Sunday, 14 September 2014

Current skincare routine 2014

I'm rapidly heading towards the ripe old age of 35, and have never taken my skincare so seriously as I do now. My skin went a bit loco when I hit 30, and when I was 33 I had acne (cystic nasty acne on my chin, chest and back) for the first time ever....I was not impressed! I'm assuming it was a toxic combination of hormones and the copious amounts of hideous medication I had started (and remain on), but trawling the internet on the subject it seems to be a common occurrence amongst 30 something's to have a total skin nightmare. I also discovered the Goddess Lady Caroline Hirons and her no nonsense advice has really changed my skin for the better.

I have tried many products over the years (one of the reasons I decided to start blogging) and have eventually found products that work for me, and my previously dry and dehydrated super sensitive skin with some nasty jaw-line and chin huge spots thrown in for good measure. Thanks Mother Nature.

CLEANSER: My absolute favourite is Superdrug's Naturally Radiant Brightening Hot Cloth Cleanser. It is a cream but has a slight balm texture to it, and is so comforting on my face. It has a slight herby scent to it, but a pleasant one, and is a dream to massage into my skin.

Superdrug Naturally Radiant Brightening Hot Cloth Cleanser

I don't use it for eye make-up removal, instead I use Garnier 2in1 Eye and Face Make-Up Remover (lovely bi-phasic mascara munching stuff!) or Avon Extra Lasting Make-up Remover (oily goodness that really does remove every scrap of eye make-up).

I also don't use the muslin cloth that comes with it; call me old fashioned but I only use flannels! Muslin cloths just don't give me the same 'clean' feeling, and flannels are thicker so I can use both sides if I need to without transferring wiped off product back onto my face. I use a new flannel each morning and night-luckily I have tonnes of them in various colours and states (hate throwing holey and frayed ones away, they literally have to be falling apart for me to do so!).

The cleanser claims to "awaken skin's natural glow" and I haven't seen any demonstration of this, however my skin is calmer and hasn't reacted even in the slightest to this product, which is more important to me than achieving a glowing radiance.

This cleanser really is super fantastic, so much so that I actually cut open the squeezy tube (nice design too!) to get the last bits out! I have never done that for any other product, not even super expensive ones.

Overall a cheap but nourishing cream-balm cleanser with a light scent and plenty of oooomph to remove make-up. I use it morning and night with a flannel, and don't intend to go looking for another cleanser any time soon.

TONER: If you read Caroline Hirons' blog (or watch her now on You Tube *Bob's your uncle*) you will know I am not talking about old skool toners. If you have no idea what I am talking about, you need to visit her blog and unearth the differences and why it is now OK to 'tone' after cleansing (you would have stripped every piece of natural barrier from your skin if you used to use the old skool ones, which is why I didn't use them).

Dr Organic Rose Otto Skin Toner from Holland and Barrett

So once my face is cleansed and rinsed, I swish a cotton pad with Dr Organic Rose Otto Skin Toner from Holland and Barrett to prep my skin for acid toning (yep Aciiiid!). There is no alcohol in this toner, and it is hydrating and smells gorgeous. I hate the scent of 'fake' rose, but this stuff smells good. Really good.

ACID TONING/EXFOLIATING: By far, this is my favourite step in my skin care regime. In the morning I use an AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acid, such as glycolic acid) to help skin cell renewal and diminish age lines. I am currently using Pixi Glow Tonic which has a distinctive scent that I can't put my finger on, but you get used to it pretty quickly.

Pixi Glow Tonic

In the evening I use a BHA (Beta Hydroxy Acid, such as Salicylic acid) to keep pesky spots/invisible under the skin bumps away. I have seen a huge improvement around my jaw-line and chin where the unwanted visitors used to congregate despite my protests. The BHA I am currently using is Paula's Choice CLEAR Extra Strength Targeted Blemish Relief Toner 2% Salicylic Acid and it has cleared up the marks left from the cystic acne beautifully.

