l-r: Illamasqua Naked Rose, Sleek Rose Gold
Illamasqua Powder Blusher in Naked Rose
Since my full review in April this year, I haven't worn this blush once. Let that be indication of how inclined I am to reach for it. I just don't think the colour works on me, an issue compounded by the fact I find it nearly impossible to get the application right. It's so pigmented that I have to be super careful with the amount and placement, otherwise it looks ruddy and overdone. Basically, too much work for something that mainly makes my cheeks look red and patchy. It's such a shame that I don't get along with Naked Rose, because it looked so promising the first time I swatched it in person. I was so excited when I bought it and planned on getting a tonne of use out of it. For me, NARS Douceur is the closest to what I thought Naked Rose would be.
Sleek Blush in Rose Gold
Frequency of use even worse than Naked Rose. Since I bought this early last year, I don't recall ever using it. Maybe once or twice playing with my makeup at home, but to the best of my knowledge, never outside the house. Once again, it's a case of the colour simply not working for me, combined with unreal pigmentation making application a daunting task indeed. Rose Gold was one of those products that I absolutely needed and coveted with a burning, sleepless intensity back in the day. As soon as it arrived at my doorstep and I tried it on, I quickly realised we simply weren't meant to be. This is just way too red on me. The shimmer is also on a whole 'nother level, making it difficult to pull off unless you want to sport glistening, reflective cheeks packed with gold shimmer. The shimmer is what makes it special, but not suitable for the daytime, i.e. the majority of occasions that I wear makeup.
Nivea Lip Butter in Vanilla & Macadamia
It's true, these do smell scrumptious, this flavour particularly. But when I think of "lip butter", I think of the Korres ones, or even the Revlon ones, though they're closer to moisturising lipsticks. I expect a plush, cushiony, thick, comfortable and hydrating texture. These aren't like that at all, which honestly surprised me the first time I used them because I'd read so many glowing reviews about how amazing they were. They're more like Vaseline. White Vaseline. The product sits on top of the lip (rather than sinking in) and feels like a waxy coating. It also has a white cast which can look unsightly if you use too much. I will not be repurchasing.
La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo
Another product I purchased because I kept seeing this touted as some skin care wonder product and of course, I needed to get my greedy little hands on it. I honestly don't know what I was expecting when I bought this. This is recommended for "mild to moderate acne-prone skin", which doesn't really describe me. I get some pimples now and then, particularly after consuming whole packets of Kettle Chilli chips, but I wouldn't say I've ever had any acne issues. Regardless, I thought it might be a good treatment to keep spots at bay and refine my skin (minimise pores, even out texture). I first experimented using this as an all-over serum under my regular moisturiser before foundation. I didn't notice anything particularly different when I did this, so eventually I just couldn't be bothered. Then I started to use this more as a spot treatment over any breakouts I had. That was a bit more effective, as the next day the area had generally diminished and become less inflamed, but it hardly cured all, and it certainly didn't make everything disappear completely, even over the course of weeks. I think this is a nice, soothing, non-irritating lotion (though personally not moisturising enough to be used on its own), but I just haven't found any kind of noticeable success with it. I have no idea how to use it in a consistent enough manner that I would see results.
Caudalie Beauty Elixir
I do like this and it's undoubtedly in the "nice to have" camp, but at the same time, I'm a bit iffy about it. If we look past the absolutely gorgeous packaging and the hype it's received, what is it anyway? As far as the ingredients list reveals, it looks to be water, alcohol and a bunch of essential oils. Alcohol is the second ingredient. Perfume is the fourth! I can never spray this directly onto my face as invariably, a tiny amount will get into my eyes and sting like crazy. I have to adopt the Lisa Eldridge trick and spray it on my hands first, rub them together, then press my hands all over my face. The instructions on the bottle suggest to apply the Beauty Elixir before your moisturiser. Maybe I'm just a skin care ignoramus, but when I've remembered to do this, I couldn't see how it made any difference whatsoever. If anything, it made my skin feel a bit drier and tighter before I slapped on my moisturiser (unless that's a good thing?). I think it does fare a bit better as something to use over makeup to refresh it and inject a bit of glow back into the face, and also as an instant mood/sensory booster due to the invigorating herbal, menthol scent.