Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Best of 2013

And here we are at the end of 2013 and another year of blogging. This blog has steadily grown in its second year and I truly appreciate every single one of you who visits, reads and comments. Your support and the connections I've made with all the lovely people whose blogs I've had the pleasure of following throughout the year continually inspire and motivate me to not only keep this thing afloat, but carve out an evolving space where we can be brought together by a subject that is both our common weakness and happy place.


Here are 17 products that I count among the best of 2013:

Benefit Sugarbomb
If I'm after a little something on the cheeks, but nothing major, Sugarbomb is what I reach for. It reminds me of a toned down, less intense in colour NARS Luster, with a beautiful golden pearl that negates the need for a separate highlighter.

Stila Convertible Colour in Gerbera
Checks all the boxes and exceeded all expectations. What I love most about it, apart from being one of few pinks that isn't a flop on me, is the dewy, healthy-looking radiance it imparts when blended into the skin.

Clarins Eye Quartet Mineral Palette in Odyssey
Aside from the impeccable packaging and the inclusion of three classic neutrals, it's really the stunning gold leaf shade that is my everything. It is to the eyes what OPI GoldenEye is to the nails.

Real Techniques Buffing Brush
I want to sing it all the love songs. I can't live, if living is without you. No one else comes close. I can't imagine applying foundation without this brush. Well, I can, but why would I want to.

NARS Blush in Luster
This slightly bronzy tangerine with gold shimmer is simply purdy, goes with almost anything, and unlike most pink blushes that look attractive in the pan but not so much on my face, it works with my skin tone. It's almost like a bronzer, blush and highlighter in one, making it an ideal choice to sweep over the cheeks for an illuminating, sunkissed flush.

NARS Bronzing Powder in Laguna
There's a reason why this is a cult product. Somehow other bronzers just don't compare. Since I bought it in a blush/bronzer duo with Angelika, I've used almost nothing else when it comes to warming up the face for the illusion of a more summery glow (and incidental, mostly futile attempts at 'contouring').

Essence Eye Soufflé in Pas des Copper
Time to start penning those letters to Essence, imploring them to re-release this inexplicably limited edition gem. An innovative, spongy, creamy, glide-on texture does all the work for you and the shimmery champagne/coppery shade is near perfect. Also impressive is that almost two years in, this shows no sign of drying out or hardening.

Revlon Matte Lipstick in Strawberry Suede
I never thought I'd pick a red lipstick given my weakness for pinks and peach/corals (not to mention that major borderline vampy berry lip phase in winter), but this was something of a revelation to me. Each time I wear it, the vibrant, retro-ish, orangey-red just makes me happy. Isn't that what lipstick is all about?

Maybelline Color Tattoo in Bad to the Bronze
The love affair continues. Ultra metallic, pigmented and long-lasting with an eminently wearable shade to boot, this versatile cream shadow continues to be my go-to choice on countless mornings when nothing else comes close to offering up competition.

KIKO Long Lasting Stick Eyeshadow in 06
Though only purchased in September, this cream eyeshadow stick has quickly risen to the top of my most reached-for eyeshadows. For an effortless, quick and flattering one-product look, it stands almost singular in my collection.

Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner in Black
Despite a somewhat shaky start, this is my favourite eyeliner of 2013. The fine tip, though prone to slight fraying, delivers a precise, thin line, and with practice, the occasionally daunting task of eyeliner is sorted in about 10 seconds. Contrary to reports that this runs out quickly, mine lasted several months with near daily use.

NARS And God Created the Woman Eyeshadow Palette
I couldn't have orchestrated a better first foray into NARS eyeshadows than this gorgeous neutral palette. No other product this year incited manic, unrelenting pangs of desire in me that I simply could not ignore.

Klorane Gentle Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk
Given my laziness and overarching disinterest when it comes to anything to do with hair, this is nothing short of a lifesaver. A can't-be-without-it miracle product that instantly revives greasy, weighed down, lifeless locks, making them appear soft, volumised, and practically newly washed. The best in its field that I've tried.

Caudalie Divine Oil
Used alone or mixed in with moisturiser, this luxurious multipurpose dry oil (with grape, sunflower, hibiscus, sesame and argan oils, as well as grape seed and tomato extract) helps improve the skin's texture and condition. I often supplement my regular night cream with a spritz of Divine Oil to ensure the extra goodness works its magic overnight.

Clarins Multi-Active Night Youth Recovery Cream for Normal to Dry Skin
My most favoured night cream. Comforts and hydrates the skin with a soothing, refreshing and non-cloying scent and combines nicely with a few drops of your chosen face oil for added moisture and nourishment.

Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturiser in Nude
HG. I can't say that about many foundations, if any. Works into properly moisturised skin effortlessly and provides the most natural, subtly illuminating, undetectable canvas.

Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Anti-Chip Top Coat
A manicure essential. Avoids those pesky morning-after bed sheet marks for those bored-at-home, late night paint jobs. No shrinkage around the edges and goes on absolutely clear. Makes every nail polish look richly glossy and smooth.

85 comments:

  1. You definitely mentioned a few of my favourite products ! Great picks !

    Madeline | Its a Mads Mads World | Check out my MAC lipstick giveaway

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    1. Glad to hear we enjoy quite a few of the same products!

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  2. I love your picks! Hehe your list was not a surprise to me as you have mentioned a lot of them to us throughout the year. I recently got the Clarins night cream but haven't tried it yet cause I want to finish what I have opened. I'm excited to try it now since it's your year round favourite! I still haven't seen that Sally Hansen top coat, for some reason I don't think it's sold in Canada. I haven't seen it in any of my drugstores, so I guess I'll have to wait for a trip to the states. Happy New Year love! :) Keep the posts coming, you're one of my favourite bloggers! <3

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    1. I hope you like the Clarins night cream as much as me :) I find it just really nice on the skin, very calming, hydrating but non-greasy and sinks in well. Plus I really like the scent! That's so odd about the Sally Hansen top coat being hard to find/unavailable in Canada. You guys are missing out! :p Happy New Year to you too :) Thank you so much, I've loved reading the comments you've left me this year and really enjoy reading your blog as well.

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  3. love all these products! i would love to get my hands on the kiko eyeshadow stick. or kiko stuff in general.

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    1. Yes I was so excited when I came across a KIKO shop in Milan!

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  4. I might be regretting a teensy bit not getting the and god created the woman palette now D: I really want to try Laguna in the new year, but I'm trying to force my self to use up one of my older bronzers first. I still love the colour tattoos however I'm finding mine are drying up a bit! Happy new year lovely!

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    1. I think some of mine are super dried out (particularly those I never use and the lid of which I probably haven't closed properly :p) but so long as my BTTB is still useable, I'm not too fussed. Good idea to use up your existing bronzers first! If only we could all exercise the same self-restraint :p And God Created the Woman was so hard for me to get - it was the only time I could be bothered with parcel forwarding services :\

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  5. Great picks :) Love my RT buffing brush!

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  6. A lovely roundup, as always!! And basically a HUGE reminder to me that there are so many more makeup items that I want/need in my life haha. Seriously each time you talk about things like the NARS palette, the KIKO shadow stick, the Stila Convertible Color… or the anything, really, I have all of the makeup feels. Here's to another year of tears brought on by cosmetics! :)

    ♥Cassie
    thriftthick.blogspot.com

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    1. Haha sorry to be such an enabler! That's the downside of beauty blogging - reading often adds far too many items onto an endless imaginary wishlist. When will we ever be 100% content with what we have? :p Thank you so much for reading and commenting this year Cassie! I thoroughly enjoyed your blog posts and videos too :)

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  7. Maybelline Bad to the Bronze had been a favorite for me for a long time too! All my other color tattoos look so neglected in comparison!

    shadowlinergirl.blogspot.com

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    1. Same here! I almost never touch the gold, white, plum or taupe shades!

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  8. thanks for sharing your best or year 2013!! I am so going to get the NARS luster soon! ^_~

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  9. I see so many lovely products that are also my favourites! I love the colours you go for all the time so when in doubt, I know I can go with your recommendations.
    xx
    Celina | The Celution | Bloglovin’

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    1. I'm glad we share much of the same taste, especially when it comes to colours. I'm such a sucker for the 'safe' shades!

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  10. Awesome list, I agree with so many of these!

    Alicia | prettypearlsx.blogspot.com

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    1. They're some fantastic products so I wouldn't be surprised if they were a hit with others :)

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  11. Beautiful selection! I want Gerbera badly. I also adore the NARS And God Woman blah palette. It's so perfect in terms of shades, pigmentation, and portability.

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    1. I absolutely agree! It's a gem of a palette - I'm so glad I tracked it down. Gerbera is one of my favourite blushes ever - I'm sure it would look lovely on you!

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  12. I love reading your posts! Your sense of writing is so smooth!!!

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    1. Thank you so much! :) So glad you enjoy reading.

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  13. Lovely selection.
    I love The Caudlie and the tinted moisturizer !
    E | Beauty/Skincare | Cocoamourr

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    1. Two terrific products with lots of fans :)

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  14. I used the real techniques buffing brush almost every time I applied foundation! it's such a great brush!

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    1. Absolutely - don't know what I'd do without it. Need to resist the temptation to buy a backup!

