Perfume. Now this may seem a bit strange to some, but I have worn perfume every single day for as long as I can remember. It began at Duty Free shopping at the airport. Mum would treat herself to a bottle of something lovely and I would get something too! It’s a tradition that I still perform to this day and rest assured, as long as the airlines/American government allow it – I will be purchasing a lovely new scent on the way to New York. I never did like the “Charlie”, “Exclamation” or those perfumes aimed at teens and I hold my Mother fully responsible, when one Christmas I was treated to a bottle of Sun, Moon, Stars by Karl Lagerfeld. I smell it now (although it is not so easy to find on the High Street anymore) and it takes me right back to that Christmas morning. Scent is such an evocative sense. And I love it when people tell me “Oh, you smell nice”. Every woman has her own signature scent, mine being Contradiction by Calvin Kline. I spray this perfume and I’m enveloped in a cloud of happy memories of fab nights out and feeling of total contentment. Even the name is so me! A total contradiction. That being said, I wear LOTS of other scents from different perfume houses. My family dutifully purchase Boots vouchers for me at Christmas and I will brave the sales to stock up on my perfume quota for the year. My Dad thinks I’m crazy, I think I’m frugal. I’m game for trying pretty much any scent, as long as it’s not too floral. I prefer the heavier, muskier blends. Other particular favourites include Dior Addict, Calvin Kline Euphoria (Thanks LWM for introducing me to this!), YSL Cinema and Givenchy Ange Ou Demon and yes, I do wear these in the daytime. I know that would not be to everyone’s taste as many people would think these are evening wear. But hey, didn’t I say I was a Contradiction?!!
2. Lip Gloss/Lip Balm. Ok, so anyone reading this who knows me will know everything I am about to say is the truth. I am addicted to lip gloss/lip balms! I just love them and my handbag is never without, hmm lets think, at least 6 variants of gloss – What? A girl needs choices! A bit cliché I know, but I love Lancome Juicy tubes! I like the semi-stickiness that some people seem to hate. I find that it has quite a bit of staying power. I’m not a snob though. I will literally try any lip gloss/balm going. Other faves in my vast collection are the Stila Lip Glaze and Philosophy (hell yeah, I’m a Philosophy Girl) flavoured lip shine. They both come in a variety of colours and flavours, so I’m totally spoiled for choice. For lip balm, I don’t go to sleep without a layer of Body Shop lip butter (currently using Nut butter) covering my lips and providing a moisturising treat overnight. Well, that’s if The Boy doesn’t get to it first! He always wants to kiss me when I’ve just put that on...
3. Ojon Restorative Hair Treatment. I love it, FACT. I really should approach QVCUK about receiving commission for the sheer amount of people I tell about this. I buy it for my friends as presents, I let them have a try of mine when they come and visit me (that was how I got Caroline hooked!) and yes, I have been known to tell random strangers how much I wouldn’t be without this product. I just think it makes such a difference to my hair. It’s softer, shinier, and smoother once I have had the Ojon treatment on. I sometimes sleep in it (although not if I’ve got decent bedding on my bed!) and I can feel the difference when I come to wash it out. I have used other products from the Ojon range, usually from the TSV’s. And whilst they are really nice, the one thing I go back to time and time again is the Restorative Hair Treatment. Try it and tell me you don’t love it!
4. No7 Microdermabrasion Scrub. God bless Boots for their £5 vouchers, ensuring that I have never paid the full £10 odd for this product! I really enjoy a good scrubby scrub and I know that’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but I think this is one of the best on the High Street. I purchase others from time to time (although I do love the Philosophy version, I’m not prepared for pay the £50 for it!), try them and still reach for the No7 one. It’s like Ronseal, does exactly what it says on the tin and I wouldn’t be without it.
5. Bare Escentuals Flawless Definition Mascara. This was another part of a kit purchased on QVCUK and Alison Young raved about it. I was a bit “meh” about trying it when it arrived, but wow, I’ve been converted. Glossy, black, separated lashes that look perfect for day, or can be amped up for night. I think that £21.50 for a duo is a bargain. I’ve spent more money on High Street rubbish; I’ll be putting in an order when I’m due for replenishment.
6. Eyelash Curlers. As I was talking about mascara, seems the perfect juncture to add this in. I use the Body Shop ones and find them to be really good at providing a decent amount of curl. They are less than a tenner and I really think that make a huge difference in opening up the whole eye.
7. Philosophy Purity Cleanser and The Great Mystery. I have to include these both together, as I love them both equally. Purity is just a great all round cleanser. It takes off eye makeup, it doesn’t make my skin feel tight, just really, really clean. As for the Great Mystery, it’s the one minute facial. I use this in the morning with a muslin cloth to wake up my skin. It smells divine and really fresh. I’m Normal/Combination skin type and I think both these products suit my skin’s need perfectly.
8. Body Cream. I get quite dry and skin on my body, particularly my elbows, so I love a rich body cream. Current favourite is the Body Shop Monoi Body Balm (the smell reminds me of Elemis!) but I am also very partial to L’Occitane Shea butter body cream. As always, the Body Shop body butters are still in my top 3, proving that you don’t have to spend a tonne of money for gorgeous, smooth skin.
9. Philosophy high foaming shampoo, bath and shower gel. These have long been an essential in my house and the source of much controversy when smelly boys have been using my lovely shower time goodies to wash themselves with!! What the hell happened to Lynx?! Because these gels are so beautifully fragranced there is no disputing their usage as soon as the bathroom door opens. The Boy, Bro and Dad (when I was still living at Home) have all had a go with whatever I was foolish enough to leave in the bathroom. Silly old me! Anyways, I love all the Philosophy range, especially the food scented varieties. Special mentions must go to Pumpkin Spiced Muffin, Vanilla Birthday Cake and Chocolate Covered Cherry. You can usually get a matching scented lip shine to accompany the shower gel – Bonus.
10. Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer. Normal/Combination skin + hormones = occasional breakouts ;o( this little pot of magic covers the little buggers and enables me to face the world, even with TOTM skin!
Apologies for the War and Peace style post. I just got a bit carried away!