5 Skincare tips I wish I had known in my teens

When we are in our teens, we generally pick at any little flaw in our skin, a spot, a broken capillary, heck even the shape of our nose wasn’t right when we were teenagers right?  I believe it’s important that we learn good habits and skincare routines as teenagers to maintain for the rest of our lives, so here are the tips I would give teenage Emmy.

1 – SPF is something to wear every day in all weathers.

Ultrasun new range web

You shouldn’t keep this just for the summer season on the super hot days.  Once you have cleansed and moisturised, be sure to pop some SPF on top, or even apply on top of make-up.  Check out my recent suncare blog here for tips and brand suggestions for cruelty free SPF.  Not only will an SPF save you from burning in the hot sun but it will also stop the suns rays from aging or dehydrating your skin.

2- A good moisturiser is important, even on oily skin.

It’s such a common misconception that oily skin means you need to avoid a moisturiser.  But why do I need to moisturise when my skin is oily I hear you ask, well it’s as simple as this, moisturising is about increasing your skins water content, not sebum.  The trick is picking a moisturiser that is light and works well for you.  You can opt for an oil free moisturiser such as The Ordinary Natural Moisturising Factors +HA or Kate Somerville Oil Free Moisturiser

3 – Learn to sleep on your back.

I mean think about the creases we wake up with on our skin every morning from sleeping with our face in our pillow.  Now imagine how many times we have woken up with those creases.  Do you think this has no effect on our skin?  Of course it does.  It’s so slight we would never even see it on a day to day basis but over time these things will start to show and by the time you are a fully fledged grown up, changing how you sleep is hard!

4 – What you drink will show on your face. 


By that I mean if you have too much caffeine (Think tea, coffee and fizzy drinks) then it is likely to show on your face as dehydrated skin.  Likewise if you drink too much alcohol you will likely start to see signs of dehydration and possible broken capillaries on the face.  Make sure you drink enough water, it might be an old rule but it’s stuck around because it works.

5 – Less is more.

It’s so tempting to over do it with scrubs and deep cleansing masks as a teenager when you are desperately trying to improve the condition of your skin.  I can remember using a scrubby face wash every day when I was in my late teens and early 20’s thinking that if I kept on top of exfoliation my break outs would go away.  They didn’t and the reality is we only need to exfoliate once or twice a week.  Also using really astringent toners is a bit of a bad idea too, strip away all your skins natural oil and what happens?  Your skin thinks it needs to produce more leaving you even oilier.  Go for the gentle and soothing options, ingredients that will reduce redness and swelling rather than draining the skin.  Even as adults we can overdo it with too much stimulation leading to skin irritation, so behave, use these products sparingly as intended and not daily.


Pamper session with Pixi by Petra in M&S Lisburn!

Today I was lucky enough to get a mini facial and makeup session with the Pixi girls in Marks and Spencers in Sprucefield, Lisburn.

mands insta story

The set up was gorgeous, they had an area set up to display all their products beautifully.  There were 2 director chairs for clients to sit on alongside a range of welcome drinks and snacks.  The also had a selection of arm chairs for anyone unable to get into the director chairs which made the appointments more accessible for anyone with mobility issues.  Overall it was a well thought out set up which made it feel warm and inviting despite being in the middle of a store.

What I love about Pixi is that the brand is not only Cruelty Free but they have a huge variety of Vegetarian and Vegan friendly products.  The also avoid perfumes and parabens so are great for anyone with sensitive skin. I was shocked to see how much of the make-up range they actually had in the Sprucefield store too, way more than the Newry branch so definitely call in to try some pieces next time you are going by.

I took a seat and was offered a drink and a snack while the Pixi girl got everything ready to go.  She started with a cleanse and then applied the Rose Flash Balm with some Rose Oil Blend.  These smelt incredible together, though I confess I am a huge fan of rose as a fragrance so this combo was always going to be a winner for me.

