Juliette's Dressing Table

"A woman who doesn't wear perfume has no future" Gabrielle 'Coco' Chanel

Category: Skin Care

2012 Favourites.

Hello everyone.

The year 2012 has gone and we 2013 has just began so I thought I’d write a few posts about what products I’ve been loving this year. Many of the products I’ll mention in this article have never been featured in my blog as I only started writing it a few months ago, but trust me, they are my favourite products of 2012 and I would recommend any of them!

I wasn’t sure how to select my yearly favourites, I saw some bloggers select a product by category (say best bronzer or best cleanser), other just mentioned products released/discovered in 2012 that really impressed them. I thought I’d just a basket and and raid my bathroom, makeup bag and any places where I keep my beauty supplies. Turns out, I do have quite a lot of favourites, so I’ll still try to write them up in categories.

2012BeautyFavourites

Makeup

Primer – Embryolisse Lait-Creme Concentre.

This is kind of a hybrid, daily moisturizer crossed with primer, extremely popular with makeup artists. I’m originally a Parisian and so I’ve seen this product on the shelves of my local pharmacy, only picked it up earlier in 2012 when I visited my family… I didn’t need much encouragement to get it m, Lisa Eldridge recommended it. I didn’t get on with it at first, applying the right amount of product isn’t easy with this one, apply too much, the skin will feel greasy, apply too little, the skin feels dry. Now… Apply the right amount and you are good to go! The product leaves the skin soothed and hydrated, ready for foundation.

Foundation – YSL Le Teint Touche Eclat

This foundation was featured in many of my Monthly Favourites and I have an in depth review of it here. I loved it during the summer and I just can’t go without in the winter. It’s a light to medium coverage foundation so I wear it on good and not-so-good skin days. It is perfect for dry skin and its dewy finish helps to give dimension to the face.

Concealer – M.A.C. Studio Sculpt Concealer.

This is a highly pigmented concealer, perfect to cover scaring, pigmentation and blemishes. I find it stays very well on dry skin and it is actually quite moisturizing. I fear this has been discontinued though, so best hunt it down before it disappears, I sure am getting a backup.

Under-eye concealer – M.A.C. Mineralize Concealer.

It doesn’t matter which under-eye concealer I use, it will crease as I have lines (not wrinkles) under my eyes; I just always end-up wiping the product off so I don’t have anything sitting in the lines. Whilst M.A.C. Mineralize Concealer still sits in the lines, it just isn’t as had as anything else I’ve tried. It is also very good at covering dark circles.

Bronzer – Soleil Tan de CHANEL Bronze Universel Bronzing Makeup Base.

I’ve tried a couple of bronzers before this one, all of them were powders, all of them looked like dirt on my face and quite honestly I almost gave up on trying to find a suitable bronzer for me. But you’ve guessed it! I have found the perfect bronzer in the Soleil Tan de CHANEL bronzer. It’s kind of a whipped mousse/cream product, the colour works for both contouring and bronzing. I just don’t go one day without it.

Blush – M.A.C. Powder Brush in Easy Manner.

This is a very pale pink blush with a satin finish. But the reason it is my favourite is because it is a the perfect pale pink colour in my opinion and it can be applied very lightly or more heavily. It was one of three blushes released in the M.A.C. Glamour Daze collection for holidays 2012 so I don’t think it’ll be harder to get your hands on one now (Debenhams has a few online).

Highlighter – Soleil Tan de CHANEL Sheer Illuminating Fluid in Sunkissed.

Never ever used any highlighter before 2012 (unless you consider the YSL Touche Éclat is one) and out of the couple I’ve tried, this is definitely my favourite. I’ve got a review and swatches here.

Eyebrow pencil – M.A.C. Eye Brows in Spiked.

Well this year, I’ve had a bad experience at the beauty salon; my usual beautician was on holiday and the lady I was book with for a threading messed up my eyebrows. I was actually so upset that I didn’t have to pay for the treatment. I did however rush to M.A.C. on the way home to pick up something to correct the mess until the hairs grow back in. This is when I picked up this retractable eyebrow pencil. Spiked is a great colour for brunettes, I’d say it’s best used sparingly in small strokes for a natural . The pencil doesn’t stays in place all day.

Eye Liner – M.A.C. Fluidline in Dipdown.

