The Irish Mammy as a Skincare guru who knew??

Few things compare to the genius of certain Irish Mammy statements, this has become a recognised fact. However it’s also true that many of her statements especially around appearance were wildly irritating. Annoyingly many of them have been proved correct and it turns out the mammy is something of a skincare guru. Below are some of the Irish Mammy’s top skincare secrets.

“Wear sun cream everyday”

Ha! You scoff. Can’t you see its lashing rain outside woman where would I be going with sun cream and anyway it’s a tan I want. Lovely tanned skin… Embrace my pale? You Are Insane. That is all. Fast forward ten years and everyone who’s anyone in skincare is harping on about how the best aging prevention is to wear SPF. Every Single Day. It’s all to do with those pesky UVA/UVB rays that mean rain or shine your skin is being damaged without it. Also the lovely tanned skin? Seven words – Your face will look like a handbag. These days I’m lashing on SPF 30 every day and gulp – embracing my pale.

“Smoking is the fast track to wrinkles”

Unfortunately she was right. According to experts apart from sun damage this is the most aging thing you can do to your face. It breaks down the collagen in your skin which is what keeps our face plump (in a good way – yes really!) and youthful. Smokers have more wrinkles than non-smokers especially around their mouth and lips. Not something I took much notice of when I was 18. Wrinkles were for old people you see, I reasoned, and by the time I’m old who’ll care what I look like? Unfortunately it turns out most people start seeing wrinkles much earlier than I thought… turns out old may be more like mid-20s. I have found myself looking intently into mirrors for new lines and cursing every one of those silk cuts I lovingly inhaled and wishing I listened to the Mammy’s advice.

“Water is the best beauty secret and it’s free”

Water is boring was my standard response. Turns out annoyingly once again the mammy was right. There is a reason all the models swear by it. Water detoxes your system, hydrates you from the inside out, keeps you feeling full for longer and gives your skin a glow and is yes indeed free! Sigh, another point to the Mammy.

“Face wipes are the devil”

Not literally of course. No good Catholic Irish mammy would say such a thing but that was the unspoken message. “Nothing will dry out your skin as fast as those you may as well wash your face with paint stripper why can’t you use a proper cleanser” she says? Polite answer “too much hassle”. More accurate answer – If you think I’m going to faff about with all that cleansing malarkey when I can barely see what way my bed is after a night out you have another thing coming. Turns out though, face wipes are horror of horrors terrible for your skin. I know I know they’re so handy, but trust me ditch the wipes and you’ll be amazed how much better your skin will look almost immediately. Also thanks to the lovely and cheap additions of micellar waters to the beauty world, make up removal is almost as easy. Just dollop some onto a cotton pad, swipe across your face like you would your wipe and ta dah panda eyes be gone!

What are your favourite/most irritating Irish Mammy beauty tips?? And is your mammy annoyingly wise?

Thanks for reading!

Blathin x

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Image Ageless Total Facial Cleanser the answer to my battle with scrubby exfoliators

As someone with sensitive skin, exfoliator and I have always had an uneasy relationship, especially since my sensitivity is more reactive to touch and abrasive material than the ingredients themselves. I had tried so many exfoliators even the Dermalogica daily microfoliant, which is to be fair much gentler but still meh. Then I discovered chemical exfoliators and hello joy of exfoliation!

Image Ageless Total Facial Cleanser was something I had initially grabbed from my mother’s hoard of products. (I inherited my product piggery from my mother, her skincare stash is impressive!) I hadn’t used a chemical exfoliator before and was initially unsure of the tingly feeling, worried that I was going to be faced with red roaring skin when I looked in the mirror. But I needn’t have worried instead my skin was taut, clear and smooth.

Image Ageless Total Facial Cleanser

Image Ageless Total Facial Cleanser

Image Ageless Total Facial Cleanser contains 12% Glycolic Acid, which is excellent for exfoliating the skin, without the abrasive scrubbing of traditional mechanical exfoliators. This product is marketed as a 3 in 1 product acting as a cleanser, exfoliator and toner so is a great product for those of you who like a hard working product that does a lot in minimal time. However, as I have sensitive dehydrated skin, this would be too harsh for me to use as my main cleanser morning and evening. I use this primarily as my exfoliator using every second day keeping Image’s Vital C Hydrating Cleanser which I reviewed previously here as my main cleanser.

The key ingredients in this cleanser are Glycolic Acid, Citric Acid Blend and Eucalyptus. To use you apply a small amount of the product on to a damp face and massage well for 60 seconds. This product does tingle when you begin to use it initially. My therapist recommended I started by using this once a week, building up to twice a week and then every second day so that I didn’t overwhelm my skin to begin with.

