My wedding Pinterest collage!

Since I’m sure that most of my blog followers are basically just my friends and my mum, you’ll probably know that I got engaged at the end of 2016. Yep, he put a ring on it, I took a hand selfie, uploaded a facebook post – all of the usual eye-roll-inducing social norms. (see Instagram evidence here)

Since the initial engagement broadcast, wedding planning has been quietly underway but despite the lack of social media information I’ve had lots of questions from new brides-to-be seeking help. Therefore, I thought it was about time I put it all to paper...digitally. You know what I mean.

What are the wedding planning lessons learnt so far? More importantly what are the wedding fails to avoid and what are the wedding deals to be done? Of course, a business minded bride-to-be like me is being financially savvy about it all.

I won’t go into to the detailed timeline of ‘how to plan a wedding’ because it depends on how long your engagement is and frankly, there are better wedding websites out there which explain the planning process a lot better than I can.

What I WILL share today, is basically all the best wedmin stuff that I wish I had known in advance. The stuff that could have saved me money during wedding planning and, more importantly, the stuff that could have saved me a whooole lot of stress. Whilst I don’t have any wedding pictures yet, here’s some clips from my personal Wedding pinterest board to accompany…

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Lesson 1: It’s okay to NOT be obsessed with your wedding.

When I first got engaged, I was absolutely convinced I was going to be the worlds best Bridezilla (in the worst way). If needed, I can worry about the tiniest, most irrelevant details and be a real force of nature when it comes to demands, so I’m sure they all got their Bridezoella badges ready.

When it came down to it, planning actually didn’t take over my life. Whilst I’m happy to discuss the pro’s and con’s of a buttercream vs royal icing wedding cake any day of the week, I really didn’t want to be ‘that’ person that constantly talks about their wedding. (You’ve all got that one in your life!) 

Plus, if you’ve got more than 6 months to go, the question ‘how’s wedding planning going?’ actually becomes quite meaningless after a while. 

Once you’ve actually got the majority of it sorted, there’s almost nothing to do until closer the time so you end up in a bit of a Wedding limbo stage. I’m frankly quite bored about talking about it but it’s not because I don’t care or aren’t excited by it. Remind yourself that you don’t need to be obsessed – for both you and your friends’ own sanity!

Pinterest Wedding Cake

You have plenty of time.

Whilst it’s exciting to get stuck in right away, there is no rush to get everything done as soon as possible. (unless you’re getting married really soon)

Myself and most of my engaged friends had at least a year until the wedding, so the most important thing is to get a venue and a date. Everything else can be done a lot later if you really need to. (And it’s surprising how much can be done last minute!) 

With 4 months to go, I’ve only just got round to doing my formal invites and I’m glad I waited because I ended up finding an amazing deal compared to the ones I initially thought about.

I can genuinely say that wedding planning hasn’t been stressful because we’ve given it time and just taken on one task at a time. Venue, save the dates, florist, dress, photographer, entertainment and invites were all done slowly over 12 months with very little stress. (except the Guestlist – aka the Stresstlist)

Pinterest Greenery Vibe

Don’t feel pressured to rush into a decision.

One slightly linked to having lots of time, remember, there are hundreds of suppliers out there. Wedding florists, photographers, wedding chair cover decorations - I was always panicking that a good supplier I had found would instantly sell out and I had to land them quickly. 

Unless you’re booking specialist or super popular suppliers, don’t get fooled by certain phrases that urge you to book quickly. Once you’ve registered an enquiry for a particular date, most reputable suppliers will let you know if someone else has enquired for the same day later on and at least give you first advantage to confirm then.

I also regretted making early moves on some things because I found better or cheaper suppliers later on. Most ‘special one off deals’ that were available tended to come back around later in the year.

Pinterest Seating Plan

Spend on what matters to you.

Money and budget is pretty much the crux of the decision making. They key thing I realised is to focus your wedding budget on what’s important to you.

When I really thought about it, I didn’t care that much about the ‘stuff I’m supposed to do’. Fancy invitations, wedding stationary and save the dates were less important to us. I ended up using Photoshop to create a fancy Save The Date image, which we then whatsapp-ed to our friends and family.

We then also got a free wedding website to put all the information that would normally go in the paper invite and all RSVPs were done electronically – saving us postage, printing and paper costs!

