Saturday, 4 December 2010

Where do you draw the line?

This is my third attempt at writing this post. I don't know whether I don't know where to start or just that there isn't enough room to vent everything in one post...

This week I received details sent to retailers regarding the new line from Rodial named 'Crash Diet' being released in January.

Yes. 'Crash Diet.'  This shouldn't be surprising seeing as it came from a brand that gave us 'Tummy Tuck', 'Boob Job', 'Stretch Mark Eraser', 'Bum Lift' and 'Skinny Beach' (more of which later), but surprised I was. Or maybe that should be horrified.

'Crash Diet' is undoubtedly aimed at women. It is packaged in fuschia/hot/bubblegum pink. It wouldn't look amiss with Hello Kitty or Barbie sticking out of the top of it (I am not showing any visuals or linking to the website). And releasing it in January is great marketing - how many people don't start a diet for the New Year? Well, me, but.....

The full kit contains:

Crash Diet Sticks
Crash Diet Smoothie
Crash Diet (body gel)

and retails for £149.00.

The recommendation is that you do this for two weeks during which you can 'lose up to 6"!'  It doesn't say where you lose the inches from so if you're a man I would definitely think this through.

There are a LOT of claims listed in this PDF. I'm sure they have full scientific backing that Rodial would make available if asked. *eyebrow*

Some text lifted straight from the page:

'Over-indulged this holiday season? Need to shift some weight on a hurry? Desperate to squeeze into a dress for that special occasion?'
'This super easy and nutritionally balanced 2-week programme helps you look fabulous - fast!'
'Melt fat fast and drain away excess water retention and toxins with crash diet sticks'
'Smooth your way to a firmer and slimmer silhouette with crash diet'

And my favourite:

'We're happy skipping meals with this tasty banana and strawberry flavoured crash diet smoothie'

Really? 'Happy skipping meals'?

There is no full ingredient listing but it does list the following:

Smoothie: Milk proteins, banana, strawberry, grape dry extract - £48 for 10 sachets - take 1-2 sachets a day. To be fair I'm sure there's more in it than milk - after all who would pay 4.80 for a milkshake?

Sticks: Cherry stalk, Meadowsweet, Ash Leaf dry extract, Green coffee seed dry extract, guarana, green tea leaf dry extract - £48 for 14 sticks - to be fair I'm sure there's more in it than diuretics - after all who would pay £3.43 for a stick when you can have a cup of tea and buy a can of Red Bull for under a quid?

Crash Diet body sculpting gel: Redulite and Iso-Slim complex - both trademarked names to Rodial which means I've absolutely no idea what they contain but to be fair I'm sure they're excellent and again, scientifically proven. *eyebrow*

All that aside, it's not the claims I'm interested in.  It's the message. The words 'fat' and 'weight' are used 16 times with a negative connotation in this presentation. The diet industry is estimated to be worth 100 million dollars this year. I don't blame Rodial for wanting a slice of that pie. Nor do I blame Rodial for jumping on the celebrity bandwagon (they have a whole tab devoted to them on their website). The Western World is addicted to celebrity - especially skinny celebrities that just 'eat a lot of veggies!' Likewise, I too eat a lot of veggies, accompanied by a lot of protein and a lot of carbs. And butter. And preferably cheese. Melted.

But where do we draw the line? When is it too much? As far as I am aware and according to medical professionals, crash diets (the un-trademarked type) are only recommended under medical supervision pre-surgery for medically obese people.

So, as the mother of a daughter and an aunt to 15 gorgeous nieces, and as its my blog, and you've clearly been kind enough to read thus far, allow me to share with you my message:

I love my boobs. They've breastfed 4 babies and look like it. And I love'em.

My tummy was flat as a pancake until I had a c-section. So now I have a muffin top tummy - and a gorgeous 6 year old son. I call that a more than fair trade-off.

I have stretch marks. Not loads but they're there. What of it?

I have a big bum. I love it. And if I want it to 'lift', I walk. Problem solved. Works every time.

And the only way I would be a skinny 'bitch' is if I stopped eating and was grumpy. Which I would be. G.R.U.M.P.Y.

Please, I beg you, for the LOVE OF CARBS, be sensible, don't skip meals, and if you need to 'fit into that dress!'?, buy A NEW DRESS THAT FITS YOU.


Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Tales from the other side of the Till

She's orange.
She's rude.
She's patronising.
She complains openly about her job.
She talks to her co-workers instead of serving you.
She points somewhere and says 'over there' when you ask for something.
She 'doesn't know' when you ask for something.

Recognise her? I'm sure you do - we've all been there at one time or another. But lets face it - the list above could be attributed to any sales assistant in any store - not just beauty girls (except of course - the orange part, unless the poor thing has a failing liver). They could also be attributed to men - have you tried talking to a man in a mobile phone shop lately?

My concern is that the list of sweeping generalisations above does not describe the people that I have worked with in the industry - I mean we all have off days, but come on - we're not ALL like that!!!

So strictly in the spirit of fun - I thought I would provide you with a glimpse of the view from behind the till - you general public are not all sweetness and light you know!

The 5.30pm 'Makeover'

Going our for the evening? Want your makeup done? Just ask. Spare us the excuses about not having any time to get in at the weekend/during lunch/ever. Most of the people I know are more than happy to do makeovers - they love makeup - that's why they got into the industry - except me of course - absolutely no point asking me - I can do it but I don't enjoy it - one word people - delegation - I'll tell you how to fix your skin though...
Just ASK. In most cases you'll get asked what you're wearing/what the event is/what colour would you like etc. (Well except for Trish McEvoy. If you want those ladies to touch your face makeover-wise you need to commit to purchasing two products - but at least they're open about it...)

Don't roll in half an hour before closing time in a feather boa and say you're going home to watch Corrie.

Mobile phones

Whilst you're having your makeover that we are very happy to do - do us a favour, DON'T ANSWER YOUR PHONE. Let me tell you what your Mama never told you because they weren't around in her day - IT'S RUDE. Don't do it. This goes for all times - but especially when you're having your face done - and especially the lip area - d'oh - do not be surprised if you're MUA downs tools and walks off - I don't blame them. Rude.
Also, if you are buying something and are at the till paying - same rule applies. Rudeness. By all means answer and say you can't speak right now BECAUSE YOU ARE BEING SERVED and hang up. Thanks. We appreciate it. So do the people waiting to be served. You're not THAT important.

The 'Hold This'

Baby? Dog? Handbag? Starbucks cup? Banana Peel? Yes. Banana Peel. If we don't offer we don't want to hold it thank you. If we do offer recognise that we are nice - not butlers.

