27 Jan 2019

Currently Testing: J.ONE Skincare



When I got sent some products by J.ONE to try, I was SO excited. I've already tried & tested the Black Jelly Pack and loved it so I was very excited to see what the rest of the range had to offer.

If you've never heard of J.ONE, it is a brand that sets out to narrow down the multiple steps in Korean skincare routines by offering multi-tasking products. First of all, I'll take all the Korean beauty I can get because they seem to know their stuff when it comes to skincare. Secondly, using less products in my own skincare regime would be the dream. Their products seem to cover all bases when it comes to some of my skincare concerns too: hydration, smoothing and anti-aging (it's not too early to start thinking about it, even at my age!) They are also formulated for all skin types and are free from parabens, sulfates & phthalates.



The products are now actually available in Boots so if you aren't too keen on ordering online, perhaps you can pop into your local store and see the products in the flesh - also, you can use your Boots points to purchase it!

Anyway, like I mentioned, I was kindly gifted three products so I thought I'd share my thoughts on them after testing for a few weeks now.



J.ONE Hana Cream*

Apparently they sell one of these every 4 minutes - if that isn't a reason to buy it, then I don't know what is! This is an anti-wrinkle cream and yes, I know, I'm only 22 but believe it or not I have forehead wrinkles! I also have smile lines around my mouth and eyes so I'd rather combat what I can now than leave it to when I'm in my thirties.

This cream also claims to target fine lines, wrinkles, elasticity and firmness in the skin - all the good stuff. It also comes in capsule form, which is very unique and unlike any other products I've seen before. One of the ingredients in the cream is the antioxidant, fullerene which absorbs skin-damaging free radicals and essentially protects, plumps & brightens the skin. The hydration comes from the macadamia and sunflower oils whilst the zhimu extract protects and works to give the skin visibly toned & glowy.

Anyway, I've used the capsules a handful of times (trying not to use too much as my skin is quite delicate compared to mature skin the product is essentially targeted to) and they feel incredibly nourishing on the skin. It isn't super heavy or sticky either, make up can definitely be worn on top so no need to worry about using the product in the day time. It just feels really nice on the skin. As for the effects - I haven't seen any results yet but I'm sure after more uses, it'll show.



J.ONE Jelly Pack*

This product is a multi functional primer gel that acts as a moisturiser, anti-aging treatment, mask or primer. Popping this on first thing the morning sets the skin up with plenty of hydration (due to the hyaluronic acid ingredient), a smooth base (hence the jelly like formula) and skin that is prepped for make up (meant to make products grip onto the skin).

The Jelly Pack aims to tackle dullness, uneven skin and dehydration, so that ticks all the boxes for me! The instructions recommend popping 2-3 pumps on your fingers and gently massaging it on to clean skin in an upwards & outwards motion.

I've used this a few times and not only does it feel refreshing, it also makes me feel calm and relaxed. It somehow does everything it says on the tin - hydration: check, smoothening: yep and glowy skin: indeed it does!



J.ONE Black Jelly Pack*

Like I mentioned, I've used this before but I can't get enough! Essentially this is the night time version of the original jelly pack. It has all the same great benefits but works as an overnight treatment to tackle dehydration, uneven skin etc.

The ingredients used in this product have a dark hue (hence the name, black jelly pack) and add several different benefits to the 'sleeping pack'. Black cumin seed tackles skin congestion whilst the truffle, blackcurrant, blackberry, black bee propolis and black pearl aims to combat firmness and lifts fine lines and wrinkles to ensure it is plump and replenished.

Popping this on last thing in the evening simplifies my routine and eliminates the need for serum, moisturiser or any oils. After cleansing and toning, I just pop a few blobs of the Jelly Pack on the tips of my fingers and massage it into the skin. Mornings are a dream after using this because my skin is hydrated, plump and has a much smoother appearance!

If there's one product I recommend purchasing from J.ONE it'd be this one for sure!



Have you tried any J.ONE before? I'd love to know your thoughts! 

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*These products were gifted to me as a PR sample.
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23 Jan 2019

My Skincare Story & Being A Beauty Blogger With Eczema



I feel like I have told my skin story in dribs and drabs over here but never the full story. I know many people struggle with eczema, atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis and general dry skin, including myself. Dry skin can really impact your day to day life and depending on your job and lifestyle, it can be tricky to adjust and create a regime that agrees with your skin. So today I thought I'd share with you my eczema & dermatitis journey and how I'm working this into my lifestyle and blog.

CHILDHOOD

From when I was as young as 8 years old I suffered with extremely dry skin on my body, in particular my arms, but also occasionally appeared on my face. I used various creams, ointments and lotions, prescribed by the doctor, to help hydrate my skin and sometimes the medication would work and sometimes it wouldn't. I remember I'd use Oilitum in the bath and E45 for my face and body alongside Hydrocortisone.

