Tuesday, July 22, 2014

HealGel Giveaway & Tips On How To Keep Skin Healthy & Hydrated

tips on how to keep your skin hydrated

Products like HealGel can make it easy for you take care of your skin during hot and humid days, but for most of us (like myself), it often takes a lot more work than that. Our skin can dry out due to factors like humidity, pollution, sun exposure, and even having the air con on. As there isn't that one miracle beauty product that zaps all our skin troubles away, perhaps it was time that we went back to basics!

Here are five tips on how to help your skin stay healthy and hydrated this Summer, which are not only important for our skin, but benefits our health and well-being too!

Drink more water:
This one's an obvious one! It is important to keeping your skin hydrated and detoxify your body, but I am the first to put my hand up to say I struggle with it! I'm not the most thirsty person and don't naturally reach for pure water when I need a drink. I have to remind myself that water not only improve the quality of your skin but it also helps to increase your energy levels. On my tea break for the next two months, I'm going to try and drink the recommended amount of water. I will also be swapping a cuppa or a coffee for water and a slice of lemon!

No junk food!
When you've worked long hours, all you want is something sugary to give you a quick boost of energy. When we are surrounded by the temptation of yummy junk food snacks, it's not easy to swap a delicious Mars Bar for a seemingly boring apple. I like fruit but I'm not always keen on it, however, I LOVE vegetables and I could eat a whole plate of them. Staying healthy is hard, we all know it but making it look appealing is what does the trick for me. I love making a vegetable platter, a couple of cream crackers with a side of hummus and balsamic vinegar with a splash of olive oil! I could also live on salads when it's made with a nice dressing! It's all about the dressing!

Cut out alcohol:
As you know, alcohol dehydrates you. Even if you drink loads of water, the alcohol will un-do all of that! On nights out, I love a good cocktail or five but I don't drink excessively every single time I go out, and can pretty much have a good time without it so it will be easy for me to cut it out completely - at least for a couple of months. My skin is going to feel better for it when I cut alcohol out for the next couple of months. Being booze free means healthier skin, shinier hair, finer lines and brighter eyes!

No more face wipes:
Up until a few weeks ago, I thought that face wipes would be fine for short trips, camping and festivals but honestly, I'm never going to use them on my face again. They're not even that convenient, if you think about it. You can buy little empty bottles from Boots for about £1, so I'd rather decant cleanser in to them and pack some cotton pads, and use them instead. Facial wipes or make up remover wipes are usually quite harsh, and makes my skin feel so incredibly dry. I can literally feel my skin shrivelling up like a prune after a few days of using them!

Eating superfoods:
You are what you eat! For me, the first stage of this would be to actually research what superfoods would benefit me. Berries that are high in antioxidents, oranges for the high source of vitamin C, fish that are rich in omega 3 oils, and even nettle tea are known to be anti-inflammatory. I need to find out more and incorporate those types of food in to my diet. By doing this, I'll probably find that I won't be needing to use as much make up or skincare products. Your skin, hair and nails will look beautiful and healthy in no time!



What are your top tips? You can also join in with the #HealGelHydrate discussion on Twitter or your own blogs too, by offering your tips on how you deal with parched skin during Summer.

I've teamed up with HealGel to offer one lucky winner a chance to try HealGel Body (£39.50) and HealGel Eye (£32) as pictured above, to help you on your way to keeping your skin healthy and hydrated! To read more about them, head over to my reviews:

HealGel Eye (aka best eye treatment ever!!)

To enter, please use the Rafflecopter widget below. A winner will be chosen in 7 days time and contacted via email, so please submit your entry using a valid email address. Good luck!

Open to the UK only.

