A repurchase is a rarity for beauty lovers. If you're like me, you'll get bored with something by the time it runs out and want to venture into new territory. As with anything, there are of course exceptions to the rule. Some products are just too good to betray. You'll be promptly rushing off to replace the holy grails, and for me, these products make the cut time and time again..
Nars Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base-If I apply eyeshadow without any sort of cream base or primer underneath, a glamorous ring of shimmer will appear in my crease less than two hours later. Over the past year I've tried a few other eyeshadow primers, this one is pretty good, but it's the Nars offering I love most. It's transparent, creamy and easy to blend. You can't feel this on your lids and it helps your eyeshadow stay put like nothing else.
Caudalie Beauty Elixir-Beauty Elixir is one of those products everyone seems to have different uses for. It's a lovely, luxe product. The frosted glass bottle makes it all the more enticing, as does this L'Wren Scott packaging on the limited edition bottles. I use beauty elixir before applying makeup to my face. It freshens up the skin and leaves you looking more radiant. You can also spritz it during the day too and it leaves your skin with a dewier finish.
March is nearly done and dusted for another year. How it's already that time in the month I do not know. Anyway, here are some posts you've been loving this month! If you missed them the first time or maybe just want to have a re-read, here they are for you.
Lip Service-Lip scrubs, lip balms and lip butters. They're all perfect prepping tools to use if you want your lips to be conditioned and moisturised. This roundup of products will have you set, whatever your budget or lip servicing needs may be.
The Mac Eyeshadow Palette-After getting annoyed with the clutter of Mac eyeshadows through my makeup bag, I took the plunge and bought one of their palettes to house my shadows. Here's my tips for choosing colours and some suggestions for depotting your Mac eyeshadow or blushes.
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush-The title says it all really. Towards the end of February, Hourglass's new Ambient Lighting Blushes made their way onto Mecca's shelves across New Zealand and Australia. They are certainly stunning. I picked up Mood Exposure, a soft plum. All the details are in this review but I have loved this blush all month. It's more or less all that's been gracing my cheeks.
The French Pharmacy Gems-Escentual's 1/3 offer on French Pharmacy brands was simply too good to ignore. These gems are well-loved by bloggers and beauty lovers alike, so I added them to my basket. So far, I am liking them both. Nuxe's Reve De Miel in particular is going to be so handy in Winter when my lips decide to dry out.
The Week in Instagrams @nanawintour: *Life upon the Civic Stage with Jess! I've been buzzing about going backstage at the Civic Theatre in Auckland and standing on the stage graced by many of my favourite musicals all week. *The Essie Fall colour palette arrived last Friday. More on that soon, but I have to say their base coat is fantastic. *Taking my Topshop skirt for a spin to class yesterday, complete with ankle boots and leggings. Hello Autumn. *Doing some visual diary pages earlier in the week in preparation for this course which I have signed up for. *French Pharmacy Gems. *Wearing Unapologetic, one of Revlon's new Matte balms.
Must-Watch of the Week: Lookbook videos aren't usually my favourites to watch, I'd much rather see a fashion outfit blog post personally. This week though I liked seeing Anna's latest lookbook of her capsule wardrobe. Aside from making me a little bit envious that the closest Zara is in Australia, it also served as a reminder that you don't need a tonne of components to make one killer outfit. It's all about how you work with what you have in fashion and how you restyle things to suit. You'll be inspired to give your wardrobe a makeover, I know I was.
March, where have you gone!? This month I've been really getting on board with all things pink. You'll notice that trend carrying on into next month's posts as well. It's a bold claim, but many of these products have earned staple status in the beauty lineup this month, and I can imagine myself repurchasing many of these products. There's even some non-beauty favourites for a change too, just to mix things up a bit. So without further ado, here are March's favourites..
Benefit Gimme Brow*-We've seen the hype surrounding this product and I'm here to sell you that Gimme Brow deserves all the love that it gets. A brow gel/brow mascara hybrid, this product leaves you with fuller, defined brows. The tint is incredibly subtle which I love and it stays put until you're ready to take your makeup off. Impressive stuff.
Tanya Burr Lipgloss in Afternoon Tea-If you're a fan of glosses without shimmer then you're bound to love Afternoon Tea. This creamy pink is pigmented, long-wearing and has only the slightest amount of stickiness. Once the gloss wears off the colour leaves a stain behind. These lipglosses also smell amazing too. You can't really go wrong with these.
