Did you know that today, the 30th of September, is Mud Pack Day? Despite being a lover of all things beauty-related, it wasn't until the UK's largest online bathroom retailer VictoriaPlum.com got in contact with me that I'd even heard of it. The day is a bit bigger in the USA than over here across the pond, but I was excited to get involved nonetheless. The challenge was to create a face mask with a budget of £10 to prove that everyone can give themselves a bit of a pamper, without splurging all your dollar on a fancy mask.

I'm sad to say that this mask doesn't actually contain mud or even clay... but this is still a great homemade recipe to get on board with if, like me, your skin type is oily and blemish-prone. I was inspired by Lush's Cosmetic Catastrophe Face Mask, a blueberry-based mask that had a great cooling  effect and sorted out some of my blemishes. So I got to googling 'DIY blueberry facemasks' and stumbled upon this super simple recipe, using just a handful of blueberries, lemon juice (I squeezed just under half a lemon into mine) and a pinch of turmeric

I used both a masher and fork to crush up the berries before adding the rest of the ingredients and applying the mask to my face using my fingers. The mixture was quite runny as perhaps I used too much lemon juice and the skins of the berries proved unbreakable, so I put these on my face too and it managed to look like I had a disease from the Victorian ages on my face. The berry skins slid off, but after leaving the formula on for 20 minutes or so my skin felt so refreshed and soft and I'd like to think the vitamin C in the lemon juice managed to brighten my skin too. I also had flaky skin around a dried up spot that had been annoying me for ages (I'm sure we've all been there?) and this dead skin completely vanished with the mask.

Overall, this is such a fun alternative to a mask in a tube and not to expensive either as I easily spent under £5 on this and still have the ingredients left to eat or prepare food with. Homemade masks really remind me of my childhood and girly sleepovers so thanks for setting me this challenge VictoriaPlum.com! This formula has worked well with my oily and sometimes sensitive skin and this way you see what is actually going on your face, with no sign of any nasty chemicals.

What homemade face masks have you tried? Do you have any formulas that you'd recommend?

Charlotte x

Disclaimer: this post was written in collaboration with VictoriaPlum.com but ingredients were bought with my own money and views on the mask are very much my own. 

Mud Pack Day with VictoriaPlum.com

30 September 2015


Did you know that today, the 30th of September, is Mud Pack Day? Despite being a lover of all things beauty-related, it wasn't until the UK's largest online bathroom retailer VictoriaPlum.com got in contact with me that I'd even heard of it. The day is a bit bigger in the USA than over here across the pond, but I was excited to get involved nonetheless. The challenge was to create a face mask with a budget of £10 to prove that everyone can give themselves a bit of a pamper, without splurging all your dollar on a fancy mask.

I'm sad to say that this mask doesn't actually contain mud or even clay... but this is still a great homemade recipe to get on board with if, like me, your skin type is oily and blemish-prone. I was inspired by Lush's Cosmetic Catastrophe Face Mask, a blueberry-based mask that had a great cooling  effect and sorted out some of my blemishes. So I got to googling 'DIY blueberry facemasks' and stumbled upon this super simple recipe, using just a handful of blueberries, lemon juice (I squeezed just under half a lemon into mine) and a pinch of turmeric

I used both a masher and fork to crush up the berries before adding the rest of the ingredients and applying the mask to my face using my fingers. The mixture was quite runny as perhaps I used too much lemon juice and the skins of the berries proved unbreakable, so I put these on my face too and it managed to look like I had a disease from the Victorian ages on my face. The berry skins slid off, but after leaving the formula on for 20 minutes or so my skin felt so refreshed and soft and I'd like to think the vitamin C in the lemon juice managed to brighten my skin too. I also had flaky skin around a dried up spot that had been annoying me for ages (I'm sure we've all been there?) and this dead skin completely vanished with the mask.

Overall, this is such a fun alternative to a mask in a tube and not to expensive either as I easily spent under £5 on this and still have the ingredients left to eat or prepare food with. Homemade masks really remind me of my childhood and girly sleepovers so thanks for setting me this challenge VictoriaPlum.com! This formula has worked well with my oily and sometimes sensitive skin and this way you see what is actually going on your face, with no sign of any nasty chemicals.

What homemade face masks have you tried? Do you have any formulas that you'd recommend?

Charlotte x

Disclaimer: this post was written in collaboration with VictoriaPlum.com but ingredients were bought with my own money and views on the mask are very much my own. 

