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Monday, 28 May 2018

Altruist Sunscreen SPF 50 | Review

Altruist Sunscreen SPF 50

Many of you will now that I'm a big believer in wearing SPF everyday. Yep, even in this mostly dull, wet and grey English weather. My go to for the last year has been the Balance Me Natural Protection Moisturiser SPF 25, which I reviewed here. However, I am well aware that at £26 many people will find it too expensive for an SPF, especially if say you were purchasing one for each member of your family (I do end up purchasing my Mum and Sister's for them because they cannot be trusted left to their own devices!). This is exactly where the Altruist Dermatologist Sunscreen SPF 50* comes in. The founders actually created this SPF because they believe that a good sunscreen should be accessible to everyone, and not everyone has a lot of spare cash to spend on skincare and beauty products (I know I didn't as a student, and I know that there are a lot of people who have much less disposable income).

Before this turns into a speech about poverty and injustice in our society (I could go on!), I wanted to point out that Altruist was created by skin cancer specialist Dr Birnie. For every bottle purchased, Altruist also donates to charities supporting children with albinism. What a nice person, right?! I also feel like these small, ethical companies are exactly the type that we should be supporting. I mean it is nice to be acknowledged by the big brands every now and again, but sometimes you gotta think about the greater good.

Altruist Sunscreen SPF 50


These SPFs retail at £4 for the SPF 30 (200ml), and £3.75 for SPF 50 (100ml). The spray version costs £5 for both the SPF 30 and 50 (200ml). You can find them here on Amazon, although they only seem to be selling them in packs of two at the moment. I know that I said I preferred physical SPFs (for the debate on natural vs chemical sunscreens - see the Balance Me post here), however this one is a mixed one so I can live with that. It also has a 5 star ultra UVA protection, it's water resistant, and it's hypoallergenic and fragrance free; making is suitable for sensitive skin.

I think it's time I moved on to my thoughts on the product now. In terms of formula and consistency, I think it is one of the more lightweight SPFs I've used, it's definitely nowhere near the thickness of say Nivea/Garnier SPFs, and it's much more lightweight then the Balance Me SPF too. Although the Balance Me SPF is a moisturiser too so that one feels more like a base, whereas the Altruist isn't a combination product, however it can still be used as a moisturiser over a serum as it is quite hydrating and it creates a nice barrier between makeup/primers and the skincare underneath so to speak.

Altruist Sunscreen SPF 50


It absorbs well and quite quickly, it also isn't as greasy as many other SPFs I've used. On my body it doesn't leave any shine at all, not does it feel sticky upon the skin, once you've massaged it in you won't really be able to tell you have it on. On my face, there is a bit of a a visible shine on areas where my skin is a bit congested (cheeks, chin), but again it's not that bad that I wouldn't go out with it on alone. It doesn't feel hot or sticky on my face either, and it seems to go well with my beauty products.

During the day it fares well, it doesn't cause my makeup to go haywire, well that's more the sun melting it off. Although, at the end of the day I definitely do feel like I need to cleanse my face properly to remove it and it can start feeling a bit hot, but again that's probably a combination of the heat. I actually don't get along with the heat that well. I think I sometimes do get some symptoms of heat exhaustion, although it's not something I've been to the doctors about, but I do have an adversity to strong heat because of this. It also makes my skin go all hot and irritated, and I get those annoying under the surface breakouts. I have been testing out this Altruist SPF for the last 5-6 weeks, and around that time or even before I think my skin had been breaking out a lot more, and going from dry to congested, and back and forth. Therefore, I have stopped using this for brief periods so that I could isolate whether it's a single product that was causing the breakouts. Although, now my skin has calmed down a lot and I'm still using this without any breakouts. Therefore, I would say it was just my skin adapting to the rollercoaster weather, and not the Altruist.

Altruist Sunscreen SPF 50

Overall, I would say the Altruist Sunscreen SPF 50* is incredible value for money. It definitely beats a lot of the drugstore SPF brands that leave your skin feeling like a hot mess. I think the formula would be suitable for a lot of people, especially those that struggle with sensitive skin like me. Again, the price point and the ethical stance behind the brand is just amazing, it's definitely an SPF I will be recommending to people. It's worth bearing in mind most SPFs no longer retain their power after they have been opened for 12 months, and because we have such a short summer here anyway, sometimes it does feel like a waste buying SPFs for your body and not using them much, but atleast with Altruist it's not like you're throwing away a lot of money.

