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Friday, 31 January 2014

New Fragrance Favourite | Jimmy Choo Flash London Club Perfume

Jimmy Choo 'Flash London Club' Perfume | World Duty Free* | Jimmy Choo Site |

When it comes to fragrance, it's fair to say I have quite the collection. Call me a marketer's dream but I adore the designs of bottles and boxes and I easily fall for luxurious and quirky names. However, only a select few manage to make it to 'everyday scent' status.  Jimmy Choo's new offering - 'Flash' - has to be one of them.  I instantly fell head over heels in love with it.  Now, I know it's near on impossible to describe a perfume through words - so I shan't attempt to provide you with a load of poetic dribble.  The only way I can describe it is 'musky'. It contains hints of citrus, as well as having a certain 'woody' tone to it so it has that almost 'sweet yet sour, girly yet sophistated' sort of vibe going on. It's really pretty without being overpoweringly sweet and it has sort of crispness it.   If you ever bought the original Jimmy Choo fragrance, 'Flash' is much like it's muskier, less sweet cousin.  I have to say I think I prefer 'Flash' to the original - big claims there - but if you weren't much of a fan of the original, don't let it put you off giving this little beauty a sniff.  They're completely different. World Duty Free describe the scent as 'Fruity, Powdery, Sensual and Warm' - I definitely agree it has powdery hints to it - it's really sultry.

The bottle is stunning - a gorgeous, quirky and fun design inspired by disco balls and decor in London Clubs - it oozes glamour and gorgeous-ness.  I adore the purple colour, the delicate detailing on the sides of the cube and the 'dipped in glitter' effect.  Dip something in glitter, colour it a girly shade and give it an appealing lid and, well, I'm sold.  But it's not only the bottle design, the fragrance itself is simply stunning.  It also lasts ages.  Honestly, spray this in the morning and it will last all day long. It lingers. I've had so many people ask me what perfume I'm wearing - people at uni, my mother - even somebody in my bus queue the other day! One of my friends commented on how lovely it was - and said she had been catching whiffs of it all day.  Thumbs up, Jimmy Choo, thumbs up.  My mum has even lined it up as her next perfume purchase - everytime she's in town she gives it a quick spritz before coming home...

I kid you not, I've been wearing this non-stop since I received it.  And I wasn't expecting to love it as much as I do.  I liked the original, but I love this one and I will grab myself a new bottle in a heartbeat.   It's currently £35.50 in Boots for 40ml if you fancy using up your advantage card points (anyone else spend theirs on new perfume? I do! I save them until I have around £60 and then go CRAY!).  All Beauty also have it on their website for an amazing price of £27.95 for 40ml - well worth it!

Have you tried the Jimmy Choo 'Flash' perfume? What are your thoughts on the Original Jimmy Choo fragrance?

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Love Me Beauty Box | January

Love Me Beauty Box | £10 monthly plus p&p* | Link

Ahh one of the highlights of my month - receiving my monthly dose of beauty goodness from Love Me Beauty.  I never quite caught on to the beauty box hype before, but ever since Love Me Beauty launched their 'menu' concept, I've really begun to catch to the whole idea of having samples delivered to your door as a monthly treat - especially when you have some form of choice over what you want to try! There's always atleast one product I'm super excited about every single month - and it's down to this box that I've discovered one of my new favourite brands - Arran Aromatics (featured in my Best of 2013 post).  Love Me Beauty have kicked off 2014 with a bang - with brands such as Nyx, Arran Aromatics and Anatomicals as well as a full size mascara and Pureology mousse...

Arran Aromatics | Apothecary Wheatgerm & Vitamin E Soap | RRP £2.75
As I've become quite the fan of Arran Aromatics skin care over the past few months, I was quite pleased to see one of their products featured in this months box.  I must admit I'm not too partial to bars of soap as I usually find them quite drying, but I was still rather pleased to see it sitting prettily in my box.  This little bar contains natural oatmeal to cleanse and gently exfoliate the skin.  I've read on other beauty blogs that this feels really nice and moisturising to use so I'm looking forward to giving it a whirl once I've got through a few other similar products I'm currently using.

