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Skincare

Posted on August 21, 2015

New beauty range alert!!! The Body Shop Oils Of Life & Spa Of The World

Beauty/ Events/ Skincare

thebody shop spa of the world

Yesterday evening saw the launch of two new ranges from The Body Shop: Oils Of Life, a skincare range which uses natural seed oils to revive, replenish & revitalise the skin, and Spa Of The World, a collection of pampering-session products which were created using naturally sourced ingredients from different parts of the world.

To mark this special occasion, a group of bloggers were invited to get pampered in their Grafton Street store, and being an avid fan of the Italian Summer Fig, I was delighted to be asked to attend the event.

the body shop event

Unfortunately, I showed up a tad bit late, so I missed all the lovely talks and speeches. However, I still got the chance to get my beautiful henna tattoo done, indulge in some gourmet popcorn from Cornude and fresh strawberries from Nudiefoods and of course, have a look at the new collections.

the body shop oils and spa

Of all the oils, scrubs and creams I got to play around with, I must say that my favourite was the Japanese Camellia Cream. It is velvet moisturising body cream that has a soft and silky texture. I fell in love with the smell of it and found it subtle, but still very captivating. It’s definitely going down on the wish list!

the body shop cream

To make up for being late, I stayed towards the very end so I got the chance to catch up with my fellow blogger friends and even meet some new ones (the perks of being in the blogging world!).Unfortunately, I didn’t get to take home a goodie bag, as they were all out – sign of a good event!

However, the lovely Revolve girls are sending one out to me so be sure to keep an eye on my mini reality TV show a.k.a Snap Chat to see what I’ll be getting! :)

And before I leave you, how amazing is the design on my henna tattoo?

the body shop henna tattoo

A big thank you to Revolve, The Body Shop, Cornude, Nudiefoods for such a fab evening! 

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Posted on July 10, 2015

Review: Green Angel Skincare

product review/ Skincare

green angel cover

I know I haven’t done a beauty product review in a while – since I got on the healthy lifestyle bandwagon I’ve been finding it hard to get off! So to kick things off, I’ve decided to share my thoughts on a brand which I have been using every day (without fail) over the past couple of weeks: Green Angel.

If the name rings a bell, then it’s probably because the brand has already been featured on Enhance What’s Yours. Back in February, Green Angel sponsored one of my giveaways and one of you lucky readers got to win a gift set from this luxury range.

Since there was just one winner, only one of you got to experience this brand first-hand – even before me! But shortly afterwards, I was sent a few products to try and review, and here are my thoughts…… *drum roll*

Green Angel Seaweed Facial Toner 100ml €14.95

green angel toner

I’m going to start off with the product I first started using. As you can tell from the above images, I couldn’t wait to start using the facial toner. Being an avid toner lover means I always know what to look for. I like a toner that isn’t overly drying (tick), keeps the skin looking nice and fresh (double tick) and doesn’t have an overpowering smell (triple tick). So as you can see, the Green Angel Seaweed Facial Toner certainly ticked all the boxes for me!

Active Ingredients: Linden Flower, Sage Leaf, Lettuce Leaf and Cucumber Extract, Irish Seaweed Extracts (Bladder Wrack, Toothed Wrack, Carrageen, Knotted Wrack), Sea Lavender Extract, Allantoin 

Green Angel Seaweed Body Lotion with Neroli and Chamomile 200ml €14.95

green angel body lotion

Next up, is the body lotion. I use this as a hand cream and go absolutely nowhere without it! When I bring it into work, the girls always compliment me on how good I smell – it really is heaven in a bottle!  The seaweed body lotion also has therapeutic properties which help conquer skin problems, and added vitamin E which encourages younger looking skin.

Active Ingredients: Sweet Almond Kernel Oil, Thyme, Chamomile, Lavender, Comfrey and Ginseng Extracts, Glycerine, Irish Seaweed Extracts (Bladder Wrack, Toothed Wrack, Carrageen, Knotted Wrack) Sea Lavender Extract, Glycerine 

Seaweed Bath & Shower Gel with Lavender and Mandarin 200ml €14.95

green angel shower gel

The bath and shower gel is perfect for the times you just need to relax and pamper yourself. I wouldn’t use this product on a regular basis, as I like to keep it as a treat and use it when I want to indulge myself with a tranquilising bath. This shower gel is suitable for all skin types,leaving  the skin with a natural scent which comes from the mandarin and lavender oils.

