As I get older I always say to family & friends “let’s not do gifts this year lets just get together and enjoy a meal and a few drinks”. I especially love Christmas for giving us so many excuses to spend time together and it makes me so grateful for all the amazing people I have in my life. That being said it is nice to have something under the tree to open on Christmas morning even if it just one lovely gift, and my husband always gets the most thoughtful presents for me. I like to ask for something special, something I don’t often buy myself and for me that is perfume.
A fragrance for me is such a treat and that’s what makes it the perfect gift to both give and receive. There are so many incredible scents and this year I wanted to add back to my collection a scent that I used to wear a lot a few years ago. We all have that one perfume which never gets old and that for me is Marc Jacobs Daisy. It is such an iconic scent and the bottle is instantly recognisable with the cap adorned with pretty daisies, I haven’t owned it for so long but I’m thrilled to have it for 2018.
It is beautiful, timeless fragrance and one that can be worn by all ages. It is such a mix of fruity, floral and fresh notes that it never smells overpowering of too intense. It reminds me of so many happy moments, birthdays, holidays and getting my job at RBS. It has been a favourite of mine for so long and it was my Mum that first introduced me to it and she still wears it too, so we have the same great taste in perfume.
Top notes of wild berries and soft white violets
Heart notes of velvety jasmine
Base notes of sandalwood
What perfume would you love to receive this Christmas? do you have your heart set on a new release or a classic, iconic scent?
For me 2016 was the year of trying out brands and products I’d never used before. I was not only introduced to brands I had never heard of before but also given the chance to test out products that had been on my wish list for a while.
A few didn’t live up to expectations but I’m pleased to say most of them have become firm favourites. I thought I would share some of the ones that stood out to me. I am very much looking forward to trying more new brands this year and have a few on my radar already.
I had wanted to try this brand for the longest time as I’d only heard positive reviews from bloggers whose opinions I really trust. I was thrilled that the FULFYL haircare system that I tried out lived up to my expectations and my Mum even went out and purchased it for herself too. This particular range is formulated for colour treated hair and it protects your colour from fading whilst keeping your hair strong, nourished and looking super glossy. I am obsessed with it and the hair colour I used on my hair this year stayed vibrant for the longest time, I 100% put it down to using this trio.
Again I was excited to try this brand and I have to say its one of my favourite skincare discoveries of 2016. NIOD are a relatively new brand to the market but don’t overlook them on that count, they’re a brand that are pushing the envelope of ingredients and producing products that are fuss free, effective and pretty damn cool. Everything from their production & packaging right down to the products themselves are progressive. I have tried out a couple of their offerings this year but this Mud Mask has changed my life – well my skin. It has restored my skins radiance and I’ve certainly had fewer blemishes which pleases me greatly. I will be purchasing a lot more from them in 2017 and also trying a few products from their sister company The Ordinary.
This is a budget brand that has always intrigued me, they are quite renowned for producing dupes and when I saw this MAC Burgundy Times Nine Palette dupe on MissMakeupMagpie blog I knew I had to try it. I love neutral palettes and this 9 pan palette has become a firm favourite. I’ve used it so much these past few months and if you are able to track it down (its like gold dust) then I urge you to snap it up. Its super pigmented, wearable and affordable, what more do you want!?
This was a new British skincare company that I was introduced to this year but they mainly cater for younger skin and I’m certainly not in that bracket anymore. Nevertheless their skincare is gentle and although rich its not greasy or too heavy. I did enjoy trying out these three products, but I need something that offers more lift, tightening and hydration. BRYT seem to be ticking all the boxes when is comes to delivering affordable, ethical and botanical premium skincare. So if you’re under 25 then make sure you check them out. How cute and bright is their packaging too!
This is quite a luxury brand which has a very modern minimal feel to its branding and packaging. I have enjoyed the products I have tried from them, especially the snail eye cream which I thought was very gentle and nourishing. It was very lightweight and felt cooling around my eye area, also my concealer applied so well over this. I have been using a few products from their Caviar range too but It’s still early days, so keep an eye out for a full review soon.
I adore using facial oils and love how versatile they are, these two from Ooh! have been a pleasure to use. The Cacay Oil was my favourite of the two and I mostly use this as part of my evening skincare routine but I do mix a little with my serum during the day of my skin is looking lacklustre. It helps to keep my skin looking radiant and hydrated and is great at reducing scaring and uneven skint one. This particular Oil has a high content of vitamin A, vitamin E and Linoleic Acid (omega-6) which have effective results in skincare.
Another brand I had never heard of before trying this palette but I have learnt that they have a huge following, especially in Ireland which is where this brand is from. They produce high quality makeup brushes and also a range of makeup products. The eyeshadow palette didn’t completely WOW me but I did like quite a few of the shades and think they are a brand to keep an eye on. The double ended brush that came with the palette was incredible quality and Its made me want to try a few more from their huge range.
What brands did you try for the first time in 2016, any firm favourites that you would recommend?
Over the past 15 years as my skin has changed, aged and matured, Origins skincare have really been a consistent part of my skincare journey. At some point along the way I have used almost all of their options, some I have moved on from but there are still a few which I have never stopped loving, like their Mega Mushroom Range & also the very popular GinZing Range. They have such a fantastic range of skincare which caters to a spectrum of skin concerns and ages too.
