A Peek at my Skincare Diary #1: Short and Sweet

Gasp! A Saturday post? Yeah, I forgot to schedule some new posts whilst I was panicking over an essay. I have some time to get some posts up and scheduled now, though, so you all have something to read while I am contemplating the inner workings of the mind for my degree!

I initially planned to start this series two months ago, around the time of year I share my skincare wardrobe. Instead of presenting it all as a giant wardrobe last year, I thought it would be interesting to keep a diary and record what I was using on a day-to-day basis. But then I suddenly stopped taking care of my skin, going nights without bothering with a moisturiser, although I could never forgo my thick layer of lip balm. But it meant I stopped keeping track of my skin using my diary, too.

So very slowly, I’ve been reintroducing my skincare routine based on what I am feeling. I’m not sure how long it will last seeing as my exams are really quite fast approaching and I habitually tend to wreck my sleeping and skincare around that time…

But anyway, here’s what I have been reaching for when I actually did bother with basic self-care.


Dr Organic Hemp Oil Lip Serum

After using this in the morning for at least a year now, I think I am finally using up the last of it! This has an oily but also gel-like texture that’s quite unusual, but I do like it as I want something thin that won’t interfere with my lipstick. It’s only £2.49 from Holland and Barratt, too. I wear it in the morning as soon as I have washed my face, and it stays on mostly until I get to the lipstick stage, when I press it off a bit with the back of my hand before applying lipstick. Of course, the smell will take some getting used to if you’ve never used hemp before – it can be a little unpleasant.

Etude House Moistfull Collagen Emulsion

I think this is actually the first emulsion type product I have tried, and I really like it. It’s most similar to the Western ‘lotion’ although not quite the same thing to me. It’s basically a light moisturiser and sinks in super well which is great in the mornings when I need to layer sunscreen and makeup on top without pilling but also don’t want my skin to be too dry.

I’ve been meaning to write a full review for ages but now I realise there’s not much to say! I’ve been using this for months and I’m only halfway through the bottle, but I will finish this up. I probably won’t repurchase it in favour of something with more ‘wow’ to it.

Kose Suncut Aqualy UV Protect Gel SPF50+ PA++++|Full Review Here

Something about this sunscreen texture is super pleasant so I never shy from reaching for this. It also works really nicely under makeup without pilling which I am very grateful for. However, if oil is a major problem for you then this might not be the best option at all. I really liked using this over the last winter (I just… accepted my oiliness haha) although admittedly I didn’t wear sunscreen every day… I’ll look at other options because I’m a blogger, after all, but this will definitely be repurchased in the future. It’s been over a year of sporadic use and I’m finally getting to the last quarter of the bottle.


Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser| Review Here

A very gentle and pleasant cleanser! For days of light makeup only. It will also make a good attempt at non-waterproof mascaras without stinging the eyes at all which is a nice bonus, and the rose smell is lovely. I actually don’t have many rose-scented products – for some reason the M&S body product sets that haunted my childhood come to mind – but maybe that can change! My only gripe is the price for the amount but honestly, for this lovely of a cleanser, I would not mind repurchasing it anyway.

Etude House Moistfull Collagen Eye Cream

Again, this eye cream actually isn’t anything special. But I’m twenty and only looking for a standard eye cream that isn’t too rich or too thin, and it doesn’t need to have anti-ageing ingredients at this stage. This is actually the perfect consistency – sort of buttery but not greasy at all – and the scent is actually quite minimal. All that means this is super pleasant to use for me and I’d happily buy it to use again. I’ve almost reached the bottom of my tub which means I need to stop buying new emulsions and essences and buy a new eye cream!! Any suggestions for products with a similar consistency?

COSRX AHA Whitehead Power Liquid

As I often lost track of my routine I have erred on the safe side and avoided my acids. I’m trying to reintroduce it starting weekly but even that is kind of a struggle at the moment! Besides the slightly funky smell which I am sort of used to now, there’s not much to say thus far.

Lanolips 101 Ointment|Review here

Dr Pawpaw Original Balm|Review here

One of my favourite combinations recently. I like to use a thin layer of Lanolips before applying a thick layer of Dr PawPaw, which makes my lips super soft in the morning and easy to exfoliate or even just wipe away the dead skin after morning cleansing. Both are slightly pricier options for lip balm and the PawPaw I feel could easily be replaced with Vaseline or Carmex. As you can see, I currently prefer products in tubes, even over stick-type products.

