Sunday, 22 December 2013

#TheSkinProject - Serums

Welcome to my fifth post of #TheSkinProject - founded and set up by myself. 

Catch up, and take a look at the topics each week...
#TheSkinProject - Wanna Get Involved?
#TheSkinProject | My Skin

#TheSkinProject | Cleansing 
#TheSkinProject | Exfoliate

#TheSkinProject | Toning
#TheSkinProject | Eye Cream (coming Dec 29th)
#TheSkinProject | Moisturise (coming Jan 5th)
#TheSkinProject | Face Masks & Treatments (coming Jan 12th)
#TheSkinProject | Anti-Ageing (coming Jan 19th)
#TheSkinProject | Q&A with Skincare Expert (coming Jan 26th)
#TheSkinProject Awards (coming Feb 2nd)

So let's talk Serums...


serum

noun  (BEAUTY PRODUCT)
 a substance in beauty products that is designed to improve your skin.


What is a Serum?
A serum is a thick, liquid like product (usually oil or water based) including active, concentrated ingredients that penetrate deep into the skin. Whereas a skin moisturiser stays on the surface of the skin, a serum penetrates  into the epidermis to restore cell growth, help decrease the size of pores and bring antioxidants to the skin. A serum is to be applied after toning and before moisturiser. The gel-like formulas are packed with vitamins and nutrients and quickly sink into your skin.

Why is using a Serum important?
A serum will improve the overall look of your skin and complexion, and there are many available such as anti-ageing, skin brightening and acne preventative. It's important to shop around and find the right one for you. Serums can improve dark spots and early ageing signs such as lines and wrinkles. They're also great for those with really oily skin as they can be used to add hydration, in place of a moisturiser. 




TheBrunetteSays...

I introduced a serum into my skincare routine a few months ago. I thought they weren't that important before that, but since trying a few, I've noticed a dramatic difference in my skin. My complexion is so much better and I've had so many comments on how flawless my make up looks lately, I believe it's down to the skincare I've been using. 

I've been trying out a few different serums in my morning routine. I receive a lot in my beauty boxes and goody bags and I'm currently using Premae Harmony Smoothie Serum (£22.50) - I've previously used the Creme Balm from their range and fell in love with it, so was eager to try this! 
It's a silky yet mattifying serum, a lot creamier than usual which promises to soothe redness, smooth out uneven skin tone and provide a protective barrier against free radicals, environmental changes and chemicalised make up. 


During my evening routine I've been using Swisscode Bionic Stem Cell Age Control serum (£134.00*) which is packed with strong antioxidant properties which reduce collagen loss and stimulate collagen production. It feels amazing on application, almost like liquid silk! And with the promise to reduce lines and wrinkles, firms skin firmness and elasticity and prevents ageing, I hope I never run out of this stuff!! :)


So, that's my take on Serums. Join me next week to talk Eye Cream
Remember to use the Twitter hashtag #TheSkinProject to read more Serum posts from the other bloggers taking part in this project.


Feel free to comment with your links to your skincare posts as part of #TheSkinProject..

*PR Sample or Gifted Product




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Tuesday, 17 December 2013

The Clothes Show Live 2013

I'm a big fan of The Clothes Show, although not so much a fan of the fact that it's so close to Christmas!! A massive room full of clothes and beauty products, with the odd celebrity wandering round - sounds a bit perfect to me! ;)

If you haven't heard of The Clothes Show, then let me explain...
Set in the Birmingham NEC exhibition centre, The Clothes Show is a fashion festival set over 5 days featuring top fashion and beauty brands, hair and beauty demonstrations, catwalk shows, celebrity performances and appearances, makeovers, experts and next generation talent.

I love wandering around the stalls, especially the new up and coming designers, checking out pieces that are 'one-off' and unavailable anywhere else and grabbing some fab bargains at great discounted prices.

James gave me £150 to treat myself.
And I did ;)



Myself and my friends Syreeta, Donna & Sandra headed for Birmingham NEC last Saturday, December 7th and as always, had a fantastic day.

