Elf Cosmetics Review – Drugstore makeup finds

Long time, no see! I’ve been wanting to try out Elf Cosmetics for the longest time and the Black Friday sale was the perfect time to dive in! Elf is widely regarded across the beauty community as having some of the best quality, affordable makeup products on the market. So I thought I’d find out for myself what all the fuss was really about!

– Putty eye primer in Rose
– Lip plumping gloss in Pink Sugar
– Liquid glitter eyeshadow in 24k Gold
– Instant lift brow pencil in Neutral Brown
– Hydrating camo concealer in Fair Warm
– Bitesize eyeshadows in Cream & Sugar and Pumpkin Pie

Putty Eye Primer

For a total eyeshadow lover, it’s strange that I’ve never really used an eyeshadow primer before. I’ve only ever used Urban Decay Primer Potion and hated it for how runny it was. The putty primer is a pretty dry formula (not as emollient as a colour corrector in a pot) so you won’t pick up that much product with your finger or a brush. As there are multiple shades, you should be able find a shade that matches quite well – I went for Rose which I thought could be a little pink but it actually does a good job of prepping the eye with a pretty neutral base. The product itself is not mega pigmented, so it blends in well with your foundation and doesn’t appear too stark the way some primers do. You will have to go in a few times with your brush/finger to get enough product on your eye (unless you do a very light prime) but that wasn’t an issue for me.

Lip Plumping Gloss

Personally, I’m not one for plumping lip glosses. I don’t enjoy the tingling feeling and I don’t think it actually does anything to noticeably plump the lips. I really like glosses with very little actual colour pigment but that have shimmer, so that’s what drew me to this. The shade Pink Sugar shifts from white to pink reflect and is a really nice accent for a nude lip. There is definitely a noticeable tingle, which is manageable, but not all that pleasant. If you have sensitive lips or are prone to any dryness around your lips/broken skin in winter, you might like to avoid this one.

Liquid Glitter Eyeshadow

I’ve wanted to try a liquid shadow for the longest time and have never bitten the bullet with more expensive brands. This more affordable version was my chance! I got the shade 24K Gold which is very much a bright yellow gold, which isn’t my fave kind of gold. In the pictures on the website it looked a bit more muted and a more neutral gold (old gold). On deep skin tones, I bet it would look absolutely amazing, but on my pale skin it’s a bit much. I’ve found a way to work with it where I dab a small amount onto the back of my hand and then use my finger to lightly dab it where I want it. It’s much less pigmented but it’s much more wearable. It’s a lot more like a topper shade but I think I would prefer to use it this way. I often find that a lovely champagne shade is missing in ranges like this. Gold can sometimes be a bit too bold for pale skin like mine, but champagne is always a winner for me!

Instant Lift Brow Pencil

I was interested to try this to see if it was a dupe for the NYX Micro Brow Pencil – especially as this retails for Β£3 rather than the Β£9 that the NYX product is. Because I got this in the sale, it was even less at Β£1.80(!?). The spoolie on the end is large like the one on the ABH Brow Definer, rather than nice and small like the NYX one. It’s not the end of the world but I find the smaller ones give you more precision when it comes to shaping the brows. I got the shade neutral brown which was a really good match for my hair colour. The pencil itself was quite thick (around double the thickness of the NYX one) which means I can’t really make such fine strokes, but it’s still very usable. Because of the thicker pencil, this probably wouldn’t become my go-to brow pencil but would definitely come back to this every now and again.

Hydrating Camo Concealer

I love a budget concealer and I think this one could knock my Collection Lasting Perfection concealer off the top spot! This concealer comes in at Β£5 but I got it in the sale for Β£3 (!!!). There are a two different versions of the Camo Concealer – the hydrating and the 16 hour matte finish version. As I have dry skin, I went for the hydrating one. I thought I might struggle with the shade match online but I’m really happy with it actually! I went for Fair Warm which is fair with yellow undertones. The doe foot applicator is really nice and fat, especially at the tip where the product congregates. As you can see from the picture above, you get quite a lot of product on the applicator and will cover pretty much your entire face in one application! The formula itself is easy to blend and leaves a lovely fresh look to the skin. I didn’t notice any creasing under my eye area but I did set it instantly with a loose powder. I think I might actually prefer this to my holy grail Collection Lasting Perfection concealer as it’s more hydrating and leaves me looking a bit dewier, whereas the Lasting Perfection has become much more matte (not sure if there has been a reformulation or my skin has changed). DO NOT SLEEP ON DRUGSTORE CONCEALERS. Save yourself mega money and forget the high end ones!

Bitesize Eyeshadows

When they say ‘bitesize’, they really mean it. These are the size of the palm of my hand… they’re tiny! Cream & Sugar features a very light beige and a deep brown matte, with a champagne and gold shimmer. Pumpkin Pie has a mid-tone warm brown along with a more neutral/cool toned brown matte, along with copper and bronze-brown shimmers. When swatched, the shimmers are really very impressive, while the mattes appear okay but nothing special. However, when applied with a brush on the eyes, the mattes work beautifully. I was really pleasantly surprised how well these blend and build. There was no patchiness for me, the blend was really easy and when used with the putty eye primer, they lasted all day. These are Β£3 (!?!?) but I picked them up in the sale for Β£1.50. How on earth do they make good shadows for so little!? I’ve heard that some of these quads are better than others, but for Β£3 I’d definitely be willing to try out more! I haven’t stopped using these since I picked them up.

For me, the price of these products for the quality you’re getting is unbeatable – I got this entire order for Β£18. I may have got all of this on sale, but the original price is still an absolute steal! I would definitely repurchase the hydrating camo concealer and want to try more shades of the bitesize shadows. I had really wanted to try out the putty blush but it was sold out in the shade I had been eyeing up, so I’ll be coming back to that one when I next place an order. If you have been wanting to try Elf for a while, this is the sign you’ve been looking for – try them.

After taking quite a bit of time away from this blog, I hope you’ve enjoyed my first post back!

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Fragrance – Friend or foe? (2 minute read)

Fragrance is perhaps the most hotly debated ingredient in skincare. Loved by many and hated in equal part, it can be a total dealbreaker for some. But is fragrance all bad?

Well, that all depends on your skin.

For some, fragrance can really mess with their skin. It can sensitise it, causing irritation and break outs. However, this isn’t the case for everyone. Some people can use fragrance with absolutely no problem at all. Depending on the scent and how strong it is, it can add an extra layer of luxury to a product and enhance the user experience. Sometimes unscented products can be a little underwhelming in that respect, but ultimately it comes down to personal preference.