The 'I know your range better than you do'

Woman approaches counter: 'You make this gel in that colour in a powder - I want one.'
Sales Assistant: 'I'm terribly sorry we don't make that item in a powder form - do you have it on you so I could see what you mean?'
Woman: 'You DO make it - I've been using it for years.'
SA: 'I'm really sorry Madam, I can assure you I know the range inside out and we definitely do not make that item that you are describing.'
Woman - shouting: 'I HAVE BEEN USING LANCOME FOR TWENTY YEARS - DO NOT TELL ME WHAT I KNOW!'
SA: 'Well then Madam may I direct you to the Lancome counter - this is Sue Devitt'

The 'I don't need' Customer

We all know that sales assistants are targeted and told to link sell. But we don't always do it for monetary purposes - some of us are nice and are actually trying to help.

'I don't need moisturiser - I've used soap for years and my skin is fine - I just need a REALLY good foundation.' 
What we want to say is: 'Look love - you resemble a sharpei - the lines are queuing up on your neck to get on your face - but WHATEVER'

'I don't need a new deodorant - I use a crystal.'
What we don't say: 'That's why you smell like a cheese and egg sandwich left on top of a radiator then.'

'I don't need an eye cream - my mum never used one - why should I?'
What we don't say: 'Because your eyes look like two pissholes in the snow - but WHATEVER'

'I don't need a new way to do my eyes.'
What we don't say: '1967 rang - it wants its look back.'

The 'Do you know who I am?/How busy I am?' Customer

Most stores I know don't do take out or drive thru. So pulling up outside a store, rolling your window down and snapping your fingers is probably NOT going to get you served.
Likewise, shouting 'For Christ's Sake I'm double parked!!!' in the middle of Harvey Nichols when there is a queue of people in front of you showing great patience? Not your best move.

And 'famous' people. If you're really famous you won't need to tell us who you are. And if we don't KNOW who you are - we probably don't care. Seriously. I don't care if your mum/dad was a famous footballer/singer/actor. You're not. Settle down. No-one cares.


Coming up in Part Two:
Returns and Testers. The JOYS.


Friday, 29 October 2010

200 Follower Giveaway

I had meant to do a giveaway for a while - mainly as a Thank You for everyone's patience - I am definitely not what one would call a 'Prolific' blogger!!!

Then this week I reached 200+ followers and thought it was time to crack on with my Thank You...


So above you will see:

StriVectin-SD
REN Glycolic Peel Mask
REN Moroccan Rose Otto Sugar Body Polish
Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream
Armani code Eau de Parfum
A'kin Rosehip Oil
OPI Sweet As Annie Thing

A nice little bundle with a retail value of approx £174.00 (depending where you shop!)

So....... using random.org - the winner issssssss: 179 otherwise known as:

True Random Number Generator 
 
203
179 
Powered by RANDOM.ORG

Computergirl's Musings! 
  
Congratulations!! I'll get these off to you asap. 

Important stuff:
  •  I know the picture is crappy - yes, I took it on my Iphone - my camera won't upload and frankly I'm tired of its problems. At least I jazzed it up a little for you...
  • I may limit giveaways in the future - most of my goodies will be going to Give and Makeup  - if you haven't signed up I would invite you to take a look......
Thanks so much everyone - for sticking by a slow blogger and being so supportive!!
C xx


Friday, 15 October 2010

A quick Congratulations!! And a new Hall of Famer....

Emma Hardie won Essential Luxury Buy in the first ever Stylist Skincare Awards this week. So why not throw my hat into the ring and make it the first facial product in my little Hall of Fame?

Yes I go on about it - with good reason - me loves it!!!

Luscious. All of it.

Some official blurb:

The multi-tasking Moringa Cleansing Balm doubles up as a soothing, softening mask and universal rescue balm.  Moringa seeds, Wild Sea Fennel and Vitamin E balance, purify and minimise the appearance of open pores, and a blend of uplifting Orange Neroli and Mandarin extracts combine with calming Jasmine and Rose to revitalise dull, dry, dehydrated and mature skins, leaving the complexion clean, soft and exquisitely fragrant.   Removes all face and eye make-up, can be made into an exfoliator or used as a healing serum for dry skin and lips.

Basically - IMMENSE. It was the only product to receive 70/70 from all of the judges - which means other huge facialists on the judging panel had to 'fess up and say 'Yep. Fair play. Immense.'


Em looking chuffed with herself - and so she should.
Congrats Ms Hardie. Well done - The Mouth salutes you.


Monday, 4 October 2010

Cheat Sheet - Spots

Zits. Pustules. Papules. Wheals. Comedones. Milia. There are lots of things that happen to the skin - especially on the face - on a regular basis.  This is purely for:

SPOTS.

Acne? I'm not talking to you. Blackheads? Nor you. Pustules? Nope.  I'm talking about your average spot that pops up occasionally - you know it's coming - you can feel it, it started with a bump, felt sore, then got a little red, hurt a little more, then you see a faint hint of something that could be a head. A little white/cream shows underneath.

And THEN if you are the average female, you:
  • Stab it (leading to ...scar)
  • Poke it (absolutely nothing)
  • Squeeze it (if too early, will bruise, then scar)
  • Load it with tea tree oil (no need - it's probably not bacterial)
  • Load it with spot treatment (see above)
  • or GOD FORBID - put toothpaste on it (please no)
Toothpaste. Paste for TEETH. On a spot. Genius.

I have reached the point of no return.

So here is my gift to you. You can also use this for milia (the little hard, white bumps usually found around the lower eye, upper cheek area).

Next time you feel one of these mothers coming up (or get a milia) you will need the following:
  • Your hands
  • Your moisturiser
  • Your concealer
  • Patience
Repeat after me: moisturise, massage, moisturise. Repeat. Moisturise, Massage, MOISTURISE.

Moisturise the area like its going out of fashion. Yes really. This is particularly good for those big on-the-chin once-a-month spots.
Moisturising it does a few things:
  • Softens the area around the spot - how often have you destroyed the surrounding area of a zit because you treated the area of the said zit so abusively??
And then either:
  • makes the spot retreat entirely
    OR
  • brings it to a head quicker - in which case you have my permission to pop. 
Pop pop away. Have at it.

Words of warning:
  • A 'popable' spot shouldn't really hurt when popping - it should be satisfying
  • If it hurts - stop - it's too soon and you will bruise and then possibly scar
  • Stop at the first sign of blood - you're about to scar
  • Never, ever, ever try and pop a milia - this technique will eventually make them go, or disperse on the surface. If they don't, get them removed - professionally. Milia can only be taken out safely by piercing the skin - and a lot of therapists are not trained in milia removal. Ask before you let them attack. And don't bother trying yourself - all you'll get for your trouble is a bleeding hole, a bruise - and the milia waving at you from underneath when the dust has settled. And take note - if you do suffer from milia you need to up the hydration level of your creams - less oil, more water based ones.

So the next time you feel Mount Vesuvius brewing under the skin - give it a chance, treat it with care, and save the Crest for your mouth. Please.


Sunday, 3 October 2010

Give and MakeUp

We got a little inspired this weekend.

