Review: NYX Intense Butter Gloss in Chocolate Crepe

Hi everyone!

It’s no secret that I have been loving glossy finishes as of late, so instead of rambling about it, let’s get straight to the snap review.

This was a birthday gift from my friend AT earlier in the year, swiped from my wishlist. I had tried the regular Butter Gloss in Praline, and it was great for a practically-clear gloss with minimal colour. I love layering it on top of nude lipsticks. But as you all know, my true love of glossies lies with really pigmented lacquers and stuff, so the intense version was on my radar.

The NYX Intense Butter Gloss costs £6.00 in the UK and is available at counters in Boots and Debenhams, and online at FeelUnique.

When I first swatched it on my hand it seemed a bit too dark and too cool-brown like Maybelline’s Brown Sugar. It ended up being a super nice shade on my lips, though – a slight warm pinkiness to it. A bit deep, but a great everyday shade.

It’s quite lightweight but you can still feel it on your lips because of the texture. Of course, being a gloss I don’t expect it to last at all but it will survive at least four hours without eating and with small sips of water during my work shifts. It does bleed more noticeably which is understandable as there is more pigment. But overall it actually doesn’t bleed that much. A lip liner is all that’s needed if that’s an issue. The pigment doesn’t settle into lip creases either and, as expected, it’s quite forgiving on flaky lips although those are still noticeable.

Yes, it’s a little sticky and my hair flies into it when I’m darting between shops with my siblings. But it doesn’t all adhere to my hair at once which is a little plus, I guess?

I’ve been wearing this an awful lot. Out of all the choices in my rotation this month, this one has been the most worn so far. I’ve just been loving the fact that I can wear this all day and have my lips still be plush and lovely by the evening. My mom, just before the aforementioned shopping, even made a comment on how glossy and nice they looked (so much so that she wanted to bite them, which I acknowledge is weird but I took it as a compliment so…). BASICALLY. I love this stuff.

I might not buy it in any other shade, though. This is literally the only shade that appeals to me in a gloss, as it would be the most forgiving. Bolder colours in a glossy finish are intimidating to me, especially the thought of them bleeding or wearing much more obviously.

Overall, this is a winner for me. I can imagine myself re-buying this a lot and it fulfils my need for a pigmented gloss perfectly.

Until next time,

X


Days since I last bought a lipstick: 116

Review: Lanolips 101 Ointment

My current stash of lip balms is at a count of seven, I think… not including the few duplicates I have. Needless to say that I don’t necessarily need any more but this is been on my radar for a while and if things go on sale whilst on my radar, I’m buying it… This doesn’t apply to all things of course and I figure things out on a case-by-case basis, but lip balms have been a total winner for me recently and I’m always curious to try what’s popular.

Over Black Friday, one of the other items I picked up from Boots (besides this Smashbox lip set) was the Lanolips 101 Ointment, which was on a buy-one-get-one-free offer. It’s normally £10.99 for 15g/0.52oz so a fairly pricey little tube.  Other alternatives are Glossier who offers 15ml for £10 and Dr Lipp who offers 15ml for £12. I haven’t tried the other two, and this is my first experience with a lanolin-based lip balm.

The packaging is like other hand creams or salves I’ve seen before, and is also remniscent of paint tubes. I quite like this type personally, as it’s a little more appealing than medicine style tubes and helps me to separate the cosmetic tubes to others in my head.

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When I first received the product, I was surprised to find out how stiff the product was at first and how hard it was to squeeze out of the packaging. Especially in this cold weather, it’s advisable to keep it someplace relatively warm or roll/hold the tube between your hands to warm it up and make it easier for the product to leave the tube. I imagine that wouldn’t be a problem in the summer, though. The product seems quite solid but melts onto the lips and becomes a more oily texture.

It is 100% Lanolin (the two ingredients being Lanolin and Lanolin oil), which is a natural product found in sheep’s wool. Therefore, it’s unfortunately not vegan if that is what is important to you. (This is something I have realised I have never mentioned in my reviews for you all and now I am taking more steps to include that kind of information in my posts!) As to whether it is cruelty-free, the packaging states it has not been tested on animals.

