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Skincare on trial | Liz Earle

Something I'm ready to change this year is my skin. I've always struggled (from teens onwards) with blemishes, acne, redness and oil, and I want to make 2018 my mission to end these problems for good. I've tried lots of different skincare routines and have found some really great products, but they haven't however, managed to fix my problems long term.

For Christmas off my lovely Nanna I received the full Liz Earle skincare collection (which I didn't even ask for!) which included the 'iconic' 3-step regime. I had never tried Liz Earle before, so was a little skeptical about trying new products on my skin, but I decided to just ditch my current skincare routine and try this out right away. I sent out a tweet that I was about to try the products and the response I got was 100% positive, which was very reassuring.

So the first step in the 3-step regime (cleanse, tone & moisture) is the Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser - a product I've heard really great things from in the past. This is a creamy cleanser which can be used for makeup removal by working into the skin and washing off with a hot muslin cloth.
You then follow this up by using the Instant Boost Skin Tonic - a soothing toner which doesn't dry out the skin. And to finish, some Skin Repair Moisturiser (mine's the light version for combination/oily skin) massaged into the skin.
Each product contains naturally active ingredients, is rich in oils, and incredibly moisturising too.

I've been using these products (and only these) with the same method every evening since Boxing Day now and wanted to share how I've been finding the results so far. I really like how simple this routine is - I'm all for simplified skincare routines as using too many products can end up causing more problems than they solve. I also really like the calming smell they each have, with notes of chamomile and cocoa butter, I could tell they weren't going to aggravate my skin at all, and I wasn't wrong.
From just the next day I could not only see, but mostly feel results. My skin felt incredibly nourished and fresh from the cocoa butter, I couldn't quite believe how instant the effects were. I also felt less oily, which isn't something it really specifies in doing, except for the fact I had a lighter moisturiser.
As days went on, my skin was feeling and looking better and better, and by just January the 4th (9 days in) there were now obvious results as my Christmas flare ups had almost totally vanished. Everything was refined, supple and extremely soft. Something which never happens to my skin!
I did take a photo on 26th December (the day I started) and on January 4th, and would love to be able to share them but I'm just not that confident yet, but trust me, there was a big difference between the two photos.

Shortly after I thought my skin was starting to finally look clear and I was feeling really confident about it, I had a big breakout. I'm guessing this was from the amount of Christmas chocolate I was consuming (I got too relaxed and thought I could eat what I wanted now my skin was cured) and it did mess up my progress with the products which was really annoying. I then had to start using salicylic acid and drying products which disturbed my skin and made it dry out, but now after a week it's almost cleared back up for me to resume again.

From the results in just the first week of use I'm convinced that these products can make my skin look and feel that amazing again, and that the breakout was solely down to poor diet alone and not the products themselves. I'm hoping by next week I'll be back where I was before the breakout and could maybe even possibly (not a promise) share photos of the results.
I definitely do think I've found some new skincare favourites though.

Have you ever tried these products?

Cally x

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A Body Shop Haul

Happy 2018 everyone! I hope you are all starting to feel a little more motivated now after the struggle of getting back to normality. I'm finally feeling ready to get back into blogging after a longer than expected break in December, and have lots of posts planned already!
As you may be aware from my Instagram or Twitter pages, I recently moved house so have struggled to keep up with my blog and social channels, and had no option but to desert them for a short while. I did want to get a few posts out at the end of December such as 'brands I've discovered in 2017' and 'New Years Eve makeup picks' to sort of round up my year of blogging, but unfortunately it didn't work out which I'm a little sad about, but I now have a lovely new home instead. So I'm not too sad really!

So my first post of the year is a Body Shop Haul. It was technically a Christmas present from my Brother, but as he currently lives in Perth (Australia) he sent me the money to get some things from there, so I went and picked out everything myself. I only went last week and there were lots of things on sale, but I only ended up getting one thing at a discounted price. I got 3 products on a 3 for 2 offer and 1 full priced item too.

