My 2020 Favourites

It feels like I’ve broadened my horizons over this last year. I think I’ve shaken it up in many areas including but not limited to my makeup routine, my skin care routine (see: actually trying to have one and my clothing. A lot of these came quite late in the year but they’ve made such an impact that I couldn’t not mention them. This is a bit of an eclectic post, featuring single products and longer term changes, thoughts on last year and what I hope to continue for 2021, but I hope there is something in here for everyone.

Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless filter

Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter

I’ve heard so many influencers and makeup artists talk about Charlotte Tilbury’s Hollywood Flawless Filter but it was only after seeing Jamie Genevieve use it that I realised how much I needed it. The reason it’s a must-have for me? I haven’t worn foundation since I started using this product. It is not a foundation substitute, there is no coverage it just has a very light tint that evens out your skin tone a little and makes you look glowy. I love it because it wears so nicely throughout the day and gives my cheek products something to hold onto so they stay on for longer – I always feel like they fade so quickly without some kind of base to hang onto! Bottom line: it’s worth the price tag for me.

Colourpop Super Shock Shadow in Ritz

Colourpop Super Shock Shadow in Ritz

I’ve loved Ritz since the day I got it. It’s such a low maintenance but high impact product that makes getting ready in the morning so much easier. This product has given me an answer to that question I ask myself every morning I haven’t quite engaged my brain: “What am I going to do with my eyes today?”. It’s quick and easy to apply and goes with almost everything. I can also layer it on to get something really impactful or add just a touch on a no-makeup makeup day. See my full review on Ritz and Colourpop as a whole here.

My fringe

So I technically got my fringe cut in at the very end of 2019 but I feel like she’s really come into her own in 2020 (it might sound odd that I refer to my fringe as a separate entity but if you saw what she looks like when I wake up in the morning you would be doing the same). Having a fringe totally changes the way my face looks, and I know that’s not groundbreaking but it’s interesting when it’s your face! I also feel like just wetting and blowdrying it in the morning makes me look so put together, equally if it’s greasy af then I can look a shambles! I kept trimming during the first lockdown but by June I was almost ready to let her go, but she’s had a resurgence and I’m loving it.

Skincare

Trying to have an actual skincare routine has totally changed my skin. I’ve tried to do a little bit more research last year into what makes a good skincare routine and the thing that has really stuck for me is double cleansing. Any day I wear makeup I use an oil cleanser followed by a water-based cleanser to try and get all of the makeup off. I’ve also been experimenting with active ingredients like AHAs and BHAs as well as Vitamin C, but I’m still working on getting the balance right. I have a long way to go in this area but I’m excited to learn more this year, my skincare wishlist is long!

My attitude towards clothes

My style has changed every year since I was about 18. It’s partially trend lead but also depends on who I’m seeing on my Instagram feed and what I’m doing at the time. This year I swung away from the super girly stuff and looked for different structures and silhouettes, I dabbled in the puffy sleeve and I don’t think I’ve worn skinny jeans all year (certainly a positive change). Where do I stand now? At the moment comfort is King but feeling good in what I wear is Queen, and sometimes she wears the trousers (pun not intended but definitely appreciated). A great example of that compromise is one of my typical work outfits: a skirt, jumper and boots with a chunky heel – comfortable but I feel confident.

Getting stuck in in the kitchen

Lemon Cheesecake

I’ve tried to do more in the kitchen over the last year but the lockdown in March really got me into cooking and baking. I’ve made curries, pizzas, chillis and pastry dishes as well as baked cakes, brownies, more cookies than I can count (not more than I can eat of course) and have a pretty good bread recipe in my repertoire. One of my favourite bakes has been these amazing lemon and blueberry oat bars, they’re similar to flapjacks but are light and flluffy. They’re not too bad for you in the grand scheme of things but still taste amazing with a cup of tea in the morning!

One of the main things I love baking and cooking for is when I’m feeling in a bit of a funk. It gives me something to busy myself with, it’s enjoyable, it feels productive and I (usually) get something tasty at the end of it. I’m writing this with a stomach full of homemade pizza and a slice of lemon cheesecake in my hands, so all in all a very positive change and something I want to continue to work on this year.

