Birthday hauling: NIOD & The Ordinary

The beginning of October saw my birthday – the final year of my twenties *weeps into tea*.

I don’t know what it is about my birthday but it makes me feel really spendy. And I give myself the best gifts! I think it’s because I start thinking about what I want, then I end up wanting way more than I can actually ask people for as presents, so I just buy it all for myself.

This year’s birthday coincided with the launch of The Ordinary, the final week of Jordan Samuel’s discount code, and the news that Sunday Riley are discontinuing Artemis. You can imagine what happened…

The Ordinary

I’d seen this popping up all over Instagram but hadn’t really given it too much thought. While I am so impressed by everything that Deciem and its brands do, I find the volume of products (and the frequency of new releases) a little overwhelming. Then I saw the chatter pick up after Wayne Goss made a video about the range. I had no idea until then how low the price point was. So I jumped straight on Victoria Health and put in my order. Even looking at this range I was overwhelmed – so many great products to choose from. I went for Advanced Retinoid 2%, Niacinimide 10% + Zinc 1% and Buffet.

Niacinimide is an ingredient I have always wanted to get to know, as it is proven to help brighten (which I desperately need due to the hyperpigmentation I get from breakouts). I went for the retinoid because I am keen to introduce it more into my routine and Buffet because… well why not 😉

The Ordinary is available a and victoriahealth.comVictoria Health ships internationally.

NIOD Flavanone Mud Mask (FM) and Superoxide Dismutase Saccharide Mist (SDSM)

While ordering my The Ordinary stash I jumped on the opportunity to pick-up some of the NIOD products I had been wanting to try. I have only tried CAIS so far, which I don’t think did much for me, but after reading Arly’s blog on Detail Oriented Beauty, FM and SDSM really caught my attention. I am currently testing FM, using the five day accelerated method (as recommended by Victoria Health) – will report back soon!

NIOD is available at and victoriahealth.comVictoria Health ships internationally.


Sunday Riley Artemis

I have had a love hate relationship with Artemis. When I first got it I didn’t feel it did much for my skin. It is really thick, so thick that I couldn’t really spread it on my skin, and I found my hair got really greasy when I put it on at night. Then I had a light bulb moment and realised how amazing it is on my breakout irritated skin. It claims to be anti-inflammatory and I have absolutely found this to be true. When I slap it onto my spotty skin, I know that I will wake up with calmed skin, pimples either reduced or bought to the surface and ready to heal.

When I heard that Sunday Riley was going to discontinue Artemis and replace it with U.F.O. I panicked and promptly ordered another one from Cult Beauty. I will definitely get a sample of U.F.O. as it’s had great reviews, but there’s is something about salicylic acid in my facial oil that I’m not 100% keen on – I’d rather keep it in my exfoliating products.

As I write this post, Artemis is no longer available on Sephora or Mecca Cosmetica, but Cult Beauty and Space NK still seem to have stock.

Sunday Riley Artemis is available at (free international shipping).

Jordan Samuel Skin Collection

Jordan has three skincare products in his range – Plié cleanser, Hydrate serum and Étoile oil. He does a discount if you want to buy the full collection, and in August he launched a promotion, offering the trio at an even more amazing price!

This range is a total game changer for me. Since my first batch arrived in mid-August I have used all three product at least once a day and they have done wonders for the health of my skin. I raved about the cleanser in my first post here and am getting through all three products at an alarming pace! So when I saw that Jordan extended the promotion I snapped up another collection (and an extra cleanser). I adore this range and it is a great price point. I highly recommend you try it. I can’t wait to see what’s next from Jordan!

Chanel Hydra Beauty Creme

This one was a bit of an impulse buy. I got a voucher for David Jones for my birthday from my boss and on not finding anything that took my fancy in the clothing department, I hit the beauty counters.

I am forever on the hunt for the perfect moisturiser. I use so many oils and serums I am not too fussed about the antioxidant/brightening/magic powers of a moisturiser, I just want it to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate and give me juicy, plump skin.

I really like the Clinique Moisture Surge Intense Fortifying Hydrator, but I still wanted more. I had seen Caroline Hirons rave about the Chanel Hydra Beauty range, so I took the plunge.

The ‘Creme’ is the middle option of three moisturisers in the range. This one is for normal/slightly dry skin. They also do a gel creme for oily/combination skin and the gorgeous balmy ‘Nutrition’ for very dry skins.

The texture is divine and it does have a fresh (non-natural) scent, but that doesn’t last on the skin. I was 100% convinced this was going to break me out, but so far so good. I actually really like this! I don’t think I’ll be running to Chanel for my other skincare needs, but for now I am really happy with this discovery.

Chanel Beauty is available in all good department stores.

Shiseido Synchro Skin Lasting Liquid Foundation

I was having a week where I was deeply dissatisfied with my foundation wardrobe and after some research settled on this Shiseido number. Shiseido wasn’t a brand a had tried before, but I saw that both Fleur de Force and Claire Marshall both recommended this, so I decided to give it a go.

I really like this. The colour match is perfect (which is a rare achievement for me!) and the finish is nice. It starts out a little matte on my skin, but as it settles in and the days goes on it gets more glowy and looks great. I think combination/oily skins would like this, but probably would need to powder, but I think very dry skin types may find it a bit matte.

Shiseido is available in all good department stores.

2 thoughts on “Birthday hauling: NIOD & The Ordinary

  1. Hi Effie. I smiled a lot when I read on your About page that you’re in New Zealand (I’m in Christchurch). I’ve only just started to re-look at skincare and learning so much. I only wish I had been 2 months further in my journey when we had been over the other side of the world in July. I would have bought so many hard-to-find products back home with me. I’ve also just started using the FM doing the 5 day accelerated method too. I’m day 3 tonight. I also bought most of The Ordinary range. Something is causing me to break out on my nose and chin though. I’ll have a hard job figuring it out since I seem to have assaulted my face with so many new products all at once. I was a little bit excited to have all these amazing products others have recommended finally arrive that I start using them all immediately. As you say, thank goodness for free shipping by Cult Beauty (and many others). Happy belated birthday.


    1. Thank you so much for a lovely message. Love that we are both in CHCH!! I’m a terrible one for using all the new products in one go. I started out with Buffet and I think it gave me some small breakouts, but it may have been the tail-end of the FM. Going to give them a rest for a few days and try Buffet again. I will posting a wish list soon – we can compare notes 🤑

      Liked by 1 person

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