30 September 2013

September Empties.

Not many empties, next month there should definitely be more! I am actually contemplating a spending ban at the moment. I seem to have a never-ending supply of unfinished products! I was also doing a bit of a clear out over the weekend, and have a box full of unopened products, especially from previous Christmas gift sets, so a spending ban really is needed.

Liz Earle Instant Boost Skin Tonic Spritzer - I am a big fan of Liz Earle's skincare products. I love the bottled version of the Instant Boost Skin Tonic that comes as part of the 3 step kit you can buy. It has a lovely, subtle floral scent, and feels nice on my skin.

I actually received a travel size of the spritzer, and loved having it handy in my bag to sprites over my face during the day, especially during the Summer to freshen. A must especially in an air-conditioned office!

It was enviable - I had to order the full size version! Repurchase? Definitely!

VO5 Heat Protection Styling Spray - I am so pleased this is done! I bought this in desperation when my favourite heat protection spray, Lee Stafford's Poker Straight Flat Iron Protection Mist, seemed to disappear from Boots' shelves.

This product did nothing for my hair. I found it harder to straighten my hair, and didn't offer as much protection from the heat as Lee Stafford's product, leaving my hair feeling dry, and looking quite damaged.

Thankfully, Boots have restocked on Lee Stafford's Poker Straight Flat Iron Protection Mist, and my hair is straightening beautifully once again! Repurchase? No!

Interested in a Bloggers Book Club, then read more about it here.

28 September 2013

Bloggers Book Club.

I have noticed the number of book reviews posted by a number of blogs which I follow, is on the rise. Recently, I have been wondering about starting a Bloggers Book Club if there was any interest.

Maybe something like this already exists, and I just haven't found it yet! But the format that I have thought of would be something like this:-

  • Beginning of the month - book club members/participants submit suggestions for the next book to read.
  • Middle of the month - poll held to select the "winning" book. Book choices from either the most popular suggestions, or the first  3 or 4 suggestions received.
  • End of the month - announce the "winning" book for reading during the following month. Hold a Twitter chat for members/participants to chat about the finished book.

If you are interested in joining/taking part in a Bloggers Book Club, answer the poll below so that I can get an interest of how many would take part. I have added a sign-up form below so you can add your email to the mailing list as well.

If there is enough interest, I was thinking of holding a poll during October to select a book to begin reading in November.

Are you interested in joining a Bloggers Book Club?

Subscribe to the Bloggers Book Club mailing list

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26 September 2013

Advice: Make-up for large pores.

This post is continuing on from the post I wrote last week about large pores: what they were, and how to deal with them as part of your skin care routine. You can read the post here.

This post is going to look at how to hide large pores with make up, and what kind of make up is best to use.

What are large pores?

Enlarged pores usually appear on the T-Zone - the forehead, chin and especially around the nose. They can also be a concern during puberty.

Large pores generally tend to be "little openings of the hair follicle onto the surface of the skin that provide a way for the oil glands underneath to lubricate and protect the surface of your skin".
Large pores tend to appear mainly around the nose area because this area has more oil glands that the other appears where pores can appear (forehead, chin etc.)

To achieve a flawless look & finish, and to disguise enlarged pores, just follow these steps:

Step One: Cleanse & Tone your face.

It is important to cleanse & tone the face before applying your make up. Use a gentle cleanser to remove excess oil and impurities from your face. Use a toner appropriate for your skin type, especially if you are prone to oily skin. Apply the toner with a cotton pad, and swipe across the face until your skin looks & feels clean.

Step Two: Use cool water or an ice cube to shrink large pores.

Swipe an ice cube all over your face. The cool water shrinks & refreshes the skin as well as moisturising it at the same time. If you don’t have an ice cube, splash your face with cool water. The Cool water/ice cube applied to the skin will temporarily reduce the size of the pores.

Step Three: Apply your moisturiser.

Apply your moisturiser as usual. Moisturiser is essential when applying makeup, no matter what your skin type is. It acts as a protective barrier to help trap moisture, it plumbs and comforts your skin and makes foundation easier to blend.

Step Four: Apply an oil controlling product.

