Favourites Lately: Early 2017

This is my first quarterly favourites post for 2017. I’ve been taking down notes on various items that I’ve enjoyed between January and March:

I try to have a balance of items but it looks like this is more heavy on the makeup front. 😛


Illamasqua Hydra Veil – Although Illamasqua maintains that this is much more than a primer, I mainly use it just as a primer. I don’t think it’s possible to replace my moisturizer with just this. It’s an excellent hydrating primer though – when I want flawless looking base, I use this in conjunction with Illamasqua Skin Base Foundation.

And half the fun of using this product is the experience of it: the packaging, the spoon, and the jelly texture.

Alpha Hydrox Enhanced Lotion 10% AHA – I use this like a serum at nighttime, applying a thin layer to cleaned skin after toning and before applying my Shiseido Bio-Performance Advanced Super Revitalizing Cream. It’s a basic but effective chemical exfoliant. My skin feels so soft and my winter flakes have been kept at bay. The only downside of this product is that it’s not readily available here – I only see it from time to time at Winners (which is where I found this).

The Body Shop Drops of Youth Eye Concentrate – I have a weakness for eye serums in roller balls. This one has a neat dispensing mechanism where you press down and the product oozes out – one full pump is WAY too much so I do half a pump and that’s enough for both eyes. I only use this on my eyelids to depuff – it feels so soothing on the eyes and has replaced the discontinued Mary Kay eye serum roller ball – I was so worried about not finding a worthy successor but it looks like I have!

Allie UV Mineral Moist Neo SPF 50 PA++++ – I bought this in Japan and started using it at the end of January. The formula is outstanding! Very lightweight and feels hydrating – it’s more like a light lotion than sunscreen. I’ll do a thorough review soon.

Ole Henriksen Truth Serum – I used this up last month but I had enough foresight to take some photos before it was all gone. This was a deluxe sample (15ml) lasted me 2 months and provided good hydration as well as bringing luminosity to my skin. I’d like to get a full size so see more long term effects.

Hydrocolloid bandages – My skin has been acting up lately with hormonal acne on my chin and I decided to give these a go after hearing good things about them.  The trick with these is that the pimple needs to have popped or have an opening for the stuff to get sucked out. I know, super gross.  But, these little miracle workers really shrink blemishes and my skin is smoother by morning!

Hair care:

Tigi Bed Head Foxy Curls Extreme Curl Mousse – The scent of this is what got me initially. It smelled like candy but I couldn’t identify it until about the third usage – banana Runts! The trick with this one is to thinly and evenly distribute it through damp hair or else it can cause crunchy bits. It has amazing hold.

Body care:

Bath & Body Works Foaming Shower Gel in Tiki Mango Mai Tai – This dispenses like a gel and expands into foam, similar to foaming shave gels. That’s half the fun with this shower gel BUT it is also very moisturizing and smells like a tropical (non-alcoholic) beverage. Sadly, this is a limited edition item but you may be able to find them at outlet locations.

Bath & Body Works Body Mist in Twisted Peppermint – I am officially obsessed with this scent. It smells like peppermint cotton candy. It’s a completely juvenile scent but I don’t care – it smells so refreshing.  I haven’t been as enamoured by a Bath & Body Works scent since Waikiki Beach Coconut! The downside is that the lasting power of this is fairly weak so I have to spritz a lot on – look at how  much I used and I only got this in January!

NuWorld Botanicals Whipped Borage Oil Hand & Foot Butter – This stuff is incredible in creating a protective barrier on the skin without a greasy feel. I’ve been using this nightly on both my hands and feet and I wake up with super soft skin.

Trader Joe’s Coconut Body Butter – I asked a coworker get this for me last year since I heard such great things about it. It really IS amazing! The texture is super thick but not at all greasy – it feels almost like silicone but I see none listed in the ingredients – I’m not sure how they’ve done this. And it smells like coconut ice cream! Also, the lid flips up rather than screws off, which I find to be very handy. And this costs only $4.99 USD. Oh why oh why isn’t Trader Joe’s in Canada yet?


OPI My Pointe Exactly – very sheer formula that requires 3 coats to provide a tint of grey but this is intentional, as this polish was part of their Ballet collection. This gives such a clean understated look to my nails.

Sephora Formula X in Iconic – this is a one coat wonder. I got this for Christmas 2 years ago and this is the first time I’ve worn it. 😳 It’s a shifting chrome finish that’s green-y gold.

