TEN OUT OF TEN FOR Q10 BY NIVEA

Although I embrace getting older and feel so much more body-confident now than I did 10 years ago, I do appreciate any help in avoiding further fine lines and a loss of elasticity as much as I can.  So when I received some of the new NIVEA Q10 POWER range products to try, I was more than a little intrigued to test them on my forty-something face.

 To launch the product range, the Nivea Ireland team also invited me to ask anything I wanted from the Nivea global product development expert Dr Dominik Goddertz.

Admittedly on trend skincare ingredients do come and go – but when it comes down to it, the nutrients which are already present in our skin are best and this range is so great because it replenishes what we already have. And with a promise to visibly smooth the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles in the process, I was sold – I mean who doesn’t love the sound of that? Let’s find out what Dr Goddertz had to say on it:

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Beauty Bitch: I think the best skincare is that which balances science and nature – you are so accomplished in science but tell me, how does NIVEA bring nature into its products?

Dr Dominik: The Q10 Power products work with the skin. Meaning that they power up the cells in a natural way while using Coenzyme Q10 and Creatine:

Creatine occurs naturally in human skin. Its purpose is to maintain the natural function of the skin cells. This makes it an important source of energy, as it boosts the production of new collagen fibres and consequently firms sagging tissue. As we age, our skin produces less and less creatine, and our cells perform their functions less effectively. With its high dose of creatine, the new NIVEA Q10 POWER range boosts the skin’s natural creatine storage. The result: visibly reduced wrinkles and firmer skin in a matter of only 4 weeks.

Coenzyme Q10, which is produced naturally in the body, plays an important role in our cell processes and combats free radicals. It supports necessary processes in the skin cells, from cell regeneration to collagen synthesis. Being an antioxidant, it counteracts free radicals, which damage skin cells and cause the skin to age prematurely. Like creatine, the amount of Q10 in our skin drops as we age. NIVEA Q10 POWER replenishes this important coenzyme and helps the skin make up for age-related deficits on its own. The result: visibly smoother, firmer skin.

Beauty Bitch: NIVEA evokes lovely memories for me, as both my parents used the original Crème and then my French pen pal’s mother used all the brand’s first modern skincare ranges. In fact, I specifically recall a distinct smell from a cooling cellulite leg gel mid 90s; when I smell that scent, my mind goes back to France. Can you tell me about the evolution of the brand? And the facecare range today?

Dr Dominik: When I was a child my mum also used many NIVEA products like the NIVEA cream for my face and body or the sun lotion at the beach. The brand NIVEA always meant family, high quality and trust to me. After 8 years working for NIVEA I can tell it is really like that. I enjoy working with my team and all the other highly engaged colleagues on new innovative products every day.

Beiersdorf scientists came across Coenzyme Q10 already in the early 1990s and investigating its essential role in the energy metabolism of human skin cells was one of the major topics at Beiersdorf RnD. In 1998 Beiersdorf RnD Team succeeded in making skin’s own Coenzyme Q10 for the first time available for human skin by topical application. Since that time various new findings about Q10 and its regulation of the cellular energy metabolism led to continuous improvement of our Q10 skin care range. Today Coenzyme Q10 offers the ideal platform to enhance cellular energy metabolism by combining it with other beneficial active ingredients like creatine and will be continuously be improved.

Beauty Bitch: And the latest range, what are the other core ingredients? And how can each of those benefit me as I reach my mid-forties?

Dr Dominik: From the age of 25, Collagen, the most abundant protein that contributes to skin’s firmness decreases by 1% per year. Further the production of new collagen fibres also slows down. As a result, skin loses elasticity and becomes much thinner – cue fine lines and wrinkles.

In the fight to maintain your natural youthful skin, NIVEA scientists had started intensive research to find the right partner for Q10 and to make the products even better than before.

In the morning you should apply the Q10 Power Day Cream as it effectively helps your skin counteract the effects of ageing. Its UVA/UVB protection with SPF 15 guards your skin from the damaging effects of sunlight, which cause premature skin aging.

I recommend using the Q10 Power Eye Cream: It's specially developed for the delicate eye area to visibly reduce wrinkles and diminish the appearance of dark circles. For a smoother and younger looking complexion.

In the evening, when you deserve a relaxing moment: Apply the new NIVEA Q10 Power Sleeping Melt-In Mask on a freshly cleansed face and neck. Give yourself a gentle face massage and relax for 5-10 minutes as the formula absorbs. It will pamper and nourish the skin overnight for a smoother and firmer skin feeling.

Beauty Bitch: Most things in nature will heal and rejuvenate themselves if left to their own devices, but sadly we cannot say this for skin these days, as so many environmental factors affect the surface of the skin. What is the best balance of being gentle with our skin and using products to help revive and revitalise it each day?

Dr Dominik: Facial skin has a visibly different structure and different needs compared to body skin. Its epidermis is much thinner and more sensitive than body skin. Facial skin is more individual – some people tend to get very oily skin, others suffer from dry skin. It is put under high mechanical stress as we use our face a lot to communicate and express our feelings, what results in laughter lines and eye wrinkles. And of course, our facial skin is always exposed to external influences like heat, cold, and especially sunlight. The UVA rays from the sun have a long wavelength and go deep into the skin. These rays damage the skin’s collagen which results in wrinkles – about 85% of the wrinkles which appear in the face are caused in this way. Therefore, we offer our Q10 Power Day Products with sufficient sun protection. Its comprehensive UVA/UVB protection with SPF 15 guards your skin from the damaging effects of sunlight, which cause premature skin aging. NIVEA Q10 POWER + Firming Day Cream is also available with SPF 30 for those who want a higher sun protection.

