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Products I’m Trying Out This Year

My shopping has gotten a bit out of hand in recent months.

Not that I buy heaps in one go but that’s possibly where the problem lies. I buy in bits and before you know it, a collection has been built but nothing has been opened for use yet.

It’s fair to say that I have a few product categories that I no longer need to fill in for this year and what is that you ask? Without further ado, let’s get started!

FYI, most of these products were purchased on Amazon. I’ve recently come back from Hong Kong so any beauty products that I’ve purchased on that trip will be showcased separately.

Featured in this post:

DHC Olive Essential Travel Set
DHC Lip Cream
Pai Skincare Organic Instant Calm Collection Anywhere Essentials Travel Kit
Missha Time Revolution Best Seller Special Gift Set
Shiseido Black Noir Full Lash Volume Mascara
IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream
Mizon Natural Grain Rice Real Cleansing Foam
Makeup Revolution Conceal & Correct Concealer
NYX HD Studio Photogenic Concealer

The first sets of many – trial and travel:

I went a bit ham in buying travel sets but I think it’s such a good way to try out a brand or product that you have been curious about but unsure of committing fully to. I have wanted to try DHC for years but never got round to it. In particular, I have been wanting to try out their cleansing oil so the DHC Olive Essential Travel Set felt like a good purchase to start. I completely devoured the toner in my first week during my HK trip. Not completely sure I’d commit to a full-size bottle though. I still have a wee bit left of the oil and whilst I don’t think I’d commit to a full-size either, I would definitely purchase the duo travel set of this on Amazon for future travels!

I bought this solely for my Hong Kong trip:

Hong Kong is one of those places where you have to be careful about the type of products you use and their expiration dates. Bread for example, is best bought and consumed fresh – in 2 days max as the bread can go off easily especially in the summer. I remember one time, I took a pot of LUSH cleanser with me to Hong Kong one summer and in less than a week, the product had completely gone off and it looked disgusting haha. So lesson learnt there.

I have been using the Nivea Lip Butter but just in case Hong Kong was warm and may melt the product entirely, I purchased the DHC Lip Cream. I thought for hygienic reasons, it was a good way to go too. I really like this! It’s not greasy or tacky feeling at all and whilst I don’t think it’s the most moisturising, I love it enough to replace my lipstick now and again as it adds a nice shine to the lips.

Overall, I like the scents of the products but they failed to make much of an impact on me. I don’t think I will repurchase from the brand simply because I don’t think I am the customer they are designing for.
The Pai Travel Set comes with a soft flannel. I don’t typically use these but they can be useful for travel. The material of this is nice and not abrasive on the skin.

Any reason to try out a skincare brand:

Pai is another brand that I have wanted to try out although not as much as some other brands. I think I first heard about it from YouTuber Estee Lalonde as being great for sensitive skin so when I saw this on Amazon, I thought why not?

Having used the Pai Skincare Organic Instant Calm Collection Anywhere Essentials Travel Kit recently on my Hong Kong trip, my overall thoughts swing around being just okay. The products were not necessarily bad but I believe someone with a drier skin type would benefit more. The cleanser and skin tonic were okay, nothing to really sing home about. The day cream would probably be a hit for drier skin types but for me, it was too rich. I later looked at the ingredients list and realised there were a lot of natural oils in this…oops.

I finally committed – now that’s left is to try it:

We’re finally onto something that I have been really wanting to try out! The Missha Time Revolution line has been on my wishlist for a long, long time but somehow I didn’t commit until I saw this set. The Missha Time Revolution Best Seller Special Gift Set is a reasonable bargain for the price I got it for.

I haven’t opened it yet as I’m still in the midst of using up a vitamin C serum and a hyaluronic acid however once those are up, I’ll be sure to jump right to this! Have any of you tried the Missha Time Revolution range? What are your thoughts?

The mascara primer was a hit so let’s check this mascara out:

I am slowly but surely trying out more and more Shiseido products. Once my skincare queue has lowered (God knows when that will be), I’ll be looking towards their skincare range but for now, I’m just exploring their eye makeup products.

I pretty much swear by Japanese mascaras. Yes, they require a tad bit more effort to remove but they’re so sweat and water resistant that it’s worth the purchase every time. Honestly, I hate a mascara that flakes and looks flat. Again, I haven’t opened the Shiseido Black Noir Full Lash Volume Mascara yet but for when I do, I hope it goes on my good list.

The whole brand is finally here at Boots!:

I must have been singing about wanting to try this one particular product from IT Cosmetics? But probably also crying because it wasn’t available. Well, the whole range is now available in Boots so of course I had to get my hands on the IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream.

