My Morning Skincare Routine

Happy Monday, my loves! It’s finally time to share my morning skincare routine with you and I’m so excited about it. I know I’ve been talking about this for a while and took a long time to post but I promise it’s worth it, there’s so many good products that I truly love! 

Lots of you will know I struggle with my skin A LOT – if not, you can read about my acne experience here – but right now I’m truly so happy with my routines and my skin. I haven’t had an active pimple in over a month, even when I got my period last week! I genuinely haven’t had skin like this since I started getting acne at around 19/20 years old so you can imagine how happy I am.

I think a huge part of my skin being happy recently has been due to the fact I’m only wearing makeup a couple times per week (gotta love that WFH life) and a solid skincare routine morning and night. I used to love switching products out, trying new things all the time and just messing around with my routine, but now I really don’t have a desire to do that. I’ve finally found a bunch of products that I LOVE and I’m so excited to share them with you all!

For reference, my skin is combination, acne-prone and pretty sensitive. I have a little texture that I’m working on clearing up but other than that I’m super happy with how my face looks right now. I do still have acne scarring and hyperpigmentation but no skincare product will ever change that, I’d need to have laser surgery to fix it. I like that my routine consists of products that are budget friendly (except one!) and even those that seem a little more money are great when I consider how long they last and how many uses I get out of them.

La Roche Posay Effaclar H Cleansing Cream
I love this cleanser so much it actually motivates me to jump out of bed and wash my face in the morning. That’s how good it is. I am generally an evening shower person so I like a cleanser that wakes me up and this really does! It’s so gentle, doesn’t irritate my eyes, doesn’t strip my face and is the perfect thing to take off my evening skincare and prepare my face for the day ahead. It’s super creamy and leaves my face so soft! My favourite thing about this is that it doesn’t leave a film or residue behind which is something I really dislike about a lot of ‘cheaper’ cleansers. It doesn’t make my face feel tight or uncomfortable, it’s just such a nice no-frills product that gets the job done, but feels a little bit luxurious.

Sunday Riley Auto Correct Eye Cream
I’m aware this is the most ridiculously priced, bougie eye cream. I know. BUT, it’s amazing! I would have never purchased this full price but the deal in the Caroline Hirons Kit was incredible and I’m so grateful to have this eye cream, even just for a little while! It’s a pretty big size considering I use the teeniest amount of eye cream, but after realizing how much I love this product I’ve started to ‘save’ it. On my WFH no makeup days I’ve been opting for my trusty CeraVe eye cream (which is ONE FIFTH of the price of the Sunday Riley!!) as I really don’t want to waste the good stuff. But, on the Sunday Riley one; I can see why people who can afford to spend a boat load on skincare buy this. It truly is beautiful! It is very de-puffing – which is great if you’re not the best sleeper, like me! – and it looks almost iridescent when applied; my whole under eye looks brighter immediately, and I do think it helps my concealer to look better too. I often find my concealer under my eyes can look a little dried out by the middle of the day but when I use this I definitely don’t notice that!

La Roche Posay Ultra 8 Mist
I adore this facial spray! I mist my face before and after I use a Hyaluronic Acid serum as I find it absorbs better into damp skin. I’m pretty sure I learned this from a YouTube video a very long time ago. This mist is very hydrating and helps to keep my skin moisturised, it’s really refreshing and I especially feel the benefit from using it on super hot days. I also spray this mist throughout the day; back in the days I used to go into an office (remember them!?) I would keep a bottle on my desk to re-hydrate my face through the day. It doesn’t bother your makeup at all! As I’m home all day working I still pop up to my vanity able and spritz my face once or twice per day! The spray would be great for travel too as it’s pretty much hydration in a bottle. I’ve recently been trying out this Rosewater and Glycerin spray from The Heritage Store which does pretty much the same thing, except it’s half the price of LRP. I need to use it a little more to pick a favourite but I really enjoy using them both.

The Inkey List Hyaluronic Acid Serum / NIOD Multi Molecular Hyaluronic Complex
I noticed the biggest difference in my skin around two years ago when I first introduced a Hyaluronic Acid serum. My skin is dehydrated, and although it gets worse during super dry or super cold weather, it’s a problem all year round. Using a HA helps to combat this a lot; it helps my skin to stay moisturised and soft. I typically alternate between HA’s from The Inkey List and NIOD because I love them both.I like a lot of other brands too, but these are the two best I’ve tried. Having said that they are very different ends of the pricing scale; I actually would say I prefer The Inkey List over NIOD if I had to choose. Hyaluronic Acid retains moisture in the skin and works to reduce the visibility of fine lines, I’m starting to see a few under my eyes so I always make sure to take it up to that area.

REN EverCalm Global Protection Day Cream
It took me a very long time to find a holy grail moisturiser to use during the day but it was so worth the wait, this stuff is incredible! As my skin is combination, sensitive and acne-prone I have to be careful when it comes to products that stay on the face for long periods of time (like serums or moisturisers). Moisturisers are often too heavy for me to wear all day/night and result in me breaking out and experiencing clogged pores. I truly adore everything I’ve tried from REN’s EverCalm range and none of their products have ever made me break out. This moisturiser is so lightweight but super hydrating; I use less than a full pump each morning and it melts into my skin beautifully. It doesn’t make me any more oily in my T Zone which I love, yet it keeps the rest of my face moisturised and hydrated. I also love how this looks under makeup; it’s the perfect base (along with SPF during the day) that helps my makeup to stay in place. I’m NEVER feeling – or more importantly, looking – shiny at the end of the day any more, that is literally magic!