I have been loving wearing a subtle line of eye liner on my eyes, I used to wear black but now much prefer a dark brown one. The M.A.C. Fluidline has a great longevity and doesn’t smudge. I also like the packaging. Only thing to bear in mind, and that’s something that I’ve read from online reviews, make sure to screw the lid back on very tightly so the product doesn’t dry out. I’ve had mine for most of 2012 and never had a problem with it.

Mascara – Benefit BADgal Brown.

Again, I haven’t used much black products on my eyes this year. I picked this one up because I did like the Benefit BADgal Lash Mascara in black. The brown one I bought however isn’t the same mascara as the one I originally had. It is very good nevertheless, and it’s been my go to mascara. As a side note, Benefit seem to have good quality mascaras, I did get a sample of the They’re Real! mascara in the YOU Advent Beauty Calendar, and it is pretty good too.

Lipstick – CHANEL Rouge Allure Velvet in 41 L’Exquise.

I’ve mentioned it many a time, I rarely wear anything but lip balm on my lips. I do however like to wear a bit of colour when Autumn comes. This year’s berry and plum colours have really made me quite excited to try to wear something on my lips. First lipstick I bought, it was a winner! The packaging of the CHANEL lipsticks is amazing, especially this one, you need to push down the top so the lipstick is released. L’Exquise is a browny/plummy colour, I wear it in a sheer layer or pack on the colour for a more vampy lip.

Lip Balm – Vaseline.

Yes, pure petroleum jelly. It’s cheap and effective and it doesn’t smell of anything. It isn’t a very glamorous product to whip out of your back when you’re in public but it does the job. I use it throughout the day and always remember to put on a thick layer on the lips before bedtime. It’s also very useful when you have a cold and an irritated nose.

Makeup Tools

Foundation Brush – Sigma Foundation F60.

This is a classic foundation brush and I find that it’s what works best when I want to apply a sheer layer of liquid foundation, face mask or moisturizer.

Bronzer Brush – Real Techniques Contour Brush.

I’ve seen many people use a powder brush or a blush brush for contouring. Whilst I admired their confidence, I just know I’ll be going a terrible job at contouring my face with a big brush, and this is why this small contour brush is ideal for me. The brush isn’t available as a standalone brush and has to be bought in the Core Collection.

Sponge – Beauty Blender.

This is a fantastic sponge for applying foundation for an even and natural finish. I also blend under-eye concealer with the Beauty Blender. And I also use it as an eraser, to blend the edges of a harsh bronzer line or soften the colour of a too heavily applied blush.

Skincare

Makeup Remover – Bioderma Crealine TS H2O.

This is the makeup remover every blogger is talking about, I’ve known it for year and just rediscovered it in 2012. The one I currently use is the TS version, for very dry skin. The down side to this product is that it is very hard to find somewhere to buy this product. I get mine from back home, every time I go back to France.

Cleanser – Estée Lauder Perfectly Clean Splash Away Foaming Cleanser.

I’ve been loving it for years and still haven’t used anything better in 2012. I mentioned it, along with other products in the skincare category, in this article. I loved using this cleanser with water and my hands, loved it even more since I own a Clarisonic Mia.

Toner – Caudalie Beauty Elixir.

This is a very nice product to use. A few spritzes on the face, whenever you feel like it really. I enjoyed using it a lot during the summer. I’ve got a review here.

Electrical – Clarisonic Mia.

I now have it for over a year and it truly is fantastic. I no longer worry about leaving any makeup or dirt on my skin, it leaves the skin feeling so clean and exfoliated.

Facial Mask – GlamGlow Tingling & Exfoliating Mud Mask.

In short, smells divine, leaves the skin feeling amazing, the exfoliating beads don’t irritate my skin. In long, head over to this article, for a complete review.

Treatment – Avene Cleanance K Cream-Gel.

I call it the ‘Miracle Blemish Zapper‘, I’ve written an article about it here.

EDIT 06/01/13 – Shower Oil – L’Occitane Almond Shower Oil.

Sorry guys, I’ve just realised I’ve forgotten to include this product in my 2012 Favourites. This is my favourite shower oil ever. I love anything that smells like almond, I love marzipan and this is a lovely non greasy shower oil. I generally buy a bigger size of the bottle with a pump on Boxing Day every year and it lasts for months.

Nail Care

Nail File – Leighton Denny Crystal Nail File.

I’ve talked about this nail file a few times now. It’s something I’ve never tried before and I don’t think I could go back to exclusively using a standard nail file. Read my review here.

Nail Polish – Essie Skirting The Issue.

