July Beauty & Accessories Haul: Orla Kiely, Foreo, Charlotte Tilbury & more...

Wednesday 29 July 2015

Another month gone already! Where is this year going?

Plenty of purchases this month, but a lot of them were items for my hospital bag. The baby could come anytime from next month, so I wanted to make sure I was ready, and at the start of the month I made a special trip into town to stock up on items for my stay in hospital – and of course to use afterwards. So you’ll see a lot of travel bags and other items!

Its quite a random mix this month. Again, I haven’t bought any clothes apart from some maternity bras and some over-bump black cotton stretch leggings by Futuro.

There really is not much point getting clothes with six weeks to go until baby. I’ve never seen the point of lots of maternity wear so I’ve just been living in leggings, loose vest tops and a few stretchy dresses. This has been quite boring, although its made getting ready in the mornings very streamlined!

I can’t wait to be able to go shopping for some new clothes, although I’ll have to lose some baby weight first so I’m likely to be in my leggings for a while yet.

Here’s what I’ve been hauling this month:


Foreo Luna Mini

Absolutely the best thing I’ve bought in ages! I’ve wanted one ever since they first caught my eye about a year ago.

I did lot of research about whether this or the Clarisonic Mia was the best buy, and although opinion seems to be pretty evenly divided, a close friend of mine developed cystic acne from using a Clarisonic, which kind of made up my mind for me. And now that I’ve been using my Luna for a few weeks, I’m very pleased.

If you haven’t seen one before, they’re sonic cleansing devices that use sound waves to cleanse and treat the skin. You just wet your face and the Luna, pop on a bit of whatever cleanser you fancy (I’ve been using my beloved Soap and Glory Peaches & Clean) and massage your face with it.

It feels very pampering and luxurious at the time, and afterwards my skin is noticeably much softer, and I can see the extra dirt that’s come out on the brush – I use a micellar water before hand, so it just goes to show how much extra dirt it removes!

I love the fact its so hygenic as well, you simply rinse it off after use, and the seamless silicone design stops any bacteria building up.  It gets you into good practice because it pauses for a second every 15 seconds to tell you when to move on to the next bit of your face.

It’s supposed to be great for acne sufferers as it removes every last bit of dirt. My skin is quite blemish free normally but pregnancy hormones have been causing me a few mild breakouts, which the Luna has stopped in their tracks.

I’ve also noticed a positive effect on my fine lines, which really has me singing its praises! I have expression lines on my forehead that I hate and since using this daily they have really softened – I think due to the massaging action.

It’s a compact design that’s very cute and easy to take away with you, and it all recharges using a USB lead. You don’t need replacement heads, unlike other facial brushes either.

I’m very impressed with this and there will be a full review coming soon!

Orla Kiela Mini Makeup Bag & Multi Stem Wash Bag

These were a birthday present from my mother in law and I’m so happy with them. Of course I’d seen and liked Orla Kiely homewares, with their bright retro patterns before, but I didn’t know that they did travel accessories as well.

I’m an absolute demon for collecting storage bags – I think I have a bit of an obsession to be honest, and lot of more washbags than I really need – so this was the perfect gift for me.

Firstly, I love the quality of these, they feel very well made and luxurious with the leather zip tags. They’re made of a smooth pvc-coated cotton material that can easily be wiped clean in case of any spillages. The bags are both really slimline and yet quite spacious too, which is great.

The smaller bag is the perfect size for your take-along makeup, and features a cream, slate grey and apple green abstract floral design. There’s a study but slim zip with brown leather pull tabs to open it. The bag looks fairly small, but you can fit a surprising amount in it – I love when that happens!

The larger one I believe is the Multi Stem pattern in pink, green and teal against a cream background. It’s a smaller size washbag but ideal for a weekend or if you’re only taking a few travel sized essentials with you.

Zips open all the way around, so you can lay it out flat by the sink or countertop. It has lots of little compartments inside to keep you organised. There are bottle holders along one side and a zipped section along the other, along with a central mesh zipped compartment, so everything is kept neatly in its place.

I like this, as most of my other wash bags just have one large compartment, leading to a lot of rummaging about! It comfortably stores my travel toiletries without being too bulky.

I love my Jo &Jo Australia organiser but that’s really quite big and bulky and more suited to a fortnight away, whereas this is the perfect size for shorter trips.

