Wednesday 29 August 2012

Fighting Acne Breakouts

As you know, I like to post about DIY beauty on here from time to time, and I always trial them out before I write about them. Well about a month ago I was using Rose Water as a toner, as I'd heard a lot of great things about it, and after a few days of using it my skin had broken out in acne (so you definitely won't see me recommending rose water on here).

I used to suffer with acne as a teen, and I guess my skin is still quite acne-prone. I usually get the odd breakout now and again, but this was the first time I'd seen my face covered in acne since I was a teenager, but unlike in my teens (where the acne was mostly small bumps), this time a lot of it looked cystic. I stopped using the rose water straight away, but my usual drug store skincare was doing nothing.

I'm a huge fan of Caroline Hirons blog, as she is very big on skincare and if I ever need advice it's the first place I go. I've heard her recommend REN to a lot of people, and found they sold a cleanser for blemish prone skin, so I picked this up and a sample of their 'Invisible Pores Detox Mask'.
I have to say I'm pretty impressed with REN so far, and I saw the acne disappear so fast.

Of course it didn't go away over night, but after a month of using this regime (listed below) my skin is almost back to normal. Even the cystic acne has practically gone. They've turned into normal spots now, and I can tell they'll pretty much be gone in a day or two. I think a month is pretty amazing, seeing as when I was a teenager I had it for YEARS.

My Regime
REN Clarifying Clay Cleanser
REN Invisible Pores Detox Mask (2-3 times a week)
REN Hydra-Calm Global Protection Day Cream

REN Clarifying Clay Cleanser
Freederm 'Fast Track'
(I've found this really helped with the cystic acne, as it helped to reduce them quite fast. You can use this in the morning too, I just tend not to though as it makes my skin look dry, so it doesn't look great under makeup)
REN Hydra-Calm Global Protection Day Cream

I didn't want to add too many products to my regime as I didn't wan't to aggrevate the problem further. Once I'm completely out of the woods, and my skin has settled, I definitely want to add more products just to help take care of my skin in other ways, not just at fighting breakouts. 

This regime worked for me, but everyone's skin is different. My skin is quite sensitive and reacts quite easily to products (as you can tell by my reaction to rose water). I think investing in a decent regime is very important. I know for a lot of people acne is caused my hormones, but my skin is quite hormonal too so I do think a good regime helps, but you may also need to look into your diet and hormone levels too to combat the problem fully. It's also worth going to your GP, or even participating in Carolines clinics, which pop up on her blog from time to time, if you need more guidance. 

I hope you found this post helpful in some way. It worked so fast for me I thought it was definitely worth sharing with you guys.
Do you have any tips for combating acne and/or breakouts?


Tuesday 14 August 2012


I thought I'd do things a little differently today and review my favourite iPhone app. I downloaded it last year, and have loved it ever since!

Sometimes it's easy to forget about items that are hiding in the back of the wardrobe, and its even easier to get stuck in a rut, wearing the same outfits and sticking with what is 'safe'.
This app helps you catalogue your entire wardrobe from tops, to shoes, to accessories etc. That way you can see what you have, and create as many looks as you want with the items in you wardrobe. So you can see what works, what doesn't, and come up with new looks you probably wouldn't have thought of before - all without having to turf everything out of your wardrobe or make a mess - which, lets face it, a lot of us do!

It's also handy to have on your phone while you're out shopping and trying to decide on new items, as you can see your entire wardrobe and can buy things that actually go with what you already own, rather than buying things that don't go with anything, or (something I've done far too many times) accidentally bought different versions of the same thing!

I thought I'd take you through the ins and outs of the app so you can see why it's my favourite:

Organising Your Wardrobe

In the 'Closet' section you'll find all of your items, which you can organise however you want. I have categories for Tops, Dresses, Bottoms, Outerwear, Accessories etc. Within each of these categories you can add subcategories. So within my Shoes category, I have Flats, Boots, Heels etc. Above you can see all of my high heels (my shoe collection has been a bit neglected).

