30/01/2015

THE King Of Skin

I have literally just gotten out of the shower, used this little crown of wonder and loved it so much I had to immediately take photos and write about it. Oh boy oh boy, it's THAT good. 


It snowed almost everywhere last night, winter is very much in full swing and my skin is definitely taking the brunt of it. Although I'll admit that I'm one of those lazy lazy people who, unless it's a special occasion, really can't be bothered to get out of the shower and spend even more time moisturising. I know I probably should, but for me even moisturising my legs after shaving becomes a monstrous task. Sigh...

Enter this little guy - King of Skin body butter, from none other than Lush, obviously! The one product that makes me actually enjoy moisturising. First and foremost, it contains a bunch of yummy natural ingredients like oat milk, avocado, fresh bananas and cocoa and shea butters which (aside from the moisturising skin benefits) means it smells almost TOO good. Not to mention that smell lasts on your skin for hours afterwards - I am definitely sitting smelling my arm as we speak, just to validate that statement hahaha. Also, can we just appreciate how cute the teeny tiny crown shape is?!

The major selling point about this for me is that you use it in the shower on wet skin. Yup. So after shaving and doing all your shower bizzzzness, you shut the water off and simply run this over clean, wet skin. This stuff glides on like a dream, sinks in instantaneously and in total, it must have taken me about 30 seconds to massage this into my whole body. You do have to rinse off the excess afterwards, but let's face it, that's like a 2 second job. 

On hopping out of the shower and patting my skin dry, the marvel of my newfound gorgeous smelling, silky skin was revealed. I could go straight ahead and put my clothes on, feeling all slinky and soft with hardly any extra effort. A whole body application hardly made a dent in the bar, and at a very affordable £5.75 a pop, I can see this becoming my very first holy grail body butter (that's something I never thought I'd say!).

Let me know your thoughts on this - especially if you've tried this and love it as much as I do!

Big love,
x

P.S. I'm thinking of updating the comments section to Disqus or something similar. I really like how it notifies you when the blog author replies to your comment, it's always nice to have a little chat and know your comment is appreciated haha! Thoughts??
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26/01/2015

Drugstore Skincare for Under a Tenner

On the subject of skincare, I've been struggling a lot keeping pesky hormonal 'stress spots' at bay. My skin has gotten to the point lately where even I don't know what's going on and feel like I must have 32507682365 different skin types in one. I am still very happy with my skincare routine (as you can read here), it keeps my skin looking clean and healthy but something just wasn't cutting it when it came to the blemishes that appeared whenever I got stressed etc. 


Usually I'm an 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it' kind of girl, but I decided my skin needed a little extra help and popped into Boots - with a very low budget, might I add - to see what I could find. 

If you read my last skincare post you'll know that I ran out of my huuuuuge beloved bottle of TAAJ Himilayan Micellar Water *crying face emoji*. Instead of repurchasing and forking out a hefty £15 again, I set out for a replacement and walked out with a lovely (equally massive) bottle of the Garnier alternative - for a third of the price of TAAJ's offering. And you know what? I think I actually prefer it to the high end micellar waters out there - gasp shock horror! If you haven't seen countless posts and reviews of this water already then you've obviously been living under a rock. 'Glides on like a dream', 'feels exactly like water', 'exactly like Bioderma' - I won't babble on with what you've already heard, but everyone and their grandma loves this stuff, now including me! My skin dramatically cleared up within 2 days of using this to remove my makeup before exfoliating etc. and I couldn't be happier with the results. Winner. 

I've also been struggling with moisturisers lately. I still use my little advent calendar jar of Benefit's Total Moisture cream for the night time, but during the day I needed something a little lighter that wouldn't drop an oil bomb on my skin and destroy my makeup halfway through the day. For the same, very affordable £4.99 price tag as the micellar water, I picked up the Visibly Clear Pink Grapefruit Oil Free Moisturiser by Neutrogena. Usually I'm a bit iffy when it comes to Neutrogena products because I can't really say that any of it has ever worked for me - until this beautiful little pink bottle entered my life. It really does deserve a full review (which will be written up soon), but for now it actually does do everything it says on the tin. I don't know if it's down to the 'micro-clear' complexion and spot clearing technology it claims to have, but whenever I use this there is a noticeable improvement in my skin's condition. Every. Single. Time. 100% without fail. It's also the first oil-free moisture product I've ever tried, and I can honestly say it moisturises ten times better than some oil-based buggers I've tried that left my skin a greasy mess. I've been converted. TEAM OIL FREE! 

