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Favourites of the Month | January

We have officially made it. The longest month of the whole entire year is officially over… nearly. Well done us.  

It’s been a long time since I wrote a ‘Favourites of the Month’, but recently I have been trying loads of new bits and bobs (thank you Christmas!) that I have been loving, and so I thought I would share them with you all. It’s going to be a long one so grab yourself a cuppa and a biscuit, and let’s get started. 

FASHION

This month I have been making a conscious effort to make my fashion consumption more sustainable. After doing a lot of research into the fast fashion industry, I have been trying to buy less new clothes and instead buy second-hand off friends or dabble in a bit of thrift shopping.

However, I have got a few new pieces to share with you that I was bought for Christmas or purchased new knowing that I would get a lot of wear of out.

First up, it’s my vegan-friendly Dr. Martens. Yes, they’re still agony as I have yet to fully bed them in, but damn my feet look good. I got them in Vegan 1460 Chrome in a dark oxblood red and I truly am obsessed. They’re a little different to the original iconic Dr. Marten’s that have a more understated, smooth shine. These, on the other hand, have the most gorgeous reflective chrome finish that reflects slightly different colours in different lights. They’re eye-catching, they’re practical AND they’re cruelty-free. Bravo Dr. Marten’s, bravo.

And once you bed them in they do become super comfortable… I promise! 

At the time of writing this, this pair is on sale, so if you fancy yourself a pair then now is a perfect time.

Sticking in fashion, I have another  January favourite to share with you, from Gymshark. No surprises there… 

It is, of course, the black camo seamless leggings and sports bra, which quickly became my absolute favourite set Gymshark have ever designed. They’re on the pricier side of Gymshar activewear, but they are so worth it. The leggings are the most flattering I have ever worn, and the little scrunch detailing on the back gives the illusion of a bigger, perkier booty. The bra is also really flattering, not to mention it gives great support while still sporting a feminine design. I really think Gymshark have pulled it out of the bag with this one (if I do say so myself) and, if possible, I would seriously recommend getting your hands on it.

JAN

MAKE-UP 

Next up, it is time for my favourite makeup product on the month, of which there are two. I tried to pick just one, I really did, but they are both so good I thought that they should both get a mention.

First up is the Makeup Revolution Liquid Highlighter Luminous Gold. I have always been a little sceptical about liquid highlighters and I don’t think you get the same control or natural finish. However, this one is an absolute DREAM! Not only is it super affordable, but it has the most stunning finish that lasts literally all day. You hardly need any (one or two drops at the most) and it gives you the most reflective, dewy glow! I have also been experimenting with this under my foundation to give my skin a healthy-looking glow that it really misses in these colder months. If you’re on the hunt for a liquid highlight, you seriously cannot go wrong with this one. They come in loads of different colours and are available on BeautyBay. I get complimented every time I wear it! Hats off Makeup Revolution.

HIGHLIGHT

My second make-up favourite has to be Benefit’s Gimme Brow Volumising Gel. I have been using the same eyebrow kit for the past 6 years (not exactly the same one… I have repurchased, don’t worry) but it just wasn’t quite making the cut anymore. It was good for the drawn-on eyebrow days, but now I prefer a more natural finish. The Gimme Brow is my new ride-or-die. It is so easy to use, you literally just put it on like mascara and it gives you lashes and full finish, while still looking super natural due to the tiny little micro-fibres in the formula. I was also pleasantly surprised at the staying power – it lasts out even my sweatiest gym sessions. Here’s to the next 6 years Gimme Brow.

SKIN CARE

Confession: I am shit when it comes to skincare.

I wish I was one of these girls with a fancy routine they followed religiously but, truth be told, I am lazy. However, this year, I have made it my resolution to take better care of my skin and I have been sticking to it pretty well. I actually have 3 favourites in this section, but all part of the same skincare family so it’s okay… right?

