Debated Decisions #2 Life Of A Secret Blogger

Everyone starts their journey into blogging with different intentions, for some it's a little corner of the Internet where they can share their interests, for others blogging is a career choice. For me blogging is my creative outlet something I can work/build on, I wanted a little corner of the Internet a space to share my thoughts, write up content and get snap happy. At the time I didn't consider telling friends, family or colleagues, but does anyone when setting up a blog? In all honesty it never crossed my mind so, as the months rolled on my life as a secret blogger began...

Snapping product/selfie pictures daily, having a skin care stash that's over flooded the bathroom, and becoming completely unsociable every Wednesday and Sunday evening it was only a matter of time before someone caught on. So when my Mum asked about my increased time behind my laptop (yes my parents are nosey like that) I decided to show her my blog. I felt embarrassed about sharing my blog with friends, family and colleagues. But one day I asked myself the question, why? Why am I blogging in secret? Am I afraid how people will react? Possibly the latter, to someone who's not into beauty could my blog be portrayed as vain? Self centred? Shallow?

My Mum was actually…impressed and even questioned if I'd written the posts myself (yes mum it's all me!) Not the reaction I expected in the slightest my mum was super supportive. As the months passed and my twitter obsession grew it was only sooner or later before friends and colleagues found out about my blog. It still came as a surprise though when I was munching on my sandwich in the staff kitchen to hear 'Hey I heard you blog…' I felt mortified, embarrassed, and just wanted the floor to swallow me up. But after a short tumbleweed moment I replied, played it cool and said 'Why yes, I do have a blog.' And it suddenly dawned on me why should I feel embarrassed/ashamed, my blog is something I should be proud of it's my little space on the world wide web where I can write content, that hopefully someone somewhere might enjoy or even find helpful or useful in some way. I put a lot of time into my blog weekly, on pictures, writing so why shouldn't I share it with friends or colleagues?

So now my whole office knows, my life of a secret blogger has come to an end. And you know what I'm happy. No one laughed, no one called me vain and I've even gained a few new readers in the process. I do however feel like people see me differently, it's quite easy to get roped into the world of beauty blogging but I'm just a normal average girl. People make the assumption that as I write about beauty/skincare I'm some sort of expert in that field. I've been asked about reoccurring rashes, the perfect concealers, anti ageing skincare, I did find myself reminding people that I really am no expert I just write about things I like/discover.

In all honesty telling friends and family about my blog was one of the best things I've done (in terms of blogging) it's made me a little more confident and I feel like I have lots of support from friends and family. I'm able to share my blog more openly with people now as my invites slowly increase for events in my local area I'm glad that I now feel confident enough to direct people to my blog, and promote my blog a little more. We all spend so much time writing content, snapping pictures and getting the editing just right so why are we so afraid to share?

If you're a blogger have you told friends and family? If not, why?


Clinique City Block Sheer

Having dark skin makes me more prone to hyperpigmentation.  It’s something I’ve learnt to accept over the past few years. It’s upsetting at times as on a whole my skin (without bragging) is in pretty good condition, but hyperpigmentation has the ability to make my skin appear dull, uneven and patchy. Although the pigmentation I have at the moment is bad I’m prepared to do everything I possibly can to prevent any further pigmentation developing on my skin.  After reading a lot of different articles I came to the conclusion that in order to protect my skin and avoid any further pigmentation SPF would be an essential.

The information we receive on SPF can be confusing for the average joe (like me) having visited my fair share of beauty counters I have to say that there’s a pretty mixed bag of responses in regards to SPF. For example take the KIEHL’S counter I was told that as my skin type is oily/combination wearing SPF daily would only worsen my skin and block pores it would not be recommended, on the other hand the Clinique counter told me that SPF rain or shine should be worn, to contradict this I was then told at a Liz Earle counter that having darker skin means that I already come equipped with SPF15 and added protection is not needed. After all that confusing conflicting advice I came to the conclusion that no matter what your skin type/tone/age/job SPF should be incorporated into your everyday skin care routine.