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There are two ways I like to use this so that my lips are soft in the morning or at least the dead skin is easily sloughed off. One is to slather a super thick layer on (although this is my routine for all my lip balms if I am honest). The other is to spread a thin layer and go in with a slightly thicker layer of something else. At the moment I prefer the second because I think it’s almost like it’s boosting the effect of the balm I use on top. Also, I get to use two lip balms up at once(!!).

I have always struggled to sleep on my back and not roll around which I have been trying to do for the sake of my skincare and lip balms that rub off! But recently I have found a sort of position that stops that and is also comfortable so my lip balms have actually been staying on.

Overall, I am really liking this as a lip balm and may consider buying it again!

Until next time,

X


Days since I last bought a lipstick:
Lipstick last worn:

Review: Smashbox Studio To Go Lips Set

Hiya everyone!

I’ve been doing my best to consistently put money to the side and the plan was to put a little less than usual in my savings to account for things like Christmas shopping. My personal rule is only to take the money back out from the savings account if I really, really need it (often, I do not) or once I have hit my target for the big thing I am saving for.

But then I forgot about it and stuck in my regular amount into the savings (probably for the best) and so, long story short, I had less money than planned for Black Friday things, cut into my food budget, and I didn’t even spend that much overall anyway. £30 total spend is nothing compared to the stories I heard that weekend!

A lot of self-control happened which was good, and on top of that Black Friday is generally largely underwhelming in the UK anyway. I think back to the KIKO and ELF sales sometimes and maybe I should’ve bought other various things, but they’re sales and they’ll always come back around (LOL).

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Anyway, I picked up Smashbox’s Studio To Go Lips set, which includes their ‘Be Legendary’ cream lipstick in the shade ‘Legendary’ and their Insta-matte Lipstick Transformer which claims to be able to mattify cream lipsticks. They are both mini sizes, and the set was previously sold for £14.50 but were £9.66 when I purchased them. I thought it would be a good time to try out some items from the brand as I have not tried any Smashbox before.

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The colour of the lipstick looks very vibrant and pure-red from the bullet but it swatches to be a little on the pink side. I was a little disappointed with how it swatched with one swipe, although this may be personal taste more than anything. I do tend to lean more towards opaquely pigmented products and that’s what I’m used to. Luckily, it’s easy to build up with more swipes.

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On my lip, there are two dark dots that seemed to appear out of nowhere one day (as I wear lipsticks a lot it’s no surprise I missed this) but since then I’ve been using those dots as a measure of opacity. For example, you can’t see them at all under these Colourpop lipsticks.

The Be Legendary lipstick didn’t cover up those dots completely even with lots of swipes. That said, there is still plenty of pigmentation happening here, which is fine. Paired with the shiny finish it makes the red look quite soft and lush I actually felt was nice for everyday wear as it’s not too harsh.

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However, I feel that’s not what this product is meant to be as they are described as ‘pigment loaded’ with ‘brilliant colour in one swipe’. I really don’t think this is the case.

On top of that, the lipstick has a slippery formula and I had to quickly reapply whilst taking photos because my slight puckering lead to my inner lips being a little bare! I think you can also tell in the photo that it’s a little patchy just from the product moving around.

Afterwards I tried out a bit of the Insta-matte Lipstick Transformer, and patted it on top for both my arm swatch and lips. It comes out of the tube as a transparent silicone texture (sure enough the top two ingredients in this are dimethicones) and it feels just like any other silicone primer.

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Patting it on top of the lipstick essentially blurred some of the shine but I also ended up patting a way a bit of the lipstick itself. It wasn’t super mattifying either, it came down to more of a satin finish. I think it might be because the texture of the Be Legendary lipsticks is already so slippery that the mattifier does not help that much.

I do want to experiment with more lipsticks in order to get a better grasp of how it’s supposed to work so I am not ruling it out as a dud just yet.

Overall, despite the flaws, I can actually imagine myself reaching for the lipstick as a winter option, and the mattifier requires further experimentation but so far, I’m not impressed with it.

What else should I try from Smashbox?

