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!

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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Beauty | Loving Right Now. Detox Mask

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Nightwear +

Not so long ago I spoke about the new, high street charcoal mask range from L’Oreal. A great, affordable product I have continued to use and enjoy this mask but I have however had problems. The problems that Charcoal with its ability to draw out impurities means that acne is a given when it comes to using it irregularly, or even regularly.

Something I’ve found to combat that a little? Or at least amplify the healing process has been Estee Lauders 3 minute, NightWear plus detox mask. I don’t know what it is about this brand but my face loves its skincare. I’m more than sure that there will come a time when I can’t use these products so well but at the moment? I am in love.

A simple white chalk-esque mask, this goes on thinly, lasts a long time and feels as though it has drying qualities without over drying. Upon removal it leaves skin feeling soft and hydrated, which is what we all want right? Better still I have found that this works perfectly for acne prone skin and as a calming, after mask for the L’Oreal Charcoal mask. I realise that it is better not to overload skin but this has proven itself to be the perfect remedy to post-charcoal acne.

A skin saver if you will. It also works great for acne prone skin generally! Let me know below if you too have a favourite mask for these types of issues as I’d love to try some others to compare!

Beauty and Health | 7 things I’ve learnt about my skin

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I think that there is a lot to learn about our skin as we grow into ourselves. From small things like what irritates, what foundations won’t sit on ‘that’ moisturiser to learning that skin is one of our most important body parts and to give it bad products and food choices can make life long affects.

It made me think, maybe I should share 10 things I’ve learnt about my skin.

  1. Adult acne, its real and its not going anywhere because its hormonal. 

Learning that my adult acne was not an infection but instead, a hormonal issues was almost the best moment ever. For the majority of 2012 I was on antibiotics. Antibiotics which I’m pretty sure caused IBS for several years.

The lesson here is if you hit 21 and your periods are all over the shop and you potentially have these symptoms its worth telling this to your Doctor. Polycystic is not the end of the world (and it often doesn’t cause infertility so you know) so make sure you have covered all basis, overloading your body with antibiotics is never good.

Your doctor will most likely prescribe drugs for this but there are other ways, I find Alisa Vitti to be on the right track so check her out . . .

        2.  & 3. Sensitivity

Cheap skincare products hurt my skin. I wish that they worked for me because hello savings but oh my gosh my skin hurts and erupts when they are no good.

I have to wear gloves to use cleaning products and nail polish isn’t worth wearing. Nail polish remover is now my enemy and leaves a feeling that I can only describe as being  like having bamboo placed under my fingernails. If it hurts, don’t do it.

       4. eczema 

My legs are uber dry, I must remember to moisturise, I rarely do but every four weeks guys, my legs, uber itchy.

5. Sometimes your facial moisturiser likes you other times, its gonna not be so happy

I have come to the conclusion that sometimes you have to have to separate regimes ones for summer and one for winter. Also sometimes our skin changes or its needs change and you just have to switch it all up!

6. Allergies

Who knew you could be allergic to hairspray? Apparently all my hairdressers is who. They look at me pretty oddly. Somehow its something that happens, I’m onto my forth attempt but I have been keeping it as far from my roots as possible and so far its working!

7. It might work for someone else, it might not work for you

My dad washes his face with soap from Sainsburys. Its basic but his skin never breaks out, always looks healthy and I’ve never seen it oily or greasy. If I did that to my own there would be a drastically different reaction. The reason for this is not for any other reason other than that we are different and our skin reacts to things in a different way.

At almost 26 the key to my skin has been playing with different products and combinations to see what sticks. Right now my skin is working very successfully with Estee Lauder skin products and it doesn’t work so well with the L’Oreal products which I used consistently from 22. Skin changes and thats been another discovery to find the right products at the right time!

What are your skin lessons? Leave them in the comments below!

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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

 

Beauty | Bare Faced Bravery

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“Somewhere along the line I became convinced that if I was wearing makeup then that decreed that I must wear foundation. I felt oddly naked without it and the thought of going to work in anything less felt ludicrous. So I gave myself my marching orders, no more foundation for a while, there has to be another way. . .”

When I started wearing makeup, it was an awkward time. White eye shadow reigned supreme and foundation was all about ‘glowing’. However, with the technology at the time only going so far they instead, filled foundation with glitter making you look like the real life Edward Cullen on sunny days.

On the whole however, I wore translucent powder and eyeliner. It was a simple time, and a better time for just getting out of the door. My skin wasn’t too bad either.

Now I’m wearing concealer, mascara and my normal blusher, having done away with my normal foundation routine. Josh tells me I look glowier and that my uber dry skin is less noticeable. All a great response for only the first week.