The Clinique city block (£16) is brilliant; I’ve used and repurchased this SPF for as long as I can remember. The texture isn’t slippery, greasy or sticky, applied to the skin this feels weightless and absorbs into the skin (unlike other SPF’s that sit on the surface.) This works brilliantly as a base for makeup, this doesn’t add unwanted shine or make my skin oily. This is just so lightweight and I love that it’s not greasy, this does have a subtle beige tint but once applied to the skin it’s totally translucent. This has never caused breakouts on my sensitive skin, or those pesky under the skin spots I get with other SPF’s. Although this does hydrate my skin, if you suffer with dry patches I would be weary as this can cling ever so slightly if you do have dry skin Clinique recommend applying your usual daily moisturiser followed by this SPF. As my skin is oily I haven’t tried this method of application as layering moisturisers would make my skin unhappy.

When I think of everything I want from an SPF I have that with the Clinique SPF25 city block, it’s just perfect and works so well with my skin I can’t imagine myself without this. The Clinique SPF’s in general work really well with my skin I’m a fan of the Superdefense moisturiser, and I’ve recently started to try out the Clinique even better SPF. And for my holidays I rely on Clinique face cream SPF40, which offers me higher SPF for sunny climates.

What are your thoughts on SPF? What are your favourite SPF products? 


Try Test Tell #1

I like to think of myself as a bit of a human guinea pig in everyday life, I like to tweak, review, and keep track of my diet, fitness and general lifestyle. Call me naive but if I read 'Three green tea's a day improve skin after four weeks' I'm most likely to try and see it through just to see if there is any noticeable difference. 

Constantly trying thing's inspired the 'Try Test Tell' series on my blog. The aim of this series is to try some of the talked about diet, fitness and lifestyle changes and report back on the results. Now as always a little disclaimer I'm not a nutritionist but I do believe that no one quite knows your body like YOU do. I know how I feel after certain foods, I know what makes me feel happy and healthy. The tips and tricks in this series won't be me promising a similar result to everyone as let's face it everyone is different but who knows these posts may prove helpful, useful or even inspire someone somewhere… *tumbleweed*

If you’re struggling with bloating and nothing seems to be doing the trick, gluten may be the problem. After getting asked 'when is it due' I decided enough was enough, I need to stop the tuck in and go approach and really tackle the root of my bloaty belly. So after reading a random article somewhere my ban on bread and pizza (boohoo) began. Through the month of March I was breadless, and craving  pizza. Prior to my 'gluten free' challenge I ate a lot of bread. Most mornings consisted of two slices of toast, followed by a sandwich come lunchtime and to top it all off some days I'd even have a slice of toast on my return from work to bide me over until dinner time. 

Although as far as I'm aware I don't suffer from celiac disease, it's been proven that you don't need to suffer from celiac disease to be affected by gluten. Some people may even have a sensitivity or intolerance without realising it. Wheat (because of the gluten that comes with it) is one of the most highly allergenic foods, it’s also been linked to bloating and IBS. Other side effects from gluten include fatigue, foggy mind, and headaches. 
After eating bread/pizza or anything with gluten in I felt bloated and sluggish so for me it was a no brainer to cut gluten out of my diet. So what did I notice? Well no more sluggish feeling after breakfast or lunch. Bloatiness was kept to a minimum. Dare I say it I even found I had more energy throughout the afternoon at work, feeling less sluggish and tired really boosted my mood and I just found I had more energy to get me through the day. Eating porridge and slow releasing foods at breakfast time meant I made it until lunch without my usually hungry feeling. In the short space of time I gave up bread I noticed a huge difference in my stomach physically my waistline had reduced… fair enough I wasn't rocking mega abs, but my stomach appeared a little slimmer. I wish I'd taken before and after pictures but in all honesty I didn't think there would be any change or difference in size. 

So guys if you suffer from a bloaty belly, tiredness and lack of energy and feel like you've tried just about everything why not look at reducing the levels of gluten in your diet. 

Have you tried cutting out certain foods from your diet? Do you avoid gluten? 


Skincare Sale!

After asking on twitter (@rinicawrites) it seemed like a couple of people would be up for a skincare sale on my blog, after finding a skincare routine that works for me I'm having a major skincare clear out in an attempt to condense my collection and stick to a routine-

The sale is for UK residents only
I will only accept Paypal transactions
Postage & packaging for each item will be £2.50 (prices shown below do not include postage & packaging)
First come first serve basis!

