Monday, 29 June 2015

Skype winner for June

Hi Everyone!

The winner of the Skype appt this month is...

Cathy Freeman.

Congrats Cathy - you have email.

Thank you to everyone that entered.

Thursday, 25 June 2015

L.A. Loot

As requested, a quick overview of the loot I bought back from L.A. with me. I say 'quick', it's 25 minutes long. Sorry!

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Dr Sam on Pigmentation, Melasma and Acne Scarring

I met up again with Dr Sam recently where we discussed pigmentation, melasma and acne scarring. All those fun things. :)

Enjoy! :)

My most asked question from my LA Vlog

This is easily the funniest blog post I have ever done - but this is also the most asked question on my last L.A. vlog:

What tea do I drink? (I know I know - classic LOL'ing over here)

I drink Twinings English Breakfast. Save your recommendations lovely people. There is no better tea in life. I've had every tea on the market in my long tea-drinking life. I've never drunk coffee, but I consider myself a tea addict connoisseur.
This is my jam. Next up: back to beauty.

Me, when faced with a cup of hot water and a Lipton tea bag on the side.

Sunday, 21 June 2015

The L.A. Diaries Part 2

So I finally got my act together and finished editing the LA vlog. You'll get to see everything from the Gen Beauty event to my puffy, swollen red allergic reaction face. Sorry!

My next round of Sam Bunting chats and a Sali Hughes Q&A are up next.

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Zelens Z Luminous Brightening Serum

What is it?
'This advanced serum visibly brightens, smoothes and hydrates the skin.'

Who is it for?
'Someone who wants to diminish the appearance of dark spots and discolouration, even skin tone and enhance radiance, while refining skin texture.'

What’s in it?
Aqua (Water), Niacinamide, Dimethicone, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Cyclopentasiloxane, Pentylene Glycol, Squalane, Phytic Acid, Phenylethyl Resorcinol, Zinc Glycinate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Bisabolol, Hydrolyzed Pearl, Silanetriol, Silica, Polysilicone-11, Benzophenone-3, Polysorbate 60, Sodium Metabisulfite, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sorbitan Isostearate, Diethylhexyl Syringylidenemalonate, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Benzoate, Parfum (Fragrance), Linalool, Sodium Hydroxide

Possibly acne/allergy/troubling for some ingredients?

Natural? Organic? Man made? Vegan?

Tested on animals/sold in China?

What's not in it?
mineral oil

How do you use it?
Apply after toning am and pm before moisturiser. I personally prefer to use in the mornings. *GLOW*

What’s good about it?
I'm a tad in love with this serum. I have a little pigmentation from old sun damage that occasionally tries to peep through when I've been outside. This helps to disguise that, but the best part is the glow it gives. It makes your face look as if unicorns are hidden just under the surface of your skin and are trying to shoot glitter through your pores.
All unicorns and foolishness aside, it contains niacinamide (a lot of) to reduce pigmentation, even skin tone and strengthen the skin by increasing the fatty content of the epidermis which helps it to retain moisture.
Resorcinol to decrease melanin content of the skin and brighten. Zinc-Glycine complex and phytic acid to soothe inflammation, reduce melanin production and mildly exfoliate.
In essence, it's loaded with genuine active ingredients. Marko Lens does not mess around when it comes to his products. Unlike 95% of brand names, he writes his own formulas. These products have not been taken off a shelf in a lab and just had a 'Zelens' label put on them. Everything in here is in here for a reason - and it shows.

What’s not so good about it?
It's £135.00. A no-go if you are on a tight budget, but I would seriously consider checking this out if you are older and have pigmentation or dull skin. I noticed a difference immediately. Please bear in mind I am talking about pigmentation, not melasma or old scarring. That's as different kettle of fish, more of which you can read about here:

Similar products? (These are only designed to work in a similar way, I'm not suggesting they are as good as the main product being reviewed.)
Chantecaille Vital Essence with Arbutin
OSKIA Get Up and Glow
Dennis Gross MD Hydra-Pure Vitamin C Brightening Serum
Tata Harper Rejuvenating Serum
Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum

Exchange rate – does it punish the UK?
No. The UK is Zelens' base country. *Score!*

Zelens Z Luminous Brightening Serum is £135.00 and available from 

Tomorrow:  Zelens Intense Defense Antioxidant Serum

In the Bathroom Part 2

OMG I haven't blogged in so long. RIGHT. Back on the train today people - that's a promise.
In the meantime, you can amuse yourselves with my skincare stash, shagging dogs and Tena ladies. :)

See you soon!

Saturday, 13 June 2015

In The Bathroom - Sali Hughes

Part 1 of 'In The Bathroom' featuring your truly has just gone live on Sali's YouTube channel.

