Category: Make Up

Beauty Advent Calendars – 2018 Edition

You’d have to be hiding underneath a rock to not to have noticed the huge surge in the popularity of having a beauty advent calendar instead of (or as well as…? I’m not judging) a traditional chocolate version over the last few years.  We adults just can’t enough of the marking the countdown to Christmas with makeup, skincare, perfume, alcohol and jewelry.   Here’s my top 10 pick of beauty advent calendars that are suitable for every budget this Christmas time.

OhK! 12 Days Of Beauty Advent Calendar RRP £14.99

Inspired by the impact of Korean Beauty in the western market, OhK! offers a dip in the water of K-Beauty without the import charges.  This 12 Day countdown (I must admit, I want a gift every morning during advent – but then again that’s just an excuse to have two different calendars so I can switch between them each day) contains hairties, false lashes, hair chalk and other cutesy items behind the 12 doors.  This one is an ideal choice for my 9 year old niece who’s eagerly awaiting being old enough to actually be allowed to wear makeup and spend her pocket money on something other than slime and squishies.

Buy Now at Very.co.uk

Lynx Men’s Let The Countdown Begin 12 Days Advent Calendar RRP £15

It’s nice to see that brands primarily aimed at men are getting in on the countdown to Christmas, too.  The Lynx 12 day countdown includes a mix of full and trial sized products as well as a selection of male grooming tools.  It’s a steal too at just £15 from Superdrug at the moment.  And not a whiff of Lynx Africa to be found, either as the scents included are the Gold & Black variety.  Save the Lynx Africa gift set for Christmas Day, as is tradition.

Buy Now from Superdrug.com 

George at Asda 12 Days Of Christmas – RRP £20

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This is George at Asda’s first beauty advent calendar and it promises 6 full size satin lipsticks and 6 nail varnishes, which means you’re netting a £10 saving on the products on their own.  I must admit that I’ve never actually tried George makeup, but there a fwe good reviews around the internet.  A great wee buy I recon for younger people just getting into makeup as the products won’t break the bank and will be universally suitable for all.

Launches November 1st on George @ Asda

Revolution Advent Calendar –  RRP £50, currently £30

Advent Calendar 2018 from Revolution Beauty

I had a Revolution Advent Calendar last year and I loved it.  Even though it’s sort of easy to tell what you’re getting from the size of the window each day, this beauty advent calendar has a great mix of products including a new eye shadow palette.

The products in this one would normally cost you around £65 (and that’s quick maths on my part on the normal RRP on the Revolution website) so if you manage to grab this one at £30 you are getting a bargain buy and some great wee additions to you makeup kit that maybe you wouldn’t normally pick up.  I won’t ruin the surprise, but there’s a good mix of lip products, highlighters, eyeshadows and even brushes in this beauty calendar.

Buy Now at Revolutionbeauty.com  ::  Buy Now at Superdrug.com

Soap & Glory It’s In The Calendar! – RRP £40

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It’s not really Christmas if you don’t get a Soap & Glory gift set, is it?  Following the success of last year’s beauty calendar – It’s A Calendar Girls! – this year we have 24 mini and full size products to count down to Christmas with. The reason I love the Soap & Glory beauty calendar is because it’s a great mix of makeup, skincare and toiletries.  And the mini Hand Food! is just the perfect size for throwing in your handbag.   Plus the smell of Soap & Glory products might actually be the most amazing smell in the world, I literally can smell Clean On Me as I’m typing this (nothing to do with the fact I showered with it this morning, mind you).

Buy Now at Boots.com

Maybelline Countdown Advent Calendar – RRP £50, now £33.50

The Maybelline Countdown 12 Day Beauty Calendar is the perfect pre-Christmas Christmas present to yourself.  This one comes with all your favourite Maybelline products in their top selling colours (I’m guessing this fact, but the shades listed on the ingredients are totally some of the most popular ones).  You’ll get yourself a mix of Colour Tattoo eyeshadows, Babylips lipbalms, Superstay 7 day nail varnishes and Colour Sensational lipsticks as well as the brilliant Babyskin Primer, a Master Strobe Liquid Highlighter and a Master Precise eyeliner, meaning that you’ll be set to go on Christmas Day for makeup if Santa doesn’t pop any extras down the chimney for you.

