Hi, loves! It’s no secret that I love skincare. As I love it so much, I also find so much joy in trying new products, although I’m a little more reluctant now to introduce too many new products into my routine because my skin can react badly sometimes; therefore my urge to regularly buy new products is much less than it used to be. I always try to buy with intention, and genuinely research products before I purchase them. Vitamin C is an ingredient I’ve never intentionally added to my skincare routine before, but it’s actually included in so many products! Vitamin C works amazingly for my skin; it helps to clear up acne scars, plump up my skin and overall brighten my complexion, doesn’t that sound amazing?!
This was the product that began my interest in Vitamin C skincare; I LOVE this microdermabrasion treatment so much. I was very kindly sent this by The Body Shop’s PR team (that is so nuts to me, I feel so lucky to be gifted products) but I’m not sure this is something I would have gravitated to in store! This product is a slightly more intense exfoliator, and is definitely not something to use every day. I reach for this twice per week; pretty much always on Sunday as that’s my self care/treatment evening most weeks, and then another day throughout the week. I’ve even got Matt using this each week; he loves it because it clears his blackheads and makes his skin so clear and fresh. I apply a small amount to freshly cleaned, wet skin and work in circular motions. It’s gritty but not abrasive; my skin is pretty sensitive and this doesn’t cause any redness or irritation, it just leaves my skin feeling super clean and fresh. This product has made a huge difference to my acne scarring too; I know that nothing except laser treatment could fully clear it up, but the difference is crazy in just a few months of using this exfoliator.
Sheet masks are my thing. I love them for so many reasons; they’re super convenient to use even when travelling, they’re not at all messy, they work very quickly to give great results and, best of all, I get to rope Matt in too! I use a sheet mask at least once per week, and I’m such a huge fan of The Body Shop’s range because they are all biodegradable, and of course cruelty free. I’ve used and loved their sheet masks for a long time, and when this one was released I couldn’t wait to try it. I’ve used these masks several times now and they also make my complexion super clear and bright, and the following morning I see such a huge difference in my complexion. I love that the masks are so saturated as when you take it off there’s so much product left that you can massage it into your skin before applying an evening moisturiser.
This toner is my most recent addition to my skincare collection, and it had very big shoes to fill. Pixi’s Glow Tonic is my absolute favourite toner, and one you’ll be very familiar with if you’re a regular reader. I use it almost every evening, and if I ever deviate from my typical routine I notice right away that that product is missing. So, with that being said, I didn’t know if I wanted to try another toner, or what I would think of it. I picked up the smaller size whilst in Boots a few weeks back and I am so glad I did. I didn’t want this to replace my Glow Tonic, so I opted to use it in the mornings from the beginning, and I’ve actually used it every morning after washing my face. It’s very gentle on the skin; it brightens and refreshes my face before I apply my eye cream and moisturiser and it really wakes me up in the mornings (it literally smells like oranges)!
Thank you so much for reading, I’d love to know your thoughts on Vitamin C skincare products! Have you used any of the products I’ve talked about in this post, or are you wanting to pick any of these products up? Do you have any Vitamin C filled skincare products you’d recommend for me to pick up?
Hi, loves! This coming Friday, on May 17th, I turn 25 and I’m happy to say I’m way more cool about being a year older than I was when I turned 24. I think our twenties are a weird time; from being teenagers we had goals and aspirations for where we thought we’d be at *insert age* and we may not have met the goals we’d laid out for ourselves. I’m actually really okay with that this year, and I feel so blessed to be turning 25 feeling genuinely happier than I have for all of my twenty-something birthdays. Don’t get me wrong, I loved my last birthday and Matt and I had so much fun, but I was still so worried about being another year older. Back on my 21st birthday I didn’t even celebrate because I was really struggling with my anxiety and felt so rubbish, yet now at 25 I feel like a whole new person!
Even though I still deal with anxiety and panic attacks on a semi-regular basis, I’m truly the happiest I’ve ever been right now, and I can’t tell you how good it feels to say that! I have the most amazing boyfriend in the whole world (you might have heard me mention him from time to time…) and my family and friends are just the best I could wish for. I have a job, a car, lots of new goals I’m working towards and my blog is my little baby! If you had told 21 year old Gill that this would be her life at 25, she’d never have believed it. Anxiety has re-shaped my whole life over the past six years, and although it has been terrible in some parts, I have grown so much and I appreciate life in a whole new way.
