Travel and lifestyle blog. Used to do beauty and throw some in for good measure now and again.

Friday, 24 May 2013

5 THINGS I LOVE FRIDAY

Hiya Everyone, hope you're all well!
I'm starting a new feature on my blog on a Friday called '5 things I love Friday'. I will not only feature beauty, but also fashion items, food, movies, music and other miscellaneous things that I have being loving that week. I really enjoy reading features and series on peoples blogs, so I hope you all like the idea of it. 

Here's to my first one.... :)

#1 Spray tans! 

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I have never actually had a spray tan until this week when I got one for my upcoming end of sixth form prom. I just think I look so much better with a tan! I get really tanned when I have been on holiday but obviously by this time of year, my skin is rather pale again. So hoooray to getting the same sun kissed glow in a couple of minutes and lets pretend I have being on a paradise island for 2 weeks ;)

#2 Nivea Essentials Hydrating Primer



I was apprehensive that this would break me out due to my very oily skin type. However, it has done no such thing and I believe it had made my make-up last longer. I multi-use it as both a moisturiser and a primer and I think it will be brilliant for the summer months and to take on holiday with me.

#3 Song: Let Her Go (By Passenger) 

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This is such a lovely song and the guy Passenger who sings it has such a unique, distinct voice. It's in the charts so you have probably heard it, but if not YouTube it!


#4 Real Techniques Expert Face Brush

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I have always being a big fan of the buffing brush to buff in my foundation as it gives full flawless coverage. However I love how the expert face brush gives a tiny bit less coverage but still a really flawless, effortless base. You can also use it with cream bronzer, cream blusher and is an all round multi-purpose amazing brush.

# Two and a half men

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Every time I'm at my best friends house, she sticks on Comedy Central and this is more than likely going to be on. I have never really watched two and a half men until recently, but I absolutely love it. Every single episode entertains me and I don't think I've ever not laughed during an episode!


So there were my 5 things I love this Friday! Tell me what 5 things you love or if you do any kind of series on your blog because I would love to have a look :)


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Monday, 20 May 2013

Recent Purchases #5 Superdrug, Avon, ELF.


Yet another one of these posts, but I have really being accumulating beauty bits recently that I thought I would share with the blogosphere. I ordered from Amazon and ELF and also had a bit of money to spend on my Superdrug beautycard and knowing that they now sell Real Techniques; I was straight on it!


Eyelure Lashfix Eyelash Glue - After realising my Ardell Demi Wispies comes with glue in a non-reusable packet as opposed to a tube, I knew I needed an eyelash glue but didn't really want to buy another set of lashes. I found this 6ml bottle of Eyelure eyelash glue (I love Eyelure!) in the brushes/nail aisle in Superdrug so picked it up for around £3 and it looks like it will last me for ages!

Batiste have released another new product to their dry shampoo range called 'rich & elegant paisley'. The scent isn't overwhelming like the others can be and is my favourite one of them all. It leaves no horrible residue in your hair like the volumising one does and is just generally a nice one for when your hair isn't feel it's cleanest. They're currently on half price: £1.48 for a big bottle! Link here

Real Techniques Expert Face Brush This brush is honestly AMAZING. I have the Core Collection from Real Techniques which I bought solely for the buffing brush and yes, that is great, but this is just as good, if not better. It's one of the cheapest Real Techniques brushes too and is only £8.99 which is incredible for the quality and softness. I just love Real Techniques so much and really want so many more of them! I feel that this brush applies less heavier than the buffing brush but still gives a nice flawless application. Generally I love it as an everyday foundation applicator and urge you all to go try it!

MUA Nail Polish in 'Dark Pink' - The new MUA polishes look suspiciously like the Essie polishes in terms of the gorgeous white bottle and the beautiful colours. However, at £1 a pop, I am not complaning! I picked this up on a whim and the store didnt have many colours at all but if you look on the website there are some absolutely gorgeous shades!

Avon Supershock Gel Liner (£6) and the Avon Angled Precise Brush (£4)

I have never really had much luck with gel liners as I once experienced a 'fake' MAC one that I bought online and my Maybelline one dried out very quickly. I got the darkest colour which was 'Blackened Metal' and which I thought would be a black opaque colour. It is actually a grey metal-like (hence the name - stupid me!) that isn't very opaque on the lids. It kind of looks sheer and doesn't define the eyes at all. Very unimpressed with the quality of it to be honest. The eyeliner is also a tiny bit stiff so not the best brush in the world. I thought it would be better as my Avon powder brush is amazingly soft and has lasted me ages.

