Wednesday, 31 December 2014

2014 Favourites

So here we are at the end of 2014 already. I find it really scary to think I'll be 30 next year! I've got so many things I wanted to do by that age so 2015 is going to have to be the year of putting things into action! Really that means not shopping as much too since the things I want to do involve saving lots of money! Anyway... enough of this saving talk, let's look at my favourite products of 2014!

My favourite hair products were both by Bumble and Bumble and are the Bb Thickening Full Form Mousse and the Dryspun Finish. It was inevitable that I would buy the Dryspun Finish as it was one of the most raved about hair products about a year ago! I was feeling a bit spendy that day so thought why not have the mousse as well! The mousse is great at adding lots of thickness and body to my hair during the blow drying stage of styling my hair and the Dryspun Finish is great at adding extra texture and fullness after straightening my hair. No doubt there are cheaper products on the market that do the same thing but I'm not much of a hair person and only really use these for nights out so they have lasted me a long time!

After years of peering through into the Jo Malone concession at Fenwick, on another 'feeling spendy' day I finally bought a candle and a fragrance from there. The fragrance has turned out to be one of the best purchases of the year! I was quite original with my choice and chose one that I've never seen on a blog before. I went for the Blue Agava & Cacao one and it's simply amazing! It has a lot of sweetness to it, which is my ideal type of scent, but it also smells a bit musky and smoky so it's not like a cheap, young scent! It smells expensive and my fiancé always compliments me when I have it on.

My favourite type of cleanser is a balm cleanser and I've tried a few different ones this year as well as revisting some old favourites but the standout product in this category has to be the Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel. It's a pink (awesome!!) balm that turns into an oil when you massage it into the skin. It has the beautiful aroma of rose and it feels very luxe. It leaves my skin feeling hydrated and clean. I thought this was going to be pipped to the post by the Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm which I thought was even more luxurious and moisturising but I realised it was giving me really bad spots on my chin! They disappeared when I went back to my trusty Oskia cleanser.

The Sarah Chapman Morning Facial and Overnight Facial were late entries to my stash this year but they immediately became my favourite serum/treatment type products of the year. They are both incredibly hydrating but sink in fast. They have a herbal scent that smells really nice and they both manage to leave my skin glowing! I really, really love these!

The Lush Tea Tree Water Toner* has been a real treat for my skin over the last few months. Having dry, dehydrated skin, I wasn't sure this product would be for me as tea tree tends to be targeted at oilier skins but I've found this to be perfect for my skin. It's very refreshing on the skin and I love the fresh smell. I like how you can spritz it directly on to the face or on to a cotton pad first like I do. This doesn't dry my skin out at all and it's great for the hormonal blemishes I get on my chin. It really helps to calm them down.

The NARS Dual Intensity Eyeshadows were released this year and the shade Callisto has become my favourite single eyeshadow this year. In my Modern Autumn Makeup post, I described this as a grown-up silver colour. It has a metallic finish with finely milled shimmer running through it. It's very pigmented and that's just using it dry! I love wearing this for nights out.

The Body Shop All-in-One Instablur Eye is a brilliant eye primer that can be used all around the eye to prep the skin for concealer as well as eyeshadow. I use it more for eyeshadow but it's fab at making your eyeshadow more intense and it helps it to last longer too. This is as good as the Urban Decay eyeshadow primer but cheaper!

For years I'd wanted to try the MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural powder so I bought it this summer. It's definitely my favourite powder now and I like that it comes in a variety of shades so you can get one to match your skintone. It does a good job at getting rid of shine and setting your foundation. It doesn't look cakey if you use a light hand too.

My favourite foundation of the year is the YSL Le Teint Touche Eclat Foundation. I'd wanted this for a while but always thought even the lightest shade looked a little dark for me. After swatching it quite a few times, I decided that B10 was actually a good match for me and I am so glad I made that decision. This probably has the best finish of any foundation that I've ever tried on my skin. Foundation can end up looking a little patchy on my dry areas, especially on my nose but I don't get ANY dry patches with this foundation. It has a really good medium coverage and leaves the skin looking dewy and radiant. I absolutely love this stuff.

This year I've got through 3 tubes of the wonderful NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Chantilly. When I first tried it, I actually wasn't that impressed but then I went back to it and it's been love ever since. This concealer does EVERYTHING! It covers dark circles, redness and blemishes. It goes on the skin really smoothly, doesn't cake up and is easy to blend in. There's been so many occasions where I've just put little dots all round my face and buffed it in and it's really improved the look of my skin! It doesn't feel heavy despite it being full coverage too.

