All posts by Kevin Riley

Asking questions

I’ve spent a lot of time recently wondering if I’m asking the right questions. That might sound a little deep, so let me explain. I realised that often I’ll take the first answer that’s offered to me, or I’m happy to accept the first explanation someone gives me for something I’ve said. Honestly, a retail worker could tell me the more expensive pair of jeans was more flattering on my figure and I would buy them without any further thought. Impulse buys aside, the reason I’m bringing this up is because I think I’ve gotten this far in life without truly knowing my skin type.

Growing up, I had pretty bad acne and was constantly shining with oils, and whilst for the most part I am not afflicted with teenage pizza face, I do usually have about five noticeable pimples on my chin or cheeks at any given time, and most days my glasses start to slip down my nose at the 3pm mark. You might be thinking, glasses and acne, I must have not been very popular in high school. Well, I also had braces. Thankfully my peers didn’t take every opportunity to take a dig at me, but I was still very self-conscious. Now my teeth are fine and glasses are relatively cool so long as you pick the right frames, but I still get hung up on my skin looking good. Or, better. I have the full skin care routine, not just the basics but all the bells and whistles. Masks, exfoliators, treatments, you name it. I even have a drawer full of various tools and hypersonic cleansing brushes that well targeted ads have convinced me to buy over the years. If you’ve heard of it, I have it. Unless, perhaps, it was designed for dry skin types. Which leads me back to my original gripe, I always treated my skin as oily and blemish-prone.

If you’re not much into the skincare world, you won’t know but skin types are incredibly important in the product selection process. Certain ingredients are amazing for certain skin types, some products are designed for specific concerns or not suitable for others, and when it comes to building a routine, I’ve always felt it was best to stick to certain ranges to ensure the brand’s testing process definitely knew that that certain collection worked well together. So I’ve been treating oily skin this entire time. I must have done a whats my skin type quiz back in the day when I was still acne ridden, but not since. I didn’t realise it could change. Powerful acids, drying ingredients, light moisture and barely any skin protection, that’s what I was working with. But, and here’s the kicker, it turns out I don’t actually have oily skin. Or, that skin type. I have dry skin. It’s just that my skin gets so dry that it overproduces sebum and makes my face all clogged and oily and causes the pimples to form. But really, it needs some serious hydration and protection.

It was only when a friend, who is really into skincare, asked me more about the products in my bathroom cabinet and she voiced that she always assumed I had dry skin. And so the conversation ensued and I realised that I should have questioned this years ago. Seriously, she put me onto a new routine and already my skin just looks healthier. I’m yet to see my pimples disappear, but all in good time I suppose. Which is why I ended up in a spiral wondering what else I’ve missed in the past because I’m too accepting. Suggestions for my next crisis in the comments please!

Have you ever wondered…

How certain ingredients suddenly become so well-known and sought after? Like, are there dermatologists and journalists out there screaming at their mirror that they already said Hyaluronic Acid was an amazing ingredient for skin… five years ago!! Or more, even. Who even decides these things, these trends. I heard Zinc was taking the spotlight this year, but I’ve been using Zinc for years, why is it so special now?

The Maskne is Real

If you haven’t had to deal with this recent phenomenon, then you’re extremely lucky. Not only did 2020 bring us Covid, but it also bought maskne along with it…. Great ? For those of you who aren’t sure what maskne is, it’s acne caused by mask wearing. For a more scientific description of maskne, this article definitely sums it up better than I can!

If you’re already an acne sufferer, I’m sure you can agree with me that wearing a mask is really not making your skin any better, if not 5x worse! The thing is, maskne can’t really be controlled as it is now essential to wear a mask basically everywhere you go. As a public transport user, wearing a mask is sadly unavoidable for me, so I guess I’ll have to deal with it.

Obviously, I’ve been cleansing my skin as much as possible and sticking to a consistent skincare routine, however it’s harder than you’d think to keep your skin clean whilst out and about and wearing a mask! I bought a silk mask which I wash every time I wear it, but it’s just so difficult to keep those pesky spots at bay throughout the day!

I have the blue and avocado colours!

I’ve been looking for a product that could potentially help me out here… I need something that I can carry round in my bag and apply throughout the day. I’m not even really wearing makeup at the moment – I don’t see the point of it if it’s just covered up by a mask anyway!!

I was browsing through a christmas gift guide the other day and happened to notice something that could maybe help me out. Skincare brand Q+A have included a Zinc PCA Serum in their festive Christmas crackers this year which I think could maybe be a solution. This serum helps to control and balance oil levels on the skin, whilst reducing redness and minimising pores – the perfect ingredient for the maskne I’m struggling with.

