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Thursday, 20 November 2014

Overnight Beauty

Some of us ladies have a hectic lifestyle and rarely have the time, or money to treat ourselves to a facial or pedicure. But, its okay to be a 21st century woman and experts say you can multitask - as you rest, you can also indulge yourself. And I for one love to take advantage of my natural overnight repair system and let’s be honest, not even the best concealer can truly fake a good nights sleepAll it takes is a few minutes before you go to bed and as your skin repairs, the products will do the hard work for you. Who doesn’t want to wake up looking flawless? Well, whether you need to hydrate your skin, or banish blemishes I may just have the answer... 

A firm favourite in my skincare stash. It has powerful antibacterial, anti-fungal, antiviral and antiseptic properties. It has been proven to treat acne just as effectively as benzoyl peroxide. It’s kind to the skin, unblocks glands, dries out whiteheads, blackheads and those nasty blemishes. After I have cleansed my skin, I like to apply a couple of drops onto a cotton bud and apply directly to any blemishes, or problem areas and by morning the swelling will have reduced, or the blemish will have disappeared! 

Sudocrem a favourite amongst mothers, who like to slather it onto their babies bottom to treat nappy rash and is also a favourite amongst those with acne! It’s a purse friendly treatment, that has been tried and tested and even Cheryl Cole Fernandez Versini has said herself it really helps to draw out blemishes. It acts as an antiseptic and is a great anti-inflammatory helping to calm the skin and reduce redness. It also helps to soothe dry skin and prevent breakouts. I like to apply a thin layer all over the face, or apply locally to blemishes. Look out in Savers and Poundland for this bargain! 

All hail the holy grail Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream. This multitasking, award-winning, fragrance free, balm has been used by makeup artists and beauty editors for years. It restores, calms and relieves chapped and dry skin and soothes minor skin irritations. No matter how dry my lips are, I like to slather the balm all over my lips and by morning they are super soft and restored back to normality. It can also be used to treat the feet. Massage the product into your feet and slip on a pair of cotton socks to really help the product penetrate into your skin. And once again by morning your feet will feel soft, soft, soft. I can’t recommend this product enough! 

Talking of holy grail (really starting to sound like Jay-Z here) Kiehls Midnight Recovery Concentrate is another product I constantly turn to. The blend of natural ingredients and its paraban free formula soothes  and rehydrates my skin. It also works really well in terms of healing the skin, by reducing any scaring and has a lovely relaxing lavender scent. Not to mention the glow it gives my skin by morning and how it helps make you appear more awake than you really are. It’s my must have nighttime treatment. You can read my full review here

When it comes to overnight hydrating treatments, the options are endless and it’s all about masks right now. We often get dehydrated whilst sleeping, especially during autumn and winter but this super lightweight mask from GLAMGLOW hydrates the skin overnight, revealing softer, nourished, glowing skin by morning. You can read my full review here. But if this product isn’t in your price range, opt for Origins Drink Up Overnight Mask. 

This light lotion has been a bedside staple of mine for just over a year and helps to even out skin tone and minimise imperfections. Once or twice a week before I hit the sheets, I like to apply a little onto a cotton pad and swipe the product all over my face (avoiding my hair line and eyebrows). It’s moisturising, doesn’t smell offensive, doesn’t break me out, leaves my skin looking healthy, all whilst giving me a faux sun kissed glow by morning. You can read my full review here. 

On the overnight beauty wish list: Sarah Chapman, Skinesis Overnight Facial and Kiehls Midnight Recovery Eye. 

What beauty products do you reach for before bed?
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Tuesday, 18 November 2014

The Dry Itchy Scalp Saviour

I’am certainly not an expert on dry, itchy scalps. But I have found a solution that works. The change in weather in the last couple of weeks has wreaked havoc with my scalp. It was flaky and itchy, very itchy. TMI? Which is something I’m all too familiar with. And having a dry, itchy scalp can be really embarrassing, but rest assured it is very common. Now, there are lots of causes of a dry itchy scalp such as; excessive anxiety, stress, dandruff, poor hair care, change of hair products, product buildup, not drying your hair thoroughly and changes in temperature, or season, like in this case.   

