Tag Archives: beauty boffin

The Beauty Boffin’s review of Nivea ‘Good-bye Celluite – 10 Day Serum’.

16 Sep

I’m not sure how it happened but overnight my legs were hit by a meteor shower of cellulite. So I’m almost glad the Summer is over because I can pull myself away from the impulse to buy every beauty product with the term ‘cellulite treatment’ written on the bottle.

The first product I bought back in June was Nivea ‘Good-bye Celluite’. 10 Day Serum.

I loved the name and also loved the fact that it was a serum. When I first used this product I got very excited because it has the most divine scent, possibly the Lotus extract, it’s both uplifting and luxurious, as is the texture. It goes on easily, almost velvety, thought I found I had to be quite generous with the application to cover my thighs and I’ve got fairy skinny thighs (think Kermit the frog legs).

I used it daily for ten days but I didn’t see any difference whatsoever, bar the fact that I smelled like a very expensive bar of soap. And what really ticked me off was that by day ten the bottle of serum was empty. I know the label says ‘ten day serum’ but I didn’t actually think that meant there was only enough for ten days.

If this product was cheaper I would buy it simply because of the heavenly scent but I certainly wouldn’t purchase it to treat cellulite. Sigh. The search continues.

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What hair masks really work

31 Aug

Best for dry, over-processed hair

Nicky Clarke Intensive Treat Conditioner

Perfect for use on holidays when you’re going to let your hair dry naturally, this will decrease frizz and make hair smooth and managable even with minimum or no styling.

Best for fine hair.

Andrew Barton Shiny Happy Hair SOS Help me (Tescos)

Hair becomes finer as we get older, this mask gives hair instant volumn and texture.

Best for Extremly Frizzy, curly or Afro hair

Urban Retreat Afrodisic Deep Treatment (Boots)

This left my tatty curls recoiled and perfect.

A weekend at The Royal Spa, Budapest. Independent review

29 Aug

Ambience

Budapest is an incredible city, the only thing that competed with its many wonderful sights was this extraordinary hotel and spa, and I don’t say that lightly.

Spa

The spa included a sauna and steam bath, six therapeutic treatments room, a dry floating bed,Vichy shower, fitness room, drinks bar and some fun extras such as a Niagara bathtub, a tropical rain shower and an electric wellness bed.

Quality of the experience.

The Sea Essential Facial Treatment took 70 minutes (€109) and began with a deep facial cleanse and polish which felt healing rather than stripping my face, as often seems to be the case, then face creams were chosen which were ‘packed with marine ingredients’ and these were massaged into my skin. It was a simple facial which I didn’t expect to make much of a difference, however when I looked in the mirror afterwards my skin was glowing and looked visibly refreshed as if I’d had a couple of days of sleep.

The prices for spa treatments have increased from when I last visited in 2008, though the service was still excellent and the spa surroundings was breathtaking – imagine an palace fit for a modern day queen. It certainly deserves its five star status.

Food and drink. There are more than 600 varieties of Hungarian wine on offer in the hotel bar and every other drink imaginable. We paid for use of the executive level, it cost an extra 40 euro per night but was worth it as it includes breakfast, lunch foods, afternoon tea and an all-day desserts selection. Beer, wine, other alcoholic beverages and soft drinks were also on offer and worth it because they’re incredibly expensive in the hotel bar.

Price

€151 incluing tax through the hotel website, though it’s worth shopping around for better deals which include use of the executive lounge.

http://www.corinthia.com

Filling in the road map and pot holes left by time – Filextra Facial Revolumnizing.

28 Aug

The claim:

FILEXTRA ™: Facial Revolumizing Treatment with Collagen is an all-over facial moisturiser that helps to plump the appearance of aging skin for a more youthful, toned, radiant appearance.

As the skin ages, loss of natural collagen in the mid-face sink a sunken and hollowed look to the cheek and under eye area and unhealthy, sallow and thin looking skin. These signs are as much an age indicator as wrinkles, dark circles and uneven skin tone. To address this specific anti-aging concern, Good Skin Labs introduces Filextra Facial Revolumizing Treatment with Collagen, to visibly corrects the “mid-face sink” with a potent mix of technologically advanced ingredients

The results:

When I read this product promised to plump up my face I had images of looking like Jordan. But to my surprise the results were instant and not at all Jordon-like.

The product is thick and goes on smooth. After only application my skin glowed as if I was a regular gym goer (sigh) and it looked and felt ultra hydrated.

As the weeks rolled on my skin appeared more toned and taut, but most importantly I’m happy to report that the area under my sunken under eyes was filled out, so much so that people began to comment how well rested I was looking.

Gadget or Gimmick. The Wrinkle Zapper

26 Aug

It’s a gimmick, right?  Maybe even a joke.