The truth is that sometimes skincare ingredients don’t always smell the best and fragrance is often used used to mask it. However, there is a lack of transparency when fragrance is listed in the ingredients list. The single ingredient ‘Fragrance’ on the INCI list can be any number of fragranced ingredients all hiding under the one name, which makes it really hard to work out exactly what you’re intolerant to if it’s not listed in its entirety.

The tricky thing is, your skin can change how it feels about fragrance almost overnight (like in my case), though it is pretty uncommon. Where you were using fragranced products with no problems one day, you now have a cluster of breakouts.

So is fragrance-free the answer? Well… not really. Fragrance-free falls into the same category as ‘clean’ and ‘natural’ – it’s an unregulated term. Also, there may still be some sort of natural fragrance (essential oils or plant extracts) or scent masking chemicals added to minimise the bad, naturally occurring smell of the active ingredients. As we all know, essential oils are also one of the worst offenders when it comes to skin irritation, so going for natural fragrance often isn’t any better for the skin than synthetic.

Your stance on fragrance will be very personal to you and how your skin reacts to it.

There is no blanket right or wrong way to think about fragrance. Personally, I really enjoy it but my skin can’t tolerate it anymore, and that’s totally fine. I would prefer a small amount of fragrance because products that have no scent are really underwhelming from a self care point of view for me, but I actively avoid fragrance and essential oils to avoid break outs. If you find a fragranced product doesn’t work for you, that’s totally fine, you can just stop using it – and it’s as simple as that ladies and gents.

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Glow Recipe Banana SoufflΓ© Moisture Cream Review for Dry Skin

Glow Recipe is the ultimate aesthetic brand whose products are largely focused around fruit and cute pastel colours. When their Banana SoufflΓ© Cream launched, their first moisturiser, there was a lot of excitement from die hard fans and beauty enthusiasts alike. I was interested to try it for myself and see how it fared on dry, sensitive skin.Β Β 


The claims for this moisturiser seem to be to fix every skincare issue under the sun. It addresses:

  • Dehydration
  • Irritation
  • Sensitivity
  • Redness
  • Stressed out skin

It is also supposedly non-comedogenic and non-acnegenic (which I thought were basically the same thing but there we go).Β 

They also claim that this is good for all skin types. I’m always a bit weary of products that claim that they are perfect for all skin types as the needs for each one can vary so widely. This moisturiser basically promises to suit every skin type and concern, which I just don’t believe.Β 

Glow Recipe Banana SoufflΓ© Cream - Small Town Beauty Addict

The scent

The first thing you will notice is the scent. If you can’t stand heavily fragranced products, this probably won’t be for you. Quite obviously it’s scented like bananas. Quite a few people have said that they hate the artificial banana smell but like this smell? I hate both and would rather this were unscented or at least dialled down because the smell is not what I want to be spreading on my face. It is definitely bearable despite the smell, but it certainly wouldn’t be my choice of scent. It does dissipate pretty quickly – once it’s dried down you can’t smell it anymore which is something at least.

More recently I’ve been trying to stay away from fragranced products as they’ve been irritating my skin, but surprisingly this one didn’t. A few of my other friends who have sensitive skin have been able to use this, but that’s not to say that it will work for everyone who is sensitive to fragrance.Β 

The ingredients

If you take a look at the ingredients, you’ll see they’re actually pretty good. There are no added nasties here (no added fragrance/parfum, limolene, linalool, citronellol or essential oils) which is excellent to see. These are the main offenders when it comes to skin irritation. Although there is a very strong smell, it seems to come from the addition of Banana water.Β 

This is backed full of skin soothing and anti-inflammatory ingredients, such as centella asiatica, turmeric root extract and aloe vera leaf juice. The addition of turmeric root extract also helps to brighten skin. It also contains hyaluronic acid to keep skin hydrated and squalane to moisturise the skin without feeling greasy.Β 

Looking at the ingredients, I can see why Glow Recipe claims that this could work for all skin types and could cover a wide array of issues, but ultimately its thickness limits the skin types it could work for.Β 


This moisturiser is very thin and runny. A little bit goes a very long way and I never quite felt like I could rub it in as it doesn’t dry down enough for you to stop being able to move it around. Even though the claims say that this will suit all skin types, I don’t agree with that. I don’t usually find that moisturisers this thin give me the level of moisture that I’m after. This did perform better than I was expecting in that my skin didn’t feel dry or desperately thirsty afterwards, but at the same time it didn’t feel quenched either. I usually prefer thicker gels or cream moisturisers that are targeted more towards dry skin types. Though I didn’t feel any tightness, after a few days of consistent use I started to get dry patches in both corners of my mouth where this moisturiser just wasn’t quite enough (I used to have eczema there when I was younger, so I think it made it come back). When I stopped using this, the dry patches disappeared and when I started again they came back. They’re not only dry patches but they’re areas of discolouration too which look a bit unsightly. As a result, I couldn’t use this as my sole moisturiser. However, I still wanted to use it up, so used the Pixi Rose Ceramide Cream after. I first started using this in March when it was still cold and I just thought that it wasn’t enough for the time of year. However, even in summer, this wasn’t enough for me. I think this would be really well suited for normal-oily skin, or those with dry skin that is more towards the normal end of the spectrum.Β 

This moisturiser supposedly addresses sensitivity, stressed out skin and redness (among heaps of other things). I can’t say that I noticed any real difference in redness while using this product. I also wouldn’t say that this really addressed sensitivity or stressed out skin either. I had a few breakouts caused by testing new products and I didn’t feel like this was the hero product in bringing my skin back to normal. I usually apply this after lightly misting my face and I would find that it would leave a weird stinging/tingling feeling that was pretty unpleasant but would disappear when I used my Pixi moisturiser on top. If you have sensitised skin or quite sensitive skin, definitely read reviews and look into the ingredients before purchasing this to make sure it will be okay for you to use.Β 

I’m pretty sure some people won’t be a fan of the fact this is in a jar rather than a tube. From a hygiene point of view, it’s not the best to be dunking your fingers into a jar full of product every day and it would be much cleaner to squeeze product out of a tube. Obviously you can use a mini spatula to scoop out the amount you need, but my little spatulas always go missing.Β 


Let’s just talk briefly about the price. This costs Β£36 for 50ml. Personally, I think that’s pretty high and it was the price that was the major put-off of me buying this originally. I think you would be able to find a better moisturiser or at least one that performs equally as well for a lower price. My fave Pixi moisturiser is Β£24 for the same amount. Just saying.


