Penny A Unwin

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Thursday, 18 January 2018

Sanctuary Spa Body Moisturisers: Body Butter, Body Lotion & Wet Skin Moisture Miracle

When it comes to my skin, I'm always looking for products that will sink in quickly, won't leave a greasy residue or that won't clog my pores. I have fairly oily skin and find face moisturisers are very limiting for me. But when it comes to my body I find I have a lot more choice in terms of what I can use, as my main skin concerns are only on my face, which is my acne, whereas on my body I'll only get the occasional spot here and there. 

For Christmas I received this 3-piece body moisture skincare set by Sanctuary Spa from a close friend. Sanctuary Spa is a brand I've heard of before but never tried any of their products before now and didn't even realise how cheap they were as well! Within the set I received for Christmas I got the Body Lotion, Body Butter and the Wet Skin Moisture Miracle. Now, the one that intrigued me the most was the Wet Skin Moisture Miracle. It's similar to the Nivea in-shower moisturiser in terms of you apply it when your skin is soaking wet, don't rinse and dry yourself with a towel as normal. A concept I haven't really tried before and one I was a little worried about would interfere with my oily skin. But here are my thoughts...

Sanctuary Spa Body Lotion: Now, body lotions aren't really my favourite and I hate the feeling on my skin, I'll just say it now. The fact you have to sit and wait for it to sink into the skin or be able to touch anything - I'm not a fan of that. However, after testing the consistency and comparing it to the others it is definitely not the thinnest consistency and certainly not the thickest consistency of the bunch, but the consistency is just enough to sink in fast enough without leaving a greasy residue or clogging any of your pores, perfect for anyone with oily skin like me or even combination. The scent also lingers afterwards which was pleasantly surprising and left my skin feeling pretty smooth, especially around the elbow areas which tend to get dry pretty quickly.

Key Tips: Fast Drying | Quick Absorption | Non-thick Consistency | No Greasy Residue | Acne Suitable

Sanctuary Spa Body Butter: A thick butter like consistency as the name suggests, making this product slightly on the heavier side compared to the others. I found I had to rub it in that little bit longer, so I suggest using this product when you have a little bit more time on your hands - however, if you find your skin gets irritable quite easily or your pores get clogged by heavy consistency products, then use this product in small amounts and gradually layer it up and you should be okay. When completing sunk into the skin, I found it hydrated any dry patches I have thoroughly well and therefore, mainly focus this product currently on my feet, due to wearing silly shoes and encountering endless amounts of blisters. It also didn't irritate the cracked skin, but just helped boost the healing process a long that little bit faster. In terms of how long it takes to sink into the skin, I would say it needs the most out of all three, but not that much longer than the body lotion. It did leave a tiny bit of a greasy residue afterwards, but this can be combated by simply rubbing the product in more, so would advise using this on any dry patches or someone who suffers with dry skin.

Key Tips: Thick Consistency | Extra Time To Sink In | Slight Greasy Residue | Not Acne Suitable

Sanctuary Spa Wet Skin Moisture Miracle: I remember when Nivea came out with their in-shower moisturiser, a much faster and simpler way to apply your moisturiser when on the go and was always intrigued to try it but never managed to pick it up. So you can imagine how happy I was to see a product similar within this set. The consistency is very thin, probably the thinnest of the set. It applies almost like water, which essentially is what you are doing, applying it on top of soaked skin. When rubbed in, it takes mere seconds and even leaves a rather lovely glow on top. You then towel dry like normal, which to me thought would leave a sticky residue afterwards, but was pleasantly surprised to see it had sunk in amazingly, no sticky residue insight and no greasy residue left over either. The scent doesn't linger as much as the other two products, but it has left my skin feeling incredibly smooth and also made putting my clothes on that more easier, as if there was no moisturiser on my skin to begin with.

Key Tips: Thin Consistency | Quick Absorption | Great For On The Go | Acne Suitable

Overall, I am thoroughly impressed with this set. I found it didn't clog my pores, didn't transfer off the skin onto anything else, left my skin feeling smooth, absorbed quickly into the skin and also found each product mentioned is priced below £10 individually, so won't break the bank. Each product also lasted a rather long time, besides the body lotion (depending on how much you use), especially if you shower every day like me, so it was amazing to see a little bit goes a long way. 


