31 Mar 2019

5 Beauty Ingredients To Look For In Your Skincare Products



I am quite passionate about skincare and with all my skincare problems, I've been doing a lot more reading into skincare, the ingredients in my products and what benefit they have for my skin. Lots of my family and friends often ask me to help them with picking products for their skin and obviously I'm no expert but I do try and help where I can! So I thought I'd share some ingredients to look out for in skincare products if you have a particular skin concern.



Hyaluronic Acid | Dry & Dehydrated Skin 

So one ingredient I am very familiar with is Hyaluronic Acid. It is great for people who have dry, dehydrated and perhaps eczema-prone skin, like myself. It is an ingredient that helps the skin retain its moisture and actually already exists in our skin, which is why it is so popular in skincare at the moment.

Hyaluronic Acid is available in so many different forms and in a variety of different price points. Personally, I really like The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5. I use this after cleansing & toning and before any oils and moisturisers. Another option I've been testing out recently is the NIP+FAB Dragon's Blood Fix Serum, which contains other hydration boosting ingredients amongst HA.



Retinol | Fine Lines & Wrinkles

Retinol is all the rage right now. Everyone and their mum wants a bit of Retinol in their life! It is an ingredient that reduces and prevents fine lines and wrinkles. It's also very potent and skincare experts highly suggest doing a lot of research before introducing it into your skincare.

They say the best way to include it in your routine is to gradually use a little bit at a time and not all in one go. There are different strengths of Retinol so starting small and working your way up is best. Also, using it in targeted areas is the way I've worked with it before so perhaps try that method to see if it works for you.

I've previously used the The Ordinary Retinol 0.2% in Squalane, which is a very diluted formula and it was gentle enough for my young skin. I only used it once or twice every fortnight, which shows how less you have to use the product as the effects can be quite strong. The only reason I stopped using it was because my bottle broke and I've been waiting to get a Beauty Bay discount code so I can re-order!


Glycolic Acid | Acne Prone Skin 

I introduced Glycolic Acid into my skincare a few years ago when Pixi bought out their Glow Tonic. I went through a phase of getting a lot of little bumps on my forehead and this product sorted it right out - which explains why it is so great for acne prone skin. I know loads of people who have spots love using products with Glycolic Acid in it because it helps reduce the size of spots already on your skin but also prevents new ones.

Again, this is a strong ingredient and it is found in various strengths in different products. Always check the instructions on how often to use your product as the side effects of overusing can be quite damaging.



Vitamin C | Dull Skin

I've only just started to introduce Vitamin C into my skincare regime after hearing of the incredible benefits it has for dull & lifeless skin. I find that as my skin is so dry and eczema-prone that it's really hard to get a glow back into it without using make up. Vitamin C based products are supposed to help bring a natural glow back into the skin so it no longer lacklustre & lifeless.

It is the antioxidant properties in Vitamin C that helps with glow as well as other good things like preventing anti-aging and healing skin damage. I am currently testing out The Body Shop Vitamin C Glow-Revealing Liquid Peel and Moisturiser. So far, really impressed but I'm sure a full review will be coming when I've given it a good run.


Salicylic Acid | Oily Skin

Salicylic Acid is used by people who have oily skin as it penetrates into the skin to clear out clogged pores prevent spots from appearing. I've personally never used a product with this ingredient in it as I don't really suffer with oily skin, spots or acne but it is very highly recommended by people who have an oily skin type. I've heard that the La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo is meant to be a fab starter choice!



I hope this blog post was helpful if you are new to skincare and want to know more about certain ingredients!
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24 Mar 2019

My First Impressions of The Body Shop Shea Range #CareWithShea



Though I am a big fan of The Body Shop, I feel like I've not bought any new products by them in a little while! When I heard of the new Shea range they came out with, I just knew I had to head to my closest store and try it out.

My little shopping trip to The Body Shop was more than just a little spending spree. Not only did I purchase a few other goodies outside of the range (which I'm hoping to share with you after I've tested them properly) the lovely ladies at The Body Shop in the Highcross Shopping Centre, Leicester, were kind enough to talk me through the range, the background and even demo some of the products out.



