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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?

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Winding down after work

The favourite part of my day (and I'm sure you will all agree) is getting home after a long and tiring day at work. With the nights drawing closer and closer each day it's the perfect excuse to get your pyjamas on at 6pm, grab that fluffy blanket and give yourself some tlc. It's so important to de stress after work and have yourself a little routine to look forward to, so that's why I'm sharing a few of the things that I like to do to help me wind down through the week.

As it's very much acceptable to do so now, I have all the lights switched off and candles lit as soon as I'm home. I just love the cosy atmosphere it creates, as well as the heavenly aromas. I recently picked up a few Christmassy ones from Home Sense and TK Maxx which smell amazing, such as Cranberry & Fig which I can't wait to light. I could spend hours browsing around their candle aisles, seriously.
When it comes to evening skincare I've been loving using these new Charcoal face masks* from 7th Heaven. They are fuss-free and easy to peel off which is extra handy when you're feeling a bit lazy after a tiring day. There's also a 100ml tube available which is even more fuss-free and a little less messy too! It leaves your skin feeling all clean and polished, without even having to wash or rinse it.
I also try to paint my nails once a week to keep them looking fresh, usually towards the end of the week before the weekend arrives. The ones I mainly reach for are the Barry M Molten Metal nail paints (you might already know from my Instagram that I love these) particularly shades 'Copper Mine' and 'Pink Ice' - something a bit sparkly for the festive season too.

I look forward to having a nice warm shower in the evenings with the recent chill in the air. I recently picked up the Imperial Leather shower creams in scents Cherry Bakewell and Strawberry and Vanilla which definitely make my showers more comforting. I do wish I was someone who could relax in a colourful Lush filled bath with a glass of rosé on the side but to be honest, I just can't be bothered, especially after work. Showers all the way and I'll save the full bottle for the weekend thank you!
After my shower always follows a hot drink, which 99% of the time will be green tea. I find it so relaxing to have before bed, and it warms me right up! My favourites to drink are the Twinings Salted Caramel and Fudge Melt flavours, they're so delicate tasting and smell really good too.
And who doesn't love fresh sheets and pyjamas? There's nothing like the feel of clean cotton on your clean skin as well as some fluffy socks to keep your toes warm. This is the ultimate way to end your busy day, ensuring you get the best sleep possible ready for a brand new day.

How do you like to wind down?

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Recolouring my hair with Colour B4 | Review

I've been wanting to strip my hair back to its natural colour for a while now. I say strip it back, but I actually only use semi-permanent colour on my hair, and always have done, but I've not seen my natural colour for a few years now.

I generally dye my hair once a month (Using L'Oreal Casting Creme Gloss), but I've now built the colour up so much that it has caused a build up of uneven colour just below my roots. This is where Colour B4 comes in. As it suggests, it removes any colour from your hair so that you can start afresh with a new one, without using any harsh ingredients such as bleach or ammonia along the way. You can use this on both semi-permanent and permanent coloured hair as there are 2 different strengths to choose from.

I went for the frequent use formula, which is for frequently dyed hair that isn't overly dark. There's also an extra strength formula available which is for stronger, darker colours such as red or black. I was a bit hesitant to try this as I hadn't ever tried anything like it, so I felt the frequent use formula was the better option overall.

Included in the box are 4 bottles; an Activator, Remover, Buffer and conditioner, as well as a pair of plastic gloves and instructions.

So here is my hair before hand. As you can see, the ends are considerably darker than the roots and my natural colour is now starting to show through. The colour is faded and beginning to turn a reddish colour. I should add that I hadn't coloured it in approximately 6 weeks here either as I wanted to try and naturally wash out as much of the semi-permanent dye as possible. I'm actually still planning on re-colouring with the same colour as I usually do, but you can obviously go with whatever colour you desire.

To start out you need to have clean, dry hair so I washed and blow dried my hair before beginning. The first step in the colour removing process takes 60 minutes so ensure you have plenty of time, then the next steps are done inside the shower.

And this is the result of using all 4 bottles from the box on my hair. The colour has almost completely gone, with the exception of the odd few hairs but it did leave an orange tint all over. My natural colour is a dull, dirty blonde so I knew this hadn't totally took it back to that, but it does actually mention this may happen on the instructions. The process itself was pretty straightforward, a little specific on timeframes for each product to be left on and rinsed off but it took around 80 minutes in total. After using the buffer lotion, my hair felt really dry but the conditioner really helped to restore the lost moisture, so I really recommend you don't skip that step.

It isn't necessary that you dry your hair after you've finished but I did for the purpose of this photo. You can then go ahead and dye your hair straight away with your desired colour. I already had my dye to hand so I could get it all done in one go. 

And this is the final result. I went ahead and re-dyed my hair as normal, with the colour it was supposed to be. There is definitely a much more even finish, with no colour build up anymore and I feel better for knowing it's all even underneath. The Casting Creme Gloss makes my hair colour rich and glossy, which is why it may look in better condition than the previous photos. 

I think Colour B4 worked really well for me overall, and achieved the result I was hoping for. I'd definitely recommend it for anyone wanting to remove any colour build up or to change hair colour altogether, as it's so affordable to do yourself at home. You may require 2-3 boxes dependant on your hair colour, length and thickness but I think I got away with using just the one. Bare in mind I was removing semi-permanent dye here so it might work differently for permanent colours. 

Have you ever tried Colour B4?

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