30 July 2015

Guest Post: Five Tips For Protecting Your Skin in Summer

Hi everyone. Some of you might be aware that I've been staying in an Intensive Care Unit for the past few weeks with a seriously ill family member. Not the words I ever wanted to be writing on here,  but it is what it is. Amidst all the heartache, which continues to this day, I've been able to take some comfort in how amazing the people in the blogosphere are. Thank you to everyone that has sent me kind messages, and in particular, my friend Stacey from Beautiful Solutions, who reached out to me and offered to write this guest post today....

Guest Post: Five Tips for Protecting Your Skin in Summer

Five Tips For Protecting Your Skin in Summer

Admittedly July hasn't been the best month weather wise here in the UK, but I'm holding out hope for a sunny August and a final bit of sunshine before we trade in our sandals for boots in the autumn (already I'm seeing autumn themed blog posts cropping up, I'm SO not ready for it just yet!) While there's been a lot more cloud and rain than we'd have probably all liked it's still important to take sun protection into consideration, and take precautions against dangerous UV rays, sun damage and the general skin drying effects of the summer. Here are five tips for protecting your skin from the sun.

Invest in a Facial Sunscreen
Most sunscreens claim they can be used for both face and body, but do you really want to be applying such a thick and greasy product to your face? Sunscreens formulated for the face tend to be lighter and more easily absorbed, which will not only leave the skin looking less oily but are less likely to cause irritation or make existing conditions such as acne worse. It's always worth having separate facial sunscreen as you can go for a higher SPF too, as facial skin is more delicate and prone to burning and premature aging. 

Use Makeup With Added SPF
When it comes to sun protection products, you can't 'layer up' to increase the SPF- for example putting on a sunscreen with SPF 20 and a BB cream with SPF 20 over the top won't give you SPF 40. However that doesn't mean you shouldn't layer up products to give you the best coverage. Foundations, bb creams, lip balms and face powders that have a sun protection built in are handy seeing as you're probably going to be wearing them anyway. Something like Bareminerals Natural Sunscreen is good to have in your bag to top up with, as it provides extra sun protection while keeping away shine throughout the day. Don't rely solely on makeup to shield your skin, but instead think of it as an additional layer of protection.

Check the Use By Dates
The chemicals in sunscreens that make them effective degenerate over time, there's no point using an sunscreen when the SPF is no longer effective. It's not just a case of throwing out everything you have each year, instead look at the labels and expiration dates and go by those instead. Anything that has changed colour or consistency is definitely one for the bin, and if you're unsure just replace it- it's not worth getting a painful sunburn over!

Sunglasses and a Hat
Over time UV rays can cause catarracts and macular degeneration in the eyes- pretty terrifying and something that should definitely make any of you serial sunbathers think twice! Oversized sunglasses are most effective at protecting the delicate under eye area from premature aging, and so choose the biggest pair that suit your face. A sun hat will shade your eyes and face as well as protect your scalp from sunburn. 

Find a Shady Spot
Try keeping out of the sun during the hottest times of the day (between around noon and 3pm) and instead find a shady spot to sit. I often find that even with plenty of sunscreen the sun can still sizzle me on a hot day and so the only way to avoid being burned is by keeping out of it at the hottest times. At the very least go for lightweight clothing items that cover the skin- particularly the chest, shoulders and back if you're not able to keep out of it completely. 

Hopefully I won't be away from the blog for too long, but until I'm back go and check out stacey's amazing work here. You won't be disappointed I promise!

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13 July 2015

Acne | How Roaccutane Changed my Life

There's something that makes me a little uneasy about posting a whopping great big pic of my face, but I wasn't sure how else I could illustrate this post, because today I'm talking about acne. Some of you might remember me blogging about my battle with spots in the past (if not check out my previous posts here), but today I want to focus more specifically on Roaccutane (otherwise known as Accutane or Isotretinoin), and how this miracle drug changed my life. If it's something you're interested in then read on...

Acne & How Roaccutane Changed My Life, Accutane,Isotretinoin Blog

Roaccutane can be a slightly controversial topic, but I felt it would be crazy if I didn't cover my experience with it here, because this stuff totally changed my life. Since I finished my treatment around 10 years ago I rarely get spots, and would go as far to say, that my acne is cured. I'll never forget the feeling I had when running my hands over a lovely smooth face for the first time, and realising it was totally spot free. There's nothing like it when you've been suffering for so long.