Café De Bain Moisturising Raspberry & Rose Shower Crème

I picked this up in Superdrug whilst browsing the aisles. It was so cute, it was impossible to resist. They have this new range of shower gels and lotions in patisserie inspired scents and packaging, including Cherry & Almond, Sweet Vanilla Madeline and Coconut Macaroon.

Of course it was the super sweet bottle that caught my eye at first, but when I smelt this I was sold – who doesn’t want to smell like yummy cakes? I especially liked this one which is Raspberry and Rose and bit fruitier.

The items are only a couple of pounds each for a generous bottle, but they look really deluxe. I can’t wait to get stuck into this.

Groovy Food Co Organic Virgin Coconut Oil

Every quarter of the internet seems to be ablaze with the wondrous benefits and endless uses of coconut oil at the moment, so I finally gave in and got myself a jar. If you look online there seems to be nothing you can’t do with this stuff, short of achieving world peace.

From losing weight to getting whiter teeth, silkier hair, smoother feet and almost anything else you can think off, this is the wonder stuff.

I knew there were also a few baby related things it can be used for, like in place of a nappy rash cream or for breastfeeding mums as a nipple cream – because its deeply moisturising but also anti- bacterial, and of course, all organic and natural. I’ve never been that bothered about ‘natural’ for myself, but I am when it comes to the baby, and this just seemed like a smart buy.

Since purchasing, I’ve used it to try oil pulling (fairly impressed) and as a hair mask – a bit less impressed, but I think perhaps that’s because I didn’t wash it out properly and it left my hair a little greasy. I’m looking forward to experimenting more with it.

I also bought a little plastic travel jar so that I could take some to hospital with me. My top tip really is not to buy coconut oil from a health food store. They wanted nearly £15 for a large jar, but you can pick it up at the supermarket for a fiver.

Botanics All Bright Cleansing Toner

A toner is a really must- have skin product for me, especially during the summer. It helps to keep my skin clean and balanced, and stops it from getting oily, so I use one day and night.

Usually I pick up a rosewater one which is inexpensive and smells beautiful, but this time I decided to branch out and despite thinking I wanted to try the La Roche Posay toner, I actually ended up picking up this one from Botanics. I liked the idea that this works to brighten the skin using hibiscus extract, and it was on offer for a really good price.

This also contains mild AHAs to very gently exfoliate the skin. Its not overly harsh and astringent, but it does leave me feeling really fresh and glowing!


Garnier HydraExpress Gel Cream Body Lotion

I just finished off a giant tub of Joules Body Butter so I was hunting for a decent moisturiser and came across this. It seems to be a lighter, summer version of their Intense lotions, which I’ve always loved because they really do leave my skin incredibly soft for hours after using. This has a lovely cooling texture and it sinks in instantly, so no hanging around waiting for it to do its magic!

It has the same L-Bifidus technology as the others in the range, which uses probiotics to reinforce the skin’s moisture barrier and stops that hydration evaporating. Its perfect for summer as there’s no greay residue left behind so you can chuck your clothes on and go.

L’Oreal Studio Line #TXT Wave Creating Spray

This is a repurchase for me and a bit of a staple in my hair product wardrobe. I try to avoid using heat all the time on my hair as its so damaging, so lately I’ve been washing, drying and straightening my hair on the first day, and then trying to embrace my natural texture on other days.

My hair has a slight wave to it, and I find that if I pile it up in a bun overnight, on the second morning when I let it down, its not too wild but just has a gentle bend to it. Instead of straightening again or curling, I’ve just been spritzing and scrunching some of this through the mid lengths and ends.

It helps to define the style without being overly crispy, and it gives a more relaxed look. Plus not heat-styling is such a time saver in the mornings!

Geometic Compact Mirror

I did pop into Primarni briefly to pick up some boring basics for my hospital bag, which I’m not showing here, but one of the non-baby items I got was this very cute little compact mirror. I like to keep one in my make-up bag so that I can do my face anywhere, and I really liked the colourful geometic pattern on this one.

Freedom at Topshop Marble Pendant and Ring

Topshop recently brought out a collection of accessories that featured lots of rough, semi-precious stones which I absolutely loved.  It looked a little bit wild, a little bit 70’s, and I loved all of the pieces.

I bought a couple at the time, but I was really pleased to see some of it had also gone in the sale recently, so I pounced. I picked up this marble, dipped gold necklace, reduced to just £5, and this marble ring for £3. I love the look of these pieces and anything that looks a little bit ‘unfinished’.

