30 September 2014

September 2014 Beauty

september 2014 beauty favourites rottenotter rotten otter blog
Taylor Swift Taylor Perfume | £19.55-£34 // This has been my perfume of choice this month and I think it might be my favourite out of the three perfumes by Taylor Swift. I ordered it when it was released without smelling it first but luckily I really liked it. I like the simple bottle but I did throw away the pearl band that was around the lid as it looked a bit cheap. I'll be writing a post all about it soon so I wont talk about it too much.

Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment | £25 // I seem to use this constantly one month and then for some reason completely forget about it the next. Needless to say this month I've been using it a lot and I'm sad to see that there's only a tiny amount left. Luckily I have a mini tube to use after this one is finished. It's an expensive lip balm and hard to find in the UK unless you order it over the phone but it is the best lip balm I've ever tried. It smells great, the packaging is amazing and the balm itself will hydrate the lips for a really long time. I tend to keep it on my bedside table and use it just as I'm going to sleep.

African Botanics Marula Intense Skin Repair Body Balm | £40 // I don't know if it's been the change in weather, going from an Indian summer to being absolutely freezing the next day, but my skin has been a lot drier this month which always means my eczema flares up. I needed something incredibly moisturising so reached for the Marula balm which I haven't used in a while. It's a solid balm so does need warming up in your hands before using it but it just works so well at moisturising my skin. A little goes a long way and especially nice to use as an overnight treatment on my hands where my eczema is the worst at the moment. I'm still not really liking the floral scent and do cringe about how expensive it is when I'm applying it but it just works.

Bells Vapour Rub | £1 // The majority of September has been spent feeling quite ill. It was just a nasty cold but it really made me feel run down and I lost my voice which is not good when working on reception, sneezing and blowing my nose a lot as well as coughing and not being able to breathe properly. The worst thing was trying to get to sleep at night but with the help of applying Bells vapour rub to my chest, and a dose of night nurse, I was able to fall asleep a lot better. I also find the menthol/camphor scent really relaxing as well which helped me fall asleep a lot quicker, I wasn't focusing so much on not being able to breathe and more just on the scent. Also this cheaper pot works just as well as Vicks but is only £1! Here's to hoping I won't need to use it again over winter but at least I have it in my cabinet now.


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29 September 2014

NOTD // Orly Boho Bonnet

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Supplies used... 
Orly Bonder Base Coat
Orly Boho Bonnet// three coats


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28 September 2014

Autumn 2014 Nail Polishes

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Although I'm usually all about pastel nail polishes, there's just something about Autumn that makes me wan to switch things up. I'm still sticking with some pastels like OPI's Sparrow Me The Drama, one of my favourite pink polishes, and a couple of light blues with hints of grey.

One polish that I had completely forgotten about until I was putting this post together is OPI's My Private Jet. It's a brown holographic shimmer which is really unique and although it's not as good as the original MPJ, it's still a really pretty polish and one I'll be wearing a lot over the next few months.

Seeing as the next Hunger Games film will be out soon, November I think, I thought it appropriate to include one of the polishes in my Autumn picks. My favourite out of the whole collection is Smoke And Ashes, a dark polish with bright glitter . Depending on the light, the glitter changes between blue, green and gold. A hard polish to photograph but it looks amazing in person when it catches the light.

Swatch photos will be up on my blog over the next few weeks and I'll update the links in this post when they're live.


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26 September 2014

Project Sample Use Up 022

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Doctor Duve Lifting & Firming Hand & Decollete Cream // This is an ok hand cream, nothing special and I'll use the other sachets I have but I wouldn't buy the full size.

Fresh Life Perfume // I absolutely fell in love with this perfume and if it was easier to get a hold of in the uk I'd buy the full size. It is quite an expensive perfume, $50 for 30ml, so may be for the best I can't buy it easily. The notes are bergamot, vanilla grass, cypress, grapefruit, lilac leaves, magnolia, amber, orange, tonka flowers, cucumber, moss and morning dew.

