Skincare in Quarantine

My skincare routine is normally pretty varied – depending on how much makeup I’ve been wearing all week. Well, no more! Since March 23rd, I’ve stopped wearing makeup and am taking better care of my skin.

“How?” you ask. Well, water for a start. I’ve been drinking buttloads of water since well before March, but now I’m making an conscious effort to drink good old tap water and keep my skin hydrated. Dr Jina Yooh is sk:n clinics‘ leading dermatologist and she advises a daily intake of 6-8 glasses of water, regular ventilation and application of moisturiser to help improve the hydration in your skin. “Vegetables and fruits are also a good source of antioxidants which can help to boost your immune system,” she says.

READ MORE: Check out my last skincare regime

But I’ve also taken on board the lessons learned from London Fashion Week (remember, before the pandemic?). The Spring/Summer 2020 show saw Tommy Hilfiger, Victoria Beckham and Burberry, among others, sporting fresh and natural looks. So, naturally, the beauty world is taking note.

Fresh, moist air is key for allowing your skin to breathe

Dr Jina Yooh, sk:n clinics

So, here’s a rundown of my Lockdown Skincare Routine, for a natural glow, and to give my skin a break.

Morning: I start simply by washing my face in cold water. Then, I use Kiko Milano’s Green Me Facial Cleansing Bar to wake up my face and remove any dirt (and sweat) from the night before. I absolutely love the Green Me range – all products are made up of 98% natural, raw ingredients, cruelty free and suitable for vegans.

To protect my skin from London pollution (less necessary now) I use Sephora’s Super Radiance Serum, which hydrates and protects the skin. It is crucial that you get some fresh air and time outside though. Dr Yooh says, “Fresh, moist air is key for allowing your skin to breathe. Your skin creates a barrier against the environment. The climate created by central heating – a high temperature combined with low humidity – can make your skin drier.” So, I like to add another hydrating moisturiser on top. Namely, the B. Radiant day cream, available at Superdrug. It’s a lightweight formula that keeps my skin hydrated all day, even while I’m spending extra time indoors.

Evening: Before the lockdown, I’d remove makeup with a clay formula, but now I use it every night as a cleanser. I love using liquid or foam formulae over makeup wipes as they’re more environmentally sustainable, and often way better for your skin. The clay formula feels so fresh and hydrating and it honestly helps me sleep better, knowing that my skin is fresh for bed.

I’ve been loving self-care during this time, too, so I’ve been trying to add facemasks to my weekly routine. The most apt one of these was Catastrophe Cosmetic from Lush – honestly, just the name made my Sunday. And it left my skin feeling soft and supple.

READ MORE: SS19: The minimal makeup look

Crucially, though, less is more. Dr Yooh reminds us not to overdo it. “You could find that your pores start to clog up with too many products. Instead, I recommend that everyone starts off by making sure they are using the correct products for their skin type when it comes to cleansing and moisturising.”

What products are you loving this lockdown? Have you been taking any extra skincare steps? Let me know in the comments!

2019 in review

Back in 2018, I set myself some goals for the new year. I swore off making steadfast resolutions and instead had five things I wanted to be better at… So, how did we do?

1. Travel more Well, I’d say I nailed it. I visited a few countries this year – India, Spain, France, Denmark – and the trips varied in length. It’s safe to say I’ll be doing more of these in the new decade.

Nyhaven, Copenhagen
Dreams really do come true in Paris

2. Read 2 books I didn’t quite hit this quota. I got stuck on a book that wasn’t gripping me and sucked the fun out of reading (unfortunately). I’ll give this one up for 2020 and hope to find something I enjoy for next year.

3. Be healthier By and large I’m doing okay – more consistent gym schedule, and eating better meals. I’m hoping to eat less meat in the new decade and more seasonal fruit and veg.

4. Blog consistently So, I was unemployed for a little while this year and managed to get regular posts out for a few months. Since then, I’ve started a new job and am about to move house so once things settle down, I’ll be coming back to the blog. But I’ve been writing consistently for Brown Girl Magazine this year so definitely check them out!

5. Keep better skincare This one worked to an extent! I certainly took care of my skin, but unhealthy eating over the holiday periods really made good skin a challenge…

Fun with skincare, makeup and hair products ❤

And for 2020? My outlook is similar. But with the added goal of furthering my writing career. So, if you’re looking for a versatile freelance writer, drop me a line in the comments 😜

The best makeup of 2019

As we approach the last month of 2019, party season is upon us. Here are my favourite makeup products for this festive season.


With Christmas and the New Year just weeks away, I’ve put together some of the best makeup looks and products that I love, offering long-lasting wear, a light feel and wow factor. 

Concealer

My go-to concealer these days is none other than Queen Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty range. It’s thicker than my usual preference, but it matches my skin perfectly, and means I don’t have to bother with foundation on a regular basis.

If I’m going for a more full coverage look, I go back to basics with the Maybelline age rewind concealer, which is a few shades lighter than my skin tone, but offers buildable coverage. It works super well when paired with a foundation or BB cream.

Foundation

Depending on the coverage you’re going for, you may even want to skip this step. When I’m using Fenty Beauty’s concealer, I let the rest of my face breathe by leaving out anything extra. But if you’re going for a more glamorous look, the Lancome teint idole foundation is my pick. It’s lightweight, so offers you the flexibility to build a heavier look, or just keep it simple with one layer. 

