Welcome to the Lylia Rose UK money and lifestyle blog. My name is Victoria Sully. I'm a busy mum of two, wife, full-time blogger and online money-maker who’s always trying to make and save more money. I’m passionate about making money online, healthy living and blogging. I’m a mama on a mission to be healthier and wealthier! Please join me on my journey.
Finally the cold harsh winter and surprise March snowfalls we’ve had this year will soon be behind us. I cannot wait for the warmer weather and neither can my body. The cooler months play havoc on my skin with cracked lips and dry rough hands. It’s never something I suffered with in my twenties, but now I’m in my thirties just a brisk walk outdoors in low temperatures is enough to split my knuckles. Transport me to a sun drenched summer and my skin will soon glow.
Here are my top tips to prepare your skin for the warmer weather of spring and summer:
It will be soon be time to reveal those arms and legs that have been hidden for months, so there’s no better time to restart your hair removal routine whether that’s shaving, waxing or treating yourself to professional laser hair removal at a clinic like Dore Aesthetics.
The winter may be known for causing dry flaky skin, but don’t stop exfoliating in the summer. The skin sheds more in the summer and regular exfoliation will help to speed up renewal and give the skin a healthy glow. Too much can damage the skin so stick to one or two times per week for best results.
Use sun protection
The sun is much stronger in spring and summer and it’s important to cover up with loose lightweight clothing and a strong enough natural based sun lotion. It is also vital to get enough vitamin D from the sun so aim for at least 10 minutes in the sun per day without any protection, just make sure you don’t burn or this will damage your skin.
Change to a BB cream
If you wear heavy foundation and powder in winter, consider changing to a BB cream for the summer months. These are more lightweight and natural looking which is great if you have a glowing tan to show off. Some even have built in SPF so you’ll be getting two products for the price of one.
Scrub your lips
Lips get a good old battering in the winter from dry to split to chapped. Revitalise them with a natural based lip scrub and used SPF lip balms and gloss for glowing kissable summer lips.
It’s not just about what you put on your skin, but what goes inside. Parched skin looks dull, tired and aged, so stay hydrated! Drink plenty of water every day and use a hydrating moisturiser to lock in the moisture.
Eat plenty of fruit and veg
It’s always important to be healthy and eat the most nutritious foods possible, especially if you want healthy skin. The best vitamins for skin are A, C, D, E, K, B3 and B5. So pretty much all of them which means you need to eat a plentiful variety of fruit and veg.
Have a cool shower
Hot showers can dry out the skin, so take a warm shower instead. Even better is a cool shower to tighten pores and help prevent clogging. If you can’t bear the thought then start with your usual temperature and finish off with a cooler blast before quickly wrapping up in your cosy fluffy towel.
With extra hydration, more fruit and these tips, you’ll have glowing summer skin in no time.
Over the past few years I’ve been living a more minimalist and simple lifestyle. For me this makes an already busy life a lot less hectic and stressful. I never set out to be a ‘minimalist’ or to follow a particular lifestyle, it just happened. It probably began as I moved house around ten times in ten years. To save lugging all my belongings every time I just cut down on what I had. Before moving in with my husband Ben, I lived in a bedsit for three years. This is where I really had to cut down on belongings and only live with my essentials as there was no room to store anything else.
Now we have a three bed house, but I still enjoy only having what we need. I’m regularly selling items we don’t need or the children have grown out of and my obsession for only having what we need has stretched to my beauty routines too. I no longer have an overflowing make up bag, but just the items I use every day. I also used to use a whole bunch of hair care products, but there really is no need. I’ve reduced my hair care regime to the bare essentials and I honestly don’t think my hair looks much different! I’m just saving a small fortune on products as well as saving time every day. Here are the essential items you need for a minimalist hair care routine:
Now, you could even go totally minimal and not have one at all, letting your hair dry naturally all the time, but if you have work to go to or important events, then you’re probably not going to want to turn up with soaking wet hair! The best thing about a hair dryer is it can double up as a straightening tool. A minimal routine is about making the most of everything you have and using items for more than their intended purpose. If something can have two uses and you don’t have to buy two separate items then that saves space, money and time. If you dry your hair in a downwards motion then you’ll straighten it at the same time. My hair is pretty straight anyway, but on the days I don’t wash it I do wake with a kink here and there, so a few minutes blast with a hair dryer and my hair is smooth and straight once again.
