April 2018 Favourites

It’s officially been one year since Jamie and I moved into our flat and if you’ve been following The Fourth Month on Instagram you will see I’ve been really interested in interiors over the past 6 months or so. This is partly because I’ve been working in a stunning country and period interiors store, Saks and Hart, since January. And partly because I’ve also been trying to make our rented flat feel more like home.

So most of my favourites for April 2018 are interiors related but I’m hoping to do something bookish shortly since I’ve been reading a bit more lately.

Let me know what you think of my faves this month and I’d love to hear what you’ve purchased recently.

Enjoy x 


Rae Dunn artisan collection by Magenta

I’ve been drooling over Rae Dunn pottery on Instagram for a while now. They are just the perfect addition to any farmhouse-style home. They’re so unique and the use of font really appeals to the publisher in me. So on my birthday, when Jamie asked me what I wanted, he was a bit surprised when I said I wanted… bowls. TK Maxx are currently stocking a small amount of Rae Dunn for a very reasonable price. I got my bowls for £3.99 each and my ‘Let’s Eat’ platter for about £12.


Stone jug and eucalyptus

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This is one of my favourite Saks & Hart purchases! It’s a very rustic and traditional style stone jug and I’ve paired it with two stems of artificial eucalyptus. I’m currently filling out our flat with artificial flowers and greenery to give it a vibrant springtime feel. I just think the splash of green makes a home feel more lived in. The jug was only £15 and it’s still available in the Dalgarven, Kilwinning store. You can also get something really similar at Homes Direct 365 and you can get three sprigs of eucalyptus on Amazon for £8.99.


Bobble Bath Mat from Cologne and Cotton

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This bathmat was another Instagram discovery and when I saw it, I knew I had to have it. This adorable little bath mat trimmed with fun bobbles was an ideal addition to my neutral bathroom. It’s 100% pure cotton, fully washable and it feels so soft when you step onto it. Plus it’s only £16, which I thought was a bargain for such a good quality product!


Birchbox UK x Cath Kidston (April 2018)

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I used to subscribe to Birchbox a while ago but cancelled to save pennies. However, when they announced their Cath Kidston collaboration, there was no way I was missing out. I’m obsessed with Cath Kidston – I have Cath Kidston mugs, socks, a hot water bottle, purse, meal planner… the list goes on. So I had to get this gorgeous Birchbox. I was slightly disappointed because one of my products arrived dirty but I’ve reported this to Birchbox and hopefully it will get sorted. Other than that I was in love. That gorgeous Cath Kidston print and a Cath Kidston hand cream! I also got a lovely brow gel, mini blush, mini highlighter, a make up brush cleaner, free Spectrum brush, and hair volume spray. All for only £12.95 (including postage). I’d say that’s pretty good going.

If you fancy subscribing and trying Birchbox yourself, follow this link and you’ll receive £5 off your first box!* 


WHAT ARE YOU LOVING THIS APRIL? WE ARE STARTING TO SEE SUNSHINE AND IT’S TIME TO WELCOME PASTEL COLOURS AND FLORAL EVERYTHANG. DO YOU HAVE ANY GO-TO PRODUCTS FOR SPRING? LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS OR ON INSTAGRAM.

*for the sake of transparency, I will also receive £5 off when you sign up

Friction Free Shaving razor subscription

I’ve been meaning to blog about Friction Free Shaving’s razor subscription for a while because I think more people need to know about it. This post is in no way endorsed or sponsored by FFS; I just love their products!

Friction Free Shaving (FFS) is a genius service that you need in your life.* This is a life-saver if, like me, you’re a bit low-maintenance or forgetful. Using old blades is so bad for your skin; is unhygienic; and prevents you from getting a really close shave. With monthly or bimonthly deliveries, I never have to remember to pick up fresh blades at the supermarket and my legs can be silky smooth at all times. Plus it’s really good value for money.

*if you choose to shave! The choice is totally up to you, of course, and you should never feel obligated to remove any of your body hair. If you rock natural hair, good, If you don’t, good. Your body = your choice. 

