I love online shopping, travelling, food, reading, and many other creature comforts. My blog comprises of mostly reviews, which I am totally honest and straightforward about. I love presenting an aesthetic image, and I am very active on Instagram (www.instagram.com/evangelskies)
Hooooo boy it has been a whole lifetime. WordPress has changed its layout and everything and it is everything I loved about Notion tbh! it has been awhile since I reviewed a product on here- everything is on Instagram these days- but sometimes you really need a blog post to get all your thoughts out there.
I was contacted by a representative Good Molecules and they asked if I would like to try out their product range. If you haven’t heard the buzz around the brand yet, Good Molecules is Beautylish’s newest brand addition, and it prides itself as an affordable alternative to pricey skincare products, backed by research and just as effective without digging a deep hole in your wallet.
” By working directly with top labs, Good Molecules offers products that target skin issues—like acne, redness, and hyperpigmentation—without the traditional retail markup. See a difference in your skin, starting at just $6. “
I told them about some of my skin concerns, and they very quickly put together a lovely package for me that arrived in a few days flat all the way from LA- and with a lovely note inside too. Colour me impressed.
Without wanting to draw too many comparisons, the brand reminds me of The Ordinary: with the simple packaging and science-based skincare, and affordable price besides. This comparison has no doubt been mentioned in many reviews besides mine but it’s simply so rare to have good, affordable products that are exactly just that. I moved back from the UK to Singapore last year and I’m happy to have a brand like The Ordinary that ships to Singapore that I can purchase!
Most of these products are made in Korea as well, and I’ve found them very suitable for Singapore’s humid and hot weather, and works a treat on Asian skin. Is there a distinction really? I’ve found that many international brands don’t consider different climates and skin types when formulating their products, and as someone who loves to do lots of research before buying beauty products, I have occasionally been disappointed because a product that was getting a lot of rave reviews from many sources (forums, beauty gurus, unsponsored testimonials etc.) turned out to be lacklustre or unsuitable for my skin.
That’s not to say that the products themselves are bad and don’t work, but I failed to take into account the fact that these people were living in different areas with different climates, had different skin types, and simply assuming that it would work for troubled/ oily skin would be too superficial. That’s why I feel that it’s so important to have representation (in all ways! – age, skin type, race, etc.) in the beauty industry for better self confidence and more tailored recommendations! /rant over
Before I delve right into each individual product, these are some of my major LOVES so far (I’ve tested these for almost two months now, to get a feel of how they work with my skin).
Price– each product is so affordable- none of the usual mark-ups!
Clear description and instructions for use. Surprisingly, you don’t get enough of this. To skincare newbies and for people not used to incorporating many products in their skincare routine, each product is clearly described and explained on the website AND the product itself. Forget which one should only be used a few times a week? Which one goes before the moisturiser? It’s there on the bottle. Major plus points.
Packaging. Maybe this overlaps with the previous point a little, but I love the heavy bottles and dropper applicators. I tend to be so clumsy (ask any of my friends) and I have dropped these bottles a couple of times. Oops. No spillage, cracks, or general destruction. The heavy bottles make it feel so luxurious too.
Other great things:
Special consideration for all skin types and living choices– each product is listed as being vegan-friendly, only natural fragrances are used to avoid skin irritation for people who are sensitive to fragrances, and even gluten sensitive ?? I’ve seen the cruelty free label and ‘vegan-friendly’ labels, but this is such a great level of care.
My favourite by a long shot was definitely the Super Peptide Serum– I honestly didn’t know what I was missing out on until now. Why have I not known about peptides sooner?? My skin feels so so smooth and amazing after applying it and I wake up with really soft, plump, and hydrated skin. Maybe the Squalane Oil helps a little too, but… wow. I honestly love this. I sometimes rotate the other products with the existing ones I already have in my skincare routine, but I use this serum along with the Niacinamide Brightening Toner daily.