Unless you’re going for a pixie cut which must be the ultimate minimal hair style, then you’re going to need a bush. I recommend a detangling style brush if you have hair that easily knots. This will save on having to buy detangling sprays or shampoos. I’m sure there are so many products out there screaming at us to buy them when we don’t need to. I used to have such an extended hair routine and use so many products I thought I needed, but when you strip back to the bare essentials you’ll realise you didn’t need half of them and you won’t even miss them. A brush, however, is an essential for anyone with long enough hair. You can even get a brush which helps to shine the hair so you can do away with any shine sprays you might have been using.
Shampoo and Conditioner
I did try to go super minimal and eco-friendly by trying the no poo hair washing method. This consists of just washing hair with water only and no products at all. Unfortunately my water is hard and so it just didn’t work. I gave it a good go for three months, but had to go back to using shampoo. Conditioner definitely softens my hair and I do notice the difference. I’ll either use just shampoo or I’ll buy a 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner to save time and keep it simple. I recommend only using natural based hair care products as they’re better for you and the environment.
Hair bands are a must for anyone with shoulder length hair or below. As a busy parent I often need to tie my hair up out of the way to stop it falling all over my face whilst cooking and doing household chores. I’m also a regular gym goer so need it all off my face when working out. A bunch of black elastic ties is all that’s needed – they’re cheap and do the job. Again, nothing fancy or unnecessary to stick with a minimal routine.
My final minimal hair care essential are Kirby grips, just make sure you’re wearing them the right way round. I have a pack of black grips that can hold my hair to the side and out of my face when down, or can pin up loose fallen hairs when in an up-do.
These 5 items are the only hair care items I have making for a quick no-fuss haircare routine every morning. Keeping things simple means I spend less than ever before on hair care and save a ton of time each day too. It’s also much better for the environment to not be spraying so many chemicals into the air or washing them down a plughole. Take a look at your hair care routine and see if you can cut costs and get some valuable time back each day too.
One of the most off-putting reasons for a person to convert to a natural beauty regime is usually the expense. It does tend to cost more to choose natural based products, but for a good reason. Natural beauty products use only the best quality and purest ingredients available. Many of these types of companies have strong ethics behind their brand and source ingredients from Fairtrade practices and organic sources. Companies are usually less mainstream and commercialised, but rather small businesses and individuals either hand making the products or making them in small batches. Even those natural beauty items that are starting to line the shelves of regular supermarkets often come from humble beginnings and are still not mass produced on the same scale as the well-known conventional brands.
Even though they are more expensive, I now only choose to buy natural beauty for me and the children. Not only do I believe it is more beneficial to our own health (everything you put on your skin ends up in your body), but better for the health of our planet. After all, everything we use eventually ends up in the environment whether it’s washed down a plughole or thrown into a bin. We should be making a conscious effort to use only the most natural ingredients to protect ourselves, marine life, wildlife and the Earth.
For me a little extra expense is worth it. However, here are several ways to save money when shopping for natural based beauty products:
Check for discounts on Groupon
Did you know Groupon offers discounts on beauty websites as well as on experiences, treatments, products and meals out? I didn’t, but I do now! I assumed they were just about getting a day out for a bargain or a hotel night away, but there’s an entire section of discount codes for well-known brands including Cult Beauty (as I write this) who stock a wide range of beauty products including natural items.
Make your own
By far the cheapest way to save on natural beauty is to make your own. Plus you can use the same ingredients to make lots of different items. You can even just use whole ingredients as they are, such as coconut oil which makes a great hair oil, lip balm, moisturiser and mouthwash. You’ve probably got some great ingredients already lying round the house such as sugar and coffee to make scrubs and olive oil which is a fantastic overnight moisturiser. Just search Google or Pinterest to find lots of homemade recipes.
Never underestimate a sale for finding a bargain on natural beauty products. Holland and Barrett often have BOGOF deals and a penny sale, so take the opportunity to stock up on the products that usually cost you the most. Make sure you sign up to all your favourite websites mailing lists so you know as soon as the sales take place. You rarely need to spend full price on natural beauty if you shop smart.
Buy the biggest versions you can as you should get more for your money. The price per gram should always be lower on the larger packs, meaning you’ll pay more upfront, but save money in the long run. Shopping in bulk is also a good idea. Try Amazon for multipacks or wholesale packs. This can seriously reduce the cost per item.