Paula's Chocie CLEAR Anti-Redness Exfoliating Solution 2% Salicylic Acid
If acid toning/acid exfoliation is a new concept for you, there are some super helpful guides from Paula's Choice here and here and here.
**Note- Caroline Hirons' advice is to use a hydrating spritzing toner post exfoliation, however I personally prefer to use my hydrating toner before exfoliating. No reason why, it's just what I do**
 EYE CREAM: I am head over heels in love with Balance Active Formula Snake Venom Eye Cream absolutely smitten in fact!
Balance Active Formula Snake Venom Eye Cream
This stuff is wonderfully hydrating, without upsetting make-up application, and doesn't cause millia. It has softened my crows feet and got rid of the tightness I used to feel by mid-afternoon when using other eye creams.
SERUM: The serum that beat all others hands down is the Indeed Labs Hydraluron Moisture Boosting Facial Serum. It is pricey, but Boots tend to have brilliant offers on Indeed Labs products periodically so wait for them and stock up then. My dry and dehydrated skin totally transformed into hydrated and comfortable skin (with no flaky dry patches around my nose and temples) after using 3/4 of my first tube morning and night.
Indeed Labs Hydraluron Serum Hyaluronic Acid

The hyaluronic acid retains moisture, and over time you will need to use less moisturiser....I really thought this was utter tosh until I used the product. I no longer have to use heavy duty moisturiser (Oilatum, Skin Food, aqueous cream), I can use 'normal' moisturiser which is great for make-up application. I use a pea sized amount all over my face (including eyelids!) and another pea sized amount for my neck and décolletage. I think it is unlikely I will switch serums, this really is a precious skin care staple/Holy Grail product.

MOISTURISER: Now my skin is behaving itself impeccably, I am trialling many moisturisers and tend to use which one works best with my foundation choice (powder or liquid) of that day. One I have been reaching for quite regularly is Good Things Manuka Honey Daily Moisturiser which smells delicately of delicious honey. It can leave a bit of a sheen on my skin (I prefer the matte look) if I use too much, but my husband always says I look lovely when I have been heavy handed and retain the I'm trying to embrace the slight sheen, but cannot deal with the 'dewy' 'glowing' or 'moist' look. Ever.

Good Things Manuka Honey Daily Moisturiser Youth Protect Royal Jelly Bee Venom

I'm enjoying testing out moisturisers, it is a real novelty for me, so I cannot imagine I will still be using this particular one in a month or so. That does not mean this isn't a lovely moisturiser, because it is, I'm just revelling in having the chance to finally use pretty much any moisturiser I fancy. I am currently using this moisturiser both day and night.

I spend my money on acids and serum, and save with my cleanser, eye cream and moisturiser. SPF on the other hand is not about price, but how it sits on my skin and reacts with my make-up.

SPF: I use SPF all year round, every day. I choose to use at least factor 30 and one that had UVA and UVB protection. I am super pale and up until this summer have had to hide from the sun due to hives and distressed skin from the sun (no burning, but very tight unhappy skin).

I don't really like SPF in my moisturiser because I'm concerned that it will react with the SPF protection I get from the pure SPF I apply after my moisturiser. I used to use Clinique Super City Block SPF 40 but the 'subtle' yellow tone of it made me look jaundiced on non-make-up days. I then tried La Roche-Posay Anthelios Face Comfort Cream SPF 50 but found it too heavy on top of my previous heavy duty moisturiser......but I have now discovered a total winner....

Soap and Glory Make Yourself Youthful Sunshield Superfluid SPF50 the fabulous Soap and Glory Make Yourself Youthful Sunshield Superfluid SPF50 a true hero in my eyes. I was initially put off when I tested it on my hand in Boots as it was tinted, however it is completely colourless/totally invisible when it is rubbed in. I can't even feel it on my skin once applied, and it does not affect my make-up in any way whatsoever. S&G products are pretty much always on offer in Boots so I have stocked up to see me through winter and into spring. If you haven't tried this I really recommend doing so.

**SPF 30+ broad spectrum (UVA and UVB) is imperative when using acids as they are revealing lovely new skin cells, and if no SPF (or poor quality, low rated SPF) is used you are just damaging those lovely new skin cells, thus wasting your money on acids. Also, if you are trying to avoid skin cancer and slow the ageing process down, there is nothing better than broad spectrum SPF daily. Every day. Yes even in the UK!**

I wasn't expecting this post to be so long, congratulations (and thank you!) if you have made it to the end. I hope this inspires and helps anyone who is looking to switch up their skin care routine, or even to start one.