If your skin is more normal-dry, this could be workable for you. I have a few friends with drier skin types that swear by this moisturiser but unfortunately it wasn’t quite what I was after. I can imagine this working very well for oilier/combination skin types because it is so thin and light. If you have dry-very dry skin or any eczema on your face, I don’t think this is the moisturiser for you. I didn’t find that it was heavy enough for me, even in summer, and would leave me with eczema-like patches either side of my mouth. However, I can imagine it being a pretty good go-to in the hotter months for others. I managed to use it all up in the end, but I would have to apply this moisturiser first and follow it up with a thicker one. I’m glad I was able to use it all up, but I won’t be repurchasing this in the future.Β 

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Why we’re no longer supporting Drunk Elephant (June 2020)

Would you believe it? There is Drunk Elephant drama again. This time it’s not accusations of bullying, or misinforming their audience that all skin types require the same products. No, this time it’s much worse and I’m not sure whether they will truly come back from this one.

**Disclaimer: if you personally still wish to support Drunk Elephant after reading this article, please go ahead. However, I personally expect a brand that holds this much influence to do better for our community.**

As I’m sure you know, the murder of George Floyd in the US has sent ripples in every direction. It was only a matter of time before they were felt in the beauty world too. Brands began to post black squares on their social media for #blackouttuesday and expressed their sadness at the events unfolding in America. Some even pledged donations to various charities. But questions began to be asked about whether these brands were just being performative and whether they were actually committed to real change.

The founder of Uoma Beauty, Sharon Chuter, wanted to ensure that there was action behind these bold public shows of support for the Black community and created the Pull Up or Shut Up movement. The aim of the movement is simple – ‘pull up’ and publicly release the number of Black employees at corporate level and in leadership roles. The idea being to hold brands accountable that say Black Lives Matter publicly and then not have representation within their own organisations.Β 

Many brands have replied with their stats (no matter how good or bad) and the steps they will implement to foster Black talent and guarantee that they are recruited more widely at all levels. From small indie brands to the big beauty conglomerates, they’ve all replied.Β 

Now this is where Drunk Elephant comes in.Β 

Drunk Elephant are one of the biggest and best known brands in the beauty industry. They did a post saying they were donating to a number of charities (without specifying any amounts) and asked others to as well. They included petitions to sign, numbers to text and encouraged their audience to educate themselves. They also posted a black square with just hearts for a caption on black out Tuesday. The response to both these posts were overwhelmingly positive from their loyal followers. However as time went on and it seemed as though they wouldn’t be answering the call to ‘pull up’, people began to ask questions. On a picture of a cartoon human heart, they offered a message of support for those struggling to remind them they are not alone. Many people posted comments on this post about whether they would be releasing their statistics on their workforce, but comments kept disappearing. I posted a comment saying I was looking forward to hearing about their stats, but no one else was able to see it. Because I used the phrase ‘pull up’, Drunk Elephant had restricted those words so that they didn’t show up to anyone but them and me. They did this all day on Saturday 6th June to give the impression that there was only a positive response and to hide the question they didn’t want to answer. But why if they didn’t have anything to hide?

Eventually they replied to @prettyandmakeup. This was their first response before using a different copy and pasted message in reply to all other questions regarding pulling up:

Absolutely, and Drunk Elephant is made of a diverse team made up of women and men, BIPOC and LGBT, and we have always worked to ensure that opportunities for employment, advancement and representation are available equally.
β €
However, we feel very strongly that making a β€œhuman inventory” of our team and then using that information for marketing purposes is an incredible ethical violation of our employees right to privacy. It is just not something we would ever do or feel right about doing.
β €
We are focusing on remaining positive and taking care of the wonderful, diverse and inclusive community that we have, have always had, and making sure they are OK. We hope you understand. ❀️

Let’s dissect this.Β 

1. ‘Diverse Team’

You may well have a diverse team, but we can’t really take your word for it. We want proof. Words are one thing, actions that the whole community can see are another. BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Colour) also doesn’t specifically pinpoint the number of Black people, as specifically asked for by the Pull Up movement. It’s a way some brands have been trying to inflate their diversity stats while skirting the real issue at hand. They’ve also not said in which ways they ensure equal opportunities, advancement and representation within their company like others have.Β 

2. ‘Human inventory’

All companies of a certain size are required by law to submit these statistics. Even if they weren’t big enough to report this (they are), they would still have those statistics to hand. It suggests that they have something to hide. Other brands whose inclusivity figures have been pretty dire have pulled up, admitted it’s not good enough and have put plans into place of how to do better. By hiding behind an excuse of this kind just will not fly. ‘Human inventory’ is also a very bizarre phrasing to use…

3. ‘Ethical violation’

No it isn’t. Pull Up isn’t asking for names, addresses or even photos of their employees. It’s looking for a percentage. As I previously mentioned, a percentage that you already have and is not difficult to obtain. If you even search Drunk Elephant on LinkedIn (as many people have been doing), you’ll get a pretty good idea of how diverse their workforce is (not very). Let’s also just say that Drunk Elephant suddenly caring about their business ethics is laughable. They have appropriated other cultures for marketing purposes (Arabian Nights theme booth in 2018); they don’t correctly credit the origins of their ingredients and fabricate bizarre stories about them (Marula –Β  check out @leah.azad on insta for more info); they bully creators and get defensive when justified points are made; they blame other products or that person when a product of theirs doesn’t work for someone; they fail to understand that skin conditions such as rosacea and cystic acne require different products. Yeah that list is long isn’t it. So doing all of the above is apparently considered okay, but releasing information that the community is calling for to show that their support for BLM isn’t more than just empty words goes against their ethics. Please make no mistake in thinking that this info is somehow an invasion of anyone’s privacy. Like I said, it’s required by LAW. It is the companies that have been the loudest about not sharing this info that are now suspected of not being inclusive and performative.Β 

As I mentioned, this answer was only used once because of the backlash it caused. They later changed to a longer message that took out the parts about ‘human inventory’ and ‘ethical violation’.

Ultimately, it appears very surprising that a company as historically controversial as Drunk Elephant have it right straight out the gate. Their total lack of info on Black representation and ways in which they’re striving to ensure even greater Black representation in their organisation speaks much louder than they realise. As a result, they have been viewed as performative. A false ally to the BLM movement. And people aren’t impressed. Many people who had put up with their other scandals have turned their back on them this time. I’ve seen people posting stories of them throwing away Drunk Elephant products. People want to support brands that are doing the work and supporting the Black community, rather than ignoring the issue at hand. This time it’s a step too far.Β 

For anyone who thought that when Shiseido bought them last year that it would clean up their act, they were sadly mistaken. Shiseido has pulled up – but they own 9 brands and their figures obviously don’t show the breakdown within each company so it’s difficult to get a true idea of Drunk Elephant’s representation. Other companies have heard the calls and done the right thing, no matter how poor those statistics are.Β 

Let me also just point out, that all this controversy is about a week old… and they STILL haven’t released those figures. They haven’t posted anything more on their Instagram and haven’t bothered to clear up people’s doubts (like most upstanding brands would). For those who don’t understand why people are annoyed and are asking whyΒ should they share this info? Why shouldn’t they? If you’re a supporter of the wider Black community, you should be supporting the Black community in your workforce. It isn’t a performative if you actually mean it.

