Skinimalism - set to be a big trend this year and something I've been trying to incorporate into my routine for a few years now; cutting down the number of products I use and focussing on the basics and what I need. I thought I'd share with you everything you need to know about skinimalism and how to implement it into your daily routine. 

What is skinimalism? 

Skinimalism brings together skincare and makeup to promote more natural and simplistic beauty. From a streamlined skincare routine that focusses on the basics, to a minimalist makeup routine that gives you a natural glow in just a few simple steps. 

Skinimalism in 2021

Pinterest's 2021 Trend Report says that skinimalism is set to pick up this year at a time when more people are shopping consciously and sustainably. As the beauty industry has been making slow but positive progress away from unrealistic beauty standards, mixed with the last year spent working from home and embracing the natural Zoom look, it's given many people the confidence within their own skin, ditching the long skincare and makeup routines and focussing more on the simplistic looks.

We're also seeing some fantastic brands promoting minimal makeup and embracing the glowy-skin look that is set to carry in through this next year and, I hope, beyond that! Not only is it promoting more natural makeup, but it's also showing others that you don't need to spend hundreds on pounds on makeup with drawers full of products. Create your own capsule make up routine and you're set for the year! 

How to become a skinimalist

While before this year, I didn't know there was such a word as skinimalism, it basically describes exactly how I treat my own beauty routines and so I thought I'd share some ways you can incorporate skinimalism into your own routines. 


Focus on the basics and do it well! 

Cut out the BS - don't overcomplicate it and stick to the basics - makeup remover, cleanser, moisturiser etc. Find a skincare routine that covers the basic needs that your skin needs. Using loads of different products can actually cause you more damage than good so find what works for you and stick to it! 

It definitely takes some time to find the products that work for you but once you do, it's totally worth it! I always recommend to my friends to check out Hyram on YouTube - his skincare advice is top-notch and he's just as much about finding products that work for as I am. 

Streamline your steps to create a lasting routine

The more steps you add, the more likely you are to resent your routine. Simplify your steps as much as you feel possible. Cut out unnecessary treatments, know what works for you and soon you'll have a routine that not only works but is also quick for you to do every day! 

Protect your skin! 

Less about skinimalism and more just a general rule of thumb - makeup or no makeup, remember your SPF! The last step in your routine but a vital one to keep you protected for your day ahead. 


Declutter your stash

The step towards a more minimal makeup routine is saying goodbye to make up you haven't used in years. That lipstick you've had since you were 16, a green eyeshadow you bought for Halloween once and never used again. Be liberal - anything passed its use-by date or you've not used in 6 months, are you going to use it again? Start afresh with the products you use regularly and love. 

Crack down on your daily essentials

Having a set of daily makeup staples will save you so much time when you're getting ready. There's no routing through the depths of your drawers, you know where it is and what you'll use every day to make it quicker to grab in the morning. Pull together the daily essentials that create the perfect base for you with a few added extras if you fancy it. 

For me, it's concealer, eyebrow gel, a bit of blush, mascara and highlighter for the minimalist base. Check out my previous daily makeup post as well as other minimal makeup routines I've shared to find inspiration as to what to include. 

Embrace the glow! 

Whether it's a more dewy lightweight foundation, a liquid highlighter or bronzer, let your natural beauty shine with glowing products. For me, I don't even need setting powder anymore! With such a lightweight base, there's no need to add a powder to mattify and I'll have a healthy glow all day long. 

Shop small and sustainably

To make all this worth it, try and pick products that support smaller brands and that promote a natural make up look just like you want! Brands like Pacifica, Dead Sea Spa Magic, Q + A beauty and other cruelty-free brands are definitely work checking out and adding to your make up collection. 

What do you think about Skinimalism? Is it another trend or do you think it's here to stay? 
Thanks for reading, 
Sarah x 

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I've always love recommending books and you seem to like it when I do too! My most popular post of last year was my recommendations based on star signs. I was thinking of some more fun ways to share some book recommendations with you this year and I thought of pulling together some book recommendations for each enneagram type! 

