Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Blogger Discovery | Becky from Little Blog of Beauty

1. What is your name, where do you blog, and what are we likely to find there? (Feel free to add links to all your social media/YouTube account aswell)

My name is Becky and I write a beauty blog over at I also spend most of my life on Twitter so come over and say hello @lilblogofbeauty.  I have also finally got Instagram (my old phone wouldn't support it) and you can find me @thelittleblogofbeauty.

You'll mostly find product reviews on my blog at the moment as I find them the easiest to do while I'm trying to finish my uni work.  Once uni work is out of the way I hope to get a bit more creative and start doing nail art and other types of posts.

2. What is your...

Hair Colour:

My hair is supposed to be chocolate brown (out of a bottle) but instead it's pretty much black.  My natural hair colour is blonde.

Hair Type:

Unfortunately my hair is greasy. I used to wash it every day, which was a pain when it was really long, but I have got it down to every other day now.  In general though my hair is in very good condition.

Skin Type:

My skin is dry to very dry with eczema patches.  However, in a couple of areas my skin is quite oily. 

3. What are your favourite type of posts to write and read?

I would probably say most reached for or favourite products posts.  Before I buy something new that I haven't tried before I like to check blogs for reviews and if the product appears on most reached for or favourites posts then I know it's likely that it'll be a good product.  Nail art and lipstick posts also go down well with me.

As I've said I only really do product reviews at the moment but once I manage to get more into nail art I'm sure those will probably be my favourite type of posts to do. 

4. What is your current Skincare Routine? (Feel free to include a link if you've blogged about it recently)

I believe I have a very simple skincare routine compared to some bloggers.  In the morning I just wash my face with water.  Many face wash products dry my skin out and I don't want to have to worry too much about trying to get moisture back into my skin to make a good base for makeup.  I then just apply a day moisturiser.

At the end of the day I remove my makeup (if I've worn makeup that day) with a cream cleanser or more recently I have tried micellar waters after being part of Escentuals Micellar Water Blind Trial.  Then before bed I'll wash my face with some kind of face wash and if my skin is quite dry apply a facial oil and then a night moisturiser or just the moisturiser if my skin is not too bad.  Then at least once a week instead of a face wash I use a melting gel cleanser followed by a hot cloth cleanser and then a moisture mask which I leave on as long as possible, if not all night.  

I've only recently started using skincare in the last couple of years as I approached my 30's (yes I previously didn't even use moisturiser) but as I get older I think I will probably step it up.  

5. What is your favourite Foundation product? 

I have used Max Factor's Facefinity Compact foundation for years now and it was only when I started blogging that I started trying liquid foundations again.  Of the liquid foundations that I have tried my favourite is Lancome's Teint Visionnaire which I was part of the Debenhams Beauty Club review panel for.  I do use liquid foundations more now but I still like how quick and easy a compact foundation is to apply and I always make sure I use this if I'm doing some filming work so there's no reflection/glare on my face from shoot lighting.

6. We all know nobody's perfect, so what do you think is your biggest beauty sin? (for example, always missing out the 'toning' step of your skincare or not washing your brushes enough)

I'm actually struggling to think of one! I do miss out the toning step in my skincare routine but that's because I don't like using toner because it doesn't really agree with my skin.  Previously I rarely washed my makeup brushes at all but I didn't use many and I made a resolution this year to wash them regularly, which I have stuck to.  So I guess my biggest sin would be keeping products way past when they should have been disposed of.  I recently wrote a blog post on the shelf life of products, expiry dates and the PAO symbol.  

7. If you had to shop at the same clothes shop for the rest of your life, where would it be?

That's quite a difficult one for me because at 6ft tall I'm quite restricted with where I can buy trousers that will be long enough for me.  Some shops I may just buy trousers from because they offer a tall range (although tall ranges are often too long for me) or longer lengths, but I might not be keen any of the other clothes they sell.  Not worrying about trouser lengths I would have to say probably Oasis.

8. What's the best opportunity that's arisen from your blog?

I haven't been blogging for very long, just over 6 months now, so there haven't been many opportunities but I would say getting to go to the Harvey Nichols Bristol fashion and beauty bloggers event where we were pampered (even if I did unfortunately have a reaction to one of the products used!)

9. What's the one piece of advice you'd give to any blogger?

I don't really think I'm in a good position to be able to offer any advice regarding blogging as I've been doing it for such a short time.  But I think you definitely need to try and do things your own way and not just copy what you've seen others do.  

