pomegranate. Both lovely colours that are some of the most loved in my collection.

Do you share any of the same favourites as me for 2013?
Feel free to send links to your favourites as I'd love to read/watch them :)
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