Sunday, 14 January 2018

The Sunday Post: The Beech Hill Hotel & Spa

Hello you lovely lot! How is 2018 going so far for you? This week has had to have been one of the best weeks so far coming into the new year and one I didn't expect would happen so soon. Although exciting, it has also been quite busy in terms of filling out applications and pushing myself onto my next career step after finishing college back in June, and even though these past couple of months have been relaxing and allowed me to see where I want to go, I feel now it's 2018 and a new month I am ready to sink my teeth into something new. 

Highlight Of The Week: 

On Thursday myself and a really close friend of mine headed to Windermere for a little overnight stay at The Beech Hill Hotel & Spa as a treat for her 20th birthday. Her lovely mum decided to pay for both of us to enjoy the perks of the spa (which if either of them are reading this post - thank you very much!) and I must say an indoor pool with a sauna and steam room, with a rather lovely outdoor Jacuzzi overlooking the view you see in the above photo, it definitely was a treat and one I am wanting to revisit sometime in the near future. The room was amazing with a rather spacious bed (10/10 from me as I love my big spacious beds) and even overlooked the amazing view, which unfortunately we didn't get to see a sunset but if we did, I'm sure it would have been amazing!

What To Watch:

Now, this wouldn't even be a Sunday Post if I didn't mention the amount of times I have binged watched this series on Netflix. Although it came out on the 8th December, I must say it definitely has my fingertips tingling for the next series to come out. The Crown, a series I'm sure everyone and their nan watched over the Christmas period and is one I will continue to binge when I have nothing else to watch. It just grabs you in, makes you wonder every little detail on every scale and even astonished me that everyday things could even happen to the royal family. If you're into your history or just generally the royal family, I would highly suggest paying that monthly subscription fee - even if it's only for a month so you can binge watch it like I am.

On the YouTube front in terms of what I've been watching non stop since my last post - which you can read here - it has to be AmandaRachLee's Bullet Journal videos. I am insanely hooked! Bullet Journaling has been something I've wanted to start since the middle of last year and Amanda offers every type of video you could want - monthly layouts, doodle ideas, font ideas, stationary hauls, equipment she uses, page ideas and more! If you're a beginner like myself (I will be sharing my own bullet journal, including pens I use and the layouts that I like next month) then I highly suggest checking out her channel. When I first started out I simply went with Amanda's 2017 layout and then basically tweaked it from there. It works as a great starting point and she even breaks down the bullet journal concept in such simpler terms. 

What To Read: 

Tying in with wanting to push myself onto new paths this new year, I am also planning on revamping my blog within the next month or so - which you can read all about the changes here. I am planning on moving Penny A Unwin to wordpress and evening bringing in a new design. Now, none of this would be happening without the help from Kotryna Bass Design Blog, which is basically my go-to blog right now for everything technical in terms of blogging and getting the most out of your blog. It has everything you need from moving your blog from one platform to another, to adding plugins for wordpress, to even sharing FREE templates and blog designs if you sign up for her newsletter and also she shares all her knowledge on anything blog related you can think about. If you're someone like me, who pretty much likes learning as she goes and doing things on her own, then this blog will guide you along the right path and you'll most likely come out the end of it feeling like a total B.O.S.S!

The Disappointing Factor:

Although in my first Sunday Post (can we count how many times I've said although in this post?) I did mention I wanted to add disappointing factors of the week, just to break things up a little. Unfortunately, I don't have anything that has disappointed me this week. Its just been amazing in terms of results to getaways for a night. So, I am thinking of changing up this little section a bit, by swapping it for something else just on those weeks when things are a little too thrilling. All ideas are welcome, so please leave them down below in the comments. 

Currently Lusting:


Tuesday, 9 January 2018

7 Acne Reducing Tips When You Have Oily Skin

7 Acne Reducing Tips When You Have Oily Skin

When I first started getting acne around ten years ago, it was something I didn't have much knowledge about or even knew existed. Being a mere ten year old I always thought it was something similar to chicken pox, that would hang around awhile and eventually clear itself up. It didn't. It got worse as the days went on. Months later and even years later and my once clear skin was just now patches of redness and lumps. This than began a process of going through numerous drugstore products, to trying remedies from friends and all I remember was my skin stinging, burning and looking even worse. It was horrific. 

