Skincare: upping my game

IMG_4101Having been plagued by breakouts throughout my twenties, last year I resolved to pay more attention to my skincare or lack thereof. I was a lazy cleanser and would frequently sleep in a full face of makeup.

It might have taken time to find my routine, and what works, but I am starting to see the benefits. And yes, I do still breakout if I go on a bad food binge – diet does matter too!

At the moment I am using (and loving):

Simple’s Micellar Cleansing Water

I have tried a few of the more expensive drugstore brands cleansing water, and been left with makeup on my skin, or horribly dry skin around my eyes. Simple’s water is totally affordable and does what I need. £3.68 from Waitrose

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Balance Me’s Congested Skin Serum

This stuff… I love it! I use it before my moisturiser, morning and night. I would say I have noticed a significant improvement in my skin, this definitely seems to calm down any breakouts quite quickly. It’s not a miracle cure – if I eat rubbish I still breakout! £16 from Balance Me

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Olay’s Complete lightweight day fluid

This moisturiser is super for my combination skin, it’s really moistrising without being oily, and soaks in quickly. It also has the added bonus of SPF 15, I’m all for protecting my skin from being damaged by the sun.

£5.99 from Boots

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Amie’s Morning Clear – a ‘purifying facial wash’

I have actually tried a few items from the Amie range before (and you can read that little post here) and I have enjoyed continuing to use the facial wash. You can use it daily and it’s very gentle on the skin. £4.95 from AmieSkincare.com

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Good Thing’s Manuka Honey Refining scrub

I sneakily once tried a friend’s body shop scrub, and loved it, but not the price. This is a great alternative. The feeling afterwards is very similar. *Not to be used if you are allergic to bee or wasp stings* £4.99 from Boots

I use this once or twice a week, and it does what you’d expect: exfoliates and helps clear pores and remove dead skin.

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What do you use on your skin? Any recommendations for me?

*Disclaimer* These are all my own opinions, I am not a skincare expert, and I was not asked to review these products. I just like them.

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Beauty Favourites – Spring 2016

I haven’t written a favourites post in a little while, so here is a very short round up of some of the products I have been loving lately. Pretty short and sweet, as I’ve been trying not to shop during lent.

Gucci’s Flora

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I have to force myself not to wear this too often. It’s the scent I bought specially for our wedding, and came on honeymoon with us, so wearing it brings back lovely memories. I love how feminine the scent is, it’s my favourite date night perfume at the moment.

L’Oreal Paris Elvive Extraordinary Clay Re-Balancing Shampoo and Conditioner

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This set is like the perfect range for my hair. My roots are all natural, as I am growing out years of highlights the end of my hair still need a good conditioner and these lovely products leave my scalp feeling super clean and my hair tips feeling nourished.

balance me‘s Radiance Face Mask

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I have been using this 2 to 3 times a week recently, and it leaves my skin feeling amazing. At full price it’s pretty pricey, £18, I did buy it when Waitrose had an offer on. I am not sure that I would repurchase at full price, but I have just finished it, so I had better hunt one down soon or find a good replacement!

What I want to try next from balance me – Their Congested Skin Serum – it has some brilliant reviews.

Lee Stafford’s Hair Growth Treatment – For hair that never grows past a certain length

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I’ve no idea yet what the long lasting positives of this treatment might be, as I have only been using it for a few weeks, but I love how my hair feels the first few days after I have used this treatment which recommends weekly use. I’m definitely going to be repurchasing, but as to whether it aids growth, or just keeps my hair feeling healthy I’m not sure, but also not too worried about.

What have you been enjoying lately? Do you have any recommendations for me?

Autumn Favourites

These past few weeks have been spent getting my head around the changes in temperature and weather. And my favourites probably reflect that…

These past few weeks have been spent getting my head around the fact that summer is over, Autumn is firmly here and my favourites probably reflect that.

Skincare.

Aveeno Moisturiser. I have very dry skin – my hands and feet and elbows especially suffer. When the weather turns a bit colder that’s it. I need to moisturise like crazy. This Aveeno moisturiser has sat a little unloved on the summer months, but at the moment I am thoroughly enjoying slathering it on an night and waking up with super soft hands and heels.

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Beauty.

Beauty Blender. Where have you been all my life? I remember only a year or so ago I didn’t even use make up brushes to apply make up. My fingers did all, and I couldn’t work out how even else’s make up looked so much more refined. Now I know – Tools! I love love love this clever little sponge. I almost don’t care that it was £18 for a sponge. Almost.

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I bought mine from Space N.K.

Clothing.

Sneaky Sneakers. I am quite often a bit guilty about my unplanned purchases. But the two pairs of Sneakers I bought from New Look a couple of months back have been great. I haven’t lived in them, but I have worn them A LOT.

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And now I am eyeing up these beauts from H&M

 

Homeware.

Space. This is maybe an odd one but we just sold our massive sofa and at the moment I am loving having so much space in the living room.

Candles. Autumn means candle joy. My lovely work friends gave me a delicious smelling fig candle from Oliver Bonas which I have been limiting my burning of. Because I love it so much! And my gorgeous friend Charlotte gave me a set of the White Company’s winter Scent tea lights. Delicious smells all around my home at the moment.

Winter scented tealights from The White Company
Winter scented tealights from The White Company

What have you been enjoying this month?

The “What NOT to do” of Hair Care

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14 years young.

One quick look through my profile photos on Facebook and it’s clear that I am an indecisive creature (yes, they are all me). I have spent my life to date torturing my hair with a variety of colours. Do I want to be Blonde or Brunette? Do I want to home-dye or pay for salon prices?

My hair is now in a state where, in the run up to one of the most photographed days of my whole life I wish I had treated it better and there is little I can do to miracle it better now.

