Beauty Haul April 2016

So this morning I decided to do something I was extremely nervous about… a live video on Facebook! πŸ™ˆ 

I have picked up quite a few bits over the last few weeks so I thought I’d show my choices in a haul video! I will not claim to be any ‘good’ at this, but I always personally prefer watching hauls rather than reading about them! I felt that because it was live, I could quite naturally talk about what I had bought, and also knowing that I couldn’t edit anything made me relax a little bit as well!

Nothing has been insanely expensive, all drugstore or eBay. 

I am tending to upload different things to my Facebook page and Instagram account, so be sure to follow me to keep up to date with everything I’m doing, I’d love to see you there too!

Enjoy! … 


The Importance of a Good Cleansing Routine | The Beauty Spot

For a long time I was very lazy in the cleansing department. I would skip toner more than I’d use it, and often would only wash/cleanse once at night. I trained as a beauty therapist and have worked in high end beauty for 7 years and I would still confess to lacking in the cleansing area of my routine. *the shame!*

In June 2014 I started treatment for acne and became much more aware of the fact that if I was putting treatment gel on my face for spots and scarring, it needed to be on completely clean skin, otherwise how was it going to work if bits of foundation were still there?!

And so I began double cleansing. This makes so much sense I couldn’t believe I had never really done it before!

Think about your evening cleansing routine in two sections, especially if you wear makeup.  You need to remove the makeup first, before cleansing and balancing the skin. So just using wipes – for example – to take the makeup off is not going to cut it, because bits of foundation can quite easily be left behind. I think wipes are great for quick fix after a night out when you are a little worse for wear, but if you think about it, all you’re doing is eventually moving the grime around your face when the wipe is full and dirty.

The other thing with wipes is that if you’re wearing a medium/full coverage foundation, you will most probably have wipe the skin a lot in order to remove it and that can feel rough and irritate. So having a makeup removing product and cleansing product is the way to go!

Some cleansers are effective enough at breaking down makeup (probably depends on your makeup too though!) but for me I’ve been finding that using two separate products have really done the trick.  I’ll follow up with specific products that are currently in my bathroom, but especially during my acne treatment, I was loving the soothing element of oils and balms as my second cleanse. Because my treatment gel was harsh and uncomfortable on my skin, I was finding that a couple of minutes spent slowly massaging my skin with a gentle product was good for settling my mind before bed and was soothing my skin before applying the gel.

The best thing about a good cleansing routine, is that when your skin is squeaky clean, your following products will all work much more effectively! And if you invest good money in your serum/oil/moisturiser you want to know it can work how it’s supposed to; ceansing is the where that starts!

With any routine, its about finding what works for you and since December when I finished my treatment, I’ve continued with this, and my skin seems to be loving it!

What cleansing or makeup removing products do you swear by?

My Acne Journey

Ever since starting my blog I’ve wanted to talk about my skin. I have referred to it when talking about products, but I wanted to speak more openly about my trials and tribulations!

I have had acne since the age of 14, I’m now 25 and still suffering from angry looking redness and scarring over most of my face. When I refer to ‘scarring’ I don’t mean pock-marks where skin is dented, just extremely red marks from where spots have been. (I will be including some pictures throughout this post to illustrate different things.) The scarring is not painful and most of it is smooth to touch. I do still get bruise-like spots under the skin, and the usual ‘monthly’ type but I can usually deal with them and cover them up until they depart. It’s the red scarring that I’ve not been able to rid.

That’s how my acne is at this moment, but over the years it has changed. At around 14-16 it was on my forehead, chest and back. I used to keep my hair really long so that it would cover my back when I was wearing vest tops or anything that showed part of that area. Between 16/17-21 it started to ‘drain’ down my face. Where I had never had any skin issues (cheeks), I started getting a spots, and, more importantly, scars. (FYI my forehead/chest/back are not scarred at all.) At around 22 I felt I was starting to grow out of it, when another health issue arose meaning I needed to take a very very high dose of steroids over a short time frame (5 days). This dose was so high the pharmacist questioned if my prescription was correct. Since I had to take this type of dose two years running (2011/2012), my skin has never really calmed down.

In terms of looking after my skin, I’d say I haven’t been the best and haven’t been the worst. I trained as a beauty therapist and worked for a luxury skincare brand for 4 years, I know how to look after my skin. However the one thing I neglected on a semi regular basis was removing makeup at night. I know , I know there was a huge intake of breath then(!), but to be honest, I was just a bit lazy! Obviously I would thoroughly cleanse in the morning so my skin always got a good daily clean, I was just too lazy of an evening.

