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14.10.14

Big Beauty Favourites: My Ultimate Relaxing & Stress-Free Products | Mental Health Awareness Month 2014


 In light of Mental Health Awareness Day on October 10th, I decided to compile a giant product post full of my ultimate relaxing and care-free favourite. Whether you're full-time in education like me or working 9-5, stress can take a lot out of us. Products that help calm the mind and that don't take 5 hours to use/ apply are essential when trying to hone in on controlling your stress; the products below are guaranteed to settle your soul and cut your morning routine by half - promise!

It's important to make your life and fuss-free as possible - remember that. Stress can build up over time and destroy one's happiness and productivity. Making a few changes here and there to your routine can make a world of difference.


Aromatherapy Associates 'Relax' candle* (£35) - this stunning candle is made with Indian Bay and Myrrh so the scent it gives off is extremely relaxing. I usually light this after a bath, just before bed to calm my mind. It's a great one to keep on your beside table as the scent continues to relax me during the night. It burns for 40 hours in total.

Aromatherapy Associates 'Deep Relax 'Bath and Shower Oil* (£40) - This oil is one of the greatest products I've discovered this year; the 'Deep Relax' Bath and Shower Oil contains vetivert, chamomile and sandalwood so alike to the 'Relax' candle, it's ideal for aiding and promoting a good night's sleep. The oil has such a strong yet non-overpowering scent and a capful of the oil in a hot bath is literal heaven. It conditions the skin and it's non-greasy; you can alternatively apply this directly to your skin prior to showering if you don't have a bath. 

Antonia Burrell 'Pure Therapy' Facial Oil Serum* (£58.80) - I was apprehensive at first trying out an oil serum on my face, as I have oiliness around my T-Zone and I'm prone to breakouts. However this oil is designed especially to soothe irritated skin (blemishes, blackheads, you name it) so it's ideal for anyone with oily/ combination skin! The serum itself is moisturising, non-greasy and sets in quickly but I included it in this post as the scent of the oils especially is extremely relaxing. It's one of the only products I've ever used in which the scent has had such a noticeably positive impact on me. I use this at nighttime and concentrate on really massaging it into my skin to unwind and relax - it's suitable to wear under makeup in the cooler months but I wouldn't suggest doing so in hotter climates.

Whenever I'm in need of a pick-me-up or some positivity, I read through these two books I bought off of The Book Depository ages ago; The Little Book of Buddhism and The Little Book of Wisdom. I can become quite overwhelmed with work and college over the last few weeks so I've found popping one of these into my bag and reading through it on the bus can really help ease my mind and boost my spirits.


I bought incense sticks in Zara Home when I was away in Spain last month and these two in particular have been an absolute dream to use; Black Vanilla is quite a masculine and clean scent, great to use during the day. Dark Amber is my ultimate favourite as its musky and calming yet not OTT (which a lot of incense can be). I burn this at night, usually when I'm trying to wind down with work. Incense is perfect to burn whilst meditating, practising yoga or any other forms of relaxing you partake in.

Urban Decay 'B6 Vitamin-Infused Complexion Prep Spray* (€14) - I received this cute little sample of Urban Decay's B6 prep spray at an event of theirs I was at a few weeks back. I use it just before I apply my makeup, particularly when my skin is irritated and stress has caused some breakouts. It calms the skin, reduces redness and creates a barrier between your skin and the products. I sometimes spray it on before I apply my skincare products, even if I'm not wearing makeup for the day. I'll definitely be picking up a full-size once this runs out!

This Works 'Deep Sleep' Pillow Spray* (€19.50) - I was conflicted about featuring this product because although I like it, I think it's painfully overpriced. The spray is infused with lavender, verivert and chamomile - the ultimate soothing sleep concoction. I spray it all over my pillow and it does help me to clear your mind and settle down for the night. However, it definitely doesn't help me get to sleep any faster (it usually takes me hours). I can have quite bad panic attacks due to stress and I find spraying this around me if I feel extra-anxious helps me calm down; I sometimes bring it out with me in my bag if I'm feeling nervous about the day ahead. 