ELF Lip Products

Lip Stain in 'Heartbreaker' comes with a velvet like gloss on one side and an actual clear lipgloss on the other. The velvety feel is smoothing on the lips but means the colour is easily wiped off (not good when eating and drinking so don't think I could really call it a stain). However, I absolutely love the colour of this as it is pretty much my lip colour with a bit of 'oomph': some may say 'your lips but better'. I really want to try 'First date' but think I need to stay off the make-up buying for a while now, especially where lips are concerned!

Matte Lip Colour in Tea Rose - This is basically a matte crayon that looks and feels lovely and velvety on the lips. I wish I had chosen a better colour as the purpley tone of Tea Rose can make me look a little washed out. It looks a baby pink shade on the website but it most definitely closer to lilac which doesn't really suit me but I'm sure I will make it work when I have a little bit more of a tan.

Lip Stain Pen in Crimson Crush - I have a Revlon Pen-like stain in a pinkish colour and love it so much that I wanted another pen stain. I love dark lips at the moment so I added Crimson Crush to my little ELF basket. I'm not super impressed with it though due to its patchy colour application and dryness on the lips, and I don't really have dry lips often. Wish I could have liked it but I wouldn't repurchase.


That's enough for recent purchases posts for a while, unless they interest you? What other posts would you like to see?



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Thursday, 16 May 2013

Recent Purchses #4 : Skincare


My skin has being completely rubbish recently and I think it has to do with all the rubbish I have been eating. However, my skincare was lacking due to running out of my previous cleansers etc, so I decided to reimburse my collection with a few bits. The L'Oreal micellar solution is a repurchase, but I just thought I'd add it because it's fantastic: review on my blog here.

So, if you are familiar other 'Recent Purchases' posts, you may know that I also like to give a quick review on the products. By the time I write a blog post, I try to make sure I have tried the products so I can give you my first impressions too. So without further ado....



L'Oreal Velvety Soft Toner - The micellar water was £4.99 or 2 for £6 and due to the fact there was only one left, I felt it was only right to get another product, so I picked up this. Now, I imagine toners to be liquid; the same consistency as a micellar water. However, this is something completely different and feels almost gel like. It feels very weird but feels velvety once smothered on the face. It is Paraben free which I think is amazing to say it's a cheap drugstore product - something many high end brands should take note of!


Nivea Daily Essentials Double Effect Eye Make-Up Remover - I saw this on offer for really cheap in Superdrug and thought I would pick it up as Nivea daily essentials is such an inexpensive but lovely and gentle range of products. This eye make-up remover is a half oil half water formula, which makes removing eye make-up incredibly easy. Thumbs up on this one!


Murad Blemish Control Clarifying Cleanser - I heard good things about Murad as a brand and saw that this cleanser contained salicylic acid which is what I want in a product due to my acne prone skin type. It is a foaming gel cleanser, which I heard from Caroline Hiron's blog, is not actually good for your skin due to foaming cleansers being alkali which produces a breeding ground for bacteria. But this has salicyclic ACID.. not alkali.. so I'm abit confused on the matter.
Anyway.... I like this cleanser so far, it leaves an amazing refreshing cooling feel on the skin afterwards, but I'm not sure if I would repurchase it though just because I'm not sure it is benefiting my skin and it is quite expensive due to it's £23 price tag.

Now on to the miracle worker...
Avon Clear Emergency Instant Spot Treatment



I've never really tried a targeted spot treatment and when I saw this for a ridiculously cheap price in the Avon catalogue, I knew it had to be mine. It contains Salicylic acid which sold me straight away. I literally put this on a big nasty spot the night I got it and by the morning, it had dramatically reduced to a small red mark on my face! I have wanted to try the Origins Super Spot Remover for a while, but I don't think I will bother when this does a brilliant job for a sixth of the price.

My rather full skincare basket


So there are my recent skincare purchases, let me know if you like these kind of posts as they seem to get the best reponses. I have recently bought some things from ELF, Real Techniques and Avon etc, so I could do another post if you would like?

Let me know what your favourite recent purchase are...