There were some lovely stalls. Yes, there was also a massive amount of 'market style' stalls, probably a lot more than Ive seen before, but there was soooo much to see, and lots of hidden gems hidden amongst them. There were lots of stalls full of quirky, handmade bits, stalls from new fashion designers and new companies. 
We spent quite a bit of time at the DeMontfortUni stall, showing our support to our local up and coming fashion designers. One of my friends picked up a necklace and another bought a fab top by @abbscull  (random that I managed to find her on Twitter! :))

Luckily on the day we went, it wasn't too busy that we couldn't walk around at our leisure and explore everything. I've heard since that the Sunday was crazy busy!! So I think we were pretty lucky!

Me being me, LOVE LOVE LOVE the Beauty Hall. Even with more beauty products than I can physically store, I can never have enough. And I wandered around all the amazing cosmetics trying not to buy too much! :)

My friend was an actual celebrity magnet! Spotting and managing to speak to celebs such as Kingsland Road, Romeo & Lisa Maffia. I did make it my aim to have my photo taken with a celebrity but I didn't manage it. Booo. To be honest, my friends aren't really celeb fans and whereas I found it fab seeing people I watched on my telly every week, such as the Made In Chelsea & TOWIE lot, they didn't really care for them, or know who many were lol. So without running the risk of losing my friends, I snapped a few photos and kept going. I was a bit gutted I didn't fulfil my aim. I do love my celebs!! Next time ;)

Geordie Shore's Vicky


We had a fab girly day and picked up lots of gorgeous bits between us!! 
Then we finished the day with the Fashion Show, before heading home.
This years Fashion Show, held in the Alcatel One Touch Fashion Theatre, was a celebration of The Clothes Show's 25th Anniversary and based around the the 'A Weekend In The Country'. The dancers and models, and not to mention the outfits were amazing, and the show was fantastic so hats off to all involved. Hooooow much does BB Kaye love the attention?? I swear he gets a bit more cocky every year! ;) haha, he's a good lad though! :)



As always, The Clothes Show was a fab day out!

Let me show you some of the bits I purchased...


The only clothes I purchased were these from an exciting young fashion label, OhMyLove London. 
I managed to snap up this Leopard Print Jumper (although I can't find it online), Feeling Feline Cream Fluffy Jumper (£35.00), Feeling Feline Taupe Jumper (£35.00) & Black Dress (which I can't find online either) all for £30!! 


And these are the other bits and pieces I picked up... 


There are a few Christmas presents for the other half but I've tried not to get those in the photos just incase he's having a little nose!! ;) But let me fill you in on what I bought...

Police ToBe Woman perfume with a free shower gel. I can't remember how much these were, but it was a great price and he threw in a skull bandana too. :) 

Barry M Goody Bag (£10) - as always, the BarryM goody bag was popular, including a little bag with  5 nail polishes, 2 of which were limited edition and then the usual coloured eye pencils, mascara, a lovely lip gloss and 2 pots of dazzle dust. Although it's pretty much the same every year, it's a fab goody bag and great value for money!

Bomb Cosmetics Soaps - I love this brand. Pretty, handmade, natural products; think 'Lush's sister'! I was pretty gutted when they shut up shop in Leicester. The stall looked beautiful, they'd quite clearly spent a lot of time and effort making their stall look amazing. I think the soaps were 3 for £5?! And I picked up an Orange Soda Soap, Sweet Sundae Soap (which Bradley has bagged!!) & Lemon Meringue Delight Soap Cake. They smell divine!! Yummy!

So...? Goody Bag - I actually think this was one of the best goody bags I spotted, in terms of value for money. In the £10 goody bag was a gift set including their original scent perfume, body spray and body wash, a box of 3 'rock n roll' body sprays, a travel wash bag, a travel toothbrush, a t-shirt, dry shampoo, a So...? Brit body spray and s gift set of their So...? Brit perfume, lip blame & body spray. How fab!! 

