Natural skincare favourites

Natural skincare favourites

After suffering from acne for two years from 2013-2015 I have a hell of a lot of experience with skincare products and what works and what doesn’t. I was forever being advised to try different scrubs/creams/masks and after years of trialling what was probably hundreds of products, I have finally found my favourite products.

The one big breakthrough I had that really helped me to clear up my acne was that I realised that less is definitely more. I know when you’re covered in blemishes and you’re desperate to change that, you want to do something about it – so you scrub at your face and plaster it in numerous different chemical-packed substances but actually, you’d be so much better off leaving it all alone.

My go-to skincare routine currently involves a bar of Dove soap, Aloe Vera gel, St Ives Apricot Scrub and Freeman face masks. Yes, that’s right. No special zit-zapping soap or creams. Just these guys and some water.

When I finally cut out the zit-zapping cleansers and creams and switched to a standard, good old Dove bar of soap and Aloe Vera gel (twice a day, morning and night) my skin rapidly improved. Now I won’t lie, I was also on antibiotics to help clear up my acne, but the antibiotics take a couple of months to kick in and my face started clearing up way too early for it to have been the antibiotics – I believe it was down to the lack of harsh chemical-filled products.

The dove soap is super natural, as is the aloe vera gel. Equally, the St Ives scrub that I use very sparingly once a week is super gentle on your skin and super natural. The facemarks that I use once every other week are also full of natural goodness – using ingredients like sugar, seaweed and yet again, aloe vera, they’re really gentle on your skin but still do their job in keeping it clean and baby smooth.

The key to keeping clear, happy and gorgeous skin, I believe from my experience, is being gentle and keeping a consistent routine with the same natural products. It probably sounds crazy to some of you, probably like it’s going to create more spots than it will get rid of. I’m not saying it will work for everyone, but for me, being gentle and therefore keeping irritation to an absolute minimum made a world of difference.

You can buy aloe vera gel from most chemists/pharmacies and I get my Freeman facemarks and Dove soap bars from Tesco. The St Ives Apricot face scrub is available on Amazon, here. The apricot scrub is a little on the pricier side, but it’s 100& worth it, the other products though, are really reasonably priced and work wonders.

If you decide to give any of these products a go, let me know what you think, or if you have any suggestions for other natural, gentle skincare products then please feel free to let me know in the comments as I’m always on the look out for new little gems!

Thank you for reading, if you haven’t already, check out my last post, ‘gooey vegan brownie goodness’ and stick around for a huge clothes haul coming on Tuesday!

emmachxrlotte

Gooey vegan brownie goodness

Gooey vegan brownie goodness

First in a long line of posts I have prepared for you this week is a recipe I tried yesterday evening – chocolate brownies. Brownies are one of my absolute favourite foods ever, but with my gluten and dairy intolerances it has been difficult to find brownie free of the two. So, I decided to make my own.

However, the last two recipes I’ve used they’ve just not really been brownies. The first one I tried was basically just chocolate sponge cake, it didn’t have that lovely gooey brownie texture at all. The second recipe I tried was nowhere near chocolate-y enough to be a brownie. But I decided to give it another go, third time lucky and all, using Jamie Oliver’s Vegan Brownie Recipe, and oh my god. Oh my god. They are good. You can’t tell that they’re vegan at all, they taste like thousands of calories of carby sugary badness and it’s beautiful.

These are perfect with Valentine’s day coming up; whether you make them as a delicious treat for your other half or you make them as a present for yourself. You can go check out Jamie’s recipe if you want the full recipe, but I’m going to post below exactly what I used, as I tweaked a couple of things.

5 tablespoons sunflower oil
200g dairy-free dark chocolate
170g self-raising flour
3 heaped teaspoons cocoa powder
180g sugar
230ml soya milk

Of course all of the ingredients used are gluten and dairy free versions and you should also include some vegan butter to grease the tin. Jamie’s recipe also includes a vanilla pod and some pecan nuts but I chose to leave these out – it’s up to you though!

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4. Grease a baking tin, then line with greaseproof paper.
  2. Break 150g of chocolate into a bowl over boiling water and allow it to melt, then set aside to cool a little.
  3. While you’re waiting, sieve the flour and cocoa powder into a mixing bowl, then stir in the sugar. Stir in the oil, soya milk and melted chocolate until combined.
  4. Roughly chop and stir in the remaining chocolate and pour the mixture into the prepared tin, spreading it out evenly. Then place into the hot oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until cooked on the outside, but still gooey in the middle.
  5. Leave to cool for ten minutes, if you can bare to wait any longer, and then I dusted them with icing sugar but you could drizzle melted chocolate over them if you’re feeling super naughty.

