February is a pretty shit month, I think we can all agree. It’s too cold, everyone’s still skint after Christmas, it’s no longer my birthday month (January 4th, thanks for asking), Valentines is shit whether you’re single or not, it’s just not fun for anyone involved. However, I always manage to cheer myself up with some banging beauty buys, and this past month’s been no different. Here are the best of the best – and a couple of the worst, too.
Noughty Pumped Up Shampoo and Conditioner
I won’t lie, I’m shit at hair. Make up I can talk about for hours, skincare I am an expert in, but when it comes to my hair, I just leave it be – honestly, I’ve only just started using conditioner. Every couple of months, I visit my gorgeous hairdresser Jay and he works a small miracle, transforming my lifeless shoulder-length hair into something gorgeous and edgy and healthy. And then I go back to washing it every few days with Pantene and pretty soon it’s dull and lifeless once again. I needed help.
When I went to Vegan Life Live, one of the many freebies in my goody bag was a sample size Intensive Care Leave-In Conditioner from natural and vegan brand Noughty. Being as lazy as I am with my haircare, I love a leave-in conditioner, but I’d never been as impressed before as I was with this. Not only did it make my hair smoother and softer, it also felt much thicker and healthier after just one use. I was sold. I went on their website and found that they have ranges catering to all different types of hair – frizzy and damaged, curly or wavy, normal or dry, sensitive scalp, fine or limp, blonde, and colour treated, as well as a clarifying shampoo and cleansing conditioner. It’s all 100% vegan and cruelty free, made with 97% natural ingredients, and it’s easy on the wallet too – a shampoo and conditioner bought together comes to just £10. I went for Pumped Up, their volumising range for fine or limp hair, and I’m super impressed. My hair is noticeably thicker, fuller and bouncier, as well as shiny and healthy looking. It smells great, packed with passion fruit, hibiscus and anti-oxidising red grape, and also contains Vitamin B5 which attracts moisture and plumps up individual hair strands. It’s great knowing exactly what I’m using on my hair, especially when it works this well.
Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution in Pillow Talk
I’d had my eye on this shade for a while after seeing it pop up on my Insta, and lucky girl that I am, my boyfriend bought it for me for Valentine’s Day after I dropped a couple of hints (sent him a link to the exact lipstick I wanted). It’s even better than I’d hoped – super soft to the point where it almost feels like a lip balm instead of a pigmented lipstick, the colour is a beautiful nude pink that’s wearable everyday. It makes my lips look huge and pillowy, fuller and wider. All the Matte Revolution shades contain orchid and lipstick tree extract to soften, protect and hydrate, as well as 3D glowing pigments which give the illusion of lit-from-within lips. I’m also a huge fan of the packaging – that luxe gold – and I’m enjoying the novelty of not reaching for a matte liquid lip. I wonder if we’re making a return to the classic “stick” lipstick, after the launch of Fenty’s Mattemoiselle and Kylie’s Creme Lipsticks. I’m definitely on board.
Maybelline Total Temptation Mascara
Okay so this is going to sound like a non-problem, and feel free to call me a dick for this, but I have really long lashes, and usually drugstore mascara makes them look shit. I know, I know, I’m a dickhead. But they always end up looking clumpy and gross, because most drugstore mascaras are designed to cheaply lengthen and thicken shorter lashes, but turn longer ones into sticky congealed spiders legs. However, I seem to have found the solution with this new release from Maybelline. Total Temptation Mascara is maybe the creamiest mascara I’ve ever used – this is because the whipped formula is enriched with coconut. Not only does this make for easier and smoother application, it also conditions the lashes, leaving them looking fluttery, fanned and thick. It smells gorgeous, and I also love the matte millennial pink packaging à la KKW. I’d recommend this to everyone.