The Body Shop Skin Defence SPF 50
I am going to write a whole post specifically about SPF in the next few weeks so I’ll try to keep this kinda brief! I wear SPF every single day which I think is so important, it’s not just for those hot, sunny days and I don’t think enough people know this. I have tried a ton of SPF’s and although I like others, this is my go-to and the one I’ve most used/repurchased. The formula was recently changed but I still really like it; a little goes a long way and I find it helps my makeup to look good too! I buy the 60ml size and a tube lasts me around six months (I do sometimes switch out to a different SPF but very rarely) and it’s got very high SPF 50 coverage. As the SPF is so high it does leave a little bit of a white cast but it sinks in quickly and goes away, it helps your skin to look glowy and fresh before and even after makeup application. I find lots of SPF’s I’ve tried are greasy and leave a weird residue on the skin but this doesn’t at all, I do try to leave at least 20 minutes between using this to applying my makeup so maybe give that a try if you struggle with SPF!

I’ll be sharing my evening skincare routine with you soon, but that’s everything I use on a typical morning! Have you tried any of these products? Do you love them as much as I do?! If you’re looking for any new skincare products I 100% recommend all of these, except maybe the Sunday Riley eye cream which is just the craziest price. What are your go-to morning skincare products? I’d love to hear your favourites, too! 

-G x

A Little Look At My Vanity Table

Happy Wednesday my loves 🙂 

I was getting ready this past Sunday morning, feeling a bit crap because I’ve had ‘one of those weeks’ and I didn’t have the energy or motivation to do anything. As I was sitting there finishing up my makeup I was trying to think of all the little things that make me happy and as weird as it may sound I just felt super grateful for my sweet vanity table. I LOVE getting ready here every morning, and getting unready here in the evenings.

It’s not ‘Insta-worthy’ by any means but it’s perfect to me, I’m so happy with my space! Every morning I carry out my skincare routine, do my makeup and style my hair here and I just really love the setup I have. Sometimes I set up my MacBook to blog here and Matt loves to work from this spot too. I also carry out my evening skincare routine here each night and it’s truly just a happy place for me. I think it’s very important to have a set place to get ready/unready each morning and evening. I just love all things homey and routine based. I am debating on getting some shelves to place above my vanity table, maybe to display a couple plants, a candle and maybe one of my favourite quotes in a frame? Let me know if you think that would be cute?! 

I think my very favourite part of my dressing table is my mirrored perfume tray. I really need to write an updated post about my favourite fragrances because perfume is one of my most loved things to be gifted or to purchase for myself. I always thought that perfume wasn’t really one of those things you buy yourself, but honestly I love to treat myself to perfume now and then. I’m super lucky that Matt and my family often gift me perfume for birthdays and Christmas too! I have travel size rollerballs in my bag at all times but my full size perfumes bring me so much joy it’s a little crazy. Does anyone else love perfumes like this?! I really feel like they can be so overlooked in the beauty world. I know they’re super expensive but I really think they’re worth it, to me applying perfume is like putting the cherry on top of the cake. It just makes me feel ‘finished’ and ready for the day (or night) ahead! My mirrored tray is just from Amazon; it looks so pretty but it was so inexpensive. I’m linking it here if you fancy dressing up your vanity table a little.

My rotating skincare organiser brings me a ridiculous amount of joy. I’m sure you all already knew that, hahaha! This was another Amazon purchase recommended by my sweet friend Lauren. She told me it would change my life and it has! I’ve lost count of how many people have asked me on Instagram where I got it from and asked for the link. It’s SUCH a good idea because when I kept all of my products in my drawers I really didn’t use what I had. I was also kinda guilty of buying more because I just forgot what was stuffed in the drawers which is so crazy. Seeing all of my everyday stuff out makes my heart happy. Obviously I don’t use all of this every day, but it’s things I could (and do) reach for on an everyday basis. For the first time in a long time I’m so happy with my skincare products and routine, I literally have no requirement to buy anything else and it’s so nice to feel content with my little collection. 

I store all of my beauty bits in the drawers on either side! All of my back up skincare products, body lotions, razors, makeup, shower gels, bath products, hair products and my tools, nail polishes and all of the other extra random beauty bits.  They’re not super organised because I have never found really good drawer separators; I’d love to pick up some acrylic organisers and maybe even downsize a few things too. My makeup bag and brushes usually sit inside the top right drawer; I like to keep my makeup in a bag not in acrylic storage, but I don’t like to see it out on my vanity table. I’ve no idea why but this just makes sense to me! I think I prefer to keep it in a makeup bag because (pre-lockdown) when we travel or stay at Matt’s parents once or twice per week it’s much easier to pack. I use the same makeup products each day so I don’t really have to choose too much, whereas with skincare I use different products on different days/weeks depending on how my skin is, so I prefer to pack my skincare each time we’re not staying at home. Almost three months into lockdown and I so miss the excitement of packing up a travel bag for visiting Matt’s parents and going on trips!

