Confessions of a makeup-phobe

I have an admission which as a woman is something I’m rather ashamed of. I’m in my early (almost mid!) thirties and don’t have a clue about makeup. In fact, skincare generally leaves me cold so I do a very good impression of an ostrich. If I don’t do anything I can’t be doing that much wrong can I?!

Can Bath & Unwind help my makeup phobia?Unfortunately, I’ve realised that although I still see myself in my (late) 20s, my skin has moved on, and I recently saw LINES. Not just little faint creases, but whapping great big wrinkles. Laughter-lines? Yes I’m enjoying life but nothing’s been that bloody funny to ‘mark me’ for the remainder of my life. So I have decided to swallow my pride and learn what I can do to fill these cracks.

But here’s the thing, I don’t want to waste a fortune on products, or hours of my life applying layers of the stuff, only to look like Miss Havisham. Nor do I want to go to some teenage ‘expert’ who is going to make me feel stupid and compelled to spend my hard-earned pennies in penance for my skin sin. What I do want is to be able to look in the mirror and recognise the person I see, be proud of how I look and confident that when I want to wear makeup, I know what I’m doing, have the right tools and products for me, and look darned sassy to boot.

So, I decided to bite the bullet and ask the head buyer here at Bath & Unwind, who is also a facialist and skincare consultant, what she thought I needed to do about my makeup phobia. I was rather taken aback when she countered my enquiry with a question about my ‘cleansing routine’. Even though I know, like and respect her, my response resembled that of a naughty child (remember please that I’m now firmly in my 30s!): why!?

My succinct response should have been:

Wild Rose24-Hour Moisturising & Brightening Cream“I use Organic Surge’s cleanser to wash my face when I’m in the shower – this is once a day, but sometimes in the morning, sometimes after work in the evening and if I’ve had a chance to work out in the middle of the day, then I shower then. I moisturise when my face feels like it needs it, using Korres Wild Rose 24-hour Moisturiser & Brightening Cream which I love. Done. That’s it.”

Digging a little deeper, I confessed to horror of horrors, having suffered from acne on my face, chest and back (the sort which means you can’t lean back on a chair for pain), which I’ve recently figured out is entirely hormonal. Funny since I was on the pill to help control it!

Organic Surge Daily Care Face WashSince figuring this out and coming off it, I reckon my skin would now be classed as combination, (it’s sometimes dry, sometimes oily and sometimes completely breaks out), and generally has a mind of its own. I used to be very blonde (but not much time in the sun recently sees this as a figment of my imagination!), and I have fair skin which burns quite easily. I also reckon I have sensitive skin, but I’ve recently read that so do 58% of us ladies, so who knows on that score.

Emily very gently and considerately suggested that she could help me develop a personal cleansing routine to develop a good base for any makeup we discuss at a later date. I guess this means my thoughts that doing nothing wasn’t doing much harm was slightly off! But, whilst I will admit to being clueless about makeup and now skincare, I do want to do something about this.

I don’t want to keep discovering crevices on my face – I’d much rather look in the mirror and be proud of what I see, whether I’m wearing makeup or not. So, I’m about to start on an adventure of discovery. Who knows what will happen, but I reckon the state of my bathroom cabinet will never be the same again, and quite frankly I find this highly exciting!

Step 1 – facial with Emily to discover the truth about my skin and what a cleansing routine should look like… wish me luck!

Ready to party this New Year’s Eve?

After an AMAZING, spectacular 2012, it’s time to celebrate this past historic year partying the night away. Oh yes, it’s almost time for one of the most anticipated nights of the year… New Year’s Eve! And what better way to get in the mood for this special occasion then with new treats for yourself.

Before a big night out, I always love to have just one (two… maybe three… six? Okay, ten) new, little indulgences to make me feel a little better about my repetitive, reliable outfit choice and give me that ‘Damn – I look good!’ feeling, without splashing too much cash on a new dress. So here are just a few of my suggestions and beauty tips for your getting ready regime.

Festive nails

I have to admit, I’m a sucker for nail varnish and love to wear at least 2 to 3 different shades a week, as I hate my old lady hands to look dull and plain. Before I begin adding colour to my nails, I use hand cream to soften the skin. Plus, it makes it easier to wipe away any slips or mistakes on your fingertips. A festively scented hand cream I’ve discovered lately is Trilogy Ultra Hydrating Hand Cream. As a sensitive soul, my dry hands need softening regularly and this product instantly does the trick and leaves a sophisticated sweet orange, amber and vanilla fragrance.

Korres Nail Colour Deep Red

At the moment, I love wearing dark shades which are perfect for this time of year and bang on trend. When I started working here at B&U, the new OPI Skyfall Collection came out, inspired by the latest James Bond film. With such excitement, I just had to try one of their dark shades. I chose Live and Let Die, a dark emerald green with a slight glittery shimmer. It’s perfect for my style and I love wearing it for evenings out or general days at work.

Another nail polish I highly recommend for this festive season is Korres Nail Colour in Deep Red. As you can see from the image on the right, it’s a gorgeous Christmassy colour and I was really impressed for how long it lasted with hardly any chips. I would definitely encourage people to add to their collection.

