If the date stamps of the last few posts on this blog are anything to go by, you'll know that I've been run off my feet with work/life in recent months. Amongst the many consequences of this [one being a lack of blog posts - sorry!], my relationship with and use of beauty products has completely changed. My job might require me to continually test the best and brightest in new beauty launches, but I've adapted a sensible approach to doing so, which no longer sees me switching products in and out of my routine on a weekly [or often daily!] basis. Instead, with no time to edit the lineup on a frequent basis, I've been working my way through the products I keep on hand for daily use, from start to finish, only admitting new additions when truly impressed. The below made the cut this month. Say hi.

CAUDALIE Deep Cleansing Exfoliator

We all need to exfoliate to remove deep-rooted grime that clogs pores and cause skin to look dull and break out. Beauty literature doesn't always paint physical exfoliants in a brilliant light, but, despite being a big fan of their liquid alternatives, I do believe that sometimes nothing but a true scrub quite does the trick. I'm careful about what I use - typically avoiding products using microbeads or oversized particles - and tend to opt for those that come in cream form. My latest and greatest is Caudalie's offering, a cream cleanser which used corn-derived micrograms to smooth and clear skin. It's just the ticket when my skin is feeling grimy or decongested.

NIOD Hydration Vaccine

Refreshing and non-greasy, this thick water-based moisturiser is the perfect texture to massage into skin to really get hydration levels boosted. Created to help prevent the loss of, and supplement skin's natural moisturising factors, the formula works by building water reserves in the skin, improving the skin's ability to retain water, and sealing moisture in with unique water-retention properties. The thick velveteen texture looks [but sadly doesn't smell] like toffee, and absorbs instantly, no matter how thickly I apply it. Although I would never have previously considered my skin to be overly dehydrated, since I started using this on a daily basis, it's looked notably brighter and healthier. 

OUAI Soft Mousse

onfessions of a beauty writer: I've never used a mousse in my hair prior to having to test this for work earlier in the month. My only experiences of hair mousse having been the much regretted moments in which I've let hairdressers apply it mid-blowdry - rendering my hair sticky, crunchy, and in need of a wash within 24 hours. Mousse to me has always been the type of product that belongs in the history books alongside cold cream and rosewater, but I can wholeheartedly say that Jen Atkin [creator of Ouai and celebrity hairdresser [she counts the Kardashians amongst her clients]] has managed to well and truly reinvent the wheel. Light, fluffy, and not in the least bit sticky, I've been applying this to 60-80% dry hair pre-blowdry, and my hair has never been lighter, softer, or bouncier. It's like a pro-blowdry in a bottle. Consider me converted.

NATASHA DENONA Mono Eyeshadow Duochrome in Calypso Blue

First things first, the attached image does nothing to convey the true beauty of this product. Indeed my Google Image search proves that nothing short of swatching this IRL will even come close to demonstrating its true beauty. Likewise, the name Calypso Blue is far from revealing [or indeed appropriate], the applied product being a deep, warm copper flecked with tiny red and blue particles which catch the light and make this eyeshadow one of the most unique and interesting colours I've ever worn. It's become my go-to on nights out, the butter-soft formula is a dream to apply, blending beautifully and lasting flawlessly, no matter what my antics throw at it. It's not cheap, granted, but take your chances on this one, you won't regret it. 


MAC Mineralise Skin Finish in Soft & Gentle

Forgive me whilst I throw back to 2009 with this one, an old-school blogger cliche that rarely gets the airtime it [still] deserves. If you prefer your skin finish radiant to matte, then this pressed powder is the one for your handbag. The demure might prefer to use this as a cheekbones-only highlighter, but if you like your glow all over, as I do, use a large, fluffy powder brush to lightly dust this across your face for a finishing touch with a little bit of star power.

Grace Day