It's a bit later in the month than normal due to the holidays, but I couldn't not share with you my favourite December beauty products. There are only four of them this time- probably due to the fact that most of the month has been spent makeup free on the sofa scoffing chocolates.
Aesop B Triple C Facial Balancing Gel, £81, www.cultbeauty.co.uk
This is one expensive product and it's definitely one that you'll either love or absolutely hate. This thick, honey-like botanical-based gel comes in a glass pot. You are advised to use it twice per week as a treatment after cleansing and toning, so I've been swapping my night-time serum for this two nights each week. As soon as this touches your skin it starts to solidify and form little squidgy balls when you start to rub it into your face. It feels at first like it is just moving around your skin instead of being absorbed by it. A lot of people online say that it is difficult to rub into your skin, but it actually isn't- you just need to get past the instinctual feeling that it's not supposed to seperate and keep smoothing it in- you will get there and pretty quickly too. However, you'll either be prepared to put up with this or you won't. Similarly, you will either like the strong herby botanical scent, or you won't.
In terms of what this Vitamin C and Vitamin B product actually does, it has a range of benefits and is suitable for a range of skin types. I find that immediately after applying and also in the morning afterwards, it gives my skin a smooth matte finish that is also very glowing and nourished looking. It minimises the appearance of pores and acne scarring, and it brightens and hydrates too. I have normal to dry skin and find that it gives me an extra dose of moisture along with helping my skin look more perfected and healthy. Those with oily skin will get the benefits of a moisturiser but with a matte instead of a shiny or greasy looking finish, and those with acne will find that this serum gel is soothing and will help treat their acne due to its witch hazel ingredient and high dose of antioxidents. I have not had a breakout since I started using this five weeks ago. Finally, as it contains a lot of antioxidents, I like that it helps protect my skin from environmental damage too. I have loved using this all month, but I probably wouldn't repurchase it at this price- it's great, but nothing extraordinarily special and for £81 that is what I would want.
Caudalie Grape Water, £10 (for 200ml), www.lookfantastic.com
Everyone raves about the more-expensive Caudalie Beauty Elixir and forgets about their Grape Water, but I have been loving it recently. Also a spray, the Caudalie Grape Water is 100% organic and can be used by all skin types. It releases a gentle cooling and moisturising mist to give your skin a boost of hydration over or under makeup. Unlike the Beauty Elixer, it is scent-free. I use this after cleansing and toning my face to give my skin a burst of moisture before applying my serum (as applying to damp skin helps skincare absorb better). If you want to try a Caudalie mist, but don't want to fork out three times the price for the cult Beauty Elixir, I recommend that you try this. You won't get the awakening minty scent, but in practice, this is just as refreshing.
Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge, £5.99, www.boots.com
It obviously varies according to the foundation you use, but I find that 9 times out of 10, my base always looks more even and flawless when applied with one of the little egg-shaped sponges that are everywhere at the moment. I've tried the original Beauty Blender, the Lottie London version and the Cosmopolitan version and really liked them all, but this one from Real Techniques is the best I have tried so far. I like the fact that it has a wide flat side as well as a pointy tip as this makes applying liquid foundation to all areas of your face very fast, smooth and easy. I like to use my sponge damp for a dewy finish, but you can use it dry if you want to up the coverage. I'm not sure what exactly makes this sponge blender better than the others I've tried, so you'll just have to trust me.
ColourPop Lippie Stix in Tootsi, $5, www.colourpop.com
This was a gift from my friend in America, so if you aren't based in the US, you'll find it tricky to get your hands on ColourPop at a reasonable price- sorry! If anyone you know is planning a trip however, I would defintiely recommend asking them to pick you some of these up. These matte lipsticks in a twist-up pencil form pack such a colour punch! They are very highly pigmented and are so easy to apply with their precision design. Despite being matte, it's a really comfortable formula to wear too- it's not moisturising, but it doesn't dry out your lips and leave them looking patchy as it wears off either. I love this rather '90s shade and think it is the perfect darker winter nude.
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