Please click through to the  site, have a read - and see if you can help.

Thank you.

Give and MakeUp



Wednesday, 15 September 2010

My Staple Diet - Body Lotions/Creams/Butters/Balms

My collection of body products borders on insanity.  Well, to some people anyway, to me it's just good sense.  My family has skin that genetically tends to verge on the dry to very dry depending on surroundings and weather so I have been slathering for nearly 30 years. Wow.  *taking a moment to feel my age*

A few of my recent faves here:


Now I know I harp on about a lot of things - and consider myself an expert in most areas of skincare - but you may officially consider this a peek inside an obsessive's cupboard.

So in a little more detail - this current batch contains:

Sanctuary Ultra Rich Body Butter, Decleor Aromaessence Sculpt Balm, Garnier Summerbody, Nude Smoothing Complex, Jo Malone Tuberose, Burt's Bees Body Lotion, Gatineau Body Lotion with AHA, Soap and Glory The Righteous Butter, all for eve Body Lotion, Clarins Eau Dynamisante Lait Hydratant
And then....

Chantecaille Darby Rose Body Cream, Yes to Carrots Hand to Elbow Moisturising Cream, Soap and Glory The Daily Smooth, Erbaviva Body Lotion, Chanel Coco Body Cream x 2, all for eve Body Butter, Jo Malone Vintage Gardenia Body Cream, Jergens Age Defying and Ultra Hydrating Body Moisturiser, Fresh Rice Dry Oil

So breaking it down my absolute must-haves? Ooh.. first up:





Jergens Naturals Body Moisturisers *The Mouth Recommends - Staple
If you haven't tried Jergens products - you should. Jergens have been on the shelves in our house for as long as I can remember.  Although they only came to the UK recently - they are the best selling bodycare range in the States and have been going since 1882. Under a fiver and as they are sold in Boots - hello 3 for 2! They are 95% natural, contain no parabens and do not test on animals. And lots of flavours for you to try! Have a look: here!



Soap and Glory Righteous Butter  *The Mouth Recommends - Staple
Oh I love a little Soap and Glory.  At some point I swear I have tried everything in the range. But this is my staple. I love it. It's thick, goopy and smells of the signature fruity amber vanilla that I love. It leaves no residue and you can get dressed immediately. Ten pounds for a fat, deep tub that you can scoop your hands right into. And again - 3 for 2! Main ingredient is shea butter - it does contain parabens so if you prefer not to use them it's not for you - although personally they don't bother me and to be fair S&G make no 'natural' claims - more power to them.  Love. Read all about it here.


Garnier Summerbody and Body Repair
I guess you can tell I don't spend the big bucks on body products (exceptions below) - I like to use them liberally - no I mean really liberally.  Hence most things below the waist can be found for under a fiver.  This is moisturising, absorbs easily and smells lovely. Another winner.  And call me really shallow but I love the red packaging.  Have a look.

Chanel Coco Body Cream
Oh Lord.  This is the birthday/Christmas standard.  Chanel Coco is not only my signature fragrance but layered with the perfume, this body cream is just beyond.  I won't linger on the description as perfume is so personal and well, it's Chanel -   bit I do have a little tip for expensive products such as this. Just use it sparingly on your arms and decollete. Use the cheaper lot down under. You'll still get the smell as your body heats up and the fragrance releases but you'll be using less than half that you would if you were using it all over.

What are your favourites? I am always looking for new ones!?


Sunday, 12 September 2010

EDWARD BESS LAUNCH - The Evidence - FINALLY!

LOOK WHAT I FOUND!!!!

Basically, we were all invited to the launch of Edward Bess by the lovely Zuneta. Months ago. I subsequently 'lost' the pictures somewhere on the XD card.

So it has been reviewed left, right and centre - and swatched - and photographed. So just sit back and enjoy the people behind the blogs:

L-R, Get Lippie, Musical Houses, Peonies and Lilies, So Far So Chic, Katie's Beauty Blog, London Beauty Review, London Makeup Girl, Edward Bess, Makeup By Katy, Me standing on the sofa, Vex in the City, Lipglossiping, Modesty Brown, Zuneta, Too Much Blush

And again for luck.....and incidentally, if you are here and not named feel free to let me know!

But most importantly: Ever wonder what happens when a load of beauty bloggers get together with wine, crisps and swag???

Too Much Blush, London Makeup Girl, So Far So Chic, London Beauty Review, Makeup by Katy, Get Lippie, London Beauty Review 
Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Edward Bess is available from the fabulous Zuneta.


Saturday, 11 September 2010

My Staple Diet - Cleansers

I am often asked what products I use.  To be honest I change my skincare more often than I change handbags. But I do have a few fallback staples that I always rely on which I will allude to below. First up is Cleansers - something for everyone!

Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm (I use P.M.)
No surprises here - it's my 1st choice for a fallback option and although I love trying others, if I run out of this I get panic palpitations. There is nothing about this cleanser that disappoints me. And I'm not alone - this little gem is winning awards left, right and centre. More on EH here.

Amanda Lacey Cleansing Pomade (P.M.)
OK here's the thing: I love this cleanser. A lot. It is beyond beautiful. I first used it about 10 years ago. But it is £55.00. Yes. £55.00. If you can afford it - power to you - it IS lovely. Check it out here.

Clarins Extra-Comfort Cleansing Cream (A.M./P.M.)
I know I am a little obsessed with oily/balm cleansers but I do love this milk cleanser. I don't have a hugely sensitive skin but I always tend to lean towards sensitive cleansers and toners when buying - they usually do the job with less nasties and are less harsh. Interestingly with this particular one, I love that it comes in a big fat pot that I can scoop my fingers into and smear all over my face. Not elegant, but sometimes necessary to just release that 'aaahhhhhh' feeling. Lush. Check it out.

Lancome Galatee Confort (A.M./P.M.)
Ah Lancome. This one is here by demand of Mama Mouth. She has used it for Y.E.A.R.S. I mean really. I do not even BOTHER trying to get her to use anything else. And the reason it is here is because when I am going home (anywhere where Mum is) I don't take a cleanser. I use hers. It takes EVERYTHING off. No need for separate eye remover. And its available here.

OK so my final pick is a tribute to my beautiful Nana (pictured above).  I feel incredibly lucky that my earliest memories are of watching my Nana do her evening skincare routine. Whether she was staying with us or I was at her house, without fail, she would pull this out of her bag, get her cotton wool, and set to work. This amazing woman is now 84 and still has people saying: 'My God - Nana Mouth (not her real name) - your skin looks A.MAZING.'
Ladies and (limited) Gentlemen, I give you:
Almond Oil. *The Mouth Recommends - Staple

Yep.

Almond Oil.