What is more important to our wedding? Booze! (quelle surprise, if you’ve seen my Instagram Stories) I sacrificed flower walls and floral arches, in favour of free flowing vino later on. Who wants to come NOW eh?

Where else am I saving money?

As a resident beauty expert and makeup addict, I will of course be doing it all myself. (Remember when I became a wedding makeup artist thanks to my makeup obsession?) 

I'll be getting my hair coloured back to something a bit more normal, and a bit less purple but other than that, there are some great bridal beauty tips that can be sorted yourself. HUUUUUGE POST on bridal beauty coming soon. 

I also managed to save money on the invites by getting them made in China, the bridesmaids dresses were bought during the sales for less than £20 and even my own dress was well under budget!

I actually saved a lot of money on my wedding dress so I’m keen to do a full dress shopping guide too (insert girly squeals here) but will keep that under wraps until after the wedding, so that I can show you the photos too! 

ALL I can say is that they are just as ridiculously extra as I thought they might be. (Yep, there’s more than one thanks to some amazing discoveries which I can’t wait to share with you next time....)

Pinterest twinkly greenery

Look out for suppliers that can cover multiple services.

For example, I’ve seen some wedding photographers that also offer a free photo booth for any wedding they’re covering – saving you a couple hundred pounds.

I also picked Prezola to be host our gift list because their premium accounts are completely customisable, don't charge you extra fees for cash gifts AND also give you a free wedding website which integrates your online gift list.

When it came to gifts, we were deliberating whether we really needed a gift list - I mean, I’m not one to turn down presents but we already live together, and we already have a set of Tesco plates and cutlery that do the job. Did we really want to ask for a rose gold plated avocado spoon?!

On the other hand, we didn’t want to ask directly for money either. (insert sentence here about how we obviously don’t want gifts, we just want you to share this day with us)

I’m perfectly comfortable dealing with money as part of my day job and I’m certainly comfortable with a varying level of self awareness on a Friday night but turns out my inner British sense of what’s proper does draw a line at denominations of £25 and £50.

Fortunately, it turns out that Prezola also give you the option of creating a completely customised wedding gift list (without charging more for cash). What we’ve done is make our gift list into a personalised honeymoon shop, aka a polite way of shaking you down for money. 

It’s got itemised elements of our honeymoon such as ‘a night in this hotel’, ‘a dinner at that restaurant’ or a ‘hiking tour across this historic site’. Just kidding, there’s obviously no hiking or any form of activity planned, other than eating, sleeping and snoozing. Mixed up in various locations, like in a spa, by the pool, in a hammock or on a boat. (Should I start a honeymoon planning business as a sidehustle?!)

Only ask for opinions I you really need.

It’s great to be a diplomat and ask bridesmaids and mothers for opinions but DO THIS WITH CAUTION. Only ask for opinions if you really want to hear them and be prepared for an opinion that you don’t agree with. 

Particularly stressful when it comes to bridesmaids dresses. Parents also have a certain view of how weddings should or shouldn’t be but my general rule is, if you don’t pay for it, you don’t get to decide. Alternatively, ask a completely objective third party observer with absolutely NO personal interest in the matter...

And finally, that nicely leads to the overall learning that keeps coming up from every single couple that’s done it. It’s up to the two of you. Whilst it’s important to be respectful of other people’s feelings and requests – the final decision is down to you. (or mainly the bride if you’re like me)

And that’s it for now! Bridezoella over and out.

What do YOU think? Was your wedding planning as planned? Tweet me your thoughts @Zoe_Dubs or join the discussion on Facebook

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Wedding Planning Without The Planner Or The Budget? The Tips You Need To Know

Looking back on 2017, I’ve been on a whole load of trips this summer - I thought it only right that I dedicate a piece to the beauty products that have kept my face in place throughout the travel process. 

With weight restrictions (and suitcase size) on my mind, I used to spend ages deliberating which beauty products would make the cut and still end up bringing a kilo of creams and potions, most of which were barely used but brought 'just in case'. 

Sound familiar? The ongoing debate as to whether you need to bring the full skincare arsenal, or whether you can get away with just a tube of moisturiser. Those of you who have the full day cream, night cream, eye cream, serum routine wouldn't even believe it was even possible.

