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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Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation Review 

So now my skin has improved somewhat, I feel like I can wear makeup again! And also concentrate on different skin concerns, mainly trying to protect my skin and try to delay aging.. (I am hurtling towards 30, eye cream time!)
  

I wanted a really good foundation so I did a bit of research and stumbled upon the Charlotte Tilbury website. I loved her tutorials and how the product seemed to work. 
But as ever, I don’t like to waste money on things I won’t end up using so I sent a quick email to my local Charlotte Tilbury counter asking if I could try the foundation.
They emailed me back within an hour and I went in that lunchtime. The makeup artist was amazing, she gave me a complete cleanse, application of Charlotte’s highly expensive Magic Cream, and then she started with the makeup.
She used the Magic Foundation on me in shade 3, but explained it can oxidise a bit so I may need the shade down. After powder and contouring etc I was sent away advised to monitor the colour!
I didn’t really have chance to look at the colour until I got home, but I got rained on, ran for the train and walked the dogs in the wind and my face still looked flawless at 9pm! 
I did think the shade was slightly too dark so I went back and purchased shade 2 and I couldn’t be happier with it.
My skin actually looks better for using it! And it stays on all day.
I am also massively oily and this one doesn’t start to get shiny until lunchtime. I just re-powder a bit or blot and I’m good to go again.
One of my pet peves about foundation is when you can feel it on your skin like a mask all day! This one passes the test with flying colours. I think I’m in love!
Happy foundation choosing!
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

Project Empties – Waste Not Want Not

I literally never finish anything, not a meal, not a drink and definitely not a product!

I seem to have a pathological dislike for completing or ending or finishing anything! Yet when I don’t finish dinner I’ll happily have pudding.

It’s much the same when it comes to beauty products, I’m always moving onto the next new thing before giving my existing products a fair chance! 

  
For the products I really like, when they near the end I stop using them. I always think hmm maybe I should save a bit, just in case… 

I’ve recently been reading about #missionempties on Instagram and Hidden Harmony World (http://hiddenharmonyworld.com/2015/12/03/mission-empties-strategy/) and it seems like a really good idea. 

I plan on not buying and more products and trying to revive some old favourites, use that last drop in the bottle and cut open some tubes over the next 15 days (well I can’t be expected not to purchase new products in the January sales!).

Anyone want to join me? 

ASW

Milk – Acne Friend or Foe? 

I am a big fan of dairy products and I’ve always loved a big glass of milk, or a yoghurt, or some cheese.. You get my drift, I’m a massive diary eater.

I have been doing some research and speaking to some others with similar skin concerns (not professionals, just other likeminded people) and for some it seems that there is a connection between acne and dairy. 

   
Amodelrecommends (http://www.amodelrecommends.com/2013/02/02/can-milk-cause-acne-skincare-question/) posted about this potential link a while ago and her post is definitely worth a read.

There is also some scientific research suggesting a link between dairy and acne in that if you have an intolerance to it, it can cause inflammation, I’ve also heard that milk can be difficult for humans to digest and that it contains hormones (I am NOT a scientist but this is my interpretation of the research I’ve read online).

There are quite a few articles online of people finding some relief from their acne when they stopped drinking milk – http://www.cosmopolitan.co.uk/beauty-hair/advice/a36659/adult-acne-treatment-dairy/

Like the lady above, I have a bit of a latte obsession.. 

So, I think it’s worth try giving up dairy for a week or so to see if there’s any sign of improvement. I know a week isn’t long but if there’s any signs of improvements I’ll extend how long I  give it up for and I can begin testing if a large dose of milk causes me to breakout. 

I have also identified a couple of other things in my diet that I need to limit or try giving up after milk which could be feeding my acne.. Sugar and Diet Coke (I LOVE Diet Coke so this will be hard!).

Has anyone else found any relief from giving up dairy? 

ASW

New For November! 

I think I’m a bit late to the game (well very late to the game), but I’ve just discovered acid toning and spritz toning! 

I love Caroline Hirons’ blog and after doing some research I’ve made my first foray into the toning world (or should I say liquid exfoliating world).

My beauty budget is pretty low especially with it being Christmas soon so my research was around the £5-£10 product ranges.

Caroline Hirons recommended some Clearasil Superfruit Toning Pads for the acid tone but I can’t seem to find these in the uk! With the main ingredient being salicylic acid, I chose another Clearasil pad – the Rapid Action Pad.

 
These cost about £3.50 and I’m really impressed! They were a little scratchy but my skin does look a little better since using them for the last few days. I think they would be a little harsh for am and pm everyday but I do really like them! 

I finished up with the La Roche Posay Serozinc Spritz Toner (£8.50 at Boots) which calmed my skin after exfoliating it with the Clearasil pads. 

  
I realllyyyyyyy like this product! It was soothing but acne fighting (my favourite combination). 

I think I’m a bit addicted to toners now and can’t stop looking at other ones. Got my eye on Pixi Glow Tonic, Boots Vitamin E Spritz and Clinique Moisture Surge Spritz…. Please Santa!

Happy toning!

ASW