Thursday, 27 February 2014

REVIEW: Code Beautiful VLM Mascara

Code Beautiful Volumising Lengthening Mascara*
I have recently stopped wearing mascara everyday; I felt even with an oil cleanser I was pulling on my eyes and lashes which isn't the best thing to do on the delicate eye area. I wanted to find a mascara that was more gentle on my eyes and easily removable and the Code Beautiful Volumising Lengthening mascara seemed to be the answer to my daily prayers.

'CODE Beautiful VLM is a luscious glossy black fibre based mascara with an exceptional brush that gives fabulous lash lift, length and volume. Its amazing build on build technology allows you to build layers for the perfect look day or night. '

I am a huge fan of this mascara for my everyday use, the brush is great for achieving full volumised separated lashes without much fuss and it really is great at holding the curl in your lashes. It's long wearing and smudge proof and is actually good for your lashes with the addition of vitamins and waxes to the formula to encourage lash growth.

This mascara has won my everyday mascara crown due to the fact that it is the easiest mascara to remove I've ever come across, tube mascaras are designed to be removed with water and whilst I still use my oil cleanser it requires no tugging or pulling it just glides off. When you're tired after a long week it is a god send believe me.

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Laser Hair Removal: From Teen Wolf To Victoria Beckham

.... This isn't Victoria Beckham's actual before shot
Occasionally in life I realise how lucky I am to be follically challenged in some areas of my physique; my brows NO my legs YES. I never realised how much women struggle with hair removal until I spoke to my self confessed eighteen year old teen wolf apprentice who has to revolve her life around hair removal, don't get me wrong I do have to remove hair but can pretty much get away with it once every two weeks on my legs.

My suggestion to my colleague was laser hair removal and having explained the procedure to her and researched the treatment I thought I would post about it for my readers who may also live with the same paranoia as her; plus whilst researching it I discovered that SK:N clinics (Link) have 40% off the laser hair removal costs at the moment so if you've ever been tempted now is the perfect time.

In a recent interview with Allure Victoria Beckham said the best thing she had ever done beauty wise was getting laser hair removal and unlike many 'celebrity' treatments the procedure is very affordable and attainable for the general public as there are laser hair removal clinics up and down the country and it is a great option for a variety of skin and hair tones.

The treatment works by focusing an intense laser beam at the base of the hair follicle halting the hair growth, taking around 6 to 8 treatments it is permanent with the occasional top up if necessary. It can be performed all over the body even in the most sensitive of areas so everything from your top lip to bikini line to your legs, whatever your concern laser hair removal will be suited to it.

Although I'm not the hairiest of gals I would really like to get the treatment on my underarms as I do tend to shave every other day in that area and always manage to nick myself with the blade, I found some really great information on the article pages of the SK:N site and am definitely going to be putting pennies in my kitty to get the treatment as soon as I can.

With the changing of the seasons, the hope of some sunshine and the potential to get your skin out now is the perfect time to get the ball rolling; by the time to sun comes out to play your body will be hair free and ready to be seen, plus the clinic offer other treatments to get you looking your perfect self.

if you're not happy with something, I say go for it and do something about it, they offer everything from laser facials, facial peels (I'm getting one next week), fillers (had, love!), tattoo removal, mole removal (this is something I am looking into) and microdermabrasion plus a lot more I can see my Manchester clinic ending up like a second home. Self improvement of course needs to be an internal continuous process but as long as the internal is always being maintained where's the harm in some external improvements?

Sunday, 23 February 2014

REVIEW: Bloodless Vampire Facial @ Bianca Estelle

I think I look rather fetching in a blue hair net!
I was very apprehensive about getting a Vampire Facial after the infamous picture of Kim Kardashian covered in her own blood surfaced which of course totally put me off having it done myself as I don't do well with blood. Thankfully when Bianca suggested the bloodless vampire facial I thought I could brave it and let her work her magic on my skin. 

The treatment started off with some medical grade microdermabrasion in order to get my skin exfoliated and fully prepared for the treatment, I've had the Diamond microdermabrasion done at salons before and the medical grade one makes the diamond seem a bit pointless; my face felt like silk softer than it had ever been.

Once my face had been exfoliated Bianca applied numbing cream to my skin and was very thorough; applying a thin layer and then a thicker layer over the top so it absorbed well and therefore numbed as much as possible. After about 30 minutes of tea drinking and chatting, the cream was removed from my forehead and we started with the treatment.

