MUA Pro Base Prime & Conceal Correcting Cream Review

I have some major dark circles under my eyes and not just if I don't get enough sleep, I have this issue all the time and it drives me crazy! I want to write up a post all about the different techniques and products I use to combat/hide my dark circles but today I'm reviewing one product, in particular, the MUA Pro Base Prime & Conceal Correcting Cream in the shade Peach. 

This corrector comes in three other shades, lilac, green and yellow and you can also buy them in a mini palette with all of the shades included. If you aren't familiar with how these correctors work they are used to cancel out any colour in the skin that you don't like, green will cancel out redness in the skin, yellow and purple will cancel each other out (this is because they are opposite from each other on the colour wheel) and peach tones help to cancel out darkness under the eyes.

This concealer costs £2.00 so even though it is an extra step in your make-up routine it's very affordable and great if you just want to experiment with colour correctors. The packaging is very simple and a bit cheap, the lid will probably break off easily if I'm not careful but for the £2.00 price tag I wouldn't expect much. The concealer itself is a dark peach colour and it feels very lightweight and smooth, the consistency is quite thin which I like as it stops things looking cakey or greasy under the eyes. It has a good amount of pigmentation and really does counteract the look of my dark circles in a very natural way, it does slightly crease on the skin but I will generally apply a light layer of the product and blend it out well before setting with a powder to try and keep creasing at bay which works pretty well, I find that every kind of concealer will crease on me to some extent so I don't see this as a big issue. 

I like to use this product in a few different ways, firstly, I like to use this as a base for my regular concealer if I'm doing a full face of make-up, this works well if my eyes are looking particularly dark and it doesn't seem to interfere with any concealers that I layer on top. Secondly, I like to use this concealer on no make-up days to stop me looking so tired and drained, on those days I just apply the corrector under my eyes and on my eyelids as these are also very dark and I blend it out before setting with a little bit of powder.

I think this is a really handy little product to have in your collection, it's probably not the best quality product on the market but I think it works really well for the price, originally I had the mini palette with all of the corrector shades but I found I only really used the peach shade so I just repurchased it individually this time around.

Do you use colour correctors? What are your favourites?

Everything You Need To Know About Gua Sha

Rose Quartz Gua Sha Tool

I recently stumbled upon a skincare tool and technique that I'd never heard of before and was instantly intrigued although it certainly isn't a new concept, today I'm going to be talking about Gua Sha. This is an ancient Chinese medical treatment that can be done all over the body and is described as 'scraping', when done on the body it creates some very scary looking bruises and is a way of improving circulation and aiding with conditions such as back pain. When done on the face it's a more delicate technique that again improves circulation, helps with lymphatic drainage and gives the face a more firm, lifted and glowy look. Gua Sha is a technique that involves scraping the skin using different shaped tools often made out of rose quartz or jade but it can also be made of other materials.

Rose Quartz Gua Sha Tool

Like I've already stated I was instantly intrigued by Gua Sha so I went straight online and ordered myself a rose quartz tool, I don't know if price affects the quality between tools so I opted for an inexpensive one from eBay so I could test it out before I consider purchasing a more expensive tool. It did take a while to arrive but I've had it for over a week now and have been using it most days so I thought I'd share my first impressions.

Rose Quartz Gua Sha Tool

Gua Sha tools come in different shapes but are generally about the size of your palm and have different curves and notches to allow you to massage all areas of the face, they are completely smooth and polished to stop you from doing any damage to the skin. The tool I have looks like a slightly misshapen heart and it feels very cool to the touch which is really refreshing on the skin although after a few minutes of massage it does heat up so if you want to keep that cool refreshing feeling throughout your massage I would keep a bowl of ice water nearby and submerge it for a few seconds each time the tool heats up. 

Before you begin you should have a clean face and apply a little moisturiser or oil to give the skin some slip and allow the tool to glide. You should try and keep the tool flat when 'scraping' it over the skin and apply a medium pressure. I start at the sides of the neck and this is the only area I use a downward motion to encourage lymphatic drainage, all the other motions I do are upward to lift the skin. How many times I go over each area depends on the amount of time I have to spend, on average I will go over each area between 5-10 times. Next, I go from the centre of the chin and upwards along the jaw using the heart-shaped edge. Then I use the curved edge and sweep up the face from the sides of the mouth to the ears before going back in with heart-shaped edge to 'carve out' the cheekbones. Next, I will use different sides of the tool to very carefully go around the eyes before finishing off going upwards along the forehead. 