Sculpting

I must admit, I’m not a heavy contour/highlighter gal – I prefer a more subtle look myself. That said, the Maybelline powder contour is always a staple in my makeup bag, just in case.

I find eyeshadow works well for highlighters, so make the most of my gold Kiko shadow and pop it on my cheekbones for a little more glam.

Plus, adding a little colour to my cheeks is easy with Kiko’s rose blush – I’m nearly out, so hoping to find it under the tree on Christmas morning! The darker tones in this warm dusky tone add colour to my cheeks without being too cold and bright.

Finishing touches

Depending on the look you’re going for, eye makeup can be as subtle or as bold as you like. If the event is fairly understated, a matt shadow and eyeliner look might be all I go for. On the flip side, I love to dress up, especially for special occasions. So, my eyes might be bold, with a dark lipstick and dramatic lashes.

At the moment I am absolutely loving Eyelash Emporium’s new range of full strip lashes. Whether I’m going subtle or full glam, these lashes complement my look and just finish it off beautifully. Plus, they’re lightweight and super comfortable.

Set everything with Urban Decay’s all nighter setting spray and you’re good to go! Whether you’re watching a fireworks display or dancing the night away. 

Keep up with my social media accounts @anamikatalwaria and @namitalwarrior for some glamorous looks for the season!

How to Cut Down on Single-Use Plastic

Given that the Earth is now in a Climate Emergency, cutting down on plastics has never been more urgent. Rather than trying to recycle them, we should be aiming to reduce the amount of plastic that we produce and use.

Continue reading How to Cut Down on Single-Use Plastic

Avoiding Burnout While Keeping Up the Side Hustle

Scientific evidence is suggesting that the rise in burnout, especially amongst young professionals, is closely linked to the idea of the “side hustle”. With many millennials exposed to entrepreneurs and influencers on social media, there is a higher level of pressure to create content or build an empire alongside working for an employer.

For those of us who are looking to create content and work to support ourselves while doing so, I’ve put together my tips on how you avoid burning out too early.

Continue reading Avoiding Burnout While Keeping Up the Side Hustle

Thought of the Day: Why Handbags Are a Con

The fashion industry is rigged. You know how I know?

Pockets.

Continue reading Thought of the Day: Why Handbags Are a Con

Maintaining Adult Friendships

Picture this: one day you’re chilling in the playground, making friends left right and centre, and the next day you’ve got bills to pay, food to cook and you’re swimming in student debt. It’s a reality that many of us live, and as our adult lives get busier, we tend to neglect our friends; the very people we promised we would be with forever as youngsters. How could we have forgotten the sacred creed: Best Friends Forever?

Continue reading Maintaining Adult Friendships

Mindfulness – Taking a Moment

Imagine having a burnout so bad that you begin losing your memory. That’s what happened to Alex Strang ten years ago. The stresses of a busy work life took its toll, and he ended up suffering physically as well as mentally. It’s a risk that many millennials don’t even realise they are taking with their health; by not taking a moment to breathe, we are opening ourselves up to severe stress, anxiety and depression.

Continue reading Mindfulness – Taking a Moment

Thought of the Day: Toxic Advertising

With TV on-demand, streaming sites and the BBC, it’s rare to be sitting around and watching adverts on the television. And a good thing too – I’d forgotten how damaging some adverts can be.

Case in point: Bio-Oil. Now, we all know what Bio-Oil does – the product reduces the appearance of scars and marks on the skin, and makes everything blend in. That’s all they had to say.

And on the whole, Bio-Oil has always been positive – their #ScarStrong initiative last year was refreshing, and body positivity is in fashion, on trend and marketable. So that’s why their latest advertising campaign really shocked me.

Bio-Oil helps improve the appearance of scars and stretch marks

Bio-Oil Advert, 08/04/19

Red flags. Immediately. Now, the average person may find this an overreaction; after all, no one wants their scars and stretch marks on show, right?

Wrong.

This advert is another case of beauty products being marketed at women by making us feel insecure in our own bodies.

My scar shows that I am strong.

My stretch marks tell a story.

It is up to no one but me whether I choose to have them blend in with my skin or keep them visible. I choose to wear them with pride.

Not everyone has to – if you feel prouder to have them blend in with your skin, that’s great. But Bio-Oil, and the beauty industry as a whole, should not be making us feel bad about our marks. They are normal. They are part of us. They do not need to be “improved”. They are perfect the way they are. They are perfect the way you choose to have them or hide them. They are a part of your body, and it is yours to control, and yours to be proud of.

5 Ways to De-Stress, Even on the Go!

Stress comes from an ancient fight-or-flight response to life-threatening situations. Now, while the average person isn’t confronted with near-death experiences quite as often as our ancestors, we do still experience stress when in uncomfortable situations. The negative effects of stress on your mental and even physical health have been widely documented, especially over the course of the last month. Instead of re-hashing the same old points (stress is bad, it can contribute to chronic conditions like hypertension; also you might develop depression or anxiety issues, so try not to get stressed please everyone), I want to share my 5 top tips to combating stress anywhere. That includes on the tube…

Continue reading 5 Ways to De-Stress, Even on the Go!