Adding New Items

To add items to your 'Closet', you need a photo of each item. The easiest way to do this is to try and find a photo of your clothes online, as these are photographed with a plain white background and have great lighting, and are so much easier to edit. 
However, if you can't find the item online, you'll need to take the photo's yourself. It works best if you have a plain white background, and try to take it in a well lit room (natural lighting is best). You can edit the background away within the app, but if the item is a bit of a fiddly shape I prefer to edit it on my laptop first using photoshop (there are free programs out there that are similar).

Creating Outfits

Once you've added your items to the app, you can start creating looks with them. Above are a few examples of looks I've made with my clothes, and you can arrange them into categories to help make it easier to decide on a look. For example if I can't decide what to wear on a night out, I'll just look at the outfits I've made in the 'Evening' section.


You can also use this app to collect images that inspire you, so if you see photos of inspiring looks that you love, you just save the photo in the 'Inspiration' section, and then when you're out shopping you can use it to help you find the types of clothes you need to recreate the look for yourself. 

I use this section a lot, and use it to inspire my makeup and hair styles too.

Planning Your Looks

The calendar section is handy to plan what outfits to wear in advance, so you don't have to stress about what to wear, and you can see at a glance what looks you have planned. It also helps that you can see what you've been wearing so don't accidentally keep wearing the same outfit.


As you can see I haven't really used this section, but here you can plan what items you want to take with you on holiday, or for a weekend away. If I ever DO go away this year, I'll definitely be using this as I have a habit of packing far to much, and not getting much wear out of it, or still feeling like I have nothing to wear because none of it goes together!

Style Stats

I really like this section of the app. It tells you what your most and least worn items/looks are. So if your wardrobe is getting a bit crowded, you can look here and see what you've never worn (and most likely never will wear) then you can decide whether you even really need it. Though you may also find you've just not worn them because nothing you own goes with it, so it could help you see what kind of items you do actually need in your wardrobe.

Final Verdict

I haven't got around to putting my whole wardrobe on here yet, and some of the photos that are on here I want to retake, but I'm planning on finishing it before the end of summer so I can finally start making outfits with my entire wardrobe.

This app cost £2.49, and there is a men's version of this app too.
It does seem a lot for an app, but there are no more add ons to purchase, and I really do think it's worth it for all the features. I definitely haven't regretted buying it.
-I've downloaded a 'free' app like this before, but it wasn't as good, and you could only add 5 items on there. If you wanted to add more you had to pay, which I thought was really misleading, and the end cost would have worked out so much more than this app for less features. I thought that was ridiculous, so I just deleted it.

This app, however, I'm seriously impressed with. The only downside to this app is that it's not available on android yet, only iPhone. But they are bringing out an iPad friendly version soon.
If you do have an iPhone and need inspiration when it comes to outfits, then I highly recommend this to you!

Have you tried this app before? What did you think?


Monday 13 August 2012

Real Techniques Stippling Brush Review

So you've probably been seeing reviews of Real Techniques makeup brushes, particularly for the Stippling Brush, so I doubt this needs another review. But it's still getting one!

I decided I wanted to buy more animal friendly brushes, so I started looking into synthetic ones. I also needed a better brush for applying my mineral foundation, so I thought I'd give this one a go. Before I ordered this one, I was using Elf's buffing brush, but wasn't really impressed with it. I ordered this brush from Love Makeup, and it arrived really quickly.

I have to say I love this make up brush! I know most people recommend buffing brushes for applying mineral foundation, but this stippling brush does the job perfectly, and gives me a flawless finish. It's amazing the difference a great brush can make to your makeup! I've mentioned before that I have a small head, and obviously with that means I have a small face, So I usually find most makeup brushes a far too big for my face, but this one is perfect! It fits my face well, and gets into all the contours around my nose and cheeks for great coverage.

I think this brush would also be great for applying powder blush too as it's narrow enough for contouring.
As I don't use liquid foundations or cream blushes, I can't comment on how well it works with those, but there are plenty of reviews out there where the user has used it to apply a liquid foundation.
The bristles are very dense, and not too long or flimsy. It's a nice sturdy brush, and it is so much better than any other stippling brush I've used! And it doesn't irritate my skin either (I've had troubles in the past with some brushes).

