I cut in bangs, completely forgetting it wasn’t so long ago that I had them before…

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“When you were a kid, did you ever have a flash image of who you would/might be one day? Not quite a plan, but more a premonition? In mine, I had bangs. 2016 sucked but 2017? It might just be the year that everything changes and in the meanwhile, fall right into place.”

Post-wedding hair meant that I had very long, natural brown hair with barely a layer cut in. Too lazy to make a post wedding haircut I left it growing until it was so long and unmanageable that I had taken to wrapping it thousands of times around itself into a bun.

Finally four months later on a whim I made an appointment with a hairdresser, I was at least getting a trim. Something however, made me think about a fringe.

When I was a lot younger I had a vision of myself as an adult. In it I was striding towards the post box (of all things) in my hometown of Hitchin. That part of the vision is more than likely attributed to my mother. The amount of times I came into town to see my mum on a post office/bank run is unreal. However, when I saw myself I was wearing a dark trouser/pant suit (I don’t see that particular look in my future) but I had long, straight hair and a fringe/bangs.

I don’t know why but after 2016 and the four episodes of Gilmore Girls: A year in the life, I felt almost as if it was time to bring that vision of myself to life. As a kid I kept that vision as a placeholder of who I would eventually become. As you can guess it said nothing about what I would do or who I am in the slightest just that that person would be content and happy and so, if 2017 should achieve just one thing its that we should all be happy.

So I cut a fringe in and so far, I couldn’t be happier that I did.

Got a cold? I may have stumbled upon a way to save your sore nose…

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Advanced Night Repair Eye Gel+

The worst part of having a cold (bar a temperature and that sore skin feeling) is the red nose a few days in. There’s frankly nothing worse than having to see people with a nose like Rudolf.

Quite by accident however, I stumbled upon how to not look like you have a flashing beacon in the middle of your face and it started with eye cream.

As we well know by now I’ve been asking a couple of questions about skincare, like do miracle products work? Well I can tell you one thing, Estee Lauders advance night repair works! The night before I used this my nose was bright red and sore and the first thing I noticed was in the morning it wasn’t sore, looking at it in the mirror and it wasn’t even a little bit red! Success! So, how did I get here?

I’m not entirely sure when and if I heard it correctly but speaking with a couple of colleagues I could have sworn my boss suggested using eye cream on the bridge of your nose. Now because I wear glasses pretty much all the time I had developed an odd mark on the bridge of my nose. It just occurred one day and actually in using this eye cream there I can’t see it anymore! So I already knew it worked pretty well so on the third day of my cold when my nose was this horrendous red I just thought, you know what, I’ll try it! No harm, no foul!

I cannot tell you how surprised I am by this result, so much so I had to share it with you all! If we weren’t sure before this product works. It might not actually stop your face from ageing but it does repair, it does fix skin complaints and if nothing else that is worth the price in a way! This eye cream is not cheap, I think it is about £40 in the UK and it does last, it doesn’t run out uber fast (unless you are over using!) and apparently its working! So girls if you have a cold, wear glasses or just need your eyes to have a little lift this is the product for you!

The Weekend | Wellness & Health Pamper Saturday….

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The best thing you can do for yourself tomorrow morning? Give yourself a time out to look after yourself.

Last weekend we chose to give ourselves a weekend at home to finish up a few more things in our living room and just have the weekend off. In reality we barely got any chores done because we were too busy resting, but thats ok too and here is how it went . . .

YOGA

I’ve been a little out of it in terms of exercise but I have been focusing on building strength and balance rather than focusing on quick fixes. Yoga has been great for me in terms of flexibility and strength and I’ve been trying to do a different practice every other day. Last Saturday it was improving posture and shoulders, thursday was core and tuesday was legs…etc It certainly won’t transform me overnight but I’d rather I implemented a practice I could keep.

Body Scrub

2016 marked the year of proper skincare but interestingly I’ve never been good with the rest of me. I have surgery scars that the moment they occurred everyone told me to cover in vitamin E and all that but its just never been something I’ve been that bothered with, so four years later they really are still there but I have been playing around with body scrubs. Especially since we still haven’t gotten a bath, its as close to relaxation and candles as I’m ever gonna get.

Here I’ve used both a foot scrub (It smells of peppermint!) and a hand scrub which in the winter season really helps to minimise all that dry skin!

Face Masks

Last year I found this Face Mask from Loreal+  I really love the Charcoal mask but because I take it off with a hot flannel I’m always worried I’m leaving parts of it in my pores so I like to follow it up with Estee’s Nightwear detox mask.

Moisturise….

