Skiing Skincare

So, in just under two weeks, I am heading off skiing for the first time ever! Whilst I have been worrying about ski gear, the long journey, and most importantly how to actually ski (as I have no idea!) it has also been on my mind that the harsh cold weather is going to have an effect on my skin and body. So I have done some research into brilliant super strength products and am going to list some below for you budding skiers out there! I am also going to include some of my recent favourite skin care products that I have been really enjoying!

Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish™ Hot Cloth Cleanser – £15

This cleanser has been YouTuber’s and social media influencer’s favourite for several years and a star product for the brand since it was founded in 1995. It is sold in multiple stores around the country, most easily found in Boots or John Lewis, including the respective websites. It has won over 100 awards and has been no. 1 skin cleanser, according to QVC beauty awards, for multiple years, including 2018. Containing ingredients such as cocoa butter, chamomile and eucalyptus extracts and beeswax, this cleanser leaves your skin feeling, smelling and looking gorgeous.

 

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I love this product. I had been meaning to try it out for years, but always thought it would be quite expensive! After looking at the modest price of £15, I thought it would be worth a go!   I am so pleased I tried it! It cleans my skin beautifully, not only after I have been wearing foundation or a lot of makeup, but also from all the everyday grime and dirt that it encounters from just living in a busy city! it moisturises your skin and leaves it feeling baby soft and smooth. I use it with the Liz Earle muslin cloth which delicately exfoliates and washes away the cleanser, taking with it the dirt and dead skin. I can’t wait to try this when I go skiing (not that the air in the isn’t the cleanest in the world!) but with the everyday freezing temperatures, my skin will need a little love, and the Cleanse and Polish™ is the best way to do it!

 

 

Liz Earle Skin Repair Moisturiser™ – £21

Following on from the previous product and sticking for the moment with Liz Earle, I have recently purchased their moisturiser and I LOVE it. It leaves my skin really soft and smooth, the same as the cleanser, and it smells heavenly!

 

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With extracts of Echinacea, a naturally smoothing and conditioning and avocado oils brilliant for nourishing the skin, this moisturiser leaves the skin suitably moisturised without an oily or sticky residue. It is available for normal/combination skin and dry/sensitive skin, and although my skin has been described as combination to normal, I chose the sensitive formula to battle the extreme cold temperatures in the snow. Although I’m not skiing yet, I have been using it over the past couple of weeks, and I have had multiple comments on how ‘glowy’ and healthy my skin looks! It really is great, and I would recommend, if you’re not certain to pop into a Boots and speak to the experts at the Liz Earle counter, as they can advise you on which product might be right for you.

 

 

Liz Earle Instant Boost™ Skin Tonic Spritzer – £15.50

Again! Back at it with Liz Earle! But seriously, this tonic spritzer is my favourite thing to have in my handbag at the moment. The best way I have found to use this is to apply my moisturiser and then whilst it is still soaking into my skin, I spray this four or five times over my face and it seals the moisturiser into my skin and forms a protective layer against harsh weather and air conditions!

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In the snow this will be perfect and I have found my skin to be bouncier and plumper when I use these two in combination! It has a similarly dreamy scent to it, and when spritzing this, don’t hold back! The more you apply, the better! I haven’t tried this over makeup yet, but I’m not sure that it has any makeup setting power within it, so it may not work as a replacement for your everyday setting spray!

Containing organic aloe vera, cucumber and chamomile, it really gives your skin the very best care!

 

 

Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Scrub – £9.95

Onto another one of my newer brands that I have recently begun to use; Nip + Fab! This brand is brilliant! I have also used their Glycolic Fix Night Pads Extreme, which you can find here. The Glycolic Fix range features many products with the main ingredient of glycolic acid, no surprise! Now, I have always been a bit wary of products containing any acids, so for example, hyaluronic acid, salicylic acid, lactic acid or glycolic acid. However, I have discovered these products are completely safe for use on your skin! The one thing I do note is to be careful around sensitive areas of your face, such as under and around the eyes, and to generally go quite gently with these products, as I just don’t like using too much of them. Another thing I have found is that the acid tends to clear my pores out so well that it strips them of excess oil, therefore meaning your skin produces more oil. So, around oilier areas of my skin I will only use these products lightly as I don’t want an overload of oil the next morning.

