Wednesday, 10 April 2013


I really like colouring my hair, it's a surefire way to instant happiness for me.
I love updating and changing the way I look, and changing the colour of my hair is the easiest way to do that (and it's way more safer than getting tattoos or piercings are permanent). I'm such a spontaneous and creative person, and have a dangerous personality trait which means I get bored very quickly.
Sometimes I feel that these aspects of my personality are supressed whilst being at university (I'm going to be a fully qualified healthcare professional after graduating from university in the next few months, which will mean I'll have to look 'professional', or boring), so sometimes I feel like I wanna do something crazy and totally rebel against what I 'should' behave or look like.

So then I dyed my hair pink. Of course it's not totally pink, just the ends, which is a little bit safer if you're not sure about dying your whole head a crazy colour. I was a blonde ombre before this for a few weeks (see first picture), but I decided that it was a bit too 'normal' for me. If you're naturally dark like me, you definitely need to bleach your hair like I did before applying any colour like this, otherwise you'll only get a tint of colour.

I used La Colour Riche in 'Tulip', which is a bright fuschia pink. It's a semi-permanent dye, which is great if you're spontaneous like me and like to change your hair every couple of weeks (!!). I bought the dye on eBay from this seller, at £2.59, which is a great price for a quick pick-me-up!.

The dye is super easy to use, just wash your hair with shampoo, towel dry, apply dye to damp hair and wait around 15 minutes. And voila! Although beware, because this stuff stains EVERYTHING. I turned the bathroom and some parts of my bedroom bright pink. Woopsie.

Because it's semi-permanent, your hair will fade. I've been pink for just over two weeks and the pink is slowly fading away. I would invest in some dry shampoo and would recommend not to wash your hair every day, as the colour will fade really fast! Always have a pot of the dye so you can reapply whenever you feel your hair needs to be touched up.

So if you're considering going for a bright colour, do it! I dare ya.

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Cetaphil 'Moisturising Lotion'.

Sometimes, you purchase something, use it and think 'why did I leave it till now to buy this?'. Cetaphil's 'Moisturising Lotion' is definitely one of those.
I have been a fan of Cetaphil ever since I bought the 'Gentle Skin Cleanser', which was amazing. I needed a simple, high-tolerance, non-greasy moisturiser from a brand that I could trust, so I decided to go back to Cetaphil and see what they could offer for my skin!

You can use this product everywhere on your body, but for clarity, I will be talking about facial use only.

The 'Moisturising Lotion' is aimed at those with sensitive and chronically dry skin. Normally I don't suffer with either of those problems, in fact, I have a very oily and acne-prone skin, but when I use my Retin-A medication, my skin gets quite sensitive and can be prone to extreme dryness if I'm not careful. Since it's non-comedogenic, I'm not worried about using this lotion on my oily skin, and for the period I've been using it, I haven't suffered any product-related breakout.

Cetaphil claim that the 'non-comedogenic Cetaphil® Moisturizing Lotion has a non-greasy formulation that is mild, non-irritating and long lasting. This gentle moisturizing formula contains emollients and humectants that bind moisture to the skin. This fragrance-free moisturizer contains no lanolins or parabens.' (taken from the Cetaphil website).

I would agree with almost all of the above. This lotion is very light, but definitely packs a hydrating punch like that of a thicker cream.
It sinks in like a dream, and like the product description says, it leaves no sticky residue or film upon the skin. Unfortunatley, it isn't a matte-finish, and can leave me looking a little bit shiny. Although that might be my overly oily skin. Those with dry skin might find it doesn't have the same effect. This isn't such a big deal, because I use this moisturiser at night or in the day when lounging around indoors and don't need to apply SPF.
It is an extremely gentle product, although I have suffered with slight stinging when applying this onto my skin after Retin-A usage. But weirdly, that was only the one occasion, and I haven't had any more repeats when I have used it on sore skin.
As I said before, because it's non-comedogenic, it doesn't break my oily skin out, so it's a great moisturiser for oily skins as well as dry skins!
Packaging is plain and simple. I am not one of those people who get excited by little embossed rabbits and kitties and ribbons on products as you know. In fact, the more clinical and hospital-ly the product looks, the more I like it. I think it shows that a lot more care has gone into making the product as great as it can be.
It's all plastic, which is practical and great if you wanna shove it in your handbag or suitcase and lug it round with you.