So my list of things not to do:

 

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15 years old. Red.

Use HomeDye for going any shade – yes, when you go a darker shade it does start glossy but even the dark shades have damaging chemicals in them.

 

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16 going on 17. Dark Brown.

Change your colour or cut on a whim – I have so often seen someone with light hair when mine has been dark and wanted a change or seen someone rocking a blunt cut fringe and thought “That could be me” – No, it couldn’t. I have naturally wavy hair that with the slightest damp or humidity that fringe goes crazy and I begin the task of growing it out – again!

 

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19 years old. Blonde! My sister helping me with a home highlight cap.

Use a hairdresser because they are cheap – like unless you are on a seriously tight budget, or not fussed what your head looks like it’s worth investing in the thing you wear out every day of your life.

 

 

 

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21 years old. Brown. Box dye fades.

Think that your natural hair colour could be better – let me tell you: It’s that colour for a reason, the shade is going to suit your natural colouring.

 

 

 

25 years old. Blonde - professional but dry!
25 years old. Blonde – professional but dry!

Not being bothered about Heat Protection. Heat damage is real everyone. I have the damaged, split ends to prove it.

What I wish I’d done from the start (before Sun-In aged 12!):

 

 

26 years old. More blonde!
26 years old. More blonde!

Loved my natural colour. It’s mousy but it’s mine. And Free! I calculated how much I spent on having my hair coloured over the years and it was four digits.

 

 

 

26 years old. Brunette and long. Tried to get it dyed to match natural roots: failed!
26 years old. Brunette and long. Tried to get it dyed to match natural roots: failed!

Got hair cuts to maintain hair hair rather than change style – I’ve flitted around with growing it long, cutting it short, getting layers and then growing them out that I’ve never had one thing long enough to know if I like it!

 

These days I trust my locks with the lovely team at Simon Webster Hair. I have given them a bit of a nightmare task, but each time I leave it looks much, much improved!

I’m now rocking a mixture of all of the colours you can imagine, mixed in with the odd grey hair (I’m too young). I’ve resolved to not dye my hair again after our wedding in July to see how it looks before the greys take over I am never know how my mousey brown coulda/woulda/shoulda looked.

 

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Benefit – The Benefits

I’ve been using the Benefit skin care range recently, as my  lovely sister gave me the tester size introduction set, and it has ruined me. I don’t think I will ever be able to use anything else again.Screen Shot 2015-02-27 at 13.38.23B.right! Radiant Skincare by Benefit – 6 Piece Intro Kit

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Fran also gave me a full-sized Remove It Make Up Remover. I have been guilty of using face wipes to remove my make up for as long as I can remember. I’d never paid much attention to how I should or could take care of my skin.

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Remove It Makeup Remover

Oil-free Eye Makeup Remover

£16.50

Needless to say, my skin wasn’t great, I was prone to breakouts, that I didn’t understand. Now that I am using the Benefit range I can see a marked improvement, and breakouts now are after a binge on bad food.

I’ve taken full advantage of the offers on at Debenhams today, and added a full-sized Total Moisture Face Cream, and Moisture Prep Toning Lotion to my collection and next on my list is the Refined Finish Facial Polish, because I’ve loved trying out this exfoliator.

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Total Moisture Facial Cream

£28.50

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Moisture Prep Toning Lotion

£23.50

I would add, if you have particularly oily skin, the Total Moisture Facial Cream might be too much for you, but I have combination skin and find it to be great.

The Amie Range

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I’ve been using these three beauts lately, to see how they get on with my troublesome skin.

There is:

Radiant Dawn – an exfoliating daily wash

Morning Clear – a ‘purifying facial wash’

Morning Dew  – a matte finish moisturiser

I’ve found them really good for days when my skin is particularly oily, though I wouldn’t recommend the moisturiser if you suffer from dry skin.

One of the other things I love about the range, not necessarily a beauty enhancement but a feel good factor is that they are suitable for vegetarians and vegans. No harmed animals here.

And if you have sensitive skin they are all pH balanced which should mean no irritation, so YAY for that!

You can buy them all in Waitrose at the moment or on amieskincare.com

Shine and Sparkle

Nail varnish is a bit of a personal obsession of mine. I don’t have a favourite brand, or colour per say, but I do feel a huge amount of joy come wintertime when glitter and shimmer varnishes are aplenty!

These are my Winter Favourites.

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Left to Right: H&M, Nails Inc., MaxFactor, Barry M, Nail Pop

Hair Care

I’ve been using a new shampoo and conditioner lately, having put my hair through the mill with lots of colouring and stripping and re-colouring.

So I’ve been keeping my locks in shape with Clarifying Lemon from Avalon Organics, which is now available at Waitrose.

 Avalon Organics

 

I would say, the lemon is not suitable if you have dark, coloured hair, as I have chosen this to remove build up and it has helped remove some of the brassy tone from my hair. The last thing you want with a new coloured head of chestnut, or red tone hair is to strip the warmth out!

 

I’m trying..

Yes to Grapefruit Daily Facial Scrub and it’s pretty great.

It smells delicious (Don’t eat it though), and leave your skin feeling super smooth.

 Yes to Grapefruit

Some of the claims to fame for this product are:

99% Natural

Petroleum, SLS, & Paraben Free

Cruelty-free

So that’s not bad!

I bought mine from Waitrose, but the full range is available online at yestocarrots.com

This week I am loving…

Ankle boots

I am now the proud owner of this lovely pair from H&M and their are super comfy and cosy.

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Sneakers

One of the most awesome birthday gifts my  parents have given are this pair of Nike BlazersNike Blazers

Coco Mademoiselle

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My very very favourite perfume in the whole wide world (darn that expensive taste).

I bought a new supply, with the help of some unspent birthday vouchers for the House of Fraser.