Worth the Hype? St Ives Apricot Scrub for Sensitive Skin |thelittlescottishcorner

St Ives Apricot Scrub

It seems like every man, woman, cat and even goldfish were raving about the St Ives Apricot Scrub at one point. I gave in one day and tossed it in my basket to put to the test. I can’t say I’m a face scrub expert – far from it. I’ve tried Philosophy Micro Exfoliating Scrub, a sample of Dermalogica Face Scrub, Elemis Freshskin Exfoliator and pretty much every scrub made by Boots Skin Clear or Clean and Clear. I like the Philosophy scrub, but it is too darn expensive. My next choice would be Elemis Freshskin and at £12 a tube it still isn’t cheap, but smells of Apricots. And finally, for many years I just used Boots Skin Clear Daily Face scrub. Cheap. Cheerful. Clears my skin. Job done. Anyway, I figured the St Ives scrub might be similar, but with a delicious Apricot smell. How wrong was I? Very wrong indeed.

The texture of this scrub is very gritty and in my opinion a bit rough for the face. This is definitely not something you would use everyday – more of a 2 or 3 times a week kind of thing. I picked up the version for sensitive skin as sometimes products can be too harsh for me or break me out in spots. The scrub does smell really nice, which is a bonus for a face product as some of them can smell really nasty. Normally when I use a scrub, my pores on my nose don’t get too clogged – it’s only when I skip using it for a week or so due to being on holiday or running out that I notice thy have begun to clog. Since introducing this into my skincare routine on Mondays and Thursdays (and the occasional Saturday), I’ve noticed my nose has become really clogged up. Disgusting I know, but a valid observation. The other thing I’ve noticed since using this (been using it ~4 months now) is that my skin seems to be a lot drier than before. Now I haven’t changed my moisturiser or cleanser in this time, so I can only attribute it to this scrub (and possibly weather, but normally my moisturiser combats the horrid weather).

The scrub does claim to be non-drying, so maybe it just doesn’t agree with my skin type? It contains no oil, which is good if you are worried about looking like a chip pan, but bad if you have dry skin issues like me. The coarse grains are bits of walnut – so all natural and good and the scrub doesn’t contain parabens of phtalates. So it isn’t all bad. It also only retails for around £4 for 150ml, but is currently only £2.13 in Superdrug.

I know many bloggers do love this and Gemma over at Miss Makeup Magpie (one of my fave bloggers and her review is here) has been using this for a number of years and got on particularly well with a different version of this scrub. So I can kinda see why so many bloggers rave about this scrub, but sadly it just didn’t work for me.

Have you tried St Ives Scrub and did you find it dried you out too? What’s your go to scrub?

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Budget Brand Lovin – Anatomicals | thelittlescottishcorner

Anatomicals

I thought I would do a mini review on one of my favourite budget brands – Anatomicals. I only discovered Anatomicals last year and it was by chance really. I was browsing the beauty aisle in Asda and I never normally shop at Asda, when I chanced across the ‘Farewell Scarlett Pimpernell’ (reviewed here) face mask and at £1 it seemed a bargain. I really enjoyed using the face mask and being a sucker for the packaging decided to do a quick Google search on the brand. Turns out everyone’s favourite fashion/beauty online store -ASOS stock Anatomicals. At the time, they had a couple of gift sets reduced to clear as it was in January, so I snapped them up. In one gift set I got an inflatable bath pillow (which doesn’t stick properly) and features a quirky story, a candle (a little disappointing), some bath salts (reviewed here) and the above face mask. The face mask isn’t really my cup of tea as it is self heating and I find these a little uncomfortable and always panic that they will burn  my skin. The second gift set contained some funky rubber gloves (now my bog cleaning gloves cos nobody wants toilet germs on their hands), a hand cream (which is almost finished and in my desk drawer along with around 4 other almost empty tubes) and the above hand polish. I bought the body scrub separately for the bargain price of £3.50!

