29 August 2015

What's on my Face: Sun Cream Edition

Until about a year ago i didn't wear sun cream unless i was on holiday, which i know is awful because even the sun in the UK can cause premature ageing and sun damage. So, since reading up on sun damage i've been trying to up my sun cream game here and on holiday. Today, i thought i'd share with you my sun cream options; some that i've tried, and one that i'm waiting to try.

Because i tend to get oily skin during the day, i only use oil-free cream on my face, moisturisers too for that matter. I don't want to clog up my pores more than they already get to be thanks to my natural oils. The sun cream i've been using most here in the UK is the Piz Buin Ultra Light Dry Touch. It's really runny when you squeeze it out of the tube, but when you rub it into the skin it kinda turns into a liquid to powder formula. It doesn't feel at all greasy or sticky, and feels really comfortable to wear alone or under make up.

Next is what i loved wearing on my face on my last trip to Florida, which is the Hawaiian Tropic Sensitive Face. Again, it's oil free and although isn't dry touch like the last one it's not at all greasy or sticky. It absorbs quickly and stays put all day, especially in the hot Florida sun. I always worry when applying sun cream to my sensitive, acne prone skin but it didn't at all break me out, clog my pores or irritate me at all. In fact, none of these have!

The Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration is the one i'm yet to try, and will be taking it with me on my Florida trip to test out. Even though i do tend to get oily skin, as i've grown up and lately i've been tested with dehydrated skin. So, because i loved the Sensitive Face from Hawaiian Tropic i thought this would be great if i get dry, dehydrated skin from the sun. Again, it's oil-free and i'm hoping, although it's hydrating, it won't clog pores or break me out but only time will tell.

My favourite all-time body sun cream is the Nivea Sun Moisturising Sun Spray. It's oil free, non-greasy, non-sticky and great for all over body sun creaming. I love the spray feature because it makes it so much quicker and easier to get out the door.

Last is a sample of the Ultrasun Very Sensitive Facial Sun Cream that i got in an M&S beauty box. I'd always wanted to try it but never wanted to splash on something i wasn't sure if i'd like, so was really glad to get a sample and now i'm glad i didn't splash out. I really did not like this one, even though it says it's free from oils and for very sensitive skin it made my face feel so sticky and greasy. It made my skin feel really clogged and heavy, i couldn't bring myself to put my make up on top as it felt like it would make it slide all over my face. It took it off after about five minutes because it just didn't seem to sink into my skin but rather sit on top, so it wasn't risking anything for my acne prone skin.

So, there you have a some-what sun cream collection. If you have any suggestions for new sun cream to try, do let me know! The Clinique City Block is next on my list to try.


26 August 2015

Keeping Fuzz Free: Shaving Routine

So, i've probably mentioned it somewhere down the line but i have really sensitive skin. Not only on my face, but my body too it seems. So up until about two years ago, i found shaving really hard. Every time i shaved my legs or my underarms they came out in huge, blotchy, dry, red rashes which made me not want to shave because it made my skin so sore. So i hid my legs under tights and my arms under sleeves, even in the Summer. I was very naive to the beauty, shaving world and had no idea about shaving creams, gels, 5 blade razors, moisturisers, aloe vera gel and everything else that comes with it. I still have trouble to this day, but alongside going to the salon and getting a wax, i just wanted to share with you how i've gained the confidence to get my legs out.

Thanks to the Gilette Venus Embrace Sensitive Women's 5 Blade Razors i am able to shave my legs with minimal rash. I still have to be pretty gentle, and take my time for rash free legs but it's not nearly as bad as it once was. The five blades mean little tugging on the hair, and skin, which causes little irritation and they come with a built in 'ribbon of moisture' to help keep the skin hydrated. Plus, the head moves to you can get to all those tricky spots like your ankles and back of the knees. Seriously, they have changed my shaving game for sure and my skin is so much happier now i use these. For holiday, i'm probably going to get a wax to begin with but my hair grows back pretty quick so i'll use these to keep up the hair-free finish.

Paired with these i use the Gillette (didn't even realise they were the same brand until now) Satin Care range. Here i've got the Pure and Delicate Shaving Gel, but i've tried the Touch of Olay Sensitve Shave Gel and the Dry Skin Shave Gel. They're all lovely, so i don't really have a preference but i did go through a phase of using Boots or Superdrug own brand ones, but i much prefer these. They're much thicker, and more hydrating plus they're much easier to foam up and you don't have to use as much - i always use too much.