I’ve been loving Essie nail polishes this year, especially the polishes available at Boots and Superdrug, they have a wide brush. My favourite colour was Skirting The Issue. This oxblood red came out as part of the Essie Autumn 2012 collection. It’s the sort of colour I like to wear all year around on my toes and during autumn and winter on my fingernails.

Top Coat – Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat.

I tried a couple of Sally Hansen top coats, and I was very disappointed, all of them cracked and chipped within a day. Well Seche Vite is very different. Not only does this top coat helps speed up the drying process, it also protect the polish from chipping, which is very handy for me, as I wash my hands regularly throughout the day.

Nail Polish Remover – Bourjois Magic Nail Polish Remover.

It’s just a very handy product, I’ve had it for months now and still can’t see that it’s about to run out; it lasts forever and is very helpful if you mess up one nail.

Fragrance.

DIOR Dolce Vita.

This is my go to fragrance, and it has been for years. I always get compliments about it when I wear it (which is pretty much every day). The only fear I have is that it might get discontinued one day, this is a less popular DIOR fragrance.

Haircare.

Leave-in Treatment – Kerastase Resistance Ciment Thermique.

This is a fantastic leave-in treatment for brittle, damaged hair. It protects the hair against heat and styling tools in general.

Hair Oil – Moroccanoil.

Well of course this would be my favourite hair oil. It is pricey, but nothing compares to it in my opinion, I just use it every single day. Read my review here.

Miscellaneous

Braun Silk-Epil 7 Dual Epilator 7891 Wet & Dry.

I have absolutely no idea as to how I’ve managed to live without this piece of technology. I use it everywhere I want to but on the face, it is fantastic to use in the shower and is so practical as it is cordless.

Well, this is it; my 2012 Favourites. Thank you very much (and congratulations) if you’ve managed to read the entire article. Please let me know what your favourite products of 2012 are.

Juliette

Advent Calendar – Day 21.

Hello everyone.

I can’t quite believe it’s already 21st December… The year has gone by so fast and this might be the last article you ever read on my blog… It is the end of the world, or is it?

Well we should have a few hours before the end of the world and so I did open window 21 of my YOU Advent Beauty Calendar and this is what I found.

Trilogy Rosehip Oil Antioxydant+

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I’ve heard of the brand Trilogy and was actually thinking of trying this specific range, so I am glad I get this 7 day trial sample (2.5ml), this should give enough time to see some potential results.

The sample itself comes in an impeccably presented glass bottle with a functional pipette, this is a plus. The oil itself is clear with a slight amber tint to it and look and feel a lot like MoroccanoilThe scent is quite odd, I can smell a bit of fragrance but it really does smell like olive oil to me, not that it matters since it really isn’t strong.

This looks like a very promising product, and a very relevant item to put in a beauty Advent calendar, with the weather getting colder. Pretty happy with this sample.

Wonder what’s behind tomorrow’s window? Let’s hope there is a tomorrow.

Juliette

Advent Calendar – Day 20.

Hello everyone.

Today, I opened the 20th window of my YOU Advent Beauty Calendar and I am rather liking what I’m seeing.

Eve Lom Rescue Mask 

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Oh, how glad am I that this comes in an actual tube rather than a sachet! And 15ml of product as well, I might be able to get two (maybe more) applications out of this.

I’ve heard of Eve Lom, and read very good reviews about their products so I am very much looking forward to trying this.

So far, I’ve only applied it on the back of my hand and so this is all I can say: it’s a cream, it as some rare (exfoliating?) beads in there, it smells a little bit minty and feel fresh on the skin.

Juliette

 

 

Advent Calendar – Day 18.

Hello everyone.

So… I woke up this morning and realised that I’ve been enjoying using my Day 18 product very much yesterday but haven’t posted anything about it on my blog… Terribly sorry about that, I’ve got it here for you.

Steamcream.

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I am so delighted to have received this in my YOU Advent Beauty Calendar, I was actually thinking about buying some of it to try and to gift!

I love products which are presented in very traditional containers or/and packaging such as the L’Occitane products or the Crabtree & Evelyn hand creams and so, you can imagine how much I like this small tin with a gorgeous little design on it. The particular one I have is 70g of Steamcream in the Brugge Limited Edition by Mako Kikkawa tin. Another detail of the packaging I find ingenious is that the lid is actually a screw lid rather that one you just push on, this means I can take the product anywhere and not worry about it spilling in my handbag. Plus you can reuse the tins for storing ‘things’ when the Steamcream is finished.

