Monday, 30 September 2013

Autumn skin care guide!

Crunchy leaves, early sunsets, boots and a changing wind blowing in, Autumn is here. Autumn is one of my favourite times of year for change, maybe it's because of September - for too many years September marked the start of a new school year, with shoes that pinched your toes and an always too long blazer, everything was new, and that's what Autumn means to me. New challenges, a fresh boost of enthusiasm and excitement, don't you just get all tingly thinking about it? (That could be because I've left the window open though!)

As with all things that must change for Autumn, from the browning leaves to swapping ballet pumps for boots - so too must our skin routine. I find that Autumn is a pretty bad time in the skin care calender, it's such a mixed bag We can't fully ditch our summer products but our winter moisturisers are still too heavy for this changing season. Our skin is loosing that summer glow and the heating is getting turned up in doors, causing our skin to dry out and look a little dreary. What do we do?

Body brushing

From top to toe, start every day with a good dry body brushing (if you have very dry skin or eczema then don't do this!). This helps to boost circulation to the skins surface, remove dead skin cells and make way for new ones to come through and shine. This will give you an all over glow and help to keep your skin smooth. I love my Boots Botanics Detox Brush for all over body brushing, and for the face I'd suggest The Body Shops Facial Brush with lid for the face! This little gem works perfectly with your cleanser to clean deep into the pores and remove dead skin cells.

Facial Brush with lid

Again, from top to toe! Go for a slightly heavier moisturiser, like Palmers Cocoa Butter or the trusty E45 Nourish & Restore. What I like about both is they are a light formula, smell delicious and they will repair your sun damaged skin, giving it the nourishment it needs to carry you into winter before the heavy duty lotions come out! Look for vitamin boosting shower gels too, like Molton Brown vitalising vitamin AB+C bath and shower to give your skin that extra boost.

For your face, keep your daily moisturiser light (and with SPF goodness) and apply a heavier facial moisturiser of an evening. Sleeping is not only amazing for your skin, but those 8+ hours a night give the products the best time to work on your skin, leaving you with a wide awake, plump and youthful face come sunrise! I absolutely love the Benefit B.right total moisture facial cream, even though its designed for day wear, I've been known to use it as a night cream. It's a rich cream moisturiser, which for oily skin is generally a no-no, but used sparingly of an evening, my skin has been full and fresh come morning. I find it's a great repair cream after a day cooped up at work with the heating on full blast, it gives my skin a good hydration boost!


Autumn is the perfect time for a little extra me time! Gone is the rush of summer and here we are in the pre-Christmas season. Now is the perfect time for an extra long soak in the bath, to splash out on a massage or facial.  Now that we have a little down time, it's the perfect time to indulge in ourselves! I'm eyeing up the Aromatherapy Associates Renewing & Reviving beauty bag as a very indulgent treat, or the more affordable Sanctuary Spa me time treats. For skin care, the Dr.Hauscka Radiant You Sampler sets out to normalise and rebalance the skin, perfect for the pre Christmas party season!


As the green leaves crisp up and turn beautiful shades of yellows and browns, so too must your shimmery bronzers and popping pinks of summer. I'm an all out neutrals girl when it comes to make-up so Autumn suits me just fine! Lots of warm tones! I love the Sleek au natural palate for this time of year. It's the perfect balance of day to night neutrals, with some lighter shades for the early autumn days, and deep burgandys and moss colours as we settle in for the season. Bare Minerals Buxom Lips in Sugar complements any neautral look with just a touch of shimmer too. It's easily my most worn and favourite from that range!

Sleek Au Natural 601

How are you changing your skin care for the autumn season?

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Quick and easy skin care routine for oily skin!

Heylooo there!

For awhile now I've been all about the less is more when it comes to my daily skin care routine. It's all well and good layering miracle product after product onto our faces, but are we really reaping all the benefits? I think not. I have brought my skin care routine down to the absolute bare essentials and have noticed a dramatic difference to my skin. It's took my close to 2 years to cut back my skin care routine but now I have something that works well for me - and my bank balance!

The basics!

