'I Wish I Didn't Buy That' #2

Negative reviews aren't something that comes along very often on my blog. Mainly due to the fact that I research a lot before purchasing, sad in a way as I'm not very spontaneous when it comes to shopping however on a quest to save money this approach to shopping over recent months has worked. However, there's three recent purchases that didn't quite make the cut here's my thought -

Maybelline 'Great Lash' Mascara
So in all honesty I'm not the biggest fan of drugstore mascaras, I've repurchased my Clinique High Impact for almost two years now, but the blogger in me really does want to find a cheaper alternative that does a similar job. The Maybelline Great Lash Mascara seemed promising. The wand on this is smaller to other mascaras I have tried, I do think this is a plus as you can really be precise and get right in there with smaller lashes on the inner and outer corners. However, after one layer I was really disappointed, yes this did make my lashes appear blacker but as for adding any length or volume there was no difference. I layered and layered and I just found this made the mascara messy and clumpy. I also found that this irritated my eyes, and even though it's not waterproof removal was a faff! Even for the price (£4.99) I wouldn't repurchase as it just didn't do anything I would expect from a mascara.

Rimmel Apocalips in Big Bang
Oh how I wanted to love you. I reviewed this in full over here. As I briefly mentioned in that post I'm really not a fan of the Apocalips formula. Shame really as this shade is absolutely gorgeous it's a perfect red that just makes my teeth appear whiter. I find the formula smudgy and messy. The doe foot applicator doesn't allow for precise application, I also found that this clings to any dry patches and bleeds really bad throughout the day. When I compare the formula to something like the Bourjois Velvet Matte Lipsticks (I love!) it's just not quite on par. Sorry Rimmel.

Clinique Chubby Stick for eyes - Fuller Fudge
Another product I expected to love, after swatching this in store and falling in love with the wearable bronzey shade I decided to purchase. Here's the thing I don't think I'm sold on the formula. I find that this really drags on my eye lid and again (similar to the mascara) irritates my eyes. I've tried wetting this slightly I've tried smudging this onto a brush but I just can't seem to get this to work for me. I also find that you have to really layer to get any pigment and given that you're rolling this on your eyelids it seems a bit odd to have to layer and layer….

So that's it folks, feels good to have that off my chest. Sorry if this post seems rather negative I personally love reading these types as posts as I think it's useful to hear why something didn't work for someone it's also easy to get sucked into the hype when really one product isn't always going to be loved or work for everyone!

What products have you been disappointed with lately? Have you tried any of the products above?


Clinique Turnaround Overnight Radiance Moisturiser

The other day it occurred to me that this night cream has been a firm favourite in my skin care line up for months now, yet I haven’t shown it any love on blog (I know shock horror!) Today I thought I’d write up a little review of the Clinique Turn around Overnight Radiance Moisturiser (and the prize for longest name goes too…) I feel like I always say this with Clinique reviews but I feel it’s necessary, Clinique are very much a marmite brand from the countless reviews on the web it seems like their products either agree or disagree with different skin types so I would always recommend requesting samples before buying full size (even more so with Clinique!)  As brands go Clinique are one of the better ones where samples are concerned I’ve never known them be stingy.

So a few months ago I reached the desperation stage with my skin (we’ve all been there) I have combination skin sometimes super dry sometimes very oily and I’m prone to a little congestion. At the time I had a lot of congestion (under the skin spots) and I felt like the scarring on my cheeks was getting significantly worse (darker in appearance.) When I went to Clinique they recommended the Dark Spot corrector which I have tried (and didn’t like.) I asked if there was anything else that might help and the lady pointed me in the direction of the Turn Around range. There is a serum, night moisturiser, and mask within the range. Having tried (and loved) the serum in the past I asked for a sample of the night cream to see how it worked with my skin type. After finishing up my sample a full size purchase happened (oopsie!)

This moisturiser is super thick in texture, on application it does feel ever so tacky/sticky on the skin but within a few minutes it’s pretty much absorbed. For a night cream I like to opt for something more moisturising anyway as it keeps my skin hydrated. As this has such a rich texture only a pea sized (or peanut if you’re rocking a coconut shaped head like me) is needed to cover the face, the sample I had lasted me a good three weeks and I used it every night. It’s worthwhile mentioning (as with all Clinique products) this is fragrance free and I didn’t find that this irritated my sensitive skin. This cream has similar ingredients to what you may find in an exfoliating toner. If you’ve ever tried things like Pixi Glow or Clarins Exfoliating toner and found them too harsh for sensitive skin this moisturiser could be an alternative. It’s super gentle on the skin, moisturising but exfoliates over night to promote radiant skin.

