Five products to fall for in February

Monday 6 February 2017

It’s that time of year when our thoughts turn to love. The shops are full of hearts and flowers and everyone around us is gearing up for Valentine’s Day.

Whether you like it or not, it's undeniable that love is in the air. And there are not many purer forms of love than that between a beauty addict and her favourite products!

So with that in mind, I’m sharing my five products to fall for in February. Beautiful? Yes. Heart-stopping? I'd say so! Can’t live without? Definitely. It was love at first use for these special things…

Ogx+ Nourishing Coconut Milk Shampoo + Conditioner

How special can a shampoo be? I’ve never been that faithful when it comes to stuff for my tresses. Many years ago, a hairdresser told me that your hair quickly gets used to the active ingredients in most shampoos, and they stop being as effective. They said it was better to rotate between two or three different brands to keep them working well.

I’m not sure if that’s 100% true, but even since then I’ve lived by it as it also fits with my magpie tendencies.

But then until now, I haven’t found that many shampoos that have blown me away.

OGX changed all that. Like all good loves, it went beyond looks. In fact, the design of the bottles put me off making a purchase despite the positive stuff I’d heard about the brand (I know, I know, I’m superficial…) But this stuff gives me the hair of dreams. Shiny, volumised, soft –basically everything you’ve been promised by all the shampoo ads ever made.

It contains coconut milk and coconut oils to nourish and hydrate the hair and ultra-whipped egg white proteins which add strength and elasticity. This stuff really delivers for me and is helping to combat all the dry, frizzy hair that horrid weather and central heating can bring.

Grounded Coffee Scrub  | Coconut

Since becoming a mum, I always say I'm 80% caffeine and 20% dry shampoo, and never has that been more true than since I discovered this amazing body scrub. Now I'm not only drinking my coffee in the mornings, I'm literally bathing in the stuff.

These scrubs are such beauts. Made with ground Robusta coffee, they boost circulation and brighten up dull winter skin a treat. My friend Katie introduced me to them when she gave me one for Christmas, saying she was completely obsessed, and I can see why.

The coconut version I'm using is packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, skin-smoothing coconut oil, brown sugar and Himalayan rock salt, and it leaves my tired, dull winter skin absolutely glowing. It's a family-run British company, developed by an eczema sufferer to combat dry, itchy skin. There are absolutely no chemical nasties in this either.

It smells so good and the results are amazing - with no environment-destroying plastic microspheres either!

Other varieties they do include Peppermint, Grapefruit, and Chocolate Orange - and I'm very much looking forward to working my way through them all!

MDM Flow lipstick | Bossy

Lipsticks are definitely one of my favourite beauty buys. There’s something so satisfying about a new tube. I’ve been wanting to try niche lipstick brand MDM Flow for quite a long time.

The range is inspired by 90s hip-hop and contains a lot of out there colours. If you’re looking for a pastel blue or a mint green, you’ll probably find it there!

I’m definitely a little more basic – a bright coral or fuschia pink is about as bold as I’d venture – so I picked up two shades in the more normal range. Bossy is a brown toned pinkish-beige nude, and Vamp is a deep scarlet.

The formulas are semi-matte, quite highly pigmented and very long-lasting. Bossy especially surprised me, as nude shades can be quick to fade away, but it definitely has some tenacity.

The lipsticks are better when they’re broken in a bit -  when you first use them you need several coats to get a rich, even colour. I especially love the packaging, which is like a slimline, rounded gold bullet –so pretty!

Nars Contouring Blush Duo | Paloma

Can you remember life before contouring? It’s only in the last five years or so that the process has really gone mainstream. There is a lot of bad contour work out there, but when it goes right, the effect can be dramatic. The power it has to completely change your face is the very reason I fell for make-up in the first place!

I’ve gone through so many contouring products in my time, and I feel like I’ve learned a thing or two along the way. This Nars Contouring Duo has earned its place in my heart lately.

Who doesn’t love a bit of Nars? There’s something so slick about those matte black compacts. These duos each contain a contour shade and a highlight, and are available in three different shade options - I have the medium one, ‘Paloma’.

The first thing that surprised me about these is that a highlight shade is mainly matte, with just a slight sheen. There’s a little bit of a subtle glow to it, but only slightly. I’m used to more of a shimmer, but I have to say that I’ve grown to love the Nars duo precisely because of this matte highlight. It is just so much more natural looking for day, giving a subtle brightening effect, and hey, you can always layer on a shimmer powder on days when you’re feeling a little more high-wattage.

The sheer powder is easy to build up.It’s very easy to apply so it’s the perfect addition to my everyday routine – hassle-free and natural looking. That can be a struggle as a lot of contour products require a huge amount of blending out to look anything approaching natural. These duos are user friendly and a great answer to people who want to contour without looking too ‘done’.

A lot of contouring palettes have a million shades you don’t want or need, so I like that this is so usable and ideal for taking with you on the go.

Mac ShadeScents | Velvet Teddy

Remember when the beauty world collectively lost its shit over Velvet Teddy lipstick? Those were simpler times. No Brexit, no Donald Trump, and some of us still believed that Kylie Jenner’s miraculously larger lips were just the result of lipliner!

Velvet Teddy was apparently her lipstick shade of choice and it promptly sold out everywhere. I did buy into the hype, and got my hands on some eventually, but it didn’t blow me away. There are many, many nude lipsticks I would reach for before Velvet Teddy.

A few months ago, however, Mac released a new line of fragrances called ‘ShadeScents’. These translated some of their iconic lipstick colours such as Crème De Nude and Lady Danger into perfumes – and I fell for Velvet Teddy in a whole new way.

I love my oriental fragrances, and Velvet Teddy is an oriental with wild honey, smoky vanilla and creamy musk -  a sexy, warm, sultry, fuzzy hug of a perfume. MAC and Tom Ford are owned by the same company, and some people have said that Velvet Teddy smells similar Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille.

And although it has different notes, there’s something in the creamy oriental heart of this that connects it to my other all time favourite scents – YSL Black Opium and Chanel Coco Mademoiselle.

The lasting power on this is incredible. Usually, I can’t smell perfumes on myself for all that long after spraying, but this really lingers – a small spritz and you can smell it literally all day. Considering that this is £35, so less than half of the price of my other favourites, that’s amazing.

The bottle is quite a modern looking affair -  an oblong made up of frosted glass and plastic. It’s lightweight and easy to take with you on the go. Mac is saying at the moment that these ShadeScents are permanent and I’m so glad because I’ve really fallen for this. It’s bold, sweet and seductive -  a good day to night fragrance.

Those are my ones to fall for this February - what products have you discovered lately! Let me know what I'm missing in the comments below...

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