Wednesday, 16 August 2017

The Ordinary: The Skincare Brand That Works

The Ordinary: The Skincare Brand That Works
The Ordinary. The child brand of Deciem that everyone is talking about and it's easy to see why. It's not just the minimal and aesthetically pleasing packaging or the amazing price point that is drawing everyone in. The big draw is that these products actually work. 

After seeing nothing but rave reviews, I made it my mission to track the products down and make sure they were on my desk the next day. I managed to snap four cult favourites from ASOS and I'm here to tell you how I got on.

The first product I knew I had to pick up was the Salicylic Acid 2% Solution after I'd seen it praised as 'absolutely incredible' and 'the best spot treatment ever'. Those claims were absolutely true. This is an exfoliating treatment designed to unclog your pores and reduce redness of existing spots and blemishes. I've been getting on so well with this treatment and noticed my skin was clearer after just a couple of days. I even bought two bottles just to be safe.

Next, to give my skin the moisture surge it often needs, I picked up the Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5. I was sceptical about this at first after trying a string of products claiming to do the same but I was pleasantly surprised. It's a lovely smooth texture and as soon as I've smoothed it across my face, I can feel it sink in to my skin. It also seems to make my face feel plumper and more youthful. 

The Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG was actually the first product I pulled out of the box after being intrigued by it's brown bottle - it looks very old school pharmaceutical. I massaged it under my eyes and felt it instantly tighten the skin. From then on it's been a staple in my morning skincare routine because it instantly makes me feel and look more awake. I can't comment on whether or not it reduces the appearance of dark circles because thankfully I don't have any just yet.

The Natural Moisturising Factors + HA moisturiser was something I picked up just as an extra. When it comes to moisturisers, I like to stick to what I know because my skin can be temperamental so I wasn't sure how this one would pan out. I have to admit it's probably my least used product but only because I'm so stubborn. It actually has a really nice texture, isn't at all greasy and from the times I have used it, sits well under make up. 

Next on my wishlist is the Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution  after reading such a great review on Pint Sized Beauty.

Have you tried any products from The Ordinary? I'd love to know your thoughts and recommendations.        


Thursday, 10 August 2017

The L'Oreal Paradise Collection That I Couldn't Wait To Share

The L'Oreal Paradise Collection That I Couldn't Wait To Share
It's rare that I love new beauty launches straight away. It's rare because no matter how many great opinions, photos or content there is surrounding said product, there's always the question of whether the '#Ad' or invitation to the launch party has presented a genuine view. 

To cut a long story short, this is how I felt about the new L'Oreal Paradise collection. I'd seen it plastered over social media before it's launch and simply refused to believe it was as good as everyone said. For me, that was the problem. Everyone loved it. 

Anyway, I caved, I bought it and guess what? I couldn't wait to share it. Know why? Because it's absolutely fantastic. 
The L'Oreal Paradise Collection That I Couldn't Wait To Share
Starting with the mascara, aside from the beautiful rose gold packaging, it's easy to see why the US has been raving about this product for weeks. The formula is jet black, not too wet and nice and light on the eyes. The wand has a dent in the middle which makes it easy to create volume where it's hard to reach and where it's needed - on the inner corners and outer lashes. I've been using this for around two weeks now and I can hands down say it's one of the best mascaras I've tried. It holds it's volume all day long and doesn't budge but is surprisingly easy to remove. It's a game changer. 

Next up from this genius collection is the brow pomade. It comes with it's own little brush which picks up just enough product for a natural finish though I use it with an angled Real Techniques brush and really, it only gets better. Not to mention that the formula doesn't flake and it applies to the hairs like a dream, it also comes in five shades so finding yours couldn't be easier. I've not experienced any problems with longevity and yet, like the mascara, it's very easy to clean up and remove if necessary. I'm going to pick up the liner when I find it in stock but for now, I couldn't wait to share these.

This collection certainly doesn't disappoint and I'd highly recommend picking it up if you can get your hands on it. I'm still in shock at how, for the first time in a while, the rumours are all true.
I'd love to know if you've tried this collection and what you think? I'd also love to know if, like me, you tend to doubt products that have gained so much hype.


