Sunday, 14 April 2019

The life changing magic of actually giving a f***

Hi everyone.  Long time no speak.  Sorry it was me not you.

Have you ever had one of those "is this it?" times in your life? Where you feel like a hamster on the wheel, the drudge of adulting, the daily grind and you feel like you just need to get away/run away, just for a few days? Well that was me, I mean is often me and so I decided to challenge myself again to a solo trip somewhere. I couldn't really be faffed with going abroad and had started vaguely looking at spa breaks, yoga retreats, walking holidays in the UK. Problem was none of the retreats I found spoke to me, I either felt they were too serious for me (I am a beginner at yoga) or just seemed too aimed at groups. But then after Christmas I was having my hourly scroll through Instagram and in to my feed popped a post from @LifeRocks. And here it was, what I had been looking for - a yoga and mindfulness retreat in Anglesey, North Wales. What appealed to me was that the 3 day retreats only cater for small groups of likeminded women, so I already felt fairly confident that I wouldn't be the only solo traveler in amongst a hen party! So that was me sold and booked up for a midweek retreat in April.

The Life Rocks retreat is based in a beautiful, large home overlooking the stunning Trearddur Bay Beaches in Anglesey. The house is large but so homely, welcoming and comfortable and I was invited to treat it like my own home by the lovely Phillippa, who runs the retreats. (The title photo is the view from one of windows in my huge bedroom).
On the retreat were myself, 4 other wonderful ladies, Phillippa and Rose (our yoga teacher). The retreats can easily cater for a few more and we had all opted for our own rooms. I did have to share a bathroom but it was really no bother at all and I never had to wait to use it.

Day 1 (arrival)
We all arrived from 3.00pm onwards and were warmly welcomed by Phillippa and Rose with tea and carrot cake. And on that I have to say that the food on the retreat was some of the best I have ever had. We had Andy, a local chef, who provided us with delicious breakfasts, lunches and dinners - all vegetarian and all amazing. I am still dreaming about his bircher muesli!
We then joined Rose in the conservatory for some gentle evening yoga. Yoga sessions took place first thing in the morning (8.00am) and early evening, with a wonderful backdrop of the wide open expanse of sea and beach.
After dinner, we all gathered on the comfy sofas by a roaring fire and did the first group session, which was getting to know each other a little better and talking about why we had come on the retreat and what we had hoped to get out it. It was really pleasant but it didn't really click with me. I wondered if maybe this wasn't going to be the thing that would be able to tell me exactly what I should be doing in my career..

Day 2
The weather for the whole 3 days was glorious, with clear blue skies and sunshine. Which was great as I had driven through thick cloud and heavy rain to get there. We kept silence before breakfast every morning, so I took myself down to the beach to take some photos and get some fresh air before the morning yoga session.
At this yoga session we did some chanting. I've never chanted before, so I kept quiet. It didn't really click with me.
After breakfast, we all took ourselves off for a walk along the beaches and it was on this walk that I fell into a natural but quite deep conversation with a couple of the ladies. Somehow and from somewhere I spoke about my relationship with my daughter and the worries that I'm sure most Mums have and for me, my wonder and awe that my daughter is so loving and good at showing affection when I feel unable to do this. And it was then that one of these wonderful women, who had been a stranger to me before that day, turned to me and said "It's you. You've shown her. Your daughter's love and ability to show it, is from you". Something switched on in me in that moment.

After lunch we had free time and I was booked in for a 50 minute massage. I even let the lovely Elaine massage my feet. No one, not even me, has ever been able to touch my feet. She said my feet were wonderful, strong and healthy. The light in me increased.

