Spring Cleaning my Beauty Cupboard

Seeing as it’s the first day of Spring and International Happyness Day, I decided to do something positive and have a product Spring clean. Sorting through your skincare and makeup stash was one of my tips in my post 6 Simple Beauty Tips Which Make a Big Difference what a good day to follow my own advice, ha!

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This was all of the skincare products I owned and as you can see they are pretty much all over the place, with face, body and hair, old stuff and new stuff all mixed up. After going through everything this is what I learned…

  1. I had so much oil! I could easily just use the same one for my hair and body and a lighter one for my face.
  2. Out of all of those products I only had one face moisturiser.
  3. I found products that had changed consistency or were nearly empty and all of those were expired.
  4. I still had tanning oil from my twenties! o_O
  5. I buy face masks because they are on offer in pound shops and NEVER use them.
  6. I thought I needed to stock up on miceller water and cooling eye gel as I was running low but then realised I’d originally bought them in two’s to save on postage.
  7. I had a stupid amount of body butter.
  8. I’ve rediscovered cruelty free beauty brands I’d totally forgotten about!
  9. I had bits and bobs from various razors and waxing kits that I stopped using ages ago.

I’ve reduced the above to a single crate and the cute wicker basket. The rest is either in the recycling, the bin or my dressing table so I actually remember to use it daily.

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Here is all of my makeup, apart from what I’ve thrown out and repeats of the same thing and yeah, it’s still a lot!

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Here’s what I’ve thrown out.

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A slightly smaller pile, heehee.

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Here’s my main big-ass makeup case, my daily makeup case and my travel/wash bag with miniatures and samples in. Here’s what I’ve learned…

  1. Even though I treat my makeup fairly well, there were still spillages and products that felt sticky – eeew.
  2. If it’s really broken, through the damn thing away! You are not Stig Of The Dump or a Womble.
  3. If it doesn’t suit your skin tone or texture and it can’t easily be mixed with something else, then throw it away or swap it/give it to someone.
  4. There are lots of reasons why buying two of the same thing can be a good idea but hoarding the same type of product, or buying several before you’ve even tried if the product works for you is not a good idea.
  5. How many golden-brown eyeshadows and copper-brown toned lip products can one person reasonably own!? Five eyeshadows and eight lip products it would seem ;0)
  6. I still have products I bought before I went totally cruelty free. That was TEN years ago!

As you can see, I still have the big makeup bag but now my little ‘everyday makeup bag’ includes the best of my base, mascara, tools, contouring kit (I missed out the wonderful Pixi contour kit in the first photo) and three eyeshadows and eyelinners that I rotate on a monthly basis. This means that everything is easy to keep track of/clean/sharpened, quickly to hand, and I don’t forget to use all of the lovely colours I own.

I hope this helps! Let me know if it has or if you also do some of the bad habits I’ve mentioned.

<3Chrissie<3

 

 

 

 

6 Simple Beauty Tips Which Make a Big Difference

 

Facetune

How to stop eyelashes clumping or looking spiky

If you have medium-to long eyelashes that are fairly straight, don’t use a mascara with added fibres or a thick formula. Curl and separate your lashes, then use a mascara which glides on easily and brush straight up (no wiggling from side-to-side). Apply no more than three coats and let them dry in between.

How to keep track of the makeup & skincare you own

So most skincare and makeup will have a little picture of a jar with a number on saying how many months your product will last for once opened but who can remember when they actually opened it? I write it on a little piece of paper and stick it on the jar with clear tape. I store everything in a wide, open basket with 3 smaller basket inserts to separate everyday skincare from pampering skincare and replacements (which I’ve stocked up on before the first product runs) so I can see everything I have with one glance.

For makeup I have an everyday-makeup pouch and a huge vinyl makeup bag, divided into sections which I store my going-out-makeup in. Again it’s easy to see what I have so I don’t keep buying the same stuff by mistake every few months! I store my makeup brushes in a sparkly pencil case because I’m allergic to dust so I can’t have them sitting about in the open, even though they are pretty pastel unicorn ones.

The order you should use your everyday skincare in

Get the most out of your products by knowing which order to apply them in so they compliment, rather than block each other.

Exfoliate: My skin is not great at goodbyes and likes to cling onto old skin, rather than letting it invisibly float off over the day like it should. To give it some help I use a gentle Glycolic Acid to weaken the bonds between dead skin and new skin. I have a weaker treatment that I can leave on and a stronger one which I leave on for ten minutes and then gently wipe off with a face cloth and then rinse my face. I found that no matter how many face scrubs I tried with the gentlest, tiniest granules my face would become bright red and my skin still didn’t feel smooth.