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That said, I really like using the Glycolic Fix Scrub. In a face scrub, I look for two things; a soft, finely ground exfoliant and a result that I can see and feel after one use, making my skin visibly clearer. This face scrub is both of these and clears my face of any dry or dead skin leaving behind a fresh, clean base for me to apply moisturiser. I exfoliate twice weekly and am desperately trying to stick to a continuous skincare routine, rather than sporadically applying products if and when I feel I need them. When skiing, this scrub will come with me and be part of my snow skincare routine, as I feel it will do an excellent job of removing dry skin from the cold weather.

Nip + Fab is widely available, I have found them in Waitrose, Superdrug, Boots and obviously online on their website nipandfab.com.

 

Patchology Restoring Night CloudMasque™ Sleeping Mask – £35

This moisturiser… what can I say? Although it’s called a mask, I use it as a nightly moisturiser, and it is amazing. The first time I used it, the morning after I could see instant results. My skin was more plump, bouncy, youthful and glowing with moisture. When using this, I usually complete my cleansing in the evening and then apply a thin layer, avoiding my oilier areas (I’ll explain why in a moment’s). Then I go to bed, go to sleep etc. and wake up the next morning with beautifully moisturised skin. Now, in the morning I like to wash my face by just splashing some water after using this, as this mask can leave an oily ‘moisture’ residue on the skin. Of course, this would make sense with this being a mask, as it is designed to be washed off I would imagine, although I’m sure I read somewhere it can be left the next morning throughout the next day. Overall though, this mask is brilliant.

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Its active ingredients include Hyaluronic acid, Retinol and Peptide complexes, which combined work towards hydrating your skin, restoring your skin cells and reducing fine lines and wrinkles (if that’s an issue you are particularly conscious of). With a peaceful and dreamy scent of jasmine, this moisturiser helps you to fall asleep and get your skin the well needed rest and repair time that it needs. Whilst skiing this will be great for an overnight fix after a long day on the slopes and an easy way to ensure my skin is ready to go the next morning.

 

Dr. Lipp Original Nipple Balm for Lips – £12

Yes, you read that right! Nipple Balm! So the story goes; the founder of Dr. Lipp (Pontine Paus) had eczema and researched online for the best moisturising and nourishing product and found nipple balm contained this miracle ingredient called Lanolin. This ingredient dates back to 90AD?! and mimics the skins oils and moistures perfectly. So she   decided to create her own nipple balm, which she promotes for ‘Dry Skin, Luscious Lips & Glossy Bits’. Since then, her Dr. Lipp Nipple Balm has become widely popular among celebrities and makeup artists and my attention was drawn to it after I walked into Space NK asking for the lady’s recommendation on the best lip balm they sell, and she pointed me to this! I haven’t looked back since, neither have I used anything else. It is moisturising, glossy, high shine, nourishing… it has it all. I use it as an overnight intense lip balm to help restore the skin on my dry and chapped lips in these cold conditions (perfect for skiing!) or as a lip gloss when I’m wearing makeup, or just simply, as my go to lip balm.

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The company prides itself on 100% natural ingredients, with one sole ingredient, Lanolin. This means there are no nasty chemicals, no acids, no harsh ingredients, just Lanolin.  If you want to read up on this completely natural and miracle ingredient head to the Dr. Lipp website! This will be perfect for my ski trip, where I will probably apply it as much as I possibly can, bearing in mind, the temperatures in England cause dry and cracked lips easily, so temperatures down near -15ºC are guaranteed to!

 

So there it is! My favourite products for the cold, wintery season we are currently in, and the products I will be taking with me skiing to battle the freezing temperatures! Remember, if you are going outside, wrap up warm and take good care of your skin! It needs more love than you think and taking a little extra time to look after it can make a world of difference in the long run!

Thank you so much for reading my blog, and I will hopefully be posting more frequently, so keep an eye on my Instagram and Facebook for when I announce new posts!

Imogen ❤

University Freshers

Hey everyone! I moved into my new university halls last Sunday and have been at uni for a week now and I thought it would be a good idea to share some of what I’ve been up to and things you can do during Freshers (aside from going out of course!). I’m not a huge ‘party girl’, but yeh, I like to go out with friends and have a couple of drinks, go to the clubs etc. but not every night. So, during Freshers, its been interesting to see how much I can actually avoid going out and getting smashed like a lot of people love doing!

Getting a job

I have been transferred to a new branch of the company I work for, which has meant I have a secured job for me whilst I study. Of course, this will vary from company to company, but it is a good idea to see if they offer student transfers if the new city you’re moving to have a store! It has worked really well for me and my first shift was good! Even though I am in a new role in my new branch, I think that makes it more interesting as I have new things to learn!