Elie Saab Le Parfum L'Eau Couture // I love the original Elie Saab Le Parfum so I knew I had to try this fresher version. I used Feel Uniques try before you buy system and got this mini spray to try it first before opening the full size. Needless to say I loved it immediately and opened the full bottle straight away.

English Laundrey Perfume // I really liked this perfume and would think about buying the full size. English Laundry tap into the very essence of an English country garden with this beautifully fresh fragrance. Envelop yourself in top notes of rose geranium and creamy white flowers set against its backdrop of woody spicy and musky notes

Alterna Bamboo Style Boho Waves Tousled Texture Mist // I really liked this sea salt spray, even more so than the Paul Mitchell one. I felt like this helped to enhance my natural curl really well without any effort. It's about £20 so not the cheapest product but still not a bad price.

Yes To Cucumbers Towelettes // I don't use face wipes for their intended purpose so can't comment on how these feel on the skin. Instead I use them to remove make-up swatches while I'm blogging or just looking through my collection. I usually just buy standard baby wipes so I wouldn't pay more than a couple of quid for them.

Clinique High Impact Mascara // This is one of my favourite mascaras and I've gone through countless tubes of it. It doesn't clump, gives a lot of volume and length as well as defines the lashes. It still looks natural though but can also be built up for extra volume. I will be buying another full size tube at some point.

Paul Mitchell Awapuhi Texturizing Sea Salt Spray // I really enjoyed using this sea spray and it had an unusual ginger scent. Apart from amazon I'm not even sure where you can buy Paul Mitchell products from, it might be an American brand?? I have natural curly/wavy hair so this helped to emphasise this without drying my hair out too much. Also it never felt sticky no matter how much I applied.


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24 September 2014

Shampoo // Dry Irritated Sensitive Eczema-Prone Scalps

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Although I've written quite a lot about eczema and the products I use to try and stop the flare ups, especially the eczema on my scalp, I haven't written a proper post on all the different shampoos I use or have used. A bit of a background story: the eczema on my scalp started towards the end of 2009 and I had to switch up what I was using straight away. Despite suffering with eczema my whole life, apart from when I was little, I luckily hadn't had any patches flare up on my scalp until then. For all my teenage years I just used herbal essence and my scalp was normal, it wasn't greasy, just normal. The first time a patch flared up on my scalp and I washed my hair with HE I knew I had to change what I was using as it made it a million times worse. I started to look at the ingredients in shampoos, conditioners I'm fine with and can use pretty much anything as long as I don't apply it near my scalp, and experimenting with how often I wash my hair.

My scalp was incredibly dry and flaky, it looked like I had extremely bad dandruff when it was eczema. My scalp was so dry that I started to loose hair especially around my hair line and had open sores where I had scratched my scalp in my sleep.

Before 2009 I was washing my hair perhaps twice a week but I quickly learnt that the less I washed it, the happier my scalp wash so it took a while to get used to but I now only wash my hair once a week. This may seem unthinkable to some but I have an extremely dry scalp and hair and it doesn't get greasy quickly or easily. If you get eczema on your scalp and wash your hair more often then try giving your scalp a bit of a break and you might see a difference like I did.

Over the years I've tried so many different shampoos and unfortunately pretty much all of them are more expensive than say Herbal Essence or Tresemme etc. Suffering from eczema for such a long time I've learned that, at least for me, spending a bit more money on certain products really does help. The main thing for me was cutting out sodium lauryl sulfate and parabens from the shampoos I was using. I'm not saying all of the shampoos I use or have used are SLS free but the majority are.