If you don't know much about Roaccutane, and you or someone you know has acne, you might be wondering how it works? Well, Roaccutane is a drug that shrinks the sebaceous glands, meaning the amount of oil that's produced is reduced. I was so lucky, because this was a drug that really worked for me. I had hardly any side effects when taking it, and I got the desired results after one course of treatment. Since taking Roaccutane, I'm like a different girl in a way. I've got really lazy with wearing foundation because my skin looks so much better. I used to spend hours trying to cover up spots, but now my make-up routine takes hardly any time at all. I've saved a fortune on concealer, and best of all, my confidence has kinda grown. I'll never be one of these women that is 100% confident in her own skin, and have some down days where I literally hate the way I look. But having clear skin has made such a difference to how I feel about my myself overall. I don't know whether feeling unconfident is just women thing, or if I spent so many years feeling insecure that it's inbuilt in me to feel that way. Who knows? But I'm so grateful that I got the chance to try Roaccutane, and when I get a down day, I really have to remind myself of how I looked before!

I've written this post, not just to tell you all how I became acne free, but to give other people that might be suffering hope. Having spots is damn right miserable, and I can't count the amount of times I cried over how I looked, but if I knew then, what I knew now, I think I would have saved some of those tears!

Please Note: This is NOT a sponsored post, and I was prescribed Roaccutane by my Dermatologist. Roaccutane is not suitable for everyone, and must only be taken when prescribed by a medical professional, that is fully aware of the patients history.

What do you guys think about what I've written today? I might write another post about how I looked after my skin when I was taking Roaccutane. If this is something that will help you, please let me know in the comments box below and I'll get on it! 

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11 July 2015

Holy Grail Product #4 | St Tropez Mousse

It's been ages since I've blogged about my holy grail products, so thought it was about time I got my act together, and showed you guys something really good! Now, let me tell you, I get a little bit excited when I talk about St Tropez, because I'm a long time user of their self tan. I've never been disappointed with anything I've tried from the brand, and my all time favourite is the Bronzing Mousse...

St Tropez 1 Hour Tan Bronzing Mousse Blog Review

I've been using St Tropez Bronzing Mousse* on myself, and clients for well over 10 years now. It's really easy to apply, and I love the texture, and the fact it absorbs into my skin quickly, but not so fast that I can't get an even finish. The product itself is brown in colour, which means it's easy to see where it's been applied. If there are any areas that are going to go patchy or too dark, the coloured mousse exposes them, enabling you to prevent it from happening before the tan develops. My own personal example would be that I have quite dry patches on my knees, so often I notice they are looking a bit dark after application. I simply apply some moisturiser to the darkener areas, and straight away I can see them lighten, and become perfectly even in colour. The end result is a gorgeous, natural looking tan that lasts for ages. I usually get 5-7 days of it looking near perfect, and overall the tan lasts for about 2 weeks. If I exfoliate every 2-3 days and reapply, the tan never goes. It's safe to say that I always have a bottle of Bronzing Mousse in my cupboard, but more recently I've been introduced to another type of Mousse by St Tropez - their Self Tan Express.

Now I have to admit, I always wondered why they didn't create a product like this (before they did!), because I've often applied the Bronzing Mousse for 1-2 hours then washed it off, Especially when I've had a last minute invitation to go somewhere. My technique works a beaut. Anyway, now they have created the wonderful St Tropez Self Tan Express*, a product that can be applied for one hour to achieve a light tan, two hours for medium, and three hours for dark. It's very similar to the bronzing Mousse, only it's St Tropez's most fast acting tan yet. I don't know if I'm imaging it, but I find the colour guide to be a bit more natural looking than the Bronzing Mousse, and so am quite happy to apply this to my face and go out with out washing it off. Has anyone else found this, or is it just me?!!

So there you have it - my holy grail product #4 - St Tropez Mousse. The 1 Hour Tan can be purchased here for £33.00, and the Bronzing Mousse here for £20.50 (120ml) or here for £30.50 (240ml). I'm also a massive fan of their Instant Tan (link). 

What do you think of St Tropez? Have you tried any of these products? Also if you've tried their Gradual Tan In Shower Lotion or the Self Tan Luxe Facial Oil I would love to know what you think. 

