Monthly Favourites : March 2016

After not being able to find anything to get excited about over the last couple of months, March has been filled with them. I have successfully narrowed it down to a manageable number though, and here I present to you (drum roll please) my favourite products that have been adorning my face in March.


Stila Sleek cosmetics mario badescu clinique physicians formula happy booster bronzer highlighter facial mist eyeshadow palette spirit eyes are the window blusher peach


Sleek Barekissed Illuminator – Monaco – £8.99 here

I have already mentioned this Sleek highlighter once or twice on here, but what’s a little repetition between friends? It is a liquid, that can be used all over the face, or as a highlighter on the high points of the face.  I haven’t been brave enough to use it all over yet, but as a highlight it is stunning.  I dot it across my cheekbones, and on my cupids bow, after foundation and before powder (following the powder/cream rules)  and it gives a gorgeous sheen to the face.  It’s not glittery, but it is quite white so best for pale skins like mine.  There are three other shades for different skin tones, and I may go and pick up another if I ever get around to fake tanning this year.


sleek cosmetics make-up highlighter highlighting solstice


Sleek Highlighting Palette – Solstice – £9.99 here

The second Sleek product of the month, and for good reason.  This little palette actually gets me more excited than is acceptable.  I looked at it a couple of months ago, and had it in my basket when shopping.  It was the day that I spent a crazy amount on this Smashbox palette, so I ended up putting it back.  I couldn’t stop thinking about it though, and made it my mission to buy it at the next available opportunity. And, wow, I am so glad I did. The palette contains four colours, three of which are powder; and one cream. The powders are ridiculously smooth and pigmented, and give the most intense gorgeous highlight.  They aren’t glittery, or chunky, and they are just so soft and gorgeous! Also designed to be used as eyeshadows, you can class this as a multi-use palette (however you want to justify it – no judgement here).  Because of the different shades (pink, ivory and bronze), I think this would suit every skintone.  I used the pinkish shade as a pop of shimmer in the centre of my eyelid the other day, and it made me so happy. So happy!


physicians formula happy booster bronzer light bronze


Physicians Formula Happy Booster Illuminating Bronzing Veil

Physicians Formula is not a brand that is readily available in the UK, but after hearing many of my favourite beauty YouTubers rave about various products, I had to get my detective hat on and track some stuff and things down. (OK, I went on Amazon, hardly the work of Columbo).  In the absence of the Butter Bronzer, I purchased the Happy Booster Bronzer.  PF claim that this bronzer is  ‘Infused with our Happy Boost Blend featuring Happy Skin™ and Euphoryl, natural plant extracts which have been shown to promote a feeling of happiness…’ Now.  I don’t know about making me feel happy, but it is a lovely bronzer. The little hearts shapes are cute, and the bronzer is the perfect amount of colour for my pale skin. It is easy to use, and isn’t too intense.  The smell is actually a little odd – maybe I got a dud.


Stila Eyes Are The Window Shadow Palette – Spirit – £30 here

I have a serious weakness for eyeshadow palettes, this is not a secret.  This twelve colour palette from Stila is very, very pretty.  The colours are neutral, and very wearable for everyday, despite being mostly shimmery.  As with a lot of eyeshadow palettes, it doesn’t look particularly exciting until you swatch it.  You will see from the pictures that mine is broken.  That is why my one year old and I are no longer speaking.  (Just kidding, she’s one of my BFFs).  Apart from the crumbled pans though, this has been my most used palette over the last few weeks. It’s worth buying for ‘Kitten’ alone.


stila eyeshadow palette eyes are the window spirit


Clinique Cheek Pop – Melon Pop – £17 here

If you read my recent post about blushers, then you will know that I have recently discovered peach coloured blushers.  I find them immensely flattering, and appropriate for any occasion. The Clinique Cheek Pops are admittedly not cheap, but blushers last forever, so that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.   Melon Pop gives the most subtle wash of colour, and is just so pretty for spring and summer.


Mario Badescu Facial Spray £5.95 – £10.25 here

This little bottle of Rosewater Facial spray can be used for setting make-up, soothing sensitive skin and giving a refreshing boost anytime of the day.  This particular 29ml bottle was a sample with an online order (I can’t remember where from, unfortunately), and it has already lasted me ages, and I’m not halfway through it yet .  I had been using the Pixi Glow Mist, not to set my make-up as such, but to hydrate after applying powder products.  My skin is so dry, that I like to give myself one last boost of hydration before I face the world. Even since I discovered this beauty – which helps a lot – I will still finish with a facial spray.

I love this Mario Badescu spray for helping my powder, blusher and highlighter to ‘settle’ and look more natural. It is oil free (unlike the Pixi Glow Mist) so it doesn’t feel clogging or heavy.  If we have a hot summer, I plan to pop the spray in the fridge and use it as a refreshing burst when my face gets too hot to handle.


Without intending to, I have managed to cover all the bases this month.  I could almost make my whole face up with just these six products. That wasn’t deliberate, but I like it!


What are your favourites this month? Leave me your links in the comments if you have written a monthly favourites post, I love reading them!



