Relax Babe, You Deserve It

As the stress of the Christmas period comes to an end and the stress of a  new year begins, it’s important to carve out time for yourself to relax.  As we all try to turn ourselves into better people for a new year we someone manage to forget to look after ourselves causing anxiety and – yes, stress!

I have devised my favourite ways to wind down and relax for you all, so do your body and mind a favour and tick some off the list.  The best thing is you can do some of them in less than 5 minutes so they don’t take a lot of time out of your busy ‘New Year, New You’ schedule.

Munch that chocolate.

Now, I don’t want to disturb anyone’s diet but it’s SCIENCE.  Not only is it effing tasty but eating some dark chocolate can reduce stress and anxiety.  It improves memory and is related to happiness and increasing your mood.  So, if science says it’s okay then you have that chocolate!  To avoid the guilt maybe don’t race for the vending machine for the goods but instead keep with you a few squares of dark chocolate with you.  My favourite is Pascha Chocolate *bonus – gluten free, dairy free, soy free and nut free*

 

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Meditate – ahummm.

I am telling you, once I got over the Buddha feeling this seriously helps.  From as little as 5 minutes can seriously affect your mood for the better.  The mind, heart and body can improve with regular meditation!  For me personally it grounds me and steadies my thoughts so that my brain doesn’t go into overdrive.  Meditating improves concentration and causes the pituitary gland to secrete endorphins that help elevate the mood and have a positive effect on your whole body.  So sit your ass down and hum a few bars to center yourself.  Trust me, you’ll feel better.

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Drink a green tea.

I don’t know what it is but a sense of smugness washes over me that calms me down when I drink a green tea.  It’s the same sense that you get off those that sit in Starbucks for hours writing or banging away on their laptop.  Anyway, drinking green tea helps with your metabolism but aids in relieving stress also as it contains theanine, a calming agent.  If you find it hard to get used to the taste then try another kind of tea or add in some diluted juice (sugar free!)

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Count backwards.

Come on now, I work in retail so I have had to count down from 10 several times over the Christmas period and for a little quick fix this really works.  It sounds like a test, but trust me it’ll make you feel a lot better as you’ll find that when you are counting your breathing will go in time to the numbers therefore calming you down.

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Pat cold water on your wrists.

Okay, hear me out on this one.  I really do mean cold water and not perfume.  When you apply cold water to your wrists and even behind your earlobes too this can calm down the whole body due to these areas being major arteries.  Sounds bizarre, but go and try it – and I do mean a little not a whole bottle of water or anything crazy.

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Find your space.

I don’t mean hide somewhere until the calm goes away like the stationary cupboard at work but I mean find a space that you can really relax in.  For me, it’s curled up in our ‘vibe room’ in my house where I can sit and listen to music.  I have my paints there if I fancy pushing some paint around.  I have a bean bag and my books.  It’s bliss and it makes me really happy. So if I am having an off day I come home and sit in there and chill out.  Ideally make this space somewhere where there are no phones, TVs, etc so you can really truly relax.

Bubble bath.

As if I even have to put this one in here.  I feel like this point goes without saying… I have never been s relaxed as when I have a bath. The only reason we are renting the house we are, is because it has a bath.  The only thing is after I am done being relaxed in the bath and I pop some pajamas on I get sweaty and stressed again from being too hot.  Worth it.  Get your sorry ass down to Lush or The Body Shop or wherever your favourite smellies place is and pick out some amazing bath stuff and get in a hot bath with a book or with Netflix and chill out.

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Turn off your phone.

I get it, it’s the 21st Century and most of our lives revolve around our phones.  Most of you will probably be reading this from a phone.  Regardless, as much as I love social media and all the things I post about, I hate how attached I am to my phone.  As soon as I put it down I pick it up again to do something else.  Even as I write this one point I have picked my phone up twice.  When my phone is off, I feel more relaxed.  Try it out, I am sure you can last even an hour and it will do you the world of good.

Have fun.

Sounds obvious, right?  But when was the last time you did something you enjoyed?  Whether it’s reading a book, going for a walk, catching up with friends, watching football, whatever.  Don’t deny yourself fun in your busy, hectic schedule.  Take that time for yourself and even plan it in advance so that you have something to look forward to.  I love having a plan for the weekend ahead so that I know my busy week has a happy ending!

