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Is the end of August too early to start thinking about Autumn? I'm not sure. It certainly doesn't feel like it with all the windy, rainy weather we've been having. Yesterday I went out for lunch and because there were no seats left indoors in a gallant attempt to embrace the spirit of summer we ate our food outside, and it was freezing! And although I'm not a fan of being cold, it got me thinking about my favourite seasons of the year. 

Anyway, I'm going to fulfil several blogger stereotypes in this post, and I'm not ashamed; in fact, I love that so many of us get excited about the same stuff. It's the little things in life, right? Despite the weather, the A/W season makes me happy, and it's all the things you'd expect that brighten up those cold days and nights: tartan scarves, Starbucks, and cosying up under the duvet. Enjoy.


10 Reasons Why I Can't Wait For Autumn & Winter


Is the end of August too early to start thinking about Autumn? I'm not sure. It certainly doesn't feel like it with all the windy, rainy weather we've been having. Yesterday I went out for lunch and because there were no seats left indoors in a gallant attempt to embrace the spirit of summer we ate our food outside, and it was freezing! And although I'm not a fan of being cold, it got me thinking about my favourite seasons of the year. 

Anyway, I'm going to fulfil several blogger stereotypes in this post, and I'm not ashamed; in fact, I love that so many of us get excited about the same stuff. It's the little things in life, right? Despite the weather, the A/W season makes me happy, and it's all the things you'd expect that brighten up those cold days and nights: tartan scarves, Starbucks, and cosying up under the duvet. Enjoy.


NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Dragon Girl (?)

Never in a million years when I added this product to my NARS order did I think that it would prove to be controversial. But the NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Dragon Girl has been nothing but.

It started with my nan. I asked her, quite innocently, what she thought of my lipstick. There was a very awkward pause  well, it was awkward for her, I thought it was hilarious  and then she goes "I shall be honest, I prefer you in paler colours, with your skin". Fair enough.


The Lip Pencil That Divides Opinion

NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Dragon Girl (?)

Never in a million years when I added this product to my NARS order did I think that it would prove to be controversial. But the NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Dragon Girl has been nothing but.

It started with my nan. I asked her, quite innocently, what she thought of my lipstick. There was a very awkward pause  well, it was awkward for her, I thought it was hilarious  and then she goes "I shall be honest, I prefer you in paler colours, with your skin". Fair enough.


Like two-day hangovers, budgeting, and how to set up a direct debit, adult acne is one of those things that no one really prepares you for.

I was lucky throughout my teens. I got approximately one blemish a year, always in the same spot on my chin (same spot... ahem). When I hit sixteen I started getting a few stress-related spots on my forehead, but they always disappeared after my exams were over, and that was that.


Then I hit my twenties and BOOM: spots everywhere. First on my forehead, then on my chin. So far, just an exaggerated version of what I used to get in my teens. But then I started to get spots on my cheeks and around my hairline as well.


Tea tree oil kind of helps. Taking off my make-up as soon as I walk in the door kind of helps. Weekly use of a clay mask kind of helps. But nothing gets rid of them for good. I've tried using prescription-strength treatments in my time, but my skin seems to resist their effects after a while. I wouldn't rule out going to a GP or dermatologist in future, but for now I'm happy to combat it with skincare and a healthy diet.


Spots
Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash

What I really want to focus on in this post is how adult acne can affect you internally. When my acne flares up and my skin is red and bumpy, it makes me not want to leave the house at all. It makes me not want to see or talk to anyone, because I'm so preoccupied with the way my skin looks - there's no way I would do the My Week Without Make-Up experiment I did back in February now. No. Frickin. Way. There's also part of me that feels because I'm out of the teenager stage now - even though I still look like one - my skin shouldn't be playing up like this.

Mostly I can cover everything up reasonably well and it doesn't bother me, but on a bad day? No amount of make-up is going to help me feel better. I also feel guilty, because even though my skin has been bad for me, compared to severe acne it's quite mild - there are bigger problems out there, y'know? And all of this stresses me out, which is the last thing I need.

The other problem is it's difficult to find products that work for me, and are within my rather modest budget. Those foaming, oil-free cleansers marketed at spotty teenage skin are very drying, which makes the skin produce more sebum, which causes more spots; it's a vicious cycle. But at 21 years old, I'm not thinking about anti-ageing skincare either.

I need products which are gentle, hydrating, and suitable for sensitive, spotty skin. Growing up, I reached for everything that was formulated for drier complexions, but nowadays I'm more combination and learning to adjust. I'm hoping to share my skincare routine on here very soon.

