Thursday, 18 March 2010

Spring is coming!

Ok, maybe I'm a few days ahead of myself... evidently spring doesn't start till the 21st, but... I'm excited! I absolutely adore the spring, it's so nice to be able to wander around without a coat and not get frostbite and to see all the flowers starting to blossom. I also love the fact that it's starting to get lighter in the evenings, it happens so quickly - one minute it's horrible and dark and depressing, the next it's light and sunny and everyone is smiling - casting off their winter blues and radiating positivity, what's not to love? I get so excited thinking about it, it's all I've been talking about recently. Whenever my flat mates get home from work, I literally rush up to them squealing about how awesome it is to see the sun shining. 

This summer I have quite a few things I'm really excited about - I'm suppose to be going to America for a mini road trip (& finally heading to Salem hopefully!) with some family friends and I'm also heading back to Download Festival where I'm going to see AC/DC again and Aerosmith (amazing!!!! :D). Last years Download was phenomenal, so I can't wait for this year! 

However, I don't think any Spring / Summer will ever beat last years... it was just perfect in every way. I turned 21 and then saw loads of my favourite bands at Download, then headed to Bratislava, then as soon as I got back I went to see AC/DC live at Wembley, then after that I semi-moved to London... & then I went to Leeds festival and also another random little festival in Bradford, and then Whitby... all in all it was just an uber good few months.

So with memories of an amazing spring / summer still fresh in my mind, I'm welcoming this years offerings with open arms, come on S/S 2010 - I can't wait :D

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Spot prevention and treatment

I'm quite fortunate in the sense that I never really get spots or blemishes - normally my skin is really clear, but occasionally I get a complete monster of a spot that threatens to grow so big it could take over the world, so I'm going to post my strategy for treating those pesky blemishes and also my secret as to how I keep my skin so clear even though I smoke, don't drink water and have a terrible diet (with those three vices, I'm suprised my skin doesn't look like the surface of the moon! lol)

Prevention

As the old saying goes - prevention is better than a cure. I don't use any kind of face wash as I find these tend to irritate and dry my skin and actually encourage spots. I used to use various facial washes but after I stopped I almost immediately noticed that my skin felt and looked a lot better. I think the reason for this is that face washes tend to strip the skin of its natural oils (to stop build up which can lead to clogged pores) due to their astringent properties.

If I'm not wearing any makeup, I tend to just wash my face with good old fashioned tepid water (tepid so it doesn't leave my skin red and blotchy like super cold or hot water would) and, if I am wearing make up, As silly as it sounds (and I'm not recommending this to everyone as obviously we all have different skin types, I'm just stating what works for me!) I use Original Source lemon and tea tree shower gel on my face... it sounds ridiculous because shower gels are suppose to be too harsh for the skin on the face, but I find Original Source is really good as they're quite a natural company and their products are very gentle and good for the skin so it doesn't feel drying or tight at all. I also find that this really helps to prevent blemishes due to the tea tree featured in the ingredients, it's a really nice natural antiseptic and antibacterial oil that is great for targeting problematic skins. The scent of lemon and tea tree is amazing too - it really wakes me up and has me ready to face the day, so I always use it in the morning to ensure I'm feeling my best. As I mentioned before, I wouldn't advise everyone to use shower gel to cleanse their face as it might not work as well for others as it does for me. 

I also use St Ives apricot scrub a couple of times a week to exfoliate and it leaves my skin feeling super soft and smooth, I'd highly recommend this product! it doesn't scratch at all and helps to prevent spots by cleansing the skin of all the yucky stuff that can leave you spotty.

I also use palmers coco butter as a moisturiser. This stuff is AMAZING, seriously - it's the single best moisturiser ever. If I have a small blemish I always make sure I put a little bit of coco butter on it and it really aids the healing process and cuts the time it takes for the spot to dissapear. It's also really good as it moisturises the skin so well, yet doesn't clog up the pores or make it feel oily or greasy, and it's never once given me any spots, yay!