Using an oil controlling product after applying your moisturiser is essential for those with oily and combination skin. You can find examples of oil controlling products in my first Large Pores post, here.

Oil controlling products gives the skin a long-lasting matte finish, as well as refining and tightening pores. Oil controlling products should be applied only to the problem areas - usually the T-zone (forehead, nose and chin.) They reduce shine, absorb the excess sebum (oil) and reduce the look of pores.

Step Five: Apply pore a minimising product.

A pore minimising product is like a foundation & concealer which instantly refines the look of enlarged pores and provides long-lasting matte and flawless finish. You can find examples of pore minimising products in my first Large Pores post, here.

Apply the product before you apply your foundation, only to problem areas or over the entire face if you don’t want to use a foundation.

Step Six: Apply a makeup primer.

Applying a makeup primer not only helps keep your makeup stay on for longer, but also helps hide enlarged, open pores by providing a good base for makeup application.

Primers create a smooth surface and prepare the skin for the foundation and powder. A primer works especially well for people with oily and combination skin, as it controls excess shine, absorbs oil and fills in enlarged pores, creating an even surface. My favourite primer is Benefit's That Gal Brightening Face Primer.

Step Seven: Apply Foundation.

Although many women use foundation to hide enlarged pores, others avoid using foundation on areas where enlarged pores are because it can magnify and attract more attention to the pores.

Powder foundation is different than a powder, although they both look alike. Powder foundation should be applied on a well moisturised face with a sponge, fingers or a foundation brush.
Reapplying foundation two/ three times a day without removing it, will create layers of powdery ingredients which “clog“ the pores and create an uneven surface. Foundations which are too heavy can settle into your open pores and make them appear larger.

A water-based, oil-free foundation are best for hiding enlarged pores because the subtle finish reduces the appearance of pores. Make sure you apply just a small amount of the foundation if you have enlarged pores, otherwise you can make the pores look even larger and more visible. Apply the foundation with a makeup sponge or with your fingertips for a more precise application.

Step Eight: Apply a loose powder

Applying a loose powder is a good way to correct your makeup during the day and to create a matte finish. Applying a loose powder will not clog pores, as long as your makeup is removed properly at the end of the day.

Loose powder is better for concealing large pores, because it provides good coverage and is usually translucent.

Loose powder will not make shiny areas flaky, as it contains more oil-absorbing ingredients. Apply it by dusting it lightly onto your skin with a large, powder brush. Apply the powder to the centre of the face and stroke your face gently to cover all areas evenly.

Apply the rest of your makeup as normal.

Useful Tips.

  • Make sure your makeup products are oil-free, nonacnegenic, noncomedogenic.

  • Always use an oil-free, water-based foundation that suits your skin type.
  • Using oil-free gels and lotions designed for oily skin will help control excess oil and shine.

  • Always remove your makeup in the evening and use a toner.

  • Do a cleansing mask once or twice a week to keep your skin clean and nourished.

  • Use a makeup primer to keep your makeup looking fresh all day long.

  • Keep all your makeup tools / brushes, sponges, applicators/ clean to avoid inflammation.

  • Avoid using shimmery makeup products as they can accentuate enlarged pores.

I hope you found this post useful. Leave me a comment if you have an area/topic that you would like advice/information on.

21 September 2013

Advice - Large pores, prevention & treatment.

I have recently noticed a little pattern emerging on my Stats page for key words which have been used to find my blog. Recently, people have stumbled across my blog using searches for "large pores nose" and "advice on large pores".

So, I have decided to do some research and write a post on large pores in the hope that whoever is coming across my blog while trying to find info & advice will find what they are looking for. I hope you find the info & advice you need.

What are large pores?

Many women of all ages & skin types worry about enlarged pores, often those with oily and combination skin types.

Enlarged pores usually appear on the T-Zone - the forehead, chin and especially around the nose. They can also be a concern during puberty.

Large pores generally tend to be "little openings of the hair follicle onto the surface of the skin that provide a way for the oil glands underneath to lubricate and protect the surface of your skin".
Large pores tend to appear mainly around the nose area because this area has more oil glands that the other appears where pores can appear (forehead, chin etc.)

What causes enlarged pores?

