Wednesday, 13 December 2017

BEAUTY: SKINCARE I'VE TRIED FROM THE ORDINARY


Often, i'm really late on the bandwagon, whatever the zeitgeist is, i'm late in getting the memo. This was the case when skincare brand, The Ordinary started doing the rounds. Parented by skincare giant, Deciem - The Ordinary is built on honesty and integrity with sensible pricing strategies - whats more, The Ordinary don't test on animals and their products are free of parabens, sulphates and mineral oils along with a number of other nasty chemicals which you can read about on their 'About' page. If you're interested in the brand, I also really recommend checking out Caroline Hirons' post which features a candid and informative interview with Brandon Truaxe, the founder of Deciem and The Ordinary.

 I really like this brand and what they stand for.

Having been lured by the back-to-basics ethos and science experiment packaging, I headed to The Ordinary's website to take a look at which products might be most suited to my skin. Now, I must say the names of the products are quite scientific so I had to do a lot of reading on the site and other beauty blogs to work out exactly what I needed. There's a whole library of other products that I would probably work really well for me and want to try, I am just not quite sure yet, what they do! 

The best part about the brand though, is the price! It's so so so affordable - so don't worry if you can't afford high end skincare, The Ordinary is your saviour to get quality products without breaking the bank. Both products here cost under £15! Although all products are individually priced, you can bag yourself 15ml for around the £3.90 mark and 30ml for around the £4.20 mark! CRAZY! 


The first product that went into my basket was the Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12%  - yeah I don't know what that means either. But this website helped me decide that it was one for me to try. This product falls under the 'Vitamin C' family and is great for people like myself trying out Vitamin C products for the first time. Vitamin C products are brilliant for brightening dull skin and minimising any discolouration. This water-based solution glides onto the skin beautifully and can be used on all skin types. I use mine in the evening before applying my night cream. I've certainly noticed that my skin looks so radiant and bright - a particularly good one for the day after a few glasses of red.

My skin is fairly normal at the moment however, when the time of the month hits my skin tends to break out in one or two blemishes. Because of this, I headed to the 'Direct Acids' section of The Ordinary's site and chose the Salicylic Acid 2% Solution. This product contains that fantastic ingredient, Witch Hazel and helps exfoliate the inside walls of your pores to fight blemishes for better skin clarity. I mainly use this on problematic blemishes as opposed to all over my face.

It's worth mentioning that you should not use these two products together, instead separate them as one for AM, and one for PM or, just use one or the other!

I've got a long way to go swotting up on how best to combine and use The Ordinary skincare - but i'll be sure to keep you posted. For now though, I am seriously impressed by the range!



* Post contains gifted items



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Wednesday, 6 December 2017

BEAUTY: GIVING MORE GLOSSIER PRODUCTS A WHIRL


I recently talked about my first dabble with Glossier. And whilst I love the concept - skin first, makeup second, the minimalistic branding and natural, company ethos, I couldn't help but feel a little underwhelmed by the product selection that I initially tried. 


This was mainly due to the size of the products against the cost

I knew that I wanted to try more from the range and I had a particular interest in the skincare side of the brand. Luckily for me, the birthday fairy dropped off some pretty pink zip pouches last week and I was able to try more from the highly coveted Glossier brand. It really is a breath of fresh air away from the full coverage, high contour looks we see adorning our Instagram feeds.


I was lucky enough to be treated to the Glossier Phase 1 Set which includes the famed, Milky Jelly Cleanser, Balm Dot Com and the Priming Moisturiser. I have to say, I like this package a lot and I feel each of the products in this set warrants the £35 price tag.

The Milky Jelly Cleanser is really nice to use, though I must add that this is one for when your face is a little fresher and not caked in layers upon layers of eyeliner and a heavy contour, as the muscle power at removing stubborn makeup simply isn't there. It is however a lovely, creamy gel formula that doesn't leave your face feeling tight or stripped and leaves your skin looking and feeling dewy, plump and clean.