Fresh flowers are one of the little things that always make me smile, and I LOVE the weeks I have a beautiful bouquet on display on my vanity! I talked about this a little while ago but I don’t buy myself flowers too often, it’s usually for a treat around payday or Matt will sometimes surprise me with a pretty bunch when he arrives home from work. The heart jug/vase was one of my best bargain finds, it was on sale for £3 (!!!) in Tesco and I just love how sweet it looks. It’s even cute with no flowers in there! My beautiful orchid was a gift from my dad, he went to buy me flowers but there wasn’t any nice bunches so he picked this up instead. I flipping love it! I’ve only had it a few weeks and it’s already gained an extra flower. I love the pop of color it gives!

My regular readers will already know this but I just adore scented candles, and the ones out on my vanity are currently more ‘display’ candles than ones we burn in the evenings. The candles I burn most often are mostly from Yankee Candle, Aldi and Bath & Body Works, and I keep those inside one of our wardrobes out of the way during the day. I really like my space I’m using to be clean, tidy and clutter free so that’s just what works best for me. 

The pretty geode coasters you see were a cute stocking filler from Matthew last Christmas, and they are from Anthropologie. They seriously just add a little extra *something*, I’m obsessed with them! I also have one on my bedside table which I find so important; I love to have super cold drinks in a glass with tons of ice and the ring that cold glasses leave on surfaces drives me crazy. Hahaha, just me?! I also have a cup of tea (English Breakfast, if you wondered) pretty much every morning as I get ready so the coasters are actually as functional as they are cute.

The last thing to note on there is my mirrors. I don’t love the big bulky mirrors with lights around the outside edges – the only ones I’ve seen that I like are literally £300+ which is crazy to me – and I love that my mirrors are kinda small but also pretty. The larger mirror was something I picked up years and years ago whilst shopping with my mum. I think it was from Debenhams? My light up mirror is from Boots No. 7, is also a few years old and was a Christmas present from my mum and dad. I’m pretty sure most girls have these! They’re so functional and I like that the other side is magnified, it’s especially great for when I do a little at home dermaplaning.

I hope you’re having a great week, I can’t believe it’s almost JUNE! I am very excited to share all of the fun Summer content with you. I have tons of beauty posts up my sleeve! Do you get ready (and unready) at a vanity table each day? How do you display your items on there? Also please share with me how you store things inside the drawers, I’ll definitely update in a few months time with how I’ve organised everything. 

-G x

The Most Exciting Skincare Haul: Caroline Hirons Spring Kit 1

Happy Sunday, loves! As any of my lovely regular readers will know, I am a HUGE fan of Caroline Hirons. I love that she has so much knowledge, I love the way she cares about her following, I love that she is becoming more successful by the freaking day and is still so humble, I love how she takes no sh*t and I really bloody love that she always has her Freaks at heart. It’s me. I’m a Freak. 

If you have no idea what I’m talking about, take a look at this Facebook group. We love skincare, we love Queen C, and we love tea. That’s about it?!

I had been anticipating the arrival (like all of the Freaks) of the Spring Kit for months; I was hyped up and I knew I had to purchase! When I found out the kit was being released in May I was SO excited to treat myself as an early (and very splurge-y) birthday present, and I’m officially now on a beauty product no buy. Until Caroline’s Summer Kit comes out…

Caroline outdid herself and actually created two kits. Kit 1 (the one I opted for) was aimed more towards the younger audience and people who are dealing with breakouts in lockdown, or in general. Kit 2 was for more mature skins and those who are more dry during lockdown, or in general. Thankfully both kits were suitable for sensitive skin, and my combination acne-prone skins is super excited for all of the new additions to my collection. The kits were released two weeks ago, which one of the fantastic girls in the Facebook group likened to ‘Kitmas Day’ – Caroline should officially coin this term, right?! – and the biggest Internet meltdown I’ve witnessed began. The kits went on sale at 12pm, and the site crashed at 12.01pm. Yep, we’re good! I took lunch around 2pm, and the site was still down. Fast forward a few more hours, I was just finishing up work at around 4.30pm and grabbed my iPad to take back upstairs (LOL, ‘finishing work’ is defined by ‘going upstairs’ right now… what a weird time of life!) and I assumed I’d missed out completely on the kit. However… I opened up Safari, refreshed the page I had left open… and there it was! I counted down for a week and a half until my kit was dispatched and I literally was so giddy poor Andy – my DPD driver, we’ve got pretty well acquainted since lockdown started – didn’t get chance to ring the doorbell. I was literally waiting with the door open. HAHAHA. Also, everything except two products in the kit are new to me! 

Jordan Samuel Skin The After Show Treatment Cleanser (Sensitive Skin) RRP £20
First off, I just need to say how much I adore Jordan Pacitti, the founder of JSS. He puts so much effort and thought into his products and his personal customer service is second to none. He is such a kind, sweet soul and his brand is one of my very favourite skincare brands I’ve ever tried. Anything he makes I will buy. I LOVE him! That being said, this cleanser is one of the products I had already used before and it’s one of my holy grail cleansers! I love this for removing makeup, as a second cleanse or as a morning cleanse. It’s a fantastic multi use product, and I’m obsessed with the limited edition yellow packaging on this tube! It was made just for Caroline’s kit and matches to the pantone of her blog. #goals I will re-buy this cleanser forever, I love that it never irritates my sensitive skin or causes breakouts. It also removes makeup so gently without feeling stripping. When you next need to replace a cleanser (or if you just fancy a fun treat!) I highly recommend this product.

Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Ultra Gentle Daily Peel RRP £89
Full disclosure: these acid wipes are something I would have never purchased, as they normally retail for a whopping £89… and that is just crazy to me. That being said, as someone who has suffered with acne and breakouts for over seven years and heard how much this product has helped people, I’ve wanted them for a long time. I admire Dr Dennis Gross and his products so much; it’s all science based and there’s no frills with anything he makes. Maybe one day my regular skincare budget will stretch to include his products! This is a two-step product; you use ‘wipe one’ to eliminate dead skin cells with a mix of acids, then ‘wipe two’ is used two minutes later to balance your skin out. He explains it really well in the video on the product page I linked. Acid exfoliators work so much better for me, I cannot use physical exfoliators as they just cause irritation. I really hope to see an improvement in the texture of my skin; I have acne pigmentation marks left on my cheeks and although they’ve lightened considerably over the years they could definitely look better. I’m currently experiencing an allergic reaction (I think it may be a food allergy but I don’t know what to. Thankfully it’s not really on my face, but it is on my chest/neck and has slightly spread to my jawline) so I haven’t tried these yet, but I’m so excited to! They are gentle enough to be used every day but I think as my skin is super sensitive I’ll probably only use two to three times per week.

Sunday Riley Auto Correct Brightening And Depuffing Eye Contour Cream RRP £60
I think this was the most exciting product in the kit for me! I have lusted over Sunday Riley for years. The iconic packaging and cult following have made this brand one I’d just dreamed of owning, but the price points are crazy high and I’ve never been able to justify paying them. Then I was lucky enough to get this kit! I’ve been using this eye cream the past few days and I am absolutely obsessed with it. I kinda hoped I wouldn’t think it was amazing because I can’t imagine I’ll be able to justify spending £60 (!!!) to replace it. BUT, I’m going to continue to use it (sparingly) and love it, and maybe it could be a very generous Christmas gift… from myself… to myself… My under-eye area is pretty dry and I sometimes suffer with eczema – more in the colder months – so I need a hydrating eye cream. This is extremely hydrating, and I swear it makes my eyes look brighter immediately on application. It’s very depuffing which is so appreciated in the morning. I also love how makeup applies over it! Is it worth five times the price of my regular day eye cream? Probably not. Do I love it? YES!

Oskia Super C Smart Nutrient Beauty Capsules RRP £62 (for 60 capsules)
I am not going to lie… I’m a little scared to use these! I adore Oskia as a brand; I’ve used a few products from them and they’re very luxurious and also work really well. That being said, I’ve not gotten on great with Vitamin C in the past. I was using products from The Body Shop and Pixi that worked great for a while, then they started to cause me lots of irritation. I stopped using them and the irritation almost immediately stopped. I was then scared to use Vitamin C again but Caroline said this Vitamin C was very gentle, and anyone that had experienced issues or irritation in the past with Vitamin C should be fine with this. I do really love how Vitamin C makes your skin g l o w so I’d love to find one that works for my skin. Also, the capsules are heart shaped and biodegradable… and how flipping cute is the little personalised case?! I will definitely be re-purposing this when we’re able to travel again.

NIOD Multi-Molecular Hyaluronic Complex RRP £38
If you don’t have a hyaluronic acid serum in your skincare routine, where have you been!? I love love love hyaluronic acid as an ingredient, and over the past year or so a HA serum has become a must in my morning skincare routine. I sometimes use it in the evenings too but usually I prefer to use my ‘treatment’ products then. I freaking love Jordan Samuel’s hyaluronic serum although I also really enjoy The Inkey List’s; it’s so inexpensive and it works a treat! NIOD is a new brand to me; they are owned by Deciem, the parent company of The Ordinary – another brand I love – so all of their products are created with science in mind. The NIOD MMHC is a ‘Freaks favourite’ and one of the most recent products to experience #TheCarolineEffect. That’s when she talks about how good something is and it immediately sells out 🙂 I’ve used this the past couple of days, although it’s noticeably nicer to use than my go-to from the The Inkey list (which is expected, it’s got extra stuff in there to make it feel luxe) it’s very similar to JSS. My first impressions are good, and I’m excited to see how I get on with this! 

Ren EVERCALM Global Protection Day Cream RRP £36
This is the other product in the kit that I’ve used before and after just a few days I’m truly SO happy to have this back in my life! I love love love the Ren EVERCALM range – if you have sensitive skin and/or suffer with acne and breakouts, I can’t recommend it enough – and I forgot just how much I adored this day cream. I use the Ren EVERCALM cleansing gel every day as my second cleanse and it’s been a saviour for my skin! This moisturiser doesn’t pill at all, keeps my face hydrated all day without making my T Zone oily and it also doesn’t break me out. I can’t tell you how many moisturisers I’ve tried in the quest to find something that works well with my skin type. Although before this arrived I’d been using the Cerave Facial Moisturising Lotion morning and night, I’m pretty sure this will be my go-to day cream going forward. It’s incredible and I’ve no idea why I stopped using it? I think I ran out when I was at the height of my ‘I must try every product EVER’ phase, but now when I find products I love I prefer to either only use them, or alternate with products from a couple of other tried and tested brands. 

