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Friday, 30 June 2017

In Retrospect | June 2017

So my blog has pretty much died a death in June - whoops! I've been struggling to manage one post a week, which is pretty shocking, and it's ended up being my quietest month in years, with only five posts (including this one!) published. I just seem to have been totally lacking in motivation and inspiration, so rather than pushing myself to write when I don't feel like it, I've been giving myself some time off. Hopefully my motivation will return soon but if not, that's okay too!
Anyway, time for a little look back over June...
Grasmere June 2017
June Empties.
Will Repurchase: The Body Shop Passionfruit Body Butter | These body butters are my absolute favourite! I'm currently working my way through a stockpile of body moisturisers but I'll definitely be buying more body butters in the near future. // Garnier Micellar Oil-Infused Cleansing Wipes | I'm not a cleansing wipes person (I don't feel clean without a full double-cleanse in the evening!) but these are super handy to have in my bag for the gym, and they are easily the best cleansing wipes I've used.
Might Repurchase: Kind Natured Argan & Kukui Oil Conditioner | I love Kind Natured's bodycare but I'm not sold on their haircare - this didn't feel hydrating enough for my hair. // Yes To Grapefruit Rejuvenating Body Wash | This didn't smell quite as zingy as I'd hoped but it's still a perfectly nice bodywash and it's SLS-free which is always a bonus for me! // L'Oreal True Match Super Blendable Powder | Setting my make-up with powder is a must for me and I quite liked this for a bit of additional coverage, but it wasn't brilliant at keeping me matte. // Green People Scent-Free Hand & Body Lotion | This was lovely as a gentle, non-irritating body moisturiser but I felt it was quite expensive for how long it lasted, and there are more affordable options available that don't irritate my skin.
Won't Repurchase: Garnier Micellar Cleansing Gel | I bought this without realising it contained SLS, which is a real no-no for me, and I found it really stung my eyes if I got it anywhere near them. Not for me!
June Empties
June Samples.
Erm... I've not used any sample sachets in June. My bad. Hopefully I can fire through a few in July!?

June Goals.
Finish at least one book. I finished 'Always With Love' by Giovanna Fletcher about five days into June and haven't read anything else since - whoops! Still, goal complete and ticked off, and I'm on track with my reading goal for the year so that's a good thing.
See friends at least twice. As well as dinner at my best mate's house with a few friends way back at the start of the month, I've had a couple of evening walks with my other best mate, Matt, as well as the reunion with my Total Warrior friends in Leeds last weekend which was amazing!!
Have a barbecue. Sadly this one didn't happen - boo! In my defence the weather has been a bit pants for the second half of the month, but I should really have cracked on and done this in the first couple of weeks of June when we had that gorgeous sunshine...
See the new Pirates of the Caribbean film. Yes! I loved it. I don't have much more than that to say - maybe not as good as the first couple of films but I still really enjoyed it.
Cut back on sweet treats. I think what this goal has shown me is that I can't do "cutting back" on sweet treats - I have to cut them out. I can't do moderation. If I know I can't have chocolate or biscuits then I manage pretty well - it's when I think, "I'll just have one" that things go wrong and I end up finishing the packet. I'm marking this as achieved because for the second half of the month I've been pretty good... Hoping to carry this on in July, for the same reason as the 30 day challenge below.
Complete the Blogilates 30 Day Abs Challenge. This has been a real struggle at times - mostly when I've forgotten about it and had to drag myself out of bed at 11.30pm to do it - but I've done it! I'm actually really proud of myself for this, it was harder than I expected but I've really noticed an improvement in my core strength. I'm thinking of doing another similar challenge in July as I'd like to tone my waist up a little bit more before I go on holiday in August!!
Grasmere June 2017 2
A gorgeous day at Grasmere.
June Loves.
How gorgeous do Antonia's BBQ Chicken Skewers look?! They are certainly not helping with my regret at not getting round to barbecuing in June... Dorota's post about Facial SPF Mists was a really interesting read for me - I'm hopeless at remembering to apply SPF before my make-up, so it's nice that there are now options for afterwards! And Karen has been making me lust after this stunning Morphe palette - how beautiful are her photos!? I don't feel like I've posted anything particularly exciting here on The Indigo Hours this month (sorry!) but if you fancy checking out my Blemish Busting Must-Haves or the three primers I've been trying, go ahead!