After a post massage nap, evening yoga and another delicious dinner (during which we all tried to take photos of the stunning sunset), we gathered again by the fire for a session. And this was the moment for me that everything clicked, switched on, illuminated. One word, one name and the realisation that it was never about how I can make myself happier in my job, there's nothing wrong with my job and whilst I really like my life, my family, my friends, that one word was the light bulb moment that I was blocked, and had been for a long time. I told this wonderful small group of ladies that I needed a ..
plunger. To unblock all the build up. And that was it. Whilst on the surface everything can look fine and dandy, there is so much pressure on everyone to keep our sh** together, soldier on, be strong. And I want to continue to be like this but sometimes you need to acknowledge that if someone made you feel rubbish or a situation you are going through/have been through is horrible, we all need to allow ourselves the time to process it. Or else we will become blocked and that will just stop all the other feelings flowing through!

Day 3 (departure)
And so at the morning yoga session, I wholeheartedly chanted until out of nowhere tears were running down my face. I got it.

Our final group session was an interesting and revealing look at crystals and their properties and I was drawn to Rose Quartz - the crystal for unconditional love, compassion and forgiveness. Which says it all really.

Going on this retreat I didn't really have any expectations but what I got was being in a safe, warm and loving environment which enabled me to open up to not just this small group of truly amazing women, but I suppose more importantly, myself. I actually do give a f***.



Saturday, 26 January 2019

The Inky List - for those of us without a degree in chemistry

A couple of years ago we saw The Ordinary range of serums, oils and acids skincare hit the beauty world like a kick up the backside that was well over due. And for all the dramas that later came with the founder, and recently his sad death, you cannot deny that The Ordinary was the David to the high end and complicated beauty world's Goliath. And so the door had been opened to allow us mere mortals into the scientific world of retinols, Acids, AHAs, BHAs and oils. And then in walked The Inky List to further banish the mystery and extortionate pricing around all of the lotions and potions.

Here is a range of less Harry Potter potions looking products. The packaging and tubes have clear and simple to understand directions on how and when to use and what the product is for. And all at really good price points.

After the initial release frenzy, I've dipped my toe in and am trying out the Vitamin C face serum.
The Inky List explains this Vitamin C serum better than I can:
A powerful antioxidant with a host of benefits, vitamin C is a skin care celebrity for a reason. Able to both prevent and correct signs of damage, Vitamin C Serum can help to reduce the impact of daily skin stressors, including pollution and sun exposure, which can lead to pigmentation, accelerated signs of ageing and dullness (no thanks!) As well as this, vitamin C works to actively brighten and even out skin tone, while also boosting collagen production to enhance skin’s plumpness and elasticity. Offering all of these benefits (without eye-watering cost or alienating jargon) THE INKEY LIST’s Vitamin C Serum stars 30% pure, L-Ascorbic Acid in a stable, waterless formulation for optimum results and low irritation. Add this into your regime and you can expect bright, even, protected, youthful-looking skin.

I've been using this in the morning.  You can use in the evening as well but I've been using Retinol (see below.) On first use there was a very slight tingling on my skin but that was only the first time I used it. The cream, although quite paste like, does sink in quickly and I apply moisturiser after.
I've been using a retinol product in my skincare routine for a year now and for my age, wouldn't not include it. I like the cream retinol that the Inky list have developed which I apply in the evenings only and then follow with my night cream of choice.  The Inky list describe their Retinol:
A derivative of vitamin A, retinol helps to promote skin renewal and enhance collagen production to keep skin looking youthful, working at a cellular level to promote renewal and repair processes so that newer cells reach the surface quicker. As we age, the rate at which our skin renews itself slows down (sob) so retinol can be a great way of kick-starting cells back into action. Providing the highest quality ingredients formulated by a crack team of scientists and experts, THE INKEY LIST’s answer to retinol is sublime in its simplicity, uniting 1% stable retinol and 0.5% granactive retinoid (slightly stronger than retinol) with squalane for hydration and soothing. The slow-release formula minimises irritation while providing effective active delivery, working hard to minimise fine lines and wrinkles, even out skin tone tackle blemishes and improve skin clarity, leaving your complexion looking brighter, smoother and miles more youthful.

