The Skincare Routine For People Who Don't Have Time For Skincare

Sunday, 19 January 2020

I hear it time and again from my friends.

'I don't have time for a full skincare routine!'

Honestly, it makes me shudder.

But, I do get it. When you're busy, or rushing around in the morning, the last thing you can be bothered to do is stand there and put a million and one lotions and potions onto your face.

Because I'm passionate about skincare (and also scared of wrinkles), I make the time. SO, for those of you who are too busy for skincare, I have put together a little list of the best products that are quick, fuss-free and will give you a full (ish) routine without spending forever in front of you bathroom mirror.

Garnier Micellar Water
There are loads of brands that offer a micellar water option now, but Garnier is far and away my favourite. Perfect for removing make up fully and quickly after a long day at work or a few too many gins (because please don't ever go to bed without taking your make up off, and please for the love of all things sacred throw your face wipes in the bin!) Swipe, swipe, done. No excuse.

Beauty Pie Japanfusion Cleanser
This has been a fairly recent beauty find for me, but I'm obsessed. This cleanser has such a lovely lightweight texture, suitable for all skin types. It removes make up, cleanses and refreshes skin, and doesn't involve faffing about with a face cloth. All you need to do is apply, mix with water, rinse off. So simple. (Side note: Beauty Pie is a brand which tends to involve a subscription. If that isn't your bag, Glossier's Milky Jelly Cleanser is very similar!)

Pixi Glow Tonic Toner
Toner is a step which I think a lot of people miss out, but it's so easy to include in your routine because it literally takes a second to swipe over your face. And Glow Tonic is my HOLY GRAIL. This is the only toner I use these days, and I wouldn't ever be without it. It tones, brightens, and gently exfoliates, and leaves you with alllllllll glow. 



Garnier Moisture Bomb Tissue Mask
I know what you're thinking on face masks. Too messy, takes too long. Right?
I used to think the same. But sheet masks in general have been an absolute game changer for me. The Garnier ones are my favourite because they provide so much moisture for my poor, dry skin. They take a mere 15 minutes, they're no mess, no fuss and are almost always on offer in Boots or Superdrug. Win-win.

[GIFTED] Dermalogica Skin Smoothing Cream
This is my favourite moisturiser ever, especially for when I'm in a rush, for the simple fact that it sinks straight into the skin and doesn't feel sticky or like there's residue sitting on my skin afterwards. Which means I can get more or less straight on with putting on my make up, without having to wait for ages for my moisturiser to absorb properly.

Dr. Botanicals Superfood Pomegranate Sleeping Mask
If you're not a fan of sitting for 15 minutes with a face mask on, this product is 100% for you. You just pop it on before bed, and allow it to absorb while you sleep. You don't even need to rinse it off in the morning, you just wake up with nourished, super-soft skin. And because it's basically like a slightly thicker moisturiser, you don't need to worry about waking up with gross residue all over your pillow. An absolute must-have.

Have you ever tried any of these products? If you go ahead and try them after reading this, let me know over on my social media how you get on! It's @siankathrine on Twitter on Instagram!

Love,
Sian xo

An Ode to the Insta Husband/Wife

Sunday, 12 January 2020

Oh, the Insta Husband/Wife,

The unsung heroes of every blog and the associated social media platforms. Behind every cute outfit photo and carefully curated 'candid' shot, is an Insta Husband or Wife who has undergone weeks, months, or even years of training. They've learned the angles we love and the ones that will make us cringe when we look back at the photos. They've mastered the kinds of shots that we love and have learned to simply mutter to themselves when we're still not satisfied.

You're a special bunch, Insta Spouses. You have learned and accepted that a wintery walk or a trip out for coffee is not simply just that, it's a 'Gram opportunity. You show patience time and again; when we tell you even after 3748638 shots that none of them are quite right and could you just snap a few more, or when we stop you from tucking into your food, or delay your first sip of a hot chocolate so that we can bag the perfect aerial shot. You roll you eyes, tut and tell us how basic we are, but we don't care, and we know you don't mind really (except maybe where food is concerned).

Some of you are so well-versed that you don't even need prompting. You simply hold out your hand, take our phones and get that shot as soon as the stack of pancakes is put in front of us,, or when we stumble across a location that is 'Gram-worthy. You truly are good eggs.

So, Instagram Wives and Husbands, I guess what we're trying to say is thank you.

Thank you for knowing our best angles.
Thank you for not starting to eat until we get the perfect shot.
Thank you for never just taking one photo.
Thank you for not losing your rag when the living room is in chaos after a session of taking flatlays.
Thank you for partaking in the silly selfies.
Thank you for making us laugh while shooting so we look cuter and less awkward.
Thank you for putting up with us whinging when we can't get the edit right.

