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Living life with good intention, loving with soul, and consuming with a conscience

August 30, 2017

3 Budget Cruelty Free Mascaras

After blogging about switching to cruelty free with my beauty and the process I went through to achieve it, I thought it would be great to recommend some of my favourite CF products that have had to replace some firm favourites before I transitioned to cruelty free only beauty. Finding particular makeup products was difficult for me because I either used the same product previously for years and loved it or liked to try new products again and again as I liked to experiment. So when it came to finding a new mascara, I wasn't too worried about finding something new that I loved but the brands I previously turned to were non-CF so it would mean more experimenting than usual. I also had fell in love with a L'Oréal mascara not too long before I switched to CF so I not only needed to find some favourites that I liked, I needed to find some that would be better than my firm favourites such as the L'Oréal Baby Roll mascara and the Bourjois Volume Clubbing Mascara.

Something I wanted to do when switching to CF was find some mascaras for a variety of looks - I used to have certain mascaras I would use depending on the looks I wanted to achieve and therefore had a range of different ones I would purchase. There would be natural ones, ones for volume, and more. So although I still like to dabble in the world of mascara and test out different ones regularly, here are three firm favourites from great CF brands which I will repurchase again and again.

Essence Lash Princess Volume Mascara | 12ml | £3.3O: First up I need to talk about a mascara I used to love but somehow forgot about. Essence are one of my absolute favourite cosmetics brands as they're extremely affordable and have a range of fantastic products (obviously a blog post all about these guys will be coming to NB in due course). One of their products I've been a fan of for years is the Lash Princess Volume Mascara because it's ridiculously cheap but ridiculously good. This is only £3.3O and knocks the socks off any high end mascara I've ever tried. As the name suggests, this mascara gives your lashes volume and the curved end to the wand also gives them a great lift and curl. I find that it never clumps up and really separates the lashes making your lashes look full and thick. The formula is very lightweight so it doesn't feel heavy on the eyes and doesn't dry out and go flaky or crispy on the lashes. The packaging isn't my favourite as it's a little cheesy and feels like something I would have liked when I was 12/13 years old, but I am *more* than happy to look past this for the great effect you get on the lash. If you are a fan of the popular Maybelline or L'Oréal mascaras that really boost and volumise the lashes, this is a great CF and cheap alternative that lasts all day.

Essence Lash Princess False Lassh Effect Mascara | 12ml | £3.3O: The next mascara I love is another Essence offering from the same Lash Princess range. The False Lash Effect Mascara has a very similar formula to the Volume option as you'd probably expect but it's a little harder to work with. Sometimes I find that some mascaras need to dry out a little first before they're really good and grip and coat the lashes well and this is definitely one of those. Once this one has dried out however, I do really love it - it's great for lengthening the lashes and separating them. I've mentioned before that my lashes are pretty good as they are which is why I like to try different mascaras, but this one is great at giving them length. Usually, my lashes get a good natural curl so if a good curl is something you need from your mascara, this one is probably not for you but if you want that length then this is your jam. The wand is very simple and has a typical bristle head which goes into a triangular point so it's great at grabbing each individual lash. Something I forgot to mention about the Lash Princess range is the fact that the mascaras are all 12ml - that's around 4ml more than most other drugstore mascaras - so you get a lot of product for your tiny price point!

Seventeen Falsifeye HD Mascara | 9ml | £6.99: My last fave mascara is from another go-to brand I love a lot - Seventeen. Their Falsifeye HD Mascara was the first mascara I purchased since my switch to CF and has stayed a firm favourite. Despite the claims of giving your lashes lots of volume, length, thickness, and definition, I like this mascara on days when I want a really natural looking lash. The Falsifeye mascara definitely gives the lash all of those previous claims, but I find the formula looks really natural on the lash and I can't quite decide if it's because it doesn't look mega black on the lashes or if it's super thin. Those aren't complaints about this mascara by the way as this makes the product the perfect option for layering on the lash. I usually opt for one solid layer of mascara but this is a great day-to-night option as you can wear a minimal amount for the daytime and then layer it up if you need to go out straight out after work etc. The wand has a typical tapered shape but has rubber bristles which really grab and coat the lashes well. When I want definition and separation I always reach for this one and if I need my mascara to last for longer than normal, I always choose this one too as it never flakes or feels dry on the eyes.

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August 25, 2017

The Novice Guide to Going Cruelty Free

Hey gang, today I thought I'd talk about something that I worry that you're all sick of me banging on about however I also still feel damn passionate about it so it's gonna happen anyway (sorry not sorry - that old chestnut). I've been making the cruelty free transition since May and I'm finally completely CF in all aspects of my skincare, haircare, cosmetics and household cleaning products. The process is something that has been a long time coming but it can be a little overwhelming to delve in to. I felt quite clueless to begin with and the more research I did, the more I found out such as the differences between the different cruelty free logos and what they represent, to what it truly means to be cruelty free for a brand. As it was a bit of a minefield when I started transitioning to CF beauty, I thought my very novice tips might be of help to some of you who might be in a similar situation or if you're sitting on the fence about making the jump to CF living.

It can be information overload so look for some easy peasy helpful go-to sites. When trying to swap to cruelty free, there are a lot of websites that contradict each other or downright lie. Unfortunately many brands aren't straight to the point or crystal clear about their stance on animal testing so finding reliable sources on which brands do and don't test was vital for me transitioning. The first ports of call for me was PETA, Choose Cruelty Free, and Cruelty Free International.

PETA are a great base to start if you want to search specific brands to see their CF stance as you can search not just cosmetics, but also household cleaning products and even office supplies. You can download an app to access the info on the go (mega helpful if you're in a store shopping and can't see any CF logos), and also access PDF lists of CF brands and their availability in specific countries. Although Choose Cruelty Free (CCF) is an Australian-based site, us Brits can definitely still value the information it provides. They have a fab CF list with a great key for identifying whether products are CF or also vegan and more. My favourite however is Cruelty Free International's Leaping Bunny site as they are responsible for the Leaping Bunny logo on many of our beauty products and again, the site has a super easy to use and seach A-Z list.

