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Friday, October 20, 2017

Excuse me for repeating some old faves here, but when you find good skincare you can't help but go on and on about it until you've got the whole world and their mother trying it out.

Now I know we all have different skin types, but there are a few products I've tested over the years that I feel work great across the board, with most of them suited for all skin types and are able to take care of specific concerns we all have trouble with, without causing too much disruption (plus they're cruelty-free and vegan) so what's not to love or want to try?!

Pai Camellia and Rose Gentle Hydrating Cleanser - This Pai cleanser does is what it says on the bottle - a gentle hydrating dream, perfect for every skin type as it has a blend of oils and buttery emulsifiers that cleanse, exfoliate, hydrate, and remove every bit of grime and makeup in your pores. It's helped to brighten and balance my complexion whilst also providing necessary hydration, plus it's got all the nice natural ingreds in it that even the most sensitive skin can get on with!

Nyasa Luminosity Serum - Pricey but perfecting, this serum is great for either additional exfoliation if you have scars or blemishes, or as a daily renewal if you have dry to normal skin. It boosts brightness, softens wrinkles, and increases cellular turnover for a better complexion long-term, and also contains MSM which is great for inflammation.

Oskia Renaissance Cleanser - I don't know if anyone's ever heard of this cleanser as it's pretty underground and new? Joking of course, it's my ol'fave Oskia and what would a skincare post be if their famous cleanser wasn't on it? This really is one of those miracle cleansers, the pumpkin enzymes help to renew skin and make it bright, the balmy texture is like a spa treatment on your skin, and it purifies and nourishes deep down to totally transform the complexion. Have I convinced you yet?

Oskia CityLife Mist - Everyone needs a toner or spritz in their life, and CityLife is one that will keep you protected all day long; it helps protect your skin from free-radicals and pollution in any area of life (even computers and carpets) and also balances and refreshes your skin to detoxify long-term. Plus, it smells great too, and I've seen a huge improvement in clarity since first spritz...

Nyasa Midnight Feast Night Balm - Finally to end it all is this glorious night balm which has lasted me months and is still doing good work; Midnight Beast again contains MSM like Oskia and the serum to shrink inflammation and prevent spots, plus it encourages cellular turnover, strengthens skin elasticity, and locks in hydration for more hours so your skin is always happy and hydrated!


Some products in this post may have been sent for review or gifted, and will be marked with a * or c/o. All opinions are mine are not influenced by brands or companies. Please see my full disclaimer for more.

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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

I wanted to write a post about my new hair because getting a haircut is a rarity for me these days. I used to be a six-week cut and colour girl when I was 17 (highlights, trims, the lot) but now if I can go 5 months then I'm sure I'll have got some length on it before even considering a snip.

Length has been my main hair priority ever since I accidentally got it all lopped off at 16 - it was boob length and I asked for a trim, ended up with a bob, cue the classic British response of 'oh it looks great' and grimacing all the way home.

After that episode, I've attempted to grow it long again and after a lot of bleach, colour, cuts, and every mask under the sun, I've finally hit that 16-year-old length I've been waiting so long for and ironically, I've been itching to cut it off more than ever - isn't that always the way?

It's taken it's time though to get here, but there are some tricks to grow those extra inches quicker for the more impatient of us out there...

1. Brush your hair daily - not the most groundbreaking advice but it does work! It's natural for us to shed hair, and whilst I was a fan of the ratty look years ago, making sure all the weaker hairs come out is essential to healthy re-growth. I use a Wet Brush after washing and then daily afterwards to keep everything sleek and shiny, and if you've curled your hair right those waves should stay in place well after brushing, but it's always better to use heat protector and re-curl again if they've dropped too much - speaking of....