Until next time,

X

 

 

Review: NYX Liquid Suede Cream Lipsticks in Soft Spoken & Stone Fox

Hi everyone!

I remember the NYX launch being the most exciting last year along with Kat Von D and even now my sister has to stop me from stopping to gawk at their lip range when we are out. NYX is all over my Christmas Wish List, too!

I was not a fan of the Lip Lingerie range that they launched at the same time as these Suedes. It’s just not as pleasant and even from the get-go, it produced ‘cracks’ in my lips where you could see the gaps in product.

But yes, these Liquid Suedes I really, really like. NYX are sold at Debenhams and Boots and these cost £7.00 for 4ml.

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There’s not much to say about the packaging – it’s very easy to tell which shade you’re reaching out for as the tube is the same colour as the shade. The doe foot applicator is relatively longer and flatter compared to other brands which might make it difficult for some to apply but personally, this presents no major problems.

The formula is definitely a creamy texture in that it is heavier than the Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvets which feel more like a mousse. They wear well, although I do need to reapply after three or four hours to avoid the dreaded lip cracks. The cracks are less noticeable in Soft Spoken but a shade like Stone Fox has to be checked on frequently. Thankfully they’re very nice to reapply and the packaging means I can chuck it in my pocket or bag and not worry about it.

For these arm swatches, I only applied one swipe! They’re really pigmented and opaque, even on the lips. They aren’t tight or drying at all, and instead of being fully matte they have a slight creamy sheen.

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Soft Spoken is a medium-deep nude shade. Contrary to this swatch, it has more of a mauve tone. This is the best MLBB colour that I have for my lips, too. That with the lovely formula means I did reach for this a lot before my love of dark lipsticks returned. It’s a wonderful everyday shade for university.

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Stone Fox, on the other hand, is lucky if I wear it once a year… It can be a appear a little patchy if I do my regular thing of scraping off excess, so I go in with a normal layer on top to really get that colour. It’s a hard colour to wear as it can accentuate any redness near the lip area as well as making the teeth look yellower.

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Overall I really love these and especially Soft Spoken, which I am sure to buy again after I use it all up (it already feels quite light compared to Stone Fox, haha). NYX now have a Metallic Suede range which I am eyeing up as well.

What are your thoughts on NYX and the Liquid Suedes?

Until next time,

X

Review: Vichy Capital Ideal Soleil Sunscreen SPF50+

At the moment, I am constantly on a lookout for a better sunscreen. I have my matte/long wear options sorted but I’d like more daily options for days that I don’t leave the house or when I am not wearing makeup. (Update: As this post is going out, I think I have found The One, so please anticipate a review for that!)

For an at-home sunscreen, I thought I would be more lenient on whether it dries matte, is easily absorbed or leaves a white cast. Turns out, I’m still really picky. It has to be light and comfortable to wear, take no effort to slather on so I can reach for it every day and not blanch at the idea of having to use it.

Unfortunately for me, Vichy Capital Ideal Soleil Sunscreen SPF50+ is none of those things.

I was recommended this Vichy sunscreen from a fellow skincare-loving friend and snagged it online a while ago. Now, after hesitant daily use, I am possibly a week or three from finishing it and I thought it would be a good time to review it.

Brand: Vichy Laboratoires (official product page here)
Product Name: Ideal Soleil Mattifying Face Fluid
Cost: £11 for 50ml. I purchased mine for £9.33 from ChemistDirect.
Availability: at all Boots and some other online stores like ChemistDirect which is where I got mine.
Ingredients: (from the product page)

