Wednesday, 26 August 2015

A little update

(Not my photo, just a beautiful drawing I found!) 

I'm finding it so hard to blog at the moment, I'm about to start my first teaching job so everything's quite full on leaving me very little time to blog and spend time on make up and outfits. My laptop has also broken which is an absolute nightmare, meaning I have to write posts on my phone, too! 

Bear with me guys, hopefully I'll get s routine sorted soon! 

cottonandcandie x

Monday, 24 August 2015

The blogger made me buy it #3 My summer base

I hate that it feels like Summer is nearly over. We have one boiling hot day and then we get punished by six rotten ones.

For the warmer weather I let my skin breathe a bit more. For a lighter base I use Body shop's all in one bb cream. 

I'll be honest this is my first bb cream I've used, I thought it was the same concept as a tinted moisturiser. But it's actually entirely different. 

The body shop's all in one bb cream is of thin white consistency which changes colour when coming into contact with your skin. It has tiny little almost gritty bits within the product which are called pigment filled capsules. These little beauties burst when applied to the skin releasing the colour which adapts to your skin tone providing a light to medium cover with an even finish. 

It gives that lush summer glow without being orangey, is freckle friendly and doesn't clog pores which I've really noticed and is something that I'm really impressed with! 

Have you tried a bb cream? Will you be trying this one? 

cottonandcandie x

Saturday, 22 August 2015

The Victoria and Albert museum

This weekend marks my last weekend living in London so I decided to make sure I paid a visit to all of the places in London that I hadn't yet, one of these being the V and A. 

The V and A is the world's leading museum of art and design, it holds a range of collections of historic European art in the forms of furniture, jewellery, ceramics, architecture, sculptures and my favourite: fashion. 

Here are some of my favourite pieces. 

One of my favourites above, tiny little dandelion heads. 

A glass representation of the human body. 

Learning how to tie a Gordian knot cravat. 

Trying on a hoop and petticoat. 

Have you been to the V and A before? Which piece is your favourite? 

cottonandcandie x

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Is no-poo for you? Conditioner only washing

Last week I did a whole week of using no shampoo when washing my hair. There are hundreds of people currently doing the same thing, it's called the "no-poo" method. 

Shampoo can contain a lot of ingredients which can strip your hair of the natural oils it needs to stay healthy; taking all of this out of your hair can leave it lifeless, brittle and dry - all of the things which I think my hair is! This is mainly down to the ingredient sodium lauryl sulphate which is in almost all shampoos (believe me I checked all of the shampoos in my local supermarket and all had SLS in them!) 

Because it can be so difficult to find a shampoo without this ingredient in a lot of people go cold turkey with no shampoo whatsoever. Some people find this way too scary to comprehend so they use apple cider vinegar or baking soda as a substitute for shampoo instead to ensure you don't get a build up of oils. I tried the no shampoo at all method which I must admit took a lot of strength, if you're going to do this then make sure during the transition period of around a week that you can be prepared to have your hair up for a good week. For around a week your hair may feel and possibly look a little greasy while your hair adapts to no shampoo. 

For me, my hair feels more nourished, it has a lot more body and feels altogether in a better condition. I'm not sure I'm definitely a changed woman in terms of just conditioner washing (co-washing) but I'll definitely be doing this as a hair pick me up for when my hair feels dry and needs more tender loving care. 

Have you heard of co washing or the no-poo theory? Will you be giving it a go? 

cottonandcandie x

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Nighttime skincare

You see so many "get ready with me" videos and posts but nowhere near as many detailing just how that person prepares their face ready for the next day. 

As I get older I'm growing more and more fond of skincare and am starting to pay attention to what my skin is telling me. I love reading what others are using on their face and feel that it's one of the few beauty products that you can't really "go wrong" with. Whereas you could buy the latest eyeshadow palette and never get the same results as those top MUAs, sigh. 

To take off my make up I use Nivea's refreshing cleansing lotion; I use this as it can be used to get the majority of eye makeup off as well as generally cleansing my face. I use cotton pads which have one side for creams and lotions and one side for liquids such as nail polish remover and toner. (The quilted side is for creams, the one in the photos) I make sure I use one side for face and the other for eyes. 

To make sure my face is squeaky clean I dampen my face with warm water to open pores and then apply Benefit's foamingly clean straight onto my face, full review here. This can be used to make sure there's no traces of eye makeup left but gosh does it sting. I leave this on whilst I'm brushing my teeth and then rinse off with cold water to close pores. 