When you first order from FFS, you get to choose from three razors ranging from £5 to £9 (Rose, Silvia and Frankie). You can even get your razor engraved for ultimate personalisation (free engraving worth £6 if you click here*) and pick some add-ons like pre-, post- and during shaving creams and balms. The more luxurious options include a stunning rose-gold metal razor with 6 blades and the world’s first chrome razor designed especially for women. I went for the basic Frankie razor with 3 ceramic coated blades and a lubricating vitamin E strip for extra moisture. It feels heavy and sturdy and the blade has 90-degree movement, which is great for around the ankles and knees. Plus it’ll only set you back £5.

Once I received my first order (the razor and a set of 4 refills), I could choose to have my refills delivered straight to my doorstep at a frequency that suits me (every month or every second month). I get the Frankie blades delivered every two months, which suits me perfectly, as I can change my blade every two weeks. But if you would like to change them weekly, you could go for the monthly delivery.

I’d also like to point out that the customer service at FFS is amazing. I have to admit that I considered cancelling my subscription during winter because, let’s face it, your shaving frequency is significantly less than during the summer months. However, instead of cancellation, the lovely Amber at Friction Free Shaving offered to put me on their ‘winter setting’ which allowed me to either swap my next set of blades for one of their tubed products or postpone my subscription to give me time to use up the blades that I currently have. I thought this was a great personal touch because I didn’t want to cancel forever but I didn’t want to waste my cash on surplus refills. 

So if like me, you are always looking for ways to maximise productivity in your day-to-day life, subscribe to FFS and you’ll never have to remember to buy fresh razor blades again and you can feel safe in the knowledge that you’re getting a super hygienic, smooth shave every time.

Click here to get FREE razor engraving worth £6 using code NUFE9H*

 

*Total transparency: You get free engraving and I receive £3 credit towards my FFS orders whenever one of you lovely people join the FFS gang.

15 Ways To Manage and Love Your Natural Curls

Guest Blog by Zina Nouhas.


To all my curly haired gals out there, you know the real effort it is to tame your mane. From strict hair routines to costly products, it can be very time-consuming and expensive to keep up your desired look. However, once you find what works best for you, allowing your hair to go natural is an absolute GAME CHANGER.

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Yes, ladies, you’ve been blessed! It’s now time to understand your curly hair more and allow your beautiful bouncy curls back into your life again!

Here are 15 ways to manage and love your natural curls:

1.Know your hair type/curl pattern

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Knowing your curly hair type is the important first step you can take before you can begin your journey into turning into a natural gal. Once you know this, you can then understand what will work best for your hair and get the right products to help define your curls best! Don’t worry if you think your hair doesn’t fall into just one category, I have a mixture of different textures myself, and many other girls will experience this too.

2. Limit washing your hair to once a week

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Some people may think washing your hair every day is great. However, for us curlies, washing your hair every day does more damage than good. It will result in hair becoming drier (than it already is) which is a defo no no since what we want is to attain more moisture. If this freaks you out a little, and you are scared that your hair may be too dirty, skip to #4 – there is always other methods to keep hair looking and smelling fresh!

3. Use sulfate-free products

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Switching to sulfate-free hair products is definitely an option you should consider and is one I am glad I made. It may be more expensive but it’s really worth it. Sulfates are chemicals which are very common in majority of shampoos – take a look at the ingedients list of the one you are currently using, notice any? Common ones are sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulfate (SLES). The reason why so many people have made this jump is simple: sulfate-based shampoos may get rid of oil and product build up to an extent but they essentially lead to drying out your hair, which results in a lack of moisture and potentially can increase the chance of hair breakage. This is of course not ideal for anyone who’s hair is prone to drying out i.e. curly haired gals! Therefore, making the switch to sulfate-free shampoos will prevent this and solve this issue. Mixed Chicks have a great range that I highly recommend. UK peeps, you can find their products on Amazon.