Exercise

I’ve always had an inconsistent exercise routine. I suppose routine is a strong word for going to the gym 4 times a week for a month, then not at all for 6 weeks, then everyday for 3 weeks, then not at all, the- you get the picture…

When lockdown hit I started running again with the help of Couch to 5K – which I cannot recommend enough as a side note! I’ve done it twice now and think it’s the best thing to get you running from a standing start. My mum and I did the programme and vowed to continue once it was done – long story short we haven’t… But we’re going again now! The best way for me to sum up running for me is that although I might not love it whilst I’m going, I almost always feel better when I come back than when I left. I was also really looking forward to getting into some classes at the gym this year but that clearly won’t be happening for a while yet.

I would also love to get into yoga and I’m going to try again this year (she says optimistically less than a week into 2021). My main issue is that I’m entirely inflexible and therefore pretty rubbish at yoga. Additionally, getting more flexible and better at yoga is a slow process so it’s hard to see the changes. This all explains why I’ve never done it for longer than a week or two in the past! I tried a few times to get into it in 2020 and it never stuck, but hopefully the fact that I will be working from home for the foreseeable future will give me time to really give it a go. Place your bets as to whether or not I’ll be saying exactly the same thing next year…

Is there anything you loved in 2020? Or any changes that you’re hoping to carry forward into the New Year?

Colourpop Haul and Review

I’ve been wanting to try out Colourpop for years but I never pulled the trigger on my orders because of the threat of customs and extortionate shipping fees. All the way back in March I decided that was the day I would bite the bullet and go for it, but about two days later the world fell apart and my order was indefinitely delayed. Of course there were and still are much bigger issues to deal with, but finally getting this order was the tiny cherry on the total shambles of a cake that was lockdown. Finally, here we are with a nice little order and my thoughts on the products! Keep reading to find out my experience with the ordering process, shipping time and what I think of the products.

Ordering and Shipping

I made my first order after much deliberation on 17th March and eventually cancelled it and got my money back around 10 days later once it seemed inevitable that my package wasn’t arriving anytime soon due to Coronavirus restrictions. I contacted customer support a few times over the 3/4 months that I was ordering, cancelling and reordering and they always replied promptly, I think within about 48 hours each time.

I eventually reordered in July after emailing and finding out that they had resumed shipping from their warehouses. My order came to $81.40 which included shipping and customs at $14.40 and a $5 discount code. I ordered 8 items which came to $72 (-$5 discount) which I think is good value so long as the products are good quality and I wanted to order a good amount to make the shipping worth it!

On shipping: it seems expensive but I don’t think $14 is too bad considering it includes customs too, so there were no nasty surprises when it arrived! I ordered on 9th July and it arrived on the 17th so pretty fast delivery all things considered.

(Full disclosure: yes I have been using these products for a full 5 months and have only just got around to writing about them… I really have no excuse but 2020 is a write off okay, cut me some slack!)

The Products

As I mentioned, I ordered 8 products totalling $72. There is 1 product that I haven’t used: a lipstick I got for my sister as a birthday present – fairly self-explanatory why I haven’t used it! I’ve tried out the rest of the products for a good while now (understatement of the year) so I’ve got a good idea about how I feel about them.

Super Shock Shadows ~ $6 each

I couldn’t have ordered from Colourpop without trying out their Super Shock formula. This was Colourpop’s cult product line when they first launched and I’m so happy that it lived up to the hype. The cream-to-powder formula is totally unique to me and applies beautifully with your finger.

Super Shock Shadow in Ritz

I wore this shade ritz almost every single day for the first few months I got it because it gives this amazing wet look glittery shimmer on the eyes. It’s low maintenance but super impactful and perfect for summer or for that extra special something when you’re wanting to dress up.

Super Shock Shadow in Slave2Pink

I also ordered the shade slave2pink a super bright and shimmery hot pink. This looks great all over the eyes either in a really structured shape or more blown-out and relaxed. I really liked these and am glad I took the plunge and ordered, even for Ritz on its own! I would order some more super shock shadows if I saw a really unique shade that I thought I would get a lot of use out of. Top tip though, make sure you really close the packaging tight on any Super Shock formulas, apparently they can dry out if you don’t!