I have yet to have a confirmed opinion about this but from my full-face trial at the counter, I really liked the colour and finish. Plus it has SPF 40 so that’s a bonus already.

Another K-beauty find at TK Maxx:

TK Maxx is getting quite good at deciding what products to nab for its customers. Although, the annoying thing is that everything tends to be at limited stock so it’s unlikely that you can buy the same product again in-store in the future.

I grabbed the Mizon Natural Grain Rice Real Cleansing Foam on one occasion when I was in Homesense with my good friend. I don’t think I’ve tried Mizon before but from memory, they are renowned for their snail products? Correct me if I’m wrong. I’m not too sure when I will end up using this as I have about 5 unopened cleansers in queue!

Let’s have a try at adding some green to my face:

To be honest, I probably still don’t fully understand colour correcting and really, who has time to add 3 different colours to their face anyway? Despite so, I’m happy to try out adding just one colour to my face before foundation just to say I’ve tried it (yes, really) so this is where the Makeup Revolution Conceal & Correct Concealer comes into play.

I’ve always had some redness in my cheeks. It doesn’t annoy me that much but it’s nice to even out my skin tone especially when it’s on the redder side. I’ll be trying this out soon to see if it’s a fad or something worth exploring!

Will this concealer be a hit or a miss?

Concealers are quite hit and miss for me. I either really like them or really don’t. The main thing for me is that they are hydrating because there’s nothing worse than a concealer somehow making you look older than you really are. Cakey concealers are the worst. I’ve heard good things about the NYX HD Studio Photogenic Concealer for a while so I can’t wait to use this once my trusty Maybelline Age Rewind is up!


Well that’s everything for this post!

Is there anything from the list that you have tried before? Or perhaps like me, you’re looking to try them out soon? Please let me know in the comments below! ⬇️⬇️⬇️

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I’m Back! + What to Expect When You’re Not Expecting

Hello all!

It has been a time. I came back from Hong Kong a few days ago and honestly, it’s a little disappointing to return to weather that hasn’t changed much more than when I left. Even worse – we seem to have hit the rainy and windy season! It’s good for staying indoors though so there’s that. 😛

I’m still a little jet-lagged which is unusual but I really think it’s down to us trying out an earlier flight this time rather than the late one we always take. By the time we officially came back to our home (because we unluckily missed the initial coach by like 5 minutes and had to wait a further 2 hours for the next one AND pay for new tickets), it was 03:30. I ended up eating 3 meals after that, watched a film in-between at some point and finally crashed at 20:00.

Some of you may have been following my Instagram Stories or may have just simply caught up with my latest post and realised that I was away. I had an amazing time in Hong Kong – attending my brother’s wedding in particular was the highlight. I have a whole story for that on Instagram so I won’t be blogging about it (I think some things should be left quite private and intimate anyways). I will however be writing up a travel story and a beauty summary of what I purchased on my trip.

For those who have been really following me, I have to say – it’s quite a nice feeling to not have to come back to a job that makes you miserable. I relaxed a lot and not that I felt pain necessarily, but it was nice to not dwell on anything and just enjoy my trip. I feel invigorated and look forward to whatever my future holds.

The truth is – I don’t know what to expect but I feel less scared about it. This year, I feel that I’m really prepared for change. Fear is one of those things that don’t really exist but our mind unnecessarily projects it so we have to fight against it constantly. Ironically, the fear is something that we have created ourselves.

Again, I don’t know what to expect but I’m working towards something.

What have you been up to lately?


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Why + How Dry Shampoo Could Be Damaging Your Hair (and Scalp)

There were a number of ways that I wanted to title this. In part, this is a celebratory post because I’ve noticed just how comfortable my hair and scalp has been feeling. It has taken many months – maybe even a year – but I’m feeling better than ever.

If you haven’t been following you can read my initial post, Why I Stopped Using Dry Shampoo.

There, I tell you a brief history about my hair, and then the problems that I encountered when I started to use dry shampoo which led to my hair and scalp issues. I was happy to have shared the post because I didn’t realise just how impactful it’d be and truthfully, it was nice to know I wasn’t the only one suffering. So please, I urge you to read it especially if you do use dry shampoo – you might just be saving your hair and scalp from all the problems that I had.

Note: You should ought to read this article too.

