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A Lazy Girl's Guide to Skincare

30 March 2018
I have a confession. When it comes to skincare, I am lazy.

While others are really into skincare it's always been a bit of a chore to me. I put my makeup on in the morning, go about my day as normal but by bedtime I really just can't be bothered anymore. Cleansing, toning, exfoliating. It's all just too much after a long day, so my skincare routine needs to be quick, simple and easy. 

In a situation like this many would turn to makeup wipes, as I have done in the past. But while makeup wipes are quick and easy, you end up paying the price when your skin looks like sh*t. It actually wasn't until I stopped using makeup wipes that I realised the tole they were taking on my skin and that perhaps, there were more ways in which I could improve my skin by changing up my routine.

For a bit of context, I have problematic combination skin. Having suffered with acne since becoming a teenager, I have tried almost every spot product out on the market (as well as prescribed treatments like Roacutane) and come to the conclusion that I will always have spots. That being said the routine I'm about to share with you is the best combination of products I have found (so far) to reduce the appearance of my acne.

lazy, affordable, skincare, routine, girl, blogger, skin, beauty, acne, combination, type, cheap, liz earle, cleanser, the ordinary, aldi

Step 1 
Step 1 is always the longest step but crucially the most important; makeup removal. Where as in the past I would use makeup wipes (shameful I know) I now use a hot cloth cleanser. My favourite hot cloth cleanser has to be Liz Earle's Cleanse and Polish but at £15 a tube it's not cheap! Recently Aldi released their own hot cloth cleanser to rival Liz Earle's and for £3.99 (for double the amount of product) I thought it was worth a try! The Lacura Hot Cloth Cleanser comes with 200ml of product and 1 muslin cloth and claims to be suitable for all skin types. While I cannot say how it performs on other skin types, it works really well for me! It removes my makeup with ease (just as well as Cleanse and Polish), has a slight soft scent and leaves my skin feeling soft and smooth. I simply just rinse my face with some warm water, massage the cleanser into my skin and then wipe it off with the warm, damp muslin cloth - easy.

Step 2
The next step is very quick and easy, as I just spritz my face with the Glo Skin Beauty Balancing Mist*. Designed to balance the oily and dry areas of combination skin, the Balancing Mist also works hard to optimise the effectiveness of your skincare routine by preparing your skin to evenly absorb the products applied after. It leaves my skin feeling fresh and I honestly notice a difference in the appearance of my skin the next morning when I use this product as part of my routine.

Step 3
Next I will use The Ordinary's Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%. This is the only product in my routine targeted toward 'acne prone' skin and I don't use this every night. Instead I will use it when my skin is really bad or if I want my skin to look really great the next day. All I'll say is that it's affordable and works (if used sparingly), but if you want more information on this product read my in-depth review.

Step 4
While this is the last step in my routine, I must admit that I don't always moisturise in the evenings. After being on Roacutane I learn that moisturising my skin too much can cause my breakouts, so unless my skin is feeling really dry I will only apply moisturiser to my face before I apply my makeup in the morning. I like to use Oilatum as it's fragrance free and is the best thing I've found for getting rid of dry skin. I am quite prone to getting eczema on my hands and occasionally on my face as well as dry patches around my nose, so Oilatum is a lifesaver when my eczema is playing up. It's also affordable and you get a lot of product for your money, so I don't mind using it for other dry patches or eczema on my body. 

Sometimes I will do all of these 4 steps other times I will just do one or two. It really depends on how much time I have and how I want my skin to look and feel. This routine is also affordable which is a must for me. I hate having to spend money on skincare as I don't find it fun in the some way I like spending money on makeup. It's also quick, which when your are pressed for time or get really tired in the evenings (like myself) is important.

