Wednesday, 21 February 2018

It's Finally Happening


A few months ago I posted this post here which was my first ever proper blog post outlining all about my skin woes. I have had a never ending battle with acne for 10 years, and I thought it was time to be very honest. I went to my dermatologist appointment last week, and it was literally the quickest appointment of my life. I mentioned in the last post how I saw a different dermatologist at my last appointment, and I felt as though the ball was really starting to be put into motion.

At this appointment with the dermatologist consultant, he literally walked in the room and said "right I am putting you on roaccutane". I was a little speechless and did not know how to react and I my throat went instantly dry. I told him I had done my research and I understood everything involved in the process. He is starting me off with 40mg of roaccutane (isotretinion is the brand name) for two months and then I am going back to see how I am getting on. He thinks I am going to need to be on the course for a total of 6 months, and may up the dose after 2 months depending on how my skin is looking.

Due to the harsh side effects from the drug, I signed a pro claimer to say I understand the effects of getting pregnant on the drug. I am already on a contraceptive pill, so he was happy that I did not need to have the monthly blood tests and pregnancy tests. He asked me to have a blood test there and then to check my different levels before starting the treatment.

I felt as though the appointment was a bit of a whirlwind, but I did manage to ask him about skincare and makeup. He said all skincare should be for hydrating and moisturising the skin. He also said it is fine to wear makeup, as long as I make sure I remove it completely. He very much emphasised the fact that I should be using oil free makeup and skincare. This is as roacctuane is reducing oil production so products containing oil will counteract this.

I have a few a different ideas of posts which I want to do over the next six months. I am currently very excited at the prospect of finally having acne free skin. The thought is actually quite scary as this has literally become my life, and I have very much learnt to live with it. But, and it is a big but, I know this is not going to be easy. I am already worrying about the day my skin is going to purge, whether it is going to happen on a day when I need to go to work for 12.5 hours. I have been on many antibiotics, contraceptive pills and creams over the last 6 years, all of which have never had any serious side effects. I have tried to prepare myself mentally for what is going to happen, but I know I am still going to have many days where I am not sure what to do. I am just going to take everyday as it comes, and hope it will all be worth it once the treatment is completed.

Lucy
xoxo


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Sunday, 18 February 2018

Rimmel Stay Matte Powder


This is a powder which in the 4 years of having this blog, I am beyond shocked that this is the first time I given this powder its own dedicated blog post. I remember me and my best friend buying this in Boots during high school when we were probably 15 and we had saved up our dinner money to buy it. Over the last 8 years I have probably bought at least 5 of these, as along the way I really got into MAC's mineralise skinfinish which I have to say is a really great powder. As MAC continue to put up their prices when my last pan finished I refused to pay £22 for another powder. I am not sure what it is but to me a powder is quite a plain product, it doesn't look fancy and it seems like a bit of non exciting part of my makeup collection. This is the reason I buy just one powder at a time.

This Rimmel stay matte powder is definitely an underrated product in the beauty market. What I like about this powder is how lightweight this feels on my skin. I have quite a jam packed base routine, so I need a powder which is going to glide onto my skin and add a light coverage to my base makeup. I do not want a thick powder which is going to add cakeyness or uneven coverage to my skin. It feels very soft and smooth when first applied to the skin which is always an added bonus. I use the shade peach blossom, which has a slightly pink undertone and is a great match for my skin tone.

As the name suggests that aims to give a matte finish. My skin is currently quite dry, so I do not usually go for matte types of products. However, this sets my makeup and takes away any excess oil or shininess. This powder contains no fragrances or oils which means it will not clog pores. Many beauty products contain a variety of fragrances and oils, and I need to get into the routine of looking at ingredients lists.

Best of all, this powder costs just £4!

Lucy
xoxo
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Wednesday, 14 February 2018

The Acne Proof Base



I have finally got together the products which I find help keep my base products on for as long as possible. This has taken a good few months to crack, and it is finally worth me putting them all together in one giant post.

