Are commercial brands like Neutrogena suitable for sensitive skin?Β 

opinion piece

*Disclaimer; I am not a trained cosmetologist or scientist, opinions included within this post are based on my own experience, skin type, research and opinion* 

I know I have previously mentioned all of my hundreds of skincare concerns, however I am going to reiterate for the sake of this post. My skin seems to incessantly hate me, for it doesn’t matter how much time or money I spend trying to love it – it still misbehaves almost instantaneously. The main problem is that I have suffered with acne for the last 10 years, meaning my t-zone is naturally full of oil. I was taking accutane for a year to treat my acne (a very strong drug used to treat cancer and other ailments). This drug severely dries out your skin, so now I have both permanently oily and dry skin. Oily overall with dry peeling patches. So not ideal really. 

Over the last few years, I have tried and tested a myriad of skincare brands and products. And there seems to be one thing in common with a majority of them.  They are super stringent on sensitive skin, and consequently cause an over production of sebum – making any skin issues worsen. You see, if you strip your skin of its natural oils, as a defence mechanism your skin will start to product more sebum (oil). An over production of sebum is what causes acne. This is counter productive to treating your oily skin problem, as you are in fact adding to the issue. 

If your skin feels tight after your skincare regime, you may be using a cleanser containing alcohol. Or simply over cleansing. A lot of drugstore / commercial brands use alcohol within their face washes and toners. 

I recently attended a press event for Neutrogena, where I received these skincare products in my goodie bag:Using these products just emphasised to me how there is an entire branch of the skincare industry misadvertising. If we take the above cleanser as an example, ‘gently cleanses..’ – there is nothing gentle about this cleanser I can assure you. I have attempted to use this cream wash and it totally dried out my skin. It contains alcohol AND salicylic acid. Now, although salicylic acid is known for its acne fighting properties. What these advertisers often don’t mention is that prolonged use can dry and thin skin, and cause excessive dryness. The combination of these two ingredients plus a whole host of other chemicals makes these products very drying. There are also websites where you can check if a product contains irritant ingredients, this is helpful as you can check before investing. It’s important to remember that some of these ingredients are necessary, however try to choose products with less harmful amounts of these irritant ingredients. 

I’m sure that these products may be suitable for those with less sensitive skin. However the fact that some of the ingredients are harmful to skin, rings alarm bells in my mind. 

If you do have sensitive skin, I would avoid brands that make products similar to this. Remember to check ingredients before purchasing. Here are some other tips to stop you from over-drying your skin; 

1. Limit chemical exposure 

If you can, try to cleanse with a plain oil or water. Of course you can use a gentle oil or make up remover to take off make up beforehand 

2. Tone it down 

A lot of toners are stringent and drying. They often contain perfumes, alcohol and salicylic acid. Check the ingredients, and remove them from your skincare regime 

3. Creamy dreamy 

Invest in an appropriate moisturiser for your skin type. Especially for over night moisturisation, this will help to repair skin and leave it replenished in the morning 

The conclusion is that you must be over careful when purchasing skincare products. Always check and research ingredients – and be aware of what your own skin can handle and needs. Every facial wash out there is going to emphasise how brilliant it is – we must learn to read between the lines. I think as consumers we can often become lazy, and we trust certain brands because they have a huge reputation. This does not necessarily mean that they always have our best interests at heart. Products are produced on a mass scale to make money. Sometimes, you have to stop and think about what exactly you are choosing to lump on your skin. 

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Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir Mascara: Influenster Vox Box reviewΒ 

product review

I’ll be totally honest here, I have no clue how to use Influenster. Perhaps I’m just getting old (25, quarter of a century I’ll have you know), some of this technical social media online stuff I just have no clue about. I had been playing around with it, posting random reviews of cleaning products (how glamorous) and make up I had used many moons ago. But didn’t think much of it, however last week I received my first Vox Box from Influenster. 


Amazingly, my first box *which was received for complimentary purposes* was from Marc Jacobs Beauty. It certainly looked the part. It was their new Velvet Noir Mascara. It appeared luxuriant, with it’s classy monochrome design.  

Does it perform as well as it looks? 

The mascara has a rather large brush, and in this case size does matter. The width of the brush allows you to apply the mascara efficiently and equally.

The mascara ensures that lashes look naturally long, and are far from clumpy. There is one criticism – I did notice that it’s difficult to build up the layers, whereas with similar high end mascaras you can build layers for more volume quite easily. Is it worth the Β£22 price tag? I’d say, if you don’t own any other high end mascaras then invest in this one. If you do, then it isn’t really worth it; it’s not particularly special for the price. I believe you can get better. But it isn’t half bad either! And it’s a lovely producy aesthetically, it will look great on your dressing table. 

Overall : 8/10 

Beauty Blog Collective: an introΒ 

Events & launches

As some of you may or may not know (I have mentioned briefly in the past), I used to write and review beauty products for Really Ree. However, a couple of weeks ago myself and the other contributors were sent a message explaining that Ree no longer wanted us to write for her. She was changing the direction of the website, and wanted to focus solely on her reviews. 

We had a fantastic time reviewing products for the site; receiving some amazing products and receiving exposure from one of the biggest beauty blogs in the UK! A truly great experience. 

After some consideration, we decided that we weren’t done with it. It wasn’t the end for us, seven of us decided to create our own beauty blog. Beauty Blog Collective is now up and running, at its humble beginnings just yet…but we’ve got amazing plans on the horizon. 

It’s really inspiring to work amongst such hard working women. We’re all extremely, terribly busy people – but we all seem to manage to find time to do what we love. Beauty is a passion that we share, and we’re all normal women. That is exactly what we aim to represent, different types of women who have a passion for beauty. 