So there we have it, a few of my favourite ways to wind down and calm down.  Hopefully this post has inspired you to take a chunk out of your busy life and relax.  Your body and mind will thank you for it!

Peace,

Amy xo

 

 

 

Face Mask Magic

I am sitting here on my day off resting up before a crazy week ahead for a Black Friday week in retail.  In anticipation of the rush ahead and the effect it will have on my skin, I have a day planned of extreme skin focus using my favourite face masks.  If my skin doesn’t feel like a baby’s backside by the end of the day I will be extremely disappointed.

It took me a long time to realise that face masks were an essential part of my skincare regime but I am so glad I did.  It’s easy to overlook a face mask as you leave them on for 10 minutes, wash it off and forget about it but they have long lasting benefits that can really give your skin a boost.  Have you ever just felt so run down and exhausted?  I am telling you a glass of hot water and lemon wine and a face mask will do the trick to help.

With so many kinds of face masks you are sure to be overwhelmed so let me break it down for you.

For dry, dull and dehydrated skin like mine a mask that gently peels off is best as it will buff off the dead skin and dullness leaving your skin feeling seriously smooth and glowin’ without being too harsh like an exfoliator.  On dry skin there is nothing worse than scrubbing ferociously on your skin and this can lead to more damage.  The Origins GinZing Peel Off Mask (£25) is perfect for this as it helps to lift away those stubborn dead skin cells and contains coffee beans extract which helps to waken the skin.

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Sheet masks are something I have been crazy obsessed with.  No joke, I have about 10 upstairs just waiting to be used and I like them all for different reasons.  Some are for when my skin just needs that boost, some are for when I am having a spotty patch and some are just because I want to use a god damn sheet mask.  The Koreans back in 2015 or so definitely spearheaded the trend of this ever so slight Phantom of the Opera look of a sheet mask craze.  Not only where they the hottest skin trend but they actually made an amazing difference to the skin!  Estee Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair Concentrated Recovery Powerfoil Mask (£16-£60) are up there with my absolute favourite mask of all time – not JUST because I want to look like Victoria Beckham while wearing them…

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Packed full of Hyaluronic Acid this mask delivers an intense surge of revitalisation and hydration in just one mask.  The fact that this sheet mask has a layer of foil over it just helps to seal and lock in all of that hydration – think of yourself like chicken in the oven.  You want to trap all of the moisture so it doesn’t escape, and your skin is the same.

Another favourite is the Charlotte Tilbury Instant Magic Facial Dry Sheet Mask 18).  I became obsessed with this mask as, even though I love face masks they can be a little on the sloppy side whereas this mask is dry.  DRY.

 

236827126It is infused with product containing vitamins, floral extract, peptides, oils and butters – I know right?  The effects of this mask last for up to 8 hours which is incredible!  Meaning I can put it on at night before bed, go to sleep and wake up with pristine skin.  Plus, I love the way Charlotte says ‘Darlings’, so there’s that.

 

Hopping on the face mask trend came the eye mask trend.  This one, I haven’t became just as obsessed with (yet), I think it’s just because my face would be more of a concern to me than my eyes would be.  That being said I have used The Body Shop Cooling Gel Eye Mask (£6) for years before knowing it would actually do anything.  If I am being honest, I kept it in the fridge and put it on my face when I was hungover.  So it helped that way?  So now that I know they have a purpose I am currently using the Rodial Dragon’s Blood Eye Masks (£39, 8 pairs) which aim to de-puff under the eyes and hydrate and tone.  Similar to the Estee Lauder Face Mask they contain Hyaluronic Acid which binds water to create hydration.  They are an intense burst of amazingness for the eye and I would highly recommend them, even if you only use them every so often.