The Enneagram is a model of the human psyche and the enneagram test is a series to questions to help understand the percentage of each of the 9 types you are. If you've taken the test (I used this one) and now fancy finding a book recommendation for your enneagram type, I've pulled together some suggestions for each type so take a read! 

Type 1 - The Reformer / The Perfectionist

If you are a high percentage of type 1, you're likely to be an idealist who acts purposefully and responsibly. Type 1's are also likely to be humanitarians - looking to help improve other's lives for the greater good, they're passionate for the cause, working behind the scenes to turn their vision into a reality.  

Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls

Read about people just like you in the collection of mini-biographies about some of the most inspiring women to walk the planet. Malala, Michelle Obama. This is a book full of Type 1 women. Such an empowering and inspirational read especially for young girls to see what they are capable of accomplishing! I think this is a book type 1's of all ages will appreciate celebrating the work of soo many others who strive for the same thing they want. 

Some other books you might like: I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai, A life of Our Plant by David Attenborough, THUG by Angie Thomas. 

Type 2 - The Helper / The Giver

Type 2's are caring, warm individuals who are generous and are great working as part of a team. Their gentle and approachable personality can also mean they want to make a good first impression and put others' needs before their own. Many type 2's struggle to find their own self-worth and individuality. 

Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender

I think Type 2's could relate in their own way to aspects of Felix-s story and empathise with events in this book. Felix Love is struggling to find his place - as a black, queen, transgender teen, he's struggling to truly understand himself and what he wants. This is such a lovely YA read that explores topics of self-love, acceptance and identity that I feel type 2's will enjoy and learn from. I go into more depth as to my thoughts of this book in my 5-star reads of 2020. Spoiler: I loved it. 

The Shelf by Helly Acton

When I was reading about type 2's, there was an interesting point about there being a lot of women who are in fact type 2's due to the way we've been brought up to follow societal ideas of what we have to b like. That's why I also want to recommend The Shelf which follows women who are placed in a Big-Brother-like TV show where they are playing to be crowned "The Keeper". This is a funny, feminist-rooted read that you'll enjoy while also questioning some of these deep-seated beliefs that we have grown to accept for years. 

Type 3 - The Achiever

Type 2's have a fully-booked diary. These driven individuals set high expectations for themselves in order to reach their goals. Smart, ambitious and typically well-dressed, they dedicate their time to improving themselves and their future. 

Little Black Book by Otegha Uwagba

This essential read acts as a toolkit for women in business. Whether you're starting out or you've been working or years, this book shows you how to become a self-made career boss. With contributions from inspiring women, this is a motivational and helpful girl boss guide that we all need! Not just for The Achievers to anyone looking to build up their own brand or navigate around workplace politics, this is a great book to have on hand. 

A few more suggestions: So You've Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson, The Great Gatsby by Scott Fitzgerald. 

Type 4 - The Individualist

Individualists stand out from others - whether it's their fashion choices, how they live their life or their interests, they love to discover more about themselves. They look to the past for inspiration for projects and express themselves through their work. On a base level, they might offer alternate opinions to the majority and their out of the box thinking is a true asset! 

Divergent by Veronica Roth

This classic YA pick that is on every young reader's bookshelf is a great pick for type 4s especially. In a world split into factions, you must choose on your 16th birthday where it is you sit in the society. For Tris, she doesn't feel like she fits in anywhere and after leaving behind her family she can't trust anyone to understand. Shocked by what she discovers in her new life, she has to make a decision - whether or not to trust the boy who threatens her and protects her. This really is a book about being an individualist and celebrating that at its core with a fun dystopian plot as well! 

Some more suggestions for type 4s: The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern, The Catcher in The Rye by J.D Salinger 

Type 5 - The Investigator

While they may appear withdrawn and absent-minded, type 5's are probably lost in their own thoughts. Their critical and analytical thinking is better than any other type with their curious minds pushing them to discover the mysteries of the world. They tend to find a topic of interest and want to learn more and more about this topic. 

Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

I think it's a tricky one to pick for type 5's because I'm sure they'd just want to read books on the topic they are interested in and this can vary massively so instead I thought I'd suggest this books which is both an interesting read for the curious type 5's but might help them even understand themselves how they think through problems and make decisions. 
Kahneman is a psychologist focussed on decision making and behavioural economics and this book explores his research around trusting your intuitions and thinking fast as well as how we can use thinking slowly to our benefit to make decisions more smartly. He shares how these two systems work separately as well as together. I think this is such an interesting concept that is extremely thought-provoking! 

More non-fiction picks for type 5s: Humankind by Rutger Bregman, Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker

Type 6 - The Loyalist / The Skeptic

Excellent team players with a close-knit group of friends surrounding them, type 6's look for security in those around them. The Loyalists value trust among most things which they build over time with others, which may lead them to seem anxious it start with which explains the alternate name The Skeptic. They always offer support and fit perfectly in many types of social circles. 

Am I Normal Yet? by Holly Bourne

This YA read follows Evie - she's just off her meds and starting a new college where this is a fresh start and a chance to be "normal" - she's going to parties and making friends. As she navigates these new friendships and potential relationships, she's struggling to tell her new friends Amber and Lottie the truth about herself. 

To me, Evie is a loyalist - a true friend who loves the security of her newfound social circle but the problems she's facing play on her mind; she doesn't want anything to sacrifice her new friendships and wonders whether it's best to just keep it to herself. This is the first book int eh The Spinster Club series and I loved this whole series as a teen - a wonderful friendship group from the girls' different perspectives. Worth the read! 

Type 7 - The Enthusiast

Always on the go, curious, expressive and optimistic, type 7's may have childlike energy to experience and explore. Their non-judgemental attitude and openness can feel like a breath of fresh air but with their constant stream of energy, they can become burnt out and look to different forms of escapism to try and maximise their own happiness. 

Breathless by Jennifer Niven

This is a pretty new release and this it fits here nicely. Claudia was supposed to be on a road trip with her best friend but after a shock announcement from her dad, instead, she ends up spending her summer on a remote island with her shaken up Mum, being completely cut off from the rest of the world. 

It's here she meets Jeremiah - free-spirited and mysterious, their chemistry is instant. I think type 7's will like Jeremiah and the change they see in Claudia throughout this book over the summer they spend together on the island. 

Honourable mentions: Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson, Just One Day by Gayle Forman

Type 8 - The Challenger

The fierce energy of type 8's makes for headstrong, competitive, independent characters who aren't afraid to break the status quo with their sharp minds. They naturally may take the lead and, they pride themselves on their own capabilities and self-sufficiency. they strive to make an impact and are highly ambitious which sometimes makes them intimidating

The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger

To me, this just screams Miranda Priestly - a high-profile and successful editor of Runway Magazine.  Andrea, a small-town girl fresh out of college, ends up working in the Runway office -  in the world of fashion that is something almost alien to her. Miranda is the boss that makes every run, hide or cry and Andrea soon realises that the job thousands of girls would want could just kill her - is it worth the sacrifices to stay in working for Miranda Priestly? 

Type 9 - The Peacemaker

Calm and collected, type 9's bring a calming presence that makes them great counsellors and mediator and sometimes look to help others resolve their own issues. They are social chameleons - they get along with anyone and are humble with their accomplishments. Peacemakers seek peaceful environments and tend to have a simple lifestyle. 

The Switch by Beth O'Leary

The switch is such a lovely, light-hearted read for peacemakers to enjoy. Leena is given a two-month sabbatical after a presentation at work doesn't go to plan. She escapes to her grandmother Eileen's house in a quiet village in rural Yorkshire. Eileen as just turn 80 and is looking for a second chance at love but, there's no luck in her quiet neighbourhood. It's here that Leena and Eileen decide on a two-month house swap - Eileen moves into Leena's flat in London and Leena moves out to her grandmother's to give her the break she needs. This is such a lovely story that I think type 9's will feel right at home reading it. 

