Did you think I’d forgotten you? Perhaps you hoped I had.
House of Cards reference aside, I know it’s been a while. Amid final year university projects and exhibitions, stress and anxiety, job prospects and reality creeping up on me, I lost myself. But I’m here now, pretending to be ready to take on the world.
June has came and gone, bringing second thoughts, sunshine and sweat, but also good times, excellent skincare and fantastic music.
My skin is going through quite the existence crisis itself. Long story short, I thought it would be a great idea if I tried the Acne.org regimen; turns out it wasn’t. After 3 months of following the regimen religiously, my skin was left dry, cracking and peeling, and it was still majorly breaking out. I decided the hassle was not worth it, so I gave my skin a month of slowly removing the vile Benzoyl Peroxide from my skincare routine (it’s advised you ease off of it slowly, just like it was incorporated, otherwise your skin will react badly). Coming back to “normal” skincare (Acne.org recommends only using their regimen and nothing else), I really wanted to keep it as simple as possible. And Simple’s Rich Moisturiser was nothing short of amazing: it treated and hydrated my scaly skin, without leaving oily residue behind – and it’s only £2?!!
The Body Shop Tea Tree Skin Clearing Mask is an old favourite of mine, but has recently made its way back into my routine when I desperately needed something to dry out my spots (other than that God forsaken skin burning and bleaching chemical-filled Benzoyl Peroxide). And with tea tree working wonders on blemishes, this truly helped calm down my inflamed skin, detoxified it and softened it.
Sunscreen. As an oily gal, I’ve always dreaded just the sight of them. The white cast, the oiliness, the rich texture – UGH. But then I found it. The Green People Sun Lotion with 30 SPF: a scent-free, natural, organic, cruelty free and vegan sunscreen that is suitable for sensitive skin and doesn’t break you out. I repeat, a sunscreen that does not break you out. I don’t particularly enjoy using moisturisers under my foundation, but this one creates a good barrier between my skin and the makeup and doesn’t leave it oily. Win.
Keeping up with the oiliness theme (because that’s the death of me), I finally tried out a setting spray. I went for the Makeup Revolution Pro Fix Oil Control Fixing Spray just because it was affordable (£5) and now I’m sort of addicted… I use it to lock in my primer and create a sticky base for my foundation and then I spray it again once my makeup is done. I do notice a difference in my level of oiliness and the overall makeup look when I use it; also keeps the cakeyness at bay. So do give in the setting spray hype.Now let’s talk Primark makeup. I’m as surprised as you are. But I gotta keep it real, these £1 babies are an absolute dream. And in case you haven’t tried the Primark lip liners for yourself, do get yourself out the door right now. And come in closer for a little secret. I use them as lipstick, on the entirety of my lips, shhh. The formula is matte and velvety, and since lip liners are more waxy than normal lipsticks, they last longer on the lips. They’re not patchy, these two colours are gorge (although they could do with more wearable shades) and they will stay on for a good few hours – and also stain your lips, so when the colour wears off, it doesn’t look bad. And what’s that? Spirulina? Oooh yeah. Since becoming a vegan I’ve been fascinated with health and nutrition. Give me all of Dr Greger’s Nutrition Facts videos to binge-watch and I’m a happy camper. (Yes, I’m fun at parties). I’m always eyeing up superfood powders, acai, spirulina and maca powders in Holland and Barrett, but my wallet is very opposed to it. So I found out about OLIO, an app that fights food waste and connects neighbours so that they share what they don’t use. This is how I came by this spirulina powder… for free. Besides the absolutely disgusting smell, this blue-green algae has amazing health benefits such as lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, boosting energy, excellent source of vitamins A, B1, K1, K2, B12, iron, calcium (over 26 times than calcium in milk), manganese, chromium, Omega 3s and it’s also a high-quality protein – the list goes on and on. I use a teaspoon in my smoothies and the smell and taste are undetected.
The two new albums that came out in June and made their way into my heart were Lorde’s Melodrama and I’m Not Your Man by indie queen Marika Hackman. Melodrama is a shining record that articulates emotion in such a deep and unique way that only our own Lorde can. It’s dazzling, painfully real and relatable and it feels like a coming of age album – it’s about Lorde maturing and becoming herself through fame and breakups. I didn’t think I would enjoy this record as much as I did. I dismissed her when I first heard the Green Light single, saying “ugh, too pop-y,” but it’s so much more than that. Favourite songs are Hard Feelings/Loveless, Writer In the Dark, and Homemade Dynamite.
I’m Not Your Man is London singer’s sophomore album – a typical indie-rock project with a few surprises up its sleeve. It’s melodically strong, packed with sharp and fun lyrics and killer hooks; also a pleasure to listen to Hackman’s innocent singing in dark surroundings, and savoring each word. Favourite songs: Boyfriend, Round We Go, My Lover Cindy, Am.
Some extra songs I discovered and loved last month: