While I bloody love beauty, I'm no beauty guru. I'm just your average gal, who got into make up and skincare by chance in her early 20s, taught herself the basics. The rest was history. However, because I am no beauty guru, I still come across trends that BAFFLE me.

If you're the same, don't worry. I've got you. I'm taking beauty trends, breaking them down for you, telling you how I do it and recommending products. No jargon, no technical terms, no specialist equipment. Just simple advice, from someone who has watched a lot of YouTube and practiced.

Starting with... *drum roll, please* multi-masking. Ready?

I first came across multi-masking a couple of years ago, when a brand sent me out a multi-masking kit to have a play around with. I remember unwrapping it and thinking 'what the bloody hell am I supposed to do with it, how do I do it right and why are there no instructions?!' Multi-masking was everywhere at the time, and I just didn't get it. At all.

But, it's very simple. You're simply targeting more than one skin concern, simultaneously.

First thing's first though - to start multi-masking (or using face masks effectively at all), you need to understand your skin type and what your 'skin concerns' are. You might have one factor you need to consider, you might have loads. Take some time to really get to know your skin, it might take a few days or even weeks, but it'll be worth it.

Try to notice changes through the day, and focus on particular areas. If you would say you have oily skin, are there particular areas that are affected? Are you oily all day or do your oil levels change as the day goes on? Is it made worse by wearing make up?

If you're blemish-prone, are there particular areas that you notice your breakouts are worse? Is it affected by where you are in your cycle?

Obviously these factors might change! Your skin might vary and feel totally different depending on hormones, your cycle, stress levels... and that's the beauty of multi-masking! It's totally adaptable once you have the right products.

So now you've started to figure out what your skin type is, you need to find the right masks that will help to address your skin concerns.

As an example, I know that my skin is mostly dry, but I tend to get break outs on my chin and forehead. My T-Zone tends to get a little oily and my skin in general can get a bit dull. Oh, and it can be pretty sensitive when it feels like it too. Sounds like a lot, doesn't it? But although multi-masking can help to tackle a few things at once, you don't need to address everything in one go. I tend to use masks 3-4 times a week, and just keep an eye on how my skin is feeling on the day. This will then help me to decide which masks I'm going to use.

Here are some masks that I love for my own skin concerns:

  • The Body Shop Himalayan Charcoal Mask - perfect for dealing with breakouts, it dries up spots and gets really into the pores, minimising them and helping to prevent future breakouts. I use this on my T-Zone where I am spot-prone. (I do occasionally use it on my entire face, usually around my period when my breakouts are a little more widespread). 
  • The Body Shop Rose Plumping Mask - smells gorgeous, gel-texture, leaves my skin super soft, and adds a little glow for when my skin is looking dull. (The Body Shop masks also come in mini-versions for you to try out before committing to the large pot!)
  • Revolution x Jake Jamie Cocoa & Oat Face Mask - sometimes you find a mask that smells so good, you just want to eat it. This is one of them. It's also very moisturising and leaves your face feeling super nourished.
  • Lush Oatifix Mask - very similar to the Revolution mask, but I find that Lush's offering is a little more soothing, which I prefer when my skin feels a little bit more sensitive. 
  • Pixi Glow Mud Mask - now this is just glow in a tube. I'm obsessed with it. I love to use it in areas where my skin is looking dull, or feeling a bit congested and breakout prone. It's a lovely texture and works quickly for instant glow as soon as you rinse it off.
  • Beauty Pie Japanfusion Moisture Mask - this is my go-to for when my skin is feeling a bit sensitive. It's full of anti-oxidants, really nourishing and feels so soothing when your skin is a little bit angry.
Okay, now all you need to do is take your masks, and pop them on, matching what each mask does to the affected areas. Remember, you're tailoring your masks to specific skin concerns, so use as many as you feel you need to. 

One of my usual combinations is the Himalayan Charcoal mask on my forehead and chin, and the Rose Plumping Mask everywhere else. This then tackles any breakouts, gets rid of any oiliness that has built up through the day, as well as smoothing my skin, adding moisture and making my face look fresh as a daisy, all in one fell swoop.

Other tips for effective masking:
  1. Use a brush - this has been an absolute game-changer for me. Masking brushes are really inexpensive (I use this one from Revolution), and it's so much less messy when you apply, and helps you to get an even layer of product on your skin and it lasts so much longer.
  2. Use lukewarm water to rinse off - I can't tell you how many years I spent assuming I had to use hot water to wash my face but nope. Using hot water dries your skin out and heightens sensitivity, which sucks if you've spent the last 15 minutes trying to deal with dryness! Lukewarm water is best!
  3. Pat skin dry - It's almost a natural reaction to rub at your skin with your towel once your skincare is done, but don't. Patting your skin dry avoids irritation, so try to get in the habit!
And that's it! You're now fully-versed in multi-masking! It's a lot more simple than you thought, right?

I really hope you found this post helpful. I'm hoping to do more of these beauty trend posts, let me know in the comments which topics you'd like to see next! I'm thinking contouring, or eyeshadow looks? What do you think?

Sian xo 

I'd been dreading this day for ages. Probably years. The day I got my first wrinkle. I'd read somewhere that you officially start to age at 26, and I was very conscious of it. Once my 26th birthday had been and gone in January, I found myself keeping an eye on my skin a lot more and perhaps getting a little over-zealous on the eye cream (because your eyes are the first place to show it, so I hear).

The day that I found my first wrinkle was just an ordinary day. I was due to leave the house to pick my boyfriend up from work, and had popped into the bedroom to find a hoodie for the drive. I took a quick look in the mirror - I don't know why, with not a scrap of make up on and unbrushed hair, I knew I looked a bit of a mess but seeing as I was staying in the car it wasn't really relevant.

I don't know how long it had been there. Maybe days, maybe weeks and I had no idea. But I caught sight of it, clear as anything. A singular line across my forehead. Well, shit. My first wrinkle.

I think I must have stood there for a minute, just staring at it. You know how once you see something, like when you notice a friend has lipstick on their teeth or someone wearing socks and sandals, and you just can't unsee it? Same thing. Every time I looked away from the mirror and looked back again, it was the first thing I saw. That bloody line across my forehead.

When I thought previously about what I might feel like when this day came, I assumed I'd be in floods of tears. But do you know what I did? After muttering out various expletives while I stretched the skin on my forehead this way and that in the hope that the line would disappear, I laughed. Really laughed. And I couldn't stop laughing! Even when I jumped straight on Instagram Stories to ask for recommendations for skincare to help prevent any more of the little buggers appearing, I was chuckling away. Perhaps that was to keep myself from crying though, I'm not sure.

You might be reading this post and rolling your eyes at me, thinking 'get a grip girl, it's only a wrinkle!' And do you know what, the rational side of my brain agrees with you. The rational, grown up, cool calm and collected part of me knows that it's only one wrinkle, which is actually only noticeable to me. That it's an inevitable part of life and no amount of lotions and potions will halt the process entirely. Yep, I know all of that.

But if I'm being entirely honest, I am shit-scared of getting older. It's something I've been wrestling with in my head for a year or so now. I hit 25 and all of a sudden I realised that I could never get my time back, I was hurtling towards 30 at an alarming speed and desperately wanted to slam the brakes on. It's dawned on me that this whole life thing is pretty fragile and you don't get any do-overs. 

My biggest fear, is getting it all wrong, and not having any control to do it differently. And that little wrinkle, the one I had to point out to my boyfriend and get all up in his face for him to notice (he laughed, a lot), was the physical proof that nope, I'm not going to be young forever.

I know it all sounds a little bit morbid, and to be honest that wasn't my intention for this post, I was actually hoping for it to be a bit of a giggle. But perhaps it's be a bit cathartic to get some of the things that have been keeping me up at night off my chest. 

So - what happened? I spoke to a friend with excellent skincare knowledge, immediately went online and ordered some anti-ageing products. All while cursing under my breath that I'd been using eye cream since I was 22/23, not even thinking that my forehead might be the first place! I laughed about it a little more, about how it's such a first-world problem. Stifled tears, and then just felt a bit gloomy.

Then I thought of all of the people I know who are a little older than me, but I never think of as 'older' or 'with wrinkles.' I thought of all of the people I knew on Instagram who are absolutely bossing it over 30, or over 40. Are their fine lines the first thing I notice when they post a selfie? Absolutely not. 

I thought of all of the women in my life. Mum, my godmother, friends who might be just nudging 30 or over, a milestone that I am currently terrified of. When I think of those women, do I think of whether or not they've 'aged well' or how many lines they might have? Nope. I think of their sense of humour, their hugs, their personalities. Cheesy, I know. But a very important reminder that in a sense, all of my worrying is superficial. Having a wrinkle or two won't change my character, my passions or make those close to me love me any less.

