BEAUTY & WELLNESS

AHAs vs BHAs… what’s the difference?

You will have most likely seen AHAs and BHAs pop up in the ingredients list of your favourite face masks, cleansers, moisturisers and toners, but what exactly are they and what’s the difference between them?

Both are hydroxy acids that are effective methods of deep exfoliation, however they are both considerably different.

AHAS:

Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA) contain molecules that love water and help improve your skins surface moisture level.

  • The effects of AHAs are primarily seen on the skin’s surface, therefore are helpful if you have surface-level skin concerns like hyperpigmentation.
  • The most common AHAs are Glycolic Acid and Lactic Acid.
  • AHAs work by breaking down the glue holding your skin cells together, urging along the skin’s natural shedding process, ensuring there are new, fresh skin cells on top as opposed to old, troublesome ones.
  • AHAs are great for those with dry and/or flaky skin, hyperpigmentation (age spots, melasma, and scars), fine lines and wrinkles and a dull complexion.

BHAS:

Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHA) on the other hand contain molecules that love oil rather than water.

  • They are better suited to those with oily, acne-prone skin as they can bypass the oil that clogs pores and dissolve the mix of sebum and dead skin that leads to acne, as well as stabilise the lining of the pore.
  • The most common BHA is Salicylic Acid.
  • BHAs clear up blackheads and have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.
  • BHAs also exfoliate the top layer but are best bought for their deep penetrative qualities.
  • They are best suited to skin that is acne-prone, blackhead-prone and combination to oily.

What BHAs and AHAs have in common:

They both:

  • Hydrate skin
  • Diminish the look of lines and wrinkles
  • Make skin feel firmer
  • Improve the look of dull, uneven skin tone
  • Smooth rough, bumpy texture

Is it safe to use both together?

It is safe to use AHAs and BHAs together. They target different actions so they have different benefits – BHAs disrupt the connections between dead cells whilst AHAs cause dead cells to detach and slough away, therefore they can indeed work well together. However you need to be careful to not overdo it. If your skin starts to react, stop immediately.

My top tips for using AHAs and BHAs

  • Start introducing acids into your skincare routine slowly. Don’t start using 3 different acids every day of the week and expect incredible results, it’s most likely your skin will react very aggressively! Perhaps introduce an acid 2-3 times a week and slowly build up to around 5-7 times a week (depending on your skin type of course).
  • SPF!! Don’t forget to wear your SPF in the morning after using a chemical exfoliant as skin will be especially sensitive to UVA rays. The skin is more vulnerable to damage and pigmentation following these types of treatments which means pigmentation can potentially get worse if SPF is not used regularly.
  • I tend to find that using AHA in the morning (to gently exfoliate my skin) and BHA at night (to get deeper into the pores and clear out build-up from the day) works well.
  • If you have very sensitive skin or peeling skin, please avoid using acids.
  • If you are under the age of 20, also avoid using acids on your skin. Your skin isn’t quite ready for them yet.

My favourite AHA and BHA products

REN Ready Steady Glow Toner

The perfect everyday toner. This lactic-based toner is so refreshing and makes skin go from dull and matte to glowing and dewy. There’s also no irritation involved!

Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant

I bang on and on about this product, but it is seriously good for acne-prone skin like mine. It has a great balanced concentration of spot-reducing salicylic acid with soothing green tea to decongests pores and minimises breakouts. I noticed results within 4 weeks!

The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution

This gentle yet effective toner contains glycolic acid (an AHA) to gently exfoliate the skin and improve its texture. This was the first AHA product I tried and I still use it. It’s constantly sold out so that says it all!

Skincare you NEED for 2021

New Year, New Skin!

I’m not a big fan of New Years resolutions, but I am a fan of setting some goals for the year. My goal this year (and every other year) is to get my skin nice and healthy. If there is anything I have learned, it’s that it’s good to invest in some skincare staples that I know work.

Last year I discovered quite a few brands and products that I now swear by, so I thought I would share them below.

