January Favourites

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Hurrah! The most depressing month of the year is over (not that it really was that depressing…); saying that there are definitely a few things that helped the month go more smoothly. Check them out and let me know what got you through January (2014 already – scary!)

LA ROCHE-POSAY EFFACLAR DUO // Since this has been skincare-skincare-skincare month, trying to repair all the damage done over the holidays, I couldn’t not mention this saviour. At first, I wasn’t sure I loved this; it stung more than I expected on first application, left a little residue around my blemishes, and the texture was a little watery. No matter, I thought, I’ll soldier on. Two weeks later, my skin was looking a lot clearer, I’d found a more pleasant way to apply the product (in the evenings, warm between fingers then gently pat around face), and there wasn’t as many spots popping up. I really like this, and it has been a godsend for my god-awful skin this month. Would recommend this for people who (like me) are struggling with their blemishes and have felt like nothing is or ever will work. Just be patient.

ORIGINS CLEAR IMPROVEMENT MASK // Similar to the effaclar-duo, this face mask is brilliant for spots, blackheads, and skin that generally needs a pick-me-up. Unlike a lot of clay masks it’s not at all drying on the skin; there’s no tugging with a flannel trying to get it off, and it does, automatically, clam redness and clear pores. Although it’s a little bit pricey for a face mask, it lasts well, and you really don’t need to use it more than once a week for results. As this was one of my firsts Origins purchases, it’s really inspired me to try more of their range. I can feel another brand obsession coming on…

BUMBLE AND BUMBLE SUNDAY SHAMPOO // The first thing I’ve tried from Bumble and Bumble, and I have been thoroughly impressed. It does what it says on the tin – cleansers your hair brilliantly, getting rid of product build up, without being too drying and still smelling and feeling good. You might think it’s quite pricey for a shampoo, but only using it once a week for a few months has hardly made a dent, you only need a tiny blob of this to give you a great lather and squeaky-clean feeling hair!

REAL TECHNIQUES BRUSHES // I don’t think there are many people who haven’t tried the Real Techniques range yet – however, if you’ve tried a few and are stumped at what to invest in next, here are my suggestions: The setting brush (pink) is a beautifully tapered, soft bristled brush. I use it for precise powdering on the t-zone and chin, as well as powder highlighting and contouring (it’s shape is great for around the nose!). It picks up a fairly little amount of powder, which is great for products with high pigmentation (nothing worse than a visible line of product followed by ten minutes of blending). Another one of my favourites this month is the slanted eye brush (from the eye starter kit – purple). Using this brush to apply eyeshadow as eyeliner is really great. It picks up a lot of product, packs it on and feels soft and smooth against the delicate skin in the eye area. It’s made a great change from pencil eyeliner; if you haven’t tried this method yet, you’re missing out!

GHD ECLIPSE STRAIGHTENERS // As a curly-but-pretty frizzy-haired gal, it didn’t take long for my first set of GHDs to claim holy-grail status. After receiving these for Christmas they have changed my get ready routine quite dramatically; two months ago I was having to settle for a messy (not so much by choice) bun on days with early starts, and could only dream of the luxury of having time to do my hair and make-up (what more could a girl want?). Enter the GHDs – cutting my hair styling time in half, whilst effortlessly giving me straight, wavy, or barrel curled locks. I won’t babble on about the tri-zone technology, and the optimized styling temperature fixed at 185 degrees, all you need to know is that they work. Hell, do they work. So if you were wondering if they’re worth it, or are just looking for something to finally tame your wild locks – there’s nothing better (believe me).

THE BODY BRUSH BODY BRUSH // Body bushing is supposed to reap great benefits; a more even skin tone, exfoliation of dead skin cells, and reduced cellulite. Although I haven’t experienced any miracles from my (almost) daily body brushing (towards the heart in long sweeping motions), I can imagine that it’s the sort of thing that takes a long term commitment; saying that my skin tone has evened out a fair bit. I really love this brush, compared to the more oval shaped ones with longer handles, because it’s so easy to control the pressure you’re using and sweep up the body evenly. I’ve had it for around six months and the bristles are still going strong and don’t shed at all. Really affordable and a lovely design to it – another addition to my body shop favourites!

Bex