Friday, 2 September 2016

Budget beauty products round-up: the best affordable makeup, skincare and more...

Budget beauty products that won't break the bank

Although there are many higher end beauty brands that I love and believe are worth the money, a high price doesn't automatically mean high quality and I have a bunch of favourite budget beauty products in my routine.

Still being a fairly recent graduate who is still just establishing my career, I think it's important to know when to splurge and when to spend when it comes to beauty products. Here are some of my favourite budget makeup, skincare and bath products for £10 or less...

Let's start with an older favourite, the Super Facialist by Una Brennan Salicylic Acid Anti Blemish Clay Mask (£9.99). I won't harp on too much about this face mask as it's been included in a few of my posts now, but it's a godsend for healing spots quickly without drying your skin out.

Up next is the Serozinc Spray (£8.50) from La Roche-Posay. As I said in my previous post about the beauty products I have repurchased, this is just a really refreshing toning spray that has great ingredients for oily, blemish prone skin.

Another product that's already been mentioned on this blog is the Soap and Glory One Heck of a Blot Primer (£10.00). I was really excited for this product to be released and it didn't disappoint- it provides a nice smooth base for my foundation and I do find it helps to extend its wear.

The Healthy Balance Compact Powder (£8.99) from Bourjois is also a great option for giving you a moderately long-wearing base that is matte but not too matte. In all honesty, there's not a lot I can say about this powder besides from the fact that it blends pretty seamlessly and doesn't cake, even when I use a lot.

Last up in terms of makeup is NYX's Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick in Soft Spoken (£6.50). Okay, so the may formula be a bit on the gloopy side but it dries quickly and stays put for a long time. This shade is a great dark nude too.

Moving onto bath products, this might seem like an odd one to include but I think LUSH's Yuzu and Cocoa Shower Cream (£9.95) is pretty good value for money. I've been using mine for over 3 months now and still have half of the bottle left. It smells amazing as well- for me, its a bit like chocolate orange with a hint of coconut.

Lastly is the John Frieda Kelp Help Deep Conditioning Masque (£5.89). I find this mask does a good job of detangling my bleached hair it's always on offer at either Boots or Superdrug which is great.

Have you tried any of these? What are your favourite budget beauty products?

Friday, 12 August 2016

Worth the hype: skincare products I have repurchased

3 favourite skincare products that are worth repurchasing

As someone who enjoys trying new skincare products, I do like to switch up my skincare routine quite often and have tested a few things in my bid to keep my oily-combination (and sometimes sensitive and spot prone) skin happy.

I will admit that I do get sucked in by the hype of new products sometimes and get bored of using the same things. This means that if I have repurchased a skincare product, it's a pretty good one.

Here's three that were worth the repurchase...

Starting with cleansers, the REN ClearCalm 3 Clarifying Clay Cleanser is a dream for anyone that struggles with oiliness and blemishes and I definitely notice more breakouts when I don't have it in my routine. A main ingredient is Salicilin, which is mildly exfoliating and anti-bacterial.

This cleanser has an interesting texture- as it contains clay, you'd expect it to be thick and hard to spread, but it's pretty runny and I actually find it quite moisturising. It's a great alternative if you find foaming cleansers a bit too drying, like I do.

Next up is a skincare product that's recieved a lot of hype and is universally loved by bloggers; the Pixi Glow Tonic. This exfoliating toner is another one I miss when I don't have it in my routine- my skin is just generally 'duller'. This is also very gentle for a chemical exfoliator and a bottle lasts forever.

Last and not least is the La Roche-Posay Serozinc Spray. Although I like using Caudalie's Grape Water and Lush's spray toners as well, I've decided to repurchase this for a second time as it has the added benefit of having Zinc Sulfate as an ingredient (which is good for blemishes), as well as being moisturising and refreshing.

What skincare products will you always repurchase? Let me know!

Favourites round-up: my top 3 face masks

3 best facemasks

The 3 best face masks for angry and blemish prone skin...

Face masks are my favourite way to pamper myself, so I have one for most skin concerns stocked in my skincare stash. Spots, uneven texture, oiliness, dryness... yeah, I have a mask for that.

Although I wouldn't say I have really blemish prone skin anymore (I did have teenage acne), I do still experience occasional breakouts. This means I gravitate towards any face mask that will help to clear them as fast and painlessly as possible, and I know just what products I need to use to do just that.

On that note, here are the 3 (in my opinion) best face masks for angry spots and blemishes...