Honestly, though. You're awesome.

Love,
Bloggers & Instagrammers Everywhere xo

The Fear Of Being 'Boring'

Sunday, 5 January 2020

I've said it so many times, but I'll say it once more... Your mid-late twenties is such an awkward stage of life. Half of my Facebook friends are getting married, having kids, getting mortgages. And the other half are out getting trollied every weekend, 'living their best lives' and spending most of their Sundays with a hangover.

And then there's me. The thing is, because I have no desire to get hitched or get pregnant any time soon, I feel like I should be in the latter category, making the most of my lack of responsibilities and making sure every spare moment is packed with having fun.

But I'm so far from it. While I spent the ages of 18-22 out on the razz, with plenty of hilarious drunken stories, or going on various adventures on my days off, it's a pretty different story now. I'm more of a pjs-on-and-bra-off-as-soon-as-I-get-home kinda gal. Two glasses of wine is plenty and my new idea of an exciting Saturday night is ordering a pizza instead of getting it from the Asda counter, putting a face mask on and staying awake through an entire film. It's genuinely at the point where it's a bit of an office joke, when my colleagues will inevitably ask at around 5:20pm on a Friday 'Are you doing anything exciting with your weekend, Sian?' and I'll shake my head and say 'Just a quiet one' and they'll all chuckle because that's always my response and I should definitely be doing more with my free time.

But it's something I've grown more self-conscious of. That I've become 'boring'. That 18 year-old me would look at 25 year-old me and say 'What the bloody hell happened to you?' I'm at the perfect age to do lots of fun and exciting things but I just don't. And I really worry that I'm 'wasting my youth' and I'll get to my 40s, look back and wish I'd made the most of this time making memories.

It's still very much a process, but I'm trying very hard to realise that all of this doesn't make me 'boring'. And a huge part of that is trying to train my mind to not compare myself to others my age.

The truth is, I was partied out by 23. One night out every six months is totally fine for me, and having a few drinks with friends in a pub where people aren't spilling vodka and Red Bull down your dress and where flat shoes and a jumper are socially acceptable, is much more appealing. And quite frankly, I don't want to waste my Sundays nursing a hangover.

I still love an adventure, and while I'll probably never be one to run away halfway around the world with only a backpack, the small adventures still count all the same.

I'm trying to remember that it's totally okay to spend a full weekend in the house, in my pjs, binge-watching TV. In fact, sometimes it's what I need, when the busyness of the world and work and everything else just gets a little bit too much. Having something in the diary every weekend that's notable isn't a necessity to be enjoying your life.

What I am pretty good at doing, is taking joy in the small and ordinary things. Things like the first cup of tea on a slow Sunday morning, or breathing in crisp, fresh air when you first step out of the house. Things like laughing hysterically with your best friend over a glass of wine, or singing at the top of your lungs whilst driving. Things like a hug from my mum, or the look on my little niece's face when she sees me, and comes running up to me for a cuddle. Because to her, I'm certainly not boring. (although she's only 4, so perhaps she doesn't know any better!)

Yes, maybe sometimes I wish my life was a bit more exciting and varied, full of days out and with less of the mundane stuff. But let's be honest, life gets in the way. The stuff you see on social media is often a highlights reel, people don't often show you when they're spending the day cleaning the house, doing the food shopping or the other boring adult stuff that everyone needs to do!

Again, it's still very much a process for me. I'm trying to keep in mind, when I feel like I'm not 'living' enough, that it's totally fine for my preferences to change, for the way that I like to spend my time to differ to five years ago. That doesn't make me boring. It just makes me, me.

What do you think? Is this something you've struggled with? Let me know in the comments!

Love,
Sian xo


13 Things I Want To Do In 2020

Sunday, 29 December 2019

I'm planning a big year in 2020. I feel like I have spent much of 2019 recovering from a rocky 2018, finding my feet and settling into who 'grown up-ish Sian' is. I've been getting stuck into work, a new house, family life has been going through a big change. Now that I feel reasonably grounded, there's a lot that I want to achieve in 2020, in terms of my own personal growth, blog stuff, changing habits and everything else in between. I'm not setting 'resolutions' as such but more like a bucket list or a target list for the year, filled with everything I'd like to get done in the next 12 months. Let me tell you all about it.

1. Go to America
A close friend of mine is currently living in California as an au pair, so one of my biggest plans for this year is to head out for a week or so for a visit. She's not far from San Francisco, which has been on my travel bucket list for years, so I am super excited!

