Budget Beauty Finds – £5 and under 

  
I love to shop beauty and skincare but I don’t have the biggest beauty budget in the world so I do a wholeeeee lot of research on dupes and bargains 
These are my favourite budget finds, each retailing at less than £5

Serums

Superdrug Simply Pure Hydrating Serum – £2.69

This contains, amongst other things, hylauronic acid which is my favourite moisturising ingredient. I have acne and it really helps soothe it I find.

Aldi Lacura Soy Serum – £3.49

This stuff smells divine and the packaging and the texture feel really expensive. There are also only 4 and 5 star reviews of this on the aldi website.

Moisturiser

Neutrogena oil free moisturiser – currently £2.79 at Boots (think I might have to stick up!)

This is perfect for my oily skin as it contains a little bit of #salicylicacid but it is also quite moisturising. It seems to keep the shine at bay as well which is always a plus in my boo. 

Spot Treatments 

Superdrug Clearly Youthful Overnight Serum – £4.89 

This contains salicylic acid (my favourite acid) and lactic acid. Looking at the ingredients there is more lactic acid than salicylic though.

Boots Witch Hazel Gel – £1.99

An amazing staple product which doesn’t irritate me but makes me feel ‘clean’. I don’t think this kills spots quickly but it keeps them at bay and gently too. 

Eye Cream

Waitrose Pure Eye Gel – £2.99

This has a minty fragrance to me (even though it is fragrance free?!?) which sort of makes my eyes sting and it’s a bit watery so it falls off your finger if you aren’t careful but that being said it is quite good and refreshing in a morning. I keep it in my fridge for an extra punch.

Lip Balm

Bepanthen Nappy Cream – £3ish

This acts like homeoplasmine or the elizabeth arden eight hour cream. Really great barrier cream.

Oil

Aldi Lacura Facial Oil for dry skin – £3.99

This contains macadamia nut oil and Argan oil. Good consistency and packaging. Unfortunately this is currently a special but I believe so it only comes into store every now and then, keep your eyes peeled!

Anyone have any bargainbeauty recommendations?

Acne Update!

  
I feel that I’ve started to notice an improvement in my skin over the last month especially! 

The things that I have changed the most are:

  1. Doing Veganuary – I gave up meat and all dairy for January and I’ve still not gone back to milk. No more lattes for me. I really feel that this is the major one. Can’t recommend it highly enough. See my previous post – Milk – acne friend or foe? And this post from a model recommends Milk and spots update
  2. Acid toning – I got the Pixi glow tonic for Christmas and I love it! It really does make me glow and it gets rid of all the dead skin cells that can clog pores. 
  3. Taking a fish oil supplement – not vegan but really helps! I’ve been using the Holland and Barrett Omega 3 Fish Oil 1500mg.
  4. Stopping stripping my skin by using harsh cleansers and things for ‘acne prone’ skin. It’s taken me a long time to realise that the softly softly approach is perhaps best. An angry spot is a big red spot! Treat them calmly and they chill out a bit!

Has anyone got any other tips? 

Happy spot taming

ASW 

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Birchbox February 2016

I love it when my Birchbox arrived, it’s like a present to myself! 
 

This months’ box one was of the best for a while (I was a tiny bit disappointed with January’s….)
1. Ole Henriksen Truth Serum – this smells fantastic! Like oranges and citrus fruits. I’ve only used it once but my skin does feel lovely! 
2. Spectrum Blusher Brush – love this. Full stop. Buy one now.
3. LOC Eyeshadow Pen – this is from Birchbox’s first in house product range. The colour is vivid and I think it will be good for a last minute change up from day to night makeup.
4. Frat Boy Blusher – I got the bronzer from this set a while back and I wasn’t impressed.. Let’s see how the blush fares..
5. Derm Eyes Makeup Wipe – given beauty guru Caroline Hirons abhorrence for the face wipe I’m hesitant but I’m going to pop it in my gym bag for emergencies. 
6. Cochine Hand and Body Lotion – said to smell like hyacinth but I’m not sure. Great sample size though!
Thanks Birchbox, in excited for next month already.
Happy Cleansing
ASW

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Cover it up! Acne concealing routine 

Obviously I suffer from acne (hence A Spotty Woman) and my skin isn’t the biggest fan of makeup, think oil slick after about 5 minutes, but a girl does sometime have to wear make up! 

I have hunted high and low for the last ten years to find products that don’t make me produce masses of excess oil and that will cover a multitude of different spot types (I think I’ve had pretty much all of them).  

So these are my go to products when I have blemishes:

  
1. Clinique Anti-Blemish Foundation – I always start with a bit of this all over my face whatever spots I do or don’t have. This is the only foundation I’ve found that I can wear for more than 30 minutes without causing an oily mess. Plus it gives great coverage! If my spots aren’t too bad I’ll stop here, but if they aren’t.. Then I’ll continue!

2. MAC Foundation Brush – they seem pricy but I’ve had this one for about 10 years and I just keep washing it regularly with baby shampoo to make sure no spot germs live in it. I use this to get really even coverage with the Clinique foundation above.

