Thursday, 23 March 2017

Recent Beauty Buys

I've found that since I'm no longer going through town almost everyday on my way to work, I'm spending a whole lot less money on make-up and skincare... I've been making an effort lately to work through some of the many products I already own, rather than buying new products, so I've been buying less for that reason too. That said, I've just had a week and a half off work, so I did pop into town to have a little browse and came away with a few beauty bits and pieces, so read on if you want to see what I've been buying! There are also a couple of bits I've picked up elsewhere over the past couple of weeks...
Recent Beauty Buys
OGX Tea Tree Mint Shampoo (£6.99/385ml, currently on offer with ⅓ off for £4.66 at Boots) | I really like OGX products as they're SLS-free and fairly widely available. I've used this a couple of times and can confirm it smells amazing as well as leaving my hair feeling soft, clean and silky - I think I'm onto a winner here!
L'Oreal Infallible Fixing Mist (£7.99/100ml at Boots) | I've been wanting to try this for a while so popped it into my basket in Boots. On first impressions I'm a little underwhelmed but I'll stick with it and have a proper review up in the next few weeks.
Yes To Grapefruit Rejuvenating Body Wash (£4.99/280ml, currently on offer with ⅓ off for £3.33 at Boots) | Another SLS-free brand, I've been disappointed with Yes To...'s haircare but was still keen to try their body products. I've yet to try this but I have given it a sniff and am a little bit in love!
Kind Natured Coconut & Monoi Foaming Sugar Scrub (£5.99/250g, currently on offer with ⅓ off for £3.99 at Boots) | I recently raved about how much I love this, so when I saw it on offer I had to pick up another tube - it was actually the last one in my local Boots or I may have grabbed a few more!
Recent Beauty Buys Boots Superdrug & Amazon
Superdrug Naturally Radiant Glycolic Acid Pads (£5.99/60 pads, currently on half-price offer for £2.95) | I blame this purchase entirely on Gemma, for telling me these are better than the Nip+Fab Glycolic Fix pads - and at that price, how could I refuse!?
Swimovate PoolMate Anti-Chlorine Shampoo (£11.74/250ml at Amazon) | I ran out of this a while ago and didn't repurchase as I'd stopped swimming, but as I'm going twice a week again now I thought it was time I stocked up - I actually bought three bottles of this! I've previously reviewed this and have found it really helps to stop the chlorine damaging my hair as much.
L'Oreal Infallible Total Coverage Foundation (£9.99/30ml, £7 at Amazon) | I've heard so many good things about this lately that I couldn't resist, and having used it a couple of times so far I have to say I like it! It gives a really good coverage and has a lovely finish, though it doesn't last as well as I'd hoped.

Have you tried any of these products? What beauty products have you purchased recently?