Heliocare Gelcream SPF 50

This is a product that I kept seeing everywhere, especially on Instagram. Lots of beauty influencers were raving about it so of course I had to give it a go. This is essentially a tinted gel cream with SPF 50 in it. I am sure you are all aware, but SPF is essential all year round to protect our skin from ageing, so of course a product that offers protection, hydration and coverage is an all round yes from me! I find the coverage is perfect, it goes on the skin seamlessly and it smells divine. It’s also non-comedogenic , which means it doesn’t clog pores which is great for someone like myself with easily congested skin!

Jorgobé Niacinamide Serum

If you follow me on Instagram, you will know that I am truly obsessed with Niacinamide Serum. Niacinamide (vitamin B3) evens out skin tone, smoothes the structure of the skin, reduces pigment spots, minimises pores and adds hydration to the skin. It’s an all round winner! I recently discovered this serum from Jorgobé, a Danish skincare brand, and love it. It feels amazing on the skin and does everything it says on the tin.

The White Company Rose Quartz Gua Sha

Gua Sha is renowned to help tone, firm and stimulate the skin, and boy does it feel dreamy to use. Perfect for using with your daily skincare, this Rose Quartz facial-massage tool allows controlled pressure and hugs the curves of your face and neck to help improve the complexion. I am hoping to film a video soon on how to use a Gua Sha!

Cetaphil Oily Skin Cleanser

The perfect cleanser if you have oily, acne-prone skin like mine! I find a lot of cleansers for oily skin really strip the skin of hydration, however this one doesn’t. It doesn’t irritate my skin, and dare I say it, I think has prevented many breakouts! It’s also super affordable too.

Algenist Melting Cleanser

This is a wonderful cleanser for taking make-up off. It quite literally melts make-up off the skin without causing any irritation – it also smells amazing! I find that it doesn’t strip, leaves my skin very soft and feels wonderful on the skin. I think this will be a cleanser I use forever.

Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant

Easily the best exfoliator I have ever used. If you have congested, acne-prone skin like myself, it is likely you will agree! This product exfoliates dead skin cells both on the surface and deep inside pores to reveal smoother, clearer and glowing skin. The product also contains BHA (salicylic acid) which anti-inflammatory properties help to reduce blackheads, blemishes and redness. I have found this product really has helped reduce my breakouts and blackheads.

And that’s my recommended skincare products for 2021! I’d be interested to know if you have used any of these products or are keen to try? Comment below!

Current Skincare Favourites

Hi lovelies!

Happy Weekend!

I haven’t written a skincare favourites recently, so thought I would pop on and update you all!

With the colder weather arriving, my skin is experiencing a little dryness and also these dreaded masks are causing breakouts, so I am finding skincare to help these issues. Here are a few that I am enjoying:

Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré,  www.lookfantastic.com

I looove this super hydrating Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré .This multi-tasking cream works as a five-in-onemoisturiser, primer, intensive masque, after shaving product and make-up remover. Its rich formula contains essential fatty acids and vitamins to reduce irritation and plumps skin for firmer results. It’s a miracle in a tube!


Beauty Bay Blemish Treatment and Clarifying Serum, www.beautybay.com

Goooodbye maskne! This combo is great for tackling breakouts. I find the clarifying serum really soothes my skin, especially when it is irritated from wearing a mask. The blemish treatment is great for drying out spots and contains salicylic acid (the holy grail spot ingredient) to combat any infection.

Eucerin Acute Lip Balm, www.boots.com

This is the best lip balm I have ever found! It is so hydrating and instantly moisturises. It is also super easy to apply!

Funderm NO DRAMA Mask, www.funderm.com

You can’t go wrong with a clay mask! This natural red clay mask contains Funderm’s prebiotics & probiotic which help fight bad bacteria and control inflammation. The cleansing mask is infused with Pro-Vitamin B5, Vitamin E, Vitamin B3 and Salicylic Acid to inhibit sebum production (an oily substance found in pores which often leads to acne). I use it once a week to keep spots at bay!

Let me know if any of these are favourites of yours!

Lots of love,

Rachael x

How to get the perfect brows

You will have probably noticed the picture above is (sadly) not me – its Rosie Huntington-Whitely aka my brow inspiration.

I thought I would pop in and chat quickly through my 3 favourite brow products to create the perfect shape and fullness.