As a long-time beauty writer and skincare obsessive, I definitely fall into that category but I can safely say I've finally nailed it. Thanks to a series of trial and error on some recent travel breaks, I’ve now refined it to a trusted lineup of skincare superstars which I bring with me every time.

Obviously, certain trips are geared to more sun protection, more makeup glam or more outdoors inclined but when it comes to essentials, these are the ones that I will always need.

Take off time...

Air travel is notoriously hard on your skin, thanks to the dry air and dehydration. For anything over 4 hours, I always take off my makeup before protecting with a face oil or heavy cream.

Trilogy Rosehip Oil is one of my trusted facial oils. Certified organic and 100% natural, rosehip oil contains powerful antioxidants that help protect against the free radical damage of radiation. That, and a load of essential fatty acids that keep my skin hydrated and plump during the flight.

(If you have oily skin and hate face oils, Trilogy have also come out with a Light blend version too)

For long haul flights, I also use Christian Breton Deluxe Gold Mask when waking up onboard in the morning. Fortunately, I can pretty much fall asleep anywhere but when your skin needs a quick radiance & hydration fix, this mask is my go to. 

It's pricey AF but one tube has lasted me a year and I would buy with my own money. It contains little gold particles that add visible radiance to your skin. Just apply the cream to your face, leave and tissue or rinse off.

Touch down.

After 20 minutes with the radiance mask, I'll put my face back on - mainly so that I actually bare some semblace to my passport photo.

Instead of bringing a full makeup bag on the plane, I just bring my portable makeup pocket rocket - the Chanel Palette Essentielle compact which I dedicated an entire post to upon purchase. This, plus a mascara and an eyebrow pencil- inflight makeup kit is sorted without an overflowing liquid allowance bag.

Other than the palette, my FAVOURITE beauty discovery this summer was this Skin Defence Multi-Protection essence by The Body Shop. My new favourite and daily must-have in my skincare routine.

In a nutshell, it's the lightest SPF50 cream I've ever used, has antioxidants protection AND Vitamin C to slowly brighten my skin and reduce pigmentation with each use. It's billed as an essence but in my opinion, is moisturising enough for me to use a day cream. Dry skin may want to add a hydrating cream as well.

Cannot recommend this product enough, it protects your skin whilst slowly perfecting it. Check it out, on tour in Hong Kong.

After that, the only other thing is hand gel and eye drops. My favourite hand gel is Merci Handy - the least drying, most moisturising hand sanitiser that I've ever used. 

And eye drops, an essential for any contact lens wearer - I've upgraded to single use capsules instead of a bottle. They're more expensive but the bottles can only be kept open for 3 months (of which I use about half) and you can just slip a single use capsule into any handbag, whenever you need it.

And that's literally it. The 5 products that I always bring with me.

What do YOU think? Do you have travel essentials that you always reach for? IS there such thing as travelling light? Tweet me your thoughts @Zoe_Dubs or send me a comment on Facebook!

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In Flight Beauty Essentials - The Only Carry On Products You Need Onboard

Glossier has FINALLY come to the UK. With Glossier products ready to ship to us Brits, you might be planning your shopping list already. Fortunately I have already put myself through this reeeeally difficult process, just for your benefit of course.. It's part of the beauty blogger service right? 

 Being impatient and y'know, addicted to beauty products, I couldn't wait for the UK launch. I actually made my first Glossier purchase last year in the US when I was in New York. Eyes wide with makeup abandon, I spent a good hour trawling through their collection and spent a long time researching, like, ALL the products. 

So if you're confused what to buy or wondering which Glossier products are best, I figured I'd save you some time and transfer you the fruits of my labour.

For those of you who have been living in a beauty hole and not heard of it, Glossier is a US beauty brand created by Emily Weiss, founder of super beauty site Into The Gloss. Into the Gloss actually started off as beauty blog and is now an all-singing, all-dancing digital beauty site - and Glossier is the beauty range that came out of it.

Glossier was immediately snapped up by the Instagram models and the beauty queens - EmRata, Emily Ratajkowski told me herself that she uses their Skin Tint, when I interviewed her in 2015. Obviously I had to try it!

I bought a selection of Glossier goodies, here are my thoughts on the ones to buy, the ones to try and the ones to err, gloss over... (wahey for puns!)

