Do you love exquisite, girly packaging, caramel scents, & over the top luxury? Then you NEED to go and check out Viktor & Rolf BonBon Couture. Released earlier this year, this is the sexier, more luxurious version of the original....and it is SO YOU. With top notes of mandarin, neroli oil and peach, creamy middle notes of orange blossom,Sambac jasmine, & caramel, & base notes of sandalwood and patchouli, with vanilla and blonde tobacco . you'll be smelling like a goddess all summer long. This white floral/caramel fragrance is one you should be dropping major hints for this Christmas ;)
This time of year has the potential to really take it out of us....and it can show in our skin! I know it definitely shows in mine. I'm on my second jar of the Energie de Vie Sleeping Mask from Lancôme- and I don't see myself ever stopping using it! I put it on just before bed, and leave it on overnight (don't worry, it absorbs like a dream)- and I wake up looking ALIVE! My skin is plump, smooth, hydrated, and glowy absolutely every time I use this mask- I don't 100% guarantee many things, but I can guarantee you this. It works! Please, please try it- you'll never look back.
No one does a Christmas collection quite like Lush does- every single year the products seem to get bigger, better, and six million times more beautiful. 2016 is no exception, and it was unbelievably hard to try and narrow down my favourites :O But- here we go. I loveee the Golden Wonder Bath Bomb because of how happy & uplifting the scent is- think sweet orange oil, zesty lime, & cognac! The Santasaurus Bubble Bar was a HUGE hit with Micah- that kid has never had so much fun in the bath before (& he's begging me to buy more). I was rapt to see the return of the candy floss-scented Snow Fairy not just in shower gel formula...but a divine body conditioner- OBSESSED! It's not too late to dash in store to nab these, but be quick- they're limited edition!
Everyone knows that I'm always down to try a new serum- particularly if they involve brightening the skin. Who doesn't want brighter, more radiant skin?! I was sent the Societe Brightening Serum several months ago, and I've been using it with great joy ever since. Essentially, it's meant to target dark spots, pigmentation & discolouration- none of which I have CRAZY amounts of admittedly...but I do have a couple of sun-damaged areas that irk me. This serum has absolutely lightened these up- & this makes me very happy. I'm excited to keep using it to see if it makes them disappear for good!
This is a product that I've been using for nearly a year, and I love it just as much now as I did when I first started! The Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Ultra Lift & Firm SPF 15 Foundation is an absolute DREAM to apply & wear. If you have dry skin, or aging skin, or both (like moi), this will most likely end up being your holy grail. It gives an excellent full coverage (yussss) with a satin finish- & it doesn't sink into any fine lines! A little bit goes a long way, and I've had great success with the longevity of this foundation- I've had a solid 9 hours wear with no touch ups- LOVE! Definitely check it out at your closest Elizabeth Arden counter.
As soon as I laid eyes on the new Bobbi Brown Wine & Chocolate Collection, I was smitten. Actually, as soon as I heard the collection was CALLED Wine & Chocolate, I was smitten. Two of my faves as the inspiration for a collection? YES PLEASE. I wasn't disappointed- look at these beauties! The limited edition collection includes two eyeshadow palettes, Sequin Eye Shadow singles (4 different sparkly/shimmer shades that are all to die for), two brightening blushes, as well as lipstick and gel eyeliner. The packaging is gorgeous, and I just KNOW these are going to sell out. Be quick!
Eye cream is one of those things that I SHOULD have started using about one hundred years ago- but didn't. Because I was so slack, this means that not any old eye product will do- I have some SERIOUS crows feet that need work. thankfully, the legends from Aspect Skincare sent me their Eye Cream several months ago, and I've been using it religiously ever since. It contains all the good stuff like shea butter, Sodium Hyaluronate, Panthenol, Aloe and Glycerin, and it's beautifully nourishing. I apply it twice a day; in the morning before makeup application, and in the evening before bed. While I still do have some crows feet, I've noticed a significant improvement- I look far more awake, & the entire area is just more refreshed. I will definitely keep using this!
If you're like me and you're an absolute sucker for sparkly, glittery, shiny packaging, you're going to lose your mind over the latest MAC Cosmetics collaboration. MAC X Mariah Carey is absolutely BEAUTIFUL- and has arrived just in time for Christmas ;) Start hinting.... ;) The collection (which is pretty vast, actually) includes embossed lipsticks, lipglasses, two eyeshadow quads, blush powders- & so, so much more. My top picks? The Extra Dimension Skinfinish in My Mimi, the warm-toned eyeshadow quad called I'm That Chick You Like, and the gorgeous Bit Of Bubbly lipstick. These will be on counter from December the 12th- get ready!!!