Lula-Ray is a candle company close to my heart as it is directed/owned/run by one of my mum's closest friends. Sold in independent shops in and around London, as well as featuring on notonthehighstreet.comFrom Britain with Love and on its own website, the brand very much sticks to its British roots as the candles are hand-poured in the heart of the UK. Using a unique fusion of wax and aromatic oils, the candles give an even burn and a long-lasting aroma and after a fair few burns of my candle I can happily preach that this is the case. The reed diffusers also create a subtle yet long-lasting scent without the fear of burning the house down, and the fragranced oils are easily absorbed by the reeds to diffuse the aroma into the rest of the room. 

I opted for the grapefruit scents as I prefer my room to smell fruity fresh in a sort of clean crisp way, if that makes any sense? The Grapefruit Bergamot Candle* does exactly that as the top notes of grapefruit make the fragrance sharp and refreshing and by being mixed with bergamot, the scent is given delicate and slightly floral undertones. This is an overall winner in my eyes and makes for the perfect bedroom scent. The crispness to it reminds be of the beloved Figueir fragrance from Diptyque, but as this fragrance is isn't at all woody I wouldn't call it a dupe. Secondly, the White Grapefruit Reed Diffuser* is again a revitalising and uplifting scent but without the florally notes to it, I think of this as more of a bathroom scent. This diffuser is currently sitting in my student bathroom in an attempt to mask the smell of damp (typical student houses and all) and it's doing a brilliant job at it so far. The oils in the diffuser make for a stronger smell than the unlit candle, and although these fragrances differ slightly, they compliment each other well.  

Can we also take a minute to appreciate the beautiful packaging? These glittery white boxes definitely give the products a luxe feel and prepare you for just how luxurious the scents are themselves (you can even smell them through the box). I'm currently trying to think of ways I can use them to store other bits and bobs, because how can I throw something so pretty into the recycling bin?

Overall I am really pleased with these new additions to my home! If you're based in the UK it's definitely worth a look over on Lula-Ray's website for these luxury candles and diffusers as they are a fraction of the price designer favourites like Jo Malone or Diptyque charge.

What do you think to these newbies? And any ideas on how I can re-use the beautiful packaging? 

Charlotte x


Disclaimer: despite offering to pay for these products, these were kindly gifted to me by Lula-Ray. My enthusiasm and love for this candle and diffuser are genuine as I would never feature something on my blog that I wouldn't go out and pay for myself. 

New In: Home Scents from Lula-Ray

23 September 2015


Lula-Ray is a candle company close to my heart as it is directed/owned/run by one of my mum's closest friends. Sold in independent shops in and around London, as well as featuring on notonthehighstreet.comFrom Britain with Love and on its own website, the brand very much sticks to its British roots as the candles are hand-poured in the heart of the UK. Using a unique fusion of wax and aromatic oils, the candles give an even burn and a long-lasting aroma and after a fair few burns of my candle I can happily preach that this is the case. The reed diffusers also create a subtle yet long-lasting scent without the fear of burning the house down, and the fragranced oils are easily absorbed by the reeds to diffuse the aroma into the rest of the room. 

I opted for the grapefruit scents as I prefer my room to smell fruity fresh in a sort of clean crisp way, if that makes any sense? The Grapefruit Bergamot Candle* does exactly that as the top notes of grapefruit make the fragrance sharp and refreshing and by being mixed with bergamot, the scent is given delicate and slightly floral undertones. This is an overall winner in my eyes and makes for the perfect bedroom scent. The crispness to it reminds be of the beloved Figueir fragrance from Diptyque, but as this fragrance is isn't at all woody I wouldn't call it a dupe. Secondly, the White Grapefruit Reed Diffuser* is again a revitalising and uplifting scent but without the florally notes to it, I think of this as more of a bathroom scent. This diffuser is currently sitting in my student bathroom in an attempt to mask the smell of damp (typical student houses and all) and it's doing a brilliant job at it so far. The oils in the diffuser make for a stronger smell than the unlit candle, and although these fragrances differ slightly, they compliment each other well.  

Can we also take a minute to appreciate the beautiful packaging? These glittery white boxes definitely give the products a luxe feel and prepare you for just how luxurious the scents are themselves (you can even smell them through the box). I'm currently trying to think of ways I can use them to store other bits and bobs, because how can I throw something so pretty into the recycling bin?

Overall I am really pleased with these new additions to my home! If you're based in the UK it's definitely worth a look over on Lula-Ray's website for these luxury candles and diffusers as they are a fraction of the price designer favourites like Jo Malone or Diptyque charge.

What do you think to these newbies? And any ideas on how I can re-use the beautiful packaging? 