Caiti xxx

*Products purchased with my own money*

Thursday, 4 September 2014

The Liebster Award

The lovely Becki Lewis from Beauty & the Brunette kindly nominated me for the Liebster Award, in a nutshell it is a way of welcoming new bloggers (with under 200 followers) into the blogging community. Needless to say I was really touched, and being a very nosey inquisitive person enjoyed reading Becki's previous answers to the many questions she had been asked by other bloggers nominating her see here and here.

Becki's questions are as follows:

1) Do you have a favourite beauty/fashion magazine? I haven't bought a magazine for years, however I do really enjoy flipping through Dare magazine from Superdrug and Health and Beauty magazine from Boots. I also subscribe to TWO magazine (online) from the Pixiwoo sisters.

2) How long have you been blogging for? I wrote my first post in March 2014 and have been sporadically posting ever since.

3) What's your favourite foundation? My favourite liquid foundation is LancĂ´me's Photogenic Lumessence, as it is the closest match I have ever found for my super pale cool toned skin, and doesn't make my dry/dehydrated skin look worse. My favourite powder foundation is Clinique's Superpowder Double Face Powder, again the colour match is great and best of all it doesn't cake up or make my skin even drier. I tend to use the powder more than the liquid as it is quicker to apply, easier to blend and I prefer the more natural look (and my freckles still show through if I don't use too much).

4) Is there one type of product you can't stop yourself from buying? Pretty much anything that Boots or Superdrug sell to be honest! My husband doesn't like me going in there alone as I always spend too much, same with Lush, Home Bargains and Hobby Craft. Ooops. It's more fun dragging him around with me though, plus he can carry the basket leaving my hands free to pick up more items :0)

5) What's your current favourite item of clothing? I just got a beautiful grey/beige/brown waterfall jumper from ebay, which is stunning and gets the seal of approval from my children and husband- translated to 'age appropriate' rather than my usual hoodie obsession!

6) Bold or Nude lips? On me definitely nude, I like muted and soft pinks/browns/mauves, however I love seeing girls with really bold dark colours like blue and purple. I would love to still be able to rock that look but my lip lines are too deep and sadly I look ridiculous.

7) What's your favourite TV show right now? Melissa and Joey. The kids and I have been watching it on E4 over the summer holidays and we all love it. It finished last week and we are not impressed!

8) Why did you start blogging? I'm currently off sick from work and having some harsh medical treatment, meaning I'm rarely able to leave the house. So I was spending ages catching up on blogs and You Tube videos that I never really had the time to keep up with whilst I was working, and thought blogging would keep my mind active and give me 'a happy place' to escape to prattling on about beauty! That is why my blog isn't a professional one, I blog when I feel up to it and when it suits me. It is purely for pleasure.

9) What was the first make-up product you used? My Mum's Rimmel lipstick! I was a toddler and did a pretty good job of applying it apparently! I played with her make-up until I was about 7 years old then saved my pocket money to buy products from my friend's Mum's Avon catalogue. When I started secondary school I spent every weekend in Superdrug and Boots with like minded friends, and when I started working I would go on a spree every pay day. I think I may have a problem?!

10) Who is your celebrity style icon? I have two- Victoria Beckham for her clean lines and beautifully fitted but not tarty style, and Sarah Harding for her casual effortless chic. Both for their short hair styles.

11) What's your favourite restaurant? Not a restaurant as such, but a pub that serves gorgeous food called the Logan Rock Inn in a tiny west Cornwall village called Treen. If you are ever in the area it really is a wonderful idyllic pub tucked away with a sun trap garden and incredible service. 


My 11 questions are:
1. What is your favourite perfume and why
2. Scented candles or wax/oil burners?
3. Favourite flower?
4. If you could have permanently great hair or great skin, what would you choose?
5. Describe your ideal day.
6. What is your dream car?
7. Current favourite skin care treatment?
8. Who is your celebrity male and female crush?
9. What one piece of advice would you give your younger self?
10. If you could have magical powers, which one would you choose?
11. Why and when did you start blogging?
I nominate:
 Karen from And So To The Mirror
Monica from The Green Eye Effect
Danielle from The Dolled Up Diary
Molly, Sophie and Paris from Cosm(etics, )etc.
Chris from My Happy Place
Sophie from Floral Sophie
And of course anyone reading this is more than welcome to join in!
I look forward to reading your answers, and thanks again to Becki for getting me involved :0)
Caiti xxx