First up in the family is the Elemis Nourishing Omega-rich cleansing oil. I’ll admit, I have had this a while and have been avoiding using it because a make-up wipe and some water seemed like a lot less agg. While my skincare routine might have taken a grand total of 30 seconds, it wasn’t really doing much, and I started to struggle with breakouts. I started using this and absolutely love it. It smells delicious and leaves my skin feeling so soft and nourished. Not only that, but since using it, I feel like my skin has become a lot more glow-y and a lot less like I have died. Always a bonus…

The other two products are the Elemis Soothing Apricot Toner, which is a lazy girl’s dream! Literally, just spray and go – ideal. Last up, it’s their collagen marine cream (basically a fancy name for a moisturiser from what I can tell). It’s super thick and feels really indulgent, but doesn’t leave my skin feeling greasy at all, rather it makes my skin feel plump and delicious. I tend to get really dry skin in the colder months, so a good moisturiser is essential.

This set was brought for me as a gift, so I don’t know the exact price, but I am going to take a stab in the dark and say that it will not be cheap! However, I am really liking it and don’t mind investing if it is going to work and look after my skin.

Long may my new-found skincare routine last.

EXERCISE

As you will know if you follow me on any of my social media platforms, I am taking part in Gymshark 66. They say it takes 66 days to make a habit, and so I am putting it to the test and challenging myself to eat better, run faster, lift heavier, and (most importantly) be happier. This means my exercise this month has been intense! I threw myself straight back into the deep-end with it after struggling for 2 months with glandular fever and, truth be told, I have loved every last second of it! The aches and the pains have been KILLER, but I have never felt fitter or more confident.

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My favourite exercise of the month has to be bench press! I always hated bench press, but since I started incorporating it into my routine on a regular basic, I started to notice some great improvements. It’s a fantastic, compound exercise that I would seriously recommend. If the barbell is a bit too heavy for you at the moment, try lying dumbbell press to help build up your strength before moving onto the barbell!

ENTERTAINMENT

I wish I could say that this month my entertainment favourite was going to a book, but Netflix have really pulled it out of the bag this January (and also, I have only been reading history books, which the majority of you are not going to care about..*.). I watched ‘Birdbox’ at the start of the month and, don’t hate me, but I really did not get the hype. 5/10 at the very best! ‘You’, however, I have really enjoyed. Super trippy, witty and it kept me on the edge of my seat. I would definitely recommend giving this a watch if you haven’t already.

*If you are I would recommend ‘In Defence of History’ by Richard Evans. It’s not without its flaws, but it is a really interesting reflection on postmodernism and that impact it has on history. NERD!

So, there you have it! I know this has been the longest Favourites of the Month EVER, but there is a lot that I have been loving throughout January. What have you been loving? Loved yourself a bit of Birdbox? Avoid benchpress like the plague? Let me know in the comments down below?

Jamie x

 

Five Favourites | Benefit Cosmetics.

Hey guys! It’s time for another one of my #FiveFavourites and today is the turn of Benefit Cosmetics. I find Benefit products really hit and miss and a lot of the time they can be quite gimmicky and overpriced. That said, there are some products that I think are such high quality that they’ve become my ride or die products. I chose this brand as I have been serious lusting over some of their new releases, namely the Hello Happy foundation, which has had some excellent reviews. Who knows, next time I do this it might just feature in my top five, but for now, here are some oldies but goldies that I love. 

BADgal BANG! Volumizing Mascara

First up is the BADgal BANG! mascara. I have always been a huge fan of Benefit mascaras since They’re Real but this is the best one yet. It’s a surprisingly light formula that is not as wet as They’re Real so doesn’t feel sticky all leave that weird black line under your eyes (not a good look) yet it gives your lashes insane volume. It builds up to give a false lash effect and lasts for ages on the lashes without feeling dry and gross. It’s water-resistance but still comes over nicely with make up remover and has B5 in the formula, which is known the thicken and strengthen your natural lashes. It is the perfect mascara to take you from day to night and I would seriously recommend giving it a go if you’re a lover of their other mascaras.

