September Favourites 2018

Is it just me, or it this year just flying by? I'm worried if I blink, I'll open my eyes and I'll be a Grandma! September was a busy month for me, but I still enjoyed quite a few beauty products as well as YouTube and Netflix!

My first favourite this month is the Madam Glam Nail Powders. Nail powders are a brilliant way to amp up your gel nails and make them look stunning. Madam Glam is also a brand that is cruelty-free, vegan-friendly and 5-free; meaning they're free from formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate, toluene, formaldehyde resin and camphor... so they're non-toxic! I know that seems like a mouthful, but being a beautician; finding a salon-quality gel nail brand is hard to come by, so I'm super pleased I found them! 

I've also been putting more effort into my skincare routine, and I've been using the Superdrug Naturally Radiant Glycolic Tonic. It's 5% Glycolic Acid, which is a great Alpha Hydroxy Acid that really helps improve your skin texture, scarring, fine lines and exfoliates. It's low strength, so you can you it's daily and I've found it works pretty well. If you'd like to know more about exfoliators and AHA's I have a blog post all about them, and how to choose the right one for your skin type.

Exfoliators: Why, What and How?!

As we moved into Autumn, I started wearing darker, Autumnal lipsticks. I've been loving this Nyx Lip Lingerie liquid lipstick in the shade Exotic. It's a perfect deeper red, that almost looks like a more tinted red lip, perfect for the transition between seasons. It's long lasting, and non-drying too, just what I look for in a good liquid lipstick.

I may have accidentally waxed off a chunk of my eyebrow while testing out my new wax pot, late at night when it was quite dark... Yep, very typical of me. I'm brilliant with other peoples eyebrows but mess up my own! So, as a result, I've been attempting to grow my eyebrows back. I had heard good things about using castor oil for hair growth, and I've been using this Etrong Organic, Cold Pressed Castor Oil. I have to say, after a month or so of using it, I've definitely noticed a difference. It's become part of my evening routine now, and I'll certainly be keeping it up.

My only clothing favourite this month is this jumper from Primark, that has cute Harry Potter characters on it! It's adorable, comfortable and easy to throw on with a pair of leggings. I've been wearing it several times a week, I love it that much!

This month, Eric and I binge watched Netflix and one of my favourite series we got through was Disenchantment. It's by the same people who did The Simpsons and Futurama, and it's very noticeable. I do find it far funnier though, with more crude humour, which is what I love about it. If you fancy a good laugh, give this series a try!

Aaaaaand for my last favourite, but certainly not least. It has to be Shane Dawson and his docu-series on YouTube. Most recently his series on The Mind of Jake Paul, but I've also loved The Secret Life of Jeffree Star and The Truth About Tanacon. Shane is KILLING it with content on YouTube lately and I'm obsessed. He not only builds tension and anticipation for his videos, which no one else has been able to do with YouTube, but he has EVERYONE talking about it. I'm glad Shane is getting the attention and love he deserves, and I can't wait for the rest of his series on Jake Paul in October.

I'm excited for the rest of the year, October to December are my favourite months when it comes to activities and things to do (not so much the weather, yuk). There's Halloween, pumpkin carving, bonfire night, Christmas lights, and all sorts! Here's to a fun-filled end of 2018!

Exfoliators: why, what and how?!

Why do we exfoliate?

Exfoliation, lots of people do it, but do we really know why, and how to get the best results out of it? First, let’s talk about why we should exfoliate our skin in general. Over several weeks, the lower part of our skin moves up towards the surface. As the skin cells move up, they start to break down, and by the time they’ve reached the surface, they’re dead. So, our top layer of skin is full of dead skin cells. They do shed naturally, but exfoliating helps to speed up this process and leaves your skin fresh and clean. Removing these dead skin cells improves the texture of your skin, as well as increasing cell rejuvenation and collagen production. This then improves fine lines, scarring, acne, and clogged pores. It also helps your skin to absorb products better; so, when you use moisturisers, serums and oils, your skin is going to benefit from them more. So, it’s very valuable to exfoliate regularly.

What are exfoliators?

There are two main types of exfoliants, chemical and physical. Physical exfoliators are your traditional “scrubs” that contain bits in them, such as sugars, granules, pips or seeds. Chemical exfoliators use acids and enzymes, typically Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA) and Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHA).

Physical Exfoliators

Physical exfoliators are the most common types of exfoliators usually sold as face scrubs. They often contain sugars, seeds and granules and manually rub the surface of the skin to remove the dead skin cells. Microbead scrubs were once popular, however, are no longer recommended because the small plastic particles contaminate the ocean and are damaging to sea life and the environment.

Sometimes physical exfoliators come in the form of face brushes, loofahs, and flannels as these manually rub the surface of the skin to remove dead cells too.

Physical exfoliators are best for people with dry to normal skin. Dry skin tends to have a build-up of dry patches and these types of exfoliators are brilliant at removing these. If you have sensitive skin, it’s best to avoid physical exfoliators as they can cause microtears and they can be quite harsh on the skin.

Chemical Exfoliators

The word chemical can sound scary, but not all chemicals are bad for us. Chemical exfoliators come in two main forms, Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) and Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA). The exfoliators are usually very mild for use on the face and work by using acids or enzymes to break down and dissolve the dead skin cells. You don’t need to rub chemical exfoliators into the skin, they just need to be washed off.