I start off after applying my moisturiser by adding the Smashbox photo finish silicon primer to my entire face. My foundation of choice for everyday wear is the L'Oreal true match which is a medium coverage foundation with a first application, but it is easily buildable to full coverage which is what I do. I blend my foundation with my beloved Beautyblender. I did not get the hype of this little sponge for years and years, but a year or so ago I finally purchased one and now I rave about it to anyone who will listen. I then add a layer or two of the newest item to this base routine, and it is the Makeup Revolution conceal and define concealer. This has become an absolute must have, it is a full coverage concealer which does everything you want, and costs just £4!

For powder I use the Rimmel stay matte powder. Last year, I tested a few high end powders including Charlotte Tilbury and MAC. I recently went back to the Rimmel one, and for £4 it is such a great powder and does the exact same job as the high end versions. I had wanted to try the RMCA powder for soooo long, and I finally picked it up after reading so many reviews. I use this lightly on the tip of beautyblender to set my makeup especially over my chin area, which is where my clusters of acne usually are. This is the area which 100% wears throughout the day the quickest, therefore it is the area which needs the most staying power. Lastly, I use the Gerard Cosmetics slay all day setting spray. I am not sure how good setting sprays are, but this does add some last minute hydration back into my skin and also helps to lock in the finishing touches to my base makeup. After this process is complete, I finish the rest of my makeup. Once my entire makeup is finished I add another spritz of the setting spray, for a final lock in. 

You may be thinking it must take me ages to do this base routine, but really it is just six simple steps and doing it on a daily basis means I complete it in about five minutes. The most important step is to make sure that the foundation is fully blended in, so that when the concealer and powder is applied it does not look cakey. 

I am definitely able to put products to the longevity test as my shifts at work are 12.5 hours, so I have my makeup on for approximately 15 hours a day. This new routine has mainly revolved around adding in the primer, RMCA powder and setting spray. From these extra products and steps I have definitely seen an improvement in the longevity to my overall makeup. I often pop to the loos at different times of the day to see how long my makeup is wearing. My makeup is usually still looking great at the 4-5 hour mark. Beyond this I definitely start to see some minimal wear, I always think until about 7 hours I am happy with my makeup. This is a definite improvement as previously at the 5 hour mark there would have been much more wear. After 8-9 hours it is pretty much a downward spiral if I am being brutally honest, everything starts to melt into my face and there are obvious signs of wear. By the time I get home my base makeup is just about still intact, but you can see in my greasier areas is where there has been the most wear.

On a more positive note, I use this base routine for my nights out and I always feel as though it is all locked in for the entire night. It is unusual for someone to have their makeup on their faces as long I do, but as I have mentioned these steps have definitely helped to add to the longevity and overall wear of my makeup. If you are looking for ways to add to your overall makeup staying power, try adding a few more simple steps to your basic base routine.

Lucy
xoxo

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Sunday, 11 February 2018

Olivia Burton Lace Detail Black and Gold Watch


This beautiful Olivia Burton lace detail black and gold watch was a present from my lovely big sister for Christmas. I had mentioned to her once or twice about wanting a watch from her line so much that she finally caved and bought me one. I think Olivia Burton has arrived on the scene with a bang, and good on her because my god are her designs beautiful.

I have been wearing this watch a lot since Christmas and I have had lots of compliments on it. I like the black leather strap as it definitely not what I would have chosen for myself, but it goes with every single outfit which I wear. The black dial face is a classic design and I love it in contrast to the gold detailing. As a whole I am more of a rose gold than a gold lover, but this has definitely added some variety to my jewellery. The stand out part of the watch and what I adore about it to most is the actual design of the watch face. The lace and the flowers intertwined is such a pretty combination, and I like that it is just around the bottom part of the watch. The size of the dial is 30mm which a perfect size for my arm, as I did not want anything too big or bulky.

The watch costs £78 which is I think it a very reasonable price as I think they have found their market with customers. The brand has created pieces which are delicate and she definitely has quite a classic girly feel to her jewellery which is honestly why I love it so much. I love pieces which are not too over the top, which are simple but have some details which finish the pieces off perfectly. She has recently launched a bee collection and I am simply obsessed with it. I recently treated myself to a bee a ring from the line as it is so beautiful.

