This week I wanted to share the some of the beauty tips I've picked up over the years and the key products that I cannot live without. I’m always on the lookout for anything that I can add to my daily beauty regime and, being a natural born bargain hunter, I will give anything a go if it’s cheap and it works! I will be mentioning a couple of pricey products but I've scoured the internet to make sure I am paying as little as I can. With all of these products, often a little goes a long way.
When I gave up alcohol, I would persistently get 2 or 3 spots on the right side of my face, often on my cheek, and they wouldn't be little spots I could cover up. There was one huge one that took up residency on the side of my face for about 6 months! For the life of me, I could not figure out what it could be. To get to the bottom of it, at various stages I gave up chocolate, caffeine and sugar. I changed my moisturiser, my foundation, my pillow cases and nothing seemed to help. It got to the point where I was self-conscious and to make matters worse, these spots were leaving me with scars, regardless of whether I picked at them or not. About 8 months into my spot crisis, I went into Boots for the millionth time to see if there were any products that could help. I’d already tried most of the Clinique anti-blemish range, Clearasil this and Neutrogena that and I was at my zit's end!
From a very young age, I had always used face wipes to take off my make-up but then I came across Boots’ Tea Tree and Witch Hazel Cleansing and Toning Lotion. At £2.39 a bottle, I figured it was worth trying out. Hallelujah! A week into ditching my face wipes and using this to take my make-up off every night, my spots had gone! 3 months in, I still have over half the bottle left and I have no spots whatsoever, even the scars are starting to fade. I would avoid the under-eye area though as it can sting a little, I just dab a bit of moisturiser onto a cotton pad to remove any under eye concealer. It seems I’m not the only one who swears by this product, there are several glowing reviews here.
I bought Clinique’s Superdefense Moisturiser about a year ago on a ferry coming back from Ireland as it was on offer and I’m so glad that I did. It is, without a doubt, the best moisturiser I have ever used. It’s quite thick so I only apply little dabs onto my cheeks, forehead, nose and chin. I suffer with quite dry skin and this has been the only cream which has kept my skin feeling hydrated and soft all day. With other moisturisers, they would tend to sit on the surface of my skin and not fully absorb and a couple of hours after applying, my skin would feel really dry and tight. I’d never thought about SPF before but this one is very high at SPF25, which can only be a good thing for keeping those pesky wrinkles at bay. To make this cream last a little longer, I only use it once in the morning as it is quite expensive. Before I go to bed, I stick to a cheap cream like Nivea Soft, which is fine for when I’m in the Land of Nod! The Dry to Combination Skin Types works best for me but the cream also comes in Combination to Oily Skin Types and Very Dry to Dry Skin Types, which I use at winter time.I find Cheap Smells is the best place to buy my moisturiser - it’s much cheaper than buying it in store and delivery is free.
Twice a week I like to indulge and give myself a face scrub using… Porridge Oats! This is the cheapest way to get glowing, baby soft skin. In a small bowl, add a tablespoon of plain porridge oats. Add a couple of tablespoons of warm water and let it sit there for 60 seconds of so. Once the water and porridge are a gooey mess, apply into your skin. You can rub the mixture in quite vigorously as the oats go super soft, yet it still works as an exfoliater. I do this for about 60 seconds and then rinse it off with some warm water and pat dry with a towel. I have quite sensitive skin so I find face scrubs too harsh and they often leave my skin feeling really dry. The beauty with the oats is that they scrub off the impurities but leave my face nice and smooth and soft. I’ve often done this with my makeup on and off and the results are always the same. It’s slightly messy and if you’re a bit clumsy like me, you will end up with porridge in your hair but it really is worth it. The difference it makes to my skin is astonishing.
I picked up this little cheap trick off my mum, who like me, is very small and brown and prone to dark circles under the eye area. I try to do this at least twice a week and it does a great job at brightening the under eye area. You will need 6 slices of cucumber, a small plate, a fork (I use a wooden meat tenderiser) and a couple of cotton pads.
Dice up your cucumber slices and add a couple of tablespoons of cold water and mash up the cucumber and water with the back of your fork until you can see quite a bit of liquid in the plate. Move the cucumber to one side of the plate and soak up the juice with a couple of cotton pads. I like to fold the cotton pads in half so that they absorb the liquid evenly and will fit snugly under the eye area. Lie back, apply the pads under your eyes and leave there for 15 minutes and Hey Presto! This cucumber elixir will leave your under eyes looking brighter and rejuvenated from the very first use.
To keep my under eye area looking fresh and awake, I find that a little dab of Clinique’s All About Eyes Rich, first thing in the morning before I apply my makeup and last thing at night after I've taken my make-up off, works wonders. In the past, I would find that my under eyes would become quite dry or any makeup I would apply there would crease. Once I started to apply this cream, my under eyes became visibly brighter and my makeup would sit proudly over it. This is a product that I have recommended to many friends who now swear by it. Again, it’s expensive but a small pot of it has lasted me 6 months so it’s well worth it.
Cheap Smells is normally really good as you will save a few pounds and delivery is free but they seem to have run out cause it’s SO good. Boo!
These are just some of the things that work for me and I’m sure some of you will have used them before. If you have any tips or beauty products that you would like to share or if you give the ones I've mentioned a go then make sure you leave a comment to let me know!
I’m off on holiday this week so when I come back, I will bring you Part 2 - Tips to make your body glow and your hair shine, the benefits of Jojoba Oil, a hand cream that will stop your hands looking like SJP's wrinkly mitts and I’ll reveal a cheap product that will banish underarm sweat forever!