A few words of warning: We use to remove eye makeup only and use sparingly - puffy eyes and you're using too much.
So. If you want a cheap, natural alternative to those extortionate eye makeup removers, pop down to your local chemists - they may have it behind the counter - ASK - and save yourself ££££'s. Personally I love a bit of Neal's Yard but you can buy it cheaper if you want to.



Friday, 27 August 2010

Hall of Fame - The First Recipient

Well I surprised myself with this one. I've been toying with what would be in my own little 'Hall of Fame' for a while - and then I found myself in a very famous department store with a gift voucher - and even surrounded by every other big counter available - I found myself coming back to this.
Three visits later - after thinking 'I should get clothes', 'I could get something for the house', - after thinking 'What do I WANT?' (Why is it always harder to pick something out when you HAVE funds?) I found myself at the Elemis counter saying 'Aching Muscle Super Soak please.'

A bottle of bliss.
Oh Aching Muscle Super Soak - how I love you so.

I don't know about you but if and when I actually get the time to bathe as opposed to shower in 2 minutes flat (with children banging on the door - or just waltzing in as if they own the house - and me) - I do not want to sit in a bath smelling of flowers or something sweet, or something vanilla-ish.

This beast of a potion contains Juniper, Birch, Clove, Alpine Lavender, Wild Thyme and Blue Chamomile and tears a strip off your nose - and your muscles - and your body - and anyone else who happens to be in the vacinity for approx four hours following your bath. It's like Deep Heat on crack.

I'm not kidding. There is only one other brand that does something even close to this (posting soon) - this is hardcore. It says in the spiel that it is suitable for aching, overtired muscles especially after exercise.  *Laughs to self* - yeah - good one. Exercise?? My ENTIRE LIFE is an exercise. Kids. House. Clean. Work. Kids. House. Clean. Work. Rinse and repeat for about 15 further years.

Anyway. There is not enough room on this page to rave about this product.

If you like a bath - buy it.
If you have any kind of muscle ache going on - buy it.
If you 'have it all' i.e. - if you have it all 'to do' - busy lifestyle/tired/recuperating from illness/post baby (not while pregnant!!)/tired and need to wind down - WHATEVER - buy it.

Elemis Aching Muscle Super Soak - I salute you. *The Mouth Recommends - HIGHLY

Aching Muscle Super Soak is £32.00 and is available from Elemis Time To Spa here.

What are you waiting for?



Sunday, 22 August 2010

Murad Cellulite Trial Results

At the beginning of June I grabbed my six 2 Litre pack by the horns and decided to take Murad up on their offer of trialling their Body Care System consisting of Firm and Tone Dietary Supplements along with the Firm and Tone Serum and the Body Firming Cream (original post here).
I thought I would be posting results in 4 weeks but it has taken slightly longer because I was waiting for all of the product to run out. 

Dr Howard Murad is a highly respected dermatologist based in California and has been ahead of his game for years. Murad is the top-selling 'Dr' line in Sephora stores in the USA. (full brand review to follow)

As I previously explained I don't care that much about my butt.  And frankly, anything that says firming is going to be put to the test on me - hard.  J Lo would be proud of my rear - it's large - I do believe Sir Mix A Lot wrote a song just for me here.

Me on the way to the Co-op.
But I'm always interested in trying to shift my baby belly.  Pre-offspring I used to be able to lay a ruler across my stomach - hipbone to hipbone.
Suffice to say those days are long, long, long, long (one for each child) gone. My penchant for fizzy drinks (I know) has aided it - along with my allergic reaction to all things exercise.

Whilst it's not huge or anything - and my kids were very good to me stretch-mark-wise - it certainly lacks 'tone' shall we say?! And no - there shall be no pictures. Get a grip. No-one needs to be seeing that.

Everything is sold separately but the kit pictured above is what I was using - it is priced at £135.00 - a saving of around £40 compared to buying the 3 items separately. Not cheap. But I suppose it depends on what you use normally. Two high-end cellulite creams used once a day each and 11 quality supplements a day would add up to substantially more.

It was 3 products and over 10 weeks on trial - I'm trying to keep it concise but bear with me:

The Firm and Tone Serum is the reason it took so long to post this. It is only just running out. Not bad going. I have used this religiously every morning after showering since the beginning of June. Around 75 days. It is very lightly textured, absorbs easily and there is absolutely no sticky feeling after applying.
This is supposed to 'refine uneven skin texture and improve skin firmness and elasticity' and I do think it has done that.  The skin on my stomach is definitely firmer and 'pinker'. It has certainly improved the 'look' of it.

The Body Firming Cream is 'clinically proven to increase skin firmness and hydration levels by 40% in 15 minutes'. I am a habitual addicted body lotion/cream/butter user. I mean addicted. I do NOT get dressed before slathering myself in the stuff - any and all, everyday without fail (unlike my good friend over at Get Lippie who doesn't agree with it like this - but that's ok - she can give them all to me). I think this is why I was not overawed with the cream - it didn't do enough to warrant me thinking I would buy it instead of my usual 15 bottle selection.  Although to be fair to Murad it has excellent web reviews (outside of its website) with one woman even using it on her face for the firming action. Also - it didn't last as long as the serum - about half the time in fact.

I did really like that there was no camphor in these products - traditionally used in cellulite creams to mimic the 'burn' but absolutely pointless - a bit like the 'lash inserts' in mascara ads.

What I really want to focus on is the Firm and Tone Dietary Supplement Pack.
The pack contains sachets of supplements helpfully labelled 'day' and 'night'. As a longtime supplement taker it does make life very easy. I can normally be found on a Sunday night decanting everything into my large pill box from Muji (highly recommended - here). With these, I just tore the strip of Day off and threw them in my handbag and left the Night ones by the kettle to remind me when I came home.  That bit didn't always work.  I found that it was harder to take the Night tablets - I would either forget at dinner or be so tired I would go to bed and forget... Either way - I had Night tablets lying around days after I had finished the Days - if you know what I mean. I just took them in the morning...whatever suits - they are not specific to PM - it's repeat dosages with slight changes in quantity.

If you have read my previous warblings you will know I have a thing for supplements anyway - my usual suspects (switching between addicted use and sporadic) are:

Magnesium (relaxes my stiff neck/joints/stops me grinding my teeth/helps you 'go')
Iron (anaemic)
Zinc (hair/nails)
Flax Oil (skin)
Fish Oil (brain *fail*)
Folic Acid (*prescribed for good HB count in blood - not for babies)
Vitamin B (so I don't stab my husband - or anyone else - but mainly my husband)
Vitamin C (skin)
Vitamin D (mood/skin/bones)

So I'm no virgin on the pill front - but these supplements did something I had never experienced before.
They cut my appetite in half. IN HALF. Now, I don't know particularly WHY - or HOW - they don't appear to have anything in them that I have not taken before - they are listed as:

MultiVitamin (obvious)
Connective Support Complex (amino acids?)
Essential Fatty Acids (fish/borage etc)
Cell Energizer (CoQ10 etc?)