Competition is courtesy of HealGel and the prize is as shown in the photograph above in this blogpost. Entries must be made via Rafflecopter widget. Entries are moderated so please ensure that adhere to the giveaway entry terms as failure to do so will result in disqualification. No cash alternatives are available. One winner will be selected from Rafflecopter after the closing date and the winner will receive a full size HealGel Body and HealGel Eye which can not be exchanged or refunded. This is a free prize draw, no purchase necessary. Giveaway will be live for 7 days, and will end on 29th July 2014. Entries must be submitted via Rafflecopter widget only. I will contact the winner via email after closing date. HealGel will be dispatching the prize directly to the winner, please allow up to 4 weeks for delivery. A new winner will be selected if we do not receive a respond within 3 working days. This competition is open to UK residents only.

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Monday, July 21, 2014

Antonia Burrell's Holistic Skincare | Cleansing Oil and Face Serum

Antonia burrell's hollistic skincare, organic natural skincare products

A name that's doing the rounds in the beauty blogging world is Antonia Burrell. Antonia believes in using ethical and sustainably sourced ingredients to formulate clean, chemical-free, luxurious skincare products. The products work to improve the appearance of your skin, your life and your personal well-being. For the past 18 months, I have been introduced to a lot of organic and natural skin and body care products and I really do see a difference. I've been trying out Antonia Burrell's Natural Glow Cleansing Oil and Pure Therapy Facial Oil Serum, and this is how I've got on:

cleansing oil, double cleansing, natural glow cleansing oil, antonia burrell cleansing oil, natural cleanser
3 sizes available, prices start from £29.50 

What they say: "Say hello to the world's first 100% pure plant, 100% natural, emulsifying cleansing oil. Natural Glow Cleansing Oil is the hero from the range, healing and purifying, calming irritation and brightening the skin leaving no oily residue"

What I say: After hearing those words, I was very excited to use this cleansing oil. I have had a positive experience with facial oils but there was one time where I had a reaction and that has made me very wary of them. I have to remember that out of all the times I've used them, I've only had one bad reaction. So, I opened this up and out comes this simple, yet beautiful glass bottle - you know you're holding a premium products and I immediately have high expectations. 

I've had to introduce this to my skincare routine very slowly. At first, it didn't work but I knew this was a transitional period, as I am previously used to cream cleansers. I didn't break-out from using it but instead, it just didn't seem to be doing anything for the first 2 or 3 weeks. However, I persevered because some products don't work straight away, especially if you've just suddenly switched from one to another. This is the seventh week of using this cleansing oil and I can see the benefits. My skin is brighter after using it! 

What I actually really like this oil for is when I am double cleansing, it is perfect. It's the first product I used followed by a cream or milk cleanser. I double cleanse on days/evenings where I'm wearing heavy make up, I really make a huge effort to get every single bit off my face before I go to bed... otherwise I'll regret it because I'll sure be paying for it for several days (even weeks) after! I apply 5 pumps of the oil on to my hands, apply it to my face and massage it in for 2 minutes. Then by adding water, the oil transforms in to a cleansing milk which allows you to remove make up (even around the eyes), impurities, dirt and grease. 

It contains tea tree which helps prevents break outs, and heals acne and dermatitis. There's also lavendar in it to calm irritation, soothe sun-damaged skin, psoriasis and burns. I know it's quite scary putting a product like this on to your skin, especially if you are prone to oil because oil-on-oil it is known to be quite balancing. 

Pure therapy facial oil serum, natural oil serum, antonia burrell oil serum review

What they say: "A sensuous, 100% natural serum with a blend of 21 pure plant extracts that works to perfect troublesome skin. The rich and luxurious serum deeply penetrates to purify, heal, refine and regulate the natural balance in oily, blemished skin"

What I say: Serums have become an essential part of my daily routine. I like to switch them up depending on how my skin feels and what I feel like it needs. Sometimes on days where my skin feels quite oily, I'll use a serum that isn't as potent (or I just won't use one at all). And vice versa, when I'm suffering from dry skin during Winter, I'll reach for one with a richer formula.