Look out for part-time jobs on sites like indeed.co.uk as lots of places will be offering short term temporary contracts for students, that will be flexible around lecture times. Companies know that student timetables change, so will be willing to work with you at getting the best hours. Another popular idea is a part-time jobs fair at the university, which my university have held, and this is where companies and brands advertise their jobs specifically for students. One more idea that is excellent for students is working as a student ambassador for your university which usually working on open days and giving tours around campus (training is provided) and the pay rate at my university is £10/hour! Because it is based at university, they also work around your lecture times and know not to take you out of anything, and some work on a 0 hour contract meaning it is something you can really control around when you have the time free or not.

Meeting new people

Freshers week is so daunting at the beginning, moving into a flat full of people you don’t know, going to induction and enrolments with lecture theatres full of people you don’t know. But, the lecturers know that everyone is in the same position and they will do icebreakers and similar activities to get you more relaxed and allow you to introduce yourself to people on your course. This has really helped me meet people doing my course and we have then gone to other events together and got to know each other better. With flatmates, it’s not so easy sometimes! Instead of eating in your room, why don’t you eat in the kitchen and then if anyone comes in, introduce yourself! Be friendly! If there is a group chat for your flat, ask if anyone wants a drink or if you’re ordering take-out ask if anyone wants to join! My flatmates and I had a movie night this week and ordered a curry and it was a great chance to get to know them a bit better! If you’re planning on going to the campus at the same time, ask if they want to walk or get the bus together. It’s the little things that you wouldn’t necessarily ask about normally, but they are a great chance to get to know the people you live with!

Join a sports club or society

I have joined the Tennis club at my university. I had trials today, which was fun to go to and, again, meet new people, make new friends! Even if I don’t make the team, I will still play socially with my friends and it will be a great way to take my mind off work and lectures and relax (strangely enough)! Doing sport has always been important to me and it takes my mind off of stress and studying, as well as keeping me fit. I have played tennis since junior school and, as I said, even I just play socially, it will be really nice to make friends and have fun!

I have also joined a couple of societies, one of them being the society for my subject. Lots of subjects offer their own societies, and you don’t always have to be doing that course to join! It is another great way to meet new people, within and outside of your course. If that doesn’t seem like something you’d like, there are always a bunch of random and totally crazy societies that you can join. Some of my personal favourites that I spotted were Tea Society and Fashion Society! There really is something for everyone to choose from, so make sure you go to Freshers Fair and the Sports Fair to see what there is available! Try something new and have fun!

Keep in touch with friends and family

Moving away from home can be scary and nerve-wracking! But don’t forget! Your parents will be sad to see you go too… and your friends! So during that first week, make sure you stay in contact with friends from home and family, they will want to know what you’re up to and how you’re doing. My boyfriend has been to visit me and it’s been nice having a bit of home to visit, even if it has just been for the day. And don’t forget… people you know may have come to the same university as you! If you know someone and they are at your uni, drop them a message and get a drink or meet one day to look round the city centre. A friendly face in a crowd of new ones can really settle Freshers weeks nerves!

I hope everyone that has already moved to uni is having an amazing time, and anyone that is moving soon (or today!) you have an incredible Freshers week! Party hard and have fun!

Thank you all for reading and keep an eye out for updates of how university life is going for me!

Imogen ❤

Fudge & Vanilla Soy Muffins

On a rainy Sunday afternoon, there are a limited amount of things you can do, unless you don’t mind being rained on! So I decided to be very domestic and did a bit of baking. After a little look through a baking book, someone bought me years ago, I chose a recipe for Low-Fat Muffins, except I used full-fat soy yogurt instead.

The Recipe:

Makes 12 Muffins

280g/10 oz plain flour

1 tbsp baking powder

1/2 Tsp bicarbonate of soda

115g/4 oz caster sugar

2 egg whites

250ml/9 fl oz low-fat natural yogurt (I used soy)

3 Tbsp sunflower oil

1 Tsp vanilla extract

40g small fudge chunks

The Method:

  • Start by turning your oven up to 200˚C/400˚F/Gas Mark 6 and ensure the shelves are in the correct place for when you put the muffins in later. This means you won’t need to move them around when they are hot and just makes your life easier.
  • Next, put 12 muffin cases in a muffin tray and put them aside until you need them later.
  • Weigh out the flour, sugar, fudge chunks, yogurt and separate the egg whites, saving the egg yolks if you think you can use them for anything else, or throw them away, as you won’t need them for this recipe. Place each of these ingredients in separate bowls so you can add them easily later.
  • Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl (or an electric mixer if you have one), and add the baking powder and bicarbonate of soda.
  • Add the sugar and mix the dry ingredients together.
  • Take your egg whites and beat them lightly until they are slightly foamy. Then add the yogurt, oil and vanilla extract. Beat these together until you have a smooth mix.
  • Now, make a well in the center of your dry ingredients and pour in the wet mixture. Fold the two groups of ingredients together, but do not overmix. Finally, add the fudge chunks and mix them in, so they are evenly distributed throughout the mixture.
  • Take a medium-large zip lock bag and place it over the edge of a small saucepan (or anything like a bowl, that can hold your amount of mixture).
  • Spoon the mixture into the bag. I find it easier to use a silicone spatula to ensure I get every last bit of mixture out of the bowl, wasting nothing.
  • Take the bag out of the saucepan and before zipping the bag closed, take a rolling pin and push all the mixture to the closed end of the bag. If there are air bubbles, this doesn’t matter hugely as you will be doing this again, later on, to get the last bits out the bag.
  • Zip the bag shut and snip a corner of the bag, just enough to let out the mixture, ensuring that the chunks of fudge can get through this gap.
  • Pipe the mixture into your muffin cases, evenly distributing it between the 12 cases.
  • As you get to the last couple, re-squeeze the bag and move all the mixture right to the corner. This means you will waste as little as possible and get just enough mixture for 12 muffins.
  • Bake the muffins for 20 minutes, but do keep an eye on them depending on the strength of your oven, as they may need slightly more or less time than specified. They will be ready when you can remove a clean skewer from the muffins, without any mixture on it.
  • Take the muffins out of the tray and place them on a cooling rack. I placed some kitchen foil under the rack and then sprinkled some icing sugar atop of them once they had cooled. The way you choose to decorate them is completely up to you.

Here are some photographs of my process and what they looked like at the end!

 

Thank you for reading and I hope I’ve inspired you to do some weekend baking! They taste amazing and I really enjoyed making them and doing something different from scrolling through social media all afternoon!

I hope you all have a lovely week and if you’re back to school or off to university, good luck!

Imogen ❤

Top Tips to Exam Success!

So my exam season is OVER thank goodness. But, I know lots of you aren’t even halfway through. I know first hand how stressful exams can get, even though in the end I always look back and wonder why I ever worried so much! There were a few little things that helped me get through the two weeks from hell, and they aren’t the normal; revise lots, do exercise, cliché nonsense. These are just a few bits and bobs I’ll do to just take my mind off the looming events of the next day and just make some time for myself.

  1. Have a bath. Obviously make sure you are keeping your personal hygiene up, because trust me, there is nothing worse than sitting next to somebody in an exam that smells a bit pongy. Take an hour to just relax in the bath, maybe buy a bath bomb, or light a few candles and just relax for a bit. Don’t forget, nothing is more important than making sure you are ok yourself.
  2. Try to get some fresh air. True, this can be tricky with the English weather like it is, but maybe try to sit in the garden for a bit, walk your dogs (if you have any!) or simply sit in your room with a window open. Fresh air helps me be more relaxed, and I know for sure that if I am getting stressy at college, the best thing is for me to take a walk to the Greggs round the corner.
  3. Listen to a playlist that gets you in the mood for studying. Yes, I know it sucks that you have to actually study, but when you do, if music is something that helps you concentrate, then go for it. Everyone is different so this is a personal one, but if it’s something that works then try choosing something less ‘rock’ and more ‘relax’.
  4. Get up in the morning with plenty of time to make yourself feel ready for the day. If that means getting out of bed 15 minutes earlier so you wash your hair, then try and do it. I know at the time of 6 AM it doesn’t feel like it will be worth it, but just take a few extra minutes in the morning to make yourself feel beautiful. Feeling a natural day? Wear no makeup! Feeling a little more self-conscious? Go all out and use all your makeup skills to sculpt your face until it’s chiseled to the bone! I try to wash my hair every morning because it just makes me feel more ready for the day ahead, and one less thing to worry about halfway through the hot and sticky afternoon, but if I don’t have time I tend to double braid my hair and get it up and out the way.
  5. Pack your bag the night before, making sure you have everything you could possibly need. People that know me, know that I carry practically everything with me. I’ve been called a walking pharmacy! Take rainbow highlighters, and glitter gel pens and funky Post-It Notes. When you’ve been forced to write with a boring black biro for hours, a sparkly pen can really liven things up a bit. (Not in your exam though!)
  6. If you are that way inclined, why not go for a run? I know, it’s not for everybody, but if you know exercise takes your mind off things, get up off your ass and go for a 20-minute jog, if you can’t face a half marathon right that second!
  7. If you have a job, don’t take time off! I know that sounds backwards, but I found that working gave me something to take my mind off things and let me relax for a bit, (even if it was 30 degrees and I was standing in-front of an oven for a good 6 hours!) If you obviously don’t have enough time to work and revise, then do take some time out, but really think whether you need the time off or whether you just aren’t time-managing very well.
  8. Talking about time management, take a few hours out of a busy day to get together with some friends for lunch or a coffee. Just have a catch-up, and if you are feeling really guilty for not studying, then talk about revision over your lunch. Test each other and see how well each of you know areas of the subjects you take. Make it ‘fun’, if that’s possible, so you are truly having a break from the books.

