Glossier Solution 4 Weeks In; Is it The Solution or The Problem?

I’ve been using Glossier’s Solution chemical exfoliator for 4 weeks now, and I wanted to come back and let you know how I’m getting on with it, on my combination and usually fairly clear skin.

Firstly I’ll explain the different between a chemical and a physical exfoliant. You’ll no doubt be familiar with physical exfoliants – usually cream based and with bit of grit in them designed to slough away the dead skin cells on your face, leaving a clean and clear soft layer of skin behind. I used to use the St Ives Apricot Scrub a few times a week and it gave good results. But then I switched to the Pixi Glow Tonic, which is a chemical exfoliant. Chemical exfoliants use a mixture of different acids, in different strengths, to take away dead skin cells but also manage and maintain the levels of sebum your skin produces (which makes you oily), reduce and manage breakouts, minimise acne scarring and redness and leaves your skin feeling soft and glowy. Or at least that’s what they claim to do.

When Glossier announced their Solution to all of these problems, I took notice. I think everyone took notice. If there’s one thing that Glossier have got right over the last year it’s causing a stir with their marketing and word of mouth hype.

I had some store credit, so thought I’d splurge and give it a try.

Let’s start with describing my skin – I have generally clear skin. I have redness, and I get hormonal breakouts, usually only on my chin. I have an oily t-zone so find benefit to using masks to clear this out. When I get breakouts, my skin will scar for a long time before the marks fade. My pores are fairly large and I have quite sensitive skin. I’m nearing 35 years young now, so I have fine lines, and my skin isn’t as glowy as it once was.

I had seen this formula was meant to clear breakouts and prevent new ones, even the skin tone, reduce acne scarring, exfoliate (of course) and leave a balanced and healthy skin tone ongoing. There have been a lot of articles about the content of chemicals in this product and I won’t pretend to understand any of these. If you’re interested, a simple search will tell you all you need to know.

For this review, I’m going to tell you my experience with this product, as well as including weekly pictures of my skin.

Let’s start with that packaging:

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Solution arrives in a space-age foil wrapped package that you have to rip open at the top to get to the product inside. All the ingredients and such are printed on the front, in a very ‘prescription’ type way.

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The bottle itself costs £19 (when it’s in stock) and contains 130ml (4.4 fl oz) of product. The shiny pink packaging is pleasing to the eye, and I was very excited to try the pump under the cap, as I hadn’t used one of these before.

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Simply push down the disc at the top and product will dispense onto your cotton pad for ease application. In theory. In reality the pump is a little too urgent, and no matter how delicately you pump it, product spurts out and all over the near-by area. (That’s what she said) Not a great start for such an expensive product.

You’re supposed to use this just once a day, due to the chemicals in the product and also use sunscreen if you’re going into the sun after using this. I live in Britain and it’s winter so I’m okay – but my foundation has spf in it anyhow.

I tried this product out, alongside my normal skin routine and didn’t introduce any new products for the duration of this 4 week trial.

Let’s see how my skin looked at the start, before I started using the product:

You can see I have redness on my chin, cheeks, forehead and all around my nose. Naturally this is where I get oily and as such I have breakouts and blocked pores.

The process of using the product is as follows:

  1. Saturate cotton pad (once daily)
  2. Apply to cleansed face
  3. Leave for a minute or so to settle into skin (you’ll feel it start to tingle a little)
  4. Follow with your moisturiser

After the first week I made notes of my thoughts and this is what I wrote:

  • Stings a little
  • Leaves skin sticky
  • Smell – can’t put my finger on it. Maybe Angel Delight, or a My Little Pony I had when I was little?
  • After first 2 days, possible glow?
  • Later in week – skin feels ‘resurfaced’ possibly?
  • No change in red or dark patches yet
  • Break outs in weird places but skin is dealing with it fine

Let’s address a few of these. Yes, the product did sting occasionally in odd places, but the Pixi Glow Tonic does this too. I did notice it left my skin feeling sticky, which was a little alarming. Because of this I decided to only use this at night, ahead of using my night cream, so that in the morning I was able to wash it all off. The smell (which a lot of people can’t work out, and don’t understand why it was added) is unusual. It’s chemical, and sweet, but not off-putting to me. I did notice a smoothness on my forehead, and possible glow after a few days. I was breaking out in strange places, but put this down to starting a new skin product which is normal for me.

There’s no obvious difference between the start pictures and those of 1 week in. Let’s be real, I didn’t expect there to be!

Week 2, still no difference. I actually noticed more breakouts in strange places and my red areas looked a little more angry on occasion.

The Solution had enticed a spot out, which had previously gone away, but here it is again. Enjoy the picture of my hairy chin too – I hadn’t got around to doing anything about it at the point of taking this picture.

Week 3, STILL no difference, other than my red areas were looking redder than ever. Still getting spots in weird places on my cheeks, under my eyes. I noticed other people reporting the same – like, literally spots in the same odd places….

Unfortunately, the sun decided to shine on the day I took these progress photos, and I didn’t realise the marked affect it had on the look of my skin until I came to edit them. The sunshine has given my skin a lovely glow. I promise this wasn’t the case. You can see the scarring from the spot on my chin hasn’t gone down yet. It won’t for a while, but I’d hoped the Solution might speed up this process. It didn’t.

Week 4: I’ll admit – this was a 5 day week for me and the Solution. I gave in at day 5 and decided enough was enough. I used my favourite face mask, which immediately made my skin look less red and cleaner. It felt better and softer, and just nice again.

So these were taken a few days after this mask and after I’d stopped using Solution. You can see my skin’s basically the same as when I started – the main difference I’ve seen is that I actually have MORE scarring from blemishes than when I started. Scarring on my chin, around my mouth, along my top lip (where I found my skin felt stingy and sensitivity when I used Solution too close) My pores felt oily, and looked pronounced. My t-zone became oily again within 2 weeks of using this product. I now have a lovely spot on my cheek which won’t go away.

To compare:

Before I started the process on the left, week 4 on the right.

No change!

The verdict:

I’d say, at £19 this is a pretty expensive product so see NO positive difference. I used this as instructed and there were more cons to it than pros.

