Perricone MD Face Finishing Moisturizer Tint SPF 30 Review

I have to admit, when I first tried Perricone MD’s Face Finishing Moisturizer Tint on the back of my hand, I wasn’t really sure it was for me. It seemed like a good moisturiser, but I’m a pale person, I don’t like tanning, and I’m way too lazy to get fake tan done. So why would I need something with a tint? Well, luckily for me I decided to try it out anyway, and I was VERY pleasantly surprised! This isn’t just a tinted moisturiser with a good amount of SPF. This is an advanced, sophisticated moisturiser that does WAY more than I ever expected it to.

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The first thing you notice about Face Finishing Moisturizer is the scent. It’s a gorgeously creamy rose fragrance, which is a lovely thing to smother on your face in the morning! The next thing is the texture. This is like a firm mousse, it turns to cream immediately after you start to massage it in, but the ‘moussiness’ makes it much easier to scoop the correct amount of it out of the pot (with a mini spatula or product spoon please!!). If you look at the above photo you’ll see little brown flecks too – these are the pigment capsules, which you can see below, disperse immediately after you massage it in, adapting immediately to your skin tone. I really didn’t need to worry about the tint; it actually imparts a lovely healthy glow rather than the ‘tan’ I was worried about.

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With a super-hydrating base yet oil-free base, the Face Finishing Moisturizer Tint smoothes the skin and keeps it soft all day without making it greasy. For a lot of people with combination skin, who have to deal with both dry and oily patches, it can be a huge challenge to find a moisturiser that works. I find that this does the job perfectly, and what’s more, makeup sits on top of this wonderfully. The glow from the product’s tint, as well as the hydrated, smooth skin you have after you apply, is also the perfect base for any type of makeup, light, medium or full coverage. I also think it’s a very impressive formula for such a high amount of SPF – it’s unusual to have something that sinks in so well and feels so light with an SPF of more than 15, let alone 30!

The product contains an anti-oxidant called Alpha-lipoic acid imparts the product with anti-wrinkle powers, whilst also having an anti-inflammatory effect, and inhibiting several other side effects of ageing that can lead to sagging skin or wrinkles. It also contains stabilised vitamin C, which very importantly helps prevent free-radical damage from pollution and daily skin stressors, as well as having a long-term brightening effect on the skin.

I was really expecting my sensitive skin to freak out when I applied this – I’ve had a terrible time with moisturisers and SPFs – so many have made my skin react badly. However I have had literally zero issues with Perricone MD’s Face Finishing Moisturizer Tint, if anything my skin is particularly calm, soft and blemish free after using it! I really recommend giving it a try, not just for summer, but as we go into autumn, you’ll love the healthy glow and soft, smooth skin it gives you.

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My Favourite Fragrances

I love a fragrance that is floral and fresh. It has to be natural and subtle, not cloying or overly sweet, the kind of way flowers really smell when you’re outside in the sunshine with them. I own three extraordinary niche/luxury fragrances by Diptyque, Serge Lutens and Byredo. I wanted to talk about them because they really are something special, and if your preferences fit the description I just gave, I think you’ll love them too. The right fragrance can lift your mood and make you feel amazing even when you’re squeezing onto the Jubilee Line at 7am on a Monday. Fragrances are extremely personal and the right one can transform you, but it’s so hard to find ‘your scent’ with all the choice out there. I’ve also given some advice about how to make the right choice at the bottom of this post.

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Inflorescence by Byredo is the least subtle member of my collection, because it’s inspired by the intensity of spring flowers; the first blooms of the year, filling gardens with their fragrance. I love its bold, complex notes of freesia, lily, rose and jasmine. I think that Inflorescence is the best fragrance Byredo have created, I find their others smell a bit run-of-the-mill, could be by anyone. Inflorescence smells like nothing else. It’s phenomenally complex, intoxicating, heady, but fresh and uplifting at the same time.

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Serge Lutens Fleurs d’oranger is still my favourite of all time, so fresh and sweet, with orange blossom (obviously), jasmine and tuberose to round out the floral side, and citrus to give it a lift. This fragrance is regarded as a masterpiece by some and isn’t hard to see why – not only is it without question the best orange blossom scent that’s ever been created, few fragrances are this upliftingly fresh whilst also retaining a gorgeously sweet, lush, summer feeling. Although I adore the other two and thoroughly enjoy wearing them, this one is ‘my scent’, and I get the compliments to prove it, too!

