31/03/2014

LUSH Grease Lightning


So besides from obviously loving the name (and singing grease lightning every time I use this) here are my thoughts/rambles on this lovely little spot treatment from Lush. 

Reviewing my skincare I came to a surprising conclusion I haven’t used a spot treatment in almost 6 years! Not because I haven’t had spots (I wish) but I’ve just never found one I truly like. Going through my spotty teenage phase I tried just about every spot treatment on the market, all of which dried my skin something rotten. I found most targeted treatments dried and got rid of my spots (in time) but also left brown marks and pigmentation. 

Grease lightning however works so well with my spotty combo skin. I like to apply this onto an ear bud and dab directly onto the spot (I initially did this as a precaution as I didn’t want my skin to get too dry) this can be a little gloppy in texture so I find doing this makes for easier application. This has a gel like texture, but when applied to a spot it doesn't dry or peel. This tingles ever so slightly on the skin (but doesn’t burn or irritate the skin like some targeted spot treatments I have tried.)

Now in total honesty this isn’t an overnight miracle worker, the spot won’t disappear when you wake up in the morning-but what product really does that anyway? What I was impressed with was how much this reduced the redness around my spot. Those under the skin spots, and full on out there and proud spots appeared smaller and redness was significantly reduced.

Overall I’m really happy using this, my sensitive skin isn’t irritated, this doesn’t overly dry my skin and redness is significantly reduced which makes concealing the spots much easier –and also no brown marks! This paired with my Clinique Anti blemish gel (for clusters of spots) has made my skin pretty much spot free for the month of March (whey!) 

Have you tried Lush Grease lightning  What are your favourite spot treatments? Tricks and tips for calming angry spots?

Ingredients: With witch hazel, tea tree and aloe vera gel this has a spot fighting ingredients list. However I am disappointed to see Methylparaben, which yes is another word for paraben. Something I like to avoid in skincare products. 
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30/03/2014

The Body Shop-Peppermint Foot Scrub




Feet, yes I said it that forbidden word on all blogs and Youtube channels across the country. But yes we all have them, and sadly foot care couldn't be anything other than one big fat chore. However that being said I'd prefer too get my scrub on and have healthy feet. 

Without sounding like a 'cheesy' foot advert, did you know that the average human walks 5210 steps per day? That’s crazy, if there’s any part of your body that deserves a little TLC it’s definitely your tootsies. Now, I’m no foot obsessive and quite frankly foot care bores me to tears but I do take care of them all year round (not just when summer approaches) as it’s something that is generally quite important to me. Sandals + dry, cracked heels well let’s just say it won’t be trending anytime soon! 

I’ve tried my fair share of foot scrubs but for some reason I always return to this one by The Body Shop. Many foot scrubs I have tried are not abrasive, now when you have a body scrub that’s perfectly understandable but for a foot scrub I want something super abrasive and rough in texture. This peppermint foot scrub is super abrasive (this wins the right to use the word pumice in it's name) refreshing and cooling on your feet. It’s not bitty (not like the ones that end up down the drain) this clings to your feet. You can use this in the shower too, I find with some foot scrubs they leave residue behind, which is a no go when your in the shower but this one leaves no oily residue behind on your feet.

This really is the most effective foot scrub Ive used, when I use this I notice a huge difference. This manages to leave my feet feeling moisturised and super soft. Sandals at the ready now I’m just waiting on the sunshine…

What are your favourite foot scrubs? Why is everyone so afraid of feet, granted there not the sexiest thing in the world but we all have them I’d prefer to look after them….

*If you saw my Animal testing post you may have noticed I mentioned the Body Shop test on animals, this is incorrect however The Body Shop are owned by L'oreal a company that do test on animals. So in theory by buying Body shop products you're supporting a company that do animal test, but the product itself isn't tested on animals. It's a tough one!*
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27/03/2014

Liz Earle Hot Cloth Cleanser

Liz Earle Hot Cloth Cleanser

In all honesty my skin has never got on well with balm, or oily textured cleansers as they always tend to leave a residue that breaks me out. I'd pretty much fallen for my Kiehls cleanser we were even approaching HG territory, then my eczema flared up and well lets just say thing's weren't working between us. 

Towards the beginning of last year me and the Liz Earle Hot cloth cleanser had it going on, my skin loved it, I loved it. I guess the beauty blogger in me just felt an itch to try something new, I'm very happy though to report that the hot cloth cleanser is back in my life and hopefully for good. 

This cream cleanser leaves my skin soft, nourished and refreshed. It removes make up effortlessly, and rids my skin of daily grime all whilst feeling super gentle on the skin. I find this cleanser to be super hydrating too. This packaging feels super luxe, the ingredients list looks pretty spot on sometimes it's easy to forget that this much loved cleanser is under £15! 