The irony of this whole situation is this: you'd be hard-pressed to find anyone who gives a shit about the way my skin looks, and I mean that in the nicest way possible. I think that generally we seem to assume others notice our so-called flaws in way more detail than they do, if they notice them at all. Most of us are too busy worrying about ourselves to really care that much about everyone else, which sounds selfish but I know it comes from a place of insecurity. We all have days when we feel especially self-conscious.

Have you ever experienced adult acne? How do you like to treat spots? Let me know in the comments.

Adult Acne is a Pain in the Proverbial Arse

Like two-day hangovers, budgeting, and how to set up a direct debit, adult acne is one of those things that no one really prepares you for.

I was lucky throughout my teens. I got approximately one blemish a year, always in the same spot on my chin (same spot... ahem). When I hit sixteen I started getting a few stress-related spots on my forehead, but they always disappeared after my exams were over, and that was that.


Then I hit my twenties and BOOM: spots everywhere. First on my forehead, then on my chin. So far, just an exaggerated version of what I used to get in my teens. But then I started to get spots on my cheeks and around my hairline as well.


Tea tree oil kind of helps. Taking off my make-up as soon as I walk in the door kind of helps. Weekly use of a clay mask kind of helps. But nothing gets rid of them for good. I've tried using prescription-strength treatments in my time, but my skin seems to resist their effects after a while. I wouldn't rule out going to a GP or dermatologist in future, but for now I'm happy to combat it with skincare and a healthy diet.


Spots
Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash

What I really want to focus on in this post is how adult acne can affect you internally. When my acne flares up and my skin is red and bumpy, it makes me not want to leave the house at all. It makes me not want to see or talk to anyone, because I'm so preoccupied with the way my skin looks - there's no way I would do the My Week Without Make-Up experiment I did back in February now. No. Frickin. Way. There's also part of me that feels because I'm out of the teenager stage now - even though I still look like one - my skin shouldn't be playing up like this.

Mostly I can cover everything up reasonably well and it doesn't bother me, but on a bad day? No amount of make-up is going to help me feel better. I also feel guilty, because even though my skin has been bad for me, compared to severe acne it's quite mild - there are bigger problems out there, y'know? And all of this stresses me out, which is the last thing I need.

The other problem is it's difficult to find products that work for me, and are within my rather modest budget. Those foaming, oil-free cleansers marketed at spotty teenage skin are very drying, which makes the skin produce more sebum, which causes more spots; it's a vicious cycle. But at 21 years old, I'm not thinking about anti-ageing skincare either.

I need products which are gentle, hydrating, and suitable for sensitive, spotty skin. Growing up, I reached for everything that was formulated for drier complexions, but nowadays I'm more combination and learning to adjust. I'm hoping to share my skincare routine on here very soon.

The irony of this whole situation is this: you'd be hard-pressed to find anyone who gives a shit about the way my skin looks, and I mean that in the nicest way possible. I think that generally we seem to assume others notice our so-called flaws in way more detail than they do, if they notice them at all. Most of us are too busy worrying about ourselves to really care that much about everyone else, which sounds selfish but I know it comes from a place of insecurity. We all have days when we feel especially self-conscious.

Have you ever experienced adult acne? How do you like to treat spots? Let me know in the comments.

What's up with sulphates?

You've heard me complain many a time about how difficult it is for me to find a shampoo I like and will stick with. After trying out tonnes of products, I'm pretty sure that the ones which contain sulphates (foaming agents, usually Sodium Lauryl Sulphate) are no good for my hair or scalp  they cause too much irritation. Sulphates get rid of dirt and grease, but they can also get rid of natural oils, which leaves your hair dry and your scalp itchy (sounds familiar...)


What's up with silicone?

The beauty world seems to be waking up alongside me when it comes to sulphates, with several brands releasing SLS-free shampoos, but I hadn't heard much about silicones until recently. Found in many conditioners and glossing products such as serums, silicones create a shiny look and feel, and give hair that post-shower slip. However, over time, some silicones create build up which weighs the hair down and makes it look dull. Dull hair is the last thing I want, so I started wondering if it'd be worth looking out for silicone-free products too.

(It's worth noting that not all silicones are bad: have a read of this very helpful article for more information.)

The Body Shop Rainforest Shine Shampoo and Conditioner

The Body Shop Rainforest Shine Shampoo & Conditioner — Free From Silicone and Sulphates

What's up with sulphates?

