GRACE NOTES : MAY 2016
Despite numerous and frequent facelifts, one thing has remained a constant in the lifespan of this blog [which turned three last month!]; the monthly favourites post may have fallen from favour with some, but remains by far one of my favourite posts to compile. And, As a blog reader myself, such features not only indicate a genuine passion for beauty but also demonstrates personality and individuality in a sea of clickbait post titles. Essentially, favourites posts take us back to blogging basics - honest, transparent reviews of the products we love most.
As for this one, it's better late than never...
Chanel's lip products just keep getting better and better and their latest launch is no exception. I've never been able to pull off the glossy lips look, but as the years go by, the boundaries between formulas become more and more blurred and I find myself increasingly drawn to sheer lip products like this one. The texture is perfect - firm but not plastic-y, it coats my lips [without being gloopy] in a silky, hydrating balm which imparts wonderful, lasting colour, and a subtle gloss effect which somehow immediately brightens my entire face. I opted for the shade Script [a warm pink-brown nude], which is the most perfect 'my lips but better shade', not too dark but just enough to subtly enhance my natural lip colour. What's more, unlike most sheer formulas, the pigment is surprisingly long-lasting and hard to budge.
My skin is too sensitive for harsh, abrasive cleansers but requires a thorough cleanse in order to remain blemish free, so finding one that strikes the perfect balance between gentle but effective is far from an easy task. However Sisley's bestselling cleansing milk is just that. A luscious, emollient cream that I could [and do] quite happily while away my evenings massaging into my skin, it gently lifts away surface dirt, oil, and makeup, and removes impurities from deep within the epidermis. While it's important not to use cleansers that strip oils from the skin, it's also vital to avoid those that leave residue - it's surprisingly hard to find a worthy candidate but this leaves my skin feeling clean, fresh, and comforted.
In a sea of 56789101 hair styling products, this one rose to the top. I fell in love with it whilst compiling an article for Beauty Bay, but it took a few days before I realised that this was actually what my hairdresser once used to finish my haircuts in my teens. Essentially a hybrid between a styling creme and leave-in conditioner, but free of the stickiness, residue, or weight that steers me away from using such products. At first, it applies like a finishing gloss, imparting shine, taming frizz, and giving hair a sleek, weightless texture. But give the formula a few minutes and it enhances texture, defines shape, and adds movement. Not only does it last all day, but it improves with time, can be added to with more product, and prevents hair from getting frizzy when it's tied up.
My sought-after breed of fake tan is subtly warm, honey-coloured, and above all, natural looking. Typically I prefer a light, buildable tan [like St Tropez Gradual In Shower Tan], but if I don't have time to plan ahead [said product requires at least three days to build a decent colour] then this is my tanning product of choice. The colour is instant, so you can see exactly where you've applied it, but it also deepens after a few hours, letting you build that really golden look. Despite this it's surprisingly really hard to overdo it and the warm honey colour isn't too jarring on my fair skin.
iS Clinical is the sort of brand that flies under the radar for most consumers. However, if you're a bit of a skincare junkie, you'll already know all about it - it's the brand favoured by supermodel Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, pioneering the principles of clinically-proven, results-driven skincare. I've long been on the hunt for a product to cure the post-breakout pigmentation I've suffered for the past two years, and whilst a number of products have helped, I'd yet to encounter The One. Fortunately one of the perks of my new job is that my editor has years of beauty experience under her belt and really knows her stuff when it comes to skincare, so when she recommended me this serum, I knew it'd be a good 'un. It's jam-packed with Vitamin C [the safest and healthiest way to tackle pigmentation] and is specifically formulated to reduce the appearance of scarring. Two months of daily use later and my blemish marks have faded better and faster than ever before. Clear skin is in sight!