Apparently peptides are supposed to smooth the skin and help with dullness, fine lines, and wrinkles, as well as help with collagen and elastin production so I’m hoping for improved results with consistent use. Will report back again in the future 🙂 It’s never too early to start with anti-aging products in your skincare routine (even in your early twenties!)- prevention is always better than cure. I’ve even used it around my eye area and experienced no irritation.
The natural scent of the serum also reminds me a little of a kind of cereal I used to eat as a child. I can’t place my finger on what brand it was- but I love the smell. Maybe it’s such a weird thing to mention, but I really like it. The bergamot fruit oil is not too cloying like a lot of moisturisers that have sickly sweet scents.
The Niacinamide Brightening Toner and Squalane Oil are tied for second and work beautifully together. I experienced some stinging sensation initially upon using the toner for the first time, so I monitored the results very carefully and checked for irritation. I prefer to apply directly to palms instead of applying it to a cotton pad, as this toner is less of a liquid and more of a serum/gel texture in my opinion!
The toner is supposed to promote bright, even skin and less visible pores- I love that it is gentle on the skin and alcohol free! A lot of the cheaper toners are heavy on alcohol to allow for a ‘refreshing’ sensation or a better texture upon application- but alcohol is drying and very bad for your skin. There is none of the dryness or tightness you get with some toners- so I think this would be an excellent starter to people who want to introduce more steps in your skincare routine but keep it down to basics.
Side note: I am currently phasing out all the products I use with alcohol and irritants- hoping Good Molecules develops an amazing sunscreen soon, because I am stumped- everything is either too pricey or not great for skin, or doesn’t work with makeup.
But I digress. The toner has definitely helped with a lot of the visible pores I have, especially on my nose and cheeks. It hasn’t broken me out, but I feel like my skin is slightly sensitive so I don’t want to overdo it. I tried rotating it with another lighter, water-based toner because of this concern, but ironically that toner broke me out because it was so heavily scented (lol).
I still like it, but I’m hoping they will introduce another toner for sensitive skin- my skin feels very tingly and a little warm upon application especially if I’m having a particularly bad breakout, so I don’t want to risk aggravating any acne or open wounds.
The Squalene Oilsinks in beautifully into skin and isn’t too greasy- a little goes a long way! I use a couple of drops for my whole face, neck, and massage the remainder into the back of my hands as well. The oil smells a little of burnt tyres and isn’t my favourite thing in the world to smell, but it doesn’t linger too long or bother me overmuch.
I have also recently received Good Molecules’ latest release, the Pure Cold-Pressed Rosehip Seed Oil. I’m looking forward to seeing how it matches up with the Squalene oil- while I was still working at Vom Fass, I used to purchase their rosehip seed oil to help with acne scarring and dull skin. It was one of the only things that helped especially during those teenage years of bad acne and eczema. Rosehip seed oil is really pricey though, and I stopped using it when I could no longer have any employee discounts (lol). We’ll see how my skin fares with this- I’ll do another post in the future!
Side note: maybe this is not very well known, but if you were to use it during the day, make sure you use a good sunblock (SPF 50 and above!). Rosehip seed oil helps fade scars, but applying it and exposing yourself to sunlight for an extended period without any protection can actually reverse these benefits.
The Overnight Exfoliating Treatment was a teeeensy bit underwhelming, especially after I had seen such visible effects from the other products. Perhaps it was working together with the other products to make sure that all the goodness actually reached my skin by removing the dead skin cells? I was quite worried that it would be too much for my sensitive skin as I got a strong tingling sensation, but it did not break me out. My skin felt a little dry upon the first initial applications, so now I do not use it overnight- I leave it on after my shower and wash it off after, and then reapply my various serums and moisturisers.
I can’t say for sure if it has actually evened out my complexion, but I much prefer this to physical exfoliants that can damage the skin with grit and coarse scrubbing. I will continue to use it consistently with the other products, since they have all served me well so far. I use this treatment about 2-3 times a week in rotation with another BHA product.
