Thursday 24 November 2016

Dermalogica At Christmas – My Pick

For the first time in years I’ve decided to eschew buying a beauty advent calendar. While on the surface they appear fantastic value for money, every year I’ve ended up not using some of the products inside, making the personal value of the collection much less.

While this is a personal thing, of course, depending on how much you yourself value the individual contents, this year I’ve taken a deeper interest in the single brand collections that are on offer.

Monday 21 November 2016

Black Friday/Cyber Monday – 5 Tips for Grabbing the Best Deals + Where to Look

If you’re intending to nab big Black Friday/Cyber Monday bargains this week and next, it would be wise to plan ahead. With so many brands and products getting involved, things could get a little bewildering. Here are five tips for striking gold and keeping your head while bargain hunting:

Saturday 19 November 2016

Esthechoc and the Truth About the Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate

Do you enjoy eating chocolate? Me too! And going by recent media headlines, we should all feel free to keep on munching the sweet dark stuff to our heart’s content (literally!) as it’s rather good for us – it’s claimed to reduce blood pressure, relieve stress, prevent strokes and so on. It’s a superfood, even.

Though, in truth, things are somewhat more complicated. As the British Dietetic Association (BDA) points out, the studies the media has picked up while promising are limited. And crucially, the health benefits are actually focused on cocoa extract, not chocolate.


Tuesday 15 November 2016

NEW: SkinCeuticals Phyto Corrective Masque – Stressed Skin Saviour

We tend to define our skin as a particular type, ie normal, oily, combination or dry (sensitive is perhaps another).

But it’s never quite that simple. There’ll be times when our skin suddenly takes on a different characteristic – a spotty outbreak, red and inflamed, uncomfortably tight, and so on. 

The reasons can be many, including a change in the weather, central heating, intense exercise and post certain hefty cosmetic procedures like skin peels and laser resurfacing.

Friday 11 November 2016

Getting My Sweat On – Light at the End of the Tunnel

It’s only when you emerge from one of life’s little difficulties do you suddenly realise quite how much it was dragging you down.

After months of being in a lot of pain with my hips, I’ve finally turned a corner. The inflammation in my muscles and joints has settled and life is getting back to normal.

Tuesday 8 November 2016

NEW: Caudalie Resveratrol Face Lifting Soft Cream – Review

Of all skincare products, moisturisers are what I have most difficulty writing about. That is because I just don’t find them exciting. Most seem to do a pretty decent job of hydrating the top layer of my skin (for a little while). End of story.

Occasionally, though, one will come along that makes me sit up and take note. It stands out from the crowd, does something a bit different. Oh, well hello there the new Caudalie Resveratrol Face Lifting Soft Cream.

Friday 4 November 2016

Tria Beauty Hair Removal Laser: Better than IPL? - Review (Part 2)

Discipline and patience: two things you need if considering at home permanent hair removal treatment.

I’m half-way through my 12-week trial of the Tria Beauty Hair Removal Laser 4X – I’m reviewing the device in three separate posts, and also comparing it to IPL hair removal, a rival technology and one I have used previously to treat the hairs on my legs (I'm testing the Tria on my arms).

Tuesday 1 November 2016

Taking BOOM Cycle for a Spin – Padded Altura Cycling Shorts Came Too!

Bike. Beats. Boom: a three-word summary of my last dose of virgin fitness.

I’m on a mission to spread my fitness wings. I’ve been wedded to the gym ever since I first started exercising seriously in my early 20s, going four times a week pretty much, and switching things up in recent years by working with a personal trainer.

Thursday 27 October 2016

The Weekend Away Beauty Edit

Snatching a weekend away at this time of year can be a real tonic. Summer hols are long gone and the Christmas rush is looming. Taking ourselves off for a few days can help to recharge our batteries.

I’ve managed to spend a couple of weekends up in London this month, and I certainly feel the change was as good as a rest. These were the beauty essentials I took with me:

Monday 24 October 2016

Lulu & Boo Organics, Rosehip & Pumpkin Multi-Action Firming Serum – A Little Ray of Sunshine

I’m putting my introduction to Lulu & Boo and their Rosehip & Pumpkin firming serum down to fate.

A few weeks back I was entered in to an Instagram comp by my lovely blogger pal Beauty Balm. It was during Organic Beauty Week and Lulu & Boo were giving away one of their skincare products each day on their Instagram page as part of the celebrations. 

Friday 21 October 2016

Fitness Coach Andrew Beatty says changing mindsets is the key to successful weight-loss


When something isn’t working to plan many people become angry, disheartened, and project negative energy.  Have you met someone like that - a family member or a close friend, perhaps? 