NYX Cosmetics | Single Eyeshadow in 'Sahara' | RRP £5.00 
I'm a big fan of NYX but I've never ever tried their eyeshadows so I was superly-duperly chuffed to see one of their products featured on the Love Me Beauty menus this month.  'Sahara' is a beautiful champagne gold/white colour with flecks of shimmer running through it.  Sadly, mine arrived a little worse for wear (you have no idea how much this made my perfectionist tendancies twitch when I got round to taking photographs) but it is such a gorgeous shade - perfect for the inner corners of the eyes and for wearing in the centre of the lid to brighten up your peepers.  The texture is quite uneven - and I must admit there could be quite a bit of fall-out with this shade (I think it's down to the shimmery nature of it) but it's really well pigmented and it's a shade I will get a lot of use out of without a doubt.

Anatomicals | Rose & Jasmine Body Cleanser | RRP £3 
I'm never a massive fan of body washes in beauty boxes.  I'm also not the biggest fan of rose scented products so I reckon this one might be a bit of a miss for me.  I love the fact it's full sized though - It's nice to switch up your shower gels and whatnot sometimes so I guess I'll end up enjoying it in the end and it saves me buying any for a while! I must admit I quite like the bold pink packaging - definitely appeals to my girly side...

Pureology | Colour Stylist Silk Bodifier | RRP £15 (250ml)
Never one to turn my nose up at a hair product, this offering from Pureology sure put a smile on my face this month! I adore volumising products and anything that promises adding bounce to my barnet is a sure fire winner for me! This little mousse is said to infuse hair with volume, shine and softness whilst protecting and maximising the vibrancy of colour treated hair - without weighing the hair down.  I haven't had chance to try this yet as I'm still getting down the final dregs of my usual mousse - but I really can't wait to give this a try (and neither can my mother...) 

Cosmetics a la Carte | Divine Lash Mascara in Black | RRP £23.00
A whopping £23 mascara arrived in this month's box - wow! I've never heard of this brand before but the packaging has impressed me already - a sleek silver tube complete with its own little box.   I can't wait to give this a whirl - I'm quite a fussy little madam when it comes to mascaras so I will have to see if this manages to impress me or not!  It sounds fab though - and the wand looks right up my street.

So there we have it. The contents of this month's box.  I'm still yet to try everything so the verdict is out on what tops the mark for me this time around - however, I'm most excited about the NYX eyeshadow, Arran Aromatics soap and the Pureology mousse! I'm really intrigued by the high-end mascara too. It's always nice to try products you never would have discovered before. You can find out more about Love Me Beauty over on their website here

Have you subscribed to Love Me Beauty yet? Which product tickles your fancy this month?

Sunday, 26 January 2014

My New Contouring Companion | Illamasqua's Blush Up Brush

Illamasqua 'Blush Up' Brush | £28.50 | Link | Link

Fellow bloggers and beauty fanatics, let me introduce to you my new partner in crime and latest addition to my make-up brush collection - Illamasqua's 'Blush Up' Brush. After months and months of lusting after the Nars Ita 'Kabuki' Brush (google it - it's a beauty!) and not being able to find it anywhere ('s like gold dust), I took it upon myself to look for a similar alternative. Brushes like this are quite hard to come across - most contour brushes on the market seem to take on that classic 'dome' tapered sort of shape - but I wanted something a little different from the norm.  Illamasqua's offering seemed like the most similar alternative I could find, and after reading a few reviews about it I decided I'd give it a whirl. 

'Challenging conventional blusher application, Illamasqua's all-new Blush Up Brush has an innovative, ellipse shaped head, designed to tuck directly under the cheekbone. Creating a soft diffusion of colour up onto the cheekbone, combine the Blush Up Brush with your favourite Powder Blusher Duo shades for a look that defines, elongates and slims the face in one simple movement' - (Illamasqua Website)

Now, I've made no secret of the fact I'm a complete contouring obsessive on this blog- so after reading the above information I'm sure it's fairly obvious why I needed this little beauty sitting in my brush pot! The brush is made for sculpting and defining the cheekbones and it fits perfectly along the contour line, making application of powder products a complete doddle. I often find that dome shaped/tapered contour brushes aren't precise enough for me so the shape of this one means that it's easy to get that much desired blended 'line'. The bristles are soft, but quite dense - meaning that the brush isn't overly flexible.  Personally, I find this works in its favour as it makes application more precise without skimping on blending capabilities. A simple sweeping motion in an upwards direction and my contour colour looks perfectly blended and it's so easy to get that much desired airbrush finish. It works amazingly well at sculpting the face and it has completely changed my contouring routine - I think it provides a much more professional finish and is the perfect brush to use when you want that strong 'Kim K' typed contour.

