January Favourites

As with the beginning of a new year there should be some new posts and after seeing everyone doing favourites on Instagram and YouTube I wanted to follow this particular trend down this alleyway, as I think it will be immesurably useful to have something to look back on when it comes to products, clothing items and other little details. Also, I feel like this year I finally have my life together a bit moreand after trialing a lot of things over the last couple of years at university, I can definitely say with more confidence what I like and what I don’t.

As I am going to a wedding for the next week I didn’t want to leave this January favourites too late (I know, it’s already the middle of February and before long I will be posting the February one too) but I say- better late than not at all!

Toeing that fine line between expenses and savings, these items have now got me through a whole month on a reasonalby minimalist budget, especially considering how many of the items on this list are multi-functional and long-lasting, which is essential when 1) you are a student trying to get savings together for your first year of work/Masters and 2) it’s so cold in Durham and no amount of ginger tea will warm you up from the inside, meaning you have to hide yourself in layers upon layers of clothes. Either way, I am rambling.

Without further ado, here are my January Favourites 2018:

1. Davines Dry Texturiser, £19.95

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I love the brand Davines so much it physically hurt when I ran out of their Nounou tomato extract hair conditioner from my Liberty beauty box last year. As the box was a gift, I felt like it had been a reasonable purchase, with a ridiculous amount of amazing products featured inside, which is another reason I am sad that they either didn’t do one this year or I missed out without knowing it. That Davines conditioner that I used like a hair mask was a real revelation, not only because it smelt amazing but becuase I had very brittle hair at the time and it provided the perfect hit of moisture that it so desperately needed.

Anyway, back to the texturiser. As again with the issue of money, I very rarely get my hair cut, as I usually snip the ends away at home and then go once or twice a year for a proper, big cut where the hairdresser does her magic and restores my hair back to some level of normalcy. This time, the lovely Mihaela from Taylor Taylor at Liberty’s London used this spray/texturiser-in-a-bottle/dry shampoo on my unreasonably fine and flat hair, and boy, did it look amazing! I hate dry shampoo’s for their white powder residue and texturisers are usually either too sticky or too drying, so this spray was a revelation, I really cannot get enough of it.

Used veeeery sparingly, I am hoping it will last me at least half a year.

2. Penhaligon’s Portraits: The Bewitching Jasmine, £185

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I don’t wear perfume very often. Now this may not be the best advertisement for the second item in my favourites for January, as it is a perfume, and a very expensive one at that! I find most scents don’t have enough staying power, with the complexity of the scent being overpowered by flat notes of musk, amber or flowery rose, which I am not going to lie- I hate. After my love affair with beautiful candles like the Diptyque Feu de Bois, I was looking for a scent that would have the similar layered quality of deep, spiced, rich notes that would unfold as you wear it throughout the day like a flower.

Now I love the traditional, old Victorian feel of London around Old Bond Street and the Burlington Arcade. Nothing makes me happier than window-shopping in that tiny covered walkway among old-fashioned, luxurious cashmere shops and vintage jewellery stores with Lalique icons displayed in their windows (I even wrote about it here!).

Each time that I head down to London I walk down here, usually stopping by Penhaligon’s like a pauper to pick up one of the scented napkins that they leave out on a silver stand outside the shop, filling the whole walkway with the most intriguing array of perfume scents. While I was there in December for Christmas shopping, the Burlington Arcade was packed, filled with eager and frantic Christmas shoppers. And Penhaligon’s was having a sale!

So in we went, and at an absolute steal got this beautiful scent in the unique cat-head bottle. The scent is very gentle at first, with the stronger, fiercer notes of sharp coffee and spice coming out later before evening out and spreading into a perfect aureole of mystery. The head note is Jasmine, then the heart is Incense and the base note is Oud. I would highly reccomend this for people who like the scent of spiced winter candles, but want a more harmonious scent that will sink into the skin. i think this will be an amazing contrst on skin in the summer as well… We shall see!

For something even sexier, pick Clandestine Clara, another one of the fragrances that I received as a sample with the purchase.

3. Alaska Bear Eye Mask, £10

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This is the second one of these I have purchased, with the beautiful navy stripe design perfect for my boyfriend (I have one in black). I have been looking for a large, blackout eye mask that would be ideal for travel for a veeery long time. I have been using the free eye masks that you get on some of the longer flights, but the elastic at the back had gone completely and it had become such a chore to wear. Most silk eye masks are ridiculously expensive and not always completely blocking out the light, which can be very troublesome on 6hrs+ flights. I think I have quite an awkwardly shaped nose, and most eye masks seem to expose the inner corners next to the nose quite a lot, which means that I can always see through the side (I find this very annoying on long flights especially when I finally manage to get to sleep but the airplane lights come on).

