Currently 1 | Skincare

9/30/2012 11:33:00 pm
I know it's been a while, but I burnt out somewhat after a very busy final week of dissertation!  Handed it in with time to spare and now I am having a little look for internships and starting a little tutoring job on the weekends!  I thought I'd do a little "currently" series for the remainder of this week, and today I'll start with the "currently" of skincare.  Normally my skincare routine is pretty complicated, but tiredness has forced me to rethink, and I am using the bare minimum at the moment, all of which I am finding ridiculously effective on my skin.
First up, after cleansing I smooth on one pump of the Idealia Pro from Vichy.  I have to tell you, this stuff is uh-may-zing and as such I am uhhhhb-sessed with ensuring I use it.  It has, in around 2 weeks, managed to really tone down a lot of my scarring, and even the skin tone to such an extent that I am now getting away with using much less foundation.  The second is the Superdrug own brand Simply Pure Oil Balancing Serum - I've heard excellent things about this range, and when I saw it on offer for half price, I just had to pick it up.  I wasn't expecting a whole lot (sometimes I can be an own-brand snob), but the product is beautiful.  It is a gel-cream kind of consistency, and one or two pumps is enough for the whole face.  It softens the skin, and helps to mattify, in a natural way.  Lastly, and this is only really used on make-up days, the Stila One Step Correct Skin Tone Correcting Brightening Serum (what a mouthful) is  my secret weapon.  It is a beautiful-looking product, and acts to help even out the skin tone - I will do a full review soon, and give you an insight into what it does.  
This is my pared-down skincare routine, and I hope it gives you an insight into some new products!  I shall do more full-length reviews soooon, but for now, I hope you enjoyed post 1 of my "currentlys"!
Love A.x

Incoming! | Vichy Idealia Pro!

9/11/2012 10:37:00 pm
Eeeeeeeeeek so excited about this product!  As you know, I've always got room in my life for a good product to tackle evenness of skin!  And today's product looks to be perrrrrrrfect!
Kindly sent to my by Steph over at British Beauty Blagger (check out her blog!), as she knows my fondness for skincare.  
It is said that a difference can be seen in one week, and again at four weeks, so I'll see you this time next week for an update!  
P.S. it's pretty and pink!
Love A.x

Currently | On Sunday...

9/09/2012 10:47:00 pm
Unfortunately, with my English Literature Masters Dissertation due in under two weeks, I haven't had the time to put together any posts, so I thought I'd do a "currently" post.
So, currently I am:
Reading this
Trying to apply this to my Dissertation - it is, in fact, my laptop wallpaper

Being inspired by this - note to self, must buy:
Laughing at the truth in this
Lusting after these - anyone finds them, let me know!
Slathering this on to deal with stressed skin
And looking like this
Hope you liked the teeny update, hopefully I'll get round to scheduling some posts soon,
Love A.x


9/06/2012 06:00:00 am
Another plundering post!  For the pirate in all of us hehe:
So, the new products are:
Garnier Dark Spot Corrector: I heard this is doing amazing things in the states, and I'm always in the market for a serum to treat hyperpigmentation and scars.  This is actually a daily moisturiser, and seeing it at its introductory price for £7.50 (normally £10) I picked it up.
MUA Undressed Palette: I have the naked palette, but am scared that I'll have to repurchase when I hit pan, hence this has been bought so I can stock up on this if I love it!
Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Darling: Lovely texture, slightly brightening kind of colour.
Collection 2000 Pump up the Volume Mascara:  I love the Collection 2000 Big Fat Fake mascara, but it generally dries out with 2 weeks!  I bought this because the brush is fat, like the big fat fake, but with a curved brush - and the formula is somewhat wetter.
I shall report back as soon as I can!
Love A.x

Essentially | Brows and Lashes!

9/05/2012 06:00:00 am
Today's post is not on skincare! Shock, horror!
This selection of eclectic bit and pieces in the above picture is informing you that today's post is actually about things that are such essentials in any girl's staple beauty tools that I always forget to even mention the importance of them!

I am lucky in the sense that my brows grow pretty much neatly, with a defined arch, so generally all I have to do is pluck the stray hairs every now and then, and brush them up with a little spoolie.  I then fill them in with whatever is left on my angled eyeliner brush, as their is always some remnants from doing my eyeliner.  And that is my brows done!
In terms of lashes, mine go through phases.  Sometimes they get long and thick, but when I'm run down they tend to be shorter and more prown to moulting, as they are at the moment.  A new treatment I am trying on my lashes - when I remember - is Castor Oil.  Super cheap, at aroun £1-£2 for a bucket-load of the stuff, it works wonders.  I have literally used it once, I rubbed a little on my fingers, then coated the lashes before I slept, and in the morning after I had washed it off, I already had thicker lashes.  I have since forgotten to use it, but will be making the effort now - it gives quicker results than my beloved, and more expensive Rapidlash!
To help my lashes achive the doll-eyed look, I use a good pair of eyelash curlers.  I have in the past had Shu Uemura eyelash curlers, and truth be told, I hated them.  They didn't fit my eye properly, they didn't give me a wide-eyed curl, so I sold them and bought the Tweezerman ones when they were on offer.  And I love them.  They open my eye up, and the curl holds beautifully until I decide to take off my mascara!
So that is my little lash and brow maintenance post,
I hope you liked it!
Love A.x