ALCOHOL DENAT. , DIISOPROPYL SEBACATE, SILICA, BUTYL METHOXYDIBENZOYLMETHANE, CI 77891 / TITANIUM DIOXIDE, C12-15 ALKYL BENZOATE, OCTOCRYLENE, ISOPROPYL LAUROYL SARCOSINATE, AQUA / WATER, ZEA MAYS STARCH / CORN STARCH, ETHYLHEXYL TRIAZONE, POLY C10-30 ALKYL ACRYLATE, GLYCERYL STEARATE, BEHENYL ALCOHOL, METHYLENE BIS-BENZOTRIAZOLYL TETRAMETHYLBUTYLPHENOL [NANO] / METHYLENE BIS-BENZOTRIAZOLYL TETRAMETHYLBUTYLPHENOL, DISODIUM EDTA, DISODIUM ETHYLENE DICOCAMIDE PEG-15 DISULFATE, DROMETRIZOLE TRISILOXANE, GLYCERYL STEARATE CITRATE, PHENOXYETHANOL, SODIUM HYALURONATE, TEREPHTHALYLIDENE DICAMPHOR SULFONIC ACID, TRIETHANOLAMINE, XANTHAN GUM, PARFUM / FRAGRANCE, AMMONIUM POLYACRYLDIMETHYLTAURAMIDE / AMMONIUM POLYACRYLOYLDIMETHYL TAURATE, CAPRYLYL GLYCOL, CETYL ALCOHOL, DECYL GLUCOSIDE

As usual, the CosDNA analysis is here. You may be concerned with the denatured alcohol, fragrance or cetyl alcohol in the product. As the list below demonstrates, it contains chemical filters so be aware if you are sensitive to those.

The sunscreen filters in this product are:

  • Titanium Dioxide (Physical) – UVB and UVA2 (not the whole range of UVA)
  • Avobenzone (listed as Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane) (Chemical)- UVA 1 (whole range of UVA)
  • Octocrylene (Chemical) – UVB, UVA2
  • Tinosorb M (listed as Methylene bis-benzotriazolyl tetramethylbutylphenol) (Chemical) – UVB, UVA 1, UVA2
  • Mexoryl SX (listed as Terephthalylidene Dicamphor Sulfonic Acid) (Chemical) – UVA1, UVA2
  • Mexoryl XL (listed as Drometrizole Trisiloxane) (Chemical) – UVA2

(I referenced this list here.)

Packaging: Squeezy tube, which is sanitary and easy to use.

Despite the name, this comes out as a white, dense cream. It’s heavier compared to my other sunscreens. I’m reusing an old comparison photo from my sunscreen round-up so you can see how the texture is different.

Yay for multi-tasking photos!

Frankly, I am kinda sick of this stuff. I liked it back in December when it started to get cold and my skin was not handling the transitional weather so well, because it felt thick enough to feel substantial on my skin yet still dried down fairly matte but not drying.

These days, I have noticed that if it’s not rubbed in properly, it’ll leave quite a white, powdery/rubbery cast which I hate and that I always have to look in a mirror in natural light to notice. It can also pill if not rubbed in properly before it dries down. I had to take a break from it once every week or so and hug the last rations of my Biore Watery Essence which I have decided I may actually repurchase (in the 2017 reformulation) to try out its new properties.

I just cannot wait to be through with all of it but at the same time I don’t like having to put it on my face. It has been going on my hands recently where it seems to rub in a lot more easily and as a result, dries down less annoyingly. So it would make a fantastic overpriced body sunscreen, but on the face it’s… effort to use, and effort to muster up the determination to use it.

Finally, a reminder that whilst I am not a fan of this stuff, my friend has a drier skin type and she seems to like it a lot – she’s not on the search for a new sunscreen and has gone through multiple tubes of this! So who knows. This product just isn’t for me, though.

If you would like to see how this compares to some other sunscreens, remember to check out this round-up post.

Thanks for reading – I hope you found this helpful!

X

My Skincare Routine – Jan 2017

Strap in your seatbelts, readers, because this is one of my longest posts to date. It’s huge because my routine doesn’t change a lot over a year so I’m making this a rare, annual entry.

My focus on skincare really blows up in the winter, when transitional weather wrecks my skin a little and sends me into a bit of a panic. It’s probably the reason I tend to buy more in the winter and spend the rest of my year adapting my stash to fit the summer.

I wanted to share my skincare routine as I did a while ago but then I also realised that it’s now different all the time – I am pretty much a follower of the skincare ‘wardrobe’ idea rather than a set routine. Therefore, I wanted to share the products I have at the moment although I don’t use them all at once. There is rarely an occasion that I have to, and I’m usually too lazy to do that anyway!