So after reading a LOT of reviews on the best eyemasks and where to get them, I shot my blind faith into the dark for this Alaska Bear eye mask that came with high reccomendations from customers on Amazon. Oh my god, this has got to be the most perfect eye mask created. Unbearably soft and smooth with delicate piping around the outside and a thick elastic at the back (adjustable), it is exactly large enough to cover the whole eye area and sits snugly around my nose without exerting too much pressure. It is reasonably affordable, looks very stylish and originally came in a little pouch that you can put it into for travel, so on my list, it ticks every box. Cannot recommend this enough!

4. The Ordinary Serum Foundation in 1.1 N( Fair), £5.70

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I don’t like many foundations as I find that they all get very drying on my face during the day, with creases around my nose and under my eyes, which is just not a great effect. They also make me look very washed out, which I hate, which usually means that I skip out on foundation and only use concealer in problem areas (the Maybelline Eraser Eye in Light is pretty great).

However, as I have been using The Ordinary’s Hyaluronic Acid and Retinol since last summer, and now their Buffet serum, their foundation range looked very promising, and at close to £6, it was the cheapest foundation I could find anywhere (which may have been the number one reason I got it). The formula is very liquid and it buffs out beautifully with a foundation brush, leaving a smooth, glowing complexion you can be proud of. So far, I think I have used about a quarter of a bottle over regular use every day, so it goes a long way as well!

5. H&M Knitted Polo Neck Grey Jumper, £24.99

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All of those pictures of grey jumpers on my Pinterest finally pushed me over the edge to buy one in January from H&M. This has got to be the perfect oversize throw-on that goes with anything, as I have worn it mutliple times with dark wash jeans, black leggings from the Girlfriend Collective (pictured) and black skirts and boots when I am feeling a bit more fancy. It has a structured polo neck, with piping across the front that adds to the graphic appeal of the oversize cuffs. I have worn this jumper more times than anything else in my wardrobe, so I definitely think it deserves an honourable mention in my favourites.

However, I do think it has sold out in the UK, as I was only able to find images of it from H&M Kuwait, but there are still some amazing grey jumpers available in their collection. I will put all of these in this post, so just click through for the photos and links.

6. Glossier Cloud Paint in Puff, £15

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With Glossier launching their UK delivery option some time ago, it has been my mission to try some of their most hyped products, and as I finished my favourite powder blusher about a month ago, I wanted to try something more natural in a cream/gel formula that would give me that flushed look without caking on too much product on my face. Clean and glowing is the look for 2018, and Glossier is leading that particular battle cry more than any other brand on the market.

The formulation is perfect, instantly blendable and perfectly rosy, without going overboard on the colour pay-off, making sure that you always have the right amount on. The cute paint tube shape is great for travel as well and I think this will definitely last me at least another 6 months, so Cloud Paint definitely aims high for the price to product ratio.

Next to try will be the Milky Jelly Cleanser and Boy Brow, but who knows when I will be able to afford and try those!

7. Audible (‘Little Black Book’ by Otega Uwagba), FREE

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I have been saving up Audible credits like crazy since last year, and I finally bit the bullet and purchased some of those awesome books that have been floating about on my ‘To-Read’ list for quite a while now. With great book recommendations from the Anna Edit, Estée Lalonde and Elle magazine’s monthly books, my list has been steadily growing, but with all of my reading for my lectures and seminars I was simply too tired to focus on another page.

I remembered I had the Audible credits in the first eek of January, and Otega Uwagba’s Little Black Book was the topmost book on my list, as it covered everything to do with life, organisation, self-employment and most importantly, managing money.

I have only just realised how moeny-focused this favourites is, so, apologies everyone for being so penny-aware, but as a student, every pound has to be accounted for on a day-to-day basis.

The book related well to young 20-something’s going through life transitions that may make them feel overwhelmed, something that I am sure a lot of female students struggle with. I am happy to say that with this book, all of my commutes to university have become all the more productive, and my eekly to-do lists on Evernote have become more organised and efficient, meaning that I am finally on top of all my university work, correspondence and chores.

That is it!

All of my favourite for this month, with links to all of them above. I hope that you will aos find these useful as I would personally recommend all of these to anyone I know.

By Stylion

Writer, creative and explorer of all things Japan. Central Saint Martins graduate and fashion journalist for 1 Granary and Lampoon Magazine. Writing about all things fashion – from fashion weeks, food and technology to fake influencers, art exhibitions and cultures around the world.

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