Left: Revlon Untamed , right: ILNP Central Station

Revlon Untamed – this looks like an indie polish, it’s such a complex and interesting colour (brown / black / pink / gold?), with irregular bits of glitter.

ILNP Central Station – I just picked this up recently and I couldn’t wait to slap it on my nails!  Two words: holographic. taupe. 😮


Illamasqua Powder Blush in Disobey – I got during Black Friday sales last year. This is labelled as a blush but the shade is more of a bronzer. It’s quite ochre undertone rather than orange / terracotta that’s typical of bronzers. It’s very pigmented so I have to use a light hand and a duo fibre brush. But it warms up my complexion really nicely when I apply it to the outer perimeter of my face (using the backwards “E” and “3” sweeps).

Becca Beach Tint Shimmer Souffle in Watermelon / Moonstone and Raspberry / Opal – I picked these up during the January clearance sales and they’re so effortless and leaves a beautiful finish on the skin. I was also surprised that they last all day on my cheeks and they’re not sticky. The texture is fun: a malleable cushy gel – it’s best to apply these with fingers.

They both have light fruity scents that correspond back to their names (the smell do not linger). The best part about these is that they have the highlighter built-in so I can blush and highlight in one step. 😛

Smashbox High Definition Concealer in Light – I’ve owned this for a couple of years but only recently came to appreciate how nicely it looks layered lightly over other concealers for the under eye area. On its own, I don’t find it has enough coverage, but layered, it provides a highlighted and lifted appearance.

Seventeen Mono Eyeshadow in Rose Quartz – I received this in a swap with DanniiJane and although it arrived crushed (no one’s fault, apparently these are very fragile! Watch FleurDeForce talk about how hers “smashed” here) – I simply emptied the pan into a jar and use it like a loose eye shadow. It is a gorgeous shade of lilac-y taupe – I love wearing this all over the lid and just blending the edges with a warm transitional shade. It wears really well too – no fading or creasing for more than 10 hours.

Anna Sui Eye & Face Colour in A500 Tree and V500 Amber – These surprised me with how good they are – they’re certainly not just a pretty face!

The Amber shade is a velvet finish – it applies so smoothly and blends out really well. The Tree shade is a satin finish which has more shine – both colours lasts all day on my lids with no fading or creasing. I’ve got my eye on more of these refills so I can fill up my palette (it can hold 4 more!) 🙂

Joe Fresh Fine Tip Liquid Eyeliner in Dark Brown – I wasn’t sure I’d like this because it’s a not a brush tip, but rather a felt tip. I typically find felt tip liners to get clogged up and don’t dispense the product as evenly as brush tip liners. But this one has been going strong for the past 3 months – the line isn’t as fine as some of the Japanese made ones (this one is US-made) but the formula is quite good – it dries down matte and lasts well.  Really affordable at only $8.

Fleur de Force Lip Gloss in  020 Written in the Stars – it was love at first use! This MLBB shade is more like a liquid lipstick to me than just a lip gloss. It’s not sticky and smells like sweet cake batter! Interestingly, this is made in Czech Republic. I won this from Rachael’s giveaway!

Top: Fleur de Force in Written in the Stars , Bottom: Marvelous Moxie in Big Tease

bareMinerals Marvelous Moxie in Big Tease – this came in a kit and has been living in my purse. I don’t love the minty tingling but the gloss is so easy to wear that I can get over it. The finish is shiny but not at all sticky – I like pairing this with a MLBB lip liner.

Mary Kay Lip Liner in Neutral – this has been residing in my purse lately. The colour is a rosy MLBB and the formula is long wearing. I also like that it’s an automatic pencil so I don’t have to sharpen it. I don’t see this particular shade listed any more but I suspect it’s similar to “Medium Nude”.

NYX Lip Liner in #825 1000 Years – I’m still on a lip liner kick and I’ve been wearing this muted taupe shade with a lip balm. It’s creamy and lasts well on the lips. Supposedly, this shade is a dupe for MAC Stone.


MUJI Cotton Buds – I’ve discovered the teeniest tiniest cotton buds! Look at how small it is compared to regular Q-Tips and The Face Shop ones:

I love that the MUJI one is so precise – I’ve been using these to clean up mascara smudges. No lint at all!

Daiso Japan Reusable Silicone Mask Cover for Sheet Mask – I picked this contraption in Japan and it’s been a great addition to my masking routine. You can use this several ways: over serum, over a sheet mask, over cream mask. I mainly use it over sheet masks. At first I found the fit to be a bit tight with the ear loops digging into my ears but I learned that it can be trimmed, which improved the fit.

