Best Buys in 2014: Nail Polish, Skincare, Haircare and Toolsnedelja, december 28, 2014
I've dealt with the makeup bits in the first part and now it's time for all the rest. You can find posts from previous years here: 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 Part 1 (make up) and Part 2 (skincare, hair and fragrance).
This is without a doubt one of my favourite shades ever in my entire nail polish stash. I love such dark vampy colour especially in colder months. Sole Mate is a beautiful plum-bordeaux shade (supposedly a dupe for Chanel's Rouge Noire) with an amazing quality formula and that fabulous Essie brush. In general Essie's have been knocking my socks off time and time again this year.
You have no idea how long I've been searching for a fully opaque nude shade that would suit my complexion. I think I started looking for it when I was fourteen and there have been many missed purchases in these years until I found this perfection in a bottle. Spin the Bottle is the perfect peachy nude nail polish and the formula is just spectacular. You wouldn't believe you're applying a pastel-like nail polish, in fact it behaves almost like a crelly red or something similar. Such a shame this is a limited edition because I've been wearing it loads and I fear the day it will run out.
A classic red that I've been wearing a whole lot this year simply because people around me love it when I wear red on my nails. The formula is again amazing and even though all nail polishes last ages on me, I do notice that Essies perform better than cheaper ones.
Firstly I'd like to say that I'm a simple girl who doesn't like to stray away from the classic creamy or jelly finish when it comes to nail polish, so for a glittery nail polish to impress me it needs to be truly spectacular to justify the lengthy removal process. And Aurora is exactly that - spectacular. It's a rose gold/light pink glitter polish with densely packed differently sized glitter. I love the effect on the nails as it looks so glamorous and pretty, almost like crushed diamonds on the nails.
Obviously this was going to be in here, I have, after all, been talking almost non-stop about it since I got it. This has an amazing galaxy effect on the nails. It has a duo chrome blue-purple base that turns the black nail polish into a navy blue and here are also different sizes of glitter and flakes that give a starry sky effect. For some reason that I can't fathom, Essence decided to discontinue this in their newest line revamp, so if you want it, be quick about it.
I know, it's a regular black nail polish, so what? But there is a good reason it gained its place in this post and it is all due to the formula. It's really, really good and miles away from that rubbish Essence's black nail polish I owned years ago. The formula is super smooth with a crelly finish and opaque with two easy coats. The shine of these is amazing even without a top coat. I must say Essence really did a great job with these.
I've finally found the perfect morning cleaner and for a ridiculously cheap price (it's 1.51 €!). It looks like those whipped creams in a can and the mousse actually resembles whipped cream a bit due to the super dense texture. The fluffy mousse feels so lovely on the skin and I find it not at all drying, which is a rarity since most mousses cause dry patches on my skin. I also adore the scent of it, which is a big plus for me.
The best moisturiser I've had the pleasure to use so far and it really is so good. It's light, yet properly moisturising and it sinks in super fast leaving behind a velvet semi-matte finish making it an excellent base for makeup. The skin looks so healthy after using this and in general the skin improves over time in terms of hydration levels. The only "problem" , besides the eye watering price of course, is that it's stored in a pot and I feel a tube would be more hygienic. My pot is all but empty and I will miss this so much.
As a frequent waterproof mascara wearer, a good remover that would do the job as quickly and effectively as possible is something I highly covet. This removes my eye makeup with such ease and what I really appreciate is that it doesn't make my vision foggy nor does it leave my skin quite as greasy like every other duo-phase remover does. Unlike most other cheap ones I've tried, when I shake this so the two parts mix, the lighter part actually stays suspended and both fluids are mixed meaning they don't just separate after a second as most do. If only it weren't so expensive, but at least my sample size has been going strong for quite a while, as due to effectiveness, I get to use a lot less than other removers.