At the moment I am a sucker for primers and rich moisturisers, in fact, my acrylic drawers (which house my hero products) are filled with 80% primers and 10% moisturisers. The Priming Moisturiser is my favourite Glossier product that i've tried so far. Containing Hyaluronic Acid and a soothing mix of tea and honey extracts, you get that sassy plumped, hydrated feeling once the formula has been applied to the skin. I use this in the morning before applying my makeup, but is is rich enough to use at night.
In my birthday bundle, I also received the Mega Greens Galaxy Pack.  Glossier describe this as a 'juice cleanse' for your face and it really is. I use this mask once a week when i'm having a soak in the bath - it is especially required after a busy week and a lot of stress. I'm currently in the process of getting ready to move house and I am SHOT. The mask contains kaolin clay to draw out impurities whilst feeding the skin with vitamins, fruits and leafy greens. I love that this mask doesn't dry super hard and horrible, it's not a pain to remove and leaves you face looking like you hit reset!

And finally, the Stretch Concealer. I've heard A LOT about this little pot of goodness and I was very interested to see how it fared against tried and tested classics such as 'Lasting Perfection Concealer.' Yeah - I love it. Taking a nod from this article 'The Frenchest Things You Can Wear' the Franco-phile in me discovered that French beauties only use a dot of concealer for their base. Now, I couldn't go this minimal, BUT I love to dot the creamy Stretch concealer over any redness and imperfections before giving my face a dusting of the original Bare Minerals foundation.  This concealer is entirely build-able and can be blotted with powder to give a more matte effect.



* Post contains gifted items
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Thursday, 30 November 2017

MONTHLY BEAUTY + LIFESTYLE FAVOURITES: NOVEMBER 2017


Life. TV. Music + More...

November 29th marked my 24th birthday and it really is starting to dawn on me that I haven't actually been 'messing about' for a while now. I have an interesting and varied job, Adam and I are waiting for the keys to our new house and I always remember to use SPF. Lol. Who am I kidding? 10 years ago, I thought i'd be married with 3 kids and a cat by now. Maybe in another decade eh?

Listening to: I have a reasonable commute to work and so this makes for the perfect time to enjoy devouring my podcast list. Every week I get super giddy for the latest instalment of 'Femme' by Daisy Lowe.  I really appreciate the way Daisy conducts and produces her podcast. My favourite episode this month has to be the interview with her mum, Pearl Lowe. I love Pearl's voice - is that weird? I love her style and i've read her book 'All that glitters' - I found it so frustrating as Lowe outlines, warts and all, her tempestuous battle with Heroin addiction - however, I am glad to hear in the podcast she is something like, 12 years sober! If you want a different guest to listen to, give Mel C's episode a whirl, Mel had me adding 'Never be the same again' to my Autumn playlist and revisiting my favourite Spice Girl songs.

In other podcast recommendations, try Sara Tasker's offering: 'Hashtag Authentic' I recently listened to the episode with writer, Laura Jane Williams. I don't normally really resonate with Laura however, she did share some valuable nuggets of wisdom in her episode that had me nodding along. Yes, I found her a bit OTT, but I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed her episode. Definitely, check out other episodes in Sara's catalogue, they're must listens for any creative soul.

Watching: If like me, you also find Grace Coddington to be not only an enigma, but also a legend then watch this video she did for British Vogue. You'll see Grace wandering through a leafy, British setting bathed in Autumn light. In a candid discussion with Michael Roberts, he and Grace talk about everything from couture to her vivid orange hair.

I also LOVED Charlotte Tilbury's live stream with the Pixiwoo sisters. I have long since admired Sam and Nic and I find Charlotte Tilbury such a hurricane of energry that I could only long to exhume myself - what a sales woman too! Anyway, Charlotte did Sam and Nic's makeup whilst in conversation and you can catch it here.

