Japanese beauty: What’s it all about?

J-beauty stands for Japanese beauty. If you’d like to find out what Japanese beauty products to buy, or what Japanese beauty is all about, keep on reading!

If you haven’t heard about J-beauty before, it involves gentle, simple products, which focus on protecting the skin. When it comes to makeup, J-beauty is extremely natural and subtle. Although K-beauty is all the rage nowadays, J-beauty should not be overlooked. There are some similarities between the two, but J-beauty does differ from Korean beauty products!

How do K-beauty and J-beauty differ?

Skincare
For me, the biggest difference between K-beauty and J-beauty is that J-beauty is more centred around minimalism. While K-beauty is known for having a focus on layering hydrating and nourishing toners, ampoules and serums, Japanese beauty routines tend to be more simplistic. J-beauty focuses on a few products, the key being cleanser, a good moisturiser and sun-screen. Japanese moisturisers tend to be lightweight water or gel formulas.

K-beauty is very trendy and it loves new releases, trendy packaging, and new, innovative ingredients. A lot of K-Beauty contains active ingredients (for more information on what active ingredients are, check out my skincare guide). I personally turn to Korean skincare when I’m looking for lightening and brightening products, but they also make amazing hydrating, skin healing and anti-ageing skincare.

K-beauty is also well known for its fun and quirky packaging.

By contrast, J-beauty products are more simple both in terms of look and their functions.

Sheet masks are an important part of K-beauty, and although they are beginning to become popular in Japan, this is a relatively new development and in Korea there is much more variety in sheet masks.

Makeup
As with skincare, Japanese beauty is focused on the ‘natural’ look. Makeup tends to look very subtle, and this is reflected in the products sold. Japanese lip colours tend to be soft shades of pink while Korean makeup is known for its bright lip tints.

In Korea, both eyeshadow palettes and eyeshadow singles are popular, but in Japan, eyeshadow singles are far more popular than palettes! I think this is because Japanese people don’t tend to wear extravagant eyeshadow colours; just natural shades with a sparkly shadow on top.

My J-beauty top-picks

I really enjoy Korean and Japanese skincare. I find that J-beauty is a little more simple which I love; it’s easy to get discouraged to do your full routine when you have 130 steps to do!

For the most part, Japanese skin care is gentle on my skin and I love that that many of their products are fragrance-free. Fragrance serves no benefit to the skin, and it can irritate it! I have had a reaction to highly fragranced skincare before so I definitely prefer those without added fragrance.

As Japanese skincare is about hydrating and protecting the skin, I have tried several of their sun-screens and really enjoyed them and I enjoy many Japanese essences.

However, alcohol features in a lot of Japanese skincare, which I do not love. Alcohol can be really drying to the skin, and it really dries me out!

I also enjoy J-beauty’s simplicity in makeup and I’ve found that all the products I’ve tried so far have been gentle on my skin and extremely flattering. Apart from their foundations of course as I am mixed black and white so obviously I can’t find my skin tone in Japanese base products. I will say though that they aren’t as pigmented as Western products as they are natural looking, which can be a disadvantage when it comes to eyeshadows.

BOTANIST
-Light Body Milk Peach & Jasmine
This lightweight body moisturiser has the most incredible scent! As I have mentioned, I don’t like fragrance in my skincare, but my body care is an exception (the skin on my body is less sensitive than my face.

If you’re the kind of person who doesn’t have time for your moisturiser to sink into your skin in the morning, then this is the one for you. As it is a lotion, it’s more lightweight than a moisturiser, but this doesn’t mean it isn’t nourishing. I have dry skin on my body, particularly on my legs, and this lotion leaves me feeling balanced for about 24 hours, particularly in hot weather. In winter, I do need a thicker moisturiser.

ROTHO MENTHOLATUM
Hada Labo Gokujyun Hyaluronic
I am such a fan of this lightweight, Hyaluronic acid essence. The product is listed as a lotion, but it is more similar to an essence or serum in Western Beauty. It quickly absorbs into the skin without any stickiness and leaves it feeling plump. When I travel and I can’t bring it with me I notice my skin is less elastic and soft.

BIORÉ
Bioré makes fantastic sun-screens and cleansers, but all of the products I have tried from them have been fragranced.

UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence SPF 50+
This is a fantastic SPF as it is lightweight but effective; it really feels like nothing on the skin! This isn’t a sunscreen for those with sensitive or dry skin because it contains both fragrance and alcohol. However, if you have normal or combination skin I think you’ll really enjoy this one!

I has no white cast, and it also contains hyaluronic acid.

Face Wash
These face washes are foaming cleansers. Foaming cleansers can be drying for the skin because of their high surfactant content, but if your skin can handle this I think you’ll like these cleansers!

These last a really long time as you only need to use the smalles amount (like a pinky fingernail’s size), and it leaves my skin feeling soft and hydrated. And the foam is so pleasant to use.

MUJI skincare
I have tried several products from MUJI and have loved them all! Although MUJI isn’t a dedicated skincare brand, they have a fantastic range of different toners, essences, makeup removers, lotions and face washes. Lots of MUJI cosmetics are fragrance free, and all are super gentle on the skin. They are the best examples of how simplicity can be a luxury.

From MUJI, my favourite products are:

Face Soap in ‘Moisture’
This cleanser uses apricot juice and peach leaf extract as hydrating ingredients which make your skin feel hydrated post-cleanse.

Toning Water in ‘Light’ and ‘High Moisture’
This toner is more like an essence or serum and it is light and extremely hydrating. This kind of product is great to use in the mornings you’re going to wear makeup as they banish dehydration, allowing your products to look better on the skin.

MUJI’s makeup storage solutions are also well-worth a look.

And OMG if you have glasses, please check out their lens wipes. In fact, don’t check them out. Just buy them. Thank me later!

I am more into skincare than I am makeup but I have tried a couple of J-beauty makeup products which I have loved.