Another preventative measure that I take is to make sure I don't touch my face that often. Whenever I've been stressed out (especially during university, whilst writing my disseration) I'll sit there at my laptop and rub my chin or forehead repeatedly (I suppose it's a nervous habit) and the next day I'll wake up to yucky skin - not good! so I definitely advise making sure you don't touch your skin frequently as your hands pick up all kinds of dirty germs throughout the day which will transfer to your face easily, causing nasty spots. 

Prevention in summary -
  1. No specifically face targetted washes that strip the skin of oils
  2. Plain tepid water / lemon and tea tree oil / St. Ives apricot scrub
  3. Palmers coco butter moisturiser
  4. No frequent face touching!
Treatment

The best treatment for any spot is to let it breathe and heal on its own, any specific products will only really serve to aggravate it further, although sometimes desperate times call for desperate measures. The very best things you can do to help your skin is to make sure you get pleanty of fresh air and sunshine (the sun is great for the skin and hot weather really helps to clear your pores naturally) and another thing you should do is drink loads of water to keep your skin hydrated (something I don't do enough of!) 

The only products I really use when I get a spot are Benefits boo boo zap and random supermarket bought eye drops. Boo Boo Zap is great (how adorable is the packaging) and the salicylic acid & camphor in it really helps to speed up the healing process. You can even put it on over the top of makeup which is great, and you'll be able to feel it working (it stings a tiny bit, but I love products that sting, I'm odd like that, lol). Within a few hours of applying it I always notice a significant improvement with a spot, it often feels smaller, less red and less noticeable. Boo Boo Zap is definitely the best spot treatment on the market and I recommend it to everyone :)

As mentioned above, a rather random product that I'll use if I have a spot is actually eye drops... specifically the whitening ones, as these really help to take the redness out of blemishes and they also shrink them considerabley. I'm not sure how I stumbled across this discovery, but it's a really good one and normally helps to make any spots less noticeable!

So there you have it, a rather long post detailing the ways in which you can have nice clear skin with little effort or expensive potions and lotions.

LUSH reviews!

as I mentioned earlier, I took a trip to Lush and bought some more lovely ballistics and bubble bars, so I thought I'd write a little post reviewing a couple of the products that I've used so far (I've used both of these products mentioned many times before, so I know them pretty well now :D)

Karma Bubble Bar


The Karma fragrance is one that is prevelant in Lush, it's their signature scent and they have a whole range of products in the Karma range. My all time favourite Lush product was the now discontinued Hot Milk bubble bar, and Karma reminds me of Hot Milk due to the orangey hue - the fragrances aren't really anything alike, but the colour is! :) 

Lush offers the following description of Karma on their website - 

Our signature fragrance for bath-time: oranges and multi-layered spices. Karma is a fragrance that keeps on giving. Each time you catch a whiff of its many-layered fragrance you notice yet another thread in its multi-stranded personality. Top notes, middle notes, base notes and all the notes in between disentangle themselves before you. Bathe in a fluffy Karma bath and you'll generously perfume the whole house with its fragrance (and yourself, too).

Karma is definitely very strongly scented, fortunately it's a lovely fragrance and isn't ridiculously over powering or at all sickly. It smells quite citrusy and spicey - very warming and cosy and would be suitable for chucking in the bath if you have achey muscles or a headache.

The thing I really love about Karma is the fact that it crumbles in your hands easily, you can break a little bit off and then crush it under hot running water and watch the bubbles build up instantly. It's very frothy and a small ammount will provide pleanty of bubbles. It's quite a 'soft' product... soft meaning that it makes the water feel silky smooth and it really feels soothing on the skin.


I felt superrrr comfortable and cosy lying back in my Karma bath, reading a book and inhaling the lovely fragrance, it's actually quite invigorating (probably due to the orange fragrance notes) and so I'll probably use it in the mornings, to wake me up a bit! 


Karma retails at £2.95 and can be bought on the Lush website - www.lush.co.uk

Geo Phyzz Bath Ballistic
 Lush have recently relaunched the Geo Phyzz bath ballistic in a new smaller size (I have no idea why though, does anyone know?). Geo Phyzz has always been one of my favourite bath ballistics as it smells divine - really earthy and natural. It's also very good for the skin due to the volcanic clay that makes an appearance in it, and really helps to smooth and nourish. 

