Category Archives: Beauty School

Skincare and Stress 

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I am on holiday for 2 weeks. Yay and hooray for me! I have had the most horrific stressful last 2 weeks at work resulting in a migraine last week that I couldn’t shift. It is so so so busy at work every day that I am coming home exhausted and grumpy and with the heat and dirt of the city it has not been kind to my face or mind.

My issue is skin as dry as the Sahara. I went through a very stressful time in my life 2 years ago which resulted in me leaving my job for pastures new. The consequences of not dealing with the stress properly and hiding it from my husband, friends and family is that my body now tells tales on me to the world so everyone knows when I am stressed. I break out in eczema on my neck, eyelids, under eye area, forehead, hairline at the back of my neck, fingers, wrists, elbows and knees. It’s like an eczema had shoulders knees and toes song with a cruel side and the urge to scratch makes it all worse.

I woke up Saturday morning and looked in the mirror and it was sad. I am tired so my face is tired. I am one of those people who cannot hide my emotions or my health problems from my face so I look tired. I had purple eye circles, my sore dry skin, cruel awkward spots at the same time (how?), greasy hair and I looked just so ‘dull’ not holiday ready at all. So to start my holiday in the right frame of mind/face it was time to sort it out. I decided to take bare all selfies to show how I go about becoming me again when this happens so I can conquer the world or just leave my house…

So here is my bare face without my contacts so my huge glasses and with all my poor sore skin.

Step 1 is to break out a Lush facemask what else? Luckily the day before I had brought Lush back 5 pots so I got me a free Brazened Honey Fresh Face mask. This one is exfoliating and full of honey and spices and fruit. It would probably make a nice cake but it is excellent at waking up tired skin and as it is exfoliating it took off a lot of my dull horrid dead skin and left my face clean and refreshed. It’s also very yellow which is a happy colour.

Next I jumped in the shower for a long time. I washed my hair using my Brilliant Brunette shampoo but with my Coco Loco conditioner as I have very dry hair from all the heat and because my skin is dry my hair wanted to join in. I did all the usual stuff you do in the shower making an effort to exfoliate my skin and shave my legs as this immediately makes me feel more together. After getting out the shower I cleansed my skin with my beloved Ultrabland because this can only help the dryness and I did my usual skin care routine as recorded on this earlier post: Current Skincare Routine.

Once out of the shower you guessed I needed moisture. I needed full E45 everywhere, full face moisturiser and E45 Lotion on my face and neck as well as my skin was so so uncomfortably tight. Once this has all soaked in and I hadnt scrached for 10 minutes only then could I start my makeup.

I didn’t want to put too much on as my skin was so sore and it was another hot day. With eczema on the face as well it can make makeup cake on the dry patches and you suddenly look very old so no powder today. Ah the power of brows to make a face look finished! I used a tinted moisturiser and my Porefessional Makeup to create a nice base and to make me look healthy and alive lots of blusher, bronzer and highlighter. I did a very simple eye look with my usual cat eye liner and Mascara and brows galore as I am sparse up there

Once my hair was dried and styled I was a human again and my sore skin was soothed for now. The sad fact is that my face will only last 3-4 hours like this before I have to reapply creams and lotions. The only cure is to calm down and not get stressed. (Yeah right!)

Tadah! It’s like magic. Without products and makeup I would have hidden myself away behind the curtain literally licking my wounds. As sad and probably pathetic that is I cannot change that about myself. I need makeup and I need products that make me feel good to leave the house and I needed to spend this extra time on the first day of my holiday to feel just like myself again. A day spent with my husband wandering around the garden centre in the sun, eating ice cream and knitting in the garden followed by a BBQ with my funny parents was just what I needed.

Stress is part of everyday life and it effects everyone. I am unlucky that mine is shown physically but it also acts as a reminder that I need to slow down and focus on the positives for a while. Making myself feel better with my lotions and potions is just the first thing I do but the main cure for stress is spending some time in peace doing what you enjoy. Spending time with my family is the best cure for my stress as well as knitting and even speaking with a friend on the phone, reading a book or taking a strill in the sunshine. It all helps. Stress is a killer but it won’t get me.