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  15. Great picks! I will have to scope out Strawberry Suede just because of this. And agreed, the Clarins Odyssey palette is so gorgeous; I'm jealous that you own it!

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    1. I'm so glad I found it randomly on StrawberryNET one night, long after it'd disappeared from the physical shops here. Definitely worth tracking down :) Strawberry Suede is an awesome colour - hope you manage to find it!

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  16. Wow! You've really managed to be selective (compared to last year's!) - I don't think mine will be as slim haha. I wish I could get my hands on both the essence eyeshadow and strawberry suede lippy!

    x Tashi
    http://shiwashiful.blogspot.com/

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    1. Haha! I did go overboard last year, lesson learnt this time 'round ;) Yours wasn't too bad at all in terms of length - plus the more, the merrier!

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  17. Lovely picks!! I love Caudalie Eau de Beaute, such a nice product :)

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    1. The Beauty Elixir is pretty nice, though I don't use it anywhere near as much as I do the Divine Oil. The scent is so refreshing!

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  18. great picks!!
    Essence really knows how to make great eye soufflés. It's a pity that they only make the eye soufflés for limited edition because they are very nice! and thanks for the great tip for the caudalie oil! I will try to mix it with my night moisturizer and give the argan oil a little break ^^

    have a happy new year and a wonderful year ahead!! :-)

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    1. Wishing the same for you Pam! Thank you so much for your support this year :) I do wish Essence would come out with more (neutral-coloured) eye souffles, they are such a good product. Hope you like mixing your Divine Oil with your nighttime moisturiser!

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  19. In your list that Maybelline CTT definitely would have made mine...I bought this time last year and have hit major pan on it! The first eyeshadow ever that I've used up like 80%! I would love that clarins palette, it's such a easy to wear and such pigmented quad...also I would love more RT face brushes, that buffing and the powder brush would be a nice edition for next year! happy new year!

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    1. Bad to the Bronze is definitely one of my most used single eyeshadows as well! You must get your hands on the RT Buffing Brush - it's simply the best ever at applying foundation, though it's useful for other purposes as well. The powder brush is huge but terrific for more broad bronzing or, of course, overall powdering of the face :)

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  20. awesome products! I love Benefit boxed blushes and Sugarbomb sure is one of my favorites, alongside with my new favorite: Rockateur. I just love how buildable these blushes are and I could just apply a little to give some color to my cheeks without looking too made-up.

    Wishing you a very happy and healthy 2014! Happy New Year!

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    1. So true, one of my favourite aspects of most Benefit blushes are how easy they are to apply. Really foolproof! I would definitely have my hands on Rockateur if only it weren't $50+ here in Australia :(

      Thank you! Same to you and thank you for reading and commenting in 2013 :)

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  21. Great picks :3
    I'm really happy that I was able to find your blog. It's one of my favourites.
    I wish that I can read even more from you in 2014. Happy New Year dear! Take care*

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    1. Thank you so much Diana for your sweet words :) Happy New Year to you too!

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  22. Happy new year!! It's nice to see your loved items refeatured and there's such a nice mix of low/high ends, like a regular person's stash despite crazy bblogger amounts, lol. I'm still envious of the Clarins Odyssey and hope to find it even now. Hope you're having a blast wherever you are and see you in 2014! Xo

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    1. Happy New Year to you too Liz! Connecting with you throughout 2013 was definitely a blogger highlight. Your candour, honesty and commitment to engaging with your readers is an inspiration to me, along with the whole 'reductionista' ethos of course (which I desperately need to follow more in 2014)!

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  23. Great choices! It's always so much fun to see what everyone loved for the year. :)
    Happy new year! Hope your 2014 is full of joy! <3

    ~ Yun

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    1. Thank you so much, hope you have a wonderful 2014 as well :)

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  24. I also love the RT brushes and Maybelline Colour Tattoos! Great post! :)

    Happy New Year! x

    www.natalielovesbeauty.com

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    1. Real Techniques are probably my favourite brush brand along with Ecotools. Just love the combination of being high performing but also affordable. They're pretty easy to wash too! :)

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  25. absolutely amazing products, I love that I saw some new products in your post
    Happy New Year xx
    casualllyawkward.blogspot.com

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    1. Glad I exposed you to some new products which I hope you get to try for yourself and enjoy one day! :)

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  26. This is such a good roundup and a handy way to reflect on the past year's beauty loves. Happy New Year! x

    Evelyn @ We Were Raised By Wolves

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    1. Thank you Evelyn, hope you have a fantastic 2014. Looking forward to another year of reading your blog :)

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  27. Bad to the Bronze is definitely one of my most used products of 2013. :)

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    1. It's such a stalwart, so thrilled such a high quality product is so widely available and affordable too!

