Five Favourites for January

Sunday 15 January 2012

Collection 2000 Cream Puff lipcream in ‘Fairy Cake’ (£2.99)– I haven’t used anything from Collection 2000 for a seriously long time. To me, it’s forever linked in my brain to the taste in pink glittery eyeshadow and bronze lipsticks I used to have when I was 13. But it seems I have been out of the loop for too long, and in the meantime the quality of the range has improved beyond measure.

This product is a very on-trend matte lipcream, but it somehow managed to avoid being horribly drying on the lips, unlike similar products I’ve tried from Bourjois and Revlon. Cream Puff promises- and delivers- a dense, long-lasting colour that is velvety and comfortable to wear. ‘Fairy Cake’ is a dusky coral perfect for the colder months, and it performs equally well on cheeks.

The cute, slightly retro packaging wouldn’t look out of place at Benefit. All in all, its a beautiful product for a bargain price and is one of my new ‘won’t be without’ products. And I’m not alone. Lisa Eldridge, the celebrity make-up artist recently revealed it as one of her top tips as well! There's a great in-depth review of the shades at

Nanoblur Optical Skin Cream (£19.99) – there has been a massive PR push around this product, so I’ll admit I’ve been wanting to try it for some time. With reports that it had sold out and delivered dramatic results, I was intrigued enough to hunt some down when it first launched.

It’s £20 for a small-ish tube, which isn’t too over the top, but I made the mistake of shopping for it with Darling Husband, who insisted I didn’t need it and talked me out of it. But then my mum came up for a visit from Cornwall- she’s equally a beauty junkie- and decided she would treat both of us to some!

It’s sold purely as an optical diffuser, and it doesn’t claim to have any lasting benefits for your skin. So it’s not to replace any of your existing skincare products, merely to enhance them. I’ve lately been increasingly worried about expression lines on my forehead that seem to be getting worse, and I hoped this would deal with them and possibly with my dark circles, as those are my real skin woes.

If you wear a liquid foundation, you apply the cream on top, and if you use a powder, you place it underneath like a primer. As I wear a mousse, I was a little confused, but I used it on top in the end. I was really impressed! It did magically seem to airbrush away my forehead lines – they weren’t invisible, but you would have had to strain quite hard to see them. Under my eyes, I felt that it helped a little, but not as dramatically - perhaps because I also have bags, and it doesn’t disguise those.

My mum, at 60, has a lot more deeper wrinkles and she had also already applied her powder foundation, so she kind of put it on in the wrong order, and she didn’t feel it did an awful lot for her. I’m not convinced it can do that much for mature skin, but as a product for skin with minor surface blemishes and light lines, I feel it worked really well, I was very happy. I’d be curious to see if it makes skin look better in photos, so I’ll update on that.
Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadow in ‘Flatter Me’ (£14.00)- I'm a bit late to the party with this one. It's been around for a while, and I've never tried it because I thought I didn't 'do' cream shadows. I've never tried one that didn't end up messy and uneven before, or even smudge into my eyeliner. But this one is the real deal. It gives a lovely, smooth coverage with no creasing, its highly pigmented with great blendability and it lasted all day without a primer. The shade 'flatter me' is a lovely bronzey taupe, very wearable for daytime. I was given this as a gift and I'm very impressed with it and plan to aquire some other shades.Umberto Giannini Overnight Beauty Moisture Balm (£5.61) – if you have hair that’s prone to being dry and damaged (hello highlights and over use of GHD's!), then this is a wonder product that can really help you to get soft, lustrous tresses again. Think of it as a night cream for your hair. You rub some into the midlengths and ends of your hair - and do this last thing at night, because you will look like a greasy, stringy mess! But when you wake up, it's like your hair has had a spa day! The first time I tried this, I was surprised that I actually got a couple of comments at work about how soft and shiny my hair looked. Now I try to use it once a week as an extra boost for my poor, mistreated locks.Molton Brown Re-Charge Black Pepper Body Wash (£17.50)- this one is a bit of an indulgence, but well worth it, especially if having hot bubble baths is getting you through the current zero degree freeze outside! A little squirt makes plenty of bubbles, so although it's pricey, it will last. I also feel its nice to have a little everyday luxury. I really love the scent of this, it is unusual, but quite sweet and very addictive. There's nothing else like it - it's perfect for winter nights in. It will make your skin smell sooooo good. You can also do the double and use it as a body wash in the shower. A little slice of peppery heaven!

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