The problem always starts at this time of year. The weather is horrid, its cold and there is far too much central heating in our homes, transport and offices and it plays havoc with our skin. For me that means eczema on my legs and my face becomes a flaky mess that refuses to be moisturised by even full strength moisturisers. Worst still I use the same, semi drying foundation that I used with full on, raging PCOS oily skin which is no longer my skin type and so my skin has been suffering.

My decision to stop using foundation was a tough one since a small voice still tells me that I have bad skin. See, if you have PCOS you can suffer with the worst adult acne. At its worst my chin looked like a map of hills and mountains and hurt so bad I wanted to stop talking. A couple of years down the line trying out medication and reading about diets for PCOS and my skin is no longer such a mess that I really even need that much coverage! With this my amazing work colleague and Friend Z suggested only wearing concealer during the week.

At first I was petrified, sharing my actual skin? Would I look patchy? Would you see that I’ve had terrible acne before? I was nervous and I felt ridiculous and I wanted to know, why? I don’t wear foundation at home! In fact most recently when I had to work from home due to bad train conditions the first thing I did coming in was take it all off. Why can I let the whole of kent see me sans-foundation so why do I feel so differently anywhere else?

Its funny especially when you think that, most popular make up is made to make you look naturally your best so why do we cover our skins in thick liquids created to disguise? I am trying to be braver now, only wearing concealer the bulk of the time, even though I am considering buying Yves Saint Laurent’s, Le Teint touche Eclat foundation for those days when I need something extra … It feels strangely liberating yet petrifying. Like revealing a part of myself previously hidden, clearly my skin defines me more than I’d like to think.

Heres to bare skinned bravery however. Just think of that extra time spent sleeping or chilling in the morning and putting on sun screen and not worrying that my foundation on top will slip straight off! Natural beauty all round,

Anyone else up for a week of no foundation?

Christmas Beauty buys for under £30

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Neals Yard, Normal Skincare Kit, Benefit, Most Glamorous Nudes, Clinique, Whole lotta chubby, Laura Mercier, In The Glow Trio, Yves Saint Laurent, Touche Eclat (01) Mini Mascara Duo Gift Set,

It might seem a little unlike me to post about beauty buys but Christmas is my ultimate favourite time to indulge in skincare and make up. Over the years my tastes and choices have changed but the feeling of excitement when unwrapping a new beauty gift set of products has never lost its shine.

This year I have certainly upped my game in the products I use and the above reflects this but even though they are high quality products every kit above comes in under, £3o! Which in the grand scheme of things is really nothing.

The Clinique Chubby Sticks are what I would suggest for anyone whose a little lazy with beauty or who wants something simple but effective. I swear by the Chubby Stick baby tint for everyday lips and I am really interested to see how the cheek tint works next!

Neal’s Yard products are just winter musts. They smell amazing and moisturise like no ones business and even better they look amazing on your nightstand when your not using them! I love this collection for giving your skin that much needed boost!

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Benefit glamorous eyes. Benefit are just a solid for anytime you want to find yourself a healthy blush! I have been on the lookout for a great nudes pack and I love the sheen that benefit products usually have.

I have wanted to try Laura Mercier for the longest time. Its a product line which so many people have been speaking about and singing their praises about this whole year that I just feel that this would make a wonderful starter kit. I’m all about natural healthy glow as I said before so anything to help lift my spirits this winter is a go with me!

Finally, YSL are one of my ultimate favourite make up brands. I swear by their lipsticks (they don’t budge and are crazy flattering) whilst the Touche Eclat range is just so light and flawless how could you go wrong? This set includes the original Touche Eclat in 01 and also a mascara so for £20 you cannot afford to miss this!

(Yes I have linked all these products to John Lewis but this was just because it was easier to look through. I am in no way affiliated with this brand and I make no money from your clicks anywhere on this post.)

The problem with wedding hair.

Found on Mon Cheri Brides

The problem with wedding hair

Like most women I decided to grow my hair out. I have come to conclusion in my twenties that I am a girl who likes short hair. Long hair is work; effort and I have zero patience for spending what feels like hours drying it either.

However I knew my wedding vision and it required long or at least longer hair. So over the last year as you can see documented I have grown out my funky bob and let my blonde fade into non-existence.

That’s a whole other story but here’s the thing. When we got engaged and I envisioned my hair I realised one thing, I wanted my natural hair colour. At 25 I realise that actually (potentially) your hair with zeros greys is a limited time period, you don’t get forever and wasting that time bleaching and dying seems like a shame. You miss your natural hair in all its finest glory! I was also aware that I would probably fiddle with my hair colour a lot during my lifetime and I knew that I wanted both my children and my grandchildren eventually to at least know what the real, brunette me looks like.