Super Shock Highlighter in Flexitarian ~ $8

Super Shock Highlighter in Flexitarian

Another Super Shock formula but this time I can put it allll over my face. This shade flexitarian is so incredibly metallic but definitely works for everyday, just don’t pile it on unless you’re going for the robot look. I apply this with my finger as well because of the creamy formula and I think the warmth from my fingers helps to blend it out. I love that this shade doesn’t leave a cast when I turn my face, it melts into the skin and shines in the light. Another one that I’ve been using everyday!

In A Trance Shadow Palette ~ $12

In A Trance Shadow Palette

I’d been looking for a pastel eyeshadow palette for a long time so when I saw this as part of Colourpop’s Tye Dye collection I thought it was the perfect palette to try out. Being pastel shades these were always going to take some building up but they’re much more pigmented than I expected and they blend nicely too. The only thing I’m not super happy about is that some of the mattes are flecked with microglitters, for example that bright pink shade in the top right should be a stunning, summery matte but instead has glitter running throughout. It’s not a deal breaker but I don’t understand why they couldn’t leave this shade matte! This is a common theme with Colourpop shadows so just something to watch out for.

Beast Lux Liquid Lip

Beast Lux Liquid Lip

I’ve gone off matte liquid lipsticks in a big way, they’re generally drying, uncomfortable and just look bad within half an hour of wear. Having said that… Belle is my favourite Disney princess… so I think that explains why Beast ended up in my basket! Seriously though I did love the colour on the website, it’s a nice darker nude but still wearable. More importantly it is pretty comfortable. It never seems to totally dry down but it still has a soft matte finish so it wasn’t drying at all, as a result of that I did find that the colour wore off when I ate or drank anything but I would prefer to reapply than feel uncomfortable! Similar to the Super Shock Shadows, I would buy another shade from this range if it was incredibly unique but it’s not a new go to formula for me.

Aquarius Lippie Stix

Aquarius Lippie Stix

Another classic Colourpop product, I was super excited to try the Lippie Stix. A low maintenance lipstick, the glossy, slim product seemed like a perfect ‘throw in your handbag’ product. It is incredibly comfortable, almost like a lip balm or non-sticky gloss, but for me it does emphasise the texture on my lips so you can tell if I haven’t exfoliated. I’ll definitely use this one with other products but I don’t think I’ll buy another shade in this formula.

Forth Ray Beauty Raydiate Vitamin C Serum

Forth Ray Beauty Raydiate Serum

I’ve heard good things about Colourpop’s skincare line Forth Ray Beauty so was excited to try out something from the line. I needed a new vitamin C serum and had heard that it was a cheaper alternative but still just as good as high end vitamin C serums. I do like this one but I can’t notice a massive difference in my skin, it doesn’t tingle or sting which is great but I’m not convinced that it does a great deal… it does make my skin look glowy but no different to my Glossier vitamin C serum. Again, I like it, I’ll use it all up and enjoy using it but I’m not seeing massive results. Then again it’s not breaking me out so that’s a plus!

My favourite products are definitely the Super Shock Shadows and the In A Trance palette, and even if some of the products aren’t new favourites I’m not discouraged from trying more from Colourpop, in fact I can’t wait to try more!

Glossier Haul and Review

Glossier is one of my favourite brands, I love the aesthetic and the products that I’ve already tried so I really wanted to try some more. I’ve been trying to save in lockdown and it was my birthday recently so that perfect storm (nice pun, kind of… sorry) led to a sizeable order! I’ve been trying these out for the last month or so and (spoiler alert) am loving it all! Keep reading to see my thoughts.

Cloud Paint Duo in Puff and Storm

I’ve already tried one cloud paint in the shade Dusk and I love it! Dusk is a really wearable nudey pink shade so I wanted to try something a little bolder, and bold is definitely the word for the colours I chose! Puff is a super light pink shade and Storm is a much darker dusty rose shade. Although somewhat intimidating, the creamy formula means that these shades blend seamlessly and give a perfect, low-maintenance flush to the cheeks. The best way to apply these is with your fingers to let their natural warmth blend the product in. I love all three shades, particularly storm blended together with dusk, such a dreamy combo!

