Get Ready With Me!

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In this blog I decided to do a step-by-step ‘Get Ready With Me’, showing you how I take achieve my daily make up look. This is the kind of make up I wear every day, it’s really versatile and perfect for someone like me who wants to make as little effort as possible- I know it sounds like a lot when you break it down like this, but it normally takes me about 30 minutes to do. Every product shown here (apart from the two Lush ones) were bought from Boots, and the majority of them are extremely affordable, with the exception of the Benefit products. I should also say I’m not sponsored by any of these brands (but I wish I was!)

Before I apply my make up, I cleanse and tone my face with LUSH’s Ultrabland and Tee Tree Water. These are great for removing any leftover make up residue and they help to balance the skin’s natural oils. I’ve been unwell this week so I’ve got a bit of a breakout on my forehead, so the antiseptic properties of the toner water are really good for helping calm that down.

IMG_2496I then moisturise my face with Simple Kind to Skin Protecting Light Moisturiser SPF 15 (£4.35/125ml). This has a great, non-greasy texture and absorbs really quickly into my skin.

I also use Simple Kind to Eyes Soothing Eye Balm (£3.65/15ml). This is soothing and cooling under the eyes, which are a definite problem for me.

 

IMG_2581IMG_2590I think it’s really important to use a primer before applying your make up. I currently use Barry M Flawless Brightening Primer (£5.99/30ml) which is bright purple! It sinks so quickly into my skin and leaves it really smooth. It contains hibiscus which is great for an even skin tone, and is a great base for keeping your make up looking fresh and lasting longer. It also helps to reduce the appearance of pores.

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IMG_2607Next I like to use a BB cream. I swear by Rimmel London BB Cream Matte in Light (£6.99/30ml). I have quite an oily T zone, so this is great for mattifying. You can wear it as a base for foundation or alone. It’s SPF 15 which is fantastic for protecting the delicate skin on your face from UVA and UVB rays. It claims to minimise pores, even skin tone, mattify, control shine, smooth, sooth, conceal dark circles, help prevent blemishes and provide all day coverage.

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IMG_2656I’m always changing up my foundation. The latest one that I’m loving is Maybelline Superstay 24H Foundation in 05 Light Beige (£8.99/30ml). It’s a really affordable, medium coverage foundation that lasts all day without transferring or rubbing off. It doesn’t crease too much around the eyes which is one of my pet peeves, and I don’t have to keep powdering throughout the day. This is great if you’ve got combination skin like me: it controls shine but doesn’t dry out my skin. It’s also a really good match for my skin tone, which is rare because I’m so pale!

IMG_2684IMG_2727The next product I’m loving at the moment is the Maybelline Instant Anti-Age Eraser Eye Concealer in Light (£7.99). This is a great buildable, non drying concealer that you can use for dark circles, blemishes and basic highlighting. In my opinion, it’s a bit on the pricey side for a concealer, but you only need a little bit so it lasts for ages.

IMG_2746IMG_2767Now I’m no expert in the whole ‘contouring’ craze, but the Maybelline Master Sculpt Contouring Palette in Light/Medium (£6.99) is great for novices like myself. I usually only use the bronzer in this palette, because I prefer to use a liquid highlighter. It’s a subtle colour and blends well, while providing buildable colour. And it gives me cheekbones! Hurray!

IMG_2791IMG_2808I’ve used the same blusher for ages now: Rimmel London Lasting Finish Soft Ciolour Blush in 020 Pink Rose (£3.99). It gives me a lovely, natural tint to my cheeks and it blends really nicely. I naturally get quite flushed, so I tend not to use a massive amount of blusher, but this just adds a nice bit of colour.

IMG_2816IMG_2839Next: the brows! I was relatively late to the brow game, but now I feel completely naked without them. I’m naturally quite fair, and my eyebrows are very patchy. The two products I use are Benefit Brow Zings Eyebrow Shaping Kit in Light (£24.50) and Benefit Gimme Brow Eyebrow Gel in Light/Medium (£18.50). These products are quite expensive, but I absolutely love them, and after trying what seems like hundreds of brow products, they’re the closest match to my natural colour. The Brow Zings has a pigmented wax for shaping, and then a natural-shaded powder for setting. I then use the Gimme Brows to add fullness and keep the hairs in place. It’s also waterproof which is great- no one wants their brows running down their face when it rains.

