Aesop Parsley Seed Cleansing Masque


Branded as 'a gentle yet thorough deep-cleansing treatment that extracts impurities clogging the pores, to smooth and refresh the skin', the Aesop Parsley Seed Cleansing masque contains aloe, rosehip seed, lavender oil, evening primrose, and parsley seed oil (obvs), and it's a pretty near-perfect mixology. I'm a big fan of clay masks but this is unlike any other that I've tried; it's much thinner in consistency and is pretty much translucent on application before hardening to a standard white colour. I usually leave this on for twenty/thirty minutes (or however long it takes to dry) before rinsing off with lukewarm water and my face always feels incredibly refreshed, clarified and just properly cleansed. I do experience a slight tightening sensation with this but it fades away after a few minutes so it doesn't bother me.

I have been suffering from a seriously plagued forehead at the moment and I can confirm that this helps to soothe things and help move the whole 'Project Perfect Skin' along although I wouldn't expect any overnight miracles. Aesop recommend using this twice a week but I may have already slathered it on three times this week and it's only Thursday.. oops! I think it's pretty obviously by the now-messy packaging that I'm a huge fan of this stuff and it's something I'd recommend to anyone.

Overall, at £27 for 60ml, it's on the pricier side of things but if you're a real face mask lover like myself it's a sound investment and I will absolutely repurchase this. Sod it, why not break tradition and buy yourself a Halloween gift?

I've been enabled...


Lately, I can't get enough of Suzie's blog and videos, and after discovering that we have a similar skin type and reading her rave review, I just had to pick up Clinique's Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm. I'm not totally sold on it just yet; it's a fragrance-free, sensitive skin certified balm that turns into the most luxurious silky oil when massaged into the skin. True, it does leave my face feeling totally nourished and I completely get why it's awesome, but it does leave a slightly oily residue on my face whenever I use it that I'm not 100% sure on yet- but as it is intended for the first cleanse... I couldn't resist this next one. Another Suzie inspired purchase was Una Brennan Super Facialist Purifying Cleansing Wash, a thick non foaming, non-sulfates gel that smells divine (it reminds me of a eucalyptus spa room) and is ridiculously affordable, cashing in at around a tenner. It's early days with these cleansers but I have a feeling they'll be a pretty good duo.

What would an 'enabled' post be without a VDM-influenced buy? Bourjois Happy Light Foundation is everything that I would want in a non-cakey light coverage foundation that lasts for a while and has a pretty natural finish. Now, the shade range truly does suck but hopefully Bourjois will realise the demand and delve into the depths of darkness(? Will you do that Bourjois? Will you?!), but I'm finding the shade 50 to be a relatively okay match for me. Anyway, it's a good'un and that's a fact.

So I now have lots of cleansers on rotation, yet another Bourjois base and an eager eye for more recommendations.. Have my enabled purchases further enabled any of you?

The Skincare Tag

I've not yet branched into the realms of tags, but with skincare forming the basis of my blog, where better to start than with a skincare tag (which I first read over here- check out Annabel's blog!) so without further ado... 

Describe your routine in 5 words...
Layered, relaxing, cleansing, nourishing, soothing.

What's your skin type?
Slightly to the combination side of normal and little sensitive. 

What is your favourite skincare product?
I'm just going to have to go with the Aesop Parsley Seed Cleansing Masque. It is just heaven in a little tube- I find it makes my skin feel quite tight for twenty minutes or so after rinsing it off but it just always makes my skin feel amazing and it's just perfect in terms of texture/benefits/results etc.

Top blemish zapper...
I don't usually use acne treatments because anything that 'dries out spots' tends to dry out the skin around them too, in turn giving the blemish it's own little (or large) pedestal. Much more a fan of the good ol' CTM routine but I think a great clay mask- see above- can really help out with redness and inflammation. 

Face wipes... yay or nay?
Never ever ever ever ever ever ever (anymore- my mum uses them religiously so when I first started wearing make up we only had face wipes in the house.. thanks Jen..)

Toner... yay or nay?
I'm not even going to pretend to understand toners but I'm a fan of Pixi Glow Tonic, so yay for that!

High end skincare or high end makeup?
I'm a big fan of the whole 'splurge on the skincare, scrimp on the makeup' theory. If your skin is looking good, make up will just enhance it. That said I think there are some great budget picks for skincare- perhaps a Drugstore Skincare Picks post is in order..

What is the most universal skincare product you've tried?
It's got to be Bioderma. Or any sort of micellar water but I'll go for Bioderma because you can choose one to suit your skin type (sensibio, sebum etc). Always make sure to follow with a cleanser though!

You're in a pharmacy and can only pick up one item - what would it be?
I'm thinking Paris so La Roche-Posay's Serozinc comes to mind. I've only heard good things about this toner and it sounds pretty good- if I could cheat though, I'd say everything Isabelle Bellis used in this video.

Top skincare tips.
I've done a post on mine here, so to summarise...

1. Drink lots of water every day (I probably drink around three litres).
2. Get your skincare routine down to something you are happy with but also, switch it up from time to time. Rotate products so that your face doesn't get too used to them.
3. Clean out your diet and I mean cut out the sugar. As much as you can. After a couple of days you won't miss it anymore and you'll begin to associate nicer skin with healthier foods.
4. Relax- make sure you feel calm as much as possible, watch a feel good film or do some baking, just do something that you enjoy to eliminate stress.
5. SLEEP. (I suffered from insomnia for two years and now I just look tired all the time so please get lots of sleep, you'll feel and look much more refreshing the next morning!)
6. Oh, and facial oils are your BFF for hydration purposes, press them into the skin- a good skincare routine is all about layering...
7. Never rub your skin- treat it like silk and gently pat it dry post-rinse.