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27 June 2015

The Body Shop | Fuji Green Tea

Ahhh, don't you just love a cup of green tea? Well, I do anyway, and recently I've taken it to a whole new level, and started washing in it, scrubbing myself with it, and rubbing it into my skin! It seems like I'm not the only one. The Body Shop kindly sent me four products from their new Fuji Green Tea range way back in a March, and since then two have been completely used, and one has nearly gone. There's someone else partly to blame for the disappearance of these products, and that's none other than my fiancé Ollie! It became apparent that he was also indulging himself in this gorgeous stuff when we randomly had a conversation that started with 'how do you wash yourself?' Seriously, who does that? Weird. Anyway, just so you know Ollie's clearly a big fan too, and here's why...

The Body Shop Fuji Green Tea Blog Review

Sourced from the Mount Fuji region of Japan, The Body Shop Fuji Green Tea smells fresh and clean, and is incredibly uplifting. Every product leaves my skin feeling completely revitalised, and almost energised in a way. It's pretty addictive, and there's loads of different products in the range. The first thing I tried was the Body Wash*, a soap-free cleanser for the skin, that purifies and revives all at the same time. Secondly, was the Body Lotion*, a light, yet velvety solution, that absorbs instantly into the skin, leaving it moisturised, but not sticky.

The Body Shop Fuji Green Tea Blog Review

Next up was the Scrub*. Now this was Ollie's favourite. I knew he was using it because I kept finding the tub with the lid off. I'm glad he's enjoying the perks of being with a beauty blogger, and who could really blame him? The scrub is great because it's not too abrasive, but exfoliates really well. Not just that though. It makes a really good skin cleanser. Going back to the question of 'how do you wash yourself?', well it turns out this was it. This was Ollie's 'go to' body wash. The last product I tried, and am still using, is the Body Butter*. Obviously it's slightly thicker than the body lotion, and I suppose has a slightly more luxurious feel. It's still pretty lightweight though, just has a longer hydration time I guess.

I wanted to be critical of the products in this range, because I know how you guys like to read the pros and cons in every review. But I honestly don't have anything negative to say. Out of all The Body Shop products that I've tried so far, this range is one of my faves, so it gets a massive thumbs up from me (and Ollie!). You can check them out yourself by clicking on the links below:

Body Butter | 200ml  | £13.00  | Link
Body Wash | 250ml | £6.00 | Link
Body Scrub | 250ml | £15.00 | Link
Body Lotion | 250ml | £8.00 | Link

What's your favourite range by The Body Shop?

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14 June 2015

My Top Tips For Working From Home

Recently there seems to be a bit of a flurry of beauty bloggers/vloggers taking the plunge, and entering the world of full time freelancing. It's got me thinking, because I used to work from home as a freelance writer and marketer, but instead of living the 'full time work from home dream', I ended up getting a part time job. Why? Because I found working from home really lonely. I missed having work colleagues, and the interaction and social life that comes with it. Sometimes I didn't leave the house for days because I had been so busy writing, I didn't really have any need to. Tasks such as going to the shops to get groceries became a bit of an event for me. It sounds ridiculous I know, but if you're someone that works solely from home, I'm sure you know exactly what I mean!

Blogger Tips For Working From Home

Despite all of this, I loved every minute of my work, and whether I would ever consider doing it full time again remains to be seen! That said, I still operate from home a few days a week, and as time has gone on I've picked up a few tips and tricks for getting through the day. As a little reminder to myself, and hopefully to be helpful to some of you, I thought I would share some of my insight on here. Of course, what works for one, doesn't always work for another, but the following is what seems to be best for me....

Starting Early
I know this is probably a really obvious one, but when you work for yourself you can sometimes choose your hours. With that comes the temptation to have a few extra hours in bed, and then you end up starting work much later, then you finish much later, and before you know it, you end up working at night, while your other half, and friends are out having fun. For me personally, this sucks, so I prefer to get up early, get my jobs done, and enjoy my evening if I can. Because bloggers always refrain from working in the evening don't they? Oh wait..... Okay, so that's not totally true, but still I achieve so much more by getting up that little bit earlier. Many other bloggers are probably more productive at night, and might tell you the total opposite to what I've just said, but I've been there and done that, and being nocturnal is kinda strange.

