I Finally Perfected My Skincare Regime… Well, for Now!

Only about a year ago, even though I was into make up, I didn’t really think about skincare. I washed my face, and moisturised, but I have combination/oily skin and what I was doing seemed to work okay.

But as I’m getting older, I had noticed fine lines, dryness under my eyes where there hadn’t previously been, my skin was oily and then dry and who knows what was going on.

When you blog, you get lots of samples, and it must be awful for dedicated beauty bloggers to get through them without totally ravaging their skin and confusing it. I tried a few bits, but nothing really seemed to make a difference. But it opened my eyes to other products out there. My Liberty advent calendar really has been a goldmine for helping me to try new things I wouldn’t have even known about otherwise!

I decided I needed to think a little about my skin, try some things out and find out what regime would work for me. I knew it would be a fairly simple regime, I’m not one for a millions products (I don’t have the time, money or inclination). Some people like to use serums, lotions, potions and tools – I don’t want to make things more difficult than I have to.

So here’s what I found works for me. It’s what my skin likes, for now. As I get older, and probably will try samples out, this might change. But right now, this works, so I’m not going to fiddle with it too much.

Morning

In the morning I like to give myself a nice and simple face wash. I use Skin Laundry’s Gentle Foaming Facial Wash. I find this is leaves a clean and fresh feel to the skin, doesn’t leave my face feeling tight and I like the scent. It’s simple. It foams a little and I like this, and I enjoy the packaging, so I don’t have to unscrew a lid. I just pop the side of the cap and away I go.

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If my skin is feeling at all dry or like it needs a pamper, I’ll use Skin Laundry’s Skin Purifying Cream Cleanser. Again this is a nice clean scent which feels a little more creamy and hydrating. It doesn’t result in a tight feeling on the skin.

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I then follow with E.L.F’s Daily Hydration Moisturiser. I started using this a couple of years ago when I visited the States and since then I’ve repurchased religiously. I like that this is hydrating but light. It sinks into the skin wonderfully and doesn’t make it feel greasy, but takes away any tightness I might get with other moisturisers. It’s just heavy enough. And makeup goes on really nicely on top!

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Evening

To remove makeup, I commit one of the biggest sins going (apparently) and though I double cleanse, my first cleanse is to use a Simple makeup wipe. I know I know – apparently it’s really bad and it forces makeup into your pores, blah blah blah. But it works for me and it’s not doing me any harm. It is a lot of waste though, so that might wean me off them eventually.

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Anyway, until then, I’ll use these. They don’t irritate my eyes, they take off all my eye makeup and leave my skin visibly clean and ready for the next step.

My second cleanse will either be one of the face washes I mentioned in my morning routine, or it’ll be one of these two:

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Once a week I’ll use this Estée Edit White Mud face mask. This is actually discontinued, but I managed to pick up two backups from Bicester Village about a month ago, and I’m using it a little more sparingly to help stretch it out! I love how clean and clear my skin is after using this. It really balances my skin too. It was the only things that saved my skin during the Glossier Solution debacle!

If I don’t use any of the above, I’ll use this Dermalogica Daily Superfoliant.

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It’s a grey powder, that (I won’t lie) smells pretty eggy and a little nasty. You put the powder in your hand, mix a teeny bit of water with it and create a paste. Then work it over your face for about a minute before washing off. I love how clean my face feels after using this. It is quite abrasive, so I’ll only use it when I feel the need (after a heavy makeup day, night out or day in London) but it’s really effective. Plus it has anti-aging properties so bring it to mamma! Because it’s a powder, it’s going to be brilliant for travel too.

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The next step is my Pixi Glow Tonic. I’m actually almost out of this right now, so I need to pick up some more. And I’m tempted to try the new Rose Tonic, as a morning step too. But for now I’ll use this once a day, at night after cleansing. It really helps to exfoliate and balance my skin ahead of moisturising.

If I’m cleansing my skin a while before bed I’ll pop on some of that E.L.F moisturiser as the next step. But if I’m about to get into bed, I’ll use a sleeping cream.

I’d been using the Body Shop Oils of Life sleeping cream over the winter, and as you can see I’m almost out of that too.

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So I went to pick up some more, and actually came out with the Body Shop Drops of Youth Bouncy sleeping mask.