Dancefloor glow

As a pale white, pasty looking ghost, I do get the urge to fake tan every now and then, especially for an exciting evening do. St. Tropez has become a popular choice for self tan as it’s known to produce high quality results, so I couldn’t resist trying their Self Tan Bronzing Spray.

St. Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Spray and Applicator Mitt

I love this stuff because it is exactly what I want – not too much of a heavy texture and quite a light, fine spay to use. To put it on, I usually use latex gloves or a mitt to rub in the mist. Even though this is a spray, it is still important to rub it in so it effectively works to the standard you want. No streaky business!

The spray is much more suited for fair people as it isn’t instantly a dark colour. However, you can build it up in layers if you want to go darker. Remember, you MUST wash your hands afterwards when you are done as they may stain and look orange (we don’t want that TOWIE disaster to happen do we!).

Makeup time!

A major part of my regime is, of course, putting on my makeup. One of my necessities is a black volumising mascara, to make my lashes look fuller and longer. I never go anywhere without wearing mascara, ANYWHERE! They really do work if you invest in a good quality one, like New CID i-flutter. And to finish off my face, I like to use a nice, pink blusher to bring out my cheeks. DuWop Blushbooster works wonders!

Don’t forget your ‘handbag must-have’ for the night… the all important lip gloss. Bare Escentuals bareMinerals Buxom Lip Polish is a good size to carry around with you. With some gorgeous shades to choose from, I’m sure you’ll find the right one for you. Personally, I’m a fan of nude shades, so I’ve gone for a bit of Sugar.

Rituals ParfumSmell divine…with a glass of wine

A final touch to your New Year’s outfit has to be a gorgeously scented perfume. I recently bought Scottish Fine Soaps Boheme Eau de Toilette as a gift and to be honest, I was very tempted to keep it for myself. It comes in a beautiful bottle and smells lovely, with a sensual blend of musks, florals and crystal amber.

Also, the stylish Rituals Women’s Eau de Parfum Collection is not only a great gift, but it’s ideal to have if you (like me) get bored easily by just using one fragrance regularly. It includes 3 miniature bottles, each with a unique scent. These are also great sizes to keep in a small clutch bag.

Cleanse the night away

So the night has ended and you’ve arrived home, tired and with aching feet from those high heeled shoes. However, before going to sleep, it is SO important to cleanse your face properly, as all your makeup then becomes dirt. If left on, that can then cause dull, congested skin. Without a good cleanse, our skin can get clogged with dead skin cells. So before bed, I usually use Organic Surge Gentle Cleansing Lotion. Use it as a lotion with a few cotton wool pads, and wipe away to reveal a fresh face! Trust me, it’ll do wonders to your skin if done twice a day.

Happy New Year everyone!

New Year's Eve Products

Natural Father’s Day gifts

The man in my life is a vegetarian so it’s important to him that the products he uses are not tested on animals. He also doesn’t like the idea of rubbing things into his skin or hair that have harsh chemicals in them, so he always goes for a natural based product. I must admit, I am also now quite a sucker for a product that contains natural ingredients; they tend to smell really fresh and it’s nice to know that the product is ecological and animal friendly.

Below I have selected some natural brands to pick from. They make fantastic Father’s Day gift ideas, whether your dad is an environmentalist or not!

Burt’s Bees products contain on average 99% natural ingredients and they have a selection of products just for men, including shaving cream, aftershave and cologne.

Badger Balm Muscle Rub is a must after a long hard day. Its 100% natural ingredients have the ability to ease pain and smooth the skin. It has a gorgeous ginger fragrance that doesn’t smell too feminine!

If you dad is an outdoors man, why not get him the Hardworking Hand Duo gift set, which includes a Healing Balm for rough cracked hands.

If you are on a tight budget, this luxurious Fresh Ocean Shower Gel by Organic Surge is ideal. It contains only natural ingredients and even better, all Organic Surge products are certified vegan.

Make sure you order soon in order to get your gifts in time for the 17th June!





Why is cleansing so important?

Cleansing is vital to a successful beauty regime. Without a good cleanse every day, our skin can get clogged with makeup, dead skin cells and dirt.

Choosing to cleanse every day, twice a day, will help to boost your circulation bringing you a brighter, more radiant look. It will enable your moisturiser and all of its good properties to be absorbed better, and this will give you a perfect base for your makeup.

What you said about some of our cleansing products…

Yes To Carrots, Neals Yard and Organic Surge

Yes To Carrots Gentle Exfoliating Facial Cleanser – £8.99 or 899 reward points.

“This is great – people have commented on my skin glowing since I’ve been using this.” Rozzy, from London.

Neals Yard Remedies Palmarosa Facial Wash – £14.00 or 1,400 reward points.

“I use this on a daily basis and if I keep off the sweets it keeps my skin clear and unblemished. Fantastic smell also.” Pauline, from Preston.

Organic Surge Daily Care Face Wash – £5.19 or 519 reward points.

“First time I have used this facial wash and I just love it. Cleanses well, taking off all makeup with ease, even mascara.” Nicola, from Bathgate.

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