FLOWFUSHI
Moteliner
The formula of this eyeliner is rich, but the most impressive part of this liner is the brush. Designed by a brush maker, it is so flexible and easy to use; it’s by far the best brush liner I’ve come across. The liner is long wearing and budge-proof!

KAILIJUMEI
Flower Jelly Lipstick
This is a soft pink lip tint which lasts for hours and hours. It is nourishing like a lip balm, but it leaves a stain. The packaging is beautiful, and the lipstick bullet is absolutely stunning.

But warning: this one has a funny taste!

Overall, I really love J-beauty! It’s simple, effective and beautiful. This can be a refreshing change from Western beauty which tends to be a bit more complex and full-on. I love how J-beauty focuses on enhancing your natural features, as that is the look that I go for in my everyday life anyway!

Do you like J-beauty? What J-beauty products have you tried?

Thanks for reading,

Jazmin xxx

Christmas beauty gift guide: How to give eco-friendly beauty gifts this Christmas!

The air is cooler, the trees are bare… Christmas time is upon us! This year, the issues of sustainability, waste and eco-consciousness have never been more prevalent, and now approaching Christmas we, as consumers, have some difficult decisions to make. Christmas is known for being an extremely polluting time of the year, from the purchasing of gimmicky, single-use plastic gifts, to the bags full of plastic packaging. Let’s all try and make some more ethical choices this Christmas!

But there’s no reason why we can’t continue to indulge in beauty in order to be more ethical and sustainable; all we have to do is be more selective about what and where we buy from and we can still look and feel beautiful. Giving low waste beauty products as presents make lovely gifts, and they don’t have to be expensive to feel luxurious! I personally am trying to live a low waste lifestyle now, and the biggest swaps have come from my beauty routine as they’re the simplest swaps to make.

Whether you want to inspire a friend or family member to try being low waste, or you just want to discover some high quality eco-conscious products, keep reading this post!

1- If you feel like getting crafty, consider making a homemade beauty product for that extra special touch.

Making a homemade beauty gift for someone is a lovely way to show you care. Try making a luxurious low-waste whipped shea butter moisturiser or shower steamers! You could also try making homemade lip scrubs or body scrubs! 

2- Kick start someone’s low-waste lifestyle with a zero-waste starter kit

If you want to encourage someone to consider a low waste lifestyle, gifting a starter kit is a great idea. You can either buy one, or make your own!

If you choose to buy one, Etsy has several options, such as Tabitha Eve Co’s Beauty Starter Kit. This kit contains cotton reusable makeup rounds, nail varnish pads, a cotton and bamboo shower pouf and exfoliating loofah disks. Another good option is Zero Waste UK’s Bathroom Starter Kit, which contains body soap, a solid shampoo bar, a loofah, a back scrub, a bamboo soap saver, 2 bamboo toothbrushes and wooden cottonbuds.

If you would rather personalise your starter kit you can just include the products you want! Some ideas that I think would be perfect for a starter kit are:

Plastic free hairbands, reusable cotton or bamboo rounds (an alternative to single-use cotton pads!), a bamboo toothbrush, plastic-free reusable razers and a solid shampoo bar.

3- Support a smaller eco brand and gift beautiful zero waste makeup

It may seem difficult to find plastic-free replacements to our favourite makeup products but there are plenty of zero-waste alternatives available!

Some fantastic eco-friendly makeup brands are Clean-faced Cosmetics, Nudi Goods, Kiaer Weis.

Clean-faced Cosmetics offer a wide range of products, such as eyeshadows, lipsticks, mascaras (2 types!) and eyeliners, and you can even customise your own palette!

Nudi Goods make zero-waste makeup products including highlighters, mascara, brow wax and lip balms, and also sell beautiful soy candles.

Kiaer Weis offers cream foundations, shadows, blush and highlighters. Their products are packaged in recyclable materials, and they also offer refills packaged in cardboard, meaning you can refill your metal case and continue using their products without producing any more waste. Genius!

And let’s not forget the makeup tools! EcoTools and Bdellium Tools both make well loved sustainable makeup brushes.

4- Last but not least, encourage a loved one to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate

Consider gifting a gorgeous reusable water bottle, as we all know that drinking plenty of water is key to glowing skin. And we all know we’re definitely not drinking as much water as we should! Oops.

Some beautiful bottle brands are Chilly’s, (who recently gifted me one of their bottles for review on my Instagram), LARQ (and their bottle has a water filtration system) and 24Bottles, who partners with reforestation communities to plant trees to offset the CO2 produced during manufacturing.

So, you’ve bought your eco-friendly gift, but now what to wrap it in?! Although much Christmas packaging is made of paper, lots is still plastic or is unrecyclable. For wrapping presents, you can use some brown paper with a beautiful reusable ribbon, or if you’re feeling extra crafty, try Furoshiki. Furoshiki is the Japanese art of cloth wrapping, used for packaging and transporting goods. It makes for beautiful packing and can be reused!

I hope that these ideas will inspire you if you want to be more eco-friendly this Christmas but you don’t know where to start! And if you think of some friends or family members who could do with some low-waste guidance, please pass on this post!

Thank you so much for reading,

Jazmin

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How to Get Rid of Keratosis Pilaris at Home

Keratosis pilaris… My old enemy. If you aren’t familiar with what those pesky bumps on your arms are, they might be keratosis pilaris. Full disclosure: I’m not a dermatologist but I am someone who has had a great improvement in my keratosis pilaris through working out an effective treatment. I have had keratosis pilaris on my upper arms and cheeks since I was a teenager, and I am now finally getting the smooth skin I dreamt of.

If you would like to learn how you can get rid of your keratosis pilaris, keep reading!

First of all, what’s keratosis pilaris (KP)?

Characterised by small, red bumps on the upper arms, cheeks or thighs, KP is a very common skin condition that typically affects women more than men. For a lot of people, the rash appears in adolescence and disappears in adulthood, but it can also persist into adulthood. The bumps may have a whiteish head which can appear like a pimple, but these are NOT spots!