The skeleton of my skin care regime

With a good face wash and perfect spf daily moisturiser you don't actually need much else. I have oily skin so the less products I use on my skin the happier my skin is! My routine is so stripped back I actually only use face wash in the evening. (I can feel some of you shuddering through the interweb as I type!) You heard me right, I use a face wash once a day. Think about it, of an evening you are washing off 12+hours worth of make up, dirt, pollution, oil, sweat etc compared to the 8+ hours worth of products and sweat your skin will have accumulated as you sleep. First thing in the morning, a good rinse with luke warm water is enough to clean your skin and leave it feeling fresh.

I've been using the Simple kind to skin refreshing facial wash gel for years, and it has never failed me. The St Ives naturally clear apricot scrub has been a part of my routine for about 6 months and together, these two have worked wonders. I alternate both products, using one on the even days and the other on the odd. This means my skin is getting a through deep clean from the scrub 2-3 times a week.

Olay complete care day fluid has been my go-to daily moisturiser for well over 2 years now. I absolutely love this stuff! Don't get me wrong, I've tried others too, but I always find myself coming back to this little beauty. It keeps my skin hydrated, protected, and works in harmony with my oily skin. I've yet to find anything that loves my skin as much as this.

Body Shop Seaweed Clarifying Night Treatment

The Body Shop seaweed clarifying night treatment - if you have oily skin you have to have this! This is a fantastic little product that really helps to control oily skin as you sleep. Before using this, I would wake up with really greasy skin and I attribute that to the overnight ace breakouts I once suffered from. Since using this I wake up with mostly matte skin and barely have an overnight breakout. My skin feels smooth and fresh when I wake up - you can't argue with that!

Elemis Pro Collegen Oxygenating Night Cream // SkinLife Energetic Cellular Cream

I only use the clarifying night treatment on my t-zone and chin, so for the rest of my face this is generally where I experiment with moisturiser samples (beauty box hauls etc). For a while I was using the SkinLife energetic cellular cream (BirchBox, August 2013) which was fine, my cheeks felt plump and smooth in the morning and I love the really fresh scent this product has. I was given a sample of Elemis pro-collagen oxygenating night cream so I figured that was worth a shot, considering it's specifically for night time use. I have to say, I've been using it for over a week now and have noted some improvement on my cheeks but mostly around my eyes! The skin seems brighter and although I don't have any wrinkles (yet) it looks tighter too!

Refresh&Revive Facial Sheet Mask // Seaweed Ionic Clay Mask

Once a week I'll treat my skin to a mask of some kind. The Body Shop seaweed ionic clay mask has been a favourite for some time now. It's great for pulling out deep rooted dirt and oils, as well as tightening the pores - but if I use it more than once a week it really dries my skin out. Once - twice a month I will switch out the clay mask for a sheet mask. I picked these Refresh & Revive collagen infusion sheet masks up for 99p! Absolute bargain and I love them. They leave my skin feeling silky smooth, plump and hydrated, they're my best bargain beauty find to date.

Body Shop Camomile make up remover // Bioderma H2O

The Bioderma remover has been my go-to remover since receiving the sample (Birchbox, September 2013) and I am in love with and will shed a tear or two when it finally runs out. This stuff is like water and is so kind and gentle on my skin. There's no scrubbing when it comes to stubborn waterproof mascara, this just melts it away and with a few sweeps over the lid every last trace is gone. I've been impressed since day one! I picked up The Body Shop Camomile make-up remover after a YouTube reccomendation (Anna SacconeJoly ). It's an affordable make up remover that does what it says on the tin. It doesn't melt away waterproof mascara as well as Bioderma, but it does a good job and my eyes don't end up all bloodshot and puffy like some cheaper removers.

My current routine is pretty basic but I like it that way. It's quick, easy and affordable.

How complicated is your current routine? Would you give a more basic routine a go?

Monday, 23 September 2013

Life lately...Blogtember 2013

Prompt: Life lately...

A few things I’ve done lately…

  • Went to see Rush and was absolutely blow away by it! I’ll be honest, I wasn’t too excited about a film that focused on Formula 1 (I’m not the sportiest of people!) but I was completely engrossed from start to finish, I’ve been telling every man and his dog that I come across to go see it – and you should too!
  • Putting plans together for an upcoming weekend break – stay tuned for lots of pictures and posts focusing on that little treat!
  • Re-designing my entire wardrobe. I felt like I needed new everything, a new style, a new brand for myself and slowly that is all coming together quite nicely!
  • Spending more time with my best friends in the whole wide world and making lots of plans for trips!
  • Creating some massive blogging/vlogging plans with my online bestie Jax! You’ll be finding us on each others blogs quite a bit shortly as we collaborate on some exciting new projects!

