Blogging on a budget.

Hey there! so over the years blogging has become something that i think is honestly a bit out of control, you can tend to feel a bit over looked if your not blogging about the latest products, with the best pictures & photo props, perfect lighting and back drops and it can be concerning, especially if you are on a tight budget and a lot of that is out of your budget. Obviously for the bigger bloggers the new product problem is solved by Pr, but if you are on the smaller side like me if you want to blog about a new product you will be buying it, however i have over the years that i have read and written blogs picked up some tips for blogging on a budget.

1. Dont give in to pressure
This is honestly my biggest tip, with all these blogs showing the latest products, new reviews and new sparkly things to show every week. With perfect pictures and back drops, it can be very easy to feel like you will only get noticed in the blogging world if you compete with all these things which means throwing a lot of money at your blog. But you dont need to do this, you can and will get noticed if you have good content, you dont need to look as professional as everyone else!

2. phone cameras are fine.
Blog photos, the bane of most bloggers existence but its not actually as bad as it seems, you do not need a ring light, perfect back drops & a super pricey camera to get good blog photos. An iphone camera works fine (saying iphone because that is what i have) you dont need a state of the art camera back drop or lighting. natural light is awesome, works best if you just find somewhere near a window. for background, blankets, scrap fabrics, pretty clothes, trays etc all work really well.

3. Be creative
One thing about blogging on a budget means you may have to get creative, and that too me is a lot of fun though i know not everyone finds having to think outside of the box that fun and it can be frustrating! of course blogging is a creative exercise anyway, its just on a budget you may have to be even more so. Using blankets, scraps of fabric, jewellery, random nick nacks for picture back grounds and props for example! It also means thinking out of the box for your posts, what can you talk about that requires just words maybe? what do you already own that you can talk about? etc

4. Pound shops, discount shops and sales/offers are your best friends.
You can get so many beauty products and the like for at a discount or on offer these days, try and base when you may be buying said things around that! I always try and hold off on buying stuff from boots until theres a triple points offer, i live in places like poundland, B & m, home bargains etc. Amazon is also a useful place for bulk buying or when they have there offers on, and of course you can also always write posts about these places themselves so its win win!

5. Prioritise.
When it comes to spending on your blog and for your blog, prioritise what you need and were you spend. For example, you dont need to spend much on a domain, i got mine on godaddy for just over a pound a year! but a good blog banner and button if you cant do it yourself is worth spending a little bit on, as it is often the first thing people will see. For the most part spending 100s on advertising isnt worth it, ive advertised with a few people here and there but i tend to always go back to jordanne, i get the £3 package and thats enough! you dont need to spend £100s if you dont have it.

So there are my blogging on a budget tips! im sure theres more, maybe ill do a part 2 at some point? let me know if you think thats a good idea!

Cath x

Acid Toning – why do it & my favourites.

Hey there! so today i wanted to chat to you about acid toning, why it can be a very good step in your skincare routine & my personal favourite acid toners!

Before i begin however i will just state that i am no expert, i am not trained and this is just what i know from my own research and trail and error! if your ever concerned, you should of course always ask a professional.

It is also very important to know that if you acid tone you must wear an spf during the day! you should be wearing one regardless, but with acid toning its even more important.

If you havent really heard much about acid toning before you have likely read the word “acid” and been a bit freaked out! when acid toning first became a more mainstream thing everyone had the same kind of reaction, myself included until you learn a bit more about it.

So acid toning is using a toner or pre-soaked pad that contains a gentle AHA or BHA acid in the normal toner stage, and what this does is it gets to work on the skin eating away at dead skin without using very harsh scrubs etc. It also kills off bacteria extremely well so its very good for spots, and helps to fade scars over time as well.

Theres 3 main acids you will find, glycolic, lactic and salicylic acid. glycolic and lactic are AHAs, and salicylic is a BHA, whats the difference? well according to the paulas choice website here AHAs work on the skins surface and are water soluble were as BHAs work down into the pores as well and are oil soluble.

Generally, salicylic acid is seen as the one to go to if you have a lot of issues with spots, blackheads etc as it really helps with that. Lactic acid is rather gentle and not irritating and best for those with sensitive skin, glycolic acid is the one most people know about and the one i use the most, it is the staple of acid toning!

So, when do you use these? well you can use them morning or night, or even morning and night! but personally i mostly use at night and only use in the morning if i feel like i need the boost. This is the first step on your skin after cleansing, and then after this you follow with a skin hydrating mist to start the hydration process.