10. Finally, name some of your favourite bloggers/YouTubers...

At the moment I don't actually watch YouTubers very often but once my uni work is out the way I'll be able to concentrate more on watching them.  My favourite bloggers would be Victoria over at In The Frow, Fee from Makeup Savvy, Laura from Belles Boutique, Jen from A Beauty Junkie in London, Hannah from Cosmetic Crave and there's probably loads more that I can't think of right now!


Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Weightloss | Slimming World - My First Week

If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter you may know that I joined Slimming World last Tuesday in a quest to lose 2 stone before Christmas (I have a long term goal but I'm not sure of exact figures yet so for now I have a short term target of 2 stone). I would imagine that you have heard of Slimming World but if you haven't, it's basically all about Food Optimising, filling up on the good foods but not depriving yourself totally of the foods you love (i.e what probably made you fat in the first place, ha). 

There are 4 types of food in Slimming World - Free, Superfree, Healthy Extras and Syns. The aim is to fill each plate you eat with 2/3 free foods and 1/3 superfree with your Healthy Extras in there and your Syns (if you need them). There are so many free foods to name individually but you can pretty much say that free foods include: meat (with all visible fat cut off), fish/seafood, Quorn (meat replacement), potatoes, mushrooms and so much more. Fruit and Veg is your Superfree (excluding advocado), your healthy extras are your daily intake of fibre and calcium (usually in bread, cereal, milk and cheese... again there are many more options). And finally your Syns are everything in between; condiments like ketchup and mayo, chocolate, crisps, takeaways, alcohol etc. etc. 

The reason why I love Slimming World so much is that there is no limit to how much you can eat when it comes to Free and Superfree foods, no weighing or measuring you can eat as much as you want until you are full. It works for me because I like to eat a lot, I don't like diets to leave me hungry because I just don't stay on them long enough, I get bored quickly and look for a quick hunger fix. I know for a fact it works as a diet, there is some very slender evidence in the form of Leanne from Do Not Refreeze, as an example!

I am so ready for this weightloss and I'm going to share my experiences every week with you. I was horrified at how much I weighed at my first weigh in but I've started as I mean to go on and my first weeks weightloss is...

- 6lb

Yes it's big and yes it's in bold because I am so proud of that, I know that my losses aren't going to be as big as that every week but it doesn't take away from the fact that 6lb is a great weightloss. I even had 2 days in London for going to Olympia Beauty and I still managed this, I made sensible choices in restaurants and didn't eat food I didn't need to eat.

Here's some of my favourite food from this week...
Meal Idea
Birds Eye Bake to Perfection Salmon in Lemon and Butter (free)
Baked Potato (free)
Cherry tomatoes (superfree)
Cucumber (superfree)
Lettuce (superfree)
1 Level Teaspoon Lurpak Lighter (1.5 syns)
1 Level Tablespoon Heinz Light Salad Cream 30% less fat (2 syns)

 Snack Idea 
Seafood Sticks (free)
1 Level Tablespoon Heinz Salad Cream
1 Level Tablespoon Tesco Tomato Ketchup

125ml Glass Prosecco (4.5 syns)

Meal Idea
Baked Potato (free)
Tin of Tuna in Brine (free)
Lettuce (superfree)
Cucumber (superfree)
Cherry Tomatoes (superfree)
Picked beetroot (free)
3 x Level Tablespoons light mayo (6 syns)
1 level teaspoon Lurpak Lighter (1.5 syns)

I have taken a photo recently of myself so I can do a bit of a comparison once I have lost a significant amount of weight. I am so ready for this, I'm sick of being overweight and this diet is so easy!

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Skincare | Neal's Yard Palmarosa Purifying Facial Mask

If you've been reading my blog for a while you'll know that I have to be careful what I put on my face, the slightest imbalance of something can break me out in pretty awful acne. I try and look for supposed 'good' ingredients and try and stay away from 'bad' ingredients (when I say bad I generally mean anything OIL based, I know they say oil is good but the only good oil product I've found which is good for my skin is the Clarins Lotus Oil which I use once a week or so, very sparingly... less so during summer because my skin just doesn't need it)

I used my first Neal's Yard products in the new year when I was given their citrus hand wash and lotion for Christmas; I loved those so the next step was to try some of their skincare range. If you don't know who Neal's Yard are, they were founded in 1981 with their first shop in Covent Garden, that in itself makes me want to try more of the brand as I'm really keen to support anything British. 