Blogs are your CF minefield best friends. I would honestly be *so* lost without blogs. The wonderful individuals who run CF blogs who go to so much effort to benefit others by outreaching to brands to get responses and clear answers on the ethics should be acknowledged and applauded. My absolute go-to girl is without a doubt Cruelty Free Kitty. Her blog is fantastic and is a great starting point if you need to know the ins and outs of animal testing, what CF actually means and if you want a definite answer on whether or not your favourite brands test on animals as she collates responses straight from the horse's mouth. Logical Harmony is also a perfect blog as Tashina has fantastically extensive lists of CF and vegan beauty brands and My Beauty Bunny is my favourite blog for detailed product reviews of 1Oos of CF products. If you want to go the "whole hog" and you're looking for completely vegan brands, definitely check out the gorgeous Gemima's blog - Lovely Witches as she covers everything you need to know about vegan lifestyle and beauty.

Be truly aware of what "cruelty free" means. I don't feel qualified enough to fully explain this clearly so I highly recommend the various links provided above but, it is important to initially get your head around what CF really is before you even try to buy CF-only products. The problem I first faced was the fact that there are various logos that show products or brands are against animal testing and not all of them mean the same thing. Many people rely heavily on the Leaping Bunny logo as it's the only internationally recognised logo meaning it is applicable everywhere, but there are also other logos which are equally as valid and it all depends on personal preference which ones you buy into. Brands actually have a number of different ways in which they can identify as cruelty free, but ultimately a lot of it stems from their refusal to sell in mainland China. Selling cosmetics, skincare etc. in China means brands are required by law to have either the finished product or the ingredients of said product tested on animals. Therefore this can be both pre-market and post-market/production meaning that no matter what, at least one ingredient has been used on animals in cruel, cramped, horrific conditions. I'm not going to get preachy here, but I am a firm believer that no lipstick nor mascara is worth the suffering or potential death of any animal - laboratory based or not. The logos to truly look out for are from those same reliable organisations I mentioned above:

Source: Cruelty Free Kitty

It's worth noting here that the really important message about the logos is that some brands actually use fake logos (which I just can't get my head around at all!). The fact that some brands lie to their market/customers dumbfounds me, but it's also just so unethical to confuse those who are trying to cruelty free beauty/living. Just as an example, a brand I was shocked to see using this method was Batiste on their very popular dry shampoo products. Using a fake logo is very misleading but it seems to be extremely common so the best safe bet is to stick to the three widely recognised ones listed above as they're genuine and well-known.

Use lists to clear out your collection. When I decided to go CF, I started with my skincare and makeup and emptied literally everything I owned out onto the floor and used concise lists of CF brands to do a pile of CF and non-CF products. This then made it easy to see what to keep and what I needed to make sure I never repurchased. This was a massive shock for me because I was quite disappointed to see just how many products I had in my collection that weren't cruelty free. I then split the non-cruelty free pile into further separate piles: non-CF I use daily, non-CF that is new/lightly used, non-CF that can go in the bin. This meant I could see what I actually truly used and needed to find CF replacements for. I then proceeded to give away the products I had only used lightly to friends and family who were not cruelty free specific users and my collection was instantly minimised. Seeing how many products I needed to replace also helped me start to research effectively - I could ask folks on Twitter for good replacements and could also see which products would be running out soon so I knew what to prioritise.

It can't all be changed overnight. The biggest thing to keep in mind is that transitioning to a cruelty free lifestyle/beauty products can't be done in a flash. It would be unrealistic and not cost-effective to just throw out everything then repurchase replacements. For me, I slowly used up the non-CF beauty products and replaced them when they were needed and made sure all my skincare, haircare, and cosmetics were completely cruelty free before then moving on to household cleaning products. Splitting it also made it more enjoyable to find products I liked and the best thing? So many budget brands are cruelty free meaning this worthwhile transition won't break the bank - it will also make your home much more eco-friendly!

Don't be disheartened by parent brands. One thing I was always a little aware of but never truly understood until researching CF beauty was parent brands. Mother/parent brands are basically umbrella brands who own many smaller brands. A good example of this is when L'Oréal used to own The Body Shop. A lot of CF beauty advocates wouldn't buy from The Body Shop previously as L'Oréal test on animals whereas The Body Shop do not. I personally love The Body Shop so they were one of my go-to stores for CF skincare in particular when I first transitioned. I understood at the time that their parent brand did in fact test on animals and sell in mainland China, but The Body Shop were a safe and comfortable brand for me to explore in. Now (thankfully!) the CF brand Natura have become The Body Shop's new parent brand which is fab, but if you're comfortable with buying from brands who have parent brands who aren't CF, don't beat yourself up about it and don't let others. There's wriggle room for everyone's approach to switching to CF-only beauty, and don't let others dictate how you do it.

It may sound cheesy, but switching to cruelty free living has definitely improved how I feel about myself and my purchases. I am so pleased I made the change but I strongly believe that you shouldn't let others tell you how to do it - everyone finds their feet and its your journey for your own personal reasons. I'm by no means an expert and still finding my way with CF beauty however, I think the best way to carry on along your journey is to openly talk to others and find out more and more information. Discussing CF beauty and asking for advice and recommendations from others is *the best* way to learn and grow your knowledge and understanding. There's so many great sites and blogs out there that can direct and explain things greater than I, but hopefully if any of you guys are stumbling your way through this journey as blind as I did to begin with, I've given you some comfort in the fact that you're certainly not the only one!

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August 23, 2017

My New Travel Companion

Happy Wednesday gorgeous folk! Today I thought I'd share with you a relatively new makeup palette to my collection because it has been the greatest travel companion this past week. Last week I went home to Newcastle to see friends and fam and whenever I travel back, I pop on a quick 1 hour flight as it is much nicer than the 12+ hour coach trip I used to make! As I fly, I like to pack as light as possible and take clothing, products, and items I only really *know* I'm going to use or need. Therefore when it comes to my makeup choices, I like to pack products that are either multi-functional or have everything in one convenient palette. So in step this blush palette from L.A. Girl Cosmetics.

L.A. Girl Cosmetics are brand I've always been interested in trying but until recently, I thought they weren't cruelty free (turns out they are! Gettup!). So on a recent quick browse on Beauty Bay for some restocking of my fave items, I popped this Beauty Brick Blush Palette in the shade range "Spice" in my basket because it had some good reviews, looked like it had lovely blush shades (especially that dark reddy-pink) that weren't in your face, and at £8 - it was a steal for 4 products. So once it arrived, I quickly ripped off the outer packaging, eager to test the powders out.

