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 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?

Soap and Glory Supercat Liner First Impressions

Over the past year or two I’ve come to appreciate a good liner look over the OTT smokey eye. This means that I’ve tested out a fair few eyeliner pens, just the pens because my skills are not that advanced. Up until recently I’ve been a big lover of the L’Oreal Super Liner range which includes the Perfect Slim and the Superstar. As much as I really like the Perfect Slim I find that the lid falls off way too easily and because in the Nottingham Boots the L’Oreal counter is the messiest place in the world, finding one that hasn’t dried out is rather difficult. So I decided to try something that came in a box with a tight lid and the Soap and Glory Supercat Liner ticked those boxes. I’d heard good things so I thought I would give it ago.

I’ve used this product twice so here are my first impressions and initial thoughts. When I first tried it on my hand I thought that the tip was a good size and the pen gave me good grip and control but I felt that the colour was a bit off. It came off very grey and not black at all so I didn’t have high hopes for colour payoff. I let it dry and gave it a good old rub on the back of my hand and it didn’t smudge one bit. When I used it on my eye there was literally no issue with colour. It looked jet black and nothing like the grey it came off on my hand. It drew a nice slick line and the tip created a good wing. The liner lasted all evening, didn’t smudge even with a watery eye situation and looked pretty damn good. So all in all my first impressions of this product are very good and I would definitely recommend it if you like a good liner. £6, you can’t go wrong!

Summer Lip Favourites

I’m back! That break felt like forever, what was it, a month and a bit? But whatever that doesn’t matter now because I’m back with a bang! Since my last post I’ve been on multiple makeup sprees so there will be plenty of reviews to come. I seem to have an urge to buy so many lip products recently, but what I need to remember is that I only have one set of lips! They’re all pretty summer-y colours and because the weather has been so nice (*she says with rain pouring down the window*) I thought it would be good if my first post back was full of bright colours and sunshine! So without further ado let’s go!

I’ll start off with the Mac lipstick, the third now in my collection, which is Vegas Volt. I went through a phase of watching so many Mac lipstick collections on YouTube it was ridiculous, but this one in particular kept standing out to me. It got to the point where if I could see this lipstick wasn’t in someone’s collection, I would instantly move on to another video. So, as a treat for taking my shorthand exam (which I passed, woo!) I took a trip to Mac and picked this up. I love how different it is to anything I currently have. It’s a bright lipstick which seems to change colour on the daily. It can be more pinky and sometimes it can be more peachy but it’s just a great summer colour that I think will be great for my holidays. It’s an amplified finish which is amazing as it’s moisturising but not drying and sticks around for so long! The next two lip products are both from the Soap and Glory Matte-Lip range. First up is the shade Whoah-Pink. This one is a bright bubblegum pink but with a bit more of a darkness to it which I love. It looks great on a really sunny day with plenty of highlight on the cheekbones. Pretty Muted is a slightly more toned down version. Not quite nude but not a pink. I love how it looks as it’s the summer pop but without the fear it looks a bit too much. The formula of these is second to none, especially as they are only £3.50. They stay on really well, even after eating, and don’t feel uncomfortable even though they are matte. I want to pick up more of these as they are just amazing, and really handy to carry around in your bag.

If you could think of any more summer lip products that I might need then please let me know, come on enable me!

L-R: Whoah-Pink, Pretty Muted, Vegas Volt

Round Up #4

Another busy week in the life of work experience and I have to say it’s been a great one! I don’t think I’ve ever been so busy, journalist by day, doing extra-curricular activities by night (I know, me voluntary activities that include moving!). So without further ado shall we delve in? Okay!

Birthday Fever

Last weekend I had a mini holiday, the mini-est holiday ever as it was less than 24 hours, down to Wokingham. Little fact; Wokingham is the safest town in the UK, true story. If you’re wondering, Abz why did you take a 9 hour round trip to the south, then I’ll tell you. It was my housemate’s (and friend’s, because housemates can be friends too) 21st birthday! Party! I had such a good time. A little too much fizz was consumed but it was great! I learnt two things when I was down there: 1. Posh vodka does not sit well with me and 2. bouncers do not take kindly to people trying to sleep on the club sofas. I have to mention that I was very tired from a busy week and not just heavily intoxicated. I have some class.

Soap and Glory Solar Powder

Yesterday I found something that excited me greatly. The Soap and Glory Solar Powder is now in a plastic case. A few months ago I was watching a YouTube video and I swore I saw this but nothing was mentioned anywhere online so I just assumed that I made it up but clearly I didn’t! I think that this will be so much better. I don’t have a problem with the current packaging but this will make it nicer to carry and with a big mirror, easier to use.