Popbands - These are usually £6 each for 5 but we got some on offer using our Clothes Show wristband (which was also a Popband ;) ) I'd heard of this brand before, from their celeb twitter promo. They're soft and stretchy hair bands that don't snag your hair or leave any dents or kinks once you take it down. I'd been meaning to order some for a while, as I have to wear my hair up daily at work while working with young children, and normal elastic hair bands damage, pull out and snag my hair constantly. Whereas these are so nice to use, I can pull them out of my hair and feel reassured that they're not pulling half my hair out with it. Plus they look a bit prettier on my wrist :)

Some cute handmade jewellery. 2 necklaces and a bracelet. 

Boozi Hand Cream - My friends and I were in our element when we stumbled across this stall. Boozi Bodycare is a range of cocktail fragranced body care. Oh yes! We're big cocktail fans so we loved the idea of this! If I hadn't already had my Christmas shopping sorted, these would've been perfect gifts for the females in my family! I think I'll definitely look them up again in the future! I picked up a WooWoo Hand Cream.

W7 Cosmetics - I was so chuffed when I heard they'd be there this year. I discovered W7 when a friend bought me the Africa bronzer as a Secret Santa present and I fell in love with it!! I also own a yummy nude lipstick by them too, and although they're such a cheap brand (which I usually tend to steer clear of), the products that I have used have been fab! They had a 5 items for £10 offer on so my friends & I stood for ages picking things up. I came away with a much needed new Africa bronzer, a Double Act bronzer, which is a dupe of the discontinued 10 Bronzer by Benefit, which I loved, a Bronze Shimmer Compact, a pink blush & a light diffusing concealer for my under eyes. Bargain! ;)



So, we had a really great girly day out. I'm a big fan of The Clothes Show! They've already released next years dates. Same time next year, ladies?? ;)







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Friday, 13 December 2013

#EastMidsMeetUp

I knew Emma, from NotYourAverage before she started blogging, through her boyfriend Adam. She was one of the main inspirations that got me back into blogging, as I loved reading her blogposts and missed being part of the blogosphere. So when she told me she was planning a local meet up for bloggers, I put my name down straight away!

The idea behind the meet up was to allow local East Midlands based bloggers the chance to get together, as many blog events are held in the larger cities and places taken up pretty quickly. 
I'm still pretty new to blogging, with my blog only running since before the summer, and this was my first proper bloggers meet up so I was looking forward to it yet feeling a little nervous too.

So, on Saturday, November 30th I headed for the train station where I met up with Sophie from Sophie'sBeautique where we caught the train to Derby, where we met up with Emily from WhatEmLoves, Annie from TalesofAnnieBean, Anna from HouseofBargain & Sally from RainyDayFaces. We all felt a bit nervous as we headed to meet everyone else in Westfields. 

Myself, Sophie, Emily & Sally

Emma got us all to pick a name out of a bag for our Secret Santa gift. I ended up picking Sally, which was quite tricky as I was shopping with her all day, was tricky buying something for her while she wasn't looking! ;) 
We all then went off to do some shopping in small groups, where we were later joined by Sammie from LoveFromSammie and Amie from FashionIsOurReligion

Goodies I picked up whilst shopping


I managed to pick up some bits. Before we then met up to head for Fat Cats where we sat on 2 big tables and had a few cocktails and chatted to others. Hannah & Filiz from Hot House PR, who work for St Moriz and many more brands, popped in which was great to chat, swap business cards and hear about the new brands they're working on. The food was fantastic and they managed to bring it all out super fast and nobody had to wait. Everyone seemed pretty happy with their meals so they did great!


Throughout the whole day Emma rushed around after everyone, making sure everyone was okay and handing out Secret Santa presents and goody bags. She didn't stop - she didn't seem to relax the whole day. She was an amazing host and did a fantastic job! She'd spent so long making little labels, even baking us yummy cakes! I asked the girls I was shopping with if they fancied clubbing together to get her something to say thank you. Everyone agreed and we picked her up a Soap & Glory gift set so she could have a little pamper session once she got home! :)



I received a cute silver necklace from my Secret Santa. I can't remember who it was from, which is really annoying me - but huge thank you to you!!!

