Monday, 15 December 2014

A Mixed Review

 Having grown up with my little sister who has the most beautiful skin I have ever seen but also has the worst skin care routine I have ever seen (I'm talking baby wipes to remove makeup and a bit of moisturiser slapped on afterwards and yet she still only gets a spot like once a year... How is that fair I ask with great sadness in my eyes and jealousy in my heart.) I have always wished for clear skin like hers. Thankfully I have got her into a more "sophisticated" skin care routine (baby wipes be gone!) and her skin is looking even better but that's a different story for a different time. Today I'm talking about my spots and how not being graced with perfect skin like my sisters has led me to trying all sorts of products to help calm my skin.
So, if you read my "Blitzed Blemishes" post you will know that I have been suffering with a bad case of a breakout for a while. Now before I started to use the Clinique Clearing Gel that I talk about in that post I came across this Lush Tea Tree Toner Water. After hearing such good reviews about this product and hw a lot of peple said it seemed to calm their breakouts I snapped up a bottle and introduced it into my routine the same night. So it comes in a spray bottle and the consistency of the product is just like water. I spray this directly onto my face after I have cleansed at night (sometimes in the morning if I feel my skin needs it) and let it sink in and work its magic. I just want to add in that you don't have to spray this directly onto your face, you can apply it to a cotton pad and then use that but I find that a direct spritz is much more refreshing. The smell of this is unbelievably therapeutic and relaxing too as it's not too potent. It's just a nice blend.
Now, I have used tea tree products in the past but I have always found that they are far too drying for my skin whereas this is completely different to anything else that I have tried. At first I fell in love with this product as it seemed to clear away all signs of blemishes but a few weeks later my skin seemed to become immune to the water and respond with a fresh wave of blemishes that wouldn't budge. And it isn't just me who seems to feel the same, after recommending this to my friend Mariah I asked her if she was having the same problem and she agreed that after a couple of weeks it was as if the toner water just stopped working.
However, all is not lost, at only £7.50 for 250g I don't feel like I have wasted my money. It is still a lovely product that helps calm and soothe the redness on my skin that blemishes bring however it's not so great at keeping them at bay like it was at first. That being said I'll still be keeping a bottle of this in my skincare stash for a refreshing spritz every now and then.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

Hello everybody! Ok, so I know I haven't been posting in a few weeks and I do have my reasons. Granted, they are not the most amazing reasons but whatever. Firstly, I'd like to apologise but I've been under a lot of pressure at work and I also received some family news which meant all of my time has been invested either into my work or family.
BUT I AM BACK! Now, let's get started on the post shall we?
December is by far the most wonderful time of the year. I mean everything is just better, cosier and so much more enjoyable. I am a big winter lover, I hate summer but love winter which is why December is just that little more enjoyable for me. Super dark early nights, the cold and of course Christmas! Now, being super organised I've already done my Christmas shopping so I got to spend pay day trawling the shops with Martin completely and utterly spoiling myself (which I think was well deserved to be honest).
Once the spoiling was out of the way it was time to head to the Manchester German Christmas Markets with my mum, dad, sister and Martin. Now, I am not one for crowds and tend to avoid any place at peak times because it can often cause panic attacks. I've been to the markets a couple of times but always when it has been too busy and I just haven't enjoyed myself. For this reason my family, myself and Martin decided it was best to go together on a week night. And honestly, I had the best time. Everything was just so cosy.
We spent all night at the markets. And I do mean all night. The first thing we did was find a food stand (of course we did, we're not called Chunks for no reason in my house). After that we moved on to yet another food stall where myself and my sister bought a cake which was delicious and just so cute looking! Then finally, it was on to Albert Square where everybody warmed up with a rum porter,apart from myself who went for a hot vimto (dark alcohol is one hell of a no go for me!) and my mum had some form of alcoholic hot drink with cinammon, ginger and all kinds of other wintery flavours. Beautiful!
Then it was back to food for my mum, dad, sister and Martin (seriously, terrible fatties). After they all devoured a German sausage (I laughed at that sentence, oh yes I'm that immature) it was time to head back to the car (not before we walked into practically every pub we passed for yet another drink). After spending the night under the gaze of Zippy who was lit up so brightly, I've never been more happy to spend such a cosy night out with my family.
I know this hasn't been my usual kind of post but after everything that has been happening lately this has just been a nice post to get me back into the habbit of blogging again. I hope you are all well and enjoying this time of the year as much as I am!

