Green Coffee Seed Oil | Kin Skin | Skincare Review

Green Coffee Seed Oil | Kin Skin | Skincare Review

Soph

** Please note this product was sent to me in exchange for an honest review. This is my personal opinion and experience with this product.

If you purchase the items linked I DO NOT receive any type of compensation.**

 

Hi there and thank you for stopping by my blog! If you are new, welcome! I hope you may find a few posts that you may like. In case you’ve been here before welcome back, I appreciate you visiting again!

 

Green Coffee Seed Oil

Today I’ll be sharing my experience using the Green Coffee Seed Oil from Kin Skin. Something you may not know about me is I don’t like coffee, just the smell alone starts to make me jittery. I am very sensitive to caffeine, even if I drink a cacao drink or meal and it contains too much cacao I get really jittery. Needless to say, I stay well away from coffee shops and some of the highly raved coffee body scrubs.

When I heard about this facial oil I was VERY hesitate to try it. My first question to Ashling, the owner of Kin Skin, was “what does it smell like?” In my mind, I built it up to smell like a freshly roasted triple roasted something or other coffee bean and was not keen. Luckily that was not the situation at all.

Spoiler alert: it smells nothing like coffee, it’s a very natural, earthly type of smell. It doesn’t linger or is overly strong. Two thumbs up from me because of that.

Majority of the time when it comes to reviewing products from a brand I always make sure I read about the company first. My reasoning behind that is for 2 reasons.

Firstly, I want to know what I will be applying to my skin. For those who don’t know, I already have damaged skin, ice pick like acne scarring and combined with very oily, acne and blemish prone skin. So I have no business adding something that may make things worse for myself!

Secondly, I want to make sure I feel like it’s something that I believe you may be interested in actually reading about and may be interested in trying.

About Kin Skin

When I started to read the Kin Skin story I realised how much thought and consideration actually went into creating the company and the quality of ingredient used to create the Green Coffee Seed Oil. At the time they only had the one product and since have released a new product, the Coffee and Yarrow Serum Cleanser.

Kin Skin business practices are constantly exploring options to operate in a more ethical way. Here are a few examples of how they accomplish this:

  • Use locally grown coffee seed (Jaques Coffee Plantation) to press our seed oil
  • use recyclable and minimum packaging, yet ensuring to keep items safe during transport
  • formulations are biodegradable to help avoid build up in Australian waterways

This next point is very interesting to me, perhaps it’s because I know very little about coffee. Kin Skin are the first and only producer of Australian Green Coffea Arabica seed oil and one of the few producers of GCO outside of South America!

Thier Green Coffee Oil (GCO for short) is pressed from locally grown seeds, then travel a short distance to be pressed, filtered and bottled. This means Kin Skin’s GCO gets to us still fresh and nutrient dense.

I HIGHLY recommend checking out their story and founder. It’s pretty incredible how much love and care goes into producing this beauty product that we apply to our face.

How I use

After I have done my cleansing routine, added my toner and after I’ve applied a sheet mask (during my pm routine) I will follow with this oil to either am and pm routine. Following the application of this oil, I may add a serum or go straight to finishing it off with my moisturiser and a sleeping mask.

Key ingredientGreen Coffea Arabica (coffee) Seed Oil

  • Arabica Seeds are high in fatty acids which help to leave skin soft, radiance and moisturised
  • Benefits of caffeine help to repair, nourish and plump skin
  • Arabica seed also helps to balance skin’s tone, improve elasticity and help with aging skin

I apply about 6 or more drops on to my fingertips and pat it into my skin, then massage it on to my skin. Sometimes I may add another layer of about 3 more drops, depending on how my skin is feeling. Adding more drops is something I’ve only done at night because I am very excessive about overapplying and also because my skin is left very oily looking.

Please don’t think that this oil leaves you oily because it doesn’t. It’s only when I really need some extra moisture that I’ll top it off by adding a bit more.

Even though it’s summer in Australia, we had a small chunk of time where we had really hot days then followed by very cold days (I may have or haven’t turned on the heater…). My skin really needed extra nourishment during that time. Going from very hot weather to very cold weather within a week it really confused my skin, it couldn’t work out what to do.

Additional Resource

This was some additional information Ashling provided me with that I think you may find interesting.

 Green coffee oil is high in the EFA, Linoleic Acid. It’s thought that low Linoleic Scid levels are one of the things that can contribute towards acne ~ Study: http://www.jaad.org/article/S0190-9622%2886%2970025-X/abstract

Another study on the treatment of acne with Linoleic Acid ~

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1046/j.1365-2230.1998.00315.x/abstract;jsessionid=5C2DAE14FD4D6506900D4157DA4C9B07.f03t02

It will also help your skin to retain moisture which is really important, even for oily + acneic skin. 

What does it look like

The texture is very silky, the best way to describe it is a silicone type feeling, it absorbs into the skin rather quickly and is very nourishing. Personally, I don’t wear makeup but I would imagine that this may feel similar to a primer so it may be nice to wear under makeup.

Sometimes in the am if I am not leaving the house I will skip my moisturiser and just leave my routine ending with this facial oil. It’s not done purposely but I just forget that I need moisturiser since my skin feels so soft.

It’s a yellow colour and once applied it doesn’t leave any type of colouring behind, on the skin nor hands. I struggle with lots of dryness on my knuckle area of my hands and before bed, I’ll apply a little of this and rub it onto the back of my hands followed up with hand cream.

Final Thoughts

I LOVE using this facial oil, it has drastically changed the expectations I have from a facial oil. How can I now expect to go back to using a facial oil that does so many great things for my skin and only has one ingredient…. that I can actually pronounce?!