2. Always use heat protector - I can sometimes be a bit lazy with the heat spray as I don't like product in my hair/sleeping with it on my hair and pillow, but 90% of the time I make sure to coat my locks in some form of protector to stop frazzle and damage - my fave is Umberto Gianni Glam Primer Pre-Styling Spray* because it smells like a Lush bath bomb but also holds any style really well without feeling like too much product but enough (and it's vegan too). I only ever use heat to curl my hair, and am a big fan of air-drying my hair so would recommend cutting back on hair drying too!

3. Add hair growth enhancer into your routine - one product I've been recommended and thus recommended to others is Lee Stafford Hair Growth Treatment, which is some weird voodoo magic for your locks I highly rate. My hair was by my chin two years ago and now it's boob length, it's wonderful. I used this with every wash after shampooing, keeping it to my roots mainly and working down the length for moisture, left it for 3-5 mins and rinsed, and even after a few weeks I saw a noticeable difference! I will say that using it often can cause some hairs to grow too much by force, leaving them crinkled and a bit damaged, but 97% of my hair is long and luscious and for someone so impatient with their hair it got everything growing swiftly again. I'd also recommend the leave-in spray which I combed through my hair after each wash too, every little helps ;)

4. Try to get a semi-regular trim - I say try, because again, I'm not good at keeping up with trims. It's good to get the dead and fluffy ends off your hair as it makes everything feel healthier, and gives you a chance to refresh your look whilst you're at it!

5. Play around with semi-permanent dye/tints - I've always been someone who's itching to switch up their hair, whether it's a new colour or cut I'm always thinking 'maaaaaaaybe I could go blonde again...' or chop it all off again. To tide me over, I like to 'enhance' my natural colour by a shade or two, usually opting for an ashy/purple-tinged brunette - I either mix together Maria Nila Cacao Intense and Pearl Silver* or go in with Christophe Robin Shade Variation Mask in Ash Brown* which is easier to use a produces a deeper colour, however Maria Nila is vegan and very nourishing, so it depends on what you prefer finish wise.

6. Go sulphate-free - sulphates may make our hair feel clean but they actually do more harm than good, and whilst it may not necessarily lead to hair growth, going SLS free is a lot gentler on the hairs and your scalp too (plus if you do colour your hair, suplhate free shamps keep that colour brighter for longer!) so give them a break whilst you pack on the growth serum ;)

7. Get a good shampoo and conditioner - kinda links to the point above, but get a combo that does the job specifically for you. I use Noughty Care Taker Shampoo which is SLS-free and treats my greasy yet dandruffy scalp (also looks after the roots) and their Wave Hello Conditioner to keep my ends sleek and natural waves in place. Neither contain harsh chemicals and are 97% natural, and it's given my locks a nice break after so much growth treatment.

8. Watch your diet and stress - our hair equally needs as much care as our skin or health, so pack in any extra foods or vitamins you need to keep the hairs growing long and strong (and not crinkled and crazy) - I'm talking iron, zinc, fish oils, the lot! Also stress contributes to a lot of frazzled hair, so whilst you should also watch it for your skin and health, think about your hair too when you're pulling it in frustration!

And now, onto my new do! I got it chopped and re-styled a few weeks ago and I love the finish - it's a soft modern 70's vibe, with a grown out fringe and feathering all the way to the longest layer, which helps frame my face more and add some interest when it's tied up. There's a mix of short layers at the front cascading into longer ones, so it gives a nice tear-drop effect when styling yet keeps it feeling long. I like that the fringe isn't too short, just enough to hang out and loose when in a bun but can also be tucked back behind my ears, and that I still have a good bit of length to play with - just don't ask me to try a pull through braid yet...

Now that my hair is finally at my dream length, there's only so much time before I start contemplating a chop again - at least I've got 5 months to consider it ;)


Photos by Kelly Prince-Wright

Some products in this post may have been sent for review or gifted, and will be marked with a * or c/o. All opinions are mine are not influenced by brands or companies. Please see my full disclaimer for more.

Website | Flickr | Tumblr | Twitter | Bloglovin | Instagram | Pinterest


Monday, October 16, 2017

I've had a few thoughts on algorithms over the last few months.