At £28, this baby ain't cheap! But if you're a fan of contouring and want to experiment with a more unique type of brush, it's really worth considering. I'm not usually one to spend a fortune on my brushes but I make an exception with more unique styles like this - it's one I knew I'd get a lot of use out of.  It comes packaged in its own little pouch and the sleek black handle and elegant finish really pull this brush together. I've been using it with some of my Illamasqua powder blushes too and together they really are a complete dream team! Just a few sweeping motions and your blush looks perfectly applied. Needless to say, you do need to be careful not to apply to much powder to the brush - you need to work up the colour rather than going 'full on' with it due to the nature of the bristles and the flat head, but once you've got that knack - you're sorted. Overall - I'm so glad I bought this. If you're a fellow contouring fan and want to try something new then it's really worth a look - it makes it so, so easy to achieve that defined look and I always seem to think my cheekbones look much more sculpted and strong when I've used this compared with the softer finish of a tapered contour brush. Of course, it depends on the look you're going for but it's nice to have that choice between a softer contour and a more defined one.  I bought my brush via ASOS (and grabbed a cheeky bit of student discount to lessen the blow) but it's quite widely available at the moment so if you're interested in snapping one up - it's worth having a little browse about.

Have you tried Illamasqua's Blush Up Brush? Whats your favourite contouring brush at the minute?

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

It's Pore O' Clock | Benefit's Porefessional Primer & Powder

Every girl in the entire blogging universe must have heard of Benefit's Porefessional Primer (if not, I think you need to get yourself out from under that rock pretty sharpishly...) It's won its fair share of awards and holds 'holy grail' status in many a makeup bag across the globe - and with good reason too. Just recently, things got even more interesting as Benefit announced the launch of their new Porefessional Powder.  Never one to resist a duo of any kind, it's safe to say I could feel my intrigue rising - a primer and matching powder?! Ohh my bloggery hands were almost shaking with anticipation. So, when the lovely ladies at Benefit HQ kindly sent me their new arrival along with their ever famous Porefessional Primer to try - I put them both to the test straight away... So what did I reckon?

Benefit PoreFessional Powder | £23.50* | Link

First up is the Porefessional powder. This product is all about controlling shine and minimising the appearance of pores, as well as providing that much needed invisible, flawless finish.   Firstly, it goes without saying that Benefit always get their packaging spot on the mark - the typical 'ice cream parlour colours' and quirky designs never fail to catch the eye and this one is no exception.  The packaging is all very neat and compact and ideal for travelling - something which is quite handy when it comes to powder.  It's lightweight, comes with a little fluffy brush and the powder is dispensed via a simple 'twist and tip' mechanism (no danger of over-spillage!) The powder itself is finely milled, easy to blend and feels very smooth and light on the skin, whilst mattifying its appearance in an instant - it knocks out shine with ease.  Personally, I don't have particularly oily skin and don't struggle an awful lot with shine - I tend to use powder for purely setting my foundation and for makeup staying power benefits - so I found this powder a little too mattifying for me. I'm one for a dewy, natural finish and it just made me feel a little bit too powdery for my liking - you have to be wary of over-applying as it can settle into fine lines.

It does seem to help even-out skintone which is a nice plus point - so for those of you who like to add powder for a little bit of extra coverage you might find this is a winner for you.  All this being said, I do like the concept of the Porefessional Powder and it does do what it says on the tin - it mattifys in an instant and my pores look undeniably reduced and smoothed over.  It manages to achieve that flawless finish and works well at keeping foundation in place. It also is perfect for throwing in your handbag as there is no need for carrying a powder brush or sponge.  Would I spend £23.50 on it though? I hate to say it but no - at the moment, I don't think I would.  It's a nice powder don't get me wrong, but I just get on with my trusty Mac MSF much better and I think there are similar powders on the market you could pick up for less money.  I still enjoy using it when on the go - but it just didn't blow me away.  Those of you with oily skin might find this a perfect companion - it's worth looking in to if you do prefer a full-on matte look. I reckon it might rack up more admiration from me in summer when I do need a slightly more mattifying powder. You never know - it could be appearing in my favourites as soon as the warmer weather rolls around later in the year but for now it's just a 'yeh - I like it' as opposed to a full on product rave... 