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5 Step Spa Routine 

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5 Step Spa Routine 

I am an advocate for me time. I love my busy life but sometimes I just need a break and some space just to be me without my phone, my job, my commute and the other stresses of my life. I like to make myself feel like a ‘human’ and more like myself. Now I am having a baby I feel this is even more important. So my favourite way of doing this is to have a bath and treat myself to a ‘spa-like’ evening and it makes me feel 100 times better. Here is my 5 Step Spa Evening:

1) Run a Bubbly Bath

Ooh I do love a bath. It just makes me relax and feel cosy. I like to light candles, warm towels on the radiator and have a gorgeous bath bomb or cream to soak in. This particular evening I used The Experimenter from Lush. It has popping candy and a sweet vanilla scent and the colours are amazing. It is also full of glitter which makes your bath water sparkle.

2) Remove Makeup, Cleanse and Mask it

I really enjoy putting on makeup but I love taking it off just as much. It just feels good to remove the day and have fresh clean skin. You should always take your makeup off before getting in the bath! (It’s just common sense all the water and steam with nowhere to go will just clog your pores.) I took my makeup off using my Una Brennan Face Oil and cleansed with Lush Ultrabland. I like to use face masks as well to really feel pampered and give my skin a treat or a treatment for problems. This night I had a free sample of an Nspa Mum to Be mask that I was given as a gift. It was a deep cleansing mud mask and it was really lovely and creamy. Once the mask is on get in the bath! (I always put my mask on before I get in the bath so I can see in the mirror. I have had an unfortunate event once with a warming clay mask in the eye….not pleasant!)

3) Hair Care

Once in the tub I like to lie back and relax. I usually have a glass of water to sip to keep hydrated and I read a book. I am practised at holding books now out of the water, I do know this can be bad for the book, but you know, it’s my book and they are all loved. Once the Mask has done it’s work I remove with cool water to refresh my face and start on hair care. I always shampoo twice, simply because my hairdresser told me to. I used John Frieda Brilliant Brunette Moisturising Shampoo. I love the smell and it looks after my coloured hair. To follow, if I am having a spa night I like to use a hair treatment as well. For this night I chose Lee Stafford For Hair That Only Grows to a Certain Length hair treatment. It’s a protein base product that moisturises hair and soothes the scalp to help your hair grow longer. I like the way my hair feels after this very smooth, strong and conditioned. I left this on for 10 minutes whilst I relaxed again in my bath before the strenuous hair rinsing began. Once I’d rinsed the product out I finished with the John Freida Brilliant Brunette Moisturising conditioner. This locks in the products and makes my hair shiny.

4) The Working Part

Now with every spa evening there is always a working section. This is the part where I have to make the effort. So whilst my hair is conditioning I shave my legs, and other areas and wash using a shower gel and my loofah puff thing. I like to use this to exfoliate and I use my loofah everyday as my skin is so dry. I like to use my favourite shower gel which is the Original Dove Shower Cream. It smells really floral and feminine and leaves your skin very soft. This is the boring but necessary section of any bath it can be dull but once you are out of the bathroom you will be grateful for the effort. This is followed with copious rinsing to get rid of any excess product in my hair. Once I am ready to get out the tub I like to stand under the shower to rinse off any excess oils from the bath as this cleans the skin and is also very refreshing. Then it’s out of the tub and on with one of the nice big towels I’ve been warming on the radiator.

5) The Finale

After a bath your skin has been sat in water which can be drying. Your pores will have opened as well so now these need to be closed and your skin cared for. To finish my face I used the Garnier Skin Active Soothing Botanicals Rosewater Toner which is very nice and floral. And I put on a large amount of the Nivea Pure and Natural Regenerating Night cream. (Very long titles!) My face felt clean and fresh and plumped up. For the rest of my skin my favourite moisturiser is the E45 Intense Recovery Body Lotion. This is fragrance free, and after all the perfumes in the bath is a relief, this creams soaks in quickly and leaves my skin nice and soft. The final touch was another Mum to Be product from Nspa this a is a Moisturising Bump Butter as I am trying (probably uselessly) to fight any stretch marks from the pregnancy so this went on my bump, lower back and hips. It might not work but it’s a lovely body butter.

