How's everyone getting on with their new years resolution to apply body lotions and butters every day? Unfortunately I've not been managing to stick to it, I've been applying almost every day but when I'm in a hurry and need extra time unfortunately buttering up is the step I've been skipping - naughty!
To get myself back on the moisturising bandwagon I have a secret weapon up my sleeve, which, thinking about it, was my first ever Soap & Glory purchase many many years ago, and to this day I'm still purchasing and loving it!
Meet Soap & Glory Spray-On Body Moisturising Mist...oh yes, you read right, you spray it on and go. Genius. Girligo was the first of the Body Moisturising Mists and upon becoming very popular indeed it was swiftly was joined by two other limited edition body mists, which you can now find in a nifty little gift set. Girligo is the original body mist that I return to time and time again, combining the sumptuous musky, talcy, feminine classic Soap & Glory pink scent with a super duper easy to use mechanism and formula.
Springtime is fast approaching us and I couldn't be more pleased, it's no secret that it's my favourite season of the year. Spring to me is a celebration of everything raw about the world around us - lambs lambing, bulbs sprouting and all the joy that comes with Easter, not to mention our beauty shelves coming awash with pastel hues and lighter formulas following a heavy, cold and darkened winter. It's just perfect. Or is it?
If we were to define 'perfect' as that airbrushed, consistent, flawless perfection that the media are oh so hungry to achieve then nature by definition isn't perfect at all; no feather is the same, no egg perfectly shaped, equal in size or colour. Yet nature doesn't care, nothing holds it back, it's celebrated for what it is in all its imperfect glory...who needs to be perfect anyway?
This year Illamasqua have plucked inspiration right from nature and all it encapsulates in its perfect imperfection for their Spring Season collection using some of natures finest and natural products - feathers, leaves and eggs - to inspire the looks and very products themselves.
Take a look at the word imperfection. Then look again. I'mperfection. It's time we celebrated our imperfections rather than covering them up, ladies and gents Illamasqua urge you to show off your freckles, find the beauty in your beauty spot and shine a light on your birth marks.
Meet the new Spring Collection launching at the end of January from Illamasqua - I'm Perfection: We Are Colour, You Are Beauty.
Mascara is the one cosmetic that I apply every day without fail, even if I'm sporting a bare faced look a slick of mascara is all I need to widen and awaken my eyes. I'm forever using a different mascara, I don't think I've ever repurchased a mascara before because I'm so often itching to try out newer options on the market, forever seeking that 'holy grail' mascara that lengthens, curls and adds volume. Meet my first ever re-purchased mascara - Urban Decay Supercurl Mascara- I'm onto my second tube and there's no stopping me for repurchasing again. It's not a moment too soon to say that finally, after years of searching, I have found my 'holy grail' mascara.
When it comes to skincare I'm willing to try anything, in the summer months my skin tends to lean oily but in the winter it gets dry and tight. I have combination skin, a combination of oiliness and dryness in different areas on my skin at different times of the day and year, meaning I'm regularly switching up my skincare routine to accommodate for the ever changing condition of my skin.
At the moment I'm experiencing the dry side of my skins type, the surface is visibly and touchably dry and feels really dehydrated. QVC, a top lifestyle, home and beauty website and television show who offer excellent deals on top brand names, came to my rescue and recommended the Rehydrating range to solve my winter skin woes. Elemis Rehydrating Rose Petal Cleanser and Ginseng Toner work together morning and night to increase the moisture levels in your skin whilst smoothing dryness and soothing the skins surface. This duo have been my skincare buddies since December and they've been working wonders on my dry skin.
Consider this blog post as the secret behind my Essie obsession - revealed. Every time I swatch or post about my beloved Essie polishes at least one comment crops up about the price and I totally agree, £7.99 per polish soon adds right up, especially on a budget. However ladies and gents, I have a little secret weapon up my sleeve for getting my Essie fix on a budget.
The only Essie stockists I used to visit were John Lewis, Boots, Superdrug and ASOS, all of which offer various discounts and offers on Essie but nothing particularly extensive; that was until I discovered Fragrance Direct. Fragrance Direct retail a range of beauty products at a discounted price, they're primarily a discount fragrance outlet but there's some real gems in other categories! I only shop at Fragrance Direct for one thing - Essie nail polishes.
This week, amidst the snow, I've been Spring/Summer dreaming. Believe it or not my favourite seasons aren't that far away from us and I just love getting myself prepared for them once the new year has landed, summer-ready preparations begin around now - prepared or what? The main thing that changes come Spring Time in my beauty routines is my nails, I love Spring season nail colours, awash with pastels and all my favourite hues.
Recently I've been trying my hand at Nail Wraps, a handy way of achieving salon-style nail art designs without the need for a steady hand or skill. Hollywood Nail Design (HND) are your one stop shop for nail wraps, not only do they stock their own HND range of nail wraps in original and 3D designs, but they're also stockists to 'Kooky' Nail Wraps, 'Trendy' Nail Wraps and much loved 'Nail Rock' Nail Wraps; there's definitely a style for everyone with prices ranging from £5 and up for a set. Of course, one of my top picks from the site had to be Nail Wraps in 'Any Dream', the perfect Spring/Summer nail look - minimum effort required.