What to do when you don't know what to do | Skin

9/04/2012 06:00:00 am
So, my skin has been playing up a little of late - generally its pretty clear, and when I get spots they tend to congregate around the chin area.  Now, this weather - all change-y and yukky - makes my skin go a little bit mad.  Recently spots cropped up around my chin, in a line of 4 along my naso-labial fold (nose to mouth) and in a cluster of 3-4 on one side of my nose.  This is a little odd for me, and not knowing what to do, I fiddled about with the spots!  Aaaaargh not the best idea tbh!  My chin scars like crazy, and so now I have a scarred chin, which undoes all the hard work it took to get rid of the last batch of scars!  My naso-labial fold has raised bumps where the spots were, and my nose is just a little bit of a mess!

So last night, after picking my brains, I decided to go with a load of treatments that tend to help when I don't know what to do with my skin.  I hydrated.  Big Time.  After a deep cleansing mask.

I had a loooooooooooong bath, and for the entirety I left on the Good Things 5 Minute Facial Mask, then used my good old clarisonic to wash it off.
After the bath, I put on what I can only describe as magic in a bottle - the Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair.  I say 'put on' but what I really mean is I slathered it on!
After leaving it to dry I applied the Antipodes oil that came in my Selfridges Beauty Box.  OMG I think I love this.  I am going to do a full review verrrry soon, but for now I'll just say that the avocado and rosehip oils really make this a nourishing treat for the skin, and is my night-time moisture go-to at the moment.
Now, lastly was the next day - I applied the La Roche Posay Hydraphase mask and left it on for hours during the daytime.  I love this mask.  Soothing and hydrating.  Just what the doctor ordered.
All in all, in a day my skin, although not fixed, is much better.  And I thinkkkkkk I'm going to slather on a load of the Antipodes oil now, and top it with the La Roche Posay mask.  Let's see if I can't help my skin a little more!
Love A.x

3 Masks | REN

9/03/2012 06:00:00 am
REN is one of my favourite skincare brands at the moment: I love the general no fuss ethos, and the fact that all the products give tangiable results. By being a little bit of a savvy shopper I have managed to try quite a few of their products - I bought the kit for combination skin direct from REN, and as my first time buying from them, coupled with a couple of discount codes I picked up, I think the kit cost me around £12:
With this kit I also received a few good sized samples.  Then I noticed the ClearCalm kit on ASOS for £9 and thought "hey, why not!":
Both kits were ridiculously effective, and I have now decided that the ClearCalm range is my fave.  But today we are not talking about generalised skincare, but particularly about REN masks:
Today we are dealing with the ClearCalm 3 Clarity Restoring Mask, Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask and the Invisible Pores Detox Mask.  Now, these masks are all pretty raved about in the blogosphere, and to be honest, I can completely see why.  REN have formulated almost an entire wardrobe of masks to deal with any issues you may have, and the best part is that they are extremely effective in their respective skin fields!

As you can see from the photos, each is a very different texture to the next: the ClearCalm 3 Clarity Restoring Mask is a loose clay mask, the Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask is a sticky texture, that smells like sweet orange juice, yum, yum, yum, and the Invisible Pores Detox Mask is a very thick clay-like texture.  All have their own particular selling-points, and to be honest, when I'm back working, I shall be buying them all!
First up, the ClearCalm 3 Clarity Restoring Mask.  I feel that this, out of the 3 is the most useful, and multi-purpose mask.  When you squeeze it out and apply, a lovely herbally smell rushes over you, and you instantly feel the calmness that it will bring to your skin.  It is thick in texture, as a clay mask should be, and I love a clay mask as I always feel like they're actually doing something.  This particular mask actually doesn't fully dry, it stays somewhat tacky to the touch, which means rinsing it off it a fairly easy task.  So, why is this such a good mask?  I find that in times of stress, when skin isn't quite behaving, or when a breakout is occuring, this is the mask to use: it soothes, calms, and attacks breakouts all while moisturising the skin a little.  See, perfect multitasker - if you want to try out a REN mask, this should be your first stop.
Next we have the Glycolatic Radiance Renewal Mask.  Now this caught my eye due to the 'glycolactic' of the name: in my days as a Beauty PR I learnt an awful lot about skin resurfacing and AHAs etc etc, and from the name, as I'm sure many of yoou did, I saw that this contained both Glycolic Acid and Lactic Acid.  These are some of my favourite skincare ingredients - chemically exfoliating the skin, and helping to firm and aid the skin in its anti-ageing fight!  Slap a load of this on, then don't touch your sitcky face, wash off, and you now have bright, soft skin!  I like this a lot, it is a less potent version of my Alpha-H Smoothing and Perfecting mask, so is more suitable for more sensitive skins.
Last of all we have the Invisible Pores Detox Mask.  Now this is a thick, thick, thick mask that cleans the skin from the inside out!  You pump out a little of the heavy duty clay, spread it all over and wait.  Wash it off, and you are left with smaller pores, and soft, clearer-looking skin.  I feel that this is the mask I could probably do without, I'm not hugely concerned about my pores, and this is a temporary effect anyways. 
I hope this little foray into the world of REN masks helped you a little, like I said, REN skincare is absolutely lovely, and I tend to come back to it when my skin is playing up as it always delivers results!
Love A.x