There are a couple of things I will say I am a bit unsure about.

According to the instructions, it says you can use a roller ball tool to get the oil around your eye area. Personally, I dislike using any type of oils around my eye area because it always ends on irritating my eyes, so I skipped that part. Whether it’s great for those spots or not I can not say, strictly from the point that I never did that part.

Another thing is this oil can be used in hair, talk about a multitasker product!

My hair care isn’t a huge concern for me and that’s simply because it’s thick, curly and has a mind of its own. Also, I just let it air dry and then put it up in a messy bun, so I rarely apply heat to it and thank goodness I haven’t had to start dying my hair. Way back in the day I used to dye it but I worked out how much of my weekend it took up having to get it redone every 5-6 weeks. Finally, I decided it is easier for me just to leave my natural colour until I start to get greys before I need to start dying it again.

Repurchase?

I’ll start off and say thank you so much to Ashling for sending me a free sample of this magic in a bottle, this is not sponsored and this is my personal thoughts and review.

Yes! Without a doubt, I will repurchase, as a matter of fact, I already have. I recently purchased (with my own money) a new bottle as well as the new Yarrow Serum Cleanser and cleansing cloth. Prepare yourself for the onslaught of love I will be showing the cleansing cloth, I’m going to order a bunch of them, it’s the softest cloth I have ever touched.

It is a fantastic oil that I think everyone will like, perhaps more so with dry skinned beauties. As a complete oily skinned person that has so many skin concerns, I depend on this oil so much, especially during with my 5,000 step skincare routine.

In all seriousness, I believe I may end up reducing the number of skincare steps dramatically just because of this oil alone. Some of you may not go so far into doing so many steps and you definitely don’t need to. I’m just a skincare obsessed lover that drowns my face in products that my skin enjoys.

Once winter hits this oil will definitely be my secret weapon to keep my skin in the best shape I can.

 

Check out Kin Skin on their website or on Instagram

Currently, you can buy:

Green Coffee Seed Oil 10ml bottle or 30 ml bottle.

Coffee and Yarrow Serum Cleanser

Double Effect Cleansing Cloth

Be on the lookout because I can only imagine what else Ashling may have coming our way!

 

Have you used something similar? Or are you keen on giving this a go? Please let me know in the comments section, I’d really love to hear your thoughts.

ANNOUNCEMENT OF MY BLOGGING STORY SERIES | OUTLINE AND SCHEDULE

Have you been curious to know why some people decide to blog? Perhaps it’s something you may have flirted with the idea of doing!

I have a series where sharing my blogging story and the steps I took to get it up and running.

My Blogging Story Part 3 | Setting up my blog’s social media

My Blogging Story Part 3 | Setting up my blog’s social media

** Please note this post contains affiliate links, meaning if you make a purchase by clicking on the links provided I may earn a commission from your purchase at no additional cost to yourself. See my Affiliate and Disclosure**

Soph

 

RECAP OF MY STORY TO THIS POINT

August 2017 was my one year anniversary of having my blog and I started to reflect how far I had come within those quick 12 months. Once I started to map what I wanted to remind myself of I started writing it all out on paper.

Initially, my goal was to document this for myself, a journal type of post. A place that I could personally visit and take note of the outcome from an idea that came to me during one of my many sleepless nights. Turning those negative sleepless nights and into something more, something great.

After I started to write out what I had learnt, I took it a step further and realised maybe this may help a person out there who may also have a similar idea. Taking something you are passionate about and turn it into more.

Regardless if your idea is a blog, a YouTube channel, starting a side business, know that YOU CAN do it. It may seem hard even a little deflating at other times but eventually, you’ll get more of the good things happen after you put in work and you will forget the bad. This is the exact stage I am exactly at in my blogging career and mindset.

 

A quick recap of my previous post: I shared what steps I did to start my blog and how I converted what was in my mind to the internet Steps I took to set up my blog. Now that was sorted the social media part started!

For some, this part may be a lot easier than for others and may read this post and be like duh.

Previously to my blog, I was not really into social media for my personal posts, I was part of some cooking groups and once in awhile a photo.

For others like myself, I really had to learn a lot and continue to learn about social media. Especially since I have to rely on it for my blog to get some eyes on it.

Setting up my blog's social media

 

Setting up my blog’s social media

At this point, I’ve chosen my blog name, paid the self-hosting fee and am in the process of designing my site.

The next immediate step after locking in my blog name was setting up my blog’s social media handles. There were a couple of platforms that my chosen handle was too long. I ended up trimming it from My Skincare Reality to Skincare Reality. Luckily, I didn’t have anyone that had my exact handle, although there were some very close handles.

I highly recommend to lock in your handles for each platform, even if it’s a social media platform you may not initially plan to use. Another thing you want to lock in is an email address. Majority of people use Gmail email addresses, so you may want to get that registered as well.

Now that I am expanding my blog I am so happy I registered on as many platforms that I did all that time ago because I am finding myself using those platforms, 12 months later. Always a good card to have up your sleeve in case you change your mind later, I know I did!

An example, say you start to do a fashion blog and you share your photos via Instagram, but then say 6 months down the track you want to add some variety decide to use Snapchat to do try on hauls. Automatically you already have your handle reserved then people can find you that much easier.

Having the same or similar social media handle across the board makes it easier for people to find. Personally, when I start to follow someone I look for their blog name or their personal name as some do their blogging using thier name.

 

Social Media I use

This is the list of social platforms I use and in some cases, I have been able to extend the way I use each platform with other programs and/or subscriptions. Of course, you don’t need to pay to use the extra programs but I am testing them out to see if it helps my blog traffic.