I purchased this from FeelUnique for £8.35, and considering what I've spent on lotions and potions in the past, it's definitely on the cheaper side of things! You get 236ml of product, which is a good amount, and will certainly last me a long time!

For those of you looking for an anti-ageing wrinkle-busting cream, this isn't it. It is a very basic, gentle moisturising lotion with no gimmicks and no fancy claims. But this product has to be one of my favourite skincare products I have ever used, because of everything I've mentioned above. I would definitely recommend it to those who have extremely dry and sensitive skin, and I would recommend it to those who have distressed skin due to harsh acne treatments.

I would definitely repurchase, this product is one of those things which I would class as an 'essential' in my skincare collection. It's always good to have a reliable and hard-working product to hand in case of skin emergencies.
Do any of you use Cetaphil products? I've just discovered the brand does a SPF50 moisturiser which I am definitely going to have to purchase!

Sunday, 3 February 2013

E45 'Emollient Wash Cream'.

Foaming facial washes and harsh skin-stripping cleansers have fallen out of favour with me recently. They really do my skin no good, and in 2013 I wanted to rid my skincare collection of anything that I thought would irritate my skin. 2013 is going to be a year of treating my skin with the respect it deserves, a simple skincare regime without any gimmicky and unneccerssary products.
Ever since I stopped taking all of my oral acne medication to see how things were going skin-wise, I've been trying to look after my skin in the gentlest way possible, so as to not irritate my acne, which leads to more breakouts and a very unhappy Catt. Unfortunately, the dreaded spots are coming back, so I'm off to the doctor's tomorrow! But the recent breakout hasn't deterred me from my search for simple, gentle skincare...

One of the products I bought to start this new simpler and gentler skincare routine was the E45 'Emollient Wash'. I was looking for a non-foaming cream-based face wash, and this was the only one that looked any good!

What E45 say (product information website here):
"A gentle but effective non-drying cleanser, E45 Wash soothes your skin and helps prevent dryness by helping your skin retain its natural moisture.. Free from soap and detergent, E45 Wash is gentle enough for everyday use.
A detergent free alternative to soap.
Suitable for washing dry, unconfortable skin conditions.
Non-drying, non-foaming, perfume-free."

So basically, this 'Emollient Cream Wash' is exactly what it says; it's a cleansing cream. It doesn't foam, so it won't lather up like most cleansers do. The product has the consistency of a thick cream (duhh!). It is really quite simple to use. You just massage the cream into a damp face, and rinse off. It works so well to remove make-up, even harsh eye make-up, and all the daily gunk and grime, leaving skin thoroughly cleansed. If you do tend to wear a lot of make-up, you might have to repeat the massage-rinse cycle a few times, but I was seriously impressed by the cleansing ability of this product. My only gripe with this product is that I normally find that after rinsing the cream off my face, I will still get product left in places like the folds of my eyelids and beside my nose, so I always take a clean flannel to my face to ensure I remove every single trace of the product.
I was slightly apprehensive about how 'clean' my skin would feel afterwards, I had bet my bottom dollar that I would get some nasty residue left upon my skin. Fortunately, I was wrong. Absolutely no residue is left upon my skin after rinsing it off and patting it dry. Thank goodness I'm not a betting person in real life.

I have suffered absolutely no breakouts relating to this product. I currently have spots at the moment, but I know that this is in absolutely no relation to the product, since it has been like this a couple of weeks before I even started using it! My skin actually feels the best it's ever been. My skin looks radiant, feels so comfortable and supple and is incredibly hydrated.
I'm using a new Retin-A 0.05% cream at the moment (review to come later!), and this cream is a great at cleansing hyper-sensitive and sore skin. No stinging, no irritation, no redness, nothing. Just clean, super-soft skin.

I know some people won't like some of the ingredients used in this product (Paraffinum Liquidum, Petrolatum, Cera Microcrystallina, Synthetic Wax, Carnauba, Zinc Oxide, Laureth-4, C12-13 Pareth-3, Cetyl Dimethicone, Aluminium Stearate, Stearic Acid), but to be honest they don't bother me. If the results are good, the results are good, end of story.

It cost me £5.49 for 250ml, which is the average price for most low-end drugstore face washes. This just goes to show that good skincare doesn't always have to cost a bomb!
This is a product which I will always repurchase (and have done...twice!). It is so effective, so gentle and such a good price it is one of those products I will always have in my skincare collection. I would definitely recommend it not to just those with dry, sensitive skin, but also to those who suffer with acne like me, especially if you're applying harsh acne treatments a lot of the time.