Glossier Moon Mask £18

The infamous moon mask was meant to be an amazing, hydrating and soothing treat for your skin. I personally love a cream mask as you can leave it on for a while it doesn't pull at your skin and it's easier to wash off than clay (plus it won't block your sink like clay does! I have Drain Unblocker on repeat buy)
I loved the texture and feel of the mask but it didn't feel entirely 'good' for my skin. It felt like a cheap mask that I'd bought from a supermarket basics range and I felt like it was clogging my pores on my nose rather than saving them.

 I think it would help dry, patchy skin or skin in actual need of hydration but as a weekly booster, it didn't really do anything for me. You're better off just layering up your night cream and keeping that on for 10 minutes. Would not buy again -recommend this Aura Mask by Antipodes instead - see my review.

Glossier Generation G lipstick £14

I bought this in shade LEO - a warm brown tone. With one swipe it's relatively sheer but you can build it up.

Big fan of this matte lipstick - it's not quite as slick as a lip balm but it's definitely easier and a lot lighter to wear than a normal matte lipstick. It doesn't clump or go chalky like liquid matte lipsticks. Did I mention HOW lightweight it is?!

It's not as moisturising as I'd imagine a lip balm lipstick to be though so moisturised lips are needed, but I would definitely buy again and try the other colours.

Glossier Perfecting Skin Tint £15

Don't expect any real coverage from this but if you've been working on your skin routine and only need a hint, nay, a whisper of colour to even out your face - then this could be for you. I bought shade medium and it was just about right.

It's got a lovely sheer finish for that real 'natural' look and unlike some tinted moisturisers it's not TOO dewy. It's definitely more makeup rather than a moisturer though, don't be mistaken. 

I've worn it but I'm not a convert as I need more coverage- would probably not buy again. I'd say it's overpriced for what it is - hit me with a teeny bit more pigment, an easier bottle to squeeze and then lets talk..

Glossier Stretch Concealer £15

Yeah okay, I'll bite. I like this concealer - it's creamy and easy to blend. The shade Medium is also okay for me. I use it under the eye but also around the face - it's what I would use to cover the bits that Skin Tint cant. 

Texture reminds me a little bit of Benefit Fake Up. Because it has natural goodies like jojoba oil, it does give a dewy finish. Whilst this is okay for under the eyes, everything else needs a dusting of matte powder otherwise I'd look a bit shiny.  Not a holy gral product for me but would buy again! Can we have a stick format though?

Glossier Haloscope £18

This is a lovely creamy highlighter that comes in a SUPER convenient stick format. It's got a little gel core which means it comes out a little bit more sheer and less artificial. I like it a lot - it MAY be breaking me out slightly but I like the effect it gives. 

However, not worth the price tag - only recommend if you're looking to splurge but you can definitely get cheaper alternatives. See the sticks that Kiko Cosmetics do.

Glossier Verdict?

So what's the verdict? Glossier is veryy pretty and I'm totally bought into the brand! It's a real 'capsule' collection that has everything a basic makeup kit needs. A decent attempt at trying to be inclusive with the colour range but could do a little bit better.

It's a brand that I'm DYING to love but unfortunately, not all the products lived up to my expectations - especially at this price level.  I'm still keen on becoming part of this Glossy Posse though so would definitely be interested in trying more though, especially now that I'm not risking paying a million pounds in potential customs. 

I've got my eyes on the Cloud Paint cream blush and some of their face serums..... but do they deserve any more of my cash? Let's see. (aka PAYDAY COME QUICKER)

Have you tried any Glossier yet? Tweet me your thoughts @FaceValueBlog or send me a comment on Facebook!

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Style or substance? Glossier Launches In The UK & Here's What I Thought

Exciting news, my future sister-in-law got engaged too! There is SO much bridal chat going on in that family, it's great. It's lovely to have someone going through the same thing as you though - smiley emoji's and cosy feelings all round.

For her birthday, we got drunk brunching at The Landau and after a excited conversation about her skin (skincare is always an exciting topic for me, drunk or not), I promised I would make her a super skincare bundle so that she could actually HAVE a skincare routine and see the results in time for her wedding day.

Since she lives in Birmingham, I figured I'd end up posting it to her so I decided to make a quick walk-through video to explain all my beauty product choices and how to use them. Cut to a 20 minute video later and I decided that this actually might be useful to SOMEONE else out there, so I've put it on YouTube.

