Winter has pretty much gone now – thankfully – meaning I can do my first ever favourites post and boy, oh, boy, am I excited to do that! So let’s begin.
Winter is always a harsh time on my skin so the amount of moisturisers and skin products that I go through usually is beyond a joke but all changed this winter when I discovered these bad boys..
Clinique Moisture Surge
In October, I went to a Sephora (obviously!) in New York and the sales assistant recommended Clinique’s Moisture Surge to me – something I was pretty happy with as I’d heard such good things about it online but just didn’t know if it was for me. So I splurged a bit and bought a pot. It wasn’t too expensive, especially now considering how good it is with my skin, and my mum didn’t even blink at the price when I paid for it so it even had parental approval. Since that day, I’ve used it three times a day without fail – once in the morning as soon as I wake up so it has time to soak into my skin before I put make-up on top of it; once when I take my make-up off as I usually take my make-up off the minute I get in, knowing I don’t have to go back out again; and then once the second I climb into bed before I go to sleep. Even though a small amount of the gel-based moisturiser would be able to cover my whole face without a problem, I use generous amounts each time as I feel like my skin needs it. It also doubles up as a mask too – which is perfect! One 50ml tub lasts me about three months but considering how much I do use and how often, it is pretty good going! It’s not greasy at all, feels light when you put it on your face, soaks in really well and leaves your skin feeling soft and refreshed with a slight glow too – perfect when the weather is dull outside. There is no way I’m gonna be changing from this moisturiser as why change it if it does exactly what you want it to do? I would definitely recommend this product to anybody with any type of skin that craves moisture
Clarisonic Mia 2
There has been one product that I have wanted for absolutely donkey years yet never even considered buying because it was so expensive and that is a Clarisonic Mia 2. If you have never heard of Clarisonic before, they manufacture some of the best electronic face brushes known to the skincare world and have brushes that cater for every skin type possible. For the past 2+ years, I’ve been using a box standard Soap and Glory manual face brush to make sure all my pores are cleansed and exfoliated but the second I got my first big payslip from my current job, I went online and did the inevitable – ordered myself a Clarisonic Mia 2 in baby pink.. and I haven’t regretted it one bit. Even though it is expensive, it has made my skin so soft, clear and I rarely get any blemishes now so in my opinion, it is totally worth the £125. My Clinque Moisture Surge soaks in so well because of it and using it twice a day – morning and night – leaves my face feeling all fresh and clean. I did, however, break out a lot for the first two weeks of using it but I persevered and the results paid off – I guess the Soap and Glory wasn’t cleaning my pores as well as I thought it was. Along with the Clarisonic, I use Clinque’s Rinse-Off Foaming Cleanser to cleanse my skin and they are such a good combination. I only use the tiniest smidge of the cleanser on the brush every morning and every night and I soon look like Mr Stay Puft Marshmallow Man as it creates so much foam.
Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment
Never have I ever found an eye cream that is as good as Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment with avocado. It works instantly to get rid of dark circles and moisturises the most sensitive part of my face. I’m one of them unlucky souls that is cursed with dark circles and when I eventually bought this cream at the end of 2015, I hit the jackpot. The cream is a lovely consistency and works so well that the slightest blob will generously moisturise both eyes. You only apply it to the orbital bone (for all you non-scientific people, like me, it’s basically that sticky out bone just beneath your eye socket..) and massage it in gently in a circular motion with your finger and hey presto, magic! It is a small pot but I use it twice daily (first thing in the morning and last thing at night) and I’m just nearing the bottom of the pot, even though I bought it in December! I’ll definitely be purchasing this lifesaver again in the near future.
Garnier Micellar Water
Everyone and their mother seems to be raving about micellar water these days. The craze seemed to appear out of nowhere, and after trying out micellar water at the end of last summer/start of last winter, it isn’t hard to see why. Garnier’s Micellar Water is the best thing since sliced bread when it comes to make-up removal (I mean this as in it’s amazing, not that sliced bread was good at taking off make-up before this came along.. never tried that..). Even though it is available in a 400ml bottle, I always opt for the smaller travel size bottles of it as there’s nothing I hate more than lugging around huge bottles of toiletries if I’m stopping over somebody’s house for the night or travelling to and from London so it’s just easier for me to have the smaller bottle. But it works like a dream with taking off eye make-up, even waterproof mascara!!!!!!! All I do is soak a cotton pad in the micellar water and hold it firmly over my eye for a few seconds before gently wiping it away from my face, taking all the eyeshadow, eyeliner, mascara and all the junk with it. It’s so gentle – which is perfectly for your eye area – and so inexpensive considering how well it works.
With winter having the festive period right slap bang in the centre of it, I thought it was the perfect season to spruce up my make-up collection with some new additions that I’d wanted for absolutely ages!
Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit
There’s one thing that really annoys me when it comes to shopping in London and that’s the fact that nowhere stocks Anastasia Beverly Hills, so when I was in New York in October, I made it my mission to hit up Sephora and raid Anastasia Beverly Hills’ counter. Surprisingly, I came away with the cream contour kit (which I was told was a rare occurrence as the palette is so high in demand so it usually sells out within a day or so of being in stock). I’d always wanted it due to the fact that I love contouring (when I can be bothered) and always preferred a creamy consistency to a powder as I found the creams so much easier to blend. When I got back to London, I wore the contour kit on most days and absolutely loved it! So when I realised that Cult Beauty (a UK online beauty store) stocked ABH I decided to buy the powder contour kit too. And I haven’t looked back since. I’ve even ended up ditching my cream contour kit (apart from on days where I want a more dramatic make up look) for the more subtle and easy-as-hell-to-apply powder kit.
