Saturday, 29 April 2017

Getting That Balance..

So 14 weeks ago I started Happy In My Skin and at that point I didn't expect anybody to read or take an interest in my blog. In fact I was imagining one of two things to happen..

1) People wouldn't even look at the blog.
2) People would look at my blog, see the state my skin gets in and laugh at me.

Neither of the above happened. In fact it has been quite the opposite.

I have actually received a huge response from my posts. People have messaged me who can relate, others have found help from some of the things I have posted about and surprisingly various companies have taken an interest in my blog and my journey to clearer skin. Every different response has meant so much to me and if I can help just one person by sharing my experiences and trials I will be a happy girly!

About 6 weeks ago I received an email from a skincare company called Premae. They had come across my blog and had a product range they felt would be able to help my skin. After speaking to them to find out a little bit more about the brand I knew it was an offer I couldn't turn down for a multitude of reasons..
Premae is located on Harley Street in London and was created by an one of the UK’s Top 20 natural beauty experts. The brand was started after the founder, Dr Clare, had been using makeup and skincare to mask acne and eczema. Clare spent a period of 7 years blending her own natural ingredients to resolve her own skin issues and rebuild her confidence. In 2009 Dr Clare began creating handmade products that adhered to her vegan diet. After a year of testing the formulations Premae was born.

If you follow my Instagram you will know that I follow a vegetarian and sometimes vegan diet - I have been vegetarian since I was 8. I never liked the taste of meat that much as a child and when I learnt what it was, that was it. For me personally being vegetarian is an easy way of life - I don't like meat and I really don't like what meat is. It isn't an opinion I would ever force upon anyone else, I don't voice my opinions to others around me that eat meat.. everyone has a choice.

I have mentioned in my previous post that I often opt for vegan meals in a bid to help my skin. This is something a lot of people who suffer with acne actually choose to do. It is well known that animal products like milk can contain hormones that the animal will have been fed to mass produce the products desired. These hormones are transferred from the animal into the product and then when consumed by humans reside in our bodies until absorbed or expelled. It isn't 100% proven but there is a lot pointing to dairy products and acne aggravation, so in order to minimise the risk I try to keep my milk and dairy consumption to a minimum. I love coconut, almond, cashew or hazelnut milks so I don't find substituting hard at all.

As I was saying, a lot of people who suffer with a skin condition can end up following a vegan, vegetarian or plant based diet as well as trying to keep their products as natural as possible. For me its all about keeping aggravators to a minimum and that is exactly what Premae is about!

The products are not only plant based but also, vegan, alkaline and free from tree nuts, gluten, oats, soy and parabens. All of the ingredients are 100% natural, unrefined and not tested on animals. Premae is actually renowned for being the first luxury vegan beauty brand! For me it ticked every box - How exciting to be given the opportunity to try?