Niteshine in Pale Pearl

If you had told me before I tried this product that Glossier had a wet-look, metallic highlighter in their collection I would have laughed because of their super natural aesthetic. And yet, that’s exactly what Niteshine is: wet-looking and metallic on the skin for a stay-all-day shine. Part of the Glossier Play line, Niteshine is a fun pop of sheen to add some luminosity to your everyday makeup. Again, this blends seamlessly with the fingers and adds such a pop to the highpoints of the face without being obnoxious.

Wowder Duo

When Wowder launched I didn’t hear much about it, good or bad. It was only after one of my favourite influencers talked about how much she loved it, second only to her Hourglass powder, and since Hourglass is a little out of my price range I decided to try Wowder instead! I really like this as it doesn’t look too powdery on the face and sets me down all day. The brush is also really nice, not an essential by any means but still nice to have!

The Treat and Perfect Duo

The Treat + Perfect Duo has been a great addition to my skincare routine. The Solution has become my everyday toner but I only use it at night and am sure to wear suncream the next day because the acids make your skin very sensitive to the sun. Having said that, I’ve experienced no irritation and my skin has been baby soft ever since I started using it. My texture has definitely reduced if not totally vanished and my skin feels brand new every morning. I’ve (touch wood) not had a big break out yet so the Zit Stick is yet to be put through it’s paces but in all honesty I’m happy to wait a while longer before I need to use it!

I hope that was in some way helpful if you’re looking to make a Glossier order, equally I’m sorry if I’ve made you want to make a Glossier order! Although if you are looking to try some new things and you fancy some everyday makeup bits to enhance your natural gorgeousness, Glossier is a great option. Maybe you’ll thank me later? Thank you for reading x

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My Skincare Routine 2020

Since we’ve been in lockdown I’ve taken the opportunity to spend some more time over my skincare in the morning and the evening so I thought I’d share what I’ve been doing. For some context, the general purpose of my evening skincare to repair and nourish my skin and the purpose of my morning skincare to prepare it for makeup and make it nice and glowy. As for my skin type, I have pretty normal skin that can sometimes be a bit sensitive. My skin isn’t prone to break outs (she says with a second head currently growing on her cheek) but if I do get spots they tend to be around my chin which I believe are mostly down to hormones and diet (*cough* stop eating chocolate *cough*). I also have a fringe which means I do get some lumps, bumps and general texture on my forehead but no one sees that so I’m not too worried about it!

Evening

To take my makeup off I’ve been loving using my Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm recently. I’ve only started using it regularly over the past month or so (hello lockdown!) since I’ve been home and had access to my bathroom to do my skincare but I am totally converted! I used to use micellar water and I do still like it for a quick and easy makeup removal but the Clinique balm literally melts the makeup off my skin and leaves it feeling clean but not tight. I also remove the oily residue of the balm with my Face Halo and I really think it makes all the difference. Face Halos are made of microfibres and can actually be used to take off makeup without any other cleanser, just water! I do love the Face Halo for that too (you can read more about it in my review post here!) but using it with an oil based cleanser means I can remove my makeup without scrubbing my skin too hard. Equally, I’ve used the balm without my Face Halo before and as nicely as it removes my makeup I definitely feel like that oil residue stays on my skin. So all in all, an oil based cleanser is definitely my favourite for removing makeup but I definitely like to take it all of with a Face Halo!

For my double cleanse I’m currently using the Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser, again removed with a Face Halo. I’ve only started double cleansing recently and I’m definitely a convert, I don’t think my skin has ever felt this clean! I definitely like this cleanser but I’m not sure if I would buy it again. I’ve just bought The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser and I’m looking forward to trying that soon! The best thing I can say about the Glossier Cleanser is that it cleans my skin and (as far as I can tell) hasn’t broken me out, which might not sound like high praise but that’s exactly what I want from a cleanser!

