Over the last 6 months or so I have found that I am getting the most success on clearing blemishes as quickly as possible by using these three spot treatments:
Quinoderm Cream – I have been using this on and off for a few years now but it is definitely a trusted favourite of mine and really does work. It contains the strong ingredients Benzoyl Peroxide and Potassium Hydroxyquinoline Sulphate. Due to how potent these ingredients are, they do the cream in two strengths (5% or 10%). I would advise anyone trying this product for the first time to go for the lowest strength to see how you get on. You only need to put a very small amount over the blemish (if you are getting a few blemishes, you might want to put it on the whole affected area). Due to the ingredients mentioned this cream can be extremely drying so it is advised to read the instructions and use sparingly. I find, just using it for 2 days, my skin is very dry and I usually stop (but I usually also get the desired affect by then too). I find this treatment works specifically well when I have a cluster of small spots coming through (sometimes all gone over night after just one application) and for any other one off blemishes. It is readily available from pharmacists without a prescription and I am aware that they do some other products too, including face wash, but I have not tried these. The downside is that you have to be very careful when using this product as it can bleach coloured fabrics (I did have a nice purple towel which is now all patchy). So definitely make sure you wash your hands thoroughly after using and be aware of any fabrics you might come into contact whist using the treatment.
Freederm – We have all seen the TV adverts and I must say I have been quite impressed when I tried the gel. I have found that this is particularly good for spots which are quite inflamed and painful which I believe is down to the main ingredient, Nicotinamide. As it is a gel it seems to stay on quite well throughout the night and I have found that after a couple of days applying the gel, the swelling of the blemish has gone down considerably. This is also not as drying as Quinoderm which might be better for people who usually have dry skin anyway. They also have a range of other products which I have not tried.
Neutrogena Visibly Clear Rapid Clear Treatment – It states on the tube that it can reduce spots in just 4 hours….now, I don’t know about that but it is quite good for a relatively gentile spot treatment (well compared to the other two mentioned). I tend to use this one if I feel I still need to treat a spot after a couple of days using the other two treatments as it is not a drying but still effective. I don’t think it can draw out a spot as effectively as the other two though.
If you are using any other spot treatments, specifically prescribed by the doctor, it would probably be best to have a chat with your pharmacist or doctor first to make sure the ingredients don’t react with what you are also using.
Have you seen the Kardashian’s make-up storage boxes and thought, “I want one!!”?? If so, you might have also seen that they are going for well over £200 plus shipping, which I think is extortionate! So, I decided to see if I could find something at least similar but with the same storage capacity. I was surprised to find that even somewhere like Muji didn’t have anything similar (just every small versions). Then I discovered the storage drawers from an online store called The Holding Company. They have stackable clear draws which are very similar to the Kardashian’s draws. However, these are even better as due to them being stackable, you can choose how many draws you need. You can also purchace drawer dividers if you want, and there are two drawer widths (one which they have designed for shirts and one for jumpers, which is deeper).
As you will see, I decided to get three of the ‘shirt drawers’ which are a great size for all types of make-up and nail varnish. I also decided to get the deeper version drawer for bottles etc. Due to the company doing a deal of getting 20% off when buying three drawers I got all four for under £100 including delivery. I also like the fact that if I needed to add another drawer I could always buy another one and just stack it on top of the others. You can remove each drawer fully if you need to when having a rummage to find what you want and each drawer is also deeper than the drawers on the Kardashian boxes so you can fit so much more makeup. The only down side is that due to the stackability, it is quite flimsy so you have to be careful, however I haven’t had any problems myself.
I thought of doing a post on eye liner as there are so many different ones on the market now – different colours, textures, prices etc – that it can get a little confusing. I would say that if you are not too sure about which eye liner is best for you, just keep to the classic colours of black and brown and focus on ones which have the best staying power – Then you really can’t go wrong.
One thing I would say is that if you like to have definition around your eyes for the day but don’t like the harsh look of using black eyeliner, try a brown or a black/brown colour. This will give you the look you want without making you look like you are ready for a big night out. I specifically like this for an everyday work look. My favourite is Clinique Cream Shaper for eyes in Brown Sugar (£14). It is a pencil but has a creamy texture. It is quite a soft brown colour which looks great for a natural look. I have been using this for years and I love it! It lasts all day and even though it is not said to be waterproof, it is water resistant and I have had a tear or two with this eyeliner on and have not had it budge!! They have a few colours in this range and whilst writing this post I am actually thinking I really need to invest in another colour or two – why haven’t I before??
