31 July, 2015 U.S. Beauty Swap With J. Beaute
I am so, so, SO excited to be sharing this blog post with you today. Back in April, after months of chatting, I asked Julie from J. Beaute to do a beauty swap with me – she always has amazing recommendations, and her blog features thorough reviews and swatches of some fantastic products. We quickly started writing up lists of the brands we wanted to try, and I spent many an hour in Boots, John Lewis and Fenwicks, looking for bits and bobs to send.
Julie is such a generous, funny and charming person – she really took her time to figure out my skin type and the kind of products I was after. I may have mentioned a lipstick from NYX that I’d wanted for ages, along with some Mike and Ike sweets (all eaten unfortunately), and she was kind enough to ship them over to me. Without further ado, let’s get reviewing!
The first product I’m going to mention is the Tata Harper Regenerating Cleanser. This exfoliating cleanser had been on my radar for a while, so I was SUPER excited when I saw it all wrapped up. With pink clay, apricot seed powder, willow bark and pomegranate, this brightening cream offers a boost of radiance without stripping the skin of essential moisture. It’s a new skincare staple, and a product I’ll be getting a lot of use of this summer! I’ve written a blog post all about this lovely product and how I like to use it here.
Julie and I chatted for ages about some of the fantastic U.S. brands she loved, and she mentioned Tony Moly – a Korean brand famous for their extensive catalogue of skincare treatments. One of the products in my bundle of goodies was the Tony Moly Pocket Bunny Sleek Mist. This pore-refining mist hydrates and soothes skin after cleansing, and can also be used throughout the day to refresh makeup and keep things cool. I took this cute little bottle to Mykonos with me and unfortunately lost the lid (clever Jess), but believe me, that bunny’s head was adorable!
When we discussed face masks, Julie immediately started raving about Freeman products. They are an affordable U.S. company with a huge range of masks and treatments, to suit just about any skin concern. The two masks that I received were the Freeman Avocado & Oatmeal Clay Mask and the Freeman Pineapple Enzyme Mask. The avocado mask is fantastic for smoothing textured skin and reducing blackheads, and I’m saving the pineapple mask for an evening before an event next week, as it claims to completely revive tired, dull skin – just what I need!
I love a good makeup remover, and the L’Oreal Clean Artiste Eye Makeup Remover is a fantastic oil-based cleanser that removes heavy eye makeup (including waterproof liner and mascara) easily and without any stinging or irritation. Although the oily consistency might not be to everyone’s taste, it’s one of the most effective products I’ve used recently on a full face of makeup.
One of the products Julie sent me that I’d never heard of yet alone tried, was the Caudalie Draining Organic Herbal Tea. These delicious tea bags are caffeine-free, and loaded with cinnamon, blueberry, blackcurrant and orange. The teabags reduce water retention and help calm bloated, puffy complexions, and they’re seriously tasty too. I don’t normally drink tea but I’ve been loving a cup of this before bed, or iced with some berries and a lime wedge for a summery mid-day treat.
Next up is a couple of products from two gorgeous U.S. brands, Physicians Formula and Pacifica. The Physicians Formula Super CC Instant Blurring Eye Cream is a creamy, light-reflecting concealer that blends like a dream and does a great job of reducing redness and under-eye bags, and it also works well as an eyeshadow primer. The Physicians Formula Super BB All-In-1 Cheek & Lip Beauty Balm is a sheeny coral-pink sphere that can be dotted onto the cheeks and lips and blended for a sheer wash of colour, or built up to your desired intensity. I love it on my cheeks and the gold shimmer running through it means it doubles up as a highlighter too!
Pacifica is an all-natural brand that I’ve heard a few bloggers mention, so I was excited to see a couple of their products in Julie’s package. The Pacifica Purify Coconut Water Cleansing Wipes are refreshing towelettes that are lovely and cooling – and the coconut scent is divine! I wouldn’t use wipes to remove makeup (you can find out why in an upcoming blog post) but these would be perfect for travelling and freshening up throughout the day. The Pacifica Sea Foam Complete Face Wash is a soap-free cleanser that foams up without drying out my skin, and smells of delicious coconut and mango. It’s a great product to use with a Clarisonic and I’m so glad I got to try this out!
Although I own multiple mauve/deep nude/dusky rose lipsticks, I’ve been on the hunt for NYX’s Matte Lipstick in Whipped Caviar for what seems like an eternity. Super dramatic, I know. Julie tracked it down and I am SO glad to have this stunning shade in my life. The formula isn’t drying at all, feels creamy and comfortable on the lips, with a fantastic whop of pigment that you would never expect from such an affordable brand. I love this shade and have been using it heaps since Julie sent it to me!
Along with all of these amazing products, Julie sent me a HUGE selection of samples, including a hydrating moisturiser from Clarins, a soothing primer for sensitive skin from Cover FX, a silicone-based primer that blurs pores and fine lines from Murad, a serum sample from DERMAdoctor, a face mask from Nugg, a mini bath bomb from Simple Pleasures and a gorgeous sparkly eyeshadow from Sephora‘s own brand. Phew! She also sent five (yes, five) anti-bac scented hand gels from Bath and Body Works that are perfect for popping into my handbag, a cooling eye pack and shea-infused socks with a toucan pattern – my life is complete. I tried to include ALL the products she sent me in the photo, but there just too many to fit in the frame!
Thank you Julie for sending me these gorgeous products – I’m still in the process of testing everything out and every day I try something new!
Have you tried any of the products mentioned above? Let me know in the comments below!
Have a lovely weekend!