It’s no secret I am a huge fan of tea tree oil – it’s so versatile and handy. I’ve already talked about the benefits of the oil and how you can use it to tackle spots, but there are a lot of products out there that aren’t so concentrated and gentler on your skin if you’re looking to just combat spots.
One of my favourite ranges from Boots is their Tea Tree & Witch Hazel collection. Along with the benefits of tea tree, witch hazel is also great for your skin. The plant is a strong antioxidant and, like tea tree, is great for fighting spots and ridding your skin of bacteria. It’s also meant to be good for stopping cellular damage that can lead to skin cancer, preventing signs of ageing and speeding up healing (like when you pop spots you really shouldn’t have gone near.)
Out of the entire range, there are three products that I absolutely love from Boots’ Tea Tree & Witch Hazel collection.
Charcoal Face Mask; There no doubt that charcoal face masks help fight spots. The charcoal extracts dirt deep in your pores and helps pull it out. When your pores have dirt and bacteria in them, not only can this lead to spots but it can also dull your complexion. The added benefits of tea tree and witch hazel also help in battling the dirt in your pores. I would use this mask about once a week, generally on a Thursday or Friday before I tan
Peel Off Face Mask; Okay, I can’t lie, I love this mask more because it’s gimmicks rather than it’s skincare benefits. There is nothing more fun than peeling off this face mask! It’s like taking the film off of a new phone or laptop screen – it’s the little things. Aside from that, it’s also great at keeping my skin at bay. I would use this whenever I feel that my skin is a little bit too greasy, if a spot has popped up and after a weekend of wearing tan – it really does stick to the dirt in your pores! I’m a fan, definitely my favourite out of the three.
Back Spray; I have never thought to use a back spray before, but it was watching The Make Up Fairy’s Snapchat one day that caused me to go out and buy the Tea Tree & Witch Hazel back spray. She uses it for her back after a gym session to prevent spots coming up, but it’s great for anyone looking to fight spots. I would use it after a shower, after the gym or when I feel I’ve neglected the skin on my back for a while.
Christmas season is fast approaching and everyone is brainstorming ideas of what to get their friends, families, dogs and even themselves – it is the season to treat yourself. If you know a beauty nerd or you’re looking for something new to add to your collection, Benefit has a huge range of gift sets on sale right now. The coveted beauty brand is hugely popular for not only their amazing quality of make-up but also their whimsical packaging. This season, I am loving their cutesy illustrations on the gift sets. I was tempted to pick up a set myself, but it definitely wasn’t an easy task.
For Christmas, Benefit have seven darling gift sets not including their gorgeous advent calendar. It was tough but I narrowed my choice down to three – the Dolly Darling gift set, the Girl A Rama gift set and the Blushin Babe gift set. As is obvious from the title, I splurged and went with Blushin Babe.
For just €43 and available from Arnotts, you get €140.19 worth of products. It’s an absolute steal not only for the handy travel size They’re Real mascara AND push-up liner but for the blushers and bronzer. The set has my must-have bronzer, Hoola, and four of their best-selling blushers – Dandelion (a personal favourite), Sugarbomb, Rockateur, and Coralista. And if that wasn’t enough, there’s even a sample of my number one highlighter, Watt’s Up. Honestly, I can’t go anywhere without a lick of Watt’s Up on my cheeks before heading out.
If you’re familiar with Benefit, you know how well-wearing their products are. This kit is so handy because for the price of not even two of their blushers, you get the choice of all four of their blushers. I am an avid fan of fake tan but I have started embracing my pale skin a lot more, so the option to float between cool toned blushers like Dandelion and warmer shades like Coralista, this is perfect. I’m not even a massive fan of using blush on my cheeks – but because of this kit, I’m far more inclined and almost every time I wear make-up, I’m wearing blush.
The They’re Real range that’s included in the set is also exceptional. Before I fell in love with Roller Lash, I was a huge fan of They’re Real – often on nights out I’ll double up and wear Roller Lash on top of a coat of They’re Real. But it was their gel eyeliner that really interested me. I had been wanting to try it for ages but unfortunately I’m not able to splurge on Benefit as much as I would like. So when I spotted the liner was also included, I knew I wanted it. Pro tip: If you’re struggling to get the gel out of the pen, just twist the base clockwise. A lovely gal in the South William store in Dublin told me that many of the pens have air bubbles in them so you just need to twist it fast for product to come out. And what do I think of it? Actually pretty disappointed. I thought it was be so quick and easy to use, like so many reviews have said, but I can never get that perfectly slick cat-eye that I’m able to create with my Rimmel Exaggerate Eye Liner. That said, it does an excellent job of hugging the lash line and doesn’t budge.
Overall, I would 100% buy it for any friend who is as obsessed with Benefit as I am or even just loves to sculpt their face. In Blushin Babe, you have all you need to contour, highlight and add colour to your look. Even though I was disappointed by the eyeliner, it was more than free from what I was given in the gift set. Now let’s just hope Santa brings me some more Benefit bits…
Is it worth the fuss? It’s totally worth the fuss.