The answer is to change the way we look at things, to believe in ourselves, and to accept that all the speed bumps in our way are just part of the process.  I’m not talking here about positive energy mumbo-jumbo; but I am talking about projecting positivity – it’s essential and it really does make life a million times easier.

Tuesday 18 October 2016

Urban Decay Color Correcting Fluids - Tried and Tested

It’s easy to see why colour correcting is having a moment: done properly it can give us the appearance of flawless skin,  just like all those Snapchat and Instagram filters.

With more brands than ever coming out with their own formulations, the choice is greater than ever. And recently Urban Decay joined the fray.

Friday 14 October 2016

Urban Decay XX Vice Ltd Reloaded – A Showcase of the Brand’s 20-Year History

If you’ve yet to dip a brush in to an Urban Decay shadow palette, this new limited edition collection may pique your interest.

Monday 10 October 2016

Getting My Sweat On – Never Neglect a Niggle!

Well, that got off to a good start – not! I launch a new monthly series, Getting My Sweat On, and then fail to do the follow-up post!

In fairness it was August. I spent half of it on hols in Spain and had just the one personal training session, at the very beginning of the month. But before I gloss over August and crack on with September, I wanted to quickly talk about Spain.

Thursday 6 October 2016

NEW: Liz Earle Superskin Dry Oil for Body – Ooh That Scent!

I’ve been captivated by the scent of Liz Earle’s Superskin ever since I first tried the face oil many moons ago. For Autumn, the brand has launched two body oils formulated with the same blend, and I’m entranced all over again!

The Superskin Dry Oil and Superskin Treatment Oil are part of this season's releases from Liz Earle which also include a new fragrance (Botanical Essence No.9 – warm and fruity) and an overnight mask (another Superskin addition).

Monday 3 October 2016

Is Clean Eating Healthy? Can You Out-train A Bad Diet? Nutritionist Suzie Sawyer Explains

There are a lot of trendy diets and food fashions out there, from clean eating to carb cycling (check out Instagram!). But are they healthy or simply the latest fad that’ll fall out of favour as quickly as they have risen in popularity?

Face Up Beauty invited clinical nutritionist Suzie Sawyer, from Nutrition Lifestyle, to lay down the real facts on healthy eating and how we should adapt our diet according to exercise discipline.

Wednesday 28 September 2016

The lights by TENA #noonetoldme campaign and why breaking women's health taboos is key

At the tail end of last year I tried an Insanity class for the very first time. It was challenging! Lots of leaping up and down, jogging on the spot, toe touching, sky reaching… you name it, as far as maximum intensity cardio training goes, it was there.

Part way through the session I had a ‘wee’ (you’ll get the significance shortly) oops! moment. A little embarrassing one, you know, an involuntary leakage. It was only very very slight but it was enough to freak me out. I was mortified to the point that I didn’t even mention it to my close mate who was with me (and we share most secrets).

I was reminded of this exercise-induced emmission a week last Sunday - at a ‘lights by TENA’ event I was attending at the health spa Champneys Springs, in Leicestershire (above picture, circuit training). Bloggers were gathered for a bootcamp and beauty treatments, and a presentation on the brand’s latest marketing campaign, #noonetoldme.


Sunday 25 September 2016

Science Meets Nature – Another Cracking Discovery Box From Naturisimo (Out Today!)

Naturisimo is marking the end of Organic Beauty Week with the launch of its latest discovery box – and it’s a cracker!

Out today, Science Meets Nature Discovery Box is a curated collection of eight premium brand natural skincare products, priced at £13.95 (inc delivery) but worth £67. 

Thursday 22 September 2016

A Hair Detox at Josh Wood Atelier – A Salon Like No Other

When the Josh Wood Atelier opened its doors in 2011 it was seen as the most innovative move in hair for decades. Out went the rule book of salons and in came something different.


Monday 19 September 2016

NEW: Urban Decay All Nighter Liquid Foundation - Review

No one has a flawless complexion, though many of us strive to achieve one, particularly in this age of Snapchat filters and Instagram where everyone can ‘appear’ perfect.

With so many foundations, concealers and colour-correcting formulas on the market - some to diffuse redness, others to lift dullness - using makeup to create the perfect canvas has become a bit of an art form. Faces can resemble geographical relief maps before all the blending! But the trickery works…

… and if it’s trickery you’re after then Urban Decay has introduced some corkers. For Autumn the brand has released a new full coverage, long wear liquid foundation inspired by its cult All-Nighter setting spray. It follows the Spring launch of a range of colour correctors, which I’ve been testing out alongside for the complete ‘flawless’ finish (review comping up separately, shortly).

Thursday 15 September 2016

NEW: Clarins Extra-Firming Mask – My Skin's Early Morning Wake-Up Call!

The first thing that struck me about the new Clarins Extra-Firming Mask was the colour – it’s mauve. I have masks in all manner of colours but I do believe this is my first mauve one.

