Monday, 31 August 2015

Three weeks in to my no Sodium Lauryl Sulphate trial

So I am now three weeks in to my no Sodium Lauryl Sulphate trial to see whether not using products which contain Sodium Lauryl Sulphate will help to stop my eczema breakouts following my initial reaction to aqueous cream as you will see in my post here.

To be honest my skin hasn't really changed at all in the last week since my last post. Here is a photograph of my face taken today without any make up on.

As you can see, my cheeks are still slightly red but the rest of my face is doing quite well at the moment. I have luckily not had any reactions this week and I have stuck to only using non Sodium Lauryl Sulphate products.

Hopefully my cheeks will clear up a little more over the next few weeks but all in all I am pretty happy with my skin this week. My skin hasn't been very dry, so I have been able to easily cover up my red cheeks with my foundation.

I have also finally had my next allergy skin test appointment through the post from my Doctor, so hopefully this time my test will be able to find out exactly what I am allergic to. Only problem is that the appointment isn't until December!!!! Let's just hope my skin stays calm until then!

Does anyone else suffer from redness on their face? If so, does anyone have any recommendations to help cover it?

Love Lauren

Friday, 28 August 2015

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream review

I have always heard people talk about how amazing Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream is and until about a year ago when I purchased one for myself, I didn't realise how right they were!

I feel as though the cream is a miracle worker. 

First of all the cream is great for sunburn. I am very pale and therefore seem to suffer from bad sunburn every time my skin goes in the sun for five minutes. I plaster my burnt bits in this when I go to bed and by morning my skin is so much better and I can actually go out without feeling like a lobster!

In the winter I suffer from dry lips which drive me insane! Using this before bed on an evening is perfect for dry and sore lips and by morning your lips and lovely and moisturised and you can actually wear your new matte lipstick stress free. 

It can be used on split ends as a hair mask, on dry patches on your elbows or knees and I have even used it on my cuticles. 

The cream is also perfect for my eczema flare ups. In fact, I would say this seems to work better than the majority of products prescribed to me by my doctor which are specifically for eczema. As you can see in some of my previous blog posts such as here, my eczema flares up on a regular basis, leaving my skin bright red with super dry skin, basically my skin looks as though it has been physically burnt. If I plaster my skin in this before bed as a face mask, by morning my skin is so much more moisturised and my the redness has gone down significantly.

If you have oily skin, I personally wouldn't recommend using this as a face mask overnight as it is so thick that it will likely cause your skin to come out in spots but for a quick fix I could see this cream working for most skin types.

The cream is orange in colour and is actually more of a thick gel than a cream. It has a very unusual medical smell to it which I personally love but I could imagine a few people not being so keen. Even the fragrance free version still seems to have a slight hint of fragrance to it.

All in all I love this cream and would recommend this to everyone!!

Love Lauren

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Neutrogena visibly clear blackhead eliminating daily scrub review and comparison to St Ives Facial Scrub

I decided to purchase the Neutrogena scrub just over two weeks ago when I decided to only use products that do not contain Sodium Lauryl Sulphate after having an allergic reaction to aqueous cream. Click here to see my post on this.

This was one of the few scrubs I could find that actually didn't contain Sodium Lauryl Sulphate.

The scrub is a daily scrub and claims to help eliminate blackheads from day 1 and prevent further blackheads for up to 3 weeks.

It has quite a medicated smell to it which I surprisingly actually like. It is white in colour with small orange scrub granules. The texture isn't as coarse as some other scrubs such as the St Ives scrub I have used previously. If you want to read my review on the St Ives Scrub, click here.

I have used this scrub now 1-2 times per day for 2 weeks. To use the facial scrub, you need to wet your face with warm water and gently massage the scrub in to your face in a circular motion then rinse thoroughly before finishing off with a quick splash of cold water.

I don't find the scrub removes my dry skin as quickly as the St Ives scrub did but it is definitely a lot softer on my skin and doesn't leave red skin behind after use.

It is so soft on the skin that it can actually be used daily. I usually use it morning and evening to try and keep my skin smooth radiant.

The only criticism I would say is that after two weeks I haven't really noticed a difference in my blackheads at all. Luckily, this isn't why I purchased the product but personally I don't believe it has eliminated any of my blackheads.