Aside from the sun, there are also other contributing factors: When you are stressed, ill, tired or lead a rather unhealthy lifestyle, your body consumes more nutrients than usual to repair itself and fight the short-term obstacle in its path. With all the Q10 being used up, your body has a greater need for CoQ10. This lack of CoQ10 can have serious effects on your skin, as you’re not getting all the nutrients and energy you so badly need.
The use of NIVEA Q10 Power products will help you to replenish the needed Q10 level.

My Verditct?

I have been using the new range for little over a week and I have noticed a considerable difference. My skin feels softer and definitely looks brighter (also any dark circles from late nights catching up on work after Easter holidays are long gone) and fine lines are visibly reduced.

I particularly love the sleeping melt-in mask which feels gorgeous to touch and glides onto skin, waking me up to a gorgeous glow – always great for busy mornings on the go when there is no time for makeup!

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I’ve been applying the replenishing serum pearls before adding the anti-wrinkle day cream SPF 15 (it also comes in a pore-be-gone version for combination skin). I think I will upgrade this to an SPF 30 for summer as the sun’s rays intensify.

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I can see the eye cream fast becoming a handbag essential and I have already found myself popping a little under the eye during the day to give me a little lift (and to keep new wrinkles at bay of course).

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Overall, this does exactly what it promises to do and even the harshest of critics will be impressed. It’s easy to see how NIVEA is one of the nation’s most-loved skincare brands – maybe I will be following in my parents’ footsteps more often!

Love Cathy x

FACE | PUCKER UP THIS VALENTINE'S DAY!

 ORMEDIC Lip Enhancement Complex Will Give You Perfect Lips for the Perfect Kiss!

Whether you’re spending some quality alone time, attached to a special someone or “it’s complicated,” Valentine’s Day is a good time to focus on one of the hardest-working parts of your body: your lips.

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ORMEDIC balancing lip enhancement complex 7ml (€26.50) which quenches lips with hydration while calming and soothing damaged or sensitive areas. The ultimate anti-ager for lips, this non-sticky, clear and glossy solution can add up to 40% of moisture volume if you use it consistently.

It also diminishes fine lines as well as helps reduce irritation after lip injections. Using this product can also enhance the effects of professional dermal fillers!

 (This amazing lip hero is also available in a subtle pink. With every purchase of ORMEDIC sheer pink lip enhancement complex, we donate $1 to the Care for Skin Foundation, which provides medical skin surgeries to those in need.)

Here’s the three ingredients inside our lip complex worth noting:

Peptide complex: A messenger peptide for collagen renewal, retinoic acid like activity without irritancy. In vitro collagen stimulation by 350% and stimulation of glycosaminoglycan synthesis by 146%.

Avocado oil: A nourishing, emollient organic oil that contains high amounts of Vitamin E and essential fatty acids.

Ubiquinone: A super-powerful antioxidant that helps regenerate aging skin.
May your lips be pouty and your kisses be magical!
 

To locate your nearest IMAGE Stockist please visit www.imageskincare.ie/find-a-pro

FACE | HYDRAFACIAL AT CATHEDRAL AESTHETICS - THE PERFECT KICK START TO SPRING

February comes from the Latin Februum, which has several meanings around the notions of cleansing, purification, renewal and regrowth. Although it is still cold outside, February also  signifies the start of spring - with early daffodil buds popping up across roadsides and roundabouts everywhere. It is not surprising then, that many people come out of the wintery hibernation which is the month of January (granted, they’re probably all broke from Christmas and New Year festivities, plus they’re detoxing their livers after festive overindulgence) to begin their own kind of spring blossom - and a good old skin pamper after the wintery weather, central heating and dehydration from overindulgence is just the ticket.

I went for a Hydrafacial at Cathedral Aesthetics recently and I think it is the perfect facial to kick start the skin’s new year regime, even if it is after a month of hibernation and recuperation from December excess. Check out my video review here:

 To book, call Cathedral Aesthetics on T: 028 9026 2785 E: clinic@cathedralaesthetics.com

FACE | Emergency Post-Christmas Skin Fixes With IMAGE Skincare

HELP! If your skin hasn’t been able to keep up with your holiday spirit, please rest assured that you’re not alone! The end-of-year period can cause your complexion to get rough or lacklustre thanks to the sheer amount of hectic activity, processed food, central heating, travel and lack of sleep. Fortunately, the team at IMAGE skincare – a personal fave of mine as many of you know - have fast-tracked solutions for some of the most common pesky post-Christmas skin issues. Read on and get your glow back on!

For Stressed and Fatigued Skin: I MASK biomolecular mask (€9.00)   Caused by: Unusually high quantity of late nights, jet lag or overbearing relatives(!)

For Stressed and Fatigued Skin: I MASK biomolecular mask (€9.00)
Caused by: Unusually high quantity of late nights, jet lag or overbearing relatives(!)

Apply this remarkable sheet mask that traps moisture with its special 3D design and helps potent active ingredients penetrate deeply into skin. With a refreshing and comforting hydrogel technology, this mask infuses volcanic water, brightening botanicals, peptides and antioxidants to reinstate your skin’s most relaxed, plumped-up look, while increasing hydration, reducing fine lines and wrinkles, brightening and rejuvenating skin. A perfect pastime this January when you’re bingeing on box sets! .

