9.30.2015

Current Skincare Saviours.



If you're a regular visitor to my wee blog, you may remember my recent 'Haircare Heroes' post. So, with the whole 'hair' side of things covered, it's time to talk skincare. You may have seen the above featured in the past on Bryony Laura, however after really relying on my skincare regime as of late, I thought I'd post a quick refresher spilling the details on why you should add them all to your shopping basket.

If you're entirely new to Neal's Yard, head here for the 411 on their Award Winning Skincare Kit (a total bargain at £20), however if not, stick around while I sing this serums praises. Scientifically formulated to support your skin while you sleep, using this is not only a total treat thanks to its calming scent, but I find that daily use keeps any unwanted blemishes and redness at bay. Also, dry, dehydrated skin will love this.

Ah, Origins, will you ever release a duff product? It appears not. A long-time love, this moisturiser is reserved exclusively for night time use in my regime (following the NY Beauty Sleep Concentrate, naturally). Rich in consistency, the product nourishes deep into the skin, leaving it soft and hydrated come morning. Like all Origins lotions and potions, you only need the smallest amount per use, making the admittedly steep price more bearable. 

I'm pretty picky when it comes to exfoliators. Too grainy, it's an instant no-no. Too gentle, kind of a pointless process, no? The Bee Good Honey & Camelina Facial Exfoliator however, gets it spot on. A recent addition to the Bee Good brand, this moisturising treatment sloughs away the dreaded dry skin leaving a soft and radiant complexion.

I've coveted this serum for well over a year now, so if you're a fan of more in-depth reviews, head over here to hear my full thoughts. Holding up to 1,00 times its weight in water, Hyraluronic Acid is something of a cult ingredient in the beauty world, and, unsurprisingly, packs a serious punch in the hydration department.

Have you tried any of the above? Have I tempted you? What are your top skincare recommendations? 

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9.21.2015

5 Minutes With: Ellen McCrimmon.


A couple of months ago, somewhere among my daily internet scrolls, I came across the exceptionally talented Ellen McCrimmon. Ellen is an artist and illustrator originally from the Isle of Wight, and boy is she damn good at what she does.

Using a combination of charcoal, paint and pencil throughout her work, she creates everything from sea creatures and puppies, to people and avocados (and who doesn't love avocados?).

I was lucky enough to be sent a few of her stunning pieces (which will be flaunted up on my wall soon as I find some snazzy frames) alongside the chance to have a little chat about all things art...


So I’ve gotta ask, when exactly did you realise how bad ass you are at drawing?
Haha! Well I’ve always loved drawing and painting since as long as I can remember. I liked the idea of being able to produce something that wasn’t there before. I’m super critical of myself and the work I make however, so I don’t accept compliments easily. It’s something I need to work on more. 

How did you get into illustration?
Well I was originally going to do art at uni, but after stressing out about the thought of more education after A-Levels, I took a gap year and decided to do primary school teaching instead. Turns out I wasn’t actually into it very much and started to get bored of the course. So in my spare time I just started to draw again, mostly charcoal sketches to get back into the swing of things. I put a few pictures of what I did on instagram and I was surprised by the kind of response I was getting. This motivated me to draw/paint more often, and I eventually started a separate instagram account for my work and it kind of went from there. 


What motivates you? Where do you gather your inspiration?
My biggest motivation is other artists, and not just the works of the ‘famous’ ones, but more so just ordinary people who spend their time creating amazing things! I’m actually part of a group called ‘artists of instagram’ which has a whole bunch of lovely people in it from all across the world where we take part in an art trade each month to help promote each others work. They’re all so talented and seeing the work they do helps me to stay motivated. 

What are your favourite things to capture within an image?
I really enjoy painting animals, and recently I’ve been inspired by the sea, it’s beautiful range of colours and the creatures within its depths! I’m originally from the Isle of Wight so I’ve grown up by the sea, and I like to use this theme within some of the things I create. 

What are your must-have art pieces? 
Ahh there's just so so much out there that it’s hard to narrow it down, but for me, I have to have a decent watercolour paint set, as well as my ‘Spectrum Aqua’ watercolour pens. They are a DREAM to work with and they have such a range of beautiful vibrant colours. They are pricey, but totally worth it. I also use a normal water brush to blend the colours together. This alongside a good pad of watercolour paper and you’re good to go! 