You've heard me complain many a time about how difficult it is for me to find a shampoo I like and will stick with. After trying out tonnes of products, I'm pretty sure that the ones which contain sulphates (foaming agents, usually Sodium Lauryl Sulphate) are no good for my hair or scalp  they cause too much irritation. Sulphates get rid of dirt and grease, but they can also get rid of natural oils, which leaves your hair dry and your scalp itchy (sounds familiar...)


What's up with silicone?

The beauty world seems to be waking up alongside me when it comes to sulphates, with several brands releasing SLS-free shampoos, but I hadn't heard much about silicones until recently. Found in many conditioners and glossing products such as serums, silicones create a shiny look and feel, and give hair that post-shower slip. However, over time, some silicones create build up which weighs the hair down and makes it look dull. Dull hair is the last thing I want, so I started wondering if it'd be worth looking out for silicone-free products too.

(It's worth noting that not all silicones are bad: have a read of this very helpful article for more information.)

The Body Shop Rainforest Shine Shampoo and Conditioner

I love beauty, but sometimes, like with everything else, it can be so frustrating when things don't go your way. I've put together a tongue-in-cheek list of all the problems that have probably plagued us all at one point or another.

1. Body scrubs  no matter how carefully you rinse, exfoliating grains always find their way in between your butt cheeks.

2. Smudging your nail polish after you've convinced yourself it's dry and you can do stuff again.

3. Shaving. Too poor (and too lazy for other hair removal methods, but damn, that regrowth is not pretty.

4. Getting one eyeliner flick on point, while the other one looks like a child drew it on with a whiteboard marker.

5. Eyebrows. Why do they grow in completely different shapes?

6. Having one perfectly sculpted cheekbone, and one that looks like you smeared dirt all over it.

7. Basically, why isn't my face symmetrical?


8. When your make-up looks pretty and polished in real life, but makes you look like a clown in photographs.

9. Or vice versa.

10. Losing that one lipstick you've had for ages and never wear, but you've convinced yourself that you might neeeeed one day. Misplacing it is a blessing in disguise, but it feels like a death in the family.

11. Putting body lotion on your back  there's always one patch which gets neglected.

12. Shedding a tonne of hair in the shower and convincing yourself you have alopecia  it's the only logical explanation.

13. When you try to apply gradual tan to your legs and you end up with a misshapen orange patch on your forearm... and nothing to show for it on your legs.

14. High street testers. You've gotta swatch before you buy, but who knows who's stuck their grubby little paws in that pan.

15. Applying mascara, getting fabulously fluttery lashes... and then sneezing. Sigh.

Can you relate to any of these? Is there anything you'd add to the list? Let me know in the comments.

15 Beauty Problems That Prove The Struggle Is Real

I love beauty, but sometimes, like with everything else, it can be so frustrating when things don't go your way. I've put together a tongue-in-cheek list of all the problems that have probably plagued us all at one point or another.

1. Body scrubs  no matter how carefully you rinse, exfoliating grains always find their way in between your butt cheeks.

2. Smudging your nail polish after you've convinced yourself it's dry and you can do stuff again.

3. Shaving. Too poor (and too lazy for other hair removal methods, but damn, that regrowth is not pretty.

4. Getting one eyeliner flick on point, while the other one looks like a child drew it on with a whiteboard marker.

5. Eyebrows. Why do they grow in completely different shapes?

6. Having one perfectly sculpted cheekbone, and one that looks like you smeared dirt all over it.

7. Basically, why isn't my face symmetrical?


8. When your make-up looks pretty and polished in real life, but makes you look like a clown in photographs.

9. Or vice versa.

10. Losing that one lipstick you've had for ages and never wear, but you've convinced yourself that you might neeeeed one day. Misplacing it is a blessing in disguise, but it feels like a death in the family.

11. Putting body lotion on your back  there's always one patch which gets neglected.

12. Shedding a tonne of hair in the shower and convincing yourself you have alopecia  it's the only logical explanation.

13. When you try to apply gradual tan to your legs and you end up with a misshapen orange patch on your forearm... and nothing to show for it on your legs.

14. High street testers. You've gotta swatch before you buy, but who knows who's stuck their grubby little paws in that pan.

15. Applying mascara, getting fabulously fluttery lashes... and then sneezing. Sigh.

Can you relate to any of these? Is there anything you'd add to the list? Let me know in the comments.

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Beth, 23, South East England. I'm a writer with a love of books, lipstick, and the Oxford comma. I love beauty and I also love animals, so I only buy, use, and feature products from cruelty-free brands. (Seriously though, I am the person who stops to fuss over every dog she sees.) You can also expect posts about vegan/vegetarian food, and plenty of musings about life as a 20-something. Want to get in touch? Email me at beth.toasty@gmail.com

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