Monday, 27 June 2016

BioEffect EGF Serum

Describe the brand in five words.
Iceland. Barley. EGF. Serum. Cold.

What is it?
'BioEffect EGF Serum is a ground-breaking anti-ageing serum that delivers visible, dramatic improvements to your skin.'

Serum - although the range is much bigger.

Who is it for?
Everyone. But see my further comments below.

What’s in it?
Glycerine, Aqua, Sodium hyaluronate, Tromethamine, Sodium chloride, Hordeum vulgare seed extract, EGF (Transgenic barley sh-oligopeptide-1)

What's not in it?
Human EGF (recombinant)

Possibly acne/allergy/troubling for some ingredients?
Not really. Just the EGF, but that is kind of the point.

Natural? Organic? Man made? Vegan?
Man-made natural. If you see what I mean...

Tested on animals/sold in territories that advocate testing?

How does it smell?

How does it feel on the skin?/Absorption rate?
Absorbs immediately. If it's sticky, you're using too much.

How do you use it?/Where to use in your routine?
Serum - so am and pm under moisturiser.

How long before you should see results?
Pretty quickly. A few days will bring plumpness, the other results obviously a little longer.

How long did I test it for?
I've been using BioEffect on and off for a few years.

How much is it? /Size
£125.00 for 15ml - *currently on sale

What’s good/not so good about it?
I'm amalgamating the usual two separate sections for ease. And please bear with, because it may take a while.

  • I first wrote about BioEffect over three years ago. In that post, which you can find here, I talked about how EGF was not safe, and how I would never recommend it for people with psoriasis or anything near 'dodgy' or pre-cancerous moles. I approached BioEffect and Revive for comments, BioEffect responded and clarified that their EGF was not human-based (recombinant), Revive did not respond. I updated the blog post accordingly as promised.
  • Then the EU got involved. And they were not happy. Human-derived EGF is banned in the EU and a couple of years ago, Revive had to completely reformulate and thus relabel their products for the European market. To my knowledge they still use the original EGF in some products in the USA, where human-cloned EGF is not illegal. (The offer of a response comment is still open to Revive over 3 years later, if any of this is incorrect.) Be aware that if you are buying the same-named product on either side of the Atlantic, they may be completely different inside. Not illegal, but not best practice if we're being fair to the consumer.
    *Revive Moisturizing Renewal Cream USA inci here ('sh-oligopeptide 1' is what you are looking for)
    *Revive Moisturizing Renewal Cream UK inci here (sh-oligopeptide 1 is absent)
  • BioEffect were briefly embroiled in the subsequent drama, and then allowed to continue selling their version of EGF, after proving that their EGF is derived from barley, not humans.
  • So what's the problem? In a nutshell, EGF stimulates skin cell proliferation, thus giving your droppy skin some perk. It's like a morning double espresso for your face. It works. Really well. Jane from British Beauty Blogger says it's one of the best products she's used on her face.
  • The problem is that skin cells and EGF are not that intelligent. They cannot differentiate between normal, healthy cells and pre-cancerous/cancerous cells. They just multiply. Therein lies the problem.
  • Cancer patients can be given anti-EGF medicine to slow down their tumour growth.

I put this question to the team at BioEffect on more than one occasion and recently had this reply:

'It is well recognized in oncology that the biology of cancer is very complex. Therefore, due to fact that an increase in both activity and appearance of the RECEPTOR for EGF, the EGFR/ErbB1, is often observed in certain types of cancer, it may be considered a strategic move to use anti-EGFR drugs as a treatment for all kinds of cancers. However, this increase in the activity of the RECEPTOR is often due to mutations in the receptor, resulting in various abnormalities in its structure and function. These mutations can lead to constitutive activation of the receptor, independent of the levels or the binding of EGF (Lurje G. et al. 2009). This means that the cancer cell has stopped responding to highly well controlled regulation of EGF. In addition, according to numerous studies, EGF will not turn normal cells into cancer cells, meaning that it is highly unlikely that an excess level of EGF would lead to a malignant transformation. It has even been shown that EGF may sometimes have a negative effect on growth of cancer cells and often cancer cells do not respond to EGF control at all (Acosta-Berlanga J. et al. 2009; Wong R 2003. Cell Mol Life Sci 60: 113-118).
On individual basis, it is not really possible to predict what effect it has to apply EGF to abnormal skin cell or if it will have any impact on the overall progression of these cells that have already lost some of their self-regulatory control. This is true with basically all other cosmetic ingredients intended to have an effect on the skin, such as vitamins (i.e. retinol), hyaluronic acid and various other ingredients known to promote cell renewal. Abnormal skin cells are genetically and metabolically very diverse and it is very difficult to generalize about their behavior.
Maybe most importantly, clinical studies have been made of topical ointment drugs containing EGF for wound healing of burn victims and diabetics, including a 15 year study in Cuba. These studies indicate that long term exposure of EGF in high concentration is safe and together with substantial amount of preclinical studies in animals confirm that EGF does not initiate cancer formation (Acosta-Berlanga J. et al. 2009 and 2011).
All these facts on EGF and our argumentations herein, together with our continuously accumulating acknowledgement of EGFs safety from specialists in the field, including medical doctors, dermatologists, toxicologists and safety advisors, strongly argues for the safety of using relatively low level of EGF in a skin care products aimed for topical application of normal healthy skin.’

The upshot?
No-one can say with any certainty. That's the truth. The pro-camp say that barley EGF is not recognised by cancerous cells due to the anomaly of being non-human and therefore have no effect. To which my question is: well if they don't affect cancerous cells why do they affect healthy cells?
The anti-camp say 'EGF is EGF' regardless and should be avoided if you have any moles or areas on the skin that you think may be a risk.

My two cents?
I like BioEffect products when my skin needs a quick boost. There is no doubt they work. They work really well. I am happy to keep using with that mind-frame as I have no moles or any areas of the skin that give me cause for concern. EGF is mitogenic, not mutogenic. They stimulate cells, they absolutely do not cause cancer to form where it is not present.
If you need a quick boost, crack on. If you have a history of melanoma use your good sense.

One thing everyone agrees on is that human-derived EGF is NOT good. Except the USA, but they have one of the most under-regulated skincare/cosmetic industries in the world. Avoid it. The ingredient, not the USA. :)

Further reading:
anti-egf studies

Works well with?
Anything. it's all good.

What’s the website like?
Good. Tells the story. Easy to maneuver.

Would I purchase/repurchase?
Yes absolutely as a booster. Personally, not for long-term use.

Similar products?
Nothing. BioEffect are alone with this. That's a compliment.

BioEffect is currently £95 instead of £125.00 and available from

As always: either brand mentioned is more than welcome to make further comment.

Sunday, 26 June 2016

VLOG 29 | Behind the scenes at Showboat and other ramblings

Hi Everyone,

Long time no see. Thank you so much to the team at Showboat and the brilliant Gina Beck for giving me a peek backstage. 

Where to find Gina: 







Caroline Hirons c/o
Gleam Futures
6th Floor
60 Charlotte Street
London W1T 2NU  (skincare queries cannot be answered at this address)

Some links may be affiliates.
See my full disclaimer here:

The views expressed on this site are the author's own and are provided for informational purposes only. The author makes no warranties about the suitability of any product or treatment referenced or reviewed here for any person other than herself and any reliance placed on these reviews or references by you is done so solely at your own risk. Nothing on this site shall be construed as providing dermatological, medical or other such advice and you are always advised to seek the advice of a suitable professional should you have any such concerns.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Appointments Update

I just wanted to say both a lovely big 'Thank You', tagged in with an equal share of apology.

Thank you to all of you that enquired about having a treatment. We are full with a very large wait list. There have been some adjustments so a small amount of you may still get an email.