Medik8 Advanced Day Total Protect SPF 30 RRP £55
SPF is one of the most important products you could ever use in your skincare routine. For a really long time I couldn’t find a SPF that worked well for me (by not breaking me out and not piling under makeup) but then I discovered The Body Shop’s Skin Defence and that all changed. That’s been my go-to SPF for so long and I always recommend it to people! I tried this for the first time on Friday and guys… I’m blown away by how much I liked it! This is not just a bog standard SPF. It’s technically a moisturiser so can be used as just your final step in your routine, but I like to use a moisturizer then apply SPF. My skin is pretty dehydrated so it needs all the goodness it can get! This SPF also protects against blue light, pollution and infrared, and it has anti-aging properties to boot. As I turn 26 on the day this post goes live, I guess it’s time to think about that! This didn’t affect my makeup application at all, it actually made my makeup look flawless. It did cause a white cast when first applied, but it rubbed in really well and was not noticeable once I had makeup on. It’s also not greasy or heavy feeling which is a huge plus, I’m really excited to use this more.

Thank you so much for reading! Are you a fan of Caroline too? What’s something you’ve bought on her recommendation?! I’d love to know if you have any favourite products amongst the ones in this post, I’m so excited to continue using them over the coming months and see how I feel about them. I always re-purchase a product before it ends when I really love it so I’m excited to see if that happens with any of the new-to-me products.

-G x

Beauty Spotlight: CeraVe Facial Moisturising Lotion

Hi, loves! Today’s post is a little short but a lot sweet, I just couldn’t wait to get this up for you guys 🙂 I shared my first beauty spotlight post a little while ago featuring this Garnier hair mask; in this series I talk about a specific product that I truly love. These are products that deserve a whole post dedicated to them because they’re just that good!

I very recently started using prescription treatment for my skin (thanks to this incredible offer from Dermatica and Caroline Hirons) so right now I’m using the most paired back, back-to-basics skincare routine. I’m using a very minimal amount of products – well, for me anyway – and I actually don’t think I’ll ever go back to using as many products as I used to. 

I have seen a lot of hype around the brand CeraVe over the past year or so, and honestly I’d never been drawn in to try it. I really think this was because the packaging is nothing to write home about, I hadn’t realised how much packaging influences me… stick something in a pretty bottle and I’ll probably buy it. I’m a marketer’s dream! The pretty packaging that looks nice by my bathroom sink or in blog photos is what I have always gravitated towards, but that didn’t mean those products worked best for my skin. I fell in love with Caroline Hirons and everything she teaches a good few years back, and ever since I’ve become more and more interested in skincare; from the ingredients to the story of the brand and everything in-between.

Let’s get one thing straight right now… this is a basic, no-frills moisturiser. And it’s also the best moisturiser I’ve ever used…

I’ve talked about this a few times on my blog, but my skin was VERY oily a few years back. I’ve struggled with acne since my late teens/early twenties, and over the past six months or so my skin seems to have finally evened out. My skin is combination and still (unfortunately) acne prone, but thankfully I definitely get a lot less cystic acne than I used to. I still get those horrible under the skin bumps on my chin/jaw line, especially around the time of my period each month – you’ve just gotta love being a girl don’t you?! – but overall my skin is the best it’s been in a long time. I whole heartedly believe my paired back routine, and in particular this product, has had a huge impact on that.

CeraVe is an American brand that was developed by dermatologists to be easily accessible and affordable. I’m not exactly sure when it made it’s way across the pond but I’m so grateful that we can get it so easily here in the UK! The CeraVe Facial Moisturising Lotion is specifically recommend for use in the evenings – which is when I personally use it – but I’d also happily use this during the day. I’ve tried it a few times after my friend said she used it both morning and night and it is such a great base for makeup, and super hydrating throughout the day. Next time Matt and I travel (whenever that will be…) I’ll definitely just take this to use day and night. 

I’m pretty sure the reason it’s marketed for evening use only is because they sell the same lotion formulated with SPF, for use during the day. I’ve tried that one too and although I used it up I wouldn’t re-purchase as I really love my La Roche Posay Toleraine Ultra, and I personally like to use a separate SPF after my moisturiser instead of using a two-in-one product. 

The lotion is not at all greasy, sinks into my skin so nicely and it’s never once caused me irritation. My skin is very sensitive and so many moisturisers can turn it red and ‘hot’. I just thought that was something that would happen no matter what I used, but now that I’m using gentle products on my skin I’ve realised how many harsh products I was using before. This lotion is super lightweight (which is why it also works great under makeup) and does not pill or feel thick on my face. I hate products that leave a ‘greasy film’ on my face and most moisturisers do this; it’s like my skin tries to overcompensate for the moisture levels or something!

I only use two pumps of this to cover all of my face and neck, so although the packaging is quite small one tube lasts me a really long time. The tube retails for £13 so its extremely affordable and a great option for good quality skincare on a budget.

I think the reason this lotion has been so great for my skin is because of the ingredients. It’s formulated with hyaluronic acid which is great for retaining moisture in your skin and restoring/supporting your skin barrier. Niacinamide is another very important ingredient in the formula; this is formulated in my Dermatica prescription too and it has so many perks. The main things I want niacnimaide to do for my skin is to improve uneven skin tone and scarring (caused by previous acne) and minimize large pores on my nose. I seen a difference within a few weeks from first using this moisturiser, way before I got my prescription.

There’s only one con I can think of… it’s so good my boyfriend steals it. I’ve finally pulled Matthew away from the cheap crap (in quality, not pricing) he was using and now he likes to share my favourite products too. It’s my own fault guys! If I had one tip… maybe buy one for you and one for your partner?

