Love the skin you’re in

It’s ok to love your body just the way it is.

Sounds simple right? But it’s something I’ve struggled with pretty much since being a teenager. Over the last few years I’ve been on a mission to accept myself flaws and all, not always an easy thing especially when you are dealing with psoriasis and all of the perils of autoimmune disease. After all Psoriasis is so much more than just what you see.

I’ve become braver in speaking out about my psoriasis, something I was so ashamed of and never liked to draw attention to. But slowly I’ve become a little more confident, and unashamed to wear a T-shirt and bear my flared skin or wear a skirt without also thinking I have to wear thick tights to cover up. I’ve seen days in the height of summer when I’d wear a cardigan just so people wouldn’t see my skin.

Seems crazy when I think about it now but it took a long time for me to accept that I was never going to be “cured” and this was a condition I’d just learn to manage.

There’s no miracle cream that’s going to make it go away. There’s no tablet or injection that makes the fatigue and joint pain disappear, you just get good at managing with a combination of all of the above treatments. And a lot of family support. 💜

The difference within months can be dramatic at times

I am delighted to be part of the @_restingitchface #FlawedButBeautiful project encouraging people with long term conditions to know their worth and accept themselves. Because we all deserve to be happy.

There’s some amazing stories and people over on Instagram as part of the project so please do check them out. Psoriasis Association has lots of resources for anyone needing support.

I rarely discuss my specific treatment as I believe it’s important to work with a dermatologist but I do share moisturising creams and alternative therapies which have worked for me.

If you’re struggling with diagnosis or just want some perspective from someone who’s been through most of the treatments available via the NHS do get in touch.

Wild thing! Glossybox May 2020

If like me you’ve been sucked into the Tiger King docuseries on Netflix you’ll know that this beauty box could have been designed with Carole Baskin in mind! There’s been lots of change during the past 7 weeks but I’m so thankful that some of the little things that can brighten your day have been able to continue like Glossybox. For May their theme is exploring your wild side, with two special edition boxes in Leopard and Zebra print and a range of makeup, haircare and skincare to try out!

If you don’t know about Glossybox, it’s a beauty box subscription where you are sent 5 items each month. You can subscribe for various amounts of time or purchase a one-off box.

I pay £11.75 per month for my Glossybox including shipping but there are lots of plans available on their website www.glossybox.co.uk from 1-12 month plans or one off boxes.

Stargazer Glitter Eye Pencil RRP £2

First up was the Stargazer Glitter eyeliner pencil. The colour I was sent was violet which is a really bold colour with a bit of glitter scattered in. I really wasn’t sure about this as it felt a bit like something I would have tried when I was about 12. However! I did line my eyes with it and completely changed my mind, it was a lovely colour, not as bold when applied, but blends out nicely and I think with the right eyeshadow will look really nice. I’ve also seen a few people applying theirs over black eyeliner for a subtle glitter look and I do think that’s something I will try.

Vitamasques Bamboo Charcoal sheet mask RRP £3.99

So in a change to the advertised product, we were meant to get an OhK! Printed mask,my box contained a Vitamasques Bamboo Charcoal Sheet Mask. I’m guessing this might have something to do with the current pandemic situation and to be honest I don’t mind. The mask contains a detoxifying and pore tightening action to banish breakouts and eliminate excess oils according to their website.

It Is designed for stressed out skin and, lets face it, I think we’ve all experienced some stress the past 7 weeks!

I used this at the weekend and I really enjoyed it. I left it on for the full 20 mins (recommended between 10 and 20 mins to leave on) and my skin felt amazing. Usually when I use face masks like these I feel like the serum it’s coated in is dripping all over and this wasn’t , to me it was almost a gel style which meant it wasn’t sliding off all the time. Would definitely purchase this again as I think for £3.99 it’s a bargain.

Mudmasky Hair Mask, Scalp treatment and Miracle Shampoo RRP £21

Next is the Mudmasky Hair mask, Scalp treatment and Miracle Shampoo to help with dry, damaged and frizzy hair. Let’s see I check all of the above ! And given that my hair hasn’t seen a hairdresser since February, I was due an appointment the day of lockdown, I was excited to try this.

