Skincare Saviours

Hi, loves! I am such a huge lover of skincare, it’s my favourite part of my beauty routine and I really enjoy trying new brands and products. That being said, I definitely have my favourites that I come back to time and time again that I couldn’t imagine being without. I talked through my skincare routine in this post back in March and I still love and use all of those products! I have added some new products into my routine over the past few months, but I’ll save those to share with you in an updated skincare routine during the Autumn months. Today I’m talking about my must haves that I like to use randomly during the week, and that are also reserved for those crappy skin days when my regular routine just won’t cut it.

My skin is firmly in the ‘combination’ category; it’s super oily in my T Zone, especially during the Summer months, but I also have dry skin that needs lots of moisture and hydration. I seem to have eczema (or something similar) under my right eye that appears out of nowhere, it’s there right now and it drives me crazy! I am so strict with my skincare routine and I never miss a morning or night; it’s so therapeutic to me and I’m really happy with the products I’m using right now. I am however very intrigued by the new Pixi Vitamin C range and I’m planning on picking up some of those products next time I’m shopping, please let me know in the comments if you’ve tried anything yet and what you think so far!

The Body Shop Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask
This is my absolute holy grail mask, and I’ve spoken about it A LOT on my blog! I use this once per week, usually on a Sunday evening, and my skin loves it. Matt almost always joins in with my little pamper evenings when I use this mask, because it just makes your skin look incredible. The ‘glow’ part is so true – my skin feels light and glowy, and my makeup always applies better the next day. As I mentioned in this post, I always apply with The Body Shop’s face mask brush which ensures it goes on evenly without clumping, and is not at all messy. It is slightly tingly when applied but that subsides pretty quickly, and although I leave the mask on for around 10 – 15 minutes (pretty much just until it hardens) it never leaves my skin red or puffy. I also swear by all of the sheet masks from The Body Shop as they always leave my skin looking and feeling great! When Matt and I are travelling I always pack a few sheet masks as they’re so travel friendly, and really quick to use! Also, they’re biodegradable and environmentally friendly, doesn’t it just feel good to be in David Attenborough’s good books?

Pixi Glow Tonic
It’s a cult product for a reason, right? A must have in my routine, a product I always travel with and one I recommend to anyone and everyone who will listen, but I have stopped using this every day. Shocking, right? I now use this roughly four to five times per week; I’ve experimented with using it when I felt like my skin ‘needed’ it, every day use, and eventually settled somewhere in-between that. I take this toner on a reusable cotton pad, wipe over my t-zone and take whatever is left on the rest of my face, then once my skin is dry I apply my serum(s), eye cream and moisturiser. I never use this during the morning but I always notice the following day how glowy my skin looks, it’s a genuine miracle worker. It has reduced hyper pigmentation and acne scarring on my cheeks and jaw line SO much, and I love how my makeup applies the next day. Also, I really feel like this isn’t talked about enough when it comes to Glow Tonic; but you MUST use SPF religiously if you use this product, especially during the Summer months.

The Body Shop Vitamin C Microdermabrasion *gifted
This product hasn’t been in rotation in my routine very long, but oh my gosh I just love it! It was very kindly sent to me by The Body Shop and I’ve been using this exfoliator two to three times per week since I received it. This is another product Matt ‘borrows’ from me – he’s obsessed with this and how much it clears the blackheads from his nose! I don’t find it harsh on my skin as the exfoliating pieces are so fine and not abrasive, and it never leaves my sensitive skin red or feeling sore. My skin always looks and feels so much brighter in the evenings I use this, and it works very well on acne scarring and hyperpigmentation, it seems to fade/lighten the scars which is amazing. This exfoliator works so well on dry patches, and I know this will be a staple going into the Autumn and Winter months when my skin needs all the TLC it can get. It smells gorgeous and is such a treat to use in the evening, I really look forward to it. I always make sure to use a nourishing serum afterwards – my favourite is of course the Vitamin E Serum-in-Oil from The Body Shop – which helps to hydrate my skin.