It's literally the longest video I've ever made and it's also the FIRST video I've ever done not wearing any foundation but you know what, if I'm going to pretend to be some sort of credible beauty gal, I gotta show you the results too right?

Watch the video below or on my YouTube Channel

The Product Line Up

Here are the shopping links to the products mentioned in the video, plus some additional products I also like but cut out of the video. I have tried ALL of the below products myself. 

I've put the RRP up as well, but to be honest, most of these are always available discounted so don't freak out when you're seeing stuff over £50!

Some of these links below are linked to affiliate shops which mean that I get a teeny bit of commission if you buy anything. THANKS GUYS.

Night Cleansers

Something oil or cream based, to dissolve makeup and keep skin balanced. Actually GREAT for oily skin.

Nyasa Pure Glow Nourishing Cleansing Balm £50 - but would def buy again.

MooGoo Oil Cleansing Method £16.90 - lovely little organic, all natural Australian number.

Hylamide High Efficiency Face Cleaner £19 - great for heavy duty makeup, bad if you hate coconut oil

Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish £14.50 - it's a cult classic for a reason.

Day Cleansers

Slightly lighter than the night cleanse, I like gel based cleansers to remove early morning oil, without stripping skin.

Eau Thermal Avene Cleanance £10.50 - a soapless, mild cleanser that's good for sensitive oily skin.

La Roche Posay Effaclar H Cleansing Cream £12 - super creamy gel, that's not too squeaky clean

La Roche Posay Micellar Gel Cleanser £12.50 - the secret is to use it with warm water.

Day Serums

A protective layer of antioxidants to enhance the skin's natural barrier function.

Jurlique Herbal Recovery Serum £47 - it's not cheap but I use it every day

Jurlique Moisture Plus Rose Balancing Serum £40 - rose is great for hydration and balancing out dry patches

Day Cream

Voya EvenPure £53  - again, not cheap but it's packed with organic ingredients which drive the price up. I'm also more inclined to actually use and take care with more expensive products.

Nuxe Creme Fraiche De Beaute Cream £26 - a dependable pharmacy brand, I've had a great experience with anything Nuxe.

Embryolisse Hydra Mat Emulsion £22 - another decent French brand, I like this mattifying moisturiser too

SPF (crucial!!)

Dermalogica Solar Defence Booster SPF50 £55.50 - caused a dent to my wallet but has lasted forever. I only use it on my face.

Garnier Moisture Bomb Protecting SPF30 Mist £9.99 - FAVOURITE find of 2017

Filorga SPF50 Mist £29 - grown up version of the above, with added anti-ageing treatment

Night Cream

Elemis Peptide4 Night Recovery Cream Oil £49 - lovely stuff. Feels a lot more lightweight than some night creams.

Kiehls Midnight Recovery Concentrate £38 - insert heart eyes emoji here

Clean Beauty Co Rosy Glow Oil £35 - a relatively new, small company so difficult to find stockists

Trilogy Rosehip Oil £19.50 - not mentioned in the vid but I'm a recent convert - also recommend the lighter Rosehip version for oily skin.

La Roche Posay Hydraphase Intense Light Fluid £16.50 - if you hate face oils, then this is your one.

Eye Cream

Jurlique Herbal Recovery Eye Cream £34 - the eye version of the day serum I use.

Dermalogica Power Firm Eye Cream £43.50 - the most expensive eye cream I own but it reminds me to use it every night.


POWDER EXFOLIATORS are the way forward. Don't scrub your skin. Make a paste with these, apply to your face, let sit for a minute - I like to keep it on while brushing my teeth - and then rinse off with warm water. Do NOT vigorously rub your skin, let the natural acids within it do the work.

Dermalogica Superfoliant £55- if you only buy ONE thing. It's probably this. Would spend my own cash on this full price.

Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant £48 - cheaper, original version of the above - also love but the other has charcoal.

Indeed Labs Powder Exfoliator £18.99 - the next best thing. Try it - don't scrub! 


Made my own using: Aloe Vera Juice, Lavender Water, Witchhazel, Geranium Water from

Caudalie Beauty Elixir £12 - another cult classic.  

Neals Yard Rehydrating Rose Toner £16 - can't go wrong with rosewater really. The blue glass bottle is beautiful too.