Charlotte x


Disclaimer: despite offering to pay for these products, these were kindly gifted to me by Lula-Ray. My enthusiasm and love for this candle and diffuser are genuine as I would never feature something on my blog that I wouldn't go out and pay for myself. 

With the majority of my readers' age being between 18-24, I thought I'd write something a little different on the blog today. Think of this as a little letter to anyone who is going to or has just started university. Although it has come with its ups and downs, my uni experience has made for the best three years of my life and I've loved it so much I have decided to turn my BA into an MA by studying for a masters this year at the same university. I fully understand that university or college isn't for everyone, but for those of you embarking on your first year, here are some tips on how to survive and make the most of your time in higher education.

Before you go: try and find your flatmates on forums/Facebook. I found this so helpful and managed to find the majority of my flatmates before moving into halls and this broke the ice a bit before moving in (a cheeky stalk can also let you to get to know them a little bit before moving in too). The same goes for those not going into halls as you'll also be able to find those staying close to home too or even find a friendly face who is on your course that you can sit next to for your introductory lectures.

When you get there: bring biscuits/cakes/snacks as again these can break the ice and get a sense of communality going (if that makes sense?). Get whoever has brought you to do a food shop for you, (my mum only packed me some tinned goods...) as this will be one less thing for you to worry about in your first week. Also make the most of your accommodation if you're in it! Me and my flatmate went to all the flats in our block to introduce ourselves before the first night, but if I could go back I'd expand this to the surrounding blocks too. 

Don't stress: for the majority of courses in the UK, first year marks do not count towards your final degree. I didn't know this applied to me until a month in, so worked my butt off trying to read every book and carefully do all my seminar prep, which stressed me out a bit. The stress was a tad unnecessary, everyone is finding their feet with this course, it's okay to make mistakes and it's more than okay to get 55% (that's a mid 2:2) - it took me a while to get my head around the way university marking works. So try and relax, I missed opportunities to socialise and get involved with things because I tried too hard in my 1st year, don't let that be you - make the most of your first year and have fun. 

Get involved as much as you can: if there was something I could drill home to my fresher-shelf it would be this. Going around the clubs and societies fair in my first week I saw so many things I thought I wanted to do and put my name on their mailing lists, but came down to actually joining the only extracurricular thing I did in first year was write for my uni's newspaper. I went to a cheerleading try-outs (failed massively) and missed the deadline for signing up to the dance society. By the end of my third year I'd competed in three dance teams for my university, been a RAG committee member and took part in Freshers' Week Crew and RAG Week crew. My third year, although it was the most stressful, ended up being the best year of my undergrad experience and that was because it was the most involved I had been in uni - so in a way I did what you're supposed to do in reverse. Although my grades did suffer a little bit, I came out with a 2:1 and a tonne of experience which I'm much happier with than just a 1st and nothing to put on my CV.

Stock up on fancy dress: from a clown to a cat, and from Gretchen Weiners to a circus animal, during my time at university I have really been it all. After rent, bills and food, fancy dress is probably what I've most frequently spent my money on, whether that's been for sports nights, birthdays or Halloween. Suss out your local Primark or cheap fancy dress shop (for those of you in Newcastle, head to Magic Box!!) because dressing up doesn't have to be expensive. Also save your previous outfits as you never know when you might need them again.

I hope you've enjoyed this chattier-than-normal post and if your heading to uni this September for your first or final year - GOOD LUCK! Try to remember that after these few years you'll probably be   working 9 to 5 (cue the Dolly Parton lyrics), so make sure you make the most of flexible hours (i.e. Netflix, naps and nights out).

For those of you who went/go to university, what would you say to your younger self and what tips would you give to freshers?

Charlotte x

Dear Fresher

20 September 2015


With the majority of my readers' age being between 18-24, I thought I'd write something a little different on the blog today. Think of this as a little letter to anyone who is going to or has just started university. Although it has come with its ups and downs, my uni experience has made for the best three years of my life and I've loved it so much I have decided to turn my BA into an MA by studying for a masters this year at the same university. I fully understand that university or college isn't for everyone, but for those of you embarking on your first year, here are some tips on how to survive and make the most of your time in higher education.

Before you go: try and find your flatmates on forums/Facebook. I found this so helpful and managed to find the majority of my flatmates before moving into halls and this broke the ice a bit before moving in (a cheeky stalk can also let you to get to know them a little bit before moving in too). The same goes for those not going into halls as you'll also be able to find those staying close to home too or even find a friendly face who is on your course that you can sit next to for your introductory lectures.