BHAs are great for combination to oily skin like mine- they work to combat acne and sun damage, and can even calm sensitive skin at lower concentrations of below 5%.BHAs can penetrate deeper into your skin compared to AHAs, to dry out excess oils and dead skin cells to unclog your pores.
I would say this product is quite suitable for all skin types, even sensitive skin, but you should do a spot test if you are unsure. With AHAs, you’ll want to take care if you have extremely dry and sensitive skin. Avoid using too much and leaving it on for too long, and don’t use AHAs daily until your skin has become accustomed to it to avoid irritation.
Overall, I am very happy with the products I have tested out so far and some have actually made a noticeable change to the quality of my complexion. While my hormonal acne has not entirely diminished, I have definitely seen a very big difference in my pore size and I feel that my skin is definitely more toned and firm. I would highly recommend the Super Peptide Serum– I think peptides are not often included in many skincare routines, and I think this is a good and affordable option to start!
Many thanks again to Good Molecules for reaching out and letting me try out all these wonderful products- I’m officially a fan! I am already eyeing some of their other products like the Vitamin C Booster Powder and the Instant Cleansing Balm for purchase next.
This is going to be a MASSIVE post. #sorrynotsorry
It’s been a pretty eventful month- I’m back in Manchester, folks! I was away from mid-December till 25 January, during which I made trips around South Korea with my family and went back home to Singapore for a month. It was good to go home for a bit and see my friends and family, since I was getting really bad winter blues and feeling rather homesick.
The funny thing was that I pretty much brought Manchester weather back with me and it rained the whole time I was in Singapore, with temperatures dropping as low as 20 degrees Celsius. For a tropical country, this is a big deal! I was in long socks and jumpers most of the time.
I wish I could say I spent the whole holiday lazing around doing nothing but I had two essays due (6000 words each!) and I was sat at my boyfriend’s house most days, working till 10 everyday and trying to sleep off the cold I caught because of the cold weather (typical ?).
I’ve caught up with most of my friends from university and my previous housemates- and made new ones too. I’ve met this lovely gal off the app Hey!Vina which touts itself as Tinder for girls looking to find other girl(friends)! I tried it last year hoping to get to know the local community better, network with other women and get to know some new friends, but a lot of the conversations petered out pretty quickly.
I managed to meet up with one of them after I got back to Manchester though, and we had a lovely tea at Richmond Tea Rooms. We both got the Alice Tea and we weren’t expecting the scones to be so huge! While ordering, the server told us: “You guys know it is two scones each, right?” and we looked at her like… yes? Problem? ?
And realised our mistake after the cakes, scones and tea arrived. Lesson learnt: always listen to the server ?
She dabbles in photography- check out her Instagram here! Look at this gorgeous picture of our afternoon tea ?
So glad to finally meet up with Jade and spend some time with her lovely pets- it’s difficult not seeing her loads this year since we’ve all graduated- she just lives so far away 🙁
Her house is gorgeous though and there’s lots of space for dog walking. It’s not quite the countryside, but it is a lot quieter than central Manchester (and definitely cleaner). We took the train down to Burnley and stayed overnight after the house party.
I am now old and pass out after midnight even without any drinking or dancing.
I count it as a win, because dogs. In a puppy pile. Best way to fall asleep.
More Uni updates:
I really like the classes this semester but the strikes have really been affecting our classes- I’m really hoping the schools will come back to the negotiating table and sort proper pensions for all the lecturers so we can get the best learning experience possible.
The new changes mean that university staff pensions will go from being guaranteed pension benefits to depending on investments, and will result in average member lecturer losing £10,000 a year in their retirement. -(UCU site)
If you’d like to find out more about the strikes held at over 60 universities nationwide (along with Manchester, where I’m at), you can read more information here on the Manchester UCU site.
In other academia-related matters, I’ve submitted my dissertation proposal for approval and I’m waiting for the review and for a supervisor to be allocated.