The palette itself is a typical budget style of packaging - it's a cheap coated cardboard with one of those pretty pointless skinny mirrors inside. The cardboard isn't flimsy though and the whole palette is streamline which meant I instantly thought it would be a good option for travelling as it wouldn't take up too much space in a case or bag. The palette is a magnetic closure which works just fine and I was pleasantly surprised to see that there was a protective film over the powders to keep them clean and prevent breaking. The powders themselves are a good size and are embossed with the words "blush", "bronze", and "highlight" obviously depending on the particular product. Each one feels powdery to the touch but that's not a negative - they don't feel chalky - they just feel like you'd expect a powder to feel. Upon being a heathen and sticking my finger in each product to get an initial swatch, each powder was very pigmented but not ridiculously unrealistic in colour which is something I look for when it comes to my cheek products.

Both of the blush shades are just lovely. The lighter pink shade is very natural and gives you a very realistic flush and colour to the cheeks whereas the darker shade gives you a little added oomph. The darker shade makes me think more of autumnal shades of blush I like so I think I'll be saving this one for the colder months to really get my wear out of it. The contour/bronze shade was described as a "muted mocha" colour and I think that perfectly describes it. I was really surprised at the colour pay-off of this bronzer as it could have had the potential to be muddy upon application or be too orange etc. as a lot of budget bronzers are, but this one somehow manages to avoid those worries.

As you can hopefully see from the swatches below, although the bronzer is definitely warm in it's tone - especially against my very pale skin - it isn't too orange or too dark of a brown and actually gives a really complimentary warm flush of colour to the face. It also isn't too dark to use as a contour so when I travel, I use this shade as a bronzer and contour multi-use shade by using a lighter hand to apply it as my contour and building it up where I want more of a bronze. The two blushers and the bronzer apply smoothly and evenly onto the cheek which was so great for me as sometimes powder products can sit funny on top of my cheeks as I don't wear foundation as a base for them to stick to evenly. All three shades give a lovely velvet matte finish to the skin which blends seamlessly into the skin again, making these shades look very natural.

From top to bottom: L.A. Girl Spice Beauty Brick Blush Palette's highlight shade, bronzer shade, light blush shade, dark blush shade

Weirdly, one of the more negative parts of the reviews I had seen was what actually convinced me to buy the palette and that was about the highlight. I love using and wearing highlighters but I like them to give my skin a natural look. The most blinding I tend to get with my highlight is The Balm's Mary Lou Manizer and even then I only apply a little bit with a very light hand. So when I saw someone complain that this highlight in the palette was far from blinding, I wanted to give it a shot. I typically go for light champagne or warm pearly shades and this one looked like a great colour. As you can hopefully see from the images above, it's actually a really great shade choice for my pale skin as you can barely see it on the swatch on my arm. This got my hopes up as I knew this meant it had a better chance blending into my skin. When applied and worn on the cheek or nose, this highlight is really lovely for anyone who likes a subtle highlight or who likes to tone it down day-to-day for work etc. If you're a pale girl, it's a really nice light champagne shade and doesn't look powdery on the skin. It doesn't sit on top of the skin either meaning it looks more realistic and skin-like once all your makeup has set for the day. It has very small glitter pigments in it so it doesn't look chunky or fake on the cheek and this is one of the very few highlighting powders I've tried that doesn't draw attention to any imperfections or pores it covers.

The highlight does give quite a bit of kick-back when you put your brush into it, but I don't mind this too much. The blush shades and bronzer also have a little kick-back but it is no where near as much as the highlight (this may be because they're matte shades - who knows!). As for longevity, I would say that the bronzer and the darker blush shade stay on the skin really well. I have tested all of the powders on long days and the bronzer and dark blush last a good 8-9 hours on the cheeks without fading whereas the lighter blush fades a little bit. The darker blush can be a little bit fiddlier to apply as it can run the risk of going patchy, so some patience and a light hand applying thin layers is needed. The light blush however is super quick and easy to sweep onto the cheeks so it's a great option for when you're running late or need to just get up, get ready, and go. As the highlight is subtle upon application already, it lasts about 4 hours before dulling down. This doesn't bother me at all because my natural oils tend to give me a natural highlight throughout the day, but if you're a dry skin girl then it might be something to bear in mind!

All in all I'm really impressed with this palette and having used it exclusively on my recent trip up north for a full week, I will definitely be taking it on all future trips. It's easy to pack, it gives you options on colours (the dark blush looks great with nude lips, the light blush with brighter or dark lip shades), and most importantly - it works. The powders are a little on the powdery side and they don't last an insane amount of time, but when each product technically cost just £2, can I really complain?

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August 18, 2017

What I Wish Someone Had Told Me About Periods

Gang, if you're someone who doesn't like to talk about periods or you think there's a limit to the discussion, today's post will more than likely not be one for you. I've talked about periods briefly only once before on NB; discussing the ways in which I make the whole riding the crimson wave easier and more pleasurable for myself but, I didn't really talk about the taboos and discoveries surrounding menstruation that I've made over the years. There seems to be a menstruation movement in the media in recent years where talking about periods is more widely accepted and encouraged and I could *not* be happier about this. Back when I was a pre-teen to teen, period talk was the bare minimum and the best (and sometimes the only way to find out anything about them) was in teen magazines with those agony aunt sections. Even then, the information presented was often basic, flowery with the language, and never straight to the point. It would cover the fact that you will leak blood for a few days, generalised that every girl and woman would be angry and upset during the whole process, and that was that. Since reading those slightly misguided mags as a 13 year old trying to understand the cycle she would endure for many years to come, I have discovered many more things - some good and some bad - that I just *wish* someone had mentioned to me all those years ago.

Periods are not the same every time. As a teen when I first started my periods, I was honestly led to believe that it would be a "same shit, different month" sort of deal and it absolutely is not. Most of the time my periods are extremely painful and draining for a good 2-3 days, but other times it's 1Ox worse and makes me generally ill - there's no other way to describe it. I also was not aware of the whole irregularity that many women experience and the whole "you will have a period every 28-32 days that will last around 3-5 days" one size fits all claims don't apply to many - including myself. Although I didn't go out of my way to ask if it would be the same each and every time, I feel like it's obvious general knowledge for all women who have experienced it at least a few times so you know, shout it from the rooftops a little more so the younger generation know.

PMS is not the same every time. And it's also not limited to *just* when you're actually *on* your period. Something I was also led to believe as a teen is that PMS would involve being angry, upset and tearful, and "acting crazy" and this was what to expect. When I think of the teen-girl magazines that I got this information from, they should have made more of an effort to explain that everyone is different and each individual might have different experiences from time to time - they certainly should not have fed into the "girls on their periods are crazy" bullshit that a lot of men (and unfortunately women) feel the need to shout into the void. Typically, I get a little bit tearful the week before my period, physically drained and sore/tender in various areas of my body, and my skin acts out and breaks out into extremely painful spots. These are usually "clues" that make me think I might be due soon, but no one prepared me to expect this before the period started. I then feel physically sick, have horrendous cramps and headaches, and generally just feel rough throughout my period so I actually feel pretty damn rotten 2 weeks out of the month. Bliss magazine didn't tell me about that now did they? It's also so important for people to be aware that PMS effects all women completely differently. Some with have physical ailments, some with feel mentally drained, some will be emotionally unavailable - it's such a unique experience for everyone who goes through it and it shouldn't be generalised.