Olivia Burton has definitely got my seal of approval with this watch and her simplistic designs. I know for sure I am going to be looking at her line when I want to expand my jewellery collection in anyway. She has a vast variety of watches out at the moment and there is definitely something for everyone.

Lucy
xoxo
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Sunday, 4 February 2018

The Jaclyn Hill Morphe Palette







The Jaclyn Hill Morphe palette first launched back in November and there is no hiding the amount of hype which surrounded its release. I am a big fan of Jaclyn Hill and her YouTube videos. I can always scroll through her videos and find a makeup look which I want to attempt to recreate. She I started watching her videos years and she has always been a champion for Morphe, and she has definitely contributed to the huge brand which is it now. When she announced a collaboration palette with Morphe, I had huge expectations for this palette. It is not hidden fact that I have been a Morphe palette lover ever since their famous 35O palette launched (post here), and took the beauty industry by storm. They recently brought out a 35O2 palette and I love it, I wrote a full dedicated post to it which you can read here.

I have had this palette for three months now, so I have definitely put it to the test. The palette comes in a white cardboard case, which looks nice but it gets very dirty and it is not as durable as there black plastic casings. I like the size of the palette though as it is not too thick or bulky in length and width. The palette contains 35 palettes which is a-m-a-z-i-n-g, as most palettes contain 12-15 shades. It is no lie that I am fond of warm golden and coppery shades, they are my ultimate go-to. What I love the most about this palette is there are around 10 shades which would be my usual go to shades. However, she has added some yellow and pinker undertone shadows to spice up the palette. On the left hand size she has also put in 5 green, blue and purple tones shades and I love that. She has added some versatility to the palette, and it isn't just the good old classic golden warmed toned palette.

There are 17 matte shades in this palette, and the others are a mix of shimmer and metallic shades.  I feel that Jaclyn has got this bob on and has a really got a great mix of textures in the palette. The most important aspect of any product is how good it performs. All the shadows have a dreamy creamy, easy to blend consistency. They are all highly pigmented and are one swipe shadows. The metallic shadows are must ultimate favourite especially firework (6th on the second row), queen (7th on the second row) and cranapple (7th on the third row). This came with a plastic sheet which had all the shadow names on, and this is a little bit annoying as it is super easy to loose. It would have been much better to have the shade names printed underneath each shadow. The only negative thing I have to say about the shadows performance is a few of the shimmer shades have quite a bit of fall out, so I have learnt take a little bit and build it up so I don't end up with it all over my face!

This palette cost £37 from Beautybay and is finally back in stock after so long. It took me so long to get my hands on it and I managed to get it in BeautyBay's first launch which was actually quite a few months after the initial USA launch. There was a little bit of controversy regarding the price of the palette as Morphe's other 35 shade palettes cost just £23. I totally get why consumers are a little sceptical about the added £14 difference. I understand that this is a limited edition palette, and also BeautyBay have to pay more for the import on these palettes. However, in the USA it is the same pricing, the Jaclyn Hill palette is $38 and their other palettes are $23. Overall, I think this palette is still worth the £37, and I think that Morphe and Jaclyn have created a unique palette which is different from anything else on the market right now. I don't often say I would whole heartedly recommend a product, but this palette is great and brilliant if you want something which you can travel with and has a vast shade range. All hail Jaclyn and her dreamy palette!

Lucy
xoxo


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Wednesday, 31 January 2018

The Ordinary Salicylic Acid






The Ordinary salicylic acid 2% solution was one of the first items I bought from the brand when it first hit the beauty market. Salicylic Acid is an ingredient used to help with blemish prone skin as it a beta hydroxyl acid (BHA). The purpose of this acid is to exfoliate the skin. I think what makes this so special is that before this was brought out there wasn't many salicylic acids they contained 2%. The solution is said to exfoliate the inside of our pores, which with continuous use will hopefully reduce the appearance of blemishes. Over time, we should see visibly better skin with fewer blemishes. To me, all this sounds fantastic and was the reason I invested in it.