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For Post-Holiday Breakouts:

AGELESS total resurfacing masque (€42)

Caused by: Excess aeroplane time, stress and exposure to weather changes

This micro-exfoliating masque features powerful alpha hydroxy acids that resurfaces and refines skin by gently sloughing off dead skin cells, clearing out pores and polishing skin without irritation. It’s like having a mini spa-like peel right at home! A blend of glycolic, lactic and salicylic acids tackles impurities and excess particulates while vitamin C helps brighten, reduce the appearance of dark spots and strengthen skin.

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Dehydrated & Dull Skin:

ORMEDIC balancing antioxidant serum (€68)

Caused by: Colder temperatures and harsh winds, lots of travel and excess alcohol consumption

Restore balance to your skin with this ultra-hydrating serum that brings back the equilibrium to your complexion. This luxuriously silky formula contains lactic acid to moisturize and refine skin, and with organic Japanese green tea, polyphenols and a copper-complex peptide to reclaim your healthy, dewy glow. Layer under your regular moisturizer or sunscreen for a revitalising boost.

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For Spontaneous Blemishes:

CLEAR CELL restoring serum oil-free (€49.50)

Caused by: Jet-setting, exhaustion and holiday stress

Whether you need to address an anomalous pimple or feel like you’re popping up with blemishes more often than usual, you can use this lightweight serum to help rebalance oily skin without dryness. This oil-free formula helps restore balance while providing a mattifying effect and minimizing the appearance of pores. Aloe and allantoin help calm skin so your winter skin woes aren’t exacerbated. Use this as a spot treatment on areas that tend to pop up with breakouts and moisturise over it for added protection against winter temps.

I’m lucky in that I don’t really get spots or blemishes, but I do trust IMAGE and religiously use the ACE serum and Vitamin C oil on my face, I hope, whatever skin issues you’re having in this month of healing and hibernation, that some of these products can help you

FACE | GETTING SCIENTIFIC ABOUT CHRISTMAS SKINCARE SHOPPING WITH ACADÉMIE SCIENTIFIQUE DE BEAUTÉ

From the age of 14 until I was about 18, I spent most of my summers in France; and I think, by a process of some kind of weird osmosis, I fell in love with French beauty brands which were exclusive to pharmacies and small boutique beauty salons - and totally unheard of back home. You cant help feeling like you have the key to a special secret when you discover one of these brands and its ability to work wonders on your skin. I felt this way about Academie Scientifique when I recently discovered its Seve Miracle cream and the Intense Age Recovery Cream, so I will definitely be giving someone the gift of silky soft skin this season with one of the brand’s gift boxes.

The Parisian Radiance Box (€38) is perfect treat for anyone looking to rejuvenate their tired skin during these cold winter months. The Radiance Aqua Balm (50ml) banishes the signs of fatigue and brightens the skin with this treatment rich in apricot extract that delivers an immediate burst of radiance. The Eye Contour Cream Dynastiane (15ml) lessens the appearance of wrinkles leaving the eye area supple. Amazing for revitalising tired dried out skin.

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With the Parisian Youth Box (€46) no one will see all that partying catch up on you this festive season! The Nourishing Cream Sève Miracle (50 ml) nourishes and softens the skin reducing the appearance of lines. The Eye Contour Cream Dynastiane (15ml) lessens the appearance of wrinkles leaving the eye area supple. A wonderful gift for anyone wanting to maintain their youthful glow.

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The Derm Acte Prestige Box (€65) is the ultimate stocking filler for any skin care lover this Christmas. The Intense Age Recovery Cream (50 ml) fights against the signs of ageing. Helps boost and revitalise the skin by toning and firming. The skin appears brighter and visibly younger looking. The Ultimate Eye Corrector(15ml) is a complete treatment specifically formulated to correct visible signs of ageing, that reduces deep and fine lines leaving the eye area firmer and smoother. It also helps to thicken eyelashes and stimulates their growth.

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Académie Beauté's stable of visage products are here to nourish and prolong the skin. Each skin care product of the brand is the result of an uncompromising scientific research in terms of quality and know-how set up by their "beauty artisans". Académie was the first in the world to use collagen (1936) & jojoba oil (1979) in their products and this pioneering & innovative spirit is still a part of the company’s philosophy today. Packed with active ingredients, the products are results-driven but still a pleasure to use.

 

 

 

The Académie Beauté range is available from select professional salons nationwide, for your local Académie salon, please contact 016205493

FACE | KOREAN HAND CREAM FROM EBORIAN...

As some of you know, I’m just back from 10 days in China where I trekked the Great Wall and conquered some pretty big challenges.

On my last day I was let loose in Beijing and discovered some fab beauty emporiums (much needed after 7 days in the dust and wilderness) and these beauty meccas were led by Korean skin experts - I was in heaven!

When I returned I found a sample of the fab new Erborian This is the Hand hand cream, which launches this month. This new hand cream from the Korean-Parisian house of Eborian is perfect for colder winter days as it is packed with anti-ageing, nourishing and smoothing ingredients including White Ginseng Complex and Shea Butter.

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Of all  the ginsengs, White Ginseng is the most exceptional. It is known to prevent he appearance of signs of aging, moisturise and repair even the most fragile skin. The cream also contains liquorice root, wild yam root, kigelia fruit and horsetail to protect the skin.

A perfectly affordable Christmas gift or stocking filler at just £9.50.

FACE | WET N WILD FOR CHRISTMAS…

It's finally OK to talk all things Christmas and get started on our shopping lists. It can be challenging finding the perfect gift for that special someone in your life, whether it’s your bestie, work friend, Secret Santa or your sister, but make up brand wet n wild® has launched FIVE amazing Christmas Gift Sets at affordable prices.  Read on… and remember, wet n wild® is available in select pharmacies nationwide, so it’s super easy to pick up, wherever you are.