As I had a bit of sun damage on my forehead (slaps ones hand & applies factor 50) Bianca applied a brightning treatment to each area of my face before using the Dermapen to ensure maximum absoption and after each area had been treated an antioxident potion was then applied over the area (the reddish tint I have on my face in the picture).

Having watched the Kardashian episode where Kim goes for her Vampire Facial I was expecting pain, I wasn't even given the option of not having the numbing cream whereas Kim declined; I even took Ibuphropen in my bag to take before hand but forgot to take it so I was expecting pain. I will categorise each area of my face - 0 being 'I feel nothing' and 10 being 'holy crap get that thing away from me'

Forehead - 4 - I could feel it along my temples but in no way was it unbearable perfectly tolerable.
Cheeks - 0 - It just felt like a light soft poking on my skin.
Chin - 1 - Could just barely feel something but not what I would call pain.
Nose & Upper Lip - 1 - Again could feel something but not painful.

Once the poking was finished a brightening face mask was applied and left on for 15 minutes, removed and my face was thoroughly covered in sunscreen. I thought I would look like a swollen strawberry but happily for the citizens of Birmingham I just looked as if I had spent too long on the sunbed which Bianca assured me was due to the axioxident mix (it was red) rather than the derma pen.

Of course I immediately asked when I would start seeing the results and was told to expect dry skin for around a week and then the results are visible. As expected the dry skin came 2 days post treatment but only lasted three days thanks to the aftercare products i've been using.

This facial is a great option for a variety of ages and skin conditions, for people concerned with ageing it stimulates collagen production, tightens and lifts the skin and reduces fine lines. For people with acne scars or open pores it can help to make your skin smoother and plump up those pores; this was the reason I had it done and I can see a big improvement after one treatment in my open pores. They aren't completely gone but my skin looks plump, healthy, bright and a lot smoother so I would recommend this procedure for anyone self conscious  about their skin

Bianca's practice is based in Birmingham but she does clinics in London now too for more information just visit her website (Link) she's a fantastic aesthetician and I completely trust my face in her hands.

Monday, 17 February 2014

REVIEW: Benefit Gimme Brow

This innovative brush on fiber gel adheres to the skin and hair creating brows where before there were none it builds easily for thick, lush arches, thanks to a tapered brush for blending and a precision tip for the fiber gel is water resistant, long lasting, and buildable for natural-looking brows.

It is no secret that I am browly challenged, not only am I cursed with very light blonde hair but it's extremely fine and sparse in the brow department. Thankfully over the years of trying to get the brows I've longed for they have improved and look a lot better once they are tinted.

However they still require some help and when I heard about the Benefit Gimme Brow I needed to get my mitts on it; Thankfully QVC had a little stash for sale so those of us desperate enough could buy it early, which I obviously did.

I think this is the perfect 'day off' brow product for me in the light/medium shade, Gimme Brow grooms your arches, bulks up the hair you have and departs the colour evenly. Any sparse areas are camouflaged by the fibers and the brush is the perfect size to work on the brows, I have recently been using the Maybelline brow gel and the brush is far too big so was glad to see the benefit brush so tiny. The longevity is fantastic as well, I don't exactly work in the desert but my office can get pretty toastie and I come home with my brows looking like I have just done them and also they don't feel or look too 'done' so no scouse brow here.

Unfortunately the light/medium shade does look too ashy and light on me for my day to day makeup but when paired with my brow pen from Stila it becomes part of my perfect brow duo, I am tempted to try the medium/dark shade but I think that will be too strong especially with me being the heavy handed oaf I am. 

If Benefit did develop the shade range Gimme Brow would be my ultimate brow product as I could get away with a quick sweep of it on my brows everyday and I wouldn't need anything else. Priced at £14.50 and available from March 1st I think it's a very reasonable price if you're colouring is suited to either shade it's two products in one; it will replace your eyebrow pencil and eyebrow gel. It does it all.

I think it's my life goal to be able to walk out my house with just concealer & brow gel and look good, please someone tell me it's achievable!

Friday, 7 February 2014

REVIEW: Klorane Shampoo with Nettle

Klorane Shampoo with Nettle*
I have a major case of the oily scalp and always have, you learn to live with it and make sure you always have dry shampoo readily available but sometimes it's nice to be able to prolong the life of your last hair wash particularly when you're spending time away from home and don't fancy lugging your hairdryer, shampoo, conditioner and various lotions and potions with you.

