Thursday, 29 August 2013

What I've Used Up - August 2013

I kind of can't believe it, but it's been a whole four months since my last empties post and strangely, I haven't actually used up that much since then.  I've definitely been buying and using plenty of products but with things like haircare and body washes, I've had quite a bit of bad luck recently, so have a few half empty bottles sitting around, which actually my fiance is starting to enjoy using up.

Anyway, without further ado, here are the things I've used up recently...

Bioderma Créaline H20 Solution Micellaire - Yes, another bottle of Bioderma!  Is the beauty blogosphere getting sick of this stuff yet or is it just too good?  I still like it, and think it's a great first step in my cleansing routine on an evening, but since I used up this bottle I've started trying out the L'Oreal Micellar Water on for size (will report back on that very soon).
The last time I bought a bottle of Bioderma I got it from ebay for about £12, I thought it was supposed to be launching in the UK but so far I haven't seen it anywhere around where I live.

MAC Brush Cleanser - I really can't be without a bottle of this stuff in my kit.  I use it every morning to spot cleanse my most used brushes, it just keeps them feeling clean in between the deep washes I two once a week or so.  I haven't found another brush cleanser like this that is any cheaper, but would love to hear from you if you have.
MAC Brush Cleanser is currently £10 for 235ml and is available here.

Missy LePink's Tattoo Tonic - I reviewed this tattoo aftercare back in January (here) and I haven't lost any of my enthusiasm for it.  Both my fiancé and I have finished quite large tattoos in the last couple of months and in caring for those we actually went through two tubs of Missy LePink's tattoo tonic (the other one got thrown out, oops!) we can't get enough of the stuff.  Next time I'm getting tattooed I will definitely be ordering more.
Missy Le Pink's Tattoo Tonic is currently £10 for 30ml and is available here.

Liz Earle Skin Repair Moisturiser - This moisturiser is still the one I reach for every morning.  I occasionally find I need to reach for something a bit richer, but if my skin flares up for any reason I always come back to this and am never disappointed.
Liz Earle Skin Repair Moisturiser is currently £19.25 for 50ml and is available here.

Trilogy Certified Organic Rosehip Oil - I'm not sure how much more there is to say about this lovely golden oil.  I raved about it in a review back in August last year (here) and I have adored it completely since then.  I occasionally go for the Antioxidant+ version (again I reviewed and raved about it, here) but the original is still my favourite.  I use it on my face, my body and once or twice I've even used it on the ends of my hair (worked really well actually) and a bottle still lasts me a good three months.  I cannot imagine a time when I will be without a bottle.
Trilogy Certified Organic Rosehip Oil is £16.50 for 20ml and is available here.

Benefit They're Real! Mascara - I'm normally strictly high street when it comes to mascara but since this little miniature was free in a magazine I thought I'd give it a go.  I was pretty surprised by how much I liked this so once it was used I went out and bought the full size version, even better my full size came with another mini
Benefit They're Real Mascara is £19.50 and is available here.

Have you tried any of the products I've mentioned here?  Or have you been using up different products?  Let me know in the comments.

Sharon x

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Starting Off: Skincare

In case you haven't heard of it, the Starting Off Project, brainchild of the lovely Stephanie at Steph's Inside Voice, is a blogger series with the sole aim of sharing knowledge about makeup and skincare with young people who are just starting out or indeed anyone who is just after a few extra tips.

Over 100 bloggers are taking part in the series and every Tuesday at 6pm for the next 10 weeks each of them (including little old me) will be publishing a post about a specific subject; skincare, foundation, lipstick, etc, you get the idea!  There is an awful lot of knowledge out there in the beauty blogosphere, so there will undoubtedly be some fantastic tips to be found.  I for one can't wait to get reading them, and I hope my contribution will be helpful to some.

Now that’s it for the preamble so let’s get onto the subject of the day: skincare.  The world of skincare can get pretty complicated at times, so my approach to this particular subject is something like this: what would be the absolute basic routine to look after my skin I’d want my teenage self to know about?  That routine looks a little something like this...

Cleanse, girl, cleanse!
To me, proper cleansing is without a doubt the absolute key to good skincare.  I spent a good portion of my late teens using the same foaming cleanser (but changing moisturisers) and couldn’t understand why my skin kept getting congested.  When I finally realised what was happening and changed my cleanser, everything cleared up completely and I haven’t looked back since.

So what do you look for in a cleanser?  A good cleanser should leave your skin thoroughly clean, but without stripping it of its natural oils, the best type of cleansers for this purpose are balms, creams or oil based cleansers, removed with a flannel or muslin cloth.  No matter what your skin type one of these cleansers should work for you (and don’t be afraid to use oil on an oily skin type, it can really balance you out).

My personal favourite cleansers for every day (for my normal skin) are Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish (pictured, available here) and Trilogy Cream Cleanser (available here), but you don’t have to break the bank, there are lots of these types of cleansers available in Lush, Boots and Superdrug  Boots Botanics and Amie are excellent ranges to check out.

Tone and refresh
The toning stage is possibly my favourite part of my skincare routine, in fact I’ve done an entire post about my favourite toners here.  There is a lot of talk about toners closing your pores after cleansing, I don’t necessarily think that’s the case (what are they? Automatic doors?), but it’s a nice stage to include and the right toner leaves my skin feeling cooled, refreshed and really ready for my moisturiser. 