4. Try out co-washing (washing your hair with conditioner only)

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As I’ve mentioned above, cut down your wash day to just one day a week, in between, you can do what is called “co-washing.” This is simply washing your hair with just conditioner. It’s softer on your hair and won’t strip it of it’s natural oils. This way, you can keep your hair clean and it won’t be as harsh as washing it with shampoo. Some hair products do a specific cleanser for this such as Curly Q Curlie Cutie Cleansing, or you can save money and just use the conditioner you have instead.

5. Always use a leave-in conditioner

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Adding a leave-in conditioner to your curly hair routine will save your life! This will give your hair added moisture that all curly hair desires. A little trick I also do (when it’s not wash day), is getting an empty spray bottle and half fill it with leave-in and then the other half fill it with water. Every day between wash day I will spray my hair with this, before adding other products, to keep the moisture in. Again, Mixed Chicks do a great one –Mixed Chicks Leave-In Conditioner – (which I use) but there will be other cheaper alternatives in your local Boots etc.

6. Oil your hair

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I recommend oiling your hair at least once a week, and if you can, leave the oil in your hair overnight for ultimate results. I always use coconut oil for this but there are other alternatives which are just as good, such as almond oil. Once you wash out that oil the next day, trust me, your hair will be flawless. #CoconutOilSavesLives!

Not only should you use oil as a deep conditioner, you should also oil your hair after washing it (and applied your leave-in conditioner) too. This will help keep your beautiful curls in perfect condition!

7. Use a good quality styling cream or gel

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Once you find what curl pattern your hair is, you can find products suitable to your hair. I have to say, the US get all the best products *sad face* but majority of the time you can find them on Amazon. One of my fav curl creams is the Cantu Shea Butter for Natural Hair Moisturizing Curl Activator Cream, which I highly recommend! UK alternatives I use are from the John Frieda curly hair products – their serums in particular are amazing to use in order to banish frizz.

(*5-7 is better known as the LOC method: Leave-in, Oil, and Cream (or gel))

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8.Sleep with a silk scarf, turban, or cap on at night to reduce frizz

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Ever have perfect curls before bed and then wake up the next day with them looking a mess? Yeah, me too! A way around this is to wear a turban, silk scarf, or satin cap over your hair before you go to sleep. This will prevent your hair from being as frizzy as it usually is. If you don’t want to wear any of them at night, you can invest in a silk pillow case instead – works just as good!

9. Stop using heat appliances on hair and go heat-free instead

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One of the best things you can do for your curls is stop using heat on your hair! Yup, that means no straightening your hair, using curling tongs, blow drying your hair (on high heat), and, you get the picture … Of course, at times, you may want to switch up your hair style a bit and try out different looks and that’s OK. However, if you do, make sure you take good precautions to not damage your hair (skip to #13).

10. Use a cotton t-shirt to dry your hair in order to reduce frizz

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Do you have an old cotton t-shirt in your wardrobe? Don’t chuck it in the bin just yet. You can use this as an alternative to drying your curly hair more quickly than leaving it to dry it’s self naturally. It’s cheap, it’s quicker, and it will keep your curls from becoming frizzy. This method has been referred to as “plopping.” Yes, really … Google it haha!

11. If you allow your hair to dry naturally, DO NOT keep touching it

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Once you have combed your hair, applied your leave-in, oil, and curl cream – do NOT touch your hair. Honestly, just leave it be and by the time it’s air-dried, your curls will be flawless and non-frizzy. If you keep on touching your hair, you will only cause frizz to happen, and we don’t want that, do we, ladies? If you want to cut time down, I sometimes dry my roots but leave the ends to dry it-self.

12. Use a diffuser (on low heat) to dry your hair

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Buying a hairdryer which had a diffuser attachment was the best thing I’ve ever invested in. TBH, I only diffuse my hair when I’ve got the time, as it can be a long process, but the outcome is defo worth it. Diffusing your hair will allow the air flow to change from a direct stream of air to a more diffused air flow. This will help to reduce frizz, as there will be less hot air directed at any one part of your hair, therefore making it perfect to dry curly hair! Trust me, invest in one too.

13. Use a heat protecting spray if you do decide to use heat on your hair

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If you’re going to brave it and use heat on your hair, make sure you take precaution and protect your hair as much as possible. Use heat protecting sprays and creams before straightening and drying your hair (on high heat) and you shouldn’t do damage like you would without it.