Rose Quartz Gua Sha Tool

I really enjoy this process as a form of self-care, I find it very relaxing and it allows you to take a little time out in the morning or at the end of the day. I haven't been using the tool long enough to comment on any anti-ageing effects but I do think it gives you a temporary lifted look and aids in de-puffing. I will definitely continue with this routine as I'm really enjoying it, it's simple to do and you can tailor it to your own needs if you only have 5 minutes you can go over specific areas of the face and only do each motion 3-5 times or if you have all the time in the world you can go over every area of the face and really take your time to massage the skin and pamper yourself. I would recommend Gua Sha for anyone who takes their skincare seriously and is interested in trying out some new steps to give the skin that lifted and firm appearance.

Rose Quartz Gua Sha Tool

Have you tried Gua Sha? Have you tried out any other unusual skincare tools?

Minimalism For Beginners - Tips To Get You Started

Collection of Make-up

I have been feeling very inspired for a while now to start living a more minimalist lifestyle and I'm definitely still at the beginning of the journey but I thought it might still be interesting to share some of my advice for beginners on how to get started.

Minimalism can have lots of benefits including saving money, having a cleaner home with less dust, feeling less stressed and more productive and being more appreciative of the items you already own.

Get Inspired
I love to watch videos for tips and advice, I get really inspired to declutter my life when I see the benefits others are experiencing from a minimalist lifestyle. If you want to start by decluttering your home look for inspiration from places like Pinterest, seeing those clean spaces free from junk and unnecessary items will help you to create a very clear image in your mind of what you want for your own home.

Small Succulent Plant

Declutter, Declutter, Declutter!
Becoming a minimalist won't happen overnight, it's a lifestyle change and you need to make small changes, stick to them and build new habits. I know that some people can make a total switch and declutter their full house in one go but for me, that doesn't really work, I like to pick a space and rid it of anything I no longer need/love then move on to a new space as and when I feel like it. I think the trick is to never assume that you are done, always be on the lookout for things you don't need anymore and of course while you are doing this you need to think about the things you are bringing into your life and if they are needed.

Stop Buying
As a continuation from what I've just talked about, as well as decluttering things from your life you need to limit what you bring into your life. I will admit that I love to go shopping but is what I'm buying really adding anything of value to my life, most of the A lot of my money goes towards fast fashion, make-up and other things that I just don't need or I already own plenty of so I'm really trying at the moment to think about my purchases more carefully and only buy the things that I really want/need. Not only will this allow you to have less unnecessary items clouding your life but it gives you the opportunity to spend less and save up for the things that are really important to you.

Lipstick and Make-up Brush

Create a Place for Everything
The easiest way to stop your house from becoming cluttered and messy is to create a place for everything and put it there! When you come home from work if you have a place to put your bag, keys and shoes it'll keep your space tidy and clear but the trick is to always put them away even if you're tired and just want to throw them down on the nearest surface. It can take a bit of time to form this habit but once you do and you create a home for everything you'll find your home becomes far less messy overall. I've recently moved into a new house so this has been easier for me because everything I own had to find a new space to be kept.

Create a Maybe Box
I've heard about this tip a few times and I think it's a really good idea if you are struggling to let go of things, create a maybe box. If, for example, you are clearing out your wardrobe take all of the items you're not sure you want to get rid of and pop them in a box with a date of your choice (I would recommend 6 months) and if you don't use anything from the box when the time is up you throw it all out or donate it.

Clothing flatlay

Becoming a minimalist is a journey and it doesn't happen overnight, I'm definitely still a beginner but I'm already loving the results and it's something I will continue with so be sure to keep an eye out for future posts where I talk more about minimalism!

Beauty Empties/Things I'm Getting Rid Of - October 2018

Selection of make-up and skincare products

It's been a little while since I did an empties post but this time I'm mixing it up a tiny bit by also including items that I'm choosing to get rid of for one reason or another. I've been making an attempt to live a more minimalist lifestyle and part of that is getting rid of things that I don't really use or love so today's post is going to be a mix of things I've used up with my opinions on it and whether or not I'd repurchase it again in the future and the reasons why I'm choosing to get rid of other items.

Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette

Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette
I've actually already given this palette away to a family member that I thought would appreciate it more than myself. I know that so many people love the Naked palettes but I just never fell in love with mines, It's not a bad palette but I just never used it. I never really felt like a lot of the shades suited me and it ended up sitting in a drawer being unloved, I refused to get rid of it for a while because I had spent a fair bit of money on it but finally we have parted ways. I have a full review here if you would like to read some more in-depth thoughts about the palette.

Essence Volume Stylist Lash Extension Mascara

Essence Volume Stylist Lash Extension Mascara
This mascara costs a mere £3.00 which is a total bargain, I'm throwing it out because it's dried up quite a bit and probably no longer safe to use around the eyes. I do think this mascara dried up a little faster than a lot of other mascaras I've used but considering the price I don't mind at all. It has a nice slim wand that allows you to really get close to the base of the lashes and lift them up, I really enjoyed the look it gave and I would repurchase it again in the future, the only complaint I have is that it was quite stubborn to remove at the end of the day. For more information check out my full review here.