IMG_2849IMG_2863I prefer a liquid highlighter, so I use Rimmel London Good To Glow Highlighter in 001 Notting Hill Glow (£4.99/25ml). You only need the tiniest amount of this, and it’s really good for people who want a natural glow. I use it on my cheeks and brow bone to add a bit of dimension and radiance.

IMG_2886IMG_2901When I want a little extra coverage, I like to use Max Factor Facefinity Compact in Porcelain (£10.99). This has SPF 15 and can be used alone as a powder foundation. I use a light dusting to mattify my make up and add a bit more coverage. It doesn’t dry out your skin, and if I do find I need to sort out excess shine on my face later in the day, a little bit of this sorts it out really well.

IMG_2927IMG_2938Moving onto eyes now. I’m not a bit fan of eyeshadow (mainly because I’m not very good at it!), but I do like to sweep a little bit across my lids before applying my eyeliner. For this I use Revlon ColorStay Shadowlinks in Oyster (£2.99). This adds a touch of sparkle and is a non-creasing powder. It also acts as a primer for my eyeliner and stops it smudging onto my upper lid.

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IMG_3004IMG_3018I’ve done the same eyeliner flicks since I was 16, and I’m really picky about the products I use. I’ve been using The Body Shop Liquid Eyeliner in 01 Black (£9) for years, but it’s such a pain to get hold of. They only ever seem to have it in brown in store, so I normally bulk order it online which ends up getting pretty expensive. Last week I decided to try out the new Maybelline Master Ink Matte Liquid Eyeliner in 10 Charcoal Black (£4.99) and it exceeded my expectations. Not only is it almost half the price of The Body Shop one, it’s pretty much a dupe for it! The pen is slightly different, but it’s a nice fine tip that’s perfect for winged liner. It’s a long-lasting colour that doesn’t crack like a lot of liquid eyeliners, and after a particularly bad anxiety attack last week, I can now tell you it’s cry-proof!

IMG_3053IMG_3164Being fair-haired, my eyelashes are really blonde, so I’m obsessed with mascara. My all time favourite is the Benefit They’re Real Mascara in Black (£19.50), which I currently layer with Maybelline Lash Sensational Waterproof Mascara in 1 Very Black (£7.99). I start with a coat of Maybelline, then Benefit, then Maybelline and then Benefit. I also use the Benefit one for my bottom lashes. It might seem crazy to layer them like this but I’ve been doing it for years and it’s become a habit!

IMG_3120To make sure my make up stays in place, I use the Maybelline Superstay 24H Setting Spray (£6.99/75ml). This is lightweight, quickly absorbed and refreshing and extends the wear of your make up. I’m one of those people who used to use hairspray (yes, hairspray!) to set my make up, so I’m so happy to have found an affordable setting spray that actually works!

 

To take this look from day to night, I can simply add a red lip. I start off with EOS Smooth Sphere Lip Balm in Vanilla Mint (£6.50) which smells incredible and leave my lips lovely and soft.

IMG_3177IMG_3190I then like to line my lips. For this look I used Maybelline Color Sensational Lip Liner in 540 Hollywood Red (£3.99) – they do one in the same shade as the lipstick I use but I’ve run out! This is perfect to prevent the colour of your lipstick bleeding into your skin, keeping a nice clean line for your lips.

IMG_3206IMG_3217To finish off, I use my absolute favour lipstick: Maybelline Color Sensational Lipstick in 547 Pleasure Me Red (£6.99). I’m completely in love with this formula and the colour, and I currently have three of them (one for my make up stand, one for my handbag, and one for emergencies!). It’s a creamy, moisturising lipstick that gives a fantastic, bold, long-lasting colour that I find really suits my complexion. So if you ever see me out with red lipstick on, 9 times out of ten this is the one I’m wearing!

So there you have it! These are the products that I use every day, and I love every single one of them! Thanks for reading!

Jessica xXx

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January LUSH Review

I’ve recently become absolutely obsessed with LUSH. I love not only their products, but their ethics. I’m no vegan, but I love the ethics of LUSH, so I’m totally up for supporting a brand that not only refuse to test on animals, but that talk about it so proudly.