I hope you enjoyed this post!
What is your favourite SPF at the moment?

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Monday, 21 May 2018

Trying to tame my hair with Lush?! | Hair R&B


I'm going to admit something today. My hair isn't straight. I wear it practically straight most days, but in reality I have a lil' poodle thing going on. It wasn't always like this; when I was a kid I had half straight hair from the top and then from the ears downwards it fell in really cute ringlets. I naturally had quite wavy hair for the years after that, but for the last 4-5 years it just comes out somewhere weird between wavy and curly. It's not defined enough to wear curly, and even if it was, you wouldn't be able to see my face beneath it. Even sprays for wavy hair will leave me looking like Hagrid (I know, I make that reference all the time but hey it's one of the few jokes I have!). Honestly though, my hair is too thick for it to fall in one layer if that make sense, so naturally it looks like it's piled together.

The sample sizes (L to R: Lush R&B, Hair Custard)

And this is where the youtube videos sucker me in! A youtuber with a very similar hairtype as me (read: jet black, somewhat thick, and between wavy and curly), used a bit of Lush R&B Hair Moisturiser and her waves look amazing! People keep telling me I need to stop straightening my hair everyday, and so I'm like I'll give that a go! I walked into Lush (am I the only one who dislikes going in there because it's just so packed! I want to be in and out in 5 mins, but that is clearly not going to happen). Anyway, the Lush assistant talks me though their hair products, and suggests that the hair custard might actually work better in my hair. Then she offers me sample tubs for both of them so I can try them at home, and let me tell you, those sample tubs are actually an incredibly generous size. Forget a few uses, I have had the Lush Hair R&B sample since February, it is now May and there's still just under half left! I must have used it atleast a few times each week.

The R&B hair moisturiser has the main ingrediants of organic avocado butter, extra virgin coconut oil, oat milk, pressed jojoba oil and candelilla wax.

Anyway, getting to my story.  So getting ready for work the next day, I washed my hair, conditioned it with a masque, used my fancy oils and my kerastase mask, and then put a small amount of Lush R&B into my hair whilst it was drying. It still looked a bit dishevelled whilst it was almost dry, so I added some more. Anyway, I get up the next morning expecting to have beach waves. Do I? Nope, I still have the poodle thing going on. I apply a few more applications of the R&B, no that doesn't help, 10 hairgrips it is.

The hair custard was also not for me as the consistency is just too thick. It reminds me of those hair jells that would just stick in your hair and make it feel like straw. So I haven't given this a go since the initial application.


However, where the R&B is involved there is more to the story. I was feeling quite disappointed with it not working. I remember it was snowing a few weeks after I had tried it out, and ofcourse I knew my hair would turn crazy as soon as I went out into it. I decided to use the Lush R&B as a kind of hair creme/finishing product, and it actually helped my hair stay straight all day, even with the snow hitting me in the face (the way the wind was blowing made it feel like a blizzard, it was actually painful)!

I also found that it makes your hair look glossy when applied to the ends and mid lengths sparingly. Honestly, you literally need a teeny tiny amount rubbed into your palms and then worked through your hair. Too much will make it look lank, and will make it go greasy much quicker, but when applied in little bits it's amazing at controlling frizz too and making it look more healthy. You also don't want to apply too much because it can make your hair feel scrunchy, however it brushes out fine and most of the time you won't even be able to tell you applied it, it just sort of melts into the hair.



Overall, the Lush Hair R&B moisturiser could not tame my waves, but if you have problems with your hair not staying straight, being prone to humidity/being frizzy etc, then it's worth a try! I think it's really generous that they do decent samples too because they understand one product might not work on everyone's hair the same, so it's definitely worth going in store and asking rather than ordering online first. I have since brought a big tub of the R&B moisturiser, it retails at £12.25 here, and honestly I wonder if I'll ever finish the tub!

I hope you enjoyed this post! Have you tried any hair products from Lush, or what would you recommend for out of control hair?

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Wednesday, 16 May 2018

What have I been Up to | Part 2


I promised to talk a bit more about my exams and job on here, so here it is (there's also part 1 here which was almost a year ago, yikes)! At the time of writing this, I was trying out quite a few products aswell and so I didn't want to write a bunch of reviews until I was sure I've tried the product enough times (or in the case of the Cover FX drops - enough ways) to make sure I've covered all the bases. I'm almost there now, so expect some more reviews coming your way!