3. Vichy Dermablend Fluid Corrective Foundation – this stuff is amazing! It’s quite heavy though so I don’t tend to wear it as an actually foundation as it literally blanks you out all over and I feel a bit doll like. I do use it to cover spots though and there’s nothing like it. It’s great for spots that are a bit dry as it doesn’t go cakey. 

4. MAC Conealer Pot – I’ve been using this concealer for about 10 years (probably bought it the first time when I got my foundation brush!) but obviously I’ve repurchased this many times. It’s quite heavy so it’s best for really red angry spots or dark marks left by spots. I don’t like it on dry spots though.

5. Bare Minerals Original Foundation – I use this for everything depending on what coverage I need. I sometimes use it as a foundation if my skin is quite good but I always use it as a powder to set the liquid/pot concealed areas. I then tap some into the lid and using my finger or a flat brush I dab it on to spots that haven’t covered using any of the above methods. It’s particularly good for weepy spots that are a bit open wound like.. (Although obviously not open wounds but those ones that just won’t stop weeping!) 

6. Bare Minerals Foundation Brush – this is my go to powder brush, it blends so well! 

Before/After 

   
 
 I love this Lisa Eldridge tutorial for good acne coverage too – 

http://www.lisaeldridge.com/video/12764/acneblemish-covering-make-up/#.VnvzBVXfXCQ​

Happy Concealing!

ASW

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La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo – Days 3 & 4

So I’ve had a few teething problems with this product over the last few days. On Saturday I woke up and my skin was quite red and dry from the use of this product. 

My skin looked quite inflamed but… I think I popped it on a couple of times on Friday as I could feel spots brewing so perhaps it’s my fault!

Today my skin was quite congested, hence my last post, and needed a bit of tlc (damn hormones). The results below are perhaps more down to the Lush Catastrophic Cosmetic face mask but I have continues to use La Roche morning and night. 

Day 3 – Day 4 (right cheek)  

Day 3 – Day 4 (left cheek)

  
Perhaps this is the culprit for my bad skin however…..

  
Or this….

  
Best get on the water and stop squeezing this week!

Happy cleansing

ASW

The Big Guns Are Out! 

My skin has been so terrible over the last few days and I’ve been self-extracting (eek!) which is always a bad idea.

Self-extracting is just my fancy way of saying picking/squeezing etc but it does sound a bit less dire.

I know it can scar and I know it’s bad for my skin but sometimes I just can’t stop myself.. The last couple of days have been a bit of a skin write off and not even my La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo has been helping. Therefore, I’ve had to get the big guns out!

  

  1. Acne-Free Sensitive Corrective Acne Cleanser (my dad gets this for me from Wallmart when he goes to the USA but you can get some on Amazon)
  2. Acne-Free Facial Brush (again from the USA but available on Amazon AcneFree Advanced Cleansing Brush https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00B9615HQ/ref=cm_sw_r_awd_NS3wwb2TR9RB5)
  3. Lush Catastophic Cosmetic Face Mask (£6.75)
  4. La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo (as per my other posts)

I started off using the Acne Free sensitive cleanser with the soft facial brush. This brush isn’t as astringent as some of the others and I just use it occasionally to really clean out my pores.

The Acne Free products are quite cheap from Walmart and drug stores in the USA (I live in the UK so I have to get my dad to buy them when he is over on business!) and they have some really potent stuff in them. It does work but be cautious, it does over dry and I wouldn’t recommend frequent use.

That said, if you are cautious it can really help on those days when you just want to put a bag over your head to leave the house. Even the sensitive cleanser is packed full of spot fighting ingredients. Just don’t use your favourite towels or bedding.. It does bleach! 

  
I absolutely love this face mask, I’ve been buying it when my skin is at its worst since about 2009 when me and my friends got a free Lush workshop to make the mask from a purchase of Clipper Tea! 

We got to see everything that went into making the mask and it was so fresh and all the ingredients were natural. My skin has literally never been as good as when I used the freshly made mask. 

I have noticed that the mask is definitely better in the first week of getting it and the best before date really does need to be stuck to.

Happy cleansing 

ASW

 

 

Empties (and a re-purchase!)

I rarely use all of a product, I get bored with them if I don’t think they are working.. Therefore, for me to finish a product must mean it’s really good! 

  
My empties this month are:-

  1. Clarins Lotus Face Treatment Oil (£32 http://m.clarins.co.uk/lotus-face-treatment-oil–oily-combination-skin-/C010401003.html)
  2. Beauty Protector Protect and Detangle (£14 for 236ml https://www.birchbox.co.uk/shop/beauty-protector-protect-detangle)

I swear by Clarins Lotus Oil to regulate my oil production it’s also a great alternative to a night cream. I can’t bear slathering my face in cream, it just makes me break out.

The Beauty Protector is one of the only set angling products that I rate. It’s subtly brilliant and I didn’t event realise that I was reaching for it after every shower until it ran out. I have really long thick hair and it really made my hair more manageable.

 

Repurchase! 

Happy cleansing

ASW