Exfoliating at least twice a week to scrub away the dry and dead layer of our skin. Here I have put together a gentle yet effective DIY exfoliating treatment which you can make using 3 simple ingredients found in the comfort of your own home. This DIY exfoliator is perfect for clearing up acne, reduce blackheads and unclogging the dirt living on our skin. 

W h a t  y o u  w i l l  n e e d

1. Something to stir with (I used a disposable stirrer)
2. Something to mix in (I used a glass cup)

3. Granulated sugar - used to do the main job of scrubbing away the top layer of our face as it is in the form of small crystallised grains. It also helps promote the growth of new cells as it is a natural source of Glycolic acid. 

4. Baking soda (also known as Sodium Bicarbonate) - works in conjunction with the sugar to remove the dead skin cells. This is the main ingredient used when treating and clearing up acne. 

5. Water (alternatively honey or olive oil) - the final ingredient which holds it all together to create a paste. You can use honey or olive oil as an alternative which leaves your skin feeling super moisturised.

Measure out 1 tablespoon (3 teaspoons) of each of the three ingredients and mix them altogether to make a paste.

Pour out the paste onto your fingertips and begin to exfoliate your face in circular motions avoiding the eye area.

I tend to do this for about a minute and then rinse with warm water. I finish by splashing cold water to close your pores (do not forget this step). 

*please note: if you have sensitive skin, feel irritation or your skin appears red after using the exfoliator, cut back and use once a week or once a fortnight. 

Have you tried making your own exfoliator?

Lessons In Beauty #1

 In this fabulous world of beauty, there are endless tips, tricks and lessons we learn every time we read a new blog post, watch a Youtube video or trail and error products on ourselves. I've put together some fabulous lessons I've learnt from magazines to YouTube to makeup artists and other bloggers for you to indulge in.

K n o w   y o u r   s kin   type 
Is your skin oily? dry? bit of both (combination)? normal? It's important to know your skin type to ensure you are using the right type of products. Our skin changes every season, so it's also important to remember to switch up our products too. For example, now that it's winter my skin is pretty dry whereas in the summer it leans more to the oily side. 

OILY: excess oils on t-zone and around the nose
DRY: flakey dead skin around certain areas 
NORMAL: nor oily, nor flakey dry skin
COMBINATION: mix of all three

A L W A Y S   a l w a y s   take off your makeup before bed
You need to let your skin breathe throughout the night to regain oxygen. When we sleep, our skin tends to repair itself. Keeping makeup on will only allow our pores to clog and encourage breakouts- that's a no-no!

C l e a n   y o u r   m a k e up brushes weekly
Who doesn’t love the feel of clean, hygienic, nice smelling brushes? That includes beauty blenders, sponges and even the flannels/muslin cloths that you might use to take off your makeup with. 

T u r n   y o u r   l i p s t icks matte
Dabbing a small amount of loose translucent powder on your lips not only creates a matte finish but also elongates your lipstick. Remember to use a good balm underneath to stop your lips from drying out.

I s   t h e   f o u n d a t i o n   c o l o u r right for me?
It can be a right pain to test a drugstore foundation at a Boots or Superdrugs. When testing without help, be sure to test three foundation shades on the jawline (one nearest to your skin, one slightly darker and one lighter). Go outside, look at your face in natural lighting- shop lighting makes us all look fabulous. Also, take in a mini sample pot from home and ask a member of staff to give you a couple of pumps to test at home before purchasing. 

S a y   n o   t o   w a s h i n g it.. again
Your hair does not need to washed every single day of the week. Even 3 times is too much sometimes. If you're one of those people who wash their hair everyday because they feel like it's too greasy then stop right now! By over-washing your hair, you'll be stripping out all the natural oils from your hair, leaving it feel super dry and probably damaged. The dry roots then produces more oil very quickly, making it feel greasy all over again- it's a vicious cycle!
TIP: Only wash your hair twice a week! Use hair treatment masks or hair oils once a week or fortnightly for fabulous looking hair.

