20201224

THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS

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I honestly have no idea at the time of writing what my Christmas will look like it; usually I go to the spa with my mum on Christmas Eve, but for obvious reasons it's going to have to be a home spa this year, so these are the products I recommend for hunkering down and having a cosy, relaxing night in with your own company over the festive period...

When I'm having a night in, the first thing I do is start running a bath and I also light some candles to set the mood! My favourites at the moment are the Huxley Secret of Sahara Moroccan Gardener Candle* | £38 (15% off with code JASMINETALKSBEAUTY) | which is featured in my Tonic 15 collaboration kit | and one that was sent to me for my Christmas Gift Guides by Look Fantastic: the Neom Real Luxury Limited Edition 3-Wick Candle* | £46. I generally go for the Huxley when I want to just melt into the yumminess, because it has these fresh, sweet, beautiful notes of grass, green leaves, white florals and musk. The Neom is more your softer spa-like scent, and I tend to burn that one when my boyfriend's around because he doesn't like my strongly-perfumed candles (*single tear runs down my cheek*). It's a relaxing blend of Brazilian rosewood, jasmine and lavender. They're both soy candles so give a nice, clean burn. In my bath, I'll start by adding a bit of the Soak Sunday Cleo's Paradise Bath & Body Oil* | £14 | to my bath, to get in that extra nourishment for my dry winter skin. This oil is formulated to be deeply nourishing but to also smell beautiful and calming with vegan manuka, almond oil, jojoba oil and chamomile. Once you get out of the bath you can also apply it directly to the skin (after patting it dry) to really lock in that moisture.

Whilst my bath is running, I remove my makeup, which is probably my favourite moment of the day! So I'm not just repeating my Tonic 15 Kit (my post on it can be found here if you missed it), I've chosen another cleanser I love for this post: the Seated Queen Cold Cream* | £39 (15% off with code JASMINETSQ (not affiliate)). This is an old-school cold cream, meaning it's a nourishing oil-based cream cleanser. It contains fragrance, but that causes me no problems in a cleanser and I actually really enjoy the sensorial experience it creates. Its ingredients (including rosehip, safflower, argan and borage oils) are rich in Vitamin E, fatty acids and antioxidants. It feels so luxurious and you can use it twice; to remove makeup if you're wearing any and / or for a moisturising second cleanse. It's actually lovely to use for a bit of facial massage so you can really take your time and unwind. Skincare is self care, at the end of the day!

These days, I'm actually quite particular about the sorts of masks I like to use in the bath; I don't want anything overly active or clay-based because invariably I'm going to have to get up and take it off at some point before I'm ready to end my bath and it just messes with the flow! My favourite for the past couple of months has been the I'm From Honey Mask | £35 (15% off with code JASMINETALKSBEAUTY) | which is also one from the kit I created with Tonic 15. You can leave it on for any amount of time between 10 minutes and 1 hour, according to the instructions and the texture means it's one you can slap on and relax with. Propolis is a fantastic ingredient that K-beauty brands are really embracing and here it's paired with actual honey at a 38.7% concentration. What's fantastic is the dual-benefit here; honey is naturally antibacterial, meaning it can help reduce some of the causes of breakouts, but it's also incredibly nourishing. It never fails to leave my dry, tired winter skin deeply moisturised and incredibly soft, whilst I work my way slowly through Palette: a Black Beauty Bible by Funmi Fetto | £25. This book breaks down the Vogue beauty writer's favourite skin, body and makeup finds after years of combing through everything the industry has to offer.

It's not Christmas without a bit of Lush! My favourites that I repurchase every year are the Luxury Christmas Pud | £4.95 | and Golden Wonder | £5.95 | bath bombs, so if I'm feeling fun (and don't mind cleaning up the mess afterwards!) I'll add something like this into my bath. The Luxury Christmas Pud is formulated with bergamot, cypress and blackcurrant oils, which honestly make me weak at the knees, and gives me what I want from a Lush product: gorgeous pink and multicoloured pastel water! Golden Wonder is another great option from their Christmas line, and it's more citrus-based with wine lees, orange and lime oils. This gives you green, blue and yellow bath oil. They smell great and - you know what? - it's just a bit of festive fun that I enjoy.

To be honest; I don't usually take baths to get clean as such and I've probably had a shower that morning and will probably have a shower the next morning. However, it's still nice to use a body wash and my current favourite is the Elemental Herbology Lemongrass and Nutmeg Body Wash* | £19 (get 15% off with code JASMINETALKSBEAUTY). This is such a beautiful scent for the season! It has this beautiful woodiness then you also get the black pepper scent through too; it's one of those fragrances that I think men really like too. It's a gently lathering but also very moisturising body wash that leaves its scent behind on your skin. As I mention all the time; the skin on my body is so dry and needs all the help it can get... I really like the Fresh Brown Sugar Body Exfoliator* | £59. I really like sugar scrubs for the body; they're so much less messy than coffee and the fact sugar dissolves in water stops you endlessly scrubbing until your skin is red! This scrub is formulated with nourishing oils, humectants and antioxidants to give that gorgeous soft, smooth feeling to the skin after use. It also smells divine! This sweet but citric scent that makes me weak at the knees.

