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?

 

March Product Empties 2018

Here we are again. It is so satisfying finishing a product. My only problem is that I’ve got so many products on the go at the same time, so it honestly takes forever to actually finish anything.

I’ve found a new favourite brand of cotton pads. It sounds so silly, but it’s true! Boots Double Faced are great, but Glossier Rounds are brilliant. I like them because they are firmer and you can use both sides without them changing shape and falling apart.

I managed to finish 3 hair products this time round. That almost never happens. This winter I felt so determined to so finish some hair products. Each side of my bath is lined with all my products, I’m running out of space. Kerastase Anti-Dandruff Purifying Shampoo and Kerastase Balancing Shampoo are both great if like me you have an oily, sensitive and a dandruff prone scalp. The Anti-Dandruff Purifying Shampoo is great because it has little exfoliating beads which helps to really clean out your scalp. This is followed by the Herbal Essences Silk N’ Shine Conditioner which I run through the ends of my hair.

The one bath/shower product I’ve used up is the Rituals Yogi Flower Foaming Shower Gel. I think I got it free with a code that I found online. Just had to pay for postage. I loved the sweet almond scent so much that I’ve since gone into a Rituals store and bought the bath foam in the same scent.

The one makeup product that I’ve finished is the No7 Lash Impact Waterproof Mascara. This is my current favourite mascara. It’s clump free and separates lashes whilst giving great volume.

Deodorants. I used to be obsessed with Mitchum. The sprays and the gels as well. It was the only brand that I found that actually helped me stay fresh all day long. I still have loads in my cupboard but I’ve actually found a new favourite. It’s the Soft and Gentle 0% Aluminium Dry Deodorant. It doesn’t have any alcohol, aluminium or allergens in it. It’s so gentle on my skin and does not cause any discolouration on my underarms, which occurs when I use deodorants containing aluminium.

I have been painting my nails a lot more recently and what I have found really helpful is having the Boots Moisturising Nail Polish Removing Pads to fix my nails or to remove my polish super quick.

It’s no surprise that most of my empties are skincare products. I have the usual favourites. To start my routine after cleansing, I use my Pixi Glow Tonic as my chemical exfoliator. Then this is followed by my La Roche-Posay Serozinc and Pixi Hydrating Milky Mist.  Every night without fail I will use these mists. Then I use treatments or serums like the Clinique Fresh Pressed Daily Booster followed by my The Body Shop Aloe Eye Defence and then a moisturiser. In the morning I use the Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief and at night, the Lancome Energie De Vie Overnight Recovery Sleeping Mask. Both moisturisers have a water gel consistency which is great for hydrating my dry combination skin.

Hand creams have been a must over winter. Of course I’ve used a few of my favourite La Roche-Posay Lipikar Xerand Hand Repair Creams and a Aveeno Hand Cream too. A few minis have been used up too. I found a few sample sizes of the Clinique Take the Day Off with I love to use to remove my waterproof makeup and also the Clarins Instant Eye Make-Up Remover.

 

Aveeno Hand Cream
Boots Moisturising Nail Polish Removing Pads
Clinique Fresh Pressed Daily Booster with Pure Vitamin C
Clinique Take the Day Off
Clarins Instant Eye Make-Up Remover
Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief
Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye Concentrate Matrix
Herbal Essences Shine N’ Shine Conditioner
Hycosan Extra Eye Drops
Kerastase Specifique Balancing Shampoo
Kerastase Specifique Anti-dandruff Purifying Shampoo
La Roche-Posay Serozinc
La Roche-Posay Lipikar Xerand Hand Repair Cream
Lancome Energie De Vie Overnight Recovery Sleeping Mask
No7 Lash Impact Waterproof Mascara
Pixi Hydrating Milky Mist
Pixi Glow Tonic
Rituals Yogi Flower Foaming Shower Gel
Soft and Gentle 0% Aluminium Dry Deodorant in Active

Best of Beauty – 2017

I thought I would share with you my best of beauty picks from 2017. Some old favourites and some brand new discoveries that have now found a place in my everyday routine.

Lets start with makeup. The best primer that I wore almost every day is the Becca First Light Priming Filter. It gives a wonderful lit from within look and smooths everything over giving you the perfect base for your foundation. My two favourite foundations of 2017 are actually both from Lancome. First up is the Lancome Miracle Cushion Foundation in 01 Pure Porcelaine. It’s perfect for when you are short of time in the morning but still need to apply a quick base before you head out. It has a light to medium coverage and is very easy to build. I also loved using Lancome’s Teint Idole Ultra Wear in 010 Beige Porcelaine. This is a great long lasting foundation medium coverage foundation and will not budge all day.