Benefit PoreFessional Primer | £24.50* | Link

Ok. So the powder didn't blow me away but I'm no stranger to the Porefessional Primer and I am fully aware of its benefits.  I adore this product - I can really see why it gets so much praise and why it's the UK's best selling primer.  I've only ever bought travel sizes to take abroad with me before but I've never been disappointed.  Now I have the full size, I've been using it daily and really have fallen head over heels in love with the stuff.  It really does do a smashing job of keeping makeup in place as well as creating an amazingly smooth, flawless base.  I find it works particularly well underneath my eyes and around the sides of my nose - usually places I find I have to top up occasionally but wear-time of my foundation/concealer is impressively increased whenever I use this.  The oil-free, balmy formula feels so silky and soft to apply - it smooths across the skin with ease and feels so lightweight - it instantly makes your skin feel velevety soft and smooth to the touch, as well as reducing the size of pores and creating an even skintone ready to apply your base.

I don't fall in love with primers easily so it really is saying something that I enjoy using this one.  It even smells lovely. As well as prepping skin for makeup, it works well at minimising shine and reducing any redness or open pores - meaning that it can be worn alone if you're having one of those 'bare skin days'.  In my opinion, a primer's main purpose should be to keep your foundation in place for longer during the day, and this has been fabulous at doing just that - if you're struggling to get your base to stay put - I'd really recommend trying this! Would I purchase this once it runs out? Yes indeedly - I would. A little goes a very long way so your investment in the product is fully justified - you only need a tiny blob to cover your entire t-zone. It does what it says on the tin and keeps my makeup looking flawless for longer, and for that, it gets a massive thumbs up from me. 

Overall, I have to say that Benefit have really impressed me with their Porefessional products - despite my little gripes with the powder.  They have certainly solved the problem of an 'on the go' powder application and for those of you with oily skin - it might work a treat.  It goes without saying that the winner for me in this instance has to be the primer - it's had bloggers singing its praises from rooftops for ages now (in fact, I'm off to go and join them...) and it's easy to see why it's the UK's best seller.  If you're going to part with the cash for either one - the old favourite - Porefessional Primer - wins every time.  

Have you tried any of these Benefit products? What were your thoughts?

Sunday, 19 January 2014

The Love Continues for Collection DeLuxe Lipsticks... | Prohibition & Tallulah

De-ja vu? Well, yes - the more avid readers amongst you might have clocked on to the fact that I've already posted about Collection's Deluxe Lipstick in 'Prohibition' (you can read that post here if you're interested!). I promise I'm not a broken record - I just adore the shade so much that I went out of my way when in town the other week in order to pick up a back-up of it - it really is my 'winter berry' favourite.  I've run it down quite sharpishly to say the least and, well, you know what it's like when you really do love a lipstick... A back-up shade is an absolute necessity. You know it's true love when you can't bare to spend a single day without it living in your makeup bag! Anyway, whilst I was at the Collection stand - I decided that I'd pick up another shade from the range. It would have been rude not to. After all, I love 'Prohibition' so much that it seems silly not to have a swatch and a ponder over it's relatives...

I settled on 'Tallulah' - a gorgeous baby pink shade.  I don't own a lot of pink shades as I'm much more of a 'corals and reds' kind of girl - so this mid-toned pastel was just the ticket.  Expand your horizons and all that... I expected nothing less than the same pigmented, creamy texture of my beloved 'Prohibition' and I wasn't disappointed in the slightest.  Just one swipe provides instant colour pay off and staying power is amazing for a pastel shade! If you're familiar with Mac shades, I'd say it was somewhere in between 'Creme Cup' and 'Chatterbox' - I'd still class it as an understated nude pastel - but it's got a little bit of 'kick' to it - and stands out on the lips without looking too 'wannabee Barbie'.  What I like about it is that it doesn't lean too cool or too warm - it's just a lovely neutral shade of pink and it seems to brighten up my complexion in an instant (which is rare for pinks as they usually look quite bland against my skin).  I must admit it looks slightly cooler in tone on camera than it does in the flesh - but it really is a beautiful pink and has fast become one of my favourite everyday shades.  I'm still a corals girl through and through - but when the 'pink moment' strikes me - I have this little beauty to reach for!