One of the things I really like about it is the base of the handle, which is flattened so it can be stood up on your desk. Though if you like to keep your brushes in a jar/pot then this may be a problem as its quite bulky, so may be too awkward to fit in with all of your other brushes. But thats the only 'downside' I can see to this brush

I would recommend this brush to absolutely anyone! It's no wonder these brushes have received so many rave reviews if this one is anything to go by. I think I may have a problem, because I want to go and buy the rest now!

Have you used any of the Real Techniques brushes? Which is your favourite?


Friday 10 August 2012

Run Through The Jungle

Denim Tie-Up Jacket: OASAP | Purple Animal Print Maxi: Primark | Skull Necklace: JewelRhi

I've wanted a denim jacket/shirt for a while now, and ordered one a while back but it's just too big for me, and gets quite hot (not great when I'd been planning to wear it on warm summer days). So I've been on the hunt for a better one ever since. I came across this one in OASAP and ordered it straight away. It was £18.20, which is so much cheaper than the other one I wasted money on. Plus it's nice and thin, like a denim shirt, so it's perfect to wear if you want to cover up, but keep cool at the same time.

I decided to wear the jacket on top of my favourite maxi dress to make a more colourful outfit than I would usually wear (you may have guessed by now that black is my go-to colour!). I got this dress a couple of years ago from Primark, and I'm really hoping they bring it back again at some point - I'll be so upset when this one starts to fall apart! The necklace I'm wearing is from JewelRhi, a cute online jewellery shop run by Rhi from The Other Side of Cool. I bought this a while ago, and I love it! Its so cute and delicate, despite the fact that it's a necklace full of skulls!

So that's today's outfit!
I decided to try a little bouffant thing with my hair today, but not quite sure what I think of it. At least it makes a nice change to my usual boring hair style, just need to find a way to make it bigger!


Thursday 9 August 2012

BeauBronz: Abi O Bronzed Goddess Dark Tanning Mousse Review*

I was recently sent a self tanner to try by Abi O, which is a new range from the House of BeauBronz. I chose to try the Bronzed Goddess Dark Tanning Mousse. Even though I am quite pale I went for the dark one because I want to achieve a deep colour. 

When I was offered the chance to try a product from the new Abi O range, I jumped at the chance as all of the products contain natural and certified organic ingredients, they are paraben free, and best of all cruelty free! This particular product from their range is fragrance free too. 

What BeauBronz say about this product:

"This couture tanning product contains 100% natural active ingredients and is completely fragrance and alcohol free.
-EcoCert approved DHA provides a more natural & eco-friendly self-tan.
-Natural amino acid derivatives boost the foam without need for harsh foaming agents.
-Bioactive Aloe Vera
-Organic Cucumber Extract to sooth and moisturise.
-Organic Quinoa protein rich in amino acids to help develop a deeper and more natural tan.
-Fragrance free
-Paraben free"


Above is my leg before using the tanner. You can probably tell I'd badly applied a self tanner previously, which was a bit streaky, and this is how it looks after desperately scrubbing in the shower. Not very glamorous, and still quite pasty. Well... nothing much left to say about my leg!


As you can see this self tanning mousse has a colour guide, which I love, and the mousse has quite a nice consistency. This applies really nicely and evenly, and has a very subtle, almost non-existent scent - so no worrying about stinking of fake tan! (Though I don't mind the smell of fake tan, I don't want it to be too obvious that I've used any.)

I took this photo immediately after applications, and I'm very impressed with the after results of this self tanner! The streaks you can see are from my failed attempts with a previous tanner (I am hopeless), but I experienced no streaks with this one. (If it looks more streaked, it's literally because the 'after' photo shows more of my leg. I feel a bit embarrassed letting you see just how bad my last attempt was!)

It dries very quickly, and once dry the scent doesn't develop (as some do) but stays very subtle/almost non-existent. The finish is a lovely bronzed finish, as the name promised, and there is no orange-ness at all. Usually, after using some fake tans, my tanning mitt is left looking a bit green, but I'm happy to report there is no hint of green at all with this tanner!

