Although I don’t feel like I purchase all that many new beauty products these days, it always seems like quite a lot when I add it all up for one of these posts. In saying that, quite a few of these were point perks, gifts with purchase or Christmas presents from my parents, and since there are usually months in between these kinds of posts, I still don't really think that I place online orders or go shopping all that much. In any case, who cares! I love beauty and if you're reading this you probably do too, so let's get on with it!
The two Mecca Cosmetica products came from their anniversary Beauty Loop Box. I got an email from them saying the box had a lip balm and a liquid bronzer in it, so I told my mum that if she felt like picking it up she should keep those items for herself, or give them to my sister in law since I didn’t have any need for them. But there must have been two other products in there, the Lit From Within Illuminating Primer and the All Set Makeup Perfecting Mist, which she gave to my boyfriend’s parents who came to visit in December. So that was a nice surprise because I wasn’t expecting them at all, and although I don’t typically go for illuminating primers because of my oily skin, a setting spray is always something I’m willing to try out.
As it turns out, I quite like the Lit From Within Primer mixed with the Hylamide HA Blur. I’m not sure if it’s the winter weather that’s making me less oily or if this combination is just working for me, but I currently have no complaints. I wasn’t thinking of buying the Hylamide product (which I’m using as a primer) but it came in one of their Black Friday sets, so I thought I’d give it a whirl and I’m reasonably impressed.
It has the feel of a thick, silicone-y primer which is typically a turn-off for me. I've never used a primer like that that I've really enjoyed, or that I think controls my oil without making my foundation look cakey. But because this is formulated with hyaluronic acid spheres it’s designed to be hydrating, and I’ve never found it to make my skin look dry, even around the creases of my nose which are always a problem area for me. It’s definitely a unique product and I don’t think I’ve tried anything else like it before.
I haven’t had a chance to properly test out the Mecca setting spray just yet but if I end up falling in love with it I’ll make sure to post about it. Another(!) primer I got is a full size of the Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer (AU) which I have loved for years. I’ve only ever owned minis of it, but I redeemed my (Aussie) credit card rewards points for a voucher and had my mum pick it up for me and she passed it on to my boyfriend’s parents. I’m super picky with primers and if I’m honest over the years the two that I've found to work the best out of all the ones I’ve tried are the Hourglass one and the Max Factor Face-Finity, so I’m glad to finally have it in full size.
Moving on from primers, I bought a new blush, which is the first one I’ve bought in a LONG time. I always passed up the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Mood Exposure (AU) because it looks like a deep plummy colour in the pan which isn’t really what I tend to go for. But I'd heard repeatedly that it was a lovely neutral shade, and since discovering my love for neutral blushes, I kept coming back to this one. The Hourglass blushes are some of my favourites on the market so I knew I wouldn't be disappointed, and as it turns out, on my cheeks it's a natural pinky shade that looks nothing like it does in the pan, which I'm perfectly happy with.
Hourglass now offer some of their blushes as minis, and honestly, buying the mini is pretty poor value considering you only get 1.7g of product for $33, while the full size is 4.25g for $45. But I know pigs will fly before I hit pan on a blush, let alone actually finish one up, so that doesn't particularly bother me and I was happy to go for the mini size. But if you’ve only got a couple of blushes in your stash then you’d be better off going for the larger one for sure. In any case, I love it and think it looks beautiful and I’m glad to have added it to my collection.
The thing that pushed me to buy the Hourglass blush along with this next product is because Sephora had $25 off a $50 purchase, which was too good a deal to pass up. So I treated myself to the blush along with the Tom Ford Lips & Boys Lipstick in Nicholas (AU). I haven’t been able to bring myself to spend $70 on a full-sized Tom Ford lipstick, particularly because as with blush the chances of me actually finishing up a lipstick are close to zero. Because of that I don’t mind getting the smaller size, especially because I’ve heard people online saying that their Tom Ford lipsticks have gone off faster than any others, which isn’t what you want from such an expensive item. But again, with the discount I thought I’d treat myself and buy something I may not normally pick up.
The lipstick itself is a beautiful, deep red shade that reminds me a lot of MAC’s Diva. My absolute favourite lipstick colours to wear are what I call blood reds, and although Nicholas leans slightly toward the purple side, it’s not too far off the mark for me. Deep purples and berries seem to have become really popular in the last few years, but I find that anything too cool-toned washes out my complexion and makes me look drained, but fortunately for me Nicholas doesn’t do that, and I love the way it looks on me.
It has a beautiful matte finish that doesn’t slip around and end up in places I don’t want it (crucial for such a dark shade) but it also doesn’t dry my lips out, or build up/gather uncomfortably throughout the day. I don’t know that the formula justifies the price because there are lots of great lipsticks on the market that cost far less, but I do love it and I'm happy I bought it.
