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.


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.


Wednesday 24 January 2018

Wonder'fully Real Mascara

 So when I went into Boots recently they had an amazing offer on. It was 3 for 2 on all items, and then when you spent £8 you got their new wonder'fully real mascara free. I had tried many Rimmel mascaras over time and I have had some great ones, but some also not so great ones. I was excited at what this mascara was promising me - both length and volume.

The length of the wand is longer than most, which to me initially sparked thought that this would mean that it would capture all of my lashes at once. It does do this and it manages to reach every lash which is a definite bonus. I feel as though it does coat my lashes well, it does not smudge, or flake and it is definitely a clump free formula. It also feels comfortable on the lashes and the application process is smooth.

However, if I am being truly honest this isn't the greatest mascara I have ever tried. I have to say it does add some length, but for me it doesn't add much volume. When I first tried this mascara I found that it coats my lashes but did not add any definition. I am not sure if this is down to their not being a 'curling' aspect to the wand. It does not claim to have this, but I think it is an essential to any mascara. I think the curl and the volume go hand in hand when it comes to what a consumer wants from a mascara. This is all down to the actual brush wand; I feel as though the bristles are short, thin and spread out. I then started to use my eyelash curlers to add the curl which the mascara did not, and this indeed did help. It also helped with the definition as my lashes stood out more.

I came to the conclusion that this is very different to most of my mascaras which I have used in the past. This is definitely the reason why it has taken me quite a few weeks to get my head around the best way to use this. As I have already mentioned the bristles are much smaller, and I think I need something bigger and fuller to reach from root to tip of every lash. It also has quite a wet formula and I find it takes a little while for it to set, and if you move in too quickly with another coat it can end up looking very clumpy, very quickly. However, if you are already blessed with longer more fuller lashes, this can definitely help to add some length.

Lastly, I have been using this in combination with my L'Oreal Paradise mascara, which is currently my favourite go-to everyday product. I did write a full review ranting and raving about it, which you can read here. The past few days I have been using the L'Oreal Paradise first to coat my lashes, I then curl my lashes with the eyelash curlers, and to finish off add a coating of the Wonder'fully Real on top, and so for it is proving to be a great combination. The end result is my getting the volume, curl and length - which is a total winner.

It is no hidden fact it is a struggle for me to find a mascara which does everything that I want. My lashes aren't short, but they are sparse. Therefore, I need a product which does a lot. This unfortunately did not do everything which I wanted it to do. I am always going to be honest with my reviews on my blog, and that is the reason why I have been brutally honest with this mascara. I have tried this product on many occasions, and as I have mentioned with the use of my eyelash curlers and another mascara I am finding it much better. I do like the formula, but the actual bristles on the brush just don't do much for my lashes. I would definitely suggest trying this mascara with some eyelash curlers as it definitely did help to add some curl and definition. As I always say, a product which doesn't do everything I want may do everything you want. I am, and I will probably always be a huge fan of Rimmel and their drugstore affordable products. Unfortunately though we are all different and all want different things from products, and I am never going to try a product and give it a 10/10 rating every time.



Friday 19 January 2018

My Netflix Picks

Over the past two weeks I have been off work with the flu. This means a lot of TV has been watched - morning, noon and night. There is no denying that since Netflix landed on the scene, its audience has become catastrophic. I have put together my best shows which I have really enjoyed, and there is such an array of different types of programmes.

First up, Pretty Little Liars, this show had me from start to finish. I was a bit late to the bandwagon with this, as I think I only got on track at series 4. I binge watched the first few series, and was instantly hooked. I would wait each week for the episode to be available on Netflix, and my friends being as obsessed as me did not help! It is a simple storyline following a group of girls and their friendship through high school and into adult life. There is a character called A who does lots of different things to this group and many of the other characters, and the purpose of the programme is the girls finding out who A is. Let's not mention the final few episodes of the last series (what the hell were they thinking!), but if you want a seriously girly, cringe-worthy series with lots of eye candy then this is for you.

This is not going to be for everyone, but Cheersquad was definitely up my alley. Since they age of 3 I have taken dance lessons, and did 5 years of cheerleading whilst at school. Now, the girls on this programme are in another league, as they are one of the top cheerleading teams in the world. I love the behind the scenes and seeing the tears and dedication which goes into being in such a high ranking team. This series follows the girls on their journey to the world championships. I totally loved this and I so hope they bring out a second series. 

