I've decided that I'm not going to do monthly favourites posts this year because I've grown tired of the whole format. Instead, I am going to do regular "currently loving" posts which will vary from beauty to tv/film. food, lifestyle and possibly even fashion - basically anything that I currently love. They won't be forced into monthly posts - they may be more or less frequent, but they will feel more natural to me. Also during periods when I shop a lot or have been sent a lot of products (always disclosed), I will post about my favourite discoveries, but again, these will not be set as monthly. My first post of this kind contains only beauty products but they are all ones that I am currently obsessed with!
Salon Science Swiss Apple Range: Salon Science is a haircare brand that has been formulated and developed by biochemistry experts in Switzerland with an aim to tackle various hair problems using active ingredients and plant stem cell extracts. Rather than disguise hair problems, they aim to get to the root (no pun intended!) and tackle the problem itself. They have an online consultation page (here) where you complete a very short survey of 3 questions, choosing an option from each category and then based on your answers, they will recommend which range is for you. The four ranges are to (a) combat hair loss, (b) provide hydration and scalp relief, (c) repair and add radiance and (d) restore volume. Based on my concerns, I was kindly sent 3 products from the Swiss Apple range, which aims to deliver stronger, healthier, younger and fuller hair. I was sent the Celluluxe Shampoo, Celluluxe Conditioner and Cellumax Volumising Foam. I have been using these for around 6/7 weeks now and I love them! My hair feels and looks fuller, with more body and movement - even my hairdresser commented on the difference when I had only been using them for 4 weeks - she actually asked what products I was using! I only need a tiny amount of shampoo to work up a good lather but it doesn't leave my hair feeling at all stripped and the conditioner leaves my hair smooth and glossy, but not heavy or at all weighed down. Combined with the foam applied before blow-drying (which doesn't feel as heavy as a mousse), the result is bouncy, voluminous and healthy looking hair. If you are interested in trying some Salon Science products for yourself, they can be bought in Boots in the UK & Ireland.
Pestle & Mortar Superstar Retinol Night Oil: When I finished Sunday Riley Luna Night Oil back in November, I really missed it from my routine but it is eye-wateringly expensive and I didn't know if I loved it enough to repurchase it immediately. Around this time, there were lots of brilliant reviews of Pestle & Mortar Superstar Retinol Night Oil, which is very similar but with a price difference of just over £20. Don't get me wrong, it is still a pricey product but £20 is not to be sniffed at. I bought it when there was a 20% discount on the site so I paid around €60 rather than the usual €75. Next day delivery was free and it arrived in beautiful packaging, but it's the product inside that counts! The name says it all with this product - it is a night oil, containing retinol (the only proven anti-ageing ingredient) and it is a superstar! It also contains cold, pressed organic oils containing vitamins A, E, C and B as well as Omegas 3 and 6. The first night that I used it, I applied 1 pump on clean skin as directed but didn't use anything over it. It is a lightweight oil and absorbs quite quickly and even for heavy-handed people, like me, 1 pump really is ample - in fact, a half pump might even suffice so I can see this lasting quite a while. The morning after I first used it, I couldn't wait to see if there were any changes but upon touch, my skin was quite dry so since then I have layered other products over it once it has absorbed fully. I can't say that I saw immediate, visible results but over the last 6/7 weeks of use, I have found my skin to be much smoother, with more refined pores and my fine lines in the eye area are much less pronounced. I am also using a number of products from the Korres Black Pine range (review coming soon!), which I began to use around the same time as this oil so my results are from a combination of my entire routine, however, the real test for Superstar was on Christmas Eve. I woke up with a huge, cystic spot on the side of my jaw - it literally came out of nowhere, yet was very, very prominent! With a family party that evening, I knew I had to take action so I applied a small amount of this oil in the morning (usually a no-no due to sun exposure but I wasn't leaving the house during the day), then I later applied a small amount of Glamglow Supermud as an on the spot treatment. The swelling has reduced by evening but when I came home, I removed my makeup, applied the oil and waited a while before continuing with the rest of my regime and the next morning (Christmas Day), the spot had all but disappeared. On Christmas night, I applied more oil and the next day, it was literally gone - there was absolutely no redness, blemish - anything! This is a miracle worker! I have been using it regularly for 6/7 weeks and will continue to do so because I am loving the results. I really want to try some more products from Pestle & Mortar now and would love to hear your recommendations if you are familiar with the brand?
LA Girl Pro Coverage HD Long Wear Illuminating Liquid Foundation: At the other end of the price scale is a very affordable foundation that I really love! My gorgeous friend, Leanne (see her blog here), recommended this foundation late last year so I had to buy it as we have very similar taste! It is honestly one of the best foundations I have ever used and it is so affordable at only £9, which is just under €11. It is described as a full coverage foundation but it doesn't look very heavy on the skin (it is much more natural than Too Faced Born This Way, for example). It literally glides over the skin, it doesn't settle into fine lines or pores, it gives a luminous finish to the skin but doesn't look overly dewy - just leaving the skin looking hydrated, even and youthful. It's the only foundation I have reached for since buying it!
Sarah Jessica Parker Lovely Body Mist: I have around 20 bottles of perfume but lately I have been obsessed with this body mist that I received in a set as one of my Christmas gifts. It's my most reached for fragrance at the moment - very feminine, lightly sweet but also a hint of muskiness and I find that when I wear this body mist as well as the perfume, the scent lingers for much longer. I also spray it over myself as a top up during the day and it always makes me smile because the scent is so beautiful. Because it is a large bottle, I can be more liberal with it than with the smaller bottle of perfume. If you are looking for an inexpensive, nice scent to wear every day then I would recommend checking it out.
Benefit Gimme Brow: I am so ridiculously late to the party on this one! I only bought this recently and I am already hooked! It is so quick & easy to use and the tiny wand makes adding volume to brows simple, fast and yet very natural looking. It is very long-wearing and although the tube is tiny, it should last a long time because only a tiny amount is needed each time, which is just as well because it is priced at £18.50 or €26.00. There shouldn't really be such a huge difference in the £ to € prices with the current exchange rate though!
Have you tried any of these products? I'd love to hear your thoughts on them. What are you currently loving? Please tell me in the comments below!
Thanks for reading!