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Finally, Philosykos by Diptyque is inspired by the scent of the leaves and fruit of the fig tree under the hot Greek sun. It is peppery and fruity, really unusual, but intoxicating. There’s freshness from fig leaves, sweetness from the fruit, and even woody notes from fig tree sap; extraordinarily well balanced, and ‘figgy’ to the core. This was the first premium fragrance I ever bought and I still absolutely adore it; but I’ve actually given it to my boyfriend to wear so I can still smell it whilst wearing my others. It suits him down to the ground and lasts all day on his skin. Diptyque fragrances are also all unisex, although I don’t buy into such nonsense …it’s a smell, as long as it suits you and you love it, just wear it!

Buying niche and luxury fragrances

I know that these aren’t cheap (trust me, I KNOW), but I really do think fragrances are something worth investing in (I have genuinely spent a total of £330 on these three over the years). There is some absolute shite out there in the fragrance world, with so many lazily designed, recycled ideas, so much overpricing, so many cheap formulations and imitations. These three fragrances are the best of the best in terms of quality, uniqueness and artistry, but I didn’t just trip and fall on them, I had to look.

The first step is obviously to find out what you like. I began this by spending an long time in Liberty’s fragrance section a few years back smelling everything, thinking about what I liked and I didn’t. Both of my grandmothers and my mum had awesome fragrance collections, so I was already firm on some likes and dislikes, and I had been given a few mass market perfumes as gifts in my teens (Clinique/Chanel etc), but it was good (and fun!) to have a look for myself, without necessarily looking to buy. Whenever I smell something I love, I douse myself in it and leave the store. If I’m in the right place financially to potentially invest, I go back three or four more different times and spray it again. As a result of freebie hunters, you might find a lot of resistance when you ask for a sample (I bloody do, is it just me?) although with the rise in online shopping I think it’s getting easier. If you can get a sample, do that instead, but if not, and you truly love a scent, keep going back until you either don’t like it anymore, or you cannot stop thinking about it. Then it’s time to think about buying. You don’t have to buy from somewhere like Liberty, and it is possible to get luxury fragrances on sitewide sales like on Feelunique. But you’ll struggle to do that with niche fragrances, which is why it’s so important to make sure you are head over heels in love with it before you buy.

22 Products I’ve Repurchased More Than Once

I think that one of the most glowing accolades a product can have is that someone would use an entire bottle/pot/tube of it and then go out to buy another one right away. Even more so, when someone has done that more than once… in a world of millions of beauty and cosmetic products to choose from, repurchasing is definitely the best measure of quality! So with that being said, here are some products that I have purchased, in full size, multiple times. I know, it’s A LOT. I won’t be offended if you just scroll through and skim read until you get to a product or product type you’re interested in 😉 The list includes cleansers, skincare, makeup, haircare and bodycare products. Enjoy! And share some of your ‘most bought products’ in the comments 😉

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Cleansers

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REN Evercalm Cleansing Gel, £15. This is my everyday cleanser for morning and evening. It’s very gentle and soothing, and the perfect cleanser for anyone with delicate or sensitive skin who wants a rinse-off product that won’t completely dry out or strip their skin of natural oils. I’ve used about two bottles of this, and it’s a great, basic cleanser.

Jurlique Balancing Foaming Cleanser, £22.50. I’ve been using this stuff for EVER and I love it. It’s perfect for combination skin types that can get a little on the oily side – I love to use this three or four times a week to deeply cleanse, or in the evening when it’s been a hot or long day, as it really feels like it removes everything without leaving your skin tight or uncomfortable. I must have gone through about four bottles by now, no matter what else I’m using I always have to have a bottle of this on the go too!

Mario Badescu Botanical Exfoliating Scrub, £23. I’ve been using this for about three years and am on my third tube – this stuff lasts forever! It smells gorgeous and the thick gel texture, rich in aloe vera, protects and soothes the skin. There’s also ginger in there to refresh, coconut to moisturise and camellia to soothe. The scrub particles are gentle and rounded palm seed fragments – so they are biodegradable too. I find that this scrub is very gentle, but really effective. With most scrubs that perhaps might slough off a lot more, they can actually be really irritating for the skin, so it’s best to use a gentle one more frequently than a harsh one less often. I highly recommend this one as a great option!