I was then matched with one of their H20 Skin Tinted Face Gels.  I was very dubious because if you know how often I try new foundations, then you may also know how badly some of them sit on my combination skin!  This stuff was lovely and dewy and I was so impressed with that I bought it afterwards and if I am honest, I am sorry I didn’t buy the 2 in 1 Multi Balm in Baby Petal too.  You know when you let somebody try a new product on you, then another and another and by the time you look you almost forget half of what they used?  I’m putting that down as the reason I didn’t buy this product today but I will 100% be going back for it as it blended in so perfectly over the h20 Skin Tinted Face Gel.


I then had mascara, brow pencil and a lip gloss applied before a setting spray and glow mist.  I decided not to go for these make-up items as I currently have I would say about 8 mascaras in my rotation with another new Rodial one to use when the current 8 are done (wish me luck with that!), I don’t often wear lip colour and though the brow pencil was a nice shade, I am still a devout user of the Bare Minerals brow pencil.  I did however buy a setting spray and got the glow mist as a free gift.

After writing about their Pixi Sun Mist in my last blog I also asked if I could try this.  I will confirm it felt light on the skin and misted well, I’m not however convinced that it gave enough coverage on my skin to ensure I was getting the benefit of the full SPF so for now I will stick with the Ultrasun facial SPF (also available in M&S).

pixi purchases

And this, if you were wondering, is what I purchased.  Glow Tonic along with the Make-up Fixing Mist, H20 Skintint and my free Glow Mist.

I was also a very lucky girl when I was gifted a bag of goodies containing some products that they sell in store.


Rodial is a brand which I love and already use and I was very excited to see the Dragons Blood Hyaluronic Tonic as I love it and mine had just run out about a week or so ago (hence buying the Superdrug B. range Hyaluronic facial spritz).  I haven’t however tried the Stem Cell range by Rodial so I am really looking forward to giving these a try.  While I know the Bee Venom moisturiser is highly rated (and very so thank you Marks and Spencers Sprucefield for including this) I need to do a bit more research into it to see if it is vegetarian friendly before I commit to trying it (I know it is one to avoid for the vegans).  I will get back to you on it once I’ve done the research.  The M&S Perfume range is all cruelty free (along with their whole beauty and cleaning range!) so I highly recommend trying them out when you need a new fragrance.

Overall I had a wonderful time in store and I am in love with my new purchases from the Pixi range!  Keep an eye on the M&SBeautyLisburn page for updates on future instore events with Pixi as they do apparently send a brand rep to the store each month!



Pixi after photo 2a
Excuse the messy hair – quick car selfie after leaving the store

All opinions are my own and have not been affected in any way by any free gifts received today.


Cruelty free Sunscreen for all the family

Sunscreen is one of those things we should all be using to protect our skin from damage and those pesky signs of aging.  Regularly when advising people to wear sunscreen people ask me “yeah but where can you get a cruelty free one?” and so with that in mind and the sunshine starting to peep out, I’ve thrown together a few of my favorites to set you on your way to your perfect match when it comes to cruelty free sunscreen.


Ultrasun new range web

I make it no secret that I love Ultrasun and I use their facial SPF on the daily.  It isn’t the cheapest but it does dry in with a lovely matte finish making it so easy to apply my make-up over the top.

Ultrasun provide a great range to cover all bases when it comes to SPF and even do a range of SPF with “Glimmer” for those of us who like to shine.  If you have delicate skin, I know you have to worry that little bit more about sun protection but this one is also a winner for you as they have products that are especially good for sensitive skin.  Their range has no perfumes, no preservatives and a dry touch technology to stop you feeling greasy.

You can grab the Ultrasun range in M&S via QVC or through their own website here.

(The Ultrasun range is vegan friendly with the exception of their lip products which are vegetarian)

Pixi Sun Mist

Pixi Sun Mist SPF

Pixi aren’t exactly well known for their sunscreen as the range is limited but they do have this great product for spraying under or over your make-up.

With our face being exposed to the elements more than the rest of our body I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to get SPF on our faces daily.  Sometimes your make-up or moisturiser will have an SPF built in but I would rather my moisturiser do what I buy it to do – moisturise, so I put mine on as a separate stage.  I tend to give my face a few minutes for my moisturiser to sink in before adding SPF and then another minute or so to be sure it is dry before I apply makeup.

