Winter is pretty harsh in general, but it’s particularly brutal on your daily beauty routine. Icy cold winds and frigid temperatures can wreak havoc with skin, hair and nails. You can maintain your glowing skin by using the correct skin care and makeup products, plus it’s always nice to experiment with seasonal shades too. Red Square reached out to me a couple of weeks ago and asked if I would like to collaborate with them on featuring 3 Beauty Winter Wonders products here on the blog. The idea was to choose 3 enriching beauty products that help combat the winter chill.
Red Square challenged me to browse their online store and choose 3 different products that I know will work wonders for parched skin and seasonal makeup – a type of Winter survival kit. They asked me to choose products from 3 different brands, a selection of high-end and affordable products, and include both skincare and makeup products.
I’m always up for a challenge, and when that challenge involves online shopping…well, let’s just say I’m all over that! Let me start off my saying this is a sponsored blog post, that means I am getting paid to review the products and run the giveaway here on the blog, but you probably know by now that I’m always 100% honest in my reviews.
Before I show you what I picked for my Beauty Winter Wonders kit, I have a bit of news from Red Square for you: Besides the highly anticipated launch of Benefit Cosmetics both in-store and online, there have been a number of other brands recently added to the Red Square online store. These include Essence, Catrice and Bobbi Brown, adding up to 92 different beauty brands in total across skincare, makeup and fragrance, for both ladies and gents. Plus, a little birdie told me there will be quite a number of new brands launching a bit later this year, so be sure to follow Red Square on Facebook and Twitter for ongoing updates.
Let’s start with skin care and then move on to makeup:
A good facial oil is a skin care essential for me, especially during the cold Winter months. Winter has taken a toll on my skin this year and my skin type has gone from combination to dehydrated and sensitive in a flash. The most important thing to remember, is dehydration does not necessarily mean your skin is dry. I have combination skin (oily T-zone, with dry cheeks) and beauty therapists are always telling me my skin is dehydrated. When your skin lacks water, it is dehydrated. When your skin lacks natural oils, it is dry. Dehydrated skin is so depleted of moisture that it produces excess sebum (oil) to hydrate the skin. That’s why combination (and even oily skin) is sometimes exacerbated by applying ‘drying’ products onto the skin. Here’s the solution: Once you restore the balance (by applying hydrating products) the excess oil will subside.
Facial oils fall somewhere between a mask and a serum, they’re luxurious to use and generally allow you to wake up with skin that is moisturised and rocking a bit of an extra glow.
I have been relying quite heavily on the Clarins Blue Orchid Face Treatment Oil to amp up the moisture levels in my skin and the results have been downright incredible. As mentioned I am a huge advocate of facial oils – yes, it took me a while to wrap my head around the idea of adding an oil to my already combination skin but once you find that special one that works for you, I’m afraid there is no turning back! I love that I can apply it without worrying about the ingredients as it is formulated with 100% pure plant extracts (and no preservatives), including Rosewood (antibacterial, soothing as well as promoting elasticity), Patchouli (anti-inflammatory, strengthens and rejuvinates skin cells) as well as Blue Orchid to firm and tone, whilst revitalising and restoring radiance to moisture-depleted skin. The ingredient line up also features Hazelnut Oil to help prevent moisture loss and fine lines.
Despite this being a facial treatment oil, it does not feel heavy on the skin at all. As mentioned this specific oil has been created for skin that is lacking moisture, and so my skin literally drinks it up. Plus what I love most about it, is that it instantly moisturises without leaving behind an oily residue or tacky sensation. Neal (my husband) loves the scent of this oil, he says it reminds him of a spa. For me, the scent is earthy but delicate, very soothing.
I also really like the pipette dispenser and the chunky oval-shaped glass bottle – elegant, yet very practical. You have complete control over how much you use each time (I find 5 drops are the perfect amount for my face and neck). I like to add the oil droplets to my fingertips, rub my fingers together to warm up the product and then gently press onto my skin. Since this is a treatment oil, I don’t feel the need to use it every single night, although I do get very tempted as the results are so satisfying. When I wake up in the morning, my skin feels plump and hydrated – what more could a girl ask for?
Top Tip: Add a drop or two of this facial oil to your regular foundation to add a dewy glow to your skin.
The Clarins Blue Orchid Face Treatment Oil retails for R 455,00 in the Red Square online store here.
Sometimes skin just needs an additional ‘pick-me-up’, no matter how much moisturiser or dewy-finish foundation you’ve applied. Using a highlighter or illuminator can give dull Winter skin a radiant glow. Highlighters often contain shimmering particles that catch and reflect light, and while applying a highlighter adds only a few extra seconds to your makeup routine, it can make a dramatic difference in your appearance. Liquid highlighters can be mixed with foundation and applied all over face for a natural all over glow, or can be patted on raised areas of the face to accentuate those features i.e. brow bone, cheek bone, tip of the nose and cupid’s bow.