The following list are reasons why you may develop/have enlarged pores:

  • Sun damage
  • Genetics
  • Hormonal changes, for example, puberty or menopause
  • Acne
  • Blackheads
  • Skin dehydration
  • Trapped dirt, oil or dead skin cells
  • Incorrect cleansing/skin care
  • Excessive oil production
  • Overuse of makeup
  • Unbalanced/improper diet
  • Smoking
Some of the reasons may be surprising, who may not think they can lead to enlarged pores. Sun damage for example. The Sun's harmful rays causes the skin to thicken, and skin cells can collect around pores which will make them look larger.

The Sun more commonly damages the skin's collagen & elastin which results in the skin losing its elasticity and pores become enlarged because there is no collagen to keep them small & tight. Once your skin's collagen & elastin is damaged, your pores will begin to enlarge.

Another reason is Incorrect cleansing/skin care. It has been found that in 78% of case studies of people with enlarged pores is because of incorrect cleansing/skin care. If you do not remove your makeup in the evening, do not cleanse you face twice a day (morning & night), do not use a moisturiser and do not exfoliate your skin regularly, then you are more likely to have enlarged pores.

It is important to exfoliate your face at least twice a week because it removes the dead skin cells, otherwise if you do not exfoliate regularly the dead skin cells and surface oil will collect around your pores and make them look larger.

Pimples & blackheads can also cause enlarged pores if they are not treated correctly, for example, squeezing a pimple or blackhead can stretch the pore.

Excessive oil production is another main cause of enlarged pores. This is because the oil glands produce large amounts of sebum, causing the pore to expand itself in order to release the oil. Excessive oil production usually appears on the T-Zone as these areas contain more oil glands than other areas.

Puberty can also be a cause for enlarged pores because during puberty, the skin starts to produce more oil, and the pores have to enlarge to be able to handle the increased output.

Quick Summary...

Pores appear enlarged when they are clogged, dilated or infected, and that's why it is best to ensure pores remain less visible and small by keeping your skin clean.

Often the pores get clogged with dead skin cells, dirt and oil which makes them more prominent. This is why regular exfoliation is important to remove the dead skin cells to prevent your pores from enlarging, and to allow your skin to produce healthy, new cells.

Treatments for large pores... At Home


As mentioned above, exfoliation is vital for keeping your skin clean and to prevent your pores enlarging. Use a mild exfoliator, like some recommended below, twice a week to remove skin cells to help prevent enlarged pores, but make sure the exfoliator is appropriate for your skin type!

Reduce excess oil

Excess oil (sebum) production can also be a factor to developing enlarged pores. That's why it is important to control sebum production. There are products available out there that are designed with this aim. Some of these products I have found and recommended below.

These products work to reduce & control excess surface oil and prevent clogging of the pores. Look for products that contain Nordihydraguaiaretic Acid because it reduces the sebum production.

Pore minimising creams & lotions

Using a pore minimising cream or lotion can help keep facial pores under control. These products target the production of sebum deep in the pores, clear away debris and reduce the size of the large pores. The following products can be used:

Tightening Face Mask

Using a pore refining mask once or twice a week can help keep your pores clean and under control. These masks deeply cleanse pores and draw out impurities while refining the skin's texture. The following products can be used:

Steam your face

Steaming your face once a week to thoroughly deep clean large pores, to loosen debris and open the pores. The high temperature from the steam helps open the pores and this way the skin can clear itself from the toxins. Apply a deep cleaning face mask after steaming your face. See my post here on steam cleaning your face.

  • Use a mild exfoliator to help keep pores clear and less noticable
  • Treat large pores during the early stages to help prevent any further problems
  • If untreated properly, large pores can also lead to acne, skin infections and regular breakouts
  • Keeping the skin clean & well moisturised is the best way to prevent enlarged pores
  • Daily use of oil controlling products help prevent enlarged pores
  • Do a deep pore cleansing treatment once or twice a month to help keep pores clear and prevent clogging
  • Use products which contain alpha hydroxy acids
  • Regular exfoliation is important to reducing and preventing enlarged pores
  • Use pore minimising products every day
  • Always cleanse your face twice a day - morning and night
  • Always remove your makeup in the evening - Do not skip!!
  • Use lukewarm water to rinse your face - hot water can enlarge the pores
  • Do not squeeze pimples or blackheads
  • Use strips on the T-Zone area - forehead, nose and chin
  • Always wear sun cream with a factor of at least SPF15
  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep skin hydrated
  • Keep makeup tools clean to avoid inflamation
  • Rub your skin with an ice cube as this closes the pores and keeps dirt out

Treatments for large pores...Professional

As well as there being a large number of products that we can buy and use ourselves to prevent enlarged pores, there are also a number of "high end" treatments delivered by beauty therapists/beauticians or dermatologists.

