April 2015 Favourites!

This is actually my first Monthly Favourites post - I know, I'm late to the party - and it is not least for the fact that I buy so many products a month it's hard to keep track! But I've given myself a big kick up the bum, and this month I've kept track! *pats self on back*

I've been trying to streamline my huge amount of half-used products that I fall out with and sit in a drawer for The Borrowers to find, but these products are tried and true little gems that I'll be scraping every last bit out of!

My love for Illamasqua is actually in its infancy as I'd never properly tried their products other than a lipstick here and there, but when I saw this palette I knew it had to be mine. Unfortunately, I bought it when it was £45 and it's now half that price (and I'm genuinely considering buying a replacement for when this runs out) but I would honestly have paid more because I've literally used it every day for four months!

It contains pretty much everything you need to create a gorgeous everyday look and can be vamped up for something more glitzy. The cream highlighter applies like a dream, the blush is the perfect tone for my pale skin, and the contour - well, the contour is out of this world! It also contains an amazing brow powder (and angled brush to apply it with) and four surprisingly wearable powder eyeshadows. I'll write more on this in a review post very soon because it really deserves it, but trust me - you need this in your life!

You can read my full review of this little beauty here, but for now I'll say that this moisturiser is such a great find! I actually came across it in a sample in a magazine and, not expecting to even like it if I'm honest, was pleasantly surprised that my skin stayed matte all day but without any of the dryness. Needless to say, I used up the entire sample in a few days and popped straight to the shops to get the full size!

Again, I wrote a full rave review of this SPF30 face cream here, and it's one I've been loving since the sun decided to grace us with its presence because it doesn't cause any irritation whatsoever to my allergy-prone skin. None of that red blotchiness or pore clogging that I usually find with sunscreens here! I'm safe in the knowledge that my skin is protected and that I won't look like an oil slick - and what's more, the texture acts as a kind of smoothing primer for my makeup too!

Next Antigua Eau de Parfum / £15 for 100ml

I bought this at Christmas time when I was working at Next and I coveted for ages before buying it. It is one of those scents that feels like it was made for me - exotic fruit with a slight floral note and a hint of woodiness. I love anything citrusy and this hits that spot perfectly. Next actually offer home fragrance with this scent too, so I think that'll be my next purchase, and I have to say that for £15, 100ml of product is amazing! And it is eau de parfum as opposed to eau de toilette, so it's a strong scent that lingers too.

I'm not a huge mascara fiend - I tend to stick to the same few instead of branching out - but when I was sent this one to try I was really surprised with how good it was! It claims to fake the appearance of multiplied lashes, and I wouldn't quite agree to that extent, but I have found that it does seem to capture every last lash and coat it evenly without clumpiness. I'm a big fan of the fanned-out look and this certainly helps achieve that with one a coat or two, and it doesn't smudge, fade or droop - quite the feat for my difficult lashes!

The worst thing about struggling with irritable skin is that no matter what amazing bodycare launch there is, I know my skin will react to it and end up an itchy, blotchy mess. For a few years I battled through it and slathered on any old lotion anyway because I simply liked the scent, but at one point in your life you have to grow up and realise that not everything you like is good for you. Not to panic though, as I soon found this Aveeno lotion which was formulated for that exact reason, and now my skin is super soft and with no irritability. Oh, and the nice sweet oaty smell is yummy too!

You all know by now that I am pretty much obsessed with the Revlon Balm Stains, so of course I had to try the matte version too, and I'm glad to announce that I am just as obsessed with these! Application is a dream, colour payoff is perfect and they last all day! The shade Elusive is a gorgeous rose pink which is just muted enough that it can be worn casually, and just bright enough that it isn't boring and can be dressed up. I'm a lover of a loud lip, so this is my compromise step into a more natural daytime look and I think it works pretty well. I'll do a full review on this with swatches very soon!

When I saw the shimmery looking, almost orange shade of this bronzer in the bottle I almost didn't test it, but I am so glad I did. When it is shaken and a little is poured onto the back of the hand, the colour is far more natural and the texture far more watery and blendable than I thought. I've been applying this as a contour and the shade works brilliantly with my skintone, but if I use it as a bronzer I can use a little bit more for an altogether warmer appearance. There is barely any shimmer at all so it doesn't look tacky, but it is not so flat as to look ashy - the result is just natural and glowing. It sinks in easily and stays on all day, and although I can't speak for the "bronzing base" claims, I can say that as a contour and bronzer it works brilliantly!

Real Techniques Contour Brush / £21.99 for 4 brushes

We all know Real Techniques are having a huge moment right now, and for good reason - their brushes are incredible quality and work to a professional standard. This contour brush from the Core Collection quickly became one of my favourites, and lately I've been using it to blend in the Glam Bronze Eau de Soleil (above) below my cheekbones, and apply a healthy dose of blush from the Illamasqua Multi Facet Palette (above). It is small enough that it fits in everywhere you need to contour - cheekbones, temples, nose and chin - but big enough that you're not spending hours applying it a tiny amount at a time. I've owned this brush for well over a year and it is yet to shed or show any signs of wear.

Another popular one, the Color Tattoo shadows have taken the beauty world by storm for some time now and I can see why - their creamy texture and everlastability (I invented a word) are second to none. On and On Bronze is a gorgeous shimmery bronze shade that is so versatile it's unreal - I have used it for natural looks and evening looks, as a base shade and an eye contour shade. I also own the shade Permanent Taupe, which is lovely but I'm not as taken by it as I am with the wearable metallic bronze.

Apologies for the super lengthy post, but hey, it's my first monthly favourites post - it had to be a gooden!


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