Costa times

As I’ve been at work experience the only place that there is to go on my lunch break is costa. I’m not even joking when I say that this place has become my second home. Recently I’ve been going in in the mornings and lunchtimes which isn’t great on my bank account, especially at the minute when I’m not earning a wage. I have a latte and sometimes toast or a lemon muffin. It has to be one of my favourite places and I don’t know what I’m going to do when I finish and I’m not there everyday.

How To: Oily Skin

If you’ve read any of my skincare related posts before then you’ll know that I have oily skin and woo isn’t it great (can you detect the sarcasm). So, if anyone else out there is going through the same skin issues as me then I thought I’d share what I do to try and combat it.

A Creamy Cleanser // If you’re more interested in my thoughts on the different types of cleansers then read this post, but the main discovery from that post was that creamy cleansers work best on my oily skin. The cooling creamy consistency doesn’t add any oil to the skin like oils or butters do, but it’s still as effective at removing any dirt or makeup that’s on the face. I’ve used a couple of cleansers over the last six months and they have been the Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish and the Soap and Glory Peaches and Clean. For removing makeup the Cleanse and Polish is like no other. It dissolves makeup in no time and is amazingly gentle on eye makeup. The one I’m using at the minute is Soap and Glory cleanser. It smells divine, like peaches as the name suggests, and is so soothing and you can really feel it giving your skin a deep clean. This one isn’t quite as good at removing makeup but I like to use it as a face wash in the morning to get any dirt off my face that I missed the night before.

A Good Toner // The secret to successfully battling oily skin to me is the right toner. I hear all the time on blogs about how good a toner is because it’s not stripping, but to me when I can feel that it’s taken all of the oil off my face I know that that’s the one for me. I’ve used two toners recently and they’ve been The Body Shop Seaweed Toner and the Garnier Fresh Refreshing Toner. I’m using the Garnier Toner at the minute and this is VERY anti oil. It’s very good at getting rid of anything that’s on my face and leaves it feeling fresh and clean. The only problem I find with this product is that it stings like no other and that’s what makes The Body Shop one my favourite. It’s soothing on the skin but you can feel it working and it just does great things. I also really love the smell, not that that sways me but it’s always nice when something smells good!

An Oil Free Moisturiser // I know it sounds obvious, but up until recently I’ve just been using any old moisturiser. This step in my skincare routine is always the one that can make or break how my skin feels for the rest of the day. My two favourites have been the Nivea Oil Free Moisturiser and the Simple Oil Balancing Moisturising. Both of them do the same job and they’re pretty much the same. They feel quite thin when you first apply them but the more you work it into the skin they sink into the skin and make it feel hydrated but not greasy.

Blotting Paper // I realised last summer that blotting paper was my absolute saviour when out and about. If you don’t know what blotting paper is, it’s a piece of what I think looks like greaseproof paper that you use to ‘blot’ off any excess oil that has developed on your face throughout the day. I like the fact that it leaves my face feeling fresh again simply by getting rid of the grease (what a lovely thought!).

Naked 3 Spring Daytime

So I may have delved into the ‘world of youtube’… I know, hold the applause. It’s quite a nice little achievement and I really enjoyed doing it, although it may have been spurred on by a little bit of essay procrastination. Prepare not to get too excited though, it’s the standard first video, short, sweet with no talking and a ‘plinky plonk’ background music because trust me you don’t want to listen to my awful voice. It’s seriously horrendous. Anyway, seeing as though there’s a video there’s no need to do a full written description I’ll leave you with a list of the products I’ve used. Please tell me what you think and if you’d like to see more, it would be much appreciated!

L’Oreal Infallible Matte Foundation // 11 Vanilla
L’Oreal True Match Concealer // 02 Vanilla
Rimmel Stay Matte Powder // 002 Pink Blossom
Soap and Glory Brow Archery // Blondeshell
L’Oreal Brow Artist Plumper // Light/Medium
Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette // Strange/Limit/Buzz
Rimmel Kohl Kajal // Sable Brown
Seventeen Back Lash Mascara // Black
Soap and Glory Solar Powder Bronzer
Mac Satin Blush // Immortal Flower
Maybelline Eye Studio // Golden Beige
Soap and Glory Sexy Mother Pucker Gloss Stick // Nudist

My Skincare Routine

I’ve never done a skincare routine on my blog before which seems very strange seeing as though I’m VERY into it. If I haven’t gone through each step of my routine I feel like something’s missing on my face. This has been my routine for about nine months and I don’t think that it’s going to change for a very long time so let’s jump into it!