Thanks to starting to ship to the UK at the beginning of the year, I discovered the Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blushes (plus over £1000 worth of other products! Gulp!) and I haven't looked back. I think I now have 9 different shades of these as I love them so much. I love the shade range, they are super pigmented and they are long lasting. I love the cute packaging too! My favourite shade of all has to be Tipsy - the coral shade on the right! (I have a spare one in my blog sale if you have been wanting this too).

Since the summer, I've been dabbling with a little bronzing and contouring which led me to discover an amazing combo. I've got a full post on them here but I love the NARS Bronzing Powder in Laguna, applied with a light hand to contour my face or just as a subtle bronzer all over the cheek. In the pan this looks way too dark for my skin but it really does work on me! The MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Soft & Gentle is the perfect champagne highlighter that adds a wonderful glow to the cheekbones without looking glittery. The shade is perfect for pale skin tones as well.

I've been a fan of Lush lip scrubs for a while now but the Santa's Lip Scrub from last Christmas has been my favourite one. It's cola scented so it smells so tasty and it does a great job at gently removing dead, flaky skin from the lips. I managed to pick up another one from this year's sales but they aren't on the website anymore. The Bubblegum and Popcorn ones are amazing too though.

The Cherry Carmex Lip Balm has been the most effective lip balm I've found this year and it's really inexpensive too. This really sorts out dry, flaky lips and it smells lovely. It has a slight tingling sensation but I really like that as it feels like the product is working!

My two favourite lipstick formulations of the year are the YSL Rouge Pur Coutures and the newly launched NARS Audacious lipsticks. They both have a satin finish and are extremely long lasting. They are so good for nights out where you are planning to eat and drink quite a lot! I love that they both have extensive shade ranges. The YSL packaging is amazing as always, who doesn't love gold packaging?! The NARS packaging is also great. It isn't their usual matte rubber packaging that attracts lots of fingerprints, it's a sleek metal casing with a satisfying magnetic lid! My favourite shade in this line is Janet, a gorgeous berry shade I've been wearing a lot lately but I've added another two shades to my collection already.

I couldn't not include Makeup Revolution in my favourites. They only launched this year but they have such a large range of high quality products at low prices. They have a lot of dupes for high end products too so definitely check them out! I've included them in my favourites for their fantastic palettes. I love every single one that I've tried. They have so many eyeshadow palettes that contain extremely pigmented shadows that feel like they are so much more expensive. If I had to recommend one, I'd go with the Flawless palette as it contains 32 gorgeous, very wearable shades for only £8. I've tried one of their blush palettes too and they have the same quality, pigmented shades. They are such great value for money and you can really afford to experiment with lots of different looks. They have so many new launches that I'm keen to try as well, including their Golden Sugar and All About Pink palettes. 

My final and favourite favourite of the year is a non-beauty one. I became an auntie to my gorgeous nephew Jack who was born in early November and he's the best thing ever! He's super cute and I love him so much. I could honestly spend hours just staring at him! I bought him a little Newcastle United kit for Christmas so he could be just like my brother. I think it was my brother's favourite present for him!

So that's it for my 2014 favourites. There were a lot of things I loved this year! 
Here's to 2015! Hope it's a brilliant year for everyone :)
Happy New Year!

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

December Favourites 2014

I haven't been blogging as much as I would have liked lately so I didn't get round to doing a November Favourites post but I'm back with a December Favourites!

I've been loving The Body Shop Christmas shower gels, in particular the Glazed Apple one that smells a bit like Apple Sourz! The Body Shop shower gels are always really nice to use. They are quite thick and lather up well. They also leave the skin feeling fairly moisturised.

I picked up the Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream in a set I got from Barcelona Airport when I was in desperate need for a lip balm before boarding my flight. I had the Eight Hour Cream sitting in a bag for a blog sale for ages but I decided to use it recently after seeing a few glowing reviews and I've been loving it! I've only used it on my winter chapped lips but it does an amazing job at moisturising them and adding a little non-sticky, glossiness to the lips. I'll definitely try it on any other dry areas when they appear.

The Sarah Chapman Skinesis Dynamic Defense sample was in a Space NK gift with purchase from a little while back so I decided to pull this out and it's amazing! It's a really lovely moisturiser as it's rich but it sinks in fast and really adds some much needed hydration. What I love most is the glow it adds to the skin. It has light reflecting properties that add radiance to the skin without looking glittery/shimmery! I don't want my sample to run out!

Ages ago, I treat myself to the Charlotte Tilbury set called The Uptown Girl containing a kit of her makeup products. Sometimes I'm pretty bad at trying new products as I like to keep them looking pristine and it's all rather sad really! I've slowly been getting round to trying the products individually and I've found the Full Fat Lashes Mascara to be wonderful. When I first saw the brush, I didn't expect much as I usually prefer the plastic bristles rather than fibre ones but the brush is actually packed with bristles all the way round meaning it picks up all of the hairs, even the tiny ones! I think this is great at really defining and separating all of the lashes, it adds a nice amount of volume and curl but never looks clumpy! The packaging is also beautiful.

