Christmas gifting with Crabtree & Evelyn

Christmas gifting with Crabtree & Evelyn

Nothing takes up more time during Christmas than gift shopping. And each year i’ve noticed the list keeps growing and growing & GROWING to the point where it becomes less fun seeking out that perfect gift for your loved one.

So early November when I was invited to preview Crabtree & Evelyns extensive seasonal gifting selection, I was thrilled at the opportunity to make my lists leisurely and get to the store before the best stuff sold out!

Since it’s the first weekend of December and many of you are starting to shop for those all important gifts, I hope my little gift guide comes handy to plan your purchases before heading to the store where you are bound to be overwhelmed.

So here’s a bunch of stuff that I thought would fit various budgets and came packaged so beautifully, half of the work is already done.

Welcome to Crabtree & Evelyns Christmas 2014 collection!

Crabtree & Evelyn holiday gift guide

As always my eyes go right to the prettiest packaging >.<

Like this gorgeous diffuser, first thing on my list! And it even makes a gorgeous yet functional table centerpiece!

The clay dove is just the perfect design detail that makes this gift extra special don’t you think? ❤

This one’s priced at S$98.

Crabtree & Evelyn Dove Diffuser

Next up, candles! To fill your homes with the warming scent of winter berries or a mix of balsams and citrus infused with star anise.

These come in several sizes and make for lovely gifts. Prices start at S$38 for the small one, S$50 for the large and S$75 for the extra large three wick candle (seen above).

Crabtree and Evelyn holiday gift guide

There’s also corresponding room sprays S$30 and fragrance oil S$18.

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No Crabtree & Evelyn gift guide is complete without some of their most popular items. The hand cream sets! A complete sell out each year, these come in boxes of 12, 6 and 3. Priced at $78, $55, $30 respectively.

I also think they make excellent stocking stuffers as each work out to just over S$6! With one set you have 12 stocking stuffers sorted! Easy peasy!

Crabtree & Evelyn hand cream

Another C&E speciality are their delicious english cookies, preserves and fudge!

They all come packaged soo beautifully. I personally like those in the tins. They feel more substantial.

Here’s half a kilo of biscuits in a barrel! Flavours include, Lemon and white chocolate, Triple chocolate chunk and Strawberries and cream. This set retails at S$68.

P.S- There are also biscuit tins in musical box versions! How fun!

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If you are looking for hamper style assortments. You are covered! Here’s a drool worthy set of preserves, biscuits and tea in a collectible tin. Retails at S$68.

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And how adorable is the packaging!!!!

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Last but not least, decadent holiday hampers that come beautiful red boxes and also in picnic basket style wicker boxes for the generous gift giver. Prices start from S$80 for this small box, seen below; ranging up to S$300 for boxes filled with an assortment of biscuits, fudge, preserves, sparkling wine and much more!

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So there you have it! My mini tour of Crabtree & Evelyns holiday offerings. There’s of course 100+ gifts in store to brows through! And I promise you, you are bound to find the perfect gift, if not several with just one trip!

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Happy shopping my dears 🙂

A Scentsational experience at Spa Esprit

Spa Esprit

Today was the perfect day to write about a memorable Spa experience that I had courtesy of the lovely people at Spa Esprit.

The ideal pre holiday indulgence to get me ready for all the action in the weeks to come!

Spa Esprit welcome desk

I decided to try their body treatments and went with what was suggested as a relaxing massage where I was promised to sleep like a baby that night, the Classic Scentsational massage.

It consists of a combination of massage techniques including Swedish, Hawaiian and Indonesian strokes, all perfectly sequenced to help you relax and soothe tense and strained muscles.

Spa Esprit

For the massage I got to pick my own essential oil blend, and 7th Heaven was my choice. There are 19 different blends of oils to pick from btw!

Spa Esprit room

The spa room was not as impressive as I would have liked. It was slightly pokey and I felt that the ambience could have been better. I think I just picked the wrong location. As the Dempsey branch is beautiful as it’s surrounded by nature and looks more ‘spa like’.   P.S- Check out Makeup Blogettes post on her facial massage at the Dempsey Spa Esprit! However, what matters the most is the treatment and that didn’t disappoint. In fact i’d go as far as saying it was one of the most rewarding massages i’ve received.