Apart from the visual aspect, keratosis pilaris doesn’t have any symptoms, so many people have the condition without even knowing it’s a thing! It’s harmless and it is actually considered a variant of normal skin, but this doesn’t mean that you can’t reduce the appearance and texture of the bumps if you wish to! KP does not usually hurt, although it can be itchy, and it can be tempting to scratch the bumps as they are raised and can be rough in texture. Try not to scratch them though, as breaking the skin will lead to hyperpigmentation (dark spots), making the appearance of the rash worse. The trick to caring for keratosis pilaris prone skin is to be gentle but consistent.

So, what causes it?

Keratosis pilaris is caused by an excess of keratin in the skin. Keratin is a protein that is a key building block for hair, skin and nails, and also forms a protective layer on the skin. An excess of this protein causes a build-up of keratin in the hair follicle, causing the bumps. It is unknown what causes the build-up nor why the bumps are limited to the same few areas of the body. KP is more common in those with dry skin and is worsened in the winter months, as the air is drier and colder.

How to get rid of KP

There are no known cures for keratosis pilaris, but you can treat the affected areas. For some people, treatment will lead to an improvement of the appearance of the rash, but for others it can completely clear up. My KP has completely gone from my face because of my treatment, but it has not fully cleared up on my upper arms.

Here are my top tips for improving KP prone skin…

Moisture
The most important thing to remember when caring for KP affected areas is moisture. If you have KP you may have celebrated your skin clearing up in the summer, but then when winter rolls around again the familiar bumps reappear… This is because the lack of moisture in the air in winter dries out the skin and worsens the appearance and texture of the rash. So, in order to sooth and smoothen the skin, moisture is key!

I do not recommend thin lotions, or cheap hotel freebies- to keep KP skin comfortable you will want a thick moisturiser. I would recommend applying moisturiser twice a day, in the morning and at night, before bed.

I have two creams that I like using on my KP. The first is CeraVe’s Moisturising Cream, which contains ceramides and hyaluronic acid, and Vaseline’s Intensive Care. This one contains petroleum jelly which is the best occlusive moisturiser for extremely dry skin.

Alongside a good moisturiser, a hydrator will help to soften the skin. Using a hydrator like glycerin or hyaluronic acid will help to add extra hydration to the skin. You should follow up a hydrator with your thick moisturiser, to lock in all that hydration.

Exfoliation
I talk a lot about exfoliation here on my blog, because it’s one of the easiest things you can do to have a dramatic improvement in your skin. For KP skin, exfoliation will help to get rid of the roughness and will make the bumps look smaller, and the skin feel softer. Exfoliating will also help to release the trapped hair in the follicle, making the texture of the skin look smoother.

You can use physical exfoliants made at home, like coffee scrubs or brown sugar scrubs. Check out my homemade coffee scrub recipe for a cheap and easy to make exfoliator! You can also use shop-bought scrubs if you prefer. If you feel like physical exfoliants are too abrasive on the skin, consider a chemical exfoliant. Don’t worry: I know it sounds scary but I promise they’re safe to use on the skin. In fact, you might find them gentler on your skin than a physical exfoliant; I certainly do!

The most common chemical exfoliants are malic acid, lactic acid and glycolic acid. Glycolic acid leaves my skin soft with no redness, so it is my exfoliator of choice. Plus, The Ordinary’s Glycolic Acid Toning Solution is super affordable, at £7 for a bottle which will last you at least 3 months. If you are using an exfoliating toner, apply to the skin with a cotton round or a reusable cotton pad. If you are using an exfoliating serum, just rub it into your skin.

Retinoids
Retinoids are derived from vitamin A. They’re a form of exfoliator and can help prevent hair follicles from getting blocked, which will help to reduce the number of bumps. Look for products with retinol or retinoids.

Use retinols a few times a week, but when you’re first introducing them, go slowly. Retinoids can be quite harsh, so begin using them once a week, and when your skin can tolerate them, you can start using them more often.

Be gentle
Although it can be tempting to scratch the rough bumps, try to avoid scratching as this can cause scarring. Scarring or hyperpigmentation worsens the appearance of the rash. Also, when showering, use warm water instead of hot water. Hot water is drying to skin, and dryness is exactly what you want to avoid when you are trying to get rid of KP!

Sun protection
A further way to avoid scarring and hyperpigmentation is to use SPF on the affected areas. Although the summer months can help to clear up the rash, the strong sun can cause the marks to scar. To have a clearer complexion, avoid scratching and protect your skin from the sun.

Get rid of scarring
To eradicate dark spots and to help lighten the rash, use a serum or toner that will target hyperpigmentation. Products containing hydroquinone, vitamin C and alpha arbutin are just 3 ways to make your skin look even and clear. I use The Ordinary’s Alpha Arbutin 2% serum.

So what is my routine going to look like?

Morning
1- Apply your lightening/brightening product

2- Apply some of your thick moisturiser

Night
1- Use your exfoliator (every other night)

3- Apply your retinoid (on the nights you’re NOT using your exfoliator)

Make sure that your exfoliators and retinoids don’t interact as this can weaken the effect of your products, or it can make your skin overly sensitive. That’s why I recommend alternating between them during your night routines.

4- Finish off your routine with your moisturiser.

….

This routine will gradually improve the appearance of your keratosis pilaris and could completely eradicate the pesky bumps. The routine is completely customisable to your desires and needn’t be expensive depending on the products you buy!

If you are extremely unhappy with the appearance of the rash and you want fast results, you can cover the areas with a tinted moisturiser. Massage it into the skin (after your thick moisturiser) and apply some setting powder on top to lock it in tight!

Feel free to message me or comment below for any information.

Bye for now,

Jazmin xx

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Do I need different winter and summer skin care routines?

When autumn comes around, you might notice your skin feeling dryer and tighter than usual. Different seasons place different strain on the skin, so your skin won’t have the same needs all year around! In winter, temperatures may drop significantly, and the air can be drier than the other months. In summer, the sun and sea can be harsh and drying on your skin.