This was my first reaction when I was given the PerriconeMD Cosmeceuticals Light Renewal Skin Rejuvenation Therapy gadget.

As I grasped the gadget in my hands I didn’t know if I should make a phone call with it or change the TV channel, instead I stretched a wide grateful smile across my face as the recipient of a gift should.

The giver said, “see, now you won’t have to pay for all those light therapy treatments.”

Which makes me sound like a lady who lunches and then drops by her dermatologist for a little ‘work’ before tea, but in fact it was to treat the type of scary adult acne that makes you want to hide from the world, and it did help, by the way.

Anyhow, back to the PerriconeMD Cosmeceuticals Light Renewal Skin Rejuvenation Therapy, it uses light-emitting diodes (LED), visible red light and near-invisible infrared beams to smooth away lines. An independent study 83% of users said they noticed a difference in their lines after 9-12 weeks of use.

I’m not sure if it made a dramatic difference to the fine lines around my mouth but it certainly did help with my open pores, and the overall texture of my skin was more taut and smooth.  The longer I use it the more results I’m witnessing, so I’ll be interested to see if the results have now peaked (after almost three months use) or if they’ll continue.

I like that it’s simple and easy to use and there isn’t a chance that it will spill in my hand luggage.

It’s cheaper than having professional light therapy with your dermatologist but of course it’s still not cheap retailing at around €300.

Available from  PerriconeMD Cosmeceuticals Flagship in New York and Sephora or http://www.perriconemd.com/

Vegan Beauty Products

25 Aug

Be Fine, the vegan skin care line is an exciting addition to the organic skincare market.

In the past my problem with organic or natural products is that although I expect them to feel nice and even smell nice, I don’t actually expect them to ‘do’ very much, yet there’s a huge market for natural skin care.

Why?

Because the active ingredients are derived from plants ingredients. The warming clay mask’s heat comes not from chemicals, but from cardamom and kaolin, a natural clay with drawing and oil-absorbing properties. And the exfoliating cleanser’s oomph comes from sugar cane extract rather than a lab-made exfoliant.  For many people who have sensitive skin, or who are recovering from various illnesses and want to ensure everything they put into their body is natural, these are a fantastic choice.

For me, I like to mix and match between the natural products like the Be Fine exfoliants and then use an anti-aging cream that has been proven in a lab to WORK!

Unlike many other organic ranges Be Fine is very well priced, whether it be eye cream, face wash, moisturizer, intense facial masque, lip treatment or individual-use cleanser pads, no item is more than €25.

Drink yourself beautiful

25 Aug

We all know that beauty comes from the inside but now the beauty industry have taken this quite literally and are bringing drinkable cosmetics to the market.

BORBA Skin Care Products offer drinkable products for different needs from treating acne-prone skin to reducing fine lines and wrinkles, hydrating skin and firming elasticity.

Even the companies we don’t necessarily associate with healthy drinks like Coca-Cola are jumping on the band wagon and developing a tea-based drink with L’Oréal, destined for the beauty shelves.

Similar products in Japan such as the phenomenally popular Nutraceutical drinks are one of the fastest growing areas of their drinks industry.

There is no debate that what we put into our body is reflected in our skin and bodies and I’ve no doubt these cosmetic drinks will be huge. These products are not yet available in Ireland so I’ll be sticking to Aloe Vera juice and water, both help to rebuild and maintain the skin.

Bleached eyebrows – trend for a/w 2010

23 Aug

At the Bottega Veneta Spring 2010 RTW show in Milan the models’ eyes seemed to pop, not only because of their amazing glitter eye make-up (happy dance, glitter is back for a/w 2010) but also because their eyebrows had been bleached to a pale shade of blond, so much so that the Caucasian models looked as if there were eyebrow-less, focusing all the attention on their eyes.

The models in Miu Miu’s stunning new advertising campaign are also without brows.

The bleached eyebrows or no eyebrows has been seen in earlier seasons but it’s never been as strong as it is now.

Though I think you have to be incredibly beautiful to pull off this look and even at that it doesn’t always work.

Here’s how one of the most beautiful women in the world might look without brows – Angelina Jolie.

So, what do we think?

Will it become main-stream?

Best on-line beauty stores with worldwide delivery.

22 Aug

On pay day I used love nothing more than skipping into an upmarket department store to sample the delights at the cosmetic counters, but over the years some haughty sales people staffing these counters have turned it into a fairly traumatising experience.