I’ve chosen to focus my essay on Modernism and Mina Loy– I had such a fun time analysing her Feminist Manifesto at undergraduate level but felt I didn’t properly delve into her life or her other works.
She was so revolutionary and such a ‘mythic’ character but yet has gone largely forgotten in the literary canon- honestly a crying shame. Her feminism was far too radical for her time and it would be controversial even now. She argued against statements saying women were equal to men and instead focused on the differences between gender and their strengths.
I feel like the feminist movement then and even now is too focused with proving women can be just as strong as men– and it’s a criticism Silvia Federici put forth in her “Wages Against Housework” essay. Women have long proven that they can perform the same jobs and excel at them, but yet we don’t give enough value to ‘feminine’ jobs, skills, or traits. It is still shameful to be feminine: you mock someone for crying like a girl, running like a girl, being emotional like a girl. If we recognise the value in these differences, there is no superiority in either.
Yes, I know you are zoning out.
This is just something I’m so passionate in, I tend to get carried away!
On to the next update-
This ties in with the next event: I’ve taken part in the Reclaim the Night march in Manchester- it’s the largest it’s ever been with over 2000 participants from all backgrounds! I marched with my friend Ella and her cousin in the women’s block, but there are other blocks for mixed groups and families as well.
This event takes place every year to raise awareness of the amount of street harassment/ assault/ rape of women on the streets of Manchester. The march starts at the Fallowfield campus (UoM) where it is particularly bad for the amount of rape cases.
You can look up the crime in your area on the police website and it is honestly saddening to see how many cases just get closed after a month. Even with evidence, the perpetrator can claim it was consensual and it turns into a “he said she said” gridlock. It frustrates me so much. Everyone deserves to feel safe on the streets.
And before anyone cries misandry and exclusion, Manchester has the highest amount of male rape victims. Clearly something has to be done! It is so important to stamp out stereotypes and let victims feel safe to come forward about the ordeal, to feel like they will be believed.
And that’s why we march.
Everyone was so lovely and united, women, men, children, everyone from all races and backgrounds and ages collectively standing up for something they believe in.
when you hungry for justice but also serving lewks
It’s extremely dangerous for my wallet being back here- shopping is so much cheaper compared to Singapore, and I’ve been updating my wardrobe rather optimistically with spring wear. And obviously I have barely worn any!
The ‘Beast from the East‘ has swept Europe so I don’t know why Primark is stocking bikinis on half of the second floor- you’re not going to get summer weather in Manchester anytime till April at least! I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to warmer weather- we got the first hints of sun last week but of course it’s all gone to shit this week. I’ve stayed in all week since I got back from Mansfield (Nottingham) for Lee’s birthday party.
My favourite is the Escher Knit Wrap Dress in red motif by Maeve on the Anthropologie site. It’s so comfortable and I can see myself wearing it all summer! The sizes run rather large in my opinion, if you are a UK 6-8 you should go for the XS.
I’ve been in mostly comfy knits and my usual trusty black Primark jeans, but I’ve stocked up on off-shoulder tops and comfy coulettes. It’s too cold at the moment, so I’ve been wearing knit tights under and they still look great!
What's in my wardrobe at the moment...
I’ll be making another post with food-related updates and Feb-March Favourites/ Empties that I’ve seen some beauty bloggers doing!
I was invited to a complimentary three-course meal on Saturday at eXchange Food & Drink Lounge, which is located in Novotel on Dickinson St. I took along my housemate Deborah as my +1 ? she loves food just as much as I do!
We caught an Uber to the restaurant because it was raining, but you can easily get the bus or Metro into town and it’s only a short walk. It’s just off Portland Street, which has a lot of lovely bars and restaurants- a great selection of food and drink options if you are in town.
I didn’t get the name of the member of staff who initially served us, but he was really friendly and accommodating- showed us to our table and gave us excellent food and drink recommendations. Most of the people about were watching the Man U match that day and the bar was pretty busy, but it wasn’t a terribly long wait for food.
