December Beauty Favourites

The last favourites video of the year. I’m actually thinking of changing things up a bit for 2016 and introducing a new video to replace the favourites, but wanted to get your opinion first. Do you like monthly favourites posts? I sometimes think that they just end up being a round-up of the things I’ve posted about here on the website – or, even worse, a random bunch of stuff that is only “favourite” because it happens to be better than anything else that I’ve tested!

I think that “favourites” should be just that – things that have really wowed or that are particularly groundbreaking or interesting. And some months, there just…aren’t that many things. Or the few things that are really brilliant end up on every. Single. Favourites. Video. In. The. World.

You can watch ALL of my Monthly Favourites videos here…

So let me know what you think. I could change things up a bit so that my favourites included homeware, fashion, books and food, if you fancy that? Sort of a “Ruth’s Top Things” video? What do you reckon? Or I could completely replace the favourites video with my new beauty idea. Which I can’t tell you about yet because I haven’t thought it through properly.

I suppose what I’m trying to say, through my crazy Mint-Choc-Magnum-induced sugar-rush-fug, is: are you bored of Monthly Favourites or dearly attached to them? Answers on a postcard please. (Comments section.)

Anyway, here are my December picks. Enjoy. Products are listed below the video screen!

December Faves:

Kindle Paperwhite:

Dior Lipstick Mat in Magique:

Mustela Baby Shampoo:

Omorovicza Hydra Cleanser:

Liquid Laser Concentrate:

Busy Bee hairbands:

Charlotte Tilbury Light Wonder Foundation:

Bobbi Brown Foundation Brush:

Bobbi Brown Highlighters:

Tony Moly at Cult Beauty:…

Paul & Joe Owl Eyeshadow:…

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My Christmas Wishlist (The Gift Guide for Girls)

christmas gift guide for women

I’ve sort of restyled my last gift guide video because it occurred to me that I had a million and one things to include in my Gift Guide for Girls, but only some of them were things that I would genuinely be excited to find under the Christmas tree. So this is my pick of the best – my Christmas Wishlist. Which does err on the expensive side, I’m afraid, but if you can’t go luxury on your wishlist, when can you?

Browse more Christmas posts…

There are many, many highlights in this video (it is a wishlist, after all!) but a couple are time-sensitive, so I’ll flag them up: Bobbi Brown are currently offering a full-size Long Wear Eye Pencil in Black Chocolate with every purchase online. I’ve just tested it with a cream shadow and bingo – there’s my pencil in the basket. No code necessary, it gets added automatically. The site is here.

The other offer (and I’m really not sure how long this is on for) is the Elemis Marine Dream Set which is currently £169.15 and worth almost £400. You can find that at John Lewis here – apologies if it’s not at that price when you read this, I expect it’s for a limited time only. Though it’s still a nice saving at the usual price of £199, if you’re a Marine Cream user!

Here’s the vid – the full list of things on my wishlist is copied below, as usual, for quick reference. Enjoy, email it to your nearest and dearest if you spot anything you like! I’m particularly enamoured with the Nuuna lips notebook (pictured above) – it has the softest leather cover and is pretty sexy. I may have to buy it in both colours!

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Current Skincare Favourites

ruth crilly skincare favourites

Blimey, I desperately needed a break from talking about Christmas and Christmassy things! Can someone please remind me, next year, to keep my Gift Guides neatly contained within a single week – perhaps the last week of November? – and not a single utterance of the words “gift”, “festive” or “stocking filler” thereafter? Thank you.

And moving swiftly on to skincare: some bits and pieces that have really impressed me over the past month or so. A few serums, the world’s best lip balm (possibly) and a couple of new or yet-to-be-released face bases. Which, strictly speaking, are makeup products but the Effaclar BB Blur (see here) has oil-absorbing properties and the Armani Maestro Glow (released February) is just brilliant for dry skin.

Watch the video to hear all about my latest finds – I’ll be doing more in-depth reviews here on A Model Recommends, but probably not until after Christmas as I’m planning to shut down for my “holidays” in a few days’ time. Lots of the products shown have quite good offers on at the moment – the individual links are all below the video screen. Enjoy!

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The Genius Brush That Will Change Your Smokey Eye Forever!

ruth crilly

Right. I’ve been testing out this little smokey eye technique over and over again to make sure that it is absolutely fool-proof. And I’m pretty sure that it is – quick, easy and doesn’t require a load of different products. All you need is some soft eyeliner and one little makeup brush and the perfect smokey eye look from your wildest dreams will be yours. There may be similar brushes to the Real Techniques one that I use, but the quality of this is great and it doesn’t cost the earth. It’s just the perfect size and shape for getting right up to the lashline and smudging things out – it’s not all flippy-flappy so that you don’t get a good blending action, and it’s just about soft enough to not give you sore eyes if you need to blend, blend and blend again. Which you do.

real techniques smudge brushHere’s the brush: it’s the Real Techniques Smudge Brush” which comes as part of the Eyelining Set. (The whole set is currently £9.99 on Amazon here, I think it’s about £20 usually.)

And here’s what I do with it. (It might not be everyone’s cup of tea, this look, but I like it for its sultry-but-not-too-over-the-top appeal. I focus on smouldering around the bottom lashline rather than smudging all of the way around, and use a softer shadow on the eyelid to balance things out. I find that a lot of kohl or eyeliner on my upper lashline makes my eyes look old, but maybe that’s just me..)

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Stylish Non-Kitten Gifts

cool gifts for teens

I’m sorry, I fell down spectacularly with teen gifts this year. Perhaps because I did a “kids and babies” one and that took up most of my brain space. So here are a few bits and bobs that I thought might be appealing to the girl who likes cool, graphic stuff rather than pretty pastels and cupcakes and kittens. (Nothing wrong with kittens, I hasten to add: love them myself. Just not everyone does. The obsession with cupcakes I do not get, however.)

This post should come with a warning: I do seem to have gone for style over budget with a few of these items! So I’ve broadened the horizons and made this a post for everyone who requires non-kitten non-pastel gift ideas. Problem solved. There’s something for every budget…

Starting with the smallest budget: currently on offer at Superdrug, a can of the very finest non-white-dusty dry shampoo that money can buy. If I may say so myself. (It has my name on it, in case you’re new to A Model Recommends!) A styling essential, especially if you suffer from lank hair or flat roots. Colab London is currently £2.32 here.

nuuna nothing to see here

The “Nothing to See Here” notepad is from Nuuna here – it’s a bit posh with its soft leather binding and black-edged pages, but I’ve included it because a) it looked great in my flatlay and b) everything from Nuuna is gorgeous and differently priced, so you can have a browse and see what fits your budget. This is special, stylish stationery at non-Bond-street prices and I love it.

Little pot of sporty-coloured snag-free hair ties: £5.50 from Hershesons here – XMAS20 gets you 20% off.

The candle is from Bella Freud and is part of a set of four (featured earlier in the week here): I joked that I don’t condone splitting luxury candle sets, but these are very cool and the scents are lovely and fresh and non-stuffy. You can also get full-sized versions, which I would imagine are slightly better value for money. I would stop and work it out, price per gram, but I am typing like some kind of dervish in an attempt to get this finished before Masterchef starts. Bella Freud at Cult Beauty Continue reading