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Wednesday, 24 January 2018

My Evening Skincare Routine










Skincare. What was once a chore has now become something I absolutely love.

Lets throwback to my early teens for a sec - I'd just started wearing makeup (dream matte mousse and kohl eye pencil, teens of 2006 I know you all remember) but was never properly educated on how to correctly remove my makeup and keep my skin clean. By the time I was 15 my skin was a riot! Clogged, congested, red and angry and no matter how many baby wipes I scrubbed my face with, my skin just wasn't improving. Now, don't get me wrong, coming out of puberty definitely helped, but it wasn't until I started taking care of my skin and developing a proper "routine", that I actually started to notice a difference.

Flash forward to today, and that simple three step routine of cleanse, tone and moisturise, has turned into a whopping, Korean inspired, 9 step nightly extravaganza - complete with peels and potions, oils and acids and sheet masks and retinol (to list a few). Lost yet? Don't be! Let me break it down for you.

1. Pre Cleanse

Keeping it real here, this usually involves a Johnson's face wipe on the train home after work. The ones in the purple packet are my favourite because they don't leave my skin feeling dry, and there's enough moisture in the wipe that it doesn't feel like I'm just smearing my end of day makeup around my face! Remember, using a wipe DOES NOT remove your makeup - it breaks down the harder to remove products such as eyeliner and mascara however most if not all of your makeup residue is still on your skin. Which moves us on to the next two steps...

2. Oil Cleanse

Because I wear an SPF and makeup daily, I ALWAYS double cleanse. I start out with an oil cleanser which breaks down the the remainder of my makeup, plus it keeps my skin feeling hydrated  (I find foaming or soapy cleansers make my skin feel really tight and dry). My go to oil based cleanser is Lush's Ultrabland. I've tried a few in my time, but this is the one I always go back to!

3. Milk / Cream Cleanse

Next up is a cream cleanser. This step is what actually cleans and rebalances my skin in preparation for everything else I apply. Bobbi Brown's Cleansing Milk is a strong favourite, however I've recently been using Pixie x Caroline Hirons Double Cleanse and I've been LOVING it! Plus my oil and cream cleanser is in the same tub! So handy.

4. Acids

Next comes the acids. I like to use a toner containing glycolic acid (Pixie Glow Tonic is my ultimate fave) to help exfoliate my skin without having to use beads or a scrub. Glycolic acid helps to increase cell turnover, evens skin tone, aids collagen production and helps fight signs of ageing (yay science!). My skin really thanks me for this little guy, it's one of the only products I've used where I've noticed a difference in my skin pretty much instantly - bright and glowy and really smooth - I really can't rave enough about this toner!

I follow this with a few drops of hyaluronic acid - although it's had mixed reviews, I've been loving this one by The Ordinary. Hyaluronic acid is a humectant, meaning it draws water to the skin helping to prevent moisture loss. As well as giving me a hydration boost, this nifty little serum helps repair the dry and damaged areas of my skin, leaving it looking smooth and instantly plump!

5. Sheet Mask (weekly)

Ahh the sheet mask - a Korean cult favourite! If you're new to the world that is Korean skincare, let me give you a quick sheet mask 101:

Sheet masks are cotton-based sheets infused with serums or essences that can contain a variety of different ingredients to target different skincare concerns. There's no need to wash your face after, just pat in the remaining essence and continue your regime! Easy as that!

I like to use sheet masks weekly - my boyfriend Steven bought me a whole bunch of Tony Moly masks for my Christmas (all with weird and wonderful ingredients) and i've been loving working my way through them. After a sheet mask, my skin always feels so soft, looks bright, hydrated and glowing. What more could you want?

6. Eye Cream

Next I follow with an eye cream - no matter your age, you can't forget eye cream! The skin around the eyes is more fragile, more prone to dryness, and quicker to show signs of age and fatigue, so it's super important to treat those peepers! I'm currently using Bobbi Brown's Hydrating Eye Cream - I love how cooling it feels around my eyes and my skin feels so moisturised and de-puffed - excellent!

7. Retinol

I know what you're thinking, but I promise we're almost done! As I move to the end of my skincare routine, I like to use a retinol based serum.  
Retinol is a form of retinoid, a derivative of vitamin A,  commonly used to give your skin a healthy boost by minimising fine lines and wrinkles, smoothing texture, and reducing hyperpigmentation and dark spots. Now, I know I'm only 23, and luckily have yet to see a wrinkle or dark spot on my skin HOWEVER, thats the whole reason I'm starting to use anti ageing products now - to slow down the process and keep my skin looking youthful and radiant for as long as possible. Trust me, you'll thank me when you're in your 50's and you have the skin of a 30 year old! Note, you MUST use an SPF in the AM if you decide to use a retinol based product - retinol encourages skin cell turnover; this new skin is delicate and should not be exposed to the sun without adequate protection.

8. Serum

Ok, we're almost there - second last step! Penultimately, I go in with a serum. Serums contain the highest concentration of active ingredients that you can get without a prescription - ergo, they work, and they work well! My absolute ride or die, stuck on a desert island can't live without serum is without a doubt Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate. Sweet lord it's divine! It feels so luxurious on my skin and I have to admit, for me, it definitely lives up to the hype. My skin feels more hydrated, my redness is significantly reduced and it's SO soothing! And, because you only need a few drops per night, the bottle lasts forever - win/win! Side note - this product is heavily fragranced with plant/essential oils therefore it may aggravate sensitive skin.

9. Moisturiser

Ahh finally, the last step! The very final product I slather on my face before snuggling down under the sheets is the humble moisturiser. You wouldn't deprive your body of hydration, so likewise, you mustn't deprive your skin of moisture. Proper hydration keeps skin looking healthy, eliminates rough or flakey patches and keeps your face looking smooth, soft and fresh. Plus it fights signs of premature ageing, so don't skip out on your moisturiser! I chop and change between different formulas, but right now i'm loving Origins Make a Difference Plus for no other reason than it does exactly what it says on the tin!