Overall, this routine takes less than ten minutes out of my morning and evening, and hopefully I can build it up a bit more over the next few months without going too heavy as the summer approaches.

I hope you enjoyed this snippet of skincare and hopefully, as this project develops, we’ll be able to see how my skincare routine evolves and adapts to change to all the seasons!

Until next time,


Lipsticks in Rotation – January 2018

Hi everyone!

In order to help me along with my goal of not buying any lipsticks this year, I, of course, have to shop my own stash a little. I wanted to wear more of the lipsticks down below and for some of them, also figure out if I like them enough against my other offerings before I decide to de-stash them. It’s also a fast chance to review ones I’ve never mentioned here before…

Without further ado, these are the lipsticks in rotation this month!

NARS Velvet Satin Lip Pencil – Rikugien (Mini)

This is sheer nude pink shimmer. I do like it, and it’s very pretty, but since I normally want noticeable colour, I just don’t reach for it a lot. I have a feeling this might be one of the first lipsticks to go but it might be worth experimenting with lip liners underneath. Maybe.

Wet n Wild Megalast Lipstick – Bare It All

I actually quite like this for its rather long wear and cheap price (£2.99 on Amazon as an add-on item!). I bought this particular shade because it’s an apparent dupe for MAC’s Velvet Teddy and I wasn’t sure how that would suit me. The plastic packaging also quickly got shattered after that holiday to Vietnam in my travel bag. I didn’t even wear it there much after discovering how much they love reds over there!

I wouldn’t repurchase this colour as I think it’s just a smidgen too light for my personal taste (although it doesn’t wash me out), but I’d consider similar darker shade like In The Flesh another time. Or maybe I should look for similar shades in less breakable packaging… Or maybe I just shouldn’t travel with it!

My favourite way to wear this shade is actually with a layer of NYX’s Butter Gloss in Praline on top for a lovely glossy nude lip, which is why it has joined my rotation. It’s also great on top of a muted red liner like Rimmel’s 1000 Kisses in Spice or Kiko Smart lipliner 103.

Rimmel Lasting Finish Kate – 08

I like this but haven’t been reaching for it much recently. It’s a mauve nude with a satin finish. I don’t think I’ll repurchase it once it’s used up, though. Sometimes I also like to layer it with Rimmel’s 1000 Kisses Lipliner in Spice which is clearly my go-to to warm up a lip colour.

Burberry Lip Cover Soft Satin – 04 Rosewood (mini, discontinued)

I LOVE this but haven’t been reaching for it much, probably as it’s so precious. It’s a brown with a hint of pink, and it’s not too sheer on me (unlike Rikugien) and can also be built up, making it a fabulous nude MLBB shade. In true Burberry fashion, even their casing and bullet are plaid patterned. I think this particular line of satin shades was discontinued, but from what I’ve seen of the Lip Velvet bullets, they still seem vaguely similar (they also have a Rosewood shade!) So I might check them out in future.

Lancome L’absolu Rouge 06 Rose Nu (mini)

I got this as a mini from my mom. In fact, I think this is the oldest lipstick of the lot and it shows as it has the biggest dent out of my stash. I am hoping to finally finish it up this month or next… This is a classy, rosy pink that isn’t super opaque but can be built up well. It has a satin finish and is so comfortable to wear. I’ve had no problem reaching for this daily, and I’m not a girl who wears the same lipstick two days in a row! In fact, if it weren’t for the rapid expansion of my lipstick stash it would probably have been finished all those years ago…

Maybelline Creamy Matte Lipstick – Brown Sugar

This is a cool brown shade and is true to its name in that it’s super creamy. This actually hasn’t had more than a couple of wears since its review last year, so it simply needs a bit more love. I particularly wanted to try it out with different coloured lip liners, and I really like it over MaxFactor’s lipliner in Red Rush for that extra red tone. It’s quite opaque so I couldn’t apply too much and lose that tone, though.

Colourpop Ultra Matte Liquid Lipstick – Wild Nothing (limited edition)

This is a medium mauve toned lipstick that I find best described as a lighter version of the infamous Tulle shade from the original line of Ultra Matte lipsticks. It’s not the most flattering on me, though. This is another one that I want to experiment mixing with a coloured lipliner but Colourpop’s colours are so opaque I wonder if it would work. Maybe a lip topper? I’m not sure if this is still available on their site as it was from their Christmas collection in 2015.