This cream was really put to the test recently, after my holiday I was left with flakey peely skin, in particular on my forehead I applied this cream once, in the morning my skin was smooth flake free and super soft. Short term I noticed an improvement with dry patches and the overall texture of my skin (so much softer!) Over 4-6 weeks I began to notice the biggest difference in old scaring on my cheeks. My skin just looks brighter more radiant and my pigmentation seems to appear a lot lighter. It's also worthwhile mentioning that with this moisturiser I noticed the biggest difference with new spots new scaring/pigmentation doesn't seem to happen with this moistuiser. I love how this exfoliates my skin without feeling like it exfoliates my skin (no red irritated skin.)

If you’re after something new, or want to try something different to target scaring/dark marks or prevent future scaring the Clinique Turn around Moisturiser may be worth a shot. I would also recommend this to anyone who suffers from dull/sensitive skin and wants to introduce a chemical exfoliant that’s still gentle on the skin.

Have you tried any of the Turn Around range? What are your favourite products for scaring/dark spots?


Travel Skincare, Body & Hair

So after showing you what's in my travel makeup bag, it only seemed natural to show you the skincare, body and hair products that also made the cut. I actually find cutting down skincare a lot harder than makeup as I'm so addicted to my serums/oils and various treatments - 

Skincare Bits

Without fail I always take my Clinique Three Step. Clinique are brand I know works well with my skin so it's my fail safe option when it comes to travel.  The weather will be hot, sticky and humid so reaching for products that lean more on the antibacterial/clarifying territory will help keep my skin clear and a spot free zone. 

For treatments I've packed two masks. An old favourite the Origins Drink Up Mask. I won't harp on about this too much but I plan to use this the night after travelling to add a much needed dose of hydration to my skin. I've also packed the Origins Clear Improvement mask this will soak up any excess oil and if my skin gets spotty it'll be a good mask to have on hand.

For makeup removal I've packed the Clinique Take The Day of Balm, it removes makeup effortlessly and I can't be without this stuff (that tubs getting dangerously low!)


Every year I purchase the Clinique face cream in SPF40 (also has UVA/UVB protection.) It's none greasy, doesn't make my skin oily and doesn't clog pores. This doesn't leave a tint or make my skin tone appear ashy. It's a perfect option for super sensitive skin. For body SPF I usually opt for those clear invisible sprays, but over recent years (and a whole lot of burning/prickly heat) I've decided that suncreams are the way forward. This one by Soltan was cheap and cheerful. It seems non sticky and absorbs pretty well so I'll be looking forward to seeing how this performs on holiday.

Body & Hair

For body care I've packed a Radox shower gel they're cheap as chips and smell a-mazing. I usually take cheaper body products as that way I can dispose of any product left at the end of the holiday to keep weight down and avoid any spillages.

For evening I don't usually bother with Aftersun as the majority I've tried are sticky and a bit meh. (I would however recommend Aloe Vera gel for irritated skin.) I picked up the Vaseline Cocoa Body moisturiser, despite the name it's pretty lightweight easily absorbs and smells great.

So peely skin, it ain't happening. I've packed this S&G flake away scrub to help keep dry skin at bay.

Again another one I seem to purchase every year but the mini Herbal Essence Beautiful Ends range keeps my hair super shiny and soft. I also have a couple of sample hair masks by Ojon I'll use these when my hair is in need of something a little more intensive, chlorine and sun reek havoc on my hair.

What are you holiday essentials? What skincare items can you not be without?


On The Wishlist #4

Wish list

So, today I thought I'd share a random wishlist filled with overpriced unnecessary items that I'm currently lusting after (well we all have those wishlists!) -

Dre Beats Solo Headphones
I've wanted some Beats headphones for the longest time. I love the colour and the fit of the Solo ones. They're a little more dainty looking.

For the longest time I was anti Kindle, you can't beat the smell/feel of a 'real' book but over recent months I've really come round to the idea. I think this would be so much more convenient for travelling and on the go reading.

Olivia Burton Watch
For the longest time I lusted after Michael Kors watches, but recently I've fallen in love with the Olivia Burton watches (which is great as they're a little more purse friendly than the MK ones!)

Topshop Jeans
Umm so I currently only own two pairs of jeans both of which are a little tight around the old waistline (it's muscle weight of course.) Topshop jeans fit me really well I'm especially liking the ripped/distressed ones they currently have in.