Quick and easy post today, but i just had to share how i'll be keeping fuzz free this holiday. Not many people talk about how they shave, but i feel like i can't be the only one who's had a problem or the only one who has sensitive skin! What's your favourite shaving technique?


22 August 2015

All About Aloe

Aloe Vera has forever been one of those multi-tasking products that your mum use for 100 and 1 different practical and beauty reasons. Forever i have, personally, used it for sun burn and for applying after i've shaved my legs as it's intensely moisturising and cooling for my sensitive, dry skin.

Apparently, Pure Aloe Vera Gel can be used to swipe away make up, even tough mascara. I would wonder how it would effect your eyes, whether it would make them sore but i'd never heard of that one. Not only can it be used after shaving to moisturise skin, but it can be used as a shaving gel to moisturise while shaving too. Plus it's antibacterial to care for little cuts and helps to get a nice, close shave.

I've also heard of people freezing aloe gel in ice cube trays and then they're there for a go-to cooling treatment for everything from sun burn to bug bites. There's so many other DIYs you can make with Aloe gel such as face washes and face scrubs, you can find lots of recipes online.

It can also be used for a variety of other things such as a brow gel, antibacterial gel and for all sorts of dry skin, and rashes.

These are the two Aloe products that are my favourite, and i thought i'd share with you how i use them personally. The newest to my routine is the Forever Living Aloe Propolis Creme, well i say new but actually it's a return to my routine as i actually reviewed this in 2012 when my eczema was off the charts. I currently use this for all sorts of reasons; mainly on my face as it's super moisturising, plus it's antibacterial so it's great for my acne and blemishes. I use it on my underarms when they become sore from shaving - i have very sensitive skin and during the Summer i, obviously, shave more and my underarms can get a little dry and sore from that so this comes in very handy. I use it along side Lush's Dream Cream on my eczema and rashes, plus it's just great to have on hand for sore or dry skin.

The Banana Boat Aloe Gel i mainly use while i'm away, but i do use it while at home too depending on what products i have to use up or what i'm testing. This is amazing for using after shaving to cool and soothe my skin, it works great on my legs and helps to keep them moisturised, smooth and shiny. It's also amazing for sunburn or just being out in the sun as it's so cooling, and treats the skin deep down.

Both products are great to have on hand, especially during the Summer months. However, if you're going to be consuming aloe gel or using it for intimate reasons such as on your face, eyes especially, or cracked skin be sure to check that it can be consumed or safe for use on sensitive skin, and go straight for pure aloe gel.


15 August 2015

What's in my Travel Wash Bag?

While you're reading this, i'll be miles and miles away in sunny Florida - eek! So, appropriately, i thought i'd share some holiday related posts over the next couple of weeks, starting with my travel toiletries! Now, i will just note that there is no shampoo or shower gel here and that's because i'm sharing both with my mum, and they're both in her wash bag. So here's pretty much everything else i'll be taking, and i realise it looks like kind of a lot but this is all for two weeks plus i'll be bringing none of it home. It'll all be thrown away for the journey home as not to add to the weight, and it'll all be pretty much empty anyway. Now, without further ado here are my travel toiletries.

I feel like i've got such a good skincare routine at the moment, so despite the fact i go sans make up while on holiday and strip things down to basics i still want to take my core skincare essentials. These three products are, actually, probably just that. You can read about a lot of my current skincare favourites in this post i did about my skincare routine in April, and only a few things have changed since. My morning consists of the infamous Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish, finished off with a muslin cloth. I just love how it completely cleans my face but still allows it to feel moisturised and ready for the day. The muslin helps to get rid of any dead skin cells too, and creates a great base for make up or any further skincare. A newer addition is the Pixi Glow Tonic, which i have been loving using morning and night for the past month or so. It was the queen of skincare herself, Caroline Hirons, that got me onto acid toners in the first place after i ran to her asking questions about my god-awful, bumpy skin. So, i chose to begin with this one and have loved it ever since. It keeps the texture of my skin smooth and fresh, it doesn't make my skin feel tight or sore and it just seems to keep my skin health on top form. I wouldn't be without acid toners now and do skip between a couple, but this is definitely my staple. Next is my even cleanse, the Ren Evercalm Gentle Cleansing Gel. I've said before, and i'll say it again, i just love how it makes my skin squeaky clean without making it tight. I use this every evening with my Clarisonic and i really enjoy the results. It keeps me super clean without causing any acne or flare ups of my sensitive skin.