Quick Comparison
Before | After

As well as the Dark Tanning Mousse, the Abi O range also sells a Gradual Tanner, Shimmer Tan Boost, a Medium Tanner for fair skin, a Body Wash and a Creamy Exfoliating Scrub.

aqua, dihydroxyacetone, glycerin, sodium cocoyl glutamate, sodium cocoyl rice amino acids, sodium cocoyl hydrolyzed amaranth protein, polysorbate 20, phenoxyethanol, propylene glycol, sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate, cucumis sativus fruit extract, aloe barbadensis leaf juice, benzoic acid, chenopodium quinoa seed, alcohol, citric acid, Cl 16035, Cl 19140, Cl 42090
Scent: 5/5
This has almost no scent. I can only really smell this product if I put my nose right up against my skin, and even then its very faint!
Effectiveness: 5/5 
The colour guide is very helpful for me, and this appllies really well. I was a little worried that this dark tanner might come out a bit weird on my pasty skin, but it's made me look quite tanned, and not at all orange or patchy. It dries very quickly too, which is great as I usually get so bored waiting for tanners dry!
Added bonuses: 
Cruelty-free, Eco friendly, Uses natural and certified organic ingredients, fragrance-free, and paraben-free.
Overall Rating: 5/5

Overall I am seriously impressed with this tanner!
The Bronzed Goddess Dark Tanning Mousse retails at £26 for 200ml, and can be purchased here.

P.S. There is a 25% off code on Pampered Prince's blog (which I'd seriously suggest you check out if you haven't seen it already!), and he's kindly let me share it with you all! You can find the code here.

*These products were sent to me for review purposes, but all views are honest and my own.

Wednesday 8 August 2012

Lipstick Storage & Overview

When it comes to storage, I am a bit of a freak. I personally love seeing how others store their products, and I change my set up pretty much every month. For now I'm quite happy with my storage (which I'm sure won't last), so I thought I'd show you how I'm storing my lipsticks at the moment!

I store them in this set of drawers next to my windowsill, and my lipsticks take up the bottom two drawers:

1st Drawer

Within the drawers I've made these dividers so I can stand the lipsticks up so I can see their colours/names without having to rummage.
In the left and middle boxes are my NYX lipsticks, and one random Estee Lauder lipstick.
In the right box are all of my MAC lipsticks, and at the front are my 3 YSL lipsticks.

I organise the colours from lightest to darkest, and within their own brands.

2nd Drawer

In the bottom drawer I keep my MUA lipsticks in a box (sadly, yes I do own them all -minus the lipbooms- but they're £1 each, so I pretty much used that price to justify buying them all! I have a problem haha), and I have miscellaneous high street lipsticks kind of scattered around it. To the side of the MUA lipsticks is a 'Famous' lip pallette. I don't really like this drawer as its not as organised as the other, but I ran out of boxes!

The Boxes 
These boxes are basically what my iphone came in, and I've used the boxes my sister's and my iphone came in. I was originally storing my MAC lipsticks like the top left photo, but it was getting annoying having to hunt for the colour I wanted, so I made these dividers using Enkore's youtube tutorial, and not I can see what colours I have easily.

I know I have way too many lipsticks, but a few years ago I wouldn't wear any lipsticks, they were completely out of my comfort zone, but I forced myself out of it and ended up a bit lipstick crazy! I think I'm pretty much set for lipsticks now, so probably wont be buying any more for a while. For those wondering, all of these lipsticks were bought by myself, or given as gifts from friends/family. I wish that wasn't true though as it would make me feel a lot less guilty!

I'm thinking of doing swatches of individual lipsticks within each brand (each brand would get its own post). 
Let me know if you'd be interested in seeing this?
Also, feel free to link your storage posts at the end of your comment so I can have a nose!


Monday 6 August 2012

Fashion Haul

Last week I had money for the first time in I don't know how long, so I went into town with the sole purpose of buying some tops and jeans/trousers as I'm seriously lacking them in my wardrobe. 
Annoyingly I was a big failure, and came back with jackets and dresses! For years I've failed to buy a jacket with a hood, and when I got home I realised I had again bought hood-less jackets. So I pretty much suck!

