Favourites | Current Beauty Favourites #2 - plus Lifestyle Update

* Contains Purchased & PR/Gifted Samples

It has been a couple of months since i last did a monthly favourites on my blog and I warn you that there are A LOT of products this month, so i would advise you grab a nice warm cup of tea and relax.... November was a super-fun month for me when it came to trying out new makeup items, especially as i was quarantined for a couple of weeks with my 1 year old who had chicken pox. So i used my time to play with new makeup items and found myself wearing makeup almost every day testing things out. I have been very fortunate to have been sent a lot of new products over the past few months from quite a few various companies and brands, so i have felt like a kid in a toy shop all month. I found lots of new fab quality makeup-brushes and eyeshadow palettes this month. I have always had an eyeshadow addiction, but most of the time i don't bother to apply eyeshadow everyday. However, during these colder months i enjoy experimenting with my eyeshadows and highlighters more than than anything else, therefor you can expect to see quite a few of those throughout this post. So lets jump on into it.....

Today i will start with my skincare and health products for a change, as i feel my skincare routine has been especially important this month especially since i have been testing makeup out almost on the daily. I usually have pretty oily/combination skin being that my skin is normal but oily in the t-zone area, only since it has gotten cooler my skin has become more dry, especially around my eyes, nose and mouth area. Exfoliating scrubs and nourishing face masks have been must have's for me. I have been testing out quite a few masks which i will not be mentioning as i haven't used them enough to declare them as a favourite as of yet, however moving onto something else that hydrate's my skin is the Body Shop Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Butter £13. Oh my goodness i have tried an awful lot of cleansers over the years and i thought i could never find anything i love more than my Philosophy Purity cleanser but someone from the heavens must have sent me this because its the best cleanser i have ever used. I tend to wear a lot of waterproof mascara so a cleanser that removes my eye makeup while not irritating my eyes is almost impossible to find, but this is the most gentlest cleanser i have ever used. It's a thick hardened almost waxy consistency that melts into a nourishing oil once blended in to the skin. It removes every trace of my makeup and leaves me skin feeling clean, fresh, hydrated and super smooth and supple. Sadly i left it in reach of my mischievous 5 year old son who decided to pour lots of water in it while taking a bath so i have had to order another as mine now looks gloopy. After cleansing i go in with the *Rodial Super Acids X-treme 5% acid micro scrub £49. Once again i am extremely picky about exfoliators ( i have a top exfoliator blog post coming up shortly) but this really helps to remove dry, dead skin and really brightens up my face. It's textured enough to really buff away dead skin cells but not too harsh that it irritates my skin. I really am loving dabbling in Rodial skincare products and next i would love to try their Super Acids X-treme hangover mask.
When i became pregnant with my youngest i found my teeth became more stained and even though i brushed my teeth a lot with sensitive whitening toothpaste's i could never get them quite as white as i wanted them. I was sent the Mr *Blanc Professional Teeth Whitening Kit £19.99 back in April, however i was waiting for dental work to be done and was advised by my dentist not to use until it was complete. This month i started using them and i noticed an immediate difference from the first treatment, i also like that they don't make my already sensitive teeth feel extra sensitive. I'm still completing my 2 week treatment so i will of course update people at the end. Last is a healthy item which is Green Tea. Being in an unhappy relationship i had fallen into the routine of eating unhealthy, i felt tired, unmotivated and lethargic all the time and i had cut out coffee and tea. Since being single again i have concentrated more on taking better care of myself and my diet has changed completely. I have been using the tea bags to get used to the flavour first and i picked up mine from my local Chinese herbal store here in Newmarket. I have been enjoying a nice warm cup of green tea every morning. I have noticed it picks me up and gives me a lot more energy to want to work out in the mornings and get on with daily chores, plus i personally feel it tastes better than regular tea. 