Once you’ve stripped all the oils you have to put them all back in! I also like giving myself a good amount of time for this to sink in. As we were at home that day I also used the advanced night eye cream, which I love. This thicker, gel like consistency sinks in quickly and I hate to say it but my eyes feel better for it, whether its working or not.  Followed up by daywear which is my go to for the winter months.

As a body moisturiser I’ve recently been using this moisture spray from sanctuary, its really light and absorbs quite quickly making it quick and simple for those like me who are on the go.

Eat Well

In another effort to feel better I’ve been dropping carbs in and out of my diet to find the best balance for me. I’m not allergic or anything like that, but my ibs is happier with less carbs, so a hearty breakfast last weekend was half an avocado, an egg (best poached) and some bacon, delicious, easy and simple.

The best way to continue a weekend like this is of course, a daily walk, afternoon naps and plenty of movies, but if you aren’t good with weepy films don’t foolishly start The Choice thinking it will be all daisies and buttercups… not the case.

Me and Josh are still recovering now 😉

 

 

Anti-aging creams – Should you even bother?

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You can barely turn the page on an article about youthfulness without encountering two secrets. Water and Estée lauders advanced night repair oil.

It’s easy to scoff at such claims that a cream can work wonders in reducing the effects of aging and pollutants and yet most us will at some point find ourselves purchasing a rather expensive vat of miracle product and I’m no exception.

At 25 when this all begun, I’ve had the looks of and the remarks of, you’re so young why do you bother? But if there’s something powerfully apparent it’s this, the earlier you look at after your skin the better it will fair 50 years down the line and that my friends is a plan I can invest in.

Both lucky and unlucky in the skin department, any complaints I’ve had have been produced by wacky hormones so the likelihood of perfectly clear skin to an acne breakout and switching from dessert dry to oil slicked is just par the course of an average month in the life for me.

I’ve accepted the insanity of it but if there is one thing I know I need to get a hold of is how to look after my face and body when it’s so easily affected by external factors.

Lowering sugar for one is a must, upping water and water filled foods is another and hugely important, sun care.

As I write this our aeroplane is dropping as we descend into morocco and I’m hugely aware of the fact that I need to up my water game. My moisturisers are already on hand once we get to our hotel (better prepared) but the thing on the very top of my list? Skin protection.

According to my latest doctor I have extremely fair skin (something I never truly thought of myself) and so the likelihood of burning and skin damage is ten fold. In fact this pasty British skin is of no match for sun any brighter than a mid winter sun patch. I even have one patch on my shoulder from India where I now have to have it covered constantly either by a plaster or shirt in the mildest of sunny days to stop it getting any worse. These revelations of the last year have prompted me to do the only sensible thing which is stay covered (& by that extension repeatedly fall in love with countries like morocco where being well covered is the done thing) and use factor 50 minimum sun screen and be regularly re applied.

On the other side is skincare. When I turned 25 I tried a sample of advanced night repair and without sounding too cliched I think it changed my life. Then again, how can I know that for sure? 

Can a serum have that type of power? I wish it was a question I had the answer to. After all if it turns out to be a complete fail I’ll be far better in the savings department. However, saying that in the instances I used it, my bags lessoned, my skin accepted more moisture and I didn’t see a lack of acne but instead discovered my real face not the one ravaged by a daily get up of time of 5:45 and four hours cramped on a train. I can hear the groans of “You are young, don’t worry about it!” But worry about it I do and will.

I’ve never been the kind of girl to sacrifice myself for a few drunken nights before so why start now.

The real question I have of course is does the price tag, looks and promises mean anything? In a lot of cases the answer is no so how can ANR have achieved such a prestigious reputation and retained such a slew of awed users shrieking about the benefits of what it has done for their skin. 

I guess my real question is this, what is it really doing for mine? I’m thinking of keeping an eye on it, but really I can’t help but think to myself, really… this stuff means nothing in the face of a good diet and lack of oiled up sunbathing. Ultimately my skin is going to age as it wants to but I think it will be interesting to see how my skin responds over the next couple of cold months. Will it be less flaky and dry? Will it hold moisture more? Will it continue to stop the lines of my pillow case from making indentations on my face in the morning? I guess its all a wait and see and then thats probably the hardest bit, the not knowing, the going on faith, that maybe this is the miracle product we have all been waiting for…

If you’ve been doing this longer than me, let me know… do face creams make a big difference, or just a small one?

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THE NEW CHARCOAL | L’Oreal Pure Clay Detox Mask

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Let me tell you about Charcoal, I have wanted it in a mask forever. The week before this was launched I tried the Sanctuary, heating mask and was in all honesty disappointed. The heat lasted for barely a few moments and it left my skin in pretty much the same way it was originally. It also didn’t dry to my face and that just left me feeling like it wasn’t working at all.