Okay, I'm still very torn over the whole wrinkle thing. I'm not someone who will be able to immediately 'embrace' the ageing process, and I think it's something I will struggle with for a long time. I will probably buy every anti-ageing product under the sun and always use spf and I'll always worry about whether or not I'm getting 'life' right. But that's okay. I know I'm probably not the only one. 

Do you remember when you discovered your first wrinkle? I want to hear some stories! Funny or otherwise, did anyone else react as badly as I did?!

Sian xo

My friends know that they can come to me for two things: make up and skincare advice, and book recommendations. Don't ask me what to watch on Netflix, because I probably will just tell you to re-watch Friends over and over, but if you need a new read, I'm here for you!

I'm seeing so many people at the moment looking for recommendations on what to read, because they're finding that now we're in lockdown, they've got all this time on their hands to read when they wouldn't usually! I know that I've been flying through books over the last two weeks, because I feel like I can finally sit and read without feeling guilty that I should be doing other things!

I thought I would put together a little list for people who don't usually get the time to read in their 'normal' day-to-day lives, who might be feeling a little bit lost at which books to try. So, here is my must-read list, books you can fly through, books you can really get your teeth into, books I've absolutely loved myself and hope you will too!

Before we get too stuck in, I discovered several of these books through Beth's Book Club, which I joined in the summer. It's wonderful. Beth picks out some incredible books each month and there's a lovely little community of fellow book worms - I can't recommend joining enough!

1. The Flat Share - Beth O'Leary

This is a Beth's Book Club pick, and I only read this myself a couple of weeks ago. I loved it. It's the perfect rom-com. The Flat Share tells the story of Tiffy & Leon, both in dire straits who come up with a very unique living situation where they share a flat, and a bed, but haven't met. Utterly loveable characters, well-written, easy to read and a storyline which will make you feel all warm and fuzzy. This is one that I will always keep a copy of on my bookshelf, because I just KNOW I will read it over and over again.

2. Before I Go To Sleep - SJ Watson

I'm pretty certain that I've mentioned this on my blog before, but I'll never stop raving about it. After a tragic accident, Christine wakes up every morning having forgotten who she is, her memories and everyone she loves. She doesn't know who she can trust - including her husband. Intriguing, no? I was gripped from page 1, I love a thriller and this didn't disappoint because I just thought it was so clever. There's always a danger with these kinds of books having a really predictable ending but I definitely didn't feel that way about this book!

3. To Kill A Mockingbird - Harper Lee

If you're going to read a classic book, make it this one. Trust me, it's wonderful. Reading a novel which deals with huge issues such as racism, from the perspective of a little girl, is something totally unique and Scout (said little girl) is such a brilliant character. My copy looks battered because it's so well loved!

4. The Nightingale - Kristin Hannah

Set in the Second World War, the Nightingale tells the story of two sisters who fight for survival in war-torn Europe in very different ways. I'll be honest, it took me until about a third of the way into the book to properly get into the story, but once I was in, I was in. Having two such strong lead female characters was amazing to read. The story was heartbreaking and empowering all at the same time, and I finished it bawling my eyes out, so be warned! 

5. The Girl on the Train - Paula Hawkins

The Girl on the Train is one of my all-time favourite thrillers. Rachel is the 'girl on the train', who gets the same commuter train every day, passes the same row of houses, and in her mind, thinks she knows all about those living there. One day, she notices something different on her commute and it changes everything. It's fast-paced, it's dark and full of twists. I think I must have read it in a matter of days because it kept me so gripped. If you've ever read 'Gone Girl', you need to read this too!

6. The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood

As well as a thriller, I love a dystopian novel. And the Handmaid's Tale is probably my favourite. I'm a huge fan of Margaret Atwood and her writing style, clever but still easy to read. Set in a future America, where the Gilead Regime has overthrown the Government and turned the social structure upside down, particularly the role of women. I'll be honest, it's pretty startling to read as a woman but it's brilliant. (P.S. if you read this, follow it up with the Testaments which is the sequel. Equally amazing.)

7. Eve of Man - Tom & Giovanna Fletcher

Yes, I might have only read this based off the fact that I am a Tom & Gi super-fan. But I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this! It's aimed at young adults but I wouldn't say it's 'too young' for someone to read in their 20s/30s. It's just a really enjoyable read, exploring a world where a baby girl isn't born for 50 years. So, when Eve is born, it's up to her to ensure the survival of the human race. 

Let me know on social media if you read any of these books and what you thought! Also send me some recommendations too, because I will be flying through books for the duration of quarantine!

Sian xo