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  28. You've picked some gorgeous products! Where did you pick up your Kiko products from? x x

    zoeblogsbeauty.com

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    1. Milan on my trip to Europe in September! :)

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  29. Phoew so many products I had no clue that existed haha - except the Klorane:) I'm going to take note and learn more about them, so thanks for posting!

    xx

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    1. The Klorane is amazing, don't know how I'd do without it! Hope you find some new products you'll enjoy from this post :)

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  30. Great list of products! A few of them have been on my must try list for a while (stila convertible colour, buffing brush and Luster) I adore Strawberry Suede too, I don't know why Revlon discontinued it! I'm using mine sparingly. The Caudalie Divine Oil and Maybelline Colour Tattoo were firm favourites of mine this year too.

    Looking forward to continuing to read S&W during 2014, one of my favourite beauty blogs!!

    Emma x

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    1. Revlon seriously need to make Strawberry Suede permanent, it's such a good red! Hope you manage to get your hands on some of the products you've wanting to try for a while in 2014. And thank you so much for your support in 2013, I absolutely love your blog as well. You post the most gorgeous (and gorgeously photographed) looks and have impeccable taste!

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  31. If I had thought carefully about my BEST products of 2013, I would feature almost the same stuff you have on here, too! ♥ The Klorane dry shampoo, NARS Laguna, Stila eyeliner (although I absolutely agree the learning curve!), Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer and Real Techniques Brush! Love your list of picks ♥

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    1. Yay, I'm so glad we share similar tastes! You've definitely influenced some of my purchasing decisions in 2013 (Burberry eyeshadows *coughcough*) ;)

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  32. Can I join in with the love songs dedicated to the RT buffing brush? Lol! Definitely a favourite of mine this year, applying foundation is not the same without it!

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    1. Join in! We can form our own two-piece choir ;) It's like it was made for foundation - I've tried similar brushes (RT Expert Face, Sigma round top kabuki) but the Buffing Brush surpasses them all.

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  33. I'm definitely agree with you ! The Real Techniques buffing brush and the Maybelline Color Tattoo are amazing ! Great favorites :)

    With love,

    Turtle

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    1. I'm glad you agree! I don't know how I'd apply my foundation without the Buffing Brush and I wore the Maybelline Color Tattoo just today :)

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  34. I was very impressed with the Clarins Quartet - my first Clarins eye shadow experience. It has made me pay more attention to the Clarins make up range now. Real Techniques Buffing Brush is also one of my faves! I still haven't tried the Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturiser (seriously late on this one) but will have to try it out soon. Gosh I love your blog so much! So excited about re-discovering your blog!! It is re-igniting the beauty passion I began with (which faded a bit due to some blogging dramas) . You're awesome lol xx

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    1. Aww, thanks for the kind words Mandy :) I'm happy to hear that I played any part in making you fall back in love with all things beauty :)

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  35. I really like the Nars palette!

    Emily | PENNY RUGBURN 

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    1. It's definitely something I treasure in my makeup collection!

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  36. you have some great items! the divine oil is… divine indeed…. hehe… I love the scent!
    That nars palette is stunning. :)

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    1. The scent of the Divine Oil really grew on me - though sometimes I do find it a tad too strong. And the NARS is gorgeous indeed :)

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  37. The Clarins eyeshadows look so beautiful! I have never seen that quartet before! x

    morerebe.com

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    1. The packaging is so pretty, isn't it? It's a limited edition Christmas 2012 item!

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  38. I've been wanting Strawberry Suede foreverrrr, and I can never find it here in the US! Has it been discontinued, or is it just me? Anyway awesome post, I am so happy that I found your blog in 2013. It's one of my top favorites and one of the only ones that I really go out of my way to read! :)

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    1. Yes, it's sadly been discontinued :( But I think you can still find it on eBay ... maybe? Hopefully? :) And thank you so much, it's wonderful to have your support! I love reading your blog as well, especially for all those amazing new items from the drugstore you feature!

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  39. My Seche Vite has currently turned into a huge gloopy mess, I'm looking to buy that Sally Hansen Top coat as I've read good things about it. Seeing it featured in your top products only confirms to me that I should pick this up next, I completely trust your judgement :)

    I hope you're having a lovely New Year so far.

    Amy x A Little Boat Sailing

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    1. I'm not the hugest fan of Seche Vite - I infinitely prefer Insta-Dri and I really hope you like it too! Let me know how you get on with it if you do end up picking a bottle up :) And same to you Amy!

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  40. Ooh the Clarins palette looks gorgeous, as does Nars Luster :)

    http://wwwclairabelle.blogspot.co.uk/

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