Ralph Lauren Navy Canvas Holdall

The thought of going into hospital is a little bit daunting, so I tried to take the sting out of it by treating myself to a new hospital bag. Nothing like retail therapy to ease your worries!

I didn’t really have much in the way of weekend bags anyway, and I didn’t want to take a massive suitcase, so this seemed like the perfect size. I liked the smart navy with the tan leather straps – I thought that Seb or I could get away with using it.

There’s just one massive compartment so you can squidge a lot in. It’s packed and ready to go now!

BeautyBay Mineral Foundation Powder

Browsing through the BeautyBay sale, there was an insanely good deal on these – buy one get one free, and only £4.00!

I couldn’t resist trying them at that price, and I noticed it had good reviews on the site (unlike their liquid foundation, which seems to be slated by everyone!).

I ordered the third shade, ‘Beige’ and when it came I immediately thought ‘Oh no, it’s far too dark and orange’. I assumed I’d have to return them, but when I tried some on my face, the colour was fine. I guess it just looked more concentrated in the pot.

Actually I’ve been very impressed by this – the coverage is great, the finish is smooth and really, I wouldn’t be able to tell it apart from my BareMinerals, which is £20 more. It also had good staying power throughout the day. Really a product punching above its weight! Full review coming soon.

Charlotte Tilbury K.I.S.S.I.N.G Lipsticks – ‘Bitch Perfect’ and ‘Night Crimson’

My big treat of the month were these two gorgeous lipsticks. I love Charlotte Tilbury cosmetics, but I don’t own many, so I decided to change that and treat myself to a couple of her lip colours.

There’s no counter local to me so I ordered online, but I had swatched literally every colour last time I went to Selfridges in Birmingham, so I pretty much knew what I liked. I wanted to pick up a neutral shade and also a red, as these are the two types of colours I wear most often.

For the nude shade I chose ‘Bitch Perfect’ and I am literally so in love with this colour. Its such a beautiful shade with just the right amount of dusty pink to make it stand out against my skin tone. The shade looks very ‘rich’ and polished, and the formula is a dream. .

The second colour I picked was ‘Night Crimson’. I’ve been on the hunt for what feels like ages for a dark, vampy crimson but everything I tried was far too plum-toned. I wanted a dark, sassy vampire colour, and again, I’ve found my perfect match in ‘Night Crimson’.  Read my full review here.

3 Concept Eyes Mini Travel Makeup Brush Kit

A good brush is worth its weight in gold. I’ve spent years narrowing down the brushes that work best for me, and I now use a mixture of Real Techniques, Mac and Sonia Kashuk which really deliver results.

But it always annoys me when I travel because they take up far too much space, and on occaision I’ve even forgotten to pack them, which is a disaster!

I decided to get myself a decent travel set of brushes that I could just keep ready to go, and especially so I could leave them in my hospital bag – I don’t want to be worrying about if I’ve remembered to grab my 190 when I’m in labour!

I did quite a bit of looking, but I couldn’t seem to find a set that included everything I needed as a basic essential, until I found this little kit. I need a powder brush with a dense head for my mineral foundation, a traditional foundation brush (which I actually use for concealer), and a slanted brush for my eyebrows – its really hard to find that combination!

This set is from 3 Concept Eyes, a Korean brand. I didn’t need the quality to be exceptional but I wanted something decent that wouldn’t leave me wishing I’d just brought my regular brushes along, and this doesn’t disappoint, it’s a great little set.

Its all housed in a tin that fits into my makeup bag for portability. I really like the look and feel of this brand and I’m actually considering trying a few more of its products.

Hot Travel Underwear Storage Pouch

This is such an OCD thing to buy, part of me knows that – but another part thinks its utter genius! It’s a travel pouch to store your underwear! How good is that?

There are neat slots for pants and bras, and a zip up section in the middle where you can put anything dirty and keep it separate from the clean stuff. I always use little mesh bags to hold and sort my undies when I go away (the ones that Birchbox products come in are especially good), but this is the next level up from that.

I came across it in a Buzzfeed article about travel solutions which made my little heart beat faster – and they can be picked up for a couple of pounds on eBay. If you like organising you’ll know exactly what I mean I’ll be buying a Grid-It next (no joke!)

So that’s my little haul this month! What have you been buying? Send me any links below!


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