Monday, 15 May 2017

A Touch of YSL

Leading up to my trip to Paris this upcoming weekend and looking through my makeup draw, I remember when I first started working within beauty at the age of 17 and had no clue what all of these beauty brands were all about and why people would spend so much money on them. But what I do remember is the first time I had to open our small boutique shop all by myself, and while I was removing dust from around the displays, the YSL counter stood out to me. Its eye drawing golden packaging and sleek design all glamorous, intrigued me to know more about the story behind the brand. A couple of weeks went by when a representative from YSL beauty came to our store and told us more about the products and how Yves Saint Lauren himself was an inspiration within the fashion and beauty world, leaving behind a strong legacy for designer and artists to come. Telling us how Saint Lauren become one of the first designers to create a bright pink lipstick (Rouge Pur Couture 19  Fuchsia Pink) which was a very unusual at that time, as well as launching the controversial fragrance called Opium in 1977. Something that I admired, as we all know how hard it is to stand out in a crowd of sheep. It being one of the reasons for it being one of my favourite brands, as there is more to it than the golden packing and a range of colours. There is a story to be told, and it is a story I am willing to wear. 

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Current Night Time Routine

 I tend to be quite rigorous when it comes to my skincare cleansing routine as I suffer from mild acne and hyperpigmentation as a result. So that is why I choose my skin care products quite carefully making sure that my skin will respond to them as they should, without there being any irritation or there being opposite results to what I am trying to achieve and keep it at bay. After trying and experimenting with various products from the age of 14 until now, I can say that my current skin cleansing routine is the one that has made the most positive impact on my overall skin appearance so far. My routine including the products above - Garnier's Micellar water, Oil balancing exfoliating wash from Simple,  Garnier's' Anti-blemish clarifying toner, and Clinique's anti-blemish clearing gel. Not only do they work amazingly together, but they are also budget friendly which is a big plus. Because in the end of the day a £100 compared to a £5 product might be equally worth it depending on what works for your skin, as I believe you don't have to spend your life savings to achieve the desired skin goals. But let us get into why these products work and are worth the try!

1 Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water (£1.99) - I have for a very long time being quite skeptical towards the micellar water as I did not understand how 'water' would remove my makeup successfully, and it took me almost two years before I picked an 'on-the-go' bottle and tried it. Dipped it in a cotton pad, swiped it a few times across my face and was surprised over how easy it removed my makeup without much effort. Quickly becoming part of my night time routine for removing my makeup before moving on to the next step. However, although I think this is an amazing product and is a must in my skincare routine, I now rarely use it to remove all my makeup and I think I probably use around 5-6 cotton pads to do so. Using it only for removing my eye makeup - brows, mascara, eyeshadow, whereas for my whole face I tend to use the Garnier SkinActive Oil-Infused Micellar Cleansing Wipes which I find it to be quicker at removing my makeup while leaving my skin feeling moisturised.

2 Simple Oil Balancing Exfoliating Wash (£4.39) - As I managed to forget my Garnier anti-blemish soap free gel back in Oslo, I decided to give this product a go. As I usually use my Clarisonic every day, it is important for me to have a cleaning product that goes well with it, without leaving my skin feeling dry and irritated. At first, I found it quite hard to massage my face with the Clarisonic and this product, taking more time for it to lather up into a soapy cleansing wash. However, after giving it a few more goes and making sure my skin was wet, it did indeed make a difference! The one thing I noticed was that although it's supposed to be oil balancing, it did not leave my skin feeling dry even though I used it together with my Clarisonic brush. Instead, it left my skin feeling fresh and smooth! The one thing I will say is that, if you are buying this product because of its exfoliating components, then you are better off being a product like St Ives Apricot Scrub which is absolutely amazing! As the this 'Simple' one did not have any exfoliating beads, failing to exfoliate my skin whatsoever, but if you are on the sensitive side, it might be worth the try.

3 Garnier PureActive Sensitive Anti-Blemish Clarifying Tonic (£4.99) - Do I like? Do I not like? This is how I felt when I first started using this product. I have always used the Clinique clarifying tonic and loved the fact that it 'stung' when I used it with a cotton pad on myself, because for some reason, when you have blemish prone skin, everything that seems to sting equals 'this is definitely working' - at least that is how I think. So when I started used this toner from Garnier I didn't really know what to think of it as it didn't seem to do anything. But after a month of using it and actually paying attention to my skin's overall appearance, I could see how it help my skin keep at bay minimising the appearance of my pores which is one of my main 'problems'. Is it worth it? I personally think using either a tonic is a must in your skin care routine as it helps remove any residue from left on your skin from makeup or any impurities.

4 Clinique Anti-Blemish Clearing Gel (£21) - This is my favourite products all times and probably one of the most repurchased! Although I don't suffer from severe acne, I can't say that I have ever had my skin totally spot free. There is always 1-5 spots on my face,  something I have learned to live with and this is where this fabulous product comes in handy. Whenever I feel I spot wanting to say hello to the world, I just dot it on my face and leave overnight. Next day, it's either completely gone or on its way out. This product has saved my skin so many times and I love it! I know several other brands have it for example, Origins, Benefit, or Boots own brand for a great price. 

5 Tony Moly Sheet Mask (£13.88) - I cannot tell you how much I love masks! I am obsessed with them and have a quite big variety of masks that I tend to use one or twice a week. The one thing I like about sheet masks, in particular, is how easy they are to put on and remove, without the need to wash off or anything. So when I came across these tony moly sheet masks on amazon I had to order them, getting 11 MASK FOR £13.88! I haven't tried them all yet, but the ones I have tried (skin purifying and skin purity) have left my skin feeling so moisturised and dewy looking, and that is all I want for a mask to do. Applying it usually after my night time routine when my skin is  ready and prepped for the next step - ready to infuse all the nurishinsg ingredients!