Overall I’ll grow my social media as organically as possible and I will never buy likes, follows or whatever else. For some people that may be an option they opt for, hey I’m not judging! To give you a peek at how my mind works, instead of paying money towards buying what I feel is a false sense of reality for myself, I can use those funds to buy more skincare!

It may sound slightly confusing as to why I believe investing in some paid systems but I have quickly met so many other like-minded individuals that are incredibly knowledgeable and I don’t know if I would’ve met them otherwise.

Social media can be very overwhelming like I said, for some it’ll be second nature to them. Fortunately, that is not me, and I say fortunately because it gives me the opportunity to learn.

Let’s get into my story of setting up my blog’s social media!

Instagram

Since my blog is heavily based on photos, I use Instagram the most out of all social platforms. The community I have found is so welcoming, full of people who just love skincare and are in it to support one another. Sometimes you see someone laying out their truth and say “I’ve had a crappy week and my skin is paying for it”. In return, I’ve seen them get so much support from others who may also have had a similar kind of week.

The Instagram skincare community is a place where I have found so much inspiration, generosity and kindness from others. Life gets busy and you may not post for weeks or months at a time but when you come back everyone is so welcoming, picking up where you left off.

My personal downfall of Instagram is my wallet ends up lighter because I find out about so many new products/brands I had never heard of. Hey, you are most likely a much more responsible adult than I am so you may not find have the same problem! On the down low though, let me know if you can’t resist and all common sense goes out the window to purchase the newest x product.

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been using, probably overusing, the Instagram Stories. I add pictures and some Boomerangs, I want to add some videos and maybe some unboxings for small hauls.

 

Facebook

Facebook is a platform I personally really struggle with. On the other hand, I’ve found that it’s a good place to interact with others, whether it’s being part of a blogging group or having a discussion with others on skincare brand’s comment section.

I get very overwhelmed with Facebook but I think by changing my notifications it may help to make it look less ‘busy’ for me. I’m not too sure how I feel about this one if you are a Facebook whiz or are a fan of Facebook please let me know some tips because maybe I just need someone to ‘splain it to me.

Whilst watching some of my absolute favourite vloggers I keep hearing them say they did a Facebook Live but to be honest I have never watched one. Do you use it much? Is there a special secret sauce?

 

Pinterest

Going back to my blog relying heavily on photos, Pinterest is a fantastic way to upload photos and links which hopefully will convert to more pinners checking out your blog. Plus it’s such an addictive platform to find motivation and beautiful pictures.

After spending my 5 minutes (…more than 2 hours later…) I feel like I can build a house with some bricks, foam board and glitter, cook an exotic meal that I can’t even pronounce, all the way to being an expert at scrapbooking (even though I can’t cut a straight line if my life depended on it…yes even with a ruler).

That is how magical Pinterest is for me!

Tailwind

In the last month, I’ve been using Tailwind (** you can use my affiliate link to get $15 off your subscription**) with the intent to help grow traffic towards my blog. It’s actually done something different and I’m loving it! I’m completely motivated to improving my Pinterest game this year.

Tailwind is a Tribe Based community tool that allows you to schedule pins in advance for the next week. So it only takes about an hour out of my week (if I’m really focused), or I split it up over a few days if need be, and add pins from fellow tribe members to my be repinned on to my boards. The secret though is to read the posts you pin, I am fascinated by the amount of free information that is out there!

There are a few settings you can choose from but I have the default ‘Smart Schedule’ which uses Tailwind’s already optimised timeslots to your Pinning Schedule based on when others in your audience are most engaged.

Do you need it? No

Did I need it? Yes, and it’s because of my lack of keeping up with making it look inviting. Keep in mind though I have been blogging on and off over 12 months.

There are a number of these types of online tools but I’m really enjoying Tailwind. Perhaps once I’ve mastered the art of Pinterest I will try a couple of the others for review purposes.

They also have an Instagram version but I’m not at that point yet. Right now my time is being used on focusing on the growth of my blog and providing better quality content.

 

Setting up my blog's social media

 

Snapchat

I don’t use Snapchat at all, but I have the handle locked in to use in future if I chose to do snaps. As things stand I don’t see myself using it for a couple of reasons.

Firstly being that I have the stutter that I mentioned about in My Mental Health Story post. Just to let you know in advance I talk about my crippling anxiety, so if reading about mental health issues isn’t something you are interested in, you may want to skip it.

Secondly, I am not a camera person at all, I am so shy and feel so self-conscious. I’m hoping it’ll be something I’ll grow out of and just go for it, I’m the one standing in my own way.

Actually, I lie, I do use it to use the filters and take funny pictures or videos of my dogs. Something completely not skincare related!

Twitter

Ah, good ‘ol Twitter. For some reason, I thought this was a dying platform but it seems to be one of the strongest.

Again, Twitter is another platform I don’t really utilise it to the fullest potential. You betcha this is on my goal’s of 2018 to learn more about Twitter and how I can actually use it to benefit my blog.

During my research I have found some different ways to use this and I’m going to give them a go this year. Be on the lookout for my Twitter game to test some new methods. Those methods may totally flop on me but I won’t know unless I try!

YouTube

Okay, this one I NEVER, EVER, EVVEERRR thought I’d use and almost didn’t bother to create an account. Actually, I avoided it like a bad breakout for the longest. Initially, I tried to upload the videos straight to my blog via WordPress but that was a no no as it takes way too much space.

I’d bet there are other ways, plugins, subscriptions that may be available to do this but finally, I decided not to make it too complicated and just dove in to use YouTube.

After much procrastinating, I decided to just do it via YouTube and have been using it for my demo videos, my haul videos and can I say it’s SO addicting to want to make videos! Some crazed part of me is always on the lookout to improve my video quality and ways to do some cool editing.

