Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Fitness: Reservoir Walk

It is a well known fact that a 'healthy lifestyle' has become an extremely trendy topic of conversation. However, for me it is not a trend. I have genuinely been enjoying becoming a healthier person through new food and fitness choices. I personally believe it is not about being 100% perfect, but more about feeling great from the inside outwards.

This particular post is to merely show you the wonderful shots I captured whilst on a walk around a stunning reservoir. Hopefully this inspires you to do the same, even if it is a walk around your local park. Exercise is exercise and endorphins are endorphins. 

Monday, 14 September 2015

Skincare Update

Hi there, remember me?

I know my posts have been extremely sporadic throughout the year and I'm really sorry about this. But I'm back with a massive bout of inspiration to focus on my blogging. To quickly update you, I've just finished my first year of University and it has been an absolute whirlwind. Definitely the funnest year of my life and I am so sad to see it off. I have learnt so much about myself and definitely changed so much as a person in ways that are indescribable. Soon I will be heading back to University to start my second year and I just cannot wait for another journey to begin.

On a physical level though, my skin has also changed drastically. This must be down to natural hormones as I can't imagine the student lifestyle of drinking at least three times a week and being out till the early hours of the morning having contributed for the better. Luckily, I rarely get active spots now and my skin is less oily. The main problem I face is trying to get rid of scarring. This has motivated me to look after my skin much more and maximise it to its full potential.

Before summer started, my routine consisted of sweeping Garnier Micellar Water all over my face to get rid of build up or makeup, followed by whatever moisturiser I have on the go. My evening routine consisted of the same, as well as applying Tea Tree oil to red areas of my face. Appalling I know.

Below is a list of products that I tested over the summer, with reviews on whether they worked for me or not. Before I get on to the reviews, I need to give a quick mention to the famous skincare goddess that is Caroline Hirons. I seriously would not have known where to start without the help of her cheat sheet to skincare routines.

Clinique Liquid Facial Soap in Extra Mild

This is a gem for both a first cleanse in the morning and second cleanse in the evening. Perfect for those with sensitive skin like mine. It doesn't foam up so it isn't harsh on the skin, and is a cross between a cream and oil. I use one pump with damp hands on a dry face, which helps it develop into a luxurious and light oil.  Then I remove gently with a warm face cloth. It is so gentle that my face doesn't look red and raw when I have finished cleansing. It has no harsh, acne flaring chemicals, which is rare to come by in a cleanser. I personally love this as it doesn't have a long list of magical claims. It is simple and does the job efficiently. 

Garnier Micellar Water - I couldn't abandon this from my routine completely, yet I have changed its purpose. Instead of using this as a whole cleanse, I now just use it as a first cleanse to get rid of makeup in the quickest and most gentle way. I love it as it is a much cheaper alternative to the raved about Bioderma. In the future I may try out the new 'sensitive' version that Garnier have released but for now I am satisfied. 

First Aid Beauty Radiance Pads

This is perfect to use after cleansing in the 'acid toning' stage of your routine, in order to rebalance your pH and lightly exfoliate. These are perfect for anyone with extremely sensitive skin and for anyone wants to expand their routine. If you get a jar of 60 then that is sure to last for at least 2 months, which I think is extremely worth it. I think they are particularly great at minimising pores and removing any leftover cleanser. 

Pixi Glow Tonic

I was extremely looking forward to using this acid toner after seeing Caroline Hirons rave about it on her blog. Positive notes are that it smells absolutely beautiful and also looks very nice with the packaging. However, I much prefer the First Aid Beauty Radiance Pads. I don't know whether Glow Tonic is just too harsh for me or whether the fragrance irritates my skin but it just didn't do me any favours. I won't completely bash the product as it didn't cause me any harsh reactions, but for the price I really wanted to love this product and I just don't. 

La Roche-Posay Serozinc
I use this as a moisturising toner, after my acid toner, to restore moisture in both my AM and PM routine. It feels light and refreshing on the skin due to being in an aerosol container. Containing only water, sodium chloride and zinc, this science experiment sounding combination is actually very simple. It works for sensitive and acne prone skin and I would repurchase again. However, I would like to try something more interesting such as the Caudalie Beauty Elixir in the hope of retaining more moisture in the colder months. 

Neutrogena Visibly Clear Oil Free Moisturiser

At the moment I use this as a morning moisturiser. I say at the moment because I am truly just trying to finish is before I repurchase a different product. It appealed to me due to the 'oil free' aspect as I didn't want something to clog my pores, make me shiny etc. Yet I just feel it doesn't do the job a moisturiser should do. It isn't moisturising enough, it has a tacky texture and also smells pretty awful. However, the tacky texture does mean it serves well under makeup. Sort of like a semi primer. My next purchase will be something more moisturising for the colder months yet also suitable for sensitive skin. 

