Current Skincare Routine

This Sunday I thought I would talk about one of my favourite things: skincare. I’m pretty happy with my current routine but I’ll explain any products that I’m not particularly taken with and wouldn’t recommend or buy again. I always make sure to use products up as I absolutely hate waste! Unless they’re causing me some kind of bad reaction then I use everything.

I am using different products for my morning routine and my evening routine so I will go through them separately! Just as an FYI, I have normal/dehydrated/spot prone skin.

current skincare routine normal dry dehydrated skin pixi glow tonic boots botanics rose water toning spritz first aid beauty serum paulas choice spf 25 skin recovery daily moisturizer

Morning Routine

The cleanser I am using in the mornings at the moment is the Superdrug Clearly Youthful Cream Cleanser (£3.69). I was excited to try this as it has AHAs/BHAs in it which are great for gentle exfoliation and of course, it’s a fantastically affordable price! Unfortunately, I don’t personally enjoy using it and I find it stings my face and feels quite harsh. I’ve not had any horrible reaction to it, it just doesn’t feel nice to me. However, I think this would probably be great for people with oily and/or more mature skin.

I then go in with a cotton pad soaked with Pixi Glow Tonic (£18) all over my face. This is a lovely gentle exfoliating toner that I didn’t find drying. I didn’t experience any miraculous results from it but I will definitely buy it again as I do think it helped to keep my skin smooth and keep spots in check.

Next, I use about four spritzes of Botanics 100% Organic Rosewater Toning Spritz (£4) all over my face. I recently did a whole post dedicated to this product, which you can read here. This adds some hydration and refreshment.

For my serum I am using the First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Hydrating Serum (£26). I chose to buy this after reading a very positive review on Paula’s Choice. I have to say I agree with most of it now I’ve used it! It’s a very refreshing gel formula that has good ingredients to help improve your skin’s condition. It does initially quench dehydration however for me it’s definitely not enough on it’s own and I still need extra moisture from a moisturiser or oil. According to Paula’s Choice though it has excellent anti-oxidants so that’s a big plus.

The eye cream I’m using, which seems to be never ending and is lasting for ages, is the First Aid Beauty 5 in 1 Eye Cream (£23). It has a nice, almost velvety smooth feel to it which makes application very pleasant however it’s hard to notice with eye creams whether they’re actually doing anything. It hydrates which is the main thing but I’ve already bought a different eye cream to try once this one is empty. I’d like to try something that can help brighten the under-eye area.

Lastly for my morning routine is my moisturiser. It contains SPF which is now an absolute must for me as I’ve pledged to use SPF everyday but I can’t be bothered with having a separate SPF. It is the Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Daily Moisturizing Lotion SPF30 (£28). I’m planning on doing a whole separate post on this product but I really like it and this is my second tube. It’s a thick, whipped, creamy texture with mineral/physical SPF protection. This means it’s gentler and generally safer and suitable for sensitive skin. I hugely recommend and we should all be wearing SPF daily if we want our skin to age well.

boots micellar water alpha h liquid gold hydraluron indeed labs face theory lush aroma toning water trilogy make up be gone cleansing balm

Evening Routine

For that initial makeup removal I use a micellar water. The one pictured here that I’m currently using is Boots Time Delay Daily Cleansing Micellar Cleansing Water (£4.49). I am not a fan of this as I don’t feel it’s particularly effective at removing makeup and it really stings my eyes! I will not repurchase this. My favourite is still Botanics Hydration Burst 3 in 1 Micellar Cleanser (£4).

For my evening cleanse I am using Trilogy Make-Up Be Gone Cleansing Balm (£20.50). Again, I hope to do a whole individual post on this product where I can properly rave about it. If you love cleansing balms like the ones from Emma Hardie or Elemis, or you wish you could try them but find them just too expensive, this is a fantastic value alternative. I appreciate it’s still not super cheap but with deals and discount codes you can easily get this for around £15 like I did and it’s beautiful!

Now’s my exfoliation step where if I’m not using Pixi Glow Tonic or if I feel like my skin is crappy and needs something more powerful, I will use Alpha-H Liquid Gold (£33.50). This is my second bottle of it which I got in a supersize 200ml. If my skin really needs help I will apply Liquid Gold with a cotton pad and leave it there as regards to my skincare for the night. This gives an intensive treatment and it’s one of the few products that when I wake up in the morning after using it, I feel I genuinely notice a positive difference; my skin just looks brighter and more refined with less redness.

