Category Archives: Beauty

My Return to Commerial Hair care

From my previous blog posts, I had documented my switch to No ‘Poo and trying natural alternatives to hair care, specifically ones that did not contain Sodium Laurel Sulfate which can be quite an irritant to the scalp and cause dryness and itching. I have experimented with Baking Soda and Apple Cider Vinegar but found it too harsh. I liked Rye Flour – I found it cleaned my hair very well but it was difficult to get out of the hair, made a terrible mess of the bath and found it to be very itchy after washing. I have also experimented with making my own soap and using that.

However, the whole experience left me disappointed. I would have often greasy, not very nice hair that would cause me to be self-conscious about. I got down to washing my hair once a week, which I liked the idea of and generally it did not look too bad if I put a little dry shampoo in and was religious about brushing my hair.

The biggest problem was, I missed the loveliness of my hair and how it feels when you wash with commercial shampoo. It feels softer and to be cleaner and healthier. I know there are people out there that will say it’s a lie and you have to use the conditioner to combat the damaging effects of the shampoo etc, but if traditional methods of washing things were so great, we’d still be washing our clothes with urine. So obviously some modern technology and washing methods are much more appealing to us than others.

I went back to commercial shampoo – I love the smells and the reliability of getting in the shower, having a comforting lather and KNOWING when I get out the shower I am going to have hair I feel confident with and not self-conscious about…

However, I am getting to the stage now where washing once a week is beginning to creep up to twice a week and soon that will go to every other day. I know the secret is to true and hold off washing it as long as possible, but there is no coming away from the fact that my scalp is now back to overproducing oils to compensate commercial haircare removing them.

I wish there was a happy medium between the two. The benefits of going no ‘poo but the luscious feeling of my hair when using commercial shampoo! But alas, as ever you can not have your cake and eat it.

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Cloud Cloths

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I’ve been using cotton pads for years but increasingly I’ve been thinking there must be a better product out there. I mean cotton pads are great for toner just add toner and wipe but they are rubbish for cream cleansers and don’t really work with getting the cleanser off, particularly without leaving cotton fluff behind.

Then I stumbled across Cloud Cloth, you can order them here. They are reusable cotton cloths that are designed to take your makeup off (all of it, not a scrap left!) and then you throw them in the washing machine and you have a clean cloth to repeat the process. You get three in a pack for £6 which includes shipping – so that’s about one cloth for the price of a pack of cotton wool pads and these not only work better than the pads, they will last longer too with less wastage. An added bonus was the inclusion of a free hairband which can also double as a headband – Amazing – that cut down the hunt for a hairband that morning 🙂

They have two sides, a rough side to exfoliate the skin and a softer side for gentle cleansing. This is where I think the product has a unique element – their rough side is fantastic.  I recently had a skin reaction on my face which left me with some dry skin. One session of the rough side and my skin was radiant, flake-free and smooth again. In fact, it glowed. I also use the soft side of a fresh cloth to apply my toner and then follow up with a moisturiser. My skin is looking amazing of late! I would really recommend these cloths and I can see me ordering some more in the near future!


Eye shadow and Lip Storage

I like makeup, there is something about putting it on and playing with colours that I find fun. For a while now though I have been reaching for the same palette over and over again, not because it was a favourite – although I do like it, but because it was easy to get to and use. My other eye shadows were in individual pots or other palettes and it was too much hassle to go through them and pick the colours I want. The same with my lipsticks. So I decided I needed to update my storage of both of them.

I ordered some mac palettes. I wanted a plastic storage – an upgrade from a fishing tack box I have been using for years. I would love to get another Unii palette but they have just disappeared! What happened to Unii palettes?

I needed some pans for my lipstick, but I also decided to depot my eye shadows and put them in the same size pans as the lipsticks. This was an additional step that didn’t really need doing, but I wanted clean pans that weren’t covered in glue from when I de-potted them from old palettes – I also like the uniform look of having the same pan size and shape throughout. I would have liked to have had square or rectangle ones but to get a press for them in the UK was difficult without paying a lot of postage. In the end I went for a 26mm – the same size as mac shadows. That was great because it allowed me to use my seal stamp and a 10 pence piece to press them. I also bought some 25mm labels so I could write what they were on the back. My stamp has hasa claddagh image and it was showing up a little when i stamped. I’d love to work on getting the image to come out clearer.

I wanted to fit as many eye shadows and lipsticks as possible into each palette so I opted to have the palettes without inserts because you can get more in. Now in order for these pans to stick in the palette and not move you need a magnet. I didn’t really want to put a magnet on the back on the pan so I bought a4 magnet sheets and measured and cut a rectangle of magnet so it could lie in the base of palette. I left a bit of a gap so I could pull up this layer in the future so I could clean it. You can see the magnetic sheet in the above picture.

I am very happy with my palettes and look forward to using more of my makeup.


Removing makeup with only water!

Baby wipes are good. I’ve used them for years to remove my makeup but often I find the packet dries out before I finish them even though I store them upside down. I also find that they don’t always take my makeup off even if I use two three wipes and then can leave my face quite red afterwards too.

Then I heard about the magic eraser…the shockingly bright pink put me off it. I thought the price was a bit steep too…it was around £10-15 for one cloth. Considering I would be able to save on buying baby wipes it wasn’t a bad price but for just a wash cloth I did think it was a bit pricey.

Then I found one on Ebay. Bonus it wasn’t pink and it was a bargin at £1.09. I thought that was less than the cost of one bag of wipes and for that price if it didn’t work it wasn’t a big investment.