6) Bonus Step: nails and digits

OK ok so I know I said 5 steps and sometimes these alone are enough. But whilst my hair was drying I repainted my finger and toe nails in the Rimmel Gel Effect Nail varnish in Shameless Selfie and moisturised my hands and feet using a gorgeous Roger & Gallet Hand and Nail Balm in Shea Butter and Fig which I got in a set for my birthday.

So now I feel like me again, calm, relaxed and squeaky clean ready to face the world the next day. I love a spa night and I will do this a few times a month to really feel good about myself. I really believe everyone deserves some time to themsrlves to psmper or to just spend a few hours away ftom the stress of lufe doing what the hell you want. Its food for your soul.

Lotions and Potions: Skincare Routine

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Lotions and Potions: Skincare Routine

So my skin and I have a love hate relationship. Since I’ve been more aware and taken better care of my skin it has got a lot less awkward but it still punishes me with breakouts whenever I have an event or an important weekend ahead. I was told recently that my skin was more dry then combination so I have been trying to battle this now instead of the combination only. Does anyone else have conflicting skin messages like me? I don’t seem to know my skin type. Anyway I have been using some of these products for a while and I have got a routine down. It may seem like a lot of steps but actually once you get a routine down it can be very speedy.

Morning

I start with using my beloved Ultrabland by Lush. I was recently bought a Clarins skincare set and threw my Ultrabland aside only to breakout in spots and a rash so I apologised to my Ultrabland slapped it back on and got my skin back under control. Ultrabland is just a beautiful balm cleanser with a blend of beeswax and rose extract. It cares for my skin and keeps it moisturised and under control. I apply this like a cream and wipe off with damp cotton wool pads then pat dry.

Ultrabland

For toner I am currently using a Clarins toner. It is a sample size and has extracts of Chamomile. I like it as it is not drying (unlike their sample cleanser) and its smells like a spa. It’s just lovely I brush this on with a cotton wool pad and enjoy the scent. I am not loyal to a toner as I have not found one I love but I do like to use one to remove and left over cleanser and close pores, this is my current month toner and as you can see I am running out.

Clarins Toner

Serum, I use a small amount of the Nivea Q10 Plus Energy Serum. I like this because I like the gel like texture of this Serum it’s light on my skin and it helps keeps fine lines at bay and smooths dry areas. I only use a small amount as it has hyaluronic acid in it which is good for exfoliation but my skin is too sensitive to use large amounts of this.

Nivea Q10 Serum

For moisturiser I currently use two. I have the Nivea Pure and Natural Moisturising day cream. I like this because it has natural extracts of argan oil and aloe vera and is light but very hydrating. I don’t have a separate eye cream as I have never found one that makes a difference to my eyes. (The only thing that makes a difference to my eyes is lots of sleep and water.) But I put an extra layer of this around my nose and eyes. Since becoming pregnant I have developed a rash around my nose and moisturising daily is the only way to control it. Sometimes I also have to use an E45 cream on my nose as it’s so sore. Being pregnant does wierd things to your skin.

Nivea Day Cream

I also use a tinted moisturiser also by Nivea. (I’m a Nivea girl) I like this to wear under my current Porefessional Makeup and it keeps my skin moisturised all day whilst evening out my skin tone. I sometimes layer the moisturisers or will use this solely and will add the normal Nivea moisturiser just around my eyes and nose it depends on what the skin God’s have provided me with that day.

Nivea Tinted Moisturiser

And that is me ready to put on makeup and face the day. My skin feels soft and supple all day and I feel protected from the sun and pollution.

