Getting through the next four weeks of lockdown- in association with nivea!

Getting through the next four weeks of lockdown- in association with nivea!

As we are lunged back into the deep end which is lock-down it’s worrying whether it will be the same as last time or perhaps worse? Will our mental health deteriorate again? What will happen to our children who have only just been reunited with their friends and family’s only to be ripped away from them again. However this time it’s different, we know what too expect and with that comes bit more calm and less panic. We have learnt to adapt to what the world has thrown at us and made it through even our darkest days. So now we’re a week into lock down although i can’t say i’m not still a anxious mess i can say there are things that i am appreciating more and helping me negotiate my way through this confusing time.

One thing i love the most in the world is autumn. I love walks in the park and through the woods with orange, red and yellow filling the floors and air as the wind blows them all around and the leafs dance in front of you. Last lock down it was just nothing but pure heat and being in the uk that meant warm houses with no air con. This time i can wrap up warm and enjoy the cool air. This lock down, i’m taking control of doing things i enjoy more and not letting the hours pass by as i get lost in the abyss.

So first i am keeping active. I am going for walks with my husband and son or just me and my son. I am not rushing my way through going out now. I am taking in the scenery, changing up my routes and looking around at what nature has to offer. I turn my phone of and just chase around after my son and look for leaves and old trees together. I spend time talking and just enjoy being out. I’ll often fill up my thermos and take a hot drink out with me too. It doesn’t feel like were in lock down when we go for a walk it feels like we are in peace. If you have children i highly recommend walks even if round the block just to burn some of that energy, just so we can get some peace. If you live near a park wear a puddle suit go on a wet day and let your child jump in puddles and squelch in mud, it’s free and super fun! If mud and leafs isn’t your cup of tea then you can always exercise from the comfort of your own home. There are so many home workouts free to use on you tube, the same with yoga, unwind your mind and body at the same time.

I am trying to also keep my mind busy, i joined a book club and have gathered a small library worth of books to keep my mind focused when things get hard. The greatest escape is always to another world which is the realm of books. There is always something for someone. Not everyone enjoys physically reading so the world of audio books is another fantastic way to escape for a little while without the effort of reading a few hundred pages! With reading also comes blogging and writing which i love doing with a cup of tea, especially at the end of the day it’s the perfect way to unwind. I find journaling and writing in a diary is also a fantastic way to unwind in the evenings before bed to combat the stress of the day. I also find keeping elijah busy is a fantastic way to entertain me too. We get sensory activities, colouring and crafting everyday. I include elijah as much as i can in the kitchen too which helps me enjoy cooking again too. The next project after elijahs birthday is getting ready for Christmas and boxing up our house to move on to the next chapter of our lives soon.

I am trying to enjoy time with my family more. If there is one thing corona-virus has taught me it is that family and friends are important. That we should try and keep in contact with each other. I never thought of myself as lucky before the lock down but having my son and my husband with me has shown me just how important they are to me.It has shown me that i too am loved and that is something that i never thought was possible in my mind. This lock down we can see another adult and their under school age children outside which means i can see more people and elijah can see other children which makes the world feel so much less lonely too us all.

The biggest thing i am concentrating on is my self care. My skin has been neglected over the last few years and it’s time i treat myself like i deserve. That includes giving myself a full routine of skincare daily and introducing more skincare into both my morning and my evening routine. With the excessive uses of masks out and about my skin is becoming a spotty mine field. The dry weather is no help either! So the first thing i do in the morning is washing my face. I wash my face with facial wash and my electric scrubber. After this i use toner on a reusable cotton pad and get started on the moisturising. I use a serum and then eye cream, i then use a light moisturiser or day cream. My evening routine is very similar except i exfoliate with a scrub or peel every other day.I also use my topical creams after my serums and then apply a night cream. I always use lip balm at night as well to moisturise everywhere on my face. If i’m going out in the sunlight ill always apply a light sunscreen to prevent damage to my skin. When i do my skincare i like to light a candle and slowly massage it in and make it a relaxing environment. I’m also partial to the odd sheet mask or eye and lip masks i try to do these every few days i try to do them when i am particularly stressed so that they become a calming place and not routine!