White Converse
I have a black pair, I have a grey pair but the classic white Converse is a must. I remember having a pair of these when I was younger and although I can still just about squeeze into them it's probably time I bought a new pair.

Mulberry 'Alexa'
This is the "never going to happen" item but isn't this bag just a-mazing. Ever so often I browse the Mulberry site just to have a little look at this bag (yes I'm sad like that.) It just looks like a classic timeless statement bag that would last a lifetime… the price brings a tear to my eye though.

Sony Cybershot RX100
I used to have a Nikon Coolpix it recently broke. I'm currently saving for the Sony Cybershot (FYI it's been voted the no. 1 Compact camera for 2014.) It looks like a brilliant quality camera that will last me a long time. I know a lot of people like to use their smart phones now days but I'm old school I still like carrying a compact camera.

New Balance
I have a pair of New Balance, they're like carpet slippers genuinely the comfiest pair of trainers I own. I really like the navy/white New Balance and the maroon ones. I think I have a thing for trainers!

What's on your wishlist?


My In-Flight Essentials

It's love. Now I know we're not here to talk about by bag (more it's contents) but I pretty much legitimately think I'm in love with it. I picked up this rucksack (from Debenhams) for hand luggage but I've pretty much used it every day since. My arms have been less achy and my back has hurt less so there's definitely a few pros's to carrying a rucksack. Such a simple design but I love it. 

On holidays/travelling you'll pretty much find me glued to a book. I've packed 'Paper Towns' by John Green, I haven't heard much about this book but I'm looking forward to giving it a read (maybe I'll report back if it's any good!) 

For the plane journey I've also packed this cute notebook. I can't remember where I bought it from (helpful) but it's super cute, it's filled with illustrations and if you look in the right hand corner there's a little bunny that changes as you flick through (I'm easily impressed.) I use this to jot down any idea's or thoughts mainly blog related. I plan to jot down a blog schedule for August. 

Where there's a plane there's air con, and where's there's air con there's germs! The Carex Anti bac gel in Strawberry laces will be on hand. It smells yum and gets the job done. I also pack some wipes, for some reason I always seem to end up spilling drinks or dropping food everywhere (can't take me anywhere) so sometimes a gel won't cut it hence the wipes. I've also packed a teeny tiny hand cream by Superdrug, it'll keep my hands dry without leaving them greasy. 

You may have noticed there's no skincare or beauty. That's because quite frankly I can't be bothered! Even on long haul flights I'll never be the type of girl to go in with three different masks and facial mists as I just find it's a little unnecessary and from previous experience it generally isn't that effective. You add all this moisture for it to be sucked back out by air con. I do however usually buy a can of deodorant or Impulse at the airport to have a quick spray on landing. Other than that it's pretty much a beauty free zone (sorry guys!) 

The exciting part. Food. I usually pack a jumbo size of crisps (the bigger the better) it's junk it's unhealthy but it keeps me full (plus crepes and boozy nights await there really is no point now.) I also pack a bag of sweets usually Haribo and some gum. Oh and a big bottle of water (self explanatory.)

What are your in-flight essentials?


HealGel Eye*

HealGel Eye Cream

HealGel Eye Cream

HealGel Eye Cream

If you read my ‘Eye creams I just don’t get’ post you’ll know that I’ve never really found my perfect eye cream. I do feel like it’s an essential part of my skin care routine. And my eyes always appear a little puffy/tired looking without it. I do stick by my original statement about the term ‘anti-ageing’ in skin care; I personally think ageing is all down to our genes not what we slather on the surface. But rant aside in an eye cream I look for a lightweight formula, something hydrating that reduces puffiness and creates a nice base for concealer. HealGel Eye cream* pretty much ticks all of the boxes. 

There seems to be lots of positive reviews online for the HealGel products (their face serum is currently at the top of my ‘to try’ list.) but I haven’t heard much about this eye cream. The first thing I noticed is packaging. I love the pharmacy look HealGel packaging seems to have, it’s very old timey and I quite like the simple feel it gives the products. I must say big thumbs up to HealGel for placing this eye cream in a pump bottle its way more hygienic than the tubs most eye creams seem to come in. I also find myself using less product as half a pump pretty much covers both eyes –so it’s a win win really! 