Mario Badescu Drying Lotion
I bought this product for the first time way before I heard any hype about it, and I feel like it was one of the very rare times I was ahead of the ‘trend’! I ordered this on a whim back in 2016, and after trying so many products for persistent acne I have to admit I didn’t have high hopes. By this point I’d been prescribed various creams by the doctors and even they hadn’t worked, but I was still willing to give anything a shot. I applied this as I’d read online; dipping a cotton bud into the bottom of the bottle without shaking the mixture; and went to sleep. Fast forward to the following morning and the horrible under-the-skin spot that was taking over my chin had almost gone, I literally couldn’t believe it! I’ve always gotten on well with the formula, and I’ve re-purchased several bottles over the years. I only use this now when I have a particularly bad spot and it still works a treat. I apply onto a spot before bed (Matt’s a lucky guy!) and the next morning the spot is always way less red, reduced in size and less painful.

Thank you so much for reading! I hope you enjoyed reading this post and found it helpful, I loved sharing this with you because skincare is just my thing. When I was younger I definitely was more interested in makeup products, but the more I learn about skincare the more I love it! What are your skincare saviours that you reach for throughout the week or turn to when you’re having a bad skin day? Have you tried any of the products in this post?

-G x

Blogging Q&A

Hey, loves! A couple of weeks ago I reached out and asked on my Instagram stories if you had any blogging related questions you’d like me to answer. I was super scared nobody would ask questions (LOL) but I thankfully got quite a good response, although some people asked the same or similar questions which I’ve just mixed together. I love reading posts like this because as a blogger – and as an aspiring blogger before I created my own blog – I love to know other people’s behind-the-scenes! I talk a lot about my real life on here, and I’ve never been, nor will I ever be, one of those bloggers with an incredibly professional set up. I admire the beautiful photogenic blogs SO much, but it’s just not me. I take my photos on my iPhone X, I will never do a professional photo shoot for blog content (not that there’s anything wrong with that, it’s just not my thing) and I’m happy in my own little world over here. So, let’s A some of your Q’s…

Why did you start writing your blog?
It was a dream I thought would never come true. I’d read blogs for so many years, and felt so connected and inspired by the people running them. Many of the girls I followed moved from blogging to vlogging and I felt like I knew them even more; I genuinely talk about Anna and Emma as if they’re my high school besties, which Matt finds hilarious! I loved the connection I felt as a reader, and I always hoped one day I’d find the courage to create my own. Fast forward four years of loving everything about blogs, and I’d poured my heart out to Matt about how I’d always thought one day I’d do it myself, but I just never had and now it was too late. Like the amazing man he is, he encouraged me to start right there and then, and I did. I bought my blog domain at the end of May 2018, and just began writing. I had NO IDEA what to expect, how any of it worked, or how it would be received, but I did it anyway. The day my first post went live (10th June, 2018) I was a nervous wreck in case people were mean. Matt and I went out for Sunday dinner at our favourite local pub and I could barely eat because I was so nervous. Over the past year I’ve found my routine, and now I love every aspect of running and owning my blog, I’m so proud of it!

What is your favourite thing about writing? / How do you make time to write?
It is very freeing, and it just feels good to get lost in my own little world. I think we spend SO MUCH TIME worrying about others, pleasing others and doing what others want to do, and it’s important to actually take a step back and be a little selfish sometimes. My number one priorites are always going to be my relationship, our family and friends and work, but when I can just sit and blog, I love to totally switch off from the world. When I’m writing I always get super comfy under a blanket, and usually have a cup of tea or hot chocolate. By ‘a cup’ I mean at least three, because I write for so long! I usually listen to podcasts, watch old YouTube vlogs (Jade Billington‘s are my favourite!) or play Your Favourite Coffeehouse playlist on Spotify although sometimes I just write in silence. I think making writing time an enjoyable experience makes it something I look forward to, and not something I stress about having to get done, even though I’m working to deadlines. Editing usually looks very different; I tend to do that whenever/wherever I can squeeze it in, often whilst we’re in the car or when I’m in the bath I’ll be proof-reading or editing on my phone.

