The Miracle Skincare Brand

So a few weeks ago I shared some of my own personal make up tips with you, and one of those tips was to always take great care of your skin. This is still true, but FORGET the products I recommended ! Okay well don’t forget about them completely, they’re still good products that do the job well, but I have found the PERFECT skincare products !

I’ve never really had a proper skin care routine. Hypocritical of me, yes I know. But I admit it – I would just moisturise every now and again, exfoliate every now and again, and cleanse every now and again. Shameful ! It doesn’t help that I’m an impatient person – I like to see results immediately ! Sometimes we start out with good intentions of washing our face daily, exfoliating, toning, and moisturising only to give up after a week or so when our face doesn’t start glowing like Jennifer Lawrence’s. I’m SO guilty of that – I’ll wake up one day, look in the mirror, or see a photo of me on a night out, and start frantically panicking about how dull my skin looks and how dark the shadows under my eyes are. Henceforth, I will more or less drink my own weight in water and ritually scrub my face in the shower every day and night. Then, once a week has passed, you’ll either find me back on the sweet sweet drug we call Diet Coke, or drunkenly collapsing on my bed with a face full of make up whilst my trusty facial wipes lay forgotten on the bedside table. Then, in another week, I’m flapping about my dull skin. It’s a painful cycle that never seems to end ! Until now.

So, not long ago, whilst satisfying my shopping addiction with my weekly trip to John Lewis, I happened to chance upon the Liz Earle counter in the beauty department. I vaguely remembered my mum going on about something with a similar sounding name a few weeks back, and, having absolutely no regard for the very little amount of money which sits in my bank, bought the recommended Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser without question. It came in a nice limited edition tin that also included two cotton cloths…how could I say no ?! Well, I am SO SO SO glad I didn’t as it is probably one of the best products I have ever purchased. I used it as soon as I got home as I had a particularly nasty acne rash on my cheeks (which I often get as I used to have a bit of acne when I was younger) and I wanted it to be dead and gone in time for my friends 21st on Saturday night. Honestly now, I’m not lying, it had literally VANISHED within a matter of days. I have been using it for over a week  now and my skin is looking the best that it’s been in a long time. Having decided I was perfectly satisfied with my purchase, and thus desiring to extend my Liz Earle collection, I yesterday purchased the Liz Earle Instant Boost Skin Tonic, the Liz Earle Skin Repair Moisturiser, the Liz Earle Gentle Face Exfoliator, and the Liz Earle Superskin Concentrate. 

Although I’ve only used them altogether the once so far, I can see this being a skin routine that I most certainly will stick to. It’s an absolute pleasure to use these products as the smell is great, they glide on smoothly, and they leave your skin feeling super soft and super cleansed. The products themselves aren’t overly expensive either (well, I get 25% staff discount at John Lewis so WIN!), but I don’t think you can put a price on a good cleanser or moisturiser – you wouldn’t use crap to clean your teeth so don’t use crap to clean your face !! I’ll show you the products in detail so then you’ll be one more step towards becoming as obsessed with them as I am ! 

1.  Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser 

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So this is my first Liz Earle purchase, yay ! It’s a very important product to have as part of your skin care routine as you’re supposed to use it before anything else. This one comes in a limited edition tin to celebrate 150 years at John Lewis so, you know, you’re not just getting a nice cleanser, but a pretty box too ! The product has won over 100 beauty awards so you know it’s good stuff ! The first thing you do when using this cleanser is fill a basin with warm water (or do it whilst in the shower!) soak one of the muslin cloths in it, and then wring it out so it’s damp rather than wet. Afterwards, apply 1 pump of the product into your hands (the box says 2 pumps but I think this is too much) and use your fingertips to lightly massage all over your face. The product has a creamy texture and a tea tree oil-like scent (basically eucalyptus) so it should glide onto your face easy enough. Once you’ve done this, take your damp cloth and gently wipe all traces of the cream off, splash a bit of water on your face, then pat dry ! Seriously, this stuff literally takes ALL your make up off your face, and I mean ALL. Any traces of mascara, foundation, eyeliner etc are completely wiped out (little pun there incase it goes over your head). It leaves you with a totally bare face which is brilliant as your face literally becomes a clean canvas upon which you can start putting on make up 😀 RRP £19.75 