  • Microdermabrasion: a non-chemical treatment delivered by a professional. The treatment is designed to exfoliate & rejuvenate the skin using a tool that sprays microcrystal particles on the skin. It is an ideal procedure for shrinking enlarged pores by roughening up the skin, loosening the dead skin cells that clog pores. It can also stimulate collagen production which is important for healthy looking skin. The treatment removes the top layer of skin & not only reduces the size of pores but also wrinkles, fine lines, dark spots, acne scars and blemishes.
  • Chemical peels: with Trichloreacetic acid (TCA) it is the most appropriate peel for enlarged pores. The acid penetrates more deeply into the skin and removes the damaged layers of the skin, allowing new cells to form.
  • Deep pore cleansing treatments: the facial includes exfoliation, toning, cleansing, moisturising and extractions. It's the best treatment for enlarged pores caused by puberty because it balances oil (sebum) production, removes congestion and encourages healthy new cells to form.

I hope you found this post helpful, and found the advice/information you were looking for. I am also researching ideas for a post on Make Up for Large Pores if anyone is interested. Let me know what you think by leaving a comment below.

Please note: this post is for advice and information only. None of the products mentioned have been sent or recommended to me by the brands or outlets selling them. They were chosen by me during my own research for this post as a means for you to understand the type of products available. It is important to gain advice from a professional for your own situation.

20 September 2013

All brand new & the broken silence.

Recently I have been feeling rather sluggish & having no energy, and while lazing around spied the latest advert for Kellogg's All-Bran, promoting their 5 Day Challenge. Intrigued, I hopped onto the website and discovered it was aimed at people who feel bloated, sluggish and having tummy niggles. 

Research shows many people do not get enough fibre in our diets, and fibre, as most of us know, is needed for a happy, healthy and effective digestive system. By starting the day with a bowl of All-Bran, it contains natural wheat bran fibre - "which is the most effective cereal fibre for digestive health."

The challenge was simple - have a bowl of All-Bran at the start of each day, and by signing up for free on the website, track how you are feeling each of the 5 days.

So off to Sainsbury's I went, who were conveniently doing an offer on 2 boxes of All-Bran for a few pounds. I picked up 2 boxes of clusters, one in Caramel, the other in Chocolate. Gone are the days of the dull, brown sticks, these clusters were actually pretty tasty!

I easily stuck it out for the 5 days, having a bowl each morning before departing for work, and then updating my online Tummy Tracker once I was home. The Tummy Tracker also gives you hints & tips each day.

By the end of the challenge I was definitely feeling less sluggish and more energised! Was very much worth doing the 5 Day Challenge, and I have every intention of continuing with a bowl each day.

You may have noticed on Sunday that I posted my first ever Silent Sunday post. I came across this on Emma's blog, and found it really interesting.

Originally started by Comsic Girlie, the idea is to post one photo on a Sunday, with no other writing apart from the Post title, and it must be a photo taken by you which sums up your week. I thought this was something different to do with my blog, and I nice way to share some of my better photographic efforts, and I hope to post a Silent Sunday each week.

17 September 2013

Favourite Autumn colours.

In my Autumn Tag post, I made brief mention of a couple of my favourite colour for the eyes for Autumn. I mentioned Benefit's Creaseless Cream Eyeshadow in shade "Birthday Suit".

While re-organising my make-up bag on Sunday, I stumbled across another favourite eyeshadow which is again a great colour for Autumn - Lancome's Ombre Absolue in shade "Cuban Brown", and have done some quick swatches. Apologises for the rather abysmal photography in this post.