*This post may contain affiliate links. Thank you for your continued support of Joyful Things!*

Easy Squeezy Make-Up When Time is Short

Usually I am an all or nothing make-up wearer.  Because I don’t have the time for make-up every day, I like to do it properly when I do do it (doodoo. *chuckle*).  Sometimes though, for whatever reason, things just go awry.  Do you ever have days where you have approximately 20 seconds to get ready and out the door? I’m sure I’m not the only one.  Sunday was one of these days for me, and I thought I would share my tried and tested favourites for an easy make-up look.



clinique too faced cheek pop melon pop physicians formula maybeliine too faced chocolate bar make-up quick speedy fast mum mom mother


I don’t know about you, but when I have limited time, the last thing I want to be doing is fiddling around with new products that I have never tried before.  Routine and consistency is key in these emergency situations! These are my top picks for a quick and natural look, when I have under ten minutes to get my ready-to-be-seen-in-public face on.

I always start with a moisturising primer, like the Too Faced Hangover Replenishing Face Primer.  While this primer doesn’t increase the lasting power of my base, it does add a much-needed hydrating layer to my dry skin.  It’s not the cheapest, but I would repurchase this over and over again.  I just love it, and a little goes a long way.  £27 – here. 


Despite having the largest concealer collection in the history of the world, I can count on one hand the few that I actually rate.  In times of need, my top pick is the Maybelline Fit Me concealer (I use no. 15, and I also have no. 10, which is actually darker than 15,weirdly).  It is an easy to use, affordable concealer.  It doesn’t cake, or settle into fine line, and it does an admirable job of covering dark circles and blemishes.  Not bad for £5.99 – here.


w7 bronzer bronze make-up highlighter busy mum mom mother face easy quick


I don’t bother setting with powder when I’m in a rush, because I can’t stand the disappointment quite frankly.  I always think it will be a good idea, then feel frustrated when it ages me by 30 years. Bronzer, highlighter and blusher go on to mostly naked skin.  I don’t know what it is about using a palette, rather than individual pans, it just feels as though it is saving time.  I’m pretty sure it makes no difference whatsoever, but whatever.  Recently, I have been loving this W7 Bronze and Glow duo.  The highlighter in particular is gorgeous.  The bronzer is very subtle (not a bad thing) and looks a little shimmery in the pan, but it isn’t glittery on the skin.  The best part? It is only £2.98 – here.


For blusher, I gravitate towards the Clinique Cheek Pop in Melon Pop, when I am rushing. The colour is absolutely gorgeous (read about my love affair with peach blushers here) and because it is very subtle, it is perfect for a quick sweep on the cheeks. Any more colour, and it would be too scary to use in a hurry.



eyeshadow palette too faced chocolate bar quick easy make-up mom mum mother


My favourite palette of all time is the Too Faced Chocolate Bar palette.  It was my first high-end palette, so it has a special place in my collection anyway, but it’s not just that.  The colours are perfect for both natural, and more intense looks.  There is a good mix of matte and shimmer, and cool and warm toned shades.  The chocolate smell is divine, and makes it a pleasure to use.  When I am rushing, I definitely don’t overdo the eyeshadow, and I tend to stick to the warm browns in the Chocolate Bar, with a shimmer on the brow bone if I’m feeling fancy. If you don’t have one yet (er, why not?) get it here.

The Maybelline Big Eyes mascara is a well-loved member of my hoard.  It has two wands; a normal one, and a tiny one for the bottom lashes.  The formula is easy to work with, which makes it one of my favourites for slicking on in a rush.


Finally, lips.  I have a bit of a thing for tinted lip balms at the moment.  I love the ease of them, and the moisturising properties, when my lips are dry and cracked.  The Physicians Formula Super BB All-In-One Cheek and Lip Beauty Balm in Berry Pink is my current fave.  It is a pretty, pale pink and it is easy to pop on as I run out the door. No mirror required.  Physicians Formula is not easily available in the UK; I purchased this from Amazon (here).


blusher blush physicians formula make-up lip balm tint busy mom mum mother


I can slap all this on in around ten minutes, maybe even less if I am not interrupted (which is rare). It is quick, fresh and perfect make-up for busy mums, or just busy anyones.


What do you think? If you’re rushing, do you have favourites that you come back to?


*This post may contain affiliate links. Thank you for your continued support of Joyful Things!*

The Most Flattering Blusher Colour?