This is essential as I’ve mentioned previously Image Skincare is a cosmeceutical product line and contains higher percentages of active ingredients than many cosmetic brands. It can therefore only be sold by licensed professionals which is important as they will guide you in what products are right for your skin and how best to use them. Someone with more congested or oily skin for example would be fine to use this every day, so it’s important to know what is right for you.

This product is fantastic for those with combo oily skin or those who wish to address pigmentation to use as a daily product, or for those like myself who wish to use as a chemical exfoliator for dehydrated sensitive skin. This will set you back about €30 for a 177.6ml bottle. I have been using this every second day and am still on the same bottle I got at the start of January. If you have oily skin and are using this daily morning and evening you could expect it to last at least six months. So it does offer good value for money. All in all I absolutely love this product and my skin has seen fantastic benefits since switching from mechanical exfoliators.

What are your exfoliators of choice this winter?

Thanks for reading!

Blathin x

About Image Skincare

“Image Skincare products are developed and formulated by internationally recognized chemists working together with a board of physicians. All Image Skincare products are manufactured in the USA and are unparalleled in their quality in today’s marketplace. Our philosophy is to use superior ingredients to achieve outstanding results. Image Skincare is dedicated to offering safe products without the use of chemical preservatives like parabens. The use of parabens as preservatives in cosmetics is controversial. There are clinical studies suggesting that parabens have potential health risks, including estrogen activity. Image Skincare is one of the first skincare companies that started to remove parabens from its product line beginning in early 2007.


All of the lines of Image Skincare are paraben free.
Products not tested on animals
No petrochemicals
No chemical preservatives
Fragrance composed with 100% essential oils
Respect of the environment
No parabens

Image Skincare’s FDA-certified laboratory utilizes the most scientifically advanced formulas in today’s marketplace to create pharmaceutical grade skincare products that give licensed physicians and aestheticians the ability to offer professional treatments and products that yield unparalleled results.”

See here for a list of Image Skincare stockists

I’ve Been Nominated for a Liebster Award!

So the lovely Sarah at Beauty and Brushes nominated me for a liebster award!  Essentially this is an award that bloggers award to other bloggers with less than 200 followers, as a way to build the blogging community and so we can all get to know each other.

Obviously this is only a very new blog so definitely needs some love so thank you so much to Sarah for the nomination you can check out her very lovely blog here!

The-LIEBSTER-Award

The instructions of the Liebster Award are:

 *Thank your nominator and link their blog

*Write 11 facts about yourself

*Answer 11 questions that your nominator set for you and devise you own set of 11 questions.

*Tag 5 or 11 other blogs for the award, they must have less than 200 followers. Don’t forget to inform them and link back your post so they know the details

So first up eleven facts about me!

  1. I am obsessed with pigs. I really love them and would love a pet pig of my own one day. My favourite types are tea cup pigs and Vietnamese pot belly pigs so a bit of a difference size wise but I adore them both.
  2. I love all things pink and sparkly, if it’s pink and glittery that would be even better and I’m generally a very girly girl.
  3. I love animals and have all my future pets picked out and named already. There is a pig who will be called Mikhail Gorbachop, a bulldog called Bunberry and a sour looking Persian cat (the angrier looking the better) called Sir Grumbles.
  4. I gave up red meat forever more from the age of fifteen after falling in love with a cow called Dolly.
  5. I’m currently studying Journalism and love it bar the assignment fear I have at the moment.
  6. I am terribly shy especially when I meet people for the first time and am terrible at putting myself out there but I’m working on it.
  7. I have a really evil but infectious laugh so I’ve been told.
  8. I love reading and am a freakishly fast reader I frequently read a book in one sitting and if I don’t have time for that it would rarely take me longer than two days.
  9. I am terrified of clowns and nearly cried when I had to serve one in a shop where I worked in college.
  10. I’m a very affectionate person and love hugs I’d hug everyone. My boyfriend is not a hugger and so do you remember the cartoon Pepe le pew? Yea that’s me….
  11. I would much rather spend my money on skincare than anything else and my skincare product piggery is out of hand!

 Sarah’s questions to me!

1. When did you start your blog and why?

I started my blog A Pink Tinted World just three weeks ago so it’s only a baby. I love writing and all things beauty so I’ve wanted to start this blog for about two years but I was too nervous to take the plunge so I’m glad I’ve finally done it.

2. What is your most expensive piece of make-up?

I don’t really have any high end make up so the most expensive make up item I bought was probably one of my Benefit palette’s Scene Queen.  Around the €40 mark it was a bit of a steal when you consider it contained a blusher, four eye shadows, an eye-liner a mini high beam, and a lip gloss!

3. What brand of brushes do you use?

I have a mixture of real techniques brushes and blank canvas cosmetics brushes and I love both brands hugely.

4. What would you describe your style as?

I favour classic and quirky items, so I think my style is a random hybrid of that.