The main reason as to why The Ordinary has done so well since its launch is down to it selling products without particularly fancy packaging, it has a very appealing price tag, and most importantly it actually doing to the job it states. How many of us have invested in high end pricey skincare which had lots of promises, but ultimately didn't do very much? That is why this brand has taken the beauty market by storm. This solution costs just £4.20.

It says to use this day and night, but I have been using it on a daily basis in the morning. I apply a small amount straight onto my blemishes. It does state you can also apply a small amount to the whole of your face in order to maintain clear skin. I found when I first started using it that my skin tingled a little bit. It was nothing huge, my face did not burn or go red. I just felt some mild tingling over my blemishes. I do get very itchy skin anyway, as my skin is dry due to other acne products my dermatologists has prescribed for me to use. It does say to be careful using this in direct sunlight as the BHA increases the skins sensitivity.

I find that this has reduces the size of some of my blemishes that sit just on the surface of the skin and give me a bumpy texture. I find that this does not work as well on pus-filled blemishes. If you get red, angry spots then this works really well for them in reducing the size and drying them out. I have not found it helps with my overall reduction on acne as a whole, but I did not expect it to. This is good as a one hit wonder on those pesky blemishes that appear from nowhere, and you want to them to reduce in size as soon as possible. It does what it says and dries them out, which can cause slight difficulties to that direct area when applying my makeup. To overcome this, I ensure that I add a thicker nourishing moisturiser underneath my makeup to stop it looking cakey.

I have used three quarters of this 30ml bottle, and I will be repurchasing once it has finished. For the price you simply cannot complain. If you get spots every once in a while which come with avenges, then this is the perfect product to keep at the top of your skincare cabinet to pull out and be prepared. For those with acne, unfortunately I cannot report that this is our skincare saviour which has come to resolve all of our skincare woes. However, I am impressed as like I have said I have seen a reduction in size of the particularly big angry, red spots which can linger on the skin for weeks.

Lucy
xoxo
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Sunday, 28 January 2018

Gerard Cosmetics Setting Spray


I got this Gerard Cosmetics peach setting spray in the black friday sale from Beauty bay. It was a one day offer for half price, and I paid £8.25. I had heard many of my favourite beauty bloggers raving about this, so I thought it was the perfect time to pick it up. I have always thought that setting sprays is one of those gimmicky products that probably don't really do much, and the beauty companies are just making millions of pounds on glorified water. However, some people swear by setting sprays so I was willing to give this a good try. I am happy to say this has been put through the tests and I have used at least a quarter of this bottle. I have used this pretty much every day which I have worn makeup since buying it.

I have recently created a new base coverage routine which includes lots of 'setting' products, which I will be bringing you in a post very soon. This spray is included in two of the steps. I use this after applying my foundation and concealer; I use 3-4 sprays on setting and locking it into place. I do feel as though it does set it in place and stops it from sliding around my face. I then use about 6 sprays after I have finished my entire makeup to set my entire makeup into place. I am very oily across my t-zone and over my chin area where my acne mostly is and these are the areas where I want my makeup to stay locked it. However, I always find these are the areas where my makeup sinks in the fastest, due to the oils absorbing the makeup quicker. I have found that since using this spray my makeup is staying put longer than usual which I have been super have surprised at, but I have also been very happy about.

I find the peach scent is nice as I really like fruity scents anyway. I don't find this that this is too strong or overwhelming. I can only smell it when it is being sprayed, and not directly on my face. I was also initially a little concerned about the bright orange colour, but it seems to come out pretty clear and I have never noticed an orange glow to my face!

Overall, I like this spray. I have previously used the Urban Decay setting spray and I liked it, but due to the price I didn't repurchase it. This is formulated to control the amount of oil in the skin. I find it does add a slight mattifying hue to my skin, but it does not set my makeup to look too matte as I am very much into a glowy and brightening finish to my skin. I am going to continue using this as I do think it adds some benefits in the setting and locking aspect to my makeup. Although, I do not think it is an essential to anyone's makeup routine. I would say if you have oily skin or blemishes then it is worth the money in trying this out to see if it helps with the longevity of your makeup over a day.

Lucy
xoxo
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