Last week I had my first holiday of 2015 yey! My parents were in Dubai and we all went on a cruise that went from Dubai, visiting Muscat, Khasab and Abu Dhabi. Today it is all back to reality, my parents have gone back to the UK this morning and I am at the hospital for a progress check and a scan to check for any cancer regrowth.
I thought I would share some of my favourites from my holiday with you.
I packed four of the Tom Ford Lips and Boys mini lipsticks (£26) but Michael was the one I reached for the most for a pop of colour in the evening. You can see swatches here. I really like the rich glossy finish and it has decent lasting power and an even fade.
The No 7 Stay Perfect Foundation (£14.50) is a new discovery and offers decent coverage and lasting power and doesn't get too shiny too quickly. I would liken this to something like Armani Lasting Silk, it has a medium dewy finish and is best buffed in with a brush. This shade is Cool Vanilla which is a shade too dark for my skin normally (NW15 in MAC) but works well when I have a light tan (I can just see all my friends laughing at my 'tan'). It's a pretty bargainous price too.
I am loathe to write anything positive about NARS at the moment as I am having a terrible time with NARS UK customer service but three NARS items appear in these favourites. NARS Copacabana Illuminator (£22.50 for a full size one) is a beautiful pink/silver highlight that I like to mix with my foundation for a bit of an extra dewy boost. It can be worn under, over or mixed with foundation or used as a spot highlighter. It's very light in texture and adds radiance without sparkle to the skin.
NARS Deep Throat (£22.50) is my all time favourite blush and paired with Tom Ford 'Michael' it gives an amazing brightness to the face. Deep Throat is just blush perfection, a pinky golden peach. It's not hugely shimmery it's just 'glow'. I hope NARS never stop making it.
The NARS Multiple (£30) above is the shade Tuomota which is now discontinued which means I must have had it a while! This shade is perfect for when I have a bit of a tan, I can literally swipe it over my face and blend for a bronzed look, or I can use it as a very quick contour by swiping it straight under my cheekbones and blending. The shade is perfect for cool toned girls like me and I am sure NARS do something similar now. I have been a long time fan of The Multiple, I think it was the first thing I ever bought from NARS. They're super creamy and blend so easily. They come in a range of shades and are multipurpose- they can be used on lips, eyes, cheeks and skin.
I threw The Body Shop Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil (£10) into my bag as a last minute decision and it's so good. I like it even more than the La Mer The Cleansing Oil even though the La Mer one is super pretty!
I have been using this as my first 'make up removing' cleanse in the evening and this oil is brilliant for breaking down makeup. I apply three pumps to my hand and then massage it into dry skin before adding water, massaging it a little more and then removing with a damp flannel. I then cleanse again with a milk based cleanser. It's really important to remove oils with a flannel I think personally, to ensure there is no residue left behind. My skin is left really soft and clean and it's safe to use around the eyes. It's a big hit with me! I can't believe it is only £10! It's also mineral oil free which is very important to me.
For SPF on my face I stuck to something with Factor 50 as I burn very easily. I picked up the Caudalie Soleil Divin SPF50 (£20) in my local pharmacy here in Dubai and I thought it was really great. I didn't burn at all using this-it's matte on the skin, not greasy or sticky and I only reapplied it once a day when I was sunbathing. It also didn't break me out which is a huge bonus.
SPF can be known to clog pores and cause breakouts as it is designed to 'stick' to the skin so it is really important to ensure you cleanse thoroughly at the end of the day to remove it. The Body Shop oil is perfect for this as it breaks down make up, grime, SPF etc really effectively.
I did a full review of the Jo Malone Dry Body Oil in Velvet Rose and Oud (£48) here in December and it is still a firm favourite. I love dry body oils after sunbathing because it feels so nourishing as well as smelling amazing. I have been combining it with Pomegranate Noir in the evenings after a long day sunbathing on deck!
My last holiday favourite are my very well loved and a bit battered Gina Athena sandals (£485) in the colour Mink. Although the shade Mink isn't currently available, the Athena is part of the core collection and is released every year in new shades.
I love this shoes so much-they make any outfit dressy, they are really comfortable and they are so sparkly. I wear mine all the time and they're still in good condition.
Let me know if you have tried and loved any of these products as much as I do!