Featuring some absolute CRACKERS
We’ve now turned the page onto the second, and most arguably the better, half of the year. Christmas is closer than it is further away, we’ve still got a couple of months of summer to enjoy and England have made it to a World Cup quarter final for the first time in yonks. I have hummed ‘It’s Coming Home’ under my breath since 10pm last night. Aside from about a million moons being in retrograde and me feeling like I’m about to throw my phone out of the window about fifteen times a day (which I’m 100% SURE must be the moon’s fault), it’s really rather glorious right now, isn’t it? If I could only source a fan from somewhere. #HotWeatherProblems
So to celebrate hitting this milestone I thought I’d do a check-in on my half-yearly beauty favourites. 2018 has seen me discover some new items, so good in fact that they were promptly added to my everyday stash and some even repurchased during this pretty short window already. How did I manage without them, eh? LIFE-CHANGING. I am all the better for them. I am a completely different person. I NEED THESE IN MY LIFE. Of course that’s all very dramatic and I’m sure at this point last year I was pretty much exactly the same just with slightly less of a forehead wrinkle situation, but I’ve enjoyed using the following and they have in some way made an impact in my routine over the past six months. So here it goes…
Skinceuticals Hyaluronic Acid Intensifier Face Serum. I’ve been using Hyaluronic Acid-based serums in my routine for a couple of years now, but I haven’t ever seen as much of a transformation in my skin as I did when I started to use this one. It’s bloomin’ pricey (and yes after being kindly gifted a PR sample I have dished out my dollar for a repurchase because it’s just that good), but it’s a formula that not only drenches the skin in HA, but also stimulates the skin to produce more of it. Isn’t that genius!? So it’s an investment for sure, but I have noticed a change in my hydration levels. Plus your skin feels silky smooth after; it’s glorious to apply.
May Lindstrom The Youth Dew Hydrating Facial Serum. MY BABY! I would actually say that this is my favourite product in my skincare routine right now. Isn’t that big praise?! But seriously if I was to lose it all and have to start again, this would be the first product that I’d buy. Again ridiculously expensive (again something that I’ve bought myself twice), it’s something that I can fully justify, especially after watching Caroline’s video with May herself. My skin drinks it up and never feels clogged by the oil, but instead it just glows and feels plumper than ever. I try to restrict myself to just using it in the evenings, but it’s crept into my morning routine and has become a twice-a-day occurrence for me. OOPS.
Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask. There’s some luxurious feeling about a cream textured mask and this feels exactly that whenever I apply it. It’s a thick cream that can either be worked into the skin in a thin layer as a deeply nourishing moisturiser, or applied heavier as a leave-on mask that they suggest leaving to sink in or tissue off. Personally I would never tissue off such a beautiful product, but I do find myself using it both of the other ways. Sometimes I apply a light layer if I’m feeling really dry over the aforementioned oil – especially if I’ve been travelling or I’m feeling frazzled by the sun or air conditioning – or I leave it on thick, have a bath and let it sink in for a couple of hours. BLISS. My skin feels as soft as a baby’s backside after using it.
Drunk Elephant T.L.C Sukari Babyfacial. All these nourishing products that I’m mentioning work even more effectively on my complexion when I’ve sloughed away any dead skin fist, and that’s where this comes in. It’s a highly effectively chemical exfoliant that contains 25% AHA and 2% BHA which is high for a product that’s available on the high-street shelves. Given this potency I was pleasantly surprised to find that the experience of using the product was actually really enjoyable, especially given my sensitive redness-prone skin. It tingles a little, but I experience no feelings of burning and when I remove it after 20 minutes I feel so darn fresh. Partnered up with a nourishing mask or my favourite oils, it’s fast become a weekly must-do for me.
Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter in 2 Light. When I first bought this product I did not understand how to use it, or what it even was HOWEVER I can hand on my heart now say, that I totally get it and understand why everyone has been raving about it online. It’s not really a highlighter or a primer or a perfect fit for any current makeup category; but I like to use it pre-foundation to pump up the glow big time. On its own I can look a little ‘Tinman’, but blended out with a formula on top it just makes your skin look juicy. It’s also a good one to have on hand if you find that you end up looking dry throughout the day. Do a few pumps of a hydrating spritz, with this taken over the top on a BeautyBlender and you will be giving J.Lo a run for her money.
NARS Laguna Liquid Bronzer. I’ve only been using this for the past two months, but it’s really become a top performer in my beauty stash. Being a liquid, it can be slightly more of a faff to apply than a powder, but I’ve found it to be way more multi-tasking. Not only do I take one dot blended over my cheeks as a bronzer, I can also add it to foundations to deepen them as I’ve caught a little bit of a tan (a.k.a barely nothing, let’s face it) over the heatwave, and also taken a couple of pumps over my legs or any exposed skin as an instant tanner. It’s been SO HANDY.
Lancome Monsieur Big Waterproof Mascara. I haven’t felt this way about a mascara for a long time. I’ve dabbled and I’ve found decent formulas that have satisfied by needs, but this stuff really gets the job done. I know I’ve said it a million times before, but I like a waterproof formula as the low water content and high oil and wax content, means that they hold a curl really well. This doesn’t just do that but also adds to the non-existent natural curl in my eyelashes, doesn’t flake or smudge and fans out my lashes with just the right amount of separation and volume. Just make sure you use the Clarins Instant Eye Makeup Remover to take it off.
Hourglass Arch Brow Shaping Gel. I used to be a Glossier Boy Brow gal through and through, but when this range was released I switched immediately. I think it’s the brush that’s the winner for me. As someone who has pretty massive brows, I don’t mind the wand being slightly bigger and I like the fact that it’s got a short flat side that’s good for brushing up the front bit of my brows and then a denser longer side to get through the tails. I prefer Clear as it pins them down, but doesn’t add any colour.
Laura Mercier Velour Extreme Matte Lipstick in Vibe. You knew this one would be in here, right? If I’m not wearing a balm product on my lips, then I’m wearing this. It’s basically all I’ve worn lipstick-wise for the whole year. The colour is a great nude that isn’t too peachy or brown or pink – you know the deal – and the twist up pencil format means that you can sort of use it as a lip liner too, plus it’s easy to apply and slim to store. Really though, it’s the texture that gets me. I love a colour to be matte on the lips and this is sheen-free, but without feeling like you’ve caked your lips in flour and zapped every ounce of moisture out of them.
Hair by Sam McKnight Cool Girl Texturising Spray. Just the one for haircare! I have to say that it’s not really my area of expertise and as long as my hair is clean and dried and then I can stick it up into some kind of pineapple or fashion it into pseudo beachy waves then I’m all good. I rarely go in with any extra product aside from shampoo as I’ve just felt recently that texturising products either leave my hair feeling really dry (eww!), or really greasy (even more eww!). But actually this spritz does neither of those things and actually holds the wave in my hair, adds some oomph and takes away shine and slip which I get if my hair is a little too clean. A good product to begin with if you haven’t used something like it before, but also a cracking one if you’re feeling disheartened with crisp-inducing products.
Photos by Emma Croman
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