Nowhere on the box does it say 'stop you pigging out supplement' - but something about taking these all together does exactly that. Have to say I was shocked. It's not that I would call myself hard to please and cynical - but well, I am hard to please and cynical.

I found myself arguing with the voices in my head (stay with me) 'No I can't possibly be full - keep eating' and then I would have that awful 'TOO full' feeling. I am a plate-clearer, as in finish mine and the pick at the kids/husbands/strangers plates. I found it hard to finish a meal while I was taking these. Wow. That sentence can go in the 'words you never thought you'd say category'. My husband eyed me suspiciously as I pushed the plate away night after night saying 'I'm full'. NOT what he is used to poor chap.
And it's not just me - I spoke to other people (outside of the business) who used them and the reaction was the same. 'I don't know what it is but they are amazing etc...'

So would I purchase? The supplements without doubt yes. I love supplements and I'd save on food so why not?! The serum yes in preparation for bikini (*laughs to self*) or if I had definite new stretch marks - after baby/weight gain/loss etc. The cream I would be less inclined to purchase purely because as I said before, I don't have real issues with my cellulite or stretch marks - but it is hard to find a negative review online for either of these two.
If cellulite is your thing you could be on to a winner - if it's stretch marks you're worried about remember they still need to be PINK if you are to have any chance of getting rid of them.  It shows that there is still a blood flow to the area - so straight after birth or large weight gain or loss is best. If they are 10 years old you best be getting used to them!

More information on Murad can be found here.
Specific information on the products I used can be found here.


Friday, 13 August 2010

Cheat Sheet - Anti-ageing

Anti-ageing.

We're all so used to this phrase that we don't even question it. If a product says it is anti-ageing on the box then it must be - right?

WRONG.

If ever a phrase has been overused it is this one. There are few ingredients that are indeed anti-ageing.
Although to be fair some should be called 'ageing prevention' as they don't reverse signs of ageing - they just slow them down or prevent them from getting worse.

Before we get on to the ingredients a reminder from your friendly nag about the 3 worst things you can do for your skin.

Sun, Sugar and Smoking

Sun - get a little - not a lot. Be sensible.

Sugar - probably one of the best (and hardest) things you can do for yourself, your health and your skin is to cut out sugar.
In a nutshell - sugar destroys your collagen - think of collagen as scaffolding for your face. Every time you eat/drink sugar it is like taking a piece of the scaffolding away - saggy baggy and drawn. Enjoy that cola won't you. And I'm not preaching here - I struggle every day with leaving sugar alone!

Smoking - No need to go into detail. I could not possibly be more anti-smoking. I was once able to tell a client how she blew her smoke out of her mouth (straight up her face from her bottom lip) because of the condition of her skin in that area.
Smoking leaches the oxygen out of your face with every puff. Smokers have grey skin. Yes. Grey. If you smoke - get help and stop - as soon as you can.

So - digression over. The next time you pick up a product that claims to be anti-ageing what you need to look out for is one of these:
  • SPF      
    SPF is anti-ageing. Proven, undoubtedly, unequivocally. Although if you're younger you could argue that it belongs in the 'prevention' category. It doesn't fix what has been done. That is the job of:
  • Vitamin A   
    Vitamin A is the only other ingredient along with SPF that the FDA will legally let you claim to be anti-ageing in the USA. Vitamin A reverses the signs of ageing. Rebuilds collagen, repairs sun damage and is an all round good egg. There are varying degrees of vitamin A - if you have previously used a product with vitamin A in it and reacted badly - it may just be that you haven't found the right one for you yet.
  • Glycolic/Lactic/Salicylic Acids   
    Acids used in the right way can be beneficial to the skin - when applied as topical exfoliants they resurface the epidermis allowing better product penetration and in the case of some well formulated AHA's - help rebuild collagen.
    Glycolic and Lactic are better for a dryer skin - Salicylic for oily/combination. Don't go too strong straight away and don't go mad. Less is sometimes more. 
  • Vitamins C and E
    These two work well together as vitamin C is traditionally water-based (newer formulas include oil-based vitamin C) and vitamin E is oil based thus protecting both parts of the cell. Both are anti-oxidants and so in the 'prevention' category.
  • Niacinamide
    Newer than the others, this is vitamin B3 by another name. When used on the skin it has shown to stimulate the dermis and in turn increase the fatty content of the cells along with aiding in the retention of water. As it is shown to enhance barrier function of the epidermis it has had good results with acne sufferers by protectng against bacterial attack.
Honestly?

That's about it.

Other ingredients may be and are beneficial to the skin in other ways - but if anti-ageing is the aim - you need some of these in your product - not all at once - let's not give the epidermis a heart attack.

And what age to start using anti-ageing?

I'm 'nutshelling' again but here goes:

SPF - from birth - no brainer. But please don't cover your babies in SPF50 until they are white. They need SOME sun.

Vitamin A - 30+ depending on lifestyle - if you're a sun worshipper start earlier.

Glycolic/Lactic/Salicylic - again depends on lifestyle and skin type. If you have acne you can use Salicylic topically from a fairly early age. The other two can be introduced 25+.

Vitamins C and E - from the word go. As soon as you start your skincare routine choose something with these in. Good move.

Niacinamide - 25+ ish again depending on lifestyle and skin. Acne? Crack on.

The basic thing to remember with anti-ageing is that our collagen production is linked directly to our ovaries.
When we are at our most fertile our skin is is usually at its height. As you near menopause and go through peri-menopause you will notice huge changes in your entire system, not just your skin. Hitting menopause has a direct link to your collagen, its a bit like someone takes away a little of the scaffolding that supports your facial structure with each passing year.

So start taking care of your skin when you get your periods - and step it up a notch when you get to 35+ (before if you go into early menopause or have a full hysterectomy).

And when you DO start using these products - all of them but especially the Vitamin A - DO NOT FORGET YOUR SPF.
During winter I get my SPF from my foundation, but I live in the northern hemisphere and work predominantly indoors. Once the sun is out its time for a dedicated SPF on top of your moisturiser and underneath your foundation. More of which here: www.carolinehirons.com/spf-cheat-sheet

And if you DO smoke? Scrap all that advice and use all of the above - now.


Thursday, 12 August 2010

Toners - Which ones??

Following yesterdays post about toners - here's a quick guide to a few of my current faves and some trusty reliables.

Starting from affordable 'cheap as chips' up to middle priced - I won't spend £££ on a toner. A treatment lotion - absolutely - but a toner. No.

