A Lazy Girl’s Guide to Skincare

Skincare is a bit like Marmite, you generally either love it or hate it, and can do both simultaneously. Its also kinda like eating your 5 a day, in that you know you should be doing it but sometimes you just really can’t be bothered. You feel me?

I am both a lover and hater of skincare. Some days I enjoy nothing more than taking the time to properly remove my makeup, then cleanse, tone, moisturise and get my face feeling like a babies bum, and there are other days when I just crawl into bed with a makeup wipe and scrub off whatever I can before going to sleep. Some weeks I’ll be the good person every day, sometimes I can go days on just makeup wipes and trying to get the rest of the dried up mascara off my eyelashes in the shower the next morning. Its not always a pretty sight.

I have, however, picked up a few hacks along the way, so that even when I’m short on time – or short on bother – I don’t have to live with the consequences of a face that makes me want to peel my own skin off. Enter my lazy skincare guide..

Wash your face mask off in the shower

With the exception of sheet masks, obviously, I find there’s nothing more annoying than having to wash off a face mask after its done its business. I tend to use clay masks and Lush’s fresh face masks, which are generally super thick and I can spend ages with my face over a sink winding myself back up having just unwound courtesy of said mask. So I’ve started using face masks before showering, so that I can just hop into the shower when I’m finished and wash it all off in one fell swoop! This is also handy if you’re in a rush, as well as if you’re just lazy like me.

In fact, do everything in the shower

If I’m in a hurry in the morning, especially if I’ve been to the gym and am dealing with the aftermath of a sweat-fest on my face, I grab my cleanser and my Magnitone and do my face in the shower as well as the rest of my body. Like with face masks, being under a constant supply of running water makes everything super easy to wash away and also means there’s no mess to clear up round the sink!

Put everything within arms reach of your bed

I have a little basket on my bedside table that’s complete with micellar water, cotton pads, toner, facial moisturiser and body moisturiser – as well as the dreaded face wipes – so even if I do get straight into bed after coming home from work, there’s no excuse for why I can’t at least have a little bit of a skincare routine.

Guzzle water

If nothing else, drinking lots of water is never going to be bad for your skin. When it comes to dry lips, I actually reach for my water bottle before I reach for my lip balm, which is saying something cos I do love my lip balm. Dry lips especially are a sign of dehydration, so I at least make sure I’ve had at least 250ml of water before going for the balm.

Bare all

I know that going barefaced isn’t everyone’s scene, but its really important to let your skin breath. I do at least 2 days a week without any makeup, normally the weekends but often when I’m at work too and I feel so much better for it, plus it saves me time in the morning and I don’t have anything to take off in the evening! However I do know that a lot of people can’t face leaving the house without any makeup on for a lot of different reasons, but if that’s the case then just trying to go a few hours every evening before bed is also a way of getting a bit more free-skin time!

Do you have any skincare hacks that you use to save a bit of time?

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The Face Masks I’ve Been Loving Lately

Face masks are something that I’ve only recently really gotten into this year, but I’ve quickly become that girl that has a mask on most weeks, much to the amusement of my boyfriend..

For me, a face mask is not only a way for me to take care of my skin, but its also a little form of self-care and pampering, and let’s face it, they’re so easy! You can just slap one on, and then go about your regular business, whether its jumping in the bath, painting your nails or binge-watching some Netflix – although you may be limited in your facial expressions while you’re doing those things..

Here are a few of my top picks right now:

Lush’s Brazened Honey Fresh Face Mask

This is the first of Lush’s fresh face mask that I’ve bought (although I traded in my black pots for it, so technically it was free!), but one of the amazing members of staff at my local Lush store did a little consultation with me and helped me choose a few masks that suited my skin type, then tried them out on my hand so I could decide which one to take away with me, and this is the one that really took my fancy!

As with all Lush fresh face masks, you have to store it in the fridge, which means when it comes to using it, it feels so nice and cool on my skin. A little goes a long way too, so I got quite a few uses out of the small-looking tub! It smells fresh and the formula doubles as an exfoliant which washes away any dead skin and impurities, but its also really moisturising and has worked wonders for my skin!

L’Oreal’s Pure Clay Glow/Purity/Detox Masks

I mentioned these masks in my August samples post, but I am still loving them months later. I tend to mix and match the masks, using each mask on the area of my face that its properties help the most, which for me is Glow on my forehead, Detox under my eyes and across my cheeks, and Purity on my nose and chin, but as my skin can vary from dry to oily, I do quite a few different variations depending on how I’m feeling that day.