2. Liz Earle Gentle Face Exfoliator

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After you’ve cleansed and polished your beautiful face, it’s time for exfoliation ! Once upon a time, it was typically recommended that you only exfoliate your face once a week, if that, as the rough texture of it would strip away all the natural oils in your skin and leave it feeling and/or looking raw. These days though, many exfoliators are much lighter and much more gentle meaning you can use them daily ! This Liz Earle one recommends that you use it as often as you need to 😀 I used it for the first time last night and it left my skin feeling ridiculously smooth – I know I said the cleanse & polish left it feeling smooth but this one is like DOUBLE smooth ! You can literally glide your finger across your skin afterwards and it just feels like silk. Seriously. Exfoliator is a good product to have and use because it strips away all your dead skin cells and exposes the nice, clean, glowing skin you have underneath. It’s also great for clearing up blackheads and blocked pores. Disgusting yes but we all have them !! Just gently massage the product onto your face (it feels like you’re rolling beads all over your skin. In fact, I think they are jojoba beads….) then rinse off 🙂  RRP £14.50

3. Liz Earle Instant Boost Skin Tonic

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We all cleansed, polished, and exfoliated then ? Right, so the next step is to tone your skin and remove any particularly stubborn traces of dirt or make up which may clog your pores up again. Spritz a generous amount of the tonic onto a cotton wool pad and lightly wipe all over your face, concentrating on your forehead, nose, and eyes. Keep doing this, using as many cotton pads as you need, until there is no more dirt left on the pad. Some toners have a strong, clinical scent to them, but this one is very floral smelling (it genuinely smells like the massage rooms you get in spas), and doesn’t leave your face leaving taut and dry as so many others are prone to do. RRP £13.25

4. Liz Earle Skin Repair Moisturiser

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As I stated in my ‘Secret to Flawless Make Up’ post, moisturising is an essential part of any woman’s skincare/make up routine. Finding a good moisturiser that suits your skin type is really difficult. Well, I think so anyway. Personally I like a moisturiser which feels silky and smooth on the skin, but I find that a lot leave your skin feeling very firm and dry which I don’t like. I’ve only used this Liz Earle moisturiser the once but it is absolutely beautiful. I use the normal/combination type instead of the combination/oily. It’s both very soothing and very smoothing (is smoothing a word?!), and full of natural ingredients to protect your skin leaving it refreshed and hydrated. Apply gently onto face and neck after using the skin tonic 🙂 RRP £19.25

5. Liz Earle Superskin Concentrate

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The last product, and final piece of your skincare jigsaw, is this absolute gem of a skincare productIt’s basically a facial oil intended to plump and even your skin. It’s a product that must only be used at night time before bed as not only does it work over night as you sleep, but the aroma is also so soothing and relaxing, sends you right off ! It’s a rollerball application but rather than roll it all over your face, you should roll a small bit in your hand, warm between your palms, inhale the scent, then smooth onto your skin. It recommends that you apply it before you moisturise, but I actually think that adding moisturiser on top is too much. Instead, I would only apply the moisturiser in the mornings and then only apply this oil in the night, not both (of course, always do the first three steps!). RRP £20.00

 

So there we go – my Liz Earle skincare routine ! What I really love about this brand, aside from the fact their products are absolute miracle workers, is their dedication to using all botanical and natural ingredients. Nothing is better for your skin than natural extracts. They also NEVER test on animals ! As I’ve been researching more into the Liz Earle skincare range, I’ve discovered that they also do hair and beauty products…YES ! Will definitely give these a try and let you know my results and opinions 🙂 Hope you’ve enjoyed reading this, and let me know if it’s inspired you to try any Liz Earle products yourself and what you thought of them !