So, in order to keep your skin balanced all year around you may have to adapt your skincare routines! Read this post to find out how.

Winter

In winter (or whatever the cooler months are where you live!) the weather can be particularly harsh on our skin, as it is cooler and dryer. And when we’re not outside facing the elements, our heaters and AC can dehydrate and dry the skin as well!

Hydration and moisture

Ensuring your skin is getting enough hydration and moisture will avoid dryness and rough skin. During winter, you might find that your usual creams are not providing your skin with all the moisturisation you need. To combat this, consider using a thicker, more moisturising formula during the cooler months.

Additionally, using a hydrator like glycerin or hyaluronic acid will add extra hydration to your skin. It is best to lock in a hydrator, by applying moisturiser straight after, to keep all that hydration in! You can incorporate hydrators into your day-time winter routine, but I use mine at night as I prefer to do my heavy hydration and moisturisation then, to avoid getting oily throughout the day.

Protection

But make sure you continue to use your SPF in the wintertime! Even though the sun isn’t hot during winter, the UVA and UVB rays present during the summer are still present, meaning that if you aren’t wearing sun protection, your delicate facial skin isn’t being protected against the risk of skin cancer and premature ageing.

Exfoliation

If you feel like you’re moisturising and hydrating enough but your skin still feels flaky, this may be because you need to exfoliate. It is good to regularly exfoliate, regardless of the weather, but in winter it can be particularly helpful.

You can use physical exfoliants or chemical exfoliants to exfoliate 2-3 times a week. Be careful to not over-exfoliate because you can irritate it!

I enjoy using chemical exfoliators rather than physical exfoliators because I have pimples and physical exfoliators can cause unnecessary damage to this fragile skin.

An example of an affordable but effective chemical exfoliant is The Ordinary’s Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution. This one keeps my skin soft and supple without irritation, although I recommend using it once a week until your skin is used to it before building up to 2-3x per week use.

If you are suffering from chapped lips, you can also exfoliate them! To do this, you can use a lip scrub or take a soft toothbrush and lightly buff your lips. Always finish off with some lip balm for velvety soft lips.

Summer

In the hotter months of the year, the sun is usually hotter and brighter for more hours in the day. In some climates, summer months can be hot and dry, but in other parts of the world, summer can be humid and muggy. You might find that depending on the type of summer heat you have, your skin can act completely differently! And if you live in a country where there isn’t much difference between summer and winter weather, you might feel like you don’t have to tweak your routines at all!

Hydration and moisture

In more humid climates, your usual moisturisers might feel too heavy on your skin. If your skin is feeling oily, you can switch to a lighter lotion-type moisturiser, or you can use gel moisturisers for a hydrating cream which won’t be heavy on the skin.

Regardless of the climate, AC can be super drying. This means that although you might be living in a humid place, when you spend extended periods of time indoors, your skin can start to feel dry and tight. To avoid this, consider taking a spray facial mist around with you to mist your skin when it feels dehydrated! In dryer summer climates, you might still be okay using slightly heavier lotions and creams, and your skin might even require it.

Protection

Although you should be wearing sun screen all-year around, it is particularly important to protect from the sun in the summer. As the sun is hotter, you are more prone to skin damage, so make sure you are using SPF in the summer. Also, as it is hotter and you are likely to be sweating, make sure you are reapplying throughout the day! I have recently written two blog posts on why sun screen is important and how to find the right type of SPF for you.

Sun protection isn’t limited to the facial skin; you can use SPF products on your lips and hair too! Our lips can get sunburnt, just as our skin, so using a lip balm with SPF will protect that delicate skin. And our hair can also get sun damage, so using an SPF hair oil, spray or cream will keep your hair looking soft and luscious all year around!

……

Although it may seem like a lot of effort to find different products that work for you at different times of the year, rest assured that it’s really easy! Once you know what you’re looking for, it is easy to find a product that will fill that need. Plus, it’s really fun to try different skin care products!

Please let me know if you would like anything clarified. Comment below if you rotate your skin care throughout the year!

Bye for now,

Jazmin xx

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Sustainable, whipped shea body butter

You can stop searching; you’ve found the perfect low waste, eco-friendly, body moisturiser recipe, made with all-natural ingredients. All it takes is 2 ingredients and 10 minutes to transform your skin! If you want to learn how to make this rich, whipped shea body butter, keep on reading.

This recipe is made with shea butter and sweet almond oil, and if you want to add a fragrance you can add a few drops of an essential oil of your choice.

For this recipe I chose to use shea butter as it is thick, rich and super moisturising. Because of the fatty acids and vitamin A and E it contains, shea butter is great for dry skin, dermatitis, eczema and even wrinkles. And if you ever get sunburnt and you have some of this moisturiser on hand you will be so grateful you made it! Although it is an oil, it doesn’t make your skin feel greasy; my skin is left feeling velvety soft.

I use unrefined, raw shea butter because I want my skin to get all the goodness it can get. One thing though; raw shea butter has a strong smell to it, so I would buy organic refined shea butter if think you wouldn’t like this. Shea butter will be solid at room temperature, and it really looks like a stick of butter!

When you make your own shea butter cream you will be amazed by how thick and decadent the real stuff is compared to what you can get off the shelves!

Sweet almond oil is the second ingredient that I use in this recipe as it is a fabulous moisturising oil. Apart from its moisturising properties, sweet almond oil contains vitamin E and A, protein, potassium and zinc, making it fantastic for dry skin (but all skin types will benefit from this oil!). Like shea butter, sweet almond oil is great for eczema and will even help alleviate brittle nails. Sweet almond oil differs from bitter almond oil, which is used to flavour food and has a strong almond scent to it. Bitter almond oil is not used on the skin.

In order to make my body butter low waste, I try to buy all my products in glass or paper packaging. I bought my shea butter from Seeds of Abraham on eBay and it came in grease-proof paper and packaged in a cardboard box, both of which are 100% compostable materials.

