fullyeditedcleansers
Skincare doesn’t have to be expensive. It’s so easy to overspend on beauty products, but don’t forget, a higher price doesn’t always equate to a better quality product. In a bid to save some pennies I’ve been testing out budget friendly cleansers to come up with the best 5 on the market for both your skin and your bank balance.

I’m a massive fan of double cleansing (you can read my beginners guide here) and firmly believe it’s the most important step in a good skincare routine. Whatever your skin type, there are plenty of amazing products to choose from that won’t have you breaking the bank.

Here are the 5 you have to try:

1. Nivea, Daily Essentials, Gentle Cleansing Cream Wash (£3.15 for 150ml)

A great option for sensitive skin or skin looking for a bit of added moisture. The creamy consistency is rich, nourishing and leaves your skin feeling super soft – thank you, almond oil! I use this as a second cleanse and after rinsing it off I always love how squeaky clean my face feels. It’s a perfect everyday cleanser.

2. Simple, Kind To Skin, Moisturising Facial Wash (£3.00 for 150ml)

I’m a huge fan of Simple products and this cleanser is yet another awesome product from them. I’m not a massive lover of foaming face washes as they tend to be too drying for me but this is 100% soap free so is actually quite moisturising. As with all Simple products, the cleanser is free of nasties and enriched with lots of Vitamin E and B5. This isn’t a fussy cleansing product but that’s exactly why I love it.

3. Garnier, Micellar Cleansing Water (£4.00 for 400ml)

I never use micellar water as my only cleanse; instead I think of it as a makeup remover and then follow it up with a second cleanse (standard!). Micellar waters are great if you’re in a rush, travelling or just not in the mood for a long evening skincare routine, so they’re always handy to keep around. I’ve tried a few brands but keep coming back to Garnier – it removes the most stubborn of eye makeup and doesn’t leave me too dry. My top tip is to go lightly with your cotton pad and try not to drag the product in the eye area; you’ll thank yourself in years to come. It’s always almost on offer too!

4. Nivea, Daily Essentials Sensitive Cleansing Milk (£3.50 for 200ml)

Nivea are doing well here, and with good reason – their cleansing milk is insanely good. Like micellar waters, you use this product with a cotton pad (or a flannel), and whilst it’s good for removing makeup it’s actually even better at cleaning your face – win win. You can use this as your first or second cleanse, or both. The cleansing milk is definitely versatile; the consistency is light, it’s not greasy and a little goes a long way.

5. Olay, Refreshing Facial Cleansing Gel (£2.99 for 150ml)

I can’t rave about this Olay cleanser enough; it does what it’s supposed to, and it’s super cheap in the scale of skincare staples! A pea sized amount is plenty to cleanse your face, the formula is great regardless of skin type, it’s packed with aloe vera and cucumber extracts for soothing purposes and ultimately it’s a pleasure to use. It smells amazing and is so refreshing on the skin – it’s a delight in the morning to wake you up a bit.

So there you have it, my top 5 budget approved cleansers. Tell me what you think in the comments – do you agree with my picks? Have I left out any of your favourites? If you try any out, let me know how you get on.

Sincerely, Sarah xx

This time last week I was eating breakfast in the middle of a field, after a peaceful nights sleep in a tent that was quite literally bigger than my London flat. Thanks to Honeybells Tents, we stayed in a luxury bell tent with a double bed, actual linen and fairy lights at the River Cottage Festival.

River Cottage has been featured on TV since the late nineties, thanks to Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall sharing his tips and tricks with the British public. River Cottage is synonymous with raising awareness of sustainable meats and fish and pride themselves on having changed the way many of us eat. This year they decided to put on their first ever festival and we were lucky enough to attend. Watch the vlog to see what we got up to…

Whilst you’re on my YouTube channel feel free to check out my more traditional beauty videos and if you fancy liking and subscribing for more updates, that would be awesome too!

Sincerely, Sarah xx

 

Double Cleansing Duo

Double cleansing. Do you do it? Maybe, maybe not. I guess the real question is whether you should be. If you wear makeup or SPF, then yes, you may want to give it a whirl.