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wet n wild®

Liquid Catsuit Lip Color Collection 4 Piece Mini Catsuit Lip Set (€12.95/£11.50)

This set is perfect for the lip lover in your life, including 2 mini MegaLast® Metallic Catsuit Liquid Lipsticks in shades Life’s No Pink-nic and Acai So Serious AND 2 mini MegaLast® Catsuit Matte Lipstick in shades Rebel Rose and Berry Recognize. These shades are the perfect for Christmas and ideal for your handbag! 

wet n wild® Eye-conic Glam Collection (€14.95/£12.95)

wet n wild® Eye-conic Glam Collection (€14.95/£12.95)

Make a statement this Christmas with a party ready eye look using the Eye-conic Glam Collection. This set includes Lash Renegade Mascara, Color Icon™ Eyeshadow Quad in shade Silent Treatment and Pro Line Felt Tip Eyeliner. This trio is all you need to create a stunning eye look!

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wet n wild®

Midnight Goddess Collection (€14.95/£12.95)

Midnight Goddess Collection will bring you from desk to dancefloor with just three products! This set is also the ideal gift set for any makeup fanatics on your shopping list. It contains Color Icon™ 10-Pan Eyeshadow Palette Rosé in the Air, MegaGlo™ Highlighting Powder Precious Petals and MegaLast Lip Color in shade Sandstorm.

wet n wild® Ultimate Brow Set (€14.95/£12.95)

wet n wild® Ultimate Brow Set (€14.95/£12.95)

We are all about brows for Christmas, no look is complete without them! The Ultimate Brow Set includes Ultimate Brow Mascara, Ultimate Brow Universal Stencil Kit, Ultimate Brow Highlighter and Ultimate Brow Retractable Pencil.

wet n wild® Essential Brush Bundle (€19.95/£17.50)

wet n wild® Essential Brush Bundle (€19.95/£17.50)

The Essential Brush Bundle is perfect for anyone new to makeup, or for the budding makeup artist in your life. This set includes 7 essential cruelty-free brushes – 4 face and 3 eye brushes. You won’t need any other brushes if you stick with these! These brushes have an exclusive design and handles aimed at guaranteeing total comfort and control over your makeup. They’ll brighten up your makeup bag!

Facebook: @wetnwildIreland | Twitter: @wetnwildireland | Instagram: @wetnwildireland

I-ENVY BY KISS LASHES - FOR THE POLISHED AND SOPHISTICATED

You may remember from previous blogs that the ladies from KISS make their way to Belfast each June for a rooftop party, and for the last two years they have brought some pretty amazing weather with them. Now, just in time for Christmas parties (which seem to start earlier and earlier each year - October anyone?!) they are on a mission to ensure professionals and lash-lovers alike have an offering of top-of-the-line products to choose from (and stun with). KISS has worked closely with pro makeup artists to create a new generation of quality lashes, and has hand crafted lashes with premium remy human hair, because compromising on quality is not an option. And these are available exclusively at Penny’s and Primark stores across Ireland.

And although we no longer have a city centre Primark, we do have Ards and Abbeycentre, among other nearby stores. So there’s no excuse to miss out on the most flattering eyes. I’ve listed the styles here - which ones suit you best? I’m an Au Naturale girl through the week and definitely a Juicy Volume gal for the weekend.

I-ENVY BY KISS AU NATURALE 01 & 02 (€3.50)  Your perfect everyday lash. This collection of wispy lashes is designed to blend with the curl of your natural lashes. The lash hair graduates from short to long creating a natural volume effect, and each feature a clear band (invisible to the eye) for that nothing-but-natural look!

I-ENVY BY KISS AU NATURALE 01 & 02 (€3.50)

Your perfect everyday lash. This collection of wispy lashes is designed to blend with the curl of your natural lashes. The lash hair graduates from short to long creating a natural volume effect, and each feature a clear band (invisible to the eye) for that nothing-but-natural look!

I-ENVY BY KISS DIVA (€3.50)  This captivating style is ideal for nights on the town, special events or for when the occasion calls for a transformation, go bold, be dramatic and unleash your inner diva with this collection of statement lashes.

I-ENVY BY KISS DIVA (€3.50)

This captivating style is ideal for nights on the town, special events or for when the occasion calls for a transformation, go bold, be dramatic and unleash your inner diva with this collection of statement lashes.

I-ENVY BY KISS SO WISPY (€3.50)  Blur the lines between real and false. The So Wispy collection is made with 100% premium human Remy hair and blends perfectly with your own lashes.

I-ENVY BY KISS SO WISPY (€3.50)

Blur the lines between real and false. The So Wispy collection is made with 100% premium human Remy hair and blends perfectly with your own lashes.

I-ENVY BY KISS JUICY VOLUMEN (€3.50)  These maximum density lashes are designed for you to put your edgiest eye forward (no endless coats of volumizing mascara necessary).    i-Envy by Kiss lashes are exclusive to Penny’s and Primark across Ireland. #BringtheSalonHome

I-ENVY BY KISS JUICY VOLUMEN (€3.50)

These maximum density lashes are designed for you to put your edgiest eye forward (no endless coats of volumizing mascara necessary).

i-Envy by Kiss lashes are exclusive to Penny’s and Primark across Ireland. #BringtheSalonHome

FACE | Dad’s The Word - The ultimate gift guide for Father’s Day

This Sunday we’re celebrating Dad. From being there through all of those big, life-changing moments & standing by your side through every little thing in between, there’s no doubt about it that the best dad deserves the very best gift this Father’s Day.