I recently read an article that said the 3 most important (and only) skincare ingredients you need in your routine are vitamin c, retinol and a SPF.  These 3 products alone will combat signs of aging, pigmentation, dullness and if you start using a facial spf as early as you can, and not just on holiday, you will delay the aging of your skin.

There are very few products that will give you an instant result and certainly with both of these products, I know I need to be patient and in for the long haul before I start to see real improvement in my skin. But whilst I'm waiting for brighter, smoother, younger looking skin I am confident in the knowledge that these ingredients are really benefiting my skin.

The Inky List Retinol serum is £9.99 and the Vitamin C serum £7.99, both and more available from Cult Beauty.


Sunday, 6 January 2019

2018 - Favourite Beauty Bits

You may (or may not) have noticed that I'm not blogging as often. And I think that's a lot to do with my realisation that I/we don't need so much stuff. And I have been so bad (or good?) at buying stuff. When I first started blogging, I used to buy a lot of stuff, so I had things to write about and because I wanted to try things out to tell you about. I've never seen the point in writing about things that I can only comment on the packaging of! All we want to know is does it work, right?

There was a point earlier in the year and I had no new products to write about and I thought I need to go and buy stuff to write about. But I didn't need anything. I have drawers full of products that I haven't used, why would I go and buy more? So 2018 was the year I decided to be a more conscious consumer and also use up all my stuff, and only allow myself to purchase new products once I've used up every last drop. My beauty favourites for this year are a smaller selection but these are things I have really used and will keep on re-purchasing.
Simple Dual Effect eye make-up remover (Superdrug £2.39)
Although I don't use waterproof mascara (which this is targeted for), I find the dual effect of water and oil which you mix before putting on a cotton pad, is so gentle and really effective for removing all eye make up. There's no rubbing needed, just a quick hold the pad onto your eye lid and then wipe clean. Just wish it came in a larger bottle but this small 125ml will last me 6 weeks of daily use. 

Cien Nail Polish remover (Lidl £1.59)
Two things I love about this nail polish remover are 1. that it doesn't leave my nails stripped and dry and 2. the dispenser - you just push down on the top with a cotton pad and the remover dispenses up and on to the pad, like a professional manicurist!
L'Oreal Unlimited mascara (Superdrug/Boots £10.99)
This is the best mascara I have ever used. It gives length, volume and doesn't smudge. It doesn't need the gimmicky bendy wand but whatever, it also gets better with age!
Touch InSol No Poreblem primer (Cult Beauty £15.00)
If you can get hold of this, it's well worth a try. The silicone texture ensures a silky smooth base on which to apply foundation. It does help to mattify and if you keep it in your bag, a small midday application on the T zone will see you shine free for the rest of the day.

Fenty Beauty Match Stix Matte Skinstick in Truffle (Harvey Nics £21.00)
This cream stick is my stand out product of the year. I am in love with it. I use it as a bronzer/contour/blush/eye shadow. It's that versatile. Granted for paler skins this would be too much, unless you want to bronze up. I apply the stick to the back of my hand and then apply with a brush. It warms up my face and adds some much needed shadow to fool a cheek hollow. Worth every penny.
Mac eye shadow in Woodwinked (Mac £14.00)
Ok so I only got this at Christmas and I'd never previously even seen it in the flesh but one swipe and I was smitten. This antique gold powder shadow is me in an eye shadow (not the antique bit!). It's brown yet its gold, it's one application for eye definition and it's two applications for a smoky eye. It's got the glint of gold, yet the subtleness of a day shadow. It's everything.

Bobbi Brown eye shadow in Toast (Bobbi Brown £19.50)
This is the shadow I've been using almost every day for the past 6 months. If you don't wear or like eye shadow (how? how?) but want something to cover darkened or veiny eye lids, this is for you. Think the colour of eye lids that have always had 9 hours sleep, no make up, no sun and lots of water. This is Toast.
Middle finger - Bobbi Brown Toast
Ring finger - Mac Woodwinked
Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer in Fenty Glow (Harvey Nichols £16.00)
I received this mini size along with a glorious gold highlighter for Christmas and even though I've only used it a few times, it's already a favourite. This is the lip gloss when you want to hydrate your lips and give them a wash of perfect natural lips colour. You can wear this gloss on its on or over any lipstick to give a luscious plumptious look. If you're going for a no make up look or bold eyes/subtle lips, this is for you.