We all know that regular cleansing is important for healthy, clear and glowing skin. A single cleanse in the morning to remove the sweat and nasties from a night’s sleep is plenty but after a day of wearing SPF, a full face of makeup and collecting germs from touching our faces, a little extra TLC when cleansing our skin is the least we can do.

Double cleansing is based on the premise that your first cleanse removes your make up, and the second actually cleans your face. Simple.

The cleanser market is flooded with options and if you’re new to skincare it can be a bit of nightmare to navigate. Here is my double cleansing routine, with some tips thrown in for fun:

FIRST CLEANSE

I use the Clinique, Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm. It’s inexpensive and is a product that just delivers – it does what the name suggests, and is perfect for dissolving all of your face and eye makeup. It’s not scented, just functional. I love how quick and simple this product is to use; it’s lightweight, isn’t drying and is genuinely perfect for skincare novices.

Top tips for a first cleanse:

  • Cleansing balms, micellar waters and cleansing oils are great options.
  • Be wary of oils if you’re prone to breakouts and if you use them, a little goes a long way.
  • Your main focus is to remove your makeup, and if you can get a bit of a facial massage in this step that’s even better.
  • Use a clean flannel or face cloth to remove whichever cleanser you opt for, and change your flannel every day.
  • First cleansers on my wishlist are: Nivea Cleansing Milk , Tata Harper Cleansing Oil , The Body Shop Cleansing Balm and Emma Hardy Cleansing Balm.

SECOND CLEANSE

In a bid to keep my foray into the world of double cleansing as simple and ‘classic’ as possible, I’ve been using the cult-favourite, Cleanse and Polish by Liz Earle. This works fabulously to get any lingering grime and stubborn scraps of waterproof mascara and thanks to the rich, creamy, moisturising formulation, this leaves my skin feeling refreshed and squeaky clean. The cleanser comes with a cotton cloth that gently exfoliates your skin and leaves your face looking bright, smooth and clear.

Top tips for a second cleanse:

So go on, give it a go, double cleansing isn’t just for beauty and skincare junkies. I really notice a difference if I follow this routine now so I am definitely a convert. Logically it makes sense, I personally spend a lot of time applying makeup, so investing a few additional minutes in creating the best base is time well spent.

Let me know what you think of double cleansing in the comments and the products you use. Happy cleansing!

Sincerely, Sarah xx

Lily England Make Up Brushes Review

Makeup brushes are a tough thing to get right; everyone has different tastes and preferences and arguably the market is pretty packed with good options. As a beauty junkie, I’m all too prepared to switch around the products I use on my face but until recently, I was massively predictable about the tools I’d use.

Lily England produce cruelty free, synthetic, vegan makeup brushes. With soft taklon bristles, the brushes are allergy free and claim to be suitable for sensitive skin. I’ve been using the rose gold brush set* for over a month now and am ready to share my honest thoughts.

When these brushes arrived, I couldn’t help but immediately reach for my camera – they are so beautiful! The rose gold ferrules, white wooden handles and light bristles are a sight for sore eyes; if you’re a flatlay fan, these couldn’t be more perfect as props. Lily England have two makeup brush sets available, one ‘full face’ option (which is the one I have) and another specifically for eyes.

Along with a handy white faux-leather makeup bag, you get five brushes: a foundation brush, a lip brush, an eye shadow brush, a hard angled liner brush and one for powder. As soon as you pick up the brushes you can tell they’re good quality and have been handmade. They feel good, are perfectly weighted and are finished well – there’s no loose gluing to be found, even after using them to death. I’ve washed the whole set twice now and they don’t shed, lose their softness or deteriorate in quality at all. It really is hard not to be super impressed with these.

Lily England Brushes

Lily England have a lifetime guarantee on all of their products so if you aren’t completely satisfied they will refund you. Taking each brush in turn, here’s why I’m so convinced you’ll never need their returns policy:

Foundation Brush – I normally prefer using a Beauty Blender to apply foundation but this foundation brush always reminds me of why you can’t totally abandon them. The brush is great with sheer, medium and full coverage foundations and leaves a streak-free, even finish and makes blending super quick.