Lush's description - 

The earthy ballistic is back in a smaller size. Geo Phyzz is like a luxury spa treatment with Hawaiian sea salt. The salt is coated in mineral-rich volcanic clay, and it makes your skin feel better, too. Scents of seaweed, sandalwood and cypress conjure thoughts of bathing in the warm sea as the breeze gently skims the shoreline.

When I threw this little ballistic in the bath I noted that it may be small but it fizzes like a super huge ballistic and turns the water a beautiful green hue. Another lovely feature is the salt that is really smooth and dissolves easily in the water, some products that feature salt are quite harsh and the salt feels scratchy and irritating, fortunately Geo Phyzz isn't like that at all, and doesn't irritate my skin.

I'd describe it as unisex as it's not floral or overtly girly, and my male flatmate commented on how good the flat smelt (as with most Lush products - the scent carries!) so it's great for both girls and boys! 

When I got out the bath, my skin felt amazing, really soft and conditioned. It's definitely a lovely treat if you feel like your skin needs some TLC.

If you feel like treating your skin you can buy Geo Phyzz for £2.45 :) - www.lush.co.uk

What would you say your favourite Lush products are?

Lush lush lussssh

On Sunday my flat mate / best friend Dan and I went for lunch at The Dickens Inn down St. Katharine docks, and had some nice food. After we'd stuffed ourselves silly we took a wander around London as it was such a nice sunny day and we thought we'd try and make the most of it. Unfortunately for Dan, I decided to stop at boots and LUSH and buy a couple of things, which meant he was bored to tears, lol.

I've been a LUSHaholic for years, I distinctly remember being a poor student and still finding the money to feed my LUSH habit... I'd probably sell my kidneys if it meant I could purchase a few fizzy bath bombs!

This time, especially as I just left my job and have now got to budget, I managed to keep my shop below £25, not bad at all - considering I used to blow £200 in one go in there, eek! I bought the following lovely items:


Bath Ballistics
  • 1 x Hippy Chick (£1.85) Easter product
  • 1 x Honey Bun (£1.90) Easter product
  • 1 x Space Girl (£1.85)
  • 1 x Waving not drowning (£2.30)
  • 1 x Geo Fyzz (picture taken from the Lush website as I've used the one I bought) (£2.45)
  • 1 x Happy Pill (£2.95)
  • 1 x Avo Bath (£2.90)
  • + 1 x Vanilla Fountain for free (yay for the lovely Lush staff who like to treat us all to freebies) :)
Bubble Bars
  • Ma Bar (£2.45)
  • Sunnyside (£3.30)
  • Karma (picture taken from the Lush website as I've used almost all of mine) (£2.95)
    All in all this came to £24.90, not too shabby at all :), I can now relax in the bath without feeling guilty... apart from the fact that I've stolen my flatmates bathroom to indulge in my Lush addiction (sadly my ensuite only has a shower)

    In Boots I decided to buy a Celia Birtwell Kabuki brush as my BareMinerals one is in tatters after too much use. Sadly, when I got it home and tried it out, I realised that the brush was far too fluffy and soft to really work with mineral foundations (pretty much the only kind of foundation I'll use these days) so I'll have to find another use for it. It's gorgeous though! and the handle is so cute.

    I also bought some more Benefit Highbeam as it's my absolute favourite highlighter. It's amazing and really sculpts the face - allowing the light to hit certain areas, therefore giving the illusion of amazing cheekbones (who can complain about that?!) I'll do a little post demonstrating how amazing Highbeam is shortly.

    I'm now off to indulge in a gorgeous Lush bath, wahey for Wednesday mornings spent in the bath :) I have to wait for a delivery from the post man but after that I'm planning on spending the day chilling out in St. James park - it looks like it's going to be sunny again, yay :)

    Wednesday, 10 March 2010

    Memoirs of my rock'n'roller childhood...

    When it comes to music there's no doubt at all that I'm probably one of the most ridiculously passionate people ever. Not just any music though (I've been known to rant for hours and hours when I hear something I think is awful) it has to be loud, mean and riddled with epic guitar solos, when those criteria have been filled I suddenly turn from laid back hippie to completely hyper mentalist. 