Next I tone with the Botanics All Bright Cleansing Toner on my reusable cotton pads I got from amazon. I like it, it’s okay, I’ll be honest I bought it because it was pink and looked nice and wasn’t too expensive! I’ve learnt a little more (emphasis on little!) about skincare recently and the main thing I’ve learnt is that alcohol is generally not good for your skin and after closer inspection I saw that alcohol is the first ingredient on the back of the toner bottle. For that reason I don’t think I’ll be repurchasing and next on my list is the Glossier Solution or the Pixie Glow Tonic so fingers crossed I can try those soon.

After toner I slather my skin in Glossier’s Super Bounce serum. It’s so nice and moisturising but extremely light on the skin and sinks in so nicely. After toner my skin can tend to feel a bit tight (most likely due to the alcohol in it!) so I love using this serum afterwards to make my skin feel hydrated again. Because I have fairly normal skin when given the choice between moisturising or oil control I always go for moisturising because the last thing I want to do is suck all the moisture from my skin and dehydrate it! Like I said, I do think this is a really lovely serum but I might try a different one before I repurchase it.

Next up in my routine is eye cream and I’m currently working my way through my Clinique All About Eyes eye cream. Again, I do really like this one but so long as eye cream is nice and moisturising I’m not too fussy about it! With all that in mind, I don’t think I’ll repurchase this one as I think I’d like to try something different when I finish it.

For my night time moisturiser I’m using up a sample size of Glossier’s Priming Moisturiser in Rich. I do really like this moisturiser because I find that it sinks in pretty quickly and is nice and moisturising. The only thing I’m not loving is the perfumey smell although it hasn’t irritated my skin as far as I can tell, it’s just personal preference! Pretty similar story here as well: I do like it but probably won’t repurchase.

I am looking to add some AHA/BHA acids to my evening skincare to deal with the texture on my forehead and cheekbones but I’m planning to do some research before putting too many acids on my skin. I would definitely like to try The Ordinary’s AHA 30% + 5% BHA Peeling Solution when it comes back in stock!

Morning

I tend not to do a full cleanse in the morning, usually just wash my face with water in the shower or run a damp Face Halo over my skin.

Next I pop on my Glossier Super Glow Serum. Another Glossier product that I’ve been really liking, Super Glow is a vitamin C serum that gives your skin a nice glow. It’s also not too potent so doesn’t irritate my skin which is great! I haven’t really used enough of this to consider repurchasing and will probably do some more research into vitamin C serums before I do.

I’m still using my Nivea eye cream, it has a nice pinky colour to counteract dark circles so it’s great for tired puffy eyes in the morning. Equally great for puffy skin is the L’Oreal Hydra Genius moisturiser, so nice and cooling in the summer! I’m not going to be repurchasing these products because they are not cruelty free so I’ll be finding some alternatives when the time comes!

I’m on the hunt for a great sun cream for under makeup but until then I’m using up a garnier sun cream. It’s super important to use sun cream everyday and especially after putting active ingredients like vitamin C on your skin. Like I say I’m just using this one up and have my eye on the Kao Biore Watery Essence Sunscreen to try next.

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Beauty Favourites

I’ve been really getting into makeup again recently and have really enjoyed trying out some new things with the products I already have. In wearing makeup nearly everyday again my favourite products have really stuck out and so I thought I’d write about them and talk about what I’ve been loving recently.

Rimmel’s Lasting Finish foundation

I’ve been gravitating towards this foundation so much recently, partially because it’s the foundation that matches me best at the moment, but I’ve still been really liking how it looks! I’ve been enjoying wearing this foundation on an everyday basis, concentrating the medium coverage formula in the centre of my face and blending outwards. Because this matches me pretty well currently (my pale pale face currently suits the shade 103 – True Ivory) I can quickly slap it on in the morning without worrying about it looking streaky. Like I said, I find this to be a solid medium coverage that covers most of my redness but still lets my skin peak through. All in all, a solid option, especially for that quick application in the mornings.