As for 'Prohibition' - I guess it speaks for itself.  It looks a little lighter on the swatch in this post for some reason - but if you want to get an idea of how it looks on the lips, see it in more of a 'true light' and read up more on what I think to it - then head over to my post on it here.  I think the fact that I've already repurchased another speaks volumes for my love of the shade. Overall, I really do recommend checking out Collection's Deluxe range.  They don't have many shades (and I'm hoping they expand their selection soon) but the colours they do have are so wearable and pretty and I'd happily purchase the whole bunch. I'd liken the finish to Mac's Amplified lipsticks - super creamy and pigmented with fabulous staying power. For just £3.99 they're worth every penny.

What are your thoughts on the Collection DeLuxe range? What's your favourite shade?

Thursday, 16 January 2014

A New Favourite | Arran Aromatics 'Velvet Isle' Shea Butter Cream

Arran Aromatics | Shea Body Butter in 'Velvet Isle' | £14.50 (currently £10.88)* | Link

When winter is well and truly in full swing, there's nothing like a bit of pamper time, is there?  You know the drill - hot bath, bubbles galore and a selection of skin treats to delve into whilst you soothe away your winter woes (and by heck have I got a lot of those right now)! Body butters are a key part of my routine all year round - but during the colder months, they're a must.  I've been loving Arran Aromatics just recently - ever since I first tried one of their facial gel washes in a beauty box a few months back (featured in my favourites of 2013 post here), I've really been intrigued by their skin treats and pamper products! As well as an array of skin care goodies and aromatherapy treats (even candles!), they also have little 'collections' which all have their own unique scent and a selection of products to go with it - hand creams, oils, soaps, shampoos and conditioners and body lotions - you name it! After having a jolly good read up on each scent, I settled for their 'Shea body butter' in their 'Velvet Isle' collection.  As soon as I unwrapped it, I fell in love.  Not only with the beautiful simplistic packaging, but also with the stunning fragrance and unique texture of the butter.

The Velvet Isle collection is described as a silky blend of fresh figs, honeyed fruit and coconut. It's honestly the most delicious, luxurious scent I've ever come across in a body butter and it really was love at first whiff! The slight coconut hint gives it a sweet kick, whilst the fresh figs and honeyed fruit combine together to create a completely unique, silky fragrance that really does capture the whole 'relaxing on a desert island at sunset' sort of vibe.  And it doesn't stop there.  The whole 'silky' fragrance and theme continues into the texture of the butter - it's so smooth and buttery and rich - very much like the texture of actual butter cream.  It's much more like a true body butter as opposed to a rich lotion and is incredibly moisturising and soothing on the skin - the added vitamin E makes it even more softening to apply.  The scent lingers on the skin for ages afterwards and has such a calming influence - it really is lovely to apply after a bath before you get all snuggly in bed and it doesn't leave you feeling 'greasy' or 'sticky' in any way. To top all of this off, Arran Aromatics receive extra brownie points from me for boxing their body butters - the little gold box is the perfect finishing touch.

Overall, it's safe to say that I really have discovered a new favourite. Not only in the body butter but also in the Arran Aromatics brand.  I've since made an order on a selection of their products so I'm really excited to share even more of these lovely pamper treats with you! You can find the Arran Aromatics website here, view their scent collections here, and find their 'Velvet Isle Shea Butter Cream' here (it's currently £10.88 - this is usually what I'd spend on a drugstore body butter so bare in mind that Arran Aromatics prices are really amazing for the quality!) I'm so excited to see they do a candle in this fragrance - something I'll probably treat myself to at some stage in the next few months.  It's worth mentioning that you can also find a selection of their products on both the House of Fraser website and also on All Beauty - where I picked up a replacement bottle of their lovely Lavender and Tea Tree facial gel wash for just £5.95!

Have you tried Arran Aromatics? What are your thoughts on the brand?