Sometimes you won't have any symptoms and it will be a surprise... sometimes you'll get extra surprises. Once I started to get to grips with the idea that each period could be different each time, I then discovered that sometimes you won't get any warning at all - no PMS, no crying, no nothing. This can happen at the most inconvenient times and it doesn't matter how much you love being a woman and how period positive you can be, you will swear effs and jeffs at your uterus for being such a burden and party pooper. This can happen when you're on public transport, when you're swimming, when you're having sex... Taking it all in your stride is the aim but of course this is easier said than done. If it happens to happen when you're having sex, at least it will tell you a great deal about the character of the person you're sleeping with is all I'm going to say! The other end of it is that you might experience spotting or change in your discharge. Again, not being aware of these things can cause panic and distress but it's completely normal and you can sometimes even experience "mini-periods" where you might have a normal flow for a day then things might resume as normal. Period tracker apps can be a godsend for these surprises as if it something that is happening frequently and it is worrying you, you can view just how frequent it is and speak to someone about it.

You will either shit your guts out and need to do it more than regularly or you will be in a painful constipation coma. This is living, girls.

You will also potentially (probably) become incredibly horny and guess what? Having sex is fab. Periods are always talked about as being some disgusting phase every month that shouldn't be talked about - especially amongst teens I found - so one thing that certainly was never discussed when I was younger was period sex. Having sex on your period might not be for everyone but the important thing here is that it *is* an option and it can be enjoyable. People often curl their nose up at this as they think its gross or messy, but it doesn't have to be. If you're that bothered by it, try it in the shower! But I fully understand that not everyone is okay with the sight of blood, so for those of you who are curious and want to try it, here's a great blog post suggesting some easy ways to prevent period sex replicating *that* scene from The Shining. In all seriousness though, if you're with a partner who thinks its disgusting then I am sorry because your body is doing it's thing, it's going through it's natural process and actually? It's still just you and your body just slightly different for a few days. Period sex can be great as our hormones run high and we can crave sexual activity more than usual (not to mention orgasms can suppress headache pain to boot).

You will stain everything you ever loved. Especially at least a handful of pairs of your "nicest" pants.

There's more to periods than tampons and disposable pads. Fantastically informative period positive bloggers such as Cattitude & Co. and Eco Fluffy Mama are paving the way to educating more of us - young and old - in the ways of period talk and expectations but one area in particular that these two ladies (to name but a few,) are really excelling is raising awareness about disposable products. Disposable products have a shockingly large amount of "bad" ingredients but luckily, more companies and brands are going down an organic and natural route and products such as reusable moon cups and cloth pads are a thing and they're thriving. These options would have been a completely alien concept for me as a teen and I only really recently fully understood what they were, how they work, and the silly stigma surrounding them. There's a lot of different options out there for women to try and feeling confident and comfortable to explore these various options is becoming more accessible and filling us all with more knowledge with is fab.

Your period shouldn't be used against you. When I was younger (and possibly more naive? Who knows), I used to think it was okay for others to blame things on my period. If I was angry, hurt, or upset - oh it's because Amy's got the painters in. Ah, she's just lost her temper - it's because Aunt Flo's visiting. So many jokes are made about women's actions and reactions during "that time of the month" but honestly? I don't find them that funny. This isn't me being a Sensitive Sally here as I strongly believe when so many women can go through such extremely painful, draining, and frankly taxing periods, it's incredibly compassionless and actually demeans a woman's sheer daily strength.

Wanting to cough or sneeze will make you audibly scream "no no no!" every single time.

Day two of having the painters in will always be worse than the day one dread.

Being honest and open about my cycle is much more rewarding and confidence boosting. I would say until the last couple of years, I was actually quite ashamed of my period. I would hide sanitary products on trips to the toilet and certainly wouldn't have a chat about my period with my ex partner beyond the whole "I'm on this week" only to be met with a notification alerting me to the meme about how it was blow job week (I know. Woe is fucking me lads). Nowadays I'm very open about my period in my relationship and various friendships. I work in a predominantly female environment and I'm always so thankful that myself and colleagues tell each other when we're on our periods and when they're particularly causing problems. It makes my work environment more positive and has meant we've shared ideas, tips and tricks for easing cramps and heavy flows. It's also took my relationship to a completely different level because as silly as it may seem, it has created an air of vulnerability on both our behalves as I've been very vocal and Matt has been extremely understanding and eager to further educate himself. It makes the pain of my cycle easier to deal with and also makes instances like having an extremely heavy flow whilst out for date day lunch (sorry jeans, you were destroyed) something to react lightheartedly about by his side instead of apologising and feeling embarrassed.

Leaking is just something that happens and sometimes it just can't be avoided.

I feel like I could waffle on about this for so much longer and there's bound to be things I wanted to say that I'll only remember long after this post went live, but I think openly talking about menstrual cycles and the way they effect us is so important as it can be eye-opening and can produce valuable knowledge for not just women but friends, family, partners, and employers of said women. Some of us have unfortunately had pretty shoddy education on the topic at school, from parents, and from similarly clueless friends at the time it was most vital to learn, but now that it's becoming a wider topic in social discussions and stigma surrounding periods is slowly fizzling away, I hope people can see the great side to them and appreciate that talking about them only makes us more comfortable, accepting, and educated.

