Danielle's Beauty Blog

Sunday, 22 November 2020

Roaccutane Diaries | Month One

If you read my blog regularly or follow me on Instagram you might have heard me talking about starting Roaccutane (also known as Accutane or more broadly as Isotretinoin) again recently. This will actually be my third time on the drug, the first was when I was about 15, then again when I was 18 and now at the grand old age of 30 (not sure when that happened!).


skincare for accutane

I’ve struggled with acne basically since puberty hit, I have oily skin and no matter what fancy products I use, antibiotics or vitamins I take, nothing really gets rid of it for long. While in the months following my first two bouts of treatment my skin was clear, slowly my acne came back though not as severely and mostly I could deal with it. For the past year however, it’s been pretty constant and nothing was helping so finally I rang my doctor to enquire about the possibility of going back on the stronger stuff. He told me the waiting list would be months so I made a private dermatology appointment shortly after that to get things moving quicker and finally got my first months’ worth of tablets on 23rd October and I will be on a six month course!


Roaccutane

Roaccutane isotretinoin dosage

There are a whole host of tests and questions to answer before starting treatment and a long list of side effects that they go through but this blog post will be the length of a short novel if I go through everything so I’m going to keep it skin orientated! Unfortunately I can’t remember what dose I was on the previous couple of times nor what products I used to help with dry skin so I do feel like I’m starting from fresh! My doctor prescribed me 50mg a day, she normally prescribes 40mg but we discussed the fact I had not experienced any severe side effects (depression etc.) the last two times I was on the drug and coupled with the fact my acne came back, she went higher. Throughout my course I will see the nurses every month before I am prescribed my next month’s supply so should my skin be drying out too much or if I feel any other negative side effects my dosage could change.  

 

Four days in I could not believe how quickly my skin dried out! I had stopped using retinol the week before I started Roaccutane (which is basically a strong dose of Vitamin A) and was avoiding any acids as well but I got in from work one day and couldn’t get over how flaky and tight my skin looked and felt! I took my makeup off straight away and made a few orders for some more hydrating products as I realised a lot of my stash wasn’t as suited to dry and sensitive skin as I first thought and I really wanted to simplify my routine. About two weeks in my skin started purging and I still have some huge boil like spots kicking about on my face which is just the medication working. Overall, my dryness has really settled down and the flaking when I wear makeup is minimal! I’m a serial facial mister at the best of times so I have been doing that even more! 

 

Here's a run-down of what’s been saving my skin the last month! The Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm needs no introduction – it’s the most luxurious and hydrating cleanser that removes makeup with ease! I also picked up the CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser to use as a second cleanse and in the mornings and its very simple but effective! I’m all about the hydrating toners and have been reaching for Pyunkang Yul Essene Toner after cleansing. It’s a gel formula and feels so soothing on the skin! I’ll follow with a mist like the Pyunkang Yul Mist Toner to dampen my skin (and to add hydration throughout the day too) before applying Hada Labo Lotion No1 Super Hydrator. This is a huge bottle of hyaluronic acid and it’s been so effective at keeping dry patches at bay! Next, I’ll go in with the I’m From Mugwort Essence which has been a really nice extra step for me considering I usually forget about essences but this is a lovely layer of hydration my skin thanks me for! Following that, I’ll apply the Vichy Mineral 89 serum because you can never have enough hydration then if it’s the morning and I plan to wear makeup, the Bioderma Sebium Hydra* has been amazing underneath! My lips are covered in the Bioderma Atoderm lip balm* at the minute too, it keeps my lips hydrated, lasts well and is perfect underneath a face mask too! 


accutane skincare routine pm evening

At night I’ll alternate between my old faithful Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Hydrating Mask or mix some Dermalogica Barrier Defence Booster* with something like the CeraVe Facial Moisturising Lotion. I was also prescribed a very fetching tub of paraffin which I used at the very start as my skin was drying out so quickly overnight however over the past couple of weeks it hasn’t been necessary though I do apply quite a few layers of moisturiser before bed! The Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask has been keeping my lips hydrated and comfortable overnight and lasts through to the morning time which is amazing! 


accutane skincare paraffin

My body doesn’t feel dry but it took about two weeks for my favourite side effect (apart from clearer skin of course) to kick in and my once greasy scalp that needed washed every other day is now giving me six days of grease free good hair days! No flaky scalp…yet. I have also experienced a couple of nose bleeds which is another side effect of the drug and I don’t think I’ve had a nosebleed since the last time I was on it so that’s fun haha. It always seems to happen when I’m in the middle of doing my makeup – specifically when I am using my BeautyBlender around my nose so I guess that’s why, maybe I need to bounce a bit lighter! 