How do you grow your audience?
I’m struggling a little to answer this, as although my blog is growing, it’s very slowly and steadily, not super quick. I think having a schedule and posting consistently is a huge factor in people coming back to my blog over and over, but I’m not really sure how people find my little corner of the internet. I find self-promoting my blog a little weird and awkward, so I try to only do that when it comes to new posts going live. I interact with other bloggers whose blogs I adore, and building those relationships is a great way to interest other people in your posts. I don’t have the most professional set up or look, but I think that can give my blog a cosy ~homey~ vibe, which hopefully people enjoy.

Do you ever get stuck for ideas?
Not really, because I plan my posts so far in advance! I don’t write my post there and then; I have the original idea so I’ll write my title, make any notes – usually this is points I want to make in the post, products I want to talk about, photo ideas etc and then I ‘schedule’ that for a date in a few weeks time and save the draft. Then, when it comes to writing the post, most of the ground work is done and I’m able to just start writing. I find it hard to make things concise though sometimes LOL, but it’s okay because I waffle on in real life just as much. The only posts I do write not long before they go live is my Feelin’ It Friday’s as they’re quick and about the week we’re currently in. I usually prep those on the Thursday night, then edit/update on Friday morning before it goes live.

Where do you get inspiration for your blog?
I get my inspiration from just whatever is going on in my life. If we’re going on a road trip, I want to share our essentials, if I’m really obsessed with a brand, I want to tell you the things I’d recommend most, if Matt and I are having a fun weekend, I take photos throughout the days and round it up for you. I also listen to comments I get, side note: people are always asking me to share dinner recipes so that post will be coming in a few weeks! I’m of course inspired by other bloggers and by YouTube content creators, and I think I’ve carved a path for my blog that means I can write about pretty much anything I want to. I never intended on sharing so much of Matt and I’s life, but I love doing it in the way I do; it’s like an extension of Instagram, where it’s real and honest, yet never staged or ‘for the blog’.

Do you feel guilty being sent products for free?
I’m not really sure how to answer this question because I don’t understand what there is to feel guilty about. Is it absolutely insane? YES. Is it surreal? YES. Is it amazing? YES. I wouldn’t say I feel ‘guilty’ because I truly put so much time and effort into my blog, which I don’t think is something that people outside of my close circle or the blogging world will realise. I only accept products that fit with me and my blog, as I’ve had some emails which just don’t work for me so I’ve politely declined. I’d never recommend something I wouldn’t purchase myself, and I’ll always be very honest if a product doesn’t work for me. My disclaimer is linked here, if you’d like a little more clarification. I truly am so grateful for every product I’ve been sent and every PR agency or brand that wants to work with me, it’s mind-blowing that my little blog is even capable of this!

Where do you see your blog in one years time?
My blog will be two years old by then, and I’m hoping it would have continued to grow with me, but I’ll definitely be creating the same kind of content. I really do want to become more comfortable in front of the camera, and Matt is always trying to encourage me to take photos when we’re out and about, which is making me slightly warm up to the idea. I know I’m not photogenic as it is, but then when I’m specifically ‘posing’ for a photo, I truly just go to pot HAHA. I would love to figure out my photography style a little more too, as I’m learning more and more about how I like to take photos and I’m hoping as a result my blog looks more streamlined and pretty.

Have you ever been recognised in public from your blog?
Haha, no I have not! I have had a weird moment in The Body Shop (I mean, where else?) where I was restocking on a few products and a girl who went to my school – she was a few years below me and we knew of each other, but didn’t know each other, if that makes sense – asked what I’d recommend she buy. She said she read my blog and purchased the Vitamin E Serum-in-Oil because of my review and loved it, which was seriously like an out of body experience.

Does blogging take up lots of your time?
Yes and no. It does take a lot of time and effort, but I try to set aside specific time to write, edit, take photos etc, so that I don’t feel overwhelmed. As I always try to plan ahead I don’t feel like it ‘takes up lots of time’ necessarily, because that time is specifically for blogging. I work a real 9-5 job, and blogging is my hobby so it’s something I like to do. Sometimes I really feel like I should spend an hour or two writing and editing during an evening, but I’m always going to opt for snuggling in with Matt to watch Netflix instead! I talked a lot about this in this post, and covered the ins and outs of how I find the time to blog here, too!