So here are the products I’ve used/been using over the past 8 weeks. I’ve decided to rate them out of 5 in terms of:

  1. Smell
  2. Texture
  3. Effectiveness
  4. Value for money
  5. Overall rating
Ultrabland

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I had heard so much about this product, so it seemed silly not to give it a go. This is actually my second pot, and I can honestly say it’s changed my entire skin care regime. You only need to use a small amount, and I use it in the mornings to make sure my makeup has a clean base, and most evenings to remove my makeup. I now find I hardly ever use facewipes (apart from the rare occasion I’ve been out drinking and need a quick way to take my makeup off that doesn’t involve standing upright), which I’ve found is not only better for the environment, but much better for my skin. I have combination skin, which means my T zone can get really oily. Before I tried this product I thought it was completely ridiculous to use an oil-based product on my skin, but it actually helps to balance my skin, stopping it producing excess oil that it feels it’s lacking. This has become a real staple in my routine.

Smell 3/5

This product doesn’t really have a smell, so it’s difficult to give this a fair rating. It’s not amazing: a little reminiscent of play doh, but it’s not unpleasant. It’s just average.

Texture 4/5

Ultrabland is so silky and soft on your skin. It can sometimes feel a bit greasy, especially if you’re using it to take your makeup off rather than applying to bare skin, but overall it feels lovely.

Effectiveness 5/5

I think I’ve made it clear by now how much I love this product. Since first using it about 8 weeks ago, I’ve seen a real difference in my skin. It’s less oily, less dull-looking, and my gigantic pores have shrunk dramatically.

Value for money 5/5

The first pot I bought was the 45g one, which is £7.50. Now that I know how amazing it is, I’ve moved on to buying the bigger 100g pot for £11.95. In 8 weeks, I’ve got through the 45g pot and about a quarter of the 100g pot, which saying that I use it every day (and often twice a day), I’d say a little goes a long way!

Overall rating 17/20

Overall, I am completely in love with Ultrabland, and I can’t see myself liking another cleanser more any time soon. It’s amazing. Try it.

Dark Angels

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Having used a few charcoal-based face masks before, I knew that it was a great (if unusual) ingredient to use in skin care products. It’s especially good for unclogging pores, and Dark Angels is no exception. I use it every morning in the shower, and I always feel like I’m getting a really deep clean.

Smell 0/5

It’s sad, but I really have to mark this product down on the smell. I know charcoal isn’t the nicest smelling thing in the world, but other charcoal products I’ve used have managed to mask the smell a lot better than Dark Angels does. Some mornings the smell is very over-powering. It supposedly has sandalwood and rosewood oils to give it an ‘earthy’ smell, but I’m really not a fan. The only saving grace is that it doesn’t leave a smell on your skin, so you only have to stomach it for the 30 seconds you’re using it for.

Texture 4/5

I’m always on the lookout for really good exfoliators, and I’m often disappointed in the roughness of the products I buy. Dark Angels does not disappoint on this front. You take a tiny piece and add water, making it into a paste, and it turns into this amazing, gritty exfoliator that feels like it’s actually doing something.

Effectiveness 3/5

I do love it, and I always feel like I’m getting a deep clean from it, but it doesn’t remove residual eye makeup as well as other exfoliating cleansers I’ve used. My skin always feels really lovely and soft after using it, so it must be doing something!

Value for money 4/5

I paid £6.95 for a 100g tub, but you can also get it in a 250g tub for £17.35! I’ve been using this product every day for three weeks now, and I think I’ve used around a quarter of my tub, so a 100g tub would last me around 3 months (which is about the time it expires anyway).

Overall rating  11/20

I do really like this product, it was something that I’d never even heard of at Lush so I thought I’d give it a go. I haven’t noticed a massive difference in my skin, and although I love the amount of texture in it, I don’t feel like it does a lot more than my normal face wash. Maybe if it had a better smell I’d be more inclined to re-purchase, but for now, I’m on the fence.

Mask of Magnaminty

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I think I first learned about this product after watching a video from ‘Beckie0’ called ‘TOP TEN LUSH PRODUCTS!’ In this video, she advises you to buy the self-preserving mask which contains honey, over the not-self-preserving which doesn’t, so that’s what I did! The mask is tailored towards people with breakout prone skin, which isn’t really my skin type. I’ve never really struggled with acne, but I do get the occasional ‘face demon’ as grav3yardgirl would call them, so I thought this would be a useful product to have on hand for those occasions. I’m actually wearing it right now!