The Pure Therapy Facial Oil Serum is ideal for spot-prone and reactive skins. I use only one drop of this at night, as opposed to the mornings before applying make up because it makes my face look too dewy. It certainly gives you a nice healthy glow! Again, I know it's slightly scary to use an oil product on spot-prone skin but these types of products are almost like a treatment. It contains 100% natural ingredients and a blend of: 

Organic sandalwood - Helps to calm itchy, irritated skin, reduce congestion, blemishes and acne
Vetiver - A green plant that is known for melting away stress. It balances hormones, rejuventate dry skin or absorb oil from greasy skin.
Kiwi Seed - Highly anti-oxidant and very rich in essential omega 3 and 6 fatty accids. Kiwi Seed helps to treat large pores and reduce redness
Melaleuca Viridflora Leaf - Acts as a powerful antiseptic and promotes healing of scar tissue

Both the cleansing oil and face serum smells very similar to each other. It's herbal but I've hardly noticed it and I've got a very sensitive nose! It's a rather gentle, relaxing and pleasant scent, nothing offensive!

You can purchase Antonia Burrell skincare products on the website, or Urban Retreat in Harrods.

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Sunday, July 20, 2014

Heeled Sandals from House Of Fraser Under £30!

High heeled sandals, dorothy perkins heels

Dorothy Perkins Sandals via House Of Fraser* - £29.99

I haven't done a shoe post since last year so this is well overdue! Come and check out my other posts if you're a fan of SHOES (let's face it, ladies! Who isn't!)! I've been wanting to buy a pair of heeled sandals like this for a while and I spotted some from Primark but I just haven't had time to go back to the bigger store where I saw them! I have in my head that they would be more comfortable as they're made with much less material than my other shoes, and perhaps wouldn't rub on your feet as much.

When I think of House of Fraser, brands that come to mind are Dune, Kurt Geiger, Nine West, and Carvela (all of which I LOVE!!! Be still my beating heart!) but you know, all the premium ones that are currently way out of my budget. However, I love a good browse when they have a sale on so I'll be popping in to the shops for that; I love searching through the discounted shoe racks, and trying each and every pair on, that's always a fun activity to do to kill some time!

Amongst all of that are Dorothy Perkins who have really upped their game lately, especially with their Summer range! Up until a couple of weeks ago, I wasn't even aware that House Of Fraser stocked Dorothy Perkins, and it isn't a brand that I've taken much notice of until recently but it's firmly on my fashion radar now, especially their shoe range! I love my new heeled sandals but they do come up big, especially with sandals like this so I would recommend going a size down from what you would normally buy. Also, can you believe they are only £29.99? Being a major high street brand aside, it's nice to see a more purse-friendly brand stocked in HoF! 

There is currently a huge blue cross sale at House Of Fraser, with up to 70% off! Go get yourself a brand spanking new pair of shoes, girls! :-)

Check out my other shoe posts and let me know what you think of them! x

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Friday, July 18, 2014

Follow Friday #1 | Blog Recommendations

For the next four weeks, I'm going to be doing a Follow Friday series where I recommend my favourite bloggers for you to follow. I read so many blogs and have literally hundreds of favourites, so I thought it was time that I started making a bit of noise about them.

It has been pointed out that the YouTube community are more open to helping each other out what with their collaborations, tags and shout outs - all for our entertainment! - whereas bloggers seem a lot more guarded (we'll just play Chubby Bunny in our own private time, away from the cameras!). As bloggers, maybe we're more precious with our little slice of the Internet, but in recent months, there has been some unsavoury behaviour going in the blogosphere and I do think we need to gain back that "community vibe" the blogging world once was. I do want to start sharing more of other people's contents on here, and I'm aiming to do so every Friday for the next four weeks (maybe more, but I don't want to jinx myself! Like that time when I said I'd do a YouTube video every Sunday?... Yeah... that kind of didn't happen!!)