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Mood Exposure-This blush combines everything we love from the Ambient Lighting powders with stunning blush pigments. Mood Exposure has been on high rotation this month. I've had to start reminding myself I have other blushes(!). This shade adds warmth to the face, a touch of highlight and subtle sculpting. It's a stunner.
Mac Eyeshadows-I'm sure this inclusion will come as such a surprise (ahem..) but in the last few weeks since creating my Mac palette I've just found myself using these colours a lot more. Sable is my go-to shade for lazy makeup days but I've also been loving Trax which in my eyes is more of an Autumnal colour. Mac eyeshadows are definitely some of my favourites. The colours are pigmented, easy to blend and have less fallout than some other brands.
I'm not one to turn down a good bargain or sale. There are exceptions to that rule, but when I saw Escentual were having 1/3 off their French Pharmacy Brands in March, I couldn't leave the website without at least having a look. It would have been rude not to. These two products are both rated highly by beauty bloggers so I added them to my basket. You know the drill..
Nuxe Reve De Miel Honey Lip Balm-You know a product's cult when one is sold around the world every 28 seconds(!) and that's the case with Reve De Miel. It has a honey and citrus-y scent, but it's nothing overpowering. Compared to other pot lip balms I have tried this has quite a thick texture and once it is on your lips it will dry down to a matte finish. It is super hydrating. You barely need any to have your lips feeling conditioned. It's also great for clearing up dry patches on your lips as well. Is it worth its cult status? Absolutely, and if you pick it up now you can get it discounted. Even better.
La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo [+]-I've heard a lot about the original La Roche Posay Effaclar products and this is a reformulated version of the original Effaclar Duo. This product is designed to reduce the appearance of blemishes, unclog pores and minimise shine. Effaclar + contains a new ingredient which is designed to fade the marks left behind from acne. I've only used this a couple of times but have noticed it making a difference already. My blemishes and scarring are slowly starting to fade. So far, so good. I'll give you an update next month once I've been using this a bit longer.
*Have you picked up any Escentual.com bargains in their 1/3 off sale?
The Week in Instagrams @nanawintour: *Mamma Mia last Friday was an awesome time. Read my thoughts here. *Bonjour French Pharmacy treats-post coming soon. *This card from Kikki K sums things up nicely. *I watched the final episode of Gossip Girl on the weekend. Three words, eight letters. 'Nuff said.. *Stormy weather calls for magazines and movies. *The Mac Eyeshadow Palette.
Must-Watch of the Week: It was tricky to pick just one video this week, so there's two and then a series. First up we have this couple lip-synching to one of the songs from Frozen. Brilliant. Zoe and Tanya collaborative videos are often good, and this girly sleepover looked like a lot of fun! I wanted to dance around the house singing musical theatre songs after watching this. Maybe that can be tonight's task. Finally I've been addicted to Beauty Bootcamp over on Daily Mix's channel. If only it ran longer than a week.
It's been a while since the last drugstore roundup on Nana Wintour and in that time I've stumbled upon a few gems. There's been some new additions, and even a rediscovered favourite. Here's the best of the drugstore bunch. They're all in store now or launching in the next month so keep an eye out for them on your next drugstore trip.
Nivea In Shower Smooth Lotion*-Nivea released two In Shower Body Moisturisers last year and the Smooth lotion is being released alongside them next month. This one contains shea butter so it is incredibly moisturising. You can skip the body butter post shower which is a huge bonus, especially if you're usually rushing about in the morning. If your skin is particularly dry then it's bound to love this.
Maybelline Express Remover-This is one nifty invention. You dip your finger into the sponge applicator, move it around and it removes all your nail polish. It can even remove glitter polish too but that takes a bit more work. One thing to be wary of is this can make your nails feel a bit dehydrated afterwards so follow up with a good cuticle oil. This magic pot takes all the fuss out of removing your nail polish and I'm lovin' it.
Pictured from left to right: All That Glitters, Naked Lunch, Sable, Tempting, Woodwinked, Satin Taupe, Bronze, Handwritten, Nylon, Amber Lights, Trax, Carbon.
