My top picks from the Glossybox Advent Calendar

After three years with three cracking advent calendars, I have to say that this year’s takes every biscuit in the biscuit tin. I went for the Glossybox offering in 2018 and every day it was a Christmas cracker of a gift. I love pretty much everything I got in the calendar but here is the creme de la creme, my top picks.

I’ve picked my five favourite products from this year’s calendar. I haven’t included the two brushes I got – a Real Techniques Expert Face Brush and Luxie 552 Tapered Highlighter Brush – partly because I forgot and partly because it was so hard to choose my top five anyway it made it easier to leave these out.

Day one got off to a cracking start. I didn’t know what to expect from the calendar in terms of the type of products they were dishing out but when this made an appearance I knew I was in for a good month. This is one of the Nars Velvet Lip Glide– a sort of cross between a lip gloss and a lip lacquer I’d say. Packs a punch colour wise, sticks around for a decent length of time and is pretty moisturising. The colour I got was Burning Love, a red/pink that is pretty vibrant. When I first saw it I thought it might be a bit bright and out of my comfort zone but this type of pinky shade seems to work well for me and I couldn’t get enough of it during December. You can wear it full whack and be bold or I also quite like to put a little bit on and smudge it in day to day. Great forumla, fab colour and a win all round.

Anyone who doesn’t think there is something special about Huda Beauty needs their head testing. I honestly don’t know what it is about it, because let’s face it the packaging isn’t exactly the most premium in the world, but every time I look at it I get excited to use it. The ‘it’ I’m talking about is the Huda Beauty Winter Solstice Highlighter Palette. Normally I would take one look at these shades – a white with pink glitter, sheeny purple, yellow gold and blush pink – and run for the hills but after giving them a try I’m a big fan. I don’t think I’d be able to get away with them by themselves but by blending them together with The Balm Mary Lou Manizer I can make it work. The two shades that are my favourite are Arctic Glow and Winter Rose. Both add a bit of extra sheen and I’m totally into it. Not something I’ll use everyday but when a special occasion rolls around I’ll definitely be cracking this out.

I didn’t think that a lip primer would appeal to me that much but when I need something to last, this little black bottle is what I turn to. It’s the 3INA Lip Primer and is a pretty unnecessary product in the grand scheme of things but when you’re putting 125 products on your face ready for a night out, what’s one more. It has a slight pink tint so is ideal for putting on just after my foundation to get rid of any concealer lips I have going on. By the time I then get round to putting my lip product of choice on it’s gone to a semi-matte and allows pencils, creams and lipsticks to glide over the top. Not something I’d have ever bought myself, but something I’m enjoying.

Potentially the best pigment/glitter I’ve ever used, anyone who loves a bit of sparkle needs this in their lives. I audibly gasped when I pulled this out of the box. It’s the Pop Beauty Pure Pigment Eyeshadow in Metallic Copper and is a fine glitter pigment that is the most gorgeous copper colour. It’s so glittery and gorgeous but also surprisingly easy to work with. Even though it’s more of a pigment than a glitter, I still use a glitter glue before I use it to make sure it sticks to my eye, and that has been working really well for me. Fall out wise there isn’t that much, especially considering it’s such a fine powder. It looks great on a smokey eye and also with that all over the lid and a light matte brown in my crease. I would seriously consider getting more shades of this because the formula is so great.

Last, but certainly not least, is the only skincare product in my top five. This is the Mitchell and Peach Fine Radiance Oil. It’s the perfect mix of oily and watery – what I mean is that it isn’t greasy and doesn’t make my oily skin even worse. I can’t report back on if it’s dramatically changed my skin for good but I do wake up in the morning with a plumped up face so I think it must be doing something good!

