Little Lottie: April 2015

Friday, 24 April 2015

Face of the Month

Hello beauties. I've been really switching up my makeup base lately between mineral foundations and mixing my own tinted moisturisers but I think I've finally settled on my everyday face for this time of year.

I wanted to keep things as sheer as possible because the sun has been out and the 'melted cake face look' isn't a good one! No matter what base I've worn, my trusty Lily Lolo Mineral Concealer is the perfect partner in crime. (read my review of the concealer here) 

Step 1 // Moisturise
To create a dewy base I've been moisturising with Jojaba Oil, this was too heavy for my skin at first and made me oily but using a couple of drops, rubbing it in my hands then gently patting it on seems to do the trick.

Step 2 // Prime
Priming with Aloe Vera Gel is so easy, it minimises pores and absorbs into the skin so quickly which makes a perfect smooth base.

Step 3 // Base
I've fallen back in love with my Body Shop Tea Tree BB Cream. The coverage is better than most and it benefits the skin whilst it's on.

Step 4 // Conceal
A mineral concealer gives great coverage and lasts all day, it saves having to use powder to set makeup and is great for a 'soft focus' look, especially under the eyes. I find Lily Lolo has slightly more coverage and better shade choices than Bare Minerals, it's also much cheaper! I apply it with the Eco Tools Concealer Brush.

Step 5 // Minimal eye makeup
For my spring/summer eyes I have been saving a lot of time by just using my FAVOURITE ever mascara, Maybeline The Great Lash in Very Black on the top lashes only, with a clear mascara on the bottom to separate. Sometimes I leave it at that but might add a small line of eyeliner on the outer corner to create the illusion of thicker lashes. The Collection Extreme 24 Hour Felt Liner is my current favourite.

Step 6 // Bold lips 
Because there is no colour on the eyes or cheeks this is the perfect time to whip out those bold lippies. Although Rimmel Lasting Finish by Kate in 08 is quite safe I am totally in love with it. I wanted a Kylie Jenner colour without going to Mac (as they test on animals.) The lipstick really does last and seems to leave a slight stain on my lips without wearing off completely until I take my makeup off.

The look is so quick and simple, just what I need in the mornings before a full day in the office. All the products are fairly natural and allow my skin to breath during the day.

A selfie of the finished look

Leave a comment with your favourite look.
Little Lottie

Friday, 17 April 2015

My Secret Skincare Weapon

Natural skincare is the best. I can't even fathom to think of the crap I put on my skin. I've definitely learnt my lesson and switched things up over the years including vital ingredients like Aloe Vera!

Aloe Vera gel comes from a plant, when you peel an aloe leaf apart you will find the pure gel inside. It is an incredible at healing and soothing. I discovered it after a bad case of sunburn and the redness turned to tan overnight, I couldn't believe it, no peeling or soreness. The cold gel felt lush, so I thought hey, I'm going to slap this on my face and I have been doing it ever since.

If you don't have an aloe plant hanging about then you can pick up the gels pretty cheap, just make sure there aren't many added ingredients to the gel. I use the Aloe Pura range which is 99.9% pure aloe! You can pick it up for around £5 in Superdrug and Holland and Barrett.

The gel dries very quickly on the skin and I usually pop some moisturiser over the top but stick to a routine of using the plain aloe during the day and the gel with added tea tree at night. You can also use it in your hair for a mask or on any burn to cool and heal it.

I love budget beauty treasures. Share yours in the comments.

Happy Friday beauties.

Little Lottie

Friday, 10 April 2015

Health switches to make you feel great!

Hello Beautiful. I hope you had a glorious Easter, whatever got up to. If you are regretting how much chocolate you ate over the last week you may be wanting to put some new health regimes into action to make you feel (& look) like it never happened. Here are some easy (& delicious) health switches to make you glow from the inside out.

1//  Reduce your dairy consumption. 
Cows are frequently given hormones and it shows on our skin when we consume their milk. Through reducing my dairy intake I have fallen in love with almond milk! I put it on cereal, in smoothies, make hot chocolate with it and it's great for baking too. There are lots of delicious non dairy milks in your supermarket that contain great anti-oxidants!

Almond milk hot chocolate is DE-lish!

2// Increase your Omega 3 intake. 
I have done this by purchasing supplements like fish oil and adding flaxseed to my breakfasts/smoothies. The best way to get a good dose of omega is through food, experts recommenced at least 3 portions of fish per week, my favourite is Salmon with lemon and kale. Omega 3 fatty acids are an anti-inflammatory and some people have cured skin conditions with this alone.

Salmon with kale, sweet potato and coleslaw

Flaxseed sprinkled on cereal and fruit

3// Stick to Wholemeal. 
Staying away from 'white' products will also benefit your health and show on the outside too! Switch to wholemeal bread, pasta and rice to avoid the chemicals used in bleaching food and reduce bloating. Although the odd pizza wont go amiss...

4// Which leads me to... Cut down on sugar! 
White food products, fizzy drinks, alcohol, junk food, sweets and most cereals are high in the white devil which sends your blood sugar rocketing, this makes your body produce more insulin and breaks you out!

5// Switch potato for sweet potato! 
Sweet potato is orange in colour which means it contains beta cerotene, this turns into vitamin A when digested and is vital for that glow factor. Sweet potato is so tasty, in my eyes even better than regular potato. It's quick to cook and not nearly as bloating as white potato. They make great fries, wedges, jacket potatoes and are super delicious dunked in mayo or BBQ sauce.