Working Life


First of all, can I just say time does seem to fly past so quickly sometimes. I started my new job at the end of last summer, fresh out on University and very soon I'll be coming onto a year now. Although, this wasn't actually my first 'related to my degree' job, I did a year in industry whilst I was in University. I actually do think it was beneficial for me to have that experience because it teaches you what to expect when you start a new job, and by that I don't mean the technical knowledge or computer skills. I mean the actual adapting to the workplace environment, interacting with people in the kitchen and most of all, getting out of your comfort zone and putting yourself out there (this is still a hard one for me because I'm not an extrovert, but by it I mean thinking about what is going to help you develop in your role and speaking to your manager/supervisor about it).

Moving on to my graduate job. Graduate roles are more different in my opinion, because one they are so competitive nowadays, and secondly, this is it! For most people it will be the start of your career, so naturally you'll want to make the most of it, push yourself and leave a good impression. However, at first my thinking was that I'd start work, and everything would be sorted for me. This often isn't the case. Sometimes you'll still need to push for work, or you'll want to try something a bit different to what you have. In my case, my work is project led (professional services), so if there is a project I'm suitable for I'm put onto it, and if there isn't, then I'm not. And that's where the above comes into play. I felt like I wasn't experiencing much of a variety compared to my friends, so I actually volunteered to help out in another department more. The type of work in that department is more fast paced and deadline driven than my usual (leaving me exhausted most days), however, it's still all experience, and sometimes you have to be open to these things.

Exams


This brings me onto my exams. People did tell me these exams were going to be hard, but when you've balanced 7 modules in one term at University (and the numerous pieces of coursework and exams that they entail) you do start to think that come on, these ones can't be that bad compared to that. Well, they were! The main thing that separated my Professional exams from my University ones was that the professional exams actually cover a whole lot more content per module, and you get a whole lot less time to cover it all. I believe it worked out around two weeks to cover three HUGE modules, and the two week college time before that was just exhausting because of the sheer amounts you get through in a day. The good news (as I previously mentioned) was that I passed them, and that means I'm one third of the way there. I have the rest to get through now, but they will be after the Summer.

Activities


Me trying to be all artsy haha




I'm not sure many of you will remember, but going a few years back now, we often used to go on city trips for the day. Here's some of the posts if you wanted to have a nosey; Warwick Castle, the Manchester Trafford Centre. The thing about work is that you often feel like you're working your life away, so I'm really keen to get back into it this year, especially with it being all Summery. With the extended bank holiday we did have a walk around in Edgbaston Resovoir, some lovely views, however I wouldn't recommend it as whilst it started off really enjoyable, unfortunately there were a few dodgy people that just ruined it.


I also turned another year older (I know, I haven't updated my side bar for ages!). I went to an adult trampolining centre with my best friend and it was amazing! I'm not the most sporty person but I had SO much fun! We finished it off with dinner at Mowgli (the restaurant with the swings for anyone in the know!). It was great service, and the angry bird dish is delicious! I also took advantage of the extended bank holiday and went shopping, and found the satin dress I've always wanted (it is very similar to what I envisioned!) Oh, and I picked up a backup of the Topshop Lip Liner in Beestung (it's perfect if the usual nude shades aren't for you).

Also, a quick tip! I always find Warehouse to be amazing for work dresses (and dresses in general), although I don't think the store is as well known or popular as others. Their dresses are about £40-£60, but you can get them for a fraction of that amount as they always seem to have them on sale online after a few weeks of having them instore. I managed to bag three lovely dresses for just under £60, and they fit perfectly (I normally struggle with small sizes not fitting properly or say the top being too big, but these were almost perfect). They can be worn quite casually too, so it's a good way to build up an inexpensive, versatile wardrobe.

Skincare and Makeup


I thought the warmer weather would relieve some of my dry skin atleast, but unfortunately it seems to be having the opposite effect! My skin is drier than ever, but at the same time I keep getting horrible under the surface breakouts (which aren't that common for me). This is where all the beauty blenders come in! They are literally the one thing stopping me from looking like a cakey mess. I use them for my entire makeup now; concealer, highlighter and powder (and using my fingers to press some shimmer on my eyelids).