But I'm still really happy with my purchases, and as hauls are such a rare thing for me at them moment, I thought I'd share this one with you. I figured I'd start buying for autumn/winter, but I'd say they're also pretty much wearable now:


Although I do have a leather jacket, it used to be my sisters but she gave it to me as it doesnt really fit her any more. It's a little big for me, and probably not the best style of jacket for my shape. This one fit me perfectly, and I figured £30 was a bargain as most retail at around £50+.

I love the quilting detail at the shoulders, and the belt at the bottom. I think I'm going to stud the hand-me-down one, so I'll get some wear out of both of them still.

H&M | Tan Imitation Suede Jacket: £29.99 

This jacket I saw a girl wearing at uni, and I asked her where it was from as I thought it looked amazing on her, and she said she got it from H&M a few years ago. I was so happy when I walked into the shop and saw they'd brought it back! I'm assuming there are some changes to the cut and detailing of it since then, but I still love it and had to buy it! Not convinced it suits my skin tone, but I could always whack on a bit fake tan. The cut and style of this fits my shape at least, plus it gives the illusion that I have a chest, so I'm definitely not complaining!
Topshop | Blue/Purple Skater Dress: £20 

This dress looks more purple in real life, but it photographed blue. Also on their website its listed as both blue and purple so it's obviously having a bit of an identity crisis.
I've had a £20 gift voucher for topshop since my birthday in April, and its been burning a hole in my pocket ever since, but I just haven't seen anything I liked. I did think maybe I should buy some jewellery, but all they seem to sell is gold, and I dont like to wear gold jewellery. I really don't know why, I like it on others, I'm just a freak I guess!

Any way, I saw this dress, and as I love purple (a colour I'm excited to see is going to be a big trend for A/W) and find skater styles are quite flattering, I figured I'd get it. The fact that it was exactly £20 helped convince me too! But I can pretty much bet that now I've spent that voucher, Topshop are going to start selling things I actually like.

New Look
New Look | Black Mesh Insert Dress: £22.99

Finally, the last shop I went to was New Look. I had plans to go out at the weekend, so went to look for a dress to wear for it. I finally caved in to the whole 'black bodycon mesh instert dress' look, and I actually quite liked it on. Its not that I don't like the style, it's just I didn't think it would suit me.

I'll admit I mostly like this dress because it has princess seams (if you don't know what they are, you can kind of see in the close up that the seam comes from the armpit, over the bust, and then straight down), and I personally think they're the most flattering kind of seams on anyone. I also love the bold zip at the back of the dress. I'm sure not everyone likes visible zips, but I'm a bit of a sucker for them at the moment.

New Look | Coral Cross-Body Bag: £12.99

Lastly I got this coral bag to go with the black dress. My boyfriend hates it when I wear black, so I thought I'd try and bring some kind of colour into the outfit. I do like this bag, but it really doesn't fit a lot in it, and the magnetic clasp it a bit dodgy so you really can't get away with trying to over stuff it. If you can get away with bringing only the barest essentials, then I'd recommend it. Though I'm used to carrying small bags and not carrying a lot, and I still struggled a bit with this and ended up having to leave my phone at home.

So that's my entire haul. It's not as impressive as some peoples, but I'm broke and definitely probably spent more than I should have!
Have you started shopping for autumn, or are you just trying not to think about it?


Saturday 4 August 2012

Guest Post: Break-Out Mask Review* by Cityscape Bliss

Today is a guest post from Tereza, who's blog you may have heard of: Cityscape Bliss. I've been following her blog for a while now, and I absolutely love her photography and style of writing. The way she writes really lets her personality shine through, yet it's still informative and I think that's really refreshing, yet hard to do. I still worry that my personality doesn't fully come across on here, yet she seems to make it look effortless!

You may have seen the review I posted a few days ago on Montagne Jeunesse's Skin Heroes masks. A few of the masks had ingredients derived from milk, and as I'm allergic to milk there were some I couldn't use on my face. As I loved the blemish face mask from their original range, I wanted this mask to be reviewed properly to see if it lived up to its counter-part, so I asked Tereza if she would like to review it for a guest post on here, and as you can see she said yes. So here's what she thought of the Break-Out mask:
Stop The Spot!