But men can be hard to shop for, I mean with no ‘Saved for Later’ baskets or Instagram #inspo to direct us, coupled with the fact they seem to have absolutely everything along with a disinterest for dropping any sort of hints (or perhaps us ladies just make gifting too easy…) - it is safe to say that finding the perfect gift for dad (or husband/baby-daddy) can often be a tall task.

So to help get you started, we have chosen some of our favourite gifts to make saying thanks this Father’s Day that little bit easier…

First up, are these super-luxurious Clinique gift sets which include a trio of products at a great price. And if that isn’t enough, all of Clinique’s products are also allergy tested and 100% fragrance-free, so even the most sensitive of skin can feel the benefits.

Clinique Daily Hydration Kit £26.99

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This trio of daily face products includes Clinique For Men’s Charcoal Face Wash (50ml), Cream Shave (60ml) and Moisturising Lotion (100ml) and is perfect for men with drier skins. The customised formulas will keep skin feeling super smooth and comfortable whilst the smaller size makes it the perfect travel companion.

The Charcoal Face Wash draws out pore-clogging dirt and excess oil, while the Cream Shave provides a rich buffer against razor drag and nicks - ensuring dad gets the perfect shave each and every time.

The full-size Moisturising Lotion delivers weightless, all-day hydration leaving skin super healthy-looking and revitalised. For something a little bit extra, another alternative to this would be the Clinique Daily Intense Hydration Kit £36.99 which swaps the Moisturising Lotion for a full-size ultralight Maximum Hydrator which delivers a 179% moisture boost for instantly plumper skin.

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Clinique Daily Oil Control £26.99

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This set of customised formulas keeps skin clear and shine-free. As well as the Oil Control Face Wash which thoroughly cleanses and removes excess oil and the luxurious Cream Shave you also get a full-size Mattifying Moisturiser which delivers lightweight, oil-free hydration – plus, it helps skin stay matt all day long. 

Also from Clinique is the Daily Age Repair Kit £33.50, which includes the Charcoal Face Wash, Cream Shave and full-size Anti-Age Moisturiser. This trio works together to combat lines, wrinkles and dullness to deliver a younger, revitalised look.

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Next up, we head over to Lab Series which does great skincare for men. Their best-selling High Performance Duo set (£37.00) includes the Multi Action Face Wash (100ml) and the PRO LS All-In-One Face Treatment (100ml) which work together for powerful results – everyday skincare has never been easier – perfect for dads that are always on the go!

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Another top pick is The Grooming Oil 3-IN-1 Shave & Beard Oil £27.00 which is a triple-blend grooming oil that delivers an all-in-one solution for shave and beard care. Sea Buckthorn Oil, Jojoba Oil and Sweet Almond Oil blend with vitamins and hydrators to tackle each grooming need including; pre-shave, shave and beard, improving manageability, smoothness and shine.

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Why not help dad stay protected this summer with the brand new Day Rescue Defense Lotion SPF 35 (£31.00)? This lightweight, invisible daily moisturiser with SPF and Hydra-Endure Technology helps combat the visible effects of sun, dry climate, and pollution – environmental damage that can lead to dehydrated skin and premature aging. The product is also suitable for use on bald heads.

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So, now that you’ve found the perfect gift, it’s time to get gifting! Happy Father’s Day!

 

FACE | GLOW AESTHETICS OPENS

GET THE GLOW!

Whether or not you opt for that extra needle in facial aesthetics in the form of fillers and anti-wrinkle injections (AKA Botox),  the processes are here to stay, but as the industry grows it is important to consider where you have treatments done, and by whom!

This week I got the chance to pop along to the launch of the new GLOW Aesthetics clinic at the Culloden Estate and Spa and met with Emma Kennedy and William Trainor, both experienced hospital nurses who have been working in aesthetics for over a decade.

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Their new clinic, located in the sumptuous surroundings of the Culloden spa, offers Teoxane fillers for lips, cheeks and jawline as well as Botox for all the usual areas, should you wish to try it; plus a range of cosmeceutical Treatments to make your skin glow!

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And as I always like to try new things that I've not ventured into before, I have decided to give the derma-planing a go, and will report back in the coming weeks.

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Meanwhile check out the full treatment and price list here - and quote GLOW20 when booking to get £20 off your first treatment. Whoop! Call 07719326507 to book.

FACE | OH LA LOLA!

As I write this there is a glimmer of sunset sunshine resting on the horizon and, being the ever-optimist, I am doing a little sundance and hoping that the never-ending winter may finally be coming to an end (well, a gal can always dream…)

So, as we start to look towards longer (and hopefully warmer) days ahead, I have been revamping my makeup bag with the help of my lovely beauty godmother LOLA by Perses.

LOLA by Perses first came into my radar when I was checking out their website (www.lolamakeup.com) and the pretty NARS-esque packaging caught my eye. A UK-based brand, the cruelty-free beauty line is the brainchild of a creative team of talented British make-up artists who created it with the aim of producing quality makeup at reasonable prices. So when they kindly sent me a few items to try I was more than a little bit excited!

So, without further ado, here are some of the Lola products I have been trying out this month;

LOLA PERFECT SKIN – ILLUMINATING BASE

The Lola primer comes in a small tube – only 15ml - but don’t let the size put you off, as you only need a small amount to cover your entire face. I added a pea sized amount to the back of my hand and the first thing I noticed was the gorgeous velvety texture. It applies easily to the skin and instantly reduces the appearance of any large pores and fine lines – meaning it automatically gets a thumbs up from me!
It also managed to keep my makeup in place all day (even through umpteen meetings and with the heating blasting in the office, which is no mean feat!)-  and it left my skin with a gorgeous subtle glow.
You can also use it as a highlighter making it the perfect multi-purpose product in one tube!