June In Summary.
All in all June has been quite a busy month; I've had a lot of bits and pieces to sort out for starting back at Uni in September - hooray for paperwork! Work has been really busy with several big projects seeming to come at once (as is usually the way) and I've had quite a bit going on outside of work too, which is probably why the blog has taken such a backseat... I'm hoping July is going to be a bit more chilled, although I finish at work at the end of the month so potentially there's going to be quite a lot to get done leading up to that as well...
How was your June? Have you been up to anything exciting?

[Post contains affiliate links.]

Friday, 23 June 2017

Three Primers On Trial

You know it's summer when your make-up has melted off your face by dinnertime, right!? The office I work in has huge windows on two sides and no air-conditioning, so by about 11am it's a bit like working in a sauna... If there's one thing my make-up needs in weather like this, it's a decent primer! I've got three new priming products in my stash and the past couple of weeks have been the perfect time to give them a thorough testing. My skin is incredible oily and I have quite a few enlarged pores on my cheeks, so for me the perfect primer would be mattifying and blur those pores, as well as keeping my make-up in place all day.
Three Primers On Trial - The Hero Project, Soap & Glory and Collection
The Hero Project Double Blur® HD Ready Skin Perfector | £24/30ml here | I got this 10ml travel-size in my Build Your Own Gift Set from The Hero Project (post here) - the full-sized product comes with an airless pump for easy dispensing. I really love the blurred, airbrushed and mattified look this gives to my skin - it works so well to hide pores and fine lines, and leaves my skin feeling super-soft and velvety smooth. It also contains Glycerin which is fab for hydration - perfect for those warm days that can suck all the moisture from your skin! My foundation goes on beautifully over Double Blur and it does help to hold it in place, keeping me matte maybe a little longer than I'd manage without primer.
Soap & Glory One Heck Of A Blot Instant-Perfecting Power Primer | £10/30ml here | I tried the One Heck of A Blot powder and was quite disappointed, but had heard that the primer worked better. It's easy to apply and sinks into the skin quickly, but I've found that my foundation is a little bit harder to blend in over this primer. I don't mind this too much and I'd deal with it if the foundation would stay put once it was on... But honestly, I feel like this makes my base get oily more quickly and my foundation seems to break up around my nose and forehead, the oiliest areas of my face, within a couple of hours. I'm really not impressed with this one I'm afraid!
Collection Powered by Witch Primed & Ready Mattifying Pore Minimiser | £4.99/25ml here | This is a super-budget-friendly buy with a very silicone-y texture, which also contains Witch Hazel to (theoretically!) treat blemishes whilst you're wearing it - a great claim although I can't say I've noticed much difference in my skin since using it. It smooths out pores and fine lines really well and gives a good base for my make-up, and I feel like it lasts well without slipping, but unfortunately it doesn't keep me matte for very long and I find myself having to blot and re-powder within 2-3 hours.
Three Primers On Trial
So unfortunately, none of the primers I've been trying have turned out to be The One for me - the Collection/Witch one is nice but doesn't do much to keep me matte, and Double Blur is lovely but again not as mattifying as I'd ideally like - whilst the Soap & Glory one was just a massive let-down! Do you have any go-to priming products for summer? How do you keep your make-up looking fresh in the heat and humidity of Britain in June?

[*Post contains affiliate links.]

Friday, 16 June 2017

Blemish-Busters You Need To Try!