Lancome's Ombre Absolue in shade "Cuban Brown"

Benefit's Creaseless Cream Eyeshadow in shade "Birthday Suit"

Swaps side by side

12 September 2013

Warming your heart with hot chocolate.

I have previously talked about my love of hot chocolate - the warming, sweet indulgence to put a spring back into my step throughout Autumn & Winter. While I am not shy about a shop bought hot chocolate mixture, I am keen to find some homemade alternatives to try.

A quick flick through Pinterest, were I have already made a rather impressive board of recipes I have stumbled upon, produced some hot chocolate ideas which I am going to have a go at.

White Hot Chocolate
Serves 1 to 2

I love white chocolate, so this recipe is definitely a must try for me!

  • 1 cup of whole or semi-skimmed milk (or half & half for extra indulgence!)
  • 2oz of good quality white chocolate
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • Whipped cream (optional, for garnish)
  • Dark chocolate shavings (optional, for garnish)

Combine the milk and white chocolate in a medium saucepan over a medium heat. Bring up to a simmer, then turn heat down and simmer gently for 2 minutes, whisking frequently.  Turn heat off and stir in the vanilla extract.  Serve hot, garnished with whipped cream and dark chocolate shavings, if desired. 

Nutella Hot Chocolate
Serves 1

Who doesn't love Nutella? Spread on hot toast....oh my!

Mix a cup of hot milk with 2 generous spoonfuls of Nutella. Stir well until Nutella has melted and mixed well with the milk. Top with whipped cream, and/or mini marshmallows, if desired.

Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate
2 large servings

I like salted caramel chocolate, and when I see these pictures thought that I really have to give this a try. Looks delicious!

  • 16oz of full or semi-skimmed milk
  • 4oz dark chocolate
  • 4oz chocolate caramel
  • a pinch or two of sea salt
In a saucepan, heat half (8oz) of the milk and 4oz of chopped dark chocolate and salt until melted. Continue heating and whisk in the remaining milk and 4oz chopped chocolate caramel. Continue whisking until the entire mixture is warmed through and smooth in texture.
Serve with a little whipped cream, a drizzle of caramel and a sprinkle of sea salt.
Do let me know in the comments if you give this a go. A will be sharing my photos when I have a whirl at this.

8 September 2013

The Approaching of Autumn.

With Autumn fast approaching (where has the time gone!) I have found myself thinking a lot, especially of all the changes I am going to, or need to make for the change in season. Skincare, haircare food & exercise clothes, it seems the list really does go on.

For instance, my skin really hates the cold weather. I have mentioned in one of my previous posts that I stopped using Liz Earle's 3 step skincare pack, and I really don't understand why! It really did not do me any good.

I began using some Soap & Glory products that I received last Christmas, and while I like Soap & Glory, I have found some of their products really do not suit my skin. In particular their hand wash. The skin on the back of my hands became red, itchy, sore and flaky. Their 6 in 1 moisturiser also affected my skin, leaving my face with itchy, red bumps.

So I am back to Liz Earle. I have found that the Liz Earle skincare range is particularly effective on my skin during the colder weather, especially the moisturiser. It has taken me a long time to realise that the Skin Repair moisturiser is the one for me. I previously thought this on Clinique's Moisture Surge, but I wouldn't rule it out completely for purchasing again.

I have also had a bit of a over haul of my haircare. I got my hair cut shorter that I would normally go about a year ago, and have maintained it at that length, but recently I have noticed it getting increasingly dryer. The colder weather tends to play some havoc with my hair, so recently switched over to Tresemme. I have never tried this brand before, for some reason it just never really appealed to me, but I have tried most others, and for the past few months have been sticking to John Frieda's Liquid Shine Brunette range. I am currently using the Salon Silk range.

I have never been one for using "after wash" products, the only thing would be a heat protection spray before straightening. But back to Liz Earle, who recently launched their Botanical Shine Nourishing Hair Oil. Being a bit of a sucker for the blurb in emails singing the praises of new products, I bought it following the launch email from Liz Earle. I have tried other hair oils, such as the Macadamia oil, and hated it! So my opinion of hair low wasn't all that great, but I was pleasantly surprised, and look forward to seeing the results during the colder weather.