    Nothing beats an old school guitar solo, it's the passion in the music and the over all talent. No other music can envoke the same sort of feeling in me and nothing in this world is comparable to the happiness I feel when I'm at a live show or festival, or even dancing round my flat like a lunatic. 

    My almost obsessive love of all things classic rock, 80s hair metal and old school British metal can be blamed on my parents. Right from the day I was born to a beautiful ex-hippie and an old school long haired biker, my life was like something out of Waynes world. I'm an only child so I spent a hell of a lot of my childhood socialising with my parents friends and they use to have absolutely mental house parties (think Thin Lizzy cranked up as loud as possible, rockstars getting pissed in the kitchen and men with hair so long they looked like Samson).
    Although I had a typically 'middle-class' upbringing, attending a private school, living in a gorgeous house in the Suffolk countryside and being spoilt rotten, my childhood was anything but normal or stereotypical and I'm yet to meet another person who had such a bizarre, random and exciting childhood. The people that I met back then and the things I saw completely shaped my personality today. I remember for my 6th birthday, my parents took me to see Jethro Tull live (gotta love a bit of prog rock!) when I went into school the next day and everyone asked me what I did for my birthday I was chatting excitedly about the gig and nobody understood just how happy I was to have seen Tull live. The teachers understood though, one in particular was a pretty big fan himself and I spent a good portion of the day talking about the set list and Ian Andersons performance with him.
    This is all I've ever really known, the rock'n'roll underbelly of music, and it's all I ever want to know. My friends who aren't into the same music as me find it hilarious how I'm like an old man with my music tastes, but I love it and I'll continue loving it until I'm deaf (most probably!)

    Anyway, what I was originally going to write about was the fact that I saw Lynyrd Skynyrd live at the weekend. Skynyrd have always been one of my favourite bands, I was even singing their songs off by heart when I was only 4, so to see them live was incredible. Needless to say - I was blown away. Their performance was phenomenal, I actually almost cried hearing some of the songs live as I'd wanted to see them for sooooo bloody long. When they played Freebird I had one of those "I could die right now and be happy" moments... definitely one of the best live bands I've seen, and I've seen a fair few! they've shot right into my top 10 live bands that I've seen list - 

    Top 10 bands I've seen live
    1) AC/DC
    2) Alice Cooper
    3) Pink Floyd
    4) Lynyrd Skynyrd
    5) Def Leppard
    6) Thunder
    7) Whitesnake
    8) Guns n Roses
    9) ZZ Top
    10) Thin Lizzy

    So, long live rock'n'roll! I might be in my early 20s but I'm still waving the classic rock banner for all the other fans my age :)

    Wednesday, 3 March 2010

    My current loves...

    The weather has been so beautiful this past couple of days - the sun always makes me smile and feel optimistic :). It feels like it's been cold and nasty for years, I think the ridiculous ammount of snow we had this winter didn't really help much! but here comes Spring, finally! :)

     Things I'm loving at the moment - 



    1) My lovely flat mate / best friend Dan: 
    Dan is a complete legend and I love him to bits, he's like a surrogate parent to me really and he's a fabulous cook! whenever I'm sad, he always has a plan to cheer me up and I'd just like to publically state that I think he's awesome. 

    2) As mentioned before, the sun: 
    YAY sunshine! 

    3) Starbucks caramel lattes: 
    Every morning I have to have one or else I self-combust.

    4) Trips home to visit my parents: 
    I actually rather miss them and their house and my cat and generally everything homely. I went back to visit this weekend just gone and found out they'd redecorated my second bedroom (I'm a spoilt brat so I had two bedrooms at their house, lol) and it looks gorgeous - all kinds of different shades of purple. I felt quite sad having to leave! 

    5) Friendly people: 
    Friendly people make me happy. I don't respond well to back-stabbing or bitchiness as I find it impossible to understand why anyone would want to be nasty. I always try and do my best to be nice to everyone, even if they're upsetting me. So yes, I love friendly people! and fortunately enough I seem to have encountered quite a few lovely friendly people recently all over London :)

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