I'm going to try mix it up each week and include a combination of fashion, beauty, food and lifestyle bloggers. The amount of followers they have is not important to me, and if the content is good then I'm going to be following! There's no such thing as a "small blogger" or "big blogger" in my eyes! And if you have a blog yourself, give me a shout on Twitter, don't be scared to tweet me your link! 

Here's the first lot for you! 

UK Fashion Blog | The Cinnamon Slipper By Rebecca
UK Fashion Blogger, The Cinnamon Slipper

Beeca's blog is a very pretty corner of the Internet filled with lots of gorgeous outfit and style posts. You'll notice the gorgeous blog design layout and her beautiful photography straight away. I have seriously wardrobe envy (just look at how pretty this vintage dress is!) but you certainly can't help but fall in love with this stylish lady! 

Australian Lifestyle Blog | Deluminators By Jane
view of hong kong from the peak, hong kong island

I have been following Jane's blog for the longest time. I think it was one of the first ones I followed when I started blogging "properly". I've been enjoying Jane's recent travel posts, they are amazing! I particularly love the one about Hong Kong

UK Fashion/Nail Art/DIY Blogger | Burkatron by Caroline
British Style Blogger, Burkatron

Unbeknownst to me at the time, Caroline and I were at the same event a couple of years ago where she was a finalist at The LOOK Show. Gutted I didn't get the chance to catch up with her but it makes me so happy to see this mega babe's blog go from strength to strength! Caroline's blog has a mixture of fashion, nail art and DIY content. My favourite are her nail art posts!

UK Fashion & Beauty Blog | A Little Boat Sailing By Amy
British Beauty Blogger, A little boat sailing

Amy's beauty posts are one of my favourites to read at the moment! We have a very similar taste in beauty products, so I like to pop over to her blog and see what's she is currently recommending! She's also a cat lady, my favourite kind of people! :-)

Share the love and let me know who your current favourite bloggers are at the moment! ♥︎

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Image Credit: These photos do not belong to me. Each photos is an original image taken by each the blogger.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Make Up Recommendations | Base Products

best base make up products

I have a love/hate relationship with base products and it has taken me a long time to finally find products that feel somewhat comfortable on my skin. I do use a mix of high end and drug store brands, but I don't really have a preference. My only criteria is that it doesn't dry my skin out horrendously, and that it doesn't make me want to claw my face by the end of the day or night!

When I gathered all of my base products together for this blog post, I didn't realise how much I actually use! It's just part of your daily routine, and it isn't likely that you don't go through each morning by counting how many different product you apply to your skin. I must point out that I don't pile all of these products on in one go! However, on days where I'm getting outfit photos taken, on nights out, and special occasions where I like to make the extra effort to look nice, I use a primer, BB cream, and a foundation.

Without further ado, here are my current favourites:

best primers, garnier perfect blur, illamasqua satin primer, porefessional

I use two types. The Illamasqua one is quite runny and tacky which make my make-up stick, prolonging the wear and reducing the amount of times I have to touch up (if at all). I also have another primer which I only use on certain parts of my face. This blurs fine lines, and cover certain areas like the side of my nose and laughter lines. It just smoothes everything down and makes the foundation go on a lot more flawless. So, if you've ever wondered why my skin looks flawless in photographs, it's because of this. It's my little secret trick that I use! It looks GREAT on camera.

Firstly, Illamasqua Satin Primer is one of the best thing in my make up bag. I had applied this all over my face on the day of my sister's wedding and because I was a bridesmaid, I didn't accessorise my dress with a bag so I couldn't take any make up with me other than my lipstick. Also, everybody were carrying tiny little clutches as well, so there was no chance of me asking any of the ladies to carry bits of make up around for me. I didn't panic though, I knew this primer from Illamasqua was 100% reliable, though. Even through the summer heat, my make up managed to stay on for the full 12 hours without shifting! I didn't need to re-apply any of my make up (apart from the lippy!). It has got a satin finish which means it leaves your skin with a beautiful healthy glow but it's not oily - it kind of just illuminates your skin. It is just just nicest primer, and very moisturising too! The Satin Primer is probably best suited for those with normal/dry skin. If you have oil prone skin type, or if you prefer a matte finish, try the Illamasqua Matte Primer instead.