We ordered three cocktails in total: a tequila-based cocktail for Deb and two gin ones for me that I really enjoyed. Ask for the Pink Lady! It’s delicious 🙂
I feel like the food portion will dominate most of the review so I must stress that the pictures honestly do not do them justice! I personally was very impressed by the drinks- they’ve got the balance of flavours right and I’ve not had nicer ones elsewhere!
The prices are pretty reasonable (around £7-8 for most cocktails) and I’ll definitely be back for more ? not sure if they do a happy hour promotion but that would be perfect.
Exhibit A of why I am not a fashion blogger- I can’t pose to save my life. Deb was coaching me through poses and I couldn’t do any. Ah well.
Food-wise, we picked out a few small plates, which are £5 individually and £12 for three.
Our choices: Salt & Pepper Calamari, Garlic Mushrooms with Parmesan Crust, Batter Halloumi Fingers, and the Superfood Salad. The staff member recommended the Chorizo and Potato and the Korean BBQ Wings, which we did order but never arrived.
We left it since we had enough food, but I do want to come back to try them next time!
The superfood salad was pretty different from generic salads- avocado, baby gem lettuce, beets, blueberries, seeds, sugar snap peas, quinoa- lives up to its name indeed! I didn’t expect to like it when it was recommended to us, but I really did.
I would suggest upsizing the salad if you are sharing it- it wasn’t quite enough for the both of us. Having it upsized to a main will be £10, which I’m not quite sure I’d get if I were eating out- but for the quality of ingredients in it I think it’s worth paying £5/10 for. I wouldn’t get the other salads here individually.
I really liked the calamari and the garlic mushrooms. The halloumi is nice but the batter was quite salty on top of the cheese and after it went cold it wasn’t very nice to eat. Get in there while it’s still hot, folks.
We had a Florentine pizza as our main (£12). All the pizzas are 12-inch. It was a great pizza and I liked the egg in the centre (huge weakness for eggs here). It came hot and crispy and really filled us up! I think getting three small plates and a main will be a perfect amount of food for two people with large appetites, or you could get some add-on sides like chips or other finger food with a main.
I think we ate a lot ? there was a lady at the table behind us rolling her eyes and giving us very judgemental stares. Sorry lady, you must be jealous ?
We had a really nice chat with Rich, the other staff member that served us- Deb picked up on his accent and asked if he was from the Philippines! I’m from Singapore, as you guys know, and Deb is from Malaysia. We’re all neighbours!
We talked about some of the hidden bars in Manchester and other potential haunts as well, and he told us a bit about his family and his time in the UK (over ten years!). I don’t really want to go into detail for his privacy but it was nice hearing him speak so fondly of his country and his experiences living here.
He tried to offer us more drinks and dessert but we felt like we had our fill and didn’t want to impose (ah, Asian mentality back again), so we hung about for a bit, chatting and taking a couple of pictures before leaving.
All in all, I think it was a really wonderful experience and if you’re lost with the amount of options available, just ask a member of staff for help. I think some dishes may be a bit pricier if you don’t purchase them in a set but I think you have to consider the location and convenience- the drink prices are reasonable and I’ll definitely be back for those.
Make a stop during your bar crawls- it’s a little off the long stretch on Portland Street, but well worth going! It’s open 24 hours which is a plus. Drop by anytime or ring them on0161 235 2200 to book.
+ Bonus videos of us messing about with the Snow app, because there’s no such thing as too many pics. #awww
Hi guys! It’s been awhile since my last review- I’ve been busy with my move back to Manchester and sorting a couple of muck-ups with housing. It’s a long story, but basically I wasn’t sure for a week or two how the place I planned to move into was actually legal or allowed. Why do irresponsible people exist.
So… yeah. Big mess.
It’s all sorted now and by December renewing the housing agreement should be a lot smoother. Fingers crossed! Life update over, let’s head right into this review.