If you would like to add a fragrance to your moisturiser, I recommend using essential oils. But as with all ingredients, do a patch test when using an essential oil on your skin for the first time. Even though a product may be natural, it doesn’t mean that you can’t be allergic to it!

For mine, I used mandarin essential oil as it gave a really nice Christmassy fragrance to my body butter. I haven’t been able to find a completely plastic-free essential oil supplier yet, so the cap of the one I bought is plastic. Let me know if you find a brand that is completely plastic-free!

You will need:

Makes 1 small pot

Homemade & eco-friendly whipped shea body butter

– ¾ cup shea butter
– ¼ cup sweet almond oil
– Essential oil of your choosing (optional)
– Bowl
– Stick blender or mixer
– Spatula
– A pretty jar or pot to store your cream

How to make your very own body butter:

1) Gather all your ingredients

2) Place your shea butter and sweet almond oil in the bowl and add a few drops of essential oil (optional).

3) If you are using a stick blender, blend the ingredients until they are whipped and resemble butter cream or soft serve ice cream. If you are using a mixer, you may have to slightly heat your oils so they become able to be whipped by the mixer. The best way to do this by heating them in a glass bowl over a pan of simmering water.

4) If you want to add more fragrance, add more essential oil and re-blend.

5) Add to your pot or jar. And that’s it!

Homemade & eco-friendly whipped shea body butter

Store in a cool, dry place. Your moisturiser should last up to 3 months!

Be prepared for the cream to melt like butter as it touches your skin, as shea butter turns liquid when it reaches body temperature. Just smooth it into your skin and watch as it leaves you feeling soft and velvety. Just a heads up so you know what the final consistency will be like!

For this recipe, I prefer to use glass tools as they are easier to wash afterwards, as the oils can be a bit tricky to remove.

Using this very quick and simple recipe, you can easily make your own natural, low-waste moisturiser. I’m sure you’ll find that this moisturiser is much better than shop-bought creams! If you try this recipe please let me know what you think xx

Bye for now,

Jazmin

If you try this recipe, please let me know below! 

The ULTIMATE Makeup Guide For Beginners!

Are you interested in makeup but you don’t know where to begin? Well, this beginner’s guide to 7 key makeup products should help you! It can be difficult to know what product would be best for you. What’s the difference between eyebrow pencil and pomade? What’s a lipliner for? And what even is an eye gloss anyway?

In this post, I will outline what 7 different makeup products do and how they are used to hopefully make your makeup shopping easier!

1- Primer

To improve the appearance of makeup on the skin, and to help it look better for longer, you can use a primer before makeup. There are primers for the face and for the eyes, which are great if you’re going for a heavy eye makeup look.

Face primers can be gripping, pore filling, mattifying or can lean more on the moisturising side.

Pore filling primers
Pore filling primers do exactly what they sound like they do; they fill in your pores so that when you apply your foundation, you have a smooth base. They are applied to the areas where you have pores, which tends to be the T-zone: the forehead, the nose and the chin.

These improve the appearance of foundation and concealer on the skin, but if your pores aren’t that visible you might not need a pore-filling primer.

Gripping primers
Gripping primers increase the longevity of your makeup look by helping your makeup to grip your face. They are usually applied all over the face and can be used in conjunction with a pore filling primer.

Mattifying primer
These primers are intended for those with oily skin. They control oils so that your makeup looks fresher for longer.

This type of primer can be very drying for people with dry skin (they can make you look cakey and dry!), so only use this type of primer if you have oily skin or you struggle with oils coming through your makeup.

Moisturising primer
Moisturising primers are essentially just skincare (lightweight moisturisers), but they might have a few ingredients that improve the longevity of your makeup. For dry skin, I recommend moisturising primers, which will help to avoid any dryness or roughness in your foundation.

2- Foundation

Foundation is used to create a smooth, even skin tone, and is usually applied all over the face. Foundation can be extremely full-coverage, but it can also be thinner, creating a natural skin-like finish. For foundation, it is important to match the tone of the product to your skin. Most foundations fall under one of three undertones: warm, cool, neutral. Once you ascertain what the undertone of your skin is you can choose the shade and finish that will seamlessly blend with your face.

Foundations can come in a liquid form, cream form or powder form and they can have different finishes.

Matte
Foundations with a matte finish are usually more suitable for combination or oily skin types, as they are not very moisturising. Matte foundations leave the skin looking smooth and shine-free and are usually longer-wearing than other formulations.

Glowy/dewy
Glowy or dewy foundations have more of a shiny look to them on the skin. They are not necessarily oily-looking but will make the skin look naturally dewy and hydrated. These foundations are usually more suitable for dry skin.

Satin
Satin foundations have a finish that is in between matte and oily; the skin is not left shiny, but it is not completely dry. These are the most comfortable on the skin for me as they’re not sticky but they’re also not drying.

3- Concealer

Concealers are like more concentrated foundations, which can be used atop of foundation for additional coverage wherever you require it. You can also use concealer without wearing foundation for a more natural look, by just covering certain imperfections. I personally do not like the feeling of foundation on my skin, but I like covering pimples and dark circles with a concealer perfectly matched to my skin tone. Like with foundation, concealers can come as creams or liquids, and they can be matte, glowy or satin finish.

4- Eyebrow products

To add definition and depth to your eyebrows, you have a wide variety of products you can use!

Pencils
I personally exclusively use eyebrow pencils as I feel that for my eyebrows, they give the most natural look. Eyebrow pencils usually come with a spoolie at the end, to allow you to brush the product through your brows once you have drawn them on, making the result look more natural.

Powder
Eyebrow powder is used in a similar way to eyebrow pencil. Using a thin brush, the product is applied to the eyebrows in your desired shade. I find it is more difficult to control the amount of product you apply with eyebrow powder, meaning your brows can look a bit patchy.