Caudalie Makeup Removing Cleansing Oil, £18. This is such an amazingly fuss-free product – all you do is massage three pumps of the oil over your face (including eyes), emulsify it into a milk with a little water on your hands, and then when all your makeup is melted, rinse off with more water. It takes seconds! The only makeup remover that has ever come close to being as good is Trilogy’s Makeup Be Gone Cleansing Balm, but you have to use a flannel with that one so it’s not as practical (that being said though, you don’t need to double cleanse with the Trilogy product and you do with this, so I guess they’re about equal really). I must have gone through four bottles so far, and I have a travel size…

Skincare

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Avene Tolerance Extreme Emulsion, £13.50. I’ve been using this pretty much exclusively as my moisturiser since it launched two years ago, and I love it as much then as I do today! This moisturiser has only 7 ingredients and is completely free of preservatives and fragrance. Now, I love fragranced products but my skin can be picky, and ever since I introduced this into my routine I noticed that my skin has been much calmer, less sensitive and better hydrated than ever before. Which is a delightful finding. I would recommend this, not only to people with sensitive skin, but anyone who wants a light moisturiser that will protect and lock in hydration. I wrote a more in-depth review of what makes this moisturiser so special here.

Caudalie VineActiv Serum, £36. Oh GOD I love this serum. I’ve been using it since January and am on my second bottle. The idea of this serum is that it contains a really powerful complex of antioxidants that will help your skin to combat the free radicals that we encounter every day, which can cause dullness and premature ageing. And it really, ACTUALLY works. My skin had an inner glow after I started using this, and I was super stressed and working in London so that’s pretty impressive! I can’t attest to it’s anti-ageing powers because I deliberately started using it before my skin started to age, but I have no plans to stop using it so if my skin starts getting saggy and wrinkly, I’ll let you know. But judging by the way it made my skin so glowy, I doubt that will happen!

Hurraw Coconut Lipbalm, £4.99. This natural coconut scented lipbalm is the best I’ve ever tried. It melts onto the lips so doesn’t have that horrid thick feeling of many wax or mineral oil based lip products. With coconut, almond, cocoa, jojoba, olive and castor oils, it is super nourishing and leaves even very chapped lips feeling soothed and comfortable.

Lush Rosy Cheeks Face Mask, £7.25. This has been my favourite face mask for years! It does everything – deep cleanses with clay, soothes and nourishes with rose and reduces redness (from spots or sensitivity) with calamine. The scent is absolutely beautiful – pure rose to calm the senses, and the price is very reasonable.

Makeup

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NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation and Radiant Creamy Concealer, £34 and £23. These have been my absolute holy grail for a flawless, full coverage makeup look for about three years, I am obsessed with them both and have repurchased each three times. However…as I was writing this post the announcement came that NARS have started to sell in China. Now, my opinions on brands that sell in China aren’t black and white for several reasons, but a brand intentionally taking its business to China when they KNOW (because brands didn’t always know) what is going on, makes it clear that they are only out for money, and I don’t agree with that, so I won’t be buying these again when they run out.

Benefit Bathina ‘Take a Picture, it Lasts Longer’ Body Balm, £23.50. Ok I know, this is a really weird thing to have bought more than one of, but when you’re pale and have no intention of being anything else, it’s a great way to give your skin a summery sheen without using bronzer. I use it on my legs and arms when I’m going out in the summer, and it leaves my skin just looking a little more…alive. Ha. Plus is smells SUPER gorgeous. Here is a full review!

DHC Oil Blotting Papers, £4.50. I use these constantly; for preparing my eyes before I apply eye makeup, for just blotting on super hot and oily skin days, and for prepping my skin to receive more product if I’m going out in the evening and want to layer over my workday makeup. They come in a lovely little cardboard holder, and don’t disturb any makeup, including eyeshadow!

Serge Lutens Fleurs D’Oranger Eau de Parfum, £75. This is the most expensive cosmetic item I own and it’s SO worth it that I’ve bought it twice. This perfume is my perfect scent, I don’t have much more to say about it other than if you like your fragrances light, floral but not ‘pink’ (if that makes sense) then pop down to your nearest House of Fraser (or Liberty) and have a smell, because this is the most beautiful fragrance I have ever worn. Also, I get compliments constantly, so…

Bodycare

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Lush Elbow Grease, £5.95. This was SUCH a revelation when I first bought it. Originally it was one of the exclusives on offer in Lush’s Oxford Street store but it became so popular that they made it available anywhere. Not only is its greaseproof paper packaging one the most sustainable ways of storing a body oil/lotion, it is honestly one of the most beautiful products I own, and I think I’ve gone through three or four now. The scent is a rich, tropical, floral concoction and the product melts into a nourishing oil as soon as you massage it in. You can use it on your hair too! Read more here.

Korres Bergamot Pear Shower Gel, £8. I’ve bought this so many times that I have memorised at least 5 different stores near me that stock it. This is been my favourite shower gel for about three years now and nothing so far has beaten it! It leaves my skin soft and refreshed but it’s the SMELL, guys. Oh my GOD. It’s sweet and fruity from the pear but has a fresh citrus notes from the bergamot. It’s just the freaking BEST.