I use this cleanser morning and night, I love to really work the product into my skin I think spending time working the product in (essentially giving your skin a face massage) allows the cleanser to get deeper resulting in a brighter, radiant complexion. When removing make up, I apply the cleanser and remove with a flannel, I then go in with a second round and remove with my muslin cloth to ensure all make up is removed. Afterwards I wet the muslin cloth and gently buff any areas of my face that are congested, I follow with a splash of cold water. My skin just feels really soft, moisturised and clean (without the squeaky stripped feeling.) 

I've been using this for three months now and I can already see a significant difference, in the texture, and overall appearance of my skin. The clusters of spots, and eczema have eased up drastically. For the first time in months I actually felt confident enough to go make up free (see picture here) as I'm so happy with my skin. The Liz Earle starter kit seems to have made such a difference to my skin

A few months ago I bought another balm cleanser from a different brand that's currently waiting to be tested but I'm very reluctant to stop using this as my skins the happiest it's been in months. It may be worthwhile mentioning that this cleanser seems to be hit or miss for a lot of people, this does contain eucalyptus so if your not a fan of a herbal smell this won't be for you. I also want to mention that for me the Liz Earle cleanser doesn't last I buy the 100ml pump bottle and I literally go through one of these a month, I use one pump in the morning and two at night. That's my only gripe with the product. 

Have you tried the cult classic that is Liz Earle hot cloth cleanser? Like/dislike?  Favourite cream cleansers? 
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25/03/2014

Blogger Love Tag


Oh I feel like such a 'real' blogger, I haven't done a tag post since my Libester awardI was rather chuffed when Laalaa from Dolce Vanity tagged me to do the Blogger Love Tag (check out her blog it's a favourite of mine!)  I'm a bit of a loser in the blogosphere and rarely get tagged *plays violin* which makes this post even more exciting for me.

1. What was the first blog you ever came across? 

Hard question. Weirdly enough I actually discovered Youtube before blogs, Allthatglitters21 was one the very first people I ever watched on Youtube. Through Youtube I discovered blogs, the first ones I came across were most likely VDM, Lilly Pebbles, Zoella or Tanya Burr. 

2. Favourite blog reads. 


 3. Best blogging friend.

I don't really have any blogging friends, I'm a loser like that! 

4. Name a blog that enables your purchases.

Oh dear so many, so so many. I swear I'd be a millionaire if it wasn't for blogs. To name one Belles Boutique I don't know what it is, Laura comes across so genuine, sweet and down to earth in all of her reviews it's the sort of blog I visit and end up writing a wish list as long as my arm. 


5. Five blogs everyone should be reading.


6. Your favourite way to read blogs.

A big cup of tea, a huge slice of cake and preferably jim jams. Bloglovin is my best friend I follow so many blogs, I love having a full feed so I can browse through on my phone in my lunch break at work. I also use the 'Reading list' tool in safai where all of my absolute top blogs are saved. I browse these daily…it takes a lot from a blog to make it to my reading list. 

7. Bloggers that inspire you.

So hard there's so many that inspire me. I love how much time and hard work most bloggers put in- bloggers seem to be a dedicated bunch.

8. Favourite blog design/look.

Simple, clear, crisp and clean. That being said I do sometimes find a blog with literally just black and white a tad uncreative. I quite like a black/white theme with colour thrown in here and there whether that be through blog buttons, text colour, or images there has to be some colour. 

9. What is your favourite thing about blogging?

Planning content, trying new products and photography. I also really love the blogging community as a whole your all so lovely, since blogging I've literally received zero nastiness, it sounds silly but in the short time I've been blogging I've felt really welcomed. I enjoy all the twitter chats, and I love hearing all your recommendations. 

10. Name a blogger you would most like to see write a book in the future!

A book, ooh this is hard perhaps Amy from Salted Roses her book could be called 'Fashion for dummies' I literally need/want all of her clothes. 

I tag everyone, anyone who reads or fancy's a go at this tag or simply feels like sharing some blog love your all tagged. 
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24/03/2014

LUSH Rub Rub Rub



Blue gooey goodness, this scrub just reminds me of the seaside and well...the sea (I have a simple mind.) I love that this scrub has a little bit of grit but still manages to be every so gentle on my body. The smell isn't fantastic, but I don't find it lingers on the skin. Smell aside I can see this working for lots  of people as it can be used two ways, for those who like a little grit use dry (straight from the pot) for some harsher scrubbing or for those who like that smoother polish use wet either way skin is left silky smooth and soft. This is my third pot, I've tried other scrubs in between but for some reason I keep returning to this one. The texture isn't glopey and I just find this easy too use, this does a great job of keeping my skin flake free, smooth and ready for sunshine. Smooth pins-check, sunshine....well that's not happening any time soon.

What are your favourite scrubs? What are your favourite bath and body products from LUSH?
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23/03/2014

Changing Your Blog Name


You may have noticed my blog has had a name change, previously known as ‘Subject Beauty’  now ‘Rinica Writes. So why the name change? 'Subject Beauty' was well umm restrictive and although I’m not 100% happy with my new name it will allow a little more flexibility on the topics I can post. Posting about food or lifestyle isn’t something an audience would necessarily expect from a blog named ‘Subject Beauty.’ Over the next few months I'm hoping to mix up my blog a little and post some lifestyle, fashion, food, D.I.Y and fitness style posts. Needless to say my main hobby and love will always be beauty bumf so for all of those people who enjoy my reviews I can confirm they will remain a permanent feature here on my blog.