Evening

I enjoy putting on makeup and I also enjoy taking it off. My go to makeup remover is a gorgeous vitamin C infused orange scented oil by Una Brennan the Superfacialist. I just rub this straight into my skin and it melts away makeup. I wash it off with warm water and pat dry. It’s quick and simple but the orange scent of the oil makes it feel luxurious. I have rebought this oil a few times and as you can see from the picture I will need to again!

To cleanse and tone I will use the same Ultrabland balm cleanser by Lush and whatever toner I am using. There are no mysteries here.

Once my face is cleansed and toned I apply a nice thick layer of Night moisturiser. I am using the Nivea Pure and Natural Regenerating Night cream again with extracts of argan oil and aloe vera. I just love it it keeps my skin hydrated over night and it feels plumped up the next morning. I dont feel the need for an eye cream here either with this moisturiser. Nivea really do have great products and are great value for money.

Nivea Regenerating Night cream

Some evenings after I have cleansed I will use a face mask. I am not loyal to a particular brand here either but I do like the fresh face masks from Lush, especially the Catastrophe Cosmetic mask with blueberries, the spot clearing Magnaminty and the bright blue exfoliating Don’t Look at Me. (Not all at the same time of course). But I have also recently been trying the L’Oréal Pure Clay mattifying mask recently which is great your skin feels very clean and fresh afterwards but I am not keen on the scent. My other favourite clay mask is The Sanctuary self heating clay mask this clears your skin and I like the heating feeling. I will buy a facemask to combat whatever skin issue I am facing that week and I will put on a face mask about three times a week. This keeps my skin balanced.

L’Oréal Pure Clay mask

So that is my skin care routine. It’s not for everyone mine is very heavy on creams and moisture but it works for me. I like to do it and I have seen a difference. I do like to try new products so if anyone has any suggestions do let me know.

What’s in my Makeup Bag?!

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What’s in my Makeup Bag?!

I’ve been running around a lot recently. Weekends away, nights out, visiting friends and family etc and I’ve found that in order to do all of this I’ve had to streamline my makeup bag to take with me so I have my favourite products at an easy reach. I have a few makeup bags now of different sizes and sometimes I take smaller ones with me, say if I’m going out after work or if I’m out all day but my main makeup bag has become my best friend. I know that I can throw it into the case and go and that it will be alright. So I thought I would do a quick post of what is in my makeup bag?!

First of all there is the bag. I got it for a present last Christmas from my sister it’s by Cath Kidston. I like it because it’s got a plastic coating so it’s water proof and leaky product proof it also has an inner frame work so you can open it pretty wide to get stuff but it stays upright on its own accord. I also like the pink rose design, I am a pink inclined girl it speaks to me.

The bag

So whats inside? I’ll go through what I use in the order I use them. I start with my base. I use the Porefessional primer for priming my T Zone. The Seventeen Skin Wow which I use as a primer for the rest of my face and to add highlight it’s pretty and glowy. I’m currently using the Benefit Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow in Ivory. I like it its new for me as it’s very light but I do find itbuildable and does have a nice glow to it. For concealer I use my favourite Maybelline The Eraser Eye it’s so moisturising and perfect for under eye and concealing blemishes. To set it all I use the Seventeen Miracle Matte translucent loose powder.

Next up I would contour and blush and add highlight. I do all this now to let it sit on the skin and then I go back over before I go out if I feel I need more blush or shade. So for contour and bronzer I use the Benefit Hoola. I just love this the most and I’d recommend this to everyone. For blusher I’ve just bought myself Rockateur by Benefit as I love the shade for Autumn and the box blushers are easy to use as they come with their own little brush. For highlight I currently love the Sleek Highlight Pallette in Solstice. It’s so pretty and the highlight shows up and lasts really well.

Blush/Bronze and highlight mantra

Eyebrows. I’ve really got into the Eyebrow trend the last year or so I’ve been growing mine out to make them fuller which is finally working!  I currently use the Benefit Goof Proof pencil and the Benefit Gimme Brow in Medium Brown. These are both sample sizes and I really like them. If I don’t use these I have the Tanya Burr Eyebrow Pallette which is nice and then I’d set it with a clear Eyebrow gel. But for speed and ease of use I use these two little gems the most.

