*This post contains gifted items
It has been a very long year, and I am sure every single one of us cannot wait to meet up with friends and family, go to a restaurant for a meal without having to sit outside in the cold British weather, and of course, get our glam on, because we are going out, out! I have compiled some of my must-have beauty products for once lockdown is FINALLY over and we are allowed out to play on May 17th.
If, like me, you have fine, flat hair, then you are going to want some volume! The Grow Gorgeous Volume Bodifying Leave-in Serum (£18.00 for 150ml) is an excellent option. The formula contains Hyaluronic Acid to help smooth and hydrate hair, Amaranth Seed Extract to increase the hair's diameter, resulting in thicker looking strands with increased body, bounce and lustre, Pea Peptides which have conditioning properties and create extra body in the hair and Rice Protein to improve manageability, shine and increase volume. To use, you simply apply a small amount to towel-dried hair before blow drying and smooth through the entire lengths of the hair, blow dry and style as normal and you will have some va-va-voom in your locks in no time.
To make sure your skin is super smooth, I recommend using the Rituals Ritual of Sakura Celebrate Each Day Body Scrub (£14.90 for 250g). This is a beautiful body scrub, that contains a luxe mixture of sugar and softening oils to gently exfoliate and nourish even the driest of skin. The Scrub has a lovely, fresh Cherry Blossom fragrance and it contains Rice Milk, which is very nurturing on the skin. I like to use a body scrub 1-2 times a week, massaging it into damp skin, and then rinsing it off with warm water, which will reveal super soft and nourished skin - your legs are going to look amazing, so be sure to get your shortest dress out!
We are going to want to keep fresh and odour-free throughout the day, and what better way than with the new Sure Advanced Protection Uplifting & Fresh Anti-Perspirant* (£3.00 for 200ml). I am obsessed with anything that smells of watermelon, as it reminds me of Summer, and whilst this isn't a heavy watermelon fragrance, it is still such a delight! Sure Advanced Protection combats sweat and helps you stay dry and fresh for up to 72 hours due to their advanced technology that creates an anti-sweat micro shield to prevent sweat throughout the day and beyond. So even when than sunshine eventually appears, Sure have got you covered!
I strongly dislike pores. They are the bane of my life - I have such enlarged ones and I always feel self-conscious. However, to combat those pesky little things, I love the Elemis Peptide4 Thousand Flower Mask (£37.00 for 75ml). This is a mineral-rich mask that is powered by thousands of fallen flowers (how romantical does that sound!), to instantly revitalise the skin and reduce the appearance of pores. It comes in a squeezy tube and is formulated with skin-synchronising Peptide4 and brightening Nordic Peat, with a cooling, velvety mousse texture that leaves the skin smoother, more even and manages to hide those darn pores! It is so easy to incorporate into your skincare regime - simply use 2-3 times on cleansed skin and then after 15 minutes, remove with a damp cloth.
For a one and done face mask, I highly recommend the Beauty Pro Hyaluronic Acid Gold Foil Mask* (£5.95). This gold foil mask is an intensely hydrating and nourishing mask that utilises your natural body temperature to create a warming sensation and this transfer of heat accelerates the penetration of the powerful ingredients into the skin, therefore increasing effectiveness and giving instant results, which is perfect for those last minute cocktail invitations! We all know how amazing hyaluronic acid is for the skin as it can hold over 1,000 times its weight in water and so it is going to keep the skin super hydrated and looking smooth. The mask formula also includes Q10, a powerful anti-ageing and rejuvenating ingredient which helps to repair cells and therefore reduces damage. This is going to give you such a glow!
I don't remember the last time I wore high heels, and so my tootsies are in definite need of some care! The Beauty Pro Foot & Callus Peel* (£7.95) is full of powerful ingredients including an advanced complex of 16 natural plant botanicals which work to gradually remove dead and rough skin on the feet over a period of seven days. They are little booties, which you can pop on whilst watching the television, and are the perfect way to prep your feet for baring them in sandals and heels. The formula contains Salicylic and Glycolic Acid to exfoliate and dissolve dead skin cells while encouraging the generation of new cells, calming and hydrating the skin to help your feet look like you have just had the best pedicure ever.