The cream itself is a multipurpose moisturizer, handmade in the UK and Japan using all natural and fresh ingredients, it is suitable for daily use on face, body and hands. The product is a standard looking white cream, its texture is uncannily similar to the Embryolisse Lait-Creme Concentre‘s (if any of you have tried it). The cream applies very nicely and sinks into the skin extremely well, leaving it feel soothed, moisturized and soft to the touch. Steamcream has a very herbal scent, I can smell lavender (lavender oil is one of the ingredients) which I’m not generally too keen on, though I don’t mind it in this cream.

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I’ve mentioned (earlier in this article) that I’ve been enjoying using it all day yesterday so you would have guessed by now that I am very pleased with this product. I like the packaging, I like the texture, I like how the product performs, and though I’ve only been using for a day, I am already looking forward to picking out my next tin.

If you are still looking for Christmas presents and/or stocking fillers, consider one of these festive tin designs? Available here.

SteamcreamASOSExclusiveTheNightBeforeXmas

And of course, many more designs are available here.

I think this is my favourite YOU Advent Beauty Calendar product so far.

Juliette

 

 

Joliebox December 2012 – All That Glitters… (not!).

Hello everyone.

I’ve received the latest Joliebox this morning and I thought some of you might want to know what to expect in the December 2012 box, All That Glitters

If you’ve looked at my previous article, ‘Glossybox December 2012 – Bejewelled‘, you would have read that I thought the presentation of the December Glossybox box was quite nice (apart from the very poorly printed and presented leaflet). This month’s Joliebox is a hundred times better.

Standard size box, amazing white and gold design, the Joliemag and indeed every other piece of paper are professionally printed and the bag that holds the products is also white with a gold cord. I have nothing bad to say about the presentation. Something worth noting is that the logo now says ‘Joliebox a Birchbox Company‘, I take it is now official that Birchbox bought Joliebox.

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This box has a truly impeccable presentation but that doesn’t make it a great sample box. I would have just usually waited to see what I’d received but I was quite underwhelmed by the Glossybox, and now thinking about it, by both November boxes so I had a peek at the Joliebox website to see what was on the menu and quite frankly, I was dreading opening this box.

First things first, as soon as I started untying the top, I saw one of these Bellapierre pigments, third time this year and I am still not excited about these. Please take the hint!

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Here is the content of the box, pretty underwhelming if you ask me, especially for a December box.

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Bellapierre Shimmer Pigment in Champagne – Full size. I’ve said it all above really… Third time I receive these this year. It will come a time when these are not new/exclusive products anymore, if that time hasn’t come already. Apart from the fact that a little variety between all the beauty boxes wold be appreciated, I am pretty glad that I did not received another obnoxious colour. This one is just a nice Champagne colour which is actually nice.

Dr Duve Hand & Decollete Cream – two sachets. So the back of the sachets says ‘New innovation: a combined hand and decollete cream for mature and demanding skin‘… I don’t have a mature skin, and prefer to not say anything about the demanding part. ‘Apply twice a day to the hands, decollete and neck and massage gently into the skin‘… Erm… good luck applying this even once, I can’t see how anyone would get to actually test this product with the two tiny sachets provided… It also kills me to read these three words at the bottom of the sachet ‘not for resale‘, I paid for those.

I Love… Cosmetics Raspberry & Blackberry Shimmer and Shine Lip Gloss – 11ml. I’ve said it before, I am not a fan or a connoisseur of lipgloss so for me it isn’t really a product I’m interested in. The product is dark pink with tiny shimmer particles, it’s sticky and smells like raspberry which just reminds me of children’s toothpaste.

Alvarez Gomez Agua De Colonia Concentrada – 1.5ml. I’ve said it before, I don’t like receiving tiny samples of perfumes, I can just go in my local department store and ask for some samples for free and I actually also get to pick which ones! I think what annoys me with the fragrance samples I’ve been sent so far is that they are all summer scent! This Agua de Colonia Concentrada smells very strong and citrusy, I don’t feel like it’s appropriate for winter, and I certainly wouldn’t want to smell it on myself even if it was the middle of July. Another big miss!