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Over the 4 weeks I used this amount of product (I’d say 1/5) – so that’s using around 2 to 3 pumps once daily. I felt this wasn’t enough to saturate the cotton pad, but I have sensitive skin and this amount of product definitely covered my whole face.

I’m actually pleased with myself that I didn’t waste my own money on this product. Some people have said they’ve seen marked results with it, but they usually tend to have very problematic skin already, and I can only assume this will do so much before plateauing and the user requiring to move onto something else.

I’ve moved back onto my Pixi Glow Tonic. I used it last night, and it felt wonderful.

Solution is currently sold out, but I’d say don’t bother. It’s not worth the hype, or the heartbreak. Go get yourself Glow Tonic from Pixi and thank me later.

 

Glossier Generation G vs ColourPop Blotted Lip

The first time I heard of the ColourPop Blotted Lip lipsticks, I was sold. A product that punched a little pigment, without that matte matte finish but something a bit more natural and not glossy. I bought the first 3 of their limited edition range and then a few more when they released some into their staple line.

I’d never heard of Glossier at that point, but when I saw the Generation G lipsticks a few months down the line, I was struck by how similar the packaging was.

Then when Glossier became accessible to me, I decided to put a couple into my basket and give them a go. By that point I was a fan of the Blotted Lips so I wanted to try to compare them.

And now I’m going to compare the two formulas for you, so you can see whether the price difference is worth it and which one I prefer.

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Let’s start with the packaging. As you can see they’re very similar.

The ColourPop Blotted Lip gives 1g of product and costs $5 (about £3.60). It comes in 8 shades currently. The tube is plastic and white, and when you take the lid off the product is in a twisty tube. There’s an issue with the packaging in that sometimes when you pull the lid off, the whole product comes out of the bullet and will land (and stain) wherever you don’t want it to. As you can see from the picture above, there is a little mess in the lid and as such it has transferred onto the bullet. This is because the product has come out of my tube and rattled around.

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This shade Sucker is the closest I could get from my range, to the one I chose from the Glossier collection. I believe there was another, Zuma, which was closer, but I don’t think ColourPop sell that any more.

The packaging of the Glossier Generation G lipsticks is basically the same, just a little shorter. In here you get 2g of product for £14. Obviously there’s a price difference, but you get double the product in here.

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The shade Zip was my shade of choice for this post. I believe that people have had the same issue with the product falling out of the packaging with these too, so they’re on a parr with each other on that. I haven’t experienced this with these yet, but I’m conscious of how I open the lid due to this.

Let’s talk about the formula.

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On the left we have the Gen G lipstick in Zip, and on the right the Blotted Lip in Sucker.

From the swatches you can see the Blotted Lip is slightly sheerer. You can also see it wasn’t an even swatch and there were a few dry flakes. The Generation G swatch is more strongly pigmented and creamier. The colour is even on my arm and actually was harder to rub off.

On the lips the performance is very similar. The Blotted Lip will glide on but patch. It’s drier on the lips and doesn’t last as long. It doesn’t enjoy balm on top and will wear off to a patchy finish. That being said, you can build it up nicely and if you have scrubbed your lips and balmed them a little while before, you will get a comfortable, pigmented and long-lasting finish.

The Generation G glides on to a more pigmented finish from the start, is comfortable and accepts a tap of lip balm on top when needed. It offers a lovely wash of something to the lips when it’s needed, but can be built up without patchiness.

The verdict:

As you have probably guessed, I’m a bigger fan of the Glossier Generation G lipstick. The formula is creamier, it’s longer lasting, more comfortable and just feels more luxe. Yes, it’s more expensive, but you get more product and a higher quality product. I only own two of the shades so far, but I’ll be buying more, and replacing these when I’m done. This shade, Zip, lives in my bag now. It’s perfect to add a little bit of colour to my lips when I need something but doesn’t look like I’ve put effort in.

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If you’ve been sold on the Generation G lipsticks and want to try them out, you can get 10% off your first order by using this link: http://bff.glossier.com/hCHG5 I wasn’t asked to say that, I just really think you should try them if you’re tempted – I don’t think you’ll be sorry!

I’d love to know what you think, if you’ve used either the ColourPop or Generation G lipsticks (or both) and if you agree with my review or not!

2017 Beauty Favourites

It’s been a big year for new releases in the beauty and skincare world, and even though I have mentioned a few products throughout the year, I wanted to post a round-up of those I still consider to be worth the purchase, months down the line!

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As someone who only wears eye shadow in the winter and autumn, and then only very rarely, I own far too many eye shadow palettes. This one, however, is definitely up there as one of my favourites. Bought early on in 2017, I decided I needed to take the plunge as and when I saw it available. The Anastasia Modern Renaissance isn’t one of the cheapest palettes, but then it’s not one of the most expensive either. At £43 it’s going to be one to think about, but then with shadows as pigmented and blendable as these, you’ll get the right amount of use out of it for the cost. Obviously, these are warm shades so if those aren’t your bag then scroll on. But there’s a great mix of shimmers and mattes, darks and lights. So many complete looks can be made from this palette, AND the double ended brush that comes with it is a pretty decent brush. You could take this palette on a trip with you, and you might just want to take a black single and you’d be fine for the whole trip.

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I received this seasonal iteration of the Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish cleanser (I have linked this year’s seasonal scent as the one I have is no longer available) as a Christmas gift last year, and I still have some left. I’ll mention I have about 50 thousand cleansers so I change between them depending on what my skin’s doing and how much make-up I’m taking off. I have combination skin and was concerned that this cleanser would be too hydrating for me, but it’s not. It is VERY hydrating, and it does take off all your makeup, so I prefer to use this as a second cleanse on occasions when I’ve been wearing a heavier face of slap. It makes my skin feel lovely, and for £22.75 I’d hope so too. I think it’s a little dear to repurchase myself when this finishes – unless down the line I find I can’t live without it. But then, as I mentioned, I have a heap of others to work through.

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I had to buy backups of this Pinita Colada body scrub when they brought it back this summer. I don’t think I can live without it, even though you can no longer buy it. Obviously it smells like pineapple and coconut, but the nourished feeling I have after using this is beyond compare. My skin feels soft and sloughed for hours afterwards, without needing to moisturise straight afterwards. I think I’m on my last tub though…. Fingers crossed they bring it back next summer!