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Sunday, 12 May 2013

L'Oreal Micellar Solution

L'Oreal's answer to Bioderma? I think so! At £15 a pop, I realised it was getting a bit ridiculous paying £15 for Bioderma that was basically water, so I hoped another brand would come out with a cheaper and more accessible alternative. I first bought this when it was on an introductory offer in Superdrug for about £2.50, but it is now £4.99. I thought it was best to use up the whole bottle before writing a review so I could be more of a reliable source.

A bottle later and another was repurchased, but this time for the full price. It is on a 2 for £6 offer at the moment in Superdrug, so check that out. The facial wash and toner from the same range is also included in this offer (I purchased the toner because this was the last micellar water left!)



It basically does the exact same job as the infamous Bioderma. It is a micellar solution that is applied to a cotton pad and swiped across the face, instantly dissolving all makeup on the face. It can be used on the eyes, lips and skin, so it is a time saver and is much better than using make-up wipes. I actually prefer it to Bioderma as it doesn't have the slightly odd smell I experienced with the Crealine H20.






Overall, I couldn't recommend this enough! You save money and can purchase it on the high street. I have seen no negatives skinwise as it hasn't broke me out or anything. 

Has anyone else tried this and what did you think of it? Do you agree with me?


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Friday, 10 May 2013

Current Favourite Bloggers!

Never really done one of these posts before, but I find it interesting to know people's favourite blogs because it always says something about that person or their style.
Here we go...

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Zoella - Most people that read blogs and watch YouTube videos will know of the gorgeous Zoe, known as 'Zoella'. She posts about beauty products as well as clothes and general lifestyle. She's one of the most popular bloggers and seems so down to earth and lovely!

CoutureGirl - This girl is stunning and I wish I could look like her, haha! Her whole blog is so aesthetically pleasing and pretty. She does really good lifestyle posts; I really enjoyed reading about her trip to Australia and I love her general advice videos, in particular the blogging tips one. She seems so lovely and I reckon she'd be a fab friend to have!



Vivianna Does Makeup - Despite the fact she mainly focuses on the high end stuff I can't always afford (sigh), her blog always amuses me with her witty jokes yet serious focus on beauty products. Her blog makes me want to visit Space NK everyday, but also go for a more natural look at times. She pulls it off so well! Her actual blog layout is really simple but effective and different from most other places I've seen.



Lily Melrose - Her blog is mainly fashion and even though I'm not as into that, I really enjoy seeing her outfit posts. She's also a lover of make-up and has recently started a Youtube that I enjoy watching. Her style is amazing and her make-up always looks really pretty too. She makes me want to live in London!


A Model Recommends - Ruth is a model who also makes Youtube videos and writes a blog. Everyone is intrigued to know a model's beauty ritual so her blog is the perfect insight! She obviously uses a lot of high end brands but occasionally features 'drugstore' brands too!


EmTalks - I have just recently come across this girl and she's from Leeds (yay!) I really love her lifestyle posts, especially when food is involved, and I am regularly tempted to visit all these restaurants in Leeds that she recommends. She's really pretty and seems to work really hard with her blog!

StudentInScotland - This is a blog which has less followers than my previosu mentions. She deserves more as her I really like her blog and others should follow! She has really great style and i love her outfit posts as well as her beauty chit chat.

MissBudgetBeauty - I love her regular posts and how she features a lot of products from Boots and Superdrug. She does all sorts of posts and is a fellow yorkshire girl! She is quite abit older than me but I like that I can learn from her experience!

So there are my favourite beauty bloggers of the moment, I hope you find some of these blogs and enjoy them like I do!
Who are YOUR favourite bloggers?






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Sunday, 5 May 2013

The Procrastinating Beauty Blogger Tag


1.  Name a beauty regime that you rarely do?

I am so bad when it comes to plucking my eyebrows. I realise when I am doing my make-up. I have quite full eyebrows so it's a bad trait to have to be honest. Secondly, I don't really ever fake tan. My friends are always like 'my fake tan has ran argh' and I'm like 'Oh crap, I forgot to fake tan. Now I look pale compared to the rest of you'. However, this is slowly improving due to Garniers Summer Body Moisturiser which has a hint of self tan in there - review here.
2.  Is washing your make-up brushes something that you do regularly?