My therapist Yetni worked on my shoulders and arms first, spending time on each area without rushing through. With her skilled strokes she kneaded and smoothed out knots around my neck where I was feeling rather stiff and worked in all that 7th Heaven elixir on to my sore limbs.

The pressure was just right and I didn’t feel uncomfortable or handled too rough. I also felt that the length of the massage was perfect and by the time she was done I was almost asleep drowning in the gorgeous essential oil aroma that enveloped my body.

Following my massage I was ushered back to the reception where I was offered ginger tea to further my freshly acquired zen moment. And with that concluded my blissful experience at Spa Esprit.

For those of you who are keen on trying out their treatments, i’d like to suggest this particular one as it’s a great starter treatment where you get to experience how skilled they are. I’d actually love to go back to Yetni.

Bottom line, I was a happy client. From the welcome, to the consultation, massage and post massage ‘me time’ with a cup of ginger tea, I really couldn’t find anything that didn’t satisfy me.

P.S- I did have a very good nights sleep that day 😀

 

Other info

Spa Esprit locations

The Beauty Emporium at Dempsey. T +65 64790070

Paragon Orchard Level 5. T +65 68360500

 

 

 

 

5 Simple steps to get the ‘glow’

‘Lit from within’, ‘glowing skin’ phrases we hear almost everywhere. Personally I am sick of hearing it over & over, but then it’s summer, who doesn’t want to look healthy and glowy right?

summer glow
So here’s a guide to achieving glowing skin. A 15 min manual if you may, cos I know we all are pressed for time!

I like to start with skincare. As no amount of makeup can make up for unhealthy skin.

Also since this is a quick guide. I am just focusing on speedy remedies. Starting with..

clarins

 

Exfoliation
As you may already know, our skin is made up of layers and layers of cells. The oldest layer being right on the top.
As skin renews its self and constantly pushes new cells to the surface, this older layer sits on top and starts to accumulate as a coating covering the new healthy skin underneath. This is how you find skin to be dull and lackluster.
In order to achieve maximum luminosity, the accumulated dead skin cells need to be gently brushed away. So we use an exfoliator. Personally I prefer a chemical exfoliator over a mechanical exfoliator (regular face scrubs or wash cloths) which is a very mild form of exfoliation using peeling products with fruit acids or lactic acids (which I shall do a separate post on later). But since many of you are most likely to have a scrub of some sort at hand, I say grab that. If it’s a brightening exfoliator, even better!

Gently exfoliate your skin with this. Vigorous, over enthusiastic buffing is not advised as this leads to broken capillaries and sensitized skin which leads to red and raw skin. Not the look we are aiming for.

La Mer soft cream

Moisturize
For the new skin to be glowy we need to ‘water’ it.
Exfoliation temporarily takes away the natural layer of sebum on top of your skin. So we absolutely must moisturise after exfoliation. This stops skin from loosing its moisture as well as help retain and capture moisture to the upper layers with the help of ingredients such as Hyaluronic acid.
Moisturisers also help temporarily take care of dry flaky skin. Which is the key culprit that inhibits light reflecting off your face (which is what creates the said glow we are after). The best way to explain this is, think of how light reflects off a smooth flat surface as opposed to an uneven bumpy surface. You see where I am going with this right?

Bronze
So it’s summer and the hottest chicks around are sporting a tan. Why aren’t you? Let me break down the benefits of a little tan.
1) Bronzing instantly slims down your face. Especially if you concentrate it towards the outer areas of your face when you bronze. So Ideally you do a quick sweep all over and then go back again just around the outer parameter deepening the tan.
2) You are instantly able to wear brighter lipsticks and blushes than what you are usually confortable with, which in turn draw attention to your features. AND you can easily pull off more dramatic makeup looks! As much as the ‘pale and interesting’ look can be appealing, try a bit of bronzing if only for summer.
3) You look like you came back from an exotic vacation. To me, this is reason enough!

chanel les beiges highlighter delice

Highlight
So bronzing and highlighting go hand in hand. When a bronzer darkens and ‘recedes’, you need to ‘bring out’ certain areas of your face with a little highlighter. This instantly lifts your features and make them look more sharp and defined. A little highlighter dusted on the high points of your cheekbones, bridge of your nose and chin goes a long way.
If you are naturally oily around the t zone, you can skip the nose as you are most likely averse to highlighting that area.
However I find that if you use a good mattifier under makeup, then this is an extra step that makes your skin look beautiful. As much as I hate oil, I love a lit from within glow. And a highlighter is the quickest way to give you bucket loads of this.
*Of course less is more. Always keep that in mind when using a highlighter. In general use a very sparse, tapered brush or a fan brush for best results.

