Origins High Potency Night-A-Mins

Can I just take a moment to point out the obvious? I have repurchased this. It's that good (and I very rarely repurchase moisturisers, so you know it's got a little something-something). Actually, when I first tried this, I wasn't blown away at all- I really hated the scent, found it really difficult to smooth onto my skin and I also didn't really see much in the way of results, and just as I began questioning whether this would be yet another moisturiser to throw onto the 'meh' pile, I found this little pot of gold to actually work really well.

I discovered that I had been using way too much, and that you really only need a small pea-sized amount to work into the skin- I've been adding a couple of drops of rosehip oil to give it a little more slip on days that my skin is particularly dehydrated and tight. This is a heavy cream, but I really enjoy that aspect as I can apply a reasonable layer in the evening post-cleanse, and in the morning my skin just feels so much plumper and healthier.

Since developing(? read: being cursed with) frustrating angry blemishes all over my jawline/chin (for the past few days my chin has felt like one huuuge cystic breakout), that entire area has felt really tight and very tender to move- smiling is torture right now so I've got a case of CBF*- but using this has really eased things up quite a lot, and it's also been fantastic at handling dry patches, so that deserves a bonus thumbs up. I've even grown to love the orange scent, and that's saying something!

If you fancy getting your mitts on this, then it's £34 from Origins- you might as well buy it direct, free delivery and a bunch of samples n'all- it may seem a little pricey but I promise it's completely worth it as you literally need the tiniest amount.

Have you tried this? What were your thoughts?

*CBF: Chronic Bitch Face

Pre-Cleanse Alternatives

Any loyal readers will be aware of my deep rooted affection for Clinique's Take The Day Off cleansing balm, a perfect buttery consistency that transforms into an oil, easily dissolves make up and general grime, plus it's excellent for buffing away any dead skin cells before cleansing. Alas, I unfortunately scooped my last scoop out of the tub last night- and it's not in stock anywhere (what's up with that?!). I had realised that I was running low a couple of weeks back though so I've been testing out some potential contenders.

As per Jen's suggestion, I picked up Clarins' Pure Melt Cleansing Gel- I wouldn't have even considered using a gel as a pre cleanse but fortunately this one does turn into an oil after a little elbow grease massaging it in. Once you get to that stage, it's very similar to Clinique's offering.. except for one thing. After having massaged TTDO in for a little while, it begins to exfoliate and buff away at the skin very nicely, and that's probably my favourite part of the entire pre-cleansing process- particularly as I'm currently battling some dry patches around my forehead and chin areas. So although it's a very good alternative, I miss the exfoliating quality too much to be totally happy with it- that said though, I think when my skin is smoother, this will be the perfect option.

REN's Hot Cloth Cleanser was an impulsive add-on whilst I repurchased my favourite cleanser- you know what it is- and I was quite intrigued by it, being that it was a very different consistency. I was also quite wary about the ingredients list (it contains cocoa butter which I was unsure about using on my face) but that turned out to be the least of my worries. Basically, it's creamy but not in a particularly nice way, slightly more scented than I would like and it really was very difficult to remove makeup with- I probably spent a good five minutes attempting to massage it into my skin but it just appeared to sit on the top and not really do all that much. Perhaps it would be better as a 'main' cleanser but I'm not convinced so far.

On the plus side, this came with a really lovely cleansing cloth- very soft and with a texture inbetween a muslin and a flannel, so it glides over the skin without tugging, but has enough grip that it does have a certain exfoliating quality to it. Heavenly.

Ultimately, nothing compares to TTDO- Clinique, you have stolen my heart, now please please please put my all time favourite cleansing balm back in stock (I really don't like being without it)! If anybody has any other suggestions, please feel free to leave them below.. I think I'm probably best sticking to a balm, so Emma Hardie is practically calling my name..