Cleansers
I use Soap and Glory’s Peaches and Clean Deep Cleansing Milk (my second bottle!) to remove makeup at the end of the day without drying my skin out. It does this fabulously, although it can sting the eyes if it gets into contact with them. If I want to remove makeup a bit earlier, I use the original Garnier Micellar Water (not pictured) and a couple of cotton pads. I’ll always have cotton pads lying around but I don’t often remove my makeup that way – less waste, you know?
On nights I use actives, I have also been using Innisfree’s Bija Anti-Trouble Gel Cleanser as a second cleanser, mostly due to its low pH which helps to prep for my actives that need it. I’ll be honest: I don’t really see much of a difference from using this before my actives so I won’t be repurchasing it.

Actives
I use CosRX’s AHA and BHA Power Liquids about two times a week each – the BHA more than the AHA. The BHA has been particularly great at minimising and unclogging the pores all along the centre column of my face. If I ever feel like I need a break from chemical exfoliants I may gently scrub my face with a scrubby glove or towel.

(My actives are chemical exfoliants. Actives, in general, refer to products with ingredients that actually do their job. In the hyperlinked ‘wardrobe’ post above, I linked to Snow’s post on her wardrobe of actives. She defines actives as such:

Actives are the “workhorses” of my routine, meaning that when it comes to actual effects such as anti-aging, anti-acne, or improvement in texture, hyperpigmentation, and overall appearance of my skin, I don’t rely on cleansers, essences, serums, creams, or any other sort of skincare to have an “active” effect on my skin.  I expect cleansers to clean, and essences, serums, and creams to hydrate, moisturize, and soften my skin, but that’s it.  If you want your skincare to really do something, in my experience, you’re going to have to buck up and pull out the big guns, and that means actives.

They are not to be taken lightly so please do some research on these before trying them out. In particular, have a solid basic routine including sunscreen all figured out before you even touch the actives. Especially as AHAs make your skin more sun-sensitive.)

Spot Treatments
First, I use CosRX’s Skin Returning A-Sol as a general spot prevention step as well as treatment for bumps and active spots.
If I have any really big red spots, I use the LJH TeaTree90 essence, which I still am still going through after buying two bottles at the beginning of 2016. It doesn’t do much else for me otherwise, so I am rationing it solely for the big swollen ones because it really works well on calming those. It’s quite pricey without discounts, though at around £22 for a small bottle.
Lastly, if I have picked at any pimples, I’ll use hydrocolloid patches to cover them. I compared a few here. I do pick at mine a lot, so this helps to get all the gunk out, flatten those spots and also provide a physical barrier to me picking at them even more.

Essences and Hydrating Layers
I am currently using up a bunch of Superdrug’s B-Refreshed Essence Lotion that I got during a buy one get one free deal. Besides its annoying sharp scent, it’s a decent, affordable option for hydrating layers. I don’t think I will repurchase this but I will at least finish my two bottles. I’ll sit down, put on an anime episode or something, and every five minutes I’ll slap another layer of this onto my face.
Then, I may or may not slap on a layer of CosRx’s Snail 96 essence. I’ve not seen much of an effect of using snail products so far. Maybe I’ll notice once I run out.
Lastly, Superdrug’s Simply Pure Hydrating Serum is another hydrating layer that also includes some ceramides that help maintain the skin’s moisture barrier. I make sure to apply them in this order – from lightest, most watery consistency to heaviest creamy stuff.

Eye Cream
Boots Vitamin E Eye Cream SPF 15. It’s the only eye cream I have tried. I’ll probably repurchase it as it’s a great affordable start to eye skincare and has SPF 15 and has really helped with the dryness on my eyelids with regular use. I know at my age I don’t need anything expensive just yet. Another eye product with more SPF would be more appreciated, though.

Final Layer
My final layer of choice recently has been Superdrug’s Vitamin E Moisture Mask which is a good ‘heavy’ option. It has a gel texture, so sometimes I reach for this Simple Spotless Skin Anti-Blemish Moisturiser if I want something creamier (that I finished up in the weeks I spent writing this post and won’t repurchase so I can try other things) and for a very light layer, I use the Mizon Snail Recovery Gel cream, of which I bought two tubes and am still using up. I haven’t found any consistent likes in products of this category yet.

