Wednesday, 6 April 2016

My Essential Skin Care Products: Clinique & Lush

After years of trying many different high end and low end products as well as natural products such as coconut oil I have finally found a few key products that work with my skin and help it to feel its best. I now use them on a daily basis and they have formed the base of my skin care regime. For the past few years I have been battling hormonal acne and it is finally beginning to clear up. Don't get me wrong it has its good days and bad days, but these products have helped keep the rest of my skin in good condition and help clear up my breakouts and red marks left behind after a breakout. I wanted to share the products that are helping me and hopefully help some of you reading this who also experience the same problems as myself.

After trying what seemed like every facial wash and moisturiser available in Boots, from Simple to Freederm I never found a brand of skincare that I could rely on or would not make my skin worse. Having sensitive skin  as well as being prone to breakouts and dry skin I found it very difficult to find products that would fight the breakout but not irritate my skin. I'm sure many of you have had this problem too. After conducting extensive research online about skincare products it became apparent to me that trying to find one to choose from was a minefield. Did I really want to spend £60 on products that I was unsure would even work? 

Being new to the high end skin care market I did not want to buy something expensive if it was not going to help my skin. So I decided to trial the Clinque Anti-Blemish 3 step system and bought the mini versions of the different steps which include a cleanser, toner and moisturiser for £25. This mini kit lasted me just over and month and I was using all 3 steps everyday. After being impressed with the results I decided to invest in the full sized versions of the products and have not looked back since. However since buying all 3 products in the '3 step system' I have since replaced the Clinque Toner with the Lush Tea Tree toner as I felt that the Clinque toner made my skin slightly dry.

Cleansing Foam - Step 1: The cleanser takes the form of a foam and it's very gentle on the skin and leaves my skin feeling refreshed and calm. In the past I found that using gels I had to really work it into my skin and left my skin feeling irritated and dry but the foam allows you to gently massage the cleaner into your skin. The full sized bottle usually last me around 3 months as I use it everyday. The bottle costs £18 and you can find more information about it here.

Tea Tree toner water - Step 2: After using 2 large bottles of the Clinique Anti-Blemish toner I decided to change to the Lush Tea Tree toner water. After using the Clinque toner I felt that it would dry up my skin (this may just be as I have naturally dry skin) and I wanted to try a more natural product that would also fight the breakouts and after using the Lush toner for 4 months now I can say it works wonders on my skin, as well as being significantly cheaper than the Clinique toner. At only £4.50 for a 100g bottle it definitley delivers value for money as well being cruelty free.  The Tea Tree oil has been scientifically proven to be antibacterial and antifungal, which means it helps fight those pesky breakouts! I like to apply the product by putting about 3 sprays onto a cotton pad and wiping it across my face. After my pours feel tighter and my face feels refreshed. 

All over clearing treatment - Step 3: This is last step (if I do not apply extra moisturiser) and is the step that makes my skin feel at its softest. Having tried endless anti-blemish moisturisers or natural oils such as coconut oil this has become the only product that works well for my skin and I consider it my holy grail skin care product. At £20 for a bottle its not cheap and as a typical student on a budget I decided once to just go back to my Simple moisturiser and I soon paid the price, my skin broke out again. This product has helped change my skin dramatically and without it I notice that my skin begins to breakout in areas it wouldn't usually. I just apply a thin layer all over my face as the last step and after my skin is less red and feels so soft. 

Moisture Surge moisturiser - Step 4: The final step in my daily regime is using an additional moisturiser if my skin is feeling dry. You can use the all over clearing treatment on its own as it is a moisturiser but for my skin it does not provide enough moisture. This is the best moisturiser I have found so far and it leaves my skin feeling soft but not oily. In the past I found that the moisturisers left my skin feeling oily and as a result my foundation would start to come off during the day. I use this in the morning and evening when needed and I've found it works very well under my makeup. 

Oatifix Facemask - Step 5: Recently I have been using this facemask about 1-2 times a week as an additional step in my skincare regime. Having previously used the Mask of Magnaminty which is quite exfoliating, I wanted to try something that was more moisturising and soothing on my skin. This mask is made with fresh bananas, illipe butter, oatmeal and ground almonds and mildly exfoliates the dead skin yet moisturises at the same time. I leave this mask on for around 10 minuets then gently wash off with warm water. After removing the mask my skin feels very soft and the redness around my blemishes has been reduced.

I'd love to hear what products you're loving at the moment and your skincare stories! 

Charlotte x

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Friday, 1 April 2016

Spring has arrived

Hello everyone, it's been a while since I last wrote a blog post (over a year in fact). I didn't plan on taking such a long break, I guess university work just got in the way and I lost the motivation to write about the places I've been and what I've found on my travels. Being a photography student i'm always taking photos for assignments or being bombarded with images by other photographers and it made me loose sight of taking my own personal images of the places i've been. This was how I began to fall in love with photography, before I knew about theories, conceptual meanings and the wider photography world. So here I am again, posting about the places i've been and sharing my experiences with you all.

A few days ago during the bank holiday weekend I visited the beautiful and historic town of Stratford-upon-Avon with my family before coming home for the Easter Holidays. It's hard not to think of all things Shakespeare when you think of Stratford but moving away from the tourist spots you begin to see some of less known and hidden gems of the town.

We happened to visit on the warmest and brightest day I've seen in a while (since then the British weather has got very stormy and dull). It truly felt like spring had arrived and everyone had come out to see it. The parks were full of children playing and one of the highlights of my day was seeing all the cute dogs walk past and soaking up the sun. Having visited a few times before I had a rough idea of what sights I wanted to see but there was many places I hadn't visited before and while its nice to have a plan sometimes to fit everything in, on this occasion we just walked around with no specific places in mind. This is my favourite type of exploring, you begin to stumble upon shops and parks you never knew existed and fall in love with them. 

If you've been following my blog for a while now you'll know that i'm a sucker for books and  old and secondhand bookshops and this place has become one of my favourites. If you're visiting Stratford-upon-Avon be sure to pay a visit to the Chaucer Head Bookshop!

We walked around the grounds surrounding the Holy Trinity Church, where Shakespeare is buried and where visitors can go visit his grave. Due to an Easter service taking place in the church we were unable to see it but it's definitely on my list of places to visit next time. After walking around we then headed onto the Old Town road and back into the town centre, there was no shortage of beautiful tudor buildings. 

If you haven't been to Stratford-upon-Avon before i'd definitely recommend a day trip to there and now is a perfect time to visit as the days are getting longer and the flowers are blooming. There's plenty to do and if you're a big fan of Shakespeare like me you will love it. Next on my list of things to do there is see a play at the Royal Shakespeare Company.

I hope you're all having a good Easter holiday, i'd love to hear about what you've been up to so leave a comment below.

Charlotte x

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