What a week it has been! I have always let work get in the way of my hobbies and I guess I have used it as an excuse not to do things in the past. I was determined to break this cycle with my blog but this week I have been so shattered my midweek blog post got lost somewhere along the way!

As much as work is my nemesis, it was also responsible for a lovely little London trip this week. As a small town girl I have always been a bit intimidated by the big city. Bustling crowds, blaring horns and people who seem to just see straight past you have always made me a little nervous, but I love the diversity of London.

 

Oxford Street

When I finished my course I had ages to wait for my train so decided to go to Oxford Street and my word does it look and feel amazing at Christmas!

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Selfridges

There was only one place I wanted to go, so I pushed through the sea of people, while mesmerised by the beautiful lights, to Selfridges. Once inside I headed straight for the make up counters. Heaven!

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I have wanted to buy a Georgio Armani Luminous Silk since I used the sample on my wedding day for the perfect base. The sales girl was amazing and really helped make sure the shade was perfect (as I was torn between two) and even gave a sample to use before I opened the bottle just in case.

It is definitely my favourite foundation of all time as it covers really well and the packaging looks great on my dressing table. However, after spending more on a foundation than I ever have before, I had to browse the other counters without buying anything else. So many things on my wish list now!

After managing to drag myself away I headed back to Kings Cross with my little yellow bag and a smile on my face 😊

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Do you love the big city bustle or find it a bit too much at times? What is on your make up counter wish list? As always leave a comment below as I’d love to hear from you.

It’s happened to us all hasn’t it? You wake up in the morning, stumble to the mirror and see it staring at you. I almost imagine it sticking out its tongue and blowing a raspberry in delight that it has ruined your morning. What am I talking about? A bloody big spot!

It’s always at the worst time too. Before an interview, a big night out or the morning of your wedding in my case. Not one but three of the big buggers! I can picture the bacteria under the skin plotting away as you go through the day. Waiting for the most irritating time and then sending the troops out to invade your face!

My grandma has always said it’s because of the make up and all the products girls use. Her whole life she has only washed her face with soap (shock horror!) and then applied a thick moisturiser like Astral or Nivea. Her skin is perfect, even in her 70s she has barely any wrinkles and smooth skin. I tried it for a while in my late teens but found it did nothing to help my blackheads.

What I’ve Tried

So over the past couple of years, on a quest to get that perfect skin that we all crave, I have tried a few different ways to get rid of my face invaders. Two skin care routines that did nothing for my face were:

Clinque 3 Step for combination skin

Liz Earle Hot Cloth Cleanser with toner and light moisturiser

Both of the products made my skin worse. I went from having the odd spot/cluster of spots to having constant spots particularly around my chin, nose and on my forehead. The Clinque made my skin tight and dry and the Liz Earle left it oily but soft.

I know they work for some but just not for me! I am now trying to help my skin recover from the assault. Before that I had used a lot of Lush products but before I go back to them I wanted to try a cheaper option so decided to try Simple.

 

Simple Products

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Kind to Skin Refreshing Facial Gel Wash I use this every morning and it cleans my skin well without leaving it tight. I can’t say I’ve seen a huge improvements in blackheads and blocked pores yet but my skin is improving and I am getting less spots.

Kind to Skin Soothing Facial Toner This is great as again it doesn’t leave my skin feeling tight but it cleans away make up and grime that is left after I have cleansed. I use this morning and night.

Kind to Skin Hydrating Light Moisturiser I am not so keen on this one. It has an odd smell that isn’t as nice as the other products and although it does leave my skin soft I am on the look out for another moisturiser.

Kind to Eyes Eye Make-up Remover I like this as it is gentle but although it claims to remove even waterproof mascara I still have black smudges in the morning. It works ok but again I think there may be a better product out there.

Kind to Skin Purifying Cleansing Lotion I use this in the evening to remove make-up and it does get a lot off the skin. I do have to use the toner afterwards though to remove the last traces as it leaves some behind. It does leave my face soft.

Kind to Eyes Soothing Eye Balm I’m not too sure about this product. It is a bit sticky and although it does moisturise under my eyes I am still getting dry patches there. The jury is still out on this one.

Spotless Skin Rapid Action Spot Zapper I have just started using this over the past two weeks so may be too soon to comment but it has dried up a couple of spots when I have used it on on my chin. It isn’t a miracle product and doesn’t make them disappear but seems to dry them up so they don’t pop and scar.

 

My Skin

A few pics from this morning. My skin looks quite good in these which I am happy about though the pictures aren’t good enough quality to show some of the little blemishes that remain. The amount of big spots has reduced but can’t get close enough to show the blackheads and blocked pores that are still there. You can also see the black smudges where the eye make-up remover didn’t quite get all of my mascara last night.

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What do you use to keep your skin clean and keep spots at bay? Can anyone recommend products that work for them? Or is it lifestyle changes that make the difference, such as drinking more water, eating all your fruits and vegetables and the like. As always comment below and share your views. We are all in this war on spots together 🙂

Everyone has that moment when Christmas starts for them. For some people it’s the day after Halloween when shops fill the shelves with all things Christmas, for others it is December 1st when they put up their tree but for me it is all about walking around in the cold through the beautiful city I live in.