Anyway, rant over! If you have any recommendations for maskne please let me know ?

Over-washing – fact or fiction?

Whilst men’s grooming is often elusive in specificity, this year has called us all to be more vigilant and aware of our hygiene practices. Hair, though? Not quite… it’s all about beard health today. Over time the pros and cons of growing a beard have flip flopped; they collect crumbs, they prevent moisture loss, they’re sweaty, they make you look older etc; although it’s never quite shook the majority of men one way or the other, they make their own minds up and that’s that.

That doesn’t stop some men from under-washing their facial hair, unfortunately. It’s generally accepted that every two to three days, you need more than water! A proper shampooing pour barbe is required to clean away excess oils, dirt, grime, crumbs, and any other mysteries you’ve got hiding in there. Too often, however, and you run the risk of over-washing your hairs and drying them out, stripping them and your skin of essential oils.

That changed this year. Well, to an extent. With an infographic shared by the CDC in America explained which facial hair styles were okay for use with a specific type of mask that required a seal to work effectively, and some medical professionals, or those working with at risk individuals, were forced to shave their beloved beards for the greater good. Unfortunately often with this kind of information, misinformation spread and people were wondering if their handlebar moustache or full beard put them more at risk of contracting coronavirus. I read somewhere people were convinced that it actually acted as your first line of defence, with droplets being intercepted before they could reach your airways. To be honest, I don’t think it’s either something to sing or cry about. So long as you aren’t required to wear a specific mask, or can’t use a shield instead, then you should be just as at risk as the rest of us!

What I will say, is that you may want to consider washing your facial hair more often, even potentially daily, to keep yourself protected. It’s true that your beard traps bacteria, and it’s more important than ever not to give them a place to stay. If you’re a little too close to people regularly, working in a sweaty environment, especially under a mask, a daily cleanse can keep danger at bay. Just remember to use an oil or balm on your hair afterwards so as to not dry out! And stay safe!

Is there such a thing as a pore minimising face toner?

So if you are wondering what I am on about here, then you probably don’t have big enough pores to find it an issue. Now most of us girlies use some kind of toner, and a lot of us also have pores that we would like to reduce. Well, it turns out there are products out there that can be used as toners and also minimise pores, it’s true ladies!


If you want to know more about toners in general, then I really recommend this article which covers it perfectly. It’s amazing how skincare is developing at the moment and with dual capabilities, this new way of tackling two problems at once, or should I say, killing two birds with one stone, is incredibly welcome to the community. Here is an example of a face toner that does exactly that. I hope you have found this article very informative, and remember girls, we can reduce our pores while we tone away! Perhaps an idea for a Christmas present which is only around the corner.

So… Makeup Myths

There are a few misconceptions around skincare that have been going around for a long time. Some of these myths have been around for longer than anyone can really trace back and to some degree they sound like they make perfect sense but if you look a little closer the truth starts to come out in the details. Now the one we’re going to be discussing is only one of many that are going around and I’m sure there are ones that I’ve never even heard about but how am I supposed to talk about something I’ve never heard of? I think I’m starting to ramble a little bit so why don’t we just go straight to the actual myths now.

Eye Gel and Eye Cream are the same thing

Absolutely not. No. Just no. Okay So I understand that maybe they do the same thing and they’re used in really similar ways but they aren’t the same thing. I didn’t do a good job of justifying my objection there. Here let me put it another way. Although eye gel and eye cream are indeed similar products in their intended results and their ingredients that does not change the fact that the distinct difference in their viscosity and overall opaqueness means that they both serve very different purposes. Eye gels are better when used for day time use as part of your morning routines because they are clear and absorb much more easily into the skin as compared to eye cream. Eye cream is usually applied in larger more generous amounts in order to soak your skin which is why it’s better applied at night when there are no other makeup products at risk of running on your face. When using something such as the lovely lunar eye gel its purpose is more as part of preparing your skin for the other makeup included in your morning routine. Think of eye gel as Bruce Wayne and Eye Cream is Batman and if that comparison made no sense to you then bottom line Cream is for the night and Gel is for the day time.

Debunking More Health Hacks Soon!

I’ve been busy reading up about even more health hacks that I believe to be false.

I can tell you now that my findings have been very interesting indeed!

I need a little more time to put all of my research together, but rest assured that I will be posting more content on the blog soon.

