Thursday, January 2, 2014

December favourites

December has been an amazing month for my cosmetic drawers. Not only has it been my birthday (Officially in my mid 20's) and Christmas, but my little sister got a job at Superdrug (getting money off somehow makes it okay to spend a ridiculous amount on skincare). I have a whole range of products to share with you, and each of them have fairly earned their place on my official December favourites list. 

First up is a brand new facial exfoliator from The Body Shop which I have had my eye on for some time. The seaweed pore-cleansing facial exfoliator has managed to strike the right balance between giving a good scrub whilst still providing foam and moisture. This product has quickly been bumped up to be a prominent step in my morning routine and it never fails to leave my skin feeling fresh and deeply cleansed. Products that include seaweed in are designed to leave oily/combination skin with a matte finish and this is exactly what it does. I've also noticed this helps to keep any blemishes at bay, and I managed to spend Christmas spot-free thanks to this little gem! Alongside this I have also been using a Brightening micro polish from Superdrug's Naturally radiant range. I am a big fan of Superdrug's Vitamin E range, and I was keen to see if this range lived up to my expectations. The micro polish is designed similarly to a facial scrub and it aims to even out skintone whilst also getting rid of dead skin cells giving a illuminated and bright finish. This polish is slightly harsher than a normal scrub so is only needed once or twice a week, but I've definitely noticed my complexion is much smoother since I've started using it. I have a feeling the rest of this range may be making its way into my drawers soon...

In a bid to keep my skin looking as bright as possible I've been reaching for a skincare classic this month, a product that beauty fanatics everywhere agree is a holy grail. Bioderma's Solution micellaire is an absolute life saver for anyone that has uneven or spot prone skin. Since using this I don't think I could use any other millecular solution happily, it's just unfortunate that this is so hard to get hold of in the UK! The idea of the solution is to help banish impurities and make sure skin is completely clear of all make up. A lazy girls solution to removing make up and cleansing skin in one fail safe move! Another product from across the pond that I've been reaching for this month is Vichy's smoothing and illuminating cream. Thankfully this one is slightly easier to get hold of! This cream strives to help smooth skin, making make up much easier to apply and giving a very polished finish. I love anything that leaves me with a dewy complexion, and this is a great product for anyone who wants to achieve illuminated skin but doesn't know where to start. 

My next favourite is one that I purchased for myself just before Christmas (very cheeky I know). One of my favourite Beauty brands is Rituals, and I am especially a huge fan of their skincare products. However on my last trip this Miracle Scrub for hands caught my eye. As an avid facial scrub-pusher I decided to branch out and try the hand scrub and I am so pleased I did. Since using this I have never received so many compliments about the softness of my hands. Not only does this exfoliator smell fantastic, it takes seconds to use and the results lasts for hours. I've found since using this I've needed less lotion, as my hands are already mega soft, even in the gail force winds of winter! Alongside this I have also been keeping my nails in tip-top condition with a couple of new nail favourites. I've been attempting to keep my nails buffed and smooth with the Model's own 4 way nail buffer. This is the lazy girls answer to salon quality nails in 5 minutes. It's a great investment to any ladies beauty drawers. Next up is Maybelline's Express nail polish remover. This is a little pot of varnish remover lined with sponge which has a tiny hole in the centre. The idea is to pop your finger in, twist around and remove, by which time all your varnish should be gone! This has been a great Christmas saviour in my bid to remove hundreds of minuscule glitter pieces from my nails. The need for this remover was mainly down to my new  nail polish - L'oreal's Colour Riche in the aptly named Sequin explosion. This was my most sought after product over the Christmas period, and it seemed to be sold out everywhere, so when I eventually got my hands on it I was ridiculously excited! It certainly lived up to expectations and it is the best glitter I've used in some time. It applies beautifully, and can even be worn without a base colour. Most importatly it doesn't take weeks to remove. 

Next up is a scent I've grown very attached to that doesn't cost the earth. The Body shop's White musk smokey rose Eau de Toilette is a very light, pretty scent that doesn't fade within a few hours of wear. The scent is a perfect daytime fragrance, and I picked up the small bottle which is an ideal size to pop into a handbag for a day out!

Last but not least is my only hair based product of the month. I am a big fan of Herbal Essences Bee Strong range and I have managed to get through several bottles of their shampoo and conditioner over the last few months, so I decided it was time to invest in their Intensive hair mask. Everybody's hair needs some tender loving care, and due to the horrible English weather I thought it was the perfect time of year to do so. The mask smells absolutely gorgeous and has a very thick texture, meaning a little goes a long way. I've been using this once a week and have already noticed my hair is much softer and shinier. Using heat on my hair means I need to take care of it in order to avoid split ends and this hair mask has not only helped to disguise imperfections in my hair but also seems to be slowly repairing it to it's former glory. A highly recommended product!

What are your favourite products from December?

Naturally radiant Brightening micro polish - £2.48
Bioderma's Solution micellaire
Rituals Miracle Scrub - £11.50
L'oreal's Colour Riche Sequin explosion - £4.99
Herbal essence Bee strong Intensive hair mask - £3.99

Beauty Resolutions

Christmas has come and gone in a flurry of tinsel, sausage rolls and copious amounts of fizzy alcohol. The Christmas (and New Year) parties have been attended and slowly normality is creeping back. I am generally pretty lazy (New years resolution #1 is to make my bed every day, after 24 years I still can't manage to do it) but when it comes to skincare I don't mine putting in the extra time and effort. Therefore I have decided to make a list of Beauty resolutions that are manageable, and hopefully in the long term will make my everyday routines much easier. 

#1 - Deep cleanse
Generally I am pretty good at sticking to a morning and evening skincare routine. However it is very rare that I take the time to give my skin a really good pamper. Therefore this year my top priority is to give my skin some intense tlc at least once a week. I'm talking face masks, several cleansers and various moisturisers and potions. As part of this resolution I picked up the Clarasonic Mia 2 in the sales, which i solemnly swear to use on a daily basis to give my skin a real polish. My excitement when getting the Clarasonic was so ridiculous that i doubt this will be a problem to stick to!

#2 - Hair care
This is a resolution that I dipped into during the last few weeks of 2013 and one that has been a long time coming. I'm pretty lucky with the natural condition of my hair and because of this I can be pretty lazy in the hair department. However I have decided 2014 is the year I embrace the hair mask. I think it's about time I treat my hair to some real love and I plan to slather it in coconut oil and overnight masks until it doesn't recognise itself. Most importantly I promise to use heat protecting spray everyday...or at least most days.

#3 - Talon maintenance 
I love nail varnish, and these days I can't walk past a boots without popping in and picking up a new polish. However I am guilty of having chipped nails most of the time. Because of my job I spend the majority of my day doing arts and crafts or trying to tidy up after a class of 4 year olds so my nails get in a state of disarray quite quickly. My aim this year is to keep on top of my nails so they're always looking polished - even if it means re-painting them every night. How long can I keep that up?!

#4 - A blonde moment
This is more of an adventurous beauty wish then a resolution. I have always wanted to have blonde hair and in my teenage youth I did attempt to turn my chocolate brown locks a dusky blonde. However it ended in several bottles of empty hair dye and bright orange hair with white roots, not exactly the dream. So this year is the year I do blonde properly. Even if it only lasts for a month I want to tick it off the wishlist for good. 

What are your beauty resolutions for 2014?