Welcome to my January beauty favourites! 2018 is the year I actually commit to posting my monthly favourites. It’s happening… finally. Between the sales and getting acquainted with Christmas goodies, January is always a great month for discovering new beauty bits. I enjoyed so many new products, and fell even deeper in love with others, so these really are the cream of the crop.

IT Cosmetics, Your Skin But Better CC Cream

Chances are you’ve heard all about this by now. I can confirm the hype is justified – this stuff is AMAZING! The coverage is so much fuller than the ‘CC cream’ name suggests. It’s a true delight to apply, the scent is so refreshing and it works well with fingers, a brush and a beauty blender. My only criticism of this wonder product is the shade range. I opted for light which is on the warm side for me. My perfect shade is probably a mix of fair and light. My personal quest aside, there’s no reason for a brand to only offer 7 shades anymore so hopefully this gets expanded soon. That said, if you can find your shade, you totally should give this a go. It really is magic, and it’s got an SPF 50!

Benefit Cosmetics, Foolproof Brow Powder*

I tried this for the first time in December as a part of writing this blog post, and it’s bloody brilliant. It’s all I’ve been using on my brows ever since. The two-toned powder means you get a really natural looking brow, without sacrificing definition. The compact comes with a mirror – which Benefit get extra points for – and the packaging is adorable. The longevity of the powder is seriously impressive too and it doesn’t smudge or move at all throughout the day. I don’t recommend brow products lightly but this is seriously a must-have.

Lord & Berry, Cream Blush in Honey*

These are the cream blushes that converted me from being a loyal powder blush lover. They’re so blendable and pigmented, incredibly easy to apply and they leave your complexion glowing. I’ve had this shade in my handbag for weeks because it’s so good for on-the-go touch ups. It’s such a beautiful subtle perk up for the cheeks. I’ve done a full review of the Lord & Berry cream blushes here if you want to know more about the formula and shades.

Rimmel, Match Perfection Concealer in Ivory

I rediscovered this concealer last month and I’ve used it everyday since. It’s that good. The formula is creamy enough that it blends well but it stays in place and vitally, doesn’t crease under the eyes. Ivory is the perfect shade for brightening up my dark under-eyes and the handy brush applicator is so practical. I’ve gone through so many tubes of this over the years and I keep returning to it, which is testament to how good it is. For such an affordable concealer, it really does steal the show.

I’d love to know what your January beauty favourites were, and whether you’re planning on trying anything new this month?

Sincerely, Sarah xx

I’m 27 and I’m already paranoid about ageing, and no, I’m not proud of that. I am working on changing my outlook but until that pig flies, I’ve made myself a pledge to take better care of the skin around my eyes. Whilst I’m militant about skincare, I have started to notice my under-eyes are beginning to develop fine lines and are getting noticeably darker. In a bid of prevention and cure, I’m revitalising my under-eye commitment.

The wonderful people at TJ Hughes enabled my commitment by kindly sending me the Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye Serum* to try. Simply put, my under-eyes couldn’t be more grateful!

Advanced Night Repair is Estée Lauder’s answer to youthful looking skin in a bottle. The serum actively works to reduce the appearance of fine lines, and the eye serum specifically targets crow’s feet, dark circles and puffiness – all of which, I now unfortunately care about more than I’d like to admit.

I’ve only been using the serum for the past couple of weeks but I’m genuinely shocked at the speedy impact it’s had on my under-eyes. The effects in such a short time period make this one of the most impressive skincare products I’ve ever used. My under-eyes definitely look more nourished and juicy, and my makeup sits on top surprisingly well too. It has a blurring effect under concealer, which I’m totally on board with.

Ingredients wise, I had to really dig around to find that there’s hyaluronic acid, caffeine and ChronoluxCB, a Lauder technology. The official brand description says “it maximises the power of night to re-ignite the light that can fade due to fatigue, pollution and age”. I’d like a little more transparency around the science but there’s no doubting it does what it’s meant to.

I’m dedicated with my skincare at the best of times but I haven’t missed an application of this since I got it through the post. I’ve been religiously applying it in the morning and as part of my nighttime routine, and if the long-term benefits are anything like the short-term ones, I’m going to be hooked on this for years. My under-eyes are definitely brighter and a lot softer already.

If you’re yet to try the Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye Serum, you can pick it up from TJ Hughes here for £38.50. It usually retails for £49.00 so you get yourself a great deal as well as brighter, more youthful looking eyes!

Have you revitalised any part of your skincare routine recently? If you’ve made any great under-eye product discoveries or have any cult faves you wouldn’t be without, please let me know in the comments.