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August 16, 2017

Some Current Fave Face Masks

Happy Hump Day gang! Today I thought I'd share with you some of my current favourite face masks as it's been a long ol' time since I shared a post like this. Recently, my skin has generally been in pretty good condition for me, but I've been fighting some stubborn spots that have been hanging around and not fading, so I've been using some pretty damn good masks to try and fade the current and battle any future spots. I love all these masks I'm going to mention, but I love them all for very different reasons. So let's talk about why I love each one:

Oh K! Sleep Mask | 2Oml | £4.Oo - I've talked about this absolute joy of a mask on NB before, but it's still a favourite and one I use more than a few times weekly. The Oh K! sleep mask is really affordable and contrary to the packaging claims, I have gotten around 15-2O uses out of one 2Oml sachet so they're so good for cost per use. I apply this just as the brand instruct - just before bed to clean and dry skin. It's got a gorgeous smell and smooths over the skin gently cooling the skin briefly and feels extremely hydrating instantly. It takes a little while to sink in and depending on how thick of a layer you apply, the mask can sit on top of the skin but it isn't sticky or uncomfortable. I use this when my skin is looking tired, drained, or if I have any dry areas of skin (particularly after a bad breakout). The next morning, my face always looks plump, so much clearer in terms of blemishes, and has a great deal of deep moisture to it which doesn't make me excessively oily. I will always repurchase this mask but I just *wish* they'd bring out much bigger jars or bottles of it!

Pilgrim 55 Organic Black Charcoal and Liquorice Scrub Mask* | 6Oml-12Oml | £9.99 - £12.99 - Pilgrimm 55 are a skincare brand that are relatively new to me but after reviewing a few of their products last month, I'm happy to say I'm still using and loving the products I reviewed. This charcoal and liquorice mask is great for detoxifying the skin and is my current go-to choice when I'm facing problem/blemished skin but also facing sensitivity as this mask is surprisingly gentle on the skin. I love how natural this mask's ingredients are and the mask is incredibly comfortable to wear as it never dries down properly and doesn't make the skin feel tight or pulled. After using this mask, my skin instantly looks a bit brighter and more awake and then the next morning I also see a positive effect on my oil production and my acne. Although this is described as a "scrub mask", it is very gentle and makes the skin incredibly soft. If you want a mask that is super easy and nice to use and from a brand that are environmentally conscious
and cruelty free, try this one.

The Body Shop Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask | 75ml | £16.Oo - Okay okay guys, I love this mask and have sang it's praises before, but it's still a firm favourite. This mask is my heavy duty option and is the one I reach for when I need instant results and my skin needs a lot of TLC. The charcoal element of this mask totally gets rid of my excess oil and helps minimise my spots almost instantly. It dries down and is quite difficult to wash off but once you've scrubbed it off with a flannel, it buffs the skin to baby softness and makes your skin glow. It is a lovely face mask to use as it feels very luxury considering the reasonable price point and it has never failed to make my skin look more radiant and cared-for than before the application. I use this once a week when I feel I *really* need it and it rejuvenates my skin so I don't look so goddamn tired.

Although I often look for masks that can help with my oily, spot-prone skin, in recent months I've dabbled more and more with ones that promise the glow, nourished skin, and deep moisture. If you have any you'd recommend that you love, help a girl out and hit me up with your recommendations!

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August 11, 2017

The Art of Being Afraid

Although I'd consider myself a very honest and open person here on NB, there's parts of me and my mind that I've refrained from sharing or that I've outright hidden away and why? I don't know to be honest. Maybe it's a fear of judgement, maybe it's a worry that people will reject me or what I've said or done... It's all negative concerns that make me keep some things to myself despite wanting to come across as a free-spoken woman because I hope everyone builds up the courage to be unreserved with their thoughts and their voice too. But I've realised the only way I can encourage that confidence in other people is if I follow my own wishes and advice and bring down the boundaries I've set for myself and this blog and I'm completely transparent. I know that a lot of my worries and concerns in and about life are consistent with worries of many others, so what better way of feeling better about them then talking about them, right? After reading the wonderful Rebecca from From Roses' blog post about things she's afraid to share, I felt empowered to join in the online conversation of confessions and share what I'm mighty scared of too.

- I'm afraid to rely on anyone except me, myself, and I. I have incredibly supportive relationships in every corner of my life but I find it extremely difficult to entrust things with anyone but myself. These "things" can be *big* things such as something like my finances or wellbeing or the polar opposite and be something as small and frankly insignificant as relying on someone to get the right cranberry juice at the supermarket. I'm very much a person who likes to feel in control of what I'm doing and struggle with letting others be remotely in charge of that. I think this is partly down to my anxiety and always assuming the worst is going to happen so at least when it does, if I'm in charge, I can blame myself easily but pointing blame at others is something I find tough to do also. This means I find it almost impossible to accept help - even when I truly need it - and instead will be stubborn through and through until everything goes a bit tits up because I can't do it by myself and then I'll have a meltdown about it as a result. It takes me a long time to open up in relationships of all kinds and although I am getting better at this, I still find it difficult to trust others even with information about myself let alone decisions or actions that could effect me emotionally, financially, or more.

- I'm afraid of making decisions about pretty much everything. Although I find it hard to enlist others to do anything for me, I also find it super hard to make decisions. It has gotten me into a lot of heated arguments over the years and somehow that has made me even more indecisive in increased fear of *still* making the wrong decision. Obviously I have made some incredibly big decisions in my life thus far - I moved 3Oo+ miles away from home, I went to university, I further studied to become a teacher etc. but day to day I can't do decisions. Everyone laughs at that video from the scene in The Notebook when Ryan Gosling keeps asking "what do you want?" to be met with "I don't know" again and again and people say this is what it's like asking your girlfriend what she wants to eat for dinner, and it's pretty much me in a nutshell. I always answer "plan A or plan B" type questions with "I don't mind - what do you want to do?" and it's partly fear of making the wrong choice and also partly fear of not pleasing others. I'm the sort of person who will go along with someone else's plan, even if I don't like it, if I think it will make them happy. It's not necessarily a bad trait of mine but it can be an extremely frustrating one for both myself and others. As you can imagine, struggling with relying on others yet also finding it difficult to make decisions for myself - both big and small - do not make for a good mix, so this is an area in my life I'm trying to desperately improve - for the sake of everyone's sanity, including my own!

- I'm afraid of dying young. I think many of us share this fear and most of the time I think I'm being overdramatic but there's times when my anxiety and insistent worrying gets the better of me and I really worry about this. Sometimes when I can't go to sleep, I start to worry about why and it all just snowballs from there - what if I go to sleep and I don't wake up? I have a sore stomach and that's why I can't sleep but what if that's actually an illness? What if it's something that's going to kill me?... You see where I'm going with this right? It's completely irrational and it's something I can make myself sick with worry over, but it's still something I do. Thankfully, it's rarely crosses my mind anymore as I'm relatively happy most of the time so the thoughts don't seem to surface as often, but it's still something that's always bubbling away.

