BEAUTY BITES : FEBRUARY 2016
Beauty-wise, February for me is never about adopting extravagant, indulgent beauty habits - emerging from the rear end of winter with dull skin and frizzy hair calls for products that do exactly what they say they will. The past month has been one of the busiest of my life, and my lifestyle has more than reflected in my beauty picks this month; five products all with one thing in common, the ability to perform at maximum potential with minimal effort required.
When Nars launched their dual-intensity eyeshadows in 2014, they were an immediate sell-out. I purchased Himalia [a warm, shimmering topaz-brown], used it relentlessly for a month and then lost it in the midst of a flat move. Two years later and rediscovery has rekindled the initial obsession; I've spent the past month sporting the modern slick of metallic shine over my eyelids on a near daily basis. The formula is insanely easy to apply, blending with very little effort required and is super low-maintenance - I use a single brush to apply colour to my lid and to define my crease and lower lashline. I've yet to add water/amp the intensity, but used dry, the shimmering neutral shade catches the light oh-so-subtely rather than imparting a full-on shine; more of an everyday glow with a hint of tint than a full on molten wash. The finished effect is lids that look polished, fresh, and lightly contoured; it's sure-thing shadow when I'm pressed for time but still want to look like I've put some effort into my eye makeup.
I usually consider dark lip colours to be a no-no for everyday wear, but the allure of this 90's-supermodel-esque hue was enough to part me with my hard-earned SpaceNK points. The formula is more like a liquid-based pigment than a traditional dry crayon, with a slippery, easy-glide texture that is a dream to apply to dry lips [as mine so often are at this time of year]. The sheer texture doesn't take away from the deepness of the shade - a warm, sultry brick red-brown with a vinyl finish. When applied straight from the crayon the result is bold and eye-catching, but for daily wear I prefer to pat it onto my lips with a fingertip for a 'just-bitten' effect. The pigment pay-off more than justifies the premium pricetag, as you need such a small amount, one crayon will easily last months.
Traditionally, the downside of cleansing gels meant that post-cleanse, skin was left feeling tight and stripped of moisture. Now you can forget all connotations of gel cleansers as drying, because Glossier's Milky Gel Cleanser is one of a new breed of cleansing gels. Boasting a whole host of hydrating ingredients that ensure moisture levels are kept at optimal balance, Milky Jelly not only cleanses, but soothes, hydrates, and softens skin. A generous blob massaged over dry skin lifts all traces of even waterproof mascara without irritating my sensitive eyes [the formula is specifically designed to by contact lens friendly], emulsifying to an unctuous, milky texture that leaves my skin feeling clean but cosseted.
It's around this time of year that my hair starts to show signs of having [just about] survived a harsh winter. I begin a ritual hunt for products that will smooth frizz and tame flyaways in order to restore my hair to its former sleekness in time for summer. Combining the heat power of a hairdryer with the smoothening effects of a paddle brush, the Revlon Perfectionist 2-in-1 promises hair that is as close to a salon-perfect blowdry as you're likely to achieve with your own two hands. It's quite a claim, but one that I was keen to test out for myself - for who can resist the potential to save time and up one's hairstyling game? Needless to say this has become a stalwart in my styling routine - achieving perfectly smooth, perfectly dry hair in a matter of minutes [easily half the time it takes me when armed with brush and dryer]. It's also quite a light device - ideal if you're feeble-armed like me and struggle to style the back of your hair as well as the front. A great tool if you have thick hair that takes on a frizzy form, it leaves locks with that covetable swishy texture that encourages movement. Welcome to the future.
I've spent the month swept up in the opulent notes of Maison Francis Kurkdjian's latest launch - a hedonistic ode to the power of alchemy, it's the type of perfume that immerses my mind in a full-on scent experience. Most fragrances smell their best upon opening, fading out to something infinitely less interesting, but if I've come to expect anything of MFK's fragrances, it's that they far from conform to perfume diktat. Baccarat 540 opens with the sweetness of caramel and burnt sugar, before drying down to a refreshing woody floral that lasts impeccably [earning me compliments days after I first sprayed it]. While jasmine and saffron are topnotes, it's amber that steals the show; sweet and warm, with a kind of hypnotic, eccentric sexiness that doesn't fail to attract attention.
Apologies for having been a little lax on the blogging front of late - working two jobs whilst studying and freelancing has taken its toll on more than just my sleeping habits [a case in point, writing this blog post in the small hours]. To compensate for my increasingly sporadic blogging habits, I intend to make more of an effort in the 'micro-blogging' department - expect mini reviews popping up on my Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat - documenting my neverending rotation of beauty products...
FOLLOW 'THAT-GRACEGIRL' ON SNAPCHAT FOR IRL BEAUTY, BLOG, AND LIFE UPDATES.