Lincoln Christmas Market signals the beginning of Christmas for me every year. I just love strolling around in the cold, wrapped up in my cosiest winter woollies and smelling all of the amazing food and drink on offer.

Something you must know about me is that I am obsessed with buying Christmas decorations! I love baubles and hanging things of all shapes and sizes and when I see stalls all decked out I must get to the front to see what they have. The hubby swears that I once elbowed a middle aged woman in the face to get through but I am 99% sure that never happened! Yesterday was a good haul of wooden lovelies including a personalised wooden beauty for our first married Christmas.

I also bought myself a nice hot cup of mulled wine to get in to the festive spirit but after one sip I remembered that I cannot stand the taste! Why ruin wine with spices? I try it every year in the hope it will get better but sadly 2014 was not the year!

I love our market tradition and couldn’t think of a better way to start the festive season. What moment tells you that Christmas is coming? Comment below and let me know how you kick off the festive season.

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I have picked up my phone to try and write an update so many times since my last post and found I’ve put my phone down, put my head on a pillow and closed my eyes. After a tricky couple of days at work I’ve been reflecting on mood and how it affects life.

I can go from a beaming smile to crying on someone’s shoulder in minutes these days and I can’t put my finger on why! I have tried to smile through it, eyes and teeth as a colleague says, but I sometimes just feel… sad!

Don’t get me wrong I don’t have a horrible life, far from it actually as I love my family and I am lucky to have trained in a rewarding career that gives me enough money to buy lots of beauty products 😄 However holding on to that when the pressures of life build is difficult at times.

I met a very good friend of mine on Tuesday (over a yummy Nandos 🍗) and we got chatting about meditation. After I got home (and opened the button on my jeans to release my belly stuffed with a well cooked food baby), I looked up some mediation techniques online and I guess I can see how it would help so although I am a little sceptical I have decided to give it a go. Make sure you keep checking in as alongside my beauty posts I’ll update on how meditation is going.

Before you go and read another blog don’t forget to leave your comments below 😊 Does anyone else feel down even when life is good? How do you cope through the stresses of life and get the best out of yourself? Has meditation worked for you?

I have a confession to make… I, Rebecca Lyons, don’t clean my make up brushes! I know, I know they are a breeding ground for bacteria but I just never seem to have time. I have cleaned my brushes twice in the past year but that is definitely going to change!

Recently I have noticed loads of spots around my chin and the more I apply concealer the more spots seem to appear! I have a good skincare routine so have decided to blame the brushes. What a meany I am blaming brushes when it is really my fault for not giving them a good clean. So today I let them have a nice soapy bath.

Rinse

I started by giving them a rinse with lukewarm water.

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Shampoo

Then I used baby shampoo and massaged the bristles carefully.

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Dry

Once I’d rinsed them thoroughly I dried them off on a towel before leaving them at an angle to dry.

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Leaving them like this is really important so water doesn’t get in the brush head and dissolve the glue. Shedding bristles and bald brushes are not your friend!

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Brushes

As I had all my brushes out I thought I would share my top 5. I am a recent convert to make up brushes. I used to use my fingers to apply everything except blusher but after discovering the world of YouTube videos I invested in some great brushes. I could recommend them all but decided just to go for my favourite 5.

5. Real Techniques Duo Fiber Face Brush

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I love this brush for blending my bronzer and blush. I always apply them with other brushes then blend with this as it doesn’t pick up lots of product. The fibres are soft and blend product brilliantly.

4. Precision Beauty Angled Blush Brush

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I bought this as I was looking for an angled brush to apply my bronzer with. The bristles aren’t quite as soft as some of my other brushes but I still love it as it applies my bronzer just where I need it.

3. Topshop Eyes Brush

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I actually set out to buy either Real Techniques or MAC brushes for my eyes but found myself browsing the Topshop make up stand. The sales assistant told me their brushes are made in the same place as MAC brushes so are of equal quality. I don’t know how true this is but my word do I love this brush! A great shape, size and softness this brush is one I would invest in again.

2. Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge

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Ok so while this is not technically a brush I do choose this over using my Real Techniques Expert Face Brush 9 times out of 10. It applies foundation with a really even coverage and allows me to build up layers well. A little tip I was given to dampen the sponge before using works amazingly well and is what what really makes this a winner for me.

1. Eco tools Concealer Brush

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This is my all time favourite brush as it applies concealer perfectly every time. The shape of the bristles makes it perfect for pushing concealer in to the skin and leaving a really smooth finish. I loved this even more after my wedding day as I woke up with 3 of the biggest spots on my chin that are invisible on my pictures thanks to this bad boy and MAC Prolongwear Concealer.

I’d love to hear about some of your favourite brushes and any tips on keeping them clean and germ free. Be sure to comment below