So that's it for the skincare tag! I tag you all to put your own spin on this post and let me know in the comments below if you decide to do so, I'd love to read some! 

Meet my new favourite thing...

So a couple of months back I went for a little spa week away and rather inadvertently left my camera charger at the hotel (hence a lack of structured blog posts) but instead of just buying a new camera charger for my horrible old Canon P&S, I considered my options.. As blogging is something that I am actually really enjoying and would love to continue and improve upon, I thought a slightly better camera is needed so, SB readers, please say hello to my lovely new toy!

I've wanted a proper DSLR for quite a while now, so after hunting around for what seemed to be the best camera for amateur-ish but wannabe pros, this is the one that came out top (it's the Canon EOS 600D by the way). Needless to say I am super excited- getting the 'package delivered' text notification felt like Christmas- to get to grips/use it so you can finally expect regular blogging. Yep.. I'm just spreading the cheer today!

If you've got any tips or advice then feel free to leave them in the comments box below or tweet me @101SB, and, as always, have a lovely weekend (and a lovely Friday too, can't forget about that).

Soap & Glory Supercat Liner

Oh, eyeliner. Aren't you just the bane of my life! Even to this day, I'm still unsure about whether my eyes even suit eyeliner (most probably not) but I like having the option for those days when I think I might just be able to get away with it. Evidently, I don't usually apply eyeliner to my hand but my face is currently experiencing major issues and is totally and utterly unphotographable- sorry!

Over the years, I have seriously dabbled in the eyeliner aisles of Boots. I've tried everything from kohl pencils to inky gel pots, liquid liners and finally, the felt tips. The Supercat liner is an absolutely stand out product for me in terms of.. well, everything. It is long lasting (but quick to remove), really black, very easy to apply, and equally versatile.. Some people have mentioned that this has quite a thick nib to it but I don't really see the issue. You want a thin line? You got it, just make sure you hold it straight. Want it winged out? I guess it could do that too.

Felt liners don't have a great rep for long-term lastability as they usually dry out but I've had this for months now and it hasn't showed any sign of drying out yet- just make sure you store it horizontally. If you're interested in picking this up (it's recommended) then it's currently a steal at only £6 from Boots. I think I hear a beauty haul calling out to me...

The Student Guide Feature

In a post a while back I mentioned that I was going to be featured in an article for The Student Guide (the 2013 edition), a student-based lifestyle sort of magazine that is distributed to a whole load of freshers during October. I checked the website the other day and it's finally been published, which is seriously exciting stuff on its own, but you can only imagine how much more excited I was to be on the same page with some really lovely blogs (especially Meg's- I've been following her blog and YouTube for a seriously long time).

The article is about student beauty blogs so it's a great opportunity to discover new blogs- I'm a new follower of Kate's blog... If you can find it in a store nearby (it's supposed to be stocked in WHSmiths and most supermarkets along with university bookstores) then give it a read- for beauty stuff it's pages 184 onwards- but if you can't get your hands on a hard copy, then you can check out the article online here.

Showdown of the Cotton Pads

Cotton pads are an absolute essential in the majority of skincare mavens' routines; whether they're beautifully stashed in an old Diptyque votive or stuffed in a drawer preserved in original packaging due to budget-balancing and sheer bone idleness- guilty. I, for one, have hoards and hoards of cotton pads in my 'Drawer of Refills' (there may be a post on that), so after trying and testing a bunch of different brands, I've decided to create an ode to cotton pads in true 'the Good, the Bad and the Ugly Great style':

The Ugly: Boots Cotton Wool Pads

Kicking off the proceedings with Boots' own brand offering, with a claim to be 'non fleecing' which, by even the furthest stretch of the imagination, they are not. A quick swipe with one of these leaves my skin feeling horribly textured.. mainly due to the husky fibres that the pads leave all over the skin, and applying any sort of product (particularly liquids) will just have them tearing apart and fleecing away at the slightest touch. Have I made my point? Steer clear.

The Good: Septona Cotton Wool Pads

I picked up this Septona offering whilst on holiday over the summer so unfortunately they are notoriously difficult to get hold of, but when you do.. These are just the perfect all rounder no-fleecing, incredibly soft, luxurious feeling cotton pads (did I really just call a brand of cotton pads 'luxurious'?). If you can find these anywhere then stock up!

The Great: Superdrug Double Faced Cotton Pads

I know.. Superdrug? Yep, I am not currently delusional, Superdrug are really onto a winner with these double faced pads. The textured side is great for toners and pre-cleansing whilst the smoother side is a perfect match for eye make up removers. These are totally and completely non-fleecing and have the perfect amount of absorby-ness and for such a bargainous price, these are pretty much a steal. Great stuff all round.

If you have any show-stoppers of the cotton type then feel free to let me know in the comments below. I'm quite keen to try Boots' massive oval sized ones now that I come to think of it.. I can almost hear my bank account crying out already...

On a final sidenote, I know I've really not been around much lately and it's all down to the fact that I left my camera charger on holiday so am currently having to make do with old photos that I had already saved which is a slight pain. I'm hopefully buying a lovely new proper camera (no more point and shoots hurrah!) next weekend though so prepare for super quality photos and much much more regular blogging.