Saturday, 31 August 2013

Review: Sarah McNamara Miracle Skin Transformer Face SPF20


The Promise: "A breakthrough tinted, transforming beauty balm designed to hydrate, prime, enhance, mattify, and protect skin in one single step"

The Price: £38.00 / $48.00 50ml

The Stockists: Selfridges, sephora.com

The Hero Ingredients: CO Enzyme Q10, Vitamin A, Saw Palmetto Extract and Vitamin E and Vitamin K


It is extremely difficult to categorise the Miracle Skin Transformer as it does just about everything! It hydrates, protects (SPF20!), primes, mattifies and enhances the skin to either beautify a makeup-free look or create the ultimate base for foundation. In addition, it includes vitamin A which helps with blemishes and wrinkles, as well as vitamin K which works against discolouration.

Similar to a BB Cream, the Transformer is tinted and is available in six different shades. 

The Application: This product applies incredibly well. It glides onto the skin as if you're covering it in pure silk and it feels amazing! It is advised that only a pearl sized amount per use is needed, however I often use more to adequately cover the entire face.

The texture is similar to that of a thick creamy foundation. Like the Dermalogica Skinperfect Primer, the colour in this product seems to disappear into the skin as soon as it is blended in. Trust me, the six available shades really do fit all. You will not see foundation lines or colour streaks with this product!

The Miracle Skin Transformer is free of synthetic fragrances, however it does have a sweet, yet subtle, pharmaceutical-style scent.


The Results: This product really does help to transform the skin. It hydrates skin perfectly and creates the most amazingly smooth, silky base; helping to make foundation application an absolute dream. The Miracle Skin Transformer also helps to even out skin tone and give both concealer and foundation staying power and a real radiance boost.

Regarding coverage, it is important to mention that this product is not, and neither claims to be, a foundation. Although the Miracle Skin Transformer is tinted and helps to correct pigmentation, it does not provide substantial coverage. For these reasons, if you're a fan of medium to full coverage, I wouldn't advise using this as a foundation. In saying that, I would recommend using the Transformer to make makeup-free skin look naturally fabulous and more radiant.


The Pro: This product is a moisturiser, primer and colour corrector all in one, helping to cut costs and makeup application time.

The Con:
 Those with dry skin have sometimes found the Miracle Skin Transformer to be a little drying.

Have you tried any other Miracle Skin Transformer products you would recommend?

PR sample
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Tuesday, 27 August 2013

The Tuesday Tip: Toothbrush As An Eyebrow Brush


The next time you go to throw out an old toothbrush, don't! Toothbrushes make perfect eyebrow brushes, helping to groom brows just as well as any cosmetic eyebrow brush.

Toothbrushes are also great for keeping unruly eyebrows in place. Simply spray a little hairspray on a toothbrush before brushing brows and they will stay in perfect condition all day and all night!


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Saturday, 24 August 2013

Understanding...Rosacea

What is rosacea?

Rosacea is a skin disease that causes redness and swelling on the face. Symptoms begin with episodes of flushing, however other symptoms develop when rosacea progresses. These symptoms include:

- Burning and stinging sensations 
- Permanent redness
- Acne
- Small blood vessels becoming visible

1 in 10 people in the UK are thought to develop rosacea, although in most cases the symptoms are very mild. In addition, rosacea usually develops over a long period of time and is more common in women.

What causes rosacea?

Although rosacea is a common skin disease, the exact cause of it is unknown. However several triggers have been thought to make the condition worse.

Rosacea triggers include:

- Sun exposure 
- Exercise
- Cold weather and wind
- Heat
- Alcohol and caffeine
- Stress
- The menopause
- Certain medications
- Certain foods (spicy foods and yeast extract for example)

How do you treat rosacea?

There are various different ways to help prevent and treat rosacea. These include topical treatments and oral treatments, IPL treatment and lifestyle changes. The NHS has a great list of various rosacea treatments - you can view it here.

There are also a number of skincare products available that help to combat redness and irritation.