Part Two - the product porn, is next week. Hope you enjoy!

Friday, 12 June 2015

L.A. Diaries Part 1

As you will know, I went to L.A. to do some work with Pixi a couple of weeks ago. While I was there, as requested, I vlogged. God help us. The aftermath of that is available now on YouTube. Part 2 will follow next week. Also coming up is:

  • Q & A with Sali Hughes
  • Dr Sam Bunting on pigmentation 
  • Dr Sam on melasma
  • Dr Sam again on perioral dermatitis, acids and more....
  • L.A. Diaries Part 2
  • L.A. - The Loot

Muji In-store appearance - Tuesday 16th June

To celebrate the launch of Muji's great new skincare line, I am popping along to their store inside Selfridges Oxford Street next week.

What you need to know:

  • The event runs from 6.30pm to 8.30pm on TUESDAY 16TH JUNE in the Muji store in Selfridges Lower Ground Floor.
  • Attendees will receive 20% off ALL Muji stock during the evening. (Can anyone say STORAGE?)
  • The first 30 customers in the queue will receive a Muji Goodie Bag

This will probably be my last appearance before I break for the summer holidays so do come along and grab me while you can. 
(Not literally, that would be borderline inappropriate.)

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Hylamide SubQ Eyes

What is it?
An eye cream/serum

Who is it for?
Anyone with visible signs of ageing in the eye area that they would like to part company with.

What’s in it?
aqua (water), propanediol, perfluorodecalin, glycerin, perfluorohexane, aminobutyric acid, polymethylsilsesquioxane, perfluoroperhydrophenanthrene, adipic acid/neopentylglycol crosspolymer, nylon-12 fluorescent brightener 230 salt, albiziajulibrissin bark extract, polyvinyl alcohol crosspolymer, myristoylnonapeptide-3, dipeptidediaminobutyroylbenzylamide diacetate, hydroxyethylacrylate/sodiumacryloyldimethyl tauratecopolymer, fucusvesiculosus extract, vp/vacopolymer, dimethicone/vinyldimethicone crosspolymer, polyacrylatecrosspolymer-6, epigallocatechin gallatylglucoside, cyclopentasiloxane, dimethicone, isohexadecane, gallyl glucoside, propylgallate, polysorbate 60, caprylyl glycol, hexylene glycol, amodimethicone, hydroxypropylmethylcellulose, benzyl alcohol, pentylene glycol, xanthan gum, darutoside, dehydroacetic acid, chlorphenesin, phenoxyethanol
(Lifted from the website - clearly some spacing between words needed along the way chaps! I fixed what I can.)

Possibly acne/allergy/troubling for some ingredients?
Not that I can see, but have you seen those ingredient names? Who would know outside of a lab? :)

Natural? Organic? Man made? Vegan?

Tested on animals/sold in China?

What's not in it?
mineral oil
bismuth oxychloride

How do you use it?
Apply Am and PM after toning

What’s good about it?
Extremely light, immediately hydrating and a little goes a long way. Loaded with peptides, retinol and a ton of other actives, this is an excellent product, the price of which, moves it into the 'must-have' category. Whilst it hasn't miraculously lifted my hound dog eyelids - it's a serum, not a plastic surgeon - it has made a difference to the overall appearance of my eyes - including the dark circles.

What’s not so good about it?
In my last post about a Deciem product, I mentioned how disgruntled I was about the dropper/bottle packaging. Not long after that was posted, I heard from Brandon Truaxe, the founder of Deciem. Brandon wrote me a long email explaining the packaging choice - some of which I am reprinting for you below - with his permission - obvs:

'The biggest formulation nightmare is always the same: your skin likes oil and repels water (contrary to popular belief). Since almost all good technologies are water soluble, for a serum to be truly absorbed into the skin (very different to below the skin in the comparison you made to injections), you need very good delivery mechanisms (and they really really do exist today) and these systems generally yield very thin liquid formulations when in water-only formulations. 

Most premium products (or most products really) offer emulsions of oil and water (creams, emulsion "serums", etc.) to simply offer a thicker, richer formula that "feels" more effective and lovely but, as importantly, opens the door to any type of packaging you wish to have but this viscosity adjustment does nothing other than impede absorption of water technologies in any formula. It's simple: If you feel something on your skin, less got in. 

When you avoid such systems, you're left with highly liquid formulas. With such low viscosities, airless pumps are definitely the wrong choice as the pressure causes a harsh spurt to come out and splash in your hand. Regular air (pump) systems have the same problem to a lesser extent. The other alternative is truly very narrow nozzle tubes which waste about 15% of the product that cannot get out at the end. Please believe me. We were not being cheap. Those simple glass bottles and droppers with a label cost about 50% more than the most sophisticated airless bottles. I am sure there will be a solution soon in the world. It's just not obvious today. 