Next up is eye makeup favourites. First is an eyeshadow palette from Dior. It’s the Eye Reviver Backstage Pros Palette. its perfect for creating a everyday nude look. These creamy shadows have great pigmentation and are so easy to blend. In 2017 I have discovered some products that have managed to beat my oily lids. First up is the Lancome Artliner eyeliner. It creates very precise lines with it’s soft foam tip, dries quickly and is also easy to remove. Artliner is the only eyeliner that I have found that once applied, it will not budge. I cannot wear any pencils or gels because they end up smeared across my lids seconds after being applied. I also have the same issue with mascara. In 2017 I have gone through several tubes of No7 Lash Impact Waterproof Mascara. I can wear this all day without it smudging. The clump free formula separates and defines lashes for maximum impact.

2017 hasn’t really been a blush kind of year for me, but I have been using lots of different bronzers and highlighters. My favourite was the Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Glow Face Sculpt & Highlight palette. The sculpt shade is the perfect mid toned brown and the highlight is very subtle. Put them together and it creates the most healthy looking glow.

Brow products are tricky to get right. Finding the perfect shade that compliments your face without looking like slugs on top of your eyes is hard. My favourite has been the Fleur De Force by Eyelure Brow Palette. It creates the most natural look with the two shades and the powder gives you control over where you want to define.

Next is skincare. My favourite make up remover has been the La Roche-Posay Micellar Water Gel. I love micellar waters, but the gel version is even better. It leaves the skin feeling clean and fresh. I usually follow this with Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser. The combination of eucalyptus and rosemary leaves your skin feeling refreshed and squeaky clean. If I am wearing a bit more make up, I will use Pixi + Caroline Hirons Double Cleanse. The solid cleansing oil will melt your makeup away. I love it. Then the cleansing cream, will remove anything that is left on your face.

My favourite serum has been the Kiehls Hydro-Plumping Re-Texturizing Serum Concentrate. I have been on the hunt for any product that will add moisture to my skin. This product does just that.  This is then followed by Lancome’s Energie De Vie Nuit Overnight Recovery Sleeping Mask. The gel texture smoothes and hydrates dull and tired looking skin.

The one fragrance that I constantly found myself going back to was Miss Dior Blooming Bouquet. It is both fruity sweet notes of orange with a touch of floral rose and peony.

These are just a few of my top beauty picks of 2017. I can’t wait to try some of the new exciting releases that are coming out soon in 2018.

November Product Empties No.4

It’s that time again where I share with you all the products that i’ve used up over the past couple of months. The bag that I have in the corner of my room has been slowly filling up with my essentials. Mainly skincare. Again I’ve probably used about 700 cotton wool pads and they definitely have to be the Boots Double Faced Round Pads. I know it’s only cotton wool, but trust me these are the best. They don’t fall apart regardless of which side you’re using.

It takes me a while to get through make up products because I chop and change what I use so often that it takes a while to even make a dent in them. But the one thing I hardly ever change are my primers. The Becca Backlight Priming Filter is my current favourite. It provides the perfect base for foundation leaving a little glow and blurring effect on any imperfections. I also never wear eyeshadow without applying some Clinique Touch Base for Eyes, in Canvas. It is the only product that combats my oily lids.

I’ve been trying a few different eye makeup removers recently. I used to just use a normal micellar water, however it just wasn’t cutting it with my mascara and liner. I have been loving the Clinique Take the Day Off makeup remover at the moment. It works wonders at removing waterproof products. A good dupe for this is the Garnier Express 2in1 Eye Make-up Remover. This takes a little longer to break down product, but for the price it is worth it. I probably wouldn’t repurchase the Lancome Bi-Facil remover because the Clinique version works quicker. At the moment my obsession with micellar water has been put on pause and micellar gel has taken over. Currently I have been using the La Roche-Posay Rosaliac Micellar Make-Up Removal Gel.

My usual skincare favourites appear once again. I can never get enough of my mists. La Roche-Posay’s Serozinc keeps spots at bay and Pixi’s Hydrating Milky Mist adds the hydration. La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo will always have a prime spot in my routine because it’s the only moisturiser I have found that helps to correct the appearance of imperfections left behind from my breakouts.