1. Your mental health must always be your first priority. Only you can do this for yourself, and it’s so important to listen to what you need (and deserve). No matter what the situation is, if you don’t feel up to it you don’t need to do it and you’ll thank yourself later. We live in a generation where it’s not at all uncommon to suffer or know someone suffering with mental health problems, and it’s something we need to stop being ashamed of, and start speaking up about!
2. Being in love is the best feeling in the whole world. I feel beyond blessed to experience such a deep and meaningful love at such a young age, that some people don’t find in one thousand lifetimes. Matt is not just my boyfriend but my rock, my soulmate, my biggest supporter and my favourite person in the whole world. Falling asleep and waking up with the person you love every day is also hands down one of the best feelings you’ll ever experience, it still makes me so happy every single day/night. I’m so lucky to be in love with my best friend, and I never have or will take that for granted.
3. Moderation is key. This applies to most aspects of life really, but especially with food. Since I was super young I’ve had a bit of a weird relationship with food; I either binge on anything and everything I want, or I barely eat. Over the past few years I’ve found a much better balance; I eat tons of fruits and veggies, and if I want to eat chocolate, sweets, ice cream (or whatever!) I’ll enjoy that too. I also have the worst sweet tooth, sometimes I literally can’t help myself!!
4. Learning to drive is one of the best thing you’ll ever do. Well, for me it was. I struggled and stressed my way through driving lessons, failing tests I wasn’t ready for and having panic attack after panic attack at even the thought of another lesson. I finally plucked up the courage to change instructors and breezed through my test (third time lucky!) and now, three and a half years on, I truly couldn’t imagine my life without being able to drive, or my cute little Viva!
5. Always buy the scented candle. Seriously. I am a connoisseur of candles, if I do say so myself, at the grand old age of (almost) twenty five, and if I like the candle I’m going to buy the candle. It makes me happy, and life is too short to not do what makes you happy. Which is more the point of this lesson: do what makes you happy. And buy the damn candle.
6. Always be kind, no matter how you feel that day. But do not expect every kind act to be reciprocated, or you’ll be sorely disappointed. Kindness is so so important, and we can all be a bit nicer from time to time! It’s just important to remember that you don’t know what anyone is going through, and everyone has their own problems to deal with. I delved into this topic way more in this post.
7. You can’t be everyone’s cup of tea. I’ve spent almost twenty five years trying to please everyone, and keep everyone around me happy. It’s a fact that you’re not going to gel with everyone you meet in life, and that’s okay. I really want to be less of a people pleaser, and it’s something I’m working on. I joked to Matt the other day that sometimes I feel like Amy Santiago with the Captain in Brooklyn 99 – desperate to be liked, lol!
8. Always pay yourself first out of your wages. Setting up a direct debit into my savings account has totally changed how I save money; you can’t miss money you didn’t ever see! Every month the day after I get paid, X amount goes straight into my savings account and is there for emergencies only. I have separate savings accounts for various things, but that *just incase* money is so important, and gives me peace of mind.
9. Not everyone has your best interests at heart. This is a hard lesson; to share and to learn, and it’s something I still struggle with now. I want to believe that everyone’s nice and life is sunshine and rainbows but I know that’s not true. If someone talks badly of you when you’re not around, makes you feel/look stupid in front of others or will happily throw you under the bus for their own gain then they’re not worth it.
10. Travelling feeds the soul. I’m not one for backpacking round Australia for three months – props to you, if you are – but I love to explore new places, and Matt is (obviously) my favorite travel partner. Whether it’s city breaks, day trips or week-long jaunts to a hot climate, I absolutely love to travel and I can’t wait to tick more and more places off our bucket list. We got to Croatia in five and a half weeks and I’m SO ready for it!
11. Never apologise for being curious. Asking questions is the way we learn, and it’s not something to be looked down on for. Ever. During my second week at my job back when I was 19 years old and super shy, I innocently asked the person teaching me why she did a few things so I could get a better understanding. She scoffed that I ask too many questions, laughed about me with our other colleagues, and made me feel so uncomfortable for being genuinely curious and wanting to learn. Her reaction sticks with me to this day, and I try to be as helpful as possible when teaching others as a result.