The toners I most like to use are Lush Eau Roma Water (available here), Trilogy Hydrating Mist Toner (pictured, available here) and Neal’s Yard Remedies White Tea Facial Mist (available here).  Again, this stage doesn’t have to cost the earth, and you can find some great toners on the high street, just make sure you steer clear of anything alcohol based, this can be really drying to the skin, and can exacerbate oily skin conditions.

More moisture
Moisturiser is the step in your skincare routine that should leave your skin feeling at its absolute peak, perfectly comfortable and well nourished.  First and foremost, a moisturiser replenishes moisture from the outside, and can be targeted to tackle any of your skin concerns.  As my skin is pretty normal, for every day I just go with a good basic moisturiser (one that works well under makeup) and on an evening, I use a richer moisturiser with a good dose of antioxidants.

My favourite moisturisers are Neal’s Yard Remedies Frankincense Hydrating Cream (pictured, available here), Liz Earle Skin Repair Moisturiser (available here) and Origins A Perfect World Moisturiser (available here).  I will probably sound like a broken record here, but as with every other step, you don’t need to spend a fortune, but I would recommend getting your hands on samples before taking the plunge and purchasing (Lush is a great place for this).

So that’s it for my basic skincare routine, there are lots of other steps you can add in depending on your skin, things like exfoliating, facial oils, masks etc, but I believe this is a great foundation routine, also if I started talking about those too this post might end up the length of a dissertation!

I guess there’s just one last thing to say about your skincare routine, if you’re doing all of the above, great, but also you must, must drink plenty of water!.

Send me a link if you’re taking part in the Starting Off Project, or if you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment.

Sharon x

Wednesday, 21 August 2013 Sale Picks

I'm not sure if it's just me that feels this way, but I completely adore the sale.  As soon as I spy the email announcement in my inbox I head over to the site and start eyeing up all of the goodies on offer.  There's so much I could choose from the thousands of items in the sale, but these are the ones I have my eye on this time round.  You never know, some of these may appear in a haul very soon...

Beautysets - Feelunique Sale Wishlist - August 2013

Yves Saint Laurent Volupte Candy Lipstick (here) - I've had my eye on these babies ever since I saw Estee from Essiebutton talking about them on her Youtube channel.  The shades I'm coveting the most are Mouthwatering Berry and Luscious Cherry.
Antipodes Aura Manuka Honey Mask (here) - There must be at least half a dozen products I want to try from Antipodes (if only I had the funds!). I want to try this mask in particular as I've heard it's great for hydrating the skin without causing any congestion, exactly the type of mask my skin loves.
Guerlain Terracotta Light Sheer Bronzing Powder (here) - This bronzer sparked a bit of nostalgia when I saw it.  I had a Guerlain bronzer quite a few years ago that I think was similarly multi-tonal, I loved having it, and I'm sure I'd love this one too.
Macadamia Rejuvenating Shampoo and Deep Repair Masque (here and here) - I tried some rather generously sized samples of these two products a few weeks ago, they made my hair feel so much softer and more manageable, I'll definitely be trying the full size versions soon.
Elemental Herbology Cell Food (here) - Another product I've heard great things about, this little silver bottle is packed full of vitamins, proteins and anti-oxidants, it is apparently incredibly nourishing without being heavy.  I think I need it in my life!
Trilogy Cream Cleanser (here) - Just two days ago I finished my latest bottle of this cleanser, it's become the only one I'll use in the shower so I will definitely be stocking up on this in the very near future.
Healthy Sexy Hair Soy Tri Wheat Leave-In Conditioner (here) - It seems I'm forever searching for a great leave in conditioner, and from what I've heard on the blogosphere, this could be the one for me, I'm sure I'll sneak it into my shopping basket before long.

So that's it for my picks for the Feelunique sale.  I'm under absolutely no illusions I'll get all of these things, but I'll probably pick up one or two (or maybe three)!

Have you checked out the Feelunique sale yet?  What are your picks?

Sharon x

Monday, 19 August 2013

A teeny tiny fashion haul

Well, it's been a while since I've posted anything (no excuses I know!) and what better way to come back than with a haul?

It's not much of a haul really, only two items I got when Gaz and I were in Manchester a few weeks (one clothing and one accessories).  I was so pleased with the bargains I got though I just had to share them!

First up is this rather fabulous jacket from Urban Outfitters.  The brand is one I haven't heard of before (Ecote) but I loved the jacket.  The mix of utilitarian khaki with the crochet, stud and crystal detail on the back is very me.  So far I've worn it as a cover up on summer nights, and it's been a great contrast against the lighter prettier clothing I've been wearing.  The very best thing about this jacket though was the price I got it for, the original ticket price was £85 but I found it in the sale for £10!  How could I say no?
Khaki jacket against a white background
A khaki jacket with crochet detail

The second item I hauled in Manchester was in Primark.  Now I'm not usually a massive fan of Primark personally (other people always seem to find great stuff, I never do) but Gaz wanted to go in to get some new shorts and t-shirts.  It was when we were heading towards the exit that I spotted this little cross-body bag.  It's definitely not my usual style but I really liked the Aztec/tribal crochet on the front, and it's the perfect size for carrying just a few things around in the summer.  At £4 it was an absolute bargain that I couldn't pass up.

Black cross-body bag with Aztec/tribal design
Close up of black cross-body bag with Aztec/tribal design

See, I told you this was a teeny tiny haul.  I normally buy a few bits and pieces at the beginning of summer but this year I really haven't been loving loads of things.  Maybe I need some new style inspiration as we head into the next season.

I'd love to see what you've been hauling recently. Leave me links below!

Sharon x
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