Of course skincare is not just your face. Its your whole body. We always complain about dry patches of skin but do we nourish our skin first? Using a shower gel or creame that is moisturising and smells fab can always make you feel better. Using body scrubs every few days are a fantastic way to rid the body of dead skin and also leave our skin feeling softer. When out the shower using a moisturiser after helps to keep skin soft and help fight the signs of ageing.

Taking care of your hair and having the odd hair mask here and there can feel like complete luxury so try to incorporate into you bath or showers before you wash your face as when the oils can roll down your skin and cause a greasy feeling face! Of course then you should obviously get into pjs and shove on some cosy socks and snuggle up for the night.

Whatever you do to get through this lock down just know that your not alone. There are lots of people here for you including me, there is so much more to do aswell. Whether your idea of chilling means watching a series on netflix or doing a marathon, try to enjoy it! But remember take care of your skin and your mental health!

I have been gifted nivea products with no expectation to post. I am part of the nivea family and writing about or featuring their products is completely my choice!

The perfect Christmas gift guide for her.

The perfect Christmas gift guide for her.

So Christmas is coming up and I’m starting to scan the stores both online and offline for Christmas presents for loved ones. Coronavirus be damned it will not stop us enjoying Christmas and I will drop off presents on the door step wearing a Santa outfit if I have too. Don’t push me I will purchase one Boris. So here are some ideas I’ve had that I would both like for myself and as a gift for someone else!

So first of all I’m going in big. I’m not a materialistic person or someone who expects big gifts but the only thing I want this Christmas is this…

Photo from hotel chocolat

A hotel chocolat velvetiser. Have you looked at them? Not only are they beautiful but a hot drink connoisseur like me aspires for a new tool to master the battle that is making the perfect hot chocolate. Tassimos be gone we all know the new kid on the block is taking the lead. It gently warms and froths and mixes at the same time. Leaving you to do nothing but pour in and pour out! They also come with two snazzy cups for you to share your experience. It also comes in three beautiful colours and it’s a toss up between copper or charcoal for me. You can also indulge in some of the 16 hot choc flavours hotel chocolat have to offer making this the perfect luxury gift. And if you like me enjoy a good hot chocolate this is the way to go!

Next up we have a obvious and affordable choice. Bath bombs. Obviously we have the high street brands such as lush which are king but there are also little small businesses to try. Instagram is crawling with them and if you look on my gram I’ve been lucky enough to try some myself. they’re often very high quality and smell fab too.

My fav lush bath bomb!

An even easier choice now. Feel like you don’t know a person well enough or their very picky? Don’t want to give money? A gift card is the way to go. But where from? Well if into make up and skincare a boots or Superdrug voucher is somewhere you can’t go wrong. They sell all sorts from vegan to high end makeup there’s sure to be something in these places that your recipient will love. If you have a film fanatic on your hand I normally would suggest a cinemas gift card but because we have seen Covid destroy the film industry perhaps a Netflix gift card (yes they exist) or a hmv gift card for people who enjoy physical copies of films is the way to go! If you know your person is a foodie then a gift voucher to their favourite restaurant is always appreciated. If your not sure which one to get there are lots of gift cards that cover quite a few. Also you can help small businesses by asking if they do gift cards for eating out another day too! With moving house being a theme for us this year I know I would love a next/ dunelm or John Lewis voucher! I adore picking my own home bits and I’m very fussy about what I like. Play it safe and if you know anyone planning to move or moving this is the perfect gift to give. If you’re really, really stuck a amazon voucher is great because then someone can buy absolutely anything they want from a game to shampoo, you name it they have it.

Photo taken from wired.com

The way to my heart is through smell. If you want to get in my good books a candle is the way to go. For affordable options head to tk maxx where you will hit the mother load of candles every time. Theirs a scent there to suit every person. Want to support a small business there’s lots of small businesses out their making candles and wax melts! Check previous blog posts and my Instagram for my reviews on them!

A small business I worked with before and have even brought as gifts for others since is am botanical.

