Friday, August 29, 2014

Why Men Should Have A Skincare Routine

Hi guys! Today's topic is men's skincare: why men should be taking care of their skin; the differences between men and women's skincare; and some of my recommendations for a male skincare routine.

I think that most men overlook skincare. Obviously there are many who do not, probably some of you reading this now, actually. However it's not likely to be the first thing on your average butch lad's mind, and when I asked a few guys to help me out with this post they said no simply because it 'isn't manly', which I completely disagree with.

Men may have stronger skin than women and they may age more slowly than women but that does not mean that skincare should be overlooked. Not only could it improve their skin short-term but it will slow down the ageing process and improve the appearance of their skin in years to come. Also, something I think could be a good way to sway the man in your life to think about skincare is that it will improve their shaving routine. That means a closer shave, fewer ingrown hairs and less of a chance of snagging the skin.

There are a lot of things that men can do for their skincare routine such as serums, eye treatments, masks and all of the things us beauty lovers use. Realistically I don't think your lazy boyfriend is going to want to go the whole hog so I personally think that the absolute minimum for a skincare routine would be to cleanse, exfoliate, and moisturise.

I've picked out a few items which you could purchase for the man in your life (and yourself) which might tempt him into caring a bit more about his skin.

The first is the MAC Green Gel Cleanser*. This cleanser is perfect for all skin types and it's also perfect for both men and women. I thought this product would be good firstly because you can use it too (so if he gives up it is not money wasted) but also because the packaging is quite simple and I thought that might appeal to men. It has a refreshing and subtle scent which I think they would secretly love, and I think the fact it is foaming might make it a bit more exciting. Like trying to get a child to eat fruit. I've tried it out and liked it a lot - it certainly did do a good old cleanse. The only thing I will say is that if your water isn't hot enough, it won't foam as much. When I used it in the shower it foamed a lot more. I got a friend's brother to use it and he said that he liked the smell and also the texture of the product.

Cleansing is essential to any routine as it will get rid of all of the dirt and oils from the day. Just because they're not wearing makeup (which some may be) doesn't mean they don't need to cleanse! And a bar of soap is NOT a good thing if it isn't specifically designed for the face as it's just going to strip away all of the goodness and make matters worse.

Secondly in the routine I selected the Ritual Face No. 2 Gentle Face Scrub* which is an exfoliator specifically designed for shaving to get smooth skin, resulting in a much closer shave and smooth skin. It's not harsh at all and the exfoliating beads in it are very fine so it won't irritate the skin. It also has that typical male smell which I'm pretty sure would stick for a good few hours. This scrub is going to prevent those in-grown hairs in bearded areas and also help to remove any oil and dirt left behind after cleansing. Obviously I haven't tried this as I do not want to smell like a man but other than the smell I really liked the texture because it seemed so gentle and the beads are very fine. I will say that this one was a hit with the friend's brother who gave it a whirl! He was amazed at how soft his skin could feel.

Pictured: top - mac green gel cleanser, bottom - ritual face no. 2 gentle face scrub

I also went for the Benefit Ultra Radiance Facial Re-Hydrating Mist* for similar reasons to the MAC cleanser. You can share this one with him. I'd actually recommend getting a proper moisturiser as well but I thought that this would be a good choice because it is so quick and only required a couple of sprays. It's not so much of a moisturiser and more of a hydrator. It certainly leaves the skin feeling hydrated for a while and would be better than no moisturiser. It's also really quick for hydration throughout the day if he suffers with dry skin. If you've got a lazy man who needs to get some moisture in his skin then this is definitely a good one. It's so refreshing and easy to do. I would still recommend a more intense moisturiser to finish off the routine such as this Origins Zero Oil 8 Hour Control Lotion or this Clinique For Men Moisturizing Lotion, but the Benefit Re-Hydrating Mist could be used to finish the routine as an addition or throughout the day to refresh.

Moisturiser is just as important as cleansing and exfoliating, even if your man has very oily skin. In fact, if you are a man with oily skin and you're not moisturising, the likelihood is that your skin is going to try to make up for the oils stripped away during cleansing (or washing your face with a bar of soap, or whatever you do) by producing more oil. It's a vicious cycle. Moisturiser will give you softer, smoother skin which will age more slowly than skin which is not moisturised. This should be an absolute essential in any routine, I think even above cleansing and exfoliating.