I never give any thought to pre-Summer diets and exercise regimes, I am the kind of girl that just likes to go with the flow. But it is slowly dawning on me that the boyfriend and I will be in Florida this time next year, and unfortunately a year doesn't seem as long as a year anymore!

I am lucky in the fact that my boyfriend likes to keep fit, and when we bought our house last year he also bought a Cross Trainer - something that I managed to use the grand total of about 1.5 hours in the year we have had it. Today, we have worked out a timetable on who uses it to encourage me onto it, which, for the time being, I have every intention of sticking too!

As for diets...I am no good at sticking to them so I have decided not to fool myself by starting yet another diet. But I am going to be more choosey and selective about what I eat. Autumn and Winter is a great time for me to put my cooking and baking skills to use. I love making casseroles, soups & stews, breads, pies...all the foods you can associate with cold, wintery weather. This blog was started with the idea of sharing recipes with you, and that is what I am going to do, especially over the Winter months you will see lots of warming and comforting recipes.

As some of you may now, I had a different blog a couple of years ago, which I really enjoyed, but after some time, I stopped. I have been gone about 1.5 - 2 years. During the past few months I have been really wanting to get back into it. I enjoyed it, and loved having my own space to write.

This blog is very different from the last. It feels more grown-up, more mature. I originally intended on lifestyle & food blogging, but I have found myself increasingly drawn back to also writing some beauty posts.

Which leads me to a question. I used to subscribe to the Glossy Box, which I loved. It was like getting a present in the post from a distant friend. Not knowing what you will find & discover inside, with the possibility of finding something completely amazing! But I subscribed when they first started, and after a few months the quality of the boxes started to fall. I remember reading lots of negative tweets & posts from numerous people, and decided to cancel my subscription.

But recently, I have seen posts and tweets that are positive about the boxes, and feel that I am missing out on a service that I previously enjoyed. I have been looking on the website, and the example products definitely seem better quality than some of the items I remember getting.

So my question to you is - Is it worth signing up to Glossy Box again? I want your honest feed back. Are you enjoying the products you receive? Is it value at £10.00 per month? Maybe some of you remember the negativity but have seen the improvement.

While I am on the subject of blogging, I read a good post today by Take Courage Blog, entitled Blogging - are we breaking up? and the follow-up Lost in translation, were Cat talks about the commerical side of blogging, how, in some instances, blogging can generate an income. She also touches on something that I can agree to, how some blogs are blogging in order to obtain, or are being paid for it.

I have seen some blogs recently, which in the years I first started blogging were then a smaller size, but were every post is now a sponsored post. While I do not disagree to accepting products for reviewing, I have done it myself in the past, my personal belief is for me to still remain real. To review on products that I have purchased because I want to try them and review them, even if I hated the product.

With some blogs recently though, I feel like I am being marketed too. The product is photographed at various angles, followed by a review full of buzz words, almost reading like a Press release. I want reviews that are genuine, were the blogger has travelled around town looking for something in particular, found it, and then reviewed to say if it lived up to what the expected or wanted.

In light of this, Cat will be hosting this evening's @LBloggersChat, taking place 7-8pm GMT. The discussion will be on the commercialisation of blogs and its affect on blogging. I am looking forward to this, it should make for an interesting and lively discussion. I hope you can make it too.

Apologies for the somewhat negative ending. As I said at the start of this rambling post, the approach of Autumn has got me thinking a lot.

7 September 2013

The Autumn Tag

This tag was created by Georgina from Makeup pixi3, and I came across it through Tal from Tal Types - which I found recently and really enjoy!

I love this time of year. Autumn coming along and turning everything red and orange. When scarves and wooly jumpers are a must. When lounging in front of the TV in comfy clothes and thick socks, with a lovely cup of creamy hot chocolate, watching A Nightmare Before Christmas, is completely acceptable.

For Autumn, what is your...

Favourite thing about it? Wrapping up and taking a walk through woodland or a favourite National Trust property, and seeing the change from Summer to Autumn. The crisp, cool air. The crunchy red & orange leaves under foot. The animals & birds getting prepared and organised for emigrating or hibernating.