Life is good, what more can I say? 

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Reliving a memory...Blogtember 2013

A memory you would love to relive.

About 5 years ago I was asked to take part in a opening showcase for the writer, Robert Shearman. I was absolutely ecstatic! I'd been attending these reading events since first year university and had seen countless other students get up and read their work for other writers. For me to be asked to follow in their footsteps was huge! (For me anyway!) And opening for a writer I knew was even better! 

Who is Rob Shearman?
Shearman describes himself as a comedy writer, but it might be truer to call him an absurdist; most of his work, whatever the medium it is written for, is concerned with the effect on ordinary people when they're propelled into extraordinary or fantastical situations

Most well known for his work on BBCs Dr Who, Shearman is an award wining, well established playwright. He also has several short story collections. That night he was reading from his collection, 'Tiny Deaths', which had been shortlisted for the Edge Hill Short Story prize

Looking back, I do wish I had done the whole thing differently, but on the whole it was an amazing experience. It was one of the few times I've thought of myself as a writer of any kind and really believed that I could make writing my life. The glare of the spotlight, the polite applause as you take to the stage, then the silence. The silence is the scariest part. Your audience sit with bated breath, they don't know what your about to unleash on their ears. For those 3 minutes I had them (well, thats what I tell myself! In reality I couldn't see a single face beyond the front row!). I turned my words into a story and brought it to life right there in that room.

It wasn't a particularly amazing piece and other readers had enjoyed their moment for so long I had only the briefest of chances on that stage, but I'd go back and do it in a heartbeat!

Vampire Stat...a warning

As with all new bloggers, we get super excited when we see our page views rising and we're eager to see where these views are coming in from. Without thinking most of us (myself included) will click on the site to see who it is and how they're sending traffic through to our blog, heck we want to thank them for doing so! Turns out, there are some traffic sources we really shouldn't go investigating!

Lately I've noticed my traffic rising *insert happy dance* and I've been really keen on seeing where my visitors are coming from (HI to all you new lovely readers!). So of course I've gone investigating my traffic sources but one in particular sent my spidey senses tingling...Vampie Stat. Don't ask me what digital deity intervened but for some reason I didn't click the link, I googled the site instead...oh jeez.

Vampire Stat on the blogger stats page
The first 4 links on Google all said the same thing, 'avoid this link'. Turns out it's bad! Not only are the hits fake *cries*, but clicking through to the website can lead to all kinds of nasty pop ups, viruses and other computer killing nasties.

They've got some sort of algorithm that trawls the likes of Twitter and Facebook, targeting your posts about new blog updates. They then visit your site multiple times in the hope that the poor unsuspecting blogger clicks their link and BOOM, they've got you.

So please bloggers, don't click the link! Vampire Stat isn't the only one out there, others include;
  • Adsense watchdog
  • Villianstat
  • Monsterstat
  • ontimemarketing
  • 7secretsearch..adsensewatchdog!#sthash.IaQPAVdA.dpuf
     7 Secret Search
 There is still some good news - they can't harm your blog, your Google page rank or your Ad sense earnings. Don't worry about continuing to advertise your blog, tweet about new posts and plaster it all over Facebook (just not too much or you'll really start to annoy people!). Just don't click the link, the blogger is the only person who can see it, not your readers or followers, they're all safe and sound!

If in doubt about a traffic source, Google it first!

If you know of any other sites like the ones above be sure to let me know in the comments and I'll add them to the list above! 

Monday, 16 September 2013

A letter to you from me...Blogtember 2013

Write a public love letter to someone in your life. (It doesn't necessarily need to be romantic.)

base image.

Birchbox Uk September 2013

September 2013

It's beauty box time people! My September 2013 BirchBox Uk has just dropped through the letter box so I wanted to give you all a look at whats to come this month! This is my 2nd BirchBox and I'm still not totally convinced it's the box for me, but I have a 3 box rule before I unsubscribe!