Saturday, 29 December 2018

2018 - My Highlights and lost toe nails

I always feel a bit glum after Christmas and in to January. I can't help but have a sense of under achievement for the year that is ending and the dark, cold aftermath of the new year after the sparkly excitement of Christmas just leaves me feeling completely flat. So I decided to properly look back on 2018 and to remind myself of the fun and lovely things I got up to, so I can look forward to 2019 and all the excursions and excitement that could bring as well.

So 2018 didn't really see much to report until March when I started a new job. I do tend to change jobs every few years. I just can't seem to settle anywhere for too long. Once I know what I'm doing, the frustration starts to set in, frustration that yet another organisation is run in a way that I can't seem to just accept. It really is a case of "it's me, not you". In March I left a job which I wasn't sad to leave but the nicest people I have ever worked with. I felt really cared for there.. but you know onwards.. I've been in my new job 9 months now (I work in human resources in you're wondering) and at last I'm past that horrible unsettling new person period. This job is different for me in that I get to go out and about to other sites quite a bit. This has taken me totally out of my comfort zone, having to find and turn up to different sites and work with people I haven't met before and sometimes quite unfriendly (insert hostile) groups. But I've done it and I have to give myself a little pat on the back despite driving in to nearly every site the wrong way/parking in the wrong areas and waiting patiently and unnecessarily in my little car on a weighbridge (which is meant for HGV lorries) whilst the blokes in the office watched me on the CCTV..

May saw the 2nd biggest exciting opportunity from my blog to happen (after the Good Housekeeping feature, yes I'm still banging on about that!). I was invited to spend a couple of days at the beautiful Gainsborough Bath Spa hotel with Dove. This two day summer revived retreat was part of Dove's promotion of their new gradual tan body moisturiser. Along with a small group of other lovely bloggers, we were indulged with afternoon tea, cocktail making, dinner, spa treatment and morning yoga. These things don't happen to me normally so I was beside myself that I was invited and got to re-meet some fab bloggers I had met before and also make new blogging friends. It was a real pinch me moment and I made sure I appreciated every single second. If nothing like that ever happens again, I will always remember it.
The thermal spa at the Gainsborough Bath Spa
May also saw a sisters 3 day trip to Dubai. We had such fun, laughed a lot and got to enjoy the Dubai sunshine. May is a great time to go if you're considering it. The weather is perfect, very warm but not the crazy 45c + of August.

All my trips abroad came one after the other in 2018, which was great at the time but not for the rest of the year! June was our family holiday and this year we went back to Lanzarote and I did a full review here. Everything was perfect about this holiday.. except the weather! This was the first holiday I've been on when the weather has been disappointing.  And that was about the time that the UK summer heatwave kicked off. We did have a handful of nice days and thank goodness for our nightly Love Island catch ups.
Towards the end of June was the event that I had been aiming for and training for since January - the charity hike along the Jurassic Coast for Cancer Research UK. This was a 21 mile hike with a group of 11 other fab ladies. I mean lets call it 25 miles because the car park was quite far from the start point!
This was the hardest, most challenging, emotional, exhilarating, rewarding thing I have ever done. The picture below doesn't fully do justice to the hills (I would call them mountains) that we had to scale. This was more than a walk. There were times when we had to crawl up the hills, such was the steepness. Our walking poles were our absolute best friends. You could not do this walk without poles. The group of girls I did this hike with are my sisters' childhood friends but they have taken me in to their group and we now have this bond of something as equally as amazing and horrific that we all did!
I properly sobbed when I finished. That night I kept dreaming I was falling off cliff edges. But it was all worth it. To date I've lost 3 toe nails. Our group as a whole about 20 nails. And as a group we raised £3,500. Which we are all, very rightly, proud of.
Seeing the "hill" ahead of us was frightening!