Powder Brush – This brush couldn’t get any softer. It’s a large powder brush that’s a good multi-purpose option for setting powder, blusher, bronzer and even a generous application of highlighter. I’ve been keeping this one in my handbag for powder touch-ups throughout the day, and love using it.

Eye Shadow Brush – A true all-rounder that’s versatile and effective for subtle and dramatic makeup looks. Don’t throw away your fluffy blending brush just yet, as the bristles are tightly packed and excel more at packing on powder and creating texture, but it’s a very good eye brush.

Hard Angled Liner Brush – I’ve been using this for my brows and whilst I’m fussy about making up my brows, just so, I’ve been getting on well with this brush. I find the durability of it to work best with powders rather than wax based products, and don’t forget you can use this for eye liner too.

Lip Brush – This is my must-have, ‘Star of the Set’ brush, and I’ve not been using it on my lips. Instead, I’ve been using this to line under my eyes with shadow – I’m loving that messy smoky eye lately and this brush is key to creating that look!

As a set I really rate these brushes, the combination of purposes, the quality and the beautiful style make this a must-have set. They’re hugely affordable – it goes to prove you don’t have to spend a fortune for good tools and they’d be perfect for someone getting in to makeup or just looking to refresh their collection. If you’re looking for present ideas, the set would be a welcome thing to unwrap on Christmas morning or a birthday too.

Purchasing options: The 5 piece brush set and makeup bag are available for £24.99 and why not take a look at their hair brush collection or eye brush set too? They’re all equally gorgeous. Lily England products can be bought directly through their website, and you can purchase through Amazon too.

What makeup brushes do you use and what do you look for in a good brush? Leave me a comment and let me know!

Sincerely, Sarah xx

Binge Worth TV Shows

Binge-watching TV shows is one of life’s guilty pleasures. I’m definitely a start it, finish it kinda girl when it comes to committing to shows with multiple seasons, and I know I’m not the only one, so it’s super important to pick the right series. With so many great options on Sky, Netlfix and the like, I’ve taken it upon myself to offer a little guidance on the best binge-worthy TV shows.

These are my top 10 picks for shows you can watch in bulk; you can turn them on and not move for the day, evening or weekend – there’s no judgement here!

1. Grey’s Anatomy

I’ve been obsessed with Greys for as long as I can remember. A medical drama set in Seattle following a group of surgical interns in a busy hospital. Sometimes it’s wonderfully sarcastic and at others it’s heart-wrenchingly sad and makes you cry so hard you’ll wonder if you’ll ever stop. You’ll laugh and cry with them characters and be more invested than you expected possible. With 12 seasons to watch (so far) you’ll be as knowledgeable as any doctor by the end too.

2. Gilmore Girls

I grew up with Gilmore Girls so I’m a little biased, but this really is my go-to cheerful, excellently quick witted show for when I’m in need of perking up, or just want an injection of warm fuzziness. The writing is fast paced, fabulously intelligent and contains more pop culture references than you’ll ever be able to understand. The show follows Lorelai and Rory Gilmore, a mother and daughter in a small Connecticut town; you see Rory grow up go off to college (no spoilers as to which one!) and how her relationship with her mother and grandparents evolves over the years.

3. Scandal 

Created and written by Shonda Rimes, this could not get further away from the feel of Greys Anatomy but still be equally awesome. A political drama following ‘fixer’ and fashion extraordinaire Olivia Pope, Scandal follows a group of self-appointed gladiators as they solve problems and political scandals in Washington. The show is dark, twisty and executed to perfection. Kerry Washington is at her best playing Olivia, a spunky no-nonsense woman who knows what she wants until it comes to her man situation – I’ll leave that for you to unravel in your own time. If Olivia Pope doesn’t become your woman crush, there’s something wrong – she has a Prada tote for every day of the year and never gets white dirty.