The Body Shop Fuji Green Tea Shower Gel
As I’ve already mentioned in my Nini Organics post, I really love pampering myself in the bath. However, as a 4th year uni student, my chances for a true night of pampering are few and far between, so I wanted to find something more special to use in the shower everyday than Dove (no offence to Dove, but it’s hardly decadent). I actually went into The Body Shop intending to buy something from their new Almond Milk and Honey range, as I’d heard it was made with ethically sourced ingredients, but after smelling it in store I decided it was a bit… granny-ish? In fact this is an issue I have with a lot of Body Shop products – they tend to smell a bit like your nan’s bathroom, and as my own Granny exclusively used their Clementine Shower Gel this is especially true for me. However, I then spotted their Fuji Green Tea range. As a Japanese student I’m always drawn to anything from Japan, and green tea is renowned for being light and refreshing, exactly what I was looking for. It’s really gorgeous, none of that floral or fruity bullshit, just clean, crisp and fresh. It’s also worth mentioning that The Body Shop were the first global beauty brand to fight against animal testing, and are currently leading a campaign to end the practice of testing on animals forever. You can read more about this and sign their petition here.
Barry M Matte Me Up Liquid Lip Kit in Go To
Shockingly, I’m ending this with another lipstick, but trust me it’s worth it. I know I said I was excited about a potential move away from matte liquid lipsticks, but that doesn’t mean I’m not still gonna wear one at least twice a week. Although I’ve tried out a few drugstore brands in recent posts, I usually stay away from drugstore liquid lipsticks just because they tend to be, well, quite shit. However, after seeing Barry M Matte Me Up in the shade Go To on sophdoesnails in this video, I quickly picked one up at Superdrug, and I really, really love it. It’s a beautiful pinky beige nude that looks a lot darker and browner on my pale skin. I love that it’s a lip kit, so it comes with the liner – the packaging is indeed very similar to Kylie Cosmetics, so no prizes for guessing where that inspo was from – which itself is super creamy and easy to apply. Although the formula of the lipstick is a little thin, it doesn’t feel drying at all, and it’s also really long wearing. For £6.99 this is awesome and I’m really impressed, and looking forward to trying out some other shades in the future.
Honourable (and dishonourable) Mentions
I have tried and loved so many products this past month, but I’ve limited this post to just five because honestly who has the time to read more, in this economy. However, my honourable mentions are as follows: Beauty Pie Ultra Colour Pro Gel Liner in the shade Turkish Coffee, which is super blendable and long lasting, but also soft and easy to apply, even on the upper inner lash line which I’ve been experimenting with lately; and Makeup Revolution Reloaded Iconic Fever Eyeshadow Palette which has 15 beautiful shades in mattes and shimmers that are super pigmented and blendable, and incredible value for just £4.
With the Good must come the Bad and the Ugly, and this months dishonourable mentions are: Makeup Revolution Retro Luxe Matte Lip Kit in the shade Reign, which like the aforementioned Barry M is supposed to come with a matching liner, however mine was the wrong shade and didn’t match at all which I assume was a packaging error, but the lipstick itself was sticky, tacky, and started to flake almost immediately – I didn’t leave it on longer than 10 minutes I hated it that much; and Superdrug B. Blending Sponge, which I assume is supposed to be a dupe of the BeautyBlender at a third of the price, but for that it should just be around 3 times worse, not 100 times worse – it doesn’t work at all, it feels really synthetic, and if you’re not gonna buy a BeautyBlender you’re much better off just paying £1 more for the Real Techniques sponge which actually works.
So there are my best of February! What have been your faves this month? And what are you looking forward to in March? Makeup Revolution’s new stick foundations? Glossier’s Solution coming back in stock in the UK? (Please Glossier babes my skin needs help ASAP.) Let me know!
- Noughty Pumped Up Shampoo and Conditioner Bundle, £10 (CF, V)
- Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution in Pillow Talk, £24 (CF)
- Maybelline Total Temptation Mascara, £8.99
- The Body Shop Fuji Green Tea Shower Gel, £6 (CF)
- Barry M Matte Me Up Liquid Lip Kit in Go To, £6.99 (CF, V)
- Beauty Pie Ultra Colour Pro Gel Eyeliner in Turkish Coffee, £17/£2.17 members price (CF)
- Makeup Revolution Reloaded Iconic Fever Eyeshadow Palette, £4 (CF, V)
- Makeup Revolution Retro Luxe Matte Lip Kit in Reign, £6 (CF)
- B. Makeup Blending Sponge, £4.99 (CF, V)