So please think again about the brands that you support. Do you research and be an ally.Β 

In case you’re confused, this is not me *cancelling* Drunk Elephant. They’ve been cancelled for a long time in my eyes but others who are not as involved in the beauty community on Instagram as I am should know the type of brand they’re buying from.Β 


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Milk Sunshine Skin Tint Review

The Milk Sunshine Skin Tint is a one-of-a-kind foundation – you can tell that from just looking at the packaging. But how well can this sheer foundation perform in the run up to summer? Is it worth the awkward packaging?


  • Preservative free – stays ‘fresh’ with antimicrobial silver
  • Hydrates skin with sheer, buildable coverage
  • SPF 30 protection


You have never seen anything like the packaging for this one before. It comes in a long thin tube that is a roller ball on one end and a clicker on the other. When you click at one end, the product comes out around the roller ball in a flower shape. It’s definitely a bit of a gimmick to apply the product this way, and I do find myself getting through quite a lot of product every time I apply it. I’ve read that for some people the pump has been faulty, leaving them unable to get into the product (this is VERY common feedback). Luckily for me that hasn’t been the case but just something to consider. I’m sure this could easily be put into a glass container with a pump or a container that you can shake and pour the product out and it would be less gimmicky and probably lower the price for the consumer as the component wouldn’t be custom. I don’t have any complaints about the packaging (because luckily it does work for me) but it seems like quite a round about way of applying the product.

The claims that the antimicrobial silver in the roller ball keeps things ‘fresh’ seems to be quite a claim with not much to back it up. In my mind, it refers to the fact that although this touches your face multiple times that it doesn’t harbour bacteria, rather than preserving the formula for a longer time because of it (as I have no idea how that would work if the product only touches the silver when it’s being dispensed). Surely a pump would also make sure that the product stays fresh?

Milk Sunshine Skin Tint applicator


The coverage of this is sheer to buildable. For such a light coverage product, it’s not as thin as you would expect. It isn’t runny at all and is almost like a gel? I find that I end up applying quite a bit of product to get the coverage to where I want it to be. I’ve used both a beauty sponge and a foundation brush to apply and they give a similar coverage, but the beauty sponge blends thing in much nicer. You could definitely use your fingers to blend this in, but I personally hate using my hands to apply my makeup. It blends in very well and leaves the skin looking dewy and fresh. It does a pretty good job at covering redness, though you would have to apply concealer for redness to disappear completely (though that is to be expected). This is probably one of those foundations that would work well for those who have pretty good skin already – if I still had my cystic acne, I certainly wouldn’t be reaching for this. One thing I have noticed is that the formula doesn’t really dry down on its own. It tends to stay wet throughout the day if you don’t powder it, so if you touch your face some will come off on your fingers or if the wind blows your hair on your face, it will likely get a bit stuck to your face. I personally don’t tend to powder because it can make my skin looks drier (and other foundations I use dry down), but I would powder this one a bit to get rid of that tacky feeling.

I use the shade fair which is said to have cool undertones, though this comes out as quite yellow. As someone who is very fair and has naturally quite pinkish skin, I much prefer warmer undertones to help balance out my complexion. So although it is advertised as having cool undertones, it doesn’t really. Fair is nice and pale and if applied sparingly would be pretty undetectable on my skin, though if I build the coverage a bit, the colour does start to go a bit orange and noticeable.

I’d just like to point out that this foundation only comes in 7 shades (fair, light, sand, medium, honey, medium tan, deep). As the names might suggest, this doesn’t cater in any meaningful way for those with deeper skin tones. While there is often the argument that ‘sheer foundations/skin tints don’t need a massive shade range’, one shade for POC isn’t okay in my book.

This does claim to have SPF in it, but you should not be relying on a skin tint or a foundation to get your SPF. ALWAYS apply a separate sunscreen (SPF in moisturiser again isn’t enough) to get your sun protection. Any extra in moisturiser or makeup is an added bonus but shouldn’t be the only protection you’re wearing. To get the full protection that is advertised (SPF 30), you would have to apply far more than is natural or normal to wear.


In terms of durability, I’ve been very impressed. There’s often an assumption that light coverage foundations won’t last a very long time and that you need a heavier foundation for it to be long-wearing. This has lasted 8+ hours and survived long walks in the sun. While I may not be commuting anymore and can’t put things to the commuter test anymore, I was surprised to see that there was no breakdown on my T zone, between my nose and mouth and on my chin. Bear in mind that it lasted well despite not powdering.


I think the Sunshine Skin Tint would work well for dry skin as it is a dewy finish and doesn’t really set down (without powder). I have patch of eczema around my mouth at the moment and it does look a little flaky by the end of the day, but that’s more of a skincare issue rather than one with the foundation. It doesn’t cling to any other pieces of skin or dry my skin out. I’m not sure how well this would work for oily skin types – maybe if you were to powder it down and use the right primer you could prolong the wear time, but ultimately I don’t think this dewy foundation was built to survive oil breakdown.

At the time of testing, my skin was very sensitive and would react badly by breaking out in to spots when trying new products. I’m glad to say this did not happen with this!


For anyone with normal or dry skin looking for a light coverage, long-wearing skin tint/foundation, then this is your gal for absolute sure. I’d love if Milk would reconsider the packaging because I think it would encourage more people to try it out – ultimately most reviews that give a poor rating is because of the packaging rather than the product itself.Β 

Annoyingly, this isn’t available in the UK at the moment and I’m not too sure why really. It might be the SPF issue, but it states on the Milk website that the Canadian version just doesn’t include the SPF. A friend got this for me from the US, which will make it quite a difficult one to repurchase, so I’m using it quite sparingly!

If you’re interested in reading more Milk reviews, you can find the Matte Bronzer and Lip and Cheek Tint review here and the Hydro Grip Primer review here.

For all other Milk products, you can find them at Cult Beauty here in the UK.

