November Favourites

 

I am going to say it, even though everyone says it every month: where on earth did November go? It’s December 1st, and that means it’s nearly *squeak* Christmas!!!! I love December, every year I put up the decorations slightly earlier.  If it wasn’t for my husband’s voice of reason, I would leave the Christmas decorations up all year round.  Yes, I’m that person. Anyway, I digress. Welcome to my November Favourites!

 

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I mentioned the L’Oréal Lash Architect Mascara in my last post, and it is the mascara that I have reached for most often during the month of November.  It gives a bit of length, and is light enough that it doesn’t weigh down my lashes.  It dries very fast, which is a plus in my opinion, so layering needs to be done relatively quickly.  I have discovered that used in tandem with the mascara, the Bourjois Contour Clubbing Eyeliner is fab.  I love to Tightline (lining the upper waterline), because I find it makes my eyelashes look darker and thicker.  The only problem with doing this is that it can trasfer on to the lower waterline, which I don’t always want. This eyeliner – being waterproof – doesn’t transfer, and stays put until I choose to remove it. Sometimes waterproof eyeliners  want to stick around for days, but I find this one easy to remove.  Now, I am a huge fan of shimmery, glittery eyeshadows.  I wear them during the day, without a care in the world, but realised recently that I needed some matte eyeshadows.  Yes, needed.  So I went on the hunt for an affordable matte palette, and came up trumps with this Sleek Make-Up I-Divine Eyeshadow Palette Ultra Matte V2.   The colours are a great selection, and work with most eye looks that I am likely to create.  They are very pigmented little pans, and do blend out eventually, with a little bit of effort.

 

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Topshop Lipstick in Naturist; Bourjois Contour Clubbing Eyeliner

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Topshop Lipstick – Naturist

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love me a nude lipstick (read about my top three here), and this Naturist Lipstick by Topshop is no exception.  Overall, I haven’t had a huge amount of luck with the Topshop Beauty range, but I do really love this lipstick.  It applies very smoothly, and is so comfortable on my sensitive, dry lips.

If you have ever watched a beauty tutorial on YouTube, then you will have heard of Morphe make-up brushes.  They are loved by the US based experts in particular.  When I saw that they were available in the UK, I got very excited and ordered a couple, and they really are worth the hype.  The M505 Point Blender Brush is my favourite, it is just so soft and fluffy.  It is the perfect shape for blending eyeshadow into the crease, and it isn’t even slightly scratchy or uncomfortable.  And they are so affordable!

 

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In the last few months my skin has been a bit of a sod.  Although overall it is more clear and healthy than ever, for some reason I have been suffering from regular spots for the first time in my life.  I have been trying to figure out what exactly has been causing these breakouts.  After a lot of trial and error, I am almost certain it was the cleanser I was using on and off since before the summer.  So, long story short, I have been using the Murad Age Reform Refreshing Cleanser instead.  It’s too early to say if the change in cleanser has sorted my little problem, but it is a lovely cleanser regardless. I use it in the morning, and I love how clean and soft my skin feels after I wash my face.  I am hoping that my skin will continue to be spot-free, but only time will tell whether that is the case.

What are your favourites for November?

 

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Top 10 Beauty YouTube Channels

Whenever I have any free time – which is limited with four children – I find myself relaxing with a cup of tea and a couple of YouTube videos.  I have quite a few beauty-related favourites, that offer a little bit of escapism on a busy day.  I actually have a load more than ten that I watch, but these are the cream of the crop in my opinion.

 

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Nicole – Young Wild and Polished – is one of a kind.  She is unique and hilarious, but she also knows her stuff.  Nicole’s original speciality is actually nail art, so if you have an interest in gorgeous designs then check out her Instagram feed.  I particularly love her more chatty style videos, and could quite happily watch them all day.

Kathleen Lights is another favourite of mine; she is both talented and entertaining.  Her tutorials and Get Ready With Me videos are fantastic.  One of the things I like about Kathleen is that she is so genuine, and she understands that not all of her (1.5 million and counting) subscribers have a never ending budget.

Partners in crime Katy (LustreLux) and Desi Perkins really are the whole package.  Although Katy and Desi have only made a couple of videos together, I always think of them as a pair.  This is probably because they pop up in the background of each other’s tutorials more often than not.  Gorgeous, talented and hilarious they both make it all look so easy.  If you are on Snapchat, and you don’t follow them both, go and find them now. Right now.  TYSM.