On one of my many Christmas nights out, I searched my makeup stash for a red lipstick and had quite the swatching session, as you can imagine with someone who owns hundreds of lip products haha. I settled on the Laura Mercier Creme Smooth Lip Colour in Red Amour which I have a sample of from a Sephora value set. It's the first lipstick I've tried by Laura Mercier and I'm really impressed. As the name suggests, it applies really smoothly but it's super pigmented too. I found it to be really long lasting with a satin finish. I loved this shade of red as I found it looked very brightening and juicy! That probably sounds like a weird description haha. I found it went really well with a bronze eye and glowing skin with a bit of bronzer.

I was all about the glow in December so another product that was helping with that is the Charlotte Tilbury Wonder Glow Instant Soft Focus Beauty Flash which I was lucky enough to win in one of Amelia's giveaways in the summer. Looking at this product in the tube, I wasn't sure it would really go with my super pale skin but I was totally wrong! It's a beautiful gold shimmery liquid that blends out to leave a radiant looking complexion. It doesn't add any colour to the face. On it's own, some may find this a little too shimmery but I find this works really well under foundation. It provides a smooth base for foundation so I find I don't get any dry patches like I often do without primer and it adds a glow from underneath. It's expensive but it's worth it!

The NARS Sheer Glow Foundation in Siberia was my foundation of choice in December. The shade is the perfect match for my skintone and I find the foundation really perfects my complexion. It's good at covering redness and some blemishes. If my spots are particularly bad, I still need to cover them with concealer along with my dark under eye circles! The foundation doesn't feel heavy on the skin and it's not too matte or too dewy. 

My final favourite was a new purchase in December. I bought the NARS Highlighting Blush in Albatross with a Space NK voucher I received as part of a gift with purchase in November. I've never been interested in this product before but I discovered it when I was swatching everything NARS in-store! Being super pale skinned, I don't normally go for gold highlighting products as I feel I suit cool toned shades better however this is a really cool toned pale gold. It adds the most gorgeous sheen to your cheekbones and it's not glittery. I absolutely loved this in December! I find it's good to use with The Body Shop Honey Bronze Bronzing Powder in the lightest shade Light Matte. They are a really good combo for pale skin. 

Hope you enjoyed seeing what my favourite products in December were. My 2014 Favourites are coming soon!
What products were you loving in December?

Monday, 29 December 2014

Boxing Day Sales 2014

As the shopaholic that I am, I can never pass up the Boxing Day sales, even if that does mean getting into town between 8am and 9am the day after Christmas!! I just never really see much in the online sales and I prefer buying in-store anyway.

My first stop was Boots, as always! I love buying the reduced perfume sets and rarely buy perfume for myself at any other time of year. I picked up the Moschino Pink Bouquet set for just £21. I've never had this perfume before but I was totally drawn into the sweet fruity and floral scent. I also picked up the Dolce & Gabbana The One set as I've bought this perfume about 3 times previously and love it so much. It's quite a citrusy fragrance and it's just divine. I can't find a link for this 30ml set, only the 50ml version from Debenhams here.

Last year I was hoping to pick up the set of Soap & Glory Sexy Mother Pucker Gloss Crayons but I think they sold out before Christmas so there wasn't any in the sale. This year they had a few so I managed to pick one up. Not bad getting 3 full size crayons for £8 since they cost that each normally!

This Clinique Party Prep set was a purchase I made the following day as I couldn't decide whether to get it or not on Boxing Day. I realised I had £20 worth of Advantage Card points to spend though so decided to spent £16.66 on this fab set. You get a full size Lash Power Mascara which is worth £18 alone then minis of the Chubby Stick, Nail Polish and Deep Comfort products. I love the cute makeup bag you get as well. I did buy a few more sets in Boots but I'm not showing those as they are for January birthdays!

I went to Debenhams to see what other perfume sets they had but there didn't seem to be much. I did end up spotting this amazing YSL Radiant Makeup Christmas Gift Set though and thought it seemed like you got a lot for your money. It was £33 and you get a full size Volume Effet Faux Cils mascara, a full size Touche Eclat and a 15ml Forever Youth Liberator Serum. I worked this out to be around £90 worth of product. Amazing! I haven't used the mascara or Touche Eclat for years so I'm excited to have those in my stash again!

Whilst passing Whittard on one of my many trips to Lush (which involved me walking in, picking up some items then deciding the queue snaking round the entire shop was too much too handle then walking out) I spotted some half price hot chocolates in the window. Being a massive Amaretto lover, I had to have Amaretto Hot Chocolate for just £2.75.