I can honestly I love this thing! It’s so gentle on the skin and with just water I can take off my makeup. Reuse it a couple of times and then throw it in the washing machine and let it dry and use it again. I am super impressed. My skin is also not red after using it.

It has two sides. The short side is for step one to remove the makeup. The longer side is gently exfoliate the skin and buff off any dull, dry flakey bits.

I use just water and the short side to remove my makeup and then use my cleanser to wash my face and the longer side to wash the cleanser off. My skin is left clean and feeling very refreshed without mascara running down my red face with panda eyes. Having known what I know now I would stump up he £15 to buy one at full price. I won’t be buying anymore baby wipes!


La Parfumerie Anglaise

I’m not a big perfume fan. I have a few but I almost never wore them until I stumbled across this company. They do room fresheners and perfume. Andrew was the guy behind the counter and he explained that their perfumes are made with less alcohol – so their room refreshers last for a year, and they give a set of replacement sticks you switch over after six months. The perfume came in 10ml and 50ml sizes. The amazing thing was the price. My bottle of 50ml perfume set me back £20. I went with Pomegranate which is modeled on another popular perfume from a different brand but with a much higher price tag. I will definitely be getting another bottle or two in the future. I only just wish I could purchase some small sample sizes so I could try them out and find which ones I liked because at the time I didn’t write potential favourites down.

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All Stars 2016: My favorite smoothie recipe! 

Hi. My name is Priscilla and as part of 2016 All Stars I am Emma’s blog today to share with you my favourite smoothie recipe that I make. First, a list of ingredients and a few of their benefits:

Ingredients:

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1 banana – rich in potassium, which helps to lower blood pressure. Good for improving and/ or maintaining blood sugar levels and insulin levels. This is helpful if you are diabetic, or want to avoid unplanned (and usually unhealthy) snacking caused by sudden hunger pangs from the sudden drop of blood sugar levels. Plus they are naturally free from fat! 

1 large pear – high in fiber and low in calories. This helps to keep you feeling fuller for longer without consuming too many calories! Pears are also approximately made up of 84% water, which is good for keeping the digestive system flowing and flushing toxins out.

1 avocado – a super fruit! The Avocado is a naturally nutrient-dense fruit that has nearly 20 kinds of vitamins and minerals in it. On top of that, it contains a lot of healthy monosaturated fatty acids. This helps in improving/ maintaining healthy cholesterol levels and also is thought to help reduce belly fat.

plain yoghurt (half full or low fat) – contains probiotics, calcium, and protein. Probiotics are “good” bacteria and helps to maintain a natural balance of  organisms in the intestines, which of course directly effects your digestive and immune system. Calcium is good for your bone mass, and protein is needed for building muscles. More muscles = higher metabolism rate = higher fat burning rate at resting status. That’s right, just by having more muscles, you burn more fat whilst doing nothing!!! 

low fat cottage cheese – contains a protein and complex B vitamins. Cottage cheese has been very popular in the diet community. This is because you get a lot of protein (which also makes you feel fuller for longer) without so much calorie intake. Cottage cheese is also a cheaper source of protein than meat, so great for the wallet! Complex B vitamins are help our body convert food into fuel.

honey (optional) – raw honey is a fat-free, cholesterol-free, and sodium-free way to sweeten up your drink. 

water – …do I need to explain? 😀

Tools needed:

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A blender/ food processor of some sort, a knife, chopping board, a peeler (for the pear), and a cup/container to serve/take the smoothie with you on the go.

You can decide to use a vanilla flavoured yoghurt if you’d like a sweeter taste, but then I would skip the honey. I prefer to use half full or low-fat products instead of no-fat products for a number of reasons. First being that I fat is also good in keeping me fuller for longer. Secondly, a lot of no-fat products have high levels of sodium (salts) and artificial flavouring substances so that the product tastes better. Therefore, I prefer to use less amounts of a “full fat” product (and avoid the artificial stuff and salt) that more amounts of a “no-fat” product.

Method:

There are no measurements because I usually eye-ball everything :D. But let’s say I put in about 1.5 – 2 table spoons of cottage cheese. You put everything in a blender and blend away. What you end up getting is a very thick smoothie. Of course you keep on adding water until you get the consistency you desire. I like my smoothies kinda thick.

You also end up with a large amount of smoothie, so you can refrigerate it, or share with a friend. Because I leave the house early, run around the whole day, and come home late, I don’t always have time to eat or buy something to eat during the day. Therefore I carry about a litre of this with me for the day, and because of the filling nature of the ingredients, it’s enough to sustain me the whole day until I’m home and able to have dinner.

 


I was seduced by Commercial Toner

So earlier this year I wrote a blog about my homemade skincare products and shared my experiences about why I made the switch from store bought to natural. Whilst I’m not entirely natural, I do have a exfoliator I use that is store bought, I do use a homemade cleanser, toner and moisturiser. However my mum was given a little sample of two store bought toners as a gift with purchase. I liked the pretty little bottles and thought that it had been at least four, possibly five months since I had used a store bought toner. So I thought I’d give these a go.

My first impressions of them were great, my skin felt so clean, like it tingled because it was so clean. I used them once, occasionally twice a day for about a week and boy did I start seeing results. Not good results, but results none the less. My skin started breaking out. Now I do get spots at least once, if not twice a month, but using this store bought cleanser my skin got three times the amount of spots I had experienced from the past couple of months. Nothing else had changed to my routine, I didn’t put on more makeup than normal. Just changed the toner.

Needless to say I am back to homemade toner and after about a two weeks my skin was back to normal and is currently spot free. I’ve learnt my lesson to stick to my homemade stuff…no matter how alluring the pretty packaging looks.