Empties Summer 2014

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I have a strange assortment of empties to show you today, so I’m going to dive right in!

Sanctuary Foaming Bath Soak – This was a Christmas present from my Grandparents. It created lots of bubbles which I liked – pretty essential for a bubble bath really. It has a similar grown-up spa style scent to most Sanctuary products. This is a lovely bubble bath for people who want a simple bubble bath, without crazy colours or glitter or scents.

Lush Prince Charming Shower Gel – This was a limited edition Valentine’s Day shower gel from Lush. It smells incredible and I can’t wait to see if it comes back next year!

Sanctuary Spa Mande Lular Sensuous Foaming Shower BurstThis is a really fun and unique product to pop in your shower. It comes out the pump in a clear gel and foams up to become a creamy white mousse. I really enjoyed it.

Body Shop Almond Hand & Nail Cream – My fiancé gave me this for Christmas and it lasted through till late June, even though I use it daily! It’s fantastic stuff if you have dry hands and nails. It smells delicious, absorbs quickly, and is the best thing I’ve found for keeping my skin smooth and hydrated.

Melvita Moisture Replenishing Night Nectar – This night time moisturiser was in my You Beauty Discovery box. It absorbs quickly and didn’t make me break out, but it has a really peculiar smell. I didn’t finish it in the end.

Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser Orange Flower & Chamomile – Cleanse & Polish is my absolute favourite cleanser and I refuse to use anything else because it suits my skin best. It was nice to try a new scent, but I prefer the original.

Boots Salon Nail Shine Solution – There’s a little left in the pot, but it’s gone all gloopy so I am throwing it away. I really enjoyed this.  I used it as a top coat and it worked really well. It stopped my nails from chipping and made them look beautiful and shiny.

Sally Hansen Nailgrowth Miracle – This is another one which has gone a bit gloopy so is being thrown away. It was one of the better nail treatments I’ve tried, but not my favourite. I’m not sure I quite saw the length and strength promised.

Soap and Glory The Breakfast Scrub – I really loved this scrub. It smells absolutely delicious and it has a lovely texture. It’s not a particularly abrasive scrub, it’s more of a luxurious treat, but I will definitely put it back on my Christmas wishlist!

La Roche-Posay Effaclar A I – This was my second tube of Effaclar AI. It worked really well for me at first, but seemed to tail off towards the end of this tube, which is why it isn’t quite finished. I switched to Soap and Glory Dr Spot instead, but I do have another tube of this to try. I’m hoping that after a few months my skin will react better to it again, because it really was excellent in the end.

Updated Evening Skin Care Routine

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This post might shock you, because unlike most beauty bloggers, I use hardly any products on my face. However, I wanted to do this updated evening skin care routine because I have finally found the products that work for me.

I would describe my skin as normal-combination. I sometimes get a little oily around my t-zone, but it’s not too bad now I’ve got a proper skin care routine.

So first thing’s first, I start by using Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser to remove my makeup and they day’s oil and general yuckiness. I rub the cleanser all over my face and then wipe off with a muslin cloth which I’ve run under the hot tap so it’s hot but not uncomfortably so. I rinse the cloth and repeat as many times as I need to. If I’ve been wearing a lot of makeup, I repeat these steps to make sure I’ve got everything off.

Most days, and especially if I’ve worn a full face of makeup, I follow up with Liz Earle Instant Boost Skin Tonic. I apply a little on a cotton pad and sweep over my face. I’m not mad on the heavy floral scent of this toner, but I like how it freshens and soothes my skin and removes any over traces of makeup left after cleansing. I have to be careful not to use toner twice a day and to give my skin a bit of a break by taking a dsy off every now and again because toners dry my skin out quite easily.

Since I have been using Liz Earle products, my skin has had shown a dramatic improvement. I used Cleanse and Polish from summer last year and stopped for a month or so to try a new cleanser. My skin got really oily again and I broke out all over the place constantly. As fast as I got rid of a spot, another sprung up. A combination of going back to Cleanse and Polish and this next product finally got my skin back under control.

After using toner, I apply La Roche-Posay Effaclar A I targeted blemish corrector to any spots or blemishes. This works really nicely at either making the spot disappear virtually overnight or significantly speeding up the healing process.