What is your enneagram type? What book did you like the sound of?
Thanks for reading, 
Sarah x 

Can you believe we're already a week into 2021? While we're all rushing to forget about last year, I thought I'd take one last look back at some of my favourite products and new discoveries of 2020. Instead of liting off loads of favourites like I usually do, I thought I'd keep this short and sweet with 1 favourite from each category (with some honourable mentions of course!) to give you my ultimate top 5 favourites of 2020! 

Book Pick: My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell

This was probably the hardest category to narrow down as I've read some fantastic books this year. I'd definitely suggest you check out my post where I share my thoughts all my 2020 5 star reads for some more recommendations. 

When I asked my friend for some help deciding, she said "which are you most likely to recommend to someone else?" and I think it would have to be My Dark Vanessa. While it definitely comes with trigger warnings, it's such a thought-provoking read that is so well-written I can't believe it's a debut novel! It looks at the psychological impact of the relationship young girl Vanessa has with her English teacher and the effect this has on her both in the moment as a naive student and years after as she's navigating through adult life. I highly recommend picking it up if you haven't before! 

Honourable mentions: Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender, Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

TV pick: The Queen's Gambit

I feel I consumed so much TV this year that I can't remember half of what I watched but the Queen's Gambit is definitely one I do remember. I absolutely loved it and was so invested in the storyline. While you can say it's a show about Chess, it doesn't feel like just that. It shows chess as a real sport that requires real skill and is so tense to watch! It had such a great cast and I loved how everything was filmed from start to end. There's no doubt this was a top pick of 2020! 

Honourable mentions: Normal People, Bridgerton, His Dark Materials. 

Beauty Pick: Revolution Conceal & Define Concealer

The year that I wore the least make up I have in years, I discovered some great cruelty-free brands, finally got my hands on more Glossier products which I love, I still can't but go back to my trust Revolution Concealer. I'd wear this every day going in the office or out and about along with my other makeup and then when working from home it was perfect if I needed a little coverage. 

It's such a great all-round concealer that I can't help but mention again. For more beauty favourites from this year, check out my glossier review as well as past everyday makeup routines

Music Pick: The Band Camino

While they might not have topped my Spotify Wrapped artists of the year, they had a great presence across all my playlists last year. They quickly became a regular feat. on my working playlists and even more when I started working from home. There's not a mood where there isn't a The Band Camino song that fits perfectly. They have such a great sound that I'm still loving in 2021 and I can't wait to hear any new tracks they release. 

Honourable mentions: Dermot Kennedy, Halsey, Stormzy, LAUV, Sam Fender

Fashion Pick: Monki High Relaxed Jeans

This year, I focussed a lot on reducing the number of new pieces I bought and focussed on giving my current wardrobe some love. With this, I discovered some great staples which includes my love for the Monki high relaxed jeans. I've shared my love for these a few times including in my wardrobe staples post. They are such a lovely fit for short-legged, thick-thighed me. They are such great quality and they go with almost everything in my wardrobe. 

Honourable mentions: Veja Trainers, Vegan Leather Dr Martens. 

What were your favourite things of 2020? Any new discoveries? 
Thanks for reading, 
Sarah x

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There are so many amazing books released every year and, of course, 2021 is no different. I had a great reading year in 2020 and one thing I want to do to improve this year is to read more new releases and specifically make more of an effort to pre-order books. Why? It actually helps authors out a lot, especially new authors release debut novels; it's just another way of supporting your favourite authors as well as new and upcoming writers. It also is a great surprise when you forget you ordered it in the first place (I do this all too often!). So, today I thought I'd share just a few of the exciting releases I already have on my TBR for 2021 that you might want to pre-order too! 

Where available, I've included links to pre-order the books from - a great website that gives a percentage of the money from your purchase to an independent book shop of your choice. With the high street struggling now more than even, Hive is one way you can keep your book shops open, ready for your return! 