While aesthetically attractive, there is purpose behind the colour: mauve is recognised in chromotherapy for its relaxing benefits. And that is one of the key principles behind this mask: it’s designed to relieve tension and signs of fatigue, to reverse the chaos that today’s modern lifestyles reap on our skin!

Monday 12 September 2016

Tria Beauty Hair Removal Laser: Better than IPL? – Review (Part 1)

I'm back to last month: I'm sat in the garden of our holiday apartment in Denia, Spain. The sun is radiant, the breeze is up, and the pool is just a few steps away. Life doesn’t get much better than this.

And there’s one more thing that’s making me smile – I no longer have to shave my legs! That may seem trivial, but as someone ‘blessed’ with pale skin and dark hair, going on holiday always meant a daily ritual of shaving. 

Only a few years ago, a relative cheap and effective home treatment for stopping hair re-growth seemed nothing more than a pipe dream. Today, not only are at home permanent hair removal solutions a reality but there is choice, not just of brands but technology too: IPL or laser.


Friday 9 September 2016

Holiday Empties – And Favourites!

Looking back, it was rather madcap. As I was packing to return home from Spain last year, I threw all of my empties in a suitcase and flew them back to the UK, ready to add to the rest of my August used-ups.

This year I photographed and disposed of (recycled where possible) everything before I left: much more sensible, and much more environmentally sound!


Monday 5 September 2016

Bespoke Skincare – Trying Out A New Emerging Trend

One of the big emerging trends in skincare is for bespoke formulations. Long gone are the days when skin was crudely classified as either normal/dry, combination or oily. Beauty regimes have become equally more sophisticated, moving well beyond the simple "cleanse, tone and moisturise".

Customised skincare, though, is a big leap beyond. It’s skincare that’s been brewed to better meet the needs of our own person. While we’re not talking about formulas as distinct as our own DNA, we are talking about creams and serums that come in thousands of different combinations.

I liken it to an online dating service. Generally you’re asked to fill out a web survey about yourself, lifestyle habits and skincare preferences. The results are used to build a skin profile which is matched against the various formula combinations the brand has to offer.

Who’s doing it?
Romy Paris launched a solution last September, closely followed by Haute Custom Beauty. More recently Nu Skin has entered the fray, and it is their AgeLoc Me system that I have been trying out for the past month.

Thursday 1 September 2016

Summer Holiday Beauty – 7 Products That Came to My Rescue in Ways Unexpected

My Spanish hols are over for another year (boohoo!). Just after I got back last year, I blogged about my hero products. This time I'm doing the hero thing slightly differently - I’m writing about products that came to my rescue, only in ways I wasn't expecting...


Tuesday 23 August 2016

Getting My Sweat On – Fitness Focus Monthly

One thing about working with a personal trainer is that you are constantly discovering: new exercises and whole new fitness regimes, tips and tricks, better techniques (usually when you’re doing something wrong), as well as the latest learnings on diet and nutrition.

And if your trainer is half as good as mine, they’ll also listen to your needs and concerns, and be patient when explaining something over and over again if you haven’t quite grasped the concept!

It’s fair to say that I’ve learnt an awful lot from PTs over the past few years. And something I’ve been doing an awful lot of recently is documenting my gym journey on Instagram (over at Face Up Fitness* if you want to follow me).

Wednesday 10 August 2016

July’s Empties – And Favourites

It's a bumper crop of personal skincare heroes in my latest empties pile. Bodycare also gets a decent look in but makeup is nowhere to be seen!

Friday 5 August 2016

Body Fat Scales - Do They Work?

I haven’t weighed myself in years. I stopped when I realised there was little value in doing so. Bathroom scales only tell you one thing – how much you weigh. They don’t tell you how that weight is distributed, so a reading can be misleading and not a great indicator of health.

If you recently started going to a gym and combining weights with cardio, for example, you will almost certainly weigh more now than you did before you started. That’s because you’ll be gaining muscle and losing fat – the former weighs more than the latter.

But I can guarantee one thing – you’ll be looking better for it. Hence my assertion that standard bathroom scales are not a great indicator of fitness or health – yet I bet most households still own a set and a lot of diet programmes still focus on weight loss!

Tuesday 2 August 2016

Two Fantastical Revlon Professional Hair Stylers – the Straight and the Curly

If our hair is naturally curly, we want it straight. It it’s straight, we want it curly. That’s how it goes, isn’t it? Hence the abundance of products available for styling our hair how we want it to look, not how it would end up looking if left ‘au naturel’!

My hair when left to dry naturally is schizophrenic. Bits of it are curly and bits are straight – it’s not quite sure what it wants to be! So styling products are an absolute must, as is a hairdryer and styling tools.
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