Beauty boxes/well being boxes. I love a pick me up and a surprise in a box. Many companies do one off boxes or you can subscribe someone for a few months as a gift. The perfect gift if you hate choosing things out! Take the hassle out of selecting and know you can’t be blamed if something goes wrong!

The contents of a well being box i received to review which screamed my autumn personality and vibes available from http://www.thewellbeingbox.com.

Another fantastic gift which would also be perfect for a anxious mind is a diffuser. There are many diffusers out there small and large depending on what you want to buy. Coupled with the right essential oils you can really help someone relax and they’re also great for keeping illnesses at bay. Many people are scared of candles because of the fire so if you want to give someone a nice scented replacement this is the way to do it! My favourite essential oil smell is lemongrass! Just make sure you check for pets as some oils can’t be used around them!

This diffuser was gifted to me from Smellacloud

My favourite gift every year without fail is pjs and cosy socks. Specifically overly fluffy ones. I love to buy other people cosy pjs too for Christmas and couple it with some chocolate and your golden!

These super cosy bed socks are from perillasocks and are previously gifted

Make your own hamper. You can buy a basket and then fill it with their favourite things. This can be done really inexpensively as well. I often make friends chocolate boxes filled with their favourite chocolates I’ve gotten from Poundland and thrown some tissue paper and they’ve loved the thought and effort!

Hope some of these ideas have helped and I’ll be doing a his and little ones gift list too soon! So that you can get ideas for the whole of your family! Thanks for reading Charlie x

Why you should be trying to use soaps more.

Why you should be trying to use soaps more.

I love using all sorts of products but I am up for trying anything new. I’ve been trying to use more soaps instead of shower gels. I have to say I’ve not always been a fan of soaps I’ve found they’re really drying but I’ve noticed since trying small business homemade products I haven’t had any irritation. I try not to use if I have a flare just incase but they have really been quite nice.

Obviously shower gels contain a lot of plastic and drying products that can irritate our skin. Also the wastage is not fab for the planet so I’ve been trying to use soap more to not only improve my skincare but also my carbon footprint.

I was kindly gifted some products from Ètre toi. These soaps have been really great for all the family to use. We where sent a zesty orange one and a grapefruit and Himalayan salt one.

Elijah likes sniffing the orange one and washing his hands with it and has had no irritation. The thing I like about these is they really foam up and go a long way. I love the freshness of the orange one which I can’t stop sniffing as it smells just like a freshly peeled orange.

The Himalayan salts in the grapefruit soap work well with the smell to give a slight exfoliation at the same time. Himalayan salts have many beauty and health benefits and are something I love to use in my baths so I’ve been using this in the bath alongside the salts I have.

There are many reasons why you should use soaps more. But one is the impact on the planet! if your interested in buying this product then check out their small business and give them some love and likes on their insta!

Insta-https://instagram.com/etretoi_

Shop-https://etretoi.bigcartel.com/

For all enquiries and collabs send me a message. Thanks for reading. Charlie x

Medications / topical creams that help my rosacea flares.

Medications / topical creams that help my rosacea flares.

When I am stressed I have a flare. I get spots, my face goes redder them a baboons backside and my face burns. It burns so much I want to scratch it off. I have at times if my life even contemplated suicide because it has hurt that much. So I am very, very lucky my dermatologist found the creams that work with me. I use it every now and then when I have a flare. As LOTS of you have been emailing and messaging me on Instagram about what I use I thought I’ll just do a little post on it here.

Obviously these are not over the counter medications but you could request your doctor try’s you on them. You can however buy a low dose of azaliac acid by the ordinary and that’s quite good too. Not as strong but it is good. So without further rambling here’s some products I use and have helped me.

First up. Soolantra aka Ivermectin. This cream is prescribed and is hardcore stuff. With rosacea you are more prone to being exposed to sunlight, food, cold, stress, skin notes and lots more. This cream is prescribed to help stop the inflammation caused by rosacea. It helps treat and heal skin lesions and helps reduce the spots that come with it. It also cures facial mites and scabies. This is basically like a anti inflammatory magic cure for your face. When I first took it I had a swollen nose that wouldn’t go and a face littered with spots after 6 weeks I was cleared up. It then returned with spots and wide spread redness but my nose has never looked anything near as bad as it was. When you have a flare they suggest using a few times a week for 6 weeks as it’s strong stuff. This is my wonder cure. It stops the burning. I feel like me again.