I am pleased to say it doesn’t disappoint. You apply like regular shampoo, leather and then leave it on your scalp for a minute before rinsing. It contains Moroccan argan oil, Moroccan mud and claims to strengthen and repair your hair. I could really feel a difference after the treatment and as someone with a sensitive scalp due to my psoriasis I was really pleased with this product.

Steve Laurent Eyeshadow Palette RRP £31

The star product of this box, which was the sneak peek last month, is the Steve Laurent eyeshadow palette which came in a cute leopard print box. The palette is a really good mix of neutrals with nine shades in all. With mattes and shimmers I think there will be a lot of use for me from this as you can do everything from day to night looks. The shades blend out nicely and the pigment is good.

The last item is an EOS lip balm in Sweet Mint. We did get a lip balm in last months box but I really don’t mind getting another one as I use these a lot! This smells amazing and the mint is not overpowering. A nice basic to have and use regularly.

The contents of this months box are worth £64.49 , so definitely worth the monthly subscription fee! So lastly on to the sneak peek for the June box! This was pretty exciting as it’s a Huda Beauty dual ended eyeliner with a liquid liner on one side and pencil on the other. This is worth £18 and fits with the theme of beauty beyond borders so an international beauty theme. Very much looking forward to this !

June’s sneak peek

If you want to sign up to Glossybox you can visit their website http://www.glossybox.co.uk or you can use my referral link here and receive a discount of 20% on your first box.

Hope you enjoyed reading about this months box, would love to know if you’ve tried any of the products from this month !

Asos Hydration Station Beauty Box

A little later than normal as I’ve been juggling lots with trying to homeschool as are a lot of people! If you’ve not had an ASOS Face + Beauty Box they are released at the beginning of each month, no subscription, just £12 per box. The boxes have a general theme each month, for April, it was all about hydration and refreshing your skin for Spring!

With a great range of products from serums, cleanser, eye masks and moisturiser I’m looking forward to trying the products and seeing what they can do for my skin.

First we have the STYLPRO Hydrating Jelly Cleanser, a vegan product, to remove makeup and keep your skin moisturised. This even came with a fab washcloth. I really like this and the washcloth is so soft, works brilliantly and my skin feels great. This is £9.95 to purchase.

Elemis is a fantastic skincare brand but not one I often buy as it can be quite expensive so it felt quite luxe to get this eye mask set. Perfect for a pamper night these were really lovely, I get really dry skin around my eyes and I could really feel the difference with these. These are £52 (!) for a pack of 6. So that makes this pair roughly £17!

Indeed Hydration Booster is £16 from most beauty websites online and is a serum type product for skin that is really dehydrated. You can use this as a stand alone or you can pop a few drops into your usual moisturiser for an extra boost! This is a really lovely product and full size making the box really great value based on this product alone. I preferred using it as a serum at night as that seems to work better for me but it’s really improved the texture of my skin for sure.

Inkey hyaluronic acid Serum is £5.99 and this is designed to be used AM and PM as your first serum following your cleansing routine. The hyaluronic acid acts as an aid to support your other moisturisers to make sure you get maximum benefit from your routine. Another really nice product that I’ve definitely felt the benefit from. My skin has changed quite a bit as I’ve gotten older and because of my psoriasis. So finding a good skincare routine has always been important to me.

The final product in the box was Caudalies Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet, in a mini size, 15ml which is worth about £8. This is intended to soothe and calm irritated skin with a gel formula and lots of skin soothers like chamomile. I’ve not tried this one yet apart from a quick test patch but it does feel really nice on the skin. It’s intended to be used like a serum.

All in all the April ASOS box was definitely a really great mix of products for anyone looking for a hydration boost. My standout picks from the box would be the cleanser and cloth, Indeed booster and the Inkey serum which I think have made the most difference to my skin.

The box cost £12 and in total the products were worth £56.94 ! Definitely a box worth grabbing and probably the reason it sold out so quickly!

Let me know if you’ve tried any of the products and your views on them

Glossybox April 2020

In the midst of these strange times and pandemic one thing remained the same…. Glossybox!