It was then I wanted to look for a solution and take my own skin concerns into my own hands. I didn't want to jump straight in to the side of acne which was all about the chemical peels and tablets etc. I wanted to see if I could make any at-home, non-harmful changes that would help reduce even just a little bit of the redness and lumps in my skin, that I could then use as a starting point in order to help me work around, and found throughout the years these top seven tips are the ones you should at least practice and put into your daily routine as kind of a background solution to help you along the way. Let's see where you can begin... 

Remove Your Makeup The Minute You Don't Need It Anymore
I will always try to wear none to a little amount of makeup every single week. I find my skin loves me the most and benefits from it, when I don't wear any makeup and can allow my skin to breathe. Makeup is essentially something that can clog your pores in an instant, especially heavy coverage and matte finish products which create a thick layer on top of your skin to stop anything coming through. When you put this with oily skin that keeps trying to produce those oils that can be caused by dehydration, hormonal imbalance, poor diet for instance, it then makes your sebaceous glands work double time to produce more in order to keep the skin moisturised and waterproof to which the oils aim to do. Once both these components start fighting against each other, this is when you'll begin to notice spots appearing on your face, as your pores will begin to get so clogged that there isn't enough room for anything else and a spot will start to form. So, if you are into wearing heavy amounts of makeup or makeup with a heavy consistency or even for a long period of time, I would suggest the second you don't need to wear your makeup anymore to remove it. Letting your makeup sit on your skin for as long as possible, will increase your chances of spots developing and the sooner you can remove it and cleanse your skin, the less chance you are putting your skin at risk of developing spots, due to their being a reduction in your natural oils fighting against the beauty products you are putting on your face.

Tie Back Your Hair When You Go To Bed
This was one of the first things I put into practice many moons ago and found it was probably one of the biggest indicators to why my acne wasn't getting any better no matter what I tried. When you have oily skin, you'll also find that your hair can become increasingly oily a lot faster. Like mentioned previously, this is due to your oil glands trying to produce more oil to create that natural moisture within your skin, but in this case your hair to keep your hair healthy. Also, a change in your body temperature and doing daily activities can cause your skin to produce these oils through sweating. There are two types of sweat glands within your body; apocrine glands which are caused by emotions, and the eccrine glands which cool the skin. In the instance in which you sleep, you'll also find that sometimes you can wake up sweating, this is normally caused by your eccrine gland. When this gland kicks in, normally when your body temperature gets too high it will then cause you to sweat, which then will active your oils glands to produce oils in order to keep up with the moisture you are losing through sweating. Once the oils start running through your hair and skin, and your hair is pressed against your face whilst you sleep, this is then transferring more oil onto another section of your body and therefore causing an oil-build up within your pores. Therefore, it is recommended when you sleep to tie every inch of your hair back away from your face, not only to reduce the amount of sweating throughout the night especially if you have long hair, but also to limit the amount of natural oil build up which fills the pores and causes spots. 

7 Acne Reducing Tips When You Have Oily Skin

Frequently Wash Your Makeup Tools
Alongside ensuring you pick the right products for your skin, you also need to ensure that the tools you use alongside your makeup products are cleaned as frequently as possible. Makeup brushes and beauty sponges are known for being big breeding grounds for bacteria and other nastiness, and although cleaning your makeup tools won't rid them completely of all bacteria it will help reduce the amount by a lot. It is always recommended to wash your brushes at least once week, which I agree with, but for the likes of foundation, concealer and even eye brushes for that matter, I would recommend washing them the minute you've used them or before you next need them unless you have spare clean brushes to hand. This will not only help prevent bacteria from spreading but will also stop you from getting infections which could potentially irritate your skin and lead to acne. To see further evidence of bacteria growth on makeup tools, check out this article.