The apology goes to all of you that applied and didn't hear back. We expected to be busy, but were literally overwhelmed with interest. Please accept my apologies for the radio silence. We will look at sending out an automated email next time, but that in itself can be logistically challenging.

Regardless, know that I appreciate each and every one of you and will be opening up dates for September by the end of July.

You'll hear it hear first.

Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb gets an update

When I was in Amsterdam earlier this year with Viktor & Rolf we were given a sneak peek of the new Flowerbomb visuals that have just been announced on WWD. 

It's the first time in 11 years that a new ad has been launched. “The surreal bouquet of flowers on her head is a metaphor for positive thinking,” according to the chaps themselves. 

And there was I thinking it was just a pretty picture.

Flowerbomb is widely available but Selfridges gets the best exclusives:

*Not a sponsored post in any way. Some links are affiliate links, which help to support this blog. If you are happy to use my links, thank you kindly. If not, simply google the brands in a new page. It's all good.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Palette back in stock at SpaceNK

Just a quick head's up. This was one of my most popular recommendations last year - and Space NK have just got more stock in of the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Palette. It's £65.00 and available online only here:

Original review here:

*Not a sponsored post in any way. Some links are affiliate links, which help to support this blog. If you are happy to use my links, thank you kindly. If not, simply google the brands in a new page. It's all good.

Monday, 20 June 2016

Fannies, Flights and Festivals – Festival Skincare - Cheat Sheet

Some of these people belong to me. You're welcome world.

I suppose there’s not much point in having a saying if you never use it or address it. ☺

Festivals. God knows what possesses you, but thousands of you will insist on sleeping in a tent in the pouring rain, drinking yourselves into oblivion and having at best, questionable hygiene habits for the duration. This, we call ‘entertainment’.  Personally, I prefer a day ticket, AAA pass and a nice hotel with hot showers but that’s me.

So you’re packed and ready for Glastonbury/Reading (see you there)/Leeds/V Festival etc – what’s in your skincare stash?

If you’re the type of person that keeps their wits about them, you can do most of your normal routine. If, however, you know you’re going to party non-stop for 3/4/5 days, I would just take wipes and SPF and deal with the carnage when you get home. At least you’ll have a great time and won’t add sunburn into the mix.

*This is a long post, like the queue for the toilets at an festival. A full list of products is available at the bottom of the post.

If you’re going to use a wipe, now is the time. Bear in mind, like good tea and 80s rock bands, all wipes are not created equal.
Here’s some I don’t hate.

Ole are the ones I reach for first. They work (as best wipes can) and cause me no irritation. The purple also work on waterproof, but I would go in with a micellar water/dedicated EMU remover for that.

Clinique TTDO 'cleansing towelettes' are the latest addition to the TTDO franchise and they also work. Obviously I prefer the balm, but no-one wants to be trying to remove that outside of a lovely bathroom with flowing hot water.

MAC wipes work. Good for makeup removal. 

I would always pick up these Sensibio wipes in Paris before they were available here. Great for emergencies, hands and festivals... 

The Yes To range have a large selection of wipes available. I haven't used them but they proved very popular on twitter when I put the question to everyone.

All of these are good at getting a lot of crap off of your face, but if you’re wearing a face full of makeup and SPF you’ll have to use quite a few to do so.

However: if you can, I’d go with a micellar water/eye makeup remover and cotton wool pads. They just do the job better.

The Body Shop's Camomile Eye Makeup Removers are brilliant. I use this one all over the face like a micellar water.

They've changed the packaging (I prefer the old to be honest) but the juice is the same. This, on large cotton pads, is how I would do an overnight stay at a festival (assuming I was under threat of death and had no water - obvs). There's a waterproof version also.

Bioderma was made for this situation. Like The Body Shop, quick, easy and works.

Clarins One-Step Facial Cleanser is great. It also smells delicious which, let's face it, is an added bonus given the surroundings at festivals. 

