Blogger Spotlight: Beautiful With Brains

beautiful-with-brains-logo

Welcome to another installment of the Blogger Spotlight series! Today’s interview is with Gio of Beautiful With Brains – when I was coming up with names for my blog way back when, “Beautiful With Brains” was on the list but she got it first! Her blog is a fantastic read and has been a big inspiration for me, with ingredient breakdowns, smart reviews and random interesting beauty facts. I was delighted when she agreed to do an interview! Here it is.

beautiful-with-brains-logo

Tell me a bit about yourself and your blog.

gio-beautiful-with-brains

Hello! I’m Gio, an Italian girl now living in London. I started Beautiful With Brains seven years ago because I wanted to share my passion for all things beauty with other like-minded people. I also wanted to help them make the best choices for their skin. There is so much confusion and contradicting information about skincare and cosmetic ingredients that it’s hard to know what to believe! I like to look at the science of beauty to debunk myths and figure out what really works.

What’s your daily skincare routine?

I like to keep my skincare routine as simple as possible and use only a handful of effective, chockfull of goodies, products. I start by cleansing with a gentle cleanser. My favourite is Liz Earle Hot Cloth Cleanser because it quickly takes off everything without irritating skin and, thanks to the washcloth, also performs a gentle exfoliating action.

liz-earle

Then, I apply a serum. In the mornings, I alternate between one with Vitamin C (at the moment I’m using one from Skin Actives) and Paula’s Choice Resist Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum, which contains every antioxidant you can think of. At night, I use a serum with retinol.

Read more

Blogger Spotlight: Musical Houses

undertone-asians-musical-houses

This is the first in a series where I’ll be featuring interviews with some of my favourite bloggers – the ones who were nice enough to reply to my email anyway! 🙂 As you probably know, I love blogs that come at beauty from a scientific angle, and Of Faces and Fingers by Musical Houses is one of the best. Here’s the interview, which Ms Musical Houses was kind enough to complete in fantastic detail. Enjoy!

undertone-asians-musical-houses

Tell me a bit about yourself and your blog.

musical-housesI’ve been a beauty blogger for over 5 years (which feels like forever in Internet time). I started my blog in 2009 when I was in University doing my Masters, and I’ve been blogging ever since! My blog covers mainly skincare and makeup, and I do quite a few skincare science posts, as well as ingredients analysis of skincare and makeup products too!

 

What’s your daily skincare routine?

I review skincare a lot, so the exact products I use can change more often than is normal. But generally my routine has a similar structure, although the products may change.

1. Makeup remover (night only) and cleanser: In the mornings, I just use a gentle cleanser. At night, I use a makeup remover, followed by a cleanser. I like double-cleansing, so I normally use an oil-based makeup remover followed by a cleanser. Since cleansers don’t stay on the skin for very long, I don’t really think it’s necessary to spend a lot on them – anything that can remove the residue without being too drying will do the job just fine.

2. Lotion/toner (sometimes): The concept of applying a lotion or essence or similar product is a very “Asian” kind of concept, and I personally think this is more of a “nice to have” than a must-have. If I have a lotion or essence product I like I will use it at this stage, or sometimes I will use a toner instead. And at other times when I’m lazy, this is the step I will skip, haha.

3. Acne products: I’m a perpetual acne sufferer, so I always have acne products on hand. I haven’t really found a cure-all, so I just use whatever I have, as long as it seems to be working somewhat. I’ve had the most luck with products that have retinol, AHAs, BHAs, or tea tree oil, though, so I tend to gravitate to those.

4. Eye cream: I’m not too fussy when it comes to eye creams – as long as it’s not too drying or irritating, and doesn’t give me milia, I’ll take it. Bonus points if it has great antioxidant or antiaging ingredients!

5. Moisturizer: Moisturizer is a necessary step for me. Although I live in a hot and humid climate, I spend a lot of it indoors in air-conditioned rooms, which can be a bit drying for skin. I look for products that aren’t drying or irritating, don’t make me break out, are sensibly formulated, with bonus points for formulations that deliver something more.

6. Sunscreen (only for day): Sunscreen is also a must for me! I think the choice of sunscreen is a personal thing – I personally am fine with the thicker-textured European pharmacy brands, but lots of people prefer the more watery Asian brands as they are more aesthetically pleasing. I like my sunscreen to be affordable because you do end up applying a lot of sunscreen if you use the recommended 2 mg/cm2 amount (2 mg of sunscreen per cm2 of exposed skin), and I look at the ingredients to ensure that the formula provides both UVA and UVB broad spectrum protection, and is photostable. I will confess that while I wear my sunscreen when I go out 4 times out of 5, sometimes I also get lazy and skip this step, although I know I shouldn’t!

Read more

The Science Behind Massage

If you’re like me, Christmas is 1/3 food, 1/3 fun and 1/3 hair-tearing stress. Gift-buying, feast-cooking and end-of-year deadlines – it gets pretty overwhelming come mid-December! If tea-drinking, baths and stress balls aren’t cutting it, it might be time to step up to a professional massage, which has lots of health benefits according to science!

wellness-massage

How to tell if you’re stressed

Here are the classic signs of stress, according to Dr Lily Tomas, an expert in integrative medicine:

  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Tiredness
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Insomnia

Yep. I’ve got all of those!

Read more