5. What is your favourite type/pair of shoes?

My favourite shoes are my Christian Louboutin Bianca black stilettos my boyfriend got me one Christmas. He is still in the good books!

6. How & where do you store your make-up and brushes?

I am terrible at storage, I really need to organise one storage solution stat.  Currently my make-up lives in a combination of baskets, make up bags and drawers and is extremely un-organised.

7. What one item is always in your handbag?

I am terrible and carry everything but the kitchen sink in my handbag so honestly it would be easier to tell you what isn’t my handbag which is…. Emmm will have to get back to you on that.

8. Do you own more high end or drug store make-up?

I mostly favour brands like Benefit, so about middle of the range price wise.

9. What is your favourite TV show & why?

I love Gossip Girl, I want their lives, hair, make up, clothes and bank balance. Serious girl crushes!

10. Describe your skin care regime.

I am an absolute skincare junkie. If it does something to my skin I want it! I use a shameful amount of products. So morning it goes, cleanse, tone, Hydraluron, serum, eye cream, moisturiser, spf and then evening is double cleanse, tone, Hydraluron, serum, eye cream, moisturiser and then exfoliate every second day and a mask three times a week.  I really miss just falling into bed and not caring sigh!

11. Daddy or chips?

Daddy bringing home chips?

My questions to you!

  1. What’s your dream job?
  2. Your three desert island essentials?
  3. Who’s your favourite person?
  4. Favourite make up brand?
  5. Favourite place to shop?
  6. What makes you smile?
  7. What is your biggest make up/skincare sin?
  8. What is your favourite thing about blogging?
  9. Why did you start your blog?
  10. Who is your idol?
  11. What’s your best beauty tip?

My Nominees:

Sarah – Beauty Angel

Grace – Ziegfeld Girl Beauty

Alice – Pink Glitter 10

Sarah – Princesswatshername 

Sinead –The Beautiful Truth 

Emma and Cora- My Face Hates me 

Gilly – My beautiful daydream 

Beauty Baggage 

Yvonne – One for the wishlist 

Lilli White Rose

Kerrie and Aishling – Sempre Sorres

To tone or not to tone?

We all know the mantra, cleanse tone and moisturise! But I must admit I just never bothered with the toner section, that is until my recent purchase of White Tea Facial Mist by Neal’s Yard Remedies.

Once part of the trinity of skincare, toner has become the somewhat forgotten addition in recent years.  There is much disagreement out there as to whether it is needed at all. Some claim it’s no longer necessary. In the past cleansers tended to leave heavy residues and toner was an essential next step to remove this before moisturising. However changing formulas means that this is no longer a problem so many people no longer bother with toner.

The toner that converted me!

The toner that converted me!

Of course some people still see toners as an important part of skincare as they can remove excess oils, so are a worthy addition for those with oily skin or acne. I have dehydrated, sensitive skin so I’ve just never felt the need to add toner, especially since the number of products in my regime is reaching ridiculous proportions. However there is a reason they reached these levels and being the product junkie I am of course when the opportunity to test the waters came, I gave in without much of a fight.

At the recent Pro Beauty show in the RDS I wandered over to Neal’s Yard Remedies stand with the intention of picking up the Wild Rose Beauty Balm but much to my disappointment this was already sold out and the White Tea Facial Mist found its way into my hands instead.

Described as a gentle facial mist which can be spritzed for a hydrating boost, or used after cleansing as a toner, this works to calm, refresh and rehydrate the skin. It is infused with antioxidant white tea, calming organic aloe vera, aromatherapeutic organic essential oils and soothing Bach Flower Remedies.  It is also 92% organic, paraben free and vegan friendly.

Perfect to hydrate and boost dehydrated and sensitive skin with anti-oxidants I decided this would be just the product to pop my toner cherry, and it didn’t disappoint! I found this hydrating, soothing and refreshing and my skin has been noticeably smoother and more hydrated since adding this to my routine which is always a good thing.

I love the Neal’s Yard vintage style blue glass bottles; they look so pretty and dainty. I really love packaging that looks nice enough to leave out on your dresser.   You can pick up 45ml of this for a very reasonable €14.50 through the NYR Organic website here or use it to locate a local consultant to buy products.

This very successful foray into the world of toners has made me curious to sample more and I’ve heard rave reviews about Pixie Glow tonic so that may be next on the list. Do you use toner as part of your routine and what others should I try?

5 Skin Saviours that you might be missing!

With the arrival of the cold weather, we need to start up-ing our skincare game, but with the C word approaching there is also presents and lots of saving to be done, so money is tighter. Below are my top 5 skincare saviours that can really give some extra love to your skin and even better won’t break the bank. So you can concentrate on saving your money for bills, presents and maybe a sneaky make up purchase from one of the many lovely AW collections!

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My 5 Skincare Saviours!