In the morning the first thing I use is the Soap and Glory Peaches and Clean Cleanser. This just takes off any remaining grub that may still be on my face from the night before but also wakes me up a little bit (because those 9am starts are just not working for me at the minute). Next up is my beloved Seaweed Toner from The Body Shop. Until I found this my skin was just an oily mess but now it only starts to get a little greasy as the day goes on. This isn’t stripping but it leaves my face feeling matte and clean. Then the Simple Revitalising Eye Roll-On comes out to play and is so soothing on the eyes that I just want to roll it on all the time! I also use the Simple Spot Roll-On which is similar to the eye one but is designed to tackle spots. It’s not the best one I’ve ever used but it’s not too bad, I’d rather have a tea tree one as I feel like that’s better than tackling spots. Next up is my lip saviour; the Lush Mint Julips Lip Scrub. This takes off the dead skin and leaves lips feeling soft, and tasting really delicious! While the scrub’s on I use The Body Shop Absinthe Hand Cream. This has become a habit now and when I don’t do it, I feel like there’s something missing. After slathering on my Maybelline Baby Lips I use my Nivea Oil Free Day Moisturiser. I can feel this running out by the day which really makes me sad. It’s moisturising without making my skin feel greasy and slippy and I don’t feel too shiny later in the day, which some moisturisers tend to do. Moving onto night time and to take my makeup off I used to use the Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish but I still need to repurchase so for now I’m just using The Garnier Micellar Water which does the job just as well but it takes a little bit more time. The only change to my routine at night is that I swap my moisturiser. I use the Vichy Night Detox which is the best night moisturiser I’ve ever used. It’s thick but, again like most of these products, it doesn’t make my skin oily and greasy. I’m going to be sad when this runs out and I may have to do a cheeky repurchase.

So that’s my skincare routine. If anyone has any recommendations please let me know because as I said I’m in the market for a new ‘makeup takeoff’ cleanser so any suggestions would be greatly received!

New Lip Products

Over the past few weeks I’ve been expanding my lip collection and branching out so I thought I’d share my new additions with you and give my thoughts. First up is the Soap and Glory Sexy Mother Pucker Gloss Stick in Nudist. I’d heard a lot about this and I was in need of a lip product that put a little something on but did’t require too much effort and upkeep throughout the day. This colour is literally exactly the same colour as my lips. I love it. It smells amazing, like vanilla, and is perfect to just shove in your bag and take on the go. I have heard that they can melt easily so I’m a little weary about it but so far mine hasn’t shown signs of melting. Next is The Body Shop Lip and Cheek Tint in 03. For me this is such a nostalgic product. About seven years ago I had this after going to a Body Shop party at someones house and used to wear it all the time. The smell and the taste take me back but I have to say it’s a little disappointing. When I put it on the lips it clung to the dry patches so was a nice colour but redder in some areas than in others. It’s also not great on the cheeks as it dries too quickly to blend out properly and it ends up looking like you’ve got a skin infection. It has to be said though, the staying power is insane (The swatch is still on my hand when I’m writing this and no amount of makeup remover can get it off). Last but not least it’s one of my new favourite lip combos. For my birthday my friends got me a Mac Lipstick in Kinda Sexy. Every time I go into Mac and look at the lipsticks I have no idea which one to go for so I’ve come to the conclusion that from now on I’m just going to let other people choose them for me. It’s a matte nude that is insanely moisturising and long lasting on the lips. I’m in love with this lipstick but when I pare it with my new lip liner the love grows stronger. Instead of folking out £10-£15 on a Mac lip liner I searched through Boots to try and find one that matched at a cheaper price. Enter the Rimmel Lasting Finish Lip Liner in Spice. It’s pretty much an exact match and was half the price of a mac liner. These too together make such a long-lasting combo that doesn’t take much up keep and I love it.

L-R: Nudist, Kinda Sexy, Spice, 03

Bang of the Brows

Brow time! I love my eye brows. I know it’s a bit weird but I think that they’re a good shape and the colour isn’t too shabby either. That means that the brow products I use must keep to my high standard. Without further ado, let’s dive in! First up is the light brown shade in my Virgin Vie palette. This is definitely the quickest way to put something onto the brow that still looks good. The colour is just how I like it, not so dark that they look like harsh lines on my face and not orange so they look unrealistic. I apply this with my Body Shop angled brush and it takes me literally five seconds and then I’m good to go. Next up is my Sleek Eyebrow Pencil in the shade Dark. This is a really creamy product so is really easy to apply and blend, but the problem is that it goes down quite quickly. I got it in the shade dark which works for me but for people with really dark hair I don’t think that this would be dark enough. The nib is quite thick so it doesn’t take too long too fill in and it comes with a spooley (no idea on the spelling) on the end which is great. Last but not least is the Soap and Glory Brow Archery in the shade Blonde Bombshell. I usually go for the darker colours but I fancied something to do a more natural brow which this product is perfect for. The nib is very thin, meaning it takes a little longer to do, and the colour is a very nice light but not too light blonde. I use this on days where I have a little more time. For this category I can’t pick a winner because they are all good for different things and I love them all equally!
Virgin Vie, Sleek, Soap and Glory