Brow Zing’s Eyebrow Shaping Kit

The Brow Zing’s Eyebrow Shaping Kit has been my ride or die since my year 11 prom (about 5 years ago!). During this time it has changed its formula and packaging and in my opinion the is now not as good as the older one, but it is still the only product I reach for when doing my brows. The cute little kit is perfect to throw in your hand bag or travel with and includes eyebrow powder, wax, mini slant tweezers and a dual-sided extendable applicator. It gives a really natural look to the brows and lasts all day (and night). If you love a full, natural brow then this is the product for you – it’s totally fool proof!

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Image from cultbeauty.co.uk

Watts Up Cream Highlighter

When I first got the product I was really unsure but I ended up loving it. The Watts Up Cream Highlighter definitely takes some getting used to and I had to play around with it a lot before I got the hang of it, but it gives such a stunning champagne glow. Rather than being full of chunky glitter (which I don’t like at all) it just gives you a beautiful sheen. The application is super smooth and has an almost powder like finish. I would say though, this is definitely a highlight for the cheek bones alone. For some reason it never sets on my nose or other areas and it is hard to control the intensity due to the nature of the application! It is, however, a really beautiful highlight and is also something that takes me from day to night.

Sugarbomb Blush/Bronzer

You might remember that this product featured in my favourites back in July and it is still a firm favourite of mine. The Sugarbomb Blush/Bronzer might have awful packaging but the formula is stunning. It has four difference shades of peach, soft plum, pink and rose, which blend together to give your cheeks a sugary, natural flush. I also sometimes uses the shades separately as the peach makes a beautiful addition to a summery, neutral eye look. The mix of shades also means it would suit loads of complexions and take you from summer to winter. If you can look past the packaging (hard I know) it is really worth the investment.

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Image from houseoffraser.co.uk

It’s Potent Brightening Eye Cream

Last but not least is a product I have not used in forever and I couldn’t tell you why because I really did love it. The It’s Potent Brightening Eye Cream is great for helping with dark circles and reduces/preventing fine lines. It instantly gives your under eyes a natural, hydrated glow and contains a peptide complex known to help restore elasticity & firmness. It’s a little bit on the steeper side but I tend to find that that is the case with all eye creams (my current set me back $27.99 in Crete – if you’re interested you can find it herebut I always think eye care is worth the investment as they’re the first things to age. If you struggle with dark circles or tired looking under eyes this might be the product for you.

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A natural day look using all of these make up product. I was glowing (if I do say so myself) 

And that’s a wrap. I actually found this #FiveFavourites a lot easier than I found it for Soap and Glory as I tend to find with Benefit products I either love or hate them. There are some cult favourites such as POREfessional and BeneTINT I really cannot get on with, and other things that aren’t as popular that I adore. It is definitely a marmite make up brand in my opinion, but these five products really are fantastic. Let me know in the comments what your favourite Benefit products are and if there are any particular brands you would like to see in the next #FiveFavourites. Until next time… 

Jamie x 

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Oldies but Goldies.

I love trying out new make up but there are some products that I know I can always rely on. These are my ‘Oldies but Goldies’…

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First up my go to foundation has got to be MAC studio sculpt foundation. I wear NC15 and it suits my skin perfectly. This product feels super light on the skin but still gives a good coverage. For everyday wear, one layer is more than enough but it is easy to build up for a more flawless finish if you like heavier coverage. It has a nice dewy finish without making my skin look greasy and lasts for ages (even longer if you finish with some MAC Prep and Prime – another one of my go to MAC products).