The Blossom themed April Glossybox

Packed with 5 beauty products with a very spring like feel, this box was the perfect pick me up and definitely brought a smile to my face.

First up in the box is one of the staple items often received in Glossyboxes, a Hask Hair Mask. I really love these masks as my hair gets incredibly dry and frizzy so I go through a lot of conditioning treatments to keep it healthy. Hask is a really affordable brand, one of these masks costs £2.49, and really makes a difference to the look and feel of my hair. Plus this one smells amazing with the peach and rose!

Nails Inc polish in Blossom

I love a good nail polish, especially a pink! Nails Inc is one of my favourite brands for staying power and this formula says it will last up to 10 days. It’s a perfect pink for spring and summer and this has an RRP of £11.

SportFX lip balm in coconut scent

This lip balm reminds me of the eos balms and the coconut smell is gorgeous, kinda reminds me of being on holiday! It’s a really good moisturiser and has an SPF of 15 so perfect for offering some sun protection. This is £4.99 to purchase separately.

Avant Face Exfoliant

The sneak peek from last month was this Avant face exfoliant which retails at £92! Avant is one of my favourite brands for skincare and they have such gentle but effective products. This face exfoliating scrub contains rose and is designed to calm irritation and help improve wrinkles. I’ve really enjoyed using this so far and it’s giving me a great base for applying makeup and has really helped with my skin which has flared due to the stress of the current pandemic.

The final product in my April box was a Rituals shower scrub in a cherry blossom scent. This is perfect for me at the moment as I’m struggling as I mentioned with a flare up of my Psoriasis. Gentle scrubs like this are great for helping get rid of any flaky patches and helping my emoillent creams sink in. Rituals products are one of my favourites and I actually had the body cream in this range for Christmas. This size is deluxe mini and is priced at £4.60. The full sized product is £9.90.

Altogether the products in this box totalled £115.08 ! I have a 12 month subscription with Glossybox which costs me £11.75 per month including postage and packaging. There are lots of subscription plans on their website so you can choose one to suit you!

Next month the sneak peek is an eyeshadow palette from Steve Laurent and looks like a nice range of neutrals.

If you subscribe now you’ll be signing up for the May box while stocks last !

ASOS x Pixi Beauty

I got this beauty box a while back and purposely waited to post a review as I really wanted to give the products a good try and see what difference they made to my skin.

Pixi is a London brand most famous for their skincare and face tonics, the Glow tonic being the most familiar.

The full contents of the box

There are four full size products and one sample size.

The sample size is the most well known and iconic product from the Pixi Range their Glow Tonic. This is the smallest item in the box and I’ve actually used this before. It’s perfect for popping in my travel bag. The tonic itself is amazing for blemish prone skin. I don’t use this everyday as I find it too drying for my skin type but if I feel like my skin has turned oily or I’ve got any spots it’s brilliant for getting them in check sharpish! The recommendation when using Glow Tonic is to use once a day, either morning or night to give your skin a deeper cleanse. The RRP for this size is £5

The Rose tonic is a full size product and my worry with this was that it would be too perfumed. It manages to get a perfect balance of rose scent without being overpowering which I love. It contains hydrosol and can be used morning and night for a calming skin effect. This has now become my everyday toner as it’s lovely and light. The usual price for the full size of this is £18 for the 250ml bottle.

The Rose Flash Balm again not overpowering in scent and a really lovely moisturiser for dry skin. This is designed to be used as either a mask treatment or a primer to brighten up your skin. I’ve really liked using it on no makeup days as a primer, it’s really made my skin feel great and definitely helped throughout the winter months! RRP for this is £6

Next is the Pixi lip lift max in sheer Rose , I really liked this colour and it had a nice non sticky texture. As with most gloss products it’s not particularly long lasting but I would definitely repurchase in another shade.

It has a peptide lip plumper, which you can feel working on your lips from the second you put it on! It’s a really nice formula that doesn’t dry out your lips. The RRP for this product is £12

The last product is the Endless Silky Eye one. It a Kohl type eye pencil there’s not much to say about this, it’s a basic for your makeup bag, applies nicely and lasts well. It’s long wear and has a creamy texture which glides on and smudges nicely if you like that look. This is priced at £6

The box was £15 this time from ASOS but still incredible value as the total value of the products was £47 !