Thankfully I seem to have found the product that really helps and it's a shampoo made with nettles; I have used a few products from Klorane before (their Mango conditioner (Link) & dry shampoo (Link) are both excellent) and the shampoo for oily hair didn't let me down. It smells like pouring a mojito over your hair (it's a good thing) which is so refreshing in the shower as i'm so used to using sickly smelling things and being more of a savoury person this is a lovely change. Of course smelling like a cocktail isn't the only thing I like about the nettle shampoo, it cleanses the hair without drying it out in the slightest which is surprising for a product designed for oily scalps.

Once you're out of the shower and you take your hair out of your towel you scalp feels really cool (I'm talking temperature) which is a very strange sensation that I've never experienced from a shampoo which I'm attributing to the nettles, the main effect this has on my hair and scalp is that it prolongs the time between washes, without dry shampoo I could wash my hair at night and by the next morning it would look limp and slightly oily cue the spritzing of dry shampoo, with the Klorane shampoo I can wash my hair at night and not need any dry shampoo until the next evening which means I can have two days of my hair down and one day in a bun so instead of washing my hair every other day I can wash it every three days.

At £5.10 (Link, On offer usually £6.00) from this is going to remain in my staple hair care for a long time to come as it is incredibly effective and doesn't break the bank.

How do you keep your oily scalp's at bay?

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

REVIEW: Aurelia Probiotic Skincare Revitalise & Glow Serum

Aurelia Probiotic Skincare Revitalise & Glow Serum *
A lightweight and easily absorbed potent age prevention fluid; fuses Aurelia Probiotic Skincare’s technology with BioOrganic plant and flower essences, enabling accelerated action on the dermis layer within the skin while depositing probiotics, peptides and antioxidants. 100% pure botanicals include Baobab which is rich in precious Omega 3, 6 & 9 to revitalise the skin, soothing and firming Kigelia Africana and Hibiscus to fight oxidative stress.

Despite my undying love for my current night serum and being completely satisfied with it there was this annoying inner blogger which seems to want to test every skin care item available on the market.

Having tried the Miracle Cleanser from Aurelia I had high hopes for the Revitalise & Glow Serum and I wasn't let down. After using this for a month I can honestly say it's made a huge difference to my skin; it's hydrated, smoother and looks quite acceptable when i'm not wearing any makeup plus it's a whole lot calmer and happier (if skin can be happy). This really does give you the glow that everyone and their mother seem to be searching for in the beauty industry.

I was a little hesitant switching serums so I found a way to get the best of both worlds and that has been to slot the Aurelia serum into my morning routine, it's incredibly light and absorbs instantly meaning it's fantastic under makeup which my night time serum definitely wouldn't be and makes no difference to the longevity of my makeup either.

There's a delicate tuberose smell to it which basically disappears as soon as you rub it into your skin and I really am seeing the light when it comes to natural skincare as I have never broken out using any, one drop of synthetic fragrance usually has my skin out in spots at the mere sight of it and so it's nice to use lovely smelling products which don't end up with me piling concealer trying to hide spots caused by them .

I am also really getting into Probiotics having heard about them from ChelseaWears (Link) and noticed a difference in my skin and body since not taking them after three days so surely it's logical to think adding some to skincare should also work wonders. I also like that the range is fairly limited meaning each product has been thoroughly tested and developed to the best of it's potential and also the fact that it's a British brand is another reason my pennies will go to repurchasing the Revitalise & Glow Serum and Miracle Cleanser when i'm in need of another. The brand is slowly becoming more accessible with SpaceNK stocking it online so hopefully the stores won't be far behind, the serum is £47 for 30mls (link)

Are you an organic / probiotic lover? I think the right mix of natural and not so natural skincare (my acidic exfoliators I couldn't live without) generally keep my skin blemish free and looking healthy and who doesn't want that?

Sunday, 2 February 2014

NOTD: Illamasqua Venous

Illamasqua Venous
If you've been reading my blog for a while you should know I love Illamasqua nail polishes, they are pricey but they have the most unique shades you can find. I recently cleared out my nail polish collection by nearly two thirds and made the very courageous decision to only buy what I would describe as 'good brands' no more cheap stuff and of course wanted to bulk up my Illamasqua collection.

Venous is the most amazing teal shade, not too blue not too green the perfect mix in a cream finish; I think every female I was near whilst wearing this told me they loved the shade and I have to agree it is definitely one of my all time favourites already.

At £14.50 (Link) it isn't cheap but I certainly don't have a similar polish and I am happy to pay those prices for the formulation as they're fantastic quality nail polishes.

Would you be interested in a favourite nail polish post? What are your all time favourites?