New year beauty must-haves



My most coveted product of the last couple of months has to be the Hourglass Ambient lighting edit palette.

I love the finely-milled shimmery powders, they sit beautifully on the skin and don’t cause the flaky or dusty effects I have noticed when using some others.

The palette contains 3 powers in different shades, 2 blushers and a bronzer. This makes it perfect to travel with as all the powders you need are beautifully arranged in a gold case. The mirror is also quite large which eliminates the need for a travel mirror.

I would love to be able to take this to fashion week with me next month.







A second product I have loved this month is the lipstick queen “Ice queen story” set.

I wish I had found out about this before Christmas as it would have made the perfect stocking UK200016145_LIPSTICK_Qfiller. The “wine sinner” is my perfect red and “Ice queen” would have been perfect for my “winter wonderland” shoot and fashion show. I also have a couple more lipsticks in my collection it would look great layered with.

Lipstick queen is fast becoming my favourite lipstick brand. I have 6 of their lipsticks in my current collection and love the cleverness of their products. As well as producing a variety of formulas and finishes (often indicated by the colour of the packaging), their ranges are also conceptual and often include an unexpected property to spark your interest.

This is currently in the sale at SPACE NK. I hope someone buys something off my website so I can treat myself before it sells out.

Lipstick queen, Ice queen story £17.50, SPACE NK



For the past couple of months, I have also been obsessing over the Nars makeup brushes.

They are on the pricey side but I have never come across “good” brushes that I find so aesthetically appealing before so I just have to have them. When I first got the Real techinques brushes, I remember complaining about them ruining my dressing-table colour-scheme, whereas these fit in perfectly. I have 3 so far, trying to buy one every time I have some spare cash.

Nars “Yachiyo” kabuki brush £43, SPACE NK



This next product is a bit of a surprise. I have never really been that “into” nail polish and the chemicals that Iwork with on a day to day basis ruin it so I don’t wear it often. I ended up picking up a one from “Rococo”, a brand I have never tried before in the SPACE NK sale (it was only £1.50!) and was impressed by both the packaging and the quality of the polish. 

At this price, it’s definitely worth trying out. I really love the box as it goes with my decor and it looks like a lot of the colours have a beautiful iridescence to them.

The shade I like best out of the ones left in the sale is SNO BABY £1.50, SPACE NK




Next we have another hourglass product. I need a new tinted moisturiser and I’ve heard so many good things about this one.

From the description, it sounds like exactly what I’m looking for but I haven’t tried it yet so I hope I can get my hands on it soon and that it lives up to my expectations.

Hourglass illusion Hyaluronic skin tint, £45, SPACE NK 


The final product is a hairspray, which might seem a bit odd, but I am featuring it for quite a pointful reason. If you read my “2016 goals” post, you may have noted that I’m trying to turn all of my beauty and household products cruelty-free.

Hairspray is quite a tricky one so I was pleased to come across this Argan oil infused one by Moroccanoil. I featured it in case anyone was also on the lookout for something similar.

Like all Moroccanoil products, it isn’t cheap, but I think it might be worth it as I don’t really use hairspray that often.

Morrocanoil luminous hairspray, £17.25





I hope you found this post useful! Feel free to share your new-year beauty must-haves, I always love checking out new products! And let me know if you have tried any of the ones I’ve listed here today and what you thought.



Emma Hardie skincare review

I have now been using Emma Hardie products for over a year and feel I know enough about them to give an honest and informed review. I have tried most of the products in the range now and wanted to share my favourites.


Emma Hardie moisturiser, primer, oil, serum by aestheticcontradiction

The most well-known product, is the Moringa cleansing balm, which has achieved almost “cult” beauty status, with hosts of bloggers reviewing it and singing its praises. I also have this and use it on days when I wear a lot of makeup, but the products I wanted to talk about today are as follows:

emma hardie moisturiser favourite by aestheticcontradiction


The amazing face protect and prime:

This is a priming moisturiser with SPF, specially formulated with Mongongo Oil, Oat Extract and Vitamin E. I use it every day.

I like that it doubles up as a primer as I don’t bother using a separate one day to day and it helps keep my BB cream in place.

 If I ever forget to apply it before my morning dog walk, I do notice the difference, my face feels dry and more exposed to the elements.

It does feel like a cross between a moisturiser and a primer when applied to the skin and has a light fragrance, which I think is a blend of rose and essential oils, similar to most Emma Hardie products.

Though I’m not crazy about the colour of the packaging, I find the pump really handy and like how sturdy it is. If I’m travelling, I just throw it in my bag and have never had any problems with leakage. I find other products with similar packaging often have a loose lid that falls off easily, meaning the pump could accidentally be compressed, covering the contents of your bag in product.

This has become my go-to moisturiser because it combines everything that I need day to day and I can easily just squeeze some on before I leave in the morning. I don’t even have to worry about screwing a lid back on properly.

Buy it: £45 from Emma Hardie

emma hardie facial oil by aestheticcontradiction blogger

Brilliance facial oil:

A moisturising and brightening oil containing 9 essential oils and 5 plant oils.

I know a lot of people say this when they first try facial oil, but I was seriously expecting it to make my skin more oily or cause me to break out. I have actually tried other oils in the past and found they did just that.

This time however, I was pleasantly surprised. I actually think this oil helps minimise breakouts, it has genuine brightening properties and leaves me skin feeling and looking smoother and more hydrated. I don’t always wake up thinking how amazing my skin looks, but it definitely happens more often after starting to use the Emma Hardie brilliance facial oil.

The packaging of this is beautiful. Even before I was sure that it would suit my skin, I wanted it to be part of my vanity display. The quality is evident in every element and the dropper is the perfect way to distribute the oil.

I was also quite surprised by the size of this and how long it lasts. I use this every two days and I estimate a 30 ml. bottle would last me a year, making the £31 totally worth it.

Buy it: £31 from SPACE NK

Emma Hardie face serum by aestheticcontradiction blogger


Mydas touch face serum:

Concentrated collagen-boosting, skin-firming face serum.

I mostly use this around my eyes and mouth, where I feel my skin is losing its elasticity or starting to form fine lines.

What I particularly love about this is that you can also add it to sensitive or spot-prone areas without fear of irritation or oiliness. It feels very light and silky on the skin and is easily absorbed.

This comes in a cylindrical box that is way too big for it. It looks impressive, but is not at all practical if you purchase it on a trip, like I did. I ended up having to ditch outer packaging because it didn’t fit in my bag.

The internal packaging, I feel is perfect and I love the chunky pen shape.

Pressing the bottom of the “pen” releases a small blob of product, ensuring there is no waste.

This is quite pricey so I use it around 3 times a week but I don’t think any more than that would be necessary.

£59, Cult Beauty

Emma hardie review favourite products by aestheticcontradiction

I hope it was useful to hear about my favourite products and how I use them. If you use any of these, I’d love to know what you think and if you use them in a similar way.

Emma Hardie also do not test their raw ingredients or finished products on animals, They do not sell to China and are in the process of having a leaping bunny logo added to their site.