Beauty: How I Build Facemasks Into My Routine

Now, every girl loves a good facemask. A time to slather it on, light a candle, brew a cuppa and read a good book or magazine. Don’t get me wrong, a mini pamper evening is right up my street. But quite often I just don’t have the time to spend half an hour doing nothing.

 photo 2017-01-22 11.08.24_zpsp4hpc13t.jpgThat’s quite depressing, really. But true. Some weeks I don’t really have half an hour to spare to just sitting and relaxing. I mean, if I stopped with the incessant scrolling of social media, if I used my lunch hour a bit better, if I worked a bit smarter, then sure. I’d probably have more time that I know what to do with. I am of the mindset that any spare time I have from now until April (and then June-September. And repeat for the next few years) should be spent studying. Pamper evenings are becoming rare!

So whilst it’s a ‘no’ to regular pamper sessions, I can’t quite give up how good my skin both looks and feels after a facemask. It’s smoother, more radiant, makeup applies better and last longer. It just looks good. So now I just squeeze in a quick facemask session into my general skincare routine. I get the glowy skin, I get the pampered feeling, but I don’t feel like I’m procrastinating (too much).

 photo Bodyshop Facemasks 12_zpsyq2rxjn3.jpgBefore I wash my hair (so every 2-3 days) I throw on a clarifying mask – I’ve used the Warming Minerals one for years, but I’ve noticed a sneaky packaging/naming change so I’m hoping it still agrees with my skin. Because of the consistency of this (it’s quite thin, especially to a damp face), I find it works well to remove makeup – obviously taking off mascara first. A quick rinse with a facecloth whilst under the shower and I’m fully cleansed.

This particular mask is warming as you apply it, adding to the pampering feel. It’s slightly tingly (and God forbid you get it in your eyes!), and the end result is soft, smooth skin. Clear pores, yet no tight, dry feeling. It also brings out lurking spots like nothing else I’ve tried.

 photo Bodyshop Facemasks 13_zpstmbn7sro.jpg photo Bodyshop Facemasks 19_zpscmk8o5ez.jpgWhen my face is feeling a bit lack-lustre, I’ll go in with either an exfoliating mask or a more nourishing one.

My exfoliator of choice (currently at least!) is this Acai Energizing mask. I confess, I don’t use it as a traditional mask. I simply massage it on, concentrating on any drier ages, then rinse off with a facecloth. Smooth, revived skin in just a few minutes. I also find taking 30 seconds to massage my face so relaxing.

I find this mask great for reviving my skin after a long week. It smells good, feels refreshing (a Godsend after a long Tube journey!) and leaves my skin looking and feeling much happier. And it looks like raspberry jam…what more can you want?!

 photo Bodyshop Facemasks 11_zpsvdwxftwd.jpg photo Bodyshop Facemasks 5_zpsodbw1br8.jpgThen there’s the nourishing mask – and my skin has definitely needed nourishing this winter! It’s taken a battering with cold weather, a bombarding of air conditioning and heating, and the recycled air on the underground. Plus London water is not kind to skin! I find I get the best results from any kind of moisurising mask if I apply to wet skin then leave on for five minutes. Anything longer and it tends to block my pores (or become itchy), anything less and it just don’t do anything.

This Honey Mask has been great during the winter, though I’m not sure I’ll be a fan of it’s sticky texture when it gets warmer (I’m hoping to pick up the Rose one for then – I’ve tried it out in store and it smells gorgeous!). I tend to apply it just before bed, then go about doing all the bed-time things. Brushing my teeth, getting my cup of tea prepped for the morning, pushing allllll the cushions onto W’s side of the bed (because it’s the annoying things he loves most about me!). I’ll then rinse off quickly and pop into bed – waking up with soft, smooth skin that’s hell of a lot more plumped up. I find it revives my complexion, leaving me with even toned skin. Definitely a must-have for me – I’ve been using it every other day for the past few months.

 photo Bodyshop Facemasks 10_zpsepsek4e6.jpgPlus, these new Bodyshop facemasks are just so prettyyyyy on my bathroom shelf. I’m a sucker for good packaging!

Typically, despite having flawless skin at the time of writing, just before posting my skin decided to have a major breakout. Thanks hormones. So to those of you who see me around now, my current skin is not a reflection of these products!

Are you a fan of facemasks? Do you prefer proper pamper evenings, or just slotting them into your routine?

Beauty: Face Sculpting Duo

 photo c1f3f2b9-db92-4479-b6e8-9a5a2bc6d213_zps094cf7f3.jpgI have three criteria when it comes to makeup. It needs to be pale enough. It needs to be super easy to apply. It must last all day. Pretty much against all odds I’ve found the perfect everyday highlighting and contouring options; pale enough, fantastically simple, long-lasting, and pretty much budget friendly too!

 photo 4c410743-2f19-412e-8be2-56ca0501d798_zpscdf29eac.jpgI started coveting Bodyshop’s Honey Bronzer month’s ago, and picked it up just before summer. Despite virtually daily use I’ve hardly made a dent. It’s ridiculously pale for a bronzer, and completely matte. Perfect for contouring, but I can also apply this lightly all over for the (rare) occasion when I want to look a little more tanned.