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LOLA MATTE LONG LASTING LIQUID FOUNDATION

The LOLA foundation was presented in a lovely frosted glass bottle and when I picked it up I was also pleasantly surprised by the weight – this definitely has the feel of a lovely luxury product so I was very surprised to see that it comes in at under £20!
The built in pump dispenses the correct amount of foundation so you aren’t left with lots of unneeded product, making it one of my favourites to date!

First up, the foundation has a lovely creamy texture and blended into my skin well using a beauty blender sponge. The soft-focus effect visibly reduces imperfections, fine lines and pores giving you an instant ‘gram ready complexion in minutes!
It also has oil-absorbing properties which helps minimise shine – perfect if you suffer from combination or oily skin.

I am extremely impressed by the foundation and it definitely competes with some of my favourites, and I don’t say that lightly! With the buildable coverage I was able to achieve medium coverage without losing the lovely natural finish which I love and it also feels super lightweight so you almost feel like you aren’t wearing makeup at all! 

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HIGHLIGHTING CONCEALER PEN

After applying my foundation I added this under my eyes to hide any dark circles (that may have appeared following the non-stop business of FASHIONWEEK where sleep was 4 hours pre night max…) and was instantly impressed. This liquid concealer was extremely light and blended flawlessly. Pearl-coated pigments left my skin glowing and the cream melted into my skin effortlessly. It is also perfect for quick touch-ups throughout the day.

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LOLA LONG LASTING INTENSE COLOUR LIP GLOSS

I am a big fan of lip gloss – especially in the summer, so I couldn’t wait to try these. I tried colours rose pink, pink shimmer and rose.
All of the glosses were highly pigmented and had long lasting water-shine; they also didn’t feel sticky on the lips, which I liked. All of these colours are tones I would normally wear and came up as soft feminine shades (The rose pink gloss had a gorgeous salmon pink hue, whilst the pink shimmer was a lovely peach tone – perfect for your holidays and lastly the rose was a subtle nude tone with high shine - great for everyday wear).
The glosses also contain hydrating Hyaluronic Acid which works in combination with an active vitamin complex to help condition lips and give a plumped appearance.

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VERDICT

I am super impressed with the LOLA products and they definitely compete with some of my favourite products – albeit at half the price tag! The creators of the brand had an aim to make it easier for women everywhere to apply makeup effortlessly - and with hundreds of products, shades and options, I think it is fair to say they have succeeded.

So, if you haven’t already tried these products I would add them to your wish list pronto! They are available via their website and have also recently landed in Menary’s stores across Northern Ireland too, which is handy for my local readers. Enjoy!

FACE | THE ELIXIR OF LIFE

The word elixir usually conjures up images of a secret potion designed to prolong life or give the gift of eternal youth or beauty, and so it’s not a bad name for a clinic whose product can, essentially - albeit indirectly - do both to a certain degree.

 

I visited the Elixir Clinic in Wimpole Street, London just last weekend, and if you followed my Instagram stories on the day, (or now, in my highlights) you’ll know that, unlike the last time I had an IV vitamin infusion, I came to this one slightly dehydrated and fuzzy from a few glasses of wine the night before.

 

But I feel unfair starting with that info, because a hangover cure this is not, despite the rumours and hype created by Rihanna and Cara Delevigne, or previously by the Rolling Stones in their heyday when they enjoyed Dr Meyer’s famed vita-cocktails after a busy night rock n rollin’. Nope, this is a credible health and well-being treatment, and from a purely beauty perspective, it is akin to a super-facial or head to toe body treatment with all the work being done from the inside. (Although it does also make you feel wonderful, despite the night-before-wine, I have to say - curing headache, tiredness and nausea in minutes, as well as replenishing skin, hair and nails with zero calories, so it’s much better than a greasy spoon solution).

 

In short, it’s a 45minute treatment whereby a fusion of vitamins, minerals and amino acids are inserted into the bloodstream intro-venously. And just to cut to the chase, the results are bloody brilliant.  

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‘But why not just pop a vitamin pill?’, I hear you ask. Well, one of the problems with oral supplements is that they're not fully bioavailable - in other words, they're not fully absorbed. By delivering them intravenously, the bioavailability is 100pc; you're injecting it directly into the veins. The body absorbs exactly what it needs and no more - so there is no chance of overdoing it.

We don’t know exactly what the content and ratios of each of the VitaDrip formulae are, but there are medically pre-designed combinations for Adrenal Fatigue, Immunity Boosting, Mood Boosting, New Motherhood and Jet Lag, among others. The combinations were created by the clinic’s founders - two former Harley Street nurses - and they have locations in the Middle East as well as three locations in London (at The Ned Hotel in the City and within Harrods Wellness Centre, as well as the Marylebone clinic that I visited).  I plumped for the Fitness drip, but there is  also a bespoke option in which you can have a drip made to your exact requirements on  that particular day.  As you can imagine, the benefits are enjoyed and prolonged with a healthy diet  and proper hydration.

The downside? Needle-phobes may need to look away as the small cannula is slotted into place and hooked up to the type of IV stand often seen in hospitals. My left arm veins wouldn’t take, so we had to hook up the right arm, but it wasn’t painful at all, in fact the only disadvantage was that I couldn’t text or email as the arm has to remain outstretched and straight, so I was forced to lie back and just relax. Quelle Horreur!

And then, just an hour after entering the clinic with a dull head and feeling tired, I left with a spring in my step and slept like a baby that night.