Let It Glow

 So today I'm talking all things that glow. Ok, so maybe not all things that glow, just two things really which are the Topshop Glow Highlighters. If you're already fed up of me saying the word glow this is going to be one long post for you. Sorry!
Now I am a big fan of highlighters and I've tried a fair few in my time. The only trouble I have is finding something that is some what natural without looking either too shiny (example: Benefit High Beam) or glittery (example: Sleek Contour Palette Highlighter). After hearing such good things about the Topshop makeup range I decided for my first venture into their line I would try their cream highlighters in a pot called Glow and picked up both shades in Gleam and Polished.
My first impression of the product was good. I mean for the price the packaging feels of a high quality. (I'm not sure if it is glass but I'm going to say that it is) the glass packaging is sturdy and doesn't feel like something that is going to break easily which is great for clutzes like me. The product itself is just- I don't actually know where to begin. Both Gleam and Polished are creamy textures which are so easy to work with. I simply dab my finger into the pot and then blend it onto the tops of my cheekbones to add a subtle, sheer, non glittery glow. It is so easy to see why Topshop have called this product Glow because that is exactly what it does to your skin. You glow after applying this.
The main thing that I like about this product is that it is not glittery for one and can still be seen after you have set your makeup with a powder. Another reason I can't get enough of this is that I don't feel like it needs touching up half way through the day (which is perfect if you too are lazy and hate touch ups). And if you need yet another reason to convince you of the wonderfulness of this product a little goes a long way; it is so pigmented that a small dab on each side of the face is enough to add that subtle glow. Both shades are beautiful but I have to say I have been dipping into Gleam a little more this month as it is a more golden tone which I prefer for Autumn/Winter as it pairs really well with that darker makeup look. I think that both of these highlighters are great for all skin tones and I couldn't recommend them enough. If you are looking for a highlighter that isn't going to break the bank, give this a try as it is only £9.00 and by far my favourite highlighter I've tried.
So my question to you now is what else is worth trying from the Topshop beauty range?

The Stuff Dreams Are Made Of

Dewy, healthy, smooth radiant skin. Isn't that what dreams are made of? Well, I think I may have just found the way to your dream in the form of a plastic, corkscrew looking topped bottle. Yes, it is another product from Benefit and I have to apologise for the amount I bang on about their products but this, this is on another level.
So here's the back story: for as long as I can remember I've suffered from tight, dry, dull looking skin. No matter what I used nothing seemed to combat it's dryness and every illuminating product I've used just seems to be wasted on my skin. Enter Benefit Moisture Prep Toning Lotion. This little heaven smelling, thick, lotion of dreams has saved my skin. Literally. The idea behind this product is to use it before your moisturiser to help it sink in further and optimize the benefits of that moisturiser.
I have been using this every day for the last three months so it's had a fair test but within the first week I began to notice the difference it made. Dry skin? What even is dry skin I ask? After introducing this into my routine only in the mornings, my skin feels amazing. It's soft, it's smooth, it's not dry, my makeup stays on far longer without the need for touch ups, and well I feel like I actually have a glimpse of radiance to my complexion now. It all sounds too good to be true right? I have a fairly strict skincare routine which I refuse to change without a good need to, but introducing this bottle of heaven into my routine has been the best decision I've made.
Moisture Prep is made with a bunch of ingredients which are supposed to help with the appearance of fine lines and also help clarify and soothe the skin. Being only nineteen I'd like to think I have a fairly line proof skin so I can't make a judgement on whether the product helps with this issue. However, if you have dry, tired looking skin give this a go because I couldn't recommend it highly enough. For £23.50 I feel like I've had my money's worth. I mean, I have used this every single morning for the last three months maybe four, I can't quite remember) and it isn't as if I am running out very fast.

Monday, 24 November 2014

Cheap and Cheerful: The Body Shop Camomile Range

I'm not sure how new the Body Shop's Camomile Range is, or if it is even new at all but I can definitely say that it is a new addition to my skin care regime. After reading multiple reviews of the Camomile Cleansing Oil I had to go out and try it for myself. After reading all of these amazing reviews for this product to say I had high expectations for it would be an understatement. But it did not disappoint.
The cleansing oil removes all traces of my makeup (it does pretty well on eye makeup but I prefer to use a separate eye makeup remover for that area) in just two washes. I usually use two pumps on my face, lather it on, rinse off and then repeat just to make sure my face is completely rid of any makeup. Even though this is an oil it doesn't leave any sort of oily residue on the skin. Bonus! Also, this product is only £10. £10! That's amazing, especially for something that works so well. After the bottle became half empty (not half full no, when it reaches below half way that is very negative for a product you love) I rushed out to repurchase.
But I didn't come back with just the cleansing oil.
Oh no, I came back with the rest of the range to see if the wonderfulness of the cleansing oil was just a one product thing or if it was consistent throughout the range... The verdict? It is definitely consitent throughout the range. Let's start with the Cleansing Butter for £12. This works the same as the cleansing oil in the way that it breaks down all of your makeup and leaves no residue. However, I find that it is much more moisturising on the skin than the oil (probably why it is called the butter). Personally I prefer the butter just because I have dry skin and as I said, I find it is more moisturising on the skin. Plus I find that the oil tends to leak if i is lay down so its not ideal for traveling.
The last part of the range is the Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover, they do do this in a non waterproof remover version but I didn't pick that up as the majority of mascara I use is waterproof as I have extremely watery eyes (fun fact about me!). This is an oily formula based eye makeup remover that breaks down the makeup and not only can it be used on the eyes it can also be used on the lips. Being the best eye makeup remover that I have tried and being priced at only £8.00 this has definitely received a permanent spot on my skincare shelf. In fact, all three of these items that I've mentioned have earnt a permanent spot on my skincare shelf.
Thank you Body Shop!

