I guess it would be wrong to call this a 'January 2016' favourites as I've had a few of the products I'm going to mention a while longer than that, but I figure now is as good a time as any to start a 'favourites' series.
Some background information about myself:
So, I wasn't really big into the cosmetics world until fairly recently (maybe the last few years). Certainly in my teens I was very bookish and wasn't particularly into make up and such.
I'd definitely say I'm more into skin care and body care than make up, which is partially down to my skin being really sensitive so hard to find make up for (especially foundations, powders, etc.) and also because personally I feel it's pretty important to maintain healthy skin, rather than cover up problems.
1. Honey I Washed My Hair shampoo bar by Lush
About June last year, I finally tried Lush's shampoo bars, and I haven't looked back. So far I've tried out Jason and the Argan Oil, Godiva, and I'm currently using HIWMH. Honestly, of the three, I don't think I could pick a favourite, they all smell divine! HIWMH is sweet-smelling, which I really like, it's very calming and relaxing. I was a bit worried I wouldn't be able to get the bars to lather up at first (for my hair to feel clean, I need to see bubbles!) but I had no problems at all.
Lush's shampoo bars also seem to last longer than any bottles of liquid shampoo I've used in the past, which is always a plus!
Shampoo bars cost £5.95 each (i think - some may be a little more than that) which, considering the use you get out of them, is great value.
2. Twilight shower gel by Lush.
Yes, another Lush product! I should mention, I use Lush products every day, honestly I'm really impressed with pretty much everything I've tried!
I use this shower gel only when I wash my hair in the evening, purely because of the lavender scents that are so relaxing and help send me off to sleep.
Twilight shower gel, as far as I'm aware, is only available in the gift set 'Relax' at present (I received it for my birthday in November last year). In the set, you also get French Kiss - a lavender bubble bar, Ceridwen's Cauldron, which is a bath melt, and Butterball, a bath bomb which helps soften skin. The gift box is £19.50, and is great if you love relaxing bath/shower products.
3. Escada 'Agua Del Sol' Perfume.
Though I haven't opened my bottle yet, this is one of those products I know I'm going to love. Last year I bought 'Turquoise Summer' by Escada, and though the two scents are not the same, they both have that freshness that I love in a perfume. I got my 100ml bottle from Debenhams for £45, and the purchase included a free gift of a limited edition cool bag.
4. Cacharel 'Amor Amor' Perfume.
I've actually barely used this in 2016, but this is because I'm yet to replace my almost empty bottle.
Basically, I've wanted this perfume since I was in my mid-teens. I saw it at an airport shop, and was instantly attracted to the interesting little red bottle. I tried it, and since then, it's been one of those smells that fills me with nostalgia for travel and adventure. Unfortunately, I couldn't buy it at the time, because, being in my mid-teens, didn't want to spend what was a lot of money for me then on one little thing.
Around last summer, however, a few months before my wedding, having been thinking about wedding hair and make up, I remembered that perfume I'd wanted for years. I decided then and there that it would be the perfume I wore on my wedding day (after all, a perfume that fills you with thoughts of new adventures couldn't be more appropriate, right?)
I didn't think much about it after that.
Fast forward to a week before the wedding and I still hadn't bought it. That was when my Aunt gave me a little silver gift bag, saying inside was a little present from her for the wedding, and she hoped I hadn't already bought it. I honestly had no idea what she could mean at first; then I pulled out something wrapped in pale pink tissue paper. Inside, there it was. That gift and moment will always be so special to me, as will the perfume. I wore it on the wedding day, took it on our honeymoon, and wore it a lot over Christmas. I'm only now holding off using it because I don't ever want it to run out!
5. Nivea Micellar Water
I have awful skin at times. It's prone to becoming very dry, and is very sensitive. Nivea seems to be one of those brands I can use without any really negative effects.
I should clarify, that I mostly use this to remove my eye make up/mascara, rather than all over my face. I'll usually use a cleanser or face wash afterwards to remove any other makeup or oil. I find that this is great for removing every last bit of mascara and eyeshadow, and I've also used it to neaten up mascara smudges. I believe it's on sale in Boots for £3.69 currently (200ml).
6. Champney's Heavenly Days Temple Balm
If there's one thing I seem to be terrible at, it's getting a good night's sleep. This product is something that I've used to help several times already, and I've only had it a few weeks. The smell is very soothing, as is the act of massaging the balm into your pulse points. I keep the little jar in my bedside table, and when I'm feeling particularly restless at night, massage some of it into my temples, the pulse points on my neck, my elbows and my wrists. I tend to sleep with my hands near my face, and the scent of the balm on my wrists certainly seems to help. I got my 15ml pot from Boots for £6.
7. Urban Decay's Vice 4 Palette
I've always admired Urban Decay's make up from afar, but never actually owned any until late last year.
I bought the Naked Basics palette to use as wedding make up in early November of 2015, as well as the make up setting spray and the eyeshadow primer (I love all of these products, I might add).
It was on our honeymoon in Rome that I saw a Sephora, and, not having Sephora stores in the UK, insisted we have a look inside.
While browsing in a magical land of make up brands that just aren't as easy to get your hands on in the UK, I saw the Vice 4 Palette. Having swatched a few of the colours, I already had a tonne of ideas for looks with these eyeshadows.
My husband very kindly got me the palette as a wedding gift that day.
I love that you can use this palette for a basic smoky eye, right through to bold, glittery looks. The pigmentation of colours is also great, something I consistently find with UD products.
We got the palette for 44 euros, which worked out about £35 at the time. It's currently on sale in the UK for £43, so I feel like buying abroad was a good choice!