3 Skincare Tips I Would Tell My Younger Self and *That* Embarrassing Moment

Beauty, LIFESTYLE

I am sure there are many people that look back to their younger selves and wish they would have looked after their skin a little more. For me there are a few things I would say to myself and others now I have learnt my lessons and I could only hope that they would listen but would I have done in the same position? Who knows. I can say that I had one of the best head starts I could have wished for. I did my work experience in a spa surrounded by beauty products and took this interest with me years after; My mum used great products and looked after her skin well and encouraged me to do the same. And there are STILL things I would go back and tell myself. I can only suppose that some lessons can only be learned from our own mistakes.

What goes in, glows out. It doesn’t take much explaining but what I put into my body shows on my skin. If I ate nothing but junk food, fizzy pop and coffee for a month, wow, would my skin hate me for it. Whereas if I ate fresh vegetables, drank balanced smoothies and stayed hydrated with water as the national guidelines suggested I would be completely glowing from the inside out. Of course I have only ever tried this out for short periods of time – a week, a month maybe – and the struggle is keeping the routine (we are chocolate mad in this house). But the knowledge is there and if I had started taking care of my skin sooner I would definitely tell my younger self that a good diet is very important. I will one day keep a food diary, like I keep saying I will, and hopefully be able to track the results to see what impact that a healthy diet makes on my skin.

Have confidence. Ok, so not in the usual phrasing of it. I had almost too much confidence growing up. But I would tell my younger self that I didn’t need to get my eyebrows waxed twice a week or however many times it was. I do remember the lady I used to go to started to charge me £2 per time because I went so often and looking back, I probably didn’t need to and I have relaxed this attitude a lot (apologies to anyone that has ever witnessed me having a bad brow day month). But in my younger days I wanted the confidence that having a neat brow game bought me, now I guess that as importance as confidence is, it’s not just my brows that define that for me. I would like to point out that it was also the time where skinny brows were all the rage. So I might add a side note here and say that following some beauty trends just isn’t worth it. Note to ‘Young Loren’ it’s ok to not be pristine all of the time.

I’m going to make mistakes. But they will *hopefully* be a learning curve. My natural hair colour is brown and this includes the hair on my face. I came to terms with the fact I can rival Will Ferrell in Anchorman if I let it get out of hand but I can’t leave it for too long (that’s my own decision) and have lightened, waxed, threaded and used removal cream on my top lip. There was one occasion during my school years where I used a removal cream for what I can only assume as too long. And you know what assuming does don’t you? Well, of course I still had to go to school the next day and pretend like I hadn’t been stupid enough to chemical burn my moustache. I can’t decide what was more embarrassing. Having to go in to school at all with a painful face or having my teacher inform me that she knew what I had done and she had also done the same once. (In reality of course I know she was only trying to help but it took 12 year old me a minute to notice this).

Looking back I guess I have learnt a lot in the time I have been dabbling in beauty and I do have a lot more that I could learn. How to successfully do winged liner EVERY. SINGLE. TIME for example is still at the top of my list. Or maybe how to create a beautiful smokey eye without looking like I’m trying to be a member of KISS. We all have to start somewhere and if I have to make some small misjudgments on the way so be it, we’re not born perfect. Although I will go get a glass of water now, you know, to counteract that coffee I just drank.

If you want another “Why did you do that?” beauty story go check out my Travel Essentials and Life Lessons post.

My Simple Daily Make-Up Routine

Beauty, LIFESTYLE

This post contains affiliate links.

I would like to think that I am pretty low maintenance. My husband may think otherwise of course but until he refutes this comment I am sticking with it. When I go out in the evening I can often get ready quicker than he can and I always like to keep it simple with what I wear. I think the best way to describe it would be understated glamour or working with that natural beauty as they say (it’s in everyone, I swear).

I’m a firm believer that make-up doesn’t quite sit right without a good base and this is why I now find myself using a primer every time I put make up on. Even if I’m just pottering around the house it gives me a boost. I have been using the Soap & Glory One Heck of a Blot Primer now for a few months and really like how it sits on my skin without feeling like it’s clogging up my pores.

The natural emphasis is why I have always loved BareMinerals and why I moved back to the brand recently. I had been using various pressed powders and liquid foundations over the past few months and at one time even using both layered as one didn’t provide enough coverage, it was a nightmare and made my skin look so much worse than it actually was. I made the decision to purchase a few products and really get stuck back into a manageable, quick routine that gave me the best, glowing results.