When I first used this eye cream, I just wasn’t sure how I felt, however I must say it certainly grew on me. I started to notice the biggest difference on the days I used this and the days I didn’t. Concealer creased more; my eyes looked puffier, so I do think over time this is an eye cream where you notice a difference. The texture of this is gel like with a clear consistency and its fragrance free (perfect for sensitive eyes.) When applied this feels really refreshing, hydrating and cooling on the under eye area. This also felt ever so slightly tightening, similar to when you use a firming cream. How this differs to other eye creams I’ve tried is how quickly it absorbs, this felt like it instantly absorbed into my skin, it seemed to drink this stuff up. I personally think it’s down to the hyaluronic acid. This does a fantastic job of hydrating my under eye area, but with its lightweight texture and with how quickly this absorbs it really is a winner. I like to apply my eye cream after toner and before my day cream, so it really does take the chore out of eye cream when you don’t have to stand around waiting for it to absorb! 

As I mention above this creates a lovely base for concealer and I do find creasing is kept to a minimum with this eye cream. It’s also worthwhile mentioning my eye area is super sensitive I have to be careful with mascaras, eye shadows and eye creams as I always seem to get super puffy irritated eyes if I use something that doesn’t agree, the HealGel eye cream works fine and doesn’t irritate my eyes.

So, the downside here is price. At £32 for 15ml it’s more than I personally would spend on an eye cream but I must say I really do think I’d miss this if it wasn’t a part of my skin care line up, cost per use evens out too as you do find yourself using the tiniest amount each day. If you do however want an investment eye cream for sensitive eyes, one that reduces puffiness, hydrates and instantly absorbs then the HealGel eye cream may be for you.

Have you tried any products from the HealGel line? What are your favourite eye creams?

P.S If you’d like to read more about Heal Gel as a brand click here

*PR Sample


What's In My Makeup Travel Bag

If you follow me on Twitter you may/may not be aware that I'm off to the South of France next Tuesday. So today I thought I'd give you a sneaky peak inside my travel bag, I did debate whether to post this or not as I consider myself a light packer. I'm quite minimal when it comes to packing from previous years I've learnt that less is more, as more often than not I spend most days barefaced. I've certainly cut back and become more ruthless with packing. I know a lot of people use holidays as an opportunity to experiment with makeup, but in a hot climate I pretty much stick to my everyday routine for a natural fresh easy look -

Not a fan, but given as it's the only primer in my collection and I can't predict the state of my holiday skin it had to be packed. 

Sheer Glow provides me with a perfect base for evening wear. It controls shine but adds glow in all the right places. The BM ready touch powder may get used in the daytime if I need coverage. 

Need I say more. I can't go a day without this so it's no surprise it's coming on holiday. 

S&G One Heck Of A Blot
This is a pretty basic powder. It reduces shine without appearing cakey on the skin. This has received a lot of hype in the beauty community but I personally think the Rimmel Stay Matte does the exact same job with a cheaper price tag. 

 YSL blush
Perfect plum shade for my skin tone it appears super natural on my skin. I can imagine I'll pretty much be rocking a natural flush but if I want to perk up my evening base this will be perfect. 

I love this stuff. Perfect brows made easy, I feel pretty lost without this as it just perfects my brows gives them a lot of definition without being too dramatic. 

Travel size Clinique High Impact mascara 
 I've repurchased this for years, it adds volume, length and curl- basically everything you could ever want from a mascara! 

The Blistex balm offers some SPF for daytime it's super moisturising and tastes like cola. For an evening lip I've packed the Bourjois Velvet matte lipsticks (Hot Pepper & Ole Flamingo) and my MAC lipstick in 'Good to Go.' For holidays I love reaching for corals and reds and I'm pretty much covered with these three lippies.

What makeup can you not be without? Are you a minimal packer? Do you use holidays as a chance to experiment with your makeup?


Estee Lauder Double Wear All-Day Glow BB

In the past I've never really gotten on with Estee Lauder products in particular the double wear line. I've never found my perfect shade, quite often the EL bases apply a lot darker on my skin having a tendency to look orange. I also found they clung to my dry patches and just looked very obvious on my skin. So with all this negativity in mind I'm not sure how I found myself back at the Estee Lauder counter, I'm glad I did though as the Double wear BB cream has really impressed me it shows how sometimes a bad experience with a brand can be quickly rectified by a new release.

Ignore BB in the title they've just chucked that in there for marketing purposes, with this foundation you're getting medium- full coverage (not something I'd associate with a BB cream.) Although this is pretty heavy duty you can see from my pictures that some pigmentation on the right cheek is peeking through ever so slightly, you can layer with this although I prefer to go in light handed so the finish is still natural.  However if you do build up the coverage you'll find that this pretty much covers spots/dark marks. For application I found fingers worked best, when I tried using my foundation brushes this had a tendency to look a little streaky and this seemed to sit on the skin. Using the warmth of my fingers this blended easily and looked a lot more natural.