Liz Earle Obsessed

If you've read some of my previous skincare posts, you'd know how obsessed I am with Liz Earle products. One of my good friends surprised me on my birthday with this amazing Liz Earle kit which contains 90% of their products- I was so happy, she knows me so well. l've put together a mini review of each product and it's to no surprise- I love them all.

Botanical Shine Shampoo  |  £10.00
Botanical Shine Conditioner  |  £10.00

"Our shampoo gently cleans without stripping to leave hair soft, shiny and smooth."

This makes my hair smell ahhhmazing! I use the shampoo in conjunction with the botanical shine conditioner. Both leave my hair feeling and looking great.

Skin Repair Moisturiser  |  £20.25

"This perfectly balanced moisturiser softens, smoothes and conditions skin for a naturally healthy-looking glow."

I use this in conjunction with the exfoliator and cleanse and polish. It's great to wear under your makeup as it creates the perfect, smooth looking base. This contain;

wheatgerm oil: contains high levels of vitamin E, used as an antioxidant
glycerin: hydrates and improves the appearance of the skin

Liz Earle Instant Boost Skin Tonic Spritzer  |  £14.50

"This heavenly floral-scented, non-drying toner refreshes, soothes and brightens your skin. Gentle and alcohol-free, it also adds a fine layer of moisture."

This toner has been a holy grail in my skincare regime. Not only did it make a huge difference in the radiance of my skin but also refreshes and hydrates the skin (review here). This contains;

aloe vera: acts like a moisturiser and treats acne/eczema
cucumber: reduces puffiness and rehydrates
vitamin E: protects and repairs congested areas

Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser  |  £14.00

"The plant based cleanser has a two-phase action, phase one is the cleansing. Free from mineral oil, it has a rich and creamy texture and swiftly removes all traces of face and eye make up, even stubborn mascara."

I've mentioned this amazing cleanser countless times on my blog- only because it is the best cleanser I've ever used! It removes all traces of make up- even stubborn waterproof mascara (review here). This contains;

eucalyptus: remedial and healing properties
cocoa butter: hydrates and helps skin irritation
beeswax: antibacterial, skin softer and healer
glycerin: improves appearance of the skin
rosemary: moisturises and kills bacteria

Deep Cleansing Mask  |  £15.75

"This concentrated clay and botanical mask helps draw out impurities to leave skin balanced and calm."

I started using this mask towards the end of summer last year when my skin was leaning towards the oily side. It cleanses the skin very well and regulates shine on my t-zone and around my nose. Perfect for people with oily/combination skin (review here). This contains;

aloe vera: softens the skin
glycerin: hydrates and improves the appearance of the skin
manuka honey: soothes and calms the skin
green clay: draws out impurities and absorbs excess oils
propolis: protects the skin

Liz Earle Eyebright Soothing Eye Lotion  |  £13.25

"Wake up and revitalise eyes with cotton wool pads soaked in this gentle, soothing herbal lotion. Non-oily, it is ideal for irritated eyes and suitable for contact lens wearers."

If you suffer from irritated, itchy, puffy eyes (or hayfever) then this is the product for you. It's super hydrating and it revitalises and soothes the eyes straight away after application. This contains;

eyebright: acts as an astringents and kills bacteria
cornflower: used as an antiseptic and soothes the eyes
witch hazel: brightens around the eyes
organic aloe vera: treats dryness and wrinkles 

Daily Eye Repair  |  £16.75

"Use this triple-action cream every morning after moisturising to help reduce the appearance of fine lines. Light-reflective particles brighten dark under-eye shadows, while SPF10 mineral sunscreen helps protect this delicate area from UV light." 

I have used this every day for over a month and I have had great results! It is quite a small tube left, but there is so much product left as a little goes a very long way. It's super moisturising, lightweight and has light reflecting particles so it makes the eye area appear brighter. This contains;

borage oil: keeps the skin moisturised
echinacea: treats skin conditions

Intensive Nourishing Treatment Mask  |  £16.00

"This creamy mask hydrates and soothes parched, stressed and sensitive skin."