You know the type, they look you up and down, are snippy and condescending when they realise you’re not going to buy a 200euros tub of face-cream without sampling it and I don’t just mean a dab on the back of my hand because that’s about as helpful as lawnmower. I need a proper sample, a sachet which will let me test the product at home, when I’ve had a chance to wash off the day’s grime and can investigate the product’s possible merits. Even though the sales person has a drawer of samples, her reply to my request is, ‘sorry, samples only come with purchases’.

If I were purchasing the product I wouldn’t need a sample, I explain, but she gives me one of those withering looks sales people reserve for such annoyances as customers.

In truth, it’s more their tone and bad attitude that kills me, so much so I now do almost all my cosmetic shopping on-line, which is not only cheaper but also more convenient without the chance of being looked down upon.

Here’s my top three on-line cosmetic stores.

No. 1 StrawberryNet
Fantastic selection of well known luxury brand cosmetics. Free shipping world-wide and 5%  discount for purchasing three or more products, the more times you return to this site the greater your discount will be. I use this site for birthday gifts for friends and family living abroad as the site also offer a free gift wrapping service.

www.strawberrynet.com

No. 2 Drugstore

Shop for an extensive selection of great every-day products as well as many American brands which are not freely available here. They also have fragrances, hair care and perfumes. I particularly like their Avalon Organics body moisturiser and Reviva products, which are a little cheaper here than else where.

Delivery to Ireland is now available.

www.drugstore.com

No. 3 Beautyhabit

Hand-picked assortment of the best independent beauty. Free samples are included with every order from this American websites. They also offer an outlet section with 20-30% off and deliver to Ireland.

www.beautyhabit.com

Shaping your eye brows with a stencil.

20 Aug

Okay, I shouldn’t really post this because I haven’t actually tried this product but  I can’t stop myself from sharing because it made me laugh.

This, my friends, is the eye brow stencil.

You quite literally stencil the shape of a perfect brow onto your face and use it for a guide when tweezing,  afterwards wash the colour off your face and stencil.

I can envisage so many problems with this because aren’t each person’s eye brows unique, it’s not a case of one size fits all.

What next, a stencil for hair dressers.

Okay, this cynical Sally better stop because who knows, maybe they’re exactly what we need.

I will see if I can get my hands on one of these and  report back.

If you’ve tried one let me know.

Charlize Theron’s favourite in-flight face product

20 Aug

Charlize is a fan of Truth Serum Collagen booster by Ole Henriksen – a vitamin C product which claims to plump up skin and keep blemishes at bay, while anti-oxidants protect from pollution, boost  collagen and promote a flawless complexion.

I thought to myself if this product only lives up to half these claims I’d be bathing in this stuff, irrespective of price, besides I was already a fan of the Ole Henriksen range.

Charlize likes using it on long-haul flights as she jets around the world.

At last, a celebrity who uses something other than Elizabeth Arden’s Eight Hour Cream when flying, so I was excited to try this. I lathered it on for my drive from Derry to Tipperary, it’s about as long-haul and glamorous as I get right now.

My ‘truth’.

It really is a long ways to Tipperary.

I don’t always take my make-up off after a night out.

I have skin envy.

My Mui Mui wallet is fake.

I have bought weight-loss dvds from infomercials in the middle of the night.

I saw no  immediate results from this products, but I can be a persistent little fecker when I have to be so I continued with the regime.

I’ve almost finished a whole Truth Bottle and I don’t think I’d buy it again because for the price I paid I would have expected to see results.

Instead nada.

The Scent

Presumably it’s the vitamin C which gives the product its very orangey scent, though it’s not a smell I particularly liked because it seemed synthetic and over-powering.

The Pump

I also found the pump dispensed too much product. Even when I distributed it on my neck and chest it still remained sticky and clammy.

I’m a big fan of vitamin C products but I think the levels available in this product are perhaps too low and would work best for those with very sensitive skin. For those of us with lizard skin I’m all for nuclear levels of vitamin C because I need to see results!

Available from Harvey Nichols.

Jennifer Aniston says two euro bar of soap is the secret of her flawless complexion.

18 Aug

Jennifer Aniston has a complexion to die for, sun-kissed and flawless.

Her ‘secret’ (and I use this word lightly) is an inexpensive bar of soap – Neutrogena Transparent Facial Bar – which she says she has been using since she was a teenager.

‘I wake up and wash my face with Neutrogena face soap. I use a serum and then a Dr Hauschka day cream – that’s it!’ she says.

Of course I wanted to believe it’s just the two euro bar of soap that has her looking as she does, but then she added.

‘I run, work out every day. I do a lot of running – exercise is so important too,’ she says.

Still, I’m off to the supermarket to buy this bar of soap. Let’s hope it’s only matter of a few washes before my skin has the Jennifer Aniston glow!