So the hero product and the inspiration behind the new range: their 100% Shea Butter. Shea butter (aka a dry skin saviour) is extracted from the African shea tree and The Body Shop's product is sustainably sourced by The Tungteiya Women's Association in northern Ghana. Currently around 640 women handpick, harvest and make the shea butter in an 18-stage process - which sounds insane! The Body Shop ensures that the women who are apart of this partnership are paid well and also provide funding for healthcare, sanitation, water and education projects which benefits 49,000 people every year.

The 100% Shea Butter comes in a packet and is very much comparative to coconut oil. At room temperature it is solid but as soon you rub it between your fingers, it becomes a silky soft butter that instantly moisturises the skin. Now this Shea Butter isn't just any old shea... it is packed with 192 shea nuts and is multipurpose as it can be used on the face, body, hair and lips. This pure form makes it really easy to create your own DIY home treatments from lip scrubs to hair treatments.

So far I've created a few little products and I'm so impressed with the way it works! I'll probably get a blog post about this up so I can share them with you. Plus at £15 and being so multipurpose, the price is definitely justified.



Next up, the Exfoliating Sugar Body Scrub. I was instantly drawn to this product as the lovely lady in the shop demonstrated it on my hand. It felt so exfoliating yet hydrating - I just knew it would be a great in-shower scrub or even for my pamper evenings when I give myself an at-home foot treatment. I highly recommend purchasing this if you are after a scrub that will really get in there and exfoliate away all the dead skin.



I've not had a Body Butter for yonks because I find some of the scents to be too strong for my liking. I've been enjoying my Baby Oil for post-shower moisturising but to switch it up a little or as an extra treat, this Body Butter will be brilliant. The scent of this range isn't so strong and is very subtle yet nice. It has a very calming vibe about it.



Last but definitely not least - a fragrance! I'm really fussy with fragrances. Mosts perfumes are so expensive and I much prefer to spend that money elsewhere. However, the Shea Eau de Toilette has such a nice subtle warm yet sweet scent (easier to go in and have a whiff than me describe it!) and comes in a nice travel-friendly bottle at just £9.



I think my favourite thing about this range is the meaning behind it. The Body Shop have always been one of those brands who offer more natural and ethical solutions on the high street and with it being so accessible to many people, it really is a positive way to spread the word about the communities and projects they support.

I'd really like to give the shower and hair products a go next - the hair mask and shower cream sounds a-ma-zing!



That's my first impressions of the new Shea range from The Body Shop - have you tried anything yet? 
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17 Mar 2019

Eczema-Friendly 'No Make Up' Make Up



I can probably count on my fingers how many times I've worn make up in the past five months but recently I've been dabbling into a little 'no make up' make up and it works really well for my skin! It doesn't irritate my eczema and takes just a few minutes to do, which I'm sure many of us appreciate (I'd much rather spend more time in bed!)

Anyway, I thought I'd share what products I've been using in my makeup routine as they might help you if you suffer with eczema or dry skin.



I find that my skin gets quite dull, especially because of my eczema. So to add a bit of life back into my skin I dab a little bit of liquid highlighter on the top of my cheeks. My current choice is the No7 Skin Illuminator - it's a really nice champagne shade that just makes my skin so lovely and glowy. No7 products are also hypoallergenic so it is perfect for sensitive skin.

Before I apply any make up, I usually slather a bunch of moisturiser or oil on my skin so it likely needs a small amount of powder so it is a bit matte. I don't over powder but just a little dab here and there makes me feel less like a grease ball. This one by NYX is great but sometimes I replace it with a little baby powder.



Next up, mascara. Boy I have missed wearing mascara. Since I haven't been wearing make up because of my eczema flare ups, I forgot that I can still use mascara as it doesn't touch my skin! Currently I've been loving the L'Oreal False Lash Telescopic Mascara because it doesn't make my lashes clumpy, separates them beautifully and make me look so much more awake.