I realised as I took swatch photos that all of these picks are neutrals in one way or another! Although Rose Nu is stretching it a bit towards the pink side, it’s still a great choice that suits anything. I think it just goes to show what a wide range of shades neutrals can encompass. On top of that, only two of these shades have separate reviews because beyond what I’ve said here, as I’ve not had much to say about these shades!

Fingers crossed I make a dent in these or finally decide which ones have to go…

Until next time,


Review: Superdrug Calm Skin 2-in-1 Serum & Moisturiser

Hello everyone!

I spotted Superdrug’s new additions to their own-brand skincare line whilst shopping around for Christmas, and thought I would pick something up to try. The Superdrug Calm Skin range aims to de-stress skin and includes an overnight mask, a cleanser, a facial spray and a facial oil. None of which break the bank at less than a fiver (or even £3) as far as I know!

The item that appealed to me the most was the Hydrating 2-in-1 Serum and Moisturiser (how does that work?) which costs £2.99 for a 50ml. It claims to instantly soothe, calm, and deeply nourish the skin as well as improving skin texture over at least 4 weeks. Well, mine has been in use for longer now, and regularly at that so I thought it was time to share my thoughts.


The bottle is very similar to their other serums in different ranges, such as the Simply Pure Hydrating Serum which has long been a staple in my routine. The textures of the Simply Pure and Calm Skin serums are similar, too. The Simply Pure feels fractionally less greasy which is part of why I love it, but there’s nothing particularly greasy about the Calm Skin so ??? I can’t pin it down either. Something is different but not largely so. The Calm Skin serum itself is also more translucent than the Simply Pure.

One of the things that made me drop my hard earned coins (literally, considering the price) on this was the inclusion of Niacinamide which is fifth on the ingredients list. Niacinamide is touted for its help with dullness or uneven skin texture caused by acne scars. The hyaluronic acid and chamomile are much lower down so unless you’re allergic to either, neither of those two should be the deciding factor if you’re considering buying this.

I have had both this and The Ordinary’s Niacinamide 10% Serum in testing and therefore both will have contributed to the recent improvement in my skin texture, particularly a deeper acne scar becoming more even, and blemishes gradually matching the rest of my skin (!). However, I tended to reach for this more often The Ordinary’s option, one of the reasons being that I don’t need to dilute it for use and can just slather it on.

After using this, I realised how much I had been taking for granted the scent-less Superdrug Simply Pure hydrating serum, once again. If you recall I did not like their B.Hydrated Essence Lotion largely because of the sharp scent. The Calm Skin Serum & Moisturiser product also suffers from this but not as badly. Overall, it’s not off-putting and I got used to it.


  • I like that it has niacinamide which actually did something.
  • It’s hella cheap.
  • Fragrance, as always, is a personal thing.
  • Does occasionally cause makeup to pill but is it just me or is it really hard to find skincare that doesn’t do that?????? I need help in that department, friends.

As a final point, I am halfway through my bottle after almost-nightly use of 2 pumps, so sticking at this rate I will take 2 months to finish this bottle (1 month if I used it both day and night). Not bad.

Take advantage of the superdrug skincare offers they often do for their own brand if you decide to pick this up! This is worth a try if you have coins to spare.

Until next time,


A Lip Balm Collection Round-Up and Mass Review


Lip balms, lip balms, lip balms. Where on earth would I be without these? They’re just an absolute essential in everybody’s handbags/purses/pockets/vanity. Mine usually live on my vanity as I wear lipstick out every chance I get, and tend to wear balm only in the evening and when I am at home all day.

I wasn’t sure how much to write for this  – on one hand, it’s lip balm… On the other hand, it’s lip balm! Important necessity!! Anyhow, here are some mini-reviews.

 Rimmel Lasting Finish Kate Moss Lip Balm SPF 15

First bought in a teeny haul two years ago. It’s simply a clear balm – I like the sweet smell, it’s a little greasier than I would like, and it doesn’t last long on the lips as it’s thin – it just melts onto my lips when I apply. I imagine if I had actually used this every day, I’d have finished the tube in two months or even less. It costs £5.49 for 3.8g, which is pretty pricey and I can’t recommend it when there are better value options. Nothing at all stands out about this balm, even in the ingredients.

Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Lip Balm Stick SPF20
Despite the higher SPF than many of my other lip balms, this has the slight taste of something that shouldn’t really be in one’s mouth. Apart from that, it ticks the right boxes – it’s unscented (but has a generic cream smell and tastes a bit funny), it’s moisturising and nourishing. It also has a drier formula which does decently at sealing in moisture.  Also, what is Norwegian about this formula? I want to know. The main website says it’s the inclusion of Glycerin in the range of products but I can’t seem to spot it on the ingredients list! This is £2.50-89 depending on where you buy it for 4.8g.

Blistex Daily Lip Conditioner
I liked this, I really did, but then I decided tub lip balms were not going to have a place in my life. That was years ago and it mostly still applies. I really do prefer tubes and sticks much more because the less of my fingers needed, the better. That aside, whilst it also had a thin texture I found this to be generally good at keeping my lips soft and moisturised, and Derp seems to really like this and actually uses his tub.

Blistex Intensive Moisturiser
This is nice as a change from a lip balm – I like to let this sink in before layering with something else on top. It’s not really all that ‘intensive’ though and doesn’t last as long on the lips as other balms.

I’m not sure what to say about these – they’re a classic (but sort of novelty) option for sure but they’ve served me well through many lipstick-less days. They’re generally an OK option for conditioning and such (better than the Rimmel, by the way) and the dry layer on my lips comes off way easier after having a thick layer of this on for two hours. I seem to always have a tube in rotation.

Dr Organic Lip Balms
After a friend gave me one to try, I used up a whole tube in three months – which is probably a new record, and I attribute that to the fact that I actually wear this nightly almost without fail!
I like to slather this on overnight and it just so happens to give me really nice lips in the morning. It’s a ‘melts-on-the-lips’ kind of product but not as much as the Rimmel option.
It’s a bit more expensive than the usual drugstore balms but still very affordable. I also have a gripe with the packaging as it doesn’t twist the same way as others to get the product out, and with a little pressure, it’s easily pushed back into the tube. This is £3.49 for 5ml.

Dr Organic Hemp Oil Lip Serum
I was expecting something that, like the Blistex Intensive moisturiser, would be a good option to layer under a more oily balm, but it turns out this probably has more oil content than the balms – bit of a dumb moment for me as the product does state it’s a Hemp Oil Lip Serum! As an intensive treatment, I think this packs even more of a punch than any of these other options. This is, surprisingly, cheaper than the balm (per ml) at £4.49 for 10ml.

Dr Pawpaw Original Balm
I keep seeing this everywhere so I wanted to give it a go and bought the tiny pocket sized tube in Primark. This was very underwhelming. It’s essentially just Vaseline with an added extract that, in my opinion, does nothing for me.

Dr Palmer Cocoa Lip Balm
This has a strange texture that’s a cross between a silicone and a wax. It contains 4g of product for under £2. This isn’t bad, but nothing about it stands out either, so I probably won’t buy it again.

I am moving on to trying more lip mask products like Laneige and possibly the Nuxe Reve de Miel. I hear lots of good things about the Lanolips range too. I can’t try them all at once, though – they’re all a bit more expensive than the ones listed above.

I hope you found this helpful and thank you for reading! Let me know what your favourite balms are, too.

Until next time,


Short Review: Makeup Revolution Vivid Baked Highlighter 

Ever since highlighting took the makeup industry by storm I have refused to step onto that particular bandwagon. I usually join in on hyped bandwagons really late and this one seems no different, but really it’s extra special,  because… I have oily skin. Shine is my natural enemy. I powder my face to bits because I know at the end of a work shift I’ll just shine! So I avoided this trend, but recently highlighting has just been calling to me and I finally thought, well this one is only £3 and it can’t hurt…

Makeup Revolution’s Vivid Baked Highlighter in Golden Lights is packaged in sturdy plastic with a clear lid. Nothing mind-blowing, but not downright terrible either. The design of the actual powder helps it, though. It actually looks pretty good for a product at that price point.

(Hey! My photos got better! I’m hella proud of these pretty shots.)