Active Ingredients: Bladderwrack Extract, Carragheen Extract, Glycerin, Glyceryl Oleate, Knotted Wrack Extract, Lavender Flower Oil, Mandarin Oil, Neroli (Bitter orange) flower oil, Sea Lavender Extract, Thyme Extract, Toothed Wrack Extract.

 Green Angel Seaweed Hair Conditioning Serum with Lavender & Neroli 200ml €14.95

green angel hair serum

Last, but not least is the unique conditioning serum. It is a lightweight formula which helps with detangling the hair. I use it on my niece and found that her hair was incredibly soft after only one use.  It is said to reduce surface friction, which in turn helps prevent follicle damage. Not that this should come as a surprise to you, but like the others, it smells incredible!

Active Ingredients: Aqua, Bladderwrack Extract, Carragheen Extract, Glycerin, Knotted Wrack Extract, Mandarin Oil, Neroli (Bitter orange) flower oil, Sea Lavender Extract, Thyme Extract, Toothed Wrack Extract. 

If you’ve used Green Angel products before, then I would love to know how you got on! If not, then you should have a browse on their website for the products mentioned or any other fabulous ones you will surely come across! If you get the chance, give their page a like, they’re 100% Irish (this is always a good selling point!)

Hope you enjoy the rest of your day :)

green angel logo

Award winning range of luxury Irish skincare products based on the fusion of Irish seaweed and natural essential oils

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Posted on June 30, 2015

Top tips for dealing with summer acne

Acne/ Skincare/ Tips

acne awareness month 4

My final post for Acne Awareness Month will be about dealing with summer breakouts.  As you well know, our bodies produce more oil and perspiration tends to increase during the summer. This can lead to acne breakouts, which is why it is important to take extra care of your skin during hot temperatures.

Here are some top tips for dealing with summer breakouts:

  1. Avoid using heavy moisturisers as they are better suited during the winter months.
  2. Look for moisturisers that are non-comedogenic as they are less likely to break you out.
  3. Cleanse before you go to bed as this will get rid of any oil or dirt your skin accumulated over the course of the day.
  4. Use an oil-free sunscreen with an SPF of at least 20 before leaving the house. If you can, use a mattifying sunscreen as it will makes your skin look less shiny.
  5. Tone your face after cleansing. Apple cider vinegar mixed with rose water make for a great natural skin toner.
  6. Use blotting paper to clean up any excess oils. A lot of them have a mattifying film to prevent more oil from appearing in your face.
  7. Try to wear cotton clothing, as it allows your skin to breathe, which can reduce body acne.
  8. Drink plenty of water. If you get bored of drinking regular water, add a few slices of cucumber some and mint leaves to give it some flavour.
  9. Change your pillow case at least twice a week. Especially if you tend to have a lot of products on your hair while you sleep. These oils can go on your pillow case and transfer to your face.

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Posted on June 24, 2015

Celebrities who suffered from acne

Acne/ Skincare

acne awareness month week  3

My third article for Acne Awareness Month will be about celebrities who suffered from acne. Why? Because when most people think of celebrities, they think of perfect beings with multiple bank accounts, who spend millions on their daily appearance and never have to worry about having a bad day. But in case you haven’t noticed, celebrities are human too. This means, they are subjected to human problems and insecurities just like anybody else.

Here is a list of 10 celebrities who battled with acne:

1. Keira Knightly

keira knightly acne

Keira Knightly is known for many things, but having acne isn’t one of them. This classical beauty once opened up to Australian Vogue about her struggles with acne and how subconscious it can make her feel.

2. Jessica Simpson

jessica simpson acne

Jessica Simpson has had skin issues for many years. She even resorted to using Accutane for a while. Now, Jessica endorses an acne fighting skin care line called Proactiv.

3. Rihanna

rihanna acne

This may surprise some of you, but Queen Riri gets her fair share of breakouts. She often gets them around her cheek area. However, her occasional run-ins with spots doesn’t take away from the fact that she is a stunner.

4. Megan Fox

megan fox acne

Not only does Megan suffer from acne, but she suffers from enlarged pores and scars. This beauty swears by natural products and healthy eating to help keep her skin clear.

5. Katy Perry

katy perry acne

Katy suffered from acne from a very young age and is now a spokesperson for Proactiv and  uses their products religiously.