I also remember my mum took me to see a herbal specialist for oral medication and whatever syrup / tablets they gave me really agreed with my skin at the time but again, my skin would return to normal after a while.



TEENAGE YEARS

I remember visiting the doctors several times in my early teens so I could be prescribed with stronger creams and steroids and eventually they did but after a few months of having great skin, the eczema would come back. By the time I was 16 years old, the eczema had gotten really bad. It started spread onto my face and being at the awkward & shy teenager I was, this did not help at all with confidence. I remember my skin was so irritated and inflamed, I'd take days off college just because I didn't want anyone to look at my face.

I did try and get prescribed with more medication at this point and I was given the Diprobase and Epaderm - both of which I believe are available off-the-counter. I was also prescribed Betamethasone, but that only seemed to work sometimes.


EARLY TWENTIES

Shortly after I turned 20, my eczema had spread to my back and face and began to get really painful. My back was covered in dry skin that would make me itch in my sleep, causing my skin to crack and then scab up making my back extremely sore and sensitive. I had to change the clothing I'd wear because everything was so uncomfortable on my back.

I went to see a dermatologist who prescribed me with Synalar and Eumovate. The Eumovate worked instantly on my back and cleared it right up! I was amazed. Of course medicine works differently on everyone but it was one of the first creams that seems to do something after years of not getting positive results.

I had a few months of great skin (from pre-wedding to shortly after honeymoon period) but a couple of months later, my eczema returned. As well as my back, it also appeared on my face and chest area. It eventually just started to spread everywhere. I was so disheartened because just as I began to get somewhere, it returned.

I visited my GP and pushed for them to do something more and I was finally referred to the hospital for an allergy test. The doctors had already told me I had atopic dermatitis but they perhaps thought it was contact dermatitis, which is when your skin reacts to certain ingredients.

So off I went to my allergy test appointments. I told them about my lifestyle, how I am a blogger and like to test skincare and makeup, so they catered the samples to that and I was tested for 113 different ingredients. The results: nothing. I was allergic to nothing. The doctor recommended to stop using all skincare and make up and handed me an information leaflet which highlighted changes I could make around the home, but most seemed useless. For example, I was told to wash my clothes on 60° or higher, as this kills the bacteria in clothes, but it would also shrink my clothing. They also recommended I dust and hoover often incase it reacted with my skin.

I asked about make up and skincare and they said to use products that are available in pharmacies - which seemed really vague and unhelpful. With make up, they recommended to mix a tinted powder in with Vaseline to create a foundation - but that just sounds incredibly greasy! I'm not slacking off the NHS but I felt even more helpless after the allergy test than I did before.


PRESENT

Anyway, I decided to take things into my own hands and ever since then I have been doing research and testing & trialling many products and methods so I can report my findings back to help people who are going through the same thing. I'm not going to stop my passion for beauty and skincare just because I have a skin condition, I'm going to embrace it and see ways that I can keep my lifestyle the same and help others.

So what to expect from me: I'll be sharing even more content around eczema, dry skin and dermatitis but not just product recommendations. I've found some tips, tricks and methods for home, work and things that could work for different lifestyles too, that I'd like to share with others in case it can help them too.



So stay tuned and if you have any questions, just pop them in the comment below! I'd be happy to answer them :)

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20 Jan 2019

Coconut Oil // Uses & Benefits



I feel like I talk about my skin type (extremely dry, sensitive, eczema-prone) a lot but the battle between my skincare and my skin type takes over most of my life nowadays. I've been trying to find products to help keep my eczema at bay and the more natural the products are, the better.

So I've been using coconut oil for a while now and after doing a little more research I didn't realise how many uses and benefits it had! I thought I'd share how I use it and a few more ways on how you can use it too...



Face Mask // This is by far my favourite use for coconut oil! I love getting some of the solid oil between my hands, rubbing my palms together and patting it into my skin. I either leave it in as an overnight mask - this is super indulgent - or leave it on for a while and wash off after, followed by my usual skincare regime.

Cooking // Obviously one of the main and primary uses for coconut oil is meant to be for cooking. I've used it a few times here and there and it adds a really nice subtle flavour but many people prefer it to normal oil due to its health benefits. It is proven to be a healthier option for cooking and baking so if you fancy changing things up now and then, why not switch to coconut oil?



Hair Treatment // I love a good hair mask and once a week, I like to treat my hair and give it some TLC. I alternate between various oils and hair masks including using plain ol' coconut oil. I like to leave a little bit in my hair as a daily treatment or I apply quite a bit and leave it in for a few hours / overnight. It leaves my hair feeling super soft and healthy.

Natural Deodorant // I've heard that you can use coconut oil as a deodorant and after trying it out for a few days, it seems to work quite well. I just apply a little bit to areas that need it and because of the scent, it definitely seems to work as a deodorant for day-to-day activity (bear in mind that I don't exercise and have a desk job!).