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I have been a little on and off with the Pixi Glow Tonic. I’m currently on my second bottle, and for some reason I’m finding the scent a little off-putting this time around. It’s less floral and more resin…. Anyhow, I’m trying to see past this, because I have discovered that after prolonged usage of this toner, my t-zone is a lot less oily and stays more balanced throughout the day. It’s one of those products that’s a slow-burner (and by that I don’t mean literally) and then you don’t realise the difference it’s made until you stop using it. At £18 I’d say it’s priced about right, and is now even easier for me to pick up since they now stock it in M&S. No more trips to Carnaby Street needed for me!

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I received my first bottle of the Davines All in One Milk in my 2016 Liberty advent calendar. That mini bottle was finished fairly fast and I think the one I’m using now is my 2nd full-sized bottle. This is a cream spray (I wish they’d work on the packaging to help get that last inch out) that aids tangles and I spray it onto towel dried hair before I detangle and then blow-dry. It smells quite soapy but it’s a smell you quickly get used it. It coats my hair in a nice way making it less thin, flyaway and feel lovely, but still like real hair (if that makes sense). The price of this keeps increasing (I blame Brexit) and it’s currently £19.40. It’s very expensive and I’d say it’s probably worth about £12, but I keep buying it, so that’s got to say something about both me and Davines.

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I’m a bit naughty including yet another product you can no longer buy, but this is too good not to mention. I received this full-sized face mask in my goody bag at the Glamour Beauty Festival, and I think I have one more use from this tube. I’m genuinely so sad to finish this product because it’s hands-down the best face mask I’ve ever used. It leaves my skin looking and feeling clear and clean, but not tight in the slightest. One 5 minute use of this and my pores are so clean. It calms down breakouts and exfoliates too. As you might know, The Estée Edit is no more so I can no longer purchase this little beauty. If anyone has one of these hanging around that they haven’t used, I’d be happy to take it off your hands!

Body Shop Oils Of Life Sleeping Cream

As I mentioned earlier, I have combination skin, and have been greatly enjoying a more balanced visage lately, thanks to this little beauty. I thought I would only use this occasionally and in the winter, but I have been using this all year and every night, and will definitely repurchase this when it’s empty. When the Body Shop’s Oils of Life sleeping cream was released, I was given the chance to try a sample via Glossybox (who I subscribed to at the time). Once my sample pot had been scraped clean, I knew I should probably buy the full size. It’s £29 so it took a little while to justify the purchase, but as the weeks went on I knew I was missing out. And to be honest, it’s such a large pot and you don’t need a lot so it’s going to last me a lot longer than it probably should be kept, if I’m honest! I put this all over my face at night, on cleansed skin, and it remains sticky-ish. When I wake up my skin is SO soft, and my t-zone feels almost the same as the rest of my face – my skin is being balanced overnight! It also smells very comforting and doesn’t break me out at all. I will also say, there’s something very reassuring about the heavy glass pot and large lid on top. I think they’ve got the packaging right. I just need to find a way to decant this, so I can take it away when I travel.

Skin Laundry Face wash

This Skin Laundry gentle foaming face wash was another product I received a sample of in 2016’s Liberty advent calendar. I had been on the look out for a face wash and something that didn’t describe itself as a cleanser. I don’t know why, as they’re the same thing, but I just wanted something reliable to wash my face with! I loved the sample so much that I purchased the full size once it was finished (which was quite some time, as you only need a small amount). At £20 this is an expensive face wash, but it gets my face so so clean, without stripping it and my face doesn’t feel tight afterwards.

Two tubes of foundation

Back to make-up and I’ll mention the only two foundations I’ve used this year. In fact I’ve taken to mixing these two for my perfect face base.

I’ve used The Balm’s BalmShelter for many years. This tinted moisturiser offers a nice light base, with buildable medium coverage, and offers spf with a dewy finish, but doesn’t always last all day on my combination skin.

I bought the Urban Decay Naked Skin for a little more coverage but found the colour slightly too light (it’s my correct shade but I like to bronze up a little!) and I’m not fond of a totally matte finish.

So, I mixed the two! The Naked Skin lifts the shade of my tinted moisturiser slightly for months when I want to look less glowy, and adds a bit of coverage. The BalmShelter takes some of the matte away from the foundation and keeps my skin looking like my skin. It’s a perfect marriage!

Because I’m mixing the two, I can change the balance depending on how my skin is doing or how much coverage I need, and I simply mix them between my fingers and apply the whole lot with my hands. I’ve really moved away from using applicators to apply my face base. My fingers work just fine!

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I’ve really taken to lip products this year, and had quite the splurge over the months, mainly on ColourPop products. These two are the ones I’ve worn the most.

When ColourPop launched their Blotted Lip range, I was totally intrigued, and I now own 6 of their shades (I think)! Despite the packaging issue (on some, not all, the product comes out of the tube completely on taking off the lid) I have been impressed with this matte wash of colour. My favourite of this range has been Lexi (which was part of a limited edition range), though I love all the shades I’ve picked up.

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Of their liquid lip products, I’m a fan of their satin lip, however I have been very impressed with their high pigmented and long-lasting glosses. My favourite of these is the shade Finders Keepers, which offers a mauve/nude almost opaque gloss that wears down to a lovely natural pink shade. Their blotted lips usually retail for $5 each, and their glosses are $6.

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On the eyes, I’ve stuck to one mascara and one mascara only. The CoverGirl Clump Crusher cannot be bought in the UK so I pick up a few tubes whenever I’m in the states. I don’t know why, but it’s simply the only mascara that works for the type of lashes I have (stubborn!) It’s $7 so doesn’t break the bank either. I use it in conjunction with my Surratt eyelash curlers I picked up a couple of years ago in New York. They fit my face and eye shape well and actually curl my lashes, which is what you want!

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This E.L.F blush, is has been a star for the past two years. The shade is Tickled Pink and every time I wear it I get compliments on how healthy my skin looks. It’s my perfect natural pink shade, so blendable and buildable, and lasts all day! Oh, and it’s only £4.50 so there’s no excuse not to buy one for yourself 🙂

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And last but definitely not least is this blush and highlight pressed powder palette from ColourPop called Double Play. I think this was originally limited edition, but it’s so good I’m glad you can still pick it up. The blush (shade Getting Handsy) is an amazing muted terracotta and looks so natural on my pale skin. It’s like a gorgeous warm bronzer I suppose (but you wouldn’t want to use it as that!), and lasts all day. The highlight (shade Padded Down) is so so pretty. I’ve never gotten the hang of highlight so I don’t use this much, but you can see from the swatch above that it’s stunning!