12. There’s a Disney quote for every occasion. There really is! My favourite is always going to be from the man himself: “If you can dream it, you can do it.” – Walt Disney
13. Having the confidence to walk into the unknown is a beautiful thing. Like starting this blog. I had wanted to create a blog for most of my adult life, as an avid reader/follower of so many, yet I lacked the confidence to do so. I wrote myself off as being not good enough, yet I love writing my blog more and more as the months go on. I’m so thankful for my platform, and even though it is just a hobby for me right now, I take it so seriously.
14. The quality of your social circle is much more important than the quantity. Treasure the people that always have your back and fill you with joy, love and happiness, they’re the good eggs! As you get older I think it’s so difficult to meet new people and make friends, that’s something that shocked me a little about getting older. I’ve said this thousands of times, but I know I’m so lucky that Matt is my boyfriend and my best friend, and I thank my lucky stars for that every single day. Quality over quantity, always!
15. Being open with your emotions does not make you weak. I’ve been told several times that I’m ‘too’ emotional. It’s true that I cry a lot (whether I’m happy or sad, ha!), I often lead with my heart and I definitely wear my heart on my sleeve. Being emotional means I’m very empathetic to others’ situations however, and that is not a bad quality to have!
16. Learning to cook is life changing. Matt and I flipping LOVE cooking. We love to try new recipes and methods, create our own meals and experiment with different ingredients and flavours. I feel sad I didn’t have an interest in cooking from a younger age and I wish I’d developed it sooner, but I’m so happy it’s something Matt and I are able to learn about together! I delved into how and why we meal plan in this post, and I’m excited to share some of our favourite recipes on the blog in the coming months.
17. Being kind to the planet is so important. I’m ashamed to admit that this is something I’ve only truly thought about over the past two or three years, but I’m proud of myself for making changes to my everyday life and doing what I can to make a difference. I wrote a post about small changes we can make in our everyday lives to live more sustainably here if you’d like to check that out for a little inspiration. I definitely want to write more about this topic on my blog!
18. Mums are always right. If I had have told my 14 year old self this I would have literally laughed in my own face, but it’s true. My mum and Matt’s mum (she’s my second mum, I’m so lucky!!) always know what to do or say no matter what the situation is, and they are strong, amazing women that I’m so lucky to look up to.
19. There’s no place like home. *clicks glittery red heels together* ha! For real, Matt and I are homebodies in every sense of the word. We love cosy nights at home; lighting our candles, cooking a lovely dinner and snuggling up to watch a show. (I’m so excited to do this in our own home, hopefully next year!) We also love our hometown more than anything – Newcastle is honestly the greatest place on earth to us. From where we live, we’re ten minutes away from the city centre in one direction, the beach another, and the countryside in another!
20. Friendships change and that’s okay. Sometimes friendships grow into a life-long bond, sometimes they mould into a weird new territory and sometimes they fizzle out all together. Take the good with the bad and be sure to appreciate the good memories you make as they will last way beyond any empty friendships. You learn so many lessons from your friendships, and I wish I knew this when I was a teenager.
21. Comparing your life to somebody else’s will never bring you joy. You were made to be you; a unique individual with their own thoughts, looks, style, opinions etc and that is a wonderful thing. Don’t feel envious of other people’s lives or circumstances, and put that focus back into yourself. Stay in your own lane and you’ll be so much happier for it.
22. You’ll turn into a grandma sooner than you think. Like I said above, Matt and I are homebodies. We’re those people that think we want to go out for date night, but when the day comes we’d rather stay in and cook a meal or grab a takeaway. We also would rather get an early night in so we can head out early in the morning for breakfast and ‘a wander’ (potentially around a garden centre…). We buy clothes thinking about the purpose and/or longevity. If we’re in the house you can pretty much guarantee I have a blanket draped over me. We’re literally turning into our grandparents more and more as the days roll on and we’re okay with that, just someone please stop me if you see me going in for a blue rinse!
23. Standing up for what you believe can be hard, but always worth it. I hate confrontation. I hate disagreements. I hate arguments. BUT there is always a way to get your point across in a level-headed, relaxed way, and it doesn’t need to cause uproar. Being respectful is the main thing; it’s okay to disagree with someone’s opinion, stand up for your beliefs or voice your thoughts, and it’s something I really need to do more often.
