Unconventional Beauty Products to Try This Season

Like many other beauty blogs, I love anything that is innovative, exciting and just a bit different in the beauty world. Whilst perusing my bathroom cabinet,  I noticed that I have quite the penchant for collecting slightly unconventional products that steer from the norm of the standard formula's you see on the UK high street shelves. 

Predominantly in the skincare world, there is a constant need for innovation from the brands and media to keep up to date with the latest formula and ingredient trends. Here are some products you may not have seen before, but have quickly become firm favourites of mine since I discovered them!

DHC Powder Face Wash

To be honest, this is the first powder face wash I've ever seen. Coming from  Korean Japanese beauty brand DHC (who are well known for their cleansing oil), this powder wash is simple to use and leaves your skin feeling really fresh and revived with each use. You simply pop a little bit of powder on your finger tips and combine with water to make a paste. Massage on to your skin and rinse off. Coming in at under £10 per bottle, this not only gently exfoliates, but also contains lavender to soothe alongside moisturising honey and sodium hyaluronate. 

Blithe Patting Splash Mask

There's been a lot of talk in the beauty world of late, around the benefits of using waters and toners as part of your skincare routine to bolster the results of your regular skincare. I covered the Jurlique Water Essence a few weeks ago and the Blithe Patting Splash Mask is almost similar in concept. Mixing a cap full of the liquid with water, you simply keep splashing your face until it becomes damp (taking away the wetness with a patting motion). Rather than drying your face, applying your serums and creams on damp skin to ensure they are absorbed effortlessly. Use in place of a face mask twice a week and your skin is good to glow in no time.

W7 Make Up Remover Cloth

Honestly, when I bought a make up remover cloth I fully expected it to be crap. I didn't think any make up would be removed and I'd end up just having to use face wash anyway.

How wrong was I? I was more blown away than when I realised Jerome (from Robson and Jerome) was in Game of Thrones.

You simply wet the cloth under warm water and rub your face. This bad boy removes everything, including mascara and black eyeliner, meaning it not only stops you having to get water everywhere when cleansing your face, but also saves money in the long run. The W7 version sets you back under a fiver and you can wash it in the washing machine (or hand wash) to keep it fresh!

Temple Spa The Big Reveal 

Glycolic Acid has been big news ever since Alpha H and Pixi Glow Tonic came on to the scene. This version from Temple Spa is slightly different, as you don't apply it as an overnight treatment, but more of a mask. Well, I say mask, but it's not even that. You apply a few squirts to your face and rub it around until little bits develop, a bit like PVA glue. This removes all dead skin cells, unblocks pores and reveals a fresh complexion within minutes. Use before bed as the first step after cleansing seems to produce the best results for me and the next day my skin feels much fresher.

5 Things to Watch on Netflix This Month

I've been considering cancelling my Netflix subscription for a while now, but every time I go to cancel it I get sucked in to yet another series. With so much time off over Christmas and watching at least one episode of something before I go to sleep each night, it's probably best that I never cancelled it anyway. Having been through about 80% of the stuff on there (and absolutely hating Stranger Things, so don't worry it doesn't even get a look in on this list), there's a few things I keep watching over again, alongside some new additions to my viewing list.

Here at my top 5 things to watch on Netflix this January.

I'm Alan Partridge

The amount of times I've referenced the ' Dan, Dan, Dan, DAN, DAN DAN!DAN!DAN!' moment and people don't get it. Is Partridge really that old? I never thought so. If you've not experienced the awkward joys of Cock Piss Partridge, then I can only assume you've never had a TV, or the Internet, or in fact, eyes and ears. 

F is for Family

Okay, we know Vince Vaughn hasn't been funny for quite some time, but he's redeemed himself slightly with F is for Family over on Netflix. Set in the 70's, this follows a 'regular' family, who reside in the suburbs of Pennsylvania. If, like me, you find yourself enjoying most of the Netflix Original Series, then you should enjoy this animated sitcom. 

Don't Trust the B in Apartment 23

My new 'last lol before bed' program, I must have watch Don't Trust the B in Apartment 23 around 5 times over in the last few months. The dysfunctional relationship between small town girl June and her New York room mate, Chloe. I always like watching things I don't have to think about before I go to sleep and Chloe's dry humour and mean streak helps me relax every time... But that probably says a lot about me, eh.

Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency

I watched this entire series in about a day recently. Starring Elijah Wood (who just so happens to be in my favourite film, ever 'Everything is Illuminated'), this follows some weird time travelling, detective, surreal shit where there's something about a kitten that ends up being a shark with a shed load of absolutely mental shit in-between. Watch it. 

Every Louis Theroux Show (you can find)

Like this suggestion even needs justifying....

What are you watching on Netflix this month? I need more suggestions now I've polished these 5 off. 

How Much Does a Beauty Blogger Actually Buy?

I was looking at my selection of skincare products in my bathroom this morning, thinking 'wow, if I add up how much all this is worth I'd be able to put a deposit down on a house right now'...

Then it got me thinking about how much I actually bought with my own cash and how much I have been 'gifted' as a beauty blogger. Granted, my skincare and beauty 'gifts' have declined a little since I left my job marketing for a selection of beauty websites, but I occasionally still get review opportunities from brands independently. 

Looking at my morning and evening skincare in my bathroom, it's probably a healthy ratio of things I've bought myself versus things I've been sent for review. On this little rack are things I actually use daily/regularly, but there are boxes of stuff around my house which I don't use quite as much.

So, what did I actually buy?

Garnier Micellar Cleansing Gel: A new addition I spotted in Boots this week, this demonstrates how use beauty bloggers are always suckers for new products on the shelves. This is a take on the classic micellar water, but so you can actually wash you face too. I've not used a product to cleanse for a few weeks now, after discovering the magic make up remover cloths. But I have noticed my skin is becoming a little dry by using just water. A few uses of this and my skin is so moisturised, clean and plump feeling. Total winner,

L'oreal Brightening Clay Mask:  I bought this a while ago, once again when they came out. It's okay, but as far as clay masks go the consistency is really watery and it doesn't offer the best results. I tend to use it when I've run out of my other products,

Hylamide Skincare Products: I wrote about these here after bagging them in the Black Friday deals. I use them pretty much every day and the spritz is perfect for when you use a matte foundation and want to avoid the cakey finish.

Pixi Glow Tonic: A repurchase after being trying a 'free' one at my old job. This is a great way to give you skin a boost twice or thrice a week and always makes my complexion seem clearer and more dewy when I put foundation on.

Vichy Idealia Day Cream:  Vichy is one of the French Pharmacy brands I will always stock up on when it's on offer in Boots. I bought this after Kitty broke my favourite Idealia Serum and it gives you a nice dewy base for your make up.

So, as you can see, not a lot in my daily skincare collection I actually bought. But surely buying more skincare products on top of the ones you've already got is such a waste, Especially when you've received some absolutely amazing products to review which you would totally buy again when they've run on. 

Which leads us on to what I didn't buy myself...

Jurlique Water Essence: This was featured on this blog post, where I discussed if something like this is really needed in your skincare regime. As demonstrated by it still being in my daily use pile, it is a worthwhile thing to add. But you can get away with using cheaper toners I suppose! 

Pixi Beauty Sleep Cream and La Roche Posay Toleraine Ultra Overnight: I use these when my skin really does need a boost of hydration. Which is quite regularly when it comes to these really erratic days of cold, rain and slightly warm weather.

Vichy Quenching Mineral Mask: This is one of those products which is in the pile because I'm trying to love it more than I do. I don't want to say that any Vichy product is bad because I love the brand, but this is just okay. It doesn't hydrate as much as I'd like but saying that it isn't terrible either!

Jurlique Rose Water Mist: This was one of the first perks of my old job and to be honest I think it's a little past it's use by date. They're only meant to be used 6 months after opening but I hate throwing away anything which is still more than half full! I've been using the Hylamide spray more now, so once I transition fully I'll have to part ways. Because it's all natural ingredients the shelf life just isn't as long as you'd like.

Pixi Rose Oil: I love, love, love this stuff! A definite repurchase when it runs out and once again a perk of my old job. Dear Pixi, please add me to your press list now I'm not at my old job!