Smell 5/5

I am completely obsessed with mint-smelling products, and this is no exception. It’s packed full of peppermint oil, and when I was in the Lush Exeter store with my sister buying this, I kept going on about how it smelled so good that I could literally eat it. I love it.

Texture 3/5

Now I love exfoliating skin washes, but I struggle to like the texture of an exfoliating mask. I like the traditional thick face masks that go hard after 5 minutes so you can’t move your face. I don’t know what it is, but I always feel like the less you can move your face, the more a face mask is doing. Which is obviously completely wrong but I can’t help it!

Effectiveness 2/5

I don’t know if it’s because I just don’t get that many breakouts, or it’s just not suited to my skin, but I honestly haven’t noticed that much of a difference in my skin. I’ve used it about twice a week for three weeks, and it does leave my skin feeling soft and refreshed, but it hasn’t really made a difference to my face demons.

Value for money 3/5

I bought the 125g pot for £5.75, and you can also get a 315g pot for £9.95. I feel like even though there are mask I prefer from LUSH, for the right person this could be really good value for money. To be honest I’d pay that much just to be able to smell that glorious peppermint smell.

Overall rating 13/20

It’s a nice mask, and my skin feels amazing after I’ve used it, but I think I’ll be trying out another face mask next time more better suited to my skin type, rather than repurchasing this one.

Tea Tree Water

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I bought this because I’d seen it on my sister’s bathroom shelf, and was totally curious.  It’s described as ‘antibacterial, antiseptic and antimicrobial’ and is basically a toner. I love that it’s in a spray bottle, it makes it so easy to use, and reduces the need to use cotton wool to apply it to your face. You can literally just spray it a couple of times on your face and that’s all you need. I use it every day after cleansing with Ultrabland.

Smell 3/5

I wish this smelled more minty! Or at least citrusy, since it’s got grapefruit in it. It’s got a kind of medicinal smell to it, but it’s not overly strong or unpleasant.

Texture 5/5

It genuinely feels like your just spraying a bit of water on your face, and it sinks in so quickly. I can start applying my moisturiser pretty much immediately after spraying this because it just goes straight into your skin.

Effectiveness 4/5

I have noticed a clear difference since using this. I often suffer from red patches on my face, and it really calms them down immediately. It also helps to control the oils on my T zone, which is always a plus for me.

Value for money 4/5

I bought the 100g bottle for £4.50, and it’s also available in a 250g bottle for £8.50. It’s a bit more difficult to tell how much you’re getting through, and I feel like it would be very easy to use it all up very quickly, depending how liberal you are when you spray it on your face. I tend to use about 4 sprays each time I use it.

Overall rating 16/20

I’ll definitely be repurchasing a toner water from Lush, and I would love to try one of the others they have on offer. The Tea Tree Water has completely replaced my Body Shop Seaweed Toner. It’s just so much less faff, and I’m all for products that reduce the amount of time I have to spend on my skincare routine.

Seanik

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For ages I’ve wanted to try a shampoo bar. I’ve heard so many good things about them, and I’m notorious for buying shampoo, getting halfway through it and getting bored and buying something different. My shower is littered with half-empty bottles. Seanik contains seaweed, sea salt and lemon to give shine and volume, two thing which my hair often lacks, so I thought this would be the perfect one to try out first!

Smell 3/5

I did smell a couple in the store that smelled amazing, so this had a lot to live up to. It’s a nice, subtle smell. I can smell the lemon in it, and the hints of jasmine, but it’s not over-powering.

Texture 4/5

It’s tricky to give this a ‘texture’ rating, so I took into consideration how well it lathered which I was pleasantly surprised with. It’s literally like a bar of soap, you can either rub it in your hands to work up a lather and then apply that to your hair, or rub it straight into your hair for the same effect.

Effectiveness 4/5

I’m definitely a shampoo convert, and I now totally get it when beauty bloggers say that they wouldn’t go back to liquid shampoo. It leaves my hair soft, shiny, and I have noticed a difference in volume.

