Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Oily skin: building your skincare routine

Your Skin Type:

Wash your face and leave it for an hour, don't touch it. After an hour, with clean hands, touch your face and assess how it feels.

Normal  no oil or dryness to the touch. If you have this skin type you have my envy.

Oily feels greasy, enlarged pores, and a sheen to the skin

Dry skin will feel tight, rough, there may be flakes or eczema type patches of dryness too

Combination a little oily in the t-zone (forehead, nose and chin) and normal/dry on the cheeks.

Care for Oily Skin

Cleanser: If you can get used to the idea of using oil as a cleanser, then cleansing balms are the way to go. Think of it not as adding oil, but putting back the hydration. Emma Hardies moringa cleansing balm is a beautiful, natural oil balm, slightly cheaper is the Clinque take the day off balm, cheaper still is the Boots botanics cleansing balm which for the price point is amazing. To apply cleansing balms, rub the balm into dry skin, then run a muslin cloth/flannel under hot water, and buff the product away.

Cream cleansers are another great option for the morning. The Liz Earle cleanse and polish is refreshing and soothing on irritated spots, half a pump is all you need for the entire face, rub the cream all over, its safe to go over eyes, and then rinse a flannel or muslin cloth under hot water, wipe the cream away. Say yes to tomatoes clarifying cleanser is an equally refreshing gel and doesn't strip the skin. For a cream cleanser you can rinse off, the Burt Bee's Intense hydration cream is amazing. Avoid cleansers that target the spotty teen market, most of them are drying and if you dry out your skin, it will produce even more oil to compensate. 

Acid Toner: Optional, but one you should seriously consider because this step will do the hardest work out of all your products (besides masks) a gentle acid wiped all over the face will help change the texture of your skin and buffed over spots will reduce them. First Aid Beauty facial radiance pads are a brilliant place to start. If your skin - and your purse - can handle it, then the Alpha H liquid gold is the best you can get, very strong, very effective - apply it to a cotton pad and wipe all over the face after cleansing as the last step in your routine. To find out more about the benefits of acid toning and more amazing suggestions for products at all price points, watch Caroline Hirons video on it here.

Serum: A serum containing Benzoyl Perozide, Glycolic or Salicylic acids in them will work wonders. Great ones for oily and spot prone skin include La Roche Possay Effaclar Duo, a gel cream that contains Benzol Perozide to minimize spots (I'm on my fourth tube, its usually on offer at Feel Unique or Boots). Nip and Fab's Glycolic fix serum locks in the hydration and allows your moisturizer to sink in better,the glycolic acid works as a gentle exfoliate, smells of oranges too. The Elemis skin clear overnight serum is moisturizing and spot fighting.

Moisturizer: If you have oily skin you still need moisture. A light moisturizer for the day time will sit well under make-up. The Neals Yard Remedies purifying palmrarosa daily moisture is amazing, its a light weight lotion that penetrates the skin almost instantly, leaving you hydrated yet matte. Because you'll be going to bed anyway (and therefore don't care about being shiny), night is a good time to really inject some moisture into your skin. You don't have to spend a lot here, Boots Botanics radiant youth replenishing night cream is light weight and leaves skin incredibly soft, its behaves like a much more expensive product than it actually is, and a little goes a long way.

Treatments: Face masks go on after you've cleansed and before your serum/moisturizer. They're often forgotten about, but every time I do one I wonder why I don't do them more. They honestly make a big difference and over extended time, some do as they claim. The Sanctuary 5 minute thermal detox draws out the impurities and de-congests the skin, a little more pricey (but worth it) is the Aesop Chamomile concentrate - a clay mask that firms skin whilst sucking out the dirt, and doesn't leave skin dry like many other clay masks.

Any kind of mud mask will also be beneficial, Superdrug do some great ones, as do Boots. The balance me radiance face mask is an amazing triple action wonder, it contains fruit acids and walnut spheres for deep exfoliation, clay to draw out dirt from pores and essential oils to soften/nourish.

Side Note: 

If using products with acids (during the day) always use an SPF no matter what time of year. 

Targeted spot creams: If you're in England and still in education, you can get free acne cream prescribed from your GP, lucky you. For us older folk, there are many options available but at a price. 

General tips:

You may be oily but I bet you're still dehydrated. Don't confuse dehydration with dryness. Dehydration is a lack of oil, and dryness is a lack of water. Drink more water and choose night creams aimed at the aging or dry demographic. 