14. Don’t brush your hair when it’s dry

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Some people have looked at me like I’m crazy when I’ve said I don’t brush my hair (or rarely brush it) Trust me I get it, it sounds weird LOL! But honestly, follow this method of only brushing your hair when wet (and NOT when dry) as it will prevent your hair from breakage. When you do brush it, make sure you brush your hair from ends to roots, not roots to end!

15. Find a protective style – such as braids

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Having a protective style is very important for all girls who decide to go natural. Basically, a protective style is when you have your ends tucked away, to prevent further damage from happening. The ends of our hair is the oldest and most fragile part out of our whole hair, which means they are the most likely part to experience damage like breakage and split ends etc. Therefore, by doing a protective style at times, you can help keep your hair in top condition. Protective styles includes braids, twists, updos, and more. I will usually braid my hair or put it in an updo. Try out different techniques and find what works best for you. (FYI, Youtube will be your new bestie as it will give you loads of protective style tutorials, such as this one.)

Convinced enough to go natural yet? My advice: let your naturally curly hair flow free and rock them curls!

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#WerkIt!

Love always,

Zina (purefandom guest writer)

(*Follow me on Twitter and Instagram: OhMyZinaa)

How To Turn Student Accommodation Into Your Dream Home

Starting University is daunting but moving into student accommodation doesn’t need to be scary. Once you’re done packing the bare essentials (pyjamas and loo roll), fill your suitcase with adorable bits and bobs to give your new flat that cosy feel.  Here’s some of my favourites:

Inspirational Quotes & Prints

One of the things I did to jazz up my new room was frame some gorgeous illustrations. Get on Etsy and search for prints that reflect your personality. It could be something witty that’ll make you laugh when you see it or something more motivational to get you in the studying mindset. If you’re into a Live, Laugh, Love quote then who am I to judge? Be careful sticking them on walls because some letting agents will kick up a fuss – avoid blu-tac and sticking pins straight on to a wall. If you have a corkboard that’s a great way to showcase your favourite designs and throw up some family photos too. I like framing my prints and resting them on bookshelves and desks. My favourite illustrators right now are The Fuzzy Bee Paper CompanyClaire Barclay Draws and Lemmon Studios.

Candles

You’ll know by now that I’m addicted to candles. I guess it comes down to that Danish lifestyle concept: Hygge. Candles will turn any empty room into a warm and fuzzy place to snuggle up and read a good book. I’ve written a lot about my favourite independent Scottish candle companies but here’s some to get you started. If you’re a book lover like me, invest in a couple of Meraki Candles. For something a bit more luxurious, try MoBros Candles and use my 10% off code: APRIL10. Other candles I love are Love Scottish Candles and McKelvie Candles. Please be careful because not all landlords allow you to burn candles. Find out if it’s okay and if not they still make for gorgeous decorations and smell gorgeous even when they’re unlit.

Books

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Books, glorious books! Nothing makes a room feel more homely than a shelf stacked with your favourite books. I like books that are worn and weathered from a loving reader who has pawed the pages so many times and a cracked spine from an overly zealous reading session. There’s a reason this John Waters’ quote is so famous…

If you go home with somebody, and they don’t have books, don’t fuck ’em!

Books are the life source of any room and you can completely personalise your space by choosing which books you put on display. At the moment, I don’t have many books in my new room but I’m getting there. They’re mostly to-be-read like A Court of Thorns and RoseHarry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and The Improbability of Love but I will be fetching a fresh copy of Jane Eyre because no bedroom of mine is complete until Jane and Mr Rochester are adorning the shelves!

Soaps, Lotions & Potions

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You don’t need to spend a fortune to have some luxury beauty products in your new home. Having some sweet-smelling, pretty soaps and lotions adds a special something to your room. Between the chaos of starting your course and moving out, it’s important to take time out to practice self-care. That means burning a candle and pampering yourself with your favourite beauty products. Like I said in the Top 10 Tips For Acne-Prone Skin, I love Liz Earle and I’ve recently been enjoying the amazing Wee Tree Soaps too. They are cruelty-free, perfect for sensitive skin and only £4. Investing in nice soaps and lotions makes your room feel more expensive and gives you the chance to unwind too.