The Body Shop Tea Tree Night Lotion

I use this product as an evening moisturiser and I love it. It isn't irritable. Really light compared to other night time moisturisers, yet still nourishing. Smells great due to the tea tree oil. It is targeted at minimising blemishes and scarring. What is there not to love? 

Tea Tree Oil

I got this one from Superdrug but you can literally get it from anywhere as it is only 100% tea tree oil. I think it is important to have an essential oil in your routine targeted to certain pesky skin problems that you may have. I dab this on if I get a stubborn spot as it is wholly natural and not one of those gross 'gels' that a lot of brands have. I am thinking of purchasing rosehip oil as well to help minimise scarring. 

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Beauty Tutorial: Festive and Seasonal Nails!

Hey guys,

Seeing as the festive season is slowly and sadly coming to an end, I thought I would perk you all up by showing you some sparkle in a seasonal nail art post. I personally believe once it gets to mid December you can slather litres of glittery and shimmery nail polish on without a care in the world. It just becomes acceptable. However, there are ways in carrying out this fun trend without being too OTT and garish. If you are feeling stuck in a rut for colour combinations (apart from the standard red and green that has been etched into our eyes all month) then look below for examples of my own...


Top Coat: China Glaze Gold Crocodile effect
Base Coat: Rimmel London Salon Pro Kate Moss Collection in ''Mars''

I believe this first combination would be perfect for Christmas time due to the festive yet slightly subtle shades of gold and red. The crocodile/ crackle effect is a stylish and trendy substitute for pure glitter polish, you know, for those of you who don't want to be mistaken for one of the glittery baubles on the tree.

           Top Coat: Ciate mini in ''Snow Fall''
           Base Coat: Rimmel London Salon Pro Kate Moss Collection in ''Acid House''

This second combination is intended for NYE. This forest green with slight shimmer is the perfect transitional shade for those who don't quite want to let go of their christmas spirit, yet still want to be on trend. Green is always in for A/W time. In conjunction, the half/half/ombre/dip-dye effect of the glittery top coat allows the nails to be fun and glittery while not having any fear of being, lets face it, tacky.

At the end of the day, nails are nails, so pretty much anything goes. Why not comment what you are wearing on your nails for NYE? On that note, hope you all have a fun NYE and a fab year in 2015! See you with more posts next year.

Lauren (yourlifeplaylist)
x x x        

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Beauty Review: Battle of the Tans

With it being July now, people may start to feel a little pasty. To conquer that pale and pasty feeling in a safe and stress free manner, I strongly recommend instant tans. I used to think tanning was complicated, time consuming and expensive but I am writing today to prove otherwise...

All you need for a successful tan is your preferred choice of;
  • exfoliater 
  • moisturiser 
  • tanning mitt (not needed but makes life easier and hands free from orange)
  • and obviously - THE INSTANT TAN
(I don't think it matters too much in which exfoliater/moisturiser is used. I literally just use whatever is lying around the house). 

Types of tan

Rimmel London Sun Shimmer Instant Tan - Shade ''Light Matte'' - 6/10

With this being the first tan I ever used, I was fairly happy. The shade is perfect for someone with even the palest of skins, so if you are a beginner, do not be afraid of turning up to a party with the fear of having an orange and unnatural tan. Also, this is the ''wash off''' and ''transfer resistant'' edition, which means it is easy to remove if you make a mistake. Another query I used to have before tanning was the dreaded ''biscuit'' smell. However, the smell of this tan is delightful, very clean smelling. Perfectly acceptable for the face too. I can vouch for this as I have extremely sensitive/acne prone skin and I had no problem whatsoever. 

Rimmel London Sun Shimmer Instant Tan - Water resistant - Shade Medium Matte - 10/10

Despite being from the same range as the one above, the two are very different. Firstly, this is water resistant, meaning that it is that little bit tougher to take off. This means that it is sweat proof, rain proof etc, allowing a more stress free tan experience whilst still being deemed ''instant'' as it is easily removed with soap and water. Another difference is the shade, being one darker. Having slight yellow tones in my skin, I much prefer this shade as it is more on the ''tan'' side rather than the ''glow'' side. This is perfect for all over the body as well as my face. All I do is mix a small pea sized amount in with my normal shade foundation and it matches perfectly. Other than those two differences, this is the same as the first tan price wise, smell wise, amount wise etc. However the first one is of an older packaging. Both retail for £6.99 in Superdrug, yet you can buy for £4.99 in Bodycare, both being excellent value for money.