Sunday, 12 January 2014

The Best of 2013 | Skin, Hair & Body Care

Rightyho.  After having a little mini-break from blogging for the past 4 days (yet again, blame the uni coursework!), I'm back with another instalment of my 'Best of 2013' series.  This time around, I'm focusing on an array of hair, skin and body products which I've been loving the past 12 months. If you still haven't read my 'Best of 2013 Makeup' post, you can find that here.  I could have easily added to this post - after all, combining skin, hair and body into one post consisting of just 13 products is pretty tough going (at least, it is for me!) but in order to avoid a post as long as my arm, I thought I'd restrain myself and stick to the whole '13' rule! One has to be consistent after all! Without further jibber-jabbering - I shall kick off the second instalment of the 'Best of 2013' series...

1. The Facewash | Arran Aromatics - Lavender Tea Tree Reviving Toning Facial Gel Wash
(oo what a mouthful!?) I know what you're thinking - 'you're kicking off a Best of 2013 post with a bloomin' FACE WASH?!'. Well, yes - I am indeed.  I don't often get excited about cleansers and facial washes - I never see a dramatic enough difference for me to get overly chipper about a certain brand if I'm honest - but 2013 has become the year that I discovered Arran Aromatics. I received this earlier in the year in one of my Love Me Beauty boxes, and I've been addicted ever since.  It's lasted me a good while as I find I only need a little blob, but I'm just about to order myself another - definitely a sign of a good discovery! I've written about this little skincare gem here and in a monthly favourites post here if you fancy a read up! I have sensitive skin which breaks out if I use anything overly fragranced or heavy - so this little gel wash is perfect for me as it's really gentle.  It has the most beautiful scent and I find it really relaxes me before I go to bed of an evening (I've mentioned before that it reminds me somewhat of these spa-products you find in posh hotels!) - and my skin is always left feeling smooth, soft and completely clean afterwards. The texture is unlike any other facial wash I've used  and I find it really soothing to massage into the skin. It also contains small exfoliating beads which help to remove any dull, dead skin and keep your complexion looking fresh, healthy and blemish free (thank the Tea Tree in it for that!).  I LOVE it. My only bug-bear so far is that it isn't the easiest to get hold of - but well worth having a search around for! It retails for £12.95 - which in my opinion, isn't half bad for a luxurious little face wash that does wonders for the skin.

2. The Face Mask | Organic Surge First Class Mask
Again, I was sent this little beauty for review purposes but it is without a doubt a product I will be purchasing again in future.  Organic Surge as a brand have fast become a favourite of mine this year - and I use a select few of their products on a daily basis now.  This face mask really did impress me.  It's really gentle - so you can use it more than once a week, and the fact that it doesn't create a lot of mess is a massive plus point for me.  I find it so simple to use and I reach for it one heck of a lot when my skin is feeling dry, congested or just in general need of a spruce up! I have a full review of it here if you fancy reading more! It retails for £8.49 which is a fabulous price for a face mask bottle which will last you absolutely ages! 

3. The Blemish Treatment | Harley Street Skincare Spot Buster
If I didn't include this in my 2013 favourites post then it would be a complete travesty - a TRAVESTY I tells ya! I was sent this to review waaay back in July (you can read my thoughts and review here) and since, I have repurchased another 2 times. Its always a good sign when a blogger repurchases a PR sent product and I can honestly say I will be buying this little bottle again and again and again. It's an amazing spot treatment that you can use day or night - even under makeup as it doesn't leave any crusty residue (there's no way of saying that without it sounding a bit disgusting...sorry).  I'm lucky that I actually do have pretty clear skin the majority of the time - I don't suffer with acne but now and again, I do get the odd breakout! I suffered over the summer with a tonne of breakouts when I came off a certain contraceptive pill - and i kid you not - this little gem saved my life! I can't sing it's praises enough - it heals breakouts quick, prevents more from forming and really does work. It's a little pricey at £25 (it used to be £20) - but even the extra fiver doesn't put me off.  If you're at your wits end with spot treatments - it's worth making an order on one of these (you can find them here). Harley Street are amazing with their deliveries too - you do pay a fee but it arrives within 1-2 days without fail and I cannot wait to try more of their 'Spot Less' range.

