I was fortunate to receive several beauty items for Christmas and I’ve been busy testing them out! Most of these were on my wish list, meaning I’d already researched the brands and products, and knew they were makeup and skincare items I wanted to try. The majority of them don’t disappoint. So, if you’re on the hunt for a new toner, eye shadow, or perfume, keep reading! Brands I review are: Glossier, Smashbox, The Body Shop, Elizabeth and James, Kiehl’s and MAC.
The first two items I actually purchased myself from Glossier during their Black Friday sale. I believe the products were 20% off plus free shipping. I purchased the Balm Dotcom rose scented lip treatment (£10) and Cloud Paint in Dusk. Glossier is a hugely hyped up brand that claims to provide natural looking makeup, but it’s quite pricy for what you get, in my opinion. I’m definitely NOT a fan of the Balm Dotcom. I don’t like the rose taste and I find it makes my lips more dry. However, I think I would buy the Cloud Paint at its full retail price of £15. You only need the tiniest amount and the product gives a perfect natural flush that lasts all day with just a hint of shimmer. There’s a reason it’s one of their best selling products.
For my birthday, Lucy got me the Cover Shot mini palette in Ablaze (£25). I’ve only used it a couple of times but I like it and it’s my first item from the brand! The shadows are blendable, though could be more pigmented. The palette comes with three matte shades and the rest are shimmer. I really wanted a couple of red shadows for an autumn/winter look but without having to break the bank on a palette like the Anastasia Modern Renaissance. The packaging is interesting and comes with a good mirror. My favourite shade is the red one called Nirvana.
The Body Shop:
On my wish list were a few items from The Body Shop. I’ve been loyal to this brand since I was a child and I buy soap for my mom every Christmas. I haven’t tried anything from their makeup range, but their skincare and shower gels are fantastic. My favourite hand cream is the Shea scent (£12). I ran out of my mini tube just before Christmas and my brother kindly gave me a massive tube along with two other products.
The Drops of Youth Liquid Peel is one of their most popular new products. When you rub it onto your skin you get little balls of (presumably dead skin) as it chemically exfoliates. I hesitated to purchase this myself because I’ve got sensitive skin and it’s pricy at £18. I’ve only used it once but it didn’t irritate my skin and it left my face post-international flight feeling soft and refreshed. Not sure it’s worth the money yet, but I’ll keep going with it.
The British Rose Petal-Soft Gel Toner (£9.50) is a product that I’d never consider buying ordinarily because I don’t use toners. But, when I spotted the bottle while shopping in November I just couldn’t get over how beautiful it looked! This is one of those rare “where has this been all my life” items. The gel texture means you can squeeze it onto your fingertips, without having to fuss with a liquid and cotton pad. The scent is rose but not too strong, and it’s so moisturising! I use it every day now before my serum.
Elizabeth and James – Nirvana:
This brand was created by Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen (of Full House fame) and boy do they do fragrance well! This trio of roller ball perfumes was a boxing day purchase. I’ve been wanting to try the Bourbon Eau De Parfum for ages but this brand isn’t easily available in the UK. I was just about to pay for a larger size roller ball of the Bourbon when I stumbled on this set in the aisle of doom at Sephora. I figured for $36CAD I could try out all three scents and see which I like best before investing in a full bottle.
My favourite is Bourbon (notes of vanilla bourbon, oakwood, and tuberose), but Amethyst (tobacco, sweet honeysuckle, and warm cedar wood) is also lovely. I’m less keen on Black (violet, sandalwood, and vanilla) and I think it’s because I don’t like floral notes. I enjoy how unique and warm these perfumes are and none of them include musk, which gives me a headache. I highly recommend trying them!
The Midnight Recovery Concentrate is a product that’s been talked about by beauty bloggers for ages but it’s pretty pricy at nearly £40. I thought this would make a good item for my wish list because it’s a small (travel friendly) gift that will last me a long time. My Uncle gave me this generous gift in addition to the two MAC lipsticks featured below.
It smells herbal but not too strong and feels relaxing applied before bed. It works just as well as my other facial oils or night creams, so I’m doubtful it’s any miracle elixir but I’ll definitely use it up. If you’re a Kiehl’s user, I’d love to know what products you recommend I try next!
I’ve finally added the iconic MAC lipsticks to my collection. BUT, I really don’t see what all the fuss is about… The packaging is sleek, the bullet has a comfortable shape, and I like the scent, but I find the product to be a bit stiff and dry and doesn’t last as long as some of my drugstore lippies.
My Uncle picked beautiful colours: Faux in the Satin formula, and Crème Cup in the Cremesheen formula. I think I prefer Faux and the Satin formula but the lipstick doesn’t apply as easily as I expected and it feels tacky like an ointment. I like the lipsticks but won’t be rushing out to spend £16.50 on another bullet soon. If you have a favourite MAC lipstick, I’d love to hear what shade and formula you enjoy most!
I thought I’d add as an update that I’m still loving my facial cleansing brush for removing my makeup (review here), and I’ve haven’t even had to charge it yet!
That’s all from me for today. I’m off to prep for a party (a.k.a. second Christmas). I’m patiently waiting for meringues to come out of the oven so I can make mini pavlovas (recipe to come). Happy weekend everyone, and thanks for reading!