Shortly after discovering how much my issues have healed over time, I actually did a Google search. I started to type in “Is dry shampoo…” and before long, the first suggestion was “…bad for you“. It was then clear to me that it’s not an uncommon problem yet it still left me baffled because I don’t hear enough people challenge dry shampoo, something that is so popularly praised in this day and age. You could even say that I am even more surprised that there isn’t an epidemic hitting much of the female population due to this one product. I wonder how long that will last though; and whilst I perfectly understand that people react to products differently, there is a wider problem at hand that’s not addressed as much as it should be. Just why are we putting off washing our hair for this one product? It’s the dependency that’s worrying.

I read the article which ranked 2nd in the Google search, and I related to it so much – it was ridiculous. All the bad symptoms that the article mentioned, I managed to mentally tick off in my head. In some way it was a relief to put a name to all the symptoms since even as a psoriasis/eczema sufferer, I didn’t know what was going on. It was my stickiest situation yet (the irony), and not knowing just made me more stressed as a result which for anyone who suffers from chronic skin problems, know is a huge trigger.

Sometimes the bottom of my scalp would be unusually itchy and incredibly red. It’d spread a bit outside of this scalp area and although I rarely tie my hair up anyway, I was mortified at the idea of it. These patches would eventually dry up and flake – and I think because of this flakiness, it made my hair look like there was dandruff. My hair and scalp was very unbalanced… I’d have a dry scalp but persistently greasy hair where the flakes stuck and as someone with very black hair, that’s awful. Needless to say, my confidence hit a new low at that point in my life.

Some weeks were better than others.

One week, the patches would be very dry and it’d feel thick. Other weeks, if I had managed to moisturise the layers then the thickness would go down and it’d just be a scaly patch though perhaps a bit red. At its best, the redness would subside and you wouldn’t necessarily notice the patch unless you really looked at which point, you’d notice some uneven skin tone. The problem was that it never truly went and it was this long vicious cycle for months on end…dry patch, red patch, no patch and back it comes again. My stress levels on a graph would probably be a row of sharp mountain peaks which meant no fun.

Now, you might be asking why didn’t you go to see a doctor? Or why didn’t you tell anyone? My answer to the first question would be, although I think the NHS are amazing for what they do, I feel that many are not medically trained to understand skin issues particularly the more serious cases. I wasn’t even diagnosed with psoriasis – just a “serious form” of eczema/dermatitis where I was prescribed some medication and creams that contained paraffinum liquidum. (FYI – the medication made me feel very ill for the week that I took it so that’s definitely NOT an option.) Instead, I had to self-diagnose myself to better understand my skin condition(s) through lots of research and googling…and now I’m here.

My answer to the second question would be, that even prior to this scalp/hair issue caused by dry shampoo, I had been very discreet of my suffering from psoriasis all throughout these years. It’s only been through this blog where I’ve been a lot more vocal. My closest friends know I have some skin issues but still, they do not know to what extent. I remember some months ago, I had tried to talk about how dry shampoo had caused problems for me to a friend but unfortunately I got blanked. I sought help through persistence, hope, trial and error instead because no one was listening or when they did, no one could understand.

Lately, I have resorted to lots of different methods and whilst I can’t advocate that any one method is a magic cure – because there is no such thing, I definitely found the balance I needed to get my scalp, hair and even skin, back to how it was. I shall share my real skincare secrets next because teenage me would’ve loved to have known. Just know that if you’re in a similar position, that there is hope.


A longer post today than I anticipated. It’s actually one thing off my bucket list since I had wanted to be vocal about the skin issues that I have faced and continue to face. I would love to write my psoriasis story next from the beginning as well as a product recommendation post exclusively for chronic skin problems. I am absolutely positive that there is an audience for this – sometimes, I think we are our own best skin doctors but first, let’s make the effort to understand it.

And you? Do you have a story similar to mine? Feel free to share!

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January Monthly Favourites | 2019

It has been so long since I have drafted up a monthly favourites post! I’m giving this series a re-boot which is refreshing for me because I have been meaning to share my love for a couple of products.

I originally stopped this series this time last year actually due to the fact that I was running out of new favourites that had not already been mentioned on the blog. I was basically rotating my favourites around for months in use so it seemed pointless to continue writing them then.

Now that my collection is entirely different, I’m ready to get back into the swing of posting Favourites!

Featured in this post:

Value Pack Cotton Soft Cotton Wool Round Pads
Clinique Even Better SPF 15
Antipodes Kiwi Seed Oil Eye Cream
Son & Park Beauty Water
Marco Tozzi Silver Sparkly Trainer Shoe


The softest cotton rounds I have ever used:

This duo pack is from Home Bargains. I don’t remember the exact price but they’re very, very affordable and the best cotton rounds that I have ever tried and bought. Originally my favourite cotton face pads were the ones from Lidl but these are even better. They’re so soft and hold together very well – you can just tell that the quality is there. They do not flint like some cotton rounds do and the way they glide on the skin is just magical.