Say hello to the multi-purpose Benefit Girl Meets Pearl illuminator. It is a peachy-pink liquid pearl luminizer that features golden light-reflecting pigments to give your complexion a dewy glow. The formulation contains Raspberry & Chamomile, known for their soothing properties, and Sweet Almond Seed extract known to help improve skin firmness.
If you think ‘Girl Meets Pearl’ is too similar to the Benefit ‘Moon Beam’ illuminator then I’m happy to report while there is a tiny resemblance, it’s not very noticeable and I’d say you still need both products in your life. ‘Moon Beam’ has a pink iridescence, while ‘Girl Meets Pearl’ is definitely more champagne. I can see this particular illuminator being suitable for most skin tones because it is a gilded champagne shade, not too cool-toned and not too bronze-toned. It also has an impressive staying power of up to 8 hours and will help you achieve a ‘lit-from-within look’ that is perfect for a cold Winter’s day.
Twisting the click-turn bottom dispenses the product, which comes out of the small holes at the top. I think the design of the packaging provides a great deal of control over the amount of product used, plus a little goes a long way. I’ve tested this illuminator in a number of different ways – worn on bare skin, atop a BB cream and foundation, and I’ve even worn it on a powder foundation. Application is a total breeze, I can either use my fingertips for precision and control or a synthetic duo fibre brush (natural bristle makeup brushes absorb more product, making it wasteful) for a more blended effect. Since it is both lightweight and cream-based, it blends very easily and leaves the skin with a beautiful luminous glow. The effect is definitely subtle but what I like about it is that one can build up the intensity for a more strobed effect. Strobing is the new buzzword in the beauty industry and I’m thinking of doing a blog post explaining exactly what it is and how to do it.
Benefit Girl Meets Pearl retails for R 375,00 in the Red Square online store here.
When I think of Winter-inspired makeup, I think of wearing either a bold lip or an smoked out eyeshadow look that features matte burgundy / purple shades with a pop of shimmer on the lid. The GOSH 9 Shades Shadow Collection eyeshadow palette in ‘To Enjoy In New York’ is a great addition to any makeup collection, it contains 9 beautiful eyeshadow shades ranging from pale shimmers, to muted purples and even neutral taupes. Let me start off my saying that even though this is an relatively affordable eyeshadow palette, I think GOSH did really well with the packaging. The sleek matte black outer casing reminds me of NARS packaging for some reason – very luxe. What do you think? Yes? No? Maybe?
Let’s start with the top row. The first 3 shades are your shimmery highlighting shades, the first 2 being shades of pale gold, with the second shade having a tiny bit more warmth to it. The third shade is a sparkly peachy rose gold shade. All three apply and blend smoothly, although the soft texture does mean you might get a bit of fallout if you use a fluffy brush. The middle row contains 3 beautiful matte shades, a mix between purples and violets. The left-most shade is slightly paler and more warm-toned that the other two neutral toned purples. The bottom row contains 2 taupe shades and a deep chocolate brown laced with golden shimmers. The taupe shades are both relatively neutral, but with the first one being a bit more warm-toned. I really love the chocolate brown shade too, especially for deepening up the outer lid and crease area to create a smokey eye. I have even smudged the darker brown shade into my upper lash line to make my lashes look a bit more full.
The lighter shimmery shades brighten up the eyelids, while the purple and taupe shades add definition to the crease and lower lash line. I think GOSH was very generous with the size of each eyeshadow, so you are definitely getting a bang for your buck – it works out to around R 23,00 per eyeshadow.
Top Tip: To intensify the shimmery eyeshadows for a more metallic finish, I suggest spraying your eyeshadow brush with MAC Fix+ (or eyedrops), then dip the brush into the shadow and apply to the lid. It just makes your shadows pop a little bit more!
GOSH 9 Shades Shadow Collection eyeshadow palette retails for R 210,00 in the Red Square online store here.
Here’s the part I’m sure you are most excited about! I have a R 1000,00 Red Square voucher to give away to one lucky Pink Peonies blog reader. If you would like to stand a chance of winning a voucher that you can use for ANYTHING in the Red Square online store, enter the giveaway below. Entries are only valid if you use the Rafflecopter widget below (that’s how I keep track of all the entries via my social media platforms too):
Please remember: You don’t HAVE to do all of the above – if you’d only like to leave a comment below, then your entry will still be valid. The other ones are there so that you can gain more entries for the giveaway.
The giveaway will end at midnight the 20th of August 2015 and I will announce the winner in this blog post on the Rafflecopter widget, as well as on my social media platforms.
The giveaway is open to South African residents only.
A huge thank you goes out to Red Square for allowing me be part of the #BeautyWinterWonders campaign, and for generously sponsoring the R 1000,00 voucher giveaway.
P.S. Do yourself a favour, visit the Red Square Gateway store for a beauty wonderland or pop in to Red Square Rosebank Mall to experience the Chanel Beauté counter.