Even typing those words and admitting it out loud, makes me not know even know who I am anymore. Talk about an identity crisis! Going through the process of editing a video I quickly came to appreciate people who make YouTube videos on a regular basis. It’s a process but it’s awesome!

Challenge

Do you accept this challenge I am about to issue? YouTube videos have been so life changing for me that I challenge YOU to make a video and upload it! Now you don’t have to make it public, you can leave it on private, heck you don’t even have to upload it to YouTube keep it on your computer, phone, tablet etc.

Write the description of what you would actually put if you were uploading it for public viewing. Do the same if you aren’t uploading your video, write out the description on a Notepad/Word document and keep it near your video.

The challenge is to edit that video as if it’s something you are actually publishing to the world. Try doing a few of them and then watch them back after a month. Be completely honest with yourself and make a mental note of your self confidence and self growth you feel. It truly is an amazing feeling to see something you’ve created.

It can be about anything, I make them of my dogs sometimes or random videos my little nephew & niece. No one sees them but it’s just something that is a little fun and I look back and think, I made that! Me?? Or it goes the other way and it’s cringe worthy but we all need a starting point.

Get comfortable with your voice, with the spot your camera is focused on, on the items in the background, as much as you can.

You have nothing to lose and so much to gain, you’ll be learning a new skill and we can never have too many of those!

When you do the challenge and feel like you’d like to share it please let me know. I would love and feel honoured to see it. This part isn’t a ‘must’, you can send it to me privately, I promise I won’t share it unless you give me permission. Or if you don’t want to share it, I’d equally be happy with you just telling me your story on how you went with it.

Prepare yourself to surprise yourself.

 

Tumblr

Tumblr is only used to duplicate my Instagram posts, I’ve met and discussed skincare with others on there but I don’t really know what I’m doing. Speaking from my personal experience I haven’t really encountered an ongoing active community. My Tumblr account is only kept in the hopes it’ll be another search option to find my posts.

From the sounds of it from other people, Tumblr seems to be a place that is slowly losing interest. What do you think?

 

Google+

Google+ is a current work in progress. Luckily I’ve been able to find other like minded bloggers so I follow their blogs or Google+ pages but it’s not something I really invest time in.

When I take the time to look and pretend I know how to read my analytics it seems like a good portion of people find my blog via this method. Don’t take my word as a definite, if I am understanding it correctly then I definitely need to invest more time for my SEO purposes.

Resources

When I was doing research on how I can step up my social media presence I started to watch a few YouTubers/Social Media experts for tips. I stumbled across this video from Sue B Zimmerman & Sunny Lenarduzzi titled Instagram Followers – How to get followers on Instagram (2015) (click here to go to video)

 

Below I have listed some of the first social media resources I came across and continue to use on a regular basis. They really break it down to make it easy for me to understand.


Sunny Lenarduzzi 

Sunny is a bundle of positive energy, very knowledgeable and really explains how to help you on multiple platforms depending on your business. Mine is blogging so I pay special attention to the social media and website traffic information.

Sunny’s details are listed below.

http://www.SunnyLenarduzzi.com

Snapchat: sunnylenarduzzi

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SunnyLenarduzzi

Instagram: http://instagram.com/sunnylenarduzzi/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SunnyLenarduzzi

YouTube Channel: Click here


Sue B. Zimmerman

Sue is also known as  #TheInstagramExpert I have followed some of her easy tips and have had success. She offers lots of free tips from hashtags to the best type of comments to leave on someone’s post. Things that myself as a newbie never even knew or would’ve thought of. I occasionally go back to the basics to give myself a refresher course.

Website can be found clicking here

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/theinstagramexpert/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SueBZimmerman

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SuebZimmermanEnterprise?ref=hl

YouTube Channel: Click here


Peg Fitzpatrick

Peg came up on one of my recommendations and I quickly became obsessed with what she had to say. All the tips and knowledge she has about Pinterest, I lack experience with Pinterest, but she left me feeling so more confident. *I will note that some of her videos that I watched were on the Skillshare website that offers online courses as part of their subscription. I no longer have that subscription service but it’s a great platform that offers many types of courses.

 

Website: Click here

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/pegfitzpatrick/

Pinterest: https://au.pinterest.com/pegfitzpatrick/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pegfitzpatrick.author/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/pegfitzpatrick

YouTube Channel: Click here

Final Thoughts

Now that I have shared my setting up my blog’s social media story, I realise there are some social platforms I didn’t even touch on.

This post definitely ended up being a lot longer than I initially thought it would be, so I really hope you made it to this point. If you did then please prepare yourself for the biggest e-hug from my two labs! They like when I’m happy because it usually ends with them being cuter and getting a treat.

Any advice you may have to offer please let me know. Are there any platforms I missed or should invest time on?

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My Blogging Story Part 2 | Steps I took to set up my blog

My Blogging Story Part 2 | Steps I took to set up my blog

** Please note this post contains affiliate links, meaning if you make a purchase by clicking on the links provided I may earn a commission from your purchase at no additional cost to yourself. See my Affiliate and Disclosure**

Steps I took to set up my blog

Steps I took to set up my blog

Welcome back to My Blogging Story or Welcome if you are new! This week’s topic is about ‘Steps I took to set up my blog’.

I’m really excited about this topic because I feel like this was something I was specifically looking for when I decided to start a blog.

Once I decided I was going to make my blog, my next question was, “how do I get what’s on my mind to the internet?”

My knowledge of technology was pretty basic, meaning other than using Mircosoft applications, internet, work related software programs and online gaming, that was all I really knew about running a computer.

In order for me to take the next step, I really had to take the time to get a good understanding of where do I go and what do I need.