What are your favourite skincare products? I'd love to hear your recommendations 

Eleanor xx

A Day In The Life Of The Girl: The Highcross Leicester

11 March 2018
Ever since moving to Leicester eight and a half months ago I have got to know the city pretty well. While I had visited the city a few times before, you never fully know a place until you live there. Leicester is a nice medium sized city in the East Midlands known for it's links to King Richard III, Kasabian and the underdog Leicester City Football Club. As well as good links to Nottingham and Birmingham it has plenty to offer itself, including the city's main shopping centre: The Highcross. With over 120 shops the Highcross is well known for it's shopping but thanks to the lovely guys at the Highcross* I spent the day learning what else the shopping centre has to offer.

&Beauty, John Lewis, Leicester, Review, Nails, Treatment

First on the itinerary was a cake and a coffee at 'The Place to Eat' in John Lewis. Shopping can be surprisingly tiring so I often find myself looking for somewhere to go for a refreshing drink and a delicious cake. While Leicester has lots of great independent coffee shops, they are a bit further out of the centre so the convenience of a cafĂ© in John Lewis makes 'The Place to Eat' an instant winner. Not only is it convenient but the cakes are delicious! I had a cookies and cream cheesecake that was to die for while Karl had a classic chocolate cake, delicious!

The Place to Eat, Cafe, John Lewis, Leicester, The Highcross

Next we headed on down to the beauty department where John Lewis have opened their brand new &Beauty Nail and Brow Bar. The beauty bar that opened in the store just a few weeks ago offers everything you could imagine for your nails and brows from a classic manicure to LVL Lash Enhancement all at really competitive prices. While I was at &Beauty I had a gel manicure and my eyebrows threaded and I was so impressed with the service I received. 

I was a bit worried at first that the treatments wouldn't be very relaxing as the &Beauty Bar is quite visible in store so other customers can see you having the treatments done but it was so relaxing you soon forget where you are. The girls created a luxury spa like atmosphere through the use of Pink Boutique products such as their Cuticle Oil, Crystal Sanitiser and Massage Oils. Not only do the products smell gorgeous but they are all non toxic, organic, vegan and cruelty free! So unlike other nail salons the girls do not wear face masks and you have peace of mind knowing that the products are good for your nails and skin.

John Lewis, OPI, Gel, Manicure, Leicester, The Highcross, Blogger, East Midlands, Salon, &beauty

The OPI Gel colour took 45 minutes and I had my cuticles trimmed, nails shaped and buffed as well as 4 coats of colour to make sure my nails were ultra shiny and opaque. They are so confident at &Beauty that your gel manicure will last two weeks that if they chip before then you can go back and they will fix them free of charge! 

John Lewis, Eyebrow, Threading, treatments, &beauty, leicester, review

I also had my eyebrows threaded while I was there which was very quick and only took 15 minutes! I had never had my eyebrows threaded before so was a bit nervous as I like my eyebrows to look quite thick but they did such a good job at defining my brows without making them look thin. Firstly she removed my makeup around my eyebrows before threading and then trimming them. While it did make my eyes water quite a bit it wasn't too painful and definitely something I would get done again! 

For more information on prices and &Beauty click here

GBK, Leicester, Burger, Highcross, Restaurant, Review

We then headed to GBK for a late lunch. Myself and Karl are both big fans of Gourmet Burger Kitchen having been quite a few times before. No matter which GBK I go to I always know I'm going to get great food and service, and GBK in the Highcross was no exception. Both of us had a classic GBK Cheese & Bacon Beef Burger with Skinny Fries and they were delicious. If you have never had GBK's skinny fries before you seriously need to try them because they are amazing.

GBK, Leicester

Not only is GBK delicious but each restaurant has such cute retro decor, featuring scrabble wall art, industrial furniture and beautiful lights. They also have a loyalty app so if (like myself) you go to GBK quite often you can earn rewards and get special deals!

Have you visited the Highcross before?

Eleanor xx

* While this is not a sponsored post the Highcross did pay for all of my food and beauty treatments. This in no way affects my opinions and all opinions are my own. For more information please see my full disclaimer.