My Secret Santa gift - thank you!


The goody bags Emma had put together were fantastic, full of great products!!



All in all, it was a fantastic day! I really enjoyed myself and would like to say a big thanks to the girls I met and shopped with and to Emma for organising the event!













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Monday, 9 December 2013

Life | My Week [Dec1-8]

Hey lovelies,

This week has been a craaaaazy busy week and I've been sooooo tired and drained!! I've done a few late nights at work, that and getting ready for Christmas has meant blogging has taken a back seat this week, I managed to get a couple of posts out but I've just not had time to keep on top of it this week!

We've been getting really Christmassy at work this week, making lots of fab Christmas decorations and doing lots of festive activities! It's such a lovely time of year to work with children! :)

Last Sunday we put the trees up whilst listening to Christmas music then settled down to watch Elf! :) We have a nice black, decorative tree in the lounge that matches the colour scheme, then we have a white tree in the hallway which is Bradley's tree, that he decorates himself and puts all the fab things we make on there. The lounge is full of Christmas gift bags and wrap, everywhere is such a mess - with Christmas stuff. Aghhh!! :)

I've been loving opening my Boots Beauty Advent calendar this week! Some fab little pieces in there! :)

Yesterday me & my friends went to The Clothes Show. It was fab, I love that place! It's like heaven!! :) I picked up soooo much stuff and bumped in to lots of celebs, such as Kingsland Road, Lisa Maffia, Romeo, Gemma Collins, Amy Childs, Vicky Pattison & Mark Wright. I failed my mission to have at least one photo with a celeb! Gutted. But my friends aren't big celeb fans so they didn't really want to wait around while I fangirled over people I watch on TV, ha! Fab day though, can't wait to do a post on the day to show you everything I bought!!

Some pictures from this week...

Bradley putting the star on one of the trees | Loving Benefit's Rockateur this week!! | The Gingerbread house Bradley bought home from his grandparents this week | Some of the bags we had on the way home from The Clothes Show this weekend

Favourite Product of the Week...
I bought Benefit's Rockateur (£23.50) at the #EastMidsMeetUp and have been using it every day since. It's such a gorgeous colour with just the right amount of shimmer and a fab scent to it too.

Favourite Fragrance of the Week...
I received a sample of Nina by Nina Ricci in my advent calendar this week. I love the smell of it, it's very me. Very sweet and girly. I love Ricci Ricci by Nina Ricci, it was my staple summer fragrance a few summers ago, and this is another beauty by Nina. It's definitely going on my Wishlist for a full size bottle! :)

Favourite Bit of the Week...
The Clothes Show was a fab day - being surrounded by clothes and beauty products, and a few rather attractive celebs is my kind of day!! ;)

Song of the Week...
We've been having the Christmas songs on at work this week, and it can't get much better than All I Want For Christmas by Mariah Carey! 

Favourite TV of the Week...
'I'm A Celeb' has been pretty good this year. My vote is for Kian to win tomorrow! :)

Favourite Tweet of the Week...
'The fact that Tom Daley coming out is on the news, shows how f**ked our society is regarding sexuality' - @JasonCarter_ 
I thought it was absolutely ridiculous that Tom Daley being gay was front page and headline news this week!! 

Catch up on this weeks blogposts...



Have a fab week guys!!










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#TheSkinProject - Are you involved??
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Sunday, 8 December 2013

#TheSkinProject - Exfoliate

Welcome to my third post of #TheSkinProject - founded and set up by myself. 

Catch up, and take a look at the topics each week...
#TheSkinProject - Wanna Get Involved?
#TheSkinProject | My Skin

#TheSkinProject | Cleansing 
#TheSkinProject | Toner (coming Dec 15th)
#TheSkinProject | Serum (coming Dec 22nd)
#TheSkinProject | Eye Cream (coming Dec 29th)
#TheSkinProject | Moisturise (coming Jan 5th)
#TheSkinProject | Face Masks & Treatments (coming Jan 12th)
#TheSkinProject | Anti-Ageing (coming Jan 19th)
#TheSkinProject | Q&A with Skincare Expert (coming Jan 26th)
#TheSkinProject Awards (coming Feb 2nd)


So let's talk Exfoliating...