I particularly like how while the clay dries hard on my skin, I don’t find them at all drying as I had initially feared, and they’re also not at all claggy, despite being quite thick in their consistency.

Sephora Sheet Masks

I have yet to come across a Sephora mask I haven’t liked yet, but my favourites out of the ones I’ve used to far are the Green Tea and Pearl masks. For me, the great thing about these sheet masks as opposed to a traditional mask is that they don’t dry out at all while they’re on your face, and even once you’re done with the mask itself, it leaves product on your skin that can be rubbed in for extra nourishment.

What are your favourite face masks? I’d love to try something new if you’ve got any recommendations!

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The Ordinary Haul and Review

The Ordinary, a brand by Deciem, has been taking the beauty world by storm, and having seen some big bloggers talking about these products, I decided it was time to see what the hype was about.

Being the most talked about products, I picked up both the Coverage and Serum foundations, as well as the fluid primer. I would normally never order foundation online without having tested the shades for myself first, but thanks to the very clear shade guide on the website, I pinned it down to two potential shades – 1.1 and 1.2 – and decided to order each foundation in both shades, given that its only £5.90 a bottle. Yes, you heard me.

As well as having the shades based on a number scale, I also loved the fact that each shade was then split into three tones: neutral, yellow and pink. My skin tends to be on the pinkier side, so I got the Serum formula in pink and the Coverage in neutral, and both actually work very well for me.

Coverage Foundation

Right from the offset, Coverage became my favourite of the two foundations. The formula is much thicker, which I personally prefer, and as the name suggests, the coverage is higher than the Serum formula but despite both of these facts the product feels really light on the skin.

Serum Foundation

Like Coverage, Serum has a very lightweight formula and feels like you’re not wearing anything. As I tend to always stick to thicker formulas, I was a little out of my comfort zone with this one, and because of how quickly it blends into the skin, I was finding myself going over it a few times because I wasn’t always sure if I’d fully covered that area, plus the coverage is fairly light. I was also a little out of my comfort zone as Serum leaves more of a dewy finish, and I like to keep things matte.

Fluid Primer

As someone who isn’t really a fan of primers, this was a game changer. I’m not sure I can sing this product’s praises high enough. If I’m being honest, I added it to my basket so that I had something other than foundation, and so I could tip the basket total to get free delivery, but I am so thankful that I did. The formula is bizarre; its feels kinda gel-like at first but it spreads like a dream and dries within seconds, and once dry its practically weightless.

Part of the reason I’m not much of a primer person, and I’m nervous trying new foundation is that I rarely find anything that can contend with my skin, which can switch from dry as a desert to oily as a 2am kebab within a matter of seconds, and I normally end up regretting wearing foundation by lunchtime, but I did not have a single complaint with this. I tested both foundations both with and without, and both applied so much nicer and lasted the day without any issues when I used the primer.

But seriously guys, I bought 4 foundations and a primer for less than £30, which is what I would normally spend on my regular NARS foundation, plus they’re cruelty free!

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August Samples and Testers

Who doesn’t love trying new things? Sure, I hate social occasions with people I don’t know or doing things that are so far out my comfort zone that I can’t see it anymore, but new beauty and skincare products are definitely my jam.

And because its expensive to buy new products, I try to get my fix by collecting as many sample and tester products as I can so that I can give them a bash before I fork out my cash on them. I’ve talked before about ways you can get samples to try products on the cheap, and because I use these methods religiously, I’ve collected a fair stash of products which I’ve yet to try, hence a new series! I’m gonna be diving into my stores each month (and probably adding to them at the same time) and reporting back on what’s been fab and what’s been not so fab..

So here are my August picks!

IsaDora Nude Fluid Foundation

I will never buy a full-sized foundation without trying it out properly first, mainly because I can never get the shade quite right but also because I really struggle to find formulas that I actually like. This was very middle ground for me – while I didn’t hate it, which happens a lot when I try new foundation, it also didn’t blow me away, although I actually got the shade pretty close! It applies quite well (I used a flat foundation brush to apply and then a softer brush to blend), but while it claims medium coverage I found it was fairly light. I like the lightweight feel, and I will continue to use my little sample bottle, but I don’t know if I’ll be splashing out for the real thing.