So those are the products that stood the test. I’ve used them constantly all year and they’re still the products I reach for, which I feel really means I must like them!

I can’t wait to see what comes out in 2018 and whether any of these products get replaced. Only time will tell!

Let me know if you’ve tried any of these products and what you thought! Stay tuned for my first impressions of a brand newly launched to the UK (you know what it is!) coming soon!

Goodbye 2017

And so we’re here again. I can’t quite believe I’m sitting here, preparing to take you through my year, once again.

It’s been a very hard year but also amazing in many ways. I feel like I’ve changed and grown as a person, and also seen those around me change in many ways.

Sadly, I’ve not seen as much of some of the people I love this year, but I’m hoping next year that will change. But I know these people still value me in the same way, as I value them still, despite not seeing them so much. You guys know who you are!

I know a high proportion of my readers head over here purely for the beauty stuff, and I’m going to post up a separate piece about my beauty picks for 2017, so if that’s what you’re after you have my permission to skip this one altogether. Though, if you do decide to carry on you might find there’s more to Musings than just beauty reviews, and I’d like to welcome you into the world of Musings lifestyle articles.

At the end of 2016 I set myself two resolutions (well, more like goals to be fair). By the end of 2017 I wanted to have attended at least one blogger event, and I also wanted to have become less judgemental.

Two very different goals. I achieved the first only this month. I had actually forgotten about my resolution and when I remembered it a couple of weeks ago, I was very pleased to have achieved it.

I also feel I am well on my way with the second goal. A very personal journey, and one that I won’t go deep into here, but I honestly feel like I am much less judgemental now than I was. I just have to work on being more tolerant of those who have not gone on this journey. I can only take control of myself and my own responses, but it’s hard and frustrating when other people appear bitter and judgemental  – I can see now it only hurts themselves.

Anyway, I didn’t mean to get all deep in this post! I’m going to give a month by month run down of what I got up to this year, which is much less intense! Each month title is a clicky link, so if there’s a post you’re interested in reading, click there and you’ll be taken to that month. So here goes :

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January

  • This year started with the celebration of 50 years of Milton Keynes! My home town since I was born (I may have strayed for a couple of years in the middle somewhere!)
  • Gary and I went for a little bit of culture at the end of this month and saw a play! Gaslight at the Aylesbury Waterside Theatre. One of my favourite films, it was great to see it on stage. Gary, who didn’t know the story at all, was very pleasantly surprised. It’s nice to do something a little different sometimes!

February

  • I started posting a little more on my YouTube channel, and a few people seemed to be watching!
  • I got taken in by ColourPop’s weekly product releases, and spent probably too much money on lipsticks (that I still love btw)
  • I told you all why I reverse wash my hair, and actually it’s something I still do and feel the benefit of.
  • I wrote my first proper post about mental health and touched on my experiences with struggles I face.
  • I saw La La Land for the first time and wanted to hate it, but fell deeply in love.

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March

  • I told the world why I’d stopped wearing bras, for some reason….
  • I did something that years back I would never have been able to do – I went on a shopping trip to London on my own.
  • I finally met up with Sophie Kate, when she took me as her plus one to the Glamour Beauty Festival.
  • I discovered the music of Childish Gambino and proceeded to not want to listen to anything else ever.
  • I went to Rome!

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April

  • In April I attended Secret Cinema’s presentation of Moulin Rouge – which incidentally I have never written up. I always wait until they put up their event video, so as to not spoil anything, however their video only went up the other day (so many many months later) and now I feel the moment has passed. If you wish to see this post, let me know in the comments, or else I will simply allow the memory to fade in my brain. Anyhow, it was a great night!

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  • Buffy The Vampire Slayer celebrated 20 years since its first airing, and I felt old…
  • I decided YouTube might not be for me, but also decided that the occasional dabble when it felt right was how I would move forward.
  • I went to see Bruno Mars and he was epic!

May

  • Ooh this month I shared my tomato linguine recipe – and boy is it yummy!
  • I watched a LOT of TV
  • I shared a much requested post, about why I decided to get married at a young age.

June

  • I wrote a post about anxiety and my experiences. It was probably the most personal post I’ve written on the subject to date.
  • Our trip to London to see Ariana Grande was amended slightly due to terrorist activity in Manchester, however we decided to press on and continue with the rest of our plans.
  • Musings celebrated its 8th birthday!

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July

  • I was given the chance to see London from one of their amazing Ducks!
  • I spoke about growing up and old and the secret adults never tell you as a child.

August

  • I posted my most viewed YouTube video to date (2.2k views so far!)
  • I spoke about my quest for positivity.
  • I turned 34 years old!
  • I started planning my trip to Orlando

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September

  • I did a little photo shoot with my Niece in the last of the summer sunshine.
  • I moved house! This took up most of my free time!!

October

  • Halloween month. I was all about sharing my favourite Halloween movies, and getting ready to go on holiday to Florida!
  • My Florida holiday was epic
  • I spoke about striving to be more tolerant.

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November

  • And as soon as you can say ‘Halloween is over’ it was Christmas season!
  • I shared a post about my holiday and all of a sudden the weather was crisp and frosty and we were all thinking about the festive season!

December

  • And here we are!
  • December was about sharing meals with family and friends and unexpected snow!
  • I went to my first blogging event, the Blogosphere Christmas Festival.
  • And now here we are – you’re reading the final piece!

So what’s in store for next year then?

Well, I always say this, but I’d like to learn a new skill. I’d like to feel a little less restless in my skin. I’d like to continue on my quest for positivity, in becoming more tolerant and less judgemental.

I’d like to continue to better myself.

So here’s to another year! If you blog and you’ve written an end of year round-up post, I’d love to read it. Pop your link in the comments and I’ll have a read 🙂

 

 

First Impressions: Give Me Some Nude Lips Kit

Sephora Nude Lipstick Set

By now you will have seen my post of the beauty products I bought on my recent trip to Florida. One of the products was a Sephora Favorites kit. I love these boxes, because you get to try out brand you probably would never try before.