How do you like to use coconut oil? 
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13 Jan 2019

Review: Botanics Skincare #ThePlantOne



I'm back with more skincare content for you all - wahey! I feel like this year is going to be the year I really narrow down a regime and carefully select products that fully agree with my skin. On that note, I've been re-organising and re-thinking my skincare collection and I've noticed that I seem to have a few products by Botanics.

Botanics is a Boots brand and I remember when it first came out the Boots logo was on the packaging but it has since been removed, not too sure why! Anyway, the brand is mostly natural, cruelty-free and organic - which gets a huge thumbs up from me. As the name suggests, Botanics uses plant oils and extracts in their products, making them stand out from other natural brands. Also, the price point ranges from £3.50 to £12, which I think is completely reasonable for a drugstore brand that has USPs like it does.



Going back to ingredients, the Botanics products use various plant extracts depending on the type and the range it belongs to. I've popped the different plant extracts and it's benefits below just so you are aware!

Rosehip // contains omega oils helping to nourish and restore glow
Hibiscus // includes natural exfoliants which helps brighten and enhance radiance
Clary Sage // rich in nutrients it moisturises dehydrated skin for hours
Ginkgo // protects the skin and reveal a youthful glow
Purple Orchid // the plant sugars help reduce the appearance of the visible signs of ageing

There are different ranges for each ingredient and each skin concern so definitely something for everyone: organic, brightening, hydration & sensitivity, anti-ageing and mature skin

Anyway, onto the products and reviews! 


100% Organic Nourishing Facial Oil
Made with rosehip oil, this product is rich in omega oils which is great for hydration and glow-boosting. I really like using this product in the evening so it soaks in overnight and leaves me looks healthy in the morning! It also agrees with my skin even though it is quite sensitive so would highly recommend.

80% Organic Hydrating Eye Cream
I really fancied a new eye cream as my Simple one was almost running out so I popped out and thought this would be best for my skin type. As you are well aware of, my skin is very dry and prone to getting irritated and after using this for a few weeks now, I can confirm it is gentle and nourishing on the eye area.



93% Organic Hydrating Super Balm
What drew me to this product was the size of the tub. It is super diddy and handbag sized but it is packed full with goodness. It is a very rich and slightly greasy balm that you can apply anywhere on the face and body such as elbows and other areas that may get dry. I found that this is a dupe for the Liz Earle Superbalm, which obviously costed a lot more but is now sadly discontinued.

All Bright Cleansing Toner
This toner has been my holy grail over the past few months. It has literally lasted me ages and I'm only just coming towards the end. I've been picking this up more so than my Liz Earle toner, which says a lot! This product is meant to brighten the skin and I feel like it does that brilliantly and gently too.



Hydration Burst Dual Action Cleanser
On the rare occasion where to do wear make up or when my skin feels clogged up, I use this cleanser. It is formulated for dry and dehydrated skin and so works very well with my skin type and needs. It also gets off any waterproof mascara!

All Bright Hydrating Night Cream
I'm a big fan of all the products I've tried so far but I'm gonna have to admit that this is my least favourite. I just feel like it doesn't add anything more than what my other creams do so I don't find myself reaching for this very often. Hence why I have the old old old packaging for this - it's been in my collection that long!


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Have you tried Botanics? What are your favourite products?
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6 Jan 2019

Lemon Drizzle Loaf Cake Recipe



Baking... is there a better way to spend an afternoon? I haven't baked in a while and getting back into it was SO satisfying and therapeutic. I decided to ease my way back in with a classic but delicious lemon drizzle loaf cake. I love a lemon flavoured cake, so much so that our wedding cake was that flavour!

This recipe has never failed me so I thought I'd finally share it. It is from Tanya Bakes by Tanya Burr so I can't take credit but it is a FAB recipe!




Ingredients (serves 10 people)

For the cake:
170g unsalted butter (at room temperature)
170g caster sugar
3 medium eggs
zest of 2 lemons
170g self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder

For the drizzle:
150g icing sugar
Juice of 2 lemons





Method

Preheat your oven to 180°C and prep a 22cm loaf tin with butter or greaseproof paper.

Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Then, one by one, add the eggs followed by the lemon zest.

When the mixture is throughly combined, add the flour slowly so there isn't a flour cloud! Also pop the baking powder in.

The mixture is supposed to be quite thick compared to usual but if it is looking too stodgy, I usually add a splash of milk.

Pour the mixture into the loaf tin and tap the tin on the worktop to knock the air bubbles out and even out the mix. Then pop it in the oven for about 30-40 mins or until when you poke a knife into the cake, it comes out clean.

Whilst the cake is in the oven, you can quickly whisk together the sugar and lemon juice ready for the when the cake is cooling down. Poke the cake with a knife or a skewer so when you pour the drizzle it seeps through the holes in the cake. Whilst the cake is warm, pour the drizzle and then let set.

Enjoy with a cuppa!



If you are a fan of lemon cake, I'd definitely recommend trying this! 

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