So, to conclude, does the drip actually work - or is it money down the vein? In my opinion - it TOTALLY works. I felt fantastic and really rejuvenated and I would challenge anyone not to feel the same. Many people claim to see immediate differences in their skin and hair, although to be honest I didn’t, but then I wasn’t looking, plus my skin is quite well hydrated anyway.

The cost isn’t massively prohibitive either - the last clinic I went to charged around £500, but the pre-mix VitaDrip with pre medical screening at Elixir costs approx £200. One of my favourite slogans at the moment is ‘You think wellness is expensive? You should try illness?’ and this is a perfect example of prevention rather than cure, when it comes to health and wellbeing these days.

For a full price list and further information, please visit www.theelixirclinic.com

FACE | GOING GREEN

I have chosen to go ‘green’ this St. Patrick’s Day, but not necessarily in the context of the colour of the Emerald Isle… Instead, I have recently been given the chance to try out two brands, namely Inika and Evolve - Organic Beauty, which are green in the sense that they are cruelty free and vegan make-up/skin care ranges consisting of products for the face, eyes, lips and hands. 

The Inika products are 100% Halal and come in a luxurious, classy black and gold packaging which is made from recycled materials (and is also cruelty free). The Evolve product is hand made using 99.7% natural products. And as I love all things organic, I couldn’t wait to try out these gorgeous products with no nasties to harm my skin along the way. 

I got to try a gorgeous blush and two different eye products from Inika, along with a blemish serum from Evolve, all of which helped me look my best with less harmful chemicals applied to my face.

Inika Loose Mineral Blush – Red Apple (£23)

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Inika says: - ‘Containing light reflecting pigments to give cheeks a gorgeous glow, it will promote a healthy warm glow while adding texture and radiance for a natural finish’. 

As this blush is finely milled, it allows for a beautiful blend on the skin. It is free from oil, alcohol, fillers, fragrance - and preservatives too, prioritising the health of your skin (which we could all benefit from). For application of this blush you can apply to the cheeks as desired, however as it is highly pigmented - so a little goes a long way. This shade (Red Apple) in particular gives a deep rosy glow on the cheek adding life to your complexion. It was very slightly too red for me, but I’d wanted to try the shade anyway to test pigmentation depth, and in any case, there is also ‘Blooming Nude’ and ‘Peachy Keen’ which would be more my usual shades (check them out online, they are really fab colours). Additionally, if the loose blush doesn’t tickle your fancy, Inika also has a range of stunning baked blushers to help you achieve the desired glow in a way that is suited to you.

Inika Pressed Mineral Eye Shadow Duo – Gold Oyster (£22)

Inka says: - ‘Each shadow boasts a high performance mineral colour that is rich in pigment, crease-proof and long lasting.’

This gorgeous warm toned duo shade is the perfect ‘go-to’ eye shadow, as you can easily use both shades to create a simple yet stunning every day look (which you can also pop in your handbag). The shadows are great for sensitive eyes as there are no added harmful chemicals and as they are ‘crease free’, those of us with hooded eyes or matured skin can rely on these without fear of smudges or a dreaded patchy eye look. For application, Team Inika recommends that you use a base - the Inika Perfection Concealer, or simply your preferred concealer or primer, for best results. The pigment of this particular shadow is nice and natural, which allows for building the product’s intensity as you like it, plus it makes blending easy - mistakes are easily fixed.

There is a selection of seven shades available in the Mineral Duo Shadow collection, ranging from these golden warm tones to much more cool tones to achieve whatever look you wish. If you’re indecisive like me and don’t want to limit yourself to two shades, you can also opt for their ‘Day to Night’ palette which offers a variety of 7 (mostly warm toned) shades - perfect for the most natural look right up to the most intense look.

Inika Certified Organic Eye Pencil – Graphite (£14.50)

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Inika says: - ‘Handcrafted pencils with natural plant ingredients and mineral colour blends. Soft and creamy texture that wears all day without smudging’.

With coconut oil as the key ingredient of this product, it is hard to go wrong - and it makes this pencil so perfect for the most sensitive eyes. This shade, ‘Graphite’ is a gorgeous grey, which I think is perfect for everyday wear as it is not too dark yet still adds definition to your lash line. With a creamy consistency it gracefully glides on to the lash line with no drag when applying. I love that you can apply it to the lower lash line, above your lash line, or generally all over the lid for a more smoked-out dramatic effect. It is long lasting and smudge free, perfect for a long day at work or even for a special occasion. Paired with the duo shadows you can achieve a full glam look if you top up.

With nine shades in the collection, ranging from the darkest ‘Black Cavier’, or the most colourful ‘Pure Purple’ to brighten up your eyes, these liners are suitable for any time of day or occasion. Again, if the pencil liner doesn’t seem appealing to you, Inika also offers a liquid liner if that is your preference. 

Good news - at the minute if you subscribe to ‘The Healthy Revolution’ mailing list on the Inika website you will be first in the know about offers and new releases and you’ll receive £5 off your first order with FREE shipping.

Evolve Organic Beauty- Blemish Serum (£22)

Evolve says: - ‘This natural yet powerful skin treatment can be used on blemish prone and congested skin at any age as well as oily and combination skin to decrease sebum production and blemishes, leaving skin clearer and helping to protect skin from future breakouts’.

In other words, this can be described as handmade heaven in a bottle. It is recommended to apply this ‘rainforest rescue serum’ to clean skin morning and night, however if you have an unwanted spot that you need banished before an important event, you could apply this throughout the day as necessary for fast results. Within a day or two, your blemish will be visibly better with little inflammation. This serum is unlike other blemish care products due to its organic nature, and it does not sting or irritate skin making the little extra price worth it. As it’s a serum, I know those with oily skin will fret - however it is totally suitable as it is a non-oil based serum with a great consistency.