Superdrug B. Serum

B. Nourished Advanced Serum
This was the first serum I had ever tried from the Superdrug brand B. (I have a different one also included in this post) and I must say I really loved it. It had a lovely thin silky consistency which does what it says on the tin and nourished the skin. The brand gives each product a skin phase number which determines the age group it's recommended for, this serum is Skin Phase 4 which is aimed at those in their late 50s (I'm just turning 27) but I don't think you need to pay to much attention to the numbers, I want all those anti-ageing ingredients now because prevention is better than cure as they say! I have a full review of this particular product if you would like to find out more which I will link here.

Superdrug B. Serum

B. Restored Peptide Rich Elixer
After I used up the first serum that I've just spoken about from B. I decided I wanted to pick it up again but I accidentally got this one instead which is the Peptide Rich Elixer (Skin Phase 4) which is for those in their late 40s. This was another really lovely serum which I used morning and night, and it kept my skin looking soft and hydrated. Both serums are reasonably priced but you can almost always pick them up on some sort of deal at Superdrug to bring that cost down, I do feel like I go through these pretty quickly but that could be due to using them both morning and night. I would repurchase both serums in the future but I think I prefer the Advanced Serum which I'm actually planning on repurchasing in the next few days.

Revolution Conceal and Define Concealer

Revolution Conceal and Define Concealer
This is one of those products that had so much hype about it that I couldn't resist picking it up but unfortunately, I didn't end up loving it and so it's sat in my collection gathering dust. Don't get me wrong you don't get a lot of product inside so it's pretty much all used up so it wasn't so bad that I never used it, I just found that it made my under eyes look very dry and it creased on me a fair amount. I've looked back at my initial review and at the time I did like it and said I would repurchase it again in the future but my opinions have changed a bit since then and now I'm not sure if I would repurchase it again, I may need to pick it up one more time to form a final opinion.

So that's all my empties for the month of October!
What have you been using, loving and dumping this month?

Switching to a Menstrual Cup - OrganiCup Review

For a while now I've been intrigued by the idea of a menstrual cup and I've slowly been making changes to my lifestyle in an effort to be more eco-friendly (click here to read my simple tips for being more eco-friendly) so I finally decided to bite the bullet and give a menstrual cup a go.
To give you a little bit of insight, the average woman throws away over 11,000 disposable menstrual products in a lifetime, most of which will end up in landfill making tampons/pads a big problem for the environment.

Benefits of a Menstrual Cup
Re-useable - One cup will last you years with proper care
Can be worn for up to 12 hours meaning you only need to empty your cup twice a day
Environmentally friendly
No irritation to the skin/body - no toxins, bleaches chemicals or fibres being placed inside the body
Some woman even claim to experience a reduction in cramps

So what is it actually like to use a menstrual cup?
The menstrual cup I bought is from the brand OrganiCup and I picked it up from Body Kind for £15.00. Okay, so your OrganiCup comes in cardboard box packaging that folds out and tells you everything you need to know about using the product and the cup itself is inside a cotton drawstring bag which you can use to store your OrganiCup when you're not on your period. The packaging and branding has a very eco-conscious feel.

The first time I tried out the cup it did take a few attempts to get it placed correctly, you'll know it's inserted correctly when you're not able to feel it. The cup works with gentle suction that creates a seal when the cup is properly inserted it will 'pop' open fully and collect your menstrual blood. To insert the cup there are two main options on how to fold the cup, I would suggest trying out both to see what works best for you. I've also read that many woman cut the stem shorter on their menstrual cup to give a more comfortable fit which I will probably do in a few months time when I'm more comfortable using my cup.
 The very first time I tried out the cup I couldn't feel it but throughout the evening I did feel aware of it and had some feelings very similar to cramps but I'm unsure if this because of the cup of not. For the rest of my cycle, I continued to use the cup and only had one night where there was a very minor leak, each time I emptied the cup it did take a couple of times to reinsert it but this is just one of those things that takes practice before you master it. The downsides to this product are that you do need-to be more 'hands on' than you would using a tampon or pad and some people may feel squeamish about tipping out their own blood into the toilet but for me personally, these downsides are far outweighed by the positives. I obviously love the fact that this method is so much better for the environment but my second favourite thing is that you can go about your day and not need to worry about changing tampons etc, once it's in your set for the next 12 hours which is amazing! 
I do think it'll take me another few months before I'm 100% comfortable using the OrganiCup but I also think I'm converted, I think these are a great idea and should be talked about amongst woman far more, a few years ago I would never have even thought there could be another option other than tampons and pads to deal with your period and I hope to see more changes in the future and more woman making the switch.
Would you ever consider a menstrual cup?
If you already use one what kind/brand do you have?