Wednesday, 16 April 2014

On The Spot Treatment Products

Today I wanted to share with you four different blemish treatment products that I have been using over the last few months in order to test them out and review them for you in this post.  Some of these I've actually been using for a lot longer but one is a very recent addition.  There is a lot of research being reported that shows that adult breakouts are becoming more and more prevalent from the 20s onwards so hopefully this post will help you to decide which products are for you and which aren't.

I'll start with the Clearasil Ultra Rapid Action Pads.  I bought these ages ago, thinking that they were the Blackhead Clearing Pads that I have loved for a long time.  They're basically cotton pads that are soaked in a solution that aims to cleanse the skin, exfoliate it and clear blocked pores that cause break outs.  I find that these are very drying on the skin and can sting if you are using them all over your face and I have by no means sensitive skin.  I tend to use them on areas where I have blemishes rather than wiping them all over my skin and as of late, I have found them effective at reducing the redness in any spots that I have overnight and if I use them on my cheeks, if my pores are blocked then I do find that it encourages the dirt to come to the surface and I get a small white head style spot that is wiped away with my morning cleanse.  They're a very budget option at just over £5 from Boots or cheaper if you go to somewhere like Home Bargains like I did.  I won't repurchase them when the pot has ran out because there are other spot treatments that I want to try that are designed purely as an on the spot treatment, like the Origins Super Spot Remover and that are more travel friendly as the pot is quite big compared to some stick spot treatments.

The second product that Ive been trying out is the Blemish Control Gel Mask* from Good Things.  This is designed as a 3 in 1 mask that is designed to tackle blemishes, spots and excess oil, leaving the skin clear and fresh and shine free. It contains witch hazel extract which is supposed to calm the skin and soothe angry breakouts as well as Willow Bark extract which is full of salicylic acid which helps to unblock pores and prevent future break outs from occurring.

To apply it, you simply smooth the gel over the whole face, leave it on for 10 minutes while it dries slightly and then remove it using a warm water soaked face cloth.  Very simple and easy to use however the mask just didn't agree with my skin whatsoever.  Upon dispensing the product you can really sense how strong it is- it really made my eyes water.  Within a matter of minutes I could feel it tingling on my skin.  I didn't look in a mirror as I thought that it was just the mask working but after a few more minutes the tingling turned to a burning sensation and i had to remove it.

Even a few hours later my skin was still noticeably very red and it felt sore to the touch.  With getting married soon, I didn't want to risk another application to see if the same would happen but I have been using it as an on the spot treatment and I find that that works better than using the mask all over the skin which is just too harsh in my opinion.  I just take a concealer brush and apply a small amount of the mask directly onto the spot and then leave it for ten minutes and wash off and I find that the mask does help to reduce the size of the spot and clear it without drying out my skin because it is only the spot that has the mask on.

The Good Things Blemish Control Gel Mask with superfruit extracts of Mango and Lychee is available from Boots online and in store for £4.99.  While you're there I would HIGHLY recommend their Deep Pore Anti Blemish Lotion which is absolutely FABULOUS.  I've been using Good Things products for years and absolutely love them.

The third product I wanted to share with you is the Dr Organic Tea Tree Blemish Stick which is available from Holland and Barrett.  This is my favourite out of the four that I have reviewed for you both because it is so easy to use but very very effective too.  Both Mr WLL and I use this as an on the spot treatment and it really helps to reduce the size and redness of spots.  It comes in a rollerball formula and the product comes out very easily so you're not having to aggravate the spot further and it is very easy to use.  Tea tree is great as an antiseptic to clean and clear spots and it also has aloe vera which is fabulous at soothing and reducing the redness in spots.  I would definitely recommend this product.  It is affordable too and the size is perfect for travel.  You can buy it from Holland and Barrett for £4.39.