This months theme is Backstage to Real Life. A collection of must-haves that will make sure you're ready for anything!

I do love the little bags in each box

Sneaky peek
Reverence de Bastien #4

I'm a sucker for a good red polish, it's the perfect toe colour whatever the weather (I have a thing about unpainted toe nails). This colour is so bright, with a consistency similar to Barry M and it's a full size sample too, retailing at around £16! I got colour #4 though I think there was a choice of 3 you could have got.

Bioderma Sensibio H20

WOW, this has pretty much sold this months box to me. I have been wanting to try Bioderma for ages! This product has been hyped up so much I can't wait to give it a try. Designed for normal to dry/sensitive skin, it's the holy grail of make up removers. This is a 20ml sample.

ModelCo Party Proof Lipstick
I'm not a massive lip stick fan. I got shade 'kitty'. I expected this to go on pretty dark but was so surprised when it matched my lip colour perfectly with just a hint of shimmer. So much so it hardly looks like I'm actually wearing anything on my lips. It smells a bit like crayons but my lips do feel really soft and smooth with this on. It's not thick at all, and works fine for day time if you want a very au natural look. Full sized sample worth around £5.

Aromatherapy Associates Revive Body Gel
Grapefruit, rosemary and juniper, this stuff smells strong! Designed to even out skin tone and texture all over the body. Use daily, massaging into the skin. I'm always on the market for new body moisturizers, and this will be the first gel I've tried. I just hope the smell fades a little after application!  I got a 40ml sample, full size retails for £31!! 

Molton Brown Ylang-Ylang Nourishing Body Lotion

I loved my Molton Brown Ylang Ylang shower gel in last months BirchBox and this smells exactly the same! I just wish I'd saved my shower gel and could use them both together! Not totally impressed about getting two body lotions in the one box. This one will certainly be getting used first, it just smells so delicious, it's perfect to use of an evening, so relaxing! I got a 30ml sample, full size retails for £18.

Green & Black's White chocolate
 I do love the lifestyle extras they put in each BirchBox, and this is my favourite so far! I love Green & Black's chocolate and white is my favourite! Though this is only a mouthful sized sample I will enjoy it immensly! So creamy and full of flavour - I can't see it lasting until the end of the day!

Some great products this month that I'm really looking forward to trying! Anyone get anything different to me this month?

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Lets go this way...Blogtember 2013

 Day 6

Describe a distinct moment when your life took a turn 

I figured I'd go with a very September related answer for today's prompt. September is one of my favorite months. It's all about fresh starts, new beginnings, exciting challenges and daunting prospects. September was always about school, college, then finally university and every year had it's own distinct moment when my life took a turn in a new direction. 

Starting university was probably the most distinct September moment! I'd never gone to a place before not knowing anybody, I had always clung to a friend, let them do all the talking and slowly integrated myself in. Although I knew some people who where going to the same university as me, we had chosen completely different subjects! I'd started off with English and Creative Writing, though after a few months I dropped English and moved over to Media Communication studies. 

I knew one girl who would be taking English with me - but we ended up in separate classes. We both started on the same day at the same time so we could at least travel up to the campus together. I was so nervous I almost missed the train! That first day they had all the English classes come together to 'mingle'. As soon as the welcome speech was over we got told to get up and move around the room, say 'hi' to people we didn't know and break the ice. (The first few weeks of university are non stop ice breakers!) I wanted the ground to open up and swallow me - I couldn't do that, I didn't talk to random strangers (I was pretty shy and lacked any kind of confidence around people I didn't know), they had asked me to do the impossible!

The one girl I knew got up and started to walk away, I grabbed my bag and followed her. She stopped and turned, looked me straight in the eye and said, 'we should split up and meet people', gave me a huge smile and bounced off. I must have looked like a deer caught in the headlights, standing there amongst all the empty chairs, the whole room was up and mingling, I'd lost complete sight of my friend, I didn't have a clue what to do.

I could have left.
I could have easily slipped off to the toilet.
I could have gone in search of her.