I’m not going to review the individual products as such, this is more of a brand review because I’ve really fallen in love with Anatomicals. The packaging is amazing isn’t it? Everything comes in brightly coloured plastic containers, with sturdy lids/pumps. Nothing worse than a cheap pump. The product names are genius – Cheese Release Me Foot Cream, Help the Paw Paw Hand Cream and No More White Bits Fake Tan to name but a few. You can’t help but chuckle inside. The product instructions are equally as quirky, which may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I love it! All of the products I’ve had from Anatomicals have been highly scented and good quality. The body scrub left my bathroom smelling of Grapefruit for a good half hour after showering and the consistency was perfect. Often I can find budget brands to be runny or thick, but I think Anatomicals have got it spot on. The products are also paraben free which is a bonus!

ASOS currently have a sale on Anatomicals, so I’m eyeing up a few bits. They are so budget friendly and with the sale it would be rude not to! You can also purchase Anatomicals from Cloud 10 Beauty, but I’ve only ever used ASOS because that way I can combine my order to get other bits and bobs I really need want. I thought I would add a little wishlist into this post because it seems like an age since I’ve done one. To make things more interesting, I’ve set myself a budget of £20 (enough to treat myself, but not enough to bankrupt myself). Here’s what I would purchase:

ANATOMICALS WISHLIST

1.We Never Forget a Face Memorably Good Moisturiser – £4.50 for 50ml (was £6)
2.Shower to the People Lime Shower Gel – £2 for 250ml (was £3)
3. Cheese Release Me Minty Foot Cream – £2 for 100ml (was £3)
4. Not Another Rough Day Please Neroli Body Lotion – £2.50 for 200ml (was £3.50)
5. Oi You Throbhead Headache Balm – £3 for 20g (was £4)
6. Anatomicals Face Mask Pack x3 – £2 (was £3)
7. Aint No Dope This Soap Watermelon and Cucumber Hand Soap – £2 for 300ml (was £3)
8. Help the Paw Vitamin Rich Hand Cream – £2 for 100ml (was £3)
TOTAL = £20

Yup. Fantastic. 8 products for £20. Even at full price all of this would only come to £28.50. Such fantastic value isn’t it? Now excuse me while I go and find my purse. It’s free delivery after all.

What do you think of Anatomicals? Would you be willing to try it?

Disclaimer – I was NOT sponsored by ASOS or Anatomicals to write this post – I just really like the brand. 

Skin Saviour | Elemis Freshskin Matte Moisturiser

Elemis FreshSkin Moisturiser

Hi my name is Jacquelyn and I am the world’s worst blogger! Sorry people. I’m so bad, but blogging is a hobby right? And it’s difficult to fit it in sometimes when your working full time. Speaking of work, I just applied for a full time job at my work. Aaaaaah. Scary stuff. I’m nervous already. I hope they interview me. This kinda means I’m an adult. I just applied for an adult job. Not a graduate job. No. A real life adult job. I really hope they interview me, even if I am relatively inexperienced. I want this soooo bad. Will be weird getting interviewed by people I know. Do I picture them naked or not? One of lifes many dilemmas. I think I will probably try not picture them naked because that is the worst interview tactic anyone has ever told me. Anyway, I’m stressing out here for no apparent reason. Which brings me on to my skin saviour of the year.

I’ve banged on about Elemis Freshskin before, it is seriously good. Now I love Elemis, but I can’t afford £20 odd for a bottle of cleanser (the lime blossom cleanser is ah-mazing), so freshskin is right up my street. It is aimed at teens to mid twenties, but when did an age recommendation ever stop anyone using anything? ‘Oh look this moisturiser is for teenagers, I better not use it’ said no one ever. If we get into technicalities I am still early, verging on mid twenties so I fit the bill perfectly. My skin is weird – dry in places, but my nose? Well if you wanted to I’m pretty sure you could crack an egg on there and fry it some days. It has mahoosive pores in there too, kinda like looking at a greasy moon is the way I would describe it. Not cool. I’ve always been plagued with big, disgusting spots on my nose every now and again, but generally other than a few tiny white lumps here and there the rest of my skin is clear.