I have always struggled with sleep, and I wake up in a morning and my eyes are so puffy and tired looking. The Sensory Retreats Divine Eyes Self-Heating Eye Mask* (£3.95) is designed to help you relax as tension melts away whilst your tired and strained eyes are soothed. The heat takes place for around 25 minutes, so before a night out, take some time to relax and get ready for the night ahead, whilst the mask works its magic to revitalise and refresh the eye area. You can also get the Sensory Retreats Dreamy Eyes Self-Heating Sleep Mask* (£3.95) which has been designed to help you naturally drift off into a deeply relaxing sleep. This has been perfect for me, and really helps me relax and wind down at bedtime, and due to it being a blackout mask, I cannot see my phone light up and distract me, nor can I see any light coming through the windows. I love how handy these little packets are, as you can pop one in your bag for on the go.
Moving on to makeup, we have the Revolution Pro Hydra Bright Primer (£10.99 for 30ml). This illuminating primer has subtle pearlescent pigments which help to provide a radiant glow when reflecting against light. The formula dries down to a light dewy finish and helps to maintain a healthy looking glow throughout the day and night. Housed in a pretty glass bottle with a pump applicator, this Primer contains Shea Butter to help keep the skin soft and conditioned, Glycerin to help the skin retain its natural moisture and Vitamin B5 to stabilise the skin's natural H2O barrier which helps with hydration. I love how healthy this makes my skin not only look, but feel too, and it is very comfortable to wear too.
If we are going out out, we need a foundation that is going to hide blemishes and stay in place all day, or night long. That is why I have chosen the Revlon Colorstay Full Cover Foundation* (£9.99 for 30ml). This product comes in a squeezy tube and has a full coverage, matte finish that has been formulated to resist heat, sweat and humidity for 24 hours. Even though this is a full coverage foundation, it doesn't feel at all heavy on the skin and feels very comfortable to wear. Sometimes I have quite dry, sensitive skin, but I have absolutely no problem wearing this foundation. There are 18 shades to choose from, and I have 110 Ivory, which works really well for my fair to light skin tone. If you are wanting a full coverage, flawless, matte foundation, then this is the one to go for, plus at under £10.00, you really cannot go wrong!
As I just mentioned, I do sometimes suffer from sensitive skin, as I know so many people do, and whilst for the most part, it doesn't stop me wearing 99% of makeup, some people cannot. That's why I was thrilled when I first saw the Essence Skin Lovin' Sensitive Mineral Powder* (£3.50 for 9g), as they also have other products in the collection. This transparent mineral powder provides a matte, blurry finish that is lightweight on the skin. It has nourishing ingredients such as Aloe Vera and Minerals and helps the skin to look natural and smooth. The powder is talc-free and is formulated without fragrance, alcohol, silicones and parabens, and I think it is so amazing for a high street brand to come up with a sensitive skin makeup collection! This is going to keep your makeup in place and mattified throughout the day without a single dot of irritation.
For bronzer, I have really been enjoying the IT Cosmetics Ombre Radiance Bronzer* (£25.00 for 16.17g). As this is an Ombre bronzer, it has different shades of bronzer within the one compact, so you are going to be able to use it all year round - pale in winter? Use the lighter side of the pan. Golden and glowing? Move to the deeper side of the pan and so on. However, not only is this a bronzer - the lightest side can also be used as a highlighter depending on your skin tone. Infused with peptides, antioxidants, silk and hydrolysed collagen, this powder transforms from matte to radiant, allowing you to customise your application. As the pan is so huge, you can also take a body brush and apply it all over the body for a glowy warmth to the skin. I think this is going to be an excellent travel option too, as you can use it in so many different ways.
I have been enjoying more cream-based makeup products recently, and a perfect powder blush hybrid is the MAC Glow Play Blush (£24.00 for 7.3g). I have mine in the shade Totally Synched, a slightly lilac-toned pink, and I am obsessed! This innovative, ultra-smooth, cushiony blush creates a flawless, radiant look when applied with fingertips or a brush. It sort of feels like a super soft play dough, but for the cheeks, and is so easy to apply to the skin, giving a seamless, easily blended look. You can go sheer, or build up the colour to your heart's content. I definitely want to pick up another shade or two in this formula as they are just so easy to use and apply, which not all cream-style blush products are, and the formula stays in place all day long.