Wash Your Hair Every Other Day
Another indicator I soon found out was catering to my acne was the fact I would leave my hair long periods of time without washing it. This was mostly due to laziness, but who can really be bothered washing their hair every single day? I couldn't once over, but now I almost wash my hair every single day or every other day. For me, having oily skin means my hair gets oily very quickly. I can almost guarantee within 24 hours of washing it prior, it will be greasy and almost sticking to my face. I've changed products, tried going for long periods of time without washing it to try and get my hair use to it and found none of this worked. The only thing that does work for me is to have a schedule. A schedule to some is not always easy especially if you have a busy schedule yourself for the day, but having that specific time where you can put in your daily hair wash knowing it will last throughout the day will not only become one less stress on your shoulders, but you'll also find your skin will start to came down, due to the natural oils not building up within your pores. If you find yourself struggling with oily hair, check out this post I did a while ago where I share some tips for dealing with greasy hair.

Splash Your Face With Water When Shiny Rather Than Cleanse, Cleanse, Cleanse...
Having acne can make your skin go in different directions all the time. You may find yourself having a dry chin, an oily forehead, normal cheeks or vice versa. It's an endless battle of finding a balance with skincare and beauty products which aren't going to overload the skin but at the same time aid you with your issues. I know myself when it comes to trying out new products that my skin can sometimes go through an extra oily phase when it is trying to get use to a new ingredient or set of ingredients, and although it is easy enough to grab your cleanser and wash away the shine. Over cleansing can be quite bad for the skin. Instead, splash your face with water a few times and gently pat dry. If you find you're getting some slight tightness, take your moisturiser and dab it in the areas you need it the most and you're good to go before your next cleanse. It's quick, simple and good for the skin!

7 Acne Reducing Tips When You Have Oily Skin

Change Your Bed Sheets Regularly
You've tied your hair up and you've done your skincare routine. You now feel like you're onto a winner with battling against your spots and helping reduce your acne, but there is one thing between you and aiding your skin - your bed sheets. Just like everything else, your bed sheets also collect a lot of bacteria, dead skin cells, sweat, dirt, grease and anything that builds up on your skin throughout the night. This can then lead onto attracting a number of bugs such as dust mites which will also deposit their own dirt and excrement into your bed. Disgusted yet? I know I am. That is why it is recommended you wash your bed sheets at least once a week if you can, otherwise two at the most. I personally wash my bed sheets if and when I feel there is build up or normally around the week and half mark. I've noticed this has made a good difference in my skin and acne and personally, who doesn't love getting cosy and warm in fresh, clean bed sheets?!

Use Organic Products Unless Prescribed
When I first started using products to help with the healing process of my acne, I always noticed that my skin afterwards would sting, be very red and sore to touch. Nine times out of ten, most of these products had some harsh ingredient in them that were labelled to kill the bacteria within your pores and although this might have been the case, it seemed to have killed off everything good within my skin as well. My pores were getting more clogged because of the amount of natural oils being produced due to my skin becoming so dry, and this then led to my acne becoming inflamed and producing more. I also tried over the counter as well as prescribed products such as Acnecide which the side effects left my skin in a pretty bad way for around a week or so. You can read about my full experience here.  Until eventually I switched all acne targeting products for good ol' organic products that include ingredients such as beeswax which help relieve chapped skin, eucalyptus essential oil which helps with muscular pains and aches, glycerin which draws out atmospheric water onto the skin to aid hydration, hops extract to help tone the skin, cocoa butter to help moisturise the skin and many more amazing ingredients. 

What are some helpful tips you've found that work for you when reducing acne or spots?


Friday, 5 January 2018

Penny A Unwin: The Next Chapter

Penny A Unwin: The Next Chapter

Where do I even begin. 2017 for me I feel was much like everyone else's. There was ups, downs and sometimes turns you didn't even know existed. I unfortunately had the bad side to 2017, what with losing two grandparents in the space of 2 months so close to Christmas, as well as other little things. When 2018 came around I knew I wanted to make something of it. I am one of those people who always see's a new year as a fresh start. A fresh start to push forward and do right by the wrongs you did. I know one of the things I did in 2017 was neglect my blog. I posted here and there and sometimes not at all. I was trying to push content that I knew I didn't really like and therefore put me in a standstill of what do I want from my blog? That is why this year I am planning on making just a few - but rather large for me - changes. Let's see where 2018 takes us...