L'Oreal Age Perfect - Mature Skin
This toner retails for around £4.69 for 200ml and being in the 'mass' category you can sometimes find it on offer in the big chemists. And it does what is says on the bottle. Very refreshing and leaves the skin soft and smooth. I have some of this decanted into a mini-spray bottle on my desk - for hot weather AND hot flushes?
If you're on a budget - this is for you. *The Mouth Recommends

Liz Earle Instant Boost Skin Tonic


Liz Earle's Instant Boost Skin Tonic retails for £11.50 for 200ml.  In a world where toners are being forgotten and discarded (not MY world you understand!) this is bucking the trend. Sales are up and continue to grow.
It contains organic aloe vera, natural vitamin E and rose geranium - but if you are a 'natural' freak - it is not completely natural - and claims otherwise are misleading. Check your inci's. Does absolutely leave the skin refreshed, plumped and hydrated. Also available as a spritzer - very handy.

Clarins Lotion Tonique - Camomile
Clarins Lotion Tonique comes in two flavours - Camomile and Iris and retails for £16.00 approx - you can buy it as a kit with the suitable cleanser and it comes up a bit cheaper. The Camomile is for a dryer skin and the Iris is for combination. But they are much of a muchness in my opinion. I should probably use Camomile but I prefer the smell of the Iris. Both toners contain alpine herbs and really do soften, plump and in my opinion - nourish. NOM.

Lancome Tonique Douceur
This retails at £20.00 for 200ml and is here for my mum. She has used this for over 20 years and swears by it.  Again alcohol-free, it contains pineapple as an anti-inflammatory and papaya extracts to hydrate. She is a woman 'of a certain age' and her skin is a marvel. This obviously contributes to that.

Gatineau Nasturtium
Gatineau's Nasturtium retails at £21.00 for 250ml - but if you are a fan you can get salon sizes cheaper on QVC.  This is aimed at a more combination skin as the nasturtium flower extract rebalances the skin. Leaves skin plump and fresh.

Darphin Intral Toner
Darphin Intral Toner retails at £26.00 for 200ml. I love a bit of Darphin and I love this toner.  If
like me you suffer from sporadic outbreaks of redness, or basically any inflamation whatsoever - this is the toner for you. It instantly calms, takes away redness and really does leave the skin soft, smooth and nourished. Lush.  *The Mouth Recommends

What about you? Have I missed any of your favourites? Let me know!


Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Cheat Sheet - Toner

Toners are the Marmite of the skincare world.

You either do - or you don't.

Unlike Marmite (gag) - I absolutely DO when it comes to toner. I have a constant working plethora of toners on the go at any one time. I use them like a wardrobe - picking and choosing what I feel my skin needs on the day.

I do understand why people have been put off. The traditional beauty hall speak of 'Cleanse, Tone, Moisturise' is not really applicable these days.
When I talk about toner I am not referring to some alcohol-laden mixture of water and witchhazel. Ick. I do not want something that burns when applied.

A tingle however, is what I'm generally looking for. Think of toning as the second stage of your routine after cleansing. Cleansing should clean your face. Surely that's the point?
Toning was traditionally used with alcohol-laden products to 'tone' the skin - i.e. dry out the epidermis and give the appearance of shrinking the pores - hence the tightening and 'toning' of the skin. Products have come a long way since those days.

Toners - the myths.
  • Toners remove the last trace of your make-up and residue of cleanser
    If your cleanser doesn't remove all of your makeup and clean your face you need a new cleanser.
  • Toners close pores
    Pores are not doors - they do not open and close.
    A toner with alcohol may temporarily expand the area of the skin around the pore - thus giving the appearance of the pore shrinking - but it's not. It's ultimately drying out your skin which will eventually make you oilier as the skin over-compensates.
  • Good toners contain alcohol as an astringent - when you can't feel it on your face anymore - it's time to step it up a notch!
    This is utter nonsense. And has always driven me crazy.
    Why not just use nail polish remover and be done with it?
    Once you dismiss the above as the nonsense/old wives tales that they are - you can begin to see toners in a new light.

    Think of a toner as the condiment part of your sandwich: yes, you can make a sandwich using just bread and ham/cheese (not marmite - gag) - but how much better does that sandwich work with butter/mayo? It binds it all together and facilitates the process!

    Toners, for me, have these basic functions - all of which add value to your daily skincare routine:
    • Balancing
      Cleansing - no matter what you use - adjusts the ph level and temporarily confuses the natural acid mantle of the skin - same as cleansing any part of the body - hence the need for conditioner after shampooing - even the need for fabric conditioner/tumble dryer sheets alongside your Ariel. Static anyone?
      A good toner will gently reset the balance. Your skin is obviously capable of doing this by itself - but it will take it about half an hour to do so - and in that time oily skins will continue to pump oil on top of dehydrated skins and dry skins will shut down - hence the 'tight' feeling after cleansing on very dry skin.
    • Exfoliating
      A 'lotion' (as more and more products used at the toning stage are now known as) used at this stage that contains acids is the most effective way to exfoliate the skin without the use of beads/grains/apricot kernels (gag) etc. 
    • Hydrating
      The Number ONE skin condition is DEHYDRATION.
      We are almost universally dehydrated - despite spending more money on skincare than ever before. The skin is constantly robbed of moisture by surrounding elements be it weather/dry office environments/central heating/air conditioning/travelling - and that's without factoring in lifestyle - diet/sunbathing/smoking etc.
      A good toner (lotion) will act as a humectant - attracting moisture from the air and trapping it in the top layers of the skin. And I mean toner - not just a water spray. The body is not capable of absorbing water on its own - if it did we would swell up and drown in the bath.
      Try taking that bottle/tin of water and spray your arm - watch it drip away. A tin of water is refreshing but nothing more - and will actually dehydrate your skin further as the moisture in the air attracts the moisture on your skin - and pulls it away from you. 
    • Penetration
      As mentioned above a good toner will help in the absorption of products put on top of it - and has the added bonus of saving you money as you will need half the amount (in my experience) of serums/gels/creams that you would normally use. 

    Application:

    A quick word on application and usage. I always use two toners. 
    I apply an exfoliating toner first - either on cotton wool or on the pads it comes in - and then I spray with a mostly hydrating toner before I apply my serum/oil/next stage.
    The exfoliating toner will contain acids - the strength of which depend on my skin on the day - the hydrating toner will contain things like hyaluronic acid, glycerin, algae or aloe vera. A mixture of softening and moisturising/hydrating.

    So begin to think of toners as the first step in the moisturising process - not the final step of the cleansing process - hence names like balancers/lotions/fresheners - and you will fall in love with them as you feel the change in your skin. Don't take my word for it - do your own test using toner on one half of your face only for a couple of weeks - you'll feel and see the difference.




    Friday, 30 July 2010

    MAC Rodarte Collection - The Result.

    Update taken from source - Temptalia - original post here.

    MAC to Donate its Global Profits from the MAC Rodarte Makeup Collection to Benefit Newly Created Women and Girls of Juarez Initiative.
    MAC and Rodarte apologize to the victims and their families in Juarez, the people of Mexico, the Mexican Government and concerned global citizens.