Now onto the fun stuff makeup.... woopwoop! As stated it has been a major makeup loving month. I found myself totally addicted to eyeshadow palettes this month and found so many amazing ones i am just dying to share with you all. My newest love of the month is my *Lorac Pro 2 Palette £49.99 which i have owned for well over a year now, however i never found myself reaching for it; but now that the colder months are here i have been loving it. I will be doing a blog post on this palette shortly so keep your eyes peeled. Now i am just longing for the Lorac Pro Matte palette on the Roses Beauty Store website.
I have loved Zoeva Makeup brushes for a couple of years now and they are amazing quality so i decided to try out some of their makeup items hoping they would be the same quality and boy oh boy did they deliver! I picked up three of the eyeshadow palettes and fell in love with the quality and pigmentation of them all, i found myself reaching for my Zoeva Cocoa blend palette £15.50 on days i wanted more of a warm toned eye-look but my favourite palette this past month by them has been the New Zoeva En Taupe palette £15.50, which is the perfect cool toned taupe everyday palette. I personally think cool-toned eyeshadows are beautiful against my dark brown eyes and this palette is amazing for the price point. Zoeva eyeshadows really can rival high-end eyeshadow brands.
Talking about high-end eyeshadow brands in my eyes the queen brand of high-end eyeshadow's is Viseart. If i had to recommend any high-end palette that is a must have, then it would definitely be a Viseart eyeshadow palette, the quality and pigmentation of them are just phenomenal!!!! The Viseart Neutral Matte 01 Palette £59.95 is a staple everyday neutral eyeshadow palette. These are the longest wearing eyeshadows that i have ever used. Viseart are an amazing French brand who make all of their products in France by hand..... no Chinese imports here like the Morphe rip offs that have come out. In fact i will be purchasing some of the Morphe Viseart knock off palettes to do a comparison for you all, however i am sure you already know how i feel about cosmetics coming from China if you read my Fake Mac blogpost. 

Some looks i created with the palettes....

Keeping on the Theme of Chinese imports the generic concealer palettes are usually something i avoid, however OPV sent me a bunch of their cosmetics to test out and the *OPV 15 Colour Concealer Palette £26.99 was one of them. As i am getting older i am started to find my MAC Studio fix concealer a bit too drying on my skin so i decided to give this palette a try and they are super soft with amazing coverage. I have found myself using a shade that matches my skin-tone to spot conceal, a peachy shade to counteract the darkness i have under the eyes and a yellow for highlighting and brightening under my eye circle's to make my face looks more wide awake. I find the concealer fairly long-wearing and it doesn't crease like a lot of my thicker more emollient concealers.
I have also loved the Diorskin Nude Concealer £20.70 which is a skin-perfecting hydrating concealer, it is not as full coverage as my Nars Radiant Creamy concealer but its super hydrating and i have less dry under eyes since using this. If you suffer with super dry under eyes or have more mature skin in need of hydration then i would highly recommend giving this concealer a try. I have the shade 002 beige which is my skin-tone shade so i do think i will invest in 001 and mix the 2 together for a brighter look. However i do team these concealers with the Make Up For Ever Step1 skin Equalizer Smoothing Primer £13-£24 i apply it very lightly under my eyes ( over top of a thick hydrating eye cream ) it helps to reduce creasing and makes my under eyes look 50% better than they do without the primer. I also use it in my t-zone. The BECCA Backlight Priming Filter £32 has been my go to primer for adding a soft focus glow to the skin. Packed full of  antioxidants its also beneficial for my skin.
I finally started testing out some more of the Drugstore foundations i picked up from Superdrug a couple of months back and i have fallen back in love with the Loreal True Match Foundation £9.99 i am in the shade Golden Beige which is pretty much spot on but it does oxidise and get a bit darker so i will need to buy the shade below and mix. It provides a medium to buildable full coverage. I swear Loreal reformulated their foundation as i don't remember it being this amazing before, i also prefer the more sleek packaging. It looks natural on the skin not matte but not dewy either, a pretty satin-like finish. My skin looks flawless, however i have found that it has made my skin more oily again. So deep cleansing is a must at night after wearing this foundation.

