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!*

Monthly Favourites : January

I know, I know, it’s not exactly January any more.  I am properly late this month.  But it’s the thought that counts right?  I also haven’t written a favourites post since November.  Rubbish! November and December involved minimal spending, but I did treat myself a little more in January, so it has been a little easier to come up with some faves.



Murad Age Reform Refreshing Cleanser.  Ok, so apparently I also included this in my November favourites.  So…… Awkward.  I think that means I must really like it though.  It is just really lovely, and it makes my skin feel so soft! And it makes my skin look so bright! Anyway, if you want to get in on it you can buy it here.


Too Faced Matte Eyshadow Palette.  Despite having an abundance of eyeshadow palettes, I don’t have many matte shadows.  Sometimes, though, I don’t want to be shimmery and colourful.  Sometimes I want to be matte.  So this palette is very useful, and the lovely blendable colours make my matte dreams come true. I tried to find a link for this palette, and got very distracted.  Twenty minutes later and, well, nothing (but I have decided I am probably going to buy the Natural Matte palette as soon as humanly possible).  Basically, this palette is no longer available as far as I could tell.  I purchased it in the most excellent post-Christmas sale on  Even with the high shipping, it worked out to be extremely good value.  I don’t regret a thing.


Too-Faced-Matte-Shadow-Palette L'Oreal-Telescopic-Mascara

L’Oreal Telescopic Mascara.  Love, Love, Love this mascara.  It lifts and separates my lashes, and is about as close to the perfect mascara as I have found so far.  It is easy to overload my longish eyelashes, so I have to build it up slowly.  If used sparingly, however, it gives excellent lash. Buy it here. You know, if you want.


Barry M Gelly Hi Shine Nail Paint in Pink Lemonade.  Oh my goodness. This nail polish is the perfect nude.  It is on the pink side, and is gorgeous. It is almost classy on me and, believe me when I say, I am no classy lady. It is such a pretty colour that is suitable for any occasion. Barry M is probably my favourite nail polish brand, particularly the Gelly Hi Shine variety.  They are shiny, glossy and a pleasure to apply.  Pink Lemonade is no exception.

Barry-M-Gelly-Hi-Shine-Nail-Paint-Pink-Lemonade Maybelline-Baby-Lips-Balm-and-Blush-Innocent-Peach


Maybelline Baby Lips Balm and Blush in Innocent Peach.  I touched briefly on this lip balm in my recent haul post.  I had only used it a couple of times then, but I already knew that I loved it.  There are four colours to choose from  (here.)  Innocent Peach is a shiny, sheer, peachy-pink.  It is subtle, but super flattering.  Some lip balms are hard, and drag the skin, this one glides on easily.  It also moisturises, which sounds obvious, but unfortunately not all lip balms do, in my experience.  Now, I’m off to buy that other Too Faced palette.  Naughty.


So these are all my favourites for the month of January, what are yours?

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

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!




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.



Topshop Lipstick in Naturist; Bourjois Contour Clubbing Eyeliner







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!




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?


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

Monthly Favourites : October

I haven’t posted a monthly favourites since the summer, because I just haven’t been able to collect enough things that have wowed me.  Nobody wants to read about my Monthly Mediocres, do they?

October has been a little bit more successful for me, though (I suspect my credit card company is more than grateful), so I have a few beauty and non-beauty loves to share today.





Marc Jacobs Daisy Eau So Fresh EDT

I really am not very good at describing smells, but I think the name of this one says it all.  An update of the original Daisy by Marc Jacobs – which I don’t have – it is a light and fresh fragrance.  It starts with a soft floral blast (it’s a bit green, if that makes sense), and dries to a more musky undertone.  It isn’t at all overpowering or heavy, and doesn’t linger on for days. I always look for perfumes in the musk and/or Sandalwood family, so the fact that Daisy Eau So Fresh has Musk in the base notes makes it a winner for me.  If you like very sweet scents, then it maynot be for you, but I think it would please most noses. I have this tiny little travel size, which is excellent for a perfume commitment-phobe: £24.50 here.  I think my next bottle will be the larger 125ml: £48.95 here.




Honey Gold Trim Boots – Topshop

I love these boots! They are so comfortable, even with the 4 inch heel.  I am a flat shoe girl through and through (despite being a little bit short and dumpy) and it takes a special shoe to get me to venture away from my Converse, and these are definitely a step in the right direction (ha). They are suede, so I consider them well worth the high price tag of £69 – here 




Ole Henrikson Three Little Wonders Gift Set*

Included in this set are three skincare items; Truth Serum Collagen Booster, a lovely glow enhancing serum; Sheer Transformation, a light moisturiser; and the Invigorating Night Treatment,   Even though these are only sample sizes, I managed to get over a week out of the Sheer Transformation (using it day and night), enough for me to know that it is lovely.  Even on my dry skin, it was luxurious without being slimy, and was just enough moisture overnight.Truth Serum contains Vitamin C – great for brightening – and I was loving it.  Then I dropped it in the toilet, and couldn’t bring myself to continue using it.  So that was that. I mentioned the Invigorating Night Treatment here, as I have been using it as part of my evening routine for a little while. It is a favourite for brightening, and leaving skin smooth and plumped.


