Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Bio Oil as Skincare

Bio Oil as Skincare

Bio Oil

Bio Oil

Hi guys,

The scars on my face have got to be one of the most annoying things that’s ever happened to me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not walking around with hundreds of them but having a few around my chin from past blemishes is enough to infuriate me. I hate having anything on my face that shouldn't be there so when I get a cyst under my skin that doesn't come to a head but instead leaves a bruise on my skin, I head straight to my skincare products to find something which will take away the evidence of it ever being there.

I normally use Alpha H Liquid Gold as this is a treatment serum which works wonders on my skin and helps to even out my skin tone but I ran out and being a poor student I just couldn't justify the hefty price tag so I decided to look for a cheaper alternative. I`d heard great things about Bio Oil (from £8.99) from the blogging community and from a few of my friends and family who have had children so when I was walking through Boots I decided to pick up a bottle to see if it was really worth the hype. I know its for stretch marks but after reading the packaging, I knew I needed it to help a sister out.

Bio Oil according to their website, has a unique blend of natural plant oils and vitamins including Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Calendula Oil, Lavender Oil, Rosemary Oil and Chamomile Oil which has been clinically proven to help with scars, stretch marks, dehydrated skin, uneven skin tone and ageing skin. As I have quite sensitive skin I was a bit worried about using it but after reading up about it I found out that it is both hypo-allergenic and acnegenic which put my mind at ease.

Since purchasing it over 3 months ago, I have been using it religiously every morning and every evening to help combat the problem of uneven skin tone, dry skin and obviously to help diminish any scars. I have been using this after cleansing and toning my face which I then work into my skin in circular motions.

First things first, the oil feels super light (I only used a small amount) and absorbs into my skin straight away, this is a bonus because I hate feeling like I have anything on my face. The scent isn't intrusive, it is quite mellow which is an aspect of it that I like. Like I said, I have been using this for the past 3 months now and I can’t help but feel disappointed as I haven't noticed a huge difference yet! The brand do recommend using the product for 3 months before making judgement as this is how long it should take to clear up the skin but no, it didn't really help with the scars to be honest, the faded ones which were already on their way seemed to fade even further but as for the more prominent ones from recent blemishes, it didn't do much to change them. A plus side of the oil is how well my skin has reacted to it with regards to my dry areas, it has felt very nourishing and worked wonders on my skin. Using this along with my Balance Active Youth Serum (£3.99) and the Nip & Fab Dragons Blood range has really helped to ease the dry areas on my face.

Would I recommend for scar removals? Unless they are minimal and may disappear over time then no I wouldn't. Would I recommend as part of a skincare routine for dry skin? Yes! This really is a great oil for dry and dehydrated skin and will help anyone who suffers from this skin type. I recently introduced my sister to this oil as she suffers from dehydrated skin and she has noticed a huge difference!

Have you used Bio Oil before?
What are your thoughts on it?

Have you checked out my latest post featuring My Top Five Makeup Tools
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Friday, 24 April 2015

My Top Five Tools To Create A Flawless Base

Makeup Brushes
Top to Bottom - Real Techniques Expert Face Brush, Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge, Sephora Pro Large Domed Stippling Brush, Real Techniques Buffing Brush and Sigma F80 Flat Kabuki.

Hi guys, 

Today I thought I would discuss my 5 favourite make up brushes and tools that I use when applying my foundations, concealers and highlighters. Real Techniques seem to be the most versatile company at the moment as they have a brush/tool for every need plus they are reasonably priced. I haven't tried any Nars brushes or Mac ones but I don't think I want to as they are so expensive. I think I have almost every RT brush in my collection with the exception of the new bold metals collection so let’s dive in shall we.

I normally use the Real Techniques Buffing Brush (part of the core collection, £20.99) or the Sigma F80 Flat Kabuki (£18.95) when applying my two favourite foundations, Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation (£9.99) and Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation (£36.50) They both give different finishes but I love how they look when applied with these brushes. The Sigma F80 brush is quite dense and applies the foundations perfectly to give a HD finish but the RT buffing brush makes the skin look air brushed. I honestly couldn't pick my favourite from these brushes as I love them both equally. Another brush I love using is the Sephora Pro Large Domed Stippling Brush ($36) which is great for giving an air brushed finish when paired with a great foundation such as the Mac Matchmaster SPF 15 Foundation (£28) as it just elevates the finish of this foundation, in my opinion, to perfection.

When it comes to concealer, I normally apply with my fingers to the areas that need the most attention including my under eyes, any discolouration around my nose and then on blemishes and then blend it out using a damp Real Technique’s Miracle Complexion Sponge (£5.99). I find this sponge to be the best tool for the job as it blends perfectly without leaving you look as though you have too much make up on. This can also be used for applying foundations but I find it takes so much time and if I am in a rush then I want a brush to blend in minutes.