Again this is available in M&S and on their website here.

(The Pixi Sun Mist is suitable for vegans)


Superdrug Solait SPF

Let’s hear it for Superdrug!  Superdrug is a store who offer cruelty free products by the bucket load as their own brand products are all 100% cruelty free.

With Superdrug being a high street store that is accessible to most of us and with a price point that is pretty pocket friendly, I can imagine many of us will be wearing this over the summer.  I know my kids will be wearing it for sure!  My kids always seem to use so much more sunscreen than adults.  Between their sports days, playing out at nursery and those days at the beach when they are running around all day refusing to keep their sun hats on or to stay in the shade in favour of wearing nothing but their swim wear and sunscreen I end up going through loads of it on the 3 of them.

You can check out the Solait range in store or on their website here and is currently on buy one get one half price.

(The Solait range is vegan friendly)


Lacura sun screen

Lacura is an Aldi own brand and if you weren’t aware already, 2018 became the year Aldi went all out on the cruelty free front and all of their own brand products are now leaping bunny certified.

Sadly I have no Aldi near me (honestly, it pains me as I REALLY want to try their hot cloth cleanser!) and I am unable to say if the range is suitable for vegans.  If you live near a store and do the grocery shop there then do have a look at the range when you are next in store and you can let me know if it looks like a vegan friendly range.

You can buy the Lacura range in Aldi or on the Aldi website.

Sun Smart


My 5th and final suggestion for your sunscreen is the M&S own brand Sun Smart.  All these cruelty free own brands show that stores really are picking up on the fact that the cruelty free market IS important to get into.  We are an ever growing group of people demanding cruelty free products every time we vote with our money and refuse to buy from brands who are still testing on animals when it clearly isn’t needed.

As with Superdrug and Aldi, M&S own brand beauty products are all cruelty free and with them stocking so many other cruelty free brands alongside their own, it really is a haven for cruelty free shoppers to flock to.

As with the other own brands, you can pick this up in any Marks and Spencers store or on their website.  The Sun Smart range is currently 30% off so grab it quick if you’re off on an early summer holiday.

(This range is listed as suitable for vegetarians)

Have I missed any of your favorite cruelty free suncare brands?  Feel free to comment below to let us know of other suncare ranges we should be checking out.


Fridays beauty findings – a review of Nip + Fab No Needle Fix Night Cream and Glycolic Instant Fix Mask

Last week I managed to grab the Nip + Fab No Needle Fix Night Cream and Glycolic Instant Fix Mask on offer in Superdrug as well as their own brand B. Hydrated Hyaluronic Acid Facial Spritz.  For the last 7 days I have incorporated these into my routine to see if they are any good.


I have used the No Needle Fix Night Cream each night before bed and the best way I can describe it is that it has the consistency of Sudocrem.  Thick but blendable. It smells a little chemically with a hint of orange but nothing that would be enough to put me off wanting to use it.  I can honestly say that I noticed a difference in my skin after the first night and after 3 nights one of my coworkers commented that my skin was glowing.

The No Needle Fix Night Cream is made with retinol.  According to dermatologist Carolyn Jacob, MD, retinoids assist in reducing the signs of ageing by “prompting surface skin cells to turn over and die rapidly, making way for new cell growth underneath”.  While I feel  it has made a difference to my skin, it does apparently take 3 – 6 months to notice real difference.  Will I stick with it for that long?  Perhaps, I can’t say I might not switch to another brand with retinol but I do intend to keep using retinol in my routine to see if it can help me maintain healthier skin.

If you decide you want to try the No Needle Fix Night Cream please remember that you do need to use a sunscreen on your skin daily to protect it from the sun.