The 'Get Well Soon' Edit

I'm sure we've all been there, be it years ago- lucky you- or within the past week- raises hand- winter brings with it strains of the common cold, flu, and all sorts of other nasty illnesses. Personally, having a cold means stuffy sinuses, dry and chapped skin, along with headaches and hunger, so here's a detailed look at what products lie on my bedside table to get me through the day when I start to feel a bit unwell:

I think that whenever you're ill, particularly in winter, moisture is your best friend. Drink water in abundance, and treat your skin to a really intense hydration session. My hydration warriors come in the form of Aveda's Intensive Hydrating Masque and Origins' GinZing moisturiser, the former is a clear gel mask that you leave on for five-ten minutes before rinsing off to really achieve a good moisture boost, whilst the latter is a deceptively light day moisturiser that sinks into the skin very nicely, providing a great base for makeup if you're going to be up and about! It's an easy choice for the lips- Nuxe Reve de Miel is just my go-to balm, it's great for chapped lips or just for deeply nourishing the lips.

For my eyes, I've been trying out REN's Keep Young and Beautiful Anti-Ageing Eye Cream- award for most unnecessarily long name right there- and it's really lovely to smooth around your eyes; it's creamy (obv) and moisturising enough to leave your eye area looking plump and healthy come morning.

Illness and sleep don't really tend to go hand in hand, particularly when you're suffering due to the bitterly cold weather. To make a good night's sleep more likely, I'll use This Works' Deep Sleep Stress Less rollerball on my wrists and pillow. The essential oil blend is quite heavily scented so it's like a foolproof dream-inducer.

Go all out with your supplements and medicines- I'm a fan of Vitamin C tablets and whatever ibuprofen I can find lying around the house. Strepsils are a great way of pretending to cure your sore throat whilst you secretly enjoy being able to effectively eat sweets at work- the Honey & Lemon are my favourite. I guess you should probably be eating healthily too- balanced diet = healthy body n'all.. so popcorn is [probably not] the best way to achieve that- it isn't super healthy but equally it doesn't have to be horribly calorific and full of nasties. Propercorn's Sweet & Salty is just my go-to right now.. who said you couldn't have the best of both worlds?

The Sunday Post: Weekly Round-Up #2

I really enjoyed writing last week's round-up post, so I'm back this week with another. Unfortunately I've been struck down with a cold all week, not that that's stopped me from going to work- days off are a no-no- I've got a post going up on Tuesday about my illness essentials though so keep an eye out for that!

Product of the week: Having been unwell all week, I've felt very sluggish and lazy, so this is a nod to my lazy day fave: Vaseline's Spray n' Go moisturiser is a god send, it's so quick and easy to use that even in my delirious flu-like state, moisturising was still a doable post-shower step.

Added to the list: Although I've had my eye on this one for a while now, Sam's review of the Antipodes Aura Manuka Honey Mask has affirmed that I need it in my life. As an extra for this week, I've tried their Sweet & Salty offering (it's amazing), but I've also been craving Propercorn's Sweet Coconut and Vanilla Popcorn- both of my favourite flavours mixed together in a not-so-guilty snack? Yes please..

Top Read: When I'm not reading books, I'm browsing websites- my all time favourite is Buzzfeed. I can be on there for hours cracking up at all of the witty posts, and their numbered listings evoke some sighs of relief from Type A personalities such as my own. This week's favourites have been this (queen) and this (British people problems) and this (hello Canada!). And I couldn't leave out this amazing figure skating talent.

Blog of the Week: I'm a little bit in love with Ellie and her blog, like, really. It's just a really great mish-mash of lifestyle posts, beauty bumf and foody bits a.k.a, the perfect combination. Not to mention the layout is gorgeous, photos are sleek as hell, and she writes about a bunch of products that I've not before heard of, but that I instantly want after reading about them. Recommended browsing: bring a notebook and a snack, you'll lose hours lost in blog heaven.

A Life Snippet: This week I've been all about improving things from the inside (read: loading up on supplements). I've been making sure to get my daily dose of vitamin C and D along with probiotics (and I've also made a promise to myself to drink more water- it's much harder in the winter!). So far I've not noticed much of a difference but hopefully in a few weeks time I'll have an update for you all.

January Favourites

It appears that January has somehow finally come to an end, and after what seems to have been the slowest, longest month ever, I've rounded up a few of my favourites to show you guys!

