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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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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