Brows on fleek

Then I would usually start eye makeup. I love eyeshadows but I normally only use them at weekends or for events and things. I have a lot of pallettes but at the moment I am using two the most as they are easy to carry and I like the shades. I have the NYC Dusk Till Dawn Dreamcatcher Pallette. This has some lovely nude shades and quite shimmery ones for making an evening look. I also love the Maybelline The Blushed Nudes pallette. I bought this this summer as I really liked the pink trend in eye looks and this pallette is lovely for making pretty day looks

Feeling shady

Mascara and eyeliner are my ultimate makeup essential I wouldn’t leave the house without at least Mascara and eyeliner on. I am all about thick luscious lashes and back liquid eyeliner in a  feline flick. It’s sort of become my signature look and my eyes look wierd without it. For Mascara I use the Maybelline Sensational Lashes and I layer it with the Benefit They’re Real. I just love the two combined it adds volume and flattery length.

For eyeliner I use either the Supercat Pen Eyeliner by Soap & Glory. Sometimes just this for a more subtle look and then sometimes I use Rimmel Glam Eyes in Black Glamour. Either on its own or layered with the Soap & Glory Pen. I have been experimenting recently with using a brown liner either in place of the black or just on my lower lash line and water line to make a more smoky effect and a more natural look. I’m using the Rimmel Exaggerate waterproof liner in Rich Brown. It has a smudger on the end that I really like. 

Cleopatra coming at cha

Finally for lips I have three favourites in this bag for different types of looks. I have my ultimate red in the Rimmel Colour Rush lip crayon in The Redder the Better. Its perfect for this time of year and adding a touch of glamour to a makeup look for the evening or day. I also have the Tanya Burr Matte Lip cream in Martha Moo. This is so easy to wear, it’s a nice dusky pink shade and it lasts so well. And finally my favourite lipstick of all time probably is my Bourjois Colour Boost in Proudly Naked. I love this lipstick it’s a great nude shade and its really moisturising and glossy.

Pout

So that is my makeup bag. Full of the products I use everyday so I feel more like myself and can face the world. 

Now I’ve got to squeeze it all back in…!

My Awkward Skin 

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My Awkward Skin 

My skin. In a word is awkward. I am extremely sensitive and dry on some parts  and suffer with rosacea and redness.Then for the last few years i have a teenage T-Zone which is very oily and spot prone. Which is fine except that I didn’t have any spots when I was a teenager and now I am 27 I have more than ever before! I have spent the last year suffering with this. Last winter particularly was bad I had to go to a Hen Do with a planet on my face and was so self conscious when one of my friends innocently mentioned it. Christmas was awful too with sore red patches on my chin and nose and as I had just started a new job then I wanted to be confident but I just didn’t feel right. Skin has such an impact on confidence so I decided that enough was enough and I needed to sort my skin out.

 After spending money on expensive acne treatments that just burnt my face, foundations that either broke me out or dried me out and then copious moisturisers and routines I seem to have found a routine that helps. And I found it at Lush!

The reason I tried Lush is because I wanted something all natural and full of goodness. I thought back to when I was a teenager and I had quite nice skin and if I did get spots they would be tiny compared to the monsters I get now. Whenever I broke out then I used the Mask of Magnaminty. This peppermint, tea tree oil and clay concoction seems to clear oil and seek and destroy blemishes. It stops shiny foreheads and makes skin feel squeaky clean I started using it about 3 times a week in my routine and it instantly helped.

Mask of Magnaminty 

So after going back to the Lush Store for the Magnaminty Mask a third time I decided to go for some skin care as well. It was lovely as I was firstly given some free cleanser samples by one of the skincare assistants to help me decide what I should use as my skin is so wierd. (Handy hint: I’ve kept the little sample pots and use them for weekends away as they are so small and easy to pack!). I experimented with them and I now have a routine  down.