It's not very often I say this but primer is essential with this foundation. I opted for The Body Shop Instablur (not a fan but still using) always go for a matte primer when reaching for a full on glowy base it balances thing's out. Without primer this did slightly cling to dry patches, odd really with this having a dewy finish. Once applied this looks mega dewy but after a few minutes it seemed to settle. If you skin is very oily you may wish to powder, in my picture above I haven't applied a finishing powder. The wear time is pretty similar to other foundations I've tried 3-4 hours before a blot or powder is required. This is pretty much the wear time on most foundations I have (Sheer glow being an exception) so I don't find that this is a problem for me.

So if you've not guessed I am very much a fan of this. For me it does a fantastic job of giving my dull skin some added glow without looking sweaty or greasy. I'm a fan of the formula, finish and ease of application I can see this being my go to base for the summer months ahead. The EL BB is available in 8 shades and is priced at £29 (ouch!)

Are you a fan of the EL Double wear line?


Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet in 'Hot Pepper' & 'Ole Flamingo!'

Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet

Bourjois seem to be the drugstore brand of the moment, admittedly I haven't tried much, however their lip products on offer have been well and truly explored. I'm a huge fan of their chubby sticks, glosses and shine edition lipsticks. So when I saw the new Bourjois Velvet matte lipsticks it was only a matter of time before I caved, here's my thoughts-

Products often receive a lot of hype within the beauty community and more often than not I'm always left a little underwhelmed - this wasn't the case with the latest Bourjois range. Liquid lipsticks from the drugstore are hit or miss but Bourjois seem to have got the formula just right. Despite having 'matte' in the title these lipsticks feel super moisturising on the lips, they're easy to apply as they have a satin texture on application and they're not sticky in the slightest. Some liquid lipsticks have a tendency to slip/slide on the lips but again not the case here, give it five minutes and they dry down matte leaving a lovely bright pop of colour on the lips.

The shades I picked up are 'Hot Pepper' and 'Ole Flamingo' I also had 'Pink Pong' but I appear to have lost it on a night out (poop.) The lip colours I have (as you can see) are pretty bold/bright so if a loud pout isn't your thing it may be worthwhile checking out the more neutral shades in the collection. With drugstore lip products you're often left with a bright lip that's well and truly worn away by the end of the day- not the case with the Bourjois Matte lipsticks! These stay around for such a long time, like a really long time through eating and drinking they didn't budge at all. The only downside to this long lasting formula is that the removal process can be a faff. I take a cotton pad with micellar water (yes it's that tough to remove) and gently remove from my lips I like to go in heavy with a lip balm after as my lips are often left feeling a little roughed up.

Have you tried the Bourjois Velvet Matte lipsticks? Anyone excited for the nude collection they're realeasing later this year?


Get Your Feet Summer Ready!

Today we're talking feet, yes I can hear the groans and grumbles from over here. But you'll be thanking me when your feet look smooth and sandal ready. I normally like to do the routine I'm going to talk you through once or twice a week all year round, yes it's a chore, yes it gives me no enjoyment in the slightest however I've found by using effective products I can cut the time spent scrubbing/papering and still have pretty feet (well as pretty as it's getting!)

First things first, you don't need a special foot cream or foot scrub. Have body butter? I thought so. Have a body scrub? Yup you do, so there's no excuse not to start your foot care routine today. If you invest in anything make it your foot file. Throughout the years I've tried a variety of foot files, wooden, metal grater style files and I've even ventured into pumice stones. Nothing beats a good old wooden file, cheap, cheerful and just gets the job done. The one I use is by The Body Shop I generally get 6-7 months use out of both sides before it gets a little worn down.

So, take your foot file of choice and…well you know the rest. Remember to pay particular attention to heels and the balls of your feet to ensure they're extra smooth afterwards. Remember to work the file in one direction at all times, you can actually cause damage to skin if you use the file in different directions (similar to nail files!) Once you've well and truly filed the crap out of those tootsies you'll need a scrub. You can use a body scrub (as I mention above) or you can buy a scrub specifically designed for feet. The best I've tried has to be this one from The Body Shop. The Peppermint Pumice scrub is super cooling, clings to the feet so you can really scrub the product in and it's super abrasive. If you skip the foot file stage and just use this scrub you'll still notice the biggest difference as it always leaves my feet super soft. I've repurchased this countless times as quite honestly it does everything I'd ever want in a foot scrub (and more.)