With the swatch below, I don’t think you can see the shimmer all that well. Swatched using my finger, I flattened some of that cool pattern on the powder, and it did come out a bit glittery rather than as a highlighted shimmer. However, with a brush on the cheeks, this shows up so subtly and not as chunky glitter at all. It’s hard to go overboard with this and the sheen it leaves is definitely gold rather than a white highlight.

You’d think that perhaps my skin in its oily stages would completely mask this highlighter by the end of the day. I dare say that anyone who isn’t familiar with highlight probably wouldn’t notice the difference. However, when I tried wearing it all day, a fellow makeup lover noticed the gold sheen even after I turned into an oil slick and I am genuinely baffled as to how, when all my (matte) makeup sort of melds together and looks glossy.

I think this highlighter has powers I just don’t understand.

Would I recommend this? I actually do not know. For anyone who has normal, not oily skin, I’d say give it a go for the glow! If you’re oily skinned like me, I am still figuring out whether I should have bothered. Personally, I think this was a bit of a novelty, hype-induced purchase.

Let me know what you think of this, if you have it!

Thanks for reading,


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!

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.

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!





Review: Makeup Revolution New-trals VS Neutrals Palette

I think this purchase was my reaction to all the hype about the Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance palette – it looks beautiful, sure, but I’m not ready to splash out again for another high end palette, not just after treating myself to Kat Von D. Doesn’t stop me from making it a permanent stay on my wishlist, though…

Meanwhile, student discounts were happening and I hit 400 points on my Superdrug H&B card, so I bought this palette that I’d been eyeing up for ages. The palette costs £6.99 and contains 14 pans, and is available from Superdrug or Tambeauty’s website.

The New-trals VS Neutrals palette consists of a top row that looks like it was swiped from Modern Renaissance, and a bottom row that has similar shades to that of the Naked 3, or MUR’s Iconic 3 which is the duped version.

I have to say, this is a step up from their typical palettes with sponge applicators and clear plastic lids. This palette was in a cardboard box and the palette itself has a matte lid with a big mirror on the inside, and contains a double ended brush which actually functions pretty decently. The shades are also named, and the palette comes with a piece of clear plastic with names on that I’d already lost by the time I took the photos, but it’s still a step up from no names. Maybe one day we’ll even see names printed under the pans.

Cardboard packaging in MUR’s rose gold style. Rose gold anything is always going to be a winner these days.

Colour Swatches
(As you may have noticed, this is a ready-n-waiting post that has been sitting in my drafts for months! Hence old photos from before the new camera haha – I may update it in future.)

Top row of shades. L-R: Bias, Neutral, Personal, Vogue, Trend, New-Tral, Tone, and Custom.

Gonna say it now – I bought this palette for the beautiful reddish shades on this top row, namely, Vogue, Trend, New-Tral and Tone. Aren’t they beautiful?? So appropriate for the autumn season and will work its way into the springtime, I suspect. All the shades in the palette seem to have some degree of shimmer which can make even the matte-looking shades more satin sometimes.

‘Trend’ seemed to be softer than the other shades – I got more pigment and a little more fallout when swatching that one – but Moi over at 35thofMay noted that ‘Tone’ was a shade that did the same thing, and not Trend.


L-R: Cool, Style, Partial, Mode, Adapt, Buff, Suit, Strong.


This is the bottom row that seems to be identical to shades from the Naked/Iconic 3 – Here’s a link to the review that says so. The Naked 3 is the rosier edition of its original, so I think it was a good selection to include for autumn to spring. Of course, the only downside is having two of the same shades if you already have it. Luckily, I don’t.

That aside, the glittery foiled shades are absolutely gorgeous and probably the ones that benefitted the most from me swatching with my fingers. The shade ‘Strong’ (last on right) seems to have a love-hate reputation due to its pigmentation and/or choice to use purple glitter flecks in it, but I really like it and it showed up fine on my eyelids. Perhaps it is a problem with consistency between palettes.

I have to mention, I just used a one-finger swipe for all these swatches, so the colours didn’t turn out as bold as other swatches that you can find online. The colour is very easily built up on the eyelid though.

If anybody is curious about wear time, it’s similar to other MUR palettes if you’ve tried any. They wear pretty well without a primer although crease on my oily eyelids, and with a primer on, they will look great all day. The colour does fade a little throughout, but I didn’t notice until after many hours of wear.

Overall, I really like the shades and can work with all of them – I’m going to have a lot of fun playing around with the top row especially.

Thank you for reading!