Face masks, bath bombs and glasses of prosecco | How I relax and chill out

I love a pamper session. It’s what I live for.

For me, a bath is the ultimate pamper session, especially one where I go ‘all out’. What I mean by that is bath bomb, face mask and hair wash. I start off my running the bath (obviously as it’s the most important part) and putting in some bubbles. At the minute I’ve been using the Molton Brown Muddled Plum Bath and Shower Gel, which is fab and smells amazing, but I usually just use whatever shower gel I have at the time because they work just as well as actual bubble bath. Then I light some candles, and there is a specific number I like. I do one big one (usually a Yankee Candle) for the corner of the bath with two tealights next to it. Then I do two more tealights on my bath bar (more on that in a minute) and then another two on the windowsill. If I’m really really fancy I’ll light another big one across the room. Seriously though, the more candles the better.

Then goes in the bath bomb of choice. I’ve been loving these little tea bags at the minute (which I mentioned in my January Favorites post) but I also really like the Yorkshire Soap Company bath bombs and obviously the ones from lush. Anything that smells fruity or sweet and preferably turns the bath a cute colour. 

Now, the best part about my baths is the bath bar I have that my dad made. There’s space for two candles, my laptop, glass of water/cup of tea and a glass of prosecco. It means I don’t have to lug a chair in when I have a bath and I just have to lay back and relax. Also my new bath pillow that I got for Christmas makes everything even better. The type of video I watch varies, from episodes of Ru Paul’s Drag Race, Endeavour or random YouTube videos. Same with drinks. A mid afternoon bath comes with a giant mug of tea but an evening soak definitely needs prosecco or wine (with the bottle by the side of the bath, obviously).

If I’m going all out with the face masks I’ll take a triple approach. First I’ll do a pore strip to get rid of all the dirt out of my nose. At the minute I’m using the Biore Ultra Deep Cleansing Pore Strips and they’re really good and do the job. For the 30 minutes that’s on I’ll do two more masks. First I’ll go in with a spot clearing one, my one of choice at the minute is the Lacura Exfoliating Mud Mask which is pretty good and works best when I focus it on my oiliest areas / single spots. Then I’ll use either a sheet mask or my trusty Body Shop British Rose Fresh Plumping Face Mask (read my full thoughts here). Anything that gives me moisture it a winner for my final face mask.

A good pamper session ends by moisturising my body and then doing my skincare. At this time of year I love a thick body moisturiser and the Body Shop Shea Body Butter is my current go-to. In the summer I also love the body yogurts from the Body Shop because they’re just that bit thinner for when it’s hot.

What’s your favourite pamper product?

Skincare picks, capsule wardrobe and new scents | February Favourites

Ah February. How you’ve flown by. But seriously, after the three decades of January I can’t believe how quickly this month has passed. I’ve had a lot of birthday fun and we’re ending on this great sunny weather. Who could ask for more?! In the middle of the month I was struggling to think of anything to add to my favourites but after my birthday I have a fair few to add to the list – with some I’m still giving a bit more of a test run which no doubt will feature in next month’s post. So without anymore fluffing up, here’s what I’ve been loving this month:

I have an item of clothing in my favourite this month – shock horror! This is rare because as much as I spend £50 a time on makeup and skincare I won’t spend £20 on a pair of jeans I desperately need. It makes so sense but anyone I’ll get back to the point. I have An Edited Life to thank for this buy. Last month I bought myself a black cord pinafore dress because I needed something to go with a load of colourful jumpers I had in my wardrobe and in the spirit of creating a capsule wardrobe I thought this would be a good bet. I’ve become fully obsessed with it. I wear it most days to work with a polo neck jumper underneath or just a normal jumper with some black tights and black boots. So easy, I just pick a jumper and it works together. Also I wore a stripey t-shirt with it the other day when it was a bit warmer and I was totally into that as well. An all round great purchase that I’ll be getting more and more use out of in the weeks and months to come.

Something I’m equally as obsessed with is my Aquarius necklace from Topshop. It’s delicate gold necklace with my star sign in a circle and I wear it a heck of a lot. I was lacking a delicate necklace and this has filled the slot perfectly.

I’m having a real skincare moment at the minute and it’s all hydration based. Although my skin is quite oily I think it’s also pretty dehydrated so I’ve been trying to use lots of products that will give it a boost but not clog my pores. The Nip and Fab Dragons Blood Plumping Serum (which I got in the Glossybox Advent Calendar) is perfect for that kind of thing. My skin drinks this up and it drys in about five minutes. I love it. In a morning I use that and then just before I use foundation I put a couple of pumps of the Barry M Unicorn Primer Drops Beauty Elixir to brighten up my face and give a boost. These two together are a dream team!

Let’s talk about the shea butter scent from the Body Shop. I’ve never had this one before and I don’t know why I’ve missed it for this long. My mum got me one of the sets for my birthday and it’s definitely become one of my new favourite scents. It’s so warming but not too sickly sweet and I’m all about it. I’ve also fallen back in love with the Body Shop Body Butters again. There’s nothing better than slathering a thick, deliciously smelling cream on after a winter shower.