Going back to 2009-2012 I started using Bedhead ShampoosTara Smith C Curls ShampooLiz Earle Botanical Shine Treatment Shampoo and Barefoot SOS Dry Scalp Treatment Shampoo. All of these really helped with my scalp and along with a steroid cream, really helped to reduce the amount of eczema flare ups I was having. The shampoo I noticed the biggest difference whilst using was Barefoot SOS Dry Scalp Treatment Shampoo and I finished the bottle pretty quickly. I will say that I bought a second bottle about a year ago as the eczema had flared up again and I remember how quickly this shampoo made it go away. I started using it and it was going well but after a while it was starting to irritate my scalp. I don't know if they reformulated it, my scalp had become immune to it or it was a coincidence my scalp reacted to it this time I'm not sure but just be wary about it. 

More recently, 2013 to present, my scalp is a million times better than it was. I still get flare up occasionally but my scalp isn't flaky and dry anymore and I'm putting that down to discovering Philip Kingsley products. Mainly the Flaky/Itchy Scalp Shampoo and Flaky/Itchy Scalp Toner. The combination of these two products has completely turned my scalp around.

Other shampoos I have used and gotten on fine with are Ojon Volume Advance ShampooOjon Restorative Shampoo, Phyto Phytoprogenium Intelligent Frequent Use Shampoo, Phyto Phytojoba Intense Hydration Brilliance Shampoo and Sachajuan Scalp Shampoo. Recently I have been double shampooing which has been quite beneficial to my scalp especially if I curl my hair and am adding more product to it than usual. I will use one of the shampoos I've just mentioned first and then follow up with the Philip Kingsley Flaky/Itchy Scalp Shampoo second. If I don't follow up with the Flaky/Itchy Scalp Shampoo then my scalp gets really itchy.

Another shampoo I've used but didn't get on with was Philip Kingsley No Scent No Colour Shampoo. You'd think from the name it would be perfect for someone like me with a sensitive scalp but the first time I used this my scalp reacted really badly to it. After plucking up the courage I did use it again but only as my first shampoo and I would also follow up the Flaky/Itchy Scalp Shampoo. Luckily I didn't have any other problems with it but I'd recommend trying a sample size first before buying the full size which is what I didn't do. 

Finally a shampoo that I haven't used in a while but used to love is Boots Expert Build Up Shampoo. If you apply a lot of products to your hair or find that even after washing your hair just doesn't feel clean then give this a go. It's a clarifying shampoo so it'll strip all of the product build up out of your hair. It doesn't damage your hair in anyway but I always used to use a heavy conditioner as I didn't like the squeaky clean feel. A quick look on the Boots website and I can't find this anywhere. Bumble & Bumble Sunday shampoo is pretty similar but more expensive. 

If anyone has any clarifying shampoo recommendations please let me know!


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23 September 2014

Vera Wang Lovestruck

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Vera Wang Lovestruck has been a fragrance that I have fallen in and out of love with since I bought it last summer. The advertising, bottle design, having loved other Vera Wang perfumes and the fact that Leighton Meester (love!) was the face of the perfume made me want to buy it and I hadn't even smelt it. I decided to go to an actual Boots store first instead of ordering it online blind, which I have actually done with a lot of my perfumes and luckily I've loved them all, and risking a chance that I might not like it despite liking all the notes of the perfume. I smelt it, loved it and bought the largest size. Probably not the wisest decision since it took me a year to finish it and at times I really didn't like it.

The notes are tuberose, lotus blossom, pink guava, mandarin, woods and sheer musk. The notes are what I'm usually drawn to in perfumes but saying that, it isn't similar to other perfumes I have. At first it smells quite light and fresh, not too floral, but once it dries down the wood notes and muskiness appear. Over the last few months I've been using it as my work perfume as I can still smell it on myself after an eight hour shift. It isn't an overpowering or heavy scent, more of a background scent.

Although not particularly practical especially for travelling, I absolutely love the bottle design. It could have looked cheap or tacky but it just works so well. I've since ditched the empty bottle and have kept the floral bouquet on my bookshelves.