Serum then Moisturiser: Now skin is able to absorb the lovely things you are giving it. I use Hyloronic acid (which sucks in moisture like a sponge), swiftly followed by a light moisturiser. If you just use hyloronic acid on it’s own in a dry attmosphere, without using moisturiser after, there is a chance it can pull moisture from the deeper layers of your skin up to the suffice. You want to keep that moisture where it is and help it absorb MORE moisture.

Facial Oil: Sometimes there is a difference between dehydrated and dry. I can apply moisturiser and sometimes my skin sucks it up immediately or sometimes it just sits there but either-way, my skin still feels a little dry and looks dull, like matte paper. This is when I realise it needs oil. Another clue is when you’ve moisturised but your skin gets oily in the afternoon or evening. It new it was dry and wildly over compensated – oops! I tend to apply a light layer of oil all over my face – even around my T-zone (sounds crazy but give it a go) and on my collar bone – because that just looks nice!

Layering makeup and textures to get the best look for your skin

I’ve found you can have too much of a good thing – such as similar textures – and prefer to strike a balance by using a mattifying moisturiser with a lightweight foundation or a lightweight moisturiser and then a mattyfying foundation. Applying all mattes and powders or all liquids and shine can look OTT, in both directions so to avoid this, I love liquid highlighters and cream blush with matte foundation. Alternatively, a powder highlighter and blush when I’m using a very light BB cream or foundation to help it stay put. I’ve tried the Korean ‘glass’ skincare look and it did look amazing…For around 60 minutes before the makeup slid off and the shine – so much shine – stayed with a vengeance. I really do think that layering combinations of textures can give the most realistic, long wearing and flattering look.

Get ideas from makeup tutorials but never ignore your own eye/lip/face shape.

If I follow the usual Western eye shadow looks, all my eye makeup disappears into the folds of my eyes and I have giant highlighted brow bones. If I use ones for hooded eyes, then my eyes look rounder and you can see the eyeshadow but it doesn’t look like me and I think it’s actually playing down one of my best features! Now I follow normal smokey eye tutorials but I just extend the makeup up AND out, making sure to highlight where my inner corners curve inward to compliment the natural cat like shape.

If I applied blusher all over the apples of my cheeks I would look like a scary doll, no matter how subtly I applied it. I tend not to bring it inward too much and sweep it up and outward instead.

If I applied contour directly under my crazily-high cheek bones it would make the rest of my face beneath look way too long. I tend to lower it ever-so-slightly and then blend it out the lower down it gets.

Essentially, get all of the tips and ideas you want from others but do what works for YOUR face, after all, you know it best.

Give your skin the chance to do stuff for it’s self

I’m sure everyone has been in that vicious circle of using products that are too harsh and strip your skin – then your skin produces oil to try and balance i’s self – so you use tonner or cleanser and it dries out for a while and then the oil starts again. You should aim for balancing your skin, correcting it (gently) only if it really needs it. If you keep throwing all of these products at your face how will it know when it needs to act and how to regulate it’s self? It’s best to try and stick to a routine (ironically difficult for a beauty blogger who reviews everything) and every six months just to let it be for several days so it acts naturally and then possibly reassess what it needs.

Perfect example: My lips have always lacked natural oils and look dry and even cracked on a regular basis. Turns out it’s a reaction to allergies and central heating. As a kid I was slicked in thick lip balm; as a teen in kiwi lip balm from The Body Shop; in my twenties in Lancome Juicy Tubes lip gloss; in my thirties I’m using natural oils such as Almond and Hemp. The problem steadily got worse and worse however, until my bloke said “Stop using lip stuff so much. Try to anticipate when they might need it so you apply it before they are dry, otherwise let your skin sort it’s self out.” That was so difficult for a lip product obsessive like me. So I accepted looking like the walking dead and after five days it actually worked! My lips where naturally smoother and looked plump and hydrated.

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I’d love to hear your thoughts and any tips you’ve discovered yourself!

Chrissie

Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter

What the brand says….

‘The ultimate high gloss, high glow celebrity-skin-filter-in-a-bottle! This was born on the red carpet makeup, inspired by technology, for real life, in real time that looks amazing on-screen or off.

Smoothing airbrush polymers roll over your complexion for a poreless-looking, creamy finish.

Glossy Oil is a lightweight moisturising oil that reflects and adds light to your face where you need it.

Finely milled powders soft focus, makes lines and pores appear smoother which means it only ever looks as amazing in real life, as it does on camera.