I know many people will say that that was the culprit of my bad skin, but I have to say I partly disagree. How can my mom (1/2 same DNA) have spot free skin her whole life when I’m stuck with what I’m stuck with! I really believe it is more down to a hormone imbalance and probably a lack of drinking water, (I really do not get the time/opportunity to drink during the day) combined with not removing makeup at night.

Since I am a girl, I’m lucky enough to be able to cover most things on my face with the joy of makeup! It was only when my makeup started to look terrible and wear off too quickly that I thought I should really give myself a talking to.

The pictures below show a few images of the redness at its worst.

Admittedly the iPhone flash is the worst camera flash in history, so some images look worse than I felt it was in ‘real life’ but you can see how angry it is.

I have been sporadically taking pictures of my skin over the last 18 months or so. Mainly to just keep a tab and compare for myself, maybe I always knew I’d start a blog and talk about it! So the 9 above are anything from 18 months ago to 9 months ago.

The next two images show me immediately after a Clarins Tri Active facial treatment. This one was also taken in daylight.

You can see I have some enlarged pores on my cheeks, but luckily I don’t get too many blackheads. The redness is obviously still prominent but it’s less angry than the first images. These two were taken around 8 weeks ago.

These pictures have been taken this week. I took them just before I did my Cat Flick makeup look. To me, my skin seems much calmer, less irritated and looks much smoother. In real life, I may be tempted to leave the house without makeup, only on a day off though when I won’t see anyone I know!

I think I’ve come a really long way from the first set of images, and I think most of the improvement has happened in the last 5 months. The one thing that I can say I’ve done in that time is to stick to a routine. That has consisted of an evening routine of removal of my makeup followed by a second cleanse with a cleansing balm, exfoliate around twice a week, use two different masks once per week, and apply a serum and hydrating moisturiser afterwards. I have been trying to do this as soon as I get home from work, but if not that I have always done this before I go to sleep.

I will most likely do a post on the products that have been helping me over these past few months, but I feel I’ve babbled a bit much now! I’d love to hear what you use if you have similar skin issues to me, or link me to a post if you have done one.

Happy weekend guys!


Other posts about my acne journey:
Skincare Routine
How I cover my scarring and redness

The Weekend Pamper Post… On a Monday

If you follow me on Twitter you may have seen that I’ve had a full on working weekend. It’s rare that I get two days off in a row at any time of the year, let alone the run up to Christmas. So with days off as a premium, I like to make them feel really chilled so I can recharge my batteries for the next few days.

Today, I’ve managed to prep some posts for #TheWinterProject which starts tomorrow (12/11/13), but I’ve also enjoyed a bit of a pampering hour or so before getting back to the blog!

I don’t have a bath at home so really like to enjoy a nice hot shower and pamper myself. These aren’t all the products I used today, but I don’t use these every day so they were a real treat.

Before shower:
Clarins Smoothing Body Scrub Smoothed onto dry skin before the shower to slough off any dead skin before I tan a little bit later. It’s quite gritty but leaves your skin sooooo soft after your bath or shower. For a slightly less intense scrub, I use this on damp skin in between my regular body scrubs.
Jennifer Young Improve and Remove Cleansing Balm* I haven’t been using this for very long but it’s an organic cleansing balm which feels divine on the skin. I am trying a few of the products from this range at the moment and am very impressed. I am putting together an in depth post about about my skin, it probably won’t be up for another few weeks but I’m hoping this will play a big part in it!

During shower:
Loreal Ever Pure Shampoo and Conditioner I use these every so often to change up my hair routine. I have been really impressed with them and always feel my hair looks much blonder and more refreshed when I’ve used them. I’m not sure about the ‘volume’ claim for these but I still like using them as a change from my usual shampoo and conditioner.
Good Things Deep Clean Exfoliator A lightly grainy exfoliator that’s great to use on wet skin in the shower. The smell is a little intense for me as it’s soooo fruity, but I do really like the fact that it doesn’t have many of the nasties some skincare does have.

Post shower:
Sienna X Dark Glowing Self Tan A real favourite of mine! I always feel good when I have a bit of a tan, and this is the only one I really reach for. I love the colour and it doesn’t streak and lasts me at least a week, winner!

I hope you enjoyed seeing what made up my pamper this afternoon! What do you do to pamper yourself?

Lots of love
TBS xx

*this product was given to me for trial.