Too Faced Born This Way concealer

I love this concealer. I use it every time I wear makeup, without fail! This concealer is a little more expensive, but because of the super high coverage I only use a tiny amount under my eyes, a little mark on my chin and nose to brighten my face and on any little breakouts so it lasts for such a long time. I currently use the shade Snow which is a pretty good match right now but would be too light if I really packed it on and will definitely be too light for when I (hopefully) get a tan this summer. Like I said, the coverage is crazy good and although there is a little creasing throughout the day its totally natural and normal so doesn’t bother me and is something I see with every concealer I wear under my eyes.

MAC’s Velvet Teddy

Potentially the definition of a classic, this lipstick has been raved about for as long as I can remember – I think it’s one of the first high end products I ever got! I cracked it out again recently and was reminded exactly why it’s a cult classic. The perfect pinky nude matte lipstick, it strikes a great balance between being comfortable and has decent lasting power and even when it does start to fade it does so naturally without becoming patchy.

ABH Modern Renaissance

There’s a reason we were all obsessed with it when it launched! I’ve fallen back in love with my Modern Renaissance palette this month both for my everyday makeup and for those (admittedly rare) occasions that I head out in the evening. My favourite shade for quick makeup in the morning is Buon Fresco, the lilac colour in the palette. I just put it all over my lid and in my crease, add a little of Vermeer, the cooler toned shimmer, in my inner corner and I’m all done! If I have a little extra time I like taking Cyprus Umber, a really nice brown with hints of purple, and running it along my lash line for a faux wing.

L’oreal Dream Lengths Frizz Killer Serum

I just had to sneak a hair favourite in because I’ve been loving this product so much recently. This Frizz Killer Serum is the newest addition to the Dream Lengths range and honestly whenever they add something new to this range it immediately peaks my interest. I religiously use the hair cream and now the frizz serum when I get out of the shower and I think they really help my hair to be much less frizzy and fluffy. I have wondered if maybe the combination does weigh my hair down a little but to be honest it doesn’t bother me and I’ll compromise a little volume for less frizzy hair!

Glossier Super Glow Serum

Back to our regularly scheduled beauty favourites, I’ve been really liking the Glossier Super Glow serum lately. I got it for Christmas and have used it almost every morning since. I’m not super well versed in what I should and shouldn’t be using in my skincare routine but I’ve heard that vitamin C serums are supposed to make your skin nice and glowy so I thought I would try one. To be honest my skin has looked a little dead recently but I think that’s a combination of a slightly sub-par diet (university student right here), assignments and dissertation work (again, university) and the corona virus stress is not helping (the most important year of my life so far AND a seemingly unstoppable virus? I think not). All in all not the best! But having said that I think my skin has been looking better overall since I’ve been using the super bounce serum.

Christmas Gift Guide: Best of Boots

Boots is always a fab place for Christmas gifts. They have so much variety so there aren’t going to be many people you can’t find something for if you have look round! I’ve had scroll through the website and picked out some of my favourite bits from their Christmas gift section this year, keep reading to see what they are!

Essie Fairytale Slate duo

Essie nail varnishes truly are the best. They’re my go to brand for nail polish because they have such amazing colours and most importantly they take a good few days before they start to chip! They often sell little duo bundles and I think they make such a lovely gift. This Fairytale Slate duo kit is really nice for this time of year but you could definitely still use both the colours all year round.

NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams

Another super reliable brand is NYX and their Soft Matte Lip Creams are legendary for their staying power, creaminess and low price point. Chances are if you’re buying for someone who loves their makeup they’ll either have tried them before or have heard all about them, win win either way! This set of three is a great gift because you get a few different colours but they’re not crazy ones you’ll never wear!

Lee Stafford Coco Loco Bauble

If you know someone who loves taking good care of their hair then this gift is the one for them. This Lee Stafford Coco Loco Bauble is so cute and would make a great present this Christmas! I also think it would be so cute for a Secret Santa present, its Christmasy and actually contains products you’ll use.

Liz Earle Discover Radiance set

Any skincare fanatics will have heard of Liz Earle, such a beautiful skincare brand with amazing products. This Discover Radiance set from them looks unreal especially as it includes probably their best known product, the hot cloth cleanser, as well some other really nice bits from their range.