When 13 Reasons Why was first put on to Netflix, there was a little controversy surrounding its storylines. It is based around a teenage girl called Hannah Baker and each episode is a tape recording of her speaking to a particular character. It is a very thought provoking programme, and it highlights the current issues with mental health and suicide. For me, I thought it really highlighted how you interpret differently what someone says and their actions. Apparently there is a series 2 of this on the way as the first series was watched by millions, and it really did get the internet talking.  

Now Riverdale series 1 was great, the story moved along at a good pace, and the characters were intriguing. Series 2 is currently on at the moment, and I personally feel as though it has let its self down. The story seems to flutter backwards and forwards and it is hard to keep up with what is really going on. I really hope they manage to drag the storylines back together, during the second half of this series. I thoroughly enjoyed watching series 1, and it had some great twists and turns within the story which made you want to come back for more each week.

I discovered Dynasty one day at the start of December, on the picks for you section that Netflix offers. You have to watch it with a light heart, as the storyline is very stereotypical. The story is based around a family who own a big energy company which is worth millions. It follows the dad and his new wife, and his two children from his first marriage. They live the lifestyle which you would expect with a huge mansion with lots of staff, the daughter has every designer bag you could think of, and the son is struggling with his relationships. As always with this type of series, there is lots of twists and turbulence along the way.

I am not quite sure how to describe Stranger Things in a nutshell! It is set in a town called Hawkins in the USA in the 1980s. Within a group of four school boys, one of them (Will) disappears and is abducted by a creature in the upside down (which is essentially like another paranormal universe). The upside down was created by this science lab in Hawkins, which often involve human testing. A girl who has been involved in this testing for years escapes from the lab, and ends up in hiding in one of the boy's bedroom. The story then develops from here, in how Will's family and friends search for him. In the meantime, there is a lot of abnormal activity going on. The second series develops on this storyline, and how this activity is still ongoing.  

You Me Her, is not my classical typical of programme. The storyline is unique and nothing like I have watched before. It follows a married couple who seem to have lost the fire in their relationship. It focuses on how much they still love each other, but the sexual side of their relationship has become almost non-existent. The husband decides to hire an escort at the advice of his brother, it turns out that Izzy (the escort) is not what he expects and this is where the story stems from. His wife finds out about Izzy and it turns out she has had relationships with girls in her youth which her husband has never been aware of until now. It then develops into them starting a three-way relationship, and how none of them know how to handle it. However, none of them want it to stop as they all start to become emotionally invested in it. I have just finished series 2 and I have really enjoyed how the story has developed, and it hasn't become too unrealistic.

If you watch any of these programmes, please let me know. Also, if you have any other Netflix recommendations that you think I would enjoy, I would be super happy if you can share them with me!

Wednesday 17 January 2018

Hello Internet

So I came into 2018 which a fresh mind in regards to the blogging industry. But last night my eyes couldn't believe what they were reading. I am not going into detail about anything, however when someone is publicly targeted and called every name under the sun then that is going to affect someone.

Last August after 3 and a half years of having my blog, I finally had the courage to put up a post about my insecurities and how people perceive me on a daily basis. I have a thick skin, I definitely didn't when I was younger but honestly people can be truly vile. Troll or no troll, someone is writing these comments. I am proud to say never would I even in a heated discussion with someone would I ever first thrown out about their looks. It is so easy for people to throw out the words 'ugly' and 'fat'. It honestly makes me blood boil. I don't think I have ever met someone who hasn't had something offensive regarding their looks said to them.

This just made me remember something which I have thankfully not thought about in years. I remember at high school someone said something nasty to my best friend on Facebook, and I replied telling them to stop. The next minute some unknown person joined in and started calling me every name possible, and my entire school year saw it. I was honestly devastated. I remember going to bed that night and literally sobbing my heart out. Thankfully, like I say I have grown a slighter thicker skin. I know for sure I have grown up, and I am done with people's bullshit and opinions. I think I come across as quite a confident person; I am in some ways but not in a lot of others. I think this is because I really value my friendships, and if someone is being truly out of order I will say.

I do think some people go out of their way to cause drama, but I am not about that life. I am 23 years old and I see women still acting like petulant children, and being catty about something so minor. On the internet, this is made a million times worse as you get thousands of unknown people commenting on anything and everything, which 99% of the time has nothing at all to do with them. Honestly if one more person writes that bloggers blog for freebies, I think my eyes are going to roll out of my head. I am not holding back in this post, and one thing I have noticed when it comes to trolling is that a large proportion of these people (both male and female) are in their 30's and 40's with children. Now, I am not saying that just because you have children you cannot have an opinion on any social media. What I am saying is this age category should know better. No one, no matter what age, understands the repercussions of what their nasty comment will have. They have done it to simply create a reaction.