This mask is great for skin that suffers from dry patches. I keep it on my skin for about 10 minutes and it leaves my face feeling super soft, nourished and after every use, its like I've just had a salon pamper! This contains;

glycerin: hydrates and improves appearance of the skin
borage oil: keeps the skin moisturised
west african shea: enhances the skins natural barrier

Orange Flower Hand Wash  |  £14.00

"This gentle hand wash contains foaming agents derived from corn and coconut to leave hands feeling clean and soft."

I am a sucker for citrus scents, so this was a plus in my kit. I like to keep this in the kitchen. It leaves my hands feeling soft and does not dry them out like some hand washes do.

Smoothing Line Serum  |  £16.75

"Use this light, oil-free serum after moisturising to help plump and firm skin around the eyes, lips, forehead and decolletage."

I haven't had the chance to use this product yet. It's mainly aimed for people with wrinkles. I might pass this on to my mum, or find another use for it- watch this space!

Superbalm  |  £17.25

"Our 'emergency' skin salve rescues and soothes the skin."

I discovered this product recently on KaushalBeauty's Youtube channel. It's great for the lips, cuticles and facial massages. It's very soothing and smells amazing! This contains;

hazelnut oil: leaves the skin feeling soft and smooth
beeswax: antibacterial, skin softer and healer
neroli oil: uplifting and restorative properties
rosehip oil: locks moisture into the skin

Energising Body Lotion  |  £18.00

"This lightweight, heavenly-scented lotion is packed with naturally active botanicals that have been specifically selected to help smooth, firm and tone your skin."
*please note: this product has sadly been discontinued

This lovely lotion contains lots of natural oils, great for softening, smoothing and moisturising this skin. But sadly, this has now been discontinued in John Lewis. There are some sample sizes left on the LE website.

Orange Flower Botanical Body Wash  |  £13.00

"Containing uplifting citrus aromas, this gentle body wash cleanses and refreshes all over, leaving every skin type fresh, soft and smooth."

This has a lovely citrusy scent, which is super refreshing in the shower. It helps soften the skin and keeps it feeling moisturised. This contains;

oats: soothing properties
sweet orange: used for fragrance

Nourishing Botanical Body Cream  |  £19.00

"This concentrated, deeply hydrating body cream helps the skin retain moisture throughout the day."

This stuff is amazing to use during these cold winter months where my skin appears to be more on the dry side. The cream is easily absorbed leaving my skin feeling soft, smooth and moisturised. This contains;

shea butter: moisturises, skin regeneration and healing properties 
pure orange: lovely citrus scent
lavender: used for fragrance
geranium: aromatherapy 
avocado oil: moisturises the skin and treats skin conditions

*please note: these are all sample sizes. The prices indicate the full sized products
Liz Earle products are available in;
John Lewis
LE website
Some participating Boots stores
QVCUK (watch out for some amazing deals)

Have you tried any Liz Earle products? What are your favourites

A Bargain Makeup Brand

Makeup Revolution launched in some of our London Superdrugs stores at the beginning of 2014. The 300 piece brand includes products such as eye shadows, lipsticks, nail polishes, concealers, blushes, bronzers and much more costing £1-£12, what a bargain right? I've been to a couple of Superdrugs (Stratford Centre, Eltham High Street and Holloway) and most of the items I wanted were always out of stock, so I placed an order online on their brand website which was delivered within a week- f r e e  UK  d e l i v e r y over £30

Do you own any Makeup Revolution products?
What are your favourites? 

Make Good Use Of Your Beauty Products

Kevyn Auccoin Skin Enhancer  |  Space NK  |  £38.00

This is one of my new purchases and I have used it everyday since to see the different uses I can get out of it. It can be used as a concealer, foundation or a highlighter. So far, I have only used it as a foundation and the pigmentation and coverage is amazing (watch out for a review).