Clinique Even Better SPF 15 – I am in shade 03 Ivory.

It’s all about that base:

I have been meaning to try out a Clinique foundation and have heard great things about this so I tried it on my face one day and took a sample. This was months and months ago.

Just recently, I was itching to buy new makeup after a long no-buy so I asked to be made up again at the Clinique counter. The colour just matches so well! The finish is also lovely – natural which is my preferred finish. Maybe it’s the winter time but I find that I don’t have to powder much at all and shall be bringing this little gem with me to Hong Kong. The Clinique Even Better may have replaced my Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Foundation…

Note how this eye cream is 30ml in size – double that of standard eye cream pots!

New favourite eye cream since forever:

I haven’t tried a new eye cream in a long time! The last one I tried out was the Embryolisse Smoothing Eye Cream but there was nothing to rave about that and was honestly overpriced for what it was. I have been purchasing new skincare on Amazon in the past few months and the Antipodes Kiwi Seed Oil Eye Cream was amongst one of the purchases. I love this! It really helps moisturise my under-eye area (not that it’s dry but still, it needs the care) and I find that I don’t have to worry about using anything else. It seems a little pricey at first, but at 30ml, that’s already double the size of standard eye cream pots.

There’s something about the packaging of this that reminds me of organic drinks, don’t you think?

For once, I understand the craze:

I have searched the lengths of the internet to find out how to purchase this product when it was being raved about. So when I finally saw its availability on Amazon, you can bet that I didn’t have to think twice about purchasing. Price-wise, I probably over-paid for this a little because Amazon is not the cheapest if you want to try K-beauty however I was willing to commit. The Son & Park Beauty Water contains aloe vera which is one of my favourite ingredients of all-time. I use this purely as a toner and find that it helps calm my skin, prep my skin and just make it feel good. I’ve already made a re-purchase [see photo] and if that’s not love, I don’t know what is!

The photo doesn’t do the trainer shoe any justice at all but for the purpose of illustration, here’s a photo. They fit beautifully around my feet. The laces itself are more decorative than functional since they don’t fasten/tighten the shoe like a regular sneaker but somehow the design really works. Oh, and note the mirror on the side – that really elevates the coolness of the shoe itself without being tacky!

Another pair to add to my collection:

I never used to be a shoe person, like ever. I don’t even mean high heels but everything in general although I guess I have always loved sneakers. Even then, I think I used to just rotate between 2 pairs of sneakers and then 1 pair of boots. Now I’m finding myself with a whole collection and honestly, I’m enjoying picking out a pair to suit my outfit that day. I’ve been having a lot of fun so maybe I’ll finally write up some style posts this year? I purchased this lovely pair of Marco Tozzi Silver Sparkly Trainer Shoe from TK Maxx at £30. They are very sparkly in person but still wearable and not tacky at all. They are also very comfortable so it’s a win/win!


Thank you for your kind and encouraging comments in my last post – I really mean it. 😊 It’s starting to feel like Spring which is perfect and I’m making sure that before I leave for Hong Kong, I clean out all my work-related things so I don’t have to dwell on anything when I come back. (Not that I’m dwelling right now but you know what I mean.)

I’ll get some posts scheduled before I go too so you’re entertained for a few weeks.

Love.

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One Door Closes, Another Door Opens

There’s no other way to say it so I’ll just say it.

As of Tuesday, I’ve been formally dismissed from my work. I failed my probation. But don’t threat, I’m actually not in a bad mood. Yes, of course I am a little disheartened but overall this feels like a very good breakup. (It’s strange but that’s the only way that I can describe it.)

I didn’t know how I would feel because quite frankly, I have never failed anything. Like ever. But somehow, I felt this huge rush of relief flow through me yesterday when the outcome had been confirmed in a confidential meeting.

Considering what had imploded in the past few months, it was probably wishful-thinking to think that I was ever going to pass. I wanted to keep that hope alive though because it’d suck to exit without trying and fighting and for the person that I am, I give my 110% in everything that I do. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t but hand on my heart, I tried my best and that’s what it’s all about in the end.

Trying and failing. Trying and failing.