In hope to soothe my scalp I had bought a couple of products, such as anti-dandruff shampoo and Boots Expert Dry Scalp shampoo and nothing helped. It is worth mentioning that if over the counter/at home remedies aren’t working, or your scalp is inflamed, oozing, cracking or bleeding consult your GP.

Now, DIY beauty has never really been my thing, just a thing of PinterestBut having learnt (after a little of online reading) that a simple dry scalp requires nothing more than moisturising, a mixture of natural oils seemed like a good solution. As a dry scalp is generally down to the lack of moisture in your hair follicles, coconut oil works wonders as it super moisturising and acts as a treatment to restore moisture, it also helps soothe the scalp and creates a barrier to keep the skin moisturised. Tea tree oil on the other hand, has powerful natural anti-fungalanti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. That kills the bacteria causing the over production of skin cells which create dandruff. And together coconut oil and tea tree oil make the perfect dry, itchy scalp saviour. 

What you need: 
All you need to do is take the coconut oil and mix it with the tea tree oil. Coconut oil is solid and liquifies when warmed. I personally like to mix the products together using the back of a spoon and then I will take then solid(ish) coconut oil and massage it into my scalp and during this process it will melt. I spend a few minutes massaging the scalp and then leave the treatment for as long as possible. And after a couple of hours, I wash out the oils using my regular shampoo (make sure you rinse your hair well, otherwise you’ll be left with super greasy hair) and then dry my hair thoroughly.

I didn’t expect much from this at home treatment, but it was in fact incredibly soothing and helped to relieve the symptoms of my dry itchy scalp unlike anything else I have tried. Since I have had a visit from the hairdresser and explained my nightmare and she said my scalp looked happy and healthy and boy am I glad! I couldn’t be any more impressed. Maybe I should venture a little more into at homemade beauty treatments...

Do you suffer from a dry, itchy scalp this time of year? 
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Sunday, 16 November 2014

Boots Christmas Picks: For Him

Last week I shared with you my Boots Christmas Picks: For Her, so it only seemed right to do the same for him. As males are generally not as beauty obsessive as us females, I have also picked a couple of non beauty related items. Boots cards at the ready ladies, its time to rack up a few more  advantage points...

[1] Ralph Lauren Polo Red EDT 75ML Gift Set £39.50
I was going to suggest Paco Rabanne 1 million, but I don’t really know a male that doesn’t own a bottle yet! So instead I have picked Ralph Lauren Polo Red, an award-winning fragrance that has a citrusy, woody scent and smells pretty darn lovely.

[2] Lego Touchplay Mini Speaker In Red £14.99 (3for2)
Music and Lego are two things I can guarantee pretty much every male loves! This mini speaker is currently on offer with a saving of £5.00 (RRP £19.99). It’s fun and suitable for use with apple and android phones. 

[3] L’oreal Men Expert The Complete Expert Gift Set £15.00 (3for2) 
Ladies, if your man likes to use your moisturiser in the morning, or your dad is a regular shaver, this L’oreal gift set could be for him. The set includes an Ice Cool Face Wash (150ml) that deeply cleanses and purifies skin, Shave Revolution Shave Gel (150ml) that helps give a smoother shave and Hydra Energetic Anti Fatigue Moisturiser (50ml) to help fight 5 signs of skin fatigue whilst providing 24 hour hydration.

[4] Red5 Robot Time Metal Robot Alarm Clock £12.00 (3for2)
Another quirky gadget, but this time in form of an alarm clock! Posable robot, with an analogue clock face. A fun and practical gift for both kids and adults! 

[5] FCUK Step It Up Socks, Bodyspray And Hair And Bodywash £12.00 (3for2)
When I think of Christmas, I often think of the amount of washing and body products that are received and never used, that go straight into the cupboard. But this set won’t disappoint. It includes FCUK Style Body Spray (200ml) and FCUK Style Hair & Body Wash (300ml) which smell lovely and even comes with a pair of stripey socks! The scent is fresh and masculine and is my choice out of the mens toiletries this year.

