This year, skincare has become extremely important to me. I’ve spent a lot of time (and money!) investing in various products to suit my combination skin, and I’m happy to say that I think I’ve found a winning combination. I’ve also been wearing make-up for years now, and I’m pretty happy with how my face ends up looking after 45 minutes in front of a mirror, plus an extra five minutes spent on my hair, so I decided to take you on a tour of my cosmetics and toiletries drawer. For reference, here’s my face and hair on a good day, as well as close-ups of the products.
(P.S.: Some of the items I’ll be highlighting are not cruelty free, and I am currently using up these products before making the swap to a cruelty free alternative. I will make it clear which items are and aren’t cruelty free, and whether they’re vegetarian or vegan.)
The best products inside my make-up bag:
Barry M Chisel Cheeks Contour Kit in Light-Medium (Cruelty free and vegan)
Even though I bought the lightest colour palette, the lightest powder pretty much matches my skin tone and the darkest powder makes me look half starved. So, I use the middle shade to contour and the next product to highlight.
Barry M Illuminating Strobe Cream in Frosty Pink (Cruelty free and vegan)
I absolutely love this cream: it’s very easy to control whether you want a subtle glow or to shine bright like a diamond. I don’t use blusher because my cheeks are naturally pretty rosy, so I like the subtle pink colour of this cream to give my skin more of a glow.
Soap and Glory Archery Brow Tint and Precision Pencil in Love Is Blonde (Cruelty free, unsure if vegetarian or vegan)
This is the eyebrow product I’ve been using for years, and I can’t see myself straying from Soap and Glory. My eyebrow hair isn’t as dark as the hair on my head, so I use the brow tint to darken the hair whilst using the pencil to fill in any gaps. And believe me, my thin eyebrows always have loads of gaps.
Arbonne It’s A Long Story Mascara (Cruelty free and vegan)
A couple of months ago I was sent a sample sized tube of this mascara by Arbonne rep Tori Waight, and I absolutely love it! I’ve been using it sparingly to try and make it last as long as possible, but it makes my eyelashes look beautifully long, and it never clumps. Full disclosure: I was sent this with a selection of other Arbonne products for free, but I had no obligation to publish a review and this is 100% my unbiased opinion.
Some stunning skincare essentials:
Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water for sensitive skin (NOT cruelty free, unsure if vegetarian or vegan)
Garnier was one of the first brands to jump on the micellar water bandwagon, and their waters are some of the best on the market. Unfortunately Garnier are not a cruelty free brand so once my current bottle is empty, I’ll be seeking out a cruelty free alternative.
Simple Kind To Skin Cleansing Facial Wipes (NOT cruelty free, vegan)
On the odd occasion where I’m too lazy to use micellar water to remove my make-up, or if I’m not wearing make-up on a particular day and I want to refresh my skin, I’ll use these facial wipes. They leave my skin soft and refreshed. Again, they aren’t cruelty free so I’ll be finding an alternative soon.
Lush Vanishing Cream Moisturiser (Cruelty free and vegetarian)
Vanishing Cream has become my absolute lifesaver, and I genuinely cannot imagine myself living without it. It has a wonderful lavender fragrance, and it’s the most intensely moisturising cream I’ve ever used, which is perfect for me and my dry, dry skin. I can definitely believe Lush’s claim that this is one of their bestselling products.
The Body Shop British Rose Instant Glow Body Butter (Cruelty free, but owned by a parent company which isn’t cruelty free, unsure if vegetarian or vegan)
I absolutely love anything rose scented, so this body butter is perfect for me. It sinks into the skin so quickly and leaves my arms and legs soft and smooth, with no signs of dry skin, peeling, or the dreaded scaly-looking lizard legs.
Lush Elbow Grease Moisturising Bar (Cruelty free and vegetarian)
I bought this product to help me along the process of healing my tattoos, because when my tattoos get scabby and dry, a hit of Elbow Grease helps to calm the itchiness. Plus, I like to use it on my already healed tattoos to help them appear brighter. The smell of this product is absolutely divine too!
The Body Shop British Rose Petal Soft Hand Cream (Cruelty free, but owned by a parent company which isn’t cruelty free, unsure if vegetarian or vegan)
Like the Body Butter mentioned above, I love the fragrance of this hand cream. It absorbs into the skin super quickly and leaves my hands feeling soft and smooth. My current part-time cleaning job means I’ve constantly got my hands in water or using chemicals, so I need a decent hand cream to keep my hands from completely drying out.
My weekly lip care product:
Lush Popcorn Lip Scrub (Cruelty free and vegan)
This scrub helps to prevent the build up of dead skin, especially during winter when my lips get hella chapped. Plus, the coconut oil in the formulation means that this scrub isn’t too harsh on my lips.
Everyday hair styling:
Lush Hair Custard Hair Dressing (Cruelty free and vegetarian)
The scent of this product is absolutely divine, and it works as a medium hold product to keep my flyaway hairs in place. It’s great value for money as well, as I’ve been using my tub since July and I’ve hardly made a dent in it!
Cien Hairspray (Cruelty free, unsure if vegetarian or vegan)
Even though this Lidl hairspray is a much cheaper alternative to other high street brands, it’s a brilliant hairspray. It doesn’t get sticky and has a brilliant hold, so I’d recommend it to anyone.