Recommendations
  1. Dr. Nick Lowe Redness Relief Calming Cream 50ml (£15.49 urbanretreat.co.uk / $25.56 feelunique.com)
  2. Dermalex Rosacea Cream 30g (£18.99 Boots)
  3. Skinceuticals Redness Neutralizer 50ml (£69.00 blissworld.co.uk / $66.00 skinceuticals.com)
  4. Eucerin Redness Relief Soothing Cleanser 200ml (£7.00 amazon.co.uk / $8.79 drugstore.com)
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Thursday, 22 August 2013

Interview: Claire Vero


Global pharmaceutical and dermatology expert Claire Vero knows a thing or two about skincare. Having had an successful career at GlaxoSmithKline, one of the world’s leading global pharmaceutical and consumer healthcare companies, Claire was inspired to create Aurelia Probiotic Skincare; a scientific, BioOrganic, age preventative skincare line.

I was lucky enough to grill Claire on everything from her career highlight to her ultimate beauty tip...


What inspired you to work in the beauty industry? And how did your career journey begin?

Working alongside the world's best dermatologists and utilising the most advanced and up-to-date solutions created by GSK, led me to understand the importance of scientifically proven skincare. After meeting patients with serious skin concerns caused by inflammation (ranging from eczema and psoriasis to dry skin and premature ageing), it was clear that reducing this inflammation was critical to achieving and maintaining healthy, youthful skin.

After discovering probiotics, which balance the skin's immune system, I was inspired to create a skincare range that would harness this next generation science but also use the most natural and organic ingredients available. It was essential for me to create a range that avoided all the nasty ingredients that are so prevalent in much of today’s skincare. I am proud to say Aurelia is free from synthetic fragrances, parabens, mineral oils, silicones, sulphates, propylene glycol, phthalates, GMO, PEGs, TEA and DEA.


What is your career highlight?

I would definitely say launching Aurelia Probiotic Skincare on Net-A-Porter and having the entire range sell out in 72 hours!

What advice would you give to someone wanting to succeed in the beauty industry?

Come up with your principles for your concept and stay true to them. You will be challenged left right and centre to move aside from them, however staying true to your original goal will lead to your overall success. We find this with our ingredients policy; there are daily challenges in continuing to seek scientific but very natural ingredients. I know it’s the longer route but it does create a better product in the end.

Who is the ultimate beauty icon?

Nicky Kinnaird MBE, founder and president of Space NK. She revolutionised the way women buy beauty over the last few decades.

Nicky Kinnaird MBE
What are your makeup bag essentials?

Hourglass Ambient Powder in Dim Light, Chantecaille Future Skin and Vapour Beauty Lip & Cheek Tint in Aura.

What is the biggest beauty crime a person can commit?

Using a cleanser that strips the skin of natural oils and leaves it unbalanced and tight. This often happens if people are using foaming cleansers containing SLS ingredients.

What is your top beauty tip?

A night oil can completely work with your skin’s overnight system to repair and rebalance, resulting in gorgeous glowing skin every morning. I swear by Aurelia’s Cell Repair Night Oil.

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Tuesday, 20 August 2013

The Tuesday Tip: Prevent Nail Polish Chipping


As much as we love the summer, it really does play havoc on our fingernails - more importantly, our manicures! The frequent exposure to water, sun and sand causes nail polish to chip more than usual. Luckily there is a little tip to help prevent the dreaded chip...

Apply an extra layer of top coat to painted nails every other day to strengthen the nails and protect nail polish from chips and scratches. It really is that simple. As for which top coat to use, I recommend Seche Vite 14ml (£8.76 feelunique.com / $9.49 CVS). Widely acknowledged as the world's finest top coat, Seche Vite is a fast drying top coat that leaves nails silky, stronger and resistant to chipping and peeling.

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Monday, 19 August 2013

Review: Paul & Joe Beauté Fairytale Eye Colour Set


The Price: £27.00/$42.00

The Stockists: Selfridges, Beautybay.com and asos.com

The Collection: Fall 2013 Fairytale Collection


The Review: If Sleeping Beauty actually existed, I'm convinced this eye colour set would've had pride of place on her dressing table. Beautifully packaged in a fairytale book inspired box, the set comprises of a Snow White cream eye colour, a Dusty Rose eyeshadow and Sparkling Silver pigment.