Despite going through phases of not liking it and forgetting about it, not really sure why I wasn't a fan at times, I finished the bottle really loving it but now I've tried it, I don't think I'd buy another bottle unless I saw it on offer. I'm intrigued about how Lovestruck Floral Rush smells and how different it is.


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22 September 2014

NOTD // Opi Sparrow Me The Drama

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Supplies used... 
Orly Bonder Base Coat

Sparrow Me The Drama was from the 2011 Pirates Of The Caribbean collection. I don't normally gravitate towards mid tone pink nail polishes but the hint of dusty rose is why I like it. It hasn't got the best formula and did need three coats as it's quite thin and streaky. This might just be because it's three years old but I can't for the life of me remember what it was like when I bought it.



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21 September 2014

Blogger Love 002




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20 September 2014

Mini Review 018 // The Body Shop Olive

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Body Scrub | £12.50 // Lets start of with saying I absolutely hate the taste of olives but for some reason I love the scent of TBS's Olive range. It's a very fresh scent and to me doesn't smell anything like olives do. Each product has a slightly different scent and the shower gel is my favourite, it's more of a fresh-green scent while the scrub is a slightly sweeter scent.

The Body Shop's body scrubs really vary in how abrasive they are and how well they work. There's been a couple, in particular the Chocomania body scrub, that I have really hated. If possible I'd suggest trying them out in store but I tend to make online orders from TBS so can't always do this. The olive body scrub isn't the most abrasive scrub I've tried, not like Soap & Glorys Sugar Crush, it's gentle enough to use on a daily basis if you wanted to do. The formula of this is very creamy and moisturising so a good one if you have sensitive skin but not if you want to exfoliate before fake tanning.

Body Butter | £13 // The olive body butter has a slightly thicker formula than some of The Body Butters so it's one I usually save for winter when my skin is at its driest. I still use it during the summer but I just have to be careful with how much I use so my skin doesn't end up feeling sticky.

Shower Gel | £4 - £12 // I've already been through a bottle of this before I when I made this order I chose the giant sized bottle. I used a code so I think I paid just a little over what you'd pay for the 250ml bottle. Even better is that this size has a pump so you end up using even less product so it will last longer. The body Shop shower gels are one of my favourites as they feel moisturising on the skin and don't irritate my eczema at all. You can also use them as bubble baths!



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19 September 2014

Beauty Box // Birchbox September 2014

birchbox september 2014 beauty box rottenotter rotten otter blog 2 birchbox september 2014 beauty box rottenotter rotten otter blog 3 birchbox september 2014 beauty box rottenotter rotten otter blog 4 birchbox september 2014 beauty box rottenotter rotten otter blog 1 Agave Healing Oil Treatment | £16 // I've heard great things about this hair oil so am excited to try it out. If I like it I think I'll use my Birchbox points which I've saved up to buy the full size.  

Benefit It's Potent! Eye Cream | £22.50 // I've had this mini size of Benefits eye cream before in a trial set and I really liked it. Since you only need a tiny amount, this little tub actually lasted a long time.

Korres Citrus Body Milk | £9.50 // I'm a huge fan of Korres and have tried a lot of products over the years but I haven't come across the Citrus scent before. Unlike the lemon basil scent that reminded be of toilet cleaner, citrus smells really nice and fresh. As the name suggests, this moisturiser has a very thin consistency which I prefer as it means it sinks in a lot quicker.

ModelCo Lip Lacquer in Morocco | £15 // A cute mini lipgloss that smells really fruity. I wasn't sure on the colour at first but once on the lips it just looks like a clear or my lip colour but better sort of colour. It's a little bit stickier than I'd like but not too bad that it would stop be from using it.

Beauty Blender + Blender Cleanser | £26 // This is probably the one product in the box I'm most excited about as I've wanted to try the Beauty Blender for such a long time and more recently the cleanser after Anna raved about it. I'm planning to wash my brushes with the cleanser as well.