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Monday, 20 March 2017

25 MORE Ways To Practice Self-Care In Five Minutes (Or Less!)

A few months ago, I shared a little list of twenty-five ways you can squeeze a bit of self-care into your busy life. In my experience, self-care is something that can easily take a back seat; it's something that many people find difficult to prioritise. We feel guilty and self-indulgent for taking the time to take care of ourselves, or the thought doesn't even occur to us.
In reality, though, self-care is a must; if you don't take care of yourself, you wind up worn down, burnt out, and unable to take care of anyone else either. If you're interested in the benefits, check out my post on things that happen when you start to practice self-care. And read on for 25 more ways you can take care of yourself in just a few minutes...
25 ways to practice self-care in five minutes or less
[Image Credit: IvoryMix]
01. Stretch. Particularly if you have a desk job - my colleagues and I sometimes joke that we're "chair-shaped" after a long day - drive a lot, or spend a lot of time in one position, taking a few moments to stretch out can really refresh you. It loosens your muscles and gets your blood flowing!
02. Do a puzzle. Crosswords, Su Doku, even Spot The Difference - puzzles like this keep your brain active and let you concentrate on something other than your stressful life for a few minutes. I've taken to doing the Guardian's Quick Crossword in my lunch break.
03. Do something different. Depending how much time you've got - it could be something as simple as having a different sandwich for lunch, going round the supermarket in reverse, or driving home a different way - doing things differently than your usual routine can make them feel a bit fresher and less of a drag.
04. Read something you don't have to. A chapter of your book (if they're short chapters and/or you're a quick reader!), a poem, even a dirty Limerick... A lot of people read to relax and there's a good reason for that - it's a brilliant way to take a step back from your problems for a few minutes
05. Colour in. I personally find colouring very stressful (all that staying in the lines!) but I know plenty of people who swear by it. You can obviously buy dedicated "Adult Colouring Books" or a quick Google brings up plenty of free downloadable colouring sheets.
06. Write it down. There's something about getting our worries and stresses down on paper that can give us a bit of perspective and make everything seem much more manageable. A quick brain-dump list can make the world of difference to how you feel about those niggling little worries.
07. Throw something away. (Or ideally recycle it, y'know!) I think we all have hoarding tendencies from time to time, so letting go of something we don't want or need can be quite a liberating feeling... Even if it is just chucking the receipts from the bottom of your handbag.
08. Use a face mask. Admittedly there's a limit to what you can use in five minutes but there are masks out there that work super quickly, or if you've got a little longer than a whole load more options open up for you! Overnight masks are a great option too - they only take a minute to apply and then you just remove in the morning when you wash your face.
09. Brush your hair. Especially if you use a Tangle Teezer or similar brush, this is like a quick head massage!
10. Look at pictures of baby animals. I think this one speaks for itself. I often just Google "baby penguins" or "baby sloths" and spend five minutes squealing at how cute they are!
25 ways to practice self care
11. Spray your favourite perfume. Scents can often trigger the most powerful memories, and even if your fragrance of choice doesn't hold any particular memories for you, it's still an indulgent way to press the pause button for a few moments.
12. Look at some old holiday snaps. Bring back those happy memories.
13. Make plans. Or at least, start making plans. Give yourself something to look forward to - be it meeting a friend for a coffee, a date with your partner, or a holiday in the sun!
14. Have a quick sort-out. Maybe you can only sort out one drawer of your desk, or one shelf in your living room, in five minutes - but, hey, that's one drawer or shelf that'll be sorted out, and a clearer space contributes to a clearer mind, in my experience.
15. Use the 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 trick. This is a quick and easy way to ground yourself when you're feeling overwhelmed - you simply work through your senses and list five things you can see, four things you can hear, three things you can touch, two things you can smell and one thing you can taste (you can even switch up the order if you like!)
16. Write a list. Who doesn't find lists calming? It could be a to-do list, a shopping list, even a list of things you like.
17. Book overdue appointments. If you've been putting off going to the dentist, the optician, or for your smear test - get it booked! These things aren't necessarily enjoyable but they're definitely part of taking care of yourself.
18. Get away from the screen. That's right - stop using your phone, computer, tablet or TV for five minutes! Gaze out of the window, flick through a magazine, maybe even have a conversation with someone!
19. Have a dance. Put on your favourite cheesy song and dance like no-one's watching you! The more ridiculous the better, really - you'll get your blood pumping
20. Eat a piece of fruit. Get in one of your five-a-day!
Self Care for Busy People
21. Recognise your thoughts as thoughts. Sometimes our minds seem to be out to sabotage us - we can easily end up believing what our mind tells us, so it can help to take a step back and say to ourselves, "I'm having the thought that..."
22. Look at the sky. Maybe you can spot some shapes in the clouds, maybe you can appreciate the sunshine, or maybe (most likely, especially if you're in Cumbria like me!) you'll just notice that it's raining again - but take that moment to notice.
23. Swap jokes. See who in your office knows the worst joke, or failing that - read these terrible kids' jokes!
24. Write a note or letter. To yourself or to someone else - to send, or just so you've written it. A note to say hello, to remind yourself that you're actually doing a pretty good job of this whole 'life' business, or to get something off your chest.
25. Stop multi-tasking. Just for five minutes, give yourself permission to concentrate on doing one thing and one thing only - and see how much more you're able to get done, and how much less stressful it feels!

Don't forget to check out my previous 25 ways to practice self-care in five minutes post for some more suggestions! Do you have any little habits or secrets that you turn to when you need to take care of yourself? Will you be trying any of these suggestions?


Friday, 17 March 2017

Makeup Revolution Palette in 'Hard Day'

My lovely Swedish penfriend sent me a parcel of gifts for Christmas and one of the things she sent was this Makeup Revolution palette; I've got another of the Salvation palettes, 'Dia de los Muertos' but this one is quite different, with its subtle, muted shades. 'Hard Day' looked like it would be perfect for day-to-day wear, with quite a lot of versatility despite its fairly limited colour palette.
Makeup Revolution Hard Day Palette Review
'Hard Day' came in a metallic bronzey-orange card outer box, with the palette within being the standard Makeup Revolution glossy black plastic with gold lettering. Like all the Salvation palettes, 'Hard Day' contains twelve shimmer shades (the rectangular pans) and six mattes (the round pans); I think I've said it before, but it bothers me that the pans aren't all the same shape... Minor complaint, I know!
Makeup Revolution Hard Day Palette
The shades are all individually named, with the names printed onto a clear plastic overlay - there are some fun shade names in here, like 'Gets You Into Hot Water' and 'Words Sound Just The Same', but I do always think that Makeup Revolution shade names seem a bit... random. The shades are a selection of fairly neutral colours which I think would suit most people and be fairly easy to wear.
Makeup Rev hard Day Palette Shade Names
All the shades are reasonably well-pigmented when swatched, and all seem to apply nicely to the eyes; the mattes are a little on the powdery side but certainly not terrible! The shimmers, though, are lovely - they go on really smoothly and blend out well.
Hard Day Palette Makeup Revolution
Below, I've used 'Had Such A Hard Day', which is a cool-toned shimmery taupe, and 'It's What We Do Best' which is slightly warmer in tone, along with the matte 'With Such A Big Mouth' in the crease and along my lower lashline - just an example of the sort of wearable neutral look you can put together from this palette. I've also found that 'I May As Well Just', the shimmery cream shade third from the left on the second row of shimmers, makes a beautiful highlight - it has a pretty pink/gold shift to it and looks lovely on the cheekbones as well as in the inner corner.
FOTD Makeup Revolution Hard Day
Overall, I think 'Hard Day' offers a nice selection of wearable neutral shades; there's nothing too "out there" and I do see myself getting plenty of wear from the palette. The pigmentation isn't half bad, especially considering the price, and the wear time is reasonably good too. Makeup Revolution's Salvation palette in 'Hard Day' is priced at £6, available from Superdrug here. What's your favourite Makeup Revolution palette?