The last product I have been trying out to review for you is the Witch Naturally Clear Blemish Stick.  This one contains witch hazel extract which helps to fight the bacteria that causes spots.  Both myself and Mr WLL have been using this spot treatment for a very long time now.  It works really well at drying out spots and helping them to clearly much more quickly and with less redness than they would have if they were left on their own.  It is an oil free stick formula that you simply rub on the affected area and it feels quite cooling.  I find that it works best if you apply it as soon as possible after feeling a spot starting to rear its ugly head.  It works very quickly on my skin and I would definitely recommend it for anyone but particularly for those with oily skin.

The Witch Naturally Clear Blemish Stick is available here for £2.09.

What spot treatments are you using at the moment?

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Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Collection Nail Polish in Lilac Daze Review

For the last few days I've been wearing the Collection Work The Colour nail polish in Lilac Daze on my nails and I've honestly never had so many compliments on one nail polish before.

Those comments must be down to the undeniably gorgeous colour of the polish.  Lilac Daze is a very creamy pastel lilac nail polish with a lovely glossy finish.  It needs a good three coats to become completely opaque and I added my favourite Orly Glosser top coat to seal everything in and to make the polish last as long as possible.  I'm on day three now and there isn't a chip in sight!

This is the first nail polish I've worn from the Work The Colour line from Collection and I'm really impressed.  Yes, three layers is a little bit of a pain but the look this colour gives the nails is incredible and the drying time between coats is pretty quick too.

Whilst this nail polish is quite clearly the ultimate springtime colour, it will look beautiful all year round; I cannot wait to wear it in winter, layered up with grey and black clothing.  IN LOVE.

This isn't the first lilac polish I've used as I also have the Eyeko Lilac Polish which is so watery and a lot darker than Lilac Daze and I also have Models Own Lilac Dream nail polish which was my favourite until I started using this one which is slightly lighter but just as creamy.  For someone who doesn't really care for lilac clothing or make up, I LOVE it as a nail colour!

Collection polishes are available to buy direct from their website and from Superdrug.  Now I've been onto the Superdrug website and found the Lilac Daze polish and it's the right picture but the name of the polish is incorrect as it is put down as Sonic Blue... so you might be better off going in store to pick it up.  Either way it is £1.99 and I would really recommend it.

What are your favourite lilac polishes?

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The Dangers of Not Being Able to Hear Properly

Hi Everyone

Today the lovely Debbie will be guest posting over on WhatLauraLoves.  She's written a fabulous article all about the dangers of not being able to hear properly.  You can follow her on Twitter here.  I've also inserted some videos of the artists so you can sing along as you read- talk about multi tasking!
WhatLauraLoves xo

The dangers of not being able to hear properly

A report by the Health & Safety at Work organisation shows that nine million people in the UK are affected by hearing problems. This problem is on the increase, so more people are exposed to potential danger.

Why hearing loss can pose a threat to life

If people do not realise that their hearing is damaged, they run the risk of having an accident as a result of their hearing loss. For example, if someone is in a building when it is on fire, and they don’t hear the smoke alarm, they may become trapped in a burning building. Many people rely on their hearing and sight when they cross the road; this is why electric cars have had their engine noise enhanced, in order to warn a pedestrian that they are approaching. In if doubt at all, consult professional expertise, such as that provided by Hidden Hearing.

Communication problems

Hearing loss can lead to emotional trauma, and can sometimes also result in economic hardship. The World Health Organisation (WHO) believes that 360 million people across the world suffer from hearing problems from a variety of causes. Only 10% of those affected use hearing aids. This means that on a global basis, loss of hearing can lead to difficulties at work, and socially, and can put the sufferer in danger in a range of situations.

Why it is important to have your hearing loss diagnosed

Some people have reported hearing loss as a result of a cold or bug, and do not realise that it’s vital to have a proper test in case the ear has been irreparably damaged. The Daily Mail reported the story of Michael Berkeley, a composer who almost lost his livelihood as a result of an infection. Berkeley was fortunate in that his brain adapted over time, and he did regain his hearing.

Daily risks for deaf people

Many deaf people feel alienated and scared. Their confidence is eroded as a result of their condition, and everyday tasks become increasingly more difficult. Imagine shopping and the store being vacated because of a security risk - the deaf person without a hearing aid wouldn’t realise the urgency of the situation.