What’s in my Shower

I was the luckiest girl this Christmas and I got SO many bath type products. I’ve never had so many at one time before and to say I was excited to try them all out was an understated. My first thought was “I can be that person that chooses what scrub, moisturiser and shower gel to use depending on what their feeling!”. Yeah, that was my very first thought. But this has made me realise that I have a huge love for pampering products and enjoy having a good shower/ bath. Because I’m at uni, and uni accommodation tends not to have baths, I thought I’d let you into my shower and show you the products I use and my thoughts on them. So let’s dive in!

Aussie

The Aussie shampoo and conditioner range is one that I love and don’t think I would ever change up. If you’ve never smelt the wonderful products then I’d definitely recommend it, they leave you hair smelling like a tropical dream all day and even when you can’t smell it anymore, other people can so you may attract more friends, or not. The Miracle Moist range is my favourite as I feel like it cleans my hair deeply and you can get a good lather with it, which I always like. the 3 Minute Miracle is something I’ve used for a while and it’s something that my hair really likes. I run it through the ends of my hair and leave it on for 3 minutes (what a surprise) then wash and and kind of brush through my hair with my fingers to make sure it’s all gone. Aussie products are normally on offer in Boots, Superdrug or most supermarkets.

The Body Shop

I love The Body Shop and I got very excited when I saw that I had got two products from their Spa of the World range for Christmas. So luxurious! The African Ximenia Scrub is really good is you want something that will still scrub but isn’t too abrasive. There are tiny scrubby bits so it gives you an all over rub and it also gives your legs a good moisturise. You don’t need too much so I have a feeling that this tub is going to last me for a really long time. The Frozen Plum scent is my new favourite from the Body Shop so I was excited when I received that Frozen Plum Shower Gel. It gets up a good lather and smells amazing! Body Shop shower gels always last a long time so I’m going to enjoy using this for a while!

Soap and Glory

I’m having a big Soap and Glory moment so there’s a few of these products that I’m using lately. The Smoothie Star scent will always be one of my favourites and the Smoothie Star Scrub is great for getting rid of any dead skin. The smell is sweet and it’s a sugar scrub so it’s pretty abrasive which is sometimes just what you need. Another scrub on the other end of the abrasive spectrum is the Scrub of our Life. This has bead type things in them which gives a more gentle scrub. I’ve been using this everyday to keep on top of my legs to keep them smooth. It’s in the original Soap and Glory Scent and I love using it. Something else in the original scent is the Clean on Me Shower Gel. I love their giant pump shower gels, they last for ages, dispense the right amount of product and lather up nicely. My go to winter shower gel is the Whipped Clean which is also in the sweet Smoothie Star scent. It’s so thick and luxurious, lathers up amazingly and is the best thing I’ve ever used when shaving my legs, it moisturises so well!

Getting Some Charlotte Tilbury Love

I know, you are looking at products from heaven. I’ve been lusting over Charlotte Tilbury products for about two years now and I this Christmas I was lucky enough to get my hands on some! I’d say these are my first ‘proper high end’ products, meaning they are rather expensive, big on quality rather than quantity but totally worth it!

In my first year of uni I’d go onto the Charlotte Tilbury website every few weeks and decide which eyeshadow palette I was one day going to get. There was so much hype over the Dolce Vita palette which made me want to choose something else to be a bit different (I’m a bit strange when it comes to things like that). I felt that The Rebel was quirky and different but something that I wouldn’t get much use out of, Fallen Angel was neutral but didn’t have the glitter like the other palettes and Uptown Girl would have suited my hair colour, etc, but was a bit wishy washy looking. After swatches, reviews and a lot of research I decided that the Dolce Vita was the best and the palette for me and boy am I glad that I chose it. The shades are buttery and very pigmented without much fallout and the easy to use system means that every eye look looks amazing! At first I couldn’t really get the glitter to work properly but now I’ve got the pat and swipe technique down it adds great sparkle to any eye look. My favourite shade from the quad is reddish brown. I can see myself using this day and night on its own and within the palette.