This recipe was absolutely fantastic and I feel like I owe Jamie my life. If you decide to give the recipe a go then please let me know! (pls send pictures too!) If you’re a fellow gluten or dairy-free special kid or a vegan then stick around for more recipes – I have a lot in the pipeline as I’m discovering lots of new and yummy recipes at the moment!

P.S. Hey, long time no see! I’m so sorry for the lack of posts in the last two weeks – I started my new job last Monday and the very early mornings and long days have taken some getting used to. I’ve basically been getting up, going to work, coming home and eating food then straight to bed. However, I’ve decided that I’m going to write a bunch of blog posts at the weekend and schedule them to post throughout the week, so don’t worry you’ve got lots of posts coming this week as I’ve spent all day writing!
emmachxrlotte

Drugstore Make-up Haul and Review

Drugstore Make-up Haul and Review

This morning I had the most perfect start to the day when the post lady turned up with a box of make-up goodies from Superdrug. I got myself a few new products, which all came to less than £30, and are going to be absolute staples in my make-up bag.

I’m going to start off with my favourite product of them all because I just can’t even express how surprised and in love I am. When I purchased the Freedom eyebrow pomade for just £5, I really wasn’t expecting a lot. I’d read mixed reviews about the product and how some stated it was a rubbish substitute for the Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade, and so I was intrigued to see what the little thing could do. I was honestly so pleasantly surprised, it arrived in a lovely little box (packagimg_5186ing is so important for me, it’s the first impression) that didn’t look like it could be holding a product so reasonably priced as £5. The product itself is fantastic, it’s long lasting (trust me, I gave it a test and tried to rub it off – it doesn’t), it’s really easy to blend and a little goes a very long way. I also really like the shade, I went for medium brown and for once in my life I’d got the shade right first time. I would one hundred percent say that this is a perfect dupe for the Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow – just as durable, just as effective and a lot cheaper. I have definitely just found my new favourite eyebrow product!

The second thing I purchased was a colour corrector palette. I’ve always been dubious about these things and have never even tried one, to be honest – I just always figured they’d make my make-up look cakey or that they’d be too much for my super pale skin. However, again I was pleasantly surprised! Just like the pomade, the packaging was really beautiful, I didn’t expect it to come in a box, let alone such a lovely box. It comes with eight different colours to hide all of your blemishes, and it does a really good job too! As I said, I’m super pale, so I always seem to have very vein-y eyelids and super dark circles under my eyes, but the peach on the top right of the palette seemed to solve
img_5184 that problem with just the stroke of a brush. It actually sits really nice under my foundation and is super creamy and lovely. I also tested the green out on my cheeks – again, pale people problems, I tend to get a lot of redness on my cheeks and so far, this seems to have done the trick. A little seems to go along way and the creaminess made it really easy to blend out and work with. Overall I’d definitely rate the palette a strong ten out of ten, I was really impressed and at just £6, I’d call that a bargain. So shoutout to Revolution for winning me over on the colour correcting (and for such nice packaging)!

I finally decided it was time to test out some different primers and mascaras. Since the Lash Sensational mascara came out, that is literally the only mascara I would ever use. But I was starting to wonder whether I was getting a bit behind with the mascara times and so finally pulled myself together and decided to give the Maybelline Colossal Volum’ Express mascara a shot and I haven’t been disappointed. In all honesty, I don’t really feel like its a lot different to the Lash Sensational. The main reasoimg_5187n that I loved the Lash Sensational so much was because of the curved brush shape, which the Colossal Volum’ doesn’t have, but somehow seem to do just as good a job and for £1 less (it’s £6.99 at Superdrug, a pound cheaper than Lash Sensational). Sure that £1 won’t break the bank but every little helps when you’re 19 and and saving for your mansion and Audi R8. But anyway, onto the primer. So I decided to give the Collection Primed and Ready Pore Minimiser a go – for just £4.99 I couldn’t see how I could possibly go wrong really. The main reason I decided to give this particular primer a go was because it contains Witch Hazel, which I find always works wonders on my spot-prone skin. So to be able to wear a primer that doubles over as a spot zapper sounded great to me! Overall, I wouldn’t say that the primer is as good as my usual go to primer, the NYX High Definition Primer, however, it is half the price so what do you expect? For it’s price though, I’d say the primer is really good and I’m definitely going to stick with it purely for the Witch Hazel – I think it’s worth it. Overall, I was pretty pleased with both the mascara and the primer, I’ll definitely stick with the mascara and I’ll carry on using the primer and get back to you on the effectiveness of its spot zapiness.