Color Club Nail Lacquer in Put a Pin In It – 7ml. I’ve never heard of the brand and so don’t own anything from it. I would never go out and buy this colour of nail polish, Put a Pin In It is a shimmery rose golden, but I will try it and I tell you why; I’m so happy I didn’t get the other colour available in Joliebox this month, Insta-This, which just looks like a bright shimmery blue…

Olay Regenerist Skin Cream – 7ml. There isn’t a single word of English written on the sample which is a little odd for something Joliebox sends their British subscribers. Good stuff I read Spanish! Apply a generous amount on face and neck… this is a 7ml sample. Most seriously though, this is aimed at more mature skin than mine so this is the second skincare product in the box I don’t see any point in using.

Yon-Ka Pamplemousse Moisturizer – 50ml. Now, this is a generous sample, what I would expect to get in a box I pay for! The sample also comes in a nice plastic tube packaged in a box so it really looks promising. It is aimed at normal to dry skin, that’s me right there. It smells like my citrusy kitchen cleaner, not good.

To finish up, and perhaps to help you swallow the pill, Joliebox included two chocolate bars in the December box, non beauty related but very festive, shame that Lindt is the brand of chocolate I don’t like, someone else will get to eat those.

Let me recap this box ever so quickly. I paid £10 (plus 2.95 P&P) and I got another Bellapierre pigment but at least it was a nicer colour, the two skincare samples are for older ladies, I don’t like lip gloss so I miss out on this (and the Lindt chocolate bars), there is another fragrance sample which I really really really dislike and the skincare product I would use smells of cleaning product. The only thing I will happily try is the nail polish and that’s because I was lucky enough to get the ‘nicer‘ colour.

I am annoyed and I am writing an email to the customer service as soon as I finish writing this article.

Juliette

P.S. : Another thing that is included in the box is a gift idea, the gift of a Joliebox subscription to a friend or family member. Pay for the subscription and use your empty December box to give them a code to get Joliebox boxes. It is a nice idea and quite a good concept but I most definitely won’t be gifting this to anyone.

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Glossybox December 2012 – Bejewelled.

Hello everyone.

I seem to receive my subscription boxes later than anyone else, and only just got the Glossybox one (Saturday 15th), still waiting on Joliebox… Odd. Anyway, this article is about Glossybox and the December 2012 box, ‘Bejewelled’.

The box arrived in the usual cardboard box but it wasn’t the pink Glossybox we know… I like the fact that it has a festive design this month. I am very pleased with the silver and stars theme, well thought Glossybox, well thought. Not too impressed however, with the leaflet… It looks like it’s been printed at home, the ink is faint and the quality of the paper is mediocre. What happened there?

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This is the last box of the year and I think it isn’t unreasonable to expect it to be the best box of the year or at least be a little special, and be relevant to the end of the year festive period especially after seeing that they thought about a festive design and called the box ‘Bejewelled‘.

So what did I get this month? A lipstick, a body moisturizer, a nail polish, a blush, a moisturizer and a fragrance.

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As always, I will list the products below and give you my first impressions.

Argentum La Potion Infinie – 2x 5ml. I am still looking at different brands as I will be changing my current skincare routine when I finish the products I’m using at the moment,  The Potion Infinie is a white cream, it has a herbal scent and isn’t too strong, I can live with that. I’ve used it today under my foundation, it is very sticky as it dries on the skin, very unpleasant in fact. I did however keep it on and applied my foundation and concealer as usual and nothing move  during the twelves hours I had makeup on.

This is a high-end moisturizer for face, eyes and neck moisturizer, and I excepted it to be pretty good. I am very pleased with how the first day went and I will definitely use up the two samples but I very much doubt I’ll be purchasing the full size product, at £147/70ml it is a little excessive.

Seche Vite Nail Lacquer in Portobello – 14ml (full size). Finally a full size product! I use the Seche Vite top coat, and I’m very pleased to be able to try a nail polish from the brand. I received the colour Portobello which is a browny-taupe shade. It’s a dark nude, my kinda thing. I’ve only tried it on one nail and so far I can say that it is highly pigmented (only one coat required), not streaky and promising. I’d like to add that I am glad that I didn’t get any crazy colour for once.

Sleek True Colour Lipstick in Stiletto – full size. First product I ever own from Sleek, though I’ve heard of their affordable blushes and palettes. This is a matte lipstick, the packaging is matte and compact, the colour looks atrocious on me. It’s just a very bright orangey-red I would have never bought, even at £4.99. I would have loved to receive the colour Cherry, which is a dark berry colour. Another disappointment for me I’m afraid.