- I'm afraid of being too selfish. Okay guys I'll always be honest and tell you I'm an incredibly selfish person. Whilst I do try to always please others (sometimes at my displeasure), overall I am selfish and will always do things to benefit myself. I very rarely show remorse for things like friendships ending or for saying something hurtful and to be honest, I'm quite pleased about that for a number of reasons. As someone who chronically worries about anything and everything, from whether or not people are judging me for wearing a certain colour lipstick or if what I said 4 weeks and 3 days ago to a colleaguge was taken the wrong way, being able to cut people off who don't improve my life and doing what I want a lot of the time without regard for others can sometimes be a blessing. I've cut off a lot of people in the last 5 or so years and it's not because they've necessarily done anything wrong, just that I realised being their friend was a chore rather than a positive aspect in my life or they were just a bit too much of a Negative Nelly about certain things and it ultimately dragged me down. It would be the sort of personalities that brought out the worst parts of myself - the parts I've worked hard to change for the better over the years - that are the sort of personalities I can be selfish against and not care about. Whilst this selfishness is great for the most part as it means the few decisions I do make myself will always have my best interests at the centre of them, I am afraid that this selfishness will leak into more important departments of my life and will someday have a negative effect on someone I care about dearly (which comes back to that whole not relying on anyone point - I guess I'm just a bit of a loner!).

- I'm afraid that I'm damaged goods. Let's be honest - very few people get through life without having at least one rough relationship that had a lasting impact on them but I would go as far as to say all of my relationships have been damaging except my current one. As an incredibly insecure young girl, I grew up seeking validation from others instead of striving for it within myself and that has unfortunately had a lasting effect on me. Every past relationship I have had has either involved cheating, control, violence, or emotional abuse. None of them have been smooth sailing and many of us are in the same boat. However this is not me pointing the finger of blame at everyone else because every time you do that, you have 3 fingers pointing back at you but that's the concern. I'm still scared to this day that negativities from past experiences have effected my personality in a way that makes me unlovable, nasty, or difficult to tolerate but this is something I'm aware that I can only try to grow from.

- I'm afraid I won't get my shit together, ever. Worrying about being self-destructive is one thing, but I also constantly wonder and inevitably worry over not reaching the full potentials I have planned for my life. My focus for a lot of my years growing up has always been creating a happy and stable family for myself. Although I had lots of ambition and plans for careers I was interested in, my ultimate goal was and still is a humble one in that I would like to have a happy marriage and children. As a 16 year old, I thought I'd have it all sorted out by 25. Sitting here at 26 still not married and certainly not with children, it's clear that life doesn't pan out as you expect. I try my best to coin and use the phrase "what will be will be" like some sort of mantra to live by, but realistically I want to give myself a good shake and demand to know *why* I haven't got this shit together yet. I am never a regretful person because I'm a firm believer that regrets only digress your growth, but those "maybe I should have studied this instead" or "maybe this is the wrong job" sort of thoughts slip into my mind now and again so I never feel fully in control of these things. Of course I know that 26 is still young in the grand scheme of things and yes, I know, I can change and improve all areas of my life and reach this goal of having everything "perfect" and the way I want it but, I'm very much a player in the millennial era so I want it all now, instant, on a plate and I'll be damned if I feel content until I get it.

- I'm afraid that I'm a fraud. I feel like in the contemporary world, the fear of being "exposed" is rife in society and I guess a lot of it goes hand in hand with social media and for me in particular, blogging as well. I'm often concerned that I feel like a fraud in certain instances and that at some point, someone will point this out to be true. Impostor Syndrome is very much a real issue for many high-achieving individuals who feel that their accomplishments are fraudulent and whilst I am not someone diagnosed with this, it is still something I feel pops up time and time again for me. If you read my post about switching to being cruelty free with my beauty, I touched on this a little when I said I often feel like I'll be called out for being a hypocrite as I'm a meat eater but I'm fully against animal cruelty. This "fraud" mindset filters into other areas like I often feel undeserving of my First Class degree in Archaeology and feel like a failure as a teacher. I know deep down there's no reasons for this and actually, I worked bloody hard to achieve both of these accomplishments, but there's always a niggling voice that says I either don't deserve these accolades at all or I earned them in a non-ethical/truthful way. Even silly things like discussing the health benefits of yoga on this blog then spending 5 days not doing it, slobbing out eating junk food instead, fills me with an overwhelming feeling of being a failure and an impostor and it's ridiculous as we're always told "we're only human", but it's just an inner monologue battle I have with myself daily.

We all have fears and concerns throughout life, both rational and irrational, that are equally as valid as the next person's. We all have things that eat away at us at times that can be for long or short periods and can be things we live and grow from or things that just change and adapt due to personal developments. Whilst we never fully escape from these fears, I like to try and view them not as a negative thing we need to tackle but actually as a positive. Having fears shows that you're growing. Having fears shows that you're aware of areas in your life that you may not be content with or that you see an opportunity for improvement. These fears shape who we and whilst they should not define us, the fact that we are fighting them and trying to overcome them every day should. That's why I hope you haven't read this post as a completely negative and downer of a post because actually? Owning your fears, being aware of what you are afraid of is a great thing - it makes you stronger, more informed and mindful, and more vulnerable to your own criticism which helps you develop. Far too often in the blogging world it is seen as poorly judged to show your vulnerable, not-so-perfect life, but we're all going through shit and man, does it feel good to get it off your chest! So to wrap this up, here's just a handful more of things I'm afraid of - both rational and completely bat-shit insane (enjoy):

- I'm afraid of getting jealous of what others have whether it's material things or emotional bonds will eat me up.
- I'm afraid of possibly being stung by a bee one day and discovering that I'm actually extremely allergic to one of my favourite animals and will feel betrayed.
- I'm afraid of pushing everyone away and being a bit of a loner will come back to bite me on the butt one day.
- I'm afraid that one day I'll eat a sprout and actually like it.
- I'm constantly afraid that all of my teeth will fall out but I'm also afraid to go to the dentist to ensure that they won't.
- I'm afraid that I will go through my whole life never knowing whether or not I can successfully live on my own as up to this point, I haven't had the chance.
- I'm afraid that my thin hair will be gross when I'm old.
- I'm afraid that one day I'll stop wearing thongs and will opt for larger pants.
- I'm afraid that my blog writing isn't good enough.
- I'm afraid that my blog photography isn't good enough.
- I'm afraid that past experiences were my "one chance" and they've sailed by.
- I'm afraid that despite all of these fears, I'm the happiest I've ever been and I'm scared that *this* is what happiness actually feels like.