Forever Living Aloe Propolis Creme | Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Fragrance Free | Lanolips Antibacterial Hand Cream

Another newer addition to my routine is the Forever Living Aloe Propolis Creme, now i used to use this years and years ago. It was a product my mum got for me from someone she worked with for, who now i know must have been selling Forever Living products. She recommended it to me for my eczema and at the time it was the only product that would help with my nasty, dry, patchy skin. So when one of my friends at works started selling, and she recommended this for me and the problems i was having with the skin on my face i bought it straight away. Now i use this not only for eczema, but for all dry skin, sore skin, my face as it helps with spots and keeping me balanced and moisturised, but really it's just an all rounder. So, i'll be glad to have it with me. The Eight Hour Cream is another product i just like to have on hand because it can be used for all sorts of things. Again, dry skin, burnt skin, for feet and hands, around the eyes, cuticles - it just soothes all skin so in a harsher, hotter environment than i'm used to, i think it'll come in handy. Next, my current hand cream of choice - the Lanolips Antibacterial Hand Cream. First and foremost, i love the scent. My goodness, the clean, pine, Christmas tree scent is so lovely and it actually reminds of Florida so that's quite appropriate but really it's just an amazing hand cream. It soaks in nicely, leaving no sticky residue and in the morning my hands are soft, soothed and back on top form. For the hot weather, i thought i'd probably want hand cream more than i do in the UK so i couldn't leave home without that.

Of course i can't go anywhere without my favourite lip balm, and man i love this lip balm. It's simply so moisturising, and instantly calms my dry lips. After only a few applications the texture and dryness of my lips is better, and i love that it's in a stick. I'm really not one for sticking my finger in a pot, although i am a little worried this will melt in the Florida heat but we shall see! Not that i'm sure i'll need it, thanks to the Florida sun and plenty of Vitamin D, but i am taking two spot fighting options. My old faithfuls, the Clinique Clinical Clearing Gel and the Superdrug Tea Tree Spot Stick. The Clinique is full of active ingredients that really drys out my skin and gets rid of spots quickly, and effectively, but when over used it can leave my skin quite flaky whereas the Tea Tree is calming, works a little slower, but seems to keep things a little more hydrated. Used together, though, they are are the perfect spot fighting dream team. The other three products pictured are samples i've had put away for in-case situations, so i've decided to take them with me and just use them up. They're all moisturisers of some sort as i know that the sun can really take a toll on not only my face but my body skin too, so i have no idea about any of them but i'm hoping they'll be on hand for any extra moisturising needs i may have after a long day in the sun.

So, currently, as you can see that is actually an empty pump bottle. But when you're reading this it will actually contain my Chanel Serum - i just hadn't decanted it yet when i wanted to take the pictures for this post. In Boots, i actually found a serum pump bottle rather than a spray one which i was really happy about so it'll be perfect for my serum. The Chanel Serum is something that i bought in desperation because my skin was just so dehydrated and it's claims are 24hr hydration so i wanted to give it a go but now i'm obsessed. I'm onto my second bottle of the stuff and man, is it expensive so i must love it. It's one of those products that seems like it doesn't make a huge impact but when you don't use it you can really see the difference. It keeps the hydration levels in my skin balanced and happy, and keeps my dehydration at bay. Although you can't see, the pot contains Lush's Dream Cream which i can't be without if i have any eczema flare ups. I get it bad around my collar bone, inside my elbows and on my wrists and this instantly calms it down. It becomes less itchy and less noticeable, and it's one of the only things that helps with my eczema - even prescription medication didn't work as well as Dream Cream, so i can't be without it. My lip balm of choice - the Lanolips Lemon Aid - which really just keeps my dry lips at bay but i'm not actually sure if i'm going to take this or the Papaya Gold Paw Paw Moisturising Balm because i'm loving that at the moment and it's great for all dry skin, (Can you tell i love multi-tasking products!?) I'm also taking a mini tub of my favourite eye cream which is super hydrating and will be great at night after my eyes have been dried in the sun all day. It keeps my eyes from becoming sore and dry, which they can do if i'm not careful so sticking with something i love. I'm also taking some blotting sheets, these Kleenex ones are my current go-tos, as throughout the day i know i'll get oily and sometimes it's just nice to have something to help. I won't be wearing make up, so that won't be a probably, but i don't want to keep rubbing my face because all the bacteria can cause acne to become worse so this will just be an easy solution for removing sweat and oil from my face.