Avene XeraCalm Cream, £16.50. My partner and I are both prone to the occasional bout of eczema or contact dermatitis. This cream from Avene actually works on the itch receptors in your nerves to stop you from itching, whilst also protecting the skin and adding oil back into it – basically everthing you need to heal a plaque of eczema. I also use it as a hand cream in the winter time to prevent eczema from forming. It really works, and I would recommend it to anyone with super sensitive dry skin too.

Lush Silky Underwear Dusting Powder, £5.95. While I will be the first to admit that I own a lot of ‘princess products’, I do like to think that at least some of them are valid as products with practical applications, as well as being a little bit indulgent and pretty. This is definitely one of them. A jasmine scented ‘dusting powder’ certainly fits the description of a product you really don’t need but makes you feel all nice when you use it. And it really does! But over the years (yes years, I bought my first back in like..2013?) I’ve found it to be indispensable for preventing thigh chafe, for applying to the underarms at night to prevent them smelling in the morning, for freshening up your sheets when you’ve just had a bath but it’s not time to change them, for applying to your feet on hot days… it might be a silly sounding product, but it fits perfectly into my life and I will never be without it.

Pit Rok Salt Spray Deodorant, £4.05. I’ve been using this for about four years now and oh my GOD if you’re still using anti-perspirant just stop already. Ok, it’s not the same for everyone, I know that, and actually my boyfriend still uses anti-perspirant because his job is very active, but if you work in an office, you should really try using a salt deo instead, it’s just so much better for you, and Pit Rok’s works soooo well! I hardly ever have noticeable body odour, and even then it’s not like that smell where you walk past someone and recoil, it’s only if I actually smell my underarms. But even for that, there is a solution…

Weleda Sage Deodorant Spray, £9.50. I keep this at work (hence why it’s not in the photos) for those days when the tube journey in was hotter than hell, or when I’ve been to six meetings in a row and arrive back a sweaty, flustered mess. Just to make sure I don’t accost my colleague’s nostrils with any possible smell! It’s absolutely perfect for this, as it completely eliminates odour. I work in an office where you can reapply your deo while sitting at your desk, but if you’re in a more formal environment, Weleda actually make a mini size that you can bring to the loo with you. If you’re still not convinced, I have also written a post about how to go anti-perspirant free 🙂

Haircare

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I think of myself as someone who never experiments with haircare, but actually I was looking back through my blog the other day and saw the products I was using when I first started blogging, and not only do I not use any of them anymore, I can’t even remember why I thought they were good! The products I’m sharing here though? A M A Z I N G.

Lush RnB Hair Moisturiser, £11.95 per 100g. I have literally repurchased this 8 times, 6 of those times in it’s largest, 400g tub size. I am utterly addicted to it, it sinks into my hair faster than any other hair cream I’ve used before, it creates beautiful, soft, smooth and defined curls, and it smells divine. Read the full review and then go buy some if you have curly/dry/textured/thick or long hair!!!!

Shea Moisture Raw Shea & Cupuacu Conditioner, £10.99. I always used to think I HAD to use expensive hair masks instead of conditioner, because my hair is so thick, curly and porous. I mean, when I was still using measly European hair products I did, but since discovering Shea Moisture a few years ago (before they hit Boots I’ll have you know), I realised that was no longer the case. This conditioner detangles, smoothes and nourishes my hair better than anything from any other brand I’ve ever tried, and I’ve tried at least 50 different conditioners in my life, aimed at pretty much every hair type there is, and this is my favourite.

Hei Poa Monoi Oil with 1000 Fleurs, approx £11. I first discovered this while browsing a Monoprix in Paris, and I’m SO annoyed that it hooked me the way it did – because you can’t get it over here! However, you can buy it from Cocoon Centre, which is an international website that uses distributors to ship worldwide. This oil is normal Tahitian Monoi oil, which is known for it’s beautiful fragrance and ultra-nourishing properties, but it’s infused with a concoction of other flowers too, giving it the ‘1000 fleurs’ name. This scent is almost indescribably beautiful; think of the most tropical thing you’ve ever smelled, then times it by 10 and imagine smelling it in 30 degree heat, surrounded by palm trees, watching the sun set over a calm sea. I apply it to my hair after conditioner and then wrap it up in cling film for an hour, for the softest hair ever. It solidifies at room temperature, which means that it doesn’t wash out as easily as a normal hair oil, which makes it perfect for this. I’m about to start my third bottle.