Value for money 5/5

I have a feeling this bar is going to last me ages, and I paid £5.95 for it (and £2 for the reusable tin to keep it in). £5.95 might seem like a lot for a little shampoo bar, but I’ve been using it for 3 weeks and it hasn’t got any smaller, so I think it’ll last me ages! And if you think about it, you spend about £4 on a bottle of shampoo that probably doesn’t last as long.

Overall rating 16/20

I’ve been completely won over by this little shampoo bar, and I can’t wait to give some of the other ones a go! I’ve not tried any of the solid conditioners yet (I’m trying to use up all the random bottles I have scattered around my bathroom), but I’m definitely open to giving one a go.

So overall, I’m loving the products I’ve purchased recently from LUSH. I’m totally in love with the brand, and I fear it would be very easy to spend an awful lot of money in there! One thing I love is that if you’re not sure on a product and you don’t want to buy it and run the risk of hating it (they’re not cheap!), they’re happy to give you little sample pots to take away and try before you buy. Another helpful hack is that once you’ve used up five tubs or tubes (unfortunately the spray bottles like Tea Tree Water aren’t included), you can take them into store and get a free fresh facemask! It’s a great incentive to recycle, but please make sure you rinse your pots out first, as apparently it’s not uncommon for people to bring in mouldy pots… Not nice.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this blog: I’d love to do more beauty-related posts and maybe even some YouTube videos, so watch this space!

Jessica xXx

 

 

I’m A Walking Cliché

Okay, I admit it: I’ve made some New Year’s Resolutions. New year, new me and all that. But in all honesty, I made a list of resolutions last year, and I realised recently that without really thinking about it, I had achieved every single one of them. Granted, they were things I knew were going to happen (pass my driving test, get a car, move etc.), but isn’t that the point? To set yourself achievable goals? What is the point in making this long list of far-fetched ideas that you know in the back of your mind aren’t realistically going to happen.

So this time around, my resolutions revolve around my mental and physical well-being.

  1. Learn to cope. My last blog post was about my struggles with GAD, and in it I mentioned my desire to find coping mechanisms to help ease my anxiety. 2016 is the year I take my mental health seriously. If you want to know more about it then head over to my previous blog post. 🙂
  2. Be healthier. I’m all too aware that in the past few months, my once pretty healthy eating habits have changed, mainly because of my working hours. I can’t remember the last time I had my ‘five-a-day’, done exercise that wasn’t emptying the glass wash at work, and I’ve been really bad at keeping myself hydrated with anything other than tea. Lots and lots of tea. I’m also really bad at staying away from dairy, which is a problem when you’re lactose intolerant. And yes, part of me wanting to be healthier is out of vanity. I’ve put on a bit of weight, I’m not as toned as I once was, and my chins are so prolific that my family have named them.
  3. Indulge my creativity. I am constantly making excuses for why I haven’t read a play, practised my keyboard or just messed around on my guitar for a while, when really the time I spend justifying not doing things to myself could be used actually doing them. I’m particularly keen to start writing music, something which I’ve found to be a challenge in the past. And I want to read more. I can’t actually remember the last time I got through a book.
  4. Be a better friend. The past few months, I’ve been a bit crap. I’ve been rubbish at keeping in touch with a lot of my friends from school and uni, again making the excuse that ‘I’m always working’. But it’s not good enough. My life doesn’t revolve around work, and I’m the kind of person who really values friends and family over anything else. I really need to start showing that more.
  5. Go to the cinema/theatre at least once a month. I’m an actor. It’s what I do. So why is it that I can’t actually remember the last time I went to see a film or a play? I’m literally sitting here straining to think of what it was. No idea. Not a clue. First on the list: The Danish Girl.
  6. Grow my hair. I want to be a princess, okay?
  7. Blog more. That goes without saying really. I’ve not been the best at posting on here, and I have so many ideas about things I want to write about that it seems silly not to make this a resolution.
  8. Get a tattoo. Sorry mum. But I’m warning you now: it’s going to happen this year. And I’m so excited.

I’ll probably add to this list, but for now, I have a few things that I want to achieve, and that more importantly, I know I can achieve. I think it’s good for a person to set themselves goals. It gives you something to strive for. So if you think I’m a cliché, well… I’m okay with that. 😉 I also  fucking love making lists.

Jessica xXx