In all my 19 years of living this is the first time I've been able to find cheap, drugstore skincare that actually makes a huge difference to the condition of my skin (used alongside my usual holy grail Lush products, obviously). Good job, Boots. If you know of any other little drugstore skincare gems let me know!

Big love, 
x
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22/01/2015

A Hair History and a Half

A little while ago I discovered that my one and only external hard drive, with EVERYTHING on it, had decided to give up on me. Long story short, I managed (with the help of somebody much more techy than myself) to get it fixed, and uncovered some right old photographic gems! 

I've been trying to grow my hair out for a while now, and thought it'd be interesting to put together a post including all my new found photo discoveries, showing my little hair journey. Brace yourselves for some awful faces and questionable poses, this will get very embarrassing - for me anyway...

We'll start at the very beginning, with one of the earliest photos I could find of me with actual hair on my head. I was stark bald for most of my baby-hood, and my mum used to tie bows around my head ALL THE TIME due to the sheer number of people who thought I was a boy. Finally, after a year or so, I started to grow bright blonde baby hair. N'awww.

A few years later in Tenerife (where I haven't been since this photo was taken - cry!), and the blonde ringlets were out in full force. Can we just appreciate how bloody tanned I was too - I don't think I even get that brown any more! Also, check out those bunchies.

A little while later now in Lanzarote with one of my childhood best friends - I'm on the right in pink with dramatically darker hair. It turns out I was never meant to be a blondie, although I was still sporting that wonderful fringe and bunchies combo. My hair has pretty much stayed this light brown colour ever since. 

Oh dear, my 11th birthday photoshoot. This was just before I started secondary school and thought I was really cool, so I got my 'grown up' haircut and this was the outcome hahaha - just look at that fringe wave...

Oh dear x2, this must have been around my third year of secondary school. I decided I wanted super short layers in my hair and a massive side fringe - which to be honest I didn't mind. Although, I got into the habit of backcombing the HELL out of my top layers to create more 'oomph', and it didn't take long before said 'oomph' got out of control and I ended up ruining the condition of my hair for a good while. 

So this was meant to be our GCSE music class - photo booth always seemed to get the better of us. You can see me on the left and along with my short layers, I decided to cut in a stupid full fringe that never stayed in place because my hair was too thin and was ALWAYS gappy. It stayed present for my prom and ALL my prom photos were cursed with it. Not my greatest hour.

Fast forward a few years to my first year at college and an 'educational' trip to Disneyland Paris. I had decided I wanted longer hair, my full fringe was growing out, I dyed a blonde/white streak through the side and, oh wait, dyed the ends BRIGHT. FREAKING. ORANGE. I also clearly didn't know there was such a thing as brow products but that's besides the point...

Although I loved my orange ends, they were an absolute nightmare to try and upkeep, along with the dye pretty much burning off the ends of my hair that I really wanted to grow. I decided to just let it wash out to this weird ombre-but-not-quite sort of thing. My fringe had grown out and became a bit more manageable too! (Shout out to my best friend Beth on the left and boyfriend Nathan on the right who looks very different haha, love you) 

Last summer in our little holiday flat and my hair was back to its natural state (not including the blonde streak, although I did meet someone once who thought it was natural?!). My layers had grown out, my fringe had most definitely grown out, and the whole lot had grown considerably longer. I miss this hair because I hardly had to do anything to it apart from filling in the blonde roots every once in a while.

My hair in its current state is dyed quite a few shades darker. The blonde streak is still present, although I hid it away for these photos because the roots were terrible haha! Looking back on photos from last summer I think I'll let the dark wash out and go back to my natural colour again - although I'm not sure how long it'll be before I get bored and decide to do something else with it. I also wanna grow it a teeeeeny bit longer, but we'll see! 

Believe it or not I did actually skip out a few hair phases around my secondary school years, but I think I've sufficiently embarrassed myself enough for now! I had so much fun writing this it's unreal, maybe I should publicly embarrass myself more often haha. Have you had any particularly embarrassing hair moments? Let me know so I don't feel like the only one!

Big love,
x
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18/01/2015

Choosing The Right MAC Foundation & Concealer

This weekend I was faced with the mighty task of heading into MAC and finally investing in some high-end base products. However, I'm one of those people who will settle for a completely different haircut to what I asked for instead of telling them to stop because I feel bad, so the thought of having to get colour matched by a professional daunted me. 
It can often get really frustrating, especially in situations where I'll let myself get talked into buying something I'll probably never use, because it's the wrong shade. Not to mention MAC's little NWs and NCs, which can get confusing if you've never shopped there before. 


I'm definitely no expert, but I did manage to walk out of the shop with my perfect foundation and concealer match without having to wave my arm helplessly in the air and ask for assistance, so I thought I'd put a little post of tips together for those who struggle to find the perfect match...