Recap of my story to this point

August 2017 was my one year anniversary of having my blog and I started to reflect how far I had come within those quick 12 months. Once I started to map what I wanted to remind myself of I started writing it all out on paper.

Initially, my goal was to document this for myself, a journal type of post. A place that I could personally visit and take note of the outcome from an idea that came to me during one of my many sleepless nights. Turning those negative sleepless nights and into something more, something great.

After I started to write out what I had learnt, I took it a step further and realised maybe this may help a person out there who may also have a similar idea. Taking something you are passionate about and turn it into more.

Regardless if your idea is a blog, a YouTube channel, starting a side business, know that YOU CAN do it. It may seem hard and at times a little deflating but eventually, you’ll get more of the good things happen after you put in work and you will forget the bad. This is the exact stage I am exactly at in my blogging career.

I explain this further and my reasons of all of this from my Outline and Schedule post.

Just to recap what my previous topic: My previous post I shared what was the driving force and decision of Why did I Start a Blog?. Now that my decision was made, I’m going to start a skincare review blog, what next?

How I started to set up my blog

What Next? WordPress Options

From the research, I had done I knew I needed to find a platform to start off with. It seemed that WordPress was going to be my go to, after looking into Blogger and from the information I was able to gather. WordPress sounded like it would be the best for me since it was easiest. Next decision: Do I want a WordPress.com or WordPress.org My understanding when it came to WordPress was there were two different types of WordPress options to chose from.

WordPress.com Option

Setting up a WordPress.com account I would’ve had the WordPress Subdomain of myblogname.wordpress.com. There is an option to pay for upgrades and not to have wordpress.com after your blog name.

The main thing I was worried about, would I own my content or would WordPress own my content? Could my content be taken it down or used in another way without my knowledge if it’s owned by WordPress?

On the positive side of having a WordPress.com account means you don’t have to worry about external hosting or about the technical maintenance of a website. Another added bonus to this would be none to very little upfront costs. A great option to start with if you are really unsure how deep you want to invest straight off the bat.

I am very much the type of person who goes full in when I decide to do something. But I do know there are people who are much more responsible than I am.

WordPress.org Option

With the WordPress.org I would have to find a hosting platform and pay for that upfront myself. WordPress does have services you can pay but I wanted a third party so that way none of my work gets muddled and if for some reason WordPress unexpectedly collapsed I had a backup of my content.

This is where I took a lot of time researching and costs comparison. There are lots of great options out there when it comes to hosting services. SiteGround, GoDaddy,Wix, SquareSpace, Host Gator and some that even more specified towards your country, mine being Australia.

Personally, I went with SiteGround. With this option I have the peace of mind knowing my content solely belongs to me and I don’t run the risk of it being shut down or my content being used for other purposes. Of course, the rule of being shut down can change if I violate any of the terms and conditions.

Whether that is really the case or not, I am not sure but in my mind it makes me feel better knowing I own my content 100%.

Result: √ Decision of which WordPress to use: WordPress.org

Steps I took to set up my blog

Coming up with my blog name

This took me a good chunk of time to come up with a name, I asked my husband for his advice, I googled, I looked for inspiration from YouTube, Pinterest and kept searching. Nothing really feeling natural saying, I made a list of what I did and didn’t want then I worked my way backwards.

Some of my personal requirements to come up with my blog name:

  • tell a reader exactly what to expect from this blog
  • I’m not an expert in anything so I didn’t want to have a word or name like ‘The One and Only Knowing of Everything Skincare’. It would be the biggest false statement I could ever make because I don’t really know much.
  • Nothing too long and something that could be easily remembered
  • no crazy spelling or anything, like dayzzz with 3 x Z

No offence if something like the above is your blog name, this is strictly what I was looking for. At the end of the day, I am just a woman with a laptop, a camera and a love of skincare.

The added bonus is that I have a few skincare items that I could write about. Out of so many ideas and play with words all started to be blend together and nothing made sense.

After all of the brainstorming, I definitely wanted the word skincare in the name. More times passed and I came up with reality. My initial idea started with me sharing the realness of what x product has done for my skin so I took it back to basics.

Result: Blog Name chosen: My Skincare Reality

Steps I took to set up my blog

Getting Hosted

This is where the options were so vast, there are so many companies who provide a hosting service. I did so much research, read lots of reviews, compared prices before finally settling on SiteGround **affiliate link**

SiteGround offers 3 hosting choices:

  • StartUp – manage 1 site
  • GrowBig – manage multiple sites and some extra features
  • GoGeek – manage multiple sites and all the features from the first 2 plus more

I went with the GrowBig option, that option would allow me to host multiple sites.

The reason for that was my husband was thinking of starting a couple of websites for other stuff so I figured this would kill two birds with one stone.

My experience using SiteGround has been amazing, I have done a few things that ‘broke’ my website and they have gone in fixed it all for me straight away.

Thier customer service is top notch, anytime I’ve had any questions big or small (trust me there has been A LOT) they are so friendly and eager to help me. Even stuff that is a really basic question they take the time to explain it to me and help me without making me feel dumb. For that alone, I will stick with them for as long as possible.

From memory, SiteGround was slightly more expensive than a few other hosting sites but given the incredible customer service I’ve dealt first handed with it’s well worth the extra few dollars.

Another thing I really like about being self hosted, is I get to create my own email with my blog name. In my case I use contact@myskincarereality.com, I feel like this just looks a little bit more professional. Of course, there is the most used option of using Gmail, which is awesome but for myself, I really like having my own domain name. In a way, it’s a reminder for myself saying ‘you did this!’!!