Sephora is high-end, and to spend the money on something you may not get on with is a risk. So these kits allow you to test out a brand without splurging and potentially wasting your money.

Sephora Nude Lipstick Set

This kit was $28 but with a $70 value. It contains 5 trial size and 1 full-sized lip product, and comes in this cute little lip-shaped box.

As you can probably tell, these are all nude shades, but have different finishes and undertones so you’re not ending up with 5 of the same thing.

Sephora Nude Lipstick Set

This is my first impressions, so I haven’t tried these out for any length of time yet, but I’m really looking forward to doing so!

So let’s go through them all. I’ve swatched them in the same order as the picture above:

Sephora Nude Set Swatches

We start with an Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Ludwig from Kat Von D. I’ve never tried anything from Kat Von D and when I rubbed the swatches off my arm, this one wouldn’t budge. I really had to scrub! This dries down matte and is a warm, terracotta nude.

Next is a Full On Lip Cream in the shade Dolly by the brand Buxom. Buxom have just launched in the UK and I’m very much looking forward to trying this shade out. I also think it will work as a nice topper for some of the shades of liquid lipstick I already have. The pigmentation is nice, but sheer so not as ‘full on’ as some of the ColourPop glosses I have already.

The next is a Color Splash lipstick from Tarte in the shade Rum Punch. Again, this pulls a terracotta shade and looks like a matte, but is fairly creamy and reminds me of a lipstick I had as a teenager. I’m thinking 90s with this one!

Next is a Multistick in the shade Brioche by the brand Bite. I’ve had lipsticks from Bite in the past which I’ve liked. You can actually wear these multisticks on eyes, lips and cheeks and they end up as a powder feel, so I might give that a crack. The texture was slightly more splotchy on swatching and this multi use formula might be why.

The penultimate lipstick is by the brand Make Up For Ever and is a creme lipstick in the shade Artist Rouge. I LOVE this shade. It pulls more berry nude and the fact that it’s a cream rather than a matte is very appealing to me. I can see this being my Christmas shade!

And lastly, is the full-sized product, which is a Liquid Velvet by Ciate London. The shade is called Bitter Sweet and I think this might be slightly too cool-toned for me, but I’m sure I can make it work. The doe-foot applicator has little wells in the centre of both sides, which contain product so you don’t have to keep dipping into the tube too many times, which is a really nice feature.

All in all, I’m excited to try all of these products and brands. I like the fact I can try stuff for the first time in sets like this. Which is probably why I’ve splurged out this year on my advent calendar again (more on that later!) I’ll be trying these out over the next few months, and sharing my thoughts on instagram, so make sure you follow me over there if you want to know what I think!

And if you’ve tried any of these products, I’d love to know how you go on with them.

 

Beauty: What I Bought In Florida

It used to be when I visited another country I got very excited to go around the malls, but there are so many American brands that have come over to the UK now, that the pull isn’t the same. I can’t say the same, however, for makeup.

There are a whole heap of brands you can’t get in the UK, not to mention Sephora doesn’t sell here any more. So, needless to say I had a list (some of which was added to by my American friend Beckie!) and I got almost all of the things I wanted. The one thing I didn’t get was from the brand Ciate London (ironically I cannot find this brand here, easily, even in London). I wanted one of their Glitter Flip lipsticks, and the colour I wanted wasn’t in the Sephora I went to. Doh! So my search continues….

Anyhow, here’s what I picked up on my travels. This is purely cosmetics, but I did buy other things. They’ll be popping up on my instagram no doubt, over the next couple of months, so keep an eye over there.

Bath & Body Works Beach Range

We made a trip to Bath and Body Works, of course. I bought I couple of gifts for family and some car air fresheners, but aside from those I picked up some lovely skin care products. The At The Beach range does what it says on the tin. The website describes the scent as a refreshing, vacation-ready blend of white frangipani, toasted coconut & bergamot waters essenced with a cool, saltwater breeze. And I’d agree with that. I picked up a mini body cream, shower gel and perfume spray. All perfect travel sizes, and big enough for me to get sick of the scent but have long enough to use it!

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I also picked up a body cream from their autumn range called A Latte Love, which is marshmallow pumpkin latte scented and made with pure honey. This smells INCREDIBLE and I’ve been using it daily. It’s super moisturising and the scent is so long-lasting. As it warms up on your skin it just smells like Main Street at Disney World and all good things to do with autumn. I’m so glad I bought it!. Then from their Christmas range, which was just launching (I’ve just realised I managed to buy something from their Summer, Autumn and Christmas ranges! Go me!) I bought a body spray called Snowflakes and Cashmere. Last time I was in Florida I bought two body sprays I ended up throwing away, mainly because the liquid was coloured (I hadn’t realised it wasn’t the bottle that was coloured when I bought them) so every time I sprayed them I was worried about staining my clothing. It looks as though they’ve stopped that funny business now, so I was pleased to pick one of their sprays up. This one is a warm blend of cashmere cream, shimmering vanilla & frosted clementine. I’ve worn it every day since I’ve been back and it’s really a lovely wintery but cosy smell. As it warms up throughout the day I just wafts of the lovely smell and it’s perfectly reminiscent of this time of year. I’m in love!

I also made sure I picked up some of the things I use on a regular basis, that I can’t easily get in the UK, to stock up! I bought another of my favourite Coconut Passion body spray (a vanilla coconut musk which isn’t too sweet or heavy) from Victoria’s Secret. VS is so so much cheaper in the states and they always have deals on so I picked this up for half the normal price, which is handy as I’m almost out of the one I currently use!

chapstick and face cream

I also bought 2 of the ELF Daily Hydration Moisturiser. I’m just about finishing the last of the 2 I bought a year ago, so these should sort me through to the end of next year, with any luck! And, weirdly, you can never buy cherry chapstick in the UK. I end up buying a bulk of them on Amazon when I need them, but as they’re aplenty in the states, I bought 2 multi packs. So if you’re from America and you think of sending me a care package, chuck in a couple of these would you please? 😀

Clump Crusher by CoverGirl & E.l.f Primer

I bought a backup of my backup of the CoverGirl Clump Crusher mascara. I already have one in my backup drawer but as I was there, it made sense to get another one. You can’t get this for love nor money in the UK, so there you go! I also intended to buy another of my green primer from ELF but accidentally bought the blemish control primer instead (I was jet lagged and didn’t read the box properly). But I used it anyway and it wasn’t too bad. It says it’s got oil-controlling properties and I’m all for that, so ho hum!

