Saturday, 24 September 2016

The Product Saving My Sore, Dry Lips

I had never suffered with overly dry lips before last month. Then things started to change, and I thought it was because I'd been using lip liners nearly every day for the last few months, despite always using a lip balm before bed and applying any lip colour. I started increasing the amount I was using my trusty Blistex Intensive Moisturiser, but even that wasn't doing much. The skin around my lips also started to become sore and dry, and I tried multiple products, but they only helped a little. I even tried the cream version of the product below, but the texture isn't suitable for lips, and it's not as long lasting. So, about a week ago, I began applying Epaderm ointment to them at night, and once or twice during the day, and they're back to normal.

Epaderm ointment is an emollient for eczema, psoriasis, and other dry skin conditions. It's fragrance, colour, and SLS free, and can be applied anywhere to the body. The smallest tub is 125g/£6.89, so if you're only applying it to small areas, it's going to last a long, long time. I've scooped some out and put it in a little pot to make it more convenient to use/travel with.

If you suffer from dry, chapped lips, I'd recommend giving this a try. And if you've suffered with these symptoms in the past, I'd love to know what you've used to help them.

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Changing The Colour and Finish Of My Foundation

My two main concerns when buying a foundation have always been the colour and finish it provides. How it would wear, and for how long, would come after. However, that's changed in recent months. As long as the formula of the foundation is good, I don't mind if it's a shade too dark, or not as luminous as I'd like. This is because I now have products to help with these.

NYX has just brought out these Pro Foundation Mixers (£7.50), and they actually have less expensive dupes of the next two products, but these weren't available when I was in need of them. The Pro Foundation Mixer I have is in Luminous, which is a pale champagne shade with teeny tiny gold shimmer particles. Once mixed in with your foundation and blended out, you're left with, as the name suggests, a luminous finish.

I've been using the Soap & Glory Hocus Focus Illuminator (£11) in my foundation for a couple months now, and it's very similar to the Opal shade of the NYX Pro Foundation Mixer. It has that pearly finish, which gives you a more natural glow.

I've raved and raved about The Body Shop Shade Adjusting Lightening Drops (£10), and because there wasn't anything like them on the cheaper end of the market, I bought an extra bottle. I didn't need to because NYX now has its own version with double the amount of product in, but it doesn't take away from what this product does. Not only do I use this to lighten any foundations that are slightly too dark for me, but I'll add a drop when concealing around my eyes, just to brighten the area.

Not only am I now able to get the exact shade and finish I want, it makes my foundations go further. If there's any illuminators you swear by, let me know. I've just bought the Gleam shade by NYX, but I'm looking for some other warm/golden ones!

Sunday, 7 August 2016

Finishing Products and Hitting Pan

(This little blog turned seven this week! *celebratory dance*)

I try to not include products I've finished before in these types of posts, but it gets harder the more you find things you absolutely love and don't wish to change. Still, I've managed to do it this time... I think.

I've spoken about the Garnier Ultimate Blends Strength Restorer shampoo and conditioner before, which I really like, but I think I may prefer the Sleek Restorer ones. Like the name suggests, they leave your hair sleek and super soft, and unlike the Tresemme Platinum Strength ones, I can continually use these without my hair becoming weighed down.

I think this may be the first foundation I've fully finished. It's the L'Oreal Infallible 24H Foundation in Porcelain. I haven't used this on a regular basis for a while actually, but I remember liking it. It was full coverage, didn't look cakey or cling to places it shouldn't, and the biggest plus was how pale it was. I use The Body Shop Shade Adjusting Lightening Drops to alter the shades of my foundations now, so the colour isn't too important, but back when I didn't have them, this was my go-to shade.

Soap & Glory Sugar Crush Hand Food is one of the best hand creams I've used, along with the L'Occitane ones. It just seems to have a lasting effect, whereas others, although I still like them, are quickly forgotten by my skin. The Sugar Crush scent is my favourite as well, and I'm so glad you can now buy it individually.

I don't know how I didn't wear lip liner up until a few months ago. It makes such a difference. The Rimmel Exaggerate Lip Liner in Addiction is the first one I've finished, and have already bought another because it's a staple. It's a nude pink, leaning more towards nude, and it's the kind of colour I've been wearing a lot recently. It's creamy, pigmented, lasts all day, doesn't need sharpening, and is just £3.99.