Japonesque 150 Degree Eye Crease brush – I misplaced this for a while and I was so sad about it! Happy I found it hiding among taller brushes! The unique angle of this brush is ergonomically designed to help with natural angles when applying makeup – I find it reaches the eye area better. And the bristle head shape is perfect to fit into the eye socket to diffuse deeper shades. It’s a well-made brush: the hairs are natural fibres and the handle is metal. I originally found this at Winners and I’ve been trying to find a backup!

“Baking” – I’m probably the last person in the beauty community to try “baking” under eye concealer. I’ve been wanting to for a long time but worried that it would make my under eye area look really dry. It turns out that it doesn’t, as long as you use the right powder. I’ve been using the Elf HD loose powder along with a thin foam foundation sponge to lay down the powder. I don’t really keep the powder on too long – since I’m usually rushing out the door – then I use a larger fluffy eye blending brush (this one shown is from Inglot, #4SS) to brush off the excess. Part of me thinks I’m not really baking, more so pressing the powder onto my skin for a stronger, more even application of powder. *shrug* It does help my concealer not crease and not fade during the day. 😀

Those have been the items that I’ve been particularly enjoying for the last 3 months! What have been your favourites lately? 🙂

81 thoughts on “Favourites Lately: Early 2017

  1. Oh I do love a lilac taupe eyeshadow! It’s oddly hard to find a good one. It’s such a flattering eyeshadow color.

    The 3M bandages look awesome (hormonal acne hit me recently, as well, thanks to serious lack of sleep, sigh) but mine rarely get popped.

    I really need to try Ole Henriksen this year.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That Seventeen Rose Quartz shade reminds me a bit of MAC Shale, if you’re in the market for a lilac taupe shade! Shale is apparently Princess Kate’s favourite eye shadow colour! 😉

      Ugh my chin has been a battlefield! As soon as I manage one, another pops up in its place! I’m testing out the CosRX BHA right now to see if I can proactively prevent them – fingers crossed.

      Sephora VIB sale is coming up soon if you’re interested in Ole Henriksen…


    1. After I learned that you’re suppose to use those patches on “open” blemishes, then the light bulb went off… it needs a pathway for the gunk to be sucked out. So gross but so satisfying!
      Glad you enjoyed! I’d rather do quarterly favourites rather than monthly since I like to have some longevity to my likes (I can be so fickle sometimes!)


  2. I have that Hydra Veil on my wishlist – I’m not sure it’ll be the best for my skintype but I’ve heard such amazing things about it I want to give it a go at some point!
    I’m glad you love the FDF gloss, it’s my all time fave gloss, I think the range has been discontinued though – I picked up a couple around Christmas time for about £2 and they don’t seem to have come back into stock, I wish I had a backup of that shade because it’s by far my fave!
    Hmm I need that Seventeen shadow, I only have one – creatively called ‘Brown’ – and it’s gorgeous, that one looks as nice as the one I have!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve had the Illamasqua Hydra Veil for a while now but neglected it for ages. Maybe my skin is more dehydrated recently, but I noticed its effects much more pronounced when I started up using it again in January. If you’re able to visit an Illamasqua counter, have a play with it first. I did also purchase the matte version but I don’t love it as much as the Hydra one.

      That FDF gloss is AMAZING! My favourite gloss formula right now. I’m doing a decluttering this weekend I’m honestly going to toss out all the other glosses I have!

      I highly recommend the Rose Quart shade of the Seventeen shadow!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Some great favourites here! I reeallyy wish we had a bath and body works in the uk! I love the look of that seventeen eyeshadow i need to get one of those its a gorgeous colour!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s so shocking there isn’t Bath & Body Works or Sephora in the UK! I know you can order online from Sephora but it’s not the same as having a store. I heard rumours that Sephora might be coming there?
      Definitely grab that Seventeen shadow – it’s stunning and such great quality.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Love love love this😊 So many amazing products. I love the Fleur lipgloss, I’ve been reaching for it non-stop.
    Aaw glad the seventeen eyeshadow is working well for you. Such a pretty colour. Just a shame it’s so fragile.
    You’ve got me obsessed with B&BW’s Mango Mai Tai. The gloss you sent me smells amazing☺ Literally love everything you mentioned. The nail polishes are gorge x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. THANK YOU again for that Seventeen eye shadow – it’s every and MORE than I expected!
      What shades of the Fleur lip glosses do you recommend?
      I’m using the Mango Mai Tai hand soap right now – it smells SO good!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I might have to try one of their eyeshadows myself☺ I only have Written in the stars and I bought a backup as I love it. Aah I love the smell of it. Smells good enough to eat! Btw the Cake Beauty lemon and cream shower gels is sooo good☺ x