Result √ Self Hosting: SiteGround

Steps I took to set up my blog

Personalising my site

Now the fun stuff begins! It came time to set up and choose the theme I wanted to use.

WordPress has SO many great themes you can choose from and they are free. Some free themes allow an option to upgrade to unlock more options and the costs is fairly low, depending on the developer.

You can also purchase and upload a theme from a third party. There are some truly talented web designers that sell some beautiful themes that can be purchased.

To begin with, I tried several of the free themes on WordPress, some didn’t match with my niche, some looked too busy for what I wanted. After much searching I ended up using the Sugar and Spice theme, the colour scheme was what I wanted and it was very easy to use for me since I was so new to it all. It was perfect for me!

This is what my website looked like to begin with. Steps I took to set up my blog

As time went on and I started looking at other blog themes, I decided to upgrade to something else. I spent many hours searching Pinterest and found plenty of already set up themes that I could purchase from a third party. There were a few that I had lined up and was deciding when I came across Elegant Themes.

Elegant Themes

Elegant Themes caught my attention because they had just released the new Divi 3.0. If I remember correctly, during a YouTube ad that I saw how Divi works. Once I had that idea stuck in my head, I fell down the rabbit hole of learning as much as I could about Divi theme and how it worked.

Somehow Elegant Themes makes it very easy to personalise just about every single corner of your site. It allows you to be on your actual website and be able to edit live rather than having to only do it on the back end.

Options that Elegant Themes offer are:

  • Yearly Access
  • Lifetime Access

Both options come with a 30 day money back guarantee, premium support, updates for either the year if you are on a yearly access or lifetime if you are on the lifetime access.

They make improvements frequently and offer lots of free layouts so you can get started right away.

With either option you have access to Divi Builder, the Extra theme, Child theme, the Bloom plugin (designed for email options), Monarch (designed for social media) plus more options.

After bouncing some ideas with my husband I decided to go in fully and chose the lifetime access.

To begin with, I went with the Divi theme and used Divi Builder to really personalise my website exactly to my preferences. After a few months, I started to hear some people raving about the Extra theme and how good it is for bloggers. So I decided to try it and really love it, that is what I currently have.

Result √ Changing my theme: Elegant Themes

Resources

If you decide to go with Elegant Themes or are interested in seeing a little more about the setup process, I highly suggest checking out Darrel Wilson (click here for his YouTube channel or here for his website).

Darrel has been an absolute lifesaver for me! He shares start to finish tutorials on different types of themes, setting up an eCommerce site, how to create a Facebook store and the list goes on. I have watched some of his videos multiple times when setting up different parts of my website.

How To Make A WordPress Website 2017 | NEW Divi Theme 3.0 Tutorial (Click Here)

How To Make A WordPress Blog 2017 – Create A Blog With WordPress – EXTRA THEME (Click Here)

(Extra is the theme I currently am running)

Now it’s time to hear from you!

There are the steps I took to set up my blog.

Tell me if you found this helpful, maybe you’d like me to go into further details of something more specific. Or if you have been in the same situation what decisions did you go with and why?

Next week I will be releasing the ‘Setting up social media’ portion of this series. To be the first to know when the weekly topics go live please sign up for the series newsletter below.

Have a great week and hope to see you again soon!

Two Must Have Facial Toner Mists for Summer! Moana & Rose

Two Must Have Facial Toner Mists for Summer! Moana & Rose

 Coast Sydney Botanicals

Moana & Rose Toner Mists Review

 

Moana & Rose Facial Mist

 

You may run into me occasionally on Instagram and you may know how much I RAVE about Coast Sydney Botanicals skincare products! They are so incredibly amazing and I just love almost everything I have used thus far.

I have not sponsored in any way and I would only suggest you spend your hard working money on something that I feel everyone in the world needs!

Both these toner mists are fantastic to use all year round.

I found while using them during winter in Australia, Moana would give me instant summer vibes. Now that it’s summer in Austalia they both are even better because it’s so refreshing when we are having those 40 degree days! I just sit there and spritz either all over my face. That is until my dogs decide to lick it off my face and won’t until I’m having a laughing fit!

About Coast Sydney Botanicals

Coast Sydney Botanicals was founded by Wei Tham in 2016 and is an Artisan Perfumer and Botanical Skincare Creator. I’m going to add magical, miracle skincare maker as part of Wei’s description.

All products are hand crafted in her Sydney, Australia studio made from ingredients that are herbal plant extracts, essential oils, cruelty free and vegan. Products are synthetic free and responsibly sourced.

Basically, it’s awesome products made with amazing ingredients! Shipping within Australia is a flat $10 fee AND ships overseas for a flat $17 fee (excluding candles).

Check out Wei’s store by clicking here.

 

Moana Facial Mist

MOANA: Pineapple Extract & Coconut Water Toner Mist

The first one I used and just fell in love with was the Moana one. Luckily I prepared myself for writing this review today so I kept it close with me.

Key Ingredients:

Pineapple Extract – contains a fruit enzyme called bromelain and it helps to exfoliant dead cells on skin’s surface.

Coconut Water – an effective skin brightener

Moana is alcohol-free and is not drying on the skin. Perfect for my oily, acne prone skin. It’d be fair to also consider this a multi-use product in the sense that you could carry it with you for an instant hydration hit throughout the day as well.

It absorbs into the skin fairly easily, unless you are like me and have a heavy hand end up spritzing like 30 times, then I have pat it in for a bit.

 

Moana Facial Mist

How I use it

I use this after I have added my First Treatment Essence and before I add a sheet mask. Sometimes I may spritz a few more extra times after removing the sheet mask as well. I use it both day & night.