First up – tweezers!!

My all time favourite tweezers are from Swiss brand, Rubis.

This tweezer brand is actually a favourite of Rosie HW’s! I find they have a great grip and are super precise. It’s so easy to shape my brows with them and I have definitely found them more efficient than any other tweezers I have used.

They can be purchased from Cult Beauty.

Next up, tinting!! Over lockdown, I really missed my regular tinting sessions so I found this great alternative from Revolution.

You simply fill your brows with the liquid product, leave it for a couple hours and then peel it off! It tints the brows for around 3 days, so that is the only downside. I often tint on a Thursday evening so my brows are ready for the weekend!!

It’s only £5 and can be bought from ASOS.

Finally, the whole grail of brow setting products – Soap Brow!

This baby is perfect for holding your brows in place all day. I use an eyebrow brush to brush the brows up and then use the soap to hold them in place. Hello feathered brows!!!

I got mine from Beauty Bay.

And there we go! 3 steps to the perfect brows!

White Rabbit Skincare

Hello!

I hope you are all good and are enjoying coming out of lock down slowly but surely.

I wanted to write a post about White Rabbit Skincare, as I have been using it for a while now and get lots of questions regarding it. It’s such a fab brand, which I am proud to be an ambassador for, so I thought I would talk you through my favourite products from the collection.

Before I get into the products, here is a little more information on White Rabbit Skincare…

White Rabbit Skincare is a gorgeous, natural, cruelty free, vegan-friendly skincare range that is hand crafted in Scotland. It was created by founder, Melanie, who believes in harnessing the therapeutic aspect of essential oils, base oils, butters and waxes to help to nourish and nurture the skin. All the products don’t contain any nasties such as Parabens, SLS, Silicones, Mineral oils or derivatives of petrochemicals, artificial fragrances, artificial colours, or anything else confusing and synthetic. I have always been really interested in trying natural skin products as I have very reactive skin so don’t really like using products with ingredients I can’t pronounce! I also suffer from acne and breakouts so I like to know what I am putting on my skin every day so I can monitor it, and I feel natural products help me do so.

Another fab thing about White Rabbit Skincare products is that they are 99% plastic free, and aiming for 100% soon. You can also recycle your packaging with them and get 50p off your next purchase if you do so.

Now lets get into my favourite products…

First up is the cleansing balm. Not only does this product smell divine, it feels so luxurious on the skin. You only need a small amount to take all the make up/oils/whatever is on your face off. I love cleansing this into my face every evening and then washing it off with warm water and a muslin cloth. I really feel like it leaves my skin fresh and clean and it isn’t too harsh.

This toner is super refreshing and just a delight to spritz on my face. I love the fact you can just spray it on without the need to use a cotton pad. It feels really calming and smells incredible! I also find that on warm days, if I pop it in the fridge, I can spritz it on my face throughout the day to keep cool.

I have completely ignored eye cream and only started using it recently – but I am already seeing results with this one! I always find the skin around my eyes is really sensitive, however this product doesn’t irritate it at all. It is super hydrating and does the job perfectly.

The scent of this moisturiser is just incredible – and knowing that it is all natural makes it even better! Again, as I have said before I have quite reactive skin, so this calming cream is such a fab addition to my skincare routine. I love putting it on in the evening and waking up to hydrated and glowing skin!

And that’s it! These are a few of my favourite products from the range which I think are really worth giving a go as they should fit into every skin types routine. I also have a discount code ‘RACHAEL20’ which you can use at the checkout to get some money off if you want to give anything a go!

Let me know if you have any other questions or end up purchasing a product!

Take care,

Rachael x

*full disclosure, I am an ambassador for the brand and get products kindly gifted to try – these are a few of my favourite ones which I genuinely enjoy using*

Recent Beauty Buys

Hello!