Dior Backstage Blender  |  Boots  |  £12.00

(beauty blender, real techniques complexion sponge)

Before I discovered the Real Technique brushes I don't have a clue what I used to use. Although I love the Real Techniques buffing brush, the beauty blender (complexion sponge or backstage blender) has made my foundation look so flawless. I dampen the backstage blender and use it to blend in my foundation, highlighter and concealer. I also use it to set my concealer with my favourite powder.

Mac Prep and Prime Fix+  |  Mac  |  £15.50

People tend to mistake the reason behind using the fix+- it is not a setting spray, it will not make your makeup last longer. The amount of times I heard people calling it a setting spray, I just wanna scream at them! The fix+ is a mineral infused finishing mist that can be sprayed directly onto the face before applying your makeup (to prep the skin for an even foundation application) and after makeup (to add a luminous, dewy look). It can be used throughout the day to keep up that 'fresh makeup' look. The fix+ is also great for working with pigments and glitter, enabling it to glide on smoothly and stay in place all day. I also use the fix+ to dampen my beauty blender.

Perfectly Pure Coconut Oil  |  Holland & Barratts  |  £15.49

Coconut oil can be used to cook with, applied as a moisturiser, or as a hair treatment. I've mentioned this oil soo many times on my previous posts. I first started using it part of my night time skincare regime to reduce my acne- and it did a great job of it (read here). Coconut oil is full of fatty acids which work as an antibacterial that forces the acne spots to dry out and eventually make them disappear. It's also great for monthly hair treatment for silky, shine looking hair.

The Balm Mary-Lou Manizer  |  FeelUnique  |  £14.40

There is so much hype around this product in the blogsphere and YouTube world, and it deserves all the hype it can get. As I've mentioned on my instagram, I never was a highlighter kinda girl, I used to hate any kind of shimmer or shine on my face. Since I have purchased the Mary-Lou Manizer, I have been converted! It is very pigmented and I use it as a brow, inner eye corner, and cheek highlight. It gives a gorgeous champagney glow.

Nars Laguna Bronzer  |  Selfridges  |  £27.00

The Laguna bronzer is a warm, medium brown shade with the slightest shimmer. The colour payoff is amazing, it is buildable and blends perfectly when used with the right brush. Its main use for me is a bronzer/contour shade for under my cheek bones, on the perimetres of my forehead and jaw line. I've recently started using it as an eyeshadow base and transition colour too.

Liz Earle Superskin Concentrate  |  John Lewis  |  £21.00

Out of all my skincare products, this is one of my favourites. Whenever I have a breakout, I apply a tiny bit of this oil and in the morning, the spot and would have completely dried out and ready to disappear without leaving behind a nasty mark. It also does an amazing job of evening out pigmented areas on the face. I have a full review here

Do you have any multipurpose beauty products?

Say Goodbye To Itchy & Watery Eyes

Optrex Actimist 2 in 1 Itchy & Watery Eyes Spray  |  Boots  | £15.99

Itchy, irritated and watery eyes not only ruins your make up but also makes you want to rub them and stick your fingers in them to take out what feels like stones. Throughout the year (grrr), every morning after I finish doing my makeup, my eyes begin to water like a leaky tap allll day- how annoying! My friend recommended this amazing spray to prevent it and I just had to try it. The price did put me off a little because it does come in a very small bottle. But I thought a spray is so much more convenient and I definitely needed a quick remedy.

I use the spray after moisturising but before priming my eyes. I hold the spray a few inches away and spray once directly onto closed eyes- it takes up to 10-15 seconds to dry and then I am able to apply the rest of my makeup. It's as easy as that! The packaging does say that you'll feel a cooling sensation as soon as it's sprayed onto the eyes and I did feel it the first couple times that I used it. However, since then my eyes have not been as irritated as it used to be. 