Lip Balm
My balm of choice recently has been the Dr Organic Lip Balm SPF15. I just finished a tube of Ice Mint and now have a Royal Jelly one which works just as well, just with less of a cooling sensation. The range is always on the counter at Holland and Barratt. If I feel I need more, I’ll add a thin layer of something else underneath, like the Dr Organic Hemp Oil Lip Serum to soothe dry patches.

This routine seems long, but honestly, time wise, it’s never been so short. I’ve gone past the phase of feeling like needing every step of the routine and just giving way to a simpler version that I know still works for me.

Evening Routine, Short Version

  • Cleansing
  • Spot treating
  • Eye Cream
  • Moisturiser
  • Lip Balm

This is the short version of my night routine, which takes only 10 mins ish so it’s ideal for when I’m lazy. I’ve cut out the actives and hydrating layers from the routine.

Day Routine

  • Cleansing – sometimes just with water.
  • Spot Treating
  • Sunscreen – I did a comparison post of the ones in my stash here. My current go-to is the Vichy and Biore Essence simply because I want to finish those products. I’ve realised that now I am at home a lot I prefer the Biore Watery essence since I don’t have to worry about oil control, and the texture of the stuff is pretty dreamy – light and dries quickly with no cast. Vichy Ideal Soleil, on the other hand, takes effort to work into my skin and does leave a cast.
  • Lip balm

I know I really shouldn’t skip moisturiser but in the mornings I struggle to muster up that effort. If I do feel like I really need it, I grab a light layer of something and pat it into my face.

Other Thoughts

I just had a look at my skincare post from 2015, and boy, have things changed. I very occasionally use clay masks now, and I have also scrapped toner (hydrating, pH adjusting or astringent – those aren’t things I need right now) and my exfoliation is done with my actives.

I have also learned the importance of using a separate sunscreen as opposed to a moisturiser/foundation with SPF. Honestly, if I can gloat at my parents in twenty years with a baby face I’ll tell them it was the sunscreen. I’ve been trying to get them both to wear one ever since they got into anti-ageing skincare but to no avail.

Other things outside skincare I do:

  • drinking a lot of water
  • using separate face towels to dry my face and changing those at least weekly
  • switching up my pillowcase weekly.
  • I also should be wiping down my laptop and phone screen weekly but I keep forgetting to.

Oh! As a last note to add, mostly for to myself since I didn’t do this last time, this entire routine upfront costs roughly… £130 RRP(!!!!!) Bear in mind, though, that some of these products have lasted me absolutely ages and this is a steady accumulation over the last year, and many of these items I bought on sale or in some cases half-used from friendly community members. I would not have bought the LJH TeaTree90 Essence if not for HKCPlaza discounting them from £22 to £7 a bottle last year! (Link is to a post on last year’s haul.)

This begs the question – do I really need everything? Has my skin actually improved from using up all this stuff? To answer that question, I tried to dig up some old photos of my [bare] face, and you all understand when I say I used to hate taking selfies due to the state of my skin. So there wasn’t much! My ‘bad skin days’ are now not as bad as they used to be, and these days I have far more good/decent skin days than bad skin days, and I think that counts for something. I have been taking more bare-faced photos recently so hopefully next year I can put in a comparison shot.

If you’re looking for a super basic routine, I’d say focus on the cleansing, moisturising and sunscreen steps. Those are the bare necessities, so please don’t feel intimidated by my routine! Any extra steps, add only if you feel like it’s needed.

I hope you enjoyed this post and found it helpful!

Thanks for reading!

X

 

 

 

Complete Skincare Routine: September 2015

I did do a skincare routine post just a few months ago but so much of it has changed already so I thought I would do a simple hyperlink-heavy post to summarise what I’m using now. I was building it up to match the Korean Routine, famous for having 10-12 steps but I’m still young so my main focuses are cleansing, spot treating, moisture and SPF… she says as she realises how many steps she’s typed up below…
You may observe that I have previously reviewed some products that have either been finished and not repurchased, or have just fallen out of rotation so they’re not in my current routine.