I hope you are all keeping well and not going too crazy in lock-down! Hopefully not too much longer to go… Anyway, I don’t think I’m the only one who is enjoying online shopping and taking advantage of those extra pennies saved from not leaving the house. I have been investing in some beauty products and tools that I have been wanting for a while now so thought I would share them and what my thoughts are on them. Here we go…

*Before I start please note I use affiliate links *

Soap Brows

West Barn Co - Soap Brows

I’ve been wanting to try this for a while and finally got my hands on it. I really like it – it keeps my eyebrows put and helps create the ‘feather brow’ look I’ve lusted after for ages. However, after purchasing I was told by a few people that apparently using Pears Soap (79p) and an eyebrow brush, you can get the same effect, so you might as well save your money!

Maybelline Tattoo Brow

This is a great way to tint your brows whilst we can’t get to a salon (I’m really missing my brow appointments). You can leave the product on your eyebrows for 2 hours then peel it off and it will leave a semi-permanent tint for 3 days. I was really impressed by this product and do recommend it if you are missing those filled brows!

The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution

AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution - 30ml

After seeing this all over social media (and my bestie, Chani, recommending it), I had to order this. It came super quickly and my goodness it’s good. It’s an exfoliating mask that unclogs pores and resurfaces the skin. Although the dark red colour can be off-putting, I noticed results straight away – petal soft skin in minutes.

(If you aren’t used to using acids or have sensitive skin, I wouldn’t recommend using this as it is quite harsh!)

Revolution Targeted Blemish Serum 2% Salicylic Acid

Revolution Skincare - Targeted Blemish Serum 2% Salicylic Acid

Is it just me or has your skin been breaking out like mad recently? I feel like I’m really struggling to control it! I decided to get some Salicylic Acid (the best acid for fighting blemishes) to try and target my nasty spots and this serum has worked well so far. I’ve been putting it all over my face after cleansing and my spots have reduced a little (touch wood).

Microfiber Hair Towel Wraps

Such a simple purchase but they have been a game-changer for my hair. Gone are the days of wrapping my hair in a heavy towel after a shower and hello to these light-weight pretty hair towels. I got this pack of 3 from Amazon and am so glad I have discovered them – I also think they absorb more water than a regular towel too!

Reusable Makeup Remover Pads

I’m ashamed I hadn’t discovered these earlier, but at least I’ve got them now! Cotton wool is obviously not very environmentally friendly so these reusable ones are a great alternative! Every week I will pop them in the wee bag they come with and put them in the washing machine!

Electric Foot File

Those with a foot phobia, I would probably skip this part! I hate hard skin on my feet – it’s not pretty, nor does it feel nice. I have tried countless callus and hard skin remover tools but this has by far been the best one I have tried! It’s a wee electric machine with 2 different speed settings and 3 different heads: 1 fine roller for daily foot care; 1 regular roller for remove dead skin; and 1 coarse roller for troublesome crack callus. I used the coarse roller first and it removed all the hard skin within seconds and has left my feet feeling so so soft. It has definitely made me miss pedicures a lot less!

That’s all for now but no doubt I will find some more products to spend my money on…

Take care and lots of love,

Rachael x

My Beauty Pie Review

Hello!

So this weeks blog is something I have been wanting to write for a while now as a compulsive beauty hoarder.

As soon as I see a new beauty brand on the market, a must-have product or a new acid or retinol, I need to have it. This often means I end up buying whatever it is, but consequently leaves me with no money left for food at the end of the month. This is the beauty of Beauty Pie – AFFORDABLE, luxury beauty products that won’t break the bank but still expose you to all the amazing products out there.

The low-down on Beauty Pie

Beauty Pie is a ‘luxury beauty buyers club’ where you can get high-end beauty products at a fraction of the price… as long as you pay a monthly membership. Each membership has a corresponding monthly spending limit based on typical prices.
You can pay £5, £10, £20 a month or £99 a year in order to join and you get the following:

I realise that may seem confusing so here is an example:

I pay £10 a month, therefore I get my £100 spending limit a month. I could then buy a moisturiser that is £10 (normally worth £60) and a cleanser that is £8 (normally worth £40) and therefore spend £28 (including my membership) for two products that would cost £100 (my monthly spending limit). Make sense?

Also if you don’t use up your full membership allowance one month, it rolls over into the next month and so on… Beauty Pie create these great products at such a low prices by cutting out the ‘middle-men’, shop costs and expensive marketing.

So is it worth it?

YES.