To remove makeup I use the Garnier Micellar Water (which I know isn’t Lush buy it’s so good!). I wear a lot of makeup during the day and this takes it off so easy. (In the morning I don’t use this as I don’t sleep in makeup!) It also comes in handy wipes for weekends away as the bottle is absolutely massive. 

 Then I use Ultrabland. This is a lovely calming balm cleanser with almond oil, bees wax, Rose water and honey. I smooth this on and take it off after a minute or so with two cold cotton wool pads. You can really see the dirt and gunk come off your skin and it leaves it clean and fresh and nicely moisturised. 

Ultrabland

Some evenings or mornings this is enough but if my skin is feeling a bit dry I use Let the Good Times Roll. This is a harder exfoliating balm with Popcorn and honey in it. It smells like fudge and has maize flour and polenta in it to smooth and remove dead skin and dirt. It’s really moisturising as well so your skin feels cared for. I don’t want to use it everyday as I think this may be a bit harsh on some sections of my face. But I do see an improvement to my skin texture and my skin feels squeaky clean after.

Let the Good Times Roll

To finish I used a toner water, I used Eau Roma Water which is very simple and made from lavender and rose water which really helps to calm my red skin down and is really refreshing. It comes in a spray bottle and you can either spritz it on your face directly or onto a cotten pad. Once I have cleansed, toned I moisturise but that is a whole other story which I won’t go into here.

Eau Roma Water

I really like Lush cosmetics as they are all natural and my skin has really improved. One of my friends told me it looked ‘glowier’ recently which is very nice to hear for someone with such awkward skin. I find the lush skincare soothes and cares for my skin and I think they are also great value for money as they last for ages. The staff in Lush are also lovely and helpful. I also partake in their recycle scheme and get a free fresh face mask with every 5 pots I take back. This is great as I can try some other masks for a break from magnaminty as the fresh masks don’t last as long so are good for a quick change. I am using Catastrophe Cosmetic with blueberries and Irish moss to brighten my skin at the moment and although it’s no Magnaminty it’s lovely to use and it definitely does clear and brighten skin. So it’s a second favourite. 

Catastrophe Cosmetic

So my awkward skin is still awkward but not in can handle the awkwardness a little bit better.

Here is a link to the Lush site for all their lovely things!

lush

Beauty School

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Beauty School

I have been doing a lot of courses recently but nothing has been more exciting then learning to apply and create a vintage makeup and hair look at a local college. I have been brimming with excitement ever since!!

Makeup, beauty and hair as cliché as it may sound have always been a true love and passion of mine. I read a lot, watch a lot of tutorials and experiment a lot with makeup and beauty products especially. I also have a deep engrained love of the fifties, the clothing makeup and pin up styles of this era. So when I found a course in makeup and hair at the college I signed up and had to go.

The first day I discovered there was o lu two of us on the course which was unexpected but good at the same time as it meant that I got a makeover and we had one on one training. My makeup teacher was Tracey and she explained about colour correcting, makeup application and the style of the fifties peek-a-boo winged eye. The afternoon was then spent with Michelle styling hair. If I’m honest I was very nervous about this but I think my craftiness came in handy as we learnt back combing, curling, waving, victory rolls, French pleats and pin curls. Loved it is an understatement.

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My makeup done

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Next weeks lesson I brought a model in to style. And my lovely sister volunteered to be my guinea pig. I styled her hair with victory rolls and a curled fake forties fringe with a french pleat at the back. Putting makeup on someone else’s skin was different it’s so interesting to learn about skin types and face shapes on another person. I styled her makeup with the winged eye I love so much. Then with a vintage dress we were finished and had photos taken with my classmates model as well.

This class had inspired me and woken me up to new endless possibilities for my future. My teacher said I had a natural talent and I am currently working on my knowledge of makeup application by reading and applying for new classes in the future. I have eve  been asked to complete a bridal lool for the bride I am so thrilled! Watch this coiffed and makeup winged eye space.
Here are some pics of the vintage look!

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Hair from the back

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Pin curls and french roll

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The finished look!

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I completed my beauty School day at Tameside College, below is the link to their adult courses.
Tameside College- Adult Courses