Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Beauty advice I'm glad I listened to

beauty tips and tricks

There's so many sources of beauty advice out there and let's be honest, a lot of it shouldn't be listened to, but there are some really good tips and tricks that I'm super glad I came across and listened to.

Here's a few that have stuck with me though the years:
  • Wash your makeup brushes at least once a week
  • Easy up on foundation and apply concealer just where you need it
  • Primer is an extra step that you'll be thankful for after a long day
  • Double cleansing is a must
  • As is double washing your hair
  • Don't forget SPF, and that includes your hair too!
  • Flannels > muslin cloths
  • A darker eyeshadow blended into the crease makes the world of difference
  • Lip scrub is essential if you like matte lipsticks
  • Don't be afraid of chemical exfoliators
  • Cream blush is amazing on dry skin types
  • You don't have to have 2,000 layers in your fine hair so ignore the scissor happy hairdresser
  • Remove your make up as soon as you possibly can every day. And never sleep in it, ever!
  • Sticking to a good routine = happier skin
  • Silk pillowcases do wonders for your hair and skin. Goodbye creases.
  • Have fun with makeup - there are no rules
  • Facial mists are heavenly in the summer
What's your favourite beauty tip?


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Sunday, 19 July 2015

Clear skin must-haves

clear skin must haves

I've pretty much got my skin under control at the moment thankfully, but as my skin is so sensitive and blemish prone I never really know when things might change. I've been using these three products in my routine over the last few weeks and they're a pretty darn good combo for keeping my skin clear and comfortable.

As I have dry skin, exfoliating is essential for me. Getting rid of dead skin and clearing pores makes such a difference to my skin. I do use exfoliating toners but I love to use a manual exfoliator once or twice a week too. I'm probably on my forth or fifth tube of the La Roche Posay Physiological Ultra-Fine Scrub now, which is a really gentle and fine scrub. It doesn't scratch or irritate my skin at all, even when i have active breakouts. Alcohol, paraben and soap free, this little scrub is full of calming thermal spring water and leaves my skin comfortable, silky smooth and radiant to boot.

I find that sticking to a routine for a few weeks or more really helps my skin and keeps it happy so I try not to swap things around too much. This can be quite tricky at times because as a blogger as I do like to try new things. The trick is to only change one thing at a time, that way you can test how your skin gets on with it but without freaking it out. I recently introduced the Australian Bodycare Tea Tree Oil Cleansing Face Mask* into my routine and I've seen a great improvement already. It's a kaolin based clay mask infused with tea tree and macadamia oils to deeply cleanse and calm skin. Heads up, it's quite tingly on the skin when you first apply it, but personally I love this feeling! It feels so refreshing and you know it's getting to work. It doesn't feel like your face is going to fall off though so don't worry. It's quite a light and comfortable clay based mask to wear and once removed my skin feels as smooth as glass. Now, a lot of clay masks can make you breakout as they draw impurities to the surface but I haven't found that to be true of this one. Maybe that's down to the tea tree oil but either way I'm hooked.

To keep my skin hydrated but not sticky or shiny, I'm loving the Zelens Hydro-Shiso Balancing Moisturiser. I talked about this one in more detail here but it's so lightweight on the skin while provides such a hit of moisturise. I've just bought another tube of it and I think this has firmly become a permanent member of my routine. It give me just the right amount of moisture and it sinks in super fast, giving the perfect base for makeup. A considered purchase it might be, but if you have dry, thirsty blemish prone skin you'll be thankful for this.

What are your clear skin must-haves?


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Saturday, 11 July 2015

Because, gold.

drybar and josie maran from sephora

I don't know what it is about gorgeous packaging and gold twinkly things but they get me every time. I'm such a sucker for things that either smell nice or look nice so it's no surprise that I seem to collect such things.

A couple of weeks ago I did the dangerous thing of pouring through Sephora for most of a Sunday afternoon and lets just say I was feeling a bit generous. There's so many brands and gorgeous products that we just can't get in the UK but thanks to Sephora most of these can be shipped over if you're willing to pay the tax.

I had quite a bit of hair chopped off a while ago and sine then I've been on a mission to be a bit more adventurous with styling my hair. No surprise then that I ended up buying a few bits from Drybar, a brand that you can only get Stateside to help with that quest. My favourite of the products I got has to be the Drybar Gold Mine Shimmering Leave-In Conditioner. I mean, just look at that bottle of goodness. It's essentially a bottle of liquid gold that leaves my hair super soft and gets all the tangles out. It has tiny flecks of gold shimmer in it which are relatively subtle but manage to brighten up my copper tresses. When I go to the US later in the year I'm seriously stocking up on this and a few more treasures from Drybar.

On a equally as pretty rose gold theme is the Josie Maran Argan Enlightening Illuminizer. Look beyond the American spelling and what you have here is a gorgeous liquid highlighter which adds the perfect glow to any cheekbone. It's a gorgeous champagne hue that blends wonderfully and reminds me a little of Benefit's Sun Beam (but wayy better, sorry Benefit!). I've been mixing a little in with my primer as well to add an all-over glow. It's got argan oil in (as do all Josie Maran products), so I find it really comfortable to wear on my dry skin. You're welcome.

Lastly, and on a more personal note is this beautiful ring that belonged to my grandmother. It's got seven small diamonds set into a little silver petal on top of an 18 carat gold ring and I absolutely love it. My nan never wore it as it was too small for her but absolutely huge on me, so I had it resized so I can enjoy it on her behalf and remember her at the same time.

What do you think of these little gold jewels?