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Look how bouncy! It’s a strange bouncy texture in the tub, that turns to a water texture when it’s rubbed between the fingers and then melts into the skin. I’ve been loving the results. My skin feels soft and plump in the morning. Just how I want to keep it! I also picked up a sleeping eye mask from the same range.

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I’ve had trouble with eye creams reacting to my skin and creating dry, irritated, patches before so I was a little scared to try this. But I actually love it. My under eyes are no longer feeling thin and crepe-like and it’s actually the only thing that’s fixed some of the dry irritation I sometimes get on my eye lids as a result of allergies. I only use this at night because I didn’t like how it sat under makeup.

So this is what I’m using to keep my skin happy at the moment. I’ll be interested to see how I need to adapt this as the weather gets warmer, and my t-zone gets oilier, but for now it’s working!

2017 Beauty Favourites

It’s been a big year for new releases in the beauty and skincare world, and even though I have mentioned a few products throughout the year, I wanted to post a round-up of those I still consider to be worth the purchase, months down the line!

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As someone who only wears eye shadow in the winter and autumn, and then only very rarely, I own far too many eye shadow palettes. This one, however, is definitely up there as one of my favourites. Bought early on in 2017, I decided I needed to take the plunge as and when I saw it available. The Anastasia Modern Renaissance isn’t one of the cheapest palettes, but then it’s not one of the most expensive either. At £43 it’s going to be one to think about, but then with shadows as pigmented and blendable as these, you’ll get the right amount of use out of it for the cost. Obviously, these are warm shades so if those aren’t your bag then scroll on. But there’s a great mix of shimmers and mattes, darks and lights. So many complete looks can be made from this palette, AND the double ended brush that comes with it is a pretty decent brush. You could take this palette on a trip with you, and you might just want to take a black single and you’d be fine for the whole trip.

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I received this seasonal iteration of the Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish cleanser (I have linked this year’s seasonal scent as the one I have is no longer available) as a Christmas gift last year, and I still have some left. I’ll mention I have about 50 thousand cleansers so I change between them depending on what my skin’s doing and how much make-up I’m taking off. I have combination skin and was concerned that this cleanser would be too hydrating for me, but it’s not. It is VERY hydrating, and it does take off all your makeup, so I prefer to use this as a second cleanse on occasions when I’ve been wearing a heavier face of slap. It makes my skin feel lovely, and for £22.75 I’d hope so too. I think it’s a little dear to repurchase myself when this finishes – unless down the line I find I can’t live without it. But then, as I mentioned, I have a heap of others to work through.

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I had to buy backups of this Pinita Colada body scrub when they brought it back this summer. I don’t think I can live without it, even though you can no longer buy it. Obviously it smells like pineapple and coconut, but the nourished feeling I have after using this is beyond compare. My skin feels soft and sloughed for hours afterwards, without needing to moisturise straight afterwards. I think I’m on my last tub though…. Fingers crossed they bring it back next summer!

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I have been a little on and off with the Pixi Glow Tonic. I’m currently on my second bottle, and for some reason I’m finding the scent a little off-putting this time around. It’s less floral and more resin…. Anyhow, I’m trying to see past this, because I have discovered that after prolonged usage of this toner, my t-zone is a lot less oily and stays more balanced throughout the day. It’s one of those products that’s a slow-burner (and by that I don’t mean literally) and then you don’t realise the difference it’s made until you stop using it. At £18 I’d say it’s priced about right, and is now even easier for me to pick up since they now stock it in M&S. No more trips to Carnaby Street needed for me!

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I received my first bottle of the Davines All in One Milk in my 2016 Liberty advent calendar. That mini bottle was finished fairly fast and I think the one I’m using now is my 2nd full-sized bottle. This is a cream spray (I wish they’d work on the packaging to help get that last inch out) that aids tangles and I spray it onto towel dried hair before I detangle and then blow-dry. It smells quite soapy but it’s a smell you quickly get used it. It coats my hair in a nice way making it less thin, flyaway and feel lovely, but still like real hair (if that makes sense). The price of this keeps increasing (I blame Brexit) and it’s currently £19.40. It’s very expensive and I’d say it’s probably worth about £12, but I keep buying it, so that’s got to say something about both me and Davines.