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I hope you enjoyed this! As a bonus I thought I’d share some more products that I definitely plan to repurchase but don’t need to just now, because I haven’t run out yet, or am getting rid of a few things in my stash first: Perricone MD No Lipgloss Lipgloss, Trilogy Makeup Be Gone Cleansing Balm, Pixi Makeup Fixing Mist, Jurlique Rosewater Mist, Aesop Geranium Leaf Body Oil, Aveda Dry Remedy Shampoo, Caudalie SOS Thirst Quenching Serum.

Reviewing 8 Different Facial Mists!

Hello summer heatwave, that time where any skin friendly liquid found in a spray bottle becomes fair game for me and my face, tbh. Today I was SO insanely hot that I started to worry I was getting heatstroke – needless to say I generously availed myself of my collection of facial mists… I thought I would share my thoughts on all of them, since there are SO many mists on the market right now, perhaps this will help you decide which one to go for, when the next wave of inescapably warm weather hits (or, you know, you go on holiday).

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1. Avene Thermal Spring Water – the most basic but deceptively effective spray ever – this is pure water from a spring in France that has a uniquely soothing affect on the skin. When spring water is underground it sits in a cave and in the Avene water’s cave are microbes that excrete a completely unique amino acid compound. It’s this that has the calming and soothing affect on the skin, because the acids actually have an affect on the itch-receptors in the skin. If you have bug bites, heat rash or sunburn, or you want a spray to use on a baby, opt for this.

2. Caudalie Grape Water – this 100% organic grape extract has an intense moisturising action on the skin, increasing its hydration levels by 127%! This is thanks to an invisible layer of natural polysaccharides that keep moisture in the skin. I spray this all over myself, all the time. It’s also been shown to reduce redness from sensitivity in the skin by 61%. I would recommend this one for sunburn too, as it helps to hydrate as well as soothe.

3. Jurlique Rosewater Balancing Mist– if you like roses you will love this mist. Made from rosewater and aloe, it’s scent is calming and soothing while also feeling like a luxurious treat. I like to use this one when I feel really sad because it’s feminine, pretty scent is so uplifting. It’s wonderful on the feet too!

4. Caudalie Beauty Elixir – This is one of the most unique products I’ve ever used. The idea behind Beauty Elixir  is that it gives the skin a boost of radiance, resets and refreshes makeup and tightens pores whilst also having an aromatherapeutic affect on the mind. And it really works! A spritz of this when you’re feeling low, sweaty or stressed and you just feel ready to take on anything. It’s also bloody amazing for travelling, especially when you’re fellow travellers (or you) are smelling…less than fresh.

5. Omorovicza Queen of Hungary Mist – Interestingly then inspiration behind this mist is the same as the Beauty Elixir, but they are totally different and I don’t find this one anywhere near as good, despite it being almost twice as expensive. One benefit is that it contains Hungarian thermal water which is REALLY good for the skin, but the spritz is way too fine and I don’t really think it does much to refresh, soothe or hydrate. I tried using this as a toner for a long time to see if the thermal water would have an effect, but didn’t see any improvement at all.

6. Pixi Makeup Fixing Mist – I love this stuff so much. As a makeup setting spray it works wonders, and the rose with green tea scent is perfect for waking the skin up in the morning. I also find it’s amazing as a primer on bare skin before my foundation, and for dampening brushes and sponges before blending. It definitely helps my makeup to last longer, and I love how it’s more skincare than makeup.

7. Mario Badescu Facial Mist with Aloe, Herbs and Rosewater – I used to love this stuff. A gorgeously light and refreshing scent, similar to the Pixi Fixing Mist and I found it was very cooling in summer. However, this contains phenoxyethanol, a preservative with a questionable safety record. You’ll find it in almost every skincare product because it replaced parabens as the cheap, effective preservative of choice. However there is research that indicates it’s just as bad as parabens, so I try to avoid it in any product that I actually leave on my skin, and definitely mists as you’re likely to inhale it too. So while this is a lovely product that I used to adore, I would give it a miss now for that reason.

8. Pixi Glow Mist – I use this instead of  the fixing mist when my skin is dry or irritated – the formula has a gorgeous mixture of oils including lavender, argan, avocado and evening primrose in it so it really helps to calm the skin and get a smooth finish when my skin is rough or flaky. It also gives a lovely dewy finish when used as a setting spray, which is really nice for going out – though I definitely prefer the fixing mist for everyday when I don’t want anything too shiny.