What are your favourite products to use? x


Saturday, 6 May 2017

Decisions, Mistakes, Lessons

I am currently in the process of finishing my three years long bachelor's degree in psychology, and I cannot tell you how happy I am. Because although these three years have gone by just like that, it has been both mentally and physically challenging. But being the first in my family to graduate and seeing my parents on my graduation day all happy and proud makes it all worth it. Now, here I am, with only one exam to go and contemplating on what to do next. Should I start working, should I take a break and travel, maybe travel back to Norway, or should I take masters degree? The decision was easy for me. Last November I applied for a one-year masters degree in human resources and was thrilled to have made that decisions, as I believed it would put me in a better position if I was to accomplish my career goal. But as months went on, this decision didn't seem as appealing as it initially was, and that is feeling was a 'foreign' one. Not because I have never been unsure of previous choices, but I am sort of the type of person who works around the clock to make sure that the decisions I make are the right one for me, always weighted the pros and cons of that decision. So when this feeling crept up on me it made me question certain decisions I had set of to fulfill. Leading me to rethink my current situation and think about what I really wanted to do in the future, and what makes ME happy. So there I was, doing further research on alternative courses when I realised that a degree in public relations would be a better fit for me but since I had already gotten and accepted a conditional offer for a course in human resources it made me question whether or not this option was possible. So I emailed the head of the business department and told them that I had changed my mind as it was not the best suitable choice for me and that I instead wanted to do PR. I am now awaiting an email confirming that it is possible to switch over and praying to the heavens that it will be ok. Because the worst thing I know it not doing something you truly desire and feel compassionate about, affecting you both you mental and physical state. Also, you have to realise that that within three years I have changed and developed a person, along with my goals in life. What I thought was a great idea three years ago might not look so appealing to me now, and in the end of the day, I am only human. Moral of the story: do what is best for you. 

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

The Contrary of Ordinary

Wandering around Fenwick Bond Street trying to look for something to spend my £9 voucher on I was not expecting to find anything to the equivalent price. To my surprise, I found a whole section of The Ordinary products nicely presented but without it drawing it too much attention. For someone who has a hard time changing up their skincare routine in fear of failure, I was a bit apprehensive to try this new skincare range. But after hearing several youtubers and beauty bloggers raving about The Ordinary by Deciem, I thought I would give it a go. What surprised me the most was the fact that I got two products for £9.90, and only paying 50p because of my voucher. But was a £5 product really going to change my skin for the better? The answer is yes. After trying these two products for a couple of weeks I could see my skin improving in appearance - my breakouts were close to being nonexistent and my hyperpigmentation spots were now lighter. It surprised me because these have always been my two main skin concerns since the age of 15, and after trying both high end and drugstore products, their effectiveness always seemed to reach a certain point before they were no longer the preferred option. So let us talk about the products and why you should be on the look out for these. 

Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2% (30ml / £4.90)

Being a bit clueless of what products to pick up from the range the lovely sales assistant at Fenwick Bond Street advised me that Vitamin C works to improve the appearance of dark sport (hyperpigmentation) in addition to being anti-inflammatory. Since that was exactly what I was looking for I didn't hesitate to pick the Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2% and added to my basket. There is no information as to how often you should be using this product, other than it being recommended to using during the evening. But as after reading on their website that this particular product could have 'a very strong tingling but non-irritating sensation in the 1-2 weeks of use' I thought I would start off by using it 3 days a week. Something I definitely noticed while applying to my skin, and although it did not irritate my skin (to my surprise) my skin felt like it was on fire. But the good this was that the 'tingling' sensation did not last for long. The second thing I noticed was the consistency which I am still unsure if I like. As its silicon, alcohol, water, and oil-free, its consistency felt quite rough against the skin. Finding myself applying the product quickly before it being absorbed into my skin, because it not, the product would rub off instead if not massaging it into my skin immediately. Is it worth it? For someone who has struggled with hyperpigmentation and being a student on a budget, this product is definitely worth a try. Using this product and the GlamGlow Flashmud mask as worked wonders, making me feel much better about my skin! PS: make sure to use sunscreen while using this product, as it can have the opposite effect if your target is to dimish and improve your hyperpigmentation. Also, if you have sensitive skin a helpful tip would be to blend this product together with you preferred serum or moisturiser! 

Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% (20ml / £5)
After talking to the sales assistant about my concerns, she advised me to get this product instead of the salycid acid as she said that even though it is used to the combat blemished, it can sometimes have the opposite effect, peeling your skin off due to its high concentration. Something I found to be true when I used to use salycid acid and found my skin to be peeling off and leaving it dry for two weeks, as it had increased my skin's sensitivity, and I am someone who has a kind of skin who tolerates quite a bit. So, instead I picked up the Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%, it now being my holy grain and my skins life saver! According to The Ordinary this particular product is 'indicated to reduce the appearance of skin blemishes and congestion', and that is exactly what it does. Unlike the vitamin c suspension cream, it does not have a tingling sensation, making it possible to use both day and night before applying any additional creams. This product has with It has worked wonders for my skin, keeping my blemishes in tact. So if you are on the lookout for something affordable, effective, and mild, this might be worth trying. PS: again make sure to use sunscreen while using this product as well! 

Would I recommend The Ordinary, the answer is a big YES! Not only is it effective and affordable, but it's also vegan and cruelty-free. The best part being that it is a skin care range that your can tailor based on your own skin concerns.