Sweet potato fries with sweet chili and mayo

6// Use Olive Oil more.
This oil is great to cook and dress food with, it contains anti-inflammatory agents and some omegas that will help your skin glow. It is however a fatty oil so use in moderation. I like it drizzled over kale and vegetables.

7// Drink 2 liters of water a day and a few cups of green tea. 
This may be hard at first but I now look forward to a cup of lemon green tea with my breakfast and end up thirsty if I don't have a bottle of water handy. These drinks will pump your body with antioxidants and flush out any unwanted baddies. Add lemon slices to your water for more flavour and health benefits or try berries to satisfy a sweet tooth.

Loose leaf green tea

Lemon water

8// Don't deprive yourself. 
I never deprive myself of a sweet treat if I really want one, chocolate is my downfall. Remember everything in moderation, starving yourself will only make the cravings worse.

9// Exercise.
It doesn't sound fun now but I promise you once you start and get into a routine you will feel one hundred times better. They key is to find something that works with your lifestyle, I was against joining the gym for a long time because they pull you in on a contract and cost a fortune. As well as the pressure of the 'regulars' staring at me whilst I look like a beetroot and sweat like a pig.
In the end I gave in and joined the local gym round the corner from work, I would get up at 6.30am, go to the gym for an hour, shower and get ready there, then rush round the corner to work, shoveling breakfast down at my desk.

It worked for about a month when I decided it wasn't benefiting me in any way, now I get up at 6.30am, stroll downstairs to the comfort of my living room and do 40 minutes of high intensity interval training in the form of Insanity, which has changed my life. I feel more confident and am slowly achieving my New Year's resolution to tone my stomach. I do this 4 times a week and have a break at the weekends.

If you aren't motivated to work out at home then joining the gym and knowing that you're paying is a great motivator. I am personally more motivated by the thought of exercising in my own home and Insanity really works for me.

Insanity workout 

Baby abs. Workout gear from Primark

Whether you make health changes gradually or in one hit you will never regret working out or eating a healthy meal. Instagram is great for motivational quotes and tips, follow me here.

Comment with your favourite health tips and follow for more from me.

Little Lottie 

Friday, 3 April 2015

Beauty Ingredients I avoid and why

From sensitive skin to allergies and acne, there are so many ingredients in our everyday beauty items and cosmetics that are toxic for our skin and can cause all kinds of reactions.

I was never aware of this when I was younger and would scrub my face far too much with harsh face washes that claimed to work miracles, I am now left with scarring and sensitivity that means harsh ingredients break me out a lot. A quick trip to the dermatologists office opened my eyes to what I was actually putting on my skin and I'm now a self confessed, serial ingredient counter, think calories but worse...

I've put together my list of ingredients that I personally try to avoid in my beauty collection for reasons that I have discovered through using them and experiencing a reaction, you may have no trouble with them at all. Most natural skincare and makeup items will also avoid these ingredients, hopefully I can help you to understand that label on your foundation a bit better with my guide.

1// Mineral Oil

Mineral Oils/paraffinum liquidum have broken me out countless times. They are a synthetic oil unlike essential oils and actually derive from petroleum! Have I put you off yet? Mineral oils are extracted from crude oil which contributes to making petrol so they are bad for our planet and our skin!

2// Perfume

Perfume is one of the hardest ingredients to avoid and is the first thing my dermatologist told me to steer clear of as it can sting and irritate sensitive/acne skin types. I now think if a product has to be perfumed to put it on my face, what is in it that they need to cover up with a scent? The 'ingredient' perfume/perfum can actually be made using over 3,000 chemicals but it's only ever listed as one ingredient on the label.

3// Talc

Talc is mostly used in powder products to create a mattifying affect, talcum powder was a popular product years ago for things like drying off after a shower but it does the job so well it's on my avoid list for drying out my sensitive skin.


SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate) is added to many beauty items like cleansers, face washes and shampoos to make them foam. It is a type of detergent also used in INDUSTRIAL CLEANERS! I personally find this ingredient dries out my skin and scalp so avoid as much as possible but cosmetic companies struggle to find anything that works as well to replace it with.

5// Soap

Soap is another ingredient that cosmetic companies now try to avoid, you may notice cleansers labeled 'soap free'. Soap strips our skin of it's natural oils and so our skin over-produces sebum/oil causing blemishes and oiliness. Take the natural route and find a cleanser that wont through your PH off balance. I love using a mix of Olive Oil and Castor Oil.

6// Parabens

Parabens are a much debated over ingredient but have you noticed that recently when you pick up a moisturiser or foundation the label on the front says if it's paraben free? Parabens come with many names and are there to stop bacteria and mould growing in our 'wet' products like moisturisers. They are rumored to sink into our skin and enter our blood stream, increasing the risk of cancer. A natural alternative to Parabens would be Lavender oil but many cosmetics don't use this for various reasons (god knows why, it's bloomin lovely) You can find my favourite moisturiser here.

Finding brands that leave out any nasty ingredients is a task but Lush and Ren are among my favorites, read my Ren cleanser review here.

If you're looking for a more natural skincare routine I highly recommend cutting out these ingredients and see if you notice a difference.

Little Lottie