When the products arrived (beautifully with skinny popcorn I need to add) I was so excited. The products are really generous sizes and look gorgeous on my bathroom shelf. I received the Harmony Range which is formulated to target and help acne. I opened my package at work and couldn't resist a quick sniff.. The smell of a product is always really important to me, what can I say? I'm quite a sniffy person! The products didn't disappoint, they have a very fresh scent without being artificially perfumed which is down to the ingredients within being all natural and unrefined.
The Harmony Range retails at £69.00 and consists of:
  • Cleanser - Balancing Face Wash (£21 when purchased individually) This cleanser turns into a lather when a small amount of water is added and foamed up. I use around 4 pumps every evening after I have pre-cleansed and it really does wash away remaining makeup and dirt! It's formulated for oily and combination skins and contains Lemongrass Oil which fades scarring and reduces oil build up. My face always feels really fresh when I've used this cleanser and any larger pores really tighten up. Since using Premae my skin seems a lot more balanced on the whole.
  • Toner - Essence Water Toner (£17.50 when purchased individually) Featured in the Glossy Box in 2013 and British Vogue, this rose infused toner is perfect for oily and combination skin types. The toner comes in a spray bottle which you can either spray directly onto the skin after cleansing or do as I do and spray a couple of pumps onto a dry cotton pad and wipe over the face. A lot of people still don't tone but it is a really important part of a cleansing routine! Toning the skin helps soothe and refresh open pores whilst keeping blackheads at bay. Closing the pores tightly with a toner can actually result in less future blemishes. As well as the rose water which restores balance in the skin's acid, Lemongrass Oil helps to fade acne scars and reduce oil build up. I have tried a lot of toners and I have to say this is my favourite to date!
  • Serum - Balancing Shine Control Serum Primer (£19.50 when purchased individual) A game changer in my skincare routine! I adore this serum. It's going to have to be one of my staples from now on and I'm so pleased Premae introduced me to it. This lightweight oil-controlling serum can be used as a foundation base or mixed with a small amount of foundation to create a daily BB cream. The serum hosts grape seed to smooth uneven skin and soothe redness, lemongrass to fade spots and mineral salts to treat bacteria build up such as whiteheads. I don't tend to cleanse and tone in the morning unless I am super oily, but that's just the routine that works for me - I wash my face with cold water, apply my eye cream, moisturise and then pat two pumps of this serum onto my face. I like to pat the product in to stimulate my circulation and wake up my skin. I'll then make a tea whilst it soaks in before I apply my makeup. This really is a dream product if you are struggling with acne and oiliness throughout the day!
  • Moisturiser - Matte Sheen Balm (£25 when purchased individual)
    Nourishing and not oily.. Did you ever think you would hear that in the same sentence? Well I have found the product that I can finally say this about. The balm can control shiny skin and absorb excess oil whilst hydrating. It is the perfect combination of aloe vera and jojoba that give this product the clever ability to hydrate whilst mattifying. Bizarrely, for saying I suffer with acne and breakouts I still get dry skin so I have always struggled to find a moisturiser that hydrates my skin without making me oily. I spent years not even moisturising in the morning because I could never find that product that wouldn't turn me into a grease ball and cause my makeup to fall off my face one hour into the day. It was a constant war between a dry tight face or a hydrated oil slick so this for me is a revelation. I use this morning and night - underneath my serum in the AM.
Whilst writing this post I've not only learnt about the benefits of each individual ingredient used in these products, I have also learnt about new ingredients within the range that work well with a skin that struggles with acne and blemishes - some that I hadn't experienced before or known about!

I've really taken the time to appreciate these products and have realised just how much I love them. I already knew I really liked the range but writing this has really made me concentrate on how each one works independently. Each product goes one step further that just being a product - they all achieve the results they promise and are delivering great results for me.

I have taken photos of my skin's journey with the Premae Harmony Range from the night before I started using the products to four weeks later. I took a series of photos every Saturday morning so you can see my skin calming and clearing. The photographs go in order as I said from the night before use commenced, one week later and then every week until week 4. It's the general improved condition of my skin that I've noticed the most, along with the clarity and reduction in oiliness. The products are doing exactly what I want from a skincare range - especially when I struggle with acne.

I have popped links to the Premae website and Instagram below so you can have a look if you wish. I hope you will find this post helpful and that you have all had another wonderful bank holiday weekend.. They go by far too quick don't they?! Enjoy the rest of your week!

Bethany xx

Premae Website:
Premae Instagram:


Friday, 14 April 2017

Coverage, Heal, Conceal..

So a non-sufferer would question why we use makeup.. "Surely it will make your acne worse?" they will say.


Wrong, wrong, totally wrong.

Years and years ago potentially they may have been correct. The times have changed however since the days of the old cakey, thick pan stick foundations. Formulations have evolved and so have the ingredients used in the makeup we use today.

Our knowledge of the effects, benefits and disadvantages of what we put on our skin has increased rapidly - to the point where we can now reverse years of skin abuse and solve problems such as acne, pigmentation and ageing. More importantly for this post, we now know more than ever about different skin types and the products best suited to each which will enable that skin to be the best version of itself possible.

Back to the makeup. I've touched on this subject briefly in my previous post but I want to go into more detail as I promised I would. It's not just any makeup I am talking about, in particular it's mineral makeup.

I have been using BareMinerals for years now, even before it became really well known. My mum has always been a bit of a QVC queen and once brought me a starter kit for Christmas. That was when I fell in love with the brand. At that point I had no idea that I would go on to train with the brand during my time in the salon and that I would learn a more in depth knowledge about the products and how they can aid a problem skin.
As you'll know if you have already been reading my blog, I only developed acne when I was 21. I was using the mineral makeup prior to that so it wasn't until the spots came that I truly appreciated the products. Initially, I was using their Original SPF 15 Foundation alongside other pieces from the collection but then around the time my acne started the brand brought out the Matte range which became one of my skin saviours.