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August 04, 2017

July in Review

Gang, can you believe we're in August now already? Can you believe it will be 2O18 in 4 months?! I *know*. This year is sailing by at lightning speed and I can't quite keep up with it. Unlike June, July felt like it went by incredibly quickly and I think it was partly due to a busy time at work and wishing it away.

The Personal
July saw developments in the whole house buying procedure and we're creeping ever closer to owning a place and I'm just ecstatic about it. It's still super terrifying because a lot of financial and emotional investment goes into such a big step, but it feels right and I just can't *wait* to have a space where I get to decide every little detail how it looks and functions. Other than house stuff, other grown up stuff this month i.e. my job was quick moving and seemed to go by pretty damn quick this month. It was the end of the academic year for me so it was all hands on deck to get my students through their exams, get ready for the next academic year, and just feel slightly rested before it all starts all over again. I started to also properly plan my trip home to the beautiful north east in August as I want to make the most of it. Living down south is great and all, but I've mentioned before that I miss Newcastle and the surrounding area more and more each time I head back there, so this time I need to make sure I squeeze as much as I can into the few days I'm there so I (hopefully) won't miss it too much before my next visit at Christmas.

For TV in July, I started re-watching Twin Peaks from the very beginning. Obviously back in May, the new series was released and although I'm desperate to watch it all, I wanted to make sure the whole story was fresh in my mind (despite knowing the ins and outs of it like the back of my hand). Although it's my favourite TV show, I never grow tired or bored of it so re-watching it is never a chore. For those of you who might have missed out on the cult classic, it's a now 3 season TV show created and directed by the every eccentric but equally as wonderful, David Lynch, and centres around the town yep, you guessed it - Twin Peaks. There's a murder at the very start of the show and the plot is focused on working out who committed the murder and why. As you may assume, the show also uncovers lots of other side stories as more characters are revealed and involved in the main story line and Kyle MacLachlan playing Special Agent Dale Cooper (the agent sent to the small town to solve the murder) is one of the best characters in anything ever. The show has a great sense of humour in spots, surrealism, suspense, and a damn good soundtrack.

Another show that I should have re-watched before the new season started just to jog my memory was Game of Thrones. I have been *so* looking forward to it coming back onto our screens as it's getting to the juicy parts i.e. the end and I'm completely guessing as to what route the whole show is going to go down. I don't think I need to discuss was Game of Thrones is here, but if you've somehow missed out on it so far in life, all I can say is if dragons, violence, politics, and boobs won't convince you it's a good show I don't know what will.

July seems to have been a bit of a movie month for me and has mostly been a horror film month at that. I think I must be getting into the Halloween mood a little early as the weather has been so abysmal as quite a few scary and gory ones have graced my screen. The first one I want to mention - simply because I enjoyed it far more than I thought I would - is The Hallow. The story centres around a husband and wife who move to tiny hamlet area in the countryside with their new born baby. A neighbour tries to warn them that it's a bad idea but of course - they don't listen. The reason it's a bad idea is because fairies live in the surrounding woodland area and they can be pretty intent on making fellow humans become fairies and they have a knack for stealing new born babies. Now, my description of it sounds like it'll be the worst thing you'll ever watch but honestly - it's great. It's not a jump scare nor a gore type of horror, but it keeps you on the edge of your seat nonetheless. Although you can tell this is your typical low budget UK based film, it's really good with some great acting going on. I'd highly recommend it.

Two other horrors I watched in July were The Green Inferno and Blair Witch. I've watched The Green Inferno before but if you're after mindless gore, shock horrors, then very few do it better than Eli Roth. The Green Inferno is about some American college kids who want to go and protect a rainforest area in Peru that is being deforested by a timber agency. They end up with a community - the same individuals they're trying to protect - and well, they find out their cannibals in the worst possible way. It's not the goriest horror in the world, but it's an okay watch. I also watched Blair Witch which is a 2O16 version of the cult classic The Blair Witch Project. It is filmed in the same sort of camcorder, vlog/documentary style way, but the story is slightly different. From what I can work out, the main character's sister was the main character of the second Blair Witch Project film so that would make this one the third part in the story (although it could be a standalone - it's not really that clear). It's of course a good jump scare film and focuses on the blair witch folklore and tale but develops it further by the group wanting to find a house in the woods which the blair witch is believed to be linked to. Initially, the film kind of seems to be doing the same old thing from the previous Blair Witch movies, but after a freak death in the story, it makes you quickly sit up and pay attention to the rest of the film. I quite enjoyed it but the original is still obviously the best one.

If horror films aren't your thing, maybe a ridiculous adult comedy about a talking bear can tickle your fancy instead. I quite enjoyed the first Ted film but honestly? Ted 2 might actually be even better. Ted 2 focuses still on Ted, the talking bear who swears a lot, smokes a lot of weed, and seems to get a lot of ladies, but the second movie sees him struggling to be recognised as a living being and not just a thing that is owned by a human. It has great humour throughout, the same familiar great characters, and also a pretty steady storyline for a second film!

There's been many fab releases this month when it comes to music but there's a few in particular I need to talk about right now. First up we've got to talk about the queen of my heart - Lana Del Rey - and her album, Lust for Life. Lana can do no wrong in my eyes but I was so excited for this drop as her last album was my least favourite so I had my fingers and toes crossed that Lust for Life would go back to more of her original sound and it totally has. There's some great songs on the album and some even better collaborations (Stevie Nicks anyone?!). The songs have Lana's typical modern twist on 5Os-7os style and I really love the whole album. Another album I was super stoked for was Tyler, The Creator's Flower Boy. Again, this album is true to the artist and very *Tyler*. I think these are my most favourite Tyler tracks to date because I find the lyrics so relatable and the songs are so easy listening and sound so vulnerable that I can have this album on loop and never get bored yet also dip in and out of it. It's just a fantastic album to be perfectly honest.

Boris are one of my favourite bands and their new release, Dear, is another amazing drop from them. I'm gutted to find out that this may be their last album ever being released, but if that is the case, they've ended their releases on a solid album. Dear sounds much more like "old" Boris as it's a much heavier and slower sounding album compared to their previous ones. I need to give it some more dedicated listening time, but if you like those sort of droning, slightly electronic, slightly gloom albums and/or bands, give Boris' catalogue a listen from start to finish and you won't be disappointed. I've also got to quickly mention a song release here that has got me mega excited for September. My ultimate babe, Chelsea Wolfe, is releasing a new album in September and from that long-awaited album, she released the song "Vex" this July as a bit of an extra taster after the last song release earlier this year. Vex is such a perfect song - it's very Chelsea Wolfe as it's gloomy, droning, yet angelic with her gorgeous voice, but I'm most excited as she seems to be sticking with the heaviness she had going on in her last album.