The Swindon girls
In July I needed to start walking properly again as I jetted off to Seville for 3 days. Oh what a stunner of a city Seville is. This is a less busy, easier to get around Barcelona. My review here goes in to more detail. I will go back to Seville, it totally got my heart and re-ignited my love for flamenco (watching not dancing..) and also made me want to explore other Spanish city breaks.
The Real Alcazar 
August was the month my daughter turned 21. Even before her 21st year she has done so much, left home, bought her own house, excelled in her job, become mummy to 2 (really naughty) cats, learnt how to cook a roast and homemade lasagna, embraced hinching.. 
For me, my daughter turning 21 was the next chapter in her becoming a fully self sufficient adult and me having to tick off another parent milestone.
A good year travel wise and I hope 2019 is the same. Our group of girls have already booked a lush villa in Dubrovnik for a mass 40ths celebration (I'm just about in there as I'll be in my last year of my 40s!). Hopefully all toe nails will have grown back by then!

I'm looking forward to seeing what else pans out in 2019. Thank you again to all of you who still take the time to dip in to read my ramblings. I do really appreciate it and hope I've enabled you with some good purchases and helped you avoid some wastes of time.

Happy new year everyone.


Saturday, 17 November 2018

Fenty in your Forties?

You may remember this time last year when Rihanna launched her beauty range, Fenty Beauty. Only available in Harvey Nichols in the UK, this was a range that I was intrigued by but not living in the capital, wouldn't be able to see for myself for a while. 
I did go along to the Fenty counter in Bristol's Cabot Circus and got colour matched for the foundation in the summer but I just wasn't ready to commit at the time. And to be honest whilst I love a highlighter, for me and I think a lot of us that initial craze has died down. So when I saw how completely ridiculous the Fenty Killawatt highlighter was, I thought  that the range was just too young for me.
But never having been one to obey ageist beauty (or fashion) rules, I decided to use some birthday money to treat myself to the Pro Filt'r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation (£26.00) 
I have always tended to spend more on foundation, especially in the winter months when I want more coverage. And when spending more than £10 I am also expecting a bit of service from the person working on the counter. I am paying for them to exactly colour match me. This hasn't always been the case but the woman working on the Fenty counter was so helpful and not at all pushy. She swatched 4 different shades on to my cheek and then made me take a mirror outside the store so I could see which shade I liked in the daylight. We both agreed on the same shade and she then took off my existing foundation and applied my choosen Fenty shade all over my face. And again made me take the mirror outside to see for myself the coverage and look in daylight.

A bit like when a hairdresser blow dries your hair and you can never do it the same way yourself at home, the foundation had been applied so well that my skin was like I had never seen before. My daughter who was with me, kept staring at me and saying "I can't stop looking at your skin".
And that's the thing that surprised me, this foundation wasn't made to create a flawless, unrealistic mask over your skin, it's been made to show off your skin in the absolute best light. 

The formula of the foundation doesn't feel at all heavy and blends well. I've gone back to using a beauty sponge to apply, which I think gives a better finish than a brush.
And although the formula is not heavy, you really don't need to apply concealer after using this foundation because it does such a good job at covering redness. Another bonus is this does not collect around the corners of my nose.
You can obviously build this up if you do want a heavier coverage but honestly, you won't need or want to because you'll be happy with the look from one layer. Let those freckles/age spots through!
I didn't need a new bronzer but as I was on a high having had someone who works on a beauty concession actually spend time with me, that I also bought a Match Stix Matte Skinstick in Truffle (£21.00)
And this is one of those things that you buy on a whim, kind of knowing it'll be a waste of money but then actually end up loving it, using it everyday and in more ways than you originally thought!