Guerlain meteorites travel set

Finishing powder
This is the final step. A good finishing powder is like the invisible butler. You never see it but you know that the job is being done. So what exactly does a finishing powder do?
It essentially smooth’s out the complexion, like photo shopping an image.
Pores and fine lines are blurred and look less visible. Also the fine shimmer in these helps light reflect off your face better giving you ‘the glow’. It basically makes your skin look healthy and even. I personally never skip this step. Hence why I have my trusty Guerlain Meteorites with me no matter where I travel!

 

So there you have it. The secret to healthy and beautiful skin. Although it was a lot to read, this only takes a very little time when you actually get down to doing it. After which you are left with gorgeous youthful fresh skin that is luminous!
I hope you enjoyed this post and stay tuned for some body basics that will be coming up later this week to help you get the ultimate summer/beach ready body.

Wishing all of you a happy week ahead!
xx
Michelle.

Current favourites

Hi Hi!

Todays post is all about products i’ve been enjoying lately. Random lifestyle and travel necessities kinda mix with a few beauty essentials thrown in as well.

I usually save posts like this for Instagram, but this time around I wanted to add some quick reviews too, so what better place to do a detailed post than right here, my outlet, my blog!!!

Let’s start out with the edit.

 

Valentino Penhaligons La Mer Giorgio Armani Diptyque VDL Hakuhodo

First up, some things I use when I travel.

My Benefit eye mask- A little treat from my visit to the San Francisco Benefit store on Fillmore street. I love how soft and silky this feels and is my inflight essential. I need this to get some shut eye while I patiently (Or impatiently rather) wait till we land.

Sleep sniff box- It’s a soothing mix of essential oils (Lavender, Cammomile & Neroli) that calms the mind and gets you into a nice relaxed state. I love to keep this in my carry on so I can take a whiff of this and go right to sleep.

Next, some mode essentials

Lace slippers – This is by far my most loved pair of shoes right now. Since i’m a jeans and tee kinda gal, they are super easy to mix and match and I always love how it shows off my pedicure too! It’s a very budget friendly find from Bershka and I really can’t get enough. Plus, they are virtually weightless! I can walk miles in them… Glad I packed these for my holiday.

Red Valentino bag – Just big enough to hold my phone, mirror, lipstick and maybe a perfume. But is oh so light and I love how the bright red instantly lifts any outfit. Plus these shoulder bags are always great when going sightseeing cos you can be ‘hands free’ to have your camera ready while making memories! I am glad I am finally putting this to good use, it’s been neglected for far too long.

Some beauty!

Clarins samples – Always a favourite for when I travel. There are quite a few that I use on a daily basis so I am glad I have them in a convenient travel size as well. The products I enjoy the most are their Defining eye lift serum, Hydra Quench moisture mask, Hydra Quench cream gel and the Instant eye makeup remover.

Clarins

So a quick review on these.

Defining eye lift –

I am someone who wakes up with majorly puffy eye lids. Although they slowly ‘depuff’ by the time I get around to doing my makeup. I still like to use this to tighten my eye area. It’s a serum that can be applied before your regular eye cream and just a tiny amount will do. I apply it on my eye lid and smooth it out towards the brow in a patting motion so that it stimulates circulation and drains any water retention that causes the puffiness. If you are looking to add one more step to your eye routine, this could be a worthy contender!

Hydra Quench cream mask –

This is a Clarins product that I LOVE. It’s not expensive and works just as effectively as some of the more pricier moisture masks i’ve tried. I also love the nice fresh scent of this particular line by Clarins. I use the gel moisturiser of this same line for morning hydration and have talked about it before.

Instant eye makeup remover –

Just a good speedy eye makeup remover with no irritation. I love how this dissolves mascara without having to ‘rub’ too much. And I am glad I have this in a travel size. Clarins really are soo generous with samples. Kinda addicting in a way..