This L’Oreal mask range (launched only last week and for only £5 in Boots!) felt different from the off.

In the charcoal version (for normal skin) it dries about ten minutes or so after application (on a dry face, thin layers, applied with your finger tips.) It feels tightening; it dries into pores (a hot flannel on the face before hand works wonders in opening these up for better results) and feels good on the skin. I have quite sensitive skin and the best part of this one is it didn’t sting, hurt or dry my face out.

The best part of this mask is it left my skin feeling good and looking brighter.

Like some others, I found that any acne close to coming through made a surface appearance the day after and for a small whitehead a re application of this product on top of it took away that head without damaging the skin.

It’s not a miracle worker, certainly not a Biore pore strip but it makes your skin feel good and repeat applications show even better, brighter results. For a cheap, drugstore product this is a great entrance into the benefits of activated charcoal and has definitely opened the door to trying more charcoal products moving forward . . .

 

Beauty | Three pieces of skincare, review

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Estee Lauder “Perfectly Clean”, Estee Lauder “Take it Away” & L’Oreal Paris Micellar Water

L’Oreal Paris Micellar Water

Built like water it removes make up whilst acting like a cleanser and toner. Micellar water has been one of the best random purchases that I have picked up as of late.

I’m not a huge beauty blogger or a beauty expect but in recent years I have found a love for great, simple to use products which can deliver results without being overly complicated or over priced. This micellar water is one of those great products. Its leaves a fantastically tingling feeling and on the whole removes all make up in two to three swipes.

If two or three swipes takes too long then, Estee Lauders “Take it away” does it all in one.

Two products from Estee which I love have been the Sumptuous Extreme Mascara in black and the waterproof version. The other has been, The little black primer which is a great investment for swimming and for giving you a simple tint. Of course, both these products require just a little more than micellar water to shift.

Instead, I picked up the Estee Lauder remove, take it away. Oil based, you barely need a dab of this to remove any trace of stubborn mascara, believe me! Not the cheapest but the fact that this will seemingly last forever makes it an investment worth having for perfect lashes.

Lastly, there is this simple facial wash (again by Estee – sorry! I’m an addict) “Perfectly Clean”. A facial wash and mask in one, I’ve been surprised by the simplicity and effectiveness of this simple wash and mask.

Even better you can often get this as a free gift or sample size and again it lasts forever so is a great product to try out without losing too much cash on a whim. As I have quite temperamental skin I also didn’t find this to give me any acne and it doesn’t dry my skin too much unlike other cheaper products on the market. A great in to a great skincare brand.

The next thing on my exhaustive list to get pre wedding has been foundation (minus the SPF) and primer so any suggestions please leave them below!

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Beauty | Estee Lauder Daywear gift set review

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Quite a while ago I went onto twitter desperate for help! My skin was not coping with the bad weather or to be quite honest the insanity which accompanies wedding planning. I have also found that switching around medication makes a big difference to your skin.

I have become very accustomed to having oiling skin so to find this year that I now have combination to dry has been quite the learning curve. At this point I can’t decide whether I want the acne over the dry patches but I do know that I needed a new skincare routine.

The first thing I factored in was that I didn’t want to go cheap. You only get skin once so I was not looking for a quick, cheap fix so instead I focused on companies I had enjoyed previously and started testing out products.

Before landing on this one from Estee Lauder I also looked into Ren, La Roche Pose and Clinique. Ren bought my hand out in a rash, Clinique felt too light and La Roche just didn’t say, yes me! But Daywear . . . oh, daywear. It smells like cucumbers, feels thick and absorbs perfectly.

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One month on and I do not regret my purchase. This gift set was one from Mothers Day in the UK but for £42 (Daywear itself costs £40) I wasn’t going to pass up having Advanced Night Repair for free! (Even 15ml is a god send!)

What have I learnt? I really needed to invest in better skincare. The other day I had to use a cheaper moisturiser and it stung! This one doesn’t sting, it feels soft, absorbs quickly and just feels so much better! It has however taken more time to help. I wouldn’t say that this was an overnight success. If anything Advanced Night Repair has done most of the work and has almost convinced me to splurge on the full size version (£60, ouch!) but sometimes these things are worthwhile . . .

Something I have yet to find and love is a good facial wash. I’m a big fan of the St Ives scrub, harsh maybe but it really works well for me. My question for you all is this, high end or low end what products do you use and find great success with?

Leave your comments below or tweet me @JessicaAbigailL