Rituals Magic Touch, Cherry Blossom & Rice Milk – 70ml. Oh… Another body moisturizer, I bet it smells funny… Not! This is absolutely amazing! The fragrance and so feminine and fresh. I don’t know how to describe it but I am absolutely amazed at how gorgeous it is, I just kept reapplying it all day long, I had so much on that my bedding smelt of it this morning. Not sure about the moisturizing power as I was too busy sniffing my arm. I am considering buying the full size product if I still enjoy this product as much as I have for the past twenty four hours.

Lemon by Mary Greenwell – 1.5ml. This is not a fragrance for me., at all. But more to the point, I am really, really, really, really annoyed to once again, get a fragrance sample in a beauty box I paid for. I understand that a tiny perfume sample is added as a bonus but it seems like one of the samples I pay £10 (plus P&P) for is always a perfume, which I (or anyone) can get many of free and often of my choice any department store. This is the third time I get a sample in three boxes (and I know Joliebox will be sending me one too, because ‘why not?’) and I only find it acceptable if the product is a deluxe sample like the Burberry fragrance in the November 2012 Glossybox.

As a bonus product, a Kryolan for Glossybox Blusher was included in the box. I’m not sure if this comes in only one colour but I received the shade Glossy Rosewood, a very pale pink, my kind of colour and I love cheek colours.

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So what do I think of the December 2012 Glossybox? This is not a very festive beauty box and I am very disappointed actually. Products like fragrances or just the fact that I often get unwearable colours made me cancel all my subscriptions months ago and this is the second month and I have not been dazzled. I’m glad that they included the blush colour as a bonus product but I am very unimpressed with the fragrance samples and the random colours I get. This is and has always been one of my biggest complaints, beauty boxes are really random selections of not so exclusive products…

All in all this is an average Glossybox box when it really should be a Christmas special one…

What do you think? Shall I just unsubscribe?

Juliette

Advent Calendar – Day 13.

Hello everyone.

I woke up this morning feeling very excited about opening my YOU Advent Beauty Calendar thirteenth window. It was quite a big one so I was really looking forward to finding out what was behind it and there it is!

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The St. Tropez Instant Glow Body Lotion. This is quite a generous 50ml sample and I was quite pleased with it until I read the words ‘wash off’ on the side of the tube. I’ve never been too keen on the idea of putting actual colour all over my body, the all process sounds quite messy if I’m honest. I don’t know if I’ll try it… If I do, it probably won’t be until spring or even summer.

Looking forward to Day 14!

Juliette

PS : The YOU Advent Beauty Calendar is now half price! get it here.

Advent Calendar – Day 1 to 12.

Hello everyone.

You may wonder what the title of this article means, let me explain. Back in October, I was thinking of getting a beauty Advent calendar this year as they were some good offers available. I missed out on the Ciate Advent Calendar, now thinking about it, I really don’t need twenty four new nail polishes. Also missed out on the Selfridges one… I looked at  the Liz Earle one, but then thought I’d rather not as the only product I really want to try is the Cleanse & Polish. I just decided to stick with a good old chocolate Advent calendar in the end… Until I saw all the UK YouTubers open theirs on Vlogmas…

The YOU Advent Beauty Calendar caught my attention and I had to track one down, funnily enough, whilst it was already days into December, it is still in stock, and I was pleased to see how affordable it was compared to other beauty Advent calendars I looked at. It costs £59.95 plus £2.95 P&P (though I didn’t pay any delivery charges for some reason) and is actually worth over £210.

I’ve received it today and I am so impressed. The calendar is quite big and heavy, it has an enormous fuchsia bow at the front and when you open it, you see all the windows, some small some big, all very exciting.

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Because I’ve obviously opened twelve windows today, I won’t be writing an article for each product but I will list them in this post and tell you what are my first impressions. I may write individual reviews for some of the products, when I’ve actually tried and tested them.

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Day 1 – Mavala Nail Color in 385 Rouge Rubis.

I have never heard of this brand. The nail  polish came in a very sweet winged packaging, it can actually be hung on the Christmas tree as a decoration. It’s quite a small bottle (5ml) and the colour is festive red with a lot of tiny red sparkles, it applied quite well but doesn’t have a smooth finish. It is a nice colour for the Christmas season I suppose, but nothing I would personally buy or wear it as I generally stick to more conservative colours.

Day 2 –  The Vintage Cosmetic Company Eyelash Curler.