For Christmas, my gran got me a load of these bath tea bags and they are an actual miracle. They let me have a wonderful smelling bath without the mess! I usually just put one of these in when I start running the bath (let it infuse you know) and then go in with the bubbles nearer the end. Once I’m ready to get in, take the bag out, give it and squeeze and done! I love all bath products but these are a bit more fun (also love tea so is very fitting).

Bumper month for TV | May Favourites

I was sitting down, thinking about what I’ve been loving this month, and it turns out I’ve been watching a lot of TV this month and most of it has been really good! There are also a couple of products thrown in which I can see being long time favourites, so all in all it’s been a great month for favourites!

Glossier. Boy. Brow. Now, will someone please explain to me what magic that is bottled inside this tiny tube? I’ve seriously never used anything like this. I have it in the shade medium and after just a few swipes my brows are full, plumped up and with no need to any powder or pencil. It works perfectly with my brows when they’re tinted and even when the colour has slightly faded, totally natural looking but without making them ‘barely there’ because believe me they still pack a punch! Literally THE most perfect brow product ever – totally a holy grail.

My Instagram has been full of pictures of the new Body Shop Body Yogurts, and because I am an advertisers dream, I went out and got myself a couple – mango and strawberry. Woah are these things good. Usually I’m all about a thick moisturiser if it’s not the consistency of a well whipped meringue then I’m not interested. But during this spell of seriously hot weather, these have been all I’ve used. I use a lot all at once, so the 15 seconds to sink in tagline that this product has doesn’t really apply to me, and I can feel it doing my skin some serious good. Both of the scents stick around for ages afterwards as well, spreading strawberry and mango wherever I go in the house – yummy!

Earlier this month I found myself with a lot of time on my hands and what better way to spend it than binge watching a load of shows! After Stranger Things was ticked off my list (although I still have a few episodes of season two to get through) I gave QueerEye a go on Netflix. WHY HAVE I NOT WATCHED THIS BEFORE! People transforming other people’s lives with some sassy comments thrown in, yes please. I think part of the reason I hadn’t watched this before is because I’d heard it was emotional and, to be honest, I didn’t want to be a sobbing mess. In the end I really didn’t care less and I managed to hold it together most of the time, I did find myself ugly crying at one point but I blame the bottle of prosecco I’d enjoyed at home by myself – wow, I really know how to live. Next up on my Netflix spree was The Good Place. I’d heard about this before, can’t remember who from, but thought it would be a good ‘easy watching’ kind of show. Safe to say I got totally sucked in and cannot wait for the third series to come out! If you don’t know what it is, it’s about  group of people who have died and are in ‘The Good Place’ – basically heaven – and what they get up to. I don’t want to say too much because it’ll spoil it, but episodes are only 23 minutes long and it doesn’t take much concentration to get what’s going on. You’ll end up speeding through it.


One I’m currently loving at the minute is Love in the Countryside on BBC. It’s basically a dating show for farmers and trust me when I say it will melt your heart. Each ‘farmer’ has a few prospective candidates to choose from and invites them back to their farm to get to know them a bit better. Not only is it really cute to see people search for their soul mate but there are also some really cute animals! Also, I’ve been loving the latest season of RuPaul’s Drag Race. I’m a massive fan and this year’s queens have been ticking all the boxes for me – excited to see who wins!

Mini shoutout to pink lip products – I seriously cannot get enough, it’s all I’ve been wearing over the past month!

What have you been loving this month?

My evening skincare routine

Welcome to part two of my skincare routine – the evening edition. I love nothing more than getting home from work, taking off my makeup and spending time doing my skincare routine. I have a little box that I keep it in so that in the evening I can easily get it and take it downstairs and chill out, watching tele whilst I spread creams and serums all over my face. For reference, my skin is oily but also dehydrated so my aim is to moisturise but not create grease.

After taking my makeup off with my cleansers and micellar water (read all about my cleansing routine here) I sit down and spray my face with the Body Shop Vitamin C Energising Face Mist to the point where my face is soaking wet. I love the stuff, I feel like it revitalises my skin and gets it ready for the rest of my products. Five minutes later, after leaving the spray to sink it, I give my under eyes a bit of TLC. I’ve been using the Body Shop Vitamin E Eye Cream which does a good job at moisturising under my eyes – I just press it in, do a few taps and wipe the excess on my brow bone. A quick bit of the Glossier Mint Balm Dotcom on my lips and we’re onto what I’d class as the main event!

At the end of last year, I didn’t use a serum and I didn’t really have any interest in getting one, but honestly it’s transformed my skin. It gets down deep in my skin and pumps it full of moisture that it definitely needs, something that the moisturisers I was previously using on their own just couldn’t do. My serum of choice at the minute is The Ordinary 100% Plant Derived Squalane and it’s very much an oil. Although it takes a while to sink in (about an hour to sink in enough to put a moisturiser on top) I love giving it time to work its magic. On days when I need a bit moreof a moisture boost (which is most days) I go in with the Body Shop Drop of Youth Moisturiser. It does a good job, and although I’m not totally attached to it, this is my third tub so I must quite like it!

