I've always been one for beauty products. Tell me it's shiny and new and I'll have it - usually despite the dent it may make in my bank account. But, if you're like me, you'll also be familiar with the disappointed feeling that comes with using a new purchase and realising it hasn't done what it promised - you aren't suddenly Olivia Palermo-esque beautiful. And so you end up with another redundant 'beauty' product that you really didn't need. Frustrating, non?
I first heard about my now favourite brand during Christmas 2010 when a friend of mine was given a gift hamper of the treasures from her parents. I'd popped to her bathroom to wash my hands before dinner and resurfaced about 30minutes later smelling and looking wonderful (if do say so myself) The secret? Soap & Glory.
Usually with brands I don't already know I pay little to no attention. And that, my dear friends, is where I was very wrong. Soap & Glory have got it RIGHT.
Once I'd admitted to my friend I'd done her out of about half her body scrub, moisturiser and hand wash (she only slapped me lightly) she was quick to tell me they did more than bathroom beauties - oh yes - I could have a FACE full of stuff from them. And with that she quickly whipped out what has become my staple product; Sexy Mother Pucker lip gloss.
At £8.50/£9.00 a pop it's not the cheapest on the market but personally I think it's the most effective. It promises to plump up lips and leave them soft. Which, in my opinion, it does. I have quite full lips anyway but I love that sort of soft look and wanted them a little bigger (but without sticking a needle in my face) so this is a god send. It has menthol stimulants in it that initially make your lips tingle and swell slightly. The tingle wears off after a short while but the plumped up feeling, colour and gloss stay.
Next on my list of must haves is Glow All Out face powder or Solar Powder Bronzo (I'm never one to turn down a bronzer) which are both £11. I had a Space NK face powder in an iridescent shade and it used to make my skin look radiant but I've been unable to find anything to rival this so have high hopes, off the back of my other successes with S&G, that this will work. I'll let you know...
After waxing lyrical to my house mate Lauren for some time about these products she decided to take a nosey herself and came across the next stunner of a product - Arch De Triumph (have to say I hugely enjoy the names they all have, does anyone else?)
A shaping and highlighting crayon for brows. Lauren didn't even tell me she'd bought it but literally the first time she put it on and I saw her I immediately asked if she'd had her brows professionally 'done' as they looked so defined (but not Scouse!) and the skin around them so bright. No, no my friends - no £20 in a salon's pocket for those bad boys. A reasonable £8 and yours to do time and time again - bargain!
Following last Christmas' envy at my friends hamper of S&G my Mum made the very good decision to follow suit this year and got me one (you'd never guess I'm almost 26, sound like a brat don't I?! I'm not!) "Hurrah!" I cried as I opened the bag containing the goodies and I am now very pleased to say my bathroom in my apartment is an S&G zone. I've never been a fan of showers, preferring baths, but now if I don't have at least 20mins S&G morning time in my shower I feel cheated - and believe me the following are worth getting up that little bit earlier for.
Firstly there's the dreamy shower gel - Clean On Me (ha ha) that, to my nose, smells of CK One and last ages. Once thoroughly soaped up I then exfoliate using:
Sugar Crush Body Scrub - the healthiest way for a sugar kick don't you agree? It leaves my skin feeling smooth and lovely.
And finally, once out of the shower and dried I submerge myself in their body butter:
Butter Yourself is brilliant. I hate body butters that leave your hands and skin feeling 'claggy' and this really doesn't. It's silky and moisturising and I just love it.
The brilliant thing about this range is that it is HUGE and available online on Boots or Harvey Nichols.
Alternatively pop into your nearest big Boots or HN and have a look at them first hand, but I don't think you'll be disappointed. (Tip: be sure to check prices - both tend to under cut each other on different products so you can save 50p here and there if you're clever about it.)
Once you've tried one I challenge you not to become an addict like me.