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?

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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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Footner – Not for the Faint Hearted

  
I’ve heard a lot about footner and decided my tootsies needed a bit of tlc this winter (I’m generally just hiding my unpainted toes in my UGGs).

What’s in the box:

  
Two plastic socks that you cut the tops off and slip your feet in. Careful, don’t tip them or the footner gel stuff dribbles out. 

Beware, this is a photo diary so if you don’t like feet or gross peely skin don’t read on.

Day 1 

60 minutes with little plastic socks on sounds pretty easy! They are quite hard to walk about in and it stunk like nail varnish remover but still pretty easy to do.

  
Days 2-3

My feet felt really tight and dry and wrinkly! But I was worried it wasn’t working as no peeling was happening!

Day 4

Did a little google, apparently soaking your feet assists the peeling! Lo and behold – peeling began! Well a little bit! 

 
Day 5

Well the peeling has really begun now.. And it’s actually disgusting!!! I am just leaving my socks on and trying not to look!

  
Day 6

  

This is actually vile. I have zombie toes.

Day 7 

Omg! I lost my entire heel of skin! It just flapped around in my sock until I got back from shopping and saw the damage. Words cannot describe how disturbing this is, perhaps this picture will explain it better!

  
Days 8-9

How do my feet have any skin left?! Even the tops of my feet are shedding skin! It did slow down though and by the end of day 9/10 I’d say the peeling had pretty much stopped!

My feet do feel very smooth! There’s still a bit of hard skin on one of my heels but it’s a lot better than before! 

I would recommend it (subject to the health warnings/recommendations on the packet) but it’s not for the faint hearted! 

Happy peeling

ASW 

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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Skincare Sample Hunting!

Every now and then I go on a bit of a sample rampage on the Internet.

I love free samples, such a great way to try now products before committing to buying the full size and also great for adding to your sample collection! 

I’m also trying to spent less on cosmetics for the next month with it being the season of giving! Project empties will continue.. Unless I can get my hands on some freebies!

A few of my finds are:-

  1. Free sample of Estée Lauder foundation – https://m.esteelauder.co.uk/double-confidence#double-confidence-sample   
  2. Apply to join the Charles Worthington testing panel. If successful you get to test free hair care products – https://p5trc.emv2.com/LP/ER1y06xbPCI
  3. Avène Free Samples – sign up for a skin diagnosis and tick the box saying yes to free samples and you will get some freebies within a few days! http://www.avene.co.uk/skin-diagnosis     

I also just received an email giving me 30% off Avène products after completing my skin diagnosis! Bargain! 

I love freebies! Anyone heard of any other good ones? 

Happy freebie hunting 

ASW

Birchbox December 2015

My Birchbox arrived!!!!! Made my day, think I have a bit of a mini product obsession, they are just too cute!

I’m a massive fan of Birchbox, not only do you get good quality, good sized products but you also get Birchbox points for every box and review which you can spend in the store. I have done so on two occasions and my products arrived within 2 days! Love it. The customer service is great too.

The December box is actually a bag, a clutch for Christmas with 6 products (1 full sized).

  
1. Roloxin Lift Instant Skin Smoothing Mask – RRP £79(!) for 10 sachets. This is said to star:

a matrix of hydrophilic and hydrophobic (water-loving and –loathing) silica particles, which are deposited on skin during the 7-minute treatment.

I once had a boyfriend that did a masters on these particles, so this product is off to a bad start for me! But people seem to be raving about it. The price is just a bit prohibitive for me, so I’ll probably end up saving it for a special occasion and never using it!

2. Model Co Ultra Long Lasting Lipstick in Kitty – £15.50 

3. Ciate Paint Pot – £9 (for full size). I had the mini mani manor advent last year and I was a bit disappointed with the lighter coloured Ciate polishes as they were really streaky… 

4. Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream – £80 (for full size) I do love Elemis! So I’m hoping its claim to boost skin radiance in 15 days will be true!

5. Skin & Co Sicilian Body Gel – £15 (for full size) smells amazing! 

6. Benefit Puff Off! And They’re Real Push Up Duo – I love the eyeliner for its ultra long lasting line but it is a bit fiddly to get used to. And with all my hours in the office lately I think I’m going to need Puff Off!

So basically, I LOVE BIRCHBOX! 

Happy cleansing

ASW 

Beauty Hack – Beauty Product Organiser £4.49!

I really am starting to build up a bit of a hoard of beauty products.. So much so that I have been known to forget about products for months before rediscovering them.

I’ve been looking for something to help me organise my beauty products for a while but most options seem very pricy for essentially some plastic boxes. 

On my most recent look round discount store Boyes a set of craft boxes caught my eye!

  
There are lots of different sizes and combinations but I just wanted a place for my most prized products so I just bought two, totalling a massive…. £4.49!

The lids come off so you can use the divider section and the lid as storage compartments. 

  

I popped mine on top of my IKEA Malm chest of drawers (http://m.ikea.com/gb/en/catalog/products/art/60218015/).

  
I think I enjoy organising my products a bit too much!

I hope you do too.

ASW

Mark Hill – MiracOILous Shampoo and Conditioner Review

  
Who’s it for?

People with dry and damaged hair

Where’s it from?

Mark’s products are available at his salon in East Yorkshire and at Boots countrywide! 

How much is it?

Usually £6.99 but it’s currently 1/3 off at Boots so it’s £4.66 at the moment! 

http://m.boots.com/h5/cat_hub?path=%2Fen%2FMark-Hill-MiracOILicious-Shampoo-250ml_1749138%2F&unCountry=uk

What’s in it?

A whole host of unpronounceable things but it does have a lot of oils in it for example Cananga Odorata (Flower) Oil and Argania Spinosa (Kernel) Oil.

What does it smell like?

Firstly, it smells amazing! The product is described as smelling like Ylang Ylang, Bergamot, Spearmint and Patchouli. It actually smells a bit like sweeties!

Negatives

My mum tried it too and she said it was difficult to wash out and she felt like some residue was left. I didn’t personally feel like that but my hair did feel quite soft so perhaps the shampoo leaves some oils in your hair?

It didn’t have any ‘wow’ factor to me, it’s another take on the Argan Oil trend but my hair didn’t feel as good as if is actually used real Argan Oil (which I have used before).

Rating

7/10 probably won’t re-purchase.

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