The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension £4.90 - good luck finding this stuff, it's always out of stock! 100% recommend but go lightly on your first go, it tingles!

La Roche Posay Redermic R Retinol Treatment £29.50 - only for visible fine lines, always research Retinol before you use it - and ALWAYS use SPF if you're using retinol.

Antipodes Aura Mask £24.99 - the mask that changed my opinion on cream masks. It's sublime - esp for oily skin.

Aesop Parsley Seed Mask £30 - quick and easy clay mask if you've only got 5-15minutes dry time.

Sukin Super Greens Clay Mask £11.95 - Packed with the good stuff, it's part clay mask, part delicious smelling antioxidant treatment.

B Makeup Brush Cleanser Spray £4.99 - DON'T UNDO YOUR HARD WORK.

ANNNNND That's it! A long list but it's an investment towards better skin.

What do YOU think? How many products do you use a day? Tweet me your thoughts @FaceValueBlog or send me a comment on Facebook!

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VIDEO: She Asked For The Ultimate Skincare Routine - The Best Beauty Products & How To Use Them

chanel palette essentielle compact

Makeup splurge alert! Whenever I'm in an airport Duty Free, I feel like I need to buy something. It's most likely the whole 'spend to save', bargain hunting element of my nature. That, or the fact I have a blindingly obvious makeup addiction...

Wind back a few weeks. I was flying to Malta on my second ever press trip, passing through the airport departures in a cloud of 'I can't believe this is happening to me' and then I saw it. The World Duty Free shop. Like a moth to a flame, I instinctively headed in.

 What to buy though? I always use Duty Free as an opportunity to stock up on beauty essentials for less (cheap Benefit Rollerlash mascara & Kiehl's Midnight Concentrate being the recurring purchases here)

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Beauty treat! My New Chanel Palette Essentielle Compact From Duty Free

zoe dubs london blogger presenter

Okay guys and girls, some beauty blogger skincare tips coming your way. Over the last few months, I've been really focused on skincare - basically trying to get the clear, calm adult skin that I've always dreamt of.

How do we get great skin? Well, some people are born with good skin genes, others have to work harder at it and those who eat badly and drink heavily need to try EVEN harder. (I'm not going to admit which of these groups I fit into but anyone watching my Instagram - I know you KNOW!)

So what's the plan here? What does "better skin" look like? 

Ideally I wanted to find a way to minimise breakouts, even out any patchiness in my oily yet 'these bits can be dry' combination skin, cut down on heavy foundation and focus on getting that smooth, glowing base that's neither dewy nor shiny but LUMINOUS. 

At the beginning of the year, I wouldn't have left the house without at least a light coat of concealer. Obviously, it'd be nice to not give a shit about this sort of thing (THANKS SOCIETY) but until then, getting better skin is the plan!

How did I do it?

So at the beginning of the year I decided to commit to a real skincare routine. A proper routine where you use the same products, at the same time, every day for at least a month without being tempted by newer, shiiinier products. It's practically a relationship, given the level of commitment involved.

Until this point, I'd been constantly dabbling with products, the beauty blogger in me desperate for another hit of 'something new' and although we ALL know we should be patient with products, I just couldn't commit to one for 4 days let alone 4 weeks.

New Year's resolution sorted, I went ahead and did it. And now? I'm pretty pleased! So much so that my next YouTube video is about my new skincare routine, and I'm not going to be wearing ANY foundation. Seeing is believing right?

Until then, here are the basics of what I changed in my skincare routine. I hope you find it useful because it worked for me!

zoe dubs london blogger presenter

First up - it's time to commit. Select your desired arsenal and stick to it for at least a month (unless it's causing you irritation or sensitivity). Due to the cycle of skin renewal, you won't be seeing long-term benefits for a few weeks. Plus, if you're chopping & changing, you won't know which product has done what. HOW will you know what to buy again?!

Secondly, I decided to abandon my previous go-to corporate brands (the Estee's, L'Oreals & Lancomes of the world) and move towards brands with a more natural & organic focus. Hello Antipodes, Sukin, Jurlique, Moo Goo, Liz Earle to some extent, Caudalie and other such brands! I did this mainly because many of the big commercial formulas I used were full of big commercial filler ingredients.