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Next up, this was the very first contouring kit I ever bought and I still swear by it. ‘Sleek Face Form Contour and Blush Palette’ (I wear Medium 374) is a fab kit and really good value for money. The contour powder has a really nice matte finish and is so easy to blend in. If you like a little bit of glitter, the blusher/bronzer has a pretty sparkle to it and is great for the summer months when you’ve got a little bit of colour. Finally, although not the most ‘in your face’ highlighter on the market, the illuminating highlighter in the set has a lovely shimmery finish and you can easily build it up. I tend to where this highlight on a day to day basis as it isn’t too in your face. Having all three in one palette is also super practical and, at £9.99, this product is a steal!

contour

Now for my going out highlighter. ‘Becca Shimmering Pressed Skin Perfector’ in Opal is highlight heaven. Super sparkly with a golden glow, this highlighter is my favourite for a night out. I only have a baby one at the minute (I will be getting a full sized one when this runs out!) but I also have a little ‘Becca Shimmering Skin Protector Spotlight’. The same colour as the pressed powder highlight, this is a liquid consistency with a precision applicator (a little bit like a lip gloss). I was a little bit sceptical at first as it feels quite ‘wet’ but it drys super quickly and leaves a gorgeous, lasting glow. A lot of liquid highlighters I have used in the past tend to go a bit ‘bitty’ and peel off but this doesn’t move! The precise tip also means it’s great for highlighting any awkward places.

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Next up is my daily mascara. I’ll be honest, after trying Benefit’s ‘They’re Real’ I wasn’t too keen on trying out ‘Roller Lash’ as I really wasn’t a fan. However, I’d read some really good reviews and was struggling to find a decent mascara that worked for me so I thought I would give it a go and I’ve never looked back (cringe). Unlike ‘They’re Real’, which I found stayed ‘wet’ and left a lot of residue under my eye, ‘Roller Lash’ is a nice balance between setting and not drying out your lashes. It’s really easy to build and gives an almost false lash effect after a few coats. It does seem to run out quite quickly and isn’t cheap but it’s definitely worth giving a go if you’re still looking for that perfect mascara.

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I am an absolute sucker for lipsticks and these are 2 of my absolute favourite brands! I couldn’t pick a favourite colour so I thought I would show you guys 2 contrasting colours I have in my make up bag depending on my mood.

First up is ‘NYX soft matte lip cream’ in London. NYX have such an amazing colour range at really affordable prices! They don’t last ages and have a bit of a reputation for drying out your lips, however, out of the matte lipsticks I have tried this is one of the best. I used to be a red lipstick girl everyday and so braving the world of nude was a big step for me and I found it really difficult to find a shade that suited me. With these lip creams, there is a colour to suit everyone! They have a flat applicator so are super easy to apply and, at less than half the price of a MAC lipstick, these are great if you are experimenting with a new shade (plus, you don’t feel quite as bad if they fall out of your bag on a night out…)

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A bit of a different colour, next is MAC ‘Creamsheen lipstick’ in Hang-Up. Again, MAC have loads of different colours and they lipsticks have amazing staying power! I can be wearing it all day and hardly have to retouch it which is great, especially for darker lipsticks which can be a real pain. Hang-Up is one of the darker shades (although it comes out more pinky on my lips!) but they also do some gorgeous nudes. If you’re more into a matte finish there’s still plenty to choose from. They are pretty expensive at £16.50 but worth treating yourself! If you’re worried a colour won’t suit you, just ask to try it out.

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Last but not least (I swear I’m not repping for MAC or anything!), is my MAC eyeshadow palette in warm neutral. This palette is so wearable, with a nice mix of different neutral shades (matte and shimmery). There’s 15 shades in the palette and, although I do have my favourites, there isn’t one I wouldn’t use which is unusual. Getting yourself a pre-made MAC palette is way more affordable than buying them individually (think this was around £50 as opposed to £100+) so it’s worth taking a look at them and seeing if any take your fancy. They aren’t all super pigmented but are easy to build up and seem to go on forever! Below are just a few of my favourite shades.

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So there you have it, some of my ‘Oldies but Goldies’. It was really difficult to choose because I have so much in my make up bag I really couldn’t do without (maybe you’ll be seeing an ‘Oldies but Goldies 2.0’ at some point in the future!). What would be on your list?

Jamie x