Rachel Ellen

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

New Years Resolution

Today's post will be about my new years resolution, because what else do you blog about on the 2nd January (apart from the besties birthday - happy birthday Chloe!)

This year I'm going for an odd one, but I think an important one which I hope everyone will make some kind of effort to join in with.

This year I want to make less rubbish. I always notice over the Christmas period how much more waste I produce, wrapping paper, packaging, food wrappers, food waste etc. and I think it's time to try and cut down. 

It's easy to be wasteful, but I think with a few decisions I can start to minimise it. Here are a few things I will start doing and a few things I already do:

Food packaging is a big one for me, for example Mr Kiplings slices that are individually wrapped produce so much unnecessary waste. I wouldn't buy them as I think you can easily buy something else that has a lot less packaging. But, I also think I need to do this with a lot more food and pay attention to how things are wrapped. Unfortunately/fortunately this might mean buying more of some things (share bags instead of multi-packs - a girl's got to eat)

I already try and use as few plastic bags as possible and this is something I will continue with, even little things like not using a little plastic bag for loose fruit in the supermarket if it's not needed.

I need to invest in a water bottle and a hot drinks flask rather than buying throw away ones (though I do recycle my plastic bottles)

Say no to receipts whenever I can, only tiny bits of rubbish but it cuts down the amount of rubbish, and how thick my purse is. 

I'm going to try and use less make-up remover wipes and cotton pads, though I haven't figured out the best way to replace those yet - any advice on how to use toner without a cotton pad is greatly appreciated.

Don't waste food, make sure not to make way more than I can eat, and don't let things go off in the fridge.

I think, more than anything I just want to have more of an awareness of my impact on the world. If everyone had a bit more thought about what waste they produce, we could cut down massively.

Do you fancy joining me on this new years resolution? Any suggestions on other ways I can cut down?

Thanks for reading,

Rachel xx

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Does cocoa butter cause spots?

Cocoa butter is a vegetable fat extracted from the cocoa bean. It's used in chocolate and in some toiletries. It has a long storage life, and has moisturising properties that are often recommended for prevention of dry and itchy skin.

For many people, cocoa butter is an excellent moisturiser. It is thought to have been used for improving skin tone as far back as 1000 BC. But is it good to use on acne prone skin?

Moisturising is important for all skin types (even oily skin) and can help clear acne, but it's important to get the right product. 

Though cocoa butter has excellent moisturising properties, it also has pore clogging properties. 

The Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology analyses different natural oils and have assembled a rating system to rate how much they clog pores:

"The Journal has assembled a massive list of the comedogenic properties of skincare oils. Comedogenicity is a measure of a substance’s ability to clog skin pores, and the Journal has invented 6 ratings. 0 = will not clog your pores. 1 = low chance of clogging your pores. 2= moderately low chance, 3 = moderate chance, 4 = fairly high chance of pores being blocked, and 5 = a very high chance." (source)
Cocoa butter scores 4 on the comedogencity scale (the same score as coconut oil).

For some people, cocoa butter based skin products will be a great solution to dry skin. But for those who regularly suffer from acne, it's probably best to stay away and opt for something that would rank a lower score on the comedogenicity scale.

Do you know any moisturisers that are good for acne prone skin?

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Would you watch an abusers film?

These past few months have seen many victims of sexual abuse/assault speak out against their abusers. The main focus of this has been throughout Hollywood.

On one side, this is such a positive push towards work places free of sexual abuse for women and men. And people feel as though they are finally going to be taken seriously when speaking out against their abusers.

On the other side, we're actually seeing the size of the problem, that we somehow already knew and were oblivious to at the same time.

With the amount of Hollywood stars being accused, I wonder what happens with the films/programmes they star in/direct etc?

Of course, I don't want to support abusers, I don't want to give them the money or views.

But, I begin to wonder, if we were to boycott all programmes starring abusers, how many other people suffer? By that, I don't mean the high earners at the top, I mean the smaller earners and workers. How many people will continue to suffer in other ways because of the actions of abusers?

I know this is a strange thing to think about, and this isn't meant to take away from the real issue of the abuse.

It needs to be understood that sexual abuse/assault is not just a mindless act, and it doesn't just have one consequence.

Will you continue to watch the programmes/films that accused abusers are a part of? Gossip Girl? House of Cards? Any film directed by Harvey Weinstein? 

Thanks for reading,

Rachel xx

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Keep talking, keep sharing, keep learning

I've been thinking about how we, as a generation, are so involved with the world. And I love it.

'Millennials' get a lot of stick, "gen z" too. Basically just young people.

But this year, there was a huge youth turn out in the general election. Young people are interested in politics, and what is going on in the country and the world. 

We use this crazy thing called the internet and we find like minded people and talk about what we are passionate about. And we find opposite kinds of people and broaden our knowledge and opinions.

We also care what is happening in other countries. 

And yes, young people get things wrong sometimes, but we're learning and we want to learn. 

We want to talk about things, and open discussions, and change the world we live in.

I saw a tweet earlier today talking about the LA shooting and how we shouldn't stop talking about it because gun control still needs addressing. We don't let important things disappear because they're not easy to talk about.