If you have Netflix, give the Joan Didion documentary 'The centre will not hold' a watch, particularly if you are interested in her work. The Guardian sums it up better than I could: "The documentary is arranged around Didion’s best-known writing. There are segments devoted to her reporting from the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco in the late 1960s, as well as Didion’s political journalism from the 90s, her essay on the Central Park Five, the screenplay Panic in Needle Park, and her later autobiographical works."

Reading: I know, i'm sorry but what kind of favourites round-up would it be without an ode to Sali Hughes? It's coming up to a year since I met her at a book signing and I still think she's fabulous. Sali recently wrote for The Pool discussing how clothes evoke memories. I particularly loved the part where Sali shares that yeah, it's okay to keep things and no you don't HAVE to throw things away, especially if they mean a lot to you - just don't have them out. You can revisit them in their box at a later date and feel all the feels associated with them all over again.

A mention of the Daily Mail here, sorry. I really, really enjoyed their nostalgic examination of popular fragrances through the decades. I am a perfume hoarder and I love knowing what was popular for Christmas gifting at a particular period in time. If you love fragrance, I recommend giving it a read, if for no other reason than to pour over the perfume bottle porn alone!


Writing: I've had my pen and paper out again this month. Having seen a tweet that Lily Pebbles shared about the term 'Influencer' it inspired me to investigate why: 'The term influencer has become a dirty word' - For my sins, I have a content and influencer marketing manager by day and of course, I muse on this very blog by night. As I see both sides of the coin, it's very interesting to think about the needs of both the 'influencer' and the brand you represent. And if you've read it already, thankyou! And finally, if you want to have a nosey at a piece my boyfriend, Adam wrote about transitioning from a designer to a business owner, he has shared his thoughts in this very honest piece.

Beauty products I've been coveting in the month of November...



Eyes: It's not very often that I stumble across a large palette of eye shadows that caters to every colour I love to wear / experiment with, is excellent in formula/pigmentation and doesn't cost the earth. Well, that's what you get when you're not paying for a big brand name. Step forward the City Eyes palette from Miss G Couture. I mentioned it a while ago in its own, dedicated post and since then I have almost run the burnt orange shades down to pan. Such buttery, opaque shades that last all day long on the lids.


This month, I also dabbled with Natural Collection cosmetics again. They seriously are underrated in this weird place called the Bloggersphere. Super cheap, we're talking under £3 here, great quality and easily replaceable. I have recently been using the 'Definition' mascara which features a long, bristley brush for amping up volume and definition. My only qualm? The formula is a little runny and wet for the first few applications. I unscrewed the lid a little to let some air get to the formula and since then, it's been stella.


BrowsI know what you're thinking. I moaned about the 'Boy Brow' brow mascara from Glossier and for seriously questioning the size of the product against the cost, I have no regrets. It is however, a lovely product that can be called upon for effortless, groomed and no fuss brows. I use a brow pencil from HD brows to fill in any sparse areas, before stroking the Boy Brow wand up and through the hairs to thicken them out and set them in place.

Skin: Clarins are one of the most trustworthy beauty brands around, in my opinion. Their Beauty Flash Balm is certainly a firm favourite amongst many people. I use it everyday to give my just-woken-up-skin a boost and to create the perfect canvas for applying my make-up. If you're looking for a priming, moisturising hybrid that will give dull skin a new lease of life (especially after a few Aperol Spritz') - give it a go.


Lips: My lips have really taken a beating this Autumn, in-particular the corners of my mouth. Super cracked and sore. Whilst this doesn't look very nice at the best of times, it certainly doesn't look very nice when sporting one of my signature bold lip looks. I've been using the Glossier 'Birthday Balm' which is an oil based salve that smells so distinctly of birthday cake! It's really nice too, super moisturising and gives a new lease of life to dry lips. I'd quite like to give the tinted, red version a whirl too! 


* Post contains gifted items


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