If I want to wear a black colour in the day I tend to go for Lancome Crayon Khol Waterproof in Raising Noir. This is waterproof yet still is good for smudging if you want the smoky look or to rub in to reduce any harsh lines for a softer, more day-time look. The staying power is good but I have found that if I have a strong line on the top of my eyelid, by the end of the day I can see a crease of black higher up my eyelid from where the liner has touched my lid when my eyes are open. Saying that, I have only noticed it after wearing the liner for many hours (usually already after I have finished work – so it doesn’t matter so much then!!).
I always take off my makeup before going to bed (yes, even after a big night out!) however, I totally understand how sometimes it is the last thing you want to do. If you have these nights, then I would definitely say to invest in some face wipes as they are a very quick way to, at least, take most of the makeup off before you go to sleep.
My favourite is the Simple Clear Skin Oil Balancing Cleansing Wipes.
My routine involves taking off my eye makeup, then using a face wipe to just take off the majority of my foundation. I don’t rub my skin but just gently wipe it. I then take the remainder off with an oil-free face wash. I have found in the past that if you wear very long lasting foundation, like I do, just using a face wash to remove the foundation can take at least 3 washes! This extra step of getting the top layer off with a wipe can speed up the whole process and you can be sure that your face is squeaky clean!
Whether we like to admit it or not, most of us have those odd days when we know we really should wash our hair but for one reason or another, we just can’t face the hassle. That is when dry shampoo really does come in handy. There are a few on the market now but my favourite is still Batiste Original Dry Shampoo.
The key is not to spay too close to your head or in one area for too long. I find spraying a little, rubbing it in and then spraying a little more is a better tactic rather than just spraying lots all in one go. That is when you get the dreaded ’white hair’ problem, which none of us want (especially if you have dark hair!). It is also good for providing extra volume to fine hair.
Because I have dark hair, I have tried the one which is specifically for brown hair, but I must admit – I wasn’t a fan. It has some brown dye and I didn’t really like this as I kept thinking, “what would happen if it rains??”
I feel this is a great product just to have there for those times you need it. They also do a miniature version which is great for weekends away or even holidays.
So no need to just tie your hair up when you are being a little on the lazy side…. no one has to know
If you use a powerful waterproof eye makeup like I do, you will know it is hard to find a good eye makeup remover. I have tried so many over the years but always end up disappointed when I am left with traces of the mascara or eyeliner, leaving you with the smudged look (or you feel like you really have to scrub your eyes until they hurt!). However, I feel I have found the best one and to top it all, it is not expensive at all!
I use Simple Kind to Eyes Nourishing Eye Makeup Remover Cream.
All you need to do is put some you finger and gently rub it around your closed eye (please do be gentle as there is no need to be rough as the cream really does do all the hard work and we really don’t want to cause wrinkles!!). The cream will turn black and you will feel when the mascara has dissolved. I then grab a cotton wool pad, dampen it slightly and then gently wipe the cream off your eye. Make sure you just put the cream on one eye at a time as you don’t want to open your eye while the cream is on as it could cause irritation.
The other great thing about the eye makeup remover is that it lasts AGES! I think it last me no less than 6 months (I actually think it is around 8 months) and I use it pretty much every day
As I am sure many of you have done too, I have been through a lot of moisturisers to find the perfect one. Even thought I have come to the conclusion that there is no miracle one out there, I have found a couple which I have been very impressed with.
Firstly, I always go for oil free moisturisers. Due to my combination skin, I need to find a balance between finding one which provids my skin with enough moisture without making it go greasy.
Clinique Moisture Surge is one which I constantly go back to. It is very hydrating, especially for those days when my skin goes a little too much on the dry side – this is fantastic. You can also put more than usual and use it as a moisture mask (leaving it for 10mins or even up to an hour or so). It can feel a little heavy so you may want to use it just as a night cream (which is what I am tending to do nowadays).
It is £30 so it is pricy but it really does go a long way as you don’t have to use a lot. If you conbine it with a cheeper option, you don’t even have to use it every day (this is what I do!).
So, my low price favourite moisturiser is Neutrogena’s Spot Stress Contol. It is really light, yet moistersising and even has treatment for your skin which is great if you are spot prone, like me. My skin seems to really absorb it, leaving a great canvas for our foundation.
I have just been on a couple of sites to find the price as I can’t remember but I can’t find it!! I hope they haven’t discontinued it! You may still be able to find stocks in Boots or Superdrug so have a look. I think it is about £5. If they have stopped it then the alternative seems to be their Visibly Clear Hydrating Spot Treatment (it may be the same thing but they have just changed the name). £4.99