From Physician’s Formula I picked up one of their Butter Blushes in the shade Natural Glow. I already have their plum shade and love it so wanted to try this. I’ve used this once, and it didn’t really show up, so I think I need to try it again. I’m wondering if it works more as a highlight or blush topper on my skin tone. And then I picked up a Wet N Wild bronzer in Reserve Your Cabana. This was recommended to me as a good all over face ‘lit from within’ bronzer. It’s honestly the lightest bronzer I’ve ever seen, and it’s got spf in it which I found really interesting. I haven’t tried it yet, but I’m eager to give it a go!

3 lipsticks

Also drugstore purchases, I picked up some lip products. For the Halloween party I was attending as Snow White, I knew I wanted red lips so I brought about 5 different lipsticks away with me, but when I arrived I knew I wanted something light and not too bold. It’s too hot in Florida to worry about my lipstick! So I saw NYX had a range called Plump It Up and shade number 5 was this lovely jelly red. It was perfect. It wasn’t long-lasting, but long enough, and gave a cooling tingly feel to the lips.

Next I picked up a Wet N Wild Liquid Catsuit, again recommended to me. I picked up the shade Pink Really Hard, which is actually a little too pink for me, but it was the closest to something I would wear from the selection at the time. I did see, in another store, a better and warmer pink shade, but I’m sure I’ll still get use out of this. It’s quite comfortable and I’m interested to see how long it lasts when I do get around to wearing it.

Last from the drugstore products, I saw Flower Beauty in Walmart (Drew Barrymore’s cosmetic line) and I wanted to try one product from the range. So after browsing for a little bit, I settled on this Hydrasilk Ultimate Lip Butter in Rose Petal. It’s a lovely pink nude shade and I’ve worn it a lot since coming home (and I’ve been harping on about it on instagram too!). It’s incredibly comfortable, long-lasting and pigmented. I’m very impressed!

So now we come to my Sephora purchases. As mentioned, I was only unable to pick up the Ciate item I wanted, and the rest of these were on my list.

I’ll start with the items I picked up from Too Faced’s new peach range.

Too Faced Primed & Peachy Primer

As someone who is constantly battling a shiny oily t-zone, I was excited to pick this cooling matte primer up. Primed & Peachy comes in a tube with a pump, and the product is peach toned. I’ve used this a lot since I bought it and can confirm it’s both cooling and matte. I wouldn’t say it’s skin perfecting. It’s a sticky primer so it definitely works best if you press it onto the face. The times in which I’ve smoothed it over my skin, I’m oily again later in the day, but when I press it on, it adheres my foundation a lot better and I stay relatively matte throughout the whole day. My face also smells like peaches for some time afterwards, which is pleasant.

Too Faced Just Peachy Mattes Palette

As a matte eyeshadow fan, I knew I wanted this Just Peachy palette. I already have the Sweet Peach Too Faced palette, but this one was all mattes. As you’ll already know, these shadows don’t have the same peach scent as it’s earlier counterpart, but they still smell peachy. I’ve used this once, and found the shadows a little hard to blend but I persevered, and they blended enough in the end. I’m excited to use this more as we go through Autumn and Winter, since I don’t really wear eye shadow in the Summer.

Sephora Nude Lipstick Set

My last purchase from Sephora was this Sephora Favorites ‘Give Me Some Nude Lip’ lip kit. I’m going to post a full first impressions on this kit with swatches, so look out for that in the next few posts, but basically it includes 6 nude shades from Sephora brands and one of them is full-sized.

I love the Sephora Favorites boxes because you get to try out brands without paying the full price, and they sometimes come with vouchers inside to exchange for one full-sized product once you’ve tried them (I know the perfume boxes usually do). I’m excited to try these lippies out. The colours look amazing, and there’s a good range of finishes and shades.

Since I bought some bits at Sephora and already had some points on my card, I was able to exchange my points for a sample sized product.

Sunday Riley C.E.O

I chose this sample sized C.E.O moisuriser by Sunday Riley. Everyone harps on about this brand, and even though I have no idea what this does, I decided this was my chance to see what the fuss was about! If you’ve tried this, please let me know what you think!

So those are the beauty products I picked up on my recent trip to Florida. It’s amazing just how inexpensive the drugstore products are, which mean I was able to splurge a little when Sephora came around!

If you’ve tried any of these products I’d love to hear what you think of them, and how you used them!

August Beauty Favourites!

It’s been a LOOONG time since I posted a monthly favourites, mainly due to the fact that I haven’t really been trying out any new products. But this month I thought I’d get back to it since I’ve been using a few products that have really impressed me!

The first 3 are all from The Body Shop:

Body Shop Oils Of Life Sleeping Cream

This Oils of Life sleeping cream isn’t actually new to me, in fact it probably featured in a past favourites post. I bought it last winter, but since my skin has been so temperamental of late, I thought I’d give it a go during the summer too, and I LOVE it again. I have an oily t-zone which obviously gets oiler during the summer months when it’s warmer. I never liked the idea of adding more oil to my face, but I know that when you have oily skin it’s because you’re hydrated and it’s trying to compensate SOOO I tried it. I popped a thin layer of this on my face before bed, and in the morning my skin felt balanced and soft. AND it smells great too! I don’t use this every night because I’m still figuring out how to balance my t-zone, but so far so good!

Body Shop Skin Defence

Next is The Body Shop’s Skin Defence cream. I asked for this for my birthday and was very happy to receive it. This cream has spf 50++++ and is a lightweight cream to water finish protector for your face. You can apply it alone or under makeup and I’m definitely taking this to Florida next month, because I hate the greasy feeling of sunscreen on my face.