Freshskin

Moisturisers and skin care can be problematic. Do you buy one for dry skin and risk making the oil rig that is your nose worse? Or do you buy one for oily skin and end up turning the rest of your face into a dry and barren dessert? Or do you buy both and have two sets of skin care, taking up precious space in the shower? First world problems here. Well in my teenage years, I went with the latter. In my early twenties I went with the former. Neither was ideal. Now, well now I have found a moisturiser that works for me. Ladies and Gentlemen let me introduce to you the Elemis Freshskin Skin Clear Mattifying Moisturiser.

The packaging is fairly plain and colour coded. Anything blue is for mattifying your skin and anything pink is for normal skin. I think that because this is fairly plain, you could give it to boys as well as girls. It is important to treat your teenage skin right –  I remember my brother looking after his and he has fabulous skin for a man now. I can see mums and grannies buying this for their teenagers for Chrimbo. Points to Elemis. The pump dispenser works and doesn’t clog, not much else to say here.

The texture, hmmm. Not too thick, not to watery. Exactly what you want from a moisturiser. It spreads evenly on the face and absorbs really well. Typically I give this around 5-10 minutes to soak in whilst I dry my hair before applying any makeup and I am left with no oily residue on my face. I do find that when I use this my nose gets marginally less oily during the day than if I don’t use it. Winner. This contains shea butter for added moistures and bergamot which is antiseptic to help reduce spots. It also contains cucumber and witch hazel, which are pretty common skin care ingredients for moisturising and fighting spots. I cant’t say that this noticeably reduces spots on it’s own, but combined with the serum from this range, it definitely does. Elemis don’t use any nasties – parabens, SLS etc in any of their products which is a bonus.

Okay, so the downside – it is quite pricey. £21 for a 50ml pot from Feel Unique. It is worth it though, trust me. It is my skin hero and a dessert island product.

Have you tried Freshskin? Did you love it as much as me? Can anyone recommend a nice face scrub, I am on the hunt?

Breaking Up After 5 Years | Philosophy Purity Cleanser

Philosophy Purity Clenaser | thelittlescottishcorner

Philosophy Purity Clenaser

The other day in the shower I realised I had never reviewed this cleanser! I’ve been using this cleanser for around 5 years and now my relationship has come to an end. I always have 2 or 3 cleansers on the go as I like to alternate between them and I just feel like this cleanser no longer suits my needs. I know for many this is a bit of a marmite product – some bloggers rave about it and others just darn right dislike it.

The consistency of this is quite thin, meaning you can either foam it up in your hands and apply with your fingers, put it on a face cloth or use it with a cotton pad. I have used this in the shower with my hands and with a face cloth in the sink at night. I much prefer this as a morning cleanser in the shower as I don’t find that it removes stubborn makeup as easily as some other cleansers. The bottle is very typical of Philosophy with a quote about purity and if I am honest I find the larger bottles very difficult to squeeze due to the thick plastic. I actually wrote to philosophy about this a few years ago, but they never replied. Clearly they don’t value customer opinion too much!

The smell of this is a bit strange and hard to describe. It isn’t unpleasant or highly scented, but it does smell of something. This does foam up well and it does a good job of cleaning the skin, but as mentioned above some stubborn makeup like Benefit They’re Real can cause problems. I usually have to cleanse 2 or 3 times if I am using this after wearing that mascara, which is a bit inconvenient. I suppose you are wondering why I used this for so long? Well it is extremely gentle and has never caused me any problems with skin irritation or drying me out. It does a great job at removing everyday makeup and generally leaves my skin feeling clean. I’ve decided not to repurchase this for 2 reasons. 1 is the price, this stuff is not cheap and for the price I expect a little bit more. It’ false economy to buy and expensive cleanser that can’t remove my makeup. 2. I am no longer cleansing twice a day. I have switched to cleansing only at night and for this I want something moisturising, that will remove all my makeup. Cue Emma Hardie Moringa balm. In the mornings I am now using a very gentle face wash or a gentle exfoliator, so I really don’t have much of a  need for this.

I’m really quite sad that this is my last bottle and will maybe pick some of the mini bottles up at Christmas, but I just feel I have moved on and grown up from this cleanser. As they say, ‘Philosophy Purity – it’s not you, it’s me.’ My needs have just outgrown this. I wear mascara every day now and I’m concious that not removing it properly could be bad for my eyes. Overall I really loved this and would recommend if you want a gentle cleanser – it’s great for removing foundation, blush etc, just not stubborn eye make-up.