    MEXICO CITY, México, July 29, 2010 – In response to public concern over the limited edition MAC Rodarte makeup collection, set to launch in fall 2010, MAC will donate all of its global profits from this collection to a newly created initiative to raise awareness and provide on-the-ground support to the women and girls in Juarez. MAC and Rodarte are deeply sorry that this makeup collection was so offensive to the people of Mexico and concerned global citizens.

    This announcement follows a meeting last evening in Mexico City with MAC executives and Mexican government officials, including CONAVIM (Comisión Nacional Para Prevenir y Erradicar la Violencia Contra las Mujeres/National Commission to Prevent and Eradicate Violence Against Women.)

    During the meeting, held at the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs, this collective group committed to working together on the overall direction of the new initiative to help the women and girls of Juarez and to raise global awareness of their plight. MAC executives reiterated their deep regret and reinforced that it was never MAC’s or Rodarte’s intent to minimize the suffering of the women and girls of Ciudad Juarez.

    In the coming weeks, MAC and Rodarte will be consulting with members of CONAVIM´s advisory board, as well as other local and global experts, to develop a comprehensive framework that provides grants to local and international organizations with a track record of improving the lives of the women and girls in Juarez.

    “We are deeply sorry and apologize to everyone we offended, especially the victims, the women and girls of Juarez and their families. We have heard the response of concerned global citizens loud and clear and are doing our very best to right our wrong. The essence of MAC is to give back and care for the community and our initial handling of this makeup collection was not reflective of MAC’s values. MAC and Rodarte are committed to using these learnings to raise awareness on this important issue and to leverage our unique platform to help the women and girls of Juarez,” said MAC President John Demsey.

    “Rodarte is committed to using creativity for positive social change. As designers, we strongly feel it is our responsibility to use ideas and actions for the good of our global community and are truly sorry for the offense we have caused. We are raising our voices in support of the strong women and girls of Juarez and joining others who are working internationally to improve their lives,” said Kate and Laura Mulleavy, designers of Rodarte.

    Well done everyone involved - especially the bloggers who kick started it. 

    And well done MAC - we knew if you heard us loud enough you would listen.


    Tuesday, 20 July 2010

    MAC Rodarte Update - What do you think?

    STATEMENT FROM M·A·C COSMETICS ON THE M·A·C RODARTE COLLECTION

    We understand that product names in the M·A·C Rodarte collection have offended our consumers and fans. This was never our intent and we are very sorry. We continue to listen carefully to the comments we have received and have the following plans to address concerns:

    We are committed to donating $100,000 to a non-profit organization that has a proven, successful track-record helping women in need and that can directly improve the lives of women in Juarez in a meaningful way.

    We are changing the product names in the M·A·C Rodarte collection.

    As we have done in the past, please be assured that we will communicate details regarding our progress in this matter.

    STATEMENT FROM RODARTE ON THE M·A·C RODARTE COLLECTION

    We recognize that the violence against women taking place in Juarez needs to be met with proactive action. We never intended to make light of this serious issue and we are truly sorry.

    Helping to improve the conditions for women in Juarez is a priority for us and we are thankful for all the comments calling attention to the urgency of addressing this situation.

    What do you think?



    Sunday, 18 July 2010

    MAC Rodarte Collection - Whose genius idea was THAT?

    Every so often a company makes a mistake. Sometimes it's a big one.

    This is not one of those situations.

    Knowing what I know - more of which later - this is not a 'mistake'.

    This is SUCH a badly thought out campaign that I am, in all honesty, stunned that it has come out of the Lauder (who own MAC) camp.

    In brief:

    The new MAC collection is 'inspired' by the factory town of Juarez, Mexico. The very same town that the name 'femicide' was derived from.  What has been going on there for so many years is SO horrific that they gave it its very own name.



    What in the name of sanity is INSPIRING about the rape, torture, mutilation and murder of over 400 women (official figures from the Mexican Government - the real figure is estimated to be in the thousands by support groups) I DO NOT KNOW.

    These girls/women range in age from 12-22 (in general) and work in the factories of Juarez and Chihuahua. They work insane shifts for about £3.00 a day. The majority of them also have to walk to work in the factories - at all times of the day but usually at night.

    And the problem is that a lot of them do not make it home. I would encourage you to read more about it here from Amnesty International. And even here from the most basic of all googled files - wikipedia.

    So here's the issue:

    The new MAC/Rodarte campaign has lines called Factory, Juarez, Ghost Town and Badlands to name a few. In context, this is about as sensitive as Toys R Us releasing a line of toy guns and calling them 'Columbine' and 'Dunblane'. That would never happen - we would, quite rightly, be in uproar at the commercialisation of horrific murders of children and teachers.

    Why oh why did MAC and Estee Lauder not apply that same sense of outrage to the deaths of thousands of lower-working class Mexican girls and women. Maybe I just answered my own question. If these killings were going on in East Hampton or Los Angeles or Palm Beach they would never have even considered it. For. A. Second.

    My real fury/shock/sheer unbelievability about this range is this: I know how long it takes to bring something to market.
    And how many people are involved.

    Most brands are currently finalising Fall or Xmas 2011. Beauty works more in advance than fashion - and that is saying something.

    This means that around 18 months - 2 years ago, a group of NPD (new product development - probably about 5-10 people) sat around a table with a group from marketing (in a company of MAC's size - probably around 15-20 people) and said 'We've been asked to do a collaboration with Rodarte based around Juarez in Mexico.' 
    And someone said 'Excellent idea!'
    They would have signed off a critical path, added the range to their budgets and forecasts for the last quarter of this year, instructed the labs to provide samples, ordered the art department to do mock-ups of visuals, presented the new lines to 'senior management' - who would have to have approved everything, gone in to production, given samples to long-lead press about 4/5 months ago and trained their sales teams at conferences earlier this year.

    AND AT NO POINT DID ANY ONE OF THESE PEOPLE - especially in Marketing and Design - say: 'Hang on, where is Juarez? Let me just google that....'
    and then say 'Guys, you know what? I'm not sure this is a good idea. Have you actually read about Juarez?'

    Come ON.

    This line has been a long time in the making.

    This is not a mistake. This is a long thought-out campaign - with very little actual thought behind it.  People in those departments would have researched the background/area/stories extensively before mocking up suggested visuals of the colour lines and presenting them to the powers that be for approval.  People at MAC KNEW the situation in Juarez and Chihuahua before this even got past the initial NPD stage. And yet they proceeded. Absolutely gob-smackingly baffling.

    These are the real faces of Juarez:


    Sally Field, Jane Fonda, Minnie Driver, Eve Ensler and Jennifer Lopez have all been involved in trying to raise the profile of what is going on in Juarez over the last 15+ years.


    So what are MAC to do?

