Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Beauty Tool Round Up 2017

* An asterisk denotes an item sent complementary for consideration for review.

It's reaching the end of another year (already?!) and as part of my blog's end of year celebrations, I am listing my favourite beauty tools I discovered in 2017. Whether they save time, do their thing better than others, or make your beauty experience cheaper or more pain-free, I thought long and hard, and here are my picks.

Look Good Feel Better Sculpting Sponge // M&S

I've tried a lot of makeup sponges in my day, but none of them has compared to this little pink chap. Soft, just the right level of absorbent, works damp and dry and is shaped so that each contour can be used for a different purpose- corner of nose, eyes, etc. And on top of all that, Look Good Feel Better is a cancer support charity, so your makeup buying habit is actually contributing to a good cause.

Real Techniques Bold Metals Arched Powder Brush // Boots

The Bold Metals collection of everyone's favourite makeup brush brand may be a tad pricey (the cheapest brush starts at £12.00), but around Christmas and the sales is probably the perfect time to invest in one. Currently, this bad boy is reduced to £14.67 from £22.00, and I actually got my hands on this for under £5.00 on an Amazon flash sale. The handle is strong but thin enough to be able to angle it in your hand, whilst still being weighty enough to feel premium and easy to handle. The fibres (cruelty-free, thank you very much) are soft and cut in a curved shape so as to aid contouring. Perfect.

The Brow Shaper by Lilibeth of New York* // Instant Beauty Fix

I'm putting my hand up here and now and saying I admit it, I'm an eyebrow plucking avoider. I hate it, the pain and the red skin afterwards. When I was asked to try out this little device, I was so excited that I might be able to tame my bushy brows with minimal agony. It's a little plastic wand with a stainless steel metal part on the end which you run gently against the grain of the hair, between your eyebrows and below. It folds up for ease of travelling as well. It does take a little time to get the hang of it, but once you do you can have your eyebrows tamed in under ten minutes. You can also use it for 'peach fuzz' on your face, for example, your cheeks and upper lip. It didn't irritate my sensitive skin, and so far I haven't had any scary stubble grow in (which was my main fear with not using tweezers) so I'm pretty darn impressed! At £14.95 for two, it's definitely a yes from me.

Real Techniques Stippling Brush // Boots

This is pretty much my holy grail of brushes. Need to buff in my foundation? Stipple it. Contour a bit heavy handed? Stipple it. Washing machine broken? Stipple it. Okay maybe not that last one, but seriously, this is a brilliant brush for buffing out contour, foundation, jaw lines and more. The flat-topped brush is made of synthetic and therefore cruelty-free fibres, which is a must for me. Additionally, it's a pretty pink colour, which despite my advancing years I still appreciate greatly.

Detangling Wet/Dry Brush

I messed up here. I took a photo of my absolute favourite wet/dry detangling brush, which I picked up as a bargain from Asda, and now it seems to be out of stock online. However, I have a brush almost exactly the same by the famed Wet Brush, which you can find here for £11.99. Do have a look when you're next in Asda picking up milk though because this one was a bit cheaper and does basically the same thing! Wet brushes are amazing because, as the name may have given away, you can use them on wet hair. With long thick hair like mine, this is super important but you can use it on short hair too and will get the same benefits. Flexible bristles mean they detangle gently, without the brute force of regular brushes so your hair will thank you for it!

So, what do you think of my roundup of favourite beauty tools for 2017? Do you like any of the tools on my list? Have you got any of your own to add? Let me know in the comments!

Stocking Fillers- Amara Living

* Items marked with the asterisk were sent complimentary for the purpose of this review.

Today I am excited to introduce you to a new brand, and a few of their lovely stocking fillers (just in time for last minute Christmas shopping!)

Amara is a luxury home and lifestyle brand where you can buy anything from homeware, chic furnishings and home fragrance, to jewellery, watches and stationery- and lots of lovely things in between. You can find brands like Kate Spade, Ugg, Ted Baker, Orla Kiely and Urban Apothecary.

Here's a selection I chose to showcase the kind of stocking fillers you can find.

Flamingos Cosmetic Bag* // Marinette Saint Tropez // £21.00

I fit the contents of an entire Powder Beauty Drawer in here, and I probably could have done it twice more!
If you read my blog, it's probably partly because you love subscription boxes as much as I do, so I chose this lovely Flamingo Cosmetic Bag because it is so roomy, you can fit plenty of makeup or toiletries in it, whether for travel or just day to day. I love that the flamingos are embroidered on rather than printed, it makes the bag just that little bit more interesting and unique.

Kindness Mug* // Ellen Degeneres & Royal Doulton // £10.00

This mug is part of a range by Ellen Degeneres and made by Royal Doulton, who are pretty renowned for their nack at making lovely crockery. I don't know if you can tell from the photo, but this mug is absolutely enormous, which I think is great in the winter as you can fill it up with a nice hot drink and warm your hands with it. Besides that, the lovely blue colour and the message 'Kindness' is uncomplicated yet sweet. There are also 'Love' and 'Smile' mugs if you prefer those designs.

Prosecco Rose Candle* // Voluspa // £12.00

I chose this gorgeous candle because the rose gold trend is alive and well, and it is a great price for a luxe candle by Voluspa- a brand which is apparently loved by celebrities and also makes diffusers and room sprays. When I opened the lovely pink tin I was hit by a sweet mix of rose and prosecco fragrance; I normally don't go for rose scents but the prosecco tones it down so it becomes a lovely sugary scent. This candle is made with coconut wax and has a burn time of 25 hours.

Bow Paper Clips* // Kate Spade // £10.00

Finally, I went for a stationery item by beloved brand Kate Spade. These cute little bow paper clips will not only be good for cheering up dull paperwork in the new year but could be used in penpal correspondence and decorating your 2018 planner. You get 12 clips in the pack, and they come ready to gift in pretty packaging.

I hope you enjoyed reading about my stocking filler selections from Amara Living. What do you think of my choices? Have you browsed their stocking fillers yet? Let me know in the comments!