What advice would you give to gals and boys looking to get into illustration?
So it’s really good if you can identify your work with a certain style, this will help people to recognise your work without it always necessarily having to be labelled with your name. Also networking! Get yourself a separate instagram or facebook account for whatever to use as a primary place to promote your work. As silly as it sounds, sometimes having a ‘theme’ to your feed really helps. I mean this in terms of how you present your work and the colour schemes etc. It just means people are more likely to look through if your feed leaves a good impression. Also finding other artists and liking their work, and annoying as it is, but hashtags haha!

Where do you see yourself in 10 years time? Do you think your art and its focus areas will have changed significantly?
Oooh I have no idea. I want to experiment more with the types of art I do, to help develop my own work and move it forwards. Though I’m already struggling to find time to do illustrations within a 9-5 job, so it can be really tricky to stay motivated when you’re tired! But I love doing my art, and I would love to be able to make some kind of money off what I actually enjoy doing. So we’ll have to see I suppose!

What’s next for Ellen McCrimmon?
Haha who knows! What I can say is I have a few exciting art related things potentially on the horizon… so I guess just watch this space! 

Thanks so much to the lovely Ellen for taking the time to answer my questions, and of course, sending over her lovely work! Will you be snapping up anything from her site? Head here to go check it out and be sure to take a peek at her Twitter, and Instagram pages.
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9.16.2015

The Beauty Brands Worth Investing In (& What To Buy) #2


So aloha and welcome to part two of this beauty-themed post - I was originally going to just limit it to one, but frankly, it turned a little too wordy for my liking. If you fancy checking out the first, head here to read-up on some seriously awesome skin and haircare treats, but if not, stay tuned for a good 'ol beauty chat.

S&G are a gal's one-stop-shop for makeup, skin, body and suncare. Yep, basically, they do the lot, and by golly, do they do it well. My first dabble with  the brand was unsurprisingly their classic, Righteous Body Butter, and since then I've been hooked. Affordable, high-quality, and delightfully scented. Oh, and don't even get my started on the packaging...
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What to buy: Girligo Body Moisturising Mist for fuss-free, silky skin, Make Yourself Youthful Sunshield Superfluid SPF50+ for high sun protection and Clean On Me Shower Gel, just because.

Balance Me.
A blogger and celebrity favourite, the Balance Me brand is well worth a try if you like natural, sophisticated products. I first tried my hand last year with their Radiance Face Oil, and both myself and my skin were pretty damn pleased. Again, their products are also tip-top when it comes to the whole scent department.
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What to buy: The Radiance Face Oil for a nourished, clear complexion (review here), Radiance Face Mask to brighten and cleanse, and the Super Moisturising Body Oil for silky skin.

Arran Aromatics.
Thanks to many holidays in Scotland throughout the years, I've developed a serious addiction to all Arran Aromatics products. Based on the Isle of Arran (just in case the name didn't give it away), the brand crafts together everything from skincare and scrubs, to candles and bath oils, all lovingly handmade at the company's home farm. Lovely stuff.
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What to buy: The Sandalwood & Lavender Bath Oil for a soothing, sleep-inducing soak, Pure Shampoo thanks to its gentle, and beautifully scented formula, and Apothecary Aloe Vera Soap to clean 'yo self.

Liz Earle.
The Liz Earle brand is a bit of a classic in the beauty industry, and I guess that could be down to the fact the products are so darn awesome. I've been using the brand for a long time now - even so much to get the 2013 Advent Calender (it was bad ass) - and I always go back for more. Check out my various L.E themed posts, here.
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What to buy: I'm sure it's gonna come as no surprise that I'm gonna recommend the Cleanse & Polish right about now. Wondering why? Click here. The Eyebright Soothing Eye Lotion is also a godsend for sore, puffy peepers and the Healthy Glow Cream Blush for a hint of dewy glow - that's right, LE rocks the makeup side of things, too.

ESPA.
I like to think of ESPA as the Chanel of the beauty world. Sure, their products aren't half as pricey, but boy are they luxurious. I've featured them quite a few times on the 'ol blog (check here), and I always look forward to the days I reach for their skin-shaped treats. The packaging, the formulas, the scents - so damn dreamy it hurts.
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What to buy: So if you fancy treating yourself to a luxury beauty treat, make sure it's the Optimal Skin ProSerum. Rub the oil all over your body, sit back and pretend you're at a spa. Whilst you're at it, you may as well throw some skincare into the mix, perhaps with the Optimal Skin ProCleanser - a.k.a. one of the best out there.


So there we have it, a (not so) speedy round up of the crème de la crème beauty brands and products. What are your favourite, go-to brands to use? Do you have any that you would recommend?
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