I also seem to have crazy brows sometimes so I've been gelling them down with some clear mascara (I just use any cheap one I can find!) What a difference it makes - I don't even need to fill them in, just a bit of eyebrow gel makes a world of a difference.



Last but not least, a lip colour. I love the GOSH lipstick in Cinnamon - it's a really nice soft pinky nude shade. I usually pop this on or keep it simple with some Vaseline.



That's my 'no make up' make up look! What are your favourite products to use?
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10 Mar 2019

Baby Shower | DIY, Inspiration & Ideas



Even before I found out my sister was pregnant I've been planning her baby shower - I was just SO excited. When she told us the big news I knew I couldn't wait to get started and finally turn my ideas into reality! Last weekend was when the baby shower finally took place and it went so incredibly well. Mariam (my sister) had a great afternoon, as did her friends and my vision came to life!

I thought I'd share some decor inspiration and ideas for games & activities that I had planned for the day. Also sharing details of some incredible local to Leicester suppliers and a quick & easy DIY for favours.













DECOR

First things first, the decor. I hosted the baby shower in my home and decided to keep the main area in our kitchen diner. As you can see we went for a yellow, gold and grey theme which worked so well with all the bits and pieces I already had and some I had purchased specially for the shower.

So the 'About To Pop' banner, 'Happy Pushing' cake topper, gold tassel backdrop, fan decorations, sash and a bunch of other bits were all by Ginger Ray - where else would you shop for decor? I know I'd be able to keep / share some of these pieces for future events, which is very useful. I know they have a new baby shower range with a rose gold theme and it is stunning!



I already had the light box and spelt out 'Mariam's baby shower' but you can definitely get creative and put 'ready to pop' or something else a bit more personalised! Fairy lights are another obvious decor piece. Primark currently have these gold fairy lights for just £2.50 each and they are over 2 meters long - a great inexpensive option!



Balloons and pom poms are another great inexpensive way to add more to a room. We created a sort of selfie wall with them and the gold tassel backdrop and it completely transformed the room! Some of the pom poms were purchased from Amazon but you can actually make them yourself - I've linked to a tutorial here.









SUPPLIERS

Giant personalised balloon: Magnifique Creations
Dried plants / flowers: The Bloom Project, Queens Road, Leicester.
Cake & baby shaped biscuits: Al-Ka'ak Cakes, Leicester based.



GAMES & ACTIVITIES

I went on Pinterest to get some ideas and inspiration for games to play on the day and there are SO many out there. You don't really need to buy things for the games either or if you do, it should be quite inexpensive!
  • Guess the celebrity baby
  • Bottles up - you just need to buy two baby bottles, fill it with juice / formula / milk and see who can finish first, it's actually really hard for adults to drink out of a baby bottle!
  • Don't drop the baby relay - Each team member takes it in turns to run to the other side of the room with a balloon between their legs and they can't drop it or use their hands to pass on to the next person. A lot of fun to watch and not participate (perks of being the organiser!)
  • Guess the (chocolate) poo 
  • Baby food challenge
  • Labour or porn - don't judge but just search this on Pinterest, it the best and most funniest game!


DIY FAVOURS

As I am obsessed with candles, when I was browsing in my local Yankee Candle shop I noticed they had two baby themed scents, Baby Powder and Soft Blanket, and just knew I had to have them as the favours.

We had 10 guests attending the baby shower and luckily Yankee Candle have an offer so you can purchase 10 candles for just £12 - so reasonable! I then bought some small clear plastic sealable bags (45 for £1.50 at The Works) and some brown craft tags. I had some tissue paper lying around at home so I used that as a filling but feel free to leave it out or buy some.

It's pretty simple to put together, just add some tissue paper at the bottom of the bag, pop the candle in, tie the string from the tag around the top (after writing on it of course!) and cut the top off so there is no seal.



Are you planning a baby shower or have you already? Leave some ideas below! 
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