Super Facialist Salicylic Acid Anti Blemish Clay Mask

I recently featured this face mask in my July favourites post, though it's been a long-time saviour for the times my skin has been looking particularly oily and spot prone. Due to the salicylic acid, it really helps to unclog pores and bring any angry spots to a head while not drying my skin out, and I find that my blemishes calm down pretty much overnight after using this.

I'm not sure how drying this will be for dry skin, but it's fine for both my oily t-zone and 'normal' areas (such as my chin and forehead).

Caudalie Moisturising Mask

Despite Caudalie's Moisturising Mask being intended to hydrate dry and sensitive skin, I've found it's also good at soothing blemishes and calming general redness. I like to use this face mask after a more intensive treatment, such as the Super Facialist mask or the REN mask (see below).

REN Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask

Unlike the two other face masks I've mentioned in this post, REN's Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask won't do much for active blemishes and spots. Instead, I use it to address the pigmentation (or blemish marks) they sometimes leave behind.

Containing 6% glycolic acid, as well as lactic acid, citric acid and tartaric acid, this mask brightens red blemish marks and refines skin texture by gently exfoliating the skin. Although this can leave my face a bit red sometimes, this passes fairly quickly and my skin tone always looks more even after using this REN mask.

What are your favourite face masks? Chuck me some recommendations- I'm always happy to try something new!

Thursday, 4 August 2016

July monthly favourites: fashion, beauty and Pokemon GO...

Having previously blogged under the name As Seen on Louise (as well as doing my fair share of creative writing in my role(s) as a marketer), I've been wanting to get back into blogging for the past couple of months. However, I weren't really sure what direction I wanted to take my blog for a while, until I started getting more into beauty and finally decided on a new name.

As I'm sitting down to write this post, it's a lazy Sunday at the end of the July. So what better time to get back into the swing of things with a standard monthly favourites post?

Here's what I've been loving in July. Be warned, though- this post is going to be a long one!

Bioderma Sensibio H2O

The Sensibio H2O micellar water sure took its sweet time becoming available in Wales (as with most coveted beauty brands- we're still yet to get a Space NK). This meant that I just had to try it as soon as I saw it resting in the aisles in my local Boots.

I must admit that I didn't think it would be any better than Garnier's version, my long-term go to. And while I do still like both a lot, the Bioderma removes make-up pretty much effortlessly and I find I use a lot less. I definitely get the hype now, and will be alternating between the two.

I've tried and liked a few products from Soap and Glory's make-up range, so I just had to try this after seeing Jasmine Talks Beauty recommend it. The One Heck of a Blot primer certainly didn't disappoint- it's affordable, extends the wear of my foundation, and provides a nice smooth base that's the right amount of matte.

Super Facialist Salicylic Acid Anti Blemish Clay Mask

Una Brennan's Salicylic Acid Clay Mask is another affordable beauty favourite, and one I can't see myself being without (I'm not dramatic or anything). I don't get many spots nowadays, but this is what I will reach for if I do- it calms blemishes almost instantly and isn't at all harsh, as long as you only leave it on for the recommended time.

LUSH Cosmetics

Although the brand is universally loved by bloggers, Lush is a new favourite for me. In fact, I only tried their products for the first time this year. I do get the hype though- Lush bath bombs are the prettiest colours, everything smells amazing and they have some really unique products.

The Magical Moringa Facial Moisturiser, fresh face masks and the Rose Jam and Zuzu and Cocoa ranges all deserve a shout out.

NYX Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick in Soft Spoken

Like most of us, I flocked to the NYX stand as soon as it appeared in my local Boots and just had to have something! This resulted in me talking home 3 liquid lipsticks; the Soft Matte Lip Cream in Cairo and the Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick in the shades Vintage and Soft Spoken.

First off, I must admit that I am still yet to try Vintage. However, I can tell from trying both Cairo and Soft Spoken that I prefer the formula of the Liquid Suedes- although a bit gloopy, they dry down fairly quickly and have good staying power. Being very into brown-y pink shades lately, Soft Spoken has actually been my lipstick of choice for my last few nights out.

Office Cheetah Print Lace Up Flats

These are a new favourite, but a favourite nonetheless. I've always been a big fan of animal print and I think the lace up detail on these shoes is just so pretty. Plus, I managed to snap these up for just £9 in store- how could I leave them?

Denim Dresses

Denim jeans, denim shorts, denim shirts... been there, worn that, and still love them all equally. So, when denim dresses started doing the rounds a few months ago, I just had to invest in a few!

The Dorothy Perkins pinafore (pictured) is a firm favourite of mine as it looks equally as good on its own in the summer or thrown over a striped top when it's a bit chillier. This dress is also in the sale now, just FYI.