 

Congratulations if you made it to the end of this bumper post! I’m not sure if I’ll do monthly updates or maybe just one at three and six months but it’s nice to document and hopefully some of the skincare suggestions are helpful to you if you are also on treatment or just experience dry/sensitive skin! Let me know what your favourite products for dry or sensitive skin are! 

 

*denotes a PR sample that was sent to me. All opinions are my own. See my full disclosure here. 

 

Danielle xx

 

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Sunday, 8 November 2020

Five things I’m Loving | November 2020

favourites Emma Hardie lineage balm bronzer review

Another week another blog post! This week I want to talk about a few favourites, some recent and others more long term! 


Emma Hardie moringa cleansing bam review

I recently reintroduced the Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm back into my routine after finishing up pretty much all of my cleansers and I don’t know how I went so long without it! First off, it has the most uplifting scent, never too overpowering or eye watering! The balm itself is so luxurious, it melts easily on touch, a little goes a long way and it spreads like a dream. It feels hydrating and balancing and removes heavy makeup as well as waterproof eye makeup with ease. The pot comes with a little spatula, so is hygienic, as well as a lovely thick cleansing cloth that really elevates using the balm to a spa like experience! It’s pricey at £47 but I’ve seen this as cheap as £33 on Look Fantastic depending on what offer is on and it is well worth the money! I also talked about it more in this post from the archives here! 


Emma Hardie moringa cleansing balm texture review


A more recent addition to my collection and new favourite is the Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Bronzer in Medium and this recently got its own post but it deserves another mention here! It really is the most beautiful compact with a huge pan - I doubt I will ever run out of bronzer! It’s not too pigmented but easily buildable and so finely milled it’s impossible to look cakey or muddy with this! With a price tag of £39 it ain’t cheap but if you can find a discount it’s definitely worth it! 


Charlotte tilbury airbrush matte bronzer medium 2 review

I can’t quite believe the Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask has never gotten a mention here before! It’s one of those background products that quietly gets the job done for me but over the last few weeks as my lips have dried out due to Roaccutane, this little pot of magic has really stepped up! I was expecting to be waking up in the middle of the night with lips so dry they were cracking but nope, still fully covered in this the next morning! My lips are hydrated, plump and nourished! I got this little pot in Sephora last year after having a few minis but the full-size has lasted me ages! Does anyone know the best place to buy this from in the UK? 

 

Finally, I have another couple of K beauty products that are a little newer in my collection but I have been using for about two months now – first up the Pyunkang Yul Essence Toner. Containing only seven ingredients (milk vetch root extract being the main one), this is instantly cooling and soothing. It’s thicker than a normal toner and feels very gel like and it is so gentle and hydrating. It is perfect for my currently sensitive and dry skin and my face is drinking this up at the minute! I apply with a cotton pad like I would a toner but you can also apply by patting in with your hands like you would an essence so it’s a nice allrounder! 

 

Last but not least, the I’m From Mugwort Essence has also made its way into my daily routine. Another soothing, calming addition to my skincare collection, I have been applying this over the Pyunkang Yul essence toner after hyaluronic acid to really layer up the hydration. My skin always struggles with the change in seasons but this year its struggling even more with the addition of Roaccutane so every little helps! The essence is watery and I press in with my palms. Mugwort is rich in antioxidants and this, like the toner, feels cooling, calming and hydrating. Personally, I didn’t find it helped much with my acne but I think mine was past the point of help! I decanted a little of this for a girl at work who had a bad patch of maskne on her chin and she loved it so much she bought a full size, it really calmed it down and took the redness out of it! 


So, those are my current favourites! I’d love to know if you have tried any of them and what you thought! 

 

Danielle xx

 

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Sunday, 1 November 2020

Product Empties #29

product empties Nivea pixi niod

Morning all! I have a new empties post today that is heavy on the skincare! I’ve been on a mission to finish up both my copious amount of minis but also my more acid based skincare as I started Roaccutane last week so can’t use it anymore as my skin is so dry and sensitive! I’ve split my skincare empties into cleansers and then a bit of everything else and I have also linked where possible to previous reviews! You can click on them if you fancy reading a bit more detail on any of the products as I try to keep my empties reviews as short as possible as there are always so many to get through! 


haircare empties tresemme briogeo

Haircare

TRESemme Day 2 Volumising Dry Shampoo

This has a fresh, light scent and leaves no white cast but it’s not very volumizing. Basically not the worst dry shampoo I’ve tried but not the best either, so not too bad if you can get it on offer!

 

Briogeo Be Gentle Be Kind Avocado + Kiwi mega moisture superfood mask 

A nice mask that made my hair super soft. It smells like sweets but I not a repurchase for me as I only got two uses out of it and the full size is £30, would rather spend that on Olaplex! 


bodycare empties nivea

Bodycare

Nivea Soft

One of my favourite body moisturisers! Sinks in quickly, hydrating and smells so fresh and clean, always on offer and a tub lasts ages! Forever repurchased! 

