I referenced this advent calendar in my Gift Guide for Girls, my sister had given it to me and it seemed like such a great idea. 24 mini beauty products and the childlike excitement of opening a new door everyday to see what lies behind. I was so excited.
(The husband says that it represents everything that’s wrong with consumerism… but he’s a bit of a grumpy bugger…)
Anyway, moving on, I thought I would do a round-up of the cosmetics featured, my likes, dislikes and personal favourites. I can safely say that I will definitely be purchasing some!
I have divided this post into two parts, so as to keep it manageable (and because I needed a chance to test them all out!)
Day 1 – Amie Deep Pore Exfoliating Polish
A light and cleansing scrub full of mini buffing beads which leave your face squeaky clean. Day-to-day I
am too lazy to wear make-up only wear sunscreen and so I saved this cleanser for the morning after a night out (read: Christmas Party, the first of many).
Having removed my makeup
right before stepping in the shower the night before, I applied it in the shower the next morning and gently buffed away all residual remnants of foundation etc. leaving my skin feeling remarkably fresh.
Day 2 – Batiste XXL Volumising Powder
I have long been a huge Batiste fan – show me a girl who says she doesn’t use dry shampoo and I’ll show you a liar! Just kidding, you all probably wash your hair far more often than I do, but I digress…
Aside from my brunette dry shampoo I had never tried any Batiste products, but luckily it is Christmas party season so I had ample opportunity to give this a go (that is the other wonderful thing about this calendar, it is exactly the right time of year to want to sample 24 new beauty products!)
I found that this did exactly what it said on the tin and did give me some extra volume at the roots, but I also found it really sticky. Not unpleasant enough to give up on it, but more trial and research needed, I think. Anyone have any tips?
Day 3 – Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm
I really wanted to like this tinted lip balm – the colour is a pretty pink, but the overwhelming natural waxy smell really put me off. Once I applied it that was all I could smell, being right under my nose, and it was very unpleasant.
Day 4 – Balance Me Wonder Eye Cream
I was excited to trial this as I’ve been a fan of other Balance Me products. I found it to be light and pleasingly mint scented, not sticky or oily, gently tap with your ring finger into the skin under and around your eyes to improve dark circles and fine lines. I haven’t noticed a huge difference so far but I probably need to use it for a little longer.
Day 5 – Dermatologica Clear Start Breakout Clearing Foaming Wash
This is marketed as an acne fighting foaming wash – which (fortunately) isn’t really an issue that I have. Nevertheless I found it to be a nice foaming cleanser with the signature Dermalogica scent. Full of Salicylic acid and botanicals including tea tree and lavender it left my skin feeling nice and clean and didn’t irritate at all.
Day 6 – Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Daily Cleansing Pads
These reminded me a little of the Magic Pads which I use from time to time when my skin needs a boost. Living in a tropical climate I use products containing glycolic acid (and retinoids) sparingly (and in the evening) because it increases your skin’s sensitivity to sunlight. Overall I liked the pads, they gave a deep clean and my skin felt tighter after using them.
Day 7 – Egyptian Magic All Purpose Skin Cream
Something of a cult beauty product with many a-list fans including Madonna and Rachael Zoe, there has been a lot of hype surrounding this little pot and I was excited to try it. Beautifully smooth and nourishing you can use it on your lips, skin and hair. Basically anywhere! So far I’ve only really used it as a lip balm and moisturizer but I’m keen to find more use for it. I love the fact that it’s all natural ingredients with none of the nasties you so often find lurking in skin products.
Day 8 – Elemis Pro-Radiance Illuminating Flash Balm
This moisturizing balm is very heavily perfumed, which could put some users off. I liked the scent but it is worth noting that it’s very strong. A little of this goes a long way, especially if you’re using it as a primer, too much and you will have trouble layering your makeup on top. Overall I think I preferred it as a moisturizer.
Day 9 – Glam Candy ‘I Hydrate Your Face’ Moisturiser
Another strongly scented moisturizer – it smelled very herbal, I think it was the Bergamot. Overall the problem that I have with all of the moisturizers received is that they offer no SPF protection – which is a bit of a necessity for me.
Day 10 – Jane Irdale Smooth Affair
I really enjoyed using this brightening primer, it feel like a light serum and has a pleasing citrus scent. It looked like it had a touch of highlighter in it and I do think that it helped brighten my skin.
Day 11 – Murine Bright & Moist Eyes
Supposedly whitening but definitely refreshing, overall I can’t say that I found them any better or worse than any other brand of eye drops but I was most grateful to receive them. A very useful addition to my beauty arsenal during Christmas party season when I’d had a few too many late nights…
Day 12 – MOA Green Balm
I have to confess – I’m not actually sure what this does… but it seems to work along the lines of the Egyptian Magic cream. An all purpose skin balm with a strong tea-tree scent. I imagine that it would be a great natural healing balm for scrapes and burns.
Has anyone else tried any of these products and do you have any tips? Any thoughts or recommendations for ‘must have’ beauty products that I should try?