Just buy a bottle okay?!

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Medik8 Titanium Dermaroller: A First Glance.

I did it. I have been lusting over Medik8's 'Titanium Dermaroller' for what feels like a year (and mentioning it in a couple of wishlists), and I finally pushed the boat out and purchased one.
What actually did it was an article by Dr Sam Bunting (my skincare guru and the only person I will look to for advice), 'The Secret to Bare-Faced Chic or ‘Bien Dans Sa Peau’', where she mentioned Dermarollers in a positive light, and then I just had to get hold of one.

This is more of a 'first-impressions' post, but will be doing a proper review in a couple of months, once I get enough use out of it.

For those who don't know what one of these scary-looking instruments is, here we go. Dermarollers are basically mini paint-rollers, which tiny needles attached. You roll the dermaroller over a area of skin, and the reaction of the skin is that "this stimulation causes the skin underneath, to use your own collagen to fill and soften wrinkles and scars. It has similar results to Laser Treatment, Chemical Peels and Dermabrasion, but it is considerably less invasive, zero downtime and carries only a fraction of the cost" (quote taken from Dermacare here) It is used to reduce acne scarring (including indented ones), wrinkles, lines, cellulite, stretch marks, even out pigmentation and enhance absorption of skincare products.
Personally, I was interested in evening out my pigmentation, reducing my acne scars and reducing some fine lines that have appeared on my forehead! I am still using a retinoid to prevent any further breakouts, so I was also interested to see how I would get on using both the retinoid and the dermaroller together!

I bought mine from I bought my dermaroller from, which is a Medik8 official stockist. They also do a great little bundle which includes both the dermaroller (whatever size) and the Sterilizing Solution (a must-have!) for only £54, which I thought was a great price, considering the Dermaroller by itself costs £50 and the Sterilizing solution is £12 everywhere else I've looked!

I have used this twice so far - not going to say anything yet apart from OUCH!!! - and I'm really keen so see if this improves my skin texture at all!

I'll keep you posted!

Thursday, 3 January 2013

La Roche Posay 'Effaclar Mat'.

La Roche Posay always get it right when it comes to simple, yet effective skincare. And this product is no exception, it has quickly become a staple and a favourite within my skincare routine!

"Neutralise persistent shine right at the source with the La Roche-Posay Effaclar Mat sebo-regulating moisturiser. With daily use, Effaclar Mat helps to slow sebum production and prevent shine on the skin’s surface. Updated formula now contains Sebulyse. Oil-free texture enriched with absorbent micro-spheres and perlite."

The 'Effaclar Mat' product is a matte daily moisturiser for those with oily skin and enlarged pores. It also claims to help regulate sebum production in the skin, which in turn helps to refine pores. I do have an oily skin which is prone to imperfections, and my pores are normally very large, so this seemed like the perfect product for me! I also wanted a hydrating moisturiser which was light and matte enough so I could use it underneath an suncream, so hence 'Effaclar Mat' went in my basket and I bought it!

The consistency is that of a gel rather than a cream, and it glides on so smoothly, and when it sinks in, my skin looks matte but yet feels incredibly soft and moisturised. It doesn't leave a nasty residue or a heavy feeling upon the skin. This makes it great underneath a primer, or even on it's own it acts as a great make-up base, keeping your make-up really matte and keeping it in place all day!
It does lack an SPF, but I find that it is brilliant base for under suncream. I don't experience any balling up of the product at all, like I have experienced before with some products under suncream. I do find that suncream by itself isn't particularly moisturising or hydrating to the skin, and I do need a moisturiser underneath, especially in winter, and this product fits the bill perfectly!
You can also use this product overnight, which might be a good idea if you really struggle with the oiliness of your skin, but for me, my skin isn't oily enough to warrant overnight use, day-time use is enough for me!
I have read some reviews on the tinterweb which say that it can be quite drying and dehydrating on those who have normal/dryer skin types, so it is probably a moisturiser which strictly stays in the sweaty mitts of the oiler members of society.