There was also one product that I could not stop thinking about. The BareMinerals well-rested concealer is the best product for my dark circles that I have ever tried. This meant it was a must purchase when I restocked but it also wasn’t the easiest to get hold of. When I initially looked for it a few online retailers sold it but had not stock and others did not have it listed at all. In the end I did manage to locate some stock and still love the concealer as much as I did a few years ago.

It was slightly more difficult to order a new foundation online, especially when I didn’t know what colour would be best. In the end and due to seeing the models wearing different shades I chose the BareMinerals Matte Foundation in Medium. I love it, the shade works with my tone great and it sits lightly on my skin.

The next product, and if you may have noticed the product I apply next in the routine, is the BareMinerals All Over Face Colour. When I first purchased a similar product (maybe 12 years ago?!) it was labelled ‘Warmth’ and I was told to apply it in the number 3 shape on my face, at the forehead, down below the cheek and onto the jawline. It was a great addition and gave a beautifully subtle colour finish. Although not the exact product the one I now have is the BareMinerals All Over Face Colour in Faux Tan and to me it could be the same colour as before with a different name.

At this point I like to add a little lip definition and use the BareMinerals Under and Over Gen Nude Lip Liner in shade Vibe. This colour was recommended to me at a BareMinerals counter when purchasing make-up for my wedding day. I wanted to do my own make-up for the occasion but knew I needed to have a professional colour match beforehand and it was in this session 3 years ago that the consultant recommended this exact lip liner along with the Gen Nude Matte Lipgloss in Juju. I don’t use the lipgloss every day, more evenings out, but love the liner for that daily, natural shade.

Last but not least I finish the look off with Soap & Glory Thick & Fast Mascara. I purchased this in a set just after Christmas when I was only looking for a mascara. I am very glad now that I did as I think it gives a great effect and definitely give my lashes extra volume. I tend to apply 1-2 layers for my day to day look but have also found it good for an evening out as I can layer it easily.

Even though this seems quite a lengthy blog post for a simple daily make-up routine it takes me less than 10 minutes to apply and its the easiest routine I have had in a long while. I have also noticed that having products that suit my skin type and sit well are easier to apply as there is less to correct and blend.

If you want to read more on my current skincare routines you can catch up here.

Changing The Way I Shop Skincare

Beauty, LIFESTYLE

For the past three years I have been buying beauty and skincare products from more high street, pharmacy brands and while this is all well and good more often than not I have ended up out of pocket. Either the product has not provided the results as expected, sometimes not at all and it ends up as wasted money. Even if it was £10 for a face cream, its £10 down the drain.

I realised a couple of months ago too that my skin isn’t getting any younger. Coming into my 30th year I am noticing the fine lines when I don’t use a saturating moisturiser and have also started to see a big difference in the texture; not smooth as I have been lucky to have this far but uneven. I decided that I couldn’t go on as I was doing and purchasing skincare that was not doing the job and started returning instead to the products that kept my skin glowing, clear and even in the run up to my wedding day which is coming up to three years ago now. I am looking back at that time and thinking “why did I not just stick with that routine?” Well the answer is I don’t know. I guess that after the big day it doesn’t seem so important, (it very much still is) and it wasn’t as accessible as other brands (the closest Elemis counter – a brand I used pretty much exclusively- was an hour away). No excuse I know but now it is even more convenient arriving straight at my door.

I am also able now to see skincare purchases as an investment. This may mean I spend a little more money upfront, say on average £40 – £50, but in the long term I will not be throwing away money on products that didn’t work for me, even if these are half the price or less. I see it as this, if I spend £5 on a product that had no effect I may as well have not made the purchase at all and saved myself £5. I completely understand and agree that there are a lot of products out there that do a good job but I have also tried a lot of different skincare brands and very rarely find a face product that I would buy repeatedly. I have constant dry and dehydrated skin that can be quite tight, sore and unreliable at times and this has made the search a little more difficult. Even products that are soothing or hydrating tend to lose this capability within 10 minutes of wearing the moisturiser or ringing away a cleanser.

