So a year or so ago, I gave up on monthly favourites posts because I just don't have that many new or changing favourites to talk about with that kind of regularity. I've done the odd seasonal favourites, which I enjoy, but I think I'm now missing some sort of monthly round up, and that's where the beauty breakdown comes in. It's somewhere for me to talk about all that's gone on for me in beauty in the month, that might include favourites, products that didn't work out for me, new releases and everything in between. I love a little new year refresh, blog included! So let's do this, here's the January beauty breakdown...
Becca Shimmering Skin Perfectors
Highlighting, contouring, strobing and all that jazz has become uber popular in the last couple of years. I've never really owned many high-lighters, as being someone with quite oily skin, it just didn't make sense to me to want to add shine! I've been building up my highlighter confidence gradually, with more subtle products like the Hourglass Ambient Lighting powders, but I feel like a fully fledged highlight user since I've owned the Becca Jaclyn Hill palette. I love that with these you can really choose how much you want to build the intensity - a light sweep is going to give you a subtle glow, whereas you can also pile it on a little more for a more jazzy night out look. This palette contains the shades pearl, champagne pop and blushed copper, and was exclusive to Sephora in the US I think, but you can buy the Becca shimmering skin perfectors individually from Cult Beauty and Space NK.
The Body Shop Shade Adjusting Drops
I was so eager to get my hands on these lightening and darkening drops when I first heard that The Body Shop were bringing them out. It's one of those products that seems so simple and obvious that it just leaves you wondering why nobody did it before. I'm a serial offender when it comes to buying the wrong shade of foundation - I think I'm excellent at colour matching myself, but not so much. Adding a touch of either the lightening or darkening drops to a blob of one of your existing foundations allows you to really customise the colour. Perfect for getting some use out of those dodgy shades relegated to the back of your makeup stash, or for helping transition your colour from summer to winter. I've recommended the lightening drops to my Mum because she's super pale, and in a lot of products even the lightest shade is too deep for her, so this'll be the perfect addition to her makeup bag.
Coco Loco Blow and Go Genius Lotion
So I have a beef with Mr Lee Stafford. He's discontinued my holy grail hair product which is the Blow Dry Faster Spray - very sad face. If you don't know, it's a heat protectant spray that you apply to wet hair before you blow dry - it helps to detangle, and by some form of magic, my hair dries more quickly than when I don't use this product. I'm so sad that it's been discontinued, and there's not a new version to replace it as far as I can tell. I have a little stash of back-ups at home, but I'm dreading the day that I run out! To prepare for that inevitable sitch, I'm trying out some potential successors to my favourite BDF, and first up was the Coco Loco blow and go genius lotion from Lee Stafford's new coconut oil range. It's not a straightforward substitute of course, as it's a lotion rather than a spray, and doesn't claim to dry your hair faster, but it's a heat protectant that smooths and conditions the hair, adds shine and protects against humidity during the day. Sounds good, and it is, but for my hair it's just too heavy unless I only apply it to the dry ends of my hair. I have oily roots, so it's not something I can use all over as i would with BDF as it can weigh my hair down and make it look clogged with product. The search for a Blow Dry Faster Spray equivalent continues!
This works plus deep sleep pillow spray
Now here's a product that sounds like a total gimmick (well it did to me, but I'm one of those dreadfully sceptical people who believes nothing until I've seen or tried it myself!) but it really and truly does work. I'm not a great sleeper, and very rarely sleep through the night without waking up, and can often lie in bed for hours trying to get back to sleep. This lavender scented spray calms and relaxes me into a deep sleep simply by spraying it on my pillow, and most times I use it, I have a night of lush, unbroken, deep sleep. It doesn't work every single time on me, but often enough that I know it's this spray that makes a difference. I've tried the regular version too, but the difference with the plus is that it's designed to release more of the scent from your pillow if you toss and turn in the night - clever!
This works light time skin plumper
Also from This Works, I've been trying out the Light Time Skin Plumper which is a super fresh scented wake me up lotion. It's multi-purpose as you can pop it on before bed and leave it on all night to wake up looking more refreshed with radiant skin, or pop it on first thing in the morning to wake up and plump up the tired face that looks back at you in the mirror. I've been using it in the morning and it's really helped to hydrate my winter dry patches and generally makes my skin look a bit more healthy and alive.
Zoeva spectrum eye and blush palettes
When I first saw the new Spectrum collection from Zoeva pop up on Instagram, I think my heart fluttered a little. Zoevea palettes are always gorgeous, but would you just look at these beauties?! There are three shade options in both the eye and cheek palettes, so of course I picked up the warm nude shadows! I was a little more torn as to which of the three blush palettes to go for as they all look amazing, but decided to go with coral spectrum for now... I can always add more to the collection later! I have a swatch-fest of a post coming up on these very soon, but *spoiler alert* the eyeshadow palette is to die for.
Marc Jacobs Beauty in the UK!