 

(All pictures taken from http://www.johnlewis.com)

The Secret to Flawless Make Up

‘I no more think that you should use a lipstick, powder, deodorant or hairbrush in public than you would take a bath in public’
– 
Marilyn Monroe (Marilyn appreciated the power of keeping beauty secrets) 

As a big fan of make up I am more than aware of the THOUSANDS, perhaps even MILLIONS, of articles like this that are out there. All we need to do is google ‘Make Up Tips’ and in less than a minute us women become armed with the knowledge of how to contour our face like Kim Kardashian, attain Angelina Jolie cheekbones, perfect a Keira Knightley pout, and draw on Megan Fox eyebrows.

Whilst I am regrettably unable to teach you how to magically transform your face into that of Rosie Huntington-Whiteley’s with just a few effortless brush strokes, I can let you in on a few beauty secrets of my own 🙂 I mean, I don’t want to brag (or maybe I do), but everyone always comments on how good my make up is (by everyone I mean my mum….), so I’ve decided to do the unthinkable, and share some of my easy tips on how to achieve a very fresh, simple look with your make up.

E-card Make Up

1. First thing’s first, ALWAYS make sure you face is CLEAN ! That goes without saying really. Never ever use soap to wash your face – it will strip your skin of all its natural oils and leave it feeling extremely tight and dry. Instead, I use Olay Total Effects Cleansers: Self-Heating Skin Exfoliation. Normally, I would recommend you only exfoliate your face once a week, but with this one you can use it every day as you please. You can actually feel the cleanser heating up on your face (if you close your eyes it feels like you’re at the spa….), and it leaves your skin feeling smooth and smelling beautiful !

Olay Exfoliator
2. Remove all the left over dirt and make up that accumulates on your skin throughout the day. For this, I use L’Oréal Skin Perfection 3 in 1 Purifying Solution. All you need to do is dab a little onto a cotton pad (you may need to use two) and sweep across the face, repeating until there is no dirt left on the pad. Proper skincare will ensure your face has a natural glow to it, which means less make up is needed !

L'Oreal Cleanser
3. MOISTURISE ! You would think that would be obvious, but not many people do actually remember to moisturise their face, not to mention their neck or décolletage (both of which also benefit from a bit of moisturiser !) Of course, everyones skin is different so it’s very important to find a moisturiser that suits your specific skin type, and once you find a good one, stick to it ! After filling up yet another drawer full of forgotten moisturisers that didn’t quite meet my expectations, I have settled on using Olay Instant Hydration Skin Serum. It’s technically an anti-wrinkle serum, but it’s never too early to start preparing for the inevitable ! Moisturiser does not only ensure your skin is hydrated, but it also acts as a primer to keep your make up in place throughout the day. WIN. 

Olay Moisturiser
4. FIND A GOOD FOUNDATION ! I am a firm believer in investing in a good, reliable foundation – once you have a decent base, everything else on top will look flawless. I’ve been through more foundations than I have McDonald’s Drive Throughs (i.e. quite a few), and have ended up looking both like a tangerine and a ghost. I have learnt from my horrendous teenage years and have become somewhat of a foundation aficionado. Thus, I highly recommend Benefit Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow; it really is WOW and not as expensive as you might think. I advise applying foundation with a foundation brush, dabbing onto the nose, cheeks, chin, and forehead, then blending it all together with both the brush and your fingers.

Benefit
5Highlighter really is your best friend, and nothing can compare to Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat. It is literally a miracle worker and an absolute god send. Never EVER use anything but this when it comes to highlighting. Not only does it add definition to your cheekbones when blended across the tops of your cheeks, but it also reawakens tired eyes when dabbed under and around the eyelids, slims down a perhaps-slightly-larger nose when brushed right down the middle, and plumps up thinning lips when applied around the lip line.