Kiehl’s Creme de Corps

Despite all the hype from so many bloggers, I’ve never actually used Kiehl’s products before, but samples are often available on Feel Unique Pick’n’Mix so I’ve got a few in my stash. I actually had two Creme de Corps samples in my collection, so I figured it was time to crack one open! First impressions, it really does meet the description of a ‘whipped’ body butter – the consistency was practically that of buttercream, and it smelt amazing too. It was nice, but for the price tag that the full sized product comes at, I think I’ll be sticking to my regular moisturiser.

Benefit Gimme Brow

Every time I see a Benefit product on Feel Unique Pick’n’Mix I snap them up because you get a proper little mini product rather than just a sample and its such good value for money! Most of my brow products are Benefit, so I was excited to try something new, but while it is a good product, its not revolutionised my approach to how I do my eyebrows, so I don’t think I’ll be buying the full-sized version. Every now and then I’ll reach for it, but other products have my vote more.

Benefit Goof Proof Brow Pencil

While Gimme Brow was a no from me, I did like Goof Proof. I’m a bit annoyed that I didn’t check the shade and accidentally got one that was a tiny bit too dark, but I did give it a go before donating it to my sister, and I was pretty happy with the results. I’ve had pencils like this before where you have to apply so much pressure for the product to actually show, but that definitely wasn’t the case with this, and had I not got the wrong shade, this would definitely be one I’d use a fair bit so I’ll be keeping an eye out for any offers!

L’Oreal Pure Clay Masks

I’ve seen a lot of hype for these masks over the last few months, so when I saw this little sample pack in Superdrug and it was down from £7.49 to £3.50 instore the other week, I decided it was the perfect opportunity to try the three masks for a bargain price. First up, I was impressed about how a little product goes a long way – I’ve used the products 3-4 times now, and I still have some left! Secondly, I’m super impressed with how my skin has been looking since I started using these! The red ‘glow’ mask has been my favourite and has really helped clear up the awkward dry patch of skin that I get on my forehead, and I’ve tried a lot of things for that before now! I’m not normally one for face masks but I think this will be a repeat purchase.

Have you tried anything new this month?

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Get Sparkly For Summer

Who else is mega excited that the sun has finally started making an appearance?!

Sun means summer, and summer means beach days, festivals and pretty much every day is an excuse to be your best and sparkliest self – so get sparkly!

As a self-confessed highlighter addict, I make my love of all things sparkly pretty obvious, and here are a bunch of products that are perfect to get you shining away this summer:

Unicorn Heart highlighter from I Heart Makeup

I don’t reach for this highlighter nearly as much as I should do, but its multicoloured shine is perfect for music festivals and carnivals.

Barry M Dazzle Dust

I’ve loved Dazzle Dust since I was a teenager; its super pigmented and lasts really well, plus it feels so light! I have quite a few brighter shades, but at the moment I’m loving Aphrodite, which is a shell-pinky/nude which works amazing as a loose powder eyeshadow, but also when lightly dusted on your cheekbones as an extra shiny highlight.

Dandelion Twinkle from Benefit

I’m really a sucker for everything from Benefit’s Dandelion range, but I couldn’t help but pick up this new highlighter when I was last in Sephora and its so pretty!

Shimmy Shimmy Shimmer Bar from Lush

This just sorta fell into my basket when I was last in Lush.. Its a cocoa butter based bar which has the most beautiful vanilla scent, and is packed with environmentally friendly glitter! Its essentially a moisturiser which leaves you super sparkly, but you can also use it as a solid perfume and a highlighter. Rub it all over your arms and legs to sparkle away on a night out!

Illuminating Strobe Cream in Frosty Pink from Barry M

Not only is this a fab product for under £5, but this is also a highstreet dupe of Clinique’s Chubby Stick highligter which is £19.50!

Anastasia Beverly Hills x Nicole Guerriero Glow Kit

Remember when I bought this back in February and fell in love with it? Well I’m still in love with it and its going to be my best friend through the summer. Full review and swatches here!

What are your favourite summer beauty products?

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Are Lush Hair Products Worth The Money?

Something that I’m making a big effort to do in life is to choose more cruelty-free products, and towards the end of last year I switched the majority of my hair care to Lush products.

I made this change for a number of reasons. Firstly, my hair needed a major shake-up; I had to wash my hair everyday to avoid dealing with major grease issues, and secondly, I found that I was going through so much shampoo and conditioner, and probably over-using them, adding to the grease issue.