Pomade
Eyebrow pomade is a thick and waxy cream-based formula which gives concentrated colour to the brows. Eyebrow pomades are great for defining brows and are often waterproof and smudge-free, and longer lasting than pencils and powder.

Gel
Eyebrow gel can be clear or coloured and is usually applied at the end of your eyebrow routine. Gel fixes your eyebrows in your desired shape, and a coloured gel (usually in a natural eyebrow colour) can be used to lighten or darken your eyebrow hairs.

5- Eye products

Products that apply colour to the eyes can come as a liquid, powder, cream or even a gloss! The product that you choose use depends on the look you are going for, and also what formulation you prefer to work with.

Powder eyeshadow
Powder eyeshadow is the classic eye colour formulation. They often come in palettes, containing many different colours, but you can also find them as single shadows. An advantage of powder eyeshadow is it’s very blendable; using your finger or a brush you can easily mix two colours together and apply it to the eye, and you can blend the line between two colours on the eye for a smooth colour gradient.

Liquid eyeshadow
Liquid eyeshadow is a relatively new concept. These come with an applicator which can apply the colour directly to the eye, which you can then blend out with your finger or brush. These are particularly beautiful when they are glitter shadows, such as Stila’s Magnificent Metals liquid eyeshadow, and Pixi’s liquid fairy lights range. These are extremely long wearing, but sometimes they can be tricky to blend out.

Eye gloss
Eye glosses are the trendy makeup product of 2019. These are clear, or extremely sheer gloss products which are applied to the lids for a wet-look. Eye glosses create very editorial-style looks, but they are generally not very comfortable to wear on the lid as they can have a sticky feeling. If you are interested in buying an eye gloss but aren’t sure if it’s for you, you can try it out using Vaseline!

6- Lip products

Choosing a lip product can be overwhelming as there are so many different types, colours and finishes. Check out my previous blog post breaking down all the different types of lip products for more information!

Lip liner
Lip liner is applied to the border of the lips for many different reasons. Firstly, it can add definition, which can be useful when overlining the lips, and secondly, it can prevent your lipsticks or glosses from bleeding outside of your lip line. Thirdly, if you use a neutral lip liner, or a lip liner close to your natural lip colour, it can make your lip product colour look less harsh and more natural. This is especially useful for people of darker skin tones when applying a light nude or light coral shade, as without a lipliner it can look very stark and unflattering against our natural skin tone.

7- Setting spray/fixing spray

Finishing off your makeup look with a setting spray has a lot of uses! The main advantage of using a setting spray is that it’ll lock your makeup in place, extending the wear-time of your look. Also, using a hydrating setting spray can help rebalance the skin and the appearance of your makeup if it’s looking cakey or powdery. Mattifying setting sprays will help to reduce oil production throughout the day to keep your skin looking more matte.

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With all the different types of makeup available nowadays it can definitely be overwhelming to know where to start. I hope that this post helps you out!

If you have any questions, please leave them below!

Thanks for reading,

Jazmin

8 things you’re doing that are secretly damaging your hair

Do you feel like your hair always looks dry and sad but you can’t figure out why? Well, this post will help you figure out what you’re doing that is secretly damaging your hair!

Past me can definitely relate to this. For many years I did not treat my hair very well and I thought I had a completely different hair texture than I actually do as I was mistreating my hair so much! My own hair experience has certainly been a journey, but you might be damaging your hair and causing unwanted frizz and dryness without realising. Here are 8 things (based on my own experience) that you could be doing that are secretly harming your hair.

1- Overwashing your hair

It is completely understandable to want to wash your hair as soon as you feel it going greasy, but this might be causing you to overwash your hair. Overwashing strips your hair of all its oils and in turn causes your scalp to overcompensate its oil production, making your hair go greasy faster!

It is recommended to wash your hair once to twice a week. For me, this is completely achievable as I have dry afro-Caribbean hair, but if you have straight, oily-prone hair, you can increase the time between hair washes by using a dry shampoo whenever you have unwanted grease. This will allow you to wash your hair less often and so your hair will retain more of its natural oils, making it more balanced and healthier balanced in the long run.

2- Undermoisturising your hair

Overwashing is especially harmful if you don’t give your hair any type of replenishment after washing!

With oily hair, the thought of putting an oil anywhere near your hair may make you want to run away screaming, but if you aren’t adding any moisturisers to your hair (apart from conditioner in the shower) then your hair may be seriously parched! Adding a hair oil after you wash your hair, to the tips or to the lengths of your hair can help you keep your hair nourished and shiny, for that salon finish at home! Any hair oil is good, but I personally love Argan oil.

You can also use hair masks before washing your hair. Coconut oil is a fantastic oil to use as a hair mask as it is relatively inexpensive and extremely nourishing, but many shop-bought hair masks are good! Moisturising your hair is especially important if you have curly hair or afro-Caribbean hair like me, as our hair is very dry-prone. My hair is so thirsty and it can be difficult to give my hair all the hydration it requires, so after washing my hair I use a conditioning cream and add a hair oil daily until I wash it again.

3- Towel drying your hair

For many of us, after washing our hair it is our routine to towel dry our hair.

But because a towel causes a lot of friction and scrubs your hair, this could be damaging your hair and causing frizz. The unnecessary friction will destroy any curls or waves in your hair which would be holding your hair together sleekly, making it look frizzy! Next time you wash your hair, try squeezing the water out of it with your towel, and then letting it air dry or blow dry on a cool heat. If you normally air dry your hair you will notice a difference in the sleekness of your hair!

4- Aggressively brushing your hair

Did you know that the way you brush your hair could be damaging it? Similar to towel-drying your hair, you might be causing breakage. If you start brushing from the roots to the tips, where the majority of knots usually lie, you are putting the hair under a lot of strain.

Starting from the tips of your hair and slowly brushing out the knots while moving up towards the root helps to eliminate knots without putting your hair under unnecessary strain.