I have been using this Three Point Harmony Cream (the three-point refers to Renewal, Repair and Radiance) for a whole year now & its a really great option for me, now I’m almost in my 40’s, as I said my skin has changed so much and I find I’m reaching for skincare which is more nourishing and keeps my skin hydrated which in turn stops my fine lines looking so prominent. This has been a very good moisturiser for making my skin look its best, not younger or less old but radiant and refreshed.
This does have a rich, thick consistency but once you massage it in, it feels luxurious and your skin is so moisturised, without leaving behind any greasy residue. It leaves the skin feeling very smooth, supple and instantly radiant. Post application you do notice an instant smoothness and the scent is beautifully sweet & uplifting.
This cream has some really lovely skin beneficial ingredients, specifically to pep up your skin and help it look more rejuvenated and glowing.
‘This intensely rich cream with Tazetta Lily Bulbs, White Myrtle and Japanese Knot Weed helps produce youthful supplies of natural collagen to help visibly repair skin’s structure. Fine lines and wrinkles are softened. With deeply nourishing plant butters plus Vitamin E, this luscious cream renews skin’s hydration levels. With Scutellaria, it helps reveal radiance, refine tone and brighten skin to impart a healthy, vibrant glow.’
This cream tackles those skin concerns which become more prominent as our skin matures and its exciting that Origins have extended their range to cater for more mature skin types. I am hoping they add a toner and a face mask to this range in the near future.
I am very much enjoying this cream but I’ve only got a tiny amount left so I have been saving to get a new pot, as I don’t think I can be without it in my routine. Its made such a difference to my dry, dull complexion that I am willing to spend the £60 on a new jar.
Speaking of the jar, this Origins cream comes exquisitely packaged in a luxurious weighty glass jar with a lightly coloured faux wooden lid. It looks pretty, understated and luxurious.
I have heard so many positive reviews about the Serum from this Three Part Harmony Collection that I am very tempted to also purchase that too. If you have tried this range let me know your thoughts & if I should get the Serum too.
So recently Urban Decay revamped their lipstick collection & released 100 beautiful Vive Lipstick shades in 6 indulgent finishes. All of the Vice Lipsticks come in a modern sleek gunmetal case with a rose gold base and UD embossed on both the lid and the actual lipstick bullet. The packaging feels luxurious and vampy which I like a lot.
The 6 finishes are
Mega Matte – Super Intense Matte
Comfort Matte – Urban Decay’s Creamiest Matte
Cream – The Original: creamy, badass, luxury
Metallized – Cream with a high level of pearl
Sheer– A punch of colour with a sheer, shiny finish
Sheer Shimmer – Slightly transparent finish with a floating pearl and a smooth texture
All the lipsticks have the most lovely formula, easy to apply and rich in colour as well as feeling comfortable on the lips. They contain Aloe Vera, Jojoba, Avocado and Babassu Oils which nourish and soften your lips. Vitamin C and Vitamin E provide a hit of antioxidants & Illipe Butter provides that all important long lasting moisture.
I have 6 of them to show you & my gosh what a beautiful selection of shades & finishes they are!
Pandemonium / Mega Matte*
This is a bold, bright vivid pop of purple and isn’t for the faint of heart. Its a really rich shade and I like that its a nice bright purple rather than a dark purple. It was quite hard to get an even application of this shade as it wasn’t as creamy as the other 5 shades but once on it does look beautiful. This is a little drying on the lips but as it is a matte finish I guess that is to be expected.
714 / Mega Matte*
This beautiful bold red is from the recent Gwen Stefani Collection & is now a permanent shade. It is a mega matte finish and this shade stays put on my lips for ages. The colour is a rich red with orange undertones and I would say, if you can, use a lip liner with this shade as it does bleed. It does drag slightly when applying it to your lips but its worth the perseverance as it is just the most gorgeous easy to wear red.
Firebird / Cream*
Did someone say PINK! If you like a pink lip then this is undoubtedly the most intense, rich creamy pink I have ever worn. The colour is vibrant and the creamy formula means that it feels nourishing and smooth on your lips. In the bullet this lipstick looks a little more on the purple side but don’t be fooled, it is a true fuchsia pink. Even though this has a cream finish its still long wearing on the lips and the colour stays looking vibrant for hours. This shade is also a shade from the recent Gwen Stefani collection and I’m in love with it. I tend to shy away from bright shades but this has won me over and I have been enjoying wearing it.
Backtalk / Comfort Matte*
OK this is totally in my comfort zone, its a rose pink nude and it just looks effortless and pretty on the lips. This has become my everyday lipstick, it applies so evenly and is opaque in one application. It doesn’t feel at all drying on my lips, and this wears so well without going patchy or fading throughout the day. I am in love with this shade. I do like the bright colours too but we all have those shades that we feel most comfortable in & for me this is that shade.
Big Bang / Metallized*
This is one of those lipsticks I wish I had the balls to wear out in public & not just in the house. This is a sweet sheer pink with a glossy silvery pink fleck finish. This is a statement lipstick and it looks very metallic on the lips, almost duo-chrome. I think its pretty but quite hard to wear. Out of the 6 shades I have this was the hardest to apply & achieve an even coverage, I had to go over my lips quite a few times to build up the colour and get a clean even finish. It does feel creamy on the lips & smooth too. Its such a fun shade and not at all subtle!
So there you have it a the Vice Lipsticks are a huge exciting launch from Urban Decay and they have everything from bold brights, vampy plums to beautiful wearable neutrals and everything in between. What shades do you have your eye on?