29 August 2014

Eucerin Dermo Purifyer Active Night Care

Recently I have been struggling with awful skin, I thought I had my skin routine sussed but something was clearly causing it to become angry and full of spots. Every morning I was waking up with another blemish, always angry and painful. I upped my water intake and became more vigilant with my cleansing but no luck. My trusty Effaclar Duo + just wasn't being magical enough. I searched Boots, even tried the traditional Clearasil sport fighting products but they were far too drying.

I have used some Eucerin products before but for extremely dry skin, I did not know they had a range for blemish prone skin. After some serious reading of the packaging I decided to go for the Night Care cream, hoping it would work miracles and I would wake up with radiant clear skin. It has a high concentration of Lactic Acid, a AHA, to help improve skin turn over. 

You know what? It works. I've only used it for around a week now but my skin has calmed down, no longer am I waking up to a new angry spot every morning. I shall keep using it and will report back, but now on my wish list is the rest of the Eucerin Dermo Purifyer range!

27 August 2014

iPad Apps for Studying

I am incredibly lucky to have an iPad to help with my studies, I am forever disorganised so it really helps to have all my notes in one place and of course everything is backed up to a cloud (whichever you choose, just make sure your work is backed up somewhere!) I have rounded up a few of my favourite apps that make lectures just that little bit easier.

GoodReader - 69p (Limited time, usually £6.99)
I have spent far too much of my life printing 100s of pages of journals and attacking them with a highlighter, it was the only way I can research for writing an essay. This app lets you do this but without the printing. Once highlighted the important and relevant can either be emailed to your or printed so you just have one page of relevant quotes. Great for reading, managing and annotating any pdfs! You can also create notes from scratch but I much prefer another app for that, taking me onto the next app.

Notability -  £1.99
Did you go to university expecting epic lectures you've seen in all the films? Instead you are paying thousands of pounds to view some wonderful power points. If you are lucky enough to have a lecturer who puts the slides up before then this app is perfect. You can import powerpoint slides and then write and annotate directly onto them. My other main use for this app is writing up any lecture notes, you can easily import photos from the internet as well as record your lecturer from the app. Basically the best £2 you could spend to keep on top of all your lectures. 

Idea Sketch - Free
I haven't used this app too much, however it is incredibly useful for creating essay plans if you like to create a "mind map" or whatever they are called these days (showing my age..). It is very intuitive to use, easily able to switch between colours and shapes. I downloaded a few of these type of apps, this was however by far the best and most user friendly.

Sunrise - Free 
I discovered this app completely by accident, our university calendar is via google however it wouldn't show up on the native iOS calendar. I downloaded every single calendar app that was free and this was just awesome. It is better than the iOS calendar by far, more user friendly, nicer to look at. Syncs instantly with google and can even be accessed from your desktop.

Honourable mentions
Evernote - I know lots of people love this app for organising recipes and lectures, my friend Kirsty uses it for writing essays
Wunderlist - The best to do / list making app ever.

03 July 2014

Tea Tree Pore Minimiser

I love The Body Shop skin care ranges, they have something for everything from extremely dry skin to acne prone blemished skin. The Tea Tree range was one of the first items I tried, my mum bought them home from a Body Shop party (eh remember them!) once and I loved the cooling feeling they had on my acne ridden skin. They were perhaps a bit too drying for my skin but I still slathered them on in the hope of perfect skin.

Fast forward 10 years and the range has also moved on a bit, they ahem everything from day creams to night lotions. The newest member of the family is the Pore Minimiser, promising to make pores smaller and at the same time instantly mattifying skin with the added benefits of tea tree oil. 

Now firstly it does nothing to the size of my pores, especially compared to something like Benefit's pore minimising POREfessional. For a product that promises as to minimise pores this is pretty crap. It's second promise is to leave skin feeling fresh and pore, it does this. There are better products that leave a perfect base for makeup. That said it is nice to smooth on if my skin is feeling particularly warm and oily.

Mainly though this is a big fail from me, sorry Body Shop.

07 May 2014


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A month ago when I was feeling rubbish and poorly my sister and I booked a little trip to London. She had never been before so wanted to do all the touristy things like visiting the Queen. We stayed in Greenwich and managed to work out London transport every day to get to where we wanted to go. My sister loved the tube and the DLR after mastering which side of the escalator to stand on and how to tap in and out successfully. The forever country girl is already planning her next trip back.