A New Direction
If you've been following or even reading my blog for a while now, then you will have noticed that the topic of my writing fell under the beauty, fashion and lifestyle category. After 2 years of blogging, it now being my third, I feel like I want to take a new route. I don't post any fashion-outfitty style posts just the occasional wishlist, and I mostly base my content on reviews in the beauty and skincare and sometimes haircare category.

So, after much thinking and trying to figure out what my niche is, I want to rebrand my blog to fall under the 'Acne and Lifestyle' category. I have chosen to go down this route, as I have personally dealt with having acne since I was around 10 years old. I am now 21 years old, soon to be 22 next month and feel with having all this experience and knowing what works and what doesn't, that I potentially want to put it out there to good use and allow anyone who has acne as well, know there is a space on the internet in which you can go and try and get some helpful tips and tricks. Acne is something which can't necessarily be dealt with in a couple of weeks, and I have found through friends and watching other people's videos, that even though some treatments offer you help, they can sometimes help for a small amount of time but then you may notice that your acne is coming back.

That is why this space isn't going to be about treating acne until it disappears, but more so a helpful guide in helping it calm down to a more manageable stage. So, if you have come across this blog or any future posts hoping to cure your acne within a few weeks to a month, then please click off. I am not going to be writing posts regarding acne in a way that will give you false hope, but more so in terms of helping you to come to terms with it. I personally have had a hard time dealing with acne, which I may talk about in a later date, but do know it isn't the end of the world.

The other category I want to focus my content on is lifestyle. I love reading personal posts, as well as sharing anything and everything that is in my life that I find some enthusiasm in. So any wishlists or beauty-related posts will now come under the reviews category, as I personally love trying out and testing new products and seeing how they work with my skin. Also, tying in with what I mentioned previously about having acne, I also want to help share products that may essentially work and not work to help any young or older readers in their purchasing stances. As for other posts to come to pennyaunwin, I am going to be writing more lifestyle based posts, so essentially more personal posts and maybe even the occasional where I've been style post which may or may sometimes include an outfit, I haven't quite yet figured this part out yet. If that is something you're interested in then make sure you look out for those posts.

Higher Quality Content
I have decided to up my content quality. For Christmas I asked for the Olympus Pen E-LP8, which let me tell you right now is such an amazing camera. It has everything you need as a beginner or even a professional, so if anyone wants a review on my thoughts even though there is many out there then let me know. A resolution I made for myself was to make this space a little bit more professional. I was originally using my iPhone 7 to take photos and even I know myself the quality wasn't great. Some turned out well, others not so well and it was always a bigger fight against the clock and daylight to get the right shots. I am now using the Olympus Pen E-LP8 with the standard kit lens and the blogger favourites lens; 45mm. They both work amazingly well especially for a camera noob like me, I am still slowly getting to grips with what works and wasn't doesn't. But I can tell you from here on out, expect a lot better quality content.

A Move In Platforms
As well as wanting to upgrade my photography and content, I am planning on changing platforms within the next month or so. With this will also come a new blog design (keep your eyes out for that). So, after a lot of research and looking into what each platform is going to offer me, I have decided to move from Blogger to Blogger has been amazing for me as a start-off, it has allowed me to understand what I want from my blog, let me dabble into HTML a little bit, as well as allowed me to try different blog designs to see what I liked and didn't like and so forth. Now I feel I am in a position where I want to take full control over my blog. With I am allowed to do this and feel with this new change, it will help depict how I want to put forth my content. And if you yourself are thinking about migrating over to a new platform, I found this and this post to be really helpful.

I can't wait to start a fresh new journey with my blog this year! 
Do let me know down below any posts you'd like to see for 2018!


