Holiday 2016: Decleor's Advent Calendar Looks Beautiful

Over the last week, I mentioned the LookFantastic Beauty Secret Advent Calendar and Asos Beauty Advent Calendar for 2016. Click on the names for details and to order. Both contain a mix of various brands, and are still available.
Of late, many brands have been coming out with their exclusive Advent Calendars. This year, French skincare brand Decleor has debuted their Advent Calendar, and the packaging is certainly the prettiest Advent Calendar I've posted about so far! The colour scheme is a stunning gold and black.
The Decleor Advent Calendar contains 25 products. Price, how to order, and contents (of which 19 are face products) are further below.
SPOILER ALERT: Avoid reading further if you do not wish to see what this calendar contains.

Scroll down for more details about the Decleor Advent Calendar for Holiday 2016

Decleor's Beauty Advent Calendar for Holiday 2016 contains 25 products and ships worldwide.
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September 2016 Beauty Empties + Link-up

In September, I haven't managed to use up as many products as I usually do - a bout of viral 'flu, followed by a stint of severe motion-sickness meant that I ended up skipping my skincare routine for a few days. And I have a medium-sized pimple on the middle of my cheek to show for it. 

Scroll down for the beauty products used up in September 2016 and my quick impressions of each.

Beauty products used up in September 2016 and my quick impressions of each.

Holiday 2016: ASOS Beauty Advent Calendar On Sale; Ships Worldwide

Here's a new Advent Calendar for us beauty box cannibals to feast on. Asos has brought one out - it contains 24 beauty products, ships worldwide FREE and costs a mere £50. The calendar contains products worth £175 and is available here - until it sells out, of course.
It comes in a reusable gift box and contains a nice mix of makeup and skincare.

Scroll down to check out the contents of the ASOS Beauty Advent Calendar for 2016.

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ASOS Beauty Advent Calendar 2016 ships worldwide and contains 24 makeup and skincare products.

Holiday 2016: LookFantastic Beauty Secret Advent Calendar Pre-order. Ships Worldwide

Last year, I became hooked on beauty Advent Calendars. Click here to see all the ones I got, and here for the best ones from 2015. My favourite Advent Calendar in 2015 was LookFantastic's Beauty Secret, a huge 14''x11'' affair - see here for the full contents and reveal.
The LookFantastic Advent Calendar for 2016 promises to be BIGGER and BETTER than last year, and is available for pre-order now! They ship worldwide tracked free.
Before that, what is an Advent Calendar?
Advent is the countdown period to Nativity (Christmas). No, not the Twelve Days of Christmas - that comes AFTER Christmas.
Advent is usually marked from the fourth Sunday BEFORE Christmas. For the purpose of keeping things simple, Advent Calendars commence from December 1.
Advent Calendars began as little cards, where you lifted a flap each day from December 1, to reveal a Nativity-themed picture. On December 25, you would see the whole Nativity scene.
Later, companies brought out Advent Calendars which contained sweets beneath each flap - so you would get 25 sweets, with the Christmas sweet being a special bar of Cadbury's. My Gramps and Dad used to bring these home by the dozen when I was a child.
Now, you have beauty Advent Calendars, where 24-25 different beauty products are hidden behind each flap. You open one each day for a nice little treat. The Christmas product is usually a deluxe one. These calendars mostly contain a balanced mix of makeup, skincare, and hair care products.  

Scroll down for more details about the LookFantastic Beauty Secret Advent Calendar for 2016.

 The LookFantastic Beauty Secret Advent Calendar for 2016 ships worldwide tracked free.
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Baking Makeup Technique: What, How To, and FOTD

Just when I thought I had the hang of strobing and highlighting, the trend changes to "baking". What next, the stir-fried makeup look? Or the parboiled one?
So what is the baking makeup trend? No, you don't stick your head in the oven. There are different ways of "baking" or cooking your makeup out there, but the majority of the beautysphere, particularly on Reddit, follows these steps:
1. After makeup, you apply a tonne of powder. Some recommend baby powder, but you can also use any old pressed or loose powder, or setting powder in your own shade.
2. Then, you proceed to dunk your face in a basin of water. Some do this by liberally spraying on a face-mist, but I find that leaves most of the powder on the face and actually combines with the powder "to create a sort of blancmange".
3. Post-dunk, pat your face dry - gently, please.
Fans of the trend claim your makeup will be set, matte and long-lasting. Let's see what happened when I "baked" my mug.