I also love a good traditional milk cleanser in this situation. One that can either be washed off in the shower (literally going against my religion here I know) or removed with cotton pads. Clarins again would be my first port of call.

But still, if you’re boozing, stick to wipes.

Acid: here’s the thing. I would probably not bother with acid during the day at a festival. You’re going to be outside all day, sitting in the sun (although if you’re in the sun, you’re probably not in the UK), you may be drunk tipsy and forget to apply your SPF… is it worth it?
For the sake of three days you could give it a miss. If, however, you’re going for longer and want to use acids almost to ‘back-up’ your wipes, use them in the evening and make sure you have your SPF for the next day.
Ready-soaked pads are an obvious choice here.

First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads are great and Dennis Gross MD are pre-packed for you.

Failing that, pre-soak your own cotton pads in your chosen acid toner and put them in a ziplock lunch bag. It's what I use to do on flights before they made pre-soaked pads...

If you have time, can be bothered and know you will use it, I would take some Serozinc with you. It may help keep your skin hydrated, can be used to help remove wipe residue and is antibacterial. It also comes in a travel size. Well handy.

Serum. There’s really only one choice for festival serum and that’s hyaluronic acid. You need it. Whether you’re boozing or not, the weather, sun or wind or rain, will all take its toll on your hydration levels, so the easiest way to keep it topped up is with a dose of hyaluronic acid. This is not the time for your expensive anti-ageing serums. Save your money. My first choice would be Hydraluron, purely for the ease of use and plastic tube. There are brilliant hyaluronic acid products out there, but a lot of them are in fiddly packaging or glass, not what you want in a tent, or god forbid, a shared cubicle shower monstrosity. *shudders*

Moisturisers. For ease, use one with SPF included (this post will bring me out in hives at this rate). For safety, I’d personally use a good hydrating moisturiser and a bloody high SPF on top.
If you can take your normal moisturiser and it’s not in any heavy/glass packaging, do. If you need something new just for the festival period look at Nuxe, Caudalie, REN and Pixi. All make great moisturisers in tubes, which is what you want.

At a push I'd trump for Pixi's H2O Skin Drink. The product and the packaging is the perfect festival pick.

SPF – Anthelios is hard to beat on value and performance. Get SPF 50, don’t faff about with a 15. Pointless in this scenario. I'd go Ultra Light Fluid untinted. Easier to remove than a thicker cream, great coverage.

Where to do it all in a routine?:
Assuming you’re doing the festival in a fairly controlled manner and get up and go to the showers at a decent hour in the morning:
Cleanse with your micellar water or milk cleanser and flannel if you can (please).  Make sure your skin is as clean as you can get it; apply your hyaluronic acid and your moisturiser, then your SPF.
I know for a lot of you this will be your only cleanse of the day that goes anywhere near water. If in the evenings, you get back to your tent half-cut, and manage to wipe your face down a few times and apply a moisturiser on top, well done. If you can, use your wipes/micellar water, then acid, then serum, then moisturiser. Just do your best. You can fix the damage when you get home.

Have fun ya filthy animals.

Products mentioned:

Ole Henriksen Wipes

Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Towelettes

MAC Wipes

Bioderma Wipes

Yes To Wipes

The Body Shop Camomile Eye Makeup Remover 

Bioderma Sensibio


Clarins One-Step Facial Cleanser

First Aid Beauty Radiance Pads

Dennis Gross Pads (varying strengths)

Clarins Cleansing Milks


Pixi H2O SkinDrink

La Roche Posay Anthelios

*Not a sponsored post in any way. Some links are affiliate links, which help to support this blog. If you are happy to use my links, thank you kindly. If not, simply google the brands in a new page. It's all good.

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Josie Maran Argan Creamy Oil Cleansing Treatment

Describe the brand in five words.
Argan. QVC. Body butters.