Batalash Beauty actually consist of three equally talented make-up artists, but I have to be honest Samantha is my favourite.  If you are sensitive to swearing then she may not be the one for you, because there is a fair bit.  Personally, it doesn’t bother me and I love watching her.  Samantha is extremely talented, and she is also a great teacher because she really explains everything that she is doing.

A more recent discovery is Allana Davison.  Allana has a relatively small following – compared to some other beauty YouTubers – and I have no idea why.  She is gorgeous and her eyebrows are ah-maz-ing.  She is a bit crazy, in a good way of course, and never fails to entertain.  Allana also happens to be the ONLY YouTuber that I watch that has totally nailed the sign-off.  Her videos always end with her smiling, and not gurning with eyes half closed like I’m sure mine would if I ever ventured into the world of YouTube (that’s not going to happen. Ever).

I have mentioned Coffee Break With Dani before – she recommended some hair products that I immediately bought, and loved here – and I still avidly watch her videos.  I really believe that she gives honest reviews, and she doesn’t sugar-coat it; if she doesn’t like something she jolly well says so.

Next, is Nicole Guerriero.  Nicole is another fantastic talent, whom I happen to be in awe of.  I don’t personally get involved with Halloween, but I still love watching Hallooween make-up tutorials for entertainment (I’m not ashamed).  Nicole’s are amazing, and feel achievable at the same time.

Laura Lee may not be everyone’s cup of tea (I’m a poet and I don’t even know it), but I think she’s great.  She is a massive ball of energy, so she is best watched when you need a bit of a boost.  She has really upped her game in recent weeks, and her channel is growing by the day.

And last, but not least, MannyMUA.  What can I say about Manny? He’s another unique talent.  My only complaint about him is that he generally only uploads once a week.  Not enough Manny for me!  He makes me laugh out loud, and I have loved seeing his channel grow over the last year or so.

 

 

So, these are my top ten.  I hope I have introduced you to somebody new, or maybe you have already discovered these wonderful people.  Have I missed anyone? Let me know below – I am always on the hunt for new beauty channels to add to my subscription list on YouTube.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Nars Crystal Powder – A Flawless Finish Even for Dry Skin

If you have dry skin, setting powders can be both a blessing and a curse.  While useful for setting concealer – to stop it moving around, and creasing – powders can also simply highlight the areas that you really would like to keep under wraps.   Personally, I have tried a few over the years, and loved only one.  The Nars Translucent Crystal Light Reflecting Setting Powder is that one.

 

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It comes in both loose and pressed form – I have the loose variety.  What makes it so lovable for me, is the texture,  It is silky smooth, and so finely milled that it is hard not to inhale it while applying. I am pretty sure the inside of my lungs reflect light like the moon.  A little bit goes a long way, and a light dusting over concealer is enough to brighten and set the under eye area.  Being so lightweight, it doesn’t cause that dusty dried out skin that is so ageing – which is particularly wonderful.

I also like to use the Nars Crystal Powder on my forehead, where I can suffer from visible pores.  Rather than clinging on to dry patches and settling into lines, it simply glides over the skin leaving my forehead as smooth as a baby’s bottom.  The lasting power is reasonably good, and it fades naturally without becoming patchy or lumpy. Oily skin types would probably need to reapply during the day, but fear not, it still does not cake.  It really is miraculous!

The one downside is the price – £26.50 here, or £25 for the Light Reflecting Setting Pressed Powder here. ( I haven’t used the pressed powder myself, but I have heard that it is also excellent.)  However, the pot is a large one – 10g/0.35oz – and will last for ages.  So assuming one doesn’t breathe it all in, then it will last a good while.  Well worth the cost in my opinion.

 

You may also like to read: Affordable Foundation for Dry Skin 

 

 

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My Top Three: Eyeshadow Palettes

I have been thinking about writing an eyeshadow palette collection post for a while now, but I haven’t quite been able to pull my finger out and actually get started.  The issue is, I just have far too many palettes to mention.  I wouldn’t describe it as an addiction exactly, but it’s just that I need all the palettes.

So, with great difficulty,  I thought instead I would choose my current top three instead.

 

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Makeup Academy Eyeshadow Palette – Spring Break – £4

Apart from the fact that this little palette is a real so-and-so to open, I love it; it is a lovely mix of mostly muted colours.  Of the 12, there is only one matte brown, and the rest are shimmery shades.  There is a deep plummy purple, complemented by neutrals and pinks, and the mint green is a gorgeous pop of colour.  For the price, this is a great addition to any makeup collection, and it is slim enough to fit in a bag for touch-ups throughout the day (if you are so inclined).