If I’m not going for an ‘intense treatment’ then I have been following the exfoliating toner step with Lush Eau Roma Toning Water (£4.50). This is nice to use in the evening as the lavender scent is relaxing, however, while this may be the case I’m not a huge lavender lover so I’m not sure I’d buy this again.

I then use Indeed Labs hydraluron™ moisture boosting facial serum (£24.99). I really like this and have to say I find it more hydrating than the First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Hydrating Serum that I use in my morning routine. Again, it’s a water based gel formula containing hyaluronic acid. It has relatively few ingredients which I like however this does mean it lacks the anti-oxidants of the First Aid Beauty offering. I quite like having both of them though and utilising the anti-oxidants of the First Aid Beauty one in the day time and then using the more hydrating Hydraluron over night.

Next I follow up with the same eye cream as my morning routine.

Lastly, as a night time moisturiser I am using Face Theory’s Relaxing Night Cream M10 (£10.99) which contains 1% Hyaluronic Acid, Vitamin C, Vitamin E and Argan Oil. I like this a lot and the formula and ingredients are great. A little goes a long way. It’s very rich so ideal for normal-dry skin but probably not for oilier complexions. Face Theory are a small UK based company and it’s nice to support businesses like that, especially if they have great products with good ingredients at affordable prices.

Love Nicole xxxx

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The Anna and Lily Cult Beauty Box

When I heard this was happening I was so excited; I had to join the wait-list and get my hands on it! Lily and Anna are two of my favourite YouTubers who have collaborated with website Cult Beauty to create a limited edition box full of goodness. I find them both very genuine, relatable and the kinda chilled out girls I could be friends with. I wanted to talk about it while it was still available so that if you’re reading and are interested you can still get your hands on one! Here’s the link!

Of course, I wouldn’t blindly part with the £85 purchase price if I didn’t like the products in this box. I absolutely love the selection they picked; a really great variety. I’ve not tried any of it before but had wanted to particularly try the Oskia cleanser and Luna Night Oil so this was a fantastic opportunity to try them along with everything else included.

anna and lily cult beauty box collab 1anna and lily cult beauty box collab 2anna and lily cult beauty box collab 3anna and lily cult beauty box collab 4anna and lily cult beauty box collab

So first things first, the actual box is awesome. Quite predictably marble, but no less amazing for it. I love it. It’s definitely one to keep and make use of.

So within the box you get:

Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel

Classic Wet Brush

Yu Ling Jade Facial Roller (Medium)

Pixi Hydrating Milky Mist

Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil 15ml

Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner in Black

BECCA Backlight Priming Filter 6ml

I received this in the post today so I can’t comment on anything properly. I quickly used the hair brush and I think I’m going to love it, it went through my hair so easily and I have lots of very thick, long hair! I tried the jade roller quickly out of curiosity and it was so cooling it surprised me! It felt really nice. I thought it’d probably be a bit gimicky and I’d never have bought it separately but I think it’s going to be fun to use!

I can’t wait to put all the skincare on my face tonight tehehehe. Some of you may understand my excitement of trying new products too… 😀

What would you most like to try from the box? Did you get one?

Love Nicole xxx

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High Street/Drugstore Beauty Haul

good things manuka honey super facialist vitamin c

I placed a Boots order as I wanted to get a cleanser in stock that I could use when my current one runs out. They’re currently running their 3 for 2 on skincare offer, so I obviously had to take advantage. I didn’t have a serum in my routine so that was an obvious product to search for and I thought getting a moisturiser in stock would also be a good idea. I chose the Good Things Manuka Honey Creamy Cleanser and Good Things Manuka Honey Daily Moisturiser. I like the sound of this brand, whose products are free from nasties like parabens, mineral oils and sodium laureth sulphate. I’ve tried them both once to get a quick first impression and they seem so nice! Both so creamy and hydrating. Hopefully they’ll turn out to be purse-friendly skincare staples! Time will tell.