Away from sheet masks for awhile let’s get back to a good old jar of cream.  For those of you on the oilier side of things why not take a look at some great clay or charcoal masks like the Kiehl’s Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Masque (£23.50).  This mask clears out Rare_Earth_Masque_alt2blackheads like you wouldn’t believe!  Even though I have dryer skin I do get the occasional oily breakout and with that comes blackheads.   This cleansing mask is the bomb diggity for drawing out dirt, oil and toxins which is what normally clog pores and is formulated with the amazing Amazonian White Clay.  Aloe Vera is added into the mask to help to calm and smooth the skin also, leaving skin beaming.

 

Acne prone skin can cause a lot of stress to the person and to the skin so a good skincare regime can become great with the addition of a mask to suit.  When finding a mask to suit this skin type you want to make sure you

41W-dAAZWRL._SY355_are getting one that contains Salicylic Acid.  Salicylic Acid in layman’s terms is an absolute pimple buster.  This may not be sound advice but when I get a pimple or a spot and I later the area with my masks, by morning it has dried up and I can start moving on.  The acid loosens what holds cells together so that they can be cleared away with ease.  I have used a variety of these kinds of masks/treatment in my time however, always revert back to Super Facialist Salicylic Acid Anti Blemish Clay Mask (£9.99).  It’s one of the more affordable masks that I have come across and really does the trick.  Something like this really can be used once or twice a week however, now that I kind of have my skin under control I only reach for it when I have a spot screaming at me.

I hope you found this list of face masks interesting and if you have tried anything I have mentioned or have anything you think I should try then please let me know as I love trying new products.

Here is a link to my latest blog post with https://cosmeticsjunkiee.wordpress.com/2017/11/14/current-skincare-regime/

Enjoy!

Amy xo

 

Current Skincare Regime

Hello beauty babes!

I hope you are all well and are having a great start to the week.  This post is just going to be a little list of my current skincare regime.  My go tos and my favourite things to use on my skin.  My skin is having a little mental breakdown at the minute and I blame it on having a cold and not being very well recently.  All the more reason to remind myself of how important a good skincare regime is.

A lot of people can be discouraged by having a skincare regime because some things are too expensive but something you need to remember is there is always a cheaper, purse friendly option of something so there really is something to suit everyones budget.  I can’t stress the importance of going in and having a consultation at your favourite counter or getting some samples to make sure that what you are spending your hard earned cash on is worth it.  A lot of counters actually will set aside time and book you in for an appointment for a facial, etc so definitely do your research before heading to Debenhams, House of Fraser, Boots, etc to treat yo self.

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So my morning regime and night time regime are fairly similar, there are just some things I don’t use in the mornings eg. make up remover because… obvy I have no make up on.

Now, my skin falls under the dehydrated/normal category with a chance of breakouts at any given moment so what works for me, may certainly not work for you.  As I said, definitely carve out an hour of your week to go to a counter or skin specialist to figure out what it is you would like your skin products to do for you.  For years I thought I was oily until I went to someone and they were like ‘No dear, you dry.’  On the whole, I am pretty lucky with my skin and I do think a lot of it comes down to genetics, my mum has amazing skin and so does my granny.  I really don’t think it’s down to the glass of wine I am currently chugging.

Anyway, firstly at night I always remove my eye makeup.  You don’t neccessarily need an eye makeup remover specifically for the eyes however, your eye area is so delicate that face products could be too heavy for the eyes and lead to problems in the future.  I use an eye makeup remover because due to working with make up and wearing a fair bit I need something a little more heavy duty than your average 2 in 1 style product to remove everything.  At the minute I am using Lancome Bi-ficil Eye Make Up Remover (£21.50) as it removes even the darkest of smokey eyes on one pad.  I really love the Nivea Daily Essentials Double Effect Eye Make Up Remover (£3.89) also – I find this is a great dupe for the Lancome one.  Perfect for those on a budget!  I find I need to use a lot more product with Nivea and so do go through it very quickly whereas my Lancome one lasts AGES!