If you’d like to know more about Pixi Beauty and their beauty/ skincare ranges visit pixibeauty.co.uk or any of your usual online beauty retailers

ASOS face and body box January 2020

As January starts I’m all about getting my skin on track and ready for another year. I’d been looking for a new cleanser and came across the ASOS face and body box which this month was a collab with DECIEM and packed with goodies from The Ordinary and NIOD.

I have a combination type typically but lean toward a dry complexion if I am having a Psoriasis flare up and I’m always on the hunt for products that suit my skin but don’t break the bank. Having tried a few things from The Ordinary before for blemishes I was keen to give some of their other products a try and at £15 for this box it seemed like a perfect time to have a try! Side note I actually got my box for £12 as I got a 20% off promotion over New Year from ASOS, making it even better value for money!

Anyway let’s dive into the contents! There are five products altogether to cleanse, hydrate, protect and make your skin glow, definitely a January must!

First up is the Squalane Cleanser, which is part of the reason I wanted the box. It’s designed to remove makeup and keep your skin moisturised. As I lean toward a dry skin type typically this works brilliantly for me, I think if you have oily skin it could be a bit much for you. These type of cleansers are emoillent style and you warm a bit of product in your hands to melt into an oil before rinsing your face with warm water. The RRP for this is £5.50 which is an absolute bargain in my view.

Next up is NIOD Multi-Molecular Hyaluronic Complex (try saying that a few times fast!) Essentially it’s a hydrating serum type product which is aimed at keeping your skin “plump and healthy” as it says on the card. You use this after you cleanse and apply to the whole face. It’s got antibacterial and anti inflammatory properties and is targeted at getting those fine lines and wrinkles in check. As I’m getting older I’m now finding a few fine lines, especially around the eyes so anything that can help is welcomed! It’s a nice light serum and hasn’t made my face feel congested like some other serums have in the past.

I love all the packaging for these products, even though it’s a basic design it kinda reminds me of a lab or something! The RRP for this is £25.

Another product from NIOD included is the Photography Fluid Opacity 12%, described as light-reflecting , hue correcting and topical photo-finishing to create a glowing complexion in seconds. This is a serum type product to put under your base or wear alone and has a similar packaging to the previous serum. It’s got a beautiful opalescent look to it and blends really well. The key ingredient they list in this is “Patented dragonfruit chromatic refractor” for radiance and to help reduce fine lines. It’s a nice formula but I don’t know I’ve seen much difference apart from it being a nice redness reducer and I think I’ll have to use it a bit longer to report back on whether it helps the fine lines!

RRP for this is £20.

Finally the last two products are both from The Ordinary, the Natural Moisturising Factors + HA and Salicylic Acid 2% Masque.

The masque has charcoal and clays to make your skin brighter and smoother and take care of any blemishes. As with a lot of charcoal products this is black in colour and is a rinse off formula which you leave on the skin for about 10 mins before following your regular skin routine. I’d maybe use something like this 1-2 times a week if I was having a breakout or you could just dot on problem areas if you felt the rest of your face wasn’t needing the masque.

RRP is £9.90 for this one.

The moisturising factors is designed to keep your face protected and moisturised and includes that very popular ingredient hyaluronic acid to really plump up the skin. I really like this as it’s light and not greasy but very moisturising, definitely good for a dry complexion, possibly too much for oily skin. At only £4.90 RRP this is a great moisturiser and at a purse friendly price.

Altogether the contents of this months box were worth £65.30 if you’d purchased them all separately.

The ASOS Face and Body box is available each month priced at £15 with a different theme each time. Each box comes with a card describing the products and helping you make best use of them. Just visit http://www.asos.com at the start of the month and search beauty box, make sure you are there early as it very often sells out quickly!

I’ve really enjoyed the products in the box and I will report back on the difference in my skin texture in a few weeks when I’ve had a better chance to see the results.