We ate lots of lovely food, Wahaca was as lovely as everyone said and as instagram-able (that is a word, promise) as I imagined. Our feet hurt, we ate too much food and got lost trying to find Hyde Park but all in all two northerners did just fine in London. Even if we didn't really know where we were about 100% of the time.

We stupidly decided to go in the Easter Holidays which made everything about 100 times busier, the queues for the museum's were ridiculous so we didn't get to see the Dinosaurs as we really didn't want to stand in a queue for over an hour. How very un-British of us.

The weather was beautiful, we even had a picnic in Hyde Park. We are basically the people all Londoners hate but we had a wonderful time


20 April 2014

Chester Zoo

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We decided to go to Chester Zoo on Good Friday, it was ridiculously busy (thank you fast track tickets!) and full of awfully behaved children but we still had a lovely time. The meerkats are always my favourite, I can watch them for hours on their little perches! It was beautiful weather, it was so sunny the rhino was intend in having a mud bath in the tiniest puddle of water. It was lovely to see lots of baby animals, just look at that tiny elephant! There are some penguin babies but we didn't get a chance to see them. 

Hopefully blogging will resume shortly, I've been off sick from uni / placement for almost three months now. My life gets back to normal this week and with that hopefully a routine!


05 April 2014

Tangle Teezer Obsession

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(cheapest I could find was Amazon, all under a tenner)

As a child I had out of control hair, always in a plait and I hated washing my hair. I remember the tears and pain as my mum tried to untangle it. To this day I have no idea why she didn't just cut all my hair off. A few years ago I discovered Tangle Teezer, I thought they would never work on my tresses but how wrong I was! It really does work. They were developed by colourist Shaun Pulfrey and was even turned down by the Dragon's Den in 2007. Now they are a global brand and constantly growing, 

I originally bought the Compact Styler, mainly because it was leopard print. Even the smaller version managed to untangle the dreaded knots in my hair. (Mine has since been dyed slightly red due to my permanently dyed red hair) In the Selfridge's Beauty Box a while ago the Aqua Splash version was included, perfect for the shower. It doesn't slip out of your hand, doesn't have any holes for water to build up going manky and horrible. The hollow middle allows it to be really light weight, no dropping it on your toes in the shower (other people do this, right?)

This past weekend there was a lovely discount code for ASOS so I caved and bought the full size beauty. It is perfect. Especially for only £6 ;) Somehow the lovely soft teeth manage to glide through my hair without hurting too much and untangling knots and snags from wearing my hair in a top knot for far too much of my life.

I just wish the Magic Flower Pot had been around for my child hood years! 

03 April 2014

Nail Polish Organisation

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Nail Varnish is one of my biggest obsessions and even though I try to avoid buying more sometimes they are so easy to pop into your basket when nipping into Boots for something or even the Supermarket. After a big clear out of the gloopy nail varnishes and the multiples as well as the shades I just never wear here we are. The wonderful A Thrifty Mrs posted about how she organised nail varnish with little stickers on top and I haven't looked back. 

I ordered these circle stickers from Amazon which were perfect and painted each colour onto them. I found this wonderful box in Ikea, unfortunately can't find it on the website but it is very new and was only a few pounds. Perfect for my little collection of polishes along with nail files, top coats and other manicure bits and pieces!

I would love to have my nail varnish on display on little shelves but living in a small cottage with a man means I can't completely take over. This is compact enough to pop on top of my chest of drawers and is a lovely hot pink.

01 April 2014

How Highbrow Of You

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I love eyebrows. I find myself watching eyebrows and staring at them when I should be concentrating on a tv shows plot. (Julianna Margulies, Alicia in The Good Wife? Perfect brows).

Only problem is I grew up when thin drawn on eyebrows were the best so I plucked my beautiful thick eyebrows into a state of none return. Now I struggle to grow them without them being super patchy. So my tools? I tint my brows every month or so, just to help darken the lighter hairs. I've never paid to have my brows tinted, the Colorsport 30 Day Mascara & Brow Dye in dark brown does the job however they have recently changed the formula and it is really hard to mix. Why change something that isn't broke!

I used to wax my brows but found I was taking too much hair off. Now I tweeze my brows, I am still trying to grow them out / get thicker brows but am not committed enough to leave them for weeks and weeks without being attacked with a tweezer. I have had them threaded a few times but they always leave me with super thin brows. 

Depending on how heavy I want my brows I either use a pencil blended with a spoolie - I use MAC Brow Pencil in Strut (red undertones) or Spiked (for dark brown hairs) or MAC Eyeshadow in Espresso with an angled brush. I also love the ELF Brow Kit which has a pigmented wax and shadow to set, it is a bargain at £3.95. 