And I am seeing constant #metoo updates, though each one upsets me that another girl/woman had to go through something like that, I also love that we are talking about issues. Maybe one day, because of this it won't be covered up. Maybe one day, sexual assault and abuse won't be hidden in fear. Women (and men) might actually be able to get a job, work, and have no other complications.

We are the generation that can't be told that we don't understand. We have access to the same things as adults, we can easily look into history at the click of a button. We can't be pushed out of the discussion and we have to be thought about. Labour focusing so much of their campaigns towards the youth proved that we have a massive impact.

So, millennials, keep talking, keep sharing, keep learning. We're going to make a difference.

Thanks for reading,

Rachel xx

Monday, 9 October 2017

Why I love reading

Since finishing my degree, I've not done a whole lot. But one thing I have tried to do more is read and I just wanted to blog about why I love it so much.

While at uni, doing my undergraduate degree I never really read any books because I always had reading to do for my lectures. The thought: "If you have time to read for fun, you should be reading your uni stuff" and, a large majority of the time I ended up reading neither, isn't that just how life goes?

Then during my post grad degree, I didn't have a whole lot of time to read, and because I studied magazine journalism I felt I should put a lot more time into reading magazines (somehow managed to watch through every episode of How I Met Your Mother) 

But anyway, the point of this post wasn't to talk about my procrastination of everything.

I really love reading. I love the time you get to switch off from the world, I love how for those few hours you are somewhere else.

I love when you speak to someone about the same book, and there's differences of opinion in messages, in appearances, because words allow you to bring your own thought.

My ultimate favourite thing though, is when you remember any book you've read, you don't remember being sat looking at words on a page. You remember scenes, you remember images, characters, locations, bright and vibrant as though you actually experienced them.

Credit to the authors for creating those scenes. But also, credit to our imagination, you imagined something that well, that you forgot what was really happening. It sounds way more hardcore than just "reading"

Reading is really special, and a hobby you can enjoy all by yourself. When I put it on my CV, it's because I really do love to read.

Let me know any recommendations of books I should read.

Thanks for reading,

Rachel xx

Monday, 18 September 2017


Well here it is, the long neglected blog.

I finished my masters degree last week in a blaze of couch surfing, terrible diet choices and even worse clothing choices. But what a year it's been.

I won't bore you with me gushing again about how great it was, but as I've said on Twitter, seeing the department talk about new starters kinda hurts.

But now, after a week of not really doing anything, it's time to look for jobs.

I am officially unemployed, and that's the first time in a while. It didn't really click with me until I was watching X Factor, and I realised if I went on to sing, it would look something like this:

(you may have noticed I don't have photoshop on my own laptop)

I feel like I've totally missed summer as my degree ran all the way through, but Autumn is everyone's favourite time of year, isn't it? I actually wore a scarf this morning which was really exciting.

Well right until I realised that it's cold now and I won't be warm again until May.

Anyway, this was only a quick check in and hopefully this is the start of many more blog posts now that I have a little bit of free time.
Thanks for reading,

Rachel xx

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Placement Haul
As you'll see in my last post (here if you missed it) I was at the Good Housekeeping Institute last week for a placement, and what an exciting week it was.

I helped to prep samples that were being sent out to testers, I helped to find future products to test, I helped to taste food ( i know, what a hard week), I attended three PR events and spent my lunch times hanging around Soho.

I just wanted to put together a list of all the freebies I got through the week, can I use the hashtag #blessed yet? (the answer is no)

On the first day we were preparing brow products, and the ladies I was working with let me take home a few of the spares they had, that B. brow cream is absolutely life changing in the brow department, I am in love with it. On the second day, the lady in charge of me had a few spare Palmer's products (as you do) and let me have them, they are such nice products and feel lovely on my skin!

At the end of the third day I was asked if I wanted to accompany one of the girls to a press event for Mary Kay, which of course I did! I've never been to a press event before and it was really exciting. They had rose wine slushies, somebody doing nails, somebody else creating ombre lips, and the most gorgeous set up!

They were very kindly giving out goody bags on the way out, which contained two of their new gel semi-shine lipsticks, a felt tip eyeliner, a body lotion, fragrance mist and shower gel.

On day four I went to two press events, the first had a range of independent companies. One of which was Chocolate and Love who gave us a few bars of chocolate to try (which obviously I ate and forgot to take a picture first). Another was The Handmade Soap Company, they gave us two hand creams each to try out, and they smell incredible!

After that we headed over to the Primark Home press event ( I know, I was SO excited). I got to see all their Christmas stuff, a massive Harry Potter selection and a few beauty bits.

I really can't wait for their Christmas clothes, there are these woolly dresses which I cannot wait to arrive in stores. They didn't have a good bag to give us, but gave us both a little envelope. When we opened it we found it had a £50 Primark gift card!!! I can't even tell you the excited noise I made, I was SO excited! Can I just be a professional PR event attender please?

On the final day, I had no press events to attend, and no spare products, but at the end of the day they gave me a goody bag of products to say thank you for the week.

This has ended up being a long post of bragging about all the things I got, but honestly I had such a great week, I met up with a few friends through the week, I ate amazing food and had this great experience.

Thanks for reading,

Rachel xx