After all that scrubbing it's time to put the moisture back, for this step I use The Body Shop Honey & Beeswax Hand & Foot butter (sensing a theme here TBS do good foot stuff.) My oh my where has this been my whole life, this is the perfect 'keep it by your bedside' product, in the pot this looks super rich and even on application I did worry things would get greasy but this melts into the skin, and doesn't leave a slippy/greasy feeling on the hands or feet. I can see this pot lasting for a long time time as you literally need a tiny amount per use. I will however say I'm not a fan of the glass packaging. I've often caught my finger (ouch) it just feels bulky and unnecessary.

So you think it's over, not quite. Like those hands a full on pedi means sorting your nails too (sorry guys.) Start with nail clippers, I like to keep mine short and neat as bright summery polishes apply nicer. Next file, yes…like your nails you're going to want some sort of shape.

After you've achieved your desired shape you'll want to apply some sort of cuticle remover, I use the Sally Hansen one as it just gets the job done. On application this tingles slightly, but it does a really good job of loosening the skin around your cuticle, making the dreaded pushy back stage a tiny bit more bearable. When opting for a cuticle pusher go for wooden as they generally do less damage. As you can see I've not followed my own advice here.

Finish up with a clear polish, and go in with a bright pop of colour. For toenails I think the brighter the better when it comes to polish!

How do you get your feet summer ready? Favourite foot products?


MAC Lipcreme in 'Good To Go'

MAC Pro Longwear Good To go

I've not heard much about the MAC Prolongwear Lipsticks but today I thought I'd share a shade that I've been loving over the past few weeks. This was actually one of those 'accidental discoveries.' On a recent night out a work colleague pulled out this shade and said it would look perfect with the dress I was wearing -she was right! After wearing this for the night I was pretty much sold on the shade and formula. When MAC says long wear they mean it, this lipstick survived mojitios, burritos and it's by far one of the most long wearing lipsticks in my collection.

The shade I have is 'Good To Go' in the bullet this appears quite scary, but as with most lipsticks it can be built up for a more dramatic look, or blotted down like my pictures above for a slightly peachy looking finish. I personally find that this blotted down is a little more wearable especially for someone like me who's just dipping their toe into orange lipsticks this shade seems like a great place to start. As I mention above the wear time is pretty amazing, this sticks around for a long time and eventually dries down to a stain. The formula is pretty moisturising although it does have a tendency to cling to dry patches -a decent lip balm and scrub before hand are essential.

Have you tried MAC Prolongwear Lipcremes? What are your favourite orange lipsticks? I'm looking for something slight more orange toned…I think 'Morange' may be my next purchase.


5 Skincare Tips

Skincare has always been rather important to me, it's an awful thing to say but as a society we pretty much judge on face value and more often than not your face is pretty much the first thing someone will notice about you. When I have breakouts, spots or bad scaring it really knocks my confidence, it shouldn't as let's face it who really cares what others think but it has always got me pretty down. However over the years I've tried my fair share of products/lifestyle changes and although this may run the risk of sounding big headed I think I've pretty much reached a point where I'm happy with my overall skin condition. Yes, I still have flaws (a little patch of eczema under my skin and pigmentation) but I feel much happier with my skin and I finally feel like reoccurring spots are under control. Here are a few tips that I really wish I'd listened to or taken on board sooner-

1. Oily Skin Doesn't Need More Hydration
Wrong. I'll be honest I've read so many articles that claim oily skin needs cleansing three times a day, only use products with Salicylic acid, use light/gel moisturisers. Now I'm not saying run out and buy the thickest cream you can find but talking from experience the best thing I ever did for my oily skin was add in hydrating products. Salicylic acid stripped my skin which in return made it more oily, cleansing my skin more than twice a day also stripped my skin which again created more oil. More often than not oily skin is often dehydrated, this may not always be the case but if you feel like you've tried every product aimed at 'oily skin' and haven't had any luck this could be where you're going wrong. Incorporating hydrating masks, facial oils and creamy cleansers has to be one of the best choice I ever made in terms of skincare.

2. Water and Diet Are More Important
Listen ladies (and gents) you can spend a whole load of money on skincare but if your diet is poor, and your daily water intake is non existent you really won't notice a difference. I've always been rather sceptical on the whole water intake stuff, but after religiously drinking two litres daily I must say my skin has improved drastically. Everything just looks clearer, brighter and more radiant so much so that I haven't found the need to wear a base product in weeks. Diet is something I'm still working on, although there are no links between fatty foods and spots I must say my skin always looks a little more congested after a diet of Domino's Pizza and cookies (no shame we've all been there.) Upping the fruit intake and cutting out sugar/greasy foods can make the biggest difference to the skin.