Products I'm using up: 
  • Lola Makeup by Perse Lash Extension Mascara: This basically adds nothing but some length and added darkness to my eyelashes. I would have binned this but I'm trying to use up products so I don't feel like I'm wasting them.
  • By Nature Rejuvenating eye creme: This is the coconut version of the one I reviewed here. It's decent, quite hydrating and I already have a backup.
  • Nars Soft Matte Complete Concealer in Ginger: At first I was having a love hate relationship with this because it looked a bit dry on, but the beauty blender and a good amount of serum and eye creme really help. This is actually around the same colour as my skintone (well a bit darker), but I find that it actually helps to cover the darkness around the eyes and chin better than concealers that are too light. I don't use foundation on a daily basis, so this has been my go-to and I'm already half way through this (I have been using it daily for 4-5 months now).
New finds:
  • Becca Shimmering Skin Perfecter Pressed in Opal: My search for natural looking highlighters has led me to this, and I love it! A detailed review to come!
  • Estee Lauder Pure Colour Lipstick in Rebellious Rose: I've been looking for a good everyday natural lipstick for ages, and I've found the one! You'll know by now that I can't pull nudes off, my natural lip colour is quite rosey, and this is just the most perfect muted rose. On my medium skin it's one of those shades that just makes you look a bit glowy, without being too much.

Phew, well done if you didn't switch off with all that text haha! I hope you enjoyed this post! What has been new in your life, new likes/new dislikes?

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Saturday, 21 April 2018

Soft Focus Powders | An affordable option from Freedom?

Freedom Pro Highlight Powder in Ambient

I'm sure a lot of you will know what a soft focus powder is, or would have heard about the Hourglass ones. However, I was a bit late to the party and if you're also like me, you might be wondering what on earth they are?! To put it simply they're almost like a very subtle highlighter but one which you can use all over your face as a setting powder (well maybe with the t zone left out).

I first heard about this concept when I was reading some reviews on the Freedom Pro Highlight Powder in Ambient. I don't have many powder highlighters (my dry skin prefers cream/liquid formulas), but I wanted one or two just to try out, and this one was on offer for £1.50 so I thought might as well! (In hindsight maybe I should have just gone for one of the MUA ones). Anyway, a lot of the reviews were saying it's a very, very subtle highlight and more of a finishing powder to give a natural glow. I'm all about the glow these days (although to be fair I've never been hugely bothered about contouring, I prefer the dewy high cheekbones look).

I really wanted this product to work for me because who doesn't want their skin to look glowy with minimal effort?! However, the first obstacle was the shade range. With the choice of only two shades and both of them quite cool toned, I went for Ambient as it seemed like the only feasible one for South Asian skin. The other option was Diffused which was much cooler. Although on the Revolution Beauty website it seems like they also do two more shades in Brighten and Glow (but those swatches aren't appealing to me either).

Freedom Pro Highlight Powder in Ambient

When I first got this, I loved trying it out on a daily basis. It was definitely a bit more pink toned but it blended into the skin so it wasn't too apparent, and I loved how smooth the formula felt and how it melted into the skin to give it a very soft reflective sheen. However, the more I used it, the more I started thinking that wait this isn't actually working! I would swirl a massive powder brush into this and go around the perimeter of my face a few times, really getting a lot of product on the brush but it barely showed up. Then when I overloaded it, I realised yes the powder was smooth but it felt too ashy on the skin, then it would layer up to look a bit powdery (with quite a bit of fall out too). Layering up the shade would also give a pinky-grey tinge which is far removed from the glow we want.

So to sum it up, I love the idea of a soft focus highlighting powder but this isn't the product for it (it might be a coincidence but they've also discontinued it on Superdrug). The formula doesn't really have any glow imparting properties, especially for those of us with dry skin. I can't help but think a base, like a radiance primer or hydrating serum, would be more effective. However, I do have to mention the packaging is really amazing for such a low budget product, what with all the swirls and the sturdy compact (makes you think where all the money goes in high end products!).

Freedom Pro Highlight Powder in Ambient

However, I will not give up in my quest for a soft focus powder! I've scoured the internet and some good options so far seem to be; Wet n Wild Reserve your Cabana (for fair skin), Models Prefer Soft Touch Mineral Powder (for fair - medium skin), Essence Pure Nude Highlighter (for medium skin, this one seems to be a bit more shimmery though), Laura Mercier Candleglow Sheer Perfecting Powder (for fair - tanned skin), or the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders. The Elf illuminating palette was going to make a feature but it seems like they reformulated it for the worse.

Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be many more options, especially for tanned skin, but I'll try to update this once I hear of any!

I hope you enjoyed this post!
Have you ever tried soft focus powders, and do you have any recommendations?

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