Do you feel weird about people you know in real life reading your blog?
I used to find it SO weird, but now I don’t really think about it too much. I know some people who know of me may read to pick flaws or to laugh at me (I had an experience with that when I first started out blogging) but I’m 25 years old, and not in high school. Although, my co-workers love to read on their lunch breaks and tell me as they’re reading, that is kinda weird haha. I know that people I know read it, and I’m truly very grateful for the views I get. I hope that people who like to read my blog tell their friends who will then tell their friends, that would be amazing! One thing I will always find strange is that I sometimes will talk about something on my blog – especially now in my Feelin’ It Friday posts – and people will see me and say things like “did you and Matt love that movie you went to see last weekend?!” or “I seen you were at Wagamama’s again!” The weirdest thing is when someone tells me they’ve bought something because of what I said about it. I never imagined that but I’ve had so many messages from people telling me!

Thank you so much for reading, and if you asked a question thank you SO much, I hope I answered it well enough! I hope you feel like you know me a little more as a blogger, I really try to be so open and honest with everything I post. Fellow bloggers, how do you feel about this platform? Do you relate to anything I’ve said? I’d love to do more Q&A style posts, and I’m hoping to maybe rope Matt into taking part in a little post on the blog… we’ll see!

-G x

Summer Beauty Edit / AD*

*This post contains gifted items I was sent for review, to share my honest opinion about. All words and photographs are my own.

Hi, loves! This coming Thursday is the official first day of Summer, and I’m hoping that means an abrupt end to all of this awful weather we’ve had! Endless days of torrential rain, wind and flooding have caused misery across the North (and to be honest, I think all around the UK) and as much as I love feeling cosy in the house when it’s cold and rainy outside, I’m more than ready for hot Summer days! I’m not the biggest fan of Summer fashion, as I talked about way more in this post, but one thing I really do love about Summer style is the beauty products. Shimmery highlights, bronzed tones and coconut scented everything? Yes please! I’m not going to be sharing everything I’m packing for Matt and I’s upcoming holiday to Croatia, but I wanted to share with you a few items that I couldn’t think about leaving without!

Too Faced Milk Chocolate Soleil Bronzer
Okay so let’s get this out of the way: anything from Too Faced’s cocoa-infused chocolate range is a winner in my book, because why wouldn’t I want my makeup to smell like chocolate?! I first picked this bronzer up – in the original Chocolate shade – around four years ago, and it’s a product I’ve re-purchased over and over again since. I love that this bronzer looks natural whether I’m slightly sun-kissed with a little bit of a tan or even in the colder months when I’m very fair. I use this as a contour/bronzer day and night, because who really has the time (or patience) to use both?! It never looks harsh or muddy like so many bronzers easily can, and it blends so easily. The mirror in this compact is also perfect for when you’re on holiday, if the vanity table is not great – which is quite often the case – you can definitely use this to get ready easily!

Eylure Eye Lashes *gifted
I’ve used and loved Eylure eyelashes since I was a teenager, and when False Eyelashes reached out and asked if I’d like to feature some on my blog I was beyond excited! Eylure lashes are so. flipping. easy. to apply, and that is coming from the clumsiest person ever! I love that the band fits to your eye shape perfectly, the glue dries in no time and they look amazing every time! The 117 are my go-to date night lash because they’re thick and fluffy, and they’re perfect for adding a little extra to an otherwise simple makeup look. I really love the style of the 070’s; these will be perfect for a BBQ or a Summer day out, and for the night time on holiday! I love wearing lashes during our holiday evenings because it makes your face look so much more put together; a little lip gloss, brows, bronzer and highlight, topped off with a set of natural eyelashes? Yes, please! I wore the 031’s last night for date night (we literally went to the movies, but it’s nice to look good for your partner, right?! I was super excited about this package, haha) and I loved them, I need to pick up some more before we fly!