Favourite drink? Without a doubt, Hot Chocolate! A particular favourite is one by Tesco - Tesco Finest Fairtrade Drinking Chocolate. Not forgetting the all important topping - some whipped cream and a generous sprinkling of mini marshmallows!

Favourite scent/candle? It's a real treat, but I love arriving home and lighting Jo Malone's White Jasmine & Mint Home Candle. It is scented with jasmine, rose and wild mint, so is quite flowery, but there is just something lovely about having the scent lingering around the house while it is cold, dark and (sometimes) quite wet & wild outside.

Best Lipstick? I must confess I am not much of a lipstick girl (I am more about the eyes!), but I really like Rouge Bunny Rouge's Sheer lipstick in shade "Tongue Tickles". It's quite a pale pink, with a slight, white shimmer through it. When applied, it is just enough to give my lips a slight coating of colour, and is quite understated, which I like for Autumn. 

Another reason why I like this lipstick for Autumn, is for the ingredients, which are beneficial to the effects the colder weather can have on our lips. Containing Manoi butter, Hop Extract and Vitamin E, which helps to protect from ageing and dryness, and nourishesMarine Filling Spheres, which fill in wrinkles & fine lines, and Sepilift, which gives a firming action, and helps to re-sculpt the lips to fullness. 

Go to Moisturiser? I swear by Liz Earle's Skin Repair Moisturiser, in Normal/Combination. I stopped using it for a few months, which made me realise how wonder it is for my skin. Full of lots of skin loving ingredients, it makes my skin feel soft, and just lovely really! And you can use it morning & night!

Go to colours for the eyes? I love natural colours - taupes, browns, and for evenings something with shimmer & maybe some gold through it. For daytime, I like Liz Earle's Signature Eye Colour in shade "Nude 08", and for night-time, Benefit's Creaseless Cream Shadow in shade "Birthday Suit" or "No Pressure".

Favourite music or band/singer to listen to? I took the boyfriend to see The Who in London's O2 Arena a couple of months ago, and I have to say, it really made me appreciate The Who's music a bit more.

But the real discovery was the support act - Vintage Trouble. A four piece soul group, their music is energtic, and is remenisant of 1950s & 60s - I can only describe as the lovechild of Rock n Roll and Rhythm & Blues. The lead singer, Ty, reminds me of James Brown, but he is such a fabulous show man, and can really put on a show!

Favourite outfit to wear? Something simply but extremely comfy! Leggings or jeans, with flats, and an oversized jumper.

Autumn treat? Lighting the fire, a good book or movie, a big mug of hot chocolate and a bag of chocolate raisins - my favourite!

Favourite place to be? See previous answer! I am also lucky enough to live close to the Giant's Causeway on the North Antrim Coast, and it is (maybe strange to some!) a great place to be in the Autumn! Crisp air and the lively sea showing who's boss!

If you love Autumn and this time of year, why not give this tag a go. Anyone is welcome to do it, but do tweet me or leave a comment below with a link, because I would love to see your responses!

5 September 2013

How to Steam Clean your Face.

This is a post I wrote a few years ago when I ran my previous blog. It was one of my most popular posts, and I thought I would re-post it here. This is such a good method to really open up & clean your skin and deal with pores, and can be quite relaxing after a hard day.

Steaming you face is the best & most effective way of deep cleaning your pores, helping to treat & get ride of blackheads, whiteheads and pimples. By steaming your face, it also helps to loosen dead skin cells & other debris on the face, that can be embedded on the skin.

 By steaming your face, you are actually widening the clogged pores, as well as softening the skin to allow you to be able to cleanse the skin easily of any traces of makeup, impurities, dust, oil and dead skin cells. The high temperature of the steam will allow the pores to open, paving the way for your skin & body to clear of toxins and also allowing the products you use to clean with to reach every skin cell. After steaming will allow you to be able to easily remove the black & whiteheads and pimples.

What To Do.

Step One: Begin by boiling a pan of water. After a few moments when the water has boiled, remove the pan from the heat and pour the water into a large bowl. Add fresh herbs to create a fresh scent, for example:

Oily skin - If you are prone to oily skin, try adding thyme, peppermint, or lemon.