Enough ramble. Today I thought I would write up a few tips all of this will probably already be known in the blogging community but for a newbie I was pretty much on my own and a post such as this one would have been a huge help.

1. Choose your name

I’m still not 100% happy with my blog name, and in all honesty I really can’t give any tips or tricks for choosing a name. Throughout brain storming I came up with some fabulous quirky names but sadly they were all taken. The harsh reality is 9 times out of 10 the name you think of will mostly likely be taken. I will however mention the following site http://namechk.comThis site allows you to check a blog name (URL) for it's availability on blogger/wordpress as well as all the social media platforms. Consistency is key, so try to aim for the same name across all of your social media platforms, previously I had to have twitter @Subjectbeauty1 and @Subjectbeauts on instagram so if you can't get your exact blog name see if something similar is available. 

2. I've chosen my name, what now?

Wahey the hard bits out of the way.
Now you'll need to change your blog URL(in blogger) in the left sidebar click settings-basic-blog address and change your current URL too your new name. Simples. Don’t forget to also change your blog title as this appears on the top of the window on a laptop or tablet (when people access your blog.)
3. Make changes 

After changing your URL. You need to change your header, followed by your pages and any places on your blog that reference your old name. There's actually a lot more references to your name than you think (as I discovered) so have a good old check. Changing your header is easy if you have a blank template (like I did) if you don't however contact the person who designed your header and they should hopefully be able to send a blank copy that you can edit in picmonkey. For those of you who have a header with a typed name it's even easier to change.

The next job is too tackle your social media platforms (the bit I was dreading, in all honesty it couldn't have been easier!)

Twitter- Luckily Twitter allows you to change your follow name whilst keeping all of your existing followers (whoo) it’s straight forward go to settings- profile name and change.

Instgram and Pinterest- Again Instagram/pinterest  allows you to change your follow name and keep existing followers

Bloglovin- Perhaps the platform I was the most worried about (as it's my main traffic source.) Access your bloglovin page and DO nothing that's right even though you've changed your blog URL don't attempt to edit/change any info yourself. Bare in mind that at this moment in the process all existing posts on bloglovin will be inaccessible to your followers (as they link to your old URL.) if you change your URL, blog name or anything  you WILL loose followers. Click ‘help’ and contact the bloglovin support team. In your email explain that you would like to change your blog URL name but keep your existing followers clearly display the old URL and the new URL it will replace. In your email also politely ask if they will ‘claim’ your blog in the process (saves a whole lot of fiddling around!) I was fortunate enough to receive an email from bloglovin within a couple of hours (wahey!)

4. Don't forget to change your social media buttons

Edit your social media buttons so they all land in the right place. When you edit HTML you should see a link to your old social media platforms delete and replace with your new link (it’s really that simple!) If your anal like me you may also wish to create a new email address to coincide with your new blog name. Although my blog is PR free, I like to have a separate email for any enquiries, guest posts or challenge’s I’m taking part in.

5. Write a post

Everything’s updated and you’re relatively happy about your new name, creating a post will let existing followers know  that your still you. I genuinely didn’t think anyone would notice when I swapped my blog name, but within the first hour I already had queries and a few confused tweets.

So there's my 5 tips everyone probably knows all this, but when I took to twitter it was a very mixed bag of responses about losing followers, so hopefully this post may prove useful to any bloggers who are thinking about a name change.

Are you happy with your blog name? Do you prefer blogs with one main topic or varied posts?
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20/03/2014

LIZ EARLE Superskin Concentrate


Having plenty of dark spots/pigmentation I truly am a fantastic guinea pig for any products that ‘claims’ to lighten, even skin tone or improve skin texture. Now I know that pigmentation is pretty much there for life but I truly do believe that using quality skincare, improving your diet, using SPF and a targeted treatment can lighten to some extent by improving skin texture. 

If you read my Clinique dark spot corrector updates here and here you'll see from the pictures (and moaning) that battling an uneven skin tone truly is a huge issue for me. It's not pretty and it can make me feel super conscious at times as it just makes my skin appear so dull. I’ve dithered about purchasing rosehip oil for quite some time, there appears to be a lot of stigma surrounding it, It fades scars, brightens dark marks, controls oil, improves breakouts-can one little oil really achieve all that? Well, I have to say so far I’m very impressed (I’ll insert a bare faced picture below) but in the 2 months using rosehip oil my skin has transformed and my dark marks are a whole lot lighter. Using rosehip oil has not only helped to fade the scars/dark spots I already have but this has also helped prevent new pigmentation forming. The viscous circle of tackling pigmentation I already had with new spots forming was truly getting me down. But this really has helped significantly. 