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Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Review | Vitamasques Hydro Face Mask

I received a Vitamasques Hydro Face Mask in my February Glossybox, which I was pretty pleased about - I've previously tried a couple of their other sheet masks and been quite happy with the results, so I was keen to try this one out; it sounded perfect for my oily-yet-dehydrated skin, and I ended up using it as a weekend skincare treat this weekend just gone. "The Hydro Face Mask has been designed to provide hydration and moisture retention in the skin. The mask contains the patented AMF (Artificial Moisturising Factor) which enhances the skin's ability to retain moisture. AMF has been clinically proven to keep the skin hydrated for up to 120 hours. The Hydro Face Mask contains extracts from the Rose of Jericho, which enhances and further optimises moisture retention in the skin."
Vitamasques Hydro Face Mask
On closer inspection, the Hydro Face Mask is a little different to the others that I've tried; rather than being a single tissue-y sheet, it's actually two separate pieces of a gel-like material, which is backed with plastic. Once I'd figured out how to unfold it (it's not that complicated, it was just early!) I found that it adheres to the face far better than any other sheet mask I've tried, which was a pleasant surprise as it felt quite heavy in the packet. You get one piece for the lower half of your face, and one for the upper part - mine overlapped a little as you can see in the photo below, but even so I think this is one of the better-fitting sheet masks I've tried.
Vitamasques Hydro Face Mask2
It felt instantly cooling on my skin, which was quite refreshing, and it remained cool for the full 30 minutes I kept it on. After removing it, my skin felt slightly tacky, but really plump and hydrated; writing this nearly 72 hours later, I do think my skin still feels well hydrated, so it's not doing badly for its 120-hour claim either. I think I can see a reduction in the expression line on my forehead - but I should point out it's not that pronounced to begin with, so it may just be wishful thinking... I've not experienced any irritation or breakouts after using it, so all in all I've really liked this mask!
Vitamasques Hydro Mask Rose of Jericho
The Vitamasques Hydro Face Mask is priced at £7.99 for one mask, available here. I do think it's expensive for a single-use mask, but it did work well for me - so whilst it's not a product I'll be using regularly, I would definitely consider it for a special occasion. Don't forget to check out my previous reviews of Vitamasques Manuka Honey and Pomegranate masks as well if you like the sound of this one! Have you tried any Vitamasques masks? What's your favourite sheet mask?


Saturday, 11 March 2017

Review | Garnier Micellar Cleansing Gel

I really love Garnier's Oil-Infused Micellar Cleansing Water (it even featured in my recent Ten Under £10 post!), so when I heard that Garnier were launching a new Micellar product, I was all ears - enter the SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Gel. This is a bit different from other micellar products on the market, by virtue of being a gel rather than a liquid. Garnier claim, "Our all-in-one rinse-off gel not only cleanses but also soothes and removes make-up, even on eyes and lips. For the first time, Garnier has integrated Micellar technology in a rinse-off gel wash. A new formula enriched with naturally-derived grape extract and active micelles that capture impurities, sebum and make-up like a magnet."
Garnier Micellar Cleansing Gel Wash
Whilst for a lot of people, the appeal of micellar waters lies in the fact that they don't need rinsing, I've never used them that way - I only ever use micellar water as a pre-cleanse and always follow with a proper cleanser. I figured I'd use this as my morning cleanse, and as my second cleanse in the evening to remove any last traces of the day.
As a straight-up face wash in the mornings, it works okay, but it's nothing special and it doesn't have the added benefits of, say, Una Brennan's SuperFacialist Salicylic Acid Purifying Cleansing Wash which is my favourite for blemish-busting and keeping my skin looking calm. If you're just after a basic, no-frills face wash, this is spot on; if you like your face wash to be a bit more skincare-y, it may fall short. In the evenings, I tried this (once!) as a make-up remover (it was pants) before switching to using it as a second cleanse - so, removing make-up with actual micellar water, then cleansing with an oil, then using this. Again, it worked okay, but nothing spectacular, and it doesn't half sting around the eyes - I'm really not sure how they can claim it's suitable for removing eye make-up!
Garnier Micellar Cleansing Gel is priced at £3.99 for 200ml of product, available from Boots here; it's actually currently on offer at a third off for just £2.66! Personally, I wouldn't buy it again, as I tend to want a little bit more from my face wash than just a basic product - I like the added skincare benefits of my Una Brennan, for example, but if you are after a very simple face wash, this could be for you!

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