Moving onto more face products I have only used one face powder to set my makeup all month and that has been the Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Sheer Powder £39. It is so light and gives my skin a natural lit-from-within glow. It doesn't cake up at all and is pretty much undetectable on the skin, one of the best face powders on the market. If it helped to combat oil also it would be my favourite face powder ever. 
I put down my mauve toned blushes this month and found myself reaching for more peachy tones that give a beautiful glow to the skin, and no blush does that better than the Milani Luminoso baked blusher £6. There is a reason it is one of the most popular blushes out there and one of my all time favourites. Luminoso gives the most pretiest peachy-glow to the cheeks that an be worn all year round, i also find it compliments blue and cool toned taupe eyeshadows perfectly. I do wish it had better longevity as i have to reapply a few hours later, but for £6 who can complain?
It has been a major highlighter loving month and i have mostly found myself loving natural highlights especially the Rodial Instaglam illuminating powder £52. Rodial's makeup definitely doesn't get enough recognition out there in the beauty industry and i am sure it is because of their expensive price point, but when i tell you the money is indeed worth it, then believe it. I have used the Rodial instaglam highlighter everyday now for over 2 months now and it barely looks used, the powder is extremely finely milled so your brush barely needs to touch the product to get pigmentation. This highlighter took over my love for the Kevyn Aucoin Celestial powder in Candlelight, it is also ideal for more mature skin as it has the most minuscule shimmer particles i have ever seen in a highlight. I wouldn't recommend this for deeper skin-tones as it can appear a stark, however on fair to light medium skin-tones it is simply stunning. Plus check out that beautiful packaging! Speaking about beautiful packaging everyone knows i am a Gold packaging addict, anything gold or rose gold i am all over like a magpie so i added the Natasha Denona Glow shimmer Powder in 01-Light $38 to my ever growing highlighter collection. I did not purchase this highlighter because of the packaging but because i had watched Natasha beating girls faces beautifully for months on Youtube, and after seeing my friend BriannaStanko talk about it in one of her haul video's i decided to give a couple of Natasha's products a try. The highlighter is a mix in between a Becca and a Kevyn Aucoin highlighter, it's not too intense but it builds up to be more intense if you desire and it does contain glitter particles. It swatches more opaque on my finger than it does on the cheeks so i do have to build it up to get the glow i desire. It is a soft peachy champagne-gold which i feel is best suited towards light to light-medium skin-tones. I will also be adding no.2 to my collection after the New Year along with some of her eyeshadow palettes and brushes.
To set my make up in place i have been loving the Pixi Makeup Fixing Mist £16. Though it is not as fine upon spraying than some of my other setting sprays, it smells divine ( i love the aroma of sweet green tea and roses ) and it helps to keep my makeup in place all day. It doesn't help to combat oil which would have been a bonus but hopefully Petra will create an oil combating primer in the future, i know if she did i would be first in line to buy it. 

Being a bit backwards at times i am heading back to eye products lol. I decided to pick up a House of Lashes Ribbon Eyelash Case $6 to store my false lashes, simply because i got tired of my son being freaked out by what he considered to be 'tarantulas' around the house when i took them off and forgot to put them back into the packets lol. He has such a vivid imagination.... I can store three pairs of lashes i am rotating in this case; Plus look at it, doesn't it look super cute? The lashes currently inside are lashes i have been sent by an upcoming  lash brand that you shall hear about shortly on my blog, so watch this space... I will say that so far i really like them they are easy to apply, one pair is standard and the top pair are mink lashes.
I am a creature of comfort when it comes to mascaras and around 90% on the market fail me as i always experience transferring under my eyes, even with waterproof mascaras; However i fell in love with 2 mascaras this fall/winter the first being the Maybelline Lash Sensational mascara £7.99. Yes you read right Maybelline!!! I know right!!.... I have tried every single Maybelline mascara and i have HATED every single one! It was actually recommended to me by my baby sister Rochelle ( hey Chel ) and even though shes blessed to have more thicker and fuller lashes than myself, i thought i would give it a go and it was love at first try. The mascara has a small curved silicone brush that bends easily around every lash. The consistency is not too wet so it grips to every lash building up thickness and adding a bit of length also, it is the only drugstore mascara along with the Maxfactor Masterpiece Max mascara that does not transfer on me. 
The second mascara is the YSL BabyDoll Mascara £22.50 ( in black ) which does transfer a tiny bit on me but the beautiful lash results it gives is worth the bit of transfer in my eyes. I find it wears around 7 hours before it transfers under my eyes, so i use it as my go to daily mascara when i just want to add extra length with a bit of a brighter eye look. It has a long silicone brush head with tiny bristles that gets around every lash, even the tiniest ones you didn't even know you had. It adds amazing length and separates your lashes without looking too clumpy giving that doll-eyed wide awake effect. I really do love YSL mascaras and though they can flake they are some of my favourite on the market. 
Something replaced my holy Grail Anastasia Brow Wiz and that is the Soap and Glory Brow Archery Pencil £8 in Hot Chocolate. It is my perfect brow shade, i had to try a few from Anastasia to find my perfect shade ( chocolate ) but it is half the price. The Soap and Glory only has 2 generic shades but this is perfect for anyone with dark brows like myself. My brows are actually black like my eyelashes which is strange because my hair is not black at all lol, i definitely got more of my dad's genes when it came to my brow game.... After months of not wearing liquid eyeliner because i just look like i have put two curved ticks at the end of my 'hooded eyes' i decided to give liquid liner a try again and went back to my Holy grail eyeliner the Rimmel GlamEyes Liquid Eye Liner £5.29. It is in my eyes the best liquid eyeliner in the drugstore, in fact its better than a lot of the high end ones. I am so picky about my eyeliners and no do not own many as once i find what i like i tend to stick to it. The brush is extremely thin with a super pointed tip. I use the eyeliner to thinly coat along the top of my lash-line to help my lashes appear fuller and to also cover up my false lashes band, it's super black and lasts all day without wearing away or flaking on me. Its so easy to use its impossible to mess up using this liner.