The new Gimme Brow from Benefit has changed my routine, I thought it would be a complete gimmick but is actually really good. Some days I now just use gimme brow alone, just with some help from an eye brow pencil to perfectly define this shape. The tiny brush helps catch every eyebrow hair creating dark thick hair where there is none. My only problem is the tiny amount of product you get for the price, but am going to post a full review of this with before / after photos once I have tidied up my very neglected brows. They are not close up ready at the minute.

Yey, eyebrows!

28 March 2014

Dream Wishlist

Ah the hours I spend browsing websites and filling imaginary shopping baskets.

I have never tried anything from NARS, but the flurry in the beauty blogging world over the new matte multiples made me have a closer look. This amazing Contour Blush in Olympia looks like the perfect tone for my pale skin. The Final Cut Illuminator in Adelaide looks amazing, just look at that pink! I can see it on my cheek bones or worn under my foundation to lift my skin tone. 

The Jouer Matte Moisture Tint has been on my list for a while, I really don't like wearing heavy foundation everyday. This seems like the perfect step in between promising to blur blemishes but also containing Vitamins A, C and E for continuous moisture. After my love for the Retractable Bronzer Brush I have recided I need the Retractable Kabuki brush from Real Techniques in my handbag as well.

Stepping away from make up is the Pai Skincare Rosehip Oil  but after reading a review by Kate at ghostparties I feel like I need it in my life. Anything that helps fight the awful acne scars I have been left with is good by me, the Rosehip Oil is meant to be effective in improving the appearance of scars.

I already use Emporio Armani Diamonds on a daily basis, I haven't yet smelt the Rose version but the added notes of rose, raspberry and blackcurrant sound perfect!

27 March 2014

Four Things That Saved My Skin

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My skin is a constant battle, these are just some of the things that have helped turn my forever blemished skin into blemish prone but still red / acne scarred skin. It is a work in progress! Next up to tackle is scarring..

Cleansing Properly
This might sound so simple to most hardened beauty bloggers. But simply ensuring I removed my make up properly (without using face wipes) has made such a difference. I now have a ridiculous collection if cleansers to use depending on my mood. I even double cleanse these days, who knew! First I use an oil cleanser which helps remove every trace of makeup, the oil just clings to all the dirt and makeup.  I love The Body Shop Camomile Cleansing Oil. Second up I use a balm or gel cleanser. Emma Hardie Moringa Balm will forever be my luxury choice but the The Body Shop Camomile Cleansing Butter is equally as effective. On lazy nights I use a micellar water, such as Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water before cleansing to really make sure all my makeup is removed instead of double cleansing. 

Chemical Exfoliator 
I used to use harsh alcohol based toners, in a way they were exfoliating but also stripping my skin. I first tried the Alpha H Liquid Gold that every blogger flipping adored (not so much I see!) but now I am onto my third bottle of the Clarins Gentle Exfoliator Brightening Toner. The fruit acids really help finally remove any left over dirt as well as boosting the skins renewal. On my wish list is the PIXI Glow Tonic however it is never in stock when I can buy it. (It is right now and I am resisting all temptation to tap in my card details)

La Roche Posay
I know I know. Stop harping on about them. Effaclar Duo has honestly improved my skin ten fold. I don't know the magic behind the white cream but if I don't apply this to my cheeks, chin and jawline at night by the morning I always have a pesky spot appearing from somewhere. My understanding is  LHAs and Salicylic Acid exfoliate the skin with added Niacinamide to soothe the inflammation. 

Having oily skin I was always too scared to add extra oil to my skin. I would strip all the oil from my skin leaving it red and sore but at least I had no spots! I would barely even moisturise my skin in fear that I would cause more breakouts. Now I swear by the Vitamin E range from The Body Shop, which I have raved about before. It is for very dry skin but find it perfect for my forehead that really struggles from dehydration lines. 

Honourable Mentions
The Body Shop Facial Massager, really helps with the under the skin spots. Read Caroline Hirons' directions here. The Caudalie Beauty Elixir was in every bloggers wish list / holy grail / hand bag a year ago. As always I'm slow to the trends but this is perfect for soothing redness and just smells amazing. The REN ClearCalm Clay Cleanser is amazing. I find it too drying to use every night but find it perfect to use in the morning before applying make up. The clay really helps clean my skin, I tend to massage it on for a few minutes before washing off with a hot flannel.