When you get there: bring biscuits/cakes/snacks as again these can break the ice and get a sense of communality going (if that makes sense?). Get whoever has brought you to do a food shop for you, (my mum only packed me some tinned goods...) as this will be one less thing for you to worry about in your first week. Also make the most of your accommodation if you're in it! Me and my flatmate went to all the flats in our block to introduce ourselves before the first night, but if I could go back I'd expand this to the surrounding blocks too. 

Don't stress: for the majority of courses in the UK, first year marks do not count towards your final degree. I didn't know this applied to me until a month in, so worked my butt off trying to read every book and carefully do all my seminar prep, which stressed me out a bit. The stress was a tad unnecessary, everyone is finding their feet with this course, it's okay to make mistakes and it's more than okay to get 55% (that's a mid 2:2) - it took me a while to get my head around the way university marking works. So try and relax, I missed opportunities to socialise and get involved with things because I tried too hard in my 1st year, don't let that be you - make the most of your first year and have fun. 

Get involved as much as you can: if there was something I could drill home to my fresher-shelf it would be this. Going around the clubs and societies fair in my first week I saw so many things I thought I wanted to do and put my name on their mailing lists, but came down to actually joining the only extracurricular thing I did in first year was write for my uni's newspaper. I went to a cheerleading try-outs (failed massively) and missed the deadline for signing up to the dance society. By the end of my third year I'd competed in three dance teams for my university, been a RAG committee member and took part in Freshers' Week Crew and RAG Week crew. My third year, although it was the most stressful, ended up being the best year of my undergrad experience and that was because it was the most involved I had been in uni - so in a way I did what you're supposed to do in reverse. Although my grades did suffer a little bit, I came out with a 2:1 and a tonne of experience which I'm much happier with than just a 1st and nothing to put on my CV.

Stock up on fancy dress: from a clown to a cat, and from Gretchen Weiners to a circus animal, during my time at university I have really been it all. After rent, bills and food, fancy dress is probably what I've most frequently spent my money on, whether that's been for sports nights, birthdays or Halloween. Suss out your local Primark or cheap fancy dress shop (for those of you in Newcastle, head to Magic Box!!) because dressing up doesn't have to be expensive. Also save your previous outfits as you never know when you might need them again.

I hope you've enjoyed this chattier-than-normal post and if your heading to uni this September for your first or final year - GOOD LUCK! Try to remember that after these few years you'll probably be   working 9 to 5 (cue the Dolly Parton lyrics), so make sure you make the most of flexible hours (i.e. Netflix, naps and nights out).

For those of you who went/go to university, what would you say to your younger self and what tips would you give to freshers?

Charlotte x


When I first started getting into beauty, never did I think I'd be turning to oils for everyday use. After all, I have oily skin so thought that oils would just not work in my skincare routine and surely a hair oil would just make my hair greasy? But a few years on, I've grown a lot wiser to what products do and don't work for me and now these oils are what I reach for on a daily basis. They help to keep my skin and hair in check and here's why they've gained an essential status in my books...

Skincare:  The Super Facialist by Una Brennan Vitamin C+ Brighten Skin Renewal Cleansing Oil is something I use morning and night. It is the perfect 'first-step' cleanser, in that you massage it onto dry skin and it can remove even the most waterproof of mascaras - the longer you take to massage the oil, the more radiant your face appears. I mentionned this in my How to Get Glowing post, as for me I really notice the difference in my dull, oily skin and although the cleanser moisturises the skin, this is not a heavy feeling - if anything the skin is left feeling refreshed. The fragrance to this is also really refreshing and is reminiscent of the 'Satsuma' range by The Body Shop, making this citrusy oil a subtle wake-up call in the morning. The smallest drop of this stuff goes a long way, and after loving this so much, I've added the Glow Boost Skin Serum from the range onto my never-ending beauty wish-list.

Bodycare: Okay I'd be lying if I said I used this everyday, but I do have good intentions when it comes to using my Bio-Oil. With repeated use I have noticed my scars, stretch marks and keratosis pilaris on my upper arms (a.k.a. "chicken skin" - but that's a gross name so I prefer its technical name), have faded with the help of this oil. There are multiple uses to this, on top of the above it can also be used for uneven skintone, aging skin and dyhydrated skin too and used as an after-sun treatment or bath oil. It has a lovely fruity and floral scent to it, combining lavender oil, rosemary oil, calendula oil and chamomile oil, meaning that Bio-Oil is full of a load of calming ingredients and vitamins to help soothe problem areas of the skin. As this is very oily, I've found it to take a couple of minutes for it to dry and it's because of this that I don't use it daily, as more often than not I'm in a rush in the morning. 

