A Little Trio of Treatments

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Dubbed the 'triple threat facial' by Vivianna Does Makeup, I've been trialing out my own three-step, at-home, skin-loving facial treat consisting of three masks all boasting different skin-improving properties. Not to harp on about it again, but I do suffer from very temperamental skin which causes me a lot of anguish due to hormonal cystic acne, sensitivity and hyperpigmentation. My skin is horribly sensitive and reactive, so I'm always hesitant to try out new products as the introduction of too many new treatments can often leave my skin a little overwhelmed and, as such, throwing a bit of a strop.

However, I've been using this little trio for a good few weeks now and my skin seems to be enjoying its weekly pamper. First up, I start with Avene Cleanance Mask which really works to draw out all of the nasties lurking under your skin, as well as any impurities. This can feel a little sting-y on my sensitive areas, mainly around the nose, and it can leave those areas feeling a little inflamed and angry, so I tend to avoid those areas with this one and instead focus its efforts on my chin, forehead and cheek area. I suffer from breakouts mostly on my chin and jaw area, so I love using a good detoxifying clay mask on these areas to tackle the blemishes from right underneath the skin. This also contains little exfoliating beads which you can scrub off after 10-15 mins, so it always leave your skin feeling super cleansed, smooth as a baby's bum and thoroughly detoxed.

I tend to follow up Avene Cleanance Mask with the Ren Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask which works wonders to chemically exfoliate your skin using fruit enzymes. I was warned that this might be a little much for my sensitive skin to handle, however it hasn't ever left my skin feeling irritated or sore, so I think I'm good! Again, I do refrain from applying this around my nose due to sensitivity. I've reviewed this in full, so I'm not going to go into too much detail. But basically, this leaves my skin feeling plumped up and renewed, and the next morning I'm guaranteed to have a healthy glow.

Finally, I use Super Facialist by Una Brennan Rose Hydrate Intense Moisture Mask to ingest a whole load of moisture back into my skin, leaving it pepped up and feeling softer than a baby's bum. I'm not the world's biggest fan of rose scents, so I don't particularly enjoy using this, but the results are worth the 10 minutes of scrunched up faces as I try not to retch from the smell. This just feels so cool and refreshing on the skin and really injects a punched up dose of moisture back into my skin. The perfect end to my little trio of treatments.

I've found that using masks in conjunction with one another like this seems to really help make them more effective, and my skin is definitely thanking me for it. Do you use face masks in duos, trios or perhaps even quadruples? Let me know!

NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

I picked up this little beauty from Sephora in NYC during the summer and I haven't looked back since. Sephora always have lots of travel sized products displayed as you make your way to the till, which is dangerous for someone like me so I ended up picking this up as it was such a cute little travel size, and perfect to delve into NARS bases since I hadn't tried any before. I bought the shade Alaska without testing it (I was in a bit of a rush, I literally had 2 hours until I had to leave for JFK and I still wanted to check out Central Park!) but luckily, the shade is bang on for my post-summer skin and thankfully my tan is still putting up a fight and I haven't instantly reverted to pale-as-a-sheet white. I've tried tinted moisturizers before, and I wasn't ever overwhelmed by them, so I didn't have high hopes for this offering, however I can safely say that I have been completely and utterly converted. This gives me the perfect amount of coverage, enough to leave my skin still looking like skin, no cakey-ness in sight and a perfectly glowing, radiant complexion. As soon as I tried this, foundation took a major back seat and I haven't looked back since. Paired with my NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer, this makes for a flawless base that actually boasts some pretty impressive wear time considering it's a tinted moisturizer. I can usually get through a whole day and even when it does start to wear, it doesn't do so in a patchy way and instead, I can just top it up with a little more concealer, a dusting of powder and I'm all set again.

I've been using this a lot since I bought it and, considering it's travel sized, it's lasted me pretty damn well. I feel like I've already committed myself to repurchasing the full size, and that's pretty rare for me as I'm not usually particularly devoted to any one base as I find myself constantly flitting between newer offerings - I'm a fickle being, really. NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer, you've changed me!

It's Okay To Be A Drop-Out

Thursday, 5 December 2013

I am a university drop-out. What's more, I am a second time university drop-out. Today, young people have it drilled into them: after school, you must go to university, you must get a degree, you must face tens of thousands of pounds of debt and eventually, you might not even get that dream job you've got your heart set on. University is not for everyone, and I'm a huge advocate that young people need to be given other options that don't involve them being laden with unwanted debt, stress and all of the other hardships that go along with forcing yourself into a degree. The first time I went to university I was 18, it was my first time away from home and I was totally up for a year of freedom, partying and exploiting my new-found independence to the max. I chose a course that I wasn't exactly passionate about, purely for the fact that I felt I had to go to university, neglecting the fact that this meant studying something I wasn't bothered about for 4 years and ultimately having nothing to show for it. I left that course after first year because, despite passing my assignments and exams, I realised that I couldn't see myself studying something I hated for 4 years and being stuck with a degree I didn't want or need at the end of it. The hardest part of leaving university was telling my parents, who I anticipated would be disappointed beyond belief. Granted, they were a little disappointed, but they understood that I was 18, hadn't a clue what I wanted to do with my life, and they supported me.

I spent the next few years dipping in and out of various courses, jobs and generally being a bit flaky in most aspects of life. Finally, at the grand old age of 21, I realised that what I wanted to do with my life, and what I'd always subconsciously wanted to do, was to write. I promptly applied for a journalism degree and, content with my decision, I moved to the other end of the country and started a whole new, slightly terrifying, life. I didn't know anyone down south, and I felt instantly disconnected with the university, the town and the people. Despite this, I found myself really enjoying the course - more so than any other course I've tried, which is surely a positive sign. I was flying through assignments and feeling increasingly confident with my choice of career. Until, that is, I had a sudden realisation that I was getting myself into a hell of a lot of debt for something that might not even be worth it. Whereas when I studied in Scotland, tuition fees were nothing but a non-issue, the move to England brought me down to earth with a jolt - a £9000 a year jolt, to be exact.

I've spent all week um-ing and ah-ing over whether or not I could justify this and, as much as I would love to get a degree in journalism, I've found another option which is much more sensible. The decision was actually more terrifying this time round, I had to leave my seminar in tears to ring my mum and I broke down on the phone. I was so scared of disappointing everyone yet again, I was scared of proving everyone right who said I wouldn't "stick this one out" but the relief that washed over me when I told my mum my concerns was massive. I've come to the conclusion that university just isn't for me, and as scary and stressful as that is, it's okay. Bearing in mind that graduate prospects are dwindling, I fear for those who undertake degrees purely to prove a point or because it's what they are "supposed" to do or because it's what their family wants them to do. Young people need to be shown that there are more options than just going to university, whether that's working or travelling or apprenticeship schemes or whatever the hell makes you happy.

Forcing myself into taking a route that I felt obligated to take was probably the worst, and most expensive, mistake that I've made so far in life. And I'm sure I'm not alone in this. I know plenty of people who have left university, opting for more vocational routes into their chosen industry. I may not have earned a degree, but I have learnt a lot through my time at university. Do what makes you happy, never make decisions to pacify others and always, always, always trust your instincts. University is not the be all and end all that it's made out to be.


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