My favourite hand cream at the moment is the La Roche Posay Lipikar Xerand Hand Repair Cream. It has the perfect balance of being moisturising and creating a non greasy barrier to treat my very dry and irritated hands. For my face I have been using Vitamin C treatments to give my skin a bit of a perk up during the cold winter months. The Clinique Fresh Pressed Daily Booster and the No7 Youthful Vitamin C Fresh Radiance Essence have been great at getting my glow back. Click here for a full product review. The one area of my face that is constantly dry is around my nose. Foundation really doesn’t sit well and there is only so much scrubbing you can do before you make it worse. I currently use Clinique Moisture Surge Melting Mask Balm. I use it at night as a intensive treatment just on any dry patches for added nourishment.

List of Products

Becca Backlight Priming Filter
Clinique Fresh Pressed Daily Booster
Clinique Moisture Surge Melting Mask Balm
Clinique Take the Day Off Make Up Remover
Clinique Touch Base for Eyes
Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye Mask
Garnier SkinActive Express 2in1 Eye Make-up Remover
Korres Bergamot Pear Shower Gel
Lancome Bi-Facil Instant Cleanser
Lancome Teint Idole Ultra Wear Foundation (Sample)
La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo
La Roche-Posay Rosaliac Micellar Make-up Removal Gel
La Roche-Posay Serozinc
La Roche-Posay Lipikar Xerand Hand Repair Cream
Loreal Elvive Extraordinary Clay Anti-Dandruff Conditioner
Mitchum Pure Fresh Anti-Perspirant Deodorant
No7 Youthful Vitamin C Fresh Radiance Essence
Pixi Hydrating Milky Mist

May Product Empties No.3

It is very rare that I finish a make up product. I wore Chanel Les Beiges foundation pretty much every day. The healthy glow foundation gives a light to medium coverage and is very easy to build. Then I use the classic Rimmel Stay Matte Powder in translucent  to control shine across my forehead and nose.

I love micellar waters. I’m always up for trying new ones to see how they compare to my current favourites, Bioderma Sensibio H20 and Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water. The past couple of months I’ve been testing out the Lancome version.  I like the pump bottle for ease of use, however I still prefer Bioderma. It leaves a tacky sort of feeling behind on the skin which is a little uncomfortable if I don’t follow the product up with a second cleanse or a toner. I’ve also got through several hundred cotton pads. My favourite are the Boots Double Faced Round Pads.

Skincare empties includes some of my favourite products. Another La Roche-Posay Serozinc Mist, a must in preventing those pesky blemishes, Pixi by Petra Hydrating Milky Mist, a great mist that provides an added layer of moisture before using my La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo to improve the appearance of any imperfections. Lush Mint Julips Lip Scrub has been essential to combat my dry flaky lips.

It has honestly taken me years to finish my big bottle of Soap and Glory Sugar Crush Body Wash. I’ve also found a great combination of products for my bath. A Lush bath bomb and a scoop of Zoella Scooper Dooper to create beautiful bubbles.

List of Products

Aveeno Skin Relief Moisturising Lotion
Bioderma Sensibio H20 Make-up Removing Micelle Solution
Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Foundation
Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye Mask
Hycosan Extra Eye Drops
Lancome Eau Micellaire Douceur
Lancome Energie De Vie The Smoothing & Glow Boosting Liquid Care
Lush Mint Julips Lip Scrub
La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo
La Roche-Posay Serozinc
Loreal Elvive Extraordinary Oil
Loreal Elvive Extraordinary Clay Anti-Dandruff Shampoo
Mitchum Pure Fresh Anti-Perspirant Deodorant
Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask
OGX Tea Tree and Mint Shampoo
Pixi by Petra Hydrating Milky Mist
Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder
Soap and Glory Sugar Crush Body Wash
The Body Shop Pear & Lemongrass Shower Gel
The Body Shop Seaweed Clarifying Toner
Zoella Scooper Dooper Foaming Bath Soak

 

November Product Empties #2

It’s time to share some of the products I have used up over the past few months.

I managed to go through several bottles of micellar water. I use the Garnier products on a daily basis to remove my makeup before doing my second cleanse. I prefer the original formulation of the Garnier micellar water compared to the combination skin version. I just feel that it takes off product easier. My absolute favourite is the Bioderma Sensibio H20, however I like to use this on special treat days because it is slightly more expensive than the rest.

Over the summer, the fragrance I wore on a daily basis was Chanel Chance eau Tendre. I finished up one of the 20ml refills. I decided to buy the twist and spray travel bottle so that I could carry it around all the time and it was better value for money compared to the 50ml or 100ml bottles.