Ok, have I lost you? I hope not!

This isn't something I put in practice overnight, I've developed this routine over the past year, adding in new products once my skin got used to what I was already using. Now, I'm not saying everyone should have, or develop a routine similar to the above - everyone's skin is different and i'm incredibly lucky that my skin isn't sensitive and can handle all of the different active ingredients I throw at it! If anything, I hope you've learned a little thing or two about skincare and it's inspired you to ditch the baby wipes and start taking proper care of your face!

Until next time,

S.B x 




Monday, 8 January 2018

Personal Goals for 2018




Ahh, New Year. The time where most of us wilfully vow to better ourselves - whether that be through diet, lifestyle, personal finances (I definitely need to jump on board that bandwagon) or through a long list of regretful resolutions we know deep down we won't stick to past April (flashback to the year I tried to give up fast food - I lasted 3 weeks).

In 2017,  I hold my hands up and admit I got lazy. There was countless tasks I started but didn't finish, lifestyle choices I was so excited about, but only stuck to for about a month, and endless evenings and days off spent basking in my own little sloth world in my cozy corner of the couch under a blanket with a glass of wine in hand. So, to curb my lazy tendencies and and habit of procrastinating, I've decided I need to challenge myself more, and start doing things that I enjoy, things that make me proud of myself and most importantly, things that make me happy.

So, this year, instead of laying down strict, and admittedly unrealistic New Year's resolutions, I've decided to set out a handful of personal goals I'd like to achieve this year - without putting any dates, deadlines or pressure on myself to be the best, most amazing, superhuman version of myself by the end of 2018! So, lets jump in:

Eat better

Towards the end of 2017, I changed my eating habits dramatically. Being completely honest, this was mostly due to a wager I had with my boyfriend that I couldn't get in the shape I wanted to by December. Side note: he loves me the way I am but was sick of me crying over ripped insta models and wishing my bloated belly away without actually doing anything about it.
After successfully eating much better, exercising and noticing changes in my body (the good kind) which made me feel so much more confident, I had proved to myself that the body image I longed for which I previously thought was so unattainable, was actually in my sights after all. Not only that - I was physically feeling so much better! No more stomach aches, strange bowel habits (tmi?) and much less fatigue. It was only after the Christmas indulgence that I noticed just HOW bad my body feels when I fill it with junk! So 2018's first goal is to keep up eating healthily and limiting my takeaway and alcohol intake. (everything in moderation right?)

Exercise

Similar to the above, 2017 became the year I attempted exercise. After quitting dance at 16 years old, physical exercise of any sort wasn't on my radar. I was a straight up couch potato, and at almost 24, I was finally starting to feel the effects bad diet and little exercise had on my body. Now, I'd be lying if I said my main goal here wasn't to have a shredded banging body, but I'm not going to beat myself up if I don't get there. I'm aiming for 20 minutes of physical exercise a day, 4 days a week - doable right? Plus, the effect exercise has on my mental health is second to none. I was always sceptical when told going for a run, or working up a sweat would make me feel better but I can wholeheartedly admit that I was totally wrong, and no matter how much I hate working out during the session - I ALWAYS feel better afterwards.

Learn

I have a creative mind, and lately I've been missing learning new skills. From a young age I taught myself how to use Paint Shop Pro, then Photoshop (google image "photoshop blends" and you'll see the kind of stuff 10 year old Suzy was into), then Final Cut Pro, then Adobe After Effects and most recently Light Room (yes, I'm a bit of a geek, but I hold the title proudly). I love the feeling of mastering a new skill, especially if it helps me out with things i'm passionate about such as social media, blogging and photography.  This year, not only do  I want to expand my skills relating to my blog and social media - but I also want to expand my skills in makeup artistry (my full time job). The skill and technique makeup artists have these days is spectacular, and I'm dying to master the style of looks that are in demand at the moment - watch this space!

Create

That being said - I miss making time to actually showcase what I've created, whether that be posting on my blog, sharing photography on Instagram or *gulp* getting back in to making YouTube videos (one step at a time!). Instead of just messing around and having a thousand practise runs, I want to start putting myself and my content out there again, and feeling confident in doing so (#nofear). So in 2018 expect to see more blog posts, more on the gram (@suzycamlin if you're interested) and perhaps a Youtube video or two...

Read

I've seen this goal on a lot of fellow bloggers recent posts - but it's so true! We are all guilty of reaching for our phones when we're bored, or spending hours and hours a day mindlessly scrolling though Instagram, or having a quick check of Twitter before bed and I'm calling it - enough is enough. This year I am going to make a conscious effort to start reading books again. Realistically I'm going to try for 4 books this year, and actually take time out of my day to escape to a quiet corner of the house and just read, no distractions.

Say Yes

Sometimes I feel like my anxiety limits me. I often skip out on things because I'm afraid, but this year I am really going to try to say yes more. There's no better feeling than completing something you thought you couldn't, or walking out of a situation you thought you weren't going to survive in. So this year I want to challenge the part of my brain that keeps telling me I can't, start telling it I can, and start having more FUN!

Say No

On the flip side, I know my limits. I've definitely been known to be a bit of a pushover, "go with the flow" type of gal, and this year I am going to stop agreeing to things that I know will make me uncomfortable just to keep face. I need to try and learn its ok to be selfish sometimes and there's no big deal in saying no once in a while.

Okay, so, take what you will from these, if you are anything like me (#slothlife) I hope this ignites some fire and inspiration in you to get up, get out and make 2018 your bitch!

Until next time,
S.B x