Mostly, it's been that they suck. A lot.

Social media is a huge part part of our daily lives, and for a lot of us, a huge part of our jobs. It's great to shop, search, connect, share, and be able to create big things out of the smallest moments, but for a large percentage of people it's only become a source of complaint for the last few months.

What was once a varied range of platforms where everything you posted was visible has now become contorted over time and restricted, taking our ownership and fun with it.

It's difficult to face that after years of visible success, hard work, and in some cases, excessive amounts of time spent perfecting themes and engagement to grow, but on the other hand it's made me realise more than ever that I'm not giving up my power and fun for no one - and that includes apps.

I love Instagram, YouTube, blogging, but the more people find fault in platforms the less I want to try. It shows how easy it is, how easily we get caught up in the algorithms, lack of engagement, the fact a new post hasn't performed well, or that we don't have the time to produce quality consistently.

But I've finally come to an agreement with my ego, to shrug off the inconvenience' of 'Social Media Guilt when Underperforming'. I'm done with annoying pangs of shame and embarrassment, the hours spent trying to plan and perfect, and accepted the situation for what it is - an opportunity to be okay with myself.

Because it all stems down to self-worth at the end of the day doesn't it? Can we still feel happy in ourselves whether a post gets 100 or 10,000 likes? Can we still feel proud if a post gets 50 or 500 hits in a day?

I totally understand that engagement numbers mean so much more than 'these people like me', it's work and job opportunities for a lot of us, but the bottom line is that this isn't our fault, this all happened because someone got greedy or wanted to only showcase certain media to appease others.

I'm not going to beg, I'm not going to pay, and I'm certainly not going to let it stop me from sharing. Sure, I can identify what performs better and that might not include the fun in-the-moment shot I want to upload to my grid, but I'll do it anyway.

I won't get worked up about it, but I certainly won't appease it either - from creators being penalised for discussing important topics to Instagram forcing you to pay for a service it should already be providing, we can make those at the top and developing listen whilst keeping our own happiness and worth in check.

It's one of many things within social media that add to a growing negativity in our self-worth, and it's something we need to change the mindset of - Hannah's post is great for pinpointing the little changes we can make to feel better overall - and until the day comes where we go all Braveheart and rise up against the non-chronological feed, I'm going to keep in mind that these algorithms don't define me, my work, or my worth, and they never will.

What are your thoughts on the algorithm changes over the last few years? Do you find yourself using them less and less or are you striving to keep them afloat?


Some products in this post may have been sent for review or gifted, and will be marked with a * or c/o. All opinions are mine are not influenced by brands or companies. Please see my full disclaimer for more.

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Friday, October 13, 2017

In the past I've been quite the product hoarder, and whilst my lipstick collection is still a little on the large side, I feel I've gotten better at knowing what to buy and try when it comes to beauty. I've used my fair share of products - some haven't worked out, some were temporary loves, and some have been a raving success, and it got me thinking about the ones that I do love, and whether it's an 'I love this so much I wish I could have an unlimited free supply' or if it's 'I love this so much that I would actually go pay for it myself'.

It's taken so long for me to get to a point where I feel confident in what I'm buying, and I'm grateful for all the samples that have led me to a point where I understand skincare more and value the products, the science, and the brand, so here are a few of the best products I've tried that are definitely get my money's worth...

This is technically a repurchase already, but I adore Pai Camellia and Rose Gentle Hydrating Cleanser; it's so soft and soothing, and throughout the year it's kept my skin hydrated and gets every scrap of makeup out my pores. It's vegan, cruelty-free, and I've seen a huge improvement in the overall softness and clarity of my skin - a great daily cleanser everyone should try!