For a serum I chose Super Facialist Vitamin C+ Glow Boost Skin Serum. I really love the Super Facialist products I’ve tried before, so this was an obvious choice for an affordable serum. I’ve read Vitamin C can be good for fading marks, of which I have many, so fingers crossed! I’ve been using it day and night after toner but before moisturiser for about a week so far and I love it. As with the cleansing oil from the same range, it smells beautifully of orange which makes it such a pleasure to apply.

superdrug nip and fab glycolic fix dragons blood hot cloth cleanser sanitary pads micellar water

I placed an order with Superdrug primarily because they had a phenomenal offer on Nip + Fab products. As will be clear if you’ve read any of my previous skincare or empties posts, I am a huge fan of the Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Pads, so I picked up a tub of them as I had run out. I also thought while Nip + Fab was on offer, I’d try their Dragons Blood Fix Cleansing Pads as they have some great ingredients like hyaluronic acid and salicylic acid, and I love to try something new 🙂

I was also running low on micellar water so I made the most of another offer and picked up two bottles of Superdrug Simply Pure Micellar Water. Despite having just ordered a cleanser from Boots, I couldn’t resist buying two more that were on a buy one get one free. This particular cleanser I’d read good reviews about and was being compared to Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish. It is the Superdrug Naturally Radiant Hot Cloth Cleanser and it comes with a free cloth which is a nice addition! The packaging seems nice and I’m excited to try it out soon. I don’t think cleansers are something you need to pay a fortune for, there are plenty of good offerings for under £10 and I hope this will be one of them.

The final, more random purchase were some sanitary pads. I’d been thinking about how pads must disrupt the ahem, ‘environment’ down there and contain chemicals and materials that don’t necessarily do that area any good. I saw some from this brand called Gift that say their pads are “Anti-allergy, luxuriously soft sanitary pads with wings. 5x more absorbent than ordinary brands. Natural ingredients include antibacterial Anion layer made from Tourmaline minerals, fights odours, regulates flow & balances hormones”. They also donate 10% of the profits to charity, so while they could be considered slightly more expensive, they’re pretty much in the same price bracket as my usual favoured brand ‘Always’. Maybe trying these can even make my next ‘time of the month’ a bit exciting! Hmmmm probably not Nicole…

Best wishes,

Nicole

xxxx

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Black Friday Feelunique and Amazon Beauty Bits

emma hardie moringa cleansing balm bare minerals mineral veil nyx micro brow pencil mary lou manizer the soft matte lip cream wonder concealer

I definitely treated myself, probably a bit too much, during the Black Friday weekend sales! I got beauty bits from feelunique.com and beautybay.com (which haven’t arrived yet sadly), as well as one beauty thing from Amazon. Every thing I bought here is from cruelty free brands in line with my aim to go cruelty free.

Everything I got from feelunique was from a brand I’d never tried before; how exciting!

bareMinerals® Illuminating Mineral Veil® £21

I got this to use as a setting powder on top of foundation as my current one is running out. I’m excited to try it, however I am slightly worried it’s a bit sparkly, but hopefully that will translate as a glow on the skin.

Emma Hardie Merrily Moringa Gift Set £10

This cleanser is so raved about and a favourite of many like Zoella and Caroline Hirons, so naturally I really wanted to try it. Cleansers are one of my favourite new things to try for some reason! I definitely didn’t want to splash out on a full size so this 15ml pot was perfect to give it a try. I’ve used it once already and it’s lovely, not sure I would ever pay the full price for this or any cleanser, but I sure am going to enjoy using it. It’s a perfect size for travelling in luxury.

(Edit: Upon further use, I frickin love this stuff! Why’s it have to be so expensive 🙁 It’s beautiful).

NYX Wonder Pencil in Light £4

While I was trying to find excuses to buy things, I thought how I don’t have a nude coloured eye liner to line my waterline! Shocking. So I got this, with the idea of it brightening my eyes and neutralising any redness. It’s good.

theBalm Mary Lou Manizer Luminizer £17.50

Black Friday was the PERFECT excuse for me to buy the much hyped about Mary Lou-manizer. I haven’t used it yet but it’s beautiful; I love the packaging. theBalm are such a cool brand and I am sure I’ll enjoy using this.

NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Monte Carlo £5.50

I think I am going to love this! I haven’t used it yet but if I like it I can see myself buying so many colours. I’m such a matte lip girl, I really don’t like lipgloss. I love all lipsticks, but gloss just doesn’t excite me. This colour was not my first choice, I naturally gravitated towards the nudes but all my faves were sold out so I thought I’d just go for it and go bold! I’ll report back.

NYX Concealer Wand in Light £5.50

I think I should’ve gone for the shade Porcelain instead as this one seems too dark and orange for me! However I’m always open to trying new affordable cruelty free concealers so we’ll see how we go. I tried it yesterday and initially impressions were not the best, however I think that’s a lot to do with the colour. Coverage was medium.