Aspect Dr Deep Cleanser, & CosMedix Purity Clean Exfoliating Cleanser
Even though I am most definitely on the wrong side of 35, I still manage to keep my skin looking decent enough that occasionally I'm asked for ID- REALLY. The main things I credit it to is using Vitamin C serums, but mostly, religiously double cleansing every night. Basically- removing all makeup with one round of cleansing, and then doing another full cleanse afterwards. It sounds too good and too easy to be true, but it works- trust me. I alternate between Aspect Dr Deep Cleanser, & CosMedix Purity Clean Exfoliating Cleanser, they're both so brilliant that I can't choose a favourite. The Aspect Dr cleanser is suitable for all skin types, contains a blend of natural AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids), & works beautifully to unclog pores. It also leaves my skin feeling super soft and plump- LOVE.The CosMedix cleanser is beautifully cooling & refreshing; & contains shea butter to hydrate, lactic acid to exfoliate & renew skin cells, & peppermint essential oil to brighten your little face. If you're wanting to get serious about your skincare routine, I recommend either of these 100%- call 0800 238754 for stockists!
Elizabeth Arden Always Red Femme EDT
Last year Elizabeth Arden brought us the gorgeous fragrance Always Red...in 2016 we have the new Always Red Femme- & it is BEAUTIFUL. With top notes of black currant, pear and lemon, middle notes of peach blossom, jasmine, and lily of the valley, and base notes of vanilla, cedar, patchouli and moss; this perfume will be a must-have for fans of floral/fruity scents. The EDT comes in two sizes- 50ml & 100ml, and the bottle will look impressive amongst anyone's beauty collection. My favourite part? Always Red Femme lasts and lasts, the staying power is FAB!
Mellow Cosmetics Blush
Chances are that you've already tried (or at least heard of) the incredible Mellow Cosmetics matte lipsticks and liquid lip paints...if you haven't, you MUST- because they are BEYOND perfection! I've been wearing the Creamy Matte Lipstick in Nude and the Liquid Lip paint in Barcelona to absolute death lately- I love how long-wearing they are without drying out my lips in the slightest. BEST. Mellow Cosmetics is fab for many reasons- including the fact that they're a New Zealand brand, AND they're cruelty-free, so I was stoked when they sent me some of their Blush powders to try. They come in three different shades- Bronze, Pink & Peach (Peach is my fave), they have an excellent colour payoff, and are so easy to blend that it's not even funny. I've been using the Bronze shade as a bronzer as well, and it's perfect! A must-try!
Jane Iredale Lemongrass Love Hydration Spray
I've been a huge fan of Jane Iredale products for years, and I've always meant to try their Hydration Sprays, but never got around to it. WHY DID I WAIT??? They are SO BEAUTIFUL! You can use them in a myriad of ways; I spray it on my face and let it set before applying makeup, I use it during the day to keep my base looking fresh, and sometimes I just spray it around because it makes my house smell good :D The latest spray, Lemongrass Love, to join the range is a little bit special, because $2.00 from every bottle sold is donated to NZ Breast Cancer Research. a cause particularly close to my heart. I'm excited to use this spray during summer, as I can imagine it'll be the perfect pick-me-up...but mine definitely won't last that long, as I can't resist using it every day!
The BrowGal Highlighter Pencil
MUOs are, and have always been, ALL about perfect brows. The BrowGal range (which is now available in NZ from stockists nationwide) has a brilliant selection of high quality, high performing brow products, and once you try them, you'll become addicted because they are just SO GOOD. Everyone knows I love multi-tasking beauty products, and the BrowGal Highlighter Pencil is certainly no exception. It comes in two colour combinations (Champagne/Cherub, or Gold/Nude), and is the perfect size to pop in your handbag for quick touch ups. You see, one end of the pencil is a matte shade- this can cover any facial imperfections, as well as conceal annoying brow regrowth. The shimmer side can be used to highlight your brow bone, as well as on the tops of the cheekbones & cupids bow. Did I mention that it blends like a dream? Perfection in a pencil!
Environ Youth EssentiA Antioxidant Defence Creme
This South African skincare brand is popular worldwide for their ridiculously effective, high-performing products. I discovered them two years ago, and have been hooked on a tonne of their products ever since (particularly the Focus Frown Serum- so good!). They've recently added a new range of goodness, Youth EssentiA. It includes a cleanser, toner, eye gel, moisturiser- as well as four serums containing vitamin C, A & E, all if varying strengths. The idea is to start with the lowest potency level serum, and build up over time to the stronger serums if need be. I'm loving the Antioxidant Defence Creme (pictured above), designed to be used after the serum. It's packed full of Vitamin C (which I swear by), as well as Vitamin E & it keeps my skin feeling plump & hydrated all day long. So good for under makeup, especially! I highly recommend you check out the Environ range, big time.