Sincerely, Sarah xx

I’ve fallen a little in love with the Lord & Berry cream blushers*. I’ve always been a powder blush kind of girl but I now truly understand the hype around cream blush – how has it taken me so long?!

I used to think cream blusher was just too much effort but I actually couldn’t have been more wrong. The Lord & Berry cream blushers are so comfortable and lightweight on the skin, really easy to blend and they leave your skin looking super fresh and glowing. The consistency is creamy without being greasy and they have impressive staying power.

If you’re after a pop of colour that keeps your look fresh and soft, whilst brightening up your complexion, you need to try the Lord & Berry cream blushes.

There are 6 shades in the range that can work for all skin tones. Here are the swatches of the two shades I’ve been loving: Sweet Pink and Honey.

Sweet Pink* is such a great shade for giving your look a ‘pick me up’. It’s a shade that may look a little threatening in the pan but it’s brightness shouldn’t be feared. It’s a totally buildable formula so you can start light for a natural flush of colour, or go a little heavier for something more dramatic. I use this on the apples of my cheeks and blend with my ring finger or a beauty blender.

Honey* is an apricot toned blush that’s really universal. It would look particularly fabulous on an olive skin. I’ve been reaching for this as a blush but also to sculpt my cheekbones – it gives you options. The versatility of this product is really impressive.

You can buy the Lord & Berry cream blushers directly from their website and Look Fantastic. I’d love to know if you’re a convert too and which your favourite cream blushes are.

Sincerely, Sarah xx

I loved putting together my skincare favourites so much that I decided to round up my top makeup picks too. I try new makeup all the time but these are the items that I kept reaching for and going back to time and time again, making them my makeup favourites of 2017.

Benefit Precisely My Brow Pencil 

This is the brow pencil that changed my brow routine – I was a loyal powder girl before. It’s an ultra fine pencil so it’s great for a natural yet defined brow. If you prefer creating hair-like strokes as opposed to a ‘block’ brow, then this is a product you have to try. Benefit are the brand for brow products and I wrote about their collection here, so have a read if you’re looking to upgrade your brow routine.

Wet n Wild Photofocus Foundation 

Every time I’m wearing this foundation, I get asked what it is. To me, that’s testament enough but if you want a full run through of my thoughts, I posted about it here. This is the only foundation I’ve ever found that’s full coverage, light on the skin, lasts all day and is less than a fiver! I wore this foundation for every night out and big event in 2017. It’s by far my favourite foundation of the year.

Tartelette Tease Palette

I went to Florida in March and picked this beauty up from the Sephora ‘aisle of doom’. I was hooked from the first use. The vanilla scent that hits you when you open the palette is beautiful and it really does feel like a treat to use. The shadows are so creamy for a powder that blending them is a joy. You get a good mix of mattes and shimmers, two light base shades as well as two darker shades (a chocolatey brown and a wine shade) which are perfect for lining the eyes or popping in the crease. This is a smaller version of the normal Tarte palettes which makes it perfect for travelling. It gets full marks from me.

The Body Shop Honey Bronze Bronzing Powder

I’ve recommended this bronzer to so many people. It’s the best matte bronzer for fair skin that I’ve ever tried. The compact is neat, well designed and comes with a handy mirror. The honeycomb press on the powder is super cute but more than that, the product is just epic. It’s only £14 and wears better than so many of the luxury alternatives. I’ve done a full review on it here, so if you’re unsure about needing this in your life, you’ll be convinced after a read of that.

Benefit They’re Real Mascara in Beyond Blue 

Blue mascara is one of my secret weapons of makeup. I’m all for making my eyes look as bright as possible, and my sleep pattern is shocking, so I take all the help I can get which means regularly reaching for this Benefit fave. It’s definitely the best one on the market. You get all the goodness of They’re Real mascara with the pros of using an intense blue colour around the eye. The colour works to whiten the whites of your eyes so if you’re tired and need a pick me up, blue mascara is well-worth trying.

L’Oreal Paris Color Riche Lipstick (Shades 630 and 645)

I’m really not sure what made me buy these lipsticks but it was a stroke of luck because they’re stunning! I didn’t wear any lipstick more than these all year. They’re beautiful nude shades and are so versatile. Whether I wanted a subtle lip with a smokey eye, something to balance out heavy liner or just fancied a lower-key look, I always found myself reaching for these. 645 is a pinky nude shade, whereas 630 has a slightly deeper mauve tone. The formula of them is my favourite type of lipstick; it’s creamy with a slight sheen but the pigmentation doesn’t suffer. I couldn’t recommend these shades and lipsticks enough, and they’re super affordable!