As for context, I have oily, very acne prone skin, not sensitive. I’ve previously used higher end products but right now, everything is from the drugstore and under £10 apart from two cleansers.

Makeup removal: Huggies Pure Wet Wipes (Link to Boots although you can find this anywhere, usually for £1 a pack or in a multi-pack). Very simple –  It gets the bulk of my BB cream and cheap eyeliner off my face and my family swears by it for just about anything that you could possibly use a wet wipe for. Mostly I go makeup free for school, so no worries about using too many wipes.

Cleansing: My Murad Clarifying Cleanser has just been finished. Now I use three different cleansers, depending on how my skin feels. Sometimes, a milk if my face has dry patches or feels tight or uncomfortable. Secondly, a super gentle foam wash that isn’t stripping – Forever’s Aloe Hand and Face Soap, good for a refresher without squeaky cleanliness. This cleanser ranges in price depending on where you buy it – £10 to £15, although I have come across local stalls selling it for less, they are few and far between.
I have Biore’s Deep Pore Charcoal Cleanser for days where I need a super deep cleanse and my face feels like gunk, which is about two to three nights a week – Sometimes nightly, again depending on how my skin feels.

Exfoliation: Twice a week, one using an exfoliating glove (which you can buy anywhere), the other with Quick Fix Facial’s scrub mask (which has run out over the weeks that I’ve put together this post – won’t repurchase).

Mask: Twice a week, one using Quick Fix Facial’s Anti-Blemish Mud Mask and the other with Boots’ Tea Tree, Witch Hazel and Charcoal Mask.

Toning: My Lancome Tonique Douceur, Confort and Eclat samples have run out and I am now using Garnier’s Refining Shine Be Gone Toner as well as the Start Afresh Toner.

In the morning at this point I would also dab on some lip balm to pre-moisturise before I put on something on my lips.

Spot Treating: My Witch Blemish Stick (Boots link here, Superdrug link here) recently ran out and I’m not repurchasing it… I am now using Lush’s Grease Lightning spot treatment (review to come!) for preventing the smaller spots then Superdrug’s Deep Action Anti-Blemish Gel on the bigger, redder swellings.

Moisturiser: Neutrogena’s Oil Free Moisturiser. Mid-way between lotion and cream and very fast absorbing. Also good value at £4/50ml. I sometimes use Murad’s Perfecting Lotion on days where I feel like using something very lightweight.

Eye Cream:  Simple’s Revitalising Eye Roll On, and later I will add a thin layer of Boots Vitamin E Gentle Eye Cream SPF 15.

Day/Night Cream: Boot’s Mattifying Day Cream SPF 15, which I am desperately trying to use up, and Simple’s Protecting Moisture Cream SPF30 (Superdrug Link) which I have deemed better. Superdrug’s Naturally Radiant Renewing Night Cream is my current night cream. In the evening at this point I would slather on a thick layer of lip balm to leave on overnight.

I am currently attempting to incorporate sheet masks into my routine for the winter. I am aware of how complicated the routine is getting, and can only sigh to myself in wonder. I am still on no-beauty-spending-September, which is great as many of my products are getting used up now.

Skincare family photo. Its… a lot.

So, there you have it. Now that I’ve written it down it all sounds very tedious and long but I’m telling you now, most days this takes about ten minutes, or fifteen at most. I scrub in the shower and when I put on that mask. I put on masks and forget about them. So, most days this is 5 steps and most nights, 6.

If I oversleep, I rush cleansing, spray on Superdrug’s Vitamin E Toning Mist, then stuff the moisturising SPF into my travel bag. The travel bag already has lip things and powder in it. Leaving the house without any skincare on does make me feel a bit bare (like being defenceless against spots, eep).

My skin has seen very much development recently, but I’m now trying to cut out some steps, particularly in the moisturising area as my skin is oily and, although it needs moisture, it doesn’t need that much! I have 4 moisturising products and I am to cut this down to one as I use them up – this step will be simply replaced by one facial SPF.

X

P.S. This post has been in progress for a good few weeks now, and I am planning to change a few things already… Will update again soon-ish.