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8 Jun 2016

Beauty faves feat: Becca, Clarins, NARS and Surratt!

I thought I would kick things off again with a bit of a favourites round up. I have been doing some serious product dabbling so there is much to fill you in on! The prompt to write this ramble is also borne out of the controversy surrounding the Becca Champagne Collection. If you have no idea what I am talking about don't fret, more of that later!

Xen Tan Transformation Ultra - about £50
I'm going to get straight to the point here. If you don't apply this properly you are royally, pardon my French, f*cked. This sucker stains your skin a gorgeous deep tan but it's the longevity that will embarrass you - that "weekly" label isn't there by accident. This will generously hang around for up for 7 days. Let's imagine then that you totally bodged up your hands and feet, applying it late at night and without too much care, you know, like hypothetically. Well, if you did that you will have to commit to spending the next week applying foundation to your hands so that when you go to a meeting you don't look like you have vitiligo.

Cattier Pink Clay Mask - about £8
Laura picked this gem up from a Parisian pharmacy and handed it over to me with the description that it was "basic". Like the Ronseal of the face mask world this is a simple clay mask, blending shea butter and peppermint. Open cap, admire the scent, slap it on, wait 10 minutes and then scrub it off to reveal clean and calm skin. It's affordably priced and definitely something I would pick up the next time I am in France.

Filorga Sleep and Peel - £54
If you want to get an insight into my lazy attitude to skincare then listen to this: I love products that require nothing of me in terms of effort but deliver enthusiastically when it comes to results.

I have tried a couple of Filorga creams and they made no impact - the Sleep and Peel is different and worth considering. I had zero idea what was in this but essentially its a blend of AHA, BHA and Hyaluronic acid that promises to turn back time. Obviously it doesn't do that but it does refine the texture of the skin so that the morning after skin feels smooth and perfectly prepped for makeup.

Byredo Blanche Body Cream - £56
Byredo is such a cliched Instagram-brand that I forgive anyone who performed a deep eye-roll when they saw it in the picture. It's a bit boring to talk about but as someone who frequently neglects a daily body moisturising session this actually turned out to be a good purchase. I love the scent of Blanche and this cream is intensely moisturising in a Kiehl's Creme de Corps kind of way. I have become so into using this that I'm just one or two applications away from running out. An order of the Gypsy Water (my ultimate Byredo fragrance) version is therefore forthcoming. Let's also talk about the fact that buying the body cream is the ideal way to sample the fragrance without committing to the cost of a full size bottle. Win win.

Clarins Instant Light Lip Comfort Oils - about £19
My only foray into lip oils was via the Lancome Juicy Shakers. To me they were a no. I felt like a spanner shaking it up and down in public, the pointed dome sponge applicator often led to messy results for the more pigmented colours and the texture was too thin and oily. The Clarins lip oils are the total opposite. The applicator is a wide sponge tip that dispenses product perfectly and the formula is all high shine and lip plumping. Now they are sticky, especially when compared to the Juicy Shakers, and the colour differences are negligible which makes the whole marketing of three separate shades a bit of a joke but it wouldn't be inaccurate to say that I am currently obsessed. Every one should try one.

Surratt Beauty Artistique Blush in Grisaille
I snapped about this when it arrived. It was minuscule, like a blusher for a Borrower. Size issues aside the colour is just what I wanted it to be. I think this deserves it's own post complete with dodgy swatch but let's just say that neutral chiselled cheek lovers should invest.

NARS Liquid Laguna - £28
I was "this" close to buying the Giorgio Armani Sheer liquid bronzer and then this turned up. A couple of pumps, a flat topped kabuki brush and a gorgeous glow can be anyone's. It's blendable and refrains from turning tango. It is almost perfect. Almost.  You see it doesn't truly set on the skin and is easily disrupted by heat or humidity. Considering I live in the bloody desert you could say it is less than ideal. I still award it beauty fave status though because I can't get stop applying it.

Becca x Jaclyn Hill Champagne Eyeshadow Palette 
Well isn't this interesting. As per Jaclyn Hill's and Becca's announcement, this eyeshadow palette has now been pulled from the shelves. The reason? It does not contain the usual eyeshadow ingredients, having been manufactured at a different lab, and does not therefore match up to the expected quality of their products. It's a little late and a little embarrassing for all parties involved, reflecting either a lack of quality testing and/or an initially greedy/rushed attitude to sales. All those who pre-ordered will have the opportunity to return the product to Sephora or perhaps, hoard it as the ultimate in limited edition makeup :)

I have never tried Becca's eyeshadows so for me there was nothing to compare the quality to. Having said that when I first got this I did feel there was something a little Bobbi Brown about it. The shimmers were a little too glittery (Champagne Toast being my least favourite) and the pigmentation between the mattes was not entirely even on the first couple of uses. Despite that though I really liked this palette. I loved the tones and liked my eye looks whenever I used it and it got even better with repeated use. In fact I told real life friends that I preferred this over the face palette, a product whose blushers I found too sharp and difficult to work with.

The rumour is that the shadows are actually similar, if not the same, as those produced by Catrice and Essence. It's a Colorpop/Kylie Jenner scenario all over the again.