Makeup Academy Spring Break Eyeshadow Palette
Makeup Academy Spring Break Eyeshadow Palette

 

Makeup Revolution Affirmation Palette
Makeup Revolution Affirmation Palette

Makeup Revolution Affirmation Eyeshadow Palette – £8

This super affordable 32 shade palette is in my top three for the range of colours, 12 of which are mattes, and 20 of which are shimmers.  There is a good mix of golds, browns and purples with charcoal and rose pink thrown in for good measure.  This is one palette that can be used to create a whole look, without fiddling around elsewhere for a transition or crease shade.

 

Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette
Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette

Too Faced Chocolate Bar Eyeshadow Palette -£39

This palette will always hold a special place in my heart, because it was my first Too Faced purchase, and it started my love for the brand.  Admittedly, this is a creepy loitering in the bushes kind of love, but it’s love all the same.  The colours in this particular palette are a mix of golden shimmers, and neutrals complemented by pinks and plum shades.  The colour payoff is superb, and to top it all off, it smells like chocolate.  It can be used for a complete eye look, including two brow bone highlighting shades (one matte, one shimmer).  It is less affordable than my other two choices, but I think it is worth it.

There they are, my three favourite, and most used eyeshadow palettes.  Except, I just have to give an honourable mention to the Urban Decay Electric Pressed Pigment Palette £38. I can’t really include this in my top picks, because the colours are not what I would describe as easy to wear.  I have used it; I love wearing the pink and purple shades together, and I have used the silver all over the lid on top of a less vibrant purple.  It is just so gorgeous though, the colours are mind-blowingly pigmented, with a soft blendable texture.

 

Urban Decay Electric Palette (2)     Urban Decay Electric Palette

 

 

Do you have a favourite palette?  What do you love about it? Let me know below; I am always on the look out for new eyeshadow palettes!

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A Solution for Fine Haired Beauties

 

I really dread to think how much I have spent on shampoos, conditioners, deep conditioners and the like over the years.  I know that I am relatively lucky with my hair – it could be a lot worse I’m sure – but it still frustrates me that I have to blow dry it for it to look its best.   Although I have enough hair for myself and one or two others, the actual hairs are very fine, and I am prone to flyaways.  I also find I can’t go more than two days without washing, because it just gets too greasy, being so fine. I also suffer from frizz from the ears down (is that weird?), then the top of my hair will be completely flat and lifeless, when I try and skip the heat styling stage. When I was despairing with it recently, because of the fineness, and because I was losing hair following my latest pregnancy, I went a little crazy and bought about 12 sets of shampoos and conditioners. Ridiculous, I know, but I just needed to find a solution for the frustration that was my mane (dramatic, moi?). Suffice to say I have struggled to find products that help with both the fine and frizzy texture.

 

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L-R Weightless Moisture Leave-In Conditioning Mist; Weightless Moisture Dry Oil; Weightless Moisture Shampoo; Weightless Moisture Conditioner

Then, a few weeks ago I was watching one of my favourite YouTube channels, CoffeeBreakwithDani And Dani mentioned that she had been sent some shampoo and conditioner to try.  She then went on to basically describe my own hair, when talking about her hair type. The only difference between us is that – by her own admission – she doesn’t have a huge amount of hair. So, when she raved about the Macadamia Professional Weightless Moisture range (here is the actual video), I immediately searched online and purchased the Weightless Moisture Travel Kit. It contains shampoo and conditioner, in addition to a leave-in conditioner, and a dry oil.  At a cost of £27.45, this seemed a slightly more affordable way of trying all four, and the smaller sized bottles meant that I was more likely to use them up even if I didn’t love them (How I wish all brands would make small sizes to try!)

The Macadamia Professional products are divided up by hair texture, rather than greasy, dry etc. The Weightless Moisture range is for baby fine hair; then there is Nourishing Moisture, for medium to coarse hair; and finally, the Ultra Rich moisture for very coarse to coiled hair. They also offer a whole host of styling products, and sets for specific needs.  The Weightless Moisture range is specifically for ‘hair that is often thin, limp and lifeless, in need of body and lift’.  These products are also Paraben Free, Sulphate Free and Cruelty Free (a big plus for me).