Next was the Glycolic Instant Fix Mask which I used twice during the week.  Again a chemically fragrance to it but nothing too offensive to put me off. I wanted to give this a go because with glycolic acid being an alpha hydroxi acid (AHA), its a great exfoliator.
Glycolic acid works by kind of eating away at the top layer of dead skin cells and dissolving them, leaving you with the brighter and fresher looking skin from underneath and in doing so helps reduce the signs of fine lines and ageing.
Has the mask reversed the signs of ageing and left me looking like a teenager?  No but it has made my skin feel much smoother after each use.  Again it is something I will keep in my regular rotation along with my AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution by The Ordinary.
Last but not least was the B. Hydrated Hyaluronic Acid Facial Spritz.  I am a HUGE fan of Hyaluronic Acid and as the one I haven’t got around to reordering my usual one from The Ordinary, I figured this was worth a go as it was only £3.95.  Hyaluronic acid helps to keep the skin plump and hydrated, it’s a clever little ingredient that draws the water into your skin and in doing so keeps those pesky fine lines and wrinkles at bay.
The B.Hydrated Hyaluronic Facial Spritz is £3.95 from Superdrug

I really can’t say I noticed any difference from this products use.  It is supposed to help hydrate the skin for up to 12 hours but if I am honest it felt like little more than a refreshing spritz to the skin.  I wouldn’t buy it again but if you were traveling somewhere hot and wanted a spritz to cool yourself down, I would say you wouldn’t go to far wrong with this as an option.  If you want to see the effects of hyaluronic acid…. then go check out The Ordinary!

 If you’ve tried any of these products, let me know how you found them x

Kylie is turning 50 and this is how she stays looking young!

This morning I turned on the TV and Lorraine was on talking about beauty treatments currently popular in Hollywood, so naturally I kept her on the TV to watch.  I’m glad I did because the next segment was on Kylie and one of the questions she was asked was what her top tips are for keeping her youthful looks.  Her response was great and so I thought I would share them with you.

First up she said “Sunblock” and I very much agree.  If you follow me on Instagram you may have spotted I am a big fan of wearing Ultra Sun SPF 30 on my face daily.  It’s light, sinks in quickly and leaves a matte feel on the skin which is perfect to apply makeup over.  If you aren’t a fan of the idea of adding an extra step in with an SPF then try to pick a moisturiser or foundation with an SPF built in.

Her next tip was to clean your skin with a muslin cloth.  A muslin cloth will offer a daily gentle exfoliation and it is a great way to make sure you are removing the grease of the day and all your makeup in one go.  They can easily be used with any cleanser and fit in with your own daily cleansing routine (though there are some fabulous cruelty free cleansers out there intended to be used with muslin cloths – keep an eye out for a future blog on this topic soon).

“Always take your makeup off” she said while affirming that this is something she makes sure she does every evening.    The main problem with sleeping in makeup is that we block our pores and long term this can cause breakouts and blackheads which lets be honest, none of us want.   Dr. Schweiger told the Huffington Post that “Sleeping in your makeup can result in unnecessary exposure to the free radicals in the environment, which the makeup holds on to” and additionally that “free radicals cause the breakdown of healthy collagen, which results in fine lines on the skin.” Eeeeek, if I didn’t already take my makeup off in the evening, I sure would now.

Last but not least she said we should invest in a good dermatologist for regular treatments if we can afford it.  I appreciate that not every one can but we can sure as heck make sure we take good care of our skin at home using effective products that don’t necessarily cost the earth and if you do want to go for treatments that wont cost the earth I am a big fan of supporting local training schools because that is where every good beauty therapist out there started out.

Happy Birthday Kylie, here’s to turning 50, may we all look as amazing as you in our “golden” year x


Save £10 with the House of Fraser Beauty Event!

House of Fraser currently have £10 off when you spend £50 or more on their beauty favorites!

A quick look and I can see their favorites list contains lots of cruelty free brands including:

  • Bare Minerals
  • Charlotte Tilbury
  • Elemis
  • Pixi
  • Stila
  • Urban Decay

Some of the products I noticed and would be tempted by include the Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation and I enjoyed the Urban Decay Naked Skin Complete Coverage Concealer so I would recommend trying that.  Some of the Urban Decay Naked Palettes are also included in the offer as is the Pixi Glow Tonic.

The offer is available in store as well as online so if you were already planning on picking up a few bits you’re quids in!  Enjoy the savings.

Emmy x