Getting Dressed
I can't count the amount of times I've heard bloggers talk about living the dream of working from home, blogging in their PJ's, cup of coffee in hand, and sometimes still in bed! Don't get me wrong, I've done this on many occasions, and unbelievably, although I've had a shower this morning, I'm kinda blogging in my PJ's, make-up free right now. I know, I know, I'm a hypocrite, but stay with me on this one! Maybe I'm having a word with myself here, but what if one of your sponsors wants to chat with you on FaceTime or Skype, or a last minute opportunity crops up, and you need to dash to a meeting (in your PJ's, make-up free, with unwashed hair?!!). Jokes aside, the main reason I (usually) get dressed, put on some decent clothes and apply my make-up, is because it keeps me motivated, and makes me feel like I'm at work. I like to try and be professional.

Sticking to a Routine
This is easier said than done, but having some kind of schedule helps with productivity, and to make sure that you really are making use of every hour you have. Time management really is the key to success. Something I struggle with at the moment due to our house renovating, but that's another story! I usually set aside time for blog planning, social media marketing, writing, taking and editing photos, and most importantly, some time for myself, which takes me onto my next point...

Planning Breaks
Having breaks is so important, especially when you're sat staring at a computer all day. If it's sunny I like to go and sit outside for 15 minutes or so, just to get some fresh air. Personally I find I'm far more productive if I take regular breaks, than if I don't. I always make sure I eat and drink at regular intervals too, and my breaks are always away from my office.

Creating an Office Space
This is really important if you want to switch of from work once you're done, but things take time, and everyone has to start somewhere. When I opened my first salon, I still lived at home with my family, and my bedroom was my office. It was where I did my accounts, created my salon promotions, and I had a small office space in the corner, with my bed as my desk! I'm quite lucky, because I now have a little office at home, and even better, Ollie and I have decided to move it to a bigger room. But not everyone will be at the stage where they can give up a whole room as an office, and if that's you, maybe corden off an area, and perhaps put up a curtain, or drape, so you can't see it when you're done. There's loads of really cool examples of this on Pinterest actually, and some look really pretty.

And Finally....

The One Thing we Would Probably Like to do, But it's Virtually Impossible.....

Disconnecting From Social Media After Work
As I said previously, I'm currently in the process of moving my home office, and creating a serene little blogging/vlogging room, but with that comes a condition from Ollie - 'You have to switch of from work once you leave that room. No blog related stuff at night'. He basically means no Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. But as anyone who works with social media knows, this is so much easier said than done. Especially when peak posting and engagement times tend to be in the evening. I haven't really figured this one out yet, so if anyone has any tips of their own, please share!

What do you think of the advice that I've written today? Are you someone that aspires to, or is currently working from home? If so, what do you think works, or would work best for you? 

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5 June 2015

Philip Kingsley Products & Hair & Scalp Analysis Giveaway

Is your hair and scalp in need of some tlc, or do you fancy indulging yourself in some luxurious Philip Kingsley hair products? If so, look no further, because today you have the opportunity to win a free hair and scalp analysis worth £150, with Shuna Hammocks, a Consultant Trichologist from Sussex Trichology,  who has been a hair and scalp specialist for 16 years. Not only that, summer hair care products by Philip Kingsley are up for grabs too!

Philip Kingsley Products & Hair & Scalp Analysis Blog Giveaway
The first prize of a hair and scalp analysis is worth £150, and will involve Trichologist, Shuna, assessing your hair, and guiding you how best to improve any problems. If you would like to know more about the wonderful work that Shuna does, check out my article about Trichology (here). Shuna qualified with the Institute of Trichologists and gained 12 years experience with The Philip Kingsley clinic in London, and considers herself enormously lucky to have had the opportunity to work amongst the country's top Trichologists. This isn't a prize to be missed! The second and third prize are both Philip Kingsley summer hair products, worth over £20.00 each. So altogether there's the opportunity to win three fab prizes.

The lucky winner will receive the following:

1 half an hour appointment at Sussex Trichology, where Shuna (read about her here), will examine your hair and guide you how to improve, prevent or maximise your hair growth potential. In addition, how to keep the condition of the scalp in perfect repair and how to prevent any further breakage. 

The two runners up will receive:

Summer hair care products by Philip Kingsley.
To enter this giveaway you must:
* Follow @info_shuna on Twitter here *
* Write a few words about your hair or scalp concern in the comments box below *
* Follow Carly's Beauty World on Bloglovin here *
* Follow Carly Susanne on Twitter here *

Please note:
* This giveaway is open to the UK only *
* It finishes at midnight on Monday 29th June 2015 *
* YOU CAN ENTER EVERY DAY BY TWEETING (follow the instructions below) *

Good luck!

