Clarins Exfoliating Cleanser

I really like this stuff! It’s an exfoliating cleanser that feels a little grainy, which helps to give your face a deep cleanse. It’s not too harsh so you can use it daily, which appeals to me. Although it is slightly on the pricey side – a full bottle would set you back £21 (the one pictured is a sample size) but Clarins often do deals with freebies so you tend to get quite a lot for your money if you buy from them during promotions. (Don’t forget to check not only the Clarins website but also department stores as they offer different promotions at different times!)

I used this one up pretty quickly, and as I’m a multi tasker, I tended to use it in the shower to save precious time! It leaves my skin smooth and clean and I followed it up with a layer of moisturiser each time.

Although it says ‘with orange extract’ I don’t think you would know that from the smell. I find it smells a bit like detergent or something similar! But don’t let that put you off, lots of people think it smells great. More importantly, it does its main job very well so I would recommend it and give it a 4/5.

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Best-smelling hand cream

On a recent trip to New York, my sister and I had really dry hands and decided to try out my new Byredo Bal d’Afrique hand cream (£24).

First off, I love the packaging – it comes in a simple, modern, toothpaste-style tube and slips into one’s handbag with ease! Better still is the scent – it leaves your skin perfumed with a long-lasting lovely smell. It is highly-moisturising but beware – any more than a pea-sized amount makes your hands feel sticky and does feel a bit greasy, despite the description from Liberty. I’d only recommend using this if you have a bit of time to let it absorb, perhaps not so great to use at work. And of course a huge budget for hand creams!!

Diptique Roses candle

You may remember I got this small Diptique candle in my Liberty advent calendar and couldn’t wait to use it as I’ve never had one of these before (couldn’t justify spending £24 on a tiny candle!) I got round to using it this weekend and it was a big disappointment to be honest!! The scent could only be detected when you were literally standing above it, and unlike some other candles I’ve had, it burned out within 2-3 evenings of usage… needless to say I wouldn’t recommend this particular one. I will be trying the Baies and Oud ones soon so let’s see if they are any better – but in the meantime I’d recommend sticking with Molton Brown or Jo Malone candles. In fact, anything but this one…

Happy New Year

Hope it’s not too late to wish my fellow beauty enthusiasts a very Happy New Year! During the Xmas break it also happened to be my birthday, so I was treated to a range of exciting beauty products including a gel nails set, a subscription to the Look Fantastic beauty box and a subscription to the Birchbox. And I even got my first Birchbox in advance… Looking forward to trying out these products!

The rest of my wonderful advent calendar

The gifts from my advent calendar kept on getting better and better. Here’s what I got on days 16-25. Yes, there was a gift on Xmas day too!

Day 16 – QMS Medicosmetics face mask

Never heard of this brand, so I can’t comment but looking forward to trying it out since I rarely use face masks but I should!

Day 17 – Surratt Smokey Eye Baton

Again this is one I haven’t come across before but I love the smokey eye look, so anything that helps to get that right is a welcome addition to my beauty collection.

Day 18 – Aurelia Cell Repair Night Oil

Another one that is new to me, but it looks and smells great so I can’t wait to give this a whirl!

Day 19 – Davines Oi Shampoo

Haven’t seen this before either and not feeling too excited about using it – something about the packaging puts me off, but I will let you know what it’s like…

Day 20 – Dr Sebagh Serum

Now this one has had some rave reviews, so I’m super excited to give it a go and report back.

Day 21 – Byredo Hand Cream

I’ve heard all about their perfumes so I expect this to smell wonderful. Love the simple yet elegant packaging in the old-school medicinal metallic tube too!

Day 22 – Trish McEvoy Liquid Lip Colour

This is amazing! I slicked some on in the pre-Christmas rush around and it lasted all day long. My lips were still stained with the pigment after dinner and drinks that evening, so I can definitely vouch for the long-lasting, rich colour. Keen to see the other colours as this is great for Christmas and parties, not so great for office days in my opinion.

Day 23 – Votary Cleansing Oil & Cloth

As I currently use a Shu Uemura cleansing oil that’s starting to run out, I can’t wait to give this one a try! Haven’t smelled it yet but the description sounds amazing.

Day 24 – Diptique Candle

I’m obsessed with candles and strangely enough haven’t tried this brand yet since I’ve been too hooked on Jo Malone. Let’s see if this can sway me.

Day 25 – Le Labo The Noir perfume

I recently went to the Edition Hotel in London and the smell in the lobby was so lovely that I had to ask the staff what it was. I was expecting it to be some sort of candle or diffuser, but the guy said “We infuse the air conditioning system with Le Labo’s The Noir Madame” – it smells amazing in a room, let’s see how it smells on me…

Days 12-15 of advent gifts

So happy with my Liberty calendar – it really is the gift that keeps on giving!! Particularly excited to try Eve Lom’s cleanser and the surprising Brazilian Bum Bum cream… I am of course delighted with the Nars blusher too since it’s my favourite one, but honestly not too sure about brow oil! I mean, I’m all for trying new products out but an oil to put on my eyebrows might be pushing it a tad too far… I’ll try and give it a go and keep you updated!

Advent gifts on days 8, 9, 10 and 11

I realise this is a highly delayed advent calendar post but I’m hoping to catch up over the next few days, in a booze-fuelled haze no doubt!

I am so excited to try these products out – especially the Laura Mercier eye colour stick. And the make up pouch from Liberty is gorgeous! I’ll keep you posted…