Try a wholefood or vegan market
Small handmade beauty businesses are often found at local markets, especially wholefood and vegan type markets. Many stalls will have special offers for the markets only and you may be able to pick up a discount card for ordering online at a later date. It’s also the perfect opportunity to find out more about all the natural ingredients and try some samples with in-person advice.
Use the right amount
Natural products are often a lot richer than cheap mainstream products, so you usually don’t need to use as much. Make sure you only use as much as you need to. This will avoid waste and ensure the product lasts as long as possible before needing to buy a replacement.
Sign up for loyalty schemes
Check if websites offer loyalty schemes and sign up to them if you plan on being a regular customer. Larger companies often have points cards, but even smaller companies might offer something to retain you as a customer. If it’s not clear to see a scheme on the front page, scroll to the top and bottom of the website to see if there are links to anything in the menu.
Before wasting money on a product that won’t be right for you, do your research. Check online ratings and blog reviews to see what others think of the product. There’s no point in buying a product willy-nilly and ending up with something you never use or dispose of. That’s just throwing money down the drain. Follow blogs of those who use products you like and see what they recommend.
Try auction sites
Auction sites such as eBay are great for grabbing a bargain. Some big companies will sell their end of line stock and clearance through such sites meaning you can get it much cheaper than in their normal store. Regular folk also use the sites to sell unwanted gifts or mistaken purchases, so a fellow shopper might list a brand new beauty product as an auction from 99p. Set up some searches and save them to be alerted any time your favourite products are listed.
Before ever purchasing anything online, you should always see if you can get cashback. It amazes me how people I know still aren’t signed up to cashback companies. It’s so simple to do and you can get hundreds of pounds a year back into your bank account with very little effort. Just shop as you normally do, but find the retailer through the cashback site and shop through their link before making your purchase. Simple. In two years of getting cashback on our normal purchases I’ve received over £500 cashback and my husband has received hundreds too.
On Saturday I had my haircut to the shortest it’s ever been! I’ve nearly always had long hair, rib length type long, so it’s quite a difference for me. I also always have layers put through my hair, long layers, so it’s not blunt, but I didn’t this time. So I now have a blunt above shoulder cut. I did ask for layers, but the hairdresser (who I’ve never used before) thought with the new length and how thick my hair is, a blunt cut would look better. She also kept remarking it’s so fashionable right now like I cared. I don’t follow fashionable haircuts as I just get my haircut how I think it will look nice or suit me, but I thought it would make an interesting blog post to see what actually is fashionable for hair this year.
A few years back all the rage was poker straight straightened hair and no one seemed to celebrate their own natural curls anymore. Having such straight hair myself I’m always so jealous of anyone with curls or at least wavy hair they can get volume and texture. I’ve never known volume! In 2018 it’s all about big curls and showing off your natural curls if you have them. If you don’t have them naturally, have you considered hair braiding? If your hair is suitable for braiding and you know someone who can do this for you, consider buying synthetic curly hair and creating your very own curly hair.
Scrunchies and Head Scarves
Oh yes, bring back the 90s scrunchies! Well, actually, I’m not sure if I’m on board with this trend as they totally remind me of being at school. In fact, primary school! Models on the Marc Jacobs catwalk have been sporting head scarves, so expect these to be everywhere this year.
I’d already seen a few posts suggesting plaits were big news in 2018 and my research confirms it. But seriously, have they ever been out of fashion? Pretty sure everyone loves a good plait. I’m useless at them, but my sister-in-law does the most amazing French plait on my daughter! Time for me to learn.
I was actually considering a fringe with my hair cut, well before I was going so short. I didn’t want to shock my system too much though (or look like I was wearing a wig) so I just opted for a much shorter look. If it suits you though, bobs with fringes could be all the rage this year.
Well my hairdresser was right, blunt cuts are apparently big news this year, especially if teamed with the above bob and fringe. I’m still partial to some layers and have serious doubts about how my blunt do will grow out, but I’m giving it a go.
So my hairdresser was right, blunt cuts and bobs are in fashion this year. I’m still not too fussed about what is fashionable as I prefer to just have my own style, but I do quite like my new haircut. If you’re thinking of updating your look, then a chop could be just the thing you need.