Blush Brush – Topshop

I have tried quite a bit of the Topshop Beauty range, and really haven’t been overly impressed (see here).  I do, however, like their brushes.  They are affordable, and funky (did I really just use the word funky?).  They also wash well, which is so important. This particular brush is soft and fluffy, and perfect for applying colour to the apples of the cheeks. For £8 here, it’s a definite must. Topshop also offer a purse-friendly set of favourites for £26 here.


Ted Baker Pink Body Lotion – 250ml

A little bit goes a long way with this lovely clean smelling body lotion.  The scent is subtle, feminine and light, so it doesn’t interfere with my chosen perfume.  It absorbs quickly, despite being quite a thick lotion.  I know I will come to rely on thicker creams and lotions like this as the weather becomes colder, and my skin becomes drier. The Body Lotion is £8 here.



Seventeen – Deep Red Sparkle No. 24

This nail polish, along with a couple of others, were impulse buys when I was in Boots recently.  They were on a stand near the checkout, and were only £1.99 each (here). Being a bit of a Magpie, I was immediately drawn to this sparkly red.  The lasting power on my nails isn’t great, but my nails are a total mess at the moment, so that doesn’t help matters.  The colour more than makes up for lack of lengevity though; Deep Red Sparkle is a lovely easy to wear red, with just enough shine to add a bit of dimension. I also can’t help but think it is perfect for a certain day that is fast approaching (53 sleeps and counting!).


What are your favourites for the month of October? Let me know in the comments!


*PR sample – all opinions are totally mine though; from my very own brain.

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

July Favourites

I don’t know about you but July has really dragged for me, it seems like ages ago I was compiling my June favourites.  That’s fine with me though, the further away winter is the better.

So, without further ado, here are my monthly loves for July.  Don’t forget to leave me your own recommendations in the comments below!



Sedona Lace Makeup Brushes
Top-Bottom: EB15 Pointed Crease; 904 Pencil Brush; 217 Synthetic Small Round Dome; 305 Eye Shading Brush; EB09 Universal Blender.

Firstly, some makeup brushes.  Sedona Lace is an American brand, but their prices are very reasonable even when converted, and they often offer discounts and/or free worldwide shipping.  These brushes were around £7 each, and are fantastic quality for the price.  I particularly like the pointed crease brush, it’s nice and soft, and blends without scratching the heck out of my eyelids. The brushes above are:  EB15 Pointed Crease; 904 Pencil Brush; 217 Synthetic Small Round Dome; 305 Eye Shading Brush; EB09 Universal Blender.



Clarins Radiance-Plus Golden Glow Booster

Next up, the Clarins Radiance-Plus Golden Glow Booster.  I reviewed this in more detail here so I won’t waffle on for too long now, but let’s just say I’m still loving it for a way to gradually tan my mush.  Another Clarins skincare product I’ve been enjoying for the past few weeks is the Extra-Comfort Toning Lotion.  I love using this each evening to remove the last traces of cleanser; the soothing aloe vera ensures it doesn’t sting like some toners can.  Although not the cheapest, it is a large bottle, and I can see it lasting a good few months.


Clarins Extra-Comfort Toning Lotion


Bourjois Color Boost

The Bourjois ColorBoost Lip Crayon in On The Beach (with SPF 15) was actually a free gift included with some other Bourjois purchases.  It isn’t a colour that I would normally choose, but I recently gave it another go because I was going to my daughter’s sports day and I couldn’t find a lip balm that contained an SPF.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that with a tan I could – just about – pull off this bright peachy colour.  I have actually purchased another shade, in a more appropriate nude colour, because I love how easily it goes on.  I didn’t find that it lasted 10 hours, but these crayons are super moisturising and just the right side of glossy, without being even remotely sticky.


Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess


Finally, the gorgeous Estée Lauder Bronze Goddess Eau Fraiche Skinscent. This is a limited edition perfume that is re-released every spring/summer with a different bottle.  It smells like coconuts and beaches, and I just love spritzing it from head to toe – and back again.  I have tried, and owned, many many perfumes since I was a teenager, and this wins joint first place with my other long term love; a D&G perfume that my husband surprised me with a couple of years ago.  It is really a summer scent, but I’m not sure I’ll be able to give it up come autumn.


Thanks for reading, and see you next month!

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