Well, January is almost over (thank goodness) and the nights are drawing out, meaning Spring isn’t far off. I’ve been busy trying out lots of new products, so I’m sharing a round up of my favourites. I plan to make it a regular end of month feature. For January’s beauty favourites I’ve picked items that I’ve recently discovered and have well and truly earned a permanent place in my beauty routine.
Most often, I’m introduced to new products through beauty boxes, and one that’s been a big hit for me is the relatively new Tili box from QVC. It stands for “Try it, like it” and I certainly did. QVC released a box for October and November but they’ve made us wait for the third one, which is due to go on sale in February. November’s box contained two fabulous eye products: the Pixi Endless Silky Eye Pen and Tarte Tarteist mascara. When it comes to mascaras I’m very hard to please; basically I want one that ticks every box – volume, length, colour intensity and definitely NO clumping. Tarte’s Tarteist mascara certainly fulfils all of those requirements.
The brush captures every lash with just a few sweeps, coating them with the jet black, glossy formula. Tarteist uses triple-black painted mineral pigments to strengthen and condition lashes. It’s vegan and free from parabens, mineral oil, phthalates and sodium lauryl sulfates. Tarteist is now my favourite mascara and I simply can’t be without it. It adds amazing length and volume to my lashes with minimal effort. It has serious staying power too; I went out on a seven mile run wearing it and less than a mile in the weather changed…for the worse. I ran the rest of it in howling wind and rain, fully expecting to look like Alice Cooper when I got home, but to my amazement it hadn’t budged, as you can see below.
Eyeliner is part of my everyday makeup routine, so finding one that is soft, intensely pigmented and smudge proof is essential. Over the years I’ve had a few hits (Eye of Horus Goddess Pencil is seriously good) as well as plenty of misses (Mac Pro Longwear Eye Liner was surprisingly disappointing).
I’m absolutely rubbish at doing a winged eyeliner so I go for a smokey, slightly smudged look on my upper eyes. With the Pixi Endless Silky Pen you get the look of a wet eyeliner in a pencil. One stroke of the pencil leaves a perfectly crisp and clean line. The texture is soft and velvety but you really don’t need to apply much pressure, so it doesn’t squash and blunt the tip. Handy advice on the Pixi website: pop it in the freezer a few minutes before sharpening.
It’s available in 18 shades, including two blacks – Black Noir and Glimmery Black, as well as beautiful jewel tones. I’ve got the Black Noir shade which I love, but I’m planning on buying a few more. At £12 they won’t break the bank and because of the colour intensity they last really well. A fabulous pencil that gets top marks from me!
So that’s two fantastic eye products, but I have to mention one for lips too. I got a mini tube of Sexy Mother Pucker lip gloss in Soap and Glory’s annual Christmas gift set, The Whole Glam Lot. I had tried SMP before and wasn’t keen on the tingly feeling it causes, but having given it another try I really like it.
The shade – Rose and Shine – is a delicate pink which I like to wear over a pinky nude lipstick. I’m not sure if it does make my lips look fuller, but it certainly feels like it’s working – it really does tingle! This is a new formula (maybe that’s why I’ve changed my mind about it) which is smooth and glossy without feeling sticky. There are seven super flattering soft shades available.
One of the most unusual beauty products I’ve tried recently is L’Or des Pharaons Face & Body Mist. I say unusual because it’s a purified water that contains monatomic, diatomic and nanoclusters of pure gold, platinum and zinc.
Drawing on ancient Egyptian beliefs the website says “In Ancient Egypt, the Gold of the Pharaohs was used for face masks to preserve the skin, while monatomic gold was used to rejuvenate and extend human lifespan”. L’Or des Pharaons (Gold of the Pharaohs) was developed using research on ancient manuscripts, combined with modern technology on the use and extraction of Nano gold, platinum and zinc. It’s claimed the particles are small enough to pass through cell membranes for optimum absorption and efficacy.
I use it after cleansing and before serum/moisturiser for a refreshing and revitalising hydration boost. In hot weather I’ll store it in the fridge for a cooling spritz. I recently had laser treatment for broken veins around my nose, which puts a lot of heat into the skin, and I found this spray perfect for calming it down.
I’m quite fussy about perfume; I usually have one that I wear all the time, rather than have one for day and one for evening. YSL Manifesto had been my “signature scent” for years, but when I was browsing the duty free shop at Gatwick airport a few months ago, I tried the new Mon Paris from YSL. I loved it instantly.
Although I usually test a scent several times before I take the plunge (just to be sure I really like it) I was convinced at first sniff that this was the one for me. Mon Paris has fruity top notes, an intoxicating floral heart and a dark chypre base which combine to create a sensual and radiant fragrance.
I bought a gift set that included a miniature bottle to keep in my handbag for touch ups during the day, although it does have pretty good lasting power. The sales assistant told me that Manifesto is being gradually phased out and replaced by Mon Paris, so I’ll have to stock pile a few bottles because I’d like to have the choice of both. Don’t you just hate it when one of your favourite perfumes is discontinued?
Pictured with the perfume is a rather delightful body cream. Rituals is a completely new brand to me so I had no idea of price point or what to expect. I got this travel-sized tube in the Marks and Spencer advent calendar which was amazing value for money. Rituals of Sakura is a velvety-smooth lightweight cream containing nourishing Vitamin E and Centella Asiatica to leave skin silky, supple and smooth. It has a beautifully delicate scent of rice milk and cherry. At £19.50 for 220ml it’s a bit spendy, but would make a fabulous Valentine’s Day gift, so get hinting now 😉 I’m popping this in my travel bag ready for my next holiday.
Last but not least is a duo of facial oils from Nude. Over the last few years my skin has become dryer, so oils are now a regular feature in my skincare routine. I usually apply one in place of a moisturiser two or three nights a week. Nude Progenius Firming Youth Oil and Rescue Oil are skin saviours, particularly during the Winter.
The Firming Youth Oil contains all five omegas, prickly pear, peacock’s tail algae and passion fruit extracts, “renowned as some of nature’s most effective ingredients for minimizing visible signs of aging”. My skin loves this oil, but with an RRP of £72 my bank balance doesn’t, so I’ve been trying to eke out my 5ml bottle. Luckily I got the Rescue Oil too (I can’t remember where they came from, probably a beauty box) so I alternate them now. Rescue Oil is a lighter formula containing bakuchiol, “nature’s answer to retinol, without the negative side effects”. Purifying coleus root and organic rosemary extracts work to clarify the complexion and antioxidant-rich ingredients provide environmental protection.
At £58 for 30ml Rescue Oil is cheaper than the Firming Youth Oil, however, my skin has expensive taste, so although I happily use both, given the choice I’d opt for the latter. Temptingly, the Firming Youth Oil is currently on sale at Sephora, reduced to £49.12 – still not cheap but a significant saving.
*Disclaimer: I bought all of these products myself except the L’Or des Pharaons Face and Body Mist, which was sent to me for review. All opinions are completely honest and unbiased. This post contains some affiliate links which may earn a small amount if you click on them to help towards the running costs of the blog.