1. Oskia Renaissance Cleansing gel -full size (r.r.p £32.50) - £5 - Used for around four weeks only used about a quarter of product (more than half full) comes with pump. SOLD

2. Elemis Tri Enzyme face wash-200ml (r.r.p £29) - £5- Used once SOLD

3. REN Express Make up Remover- 50ml- Postage only- used once

4. Liz Earle Skin Repair (light) moisturiser for combination/oily skin - 50ml (r.r.p £19.25) - £2.50 - Used once comes with pump

5. Elemis Tri Enzyme resurfacing night cream- (r.r.p £95) - used once - £15 SOLD

6. Antipodes Avocado & pear Nourishing night cream - (r.r.p £32.99) - Used a couple of times - £3.50 SOLD

7. LUSH Tea Tree toner - (r.r.p £7.50) - Half full - £1.50

8. The Body Shop Chamomile Cleansing oil - (r.r.p £10) - £1.50 SOLD

9. Elemis Apricot Toner (r.r.p £22) - £5


Liz Earle Sheer Skin Tint

Liz Earle currently has a great offer on if you buy the skin care starter kit (£43) you receive a complimentary Liz Earle Sheer skin tint. The set includes the cult product that is the hot cloth cleanser, a full size toner, and moisturiser (you can choose one to suit your skin type.) I saw this as a fantastic opportunity to stock up on my skincare bits, the offer is available until the 29th May for anyone who may interested, see here for details. 

In the UK we've had some hot weather and this has pretty much been my every day base of choice. When it's hot I need something that I can put on effortlessly, something that won't be too heavy on my skin, and something that won't make my skin look oily, this ticks all the boxes for me. The sheer skin tint is available in four shades, I wear the shade 'deep bisque' although this shade seems too light it blends into my skin perfectly (the skin on my face is a tad lighter than my body.) Unlike the tutorial (on the Liz Earle website) I actually don't find this looks overly dewy on my oily skin, this evens out my complexion and just leaves my skin looking natural, fresh and radiant. The texture is similar to a BB cream, I don't find that this feels heavy on my skin, it's certainly not noticeable, as the name would suggest this really does look true to skin. This base just makes me look like I have clear perfect skin, not like I'm wearing foundation. 

I like to take a little and blend into my skin using my fingers, I find this is the best way of application I did try to use my Real Techniques buffing brush but as this has a lightweight creamy texture fingertips really do give the best results. Despite having 'sheer' in the name I do find this provides me with a good amount of coverage, without feeling cakey, heavy or greasy on my skin. If you have any redness or uneven skin (like me) this evens everything out. This covered up my pigmentation really well, and covered redness near spots. If you do have spots going on though you may need to go in with a concealer after applying this. I powder using the Soap & Glory One heck of a blot down my T-zone (out of habit) but I haven't applied any in the picture above, although the finish in person is a little more dewy. 

A lot of the reviews I've read have described this as feeling quite thick/heavy in texture but in all honesty I found the texture similar to most BB creams on the market. I didn't find that this felt overly heavy, it doesn't congest my skin or feel heavy on the skin. 

If you're after a light summer base that looks natural, dewy and radiant it may be worth heading to a Liz Earle counter to try the Sheer skin tint. 

Have you tried any Liz Earle make up? 


OOTD- Concrete Rose

I only have one rule when it comes to fashion boobs or legs, never both. However on this occasion the rules being broken (rules were made to be broken though right?) This Boohoo dress is a lot lower in the cleavage department than I originally envisioned. Boobs aside though I really do love this dress, it's so wearable, versatile and I just love the print/style.

Today marks the start of the Chelsea Flower show here in the UK so what better time to share my take on the floral trend, as lets face it the floral trend will always be 'in' and it's such a flattering print on all shapes and sizes. You can go all boho chick with flowers in your hair and although I love that look I love that this Boohoo dress is a little more on the edgy side. I think it looks perfect paired with these chunky boots from Misguided. I love mixing floral pieces with chunky boots or a leather jacket as I think the look still manages to look pretty and feminine but with a little edge.

My dress is from the Boohoo hyper floral collection, the shape is really flattering it hangs nicely. I do however think it should come with a warning the slightest bit of wind and pants will be on show (I experienced this first hand!) So make sure you wear your best pants ladies (or wear a little pair of shorts underneath.) It's super comfortable to wear and didn't feel too uncomfortable after a few pints (classy!)
I love Boohoo as I think they have super affordable pieces, the clothes always fit nicely and wash well. I like to think of Boohoo as a one stop destination for on trend affordable pieces (I recently made a rather large order there along with this dress…oops!)

So do you like my booties? I LOVE my Boots, they're from Misguided and they are just what I was after. I just love them, as they're suede there not very British weather appropriate, but I love the gold buckle detailing and chunky heel. The heels a comfortable height too, and for the price I just think they're a total bargain. I really didn't need more black boots (I have issues) but I do really like them.

Dress Boohoo Hyper Florals collection -£18 
Boots Misguided £40

Are you a fan of the floral trend? Do you like chunky boots all year around? How do you style your floral pieces?


Topic 10: My Haircare Routine

For topic 10 of the #2014Bloggerchallenge I'm going to be writing about my current hair care routine. I have to be honest and admit before putting this post together I truly did not realise I used this many products, although six products may not seem like much to some, it is for me as most of my routines consist of three products max. 

I start with shampoo, at the moment I'm using the new Garnier Ultimate blends one (I reviewed this here) overall this is a lovely hydrating shampoo that really cleans my hair without leaving any residue or stripping my scalp it's a lovely budget friendly shampoo that I'm enjoying using. I lather my shampoo on the scalp, as the hair at the scalp is the youngest therefore the oiliest part of your hair, whereas the ends are older (driest most fragile part of the hair.) I like to gently work the shampoo in using the padded part of my finger. Friction can cause breakage and frizz so it's important to be gentle! 

Next up is conditioner, I reviewed the  L'oreal range back in August last year, can you believe this conditioner is still going strong! So squeezing the remains I like to apply this from the mid lengths of my hair through to the ends. I never apply conditioner to my roots as it weighs my hair down and just makes things greasy. We all know the longer the conditioner is on the better it absorbs but what I love about this conditioner is I literally only need to leave on for a minute or so and my hair instantly feels softer, smoother and more manageable. If I do have some extra time (usually my Sunday hair routine) I like to mix my conditioners I usually take something like this (or my Garnier conditioner) and mix with a super rich conditioner (like the Lee Stafford hair growth treatment) I apply through the ends tie my hair up…now here's where things get weird but take a shopping bag (any bag will do) apply over the head and tie at the nape of your neck. I find that the added heat makes my conditioners work harder and my hair feels so hydrated and looks super shiny. You can buy special caps for this but I've found my shopping bag method pretty much does a similar job- I've done this for years, it's a great thing to do if you're carrying out an oil treatment on your scalp/hair too. 

As I only use heat once a week on my hair I like to go in with some protection, this Ojon (again reviewed back in August here) is one of the best heat protection treatments I've come across. The cream is lightweight and never weighs my hair down or makes it greasy. Even when I apply to much product my hair just seems to drink this stuff up, it also smells divine and makes the overall look of my hair shiny and frizz free. I just love this stuff it's not tacky/sticky in the hair and however many drugstore alternatives I've tried I just always return to this. I apply a blob (technical) and cover my hair, I then take  some of the Redken Anti snap serum through the ends of my hair. This serum helps protect the hair against breakage, although I can't see an instant visible difference with this product I feel like long term this has really helped with keeping damaged straw hair at bay! Again this product is lightweight, non sticky and is virtually weightless in my hair. 

Once the hairs dried I apply some heat spray, I usually use Tresemme or L'oreal, I'm not particularly smitten with this heat spray, if you go in heavy handed it can leave the hair a tad bit sticky but if you spray this at arm's length from the hair there doesn't seem to be any stickiness. This doesn't weigh my hair down, or leave my hair feeling lank. 

I LOVE this product. I recently bought the Ojon Dry recovery smoothing cream on a weekend away from a little beauty discount store, can I find this product anywhere? Nope, nada! My guess is that this is a discontinued product, I've already sent a desperate email to Ojon to ask if there are any shops that still stock this product as it's just so good. I've battled with frizz for years, all it takes is a tiny bit of moisture in the air and my hair is one mega frizzy mess. I've tried just about every drugstore product that claims to 'fight frizz' (usually by coating the hair in silicons) which does leave it super smooth and sleek but again moisture and the frizz is back. This product has literally changed my hair, heat, humidity, rain, you name it my hair takes it when I use this product literally the only thing that gets rid of frizz…please Ojon bring this wonder product back so I don't have to use this sparingly. 

What are your favourite hair products? What products have you tried that keep frizz at bay? Have you tried/liked/hated any of the products mentioned? 

P.S If you'd like to read the other nine posts I wrote for this challenge you can do so by clicking '2014BloggerChallenge' on the labels bit to the right!


LIZ EARLE Instant Boost Skin Tonic

Well here's a first for me, I repurchased a toner who am I? Without sounding like a crazy toner junkie I just can't be without my beloved Liz Earle skin tonic, when my original bottle ran out I had a crazy lady moment and in a state of panic rang my mum to ask (sweetly) if she could pick me up a bottle after work. Just to be on the safe side I keep two in my skincare stash now.

With toners you either love them or find them completely unnecessary. For me they're an absolute essential in my skincare routine they remove any last scraps of makeup, prep my skin for moisturiser and just generally leave my skin feeling refreshed and hydrated.

My skin absolutely loves calendula (as I discovered here) so it came as no surprise that the skin tonic also contains calendula this toner is full of naturally active ingredients including aloe vera, chamomile, cucumber and vitamin E which help to soothe and refresh the skin. This toner not only refreshes my skin but it's also super hydrating it adds a fine level of moisture. It may be worthwhile mentioning that this toner is super gentle and alcohol free it's suitable for the most sensitive of skin types. When I had my eczema flare up this managed to hydrate dry patches, brighten up my complexion and just really helped cool and calm my irritated skin. As this is alcohol free I don't find I get that dry tight uncomfortable feeling I get with other toners. 

What I love about this toner is although it's gentle it's still super effective at removing last traces of make up and daily grime. As this available in both twisty top and facial mist form I can imagine it being the perfect skin care companion for summer time when skins feeling a little hot and bothered. The facial mist is currently on my wish list.

This toner has greatly helped to improve the overall look feel and texture of my skin over the past few months. I can't see myself without it now it's a simple effective product that doesn't aggravate my skin in the slightest. I'm a firm believer in sticking with something when it works especially where skin cares concerned so I can see myself repurchasing this again and again. The packaging feel luxe especially for the price all Liz Earle skincare seems to be so affordable this toner comes in at a rather reasonable £13.25 my original bottle lasted me five months which I think is good value for money.

Are you a fan of toners? Have you tried the Liz Earle Skin tonic?


#BloggersDoItBetter- Bright Lips

Okay, so it's become apparent over the past few weeks that I'm very much stuck in my autumnal make up (where lipsticks concerned) deep berry and plum shades seem to have graced my lips for the past few months. But it's time to say no to berry shades and welcome spring/summer with open arms. 

After raiding my stash I found an unopened Rimmel Apocalips in Big Bang. Does anyone else do this? Buy bold bright shades only for them to remain unwrapped at the bottom of your makeup bag. I seem to have my comfort zone shades (berry) shades that are somewhere in between bright/bold and hide in the crowd, whereas pinks, reds and oranges are much louder shades. However I unwrapped swatched and wore this and I actually really like the colour. The formula in my opinion isn't quite spot on, things can get a little Miranda Sings but with a little practise I got my head around application. The lipsticks come with a doe foot applicator which I guess is supposed to make application easier, but actually makes things tricky and messy. Doe foot aside the this was super moisturising on the lips, super creamy and very buttery. Similar to the moisture renew lipsticks along with all this hydration comes a slippery messy lipstick. After trying lots of similar lip products I'm starting to think that matte formulas are the way to go where liquid lipsticks are concerned. All the negatives aside though the Apocalips range comes in a variety of shades, and they're super long lasting on the lips. However I did find that there was a lot of colour transfer when eating/drinking/breathing. 

However much I love this shade, I just find that this lipstick unlike other lipsticks in my collection requires a lot more maintenance. On a night out I like to apply my lipstick and leave reassured that they'll be no lipstick stained teeth situation but with this I was never too sure, and constant mirror checks did leave me looking a little vain. For me I think these require too much maintenance and although regular lipsticks aren't as long lasting I think I'll always be a regular lipstick kind of girl. Lipstick belongs in a bullet, lip gloss belongs in tube. Simples. 

Have you tried the Rimmel Apocalips? What are your favourite shades? Are you into brights or nudes?


GARNIER Ultimate Blends- Dry/Frizzy Hair

I'll hold my hands up and admit that I'm a hair care floozy. Loyalty and haircare don't go hand in hand for me. With hair care I usually go cheap and cheerful this usually involves picking up whatever happens to be on offer in the supermarket or Boots. I know a lot of people believe that drugstore shampoos/conditioners strip the hair and have a high alcohol content (my hairdresser being one of them) but after trying lots of shampoo's and conditioners from more 'premium' brands I have to say the results were exactly the same as my drugstore alternatives. That being said I do love Ojon, but if you find something that works for you and it's cheaper why not?

The Ultimate Blends collection is a new addition to Garnier. The collection consists of six 'tailored blends' aimed at mid/long hair, dry/damaged, frizzy, dull, coloured or normal hair so no matter what your hair type there's a product for you. I've never tried Garnier hair care products before so I didn't really know what to expect, going in with an open mind I picked up the shampoo/conditioner for dry/frizzy hair as my hair does lean towards the dry side and frizz is an everyday battle. Priced at £3.89 for shampoo and £2.79 for conditioner the price is pretty affordable. Even better Tesco had both reduced to £1.50 when I purchased - if that's not a bargain I don't know what is!

I have to say I'm a huge fan of coconut (I love using raw coconut as a hair mask) and the shampoo and condition smell amazing. The first thing I noticed was how gorgeous these smelt, if you're a fan of the Palmers body butters this shampoo/conditioner are the equivalent. The shampoo is a gel texture and foams (similar to most shampoos) this did worry me a tad as I suffer from a dry itchy scalp and gel shampoos do have a tendency to strip my scalp and leave it a little irritated. I need not worry though as the shampoo worked really well, this cleaned my hair without stripping my scalp and just was a general pleasure to use.

The conditioner had a buttery creamy texture, I applied this through the ends of my hair avoiding my roots and left for 10 minutes. For me this was the stand out product as it made my hair really soft. After rinsing the conditioner out my hair was a lot more manageable and less tangly.

So lets be real as with all products the advert does exaggerate a little, frizz won't be a thing of the past with these products, and you most certainly won't be able to step outside in the rain and your hair remains sleek/frizz free. But I have to admit my hair felt softer, looked a little shiner and the end result was a little less frizzy and less static.

I'm enjoying using these two purse friendly products and I've enjoyed incorporating them into my everyday haircare routine.

Have you tried the new Garnier Ultimate Blends? What are your favourite drugstore hair products?


OOTD- Has the bus come yet?

Big pat on the back for me finally a few outfit pictures where I look less Bob the plumber more me, not that there's anything wrong with Bob the plumber just not really the look I'm going for.

Although this outfit isn't anything spectacular I thought I'd share it with you as I think it's an easy everyday colourful summer look. My T-shirt is from River Island (they have some lovely things in at the moment) it's a great way of taking on the 'colour block' trend with minimal effort required. I love the neon yellow panelling I think the colour really pops against my skin tone. This T-shirt really brightens up what would otherwise be a pretty plain outfit, you could pair this with denim shorts, jeans or even tucked into to a pair of leather shorts. My jeans are New Look. I can't recommend New Look jeans enough, they have varied range of shapes and styles to flatter every figure. Some jeans look baggy in all the wrong places but I find New Look jeans fit really well and really flatter my figure. Most New Look jeans come in under £25 which for the quality, cut and how well they wash is a bargain. So if you're after a new pair of jeans but don't quite want to fork out on the Topshop  jeans (which I also love) check out New Look. The caged sandals are a couple of years old (sssh) they're real leather though and have survived several holidays they still look pretty good to say they've taken one heck of a beating, again these were from New Look. My bag is Zara, I apologise that the pictures don't really do it justice I'm planning on posting a 'what's in my bag' post pretty soon, but I purchased this bag for a cracking price  £25 on Ebay! I expected a bidding war, I prepared myself with a drink and snack at the ready but nope I pretty much won this without any effort on my part at all, the bag was brand new and came in it's original bag and packaging. I can't recommend Ebay enough for finding great clothing at affordable prices.

Bag- Zara Mini City Bag (sold out) 
Tshirt- River Island (sold out- only pink available)
Jeans- New Look 

For make up I kept things pretty natural and simple (as always) I used the 'Dr Brandt no more pores' as my primer followed by NARS sheer glow, NARS Creamy Concealer and the NARS Light reflecting loose powder (lots of NARS!) I used the Clinique high impact mascara, and on my lips is a combination of the Revlon lip butter (blotted down) in 'Berry smoothie' and S&G lip gloss in 'punch bowl.'

Do you like the colour block trend? What are your favourite shops for jeans?


Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel

As my Liz Earle Cleanse and polish came to a gradual end I decided to hold off on a repurchase in an attempt to try and use up some of the cleansers I currently have knocking about in my stash. I was very reluctant to use another cleanser as my skin is very sensitive and I don't like to chop and change my skincare a lot, but I prevailed and reached for the Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel.

I've never tried anything from Oskia before, nor have I heard much about the brand so I very much went in with an open mind. Oskia are an all natural British brand, they use 98% natural ingredients in all products they manufacture if you would like to read more about the brand see here. Coming from a regular Joe (no skincare qualifications as such) I do find the whole 'Nutritional skincare' thing that Oskia have going on a tad bit gimmicky, when I see the word 'nutrition' I immediately link this to internal, thing's we eat, drink not stuff we slather on the skin. So yes, after reading about the brand I was  a tad sceptical but here's my thoughts-

Quite contrary to the name this cleanser is NOT in any shape or form a gel cleanser. I took the pictures above in hope that they might give people an idea of what the texture of this cleanser is like. I have to admit the texture is odd and not like anything I've tried before. On first application the product is sort of jelly like with a salmon pink colour, when applied to the skin this transforms into a balm cleanser the texture at this point is quite oily, after massaging in I apply water, the texture turns milky and creamy (picture three) the oil dissolves into a milky cream cleanser that you can easily rinse away or towel off. Although I do think this adds a little bit of 'fun' to the cleansing experience I do feel like it adds unnecessary time onto cleansing as I felt like there were three steps on my cleansing alone.

So how does this perform? I've been using this for four weeks now and I'm still not sure how I feel, on first impressions it was love but after continued use I do think this cleanser for me has more cons than pros. As for pro's I do love that this cleanser works well with my combination skin. This hydrates dry patches, but didn't leave any greasy residue behind. After cleansing my skin never felt dry, tight or uncomfortable. This worked really well during breakouts calming painful under the skin spots. At the end of the four weeks, the texture of my skin has improved drastically and looks a lot clearer. However the biggest difference is the appearance of my skin. I've never found a cleanser that manages this before but my skin looks a lot brighter and more radiant. Pigmentation/scarring and dull skin seem to go hand in hand, this cleanser didn't reduce the pigmentation but the overall appearance of my skin looked a whole lot brighter.

For me though although my skin seems to love these oil/milky hybrids- I don't. It's going to sound lazy but for me a con is the amount of extra time added on to cleansing. In the mornings before work I did find that this added on a lot of extra time that sadly I just don't have. This also didn't do a fantastic job of removing make up, in all honesty this didn't remove make up in the slightest. I'm a fan of 'double cleansing' (make up remover followed by cleanser) but with this cleanser I felt like my skin got a little overwhelmed with the amount of products. Using an oil/balm make up remover, followed by slathering my face in an oil again (with this cleanser) just didn't quite work for me. For me this was another huge con as with my Liz Earle cleanser I can literally do two washes and all scraps of make up are removed (without the need to go in with further products.) Smell was also a big no no for me. Although this says 'rose scented' I didn't find the rose to be overpowering but I just wasn't a fan of the smell, it didn't smell clean more musky. Strangely enough this cleanser also made my flannels smell weird… okay I'll elaborate, I usually like to swap my flannel every 2-3 days but with this cleanser I had to change them daily, as I found that when my flannels dried they smelt like what can only be described as cat sick. After reaching paranoia stage I decided to stop using this cleanser and return to another cleanser (using flannels) and the flannels didn't smell, when I returned to this the smell returned… (ew.)

Will I repurchase? No, I think I'll give this a miss. Although I got this at the reduced price of £22.50 (Oskia had a £10 off first purchase offer) it's almost double the price of my beloved Liz Earle Cleanser (which I've already repurchased!) Sorry Oskia this just wasn't for me. On a side note I do want to mention how great the Oskia site is, when I ordered this the package arrived literally 2 days later, they include a little pouch with mini samples in and a brochure with Oskia products and skincare information I thought this was a nice added touch.

Have you tried the Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel?


OOTD-Singing In The Rain

After posting my very first 'OOTD' (scary stuff) I thought why not have a crack at this fashion thang, although I don't consider myself to be all that stylish who knows my posts may inspire someone, somewhere... and if all else fails take my posts as a fashion guide of 'How not to dress.'

