Shot of Beauty


Introducing the new power tool for your skin care kit: Medik8 Rechargeable Vitamin C Serum
February 16, 2013, 6:59 pm
Filed under: Face, Science of beauty, Skin care | Tags: , , ,

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Beauty bloggers read up on ‘groundbreaking’ beauty products pretty much every day, but it’s not every day we find something that is actually new and innovative. However, today, at Cosmetic News Expo, I was genuinely thrilled to discover CE-Thione – Medik8’s new water-based, oil-free, potent rechargeable 15% vitamin C serum.

And when I say rechargeable, I mean rechargeable. The way CE-Thione is formulated ensures that every drop of vitamin c provides equal freshness and impact, which is truly groundbreaking given that existing vitamin C products degrade pretty quickly if they haven’t been used in a certain period of time.

The main benefits of using CE-Thione include daily antioxidant protection through the use of three powerful antioxidants (vitamin C, vitamin E & L-Glutathione) and prevention of skin ageing. However, the biggest plus point for me in a practical sense is that, unlike other products of this nature that leave the skin sticky post application, Medik8’s formula glides on like a hydrator, which I can verify as I tested it today and was really pleased! For me, this aspect of the product really distinguished Medik8’s topical vitamin C from any other.

I will definitely be buying this product, but will you? Have a look online at the product information here and let me know your thoughts below! xxx



A Beauty Expert’s Guide To Healthy Skin: Five Minutes With Esther Fieldgrass
February 7, 2013, 4:44 pm
Filed under: Face, Skin care | Tags: , , , ,

Esther Fieldgrass - Medium Res

Within minutes of meeting beauty expert and EF Medispa Owner Esther Fieldgrass, she knew what I had to do to transform my skin. And with 40 years of experience as an industry insider, I should think so too!

It all started at a chic restaurant in St John’s Wood, where Skinceuticals was holding its launch event for the Balancing Micropeel. With a glass of orange juice in one hand and a notebook in the other, I spoke with Esther about her favourite treatments and what she loved most about the beauty industry. But then I was faced with the big, dreaded question: ‘What do you with your skin?’ If she had asked me 6-8 months ago, she would have looked at me in horror; however, luckily, I no longer use face wipes (sorry Esther!) and have been converted to the wonderful science-based skin care of Skinceuticals. I replied: ‘I have quite oily skin, and I cleanse, tone and moisturise with the Retexturising Activator.’ It was at that point that I knew there was something else on her mind – looking after my inner wellbeing (diet, hydration and stress management) should be a higher priority than it is right now. And that is the real key to having and maintaining healthy, glowing skin.

I just had to share Esther’s advice with you as I found it so interesting and helpful, and I hadn’t thought about the points she made in any great depth in the past. If you too have oily skin, I would love to know what you think of the top tips below and whether you would like to make any changes for not only your skin, but also your general health.

Top Tip 1. Go On An Alkaline Diet
‘You need to go on an alkaline diet’ were the first words of wisdom I heard from Esther, which was quite amusing at the time considering we were standing next to a table full of acidic foods and a glass full of fresh orange juice. To clear up any blemishes or oiliness, Esther told me it is best to avoid drinking coffee (weak tea, if desperate) and eating too many dairy-based products, and start drinking a lot more water to keep my skin hydrated. The acidic content of my food is definitely not something I had thought of before talking to Esther – I do drink a lot of tea during the day and do like cheese quite a lot, but I never considered how the acidic content of what I eat and drink could affect the health and appearance of my skin.

Top Tip 2. Don’t Shy Away From Oil-Based Skin Care
One thing I was dying to speak to Esther about was skin hydration and what products I should use to keep my skin under control. I told her how apprehensive I was when it came to facial oils and oil-based skin care, as I was worried it was going to make my skin worse and increase the likelihood and severity of my breakouts. I was right to be concerned; according to Esther, your skin needs to be constantly hydrated, otherwise more oil will be produced, making the condition of the skin a lot worse. She also said that the use of some toners can strip the skin of its oils, making the skin feel dry and therefore producing even more oil, exacerbating the problem. So, the takeaway message here was to keep the skin very cleansed and clean, and use hydrating serums as opposed to moisturisers and oily creams. SkinCeuticals do a B5 serum for rehydrating that she particularly recommends, as well as the Retexturising Activator which is great for oily skin. But, most importantly, water intake needs to be steady and often.