For more home inspiration, follow me on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Vanity Femme Glow Dust Review

Review by Zina Nouhas

It’s all about the GLOW!

If you are a lover of highlighters, or are new to the scene and looking for one to splurge on, you are in the right place. Today, I want to discuss a “must have” to add to your make-up collection. It’s sparkly, glittery, and shines bright like a diamond.

It’s the Vanity Femme Glow Dust!

Vanity Femme (aka, Mariyah) is a MUA/beauty blogger who is based in Glasgow, Scotland. Recently, VF and her team launched a brand new product to the make up world called “Vanity Femme Glow Dust.” Glow Dust come in a range of  various of colours (originally four), and thanks to the high success of her launch, VF teased fans with a brand new colour, “Rose Plated.” Isn’t she just the sweetest? All together now, there are five different colours that are currently available to order. Not only does Vanity Femme sell her own highlighter, she also has a wide range of lashes. Oh, that is not all. She takes seminars all over the UK and is pursuing to take them International too. Yass – you go, girl!

What’s next? A lipstick range? I, for one, would LOVE to see that.

I have been following Vanity Femme for a long time now, and as soon as I heard she was launching her own highlighter, I knew I had to invest in them. Back in May, I preordered two of her highlighters, “Gold Caviar” and “Crushed Pearls”, and recently just received them, after her launch date on August 5th. You could say the excitement was unreal – after patiently waiting months to receive them! (Watch the slideshow below for my personal pics of VF’s Glow Dusts!)

Let’s breakdown 5 important points on VF’s Glow Dust:

  • Number 1: the packaging was top notch! Vanity Femme treated buyers to a luxurious black present-like box, and inside, contained the Glow Dust itself along with black pretend diamonds. This kept it right in theme with her glitzy glam glow dusts. Not only that, but the package also had a picture of Mariyah herself, and on the other side was a Katherine Hepburn quote. Nice touch, VF!
  • Number 2: the products are NOT tested on animals. Yay to animal safety! Nah to animal cruelty!
  • Number 3: Despite it being small, for paying £20’s for it, I can state the product is well worth the (debatable) pricey cost. It’s important to note that due to the highlighter being so pigmented, you only need a small drop of it, on your brush, each time you use it. Therefore, the Glow Dust should last a while, meaning the investment is defo worth it.
  • Number 4: the glow lasts ALL NIGHT! Yes, m’loves, you’ll be glowing all night long with Vanity Femme’s Glow Dusts on yo’ face.
  • Number 5: Um, nothing more to say other than …

Go get your GLOW on!

Make sure to check out Vanity Femme on all social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Youtube), and most importantly, her very own webpage – where you can BUY her Glow Dust and also her lashes.

Love always,

Zina

Top 10 Tips For Acne-Prone Skin

Hello and welcome to my first beauty post. It felt appropriate for me to start at the basics with skincare and to go with something personal like spotty skin because I’ve suffered from breakouts since I was about 15. I am not a dermatologist or a dietician. I don’t have any formal training but I have been through a long process of trial and error to get my skin to a state that I’m happy with. Yes, I still have breakouts but now I know how to control them and why they happen. Here’s what I’ve learned in the last 7 years – I hope it helps!

1. You are what you eat.

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If I could give only one piece of advice about looking after your skin it would be: turn to your diet. Skin is susceptible to change due to many things including hormones and the weather but more often than not you can reduce your spots by cutting down on refined carbs, sugar and trans fats. For me, it’s pizza. If I eat pizza, my face literally looks like a pepperoni pizza the next day. Keep a food diary and whenever you have a breakout, ask yourself what foods did you have the day before and try to eliminate them from your diet. Now, I do still eat pizza but knowing that I will face the consequences of a bad breakout the next day!