Now that my eye makeup is off and my eyes look like pee holes in the snow, I have to remove the rest of my makeup.  Up there with peeling off eyelashes this is one of the more satisfying parts of my day!  I use my all time favourite Estee Lauder Take It Away Make Up Remover Lotion (£23.50) as it leaves my skin feeling squeaky clean!  As I have dry skin I try to avoid water on my face at all costs but for those of you that love the fresh feeling of using water of course I am going to recommend Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish (£16).  My mum swears by this stuff!  If I am wearing a lot of makeup that day, like more than normal I tend to use the Garnier Miscellar Cleanser Water (£3.29ish) roughly all over my face and then go in with the Estee Lauder.  Unneccessary step? Maybe.  Again, you could just use the Miscellar Water just on it’s own and it still gets the job done for a fraction of the price.

Now that your skin is squeaky clean… you’re ready for the actually skincare products now.  Le sigh.  So many products.  So, for cleanser I love love love my The Body Shop Aloe Vera Cream Cleanser (£7.50).  It leaves me skin feeling seriously silky and smooth and there is genuinely always an offer on when I go in so I am stocked up for life with this!  They have a whole range of skincare items that suits a variety of skin types and I used to use the entire Aloe Vera range – it was perfect for me when I was in school!  When I am feeling like I want to treat myself (errday) I always revert back to my Kiehl’s Centella Skin-Calming Facial Cleanser (£28).  It’s so lightweight and leaves my skin feeling so soft that I want to run around and get people to stroke my face.  It contains Aloe, much like The Body Shop cleanser so is amazing for sensitive skins.  I feel that Kiehl’s moisturises my face more than the Aloe Vera cleanser but for the price of The Body Shop you can’t complain!

Toner – do you need it or don’t you?  Up to you.  When I worked for Estee Lauder a common complaint was that toner stung the skin or made the skin feel tight or uncomfortable.  For me, I am a little obsessed with toners because I am gross and like to look at the cotton pads to see just how much dirt is coming off.  It’s disgusting.  We all do it.  Toners are great because they buff off dead skin cells so that our serums and moisturisers go onto a newer layer of skin allowing your products to work more effectively.  Again, keep yourself right and go have a chat to figure out what’s best for you.  I have only tried maybe 3 or 4 toners in my life but at the minute I am using Kiehls Ultra Facial Toner (£17).  I can’t say much about it other than the fact that it leaves my skin feeling really hydrated and supple.  It’s a non alcohol formula which works great on my skin as I am so sensitive!

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I have two night time serums – no one judge me ok – I use the Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair (£52) and the Kiehls (Sorry I am obsessed…) Midnight Recovery Concentrate (£38).  I’m not a loser, I can use one without the other I just don’t want to.  Advanced Night Repair is like liquid gold on the face.  It helps with every single key sign of aging and acts like a moisture magnet so that when you apply your moisturiser it sucks it all in so it works harder, better, faster and stronger.  It is the number one for absolutely everyone, no matter the skin type!  Midnight Recovery Concentrate on the other hand is like taking a little trip to a spa in the comfort of your own home with the beautiful natural scent and make your skin look seriously radiant.  A few drops of this honestly will give you younger looking skin by morning – I stole that.  They say that.

For moisturiser I used to use Estee Lauder’s Re Nutriv Ultimate Diamond Transformative Energy Creme (£265).  The reason I no longer use it is honestly just the price.  I ‘d rather pay my rent.  Now, if I could afford it I would buy two!  The cream itself it B-E-A-U-tiful!  I’m not going to go into why it’s on the more expensive side but basically the Re Nutriv range contains 24 Carat gold…

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It feels absolutely effing fantastic on my skin, it has never looked fresher, more awake and been more hydrated.  The moisturiser itself lasts absolutely ages because you need so little of it to push into the skin.  A 50ml jar lasted me around 4 and a half months!  So if you are looking something extremely lavish and amazing then look no further than this!  I am struggling to find a moisturiser that I love at the minute but I do really like Clinique Moisture Surge Intense Fortifying Hydrator (£34).  It does exactly what it says on the tin so if you are after a moisturiser that will seriously hydrate then that’s the one!  Based on the rest of my regime then I’ll probably go out and try a Kiehls moisturiser!