Touche Eclat
6. Use bronzer, not blush. This may outrage those of you who prefer a pinky hue to a bronzed glow, but I’m only stating what works for me ! Bronzer is definitely more suitable than blush if you have darker, olive-type skin like I do. A lot of make up artists recommend sweeping bronzer all over your face, but if you’re after a more defined look then my advice is to sweep your bronzer in the hollows of your cheeks and upwards towards the temples (you can build up the colour as you please). You can also sweep the excess powder under your chin, along your forehead, and on your brow bone. Like foundation, I have gone through many many bronzers – matte bronzes, glittery bronzers, expensive bronzers, cheap bronzers – but the one I always come back to is Dior’s Diorskin Nude Tan Bronzing Powder. Just to add, I always apply my bronzer AFTER highlighting, never before. Some people do it the other way around but I found this way has always worked best for me.

Dior Bronzer
7. Only apply one coat of mascara. Again, I’ve always heard and read that you should apply between 2-3 coats of mascara, but if you have a decent, reliable mascara then this is not necessary. If you end up applying too much, the price you pay for slightly longer, darker eyelashes is black smudge on your brow bones when you blink, and very unnatural looking eyelashes which resemble the legs of those really hairy garden spiders that always manage to find a way into your bedroom just as you’re about to turn the light out. It’s a little expensive but I always use, and highly recommend, Chanel’s Le Volume De Chanel. It lasts forever as you only ever need one coat, and the brush separates each and every one of your eyelashes to make eyes appear much larger and somewhat almond-shaped.

Chanel Mascara
8. When applying lip gloss or lipstick, just go for it ! So many women try and apply their lip colour perfectly the first time, but I say just aim for the general lip area and go for it, you can always tidy up any mistakes and imperfections afterwards with a cotton pad or a cotton bud. To be honest, I don’t wear lipstick or gloss that often, but if you are a lipstick lover then I advise investing in a good one – with cheaper lipsticks, especially glosses, I always find that your hair ends up getting stuck in it whenever the wind blows ! The only lipstick I ever use is a red one that I got a while ago from Yves Saint Laurent and I’ve heard very good things about most of their lip colour range ! Although saying that, I’ve also had good experiences with Revlon Just Bitten Lip Stain. If you can, always apply your lip colour with a brush – the colour lasts longer.

Revlon
9. Eyeshadow isn’t just for eyes. That sounds weird, but if you’re on a night out and fancy contouring some high cheekbones for yourself or maybe a stronger jaw line, I find that taking a small eyeshadow applicator and a brown eyeshadow (the shade of brown should be slightly darker than your skin tone) will do the trick. Simply dab the applicator into the powder, then sweep the colour from the end of the thicker part of your eyebrow, then down the side of your nose (both sides), then blend. After this, apply a small line of powder just above the hollows of your cheeks (where the bone is), and, again, blend blend blend ! Do the same along your jaw line if that’s the look you’re going for – it’s all about blending ! This you can do with either your fingers or a make up sponge. With eyeshadows, I don’t think it really matters whether its expensive or a bit cheaper as in my experience they’re all pretty much the same ! Although I do recommend Benefit Longwear Powder Eyeshadow in spiced brown shade.

Benefit Eyeshadow
10. Use loose powder to lock everything in place ! As I said before, moisturiser will do this for you, but powder not only extends the wear of your make up, but also enhances everything else, giving your face an all-over subtle glow. Loose powder is more of a luxury than a necessity to your make up kit, but if you do require it then I recommend Dior’s Diorskin Nude Rose Powder – it is costly but very worth it ! It’s a very luxurious product, so it’s a pleasure to put on really 🙂 As with the mascara, it lasts forever as you only need a tiny bit – too much and your face will end up looking very Geisha-like, not to mention it will obscure any bronzer or blush that you may have put on beforehand. Just dab a large blusher brush very lightly into the powder, and very gently sweep across the forehead, nose, apples of the cheeks, and jaw line. This powder will also stop your face from looking too shiny and keep your make up from sweating off if you’re dancing the night away on the weekend ! Disgusting I know, but it does happen from time to time !