I've always suffered from blemish-prone skin, right from way back when I first started puberty aged ten. I've tried all sorts over the years to keep those pesky spots and blackheads under control, from those that don't really do much, to the downright ill-advised. I've also amassed a bit of a go-to arsenal which helps me keep my skin looking (mostly) clear and even - though nothing is failsafe and I will probably always get a few spots in the week before my period *sigh*
Five Products for Blemish-Prone Skins
Una Brennan Salicylic Acid Anti Blemish Purifying Cleansing Wash | I can't sing its praises enough, I absolutely love this face wash - my skin always looks clearer when I use it consistently (every morning). It smells gorgeous, isn't at all drying on the skin, and works really well to prevent spots and blemishes forming for the most part - Salicylic Acid is great for blemish-prone skins as it exfoliates gently to remove build-up of oils and dead skin cells. | £7.99/150ml here (currently on offer at just £5.33!)
Merumaya Concentrated Spot Treatment | This is the old-style packaging (it now comes in a swish-looking pump-action bottle!) but I don't think the formula has changed - this is the most effective product I've used in terms of helping spots to heal more quickly, without leaving horrible patches of dry skin. | £14.50/10ml here.
Tea Tree Oil | I don't have a specific brand that I go for, I just ordered this little bottle off Amazon... I like to mix a couple of drops of tea tree oil into my moisturiser at bedtime, a couple of times a week, to fight off blemishes - tea tree has antibacterial properties that help prevent spots. I have also been known to dab a little onto active spots to help reduce inflammation and reduce healing times. | £2.18/10ml here.
T-Zone Spot Zapping Gel* | I actually didn't find this hugely effective on my skin, but I know people who swear by it, so I'm including it as a super-budget-friendly alternative to the Merumaya version. Again, this is just one to dab onto active spots which should reduce inflammation and help them to heal more quickly.| £1.99/8ml here.
Origins Out of Trouble 10-Minute Mask | This is one of my all-time favourite masks; it's a bit strong-smelling but it's more than worth it for me - I love this to really calm down any breakouts, reducing redness and helping blemishes to fade more quickly. I try to use this a couple of times per week to keep my skin looking clear. I've recently repurchased this after a few months without it, and I'm so happy to have it back in my routine!! | £25/100ml here.
Products for Blemish-Prone Skin
Have you tried any of these products? What are your go-tos for managing blemish-prone skin?
PS - I have a giveaway over on Twitter!! You just need to follow and retweet my competition tweet to be in with a chance of winning a Sleek Eye & Cheek Palette in 'All Day Soirée'!

[*Product provided for consideration. Post contains affiliate links.]

Monday, 5 June 2017

Introducing | Newtons Labs T-Zone Skincare*

T-Zone Skincare is a brand I remember using in my early teenage years, so when I was contacted recently with an offer of trying some products from the line, I was keen to see what had changed. The brand originally launched in 1998, so it's almost 20 years old! I was kindly sent a few products from the range, which I've been using over the last month or so.
Newtons Labs T Zone Skincare
I was sent two products from the original line; the Clear Pore Facial Wash and the Spot Zapping Gel.
The facial wash claims to remove grease, oil and bacteria that can cause spots; "Clear Pore Facial Wash contains antibacterial Tea Tree, refreshing Menthol and skin-clearing Salicylic Acid to effectively cleanse and unclog pores to help prevent spots." Sounds promising, and Tea Tree and Salicylic Acid are two ingredients I already know my skin reacts well to, so I was pleased to try this - on its own in the morning, and as a second cleanse in the evening. The tea tree and menthol do indeed give it a refreshing scent, and it certainly works well to leave my skin feeling clean and soft. I was a little dubious about the SLS on the ingredients list - it doesn't seem to strip my skin, but I'd be careful if you're prone to dryness at all.

"Spot Zapping Gel rapidly targets, prevents and calms spots and blemishes. This cooling and quick-drying gel combines naturally antibacterial Tea Tree and Witch Hazel with clearing Salicylic Acid to help promote great looking skin." Again, sounds promising, and I've had plenty of blemishes lately to test it out on! Unfortunately I don't think this is particularly well suited to my skin, as I've not found it to calm blemishes down or reduce healing time - but I know people who swear by it, and it's cheap as chips so might be worth trying if you're after a blemish treatment.
Newtons Labs T-Zone Skincare
I was also sent two products from T-Zone's new Charcoal range; the Charcoal Nose Pore Strips and the Charcoal Black Cleansing Wipes. Charcoal is supposed to help draw out impurities, so it makes sense to include it in pore strips - this is probably the product I was most excited to try, as I suffer terribly with blackheads around my nose. "Charcoal Nose Pore Strips are enriched with antibacterial Tea Tree, to help prevent spots and keep skin clear, while Charcoal acts like a magnet to draw out impurities and excess oil." I think these have worked the best of any pore strips I've ever tried, you can really see the evidence on each strip after use... which is a bit gross, but oddly satisfying!

