Ready for some Chinese New Year celebrations I'm going to be heading into Manchester for the infamous Dragon Parade around China Town. I always seem to associate the Chinese culture with bright colours, especially reds and golds (not to mention gorgeous food), so for Chinese NY inspired NOTD I have used the Estee Lauder Pure Color nail lacquer GF Le Smoking as a base, with an OPI nail lacquer in Gold Shatter as a top coat.
I've never used a shatter/crackle top coat before, but remember when the Barry M ones were all the rage. AHH I'm in love! This lovely gold polish is so much fun to use! The combo lasts really well too, and when it does start chipping it's not very noticeable due to the lovely pattern - what a bonus! The Estee Lauder nail polish was also lovely to use, it applies really well and when worn as base colour you can probably get away with only one coat. This is my new favourite nail polish combo and I can't wait to try out new colours from both of these brands.
February's theme was Birchbox Loves, with my box featuring:
London Butterflies Bath Salt Scrub (Birchbox exclusive), TheBalm Cosmetics Cindy-Lou Manizer, Cynthia Rowley Eyeliner in Black, Liz Earle Botanical Shine Shampoo, Wild About Beauty Rose Water Illuminating Serum and the Lifestyle item this was the The Chia Co Oats + Chia in mixed berry.
Overall thoughts - Pretty pleased with this box, glad to see there are three full sized items this month too. I think I'm most looking forward to trying the salt scrub (which smells soo lovely) and the illuminating serum. Spring is perfect time for adopting the dewy skin look so I'm hoping this serum will give my skin the perfect luminosity.
Birchbox have now introduced the 'Slim Box' design, not sure how they're going to manage to squeeze everything in though! I like the current box as it is, as they're great to use as drawer organizers, but sadly I believe they will be bringing them out to all subscribers as of March.
A little side note - in case you were wondering what happened to my January Birchbox... Well I thought my subscription finished in February, not January, so I was patiently waiting (as my December box arrived late), until I checked my account to realise that was it! Re-subscribing in the last few days of January, my box ended up arriving only a few days before the February box. So if you wanted to see what was in mine, here is a quick snap of January's Women's Health themed box:
With Valentine's day just around the corner, it is the perfect occasion to wear a bright lip. Dark lip colours don't suit me at all so I've been dying for Spring to come around so I can go back to Spring pinks and Summer reds. Whilst riffling throw my lip stash I found this So Susan Lip and CheekSublime (stain) which purchased at the clothes Show (the trip before last). I was absolutely loving it last summer. Although I haven't really seen So Susan products on sale in stores, they are available on their website here:
I love this lip stain as its highly pigmented and applies really well. The staying power is pretty good too, as when the initial creamy formula wears off, the raspberry colour remains. Raspberry is probably the best I can classify this! The swatch looks pink more-so than red, however in natural light it is definitely more of red, but hey, you decide! Unlike other lip stains I've used, I like the fact that the formula is pretty much that of a lipstick, just with great staying power, as opposed to a thin more liquid-like formula that you tend to get with other stains, as I find they end up making my lips look and feel pretty dry.
As much as I have rekindled my love for this lovely lip colour, I don't think I would pay the current price of £10 for it, I think I would probably go to a more well known/reviewed brand like Revlon or Bourjois if I was looking to get a new lip crayon/stain product.
I always feel that January is a time for new beginnings so I'm keen to try out new products, especially ones I got over Christmas, my birthday or in the sale. This past month I have been absolutely loving:
Soap & Glory Smoothie Star Deep Moisturising Body Milk - This smells absolutely delicious! Along with this Sugar Crush is my joint favourite Soap and Glory range! It's got a gorgeous, almond-vanilla scent and packs in so much moisture into my skin. I really like the consistency of this body lotion, as it's not too thick, not too thin, but just right! I usually use it before bed and wake up with my skin still feeling super soft. If you haven't yet tried it, I highly you recommend you go and get your hands on some!
Urban Decay Vice 3 Palette - How amazing is this?! I am obsessed with this palette! I got this for my birthday in December and have not put this down since! It has such a great variety of colours, perfect for every occasion - day or night, and the formula is lovely to work with. I'm going to do a full review on this palette as I love it so much!
Kiko Smart Lipstick in 902 - This has been my go to lipstick over the last month. I've only got two of these as Kiko is relatively a new brand to me (due to a lack of stores in my home town!) and this is the first Kiko lipstick I've used and I am already very impressed. It has a great creamy formula so I'll definitely be getting another one as they're a great buy for the price. This one looks a peachy nude but when it's on it looks more of a pinky nude.
The Body Shop Shea Lip Butter - One of the best lip balms I've EVER used, it has been an absolute life saver in the harsh winter months as my lips have been so chapped until I started using this. It tastes amazing, smells amazing (like does everything from The Body Shop, lets be honest!) and feels lovely and nourishing on the lips. The only downside for me with this product is the fact that it's in a little pot so you pretty much have to use your finger to apply it so I don't like to use on the go, unless I've had the opportunity to wash my hands just before application (I could carry around a little brush with me but would probably end up losing it and then still have to resort to using my finger).
L'Oreal Colour Riche Le Vernis Glitter nail polish in 822 Bronze Parure - I posted about this last year when I first purchased it (you can see what the polish looks like here), it was one of my favourite polishes over the festive season, it is gorgeous, sparkly and lasts pretty well for a glitter nail polish.
Which products have you been loving over the past month?