Having previously stated that I would never set foot in M&S, I am slightly having to eat my words. I'm still not on board with their 'fashion' range - sorry, but just because I'm a mother doesn't mean I have lost all of my style faculties (granted there are a few *occasional* pieces which look ok if you happen to be a fashion blogger and get first dibs).
Anyway, I was watching the ever wonderful blog of Caroline Hirons who alerted me to the beauty advent calendar that M&S were releasing on 17th November. To be honest she had me at '100ml bottle of Pixi glow tonic' which I've wanted to try for ages. I was less concerned about the remainder and for £25 it was a bargain - and can be given away as Christmas presents to less favoured 'friends' or office secret Santas if required. (The secret Santa in my office is obviously quite small: just me and my daughter. No actual secret at all then. I suspect all I'll be getting for Christmas from her is a viral infection).
I managed to secure the much coveted purchase online at 12.34 in the morning when I was breastfeeding. I high fived myself in the darkness as my order went through and I trotted off to collect it yesterday with much anticipation.
I have to say it doesn't disappoint. Clearly it is no Cult Beauty Box in terms of focus on skincare and brands, but it is weighty and tastefully wrapped (much like myself -:). Now OBVIOUSLY I should have waited each agonising day to open it but if you had ever met me, even for 5 minutes, you'd realise this was never on the cards. I immediately ripped open each precious parcel and greedily tried a bit of everything -I'm an instant gratification kind of girl.
It would be a very long post if I listed all 24 items so I thought I would start with my top picks and then I'll go through things a bit more systematically in later posts.
So first and the clear winner for me was the Pixi glow tonic. I've heard a lot about this 'cult' product from their range. You apply it morning and night (on a cotton pad) and it contains 5% glycolic acid (amongst other things) which in layman's terms basically means it gobbles up dead skin cells to give your skin a bit of glow. It claims to help even out skin tone as well which is ideal for the hyperpigmented amongst us (me).
I normally don't use acids on a regular basis and just use Alpha H or the Dermalogica deep cleansing mask a few times I week. I stopped them all together in pregnancy as I was slightly wary of using acids and also my skin was awash with oestrogen stoked brilliance anyway (shame about the incessant nausea). I applied the first tone this morning and will keep you posted on the results. I have a sneaky suspicion this is going to be a winner.
My next two picks are both hair care. This is topical as I just had my bleach highlights done again and my poor, parched hair needs all the help it can get.
First up is the Philip Kingsley Elasticizer. Again, I've always wanted to try this brand but it is quite expensive and I could never quite bring myself to fork out for it. This acts as a super conditioning pre shampoo which sounds perfect to add a bit of bounce and shine to my flat, drab locks. It also smells great as it is geranium and neroli.
My final pick is the Swell Ultimate Volume Masque which is good for colour treated/damaged hair. Check, check, check.
I'll report back on all of these and give you some more posts on the other goodies. I am aware that this is ENTIRELY against the spirit of Christmas and I'm being a bit of a Billy Bunter but beauty is not just for advent, it is also for rainy November. That might just catch on.....