So back to the hair I grew it out for a year, no hair cuts no intervention and then I took a deep breathe, freaked out and went to a new hairdressers to get it on its way to perfect. Just as I expected, Lisa my hairdresser thought that equalling out my haircut was the first step and even scarier a blunt cut was the cut of the day.

For further hair knowledge it turns out I have actually very thin hair (I just have a decent amount of it) because of this as it gets longer without cuts it gets lankier and looses its fullness so to build this up we cut it short-ish and blunt to rebuild that body that I desired.

Now however is the tricky part, waiting for it to grow out of this tricky stage. It’s a strange feeling have a long all over blunt bob. I have never thought about it but a good hair cut for me is one which has enough of its own structure that I can leave it to dry naturally or at least do its own thing without much intervention from me, this cut however requires work to not make me feel about six and that, has been tortuous.

Just like my make up I like my hair simple, I’m not interested in teasing and fussing I just want it to look good after brushing (or not) and allow me to get on with my day whilst feeling good.

So I am putting the floor over to you guys, what should I do? How can I make my hair look interesting and flattering with the least amount of work? If you have any ideas or suggestions please leave them below as I would love to hear more!

My AW Make up Shake up

My A/W Make up shake up.

If you know me you’ll know one of the things I don’t have to worry about being minimal with, is my make up. I do sometimes wonder whether most are either clothes girls or make up girls since most I know have either loads of clothes or loads of make up and I am definitely a clothes girl.

With that being said I have my set favourites but this AW I wanted to mix it up a little with a little more colour, and more high end products.

Now as you know I don’t have an unlimited budget so the majority of my products and clothes are cheaper rather than expensive however as I have gotten older I have begun spending more on my make up. My reason for this is I’m not buying huge quantities of product and beyond my must haves (foundation + Mascara) if I can’t afford it I don’t buy it. This next October (2016) is a big month for me and Josh as it will be the month that we get married. Because of this I made the decision that rather than having a make up artist for the day I wanted to spend the money on nicer make up and do it myself. Many women may bulk at this idea but for me I do my make up everyday and I’m happy with how I do it. It stays all day and so why shouldn’t I do my own?

So for the next year I am looking into which products take my look from good to perfect. This next week I am trialling the Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat foundation instead of my L’Oreal to see whether this is going to really propel the days make up. Along with this I also indulged in my desire for a beautiful berry lip.

Last year I attempted this look with one by Estee Lauder and although I love my Mascara by the brand I found the lipstick to be drying and lacking whereas my pur couture lip colour has always felt so moisturising and indulgent. So because of this I went back to my mainstay picking up this Rouge pur couture matt lipstick in 206.

I’m not a big lets have a pampering fan but it was actually really enjoyable early on a Saturday to have the lovely lady on the stand re do my lipstick and share some of her recommendations from Yves.

So what did I buy? Well I of course bought this beautiful lipstick shade! But I also got Touche Eclat. I have wanted to try this forever and it has been on my make up list for equally as long. What I really adore about spending that little bit more is a, how long make up lasts when you spend a bit more money on it and B, that it feels so light on the skin, it lacks that cakeyness whilst giving perfect coverage and that my friends, is definitely the dream.

Wedding make up is tricky. When I want to feel made up its simple. A red lip, a cat eye . . . it all falls together but wedding make up? It’s more delicate, its pretty it does just enough to make you look good without losing you and that’s something that I am trying to achieve all by myself. How far do I want my look to go, the whole princess hog or keep it simple? The majority of our wedding has been simple so far so trying out these lighter make up looks seems like just the ticket! Now all I need is the perfect lipstick shade to be pretty and fresh without being too unnatural.

First week blues.

My new blue Elephant dressing gown from india . . .

The first week back is always the hardest right? It doesn’t matter that you love your job or you’re majorly excited to sleep in your own bed, eat your favourite foods and not worry about ensuring that you have antibacterial hand gel in your purse constantly the first week back? But the first week back? Forget about it.

Unfortunately life won’t wait for me to go on vacay indefinitely but it will let me make the everyday that bit more special and I thought why not share a few of my favourite things along the way, so here goes here are some of the things that I will be wearing and using to make the first week less blue and a little more colourful.

My smaller make-up bag (again from India)

Accessorize, Leopard print scarf, Burgundy Hat, Marks and Spencer, Beaded Necklace (India)

Snuggling down with our new quilt . . .

And finally? A fancy Lipbalm, Facial Moisturiser and a bright lip to perk up the other day and then a great candle for an end of week bath*, can’t get better than that right?  

*I will of course bathe daily as well as on Friday – I just wanted to clear that one up for you!