That’s an extreme and fairly unlikely example, but even a simple task such as answering a ringing telephone can become a nightmare, especially if you don’t realise that a telephone is ringing in the first place. In many national emergencies, vital information is transmitted via a radio or TV. If this is inaudible, then the person suffering from hearing loss may be in danger.

Overcoming the stigma of deafness

In a fast moving world where communication is vital, a deaf person may well be victimised because they have problems communicating. Deafness does vary from person to person; some people will suffer from constant background noise, called tinnitus. Others may be mildly hard of hearing. If you think that your hearing may be declining, it’s vital that you are diagnosed as soon as possible.

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Monday, 14 April 2014

High SPF Suncare Saviours

With the summer coming up, I know a lot of you will be going away on holiday in a hot destination and so I wanted to review some of my favourite high SPF sun care products for you.

A lot of these products are from French pharmacy brands.  I really enjoy using French skin care as I find that it is very gently formulated whilst being high performing and I have always found the same to be said for their sun care too.

Eau Thermale Avene Very High Protection Spray SPF 50+

Eau Thermale Avene Very High Protection Spray SPF 50+*
The Eau Thermale Avene Very High Protection Spray has SPF 50+ which offers very broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection to prevent your body from burning in the sun.  It is designed for sensitive skin and didn't irritate my patch or psoriasis or dermatitis however anyone can use it, making it suitable for all the family.  It doesn't sting or irritate my skin and it doesn't clog my pores or give me spots on my body like some SPF products have done in the past.

Eau Thermale Avene Very High Protection sun lotion when sprayed
It comes in a traditional pump spray bottle that is incredible easy to use.  It fires out a good dollop of the product which sprays together rather than firing out at all angles for a thinner coating if that makes any sense whatsoever, and then you simply rub it in.  It doesn't seem to go very far but that doesn't really matter at the bottle is a large 200ml size and I don't find that I use more of it than any other suncream anyway.  The suncream is thick in consistency but it rubs in incredibly well and doesn't leave a strong white cast across the skin.

Eau Thermale Avene Very High Protection Spray SPF 50+ when rubbed in
Scent wise, I usually enjoy that typical sun tan smell that I associate with holidays however this doesn't smell of that and so is great for people who don't appreciate that slightly artificial fragrance like I do!  Instead the Avene spray has quite a pleasant scent that is light and quite pretty, if you will.

This suntan lotion currently retails for £17 down from an RRP of £20 here which is only a small amount more than most high street suntan lotions.  I definitely think that it is worth the money and would certainly repurchase, after all, I don't think you can put a price on good sun protection.

Eau Thermale Avene Very High Protection Emulsion SPF 50+

Eau Thermale Avene Very High Protection Emulsion SPF 50+*
This is a suntan cream that is more designed for use on the face than the one above.  It's by Avene and it is called the Very High Protection Emulsion for normal to combination sensitive skin.  This one has a tremendous SPF 50+ which provides broad UVB and UVA protection which is great because it really stopped me from burning on holiday.

Eau Thermale Avene Very High Protection Emulsion when dispensed

The texture of this one is a little more cream like in formula than the spray above which is more like a lotion.  It comes in a pump action bottle that dispenses quite a lot of product.  I find that one and a half pumps is more than sufficient for my full face and neck and that the emulsion rubs in quite quickly, leaving a slight white cast on my skin, while it takes a couple of minutes to fully sink in.  What I like the most about this suntan cream is that it doesn't make my skin feel overloaded and it doesn't clog my pores, causing spots.  The light scent that it has doesn't irritate my skin and overall I loved using this product.

Eau Thermale Avene Very High Protection Emulsion when rubbed in
When I travel I tend to go to very hot destinations where I may inevitably sweat on my brow, so I like to look for a suntan lotion that won't emulsify and run on my skin, get into my eyes and sting.  This one doesn't do that and it is quite hard to budge which is great, although I do need to make sure that I use a good cleanser to get it off at the end of the day, as it is very water resistant.