Lastly, I decided to try these MUA Mono Eyeshadows. At just £1 per shadow I was half expecting them to be tiny but they’re actually a really decent size. I bought the shades Oyster (a pearly-white), Chamoisee (a champagne kind of colour), Onyx (a dark graphite sort of silver) and Bronze (which has an unexpected pink tint that’s reallimg_5188y nice). As well as being a lot bigger than expected, I also thought they were pretty pigmented. It’s a shame because the picture really doesn’t do them justice – they’re really lovely colours and they’re super sparkly too. I can’t really rate them on how long they last as I only go them today, but I have had Chamoisee on since nine this morning and it’s looking just as good at four, right now. I’d definitely recommend these, I’m loving the Onyx  as a highlighter to be honest and the fact that they’re just £1 each means you really just can’t go wrong. I’d definitely recommend them!

 

Overall, It’s been one really successful drugstore make-up haul and I’m really happy with all of the products and especially seeing as it hasn’t hurt my bank balance too much! If you’ve tried any of these products, why not let me know what you thought? Or if you have some better suggestions then please let me know! Thanks for reading, make sure you stick around for a Book Recommendations post coming tomorrow!

emmachxrlotte

TV Shows to Watch in 2017

TV Shows to Watch in 2017

In all honesty, I’m not a big fan of watching TV – I don’t like all the typical shows like Big Brother, Pretty Little Liars or Love Island. Instead, I’m more of a crime/drama lover. Reality TV just isn’t my thing at all (with the exception of I’m a Celebrity obviously), not that there’s anything wrong with reality, but I just prefer watching something that really gets your brain going and blows your mind. I’m a huge fan of good old ‘who done it’ shows, like Midsomer Murders, because the whole time you’re watching everything so closely and scrutinising everything, constantly trying to play the detective and figure it out. However, that being said, I absolutely love a good comedy and a relatable family drama.

There are so many new and returning series that I’m so looking forward to watching this year and I thought I’d write a post about it both to organise my life a little, so that I know what I want to watch and when, but also as it might be useful to any fellow murder mystery lovers or drama obsessed people out there. So I’m going to stop rambling and get right to the point with my list of shows!

  1. Number one has to be Sherlock, of course! Which if you didn’t know, has already started! Sunday evening on BBC One is the place to be, guys.
  2. Broadchurch! I absolutely loved series one and two of Broadchurch and can’t wait to see how they wrap up the programme in the final series. Series three is due to start on ITV in February – and I can’t bloody wait!
  3. The Durrells is coming back! I can’t find an actual date, but the Durrells family will be back on our screens this spring and I’m so excited! This was a new series that started last Spring and I honestly loved it. It was such a light hearted, entertaining programme – very different to everything else around at the moment, and I can’t wait to watch it again this spring!
  4. Orange is the New Black. Need I say anymore? Oh my I still have sleepless nights where I wonder about that God damn cliff hanger. I need to know what the hell happened okay, and I need to know now. I can barely wait until the new season is on Netflix this June!
  5. Doctor Foster. You remember Doctor Foster right? That mind blowing series from 2015 that left us all on the edge of our seats after Suranne Jones slayed the scorned woman role. Well apparently series two is coming in 2017. I can’t find any dates anywhere – and trust me I’ve tried. But, it is coming back to BBC and I will be there waiting.

That is all I’ve got for now but I am positive that my list will grow as the year goes on and news emerges of more great TV, so no doubt I’ll be back in the summer with more shows – so look out for that! Until then, why not let me know what shows you’re looking forward to seeing back on our screens this year! Who doesn’t love fingerling over a good show ay? So drop me a comment if you fancy it! Until next time, thanks for reading!

emmachxrlotte

The Beauty of Devon

The Beauty of Devon

Just a few pretty pictures from Devon!

 

Sorry for such a  simple post but I just so desperately wanted to share these pictures as they’re just so gorgeous. However, if you do occasionally like posts like this then please let me know as I do love taking scenic pictures like this and have loads I could share from a variety of trips like Disney World, South France, Blackpool etc. So if this is the sort of thing you’re into then please let me know! Thanks for reading ♥

emmachxrlotte