Building a Mac palette was something that just made sense to me. I had a lot of Mac eyeshadows, both single and in separate containers, and I was often having to hunt around for my favourites. Now they're all in one easy to reach space. What's also great about the new palettes is that they are magnetic. The inserts housing your eyeshadows can be removed so you can swap eyeshadows around and also take them out and move them to a quad for traveling. Unlike other readymade eyeshadow palettes, this can be completely built by you which I think is one of my favourite parts. All but one of these colours was chosen myself. On a side note this eyeshadow collection has taken me four years to build up and I highly recommend you gather colours together slowly, but more on that later.
Here's my suggestions on building your own Mac palette and how to depot eyeshadows from Mac..
I'm not going to go into great detail about my eyeshadows because I've already written about them here and here. Since those posts I have picked up Sable and Carbon* so if you'd like to see reviews on either of those let me know.
One thing I would highly recommend is to select colours that suit you and you know you'd wear often. In the past I have bought matte purple and shimmery pink eyeshadows only to pass them on to other people further down the track. If you're unsure, ask one of the Mac artists or watch some of your favourite Beauty YouTuber's videos for inspiration. Tanya often uses Mac eyeshadows and will point out what sort of skintones and eye colours they'd work for, very useful.
A highlight shade, crease colour and a shade that you can sweep over the lids are good to get started with. Handwritten, the shade in the centre of the second row above is great as a crease colour. All That Glitters and Naked Lunch, top row are perfect for simple washes of colour.
If you're putting together a palette, use an organisational system that will work for you. I attempted to colour coordinate my eyeshadows originally but in the end I placed the colours I use most in the top row and then sorted the rest where I wanted them. To make things even easier you could use a label maker and label the lids so you know which shade is which, like the Nouvelle ladies did.
The Week in Instagrams @nanawintour: *I survived Round the Bays on Sunday! I actually really enjoy doing it-just not the soreness of my legs the next day. *Tanya Burr lipgloss. *Friday afternoon fun with the Kinfolk Table and compiling the ultimate Beatles playlist. *13 Going On 30-scary to think that movie came out ten years ago! *Glass jars and coloured sweets=instant aesthetic goodness. *Watching Anna's latest skincare video.
Must-Watch of the Week: The French do many things well-fashion, desserts (Laduree, here's looking at you), skincare. Amelia of Liana Beauty shared her French Pharmacy Haul over on her channel. The result? An awful lot of skincare goodness and an increased desire to go back to France. While that may not be happening yet, you can get some of her picks over on Escentual who conveniently have some of their French Pharmacy brands discounted this month. Walk, don't run...
Whether you're a lipstick or a lipgloss girl, they're not going to look as good on you if you don't take care of your lips. Sometimes you need a bit of lip service, the time you take out of your day pre or post skincare. These scrubs, balms and butters will have you set..
EOS Lip Balm in Strawberry Sorbet-These lipbalms have shot to fame recently thanks to Miley Cyrus, but they were popular among beauty lovers long before then. They're 95% organic and formulated with completely natural ingredients, no petrolatum here! They're simple, fuss-free and keep your lips hydrated and smooth.
Korres Lip Butters in Jasmine and Pomegranate-I've mentioned Korres here before so if you've been reading my blog a while you'll know I love these. Both are deliciously scented and deposit a hint of tint to the lips, perfect for lazy makeup days or a quick outing to the local shops. They're also great lipstick bases. Apply this whilst doing your makeup and when you get to putting lipstick on, it'll glide onto the lips. You'll also have hydrated lips and will find matte lipsticks don't feel as drying on your lips. Wins all round.
Fresh Sugar Lip Polish-Lip scrubs are heavy duty so unless your lips are pretty dry it's best not to use them too frequently. I tend to use this polish at least once or twice a week. This smells divine, like lemon and sugar. Unlike traditional lip scrubs this isn't chunky, and applies like more of a gel to the lips. You rinse this off and apply a lip balm or butter over the top. If you're planning on wearing a matte lip product the next day, using a scrub to prep your lips is essential.
When Tanya announced she was launching a range of lipglosses and nail polishes at the end of January, the beauty and twitter-spheres collided in an excitable buzz. The results? A stunning collection of colours and names that were carefully chosen by Tanya herself. You can get the glosses here on Feel Unique but unfortunately the nail polishes won't ship internationally. Choosing just one lipgloss was not easy-the shades are all stunning. In the end I settled on Afternoon Tea but after seeing how gorgeous Aurora was in person I imagine I'll be back for that in the future. Anyway, here's what I thought..