Always, always take make-up off at night, no matter how tired you are. Your face ages 9 days for every night you sleep in it. Do a double cleanse, one to take the surface layer of make-up off, a mi-cellar water will do if you can't be bothered to get to the sink, and the second cleanse to remove the dirt, grease and make-up that has seeped into the pores, use a face wash or cleansing balm/oil for that

.Don't touch your face if you're hands aren't clean

Don't use physical exfoliates (cleansers with beads in) until your spots have gone down to the point where there is no head (a 'head' is when you can see white or black in the surface) if you do, your fragile spots will break, and possibly become infected/definitely leave a scar. For more specific advice on how to deal with spots read my blog on it here.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Weekly Inspirations


Major Lazer - Lean on

Is it weird to say a dance song is beautiful? the way this song is composed, the simple lyrics, the mixture of dance beat and soothing background music is just amazing. Since I heard this on the radio I have probably played it hundreds of times. I don't know what it is about it that I love so much.



This 8 part drama on Channel 4 is well worth the watch. I thought it would be good from the advert I saw but when I watched the first episode the other day it had exceeded my expectations, that doesn't often happen. Its about a not so distant future where human looking robots have been created to help society. Its not a new concept, but the way it has been done here is interesting, and entertaining, I cannot wait to see where they take this.


Sin City: A dame to kill for

I watched this the other day for the first time and loved it even more than the first one. There's a real progression of characters and the cinematography was as darkly beautiful as ever. Also Eva Green is in it and I love her, the twist in her plot is a great one. Not much more to say about it really, just go watch it if you haven't already!


The Miniaturist

This was nothing quite like I thought it would be. There is a kind of magical element to it but nothing is concrete, its all suggestion, which at first I found frustrating but by the end I liked that it was so subtle. The story is about a young woman who marries a wealthy merchant, beneath the plot its really about the strength of women, set in a time when women were nothing more than men's possessions. Its wonderfully written, I would suggest it simply for the beautifully arranged and flowing adjectives alone.

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Review: Eyes uncovered nude bronze palette

I spotted this tiny little palette in a superdrug, and after Amelia Liana's recommendation I bought two of the three versions, the other one I have is all mattes in nude colors, the one I'm reviewing today is the nude bronze version.

(with flash)

There are 6 colors, an off white, a champagne pink (like a more icy white version of 'Sin' from the naked palette) a light yellow gold, a dark brown gold, a dark rose gold pink and a medium toned brown (would be dark brown on lighter skin tones)

All shades are shimmery, no glitters, no mattes.

For such shimmery shades, this looks very natural on the eyes. There are two colors that look almost exactly the same on my eye lids (the second and the fifth ones) I would have liked a black in there or a grey, but other than that its a good range. The brown, bronzey shades are my favorite, they look like a more golden version of my skin,

In the picture above I have a light wash of color on, but you can also pack on the color with a flat shader brush and really build it up to be opaque. The packaging is tiny and weighs practically nothing, perfect for travelling. For the price point, these are incredible, the pigment is decent, the texture of the shadows are soft and very blend-able. And they are only £3.99 each, available from both Boots and Superdrug.

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Photo Diary: Five guys, Wine and Comic con

Comic con was an amazing time, it reminded me of being in a concert atmosphere, everyone together in one place sharing a common interest. Stalls were everywhere displaying film memorabilia, comic books, graphic novels, cool t-shirts, creative and unique art, vintage/rare video games,  cool cupcakes and American candy. It took all my willpower not to buy everything I saw! My favorite picture from the day is below of my friend being held captive by storm troopers.

Stole the last three above from the internet, how the hell did I miss Captain Jack Sparrow!

We went to Five guys again recently, I swear each time is better than the last. Its one of the best burgers in London, it doesn't look anything special in the foil but don't be fooled! its insanely good. Commence food porn.

We also went to Richmond for drinks, it was ridiculously windy and just as most British people do we sat outside because cold or not, the sun was out! the sun never comes out in England, you have to make the most of it, even if you're shivering.

Close up of the 'Liquid Halo' foundation by Smashbox, really liking the coverage of this, good for oily skins. Eye shadow is 'Hustle' from the naked palette, blush is creme puff by Maxfactor in 'Gorgeous berries', lipstick a mixture of '122 nougat' by GOSH and '665 choco-licious' by Revlon.

Neccesary coffee addiction for work. Has anyone had these caramel waffle things before? I can't stop eating them! you can get them in startbucks and some corner shops.

I have a serious sugar fixation right now, I'm trying to cut down but its difficult. When I'm stressed I could metaphorically just pour a bag of sugar down my throat. I picked these up in Tesco, I didn't even notice they were wheat and gluten free, I just quickly grabbed anything I liked the look of - as I do most mornings - they taste pretty much the same as their glutenous sister, except the biscuit base in these ones are chewier, but I don't mind that so much.

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