Scroll down for the lowdown on the baking makeup trend, and for a "baked" FOTD using the Lorac Pro 3 Palette and more. 

 How do do "baking makeup" - tutorial and review, full-face FOTD and EOTD with Lorac Pro 3.
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Cult Classics Autumn VIP Beauty Goody Bag Review

When the seasons change, brands and retailers come out with GWPs and freebie offers, and I'm an unashamed sucker for gifts with purchase.
This year's Autumn offering from UK-based beauty retailer Cult Beauty had two versions. The VIP version included four extra deluxe products, including a full-sized Tata Harper cleanser. The regular version carried 14 products.
Here's a PSA - Huda Kattan is releasing her first beauty box collab with Cult Beauty. Sign up here! I know for a fact that it contains Kevyn Aucoin and Morphe. 

Scroll down for the contents of the Cult Classics Autumn VIP Beauty Goody Bag.

Here are the contents of the Cult Classics Autumn VIP Beauty Goody Bag, a seasonal GWP that ships worldwide.
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Space.NK's September Beauty Edit Available Worldwide

To mark the fashion weeks in September, beauty retailer Space.NK. Apothecary has released two special gifts with purchase options, available online today.
The September Beauty Edits come in two versions - a luxury version, with 17 products and a Whistles clutch bag, worth £200; and a deluxe version, with 22 products, and the Whistles clutch bag, worth £450. Both also contain a Whistles gift card for £20. The GWPs are available both online and in-store, until stocks last.
Both these September Beauty Edits ship worldwide tracked (as do most products on Space.NK, with the exceptions of aerosol sprays and nail polishes) from Space.NK UK - the GWPs from Space.NK US do not ship worldwide, and the contents of the US Autumn Beauty Edit are different. To mark the end of my shopping ban, I've ordered the deluxe version - watch out for my post in a week or so.

Scroll down for the contents of the Space NK September Beauty Edits and to find out how to order them. 

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Space NK September Beauty Edits are two luxury gifts with purchase, containing a range of full-size and sample makeup and skincare.

Autumn Makeup Look With Bourjois Cosmetics

Bourjois has always been my favourite drugstore makeup brand. The quality of their foundations, eyeliners, blushes, bronzers, lipsticks and mascaras is as good as department store brands. The only thing I don't love about Bourjois is their eyeshadows - the pigmentation isn't awesome, and they don't have the kind of large palettes I prefer anyway.
Feelunique has 3-for-2 on Bourjois right now, and they ship worldwide, so I've just been Bourjois-hauling!
With all the Bourjois love going on, I decided to do a Fall makeup look with six Bourjois makeup products - and other brands as well. Warning: This isn't my usual look; I'm wearing dark lipstick!

Scroll down for an Autumn makeup look with six products from Bourjois Cosmetics.

Autumn full-face FOTD with Bourjois makeup products - 123 Foundation, Rouge Edition Aqua Lipstick and Blush, and Julie Hewett Breathless palette.
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Autumn Beauty Giveaway: Open Worldwide

I swear my long-overdue vacation is jinxed. I usually head to the mountains for a "rest-cure" and cut myself off from everything for 10 days or so. We're not counting work-travel or weekend breaks - this is a proper away-from-it-all with long treks in tea gardens, lazing about, bathing in waterfalls, wading in rivers... that sort of thing. Hasn't happened since October 2014 - see here. After several postponements, I was finally supposed to leave on the 17th of September and now I've caught a bad case of the 'flu and, as a result, had to postpone this week's to-do list to the next week, so the 17th is out of the question. I'm looking at dates in October now - hopefully that will work out. Two years is a long time without a getaway.
While I wait, might as well get the ball rolling on the next giveaway on this blog, so you can get your prizes before the Holidays, given the paranoid international postal systems these days. 
Rules and how to enter are further below.
Autumn Beauty Giveaway 2016: Open Worldwide