You can purchase a mini 90ml bottle from Boots for £8 if you fancy trying it out.

What’s your go to cleanser? Do you use more than one like me? I would love to know if anyone has tried this what they thought?

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DIY Home Made Cold Process Soap

DIY Homemade Soap | theLittleScottishCorner

Cupcake Soaps

I’ve been such a bad blogger this past week! I’ve still got to email a few people about this collaboration, but will get around to it when I get back to England tomorrow. Been mega busy as I’ve been away for the past few days and fly back tomorrow. One more thing before we get into the post, I would love for you to follow me on Bloglovin 🙂 as I am hoping to reach 200 someday, although I am a long way off yet! Anyway, today I’m writing another post with the help of my mum. It’s true what  they say – Mum’s do know best! I will start with a little story behind this one… A few years ago, my Mum and my Auntie both got into soap making and since then they have never looked back. My Dad has horrific skin, very dry, flaky, red and sore. His head is like a snowstorm sometimes and even using expensive anti-dandruff shampoo like Philip Kingsley didn’t help much. One day he must have decided to use the soap my Mum had made on his head and it helped. Anyway, now he no longer uses shower gel or shampoo – just bars and bars of my Mum’s soap! I use the tea tree soap to wash my make-up brushes and keep on of the scented versions for my hands. In the shower I also have a bar with seeds in it since it makes a great pre-shave exfoliator for the legs.  Oh it also makes a great alternative to shaving foam, so really is a multi tasker. We all love it. Since we all love it, we figured we should share the recipe with you all 🙂

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Equipment

First up you will need to gather together a few bits of kitchen equipment. Most of these are non specialist, but Mum likes to keep pans etc for soap making (purely because she has loads as she inherited a lot of kitchen equipment when my Granny moved into a care home). If you only have 1 set of pans though, you can rinse them out, its just like filling them with fairy liquid really! Oh I would also recommend wearing an apron too and possibly some rubber gloves.

2 x Pans – 1 small to medium and 1 large

1 set of kitchen scales to measure your ingredients

Spatula or spoon for stirring – silicone is good so stuff doesn’t stick to it

Measuring jug

Set of wire racks – like what you use for cake cooling

Blender or whisk – Mum used to use a whisk, but a blender is soo much easier

Silicone moulds – These are dirt cheap and can be bought in many bargain stores. You even get seasonal ones like hearts, snowmen etc for individual soap. Alternatively you can use a square or rectangular brownie/loaf tin and make a big soap cake to be sliced up

2x thermometers. You can get these in most hardware stores for around £5 each. You could actually get away with just 1 thermometer, but 2 is easier

You also need a big towel or blanket to wrap the soap in at the end

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Ingredients

340g of cold water (needs to be clean, but that goes without saying right? If you live somewhere with hard water, filtering it might help)

125g of sodium hydroxide, otherwise known as caustic soda. Yeah this sounds a bit weird, but it is pretty common in a lot of soaps and once it is no longer in it’s alkali form it is totally fine for the skin

454g olive oil

284g of coconut oil (hard variety – looks like lard)

170g palm oil (hard variety – looks like butter)

20ml of pure essential oil

pigment if you wish to make coloured soap

any seeds eg poppy seeds or lavender etc you wish to add. We use 1tsp of poppy seeds per batch

Method

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1. Measure 340g of water into the jug and add in 125g of caustic soda. Add the caustic soda in slowly and stir until dissolved. You may want to wear gloves and goggles for this in case of spillage. Also beware that this is an exothermic reaction, so the solution will get hot. While you do this, be careful not to breathe in the vapour, cos it catches your throat. It’s no worse than stinky hair dye.

2. Place a thermometer in the solution and place to one side. You can place this in cold water later to assist the cooling. Be careful not to spill any of the solution or get any extra water in the solution.