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Medik8 Crystal Retinal 1 Review | Beginners Retinol

Vitamin A is considered the anti-ageing ingredient that everyone has heard of and everyone wants to incorporate into their routines. New products are coming to the market all the time promising incredible results, but as a beginner, it can be quite daunting and confusing to pick the right one for your skin. The Medik8 Crystal Retinal 1 is styled as the ‘beginners retinol’, so let’s see how this beginner got on with it!

I’m trying to avoid saying retinol during this article because although retinol is the most well-known name for this type of product, vitamin A is actually the most accurate label for the group. There’s retinol, retinaldehyde, retinyl palmitate, tretinoin and tazarotene – all are different strengths and some are easily available while others have to be prescribed. The Crystal Retinal is retinaldehyde, so it wouldn’t be quite right to label it as retinol, despite the fact that this has become an umbrella term for vitamin A.

The Brand

Medik8 is best known for their vitamin A products – and they’re known to be very good. They offer many different types and formulas of vitamin A, catering for young skin to more mature skin that needs a heavier hit. The benefits of vitamin A are well known – it increases collagen production and cell turnover, which in turn helps to reduce the appearance of sun spots, fine lines and wrinkles. It’s also been known to help reduce acne too.


Crystal Retinal 1 is known as the entry-level vitamin A in the Medik8 range. It’s billed as being super gentle and ideal for those with even the most sensitive skin, without compromising on performance. It’s perfect for those that are new to vitamin A and want to start exploring the benefits that vitamin A can offer, without the side effects that notoriously accompany retinol.


  • Visibly minimises fine lines and wrinkles
  • Firms and plumps to resurface skin texture and soften the face.
  • Hydrates to deliver supple, even-toned and youthful looking skin.
  • Reduces blemish-causing bacteria
  • Younger, smoother, more radiant skin in 4 weeks
  • Low-to-no irritation

My skin before starting

I am 25 years old and I wear suncream every day. I really don’t have a great deal of lines or wrinkles at all and obviously have quite young skin. I am at the age where I could start to consider using vitamin A but any younger wouldn’t really be necessary.

Since late last year, my skin had been very reactive and sensitive. I would get breakouts very easily, mainly around my mouth and chin, especially when using new products. I stripped my routine back to just cleanser, moisturiser and SPF for four months. In early April, I added a face oil in at night time but kept my routine very basic. I was comfortable that my skin had become less reactive and decided to add in a vitamin A to deal with a few fine lines that were starting to appear on my forehead. My skin type is dry and I had been dealing with some dry patches and discolouration on either side of my mouth.


After cleansing, I apply two and a half pumps on to my face and leave it for around 30 mins before applying moisturiser. There is maybe the slightest tingling when I first apply it but this goes away by the time it dries down. It isn’t a tingle as such, but it’s quite clear that I’ve put something of strength on my skin. It didn’t leave my skin feeling dry or parched before applying my moisturiser. It does have a slight scent that I can’t quite put my finger on but it is pleasant and dissipates quickly.

I started using this twice a week as recommended to get my skin used to it for the first two weeks. After that, I have used it three times a week for a total of a month and a half now. Every morning after using this (and every morning in general), be sure to apply suncream as this will make your skin more sensitive to the sun and more prone to damage if SPF isn’t worn.

It’s important to point out that when it comes to anti-ageing benefits, it takes a long time for these visible results to come to fruition. That’s absolutely fine by me and I won’t be commenting on any anti-ageing results as I can’t say I’ve noticed any, but the other results I have seen are certainly worth mentioning.

Since using it

A common problem with vitamin A is that it causes some trouble for your skin, whether that be purging (lots of spots) or flakiness. However, Crystal Retinal promises to skip the irritation phase and go straight to the results. I didn’t really experience any purging or flakiness, which for me was an enormous plus! It’s these two side effects that can often put people off of using a vitamin A altogether, so if you’ve suffered particularly with either side effect before, this formula is definitely one to consider.

After a month and a half of use, the most unexpected result for me was that it has kept my spots at bay.Β After the first application, I did notice that an existing spot that had been dwindling came back to life. It was joined by another new spot close by and a very small spot on my chin and forehead. The forehead spot disappeared within a day and the one on my chin within two. The spot that I had before starting decreased in size pretty quickly and it’s new friend came to a very small head before disappearing into a puff of smoke. I would say that within a week, all spots (new and old) were gone. I could feel the pre-existing one under the skin for a little while afterwards but even that has disappeared now. The turnover was way faster than ever before. I had been struggling for months to get rid of them all for good, with many lurking under the skin, so to have them all completely gone is a great result for me!

This is the most consistently clear my skin has been in 9 months. I have not had a single new spot since that initial flurry subsided. I had been struggling with a bit of pigmentation left over from a few of the bigger spots and they lightened up quite considerably too. My skin looks nice and plump, while also looking much more even-toned.

I’ve included some before and afters to show my results, see them below!

Before and After

Left side:

I had two reoccurring breakouts in the bottom corner of my face and a small spot in the crease of my mouth. After a month’s use, these spots (that had been near constantly coming and going for months) have finally gone for good. After a few initial spots when I first added this, I haven’t had a single new spot, nor an old one reappear.

Mouth and chin:


I had a few small spots on my chin which have now cleared up. The big dry patch on the side of my mouth didn’t get any worse or irritated, which I thought it would.

Right side:


This side of my face was already pretty good, but I believe that my skin has become more even toned. I had some dryness in the creases of my nose, which has since disappeared.

Full face:


These are both horrendous pictures, but looking purely at the skin, I am so pleased. My skin is more even, less spotty, less textured and weirdly less flakey.


This has been an absolute pleasure to use. I was quite nervous to use this at first because my skin was just coming to the end of being really reactive and I didn’t want to risk setting it off again. It honestly couldn’t have gone better adding this in! This was gentle enough for sensitive skin and didn’t have any negative effects on dry skin either. I think this is one of those products that actually does suit all skin types and I couldn’t recommend this more. The difference in texture, plumpness and spots all went above my expectations and made this so worth while. It might seem a bit odd to recommend an primarily anti-ageing product without testing its anti-ageing properties for 12+ weeks, but ultimately the other results I’ve seen have been so fantastic that I would continue to use this even if it didn’t have anti-ageing results too. I’ll obviously keep using it long term and I’ll definitely be repurchasing this once it runs out!

You can purchase Crystal Retinal 1 directly from the Medik8 website.

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The Inkey List Oat Cleansing Balm Review

The Inkey List’s Oat Cleansing Balm seems to have taken the beauty world by storm. It’s all over Instagram and has quickly become a fave of the skinfluencers. It sold out everywhere when it first launched, so what is so special about this cleanser?