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I’m a bit naughty including yet another product you can no longer buy, but this is too good not to mention. I received this full-sized face mask in my goody bag at the Glamour Beauty Festival, and I think I have one more use from this tube. I’m genuinely so sad to finish this product because it’s hands-down the best face mask I’ve ever used. It leaves my skin looking and feeling clear and clean, but not tight in the slightest. One 5 minute use of this and my pores are so clean. It calms down breakouts and exfoliates too. As you might know, The Estée Edit is no more so I can no longer purchase this little beauty. If anyone has one of these hanging around that they haven’t used, I’d be happy to take it off your hands!

Body Shop Oils Of Life Sleeping Cream

As I mentioned earlier, I have combination skin, and have been greatly enjoying a more balanced visage lately, thanks to this little beauty. I thought I would only use this occasionally and in the winter, but I have been using this all year and every night, and will definitely repurchase this when it’s empty. When the Body Shop’s Oils of Life sleeping cream was released, I was given the chance to try a sample via Glossybox (who I subscribed to at the time). Once my sample pot had been scraped clean, I knew I should probably buy the full size. It’s £29 so it took a little while to justify the purchase, but as the weeks went on I knew I was missing out. And to be honest, it’s such a large pot and you don’t need a lot so it’s going to last me a lot longer than it probably should be kept, if I’m honest! I put this all over my face at night, on cleansed skin, and it remains sticky-ish. When I wake up my skin is SO soft, and my t-zone feels almost the same as the rest of my face – my skin is being balanced overnight! It also smells very comforting and doesn’t break me out at all. I will also say, there’s something very reassuring about the heavy glass pot and large lid on top. I think they’ve got the packaging right. I just need to find a way to decant this, so I can take it away when I travel.

Skin Laundry Face wash

This Skin Laundry gentle foaming face wash was another product I received a sample of in 2016’s Liberty advent calendar. I had been on the look out for a face wash and something that didn’t describe itself as a cleanser. I don’t know why, as they’re the same thing, but I just wanted something reliable to wash my face with! I loved the sample so much that I purchased the full size once it was finished (which was quite some time, as you only need a small amount). At £20 this is an expensive face wash, but it gets my face so so clean, without stripping it and my face doesn’t feel tight afterwards.

Two tubes of foundation

Back to make-up and I’ll mention the only two foundations I’ve used this year. In fact I’ve taken to mixing these two for my perfect face base.

I’ve used The Balm’s BalmShelter for many years. This tinted moisturiser offers a nice light base, with buildable medium coverage, and offers spf with a dewy finish, but doesn’t always last all day on my combination skin.

I bought the Urban Decay Naked Skin for a little more coverage but found the colour slightly too light (it’s my correct shade but I like to bronze up a little!) and I’m not fond of a totally matte finish.

So, I mixed the two! The Naked Skin lifts the shade of my tinted moisturiser slightly for months when I want to look less glowy, and adds a bit of coverage. The BalmShelter takes some of the matte away from the foundation and keeps my skin looking like my skin. It’s a perfect marriage!

Because I’m mixing the two, I can change the balance depending on how my skin is doing or how much coverage I need, and I simply mix them between my fingers and apply the whole lot with my hands. I’ve really moved away from using applicators to apply my face base. My fingers work just fine!

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I’ve really taken to lip products this year, and had quite the splurge over the months, mainly on ColourPop products. These two are the ones I’ve worn the most.

When ColourPop launched their Blotted Lip range, I was totally intrigued, and I now own 6 of their shades (I think)! Despite the packaging issue (on some, not all, the product comes out of the tube completely on taking off the lid) I have been impressed with this matte wash of colour. My favourite of this range has been Lexi (which was part of a limited edition range), though I love all the shades I’ve picked up.

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Of their liquid lip products, I’m a fan of their satin lip, however I have been very impressed with their high pigmented and long-lasting glosses. My favourite of these is the shade Finders Keepers, which offers a mauve/nude almost opaque gloss that wears down to a lovely natural pink shade. Their blotted lips usually retail for $5 each, and their glosses are $6.

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On the eyes, I’ve stuck to one mascara and one mascara only. The CoverGirl Clump Crusher cannot be bought in the UK so I pick up a few tubes whenever I’m in the states. I don’t know why, but it’s simply the only mascara that works for the type of lashes I have (stubborn!) It’s $7 so doesn’t break the bank either. I use it in conjunction with my Surratt eyelash curlers I picked up a couple of years ago in New York. They fit my face and eye shape well and actually curl my lashes, which is what you want!