Stay cool xxx

My Everyday Summer Makeup

As soon as the weather starts getting warmer, all I can think about is escaping from under the layers of makeup I live in during the winter. I enjoy makeup a lot, and I’m so pale that in the winter my skin looks ridiculous – red nose, pink cheeks, dry patches, white as death. So in the summer, when my skin is a little more…consistent looking…I like to scale the coverage back a lot. Plus, there’s also the fact that for the past two summers I’ve worked in an office with no air con, which I love because it means I actually experience summer instead of spending my days in a temperature controlled vacuum….but it also entails a fair bit of sweat, and sweating in heavy layers of foundation and powder is UNPLEASANT. So anyway, let’s get to the products!

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Base: Bobbi Brown BB Cream SPF30. I had been meaning to try this for years after it was recommended to me by several people, but I just didn’t believe it would give my skin enough of a boost. I picked it up on a whim in an airport, and haven’t looked back. The formula is free of everything I’m sensitive to (I’m allergic to a lot of chemical sun filters), and the shade is a perfect match. It sinks straight in, and keeps my skin ‘perfected’, hydrated, and protected all day. I’m so glad I’ve finally found a BB cream that works for me, and is the right SPF for everyday usage! Fun fact: unless you are a child under 3, have a specific skin disorder, work outdoors or are on holiday somewhere hot or at a high altitude, you shouldn’t be using SPF50 – not only is it pretty unnecessary, the chemicals are also a lot stronger and aren’t good for your skin over long periods of time. 

Concealer: NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer. This has been my go-to concealer for about three years and I love it. There will always be days where your skin needs extra coverage somewhere, whether it’s dark circles or a pesky blemish, and this concealer gets rid of them seamlessly.

Anti-shine: DHC Blotting Papers. In the winter I would happily dust powder over my foundation to set it and prevent oiliness from sneaking through. But in the summer that just seems too much! So instead I use blotting papers whenever I need to. These from DHC are wonderful – they’re pretty cheap, and don’t smudge your makeup at all. I use them after I’ve applied my makeup to make sure there’s nothing residual, and then whenever I notice some shine during the day.

Blush: Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush. I mean, I don’t think I’ll ever find a blusher I like more than this, and since I’ve owned this one for about two and a half years now (and it’s been my regular everyday blusher for that entire time) I can’t see myself every using a different one for any reason! I piled it on a bit in the photo below, but it wasn’t showing up in the photo so I went overboard.

Setting spray: Pixi Makeup Fixing Mist. Is there a better, nicer to use or more refreshing setting spray out there? I think not. This mist has the most beautiful fragrance of green tea and rose, and it really helps to set your makeup for the day ahead. One thing I love about it is that the spray is quite heavy – your face is completely drenched after you use it, but within seconds it’s dry and your skin feels refreshed and ready for the day. I always use this and then apply my mascara while it dries, and my face is completely dry by the time I’m done. It’s the perfect way to wake your skin up after a sticky summer night.

Mascara: Fairydrops Waterproof Scandal Queen. I LOVE this mascara, and what I love more than anything is that even though it doesn’t budge when you drench your skin in a face mist, or you’re sweating on the tube, it still comes off super easily (although that might be because I use the greatest makeup remover of all time, I dunno). It doesn’t flake, and its really buildable. You can get a very light layer indeed (way lighter than the photo) or you can get a proper night time look. It’s not a mega volume or curl mascara, it just enhances your natural eyelashes perfectly.

Lip product: Perricone MD No Lipgloss Lipgloss. I’m not sure how many more times I can bang on about how much I adore this product, but here I go again. This is honestly the best lip product I have ever used, in the most flattering shade of all time. I cannot think of a single person who wouldn’t look amazing wearing it. It’s beautiful. It moisturises the lips SO well, and leaves them looking super plump even though it doesn’t actually plump them. It lasts for a long time even though it’s a gloss, but the application is seamless too so you can easily reapply in seconds. Crucially, for a summer beauty product, it isn’t sticky at all, instead it just feels super smooth on the lips!

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So those are the products I’ve been using when the weather is hot. However, it’s equally as important to make sure your skincare fits the season, and if possible, helps you to achieve skin that you’re comfortable showing off under lighter coverage makeup. I’ve already written another post about skincare must haves for the summer, check it out here!

12 Things You Probably Don’t Know About Emetophobia

The chances are, unless you have it or someone close to you does, you won’t know that emetophobia is the extreme and irrational fear of vomit. Let’s be clear, it’s not just an ‘aversion’ to throwing up, its far worse than that. A phobia has the ability to take over your life, to tinge nearly every thought you have with fear and anxiety. Sufferers often feel a lot of embarrassment about their illness and go to great lengths to conceal it. Over the years I’ve learned that actually, the more people who know about my problem, the safer, happier and calmer I am. The more I openly acknowledge and express that side of me, the more I am able to reconcile it with the funny, smart, outgoing and warm person that I am, instead of feeling like I’m just a ‘neurotic nutjob’ with a humiliating secret. I am a person with a mental illness, and there’s no shame in that.