Snow White (1g) is a metallic white cream eye colour that makes the perfect highlighter. It is sheer and has a smooth, blendable texture that is great for use on the cheekbones and lips, as well as the eyes.

Dusty Rose (1g) is a golden pink shimmery eyeshadow that seems to change colour under different lighting. It is not the most pigmented eyeshadow I've ever used and it doesn't have the best staying power, however the colour is really beautiful.

Sparkling Silver (1.5g) is an amazing silvery white pigment. It has really good pigmentation and great staying power, especially when used with a mixing medium. Sparkling Silver can also be applied over another eyeshadow to enhance the colour and really make it stand out.

From the top: Snow White, Dusty Rose and Sparkling Silver
The Pro: Although advertised as an eye colour set, Fairytale is really the perfect highlighting kit. It can take you from subtle shimmer to striking sparkle.

The Con: The Dusty Rose eyeshadow lacks any real staying power, however using a setting spray would help the colour last a little longer.

Are you a fan of Paul & Joe Beauté? Have you tried any other products from the fall 2013 collection?

PR Sample
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Thursday, 15 August 2013

Beauty News: DHC Launches In Selfridges

DHC, Japan’s favourite skincare brand, has just landed in Selfridges.

The cult brand, founded by Mr. Yoshiaki Yoshida, is famous for its use of virgin olive oil. Plant extracts, especially Asian botanicals, are also used extensively in DHC formulations. They are balanced by extensive scientific research and development to create safe and effective skincare products.

Sadly, Selfridges won't be stocking the entire DHC range. However an edited selection of essential products will be available in store and online. The product to look out for is the worldwide best-seller, Deep Cleansing Oil. A bottle is sold every six seconds!!
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Monday, 12 August 2013

Ask TBI: Rescue Me From Red Eyes!

Question: I often suffer from red eyes. I don't wear contact lenses, I don't suffer with any allergies and I really don't think I have an eye infection. What could be causing the problem and how can I stop it? - Lianna, Edinburgh.

Answer: Although red eyes can be caused by a variety of different factors (environmental irritants, allergies and eye infections and inflammations etc..), they can also be caused by something much more simple - lack of sleep. So I would start by ensuring you have at least 7 hours of sleep a night. I would also try using eye drops that contain naphazoline or pheniramine (ingredients that constrict blood vessels to reduce redness), such as the Optrex Boodshot Eye Drops 10ml (£4.29 Boots). If neither trick works, go and see your doctor as something more serious could be causing the problem!!

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Saturday, 10 August 2013

Review: Antipodes Grace Gentle Cream Cleanser


The Promise: “Clear impurities and remove make-up gracefully with this dermatologically approved organic cleanser that is a true gift for sensitive skin conditions. Nutrient-rich avocado oil and marigold flower gently yet effectively cleanse, freshen and soften your visage”.

The Price: £24.99/$41.23 120ml

The Stockists: Antipodesnature.com and feelunique.com

The Hero Ingredients: Marigold, Vinanza Oxifend Red Grape, Avocado Oil, Vitamin E 


The Application: This cleanser is so nourishing and creamy that it actually pains me to remove it. It applies really well, just like any good cream cleanser, and is sooo soothing. It is easily removed, taking every inch of makeup and dirt with it. The Grace Gentle Cream Cleanser has a thick creamy texture and a delicately sweet scent.

The Results: It would be wrong to say this cleanser delivers outstanding results because it is, after all, just a cleanser. Cleansers either remove makeup and impurities well or they don't - luckily Grace does. However, what makes this cleanser great is that it leaves skin ultra soft and works really well with sensitive skin. It is formulated with antioxidant-rich ingredients, such marigold flower and Antipodes' own Vinanza Oxifend, that help reduce inflammation and soothe skin.

I don't actually have sensitive skin however, to put this cleanser to the test, I leant it to a friend that does. My friend's skin is so sensitive that she really struggles to find any beauty product that doesn't inflame or irritate her skin. She tested this cleanser for two weeks and, not only did she not experience any bad reactions, she found that the cleanser actually helped to calm her skin and reduce puffiness.