Exfoliate - verb  /eksˈfəʊ.li.eɪt/  to remove dead skin cells from the surface of the skin, in order to improve it's appearance.




Why is exfoliating important?

We get older, yet cell regeneration slows down, meaning our skin isn't as fast at shedding dead skin cells and creating new ones. So we need a little help! This is where exfoliation comes in! 
Old skin cells piling up onto the skin can leave it looking dull and dry and can sometimes result in clogged pores and excess oil which in turn can lead to blemishes and acne. 
Exfoliation of our skin helps remove the old skin cells to make way for new ones, which leaves the skin ready for other products such as our moisturiser, allowing it to penetrate deeper once the pores are clear and skin is fresh, allowing them to work more effectively. For clearer, fresher, softer, healthier skin - exfoliation is a must!
Be gentle when exfoliating, you don't want to over scrub your face. Once a week is enough, although there are gentler exfoliators suitable for daily use. And remember to follow with moisturiser so your skin doesn't dry out afterwards. 

Types of exfoliator:

Scrubs - usually contain grainy particles, sugar & salt scrubs are popular, focuses on surface cells, good for oily & normal skin
Creams - contain tiny exfoliating beads, focuses on surface cells, good for sensitive skin, can be used more than once a week as usually quite gentle, good for normal skin
Chemicals - usually contain alpha-hydroxy acids, sinks into skin to target deeper layers, available in 'peels', helps firm & tighten skin, good for dry & normal skin
Enzymes - dissolves dead skin cells without scrubbing, good for sensitive skin
Microdermabrasion - a mixture of fine, sand like substance made of zinc oxide or aluminium oxide crystals, usually available in spas, good for normal skin
Brush/Glove -  gentle specially made brushes or exfoliating gloves for gentle exfoliation by massage

TheBrunetteSays...

If you read my Cleansing post, you'll remember that I mentioned I used the Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant (£40.30) as my morning cleanser, without fail every day. It is a really gentle rice-based powder which activates on contact with water to create a creamy paste which when massaged onto the face leaves my skin feeling loads smoother and brighter. It's one of my holy grail products that I wouldn't be without! It contains Papain, Salicylic acid and rice enzymes which micro-exfoliate dead skin cells. 



Once a week, I also use Lush's Angel On Bare Skin (£6.35) which they advertise as a cleanser, as the solid ingredients turn into a cleansing milk like substance on contact with water, but I feel it much more an exfoliator. When I massage the textured product into my skin I can feel it gently scrubbing and it really balances out my skin tone. It's another gorgeous product that I repurchase every time it runs out! 






So, that's my take on Exfoliators. Join me next week to talk Toners
Remember to use the Twitter hashtag #TheSkinProject to read more Exfoliating posts from the other bloggers taking part in this project.


Feel free to comment with your links to your skincare posts as part of #TheSkinProject..






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Sunday, 1 December 2013

#TheSkinProject | Cleansing

Welcome to my second post of #TheSkinProject - founded and set up by myself. 

Catch up, and take a look at the topics each week...
#TheSkinProject - Wanna Get Involved?
#TheSkinProject | My Skin
#TheSkinProject | Exfoliate  (coming Dec 8th)
#TheSkinProject | Toner (coming Dec 15th)
#TheSkinProject | Serum (coming Dec 22nd)
#TheSkinProject | Eye Cream (coming Dec 29th)
#TheSkinProject | Moisturise (coming Jan 5th)
#TheSkinProject | Face Masks & Treatments (coming Jan 12th)
#TheSkinProject | Anti-Ageing (coming Jan 19th)
#TheSkinProject | Q&A with Skincare Expert (coming Jan 26th)
#TheSkinProject Awards (coming Feb 2nd)


So let's talk Cleansing...