I was thinking of getting a new eyelash curler as my Number 7 one is on its last leg. I had my eyes on the Shu Uemura one as it gets rave reviews and I like the look of the Karl Lagerfeld Mon Shu one. I’m quite pleased to get to try the The Vintage Cosmetic Company one as I never owned anything from that company but my first impressions are not to good if I’m honest. The product seems a little flimsy and I think the pad has to be readjusted as it seems to have come out of the ridge, the good thing is though it comes with two replacement pads. I’ll still try it, who knows, it might be an amazing product?

Day 3 – Benefit They’re Real! mascara.

I love love love my Benefit mascaras, I own both the black and the brown BADgal ones and I’m pretty chuffed to get this one to try out. Really looking forward to trying it and see if it’s as good as the ones I have.

Day 4 – L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream.

If you read my blog for a little while, you know I loved this product when I first tried it as a sample and loved it even more when I got an even bigger sample of it just before I was going to buy the full size product. Well this is pretty much the third sample in as many months and it doesn’t look like I’ll ever have to buy it full size. Good good good.

Day 5 – Richard Ward Couture Hair Volumiser Root Booster.

Never heard of the brand but I recently changed my entire hair care products (article to follow soon) and was thinking of adding a volumising product so yes, very good timing there and it does smell very nice.

Day 6 – Espa Super Active Lift & Firm Intensive Eye Serum and Moisturizer.

These two samples come in a nice box that slides open like a matchbox. I think these products are targeted at maturing skin, I’m not quite there yet so might give it to someone who could benefit from it. Bt again, I do like trying out samples so I might end up using it…

Day 7 – Perricone MD No Foundation Foundation.

No Foundation Foundation‘, I like the sound of that. So… the colour looks good, I like the texture on the back of my hand, but it smells like smoked salmon, you read that right, ‘it smells like smoked salmon’. I am aware of the enormity of what I just stated but I asked my partner to smell it and he does agree with me… I will still try it out as it does look very promising but I really hope the ‘scent‘ doesn’t linger too long on my skin.

Day 8 – Philosophy Purity 3-in-1 Cleanser for Face and Eyes.

I wanted to try this cleanser out so I was excited to see it behind the window number 8. I am not too keen on the scent if I’m honest, but this shouldn’t matter too much, I will obviously rinse it off anyway.

Day 9 – BioEffect EGF Serum.

This serum comes in such a cute tiny glass bottle with a little pipette, this only won me over (weird I know…). I mentioned in earlier articles that I was going to change my entire skincare routine as soon as I finish the products I’m currently using, I’m glad to have a serum to try out.

Day 10 – Dermalogica Starter Kit.

So many skincare products to try! This one is a full system, cleansing gel, daily microfoliant, smoothing cream and eye cream. The samples are not too big and i think i only have enough for a couple of days but hopefully this would be enough to help me make up my mind. The spa I go to uses Dermalogica and I never had a bad reaction to these products so it should go fairly smoothly.

Day 11 – Jo Hansford Intensive Masque.

Very citrusy hair mask for coloured hair. I will definitely try it out even if my hair isn’t coloured.

Day 12 – balance Me Radiance Face Oil.

I’ve got pretty dry skin and it’s just gotten worth with the sudden drop in temperature so I hope this will help as a targeted treatment. I’ll let you know if it’s anything worth writing about.

And there you have it, twelve first days of the YOU Advent Beauty Calendar! I am pleased with most products and I am really looking forward to opening the twelve remaining windows. I will post a daily article with my first impressions so check my blog daily (or maybe subscribe via email?) to see what I get next.

If you want your own YOU Advent Beauty Calendar, it s still available here. I’ve personally decided to try to avoid looking at what’s in the calendar but if you want to see before buying to avoid disappointment, the full content is shown on the website.

Juliette

Christmas Gift Guide #5 – Skincare gift sets.

Hello everyone.

This is my my skincare ‘Christmas Gift Guide‘. With the festive season, many brands try to create gift sets that are good value and who knows, this might help get new customers? This makes it an excellent time of the year to try/refill/buy skincare lines. So, here is my selection of the best skincare gift sets.

Benefit b.right Radiant Skincare 6 Piece Intro Kit.

benefitBRightRadiantSkincare

Well… This is only £10, it contains six products, it’s a complete skincare system… I almost feel like that it would be rude not to get it. Buy it for a friend, get it now and try it later, at that price, it really doesn’t matter. Available here.

Origins Morning To Midnight Skincare Gift Set.

OriginsMorningToMidnightSkincareGiftSet

This is an amazing set for anyone with dry skin. I personally use the GinZing eye cream and like many of us I have heard lot of good things about the VitaZing moisturizer. The set includes both these as well as an overnight mask and a night cream. It seems to be out of stock online but I have seen the set in store for around £35.