Unfortunately, I can't say it is. I rarely wash my eye brushes (shock!) or my powder/blush brushes. My Real Techniques Buffing brush gets washed probably once or twice a week, as that is the brush I apply my foundation with everyday.
3.  How long will you last with chipped nail polish?
If it has being severely chipped, I pick it off until it is gone or take it off and paint them again. I absolutely hate chipped nails. I try to not paint my nails all the time for this reason, as it is a right pain!
4.  How long will you put off buying/replacing a beauty product, even if you need it?
I generally have more than one of everything, so it doesn't happen regularly. However, it is starting to occur with micellar water, which is pretty much an essential for me. I have gone about a day or two before replacing this and meanwhile, have used my mums cold cream.

5.  What is your worst beauty habit? 

Using a foundation that is slightly dark for my skin. I always fear looking too pale, so when I buy from Boots or Superdrug, I end up getting a colour that is too dark. This won't be a problem so much now that the sun is out though (yay!)
6.  Name something non-beauty related that you put off doing all the time?
Revision! I have my end of A level exams coming up which determine my university application. I am revising more than some, but I definitely put it off to do other things. For example, I should be revising right this very second, but instead I am blogging.
7.  When going out somewhere, do you leave getting ready to the last minute?

Yes. I don't ever want to do my make-up too early because I have oily skin and foundation doesn't last all night. However, I go out on Saturday nights and have work till 6 so I kind of have to leave getting ready till the last minute.
8.  Can you commit to spending bans?

Yes and no. Sometimes. If I am very strict with myself and say 'No Alice, you cannot buy any make-up with this months wage' then I most probably won't. If I think 'Oh I'll try and spend less on make-up' then I'll probably just buy the same amount as I usually do and spend the majority of my wage on it.
9.  How organised is your make-up and nail polish collections?

I wish they could be more organised, but I don't really have the storage facilities. I have a two drawer Muji drawer that I store some lip and face products in then I have a lipstick holder. But this is overflowing and I am struggling where to put things which means my make-up bag is on the verge of overflowing.
My nail polishes are stored in a glossy box style box, however I'd love to have those acryclic holders on the wall.

If any of you lovely lot want to do this tag then do it and say that I tagged you! I tag you all :)




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Wednesday, 1 May 2013

My Acne Experience And My Top Tips

 Hey everyone, hope you're all doing ok!

The other day I was just thinking about how much my skin has improved and it inspired me to share my acne experience with you all and help in any way that I can. If this post helps or makes someone more aware of the cures for acne, then it would make me very happy indeed. Note that my acne has not completely gone, I still have it around the sides of my face, but with make-up its not so 'in your face' and people don't know that I actually have it. I have made one change to my diet that I believe is helping it a lot so I am excited to share that, too.



My Experience

It all started when I was about 13 years old and my skin started to get quite bad with spots. Note: they are those red bumps under the skin as opposed to white heads. I then started to wear makeup to cover it all up and I think that is the reason for  my make-up addiction and most probably, this blog that I have today. Anyway, it was getting worse and worse and really got me down to the point where I cried over it. My skin used to be so purple and angry. All of my friends had nice skin and I didn't understand why it was happening to me. I thought I must not wash my face enough or something, but in the back of my mind I knew it was something I could not control. I once remember one of my 'friends' saying to me: 'Just use Clearasil!' It really upset my little 15 year old self as she made out like it was my fault and like I hadn't being doing anything about it, when that's all I thought about. I went on all kinds of antibiotics (more about those later) and then I finally went on the pill. That kind of helped a lot to be honest, as it was hormonal acne that I had (teenage spots, if you like) and the pill really takes care of hormones and what have ya. To cut a long story short I felt that the pill caused mild depression and made me feel sad a lot so I decided it was best to come off it. I'd rather have spots than be feeling like that. In the end, I just let nature run its course with the help of a healthier diet and more expensive skincare. This has dramatically improved my skin and I hope in a few years, my hormonal acne will have cleared itself (it's supposed to last 5-7 years and I'm on the fifth year).


Skincare

Most of what your skin looks like comes from inside, but what you apply on the exterior is also important. You need to keep the skin clean to avoid build up of dead skin cells and bacteria that cause those nasty white heads. I used to use the brand 'Simple' as it was gentle but I found what I was using didn't have the correct ingredients for acne prone skin - they could be used on all skin types. It is important to use brands that cater for your specific skin type; personally I really love REN. They do a 'Clearcalm3 anti blemish' range and I think their cleanser is really nice and gentle. It is all organic and natural ingredients so you know you aren't using any nasty chemicals on your face.