I’d heard a lot in recent months about the Charlotte Tilbury matte lipsticks, and I want to keep expanding my lipstick collection, so I browsed the website to pick a shade. I’d heard a lot about the reds and the dark colours like Glastonberry but I wanted something that I could wear everyday. Sexy Sienna stood out to me as I colour I would wear a lot but that wasn’t anything like something I already had. I cannot explain how much I love these lipsticks. The formula is really creamy so they apply so easily and last for a very long time. I cannot wait to add more of these to my collection, I have my eyes set on Bond Girl (friends, family please take note).

December Favourites

I wasn’t planning on doing a December Favourites post due to my 2015 Faves that will be coming up next week, but I thought that I’ve been loving a few things this month so I might as well share!

I bought Harper’s Bazaar last month because I saw that it came with a free mini Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair. I’d never used a serum before and I was curious to see how it would work on my oily skin. I am in love with this product and will be really sad when it runs out. It gives my face some much needed moisture without creating a load of oil. I’ve noticed that it also has a real effect on spots as well as I get much less when I use this. If you saw my Nine Ladies Dancing post then you’ll have seen that to get my glittery lids I used the Collection Glam Crystals Glitter Eyeliner. I’ve found that this is so much better than a normal glitter as it sticks to the lids and stays on for a very long time. It does make my eyes sting for a bit whilst I apply it but that’s completely worth it. My lips seem to have hated me this month so lip balm has been my best friends and the Maybelline Baby Lips gives me just the right amount of moisture to keep my lips from getting dry. Also my Lush Lip Scrub has been great at getting rid of the skin on my lips after they’ve gone through a dry patch.

Twelve Drummers Drumming

THE LAST DAY OF EYEMAS! I can’t believe it! I have to say these three weeks have totally flown! Drummers Drumming, another one that I found difficult to do. I used blue shades in the end because I could picture the little drummers wearing little blue jackets and thought it looked cute! Also I’ve not done a blue look in this series so I thought I’d end it with a bang!
I primed my eyes and then got to work with my Urban Decay Vice 3 Palette. I started with the shade Truth, a cream matte shadow, to give the look a clean base to open up the eye. I then started on the blue and used the shade Freeze which is a light blue shade in the crease. I layered it on with a fluffy brush to get an intense colour with a soft edge. To darken up the look a little I took the shade Heroine, a dark navy blue, on an angled brush and used this to define my lash line. I also took this underneath and blended it out to deepen the eyes. Eyeliner and mascara then finish off the look. And that’s eyemas done! I’ve really enjoyed doing this little series so don’t be surprised if you see something like this in the future!

Eleven Pipers Piping

Eleven pipers piping! One of the ones I always get confused with the number on. This one is the shimmery version of six geese a laying and I’m starting to sense that dark browns are kind of where I’m at right now. The Urban Decay Naked Smokey palette is the one to thank for this look and I have to say I’m going to be using this palette a lot this winter!

After priming my eyes I went into the crease with Combust, a light ashy brown that I use as a base colour. I then used the shade Dirtysweet all over the lid, which is a beautifully gorgeous shimmery gold. I layered this on to get a lot of intensity as I just love the colour. I then went into the crease with the dark matte brown shade Whiskey to darken up the crease. I then used the light brown shimmer called Radar on the outer part of the lid and took this underneath the lid and blended it out. Winged liner, black eyeliner in the waterline and lashings of mascara finished off this look.

Ten Lords a Leaping

Every day it seems to be getting harder and harder to make these looks different and not repeat! This was a very brave look for me, there’s a lot of red which may border on ‘punched in the face’. I do quite like the way it turned out though, whether I’ll be wearing it again is another thing!
Primed the eyes as per usual and got straight to work. I was feeling really brave so took a risk with the shimmery, vampy red shade from the Urban Decay Vice 3 Palette called Sonic. I patted this all over the lid and blended it out so that the edge was really soft. I also took it underneath and did a lot of blending. To give the look a bit more depth I used the warm, dark brown shade called Reign from the same palette  on the outer corner of the eye and did a lot more blending! To make it look like I didn’t have some kind of eye problem I did a little bit of liner quite close to the lash line. To finish off I lined my waterline with Rimmel Sable Brown Eyeliner and a little bit of mascara.