The Pro: This one of the few cleansers that really leaves skin feeling soft and hydrated. 

The Con: The cleanser is a little on the expensive side. However considering that there is 120ml of product, the price isn't that bad.

What do you think of Antipodes? Have you tried any other products from the brand that you would recommend?

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Thursday, 8 August 2013

Understanding...Peptides

Peptides are simply small chains of amino acids - the building blocks of the proteins within your skin. Peptides are present in every living cell and they play a crucial role in the physiological and biochemical functions of life.
Peptides can have a variety of different sequences of amino acids and these various sequences can cause different results within the body. Peptides can calm inflammation, regulate the immune system, repair tissue, treat hyperpigmentation and stimulate the growth of collagen, leading to the restructuring of the skin. What's more, some peptides can even communicate with the body's cells, telling them how to react and what to do!

So it's no surprise that peptides are being used in a huge number of skincare and haircare products. The peptides found in most products are usually synthetic, however there are a few brands, such as NUDE Skincare, that are now using naturally derived peptides.

There are three common types of peptides used in skincare:

Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-3 (aka Matrixyl): Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-3 is one of the most powerful peptides available. It works to stimulate the production of collagen within the deeper layers of the skin. It also increases the skin's elasticity and promotes skin strength, helping the skin to heal quickly.  

Acetyl Hexapeptide-3: This peptide works to relax certain types of facial lines and wrinkles. When topically applied, acetyl hexapeptide-3 treats the same type of wrinkles as Botox.

Copper Peptides: Copper peptides combine with molecules of copper to carry out their activity. The combination of peptide and copper molecules make their way into the deep layers of the skin. Here, they stimulate skin regeneration and healing and reduce scar tissue formation. Some argue that copper peptides may slow down the signs of ageing, as they are able to limit the effects of daily wear and tear on the skin.

Recommendations
  1. Docteur Renaud Anti-Ageing Iris Lift Mask 50ml (£14.00 Marks and Spencer)
  2. Bobbi Brown Extra Repair Serum 30ml (£62.50 John Lewis / £108.00 Nordstrom)
  3. NUDE Cellular Renewal Moisturiser 50ml (£72.00 nudeskincare.com / $92.00 Sephora
  4. Palmer’s Night Renewal Cream 75g (£6.95 feelunique.com / $8.47 Walmart)

One of the most interesting peptide based products I've used is the Priori Lash Recovery Serum 4ml (£79.00 cosmestore.co.uk/ $99.00 dermstore.com). It is an eyelash thickening formula that includes three different types of peptides. After two weeks of continual use, I saw significant improvement in the length and thickness of my lashes.

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Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Wednesday Wisdom: Tallulah Bankhead

“If I had to live my life again, I’d make the same mistakes, only sooner”

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Saturday, 3 August 2013

Review: Time Bomb Complexion Cocktail With A Shot Of Chlorophyll


The Promise: "Complexion Cocktail with a shot of Chlorophyll gives skin an instant reprieve from the constant onslaught of free radicals, inside and out. Formulated to reduce the effects of toxins that contribute to premature ageing, This concentrated cocktail blends multiple, potent anti-oxidants known to target and neutralize different types of free radicals".

The Price: £24.00 / $38.00 100ml


The Hero Ingredients: Chlorophyll, Red Clover and Wheatgrass


The Application: The Time Bomb Complexion Cocktail has a fresh, yet very subtle scent and it can either be applied with the hands, or saturated into a cotton pad and applied to the face that way. The cocktail has an incredibility runny consistently, almost like water (see below), which only adds to my confusion over whether this product is a toner or serum. For the record, I treat it like a serum! Whether applied with the hands or a cotton pad, the complexion cocktail glides onto the skin easily and is quickly absorbed.

The Results: Once applied, the complexion cocktail leaves skin looking fresh and dewy. However, I see the real benefits of this cocktail when skin is inflamed and irritated. It really helps to calm down skin, making it smooth and trouble-free.


The Pro: This cocktail provides great instant relief for irritated and/or puffy skin.

The Con: 
It is only available at QVC or direct from the brand's website. It would be great to see the cocktail stacked on the shelves of local drug stores!

PR sample
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