Saturday, 23 December 2017

3 Festive Cranberry, Apple and Grape Cocktails

Finishing off the festive period and my three-part instalment, I am going to be sharing 3 festive cocktails, which are going to fit straight into the Christmas weekend ahead. Christmas for me is always about cranberries. It is just something about cranberries (and oranges!) that just make the festive period that little bit more Christmassy. That's why I wanted to incorporate them into my cocktail recipes this year, alongside some other festive tastes and favourites.
Harvest Mimosas
Preparation: 5-10 minutes        Cooking Time: 5-10 minutes       Serves: 1


2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup of cranberry juice
1/4 cup of sparkling apple juice
1 bottle presecco
1 apple - 1/2 diced and the other 1/2 sliced into half moons


1. Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a shallow plate.
2. Dip the rim of each glass in water, then dip into the cinnamon and sugar combination ensuring that the rim of each glass is coated.
3. Fill each chosen glass with 1/4 of cranberry juice.
4. Fill another 1/4 of the glass with apple juice.
5. Top each glass up with prosecco, adding a few cranberries and diced apple slices.
6. Finish by adding a slice of apple for garnish on the side of the glass.

Preparation: 10 minutes        Cooking Time: 10 minutes       Serves: 1


2 granny smith apples (chopped)
1 cup whole fresh cranberries
1 cup green grapes (halved)
1 cup pomegranate seeds (optional)
1 cup sparkling grape juice
1 bottle prosecco 


1. In a large pitcher or bowl, add the apples, cranberries, grapes and pomegranate seeds (if desired).
2. Pour over sparkling grape juice and champagne just before serving.

Cranberry Cocktail
Preparation: 10-15 minutes        Cooking Time: 1 Day and 10 minutes       Serves: 5+


1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 cup halved fresh cranberries
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
4 bottle sparkling prosecco or cava


1. In a small saucepan over a medium heat, combine the sugar and water stirring until the sugar dissolves.
2. Remove from heat, then add the cranberries and vanilla extract and stir gently. Refrigerate for at least 12 hours.

1. For the cocktail, add to each glass of choice 1 tbsp of the cranberry simple syrup that was refrigerated for 12 hours, plus 4 cranberries from the cranberry syrup.
2. Finish by topping each glass of choice with sparkling prosecco or cava.

What cocktails will you be trying this festive season?


Friday, 22 December 2017

2 Quick and Tasty Festive Drink Recipes

Carrying on from my previous instalment of my three part Christmas posts, today's post is going to be sharing two of my favourite hot festive drinks. As it is the festive season and this normally gives everyone a good reason to get merry, I thought it would be perfect time to share one of my favourite non-alcoholic hot festive drinks for those who don't like to drink, or if you have any little ones in the family, as well as an alcoholic hot festive drink for those who like to get merry or just to spruce things up a bit.

Cinnamon and Orange Hot Chocolate
Preparation: 5-10 minutes        Cooking Time: 5-10 minutes       Serves: 1


100g milk chocolate
400ml milk
100ml double cream
3 whole cinnamon sticks
1 orange
100ml water


1. Start by washing and peeling the orange.
2. Place the water in a saucepan and add the cinnamon sticks and the orange peel. 
3. Bring to a boil and then turn down the temperature, allowing to simmer for 4 minutes before leaving it aside.
4. Next, in another saucepan add the milk and cream and bring to a boil.
5. Once brought to a boil, add the cinnamon and orange infusion and stir gently. 
6. In a heatproof bowl, break the chocolate into pieces then using a sieve pour over the mixture in the previous step over the chocolate. 
7. Stir until the chocolate has melted and then pour into your glass or cup of choice and serve. 
8. Optional: Add cream and shave over some chocolate for an added touch.

Bailey's Irish Cream Hot Chocolate
Preparation: 5 minutes        Cooking Time: 10 minutes       Serves: 1


1 cup of milk
150g chopped chocolate
45ml original bailey's
Whipped cream, optional


1. Heat 1 cup of milk in a small saucepan on a low-medium heat.
2. Once the milk has heated through, take off the heat and begin slowly stirring in 150g of the chopped chocolate.
3. Once the chocolate has melted, combine it with 45ml of Original Bailey's Irish Cream (or more to your desired taste) then pour into your glass or cup of your choice.
4. As an additional last step, you can garnish with whipped cream and some chocolate shavings on top.

What are some of your favourite festive drinks this time of year?

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