Will report back soon 🙂

Smooth skin – Magic Peeling Exfoliating Glove

18 Aug

Magic Peeling Exfoliating Glove

The claim:

The Magic Peeling Glove® is made of a cellulose fibre extracted from the plant broom of the Ginestra plant.

Promotes the skin’s natural exfoliating process and Improves the flow of OXYGEN to the skin

Eliminate impurities

Replaces chemical peeling Process in a totally natural way

Enhances the effectiveness of the active principles in ANTI-CELLULITE, MOISTURIZING, ANTI-WRINKLE, AND ANTI-STRETCH MARK creams

The results:

The skin on my legs has never been so soft, allowing body cream to be instantly absorbed, in fact I had such good results on my legs that I even used this on my turkey skin neck (I know, disgusting, but it happens to us lazy girls who only exfoliate our faces) and chin, again resulting in super soft skin as if I’d just had some type of dermabrasion, except without the burning.

The material used in this glove is not abrasive, though it did make my skin a little pink, I was, however, using quite a bit of pressure when working the glove on my body, this reaction disappeared quickly afterwards leaving smooth soft skin.

If I could only keep one body product, right now, I’d choose this.

Be warned.

Stand in the shower or the tub when you’re using this glove as you won’t believe the amount of dead skin that will flake off!

Purchase: www.magicpeelingusa.com

Price: Under €30

The Award Winner – Bobbie Brown Long-Wear eyeliner.

17 Aug

So, is there any truth behind the hype surrounding the Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeline.  It has, afterall, won “Elle” ‘Genius Award’, “In Style” ‘Best Beauty Buy’,  “Allure” ‘Reader’s Choice Award’,  and it has just come back under my radar as I’ve read Amy Winehouse uses it.

I used to use a pencil eye-liner (Clinique), so I thought it would be difficult to get used to a gel-liner applied with a brush, but this is even simpler than a pencil, goes on easily, blends well for layering or smoking out and the gel last so much longer.  Though I’m not very skilled at eye-liner application it’s easy to control a thin line.

I’ve even  put it through the gym test, impressively – after a four mile run it didn’t smug.  Not even a little.  The rest of me looked a mess but my eyes looked perfect! (Not that I usually wear make-up running, oh God who am I kidding, I wear a little concealer over my sun-block because you just know the one day you leave the house looking like you’ve been dragged through a ditch you’ll bump into him – the ex.  No judgement, please.  And yes, I also wear waterproof mascara, even when I go to the pool. )

But back to the product – I also love the new a/w colour – forest shimmer ink.  Try it, I know you’ll love it.

Purchase from : Brown Thomas

Price: Under €20

Goodbye puffy red eyes – Ocusoft Lid Scrub Foaming Eyelid Cleaner

17 Aug

I presented myself to the eye-specialist with very dry eyes, a condition I thought I’d developed from spending too long on the computer, but he identified a different cause, namely my eye-make remover, which he considered ‘harsh’ even though the labelling stated otherwise.

Instead, he recommended Ocusoft Lid Scrub Foaming Eyelid Cleaner.

This is an outstanding product. It gently removes all eye-make up but doesn’t dry my eyes. Within a couple uses my itchy puffy red eyes were a thing of the past.

What I liked most about this product was the fact that not only did it remove all my eye make-up, it also felt like a ‘treatment’, lubricating my eyes.

I gave a sample of this to my friend who uses contact lenses and also suffers from dry eyes.  She too is now a convert and says it make wearing her lenses much more comfortable.

Purchase from: http://www.lenscatalogue.co.uk

Price: under €13.00

NYX Eyeshadow Base Primer

16 Aug

NXY primer does what is says on the tin. My eye make-up stayed put all day, the primer kept my eye-shadow looking fresh, preventing it from melting into the little creases on my eye-lids! I found it also made my eye-shadow colour pop, it went on smooth and best of all it’s quite inexpensive, about half the price of the Urban Decay primer I’d previously used and also liked.

Buy:

http://cherryculture.com

Price:

Under €5

Like it, love it, loathe it.

5 Aug

LOVE IT

Jasmine scented love bomb.

Sex in the Shower Emotibomb encourages people to share a shower to conserve water. As the warm water touches its surface, wafts of sensual scents entwine themselves around you.

(Available from LUSH – Dublin, Cork)

www.lush.com

LIKE IT

GOSH Pressed Powder in Amazing Sun

Delivers nothing more than a sun-kiss with pink undertones, perfect for Irish skin.

Available from http://www.surperdrug.com

LOATHE IT

It’s such a treat to get a manicure and yes, we all want a high gloss finish and we want it to last but I loathe when the top coat is applied so thick that it’s impossible for it to dry.  ‘Like ever’.   Keep the top coat light and go for a second coat if you must, but don’t plaster it on, please.