These types of organic products mentioned are definitely the way forward in skin care and make up technology, as they’re suitable for sensitive skin and also aren’t harmful to the environment. I most certainly will be going green with the help of these organic goodies in my beauty bag this St Patricks Day. Will you?

FACE | FACING FACTS WITH SENSEE

When the Sensee Facial Contour Definer arrived in the office there was definitely a tittle tattle and a whisper among the team to ascertain whether I’d ordered a sexy toy from Mya or Agent Provocateur, when in fact my pretty package contained a beautiful and ergonomic rose-gold-coloured, hand-held facial massager. (Gosh that was a mouthful!)

Arriving in a beautiful white box, first impressions were excellent, and I was also pleasantly surprised to find that it has a lovely weight to it – this is definitely a quality product.

Although I am lucky to have been blessed with good genes, there is no escaping the fact that as we get older our skin starts to lose its elasticity, so, from luxurious creams and regular facials to drinking copious amounts of water – my best beauty secret – I work hard to maintain some sort of firmness and protection for my skin. Promising to instantly relieve tension, boost blood circulation, stimulate collagen production annnd activate lymphatic drainage to detoxify skin – the Sensee derma roller was hot on my wish list…

Ok - I know what you’re thinking, the shape is certainly interesting and I can’t deny that it looks a little phallic; you may even get some awkward stares if you open this one in the office like I did, but, the truth is, it looks that way because of the job it needs to do - and it has to be said that it is actually a great design that really works - it fits nicely in the hand while the two massage rollers are positioned at the perfect angle to fit any face shape.  

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So how does it work?

Following the instructions, I held the handle and swept the roller along the edge of my jawline in an upwards motion for 5 minutes on each side. It was really easy to use, moving seamlessly up my jawline. As advised, I added this into my daily skincare routine, using it after moisturising each morning and evening and it wasn’t long before it became second nature. 

The roller balls have grooves across them which help give a really nice massage effect for an extra bonus. The whole experience left me feeling very relaxed and reduced any previous puffiness much to my delight. I read that the roller is also adaptable so you can use it all over your body, from your arms to your neck. It also doesn’t require batteries which I LOVE, you literally pick it up and do the work yourself. As the roller ball rotates it brings nutrients and oxygen to the collagen and elastin-producing cells in our face, resulting in younger, healthier looking skin.

 

So far I have only used it on my face and I have definitely noticed changes. My skin feels firmer and definitely stays hydrated for longer, I read online that like the massage techniques of a facialist, derma rollers help the skin absorb moisturiser and gives skin that lovely natural glow so maybe that is why. Incorporating this into my normal skincare routine has been easy and I am definitely going to use it on other areas of my skin in the future to see how it fares there…

Final verdict - this is a gorgeous product that is high quality and will last for years and I would definitely recommend investing in one (although maybe best not to leave it on your bedside table to avoid any awkward explanations)…

http://senssebeauty.com/product/facial-contour-definer/
 

FACE | A SLICE OF URBAN VEDA

I for one am so glad January is over, with its plethora of skin-damaging elements like excessive heating and frosty air, (and sometimes the lack of fresh air from staying inside so much). The combination has a terribly negative effect on my complexion and although February (so far) hasn’t seen much better weather, the budding daffodils are bringing me positive thoughts of spring.

February comes from the Latin Februum, which means to renew or to be reborn, and this month I am having a skin detox to help restore my skin’s complexion.  I’m aiming to try products which are as natural as possible and I’m kick starting the process with the help of Urban Veda.

The Urban Veda range follows the Ayurvedic Indian philosophy of health and wellbeing by harnessing the holistic and therapeutic power of plants – this means there are no nasties hidden in their formulae - they don’t contain parabens, SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulphate), or GM (genetically modified) ingredients (phew!), so it’s an instant thumbs up from me. 

The natural and organic ingredients together with multi-vitamins maintain the skin’s natural balance, preventing breakouts and other conditions resulting from excessive damage from the environment – so far, so good!

I have been using the facial wash and body cream from the Urban Veda Radiance range which is designed to give tired skin a natural glow – and who doesn’t want radiant skin?
The ingredients speak for themselves in this luxurious mix of gloopy goodness; anti-inflammatory turmeric reduces redness and puffiness, a mix of botanicals including coriander to help brighten skin, whilst anti-oxidant rich marigold ensures skin is cleansed and hydrated.

The first point to note is that the range smells amazing, which is always a bonus - when you smell good you feel good, right? I have been using the facial wash for a month now and the gentle formula glides easily onto my skin and removes all traces of makeup (even my stubborn smokey eye make up – annnd it does this without excessive rubbing – which of course is a cause for celebration alone!). In short, it leaves my skin feeling luxuriously smooth. The facial wash also contains Patchouli  which helps heal dry or inflamed skin (it is also said to be good at reducing scarring if a breakout has left its unwanted marks on your skin) leaving skin fresh and hydrated. I’m a soap and water kinda gal, so this wins all the Brownie Points for me.

Next up is the Radiance Body Lotion, which is packed with healing botanical extracts, including sweet almond oil (which I adore) to moisturise and nourish.  The lotion is thick and gorgeously creamy, but absorbed quickly into my skin – without leaving it feeling too oily or sticky. It also smells divine, cocooning my body in its gorgeous floral & herb scent and left my skin feeling super-soft all day - and all month while I trialled it.

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My verdict? Bathroom must-haves! I will definitely be trying out other products in the Radiance range as well as trying some of their other ranges, (they also have a purifying, reviving and soothing range as well).