Katie Vibes
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On My Bedside Table: Current Skincare
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It seems I haven't shared a skincare routine on the blog in the longest time! To be honest, I'm chopping and changing routine constantly so it often seems a bit disingenuous to share some kind of pseudo-regular routine. Saying that, I have actually been keeping to a routine lately as I've been having a nightmare time with my skin. I've been working full time for most of summer and I begin my Masters course this week; safe to say me (and my skin) are stressed.  

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In the AM, I like to use a gel cleanser. My usual pick is the Andalou Naturals Kombucha Cleanser but unfortunately I have just used it up and it has now been reformulated. I'm currently trying the Green People Oy! Clear Skin Foaming Wash* but I think, in the future, I would definitely prefer a thicker gel cleanser with a bit more oomph. This offering from Green People almost vanishes into the skin and I'm not really in to it. In the PM I preempt this with a cleansing oil and at the moment I'm loving the Vedani Botanicals Silky Face & Body Oil. This isn't currently on sale and I was very lucky to receive one from Mercedes as part of a giveaway prize. I absolutely love this oil and it also works as a great multi-tasker when I need to pack minimally for travel. I'm definitely not looking forward to when it finally runs out. It's absolutely fabulous at removing makeup but I do occasionally loosen off any heavy eye makeup with the Madara Micellar Water*.

Serum-wise, I'm currently testing some products from The Ordinary. They aren't the cleanest, but they use a selection of natural/organic ingredients and everything is cruelty-free and most products are suitable for vegans. I've been using the Advanced Retinoid 2% (now called Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion) in the evening as a super-charged de-clogging serum for my closed comedones. I definitely think it has been effective and I am happy to continue using it as my comedones are a constant battle that hasn't yet been improved that much by completely natural products. I've also been using the Salicylic Acid 2% as a spot treatment. It is the same strength as the Bravura peel but the thicker consistency makes it easier to apply to smaller areas. I haven't noticed a huge difference from using this but I may give it another go when it runs out due to the great price point of The Ordinary's products.

At the moment I am pre-empting any moisturising product with a good spritz of the Evolve Beauty Skin Defence Moisture Mist*. This is a relatively new release from Evolve and probably one of my favourite products of theirs that I have tried. I find this mist to be moisturising (without making my face greasy) and it provides a perfect base for any kind of face oil. I also love using it as a refreshing face mist post-gym! Skincare-wise however, I enjoy using it before my oil of the moment, the Vedani Botanicals Silky Skin Serum. Unfortunately this is also not available at the moment but if it ever pops up, pick this up. I absolutely adore this serum and I am going to be truly sad when it runs out - which will be soon. It's absolutely perfect for my skin, which is to be hoped as it was a bespoke blend from the lovely Mercedes. I really enjoy giving my skin a good facial massage with it before bed. In the AM, I'm loving the Hynt Beauty Sun Prep Broad Spectrum SPF30. This SPF is one of a kind in the green beauty world, in that it is almost completely transparent. It provides a smoothed and protected base before makeup and its light texture makes it perfect for combination/oily/acne-prone skins like my own. If you're going to try anything from this post, I suggest picking up a sample ASAP from Glow Organic.

What has been featuring in your skincare routine lately?

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Hygge for Self-Care

'Hygge' - the Danish concept of cosiness - had a bit of a moment towards the end of 2016. Countless books were published, claiming to unlock the secrets of Scandinavian happiness. I will admit, I was a little sucked in, especially as I was planning a trip to Northern Europe for the summer. Hygge can be implemented in nearly every area of one's life, and today I'm going to be focusing on implementing the ideas of 'hygge' into your self-care and suggesting some easy-to-source products (all available from LoveLula) to step-up your routine.

'Hygge (pronounced 'hue-gah') is a quality of presence and an experience of belonging and togetherness. It is a feeling of being warm, safe, comforted and sheltered.'
The Book of Hygge

Setting the mood
Creating a relaxing, safe, and cosy atmosphere for your self-care is really important. I suggest lighting a candle (as long as your living situation allows it), and something along the lines of this Joik Masala Chai soy wax candle* would be perfect as the warming spices really help to invoke a feeling of comfort in this time of year's harsh weather. A good herbal tea will also help to warm you up and calm you down. Beauty Brews offer a completely organic loose tea named appropriately 'Hygge'* made from beautiful ingredients such as orange, cinnamon, and apple. Finally, if a lovely smelling candle isn't enough for you, try an aromatherapy roll-on to calm the senses. I love the Ground roll-on from Yogandha*. Frankincense and sandalwood are great for crafting a 'hyggelig' atmosphere and this roll-on also doubles as a beautiful light perfume.

The beauty picks
To me, 'hyggelig' beauty products need to be natural, soothing, and multi-purpose. My first choice for this was of course the fantastic Lyonsleaf Beauty Balm*. This totally vegan balm is an amazing cleanser, moisturiser, mask, and more. The formula is oily-skin friendly (no coconut oil) and it's really affordable. I love to put a thick layer of this on before a shower as a mask but it's also great for removing makeup and/or giving your heels and elbows a little TLC. Check out my full review for more information. If you want a moisturising mask but your skin is definitively on the drier side, check out the Madara SOS Hydra-Moisture and Radiance Mask*. I find this to be a little rich for my combo skin but it would be a great option for those with drier skins who want something you can just slap on and leave overnight. You could also use the Lyonsleaf on your lips but for something more specialised, try BEING Lip Service*. Another completely vegan product, this lip balm has a really interesting mint & basil scent and its waxy texture is great for moisturising without being too greasy. BEING is a new company to me but their simple aesthetic and small-batch nature is really appealing.

Do you 'hygger'? What elements, for you, make up an effective self-care routine?

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