Of course not everything works for everyone and not everyone can afford the more expensive ranges. I get that, I have been there, I am still there. I am lucky that I am able to purchase the skincare that works best for me and that I have recently also been gifted some from a family member who wasn’t using them. I will soon be ready to make some further purchases and will look at the best value for money available and be considerate in my shopping. Do I need it? Will I use it? Am I sure it will improve my skin?To make this change sustainable I will also have to ensure that I am using a small amount of product and that I am only purchasing what I know I will use. I would rather have 2 great products in my arsenal than 10 that don’t work as well.

Changing my skincare

There are a couple more things I will be looking out for when I make my future purchases. Does the brand, where I am spending my hard earned money, have similar values to mine? Are they inclusive, do they offer various shades and the space for other creators? This can be found with a bit of research either by looking at their marketing or asking them directly if they are an inclusive company. Also, what is their animal testing policy? After recent research into a brand I found that it wasn’t one where I wanted to to put my money into and the brands that I previously loved tested on animals. In this day and age I see zero point in testing cosmetic products on animals. I do have an issue with the parent company still testing on animals and it makes me feel very uneasy thinking that money has gone into funding this, even by proxy. I have decided that I will be doing what I can to prevent money being spent in this way in the future and by educating myself and others into what can be done to stop this going forward. Many other countries have made the change so I do not see why it can’t be done by all cosmetic companies. What are your views on this?

Have you made any changes to your skincare purchasing or routines? And have you got any product or brand recommendations? Let me know your thoughts in the comments or over on Instagram @lorenjessica_

Returning to my Favourite Beauty Brands

Beauty, LIFESTYLE

As you may see I don’t actually take about beauty that much on here. It isn’t because I don’t like or use it, because I do. I developed a love of beauty and skincare after a Media Makeup Course and from working in spas and have found many products that I have absolutely loved. It is more because I haven’t recently been using a product that I would ‘write home about’ as they say. In the last few years I have noticed that it takes longer for my skin to recover from a spot and longer for it to erase a spot scar. This means that I need products that can perform without wasting my money trying to find them and why I am returning to the brands I used to use and love when my skin was at its best.

I recently posted this photo on Instagram after using the Elemis Papaya Enzyme Peel. It wasn’t the first time I had used the product and I have been using it sparingly for a while not wanting to run out. I thought about this for a while and realised I am doing that classic thing of ‘saving things for best’. I have decided not to do this any longer and especially not with something as important and fragile as looking after my skin.

As well as skincare I also took a look at the makeup I was using and purchased a BareMinerals collection to get me restarted in a previous beauty routine. This routine was the one I used for around 8 years and in the run up to our wedding. Between a few products and a consistent regime I found what worked for my skin and what I am now returning to after 2-3 years away from it.

Let’s start with the reasons I moved away from this routine.

  1. I had gotten married. Every bride wants their skin to be perfect for their big day and I believe I had achieved this. I then simply used the products until they ran out which leads me onto…
  2. The cost. The products that I like and which work for me are not super cheap. They are what I deem to be mid-high price point when you think that you can actually pick up a product for £5-10 instead of the £25-30 for makeup that I have recently paid and £40+ for skincare. With house renovations then to pay for make-up and skincare had to be budgeted somewhat and the more costly products were the first to be a taken from the shopping list.
  3. Everything was great. My skin and hair were the healthiest that they had ever looked. And you know why? Because I was doing everything I should. Fun Fact: It only stays that way if you continue with it.

We had bought a home which needed a LOT of work and my priorities changed with that. I was still gifted products for birthdays and Christmas and like to treat myself every now and again but a bi-monthly to monthly purchase was not on the cards for a long time.

Which brings me up to the present. I feel that as I am reaching my 30th *sharp intake of breath I know* year I feel that I want and need to be correctly taking care of my skin once again and that I can no longer waste spend money on products that are not doing the job. Through house renovations I have found that although we are spending more money upfront on the times that we do the quality is better and we spend less in the long run on a job well done the first time. This also follows a quote I found and loved recently “Buy cheap, buy twice”. It epitomises what I am trying to put across here and I am finding it more relevant in the products I have been purchasing over the last couple of years.

As well as make up and skincare I am also talking about hair care. I have changed from cheaper dupes to Tres Emme and been using their shampoo and conditioner for two months now and can certainly see the difference in the appearance in my hair. As with my skincare I chose the Tres Emme for dry and damaged hair, hoping to repair years of dryness.