Monday, 7 August 2017

Why Travelling Really Is Good For You

Why Travelling Really Is Good For You
A few days ago, I had a conversation with a good friend of mine about what to do when you feel stuck. Now, I don't mean stuck in sense of choosing between two things, I mean the kind of stuck where you just don't feel like you're moving anywhere whether it's in a job, in a relationship or just life in general. 

So as this conversation went on, we got onto the subject of taking time out to travel and why it might give him the motivation to find something he's passionate about. We're all aware that surrounding us twenty-somethings at the moment is a lot of influence to travel, a lot of content and a lot of people that suggest travelling helps 'find yourself'. Whilst I think that is complete bullshit - excuse my language - I do think it helps you find something. Something like a new hobby, a new safe haven and even a new love. 

No matter how many reasons I gave him to book a one way ticket somewhere new, he still wasn't quite convinced so today I wanted to share my reasons why travelling really is good for you and trust me, one of those isn't to 'find yourself'. 

become inspired

I always feel most inspired when I'm in new surroundings. The different buildings, weather, sights and culture can just trigger something inside you that you may have never thought about before. It prompts questions that you would have never asked and answers to things you've never thought of. It inspires you to think differently.


On the same line as travelling making you think differently, it also helps you realise things. For me, when I'm away, I realise just how insignificant some of my at-home 'worries' are. While that won't be true for everyone, for me I find being exposed to different surroundings and cultures makes you realise there's so much more to the world than your corner.

see how others live

This sounds so obvious but you have no idea how many people I come across that literally think life doesn't exist out of the UK. Every country is different, whether it's religious beliefs or cuisine, the traditions or even just the weather. Sorry to offend but travelling to a country and not leaving the westernised complex just isn't for me.

meet new people

Again, sounds like something you'd do naturally but what I love most about travelling is the people you meet. I'll never forget Romeo, a lovely gentleman who owned a small taverna in Kos. He had worked almost every day of his life to keep the taverna running not only to support his family, but because he just liked seeing people happy. We visited quite a few times and he'd always treat us to a coffee liqueur after our meals and sit down for a chat. He was delightful and inspiring. 

see amazing things

'Take it all in' are words I tell myself over and over when I visit anywhere, even if it's a UK stay-cation. We are so occupied these days with what we can see on social media which is fine - hey you wouldn't be reading this blog otherwise - but it's important to know when to put the phones down. After my trip to Las Vegas last year I was initially a little upset that I didn't take a lot of photos but when I think back, I can remember it all so vividly and that kicks the ass of any Instagram grid. 
Travelling doesn't have to mean working in a banana field in Australia for six months or going to a full moon party in Thailand. Travel the way you want to, to places you want to go and find something that sparks joy inside of you. 


Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Favourites Playlist - July

ItsHollieAnn Monthly Playlist
Another few months have been and gone and I think it's time that I brought you my latest favourites playlist.

June and July were funny old months, for starters I started listening back to old You Me At Six tracks between songs from their latest album. Then we came one month closer to PVRIS' official album launch date - August 25th - and I'm so bloody excited to hear the rest when it's released. I listened to We Are Harlot's self-titled album a heck of a lot and Don Broco released a new track 'Technology' which is absolutely great. If you don't remember the band There For Tomorrow then seriously, what did you listen to in 2009? Speaking of which, I can't believe I haven't listened to Lower Than Atlantis since the 'Far Q' days but their latest stuff is on point. Last to mention but definitely not least, Jonas Blue's Mama has been on repeat. What a song!


Someday - We Are Harlot
Technology - Don Broco
Had Enough - Lower Than Atlantis
Staring At The Rude Bois - Gallows & Lethal Bizzle
Mama - Jonas Blue
A Little Faster - There For Tomorrow
Heroes Tonight - Janji
Girls Girls Girls - Motley Crue
Rescue Me - You Me At Six
Half - PVRIS

What have you been listening to this month?

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