Here’s to the future! πŸ₯‚ 

Fenty Beauty by Rihanna x Killawatt highlighter in Trophy Wife reviewΒ 

product review

I don’t know about you but I like my highlighter to be visible from space, man I want to be more flourescent than a WH Smith highlighter in yellow. So when I saw Fenty Beauty’s luminescent highlighters I instantly fell in love. It’s perfectly justifiable to purchase – because there is nothing quite like them currently on the market. 

I wanted to be extra daring and chose the shade Trophy Wife, which is a bold gold as shown. 

My thoughts & first impressions 

Honest, photos do not even do it justice. It’s pigmented to death…it’s glittery, it’s shimmery and it’s super light on the skin. Even one swatch will leave you glittering like a unicorn – so I can only imagine the drama if you tried layering the highlighter. 

Another great element which I really love is that Rihanna has created the range without any exclusivity. All the products suit all skin tones, her range of 40 colours of foundation has received untold media attention. And rightly so, If Rihanna can launch such diversity in her first range – established brands could and should be doing even more. But they just aren’t, the lack of diversity in the beauty range has been an issue for decades. It’s great that a figure with such prominence is drawing attention to the issue, and actively launching steps towards change. 

 Even the casing screams class, I’m so impressed at the quality of the product; considering that the price is relatively cheap. The  highlighter (in all shades) is available online now for Β£26. 

Top tip : Apply the highlighter not only to your cheekbones, but also on the eyes too. This highlighter is more pigmented than most of my eyesjwdows, ironically. 

Get your glow on girl! 

Why I’m embracing my pale colour and saying no to fake tanΒ 

opinion piece

Throughout high school I was that chick who looked like she had splashed her dad’s creosote on her face. Yes I was perma tanned, and for some reason (still unknown to me) I thought I looked great. But in reality I was probably a streaky orange mess. I become reliant on fake tan to feel good about myself. 

We are constantly told that a tan makes you look healthier, slimmer and more sexy. And that’s fine if you obtain a natural tan, or if you apply fake tan wanting a natural looking tan. I get it. Tans are beautiful. But we can’t all be naturally tanned. 

The fundamental with keeping up appearances is that you become addicted. Two or three years ago I probably would not have left the house without tan on. You start to believe it’s your natural colour, your brain becomes numbed to your pretense. 

About a year ago I decided I was going to embrace my natural colour. And I haven’t looked back since. I don’t mind if people tell me I’m really white, too pale or call me Casper. 

I will be conforming to others beauty ideals no longer. This is my colour. I’m going to embrace it and love it. 

Mary Kay’s believe + wonder collection + gel semi-shine lipsticks reviewΒ 

product review

On Wednesdays we wear pink πŸ’…πŸ»

I’m so excited about Mary Kay’s new collection, the believe and wonder collection is based around inspiring positivity. What could be better than sweet pink products and positivity!? 

They are a new collection of bath and body items, each collection contains a shower gel, body lotion and fragrance mist. I’ve got the paint the sky collection, they smell insanely sweet (which I love, all my go to fragrances are sickly sweet). There are notes of vanilla, velvet musk and pink grapefruit which provides a refreshing sweet smell perfect for summer. Because, in England we can’t guarantee the weather – but at least we can smell summery! 

Instantaneously I have been reviewing their new lipstick range, gel semi-shine lipsticks. I have been using a nude and red shade (perfect for me because I’m way too into my comfort zone to branch out to any other colours). Also perfect for me because my lips get insanely dry using matte lipsticks, it literally drives me insane on a daily basis. Most of the time my exterior looks normal, in my mind my lips feel like an actual sand pit. It’s hard being me. 

Gel has long been discovered for nails – but not so much for lips. So when I discovered these gel lipsticks I could not wait to try them out. 

Swatches of ‘Naturally Buff’ & ‘Red Smoulder’


These lipsticks are legit my new go to. Whilst they maintain colour throughout the day – they are moisturising without being overly glossy. You don’t want to look like a 90’s rendition of Lil Kim after all… 

These amazing lipsticks are available in 12 shades! Get yours now. πŸ’‹πŸ’…πŸ»πŸ’‹πŸ’…πŸ» 

NYX beauty school dropout palette review and swatches

product review

Much like every make up obsessor I often sit and think which products I need next. Like, of course I NEED a new eyeshadow pallet to add to my already huge collection of about 20. Pssssh. My justification was that I decided to branch out to bright, pigmented colours. I wanted one palette with every colour – so that when I’m getting ready I don’t need to have a gazillion palettes surrounding me. It just gets messy and confusing. On my quest to find the perfect palette I came across NYX’ website. NYX is both amazing quality, and great prices. 

The beauty school drop out palette also has a variety of blushes and lip colours. It’s currently on sale for Β£22.50 which is an absolute steal!  

From the swatches you can see how pigmented the eyeshadow colours are; fortunately for a larger palette the quality of the eyeshadows has not been compromised. The only problem is choosing which shade to use because there’s just so much choice and I’m so goddamn indecisive. Not to mention scared of leaving my comfort zone. Buying this was a real step outside my ordinary box, and I’m so grateful that I did that. If you never take chances in life you won’t ever discover anything new. 

For the initial use I decided to experiment and go for a pink smoky eye, it was my first attempt to use any eyeshadow colours apart from nudes and blacks (nudes and black are life though) . 

In conclusion I found the eyeshadows a great pleasure to use. It’s like being a candid kid at the candy shop, waiting to apprehensively, excitedly chose your pick n mix sweets 😍

One tip I would suggest is to spritz your eyeshadow brush with setting spray and then apply. Gives an even more pigmented than usual colour, you will look like a walking rainbow. 🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈 
Have a great Sunday guys!