I had quite a long list of products to either restock or that I have added to my wishlist to try and pick up whilst I was back in the UK last month. Needless to say, I came back with quite a stash! I haven’t tried everything yet but I thought I’d give you a rundown of what I put in my (last minute) extra suitcase!
The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 (30ml) £6
The Ordinary Advanced Retinoid 2% (30ml) £8
The Ordinary High Adherence Silicone Primer (30ml) £4
I have been following The Ordinary hype from Bangkok over the past months and have been absolutely dying to get my hands on some of their products. When I wanted to place my order, they were out of stock of a few things on their website so I ordered from ASOS with free next day delivery. I chose the Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5, Advanced Retinoid 2% and the High Adherence Silicone Primer.
I have only used the retinoid serum once (didn’t result in any scary redness or peeling) but have been using the Hyaluronic every day and I am loving it. I have been applying a few drops with the pipette once or twice a day depending on my skins needs that day, it leaves my skin looks visibly plumper and feeling so soft. I’ve been using it by itself or in combination with the Hylamide Vitamin A Booster which I will get to in a minute! As for the primer, it’s taken the place of my Benefit Porefessionals as my everyday go to. It leaves a beautiful smooth base for makeup and really does help it to last all day. It passed the ultimate test when I was a bridesmaid in July and really held up beautifully through a long, warm day.
The price of these products is just incredible and I would encourage anyone to give them a go. My only regret is that I didn’t pick up a few more items! I’m going to do another order in time for my parents to bring out to Thailand in October!
Hylamide C25 Booster – Vitamin C Booster (30ml) £30
Caroline Hirons said that the best things to fight the signs of ageing are retinol, Vitamin A and Vitamin C, so when I was merrily filling my ASOS basket with The Ordinary I also checked out their parent company Deciem’s other brands (Hylamide and Niod) that were stocked. I couldn’t help myself so in went the Hylamide Stabilized Vitamin C Booster, Hirons words of skin care wisdom ringing in my ears!
I started using this one straight away and have been using it at least once a day, usually the evening for around a month and it has made such an amazing difference to my skin. I feel like the texture is more even and my pores are reduced. As I said I have been using this in combination with The Ordinary Hyaluronic some evenings and am seeing some great results.
The Hylamide products are a step up price wise from The Ordinary, but my month’s usage has probably used around a third of my 30ml bottle. I am already concerned about running out and not having a back-up…
Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream SPF 30 (125ml) £45
NIP+FAB No Needle Fix Moisturiser (40ml) £19.95
Living in a tropical climate I am all about protecting my skin. Most days I am outside sporadically so rather than apply a dedicated SPF I would rather use a decent moisturiser with SPF in it. I love my Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream so when I saw it the Ultra Facial Cream with SPF 30, I grabbed the biggest pot I could find. I also picked up the NIP+FAB No Needle Fix SPF 20 Moisturiser in Superdrug (as part of a bonkers 2-for-£18 offer…I asked the shop assistant who couldn’t believe it either and promptly stocked up herself).
I’ve tried them both a few times, both sit under makeup nicely and I haven’t found either block my pores and cause breakouts. The Kiehl’s is slightly thicker in consistency than the NIP+FAB owing, I assume, to the higher SPF. My initial feeling is that I prefer the NIP+FAB one giving that I’m reaching for that more often, but I need to use them for a few more weeks before giving a tried and tested verdict.
Pixi Glow Tonic (100ml) £10
Kiehl’s Iris Extract Activating Treatment Essence (40ml) Free
I can’t live without my Pixi Glow Tonic (if you’ve never tried it, order a bottle right now) but the regular bottle (250ml) isn’t great for travelling so when I saw a small 100ml version in Marks and Spencer’s I grabbed it!
This Kiehl’s Iris Extract Activating Treatment Essence was a free sample when purchasing other bits from the counter. The assistant told me to splash some on after toning in the evening but before any serums or moisturiser, it claims to help activate radiance and decrease fine lines. It smells lovely and I’ll use the bottle up but in all honesty, I don’t think its a stage of my skincare routine I really need so am highly unlikely to purchase.
Charlotte Tilbury Full Fat Lashes £23
Charlotte Tilbury Mini Miracle Eye Wand £29
No visit to the UK is complete for me without a visit to Charlotte Tilbury. I restocked on her Full Fat Lashes Mascara, which I absolutely love but I know isn’t for everyone, and also picked up the Mini Miracle Eye Wand (I think my jet-lagged state encouraged this purchase). The Eye Wand has hydrating serum (with hyaluronic acid) at one end and light reflecting concealer in the other which promises to be the ‘antidote for tired, dull & exhausted eyes.’
I’ve used the Miracle Wand a few times and really like the serum end, which feels like it tightens and hydrates the eye area, but I’m not sure about the illuminating concealer. I don’t have a crepey undereye area but before I’ve even finished my eyes it’s creased or looks patchy. I need to figure out the best way to apply it but for me, I think it’s going to be for days when I need less coverage if I continue to use it.