To be honest- I was a little skeptical of its claims. A lot of companies are promoting vegan/ cruelty-free skincare ranges now because consumers are now more conscious of the products they buy.
Don’t get me wrong- I think it’s a great example of consumers actively influencing company decisions for the better and i think it’s an excellent step forward for the beauty industry.
However, in many brands it’s simply used as a sort of marketing tactic given not all of their products adhere to this. But rest assured- all of Dr Botanicals’ products are strictly vegan.
And you know how people talk about their “holy grail product”?
This is it for me.
I’m not sure if this was the main purpose of the serum, but it cleared my skin up almost overnight. I was amazed. I’ve never had anything clear my skin up so quickly.
I was already really impressed with the Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin cream, which saved my skin from drying out on TWO long-ass flights (total travel time over 24 hours, you heard me- this is the long-distance life).
My skin was clearing up with the cream after a really bad case of hormonal acne, but with this serum, it worked beautifully underneath the cream and I actually had glowy skin.
The serum smells lovely and citrusy and is a tad bit sticky, which I don’t really notice since I go to bed immediately after that. I drip a few drops on my face directly (handy dropper tool keeps it hygienic!) and gently pat it in with my fingers.
You may not like it if you dislike strong scents. It seems a little strong for me upon first application, but fades after awhile. I have sensitive skin which flares up with some strong scented products but this doesn’t affect it at all which is great 🙂
I don’t even know how to describe how happy I am with this- I just paid for delivery on this one, but definitely going to repurchase when it runs out. Not sure if I’ll get the whole line, but I’ll look into it and possibly indulge myself for Christmas.
I’ve already caved and got myself the Ultra-Repair Overnight Regenerating Treatment (a night cream) during their sale, after reading lots of rave reviews about it. I’ve been conscious about my eye bags recently and I’m worried I’ll develop fine lines early, so I’ll see if this works for me like the serum did! I’ll probably review it another time.
You can try signing up for the review program too- I got my friend to try it out, but I’m not sure how they do selections- she never got an invite, but you can try your luck! I don’t think you need a good social media following or a blog 🙂
The issue of period poverty has been making waves in the media recently, after reportssurfaced of schoolgirls in Leeds missing school because they could not afford sanitary products. One teenager told the BBC she taped toilet roll to her underwear and missed school “every month” because of her period.
Many families in the UK can barely manage to cover costs for food, bills and rent; and the monthly expense for sanitary products is an additional burden. Women who are homeless are most affected- they cannot afford to pay for these products, and they lack the amenities to change their pads or tampons, clean up any leakage, etc.
Periods are unfortunately still a taboo subject in society, despite media sites (Buzzfeed, Mic. AJ+) trying to norminalise talk about it. It is a crying shame that period poverty is still an issue in a first world country!
The Monthly Giftis a campaign started in July 2015 that aims to make sanitary products (tampons, pads, etc.) accessible to people who are homeless/ experiencing poverty. Donations are forwarded to charities and organisations helping people in need of such necessary (not luxury!) products.
It was initially designed to be a week of raising awareness, but two years on, it has gained overwhelming support and continues to grow and grow!
The Monthly Gift donates to local charities and food banks helping people experiencing poverty and you guys can get involved in these ways:
If you live in or near Manchester, you can head over to Oklahoma in the Northern Quarter and TMG will help forward them to local charities on your behalf.
Alternatively, you can donate to them via GoFundMe.
I really want to encourage people who are not based in Manchester to donate to their local charity or food bank too. Poverty is an issue everywhere and as long as there’s poverty in the world, there’s period poverty!
A pack of tampons or pads may not cost much to me or you, but to a girl experiencing period poverty, it could mean not being able to go to school for a week. Missing one week out of every four means they are placed at a disadvantage for their studies and it is crucial that we work together to help stop period poverty in the UK!
Periods may not be a pretty topic, but it is an important one. Every little action counts and we can help make a difference to people’s lives by working together 🙂