When I was at school, Facebook was the biggest social media platform alongside MSN messenger that we used. I would come home from school and hop straight onto the computer and onto the MSN messenger, and speak to all of my friends who I have spent the entire day with at school. As we had phone top ups I could not roam the internet freely for hours upon hours, and I kind of wish it was like that now. From this, I just want to highlight how when you type something, whether it being a direct comment, jumping on the bandwagon which seems to be the most popular one, or the worst of all writing or sharing a nasty post about someone please just stop for 5 seconds. All I want you to do is think what if that was me. I am not going to lie I have typed out some unkind messages when people have been on personal rants to me or my friends, and my initial reaction because my blood is boiling is to lower yourself to their level and write something equally as nasty back. There has been several occasions where as I am about to press post, I have had to take a deep breath and just delete it. It goes back to those simple morals of - if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all. I believe in only saying something to someone, which you would want someone to say back to you. Is it really isn't that hard to be nice. I often refresh my Twitter feed so I am only following people who are uplifting and positive, as people on a daily basis who moan and groan can be draining for you to read.

I am not going to really include too much regards into blogging, pitching and the rest of it. All I can say is in ten years when the blogging industry is actually recognised for being more than just collecting a few freebies, I will have a big smile of my face. I just don't get it I go to ballet lessons and have done since I was 3, and everyone still thinks that it is nice that I go. If you mention your blog online, people's first reaction is "do you get sent loads of samples?". No, it is just another hobby like anything else that people enjoy doing in their spare time.

What made me laugh in all this, is those parents, or anyone in that older age bracket who are trolling, is how many of them have bought some Youtuber merchandise for their children, niece/nephew or younger cousin? I am pretty sure Zalfie wouldn't be living in their glorious mansion, if people hadn't bought their merchandise. Just saying. Their biggest audience is definitely the 10-15 age bracket and these kids aren't buying it all themselves. I am a fan of Zoella, some bloggers love her and some dislike her. This is fine, as people are entitled to their own opinions, and can come to their own judgments on this. We are never going to like everyone. There are many YouTubers I don't like, but I simply do not subscribe to them. It is easy. These trolls come from nowhere and spend hours hopelessly creating arguments with anyone who has a slight difference of opinion, and it is simply just getting down right boring. I see it that is fine for the big Youtubers who have millions of followers as their merch keeps their kids happy, but it is not fine for anyone with a smaller audience as our opinions seem to become completely invalid.

I have come to realise that maybe I am allowing too much of myself to be on my social network pages, and it is something I am going to think about. As you can probably tell I am still livid, but I am most of all just massively disappointed in where we are at the moment. I think I am going to take a break from social media over the next few weeks, to clear my mind and not get caught up with all this nonsense. Tomorrow I am back in work for the first time in nearly two weeks after being off with the flu, and I have literally spent an embarrassing amount of hours in bed scrolling through social media. It is pretty rubbish to think that we have to 'take breaks' in order to clear our minds of all the crap that is out there on social media. I do think it is sometimes needed for our own sanity and I think I am at that point.

I think I need a holiday. Is anyone offering a free plane ticket?


Sunday 14 January 2018

Urban Decay Haul

On boxing day whilst shopping in the aisles of the Selfridge's sale, I was surprised to see a mass of girls over at the Urban Decay makeup counter. In previous years, high end makeup brands never really get involved in the big sales and only offer minor discounts such as 10% off. However, Urban Decay had some really big reductions on some of their products. It was a little bit frantic trying to reach in for the products which I wanted to have a look at. I did manage to pick up some absolute bargains; they had 30% off some fabulous makeup pieces.

The first thing was the Urban Decay meltdown makeup remover which is a dissolving spray. I have never heard of this before, and I was instantly intrigued. This powerful spray mists onto the skin and when it comes into contact with makeup it starts to instantly dissolve. It says to simply spray onto a cotton ball and swipe away makeup. It sounds easy and like a great innovative addition to the skincare world if it works as simply as it sounds. This was just £6.70 for a 30ml size bottle. I cannot wait to try this out and report back.