5- Sleeping with your hair tied up

The overwearing of hair bands, particularly in tight ponytails, can cause excessive rubbing and wear in one area of your hair. Try to take your hair out of a tight ponytail as soon as you can if you regularly style your hair that way, and definitely do not sleep every night with a hair band in your hair.

6- Using heat styling tools every day

Using hair straighteners, hair dryers and hair curlers every day can seriously damage your hair. In fact, I had a friend who completely lost her curls as a teenager due to damage caused by straightening her hair every day! She had to wait for new hair growth to get her hair pattern back again.

Try to not use heat styling tools every day, but if you can’t resist using them, opt for a lower heat and use heat protectant hair products.

7- Not protecting from the sun

Although we remember to apply SPF to our bodies, one place we often neglect to protect from the sun is our hair. The sun can dry out the hair; think of how our skin feels when it gets sunburnt! Did you know that you can buy sunscreen for your hair?

SPF can be found as a hair cream or lotion, mist, spray or oil. Or, if you don’t want to add any product to your hair, you can just wear a good old-fashioned sunhat!

8- Using 3-in-1 body wash, shampoo and conditioner on your hair

3 in 1 bodywash

My rule of thumb is that if it isn’t made exclusively for hair, don’t use it on your hair. The same way you wouldn’t use shampoo to wash your face, I don’t recommend using body wash to wash your hair! Our skin and hair have very different needs and so it is unlikely that a 3-in-1 can be well suited to both your body and hair.

Also, if you are conditioning at the same time as shampooing, it is likely that you are not getting all the moisturising benefits of conditioner as the shampoo element of the product will foam up and block the conditioner from smoothing your hair cuticle. This product could be drying out your hair and causing your unwanted frizz.

I recommend using shampoo and then following this up by a separate conditioner afterwards. If your hair gets oily fast, try applying conditioner only to the ends of your hair. You will see your hair quality improve!

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It can be difficult to get silky soft hair, especially if you have dry or curly hair. But taking some steps to be gentle with your hair and to give it the moisture it deserves can really help in reducing frizz, smoothing your hair and forming your curls. Be kind to your hair!

Comment below some hair sins that you have made, or tips on how you keep your hair healthy!

Bye for now,

Jazmin

How to do Your Own Gel Nails at Home!

We all love gel nails for their shine and durability, but what we don’t love as much is the price. A set of gel nails can easily set you back £25, but did you know you can give yourself a gel manicure at home? If you would like to find out how to do your own gel nails at home, keep reading this post!

Gel manicures are hard wearing and long-lasting polishes that last from 2-4 weeks. They differ from normal nail polish as they have to be cured in order to dry, and because they have to be soaked with acetone to be removed. Gel polish is easy to work with (in fact, I think it’s easier than normal nail polish), because it doesn’t dry until it is cured with the lamp. This means you can take your time painting your nails, and can easily remove the polish from around your cuticles if you want to neaten it up.

If you have never done a gel manicure before, you can buy a kit from Amazon or eBay which contains all the tools you will need. I bought this one, which came with the lamp, top coat and base coat, acetone and rubbing alcohol. A kit may also contain one or two gel colours too. If they don’t, I recommend buying colour polish from the same line as it will be easier to get the hang of using gel polish if all your polishes have the same formulation.

You’re going to need:

how to do your own gel nails

Nail file
 –Lint free wipes: These wipes differ from cotton wool as they don’t release fluff onto your nails, but if you cannot find lint free wipes, you can use cotton wool.
Gel nail polish base coat, colour and top coat: When choosing which gel nail polishes to go for, consider whether they are compatible with your curing lamp.
LED/UV lamp: Lamps can either work with LED lights or UV lights to cure your polish. I recommend going with an LED lamp as their light bulbs last 50,000 hours, whereas UV light bulbs have to be replaced every 6 months. LED lamps cure your polish in 30-60 seconds, but UV lamps take 2-3 minutes.
Rubbing alcohol
Acetone & small nail art brush: these are optional and are just for if you want to neaten up your polish application or remove any polish mistakes.

It may seem like you need a lot of different tools and products to do a gel manicure but your lamp is a one-time purchase and the other tools and products are very inexpensive!

How to do the manicure:

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1) Firstly, shape your nails to their desired shape.

2) Lightly buff your nails with your nail file until they are matte. Don’t go too hard: you are just buffing lightly until they are no longer shiny to make the gel base adhere better and make your manicure last longer.

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3) Moisten a lint-free wipe with the rubbing alcohol and wipe over any nail to make sure there is no oil on the nails. This will also make your base adhere better.

how to do gel nails at home uk

4) Apply a thin and even layer of your base coat. Place your nails inside the lamp, and if you are using an LED lamp, cure your nails for 30-60 seconds. If you are using a UV lamp, cure them for 2 minutes.

Tip: while painting your nails, run the brush over the tips of your nails (capping the free edge) which will make your manicure last longer!

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5) Apply a thin layer of your coloured polish. Cure for 30-60 seconds with an LED lamp and for 2 minutes with a UV lamp. If during this stage you get some polish where you don’t want it to be, or you want to clean up your lines, dunk a nail art brush into some acetone (it has to be acetone, not nail polish remover) and remove the polish you aren’t happy with.

6) Apply another layer of your coloured polish and cure again for the same amount of time.

how to do gel nails at home uk

7) Apply a thin layer of your top coat and cure for 30-60 seconds with an LED lamp, or 2 minutes with a UV lamp.

8) Moisten a lint-free wipe with some rubbing alcohol and wipe it over the nails to remove the tacky feeling.

You’re all done! And no need to wait for nails to dry!

Enjoy your shiny and durable manicure.

It will take time to perfect the application of gel polish but believe that you can do it! It may take longer to apply than normal polish, but for me the durability more than makes up for the extra effort. If you have any questions about painting your nails with gel (or with any polish) please leave me a comment below!

Bye for now,

Jazmin

This blog post contains affiliate links. If you purchase this product through my site it doesn’t cost you anything extra and I can earn a small commission.