Flannels

Flannels are an inexpensive addition to your skincare routine, you can get a pack of four from Penny’s (Primark) to those of you outside of Ireland) for a couple of euro but they are an extremely hardworking worthy item.  Flannel’s can retain heat better and so are extremely effective for cleansing and removing make-up. You can throw them in the wash too, so use a fresh one every day, especially if you are prone to break outs.  Flannels also act as a natural exfoliator when washing your face so help to get a more even complexion and tackle dull skin.

Fish Oils

Fish Oils used to remind me of the thing your mother used to try and force feed you on a spoon and how it was VILE! Thankfully there is a whole range of fish oils now that are less gag inducing and you can take them in capsule form too. Taken every day (with food) they can help regulate oil production in your skin to boost hydration, prevent acne and reduce skin inflammation; they also have anti-ageing benefits to stave off those wrinkles. I personally love the Eskimo Fish Oils but there are so many to choose from you can find one to suit you and your budget.

Coconut Oil

Oh coconut how I love thee!  This is one of my most loved products EVER! I have yet to meet a food, product, smell, or anything in fact with a coconut in it that I didn’t like. If it contains coconut sign me up… Ahem anyway I digress back to why this turns me into a rambling mess.  Coconut oil (specifically extra virgin coconut oil) is cheap as chips and it does EVERYTHING.   Seriously it’s so multifunctional and it works. It’s a fantastic way to keep your skin and hair soft, healthy and supple. You can use it as a hair mask, lip balm, cleanser, moisturiser, body moisturiser, on your cuticles or slather it all over your face and leave on for thirty minutes like a mask. You can even cook with it. You can find this in in any health food store, but my coconut oil of choice can be found in Dunnes for just under €5 and is on par with some of the more expensive versions found in the likes of Holland and Barrett.

Hot Water and Lemon

Lemons are a fantastic addition to any beauty regimen. Lemons are a great source of calcium, vitamin C, magnesium and potassium – minerals and antioxidants that improve the appearance and condition of our hair, skin and nails. Squeezing some lemon into some warm water every morning has some fantastic skin benefits.  The levels of Vitamin C helps to decrease wrinkles, it also acts as a detox for both our skin and body helping to keep your skin clear and tackle any bloating as an added benefit! It can also help to detox the liver and is a top tip for tackling dark circles under your eyes.

Dark Chocolate

Yes chocolate!!  However these benefits only apply to dark chocolate that is at least 70% or over unfortunately so we can’t have all of the chocolate in aid of beauty. Sigh!  But back to the dark stuff, researchers have found that it is rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that nourish the skin.  Flavonoids found in dark chocolate absorb UV light, acting as a natural SPF for your skin, help protect and increase blood flow to the skin, improve skin’s hydration and complexion. Additionally dark chocolate has been found to reduce stress hormones thus helping prevent collagen break down and fighting fine lines and wrinkles.

So do you think you’ll be adding any of these to your routine and what are your top beauty saviours?

Blushing with Benefit!

Everyone has one “go-to” make-up item that makes them look alive on a no make-up/minimal make up day or completes their look for a night out, mine is blusher. Even if I don’t have one other scrap of make up on me, I just feel a swipe of blusher immediately makes me look fresher, perkier and put together. My blusher of choice for this important job is Benefit’s Coralista.

Coralista is shockingly enough a coral pink toned blusher. While the colour may look scarily strong in the pan this actually works beautifully on both fair and medium skin tones and really warms up your face and is just all round very flattering.

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As with a lot of Benefit blushes Coralista is scented, although not overwhelming so and I find this fades after time it also doesn’t irritate the skin so sensitive skin types should be ok with this.  It features a slight shimmer running through the product but this is very fine so you don’t need to fear a throwback to your youth where if you didn’t walk out of the door looking like a human disco ball you needed more make-up/glitter….. was this just me?? The shame!

Ahem, back to the blusher, the other fantastic thing about this, is how pigmented it is. You only need a light swipe to get a gorgeous flush of colour, and it can easily be built up to achieve a more dramatic pop of colour making it great for both daytime and nights out.

 

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Scary Blusher Pose!

So any downsides to this little box of wonder? Well two gripes with this blusher and Benefit box of powders in general which seem to be a pretty common consensus out there, is the packaging and the price. First the packaging, I adore Benefit packaging I love its quirky vintage style and it’s just so pretty looking! However as pretty as it looks the packaging doesn’t wear too well tending to get a bit battered and disintegrating slightly over time which is a pity because the blusher does last a long time which is great but the longer you have it the worse your packaging looks.

The second issue is price and that ever maddening Irish mark up. This retails at £23.50 which somehow converts to €34. Why Benefit why?? We love you so and yet you continue to do this with every product! Sigh…..

However all that been said I do adore this blusher. So tell me do you share the Coralista love or what other blushers do I need in my life?