I've not been going too wild with my skincare this month, I'm not happy with everything that's going into my routine as I'm still having quite a few issues (seven cysts at once with a load of scarring? Thanks skin..) but I have found a satisfactory moisturising combo in the form of Trilogy's Rosehip Oil mixed with Origins High Potency Night-a-Mins; using these together hasn't caused any skin irritation and has been leaving me with quite a soft, plump complexion come morning.

With my aforementioned breakout-central skin showing yet more signs of cystic lumps and bumps, I've been turning to Mario Badescu's Buffering Lotion an unhealthy amount- second bottle alert-, although it's been helping to calm any potential cystic breakouts, the alcohol in this little bottle has been drying my skin out no end, so I'm looking for another effective cyst-busting treatment that's a little less drying- any recommendations?

Phytocedrat has been making a twice-weekly appearance in my haircare stash, consistently impressing with its ability to leave my hair clean, soft and nourished- I'm looking forward to purchasing a few more Phyto bits at some point during the month, especially as I've been on a bit of a spending ban this month (saving for holidays and university can be such a killer).

I've surprisingly had a couple of makeup favourites this month, starting with Urban Decay's Revolution lipstick in 'Streak', a gorgeous peachy-pink colour with a stunning cream formula that actually lasts around for a little while- this has even managed to steer me away from my much-loved dark reds and vampy plums, which is quite some feat. Next up comes in the form of a brow product, and it's the Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil that I've been turning to each day to keep my brows in check. The waxy, naturally ashy, long-lasting formula paired with the convenient spoolie makes brow service both quick and effective, so I can't see myself straying from this for quite some time.

As a sidenote, this month I've been really enjoying watching 'Hostages'- for those of you that don't know, it's a US show about a family that are taken hostage with the main character and matriarch, Dr Sanders, given a mission to kill the president. There are plenty of plot twists and enough drama to keep you on the edge of your seat but unlike some other dramas, it isn't filled with violence or crudity (something that i'm very grateful of!).

What have you been loving this month?

The Sunday Post: Weekly Round-Up

I've been harbouring a hefty amount of affection for lifestyle-based round up posts lately, so I've decided to delve right in and give it a go myself. I've got blog recommendations, mini book-reviews, life updates and the rest, so I hope you enjoy!

Okay, so maybe I did eat what felt like my entire body weight in jelly beans this week.. I was ill and that's my excuse!

Product of the week: My January Favourites post will be up in a couple of days so you can get the lowdown on my products of the month then, but for now, I must say that me and Figuier are having a bit of a moment. I wasn't too sure about this upon first sniff (perhaps due to the fact that I've been wrestling an almighty cold), but as we segue into Spring time, this green figgy scent is just claiming more and more burn time!

Added to the wishlist: Serge Luten's Un Bois Vanille has flown to the top of my perfume lustlist after reading the scent description earlier on in the week. Creamy black vanilla with notes of coconut and liquorice, it's pretty darn irresistible. Until you get to the price point (a whopping £69!).. My birthday is in July, that's not too far away.. right?

Top Read: Most of you might not know that I'm kind of mad on reading- I'll be studying English at university next year, so before the onslaught of Chaucer and James Joyce, I've been indulging in some more recreational reads- this week I started reading A Clash of Kings, the sequel to A Game of Thrones- which is just brilliant. It's takes a little while to get into, but I'm seriously getting into this high fantasy series, it seems to have undertones of medievalism but with a slightly more mystical twist. 

Blog of the Week: I've discovered a few new blogs this week, but one of my favourite discoveries has to be Sophie's blog, The Littlest Things- I have spent hours surfing through gorgeous road trip photos (the recent Canada/US ones look so amazing), bookmarking fantastic recipes and enviously glaring at Sophie's style posts. Definitely check it out if you haven't already!

A Life Snippet: This week I've been considering travel plans for the year, after having finalised my wanderlust list of places to visit at some point in my life (Western Cape, Ontario, Sydney, Reykjavik, Paris and Galway FYI). It's looking like I'll be heading back to Paris this year for the 5th time, whilst spending a week or so road-tripping through Ireland in summer in true P.S I Love You style- Gerald Butler, I'm coming for you!