I own the travel size of the Liz Eare Superskin  which comes in a handy rollerball, you can apply the rollerball directly to your face, or apply to hands warm and massage (my preferred method.) I believe the full size of this comes with a handy pump. I like to apply this at night, as I find the whole oil/massage thing super soothing. This isn’t a dry oil but my skin doesn’t feel tacky in the slightest, I hate going to bed with loads of stuff plastered on my face and getting that sticky pillow feeling (yak!) Although it can be tempting to rub rub rub, I recommend pressing the oil onto skin first then going in for a massage as I think this way it allows the product to seep deeper into your pores. With the word ‘concentrate’ in the title, this truly does feel super luxurious and my skin feels like it’s getting a double boost with this. With this being concentrate your advised to apply  2-3 times a week, although be warned it can be very hard to resist using this every night. 

As I haven’t tried rosehip oil before I don’t really have anything to compare this too, but I have truly noticed a significant improvement in my skin. It feels a lot smoother, looks a lot brighter, my skin seems a lot less oily, and this does wonders for those pesky under the skin spots. My only negative is smell, yeah the smells really not for me super herbally

As well as containing rosehip oil this also includes softening argan (something I usually reserve for my hair)  soothing neroli, lavender and chamomile essential oils plus antioxidant natural source vitamin E.

In the morning my skin appears brighter and feels ultra-smooth. I really do love this and I can see rosehip oil being a permanent fixture in my skincare routine. As I’ve seen results with this I’m very reluctant to try rosehip from another brand , that been said I am very curios about Pai’s offering…   

Have you tried the Liz Earle Superskin concentrate? If you suffer from dark marks, spotty skin or an oily complexion do you find using facial oils improves your skin? Any tips for us uneven skin folks? 

P.S If you have a few moments to spare, I'd love if you could fill in my survey here 
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18/03/2014

Topic 6: 5 Foods that I'm NOT eating (and should be) + Food Trials


Now there's no denying I'm a foodie, I love cooking, eating out and nothing gives me greater joy than getting my bake on. But sadly I like all of the WRONG foods. Chocolate, sweets, cakes I have such a sweet tooth. In this post I didn't want to roll out food's you should be eating as quite frankly my diet isn't glowing (I'll never win the healthiest woman of the year award) but although my diets not 'clean' or 'lean' I most certainly have the knowledge and know the foods I should be eating. So today's post shall be focused on skin foods, foods that will get that skin glowing and healthy as we all know that healthy skin, nails and hair all starts from within (unfortunately!) 

1. Get your peel on
Yay, who doesn't love a juicy orange (well except when you work in an office there a faff to eat) turns out vitamin C is great for the skin. Vitamin C is a critical nutrient for your immune system but also one of the best nutrients for your skin. Vitamin C promotes healthy collagen growth in the skin, hair, and nails. Vitamin C can also prevent free radicals (this helps combat bacteria and toxicity in the body.) Not a fan of oranges never fear you can get your daily vitamin c fix from strawberries (yum) blueberries, raspberries, leafy greens and even broccoli (who knew!) 

2. A* 
Vitamin A, not one I hear much about in the beauty industry but if you suffer from dull uneven complexion (like myself) read on. Vitamin A is a nutrient that can help to keep skin clear, it can fight acne, bacteria, combat uneven complexions and can even brighten up dull skin. Apparently the best form of vitamin A is through leafy greens (yuck!) I can't lie this is something I have difficulty with as I hate most green foods. Not too worry if you hate your greens (like me) you can get your vitamin A fix from peaches, goji berries, squash and even sweet potato. I love sweet potato. 

3. Something smells fishy 
Well I couldn't do a post about skin foods without mentioning that good old omega 3. Omega 3 is vital for skin health, without it skin can be dry and appear older (eep.) Omega 3 fats help plump up your skin, repair damaged skin cells, and fight inflammation (that leads to acne.) So I hate fish, I'll eat tuna, battered cod that's about as fishy as it gets in my life. So if your not an oily fish fan there are lots of alternatives, flax seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds (a whole lot of seeds.) Blast them into a smoothie, or cheat and take a supplement like I do (your probably not getting the same kind of benefits or nutrition but I guess it's better than nothing!)

4. Have a cuppa 
Not a fan of green tea? Neither was I, after forcing my 3 cups down daily I discovered a lovely alternative. Peppermint tea which is known for its healing and calming properties. Not only can it aid digestion, relieve stress  (a common acne aggravator ) but it can also help with headaches and clear sinuses. If you suffer with sensitive skin or acne peppermint tea can help calm inflammation. In all honesty with green tea or peppermint tea you need to be drinking 3-4 cups daily to truly notice any benefits (it takes commitment!) 

5. Water
Nuff said right? Were all guilty of it. I drink lots of squash, but in all honest I think you need good old hard core water to be getting any benefits squash just adds sugar. Try adding  a slice of lemon for a …well in all honesty it's still nothing fancy but the lemon makes it seem more special! 