Quick makeup, it’s all about the base

IT Cosmetics Your Skin but Better CC Cream in Fair

You know what it’s like, sometimes you just need to put on a quick face to do the school run or pop out for a few errands. As much as I love applying my makeup sometimes you just want a more natural look that’s easy to apply.

For a quick makeup day I love this IT Cosmetics, Your Skin But Better CC Cream for my base.

I got a sample of this a few weeks ago and I am loving it. At first I thought the shade, I’m using the Fair shade, was too light and would wash me out. However on applying it truly is as it says, “your skin but better!” giving a good coverage and evening out skin tone.

It’s also got factor 50 SPF so no worries about forgetting that in the warmer weather as the summer goes on.

If you are suffering with facial psoriasis as I do from time to time, it’s very good at covering red patches without drying out my face so ideal if a full coverage foundation makes your skin feel dry. It really does have a hydrating feel which I’ve never had with any foundation.

My go to Primer from Makeup Obsession

Hot 🥵 sticky summer days call for a primer that’s got your base covered! I love this Obsession Makeup primer for a non sticky matte finish which keeps my makeup in place all day. I’m usually busy with appointments and work so I need a good base to get me through and keep everything in place. I don’t want to be reapplying!

My other fave is Obsessions Mega Conceal and Baking Powder. I use shade 4 in the concealer and it’s perfect for dark under eyes, something i always struggle with. The formula is so creamy and gives great coverage thanks to the unique applicator.

The translucent powder is so fine, I like to apply mine with a Real Techniques contour brush to give some control over where I apply. It really helps set my concealer in place and areas where I might normally get shiny.

One of my favourite blush palettes is this Pinky Promise one from, you guessed it, Makeup Obsession! I just love their products right now! A great range of shades depending on your mood.

Finished off with a good mascara and I’m good to go.

I’m currently working through a few mascaras at the moment so will give full verdicts on that in another post.

Getting the basics right for a quick base has been my saviour for feeling my best when I leave the house.

Let me know some of your favourites for a basic makeup look.

Skin Deep

I’ve suffered with Psoriasis for a long time and so I’ve always been on the look out for products that would be gentle and effective. Skin condition aside I do tend to struggle with real combination skin, the classic oily t-zone and dry in other areas which can be a bit of a nightmare.

Oily skin can be a nightmare for makeup application and I always use a primer to prevent shine as much as possible. This The Ordinary primer is fab for keeping my makeup put and again great for sensitive skin even when I’ve had flare ups on my face it’s never exasperated the problem.

Some skincare favourites

I discovered the Alex Steinherr range at Primark and have really enjoyed the products which are well priced and effective especially the Micellar cleansing gel from the Maximum Moisture range. It’s basically a version of micellar water but in a gel form which is perfect for when my skin is feeling on the dry side.

One of my favourite shower gels is this Westlab Himalayan Salt wash. It’s not as foamy as other gels but it does cleanse nicely and it doesn’t dry my skin out when it’s flared up with psoriasis- bonus it’s only £2.99!

Aveeno and Oilatum are lifesavers when itchy!

My final skincare saviours are Aveeno and Oilatum. I actually use the Aveeno Dermexa Wash in the bath as I find it really effective to soak in. It sits really nicely on the skin and is gentle to sore patches of Psoriasis, the texture is almost like a yoghurt and it has a lovely smell of oats which is the key ingredient in this range to help with itching. It’s not for everyone but it definitely helps me.

Oilatum has been around for a while now and is one of the few liquid paraffin treatments that works well for me in the bath. A good 20 min soak in a warm bath works wonders on making me feel a bit better when I’m having a psoriasis flare, combined with some emoilents like Doublebase it gets me back on track and ready to face the day again!

A mix of favourites to hydrate and revitalise

Having a good set of basics to get you on track is so important, I tend to mix my skincare up depending on whether my psoriasis is flared or not. There’s no point in applying makeup to unprepared skin so I use products which will help with moisture when needed or primers to help with colour correction- this Rimmel CC Primer in Peach was a great find as it works well with my skin tone and texture but helps reduce redness.

I’d love to hear about any skincare favourites you have !