This is the perfect sunscreen as far as my preferences go. It's incredibly light, not at all sticky or gross feeling on the skin and due to the sheer neutral-toned light tint, there is no white cast whatsoever. It also protect really well. It's a fantastic product, but I fear they won't re-release it next year as it was this year' LE (I've still seen some bottles in certain DMs).
Though I was initial unimpressed by this cleanser, its long term effect won me over. In those months that I've been using it, my skin looked so healthy and there wasn't a blemish in sight. Only Balance Me Cleanse and Smooth Face Balm kept my skin in such good condition. As the name suggests it's a creamy cleanser, so great for skin that is prone to dry patches like mine.
My favourite shower discovery of the year, even though I'm not amazed by its scrubbing abilities (I like mine harsh). It's the texture that sold me, since it's something quite unexpected for a product that is so affordable. For me this is a luxurious-feeling every day body wash and it starts off as a gel with sparse scrubby particles which then transforms into an oil-creamy foam. So basically it feels lovely to use, smells great and it's affordable.
I've never before actually used up a deodorant before it stopped working on me, let alone repurchase one, rather I kept swapping them very frequently for years. However, much to my astonishment I'm already using my third Rexona stick deodorant and it's still doing its job. I think I've found my HG. The only bad thing are the white marks, however, I can forgive that.
I always double my deodorant meaning I use a stick or a roll-on one and then a spray on top. It's my technique to make sure that deodorant don't lose their mojo on me too fast and it keeps me fresh longer. Pearl & Beauty is my absolute favourite spray deodorant for two reasons - 1. it actually works because there is some sort of a powder added in it, so it absorbs moisture and 2. it smells so lovely - powdery floral and just very feminine. I really like it and it works fantastically in combination with Rexona as it keeps me dry (enough) and fresh super long. By the way, this one leaves white marks as well if you spray too much.
Universal cream with cheery scent
This is one of the best cheap thrills (1.17 €) I discovered this year and definitely one with the cutest packaging featuring a retro design. Though it's a universal cream, which brings associations of thick, greasy creams, this is actually very light, fast absorbent and yet still very moisturising. Due to the fact it sinks in within a minute, I use this as a hand cream and I'm a person who dislikes hand creams, therefore avoid using them. It smells like cherry cola and can be used on the body, face or lips. Love this.
Jana from Small Bits of Loveliness hooked me on this whole body brushing business. I actually bought it for one purpose and that is to exfoliate the skin as I have a huge problem with ingrown hairs on my legs. The brushing "massage" is almost a bit addictive because it just feels so nice. It exfoliates the skin, assists in improving vascular blood circulation and lymphatic drainage, but you should google it you want to read more about it because that is all I know. I really love this particular brush because it's the smallest I could find and it fits into my child-size hands well, not to mention how soft (but not too soft) the bristles are.
a.k.a. L'ORÉAL Elvive Smooth Intense Anti-Frizz Shampoo
I always get excited when I find a good drugstore shampoo and I think this one beats all of them, even some high-end shampoos I've tried. It's like a cousin shampoo to my beloved Kérastase Oleo-Relax, it also promises the same things as that one and it does indeed have a similar effect in terms of that it feels like some conditioner was added in it and the hair feels a bit silky when you're rinsing it off. It doesn't leave my hair so squeaky clean that's it's dried out and it smells nicer than Oleo-Relax. I'm really enjoying using this.
I bought this just for fun and didn't expect to like it a lot, since my hair hardly needs any additional texture due to dryness and coarseness. And yet it was love from first spray. I really like to use it just after curling the hair as it just makes the curls look a bit better. It's like a dry shampoo on steroids, meaning it gives a lot of grip and a bit of hold, so it's like a dry shampoo-light hairspray hybrid or a dry version of a salt spray (it does have sea salt in it). I used it on my profile picture on the right.
This is a very similar product to the VO5 Dry Texturising spray, I don't even know if I really notice a difference between the two, but maybe this one gives a bit more hold. Again it's like a dry salt spray mixed with a light hold hairspray meaning it gives a bit of grip, texture and hold, and yes it does make your hair a bit "hairspray stiff" if you use a lot, however, if you use a small amount it feels like nothing is on your hair. In combination with a hairspray it helps a lot the curls to last longer. I used it here.