You're probably gonna be surprised, but I’ve never used Montagne Jeunesse face mask before (or at least I was convinced that I haven’t). I have to admit that the packaging is definitely eye-catching, but I never really bothered investigating. I’ve been using Chanetelle masks instead, because they come in a double packaging and are a few p’s cheaper. Oh wait. What? Chantelle is made by Montagne Jeunesse?!! Yeh, I’ve been in love with Chantelle masks for maybe 2 years and never knew they were the same thing! Now imagine the excitement when Carrie asked me to help her with review of one of the ‘actual’ Montagne Jeunesse masks! Big yay! The one I tried is the Break-Out Mask for problem skin, which is prone to spots.
My skin is not exactly acne or spot-prone. About 7 years ago I had a bad allergic reaction which turned my skin into right mess and brought up some serious acne trouble. Over years I managed to get rid of it (with some annoying scars left behind) and was left with rather dry skin with a spot or two every now and then. Well, that was until three weeks ago. Three weeks ago I brought a little ball of fluff (in normal people’s language a kitten), which although the cutest and sweetest thing in the world, does have a thing for my chin and jaw line. And by a thing I mean it keeps biting it, slapping it with paws or just casually dribbling on it. That means nothing else than the perfect environment for spots and pimples. Yay! This mask came just in time to save me!

This break-out mask is a 2 step mask – first you use the mask & then the moisturiser. As you can see from the picture above, the mask has a lovely creamy consistency and goes on like butter! My skin felt immediately refreshed and I even felt a slight ‘tingling’ in my cheeks (guess it may have been the tea tree tickling my pores? haha!). After 20 minutes, the mask dried and went all stiff, so I washed it off with a muslin cloth (it was quite a hard work so I suggest you do it in a shower!) and applied the enclosed moisturiser, which felt thick and greasy but very nourishing on my skin. The next morning I woke up to incredibly soft skin and reduced spots! To illustrate how good it worked – you know the painful under-skin spots that you can’t see but they give you almost a migraine? So these were gone! Just like that! Gone! Wooohooo! Basically what it did, or what it seemed it did, is that it penetrated under my skin and dried out the little monsters leaving my skin with bits of dry skin but definitely no pain or obvious spots. I honestly cannot believe how good this mask is!

You can get this mask off the Montagne Jeunesse website here for £1.49 which is an absolute bargain for what it does! If you suffer from painful spots or that-time-of-the-month breakouts, you should definitely give this a go!

Thank you Tereza for a great review!
It's a shame I can't try this mask as it sounds like something I could definitely do with right now.

Make sure you check out Tereza's blog here: Cityscape Bliss


Friday 3 August 2012

Denim Dreams

Dress: H&M | Belt: Primark | Flipflops: Primark 

Ugh, even the cat is better at posing than me! She seems to be worming her way into all of my OOTDs lately... 
I've had this dress for a while, but hadn't had a chance to wear it. I'm trying to get as much wear out of all my 'summery' clothes before the rain comes back.
I bought this dress in H&M, and I love it! It's ruched in the middle, and has a denim drawstring at the waist so you can tighten it and tie it up. I wanted an extra bit of detail at the waist though, and as I have an unhealthy obsession with waist belts I decided to try this flower belt. I thought it looked good in the mirror, but I'm not too sure about it now I've seen the photo's. I'll let you guys decide!

Speaking of waist belts, I am soo happy to see they're going to be a big thing again for Autumn/Winter! I am a serious waist belt freak, so this kind of makes me less sad about the thought of summer ending soon (though, lets be honest, it never really started). Basically anything to do with cinched waists I LOVE. The 'oversized' trend is going to be back again too, which I'm not so thrilled about. Mainly because I'm a big fan of feminine curves, but also because it is the most unflattering style on me. I think I need a bigger head to pull it off, sadly I've been cursed with a tiny one! 

Are there any A/W trends you're looking forwards to?

@ Beauty Not Just Skin Deep.