Swatches L-R: Labelle Bare - Nars Chelsea Girls - Tom Ford Rose Crush - Mac Captive

It has pretty much been a nude lip month to go along with all of my deeper and more brighter eyeshadow looks i have been creating, with the exception of one of my all time favourite fall time lipsticks MAC Captive Lipstick £15.50 which is a mauvey-pink with a touch of plum. I team it with a dark plum lip liner and it suits my medium-light, warm toned complexion perfectly. I find that it makes a statement without it being too much for daytime wear. I love Mac Satin lipsticks i find them pretty long wearing and not as dry and the matte lipstick formulations. They aren't glossy like a cremesheen lipstick but they aren't quite matte either, i would say a mix in between. Right now onto my Nudes, the only type of nudes i take photos of ;) hehe. The *Labelle Matte Lip Cream in Bare £9.99 has made it onto my lips A LOT this month, it flatters any deep eye look. I do recommend exfoliating your lips and using a lip balm and primer before applying any matte lipstick as they can be very drying, however the Labelle ones are some of my favourite on the market. I have had my Nars Chelsea Girls lip gloss £19 Since August and have worn it at least 2 days a week every week since. Im so glad i waited to buy it in the gloss form rather than the pot that it used to be in. It is the perfect Peachy-pink nude that flatters every skin tone, i reviewed it here. Lastly I love Tom Ford Lip glosses and i don't find them overly sticky, they are extremely opaque and pretty long wearing too, i know a lot of the people dislike the brush but i actually like it. The Tom Ford Ultra Shine Lip gloss in 02 Rose Crush £33 is the perfect darker nude, a kind of rosey pink with a slight hint of brown to it. On my full lips it looks sexy and i always receive compliments whenever i wear this shade out and about.

