Today I'm sharing some stuff I got for my birthday! I also have a few bits I bought when I went shopping on the day and some things I picked up with the many birthday discount codes I was emailed by my favourite websites... I would've posted this sooner but I already had content planned and I thought it would be more useful for me to do this once I've had a chance to use the beauty products so you can have my first impressions.
Skincare & Body
Pixi + Caroline Hirons Double Cleanse | I'm glad to report that this product is so worth the hype! I never picked it up when it first came out because I'd tried Pixi's other cleansing balm and didn't like the texture, however the solid oil half of this is completely different. You then get a nice, light cream cleanser to use afterwards. The oil removes all of my makeup when used with a cloth and the second cleanser just leaves my skin soft, fresh and clean.
Pixi Sun Mist | This is a milky-textured, lightly scented broad spectrum sunscreen in a spray bottle. You can use this before makeup or during the day to top up with. Whilst it is a slightly heavier product of its kind, I quite like the extra moisture it gives.
Pixi Glow O2 Oxygen Mask | This is such an unusual product; it comes out like a gel but almost turns into a foam once applied. You leave it on for a few minutes and then rinse. It definitely left my skin softer but I've only used it once so far, so my final thoughts are to be confirmed. If you'd like, once I've tried all of the Pixi products I've picked up lately, I can do a round-up of the new additions - let me know!
Mario Badescu Drying Lotion | I picked this up in Liberty, shopping on my birthday. It's an unusual formula which you use as a treatment directly on spots overnight. The idea is that it dries them out and shrinks them down. It does work, for the most part, but I'm not convinced it's doing anything that tea tree oil doesn't. I'll keep using it though and give you an update!
Hylamide Photography Foundation* (Golden Tan) | This isn't really a foundation for me, it's more something you mix in with your foundation. It comes out like liquid gold and all you need is a tiny amount mixed in with your base to give your skin a golden-bronzed glow.
Niod Copper Amino Isolate Serum 1%* | I'm going to keep it short and sweet on these next two products, as I haven't tried them properly yet! (I've had several serums to try recently, which I'll be sharing with you soon...) I've heard amazing things about this copper peptide serum which is supposed to completely renew the skin.
Niod Multi-Molecular Hyaluronic Complex MMHC2* | This is another product that's had rave reviews and so far, I'm impressed with the hydration it gives to my skin. Again, it's a serum, and if you'd like to hear my thoughts on the similarities and differences between this one and the Ordinary's then I'll definitely look to do that.
First Aid Beauty Coconut Skin Smoothie Priming Moisturiser | My mum absolutely raves about this product so I was really excited to get it for my birthday. I'm such a fan of moisturising primers like this and what I really enjoy is that it has a light texture that doesn't suffocate my skin. It's amazing if you want a glowing, dewy look to your skin.
Cath Kidston Meadow Posy Hand Cream | This is a nice, lightweight hand cream that moisturises without feeling greasy or slippery. The scent is light and floral and of course the packaging is so pretty!
Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Limited Edition White 25th Anniversary Multipurpose Dry Oil | I picked this up myself with one of those birthday discount codes. This is one of my all-time favourite beauty products and I couldn't resist the beautiful limited edition packaging. It's an amazing oil, which is moisturising but isn't greasy in the slightest. You can use it on the hair but I personally love it best for moisturising the dry skin on my body.
Feather & Down Sweet Dreams Soothing Body Oil | I'd never heard of this brand before but I'm so glad to have discovered a more affordable alternative to the Deep Sleep collection by This Works. I think this is the perfect product to use after a nice, relaxing bath. You just spray it onto the body and massage in for instantly soft, smooth skin. It contains a relaxing blend of essential oils, including lavender.
Feather & Down Sweet Dreams Travel Set | I've actually only used the pillow mist and the balm out of this set, but I'll let you know how I get on with everything else. The products have the same fragrance as the body oil, which really helps me to unwind after a stressful day. The balm can be used on pulse points so you're slowly inhaling the scent. It also comes with a Shower Cream and Sleep Butter.
H&M Revelation Shower Oil | I'd never really looked into H&M body products but my mum had tried a few things from so picked me up a couple of things. This is really affordable and nourishing on the skin. It has a very soft, clean scent, which I think a lot of people will like.
H&M Conscious Relaxing Body Wash | I love the vetiver fragrance of this consciously-made shower gel. It's so nice and foaming in formula and the packaging is beautiful and premium in its simplicity.
Miss Patisserie Colour Fest Bath Ball | I haven't actually used this yet (I'll be taking both of these back home to Manchester this weekend for a nice, relaxing bath) but all of the products are vegan. This is supposed to be a relaxing muscle soak that will turn your bathwater a rainbow colour and smells floral.
Miss Patisserie Lavender Cupcake Melt | This is so cute it's almost a shame to use it! This smells so relaxing and I'm looking forward to a nice long bath with it.
Jo Malone Nectarine Blossom & Honey Cologne (100ml) | If you're a long-time reader then you might remember that I got the little 30ml of this a couple of years back for my birthday. It's since become my favourite Spring scent and was almost used-up, so my mum got me a larger size of it. I love these fragrances from Jo Malone because it's a little splash of scent that stays with you all day but never seems overpowering. This is a fresh, fruity-floral scent that's sweet without being sickly.