St Moriz Instant Self Tanning Mist - Shade Medium - 4/10

Now, the main difference with this tan is the fact it is a spray. This may be easier as you simply spray over the desired area and massage in, whereas the other options require more product control. Personally, I prefer the Rimmel as I believe it provides a more controlled and even tan. Another difference is the smell. The smell of this is awful. I wore it on a night out, thinking it was similar to the Rimmel, yet I literally believe the longer I wore it the more it smelt. Very strong biscuit smell. And not in a nice way. This alone is enough to put me off. Also, it is slightly awkward to apply to the face. However, if the smell doesn't bother you, this may be one to check out as the colour is very similar to the Rimmel, so no orange tones yet with a smaller price tag sold in Bodycare. Also, this range comes in a large variety with lotions and mousses. You also get an additional 25ml than the Rimmel so it is extremely student friendly. 

HOW to tan

  1. Night before/morning of tanning exfoliate to get rid of dry patches of skin. This ensures your tan goes on as smoothly as possible. Once dry, follow this up with your favourite moisturiser to rehydrate your body after exfoliation. This will create a smooth and silky base for your tan.
  2. When the moisturiser has sunk in, it is time to actually apply the tan. I like to do it in sections to make it easier. E.g front of arm followed by the back of the arm. By working in small sections, it is easier to control how much product is used, as well as giving enough time to let the product dry in. 
  3. Depending on the type of tan, leave to dry before putting on any clothes. I also recommend getting somebody to help you with the tricky areas such as your back, as well as being able to fix any possible mistakes that may be hard to see such as the back of the leg.

Overall, I strongly recommend the Rimmel London Sun Shimmer Water Resistant tans in the Matte range. There is also a Shimmer range available yet I believe the Matte is much more natural looking. This product is perfect for an instant ''put on, wash off'' quick fix of colour for the day time or a night out. Ever since using tan I believe it makes the world of a difference, making one looking healthier and just better overall.


Sunday, 2 March 2014

Skincare Review: Nivea Daily Essentials Gentle Cleansing Cream Wash

Through being no stranger to pesky skin care problems, I was on the lookout for a cleanser with no scary stuff in it. By scary stuff, I mean perfume. I love it on my body, but perfume is just not necessary on your face. I have come across some nasty smelling cleansers that still appeared to have perfume in it. What is the need? If a cleanser worked wonders and smelt awful you would still buy it right? Right.
So I was wandering through Superdrug and there was an amazing deal on (as per), so I picked this hidden gem up along with a couple of other things. At first I was quite sceptical as I hadn't heard anyone in the beauty community talk about this, yet the price tag and lack of ''rubbish'' ingredients made me bite the bullet and head to the till without a second thought.
The tube includes 150ml of product and it claims to be for ''Dry and Sensitive skin''. It kind of irritates me when brands pair dry and sensitive together, as you can certainly have one without the other. Yet if it was between this and a ''normal/combination'', product I would always opt for the dry option, in fear of astringent and stripping chemicals.
It is described as being a product that ''gently purifies and moisturises for a soft skin feeling'' with ''Natural Almond Oil & Hydra IQ''. Now, the word ''oil'' did freak me out a bit as I am oily enough but I was pleasantly surprised.

This cleanser is perfect if you are looking for something simple and basic for everyday use as I can rely on it to not break me out in more spots. It isn't drying and the small pink exfoliating beads are perfect with the creamy texture. It doesn't leave your skin feeling horribly tight, which I think is rare in cleansers nowadays.
Also - I have recently seen this for only £1.75 in Superdrug which is an incredible bargain! Why wouldn't you pick it up? I would literally recommended this to any skin type and I would certainly buy this again.

Thanks for reading,

Lauren xxx

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Fashion: My Top Picks - LFW - A/W '14

This post is basically a montage of pictures, as I would like the breath taking clothes to literally do (most) of the talking. As London Fashion Week has come to a close, I felt inspired by all the effort and hard work that goes into making the fashion industry what it is today. After looking through every single show that took place, these are definitely my favourite looks. Even though so many crazy pieces make the catwalk, I still think there is a gem within every look put together and that it should be appreciated. ''Nobody would ever wear that on the street''. Well, if you ask me, fashion isn't all about what is deemed ''acceptable'' to wear on the street. And if it was, we would all be wearing plain, long sleeved/legged baggy jumpsuits, in order not to ''offend'' anybody. 

Hope you enjoyed and feel inspired xxx
*All photographs shown on this blog are not mine. They were taken from the LFW website and belong to them.