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1 Oct 2014

French Skincare | Tried and Tested

French Skincare

There's no denying that when it comes to skincare the French quite simply own it. In my experience having tried just a few brands from across the channel I have always had pretty good results therefore I've found myself really coming to trust brands such as Avéne and La Roche-Posay. Luckily for us in the UK these brands are found in Boots and a number of online websites so we are able to get hold of most of the products that are on offer.

Over the last year I have tried a couple of products from said brands therefore feel as though I can share my thoughts on them with you. For reference my skin is oily to combination along with areas of dehydration.

First up I have the La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water which I picked up in early summer. In all honesty I have been a bit sceptical of quite simply water in a can in the past however I have to say when using them they are incredibly refreshing and soothing to the skin. This was actually in a clearance stand when I picked it up which is why I decided to give it a go although having now used it I'm not entirely convinced that I would pay full price for this in the future. Avéne of course has something very similar whereby I have the much smaller handbag size option that I have definitely preferred over the much larger can from La Roche-Posay. This is a super handy size to put in your bag and take out with you, especially in the summer. Out of the two I'd buy the Avéne thermal water over the La Roche-Posay version simply because it's cheaper and a more suitable size for the purpose I want it for such as taking it out with me when it's hot.

Onto Cleansers I have only tried one from Avéne thus far which is the Extremely Gentle Cleanser* which as the name clearly suggests is a gentle cleanser for those with sensitive skin. I wouldn't go as far to say that my skin is on the extreme side of sensitivity however it can be sensitive at times and is on occasion prone to redness. This cleanser is pretty inoffensive as it doesn't have any fragrance and is white in colour. Being a gel I naturally enjoy this type of texture anyway therefore it has been quite a pleasure to use as it leaves my skin feeling refreshed and clean without any tightness. I would like to point out that it does contain SLS which does surprise me a little although it is pretty low down in the ingredients list.

Effaclar Duo +, need I say more? Sadly my tube of this fantastic product has very recently run out much to my annoyance as I need to now go and buy a new one (I'm waiting for the Boots offers). Using this blemish treatment in areas such as my chin and t-zone I find that this really does help to keep blemishes at bay, it also for me reduces the longevity of any blemishes that do occur. Blemishes be gone!

Rounding off for this evening we have the La Roche-Posay Anthelios 50+ SPF which out of all these products featured is my firm favourite. Over here in the UK I think we drastically underestimate the importance of SPF, especially when the sun isn't bearing down on us. This year I upped my game and have tried to ensure I have a designated SPF within my routine as at times not all of my foundations or moisturisers contain sun protection. For me I have found an absolutely fantastic product that I'm not looking to replace with any other. This boasts a wonderful formula that sinks into my skin leaving an almost matte feel yet does not interfere with any make up that I apply afterwards. It's one of my favourite discoveries of 2014 and will for a while long be within my skincare routine.

I realise that I have featured just two brands here when there really is quite a variety out there to research and of course try. If anybody would like to see a full review of any of these products featured above them be sure to let me know in the comments below. Being all beauty enthusiasts here I'd love to find out what your favourite French skincare products are.

Au revoir!

30 Sep 2014

September Overview

September Overview

Once again it's time to say goodbye to September for another year. It's been swell but I really cannot wait to move into October where there are new challenges ahead for me along with the coming festive season. So many shops are now starting to put out the Christmas gifts as well as introducing festive decorations here and there; I truly cannot wait for the next few months ahead.

Highlighting a few posts from September I have chosen a few of my favourites therefore here is a chance to catch up on them if like me you found yourself falling behind on that bloglovin feed once again.

The Charlotte Tilbury Bitch Perfect Lipstick post I published at the beginning of the month was quite the hit with all of you. Hitting the beauty scene recently this make up line has been quite literally been at the forefront of all things beauty from what I have seen so far of which I'm sure that this will continue into the new year. Speaking of heading into the new year we first have to get through autumn whereby I have to say I felt quite overwhelmed with how many of you liked the image in my Autumn Nail Polishes post; thank you all so much for such lovely feedback. I'll have to go picking leaves and berries out of my garden more often!