Food trial

From the dawn of time people have insisted spots/greasy food give you spots, and well I guess we've all believed it. As with all trials I attempted four weeks, as that's the average time to notice any sort of difference in the skin. For the month of January I attempted clean eating, zero chocolate zero take outs minimum greasy food and a relatively 'clean' diet. In all honesty I still had spots, there wasn't less spots, my skin didn't miraculously clear there was no radiant new me. So although I do believe diet does effect the quality of your skin I don't believe it makes you more spotty. Exercise, lifestyle, stress and products all play an equal role in the quality of your skin. And I guess sometimes it's all about good genes. 

What are your favourite skin foods? What are your favourite healthy snacks? Do you believe chocolate gives you spots? I'd love to know (I'm nosey like that!) 
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17/03/2014

New Blog Challenge + Survey


Some of you may have noticed from my button to the right there I'm taking part in the #2014Bloggerchallenge I do hope your all enjoying my posts for that, I know back in January a few of you were upset about missing out on the opportunity to take part so today, I'm writing to tell you all about a new challenge that I'll be taking part in ... And you can too! 

The challenge was created by the lovely Gemma from Touch of BelleThe #BloggersDoItBetter posts will go live every fortnight on a Monday! Everyone who signs up will be sent an email with the post topics. The topics are going to be based on what Gemma has read in magazines (she thinks we can do a better job!) The topics are there to give you ideas and to inspire you to post something you wouldn't normally post about!

Challenges such as this one are a a great way of getting out of your blogger comfort zone! Through the challenge I'm currently taking part in I've discovered lots of new blogs and I'm really enjoying writing about topics. 

Anyone can get involved, whatever your blog topic! Whether you write about cooking, beauty, lifestyle or fitness. If you take part in the #BloggersDoItBetter, you'll discover new blogs and make friends with new bloggers!


So what are you waiting for fellow bloggers head over to Gemma's post here, leave a comment with your name, email address and blog link. Hurry though as the challenge has already received a lot of interest and with the first topics going around the beginning of April I wouldn't delay! 

#BloggersDoItBetter will you be taking part? I will be... 

Survey


Before you all rush to Gemma's post can I also use this opportunity to promote the survey I have created. It's 6 general questions about my blog (that would help me out an awful lot) there are a few things blog wise at the moment that I could do with some opinions on and the questions I've created would help an awful lot.
https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/J3TR5TJ
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16/03/2014

Mother's Day Gift Guide


Mothers Day is just around the corner (30th March to be exact) so what do you buy the mother that has everything. I'm not really one for 'money making' holidays but I always have time for Mother's day. If your mums anything like mine, she doesn't relax or have 'me' time, she constantly puts everyone before herself and knows how to keep everybody happy, for this alone she truly does deserve a whole day dedicated to some relaxing, pampering and TLC. So today's post will include a few 'gift ideas' that may help or inspire...

Flowers- okay I know what your thinking not innovative Rinica but stay with me. There's nothing like receiving a bouquet of flowers to really brighten up your day. Previous years I always used to use a local florist, they deliver there reliable but by gosh are they super expensive! In recent years I've discovered Next, there affordable prices (prices range from £15-£20 includes delivery) and varied selection they've slowly become my obvious choice when Mothers day rocks around, or when someones poorly. So there really is no excuse ladies and gents, affordable flowers.

Perfume- Okay, another obvious choice but perfume is always a fail safe option. If all of your other plans fail you can always rely on a bottle of her favourite perfume, practicable, predictable but every girl needs perfume.

Photo album- I once gathered lots of old and new photos, and placed them all in a photo album for my mum to open up on mothers day, if you have your pictures on a SD card or film and you live in the UK Boots offers a really great affordable printing service. This gift not only adds a personal touch, but also provided hours of entertainment looking through lots of old funny photos. If your a dab hand at D.I.Y you could also make your own scrapbook. To this day my mum says this is one of the best gifts she received. So if your mums super smushy a la mine this may be an idea

Books- If your mums a bookworm (like mine) you could buy her the next book in that trilogy she's reading…

Skincare/Pamper products Why not buy her some pamper product, whilst she's reading her new book she can use the bath goodies to have a full on pamper session. My mum doesn't get much 'me' time, so I make sure to always stock up her stash on mothers day. Elemis, Body Shop, Soap & Glory and Sanctuary do some lovely pamper kits that she's sure to love

Weekend away/Lunch/Dinner- If your feeling flush, why not book a weekend away or spa day for you and your mum (Groupon do some great deals.) If your not feeling flush, why not take her for some lunch, me and my mum will often just go to Pizza Express, it doesn't have to be the most expensive place in the world mums will appreciate being able to spend quality time. If you want to go all out, why not get your cook on (perhaps the most stressful out of the 3 options.)

What will you be buying for your mum this Mothers day?
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13/03/2014

Debated Decisions #1 Animal Testing

My Rabbit

As so many of you enjoyed my ‘Am I a real blogger’ post, I decided to start a new series called ‘Debated Decisions’ if anything this will allow me to do some chatty posts, on particular topics that are of interest to me and hopefully to you too. 