If you want a quick fix to dry skin, then maybe this isn't the scrub for you but over the period of a few days it is great and your skin doesn't suffer at all.

Has anyone else used this? What facial scrubs would you recommend?

Love Lauren

Monday, 24 August 2015

My red MAC lipsticks! Swatch and review!

I absolutely adore MAC lipsticks! I only have around 5 lipsticks that aren't MAC. My collection is forever growing and today I thought I would share with you the red lipsticks I have in my collection!

First of all there is Cockney. Cockney is a lustre finish, it is sheer with yellow undertones. Out of all of my red lipsticks I have probably used this the least and I do not know why as it is so easy to wear. This is one of the easiest colours to wear in my red collection and you can easily wear this colour in the day to work or to go shopping without looking too over the top.

Next up is Lady Danger. I would say this is my favourite out of all of my red lipsticks. I wear this on most nights out I go on. Lady Danger has a matte finish and is a very bright coral-red colour. I think this is a great summer shade and I seem to be wearing this all the time this summer. Even though it is a matte lipstick, it smoothes on to the lips easily. If you are looking for a new red shade, go for Lady Danger!

Then there is Ruby Woo. This is one of MAC's best selling lipsticks. I used to wear this all the time a few years ago but for some reason I have barely worn it recently. It is quite a dark red colour and is similar to the Russian Red lipstick below. It is a very matte lipstick and can really dry out your lips but as long as you exfoliate and prime your lips beforehand, the lipstick shouldn't be a problem. It is a very retro red colour which suits all skin tones and seems to stay on your lips for hours!

Next there is Viva Glam Cyndi. This was a limited edition Cyndi Lauper lipstick. It is a light coral red colour with a lustre finish. It is such a wearable lipstick and is a colour that you can wear from day to evening as it isn't too bright and has a lovely sheer finish.

As it is a Viva Glam lipstick, the full RRP (less VAT) from the sale of the lipstick is donated to the MAC AIDS fund and helps people who are dealing with AIDs.

Unfortunately I think this product has now been discontinued :(

Last there is Russian Red. I would probably say this is my least favourite out of all of my red lipsticks. I feel it is a bit too much of a dark red and I am not as keen on lipsticks with a hint of blue. It has a matte finish and is very vintage looking.

This was the first MAC red lipstick that I purchased after reading so many good reviews on the lipstick. It is a very vintage looking colour which is probably why it is so loved. I just wish I loved it as much as some of my other colours, such as Lady Danger.

What are your favourite red colours from MAC? I would like some recommendations for my next trip to MAC.

Love Lauren

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Two weeks in to my no Sodium Lauryl Sulphate trial

So I am two weeks in to my no Sodium Sulphate trial and what a week it has been!

As you will see from my post earlier in the week (Click here to have a read) I had a very bad start to the week! Luckily over the last few days my skin has cleared up again as you will see in the photo below.

I visited the Doctors yesterday in respect of my face swelling up at the start of the week and I have now been prescribed new allergy tablets and have been referred to the hospital for a further allergy test. I won't get my hopes up too much at the moment though that they will definitely find exactly what I am allergic to!

Either way, my skin in general still seems better since I have started using non Sodium Lauryl Sulphate products and seems a lot more radiant and smooth. As you can see in my photo above, it is even less red than last week despite my allergic reaction!

Let's hope next week my skin will stay clear all week for once and I won't end up having any more allergic reactions.

Love Lauren


Saturday, 22 August 2015

Can anyone recommend a good camera?

As I am sure you are aware, I am new to blogging! I am currently taking all of my photos with my iPhone 5s, which doesn't exactly take the best of photos.

Does anyone have any recommendations as to what cameras I should be looking at purchasing?

All recommendations would be extremely helpful :)

Love Lauren

Friday, 21 August 2015

My Week in Devon

I have just come back from a week in Devon with my boyfriend, Callum.

We stayed in Budleigh Salterton as Callum's auntie has a holiday home there. We go every year and it is nice to just get away and relax for a few days.