Why is Cleansing important?
It is important to cleanse our skin thoroughly both morning and evening to remove make up, dirt, impurities, dead skin cells, excess oils, sweat and any other nasties on our skin. They help to refresh the skin and get rid of any toxins. 
The skin on your face tends to be more sensitive than other areas of the body, due to it always being out in the open, exposed to pollution and harmful rays. Because of this, our skin is often more prone to problems such as dryness, breakouts or oily t-zones. Therefore, it is important to treat our skin well.
Cleansing also plays a big part in ensuring good performance from the rest of the products in your routine. This is something I only learnt earlier this year. I was forever just slapping on the odd moisturiser or skin treatment, but these products will only work thoroughly on a completely clean face. Cleansing the skin well enables follow up products to work effectively and penetrate deeply. A good cleanse also helps make up apply and stay on better. So, I think we've worked out that it's pretty important, yes? :)

Types of Cleansers:
Foaming Cleansers - can be drying, good for oily & combination skin, long lasting, lightweight texture.
Gel-based Cleansers - good for oily skin, good for acne-prone skin, benefits mature skin.
Cream Cleansers - good for dry skin, good for sensitive skin.
Oil Cleansers - gets rid of excess sebum, good for dry skin, great for dirt and make up removal.
Micellar Water Cleansers - no need to rinse, applied with cotton pad, lightweight, chemical free, great for make up and dirt removal.
Make Up Wipes - fast and easy, good for small amounts of make up removal, good to freshen up, good for all skin types, good for on the go or travelling, not great for every daily skincare.
Exfoliating Cleanser - buffs away impurities, good for all skin types.
Bar Soap - not advisable as very drying although there are special facial soaps available. 

TheBrunetteSays...
As you read in my previous post, I've only really been properly looking after my skin with a full on skincare routine, morning and evening, for the past few years. Everything I seemed to use during my late teenage years used to flare me up or break me out, so a quick splash of water was enough back then, and a creamy cleanser now and then as a skin treat, then I'd remove my make up at the end of the day with any old make up wipe and smother some cream on! Luckily, I've become a lot wiser over the last few years!
I really want to try a battery operated skin cleansing brush similar to the Clarisonic, maybe the No7 Beautiful Skin version, I might have to pop it on my Wish List!! :)

Currently, these are the cleansing products I am using - 


Morning Cleanser:


Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant (£40.30)
I use this little beauty every morning. I know it's an exfoliator, but it's gentle enough to be used daily. It starts as a fine powder and activates upon contact with water, turning into a creamy cleanser. It feels so nice on my skin, leaving it feeling squeaky clean, smoother and brighter. I love this product and can't see me using another during my morning routine. Read my full review here. 

Evening Cleansers:



Simple Kind To Skin Cleansing Facial Wipes (£3.00)
I know, I know!! *hangs head in shame* I know that these are a big no-no, and aren't good for my skin, but I really like them to remove my eye make up and for a quick sweep over my face in the evening. But I do follow with a cleanser afterwards (well, most of the time! ;)) I usually do this whilst lying in bed watching some TV before bed, and I will admit, there are times where I'm too tired to get out and follow with my usual skincare routine. I'm debating getting some micellar water as this may be a much better option over the wipes. I do see the difference when I forget to follow with a cleanser, on my cotton pad in the morning, so it goes to show that a good evening routine is super important!

Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel (£27.00*)
I've been trying out different cleansers for my evening routine and am currently using this special cleansing gel sample from Dermalogica. It's a gel based, foaming cleanser that feels really gentle yet completely removes all traces of make up and dirt from the day. My skin feels super clean after I've used it.



So, that's my take on Cleansing. Join me next week to talk Exfoliators
Remember to use the Twitter hashtag #TheSkinProject to read more Cleansing posts from the other bloggers taking part in this project.


Feel free to comment with your links to your skincare posts as part of #TheSkinProject..



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