I also think that it would be a great idea to introduce them to some kind of cleansing system since that can make such a massive difference and I feel like if there was an electronic device involved men might be more inclined to do something with their skin. The one pictured is from Magnitone* and I think ties in nicely with the green theme of the skincare products but there are also many others out there such as this Clarisonic one. A cleansing system would be more of an extra to enhance a skincare routine rather than an absolute essential.

So those are all of my recommendations of products for male skincare and as much advice as I can give about why MEN SHOULD HAVE A SKINCARE ROUTINE! I don't know why some of them think it isn't manly because I don't think they'd say that if they understood how much of a difference it could make. There are so many products out there which are specifically designed for men and so many which are suitable for both men and women and I think men should start thinking about skincare more. House of Fraser have got a whole range of skincare products on their website or in-store which are perfect for men and I don't think there's any excuse for not looking at them!

So if you are a man or you have a boyfriend or brother or friend who doesn't have a skincare routine already, now is the perfect time to start! Skincare is NOT JUST FOR WOMEN! Hopefully this post helped you out.

Ipanema Flip Flops Again?!

Yep, Ipanema have lured me in with their flip flops once again. It's strange because before I tried Ipanema I never wore flip flops because they hurt but these feel completely fine and I don't even notice the little thing between my toes. Maybe it's because Ipanema make the most comfortable flip flops in the world (I reckon that is a possibility, not gonna lie), or maybe it's just because my feet have gotten used to the feeling. Who knows?

The newest pair to make it into my collection are these rose gold ones. I think these are my favourite so far. They're so so pretty, especially with the detailing on it which goes so well. I honestly wish that Summer was still around in England so that I could wear these more often, but sadly the nice weather is fading (explaining the indoor location for these photographs).

I've mentioned their comfort before in a previous blog post but I'll say it again - they are SO. COMFORTABLE. I don't know what it is but they truly are. In fact, I do know what it is and you can visit their website or my previous blog post if you want to find out.

Let me know what you think of these flip flops! Personally I am in love.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Mac Mineralize Skinfinish In Soft And Gentle Review

Hi guys! MAC Soft & Gentle gets A LOT of hype and I'm sure I'm not the only one who wanted to know what all the fuss was about. I'm a sucker for a good highlighter and I'm always looking for the perfect one. I definitely prefer powder highlights so I was pretty sure Soft & Gentle was going to be a product I would get a lot of use out of.

There's nothing I hate more in a product than big chunks of glitter but that is not what you get at all with this product. It gives a nice glow to the skin, remaining reasonably subtle and perfect for pale skin since there's not too much gold or bronze in it. I tend to apply a little bit to the tops of my cheekbones and my cupid's bow to highlight those areas.

Not the best swatch in the world but it was the best I could get! I've been using this every single day in preference to other highlights by the likes of Benefit and YSL.

I tried to keep this short and sweet as I'm sure you've all heard about it before but I wanted to get this up in a post! I won't lie, I didn't plan on writing this post today but I am just SO ill today and these are the only photographs I had to hand. I really hope I get better soon because I feel awful. :(

Anyway, let me know in the comments if you know of any highlighters which are better than Soft & Gentle or just what your favourite highlighting product is!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

OOTD: WalG Jumpsuit and cleated soles

Hi guys! So I've just moved house so I'm afraid my pictures don't have the usual scenery! So little time to blog but somehow I've managed to get this one up! 

I was sent this absolutely beautiful jumpsuit* by WalG and I fell in love as soon as it arrive. I don't have any jumpsuits so I felt I really needed at least one in my wardrobe! I'm still holding out for somebody to make an exact version of that Topshop jumpsuit / dungarees that Eleanor Calder wore once, but until then I think I can fill the void with other jumpsuits! This particular one is strapless but because it's elasticated at the top it stays up even over my tiny boobs. It's also a really soft material so it's so comfortable to wear.

I decided to style it with these beautiful black cleated sole shoes by Bebo. I won't lie to you, I got these in clearance from T. K. Maxx for £3. THREE ACTUAL POUNDS. I died when I saw the price tag, I truly did. The shoes are SO comfortable as well. The only problem is they fact they have no back makes them slightly awkward to walk in but it's not too bad. I also bought them in pink and white because £3.

I'm also wearing a necklace from Past Times in the picture. It reminds me a bit of Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones and other things of that nature.

And that was all I wore! I hope you like this OOTD because I do.