Porcelain Flower Extract is a brightening ingredient derived from a Thai flower with natural antioxidants and anti-inflammatories to enhance microcirculation and brighten skin. 

Ideal for superstar-lit skin whether you want a subtle glow or a mega-watt complexion.’

What I want this for…

As you probably know, I have uneven skin texture thanks to having bad skin into my early twenties and I easily get bags (from dehydration/gluten indulgence) so big they carve two lines into my cheeks. I’m proud of how clear and fairly even toned my complexion is these days but I still need a hand with the overall texture and a little redness sometimes. I like CC and BB creams but find they can either be too pale, making me go from tomato red to an eerie green-yellow or they are too transparent and shiny. I chose Flawless Filter as it offers medium coverage, is available in a surprising amount of shades, and then there’s the whole ‘flawless filter’ part.

Before purchasing Charlotte Tilbury Flawless Filter £30 I read a lot of reviews; a huge amount said it very good but a few said it was awful but unlike me, they had dry skin.

The packaging…

I love the recyclable glass bottle but would prefer a pump rather than the doe foot applicator as it totally fails at applying this type of product and leaves a massive amount in the bottom, which you’d have to tip onto the back of your hand like 1990’s foundations.

The bigger problem with it…

Above; before using the product, makeup free in dim afternoon sunlight. Not too bad but not great either. Much worse, in fact when there’s a lot of contrasting light and shadow.

Here’s me wearing the product. Talk about unflattering – contrasting light! I’ve taken the photo in the same dull afternoon light but it’s still managed to highlight all of my pores, lines and the orange peel effect on my cheeks and even eye bags. Thanks for that Tilbury. I can see how it might work on me in blindingly bright California sunshine but even then, as soon as I went indoors it wouldn’t.

My conclusion….

I have to say the coverage is surprisingly good and the realistic skin tone shades meant that number 3 Light/Medium was perfect for me – not usually an easy thing.

If you have smooth skin but slight redness or dark circles this could be great for medium coverage and added radiance.

If you are older but have been lucky in the genes lottery this might be incredibly flattering for you.

If you are like me you really want avoid it, unless you want to use it as a very expensive highlighter.

On days where I’m very red, I use a full coverage foundation from ELF and I’ve started mixing a teeny-tiny bit Flawless Filter in with it, so my skin doesn’t look as matte and flat with just the foundation. I also use it very sparingly as a realistic looking highlighter on my cheek bones, collar bone and down the front of my shins.

Rating 2/3

🖤Chrissie🖤

August Monthly Round-up

Well this is a bit late as the very end of August caught me by surprise for some reason.

Style

I bought this Rick & Morty tee from EMP and it’s a slim but flattering fit, soft material and a good length for tall gals.

I reviewed some gorgeous iridescent trainers by Hype.

I was prepared for the weather changing (before the resurgence of the British heat wave) and picked out some easy Autumn fashion ideas.

Food

As a vegetarian with a wheat and dairy intolerance, I often get asked “Then what do you eat?” I decided to show everyone what’s in my fridge (items in door included).

Beauty

I bought two two products from two different ranges by Nip and Fab, that compliment each other really well. They also look a little different too! Here’s my review.

It took me a long time to realise I was defeating my hair just by washing it the wrong way, before I even started styling it! Here are my tips for turninig thick frizz into shiny waves.

I think this is fairly self explanatory, here it is.

Random

The Bloke mentioned that I tend to look very serious in a lot of my selfies so I took some silly one’s when we were having a laugh.

Chrissie

Gosh BB Cream

Lately I’ve wanted something lighter than foundation that still gives subtle coverage, without making my skin matte. I decided on Gosh BB Cream (£9.99, 10ml) as I’d read a lot of good reviews.

Appearance and Texture

This was easy to spread and blend and I only needed to use a light moisturiser when my skin was dry. The coverage was surprisingly good and worked a little like a CC (colour correcting) cream, evening out slight redness. My skin still looked natural and when I applied a facial oil or a reflecting primer first, my skin looked naturally radiant, without being becoming a muddy, slippy mess. I would be happy to use this BB cream instead of foundation from now on.

Wear

It lasted for around eight hours and wore off evenly, without highlighting any dry patches or gathering in pores or around my nose.

Packaging

Yes, it’s plastic but it is widely recycled.  I found squeezing the tube easier to apply the product to a foundation brush or sponge, than if I had to knock it out of a glass bottle onto my hand. It’s also less wasteful than a pump dispenser as you can squeeze out every last bit.

Oops!