Switching to Lush products wasn’t exactly difficult, I mean, y’all know I’m a major Lushie, and I’ve used some of the products before, plus I was pretty excited to make this change to cruelty free and also cut down on the amount of chemicals going into my hair.

Now we all know that Lush products can cost a pretty penny. This has never really bothered me as I’ve always seen Lush products as a treat, and let’s face it, you can’t expect to pay Primark prices for handmade, cruelty-free high quality items, but I must admit that the thought of forking out for these on a regular basis had me a little concerned.

But here’s the thing: I’ve hardly bought any.

The switch has really been a win win scenario for me. Not only are the products so much better for my hair that I’m not having to wash it nearly as often, but I’m also being more careful about the amount of product that I’m using – partially due to be cautious of cost!

So what am I using and what am I spending?

Shampoo bars – I’ve switched from liquid to solid shampoo. Lush’s shampoo bars range from £6-8, and I tend to alternate between Seanik, a seaweed and seasalt based bar, which is available in all Lush stores, and Jumping Juniper, which is my all time favourite, although its now an Oxford Street and online exclusive. Now although I say alternate, I switched to shampoo bars back in October, and I’m only just starting my third one about now; generally I find the bars last at least 2-3 months washing every 2-3 days. Total spent since January? £12.50

Psst! Shampoo bars have no packaging, so make for a much happier environment!

Conditioner – I must admit that I was onto a winner with my first trial of American Cream, and I haven’t tried any others since – I mean if it ain’t broke? It smells so beautiful and I end up sniffing my hair all day. Conditioner being the product that I’m most guilty of over-using, I’ve really reined myself in and am using a fraction of the amount as I have done with regular branded conditioners. Total spent since January? £17.95

Rub Rub Rub – one of my favourite little Lush hacks is using my favourite shower scrub to clean my hair every now and then. Every 2-3 weeks, I’ll do a wash with a handful of this seasalt body scrub, and the results are fantastic. I’ve bought a few tubs of this, but I use more of it on the rest of my body than I do my hair!

So when your typical bottle of shampoo or conditioner costs £2-5 (and we all know that the conditioner runs out much quicker than the shampoo!), and lasts a month or two depending on how much you use it, I don’t actually think there’s that much of a difference in the amount of money I’d be spending on the market leading brands, and I’ve really noticed a difference!

I used to have to wash my hair daily, or risk a greasy second day, and now I can quite happily go 2-3 days between washes, and my hair just generally feels so much lighter and cleaner! Let’s just say, I’m not gonna be changing back!

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Lesson Learnt by a First Time Fake Tanner

That’s right. First timer..

I’ve always thought myself lucky in that I’ve always tanned fairly well naturally, but that generally involves spending a lot of time in sunshine, which is something that I haven’t really had much of recently, and with my trip to California looming, and my legs shining whiter than the moon, I decided that I was going to do something about it.

Being a first timer, I knew that a proper fake-tanner was never gonna be a good idea, so instead I opted for a gradual tanner instead, and took a recommendation to try Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Natural Bronze lotion, and here are a few things that I’ve learnt along the way..

Always read the label

So my first tanning faux pas came the morning after my first attempt. It said on the label to wash hands after use, and did I? Well my bright orange hands in the morning might give away that answer..

Get a feel for it

If its your first time using a particular product, trial it carefully. Either test it on a small area that can’t be seen, or do a super light layer to see its effects before you totally slather yourself in it.

If you’re uncertain, go gradual

There was no way I could have thrown myself in at the deep end with a regular fake tanner on a first attempt!

Even coverage matters

Even when using a gradual tanner, being sure to get a clean spread is still super important to avoid any weird lines or streaks.

Creases collect

Knees, armpits, ankles are a few of the biggest culprits, watch out for weird lines and darker patches!

Exfoliators and scrubs are your friends

Orange hands, weird patches, these products are like little erasers.

Results are slightly addictive

Once you find a product and a routine that works and you start seeing results, you might find it a little difficult to stop.

I’m really happy with the results I’ve been seeing, even after just a few weeks. It started out as just a way to fake it until I get to California and can build a little bit of a tan for myself, but I may just have to keep it up through the summer, especially as everyone knows you can’t trust the UK sun.. But also cos its cocoa butter based and it smells delicious.

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