I call this my ultimate frizz taming little helper. It really makes a noticeable difference on rebellious hair and helps tame it, but it's light enough that you don't feel in on the hair. It's also a pretty good leave-in conditioner and it helps the hair fight off dryness for longer.
These are so awesome! I could never find decent sectioning clips for a reasonable price here, so I ordered these from eBay and they are so good. They feel so professional and well made with the matte rubberised texture, you'd never think they were so cheap. I use them all the time when I blow-dry my hair to clip the hair out of the way or to create volume or curls - just brilliant stuff.
I'm a huge fan of Hugo Boss Nuit pour Femme and this is a cheap dupe for it. To me it smells pretty much the same and I utterly adore this scent even though it's so unremarkable. It smells like peaches from the start and then turns into an expensive fabric softener scent. So it's a clean, but a sophisticated scent. Considering the price (I actually paid just 4 €) the staying power is very decent.
Vineyard Peach is my favourite scent ever, so I was exhilarated when I heard about the launch of the body mist in this scent. It took a lot of effort to finally track it down, but I couldn't be more pleased. It smells so much like the real ripe peaches mixed with just a bit of peach yoghurt, but since it's a body mist the lasting power is poor.
Oh, me and my penchant for Refan fragrances. This is a wonderful scent for someone with a sweet tooth like me. It smells like an expensive box of pralines with a fruity filling, but not completely gourmand because of the floral notes and patchouli. These imitations don't really differ from the originals as far as I can tell and I've had tons of them, but they do go bad after three years.
These are so good, especially considering the price (5 €). They are the perfect size, shape and density for blending concealer under the eyes, applying a base eyeshadow on the lids and setting powder under the eyes. They especially shine at concealer blending as they perform so much better than foundation brushes or even fingers.
I never expected such a brilliant brush for such an affordable price (3 €). It's an excellent super soft blending brush that I use also for applying a gentle wash of colour in the crease or on the lids, but it obviously performs best at blending and softening the eyeshadows.
This brush is ridiculously soft, softer even than Real Techniques brushes, but still dense enough to pick up enough colour and apply it on the cheeks. I tend to use it sideways, meaning that I use the narrower part of the tapered brush and it works with most blushes, except if they are exceptionally light as it's quite a fluffy brush and in that case it doesn't pick up enough colour.
This became my powder brush that I use for applying Bourjois Pudre the Riz. I never liked finishing powders because they made my foundation look so cakey and obvious, but this brush is so soft and fluffy that it deposits the perfect thin veil of product. It also works great for applying a touch of bronzer (especially if you're pale and fear you'll over-apply) and pigmented blushes.
This just may be one of the niftiest and innovative beauty tools there is. I'm still over the moon that I got this from the people at Glossy (thank you again). It's so handy and it protects the brushes from getting ruined because it makes sure that all the water drains off vertically and makes sure that it doesn't stagnate in the ferrule where it may dissolve the glue. It holds 14 brushes, but I can easy put two or even three into some of the bigger openings. It's collapsible, so it doesn't take a lot of space and you can keep it stored in a drawer or some place else and can be quickly assembled together.
I tackled my problem with stubborn straight lashes head on and shelled out for this little wand. It really only works after the lashes have already been curled and mascara was applied, so it only makes a slightly better curl, but more importantly it makes it last longer. I find it really helps to give the outer lashes that fluttery look since it lifts and combs them so they point outwards (these are the lashes that are squashed on the edge when using a regular eyelash curler). It also fixes all of those stray lashes that the eyelash curler didn't catch. It heats up in about a minute and its not that hot, at least I never got burned and I just place it on the lashes, wait three seconds as merely combing doesn't do anything and it just perfects the curls a bit more and makes it last longer. I should warn you that this drains batteries like nobody's business (it uses AA ones).
Have a great day!