Skin healthy foods: Lots of green tea and water. Fresh fruit and veg packed with vitamins  and antioxidants like tomatoes (check out recipes like Huevos Rancheros), kale (you could throw some into my Quadruple Green Sweet n Sour dish) and yellow bell peppers (dice them into Classic Lasagne) Check out this list of 25 Best Foods For Your Skin.

2. The drugs don’t work.

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Okay, that’s a bit harsh. A lot of medication does work. I’ve spent years being prescribed different drugs but, more often than not, they only provide short-term solutions. My skin would clear for a few weeks but my spots would soon fight back with a vengeance. Having said that, Roaccutane will clear severe acne undoubtedly. I have never used it but know many friends who have clear skin now as a result. It comes at a price though: mood swings, dry and flaky skin, sore bones and joints… It just depends on how severe your acne is if you’re willing to try it. If you are really suffering from your bad skin, do go to your GP. They will offer a sympathetic ear and hopefully provide you with some form of solution to your problem. My only advice is to follow these other tips in conjunction with medication. Don’t expect a drug to fix it all if you’re not looking after your skin in other ways too.

3. Let it breathe, let it breathe…

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If you don’t need to wear makeup, don’t. If you’re off work for the day then avoid putting any makeup on; cleanse and moisturise skin as usual and let your skin breathe. On days where you can’t avoid make-up, clean your face immediately when you get home. Don’t wait until late at night if you don’t have to. Likewise, wash your face thoroughly after gym sessions and don’t wear makeup when you’re working out. Taking your makeup off as soon as you can is really important to let your skin breathe and heal itself. On this note, try to avoid really heavy-duty foundations. I know it’s tempting to cover up with a heavy slick of Double Wear – been there, done that – but you’re only prolonging the issue. Try a lighter coverage, even a tinted moisturiser if you feel you can, with some concealer on problematic areas. See my next tip for my favourite and least favourite foundations for spot-prone skin!

4. Start at the foundation.

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I mentioned Estée Lauder Double Wear because it is the holy grail of heavy coverage. When my skin was really bad, I felt more confident covering myself up with a thick layer of this foundation. I used it for a year plus and thought it was amazing but I’ve since realised that the heaviness was only worsening the issue. Heavy foundations will clog up your pores and prolong the inevitable. The best foundation I’ve ever used for my skin is Arbonne Perfecting Liquid Foundation. It is made with really natural ingredients which soothe your skin rather than damage it with nasty chemicals and it still gives a great coverage. Bonus points: it contains an SPF 15 for sun protection and it’s vegan-friendly.

5. Back to basics.

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There is no use in applying a chemical-free foundation if you are damaging your skin with a disagreeable skincare regime or, worse, not using one at all. If your skin is prone to spots it is important to find a cleanser, exfoliator, toner and moisturiser that work for you. Start with your cleanser. Don’t use make-up wipes. I love Liz Earle Hot Cloth Cleanser with their muslin cloth. It’s a cleanser that will remove makeup, clean impurities and act as a gentle exfoliator at the same time. I have never found a better cleanser and have repurchased several tubes. For me, nothing works like it. I’m trialling and enjoying Emma Hardie Amazing Face Lift & Sculpt Moringa Cleansing Balm at the moment so I’ll let you all know how I get on with it. It smells lovely and feels very luxurious so hopefully, it clears up my current breakout. I love Liz Earle for toner and moisturiser too. All their products are very light, enriched with skin-loving nutrients and leave my skin feeling soft, radiant and clean.

6. Be prepared for change.

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When I first went to the doctor about my skin, she explained that a woman’s body goes through a hormonal overhaul every 7 years. Not just puberty. That means every 7 years, your skin can change dramatically. You may have crystal clear skin all through your teens and twenties but could wake up with acne in your thirties. Do not get complacent with your skincare routine! One of my friends had been using the same moisturiser for years when suddenly her skin took an adverse reaction to it and she experienced redness on the sides of her face. She gave it up, swapped it for a different moisturise and the redness quickly disappeared. What I’m saying is: don’t be afraid to change. What was once your knight in shining skincare armour could quickly become your worst enemy. Similarly, the weather has a dramatic impact on your skin.  You might find your skin gets uncomfortably dry in the wintertime so you have to opt for a more moisturising regime. Likewise, the heat of summer might cause you to sweat more and, in turn, cause breakouts so you need to be wary of any oily makeup. I go between Liz Earle‘s moisturisers for Normal/Combination and Combination/Oily skins depending on how my skin is feeling at the time.