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Anyway, I thought I would share a list of thoughts, experiences and behaviours that are typical for emetophobic people. Every emetophobic person is different, so please don’t assume that this is all true for all of us. I have experience with some, but not all of these examples, and have chosen not to specify which ones I have direct experience with, and which ones I have learned about through other sufferers. If you’re looking to understand this illness better, for a friend, partner or family member, I hope this list will help you. However, please be aware that I am a sufferer, not a professional, and this is a personal account. For information from a qualified professional, click here.

Content note to my emetophobic pals: For the sake of clear communication, I have used nearly every trigger word there is in this post, and obviously I am discussing our phobia in depth, which could also be triggering. There are images in this post, but none of them relate to illness. 

12 Things You Probably Don’t Know About Emetophobia

1. We probably had a traumatic event involving vomit at some point in our lives. This will be the trigger for the phobia, and it can influence exactly what it is about vomit that we fear.

2. Some people are made phenomenally anxious by hearing words and phrases like ‘vomit’, ‘puke’, ‘food poisoning’, ‘nausea’. This creates an added stress that makes social interactions even more anxiety inducing.

3. Different emetophobics fear different things. Some fear themselves throwing up, some fear other people throwing up. Some people are fine with other people being sick as long as they know they can’t catch it. Some people have an extraordinary amount of anxiety about vomit but when they’re exposed to it, they cope perfectly well (and many others do not react this way at all).

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4. We often restrict and closely control what, when and how we eat. This can range from starving ourselves when we fear being sick, to obsessively eating healthy foods to avoid it, and never eating out or at other people’s houses. Eating disorders or disordered eating are common misdiagnoses of emetophobia as the behaviours are so similar. Whether or not it’s helpful to be diagnosed with both has not been established.

5. We are also rarely heavy drinkers, and many emetophobic people are completely teetotal as well. Pressuring an emetophobic person to drink or do drugs can result in them experiencing a massive amount of anxiety too – yet another example of the evils of peer pressure.

6. During winter in particular, we can show symptoms similar to agoraphobia (the fear of leaving one’s safe space) because we are worried about catching bugs. The reason it’s worse in winter? Norovirus. For many emetophobes, the winter months are plagued by the relentless stories of vomiting outbreaks in schools, hospitals and local communities. It can be utterly unbearable.

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7. Rashes, dryness and even nerve damage are par for the course if you’re the skin on an emetophobic’s hands. Most emetophobes engage in excessive hand washing, overuse of hand gels, using too-hot water to wash with and even going so far as to pour surface cleaners over our skin in a bid to eliminate germs. This, combined with washing utensils, surfaces, door handles, phones, everything, is why emetophobics are also often misdiagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder.

7. Our anxiety can get pretty amazingly bad, and it goes from 0-60 in no time at all. Often, all you need to say is ‘I don’t feel good’ or ‘I think that milk I used in your tea was sour’ and we’re off. It’s a horrible feeling that frequently comes out of absolutely nowhere, and it’s really, really hard to come back from. Self-soothing techniques are incredibly hard to learn, especially since it’s a poorly understood illness, so it’ll often go on for a day or more, particularly if we aren’t lucky enough to have someone in our lives who knows what not to say, or how to comfort us.

8. Because of this and the lack of medical knowledge (and therefore poor access to help) about emetophobia, many people end up developing unhelpful coping techniques. I’ve already mentioned a lot of them above (food restrictions, hand washing etc) but other ones include drinking grape juice or taking activated charcoal when they feel they’ve been exposed to a sickness bug, or drinking alcoholic or extremely hot drinks to try and kill germs in our stomachs.

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9. We are also aware of the absurdity of many of the things we do – believe me, it never needs to be pointed out, unless you’re extremely close to the emetophobic person, you have a good understanding of mental health in general and you know what their triggers are.

10. Close encounters with vomit can actually leave emetophobics severely traumatised, so it’s important never to assume that we’ll be ‘cured’ if we throw up, or watch someone else throw up. Life happens of course, and most of us do accept that it’ll feature in our lives at some point. We just prefer not to talk, or think about it.

11. Some emetophobics are unable to live the life they want, be it not travelling, not having kids (for women especially due to the amount of vomit that tends to be involved in a typical pregnancy) or not having the social life they may have enjoyed otherwise.