Last, i've got some simple essentials, that you really can't go away without - well, i can't anyway. My favourite antibacterial hand gel which actually i've stopped buying because it's quite expensive and i've found cheaper ones for my hand bag, but as i'm going away i thought i'd treat myself and this is still my favourite. It smells delicious and is actually fairly moisturising for antibac. Some hairbands, of course, i live with my hair up on holibobs because it's so darn warm! Deodorant, of course, and some hand wipes just to keep in my bag for any ice cream emergencies.

And there you have it, most of my holiday toiletries. What are your essentials for taking on holiday?


12 August 2015

My Sephora Wishlist

I think it's pretty obvious that a beauty junkie, like myself, can't go all the way to America without stopping by a little store you may of heard of. Sephora is like the mecca for all beauty lovers and i, of course, have a list of things i'll be tempted with when i head to, i'm pretty sure, more than one store. There are a few things on this list that i'm definitely heading for, but there's also a few that i'd quite like to scope out, but either way here's my list of things i'll be looking for this trip.

The Marc Jacobs Eyeshadow Palette, the Fresh Lip Treatment, the Make Up Forever Eyeshadows and the Beauty Blender are all things i'm desperate to get my little paws on. I have heard so much about the beauty of the Marc Jacobs palette that i'm seriously hoping i'll be able to find one before my holiday is through. I don't know if the brand is sold in most Sephoras, as it's pretty pricey, but i'm hoping to get my hands on one some how. From seeing reviews and other beauty bloggers talk about them, they seem to be totally worth the price tag, with a buttery, ultra blendable formula, and super easy for a lazy girl like me. I love Make Up Forever as a brand, so when i saw Gabriella from Velvetgh0st talk about the eyeshadows and how much she loved them, i decided i'd really like to at least swatch them, if not pick up a couple for myself and create my own little palette. The Fresh Lip Treatments are something that are talked about all the time, all over beauty blogs, so it's not surprising that i'd like to give them a go myself. I'm really into the balmy, sheer colour lip products at the moment and that's right up my street and i mean, who DOESN'T want to try a beauty blender and the infamous Blender Cleanser!?

So something Sephora seems to be well known for is gift sets. They have a of little sets with mixings of favourites, sets for occasions, lip sets, mascara sets, fragrance sets, you name it, they seem to have it. They also seem to be really good value for money too, with loads of them being only about $25. So, i'd really love to try a couple as it's a great way for me to try out new brands without splashing too much dollar (see what i did there!?) and wasting money and luggage space. The few that i have my eye on are the Elizabeth & James Nirvana Rollerball set, the Glitz & Glam Party Essentials, the NEST Rollerball Trio and the Smashbox Try It Kit. I've heard every blogger and their cat talk about Elizabeth & James, the brand founded by the Olsen Twins, so i'd love to give that a sniff and NEST is a brand i've heard about from Fleur De Force and she loves the candles, so i'd love to see what their fragrances smell like. 

I have been umming and ahhing about whether to try a few Smashbox products for a while now, but have never taken the plunge so a tester kit would be so perfect. It has the foundation primer and the eyeshadow primer in, which are two products i'd love to try plus an eyeshadow which i'm always looking for new ones to try so i just think it'd be really worth a go. The one i love the look of most, though, is the Glitz & Glam pouch. It has so many products that i'd love to test and this is just such a great way to try things out without having to splash all the money on the full size and hating it. It contains: The Smashbox Be Legendary lipstick in Infrared Matte, the Drybar Detox Dry Shampo, Deborah Lippman's Good Girl Gone Bad Nail Colour, the Laura Mercier Caviar Stick in Rose Gold, a Pair of Sephora Collection False Lashes in Astonish, Benefit Watt's Up Highlighter in Luminous Champagne, Make Up Forever HD High Definition Microfinish Powder and Lancome's Artliner Eyeliner in Noir, which all comes in a metallic clutch bag. It has so many products that i've heard of, always wanted to try and a few others to boot. It's a little pricier at $45 but for all those products i think it's totally worth it and i really hope they have this one in-store.