This is a cream stick which comes in a variety of different shades and they have been made to conceal, correct and contour. They are multi purpose and the shade I got "Truffle" has to be one of the best. This (initially slightly scary looking) dark brown shade can be used as a contour, bronzer and an eye shadow. As shown by the helpful Fenty girl, I apply the stick to the back of my hand (several swipes) and then take this off my hand with a brush, I then apply as I would a bronzer. I have also been using this more over my cheeks instead of blusher.
I've been searching for a proper mud brown eye shadow for a while and Truffle is exactly what I've been looking for. As it's a cream, I apply with my finger and blend out. One swipe is perfect for the day but you could go much heavier for an out out smokey eye.

Foundation swatch in shade 240 and Truffle match stix:
I am so impressed with these two key staple products from the Fenty Beauty range. They both flatter and enhance and do bring out your natural beauty. 
So whilst me and Rihanna may have nearly 20 years age difference between us, she has made a range for everyone, that is ageless and inclusive, and much more importantly for all skin tones.



Saturday, 20 October 2018

The shame of over consumption

This was going to be an empties post. I've been saving up my empty tubes and bottles for months in prep but I've come over all funny, in a non funny way. And this unsettling feeling has been growing from when I watched the Blue Planet II series. The shame and sadness I felt watching the mother whale swimming around with her dead calf for days, the breaking waves of plastic on once idyllic beaches and the realisation that nearly everything I buy comes in plastic packaging - a large majority of which is not recyclable. 
But it didn't stop there. I recently watched Stacey Dooley Investigates programme on Fashion's Dirty Secrets and was shocked to learn how much fast fashion is seriously effecting our world and health.

I've always loved shopping, doesn't matter what it's for - be it a home haul, fashion or beauty haul or Christmas shopping for my family, the excitement I feel when planning a day of retail therapy gives me such a buzz.
And recently my shopping passion has moved to a new area, that of cleaning products. You must have heard of the Instagram sensation Mrs Hinch? This bubbly, down to earth Essex hairdresser has made cleaning (hinching) the latest bandwagon to jump on and I have watched as over the past few weeks she has gained over a million followers. And to be part of the #hincharmy you need a cleaning cupboard (Narnia) packed full of every cleaning product you might ever need, and in multiples. And I have completely got on board with this. In the week I started following Mrs Hinch I spent £60 in a week, just on cleaning products. And as fun as it's been, I suddenly realised what I was doing. I was over consuming products that I didn't need, all in plastic bottles.

It's the same with fashion - I have a wardrobe full of coats, for every weather condition and season. Yet every autumn I convince myself that I need a new winter coat and new boots. It's the same with all changes of season. But I still seem to stick with a few items I really like, year after year. I add to my wardrobe and I'm embarrassed to say I have pieces in there that I have never worn and whilst they may not have cost loads, I still got in my car, drove to the shops and paid for an item I wasn't really in love with, bought a bag for it and then hung it up in my wardrobe for months and months until I eventually put it in a charity bag. 

So I've realised a shift in my attitude and thinking. I want to consider really carefully what I am buying, whatever it is and ask myself three questions:

1. Why are you buying this?
2. Can you do without this?
3. Do you absolutely love it?

And if I get home and realise I'm not that sure about an item, then I will return it. No more keeping it and hoping I'll find something that will go with it, because that never happens!

It's not about spending more on items either. I have bought things that were in the sales that I absolutely love and am still wearing years on. Cost per wear.

I want to be a careful consumer.

As excited as I get when I see lots of Instagramers all wearing the latest M&S midi dress, I'm going to think before I rush out and buy it. Do I even like it, or do I just think I need it because all these other people are wearing it?
I have my own style and at nearly 48 I'm going to have faith in that and stick with it.

A really easy way to update much loved items and still be involved in the season's latest trends is to just add an accessory - like a scarf or bag.

Don't get me wrong I will always love going shopping but more and more lately I am coming out of shops empty handed and sometimes I come away thinking "I've got something similar at home".

And another trick I do is if I see something I really really like, is to walk away and if I am still thinking about it two weeks on, then maybe it is for me. 