I have noticed an reduction in pore size since I started using this product, which is something I'm very pleased about, since the size of my pores are the bane of my existance! I have not had very many spots since using this prouct, I get the odd one or two...or three but nothing like what I am used to. Plus I'm not even on my oral medication anymore, so this product must be having some sort of impact! I do find that my skin isn't as oily as it used to be before I started using the product, so I do find that the claims are ringing true!

The packaging is a little irritating in my opinion. Until you get near to the end of the product, then it's all problem free, but when you're trying to use the last quarter of the bottle, then this is when you'll be screaming whilst squeezing the bottle in your fist.
The presentation of the packaging is very simple, and practical. It's plastic which is great for travelling and shoving in your bag. I like the packaging by LRP, it's all about the product and there is no gimmicky packaging.

You can get it from Boot's at £13.50, which in my opinion is quite expensive for 40ml of product. I will repurchase because I do really like this product and it's become quite the essential in my routine (I use it almost every day!), but I will groan about having to spend £13.50 every time!


Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Suggestions and a wee chit-chat for those who use retinoids.

I think retinoid products are fantastic, both as an actual medication for acne and for it's skin benefiting properties. However, retinoids can have some pretty gross and nasty side effects if used incorrectly or with the wrong skincare products, and sometimes it is a bit confusing what to use with them and what not to use with them!
After using retinoids for the best part of four years to help with my acne, I have had my disasters and have found out through trial and error what works with them, and what doesn't work with them. For your information, I am on Retin-A 0.0025% (I have a blogpost here all about the little gem).
I thought it would be a good idea for me to impart what knowledge I have on the area, so here are a few tips and suggestions for those who are just starting out or are already on retinoids and are a bit confused about what they should and shouldn't do.

1) Always wear an SPF in the day. The top layer of your skin is being peeled off, making your skin more sensitive to sunlight. Find a good SPF product which protects against both UVA and UVB rays, since both are harmful. There are plenty of good suncreams out there, you just need to find one which suits your skin type and your preference! Please, protect your skin from the sun.

2) Don't use exfoliating products/mitts/scrubs/Clarisonics whilst you're using retinoids. Especially with those who are using Retin-A, the peeling effect you get can be pretty gross and can mess up a makeup look completely. Do not be tempted to scrub this peeling skin away, because this peeling skin is attached to loose skin which will shed itself naturally. If you scrub at it, you will take all the skin off your face and will end up with a very sore and oozy face. Leave all exfoliating till at least three days after the last night/day of retinoid application.

3) Do not use any harsh astringent or products containing other chemical exfoliants. This will further irritate your skin, and, from my own experience, they will sting your skin like absolute hell. Not worth it! Treat your skin gently and with kindness and your skin will recover easier and you'll have less 'downtime'.

4) Moisturise, moisturise, and moisturise. You need to find an intensive moisturiser, which helps the skins healing process. Be warned, there are some cream which will sting, and there is no saying which ones will and which ones don't. It is trial and error, but stick to creams which are designed for those with extremely dry and sensitive skins, because these are less likely to contain products which are harsh to skin. Look for products designed for extremely senstive/allergic/dry or cracked skin, these products should contain less nasty harsh stuff and more of the gentle, good stuff.

5) Deal with it. Retinoids have side effects. It is important to know that from the very beginning. And in my experience, every application proves a different result skin-wise. One week you might use it and skin might peel with minimal redness and then heal quickly, leaving skin radiant and beautiful in no time, whilst other times your skin might peel leaving sore-looking red patches all over your face, and downtime feels like forever. Yes, it's a bummer, but think about the result of your skin after using retinoids, and all those days of walking around feeling dejected about the red patches on your skin will be worth it, especially from an acne-front. Focus on the long term.

6) Don't over-use them. I only need a couple of nights application of Retin-A to get my skin to peel, any more than that then my skin gets increasingly sore and dry and almost impossible to normalise. After these two nights, I moisturise my skin like hell to minimise any dryness and to help my skin to heal. Overusing the retinoid will not make it more effective, it will just worsen the side effects!

7) In terms of acne, it gets worse before it gets better. If your doctor has prescribed you retinoids for your acne and you've not been on them before, it is important to be aware that acne might get worse during the early stages. This does not mean the medication isn't working, it just means that the medication is purging the skin of all the nasties that lie beneath the surface of the skin. Be diligent, don't stop applying the retinoid and you'll soon see the benefits.