2. FINALLY get my house sorted
We've been living in this house for just over year, but I still go in my spare bedroom and it looks like I've just moved in. While other rooms are getting there, but still in need of some organisation and a few more homely touches to make them truly ours. So one of my goals for this year is definitely to get organised, finish off decorating and finally have matching furniture in every room!

3. Get a new car
I've had my first little car (Francesco the Fiesta) for about 18 months now, and while it still runs really well, I'm a confident enough driver now that I think it's time for something a bit newer and nicer! I'm going car shopping in early 2020 to see what kind of thing I might like/could afford and then it's going to be time to save like crazy!

4. Go to at least 3 blogger events/meet ups
There have been so many blogger events that I've wanted to go to this year but have missed out on because of work or other commitments. Next year though, I want to make it to a few, and I think 3 is a pretty realistic target considering that events are often in London and I work full-time which can sometimes make it difficult to travel down.

5. One date night/day per month
Dan & I went to Leeds in December to do some Christmas shopping. It was when we were sitting having some lunch that I realised how we hadn't done anything like this, just the two of us, for months and months. Between how busy I am, his shift work and doing all of the overtime that god sends, time together is pretty rare and when we do have the occasional day off together, it's often visiting friends and family or running errands, not actual quality time together. So, that's something I want to change in 2020, making sure we actually make time for each other. And I don't mean fancy or expensive days out, even if it's just going bowling or a drive out to the coast.

6. Five brand collaborations
I really want to up my blogging game next year and take it to a whole new level. There's a plan in place for how I'm going to do that, but I'm aiming for five collaborations as a realistic target, big brands or small. But it'll be brands that I love, and that I think you will love reading about. If it ends up being three over the course of the year, but three that I'm proud to be associated with, and the content is killer, I'm totally cool with that.

7. Go through the 'Grow & Glow' course
I joined the Grow & Glow network a couple of months ago, and I've found it's been so helpful in grounding my thoughts where my blog and social media are concerned, and so far I'm only on the first bundle! Next year I want to really crack on with it as I've only done bits and pieces on it when I get five minutes, but I want to make it a real focus so I can get closer to my other blogging-related goals!

8. Take Eloise & George on loads of fun days out
I've spoken about my best friend's little girl Eloise on my blog and social media a fair few times. Over the last couple of years I've been taking her out for the day for Christmas & her birthday instead of going crazy on buying 'stuff' for her, as she gets so many toys anyway, her parents always appreciate a child-free day and (the best part), we love making memories together! Now she's got a baby brother, it's a tradition I definitely want to make more out of with both of them, and now I get twice the opportunity to be a big kid!

9. Get myself to my 'happy body'
In 2019, I had a span of about six months where I was in a really good place with my body. This was down to good habits more than anything. I was working out three or four times a week, eating home-cooked, balanced meals, drinking two litres of water a day, all while allowing myself to indulge a little at the weekend. Yes I lost weight, but there were so many other benefits. I slept better, I didn't feel bloated all of the time, my anxiety levels went down. So rather than a New Years Resolution of 'I want to lose x amount of weight', I want to get myself back to my 'happy body', not defined by what my scales say or the dress size I am wearing, but by how I'm feeling.

10. Read 25 books
I got back into reading in 2019, and I read about 19 books over the course of the year. In 2020 I want to do better and read 25, so if anyone has recommendations, send them my way!

11. Get in control of my money and start saving
Pretty self-explanatory, but I have spent a long time living paycheque to paycheque. Not because I'm on a bad wage particularly, but because I'm not all that savvy with money. I have some big plans for the next 5 years, which are going to require some savings. So I need to cut back on the Starbucks and impulse buys, get in control, open a savings account and work bloody hard to make my plans happen.

12. Meet local bloggers
I often whinge that there aren't any bloggers near me in little old Lincoln. But in recent months, I've realised that there are a few of us around, I just need to look for them! So in 2020, I want to push myself to reach out to bloggers near me, get to know them and try to make some new friends!

13. Get environmentally-friendly
You may have seen me talk about this about in my last post about being a better person in 2020, but I've come to the realisation that I really haven't been doing enough to help the planet. I'll be starting with small changes, like getting a bamboo toothbrush, reusable cotton wool pads and trying to leave the car at home more. But it's all about small steps, right?

What would you like to achieve next year?

Love,
Sian xo

Ways I'm Trying To Be A Better Person In 2020

Sunday, 22 December 2019

The recent General Election has given me a lot of food for thought. The problem with being very active on social media during an election campaign, especially one which has been so divisive, is that you've got the opinions of thousands of people - many wildly varied - thrown at you in a matter of minutes. That can get pretty overwhelming, and for me, it made it all the more difficult to make an informed decision about where my vote should be placed.