The Body Shop Brazillian Cupacu Scrub-in-Oil
This is hands down the best scrub I’ve ever used, and I am so excited to have it in my beauty collection. A super generous birthday gift from my lovely boyfriend, I use this at least twice per week, and I love how amazing my skin feels afterwards. In the Summer I’m wearing lots of short sleeved tops, cropped jeans/trousers and even skirts or shorts, so I’m definitely baring lots more skin and I want it to look/feel good! The oil makes the scrub feel so luxurious, and it’s the perfect pre-shave treatment. It also smells incredible, I literally feel like I’m in a spa each time I use this, which is amazing! I wish this came in a travel size as I’m a little wary to decant it to take away with us, and the tub is so huge it’s definitely not travel friendly.

NYX Bare With Me BB Cream in Vanilla Nude
Right now, this is seriously floating my boat! I have been testing this BB cream out over the past few weeks and I have to say it’s giving my favourite drugstore foundation a run for it’s money. It feels super lightweight yet gives incredible coverage which was something I never expected from a BB cream. It hasn’t once made me break out, it leaves my skin looking so good (like, your skin but better. You know?), and lasts all day without sliding off my face. Over the past few years I’ve moved away from the heavy foundations I used to love (I lived in Estee Lauder Double Wear which is so dang thick!) and now I always opt for a thin, light base. I use concealer to cover up any blemishes, scarring or hyper-pigmentation and I think this made such a difference. I’ve also picked this BB cream up in a darker shade in the hope that I get a little tan on holiday, and I’ll be able to mix the two shades for those in-between days!

MAC Turquatic Rollerball
I recently talked about this rollerball a lot in this post, and it’s so good I’m featuring it again! Turquatic is my all-time favourite rollerball year round, but it’s seriously perfect for hot, sunny Summer days. Matt really loves when I wear this too, which makes me love it even more! It reminds me of the beach and family trips to Florida when I was younger, the scent just makes me so dang happy. I really love that you can easily throw this in your bag or carry on to top up throughout the day, and it’s perfect to use on a plane because it’s not a spray that may irritate other people around you!

Hawaiian Tropic After Sun Exotic Coconut
After sun is a must have for holidays and hot Summer days in the UK (although seriously, it feels like they’re never coming right now…) and nobody does it better than Hawaiian Tropic. This after sun is my absolute favourite because it smells like coconuts, which just screams Summer to me, and it’s so. freaking. moisturising. Matt and I share our after sun on holiday, and he also thinks it smells amazing! I tend to layer my after sun on pretty thick after my shower, then sit out on the balcony to do my makeup whilst it soaks in. Also, whilst you’re on holiday make sure you leave your after sun in the fridge! It stays super cold which feels amazing putting on to warm skin when you get out of the shower each evening.

NYX Butter Gloss in Madeleine
I love wearing lipgloss in the Summer months, it’s just so much more light and fresh, and I feel like it tones down my makeup just a tad! This is my perfect nude, it’s a little darker than I used to always go for, and kinda reminds me of the nineties, in a good way. I do still reach for my favourite Charlotte Tilbury lipsticks – The Duchess and Pillow Talk – for date night or sometimes if I want to feel a little more put together, but on a day-to-day basis, lipgloss is my go-to. This formula is super opaque and you don’t need a lip liner underneath, although it is a little tacky so if it’s windy I can guarantee my hair will get caught!

The Body Shop Vitamin C Glow Lotion
A fairly new discovery for me, and a product I’ve only been trying out for a few weeks, hence why it wasn’t included in my Best Of: The Body Shop post. This moisturiser is super lightweight and refreshing, and it smells of oranges which is a lovely scent to wake you up in the morning! Makeup sits on top of this really well for me, although I do always set my makeup with a setting spray! I’ve found that even though this moisturiser contains SPF 30 – so important, especially in the Summer – it doesn’t leave a white cast on your face or flashback in photos. It’s a super small tube at only 50ml, but despite near constant use the past few weeks I don’t think I’ve used much at all! My skin is left literally glowy after each application, and I am so excited to use this more throughout the Summer. I did however purchase this from Hawaiian Tropic to use on holiday when we’re staying at the resort, as that is a specific sun lotion and I think a little better for sitting in the sun all day!

Thank you so much for reading, I hope you enjoyed this post and got a little inspiration if you’re looking for Summer beauty products. What are your must-haves for Summer and holiday season? Have you got any recommendations of things I need to pick up?

-G x