So, shall we get into my favourites!

These are the 3 i currently use, though i will also list in a second some honourable mentions! i will say, all the ones i use are glycolic based, that is just what i go for personally and is the most commonly found.

So first up is the Lacura daily cleansing pads £4.95 for 2 packs of 60 pads, i could only find the double packs online but as you can see for the price its very affordable! they are a very obvious dupe of the nip + fab pads (mentioned below) and honestly i cant tell too much of a difference between the two! these contain glycolic acid mainly, and also some fruit acids though they are way farther down the list. The way i use pads like this is i buff over my skin with one side then i flip it and go again, i also will buff and spend longer on spots and areas of concern, these are my go to acid toner id say.

Next is actually the only liquid acid toner ive tried, the Freedom Glycolic radiance toner £6.00, now this one is meant to be a dupe for the pixi glow tonic, i havent tried the glow tonic but i like this one! ive had a few bottles of it now on and off and its a really good budget toner if you would rather soak your own cotton pads, again it is glycolic based, the only thing that puts me off using this sometimes is that it can leave the skin feeling a little sticky, i spray straight after so it doesnt matter too much but its just something to be aware of!

Lastly we have the Superdrug Naturally Radiant glycolic acid daily cleansing pads £5.99, now these are basically the same as the lacura or the nip + fab, they are glycolic based with fruit acids much farther down the list pre-soaked pads.  Theres not much i can say about these that i didnt say about the lacura ones! these are pretty much the same in almost every way.

So those are the 3 i am currently using, the first one i used and still often my go to are of course the nip + fab glycolic fix exfoliating facial pads £13.59. They are slightly up there in price but almost always on sale somewhere! they also now have an “extreme” version (they are not too much stronger dont panic) a sensitive version and a salicylic acid version as well so theres something for everyone there!

Of course there is the famous pixi glow tonic £18.00, it is again up there in price, but if you dont know were to start and can afford a little bit more you are not going to go wrong with this at all!

Mainly when it comes to acid toning, i would say have a look around and go for what you think suits you, try some things out and have fun! i honestly love acid toning its something i brought into my skincare years ago and im very glad i did.

Cath x

Natures Alchemist Balancing clay Face Mask.

Hey There! So a few weeks ago i posted a superdrug & boots order that i made to pick up some pampering products for my birthday. One of the products i got is this the Natures Alchemist balancing clay face mask £6.99, now honestly i bought it thinking it would be that kind of pore cleaning clay mask but it isnt really like that. Its more something made to balance and calm stressed calm, so honestly its still up my ally! but what was even more interesting once i had it in my hands is that its a 2 in 1! you can also use it as a cleanser, colour me curious! its also vegan, gluten free and contains no parabens which is all of course becoming more and more important.

So on the back it says that if you want to use it as a cleanser you use a small amount on damp skin massaging until theres a lather and then splash off…shudder, Can we all start praying to the alter of caroline hirons please and stop it with the “lather” and the “splash off”.

first off, this doesnt lather and i mean it, i have tried to lather it and it just doesnt and secondly good luck splashing this off, your gonna be splashing for a while!. If you can get past the out dated directions on the back this is actually a really nice clay cleanser, which im really happy about because ive wanted a clay cleanser for a while.

How i use it, is i use around a 5p sized amount and massage onto either dry skin or skin that ive just cleansed with a oil or balm (so using this as a second cleanse) and once ive massaged this onto my skin for a bit i then use a damp flannel to remove. It really does live up to the stressed skin claims because its very calming, it feels cool on the skin and cleanses without upsetting which as been very nice lately for my hormonal stressed anxiety ridden face.

So, how does it do as a mask? well wait for it, we have outdated directions to make caroline hirons shudder again first “spread on a thick layer, leave for 5 minutes then remove with damp cotton wool”, damp cotton wool?? are you mad?? of course, i removed it with a flannel.

Honestly, and this is rather funny considering what its marketed as and what i bought it has but i prefer it as a cleanser than a mask. It didnt do anything bad as a mask, but it just felt like i left my cleanser on for a while before i removed it, now it is very cooling so if my skin was throwing all the toys out of the pram and having a right old tantrum i think it would be really good to calm my skin down but i dont think it did too much for me right now.

I honestly think that if they rebranded this as a clay cleanser it would do rather well, and if they started telling us to remove it with a flannel and stopping claiming that it will lather.

So did i get the pore cleansing mask i wanted? no, but i did get a clay cleanser and im happy with that!

Cath x