So, I researched. I read manifestos. I looked at statistics. I took the quizzes based on policy. While I did the researching and reading, I closed down Twitter and skipped past Insta stories that voiced political views. Just temporarily, while I figured it out for myself. I then went back to social media later, and I looked at people's stories and experiences as I scrolled. I ended up with so much to think about, I found myself completely struck by the stories of those who have relied on food banks, or those who have struggled to feed their kids, or those who have had their disability benefits cut.

I completely appreciate that I'm late to the party, and I am potentially opening myself to be told how ignorant I have been. But it has put everything in rather harsh perspective. And while I don't agree with the General Election results even the tiniest bit, I woke up the morning after we went to the polls, checked the results on my phone and immediately went to Twitter. And as I scrolled, my heart broke for those who had posted about how fearful they were for their livelihoods and the futures of their children.

I can't change the result, but what I can do is play a small part in helping those who are vulnerable. In recent weeks I have realised that, in my position of relative privilege, I haven't been doing enough. So I'll be making it a focal point in 2020 and beyond to do more, and generally be a better person. Here's how I plan to do it.

1. Give to charity. 
My charity donations have fallen by the wayside over the last year or so, but it's something I definitely want to set up again. A fiver coming out of my wages each month is nothing, and I'm pretty certain I can cut back on one Starbucks over the course of the month to make up for it. BUT I'm going to be really mindful on which ones I set up direct debits for - I'm currently thinking of ones which help children living below the breadline or a homelessness charity, but it's something I'll be researching over the next couple of weeks.

2. Donating to food banks.
This one is such a simple habit to start but makes such a difference to so many people. Every time I visit the supermarket, I'm going to pick up a couple of extra tins or packets of pasta or tube of toothpaste or shower gel, and drop it in to the food bank box at the tills. Easy, done. Where the supermarket doesn't have a donation box, I'll bring it home and start a stash, and when I have a bag full or two of things, I'll drop them off at a local food bank.

3. Thinking more environmentally friendly.
This will be another where I'm going to try to make small changes. Things like getting reusable cotton pads and a bamboo toothbrush and try to leave the car at home more and walk/get the train places. I've become such a slave to my car since passing my test, so it’s going to be a tough habit to break but I’m going to make a real effort!

4. Find a way to help causes for homelessness.
Homelessness is a real issue where I live in Lincoln, and I know that homelessness has been on the rise across the country. I'm not quite sure how I'm going to do this yet, as I know people are actively told not to give people money, but I'm going to start looking into charities/causes that I can support who tackle homelessness locally. Again, something I need to do some research on but it is definitely on my radar!

Again, they're all small changes. But I think if lots of people make small changes, there could be a big impact. So that's what I'm going to do.

Love,
Sian xo

Glossier: The Beauty Brand I Never Knew I Needed

Sunday, 15 December 2019


I remember when Glossier first launched in the UK. The blogosphere went mental... I didn't get it. I read a few reviews when various influencers had got their hands on the products, and it was such a mixed bag. Some reported that the skincare and make up was just the best thing ever, while others said that it was completely over-hyped. For me, that sealed Glossier's fate as a brand which probably wasn't worth my time or my hard-earned pennies.

I'm not 100% sure what made me think about giving it a try earlier this year. I think it was a mixture of Hannah Gale's reviews (Hannah Gale influences many of my purchases, if I'm being honest), and part of it was the fact that Glossier kept popping up all over my Facebook ads.

It was the website that made me add a few bits to my basket and checkout - with its promise of easy-to-wear, fuss-free products that work seamlessly into your routine. I bloody loved that idea as life had become hectic and simplifying my routine a little was just what I needed.

My first order consisted of the Milky Jelly Cleanser, Cloud Paint cream blusher and Birthday Balm Dotcom. I almost died at the idea of paying £10 for a lip balm, but I stuck with it. And do you know what, I'd do it again. Best-tasting lip balm I've ever used.

Cream blusher has been nothing short of a revelation for me. SO PIGMENTED. SO EASY. Two seconds, dab it on and you've got the perfect flush of colour, no effort required. I've got the shades Puff (a cool pink) and Dusk (a nude) and I'm obsessed with both and building up to owning every shade.


Since my first order, my obsession with the brand has only grown, and I've been adding more and more products to my collection. Generation G lipstick is a firm favourite already - cute shades, just-the-right-side-of-matte, and no need to constantly top up all day? Yes please.