Don't forget to check out the Sussex Trichology website here.

*Sponsored Post (In partnership with Sussex Trichology).

Click here to enter:

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3 June 2015

Beauty Favourites | Spring 2015

I love a good favourites post, and as the end of Spring approaches, I thought it would be the perfect excuse to share some of the products I've been loving over the past few months. Yet again, there seems to be a bit of a theme going on, and it's safe to say my collection includes a whole lot of pink....

Beauty Favourites 2015
Pink Cosmetic Pads | Salon Services | £1.99 | Link
Glass Trinket Jar | Home of Style | £5.99 | Link
Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover* | Mary Kay | £13.00 | Link

Firstly, can we just take a minute to admire my pink cotton wool? I was at the hair and beauty suppliers, spotted this, and just had to have it! I don't think I'm the only one who thinks it's cool either, as I posted a pic on my Instagram account (@CarlysBeautyWorld), and it was one of my most liked yet! As far as cosmetic pads go, they're pretty much just your bog standard cotton wool, but hey, they look good inside a glass jar on my dressing table....

Cotton pads and glass jars aside, in terms of actual beauty products, the first thing I've been loving this Spring is Mary Kay's Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover. You may, or may not, have read my full review here, but to summarise, it's gentle, effective, easy to use, residue free, and doesn't sting my eyes. I'm definitely going to repurchase this when it runs out.

Balmi Review

Lip Balm* | Balmi | Strawberry | £4.99 | Link

My second favourite product has to be this strawberry flavoured Balmi Cube Lip Balm. The smell is to die for, it leaves my lips feeling really soft, protects them from all types of weather, and I'm a big fan of the innovative design. It even comes with a handy metal loop, so you can attach it to your keys, ensuring it's with you wherever you go! Other flavours include raspberry, mint and blackberry.

Garnier Micellar Water Review

Micellar Cleansing Water | Garnier | £4.19 | Link

I used to be a massive fan of Clarins Water Purify One-Step Cleanser, especially if I was going away and needed a 'quick fix' in terms of removing my make-up, but when I was out shopping with my friend Claudia recently, she reminded me to try Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water, and boy am I glad I did! It's really gentle, and can be used all over my face, including my eyes and lips. I simply shake a little onto a cotton pad (preferably a pink one, because things always work better when they're pink), wipe the pad over my face, and boom! - My make-up has gone. In it's place is super soft skin, that feels fresh and revitalised, and has been slightly exfoliated due to the use of cosmetic pads. Result. For just £4.19 for 400ml this is an absolute bargain. Step aside Clarins Water Purify.

Morgan Taylor Nail Polish

Morgan Taylor Nail Polish

Nail Polish | Morgan Taylor | Party at the Palace* | Link
Nail Polish | Morgan Taylor | Best Ball Gown Ever* | Link 

So, Morgan Taylor decided to pair up with Disney and create a Cinderella-inspired nail polish collection, and this Spring I was lucky enough to try Party at the Palace, and Best Ball Gown Ever. These colours are absolutely stunning, as I'm sure you can see from the pics above. If you're interested, you can read my full review here. There are several other shades in the collection, including 'If the Slipper Fits''Watch Your Step Sister''My Carriage Awaits'and 'Ella of a Girl'.

Mary Kay Cleanser Review
Botanical Effects Cleanser* | Mary Kay | Normal to Dry Skin | £13.00 | Link

Another Mary Kay product I've been loving over the past few months, is a cleanser from their skincare range. My battle to combat dry skin is currently over, as I've been using their Botanical Effects Cleanser as my main way of removing my make-up. They kindly sent me a few different products to try, so if you've not already read my reviews, be sure to check them out here. 

The Body Shop Vitamin E Review
Vitamin E Moisture Cream* | The Body Shop | £17.00 | Link
Overnight Serum-in-Oil* | The Body Shop | £13.00 | Link

The last few products I wanted to share with you today, are a couple by The Body Shop, and in particular their Vitamin E range. I was kind of surprised that these two now suit my combination skin, but they do, due to my age, and the fact that the more 'balanced' skin on my face has now become much dryer. As with many of my other Spring Favourites I have written a full review, and that can be found here.

Wow, that was a long old post, so I think I better wrap it up. Please let me know what you've been trying out this Spring, and if there's anything you think I should try, or avoid, if that's the case! 

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