 

Nivea Hand Cream smooth care 

Another favourite! Can’t go wrong with this hand cream! It’s lightweight, hydrating, sinks in quickly and like all Nivea products, smells fresh and clean! Will repurchase when I finish a few other hand creams up! 


skincare empties pixi fresh elemis Emma Hardie

Skincare

Cleansers 

Pixi Glow Mud Cleanser 

I sound like a broken record now but this is another favourite! I have lost count of how many of these tubes I have gone through but it’s a lovely, gentle exfoliating cleanser with glycolic acid but it’s never stripping due to the addition of oils and hyaluronic acid! Couldn’t recommend more but I won’t be repurchasing until I finish my course of Roaccutane! 

 

Juice Beauty Blemish Clearing Cleanser 

This contains cherry, lemon and aloe juices as well as retinyl patmitate but I was left a bit underwhelmed (similar to how I felt about their serum). It has a watery gel texture and doesn’t foam up too much, leaves my skin feeling mattifed but maybe a touch dryer than other cleansers. I’m probably being a bit hard on this as it claims to clear blemishes and I didn’t notice much but shortly after finishing I did go on Roaccutane lol but not a repurchase for me! 

 

Fresh Soy Face Cleanser

Really lovely lightweight, balancing, non-drying cleanser. I have used up a few sample sizes of this but never bought the full size however I am contemplating it now as my skin is much more sensitive and dryer than it usually is! 

 

Indie Lee Rosehip Cleanser 

A nourishing, calming and non-stripping cleanser that I can’t seem to on any UK websites now so it may have been discontinued but another one that would have been good for my skin right now! 

 

First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser 

Another mini I didn’t appreciate at the time! This is a gentle, creamy, hydrating cleanser and I confess I sometimes find these scent free products boring but right now it is what my skin is crying out for so another I will be thinking about repurchasing soon! 

 

Emma Hardie Moringa Light Cleansing Gel

The balm is a constant in my routine and this smells just as beautiful and felt very hydrating – in my full review I said I preferred using this at night due to the leftover oils after rinsing but guess what? I want to try it again too for my morning routine haha so yes will be considering a repurchase! 

 

Ven Effect Pore Minimising Cleanser 

This was a nice gel cleanser that left my skin feeling balanced, smooth and mattified. Would consider a repurchase in the future as it was better suited to my oily skin! 

 

Elemis Pro Collagen Rose Cleansing Balm

Can’t say I was a huge fan of this even though I wanted to be as it is so hyped! To me it felt like applying melted toffee to my face and my eyes were pretty sensitive to it too though it did remove makeup well. Wouldn’t repurchase! 

 

Drunk Elephant Slaai Makeup Melting Butter Cleanser 

I was surprised at how much I did like this one considering everything else I have tried from the brand has fallen short of expectations. This melts into skin easily to remove makeup and my eyes weren’t sensitive to it! I wouldn’t repurchase though as there are other balms I prefer and I don’t love this brands attitude! 


skincare empties niod trilogy disciple

And the rest!

The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10%

A really great budget azelaic acid, it targets the texture of blemishes and has brightening properties. I really want to try the Paula’s Choice version of this but it’s always out of stock so I picked up the Garden of Wisdom version to try but would repurchase this one again in the future! 

 

NIOD Copper Amino Isolate Serum 2:1 

Quite possibly my favourite skincare product of all time and one that has been a constant in my skincare arsenal for over 4 years now! I am so mad at myself for not using this consistently when I first got it, I had so many serums on the go this one got forgotten about but honestly in the last month when I was using it consistently my skin just looked and felt so much better! There is a whole lot of science behind this but basically it’s an amazing product for the overall health of your skin targeting skin aging, uneven skin tone, enlarged pores and a lack of radiance. I plan to repurchase once I see what Deciem are doing for Black Friday! 

 

Trilogy Certified Organic Rosehip Oil 

My favourite facial oil! I have gone through so many bottles of this and it is so good for nourishing skin and keeping it hydrated and smooth! Will repurchase once I finish up my current oils! 

 

Garden of Wisdom Hyaluronic Acid Serum 

Absolutely loved this hyaluronic acid! I am so picky over formulas and this one ticks all the boxes - lightweight gel, spreads easily, hydrates, affordable! A little goes a long way and I will repurchase this soon! 

 

Disciple Dreamy Skin

Another beautiful facial oil containing rosehip oil and retinyl palmitate. It's hydrating, reduces fine lines and helps with pigmentation. Highly recommend and will repurchase in the future! 

 

SK-II Facial Treatment Essence 

I’ve had this for longer than I care to remember and finally got round to using it consistently and I really liked it! Skin felt firmer, hydrated and more even! Very pricey though so not a repurchase for me until I win the lottery! 