We arrived there early on the Saturday evening and pretty much dumped all of our bags in the house and went straight out for an Indian meal at the Taj Mahal on the Budleigh Salterton High Street. I ordered a Chicken Korma (as usual, I am not very adventurous) but they somehow ended up giving me a Mackron Chicken instead. Luckily it was still nice, so I didn't feel the need to complain.

The food is reasonably priced and you get a very large portion too! I would definitely recommend going there!

On the Sunday we had a nice relaxing day. We visited Sidmouth, had a lovely Costa followed by a walk by the beach before an evening of watching the Pitch Perfect films. (Very rock and roll I know).

On Monday we decided to visit Exeter! We spent the day shopping. I am currently buying items for when I buy a house next year and I purchased a lovely peg bag from Cath Kidston. I never thought I would get so excited over a peg bag..... I must be getting old?!

We had lunch in Yo Sushi as it is Blue Monday's there on a Monday! A huge range of dishes for only £2.70 each.Yes please!! We practically couldn't move afterwards.

Tuesday we visited Becky Falls in Dartmoor. I would highly recommend going here if you ever visit Devon. It was around £8 per person and you have entry to view all the animals and walk through the woods. I am a huge lover of animals and the outdoors, so it was a great day out for me!

We went on a lovely nature trail walk and saw some beautiful scenery. Climbing over the boulders and through the woodlands was so therapeutic. There is a money tree in the park which has been there for many many years and the sign next to the tree states "Nobody knows the exact origin of the Money Tree, but local legend has it that many years ago, this path was the main route from the Moor to Bovey Tracey. It is said that a huge serpent lived in the brook and ate the occasional unsuspecting traveller. In order to ensure safe passage, the pixies would apply an invisibility charm to any traveller, so long as they paid a small toll by placing a coin in the tree. This ensured safe passage. However, if you take a coin from the tree you will incur the wrath of the pixies."

We made the mistake of having one of the biggest pasties from the cafe in Becky Falls I have ever seen just before our walk. How I managed to walk around the woodland after eating that, I do not know!

Wednesday we visited Brixham. I LOVE Brixham. It is such a lovely seaside town! I had a battered burger for my lunch and it was delicious! Definitely try one from one of the fish and chip shops there if you ever visit. Brixham is a small fishing seaside town in South Devon and the harbour is full of fish and chip restaurants.

Brixham is also full of people crabbing. However as Callum and I are wimps, neither of us would be able to hold a crab without panicking! Maybe next year aye?!

On Thursday the weather wasn't the greatest. It rained for the majority of the day but we managed to have a few hours of sunshine in Bicton Park Botanical Gardens. It is £8.95 per person entry and there is 63 acres of land and pretty gardens to explore.

In the afternoon we had a walk by the beach in Exmouth but due to the rain we had to cut it short and ended up popping in to a local pub and having a nice burger meal! 

Friday we visited Paignton Pier. Now this is a reminder of my childhood. I spent so many years playing on the 2p machines on the pier! Saying that, that's exactly how we spent today! I had to tear Callum away from one 2p machine as he was certain he would win the £5 note hanging over the edge of the game. £10 worth of 2ps later, the £5 note was still there! It was a great day of arcade games and deciding what to spend all our winning tickets on. We decided on a slinky and some sweets! I think we need to work on our arcade game skills so we are able to win more tickets next time!!

I had a lovely week in Devon and can't wait to go back next year! This is definitely the place I want to live when I retire one day! 

Does anyone else holiday in Devon? Where are your favourite places to visit?

Love Lauren 

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Extremely bad skin day today

I have just got back from a lovely relaxing week in Devon. I packed all of my suitcase the night before I left to give me that little extra time in bed before I made the 4 hour trip back to Birmingham on the motorway.

All of my beauty products were at the bottom of my suitcase, so I decided to wash my face with my Olay Daily Facials Cleansing Cloths for sensitive skin which I had in one of my side pockets. I didn't have the original box they came in, only the packet (and due to the fact I could barely use the internet due to lack of service on my phone in Devon) I was unable to check whether they contained Sodium Lauryl  Sulphate but as I have used them plenty of times over the last few years I presumed I would be fine.

I was wrong.

This could possibly be the worst reaction I have ever experienced. My whole face swelled up like crazy. My eyes were that swelled up that I couldn't open them for an hour and when I could eventually open them, it hurt to keep them open.

