Cold Weather Favourites & Some Duty Free Purchases…

Hello, beauty babes! I recently returned from my incredible holiday to Iceland, and I thought I’d give you a brief rundown of the products which performed very well in the extreme cold, as well as some of the goodies I picked up while I was over there.

Foundation duo of dreams: IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream + SKOON Glow Drops. I know this is a massive tease because you can’t get IT Cosmetics in this country, but I was delighted to discover this concoction because I find the CC cream a bit ‘meh’ on its own. By adding a drop of Glow Drops into the mix, it amps up the dewiness without causing the formulation to break down faster (a side-effect I’ve noticed with other foundation/oil combinations). It held up extremely well in the face of extreme temperature fluctuations and general dehydration caused by the long flights. Super duper impressed.

Hero mascara: Estée Lauder Sumptuous Knockout Mascara (you can see it in action in our latest tutorial here). You know what goes hand in hand with cold weather? Streaming eyes! This mascara did not budge in spite of tears, snow, wind and rain. I will concede that it did transfer when we were luxuriating in the Mývatn Nature Baths, but the water was 41 degrees celsius and it was snowing heavily, so I was rubbing my eyes a lot. Nothing could have withstood that.

The peachiest cheek you ever did see: Bobbi Brown Cheek Glow Palette in ‘Pearl Cream & Pink Flush’. The love affair continues.  The blush shade is so brightening and makes the cheeks look plump and youthful, while the highlight shade adds just the right amount of sheen to the high points of the face. The formulation is impressive and lasted exceptionally despite all the weather we encountered. I would say it lasted a solid 6 hours on me before it started to fade, which I think is brilliant considering we were jumping from a warm car to the freezing outdoors on multiple occasions each day.

On the lips (no surprises here): Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfectors. I took three, and wore nothing else. I didn’t even need lip balm during the day because these were hydrating enough on their own. I also stocked up on them whilst I was doing some duty free shopping because I just bloody love them.

On the subject of duty free…

Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm. How is this for Murphy’s Law: I had been hankering after this cleansing balm for the longest time, and because it wasn’t available locally, I picked it up on my way home. Naturally, unbeknownst to me, it launched in SA whilst I was away, and at a lower price point than what I paid for it. Typical!

This balm really is a joy to use – a tiny amount clears every last scrap of makeup from your face (including all mascara), and it doesn’t lose any of its slip during the massage process (crucial). It doesn’t emulsify and rinse off as easily as the Skin Creamery Oil-Milk Cleanser does, so you will need a washcloth to remove it properly. I prefer this method though – there is nothing more pleasing to me than feeling that warm washcloth sweep everything away at the end of the day.

Dior Addict Lip Glow Color Reviver Balm in ‘006 Berry’. This was always going to happen, wasn’t it? As expected, it brings all the happiness that you would expect from a Dior lip product. The formulation is creamy and comforting, and the colour is perfect for autumn: a sheer, yet punchy, raspberry. Plus, it makes my lips look huge, which is always a nice bonus.

And lastly, some bits from Iceland and Amsterdam:

Weleda Skin Food (which I forgot to photograph in my haste). Another cult classic that I’d had my eye on for years. This is a multi-purpose balm which is used to alleviate dry, rough skin. It proved to be an absolute godsend whilst in Iceland, because it stopped my cracking cuticles in their tracks. I would massage this into my cuticles in the evenings before bed, and in the morning they would be soft and supple once more. It now lives beside my bed and will, I’m sure, continue to be a staple in my collection.

L’Oreal Hair Expert Extraordinary Clay Dry Shampoo. Definitely an impulse buy, but I am pleased with it. It smells fantastic, doesn’t leave a white cast, and it absorbs oil very well. Not much more to say about it, really.

And lastly, Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation, aka the most hyped foundation of all time. I had been on the brink of buying this several times, and I decided to just go for it whilst in Amsterdam. Man, I really wish I hadn’t. I don’t know if my skin is still just really dehydrated from the flights, but this stuff does not stay put on me. I have used it a couple of times, and each time the foundation has gone patchy/absorbed into my skin within 2 hours. That can’t be right, surely? I have tried with a primer underneath, I have tried applying multiple layers, I have tried setting sprays…nothing helps. The finish is also not nearly as dewy as I thought it would be either, it is more of a satin finish on me, which I’m not mad about. However, with all that being said, I am determined to find a way to make this work for me, because das esspensif and I will not admit defeat. I will keep you posted.

Lastly, you might be wondering why I didn’t buy any local Icelandic products. The reason is three fold:

  1. Shops were generally quite few and far between;
  2. None of the products had any English translations on them, and if you’ve ever taken a peak at the Icelandic language, you will appreciate that I didn’t have the time/patience for Google translate; and
  3. They were insanely expensive. Like, R1,000 for what looked like a bog-standard aqueous cream. Nope.