Today’s topic is all about animal testing, and cruelty free brands. Not the prettiest or most pleasant of subjects, but it’s something I’ve wanted to look into for the longest time. So, I decided to dig my head out of buried sand and take to good old google. There’s no doubt this is a controversial subject, and at the risk of my post sounding judgemental I’d like to mention, I use products tested on animals (not intentionally) and yes I’m a meat eater so I guess this raises the question of why do I care? We are in the 21st century folks and there’s so many brands who are able to avoid animal testing but still produce high quality products, with high quality marketing so why can’t more brands get on board? In my opinion if it’s not necessary to hurt animals to ensure cosmetics are safe for humans than why not just stop animal testing all together?  But this also raises the question of the pharmaceutical industry, again they test on animals but without doing so medicine would by no means be as advanced as it is now. One could argue though that medicine advancing is a necessity whereas cosmetics are not. Questions, questions and more questions. 

After following/talking too several of you on twitter, and Instagram it seems like the majority of you beauty lovers are also animal fans. I've had rabbits for as long as I can remember. I've grown up always having a pet in the household there like part of the family. I asked myself the question what if someone took my rabbit held him in unthinkable conditions, and continually plastered him in chemicals/cosmetics. After putting it into this perspective I did get a little annoyed and angry that companies continue to do this to animals when there is no need. Many brands who held a cruelty free status in the UK, now distribute products to China, a country that by law requires animal testing. 

So onto the research bit, I began by looking at the brands that I use (and love) and I was disappointed to see the majority are indeed tested on animals-

Origins- Oh Origins why? I’m a huge fan of Origins products. This did surprise me as there was a time that Origins was a cruelty free brand, but as with most they became ‘big’ and started shipping to China resulting in the cruelty free status being removed. Origins are labelled as a natural brand with great ethics which seems misleading if you ask me.  When questioned (at an Origins counter) the sales assistant was very reluctant to discuss the brands ethos.

Clinique- Similarly to Origins, Clinique had a cruelty free status but again this was scraped in order to sell products in China. This information is pretty hidden on the website, and is not very clear to customers.

Burt’s Bee's -Another shocker as everything is labelled as 'natural and earth friendly', but the brand itself is owned by a company called 'Clorox' who unfortunately are not cruelty free

Here’s a few more (Korres is particular surprising as there ingredients are pretty spot on) -Bumble and bumble Caudalie, Korres, L'Occitaine, Mac, OPI and Stilla cosmetics.

I could literally go on and on (that would be boring) but the list of brands that aren't cruelty free by far outweighs the ones that are. But never fear there’s good news there are also tons of brands (that are favourites of mine) that are cruelty free (horray!)

To name a few-Soap & Glory (yes!), The Body Shop *Update Body Shop are apparently owned by L'oreal and are NOT cruelty free* NARS, Ilamasqua, Anastasia, The Balm, Bath and Body works, Dermalogica, Dr Bronners, Eco Tools, EOS, Fake Bake, Hourglass, John Frieda, Josie Maran, Liz Earle, Melvita and Murad

So, perhaps purchasing products from cruelty free brands isn't as difficult as I originally anticipated as many of my favourite products also fall into the ‘cruelty free’ category. To wrap everything up as (I’ve rambled an awful lot) I can’t help but think in an ideal work brands should be more transparent with customers regarding animal testing. Whether the brand is cruelty free or not should be something that is displayed openly on product packaging and ideally on the home page of their website. I also think brands should most certainly not be able to market products as clean, natural, and organic or earth friendly if animal testing is carried out. 

What are your thoughts on animal testing, cruelty free brands? Would you continue to use products from brands that you know carry out animal testing?
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11/03/2014

Clinique Clearing Gel

Clinique Clearing Gel

I'm not the biggest fan of acne/ spot treatments, the majority are super drying and can often leave my skin feeling dehydrated, tight and just looking a whole lot worse. 

What's unique about the Clinique clearing gel is that it can be used on large areas of your face, which is slightly different to the targeted treatments we see on the market. This has a gel like texture and is quite astringent on the face, that been said my sensitive skin didn't become irritated or break out further using this. 

The Clinique clearing gel is designed to be used in substitute for your toner. Your routine would be cleanser, clearing gel and moisturiser. From trying the product for a few weeks I wouldn't recommend using a toner in conjunction with this product as I can imagine it would be too much for most skin types. You can apply this morning and night, to apply on your entire face you have to work the gel in quickly as it dries very quickly. Once applied it feels tight and looks kind of doll like its odd as usually these types of products also make my face feel dry but I didn't find this happened. Once you apply your moisturiser over the gel it completely dissolves away, no traces of the product are left (it's like it was never there!) it's truly bizarre, but skin doesn't feel tight, look dry or flaky. 