This weekend I'm going to Reading festival (yay!) so won't be able to post until Monday! So happy I get to go to reading because I was also able to go to V Festival a couple of days ago thanks to Magnitone and it was amazing but I know I'm going to love Reading even more since I'm camping there too! Hopefully now that my phone is fixed I can get some pictures of Reading whereas I wasn't able to with V Festival :(

You should expect a post on Magnitone soon when I return, as well as a load of others I've got lined up which I honestly can't wait to write!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

July Favourites

Hi guys! Okay so this July favourites is so late it's almost not okay to put it up! Honestly I thought it was still the beginning of August! I've had such a busy few weeks that it's just all flown by. I can tell you that I'll have a few exciting and more beauty-related posts up soon which I'm sure you'll be interested to read! (I hope so anyway...)

My favourites have transformed since July already but I've only included the things I know I was loving in July and not August. I think August's favourites are going to be quite different.

The first favourite is a body spray by Victoria's Secret called Pure Seduction. I bought this while I was in America and I've basically worn it every day since. I also wear the other two I bought (Mango Temptation and Love Spell) and honestly I can't decide which I like best of the three. I can't really describe the scents but they are very sweet and sort of citrusy and floral at the same time. Three of them cost me $25 and for such a large bottle that is a bargain really.

This seems to be having quite the America haul theme as I've also been loving my Garden Strawberry candle from Bath & Body works. I haven't even burned it yet, I just leave it open in my room and I can smell it. I'm afraid to burn it because then it'll be gone forever! It literally just smells like an actual strawberry and it's gorgeous.

My actual favourite of the month, like probably my number one, is Mac's Mineralise Skin Finish in Soft & Gentle which, again, I purchased in America. I may do a full review on it soon but I just love how fine the shimmer in it is and I've been wearing it every day.

A surprising favourite for me has been this Essence lipgloss* which I reviewed here. I'm so in love with the taste, texture and colour, honestly it's my perfect lipgloss. I tend to wear this over the top of a pale pink lipstick rather than on its own since I just love the shine it gives.

The Real Techniques base shadow brush has completely been my pick for a fluffy brush this month. I've been using it to blend my eyeshadow out rather than to apply the shadow and it's been working really nicely for me - much better than the brush I was using before!

I have been using the Too Faced LashGASM mascara every day over the top of my Revlon Lash Potion. At first I wasn't a fan of this mascara because of its plastic wand and I didn't find it gave me the volume I wanted but actually over the top of another mascara I've just been loving it to give that extra length.

As far as fashion favourites go, I've been wearing midi rings pretty much every day. A simple favourite but definitely a favourite. The two pictured are from Primark and it was about £1.50 for a pack of three so I reckon Primark is the place to be for midi rings, and probably Topshop as well since their jewellery is amazing as I stated in a previous post.

And that is it for my favourites of the month! I found it quite hard to narrow it down to a few products but I'd say these are definitely my most favourite products. I hope you enjoyed this post & have a wonderful day! Don't forget to let me know your opinions on any of the products in the comments<3

Sunday, August 10, 2014

2014 Boohoo Events Calendar

Hi guys! So I've mentioned Boohoo many times before either on here or on Instagram since I've got a fair few items from them and I often wear them, especially that lime top you'll find featured multiple times on my Instagram. The other day I was contacted by them and sent an events calendar for this year, which I thought was really useful. It's nice to have it all in one place if you're interested in fashion which I assume you are if you're reading this right now!

It is a little hard to read due to the setting on my blog but if you right click > open in new tab you can see a larger, easier to read version. I'm really excited for London Fashion Week and The Clothes Show Live. I've been to The Clothes Show once before and I remember it being amazing. There's such a mix of clothes and beauty there and a fair few bargains, so hopefully I'll be attending this year! If I do, I might get up a vlog on my youtube channel and, of course, the hauls which are sure to follow.

Let me know if you're going to attend any of these events or which ones you'd be interested in attending!

Friday, August 08, 2014

Haul: Topshop Sale Jewellery

Hi guys! I bought a few items from Missguided recently which I haven't done a post on but I have talked about them in this youtube video and that led me to feeling that I needed some jewellery to go with the dresses I bought. I'd recommend watching the video for better images of the items and also more detail but here's a little summary for you!

