What I Got For My Birthday!

21 is a big number isn’t it? Well its the last ‘big’ one people take notice of till you’re 30. I thought I would share what I got for my 21st birthday. I love reading posts and watching videos like this, so I thought I would give it a go.

I was very lucky this year and family and friends were extra generous with their gifts. I was given a few pieces of jewellery this year. I’ve only just got my ears pierced very recently, so I haven’t really changed my earrings very often. So I was so excited receive a pair of Green Quartz Earrings from Sarah Hickey from a friend. I probably wouldn’t have picked these out myself because I haven’t worn anything but my small silver stud Swarovski crystal earrings. Time for a change!

I also got a ‘J’ necklace made by a brand called Silver Origins based in Cornwall.

Two of my Aunties pooled together to get me a very special White Gold Diamond Cluster Necklace. I was so surprised when I was handed this. I really wasn’t expecting something so special.

Of course to fulfil my beauty junkie needs, I asked for a few bits on my birthday list. I was running very low of my favourite serum, the Kiehl’s Hydro-Pluming Re-Texturizing Serum Concentrate so asked for a cheeky bottle. The other day I saw a post on Instagram that said that the Urban Decay Naked palette is being discontinued. This reminded me of the fact that I really don’t have any palettes where all the colours are totally wearable. Then I remembered I swatched the Naked 3 Palette and really liked it, so asked for one.

I also got the limited edition Jo Malone Tropical Cherimoya Cologne. Normally it takes me a very long time to choose a fragrance I like. However this particular one is so up my street with it’s warm fruity scent.

My sister asked me what I wanted two days before my birthday and I was completely stumped with what to suggest. Then I mentioned that I’ve been getting back into baking recently baking lots of cakes and macarons and re-watching lots of old seasons of The Great British Bake Off, so then I realised I need more tools, so asked for a thermometer, piping bags and also baking mats.

I also wanted a small card holder and purse for when I can’t carry my great big purse around. I got the Floral Saffiano-effect wallet and matching purse from Mango.

Blemishes – Do you have them?

Blemishes, spots, marks, I think we all get them. To be honest, there is probably no escape. Whether it’s a teenage breakout, an allergic reaction, a hormonal imbalance or even food related reaction, something is bound to pop up.

As a teenager, I have to say that I wasn’t plagued with spots constantly. I would call it mild acne. Every so often I would get a breakout, it would then die down but the marks post breakout would linger, for what felt like months.

To treat my spots I used to use both Benzoyl Peroxide and Niacinamide. I would swap these every so often because they were quite harsh treatments. It would often sting when I applied them to my spots. What didn’t help was that I was obsessed with using The Body Shop Tea Tree Toner to combat my oily blemish prone skin. I used it daily but it was also a product that stung my skin. I made the mistake of using it daily which probably made my skin worse. It was far too stripping and caused my skin create even more oil, and so the vicious cycle of spots began again.

These days my skin is a lot clearer. I only ever get hormonal breakouts every so often. I have actually not used much product to treat them. I just use a flannel, run it under hot water, pop it on the spots to open up the pores, then do the same but with cold water. This has been pretty much the only thing I’ve used for years now, until this month haha!

I had a massive breakout this month. I only usually get them on my forehead and around my nose. This time it was on my chin and cheeks which never ever happens. I haven’t even worked out what caused it. The tea tree toner came back out of my cabinet, this time used sparingly, and thus became the hunt for something to get rid of my outbreak.

I stripped back my whole skincare routine to find out it if it was a new product causing the spots to appear. I stopped using AHA toners daily and that seemed to make the biggest difference. Also La Roche-Posay’s Effaclar Duo+ really helped calm my skin down and of course I used La Roche-Posay’s Serozinc as my toner twice daily so soothe my skin.

Neutrogena’s Visibly Clear Light Therapy Targeted Acne Spot Treatment pen has been out since December, but I hadn’t taken much notice of it seeing as I didn’t have a big issue with spots at the time. It had recently featured by a lot of Youtubers and bloggers that I follow, so I decided to buy one to see what all the hype was about. I found that it reduced the size of spots, or even help them disappear altogether. The UV and chemical free pen produces 2 coloured lights.The blue light targets acne-causing bacteria and the red light reduces inflammation. The pen is perfect for occasional breakouts and the mask is for more regular treatments for multiple breakouts.

The trick is to catch them at the right time, just as you can feel them coming up to the surface of your skin and to also use the pen three times a day. The only downside to this particular product is that it is a little time consuming, You are required to hold the pen to each spot for 2 minutes. In the mornings, sometimes I just don’t have the time to treat a few spots.

For when I don’t have time to use the pen I either use The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Solution or the Kiehl’s Breakout Control Targeted Blemish Spot Treatment to dry out and reduce the appearance of the blemishes.

I’ve actually had trouble with finding products that help with marks post breakout. Introducing AHAs and BHAs back into my skincare routine has helped, my favourite at the moment being VIchy’s Idelia Peeling Care. It is very important that you remember to use sun protection when using any acid based products and retinols. They can increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun. I usually use either the Keihl’s Ultra Light Daily UV Defense or any of the La Roche-Posay Anthelios range.

I also picked up the Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution after watching reviews of the product and it actually works wonders on any marks. I’ve been using it for a week and I can definitely notice a reduction in dark marks on my skin. When my skin is spot free I also sometimes use a low concentration retinol to help improve the appearance of dark spots and as a preventative anti-ageing measure. I use The Ordinary Retinol 0.2% in Squalane.

My skin has been a lot clearer and brighter now that I have found the perfect combination of products to deal with those pesky blemishes. What do you use when you get a breakout?

 

Christmas Shopping Haul

I’m one of those people who gets their Christmas shopping done very early. I’m talking October. That’s when I start organising myself and thinking about what I am going to buy for my family and friends. I don’t get very much time off work over the festive season so I like to get things sorted and wrapped up ready under the Christmas tree.

This has meant that I’ve also had a lot of time to also spend buying treats for myself. Haha! It’s been ages since I have bought a new fragrance, maybe a year in fact. In the Black Friday sales I bought Dior Addict Eau Fraiche and YSL Mon Paris. I’ve been eyeing up these two fruity fragrances for months and months. Addict for about 2 years and Mon Paris since it’s release last year.

I have finally got my hands on the limited edition Christmas Cleanse and Polish in Sweet Orange and Mint from Liz Earle. Every year I remember it’s back, but by the time it happens it’s already sold out. Also got myself a couple of beauty bits, two Clarins Instant Light Lip Comfort Oils in Mint and Candy, Mac Eyeshadow in Satin Taupe and the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Volume 3. Also picked up a bottle of Amino Acid Shampoo from Kiehl’s and a Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm.

It’s not Christmas without making a trip to Lush and selecting loads of bath bombs to enjoy on a cold winters evening. Every year I stock up on So White, the perfect apple scented bath bomb, but this year it was no where to be seen in store. Luckily I have still have a couple saved from last year, but thank goodness I later found it online and not discontinued it altogether.

I think it’s safe to say that I have spent a fair amount over the past month or so, but it’s Christmas!