Have you tried this moisturiser? Do you love it as much as I do? I definitely recommend this next time you’re looking for a new no-frills moisturiser, it’s so amazing and it’s so affordable 🙂 also, do you have any other CeraVe recommendations for me? I use (and love) the hydrating cleanser and eye cream, but I’d love to try more! 

-G x

Easy Eco-Friendly Beauty Swaps

Hi, loves! Sustainability is something that’s become increasingly important to me over the past few years, and I really try my best to do my best. I am not saying by any means that I’m the most eco friendly person there is; I know I’m not. I do however try, and that’s the most important thing! Living sustainably would be so much easier if lots of people did little things in their everyday life, rather than a handful of people living perfectly. Y’know?

There’s lots of sustainable, eco-friendly things I do day-to-day without even thinking about, such as carrying a re-usable coffee cup with me, using re-usable bags when grocery shopping and Matt and I are making a conscious effort to eat less meat. I really think small changes that just become your way of life over time make such a huge difference, and I wanted to share a few beauty related things with you today. Some of these are things I have done for a long time, and some are things that I want to do in the near future! We’ve all got to start somewhere, right?

FROM: Using makeup wipes
TO: Removing makeup with a cleansing balm and flannel

Okay so the Caroline Hirons fanatic in me cannot comprehend how anyone can use makeup wipes in 2020, but I know that some people still love them. Not only are makeup wipes terrible for your skin, they’re also terrible for the environment. Many opt for the biodegradable options – which often aren’t any better, FYI – but I’m very much with Queen C on this one: she says “wipes are for fannies, festivals or flights”. Nuff said. Using a cleansing balm and flannel instead is such a great alternative; it takes a very short amount of time, although you can totally take your time if you fancy a little more of a pamper night. Similarly to taking off my bra after a long day, I LOVE taking off my makeup too. I do sometimes use micellar water to remove my makeup, but most of the time I reach for my cleansing balm and flannel. I really recommend these flannels from M&S; they’re very soft on my sensitive skin, budget friendly and wash really well. You literally just throw them in the wash after each use and they last forever. My very favourite cleansing balms (which are also cruelty free!) are The Body Shop’s Camomile Cleansing Butter and Elemis Pro Collagen Cleansing Balm. I use them both in the same way; I take a pea-sized amount between my fingers and rub all over my face. I take a little warm water on my fingers and massage the product in; this breaks down the balm to a milky oil consistency. I then wet my flannel with warm water to remove everything, it’s so easy!

FROM: Non-cruelty free brands
TO: Cruelty free brands

I only began to really think about this last year, and overhauled every product I was buying to be only cruelty free. Due to some skin issues caused by doing this I reverted to using some brands that do not fall under the cruelty free umbrella, and now I’m back in a weird phasing out stage again. Looking at the beauty products I buy, approximately 90% of them are cruelty free, and I’m always looking for alternatives to the other 10%. Some of my very favourite brands including Lush, The Body Shop, Too Faced and Dove are cruelty free, and thankfully more and more brands are following suit to become cruelty free. There’s a very fine line with what is defined as ‘cruelty free’ too, as many brands do not test on animals themselves, however they sell in China. As the law stands right now, any beauty products sold in China require animal testing to have the rights to sell.

FROM: Plastic toothbrushes
TO: Bamboo toothbrushes

Matt and I jumped on the bamboo toothbrush train fairly recently, and I have to say I’m SO impressed! We’ve all seen the photos of thousands of multi coloured plastic toothbrushes in landfill sites, and I knew that buying disposable plastic toothbrushes wasn’t something I wanted to carry on doing. We both use our electric toothbrushes most of the time, but for travelling (or when I forget to charge them…) it’s important to have a backup. I love that these are so aesthetically pleasing and for such a basic, everyday item they’re affordable. As toothbrushes are supposed to be replaced every three months they’re a great way to keep our ‘single-use plastic’ usage down. Despite David Attenborough’s pleas and much of what you read in the news, plastic in itself is *NOT* the problem, though. The problem is the way that plastic is disposed of. Or, honestly, the way it’s incorrectly disposed of. I really want to write a whole post talking about this but I’m not sure anyone would be interested!

FROM: Liquid hand wash
TO: Soap bars

I have to admit that there’s something about a bar of soap that makes me think of my grandma (just me?) but when brands such as Diptyque are flying the soap bar flag, I guess they’re cool now?! Buying bars of soap instead of hand wash is a more environmentally friendly way to live as it cuts out the unnecessary disposable plastic packaging. There are other alternatives too such as buying refillable bags to top up containers you already have, as the refillable bags are easier to recycle than a plastic bottle! Or, lots of people like pretty containers to house their soap next to the skin, so you can grab a decorative container and refill that each time.

FROM: Disposable cotton rounds
TO: Re-usable cotton rounds

I swear by re-usable cotton rounds! I made the change from disposable ones almost a year ago and unfortunately it has been a little trial and error finding the right ones, but this brand are my favourite out of all the ones I’ve tried! I use them to apply my toners in the morning and evening, and to remove my makeup with micellar water now and then. The pads allow the product to soak in enough to apply to my face and actually work, but don’t absorb the liquid completely like some other brands I’ve tried do. I just throw them in the washing machine alongside my flannels in the net washing bag they come with, and they come out good as new. Sometimes they stain a little – especially if I’ve used them to remove eyeliner or mascara – but the pads works just as well. They’re also really easy for travel as you can pop however many you’d need for your trip in your skincare bag and just bring them home to wash.