6. Brad Pitt

bradd acne

This hunk of a man has been left with deep acne scars after battling with the skin issue during his teen years.

7. Alicia Keys

alicia keys acne

Singer/songwriter, Alicia Keys struggled with acne for years after first stepping onto the scene. She is mostly clear now, but during her pregnancies she had a lot of hormonal breakouts.

8. Adam Levine

adam levine acne

Just because he was voted the sexiest man alive by People Magazine, it doesn’t mean he has no flaws. Adam was a sufferer throughout his teen years and is now an avid user of the Proactiv skin care line.

9. Kate Moss

kate moss acne

Yes, models get acne too! Although Kate’s acne wasn’t severe, she still suffered from skin problems. Her dermatologist performed hydrating microdermabrasion on her skin to help keep it clear and plump.

10. Victoria Beckham

victoria beck acne

Back in the day, Victoria’s breakouts were so bad that some even called her the ‘Spotty Spice.’ Today, she uses a three-step cleansing, exfoliating and nourishing to help maintain her clear skin.

See, not everything is perfect in the celebrity world. Anyone can have a skin problem, celebrity or not. We are all humans and nobody is perfect – not even Brad Pitt! :)

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Posted on June 14, 2015

12 things you shouldn’t say to someone with acne

Acne/ Skincare

acne awareness month week 2

I know we’ve come to the end of the week, but because I am a firm believer of making everyday count, I’m going to carry on with my blog post for week two of Acne Awareness Month –  I’m a rebel like that!

So for my second acne -related post, I will be discussing things you should never ever ever say to someone with acne. For starters, if you don’t know a lot about the skin problem, then I’m sorry to say but your input doesn’t really help – nor does it matter. As well as that, you might come across as being a passive aggressive cow, and nobody wants that, right? :)

1. “What happened to your face?”

Eh I have acne, what happened to yours? Like seriously? I mean you wouldn’t ask someone in a wheelchair why they’re on a wheelchair so why would you ask someone with acne why they have acne.

tf meme black girl

2. “Have you tried this product?”

I know this might sound completely out of this world to some of you, but acne comes from within (shocker!). Topical solutions only help with what’s already on your face, it doesn’t solve acne in the long run. Also, there is a 99.9% chance that I have tried it.

3. “You know you have a huge spot on your face, right?”

No, I don’t. I just woke up and forgot to look in the mirror today, so I have no idea what I look like right now.

4. “OMG! I have a spot on my chin, I feel so ugly”

So in all the time that I’ve known you, you’ve had perfect clear skin and the one time you have the tiniest spot ever, you’re going to make a big deal about it? You really want to be that friend? really?

regina george shut up

5. “What’s that on your face?”

You know what’s on my face, and I know what’s on my face, you don’t need to call any more  attention to it. Cut the bull please.

6. “This worked for my friend, maybe it will work for you too?”

Just because this worked for your ‘friend,’ it doesn’t necessarily mean that this will work for me. Nonetheless, I appreciate your unsolicited advice. Merci beaucoup!

7. “You have acne, really? You can’t even notice it!”

Let’s not downplay this, you’re making this awkward for the both of us.

liars liars everywhere

8. “You know, you really shouldn’t eat chocolate…..”

Because chocolate has EVERYTHING to do with this, right?

9. “Ugh, I’m breaking out like mad”

If this is your sick way of trying to bond with me, then I really don’t think this relationship is going to work. Just Saying.

10. “You can get herpes on your face?”

Some people just don’t know when to be quiet.

I'm surrounded by idiots

11. “Does it hurt?”

Yes, it hurts. It hurts. A lot. You Suck!

12. “My friend suffers from acne, I feel so sorry for her”

One does not simply respond to such idiotic statements…… ever.        

I could go on, but I think you get the picture! If you’ve ever had acne, then I hope you got a good few giggles out of this. If you’re not an acne sufferer or never have been, then I hope this will make you think twice about some of things you might want to say to people who do have it.

None of these words help, add value to, or  change the situation so please shut your gob (excuse my French) and keep your opinion to yourself! Until next time :)

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Posted on June 3, 2015

5 common acne myths busted

Acne/ Skincare/ Tips

common acne myths

June is Acne Awareness Month. So for every week of this month, I’m going to do an acne-related post that will hopefully raise awareness of this skin problem. If you know me personally, then you would know that I grew up with acne. It’s not something I like to talk about a lot because let’s face it – when the topic of acne is brought up all you get is uncomfortable heads turning away, awkwardness filling the room, followed by a lot of rude whispers. Okay, maybe not the whispers. But if you do suffer from acne or have so in the past, then I’m sure you are well aware of some of the ignorant comments people can make.