As a result of this position, our most complex formulations in Hylamide, NIOD and WhiteRx are in dropper systems. We really were not trying to look apothecary or cheap. The alternatives were simply more problematic and I didn't want to sacrifice the formula.'

So that's me told. :) Although it's worth mentioning that my favourite Zelens serums are extremely 'high liquid' serums - they feel almost like water - and they are in a pump that works without splashing. Still, I have huge respect for someone that goes to such lengths to explain their reasoning without being defensive or aggressive. Thanks Brandon.

Similar products?
For this much active ingredient busyness and this good a price point? No, frankly. Eye creams have long been more expensive than their 'face' counterparts, annoyingly so in a lot of cases. This goes some way to bringing them back into the real world.

Exchange rate – does it punish the UK?
No. Deciem products are based in Canada but generally launched in the UK as the lead market and so priced accordingly. 

The Hylamide SubQ Eyes is £27.00 and available from and Boots.

Deciem - the parent company that is also responsible for my favourite Grow Gorgeous hair products - are doing things differently and stirring up the way beauty is sold, talked about and ranged. It's so worth checking out their website here:

Monday, 8 June 2015

Stationery Porn

A quick diversion from skincare for one post - by popular request. I know a lot of you are fellow stationery junkies so here's a quick gander at what I picked up in LA.

You really can't beat Target for some beautiful, basic-yet-amazingly-good-quality stationery. Besides the four million pencils I picked up (standard), I also grabbed some beautiful bright notecards and a chunky notepad - also multi-coloured.

Yes it's a weird thing to carry across the Atlantic but for £4 and the amount we go through in this house you might do the same. :)

I thought I was finished until I went into Kate Spade and found her Thank You cards at virtually the same price in dollars as they are in pounds. Score.

I had so much beauty product that I had to draw the line at one stationery round in Target. Let's face it, it was probably for the best. A woman can only carry so many dayglo pencils.

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Pixi Glow Tonic Party!

Smoking is still not cool Arnold. Think of the children.

I know. I know. I know. It's been a while. Anyroad; I'm here. And this week I'm heading up a party in the Pixi store in Foubert's Place. 

On Thursday 11th, come hang out with me and Amanda (more to be seen of in my vlog from LA -oh how she chortles) in Pixi's flagship, to talk all things 'glow' and play with my top Pixi picks, of which there are a many.

We've tried to take into account your preferred timings of both during (naughty) and after work so hopefully you'll have time to come along.

Foubert's Place is where it all started with the Glow Tonic so I for one, am having an Oprah 'full-circle' moment. :)

Hope to see you there for drink, food, makeup and skincare. 

I may never leave.

*No tickets required. Just turn up! ☺️

Friday, 5 June 2015

Well that went well... the L.A. Diaries Part One

The first brew in LA. Home made - obvs.

So I've been back from my L.A. trip for three days and am still in a jetlag haze. It's worse than when I travelled to the Far East. Ugh. 
Anyway....onwards and upwards. To say I carried back a lot of product is an understatement, my luggage weighed over 100kg. I couldn't quite believe it myself and looked rather sheepishly at the check-in lady when she said in the nicest, non-judgemental Cali accent 'Wow. You've been busy! You must be strong! Hey fellas, can you give me a hand with this lady's bags?' 
Oh the shame. Dear reader the shame. 

Our only Target time. Had I known we wouldn't get time to go back, I'd have done more damage.

Just as well I only managed one trip to Target eh? *covers eyes* 

I have a ton of posts to write, plus a week's worth of vlogging to edit. It'll be up asap but based on my current sleep/coma/wide awake at 4am schedule, I'm not putting any times on anything - they'll be ready when they're ready!

Red, swollen, itchy, puffy, sandpaper face. All good now though...

Apologies for the lack of posts this last week - I had every plan to keep up the daily blogging (If any of you noticed I had, until last week, blogged every day this year, a miracle for me!) and then last Saturday I had a horrible allergic reaction - source sadly still unknown* - and literally took to my bed dosed up on antihistamines. When I say 'dosed', I mean 'doped'. Hello Benadryl!
That was Saturday/Sunday, I flew out Monday, landed Tuesday and have been in said sleep/coma/wide awake situation since.

So thank you for your patience, regular service will resume imminently - as will a shedload of YouTube action. First I just have to be able to remain awake for more than 3 hours at a time.

*I'm all good now thank you - and yes I am dealing with the worsening allergy situation.