Haircare: I wouldn't be exaggerating when I say it feels as though the L'Oréal Elvive Extraordinary Oil was sent down from heaven to fulfill all my hair needs. Having battled with frizz since my early teens, I've gone through a whole lot of serums and creams to tame and protect it from heat but nothing has worked as well as this. A good two pumps is enough to give a bit of shape and definition to my long waves/curls and banish my frizz (wooooo). Again this oil has many uses to it in that it can be used as a nourishing pre-shampoo treatment, before styling to protect the hair and as a finishing touch for softness and shine and no more frizz! If you couldn't tell already I love the stuff and one 100ml bottle lasts for ages.

What do you consider to be your essential oils? Do you have any recommendations for what could be used instead of these products?

Charlotte x

Essential Oils: Skincare, Bodycare and Haircare

13 September 2015


When I first started getting into beauty, never did I think I'd be turning to oils for everyday use. After all, I have oily skin so thought that oils would just not work in my skincare routine and surely a hair oil would just make my hair greasy? But a few years on, I've grown a lot wiser to what products do and don't work for me and now these oils are what I reach for on a daily basis. They help to keep my skin and hair in check and here's why they've gained an essential status in my books...

Skincare:  The Super Facialist by Una Brennan Vitamin C+ Brighten Skin Renewal Cleansing Oil is something I use morning and night. It is the perfect 'first-step' cleanser, in that you massage it onto dry skin and it can remove even the most waterproof of mascaras - the longer you take to massage the oil, the more radiant your face appears. I mentionned this in my How to Get Glowing post, as for me I really notice the difference in my dull, oily skin and although the cleanser moisturises the skin, this is not a heavy feeling - if anything the skin is left feeling refreshed. The fragrance to this is also really refreshing and is reminiscent of the 'Satsuma' range by The Body Shop, making this citrusy oil a subtle wake-up call in the morning. The smallest drop of this stuff goes a long way, and after loving this so much, I've added the Glow Boost Skin Serum from the range onto my never-ending beauty wish-list.

Bodycare: Okay I'd be lying if I said I used this everyday, but I do have good intentions when it comes to using my Bio-Oil. With repeated use I have noticed my scars, stretch marks and keratosis pilaris on my upper arms (a.k.a. "chicken skin" - but that's a gross name so I prefer its technical name), have faded with the help of this oil. There are multiple uses to this, on top of the above it can also be used for uneven skintone, aging skin and dyhydrated skin too and used as an after-sun treatment or bath oil. It has a lovely fruity and floral scent to it, combining lavender oil, rosemary oil, calendula oil and chamomile oil, meaning that Bio-Oil is full of a load of calming ingredients and vitamins to help soothe problem areas of the skin. As this is very oily, I've found it to take a couple of minutes for it to dry and it's because of this that I don't use it daily, as more often than not I'm in a rush in the morning. 

Haircare: I wouldn't be exaggerating when I say it feels as though the L'Oréal Elvive Extraordinary Oil was sent down from heaven to fulfill all my hair needs. Having battled with frizz since my early teens, I've gone through a whole lot of serums and creams to tame and protect it from heat but nothing has worked as well as this. A good two pumps is enough to give a bit of shape and definition to my long waves/curls and banish my frizz (wooooo). Again this oil has many uses to it in that it can be used as a nourishing pre-shampoo treatment, before styling to protect the hair and as a finishing touch for softness and shine and no more frizz! If you couldn't tell already I love the stuff and one 100ml bottle lasts for ages.

What do you consider to be your essential oils? Do you have any recommendations for what could be used instead of these products?

Charlotte x

If you follow me over on Instagram (@charlotte_dickson) or are up-to-date on my latest outfit post, you'll know that I was just back up in Newcastle for a long weekend. It felt good to be back and I'm so excited for another year of living in the North East. On Sunday morning, my housemate and I ventured into Heaton to finally visit The Butterfly Cabinet on Heaton Road. I say 'finally' because the place is such a hit with students at my university and its been on my Newcastle Bucket List for quite some time. 

We arrived at about 11 to find a queue way out of the door, but it turns out this a regular thing for the little restaurant on a Sunday morning. We did have to wait a good 20 minutes but we were seated by half past. Once inside, I was amazed by the cute, colourful interior and how the decorations are such a mishmash of things but they work so well together - just look at that chandelier. 


When it came to ordering food, its not really a surprise that I opted for the English Breakfast as I have raved about my love for it on the blog before when out for brunch (see here and here). Grace went for the same breakfast as it was such a bargain at just £5! To drink I had an Orange Juice and Grace chose a Peach Iced Tea. The food and drinks did take a little while to come, but as the place was so busy this was understandable and it was well worth the wait! I got a cheeky third rasher of bacon and hash-browns are one of my favourite foods so having two included in the breakfast was definitely a bonus in my eyes. 