I have a background in teaching, so naturally I am someone who loves learning and doesn’t believe that ignorance is bliss.To kick off my articles for Acne Awareness Month, I’m going to talk about common acne myths and some of the advice that was given to us as teens.

Myth #1: Only dirty people get acne

I know I spend most of my days dealing with shoes and sometimes feet. But I am not dirty. I shower every morning, wash my face before I go to bed, I have pearly whites……. I can go on really, but what good would that do? I’m not here to tell you about my hygiene practices, I’m here to tell you that people who have acne are not unsanitary. Acne can be caused by overworking sebaceous glands, a build up of cells, hormonal imbalances and a load of other reasons which do not include being dirty.  Even if you washed your face five times a day, your acne won’t disappear – in fact, it would probably make it worse.

Myth #2: Acne goes away with age

Some people get acne during the whole puberty stage and then when they hit their twenties, it miraculously goes away. Unfortunately, this isn’t case for everyone. Adult acne does exist and there are people who have it well in their thirties and some even get breakouts in their fifties.  If you’ve been told to sit down and let acne run its course, then you might be waiting for a long time. Whether it goes away after your teen years or not, you have to proactively work to control your skin and use products that will make it better.

acne meme

Myth #3: Chocolate gives you acne

I’ve come across people who eat chocolate on a daily basis and still have the clearest skin in the world. Eating chocolate does not give people acne. If you do breakout from eating chocolate, it could simply mean that you are intolerant to it.When we eat things that our bodies cannot process, it can result in acne. For some this could be chocolate and for others this could be pineapples. Either way, chocolate does not give people acne.

 

Myth #4: Acne is contagious

Acne develops from underneath the skin. It is not an infectious disease that can be passed around from person to person. If that were the case, then a lot more people would be visiting their dermatologist. Acne comes from within, not from spending too much time with someone!

Myth #5: Wearing makeup causes acne

Wearing makeup does not cause acne. In fact, there are some makeup products out there that can actually help your skin. Some products have acne fighting ingredients in them like salicylic acid. It’s all about reading the ingredients and finding the products that work for your skin. When choosing makeup, be sure to look for products that are labelled ‘non-comedogenic’ or ‘hypoallergenic’ as they are less likely to cause breakouts.

Although there are a million other acne myths out there, I decided to touch on those five. If you know of any other common acne myths, feel free to comment below!

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Posted on May 19, 2015

5 natural ways to reduce cellulite

Natural beauty/ Skincare

5 ways to reduce cellulite

Cellulite is one of those things that most women will have to deal with at some stage in their life. The majority of women will have this skin condition to one degree or another and for some and it can be a source of embarrassment that keeps them shying away during bikini season – which is nearly upon us! But before I get into the nitty gritty as to how cellulite can be reduced naturally, I think it’s a good idea to explain what it actual is.

So what is cellulite?

Often known as orange peel skin, cellulite occurs when certain areas of the skin have underlying fat deposits between their muscles and skin. This gives the skin a dimpled or bumpy appearance.

Who gets cellulite?

A lot of people are under the impression that only larger women get cellulite. But as it turns out, cellulite does not discriminate. Whether you’re at the higher end of the scale or the lower, in your prime or past it, you too can be a victim of cottage cheese thighs!

Fortunately, there are ways around making your cellulite look too obvious – some of which are pretty inexpensive. I’m not talking about ineffective cellulite creams or those ridiculously looking cellulite shoes you can get (I’d like to think we’re not quite there yet).I’m talking about those few little steps you can take in the comfort of your own home.