After what feels like an age, Marc Jacobs Beauty has finally hit UK shores! It's a beauty brand that I've coveted from a far, and on trips to the US have always made sure to check out the stand in Sephora. I've picked up a few bits over the years, including an eyeshadow palette that I love, a lipstick that I like and a foundation I really wasn't keen on - it's kind of difficult to fully explore a makeup brand that you can't easily get hold off, but that elusivity made me want to all the more! Now that Marc Jacobs Beauty is available online at Harrods, I'll be able to get my greedy little mitts on whatever I want, which could be dangerous! For starters I have one of the newest additions to the collection, which is the Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara. As you'd expect, the packaging is all sleek and glossy, and the product inside is rather swish too. It's a lovely, full on mascara formula that coats lashes quickly and easily and it doesn't run of flake. I really like it, but I must admit that I expected something more just because it's Marc Jacobs - it doesn't give the blackest, boldest, or fattest lashes in the world ever, which was kind of my expectation. It's a great mascara, it was just missing an extra wow factor which I thought was going to be there because of the brand name.
Erborian pink perfect creme
Erborian make my favourite CC cream, which I like to wear as a primer between my moisturiser and foundation. It's the Erborian Radiance Cream Skin Perfector, and it's a frequent repurchase of mine, so I was more than happy to try another perfector from their range. Pink perfect is a similar product in that it can be worn alone or under makeup to give you a more flawless base. Unlike the CC cream which adds a medium colour, this one's actually pink, and leaves a hint of a rosy glow to the skin when applied. It also does its best to blur imperfections and pores, and like the CC cream, it makes a great primer. This is an excellent alternative to the CC cream if you have particularly pale or dark skin that's not suited to that medium shade.
Shavata brow strengthening organic castor oil
I have some annoying little patches in my brows that aren't as full as the rest, so I'm trying out this oil from Shavata to see if I can encourage them to grow in. So far I think it's working as I seem to be noticing more stray hairs than normal, but they're not appearing in the patchy areas where I want them to! I'm going to persevere with this one and see how I get on - the instructions say to use it twice a day, and I have been forgetting sometimes, so more effort needed on my part! I'm sure you could just buy a plain organic castor oil to put on your brows and it would likely give the same results, but I really like the tiny rollerball applicator on this tube - it makes using the oil quick, easy and mess-free. The Shavata castor oil will be available on QVC this spring.
Starskin sheet masks
Everyone seems to be talking about the range of masks from Starskin - I can't go on instagram without seeing one pop up in my feed. I'm very keen on sheet masks and always seem to get on really well with them - I love the ones from Hydraluron, so they're usually my go-to. I was sent a pack of the Starskin eye-catcher smoothing coconut bio-cellulose second skin eye masks (phew that's a mouthful!) and I'm looking forward to giving them a go as they promise to attack puffiness, wrinkles and dark circles all in one. You get two pairs of eye masks in the pack, and I'm sort of saving them for an occasion (one of those premiers and after parties that they mention in their marketing blurb perhaps), rather than just wasting their benefits on a random night before bed!
On my beauty wish list
I've been on a little bit of a makeup spending detox in January - to be fair I've been on an everything detox due to both lack of funds and concerns about the Christmas overload - so the wish list is starting to mount. Top of my list has been the Tarte Tartlette 2 in Bloom palette, and also the lush new drop from Gwen Stefani's collab with Urban Decay - have you seen that blush palette?! I also have my eye on the undoubtedly gimmicky Kardashian hair range - I can't help loving the sound of the Take 2 dry conditioner! I also fancy myself a few of Revlon's brand new mascara line up, and the gorgeous Too Faced Chocolate bon bons eye palette. Real Techniques also seem to be bringing out a new brush cleansing solution or gadget every five minutes, and I think it's about time I stop cleaning my brushes in micellar water and give them a go!
The most purchased beauty products? *in collaboration with beauty bayIf you asked me what I thought the most popular beauty product was in terms of sales, I'd probably have guessed lipstick and felt fairly confident I was right. Research by Beauty Bay confirms that I'm actually way off, and the nation's most purchased beauty products currently are makeup brushes and brow products. In a way I shouldn't be surprised because makeup brushes are a big obsession for bloggers and beauty addicts alike, with more and more brands launching brushes within the last couple of years, but actually a lot of my friends confess to me that they actually use their fingers even to do their eye makeup! I'll have to let them know that they're not trendy! The upward surge in brow product sales also rings true when I think about it, as we're no longer plucking our brows to a skinny line but wanting big bushy statement brows à la Carla D, and we need all sorts of pencils, powder, pomades, gels and oils to do so. Just realised I've proved the point myself with my new Shavata castor oil!
Funnily enough, whereabouts your based in the UK seems to have a bearing on how much you'll spend and on which beauty products. Beauty Bay have published a beauty map to give us a little peak into the results of their research, and it makes for rather interesting clicking. Think they love their tan in Essex - actually the most is spent on nail polish in those parts, and tan is all the way down at number 7 in their top ten. Some stereotypes stay true to form though - the map still tells us that Scousers love their brows, although apparently brows are equally popular in London and Kent, closely followed by makeup brush and nail polish obsessions which I've clearly been contributing to on a regular basis! Have a look at the map and see if you agree with what's popular for the county where you live.
That's it for this month's beauty breakdown - I hope you like this new style of post!
What beauty products or trends have you tried this past month?