Urban Fruit Perfect Pineapple | £13.20 // I'm yet to try these as I'm saving them for work one day but they don't contain any added sugar which is what makes it stand out from other dried pineapple I've tried.

Birchbox Happy Days Photo Clip // A cute little extra to display photos or cards. I'm thinking a couple of polaroids would look good!


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18 September 2014

Beauty Box // Glossybox September 2014*

glossybox september 2014 beauty box rottenotter rotten otter blog 2 glossybox september 2014 beauty box rottenotter rotten otter blog 3 glossybox september 2014 beauty box rottenotter rotten otter blog 1 This months box was designed by Karen Millen for Fashion Week and I really like the different tones of grey that were used. Also it doesn't happen very often where the contents of the box add up to more than the price of the box but my version of Septembers box adds up to just under £70 in total!

ModelCo More Brows Fibre Gel | £14.95 // A bit disappointing that this is in the shade medium/dark as I have very light eyebrows but I am hopeful I can find some way of trying it out and seeing if perhaps the lighter shade would be better. It looks very similar to the new Benefit brow gel which I really like although it's only a little bit cheaper.

L'Oreal Professionnel Mythic Masque | £15.50 // I've wanted to try the Mythic oil from L'Oreal since it was frist released but I am still slowly working my way through Ojon's rare blend oil so haven't wanted to buy anything new. This hair mask is from the same range so I'm expecting good things from it. Another nice size to try the product out properly and I think I'll be able to get a couple of uses out of it.

SkinPep Enzyme and Acid Peel | £89.99 for 180ml or £3.05 for 3.5ml // I have only just been brave enough to try the First Aid Beauty acid pads as I have extremely sensitive skin so these scare me a little bit. I think I'll either pass these two sachets onto someone else or save them for when my skin is less sensitive.

SkinPep Dark Circle Eraser Eye Cream | 44.99 for 15ml or £6.49 for 2ml // I'm pretty lucky that I don't suffer with really dark circles underneath my eyes so I feel like I wouldn't totally benefit from these. Another one I'll save to pass onto someone else.

Nails Inc Westminster Bridge Matte Top Coat | £12 // Since finishing my bottle of Essie Matte About You over a year ago, for some reason I haven't gotten round to either repurchasing or trying a different brand so getting this one from Nails Inc in the box is perfect. While I like matte nail polishes, a matte top coat is even better as it means you can turn every single polish matte. Glitter nail polishes look amazing matte!

Origins Anti-Aging Power Serum | £48 // This is another sample which is a really good size as the full size for £48 is 30ml and this tube is 15ml so worth £24. Although this serum is anti-aging it's still going to work really well at hydrating my dry skin, looking forward to try it out properly.




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17 September 2014

NOTD // Pixi Very Violet

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Supplies used... 
Orly Bonder Base Coat
Pixi Very Violet // two coats


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16 September 2014

My Little Parisienne Box

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When I first heard about a new beauty box launching I knew I had to try it. For the past couple of months I've been a bit fed up of getting the same samples from the same brands each month with both Glossybox and Birchbox and have been thinking about cancelling a subscription. Then My Little Box started this month which looked different to your average beauty box so I subscribed and will see how it goes for a couple of months and then I'll cancel one of them. I really don't need three boxes each month!!

Inside this months Parisienne box was a Paris illustration, stickers, a note book, a laptop bag and a little pouch containing Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse, Laura Mercier Foundation Primer and a highlighter from their own make-up line.

This monthly box is a little bit more expensive than the others at £11 + £3.95 PP but if the September box is anything to go by then that extra little bit of money really makes a different to the quality of the contents. I'm already excited about what will be in next months box and what the theme will be!