The next item which caught my eye was the lockdown travel duo set. In this set you get the optical illusion complexion primer and the all nighter makeup setting spray. The primer is intended to blur out flaws and smooth out your skin. On first impressions, this is a soft primer which has a slight rosy pink hint to it, but sets down to a translucent matte finish. The consistency of the cream is thicker than expected, which will hopefully create a perfect base for my makeup. This set also comes with an all nighter setting spray. I have previously tried their de-slick setting spray when I had more oiler skin and enjoyed using it. I hope this does exactly what it intends and locks my makeup in place. This was on sale from £18 to £12.06.

The last thing I picked up from the sale shelves is the ultimate pair. This came in different colours and I picked up the backtalk and rush duo. These are both mid-tone mauve pinky nudes, which are both stunning shades. Urban Decay is not a brand which I have bought a lot of products from over the years. However, I have numerous eyeshadow palettes from them, and I have always been impressed. I have read some great reviews about their lip products, so I am very excited to put these to the test. Just from swatching the lip liners they are a soft crayon, which are easy to apply did not pull at all and was super smooth. The lipstick is part of their comfort matte range, which feels super comfortable and has a lovely creamy consistency. This duo was a bargain as both of these are full size, and was originally £22 and I paid £14.74.

What are your favourite Urban Decay products?


Wednesday 10 January 2018

The Best Beauty Products of 2017

So there is no denying that in 2017 I once again purchased a lot of makeup. Today I am here with the products which deserve a medal, and beat everything else in their category. I love finding new products which are amazing, and I am confident that everything mentioned in the post belongs in your makeup bag.

The Urban Decay heat palette jumped out to me as soon as I saw it. The colours are warm toned, with an array of golden, burnt coppers and orange shades, and contains a mixture of mattes and shimmers. I chose this as my favourite palette, as it is hands down my most used palette of 2017. I really struggled with this category last year, but it was a no brainer this year.

At the start of autumn on the whim I discovered the Morphe pressed pigments, which on the whole deserve a lot more recognition than they get. Once I started to use these pigments I was instantly hooked. They are smooth to apply, and the pigmentation is outstanding. This is proof that you do not need to spend a lot in order to get a fantastic product. I am excited to try out some more Morphe products in the upcoming year.

I am 99.9% sure this won the award last year, but Kat Von D's tattoo eyeliner is once again worthy of the prize. It is the best liquid eyeliner I have ever tried. In 2017, I tested quite a few new liquid eyeliners to try and find a cheaper yet equally as good alternative. However, the mission was a complete failure, and I always went back to my ever-so-trusty tattoo liner. I use the black shade and it is a pure pigmented black, which delivers the goods and does not budge.

I saw a lot of bloggers recommending the L'Oreal paradise mascara when it was first released. However, it was well worth the hype. The brush to this is the winner, it is a like a number 8 as it is thinner in the middle section of the brush. I find that the bristles really grip on to my lashes well, and add volume from the root to the tip. I usually struggle to add both length and volume as my lashes are not particularly short but they are sparse, but this does both as each layer applied.

I wrote this last year but it is still true I am still on the search for my perfect glowy full coverage foundation. The two which have impressed me the most are, L'Oreal's true match which is a great everyday medium coverage foundation, and Nars' sheer glow foundation which is my absolute favourite but at £31 a bottle it makes me cry every time I apply it. Will 2018 be the year that I finally find the perfect foundation that is 1. glowy, 2. full coverage, and 3. is actually long lasting?

Now, this year I have tested out a serious number of lip products in all different forms. I have bought a lot of liquid lipsticks, and I think Kat Von D still wins the prize for the best formula. The everlasting liquid lipsticks are super pigmented, long lasting and comfortable on the lips. The colour range she now has is sensational. I have also really fallen in love with Charlotte Tilbury's matte revolution lipsticks. I am not usually the biggest fan of matte lipsticks, but this formula is hydrating and makes my lips look fabulous and plump.

Lastly, the product which I just cannot stop talking about comes from Benefit. I am not a big Benefit lover, their products just never really jump out to me. But, one thing they are good at is brows. I purchased three of their goof proof eyebrow pencils in 2017, as I just love it. I love the waxy texture of the angled pencil. It applies super easy and allows you can create real looking brow hairs with just a few strokes. I love that this comes with a spoolie, as it pulls the whole eyebrow look together and ensures the entire product is equally disrupted.

What deserves the crown as your best product of 2017?

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