P.S. I know I'm almost out of it all but I'll be running out to the shops on pay day and repurchasing the entire range *insert emoji of money flying away*

Friday, 21 November 2014

Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge

It's no secret that I'm a big fan of the Real Techniques brushes: when there's a new brush or set out, I have to have it. They're so wonderfully soft, they apply makeup beautifully and wash like a dream. However, the one product that I never really paid much interest to was the Miracle Complexion Sponge. Having never used a sponge to apply my makeup before I wasn't really interested. But then everything went wrong: my base just wasn't sitting on may face right and by that I mean every foundation and concealer I tried just looked cakey. Enter the Miracle Complexion Sponge.
This orange beauty has caused some what of a debate amongst the beauty community. It seems you either love it or you hate it. After hearing some say that it has helped make their foundations look more natural looking on the skin I had to try it. Now, let me just say this sponge has saved my face from the curse of cake. There's something about it that just helps foundation sit on the skin and look like, well, skin! Typically I will apply my foundation as usual with a buffing brush or something similar, then I will pat the sponge (dry) on top. Personally I find that this step helps create a flawless looking base where nothing is sitting on top of the skin awkwardly.
Also, after complaining about never finding a concealer that covers my dark blue circles, this product has helped to make even the worst concealers I've tried cover those pesky panda eyes a little more; rather than wiping the product away like a brush would do, the sponge doesn't move the product away from the area where it has been applied.
The shape of the sponge is perfect for all areas of the face, if we can get past the chubbiness of my hands in the photo you can see that there's there's a flat side which I use to pat my base into my face (such rhyming poetic charm in this post today) and a pointed end which I use to get right into the creases such as around my nose and under my eyes. I think the only down side to this product is how long it lives, I mean I've had mine a good few months and it's starting to tear and lose it's shape slightly. BUT for a few bobbins I don't mind replacing it.
All in all I think this is a wonderful product as it is so versatile; it can be used damp to apply your foundation without a brush or dry. Although it can be time consuming to have to sit and pat on your foundation rather than just buff it in with a brush or your fingers, I definitely think that the result is worth it.
What's your view, do you prefer to use a sponge/beauty blender or not?

Monday, 17 November 2014

Blitzed Blemishes

Ok, so you won't know but I actually have really dry skin which is a bit of a nightmare (I do have a post coming up about a product that is wonderful for dry skin but today is not the day to get into that subject) but I have one other major issue when it comes to my skin. If you haven't already guessed it from my non funny post title that I thought was pure genius, I'll let you in on the problem now... Blemishes. Yes, we've all had them. Yes, we all end up attacking our face to pop the damn things and make our face ten times worse. But not all of us have a sudden case of acne across their chin resulting in 10 spots in one area at once with more appearing during the day.
Oh yes, you heard me right. This actually happened to me. I don't know why and it certainly wasn't a one time thing. I'd been dealing with an overly spotty chin for at least a month before I broke down and decided I couldn't deal with it anymore. That's when I spoke to a friend who works at Clinique who recommended this Anti-Blemish Solutions Clinical Clearing Gel. With the promise that it would help clear up my sudden spurt of acne I snapped up a bottle and added it into my skincare routine right away.
Fast forward to the next morning and everyone from my boyfriend, to my mum, to people at work noticing how much better my skin was looking I was unbelievably impressed. Fast forward again to a week later and my chin was practically blemish free. So, what did I do? To put it as bluntly as I can, and this may come as a shock to you if you're reading this post, I used the Clinique Clearing Gel. How about that? Anyway, enough with the sarcasm. On a serious note, all I did was apply a small amount (about a pea size) of this gel across the whole of my chin each night after I had moisturised. The feel of it is, bizarre? It feels like those see through masks you used to use when you were thirteen at sleepovers, the ones where you had to peel it off and half of it would get stuck in your eyebrows. You know the ones! Well, when it's drying it feels like that. Give it another two minutes and it's like nothing is there.
The one thing that you do need to be aware of, this stuff stings. And I mean stings like nothing you're expecting. But, it does the job. Now I'm not saying that this has helped clear up my sudden acne all together, I'm still suffering from the odd breakout but this has certainly helped keep the mass breakout I've been having under control and preventing it from spreading. I have now adopted the Clinique Clearing Gel into my skincare family and use it every night. It is recommended that you use it twice  day but I find that applying makeup above the spot gel makes the area look a little dry.
Do you have any recommendations for blitzing blemishes?