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What's in my Cruelty-Free Travel Toiletries Bag?

My countdown app has been slowly ticking away since the moment I booked my trip. In less than a week, I will be heading off to Split, Croatia, and I cannot wait! I'd be lying if I said that I didn't want to start packing the moment the flights were paid for. In fact, it wasn't long after that that I started accumulating various toiletries together in excited anticipation. 

A Mini The Ordinary Review

Beep. Beep. Make way for the bandwagon- I'm jumping on board! Much to the horror of my bank balance, I caved and finally bought some products from the brand that has been blanketing the internet for the last few months- The Ordinary. Not that my bank balance can hate me too much, The Ordinary is so much more affordable than I was expecting! I ordered my products off of BeautyBay (who now have student discount- hooray!), but I ordered them in two separate packages.... just to make sure that if my bank balance didn't hate me, then the postman definitely would.  

Here is a brief backstory on my skin before I jump straight into the review: as a teen I had acne-prone skin, which cleared up considerably by age 16/17. Last year I had a bunch of horrible break outs like never before across my cheeks, which has left me with noticeable scarring. My skin is as good right now as it has ever been, and I'm over the moon, but I still have faint scars and hyper-pigmentation in some areas. These days my face tends to be pretty normal- occasionally dry if the weather is particularly harsh. If you'd like a post on how I did clear up my cheek acne, then be sure to let me know down below! 

I've only been using these products for about two weeks now, and I can hands-down say that I get the hype. I'm not going to ramble on any longer, so here is what I picked up...

This was in the first order I placed from the moment I read that it helps uneven skin tones and acne scarring. BeautyBay states that Azelaic acid is "naturally produced on skin, an effective antioxidant for all skin types," and after sifting through pages of 5-star reviews, I was sold. It comes in a squeezy tube with a closable cap and is perfect for travelling, and I love The Ordinary's minimalist packaging designs. 

Having been prescribed medication to help acne scarring in the past, I'm gutted I didn't find this sooner. I've been using it before moisturiser three or four times a week, and occasionally used it as a primer, and it has noticeably faded some scarring on my cheeks. I'm excited to keep using this, and if you suffer with similar discolouration, or have discolouration of your own, you can't not give it a try for the price.

EUK 134 0.1% 30ml - £6.95

This was another product where the reviews really hooked me and wound me in. Honestly, I'm not sure what EUK 134 0.1% is... but on the site it is listed as "a strong highly concentrated antioxidant" which "protects and enhances the complexion." Priced slightly higher than the Suspension, this product comes in a glass bottle with a little pipette/dropper type thing- which, if anything, is fun to play with. 

This product specifically states that it is not to be used with strong acids or suspensions, so I use it on alternate days to the other product. I simply put a couple of drops on each cheek and my forehead, and massage it in. When I wake in the morning my skin looks glowing, as if I've been sunkissed in my sleep. It has helped any spots I have had heal a lot faster, and has just overall improved my skin's outer appearance. 

There we have it. My mini review interspersed with me rambling. I will 100% be purchasing more from The Ordinary after next payday and my bank account has forgiven me. If they're a brand you've been eyeing up for a while, I'd really recommend giving them a shot.

Have you ever tried any The Ordinary products- what did you get? Have you got any holy grails if you have a similar skin type to me, too?

Rachel x

An Essential Travel First Aid Kit Guide

My mum has been a nurse since the 90's. From the moment I was born, health and safety have been drilled into me, and I am thankful- there are much worse things a parent can teach their child! It might be because of this, though, that I hate having to experience any sort of minor illness. If there's a painkiller or a relief, give it to me. This rings especially true when I'm on holiday. There is nothing that quite ruins a poolside trip or an adventurous excursion like feeling ill.

My European City Break Bucket List

Europe is beautiful. Whichever way you turn you're surrounded by a continent of history, culture and art. In the UK, we're so lucky to have such a broad and diverse options of travel destinations right on our doorstep. Well, lucky until we leave the EU. But let's not get me started on that whole can of worms. (It'll be fine with an Irish passport, I tell myself....)

Grateful for the Present. Excited for the Future.

This is a bit of a different post. 2017-18 has not been the best time for me, and trust me, I could do a long-ass blog post on why. But I'm not going to. Instead, I'm going to think of things that I'm grateful for in the present and things that I'm excited for in the future... so I can come back to this post to ground myself when things inevitably get shaky again. 

Holy Grail Fake Tanning Items - Cruelty-Free

The pasty white Irish gene seems to have skipped a generation in my family. Somehow, my dad manages to absorb sunlight and turn it into a bronzed colour; a skill that he hasn't passed down to me, and that certainly wasn't passed down to him from his father. So, I've had to take it upon myself to achieve a complexion that doesn't rival a piece of paper... and here are my holy grail tanning products I can rely on to do that.