26 March 2014

Real Techniques Retractable Bronzer Brush


Who is guilty of leaving a big powder brush in the bottom of their bag? Or at least in a makeup bag in their bag. Yep. Hangs around in there gathering crap and dirt and then using it to apply powder to your face. In steps the new retractable brushes from the now iconic Real Techniques. Also in the new offerings is an angled kabuki brush and lip brush. I went for the bronzer version as it seemed much more useful for me.

It is a beautifully soft duo fibre brush. The perfect size for buffing pressed powder onto your face either to set your makeup or to touch up with when out and about. It is like a bigger version of the real techniques stippling brush. It can be used to apply bronzer to parts you want to look sun-kissed, not so useful for contouring or applying blush. It is easily protected with the plastic lid once you have  pulled up the metal casing. I was concerned it would damage the bristles every time you put it back in but no such concerns after multiple uses. 

It is the perfect hand bag brush, I'm considering getting the kabuki version next as it would be perfect for blusher on the go!

23 March 2014

Beauty Blogger Habits

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This is quite a negative post, but I don't really mean to be. I used to be obsessed with the beauty pages of magazines, believed the promises that these famous faces used face wipes and still had perfect skin without an expensive beauty product or facial in sight. Then I discovered beauty blogs. Real reviews by real people spending their cold hard cash on lotions and potions. Reviews were both negative and positive but I trusted them!

Then the beauty samples started tumbling in, which is great as you could read about more products than they could realistically buy. Except what do you believe? I'm sure that £50 cream you got for free is AMAZING but would you really recommend that if you had to pay for it yourself? Especially when you feature bargain beauty usually. How can you trust a review that only shows a beautiful photograph of a mascara wand against a acrylic storage background? No before or after photo. 

To clarify after tonights #Bbloggers post. I am not jealous of samples. I also don't think everyone should blog about bargain beauty. Just be true to your readership, you know in your heart you wouldn't really spend above a certain amount on a beauty product so why feature it? 

Lipstick Swatches on the back of your hand. Is your hand the same colour as your lips? No. Is it even the same texture or feel? Do you drink water or wine with your hand? Ice cream? No. I didn't think so. So how is it useful to have a beauty post reviewing a lipstick without at least talking about how it applies and at the very least a photo (I didn't photograph the Primark lip stain, mainly because it was shite and didn't do anything.)

The same goes for nail varnish on false nails / nail wheels. Great. The nail varnish looks flawless on perfect smooth surface. Doesn't chip? No nail varnish rarely chips on my false nails either. Models Own Hypergel is a perfect example, they apply beautifully on false perfect nails. On my natural nails they chipped within hours without a top coat. Not exactly gel like.

Beautifully lit photo of your skin that looks the same in every other FOTD photo with a new foundation? At least chuck in a before photo. I'm not afraid to get my skin out.

Basically, I am writing this blog for me. Yawn. Such a cliche, etc. But remember that advert that said you can't complain about politics if you don't vote? Yep.


20 March 2014

Primark Beauty

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I was picking up some essentials in Primark the other day and I couldn't resist trying a few of bits from their newly expanded beauty range P.S Love. Budget beauty isn't a new thing to me, I have many favourites from MUA and ELF in my collection. ELF do some of my favourite blushers for £3.95 and often run 50% promotions.

Back to Primark, the products are packaged beautifully and are a complete bargain. £1 for nail varnish and £1.50 for the eyeliner and lip stain. So first impressions are great. However I wasn't that impressed upon trying some bits. I tried to love them as they are a complete bargain, the nail varnish colours are amazing. The neon pink is just so bright and perfect!

The eyeliner applied easily and was a perfect opaque black. It dried quickly however I am one for rubbing my eyeliner and my usual favourite (Seventeen Wet Look Lacquer) doesn't budge. This? I hardly touched it for it to be all over my face.

Moving onto the lip stain, when tried on the back of my hand it was a beautiful pink except when applied to my lip it felt like using an actual felt tip to colour in my lips. I love a good lip stain, Revlon Just Bitten in Passion is my favourite pink. This just made me feel like I was getting what I paid for.

Lastly the nail varnishes, now the colours are perfect. The packaging looks wonderful. However the lid is hard to tighten once used once and the brush is large to help apply easily but is bigger than my little finger. They are fully opaque in two coats and would be fine with a top coat, on their own they chipped easily. 

So Primark Beauty? Perfect for a teenager just starting out on a make up journey but doesn't live up to the other bargain beauty brands. Sorry!