How I Manage My Combination Skin

My skin is super weird. I mean, I’m quite lucky to have relatively few problems compared to some, but my face seems to take it to the extremes when it comes to having combination skin. Some days, I’m so dry and flaky I practically have scales, other days I’m more oily than a 3am kebab, and sometimes I flit between one and the other in a matter of hours, its fab.

That said, however, the more I’ve learned over the years about my skin and what works and doesn’t work, and the more products I’ve tried and tested, the more I’ve been able to manage the different phases I go through, which is great. It does, however, mean having pretty much two of every product, but I’ve got those nailed now.

Dry skin days

Most days tend to start as dry skin days, and so my mornings start with Nip+Fab’s Glycolic Cleansing Fix, which was an impulse purchase at the time but now I cannot imagine my life without it. For starters, it smells amazing, which is odd because they never mention the scent on the packaging but its SO GOOD, but even if it smelt like nothing at all, the product still speaks for itself. The formula seems a little strange, but you get used to it – its quite runny but also gel like, and it also foams up with a bit of a scrub, so I either squeeze a little bit onto wet hands and rub it onto my face, or I take it into the shower with my Magnitone, squeeze it onto the brush head and go to town. It leaves my skin feeling so refreshed but also smooth and moisturised and ready for the day.

My toner of choice most of the time is the wonderful Pixi Glow Tonic, and when my skin is dry this is no exception. I was a bit late to the Glow Tonic party, and worried when I finally got to try it that it would turn out to be over-hyped, but it does wonders for my skin and I noticed a change almost instantly after starting to use it regularly.

Of course it goes without saying that when my skin is dry, I need a good moisturiser and I’ve yet to find anything that works so well for my skin as Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Moisturiser. I love that even the tiniest little dollop goes such a long way, which is handy because this stuff doesn’t come cheap, so the longer I can make a bottle last, the better, but despite the price tag I can’t flaw the product at all – it smells nice, it makes my skin super soft without being at all greasy and it absorbs quickly.

Oily moments

What’s weird about having oily skin now is that I didn’t really have oily skin that much as a teenager, but you know what they say about karma.. When my face is feeling oily, all I feel like doing is washing it, and even though I’m not a teenager, this is where I use Nip+Fab’s Teen Skin Poreblaster Wash, which is designed for exactly this situation. It comes in both a day and night version, I have both but tend to use the day one the more just down to preference. Sadly it doesn’t smell as glorious as the Glycolic Cleansing Fix, but its certainly not awful and it foams up well and leaves my skin feeling lovely and fresh.

My other cleanser for oily days is Lush’s Angels on Bare Skin, which is a solid sorta paste that I grab a chunk of, mix it up in my hand with some warm water to an easier to use consistency and rub it straight onto dry skin. Because its got some exfoliant ingredients it does a great job of picking up and washing away and dirt and grease, plus it smells great.

When it comes to a toner, I also go to Lush and my favourite toner from their collection, which is Breath of Fresh Air. Because it contains sea salt, it dries up oil with a simple spritz and wipe, and its got a calming fragrance to it which is part of the reason I love using it before bed because it puts me in a good mood for sleep!

It might be a pain going between two different skincare routines, but when the products are so great, its not so bad..

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A Little Lush Easter Haul

I feel like its been a while since I’ve done a Lush haul post, because believe it or not, despite buying a good number of products from the Christmas collection, I never actually blogged about them, even though I think it was the best Lush Christmas to date! But enough about Christmas (psst! 287 days..).

I don’t know if I’ve ever actually bought anything from a Lush Easter collection before – I normally grab a few Valentines Day bits, but seem to miss Easter entirely, so when I went into the Trafford Centre store over the weekend and saw the multicoloured goodness of this year’s offerings, I knew I had to get a couple of things to try, and having had a good Etsy payout earlier in the week, I felt the spend was justified.

So I picked up four things for myself on this occasion, but I think they’re all so stinkin’ cute and I cannot wait to try them out!

My first buy felt like a bit of a two for one deal, and this adorable little chick actually splits into two separate halfs. I noticed in store that they had these Free Rangers in a few different colours, and I don’t know if there’s actually any difference between them, but I liked this little orange chappy so he was the one who came home!

My next choice was the Cream Egg bubbleroon because just LOOK AT IT!! Its like Lush went inside my head and picked out the best colour scheme and turned it into a cute little sandwich of a bubble bar and it smells AMAZING. I imagine I’ll stock up on a few of these before the collection leaves stores because its so pretty and I think I’ll be sad to use this up!

Which Came First? This bathbomb is actually pretty huge, and a dreamy pastel design.

This final buy was a total impulse purchase – I’d gone to pick up my usual shampoo bar (Seanik), but as soon as I saw this little fluffy tail and ears on a yellow shampoo bar all sensible-ness went out the window and whether or not this bar turns out to be any good for my hair or not I don’t really care – its so cute!

I can’t wait to give all these goodies a try in the coming weeks! Have you used any of these before?

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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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