Onto the tools of the month... I purchased quite a few brushes from UlalaBeauty, Sephora, Makeup Geek and Zoeva over the past few months. I found myself getting a bit addicted to foundation buffing brushes and added the Sigma 3DHD Kabuki Brush £18.99 to my collection, i usually prefer a sponge or my Elf flat top powder brush for buffing in my liquid foundations however i am loving this brush. Ulalalabeauty.com also regularly have sales so i often get my brushes from the website with around 20-30% off. 
One of my Holy grail brushes you would have seen me mention so much over the past couple of months is the Sephora Pro Airbrush #55 brush $34 i talked more about this brush here in my Perfect foundation base blogpost. The Sephora Pro brushes are amazing and i chose this brush thanks to my beautiful friend Sarah of BeautyBuzzHub who's Sephora Pro brush collection Video you can watch here, i warn you in advance you will find yourself writing a big wish list lol. Another face brush i have enjoyed for contouring is the Makeup Geek Chiseled cheek brush $17.99. I honestly didn't think i could love another contouring brush like i do my MAC 109 or Nars Ita brushes, but i have only reached for this contouring brush all month. It does apply a harsh line which is expected with these shape brushes but as the bristles are super soft it blends out the contour powder seamlessly. Teamed with my Kevyn Aucoin Medium Sculpting powder it's utter perfection, which my chubby face needs all the sculpting it can get lol. 
Moving onto eye brushes ( the tools i am most fussy about ) I fell in love with an oldie but a goodie the Crownbrush C160-1/8 Angle Liner brush £2.29. Though this is aimed for using with eyeliner i prefer a small, thin angled brush to perfect under my brows with concealer and this brush does it perfectly. It applies the concealer with no patchiness at all, just perfectly smooth and it also blends the concealer down perfectly too so i can blend out with my finger without smudging my brows. If you struggle cleaning up your brows then i highly recommend this brush. I have small eyelid space because i have hooded eyes from excess skin, i have found the Zoeva 237 Detail Shader brush £6.95 perfect for packing shadow over the lid without eyeshadow transferring up onto my crease as it is super small and dense. Thanks to Youtuber AlissaAshley i have found techniques that help to make my hooded eyes appear larger and as a result i look more wide awake and less tired. I'm starting to gain more confidence in applying eyeshadow on myself now ( i am definitely way better on other people ) especially now that i have come to terms with my diffucult eye shape and accept that i will never have beautiful large eyelids like Carli Bybel or my friend Clare lol. There aren't a lot of YouTubers out there with hooded eyes that do tutorials, so i have been loving Alissa's channel, if you have hooded eyes i highly recommend you subscribe to her Youtube Channel
I set out to find a smaller crease brush as most tend to be large and i decided to get the Zoeva 224 Luxe defined Crease brush £6.95. It's the perfect size to put a more defined eyeshadow into my crease after applying my transition shade. I need to find a more dense brush the same size to apply colour into the outer eye area so that i don't have to use a pencil brush and a blending brush. If anyone knows of one please do let me know. Talking about densely packed brushes i have been loving my Zoeva 228 Crease brush £6.95. This brush has a tapered end and is super fluffy but also dense enough to blend out any harsh edges on the outer corner of my eye. I honestly cannot live without this brush. It's like the MAC 224 But a tad more tapered, softer and denser. Everyone needs this blending brush and what a bargain at under £7.

I had my weave taken back out again in October and after losing over half of my hair when i had it removed i left me extremely devastated and i have since decided to give up weaves for good. I took to wearing weaves three years ago to help me to achieve perfectly straight hair without having to damage my own with hair straighteners. It takes months to grow out the damaged hair that straighteners create when you have curly hair, and the hairs at the front which get straightened when i have my l;eave out take forever to match to the rest of my curls. Hence why my hairs at the front of my head are more wavy curls than the coily-curls at the back. I am extremely blessed with how much my hair has grown over the past 3 years since starting my natural hair journey. Ever since the big chop my hair has since grown from my ears to my chest. The healthier your hair is the more the curls kink up ( shrinkage ) therefor my hair is currently super healthy. Though it may be healthy i do get frizz from my hair being dehydrated, so finding a shampoo and conditioner that won't dry my hair out is a must have. Along with my prescribed medicated shampoo i need a shampoo that will cleanse without stripping my hair and also add moisture. As a huge fan of TRESemme I picked up some items from their New Moisture Rich Luxurious Moisture line. The TRESemme Moisture Rich Luxurious Shampoo £4.99 and the TRESemme Moistuire Rich Luxurious Conditioner £4.99. They are aimed to put moisture and shine back into dry or dull looking hair. I need products to add shine and give my hair definition and depth as well as the well needed moisture. The Kerastase Oleo Curl Leave in Conditioner £20.50 really helps to combat frizz and define my curls, i apply this through my damp hair before applying the Sofn' Free Gro Healthy 'Nothing But Melted Shea Butter' leave in conditioner £7.99 which i pick up from my local Afro/Caribbean hair shop called Dukels in Cambridge. The staff there are lovely and i have been shopping there since they opened years back, you can find every black hair product under the sun even Shea Moisture. I put my hair into twists and leave it to dry before unravelling the twists to leave me with defined coily curls which i always receive compliments on. To add a bit of life back into my hair once i have untwisted the coils i need something to add shine and tame frizz, so i go in with my favourite ever Argan oil the OPV Argan Oil £14.99 which i find really penetrates my hair, mixed with the Kerestase Serum Oleo Relax £20.50 my hair is left shiny and silky.