Luster by Raven Leilani

This debut novel from Leilani is our at the end of January so there's still time to pre-order it and start your reading year off right away! This story follows Edie - working in a dead-end job, making the wrong decisions but the only thing always right in her life is her love for painting. She meets Eric - archivist, suburban husband and father to his adopted black daughter who has no one to show her how to do her hair. Edie ends up intertwined in Eric's home and family in this story exploring sexual and racial politics. 

Such a Fun Age was a book I loved last year and I think this may follow similar ideas to be an honest and eye-opening read. It's also been likened to Normal People so I'm really intrigued to see how it is!

My Year Abroad by Chang-Rae Lee

If you're lucky enough to be in the US, you should already be able to get your hands on this one but for the UK folks, don't worry it's only 2 months away from being released! It may not be a debut novel but it's definitely worth pre-ordering from the synopsis alone. 

Tiller is an American college student who has no real passion while Pong-Lou is a creative entrepreneur who sees some potential in Tiller. Pong takes Tiller on a trip across Asia where Tiller somehow becomes a child protege as he experiences some truly eye-opening events that change how he views the world around him. 

This plot really intrigues me and the vagueness of the blurb only wants to make me read it more. I can't wait to give this a read! 

Love is a Revolution by Renee Watson

This is probably one of my most anticipated of 2021. While I've not read any of Renee Watson's earlier books, I love the sound of this YA plot that reminds me both of the activism found in T.H.U.G and also the exploration of self-love and relationships in Get a Life, Chloe Brown. 

When Nala says yes to an invitation to an open-mic night, she did not expect to fall instantly in love with the MC, Tye. While Nala would prefer to spend her summer curled up watching movies, Tye is an activist spending his time putting on community events. To impress Tye, Nala drops in a few lies and here and there which soon become harder to keep up with as they become close. 

Any YA book about self-love is a hit for me, I can't wait to read this when it's released in February. 

All Girls by Emily Layden

At an all-girls school in Connecticut, the students are smart and driven, progressive thinkers and feminist intellects. When they arrive back at school for the fall term, they are met with the news of a claim of sexual assault against an unnamed teacher. As weeks pass and over the next year at school, we see the stories of a diverse range of interconnected characters as they work through this strange year of school, questions if the staff really have their best interests at heart, while also navigating the life of a normal teenager growing up. 

This is another that I just have to read - the plot seems poignant and a necessary read. After reading My Dark Vanessa last year, I think this a great follow-on book to explore a similar topic more through reading this year. 

Happily Ever Afters by Elise Bryant

When I saw this likened To All The Boys I Loved Before and for fans of the amazing romance author Jasmine Guillory, I knew this debut novel ould have to be added to my 2021 TBR. 

Tessa hates that she only reads love stories with characters like her in her own writing that she shares with her number 1 fan and best friend, Caroline. When Tessa is accepted into a creative writing workshop she's struck with a case of writer's block. Caroline suggests remedying this by finding a new source of inspiration by having her own real-life love story. Cue Nico, the perfect brooding artist to play the Prince Charming in her next story. But, is this really the love she wants? 

While this one is only just being released in the US (January 5th!), I'll be waiting eagerly to get my hands on a copy on an ebook in the UK soon! 

The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris

This is said to be "Get Out meets Devil Wears Prada" - I'm Sold! This is the debut novel from Zakiya and the synopsis sounds amazing. 

Working for a publishing house, Nella is an editorial assistant who is tired of her micro-aggressive colleagues and being the only black employee at the company. When Hazel joins the team, she is delighted to have her in the company and her cubical buddy. But, just as they are getting to know each other, tensions start to rise between them when Hazel becomes the office darling and Nella public enemy number 1. After Nella receives a note telling her to quit, she becomes obsessed with finding answers and realises that more than just her job is on the line. 

This is labelled a thriller with sly social commentary that I can't wait to pick up in June when it's released. 

Whether it's a new release or a book that's been on your TBR for a while, what book are you most excited to pick up in 2021? 

Thanks for reading, 
Sarah x