One last music-related mention I need to make here is the fact that Itch from The King Blues is doing a tour in October for his poetry book launch and release and it took me all of 1O minutes to buy some tickets to see his reading and show in Winchester later this year. The King Blues are a band I've always liked, but I've also always loved Itch's lyrics and him just as a person so I'm mega excited to see him perform in a more intimate setting and in a venue that I spent most of my evenings as a university student.

Video Games
Guys guys guys, I played quite a few video games in July and I've got a few I'd certainly recommend. The PS4 is great for including some ace games in their free games each month and I was stoked to see Until Dawn as part of the freebies this month. Until Dawn in a horror game that is like no other in my opinion. The first thing that ever attracted my attention about this game is the graphics - they have shot the whole thing like a horror film, using actual actors (some well recognisable) as the characters which helps the game have a lot more depth as the characters have such realistic facial expressions (not to mention it makes the graphics pretty damn impressive). The game is centred around a group of young people on a short vacation in the mountains at one of the college students' parents holiday home. Unfortunately, something happens to some of the characters right at the start of the game and then the main game follows the rest of the characters a year later when they revisit the same holiday home. I thoroughly enjoyed this game as it really focuses on the butterfly effect and is the first game I've played where my conversation decisions truly felt like they impacted the outcome of the story. The idea is you need to see how many people survive until dawn and it all rests on your decisions. I blitzed through Until Dawn in 2 days and I can't wait to play it again to see the other outcomes. It has plenty of jump scares just like a horror film and I really like the general story as the horror threat is not what it initially seems to be. There's lots of twists and turns that are unpredictable too which keep you on your toes. Although the game has a bit of a slow start, aspects of it like the functionality of the controller and the whole having to actually stay still when you're hiding (I'm being serious) helps to really submerse you into the story.

As if the TV show wasn't enough, I started (and have almost completed) Telltale's Game of Thrones game. The game follows a family that is not usually mentioned in the show and you play multiple characters from that family. It's in typical Telltale Games style and has 6 episodes you play through in which your conversation decisions impact elements of the story and the outcome of each episode. I've quite enjoyed the game and particularly seeing well-known characters - and the actual actors from the TV show voicing them - pop up but all in all the game is just okay - it's nothing to write home about. I've enjoyed some of the other Telltale Games games like The Wolf Among Us and The Walking Dead a lot more but it's still a good one to try out if you love Game of Thrones! The final game I'll mention is Everybody's Gone to the Rapture. This game has got to be the most chill game I've ever played and therefore I have to recommend it if the whole almost shitting yourself whilst playing Until Dawn isn't your sort of thing. Everybody's Gone to the Rapture reminds me of those old PC games that require you to click on things, listen, and then put the puzzle pieces together to work out the story. As the name states, you play someone who is wandering around a cute little British countryside village and it appears everyone has went to the rapture except you. There's a reason behind it and you need to find out what happened. It's a bit of a slow burner of a game due to not being able to run on the game (it takes *so* long to get around man), but it's a pretty game to play, interesting, and it has some of the best trophies if you're someone like me who needs to explore every nook and cranny and collect everything.

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August 02, 2017

2 Scrubs to Get That Glow

When it comes to healthy glowing skin, I used to be pretty against the idea as someone who oily skin the term "glowy" rings alarm bells. But now that I don't wear foundation, I'm finding it more and more desirable to have that "glow from within" look as it helps my skin look alive and fresh with no aid of colour correcting or coverage. So part of pursuing this glow has led me to exfoliation and scrubs. I used to avoid facial scrubs like the plague as I strongly believed they did more harm than good but when used in the right way and used only occasionally, exfoliation for the face can help lift dead skin cells, help skin look buffed and smoothed, and give your face an overall healthy look that your regular face wash might not achieve.

In my trial and error testing to find a great exfoliation scrub that suits me and my skincare needs, I think I've finally found two tip top options from the drugstore that are quite similar in their benefits and results, but vary from the lower end of the price point to the higher end of the drugstore options. Both scrubs work well but certainly have their differences so let's get into it:

Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Scrub | 75ml | £9.95: The first scrub I have to mention is the Glycolic Fix Scrub from Nip+Fab. Nip+Fab are a great drugstore brand that focus on individual skincare needs and really pack a punch in their products. They've recently branched out into makeup (which I'm excited to try out as it no doubt takes into consideration various skin needs) but for now, let's just discuss this gem of a exfoliator. The Nip+Fab brand have a whole Glycolic range but this scrub is the main star to me because it works wonders and only needs to be used occasionally. The scrub itself is jam-packed with with various acids that help get skin to the best condition including salicylic acid which helps with problem skin such as acne and redness and helps refine and brighten skin naturally. It aims to improve skin tone and texture with continued use and suggests using the scrub as often as once a week but no more than that. This scrub is incredibly abrasive on the skin - it's not completely sore to use, but you really do feel like you're properly buffing away any signs of dirt or dry skin. The scrub recommends you use SPF after using the scrub as it basically helps get rid of the top tired layer of skin so you need to protect the fresh but newly exposed skin. I use this once a week (usually on a Wednesday when my skin needs a mid-week pick me up) and it really helps to keep my skin looking and feeling happy.

Superdrug Naturally Radiant Brightening Micro Polish | 75ml | £4.99: As the name suggests, this micro polish scrub has a very fine and small scrub to it which makes it a great product to use throughout each week as it's not as abrasive on the skin as the Nip+Fab option. Despite being a scrub, it is incredibly gentle on the skin and I've raved about this range before and this product in particular is definitely a favourite. I tend to use this (if I haven't used my Nip+Fab one) twice a week - once at the weekend and again on Wednesday if my skin is starting to look tired. It's a great mid week pick-me-up as it helps brighten the skin with its ingredients including kiwi and mulberry extracts and these fruit acids help to even out uneven skin tone whilst also getting rid of those pesky dead skin cells. This whole range has a gorgeous scent to it which means it is a pleasure to use, but it is also great for any of you who have sensitive eyes as I can happily use this and have my eyes open and the product never irritates them. This polish also includes grape seed oil which is a great natural moisturiser so no matter whether you're a dry skin or oily skinned person, this stuff moisturises just the right amount and keeps the skin feeling fresh, smooth yet protected and not stripped. I'd really recommend this polish if you're in the need for a gentle exfoliator that still gets results (especially if you're a vegetarian or vegan as this product is suitable for both!).

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