The Inkey List Oat Cleansing Balm

The brand

The Inkey List are one of the brands that are cutting through all the beauty jargon to bring straight forward, easy to understand, affordable skincare. Personally I think they’re comparable to The Ordinary (in terms of price and single ingredient products) but are easier to understand. Their products often feature some of the most sought after and on trend ingredients of the moment. Their recent releases have been increasingly innovative and they’re an influencer favourite.

The Oat Cleansing Balm is 150ml for Β£9.99, which is actually loads of product for a really affordable price. With it being in a tube rather than a tub, it’s a lot more hygienic than dipping your fingers in to a jar. The ingredients list for this is pretty clean – there are no irritants included and it has no added fragrance, nor does it have any sort of scent. The inclusion of 3% oat kernel oil helps to keep skin moisturised; smooth and blackhead free, while 1% oat powder reduces redness and irritation. It sounds like a sensitive skin dream right?

My skin

When I started using this product, my skin was pretty sensitive and reactive to new products. I would get small breakouts on the lower part of my face within a day of using a new product that my skin didn’t agree with (and it didn’t agree with most things). I was interested to see whether this would irritate my skin or break me out.


It’s a little hard to squeeze this out of the tube at first, but once it does come out, a little goes a very long way. You need to dampen the skin before applying the product to avoid a more abrasive application! I was daft enough not to read the instructions the first time I used it and applied it to dry skin – as a result it was quite rough (though my skin did feel nice and soft afterwards). Be sure to read the instructions!

The balm melts away pretty quickly into a thick oil and quickly gets to work on breaking down the day’s makeup with relatively little effort. The instructions advise to avoid the eye area but I found this was gentle enough to use there with no irritation afterwards. When it came to removing mascara, I was amazed by what a good job it did! Many other makeup removers tend to sting or hurt your eyes but this one was absolutely fine – you could apply it and open your eyes with absolutely no problems. Sometimes I felt like this left a slight film on the skin and other times it didn’t. Most importantly for me, it didn’t cause any form of irritation. This is one of the only products I’ve added in to my skincare routine that hasn’t caused any form of adverse reaction in months, so I’m impressed.

What’s so special about it?

  • Very gentle
  • FAST and effective
  • Free from irritating ingredients
  • Very affordable


This is a great cleanser for dry or sensitive skin. If you follow the instructions, it is gentle enough for even the most sensitive to use. It’s an excellent product for anyone who is new to the double cleanse or even the most seasoned beauty veterans who are tired of being blinded every time they remove their eye makeup. I dare say that in terms of performance, this trumps high end products. It is really effective at removing stubborn makeup with little effort; removed eye makeup with absolutely no irritation and didn’t leave a thick film on the skin. Unlike other balms, you don’t need as much product to break down the day’s makeup, so the tube (which is way bigger than you would think!) will last you absolutely ages! There has been quite a gap in the market for an affordable cleansing balm and it has now been filled.

Want to try?

You can find the Inkey List in the UK at Boots, Cult Beauty, ASOS, Feel Unique, Selfridges and Look Fantastic.


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Fenty Beauty Butta Biscuit Cream Bronzer Review – Is it pale girl approved?

If you’re a pale girl like me, finding a shade of bronzer to give you a sunkissed glow without looking muddy can be tough. Add in the hit-and-miss nature of cream products, it can make bronzing far more stressful than it needs to be. Will the new Fenty Cream Bronzers be the answer to all our prayers?

Fenty Beauty recently released their Cheeks Out Freestyle Cream Bronzers in 7 shades that go from very pale to very deep. This new range compliments their existing powder bronzers and is their first time delving into cream products. Let me start by saying that me and cream products have a difficult relationship. Sometimes we’re best mates and sometimes we don’t talk for a few days. I’m interested to see whether I’ll be able to get the results I want with the cream formula, while also finding the perfect shade match. As a quick reference on how the shade is for my skin tone, I’m an NC15.

Fenty Butta Biscuit Cream Bronzer
Fenty Butta Biscuit Cream Bronzer


Fenty’s Cheeks Out Freestyle Cream Bronzers (what a mouthful) come with some pretty hefty claims:

  • Easy to blend
  • Impossible to overdo
  • Sweat and water resistant
  • Doesn’t disturb makeup
  • Not sticky or greasy

Keep reading to find out whether it can live up to these claims!


I watched two videos on the Fenty Beauty Youtube and Instagram pages before applying this and the Fenty makeup artists seemed to use brushes, so I did the same. I used a flat topped synthetic brush and tapped a few times in the pan before starting on my temples. I stippled it on to start with to deposit the colour where I wanted it before doing slightly more sweeping motions to blend it in. It goes on very easily and isn’t too pigmented when first applied. It’s really easy to blend without completely blending away the colour like some other cream bronzers I’ve tried. I can sometimes feel quite nervous when it comes to blending, but it was totally stress-free. When I worked my way down to my cheeks, I was amazed how chiseled and sculpted my face looked with such minimal effort. I did go back in to add a touch more where I felt like I needed it and it built up very well with no signs of muddiness. I had a beautiful glow as if I was a beach babe andΒ  I hadn’t even left the house! The formula is perfect – your brush will pick up enough product to give you some definition and a great colour, without making your face feel wet and sticky for hours afterwards. Gone are the days where your hair gets stuck on your wet cheeks – you’re good to go straight away with this one! Most importantly, it didn’t disturb my makeup in the slightest! I hadn’t really expected this to because it’s in a compact rather than a stick, but I’m glad nonetheless. You could definitely use your fingers to apply this, but personally I’m not a fan of applying it this way.

One thing I will say for this is that it would be a perfect introduction to cream products for any beginners to creams or to makeup in general. Often creams can be very difficult to apply or blend when you aren’t used to them and I honestly don’t find every product to be as easy or intuitive as this one. This has honestly been a total game changer for me!

Fenty Butta Biscuit Bronzer and Cool Berry Blush Swatches
Fenty Butta Biscuit Bronzer and Cool Berry Blush Swatches (above swatch; below blended)

The colour

I chose the shade Butta Biscuit because Amber looked SO cool toned (it is actually one of their Match Stix shades but resurrected as a cream). I didn’t want a contour shade, so went for Butta Biscuit which is much warmer, but a touch darker. Depending on how heavy handed you are and how much you want to build it up, this shade will suit many different skin tones. For pale skin, this is a great shade. It has enough warmth without looking orange and really does give a sunkissed look. I consider myself to be very pale and I was able to go in twice without looking muddy or overdone. Anyone with lighter skin than me could use a lighter hand and still achieve a beautiful look.Β 

As you can see, the colour looks pretty natural but definitely noticeable. In real life, it did look more noticeable than on camera (as is often the way with makeup) but I’m not mad about it at all.Β 


One of the main claims is that this bronzer is sweat and water resistance. While I can’t say I went for a run with this bronzer on, I did splash my face with water (and drench myself in the process) and can confirm that it does seem to be water resistant. Is that to say that it will last through pool parties, I can’t be sure – you’ll just have to try that one for yourself. I didn’t notice this migrating or fading as the day went on like some powder products do. The fact that this is a non-sticky formula would suggest that it will last longer as there is less slip and sliding around.Β 


How is it different to other cream products I’ve tried?