This product is designed for long term use, when spots are cleared this acts a preventative layer to stop any further spots from reaching the surface of your skin. I recently had 3 spots all at the same time, with this product applied the spots reduced in size significantly after two days, 4 days later and the spots were gone. I'm not sure how this product works with under the skin spots as I haven't had any to try this on....yet. 

In comparison to the Origins spot remover I prefer Clinique, although this does leave the skin tight (before moisturiser) skin is never dry, I found at times the Origins dried the skin and left pigmentation where as the Clinique gel doesn't leave me with any brown marks or further pigmentation it's less drying on the skin. I see the Origins one as more if a targeted treatment (for one spot) whereas the Clinique gel works better on clusters of spots, and acne.

Overall I'm impressed with this, I'm not sure if this will work for everyone as I can imagine some people not liking this as it does feel like a strong treatment. If like me your suffering from routine breakouts, over the skin spots I highly recommend, since using this my spots have cleared and they haven't left any nasty pigmentation which is everything I want from a spot treatment. 

Have your tried the Clinique clearing gel?  
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09/03/2014

Au Naturel #1 -Greener Alternatives + Coconut Oil


For 2014 I set myself a difficult challenge, which so far I've failedwell okay perhaps not failed just ignored. Three months into the year I decided to revisit my challenge and get on board. 

The challenge in question is all surrounding awareness, and I'm already relatively surprised by some of the research (more on that later.). Generally I want to be more aware about the ingredients I am putting into my body, I want to be more clued up on ingredients and just generally more aware of the brands I am using. Now this challenge isn't about me 'going green' I simply want to be try to introduce some greener alternatives into my lifestyle. I'll always have products in my collection that will always be favourites that probably have toxic written all over them, but my journey is about learning. I want to know why these ingredients are toxic and what potential risks there are from continued use followed by an educated decision as to whether to ditch or keep. 


I'm a huge fan of the lovely Rachel who runs the blog 'All natural aspirations' she's done some fantastic posts/videos on going green, and where to start. Rachel manages to be extremely informative and has some fantastic D.I.Y posts (that I can't wait to try.) After a recent twitter chat Rachel suggested I have a read of a book called 'No more dirty looks' which I'm currently working my way through. 

Hopefully this series will be enjoyable or informative for anyone like myself who wants to become more aware about brands, ingredients and clean cosmetics. I aim to do product reviews, and a few D.I.Y posts chucked in for good measure.

Today I wanted to talk about coconut oil, 100% raw organic coconut oil (see link here) I purchased my huge tub from Ebay for a rather affordable £4.49. I've previously read about the fantastic benefits of coconut oil, but I've always stayed well clear in fear that it would be super greasy however I was wrong and over the past month I've been using this little tub of goodness for just about everything and anything. So here are my top uses for coconut oil-

1. Cooking 

You can use coconut oil in replacement of vegetable oil to fry foods. Before buying coconut oil I'd heard about the health benefits but I'd always worried it would overpower other flavours in a dish with a coconut taste, in all honesty I don't notice the biggest taste difference. Using coconut oil is only like using vegetable oil, no funny after taste, no weird smell just fried food that's a little bit healthier. I'm converted. 

2. Hair treatment 

You can use coconut oil as a pre wash treatment, simply warm the oil between hands (it's magical how this balm transforms into oil in contact with heat) apply through ends of your hair avoiding roots. Comb through tie hair up and leave for half an hour or so before washing. You can also use this post washing, mix your regular conditioner with a small amount of coconut oil and apply through ends. I've noticed the biggest difference in my hair condition since using coconut oil. Warranted I don't have the worst condition hair but after using coconut oil my hair is noticeably softer, shiner and more manageable

3. Body 

The lovely Molly from (Lyon Notes) also suggested using coconut oil as a body moisturiser. I've never been a huge fan of body oils, in all honest slippery greasy skin is just a no...so I did initially shun this idea. But one wild day I went for it and now I'm addicted. This doesn't leave my skin looking greasy or slippery, skin just has a lovely sheen to it, after using this I actually had the urge to get my pins out (sadly weather not permitting) I can imagine long term use would improve skin tone and texture as I've already noticed my skin looks and feels way softer.

4. Removing make up

Cleansing balm, massage into skin and remove with muslin cloth  this removed every last trace of make up, I found the oil to work really well at removing eye make up too. This worked on my sensitive skin too didn't feel aggravated or unhappy. 

5. Shaving cream

Yes you heard right apply and get shaving. Beware your razor will be super gunked up (nice) but if your like me and only use razors once this is super effective. Soft smooth legs. 

So there we have it, whats amazing is I've probably only just touched the surface on uses for coconut oil it truly is a tub of wonder there's so many different uses I can see my tub lasting for ages too as a tiny bit truly goes a long way.

Are you a fan of coconut oil? What are your favourite 'green' products? Any D.I.Y posts I'd love to check them out... 
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06/03/2014

NARS Creamy Concealer- Caramel


It’s not very often I fall in love with a product, but love has blossomed and in all honesty I don't know where I’d be without this product. Since buying this in January I’ve literally not thought about or used any other concealers. Now, me remaining faithful to a concealer rarely happens as I just don't get on with the majority. Previous concealers have always been incredibly drying, caused creasing throughout the day and in some instances have even made my dark circles/bags worse.