Body Shop Instamatte

Lastly for The Body Shop items, is this Instamatte. I managed to buy this for £2 as I had two £5 gifts on their loyalty card. This is a little lipgloss sized tube of primer type gel. It’s designed to be mixed into foundation or on top of lipsticks to transform into matte finish. I haven’t yet used it for the latter, but I have kept it in my bag at work and when my t-zone starts to look gross I tap a little of the gel onto the areas I need it, and I’m instantly matte. I only wear tinted moisturiser and it taps on top fine, but I don’t know how well it would work tapped on top of higher coverage foundation. I have a feeling it might break it up a little, but for the way I use it and for me, it’s a little lifesaver!

Lipsticks

Speaking of lipsticks, I’ve been loving these two again. I don’t usually like to wear a lot of lipstick in the summer, instead I reach for products with a more sheer finish, but since we were having a rather rubbish and autumnal feeling summer spell, I picked these two out.

The one on the left, in the picture above, is Urban Decay x Gwen Stefani ‘Ex-Girlfriend’ and on the right is Charlotte Tilbury’s ‘Stoned Rose’.

Lipsticks2

Both are cream finish, and look nice and autumnal. Ex-Girlfriend doesn’t last too long on its own, but lasts much longer if you use the matching lipliner underneath, which I do. I love this Charlotte Tilbury lipstick too and think I’m going to find myself in the market for another one this autumn!

Skin Laundry Face wash

And lastly, I’ve been adoring this foaming facial wash by Skin Laundry. I got a sample size of this in my Liberty London advent calendar last Christmas, and I was totally shocked by how clean this made my skin feel and look. So when I eventually ran out I went and bought the full-size. It’s not the cheapest but you get a massive bottle and it lasts ages. I’m so glad I found it!

And that’s it for my August beauty favourites. Have you tried any of these? I’d love to know what you thought!

Infuse My. Colour Wash – Tried and Tested!

A few weeks ago I was sent a bottle of the new Infuse My. Colour Wash in Copper to try. I’ve been colouring my hair for 18 years now, so I’m always willing to try new products, techniques and anything that will help the condition of my hair and make things easier.

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The Infuse My. Colour Wash colours were created to be 100% vegan, contain no sulphates, parabens or silicone and were designed to boost your hair colour in between colouring.

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Since my hair is red/brown with copper highlights I went with the copper colour, but they do a whole range of colours to boost all tones and shades.

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My aim was to see whether I could bridge the gap between colouring sessions, and tone my mousey blonde roots to blend with the rest of my colour, as I intend on letting my hair grow out a bit before re-colouring again.

If you’ve read my blog for a while, you’ll know I wash my hair backwards so for the purposes of using this product properly I decided to wash my hair the conventional way, to give it a fair go.

The method for using this, is to use the product as normal shampoo, wash it out as soon as the hair is coated, without waiting any time, and then condition as normal.

Here’s before I started with the colour wash:

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A nice picture of my dusty scalp…. But as you can see, I have quite a lot of warm tones in my hair, and then some lovely boring mousey roots poking through at the top.

So how did I get on? Well, I love the bottle. You get a hefty 270ml for just under £14. The cap is a push top, which means you don’t have to faff with unscrewing the cap and you can squeeze the product out. Because it doesn’t contain the nasties, it doesn’t lather as much as a standard drugstore shampoo, however you can spread it through your hair easily, and it smells amazing – like fresh, clean apples!

The product didn’t stain my hands or my bath tub, but I did feel I needed to scrub under my nails afterwards.

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My hair felt lovely during washing, and after, and I was able to comb my wet hair through easily. The water ran clear very quickly and no staining was left on my towel once I removed it.

On inspection of my hair after blow-drying, I saw no difference. There was maybe a little bit of a copper sheen to the red/brown colour underneath my hair, but honestly, there was no change. My roots were still the same colour, but I knew that part of my hair would be stubborn. So I decided to try again the next time I washed my hair.

The next time I washed my hair, I decided to mix it up a bit. I went back to reverse washing, popped on an Aussie 3 minute hair mask to the lengths of my hair, and then the colour wash all over, on top. I left this for a couple of minutes and washed it all out.

After drying my hair, I could see more of a difference. The blonder highlights in my hair were definitely more copper toned, and I felt like my hair was more of an even colour. My roots, however, were again completely as they had been previously. I mean, this isn’t a hair dye, and I know my hair is stubborn when it comes to colouring – I can usually only get a decent colour result using permanent dye.

Here’s the ‘after’ pictures:

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You can see that my roots remained the same colour as before, however I think you can tell from the picture above that the lengths of my hair were definitely more copper-toned.

The next time I washed my hair, I used my normal shampoo and conditioner and all of the copper colour I’d added washed out. So if I was going to maintain the copper colour I’d added, I would need to use this every time I washed my hair.

For the cost of this product, I wouldn’t be able to maintain this, but as the odd one-off for a particular occasion, it would be wouldn’t be bad.

I found the Infuse My. Colour Wash to be most effective on the areas of my hair that had been highlighted. But the change was very subtle and only happened once I’d left the product on for a number of minutes.

As a shampoo, it left my hair feeling lovely, and conditioned. I was happy that the ingredients would be good for my hair, and I would have no reservations using this regularly, from a hair care perspective.

I think if you had naturally strawberry blonde, or coloured ginger hair, or if you had highlights you wanted to turn peach/copper then give this a go. It’s a wash in/wash out solution and would help you make a change to your hair without the commitment. If you were looking for something that would be a little more long-lasting and possibly to help with root regrowth between colouring sessions, I’d probably not use this product.

But overall the pros outweigh the cons. I work my hair hard, and I like what I like. My choice for hair colour is unconventional so I can’t expect products to work just for my requirements.

If you have bleached blonde, or platinum hair, I’d love to see what results you could get from using the Infuse My. Colour Wash in the various different tones. If you’ve already used this product, I’d love to hear how you got on!

I also captured my trial of the Infuse My. Colour Wash on film, and have popped it onto my YouTube channel, which you can see here!

 

The Infuse My. Colour Range can be found at Boots and retails at £13.95. I was supplied this bottle for free by My.Haircare, in return for an honest review, which is what I’ve provided.

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Primers for Combination Skin in the Summer: E.L.F Vs Too Faced review

What with the weather picking up the way it has been, I’ve been on the lookout for a makeup primer that will keep my base looking fresh all day.