The Matte SPF 15 Foundation (£26.50) is brilliant for people who struggle with their skin. Some people can be put off by the fact the product looks like a powder as they fear it will be drying or cakey but it is neither. Yes the product looks like a powder however it is actually only made from pure minerals - free from pore-clogging, drying fillers like talc, which can often constitute up to 80% of other brand formulations! In a nutshell, it will help absorb excess oil and eliminate shine without causing any dryness.

Whilst being able to build a full (and I mean full) coverage, the skin isn't being clogged up - it can still breath. The minerals may look like a powder but they feel like a cream and blend in beautifully. The foundation can actually help increase cell turnover, minimise the appearance of pores and aid the healing process of existing spots and blemishes. Not to mention it has a natural SPF 15 that exists in the product, this is one of the amazing properties of certain minerals.

I think that one of my favourite things about this foundation though is the healing properties it has. There aren't many products alike that you can wear and say the same thing about. The key ingredients that give these benefits are titanium dioxide and zinc oxide which are both naturally anti-inflammatory and help to calm redness. I always notice a difference with my spots and blemishes after a day wearing my Matte SPF 15 Foundation.

I can't control new spots appearing but I can certainly control what I choose to put on my skin and what I use to conceal my blemishes! I use this as my day to day foundation because I know it has nothing in it that is going to cause me to break out. I also like knowing that what I am wearing on my skin is helping it, not hindering it. Not to mention I can cover pretty much anything with this product alone. If I was being stranded on a desert island and could only take one makeup product this would be my one!

If I'm having a really good skin day I will just buff a light coverage over my face to give myself a touch of colour and cover any old scar markings. On a bad day I will build a really good coverage and then use a smaller concealing brush to apply specifically wear I need it. I use the Bareminerals Seamless Buffing Brush (£24) to apply and an EcoTools concealer brush to precisely conceal. There's no faffing with the Matte SPF 15 Foundation either, it's so quick and easy to use.
There's so many amazing products by the brand. I do choose to use predominantly their products to complete my daytime makeup. Mainly because I know it is good for my skin whilst also having the added bonus of being super speedy to apply - a must when you are a full time working mum! The under eye concealer, blushers, contouring products and mattifying powder are all made using the same minimal ingredient approach and that is something that remains important to me.

I will pop some pictures below to show my skin before use and after. That's when you can really see how well the foundation can mask marks and blemishes! If you are struggling with acne or even just get the odd breakout and are yet to find that foundation that will not only cover, but also help your skin - give this one a go! You will be best to pop into your local department store or salon that stocks Bareminerals as a trained professional will be able to match your skin to the correct shade - no one likes a tide line!

Hope you have all had a fabulous Easter break and enjoyed this post. Any thoughts or questions please pop them below - I will always answer asap! Links are below to the Bareminerals website and Instagram so you can have a peep if you wish.

Bethany xx


Sunday, 2 April 2017

A First Time For Everything..

I'm back!

I took last week off from the blog as things were quite stressful and busy at home. We are in the process of moving house so if you have already moved you'll know how many odds and ends, forms and letters there are to sort out. It was death by paper put it that way. We are in that weird limbo land now, with our fate lying in the solicitors hands so that means I can be back to doing what I love.. Blogging.

There literally is a first time for everything.. Obviously my blog has kind of turned into my beauty/ a bit of my life diary so I guess it's only right I share all of my beauty experiences with you.

So my most recent first.. Botox! Yes I tried Botox. It was inevitable to be honest, I just cant help myself but try these things. You never know if you don't try right?

I imagine a lot of you will already have had Botox so your probably thinking what's new? Well, I didn't have my Botox in any of the conventional places - I had it in my jaw. You can see why I'm doing this post now can't you?

The treatment itself is known as a jawline reduction treatment and I was treated by an amazing doctor at CosmeDocs surgery in Derby. I have been following the company for a while on Instagram and it was when they posted a before and after image of a guy that had received the treatment that it really caught my eye.

It wasn't for the obvious reasons suggested by the title of the treatment that I decided to have this done. The post that had caught my eye originally was the image featured in the picture at the top of this post. The caption explained how this treatment can reduce something that I have been struggling with every night for years - teeth grinding.