  • No wet feeling/stickiness!
  • Not too pigmented off the bat
  • Beautifully buildable
  • Easy to blend (not a chore)

Is it pale girl friendly?

100% yes. I was a bit doubtful when I first opened the compact, but it blended out so well that I will give this the pale gal approval. It is so buildable that you can customise your level of bronze. Did we expect anything else from Rihanna? Every launch she has, she absolutely smashes the shade range and makes sure there is an option for everyone. Honestly I couldn’t be more impressed and I’m actually so excited to apply this again.



If you’re a cream lover, you will ADORE the Fenty Beauty Cream Bronzers. If you’re a cream hater, you will ADORE the Fenty Beauty Cream Bronzers. They’re so user friendly, they are FOOL PROOF. As a newbie to cream products, I think I’m pretty qualified to say that if me, a powder gal, can get along with this no problem then you’ll love it. The formula, the shade, the application – all A+ from me. I really like the Milk Bronzer but this is definitely superior in terms of how easy it is to apply and the overall finished look. Having the product in a compact versus a stick makes it much easier to apply the right amount and alleviates the pressure to blend harsh lines away. I’m actually really excited to use this again – Butta Biscuit, you’re the best.


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How to fix your skin when it’s freaking out

In the last 6 months, my skin has been all over the place. Luckily I’m coming out the other side now, but I’ve picked up a few tips to help anyone else who is on a rollercoaster with their skin. If you’re here for a quick fix, then sorry, but you’re not going to find that here… or anywhere. Your skin doesn’t work like that. But if you are looking for some changes that you can make to your routine that should benefit your skin, then keep reading!

I should mention that, though it was never looked at by a dermatologist, I suspect I had a damaged skin barrier. I think it came from using a few strong chemical exfoliants and then made worse by the fact that I didn’t realise what was happening and tried to carry on as if everything was fine testing out new products. I had dry areas of skin that felt tight and breakouts on the lower half of my face (chin, around my mouth, jaw) that couldn’t often be seen, but then a few would get really big and come to a head (and not disappear for weeks).

The below worked for *ME*. This advice is mainly focused towards others who have a damaged/compromised skin barrier. I can’t guarantee that it will work for you, but I do feel that there are some key pieces of advice that *should* be a pretty universal take away from all this.

Strip back your routine

We spoke a little while back about the Skincare Diet (all the info in the link), but in short, it’s about realising sometimes long routines can do more harm than good. When it comes to finding what is irritating your skin, obviously the longer the routine, the more chance there is for irritation. When your skin is in freak out mode, it’s recommended to strip your routine right back to cleanser, moisturiser and SPF (for day time) – AKA the essentials. Not what you consider essential, but the actual essentials of keeping your skin clean, moisturised and protected. This might be a bit of a painful thought for you skincare addicts out there (as it was for me at the start), but your skin needs to focus on repairing.

Be gentle

Please, for the love of all that is good, don’t go in hard thinking babyfacial will fix your damaged skin. Likely story is that it won’t. Do not start hammering your skin with physical or chemical exfoliators, hold the retinol and leave the vitamin C for a little while. If your skin barrier is compromised, the last thing it needs is you doing even more harm under the illusion you’re doing some good.

Cut out irritants

Ingredients that previously never affected your skin may be causing some irritation. The key (possibly) irritating ingredients to cut out are essential oils, artificial fragrance (as well as Linalool and Limonene) and bad alcohols. If you’re ever in doubt about the ingredients of a product you’re using, I’d suggest heading to the incidecoder website – it’s really clear about which ingredients are possible irritants as marked by a yellow exclamation mark. If you have cut out all the typical ingredients and you’re still seeing some irritation, then it’s time to look at other ingredients that you could have an issue with. For me, I found that products containing niacinamide were also irritating my skin, so I had to cut anything out that contains that too.

Load up on good ingredients

When you skin is looking to repair, more simple ingredients decks seem to be the way forward (without the aforementioned irritants). However, it’s important to add in some saviour ingredients that will help to calm and heal irritated or damaged skin. The big one to add in is ceramides. They help to reinforce your skin’s moisture barrier (a damaged moisture barrier is a common cause of irritation) and increase hydration. Other good ingredients are Aloe, Niacinamide (if you’re a normal person), Centella Asiatica and Green Tea to just name a few.

Most importantly, give it time

Time really is the best healer. While we may want quick results, it’s just not always possible. The epidermis (the top layer of the skin) takes 12 weeks to repair itself, so cutting down your routine for a week and then adding it all back in so quickly will not help you out. Give yourself time to heal. You might not have the brightest, glowiest skin during this time but your skin will be on the mend. The aim of the game is to reduce irritation, in what ever form it is for you.

Don’t go back to your old ways too fast

When things start to go back to normal and your skin stops being so reactive/sensitive/dry, please don’t add all your products back in immediately. Tread carefully and add things back in slowly, just as you would do when you’re trying new products. Add a new product and wait for 3 or 4 days to see how your skin reacts. If you have no reaction, then you would be okay to add more in. But think about what your skin actually needs, rather than just adding in heaps of products because they’re trendy or because you used them before your skin freakout. If you’ve survived this long on a basic routine, you can go a bit longer without your 10 step routine. Ease yourself back in with gentler acids and use them more infrequently than you would have done before. Add things in very cautiously and up things very slowly. We don’t want to undo all our good work!

It took my skin 3 months to stop breaking out at the tiniest change to my routine. I’m feeling hopeful that my skin is on the mend, but I’m not going to risk it and overload it with new products! I’m going to still try and avoid the bulk of irritants for the near future if possible just to play it safe. Let me know how you get on!