The Week in Instagrams @nanawintour: *I have some brand new, un-Sophie like shoes! I mainly bought these for exercise but also for Round The Bays on Sunday. *Saturday night I went to the Bruce Springsteen concert. Despite not knowing all of his songs I still found it very enjoyable. He is a legendary performer and barely stopped during his three hour set. *Bedtime essentials. Sleep Spray from This Works has been a saviour this week. *Gimme Brow from Benefit arrived in the mail on Wednesday. It's early days but I am very impressed so far. *Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush discussion was happening on the blog. *Reminiscing on my days as an English Literature student with some Jane Austen.
Must Watch of the Week: Harry Potter fans, or just anyone in need of a laugh-you need to watch this. A mashup of Harry Potter footage and a catchy Taylor Swift song. I'm watching it again as I write this. Beauty lovers, Fleur shared her top blush picks from the drugstore selection. Not all of them are available here, but there are some you can find on ASOS. I really want to try the Milani baked blushes now as they were the ones the Hourglass blushes have been likened to.
Product of the Week: Mood Exposure by Hourglass. If you follow me on Instagram then you will have noticed this appearing in a few photos recently and that's because I love it. I've been wearing this blush every day this week actually. Not only does this act as a blush but it also adds a subtle highlight, or radiance if you will to the complexion. This shade also has a sculpting effect. Love, Love, Love.
Must-Read of the Week: Frankie Magazine, the latest issue. I definitely don't buy as many magazines as I used to but Frankie is one of the exceptions. Fun fact: I accidentally discovered Frankie back in '09 and have been reading it ever since. Anyway, as Frankie lovers will know a new issue is usually a good time. The highlight so far (I'm still reading) was a series of Agony Aunt letters answered by John Waters. Hilarity ensues.
Added to the Wishlist: This week I've been using the Soap and Glory products I own and realising how much I love the Sugar Crush scent. Sweet, but not overpowering-it's the perfect wakeup scent in the mornings. So now I'm eyeing up the Body Wash and Body Butter Cream, because one can never have enough Sugar Crush. Ever since spritzing Jo Malone Peony and Blush Suede cologne I've been obsessed with it. It's a floral fragrance, but it's more of a sophisticated scent than the likes of Marc Jacobs Daisy offerings. It really is beautiful and if you're walking past Jo Malone go have a spritz of this, you will thank me later.
*As always, have an amazing weekend everyone! I don't think mine will be overly exciting-there's University homework (yes, homework) to be done and in between that I will be hopefully sleeping in(!!). Oh and I am doing Round The Bays on Sunday among the 40,000 odd people who are taking part so that will be fun. I've done it before and usually lose the ability to walk normally for a few days afterwards, but it's all worth it of course. xo
Last month I went along to a Mac Trends Presentation*. As well as the new beauty tricks I learnt, we were also presented with some of Mac's Fashion Week essentials. None of the products we received were ones that I owned or had tried so last month I put these three to the test. Here's what I thought..
Mac Pro Longwear Paint Pot in Groundwork-I do already own two other paint pots from Mac but they're either metallic or glittery, so not the best for neutral bases. Bring in Groundwork, a mid-toned neutral taupe. This is the perfect neutral base, it adds a bit of colour to the lids without canceling out any eyeshadow colours you apply over the top. If you're primer-less, paint pots give your shadows something to stick to and help them stay in place longer. Groundwork is my go-to for days when there's not enough time to faff around with eyeshadow. Sweep some bronzer through your crease for some definition, apply mascara and you are good to go.
Over the past year Hourglass has had the world under a spell. Their Ambient Lighting powders were one of the most popular releases of the year with powders that brighten a dull complexion, blur imperfections and add a soft-focus, pixel-perfect glow to the skin. It was one winning formula. Now they've introduced a collection of six Ambient Lighting powders and they are stunning. Sleek metallic packaging encases a marbellised powder. Photos really don't do them justice so if you can, go in to Mecca Cosmetica or a store near you that sells Hourglass products to look at them in person.
Choosing just one blush was difficult, they're all so pretty. They're also unique too, as each blush is handmade with an equal balance of pigment and powder. No two blushes are alike. I choose the shade Mood Exposure, which is a combination of the Mood Light powder with a blush pigment swirled in. The colour itself is a soft plum which awakens the complexion. The radiant quality to this blush gives it a subtle glow meaning you can skip highlighter if you wish. Mood Exposure also slightly sculpts the cheekbones as well which I love.