 

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I have been using the shampoo and conditioner every time I wash, for around three weeks now, and I have been really pleased with the results. My hair definitely feels like it has more texture, and is much less flyaway and static. Whereas previously I haven’t been able to air dry my hair without regretting it after, I can now get away with a quick blast with the hair dryer, and that is it. I have more volume at the roots, because the conditioner doesn’t weigh the hair down, the flip side is that my hair is not as soft as with other shampoo and conditioner combinations. I have found that the way round this is to spray the ends (while damp) with the leave-in conditioner. This gives the ends a little bit of help, without making the roots greasy. This isn’t how it is designed to be used (it’s either one conditioner or the other) but it works for me. I can’t say I’m crazy about the smell, but I will put up with it for the sake of more manageable hair. I also haven’t had much success with the dry oil mist, which is supposed to leave hair shiny.  I didn’t really find that it made much difference, to be honest.

Unfortunately, the relatively high price of the shampoo (£18.90 for 300ml) and conditioner (£19.40 for 300ml) may mean that I can’t purchase them again (I already spend more on beauty products than is acceptable), so I am being very careful not to use more than I need to. Other than that though, I definitely would recommend both the shampoo and conditioner, and the leave in conditioner.

So, tell me, what shampoo and conditioner does it for you?  Have you tried any products from the Macadamia Professional range?

 

Please note: This post is NOT sponsored, Macadamia Professional have no idea who I am (neither does Dani BTW).

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

I am in Love – Again

A little while ago I talked about my love for the Laura Geller Baked Gelato Swirl Blush.  I was also slightly (an understatement of epic proportions) disappointed that I couldn’t get hold of the Baked Gelato Swirl Illuminator in Gilded Honey.  I looked everywhere for it; only finding it on the QVC UK website where, next to the picture, were those words we all dread: Out Of Stock.  I added myself to the waiting list, never expecting it to come back in stock.  Well, imagine my excitement when I received an email last week to say it was on its way!

Anyway, long story short.  Here she is:

 

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This illuminator is just as wondrous as I knew it would be. Just like the blusher, it is creamy and oh so pigmented.  It is also, admittedly, very gold, but what’s the point if your highlighter doesn’t blind innocent bystanders as you sashay down the street (or through the school gates in my case)

Here is a swatch:

 

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And a close up:

 

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If I could spread the golden loveliness all over my face, I would.  Maybe I could start a new trend.  Forget Strobing, I will call it…. Golding.

 

What is your favourite highlighter, have you tried the Baked Gelato Swirl Illuminator?

 

 

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Oh, You Smoothie – #1

Over the years our kitchen has been home to many a gadget.  A blender; smoothie maker; ice cream maker; yogurt maker; popcorn popper; doughnut machine and a pop cake maker to name a few.  To begin with, while the excitement levels are high, I have enthusiastically made sauces, smoothies, yogurt, popcorn, doughnuts, and more doughnuts with said gadgets.  (I have never made ice cream though, weirdly; the amount of cream required makes my arteries hurt just thinking about it).  The latest gadget that caught my eye was the NutriBullet.  This baby isn’t a smoothie maker; it’s a Nutrition Extractor.  Sounds serious doesn’t it?  Well, all I know is that it has never been easier to get fruit and vegetables into my little ones.  There is something about blending healthy food all together into a thick drink that makes it all the more appealing to children.

 

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After playing around and extracting the nutrition from several kilos of fruit, I decided to refer to the recipe book that comes with the NutriBullet.  My favourite this week is an anti-ageing Blast (the NutriBullet name for a smoothie), it’s called Fountain of Youth for goodness’ sake! It is green, but that just makes it seem healthier, in my opinion.  It is packed with wonderful nutrition: Spinach for skin health; Walnuts and Avocado both contain lots of the antioxidant Vitamin E, which is great for the skin; Blueberries, which contain more antioxidants, and are good for the heart and circulatory system; Nectarines, again, contain Vitamin E, and also Vitamin C.  Not to mention the fact that this smoothie is yummy.  The avocados make it creamy, so it actually tastes rich and not bitter in any way.

 

Recipe taken from ‘NutriBullet Natural Healing Foods’:

50% (of NutriBullet cup) spinach

1/2 an avocado

1 medium nectarine

1/2 cup blueberries

10 walnut halves

water – to thin it out.  (I actually used this Alpro Coconut Drink instead of water)

 

Disclaimer: This post is NOT sponsored in any way.  Of course this could be made in a blender or similar, not necessarily a NutiBullet.  I also want to point out here that I am not a qualified nutritionist (!).  This, like my beauty obsession, is just a hobby/interest of mine, so please don’t start a new diet regime based on anything I say.  I just wanted to share something that has made me happy the last couple of weeks.

 

Thanks for reading!!

 

 

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