24. Less truly is more. After the rise of minimalism, sustainability and Marie Kondo, we all felt a bit embarrassed about the amount of crap we’d accumulated, right? Since having several clear outs – tbh, Matt and I really need another – I’m very happy living with less and truly loving what I own. I think about this with everything I buy, and it means I’m way more clever about what is worth the purchase. Does *insert item* spark joy? Will I get use out of *insert item*? Material items will not bring you happiness, no matter how hard you try to make them.
25. Making ‘me time’ is so important. There’s so much more to self care than just the beauty aspect, but I swear treating yourself to pamper evening at least once per week will make your whole life feel different. Go all out with a face mask, hair mask, full body scrub and a Lush bath bomb. Book yourself in for regular salon appointments to keep your hair looking pretty, and indulge in getting your nails done now and then. When you look good you feel good, and I really appreciate ‘me time’.
Thank you so much for reading, it truly means the world to me! I’m taking a little of my own advice from this post, and for the first time on my blog, there won’t be a new post up on Sunday. I’m SO SAD saying that, but I want to enjoy my birthday weekend with Matt and not have to worry about editing, scheduling or keeping up with my new post, I hope you understand! Can you relate with any of the lessons I mentioned in this post? What’s the most important things you’ve learned so far in life? Let me know in the comments!
I’ll be back on Wednesday, have a wonderful weekend!
For someone running a blog that continues to feature pretty heavily on beauty related topics, I feel like I’m setting a pretty rubbish example when it comes to a lot of the behind-the-scenes beauty bits. I’ve been in a bit of a slump with the mountain of beauty treatments and habits I felt I should be doing, and as a result I’ve done very little in the way of ‘treating myself’. This isn’t something I’ve spoken about on my blog but I’ve put weight on (not enough to change dress sizes or anything, but enough that I feel really crap about it – pretty sure it’s related to the pill but I’ll delve into that in an upcoming post) and I’m feeling a bit rubbish about how I look. After a few too many tears to my boyfriend I decided that if I treated myself by indulging in a few new beauty habits (and changed my pill, lol) I might feel better, and get out of my little moping bubble. I’ve set myself a few tasks to do over the next few weeks/months, and I’m hoping they’ll become habits that I continue for years to come.
Apply a face mask at least once per week Right now I use face masks pretty much when I remember, and that is usually on a Sunday evening. After fighting being roped into a pamper evening, Matt now loves to partake in #facemasksundays (sssh, he thinks nobody knows) and we’re slowly but surely working our way through my stash. I really need to make this more of a priority and I’m lucky that my skin generally reacts pretty well with the face masks I’m currently using in rotation. Ideally I want to use a purifying face mask once per week, and a hydrating good-for-the-skin mask once per week, so I’m hoping I can prioritise my time better to do this. I always feel so good after a face mask, and I’m sure Matt won’t take much convincing either, ha!
Change up my hair colour and style I’m most excited about this one because I’ve got a date in the diary (this Friday! It can’t come soon enough) and I’m so ready for a fresh hairstyle, it’s long overdue. I’m getting a considerable cut – my hair is beyond damaged and I want it to look fresh and healthy again so bad – and I’m also going for a blondey caramel balayage. I’ve not had my hair dyed professionally for years and I’m the weirdest mix of nervous and excited, I feel like I just need something to freshen up my look and make me feel good again. I went for a consultation and allergy test this past Saturday, and I felt so at ease the second I walked in. The lovely girl who owns the salon was so friendly and knowledgable about hair, and all of my worries about changing it up disappeared. The salon I’m going to consistently posts the most beautiful photos of their clients finished looks and I can’t wait to see what magic they work on me! After my initial appointment I want to make sure to have follow ups and keep on top of my balayage and the cut, I think I’m going to feel so much better.
Take better care of my hair In line with changing up my hair colour and style, I really need to take much better care of my hair in general. I’m so excited to have a new look, and I want to do what I can to make sure my hair stays looking nice between salon appointments too. My plan is to use hair masks more often, let my hair dry naturally most nights (much easier to do as the weather warms up) and stop straightening it so much. I noticed my hair breaks much less since buying my detangling Tangle Teezer brush and using Invisibobbles and scrunchies – such a cute trend, I love that they’re back! – so I’m hoping making further small changes will continue to help my hair. I know you’re not meant to wash you hair too much, so as I currently wash it every other day, I’m also looking for a new dry shampoo to help it last longer between washes without looking greasy.