Palmarosa Purifying Facial Mask £25.75 Neal's Yard*

The most striking thing with anything Neal's Yard is the smell, everything smells absolutely beautiful and really draws you into wanting to use it; it contains 59% organic ingredients; maple extract, raspberry leaf extract, hemp seed oil and geranium flower oil to name but a few. As you can probably imagine, Palmarosa is quite a heavy sweet floral scent but it's not overpowering, it's actually really enveloping and relaxing; I especially like using it while I'm relaxing in the bath, it kind of takes away the need to use a candle. 

It basically has the 3 most important skincare properties for me; 
- Deep Cleansing
- Oil Balancing 
- Minimise Blemishes

I apply a thin layer onto my skin and let it work for around 10 minutes; it doesn't dry like the usual clay masks I use, it doesn't crack as much and it's generally softer feeling on my skin. I wash it off with a clean flannel and I usually just spray my face with a bit of Serozinc afterwards. It leaves me feeling perfectly relaxed and my skin feeling clean and fresh. 

I only use this when my skin is fairly clear because I don't think it calms down spots and redness as well as the SkinCeuticals Clarifying Clay Mask (maybe to do with the Palmarosa mask having less clay content) but this Palmarosa mask is significantly cheaper and nicer to use in terms of pampering experience. I do think that the SkinCeuticals mask is more functional whereas this is more appropriate for a proper pamper session. 

The Neal's Yard website says that there should be enough for approximately 5 masks in one of these pots making it £5 per mask, but I do think that's a bit of an understatement. Less is more with this mask and I've had about 5 masks out of this already and I have just under half left. Maybe I don't use enough but I only put it on areas of my skin which are affected by acne (namely my t-zone, chin and cheeks) I don't put it right to the edge of my hairline because I don't think it's necessary. I know some people would moan about it being in a pot, it not being 'hygienic' and all that but seriously, if you wash your hands before you use it, what's the problem?

I would recommend this to anyone with combination/oily skin as a really nice luxurious product to use once per week, especially as we're entering the autumn/winter months were skin tends to crave richer products and you live for the nights where you can just relax in the bath and get all warm and cosy. 

Have you tried anything from Neal's Yard? I can't wait to visit the shop next time I'm in Covent Garden.

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Don't Believe the Hype | Make Up Forever (MUFE) HD Foundation

I bought this when I went to IMATS in June and had really high hopes for it, I didn't research too much but I watched DiamondsAndHeels14 on Youtube (who has/had severe acne) and it seemed to work perfectly on her skin, albeit with other products aswell, her skin looked amazingly flawless in comparison to her no makeup face. Over the past couple of weeks I've been using it once, sometimes twice per day depending on how many times I feel I need to take off and reapply makeup.

MUFE HD Foundation £32 Precious About Makeup

As a foundation product it is quite thick; medium to heavy coverage, the colour range is quite extensive, I'd probably compare it to MAC as I'm 118 (flesh) and I'm MAC NW18... it's slightly darker than my skintone but the 115 was too yellow for my skin. It applies easily and I tended to do it with my fingers or with a Sigma F80 brush, it took a while to sit well on my skin and I found that it was often quite difficult to cover things up with it without it looking cakey. It's supposed to be good for combination/oily skins as it's oil free but I have to say my face was shiny within an hour or so of wearing it so it didn't really do a lot for my oily skin.

Then all of a sudden my skin just seemed to say woah, no, there's something I don't like and I'm going to show you by breaking out in some of the most painful cystic acne I've ever experience (second to that of what I got after using Emma Hardie Moringa Balm). I didn't put two and two together though and I carried on using the MUFE HD foundation as if there's no tomorrow, I just didn't click that it could be my foundation which is breaking me out. I would have been furious if I'd have spent £32 on this but because I bought it at IMATS it was quite heavily discounted to around £20 which isn't so bad. 

I had previously been using Lancome Teinte Visionnaire foundation and loved it but stopped because I'd bought this but I decided to go back to that and my skin has slowly got better; I haven't had anymore new spots since I stopped using it and I'm just concentrating on treating what it left me with. 

It might be recommended by Kim Kardashian but I definitely cannot recommend this as a foundation, my experience hasn't been good and I really wouldn't worry if you haven't tried it. It's difficult to get hold of in the UK but don't feel like you're missing out and don't go chasing it. I purposely have not put a photo of me wearing it with this post a. because the coverage is quite good and I don't want it to look like a deceivingly good product and b. I actually don't wish to put this on my face ever again.

Have you had any experience with MUFE? What is your favourite full coverage foundation?
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