After gently dabbing my face dry with a towel I use the liquid side of a cotton pad to apply Superdrug's own refreshing toner to my face, ensuring I try to get the last bits of eye makeup off. This is actually my first toner, my Mum gave me this as she had it in a set and wasn't using it, I'm after a Lush one next! Toning is so important to make sure that your pores are all closed back up again so you don't clog them up with creams etc. 

Next is my favourite part. I use around 3-5 pipettes drops of Botanic's smoothing facial oil, applying in circular motions with my fingertips and focussing on drier areas. The smell of this is just beautiful. It reminds me a little bit of baking as I think it smells slightly of marzipan. I was recommended a facial oil after I had a facial at Center parcs as I have combination skin that needs balancing out. I've found this leaves my skin so moisturised and supple. This range from Botanics boasts anti-ageing properties which I'm not sure if I've seen, then again I don't scrutinise my face that much. 

After oiling myself up, pardon the pun, I use quite a gentle eye cream, this one is by Dirtyworks which you can get at Sainsburys, this plumps the undereye area and says it reduces dark circles. I'm looking for a tightening/firming one once I've finished this. 

Finally I apply a night cream also by Botanics which is in the same purple orchid triple age renewal range which claims to reduce wrinkles in four weeks. I'm on my third week now and will be comparing before and after pictures soon! This isn't too thick in my opinion as I find that some night creams feel like you're layering Vaseline into your face which surely can't be good for your pores?! 

Do you have this many steps in your nighttime skincare routine? Have you tried the Botanics range yet, for full range click here.

cottonandcandie x

Friday, 14 August 2015

A mid year resolution

I can't even remember what my New Years resolution was but I clearly didn't keep it. Doesn't January seem like ages away? So many things have changed since then that I don't even think that my resolution would be relevant! 

Recently I've been feeling really bad whenever I have anything slightly unhealthy. I go through phases of doing loads of exercise and then phases where I'm eating everything in sight.

When I was at uni it was difficult to eat really healthily as oh my gosh it is just so expensive! But I was also going to the gym near enough every day as it cost me  just £100 for a year which works out about £7 a month so it worked fairly well. 

Now I'm living back at home I don't really have a say in the sort of food we eat as a family so exercise it is. 

My mid year resolution is to make the effort to wake up half an hour earlier each day and do any sort of exercise I feel like. So if it's raining I won't go for a run, I'll do yoga instead or an intense dance themed workout on YouTube. 

That way I'll feel a lot more awake, better in myself and will be able to not feel guilty about eating the odd cookie (or three!) 

Have you kept your 2015 New Years resolution? What do you think about doing a half year resolution? 

cottonandcandie x

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Oatifix fresh face mask by Lush

I've been feeling rougher than rough recently, literally waking up to eat and then going back to bed again. For a little pick me up I decided to try out my newest Lush product and my very first fresh face mask. 

Oatifix is a real multi-tasker, it cleanses with kaolin, gently polishes and exfoliates with almonds, softens with bananas and oatmeal and nourishes and reduces redness with illipe butter. 

Consistency-wise, it is very thick and quite dry, but once in your hands the illipe butter melts giving it quite an oily texture which is a lot easier to smooth onto a previously cleansed and dried face. 

Once on it literally looks disgusting haha, but other than that gives a real warming feel for me, will be lovely during the winter! I personally really dislike the smell, bananas and oatmeal really isn't the one for me! But I've heard lots of people say they think it's good enough to eat! 

After a maximum of 15 minutes it's time to endure washing off paste from your face. This along with the smell for me was the only negative points I've had, it really took a lot of elbow grease to get the last of the oily residue off of my face. 

Once off I noticed an immediate difference which I was so impressed with.  My skin looked so clear, glowy, redness (something that is the bane of my life) was definitely reduced if not gone altogether. I literally cannot stop touching my face it is so smooth and soft! 

What's your favourite Lush face mask? Have you tried Oatifix? 

cottonandcandie x

Sunday, 9 August 2015

Tips to avoid graduation nightmares

I was going to do this as like an OOTD post but that would literally be blogging about a dress you can't get anymore and two accessories so instead I'm writing about general tips for graduation. 

1 - Wear a dress that suits your hood.
My hood was red, blue and yellow; Roehampton colours, so I chose a red dress so I knew I would definitely match. Obviously your standard white and black will go with whatever your hood colour but black tended to blend in with the actual robe. 