  1. Get moving
    Exercise plays a huge role in reducing cellulite. When you exercise, you’re increasing blood flow in the area and improving muscle tone. Although it isn’t the end-all cure , exercising regularly can help with the cellulite reduction (as well as many other things). Target your most common problem areas and watch it shrink in appearance.
  1. Drink more water
    It may seem like the cure to everything these days involves the mention of exercise or water. But both can be easily incorporated into your daily schedule. Drinking more water helps get rid of the toxins in your body which can play a role is cellulite formation.
  2. Omega-3
    Since omega-3 reduces inflammation and stimulates the production of collagen (the main structural protein that holds the body together), taking fish oil supplements is quick and timeless way to help reduce cellulite. One a day may keep the fear of wearing a bikini away!
  3. Coffee scrub
    Coffee can do more than just wake you up in the morning! When applied topically, it can really improve blood flow – which, you probably already know at this stage – helps with cellulite reduction. Massage some coffee grounds on your lumpy parts before you hop into the shower and then shower as normally before you moisturise your skin. Do this about once a week.
  4. Kettle bells
    Not only does weight lifting help stimulate blood flow, it’s also a great way to help your muscles grow and tighten up. This will help avoid the dreaded bumpy and dimpled looking skin.

While there is no guarantee that every single one of these solutions will work, they’re definitely worth a try! After all, you have nothing to lose :)

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Posted on May 4, 2015

6 summer beauty essentials

Skincare/ Tips

Summer-makeup

The sun is finally back! This means, we’ll have a few summer-related beauty posts with plenty of tips for keeping shiny skin in check – always a priority in summer weather!

So are some of the first things that spring to mind when you think of summer?

Ice-cream, light clothing, the beach, tanning and so on and so fourth…..  I’d be lying if I said that those things don’t automatically come into my mind when I think of summer (well maybe not the tanning part), but what I will say is this: not only do the clothes in your wardrobe change during the summer, but one of the biggest changes you’d have to make is in your beauty routine so that’s why it’s always important to have a special storage place for your summer essentials.

Due to the high temperatures (which we will hopefully be seeing a lot more of), your skin will go through a lot of changes: from darkening to over working sebaceous glands, no matter what it is, you will have to make a few adjustments to your beauty routine in order to suit the changes your skin will undergo during the summer.

Without further ado, here are some summer essentials that will help you get through the summer without looking like a hot mess!

  1. SPF:sunscreen sunscreen sunscreen!! I just can’t stress it enough! If you use a moisturiser that contains an SPF of some sort then you’re safe. Other than that, you need sun protector. Since summers in Ireland can be a bit unpredictable, an SPF of 50 isn’t necessary. But even 20 SPF should do the trick!
  2. PRIMER:If you’re going to wear a light layer of foundation, remember to use a face primer! It will help you avoid meltdowns and keep your skin on the matte side of things. As well as that, a good primer helps your foundation stay put throughout the day.
  3. 3.THERMAL SPRAY is what will save you during a long hot day! After a few spritz of thermal water, you will feel as fresh as a daisy! It truly is a miracle water in the hot weather, not to mention it’s also great for setting your makeup!
  4. LIP BALM with an SPF of course! Having a burnt back is bad enough, now imagine having burnt lips– yes, this can happen. The skin on your lips is pretty sensitive so it shouldn’t be forgotten about. Keep your lips moisturised with a good lip balm and hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
  5. WATERPROOF everything! It might take slightly longer to remove after a hard day of work, but it’ll be well worth using waterproof  eye makeup. Particularly mascara and eyeliner, this way you don’t have to wake up to panda eyes.
  6. BLOTTING PAPER: Blotting paper is handy for throwing in your bag. They clean up any excess oils that build up throughout the day. Some even have a mattifying film to prevent more oil from appearing on your face – genius!

These 6 products are about all you need to survive the summer without having a meltdown! Here are  a few mental notes you might want to make to yourself:

– Stay hydrated (water not beer)

– Avoid spraying perfume directly on your skin and

– Make sure you use a moisturiser with a lighter consistency

Bearing all these summer essentials in mind, you won’t have a single thing to worry about!

Thanks for reading! So long as the weather stays beautiful, enjoy it! :)

giveaway time

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Posted on April 8, 2015

7 Bad beauty habits to break

Beauty/ Skincare

make up fixes

They say it takes 21 days to form a habit: you leave mascara on your lashes today, you forget to wash your face tomorrow and before you know it, going to bed with a full face of makeup becomes a normal part of your life.

Sleeping with makeup is probably one of the most common bad beauty habits out there – next to nail biting, that is. But just because these habits are common, it doesn’t mean you should carry on biting your nails or sleeping with makeup on like it’s okay!

Here are some of the worst beauty mistakes you should never fall victim to:

1. Using dirty brushes

Now when I say dirty, I don’t mean that you can physically see dirt on your makeup brush (that would be pretty bad). What I’m talking about is the brushes that don’t get washed as often as they should. Using unclean brushes on your face spreads bacteria all over it. As well as that, makeup doesn’t apply so smoothly when you use an unclean brush so if you want a flawless finish, be sure to use a clean brush! Here is a quick guideline for cleaning your makeup tools.