Dior Powder

Katie’s Extra Special Beauty Tips

1. If you are fair headed, like I used to be a very long time ago, use BROWN mascara. Only wear black mascara if you are dark.

2. To achieve a very sultry, tousled look, apply all make up as normal and then take a hot shower or bath – the steam will sink into your skin and soften up your make up.

3. Follow the beautiful Audrey Hepburn’s example and separate each of your eyelashes with a pin after applying mascara – it will give them an even fuller look.

4. Keep it simple for a daytime look – foundation, a little bit of bronze/blush, and a lick of mascara is all you need. If you must wear eyeliner, wear brown, not black.

5. If you’re going for a strong look with your eyes, keep the lips looking pale and subtle. If you want a strong lip colour, keep eye make up very simple. NEVER do both !

6. Use liquid liner for the tops of your eyelid, and either a crayon or even eyeshadow for the bottom lash line – it gives a much softer, less harsh look.


So that’s it really ! Hopefully you’ve all learnt something today, and will perhaps try some of these tips yourselves, and maybe even invest in some of the products I’ve mentioned ! Like I said, you won’t end up looking like Scarlett Johansson, but you will enhance an even more beautiful YOU 🙂

Love Katie xx

 

 

 

SS14 Solutions

There’s no denying that I love summer. Living in Wales where it is known to rain on occasion and be generally miserable the rest of the time, there’s no greater sight than the sun, and no greater feeling than that first real warm day of the year which usually pops up around Easter time. From that day forward your eyes will be subject to masses of Brits flashing more skin than is necessary to bear in temperatures that the majority of Europe would consider positively arctic. Out come the sandals, t-shirts, sunglasses, and very short-shorts (basically most things beginning with the letter ‘S’).

Yet, despite the glorious feeling of the sun on my face, the endless summer parties, the long-awaited trip to the beach, and the tentative dip in our sub-zero waters, I find myself longing for the winter season. The idea that I can once again cover up my legs with my thick, woollen tights paired with a dress that has a neckline so high I’m surprised I don’t choke to death, finished off with Victorian-inspired little booties makes me weak with relief. This is because I hate, absolutely hate, wearing summer clothes; I hate wearing shorts, I hate wearing t-shirts, and I hate wearing sandals – until I possess the body of Lara Croft I will always hate anything that shows off my bare legs or anything which reveals any trace of my figure.

So when that warm weather begins to make its appearance, the euphoria of finally witnessing sunshine is suddenly destroyed by the question I dread asking myself every year: What do I wear ?

If, like me, you are apprehensive about what to wear in the coming summer months, or if you are simply unsure about what new additions you might want to add to your SS14 wardrobe, I have compiled a few of my favourite pieces which will hopefully provide some insight and inspiration 🙂

Warehousehttp://www.johnlewis.com/warehouse-triangle-print-midi-shirt-dress-black/p1241197

Screen Shot 2014-04-17 at 00.06.45http://www.johnlewis.com/warehouse-lace-insert-cropped-shirt-light-blue/p1219172

Screen Shot 2014-04-17 at 00.09.14http://www.johnlewis.com/ted-baker-vioneta-tapered-trouser-beige/p1301173

Screen Shot 2014-04-17 at 00.10.52http://www.johnlewis.com/ted-baker-daisy-print-shirt-cream/p1297173

Screen Shot 2014-04-17 at 00.12.36http://www.johnlewis.com/french-connection-marilyn-chiffon-shirt-dress-party-pink/p1195578

Screen Shot 2014-04-17 at 00.13.48http://www.johnlewis.com/french-connection-zoe-tote-handbag-blue-cornflower/p1129199

Screen Shot 2014-04-17 at 00.15.47http://www.johnlewis.com/dune-black-helen-leather-brogues/p1116174?colour=White

(All pictures taken from www.johnlewis.com)