Eagle necklace: £5.50

Choker: came in a pack of 3 for £8.50

Spoons!: came in a pack of 3 for £8.50

Necklace: came in a pack of 3 for £8.50

Star sign rings: £5.50
Middle finger rings (excluding the midi ring): £2.50 for both

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Acne Treatments: Sk:n Clinics

Hi guys! Today's post is all about Sk:n Clinics and their acne treatments in particular, which I wasn't actually aware they did! I've come across Sk:n Clinics a few times when curiosity got the best of me and I had a little look around the web to find out how much hair removal might actually cost. Because they were the ones who came up I sort of assumed they mainly did hair removal, tattoo removal etc. They also have solutions for acne and so many other things! I've also seen various bloggers who have used them for hair removal, hence why I thought that was the speciality.

Their most popular treatments are the advanced salicylic skin peel (from £105), advanced pyruvis skin peel (from £121), isolaz treatment (from £130) and isolaz treatment & peel (6 courses from £480). That's really not as much as I was expecting and considering the effects it's going to have on not only your skin but your entire confidence, I think the prices are quite reasonable. The Isolaz treatment uses a high-tech laser treatment combined with pore-purifying technology which will leave the skin cleansed from the inside and out. What shocked me is that it's supposedly pain free! I really thought it would be an awfully painful treatment but according to the site, it isn't!

There's a lot more information about the treatments on the website and you'd get a lot more details through contacting them but I would definitely consider this as an option if acne is worrying you and you're looking at getting a treatment done. They do treatments for both teenagers and adults!

I definitely don't think that treatments like this are always necessary since a good skincare regime could often help with acne a lot - but I know that often some people have very stubborn skin and a treatment could benefit in that case. I, for one, would not go for an acne treatment because, though I do get spots, it's nothing that good skincare can't maintain and it's nothing permanent unlike the scars which can be caused from acne. I'm genuinely considering the hair removal though, though it seems scary to me right now!

So if acne is something which is worrying you and you've been seriously looking at getting some kind of treatment for it I would recommend giving Sk:n Clinics a look since with 95% of customers rating them five star, I think they're worth considering at least! Obviously I haven't used them myself so can't give you a first hand opinion but merely an introduction to the Clinics! If you're wondering if there's one near you or not you can search your postcode here to find the nearest one.

I'm not encouraging anyone to go and get these treatments in this post by any means - merely suggesting Sk:n Clinics to anybody who is already looking at getting some kind of treatment done and was not aware that Sk:n Clinics were around!

*this is a sponsored post

Monday, August 04, 2014

OOTD: Pastels From Topshop, ASOS, Missguided And Pacsun

Hiiii guys! I'm back and with another fashion post for you! Please, contain your excitement. I love fashion posts, I am on such a roll lately it's unbelievable. Going to have to get up a few product reviews soon to balance things out since I've been trying a lot of new beauty products lately I'm sure you'll be interested in hearing my thoughts on!

So recently I did a bit of haulin' on Missguided. I often go on Missguided and ASOS and fill my basket and then decide it's too expensive and close it, but on Missguided this time it only came to about £40 and I figured I'd just treat myself for once. So glad I did because I am absolutely in love with this lilac spaghetti strap crop top (£5.99 in the sale). I'm really loving spaghetti straps recently - sort of reminds me of the 90s and Bratz dolls. I also love how it has the little mesh panel since I've wanted something with a mesh panel like this for a while now but I've never actually got around to buying anything since it's usually quite pricey (for me).

I paired the top with my Pacsun shorts which I've worn in a previous post. I don't think they sell these anymore which sucks because they're so nice! One of my favourite items of clothing this Summer.

I had to make use of my ASOS shoes which I cannot find online anymore but they have similar ones here. I adore these shoes but rarely wear them since they're white and I'm afraid of ruining them! I decided to pop a pair of socks from Topshop underneath because I adore socks like those and wanted to make use of them.

And to top it all off I overloaded with Topshop jewellery! I've got a better picture up on my Instagram if you want to give it a look. The gold heart-shaped ring is from Primark but the rest are Topshop. The necklace is also from Topshop! I will have a haul post up soon with details on these and (hopefully!) a haul video!

I'm really sorry for the lack of videos but I just do not feel happy with any of them so haven't uploaded a single one since my first! I'm hoping I'll get used to it and be able to upload them soon.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this post! And also my top knot which made me feel a bit like a Spice Girl. I was really feeling the 90s vibes today I think! Sorry about the bruises btw :)

Friday, August 01, 2014

Review: Essence Cosmetics

Good evening, one and all. Or morning, or afternoon, or whatever hour it may be during which you are reading this. For some time now I have had this post planned and I have only just reached a point where I feel I can do it! So earlier on in the year I was invited to an Essence event but was unfortunately unable to attend which makes me super sad since it looked like it was amazing! Anyway, instead of actually going they were kind enough to send me a few things to try out!