Recently, I have been trying out new brands, and one brand on my wish list was Honest Beauty, and so one of the products I chose to try is the Honest Beauty Luminizing Glow Powder (£25.00 for 10g) in the shade Midnight Reflection. The clean, simple compact has a mirror on the inside of the lid, and then a decent-sized pan containing this baked highlighter. Made with light-reflecting pigments, this luminescent powder provides the skin with instant radiance, a subtle shimmer and a filtered finish without any shine or glitter. This isn't one of those disco-ball highlighters, it is a soft highlighter and therefore I didn't swatch it as it wouldn't show up on camera as well as it should. However, for Spring and Summer days, I think it is much prettier to have a more natural highlighter to give you that glow from within look.
To cover up dark circles and blemishes, I have chosen the Catrice Clean ID High Cover Concealer* (£3.95 for 5ml), because Catrice make some of the best concealer formulas on the market, in my opinion. I reach for the original time and time again. The Clean ID High Cover Concealer is a liquid concealer that comes with a slanted sponge tip applicator and reliably covers dark circles to help the under eye area look fresher, all day long. You can of course use this concealer to cover redness and skin impurities, too, but as I don't really suffer from acne, and I do have naturally dark undereye circles, this is such an amazing product for me. The formula contains 96% natural ingredients and is fragrance free and suitable for those with sensitive skin. I have the shade 004 Light Almond, which is for light skin tones, and it works perfectly for my skin tone.
I featured the Dear Dahlia Perfect Brow Longwear Sculpting Pencil* (£25.00 for 0.35g) in my Dear Dahlia Favourites post, and so I just had to include it within this post too as this is such a long-wearing formula and I have not stopped reaching for it. The packaging is oh-so-pretty and you get a spoolie at one end and the pencil at the other, which features a flat-angled triangular tip so that you get ultimate precision and control. I adore how quick and easy this pencil is to use, and the natural matte finish and smudge-proof formula does not budge! Even when I do my swatches for photographs, I immediately try and remove it, and it still stays in place! So, if you want power brows, or natural brows, that stay in place all day long, then this is the brow product for you! Here I have the shade Chestnut, which is the lightest of the three shades, which would work well for blonde hair to light brown.
If you have naturally full brows, then to help refine them and keep them in place, I would recommend the Essence #pinkandproud Strong Soapy Brow Styler (£3.29 for 17g). You get a cute little tin containing a soapy, transparent texture that is ideal for styling the brows and setting them into place, and a little pink spoolie to apply the product with. They do recommend applying water or setting spray onto the spoolie before then going into the product. Some Brow Soaps are pretty pricey, and at just over £3.00, you really cannot go wrong. Even though I don't have a lot of of brow hair, I still enjoy using this as some of them are quite unruly, so this keeps them beautifully groomed.
As I have naturally fair, fine, straight lashes, I have been on the hunt for a good quality eyelash curler, and the Kevyn Aucoin The Eyelash Curler* (£17.00) is one I have really been enjoying using. This Eyelash Curler is a professional-grade curler that lifts natural lashes for a soft, yet effective curl. It has a sleek, stainless steel frame and a curved rubber pad to comfortably curl and shape the lashes without causing any damage, plus you do get an extra rubber pad too. For the best curl, simply use the Curler before applying mascara, open and press down onto the lashes, hold and release, and once mascara is dry, simply use again for extra glamorous lashes. With some cheaper lash curlers, I have found previously that a lash or two would come out when I used them, but due to the soft comfort of the cushion pad, that hasn't happened with the Kevyn Aucoin Curler.
Because my lashes are fairly fragile, I adore a mascara that has lash care included within it, and the Talika Lipocils Mascara* (£25.50 for 8.5ml) is an excellent choice for this. Not only does this mascara leave the lashes strong and beautifully separated, but it also contains the Mythical Plant Complex which has been proven to stimulate lash growth, and it has made such a huge difference to my lashes - they feel stronger and are starting to look longer. If you wear lash extensions, or false lashes, I would highly recommend this as a treatment mascara as I know from experience years ago, how sparse false lashes can make your lashes appear. I am not saying this Mascara is going to give you the most voluminous, glamorous lashes, because it isn't, but it is the ideal treatment product for after wearing heavy mascara, or false lashes to get the lashes into much better condition. It has a curved silicone bristle applicator (more hygienic than regular wands) and the formula feels lovely and lightweight on the lashes, making it a perfect go-to mascara for everyday.