Getting knowledgeable about product ingredients is key - I abandoned SLS, parabens and most products packed out with silicone & other such nasties. Brands like La Roche Posay aren't natural or organic but they're free of 'bad' ingredients like this - so if you still want to buy a big commercial brand (they do tend to be cheaper & easier to get hold of), at least do it in a clean way.

Chuck in a couple of tips and techniques around product application, facial massage and HELLO. My skin has improved dramatically and my dream skin is almost within reach. I say almost, because honestly, will we ever be happy with what we've got?!

zoe dubs beauty blog launch party

I'll be doing a full video with my skincare routine & product recommendations but until then - here are some tips I picked up at the Jurlique launch last week.

How do you apply your skincare? 

Just dot in on your face and rub in? Applying too much pressure and rubbing too hard can actually damage the skin, which is why eye creams always to tell you to pat. One of the techniques promoted by Jurlique is what I call "the warm and press".

Warming product in your hands can activate ingredients and help product to spread better, thus using less product in the long run.

Press products into skin, don't rub. Pressing gets the formula to the deeper layer of dermis (i.e. the non dead stuff on the surface)

When applying, don't rub the eye area.

Delicate skin like this needs to be treated gently. Just use your ring finger to pat cream into the skin.
There's also no need to go all around the eye and overload the area - applying product just around the orbital bone

jurlique herbal recovery review tips

The fridge is your friend

The soothing qualities of calming products and toners are boosted when chilled in the fridge. Put your face mist in the fridge before you reach for it on a hot day - it works a treat and really invigorates skin during summer. It's particularly great for eye creams, and gives an instant de-puffing effect.

You learn something new every day

Finally - one thing I haven't tried yet but has been recommended by the experts at Jurlique. Use arnica on dark circles. I'm very familiar with arnica, having used it on bruises and the theory is that it works in the same way to shrink visible blood vessels.... will keep you posted! Dream skin is within reach!

What do YOU think? Have you got a fixed skincare routine? Any skincare tips you swear by? Tweet me your thoughts @FaceValueBlog or send me a comment on Facebook!

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How To Get Better Skin - My New Skincare Routine

Last month was a huge milestone for me - I went on my first ever international press trip. Aka giant free holiday after years of blogging and writing. I can tell you that the perks of Lifestyle blogging don't come as often as beauty blogging but when they do, they are PERKY AF. Time to become a travel blogger? PIVOT.

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FACE VALUE TRAVEL BLOG? My first press trip to Sardinia

You don't have to know me to know that I’m not a fan of the gym. At all. But, if there’s anything I dislike more than exercise it’s dieting. For those of you subjected to my Instagram Stories, you now I practically LIVE in McDonalds. I never thought I'd be writing about diets on my personal blog, seriously.
But what if I told you there was a healthy eating plan you could try that STILL let you eat chocolate and drink wine for five days of the week? A bit more interested now?

Well, that’s exactly what I thought when I heard about the 5:2 diet. It was so intriguing that, out of curiosity, I decided to trial the plan for 30 days as part of my weekly beauty feature for Yahoo!Style.. From someone who feels the constant need to eat, the results were quite surprising. (SPOILER ALERT - I'M STILL DOING IT!)

Don't get me wrong, you will NEVER see me become a healthy living blogger but surprisingly this works for me, so I decided to do a video to share my experience
Check out the original post I wrote over on Yahoo Style for the full details but here's my personal video with what I learnt from the diet, easy ways to stick to the 5:2 diet and tips you should try.

On days where I was too lazy to meal plan, I tried the fast packs from LighterLife Fast. on this programme, you can have up to 800 calories on your fast day, eating 4 of their fast packs. They range from porridge, to soups, to bars and shepherd's pie - so not your average.

I also tried out a meal plan from the Exante Diet - which also had packs that you could mix & bake in the oven - like mini scones and chocolate puddings. Still sounding like a diet to you? Didn't think so - take a look at the video!

When LighterLife Fast heard that I was doing this video, they offered to run a giveaway - you can win your own kick starter set to have a go at the 5:2 - all you have to do is follow and RT on Twitter! An EASY COMPETITION for you all!

What do YOU think? Are you, like me, not about running or diets? Could this be interesting for you?

 Tweet me your thoughts @FaceValueBlog or send me a comment on Facebook!

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What I Learnt From The 5:2 Diet & How To Do It The Easy Way!

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