La Roche Posay 3-Step Anti-Blemish System* (€40) - La Roche Posay recently launched a skincare set aiming to combat blemishes in 3 easy steps; the 3-Step Anti-Blemish System includes three products from one of my all-time favourite skincare ranges - Effaclar. Stress can cause a HUGE amount of disruption to the skin; I personally break out and get red patches within days of being stressed and I switch immediately to this routine when I see the first signs of irritation. The set includes the Soothing Foaming Gel (suitable for face and body), the Clarifying toner (non-drying and refreshing) and of course, the ultimate skincare saviour: Effaclar Duo+. I've talked about that gem before on here but it basically treats spots within hours and even helps to reduce scarring of the skin. I couldn't recommend this set enough!

Heal Gel Body* (£39.50) - Heal Gel's Body formulation is a lifesaver for when areas of my body are irritated; mainly on my neck, arms and legs. It's cooling to the skin once applied and any irritated areas are calmed down within minutes; I find it particularly good for dry patches on my arms and legs and any irritation around my neck/ chests from other beauty products. If you have tattoos, this is also great if they raise/ become itchy - I wouldn't recommend applying it to any new tattoos though, as it might sting the skin.

The Body Shop 'Drops of Youth' Eye Concentrate* (€28.50) - I've only started using eye creams and gels this year, as I'm officially terrified of getting wrinkles! The Body Shop's 'Drops of Youth' Eye Concentrate has been an absolute godsend for me for the early mornings; not only is the formula moisturising and soothing to the eye area, the metal roller ball makes application turn into a mini facial - the metal instantly reduces dark circles/ bags and it's fantastic for waking you up!


NYX 'Dewy Finish' Setting Spray* (€11) - Trying to make your makeup last from 7am to 7pm can be a right pain and there's nothing worse than having something to run to after college, with a face full of greasy and worn-off makeup. NYX recently launched two affordable setting sprays - my faovurite being the 'Dewy Finish' spray above and also a 'Matte Finish'. They both ensure your makeup stays put for hours on end and are an essential if you're trying to lock it in place for the day. The 'Dewy Finish' spray is similar to Mac Fix+ and a fraction of the price; I reach for it more over the 'Matte Finish' now as the weather has become cooler and the air drier so it suits my skin better.

Rimmel 'Brow This Way' Eyebrow Styling Gel* (€5.49) - This coloured gel for eyebrows is as cheap as chips and perfect for when you're running out the door with time for minimal makeup. Eyebrows make or break a face and a slick of this on each makes me look alive and human - which is always a bonus. The gel sticks to each hair and adds definition, colour and shape instantly.

Bourjois 'Rouge Edition' Velvet Lipsticks* (€12.49) - I had to include my favourite lipstick of the 'Rouge Edition' range: 'No.07 Nude-ist' as it's one of my staple shades to apply when I'm in a hurry and when I'm not bothered to apply a full-face of makeup for college. It's a 'your lips but better' colour and the formula is moisturising and long-lasting enough for early mornings. It's a non-fuss product and instantly cuts minutes from my routine.

Clarins Ombre Matte Eyeshadows* (€22) - Clarins have brought out these innovative new cream-to-powder eyeshadows for their Autumn/ Winter collection and they have to be one the quickest and efficient makeup products I own. The formula is creamy and smooth so I usually apply this with my fingers, again, it's ideal for early mornings when the idea of brush blending makes you want to run away back into bed. I usually stick with the one colour all over the lid but it's just as easy to blend in a few. My two favourites are 'No.02 - Nude Pink' and 'No.06 Earth' - both perfect shades for applying all over the lid.

Swatches - Rouge Velvet, Brow This Way in 'Dark Brown' & Clarins Ombre Matte x2.

What are your favourite products to use when you're feeling stressed and in need of some relaxation? Leave your suggestions below!