Finally - cleansing wipes aren't a product I use very often (literally only on the odd day when I go to the gym after work and want to remove my make-up before I work out!) but are always handy to have. "Charcoal Black Cleansing Wipes effectively cleanse skin, remove make-up residue instantly and absorb dirt and excess oil. Enriched with naturally ultra-purifying Charcoal which acts like a magnet drawing out impurities from the skin." I've only used these a couple of times so far but I have to say I've not been impressed, as they seem to leave a lot of make-up on my skin - but in fairness that's a complaint I have with all cleansing wipes. They're certainly handy to have but I wouldn't rely on them alone to cleanse my skin

So all in all, I've found the T-Zone range has some hits and some misses - I'll definitely be buying the Charcoal Nose Pore Strips again, and I'd consider the Clear Pore Face Wash, but I'm not really sold on the Spot Zapping Gel or the Charcoal Black Cleansing Wipes. You can find out more about the T-Zone range and their stockists here; all the products are budget-friendly and are available on Amazon and Fragrance Direct amongst others. Have you ever tried T-Zone Skincare? Are there any products you swear by for treating blemishes?

[*Product provided for consideration.]

Friday, 2 June 2017

Hello June!

June. Summer is well and truly here, theoretically at least - a few weeks of sunshine would be nice, but then again I live in the North of England so the few days we had in May could have been the extent of summer for us! The sixth month of the year is looking a bit quieter than May but as always, I'm setting myself a few goals to work on in the coming weeks...
Hello June!
Finish at least one book. I got myself back on track in May with my goal of twelve books in 2017, so I'm hoping to keep the progress going in June and finish my sixth book of the year - I'm about halfway through Always with Love by Giovanna Fletcher, which has been a nice light, easy read so far, so hopefully this will be an easy goal to tick off!
See friends at least twice. Another standard monthly goal for me, but as I say every month, I do find that setting this goal means I make a bit more effort to actually see my friends, rather than giving into the temptation to spend every spare second hiding under my duvet! I've actually already been for dinner at my best friend's house with a few friends, so I'm halfway to completing this one too!
Have a barbecue. This one might be a bit of a challenge as my family don't actually have a barbecue (I KNOW!) but I love a good barbie and hopefully we'll have some half-decent weather. I'll be happy with a little disposable one!
See the new Pirates of the Caribbean film. I loooove the POTC films, I know most of them word-for-word off by heart and that's not even an exaggeration, so you can imagine how excited I am for the fifth instalment! If the weather's not brilliant I'm hoping to go this weekend but I definitely need to see it at some point soon.
 Cut back on sweet treats. I'm carrying this one over from May as I really didn't do very well with it last month - I think there was just too much going on for me to focus on it properly. I'm hoping that June will be a bit quieter so I can focus on sorting my diet out a bit, by which I mean not spending every afternoon at work eating chocolate and/or biscuits.
Complete the Blogilates 30 Day Abs Challenge. I did a few days of this challenge some time last year (or maybe the year before!?) and then kind of forgot about it, so I'm going to give it another go and hopefully see it through this time! A friend of mine has been doing it and I did day 11 with her and found it totally do-able, so with any luck it won't be too hard? Ha! Wish me luck!!
June 2017 Blossom
I don't think I've got anything planned in June aside from the first Total Warrior weekend of the year towards the end of the month, which I'm really looking forwards to! We've also got the General Election coming up next week, and I'm still not sure how I feel about that - I honestly don't know which way it's going to go, which is pretty scary. I hope you're all registered to vote if you're eligible!
Are you up to anything exciting this month? Are you setting yourself any goals for June?

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