FROM: Regular shampoo/conditioner
TO: Shampoo/conditioner bars

Something I’m yet to try is a shampoo or conditioner bar, because honestly I have a pretty large stash of shampoo and conditioner to work through! The bonus of a hair bar is that there is no extra packaging at all, you can just keep them in re-usable metal tins and replace when the bar is gone. I tended to stock up when my favourites are on offer, and I very kindly was given some more expensive brands for Christmas, so it’s going to be a while before I need to replace them. However, I know lots of people swear by Lush’s hair bars! I’d love to hear your thoughts on these if you’ve tried them? Have they replaced regular shampoo/conditioner for you?

Photo contains gifted products

FROM: Plastic tampons/disposable applicators
TO: Cotton tampons with a re-usable applicator

Okay so I’ve tried the MoonCup for several months now and I’m still not completely sold. I like it – as much as you can like a period product – but I don’t necessarily feel comfortable using it in public or at work. As a result I only use the MoonCup at night time when I have the comfort of my own bathroom in the evening/morning! I was very kindly sent some Dame tampons by the lovely girls at Dame, and they are completely revolutionary. Dame markets themselves as ‘the only climate positive brand’ and their tampons don’t contain any plastics, chemicals or harsh additives which makes them better for both your body and the planet. Their applicator is sold for £24.99, but it’s re-usable with a patented ‘self cleaning’ technology, and the whole idea behind it is you never need to buy another applicator again. I really love this brand and I think their products are fantastic, I highly recommend them but I do wish the tampons were a little cheaper to purchase. Also, Dame is just as discreet as a regular tampon so you don’t ever need to worry about using it in public.

FROM: Plastic cotton buds
TO: Bamboo cotton buds

This is such a small change I feel like it’s not even something you’ll notice being different to what you normally use once you buy them. Bamboo cotton buds are biodegradable, and as a product we all use that’s really important. One thing to be careful of is many bamboo / recyclable cotton buds are packaged in plastic packaging, which kind of defeats the point of cutting down on plastic… I really like these ones, especially because they last forever as they come in a pack of 600. They’re also priced really well which makes a huge difference as many of the recyclable eco-friendly products are (in my opinion) quite expensive or overpriced.

Thank you so much for reading! I hope this post was helpful and maybe gave you a few ideas of things to buy next time you run out of any of the things mentioned in this post. What are your favourite eco-friendly beauty swaps? Have you tried any of the products I talked about in this post?

-G x

My Current Skincare Routine: Winter Edition

Hi, loves! Today’s post is one I’m so excited about because I really just wanted to talk about all the products I’m loving right now. I should start by saying that my skin is combination, and like most people’s it leans way more to the dry side during the Winter months. My skin is also dehydrated, and that’s something I’m really trying to treat. Overall I’m pretty happy with my skin right now, and I’ve learned it’s never going to be ‘perfect’ which is fine! I recently talked about the things I’ve learned from my experience with acne, and I think it’s so important that we stop being so hard on ourselves for not having perfect skin. Nobody has perfect skin, and that’s okay! Also I’m sure this may seem like a lot of products to some (and possibly very little to others) but this is just what works for me 🙂

AM

I cleanse my face every morning with my Aveeno Positively Radiant cleanser which I absolutely love! This cleanser leaves my face feeling clean and is the perfect first step in the morning as it’s not at all harsh or stripping. It removes all of the skincare product residue from the night before easily and gently, and it has a really pleasant, light scent which I appreciate because I’m not a fan of highly fragranced cleansers. I really look forward to washing my face with this every morning!

Depending on how my skin is, I tone with Pixi Glow Tonic but I tend to only use this on the days my skin is feeling extra dry or if I have an active breakout/cystic acne. This is without a doubt my favourite toner as it is packed with glycolic acid which gently exfoliates your skin. I really think this makes a huge difference to the pores on my cheeks too, it definitely reduces the appearance of them and overall helps my skin look so much brighter. It literally makes you glow!

Whether I have or haven’t used my toner, my next step is always Hydraluron serum. As soon as the weather gets cold, my skin gets dry and dehydrated and this serum works to boost moisture levels in the skin, and hold on to all of the moisture from your moisturiser. If you’re struggling with dehydrated skin (a huge tell tale sign is your makeup breaking up/not lasting throughout the day) you should give this a go as it makes all the difference! It’s not a miracle worker and my skin is definitely still dehydrated, but it has improved so much since I started using this serum. I only use a pea sized amount across my whole face; it absorbs straight in and doesn’t feel tacky or sticky at all. Also, just an FYI, Caroline Hirons swears by this product so much it’s been coined Hironsluron by her loyal readers/viewers!

I’m not usually too fussed on which eye cream I use as I’ve never found a day time eye cream that makes much difference to me, but that all changed when I picked up La Roche Posay Hydraphase eye cream. I’ve been using this around two months and it feels so nice, absorbs into my under eye area quickly and is cooling which is lovely if your eyes can be a little puffy in the morning! My concealer always sits well on top of this which is also a bonus as I’ve tried several eye creams that pill under makeup and cause texture.