8) To cover, or not to cover. I don't tend to cover up my Retin-A side effects, because in the past I have tried to cover up peely skin with concealer/powder/foundation, and my skin balls up and it looks worse than going au naturel. Everyone has their preferences though, so if you can't bear to go bare-faced, then don't, but find something that works with you and your side-effects. Redness is slightly easier to cover up, but I think that if you treat the treated skin with the utmost care and gentleness, you're minimising irritation and so redness should fade quicker than if you're scrubbing and pouring paint-stripper-type-toner all over your face.

Tried-and-tested products (with reviews) that I always turn to when I'm actively using Retin-A:
Cetaphil Gentle Cleanser, Eucerin Aquaphor, Vichy Capital Sun SPF 50 Mattifying Face Fluid Dry Touch. Barefoot Botanicals Face and Body Rescue Cream.

This blogpost is made up from personal experiences with Retin-A and what I've been told by dermatological experts. Everyone's skin/reaction to retinoids is different, and always read the insert that comes included with medication and over-the-counter retinoids!
I am open to suggestions about products, so if you use retinoids and have a product that is great at treating the horrid side effects, let me know!

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Illamasqua's Cream Pigment in 'Mould'.

Recently, I've been playing it safe in the makeup department. Some mascara and a wee bit of blush and I'm ready to go. But the other week I decided to challenge myself. I decided I was going to buy a piece of makeup which would completely be out of my comfort zone, but yet wasn't going to make me look ridiculous and could be worn day or night.
In the end, I chose Illamasqua's Cream Pigment in 'Mould' (I already have 'Androgen', which is the loveliest cheek and lip colour). I fell in love with the colour, it was unlike anything I had in makeup drawer and I felt it was the perfect shade to match my grungy and weird fashion sense (this character is my fashion icon. Says it all really), and was versatile enough for day and night wear.

'Mould' is described as 'grape', and I would agree, it's a very dark purple shade. It's also a matte finish, which is great for me since I'm not particularly fond of anything shimmery or glittery. The matte-ness also lends to it's multipurpose properties: these cream pigments can be used on the eyes, lips and anywhere else!

Because it is a cream product, it is so easy to play around with. It glides on so smoothly, and blending this product is an absolute dream. In the pan it is quite hard, but once you warm it up with your fingers then it softens up and has quite a lot of slip.
As a lip product, it is beautiful. It isn't very appropriate for wear during the day (for me anyway), but it does look absolutely fantastic, especially on an evening out. It is such a comfortable texture, some lip products can feel quite heavy on the lips, but this is so light you forget you have dark purple lips! It is quite a long lasting lip product, and even when it fades on the lips you get left with a light purple stain on the lips.
It's not necessarily a moisturising lip product, and I can imagine some people might find it quite drying on the lips. I would also take care to make sure your lips are buffed and moisturised before wearing this shade, any dry patches are instantly shown up!
If I'm wearing 'Mould' on my lips, I keep my eye makeup quite neutral, since I'm not a fan of bold eyes and lips worn together.

On the eyes this shade looks and feels fantastic. It's more appropriate for day wear (I think purple eyelids are much more 'normal' compared to dark purple lips!). I think 'Mould' especially suits people with dark brown or hazel eyes, it really seemed to make them 'pop'.
This product is also great for intensifying eyeshadow; apply an eyeshadow of the same sort of shade over the top of 'Mould' and it really makes the colour look so much more intense, richer and have much more depth to it.
My only disappointment with this product is that I felt it creased on my eyelids really easily. I have quite oily and wrinkly eyelids to begin with, so those of you with normal eyelids might find that this doesn't crease! It is probably because the product is more of a cream than a powder product, so it creases easier. Any ideas on how to prevent this would be much appreciated.

The packaging of Illamasqua's Cream Pigments are great: understated beauty, simplicity and practicality rolled into one. It's not gonna be a product I'm going to avoid getting out of my bag for touch ups...

This product cost me £15 (RRP £17 - I love my loyalty discount) from the Illamasqua website, which I think is a really great price for such a versatile product. Plus it is such a long lasting product because you only need the tiniest amount to get the desired effect!

Overall, I do love this product. I love how multi-purpose it is (one day I will fully embrace the purple lip and go out in public). I am totally in love with the shade, and when I wear it I feel like I'm channeling my inner Sooz. Obviously, the fact that it creases annoys me immensely, but I think I might have to get surgery on my greasy lids to prevent that...because I love it. When I do finish this product I will repurchase, for sure.