Use my face roller daily I’ve got my skincare routine down – all of my essentials are listed in this post, and they’re cruelty free! – but I really need to use my face roller more. As I mentioned in that post, I do use my face roller every now and then, but that’s really not enough. I’m not 100% convinced this is the miracle worker it is claimed (by some) to be, but I do feel like my skin looks better on the nights I use it, and I’m really going to try to make this part of my everyday evening routine. It’s also a super relaxing part of my evening routine, even if Matt finds it absolutely hilarious!
Get my nails done regularly I go through stages with gel nails, and after getting them done continuously for the last half of 2018, I decided to give my nails (and bank account) a break, and leave my nails natural for a while. I tried to paint my own nails several times but it never worked out well; they chip so easily compared to gels, and they never looked as pretty. Since I got my gels taken off at the beginning of January I missed them so much – I realise this sounds ridiculously dramatic to anyone that doesn’t like getting their nails done, lol – and I’ve decided to begin treating myself every two to three weeks again. I love bright colours and simple glitter accents, and I think it boosts my mood so much to have them looking good. I just got fresh gels on Monday for the first time this year (I love the lilac!) and I’m so happy to have them back, I’m grateful it’s something I’m able to work into my monthly budget.
Invest in HD brows I’ve been saying I’m going to look into HD brows for a very long time but it’s something that scares me a little bit. I really dislike my eyebrows as thirteen year old Gillian was very handy with a pair of tweezers, and they’ve never recovered. The tail end of my eyebrows literally didn’t grow for about five years, but in recent years it has finally grown back. They’re incredibly sparse; I have to use an eyebrow pencil and eyebrow gel every day, and even then I feel like my eyebrows still feel a bit meh. After reading this post recently from Jodie – who has the eyebrows of my dreams, by the way – I realised I just need to bite the bullet and go for it, there’s so many people that swear by the process and I’m hoping my eyebrows will look much better in no time. It’s an investment and it requires upkeep, but I’m sure it will save me so much more time each morning getting ready, and give brilliant results!
Drink more water Yep. Groundbreaking. Like many, I really do not drink enough water daily and the only time I even can gaurantee I’ll reach for it is at night or post workout, as the rest of the time I opt for Diet Coke without even thinking about it. The obsession is real. Matt and I are constantly trying to drink more water and after a sudden love I’ve developed for squash I am drinking more than I used to, just still nowhere near enough. I really want to get in a regular habit of drinking glasses of water each day and I know my skin will benefit from that too, which is an added bonus!
Thank you so much for reading! Do you feel like you need to step up your beauty game and set a few resolutions? What’s your favourite beauty treat you do for yourself? I’m so excited to hear!
I’m very excited to be talking about my favourite part of my skincare routine: cleansing my face. I love nothing more than the feeling of coming home from work, taking off my makeup and having a bath, before spending the evening with Matthew, more than likely cooking and watching our shows. (We’re currently watching Our Planet and it’s heartbreaking and amazing at the same time, the walrus scene had me crying so hard!)
I find that taking my makeup off is the first step in unwinding from my day; whether I’ve been at work, out shopping or running errands with Matt, it literally feels amazing every time. I’ve always been loyal to specific cleansers – I used Clinique Take The Day off pretty much exclusively for two years, but then when I changed my mind and no longer wanted to use/buy makeup and skincare products that weren’t cruelty free, I had to start looking at other options.
I shared my cruelty free skincare routine with you last month, and those products are tried, tested and truly loved. I didn’t delve too much into the products I use alternatively, or what I favour when I do switch out products from time to time. I think my skin reacts best when I stay consistent with my day/night moisturisers, and I truly love what I use so I stay away from changing these up. Cleansers are a product I have a little more wiggle room with, and as they’re not staying on my skin for an extended period of time, they don’t seem to cause too much trouble if my skin doesn’t agree with the formulation. I could probably change up my toner reguarly too, but I honestly have no desire to as I love Pixi Glow Tonic more than life itself! All of the products mentioned in this post are cruelty free, so you can shop without guilt if you’re in the market for something new! So, you probably won’t be too surprised by any of my picks based on previous posts, but which products would I recommend?