Nars Hydrating Glow Tint (Medium) | I've tried this base from the Charlotte Gainsbourg collection a few times and I'm still decidedly undecided... The colour is ok on me, though it would be nice if it was slightly more yellow-based and it does give a nice look to the skin. However I just feel like it doesn't apply or sit on my skin quite right in certain areas; it seems to go patchy, flaky and uneven on my chin and forehead, especially after several hours of wear. As I always disclaim, I'd never slate a product I haven't tried to make work and with this I've tried exfoliating more, switching up my primer and applying it with both a BeautyBlender and a few different brushes, but the issue remains. I'm hoping I can make this work for me (I'll keep trying and let you know, as I've never been disappointed with a Nars base before), but part of me thinks that I get the same look with their Tinted Moisturiser, it comes in more shades and I've never had this issue with it, so to be honest I might as well recommend that to you!
Pixi Glow-y Powder in Santorini Sunset | I really didn't need another highlighter but I had wanted to try one of these for aaaaages... And this doesn't disappoint; the formula is smooth, whilst still being powdery enough to apply in an even and natural way. It is very pigmented but the fact that the finish is a soft, satin glow means that it doesn't look too over the top. The colour itself is a light gold with slightly peachy undertones.
Nars Matte Multiple in Cappadoce | I picked this up on a whim in Liberty on my birthday and I'm already such a fan! It's so pigmented and a gorgeous warm matte bronzer tone that isn't too orange. I just swipe it directly on my skin and use a slightly damp BeautyBlender to create natural warmth and dimension. The formula is so easy to work with but isn't greasy and doesn't wear off after a few hours. I think I'm in love...
Nars Sun Wash Diffusing Bronzer in Casino | I'd actually never tried Nars's famous bronzers before, however the release of a natural, matte formula piqued my interest, so I ordered this from Feel Unique with my birthday discount code. I have to admit, I'm not *quite* sold so far, especially for the price! I feel like you have to break through the outer layer to be able to pick up any real pigment from this with a brush. However when I tried it last, it did come out in a nice, natural way, warming my skin without being orange or looking patchy.
YSL Les Sahariennes Bronzer in 06 | I believe this is being discontinued, so get it while you can! It's a cream bronzer that has this lovely mousse-like texture that isn't shiny or greasy on the skin, yet looks very natural (this shade is perfect for my skin tone). I'm still trying to work out the best way to apply it though, so if you have this then please let me know in the comments what works for you!
Becca Sunlit Bronzer in Ipanema Sun | You could say that I'm kind of obsessed with bronzer right now, and you'd be right! This and the Nars Matte Multiple are the winners for me. This is very pigmented so you really don't need to load up your brush too much, and has a semi-matte formula, giving an almost-indetectible sheen to the cheeks. It's a warm tone so you can't contour with it, but it's perfect for me when I want a summery look. It also comes in a ton of shades for different skin tones.
MAC Satin Lipstick in Mocha | I honestly thought that I'd stopped and swatched at enough MAC counters by now to know every lipstick I like and could like from their permanent collection, but this one must have slipped the net... I generally love the Satin formula; it has a slight sheen (making it comfortable to wear) but the longevity and colour payoff of a matte. This is a warm pinky-nude brown colour that's slightly brighter than I think that label gives it credit for! It's the perfect, more summery workday lip for me.
Lancome Matte Shaker in Vintage Beige | This is actually a brighter, more pink-toned nude than the name might suggest! You really need to give this a good shake before using it to get the pigment flowing but it's a unique formula that's comfortable but gives a matte finish.
White Frill Lace High Neck Top | I was actually given a voucher, which I spent on this - I thought it would be too awkward to try and photograph the clothes, so I've just linked the product page. This just seemed like a staple my wardrobe was lacking; a pretty, summery white shirt/top that can be dressed up with heels, accessories and black jeans or even worn to work (though I have to be careful with that; items of clothing I buy for both in and out of work invariably get absorbed by my work wardrobe...)
River Island Copper Red Cold Shoulder Skort Wrap Playsuit | Whew, that was a mouthful! This gorgeous Grecian-style playsuit comes in a load of colours - my mum got it me and I believe she has the white (and so does her friend!) It's just so flattering and perfect to wear in the evenings on holiday, which I'm already dreaming about...
Zara Floral Dress | This was such a bargain that I picked it up when I went shopping with my mum when she came to visit for my birthday. It's just so pretty, I love the print and I think it can be worn day or night.
Seol Gold 9ct Gold Ball Studs (2mm), Teardrop Gold Studs & 9ct Gold Small Hoops (11mm) | I didn't really want to fiddle around taking these out for some photos that you can't really see them in! So you can see how these look when worn here. Overall I'm so pleased with the quality and how these look, plus you can select exactly which size you want. It can be really hard to find decent, pretty, dainty gold jewellery without spending a fortune but these were exactly what I was after!
Oliver Bonas Amelia Small Travel Jewellery Box | It had become apparent I had nowhere to safely stow my new jewellery, or anything else I want to buy going forwards (I'm trying to invest a bit more in quality, these days) so my mum got me this cute little travel case. I wish I could've held it open for the picture because there's a gorgeous marble pattern on the inside and just about every kind of compartment you could ever need!
The Lion King | Of course, if you read the most recent My Week in Lipsticks post, you'll know that this was my birthday surprise was seeing the Lion King on the West End. It was AMAZING! AMAZING! I had seen this as a child but obviously was too young to appreciate it (ironically, I feel the same way about many Disney-related things...) The creativity and beauty with which the story was brought to stage really was stunning and I welled up more than once because it really is an incredible, timeless story.
Allure Magazine Subscription | This is probably the only magazine I ever read cover to cover! It's a beauty-dedicated American magazine that's just annoyingly tricky to get hold of in the UK. However it's worth the effort! I'm so glad to have it delivered to my doorstep every month now.
What do you think of what I got this year? Have you tried anything or are any of these products on your wish list?