Until very recently I was a pink blusher kind of gal.  The majority of my, albeit limited, collection are pale pinks.  As someone who blushes at the drop of a hat, I tend to avoid dark colours, to avoid looking like I am constantly embarrassed. I AM constantly embarrassed about one thing or another, but I don’t want to look like it if I can help it.  Recently, though I have ventured into the realm of peach blushers.  Peach is a universally flattering shade, it suits every skin tone, but I was always afraid of it for some unknown reason.


blusher Blush milani maybelline tony moly clinique peach flattering blush


milani baked blush luminoso clinique cheek pop melon pop maybelline baby lips innocent peach tony moly petite blusher delight petite coral

It all started with the new Maybelline Baby Lips Balm and Blush.  I chose the shade Innocent Peach, because I decided I wanted to look like an innocent peach.  Not really, but I thought it was the most different from all the other blushers that I own. I have waxed lyrical about this little ball of loveliness many times already (including on Instagram) but I can’t help it. I love it so much! The colour is so flattering, and I love the fact that it is creamy but not sticky.   And they are only £4.99 here.


blusher blush peach tony moly flattering


I recently bought a few Korean sheet masks on Ebay, and at the same time I chose a pretty Tony Moly blusher.  The Petite Blusher Delight in Petite Coral is so pretty.  It came with a little puff, and the packaging is very pleasing to me.  Yes, I’m one of THOSE people who gets just as excited by the outside of the product as I do by what’s inside.  Again, this peach pretty was very affordable; less than £4 in fact, and with free shipping (here)


milani baked blush blusher peach luminoso


As an avid watcher of YouTube beauty videos, I have heard the words ‘Milani’ and ‘Luminoso’ on several (hundred) occasions.  It seems to be one of those much-loved products, that everyone owns.  It is also one of those rare beasts that actually lives up to the hype.  Luminoso Baked Blush by Milani, is a more orangey peach.  That’s not a bad thing though; it’s a glorious golden orange that gives a flattering glow.  The formula is soft and it blends perfectly.  Get yours here.


Finally, the newest addition to my peach blusher collection; the Clinique Cheek Pop in Melon Pop.  I have been lusting after Cheek Pops for a while.  They are a little more on the expensive end of the spectrum, so it’s taken me a while to pluck up the courage.  I’m glad I did though, Melon Pop is a gorgeously subtle peach that adds just enough colour to the cheeks.  Of course, the fact that this blusher is shaped like a flower does not influence my opinion whatsoever.  £17 – here


clinique cheek pop blusher melon pop blush


Now that we are coming in to spring (apparently…) I know I will be getting a lot of use out of these peach blushers.  Peach is such a flattering colour, and it makes a very welcome change from the myriad of pink shades that seem to be the norm.


What do you think?  Do you like peachy blushers, or do you stick to pinks or berry colours?


*This post may contain affiliate links. Thank you for your continued support of Joyful Things!*

Getting my Glow on: How I Achieve Dewy Skin

Regardless of the latest trends in make-up, I will always favour a dewy finish to my skin.  A few years ago I decided to renounce all powder products.  I stopped powdering after concealing, and with the exception of eyeshadow would not let anything other than a cream or liquid within 5 metres of my face.  Over time, however, I have reluctantly reintroduced a setting powder.  Glowing skin is still my goal though, and there are several products that I consistently reach for to give me more glow than a sweaty, oiled-up mackerel.


dewy Pixi by petra maybelline MAC bourjois blusher highlight stila concealer cream blush strobe cream


Call me boring, but I have blogged about several of these products before, there are a couple of newbies too, though.


Firstly, after moisturising, I will slather plenty of MAC Strobe CreamThis thick pearly white luminiser is super moisturising, and leaves a pretty sheen to the skin.  An alternative to the Strobe Cream is the L’Oréal Lumi Magique Primer, which gives a similar effect, but is much thinner in consistency.   Next up is my favourite BB cream of all time; Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream, I have been using this since last spring, and my love for it is still going strong.  It offers the perfect amount of coverage for a normal day, as well as being hydrating.  Next up I use the Stila Perfecting Concealer. Apparently I was a panda in another life, and my dark circles  seem to get darker by the day.  I also have the driest undereyes EVER, and struggle with concealers caking and looking generally disgusting.  This Stila concealer is one of the better ones I’ve tried, and is high coverage, without being drying.


h&m cream blusher revlon shimmer rose highlighter


I will skip a setting powder, but will sweep a generous amount of the Revlon Highlighting Palette.  This rose coloured powder has a hint of shimmer, and gives a healthy glow without being glittery.  The pinks in this little palette are also perfect for a bit of subtle colour on the eyelids, when I don’t want to go full-on smoky.

I have a few cream/liquid blushers, but my favourites are this H&M Cream Blusher, and the Bourjois Aqua Blush. I almost prefer cream blushers over powder blushers, and when I’m going for a glowing finish, then I will usually reach for one of these lovely pinky creams.


laura geller gellar highlighter gilded honey


To really get that glow going, my first choice of highlighter is – of course – the Laura Geller Baked Gelato Swirl Highlighter in Gilded Honey.  When I finally got my hands on this highlighter I was beyond excited.  My feelings haven’t waned, and if I could only keep one highlighter from my collection Gilded Honey would be the one.

As if all that glow wasn’t enough, I will finish with the Pixi Glow Mist.  This spray looks pretty unappealing – it’s quite oily – but to give a dewy finish it really can’t be beaten.  For me it’s an essential step, except for on the hottest summer day, when it can be a little too much – even for my parched skin.


After all that, my skin will be left looking luminous, dewy and healthy.  Despite the number of products used, it is actually a fairly quick process too, and I can slap all that on and be ready to go in ten minutes.  Assuming I have somewhere to go that is….



*This post may contain affiliate links. Thank you for your continued support of Joyful Things!*