Now that you have probably had 5 cups of tea and a few barrel of biscuits while reading my post it is close to coming to an end. Have you tried any of the products i have mentioned. Do you have curly hair? What products to do like to use to help to define curls and keep your hair frizz free?

I thought i would mention some of my lifestyle favourites, it is a good way to get a little insight into my personal life and not just on beauty products. I have been getting back into a healthy routine and i have absolutely been loving mixed leaf salads, scrambled egg whites with coriander, bottled water and fresh fruit like apples and watermelon. I may not have lost a lot of weight yet but i feel so much healthier and more full of energy that i have to motivation to work out to achieve my weight loss goals. I am still trying to work on my posture and of course get to the healthy size 12 i was before i had Alba, i am currently a 12-14 and even though i do not look 'fat' ( i hate that terminology ) i have weight in areas that i would like to get rid of that does affect my confidence. I know my body will never be perfect after delivering 4 babies over the past 11 years, but i know i can get it to a point where i feel confident, happy and healthy again.
Mental health is something I have not mentioned on my blog before but a mid way through the year I was diagnosed with Extreme anxiety and Agoraphobia. It came out of nowhere when i moved home and i found myself becoming withdrawn, unmotivated and i developed a huge fear of leaving my house. I became more paranoid about getting sick and having panic attacks and felt i was safer in my house. I started self therapy, or what they call 'Exposure therapy' to take steps to overcome my fears. Over the past few months i have overcome so much and i now make sure i leave the house more. Now i am happier in myself I find myself more excited to blog and have been blogging most evenings in my spare time for fun, my blog posts seem to be more consecutive, im getting more traffic and attending more events too. I have also decided to relax in the evenings and watch a few TV shows that i thoroughly enjoy. Criminal Minds, The Affair, Obsessive Compulsive Cleaners and First Dates. Most of my life i have had people tell me i should start my own match-making/dating company since my match rate is extremely high with over 90% of people i have matched being married with children or engaged. First dates is amazing for me to watch.... the beginning of potentially new love, observing the body language and chemistry, it just does something magical to me and i feel extremely happy watching it. I think i am a romantic at heart, i just don't show it lol. Criminal minds has been my favourite program for 11 years now and it's still going strong, i honestly hope it never ends like CSI or i will cry.... no really! The Affair was a program i never thought i would get into but i am completely hooked. Some would shy away from this sort of program because of the psychological aspect and the steamy sex scenes ( probably not ideal for those who are shy when it comes to sex and intimacy, something i am not ) but i find the show to be psychologically challenging and i long to unravel more of the story line with each episode. It shows different angles of how people see certain situations which just goes to show there really is two sides to every story. I really enjoyed studying Psychology in University and am always fascinated with the human brain, how people think, what makes them act a certain way etc. Obsessive Compulsive cleaners is now on its third season and it is always nice to see others who love cleaning and feel that they need to do it as much as i do ( germs and getting ill remember lol ). Another thing i am excited about is that i will be helping throughout a couple of local homeless shelters throughout these colder months. I am very fortunate that my children have a father and a grandfather who are very much involved and don't mind taking them so that i can help out. I truly love helping others ( i volunteer for women's aid ) and if i can make other people feel good then i am all for that. Now that it is the 1st of December this will be my last monthly favourites post of 2015, Decembers will be my yearly favourites showing all of my Holy Grail products for the year. ...

Would you ever help anyone less fortunate than yourself over the holiday period when they feel the most alone? If you made it to the end of this post leave a comment saying which product you would love to try that i mentioned.

Thanks for Reading Lovelies

Jamey xo

*This post may contain some PR Samples which are marked with an (*)
*Disclaimer - I only add links to websites i personally recommend or use.
All opinions are my own and you can read my full disclaimer here.

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