I could talk all day about different eyeshadow palettes for glam looks, but two new releases from Barry M caught my eye and I am obsessed with the shimmers and metallics in these. The Barry M Nude & Neutral Subtle Eyeshadow Palette and the Barry M Nude & Neutral Rich Eyeshadow Palette retail for £7.99 each for nine good-sized eyeshadow pans There is no mirror on the inside of the lid as Barry M removed them to make the palettes more recyclable (props to you, Barry M!), which doesn't bother me at all. When I first saw these, I was like, oh another neutral palette, but when I tried them - oh my goodness!!! The mattes are buttery soft and highly pigmented, with little fall-out, yet easy to blend, and the metallics - oh my goodness - I have paid ten times this amount for high-end palettes and the formula doesn't touch this one! They look like liquid metal, even though they are obviously powder, and they can transform any eye look in seconds - I just apply them with my fingertips and they stay in place all day long. I also find so many gems when it comes to Barry M, and they are SO affordable, even having offers most weeks. Definitely check them out for some post-lockdown glam!
If pretty, shimmery eye looks are your jam, then I would highly recommend trying out the Dear Dahlia Paradise Shine Eye Sequins* (£25.00 for 4g). There are various shades to choose from and I have the shade Diva here, which is the prettiest light gold sparkle, and a shade I would also wear on a everyday basis as I love anything glittery and shimmery, and this shade is soft enough to do that. The Eye Sequins come in beautiful packaging and have a flat dual-sided flocked applicator so you can either apply the product straight to the eye or use a brush or your fingertip. These dry down quickly, so they don't transfer onto the eyelid, which is great for me as I have hooded lids and sometimes struggle with liquid shadows. The formula is smooth and you don't get any chunky glitter bits around the delicate eye area, which is another plus for me as I wear contact lenses. You get beautiful, shimmery eyelids in seconds with this quick and easy to use product.
To set the makeup in place, I have been loving the Flower Beauty Seal the Deal Long-Lasting Setting Spray (£9.99 for 100ml). This Setting Spray creates an invisible shield that maintains your makeup while hydrating the skin and protecting it from pollution particles. It has a lovely fine mist applicator that doesn't leave your face soaking wet and the formula feels refreshing on the skin, leaving it soft and smooth, with a mattifying effect that stays in place all day long. It has a very feint fragrance to it, so it is not going to aggravate sensitive skin types and as with all setting sprays, I like to use a beauty sponge to gently press the spray into the skin so that it melts in with the makeup to give the most natural skin-like finish to your makeup.
For lips I have chosen two amazing products, including the Dear Dahlia Paradise Dream Velvet Lip Mousse* (£25.00 for 6.5ml) in the shade Ladybug. There are many gorgeous colours in the collection, but I opted for Ladybug, a stunning red, because if we are going glam, we are going to need a red lip! Another reason I chose this product is because after any initial wear off, your lips are stained with the colour, and so even when wearing masks, this lip product isn't going to budge! It has a slanted applicator so it applies quick and easily, and the texture is super lightweight, which dries down to a soft matte finish. You can also use these lip tints as a blush, so they are handy for travelling with too. The formula contains Dahlia Variabilis Flower Extract, which shields the skin from environmental aggressors, and helps with anti-ageing of the lips, along with Sweet Almond Oil, Argan Kernel Oil, Shea Butter and Cacao Seed Butter so help nourish, soothe and condition the lips.
If you prefer a lip gloss, or like to top a lipstick off with a shine, then I would recommend the Emani Lip-Shine Gloss* (£19.00 for 7ml). This has a 100% vegan formula that contains Vitamin E, natural and organic oils, organic fruit extracts and pure mineral pigments to condition and hydrate the lips. The shade I have here is Rain Maker, a pretty pink nude that has light gold micro shimmer running throughout it. I like to go for glosses that have shimmer in it as I have quite thin lips, and so a shimmer or shine in your gloss helps the lips to look plumper. The Lip Shine has a flat double-sided flocked applicator so it is easy to apply onto the lips and the formula is shiny without being sticky or gloopy, so your blow-dried hair isn't going to get sticky with gloss.
Have an amazing time, wherever you go or whatever you do!
All the Loves,