2. Using old products

Since cosmetics aren’t required to have a sell by date on them, it is always a good idea to make note of when you first opened your beauty products.  This way, you’ll have some sort idea as to when you should replace your products. But, even without little reminders, a bit of common sense can tell you when to dump out a face cream that has been lying on your shelf for years. If it looks funny or smells funky, then dump it!

3. Biting nails

Although biting nails can be a sign of nervousness, a lot of people do it out of boredom. Apparently, there are more bacteria under your nails than there are under a toilet seat. In other words, you’d be better off licking the toilet seat than chewing your nails – apologises for the mental image. If biting nails is one of your bad habits then maybe you should consider getting a nail varnish that helps with nail biting. There are plenty of these available on the market at the moment. They work by simply putting a vile taste in your mouth every time you bite your nails – genius!

nail biting

Photo Credit

4. Licking lips

There’s nothing worse than licking your lips in the hopes that it’ll keep them moisturised. If anything, it’ll only cause you to want to moisturise them even more. When your lips are dry, use a lip balm (preferably with an SPF), balms should be your only go-to when it comes to keeping your lips nice and moist, not saliva. My favourite is the Carmex Moisturising Lip Balm as well as the Nivea Fruity Shine Lip Balm in Cherry  – it actually looks like gloss!

5. Skipping the SPF

Without a good SPF, your skin becomes more sensitive to sun spots, aging and wrinkles. If you think it’s too much hassle using a sunscreen as well as a moisturiser, then you could always try to get a moisturiser that has an SPF of some sort,  even if it is just 20. In my books, sunscreen is what keeps you young looking – as well as a good diet of course!

6. Face touching 

This habit is pretty hard to break as most of us do it without even noticing. But it definitely is a habit that you should attempt to break if you want to avoid unpleasant breakouts. All the touching, scratching and rubbing is one of the worst ways to spread dirt, oil and bacteria on your skin.

7. Sleeping with makeup on

It can be very tempting to fall asleep without giving your face a good clean. But, if you don’t want to wake up to any unpleasant surprises in the morning, then be sure to cleanse your face before going to bed. Clogged pores can cause breakouts on your face, and a deeply cleansed skin help your night cream work a lot better!

 

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Posted on March 6, 2015

Must-have beauty tools for the skincare obsessive

Beauty/ Skincare

MUST-HAVE BEAUTY TOOLS

This year, I’ve decided to revolutionise my beauty regime. I know, I know, it’s a big step for me – especially since I’m so used my own ways of doing things! But I guess there’s no harm in trying new things, and besides, “new year, new me,” right?

To kick things off, I’ve gotten myself a deep cleansing brush. ‘Waste of money,’ I hear some of you say, but it’s actually been doing a pretty good job considering how much (or how little) I ended up paying for it!

So for this post, I’ll be going through some of the beauty tools I’ve already started using as well as the ones I’m in the process of ordering. I will be getting most – if not all – of these products:

Konjac sponge

konjac sponge

Konjac sponges are all the rage in Japan! They’re made from vegetable fibers and mineral rich extracts. The one thing that really caught my eye about these guys is that you can get them in different colours to target different skin types. For instance, the black sponge gets it’s colour from bamboo charcoal and it’s great for oily skin or for those who are prone to breakouts, while the red sponge is your ticket if you have dry and sensitive skin! You can also get it in green, pink or the original white konjac sponge with no colour. They help you can cleanse, exfoliate and remove impurities from the skin. Since the konjac plant is 100% alkaline, using it on the face helps balance the PH level of the skin. The one thing that’s important to note about these bad boys is that they have a shelf life. Since konjac sponges aren’t  made from synthetic fibers, you’d probably have to bin it every 4 – 5 weeks, depending on how often you use it!

PRICE:£6.99 – £11, Amazon

Comedone extractor (blackhead extractor)

comedone extractore for blackheads

This metal tool is used to unclog blocked pores.You can get ones that have a single loop on one end as well as the ones that have a loop on either end to accommodate for bigger pores. Usually, licensed estheticians and dermatologist use this tool. But in this day and age, it is available for the general public to buy either online or in their local pharmacy. When you’re using one of these guys, you have to be very careful about how much pressure you apply; too little and it won’t work, but too much and you could be left with scarring! The best way to do it with minimal scarring is to follow these two steps:

  1. Disinfect the blackhead extractor with rubbing alcohol and then warm your skin with a cloth or a steamer to open up the pores.
  2. Gently press down on the blackhead with the tool and if the blackhead doesn’t come out, leave it alone and try again another time!