Oh would you look at that Rinica's in monochrome again! It's okay guys and dolls don't call the fashion police I reassure you my wardrobe does contain some colour. Anyway everyone has that one fail safe comfy outfit in their wardrobe, the one you can chuck on without really thinking about it, the one you can eat lots of food in, this is mine. I've recently rekindled my love for my American Apparel leggings I enjoy pairing them with shirts, and polishing of the 'look' with my favourite kicks. If I'm not wearing Nike Blazers I usually just chuck on my Converse, New Balance or Vans. I will admit the American Apparel disco pants are super over priced but however much it pains me to say it there so worth it here's why-

They wash well (man when did I turn into my mum) no overstretching/baggy look you get with cheaper leggings
The colour lasts- No fading here folks
They're very slimming/flattering (especially around the waste line)
They're versatile
High quality and last a long time
They're not see through (sorry ladies that 'I can see your pants' look just ain't cool)

Shirt-Rihanna for River Island (Sold out)
Leggings American Apparel Disco Pants (Sold out) (I managed to get mine at £30 in the Asos Sale) 
Trainers- Nike Blazers

On a side note- I really want to get into posting more fashion related posts here on the blog, I know the pictures are a little amateurish at the moment what can I say I'm a not a natural born model, my poses are pretty awkward. If someone asks me to stand naturally I automatically go into my 'Jack the lad' pose (as demonstrated in picture 1.) If you have any tips or tricks for posing for outfit of the days please do let me know as it's something I'm working on. I also want to apologise in advance for the minimum make up look (I hadn't put my face on yet!) Oh and the weird blurry spot on my head (don't ask!)

Are you a fan of mixing formal/casual pieces? How do you style leggings?

P.S These New Look leggings here are kind of similar although there a little more matte looking and sadly have a button.


Topic 9: Music-My Running Playlist

I love that you can have the most stressful day at work, or be sat on a bus full of screaming children and all you have to do is put your earphones in and you have your escape from the world. Music for me is everything, it's relaxing, soothing, motivating and inspiring. My friend's call me the 'Playlist queen' as I have a crazy amount of playlists on my phone/Ipod, today though I thought I'd focus on the playlist I use for running/exercise. If you follow me on Twitter you'll know how much I love my running and having the right playlist is a must, especially if you're a lone runner like myself.

My music taste is a little weird I like anything from Lorde to Jay'z I really do have the most bizarre taste in music, for running though I like to keep thing's loud, trashy and annoying. Upbeat, repetitive, cheesy lyrics and an awesome beat are what I need to keep me running. My running music is something I would never listen to if I wasn't running as quite frankly it's just noise not the sort of music to relax me after a long day at work. Sadly that slow melodic indie song I love just won't get me moving that butt and pounding the pavements like the following songs do. Here's a snippet of the songs on my playlist-

Tidal Wave- Sub Focus Ft Alpines

Warm up track, perfect for when I'm in that walking, not quite running (but I'm already wanting to go back home) mood. Perfect dance track, and puts me right in the mood for my run.

Step It Up- Richie Sosa

Yup, that song from the Lexus advert. The beat on this gets me motivated. This is the song where the speed picks up. That's right sorry knees/legs it's time to get moving!

Don't You Worry Child

You'll have heard this one on the radio. It just reminds me of summer and although again not my usual style it does make me smile through the pain. Smile and run…smile and run.

Wake me Up-Avicii

Another one you'll have heard on the radio I like to do interval training with this song, slow jog through the slow melodic verses, when the beat kicks in pick up speed. By this point I'm loosing motivation but this song helps me keep the motivation..

Boomerang ft Pitbull

Boooomerangeeee, put your hands up. Sorry if this song doesn't get you moving that little bit faster I seriously don't know what will. Plus sexy beautiful lady are in the lyrics, I like to think that's me once the runs over…reality is I'm more beetroot than Boomerang!

Rihanna-We found love

Because quite frankly I'll never get sick of this song, it still gets me dancing.

Real-Years and Years

After hearing Katie Snooks/Andrew's version on this look book here. It reminded me how much I love this song. Unlike the other song's this is something that made it to my 'bus music' playlist.

For cool down, I opt for Beyonce or Alicia Keys for some feel good slow music.

What's on your exercise playlist? What sort of music do you like? Any songs I should add to my running playlist?
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