Monday, 14 July 2014

Birthday Beauty Haul!

So I picked up a few items for my Birthday recently whilst on my travels to both Meadowhall and Belfast. I'm trying to save my money at the minute (don't expect any giant Mac hauls just yet) ;)  However, you have to have a few treats around your Birthday, right?!

1. Liz Earle Limited Edition Cleanse & Polish

Now you all know how much I love Liz Earle! Unfortunately though for some reason, the limited edition version of my trusty staple cleanser badly reacted with my skin. I actually thought I had gotten really bad sunburn until I twigged it was this causing it everytime I applied it! A great shame, but thankfully Liz Earle offered to swap me it for the same size of the regular C&P. A warning that the limited edition one whilst it smells lovely, may not be suitable for sensitive skin. 

2. Liz Earle Shampoo (All hair types) 

Onto a much better find from LE! I had been wanting to try this shampoo for ages, as it's one of the few available on the market that is totally sulphate free. I shall keep you posted how I get on with it, but so far so good. You do have to use more water than normal to get any kind of foam - however the smell is lovely and fruity and is so far yet to irritate my scalp - yay for that!

3. Aveda Intensive Hydrating Masque

After my face disaster with the Limited Edition C&P, I needed something to take the redness down and really soothe my skin. I popped to the Aveda counter in Belfast's House of Fraser that Google maps kindly lead me too, and was also given a couple of samples of the moisturiser from the same range too! Win win!

4. Redken Smooth Lock

Although technically a purchase for my Mum, I borrowed this pre-flight after washing my hair. It really kept the style well and also gives a lovely shine. Not the cheapest of hair serums (definitely buy online to get the best deal) but is great for giving that salon finish.

5. Carmex Lip Balm

My battered, bruised and nail polish stained tub of Carmex is more of a rediscovered find than a new purchase. However, it's really come in handy these last couple of weeks when my lips went super chapped and normal lip balm wasn't cutting it. I forgot how much this stuff really works! 

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

My Skincare Routine - Dry/Sensitive yet Blemish Prone!

Firstly, allow me to give you a little overview of my skin. Apart from being rather pale, it is often quite dry, and sensitive to alot of products and ingredients. It's also got a tenancy to be incredibly spot prone, especially during hormonal times or if I have used something my skin doesn't agree with.

Often, to cure a dry skin many counter assistants have sold me thick, rich heavy creams. Whilst at first they may feel nice, it soon becomes apparent that the blemish prone side of my skin is not happy and seems to take great pleasure in showing me just how much. Therefore, it's been a real struggle to find products and get into a routine which keeps my blemishes at bay, yet doesn't aggravate my dryness or worsen my sensitivity. 

It's taken a good 10 years of trying countless products from every brand under the sun, but I finally think I've cracked it! The following items I have been using religiously morning and night for over 6 months now, and now I feel ready to share it with you.

(P.S: I have reviewed the majority of these products in dept on their own before, so have a snoop through my blog if you want more info on them, or just leave a comment below!)The full (current) product list:

Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water
Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish

Pixi Glow Tonic

The Body Shop Vitamin E Overnight Oil

La Roche Posay Effaclar K Moisturiser
The Body Shop Vitamin C Moisturiser

Dove Lip Balm

Fresh Cucumber
Sanctuary Clay Mask
Nspa Brightening Detox Scrub 

And now onto when I would use said products....

In the morning I keep things nice and simple with just a light cleanse followed by Glow Tonic (suitable for both AM/PM use). I also follow up with a moisturiser, and tend to use the Body Shop one if going out in the sun with no make up on, i.e for my morning run. However if it's a normal day and I intend to put make up on, then I use Effclar K.

There's nothing worse than dry skin, especially if you are going to be putting foundation over the top. The steps I use to combat this is to add in cucumber after toner before serum/moisturiser. I use about 1 inch thick chunks which I buff into the skin, and I also slice thinner sections to place on my eye area. I promise if you have dry skin this will feel so nice you will never look back!

At night, I keep the momentum up by adding my Vitamin E serum before moisturiser to really leave my skin feeling soft.

The curse of the dreaded spots! Thankfully, since using Glow Tonic and Effaclar K in combination with my other products, I've noticed a huge reduction in the amount and frequency of my breakouts. 

Twice a week I will also add in the Nspa detox brightening scrub at night. Every few weeks I will also use the Sanctuary 5 minute detox mask which is a clay mask that warms up on contact with the skin. This can bring blemishes out a little the next day, but this is because the clay has drawn out the impurities.

My one tip with having blemish prone skin when you also have dry/sensitive skin is: Don't overscrub or use overly harsh products (especially any more than the packaging advises you too). I have been at that stage where you are super frustrated and nothing seems to work -  but believe me overdoing things can be just as bad. Get into a good, gentle cleansing routine and follow up with the *right* aftercare and I promise things will get better.