        Liked by 1 person

  5. That holographic taupe is gorgeous! I need something like that in my life. And you have some good favorites there. And I hated the TBS eye serum. It gave me an allergic reaction. I woke the next morning with red bumps all over my eyes. Yikes!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh no, so sorry to hear that TBS eye roller didn’t work on you! Not good.
      Funny story: I tried using that on my boyfriend and he hated it. Said it was cold and slimy. 😛

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Great favourites! Looks like there are so many good things on this list.
    I’ve been itching to get my hands on that Illamasqua primer ever since you told me about it! A clear jelly primer?! Yes, please.
    I used the Ole Henrikson Truth Serum (also deluxe sample sized) about two years ago, and I was so excited to try it because people said it was so amazing, and it did nothing for my skin! 😦 I was so disappointed. It smells nice, though.
    The foaming shower gel is so cool! I didn’t notice that in stores last year, maybe because I thought it was some type of body spray or something. I hope they bring it back, in the same scent or different! I recently used up a shower gel of the Tiki Mango Mai Tai and it was yummy.
    ILNP Central Station – yes, just yes. I think I’m going to get a few ILNP polishes in April! Now, to decide which ones to get is the issue…
    Gah, those Becca Beach Tints are so beautiful. I’m still sad I missed out on the sale, haha! I don’t tend to use cream blushes because I find them hard to blend out, but 1) How can you resist a sale? and 2) These just look so stunning…plus they smell fruity!
    The Fleur de Force lip gloss looks nice. I like that it’s more opaque than a regular lip gloss, but looks pretty moisturizing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Illamasqua is one of those products you didn’t know you needed until you use it! It makes my foundation last so much better – no flakes or breakdown in patches.

      I think the Ole Henrikson isn’t as potent as other Vitamin C serums out there but it does give a nice glow. My next Vitamin C product will likely be from The Ordinary since everyone and their grandmas are talking about that brand! 😛

      I did NOT expect to like those Becca blushes that much. I can even wear them on top of face powder – they glide on and aren’t sticky so my hair doesn’t stick to my cheeks!

      The BBW foaming gel was a total gamble last year – I think I picked up a couple just to try. Pleasantly surprised! I hope they bring them back this year.

      ILNP is dangerous… once you get one, you want MORE!


  7. My eye cream had just ran out and that Drops of Youth sounds good.. But I am deathLy afraid of putting roLLer baLLs anywhere near my eyes ^^;

    WiLL be waiting for the Allie review!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Those nail polishes are all gorgeous colours – particularly the glitters! Are they stubborn to remove like normal glitters? The Seventeen eyeshadow is super pretty as well! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I found the Revlon one to be a little more stubborn to remove but not the ILNP one. 🙂
      Yeah, that Seventeen eye shadow is gorgeous, I don’t even care that it’s broken.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. That Tigi Bead Head Mousse sounds really interesting! I’ll have to check it out! Revlon Untamed looks really stunning! I feel like if I had that on my nails I’d never get any work done because I’d be staring at them too much 😍

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Fantastic picks!
    I love the angled brush – what a fantastic idea!
    The Illamasqua Hydra Veil sounds like the ultimate useful fun product. I love your description of the Becca Souffles – malleable cushy gels… I would love to play with them!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love it when products are fun / playful but also work well! 😀 I am slightly concerned the Becca blushes will dry out over time but for now I’m just enjoying them (and keeping the lids tightly capped!)

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I was surprised at the banana scent of the Tigi – but a good surprise! 🙂
      I’m sure your locks aren’t “wild”… what do you use currently?


    1. I think Allie might be available at some Asian beauty stores – but very high mark up! You’re better off buying online… or fly to Japan! 😉


  11. So many favourites! I had a bottle of the Twisted Peppermint body lotion a while back and I loved it too – so cooling and refreshing.

    Very intrigued by that Joe Fresh eyeliner – I’ve grown to love brush tips now but for that price it’s definitely worth a try!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, the Joe Fresh liner surprised me. I thought I’d give it a go for $8. Plus, it came in dark brown which isn’t always available with pen liners.


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