I’ve had an on and off reaction around my neck area due to medication for the last year and a half. This helps to keep my skin moisturised when the reaction starts to get really dry. I’m not allergic to anything specifically it’s more of an anxiety rash but I think depending on my dose of medications and levels of anxiety the rash can get pretty bad. After a couple of weeks or so it starts to dry and I make sure I hydrate that area with very gentle, minimal moisturising products.

It’s available online from Coast Sydney Botanicals e-store, you can click here.

Would I repurchase?

Absolutely! As a matter of fact, the lovely Wei had a Christmas sale on and I was able to repurchase all of my favourite products….which was all of them.

 

Rose Facial Mist

ROSE: Organic Rose Water + Witch Hazel Toner Mist

When it came to using the Rose one, I put it off. As many skincare enthusiasts may understand, when I try new brands I have to get the full set or as close to it as possible. It’s the only way I can experience everything from the brand. My collection isn’t complete unless I have all of them, so I purchased this one solely for my obsession reasons.

My reason for not being keen was because I have not always had the best of luck with Rose type of skincare products. Somehow they don’t work for me, makes my skin feel worse instead of improving and I can’t stand the really strong scent. You may know the scent I am referring to, it almost smells like wine and just a whiff of any type of alcoholic beverage instantly turns my stomach.

I am very glad to say I was wrong about this toner, the scent issue I usually have is actually pleasant and it’s a lovely product to use. If you may have a similar experience with Rose ingredient in skincare but want to use it for the beneficial properties this may help you.

Key Ingredients:

Rose Otto – is steam distilled rose essential oil. it helps stimulate cell growth

Witch Hazel – removes excess oil from skin

Rose is an organic face toner and gentle on the skin. Great toner to keep skin hydrated and reduces inflammation. It’s advised for dry to combination skin but I love it on my oily, acne prone skin.

Rose Facial Mist

How I use it

I sprit a few sprays on my skin after a First Treatment Essence and apply a sheet mask. Occasionally I will need a few more sprays after removing my sheet mask, depending on the mask and what my skin needs.

Another way I liked to use this is on the backs of my hands. I tend to get really dry, cracked knuckles during winter and I’ll spritz one spray on each hand and then put on a hand cream on top of it.

If you are interested in purchasing you can find it here, along with some more additional information.

Would I repurchase?

Without a doubt! I already have a spare in my stash to continue using throughout summer! Worked wonderfully on my oily, acne prone skin in the winter. Helped to really keep my skin hydrated!

 

Final Thoughts

If you twisted my arm, threatened me with the end of pizza as we know it to only pick one, I would go with the Moana. Only because pineapples are one of my absolute favourite things in the universe.

Whenever my father wants to send me a little ‘thinking of you’ message, he’ll send me a random photo of a pineapple because he knows they instantly make me smile.

I know I am weird but pineapples are just too fun! Once you know more about me you’ll know it doesn’t take alot to make my day! Hubby knows if I’m not having the best day a Hawaiian pizza usually fixes it, or a pizza with pineapple something for dessert.

Another thing I forgot to mention for any non-coconut lovers out there, yes we exist. Coconut is something I detest, I’d say hate but I’m not talking about a never to be named on my blog NBA basketball team that fits that description. Sometimes I can handle drinking coconut water if it’s deeply masked with lots of other fruits. With that said I kind of expected to have a slight fighting of 2 evils for Moana, but again I was wrong, nothing coconut about it!

 

Wei, with all these great products you’ve created and have proved me wrong, my husband may end up wanting to know your secret on how to do such a thing!

Other information you may find helpful

I have reviewed the 3 serum oils from Coast Sydney Botanicals that are some of the best products that have ever touched my face. Yes, that includes cuddles from my 2 labradors when they were puppies, just don’t tell them. They like to think they are my one and only. My review of the serum oils can be found here.

If you’d like to see what items I purchased the first time from Coast Sydney Botanicals during my June 2017 skincare haul click here.

As mentioned a bit earlier in this post I purchased some products from Coast Sydney Botanicals during a Christmas sale and will be adding that up on my ‘Haul Video’ posts in the next few weeks. That will also include new products Wei created from her Nephelium line. I haven’t used any of them as yet but I have heard great things. Plus if Wei made them that’s all I need to know and my money is as good as hers.

Nephelium 4 serums targeting specific needs: 

Renew (#1),Strengthen (#2), Resurface (#3) Hydrate (#4)

 

Tell me about your favourite products

Have you tried any of these products? If so I’d love to know your favourites or not so much.

If you decide you’d like to give Coast Sydney Botanicals a whirl I highly recommend signing up for the newsletter as Wei tends to offer discounts for first time purchases.

Let me know in the comments below!

My Blogging Story Series Part 1 | Why did I start a blog?

My Blogging Story Series Part 1 | Why did I start a blog?

 A year after My Skincare Reality was born!    why did I start a blog    why did I start a blog 

It’s now been over a year since I started this blog, my tiny little corner of the internet that I get to talk about anything I wish.

I reflect on everything it’s taken for me to get it here and I can honestly say it’s been a healing process for me, I will explain further down. At times I wonder why on earth did I not start this much sooner! Even if I just wanted to blog about my favourite food, which is pizza, I wish I had given it a go.

With as much fun I’ve had creating this blog, there has been plenty of trial and error during this learning process. Some errors small and some not so much. A few times I just wanted to delete everything because somehow I’ve messed it up so badly! Now I can look back and laugh at some of my rookie mistakes but I’m sure there will be much more coming my way and I am okay with that.

During most of those situations, I’ve remained teachable through the entire process each time and have learnt a lesson in there. Even times where I felt like I can just press the delete button I realised I’ve gained a piece of knowledge that otherwise, I may not have come across. It’s truly a sense of accomplishment when it all comes together.