Quick and easy vegan pumpkin spice latte recipe

Hey there,

Whether you’re reading this during pumpkin spice season, or whether you’re mid summer and craving a pumpkin spice latte, you’ve come to the right place! Keep on reading to discover a quick and easy pumpkin spice latte recipe!

“What is a pumpkin spice latte?” you ask? PSLs are a popular type of flavoured coffee drunk in Autumn. This recipe is quick, easy, vegan, cheap and far healthier than those found in typical coffee shops (I’m looking at you Starbucks!).

Here’s how to make this delicious coffee!

You’re going to need:

Serves 2

– 1/8 tsp of ground nutmeg
– 1/4 tsp of ground ginger
– 1/4 tsp of clove, or 4 cloves
– 1/4 to 1/2 tsp of cinnamon
– Vanilla extract or essence
– 2 squirts of toffee syrup or caramel syrup (optional)
– 3 tbsp of pumpkin purée
– 3 cups of your favourite plant-based milk

Recipe:

quick vegan pumpkin spice latte recipe

1) Add the milk, pumpkin purée, caramel or toffee syrup and spices to a pan and stir.

2) Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat to let it simmer for 5 minutes to allow the milk to be infused.

3) While the milk and spice mixture is infusing, make coffee for 2 people.

4) Strain the milk and spice mixture and pour it into your favourite Autumnal mug.

5) Add coffee to your mug.

6) Sweeten to taste.

The 1st of October also marks vegan baking day, so why not bake yourself something nice to go with your coffee? Either way, grab a blanket, get comfy and watch the leaves fall while sipping your pumpkin spice latte!

Bye for now,

Jazmin

P.S. Please let me know below if you try this recipe!

How to Choose the Right Lipstick for You!

Hi there!

Have you ever walked through the makeup section of a shop looking for a simple lipstick and been overwhelmed by all the different types of lip products? If so, this is the post for you!

In this blog post, I’ll be breaking down the differences between different formulations of lip products to help you choose the right lipstick for you!

Lipsticks

MEMEBOX'S Lipstick Satin in the shade Brick Slip
MEMEBOX’S Lipstick Satin in the shade Brick Slip

Lipsticks are the classic lip product formulation. When I think of lipstick, my mind goes to the classic bold reds worn by Marilyn Monroe and Madonna. Nowadays you can find lipsticks in many different finishes, such as matte finish or a metallic sheen.

Characteristics

Lipsticks can have a matte, satin or gloss finish. Essentially, this means little to no shine, medium amounts of shine, or high shine!

Lipsticks are medium wearing: they are not transfer-proof, meaning they will smudge and transfer and will need to be reapplied throughout the day. However, the more matte a lipstick is, the more long wearing it’ll typically be. So if you want to wear lipstick when you’re going for burgers, definitely opt for a matte lipstick!

Liquid lipsticks

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Bourjois’ Rouge Edition Velvet in the shade 07 Nude-ist

These types of lip product have become popular in recent years. These have an opaque look to them, just like the classic lipstick. Like traditional lipsticks, they come in a wide range of colours and finishes.

Characteristics
However, these do differ from normal lipstick in the way they apply. Liquid lipsticks go on as a liquid (as the name suggests), but then they dry down.  Most liquid lips dry down to a matte finish, but you can find satin finish or gloss finish liquid lipsticks!

Some liquid lipsticks are completely budge proof, and will stay all day, whereas others will need to be reapplied. Generally however, liquid lipsticks are more long wearing than traditional lipsticks.

This is why liquid lipsticks are my favourite type of lip product for when I want to wear a bold, opaque lip colour but I don’t want to have to think about reapplication!

Tinted lip balms

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TONYMOLY’s Petite Bunny Gloss Bar in the shade Juicy Apple

Tinted lip balms are just lip balms that provide a wash of colour! These are usually nourishing and moisturising, and are perfect for a natural look.

Characteristics
Because they’re so light in colour, tinted lip balms are a great lip product for those not able to wear makeup but want to add a bit of colour to their lips. On a daily basis when I’m not wearing makeup, I like using a tinted lip balm to bring a bit of life to my face!

As they’re lip balms, they’re not long wearing and need to be reapplied.

Lip stains/lip tints

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Peripera’s Vivid Tint Water in the shade Peach Squeeze

Lip stains are a more recent formulation and are a popular type of lip product in Korea. These products stain the lips (or cheeks if you wish to use them as blush) and last for many hours. You will usually find lip tints in reds, pinks and oranges.

Characteristics
Lip tints usually have a watery formulation, which means they aren’t opaque in colour, but will leave a vibrant stain on the lips.

Lip stains are relatively fast drying, and once your lip stain has dried, it will not budge! They will usually withstand hours of talking, eating and drinking. If you hate reapplying product on your lips, I think you’ll enjoy lip tints!

Lip gloss

Easy to apply and extremely high shine, lip glosses do exactly what they sound like they do, gloss the lips and make them look juicy and plump. Some lip glosses may have a slight colour to them (but often this doesn’t show up on the lips), and some may contain glitter or shimmer.

Characteristics

These can be worn alone on a bare lip for some high shine, or on top of another lip product to add some dimension to the lips.

Lip glosses are not transfer-proof and are not very long wearing, so you will have to reapply throughout the day.

Lip powder

This is a new product to me! Lip powders are powders that when applied to the lips transform into a type of cream, leaving a thin layer of colour. How cool is that?!

Characteristics
Lip powders are opaque formulations and are usually matte but can be metallic colours. They are lightweight, relatively transfer-proof and long wearing.

I need to try some soon. When I do, I’ll write a review here for you!

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Lip products now come in a variety of different textures, colours, and finishes, meaning everyone can find their preferred lip colour in the exact finish they want. My personal go-to for the everyday are tinted lip balms, but when I go for a more high-glam look I opt for liquid lipsticks.

Comment below what your favourite type of lip product is, or the name of a lipstick, gloss, balm, powder or stain that you just can’t live without! And comment any questions you might have!

Bye for now,

Jazmin

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