I will still be telling you about things I am loving but please know that I will have considered their purchase really carefully before I buy it.


Saturday, 22 September 2018

Current Beauty Faves - September 2018

So firstly Hi everyone, I hope you're all well?  Secondly, an apology. I've been neglecting you and the blog. No exciting excuses, I just haven't really been feeling it. I've been in a rut product wise and (until recently) haven't even wanted to try anything new. But after recently having to buy new beauty products because I had run out... the spark came back. And with the onslaught of Autumn, cozy rainy days indoors, I'm feeling inspired to get back on it.
Mascara - L'Oreal Unlimited £10.99
Two things drew me to this new mascara launch from L'Oreal. The first that Nadine Baggott said it was the best mascara she had ever tried (huge claim) and the wonky gimmicky wand. I am a marketer's dream, I love a gimmick. But despite these hooks, I didn't have any expectations.

Nadine was right. This is the best mascara I have ever used... for one major thing. It doesn't smudge on to my lids. All mascaras I have used, good ones, bad ones and however careful I am at applying have always left a smudge on my eye lids. Which means then having to use a wet cotton bud to clean up. And I am trying hard not to use cotton buds. Because of the sea, plastics, image of the Sea Horse carrying an ear bud...

But no worries with the L'Oreal Unlimited as it just doesn't smudge. The formula on first use is not too wet and I would say it's main strength is to lengthen lashes.

The wand is gimmicky and it doesn't need to bend. Interestingly they've made it bend so you can apply right on to corner lashes and outers but you don't need to bend it, as even using the wand straight because of the magic formula/consistency, it applies on to the shortest of lashes. Without smudging!
I absolutely love this.
Night Cream - My Skin Matters Anti-Age Night Repair Cream £4.00
At long last I managed to use up all my night creams, even the travel sizes. But as it was a while till payday, I didn't want to spend a lot so picked up this simply packaged My Skin Matters (from Sainsbury's).
This night cream has pro collagen and pro elastin ingredients to help with fine line and wrinkles and to support the elasticity of the skin, so has everything much more expensive creams would have. I have to say I'm not keen on the consistency of the cream in the jar. It's like putting your fingers in to a panna cotta (I imagine). But once I've put the thick cream on to my cleansed face, it feels nice. I can still feel the cream on my skin a couple of hours later but for a night cream I like that, I'm happy for it to sit on my skin overnight.

Eye Make Up Remover - Simple Duel Effect £2.39
I had never before used a specific eye make up remover. I swear by Clinique Take the Day off balm which does remove all traces of eye make up like nothing else. However (and this might gross you out), I then noticed that with the massaging in of the balm I was getting a lot of gunk in my eyes, which I was then poking about trying to get out. I decided to try this bi-phase eye make up remover as it's effective and I thought would be a gentler way to remove mascara. And it does. No more gunk filled eyes. And because the bi-phase has an oil (you need to shake before use) my under eyes are not as dried out as before.
Primer - Touch in Sol No Poreblem Primer £15.00
Instagram made me buy it! If I ever see anything that promises to eliminate a shiny t-zone and minimise pores, I will buy it.
This is a nice primer and leaves skin feeling really smooth. The texture is like other silicone primers, so goes on easily and dries quickly. I only use this on my t-zone area, no where else. It's just ok. I've tried so many mattifying promising primers now and for me, none of them really work, as in all day mattification, which is what I want.
Body Mist - & Other Stories Nomad's Poem Body Mist £5.00
As most expensive perfumes irritate my skin, I opt for lighter body sprays and mists. Although this is a small bottle, the scent is glorious. No idea what's in it but it's a light, fresh, hint of musk/masculine, spiciness! I'll definitely get the larger size next time and try out more of the scents in And Other Stories - where I would also recommend you check out their beauty range. It's well priced, nicely packaged and good quality. Random, but I have an eyebrow spoolie brush from there which I've had for years, it's so well made and washes up a treat.

Thanks for stopping by.


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