Next we have skinoren- azeliac acid. This can be used alongside. This kills bacteria and helps acne. You can buy a low dosage version as I stated above. As my rosacea causes acne it helps with my confidence of not only redness but full on adult acne at the same time. This stuff really does work and again you use a few times a week for a few weeks then have a break then use with a flare.

You should only use these medicines as and when. Why? Because your skin needs to heal and work our what time do with itself. You also want breaks between medicines and for your skin not to get used to the medication.

These medications worked for me and I hope if your doctor can be persuaded to let you try that they may work for you.

I’m back on them again now so will show a before and after. If you are using this it is important to have a full skincare session.

I cleanse, exfoliate and tone regularly. I also apply moisturising serums twice daily and also apply a thick night cream because these medicines will dry your skin out. Make sure to wash your face twice a day and treat your skin like it deserves.

Also ALWAYS where high spf sunscreen. I don’t care if it’s snowing outside your skin will burn and you need to protect yourself from the uv damage to your skin.

Good luck, any questions send me a message! Charlie x

Space masks review

Space masks review

So it’s no secret I have insomnia and basically lack any ability to relax some days so when I received a space mask in a recent beauty subscription box I was quite excited to try a new product. Of course it’s been raced about by a few celebs who I like so if course I was excited to give it a whirl so here’s my opinion.

First of all packagings quite nice this was a valentines special edition which is why it’s red. There’s nothing fancy but the colour so it’s quite plain but that’s not what the products about.

So what it does is heat when opened up so it creates a nice warm feeling on your eyelids which makes your eyes feel light and you relaxed. I’d say it worked for about half an hour staying warm and then cooled down. I quite enjoyed it as I haven’t experienced anything similar unless I’ve had a hot flannel on my eyes. My eyes felt lighter and I felt the tension leave that part of me and it did enable some relaxation. My eyes didn’t feel as puffy either and although there was no direct oils or products on me I did feel almost like my eyes where in a bit better condition. It enable relaxation after a while and my mind sort of went away at times.

Unfortunately I think I was too anxious that night so I took a while to relax and I didn’t notice no change on my sleep. I will be trying it again after a nice relaxing skincare session and getting myself calm first to see if it really works. I’m also going to buy a cheeper Version on amazon to try too. Will update you on that too!

Thanks for reading! Charlie! x

How I got diagnosed with rosacea

How I got diagnosed with rosacea

Since writing a short little paragraph on my rosacea on my Instagram I had a lot of love in my dms from other suffers and one lady who thinks she may have it too. it’s so nice that I am able to use my platform to spread the word and empower other woman. If you haven’t seen my post it’s on my Instagram and it’s got a photo of my skin without make up, without a filter laid bare. This was part of a partnership with Pegasus owned cetraben to empower others to talk about their skin conditions.

Something I am very uncomfortable with is my rosacea. For years friends and family and work colleagues called me Rudolph. Why? Because that’s how my rosacea started of. My nose was very red and became swollen from how bad it was. For three years I had a red lumpy nose. Doctors put it down too acne. Over and over I was told to wash my face, take their medication that doesn’t work whilst they refused to send me to a dermatologist. After some research I realised I was entitled to be sent as I had attended over 4 appointments in half a year for the same reason with no answers so once I complained I was referred. I was sent to the dermatologist when I was 19. By then the redness started to spread from my nose to around my face to my cheeks. The woman I saw swabbed my nose and said she believes it to be rosacea but it is so rare in my age. So I was given some cream that didn’t work and sent away to fight to get a diagnosis again.

When i came in one day to the doctor I broke down in tears that I couldn’t take it anymore and said I have had enough of feeling sick looking in the mirror now. I explained I would cancel plans because of my looks. I would actively avoid photos because I felt so ugly. He sent me back to dermatology after fight for three more years and it changed my life.