I leave the blemish treatment to dry for a minute or two and then I finish up with moisturiser. I am quite lucky with moisturisers, because unlike cleansers, different moisturisers don’t seem to have much of an effect on my skin. I like to change it up quite a lot and try new ones. I go for something quite light. At the moment I am using Body Shop Vitamin E Moisture Cream, which I really like. I think my favourite so far though is the Garnier Moisture Match Mattifying Fresh Cream because it really helps stop excess oil production in summer.

And that’s literally my entire skin care routine. It’s worked really well for me and I now can’t imagine ever using another cleanser. Of course skin care is a hugely personal thing and everyone’s skin is different, so I can’t promise this will work for you, but I think these are quite universal products and might be worth a try.

Cambridge Shopping Haul

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I don’t think I have mentioned yet that I have moved to Cambridge temporarily for a few months. At the weekend, I took my first venture to the shops. I hit the Grand Arcade and Lion’s Yard shopping centres and the general surrounding area and finished with lunch in Yo Sushi. I thought I’d do a little haul post to show you what I bought!

When I arrived at the shopping centre I made a beeline for Lush (my spiritual home). After sniffing various bath bombs and face masks, I eventually decided to buy a small bottle of It’s Raining Men shower gel because I had a free sample in my last Lush order and it was amazing, and also Cynthia Sylvia Stout Beer Shampoo because it sounded really weird and I thought my boyfriend might like to try it (SURPRISE if you are reading this!)

After Lush I found Clintons. Clintons is my favourite place for all sorts of quirky little things; they are much more than a card shop now.  I bought beautiful floral print notecards because the print really spoke to me, a Yankee Candle in the scent Black Coconut because it smelt reeeeally good, and this adorable ceramic travel mug. I like to have a mug with a lid at work. When you are concentrating on things, coffee goes cold really quickly without you noticing, and the lid really helps to keep my drink warm until I get round to drinking it.

The Grand Arcade has a nice big John Lewis inside, so of course I went there (despite having only gone to John Lewis a week or so ago and stocking up in Liz Earle and Jo Malone). I bought three adorable Mavala nail polishes in the colours 114 Sand Rose, 164 Rose Dust and 312 Poetic Rose. To be honest I could have bought the whole display. I just adore Mavala. I also got some food storage boxes, because who doesn’t need to store things?

After a short stop in Specsavers to buy lens cleaner for my glasses, I ended up in Boots. I picked up another tube of La Roche-Posay Effaclar A I, because it’s awesome, the latest issue of Glamour magazine, Rimmel Stay Matte powder in the shade Transparent, and Sally Hansen Nailgrowth Miracle treatment for my nails.

Finally, I ended my trip by giving some money to the smallest busker in the world. She was perhaps around 6 (I’m terrible at guessing the ages of children) and was playing the harp. She was awesome!

La Roche-Posay Effaclar A I

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I have been diligently using this product for about four weeks now, as I think you should give skin care products a fair trial before you pass judgement.  I have used Effaclar Duo before, which is La Roche-Posay’s all over daily skin product designed to correct the appearance of blemishes. It worked quite well but it wasn’t quite what I was after. La Roche-Posay Effaclar A I is a targeted breakout corrector, designed to accelerate  resorption of blemishes and prevent residual skin marking. This sounded much more like what I needed, as I suffer breakouts in specific areas (my forehead mostly). The rest of my skin is quite even.

Effaclar A I is an intensive local skincare treatment, so it is designed to be used in specific areas, rather than all over the skin. Like any spot treatment, use twice a day is likely to be most effective. I use cleanser and then apply the product, letting it soak in and absorb before applying moisturiser.

I have been really pleased with the results of this product. It wasn’t able to do anything about my existing stubborn blemishes (which I despair over), but it has worked wonders in preventing new spots becoming disaster areas. I have found that some spots are brought to a head much more quickly than they usually would be, and in other cases the swelling and redness has disappeared within a couple of days. The cream doesn’t feel harsh  and doesn’t dry out my skin either.

This has definitely become one of my essential skin care products. It’s not a miracle worker, but it makes an obvious difference to my skin.