Pokémon GO

If you're sick to the back teeth of hearing about Pokémon GO, I'm very sorry and you might want to stop reading now! I however, am finding this app so addictive- Pokémon was a big part of my childhood (yes, I even collected the cards) so I'm loving this trip down memory lane.

What are your monthly favourites? Are you as addicted to Pokémon GO as I am? Let me know in the comments!

Tuesday, 24 November 2015


Una Brennan Superfacialist Vitamin C+ Skin Renew Cleansing Oil

When it comes to my skincare routine, cleansers are my favourite product to use of the bunch. I don't think there's a much nicer feeling than smoothing a luxurious balm or gel cleanser onto your skin at the end of a long day.

But as much as I love using thick, make-up melting cleansers, I've never been the biggest fan of using them for that purpose. I much prefer using micellar waters for pre-cleansing, especially near my sensitive eyes, then following up with something thicker with ingredients that will really benefit my skin.

So, what made me decide to try the Vitamin C+ Skin Renew Cleansing Oil from Una Brennan?

Firstly, I'd read a lot of good reviews, as well as having tried and liked other products from the Superfacialist range (particularly the Salicylic Acid Anti Blemish Clay Mask). I'm also drawn to the promise of radiant, clearer skin and the fact that Vitamin C is in the ingredients list.

Although it's too early to tell if this has improved the look of my skin (I've only been using it around three weeks), I am liking it so far. It has quite a thin consistency in my opinion, so it's suitable for my oily/combination skin, and doesn't make my few drier patches feel stripped.

I have also used the Vitamin C+ Skin Renew Cleansing Oil to remove heavy eye make-up, and it does a decent job of melting my mascara without tugging at my eyelashes and making my eyes sting. You do have to use a lot, and I still follow up with an eye make-up remover, but as you get 200ml for £10.99 (and Una Brennan Superfacialist is often on offer at Boots) this doesn't bother me too much.

My only bugbear? You have to pour the cleanser out of the cap, meaning it will go everywhere if you're not careful!

Are you a fan of the Una Brennan Superfacialist range? Would you try the Vitamin C+ Skin Renew Cleansing Oil?

Wednesday, 18 November 2015


Jo Malone Red Roses, Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel and Yankee Candle Fresh Cut Roses

Okay, I admit it: I'm a sucker for a nice scent. Perfumes, candles, beauty products... if I like the smell of a product, then I'm far more inclined to buy it (which is the main reason why I have a few Mac lipsticks to my name).

For the longest time, coconut was my go-to, leading to a search for the 'perfect' coconut perfume that still continues to this day (anybody wanna help a girl out?). And although the smell of coconut will always remain a firm favourite of mine, roses are the current obsession- something I only realised when I sat back and counted just how many rose scented products I have.

For those of you that share my obsession, here are my some of my favourite rose scented beauty products...

Jo Malone Red Roses cologne

Jo Malone Red Roses Cologne

From the stylish, clean and fuss free packaging to the strong and simple scents, Jo Malone London just ticks all the boxes for everything I like in a luxury brand. In fact, with my love of collecting perfumes, I'm surprised it took me until this summer to finally invest in my first Jo Malone cologne.

According to the product description on the Jo Malone website, the Red Roses cologne blends seven different types of roses with violet leaves and lemon. The result? A very fresh and sweet fragrance that's perfect for the summer.

Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel

Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel

As you can probably guess, I didn't buy this one because it because of the smell- it was the hype that did it (as well as a promising ingredients list). Although the fact that it smells so good is a welcomed plus, making the whole faff of cleansing every evening feel so much more luxurious.

Due to the buzz surrounding the Renaissance Cleansing Gel, I expected a lot from this product and am happy to say it delivered. After using it for a few months with a few other radiance boosting skincare bits, I am happy to say that my skin is looking brighter and more even, thanks to the Vitamin C and gently exfoliating fruit enzymes.

Yankee Candle Fresh Cut Roses

Yankee Candle Fresh Cut Roses

Despite my love of anything with a nice scent, it's only recently that I really developed an interest in buying candles and have been keen to start a little collection (I blame the lovely sounding Diptyque ones I keep seeing everywhere). As my nearest Space NK is an hour away, a Yankee Candle seemed like the best place to start my candle collection.

I picked this particular candle as I felt it had a more traditional rose smell than the True Rose also on offer, though I do like them both. This has a very sweet fragrance, in fact it's a lot heavier than my Jo Malone cologne, and I find that the scent lingers for a few days after lighting.

Are you also a fan of rose scents? Do you have any recommendations for me to add to my collection?