I've been testing out the Lash Slick mascara over recent months, and I think that's going to be a staple in my make-up bag too. I'm so fussy with mascara but this is perfect for day-to-day wear, the wand is so easy to use and gives fluffy, fluttery lashes with no clumps at all.

My most recent Glossier purchase has been the Futuredew oil + serum hybrid. I bagged it in the Black Friday sale, totally sold on the promise of the use of it giving a dewy glow which lasts all day, either on its own or under make-up. I've only been testing it for a few days so the jury is still out on that one, I'll keep you posted.

I'll be honest, I was pretty sceptical of Glossier as a brand but it is so worth the hype. I never realised how much their products would change my routines, I'm obsessed with how much easier it has made getting ready in the morning. I could probably do a full face of Glossier in under 10 minutes, which is perfect for mid-week after hitting snooze once too many times, for when you're popping out so don't want anything too fussy, or for when you want the 'I just woke up like this' look. So thank you, Glossier, for being the brand that I never knew I needed.

Have you ever tried Glossier?

Love,
Sian xo

Trying To Have It All At Christmas & What I'm Doing About the Pressure

Sunday, 8 December 2019


I love Christmas as much as anyone. I really do. It's one of my favourite times of year. My tree is up, I've had Christmas songs playing for about a week now. I'm feeling full-on festive.

While it'll always be one of my favourite times of the year, I know that for some, myself included, Christmas comes with a lot of pressure. Pressure which I haven't really felt until this year. And although I'm loving putting all of my Christmas content on Instagram, decorating the house and eating my body weight in mince pies and chocolate oranges, I think it's also important to serve up a bit of festive realness about how I'm feeling this year. If for no other reason than hoping someone else who might be feeling the same way knows that they're not alone.

Let's start with one of the most obvious pressures: financial. Wanting to spoilt the people you love rotten but not necessarily having the budget to do so. And feeling far too embarrassed to say anything about it. For several reasons, money is much tighter for me this year than it has been previously and I just can't spend the same amount of money on my family as usual. While I know that they probably won't notice or even care, I'm finding myself putting all of this pressure on myself and putting the idea in my head that I'm letting them down by not showering them in lovely gifts like I want to be able to do.

You hear of people getting in loads of debt to be able to afford Christmas, and while it sucks that I can't go mad on presents for them like I want to, I'm just having to keep it in mind that life still goes on around Christmas. I still need to be able to feed myself and not be completely skint for the next six months once the tree is back in the loft and the Quality Street are gone.

Every year I ask my godmother what she'd like for Christmas, and every year she tells me 'time, that's more valuable than a present.' I usually roll my eyes and say 'okay, but what do you want as an actual present?' but this year, I think I'll finally be taking her up on that offer!

But that brings me on to the financial pressures that go beyond the present. There's putting petrol in my car to go all over the place visiting family and friends. There's finding the money for an outfit for the office Christmas party, drinks at the Christmas party, festive meals with mates... it goes on and on and so do the list of expenses. Not to mention the FOMO.

While I think it's going to be a worry for the entire festive season, I'm doing a few things to try to ease the stress. I'm buying smaller, more thoughtful gifts rather than thinking of spending an 'acceptable' amount of money first. Trying to remember that it's okay to wear clothes that I've worn before and using that money for fuel so I can spend time with people instead. Inviting people over for dinner where we can cook rather than spending money on expensive meals. Because in the end, it's about spending time with people rather than the setting.

Then there's Instagram. My feed is full of gorgeous festive content; people going to Christmas markets all over the country, drinking mulled wine in a different city every weekend and generally getting festive all over the place. Meanwhile, I'm still sitting in my office with a mince pie and a brew, worrying that I'm not making the most of the season. Then I have to give myself a talking to, because it might be Christmas, but life still goes on. A girl's still gotta work!

I also find the whole 'who-goes-where' during the significant days of the season is an issue. Not so much as Christmas, but certainly New Year. I'm not a huge fan of New Year anyway as it holds a lot of bad memories for me, but I try to do something to keep my mind off it. But it always has to be low-key otherwise I just struggle. But every bloody year, I have family members or friends inviting me to their gatherings or parties, and then getting offended when I say I want a quiet one.
"Oh but you can't have a quiet one, that's so boring!' Erm, actually, yeah I can. And it's taken me ages to learn to say no but I'll do what makes me happy, thanks very much. The festive season is too short not to.

So, to anyone who is maybe struggling a little with the pressures of Christmas and all that comes with it, I hope you can take a little bit of comfort in my jumbled, brain-dump of a post, because trust me, I'm feeling it too.

Love,
Sian xo