So, with this in mind I am now returning to my favourite, tried and tested beauty and skincare brands. I can not wait to return to that glow and flawless finish every time which in turn will save me time (mainly beauty; not spent trying to correct or blend a incorrect foundation shade, attempting to wipe too-obvious blusher off or having to reapply later in the day) and money (mainly skincare; spending on products that simply do not work as they say they should and then either wasting it or using it for the sake of it and still having to find another of the product).

Right now I am going to see what is online and what would make a great addition to my skincare routine. If you have found any products you can not be without let mew know about them. You can also find me on Instagram @lorenjessica_ to chat there too.

Reviewing my hydrating travel essentials and a few things I learnt about skincare

My Travel Beauty Essentials and a Few Life Lessons

Beauty, LIFESTYLE

This post contains affiliate links.

To put this post across properly I am going to have to relive two of my top painful holiday beauty moments. And I mean painful. That is why I have some strong do’s and dont’s for myself now I am old (and hopefully wiser) for when I think skincare either abroad or even on a UK staycation. 

Let us first go through the things that I simply have to pack when I am away. I have a dehydrated skin type and this can get worse or improve depending on the environment. 

Warm weather = drinking more water/juice = hydrated. 

Cold weather = more hot tea and coffee = dehydrating.

No matter where I go or what the weather though I always take a face moisturiser. If we are travelling somewhere cold or taking a UK trip I may pack more. Although it does lean towards the pricey side for a product the Elemis S.O.S Cream is my all time favourite. Years ago when I first started using it, it was in my mums collection and we had been told to use it as a spot cream. It was only when I read the product after I had made a purchase myself a few years after that I found out its intended use was for hydration purposes. Classic lesson learnt there – always read the instructions. Whilst I am waiting to repurchase the S.O.S Cream I am using these mini’s that were given to me by a friend. I didn’t really understand the purposes of a mist before but for that little hydration through the day I am now loving it.

Elemis Mini Travel Size Products

For my face, moisturiser is always closely followed by a high SPF and since last year I have loved The Body Shop® Skin Defence SPF 50+PA++++ which has pretty much only recently come back in stock. On a shopping trip before last I did have to purchase The Body Shop® Vitamin C with SPF 30 PA++++ which is a great product and I would repurchase as it gives me that glow I am always after but I am glad that the original has returned as it has the higher SPF.

The Body Shop Skin Defence SPF and Vitamin C SPF

Now are we ready for an uneducated/unthinking mistake? I once went on holiday with my best friend. For some reason we hadn’t a moisturiser between the two of us and my skin was definitely drying from too much sun that week. What I had thought to bring with me though was The Sanctuary Body Lotion, so in my naive way, thought that would do the same job. I took a 50p size blob onto my hand and promptly slapped it on my cheeks to soothe my dry skin. IT HURT. Oh Wow it hurt. I washed it off almost immediately but even still had to sit with a cool damp flannel covering my whole face for what must have been hours in the afternoon. What did I learn from that experience? Body lotion is nothing at all the same as face moisturiser.

M & S Ragdale Hall Lavender Hand Cream

The last thing on my list has to be something to help me sleep at night and I am obsessed with anything that smells like lavender. Last Christmas I was gifted a Marks and Spencers Ragdale Hall Gift Set which included the Sleep Lavender Hand Cream. Not only does it have a great scent but it also moisturisers my dry hands as I get some rest. As my years increase (hello almost 30 here) I understand more and more the importance of staying hydrated, both inside and out. When my hands are suffering from dryness it can literally look like my hands are 30 years older than the rest of me. It’s uncomfortable and slightly embarrassing and why I appreciate a good, moisturising hand cream.

What are your beauty skincare essentials?

Beauty and skincare

My Travel Skincare Essentials

Beauty, LIFESTYLE

For those who don’t know I love skincare. I always have had an interest in beauty covering products and experiences and it is probably the best bit of packing for me. I have a small-ish case for my skincare and make up and I try to contain everything in here when we go away. It makes it so all of my kit is in the same place and I can’t leave anything behind either going or on the return journey. So without carrying on (geddit?) here are the beauty items I can’t travel without.

The Body Shop SPF 50. This is one of my absolute favourite products. A daily defence against sun damage no matter where in the world I am. There also aren’t many products on the highstreet that give such a high SPF in a thin formula which feels light enough to put make up on top of.