12. This all being said, many of us do manage to develop amazing control over our panic attacks, tortuous anxiety and obsessive behaviours. Personally, I know that I am still very unwell, but I’ve overcome a lot of the things on this list through years of constant hard work. I know I have definitely not suffered as much as many other people with the disorder, but I have been through periods where I was really, really struggling to cope.

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I hope this list has been informative for you, and that you are able to understand how someone can live with this and still be a worthwhile, valued member of society, who is worthy of your patience, kindness and love.

If you want to learn more about emetophobia from a professional, click here, and if you need urgent help, click here to visit mind.org.uk.

 

 

Spring Skincare Favourites

While I don’t believe in changing your body in preparation for warmer months, I do think there’s a lot we can do with our skin. In colder weather the skin can wind up dull, dry, lifeless and clogged, and unfortunately it’s often ignored because full coverage foundation and concealer are much easier to slather on in 7am half-darkness while you’re still basically asleep (this is how I spend my winter mornings, don’t know about you). I get a red nose in cold weather too, so there’s no point even thinking about going foundation free! In the spring, all I ever want to do is take a layer of makeup out of my routine, but to do that and feel confident, I need radiant, smooth and soft skin. Over the past few months I’ve been using some amazing products that have renewed and rejuvenated my complexion, so I wanted to share!

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The first product I wanted to talk about is Caudalie Vine[Activ] Glow Activating Anti-Wrinkle Serum. This serum contains a complex of four anti-oxidants that increase your skin’s ability to product anti-oxidant enzymes by 255%, thereby helping protect the skin from pollution and stress. which for someone who works in central London, doesn’t sleep very well and is stressed all the time, is an absolute lifesaver. I’ve been using this for four months (one bottle lasted 2.5) and I have never seen a product work such wonders on my skin – it literally glows from the inside out, as well as being super hydrated, calm and smooth. It absorbs immediately, smells gorgeous and is 98% natural. It’s oil and silicone free, contains an exclusive anti-oxidant patent created by Caudalie, and is just about the highest quality product I’ve ever used. Get it for £36.

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Next up is Aesop’s Parsley Seed Cleanser. I adore this thick, gel cleanser and it’s gentle exfoliation from lactic acid. It leaves my skin soft and ready to absorb my skincare. I’ve been using it for quite some time now and it is honestly the best cleanser ever for helping to boost your skin into ‘only wearing BB cream’ territory. If you’re worried about pollution, using this together with the Caudalie Vine[Activ] Serum is the absolute dream team, because the Aesop Parsley Seed Cleanser helps to slough pollution particles away from the skin at the end of the day, while the serum defends your skin from the free-radicals during the day. Get it for £27.

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I feel like I’ve been looking for a BB Cream that won’t make my skin react or break out since the beginning of time. The Bobbi Brown BB Cream is the only one I’ve found that has a good SPF without containing any of the ingredients that my skin hates, and I absolutely love it. It’s so important to use an SPF everyday, so if you want to use a lighter product than your usual foundation and you have sensitive skin, this is PERFECT. The formula gives much higher coverage than I expected, and I feel like it evens out my complexion flawlessly – obviously it doesn’t cover blemishes completely, but I actually don’t feel the need to use concealer under my eyes, which is a bloody miracle. The coverage lasts all day and my skin feels nice and soft when I use this too. They have 9 shades and definitely don’t serve the darkest skin colours, so I wouldn’t usually recommend it, but my skin is SO picky and this really works for me. Get it for £29.50.

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Pixi’s Makeup Fixing Mist has become my favourite part of my morning ritual. It’s gorgeous light scent and fast-drying, refreshing consistency is absolutely perfect for perking my face and my mind up. I feel like it puts me in a positive mood whenever I use it, and it helps my makeup stay put ALL day. Seriously, it’s soooo good. My skin also loves it as a primer to help prepare for a full coverage face, but recently I’ve just been using it over the Bobbi Brown BB Cream and it’s leaving my skin looking smooth and radiant every day. Get it for £16.

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The last product I’ve been obsessed with over the past few months is Jurlique’s Skin Balancing Face Oil. This stuff is perfect for when your skin is just losing its mind, which always happens to me at the change of the seasons. It contains a blend of herbal extracts including marshmallow (protects and soothes), evening primrose oil (heals), macademia oil (nourishes without being heavy) rosehip oil (anti-wrinkle, healing) and chamomile (calming). I find that when I use this at night, dry patches and areas of irritation disappear. The scent of this product is absolutely unbelievable, it smells like a fragrant meadow in the sun, which just makes it even more perfect for use in the warmer months! It might not be suitable for hypersensitive skin types though, as it’s heavy on the essential oils. But I absolutely adore it. Get it for £38

What are your spring skincare essentials?