P r o s
- instant relief, soothes the eyes and creates moisture
- convenient spray form
- spray onto closed eyes so can be done independently
- spray can last up to 6 months unlike eye drops (only 2 weeks)
- does not need to be stored in the fridge
- does not smudge makeup
- 60 Boots points (yay, lol)

C o n s
- it is expensive for such a small bottle (look out for Boots, Superdrug deals). You may even find it cheaper at a local pharmacy
- may contain ingredients that you are allergic to, please check before using

Beauty Favourites #1

1. H A I R
Wella SP Luxe Oil  |  £15.90

My hair dresser used this on me a couple times when I visited and on the third time I just had to purchase it. The smell is divine and it comes in a luxury gold packaging. I use it after I've washed it while it's still damp. It not only leaves my hair smelling great, but also feels super soft and looks very shiny- it does not leave a greasy residue like other oils. It has improved the condition of my hair very well- the ends are no longer dry. 

Ardell Demi Wispies False Eyelashes  |  £5.49

My go-to natural yet dramatic looking lashes! I've been obsessed with these lashes for ages. They are great for everyday wear- I love that it's wispy and flares out at the end. 

3. E Y E S
Coastal Scents 252 Ultimate Eye Shadow Palette  |  £35.00

This was one of my first ever eyeshadow palettes and it's definitely a must have for beginners. It's a great everyday palette and has a range of 252 different colours to play around with and it also has different finishes such as matte and shimmer. The colours are pigmented and long lasting after applying a good eyeshadow primer. 

4. L I P S
Sleek Matte Me Lipstick in Birthday Suit  |  £4.99

This is the perfect nude to match a lot of different skin tones. I'm pretty sure every single lipstick lover/beauty blogger owns one of these (maybe two?). It has a lovely pink undertone and I usually wear it on top of another lipstick. It can leave the lips feeling very dry so make sure you exfoliate and moisturise very well before applying.

5. F A C E
Holland & Barrett Perfectly Pure Coconut Oil  |  £15.49

Better looking skin means a strict skincare regime. If you've read my acne post, you'd know how important this raw coconut oil has been in my regime. Coconut oil is full of fatty acids which work as an antibacterial that forces the acne spots to dry out. After months and months of constant use, my acne has now banished (yay!)

6. F O U N D A T I O N
Smashbox Studio Skin 15 Hour Wear Foundation in 3.1  |  £28.00

I've been using this foundation for over a year now and have repurchased it a couple of times. I find it so difficult matching my skin to a foundation colour, it's either too light or too orange so when I do find a perfect colour match I tend to really like the product itself. I wear this in conjunction with the Smashbox photo finish primer and they work very well together, giving me a matte/semi-dewy finish. It gives a medium coverage and does not transfer- it literally lasts forever and is perfect for long days. 

Kiko Cosmetics Precision Eyebrow Pencil in Dark Chestnut  |  £5.90 

This pencil is amazing!! I use it on a light hand and fill in the sparse areas of my brow. It leaves a very smooth, soft and natural finish. It also comes with a handy brush on the other end- 2-in-1? yes please!

8. H A N D S
Crabtree & Evelyn in Citron, Honey & Coriander  |  £5.00

As a citrus scent lover, this hand therapy smells ahhh-mazing. Not only does it keep my hands hydrated and moisturised it also helps condition my nails and cuticles- a bit like an all-in-one hand cream, perfect.

9. B O D Y
The Body Shop Mango Body Butter  |  £13.00
The Body Shop Frosted Cranberry Body Butter  |  £13.00

At the end of every year, the body shop release their seasonal scents. Each year, the cranberry scent (formally known as cranberry joy) has always been my favourite- it is so sweet and satisfying! The mango body butter has a strong tropical scent which is very long-lasting. Both body butters have a thick buttery texture and leaves the skin feeling super soft. 

10. N A I L S
Maybelline Forever Strong Nail Polish in Rose Poudre  |  £4.49

Although I love painting my nails bright/bold colours, there are some days where I want to go for a nice muted no colour, colour. This colour is very neutral and every time I wear it, it looks like I have nothing on. It's great for formal work days and the colour can match any outfit.