A few other bits i'd like to take a look at are the famous Formula X Nail polishes; i hear totally mixed reviews on these, some people love them and some people loathe them. I'd quite like to take a look for myself, the shade range looks really extensive so i'm sure i could find something i like - Prism seems to be the favourite at the moment. I always hear bloggers talk about the Sephora brushes, as they're affordable but really high quality. I have a pretty good brush collection currently, but i think you can never have too many shader brushes or crease brushes. The Tarte CC Corrector is something newly added to my list, as i heard Amelia Liana rave about it in a recent haul. Have you noticed how many of these are blogger induced?! I currently use the Bobbi Brown Corrector, and like Amelia says i do find there to be some creasing but i love what the product does. So, i thought that i'd try this and see if i get on with it. Last, but not least, is something i never really thought that i'd want and something i never really thought that i'd splash the cash on. However, if i'm feeling good and in high holiday spirits, i'd really like to try the Hourglass Ambiant Lighting Powders. They are just so beautiful, the packaging, the product, all of it. From looking at swatches, i think i'm most interested in Mood, Luminous and Dim light. I'd really like to use them as an illuminator really, tops of the cheekbones, down the nose, cupid's bow kinda deal but i know you can use them all over the face so we'll see if i'm brave enough.

So, there you have it. My Sephora Wishlist. I don't think i'll find everything i'm after, but now Sephora ships to the UK it's much easier to get hold of, but i have saved plenty of dollar for my trip so hopefully i'll come home happy.


8 August 2015

OPI Original Nail Envy Nail Strengthener

I actually wrote a post about the OPI Original Nail Envy in 2012 after buying it in America for the first time. So, i thought i'd revisit it since i've been buying it ever since and it's one of my absolute favourite products.

I actually paint my nails with this more than i paint my nails with colour because, especially during the Winter, my nails are prone to breaking, splitting and peeling. So, i like to use this a few times a week to help keep them strong and growing as i do like to paint my nails for special occasions, like Christmas. During the Summer i use it for a few weeks if my nails are bad, to give them a break and a chance to grow so i can continue painting them.

You really can see results from this after only a week, it visibly makes my nails grow and become stronger. It suggests that you paint on two coats, and then paint a new coat on every other day, removing it completely after a week and starting again. However, i tend to wear it for 4-7 days, depending on what time i have, and then removing and completely re-painting and it works for me. I honestly just think if you add this in to your nail care routine you will see growth results. I highly recommend it!


1 August 2015

Make Up Revolution Vivid Baked Highlighter in Peach Lights

Until one lunch break when i popped into Superdrug for deodorant and other essentials, i had never heard of Makeup Revolution. It just seemed like another one of these cheap drugstore brands like MUA that look all that with the packaging but actually the product is nothing to write home about. I scanned the stand of naked palette dupes and cheap nail polish, but this little beauty caught my eye. In the past few of months i've really stepped up my make up game, trying new foundations and giving new products a go so this beautiful highlighter looked like something that would really appeal to my new product loving, beauty brain. It just looked so beautiful, so i swatched it and it was in my basket quicker than you could say boo.

The Makeup Revolution Vivid Baked Highlighter actually comes in three shades: Pink Lights, Golden Lights and the shade that i have, Peach Lights. This is only £3 per highlighter, so i thought that it was probably going to look pretty but have little to no impact but just look at it. Look at that swatch! It's so, so beautiful. It's exactly what i look for in a highlighter, not chunky or glittery but super shimmery and when on the skin it looks glowy and beautiful. When it catches the light it makes your cheekbones pop. I also love that it can be built up too, you can just add a little for something subtle but i like to layer it up and blend it in with my finger so that it does wear too much throughout the day. That's the only downside, i would say, is that it does wear throughout the day especially on my oily skin but it's nothing a spritz of make up setting spray won't help.

Honestly, just go swatch them yourself and see what you think. I know i go on about this all the time but i love that this caters for the warm, cool and neutral toned amongst us. Golden works great for warm, Pink for cool and Peach for neutral, although you feel free and make them all work for you. This is my new everyday go-to highlighter, and what's even better is i'm always getting complements on it too. For £3, i highly recumbent giving it a go!

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