In the middle of September I attended the Selfridges Beauty Event whereby I was very lucky and picked up a sample of the Tom Ford lipstick in Cherry Lush. Of course I had to blog about this little gem and share with you my thoughts on this most luxurious brand. Throughout the month I also found myself guest posting on three other blogs by which if you missed them then here is a quick rundown. Over on Sandra's blog I posted all about my autumn picks in Autumn Ambience whereby I also had a similar theme over on Michelle's blog where I shared with you my Transitional Beauty Items for autumn. Last but not least I also hopped on over to Stacey's blog where I discussed all things skincare with my Skincare Staples.

Finally I'm rounding off this post with my Perfecting Beauty Event and Haul post. This was an expensive evening out for me there is no denying it therefore as of now I'm strictly avoiding all make up counters until after Christmas. You heard that here first.

28 Sep 2014

Blogs I read #6

Blogs I read #6
It was back in May when I last posted in this little series that I have running wherefore I have to say I feel a little bad for it taking so long to put up another. I read so many blogs each week that it doesn't hurt to give a little recognition here and there, a little thank you to those that are producing great content for me to read whilst having a cup of tea and one too many biscuits.

Sophia's blog is a fairly new one to me whereby I discovered her blog after clicking her link in one of the comments she had left me. From all the way across the pond where she is studying in San Francisco she has created a beautiful blog that I have really being enjoying reading. Her recent autumn lips post has been one of my favourite posts that I have read this week with the clear images of her choices and gorgeous demonstrations to boot.

The beautiful Latasha has to be one of my favourite bloggers within this community that I feel so blessed to be part of. She's so friendly and approachable and has a stunning blog to match her truly beautiful personality. Her photography is clearly thought out and is one of the first things that jumps out me when I visit her blog. This girl clearly loves her make up and has a wide variety of make up reviews that will have you quite literally creating a wish list right there on the spot. Her recent Charlotte Tilbury post was another favourite of mine in the last few days and has ever since made me want to pick up the lip liner in pillow talk.

Mimmi has a lifestyle and fashion orientated blog with quite literally superb photography. She has recently moved to the UK to start her studies so pop on over and say hello to her and make her feel welcome. Her recent posts all about Glasgow have made me want to catch the next train up from New Street; it looks like such a gorgeous city to explore!

Finally we have Chaitra's blog which is a long term read of mine now and continues to be one of my favourites to browse when I get home from work. Her posts are clear and informative and are a joy to read whereby I clearly remember reading her Colour Crush Overload post and thinking I wanted nothing more than to hold onto summer as much as I possibly could, even though I adore autumn. Her recent DIY post is also worth checking out if you like your white backgrounds for blog photographs.

Let me know if you follow any of these gorgeous girls in the comments below.

More blogs in the series:

27 Sep 2014

September Favourites

September Favourites

Well it's almost here, my first day of my GDL (Graduate Diploma in Law) is looming; I start on Monday. Quickly putting aside my fear and nerves I'm returning back to talking about something that I'm much more confident about; beauty favourites! September was a bit humble for me in terms of make up products as I haven't been experimenting too much at all despite making a few new purchases.

One of my favourite products so far this year let alone in September is the Charles Worthington Texturising Spray which I first heard about from Fleur quite a while back. This is something I have being using a lot to help provide my limp hair with some life. I find that it holds reasonably well for me and adds much needed texture to my hair without feeling sticky or crispy. Using this honestly makes me feel less self-conscious because as far as I'm concerned limp and flat hair does nothing for the old self esteem. 

A recent purchase has been the Rimmel Brow This Way brow gel which I picked up whilst on offer about two weeks ago for under £3. Now I have included this because I think it does a very good job at holding the brows in place and of course providing a tint to areas that are sparse. Having said that for me I find that you have to be super careful as I do find that far too much product comes out on the brush which can quickly lead to caterpillar brows. So far I have being using a separate little angled brush to take some product away from the original brush and applying it that way. I have to say that method is working pretty well for me so far and is only a minor inconvenience that can be easily overlooked considering how much I paid for it. It's one worth trying if you're looking for a brow product on a budget.

The REN Rosa Centifolia Hot Cloth Cleanser* is a product I have returned to in a bid to use up some skincare products. My thoughts on this cleanser still remain the same as to when I initially reviewed it therefore I've found myself really enjoying using this once again as a first or even second cleanse. 

Essie Ballet Slippers has been on my nails a lot recently as I have being trying to grow them for what must be the millionth time in my life. I find that having my nails painted really does help with this rather gross habit however anything darker than a polish such as this just looks ridiculous on short nails like mine therefore I have to wear something very neutral. It is in itself a beautiful polish that looks gorgeous on, I absolutely love it and can see why it was very popular upon its release.

The Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette* was sent to me as part of a festival style post in collaboration with Folli Follie last month. It has since that day been quite literally the palette I have turned to every morning, it's simply incredible. I have to be honest and admit that for quite a long time I dismissed this palette because I just wasn't too keen on the way it looked. I have always been such a loyal fan of shimmer eye shadows that I was very quick to disregard this particular palette however boy was I wrong! If you're looking for an easy go to no fuss palette for every day then this could be the one for you. Like all Urban Decay eye shadows the products are super pigmented, blend like a dream and last really well once applied; I simply cannot fault this product.

Once again the dry brush has made an appearance of which since I made the commitment of looking after my body better as well as my skin I have found that this has become a staple item within my bathroom. Using this in circular motions it really helps to remove any dead skin cells and to get the blood flowing within the skin.

What are your favourite items from September?

25 Sep 2014

We're all the boss!

We're all the boss

Being the boss; are you? I'm not referring to the boss in the work place, I'm talking about being the boss of you, your life and where it's heading. In the last year my life and where I thought it was heading took a drastic U-turn whereby I was left feeling quite frankly abandoned, alone and empty inside. An envisaged short stay at home after graduating turned into returning home for the long term, whereby living back at home with your mum and other siblings after three years of living away at university was something rather difficult to get used to.

The reason I'm getting a bit deep and personal on here with this post today is because I was recently approached to write about being your own boss to coincide with the latest campaign from Giff Gaff. There's a pretty energetic and inspiring video to go along with the campaign which can be viewed here. The campaign is all about young adults who live at home with their parents whether it be for financial, educational or for other reasons; for me it's an interesting little campaign as I personally can relate to it.

Whilst living away from home on your own you do have responsibilities, for example you have to ensure that your weekly shop is done, clothes washed and bathroom cleaned as nobody will be doing it for you. For me personally I relished living away as being that bit older than most people starting university I was already very much in that mind set of looking after myself. For me the real gain was in areas such as privacy and I guess freedom as up until university I had always had to share a bedroom.

Therefore being back at home for the long term I found that privacy all but gone. Along with this my way of doing things and effectively living my life for the past three years had to change because the people around me simply didn't live the way I had been doing and do you know what, that's ok however it is something I've had to re-adapt to. When I sit back and observe my living habits I realise that I'm quite a fussy person, I like things done my way and when I say however living back at home with your parent or parents you know that ultimately it's not your place anymore; loosing that authority in your own home I guess is sometimes a bit hard to take.

Being at home with mum can be hard work on occasion as we do have different opinions on a lot of things however ultimately we are best of friends therefore if I'm honest I've never found it particularly difficult to live with her; my brother on another hand is a whole different kettle of fish!

For me I'm still fifty fifty on the idea of whether you can really be your own boss whilst living at home with parents yet that is just simply from my own personal experience in my own individual circumstances. Having said that where I do feel that you can take control and be your own boss all whilst still living at home with mum and dad. Right at this very moment sitting here writing this I can honestly say that I feel like I'm my own boss, I'm starting a new path in my life this very next week whereby I'll be taking on a brand new challenge that I know will be hard work but worthwhile. Whilst doing this I'm also going to be heading into my third year of writing A Little Boat Sailing which is a rather strange feeling I must say.

Writing my blog has allowed me to be my own boss in a way, of course not officially as this isn't my job however it's something that I work hard at and feel quite proud of. It's my own little thing that I've built from scratch whereby I'm able to put my own voice out there as small as it may be. It's a place where I have complete control of the content, what the images look like and ultimately what is said on here for you to read. That may sound like something minor to most but for me it means a lot.

Ultimately writing this post has led me to a few conclusions. Whilst living at home for me has been quite a challenge since last year I honestly now wouldn't have had it any other way. My mum has been like a rock to me as she has been quite literally the boss for me when I haven't had the courage to be for myself. Living at home with your parents is never easy, especially as you get older and want to venture off on your own (financial circumstances don't always allow this, especially these days), however for me personally it has allowed me to get better and find myself once again. I now feel more like the boss of my own life than I ever have done before rather than being left feeling like a bystander watching it go by. Living at home isn't too bad you know.

Do you live at home with your parents or have recent experience in doing so? Do you find it tough being your own boss within the parent environment?

Post in collaboration with Giff Gaff.