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This E.L.F blush, is has been a star for the past two years. The shade is Tickled Pink and every time I wear it I get compliments on how healthy my skin looks. It’s my perfect natural pink shade, so blendable and buildable, and lasts all day! Oh, and it’s only £4.50 so there’s no excuse not to buy one for yourself 🙂

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And last but definitely not least is this blush and highlight pressed powder palette from ColourPop called Double Play. I think this was originally limited edition, but it’s so good I’m glad you can still pick it up. The blush (shade Getting Handsy) is an amazing muted terracotta and looks so natural on my pale skin. It’s like a gorgeous warm bronzer I suppose (but you wouldn’t want to use it as that!), and lasts all day. The highlight (shade Padded Down) is so so pretty. I’ve never gotten the hang of highlight so I don’t use this much, but you can see from the swatch above that it’s stunning!

So those are the products that stood the test. I’ve used them constantly all year and they’re still the products I reach for, which I feel really means I must like them!

I can’t wait to see what comes out in 2018 and whether any of these products get replaced. Only time will tell!

Let me know if you’ve tried any of these products and what you thought! Stay tuned for my first impressions of a brand newly launched to the UK (you know what it is!) coming soon!

Primers for Combination Skin in the Summer: E.L.F Vs Too Faced review

What with the weather picking up the way it has been, I’ve been on the lookout for a makeup primer that will keep my base looking fresh all day.

My base of choice is more often than not a tinted moisturiser. As someone with combination skin this might be an odd choice, but I prefer light, natural coverage with a dewy finish. I hate the look of a matte, dry foundation. I wear Balm Shelter by The Balm which is a lovely light and medium coverage tinted moisturiser that also contains spf. I’ve been wearing it every day for a couple of years now, and it lasts all day and I’ve only had to repurchase once.

That being said, I also need to maintain my t-zone because as soon as the summer starts, I get more oily than usual. I’ve also noticed my skin changing as I get older, and I’ll be honest, I’ve also somewhat temporarily ruined my skin by using a face wash that’s dried it out so much (Garnier Micellar Cleansing Gel wash for sensitive skin – don’t buy it) I am having to totally overhaul my skincare routine until its back to normal.

I’d found a fantastic primer that appeared to really control my t-zone but I’d got it online from America, so when it ran out and I didn’t have anything else to buy from this brand, I decided to do some research and invest in a primer which was easier to get hold of. So here’s what I’m talking about:

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I actually received the e.l.f. Tone Adjusting Face Primer as part of a free gift with purchase when I made an order about a year ago (their website being the only place you used to be able to buy e.l.f.) If you’ve never bought on their site, I’d recommend it because they are always doing awesome free gifts with purchase, usually have a free delivery offer on, THEY cover customs charges AND it’s usually here from the US within a week or so. Anyway, I decided to try this primer when the one I’d been using ran out.

This primer is green in colour, so it’s supposed to correct redness and blotches on the skin, and I’ll be honest, I don’t find it does that.

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Don’t be alarmed by the colour, as you can see from the swatch the green blends away, which is probably why it doesn’t really cover much redness. But what I LOVE about this primer is that is silicone-y but not too silicone-y if you know what I mean. It makes my skin feel smooth but still like my skin. I always set my face with loose powder on my t-zone, and have done this with both the primers I’m talking about today. By the middle of my working day I can see this primer really works. If I tap my nose with my finger, a little oil comes off but my skin doesn’t look oily at all. My makeup hasn’t disappeared or started to break down, even on the hottest of days. I was really impressed! Thankfully I can now pick this up in Superdrug, as they have started to stock e.l.f Cosmetics. For £7.50 this is a total bargain and well worth the money.

As I said before, when this ran out and I didn’t have anything else to order from e.l.f, I didn’t want to make an order for just one thing, so I did some research. I wanted to see if there were any more primers, mid-range cost, that I could buy in the UK and were specifically designed for preventing oil. I’d bought the NYX Shine Killer primer before and was so disappointed that it actually made me shinier.

There were two primers that kept coming up as holy grail for oily skin, and one of which I knew I could pick up locally, so I went for that one!

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Too Faced Primed and Poreless Primer was being reviewed as one of the ultimate primers for oil control throughout the day. At £24 it’s not cheap, but it also claimed to smooth skin, hide pores and as it’s slightly tinted suggested that you could wear it on its own for a naturally flawless look.