La Roche Posay Hydraphase Mask: Similar to the Vichy Quenching Mineral Mask, I want to love this but it's similar results for me. Maybe there's just something about this type of mask which my skin just thinks is a little 'meh'.

In a nutshell, beauty bloggers don' tend to buy that much themselves when it comes to skincare, but they LOVE trying any new and innovative products when they come out, whether they've been bought themselves or the PR sends them out first. 

This also reflects that things aren't always just written about because they're 'free' - but things we get sent actually do get put in the daily use regime! 

Are you surprised at how much is gifted vs. bought, or are these results just what you would expect from a beauty blog?

5 Ways to Make The First Day Back at Work Slightly Better

After having a much needed rest over the festive period, it's time for the UK to sigh a communal sigh and set those alarm clocks for the morning. Mine will be beeping in my ears at 6am, ready to drive to the train station, get the train, then walk for 15 minutes through Manchester City Centre. Commuting isn't as bad as you think it is though. Here are 5 ways to make that first day back a little bit better - especially if you're stuck on a train for 45 minutes.

Download Something Good on iPlayer

Last time I actively used public transport, mini disc players were a thing. Now we have the luxury of actually watching things with our eyes and it's changing my life. I rarely watch anything on the TV at home. Apart from Hollyoaks, but that's just my guilty pleasure. Anyway, Planet Earth or a good music documentary on iPlayer is consistently putting me in a great mood every day. Tomorrow I'm looking forward to watching the first episode of Series 3 of Uncle. The first two series made me lol a lot.

Prepare the Night Before

Choose your outfit (go for comfort for that first day in after a week of Christmas eating), pack your bag and prepare everything you need to take with you. I've got my laptop bag by my keys to ensure I don't forget anything important! All my gadgets are charged and I'm as ready as I'll ever be, making sure the morning isn't a massive rush or panic to get everything sorted before my train.

Treat Yourself to a Nice Coffee

In the past I always saved Friday's for my weekly 'treat' - but why do that? Friday is a good enough day already. It's the Monday (or in this case, Tuesday) that you need something to look forward to. I'll be having a beautiful Coffee Cocktail from Mangobean in Manchester. My new favourite coffee place, that I've missed ever so mucbh during my time off!

Have a Brisk Walk!

I have no choice in this one, but if I was to take the bus or still drive in to work then a new habit I would definitely continue is to make sure I WALK! Get off a stop early or park in the furthest space away. I'm always so much more awake and in such a better mood once I've got off the train and walked down to the office. I genuinely believe it sets you up for the day now I've been doing it myself. 

Plan a Post-First Day Back Pamper Night

Not like you need an excuse, but nip out on your lunch break and buy a nice face mask and bath bomb ready to congratulate yourself after a long first day back. If you don't get in until around 7pm, like me, the last thing you want to do it go the gym or do household chores. Just concentrate on all the relaxing you're going to do and wake up even more revived the morning after.

Do you have any other tips to make that first day back a little less painful?

Essence: The Little X-Mas Factory Collection

I've had the Essence Little X-Mas Factory collection for a few weeks now, thanks to Tereza who bought it back for me from Prague. I've been meaning to blog about before Christmas, as you know, seasonal relevance and all that? Better late than never though, eh.

As anyone who knows me will know, I am a complete sucker for two things. The first is a bargain and Essence make up certainly falls under than category with nothing in the range costing more than around a fiver. The second thing I love is a cute, limited edition theme. Once again, Essence have delivered on that score too.

Essence products can be fairly hit and miss though and this collection is one of those where it has some proper stand out products and some which fall a little flat. Despite looking stunning, the eyeshadow palette is rather lacking when it comes to using it. With a very sheer application, the shades really don't stand out when worn, however, it still does look amazing as part of my eyeshadow collection. Something a bit Kylie Jenner about that drip effect isn't there?

My favourite products from the range are the gold eyeliner and the contouring palette. Both are the perfect hues for paler skin and you can use both daily without looking to over the top. The gold is a lovely subtle antique gold and the contouring shades are not the mucky brown a lot of the ones on the high street tend to be. 