Buy Now at Very.co.uk

The Body Shop 24 Days of the Enchanted Advent Calendar – RRP £45

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This Body Shop Beauty Calendar – one of four that they have on offer this year – is my favourite imagery because it doesn’t scream out Christmas to me.  You get 24 products in this one too, from shampoos and body lotions to face masks and cleansing sponges while you countdown to Christmas with Olivia the Owl and her forestry friends.

Buy Now on TheBodyShop.com

Birchbox UK Beauty Advent Calendar – RRP £65

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This calendar is the one that I’m really dropping big hints for this year.  Just look at it, it’s beautiful. Although on the pricier side (the products inside are worth £179 though, so that’s a saving of 63%) it’s certainly worth every penny.  There’s no images on the Birchbox website showing what products are included in this calendar, but some of the brands you can expect to receive include Benefit, Pixi, Makeup Forever, Nuxe Paris and Sand&Sky.

This one’s a dead cert hit for anybody who subscribes to Birchbox as it’s sure to include a great mix of skincare and makeup from the high end side of the beauty market.    The only downside to this one? It doesn’t mention anywhere if this is the usual trail sized products or full size… only one way to find out though.  My guess is that it will be a mix of product size, just like the usual Birchbox.

Buy Now at Birchbox.co.uk

Debenhams Ultimate Beauty Advent Calendar – RRP £70

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This is Debenham’s first own branded advent calendar, with goodies from brands such as MAC, Makeup Forever, OhK!, Too Faced, Glam Glow and even a mini Paco Rabanne Lady Million perfume. There’s a gift card for Debenhams in this one too, which can be used against buying the full sized product of your favourite products out of this calendar.  To be honest, this one is singing to me as it looks premium and is packed full of some really nice sample sized products that I’d like to try too… we just won’t mention the Kat Von D tattoo liner in this one (it’s a good liner, it really is but I’m having problems trusting the KVD brand at the moment).

Buy Now on Debenhams.com

Selfridges Glam Sparkle Beauty Advent Calendar – RRP £130

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I’m not going to lie – the price of this one is enough to make your eyes water. But it is packed full of some amazing trial sized premium brands like Urban Decay, Kiehls, YSL and Lancôme including some cult beauty staples such as the UD All Nighter Setting Spray,  Kiehls’ Midnight Recovery Concentrate and a sample of one of my favourite perfumes – Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb.   The only problem that I have with this one is that the actual calendar doesn’t look very premium, more like a 6th year graphic design student has thrown together a mockup and they’ve ran with it.

Buy Now on Selfridges.com

Remove makeup with just water?

I’m all for an easy life. I’m also for saving the planet, so I’ve been trying my hardest to stop using makeup wipes and cotton pads to remove my makeup.  I actually haven’t bought any more wipes or cotton pads in the last 4 months or so and was just working through the ones that I already had – and it turns out I apparently compulsively buy different wipes to try when I’m buying other toiletries without giving any thought to what I already have at home… tell me I’m not the only one?

My first option for removing my makeup with no throwaway products was using Micellar water with a muslin cloth.  Which was working well for the first few weeks but eventually I felt like I was washing the muslin cloth that often that whatever planet saving that I was doing by not buying one-use wipes was being cancelled out with the amount of electricity I was using washing the muslin clothes not to mention the extra washing powder and they never actually ended up that clean anyway.

I had seen microfibre makeup removal pads around the internet, especially on YouTube, but I really wasn’t into spending £20 plus postage and customs charges for 3 pads.  Hey, I’m a cheapskate ok? So when I noticed the Derma V10 Make Off Mitt when I was out shopping for just 99p, I figured it was worth a punt to try it out.

I’m glad that I picked this microfibre cloth up.  It works really well at removing all my makeup – including my mascara – using just water.   My routine for removing my makeup now involves holding the mitt under the tap for a few seconds to get it damp and turn off the tap (I’m trying to save the planet, remember?  Get that tap turned off when you’re not using it) and start gently with a little pressure, moving my hand in a circular motion to remove foundation and concealer from my cheeks and forehead first.  Then I wash the mitt to get the liquid products washed out as best I can before moving onto the tougher eyeliner and mascara removal.   This takes a little more effort, but it’s not horrendous nor does it take forever to remove.  I’ve not tried this with waterproof mascara because I generally don’t wear it, but I can confirm that it does remove my mascara without leaving my eyes looking red or like I’ve been rubbing them for 5 minutes (disclaimer: I don’t have sensitive skin, so I’m unsure if you do have sensitive skin if this would leave redness behind from the gentle scrubbing).

Again, I was out the remaining makeup from the mitt before popping it on the towel hanger in my bathroom to dry naturally overnight.  There is a little staining from mascara but it’s so much better than the muslin cloth that seemed to just let all the makeup cling to it no matter how much I rinsed it out.

The great thing about the Make Off Mitt is that you don’t need to use any additional products, so you’re not changing the PH of your skin – or spending money on remover or micellar water.  Which suits my bargain-loving self.

 

 

Ciate x Courtney Act Stamp & Drag Liner :: Review

When I first saw that my favourite human on the planet was teaming up with Ciate London to bring out a collaboration, I wasn’t imaging an eyeliner pen. But the name is perfect – Courtney Act Stamp & Drag?  Drag?? Get it?!  Courtney Act is by far the best thing ever to come out of Ru Paul’s Drag Race (lovers of other queens, feel free to try to correct me in the comments) but to me she’s not just a drag queen.  She is THE QUEEN.

Ciate x Courtney Act Stamp & Drag Liner

Enough of my obsessive fangirl-ing though.  The Ciate x Coutney Act Stamp & Drag liner is currently £15.00 on the Ciate London website, making it the same price as their other liquid eyeliners (I really appreciate brands not charging extra for collaboration products just because they know the fans will pay extra because of the name that’s on it).   Of course I ordered it on pre-sale, because I’m that fan.

I must admit, I’ve never tried any Ciate London makeup before, just nail varnishes which I have always found to be great quality for the price so I was expecting good things from the makeup that I ordered. Uhm, yeah there might also have been a few bits and bobs that jumped into my basket when I was checking out.. sorry overdraft.  And I’m glad to say that I wasn’t disappointed. 

So what is a stamp eyeliner?

If you haven’t seen the miracle eyeliner products that include a stamp for the perfect wing every time (I think The Vamp Stamp started this, quickly followed by the likes of Rimmel, Lottie London and Milk Makeup), let me tell you they do exactly what they say on the tin.   One end of the pen is a stamp in the shape of a wing that you stamp (how many time have I said stamp in this post?) on the corner of your eye wherever you see fit and then use the traditional pen side & draw along your lash line to connect to the stamped wing. It makes having a winged cat eye a lot easier but you still need to make sure that you have the wing equal on both sides… I don’t think there ever will be an invention to make that happen.

Because I have hooded eyes, I do find it really quite difficult to do winged eyeliner myself.  I’m good at along the lash line (top and bottom, thanks to my teenage self loving a lot of khol liner, even if it was the only makeup I was wearing) but I am incredibly bad at creating a wing.  The Drag & Stamp liner has made my struggles easier, though! 

The pen is a really nice weight, and it feels natural when drawing on eyeliner. It’s a nice, dark black that doesn’t smudge easily and I found it lasts throughout the day too.  The nib is just the right size to connect up to the stamped bit in one sweep too, so there’s less chance of screwing up by overlining. 

Can we just talk about this packaging though?

Ciate x Courtney Act Stamp & Drag liner pen & angel wing packaging.

It might not be immediately obvious why the angel wings on the internal part of the box is so amazing, but let me just direct you to one of the most iconic runway looks ever seen on Ru Paul’s Drag Race.  Nice touch, Courtney.

Courtney Act with Angel Wings, Ru Paul's Drag Race.

Ciate x Courtney Act Drag & Stamp Liner: 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)