5 things women should know about shampooing hair

Washing your hair is one of the important things a woman does. Honestly great looking makeup and an amazing full ensemble of your best clothes can be torn down by horrible looking unhealthy hair. In the same way that a girl could have literally little or no makeup on, be wearing an actual clown costume complete with giant boots but still look amazing as the wind blows her long perfect hair (not necessarily saying long is better but come on ladies she’s going to need some killer hair to redeem the clown outfit). So it’s always important to take good care of your hair. Not everybody actually knows the right things to do in that regard however. Now if you look at our list and already knew everything then good for you keep working that fantastic look we know you’re rocking. We encourage you all to look over the list though because there may be one or two things you didn’t know or were taught the complete opposite of. Better safe than sorry. 

#1 Only shampoo thoroughly wet hair 

Again if you already knew this then good for you but there are actually people out there who don’t know this fact. So we’ll say it again, soak that hair before shampooing it. Concentrate on the scalp when it comes to shampoo and DO NOT use your nails. Some doctors say that you should avoid circular motions because those can cause tangles in your hair. 

#2 Conditioner beforehand 

Now don’t go crazy with this one just put a little conditioner before you shampoo your hair. So this step is done after you soak it and before you shampoo it. The idea is that the conditioner will protect the ends from drying out. Also this is only for women with longer hair. 


Purple Shampoo for Blonde Hair


#3 Skipping shampoo 

There isn’t a hard and fast rule but a lot of people seem to be under the impression that you should shampoo every day. Not the case. You should shampoo whenever you hair feels too oily. If you shampoo daily then the hair gets stripped of all its essential oils and dries out quicker throughout the day. If you’re still sitting there wondering how often you should shampoo here’s a suggestion 2-3 days without shampoo for straight hair and about a week without shampoo for the curlier hairs out there (remember to adjust as necessary though if it’s too oily or too dry since everybody’s body is different). Also, if you have blonde or grey hair, it’s important to pick the correct shampoo! I know Purple shampoo works great on blondes so please give that a go first!

#4 Hot shower sparingly 

You actually shouldn’t always use hot water to shower with. It may feel amazing to have nice relaxing hot shower but it’s actually pretty bad for your hair because it leads to dryness and stiffer hair overall. If you really can’t resist the hot shower try taking the temperature to just a nice low warm level and right before hopping out of the shower rinse of with some cold water to close you pores and follicles back up. 

#5 Conditioning takes time 

This is advice given assuming you already use conditioner. If you’re applying conditioner properly then rinsing it off immediately after then you’ve literally done close to nothing to help your hair. Leave the conditioner in the hair for at least 5 minutes so it can work its scientific magic on repairing your hair and revitalizing it. Shampoo is mostly to get things clean so it’s alright to rinse off almost immediately but conditioner is there to rebuild and help the hair recover from damage so just give 5 minutes preferably 7 minutes is perfect but 5 works just fine. 

Debunking new health myths

One of the things I’ve got really into recently is finding new health trends and exposing them as either being useless or not particularly beneficial.

Similarly sometimes we hear things about food and diet that has been discovered to be a myth. I also like looking further into these, and I often find that they are in fact not myths.

In the future I’ll be using this site to talk and write more about this. Keep an eye out!

Looking after your skin while applying makeup

Lots of people believe that overall, makeup is detrimental to your skin. There’s no denying that some products out there will give some people breakouts. In fact almost every product will eventually to at least one person getting breakouts.

The question is, do these products have an overall detrimental effect on the health of your skin.

The answer is yes and no. Some do and some don’t. The difference is in the ingredients. I am always banging on about the importance ingredients to my friends and family. Not only in food but in cosmetic products too!

The quality of the ingredients will also be the main contributing factor behind whether or not it leads to complications with your skin.

Despite all these potential issues, the popularity of makeup isn’t showing any signs of abating. In fact, as an industry it is growing at a monumental rate.

This means that the majority of the female population are still applying makeup despite the fact that it may be causing problems with their skin. They have two main ways of getting around this problem.

makeup and skincare

A) finding and using makeup products that are skin friendly, and B) Incorporating the use of skincare products into their daily makeup routine. Both are surprisingly effective.

For today I want to mainly focus on method A). One main way looking after your skin while applying makeup is ensuring the mainstay products of your routine (I’m talking about the primers, foundation, lipsticks, blusher etc etc) all have hydrating properties.

In terms of primers, the easiest thing to do is use one that is water based. To whittle your options down even further, look for one that contains antioxidants and you’ll be on your way to a winner. Lunar Glow’s make up primer is a great go-to, fits the bill and has a lovely affect on the skin. I’m yet to find someone who has used it and not felt this way.

Covering all the other products might be a step too far for this post, but I’ll be more than happy to continue this discussion if that is something you’d like to see. Just let me know!