January Haul: Benefit, 17, Skin 79, Topshop, Primark

Thursday 23 January 2014

Hello Dolls!

Since last blogging, I've managed to aquire a few more pretty things to show to you...

Seventeen Skin Wow! 3 Way Glow and Prime Highlighter - £5.99, boots.com

As mentioned in my recent mascara review post, until a couple of weeks ago, I'd pretty much written off 17 as a cheap brand with sub-standard formulations that was only aimed at teens who didn't know any better. But since purchasing a few of their new launches on a whim, I've had to dramatically revise my opinion and admit that they're actually got some pretty fab stuff.

And now that this highlighter is in my life, I don't think I can ever let it go! Honestly? It's better than Benefit High Beam. It's better than Mac Strobe Cream. And at that price, it's almost a sin NOT to try it.

Why is it so great, you say?

Well, it's a really flattering blend of peach tones that looks lovely on.I find Strobe Cream can be a bit too white, especially during the summer. You can use it as a primer, mix it into your foundation, or use it as a classic highlighter. It gives a subtle halo effect and isn't overly glittery. The pump dispenser means there's no mess and no messing around. And the packaging is not really so bad,either.

This has been the answer to lacklustre, dull winter skin for me. I've been mixing a pump with BB Cream in the mornings for my base, and dabbing it on my cheekbones at night. I regard this as an essential now and will definitely be repurchasing.

17 Skin Wow Highlighter, blended in natural light

Black wedge suede and leather trainers, £15.00, Primark

  Ok, I'm very late onto the whole wedge trainer trend. I can be a bit cautious sometimes (see my long debate about the acceptability of leather trousers, here) and I have to admit that when wedge trainers first came out, I thought they were more than a bit silly. But after seeing all the styling possibilities, various Made in Chelsea stars and my best friend, Lady T, wearing them, I caved in.

I still didn't want to spend too much on a pair until I was sure I would get wear out of them, so of course it was Primarni to the rescue, always the place to get hold of a super-trendy item for much less! I really like these and I've already planned loads of outfits to wear with them! It is nice to have a comfier shoe for zipping around town that's not a biker boot or a ballet flat, I must say.

Skin 79 Super+ VIP Gold BB Cream - £14.99, amazon.co.uk

This is a product that I've used, on and off, for a quite a while now, but I've been absolutely loving it lately, so I thought it was worth a mention.

Back when BB creams first began to be talked about, and there weren't any available in the UK yet, I sourced some from Korea which were posted over (see my full review post here). I ended up really liking the Skin 79 range, which comes in about eight different formulations. Started off using the Hot Pink version, but I've found that I much prefer Gold, which is a creamier texture and more blendable and moisturing.

But then Garnier launched their BB cream, Miracle Skin Perfector, and that became my favourite and is obviously easier to get. Recently however, I started using Skin 79 and I'd forgotten how much I liked the finish - its higher coverage than the Garnier cream and gives a more flawless finish.

In case you haven't come across it, this contains adenosine and arbutin to even out skin tone, promote elasticity and fight wrinkles, an SPF 25 and gold and caviar extracts (oooh, FANCY!).

At the moment, it's my go-to mixed with a pump of 17 Skin Wow and topped with a bit of Bare Minerals powder.

Polka Eau De Toilette - £6.00, Primark

This was sort of an accidental purchase. You know the sort. I kept trying to put it back, but I just couldn't. I wouldn't normally count on Primarni to produce a fragrance I'd actually like, but then it seems I'm eating a lot of my own words recently when it comes to budget products. Is everything just improving?

It was the cute, Marc Jacobs-esque bottle that first grabbed my attention, but I still spritzed the fragrance not expecting much. But I found that I really liked it -  it's fresh, floral and fruity - sort of a raspberries and peach smell, but not in a Body Shop kind of way. I'm not sure if its actually supposed to smell like Marc Jacobs' Dot perfume, because I haven't smelt that, but I couldn't stop smelling my wrists!

I'd left the store, but this convinced me to go back and get it. Generally with fragrances, I'm quite choosy and I stick to what I like, so it's good to discover something new. At that price, I was planning to just stick it in my desk drawer, but the bottle's so cute, its snuck onto my dresser.

White and Crystal statement necklace - £6.00, Primark

This is what I really went into Primark for! Isn't it stunning? I actually spotted this in Look magazine and fell in love immediately, especially when I clocked the price. I think it looks far more expensive than it is! Of course, usually when you spot Primark stuff in magazines, its not in store for love nor money, so I wasn't expecting to actually find it. When I saw they actually had them in I was over the moon!

I can't wait to layer this over sweaters, it's so dramatic and bold. Thrilled I managed to get my hands on it.

Benefit Erase Paste Concealer - £19.50, benefitcosmetics.co.uk

I was heartbroken when I recently finished my Bobbi Brown Tinted Eye Brightener and found they don't make it in the same formulation anymore. It was a salmon-coloured cream that really battled dark under-eye circles, which I suffer from badly.

How devastating is it when something you love gets taken off sale!?! After some research online, I found that Erase Paste seemed to be the nearest match. It's a pretty good dupe as well. The texture is really smooth and it doesn't settle into fine lines.

Topshop Sale Items

I'm not very big on sales usually. I hate the jumble sale vibe and finding stuff you love, only to realise its not in your size. But I recently found myself in town, really early in the morning, hunting for birthday gifts for my husband, and mysteriously ended up in Toppers. It was so early the rails were still neatly arranged and there weren't a million other people elbowing me, so I managed to find these bargains

Grey quilted sweatshirt, reduced to £12.00

I liked this straight away! It's just the perfect, go-with-anything casual sweater and I could see a million ways you could style it up to look great. It's very oversized, so I actually ended up getting an 8 petite. I can't wait to pair this with leather leggings and a statement necklace.

Velvet chain strap cross body bag, reduced to £12.00

This is a really neat little bag, a sort of a quilted, brushed black velvet. I fell for the chunky, gunmetal hardware -the lock is very Celine inspired - and the silver snake chain handle is a nice twist on the usual sort of chain strap. I can't be doing with clutches at the moment, I'm all about the cross-body or the long shoulder strap. Hands free is much better for dancing!

Black lace insert playsuit, reduced to £14.00


Is it just me, or do you have to read carefully with playsuits too? I love the look of them, because their so cute and yet totally edgy as well, they're easy to style, and I adore seeing other people in them. But I'm an apple shape *sigh* and they can make me look really dumpy.

In fact, not so long ago, I bought an All Saints Balera playsuit that I had to return because it made me look 8 months pregnant. So I was amazed to find this little number, which is cut in such a way that makes it really flattering. The shorts drape really nicely, and the lace panels at the waist nip you in. I love the lace edging too. I can't wait to pair this up with my wedge trainers.

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