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.

IMG_4374

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.

IMG_4375

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!

IMG_4376

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.

IMG_4378

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:

IMG_4379

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.

IMG_4405

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.

IMG_4377

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.

IMG_4380

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

IMG_4382

IMG_4383

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.

IMG_4381

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!

img_0236

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.

img_0335

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.

img_0334

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!

img_0596

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!

IMG_0812

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.

IMG_0815

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!

IMG_0814

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.

IMG_0813

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.

IMG_1096

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!

dec5

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 🙂

IMG_1323

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!

August Beauty Favourites!

It’s been a LOOONG time since I posted a monthly favourites, mainly due to the fact that I haven’t really been trying out any new products. But this month I thought I’d get back to it since I’ve been using a few products that have really impressed me!

The first 3 are all from The Body Shop:

Body Shop Oils Of Life Sleeping Cream

This Oils of Life sleeping cream isn’t actually new to me, in fact it probably featured in a past favourites post. I bought it last winter, but since my skin has been so temperamental of late, I thought I’d give it a go during the summer too, and I LOVE it again. I have an oily t-zone which obviously gets oiler during the summer months when it’s warmer. I never liked the idea of adding more oil to my face, but I know that when you have oily skin it’s because you’re hydrated and it’s trying to compensate SOOO I tried it. I popped a thin layer of this on my face before bed, and in the morning my skin felt balanced and soft. AND it smells great too! I don’t use this every night because I’m still figuring out how to balance my t-zone, but so far so good!

Body Shop Skin Defence

Next is The Body Shop’s Skin Defence cream. I asked for this for my birthday and was very happy to receive it. This cream has spf 50++++ and is a lightweight cream to water finish protector for your face. You can apply it alone or under makeup and I’m definitely taking this to Florida next month, because I hate the greasy feeling of sunscreen on my face.

Body Shop Instamatte

Lastly for The Body Shop items, is this Instamatte. I managed to buy this for £2 as I had two £5 gifts on their loyalty card. This is a little lipgloss sized tube of primer type gel. It’s designed to be mixed into foundation or on top of lipsticks to transform into matte finish. I haven’t yet used it for the latter, but I have kept it in my bag at work and when my t-zone starts to look gross I tap a little of the gel onto the areas I need it, and I’m instantly matte. I only wear tinted moisturiser and it taps on top fine, but I don’t know how well it would work tapped on top of higher coverage foundation. I have a feeling it might break it up a little, but for the way I use it and for me, it’s a little lifesaver!

Lipsticks

Speaking of lipsticks, I’ve been loving these two again. I don’t usually like to wear a lot of lipstick in the summer, instead I reach for products with a more sheer finish, but since we were having a rather rubbish and autumnal feeling summer spell, I picked these two out.

The one on the left, in the picture above, is Urban Decay x Gwen Stefani ‘Ex-Girlfriend’ and on the right is Charlotte Tilbury’s ‘Stoned Rose’.

Lipsticks2

Both are cream finish, and look nice and autumnal. Ex-Girlfriend doesn’t last too long on its own, but lasts much longer if you use the matching lipliner underneath, which I do. I love this Charlotte Tilbury lipstick too and think I’m going to find myself in the market for another one this autumn!

Skin Laundry Face wash

And lastly, I’ve been adoring this foaming facial wash by Skin Laundry. I got a sample size of this in my Liberty London advent calendar last Christmas, and I was totally shocked by how clean this made my skin feel and look. So when I eventually ran out I went and bought the full-size. It’s not the cheapest but you get a massive bottle and it lasts ages. I’m so glad I found it!

And that’s it for my August beauty favourites. Have you tried any of these? I’d love to know what you thought!

December Favourites

decfav

And here we are, all of a sudden, at the end of the year! So, it’s only fitting that I do my December favourites, right?

This December I was lucky enough to receive a Liberty London advent calendar as a gift from my husband, which meant that every day leading up to, and including, Christmas Day I received a little gift from the Liberty beauty hall. It was an amazing gift and exciting every single day to open the huge drawer and see what was inside. I’m not even joking when I say the cost of the calendar was paid for in product a few times over. So needless to say, some of the items I’m talking about this month were a result of this calendar, however I’m only talking about things I have loved and been using regularly.

It was a fantastic experience because I’ve been able to try brands and products I would never have tried otherwise. A resounding success, I’d say!