Top Tip 3: Don’t Overdo It With Topical Vitamin C
Vitamin C as a topical formulation is one of Esther’s favourite skin care products. When looking at my skin, she advised me to just dab it on once a day (every morning) and not to use too much on every application, as the skin builds up a reservoir of vitamin c and so does not need to be topped up as much as you would think. I never knew this before and found it so interesting, especially as so many skin care products include vitamin c as a staple ingredient these days.

Top Tip 4: It’s All About Maintenance
To achieve and maintain healthy skin, one treatment will never do the trick. Just as life goes on, skin care goes on. So, to look after your skin well, you need to attack all bases, including eliminating bodily toxins and using high-quality skin care to cleanse and hydrate the skin. Use a broad-spectrum SPF every day, no matter what the weather is like outside. Come rain or shine, every season is sun protection season, and Esther couldn’t have stressed that point more.

Top Tip 5: Preparation Is Key
The skin is the largest organ, and so it must be treated well. Before having any chemical peels, the skin must be prepared for at least 2 weeks to take on the power of the formulation, and should also be hydrated. If the skin isn’t prepared thoroughly, the peel won’t work, will be uncomfortable and may dry out the skin. It’s not about what you do at your appointments – it’s about what you do between them that really counts. Never pay a lot of money for a treatment without knowing what state your skin should be in before it takes place. You want to see results to justify the cost.



Five questions to ask yourself before investing in skin care products
January 30, 2013, 3:09 pm
Filed under: Face, Skin care | Tags: ,

Out of everyone I know, I am the first person to admit I find it hard to commit to beauty products. Like many beauty lovers, all it takes is a trip out to Debenhams or a browse of the blogs to convince me there are better products out there than what I have. Having said that, from listening to experts and seeing my bank balance every month, I have decided to change my ways when it comes to skin care.

From now on, I plan to stick with brands backed by science and robust results. You can do it too; all you have to do is ask yourselves the following five questions before you buy a new cleanser, toner, moisturiser, exfoliator or serum.

Can you afford to buy the products more than once?
After reading the latest glossy consumer mag, you might find yourself completely bowled over by the latest cleanser on the market, as it promises to deliver better results than anything else on the shelves. Because the company behind the product claims using the regimen will reduce fine lines by 70% and enhance hydration and elasticity by 80%, you might not mind paying above the average price for it. However, as tempting as it may be to indulge in an on-trend cult beauty range that promises the world, and may well be able to deliver it for some, you will never see the full impact of the product unless you use it for at least a few weeks, and in some cases a few months. Ask yourself this: can you really afford to invest in the products more than once? If the range costs £80 but your whole beauty budget is £100, you might not be able to keep paying for it on a monthly basis, meaning you won’t experience the full potential of what your first purchase began to offer. One to bear in mind for those who use high-end products.

Should you focus more of your attention on lifestyle factors first?
Why spend so much money on a high-tech skin care range when you haven’t tried the basics first? First of all, for those of you who have oily skin, experts state that pores become larger and more visible when your skin is dehydrated, meaning you need more water. Drink a few more glasses a day for a while and see if you notice a change before spending big money on gizmos and goodies. Second, nutrition plays a huge role in skin health, so you need to make sure your diet includes all the right vitamins and proteins to maintain skin tone and elasticity. Finally, are you getting enough hours in the land of nod? It’s called beauty sleep for a reason – your skin will need as much time as possible to repair itself.  