Now, don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a list of rules you should follow for success in your exams (whatever the title says), but I do find these little things just made my exams a bit less worrying. The most important thing is to make sure you are having time to yourself, and however you do that is your choice, but make sure you fit it into the schedule because revision 24/7 is draining and won’t help at the end of the day.

I wish everyone luck in their remaining exams and I’ll hopefully be back soon with some ideas on kick-starting your summer!

Thanks for reading!

Imogen ❤

Your Own Winter Wonderland

Winter is almost upon us, and I am certainly starting to feel the change. The clocks went back, the temperatures have dropped and cold’s are everywhere. There are two kinds of people in the world; those that hate winter, and then those that love winter. I have to admit, I am the latter of the two and therefore am going to have so much to share with you over the next few months, so keep an eye out for new posts.

Today’s post though, I think it’s safe to say that most people associate winter with Christmas, and you know when Christmas is coming because everybody slowly starts getting more and more festive. The John Lewis advert is released, songs suddenly start popping up on the radio and you stumble across the decorations from last year, somehow managing to avoid them for the past 11 months. On this note, I would like to quickly mention that I have already started the run up to Christmas, and am very excited for December to arrive so I can start celebrating without getting strange glances from all the people that wait until December 1st!

I thought I would share with you 4 little changes you can make to your bedroom, to make yourself feel just that little bit more festive, ready for December 25th.

  1. Buying a Christmas themed duvet set is always a brilliant way to start, as often your bed is the main feature in the room, so festivising, yes, I made that up, will be a small change but will make a big difference!

I bought this duvet set last year, and have one other with beige tones throughout and a reindeer pattern. The one above is reversible so one day I might prefer the red, others I might prefer the white. It has a really thick feel to it, and paired with a winter duvet, snuggling up when it’s bitterly cold outside is no problem. And the best part is, I bought it for only £14 in Primark! Even though this is from last year, I am still going to have a cheeky look for another one, as I love them!

2. The next step, as you might have already picked up on, is to buy multiple Christmas throws to go on top of your bed. Not only do they look super festive, but they keep you warm if your heating breaks down, you want to lounge around the house or perhaps it is just especially cold. I have two, one from my beloved Primark from last year, which is the white one, and then the other is from Tesco and is available in red or blue.

3. Next, lights! By lights I mean little strings of Christmas fairy lights, that you can hang, scattered, cluster and everything else you could possibly think of doing with them! When it gets to December, and I fully decorate my room, I use Christmas tree lights and wrapped them around the feet of my bed. You could use white, arctic blue or even multi-colored lights and it just adds something more to the room. The lights I have up now are two sets of 20 from Primark at £5 a box. I have a set of blue stars, and a set of white snowflakes and I put them along my bookshelves and around the edge of my mirror.

4. My last thing (until December) is scented candles, which I place around my room in groups or just large ones alone. My candles are not Christmas scented, but yours could be! I like mine because they add a beautiful glow to corners in my room, and the scents on them smell gorgeous! My favorite two that I have are ‘Coastal Walk’ from M&S for £15 and ‘Honey & Chocolate’ from Glade for £2. I will be investing in Christmas scented candles soon!

Thank you for reading my latest post and as I mentioned earlier, I love the festive season, so be expecting much more to come!

Imogen ❤