For my moisturiser I like to combine two products; I take a smidge of La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo and mix it with a bigger smidge of Embryolisse Lait Crème Concentré. So technical, I know! If I have a bad breakout I apply a little Effaclar Duo directly over the area, but most days I mix them together with my fingertips and apply all over my face. Effaclar Duo has been a staple in my skincare routine for years and it’s something I’ve always kept in my collection, but with consistent use it’s made such a difference to my skin. I love love love Lait Crème Concentré – which is one of the best selling French pharmacy skincare products ever – as it’s very hydrating, but sinks into the skin so well and is a perfect base under makeup. Makeup artists worldwide swear by this as a must have product in their kit, it also doubles as a primer which is great for travelling!

My favourite ever lip balm is hands down Nuxe Reve de Miel – made by another fantastic French pharmacy brand – I just cannot say enough good things about this! It’s creamy, moisturising, non-sticky and keeps my lips moisturised for hours. I use this morning and night, and I also keep my Nuxe Reve de Miel stick in my bag which I re-apply several times throughout the day. Matt is a huge fan of these lip balms too!

PM

My favourite time of the day apart from snuggling up in bed with Matt is taking my makeup (and bra) off. As soon as I’m home for the evening I like to take off my makeup, get showered/bathed and throw my pj’s on, and then I’m cosy for the night! Over the past few weeks I’ve been reaching only for the Clinique Take The Day Off cleansing balm which is an old favourite of mine. This balm takes off every. single. scrap. of makeup on your face and doesn’t cause any irritation to my sensitive skin. I apply to my dry face, and massage in to start to break down my makeup. I then wet my fingers and carry on massaging in the balm, which turns to an oil-like consistency when water is added. I take my flannel soaked with warm water to remove everything. It literally takes less than a minute! I’m also a huge fan of these flannels from M&S; they’re inexpensive, wash so well and make the world of difference to my cleansing routine.

I always always always double cleanse – because Caroline Hirons told me to – and nine times out of ten I reach for my Aveeno Positively Radiant cleanser that I use each morning. I just love this stuff! It’s also very boyfriend friendly; I’m forever trying to get Matt into a set skincare routine and this is one of the few products he actually enjoys using.

Each night I tone my face with either Pixi Glow Tonic or Pixi Retinol Tonic on a cotton round. I choose which one to use based on my skin that day; if I’m suffering with an acne flare up or a bad breakout I reach for Glow tonic, and if I’m having a good skin day I reach for Retinol tonic. This is such a low dose of Retinol that it is safe to use every day, so I often use this several nights in a row, and I love how it makes my skin feel.

My next step is to apply The Inkey List Hyaluronic Acid serum which is fantastic for dehydrated or dry skin! I personally prefer Hydraluron for during the day, but I love love love this product for the evening. I find this is a lot more runny in consistency and you have to be careful not to pump too much out, but it is such a bargain and really has made a difference to my skin. It leaves my skin feeling plump and hydrated, and is the perfect product to be sandwiched between cleansing and applying the rest of my skincare products.

If you’ve read my blog for a while you will know I am obsessed with The Body Shop’s Drops of Youth Bouncy Eye Mask and nothing will ever replace this for me! I’ve used this product for around two to three years and it is just so hydrating. I especially love that this eye cream is cooling on application and as it’s a gel-like texture it sinks straight in. I really love this eye cream and it’s a product several people have told me they tried because I rave about it so much… it’s so worth the hype, I promise!

Before I apply my my moisturiser, I use Pixi Glow Tonic serum followed by Botanics Restoring Overnight facial oil which is my perfect evening combination. The Pixi serum is just beautiful! I apply two to three drops across my whole face and it helps to exfoliate (like the toner) and hydrate. My skin always looks glowy and fresh after application, and if I ever skip this step I feel like my skin really pays for it the next day. The Botanics facial oil was something I picked up on a whim in Boots – we’ve all done it, right? – and it is the most luxurious facial oil I’ve ever used! I love the scent so much, it’s packed full of essential oils and is really calming. I am so impressed with the quality of the oil and I’d really advise anyone wanting a little luxury in their skincare routine to pick it up! One thing to note is that I don’t apply the oil to any areas affected with an active breakout!

My holy grail skincare product this time of year is Clinique Moisture Surge moisturiser, it’s truly the best hydrating moisturiser I’ve ever tried! I feel like it just layers so well on top of my serums and oil, and makes my skin feel so soft and plump. I love that it’s such a light texture but a little really does go a long way, and it is a great product if you have combination skin. It definitely doesn’t make my face feel or look oily, but it concentrates on any dry patches and just makes things so much more hydrated!

Just like I do in the mornings, I always finish off my evening skincare routine with my Nuxe Reve de Miel lip balm. I generally tend to do my skincare routine early in the evening so I often apply several times more before I go to sleep, and I always put it on just before Matt and I get into bed.

I of course use various treatments – sheet masks are a personal fave – throughout the week/month, and I just see how my skin is doing and what it needs at that time. You can read all about my favourite treatment products here, I still use and love all of those products, I just have a few extra faves now too! I love trying new beauty products but these days I’m slightly more hesitant to try new skincare products as I’m really happy with the ones I’m currently using! I would love to try more from the Botanics range though, and the Clinique Moisture Surge hydrating water gel has been on my ‘to try’ list forever! What are your go-to skincare products for the colder months? Have you tried anything I talked about in this post, or are you adding them to your Christmas list?

-G x