My base of choice is more often than not a tinted moisturiser. As someone with combination skin this might be an odd choice, but I prefer light, natural coverage with a dewy finish. I hate the look of a matte, dry foundation. I wear Balm Shelter by The Balm which is a lovely light and medium coverage tinted moisturiser that also contains spf. I’ve been wearing it every day for a couple of years now, and it lasts all day and I’ve only had to repurchase once.

That being said, I also need to maintain my t-zone because as soon as the summer starts, I get more oily than usual. I’ve also noticed my skin changing as I get older, and I’ll be honest, I’ve also somewhat temporarily ruined my skin by using a face wash that’s dried it out so much (Garnier Micellar Cleansing Gel wash for sensitive skin – don’t buy it) I am having to totally overhaul my skincare routine until its back to normal.

I’d found a fantastic primer that appeared to really control my t-zone but I’d got it online from America, so when it ran out and I didn’t have anything else to buy from this brand, I decided to do some research and invest in a primer which was easier to get hold of. So here’s what I’m talking about:

Facetune

I actually received the e.l.f. Tone Adjusting Face Primer as part of a free gift with purchase when I made an order about a year ago (their website being the only place you used to be able to buy e.l.f.) If you’ve never bought on their site, I’d recommend it because they are always doing awesome free gifts with purchase, usually have a free delivery offer on, THEY cover customs charges AND it’s usually here from the US within a week or so. Anyway, I decided to try this primer when the one I’d been using ran out.

This primer is green in colour, so it’s supposed to correct redness and blotches on the skin, and I’ll be honest, I don’t find it does that.

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Don’t be alarmed by the colour, as you can see from the swatch the green blends away, which is probably why it doesn’t really cover much redness. But what I LOVE about this primer is that is silicone-y but not too silicone-y if you know what I mean. It makes my skin feel smooth but still like my skin. I always set my face with loose powder on my t-zone, and have done this with both the primers I’m talking about today. By the middle of my working day I can see this primer really works. If I tap my nose with my finger, a little oil comes off but my skin doesn’t look oily at all. My makeup hasn’t disappeared or started to break down, even on the hottest of days. I was really impressed! Thankfully I can now pick this up in Superdrug, as they have started to stock e.l.f Cosmetics. For £7.50 this is a total bargain and well worth the money.

As I said before, when this ran out and I didn’t have anything else to order from e.l.f, I didn’t want to make an order for just one thing, so I did some research. I wanted to see if there were any more primers, mid-range cost, that I could buy in the UK and were specifically designed for preventing oil. I’d bought the NYX Shine Killer primer before and was so disappointed that it actually made me shinier.

There were two primers that kept coming up as holy grail for oily skin, and one of which I knew I could pick up locally, so I went for that one!

Facetune

Too Faced Primed and Poreless Primer was being reviewed as one of the ultimate primers for oil control throughout the day. At £24 it’s not cheap, but it also claimed to smooth skin, hide pores and as it’s slightly tinted suggested that you could wear it on its own for a naturally flawless look.

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So, this is what it looks like when you pump it out. It’s SO smooth on the skin but doesn’t feel like silicone at all. It’s more like feeling silk! The tone of the product isn’t strong enough to allow me to wear just that if I want a flawless finish. And it would need setting if I was going to do that anyhow because it does leave you feeling like you have something on your face. I didn’t notice any change to the appearance of my pores. I will say it did hold up to the oil-control part on warm days, but as soon as the heatwave hit it failed. My nose was oily early on in the day, even with powder and for £24 I’d expect it to perform for longer. I was rather disappointed. You also don’t get a lot of product for the amount you need to put on so I noticed I was going through it rather fast.

In the end, and as soon as my Superdrug started to stock e.l.f. I went back and picked up my old faithful green primer.

If you’re looking for a primer to control your combination skin, I’d say give the green one  from e.l.f a try. Obviously everyone’s skin is different and it might not work for you, but for £7.50 it’s worth a try!

Do you suffer with combination skin that gets more oily in the Summer? I’d love to hear what products you use to keep it in check!

Mid Month Beauty Favourites!

I haven’t posted a beauty favourites in a few months, mainly because I haven’t had anything new to write about, but I thought I’d just let you know about a few items I’ve been loving. These items are all perfect for bringing you from the Spring through to the Summer.

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I’ve mentioned this product before, but I’m so glad the weather has picked up so I can use it again:

highlight

This is the Makeup Revolution Radiance Palette. It contains what I would consider to be two bronzers and one highlighter, though you can use them how you like. What I love about this palette is that when I use it I get such a natural tanned look. It’s not heavy or dirty looking, and doesn’t glitter. I use the far right pan mostly as I have never gotten the hang of highlight! I can only use this bronzer when it’s really warm and sunny because it really makes me glow, but I am still in love with this a year on from buying it. And for £8 you can’t go wrong!

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These two body creams were amongst a few I picked up from Bath and Body Works when I was in the US last October. I saved these for the warmer months, and I’m really enjoying using them. Tahiti Island Dream is a fresh summery and fairly heady scent that reminds me of tropical islands (not that I’ve ever been to one!) It’s summer in a tube. Beautiful Day is fresh and also summery with a little fruityness to it. So lovely.

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This fragrance mist from The Body Shop, I understand has just been discontinued amongst the rest of the range featuring this scent. I picked it up because it really compliments their Pinita Colada range (which I have seen back in stores for Summer – whoop!) It’s a fresh, light and slightly tropical scent with floral notes, but not too floral. I’m glad I still have just under half the bottle left. I’ve been enjoying wearing this on warmer days.

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I picked up this ColourPop Ultra Glossy in my last order, and hadn’t dared wear it until the weather picked up. In the tube it’s an intimidating neon orange, but on the lips it’s a subtle orange gloss. I’ve been really loving wearing this, as I prefer juicy lips in the summer, over matte or satin. I love how this wears down to a nice peachy tone and leaves my lips hydrated (almost waxy, but in a nice way and not sticky). I have this in my handbag at all times for those times when my lips need a hit of subtle colour.

And lastly, off the subject of beauty:

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I’ve been really enjoying having the chance to show off the lovely bralettes I to cover up during the Winter. This black jersey tunic has a huge hole in the back, so every time I wear it I get to pick my prettiest bralettes and show them off!

So those are some things I’ve been enjoying using now the weather has picked up. Do you have any products you love to reach for as the summer creeps in?