Sensitive skin - If you are prone to sensitive skin, try adding chamomile or lime.

Normal skin - Those with normal skin can try adding Rose, rosemary or lavender.

Step Two: Stand directly over the bowl, placing your face above the rising steam and drape a small towel over your head to keep the steam from escaping.

Step Three: Remain there for 5-10 minutes until the steam vanishes and rinse your face with lukewarm water, or use the water in the bowl which will have cooled.

You can steam your face twice a week as it won't harm your skin. Please be careful not to burn yourself. You shouldn't feel any discomfort steaming your face. If you do Stop what you are doing, and seek assistance if necessary.

The best time to apply your face mask is after steaming your face, because the pores are open and the mask will be able to penetrate deeply into the skin. Follow the usual instructions for apply the face mask your are using. After removing the mask, tone & moisturise as normal.

2 September 2013

Back to School.

It's was the usual Monday blues today, especially as we have now moved into September! And on my dull commute to work this morning, I passed quite a few fresh (if somewhat sleepy) faces, dressed in their crisp new uniforms and school bags, shiny new shoes slowly dragging along the pavements.

While my time in full-time education ended a few years ago, I am rather jealous of some of the wonderful stationary that is available which I would have loved for my school days! I might just have to get some for my desk in work!

These are some of my favourites, from one of my favourite websites to spend hours browsing through, Not On The High Street.

I particularly like the customisable 'from the mum of...' notepad! Maybe not so much for the kids, but a definite winner among parents!

1 September 2013

Monthly Favourites - August 2013.

During the past month, I have been really determined to get back into blogging. While my new blog, Beauty In Things, or BiT for short, is still a work in progress, it is all starting to come together rather nicely! But I really couldn't have done it without the brilliant tutorials from Ellie!

I was on the verge of completely giving up on Blogger, and had started a new blog with a different blogging platform, Postagon, which offers a clean & simple interface, but I wanted the customisation options that Blogger offered - Postagon is extremely limited, running a huge risk of all the users' blogs being generic.

If you haven't already checked Ellie's blog out, follow the link above. Not only does she have useful tutorials, she is runs her own blog shop, where you can pick up social media icons, templates and her blog design services!

And a massive sorry to Ellie, who I have been tweeting question after question too!

Recently, I have noticed quite a bit of problems with my skin, dryness, spots, blemishes, and have been trying to re-organise my routine and what products I am using. I am terrible for chopping and changing, buying products with good reviews, nice packaging, but have returned to Liz Earle.

There are many, many wonderful reviews for the numerous products Liz Earle sells, a fair few I have tried myself, but I have returned and released just how wonderful the 3 step Daily Essentials pack is for my skin.

I have been using the products religiously every morning & night for the past few weeks, and have seen an improvement in my skin. Makes me wonder what exactly I was thinking to try anything else!

I do like to see myself as a bit of a Shutterbug. I am by no means a professional photography, and I don't have any fancy equipment, just a perfectly good Sony Cyber-Shot, but I do enjoy photography.
I have been in a new(isn) relationship for over a year and a half now, which as been full of city breaks & weekends away, which has really allowed me to get to grips with my camera in new places and really get shutter happy! 

This maybe isn't one of my finest shots, but I like it. And from time to time, I will indulge in posting some of my photographic efforts!

New blog.

Hello. Welcome to my blog ~ Beauty in Things.
I'm not very good with introductions, but here goes!
I have previously had a blog before, firstly it began life as The Beautiful News, were I mainly wrote about beauty products, and reviewed them.
Over time, The Beautiful News underwent it's own make over and transformed into Colour Outside The Lines. Here, I continued to run a beauty & lifestyle blog.
As much as I enjoyed blogging, I think I kind of lost my way and eventually stopped, but I have always wanted to start up again.
And here I am! A new blog, Beauty in Things (BiT).
Beauty in Things is my humble piece of the great World Wide Web to post & share all the things I come across & discover. Things for the home, places to visit, share some of my photography efforts.
I hope you enjoy reading my blog, and that you will continue to visit.
I am also on Twitter, if you wish to follow my tweets.
Jemma ~ BiT Muse ~ About & Follow.