Speaking of lipsticks, I also got the Bobbi Brown Luxe Lip Colour in Natural Rose (AU) as a 100 point perk. I mentioned in my Makeup Favourites for 2017 that I’ve finally started to appreciate nude lipsticks, so I thought this one wouldn’t go astray in my collection. It's a really generous sample that has a surprisingly large amount of product in the tube, and it's a very pretty nudey-pink shade and I find the formula very comfortable to wear. I've used it a few times since I got it and I'm very pleased I decided to throw it in my cart.
The final makeup item I’ve acquired recently is a trio of the Stila Glitter & Glow Liquid Eyeshadows (AU), which was a Christmas gift from my parents. It looks like the trio is sold out now, which is a shame because it's great value, but of course the full size products are still available. When it comes to super glittery eyeshadow, I've always found loose glitter and pigments to be too much of a hassle for me. Not only are they a lot of work, but there's basically always going to be fallout all over your cheeks too. I was obsessed with the Stila metallic shadows that came in a pot (which I believe have been discontinued in favour of these) but they were over $40 each so I never actually owned one. When Australis released dupes I thought I was all sorted, but now that Stila have released basically the same thing but in a much easier-to-use format, I'm stuck on these. I'd read online that it's best to let it dry down with your eyes half-closed to avoid it transferring into your crease, and that's worked perfectly for me. Although I don't wear glitter every day and I can't imagine that I'm going to use any of these up any time soon, I'm so happy to have them in my collection because they're beautiful and perfect and I love them.
I'll be talking about most of the skincare items that I’ve bought recently in an upcoming Beauty New & Old post as a lot of them were either repurchases or replacements for products I was running out of. So rather than repeat myself I'll save talking about them for that post, which means this section is going to be short and sweet. In fact, the only skincare products I've gotten recently that weren't replacements for something else were both 100 point perks.
The first one is a mini of the Clinique Moisture Surge Face Spray (AU) which I thought would be fun to try, as well as being handy for travel. I've taken it with me on a couple of overnight trips so far and have been happy to have it. It's not life-changing for me as I don't think mists ever really are, but it's a lovely hydrating toner. I think it's overpriced for what it is, but I think that about most mists, and the packaging is pretty and it's a nice product, so I'm glad I got to try it out.
Next are the Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Extra Strength Daily Peel Pads (AU). I feel like these have been a cult product for the longest time, and the point perk came with 3 x sets of pads, so I thought it was worth a try. I'll be honest, I haven't actually used these just yet, but I wanted to share my preliminary thoughts anyway. The thing about these is that they’re supposed to be a daily product, and at over $100 for 30 treatments, that's a very expensive monthly habit by anyone's standards.
One look at the ingredients list will tell you that these are super charged with just about every active your skin might need, but unless you're in the top 1% of wealth in the world, it's probably going to be hard to convince yourself to part with that kind of cash so frequently. I think the individual packaging is quite wasteful, but it is a great idea for travel, and it would also keep the product fresher than if they were all in a pot being exposed to light and air every time you open it. At this point, without having tried them yet, I'm skeptical about whether these could possibly be worth that price tag, but I imagine that even if I fell head-over-heels in love with them I'd probably only pick up the $20 5-pack every so often and use these for special occasions rather than every day.
The last two things I have to talk about are fragrances - one home fragrance and one a perfume. It's probably glaringly obvious from the photos, but I was lucky enough to be given the Diptyque Canelle Candle for Christmas by my parents. This particular scent (which translates to cinnamon, which I am obsessed with) is only available in stand-alone Diptyque stores, so my parents tracked it down for me when they were in Paris earlier in the year. My mum wanted to visit the shop for herself as well since I've gotten her into the brand (her fave fragrance is Do Son).
In typical Diptyque fashion, although their candles tend to be named quite literally, the scents are far more complex than the name would suggest. instead of smelling like straight cinnamon, this is a very elegant, subdued version that smells quite soft and slightly sweet, but with cinnamon still being the core of the scent. Warm, spicy, deep fragrances are completely my jam and I'm so happy to have this candle in my life!
The last thing I have to talk about is yet another 100 point perk, which is a lil baby rollerball of Tom Ford's Black Orchid (AU). Although this is classed as a floral (not my fave), beyond orchid, which is obviously in the name, the other key notes are patchouli, incense and sandalwood, which are all things I absolutely love and consistently look for in a fragrance. I thought it would be worth getting a mini of this to try out, and fortunately for me the floral aspect isn't particularly strong, and I like it enough to wear it which doesn't often happen with fragrance samples for me. I'm not necessarily planning on buying any new perfumes, but the baby sample was too cute to pass up, and it'll be great to take away with me when I travel, or to keep in my handbag for just in case.