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Sunday, 5 July 2015

Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Eau Fraiche

Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess

I'm seriously on a quest to buy every single perfume in existence it would seem by looking back through my blog archives, but the latest edition to my ever growing collection just had to be bought. I am of course talking about Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Eau Fraiche.

Released every year as a limited edition summer product, I've been meaning to get my paws on this for a few years now. I finally did and boy, I can see what all the fuss is about! The best way of describing Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess is simply summer in a bottle. It's an amber, vanilla and coconut combination of goodness which just makes you think beach. It's not the scent of oil and tacky suncream at all, this is a more grown up and exquisite summer holiday, Secret Escapes or Kuoni if you will.

It's quite a warm scent I find, and extremely addictive to boot. Luckily then, as for £47 you get a generous 100ml and I find it lingers pretty well on me so this baby should see me through to next summer. A lot of perfumes can be worn all year round but for me this is strictly for summer only and I quite like that exclusivity. It certainly gives you something to look forward to! Each year the bottle is slightly different but I think we've been spoilt this time around as the ombre coloured bottle and gold lid is so dreamy. This will be a keeper once its empty I'm sure.

There is a wider Bronze Goddess collection which features gorgeous summer appropriate bronzers, nail colours and eyeshadows, but what I've been swooning over the most is the now sold out Shimmering Body Oil. Let's hope Lauder bring this back next year too as I won't hesitate again. If you haven't already tried Bronze Goddess I strongly urge you to test it before it runs out for another year. This is one now to be missed!

What do you think of this summer scent?


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Friday, 3 July 2015

Becoming a morning person


My bed is without a doubt my favourite place in the world but I really struggle with mornings. I'm not even a night owl but come morning it's a struggle to remove myself from the soft duvet goodness every day. I've been trying to turn this around and become a morning person lately and I think I'm slowly getting there!

Usually I bath in the evenings so I have time to faff about and have a bit of a pamper at the same time, but to make sure I have to get up early I've been leaving hair washing til the morning. That way I know I have to get up with plenty of time to hit the shower as can't stand greasy hair! I've mentioned before that I use products aimed at coloured hair to protect my 'do but once a week I like to use nice clarifying products to shift product build up. The DGJ Organics Hangover Hair Luxury Shampoo and Conditioner* fits this bill and it leaves my hair feeling really clean and light without stripping it. There's something about super clean hair which really helps wake me up. That and the drone of a hairdryer of course! The Hangover Hair range contains lavender essential oils so it smells pretty dreamy too. There's also wheat protein which helps rebuild your hair and get it back in tip-top condition so if you've had a night on the tiles this is a good one to kick-start you the next day!

Nothing says wake me up more than citrus so the Nip + Fab Energy Boost Body Wash* is a must-have in the morning for me. It smells wonderful thanks to a blend of grapefruit, lemon and sweet mandarin and I find my skin feels soft and nice afterwards. It's also the biggest bottle of body wash I think I've ever seen so great value for money, even though I'm getting through it a bit now (it's that good!). I've said before how much I rate Nip + Fab for body products and this is another that doesn't disappoint. I've accumulated quite a collection now so they get a big thumbs up from me.

The Ren Flash Rinse 1 Minute Facial has to get a mention as it gently exfoliates my skin and makes me look a whole lot more awake than I probably am! I talk about this all the time but it's so worth checking out. I usually pop this on then brush my teeth so my skin really benefits from it and I'm left with smooth and radiant skin. It's love, guys. The ultimate pick me up has got to be a refreshing spritz of toner and La Roche-Posay Serozinc is my morning go-to. This gives my skin a good dose of zinc and really helps calm things down when a flare up is in full swing. I saw this in Boots the other day (and there's a cheeky 25% off) so this is most definitely a staple for me now.

I always have breakfast when I get to work so I try and have something healthy like Greek yoghurt and granola which gives me a bit of energy without being too heavy. Hopefully this balances out my morning Latte or anti-grump juice as I like to think of it!

Do you have any tips for becoming a morning person?


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Thursday, 2 July 2015

When brush cleaning stopped being a chore

japonesque brush cleanser review

It's a task that, lets be honest, most of us either dread and put off for as long as possible or maybe don't even do at all but properly cleaning your make up brushes regularly is so important. The amount of yuck and bacteria that we carry around on brushes and in our makeup bags is enough to make your hair curl! Hands up, I don't do it as often as I should but I've seen a massive difference in my skin and reduction in blemishes since I took up this little chore.

I usually use baby shampoo which does an ok job but I recently picked up a tub of the Japonesque Solid Brush Cleanser on a bit of a whim. It was on the little display next to the till in Space NK with all the little nic nacs and minis that always draw me in and make my purse a fair bit lighter.

The Japonesque Solid Brush Cleanser is really easy to use and not at all messy. All you do is run your brush under water and swirl away until the dirt disappears before rinsing both the brush and cleanser. Simple. It's formulated with goat milk so its super gentle and smells pretty darn good. It removes grime so much quicker than shampoo so your brushes don't require lots of water to remove the soap and dirt, meaning they dry really quickly and are left super soft and clean.

My downfall with brush cleaning is that I try and do it on a Sunday and typically remember as I go to bed. By then I can't be bothered and there's not enough time for the brushes to dry for the morning. Now that's all changed and I can get them done super quickly and they're always dry in time. The result? I'm no longer dreading this job as the Japonesque Solid Brush Cleanser makes it so quick and easy and I'm washing my brushes at least once a week. Who would've thought it?

Yeah ok this isn't an essential buy, but if you have less than perfect skin and are queuing up in Space NK staring at those inviting minis, the Japonesque Solid Brush Cleanser is well worth breaking the bank for.

What do you use to wash your makeup brushes with?


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