Firstly, I think in total I have saved around £400-£500 in the last year or so, which really does make me feel so much better about my product hoarding issues.

Secondly and most importantly – the products are amazing!! I have found so many products that I buy regularly and swear by, so I thought I would share them below.

My favourite Beauty Pie products:

This is an incredible cleanser for removing make-up and gently cleansing my skin! If you have quite sensitive skin and wear make-up regulary, this is perfect for you.

This is literally a facial in a bottle… or tube? It contains my all time favourite acid, salicylic acid, which helps unclog pores and prevent blemishes.

If you don’t use retinol, begin to use it! It’s amazing for brightening and smoothing out the skins texture. Just make sure you use an spf daily as well as retinol can leave the skin a little more exposed (in a good way). This brings me onto my next product…

It’s super important to wear spf daily (even when you’re indoors as windows don’t protect you from UVA rays). This moisturiser it great for putting under make-up as it’s super lightweight and hydrating (hello hyaluronic acid).

Recently purchased – LOVE! So hydrating and leaves my skin feeling as soft as a petal.

The best serum I’ve ever used – so hydrating and leaves skin feeling plump and fresh.

I use this on my T-Zone twice a week for a good detox and clear out – it works wonders!

I basically used this all of last summer and it gave me such a lovely glow. You could use it on its own or under foundation as a base.

Perfect for on-the-go – can’t go wrong with a nude lip!

The best setting powder I have tried – and I’ve tried a lot!

And that’s it! Although I have my eye on trying the fragrances, hair-care and the body sugar scrub so I think I will be putting in another order very soon!

Let me know if this has convinced you to join or whether you are already a member. Also if you have any questions, fire away!

Lots of love and take care,

Rachael x

What To Wear During Lockdown

What To Wear During Lockdown

Hello!

I hope you are staying safe and well right now during this very unusual time. I can’t quite believe what is going on, but I do hope that we are moving forward and will see the back of this sooner rather than later.

Anyway… on a lighter note, let’s talk clothes. As someone who loves fashion and getting all dressed up, I’m not letting lockdown get in the way of wearing my favourite outfits… whether it’s for working out, lounging, ‘date night’ or a trip to the supermarket, I’m still putting in the effort as it makes me feel good when I feel ‘put together’. So here’s some of my favourite looks for a few different lockdown occasions.

*Please note that some of these items include affiliate links*

First up, workout pieces:

My favourite leggings from Gymshark
Olesia Short - black
Running shorts from Fabletics
Shaping Sports bra - Old rose - Ladies | H&M GB
Super cute sports bra from H&M
Half Zip Run Top Image 1 of 1
Running top from Marks & Spencer

If lounging is more your thing then check out these:

*Joggers from ASOS
Black - Jack Wills - Leggings
My favourite leggings from Jack Wills
*Lounge jumpsuit from ASOS
Lounge set from Nasty Gal
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Ribbed racer from Topshop
Seamless biker shorts - Black - Ladies | H&M GB
Biker shorts from H&M

If you are isolating with your partner, have a date over zoom or you’re catching up with your friends over House Party, you may feel in the mood to dress up a little, so why don’t you have a look at these pieces:

*The perfect neckline ASOS
Image 2 of CROP TOP WITH ORGANZA from Zara
Gorge top from Zara

Bodysuit from Nasty Gal
Dress from Missguided
Puffed sleeves striped shirt - Medium plane
Blouse from Mango

And finally… I’m making my weekly outing to Sainsbury’s a bit more special by getting dressed up for it. It gives me something to look forward to and with the amazing weather in London right now, it gives me an excuse to wear a nice dress. Here are some pieces that are perfect for popping to the shops in:

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Super cute jumpsuit from Topshop
Floral print long dress - General plane
Spring florals from Mango
POPLIN SHIRT DRESS
You can’t go wrong with a white Zara shirt dress
Bell-shaped skirt - Light beige/Black patterned - Ladies | H&M GB 2
Midi Skirt from H&M

So there we have some fab looks for all lockdown occasions. I totally understand that right now, what we are wearing is at the back of most of our minds, but for me, ensuring that I am looking good by wearing my favourite outfits makes me feel good.