I didn't. It dawned on me that nobody here actually knew me. They didn't know I was this shy, insecure person, they didn't know me at all. I could be anyone, say anything. And it wouldn't actually matter. This was a completely clean slate - and first impressions stick with a person - I didn't want to be the weird girl who just stood amongst the chairs alone looking scared. How hard could it be to just say 'hello' to someone?

Only one way to find out.

From that moment on my life did take a turn, it's amazing what you can do with a fresh start and a little confidence!

And for the record, I met some wonderful people that day who would never believe I was so shy and insecure, I was the one who approached them first and that small act made a huge positive impression on them! 

Monday, 9 September 2013

I'm and ENFJ...Blogtember 2013

Take this short personality test and respond to your results. (at the end, find the detailed profile of your personality account - click "click to view" under "You" and "self awareness and personal growth." You can even google your type and find more info on it!)

Day 5

My test results.

Well, that was interesting. Honestly, I've no idea what to make of those results! I've never heard of this Humanmetrics Jung Typology test before and I found some of the questions pretty hard to answer. All my results are so moderate/slight, I thought I might have had something a bit stronger?

Extrovert over Introvert? Depends on what day it is really - today I must be feeling pretty extrovertish! There are times when i want nothing more than a blanket, a book and silence - other times I want to be right in the thick of whatever is going on. 

Intuition over Sensing? Intuition I expected to be much higher, because I do go with my intuition more often than not! This test says I'm only slightly intuitive...well, that doesn't make much sense to me but hey ho!

Feeling over thinking? 50/50 on this one, and it's the only thing I think this test got right about me! I tend to go with both, never one more often than the other!

Judging over perceiving?  Don't really know what to say about this one! I'd have thought I was more perceptive than judging! 

I googled ENFJ  to try and find out more about this personality type and found this list; 

  • Making others feel valued and important

  • Quickly seeing the positive and negative aspects of a human situation

  • Expressing their feelings clearly

  • Offering loyalty and commitment to partners, family and work mates

  • Trying to always find the solution which works for everyone

  • Encouraging humour and self expression in others

  • Finding ways to help others fulfil their needs

  • Affirming positive community values

  • Naturally falling into leadership roles within their community

  •  source 

     OK! Now that has explained me much better to myself! Though I'm not sure about leadership, the rest is pretty nail on head bang on!

    Take the test, maybe we can be personality buddies!

    Sunday, 8 September 2013

    August 2013 Favourites!

    What was I loving in August? Let's find out!


    Vaseline essential moisture

    Picked this up in Tesco for £1.50 - bargain! I wasn't expecting much, I have yet to find a Vaseline moisturizer I really like, but this one was a surprise! It has a really nice fresh smell to it and your skin feels so fresh it's like you've just stepped out of the shower. My skin felt noticeable softer too! Non-greasy after use, but you you do need to wait a minute or two before you put clothes on, if you don't let it sink it tights can be a tangle!

    Repurchase? Maybe. I think this is actually a great summer to autumn transitional product! Not too light but not too heavy either, great before we bring out the big guns for winter!

    The Body Shop: Hemp hand Protector

    Picked this up during a Body Shop sale for around £8, usually £10. I loved the almond hand cream but was in need of something a little more heavy duty as I've been getting super dry hands lately. I fell in love with the smell of this one, it reminds me of a lime cordial (though I seem to be the only person who smells it!). The creme itself is pretty thick, so you only need a small blob each time you use it which means it's going to last a while! It also isn't as greasy as their almond hand creme - bonus!

    Repurchase? For winter, it could be a winner!

    Maybelline: The Mega Plush Volum Express

    Picked up in Boots for around £8 - instant love! I'd gone in looking to pick up The Falsies but it wasn't in stock and this seemed like the next best thing. For me, it is absolutely perfect for day time wear, one coat and I'm good to go. It really opens up my eyes and fills the lashes. 2 - 3 coats take it into a strong evening eye, but this is when it starts to get a little to clumpy for my liking! I seem to get a lot more fall out too :/

    Repurchase? From the Maybelline line yes, I still want to try the infamous Falsies! This particular one I won't be rushing back for! 


     Kindle Cover

    Finally got my Kindle a proper cover! Picked this bright beauty up in W H Smiths for £9.99, should have been £19.99 but I had a voucher! Its so bright and pretty with a suede interior that's really soft to the touch. My Kindle is super secure and snug!