[6] Stone Bake It Pizza Set With Cutter And Seasoning Flakes £20.00 (3for2)
If you know someone that loves pizza and likes to cook (or thinks he can cook *cough* puts already made pizza into oven *cough*), then this pizza set could be for him! This set comes with a rack, pizza cutter and garlic and chilli flakes. Pretty cool, huh? 

[7] Jack Wills Men’s Gym Ready Essentials Toiletries And Bag £45.00 (3for2)
This product is the priciest out of the bunch, but is still included in the 3 for 2 offer. The navy gym holdall by Jack Wills, is made using the finest quality materials and comes with Body Spray (150ml), a Drinks Flask, Shower Gel (200ml) and Shampoo (200ml). Perfect for the daily commuter, or gym goer.

[8] Red5 U4 Gyro Remote Control Helicopter £25.00 (3for2)
Anything that requires a remote control and flies, is always a winner when it comes to novelty Christmas presents. Men like their gadgets. Fact. So this remote control helicopter from Red5 could be a hit on Christmas Day! The infrared helicopter comes with a 3 channel remote and the latest gyro technology. And lets be honest, it could be a bit of fun for everyone! 

What are your picks from Boots this year?
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Friday, 14 November 2014

Worth The Hype? The LORAC Pro Palette

Say hello to my much loved LORAC Pro Palette, the most versatile pre-made palette I own. The palette has 16 shadows, half matte and half shimmer and has recently become one of my most used eyeshadow palettes. It’s not like any other palette I own and I feel a little guilty having neglected my MAC eyeshadow palettes recently; two of my most treasured items in my makeup collection. But, the colour selection, pigmentation and blendability have made this palette an absolute dream to use on a daily basis. 

The palette is packaged in slim cardboard with a rubbery NARS like texture and is much smaller than the Urban Decay Naked palettes. Talking of which, I would defiantly consider this palette over the Urban Decay Naked 1 Palette, as the LORAC palette has much more variety (mix of shimmer and matte), cool and warm shades and rather than just being your standard neutral palette with a mix of beiges, LORAC has thrown in a couple of bolder shades too! What’s not to love? 

The shadows overall have good pigmentation, although a couple of the matte shades do need a little more work (‘White' & ‘Cream'). I have read a few reviews that mention how the shadows are chalky, but I disagree, the shadows are almost a creamy powdery texture and I actually don’t get any fall out from any of the shades, other than ‘Champagne’ which is a little gritty. You actually get more fallout onto the palette itself, so avoid rubbing your brush into the shade, pat your brush instead, then tap away any excess. The shadows are extremely easy to blend and the mattes and shimmers work together like a dream. And in terms of longevity, I don’t experience any creasing, with or without a primer and they last on average 5-8hours. 

Now, I want to address that before I owned this palette, for me it was all about shimmer. And upon first inspection, I presumed my favourite colour from the palette would be ‘Nude', however I have fallen in love with the matte eyeshadows and a couple of the bolder shades in this palette. Previously I have never taken much interest in matte eyeshadows, but this palette has converted me!  I love ‘Taupe' in particular, especially when worn in the crease, with 'Lt Pink' or ‘Cream' on the lid (you can see me wearing this here). In terms of the shimmery shades, ‘Pewter’ a beautiful taupe shade and ‘Garnet’ a rustic red orange, pack a punch or two and look beautiful when worn all over the lid, with a little of my trusty ’Taupe’ in the crease. You can also use the matte brown shades for your eyebrows and ‘White’,’Cream’ and ‘Lt Pink’ are great for highlighting especially when wet - I like to do this using a bit of MAC fix+.

Overall, the LORAC Pro Palette is versatile and is quite simply wonderful (and I may have recently got hold of the LORAC Mega Pro Palette!!). Now, I wouldn’t rave about a product you can’t necessarily get your hands on here in the UK, so I have done a little research for you all: This palette is available on the UK version of Amazon here, but retails with P&P at £62. However, when bought from the US version of Amazon here, it would cost you just £46.36 ($70.25) including P&P and import fees. It might take 8-14 business days to arrive but it is well worth the wait! 

What palette do you reach for on a regular basis? 
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