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Routine, Pilates and Disney+ – Things to do during lockdown

With a lot more of us spending time at home, we’re going to need some ways to pass the time! Here are just a few suggestions on ways to de-stress, protect your mental health and pass the time:

1. Set yourself a routine

A lot of people will struggle with the absence of structure so one of the most important things you can do is set yourself a regular routine. This will bring some sense of normality to your day. Whether that be waking up a little earlier than you would at the weekend, having a shower, doing some light exercise, before reading/doing some art/working on a project, try and put something in place. It will allow you to have a productive day while still appreciating the additional time on your hands. You don’t need to plan it down to the last second, keep some flexibility in there but have a rough idea of what you’d like to accomplish each day.

2. Try out that product in your collection you’ve always been meaning to try

We all have that 1 product (or a few of them) that we purchase and then never really get round to using. Maybe it’s a brighter palette than you’d usually wear everyday, maybe you’d need to master a new technique to make the most of it. Well, there’s no time like the present! You have the perfect opportunity to have a fantastic play with makeup and it not matter who sees it. Of course if it goes right, feel free to take loads of selfies, but if it goes wrong, it’s totally fine too, no one will know! πŸ™‚

3. Try some yoga or pilates

Taking some time out of your day to stretch and get moving in a gentle way can be really positive for your physical as well as mental health. I personally practice pilates for back health and have found some favourites for stress release that I recommend trying*:

  • Lay on your back with your legs on the floor. Lift your arms straight above your head slowly with your hands together, then slowly separate your hands and draw a big circle until your hands meet again over your tummy. Repeat this a few times. You should feel a nice stretch once your begin to separate your hands across the top of your back/shoulders.
  • Lay on your back. Bring both your knees into your chest. Stay here for a few deep breaths, as many as you’d like.
  • Lay on your back with your knees bent and your feet on the floor. Put your arms out to one side. Slowly move your knees over to the right side of your body, keeping your left foot stacked on top of your right foot. Turn your head to the left. Take a breath and return to the middle. Repeat for the other side.
  • Child’s pose – come on to all fours. Sit back onto your heels, keeping your hands on the floor. Lower your chest and extend your arms. Relax your shoulders and take some deep breaths. article-migration-image-1920x1080_Childspose-768x432
* I am NOT an expert in the slightest. Please do not do any of the above if it causes you any pain. The idea is to take some nice deep breaths and feel a nice stretch.

4. Binge watch some old (or new!) favourites

Whether Netflix is your thing or you have a pile of box sets, consider revisiting some old favourites. Some programs that I absolutely loved (on and off Netflix) are Desperate Housewives, Gossip Girl, 90210, Umbrella Academy, Love is Blind, Love Island, Ru Paul’s Drag Race, Cheer, Queer Eye, To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, 60 Days In, Peaky Blinders, Derry Girls, Sex Education, Gavin and Stacey, Gilmore Girls, Cheapest Weddings. You will find the majority of these on Netflix (Desperate Housewives and 90210 being the exceptions) and *most* are light hearted and funny.

5. Read that book you’ve been meaning to read for a year

Again, everyone has one. Time so often escapes us when it comes to reading regularly. Maybe not for everyone, but it does for me at least. If you’re looking for some great books, I thoroughly recommend the Crazy Rich Asian series, you will NOT put it down! I also love the Dan Brown books and the Khaled Hosseini books (though those are pretty heavy). I’ve been meaning to read the Michelle Obama autobiography since Christmas 2018, so who knows maybe I’ll finally get round to reading it!

6. Spring clean your house

It’s basically spring time now anyway and being in the same surrounding everyday really makes you notice every little thing that is out of place (is it just me?) Consider sorting your wardrobe, dusting high and low, pulling out the sofa. I mean maybe you’re a Hincher and you do this already, but I’ll be having a sort through (if you don’t know what that is, look up who Mrs Hinch is).

7. Get artistic!

This will come in different forms for everyone. For me, it’s photography so I’ll be trying to get the best texture shots I can! But if you’re a painter, a drawer, a doodler, a musician, a cook – make the most of this additional time. Whether it be to work on a piece you’ve been long putting off, practising a new technique you’ve been longing to do for a while but have lacked the time or just playing around!

8. Go for a walk and appreciate nature

If you’re able to get out of the house, take a stroll and just take some time to breathe in some fresh air, feel the sun (if you’re lucky) on your skin and look at the plants starting to come back to life. Whenever I feel down I always like to look at nature and just feel so much lighter for it. The blossom is starting to come out, little flowers are starting to pop up and buds are starting to appear on branches. Going for walks/runs is absolutely fine and encouraged (at least by the UK government), just be sure to keep your distance from others.

9. Stay in touch with friends and family

Everyone is in the same boat, so stay in touch with everyone! Just because you are at home and (potentially) isolating, doesn’t mean you should be isolated! Text your family and friends more often – personally my group chats have been going off for once because everyone is at home! Up the number of calls/facetimes to people, I’m sure they’d be more than happy to see your little face pop up! Check in with each other regularly and try not to talk about the current situation all the time.

10. Disney+

Need I say more? Disney+ launches in the UK on the 24th March here in the UK and it could not come soon enough. Is anyone else super excited!? I cannot wait to binge watch all my favourite Disney films and all the ones I’ve never seen before. I’m actually buzzing particularly to see Recess: School’s Out – did anyone else love it as a kid!?

11. Keep up your usual self care routine (and consider upping it)

If your routine is to mask once a week, maybe consider upping it to twice a week! With all this extra time on our hands, we can take so much more time to take care of ourselves. All of the points above could easily come under self care, but specifically take time out to mask, to do your skincare or to take a bath. Specifically spend time on YOU.

12. Play the Sims

YES I SAID IT! For any Sims lover, now is the time to revisit the game of our childhood! This is definitely one I am planning on doing this weekend! I was even sat listening to the music from the Sims 2 today hehe.

13. Create a playlist of happy music

There are a few good ones going around, but compile all the songs that make you feel good and have good memories attached to them. Play it whenever you need a bit of a boost. Faves for me include Good as Hell by Lizzo, Downtown by Macklemore, That Don’t Impress Me Much by Shania Twain and Foundations by Kate Nash (Yes it is quite the mix).

OR if you feel you want to just do nothing, do whatever you feel you need to do.

If you feel that things are starting to take a toll on your mental health, unplug. Turn off the news, delete social media apps that are causing anxiety and try to keep your mind busy. If you feel your thoughts starting to spiral, one good tip that has always worked for me is focus on your senses. Think of 5 things you can see, 4 things you can hear, 3 things you can feel, 2 things you can smell and 1 thing you can taste. By the time you are onto the things you can hear, your thoughts will have melted away.

This list is by no means definitive and they are just some ideas to get you started. If you have any other ideas that work for you, please leave them in the comments below.

Stay safe and take care of yourselves!


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