MAC Velvet Teddy Lipstick and Spice Lipliner
I don’t know if it’s just me but I find watching make-up tutorials on Instagram so relaxing, but it’s got to the point where I just want every single bit of make-up featured in my favourite accounts’ videos. And one video that especially caught my eye was a gorgeous deep nude lip tutorial that I can’t seem to find now but if I find it again, I promise to link it. It was quite a dramatic lip colour for me to say I usually stick to the neutral nudes and only dare for a bold colour when I’m actually going somewhere important but I fell in love and knew I ‘needed’ it. Thankfully, the account had posted the names of the products used and so I went on a mission on Christmas Eve to get me so lippy and some liner – MAC’s Velvet Teddy matte lipstick and MAC’s Spice lipliner. I didn’t open it until Christmas Day morning as I always love having new make up to wear on the big day itself and the second I put it on I was in love. I followed the instructions the tutorial said and the lipstick seemed to last all day. I’d tried matte liquid lipsticks before and loved the way they looked but felt they dried my lips out too much and it was more like a form of torture for me considering I’m constantly putting on lip balm, but this was perfect as it felt like it was moisturising my lips as well as looking great. I don’t wear it as an every day look but it’s definitely my favourite lip combo to reach for on nights out and special occasions.
Chanel Le Blanc De Chanel
Last payday, I was browsing around Boots and saw Chanel’s Le Blanc De Chanel and thought I’d give it a go. The description said it was multi-use with being able to be applied before foundation for more radiance, mixed with foundation to light the shade and applied over foundation for a subtle highlight so I thought ‘hey, kill three birds with one bottle’. And it’s fair to say I’m in love with this little white bottle. I was a bit dubious to apply it over make-up as I always find a liquid over a liquid based foundation causes it to go a bit patchy but this didn’t do that at all and left me with a really subtle hint of highlighter – something I wanted as part of my every day routine. It also makes a perfect base for days where I want a more defined highlight and acts as a primer for my highlighter, keeping it in place pretty much all day.
Urban Decay Naked Smoky
Since I started my high end make-up collection last, last summer, I’ve been lucky enough to buy all three Naked eyeshadow palettes and love them all so much.. so when Urban Decay announced they were releasing yet another one, I cried with joy but my bank account cried in pain. I waited a few months and then the week before Christmas, treated myself to it with my tips I’d saved up from work. Naked Smoky is now my favourite eyeshadow palette that Urban Decay have released and I can’t even remember the last time I touched the other three as this just has every colour and shade I could possibly want for a smoky eye. As much as I love the other palettes, I just feel like Smoky is aimed more at a brown, nude, smoky eye whereas the other palettes never seemed to have the right shades for a proper smoky eye and I always had to use two palettes for one look, rather than just one – I guess ‘Smoky’ kinda gives the aim of the game away. I also love the brush that comes with this palette. Naked 1, 2 and 3 came with great brushes but they were all so similar and it got to the point where I didn’t even know which brush came with which palette as they were pretty identical. However, Smoky was a game changer and came with a more precise brush on one end and a fluffy blending brush on the other – p e r f e c t! Smoky is aaaaaaaaaamazing for the perfect smoky eye (good job naming it, UD!)
Bits and Bobs
Winter is the coldest time of the year (unless you live in England and it’s just the same as all year round) so I find having bubble baths regularly keeps the summer blues at bay and makes me all warm, relaxed and prepared for long, cosy nights in. So I like to get a few of my favourite bath bombs every time I go to Lush and my ultimate one this winter has been Sex Bomb! It turns the bath a gorgeous pink colour, which reminds me of Calpol (a children’s strawberry flavoured medicine in the UK that I confess I sometimes faked being ill just so my mum would give me some) and smells so relaxing. I was pretty much a Lush bath bomb fanatic this winter so every chance I got, I’d be straight in the bathroom, plopping a bath bomb into the running bath and watching it fizz like a child. No ragrats.
And finally, my holy grail perfume for the past six months.. Chanel’s Chance Eau Vive. If you haven’t smelt this yet, go to your nearest perfume counter at Boots or Debenhams or Macy’s or wherever and smell it. It is the best scent I’ve ever smelt on a perfume since Victoria’s Secret broke my heart and discontinued their Dream Angel. It’s a scent that stays on all day, even with just one spritz and it’s such a refreshing smell. I’d wanted it for ages and it was only until I went to the Chanel counter in Macy’s Herald Square on my birthday that my mum talked me into getting it. Every time I smell it now it reminds me of New York and makes me so happy (and a little bit sad because I miss the Big Apple)! I love this perfume so much that it’s probably gonna be my spring scent, and summer scent, and autumn scent too but hey ho.
So that’s my Winter favourite blog post – something I’ve wanted to do for absolutely ages. I’m sorry for how long it was but I had so much to get through and didn’t want to miss any out!