My reason to share

If you have ever thought about starting a blog to share your passion(s), I hope that this series may help even in the tiniest of ways. Even for us people who don’t know what CSS means in website terms.

I decided to start a small series sharing different topics of my personal blogging experiences. Every week I will post a new topic as part of my multi series. Please make sure to subscribe to my newsletter so you are notified as soon as a new part gets published. The outline of the topics can be found here.

There are way better, more experienced bloggers out there that can provide you with much more knowledge than I ever can. There are no words to explain how grateful I am for coming across a variety of bloggers because I’ve sought help, advice and knowledge from them at different times.

I recently posted a couple of About Me posts, ‘My Chronic Pain‘ and ‘My Mental Health‘ stories to give you a background on my frame of mind was when I first started. Of course, I do understand some people would prefer not to read about physical pain or about mental health and that is totally okay.   Please note though I will be making some small references to my anxiety as it plays a big part of my story.

Discovering my niche

After a pretty dramatic, unexpected health shift and feeling like I didn’t know who I was any more I slowly started looking for distractions to help get me out of my head.

During some of my many sleepless nights, I starting poking around YouTube watching skincare videos, reading blog reviews and information on different types of skincare products. Eventually, I went online ordered a few things to try for fun. Little did I or my husband know the beast that was about to be created!

After trying a few different skincare routines, I realised a small amount of peace it brought me. So I kept at it, kept researching and falling in love with different brands and ingredients.

When I’d purchase products I would leave a review on the company’s website to help the next person about a product. Some companies offer reward points in exchange for a review that can be exchanged for discounts on future purchases.

After spending much time trying to locate honest and unbiased reviews I thought it’d be nice to have some of those reviews on a blog or discussion board. Many brands sell their products through different vendors and I found myself spending too much time checking different places to find out more about a product.

My skincare goal turned into wanting to improve my acne scars using at home devices and easily accessible skincare products. There are a number of things that would be best for me to go see a dermatologist and get professional treatments but it’s a really expensive option and I didn’t want to start there. Instead, I opted to try methods from the comfort of my own home first and later have the option to go down the professional treatments.

why did I start a blog

 

It all started while watching YouTube (as many can relate)

When I started to think about having one place with reviews, I thought maybe I could start a blog. As soon as that thought popped into mind instantly I doubted myself and thought, ‘who would want to read what I have to say?’ Doubting myself is something that has increased with the deterioration of my mental health.

My next thought was realising blogging might be a dead method nowadays. YouTube seems to have taken its place for skincare (and everything else under the sun) reviews and visuals. Doing YouTube was not an option for me for several reasons. One, the level of my anxiety was so high. Two, my stuttering was still extremely noticeable. Three, I am way too shy even if I was able to.

After binge watching one of my favourite YouTubers, Hayley Paige (link to her channel here ). I came across a video from her ‘How To Become A Blogger Series’, (playlist can be accessed here). She started to talk about her story and I thought ‘hmm maybe I can do this whole blogging thing’.

I don’t know a whole lot about the science behind skincare or ingredients but I can test these products out and give my opinion about using products.

why did I start a blog

Jumping in

After much investigating, very Veronica Mars style, looking up advice big bloggers had, I was still unsure of how I wanted to go about it. Or even if I wanted to push that side of me.

I truly felt that YouTube had taken over the blogging scene. There are so many YouTubers that have videos on their skincare routines, share and introduce new types of products and brands I had never heard of and are a wealth of information. Many people like playing a video while at the gym, driving, cleaning their house etc. It’s much easier to listen to someone talk while multitasking than it is to read a blog post.

Eventually, I just said go for it, if it doesn’t work out then at least I tried. I didn’t have any expectations, I thought only my loving support group of family, my mom and my sisters would read it. I definitely never started this blog thinking I’d make money out of it, I don’t really know a whole lot about how to monetize my blog, it wasn’t a priority for me.

Once I started to blog, learn how to upload my pictures and some of the basics I found something I never expected. Writing that first blog post brought me back to my feeling of excitement, something I haven’t had for many months. It’s something I found to be therapeutic for me throughout my health problems.

 

why did I start a blog

Challenges

One of my biggest challenges has been the technical side of running a blog. It’s something that doesn’t come to me naturally, so I research a lot and most of the skills I’ve learnt is self-taught. Even if it’s not an organic process for me and may take me 2 hours to do, the following time it may take me an hour & forty-five minutes to do and eventually it’ll take me less time. I am not willing to limit myself to what feels comfortable for me.

where my blog stands now

Due to my high levels of anxiety, is part of the reason why I don’t have a set posting schedule. Planning for any future events my anxiety creeps up higher than usual. If you’ve come across one of my YouTube demo videos you may notice I don’t speak in them and that is because of my speech issues.

Is my blog perfect? No. Is my blog the biggest? No. Is my blog the best? Absolutely not. Do I have a set routine for posting days? No. That was never my vision, it brings me happiness and that is what matters to me. Now that we are in a new year I really want to improve on these shortfalls.

It’s just the cherry on top when someone comments, likes or shares something from me, it instantly brings me a smile.

Comparing myself to any other bloggers or experts out there isn’t the attitude I want to approach it with, I am grateful for what I have. My ideal outcome is to try to support others who are going through something similar because everyone brings something new to the table.

 

Have you thought about starting a personal project?

I’d love to hear if you’ve thought or are thinking of starting a blog, YouTube channel, podcast or anything.

Personally, I love supporting others who are starting something they love and are passionate about. I know what it’s like to put so much hard work into something and want to share it with others.

Let’s start a support system below in the comments below. I would love to hear about your passions, your plans or something you’d like to do!