 photo 9d054e3d-8d86-4faa-93d8-43f061d69799_zps4c001192.jpgApplied with Bodyshop’s blusher brush, blended well, this gives the most model-worthy but subtle cheekbones ever. As someone who resembled a chipmunk before their nose operation, I can safely say this slims your face down well!

 photo 627cf3d4-2ca5-4d1a-8c16-0fe43fc5e9b5_zps426524dd.jpgThat being said, I always felt like my face was lacking a little something. Enter the temptation of a No7 voucher. I’ve not bought anything from N07 in years – I used to love their eyeshadows and mascaras – so I was a little spoilt for choice. I decided to go for something entirely different and picked up this little highlighter stick. And…

 photo 7e295609-daa7-4306-8c2f-90c71d0a6de6_zps80c7561a.jpgI’m so glad I did! Not only is it completely foolproof – swipe on, blend with fingers (yep, not the most hygienic, but I always apply makeup to freshly washed skin…), the colour is stunning. A neutral pearlescent shimmer, which doesn’t look golden on my ghostly skin.  It adds just enough light to the high points of my face, without looking like I threw a pot of glitter over myself. In fact, the only issue is when I forget to blend the swipe on my nose…

 photo ed892dd6-75d5-4b43-9149-2c69c3414658_zpsbafe10f8.jpgBoth of these products last pretty much all day, no matter what other makeup I’m wearing. For work I wear Rimmel’s newest base of Lasting Finish Nude, then the highlighter with a little Bodyshop Mineral Powder over the top. The bronzer finishes everything off. Weekends are for more natural looks, so I just tend to use an illuminating moisturiser, hide the under-eye circles, then use these two products. Either way, my makeup is done in around 7 minutes. The time it takes for a cup of tea to cool to sipping temperature.
 photo bb17748a-abcb-44b3-b264-50e2516307a3_zpsd646dc8b.jpg

Do you use face sculpting products? I have the Hourglass Ambient Light Palette as a 21st present in a month, so I’m looking forward to comparing these products!

Beauty: Everyday Makeup

 photo 2014-05-02191028_zpsfcb2ad17.jpgOn a day-t0-day basis I like to keep my make-up simple and neutral. For one thing, it’s so much quicker (I like my sleep!) and I can do it easily, without thinking (or even looking!) and it will still look relatively decent…or so I hope!

I start by splashing my face with cold water (cleansing if my face feels dirty) and then moisturising. I posted about my skincare a while ago, but I’ve updated my routine since then so will have to do a new post at some point. I’ll then conceal with Seventeen Stay Time Concealer, concentrating my efforts under my eyes, and on any cheeky spots which may have appeared.

 photo 2014-05-02190834_zps183153c3.jpgMy current foundation of choice, at least for everyday, is Bodyshop’s Mineral Loose Powder in the lightest shade – its pretty much a perfect match for my pale skin, and blends effortlessly with their Kabuki Brush. I honestly don’t need to watch what I’m doing when applying this as it never looks caked on (I only apply a thin layer), it just looks lovely and natural whilst still offering what I feel is medium coverage. It also last all day, which is a bonus when you have lectures and exercise classes from 9-6!

For eye makeup, but everyday look is a sweep of a neutral creme shadow on my lids (current favourite = Bourjois Colour Edition in Petale de Glace) and a coat of mascara. My all-time favourite mascara is the Lash Definition from Natural Collection – for £1.99 it lasts all day, never clumps, and is far better than other high-street ones I’ve tried.

 photo 2014-05-02190940_zpsb9bc78c4.jpgThats it – a routine that takes five minutes maximum, and lasts most of the day. Whilst its nothing special, it just helps me feel a little more confident that going bare-faced, and at least I look presentable should I have to go out at short notice (I live in hope I’ll be whisked off to Paris on the Eurostar…)

What makeup do you wear everyday?

Budget Beauty: Reward Cards

RewardCards photo 2014-03-30113508_zps643708b1.jpgAs you can see from my bulging purse I’m a huge lover of reward cards. There’s a general post on the subject scheduled in the next week or so (I have so many I had to split the post up!) but this is all about my beauty cards, what I get the most use out of, and how I like to use them.

First up I have probably the most well known beauty reward card – the Boots Advantage Card. I’ve loved mine from the moment I got it, I’ve always loved knocking up points then treating myself. Over my first year of university I used all my hard-earned points on everyday items, which saved me a lot. However I felt a bit cheated, so I’d definitely recommend treating yourself. The best thing about this card is the ease of building up points (4 for every pound, often with bonus events), regular vouchers, and the free magazine.

Then I have a little bit of a strange one – my Holland and Barratt card. I have no idea what the reward scheme actually is, but I signed up during an offer where I automatically received £1.50 worth of points. This is a bit slow to rack up I admit, but I only tend to buy a couple of items (more will become clear in the next few weeks – but one of my all-time favourite skincare items is from their shelves).

Finally I have my beloved Bodyshop card. I was reluctant to sign up to this as you do have to pay (around £5) but I’m pleased to report that it is worth it. I’ve more than got my money back during their 40% off weekends, and you get a£5 product/money off during your birthday month. Not to mention the stamps that build up to money off – I currently have £15 to spend on mine!

One last little thing, a request from me. I have £35 on my Boots card, some of which I want to use to buy a little treat. Anything you recommend? I’m visiting a store with a MAC counter over my holidays if that helps…

What’s your favourite beauty reward card?