Numbers & Letters
Moving from high-street foundations with names to high-end foundations with seemingly endless letters and numbers can be a task and a half, especially if you don't know what you're looking for. Typically, the 'w' in 'NW' means warm and the 'c' in 'NC' means cool, and this is relative to the skin tone that you have. The higher the number after it, the darker the shade. 
A quick google will show you that there are quite a few ways to find out if you have warm or cool toned skin. One of these is to take a quick look at the veins on the inside of your wrist. If they appear blue, you're likely to have cool pinky-undertoned skin, and if they appear greener, you're more likely to have warm yellow-undertoned skin. If you're like me and have both blue AND green veins, apparently we're neutral and can pull of either warm or cool tones, but obviously this isn't the be-all and end-all. Choose what fits you best! 

I ended up going for a 'warm' concealer as the cool ones didn't match up to me at all, and supposedly a cooler toned foundation (this is the Matchmaster one, so just to confuse me further there are no letters and the numbers work slightly differently haha).

Lighting can be VERY deceiving
I swear makeup store lighting purposely attempts to draw out all your imperfections. The lighting in my local MAC store is ridiculous. That concealer you thought looked seamless? Under their light it looks patchy. Not to mention that tan you thought you'd gotten completely disappears and you end up looking paler than Wednesday Addams. 
This can make things really awkward when it comes to swatching, as colours can look a lot paler than they actually are. I found the shades that looked like they should have matched my skin tone looked way too dark in daylight, so don't be deceived by the crazy lighting - if it means swatching some colours and then stepping out of the shop into daylight to get a better idea, then girl, do it! Better to walk in and out a couple of times than walk out with the wrong shade completely, right?

No one knows your skin better than you
At the end of the day, you live with your skin 24/7, and no one knows the skin on your face better than you do. The online MAC foundation finder recommended that I use the Pro Longwear foundation in NW40, however as soon as I swatched it I knew it was way too thick and waaaaay too dark and yellow for my skin type. Anyone can tell you 'this one's best for oily skin and this one's best for combination', but you might put it on and it might not agree with you at all. Remember, you don't HAVE to take the counter lady's word for anything. Sure, they might be able to provide a bit more guidance, but if you've done a bit of research and some swatches yourself and think another product would work better with your skin, go for it. 


One last thing! There are so many different types of MAC liquid foundation, and it comes in handy to make a note of which ones include a pump and which ones don't. Pump application and ease of use is a big thing for me, so I went for one that includes a twisty pump so I didn't have to splash out for a separate one on top of what was an already pricey foundation! A little research can definitely go a long way and in my case, it influenced my decisions so much. I hope my ramblings can help out! 

Big love, 
x
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16/01/2015

Skincare Routine 2015 | Clear Skin 101

Ah 2015, the year of clear skin (I hope!). After a long hard slog of bad skin at the end of 2014, I think I've finally found a skincare routine that's starting to work for me. I won't lie and say my skin is 100% clear because it's not, and throwing hormones, stress, and the forever strange British climate into the mix, I think I'll always end up with the odd blemish here and there. But I digress, here's what's been working for me!
(Also, I'm by no means perfect - I try to do this every morning and night but sometimes I will just fall asleep with a full face of makeup on haha).


To remove the majority of my makeup before I wash my face, I'll use a splash of the Taaj Himilayan Micellar Water on a cotton pad or two. Although, my much loved bottle is now completely empty -cry!- I've noticed so much of a difference using this to remove my makeup rather than going straight in with an exfoliator/cleanser.
I'll then take another couple of cotton pads, shake up my bottle of Garnier 2-in-1 Eye Makeup Remover, and proceed to make myself look like a panda haha! I believe this stuff is quite new, but it's great as it doesn't leave any oily residue on your face and conditions your lashes while it's at it.
Next, into the bathroom where I use my St Ives Apricot Scrub to exfoliate, followed by my holy grail cleanser, LUSH Angels On Bare Skin. If I feel like my skin's in need of a bit of extra love, I'll apply my LUSH Mask of Magnaminty and leave on for around 20 minutes.
After all that's done and dusted, I'll spray some LUSH Tea Tree Water onto a cotton pad (yes, another one - can you tell I get through cotton pads like there's no tomorrow?) and apply it to my t-zone and any other problem areas. 
Then all that's left is to chuck on some of my Visiby Clear Pink Grapefruit Moisturiser - which I have been super impressed with lately, and Benefit's It's Potent Eye Cream to hydrate my eyes and (try to) prevent my god-awful dark circles.