Since last year I’ve started going for a regular wax which (thanks to a friend’s suggestion) I call my ‘pits and bits’ wax! I have an armpit and Hollywood wax every 5-8 weeks and I’m now pretty hooked. Before now I shaved pretty much every day putting up with the discomfort of regrowth every week, the redness and itchiness. I’ve never been a big fan of shaving, but thought waxing was quite expensive and probably pretty painful! It is painful, but it’s not too bad. Plus, my bits and bits are done in less than one hour and then I’m hair free for around one month. I’ve booked a leg wax too before my first beach holiday this year which means I won’t have to worry about shaving and nicking my legs for a whole month!
As females we have lots of choices when it comes to the hair on our body. Here are some of the female hair-removing options available:
Yep, if you don’t want to remove it (and obviously you don’t have to) then go au naturel and leave it be. It’s of course the most environmentally friendly way and will also save you a small fortune in your lifetime. I do sometimes quite envy those woman who feel confident enough to let it grow and not care what anyone thinks of them. Personally I’ve never tried it. Well I kind of have when I’ve not shaved my legs or bits for a few weeks, but I prefer to be hair free. I’d rather have no hair at all if that’s possible. It may well be, see the last suggestion!
Shaving. Ah. The bane of a woman’s life. The nicks, the cuts, the stinging, the forgetting to take your razor when you stay away. I’m not really selling this to you am I? It does have its positives. You can do it every day and catch the smallest hairs. It’s also pretty cheap, but I’d recommend going for a mid-range razor as they leave the skin so much smoother and I find there’s less chance of nicking the skin. You also don’t have to wait for the hair to grow back so you can keep your skin smooth all the time if you commit to shaving every day.
My new best friend. One that hurts a lot, but has great rewards! It is pretty pricey, but for summer at least, it’s a great way to be hair free and not worry about shaving for an entire month. That’s got to be worth it right? Also, the hair regrowth is so much softer than when shaving. It doesn’t itch or cause any redness. It’s like baby soft hair! I’ve heard that the more you wax, the less hair grows back, but I’m yet to see this.
Hair Removal Cream
Now I’ve only tried this once and I hated it! I was pretty young at the time, but I remember the cream really smelling of strong chemicals and having to leave it on for ages. The idea is to leave the cream on for a period of time, then wash it off along with all the hair. I’m sure there are less smelly ones nowadays and hopefully more natural based creams available, but I found it quite chemically and ALL the hair definitely didn’t wash away. I ended up repeating the process, then shaving. I never tried again, but sometimes these things take some trial and error, so give it a go if you think this method sounds right for you!
Not something I’ve ever done as luckily, even though I have dark brown hair, the hairs on my face are really light. I am starting to get the odd female beard hair though which I pluck out. They’re quite sporadic on my chin, so perfect for tweezing out. If I did have a lot of dark hair above my lip or on my face, then I would absolutely consider bleaching to cover them up.
Laser Hair Removal at Pulse Light Clinic
A much easier sounding hair removal option I have never tried, but would like to, is laser hair removal. Pulse Light Clinic offer affordable laser hair removal in their Liverpool Street clinic based in London. Laser hair removal is suitable for all skin types and starts from only £32 per treatment. If you’re wondering how it works, then it’s probably easier I let them explain in their own words: ‘Laser hair removal works by targeting the hair follicle with laser light, this energy damages and goes on to destroy the hair follicle, thus stopping the follicle from producing further hairs. The laser delivers an intense beam of light, which is absorbed by the hair follicle whilst the surrounding tissue remains unaffected.’ The dead hairs take 1-3 weeks to be shed and pushed out of the skin, then these hairs won’t grow again, giving permanent hair reduction. Not all of our hair follicles are active at once, so several treatments are needed as the lasers only target the actively growing hairs. You’ll need treatments every 4-6 weeks, depending on the part of the body being treated. Then, you’re done. No more shaving or waxing ever! It sounds amazing doesn’t it – a permanent solution to hair removal!
I expect, like me, you have lots of questions about laser hair removal. This helpful video answers lots of them:
If you’re in or around London and you’re interested in laser hair removal, contact Pulse Light Clinic today for a free consultation:
It amazes me how many people I know who still don’t use cashback sites. It’s basically money back for all the things you already buy! Sign up and always check for cashback at Top Cashback and Quidcofor great discounts at major retailers, airlines, car garages, insurances, holidays and more. Or try your luck at Boom25for a 1 in 25 chance of winning your entire spend back.