Estée Lauder Bronze Goddess Perfume from £42
I had been smelling the Estée Lauder Bronze Goddess perfume at various fragrance counters recently which my husband had clearly noticed as this was a present from his parents. I love this gorgeous scent which reminds me of summer and instantly makes me feel happy. I tend to prefer heavier scents so this lighter fragrance is a gorgeous summertime alternative. Taken from the Estée Lauder website its notes include ‘a sensuous, sun-drenched blend of Bergamot, warm Amber, Tiare Flower and Vanilla combined with delicious creamy Coconut.’ The Body Scrub is gorgeous too, it’s not too scratchy but leaves you feeling efficiently exfoliated and smelling amazing.
Nu Skin Beauty Box £89.95
Kat, a friend of mine has been selling beauty products for a while now and I have been intrigued by quite a few of them so in the name of testing products I took the plunge and purchased the Nu Skin Beauty Box which contained their best-selling seven items:
- Glacial Marine Mud Mask
- Polishing Peel
- Moisture Mist
- Whitening Toothpaste
- Contouring Lip Gloss
- Curling Mascara
- Green Tree Capsules
I am yet to try the mascara but the wand looks great so I think I’m going to like it, picky mascara user that I am! I’ve been taking the Green Tea capsules daily for a week or so, using the whitening toothpaste at least twice a day and using the collagen boosting lip gloss as often as I remember in the day! I want to use these products more before confirming but I will say, so far so good!
My favourite product so far from the Beauty Box is The Glacial Marine Mud Mask. The mud is a thin consistency, which I really like as it seems less faffy than other mud masks I use regularly like my uber thick Aesop mask, it dries quickly and really deep cleans my pores. I’ve been using one of Kat’s top tips and spritzing my face when the mask is dry with the Moisture Mist and it seems to cleanse even deeper. My other half has also taken a particular liking to this mud mask and has been using it regularly too!
The Polishing Peel claims to offer similar results to a Microdermabrasion facial. As a big fan of a Microdermabrasion facial, I was keen to see if this product could deliver on its promise! I’ve used this three times and have been really impressed with the results. You apply a thin layer, wait for it to go tacky, then rub it off in circular motions so it takes the top layer of dull dead skin with it. It leaves my skin feeling so soft and looking so glowy and healthy. I followed it up the last time with the mud mask for the ultimate at-home facial!
The Beauty Box works out really great value for what’s included so if you’re interested in trying it or for more information contact Kat here on her Facebook page.
Kérastase Specifique Dermo-Calm Bain Riche Shampoo £18.60
Kérastase Elixir Ultime Hair Oil (100ml) £39.50
Before the holiday I was having a few issues with a dry scalp, most likely caused by my use of dry shampoo. My hairdresser in the UK banned me from dry shampoo and recommended this shampoo which I have been using for about a month. My scalp feels and looks so much better, it’s no longer dry and itchy but an added bonus has been the lengths of my hair feel super nourished and hydrated. I love Kerastase shampoo’s as a little goes a long way and they lather so richly you feel like you’ve been at the hairdressers!
Whilst on Look Fantastic, I restocked on my favourite Kérastase Elixir Ultime Hair Oil. I was really annoyed when it arrived as they have switched it from a plastic bottle for a super heavy glass one. Their reasoning I’m told it that it looks great on your dressing table, which I’m sure it does but practically its a flipping pain in the arse; if you drop it, it smashes, not to mention the fact it’s way too heavy to travel with. Grrrrr. If only I didn’t love this serum so much.
I miss UK Boots, I miss a leisurely perusal of the shelves and the vast array of drugstore makeup on offer. I would have loved nothing more than to wander aimlessly gazing at the goodies on offer, however, despite being in the UK for a month, time wasn’t really on my side so my pick-ups were hurried restocks of can’t be without.
Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer in shade 1 – I have this in every shade and I love this concealer. A drugstore bargain that rivals most high-end concealers in terms of formulation and stating power.
I smudge Maybelline EyeStudio Color Tattoo 24hr Cream Gel Eyeshadow in On-and-On Bronze on my eyelids every working day – it takes a few seconds of minimal effort but makes you look like you spent ages on a gorgeous, glossy eye: win-win at 5:30am. However, something swayed me to put the colour Fantasy in my basket. Needless to say, I don’t like it. The colour is great but it has huge chunks of glitter which I failed to notice when I quickly swatched in Boots. Grab and Go Fail.
I restocked on my favourite Rimmel Exaggerate Lip Liners in the colours Eastend Snob and Addiction, and added the slightly gimmicky Rimmel London Insta Fix & Matte Powder to my basket as I hadn’t bought a translucent powder back with me, thinking I’d buy a cheap one and leave it. But I didn’t leave this back in the UK as from the first use I really love this powder. It’s finely milled so is beautiful on the skin and sets everything perfectly. It is completely white in the pan but doesn’t leave an ashy tone to my skin and it just seems to last amazingly well. I haven’t seen it here in Bangkok yet but when I do I’m definitely going to pick up another one at least.
Narciso Narciso Rodriguez NARCISO Poudrée Eau de Parfum (50ml) £60
I was given a sample of this perfume a year or so ago and adored it so my husband bought it for me in Duty-Free in Abu Dhabi on our way back to Bangkok. It’s my favourite intense musky kind of a fragrance with velvety jasmine, sensual woods and powdery musk notes. I just love it.
So there it is, my beauty buys of Summer 2017. In the spirit of true disclosure, I also brought deodorant and tampons back to Thailand with me! Deodorant mainly because I didn’t have to spend 10 minutes in the shop checking for whitener and tampons because they’re so hard to get here and a gal just really misses Tampax!