    Well, their PR machine is in overdrive:

    STATEMENT FROM RODARTE ON THE M•A•C AND RODARTE COLLECTION
    Our makeup collaboration with M•A•C developed from inspirations on a road trip that we took in Texas last year, from El Paso to Marfa. 
    The ethereal nature of this landscape influenced the creative development and desert palette of the collection.
    We are truly saddened about injustice in Juarez and it is a very important issue to us.
    The M•A•C collaboration was intended as a celebration of the beauty of the landscape and people in the areas that we traveled.

    Fashion. Seriously. Bite me.

    STATEMENT FROM M•A•C COSMETICS ON THE M•A•C RODARTE COLLECTION
    We understand that product names in the M•A•C Rodarte collection have offended some of our consumers and fans. 
    This was never our intent and we are very sorry.  We are listening carefully to the comments posted and are grateful to those of you who have brought your concerns to the forefront of our attention.  M•A•C will give a portion of the proceeds from the M•A•C Rodarte collection to help those in need in Juarez. We are diligently investigating the best way to do this. Please be assured that we will keep you posted on the details regarding our efforts. 

    Please. Spare me.

    This is not the time to dress it up and call us consumers (to distance themselves) and fans (to soften us up).

    We are people and customers. Customers. THAT is why MAC have sat up and paid attention. This is a wealthy company. MAC's number 1 door in the UK turns over around £4.5 million a year. ONE outlet. £86538 a week. £12363 a day. £1236 a working hour.

    'We are dilligently investigating the best way to do this.'

    It's not rocket science. MAC know what they should do.

    I realise it is too late to pull the line - and now that it is actually raising awareness of the issue - albeit in a way they may have preferred to avoid - I'm not sure it would do any good.

    What they could do is say 'fair enough - we screwed up. How can we fix this?'

    What you can do is give 100% of your net profits to a group that supports the families that are trying to give this cause the recognition it deserves - someone like Amnesty International or one of the numerous groups actually working in Mexico with the families of the victims.
    Promote the cause all across your counters and stores and raise awareness. You have it in your power to do this.
    You can afford it.
    You do not need the money.

    I'm not the only one. Beauty bloggers have come together in an unprecedented way and are posting about this issue simultaneously both here in the UK, in Australia, Europe and in the USA.
    Please read their posts - each has a different take on the subject and all are brilliantly researched and thought out.
    Something MAC could learn from.

    www.mizzworthy.com
    www.britishbeautyblogger.com
    www.bangsandabun.com   
    www.ladyofthelane.com
    www.big-fashionista.blogspot.com
    www.vexinthecity.com
    www.sofarsochic.co.uk
    www.londonmakeupgirl.com
    www.lesalondebeaute.blogspot.com
     www.getlippie.com
    www.londonbeautyqueen.blogspot.com
    www.kraseybeauty.com
    www.makeuploveer.blogspot.com
    www.sparklesandbows.blogspot.com
    www.healingbeauty.co.uk
    www.reallyree.blogspot.com
    www.just-nice-things.co.uk
    www.musicalhouses.blogspot.com
    www.liloo.blogspot.com
    www.ditzymake-up.blogspot.com
    www.perfectly-polished-nails.com
    www.makeupsavvy.co.uk
    www.sparkleandshade.blogspot.com
    www.makeupadviceforum.com

    MAC and Estee Lauder are responsible for some AMAZING campaigns in the industry. Evelyn Lauder I believe, is singularly responsible for the phenomenal way the beauty industry got behind, and continues to support, Breast Cancer.

    I cannot believe that this sits comfortably with them.



    Now is the time for MAC and Estee Lauder to pool their incomparable resources of people, money and power - and remedy this very bad wrong.

    *Update - since this posted the number of bloggers that have taken part has reached well over 100.  This amazing group of people who all pulled together can be found here.



    Wednesday, 7 July 2010

    Emma Hardie Rejuvenating Night Cream

    I know I'm a little obsessed with Emma Hardie.

    It's not my fault. It started with this - one of the BEST cleansers I have EVER used. And I have used A LOT.


    I love everything about it - the smell, the texture, the small amount that you actually need to use, the fact that it takes EVERYTHING off - waterproof included (although waterproof mascara is unacceptable unless you are attending a funeral - you have time to tint your eyelashes for everything else), the fact that it is perfect for your daily facial massage - more of that here and for the simple fact that it is non-mineral oil. Joyous. If you haven't used it - you should.

    Well now she's gone and done it again. HOW. RUDE. Purses at the ready:

    Meet Rejuvenating Night Cream - your new friend.


    OK so firstly, this little pot of wonder? It's NOT SO LITTLE.  Emma is encouraging us to think of the bigger picture and use this all over the face, neck, decollete and down to the boobs.  All the muscles in these areas are inter-connected and thus it makes perfect sense.  Now, you couldn't do this with a piddly little 15ml pump.

    So, for scale, and your viewing pleasure, here is the pot in all it's 100ml glory alongside something you may already recognise:




    Yup. This is a MOTHER of a pot of cream. It is designed to alleviate dull, lifeless and ageing complexions. Hello??? She could have saved time and called it Caroline's Old Hag Cream.  

    This glorious potion contains Platinum - yes - that Platinum - to energize the cells, Plankton (one of my all-time fave inci's), for the same purpose, Pumpkin enzymes and a whole heap of Omega oils and Flower extracts. It aids pigmentation, plumps, tones and firms the skin - and I am liking what I see so far.

    I started following Emma's advice and used it every evening after cleansing - but I am loving it so much that I am using it night and day - all over the designated areas.


    One big dollop does everywhere - and you know my favourite part?

    It doesn't absorb immediately upon application. Always be wary of a cream that disappears as soon as you put it on your skin. It's a dead giveaway that it contains at least 2 things: synthetic 'pushers' and silicone. I'm not totally against silicone - dimethicone is ok - but I prefer it in my make-up which is designed to sit on the surface of the skin - not my creams.

    And those serums/creams that are sold to you on the basis of 'look how quickly that absorbed! Your skin is obviously parched and needs it!' You know who you are. Bite Me. Synthetic pushers are basically a way of forcing something into the skin that would either a: not absorb on its own or b: not be welcome by the skin naturally.

    This cream absorbs - but you need to rub it in.  And it's Sweet Blessed Relief (TM) when you do so.

    Smells divine, feels rich but not thick, not sticky, and spreads a long way.

    You'll need to wait until September to get it in stores but it is worth bearing it in mind and saving for it now. Early signs of ageing? You need it.  Busy, stressed lifestyle (who doesn't)? You need it. Used to paying less for your night creams? Splurge. Happy to pay in the 100's for your creams? Get a grip of yourself, and Save.

    And I love the tag line on the pack: A visibly more youthful, vibrant looking skin. No appointment necessary.

    Emma Hardie Rejuvenating Night Cream is priced at a beyond reasonable and affordable £56.00 for 100ml and goes on sale in September in selected SpaceNK stores nationwide.
    Read more about Emma, her facials and her bee-you-di-full products here.