Thursday, 23 January 2014

5 beauty basics to keep on your bedside table

1. Kerala bedside table, £199, John Lewis; 2. Capri side table, £189, Laura Ashley
3. Garrat Chesnut Butlers Tray Table, £126, Laura Ashley;
4. Bretagne white beside unit, £119.99, Dunelm
One of the best and worst things about being 26 is being grown up enough to buy your own furniture. I mean, sure, I'm not *actually* purchasing anything for myself right now, but helping friends fill up their lovely new homes has been pretty fun for the last months.

In the spirit of the new year, new beginnings business, I've been having a big clearout. My eBay account has been fit to bursting and I've got rid of a ton of old eyeliners and dodgy nail varnishes. After looking at a million and one beautiful home catalogues, I made the decision to clear off my bedside table too, only leaving my five absolute essentials.

1. Water

Never, ever wake up thirsty. Drinking water is the best thing you can do to keep your skin looking gorgeous so stay hydrated!

2. An alarm clock

One of the worst things I've ever done for my sleep patterns is buy a smartphone. I turn off the light, fully intending to drift off, but then find myself reading blogs and looking at Pinterest. So I've made the big (alright, not that big) decision to invest in an alarm clock and switch my phone off! No pins, no blogs, just snoozes.

3. Hand cream

A good thick moisturising cream is a must have, especially in the winter. I absolutely adore Soap and Glory's Hand Food at the moment, it soaks in really quickly and the smell is pretty but not overpowering.

4. Night cream

I mentioned in my Skyn Iceland review on Tuesday how much I love Body Shop's Vitamin E night cream - it's brilliant! My face dries out like anything in the winter and this is an absolute life saver. It's only £11 and lasts for ages too.

5. Make up remover

Never, ever be too lazy to take off your make up. I've read enough things about clogged pores and gunk getting into your eyes to know that this is probably the worst thing you can do for your skin. Except for tanning. Probably. So spare a moment, take it off!

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Review: Skyn Iceland anti-blemish gel and cooling daily lotion

'Twas the night before New Year and all on my face were a load of red blemishes looking right out of place.

All the tasty festive food and chilly weather took a right tole on my skin in December, leaving me all blotchy and dry. I usually stick to a little tea tree and witch hazel to deal with spots but thought I'd give these Skyn Iceland products a go this time - and wow, was I impressed! I used the anti-blemish gel before going out, underneath my make up, and then reapplied before I went to bed. By the next morning, any red marks were barely visible, and the cooling daily lotion I put on for the day did an incredible job of shrinking them to microscopic size.

My skin is very sensitive so I'm always wary of trying cooling products - they tend to dry my face out even more. Although these Skyn Iceland treats didn't do much in the way of moisturisation for me, they certainly didn't do anything to dry my skin out either. Both the cooling lotion and the blemish gel absorbed really quickly, weren't a bit oily and gave me a refreshing, tingly wake up!

I *highly* recommend these products for anyone suffering with a bit of wind chill or a couple of bad spots at the moment. Combined with a decent night cream (I love Body Shop's Vitamin E moisturiser), you've got a perfect winter skin care package.

 Skyn Iceland products c/o Marks and Spencer

Monday, 20 January 2014

Bargain of the week: M&S multiway dress

Just a few ways to wear the Slinky multiway dress, £55, Marks & Spencer
I usually detest multiway/reversible things. Not sure why - it's probably a completely irrational thing - but for some reason they just seem to turn my nose up!

When this dress landed in my inbox, I automatically dismissed it, thinking it was going to be, well, minging. Absolutely minging. But I hold my hands up, I was wrong, it is amazing! And what a bargain too - £55 for a dress that goes five ways. That's £11 a dress, which in fashion maths means it's a total steal, I swear. I'm ordering one for my upcoming Moroccan: it goes from day to night so easily and will be the perfect suitcase space saver!

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Time for a change

Be mine watch c/o Lego; Clover bracelet c/o Cruciani
Brace yourself for a bit of a heavy blog post! 2013 was my self proclaimed year: I pushed myself to start achieving all the things I've wanted for a long, long time and although I'm not quite there yet, I'm getting pretty close - or at least I hope I am anyway.

Last year I set myself a list of 26 things to do before I hit 26. I think I got about half way through before realising that I didn't actually want most of the things I'd written down. So this year, I've cut it down to just five little resolutions.

1. Make more time for the things that matter

I am a worrier to the point of distraction, and trust me, this is not a good way to live. I want to make more time for myself, my family and friends - and forget about all those silly little dramas and problems that no one will remember in 20 years time.

2. Make more of an effort

This is going to sound more than a little vain but I am sick of having a drawer full of unused beauty products. My work day usually hits 11 hours including commuting, so I scrape my hair back and stick to comfy jumpers.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

New Year, new nails

Phew, would you look at that - it's 2014 already! Despite my 2013 having been full to bursting point, a combination of post-party cold (it's not a hangover, I swear) and lack of sleep is making me wonder just exactly what I did with my days.

So while I'm puzzling over what I did with the last 365 days, I thought I'd put up a little sneak peak at my NYE outfit - or, more specifically, my favourite finishing touches that topped it off.

These nails are a combination of Rimmel 60 Seconds nail polish in midnight skinny dip and Paul & Joe's now hard to find midsummer night's nail polish in fairie queen. Teamed with this pretty little four leaf clover bracelet from Cruciani, everything had just the right amount of sparkle to ring in the new year!

Lights image (c) Rob Faulkner; Night sky image (c) Michael J Bennett
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