Highlighter is my final step so when I apply my Mac Prep and Prime Highlighter (£18.50) or my Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Concealer (£17.50) I apply under my eyes in an upside down triangle shape, down the bridge of my nose and the centre of my chin and then blend out with the Real Techniques Expert Face Brush (£9.99) As this is quite a dense brush, it smoothes out the highlighter perfectly. This brush is also great for cream bronzers too when contouring as it fits in the hollows of my cheeks and temples perfectly. 

The RT Sponge is by far the best tool for all of my foundations and concealers but sometimes I just dont have the time to blend them out using this so I use brushes to get in there quickly but these are my five favourite base tools that I alternate depending on what product I am using.

What are your favourites?
Have you tried any of these brushes before?

Have you checked out my latest post featuring The NYC Eyeliner
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Wednesday, 22 April 2015

New York Color | Liquid Eyeliner

NYC Liquid Liner

Hi guys

Eyeliner is a staple in my makeup routine unless I’m in a rush and I have to leave it out but it’s on my eyes on an almost daily basis. One of my absolute favourite eyeliners of all time is the NYC Liquid Eyeliner Pearlised Black 888 in Black (£2.49). This eyeliner is perfect at creating flicks and also allows you to either do a thin line or a thick line depending on the look you want to achieve.

I love how this glides on the eye perfectly and creates the perfect flick but I also love how it stays put once applied and won’t budge. Saying that, when it comes to removing it, it washes off perfectly without pulling or irritating the eye.

I have tried a lot of liquid eyeliners including high end ones like the Burberry Effortless Liquid Eyeliner (£23), Charlotte Tilbury The Feline Flick (£22) and also drugstore buys like Rimmel Exaggerate Eyeliner (£5.29) and Barry M Liquid Eyeliner (£4.79) but none of these match up in terms of colour, staying power and the ease of application like the NYC Liquid Eyeliner does.

For the price tag alone, I would urge you to try it out, so head down to your local Superdrug or pick it up online and I promise you won’t be disappointed.

What liquid eyeliners would you recommend?
Have you tried this one before?

Have you checked out my latest post featuring A Facemask Good Enough To Eat
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*Image taken from official NYC website

Monday, 20 April 2015

Lush Cosmetics | Cupcake Facemask

Lush Cosmetics Cupcake Facemask

Cupcake Facemask

Lush Facemask

Hi guys,

After falling head over heels in love with the Lush Mask of Magnaminty (from £5.50) I decided to try out a few others from their range. I bought The Sacred Truth (£6.50) and Cupcake (£6.50) both of which sounded divine.

As you know, I have purchased a few skincare products to help combat my dry skin but I have noticed a few breakouts along my jawline, forehead and chin. I know this may be down to my period or college stress but its been a massive pain in the arse.

Cupcake has been made for oily skin sufferers so I knew I needed this. The scent coming from this mask is marvellous. It actually smells like a cupcake, one you cannot eat! It contains vanilla, fresh mint, Rhassoul mud and cocoa powder. All ingredients help to draw out dirt and impurities as well as giving a deep clean. As well as this, it will help to moisturise and soften the skin. Sounds glorious. To prepare my skin, I double cleansed and layered this all over my fresh clean face. I focused this on my problem areas as I wanted to absorb the oils and help with the breakouts. I waited with baited breath for 15 minutes before removing it. I was going to go in with a face cloth but lukewarm water and my hands done the job just fine.

I was a little sceptical about this as I don't truly believe something can work after one use but I swear, after using this once, the large cyst I had sitting on my chin had reduced by almost half its size. This impressed me to no end as I felt as though it had done its job and actually helped to draw out excess oils and dirt that were trapped deep within my skin. My skin felt nourished and soft too.

It’s hard to find fault with this mask. It does exactly what it says it will. It smells like cupcakes and really treats the skin.

Have you tried this mask?
What were your thoughts?

Have you checked out my latest post featuring A Delicious Curry
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Sunday, 19 April 2015

Chickpea, Potato & Spinach Rogan Josh

Chickpea, Potato & Spinach Rogan Josh

Hi guys, 

I posted a picture to my Instagram feed a few weeks ago which showed a Chickpea, Potato and Spinach Rogan Josh; it seemed to go down well with my followers so I thought I would put the recipe together for anyone who wants to try it out. This is one of mine and Liam’s favourite curry's as it’s spicy, healthy, full of flavour and absolutely delicious. We normally make this which serves about 4 - 6 depending on portion sizes and then freeze whatever is left in freezer bags, make sure the mixture is cool before doing so though. 

This curry can easily be made vegetarian by replacing the chicken stock cubes with a vegetable stock cube instead.  If you wanted to make it vegan then look for curry pastes and stock cubes that are suitable for vegans. 