3. Consistency
Skincare and consistency in the same sentence who am I. For years I chopped and changed my skincare I convinced myself that if I used a product or brand for a long time my skin would become used to it and in return the product would become ineffective. What utter crap! I complained so much about never noticing a difference in my skin but truth be told I probably wasn't even giving the products a chance to truly work. Once you find a cleanser, toner and moisturiser that work with your skin stick with it, I did and I must say my skin reaped the rewards. It loves consistency, if your skin is more on the sensitive side this will definitely help too. Changing your serum/treatments still adds a little excitement/something new to try in your skincare. But, I noticed not changing the basics improved my skin so much.

4. Don't Follow the Crowd
My purchases are often swayed by my favourite bloggers. When a product pops up in someones favourites, or reaches HG territory you can't help but get that twitchy feeling to purchase and try. Here's the thing though everyone's skin is different. Before buying that new skincare product that's received a lot of hype ask yourself, does the blogger have a similar skin type to me? Have I tried a product similar before? Have I tried any other skincare recommendations by this blogger? If the blogger doesn't have a similar skin type, save your pennies. If you've tried something similar that hasn't worked, save your pennies. If you haven't tried/liked previous recommendations why try this one? After reading all the hype surrounding the Emma Hardie cleansing balm I convinced myself it was going to be my skincare hero. I read countless reviews from bloggers who had dry skin types (mine isn't) I had tried previous oil/balm textured products that hadn't worked for me yet I still convinced myself to go ahead and purchase (I didn't like it.) Listen to your gut feeling as after all only YOU truly know your skin and what works well.

5. Keep It Simple & Don't Pile On The Products
The less is more approach to skincare is something I've adopted over recent months. I've cut treatments back to once a week and limited the amount of face masks I use (one every two weeks.) My skin has loved this simple approach. I cleanse, tone and moisturise daily but without the added layers my skin seems to be a lot less congested. When you do have breakouts or pigmentation the obvious approach can often be to pile on the products however I've found skipping on the foundation/concealer has done my skin the world of good. Although it will sound cheesy I also feel like my confidence has grown so much. I can skip makeup all together and still feel confident, which is something I've wanted to be able to do for years.

Finding skincare that works for you takes time, effort, research and quite often money. When shopping for skincare always listen to your gut instinct, read countless reviews and remember that expensive isn't always best.

Do you have any skincare tips that you wish you'd known sooner? Have you tried any tips above?

P.S Here is my make up free selfie, by sticking to a routine and following my tips above I've finally reached a point where I'm happy with my skin maintaining it will be the hard part! 


Topic 13: My Summer Bucket List

For Topic 13 of the #2014BloggerChallenge we were asked to put together a summer bucket list, this isn't something I've done before but I quite like the idea of having mini personal goals for over Summer- 

1. Read 10 Books
I love reading, I truly have always been a bookworm at heart. Lately though not so much, I find myself making excuses too tired, no time etc etc but then when I actually sit down with a good book I can read for hours. So this summer I'm stopping with the excuses and getting back into reading. Ten books seems like a realistic goal.

2. Pass Driving Test 
Driving isn't a skill that's come easy to me (my fearful driving instructor would quite happily agree.) Although I've had lessons longer than most people I have to admit for me it's been more of a confidence issue. However my test is booked, I'd love to pass by the end of Summer. Keep your fingers, arms, legs, toes, feet, eyes (basically everything) crossed for me! 

3. Learn a New Skill
So I could say learn Japanese or learn how to contour but lets be realistic they'll both take a lifetime. Over the summer I'd really like to get into D.I.Y, specifically beauty products. I really want to have a go at making my own body butter. 

4. Introduce Some Healthy Snacks
I say I'll do this every year (and fail) but equipped with my new blender I'd love to whip up more smoothies, prepare more fruit salads and get a little creative with some healthy snack alternatives. 

5. Say Yes 
I'm a no person, I'll quite happily agree to something and talk myself out of it all within a split second. Through the summer I want to learn to just say yes more, yes to after work drinks, yes to summer BBQ's/ wedding invites. It'll be a tricky one but something I am keen to try.

6. Get back on my bike 
I write this one half hearted. Last summer time me Vs bike didn't end too well (read I flew off it and almost got hit by a tram, oh and I had swollen face for weeks.) I'm accident prone and a little clumsy anyway but when you add a bike into the equation bad thing's are sure to happen. After nursing many a bruise/cut last summer I finally think I'm ready to get back on my bike and take on those famous Sheffield hills. And what better time with the start of Tour de France -pedal power!