My all time favourite products from La Roche-Posay are Serozinc and Effaclar Duo, the combination of the two products have really helped with reducing the redness and blemishes on my skin.

My go to loose powder foundation is from No7. It comes in the one shade, New Ivory and it suits my skin quite well. On days where I don’t have enough time or my skin is just not behaving, I like to dust a light layer of this powder foundation on for a very natural look.

I have always struggled to keep my eyeshadows in place and the only product I have found to do that is Clinique’s Touch Base for Eyes. It has quite a creamy consistency and helps my eyeshadow last all day long without melting away.

 

Full List:

Aveeno Skin Relief Moisturising Lotion
Boots Clean Off Nail Polish Remover
Bioderma Sensibio H20 Micelle Solution
Charles Worthington Moisture Seal Mineral Hair Rescue Masque
Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief
Clinique Touch Base for Eyes in 26 Canvas Light
Chanel Chance eau Tendre Eau de Toilette Refill
Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water for Sensitive Skin
Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water for Combination & Sensitive Skin
Garnier Moisture Match Mattifying Fresh Cream
Janjira Thai Lime & Ginger Shower Scrub
Korres Santorini Vine Shower Gel
La Roche-Posay Serozinc
La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo
L’Oreal Skin Perfection Micellar Water
Mitchum Pure Fresh Anti-Perspirant Deodorant
No7 Mineral Perfection Loose Powder Foundation in New Ivory
Toni&Guy Nourish Conditioner for Normal Hair
The Body Shop Aloe Lip Care
The Body Shop Glazed Apple Body Butter

Spring Beauty Haul

I have far too many products that have remained untouched in my cupboard, but I did find myself picking up a few more items over the past month.

My skin is prone to redness, especially on the cheeks, and the Rosaliac range from La Roche-Posay seemed to be a solution to the problem. First impressions of the Rosaliac UV Light Anti-Redness Moisturiser are pretty good. The redness has reduced ever so slightly, so I will be continuing to use this every morning to see if it makes a big difference to my skin. The Rosaliac Make-Up Remover Gel is absolutely brilliant! This was my first gel cleanser that I’ve tried, and I think that it removes make-up much quicker and easier than any micellar water I use. It’s very soothing on the skin and a few pumps of the product on a cotton pad goes a long way. The product is safe to use on the eyes, however I still prefer to use a micellar solution on them simply because I find that it is a bit too thick.

I decided to get a Birchbox this month. I don’t normally keep this monthly subscription going because I just don’t have the space or the cash for more products. The one thing that promoted me to get the box again was that in an email I had read, it had said that if I signed up again, I would receive three complimentary Benefit samples, so I thought, why not?! (They definitely know how to draw you back in). I have tried the It’s Potent! Eye Cream before and it did well at brightening my eyes, but I have never tried the Total Moisture Facial Cream or the Instant Comeback Facial Serum before.

The box came with a Benefit They’re Real! Mascara, Lord & Berry Silk Kajal Kohl-Liner, Janjira Thai Lime & Ginger Shower Scrub, Philip Kingsley Elasticizer, Catherine Malandrino EDP, Habitat Here’s the Plan Notebook and a chapter sampler of A Perfect Heritage by Penny Vincenzi. The one sample that stands out from all the rest is the Catherine Malandrino fragrance. It is definitely one of the more fruity fragrances that I own and I love it. It’s not like I need another perfume, but I am actually considering buying the full-sized version, but Birchbox seems to be the only retailer that is stocking it in the UK at the moment and the product is out of stock.

In March, Clinique had a promotion on in Boots where you would get the free Bonus Time gift with a purchase of any 2 products, one of which being skincare. I bought the Super City Block SPF40 oil-free daily face protector and Superbalanced Makeup foundation in the shade 05 Vanilla after completing the online foundation match service on the Clinique website and getting recommendations from friends. The only item I have tried so far from the gift set is the Chubby Stick shadow tint for eyes in 09 lavish lilac and I have to say that it is a very convenient way to apply eyeshadow. I’ve never really bought into the whole eyeshadow stick hype but this one is long-lasting and doesn’t crease.

The Avene Thermal Spring Water is a mist is designed to soothe the skin. I generally use the product in my daily morning and evening skincare routine just to refresh my skin.

There was also a quick stop off at Lush to pick up a few bath ballistics, bubble bars and bath bombs. I’m particularly intrigued to find out how reusable the bunch of carrots actually are.