On the day of my appointment I was late so ran through the hospital. You have no idea how large our hospital is so I was running for a while in summer! when I got to the desk the staff at the desk where worried about me because my face was so red and sat me down. When the dermatologist called me through pretty much immediately he smiled and said straight away I can confirm you most defiantly have rosacea. He explained that my red face was a symptom and that stress, heat, exercise and many other factors can affect it. It causes redness and flushing. When I had cooled down a bit he inspected my skin. He looked at the redness and then the spots. He said the acne is caused by the rosacea and that it will most likely never go away. However he said we should try some strong antibiotics and topical creams and he’d see me in three months. I went away and took the doxycycline and ivermectin. Within weeks my nose cleared up. I could see my skin for the first time in years. I remember the confidence it gave me and some of the redness surrounding my face cleared. Of course after stoping taking it the problem came back but not on my nose and not as bad. However I do find that the doxycycline does help when I take it although it causes side effects such as reflux for me and can only take short term.

It’s one of those things I have to live with as it goes and comes back. As the dermatologist said it’s something you have to live with but you do fantastic at hiding it. One thing I’ve become good at over the years is hiding my redness with my make up so that I have a bit more confidence. Stress aggravates it, spice, the heat, the cold, infact I think living just aggravates it. But I was glad I had someone who took the time to listen and I could finally put a name to my redness. I finally understood why as a child I would be red as a tomato after playing on the school ground. I understood when I flushed so much if I was embarrassed. I understood and that was enough for me. As I’ve gotten older I’ve accepted it. I don’t like it but I’ve accepted it’s who I am. I’ve started not wearing make up as much and owning it. However one downside is that it has spread to my eyes and causes a lot of irritation and of which I’m under the hospital for. I have more good days with my skin then I used too so I’m always thankfull for that. My face still burns and itches at time but atleast I’m not up crying in the night with it anymore or sticking a ice cube on my nose to cool it. Here are some photos of how bad my nose was and a recent flare up!

If your reading this and thinking that sounds like me please do talk to your gp about it because it can change your life. I am thankfull everyday that my nose is no longer a giant swollen ball of pain.

Thanks for reading, Charlie x

February’s Birchbox

February’s Birchbox

It’s that time again! And boy do I get excited for that little pink box to come to my door! The great thing about birch box is the complete surprise down to until it arrives at your door basically! After having a pretty busy day I was thrilled to come home to my package and sneak a peak inside.

A few days ago I received this lovely little box which I presume is Valentine’s Day themed with all the pink and reds and heart print box! I adore the box design as it reminds me of my Emma bridgewater bits so have kept it to organise bits in my drawer! The box had tissue paper shreds so it made a nice change although I found it a bit wasteful as what was I to do with it? That aside a lovely presented box this time around with everything inside matching with the colours! So I’ve tried all the products so here’s a bit of a review too!

Amika exfoliating shampoo, this is to exfoliate your scalp while you was your hair basically. I really didn’t like the feeling of it and I had to rinse a lot to soap up but I can confirm my scalp felt good but I probably won’t be purchasing in the future.

Lip mask! I was sceptical as I’ve seen these advertised and thought wow people just want to look silly… but I tried it to see what all the fuss us about. It felt really nice when I put it on and felt nice and cooling and odd. When. I took it off I was so surprised it had made a small difference. My lips looked fuller and perkier without looking fake. I have small lips so I felt great!

Lord and berry lip pencil. A lovely pencil that does the job the red is a very good stain and can be used with other lipsticks to define or on own as more of a tint. Is a little drying but if you moisturise first it’s all good!

The blush wasn’t really my colour so I’ve given to my mother who she says is quite lovely but when I tried it on although I looked a bit toasted the formula is lovely and soft!

Space masks. Although they’re only single use they are so calming and soothing. As I struggle with sleep this was the perfect item to receive ! I instantly felt calmer and relaxed with it on. My eyes felt relaxed and heavy. I soon fell to sleep in a tranquil state like being at a spa!

I hope you enjoyed my post and I’ll see you soon for more!

January birchbox

January birchbox

Today my birchbox arrived and I was very excited, not just because of the fact it arrived but because it was my birthday and it was like a unexpected present! Nothing beats a package of unexpected goodies! So let’s look inside!