Bronx Colors Cosmetics
As wonderful as it is living in New Zealand, we don't have the hugest choice of makeup brands that other larger countries do- so whenever a new brand lands here it is CRAZY exciting. Bronx Colors launched in NZ this year, I've been trialling several of their products and I'm super impressed! You can order these online (delivery is quick quick quick), an the products are affordable (yussss). Being affordable doesn't mean they compromise on quality, though, they're fab! My top picks are the Matte Lip Tints (Beige Pink, Burgundy, and Red Wine are my faves), the Legendary Lipstick (the shades Nutmeg, Nude and Cinnamon are YUM), and the Gel Liner (this dries matte, lasts all day long, & comes with a perfect little brush for application). MUO's need to check this brand out, ASAP!
Tommy Hilfiger The Girl EDT
I've been wanting to try this since I saw that the face of the fragrance was Gigi Hadid- SUCH GODDESS- so I was rapt when it arrived last week. The Girl is a very fresh, bold perfume that I imagine I'll be wearing to death over summer. If you love crisp, green scents, you're going to have to check this out asap. It comes in 30ml, 50ml, and 100ml, and the bottle is super chic and cute. The Girl has top notes of, middle notes of, and base notes of- & the staying power is legendary. There's nothing worse than a fragrance you love that doesn't last, but The Girl has brilliant longevity,and I LOVE it.
Juicy Couture Viva La Juicy Rosé EDP
Fragrance group- Floral
Top notes- Jasmine, Pear, Mandarin
Middle notes- Rose, Peony, Sambac Jasmine
Base notes- Ambroxan, Benzoin, Orris
YUM- SO YUM. Bravo, Juicy Couture, this is my favourite fragrance you've produced thus far. And the packaging? SO girly & over the top, I love it- I especially love the pink glitter ombre bottle. Viva La Juicy Rosé isn't anywhere near as sweet/gourmand as their past fragrances (no caramel notes this time round), given that the top and middle notes are predominantly floral and fruity. I'm not a fan of sickly sweet fragrance, which is why I love this so much. It smells like hugs- weird, but true, & it makes you feel happy, sparkly & fresh while you're wearing it. Even if you're not a sparkly kind of human, which I'm really not- this is gorgeous. A must-have for all Juicy fans.
It's not often that I include a lip balm in a Friday Faves roundup, but this one is SUBLIME. It really, really works, & is so lovely to use that it borders on addictive. Aspect Skin Care always comes through with the goods, so it's not surprising how much of the winner their Gold Hydrating Lip Balm is. It contains alllll the good stuff: jojoba esters, coconut oil, beeswax, & shea butter- & something else that makes your lips feel tingly & plump- I love! It's perfect to apply at the start of your makeup routine to prep your lips for lipstick, and equally perfect to use before going to bed as part of your skincare regime. I feel like I need to have several of these in various locations around my house- it's a handbag staple for SURE.
YSL Black Opium Nuit Blanche EDP
Fragrance group- White coffee floral
Top notes- Bourbon Pepper, Rice
Middle notes- Coffee, Orange Blossom
Base notes- Vanilla, Sandalwood, White Musk
Ohhhhhh, this is soooo good! The original Black Opium EDT was released in NZ last year, & has probably been the most written about and lusted after fragrance that I've seen in MUO- EVERYONE wanted it. This year, YSL are totally playing with us with the release of a new EDP, Black Opium Nuit Blanche. In my (humble) opinion, it's not as intense as the original, it's a little softer, a little fresher- think creamy as opposed to sugary. The vanilla drydown is strong with this one (which I love), & the coffee middle note is far more prominent. If you're looking for a fragrance that will make you feel like a goddess, one that commands attention, & has fantastic longevity- this is it. And the bottle is, as always, divine.
All MUOs will remember last year's micellar water craze- it was intense!!! All bottle of the original Garnier Micellar Water disappeared from NZ shelves in less than a month...I feel like MUO had a large part in this- you guys are amazing! I have news- it's going to happen again with the latest offering, Pure Active Micellar Water, which is especially designed for oily/combination skin. This works in the exact same way as the pink topped original, removing non-waterproof makeup with no drama at all (note that I said non-waterproof), leaving your skin feeling fresh and happy. I did note that the new version contains an ingredient called alcohol denant, so this may not be great for sensitive skin- the pink topped version is gentler. This is on sale everywhere now, but you'll have to be speedy!