This one is £13.60 down from an RRP of £16 here.

Bioderma Photoderm Ski SPF 50+

Bioderma Photoderm Ski SPF 50+*
A common misconception amongst non-skiing folk is that when you're off to the slopes there's no need for sun protection.  This couldn't be further from the truth as the sunlight is often incredibly bright, especially with the reflection off the snow.  I went to school with an awesome skier and I always remember her coming back from her trips with a sun tanned face complete with fetching goggle marks and I was always baffled as to how she'd caught the sun but guys just because it's cold, it doesn't mean the suns rays aren't out to get you.  This makes the Bioderma Photoderm Ski the perfect accompaniment to your skiing holiday this winter.

This is a two in one protective cream and stick that has been specially formulated to withstand the wind, snow and high altitude as well as the cold up to minus ten degrees Celsius, brrr!  On one end there is a protective cream for the face and on the other end there is a stick for the lips, making this super easy to apply and slim enough to slip in the pocket of your ski jacket.  There's even a little whole at the top of the tube so that you can clip it onto your ski pass if you'd like.

Inside the tube there is 20ml of SPF 50+ sun protection cream for you to apply to your face before heading out onto the slopes.  It nourishes the skin really well, creating a protective barrier that prevents the skin from drying out and becoming dehydrated, as well as preventing your face from burning.  The SPF 50+ protects you against both of the different types of the suns harmful rays as it has the maximum anti-UVB efficacy and it has an unmatched extreme anti-UVA performance too so providing you apply this correctly, you'll be protected against sunburn.  It prevents sun intolerance and works against premature ageing of the skin too.

If you unscrew the very top of the tube, there is a separate 2gram balm which is so handy as you don't need to carry two products with you.  This balm protects your lips from becoming weather beaten which often results in painful chapping.
You can pick this up from selected pharmacies and dermatologists nationwide as well as John Bell and Croyden pharmacy and The Garden Pharmacy for £10.

Decleor Protective Anti-Wrinkle Cream for Face SPF 30

Decleor Protective Anti-Wrinkle Cream for Face SPF 30

An old favourite of mine has to be the Decleor Protective Anti-Wrinkle Cream in SPF 30, the lowest of the bunch that I have reviewed in this post however it is still a high factor.  I've been using and repurchasing this sun cream for about 6 years now as the salon that I used to go to sold the full range and I used to be very loyal to their cleanser, toner and moisturiser until I wanted to delve into other lines; purely out of interest, not out of falling out of love with the products.

This is a suntan cream that is specifically designed for use on the face.  Decleor are skincare experts and they do it very well- this cream doesn't block the pores, it is light weight, it doesn't break me out and it doesn't leave me looking like I have a thick white cast over my skin.  It does however sting my eyes if I sweat a little and it goes in my eyes which is something to bear in mind.  I'm always in very hot places when we go away and the last holiday we went on I took the Avene product above and that worked much better for me so I will be keeping this cream for when we go to slightly cooler destinations, like say Tenerife at Christmas time where it is still warm but cooler than say the Maldives or Kenya is at that time of the year, if you catch my drift!

The feature that I love about this suntan cream is that it actually keeps my skin feeling soft and supple as though I have applied a moisturiser rather than a suntan lotion.

You can buy your own from Feel Unique for £25.15.

Avene High Protection Tinted Compact SPF 50

Avene High Protection Tinted Compact SPF 50*

The Avene High Protection Tinted Compact is a great product that really took some getting used to for me.  That's because it is such a different suntan protection product to what I am used to as it is a compact cream to powder style formula, a bit like a make up product, very strange but very effective!

It is basically like a light coverage foundation almost that is matte and you sweep across the skin to product you from the sun with its SPF 50.  It provides a light coverage which is great for concealing minor imperfections and for giving you a little confidence when on the beach if you don't like going out without wearing make up.  I have been applying the Very High Protection Emulsion with this over the top and I find that that works very well at protecting my skin, plus it means that my skin looks even and at its best without having a full face of make up on.