Anyone who knows me knows I am obsessed with being tanned. But I’ve a big fear of tanning beds so my skin colour comes out of a bottle. I would regularly tan myself – maybe once or twice a week depending on the tan and how busy my week is. I have more foundations suited for tanned me than I do for pale me. I actually noticed as I started this personal challenge that the only pale foundations I actually own are my super pale shades for my Joker and Harley Quinn cosplays.
I decided that I would do a small personal challenge and not wear tan for one week. I’ve got to say it was pretty tough, as shallow as that sounds. Obviously the first few days were the hardest and I’m lucky I didn’t have any major events because I don’t know how I would have handled being pale at a big social occasion.
Day 1, Saturday
Every last remain of my tan from previous weekend has been scrubbed off and I am back to my natural skin colour, ghostly white. After my shower this morning, I went downstairs to get a cup of tea and say morning to my family. But the first thing my mother asks me was if I was feeling okay. To be fair, this isn’t a weird question as she normally asks if I’m sick once the tan wears off my face which leaves me looking drastically paler than my still tanned body (my face and hands are the parts of my body the tan is most likely to wash off fastest.)
My family weren’t too bad, it was actually meeting up with a friend, Becca, I noticed what a drastic difference pale me is to tanned me. Before I met her, I decided to see if I knew how to contour my face while being pale. Somehow, I managed to apply a decent face of make-up! So when I went to a cafe to meet my gal pal, I was feeling pretty confident (even though I still wore an outfit that might distract from my paleness.) When I met her, it took her about 30 seconds to register it was me – Becca had only ever seen me tanned and never ever this pale. She told me that she honestly didn’t think it was me when she saw me coming through the door! That was a big thing to me – I was really hiding behind my tan.
Day 2, Sunday
I really didn’t do much on Sunday bar clean the house and have a rest before a busy week ahead. I did like waking up though and not having a trace of tan on my pillows, no tan rubbing off my white fluffy towels and best of all was not seeing a single dodgy tan splotch on my skin. I really need Sunday to appreciate being tan-free. I even ventured outside my house for a little to play with my cat in the driveway, but of course, someone had to say something! A good neighbour of mine who is my area’s fountain of knowledge was happily chatting to me and his dog was jumping up and down giving me loads of puppy kisses. It was as he left to continue his walk he said “And I hope you feel better, you’re awfully pale.” Really?! I see this man once a week but I never thought he would make a comment on my paleness! I can’t lie, i was starting to feel self-conscious.
Day 3, Monday
First day in the office being tan free – and make-up free too as I never really wear make-up at work. None of the girls said a word, no one said I looked sick (thank God), no one really cared about my appearance at all. Sweet relief! I survived a day with no one passing comment on my skin colour. I felt pretty happy and after my working day, I headed over to the gym for a quick session to amp up my good vibes.
I hadn’t been to the gym in an embarrassingly long time (a solid seven months, I’m not a gym head at all, I’m a McDonalds head) but my old trainer recognised me and said I was looking good – but you’re worst critic is you. After a bit of cardio, I headed over to the weights to finish off, and that’s when I saw myself in the mirror. “Who let Mr Krabs into the gym?” I thought to myself. While I hadn’t gone to the gym in ages, I still worked out at home and a lot harder, so I was really shocked to see how red my face was after some easy work outs. I knew my tan hid some of my red face after working out but I was so surprised how much it hid!
Day 4 – 5, Tuesday and Wednesday
I put these two days together because nothing substantial happened and I didn’t care about being pale at this point. I still woke up every day, hopped on a bus to work then went home after and did my bits at home. No one commented on anything, no one cared. Unlike the other days, I didn’t leave my house after work but that definitely helped me care less about not wearing tan.
Day 6, Thursday
Today was the very first day I didn’t give a f*** about being pale. I had an event to go to for work and thought I’d care more about my appearance because I was representing a brand, not me. Fortunately, it was a very relaxed event and being pale was not a worry, even though I probably glowed in the dark. People we’ve worked with before who had only ever seen me tan didn’t say a word, no one asked if I was sick and I didn’t mind people saying my freckles were “cute.”
When I started this little personal challenge, I really did think that a work event was going to make me or break me – and it didn’t break me!
Day 7, Friday
The final day of no tan was honestly such a relief. I learned I was happy to go without tan but it’s a little thing I do that makes me feel better. Just like why I wear make-up, I also wear tan for me. A slightly darker skin tone for me makes me feel more confident.
So when the day was over and I was getting ready to sleep, I lathered on the tan – and it felt amazing. People complain about a lot of people being “fake” these days – fake hair, fake nails, fake tan, fake lashes. But sure if it makes you happy, you do what you want to do.
It was a silly little challenge at the start that I didn’t take too seriously, but I discovered how much I rely on products that later my appearance – and how much I like them. I’ve talked before about why I wear make-up and why I enjoy SFX make-up so much, so I won’t go into detail. But I love being able to change my look. It’s about a month since I completed this little personal challenge and I’m glad I did it because I don’t feel so self-conscious not wearing tan. I’m more inclined to go a week without tan but I would still rather wear a bit of fake tan!