4. The Moisturiser | Superdrug Tea Tree
Well, I could have lied and made it sound like I use a posh, expensive moisturiser on a daily basis but sometimes - you don't always get what you pay for and there are plenty of drugstore cheapies that do the job just as well! Don't underestimate budget friendly skincare! I've been using this moisturiser all year round without fail. Don't get me wrong, it's not the only one I use - and I alternate between Nivea, Organic Surge and Balance Me depending on the time of year, but one I always go back to is Superdrug's Tea Tree! It's like my little skincare secret.  It's a really good little all-round moisturiser - I used it on holiday to soothe my skin when I'd accidentally sat on the sunbed for one too many hours, I used it when my skin had a bit of a 'tantrum' earlier in the year and I still use it now as part of my daily regime.  It seems to really help keep my skin clear, soothes any redness and isn't greasy in the slightest. Obviously, if you're not a fan of Tea Tree I wouldn't recommend this - but it isn't overly strong at all and is the perfect little skin soother - and the best bit? It only costs a couple of quid!

5. The Shampoo | John Frieda Frizz Ease Hydrating Shampoo
I love John Frieda.  I use their products year in, year out and I always have a bottle somewhere on my shower shelf! My hair drawer is full of back-ups! They just seem to really work for my hair and I'm a massive fan of both the 'Volume' range and the 'Blonde' range.  This year, I discovered the Smooth Start Hydrating Shampoo.  I'd used the Conditioner before but after my hair started to feel a little dry half-way through this year, I thought I'd better give the shampoo a whirl.  It completely revives my hair when it's feeling dull, lack-lustre and straw-like and transforms it into swishy, Rapunzel-like locks in just one wash.  

6. The Conditioner | Neal & Wolf Intensive Care Treatment
Ok - so firstly, I do have to give a little mention to my other 2013 favourite - Loreal's Ever Riche Nourishing Conditioner - but since I didn't have a bottle handy, I thought I'd use my equal top-spot favourite - Neal & Wolf's Intensive Care.  I received this in my Love Me Beauty box way back in the summer, and instantly fell in love with it. Full on-head-over-heels in love!  So much so, I have since ordered another bottle (along with their heat protection spray which has fast become another favourite!) What makes Neal & Wolf for me is the scent.  It's not to everybody's taste and I know a few bloggers that have mentioned their dislike for it - but I personally find it really lovely.  Once I've used this, my hair smells like a salon for hours afterwards and often into the next day.  I find it really softening on the hair and think it works really well at putting some much needed moisture back into my ends! I featured it in my monthly favourites here a while back if you fancy a more in-depth read!

7. The Oil | Shu Uemura Art of Hair Essence Absolue
Easily my BEST hair care find of 2013. I've tried my fair share of oils, that's for sure.  And although there's a select few on the market that I love, this one seems to top the mark for me.  Just 1-2 pumps massaged through the ends of damp hair before blow-drying and my hair is transformed into silky soft, easily manageable locks!  I can easily apply more without it weighing my hair down or looking greasy, and it really does moisturise the hair.  I also use this when my hair is already dry and styled to help combat any frizz or dry-looking bits, and it instantly revives my style without adding grease or heaviness.  It also smells amazing! I could go on all day about my love for this bottle, but in case you fancy reading up more on it - I have a full review of it here.

8. The Body Butter | Soap & Glory Righteous Butter
What's a favourites post without a bit of Soap & Glory in there?! I've been loving their Righteous Butter this year and have been using it all year round when I get out of the bath to help keep my skin feeling silky smooth and soft. As well as the big tubs of the stuff, I also purchase the mini versions (seen in the photograph above) to keep in my handbag as I actually use it as a hand cream throughout the day - I also take the mini versions on holiday with me because I can't bare to be without it. People at uni are always asking me what I smell of - and to be honest, if it isn't my perfume - it's probably this! It's easily my most favourite Soap & Glory scent ever - I often find myself just opening the tub a little purely so I can grab a whiff (...strange much?) My love for this product will without a doubt continue well into 2014 and if you're in the market for a really moisturising body butter for dry skin - I recommend this Soap & Glory blogger fave! I have an ancient review here.