Is it made for your skin type?
Although your favourite brand has launched a new cleanser, toner and moisturiser, the range has a strong fragrance and you have sensitive skin. If you know the product isn’t right for your skin type, you will be throwing your money down the drain if you buy it. Nowadays pretty much every skin care product is made with certain characteristics in mind, whether it be oil-free, vegan, free of parabens, moisturising or hydrating. If in doubt, do a bit more research before making an investment or try to grab a sample before paying the full whack.

What evidence is there to prove it works?
Every skin care product makes bold claims, but not all companies will be able to offer consumers evidence to validate them. Almost every serum or moisturiser will claim that it reduces the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, and the majority of cleansers will state they prevent breakouts and calm the complexion, but how can consumers really tell which range is worth investing in? A quick visit to the company’s website should tell you a lot about the products and their development. For example, Clarins has a dedicated section to research and development, as does L’Oreal.

Is it a fad, or is it fab?
The weekly go-to site for beauty addicts might tell you that the new amazing day cream from Nivea with snake skin and sand is the next big thing to hit the industry, but how much do we really know about these ingredients? Without seeing proof of the product working, maybe it would be best to stick to ingredients such as peptides and hydroxy acids, which have been proven to work by several manufacturers. Fads don’t last long; you don’t want to spend all your money on the next best thing since sliced bread if the most perfect product has been under your nose all along.



New beauty buy at Feel Unique
January 29, 2013, 4:56 pm
Filed under: Skin care | Tags: , , ,
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New at Feel Unique – Deep Steep’s Grapefruit-Bergamot Hand Scrub

After a quick browse on Feel Unique this afternoon, I came across Deep Steep’s new Grapefruit-Bergamot Hand Scrub (£5.99 for 59ml). I just love the feel of my hands once they have been exfoliated, and the addition of a fresh, fruity fragrance would be the cherry on top of the skin care cake.

Even better, it contains dead sea salts, exotic oils and shea butter.

Even even better, it’s paraben-free.

I want it now!



Review: Guerlain Super Aqua-Serum
January 29, 2013, 2:36 pm
Filed under: Face, Skin care | Tags: , , ,

Forget the superwoman pill – why not opt for something that actually does what it says on the tin?

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Need to boost your skin’s hydration? Look no further

I must confess, I only stumbled upon this product by chance during my make-up consultation at the Guerlain counter. I was pleasantly surprised when the advisor prepped my skin with Super Aqua-Serum and Happylogy Day Cream, leaving me with a clean, soft and silky canvas to work with.

My first impression of the Super Aqua-Serum was that it was very hydrating and light to the touch. In terms of appearance, the serum is white and creamy, with a slight shimmer to it. The packaging is midnight blue with hints of gold, which I liked a lot.

As with any high-end skin product, you only need to use a small amount per application (which is a comforting thought given that it costs £65.50 for 30ml and a staggering £90 for 50ml). However, a good thing to know about these products is that they only do their magic when applied with light fingertip strokes; this is because it needs to be buffed into the skin gradually, which I hadn’t thought of before.

Although the serum did smell amazing, those with sensitive skin might see the added fragrance as a downfall, but as a high-quality skin care formulation, I would definitely recommend it. I found that it was easily absorbed and didn’t leave a greasy finish on the skin.

Super Aqua-Serum does have anti-ageing properties, I was told this particular product was good for skin just starting to show signs of ageing, and so it would be good for my skin to delay any further fine lines and promote ‘anti-wrinkle hydration’. If I was to buy this product, I would definitely want it for the hydrating properties, and not so much the anti-ageing benefits, but every little helps.

Have you tried any skin care from Guerlain? Let me know what you think below!



New in from Selfridges, John Lewis and House of Fraser
January 28, 2013, 5:25 pm
Filed under: Accessories, Bath and body, Face, Lips, Make-up, Nails, Perfume, Skin care | Tags: , , , , , , ,

It’s about time I had a look at the new offerings from some of my favourite department stores for beauty – Selfridges, John Lewis and House of Fraser. As usual, I wasn’t disappointed with what I found, especially when I realised Selfridges has some new exclusive additions to offer!