PRICE: £2.99 – £10.99, Amazon

Deep facial cleansing brush

3d cleansing brush

A lot people think it’s enough to use their finger tips, a good cleanser and a few splashes of water to clean their face. However, it doesn’t always do the job properly, especially after spending the day wearing a full face of makeup! A deep cleansing brush gets right into your pores to get rid of all the dirt and oil your skin builds up during the day. It gives the skin an extra glow – not to mention that squeaky clean feeling! There are so many available in the market today so you really do have a lot to choose from. The one I recently bought is called the ELISHACOY 3D spin cleaner. It is a battery operated machine that comes with two different speeds. What I liked the most about it is the fact that it comes with two different brushes; a normal one for the entire face and blackhead brush for targeted areas.

PRICE: $43.08, Wishtrend

Face steamer

facial steamer

Face steamers have been out for quite some time now, but it seems as though they are being forgotten about with all the other revolutionary systems that are coming out. It’s quite unfortunate because facial steaming does absolute wonders to the skin’s complexion. It stimulates blood circulation, which increases nutrients and oxygen to the skin, giving it a rosier and more youthful glow. Although it has it’s many benefits, it’s important to limit it to only one steam a week – just like exfoliating, you don’t want to over do it, otherwise it will have a negative effect on your skin.

PRICE: £15.99 – £60+ on Amazon 

Derma roller

derma roller

This guy looks a bit scarier than the other products, and at first glance, you probably wouldn’t guess that it’s a beauty tool at all. However, this micro needle roller is a salon-level skin treatment that can be used at home for skin problems such as hyperpigmentation, cellulite, stretch marks and acne. It works by creating miniature punctures in the skin and pushing the pores open for a while. The body then releases growth factors that stimulate the production of collagen, the stuff that keeps your skin looking fresh and plump. You can get different sized needles to target different problems, but if you are just starting off, it’s always better to go for the smallest needle!

PRICE: £6.00 – £20+ on Amazon

Hope you found this post useful! First triers, please note: if you have any severe skin conditions, be sure to consult your doctor before trying any of these tools at home! Good luck! :)

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Ziaja Olive Leaf Face & Body Collection

product review/ Skincare

ziaja olive leaf collection

This year, Ziaja Skincare is celebrating their 25th year anniversary. To mark the big occasion, Polish founders Aleksandra and Zenon have decided to launch a new olive leaf range that is natural, effective and affordable.

Although the products in the Olive Leaf Face & Body Collection are budget friendly, they work like magic! Ziaja products are made from simple and natural ingredients that are safe to use on pretty much all skin types.

Here are the three products from this collection that were recently sent out to me for review:

Olive Leaf Duo-Phase Makeup Remover 120ml (€4.49)

ziaja makeup remover

I’ve always been very sceptical of makeup removers, as I’ve found that a lot of them don’t really match their claims. However, this product does a surprisingly good job when it comes to removing makeup, it even manages to scrap off the most waterproof of mascaras! This product has a water phase which gently cleanses the skin and an oil phase which softens the makeup and takes it off in one sweep – hence the ‘duo-phase.’ The formula is fragrance and colourant free!

Olive Leaf Gel Scrub Micro-Exfoliating 200ml (€5.99)

ziaja scrub

As a huge face scrub enthusiast, I can be very particular about the exfoliators I use. I generally like my face scrubs to be specifically for my face and my face alone – it’s all about that special treatment! This product however is for body too, so I was a bit unsure about using it on my face. When I finally did, I found that it was quite harsh and even after washing, the micro beads were not the easiest to get off! I’d recommend this scrub to be used on the body, rather than my face.

Olive Leaf Regenerating Mask with Hyaluronic Acid (€0.69c)

ziaja face mask

Unlike most of the store-bought face masks I’ve tried, this product does not dry up on your face – hallelujah! It is super gentle on the skin and it more or less acts as a firming and regenerating moisturiser! When you apply it, leave it on for 10 minutes and then use a cotton pad dipped in water to remove it. It leaves a residue of moisturiser in the end so all you have to do is rub it in. With this product, you don’t need to worry about trying to remove the remaining of a face mask from your hairline at all! Not to mention the fact that it contains Hyaluronic acid and youth vitamins that revives tired looking skin!