I’d love to know what you think of my makeup favourites of 2017. Were these any of your favourites too? Don’t forget to check out my skincare favourites from last year too – you can read it here.

Sincerely, Sarah xx

Skincare Favourites of 2017

2017 was the year I became meticulous about my skincare routine. I tried so many products but there were a core group that I just couldn’t better. They’re the ones I recommend to everyone who’ll listen and the products I have a backup stash for. Here are my best of the best, can’t be replaced, skincare favourites of 2017, and the reasons you need to give them a go this year too.

Pixi Glow Mud Cleanser 

I’m a big advocate of double cleansing and this is one of two cleansers I swore by as my second cleanse throughout 2017. For such a gentle cleanser, it packs a punch for your skin. This is a real glow-boosting, brightening product thanks to its 5% glycolic acid content – my skin loves it. I’m not a fan of actually scrubbing my skin so I love that this works chemically to exfoliate my skin whilst leaving it smoother, cleaner and brighter than it was before. I use this both in the morning and at night, especially around that time of the month as it’s great on my breakouts too. If you try it make sure you’re using a daily SPF because of the glycolic acid!

Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel

There isn’t a cleanser with more hype in the blogosphere than this. The hype actually put me off initially. However, you only need to try this a few times to understand that the buzz around this product is more than justified. Oskia describe this as an ‘illuminating vitamin melting cleanser’ – can you sense a theme? Yep, anything with ‘glow’, ‘brightening’ or ‘illuminating’ on it and I’m sold. It starts as a gel and turns into an oil as you work it into the skin, which makes it perfect for a bit of facial massage. That said, it’s far too good to be used for purely washing away makeup instead of actually cleaning your skin. Keep this as a second cleanser too. Packed full of Vitamins A, B2, C, E and pumpkin enzymes, this helps restore the skin and protect against pollution whilst detoxifing, smoothing and reducing puffiness. It’s a must-have.

Nip+Fab Dragon’s Blood Fix Plumping Serum

I’m prone to super dehydrated skin – thank you air-conditioned office – but luckily, Nip+Fab are pretty awesome when it comes to hydrating serums. Hyaluronic acid works to keep the skin hydrated and plumped which is the secret weapon when it comes to looking youthful. The serum feels uber refreshing and unlike some hydrating serums, this doesn’t feel heavy on the skin or at all greasy. My skin absorbs it at record speed! Nip+Fab are hugely underrated in my opinion so if you’re looking for affordable skincare packed with good ingredients, they’re well worth checking out, and without a doubt, this is the product to start with.

Skincare Favourites of 2017

Embryolisse Lait Creme-Concentre

If you’ve read my blog before, this choice will come as no surprise. I’ve been obsessed with Embryolisse for a while now and I can’t see that changing any time soon. I’ve done a full review here but in short, this product is the epitome of a multi-tasker. I use this as a moisturiser, a face mask and as a primer. Makeup glides on top of this perfectly and I notice an immediate difference if I don’t use it. If I had to pick one of my skincare favourites as my ‘standout’, it’d be this.

Pixi Rose Oil Blend

I’m a huge fan of facial oils and I’ve tried loads over the years but the Rose Oil Blend by Pixi is strides ahead of the crowd. Firstly it smells incredible but more importantly, it works wonders for my skin too. I often pop a layer of this on before I go to sleep knowing I’ll wake up with soft and well-nourished skin. This is lovely as prep for make up as you can count on it for giving you that ‘glow from within’ look. Pixi really are a go-to brand if you’re looking for brightening skincare on a budget. This oil absorbs quickly too, so if you’ve been put off face oils because you don’t want the greasiness, this is a safe bet.

The Body Shop Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is hardly new in the beauty world but I really saw it’s value in 2017. Every month like clockwork I get hormonal breakouts and they drive me bloody crazy. By introducing tea tree oil into my routine more regularly, my breakouts have definitely lessened. I know that when I do have spots, using a bit of this means they go away quicker as well. The oil works by disinfecting pores and effectively dries out the spot so it heals faster – smart, huh? The only word of warning I’ve got for this is be careful you don’t over do it – the only thing worse than a spot is a scabby spot! They’re painful, take longer to heal and near impossible to hide with concealer.

Right, there you have my skincare favourites of 2017. Have you used any of them? What were your skincare favourites from last year?

Sincerely, Sarah xx