I'm going to keep using mine - I live for Cognac and Bordeaux (the two on the far right) - and I am so interested to see how this is going to play out for all parties concerned. I know people are criticising them for launching it in the first place but we have to be mindful that they have tried their best to rectify the situation, even at this late stage. What did you think of the whole drama?

Becca Luminous Blushers in Camellia and Tigerlily - about £34
Right, so if the whole Champagne palette debacle has put you off the entire collection then be assured that these are a sterling investment. I have already professed my love for Camellia but Tigerlily is the other colour that I am raving about to friends. Apply this high up on your cheeks and you will transform your sad office tanned face to something warmer and sun kissed. It's magical.

Thanks for reading :) Once again a quick favourites round up turned into a bloomin' essay!


  1. I JUST bought the two dark clarins lip oils yesterday after having used up the raspberry one from last year...safe to say these are my favourite lip products of all time...glad to see you love them as well��

  2. "a lack of quality testing and/or an initially greedy/rushed attitude to sales": that's the perfect summary in my opinion! Yep, it's quite embarrassing...
    It's very sad for Jaclyn though. She seems to be a nice girl, quite genuine and very passionate about what she's doing, but in a way if you decide to put your name on a product, you don't want to do it lightly. She pretends that she was more involved into the face palette creation but still, this eye palette was part of the collaboration as well. So it means that at one point, she was OK with it.
    And all these rave reviews of her YouTubers friends as well...#rollingeyes You don't know who to trust, really.
    I love the fact that you don't give a damn about the hype and that your review is super honest about it (as usual), including the whole story and the drama behind it!(and I always love a bit of beauty gossip ah ah ah)

  3. It is a shame about the eyeshadow palette the shades look really nice, I love the look of those clarins lips oils to x

    Zoe Mountford x

  4. Got my Camelia (and the face and eyeshadow palette) today-will let you know what I think :)) Camelia looks so pretty though! I've always hated Bobbi Brown eyeshadows so I am interested by your comparison to them! Xx

  5. Such a shame about the eyeshadow palette, I picked up the highlighter palette myself and I love it. As for that Becca blush, wow what a colour! I have Becca Flowerchild which is gorgeous, so I can definitely attest to the blush quality ;)
    xxx Claire

  6. The champagne eyeshadow palette just became my most sort after new piece of make up xxxx

  7. That eyeshadow palette is beeeeeeautiful!

  8. Love your reviews - the only problem is, afterwards I basically want everything! In truth, Xen-Tan, Liquid Laguna and a Becca blush have been added to my shopping list... xx

  9. You need to try the YSL Lip oils - shade No. 5, you can't go wrong! Not sticky in the slightest and gives a pretty good tint. It's the ultimate lazy lip. I'm gutted about the eye shadow palette. I was really hoping to grab that and the face palette during the re stock. xx

  10. The eyeshadow palette looks beautiful, such a shame it's been pulled! The Becca blushers look gorgeous!
    Sophie x | SophiesMakeupBlog

  11. Ok so I need the NARS Laguna liquid bronzer like NOW! I've got the Laguna highlighter and have been mixing with my usual foundation to create a darker colour to match my summer tan, but this looks a million times better!

    Claudia xx

  12. The Cattier masks are already on my list for the next trip to France.

    Linda, Libra, Loca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking

  13. I'm in love with the Blanche line from Byredo. I have the perfume, shower wash, cream, hand cream and hair perfume. Makes it even more worth it cause that's my actual name! I'm so pissed about the Jaclyn eye palette....it looks so preeeettttyyy! I live I hope they'll fix the formula and re-release it. Probably not though.
    The Beauty Bloss

  14. these are all new to me so many thanks for sharing! xo from nyc - http://the-beautiful-things.com/

  15. How strange about the Becca palette. I would have brought it regardless haha. I must check out xen tan, i've been looking for one that will last that bit longer. I need clarins lip oils - i keep seeing them everywhere! xx

    LPage Beauty

  16. Lol at the vitiligo hands! I remember when I was about 12, me and my friend had discovered her mums fake tan in the cupboard and thought it would be a great idea to put it on our legs. It was a clear gel, after about 6 coats and a whole bottle later on our legs we were like 'its not working!' so gave up, we didn't know it about the whole wait for it to develop process! Anyway in the morning we were mortified to awaken to DEEP brown legs and virtually black knees! I remember going to school in our summer uniform dresses and having porcelain white arms and face, with mahogony legs and hands. We were so embarrassed, we told everyone we'd been helping her dad fix his car engine and accidentally got covered in car oil :| FAIL! x

  17. You definitely come with exceptional articles and reviews. Nicolas Tribble

  18. I would love a post on that Surratt blush! Looks gorgeous!!

  19. I need to get my hands on that palette! It's gorgeous!

  20. I like my Becca eyeshadow palette but the formula is a little different. It doesn't seem to wear as long as the regular Becca eyeshadow! Other than that they seem great to me!


  21. Love the color palette!


  22. It it bizarre that I love the Becca cosmetics packaging purely because the lid bends all the way back? Its the little things, you know?

    Lovely post as always Laura.


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  24. Hey, great post! I was just wondering about the xen tan transformation Ultra stuff, is it sticky after application? How can you bear those self tanners in all the Dubai humidity? I even can't stand that feeling in the quite cold german climate....

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