The menu offered every Iced Tea flavour you could think of, a veggie option for every breakfast they served and had some gluten-free meals too. The Butterfly Cabinet really does cater to everyone and I feel that this was reflected in the range of people that were in there on a Sunday morning. From spying on the other customers the shakes looked amazing and the selection of burgers on the menu was vast, so I think I'll be heading back soon to try those out! 

It was a really enjoyable sunny morning, with good food for an amazing price. If you're ever in the area, I'd really recommend add this wee restaurant to your list of places to visit - there was a queue for a reason. Has anyone else been to The Butterfly Cabinet? Where is your favourite place to eat out for breakfast?

Charlotte x

Breakfast at the Butterfly Cabinet in Heaton, Newcastle

9 September 2015


If you follow me over on Instagram (@charlotte_dickson) or are up-to-date on my latest outfit post, you'll know that I was just back up in Newcastle for a long weekend. It felt good to be back and I'm so excited for another year of living in the North East. On Sunday morning, my housemate and I ventured into Heaton to finally visit The Butterfly Cabinet on Heaton Road. I say 'finally' because the place is such a hit with students at my university and its been on my Newcastle Bucket List for quite some time. 

We arrived at about 11 to find a queue way out of the door, but it turns out this a regular thing for the little restaurant on a Sunday morning. We did have to wait a good 20 minutes but we were seated by half past. Once inside, I was amazed by the cute, colourful interior and how the decorations are such a mishmash of things but they work so well together - just look at that chandelier. 


When it came to ordering food, its not really a surprise that I opted for the English Breakfast as I have raved about my love for it on the blog before when out for brunch (see here and here). Grace went for the same breakfast as it was such a bargain at just £5! To drink I had an Orange Juice and Grace chose a Peach Iced Tea. The food and drinks did take a little while to come, but as the place was so busy this was understandable and it was well worth the wait! I got a cheeky third rasher of bacon and hash-browns are one of my favourite foods so having two included in the breakfast was definitely a bonus in my eyes. 

The menu offered every Iced Tea flavour you could think of, a veggie option for every breakfast they served and had some gluten-free meals too. The Butterfly Cabinet really does cater to everyone and I feel that this was reflected in the range of people that were in there on a Sunday morning. From spying on the other customers the shakes looked amazing and the selection of burgers on the menu was vast, so I think I'll be heading back soon to try those out! 

It was a really enjoyable sunny morning, with good food for an amazing price. If you're ever in the area, I'd really recommend add this wee restaurant to your list of places to visit - there was a queue for a reason. Has anyone else been to The Butterfly Cabinet? Where is your favourite place to eat out for breakfast?

Charlotte x

As my skin's the clearest its been for a while, I thought I'd share what's helping me banish my blemishes. Having fought them off from the age of 13, I'd like to think I know what does and doesn't work for my skin by now. The tricky thing to blogging about skincare is that everyone's 'skin type' is unique, so FYI this is written from the perspective of a gal with blemish-prone, oily skin, who occasionally suffers from the odd dry patch around the eyes and upper lip area. This dryness normally rears its head in winter or when I've been using too harsh of a product - so look out for how I deal with that below. 

The Three Step Set: I was given La Roche-Posay's Effaclar '3-Step' Anti Blemish System for Christmas and I wanted to make sure that I gave it a proper trail before featuring it on here. This worked a treat in clearing up my skin, unclogging my pores and fading scars, but as I started using this new regime in winter, the chemicals within it proved too harsh to use it twice-daily. To give my skin a rest I started using the Clarifying Toner a lot less and have since repurchased the cleanser and cream seperately. The formula of the Purifying Foaming Gel leaves the skin feeling squeaky clean without stripping it of all its moisture. The cream (which I also wrote about here) is a holy grail product in my eyes as its the only effective treatment I've tried that reduces and fades scarring from previous spots as well as preventing and reducing the size and redness of existing blemishes. Overall the set is worth a whirl if your looking for an effective skincare regime, but I don't think I'll be repurchasing this set as a whole due to the toner's formula being a bit too harsh for my sometimes sensitive skin.

The Mask: I raved about the Super Facialist by Una Brennan's Salicylic Acid Anti Blemish Clay Mask not too long ago in this post, so I'll try not to babble on about this. When I first started using face masks, I was told that after using one, your impurities would be brought out of the skin and that my skin would get worse before getting better. This rule is completely defied by this miracle mask, as overnight I have found my blemishes have been dramatically reduced or disappear altogether. The formula, unlike most anti-blemish masks, is actually moisturising and rebalances the skin to reveal a clearer, refreshed looking complexion. I have also found this to be one of the most luxurious feeling formulas on the beauty high street.