Eye cream is something that I don’t mind paying a little extra on because it’s always the problem area people talk about when they get older that they wish they had focused on when they were younger.  I use the Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye Serum  (£47) because I love what the face serum does so I want the same results for my eyes.  Plus, the beauty of this is because it’s a serum  much like the face, you can put another eye cream over the top.  You don’t have to, but sometimes I do!  The eye serum hydrates immediately and feels seriously cooling on the eyes.  I keep mine in the fridge and it feels unreal!  When I put an eye cream over top I use the Mario Badescu Hyaluronic Eye Cream (£15).  As it is enriched with Hyaluronic Acid and has an Aloe Vera base it will intensely hydrate and revitalise tired eyes.  I always use the excess on my lips for extra hydration before bed!

That’s it for my night time regime, the only other thing I use on my skin is the Skinkissed Vitamin C Serum (£39.95) during the day before my Clinique moisturiser.  I have already written a post about this serum so I won’t go into much detail but you can read the post here – https://cosmeticsjunkiee.wordpress.com/2017/09/08/skinkissed-la-meor-vitamin-c-serum/

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SO I really think that this might be enough skincare chat for one day…

I hope you enjoy this little insight into what I use on my face on the daily!  If anyone has any recommendations of skincare products that they like or think there is something I should try then please comment and let me know! I love trying new products!

Thanks for reading!

Amy xo

Beauty Must Haves

Whether you are a barely there make up wearer or a Drag Queen there are a few styles of products that everyone must have in their make up bag.

My make up bag changes with whatever beauty counter has had a free gift on, so every month I have a new multi coloured bag to pull all of my unnecessary lipsticks out of.  Obviously, I am more of a self confessed beauty lover and may have more than many when it comes to make up.  Even so, I still have my ‘Desert Island’ products that I would never be without.  This isn’t so much a ‘these are the exact products you must have’ post, more of a ‘you need something like this’ post.

Let’s get started…

  1. Primer.  I am sorry, but I couldn’t bare to touch my face without having at least something separating my skincare from my makeup.  You wouldn’t put a coat of Dulux on without priming your wall first, so treat your face with the same respect! I have an ever growing collection of primers however, so long if you have one in your makeup bag, then you’ll have amazing long lasting make up all day long!  A few old faves of mine range from the Nyx Born To Glow Illuminating Primer to Make Up For Ever Hydrating Primer.  I use these two religiously considering I have extremely dry skin and love a drop of radiance.  If you are more oily can I suggest Rimmel London Stay Matte Primer or Nars Pore & Shine Control Primer as I have used both on clients with oily skin and the feedback has been excellent. Happy priming!unnamed
  2. Liner. I don’t care whether it’s a pencil, liquid, gel, powder or cream based product you owe it to yourself and to your eyes to purchase a perfect liner.  I personally am a fan of liquid and gel, I own very few pencils.  The pencils I do have are for enhancing eyeshadow looks however, for that perfect feline cat eye you have to have a fabby liner to help you along the way.  I have gathered a disgusting collection in my time so far as a makeup artist.  I can’t stray from Mac Blacktrack Gel Liner as I have tried them all on the market and this is the only one that takes the cake, guys.  Liquid liner on the other hand, I have a few favourites for different reasons.  My advice is pick the style that’s easiest for you to use and then perfect it! My tried and tested liquid liners are Maybelline Master Ink Matte Liquid for those  that perfer a pot, Charlotte Tilbury Feline Flick or Kat Von D Tattoo Liner for those that prefer a pen style.yup
  3. Red Lipstick. Yes, you.  There will come a time in every woman’s life where she will all of a sudden need to go from day to night and god forbid all you have is a bunch of rolled up tissues and an empty bottle of Diet Coke in your handbag.  You will praise the day your read this article and you went and purchased an emergency red for such an occasion.  I always have a red lipstick in the zippy part of my  handbag, even in bags I am not using that day!  I have a red stashed in every handbag just incase the need for it arises.  I like to have a variety of my reds in different levels of intensity as I don’t always want to look like an emoji.  For those of you lip-cheek-stain-1051883-003redpomegranate-1-640x640who are shaking thinking about a red lipstick, why don’t you invest in a stain like The Body Shop Lip & Cheek Stain in ‘Red Pomegranate.’  Not only is this product the tits, it’s  multi functional and a bargain at £8.  It gives you that ‘your lips but better’ effect without going full of Marilyn Monroe.