Alpha Hydroxy Acid:
Glycolic Acid
Lactic Acid
Citric Acid

Beta Hydroxy Acid:
Salicylic Acid
Citric Acid (depending on formulation)


AHA’s or Alpha Hydroxy Acids are essentially hydrophilic (water-loving) and are naturally sourced. For example, Glycolic Acid is derived from sugar while Lactic Acid is derived from milk. AHA’s are great for most skin types but are particularly good for normal, combination and oily skin. When quite mild, they’re also better for people with more sensitive skin. AHA’s also boost collagen production so are fabulous for more mature skin.

BHA’s or Beta Hydroxy Acids are essentially Salicylic Acid, which I’m sure a lot of people have heard of if they’ve had acne or pimples. BHA is fat soluble and so it’s brilliant for oily skin. It’s almost the same as AHA’s in that it dissolves and removes dead skin cells, but it penetrates deeper into the skin and really help to unclog pores, and is commonly used to treat acne and blackheads. When it’s a stronger solution it can even be used to treat verrucas and warts!

How often?

It’s recommended to exfoliate your skin at least once a week if you have oily skin, and twice a week if you have more dry skin. Exfoliating too often can cause an overproduction of oil in the sebaceous glands, so that can just clog your pores up even more and is counter-productive. So, it’s important to find the right balance. Sometimes there are even smaller quantities of AHA’s and BHA’s in facial tonics and toners, which can be used daily too.

Since becoming a qualified beautician, I’ve found myself delving deeper and deeper into the science of skincare and how important it is, and I can’t help myself now. I will be posting more blogs on these types of topics as I love it so much, and they’re kind of educational! 

Tips for going Self-Employed

Some of you who follow me on social media might know that I’ve gone self-employed and started my own business. I’m now a mobile beautician and makeup artist for my company Becx Beauty. I trawled the internet for tips and tricks for what to do when first starting out, and I thought I’d put together my own tips, as well as information I found helpful or useful.

Make A Business Plan

The first thing I did, was write everything down that I could possibly think of. A lot of what I wrote down is in this blog. From the legalities to branding and prices. I wrote down all my ideas, costs, lists, websites and spent a few months looking into everything in depth. A business plan is probably the most important thing you can have before you decide to go self-employed.

Price Up Equipment & Resources

Before taking the leap, you need to make sure you can afford to do so. Pricing up everything you might need in your day to day work gives you a good idea on whether going self-employed is achievable. Some people take out a business loan to start up and get the things they need, while others use savings. I personally used savings to start up because then I didn’t need to worry about paying back a loan – but there are lots of affordable loans with a low-interest rate and low monthly pay-back costs. I made a large list of thing equipment and resources I needed and worked my way through it, keeping it all under my budget.

Research Local Services & Prices In The Same Industry

I found looking into local businesses in the same industry as me helped a lot. Not only did I see the average price of services which helped me set my own prices, but I saw where services were lacking. Finding a gap in the market and something to make your business stand out as unique or different can really help boost your clientele at the beginning. In my case, it was that there aren’t an awful lot of beauticians and makeup artists that use only cruelty-free products that also have vegan options.

Come Up With Your Services & Prices

Based off of the information I gathered so far, I was able to create my own list of services I want to offer, and how much I’ll be charging for them. I wanted to be affordable, but not undercut all the local businesses too much – that just undervalues what you can offer. Knowing how much the equipment and resources will cost, helps me to understand which services I can offer to start with, and perhaps look into branching out once my business is established.

Look Into Branding & Logo’s

I’m lucky that my boyfriend is a dab hand at graphic design and branding with him being a digital marketer… so he helped me with the design of my logo and branding. But before I went to him for help, I had a mood board filled with colours, images, drawings and keywords, that I knew wanted to resemble my business. Get all your ideas down on paper, some people use brilliant online services to make logos (like Vista) or go to freelance graphic designers, or even do it themselves!

Create An Email & Contact Details

You want a way for people to contact you for business, which is separate to your own personal contact details. I made a basic email with Outlook, and kept it simple and memorable, using the name of my business. Keeping everything separate makes it easier to manage, and really helps me a lot.

Create A Website

There are lots of ways to create a website. The way I found the simplest and most effective was with Wix. I paid for a membership to link my own domain, which is far more professional. There are templates to use, and they’re fully customisable too. Another good aspect of wix is the SEO. The SEO section is very user-friendly and helps get your website into Google searches.

Advertise Advertise Advertise

One of the main things I did as I was setting everything up, was advertise my company. I set up all my social media and posted regularly on them. I had business cards and leaflets made with promotional offers and posted them locally, as well as leaving some in GP surgeries, dentists, hairdressers and gyms. I also posted promotional offers on my social media, to get more clients in. This all helped boost my business at the start.

Plan Your Book-Keeping

One bit of advice that popped up on a lot of articles, blogs and videos online, was to do your bookkeeping regularly. It’s easier to keep up-to-date when you do it often, such as monthly. I have a folder where I keep all of my receipts and invoices, all sorted into each month. There are lots of online book-keeping software, and I’m using Sage. Sage helps to record your invoices, expenses and cash flow in an easy to use way, and it’s only £5 a month.

Register With HMRC

Probably the most important part when going self-employed, is to register with the Government. You can register easily online, and you need to declare your income and do annual tax returns. I haven’t done my first tax return yet. Once I do I think I’ll make a blog all about the process… but from what I’ve read and been told, it’s far easier than you expect.  

It seems like a lot to consider before going self-employed – and it is. But once you get the ball rolling it gets far easier, and much more exciting. Going self-employed has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I am my own boss, and it feels amazing to take the reins on my own career this way. I hope this blog helps someone be able to take a hold of their own reins too! If you are self-employed and have any tips, please do leave them in the comments for people to see!