Sukin Foaming Facial Cleanser This is the cleanser that I reach for every morning and some nights, and as I mentioned in my skincare routine it smells very spa-like due to the natural ingredients. The cleanser foams up nicely when applied and never leaves my skin feeling dry or tight after; just a clean canvas to apply my makeup. It’s inexpensive, paraben free and formulated for use on all skin types. I’ve found that generally when a product states it’s suitable for ‘all skin types’ it doesn’t work so well on sensitive skin (my skin is beyond sensitive) but this is fantastic. The cleanser is formulated with witch hazel, which has worked really well to lessen my acne scars, and I’m pretty sure is solely down to this product (and my beloved night cream). On the occasions I use this cleanser in the evening I always take my makeup off prior with micellar water or an alternative cleanser, this is just the next step in my routine. Matt sometimes uses this when he’s having a ‘bad skin day’ – he’s crazy, his skin is perfect – and so does my brother. I picked this up on a whim one day in Boots back in October last year, and I’m so glad I did. I just can’t wait to try more from the brand! RRP: £5.96
Pixi Glow Mud Cleanser With my love of Pixi Glow Tonic being strong and unconditional, it’s safe to say I had bloody high hopes for this cleanser, and *spoiler* it didn’t disappoint. I got this as a gift from my parents for Christmas, and after having my eyes on the cleanser for a while I was so excited to try it. I started using it in January, and it was love at first use, although I shied away from using it too much as it’s a lot more expensive compared to the Sukin cleanser. Having used it more regularly over the past few months, I think the price is completely justified and it’s a product I look forward to using. Again, I don’t take my makeup off with this product although I’ve seen some people use it in that way and will probably give it a try now I’ve thought about it. The cleanser is thick and feels so luxurious on the skin, it’s like having a mini facial in our bathroom every night! The 5% gylcolic acid helps to keep my pores clear, and my skin always looks fresh and, literally glowing, after every use. Matt always compliments when my skin looks good, and I noticed every time he said it looked ‘really good’ was the nights I’d used this. It’s becoming an every day staple in my skincare routine, and I know I’ll re-purchase before it runs out. RRP: £18.00
Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser Ah, my beloved milky jelly cleanser. A truly iconic cult product, and boy is it for good reason. I’ve re-purchased this cleanser several times, and when I’m having a moment with it, I really love it. I use this exclusively in the evenings, and although I don’t reach for it every night I do grab this a few times per week. I really like to use it after a night out or a long day where I’ve really stepped up my makeup game and am wearing more than usual. I love to take my makeup off with this as I feel like my skin always feels super soft afterwards, and sometimes I’ll use this to take off my makeup, then cleanse with the Pixi cleanser. It is worth noting that I have combination skin that leans more to the oily side, and my face never feels dry after using this although I’ve seen various reviews saying people find it makes them more dry. In my opinion this is a steal; it’s fuss-free and so simple to use, sometimes the simple stuff really is best. RRP: £15.00
The Body Shop Camomile Cleansing Butter I’ve used this on and off for years now, I don’t think I could ever not have this in rotation in my routine. Right now I use most nights, as I’m trying to use micellar water less often, due to the waste produced by cotton pads. Again, like the Glossier cleanser I use this to take my makeup off, and I’ll usually follow it up with my Pixi cleanser too. All about that double cleanse life. This cleanser is different as it’s in a balm format; the product is solid and when worked into the skin turns into the most wonderful oily consistency. I find this works especially well on eye makeup, and I never actually need to double cleanse with this product even when I wear waterproof mascara. As this product is formulated with camomile, it has that perfect soothing, calming scent and is so welcome at the end of a long stressful day. There’s also an oil version of this product I reach for over and over again, it’s equally as good and another must-have in my collection. I just need to find a solution to the cotton pads problem – has anyone got any experience with re-usable alternatives? Please help a gal out! RRP: £10.00
Thank you so much for reading! Is taking your makeup off the best part of your day too? Have you tried any of the cleansers mentioned in this post? What are your go-to cleansers? Let me know in the comments!