The Gentle Toner: I actually wrote a full review of Lush's Tea Tree Water around this time last year and I have repurchased this a fair few times. Tea tree as an ingredient is antibacterial, antimicrobial and antiseptic, meaning that it keeps spot-causing bacteria at bay and the formula's combination is anti-inflammatory, and therefore helps to reduce the appearance of redness on the skin. This toner is so gentle on the skin and is still so effective in sweeping away excess oil and reducing the appearance of blemishes and red areas. Definitely one to try if you have sensitive skin. 

The Intense Treatment: For the stubborn spots that don't seem to budge when using the above, I find myself reaching for Clinique's Anti Blemish Solutions Clinical Clearing Gel as more of a targeted treatment. A little of this goes a long way and the formula is very drying and gel-like, so treats the spot without effecting the rest of the face. After application you can almost feel the stuff getting to work, and it definitely calms down any inflammation, or even pain, on the targeted blemish. This is also quite similar to Origins Super Spot Remover Blemish Treatment Gel. 

The Manual Scrub: When it comes to exfoliating the face, sometimes chemical exfoliators are not enough; enter Neutrogena's Visibly Clear Pink Grapefruit Daily Scrub. I love how small the micro-beads in this scrub are, and how they are effective in removing any flakes caused by spot-drying treatments without aggravating existing spots. The refreshing scent of grapefruit is so lovely and although this isn't the deepest of cleansers, it still works. In fact the whole grapefruit range is great, especially if you are on a tight budget - I love the Facial Wash and the Oil-Free Moisturiser. 

I hope you enjoyed this post and found it helpful if you are on the hunt for products that can give your blemishes the boot. What are your favourite anti-blemish products? Any recommendations?

Charlotte x

Battling Blemishes: a Skincare Guide

6 September 2015


As my skin's the clearest its been for a while, I thought I'd share what's helping me banish my blemishes. Having fought them off from the age of 13, I'd like to think I know what does and doesn't work for my skin by now. The tricky thing to blogging about skincare is that everyone's 'skin type' is unique, so FYI this is written from the perspective of a gal with blemish-prone, oily skin, who occasionally suffers from the odd dry patch around the eyes and upper lip area. This dryness normally rears its head in winter or when I've been using too harsh of a product - so look out for how I deal with that below. 

The Three Step Set: I was given La Roche-Posay's Effaclar '3-Step' Anti Blemish System for Christmas and I wanted to make sure that I gave it a proper trail before featuring it on here. This worked a treat in clearing up my skin, unclogging my pores and fading scars, but as I started using this new regime in winter, the chemicals within it proved too harsh to use it twice-daily. To give my skin a rest I started using the Clarifying Toner a lot less and have since repurchased the cleanser and cream seperately. The formula of the Purifying Foaming Gel leaves the skin feeling squeaky clean without stripping it of all its moisture. The cream (which I also wrote about here) is a holy grail product in my eyes as its the only effective treatment I've tried that reduces and fades scarring from previous spots as well as preventing and reducing the size and redness of existing blemishes. Overall the set is worth a whirl if your looking for an effective skincare regime, but I don't think I'll be repurchasing this set as a whole due to the toner's formula being a bit too harsh for my sometimes sensitive skin.

The Mask: I raved about the Super Facialist by Una Brennan's Salicylic Acid Anti Blemish Clay Mask not too long ago in this post, so I'll try not to babble on about this. When I first started using face masks, I was told that after using one, your impurities would be brought out of the skin and that my skin would get worse before getting better. This rule is completely defied by this miracle mask, as overnight I have found my blemishes have been dramatically reduced or disappear altogether. The formula, unlike most anti-blemish masks, is actually moisturising and rebalances the skin to reveal a clearer, refreshed looking complexion. I have also found this to be one of the most luxurious feeling formulas on the beauty high street.

The Gentle Toner: I actually wrote a full review of Lush's Tea Tree Water around this time last year and I have repurchased this a fair few times. Tea tree as an ingredient is antibacterial, antimicrobial and antiseptic, meaning that it keeps spot-causing bacteria at bay and the formula's combination is anti-inflammatory, and therefore helps to reduce the appearance of redness on the skin. This toner is so gentle on the skin and is still so effective in sweeping away excess oil and reducing the appearance of blemishes and red areas. Definitely one to try if you have sensitive skin. 