Once I'm out of the bath, it's time to give my hands and feet some TLC. I really recommend doing your feet after a nice, long bath because it softens the skin and makes your life a lot easier (and less grate-ier...) I have the Margaret Dabbs Perfect Home Pedicure Set* | £79 | which is perfect for nights in. Whilst I'm still in the bathroom, I'll give my feet a good scrub with the product from this set, then I just use the foot file to have a good old grate on my feet (sexy!) and clip my toenails as prep, whilst everything is still nice and soft from my soak. There's a beautiful lotion on this set that I use and it leaves my feet silky and soft, even by the next morning, which I use after painting my toenails and letting them dry. The Peacci Nail Polish in Ruby Port* | £10 | is perfect for this time of year, and I also used it on my hands when I wasn't able to get out to a salon. This is a festive sparkly deep red that has really good opacity and lasts a few days for me without chipping (my standard is about 24 hours!) After my little home manicure, I like using the Ark Intensive Hand & Nail Cream* | £20. This deeply nourishing but non-greasy formula is packed full of replenishing fatty acids, nourishing shea butter and fruit oils to seal in that nourishment. It's a treat to use and amazing for dry winter hands and, despite owning approx. 50 million hand creams that have been gifted to me over the past few months, I will be repurchasing it. I also really love my Naf! Stuff Salted Caramel Cuticle Oil Pen | £8 | because it's so nourishing and smells incredible and festive but you can only pick it up from salons (I got mine from Nails Bab in Birmingham).

Let's talk about facial skincare. First I go in with a nice spritz of my Sunday Riley Pink Drink Firming Resurfacing Essence* | £42. This is a super hydrating mist packed full of really good ingredients. There's no overwhelming scent to this product either. It's formulated with lots of antioxidants like green tea, cucumber and apricot extracts, peptides to really hydrate and renew the skin and also the fermented ingredients you'd expect from a product marketed as an essence, including honey. This also contains ceramides and prebiotics to promote a healthy skin barrier. It's one of those products that resurrects dry winter skin and I love it! I know eye treatments aren't necessary; but sometimes I don't want my routine to be functional, I want it to be enjoyable. The Kora Organics Noni Radiant Eye Oil | £34 | comes with this cooling rose quartz rollerball, which is a nice touch. You could probably use the original face oil from this brand around your eyes as the ingredients are similar, but the rollerball dispenses a small amount and the formula feels a lot lighter, so it doesn't go into my eyes and turn me into a bleary mess! (This also doesn't contain fragrance, like the face oil, because it's going around your eyes.) It's formulated with moisturising oils like rosehip, avocado, jojoba, sea buckthorn and squalane, making it perfect for dry winter eyes.

A product I really enjoy using next is the Fresh Beauty Rose Deep Hydration Oil-Infused Serum* | £52. This is dual-phase product so you give it a good shake and splash it on with your hands. I love how lightweight this feels on the skin whilst still giving it a gorgeous, dewy glow. There's rose water and cucumber extract in the water part of this product and in the oil element there's squalane and rose oil. It's great for making dull, dry skin glow. Then I'll top it off with that boujee product I can't get enough of - I just have to interject and say that obviously no one neeeeeds such a pricey moisturiser, a £20 product will do the job and feel pretty nice to boot - but I'm just being honest about what I like to like use when I'm treating myself and that's the Chantecaille Rose de Mai Cream* | £182. It's so ridiculously nourishing and softening but has this really lightweight creamy texture that almost feels a bit whipped. The key ingredients here are really the rose water and rose oil but there's also niacinamide to calm and balance the skin and humectants like glycerin. It gives me that full sensorial experience; the packaging, the aroma, the texture... *swoons*.

For lip balm, it's probably not surprising that I have the Summer Fridays Lip Butter Balm | £19.50 | because I whitter on about it all the time! This is a thick, nourishing formula that leaves even the driest of winter lips soft and smooth by the next morning. Before bed, I enjoy getting a bit of aromatherapy in there whenever I can. I recently received the Tisserand Little Box of Happiness* | £13.45 | and I know it's mostly a bit of fun but I do enjoy it! I use a bit of the Creative Space oil on the insides of my wrists and on my neck / chest before reading in bed for a little bit, It's formulated with sage, frankincense and grapefruit, so smells amazing. Again, it's something I just enjoy personally and that I'd do on a special night in, but I really enjoy the Sensory Retreat Luna Self-Heating Sleep Mask* | £3.95. It's a self-heating eye mask infused with essential oils that you can use for about 25 minutes before bed to really relax and unwind with. My only gripe is that this is a single-use product and I just hesitate to use this sort of thing too much. I don't think it would be too hard to make a version out of fabric that could be warmed up in the microwave, but I digress... it's a great idea if you spend a lot of time looking at screens and your sleep suffers as a result; it forces you to close your eyes and fully switch off for a while.

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope that whatever you're doing and, even if you're having a different sort of Christmas or a much smaller Christmas than usual, you make the best of it. I hope everyone reading has at least some time out over the next week or two to relax, reset and recharge before we head into 2021. I'll be back on Sunday with the results of your vote on 2020 in beauty and the giveaway winner. See you then! How do you like to relax and unwind on a cold winter's night?


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