    The Age of Miricles - Karen Walker
    Close my eyes - Sophie McKenzie
    This is how it ends - Kathleen MacMahon

    Found all of the above off the Richard and Judy Current Reads: Summer 2013 as I was after a quick purchase and their lists never fail me! Hoping to get some reviews up soon! All bought on Kindle for £2 or less!


     Black and Blum charcoal filter water bottle

    Picked this up at Utility for £15! I wasn't planning on spending so much on a water bottle but I had been hearing pretty good things about these and their charcoal filters! I'm trying not to buy and re-use regular water bottles so I figured if I make an investment I'm more likely to stick to it! I was a little skeptical at first but I've got to admit, the water does taste different! It tastes much fresher, especially the water from the taps in work! I'll be doing a full write up on this soon!

    Saturday, 7 September 2013

    My fearful tale...Blogtember 2013

    Todays Yesterdays blogtember prompt will be answered….now. I’d have blogged something last night but I ended up out and about and didn’t get home the right side of midnight to make the post count. Better late than never!

    Day 3:
    A story about a time you were very afraid.

    A couple of years ago I had my tonsils out – I’d been suffering with septic tonsillitis for over 12 months, in so much pain, constantly on antibiotics, time off work and rendered mute because my throat was so sore and swollen I couldn’t speak! It was awful! After much pleading, I managed to convince the Dr to whip those bad boys out!

    I thought it was a brilliant idea…until the morning of the operation. I’ve never had an operation before of any kind. I’ve never broke a bone, I’ve never spent any time what so ever in hospital as a patient, never had an anesthetic, nothing, nada, ZIP!

    I thought I was going to be fine, I was to begin with. I got ‘checked in’, took to my bed, met some lovely patients who had already been sliced, diced and sewn back up. Settled myself in and waited to be taken down to theatre.

    When the porter came along and asked if I was good to go I said ‘sure’, even insisted on walking down to theatre. That’s when I started to get scared, I mean sweaty palms, stomach in knots, it took all my concentration to just keep putting one foot in front of the other and make my way down there. It felt like a scene from a movie, I could even hear that slow, chilling music they play as the victim walks into the empty house – and you know the murderer is upstairs, you shout at the tv, ‘don’t do it, don’t go in there’ but they do anyway. That’s exactly how this walk felt. When I got into pre op I sat up on the bed and took a few deep breaths, trying desperately to calm myself down. I could hear the Dr and his assistants on the other side of the door in the operating room discussing what they were going to have for lunch! Well, if they can be so normal about all of this – why am I freaking out so much, I wondered.

    After a few minutes, the anesthetist came in and started asking me some general questions. By time we got to the third question the tears started falling, my breath caught in my throat and my chest went tight. ‘I’m so scared’ I whispered. This nurse came from nowhere, threw her arms around me, and told me it was all going to be ok. The anesthetist asked if I had ever had an anesthetic before, I shook my head. Her face softened and she smiled. At the time it didn’t make me feel any better, but looking back, those two women were just so nice to me, if it wasn’t for them I’d have probably ran out the room, backless gown flapping in the breeze.

    Eventually they got me to lie down and I was good to go. I remember crying when they gave me the anesthetic and I remember telling them ‘I’m ok now, my throat doesn’t hurt anymore’ – what a wimp I was! I was just so terrified. As the anesthetic washed over me, it was the most surreal feeling in the world. The lack of control, fighting to keep my eyes open – it was awful.

    Looking back I know I had nothing to worry about, I’m a little embarrassed about how I acted, but if they took me down to theatre tomorrow I’d probably do it all exactly the same way! That feeling of being put to sleep was absolutely terrifying!!

    Thursday, 5 September 2013

    An empty boat...Blogtember 2013

    Day 3 

    Pass on some useful advice or information you learned and always remembered. 

    I've no idea where this came from, but I once heard that you should treat all problems, issues, annoying people etc as an empty boat bumping against your ship. They might scratch the paint, raise the waves or dent the body work, but the damage is superficial.

     This little empty annoying boat has crossed your path, it might cause you to take a turn, another direction, you might even have to stop a while until it floats out of your way, but it will never stop you from reaching your destination.