I could be completely wrong with what caused my reaction but other than the Olay Facial Cloths, I did not use any products that I do not normally use on a daily basis. Now that I am home, I have looked in to the ingredients in Olay Daily Facials Cloths and you guessed it, Sodium Lauryl Sulphate is one of the ingredients.

I have always thought the cloths were great before as they have always kept my skin looking glowing in the past but please if you have sensitive skin or eczema, please avoid this product. Even the sensitive skin range as the sensitive range still contains Sodium Lauryl Sulphate, which as I have mentioned before is a well known skin irritant!

So for the sake of being lazy and not unpacking my case to be able to get to all of my usual skincare products, I have now suffered this horrible reaction and I will now be even more careful when using any different products. I thought it wouldn't harm me using it once and thought that it couldn't possibly contain Sodium Lauryl Sulphate, well I won't be assuming again!

Has anyone else experienced any problems with this product?

Love Lauren

Sunday, 16 August 2015

One week in to my no Sodium Lauryl Sulphate trial

As you will see in my previous post (Click here to view), after my recent eczema flare ups, I have decided to refrain from using products with Sodium Lauryl Sulphate in them to see whether my skin improves at all.

After a week of using my Sodium Lauryl Sulphate free products (Click here to view the products), I thought that I should let you know how my skin is looking.

Just over a week ago my skin was very red and raised all over my face after having an allergic reaction to Aqueous Cream. I have attached a photograph of my skin below to show you what it looked like after my reaction. Unfortunately, due to me using an iPhone camera, the redness doesn't look as extreme as it did in real life.

Now a week on my skin has calmed down dramatically. My eczema will usually flare up every 2-3 days but so far, after 8 days of not using any Sodium Lauryl Sulphate products, my skin is pretty much 'normal' looking. I have a very slight redness on my cheeks but it is easily covered with make up as it is not dry anymore.

Here is a photo of my face at the moment. As you can see, my skin is now starting to even out in colour and now appearing less red without make up on.

Hopefully I may have found the cure to my allergic reactions, but we will see! Fingers crossed!

Love Lauren

Thursday, 13 August 2015

My Sodium Lauryl Sulphate free products!

I thought I would share with you the products I am using this month which all contain no Sodium Lauryl Sulphate!

The product I was most upset about containing Sodium Lauryl Sulphate was my Moroccan Oil shampoo. I have used this religiously for two years now and I think it works perfectly! But alas, I needed to find a new shampoo that doesn't contain Sodium Lauryl Sulphate!  

I ended up buying L'oreal hair expertise ultra ruche nourishing shampoo. This is a special range of shampoos and conditioners from L'oreal which all contain no sulphates. The shampoo is also only £5.99 from Boots!!

Luckily my Kerastase conditioner doesn't contain any Sodium Lauryl Sulphate, so I will continue to use this :)

I also had to buy new baby shampoo to deep clean my make up brushes. It really surprised me that the majority of baby shampoo contained sulphates. I managed to find a natural kids shampoo and conditioner in asda. This was Halos n Horns Kids Bathtime shampoo and conditioner. It smells amazing and surprisingly actually seems to clean my brushes more thoroughly than my previously bang shampoos! 

I have always loved my St Ives facial scrub but this unfortunately contains Sodium Lauryl Sulphate . I struggled to find many products that didn't contain Sodium Lauryl Sulphate. The product with the best reviews was Neutrogena Visibly Clear Blackhead Eliminating Daily Scrub

The only toothpaste I could find without Sodium Lauryl Sulphate was Sensodyne. I decided to purchase the  Sensodyne Gentle Whitening toothpaste as I desperately want my teeth to look whiter!

I still use micellar water to cleanse my face. I am currently using L'oreal Skin Perfection Micellar Water. 

After cleansing my face with my L'oreal Micellar Water , I tone my face with Liz Earle Skin Tonic which claims to be a non-drying toner which soothes and brightens your skin.

Obviously I have only just started using all these products, so I can't give any full reviews as of yet. But after a few weeks of using them I will give you all some feedback on how good (or bad) I find them! 

Love Lauren