Nine Ladies Dancing

I am absolutely, head over heels in love with this look! I love the colour, I love the drama and most of all I love the glitter! I decided that ‘Ladies Dancing’ deserved its very own video, because I’ve not done one in a while and I wanted to do one in this little series. I’m so glad I decided to do that because I like the way it turned out and I am literally in love with these eyes! This is clearly the most dramatic look I’ve done so far and is what I’d class as definite Christmas party makeup. Don’t be expecting every day from now on to be this intense because it won’t be, just to pre warn. Hope you enjoy the video and I apologise for the awful nails, totally forgot they’d be on show!

Mac Painterly Paint Pot
Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette // High and Smoulder
Mac Metallic Pigments // Femininity, Dusty Desire and Maribu
Collection Glam Crystals // Funk and Dancing Queen
L’areal Super Liner Perfect Slim // Black
Rimmel Kohl Kajal // Jet Black
Clinique High Impact Mascara
Taste Lights Camera Splashes Mascara

Eight Maids a Milking

Yep, I know what you’re thinking. Abz, I’m so glad that you finally got to use that milk jug in the shape of cow. I know, me too! I seriously apologise for the state of my brows in this look. They’re in dire need of a wax and I didn’t realise how bad they were until I saw these photos! For this look I went down the pink route. I know, very stereotypical to go pink for girls but I’ve not done a look like this so far and I kept it quite neutral. I really like how it turned out and it rekindled my love for the Urban Decay Naked 3 palette, which is all I used shadow wise for this look.

A little change in this look in terms of primer as I used the Kiko Shadow Stick in 21 Passionfruit. I used it because it’s a sparkly pink/gold and I thought it might add a little extra pinkness to this look. Using the matte white shade Strange from the Naked 3 palette I put this on the inner part of my lid just to brighten it up a little. I then went into the crease with Nooner, a matte brown with a tint of pink that I absolutely love. This was all I used in the crease and layered it to build up intensity. To make the lids a bit sparkly and festive, I used Dust, a shimmery pink, on the inner lid and Trick, a gorgeous rose gold, on the rest of the lid. Finally I took Blackheart, a black with red shimmers in it, on an angled brush and then across the very close to the lash line. A swipe of black liner to the waterline and a bit of mascara and the look is complete. Now I’m ready to go and milk some cows.

Seven Swans a Swimming

I’ve never really understood a no makeup makeup look before until I did this to my face. When I planned to do this look I knew that I wanted to go very simple on the eyes, understated but great like a swan. I thought about going for the liner look but I’ve done that quite a few times already in this little series so I thought I’d use a little bit of black eyeshadow instead. I wasn’t sure about this look at first but I quite like it. It’s taught me that you can still put makeup on without having to go over board with the eyes. You learn something new everyday!
All of the eyeshadows I used for this look are from the Urban Decay Naked Smokey Palette, ironic when this is the furthest thing away from a smokey eye! I started off by putting the shade Thirteen a pale white, all over my lid to lighten up my eyes. I then used the cool light brown shade called Combust in the crease, but only lightly as I wanted to keep the eyes quite bare. The last shadow I used (yes I only used three, crazy right) was Black Market, which as you probably guessed is a black. Not quite matte but also not shimmery, somewhere in between. I took this on a small pencil like brush and lined the top of lash line with it, focusing on the outer edges. This was the first look in these twelve days that I haven’t used eyeliner in my waterline and I have to say I think that’s what makes my eyes look bare. So all I did was finish off the look with mascara. 
I hope you like this one and the fact that it was something a little bit different for this blog!