Top tips for clear skin that I should probably follow more often:

Don't get lazy! - Get home at 3am with a full face of makeup on and can't be bothered to take it off? Tough. Get into that bathroom girl. Even if it's a quick sweep over with some micellar water just to get rid of the majority, then it's a matter of sorting the rest out in the morning. You MUST remove your war paint (although we're all allowed to forget every once in a while, right?!). 

Never underestimate the power of natural ingredients - I've tried so many horrible skincare products in which the ingredients are all synthetic, and 9 times out of 10 they'll either completely strip my skin bare of anything or break me out even more. Most of my skincare nowadays involves products from LUSH or similar (the St. Ives Apricot Scrub, for example) and it's by no coincidence that my skin has never been clearer. 

Give brushes a bath! - Especially the ones you use around blemished areas. I have my certain brushes that I'll only use around areas where I have spots, and it's so so important to deep clean them regularly - sometimes even twice as often as the rest of my brushes. These are the brushes most prone to holding all the nasty bacteria and most likely to spread those spots, so always keep a brush cleaner on hand.

Stick to your guns - Try not to change up your skincare too much, especially if it's working! All too many times I've decided I want to switch things up, the products haven't agreed with my skin and I'm right back to square one. Don't get me wrong, I'm all up for trying new things, but if I've found a decent group of products that all work in harmony with my skin, I'd rather keep it that way! 

If you have any holy grail skincare wonders, please feel free to leave a comment and enlighten me! 

Big love,
x

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14/01/2015

Good Vibes Only | Personal

Lately my outlook on life has changed a lot. I used to be very hung up on what other people thought of me and I ended up becoming somebody I wasn't. A lot of the time (especially over the likes of social media) it's all too easy to target someone and drag people down. I know all too well how it feels to be a target, and sometimes I'll admit it can feel like the end of the world. Because of this, I was always very quiet around new people - sometimes I still am. I would find it hard to make instant friends as I'd always be more worried about what that person thought of me. 


But sometimes it seems no matter how nice you are, and no matter how hard you try, some people are just out to be negative. Even now there are people not necessarily in my life, but around it who can be so indirectly negative towards me, even when all you do is try to be nice to them. 

So I'm leaving all that worrying in 2014. 2015 is strictly 'good vibes only'. What I mean by this, is that life's too short to get down in the dumps and worry about what people think. By letting those feelings go and refusing to get worked up about the little things, I feel so much more at peace with myself.
Let the negative people live in their own negative little worlds, and you'll see it seems like sometimes they're getting more worked up about your life than even you are! Simply thinking 'who cares?!' can make such a difference, and I'm doing what makes me really happy WITHOUT worrying about what people think - in the end I think that's all that matters. 

Pretty much the moral of the story here haha

I think that's why I feel so comfortable in this little blogosphere - the side of the blogging community that I've experienced is so supportive and kind, and nothing like the indirect tweeters and negative 'keyboard bashers' of the world. Sometimes the likes of Twitter and Facebook can be regarded as quite negative places, but here every single comment and conversation makes me smile and it's the greatest feeling - so from the bottom of my heart, thank you. 

And that brings me on to the subject of YouTube.  Starting my own YouTube channel has been something I've been toying around with the idea of for years (literally since around 2012). Creating video is something I've always enjoyed - so much that I spent my two years of college devoted to a production course haha! I got my grades and all was well, but I still never ended up doing YouTube because I felt too embarrassed. I would always sit and think
'what if someone were to stumble across my videos and didn't like me'
'even worse, what if they KNOW me' 
'what if they think I'm pathetic'
and with that, I'd manage to convince myself day in day out that YouTube was a bad idea.  And that is one of my biggest regrets.

I'm deciding to finally let those feelings go, and I'm so excited to announce that I'm going to take the plunge and set up my own little YouTube to accompany my blog for 2015! My channel is already set up as ohzelda, and I've popped a little YouTube icon into my blog sidebar ready for the big day, although I'm not sure exactly when that day will be. It's a big thing for me so I don't want to rush - I just want to make it the best it can be!

I do apologise for the ramble, big love as always,
x
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11/01/2015

THE Perfect Red Lip?

It's no secret, I am crazy pale. A younger me would go on regular holidays and tan so easily, however 12 years without a trip abroad (crying face emoji) means my skin is paler than ever. I told myself I'd never be able to pull off a red lip, until I finally took the plunge and discovered that actually, it's not all that bad.