I guess you can say that this is the last instalment of 3 consecutive posts where it’s come to a built-up sad end but really, I do not see it in that way at all. This is only the beginning despite the door closing because realistically, the job role was not suitable for me. I just didn’t want to admit it in the first instance because I wanted to give the job a chance and myself a chance too. It just goes to show though, that you can’t force something that’s not for you just like how you can’t force a relationship.

Some things should just never be together.

Despite this outcome, I have absolutely no regrets in trying my hand at a completely different career path as it was still a new experience and I made friends with so many people, some who I’ll continue to keep in touch with.

Prior to this conclusion, I suppose I had it in my mind that I would be leaving because I had thought of my exit and what I wanted to do. I thought that it would be a neat idea to write everyone a Thank You card because it was the least I could do in saying all the things that I needed to say. I wanted to put a positive spin upon my dismissal and leave my mark in my own way – through writing. I wanted to say goodbye properly.

If you have never been dismissed before then I’ll tell you what happens:

You are usually briefed by your manager to attend a formal and confidential meeting later in the day after they have processed the documents with Human Resources (or similar department) for the probation review (or general review if you have passed). The point of the meeting is to go through their reasoning behind the dismissal as well as gathering your side of the story too. Afterwards, they come to a conclusion. You are not expected to complete a normal day of work so most of yesterday was me awkwardly waiting and hanging about.

They told me to login on a computer (without doing anything) and sit with the team for a bit. That was unnatural in itself as one of the guys definitely clocked on that something was up as I wasn’t doing any work but didn’t want to ask. The air started to breathe sour at that point and whilst I wanted to strike conversation, it was hard to because how could I?

That was when I was briefed by my manager in a separate room just to confirm what would be happening. Shortly after, I was free to go and was advised to come back at 16:30 for the probation review. I went back to the computer to log off, grabbing my bag and coat. I wanted to say goodbye to the team or at least to one of the guys – but again – too obvious, how could I? So I just left.

Having recalled that moment to myself just now, I am beyond glad that I went on to write a Thank You card to everyone. Because it is horrible to leave just like that. Maybe that’s why it ended up feeling like a very good breakup. I gave myself closure. I kept the tone of the Thank You cards upbeat – having been happy to have gotten to know each person, thanking them individually and reminiscing some good memories in advance.

I thanked some people more than others for more specific reasons. The previous day, after confirming that I will not be passing, I said that I really wanted to thank one person personally. I don’t know why I was asking for permission because I would’ve done so regardless but I asked anyway and they said it was fine. Thinking back, it must have been because they were happy for me to finish at 5 even though my shift was until 5:45. (FYI – I left at 5:45 anyways.)

You know, I am proud of my growth because thanking someone personally like that is not something that I ever did in the past. I used to leave a lot of things unsaid. He was quite surprised by the news but the words of comfort that subsequently came from his mouth was so lovely. He gave me reassurance that I shouldn’t be suffering in a job that makes me stressed. He also told me that he has tried his hand at so many different jobs too from wanting to teach to being a labourer to staying in this job for 3 years as opposed to 3 months. He offered that advice as a friend and for that, I am extremely grateful.

I still remember what he said, and I quote, “Don’t worry about me! How are you doing?”…again, I let my personality slip. I really put others in front of myself sometimes especially in harder moments like this where the pill is difficult to swallow. But saying thanks really eased what could’ve been a sad occasion. I mean, don’t get me wrong, it’s still sad but I’ll take away with me the good memories more than anything. Saying thanks allowed me to process the good rather than the bad.

When I had confirmed the news with my family, bless their hearts – they were so supportive of me. My mum came to hug me as I got home and to be honest, she was gutted for me because she knew how much I was enjoying work. Well, until maybe recently. She felt stupid for not knowing anything but I said it was fine. My siblings and sister-in-laws have all been incredible too, saying to not worry and that they’ll support me no matter what. What did I do to be so blessed?

A large part of holding onto this job was the fear of letting my family down but sometimes, fate makes the decision for you so you don’t have to. That fear got quite big until I had recouped myself but even that was not enough to savour a place at work. It’s okay though – the stars probably have bigger and better things aligned for me. I’ll try again and fail better.


This is a really lengthy post but if you do read until the end, you’re a true reader. 😘

If you can, please don’t say sorry in the comments. I am enjoying some free time now until my holiday to Hong Kong and have even extended my trip by an extra week!

I’ll be taking this time again to find what I really love and who I really am. I am not too bad – I smiled all throughout that review because I said to myself that day that I’d wear my best smile and I did. When they finally asked if I needed to collect anything from upstairs, I almost laughed and said I had done so on Monday after gathering the hint. I still find that funny so at least I can laugh about the whole ordeal.

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