Now Oskia CityLife Facial Mist* may have been a recent addition but I already love it long time - the smell of Neroli and Basil is really refreshing, provides invisible protection over the skin to prevent pollution getting into the pores, and again has made a huge difference in clarity - I never realised we were exposed to such pollutants on varying levels, and by preventing free-radicals from entering at a higher level it decreases inflammation, sensitivity, and hyper-pigmentation, leaving you with clear happy skin!

Speaking of clear happy skin, a combination of Medik8 Hydra8 B5 Serum* and Sunday Riley Saturn* has done me wonders lately! My skin has got a lot drier since moving and I've found using Medik8 twice a day has really boosted the hydration on the surface and deeper down, even plumping up my skin which has made my cheeks look nice and firm for the first time in while.

Saturn has also made my skin feel incredibly soft and clear, thanks to the sulphur drawing out and removing all the excess gunk and sebum from my pores, plus reducing the size and pressure of larger spots. It's a bit of a miracle wonder for those with acne, and using this as a spot treatment every night as well as a twice weekly mask has meant an even faster 'bye-bye' for those annoying under skin bumps - result!

Makeup wise, there's a lot of Too Faced going on - Born This Way Foundation* is the perfect natural matte skin formula that lasts all day, with fab coverage and colour range to match. I usually mix two shades together or add a bit into my Becca foundation for extra coverage, but it's a fab staple I can't see myself without.

Similarly, the Hangover Primer* really adds the last bit of glow and hydration before makeup, plus it smells really fresh too with the coconut water and really helps keeps makeup in place all day whilst allowing natural oils to appear slowly. The Chocolate Soleil Bronzer* is also another great smelling product - I mean, who doesn't want a chocolate scented face? - that I've found the best multi-tasker for contour and bronzer, using Light for a sweep of colour on the cheeks and Medium in the hollows, and it isn't overly orange or grey, just a great neutral for natural warmth.

One last thing - I did photograph the Natural Matte palette below, which I originally thought was vegan but turns out contains carmine which is a bit pants as I love the colour range, so if you have any vegan shadow recs leave them below!

Pai and Oskia are my main skincare brand staples, and since trying more of the range I've ended up loving more and more - Oskia Restoration Oil* is deliciously light and smells like chocolate orange, plus it does treat your skin pretty well too ;) The oil really sinks deep into the skin, improves the tone and elasticity, and is a lovely day friendly light retinol that helps to repair through the day and prep the skin for makeup - did I mention it smells of chocolate orange?

Topping off the oil is Pai Geranium and Thistle Day Cream* which balances the skin and seals in all my morning skincare products, adding the right amount of nourishment you'd want from a day moisturiser, and thanks to all the natural and certified organic ingredients, it's guaranteed to keep your skin calm and soothed all day long which means it's fab for those with sensitive skin.

Speaking of, if sensitive skin is the name, Pai Gentle Genius Body Wash* is the game! The body wash is Pai's most recent release and it is a dream at moisturising and calming irritated skin - I get eczema on my arms sometimes or irritated patches on my upper body, and this very gently washes and soothes all over, plus because it moisturises your body as you wash so you don't have to after ;)

The final product to wash off this post is Noughty Haircare* which is probably one of the best vegan/cruelty-free brands I've found in terms of hair - I love the Care Taker Shampoo and Wave Hello Conditioner, great if you have dandruff or a greasy scalp but need to nourish and define natural curls, plus it's SLS, paraben, and silicone free among other nasties, so it protects your hair in the long run and I have to say my hair is definitely in much better condition since switching - in fact this is another cheeky repurchase because I've loved using it that much!

Whilst you won't be seeing me in a skincare aisle near you, I'm so glad I've finally nailed down those few great samples as 'forever' staples, as is my bank account, just don't tell it about the Glossier order I just made...


Some products in this post may have been sent for review or gifted, and will be marked with a * or c/o. All opinions are mine are not influenced by brands or companies. Please see my full disclaimer for more.

Website | Flickr | Tumblr | Twitter | Bloglovin | Instagram | Pinterest
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