Unfortunately on the Superdrug website, there are only three shades to choose from Sand, Beige and Warm Beige. I ordered this online and the Beige sample looked close to my skin tone (if a little dark), with Warm Beige being way too dark and Sand looking oddly grey. Unfortunately Beige was too cool for my skin tone, with a pink undertone, rather than a warm yellow undertone. Sleek say there are five shades, which adapt to your skins natural tone so maybe I was asking a bit too much of this particular shade.

I’ve put a golden toned filter on the photo above and as you can see, it looks much more natural to my colouring.

Luckily, a few months ago I’d bought Nip+Fab CC Cream in – wait for it – ‘Banana’ (ha!) and the two mixed together create a really accurate shade match, exactly like the filter above – hurrah!

Rating 4/5

Chrissie

Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Radiance Shot & Dragon Blood Hyaluronic Shot

Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Radiance Shot & Dragon Blood Hyaluronic Shot are the perfect duo to exfoliate and hydrate. I love the stylish packaging and the click activated pipettes give just the right amount of product needed. There are other ranges with the ‘fix’ label such as ‘Kale Fix’ (not joking) and ‘Teen Skin Fix.’

Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Radiance Shot (£19.95, 30ml)

This containis fruit acids, amino acid derivatives and aloe vera to gently exfoliate, brighten, and reduce uneven pigmentation. This can be mixed with moisturiser or used directly. It is thought that Glycolic Acid can make skin sun sensitive so sunscream should be worn when going outside. Sometimes my skin can become flushed just through gently cleansing but I’ve never noticed it react to this, even when using it every other day. I would say – for my skin – this is gentle and very effective. After just one use of this my skin feels smoother, products are absorbed better, foundation glides on easier and my skin is naturally more radiant, so I’m using less makeup anyway. This really is the simplest and quickest way to naturally exfoliate that I’ve found.

Rating 5/5

Dragon Blood Hyaluronic Shot (£24.95, 30ml)

This contains 50% hyaluronic acid and ‘Dragons Blood’ sap from the Croton Lechleri tree, which apparently promotes skin regeneration, prevents environmental damage to the skin and calms inflammation. I cannot attest to it’s inflammation calming properties, as when my skin is flushed from food intolerance or hot or cold water it is going to stay red for at least an hour! The product sinks into skin quickly, feels unnoticeable on the face but slightly tacky on my palms. It does make my face look hydrated but I still need to moisturise if I want to apply foundation, or if my face is especially dry. In hot weather I prefer to use a light moisturiser combined with this underneath as it boosts the moisturisers effectiveness, without making makeup slide off.

Rating 4/5

Chrissie

Pinching My Bloke’s Skincare

These are the best skincare products for men, which also work just as well on women too. Sometimes you only have a small amount of storage space in your bathroom or if you live separately, you can’t be bothered to lug a wash bag around every time you stay over, so why not share your basic skincare! I also think that certain scents can be very androgynous and so are sexy on everyone!

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Faith in Nature, Blue Cedar, Handmade Soap £1.99

BUAV approved; certified vegan; organic and SLS free, this soap is as kind as it gets. It’s also kind to every skin type and can be used for face and body, as it contains moisturising vitamin E and soothing green tea. The cedar scent is also super sexy!

Bull Dog Original Moisturiser £6.00

I cannot tell you how many moisturisers I’ve tried that either give my skin a ‘velvety’ texture (read ‘sucks all of the radiance out of it’) or they have a strong flowery scent or are cheap but too harsh for my complexion or are effective but way too expensive! This moisturiser, made with aloe vera, camelina oil and green tea is so calming and moisturising, without feeling too heavy. It also works well under many types of foundation – perfect! Oh yeah, my bloke loves it too, ha!

AA Skincare, Grapefruit & Cedarwood Deodorant £4.95

Another Cedarwood scent but much zingier due to grapefruit essential oil and Aloe Vera. I’m showing my age here but the scent reminds me of Impulse O2 body spray from the late 90’s – which the boys used to borrow of us. This isn’t an antiperspirant so no good for heavy exercise (as if!?) but a wonderful fresh and effective deodorant. It doesn’t contain any aluminium salts which can clog pores and is perfume and alcohol free so non-drying, equalling happy pits – I mean ‘under arms.’

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My bloke has just read this and actually snorted with laughter at the term ‘under arms’. “Do we have ‘under elbow’ and ‘under knee’ too or is that ‘side elbow and ‘side knee’? No wait, that sounds like our body parts are being bitchy, like ‘side eye'” I can’t imagine what else he’d come out with if he read my copy of Cosmopolitan.