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15 September 2014

NOTD // Models Own Hedonist

notd models own hedkandi hedonist nail polish rottenotter rotten otter blog
Supplies used... 
Orly Bonder Base Coat
Models Own Hedonist// two coats


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11 September 2014

NOTD // Barry M Blue Grape

notd barry m blue grape nail polish rottenotter rotten otter blog
Supplies used... 
Orly Bonder Base Coat
Barry M Blue Grape// three coats


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10 September 2014

Guest Post // Skin Care Additions

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Since I haven't managed to write a post for today, I'm not feeling too good with a sore throat and cough, I thought I'd let you know I wrote a post for Leanne while she is sunning herself in Egypt. It's a post all about a couple of new skin care products I've introduced to my routine.

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09 September 2014

Mini Reviews 017 // The Body Shop Honeymania

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Shower Gel | £4 // Although this range is called Honeymania it doesn't smell like honey from a jar, instead it's more of a floral scent. It's the perfect summer scent when you want something a bit different to the usual coconut summer holiday kind of scents. I love The Body Shop shower gels as they smell amazing, lather up really well even without a shower lily and make great bubble baths. This one is no different and I've been enjoying using it along with all the other products in the range. The shower gels also feel moisturising on the skin which is perfect for my dry skin.

Body Scrub | £12.50 // Over the years of trying different products from The Body Shop I've found that the body scrubs are really hit or miss. Some are amazing and incredibly effective while others are a bit of a let down. This one from the Honeymania range is unfortunately not very good. The texture is quite strange, it sort of feels like you're rubbing a body butter onto wet skin. I think this is the intention as it is described as a cream body scrub but it's just not abrasive and doesn't feel like it's getting rid of any dry skin. Although I'll be finishing the tub I wont be rushing out to buy anther one and wouldn't recommend it.

Bubble Bath Melt | £8 // This reminds me of the Laura Mercier Honey Bath which is the main reason I bought it as it would be great if I found a cheaper alternative. Obviously it has a completely different scent to the honey bath, once it's in the water though it's hard to tell the difference. You can scoop a little bit of the Bubble Bath Melt out of the tub with your hands, or if you have a honey dipper like I do you can use that, and run it under your tap and it will create a whole tub of bubbles. I'm really impressed with this especially if you can get it on offer like I did.

Body Butter | £13 // Although in the summer I don't tend to need something as heavy as a body butter on my skin, I have been using it on my feet a lot to prepare them to see the world in sandals. Saying that though I have been using small amounts on my legs and arms if they're feeling particularly dry. If you apply a small amount it sinks in straight away and doesn't feel too heavy on the skin.


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08 September 2014

NOTD // Ciate The Glossip

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Supplies used... 
Orly Bonder Base Coat
Ciate The Glossip// two coats


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04 September 2014

NOTD // Barry M Olive

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Supplies used... 
Orly Bonder Base Coat
Barry M Olive // three coats



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03 September 2014

NOTD // Orly Elation Generation

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Supplies used... 
Orly Bonder Base Coat
Orly Elation Generation// two coats


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02 September 2014

Skin Care Diary // August 2014

Through out each month I'll be keeping a skin care diary and jotting down what I use on an every day basis. At the end of the month I'll tally up what has been used the most and share the products with you. 
skin care diary products routine august 2014 rottenotter rotten otter blog
Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water // RMK Rose Cleansing Balm // Aesop Parsley Seed Cleansing Masque // balance Me Skin Bight Hydrating Face Mist // Trilogy Very Gentle Calming Fluid // Caudalie Vinosource Moisturising Sorbet. 

The only new product I'm using this month is the Garnier Micellar Water as I finished the L'Oreal version I was using last month. All the other products are old favourites and ones that I would repurchase if I haven't already. This month my skin has been a bit temperamental, especially around my forehead. I haven't had that many breakouts, instead it's lots of tiny under the skin spots or bumps which don't turn into anything but aren't really going away either. That's when I brought out the parsely seed mask and it's really been making a difference. Hopefully another week or two of using it and they will all be gone. I'm also trying to drink more water and eat better to see if this makes a difference to my skin as well.

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01 September 2014

NOTD // Barry M Elderberry

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