Left to my own devices, my hair is insane. I love the idea of letting it air dry (& I do do this occasionally, because life is crazy busy), but honestly, the aftermath is a frizz fest. I'm talking strictly messy bun styles only. I like having a little wave in my hair, but when I DO like it to be stick straight, the new ghd Platinum Styler is fantastic. This was sent to me only recently, so I haven't used it hundreds of times, but every time I do I remember why I love ghd products in the first place. My hair always ends up looking super shiny, and feeling healthy as well. There are 3 sensors in each plate which serve to deliver just the right amount of heat, it comes with a heat-resistant plate guard AND universal voltage. best of all? It has a 30 minute sleep mode, so if you're as forgetful as I am, you'll be rapt that it turns itself off after 30 minutes of inactivity. I've been using it in conjunction with the ghd Advanced Split End Therapy treatment, & this product is a little bottle of magic. If you want silky smooth hair, check these two out- BEST!!!
Face masks are my weakness- I love them, and I want to try them all, ALL THE TIME. So when I was sent the Manuka Doctor ApiClear Purifying Facial Mask, I was RAPT, as one of my fave skincare products of all time is the Manuka Doctor ApiClear Purifying Facial Peel. The ApiClear range is designed mainly for people with blemish-prone, troubled skin. Even though my skin is thankfully neither of those things (too old), I've found that the ApiClear products make a huge amount of difference to the texture of my skin. It makes it look & feel toned and clear- and somehow manages to reduce my fine lines. The ApiClear Purifying Facial Mask is a brilliant deep-cleansing mask which draws out impurities, & balances the oil & moisture in your skin. I've been using twice a week, & trust me, it makes your skin GLOW. Please check out this range- you'll be so happy you did!
ALERT ALERT ALERT! We FINALLY have the Giorgio Armani cosmetics range available for purchase in NZ- at Aelia Duty Free, Auckland International Airport. This is fantastic news for MUO members, & terrible news for our bank balances because the range is BEAUTIFUL- let's focus on the positives today, though. I was sent some product to try which was crazy exciting as I'd never had the opportunity before- the stand out product for me was the Maestro Fusion Makeup SPF15. It's an oil based serum-type foundation & as with all foundations of this type, the formulation is quite thin. However, the pigmentation packs a punch- it's medium coverage which can be built up without looking cakey. It feels incredible on thanks to how lightweight it is, & has a natural, soft matte finish. I like!!!!
Michael Kors 24K Brilliant Gold EDP (centre)
Fragrance group- Floral
Top notes- Mandarin orange
Middle notes- Orange blossom
Base notes- Vetiver
The above three fragrances are part of the Michael Kors Gold Collection, & I die over the sleek metallic packaging alone. I received the 24K Brilliant Gold, and it was the perfect one for my tastes! For your reference, the White Luminous Gold fragrance is fruity, with notes of pear, jasmine & amber, while the Rose Radiant Gold is spicy/woody musk. 24K Brilliant Gold is so creamy & gorgeous, I LOVE white floral scents- especially with notes of gardenia and orange blossom. It's one of those scents that is perfect for everyday use- not at all overpowering, and very feminine. It's very warm & comforting, & lasted a solid 6-7 hours on my skin- perfect!
Are you ready to find your holy grail primer? The newest offering from Elizabeth Arden definitely has HG status written all over it, & the best part is that the Flawless Start Instant Perfecting Primer is suitable for ALL skin types. It is so, so lovely- I hardly know where to begin because it does so many good things, so I'm going to have to use bullet points to keep track:
- it makes your skin look glowing & radiant
- it reduces the appearance of fine lines & pores
- it is oil-free, & non-comedogenic
- it makes your foundation last alllllll day (or night)
- it evens out your skintone
- it contains hyaluronic acid (my FAVE) & botanical extracts to pamper your skin
- it helps to control shine thanks to the inclusion of silica beads
I mean- you can't ask for much more than that right? I don't actually use it all over my face, I stick to troublesome areas such as around my eyes, nose and chin, but you absolutely could use it all over if that's your vibe. it also makes your foundation glide on perfectly- SO GOOD!!! A contender for the MUO 2016 Beauty Awards, for SURE.
First of all, just look at it. LOOK at the La Prairie gorgeousness. The sleek platinum-like packaging screams luxury and quality, and you can see it has the all-important pump dispenser. Pump dispensers are fabulous because they guarantee hygiene, ease of use, & zero waste. Trust me, you won't want to waste a single drop of this! The Anti-Aging Rapid Response Booster is a serum designed to be worn after cleansing & toning, & before moisturiser, & it claims to lessen the appearance of lines & in two weeks. TWO WEEKS. This sounds mad, but before you roll your eyes, know this- 100% of users trialed had visible skin improvement in 2 weeks. Impressive. The formulation is also impressive with the classic La Prairie rose scent, & it absorbs quickly- no sticky residue found in many serums. I haven't used this for two weeks YET- but I will report back...& in the meanwhile, my skin feels plump, smooth, & looks amazing. If I could bathe in this, I would- it is SO LOVELY.