4. Suits

I lose all dignity when the Suits theme song comes on, and I surely can’t be the only one? Set in New York, Suits is a legal drama following Harvey Spector and Mike Ross. Gone are the days of the cheesy law shows from the 90’s and early 00’s, Suits is in a class of it’s own. Harvey Spector is the guy most men will envy and women will love (how does he wear waistcoats so well?); he’s cocky, knows his stuff and settles for nothing less than what he wants. Mike has a photographic memory and is pulled along for a ride that could blow up at any second – drama guaranteed.

5. The League 

If you’re looking for a complex storyline or a serious drama, this isn’t for you. However, if you’re looking for a light-hearted, hilarious and down to earth show following a group of competitive friends, then stop – The League will become your new obsession. The friendship group religiously play fantasy football, but don’t worry if you can’t tell the different between a QB and a wide receiver – you don’t need to know a thing about the sport to enjoy the show. Banter, male ego, and enough laughs to keep you coming back time and time again, The League is well worth a view, or ten.

6. Mad Men 

An oldie but a goodie. Mad Men started in 2007 and recently came to an end after a hugely successful run. With a cast including Jon Hamm, Christina Hendricks, January Jones and John Slattery, there was no way Mad Men was ever going to fail – the characters are rich, yet stereotypical of the era and you can’t help feel levels of anger you didn’t know you were capable of at times (yes, Mr Draper, I’m looking at you!). Set in the 1960s, Mad Men is a drama about a prestigious advertising agency in New York and follows not only the professional lives of the cast but their colourful personal lives too. If you’re into set and costume design, this is a wonderfully rich show to watch.

7. Billions

It never hurts to have a new kid on the block in a list like this and in my honest opinion, Billions is as deserving of a place in the top 10 as some of the ‘classics’. The basic premise of the show is a battle between two ridiculously powerful, and wealthy, New York figures, one is a US attorney and the other an enigmatic hedge fund manager. I adore that Billions isn’t afraid of strong, powerful female characters; the writing is excellent and you end up questioning not only whose side your on but whose side you’re supposed to be on – trust me, it alternates.

8. Sex and The City 

Fashion, friendships and fun in New York. One of the biggest selling points with SATC is you know what you’re going to get; an insight into a life in New York as a young woman, and the trials and tribulations that go along with that. All four leading ladies are fabulous and I don’t know any woman who hasn’t seen at least an episode of this show. You can watch this in order or it’s a great option for dipping in and out of – thank the Lord for 30 minute episodes. Stylist, Patricia Field, deserves every award available for her work on the show; the fashion pushes boundaries and is a nostalgic reminder of why we should be grateful the nineties are over. You can’t beat SATC – it’s a classic for a reason.

9. House of Cards 

House of Cards feeds my inner political geek, and it’s only fiction! The remake of the original nineties mini-series has revolutionised the success of Netflix original series’, and rightly so. Kevin Spacey is a triumph as Frank Underwood, the ambitious ladder-climbing politician, and Robin Wright is the queen of manipulation as Frank’s wife. You can expect an ever growing list of personal vendettas, crass negotiations and gripping table-tapping rants. If you’ve not watched HoC yet, it really is worth the hype.

10. Game of Thrones

I was late to the GOT party but I’m just glad I caved eventually and gave it a go. I was always convinced it wouldn’t be my cup of tea, until I sat down, uninterrupted, and watched the first episode – it was something else! You do need to pay attention when watching GOT; there are lots of storylines going on at the same time and the cast is pretty massive so it can get a tad confusing at times. It’s fast paced, beautifully shot and amazingly imaginative so once you’re hooked, you can’t turn back. Just a word of warning though, don’t get too attached to any characters, some don’t last too long – I’ll leave that there to avoid spoilers!

I also really struggled not to extend this list to a ‘Top 13’ but the title didn’t have quite the same ring to it. In a slight attempt to cheat, here are three additional options that you shouldn’t forget about:

  • Friday Night Lights
  • Entourage
  • How To Get Away With Murder

Let me know what you make of the choices in the comments. Enjoy your hours ahead in front of Netflix and don’t forget snacks…

Sincerely, Sarah xx