First off, a little disclaimer… yes I am on a tight budget right now but I did treat myself to a few quality skin & hair care items courtesy of some old John Lewis vouchers I had forgotten about and hit up a few 3-for-2 offers in Boots…

Now that’s settled I can show you my purchases with a clean conscience. All of these are from brands for whom I’ve worked for, as a beauty agency temp over the Christmas period. Having gained knowledge and experience of all the ranges, here are my choices… for better or worse.


First off, [and this really was really early into January, it may even have been a NYE purchase but we’ll sneak it in anyhow] the Liz Earle Hot Cloth Cleanse & Polish limited edition set in Mint & Pink Pepper fragrance.

I was introduced to Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish 9 years ago when my former SIL (Sister In Law) bought me some as part of my bridal beauty box. I used Liz Earle on and off after that and eventually stopped using it while I focused on getting my acne under control. I fell in love with it again after trialing it and demonstrating on customers while working at John Lewis.

I decided to start using the Cleanse & Polish system again as I was looking for a new cream or gel cleanser. With perfect timing, my lovely manager showed me a demo sample of the Mint & Pink Pepper. It’s a lovely scent and I was pretty much sold after smelling the tester.  “Coming out after Christmas” she confirmed, and… literally the day after Boxing Day we got these out. They flew off the shelves ridiculously fast and I was worried they’d sell out before the week was out. So I purchased on NYE morning. Good job too as they were gone by the end of NYE.

 


After my last few shifts with Liz Earle in John Lewis, I moved back over to Boots to work for for L’Oréal Paris. One of L’Oreals ‘uniform’ guidelines is that L’Oréal advisers should wear a L’Oréal lip colour as part of promoting the brand. I actually have more Maybelline and Revlon lippies than L’Oréal and took the opportunity to buy a L’Oréal lipstick… plus a few other items (hey, it was 3 for 2 season).

L’Oreal Blake’s Red

Love the Blake’s Red lipstick.  It’s a more moisturising dupe for MACs Ruby Woo. Still matte but less drying. It looks gorgeous on the lips, and I get at least 5 or 6 compliments on it daily. I’ve sold about 10 of these just from customers wanting ‘some of what you’ve got on‘.

Like the Sculpting mascara. I wanted a good lengthening and defining mascara for everyday, as my Benefit Roller Lash is a bit heavy for every day and is drying my lashes out a bit. I was between the Sculpting mascara and the False Last Flutter mascara. Sculpting mascara won. It’s a great mascara overall but doesn’t give me the open-eyed look that I get with Rollerlash. I gave in and bought the Lash Flutter mascara afterwards. It was much more suited to me and I’m loving it.

Infallible Matte Max Lip

The Infallible Matte Max lip colour is up next. I hated this at firstBeautiful when swatched on the hand. Awful on the lips. It’s supposed to be used in conjunction with other shades in the range to create ombre lip looks, but it took ages to build up the colour, which was patchy and just not what I expected at all. I was ranting to a colleague and she was raving about it, and I trust her opinion so…

… I tried it again. I don’t love it but I do like it very much.

After a few pumps or presses of the nib into the lid, the colour was deposited on the nib much better than the first time. That’s where I went wrong the first time, when new it doesn’t pick up as much colour so needs  good pumping. The colour was much more even and nicely built up. The nib/ applicator isn’t really precise enough to blend two or more colours for an ombre look, but gives a nice even colour. The downside is that as this is more of a lip pigment, it will cling on to any dry or flaky patches on the lips. You need to exfoliate and moisturise really well before you apply this to prevent accentuating any dry patches. Once it is applied, it is pretty solid. No smudging or transfer.

I was wearing this one evening as I tucked my little boy into bed and I gave him a goodnight kiss on the cheek, he then wanted one on the other cheek, his forehead, his nose and his chin (don’t ask!). I obliged and then he excitedly ran to the mirror to see the ‘kissy marks’… he was oddly disappointed as there was absolutely no transfer. What can I say? My kids are quirky, but totally adorable.


 

Round two of my 3-for-2’s were these… The Rollerlash dupe, L’Oreal Paris False Lash Flutter Mascara; an old favourite, the L’Oreal Double Extension Beauty Tubes Mascara; and their best-selling mattifying primer, the L’Oreal Paris Infallible Primer Matte Base. I’ll be reviewing these in the next few weeks, so keep an eye out for them.

 

Last on my list was Kiehls. I have used a few samples in the past, mainly the Midnight Skin Concentrate and the Avocado eye cream. Both of which I liked a lot. This time I was drawn to the colour-protect shampoo & conditioner range.

I have vibrant pink/ purple ombre hair and it takes a lot of work to keep it healthy and vibrant, with all the bleaching and colouring. I was on the hunt for a colour-protect shampoo which was sulfate-free, silicone-free and intensely hydrating & repairing. That’s asking quite a lot, but Kiehls met my demands. I bought the Kiehl’s Sunflower Color Preserving Shampoo, and a small travel sized conditioner. I’ll report back with a review after I’ve used it for a month or so.

Kiehls Sunflower Colour Preserve Shampoo & Conditioner

So there we are. That’s my January beauty buy roundup. Full reviews to come over the next few weeks, so do subscribe so you don’t miss them!