Have you used any of the Ziaja products before? If so, I’d love to know how you got on! :) For those of you who are still new to this brand, you can find Ziaja online at www.originalbeauty.ie, SHAWS department stores, MULLIGANS pharmacies, TOTAL HEALTH pharmacies and in independent pharmacies nationwide.

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Skincare glossary: what do these popular beauty terms really mean?

Beauty/ Skincare

dove ingredients list

We’re often told to go for products with certain ingredients. If you dry skin, you’re told to go for a moisturiser with an emollient and if you’re at the other end of the spectrum and have oily skin, then a cleanser with salicylic acid is your winning ticket. But what do these ingredients actually do? A clear understanding of how certain things function can help you make better choices when it comes to skincare products.

Here are a few popular words that you might have come across before and probably didn’t care to research because you ‘heard’ it was good:

E for Emollients

Emollients generally hold moisture in the skin. They keep the skin looking soft and supple. Some very popular and effective emollients would be avocado oil, shea butter and glycerine. If you have dry skin then always go for a moisturiser that has an emollient.

A for Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA)

AHA’s are naturally occurring acids found in milk and fruits. Generally, they help speed up the exfoliating process. This improves the texture of the skin and helps unclog nasty pores. Glycolic acid is one of the most commonly used AHAs.

A for Antioxidants

You’ve probably seen this word a couple of hundred times at this stage! Without getting too scientific, antioxidants keep the skin protected from harm caused by free radicals (damaged cells that can be problematic). Vitamins A, C and E, green tea, beta-carotene, and grape seed extracts are all highly effective antioxidants.

boots vitamin e night cream

E for Exfoliators

I love a good exfoliator! They are designed to help remove dead cells from the skin and help whatever you put on your face afterwards become for effective. As a rule of thumb, always look for an exfoliator that is designed especially for your face. Body scrubs are far too harsh to use on the delicate skin of la visage.

H for Humectants

Humectants absorb water from the air and help the skin retain moisture. Some very effective humectants include glycerin, algae extract and lactic acid.

B for Balms

Balms are super-rich moisturisers like shea butter or avocado extract that help target dry patches of the skin. They’re usually designed for people who have super dry skin but if you want a subtle glow on your face, you could warm some balm in between your hands and pat your cheeks after you’ve applied your makeup.

C for Collagen

Collagen is a fibrous protein that is present in the skin. When someone has high levels of collagen in their skin, it appears nice and firm. (I bet you just thought of someone there). As we age, the level of collagen declines and wrinkles begin to form. That’s why some older women – and even men – like to get injections, as they temporarily replace lost collagen.

R for Retinoids (Retin-A, Retinal, Renova)

Retinoids are derived from vitamin A. They are used in beauty products to fight acne and help build collagen to reverse the visible signs of aging. Since using retinoids makes the skin more sensitive to the sun, it is important to use an SPF. Some natural sources of retinoids include tomatoes, melon,fish-liver oils and leafy green vegetables.

sunscreen

SPF (Sun Protection Factor)

My favourite  S word! SPF measures  the degree of protection a product provides against harmful UVB rays from the sun. A lot of people are under the impression that an SPF should only be worn in the summer, however, it should be worn all year around.

S for Serums

Serums are corrective skin treatments that are highly concentrated and packed with ingredients to target specific skin problems. Uneven skin tone and dullness are usually it. Common ingredients found in serums would be vitamin C and green tea extract. They are generally applied after cleansing and before moisturising.

Vitamin K helps promote faster healing of swelling, bruising and skin irritation. A beauty product that contains this vitamin would be ideal for people with sensitive skin.

Vitamin E provides antioxidant protection. It protects the fatty acids in the skin which help keep the skin firm and young looking. Not many people know that vitamin E can act as a mild sunscreen as it has an SPF factor of 3.

Vitamin C is an antioxidant that reduces the pigmentation of scars, making them less noticeable. High doses of vitamin C helps create a more even skin tone. Natural sources of this vitamin include oranges, red peppers and kiwis.

Next time you go shopping for a new beauty product, you will be able to see if it has the ingredients you need for your skin. I hope you found this useful! :)

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