2 Tbsps. of olive oil 
1 x Red Onion
2 x Brown Onions
3 x Garlic Cloves (crushed)
1 x Tin of Chickpeas (drained)
2 x Handfuls of Organic Spinach
2 x Red Chillies with seeds (remove seeds if you don't want it too spicy)
Bunch of Fresh Coriander and stalks
2 Tbsps. of Tomato Paste/Puree
1 x Tin of Chopped Tomatoes
2 x Chicken Knorr Stock Pot (replace with vegan/vegetable stock cube if needed)
8 x New Potatoes (left whole) or 4 x Potatoes (quartered)
3 Tbsps. of Patak’s Rogan Josh Paste
600ml of boiled water
Natural Yoghurt is optional if you want to use it to garnish and as a cooling agent
Extra chillies and spring onion finely sliced as well as coriander for a garnish

Add the oil to a pan and heat on a medium heat before adding all of the onions. Leave them to cook out for about 10 minutes to brown them. The more colour on them, the better the taste so try and be patient with it. Keep checking them and give them a little stir and when you are satisfied then add in the crushed garlic and give a stir to cook it out for a few minutes. Make sure not to burn the garlic as it can make the whole meal very bitter.

Add the chopped chillies, Rogan josh paste, tomatoes, tomato puree/paste, coriander stalks, stock pots and water to the pot; give this a good stir so that everything is combined. Leave to simmer on a medium heat for 30 minutes. Give the curry a taste to see if it needs seasoning, add more if it needs it. I find the stock cubes and curry paste to be quite salty but it’s up to your palate.

Add potatoes and cook for 15 minutes. Add chickpeas and cook for a further 20 minutes. Pierce the potatoes with a knife to check they are cooked all the way through, when you are satisfied, add the spinach and coriander and leave for a few minutes to wilt into the curry.

Serve with natural yoghurt, extra coriander, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, finely sliced spring onions and chillies on top to garnish. Boil up some basmati rice, heat up some chapattis and chow down.

Give it a go and let me know how you get on. I personally love this as you can add all different ingredients, if I feel like something different then I will do a Butternut Squash, Cauliflower and Spinach curry with a madras curry paste or a Chicken Kashmiri Masala Curry, just substitute the vegetables for chicken and off you go.

I hope you enjoy this recipe guys, let me know if you try it.

Have you checked out my latest post featuring Nip & Fab Dragons Blood Range
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Saturday, 11 April 2015

Nip & Fab Skin | Dragon Blood Plumping Mask & Serum

Nip & Fab Skin Dragon Blood Plumping Mask & Serum

Nip & Fab Skin Dragon Blood Plumping Mask

Nip & Fab Skin Dragon Blood Plumping Mask

Nip & Fab Skin | Dragon Blood Plumping Serum

Nip & Fab Skin Dragon Blood Plumping Serum

Hey guys,

The question I asked myself when I picked these up was, what the heck is dragon’s blood? It turns out it is an ingredient that comes from the Croton Lechleri tree which originates from South America and helps to form a protective film on the skin to protect it against environmental aggressors. 

I really wanted a serum to add a plumping effect to my skin as it just seemed a little dull and I was getting bored of my current skincare routine so I picked this Dragon Blood Serum (£19.95) up from Superdrug. It contains, velvet flower which enhances the moisture levels in the skin, gransil EP-9 which absorbs excess oil and hyaluronic acid which hydrates and refines skin texture. I only use the serum as part of my morning skincare routine as I want it to protect and plump my skin throughout the day which it does. It is recommended that it be used in the morning and the evening but I don’t see the point in using it in the evening too unless you are going out.

After running out of my Una Brennan Moisture Mask, I decided to try something new. I absolutely adore this mask but I wanted a change to see of anything else offered the same solution. This Dragon Blood Mask (£14.95) is an intensely hydrating gel mask which helps plump the look of wrinkles and refine the skin's appearance for a brighter, more youthful looking complexion. It contains salicylic acid which cleanses pores and aids exfoliation, hyaluronic acid which hydrates and glycerin which helps to infuse the outer layer of the skin with moisture. 

When my skin feels dehydrated or a little dull then I pop a thick layer of this mask all over my face & neck and leave it for about 20 - 30 minutes. Once applied, the mask quickly gets to work and dries beautifully without feeling tight on the skin. When it’s ready to remove, a face cloth and lukewarm water will suffice as this will help to gently exfoliate the skin too. This can also be left on as an overnight treatment which made my skin look incredible the following day. My sister suffers terribly from dehydrated skin and I let her use this before we went to a recent event and her skin instantly looked better. It helped to soften out her dry patches just below her eyes and really hydrated the rest of her face. Needless to say, I will probably have to buy her this range as she loved it that much.

If you need something for dehydrated or dry skin or if your skin is looking a little on the dull side then I would 100% recommend this as it will help you out like no other. Along with using these two delights, I incorporated the Balance Active Youth Serum into my routine and my dry patches cleared up within a couple of weeks. If you’re looking for something to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, then I truly hope you have a better experience than I did as I didn’t notice any difference with the fine lines around my eyes or lips in the time that I have been using this but as for hydration, then yes, get it bought!

Have you tried the Dragon`s Blood range?
What else would you recommend?

Have you checked out my latest post featuring My First Blogger Event
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