As these products have been impressing me so much, I thought I'd share my top 5...
Monu First Defence Illuminating Primer SPF 15 - this was in a Glossybox a couple of months ago and I am VERY impressed with how it keeps my makeup almost perfect for 12 hours (on my oily/combo skin). It's also formulated without parabens, made in the UK and has SPF and Vitamin E #brill
MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot in Utterly Becoming - this is the first ever MAC paint pot I have ever used and I have finally found a dupe for my discontinued HG eye base which I professed my love for HERE. It's part of MAC's Stroke of Midnight holiday collection in the 'nude eye kit'. When I saw Temptalia give it an A+, and I was already dying to try a paint pot, into my shopping basket it went! It also came with a dark brown fluid line (perfect for subtle definition at 7am, worn below), a double ended eye brush (haven't used it yet) and MAC's In Extreme Dimension 3D Black Lash mascara (haven't used it yet either). This paint pot is a PERFECT DUPE for Benefit's Honey Bunny which I miss oh-so-dearly!
[Since making my MAC holiday collection purchases, I have become aware that they were no longer a cruelty-free brand since spring 2013 because they have started selling their products in China (all Estée Lauder brands have) and the Chinese government requires them to test products on animals by law in order to sell there. This was very VERY upsetting for me to learn as I was a huge fan of MAC cosmetics. Urban Decay earned major points with me because they pulled out of the Chinese market to become cruelty-free again. Going forward I will use up the products that I do have but I will not purchase any more products from a company which tests on animals. Just because we do not see the tests happen in front of us does not make it okay. No animal should be poisoned, burned, harmed, or even ultimately killed for our vanity. If you want to read more on animal testing and which brands do it, here are a couple of articles and a video which really helped me out:
PETA article: http://www.peta.org/living/beauty/beauty-without-bunnies/ ]
MAC Mineralize Blush in Lavish Living - this was the only cheek product I picked up from the Divine Night collection and OH MY GOD I'm so happy I did! I don't have anything like it in my collection and it works great lightly layered over other blushes. I would describe it as a rosy silvery plum with silver glitter sparkles. It actually wears rather well on me, when I get home at 6pm it's only slightly faded.
MicaBella Cosmetics blush in Sierra Suede - I received this tiny sample in a Glossybox many months ago and it sat unused on my vanity, mainly because it's a loose mineral blush in a tiny container. For the past week, I have been saturating my blush brush with it, then buffing it into the lid of the container to evenly disperse the product on the brush before applying it to my cheeks and let me tell you, this product is really, really impressing me! It's a tan peachy colour with very slight shimmer which lasts very well through my 12 hour days. It's such a natural colour that it would be hard to overdo. I'm very pleased that it's from a natural, cruelty-free brand and I will definitely be checking out their other products in future.
Bare Minerals Mineral Blush in Aubergine - don't judge me, but I have had this product since winter of 2010 and probably only used it a maximum of 7 times up until last week. Better late than never right? Right?
I will put that largely to the fact that I just didn't know how to apply a pigmented mineral blush without looking like a proper clown-face. After how beautifully Sierra Suede applied to my cheeks, I started reaching for this long-lost blush too and let me tell you, Aubergine layered with Sierra Suede and topped with Lavish Living make the PERFECT winter flushed cheek for me! Sierra Suede adds the warmth, Aubergine adds rosiness and Lavish Living adds that oomph and sparkle!
On its own, Aubergine gives a very pretty English-rose flush to the cheeks (no shimmer), and when swatched on your hand you will be mesmerised by the rich pigment and GORGEOUS shimmer it has! That is definitely what sold it to me three years ago.