I think a major step in becoming confident wearing a bright red lip colour such as MAC's Ruby Woo is to literally just go all out and think 'what's the worst that could happen?!'. Easier said than done, I know, but once you've taken the plunge there'll be no going back. I was lucky enough to be gifted the aforementioned signature MAC red by my lovely boyfriend this Christmas, and although it got me super excited, I'll admit I was a little scared when it came to the first application.

'What if I make my lip shape all wonky?'
'What if it sticks to all my wintery dry bits?'
'What if it goes wrong and I can't get it off?'
'What if it slides around my face and I inadvertently end up looking like The Joker?'

Needless to say, none of those things happened. The world did not end, my lips did not fall off and I didn't end up looking Joker-esque (thank god). In fact, all that happened is that my confidence went through the roof and I felt sassy as hell. With a full face of Christmas makeup and some decent lipstick application, I didn't care what anyone else thought and felt like I could take on the world. Obviously I ended up wearing it non-stop for the rest of the week. 


A shameless selfie from said Christmas Day,
so you can see what Ruby Woo looks like on!

Most of that is owed to MAC's brilliant lipstick formula, and a quick search for Ruby Woo on the blogosphere will tell you that. It's a lovely long-lasting blue-toned red, with a matte formula that isn't too drying and is pretty painless to apply. However, MAC lippies are a rarity in my collection (as we all know they aren't the cheapest of things on a student budget), so here are some of my little pointers to get that flawless application from almost ANY lipstick.

A few little tips I can't live without:
♡ ALWAYS use a lipliner - It might seem like an obvious statement but I really can't stress how important it is. It's insane how much longer my lippy lasts when I apply a liner first, not to mention it makes application so much easier and it looks so much neater in the end! Even if the two colours aren't an exact match, do a little blending with a lip brush and no one will ever know! 

♡ Lipcote is your best friend - I'm thinking of doing a more lengthy review on this little bottle of wonder as it's become my lifesaver product. I used to work 12 hour days and a girl I worked with would have gorgeous red lips the ENTIRE time and I never saw her re-apply. She recommended Lipcote to me and I haven't looked back since. Use this the right way with a decent quality lipstick and liner, and you won't have to re-apply all day (even through eating/drinking/whatever else you might get up to with your lips). Guaranteed, your lip colour will not budge. Heaven!

Invest in a good lip brush - Because blending lipstick with your fingers isn't the greatest thing when you forget it's there and end up coating everything else you touch with a nice shade of 'fingerprint red'. A lip brush will give much more precise application, you can blend out colour much more easily if it's too bright, and it means your lippy will go a lot further in the long run! I'm currently using a Real Techniques Accent Brush, which was actually included in the eye collection but who cares haha, it still works like a dream.

I apologise for the massive post, although I did quite enjoy rambling on haha - it seems lipstick application cannot be skipped over lightly! If you have any more little tips I'd love to hear them! 

Big love, 
x


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05/01/2015

Hello, 2015 | Notes to Self

Hello lovelies, I might have missed Christmas in the blogosphere but I'm definitely not giving up on it, not at all. I have missed my little corner of the internet insane amounts, and all the time I found myself clicking on and off of my blog, umm-ing and ahh-ing about what to say and when to say it. 

Most importantly, I've been wanting to change my blog url for a while - only because it bugged the hell out of me that my blog title and url weren't the same! So, my blog url was previously zelda249, and finally it's the same as my blog title, and will be entering 2015 as 
ohzelda.blogspot.co.uk - yay! 
Same blog, same content, just with a jolly old matching URL this time *salsa dancer emoji* haha. 

November 2014 was a downhill spiral for me, where everything got a bit too much to handle (hence why I made the hasty decision to take a little break). But in December everything changed. Dramatically. So dramatically in fact, that if someone had told me what was going to happen, I would have called them crazy and dismissed the whole thing. But in many ways, I quite literally got my Christmas miracle and was able to end 2014/start 2015 in the best way ever! I'm crazy bad at sticking to New Year's resolutions, so I thought I'd write down a few things I want to remember throughout 2015 instead...

Notes to Self For 2015:
♡ Remember how much you enjoy a good ol' sing song in the car and try to pick up music again. Don't abandon being musically creative like you have done in the past. 
♡ Wear whatever the hell you want, if you feel comfortable in it, you can pull it off.
 Spend more time outside. Get up earlier, watch more sunrises. Skate more, go down to the sea, take the puppy with you. 
  Swap scrolling on your phone for hours for a book instead. Read more.
 Meet new people, make new friends, but most important of all, try to love yourself this year. 

Finally, I just want to say a little thank you to those of you who have continued to read my blog, even in my absence. It's because of you that I decided I had to come back, thank you for all your continued support! Roll on 2015. 

Big love,
x

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