It doesn't have any chemical filters and is free from parabens and fragrances so it doesn't irritate my skin but it stops it from burning; even sensitive skin types can use this product and I would definitely recommend it if you are looking for something a little different to try.  I've just repurchased this one as I am going to Florida soon and will be going to the Disney parks and doing much more during the day than I usually would so I am looking forward to having some coverage as well as sun protection on my face!

It retails for £20.40 down from an RRP of £24 from Escentual.

As many of you know I'll be going away on honeymoon in the not too distant future so if there are any SPF products that you'd recommend, do let me know in the comments.

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Sunday, 13 April 2014

Pop Stars Who Launched Their Careers Online

Hi Everyone
Today the lovely Debbie will be guest posting over on WhatLauraLoves.  She's written a fabulous article all about pop stars who launched their careers online.  You can follow her on Twitter here.  I've also inserted some videos of the artists so you can sing along as you read- talk about multi tasking!
WhatLauraLoves xo

Pop stars who launched their careers online

The traditional route to fame and fortune in the music industry used to involve heavy rotation on the live circuit, building up a sizeable following through months on the road and hanging out with fans after a gig to sign autographs, pose for pictures and hopefully sell a few CDs or t-shirts from the back of the van. It was a time-honoured routine, fun but rarely profitable except for the lucky few, who made it big early on. It was physically exhausting too.

Today’s pop stars have a far less punishing alternative, although it still doesn’t guarantee any success - releasing material and establishing an online fan base. Add to that the low cost of putting good-quality recordings on USB sticks or CDs with companies such as and it’s not hard to see why many talented acts now prefer to hone their skills on YouTube before taking to the stage proper. Here are a few well-known examples of acts who got their first break on the web.

Justin Bieber

He didn’t have a very good 2013, and 2014 isn’t looking too promising for him either, but Justin Bieber’s meteoric rise to fame was pretty incredible. His mother, who was as passionate about his music career as her son, began putting videos of him performing R&B covers on YouTube and it wasn’t long before he was getting thousands of views. After a marketing executive stumbled across one of the videos by accident, he tracked Bieber down and signed him to a label he ran with Usher, beating a more well-known Justin – Timberlake - in the process.

The rest is history.

Sandi Thom

One of the first artists to really use the burgeoning power of the web to her advantage, this Scottish singer performed for a series of hosted webcasts, which received a massive amount of coverage from the media after they were announced on her MySpace page a few days earlier. Her first single was predictably a smash but it wasn’t long before a backlash started, with many critics questioning how she had the resources to promote the webcasts so well over a very short period of time. The theory that Thom had in fact been ‘manufactured’ gained some credence, fairly or not. Today she rarely troubles the charts.

Arctic Monkeys

An act with more longevity was this Sheffield band, who emerged around the same time as Thom and have gone on to become almost national treasures. Their online launch is definitely authentic - the MySpace site touting their material was set up on their behalf by adoring fans - the band were oblivious to its existence and apparently didn’t even know how to upload songs onto the internet! Nevertheless, word-of-mouth gathered round them rapidly through people listening to and sharing their music over the web, and they’ve barely been out of the public consciousness ever since.


The South Korean gentleman who recorded the infamous Gangnam Style, which swept the world for a period of weeks, became known as the ‘King of YouTube,’ although as you might expect his was a short-lived reign. A classic one-hit wonder, Gangnam Style spawned hundreds, if not thousands, of tributes after becoming the first video to hit 1 billion views.

Azealia Banks

Still riding the waves of early success, Azealia Banks is a young female Harlem MC who overcame being dropped by her label by turning to social media to build up a reputation.

Her efforts, releasing digital downloads through her own site and Twitter, and self-promoting through YouTube, paid dividends and she’s now one of America’s hottest artists.

Who are your favourite artists that launched their careers online? Who is big on YouTube right now that you think will hit the charts soon?

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