The most interesting exclusive was Rodial’s Bee Venom Moisturiser (£150 for 50ml). The first thing that came to mind was the price, as it is certainly way over what I would usually pay for a moisturiser, but I think this is more of a high-end anti-ageing skin care product, and so the cost could be justified in that respect. I love the bright yellow packaging and that the cream is infused with hyaluronic acid. Having said that, there are probably better products on the market for less, so it would be interesting to see how this one compares with the industry’s current ones to beat.

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The only thing related to bees that I would come close to!

Next on the list at Selfridges are the bold and beautiful new nail polishes from Bobbi Brown in Valentine Red and Valentine Pink. Both cost £11 and are completely gorgeous. Bobbi Brown has managed to get just the right tone of each colour for these beauties.

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Valentine’s day date no.1

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Valentine’s day date no.2

The final must-have product from Selfridges is the Dior Vernis nail polish in Tutu (£18 for 10ml). This shade is so cute and would be perfect in Spring. What I love about this shade is that it could be worn day and night and still look amazing with different outfits. A chic twist on the nude trend.

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SO god damn cute

At John Lewis, there is a new Philosophy Lip Shine in Cinammon Buns (£10 for 15ml). Anyone who loves cinammon swirls will be on this straight away, sticky fingers and all! I just love the smell and taste of cinammon and would love to try this. Plus the shade is great for a barely-there shimmer in the daytime. I love it.

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I’m licking my lips already!

How cute is this Catseye (£12.50, small; £17.50, larger size) make-up bag? It’s girly, I’ll give you that, but I think it’s adorable. Perfect for day-to-day storage and a weekend away.   

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One for the girly girls

Finally, at House of Fraser, I will start with this SUPER cute new facial cleansing oil from Shu Uemera (£56.50 for 450ml). It looks divine and I love the colours this brand uses on all its products. This one is a limited edition product and was designed by the company’s artists. A little pricey, but I’m not put off at all by that, as you get a lot of product for your money.

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Round trip to Japan, anyone?

Second on my wish list from House of Fraser is Molton Brown’s Rok Mint Antibacterial Handwash (£16), which sounds tres tres fresh. Infused with basil, blackcurrant and mint, this one looks to be a real treat.

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Blackcurrant, basil and mint make this handwash amazingly fresh and revitalising

Finally from House of Fraser is this Givenchy Vernis Please! Nail Polish in Private Grey (£13). I surprised myself with this one big time, as I would usually go for bright and bold colours, but this one was so smooth and sophisticated. Mocha to go, anyone?

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Mocha latte miracle

Have you bought anything lately from these stores? Let me know below!



GLOSSYBOX January: detox delights
January 16, 2013, 10:51 am
Filed under: Skin care | Tags: , , , , ,
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The ultimate mid-week treat for skin that needs a bit more zing

Nothing makes me happier than receiving my monthly GLOSSYBOX, and this month’s offering certainly didn’t disappoint. First on my list of things to try was RENU Professional Skincare’s Flash Relax Mask, which admittedly is for mature skin, but this didn’t stop me. I love a good face mask; although they can sometimes dry out my combination skin, it’s the closest I can get to The Sanctuary without spending more than a few bob, and if I use them sparingly I always feel refreshed.

The back of the packaging said that the mask needed to be applied on to clean skin, so I used my daily cleanser (Skinceuticals Simply Clean) in the shower before gently massaging the light, colourless gel into my face, avoiding the eye and lip areas, leaving it for 5-10 minutes to cast its relaxing spell on my complexion.  On application, I instantly experienced a cooling effect on my cheeks, forehead and chin, which was really particularly comforting after my hot shower. The mask felt light and fresh, and was easy to rinse off with lukewarm water. Immediately after removal, I applied a bit of cold water to a cotton wool pad and brushed it over my face to calm my pores, after reading many times that this is good for the skin every now and again.

I would definitely say Renu Flash Relax Mask gets an A for amazing.