Let’s start with these products:

dec1

The Votary Facial Oil came to me pretty early on in the month so I’ve been able to give this quite a few tries. I have combination skin with an oily t-zone so the idea of putting oil on my face seems really backward. But that being said, I’ve been totally converted to oil in my hair despite having a greasy scalp, so I was willing to give this a try. I use this after doing a proper cleanse in the evening. You drip 4 drops onto your hand and then lightly move it over your clean, dry skin and finally tap what’s left on your hands onto the under-eye area. I have found that this isn’t greasy, sinks in fairly fast and doesn’t leave me oily. It also smells gorgeous which is lovely. I feel like I’m giving myself a real treat when I use this, and I look forward to using it more!

dec2

The Aveda Hand Relief cream has found its place in my handbag as my go-to every day hand cream when I’m out and about. The rosemary mint scent was a little odd to start with but I actually really enjoy it now. It offers long lasting moisture and sinks in fast which is what I need when I’m not at home.

dec3

As you know, I’m always looking for something to fix my ever-dry lip issues, especially in the winter. I got this C.O. Bigelow rose salve and I’ve been adoring it. It’s basically fixed all my problems (well maybe) – it smells amazing, is hydrating, and when I use this I can go ages before my lips feel dry again. It’s also perfect for tapping onto my lips if I’m wearing lipstick and I feel like I need a moisture boost. I’ll be re-buying this!

dec8

And lastly from the advent calendar was this Skin Laundry face wash. Rubbing this over my face for 60 seconds and then washing it off leaves my skin feeling so clean but not stripped or dry. I even think it might be helping to clear a little of my redness and texture. We’ll see, but so far I love it, and I’ve used it quite a lot and barely made a dent in this little bottle! Yay!

Next, we’ll move onto a couple of items I purchased at the end of November and have loved using in December.

dec5

I made an E.L.F order and have been really pleased with some of the items I got. I picked up a new blush in Twinkle Pink which has been said to be a dupe for the NARS Orgasm blush. I’ve not seen the NARS blush in person, but I wasn’t expecting the ELF blush to be so glittery. I’ve tried to capture some of the fallout in the photo but it just didn’t translate.

dec4

Needless to say, I kept this for the Christmas season when it’s okay to be glitter drenched, but I’m not sure I’ll be wearing it outside of party season. Either way I really enjoyed how it looked, and it wasn’t too sparkly once I had it on (or at least I don’t think it was!!)

dec6

Next from ELF was this under eye setting powder. A teeny tiny pot, which came with a little brush (though I’m not sure how you would use a teeny brush so I’ve been using a fluffy setting brush as normal) I really like this finely milled powder and as long as you use the tiniest amount, it sets my under-eye area without drying, looking cakey or settling into fine lines. It’s a win!

dec7

Lastly for makeup is a product I’m so glad I found out about. It’s changed my makeup life completely and I can’t believe no one really talks about it. The NYX Pro Foundation Mixer in white is a must have for anyone who is a little pale, or likes to change up their foundations between seasons. You just need a teeny amount, mix it into your foundation and it’ll correct the shade. I have been able to buy foundation not worrying if it’s slightly off colour, or wear foundation I’d usually save for the summer. It doesn’t change the consistency or wear of your foundation and it makes it totally customisable. I think it was about £7.50 which is a steal – go buy it!

dec9

I was lucky enough to receive a brand-new iPhone for Christmas from G Man, to replace my 2.5 year old iPhone 6. He knew I had fallen in love with the iPhone 7 Plus camera, and surprised me with one on Boxing Day, when we went into the Apple store to look for something else. I am over the moon with it, and have very quickly gotten used to the size of the handset. I can never go back!

dec10

Last for December, I need to tell you about this fantastic back pack I treated myself to at the start of the month. Knowing that I had fallen in love with the idea of a backpack for a handbag, since coming back from Disney World, I had been looking for the perfect one. But none of them fit the bill, so I put out a request for help on twitter, and my good friend Bushra told me about Knomo London. I’d never heard of them but had a look, and within a couple of days I’d placed an order.

dec11

Knomo specialise in bags and purses for technology. The one I chose is a small backpack with a padded back pocket perfect for an iPad, as it offers the right size and protection. I don’t have an iPad but the sections, pockets and the size of the pockets is perfect. It even fits my iPhone 7 plus perfectly. The fabric is water resistant and wipeable and even with all my stuff inside, once it’s on my back it doesn’t feel like it has anything in it. It also doesn’t look like it has lots inside, which I appreciate AND it fits my vlogging camera inside. It’s all kinds of awesome. Go check Knomo out!

So, that’s it for another year of favourites. Stay tuned for my 2016 favourites round up!