NYX Micro Brow Pencil in Chocolate £7

I wanted to get the brow pomade but unfortunately it was out of stock. So I thought I’d get this one to compare with Soap and Glory’s Archery pencil as they look very similar! I go through brow pencils fairly quickly so I don’t mind having a few in my stash as back up. I usually like to finish things before buying something new. So far so good, it’s so similar to Archery!

real techniques setting brush

Real Techniques Setting Brush

Amazon have some great deals on Real Techniques at the moment! I wanted to get this one as a dedicated highlighter brush as I didn’t have one; I was just using an eyeshadow one. It’s the perfect shape for highlighting them cheekbones!

There’ll possibly be a few other Black Friday posts, like the beautybay.com order which has yet to arrive. Hopefully I’ll be able to do some outfit posts soon, clothes are as much if not more of a passion for me than beauty, but showing them is so much more difficult 🙁 I’ll try.

Best wishes,

Nicole

xxxx

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Current Favourites

 

 

nars sheer glow mont blanc alpha h liquid gold no 7 melting gel cleanser batiste texture spray asos patchwork denim skirt river island scarfnars sheer glow mont blanc alpha h liquid gold no 7 melting gel cleanser batiste texture spray

 Nars Sheer Glow Foundation

I finally bit the bullet and ordered this foundation online as it seems to be everyone’s favourite foundation. I got the shade Mont Blanc and it’s probably the best match I’ve ever had with a foundation which is partly why I love it so much. It’s a fairly runny consistency with a medium coverage; it’s not enough to completely hide some of the marks on my cheeks but if I’m that bothered I can just add concealer, otherwise what’s wrong with showing a bit of imperfection anyway. It’s probably only me that notices it! I would rather it came with a pump, I may have to buy one separately to add to it, but overall I completely agree with people’s positive reviews of this foundation. If you buy it online at various sites you can often get a 10-20% discount which makes it less of a splurge.

Alpha H Liquid Gold

Another splurge item, I hate that I like this so much as it’s fairly pricey. However I do credit it, along with other chemical exfoliating products, with clearing up my skin. It’s lasted a fair amount of time, I got it mid August and it’ll probably last me until the end of the year if I use it a couple of times a week. Initially I was using this every other evening after cleansing and it worked its magic. Results were not immediate but give it a chance and it really does improve the texture of your skin. I think once I’ve finished it I’ll see how my skin reacts, if it seems to miss it and go back to being spotty and bumpy then of course I will repurchase. I still use Nip+Fab glycolic pads everyday so they should hopefully help maintain my skin without needing to repurchase. Its one I know I can come back to in future though! I love it.

No7 Beautiful Skin Melting Gel Cleanser

I only recently got this cleanser as I had a £5 off No7 skincare and wanted to spend it. But oh my gosh I love it! It’s so cool, it comes out as a gel which you rub all over your skin, then it transforms into more of an oil which you can then wash off. I end up massaging it over my face for ages as it feels so great and luxurious! The formula definitely feels and smells of luxury, well worth the £4.50 it cost with the voucher. No7 is always overlooked but they have some fantastic products and this is one of them. I use it as a second/morning cleanse after removing the majority of makeup with micellar water.

Batiste Texture Me Texturising Spray

I’d never used a texturising spray before this, which was odd really as my hair is always so flat and lacking body. I used to just use dry shampoo on my hair the day after washing it when its all fluffy and too clean, but this is a much better substitute for that as it seems lighter. I just spray this all over my hair when its a bit flat and give it a rub to give it some shape. It’s nothing miraculous but I feel it does make a difference and I like having it there if I’m having a bad hair day. It smells great too!

asos patchwork denim skirt river island scarf

ASOS Denim Patchwork A-Line Mini Skirt – £28

The first of my fashion favourites lately, I love this skirt! I literally wore it  4 days this week, anytime I needed to leave the house I wanted to wear this, which doesn’t often happen. It was good though as I usually don’t have a clue what I want to wear each day and I take so much time to decide, before just throwing on jeans and a striped tee. This with black tights and any grey or white tee/cropped jumper with ankle boots, chuck on a coat and scarf and it’s a winter go-to.

River Island Beige Stripe Print Scarf – £18

This scarf is a stunner, if that’s not a weird thing to call a scarf… I ordered it when River Island had 25% off, initially as a Christmas gift for my mum, however when it arrived I tried it on and I’m sorry but there was no way my mum was getting it after that. The River Island website shows it much better, it has lots of different patterns to it and I love this and the colours its made from. Its soft and goes great with a lot of outfits I currently seem to be wearing.

Best wishes,

Nicole

xxxx

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