7. Don’t be afraid of moisture.

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It’s a common misconception that you want to dry your skin out to combat spots. I never moisturised until I was like 19 because I believed it would make my skin oilier and therefore spottier. I was so frightened of adding any moisture to my face but I later discovered that my skin was severely dehydrated in some areas especially under my eyes. You should moisturise morning and night. Period. Look at your skin: is it oily? is it dry in some patches? is there redness? Like I said, there are moisturisers to suit your skin needs so use them! If, like me, you have combination skin then apply your moisturiser first in dry areas, like your cheeks, and blend out to your oilier areas, like your t-zone. If you’re really fancy you can use different products for different areas but that’s expensive!

Moisture surge products I loveESPA 24-Hour Replenishing Eye Moisturiser and CREME FRAICHE DE BEAUTE masque.

8. Get ready to fight back.

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Have a go-to emergency regime when you have a really bad burst of acne but don’t have a lot of time for slow healing. There are plenty of tips online but I think one of the best things you can use to combat a bad breakout is tea tree. Bodyshop does a great range of tea tree products. I’ve trialled several of them including the foaming cleanser, scrub, toner and night lotion. Do not overdo it with tea tree products because they will really dry out your skin.

My emergency regimen: The Body Shop Tea Tree Skin Clearing Foaming Cleanser or my ordinary daily cleanser using a slightly abrasive muslin cloth to gently exfoliate my skin. After cleansing, I splash my skin with cold water to close my pores and gently pat it dry. Once my skin is dry I’ll sweep The Body Shop Tea Tree Toner over my face with a clean cotton pad and moisturise as normal. I then apply a small amount of Sudocrem Antiseptic Healing Cream (for nappy rash) with a clean cotton bud on any spot breakouts. The next morning I find the pain, redness and unsightliness have reduced dramatically and I can return to my usual less-intensive routine.

9. Treat yo’ self.

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When your skin is really bringing you down, your self-confidence can plummet so it’s nice to pamper yourself once in a while. Why not book into a spa for a deep cleaning facial? It’s a good way to lift your spirits when your self-esteem is low. It will leave your skin feeling totally refreshed and recharged and you’ll get the chance to talk to a professional about your skin problems. Beauticians often have a lot of skin-loving wisdom to pass on. I’ve received some amazing tips from beauticians over the years and they certainly know a lot more about dermatology than me! If you don’t have the time or money for a spa trip then set aside some cash for a luxury skincare product once in a blue moon.

My Future Splurge Products: Elemis Skin Buff and La Roche-Posay Effaclar 3-Step Anti-Blemish System (I was recommended La Roche-Posay by a beautician and adored their products but have never justified the price again since I ran out)

10. Learn to love your skin as it is.

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This is easier said than done. You can buy all the fancy skincare and beauty products in the world but there is no telling that your skin will ever completely clear up. One of the most important pieces of advice I can give to anyone suffering from spot-prone skin is to learn to accept it. Spots may be a physical problem but the emotional turmoil they can cause can be awful, especially in your teenage years when you are so preoccupied with your looks. My self-esteem has been greatly affected by my bad skin over the year. I was always envious of my friends with perfect skin and perpetually worried about the redness and bumps all over my face. By no means am I saying that I like having spotty skin now. There are days when it drags me down but more and more I have come to accept it and not let it bother me as much. Now I can go out without makeup and feel comfortable enough in my own skin because the truth is the stress caused by worrying about spots will only make your spots worse! Remember: there are a lot worse things in the world than spots and while I try to reduce them as much as I can it’s important to remember that your complexion is not a reflection of how much of a funny, intelligent or kind person you are!

So what are you skincare secrets? Do you have any fool-proof ways of clearing spotty skin?

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