Marc Jacobs fragrance gift set

If you know somebody who loves their perfumes then a little fragrance gift set will never go unappreciated! A gift set is a great way to let someone find something new and lets you, the person buying the present, give them a range of different scents if you’re not sure what they like! Fragrances are of course very personal but I think this Marc Jacobs set is a great option, Daisy is such a classic so you can’t go wrong!

I hope this was helpful in some way when choosing your presents this year, boots is always one of my first stopping points this time of year and they’ve made it super easy to shop by department so you can always find what you’re looking for. They even have a vegan section so its super easy to shop for your vegan loved ones.

Hollie x

My Sunday Pamper Night

As it’s Sunday I thought this was the perfect time to talk a little bit about self care. I love a relaxing bath especially in the colder months, we’ve got a really nice bath at home and I’ve been loving settling down for a nice long bath on a Sunday, I already miss it now I’m back at uni! I’ve recently got into back into candles and face masks and what’s better than a bath and a face mask? With that in mind I wanted to share some of my favourite bits and pieces that make me feel nice and relaxed and get me ready for the week ahead.

It’s all in the prep

The first thing I bring up and put next to my bath is a big old bottle of water. I tend to have quite a hot bath so a nice drink of water stops me getting too hot and bothered. I also occasionally indulge in a little (or large, depending on the week I’ve had!) glass of wine which admittedly does go down an absolute treat. Another important step is candles, all the candles! Some of my favourites are from Olivia Blake which can be found in Homesense, they smell incredible and from a far they look like Jo Malone but at a fraction of the price!

Time to relax…

I love a good face mask in the bath, sometimes I’ll use clay mask but I usually go for a sheet mask. I bought a few in Sephora when I was in America which I’m loving but my go-tos are definitely the garnier sheet masks. I’ve tried quite a few of the different ones and all of them leave my skin feeling refreshed and glowing.

I also love to give my skin a good exfoliate in the bath to remove any residual fake tan if I’ve had any on that week. I’ll also exfoliate if I’m planning on tanning later that evening to prep my skin and help my tan go on as evenly as possible.

Fake it ’til you make it

Finally, once my face mask is ready to come off and I’m ready to get out I’ll moisturise and put on my tan if I’m feeling like it. The moisturiser I’m loving right now is the Sanctury Spa body butter in their classic original scent, I love how this smells so much! If I’m tanning I just pop that on the dry areas of my skin to stop the tan sticking (elbows, wrists and hands, knees, feet and ankles, you know the drill!). My favourite tan is the Tanologist tanning water in medium, I find it gives such a nice natural colour without that fake tan smell and without leaving my bedsheets orange!

Once I’ve tanned and put on my comfiest pyjamas I’ll just wind down for the rest of the evening and jump into bed! Thank you for reading about my little pamper routine, it’s not particularly extensive but I don’t want something relaxing to be too regimented. If you did enjoy this post don’t forget to like, share and subscribe to my blog.

Hollie x

Review: Why Everyone Needs a Face Halo

I’ve known about Face Halos for about a year but never tried them out. That changed a couple of weeks ago when I took the plunge and placed an order on Beauty Bay, I picked up a 3 pack of the Face Halo Pro and I chose the Pro above the original purely because they are black so they won’t get stained! I’ve been using them every day since they arrived and wanted to share my thoughts.

In case you have no idea what a Face Halo is I’ll fill you in. A Face Halo is a microfibre pad that removes your makeup with just water, I know, I was skeptical too! They have many benefits to them which I’ll go on to discuss but safe to say I might be converted from my trusty micellar water.