9. The Perfume | Hugo Boss 'Jour'
Me and Hugo Boss fragrance get on like a house on fire. Seriously - I always seem to adore their scents! My signature scent has to be their 'Orange' perfume - but this year, I discovered a new favourite - 'Jour'.  I'm not the best at describing scents but if you like that whole fresh, clean and classy sort of scent - I'd give this a spray next time you're walking past a tester! It's stunning!  It just smells of sophistication and luxury and I'm so glad to have it sitting in my perfume drawer.  I have a more descriptive, 'adjective-overload' sort of review here.

10. The Bath-Time Treat | Elemis Spa Home Quiet Mind Relaxing Bath Elixir
This is easily one of my best finds of 2013.  Ever since I started going for massages at a local spa/salon, I've really gotten into luxury spa products and oils.  This bath elixir by Elemis is the most relaxing scent that's ever passed my nostrils and if ever I've had a stressful day, I pop some of this into a running hot bath and I'm sorted.  It lingers on the skin afterwards and leaves your skin feeling soft, smooth and pampered.  I have a full review of it in my 'Top 5 Relaxation Products' post which you can find here.

11. The Hand Product | Soap & Glory Hand Maid
I'm known to carry a bottle of this stuff everywhere with me.  I used to work with children and found I picked up ridiculous amounts of colds and coughs so it's been part of my daily routine for a good few years now - it's actually ingrained into my routine!  I used to have one in every locker, cupboard and bag - no word of a lie. Soap & Glory's Hand Maid is by far my favourite hand sanitiser.  I find that a lot of sanitisers have that 'medical chemically alcohol-y' sort of scent that totally overpowers any perfume you have on, but this one is lovely and sweet and gentle.  If you like Soap & Glory scents - I'd recommend this little bottle.  It lasts ages, costs around £2.50 and works a treat.  No more coughs and splutters and your hands smell yummy at the same time! Perfect.

12. The Nail Polish | Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine Polish
My nails aren't in tip top condition at the moment as I've started nibbling them through stress at uni (New Years Resolution is to get my killer talons back!) - but throughout summer, these polishes really were the Bee's Knees and I think the entire collection sums up my nail polish preferences of 2013.  Barry M don't half know how to make a smashing nail polish! Their Gelly Hi-Shines are amazing to apply, give a super-shiny salon perfected finish and come in an array of beautiful shades.  I did a post on my entire collection of them in the summer, so if you're interested in having a nosey and a further read-up on them, you can find it here.

13. The Lip Balm | Maybelline Baby Lips in 'Peach Kiss' & Carmex Moisture Plus in 'Pink'
Ok ok ok. So I cheated *slap wrist* - just think of the extra product a fruity little bonus? I've been loving 2 lip balms this year for different reasons. The first is the ever-famous Maybelline Baby Lips which finally hit the UK this year - causing a complete frenzy amongst us British Bloggers. They became a 'hit and miss' product for most but I'm personally in the love it camp.  Not necessarily for the moisturising properties - because truth be told, there are much better balms on the market - but more for the sheer wash of colour complete with ease of use and snazzy packaging. 'Peach Kiss' is perfect for throwing in my bag at uni as it provides a very faint wash of colour which smooths out my lips and it adds a little bit of gloss and moisture.  Perfect for everyday.  I have a full review hereCarmex Moisture Plus is my go-to winter treat and I have a lot to owe to this little beauty.  I actually have a post coming up on my blog about it as it's been a favourite of mine since summer now, but it provides amazing moisture. When it comes to lip balms, I think Carmex has to be 'up there' with the best, doesn't it? If your lips are in need of some thirst quenching, then Carmex comes to the rescue! I personally love the 'Pink' sheer tint version (it also comes in other shades as well as a clear version) - it looks like I've applied a lip gloss or lipstick and provides instant relief from dry, thirst-deprived lips. The shade also looks beautiful against my winter skin - it instantly seems to brighten my complexion.  Look out for my full review post coming soon!

So there we have it - my top 13 skin, hair and body care products of 2013! I think it just goes to show how highly I rate these products as almost every single one of them has it's own post or review - a great number of them also have appeared in my monthly favourites throughout the course of the year.  If you missed my 'Best of 2013 Makeup' post, then you can find it here. I do hope you've enjoyed having a read up on my ultimate favourites and have atleast found yourself one product to try for 2014! 

What were your top skin/hair/body products of 2013? Do we share any of the same favourites?