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So, this is what it looks like when you pump it out. It’s SO smooth on the skin but doesn’t feel like silicone at all. It’s more like feeling silk! The tone of the product isn’t strong enough to allow me to wear just that if I want a flawless finish. And it would need setting if I was going to do that anyhow because it does leave you feeling like you have something on your face. I didn’t notice any change to the appearance of my pores. I will say it did hold up to the oil-control part on warm days, but as soon as the heatwave hit it failed. My nose was oily early on in the day, even with powder and for £24 I’d expect it to perform for longer. I was rather disappointed. You also don’t get a lot of product for the amount you need to put on so I noticed I was going through it rather fast.

In the end, and as soon as my Superdrug started to stock e.l.f. I went back and picked up my old faithful green primer.

If you’re looking for a primer to control your combination skin, I’d say give the green one  from e.l.f a try. Obviously everyone’s skin is different and it might not work for you, but for £7.50 it’s worth a try!

Do you suffer with combination skin that gets more oily in the Summer? I’d love to hear what products you use to keep it in check!

June Favourites

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June was a busy month! It was the month that this blog turned 7! Whoo. It was the month that the UK chose to exit the EU (I’m not commenting on this, it’s a massive can of worms). It was the month my friend Sarah got married and I got to be a bridesmaid (yay!) and it was the month that Pretty Little Liars made its season 7 return!

It was also the month where I fell in love with some new beauty products and continued to love some products I already had.

So let’s go for it!

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I bought the Pixi Glow Tonic (£18) from Liberty about two months ago, and have been using it a few times a week (not every day) after I take off my makeup. At first I didn’t think it was making any difference to my skin, but after about a month I realised I haven’t needed to exfoliate my face at all since I started using it. I usually need to exfoliate once or twice a week but now – never! I have also found the redness in my face has reduced quite a bit, and when I don’t use it the redness is more prominent. It smells nice, doesn’t feel harsh on my skin and I’m always shocked at how much comes off on the cotton wool pad even when I think I’ve removed all my make-up. Gross! The Pixi Glow Tonic isn’t cheap at £18 but I think it’s worth it. I have also found my local M&S stocks this, so I don’t need to treck to London every time I want it. And Pixi have just launched ready-soaked pads in the US which are perfect for travel, so I’ll be picking those up from Sephora in Florida when I’m there in September, instead of packing this big bottle!

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I’m still on my pina colada kick, so when I found out Body Shop had a range in that scent, I was all over it! This body sorbet is light, refreshing and not heavy on the skin. I layer it with the next product I’m going to talk about and smell amazing all day! I’m going to take this on holiday with me, because it also has soothing properties and no doubt I’ll burn in the sun. If I run out I’ll be hitting up a Body Shop in Florida for a new one!

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Also launched at the same time as the Pinita Colada range, was this Polynesian Island Tiare body mist. This is light, and fresh and as I said layers perfectly with the body sorbet. Unfortunately it comes in a glass bottle so I won’t be travelling with this.

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On a similar note, I picked up this nspa body scrub from Asda whilst on holiday in St Ives. I really felt like I needed a body scrub and this one was inexpensive and smelled lovely. It’s making my skin feel lovely!

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As part of a recent E.L.F haul (I’ll be doing a first impressions soon!) I picked up this blusher in Tickled Pink. I thought it was a dupe for Nars Orgasm, but have since found out that’s the ELF Twinkled Pink – who named these so similarly?! But I’m still really loving this shade. It comes out as a really natural colour on my cheeks and it’s lovely to be able to layer this so I can get as pigmented a tone as I’d like. Plus I’m enjoying the mirror in the packaging.

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And lastly, this bad boy – The Balm BalmShelter tinted moisturiser. I’ve had this for months, and I wear it every day, but it really came into its own for the recent wedding I was bridesmaid at. I intend to post a feature on the makeup I wore for the wedding, but need to rave about this now. When I get sunburn, due to my oily t-zone, I get burn on my forehead and my nose. And I mean Rudolph style burn on my nose. This tinted moisturiser not only controlled my t-zone, with only a light dusting of mineral veil powder when first applied, but since it has spf 18 it prevented any facial burn. My chest, shoulders and back burned, but my face stayed perfect ALL DAY. Seriously I am so impressed with this product. I love it!

June Faves

So that’s my June favourites! Let me know if you’d tried any of these and what you thought!