I can't believe I've finished a serum, but I have. The Garnier Ultimate Blends Strength Restorer Serum was a joy to use. It smelt good, and it made my hair more sleek and soft, without ever looking greasy.

I didn't need any more shower gel, but how could I resist the I Love... Mango Cheesecake one? Mango cheesecake! It smelt delicious, and was only £2.99 for 500ml.

I haven't finished these next products, but hitting pan is a big accomplishment. I actually took the photo above a couple weeks ago, so the NYX HD Blush in Taupe is on its last legs, and I have another waiting to go. It's a great contour shade for pale skinned girls, and I prefer the new formula.

I bought Illamasqua's Cream Blusher in Zygomatic during one of their sales for £5-6 instead of £22, and oh man, it's my favourite blush. It's a nude pink, and one you can't go wrong with. I think I even love it more than NYX's Cream Blush in Natural, which was my favourite for years.

I have far too many eyebrow products, but I've only been using Freedom's Pro Brow Pomade in Soft Brown for the last couple of months. It's practically the same as the Anastasia Beverly Hills one, but £5 instead of £15.

Let me know if you've tried any of these products. I'm interested to know your thoughts on them!

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

I Need To Stop Buying Lip Products

Honestly. You know those storage holders which fit 24 lipsticks in? I have three of those just for the shades I can't bear to put away, and I've just had to order a fourth. Three said 'wow, you have a lot of lip products', whereas four says 'you may have a problem'. Butttt, there’s so many shades, so many finishes, so many formulas. I never used to wear nudes or lip liners, so the last few months have seen me exploring those areas, opening up so many more buying opportunities. The ones in this post kind of reflect that.

I wouldn’t have bought the Rimmel lipsticks if there wasn’t a stand where I work. They were simply impulse purchases on my lunch break. We have the shade Retro Red 53 from the new Kate Moss Red vs Nude collection, which is celebrating 15 years of collaboration. This is a deep, berry red. Then there’s another Kate Moss Lasting Finish lipstick in the shade Rossetto 03. It’s a nude which isn’t too pink, or too orange.

I travelled up to Exeter with my parents last week because my dad was getting a new tattoo. While he was doing so, my mum and I went shopping. When we popped into Boots and I saw the NYX stand, I let out a little sound of surprise and excitement. We spent a good amount of time swatching the products, but because I’ve already bought a lot from the brand in the last couple of months, and I knew I really should calm down on the lip product front, I left with just one Soft Matte Lip Cream. I used to love the shade Milan, and the Collection Cream Puffs, which are a similar product, but haven’t used them in so long. I picked up the shade Cannes 19, which is a terracotta colour. I don’t really have anything like this in my collection actually. The other shades I have in this colour family are brighter and more peachy.

On the same day, I also bought the Essence Long Lasting Lip Liner in Girl Next Door 08 from Wilko. You can only buy these in store, but my local doesn’t have a big enough stand to stock them, so I was very happy to find them up there. The shade I wanted was actually out of stock, and I thought this was far too brown at first, but decided to give it a try for £1.50. I love this product. I have some photos of me wearing it at the bottom of this post. Forgive the fact that they're poor quality and taken from my Twitter. I like wearing it on its own, sandwiched between two layers of lip balm so it’s not too drying. I’ve been using potted lip balm so it doesn’t disturb the colour, like a stick would do.

I love NYX, I love lip liners, and I love nudes, so the NYX Retractable Lip Liner in Nude 10 is a winner. It’s very similar in shade to the NYX Slide On Lip Pencil in Nude Suede Shoes, but I’ve been using this over that one because it doesn’t need sharpening.

Rimmel Kate Lasting Finish Lipstick in Retro Red 53, Rimmel Kate Lasting Finish Lipstick in Rossetto 03, NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Cannes 19, NYX Retractable Lip Liner in Nude 10, and Essence Long Lasting Lip Liner in Girl Next Door 08.

Essence Long Lasting Lip Liner in Girl Next Door 08.

Thursday, 7 July 2016

ASOS Hauling

Since opening a premier account with ASOS, where you pay £9.95 a year for unlimited next day/nominated delivery, I've done a lot of shopping, and my love for the brand has grown. Most of the items are from ASOS' own range, some are from the current sale, and the majority of them are tops. I was in need of tops.