The other primer(s) ones I use are more of a balm. I have the Garnier Perfect Blur and the Porefessional by Benefit. I don't use them both at the same time, I pick one or the other and it's usually the Garnier Perfect Blur that I prefer because it has no colour to it, is pretty much odorless and it not as "slippery". The Porefessional Primer comes out of the tube a beige colour (but is transluscent when applied to skin), it has a fragrance and can sometimes be greasy when my skin is misbehaving! I don't use these ones all over my face as I have mentioned above - only sparingly around the side of my nose (which make it appear smaller), around my chin and sometimes on my jawline. 

BB Creams / Skin Tints
best BB cream and skin tint, rodial instaglam, benefit big easy, maybelline dream fresh

The second layer I add on is either a BB cream, skin tint, or tinted moisturiser. This evens out my skin tone, reduces redness and covers up any freckles and blemishes.

I usually opt for the Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream. It does a great job of evening out my skin tone and covering blemishes and freckles. It's also a great colour match for my skin tone and doesn't leave my skin feeling dry. I'm sure there are other better BB Creams out there but I've never had the urge to switch it up because I'm happy with this one. It has a slightly dewy finish to it but it's not an overly shiny glaze. The only bad thing is that after three months, it starts to smell a bit and I have to end up buying another tube even though there's still quite a bit left. There's a shelf life of 9 months, though but I just can't stand the change in the smell.

Benefit's Big Easy claims to be more than a BB Cream. I did a reviewed of it back in April but Big Easy is a medium coverage  with a matte finish, which goes from a liquid to a powder finish. I like this, it's a really nice product but can only use it on good skin days as it tends to cling on to dry patches. Exfoliate the night before, and apply a hydrating mask and Big Easy transfers on to skin like a dream.

A recent addition to my "base" collection is Rodial's Instaglam Skin Tint with SPF 30. This is a really gorgeous tinted moisturiser that contains hyaluronic acid which is known for it's locking in hydration and keeping your skin moisturised. It is lightweight but provides a medium coverage. At £45, it's a bit on the pricy side but oh my, it makes your skin look so completely beautiful! Lots to talk about with this one and I will be doing a full review of this very soon! If you ever come across it when you're shopping, you must check it out!

Foundation and Finishing Powder
best base make up products, stay matte foundation

Liquid Foundation: I really like the Rimmel Stay Matte Foundation. It's the only drugstore foundation I've ever loved. When I can't afford an expensive one, this one is the one I automatically go for, no doubts about it! It's a matte finish but it doesn't highlight dry, flaky patches like a lot of matte foundations do. I did a full review of it here.

Highlighter: I know I like the matte, flawless look but I don't exactly want my face to look like a potato, so I use a tiny bit of highlighter on my brow bone and a little bit on the apples of my cheeks before apply a blusher. This just puts a bit of radiance back in to my face but also looks flattering when the light hits those part of my face where I've applied highlighter. I used to love Benefit High Beam but after years of buying it (and again, not using it before it's gone off) I just end up wasting money so I've opted for an alternative and that just so happens to be Smashbox Halo Highlighting Wand.

Finishing Powder: Rimmel Clear Complexion is affordable and effective. It doesn't pick up much of the product but that just gives your more control over it. The Porefessional Agent Zero Shine is a loose powder so you can apply more of that in one go. Both of these eliminates shine so it's a nice option for those with oily skin. I did a full write up of the Rimmel Clear Complexion and Porefessional Agent Zero Shine, so if you'd like to know more, then click through to have a little read! But as always, if you have any questions, just give me a shout on the comments or social media!

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