The main thing I was after from there was the Himalayan Charcoal Mask. I've been through a jar of it already and I've been meaning to get another for a while (I do actually have a review of it here). I love how fresh and polished it makes my skin feel, it's the best mask I've tried from them. This originally used to be priced at either £14 or £15 but has now increased to £17 which is not cool. I'm guessing because it's been so popular, but it wasn't going to stop me getting it again anyway.

On the 3 for 2 offer I picked up the Matte Clay Skin Clarifying Foundation. I've heard good things about it already, and with it being a matte formula it sounded like I would get on well with it. It also claims to be 'skin clarifying' which is interesting. I got the second to lightest shade, 012 Kaili Azalea, as the palest looked really pale (which is good!) so I thought it looked like a slightly better match. This is priced at £10 which is reasonable for a drugstore foundation.
Secondly I couldn't resist picking up the Honey Bronze Bronzing Powder. The compact packaging is so nice and the honeycomb pattern on the product is really cute. I got the palest shade in this as I've heard it's a good cool-toned shade for paler skin tones. I did a little swatch in store and it felt so buttery!
For my free item I got another Matte Lip Liquid in one of the new shades Lisbon Freesia - a light beige nude. I did want Vienna Tulip really but there wasn't any left on the shelf so opted for this slightly lighter shade instead. I don't usually go this light with nude shades but I thought it might look nice with a slightly darker nude lip liner. I love the formula of these for more natural and comfortable makeup looks, my fave shade from the range is Windsor Rose which is a dusky brown nude.

In the sale I got the Vanilla Chai Bath Foam for £5, which is originally £10 on its own. I got loads of bath bombs for Christmas (finally have a bath in my new house) so I wanted some bubbles to go with them. The whole Vanilla Chai range was on offer as well as Frosted Berries as they're both special edition Christmas ranges - should of picked one of each up really!

The total of my little haul came to £46 but I coincidentally had a £5 voucher on my Body Shop card, so I paid £41. Not too bad for 5 products! I'm looking forward to seeing how the new products work out for me, and I'll be writing a review of the foundation in a few weeks too so keep your eyes peeled for that if it's something you're interested in trying.

Did you get anything in The Body Shop sale?

Cally x

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My top evening skincare picks

I don't use a lot of products when it comes to skincare, I try to keep it as minimal as I can. Saying that, I'm sure some of you have an even more simplified routine than I do but I feel like I've finally got some really great staple products in mine now. I'm always looking at ways to reduce my skincare and opt for the more effective products that are more suited to my skins needs, so here's what I've found that I'm mostly using at the minute.

First off, I remove the majority of my makeup off using Garniers Micellar Water and a cotton pad. I'll then go in with my Clinique Sonic System Cleansing Brush and buff at my skin for 1 minute, with the help of The Body Shop's Tea Tree Foaming Cleanser. This helps to give the skin a deeper clean as well as remove any last traces of makeup. After this I'll rinse my face with warm water and then tone using Garnier's Skin Active Green Tea Toner on a fresh cotton pad.

I then follow up these steps with a couple of products which I currently have on rotate. If my skin is playing up then I will opt for The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%*, which is a (strong) blemish targeting treatment. This is formulated for use on the whole face rather than individual blemishes themselves. It leaves the skin a little tacky, but does the trick in calming and reducing spots over night, as well as dealing with oil and brightening the complexion too.

Then to target the spots, I reach for the Mario Badescu Drying Lotion or the Drying Cream. The drying lotion is quite harsh, so I only tend to use this to reduce larger, more aggressive spots rather than under the surface or minor ones. For that I use the cream, which feels slightly more gentle and soothing on the skin. This also conceals the blemishes as it has a skin-tone colour to it which you blend it into the effected area, compared to the lotion which you dot on with a cotton bud.

And on the days when I feel my skin has had enough of drying products, I'll use some of the The Ordinary Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil and massage it thoroughly into my skin. This has a really natural, nutty scent to it which doesn't smell of rose at all, but it's really calming on the skin. Even though I have oily skin I don't find using oils to be a problem, I've not noticed that my skin is more or less oily since using them which is really good. They are especially good to use after a period of using spot treatments to restore and soften the skin like I do.

Have you tried any of these products?

Items marked (*) were sent to me for consideration.

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