Okay, so the first two items are actually from the Zara sale, but I thought I'd just include them here. The retro, geometric print mini skirt was £9.99 down from £19.99, and I bought this in a size S, which is the perfect fit for my size 8 body (I had no idea what their sizing would be like, so I guessed). It's still available to buy in sizes S and M, and it's now only £7.99, if you're interested. I've already worn this to a meal with black tights and boots, and I love it. You can see a photo of it on at the end of this post.

The bag was £19.99 down from £29.99, and this is still available as well. I only have one other small bag, and it's a lemon yellow satchel, so this was a welcomed addition.

The 'pocket full of sunshine' tee is one of my most recent purchases from ASOS, and was £9.50 down from £14 in the sale. It has a v-neck cut, which isn't usually a style I like on myself, but it actually looks okay.

The cacti pyjama top and shorts are my new favourite things. These were £12 down from £20, and I bought these in a maternity size 6. The top of this in the normal range was cropped and open at the back, whereas this one is a normal fit, which I much prefer.

The grey, oversized t-shirt with the embroidered heart was £14, and I bought this in a petite size 6. I've found their t-shirts to be pretty long, which is fine by me because I tuck the front in anyway. This one is so simple, but the quality is great.

I was going to buy the grey sweatshirt on its own for £16. Then I found the grey and black pair in the sale for £16.50, so bought those instead. Then they went down in price again to just £11, so I returned the ones I had and re-ordered. I bought these in a size 8. They're just standard sweatshirts, so I can't really say much else about them. 

Shirts have never been my thing. They look great on other people, but I never felt comfortable in them myself. I've been wearing things I wouldn't normally wear in recent months, though, so thought I'd give this striped, soft cotton one a go. It was one of the more expensive items, at £22, but I've decided to keep it. This was bought in a size 8.

The light grey skater coat was bought in a petite size 10, and was £45 down from £75. Despite it not having a hood, I love this coat. It just looks chic.

And although you can't see it here, I also bought a khaki skater mac/trench coat for £36, down from £60. This came up really big on me, so I ended up keeping a size 6. There's a photo of me wearing it (over my work uniform) at the end of this post, but it doesn't do it justice.

The charcoal marl polo neck top was £14, and this was bought in a size 8. Again, the quality is great, and I've already worn it.

The ribbed Brave Soul tees with the slightly longer sleeves are the only items which aren't from ASOS' own range. These were £5 each down from £10, and I bought them in a size S for a relaxed fit.

Then, finally, the grey, white, and striped t-shirts are from ASOS 'the ultimate easy t-shirt' range. The grey and white ones were in a pack for £18, and the striped one was £12.

I've also ordered a couple more striped ones because they were in the sale, and I love some stripes.

Phew! Let me know if you picked up anything in either the Zara or ASOS sales, especially if they're still available to buy...

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Coconut Oil | Will It Be Replacing My Favourite Lush Products?

People are obsessed with coconut oil. Obsessed. Before last month, I admired its claims, but never felt like I needed it in my life. I'd tried a perfumed one, which wasn't the real deal, and it was nice enough, but that's it. Then, one night, I decided to buy some raw, virgin, organic coconut oil after trying a sample I'd received with one of my many online orders. I wasn't bothered which brand I bought from, as long as it was pure coconut oil. I decided on Biona simply because it was buy one get one half price at Boots, and I paid with my points.

I soon found that coconut oil really is the king of multi-use products. I keep one jar in the bathroom, and one in the bedroom. There are hundreds of ways to use it (really), but the main ways I use it are as a hair mask, as a moisturiser (both face and body), and as a makeup remover. The last way is my favourite. I've also been using it to shave my legs, so I don't have to moisturise them after.

I know some people think coconut oil is expensive, and it is if you're using it for consumption alone, but it's so much cheaper than other beauty products I use. This 200g jar was just over £4, whereas my beloved Lush Ultrabland Facial Cleanser is now £12.95 for 100g, and Lush Ro's Argan Body Conditioner is £16.50 for 225g. In terms of performance, the coconut oil is pretty much on par with the Lush products, but it's multi-use and much more affordable, so I'm considering replacing them. I kind of don't want to because they're two of my favourite products, but it makes sense. I may still have a pot of each to use every now and then, but they won't be necessities in my daily routine, so they'll hopefully last longer than they do now.

Has coconut oil become part of your beauty routine?

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