Let me know if anything has caught your eye!

Sending all my love and take care,

Rachael x

Last Minute Mothers Day Gift Guide

Journee Pink Everlasting Carnation Bouquet / Dry Bouquet Mother's Day Gift Mother's Day Bouquet Everlasting Flower - Designer journee | Pinkoi

With everything going on right now, I understand that Mothers Day may be the last thing everyone is thinking about – however it’s still a day to celebrate our amazing mums out there so I don’t see why we can’t carry on with it!

I thought I would share a few last minute gift ideas that you can easily order online (perfect if you’re isolating) that will put a smile on that special persons face.

Five Gift Ideas:

There’s nothing like a good pamper so skincare is the perfect gift for a little self-love. My current favourite skincare brand is Embryolisse – a french brand that creates nourishing products for the face and body.

I am currently loving the Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré which is a 5-1 power product that works as a moisturiser, primer, make-up remover, after-shave cream and face mask. It is perfect for mums on-the-go who like to take care of their skin but have little time!

You can buy it here at Lookfantastic for £20 and use next-day delivery!

Rose is a scent that reminds me of elegance and beauty – like my mum. This British Rose Ultimate Collection is a great gift from The Body Shop at £40 (free express delivery).

Petal-Soft British Rose Ultimate Collection 1 Piece

A good nights sleep is sometimes all a mum wants – so this deep sleep pillow spray is perfect as it is literally a great sleep in a bottle. I love love love this product and have been using it religiously for the past 4 months.

You can purchase it Next Day Delivery from Lookfantastic for £19.50

You can’t go wrong with a candle – especially a Diptyque Baies Scented Candle. It is my favourite candle and if I could smell it all day, every day, I would be forever happy. You can purchase from Space NK for £27.

Baies Scented Candle, , large

And finally, onto flowers. If you’re like me, buying flowers brings me as much joy as receiving them. Living in London whilst my mum is in Scotland means I won’t see my mum this weekend, however I have ordered her the most gorgeous flowers from Bunches. They offer free delivery, give 10% of their profits to Charity and just have the most beautiful selection. I won’t post what I got my mum a she may read this but below are a beautiful bunch and you can check out their website here.

Image of Pink Blush

So there’s 5 simple ideas that might help anyone last minute!

Take care xx

Trends I’m loving right now

Trends I’m loving right now

Hey all!

I am back in the blogging game with a new website and fresh content!

Speaking of fresh, I can start to feel Spring in the air with the lighter mornings/ and sun shining through which is getting me excited for Spring/Summer trends! I’m starting to see more colour on the high street and see some trends coming through and I couldn’t be more excited about it, so I thought I would share some of my favourite ones.

Green is back

I love wearing green – I feel like it’s one of those less worn colours, but I am seeing a lot of it right now and I am here for it. Celebs having been wearing it on the red carpet and designers such as Valentino, Victoria Beckham and Balmain featured it in in their fashion shows last month.

Here are some of my favourite green pieces:

ASOS DESIGN high neck tiered mini smock dress in textured organza

ASOS dress

Sage Green Gathered Bust Slip Dress

Topshop dress

Openwork knit top - Medium plane

Green knit top

Nude is the new black

It’s a colour you can’t go wrong with – and I am so glad to see more and more of it!

My favourite nude pieces:

Image 1 of HALTERNECK BODYSUIT from Zara

Zara nude bodysuit

Azurina mini bag



Next nude jeans

Bec & Bridge dress

Dotty about polka dots

Polka dots always have a place in my wardrobe and they may be taking up more space this season! I love love love these pieces:

ASOS dress

zoomed image

& Other Stories blouse

Image 1 of POLKA DOT MINI SKIRT from Zara

Zara skirt

Organza for days

I bought a few organza blouses to wear over Christmas time, so I’m so glad to see there are more organza pieces being continued into Spring/Summer.

Polka-dot organza shirt - Medium plane

Mango blouse

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Topshop dress

Image 1 of ORGANZA BOMBER JACKET from Zara

Zara bomber jacket

ASOS DESIGN long volume sleeve organza blouse with pussybow

ASOS Blouse

Happy shopping! xx