Estee Lauder Even Skintone Essentials Set.

EsteeLauderEvenSkintoneEssentialsSet

I’ve used Estee Lauder skincare products for years and I have to say I’ve loved most products and three out of four products from this set are some of my favourites from the brand. The Perfectly Clean Splash Away Foaming Cleanser is amazing, I’d same the same about the Advanced Night Repair Eye Cream and the DayWear Advanced Multi Protection Anti-Oxidant Creme (which I reviewed here). Not too keen on the Even Skintone Illuminator Serum but this set is such an amazing value and most products so amazing that I highly recommend it. Available here for £47.

Rodial Dragon’s Blood Heroes Kit.

RodialDragonsBloodHeroes

I’ve looked at this skincare range a few months ago as I’m planning on changing my entire skincare when I finish the products I’m currently using. The products from the brands are not the cheapest ones on the market but I think this is a very nice set. At £100 it’s still not that affordable for many but you do save £50, so I feel like it’s worth it. As a side note… Angelina Jolie is said to be a huge fan of the range. Available here.

Creme de La Mer The Rescue Collection

CremeDeLaMerTheRescueCollection

The ultimate skincare range, big brand name, cult products… Hefty price tag… Perfect if you are feeling incredibly generous or if you need something amazing to indulge yourself with. Available here for… Erm… £340.

Hope this fifth ‘Christmas Gift Guide’ was helpful to some of you. Have you tried any of these products? If so, please let me know how you got along with them.

Juliette

 

Christmas Gift Guide #4 – Cult products.

Hello everyone.

This is ‘Christmas Gift Guide‘ number 4, and today I’m focusing on beauty and makeup classics. Some products are considered cult products in the beauty world and though most of us know about them, I thought including them in one of the guides would be helpful to some of you.

Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat.

YSLToucheEclatSet

Well, we’ve all heard about this product and how it is “the UK’s No.1 Luxury Face Make-up Product” so if you know someone who doesn’t already own it, maybe that would be a superb Christmas present!

There are several gift sets available but I think the best one is the one pictured above. It includes the Touche Éclat in 1 and the Top Secrets Eye Wake-up Roll On; the set is worth £51 but can be bought on offer here for £37.85. Now the set will only be suitable for rather pale skins and if the person you’re buying for needs another colour, then you’ll need to buy the Touche Éclat by itself, here for £25.

Yves Saint Laurent Luxurious Mascara for a False Lash Effect.

YSLMascaraSet

This is another classic from YSL, and Christmas is a particularly good time to purchase this as it comes in gift sets. The one I’ve chosen is the cheapest set and costs £19.55 here, it contains the Luxurious Mascara for a False Lash Effect in High Intensity Black,  a Top Secrets Eye Makeup Remover (sample) and a Forever Youth Liberator Eye Cream (sample). 

Another tip if you’re planning on buying any YSL products for Christmas is to actually go at a counter, I’ve seen they offer lovely gift boxes which come in different sizes, they are very nice options to gift wrapping.

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream.

elizabethArdenEightHourCreamSet

Again, we’ve all heard about this cult product and I personally think the Original Eight Hour Skin Protectant is an amazing product, just a shame about the scent. You could just buy this cream, around £15 for two tubes but if you are buying for someone else, it’s always nicer to go for a set: the one above is quite nice. You pay £34 for a set worth £67 and get other products from the line. Available here.

Estée Lauder Advance Night Repair Serum Set.

EsteeLauderAdvanceNightRepairSerumSet

This is another best selling skincare product and again, Christmas is the perfect time to either buy a back-up or gift this cult product to someone you know. This set isn’t particularly exciting, as it basically contains two sizes of the same product (50ml and 7ml) but the small bottle can come in handy when traveling plus the . £58, or currently on offer here.

Lancôme Hypnôse Custom-Wear Volume Mascara Gift Set.

Capture d’écran 2012-12-09 à 23.46.44

 I’m aware that I’ve already included a mascara in this article but, well, this one is also a cult product and it comes in a great value gift set. Worth £40.50, this set is sold at £21 and includes the infamous Lancôme Hypnôse Custom-Wear Volume Mascara, a Bi-Facil (eye makeup remover)and a Le Crayon Khôl. Available here.

I hope this guide was helpful to some of you. Please let me know what are your favourite cult products.

Juliette