Back to the post,

Diptyque

Hand creams – I’ve been loving two actually. I use the thicker, more nourishing La Mer one as a night time treatment and this Diptyque Eau Rose as a day time hand cream since it’s smaller and I find is very easy to take around in my bag. Personally I wish La Mer would do a more travel friendly size of their hand cream. Have you seen how heavy the cap is??? It’s insane. I feel like I need a separate bag to carry this in!

Now onto some makeup bag essentials..

Hakuhodo retractable brush – Fits perfectly in my little makeup bag and great to use with any powder I might be carrying. I love how it is encased in this holder so the bristles don’t mingle with the other contents of my bag. So hygienic.

VDL Blotting powder – I love this stuff. I remember how I tried this the very first day at the counter and all dewiness, GONE right in front of my eyes. It’s lightweight and doesn’t leave a white cast cos it’s translucent, so even if you have darker skin, this works perfect for you too.

Diptyque Do Son – This is my favourite Diptyque perfume. It’s a heady scent of Tuberose, something feminine and floral but is still a bit creamy and smooth. I’ve had this for over a year now and I still can’t stop using it. I like to keep a sample in my bag so I don’t have to carry my bottle around when I travel. Works out perfectly for me. But I think I may need to restock my samples next time I visit a Diptyque store..

O.P.I Avoplex cuticle oil to go – Something I can’t live without! You really REALLY need to try this. It’s a little tube with a brush tip applicator which instantly hydrates dry cuticles. Normally for me hand creams alone aren’t enough, and I always rely on this baby to keep my hands looking well groomed and hydrated.

Sensai Lip treatment sample – So I have never owned this in a full size and it is my second sample pot (I got three!). But I am completely in love with this conveniently packaged coin size pot of lip treatment. It’s my nightly lip balm and I also keep it in my makeup bag to use as and when needed. The texture of this is not waxy or oily like normal lip balms, but a lightweight formula that feels like a light moisturiser. It keeps my lips in good condition, so I like to have this around.

Armani Flash Lacquer 520 – This is my go-to lipgloss these days. It’s a medium pink with a slight warm tone. Perfect to mimic youthful healthy lips. I also love that this can be layered over lipstick to make them more pinky and flushed. I believe it’s a fail safe colour for most skin tones.

concluding with some lifestyle products…

Penhaligons Endymion candle – Where do I even begin…. It’s an addictive creamy scent with a very sexy warm profile. I keep this in my living area and light it whenever I need to feel pampered and relaxed. I love love love this!

current faves phone battery pack

Breath luxury phone portable charger by M.Craftsman – Can’t count how many times this has been my saviour when my phone died. This portable charger can store up to 2.5 times your iPhone battery and is great for when you are on vacay so you can charge on the go if you are out all day. I actually have two. And how sleek is the packaging with the leather and suede mix? VERY!!!

Last but not least –

Some Fashion/Art in the form of Manolo drawings. Who doesn’t like shoes? And I think Manolo makes some of the most creative and exotic ones. I love to brows through this little book and dream of all the gorgeous shoes that I would just love to try on some day. These are more like works of art. Truly admire Mr Manolo.

 

So there you have it, a ramble about my current loves. Hope I didn’t bore you too much 🙂

In any case I plan to do more lifestyle type posts like this in future to break up the monotony of just beauty and skincare reviews.

Wishing you a great weekend!

Michelle.

Packing a travel makeup bag

What better time to do a post on how to pack a travel makeup bag other than when I am about to travel right? So here I am transiting in SL, waiting for some last minute documentation to come through and head on a nice little summer vacation to an undisclosed place 😉
In the mean time let me show you what I’ve packed.

Travel packing makeup

This looks like a lot. And yeah maybe it is. But other than those few extra eye palettes, everything else is my day to day makeup. Plus it’s for a slightly longish trip so I needed a few extras to avoid regret!

To make sure you don’t miss anything, I suggest you follow a check list or pack things in the sequence you apply your makeup, so you go step by step and don’t forget anything. I have a nasty habit of leaving mascaras and eye primers behind, so I have finally, FINALLY got a checklist ready to make sure I don’t leave things behind in future!

So here’s a list of what would essentially be in my travel makeup bag.