7. Book On a Day Photography Course 
There are tons of discount photography courses I've noticed on Amazon/Groupon in my local area. Outside of the blog I really enjoy photography I would love to develop and learn a little more about my camera.

8. De Clutter 
This one is well over due and although it may seem like a bit of a boring one for the bucket list we all know the saying cluttered room cluttered mind. I really want to clear off my desk space so I can spend more time typing posts there, as my back seems to have gotten severely worse since bloggingor perhaps it's the bag 

9. Go to the zoo 
Such a small thing but I keep saying I want a day at the zoo, and god help me this summer I'll get my day in the zoo. I'll be honest I love the Zoo, I love seeing all the animals. I know I sound five but there's just something about the a day out at the zoo it makes me happy.the small thing's ey. 

10. Enjoy France!
I go on holiday this month (woo) and this year I want to enjoy it to the fullest. No stress (easier said than done.) 

What's on your Summer bucket list? 


Bee Good 2-In-1 Cream Cleanser*

Pardon the pun, but over recent months Bee Good seems to have created quite a buzz within the beauty community. After researching the brand, reading countless reviews I made my Bee Good wish list. I was very fortunate at the beginning of June to be contacted with an opportunity to try the Bee Good cream cleanser* and since then I've very much fallen in love with the brand. I'm a huge supporter of British brands who locally source ingredients for products and have strong ethos. Bee Good seems like a transparent brand, what you see is what you get. This Hampshire based skin care company started in 2008 at the kitchen table of Simon and Caroline (husband & wife.)  With Simon's experience as a beekeeper, and Caroline's interest in honey and beeswax, the brand Bee Good was launched. All of the Bee Good skincare line uses British honey (known for it's antibacterial and moisturising properties.) Propolis (skin protecting/healing properties) and Beeswax (a natural emollient that reduces water loss.) Bee Good are firm believers in ethically sourced ingredients from British Beekeepers and even donate a percentage of all profits to the British Bee keeping Association. As a brand they are pretty much squeaky clean all products contain no parabens, silicones or sysntheic colours. Oh, and no animal testing (whahey!) 

Priced at £11.50 for 100ml, this creamy cleanser won't break the old bank balance, the price point is actually a little cheaper compared to other cream cleansers on the market. The packaging is just beautiful yet simple, with mini Bees and Union Jack flag it's very much a true representation of the brand. The cream cleanser is housed in a squeezy tube, I know the majority of people would probably prefer a pump but I personally prefer a tube. I find this way I can see how much product I have left and can easily reach any last scraps (you can cut the tube and get more uses from it!) 

Having sensitive combination skin that's oily but sometimes very dry I do struggle to find skin care products that truly work for me. Over the years though I've found that cream cleansers work best with my skin type. The Bee Good cream cleanser has slowly become a firm favourite of mine and I just know it will be a staple in my skin care routine for months to come (I like to stick with skincare products that work!) This smells truly divine, this has a similar scent to the Nuxe balm (if you've ever smelled that.) I do find the smell super uplifting on tired mornings. Instructions say to apply this to dry skin, although I've found if my hands/face are a little damp I can work the product in a little better. Massaged in and removed with the muslin cloth (this is included with the product) my skin looks a little brighter and feels thoroughly cleansed. I alternate between muslin cloth and my good old Primark flannels. 

I find that this cleanser is effective at removing any last scraps of makeup, but to remove the main bulk I would recommend using another cleanser/micellar water as I didn't find this removed makeup very well on it's own (especially eye makeup.) I always recommend double cleansing anyway to thoroughly remove makeup so this wasn't a problem for me. After cleansing my skin feels softer and super hydrated. If you have combination/dry skin you'll find this cleanser super moisturising, it manages to be moisturising but doesn't leave any residue on the skin. If your skin is leaning more towards the oily side you may find this cleanser a little too rich, although it may still be worth a try as quite often oily skin is also dehydrated and adding hydrating products can do it the world of good (that's what I discovered!) 

So, yes I think this ones a keeper (bee keeper) I'm already getting a little low and I always know how much I enjoy a product because the worry sets in. I will definitely be buying this cleanser once this one runs out as I've enjoyed using this and my skin seems to love it.

Have you tried any products by Bee Good? I'm thinking of ordering their Cleansing water anyone tried it? 

*PR Sample 
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