Now I am not promising any miracles with this post, especially as, like I've said numerous times, I can't proclaim to be an expert in any way shape or form.
It's time for another swift, and not often repeated, beauty blog. These are all things that I've personally tried and as a total beauty farty (as Ben Elton used to say - one of my all time favourite words describing a total amateur who's ever so slightly crap), the only accolade that I have is that I love them (and have purchased all myself with the exception of one Christmas gift)
They work and they make me feel better. And at the beginning of January, we all need things that improve either our mood or our appearance. The other option of course is footwear as, like I said the other day, shoes and boots make no judgement on how many mince pies we're carrying round our midriff. (there may be more of these coming...footwear blogs not mince pies - dear god no more mince pies please.)
So whilst we're all on health kicks and guzzling water like it's going out of fashion, staving off the alcohol cravings till the weekend and remortgaging so we can cook everything from scratch, buying soba noodles and enough nuts and avocados to sink a battle ship, it does sort of make sense to look at some new beauty options.
I have found a couple of things recently that I am loving. And both are super purse friendly as well (which is handy when I'm spending the GDP of Belgium on vegetables. This is till next week of course or more likely Thursday when I cave and beg The Husband to bring home a kebab)
Firstly a serum from M&S. I had a tester of this that I picked up at the opening night of our new local store and the lovely lady did say that this range was developed by... some really good people. Who also develop other great stuff for much more expensive brands. Alas as well as snaffling the testers, I also partook in the free champagne they were throwing about and I have no recollection of which company makes this for Marks.
But, I love it. Really love it. The reviews are random but today I checked and this range is specifically for 40+ whereas the age range that have left comments are much much older.
Personally I prefer a serum to an oil. It's all horses for courses but I find that a serum soaks in much better than an oil which tends to leave my face looking like a Formula one test track in the rain. I've not come across one I like as much for as reasonable a price.
Age Repair Concentrated Serum from M&S £11
Still staying with skincare. I haven't tried the above versions of their night and day cream but they also seem very well priced.
However my current favourite brand is one that I found ages ago and it had been in storage with the rest of my stuff, but I've rediscovered it over the Christmas break and love it - The Superfacialist range from Una Brennan.
I've been using the day and night creams and I've been so impressed that I've just bought the Cleansing Oil. I love a cleanser that can be used to take off eye make up as well (yes I'm a lazy hound) and this looks gorgeous.
Superfacialist Vitamin C Skin Renew Cleansing oil was £10.99 now £7.99 (actually I bought it with my points - yay Boots!)
This is the day cream I have been using.
Superfacialist Neroli SPF15 Super lift Day cream £15.99
And the night cream at £16.99
I'm not sure if I've mentioned this before but my absolute go to, "try to look less like a corpse", winter miracle worker is the Soleil Identite from Chanel at £30. I also use the "intense" which, seeing as I'm verging on blue as opposed to white, really isn't that intense at all. And a little goes a very long way so whilst it's £30 it lasts for absolutely ages. I don't think I've bought a new one in at least two years. (no I don't use it every day but at least once a week) It honestly has some magic ingredient that makes you look healthy - as well as the tan element obviously, it gives your skin this airbrushed look. Someone's else words about my skin, not mine! And that is with absolutely nothing on top of it.
Chanel Soleil Identite in Bronze £30
My other must have winter treat is the Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Lip Protectant Stick in Tint - I personally love either the Plum (more plummy - quelle surprise) or the Berry which is a slightly redder shade. I have tried numerous other more reasonably priced alternatives and frankly, none come close to the quality of this. My lips are currently approaching cheese grater stage and so I've just ordered another one of these. Much cheaper at Feel Unique than anywhere else (with 10% off using the code TOP10 - finishes on Tuesday though but there are always loads around with a quick google)
Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Lip Protectant Stick in Tint £17 pre discount
Moving onto haircare, I have strayed recently from my usual fave and I am so so pleased to see that it's on offer at the mo at Feel Unique, with free postage and a free mascara.
Redken All Soft Duo gift set now £19.43
Whilst we're talking about new mascaras, I will admit I am not an expensive mascara purchaser. I have used Max Factor Masterpiece Max for donkeys years, have strayed and used others but have always come back to it. However I was recently persuaded by the lovely sales assistant in Boots to try their new one (and it was on offer....)
I'm converted and wouldn't go back.
Max Factor Masterpiece Transform Macara £9.99 I've come to the conclusion that a lot of it is in the brush. This is ideal for putting mascara on with (ie easy...) The False Lash Effect one by Max Factor is the worst - it's honestly like trying to apply mascara with a hairbrush.
Finishing with a recent gift which I am in love with. My new fragrance from Connock London - Kukui Eau du Parfum £75 for 100ml. This is stunning. A floral fragrance that isn't too heavy to wear during the day but isn't a light and wispy scent. It reminds me of a cross between the floral elegance of the Aqua di Parma Magnolia or Gelsomino Nobile with the seductive warmth of a Tom Ford fragrance. And it lasts for ages. Perfect to wear every day.
So there we have just a few of my "get through to the big 4-2" in a few weeks. Anyone else have anything they've recently discovered that has made a huge difference to either how they look or how they feel? I'd love to know - as I say this really isn't my area of expertise at all! I'm all open to pointers.
Outfit from today finally, the 8yr old decided that tops of heads were surplus to requirements and is duly fired as Chief Photographer. I think he may have done it on purpose.....
All three were back at school today, I had thought I would love another couple of days off with them but by 9.30, must admit, wasn't missing them so much.... The peace and quiet was heaven. Scooted to Bluewater to return a gazillion things from before Christmas that didn't make the present piles and had a spot of Yo Sushi with a lovely friend. (by the way - Mon to Frid for the next couple of weeks, they've got their £2.50 plate offer on. I can't resist.....)