I'm not working with the best eye area, I suffer from dark circles, puffy eyes and sadly eye bags (I blame working behind a screen all day.) It may be worth mentioning that I also suffer with a sensitive eye area, I have to be very careful with mascaras and eye cream. I can gladly report though I have zero irritation with this, I find myself reaching for it on a daily basis, it's just such a reliable product when I’m ill or sleep deprived (which seems to be an awful lot) I reach for this and guaranteed I'll look awake, glowy and dark circles are covered. 

Although the NARS makeup artist said this couldn’t be used on spots, I use this on spots all the time (ooh what a rebel!) for those big 'I'm going nowhere' spots this really does help, I'm not saying the spot will vanish but this does make them appear less noticeable, this covers redness around the spot really well. To be hygienic I like to apply the doe foot to my finger, dab the spot and blend using my RT contour brush. This doesn't look cakey, and doesn't feel heavy.

I own a lot of highlighting/illuminating concealers, so I’m super happy to have found one that literally just covers dark circles and blemishes. As later nights take over, and I become a regular #bblogers chat addict I can only see my dark circles getting worse so I'm happy too have something to hand that covers, concealers and brightens

As the name would suggest this is super creamy in texture, but one thing I shall mention if you suffer with dry skin around your eyes, an eye cream is a must before this as I did find it dried under my eyes ever so slightly- not enough to put my off as it’s just so good! This is the perfect partner to my Sheer glow foundation that I reviewed over here

Have you tried the NARS Creamy concealer?
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04/03/2014

Topic 5 Nail Care



When Gabby's email popped up in my inbox I couldn't help but chuckle, me talking about nail care is laughable why you ask? Well I'm the worst person to give nail advice, a quick glance at my half chewed down nails confirms all. With nail care out of the question, I looked at nail art if you viewed my 'Am I a real beauty blogger' post you'll know that again that's out of the question. With these chubby hands and sausage fingers (cheers dad) all nail art is out of the question, I mean don't get me wrong it looks pretty, but I just ain't got the time, patience or motivation to attempt nail art oh and having the worlds shakeiest hands doesn't help either. 

So today's post is nail care please take  this post with a pinch of salt as per the above. 

1. Don't bite

Yes, I need to practice what I preach. I'm a biter, I know it's gross, but I get so much pleasure out of biting my nails, yes I know there's bacteria, grime etc but this doesn't seem to stop me. When I'm bored I peel polish, when I'm nervous the biting starts. To tackle this, I'm doing the 30 day bite free challenge. For 30 days I'll attempt to quit my childhood past time, going cold turkey will be hard but I do think my nails will benefit and look a lot healthier if I can really crack down on this. 

2. Oils 

Cuticle oils, faff to use laborious task to do but they really do make all the difference to the appearance of your nails, they also make tidying those cuticles super easy. I swear by Butter London's Handbag Holiday oil, this comes in a nail polish style bottle making it super easy to, brush rub and your done. This isn't super greasy, absorbs quickly  and smells amazing (if you could bottle up summer holidays it would be this smell.) I recently picked up the Essie cuticle oil, which I plan on doing a little review on but so far Butter London still holds the top spot.

3. Remove those cuticles 

Now to some people this isn't essential, but in all honesty I really do notice other people's hands, if there dry, if the cuticles look messy (I know superficial!) if anything this gives me encouragement to tackle the issue once a month. I personally think once a month is enough, plus it freaks me out pushing them back (kind of like nails on a chalk board) you'll need a cuticle pusher backer, cheap and cheerful is fine they basically all do the same job anyway! You can opt to massage oil into cuticles and get your push on, or apply a little body moisturiser (works really well!) If you fancy something a bit more fancy, try the Sally Hanson cuticle remover (super cheap on Amazon) this is a gel, you apply to cuticles from the bottle and leave for a few seconds (it tingles) this basically loosens the skin around your cuticles makings pushing back much easier! 

4. File and shape

Since buying a Leighton Denny file I've seriously not looked back. Invest, and buy one now. This takes the effort out of filing one swipe and perfectly shaped nails are yours. Great quality too and can see this lasting years. 

5. Polish 

I've found a multitasker in the world of nails or nail care this is a good thing for me! Top coat and base coat wrapped in one. This Sally Hanson double duty polish, strengthens the nail, prevents stains and pro longs polish. Applied over polish your left with a glossy finish,chip free nails for just over 7 days (trialed and tested) which for a regular pot washer like myself *plays violin* is pretty impressive. 

So there we have it my 'top tips' in all honesty I'm known to skip a few of these steps every once in awhile, as nail care is just so darn boring. What are your top tips for keeping your nails in tip top condition, I'd love to know hopefully I can gain some motivation for my talons! 
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