And last but not least, hand cream. I’m not attached to any specific hand cream but I have been enjoying the Soap and Glory Hand Food in the Sugar Crush scent. The PERFECT summer scent and rounds off an evening pamper quite nicely.

Do you enjoy spending time on your skincare routine?

My morning skincare routine

I love reading out people’s skincare routines and finding out what they’re using because I’ve really got into pampering my skin over the past few months. By stopping touching my face on the daily and caking on the makeup as thick as I used to do my face has definitely cleared up a bit but I thought I’d share what I’ve been using as I think these products have been really working for me. For reference my skin is dehydrated but it also gets quite oily so I try to give it plenty of moisture without greasing it up.

After I’ve splashed my face with a little bit of water a give my face a bit of a spritz with the Body Shop Vitamin C Energising Face Mist. Just a few sprays does the trick. Eye cream is next up because I think I have quite dehydrated under eyes so putting something on morning and night perks them up a little bit. I’ve used the Body Shop Vitamin E Eye Cream for a while now (I think this might be my second tube) and I do really like it. It doesn’t do anything sensational but it does the job! A bit of lip balm on the lips (at the minute I’m using the Glossier Mint Balm Dotcom) and then I go back to my face after letting my eye cream sink in. I’ve wanted to try the Glossier Priming Moisturiser for a while and a have to say it hasn’t disappointed. I apply a medium dollop all over my face and a little bit down my neck, really rubbing and patting it in to make sure it sinks in. If I apply it an hour or so before I do my makeup I go back in with a little bit to refresh my skin and make sure it’s nice and hydrated before putting anything else on top of it. The finishing touch to my routine now we have reached summertime is SPF. A new addition to my collection I’ve been enjoying using it because it feels like I’m putting on a super primer. The Glossier Invisible Shield has been doing a great job, I obviously can’t see if it’s doing my skin any good, but it’s not greasy and leaves my skin feeling great.

What’s your favourite skincare product?

My recent hand cream obsession

Hello, I’m Abz, and I’m obsessed with hand cream.

Now that may be a bit over dramatic but I’ve gone from zero to 100 when it comes to hand cream. I used it in the evenings after doing my skincare but that was about it. If it was there to use in a restaurant toilet, I wouldn’t use it, free mini hand creams in hotel rooms, wouldn’t take them, I just wasn’t interested. What changed was when I started to use them at work. In the Look Fantastic Advent Calendar I had last year (That’s one of the best things I’ve ever bought, I go on about it all the time!) I got a deluxe mini of the First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream. Already having a hand cream on the go at home but desperate to use something from a brand I’ve wanted to try out for so long, I took it to work. I got into the habit of using it every time I left the room and now here I’m am, three hand creams down in five months and in need of a fourth.

Over the last few months I’ve had chance to test out a few of the skin saviours and the ones I’ve loved have been:
Being by Sanctuary Spa – Chilli Mango and Tonka Bean: It has a really strong smell of mango (sometimes it is a bit too much) and for summer I feel like this will be the one. You just need a small amount otherwise it can get a bit greasy but an all round good egg.
Soap and Glory Hand Food – Sugar Crush: This scent is one of my favourites, like sherbet. it’s really thick so it might be a bit much when the weather gets hotter, but for right now, it’s cracking.
The Body Shop – Coconut: I love the Body Shop hand creams, all scents are amazing and they’re the perfect size. I think the coconut one is my favourite though, it’s the one I keep going back to.

I have one hand cream that’s on my wishlist – the L’Occitane Almond Delicious Hand Cream. I’ve heard good things about it and I’d quite like to give it a go. (look at me getting excited about hand cream!)

What are you obsessed with at the minute?

Cleansers: Oil vs Cream

For the past few months me and my skin have been having, let’s say, a disagreement. I’ve tried to up the skincare routine and in my quest for perfect skin I’ve encountered a few bumps along the way. I started off my journey trying out the more oily products such as the Body Shop camomile cleansing oil and the cleansing butter. Let me tell you, if you have oily skin this is not a good plan. For the first week of using both of these products I thought that they were miracle workers. I mean, a few rubs and swipes and all of your make up is gone, insane! But then after a while it made my skin feel really greasy and I got so many spots I had to stop. It made me really sad because I enjoyed using both of these products but it was one of those things that my face didn’t agree with. This took me to try out something else that wasn’t oily and thicker in texture. Enter Soap and Glory’s the Ultimelt. I don’t know if this is meant to be used as a cleanser but it certainly works! The texture is a thick cream and it smells like a trip to the spa. The only problem I found with this was that it made my eyes sting a little when I tried to take off mascara but in terms of my skin I had no breakouts. Because I was coming to the end of it I though I’d give the famous Liz Earle cleanse and polish and boy am I glad I did! I’ve only been using this for a few weeks but it’s cleared up my skin (because I stupidly went back to the oil, idiot Abz, idiot!) and my face looks visibly brighter. It takes no time at all to take off my makeup and is a really pleasurable experience! So all in all for my face creams win every time, go cream!