Wednesday, 24 September 2014

A Skincare Overhaul

Lately I've been really thinking about my skincare routine, and what products to keep in and which ones to ditch. I have too many products and can't afford to spend hours on my skin, but at the same time there are staple items which don't break the bank and I think are worth using. I thought I'd share my favourite skincare products with you, and justify why I love them so much!

My night time routine is actually much more complex than my daytime routine, as I really do believe a good routine aids you in your beauty sleep. Listed below is my nighttime routine (except for the nights that involve too many glasses of wine, for these occasions I do leave face wipes by my bed!)

1. The Clarisonic Mia 2. I actually wrote a post on this here, I love it so much! I use this in the evenings, used to use it twice a day but now I try and at least use it twice a week. It gives my skin a really deep cleanse, which keeps breakouts away, shrinks pores, and makes my skin feel really refreshed, too.

2. Olive Oil & Castor Oil mix - When I am not using the Clarisonic, I use a 30% castor oil mix with a 70% olive oil mix to cleanse my skin which works really well and moisturises too. Plus it's totally natural. If this sounds like a really weird suggestion, check out my post on this method here, I've explained myself as best as I can and I promise it does work!

3. Retinol A - I actually bought this off Ebay, initially skeptical, I've now moved up from a 1% to a 10% strength. Vitamin A is extremely powerful - I once spoke to a 50 year old who looks like a 25 year old and swears it's because she uses it religiously! I also originally learned about Retinol A when I started using Environ products - one of the reason they are so well received as a brand is their use of Vitamin A in their products. Sadly Environ is a bit rich for my blood - but this makes my skin look great so I see no reason not to stick to it.

4. Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate - This is an absolutely beautiful product and moisturises my skin with just a few drops and the lavender smell is lovely too. It calms stressed skin and I've noticed a glow since I incorporated it into my routine and replaced my night moisturiser with it!


In the morning I wash with my olive oil and castor oil mix again (honestly, I know it sounds mad but it's the best cleanser I've ever used).

1.  Murad Perfecting Day Cream - is a good SPF day moisturiser and I am trying to get into the habit of using SPF even in the winter months. This doesn't leave my skin looking greasy and sinks in nicely.

2. Pro Genius Omega Treatment oil - I use this instead of a serum as just a few drops in the morning provides ten active plant oils enriched with omegas 3, 6, 7 & 9 - it really hydrates my skin.

3. Environs Colostrum Gel - I had a skin review and they noted that my only major problem was redness. Since using this product my redness has decreased a lot - still not completely, but I am a pink skin tone as opposed to yellow so there's not much more I can do about it!

None of the above were too expensive - the omega treatment oil arrived on my doorstep in a beauty box and the rest I have sourced on Ebay for a fraction of their normal costs. For the most part, even store bought they shouldn't break the bank and are definitely products worth investing in.

What skincare products or regimes do you swear by? I love finding out about new products, so I'd love to hear about them. Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Treading the Boards

A few years ago, I completed my Masters degree in Contemporary Theatre and thought, what now? I've never wanted to act full time. I was commissioned initially to develop a piece of work that I wrote and direct it in London and Cambridge, and I did that with a really wonderful cast. And then I let work swallow me up, and put my passion to one side.

My friend recently became a published author for the first time, and then subsequently published his first play. He needed a cast to help to workshop it and perform it on stage for the first time. He put out a call for an actress in my age group on facebook, and I thought, why not? 6 months later and many successes and setbacks, and an 80 page play to learn, and we finally performed it in two shows on stage last week!

'My Lot' and is a two act comedy that is a tribute to the modern day family who, despite the issues with 21st century living, can and do still carry the strength and values family life needs. The characters within the piece all represented some sort of stereotype. I played an over the top mother who bullied her slightly downtrodden husband, the other characters included a gay son, a pregnant teenage mother, a very smart and misunderstood daughter, a fussy auntie and senile Grandpa! The seemingly dysfunctional family is struggling with a blackout and have to learn to talk to one another. Little moments and revelations occur throughout during this time that really bring the family back together. The whole play is also thread between the telling of a really long joke! If you'd like to learn more about Darren O Sullivan's work please do click here.

The whole process was a lot of work but I was really honoured to be asked to be a part of it. It sort of filled a gap in my life that until then I had been too busy to notice was there. The play is set in northern England, so I also learned that I can do accents if I really try, something I was convinced I couldn't do before!

Most importantly for me, I met a group of local actors and actresses that are keen to work together on new projects, which is really great. We have decided to revive the piece that I created years ago, through another show in the local area. I'm really excited about this because it is really close to my heart and was a huge achievement for me to direct such a talented cast. The performance is called 'The House of Secrets' and is based within an actual residential house, and was written to raise awareness about sex trafficking. The audience interact with the show by walking round the different rooms, which all have different stories told by actresses in various ways. The feedback we had last time was really moving and I can't wait to develop it even further. You can find out more about this and watch a promo video here. 

Have you got any hobbies you don't get to do enough? Let me know!