I've already written in my previous post about my anxiety. It's just a part of me these days but it does cause me to get annoyingly tense. Most people let go of tension when they go sleep but people that grind their teeth don't. I'm not saying the root cause of all tooth grinding will be stress or anxiety but for me it definitely is. I was going to bed stressed and grinding my teeth as a result, waking myself up during the night and waking up with a really tight and painful jaw area in the morning. No matter how much I tried not to do it, it was out of my control - it was happening subconsciously.

Constant teeth grinding damages them by wearing them away, or totally cracking in severe cases! It can also cause the masseter muscle to enlarge which ultimately after a long period of time gives the appearance of a squarer face, the facial muscles are the same as any muscle you train - they get bigger.

I had seen my dentist a few times and he wanted me to wear a gum shield every night - not comfortable! The Botox treatment appeared to be the answer to my problem. I found out more information about it, where I would be injected, recovery time, costing ect and once I felt I had looked into it as much as possible I booked my consultation. I wasn't even nervous for some reason!

Even on the morning of the appointment I still wasn't nervous. I was actually excited by the concept of no more grinding at night. When I arrived at the clinic I was given a thorough consultation card to fill out to check I had no contra-indications for the treatment. Form filled out I was all set to go..

Dr Bhatti came to collect me and I went in for my consultation which is part of the initial process. He asked me my reasons for wanting the treatment, explained how he would carry it out, the aftercare and future treatment plan as well as answering any questions I had. He also felt around my jaw and agreed that I had certainly built up quite a masseter muscle with all the grinding. As I have said already, I had no nerves about having this done but had I been nervous Dr Bhatti would have definitely put my mind at ease. He was so knowledgeable, easy to talk to and calming - not at any point did the treatment or consultation feel rushed.

Once all was agreed I hopped into a dentist like chair and Dr Bahtti injected two points on either side of my face after carefully determining the correct places. Obviously this was my first time getting Botox so I was imagining it too hurt a little or sting but honestly.. Not a thing! The needles were insanely small and i swear i didn't even feel a scratch - Amazing.

So basically i had Botox injected into my masseter muscles to partially relax them. This will help reduce them in size and hopefully prevent me from grinding my teeth during the night. Hopefully it will also help me have a better nights sleep now I'm not disturbing myself. Another plus from this treatment is that it can help slim the face of someone who has been tooth grinding for a long period of time as the muscles are not being used half as much so muscle size will deplete! The whole treatment from consultation to finish was over in 30 minutes, not one bit rushed but time effective.
So what happens now? Well first there is a top up appointment 2 weeks later. This is a quick 15 minute appointment just to make sure everything is in check and a second set of injections are carried out. At this appointment a 3 month review appointment is made to review results and have a further set of injections. From then on treatments will only be needed every 6 months roughly to maintain the effects.

The cost was £250 for the initial treatment. This included my consultation, first set of injections and 2 week top up. Each treatment thereafter will cost £250-£300, this is dependant of gender - ladies have slightly less toxin then men due to muscle size and strength which reflects in cost.

Aftercare wise, i had to chew on a piece of gum immediately after the injections for 45 minutes just to keep the muscles moving and get the Botox to move around the muscle. I wasn't to lay flat on either side of my face for 6 hours and Dr Bhatti told me that over the next week my jaw might ache and get tired easily, especially when eating. I don't eat chewy meat so I've been fine to be honest.

I'm back for my top up on Thursday, technically i should have gone last Thursday but due to circumstance Dr Bhatti needed to rearrange to the following week.. I'm so excited! My first experience of getting Botox has been a dream, its definitely not aesthetic Botox, more functional lets say. I am already sleeping better, not grinding to the same extent or waking up with a painful jaw area. The swelling in the lower half of my face also seems to have reduced ever so slightly - Bonus!

I've taken a few pics to share the beginning of my journey with you, from prior to the treatment, one week after and two weeks after. Please excuse the no makeup morning face in pic 1 and 2, also my daughter's hand and half hairstyle she was doing in week 1 photo! Realistic side of blogging with little people captured you could say. Following my top up appointment i will carry on tracking my results with weekly pictures and update you after my 12 week review. So far i would recommend this treatment to anyone suffering the same problems and its only been 2 weeks! Jawline reduction isn't a highly known about procedure at the moment so hopefully this post will be of help to others with the same struggles.

As always i love to hear from you! Leave your questions and comments below and i will get back to you asap. Hope you've enjoyed!

Bethany xx

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