3. Measure out 170g of palm oil and 284g of coconut oil and add to the smaller of the two pans. Gently melt this on the cooker, being careful not to overheat. When melted, it will just look like oil…

4. Measure out 454g of olive oil while the palm and coconut melt and add this to the larger pan.

5. Add the melted palm and coconut oil into the larger pan with the olive oil and stir. Add the thermometer to this pan.

6. Monitor the temperatures of the oil mix and caustic solution. When they reach the same temperature, mix the two together.

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7. If you only have 1 thermometer, you need to make sure you wash it when moving between solutions. You will probably need to gently warm the oil and cool the caustic solution until they reach the same temperature.

8. When mixing ensure the solutions are between 25 and 55 deg C. We mixed at around 40deg C.

9. Thoroughly mix the solutions together. It will turn a creamy white colour. The soap will thicken and leave a ‘trail’ or an indentation when touched with the spoon.

10. Add in your fragrance and seeds. We used 10ml of patchoulli oil and 10ml of lime oil and 1 tsp of poppy seeds. This makes a lovely morning shower soap!

11. Pour into the moulds! You need to work swiftly. I made two little cupcake soaps and mum made a big soap in a brownie pan which can be sliced up into bars. You can make any shape you like really. Silicone cake tins are available in so many shapes and sizes now for so cheap.

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12. Place the moulds on a hard surface – a tray or chopping board works wells, or even some stiff cardboard.

13. Wrap them up using a towel or a blanket. Mum also bought this pink silicone mat which stops the towel touching the soap. Yu could substitute this for anything really.

14. Leave the soap somewhere warm for 24 hours to set.

15. Remove the soap from the mould and leave for 2-4 weeks to set. Over this time is will harden gradually. You can cut the soap after the 24 hour setting time, but it is still quite soft, so best to do it after it is fully hardened. The soaps should be placed on a wire rack to fully harden. We usually put them under the bed or the sofa, out of the way.

16. After the 2-4 weeks are over, all that is left is to enjoy the soaps! Yay. You get so many cute little bags and paper nowadays, that you can wrap them up and give them as gifts. Ebay offer some cheap organza bags and primark do cheap facecloths. This makes a great little christmas gift for family and friends.

DIY Homemade Soap | theLittleScottishCorner

Final Soap Cake

DIY Homemade Soap | theLittleScottishCorner

Soap Cupcake

Where to Buy the Ingredients

Most of the items mentioned above are kitchen staples or found in any hardware store.

Some of the more specialist ingredients can be bought from places such as the soap kitchen and I have listed a rough cost below. This will hopefully give you some idea of how affordable this actually is.

Soap Making thermometers – £4.75

Essential Oils – Vary in Price from £1.00 per 5ml to £16.40 per 5ml (buying larger bottles means larger savings, but you can always buy a few smaller bottles to see what they smell like) These are also cruelty free 🙂

We used 10ml of lime oil – £1.45 for a 10ml bottle  or £5.20 if you wish to have organic lime oil (100ml bottle of non organic is £7.20)

10ml of patchoulli oil – £3.75 for a 10ml bottle or if you wish to have organic it is £5.70 per 10ml (100ml bottle of non organic is £18.70)

284g of coconut oil – sold in bags of 500g minimum for £3.08 or £5.32 for organic, meaning our 284g costs approximately £1.70 (again bigger bags mean bigger savings)

170 g of palm oil – sold in bags of 500g for £2.45 or £2.65 for organic, meaning our 170g costs approximately £1

454g of olive oil – You can buy this from the soap website, but we picked this one up in Aldi for around £2, meaning our half bottle was around £1

Poppy seeds – Since we hardly used any, I will say these cost 50p, even though it aint that much. You get these in the supermarket for a few quid a bag. They are tasty on bread

The caustic soda cost £1.60 for the 500g tub, so our 125g would be 40p

Total cost of soap (approx) – £10

Wow! I didn’t realise it was so cheap! I mean from Lush you would probably get 3 bars for that price? This way you can get a whole cake! I am now going to look into getting myself some other bits and bobs to make my own scrubs and bombs too. I’ve made my own toners in  the past, and loved it. Really enjoying making my own stuff.

Are you tempted to make your own beauty products? Have you ever made anything yourself and thought this is so much more economical than shop bought?

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