Try to go for products with Salicylic or Glycolic acid in as they is great for removing dead skin cells. I'm currently using an Elizabeth Arden Oil free cleanser which is working really well but note that it does contain parabens which may not be the best. I currently have a MURAD blemish control cleanser on order which I am very excited to use as it contains Salicylic acid and other spot fighting ingredients.

Oil is not bad for your skin (unless it is mineral oil - stay away from that!) Oil in products is not bad and please do not strip your skin of all it's moisture. Despite your acne, you still need to use a moisturiser! I recommend a mattifying moisturiser; try to stay away from heavy ones as they may clog your pores and make your face more oily. But using no moisturiser at all will make your skin produce so much of it's own oil, so please.. just moisturise.

Another quite note to mention, you cannot 'dry' spots out. They are not made of water. They are a mixture of oil, bacteria, dead skin cells and inflammation.

Make-Up

I assume if you have acne skin, your skin is oily. This means you need the correct base under your make-up in order for your skin to stay looking nice all day. Try go for a mattifying primer and probably not a silicone one, over the top of your mattifying moisturiser.

It is important to think about having the perfect foundation that won't break you out. This means spending a little more money, but it is most definitely worth it. Just spend less on lip and eye products as 'drugstore' make-up in these categories are just as nice as higher end brands.
I recommend getting a foundation that is specifically for your skin type. A good video to watch is the one by Lisa Eldrige - link here - as it gives a range of foundations for all budgets for combination to oily skin. I have tried a tester of the Clinique Anti Blemish Foundation and it is absolutely brilliant. It contains Salicylic Acid so is good for your skin too! Gives great coverage and is a nice matte (ish) finish.

If you have oily skin, you are most likely going to want to apply a powder. I recommend Rimmel's Stay Matte. Cheap and ah-mazing. My make-up slides off my face a lot less than it ever has done and my skin aint getting any less oily. I would stay away from cream products, e.g. cream blushes, bronzers and highlighters, just because they are more likely to slide off your face and could make your spots more visible.

Antibiotics

If you go to the doctors and say your skin is bad, they will put you on antibiotics. They give them out like sweets and it's quite ridiculous and quite frankly, lazy. They mess with your stomach and do not really ever cure your acne. If you have severe severe acne, then you will get sent to a dermatologist (where you should go in the first place really) and they may give you a very strong antibiotic that will sort your skin out but could have health implications, but that is up to you. I am just urging you to not take antibiotics that the doctors give you because they will just dry your skin out and never really clear them up.



Food

Sugar is bad for your skin. When people say 'chocolate causes spots', they aint far off. It contains both sugar and dairy which are the two biggest culprits for acne. Sugar is unfortunately in everything, think salad dressings: they have a huge amount in, unfortunately. I am one to talk on this front, as I eat sugary food everyday. Not a day goes by where I haven't had a chocolate biscuit or a chocolate bar and a cake; it is one of my greatest weaknesses in life. I don't really put on weight so I just eat it all the time absent-mindedly... not good! Apparently, if you don't have sugary food for 72 hours, you will stop craving it. I need to put this to the test.

Try and stay away from Red Meat if you can as it aint good for inflammation. Inflammation = redness = spots look worse.

Next... Dairy. Oh, where do I begin? THIS, ladies and gentlemen, is what has helped my skin. Dairy products derive from cows milk and it is just so unnatural. It contains all sorts of hormones and this is just not good for acne! I have almost completely cut out dairy. I now have rice milk on my cereal (not dairy) and I have converted to soya yoghurts. Obviously, I don't have my toast dry, so the occasional Lurpak creeps in there, as does the occasional pizza (not often). I do like chocolate, as I said before, but apart from that, dairy is a no go. No milk, no cheese and no yoghurt. I have seen an improvement since cutting these things out, so it proves that what goes in your body really does reflect what you look like on the outside.


Exercise

Exercise not only makes you feel happy, but it also gets your blood circulation going. This means your skin will be more plump and youthful. It will get rid of dead skin cells a lot quicker this way too. Just make sure you wash your face after exercise and sweating.



So, there you are, my top tips for acne and my experience! To round it off, I would generally say: eat healthily, stay away from dairy, exercise, use the right make-up, use natural skincare and DO NOT GO ON ANTIBIOTICS.

Have you got an acne experience story to share and would you like to give any advice? Let me know in the comments section below or leave a response with your blog post!



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