Candy Corn - the American treat that's super sweet! Yes that's right, you guessed it, another Philosophy post from me today; I'm sharing my thoughts on the Christmas stock in case anyone is planning on making a last minute sale purchase or considers them for the seasons to come.
When it comes to moisturisers I have far too many compared to the average person, the problem is that I'm always trying out different textures, scents and formulas to find what really works for my skin. The latest addition to my moisturiser 'collection' is the Origins Perfect World Moisturiser, enriched with white tea for a soothing antioxidant effect.
For the new year Origins have put together four fantastic Facial Kits where you get four products plus a makeup bag for the price of a moisturiser - generous or what huh? Inside each makeup bag is your selected moisturiser plus three other miniature treats to compliment it for a complete skincare treat. So, in knowing that I wanted to purchase a moisturiser anyway I ordered the 'Skin Protecting Facial Kit', seeing as I'd be getting four extra treats for free! The aim of the Skin Protecting Kit is to protect your skin from ageing and skin damage, which is perfect for a city girl like me in my early twenties where looking after skin is a top priority.
When Essie launched their Diffusion Line on our British high streets last year the star of the show was 'Lapiz of Luxury', probably thanks to the summary season that the lines launched around where many people reach for sky blue hues.
Only a couple of months ago did I pick up Lapis of Luxury, I fail to hold a penchant for blue hues but I am taking more interest in them as I progress my way through the Essie stand. Lapis of Luxury was introduced by Essie back in 2010 in their Resort Collection (there's one every year, take note and watch out) and it was so popular that it was made permanent, along with 'Splash of Grenadine'. I'm wondering if Lapis of Luxury takes inspiration from Lapis Lazuli - a rare and precious stone well known for its stunningly intense blue hues. Ponder I shall, I like to think shade names have a story!
Beauty accessories are to me what labour saving devices were to hardworking women many years ago - a saviour (I knew my sociology A level would serve me well some day). One of my favourite 'labour saving' accessories at the moment is my Soap & Glory Hair Turban, hair turbans have been popular for quite a while but only recently have I gotten myself round to seeing what they're all about.
Hair turbans work really simply, you place them on your head of wet hair instead of a towel and they work their magic.
My top pick of the hair turbans is the Soap & Glory Turban purely because of it's girly design and great results! The turban is typically packaged with a length of cardboard around it but because mine here is from a gift set, it doesn't have its complete packaging. Of course, the turban is really lightweight and easily portable, it rolls, folds and tucks away really neatly.
Charcoal - yes I'm talking about the type (well, a very similar thing) you use to stoke up your BBQ or heater - is brilliant for clearing up oily, blemish prone skin. See, when it comes to skincare sometimes natural ingredients are the best ingredients and Origins have hit the nail on the head with their range of face masks inspired by natural ingredients and remedies for skin complaints.
Today we're taking our bodycare from the kitchen into the shower (just not quite literally). Think cakes topped with maple glaze, fresh baked batches and that first delicious bite. Philosophy love the sweet excitement you get from every bite, so they thought up a limited edition Christmas 3 in 1 to replica just that.
I love the Philosophy 3 in 1 Shower Gels, Shampoos and Bubble Baths; despite their pricey tag these 3 in 1s are really something special and pack a true punch when it comes to results and scent.
Meet Skinetica - formerly known as Acnigon - the anti-blemish liquid that has transformed my frequently acne-prone skin for good. Skinetica has a revolutionary formula that soothes, calms, and clears acne prone skin without the use of harsh chemicals, just four ingredients that have been dermatologically tested and approved.
If you want evenly toned smooth skin in an instant then primer is probably the best product to turn to; I've dabbled with a couple of face primers over the past year but nothing really stood out enough to me to make a repurchase or use it daily (of course Urban Decay Eye Primer Potions are regulars in my beauty routine but I'm talking about the skin here today).
Philosophy 'The Present' is an oil-free moisturiser and primer that you apply last of all before any makeup, I use it after applying my regular morning moisturiser and serums. Primers not only help to take care of your skin and improve it's appearance but they also help to improve the finish of your makeup and 'set' it to last longer. It's a wonder why I've not used primers more regularly in the past, they sound like a wonder products don't they!
Meet the newest additions to my beauty accessories stash - a selection of Dirty Works Accessories. You might know Dirty Works as the budget Sainsbury's exclusive retro skin and bodycare brand but only last year did they give themselves a revamp and launch lots of new products, accessories included. I don't think I write about beauty accessories enough despite the fact that I make use of them every day, they're so handy for primping and preening whether it be in the comfort of my own home or when I'm on the go and travelling.
The Dirty Works accessories range is full of accessories to help you on your way to cosmetic, nail, brow and skin perfection with a range of applicators, brushes, tools and kits. This is only a snapshot of what's on offer, you can see the whole range for yourself here, but I say it's a great start to bulking up your beauty tools and accessories on a budget without a compromise on quality.
Throughout the year my beauty routines chop and change faster than the speed of light, not just thanks to being a blogger alone but also thanks to being the inquisitive person I am when it comes to products. I'm always interested in trying something new and switching things up, I never seem to stick to any single product or routine for longer than a month!
I've given the decisions I made about beauty in 2012 a good reviewing and have come up with a handful of 'Beauty Resolutions' to apply to my routines in 2013 that I will stick to. It seems I've ignored so many beauty musts in 2012 that really could make a change to my life, here's goes the first steps to a beautiful 2013.