For those of you who don't know much about Essence, they are a brand which has been in Europe for a while now but just launched in the UK! They're a budget friendly brand who do not test on animals (wahoo!) and are available to buy from Wilkinson's at the moment, I believe.

I'm going to start with the least exciting and build my way up. Nail varnish isn't particularly exciting to me since I can't wear it to work so all I see it as is a nuisance and my nails already snap off all the time and I just can't be bothered. Even so, I do sometimes give in and end up putting it on. The particular shade I was sent was love me, cupcake!* and it's a sort of dusky purpley nude sort of thing. You can see it in action with one coat here. I think this is the sort of colour where one coat looks quite nice since it's still a little translucent but since it's almost a nude it's just a really subtle thing. I'm calling it a 'nude' but it does have a definite purple hint to it and it's not what you might typically call a 'nude' - I just thought it had that sort of classy look to it. I was truly SO impressed with this nail polish. I'm not even exaggerating, it was so good. It dried so quickly even with two coats. I'm not sure how well it did on the chipping front since I was only able to test it on my toes for a long time due to work. It didn't chip on my toes though! Also a huge benefit for me was that it was so easy to remove which honestly is so important to me. I was completely impressed by this nail polish and would definitely go out to buy more colours.

Next of all is a mascara. I took quite a few pictures with this one but realistically I don't think I can post them because it definitely is NOT the most flattering colour. Here's a picture anyway just to give you an idea of how it looks on if you're interested in it. Mine was in the shade 05* and it's a sort of pastel purple. Who knows, you might be interested in this colour. I know that ciate have just launched a mascara range similar to this but these Essence mascaras are definitely more budget friendly. The eye on the left is the mascara with a white base coat of mascara and on the right is the mascara alone. As you can see, the colour pops a lot more with another mascara underneath. Also, i feel that the one on the left has a lot more volume and since it is described as a 'volume mascara' you would expect it to give more volume. I have absolutely no idea when I'd wear a purple mascara but perhaps there'll be some kind of fancy dress opportunity where I'm feeling it! Or perhaps you might want to put it only on the bottom lashes for a pop of colour. I have no idea what a person might do with a coloured mascara! If you've ever used it to actually go out in public not in fancy dress, please let me know since I'd love to know how to use it well.

Thirdly is another impressive product which is the anti-spot compact powder*. I've never thought to get a powder which is 'anti-spot' before since I wouldn't say they're a huge issue for me but I actually think I benefitted from this. I gave it a good old test over a few weeks to see if it actually did anything. I genuinely did notice that I had less spots while I was wearing this which surprised me. Honestly, the one day I wore a different powder my skin seemed to get worse. Now I don't know if that was just a coincidence due to going out drinking that night but that is just how my skin responded. It is proven to be effective by dermatologists too so I suppose it must work! It also did everything you'd expect a powder to do like mattifying the skin etc. All the boring stuff! Can't say anything bad about it nor anything miraculous, simply that I saw a difference in my spots while using this and it did its job!

And FINALLY is my favourite! I'm not usually a lip gloss girl. I have issues with my lips and don't really want to draw attention to them so most of the time I'll leave them alone but I've been using this a lot lately. Like seriously a lot. It smells / tastes so good. I'm not even sure what it is but it reminds me of childhood. Sort of like cotton candy or something. This lip gloss felt so moisturising and not at all sticky. It was truly the perfect lipgloss for me, even down to the shade which is rising star*. I've mentioned before that I'm loving that sort of baby pink colour. The sparkles in it are really subtle so it just makes your lips look shiny rather that glittery - a huge plus for me since I absolutely hate huge chunks of glitter! The smell is quite potent, I'll admit. I just put it on my hand and I can smell it so if you're not up for a strong-smelling lip gloss, though the smell is SO yummy, then I wouldn't recommend it. It is quite a thick formula and it's not going to be moving anywhere particularly fast. This is another product from them which I think I would repurchase in more colours.

I'm so surprised that I like such an inexpensive brand so much! I always seem to think that a big price tag means a better product but that's definitely not the case. I would completely recommend the lip gloss and nail varnish to anybody, and the powder if you're worried about spots! Not sure about the purple mascara. I can't say I ever plan on wearing it! Even so, amazing products from a great brand! Definitely head to their website and have a nose - I plan on hitting up my local Wilkinson's to see if they're stocking them there (probably not - I live in the worst place in the world).