I had to wait until 11am on Boxing Day for Space NK to open, which was slightly annoying since I'd done my other shopping before 10am so had to hang around but I was almost first in the shop so was able to choose what I wanted. I wouldn't say they had too much though to be honest. Their online sale wasn't very good either. I did pick up two Laura Mercier sets that I'd been interested in before Christmas so I'm really happy I got those for £12.50 each. I got the Lip Transformer Trio in Pink Spark and the Eye Transformer Trio in Rose Quartz.

John Lewis didn't open until the 27th December but I managed to pick up a fab OPI set when it did open! It's the Rollin' in Cashmere set containing 3 full sized polishes and I only paid £14.98 for it. Even the sales assistant who served me was surprised at the price and wanted one for herself!

Two days after the sale started in Lush, I managed to get in without there being a queue. Unfortunately it meant the gift sets were long gone so I had to make do with a few random products that were left. The main thing I wanted was some Rose Jam shower gel though so I was very happy to see a few bottles of that on the shelves. I also picked up the So White shower gel as I thought it sounded lovely, some of their 'Fun' with the scent of Honey I Washed the Kids, which I love, and a Santa's Lip Scrub. I bought this cola scented lip scrub last year and loved it so I was glad to pick up some more as my other one went out of date.

I'm really happy with everything I managed to pick up in the sales. Plus I only spent Christmas money and didn't put any of my own money towards it. I was determined not to go too overboard and spend for the sake of it. It's very easy to buy things just because they are half price, rather than because you really want them!

Did you manage to pick up any bargains?
Please leave links to your Boxing Day sales hauls too :)

Huge blog sale on now!

Quick post to let you know I've got a new blog sale on. Lots of MAC, Clarins, MUFE, Tarte and more...

Click here to go to my blog sale.

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

'Love Your Body' Member Event at The Body Shop - Eldon Square, Newcastle upon Tyne

For any local readers, I wanted to let you know about a fab event taking place on Thursday 4th and Friday 5th December 2014. New and existing 'Love Your Body' members will receive 40% off all purchases and if you spend £30 after the discount has been applied, you will receive a fab goody bag!

The goody bag contains the Honeymania Bubble Bath Melt, Vitamin E Cream Cleanser, Absinthe Purifying Hand Cream and the Vanilla Lip Gloss.

I was invited to the store last week (along with some other North East bloggers who you may spot in my photos!) and was given one of the goody bags and I was super excited to see all of those items in there as I hadn't tried any of them before. The Honeymania Bubble Bath Melt smells amazing! I haven't used it yet as I mostly have showers but I'm really looking foward to setting some time aside for a lovely relaxing bath. It looks a bit like a pot of honey and it has a nice floral scent. Much nicer than honey, which I'm not a big fan of!

The Vitamin E Cream Cleanser is a creamy lotion based cleanser you can wipe off with a cotton pad rather than needing to wash it off. This makes your skin feel sooo soft! It still gives a clean feeling too but it would be amazing on sensitive skins that suffer from tight, stripped skin with regular wash off cleansers.

I wasn't sure if I'd like the Absinthe Purifying Hand Cream but it has such a nice fresh, clean scent that makes your hands feel clean too. It's really enjoyable to use as it sinks in so quickly and moisturises your hands really well. I work with a load of men and they have even been enjoying the hand cream as it's quite a unisex product, both in appearance and scent!

The Vanilla Lip Gloss is a gorgeous shimmery lip product that is perfect for this time of year. Everyone loves a bit of sparkle at Christmas and this looks great on its own but you could also layer it over a lipstick for a bit of colour and sparkle. The lip gloss isn't sticky at all and feels like it moisturises the lips. The vanilla scent is beautiful too.

So if you're thinking of picking up some Christmas presents for your loved ones or even fancy treating yourself to all of the new Christmas goodies, now is the time to head to the Eldon Square store! I've got another post here packed with photos of all the Christmas products so it's definitely worth a look if you want to see what's available.

If you're not currently a 'Love Your Body' member, it's super easy to join in store. It costs £5 to join but this entitles you to the 40% off for this event and 10% off all year round. You will also get a little body butter for joining!

As a special little treat for my readers, be sure to mention 'Suzy Hearts Beauty' on Thursday 4th or Friday 5th December 2014 in the Eldon Square store to receive an extra little mini goody bag and VIP service.

Sounds good doesn't it?
Let me know if you're planning on going :)

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Tarte Giveaway Ended

The Tarte giveaway has now ended and the winner has been announced on the original post here.

Thanks to everyone who entered :)
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