So what was inside? First of all the box was beautiful it’s a collab with Rochelle Humes. You know the woman from the Saturdays and talent shows now. It’s a really pretty box and looks like a marble, rose gold design. I opened it up and the products inside where so pretty and quite varied. I got some conditioner which I love because I’m actually running out of conditioner so it’ll last me till my next shop and it’s something new to try! Next up I got a vasanti brighten up exfoliating. It’s something new to try and who doesn’t live a good facial exfoliate. It’s vegan and 99 percent natural which is better than tones of rubbish being used on your face! I also got a moisturiser by green frog botanic, I’ve already used some and it smells amazing, my skin is soft and a little goes a long way. I’ll be keeping this in my bag as perfect travel size. The most extorting product was my jade roller by Melusine. I’ve wanted one for years as I’ve heard good things about the power of crystals and how great it is for skin. So it’s saved me forgetting to buy one again whenever I see one in a store. Another little cute sample was my glow milk in just dew it. I got to choose this sample which has been great as I finally get a colour that matches my skin which I love. I can’t wait to use it and it is totally adorable. I am excited for next months!

What I got in my December birchbox.

What I got in my December birchbox.

I’d apologise for this being a late post if this wasn’t my first box and having only received it today but none the less here we go. I’ve tried quite a few beauty boxes and even kept with glossy box for a year but I felt the products weren’t really me. My cousin have me a load of make up she’d been receiving in her birchbox that she can’t use due to eczema around her eyes and lipsticks she had doubles off. I was rather impressed so when I saw they had a half price deal on for your first birch box I leaped at the chance.

So it’s not took too long since ordering but again it’s been busy due to being over Christmas and New Years period. You can tailor to your beauty needs and looking at past boxes I thought the bits look like things I would like and I want to try new things! You can sometimes choose what goes in your box aswell like the colour you like or something along those lines.

So today it came and it wasn’t in a box! It came in a luxury velvet pouch which I absolutely love! I git a similar pouch for Christmas from my husband so they’ll match perfectly! It’s really soft and pretty and fits quite a bit I’m excited to sort through my make up later and use it properly. I got a rituals shower oil which sounds and smells amazing and is supposed to moisturise in the shower. I love soft skin so I’m excited to use this and have used rituals products before and loved! I also received a eyeshadow brush which you can’t go wrong with! It feels super soft and is to go with the full size forgive me Suzie eye shadows. I love rose gold eyeshadows so these will do me nicely for a natural dewy look. I also got a hair treatment wrap which I can confirm my hair defiantly needs after having it dyed recently! I also got a night cream which will always come in handy for travelling or just casual use. I also got a sponge soap from daily concepts which I’m eager to try.

I’m excited for my next box to arrive now and use all these lovely products! Thanks for reading!

Why I love using a facial brush in my skincare routine

Why I love using a facial brush in my skincare routine

Since developing rosacea in my late teens I’ve been very into my skincare and trying to bust spots as they come along. After talking to many doctors and dermatologists and beauticians I’ve found what works for me. One thing that has mixed reviews is a facial brush. These are brushes that are used to exfoliate and remove dirt, oil and dead dry skin.

I’ve found that a lot of people say well it gets rid of your skin. While this is true on some level sometimes the benefits out way the cons. As I have a lot of bacteria build up from my rosacea I have too keep my skin as clean as I can and sometimes my hands and water just aren’t enough. I like to use my facial brush for more of a deep clean. I use the silicone head as it is softer and does a lot less damage. I use this once a day at night after removing make up to get everything of my face so I am fresh and ready for bed. I simply add some product onto the brush, wet my face and quickly whizz round my face. I then rinse, tone and moisture ready for the morning. In the mornings I’ll normally just use a flannel or my hands for my skin care in the morning as this is more gentle on my skin. I use the bristled brush perhaps once a week for a really good scrub but again it’s quite scratch so I try to avoid it as much as I can. There are many different brushes out there so shop around and see what you like, electric or not a lot come with a silicone head which is perfect for the more sensitive skin!