Faves! | August

9/01/2012 10:10:00 pm

Oh my goodness, I can't believe that firstly it's time to do another faves post again, and secondly, that it's time to do AUGUST'S faves!  Eek, where is the time going, I feel like I’m just losing time! This months faves are really skincare based, I am buried under my dissertation – thoroughly enjoying it, but thoroughly buried under it – until submission on the 21st September, and therefore, apart from random trips round supermarkets and shopping centres, I have been literally nowhere.  As such, make-up wearing had been sporadic, much like my blog posts this month!
Let’s start off with a biggie – the Selfridges Beauty Box.  I completely and utterly adore everything that came in it: the absolute perfect box for a skincare nut like myself, full of high-end products that I most definitely couldn’t even have dreamt about buying until I’m back in full-time work.  For those of you that didn’t purchase the box, it was £15 plus £4.95 for delivery, so around £20 altogether, for products which I have heard would cost between £150-£250.  Whichever end of the price scale, I’m ridiculously happy with the quality and quantity of the products. 
The hero product so far from the box is the Antipodes Divine Face Oil – Organic Avocado Oil and Rosehip.  My skin broke out in a huge way after using the Omorovicza Deep Cleansing mask, and I panicked – even though I had watched Ruth from A Model Recommends extolling its virtues, and saying that one of its effects is a ridiculous deep clean, that on her, looked like adult acne! – and did my usual touching and picking.  The spots were such that two weeks later, my face, through my own fault, now has more little scars all over the place, which are doing my head in.  The mask – had I put up with the purging – would have allowed me gorrrrrrrgeous skin after a few days, but ah, it’s a habit!  The Divine facial oil helped to smooth and soften the flaky skin around the spots, and to generally condition skin my face, which seemed to have needed a little TLC.  Gorgeous, gorgeous product that I feel would be amazing on all skin types – I find facial oils a dream to use at night-time, or to help combat the stress that occurs courtesy of the disso!
Next up – Advanced Night Repair.  Gorgeous.  Gorgeous.  Gorgeous.  Does exactly what it says: repairs the skin in an advanced way at night!  But its virtues go far deeper – perfect for skin than is being problematic, stressed, anything!  I suggest everyone has a bottle of this in their skincare arsenal.  Review can be found here.
REN ClearCalm 3 Replenishing Night Serum has been a slight hero product in my skincare arsenal – it helps to calm, soothe, and help to repair problem skin, at the same time as helping to maintain clarity and ward off any new breakouts.  It is thicker than my normal serums, a white gel-serum in texture, feels instantly cooling on the skin. 
As a slightly different fave for this month, I am truly enjoying hot baths with The Sanctuary bubble bath, listening to the Harry Potter Audiobooks on my ipod.  Ah how I wish Stephen Fry read all the words of every book!
The Newsroom is perhaps the best show on TV at the moment – I adore it, and hence it is my fave TV show of the month.  Sad thing though – apparently it only has 10 episodes per series, just like my other fave Game of Thrones!
Favourite book this month?  Well, in between my disso books, of which there are at least 20, I have found time to read The Help, which I adored: the characterisation is so realistic, and its really interesting to read of how different literature was produced so covertly due to social conditions!  My other fave book this month is a collection – the Chronicles of Narnia.  The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe features fairly heavily in my dissertation, and although the book-worm version of me read all the chronicles when I was about 10, I decided to work my way through them.   And they are still utterly magical!
And before I forget, this month I have a fave drink!  Nesquik banana milkshake!  Made with almond with, this takes me mere seconds to finish a large glass!  Definitely appealing to the kid in me!
Love A.x