Chrissie

 

 

Is B. Pure Micellar Water Any Good?

In the past I’ve used my fair share of toners that stripped my skin of any natural oils or gentler one’s which didn’t remove any dirt. Cleansers that efficiently removed dirt and makeup but needed to be thoroughly rinsed off. A pain in the arse at 2.00am when my tired ass needs to get to bed.

I now have a bottle of B. Pure Micellar Water and cotton pads on my bedside table; this way I can melt away dirt, makeup and balance my skin, in bed! I can then apply a night moisturiser or just leave my skin to breathe. When I wake up my skin isn’t paper dry or flushed and sensitive.

My only problem is that when I applied it in the morning and didn’t moisturise (I thought the oil in the micellar water would be enough and wasn’t planning on wearing foundation) my skin felt slightly tacky for hours. I ended up applying a light moisturiser anyway in order to fix the feeling.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Melts away all traces of dirt and makeup
  • Refreshes and balances
  • Soothes

Cons

  • Oddly tacky
  • Doesn’t mean you can skip moisturiser

Chrissie

Murad Essential-C Day Moisturiser Broad Spectrum SPF 30

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Murad Essential-C Day Moisturiser Broad Spectrum SPF 30 (£60 50ml) combines, vitamin C for radiance and firmness, antioxidants to shield skin from environmental damage and  sun protection against UVA and UVB rays.

If you are anything like me, you might have cringed, just reading £60 never mind spending it. Here’s why I did a) My skin needs all of the technical and biological help it can get b) I ALWAYS forget to wear suncream on my face c) When I do remember to apply some generic one that’s around the house, my makeup slides off within the hour d) As I’ve hit my mid-thirties my skin has become a lot dryer to the point where it makes the best foundation look like cement on application.

Pro’s

  • Non greasy
  • Doesn’t have an obvious suncream scent
  • Makes skin look naturally radiant, even under medium-thick coverage foundation
  • Keeps skin moisturised all day
  • A little goes a long way

Con’s

  • If I’m going to pay £60 I either want more product or a fabulous looking jar
  • Too heavy for oily or combination skin
  • Not an all-in-one product. You’ll need to use a separate primer after this if you want your makeup to last in a hot club/at the gym etc.

Note:

For the golden skinned or the old-school tan lovers out there, please don’t be put off by SPF 30. If you are out in the sun for hours your skin will noticeably thank you for protecting it (especially as you age) and SPF does not mean total sun block so you will still tan, even on days with light cloud.

Chrissie

Murad AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser

What is it?

Don’t let the very specific tittle put you off, Murad AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser (£35 200ml) gives your skin a helping hand with cell turnover and hydration to reveal smoother, more radiant skin.

How does it work?

It uses gentle Salicylic acid (BHA), Lactic and Glycolic acids (AHA’s) to dissolve dead skin cells. AHAs are water soluble and do not penetrate very deep into the skin of the person, while BHAs are oil soluble and often do penetrate much deeper into the skin, even past the oil barrier of the face. AHAs are good for eliminating dead skin cells on the surface that are caused by sun damage. The oil solubility of BHAs make it better suited for clearing up clogged pores deep in the skin, so that they can be removed.

Jojoba beads are also used to exfoliate and to boost hydration.

My skin type

I have high maintenance and very indecisive skin. Flakey, dry and oily. I seem to have a very quick cell turnover but the cells just build up (because they stick to the natural oils) instead of shedding to reveal the new skin underneath. Basically, I’d make a terrible snake. I also have a collagen disorder thanks to Hypermobilty Syndrome which means I have less collagen in some places but more in others, thanks to acne scarring in my teens and 20’s. As a result, my cheeks have ended up with a very dimpled, orange peel effect going on. Gimme the Pollyfiller, now!

Verdict

This is one of the most effective cleansers I’ve ever used. The beads are natural so no damage to the environment and are incredibly fine so a little bit really does make a big difference. I’ve been using this three times a week as my skin really needs it. I wouldn’t say I have very sensitive skin but it can go red easily when massaged too much using harsh cleansers and soap. Even though this contains Sodium Laureth Sulfate it is still very gentle and does not irritate my skin or strip it’s natural oil barrier.

My skin feels incredibly soft and looks surprisingly smoother and more radiant. It also means that my serum and moisturiser can actually sink into my pores now and foundation just glides on without looking dry or dull. I’m actually not bothering with my medium-full coverage foundation as much, even on nights out.

Honestly, after four weeks of using this, I looked in the mirror and did a little happy dance!

Rating 5/5

Chrissie