First up the most important bit: how it performs. I think the best way to demonstrate this is by showing you rather than telling you and to really put it to the test we’ve got to see how it tackles liquid eyeliner. My eyeliner got a little out of hand the day I tried this but I suppose for our purposes it’s not a bad thing! Here is my face before using the Face Halo:

My makeup that day, before using my Face Halo

I wasn’t wearing really heavy makeup but it was a pretty reasonable amount to test I think! I ran my Face Halo under some lukewarm water (it can be used with warm or cold water btw!) and basically just wiped away at my face like I would do with a face wipe or a cotton pad. Here is my face afterwards:

My clean face after the Face Halo

As you can see it removed my makeup really well! I’d say taking off my makeup took about the same amount of time (if not less!) than if I were using a cotton pad and micellar water and it definitely felt better on my skin. The Face Halo is super soft microfibre which is far nicer on my sensitive skin than a rough cotton pad. The fact that I’m only using water on my skin is also a plus for me because my skin can flare up at the drop of a hat so the less product I use on it the better!

One of the main reasons the Face Halo has displaced micellar water and a cotton pad as my preferred makeup removal method is because of how much better my skin feels after using one. Since the only thing going on my face is water it feels nice and hydrated and there’s no residue left behind and my skin doesn’t feel tight like it sometimes does with micellar water. On top of this, my face, particularly my eyes, don’t feel sore or irritated if I have to rub at them to remove those last flecks of mascara like they would if I was using a cotton pad.

One of the best things about the Face Halo is that it is reusable. You’re supposed to rinse it after use and after a couple of uses put it in the washing machine and voila, good as new. They can be washed up to 200 times before they need to be thrown away so a pack of three could years. This is not only good for your wallet but also the environment, win win!

I hope that little review was helpful and told you everything you need to know about the Face Halo, I’ll leave the link to their website here if you want to see their product’s claims for yourself! If you did find this helpful please like, share and subscribe and follow me on instagram to see when I post first.

Hollie x

My Skincare Favourites

Disclaimer: I am lazy. Very lazy. So I try to keep my skincare routine relatively simple and convenient. Everyone takes care of their skin differently, to some my skincare routine may seem execive and others may be wondering where all my serums and facemasks are. But overall, my goal with my skincare is just to make my skin feel healthy and hopefully avoid too many spots! Below I’ve shared my morning and evening skincare routines and my favourite products.

Also, in case anyone is interested, I have pretty normal skin with a slightly oily t-zone but my skin can also be quite sensitive so I try and stay away from harsh chemicals. I’m quite lucky and manage to avoid too many spots (touch wood) so I don’t use any spot treatments so as not to irritate my skin.

Evening Skincare

Firstly, when taking my makeup off I don’t think you can get better than the Garnier Delicate Oil Micellar Water. The quality of the product for the price is unbeatable, the oil in the formula helps to strip off all of my makeup and best of all, doesn’t sting my eyes which is such a blessing. If I’ve had a lot of make-up on that day, then I’ll follow that up with my Clinique Take the Day Off Balm. When rubbing the balm into your skin it changes into an oily formula that again helps to get rid of every last bit of makeup and helps my skin feel squeaky-clean. After that, I use a toner, my toner of choice being the Simple Soothing Toner, mostly because it’s very affordable and doesn’t irritate my skin. It’s a real classic that gets the job done.

I have two different eye creams, one for the morning and one for the evening (extra, I know). In the evening I use the Clinique All About Eyes because it’s very soothing and gentle and makes my under-eyes feel soft and nurished. Finally, I top it off with a moisturiser, my current favourite being the L’oreal Hydra Genius Sensitive Moisturiser. The gel formula is cooling and makes my skin feel plump and rehydrated.

Morning Skincare

I usually won’t bother cleansing and toning my skin again in the morning, although if there’s any makeup still left on my face (because I never seem to manage to get it all!) then I’ll go back to my Garnier Micellar water to remove those trace spots. After that, I’ll use Nivea’s Cellular Radiance eye cream. I love the peachy tint in it because it helps to hide those pesky under-eye bags, which is definitely a necessity in the morning! Finally, I’ll go back to that same L’oreal gel moisturiser. I love and use it all year round but it’s especially nice in the hot weather as the formula is so cooling in the morning.

After all that I can put my makeup on and get ready for my day (or more likely, roll straight back into bed). I hope that shows that skincare doesn’t have to be too much of a fuss with 6 serums, three facemasks and a jade facial roller, because who’s actually got time for that?

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Hollie x