For those who like a middle of the road, Goldilocks perfect style of red I can all but suggest Charlotte Tilbury again with her Hot Lips range in the shade ‘Tell Laura.‘  This is a gloriously fabby, orangey red which is seriously flattering against most skin tones.  If something a little less bright is your bag Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy in ‘Envious’ is a universally loved shade.  It gives just enough coverage on the lips without going overboard.

Myself on the other hand, when I wear a red my GOD I wear a red!  As if you can’t tell that already from my profile picture… which by the way is Rimmel Stay Matte Liquid unnamed (4)Lipstick in ‘Fire Starter.’  I am usually a Mac loving Ruby Woo, So Chaud wearing big red lip wannabe superstar.  If you are looking one red lipstick to rule them all make it Ruby Woo, Mac.  Countless times it tops the charts as the best red in the beauty world.  If it were a singer it would be Ed Sheeran.

 

4. Spoolie brush.  You have just got to trust me on this.  When I used to talk about a Spoolie Brush pre-Cara Delevigne I would get laughed out of the place.  Well, how you like me now?!  A bigger bushier brow is the first thing my clients draw  my attention to (as if I didn’t see…) is their brows.  ‘Oh, forgive my brows I am getting them done next week’ or ‘I know, there’s hardly anything there I shaved them when I was 5.’ All I can say is, brush those hairs into place and it’ll be  like your face has changed in an instant.  The best thing about this post is that if you dont’ want to spend money on a brush you can buy a pack of disposable mascara wands and they will do the exact same thing!  I do however float between Make Up For Ever Double Ended Brow and Eyelash Brush and Mac 204 Lash Brush. If you currently skip this step, please I am begging you – even if you have 3 hairs, do it! The difference is crazy.

5.  Bronzer.  Ah duh, who doesn’t love to transform themselves into a gorgeously, glowing glamazon who looks like they have lived in Dubai for the last decade?  I know I do.  Not much I can say for bronzer, to me bronzer is kind of like pizza in that even a bad one, is still a good one and you can make do with it.  I like having small compact ones that I can take around with me, preferably one with a mirror (vain much?).  Bronzer is great on the eyes too so don’t forget how multi functional this product is too!  My current favourites are Mac Give Me Sun, Make Up For Ever Pro Bronze Fusion 20M and Chanel Soleil de Tan for those cream/gel bronzer lovers.  Nyx’s Make Up Matte Bronzer is a great alternative for those on a budget (or for those prone to smashing bronzers… guilty).unnamed (1)

6. Setting Spray. Yes, this may be extremely unnecessary for some and I thought so too until a few years ago, a lovely girl at Urban Decay talked me into getting a setting spray.  I owe her.  A lot.  Setting spray changed my whole makeup game… not only does it feel refreshing AF, but sprays genuinely help the longevity of your makeup.  WHY wouldn’t you want that?  Again, I used an extreme variety of setting sprays however, that’s now mainly down to the fact I am enjoying collecting them.  I like to look at them all on my shelf.  It’s very satisfying getting to the end of a makeup application and dusting a decent bit of spray over your face to help lock in all that effort.

I use setting sprays to dampen my beauty blenders before application and my brushes before I use certain eyeshadows.  Obviously, I can use good old H2O for that but why would I when I have an array of sprays?

First up, I love the Mac Fix Plus however, as setting sprays go it doesn’t set much?  To me it just adds a little hydration and takes away that powdery cakey look from foundation.  Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray is always a firm favourite and the first spray I ever bought (thank you lady).  Make Up For Ever

unnamed (2)once again getting a mention for their Mist & Fix Setting Spray, a spray that both sets and hydrates – DING DING DING – Winner! Basically every counter and brand have a setting spray on the market so my advice is pick a brand you love and try out theirs.  Your skin will thank you.

 

 

 

Now, that’s quite enough from me.  This post is now longer than the majority of essays I have written for school but with a far nicer content!  Please comment and let me know what your must have products are because I will more than likely head out and buy the damn thing!

Also, let me know if you end up with anything I mentioned and tell me how you get on, I would love to hear.

Thanks,
Ciao Bellas xo

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