The Intense Treatment: For the stubborn spots that don't seem to budge when using the above, I find myself reaching for Clinique's Anti Blemish Solutions Clinical Clearing Gel as more of a targeted treatment. A little of this goes a long way and the formula is very drying and gel-like, so treats the spot without effecting the rest of the face. After application you can almost feel the stuff getting to work, and it definitely calms down any inflammation, or even pain, on the targeted blemish. This is also quite similar to Origins Super Spot Remover Blemish Treatment Gel. 

The Manual Scrub: When it comes to exfoliating the face, sometimes chemical exfoliators are not enough; enter Neutrogena's Visibly Clear Pink Grapefruit Daily Scrub. I love how small the micro-beads in this scrub are, and how they are effective in removing any flakes caused by spot-drying treatments without aggravating existing spots. The refreshing scent of grapefruit is so lovely and although this isn't the deepest of cleansers, it still works. In fact the whole grapefruit range is great, especially if you are on a tight budget - I love the Facial Wash and the Oil-Free Moisturiser. 

I hope you enjoyed this post and found it helpful if you are on the hunt for products that can give your blemishes the boot. What are your favourite anti-blemish products? Any recommendations?

Charlotte x
Shirt: Zara Basics | Vest: Next | Jeans: Topshop Jamie | Loafers: Next | Bag: H&M

This Friday I have an interview at my Student's Union and I thought I'd share with you what I plan on wearing. Although the majority of my peers are out finding grad jobs, I'm hoping this interview will prove successful and help me fund my masters degree. As the role is very general it could lead to working behind the Union's bar or at their shop, so I'll be opting for a smart casual option in terms of my dress.

This Zara Basics shirt is a recent purchase and is one of the softest pieces in my warbrobe. Although Zara is on the higher end of the high-street's price range, the brand never faulter in quality and this stripey number is no expection. I literally love this shirt (if you couldn't already tell?) and as it can equally be dressed up or down, I see it becoming a real staple in my wardrobe. The Topshop Jamie Jeans in black are also my favourite pair of jeans ever. The high rise waist, ankle grazer leg and skinny fit works well with my body (or should I say hip) shape, and these jeans are both comfy and smart looking.

I've had these Next loafers for probably too long, they saw me through sixth form, but with a bit of polish they are as good as new. I've more than worn them in so they will be comfy to wear during the interview and will allow me to walk around without griminacing at blisters, because let's face it, that would not be professional. This H&M handbag helped me through my third year of uni, and I'll be sporting this because the structure to it makes it look quite smart. On the beauty front, I'll be keeping things simple with a high pony-tail, nude nails (Seventeen's Lasting Fix Nail Polish in Forever) and makeup-wise I'll be opting for something a lot like the look I did for my graduation, but with a less complicated eye.

What do you think about this look? What's your favourite thing to wear to an interview?

Charlotte x

The Interview OOTD

2 September 2015

Shirt: Zara Basics | Vest: Next | Jeans: Topshop Jamie | Loafers: Next | Bag: H&M

This Friday I have an interview at my Student's Union and I thought I'd share with you what I plan on wearing. Although the majority of my peers are out finding grad jobs, I'm hoping this interview will prove successful and help me fund my masters degree. As the role is very general it could lead to working behind the Union's bar or at their shop, so I'll be opting for a smart casual option in terms of my dress.

This Zara Basics shirt is a recent purchase and is one of the softest pieces in my warbrobe. Although Zara is on the higher end of the high-street's price range, the brand never faulter in quality and this stripey number is no expection. I literally love this shirt (if you couldn't already tell?) and as it can equally be dressed up or down, I see it becoming a real staple in my wardrobe. The Topshop Jamie Jeans in black are also my favourite pair of jeans ever. The high rise waist, ankle grazer leg and skinny fit works well with my body (or should I say hip) shape, and these jeans are both comfy and smart looking.

I've had these Next loafers for probably too long, they saw me through sixth form, but with a bit of polish they are as good as new. I've more than worn them in so they will be comfy to wear during the interview and will allow me to walk around without griminacing at blisters, because let's face it, that would not be professional. This H&M handbag helped me through my third year of uni, and I'll be sporting this because the structure to it makes it look quite smart. On the beauty front, I'll be keeping things simple with a high pony-tail, nude nails (Seventeen's Lasting Fix Nail Polish in Forever) and makeup-wise I'll be opting for something a lot like the look I did for my graduation, but with a less complicated eye.

What do you think about this look? What's your favourite thing to wear to an interview?

Charlotte x

Latest Instagrams

© Charlotte's Road. Design by Fearne.