 

Boscia Exfoliating Peel Gel 

I found this a bit gimmicky and used it on the backs of my arms. It’s a gel that once rubbed in feels like its pilling so it’s a fun formula and feels gentle but I just prefer other exfoliants so wouldn’t repurchase! 

 

Sukin Original Hydrating Mist Toner 

This is a lovely little mist – it’s cooling and soothing and very affordable! Will repurchase! 

 

Dr Dennis Gross Stress Repair Face Cream 

I absolutely loved this face cream! It felt calming and hydrating and also contains one of my favourite ingredients – niacinamide! My skin always felt plump and looked brighter after use! Would repurchase even though its pricey! 


makeup empties revlon nyx collection beautyblender

Makeup 

Revlon Colourstay for Combination/Oily Skin in shade Buff 

You know the score with this one! Good, affordable, full coverage foundation that lasts well on my oily skin! Have already repurchased in the dry skin version! 

 

NYX Matte Finish setting spray 

This was a nice spray that didn’t leave any dreaded “white spots” behind. I think it helped mattify in the morning when I sprayed it but it didn’t last throughout the day. Saying that though I would buy again if on offer to give it a better try! 

 

Collection Primed + Ready Invisible Setting Powder 

Absolutely loved this powder! It’s finely milled, mattifying and didn’t cling to dry patches, It’s also £3.99 and always on offer! Will repurchase! 

 

Beautyblender

The best founcation applicator there is and the only one that gives me a streak free, even finish! Worth the money and I already have a back up J

 

Anastasia Beverly Hills Clear Brow Gel 

This mini lasted me ages! Keeps my brows in place nicely but I would say it’s a little crispy to the touch but nothing you would notice to look at! Already have a backup of this! 

 

Have you tried any of these products before Let me know your thoughts on them! 

 

Danielle xx

 

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Saturday, 24 October 2020

Makeup | Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Bronzer Review

Charlotte tilbury airbrush bronzer in shade medium 2 review

Today, I thought I would add my two pence on one of the many new additions to Charlotte Tilbury’s makeup line – the Airbrush Bronzer in 2 Medium! I lusted after this all summer but just couldn’t bring myself to spend £39 on it and I find CT discounts are usually capped at 10% off or the brand is excluded altogether. I finally made the purchase when Space NK did their £15 off a £60 spend and made the most of the discount with a few other purchases too! 

 

Charlotte tilbury airbrush bronzer medium 2 review

First off, this is the largest bronzer I own by a mile, at 18g it’s a whopper! No risk of me hitting pan or running out any time soon so I guess that price tag becomes a little easier to swallow! By comparison, NARS Laguna is 8g and Fenty Sun Stalkr is 6.23g. With only four shades, it’s not the most inclusive and I have to say that the second shade Medium is not actually as dark as I was expecting and I wondered if I could have got away with 3 Tan which is a little shocking considering how fair/pale I am! 

 

Charlotte tilbury airbrush matte bronzer medium 2 review
 

Not being as dark as I expected is not necessarily a bad thing as it means I can easily build up the colour. The powder is very finely milled and I wouldn’t say its hugely pigmented – again not a bad thing in my eyes – and this really does give a beautiful airbrushed finish as the name would suggest. It’s smooth to apply, gives my face some subtle warmth and blends seamlessly into the rest of my makeup leaving no harsh, hard to blend lines. It’s matte too but not flat and I really am blown away with the formula!

 

Not sure why I sound so shocked as I love all the Charlotte Tilbury products I have and in particular the bronze shade from Bronze and Glow is a long term favourite of mine! The only thing I would say is that on my oily/combo skin I do notice some slight fading/wearing off close to my ear where I am on the phone for work. This isn’t something that’s noticeable to other people and is a recurring problem I have with all bronzers not just this one! 

 

Charlotte tilbury airbrush bronzer  review

The compact itself, apart from being a bitch to photograph, is absolutely beautiful, it’s like a giant shell! It’s size doesn’t make it feel overly heavy and it’s sleek and got a good size mirror too. I don’t want to jinx myself but I feel like if I dropped it the powder would break in an instant so let’s hope I don’t get butter fingers! 

 

bronzer collection Charlotte tilbury review

I’ve included some unedited swatches with some of my other bronzers so you can get an idea of how the shade compares, hopefully it helps! I am forever looking up swatches of products I am interested in especially now when I can’t get to test them out at the actual counter! If you like these types of reviews check out my NARS Laguna one too! 

 

Charlotte Tilbury airbrush bronzer medium swatches laguna inda sun park ave princess

Have you tried this bronzer? Let me know your thoughts or tell me what your favourite Charlotte Tilbury product is! 

 

Danielle xx

 

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