I just really wish that the Essence Make Up stand would make a return to the Arndale Centre, as the stands in Wilko's don't tend to have the same limited edition goodness. Although I suppose it's one excuse to go on holiday... To buy make up. Priorities and all that.

2016: Was it all that Bad?

I'm not one to put overly personal things on the internet. And I won't. There are some things I'll happily talk about, which people would deem as fairly personal, but really - there's 90% of things that go on that only my closest know about. Saying that, I can tell you that 80% of 2016 was just a bit shit. But equally, from the sour came some sweet and overall it wasn't that bad really.

So what happened?

Well, we began the year with Bowie dying didn't we? Which probably set the tone for the 12 months ahead of us. There have been multiple celebrity deaths. But is someone dying really that bad? Let's put it in to context; Bowie, Carrie Fisher, Prince - they all led pretty fucking amazing lives. George Michael had a bit of a shitter, but really, if he wasn't having such a bloody brilliant time, the press wouldn't have had anything to write about him. When it comes to these deaths it doesn't sadden me. It just makes me think 'hey guys, you actually did what you loved and you lived till a great age' and if I achieve half the things they do I'd die happy.

This year I convinced myself that I had cancer x 4 times, was going blind x 1 and had a brain tumor x 2 times. When you reach 30+ you tend to over exaggerate any little medical thing you possibly can. I've been to the doctors and hospital more times in 2016 than I have in my entire life. It wasn't exactly an ace experience either. I wrote about having my boobs scanned here, which I can categorically say was one of the most frightening things I've ever been through. But hey, I haven't been through very much. So once again, gotta take the sweet with the sour. Especially when you're just riddled with cysts and not actually going to die. I've still got a lump under my arm pit which I occasionally freak out about - but I'm assured it's nothing *shrug*

In 2016 I went to more festivals than ever but also had more intense hangovers than ever. Life can be such a balancing act can't it? As soon as you're over 25 say goodbye to hangover free days. The struggle is real. Festival season this year was the greatest I've experience to date, and I've been going to festivals for nearly 10 years now on a regular basis. You can catch all the music based blog posts here and I really need to write about music more regularly in 2017.

Towards the end of 2016 I actually felt like my life had completely fallen apart. I think people were genuinely concerned about me because I was just so fucking sad all the time. And with good reason. The job I loved, with the people I loved, had ended. You know when you finally feel settled in life after a few shit months and then something comes along and pulls the rug from right underneath your feet? That was exactly what happened. But the less said about it, the better. 3 weeks of crying about it and job searching later and I landed a new job at a place I'd admired for YEARS previously. I'm still adjusting to it all, with new people and a new commute every day, but after being there for a month now, I'm more settled and feeling like I'm fitting in a bit more. It's really weird being 31 and feeling like you're starting again. My confidence in my ability was really knocked, but you know what? I'm fucking ace at what I do. I'm really glad that the two jobs I was offered in this time (at two amazing companies) recognised that and I'm building it all back up again. 

In September I also welcomed a new addition to mine and Kitty's life in the form of Stevie. A little mackerel tabby cat, with the fluffiest fur and the sharpest teeth in town. You can meet him on YouTube here. Speaking of YouTube, I gave it a go for a bit and I think I'll actually make an effort to do it more in 2017. I just need to do more things to film! 

So really, 2016 has been a mixed bag. As cheesy as it sounds I actually feel like a stronger person through all of it and actually, I can do more than I realised I ever could. 2017 is going to be a great year. I'm finally saving for a house, I'm going to go on holiday and I'm going to spend more time concentrating on me. I'm going to spend more time with friends, more time getting drunk and more time dancing. Because I'm the most important person in my life and drinking and dancing are totally my jam. 

About Hello Terri Lowe

A UK Beauty, Lifestyle and Food blog, based in Staffordshire, you can also expect to see reviews of places around the country. Often spotted in Manchester during a day job of Community Management for a PR Agency, you can expect to see a little bit of everything from festivals to food and everything in-between. When not blogging, you can find me having a nice sit down with my cats, Stevie and Kitty, or enjoying a fine cup of coffee. Don't forget to take a look at my 'about' page if you're interested in collaborating on any exciting opportunities!

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