1) Foundation (Or BB cream, tinted moisturizer depending on preference)

2) Primer* (Essential if you want to keep your foundation in place. No time for touch ups when you are busy relaxing or just having fun right?)

3) Concealer

4) Setting Powder (I use the Chanel Les Beiges in 02 and I also packed a little sample of my La Mer powder in a Sephora jar as well!)

5) Finishing Powder (Optional)

6) Bronzer (Optional)

7) Blush (One pink and one coral toned is ideal so that there’s something that matches your lipstick choices, if you wear deeper shades of lipstick, a nude or a beige blush will be good to have as well)

8) Highlighter (I didn’t pack a separate highlighter as I plan on using the lightest shade of my Edward Bess Quad Royale! Love a good multitasker)

9) Eye Primer

10) Eyeshadow palettes (Easier to travel with than packing a load of singles. I usually pick one neutral quad for daytime and a smokey quad for night, I also pack a peachy shade too cos I am obsessed with peach and can’t live without a peach fix even while I’m on vacay!)

11) Eye liner (Liquid or khol liner depending on preference. And if you are heading somewhere beachy, some colourful waterproof eyeliners are a great addition since they are a fun, easy way to update a neutral day time look with minimal effort, and the best part is, they take up very little space and I love throwing a few of those in)

12) Mascara

13) Lash curler (Optional)

14) Brow products (Pencil or powder or BOTH if you are brow obsessed like me)

15) Lip products (I usually pack reds and nudes as they are easy to pair up with my daily looks)

So here’s more close ups of what I packed. I used my Laura Mercier Artists portfolio to pack a majority of these.

Travel makeup collection

 

makeup collection

 

Artist Portfolio Laura Mercier

 

Artist Protfolio right

 

The foundation + Kevyn Aucoin SSE + primer ( I packed in a zip lock bag), lash curlers (in their original box) and the massive It Palette, they all went in my cabin bag safe and sound, tucked between my clothes for extra cushioning. The Guerlain travel Meteorites though I packed in their original box and put it in my hand luggage as it’s packaging is fragile. I don’t want to have to deal with a cracked jar while on vacay! Instant fun spoiler  >.< .

Travel makeup

 

As you can see I went to town with lip products and eyeshadows, of course this is totally unnecessary and you don’t have to pack that much! In this case the eyeshadows were packed mainly cos I want to test them out for upcoming blog posts, and the extra lipsticks though are simply cos I like having tonnes of choice in the lip department as it’s usually an easy way to tie an outfit together and look well groomed without much effort.  Normally I transfer all of these into a little pouch when I arrive at my destination so that they are in one place for easy access when I put my makeup on.

So there you have it. Packing made simple. Of course many things I included are luxuries to have while on vacay. But if you are like me and consider your daily makeup routine more of a relaxing ritual, then all of these are essentials 😉

Finally, thank you for dropping by today, I wish you all a wonderful weekend, and don’t forget to enter the Benefit Giveaway thats open to Singapore residents (P.S- make sure you read the giveaway instructions well so that your entry qualifies for the giveaway).

xx

Michelle.

Mothers day treats with Lancŏme Advanced Génifique Yeux

Kicking off the launch of new Advanced Génifique Yeux eye cream, Lancŏme dresses up Orchard road with it’s beautiful parisian themed pop-up store!

A feast for the eyes! In more ways than one!

Genifique with roses final

I wanted to share a (pic heavy) post to tempt you to head on over. Cos every girl needs a bit of pampering now and then right?

A look at what you’re greeted with while passing Tangs……. I had to take a moment to take in the view… So beautiful!

Genifique pop up store colour corrected

Genifique Roses

And inside… the beautiful Génifique vanity, lined up with precious bottles of youth activating serums, creams n potions….

Genifique Vanity table

 

Genifique wall B&W

So before we head any further, here’s a quick look at what’s on offer.

There are basically two treatments to choose from, completely free of charge!

The Génifique eye treatment (15 mins) using the Génifique Yeux light pearl eye serum combined with the new Advanced Génifique Yeux Youth activating eye cream.

The Génifique facial treatment (15 mins) using the Advanced Génifique Youth activating concentrate.

Upon completion of the chosen treatment you also receive a Génifique trial kit which you could take home with you and indulge further!

Also on Mothers Day (Sunday, 11th May), there’re even more delightful treats to indulge in.

You could book yourself AND your mom a duo treatment and receive a flash beauty service plus a makeover complete with a photograph courtesy of the photographer on site!

 

tresor

And here’s me enjoying my eye treatment! (First time trying this LED light device on my face, it helps the serum penetrate more effectively!)

Genifique treatment in progress

And of course since my makeup was taken off for the treatment, the lovely Lina Tock gave me a quick makeover once we were done. She used all my Lancŏme favourites!

Lancome makeover

 

Other info,

An appointment before heading to Tangs would be advised as the pop-up store gets a bit busy by afternoon.

Here’s the number of the Lancŏme counter at Tangs where you can make the booking – 67370095

P.S- all treatments will be from now until Sunday! So hurry 🙂

Also a special thank you to lovely Yanny from Lancŏme for the invitation and Lina Tock (Lancŏmes National Makeup Artist) for pampering me with the treatments!

Makeup bag essentials – Some permanant residents and some tourists

So today we talk about the utterly boring contents of my makeup bag. Cuticle oil, lip balm, mirrors.. the works!

I have been meaning to do a detailed write up for a while now, but with so many new things to blog about, posts like this get postponed. In any case, I am glad I finally got around to it.

So here’s a group shot of everything that’s slowly accumulated over the week.

whats in my makeup bag

 

I keep all of my stuff in this good sized lightweight Armani pouch which was a gift with purchase. It’s roomy enough to fit a lot of stuff, and I like that the pouch is somewhat padded so my precious makeup stay safe n sound!

Moving on to the actual contents. First up, lipsticks!

Lipsticks makeup bag

This weeks lipsticks were Watermelon by Bite, Courtisane by Dior (reviewed here) and Sweet Spot by Tom Ford. You would have already seen some of these in my fotd Instagram pics. And so far I have been getting lots of use out of the Bite one and Tom Ford, so you can expect a full review on these in days to come 🙂

Next up, a new addition to my bag! A generous gift from Clé de Peau.

Cle de peau powder

The Refining Pressed Powder LX. So far I have only used this once as I am quite lazy to do any touch ups mid day but I do see myself getting a lot of use off this at dinners and parties where I do touch up any shiny areas without hesitation. The super slim and compact size makes it ideal for tucking into tiny evening bags and it really is the slimmest powder compact I have ever seen! even in my tiny hands, this still looks so small. Astounding!

Hand care

Next come my essential hand and nail care products.

I love taking care of my hands.  My fail safe goodies are a good hand cream and cuticle oil, they keep my hands hydrated and well groomed at all times.

The Avoplex cuticle oil is one of my HG products. I think I am on my 3rd tube of these. I use this for an instant boost of hydration if I notice any dry, scaly cuticles. What I love is that the brush tip makes for easy application and the cap screws on tight so there’s no danger of leakage. One of the most user friendly cuticle products I’ve found.

For hand creams currently I use the Diptyque Eau Rose.  Although it’s not as hydrating as my HG La Mer hand cream, this is great for keeping in my bag as it’s a more travel friendly size and I love the refreshing scent of rose 🙂

whats in my makeup bag perfume

I also like to keep a few perfume samples for those days when I rush out forgetting to spray on some perfume. These day’s I  carry my trusty Tom Ford Cafe Rose perfume and Diptyques Do Son. Both very unusual and uncommon fragrances.

Makeup bag hakuhodo dior lipgloss chanel

Next up are more ‘residents’.

The Hakuhodo retractable touch up brush (reviewed here), lip brush and Chanel mirror have all been staples in my makeup bag for a long time. They are the perfect shape and size to fit in any of my makeup bags without taking up too much space. And also if you may have noticed I like having them all in a uniform colour, I believe it looks nicer that way 🙂

Lastly, I keep my trusty Sensai Cellular lip treatment in my bag at all times. It’s a sample size which makes it perfect for a makeup bag and I love the light texture of this. I only need a very little to sooth dry lips. P.S- This also happens to be the same lip balm I use in my nigh time skin care routine.

 

So that’s the the round up of products that I call essentials. What are yours? Do you carry anything else apart from what’s listed here? If so please share 🙂 I’d love to know!