Cleanser. I used to be one of those people that could sleep in their make-up, I know hate me now, but not anymore. If I have been even slightly sweating walking around I have to take my make-up off. I love The Body Shop Camomile cleanser as it melts away make-up and is lovely and softening before bed. If I am abroad the soothing qualities of the chamomile also help to calm my skin in the evening.

The Body Shop Cleanser Beauty Skincare

Moisturiser. The slightest change in climate and my skin loses it. Both too cold and too hot and I can feel the tightening in my face, mainly over my nose and cheeks and so moisturiser is an absolute must for me. I picked up the Simple 12 hour moisturiser for £1.89 and it hasn’t disappointed.

Kiehl’s Lavender Repair Serum. I love the fact that my skin can repair overnight and with a little more help it can go from dry and tight to hydrated and soft. In the last few years I have become lavender obsessed and it helps me drift off to sleep, especially when I need that extra something in a different bed.

Urban Decay Setting Spray. The best setting spray I have tried it makes my make-up last all day. Perfect for those holiday photos you want to treasure forever and the ones where I have been sightseeing in that gorgeous warm weather and still want to get a photo for the ‘gram.

Shampoo. Where’s the conditioner I hear you ask? Well, I hate to break it to you but I don’t use it on a regular basis so I wouldn’t need to take it away with me. If I was to use conditioner I would probably purchase a 2 in 1 product to save on room but for as long as my hair can take it I’ll go without.

Body Wash. I love taking a scented body wash wherever I go so it reminds me of the holiday long after I return home. A good idea and most of those little bottles are reusable so win-win.

What can you not travel without?

Until next time,

L x

Urban Beauty United Brushes

Beauty, LIFESTYLE

I have been using these new Urban Beauty United brushes since they arrived a few days ago and certainly want to carry on with them. Apart from being a mix of gorgeous rose gold, cream and bright pink colours they are incredibly soft. I am in love with the colour of these brushes as I have never had any fuschia pink brushes to apply my make up before. Black and brown is as crazy as I have ever gone. The handles of these are cream in colour with a rose gold ferrule and like many at the minute I am firmly on the rose gold loving bandwagon. 

In my make up kit at the minute I have a few brushes but not many as I’ll explain. Some have been a part of my Bareminerals starter kits and a Smashbox set for contouring that I was gifted for my birthday. I truly love all of my brushes and if ever find a brush I can not get along with it goes straight to brush heaven i.e. the bin. In the past I have had a couple of brushes that have been washed and not held their shape and some that became unusable even after being rinsed of product throughly. This being said I was looking forward to trying the Urban Beauty United selection to see how they would fare. 

The Berry Blush angled blusher brush has been used to apply both a pressed and loose powder contour.  Before this I used a thicker rounder brush without the sculpted bristle style and can’t believe the difference in my cheek contour. It has been more precise and natural looking for that last week and I wouldn’t go back to using the old brush. The bristles on the Berry Blush brush are all natural and with this being so are super soft and smoothly apply the powder. 

I have also been trying the Picture Perfect stippling brush to apply my liquid foundation. Again I have been using a similar shaped brush for a while but have been more than happy to try the Urban Beauty United version. This, like the Berry Brush, was soft to touch and glided smoothly when applying my make-up. Others I have previously used tend to pull on the skin and move the make up round leaving a stripy foundation look. Not really what I’m going for. The stippling brush, being made of both natural and nylon bristles, gives a smoother feel and didn’t pull, this is especially important around my eyes as I hate pulling the skin anywhere near them. 

The Smoke Screens Smokey Eye Brush Kit has also been in rotation with my other eye shadow brushes recently. I don’t often apply eyeshadow unless it is a special occasion and even then I tend to stick to similar colours. In this look I used pinks and purples as I don’t tend to wear a black smokey eye, I can’t get it to suit me. After trying all three brushes from the set I found that they were very good for the pressed and loose shadow powders I tried them with. They held onto product, applied it gently to the soft skin around the eye and held their shape after use. All very important things when considering brushes so I would definitely recommend them. I also loved how they were different shapes depending on where you were applying the eyeshadow. 

Urban Beauty United do offer more and different shaped brushes along with sponges and other beauty tools over at Urban Beauty United so check them out if you fancy something a little bolder!