2. Remember (or rather, forget) your hair
You will be wearing a mortarboard for almost the entire time (my uni didn't allow us to wear the mortarboard when actually graduating, weird) so doing a beautiful updo would be lost under that big old hat. 

3. Bring kirby grips
Another mortarboard related one: bring black bobby pins to keep your hat in place. 

4. Leave the stilts at home
My mum thankfully convinced me to wear a smaller heel than my usual 5inches+ and I am so relieved that I did. Not only did I last all day in them but I was able to confidently strut along that red carpet rather than tottering like an ostrich praying not to fall. 

5. Short dresses
Are a no. Think of all the people that will see you on that day, all of your family and fellow uni students that really would rather not watch you struggle shifting your dress down. They'll also be safe in the lack of knowledge of your underwear colour. 

6. Photos
Take hundreds. You'll never know if someone's blinked until your back at home in your pyjamas and will never be able to take that picture again. 

7. The mortarboard throw
When throwing your mortarboard try not to catch it on the way down otherwise you'll pull a concentration face (or celebration face, as above) that will be with you forever as photographic evidence. Don't worry about letting it fall, I'm pretty sure they can't break (I hope). 

Have you graduated yet? Which one of these tips do you think is most important? 

cottonandcandie x

Friday, 7 August 2015

My very first spa: Aqua Sana Spa, Center Parcs

Last month I went to the exquisite Aqua Sana spa at Center Parcs Elvedon forest. Having never been to Center Parcs before I was a little unsure of what their spa would be like, considering their main activities include bike riding and outdoorsy stuff I thought their main audience was families rather than ladies (and gents) that just needed to chilllll. 

For our Spa day myself, my sister and my mum had full access to all fifteen rooms/experiences including the ice fountain, outdoor heated swimming pool among other steam rooms and baths as well as a meal and drink from the vitalĂ© cafĂ© and a facial and full body massage. You certainly get your money's worth! 

Each room had a little sign explaining what the room is called, the heat level, what to expect and how long to stay in there which is helpful for spa virgins like me! 

I also got the chance to go to an Elemis seminar where they talk to you about their products as well as giving you trials of everything you can buy to do an at home facial. It was really interesting and intimate as there was only four of us there which was really nice. 

The full body massage was absolutely amazing, luckily she didn't spend long on my legs which I forgot to shave that morning (whoops!) and I made sure I went into each and every room. My favourite was the Japanese blossom room, not too hot and the smell was beautiful. 

Have you been to a Center Parcs spa before? What was your favourite part? 

cottonandcandie x

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Baby blues

Blue is a colour I don't really go for with eyeshadow. I tend to associate it with being a young teenager not knowing much about make up and slapping it on unevenly with your fingers. 

This eye look was created with Urban decay's Gonzo (electric palette) and Virgin from the Naked original palette. Rimmel exagerrate liquid eyeliner in black on top and bottom lid, going for a Cleopatra look. To finish off I used L'Oreals miss manga punky mascara, my favourite at the moment. 

The rest of my face I used all my usual face products: Bodyshop bb cream, Nars Bali eyeshadow for my brows and Topshop Glow highlighter. 

For blusher I used Mac's ripe peach Toledo to go with the Gonzo eyes. 

Have you got the same opinion of blue eyeshadow? 

cottonandcandie x 

Monday, 3 August 2015

Day and night wedding guest outfits

This weekend I went to my boyfriend's Dad's wedding. The wedding was spread over two days, the first day at the registry office and a posh meal and the second was more of a celebration sit down meal and party type occasion. So naturally, two days: two outfits. 

For the first day I wore a Topshop deep plum maxi dress with Kurt Geiger heels, matching gold bag and scarf (both unknown). I thought this was more of a formal dress out of the two outfits to wear for the ceremony, it's also a little more awkward to dance (and eat!) in as it's fairly long so you need to watch your heels. 

For the first day I did fairly natural make up with velvet teddy on my lips and "Future" from the Mermaids forever palette by Make up revolution. 

For the meal and party I wore something a little shorter to be able to dance in, it was quite hot in the hall so this New Look dress was definitely the better option for the evening. I used the same accessories as the first outfit mainly due to the teenie tiny space available in my bag but I think the gold goes well with plum and peach.

I love how summery this is, the colour and the fact that it's strappy and floaty works really well together. 

Velvet teddy again on the lips, this time with coral and orange toned shadow, full post on this to follow because I loved this make up. 

Which outfit would you wear?
cottonandcandie x