That's it - I'm sorry I literally have no clue who Josie Maran, is, or what her background is. This is more to do with her lack of distribution in the UK than anything else though. I came across the body butter in Sephora, smelt it, bought it, loved it, bought it again. Searched for them in the UK and came across them on QVC. Saw this, thought 'Yes thanks.'

What is it?
'My California-girl roots inspired me to create innovative, multi-tasking Argan Cleansing Treatment, which makes great skin nearly effortless. It hydrates, exfoliates, and purifies in a hot minute, leaving your face glowing, energized, and never stripped. Achieving balance has never been so laid-back, or so luminous.'

Alrighty then. It's a traditional balm cleanser.

Who is it for?
It says all skins but I'd go easy if you have active acne. It's a proper oil balm, doesn't come off in one go.

What’s in it?
Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) Fruit, Beeswax, Argania Spinosa (Argan) Kernel Oil, Glyceryl Dibehenate, Tribehenin, Glyceryl Behenate, Tocopherol, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Lavendula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Parfum (Fragrance), Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Oil, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Seed Oil, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil.

What's not in it?
'No parabens, so sulfates, no phthalates: nothing you’d find in the final round of a spelling bee, and most importantly, nothing that’s toxic to your skin or the planet.'

I love the spelling bee comment, but let's pretend they didn't use the 'T' word.

Possibly acne/allergy/troubling for some ingredients?
shea butter

Natural? Organic? Man made? Vegan?

Tested on animals/sold in territories that advocate testing?
No/unsure, but I doubt it.

How does it smell?
Not great. Which is weird, as they went to the trouble of putting fragrance in it. Odd. It's not even easy to describe the smell. I would just warn that if you are sensitive to smell you may want to try this first before you buy. It's bland, but 'there'.

How does it feel on the skin?/Absorption rate?
It feels nice on the skin. Smooth, luxurious. Absorption rate not really appropriate on this one.

How do you use it?/Where to use in your routine?
All stages of cleansing. First, second and AM.

How long before you should see results?
N/A - immediate. Obvs.

How long did I test it for?
I've had this for about 5 weeks, used it maybe 7/8 times?

How much is it? /Size/Approximate cost per usage?
£32.00 from QVC. $48.00 in the US. 90ml. Depends how much you use. If you use it every evening you're probably looking at 4 weeks? If you use it for makeup removal, longer if not.

What’s good about it?
I'm torn about this one. It's a lovely texture, feels good with massage, it really does remove makeup very well.

What’s not so good about it?
It doesn't smell great. That shouldn't be important but it would almost be preferable if it was unfragranced. And despite removing well, I always feel a little residue.  I'm not a fan of the cloth it comes with either. Some people complain that cotton flannels are rough, but nothing drags the skin like a microfibre cloth. IMO.

Works well with?
A good acid toner afterwards for any residue.

What’s the website like?
Pretty basic. Easy to navigate.

Would I repurchase?
Probably not. There are other cleansers out there that do the same job/if not better and the strange smell just doesn't make it a pleasure to use. I'm sure I'm in a minority though, it's clearly a best seller. Do let me know if you love it.
The body butters however, are divine and they are always on my list.

Similar products?
Emma Hardie
Temple Spa

Josie Maran Argan Creamy Oil Cleansing Treatment is £32.00 from QVC in the UK and $48.00 in the US from

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

An exciting update! It's Facial time.

Apologies for the lack of content recently but I've been busy working with clients, sourcing an office space and hiring an assistant. All good stuff, but just prioritising things other than the blog the last few weeks. Alas, all that will soon change as I move into my new office space this week and once settled, I hope to have better-than-normal service and a slightly different focus on the blog from next week onwards. More of which at a later date.

I know some of you have cottoned on already, in no small part thank to my girlfriends talking about it on their social media channels (thank you Anna and Anna), but I am back doing facials, albeit in a much calmer, smaller way than in my previous life. ;)

I've been quietly working behind the scenes perfecting things, making sure I'm up to date with all the brilliant new machinery that is available and updating product knowledge etc where applicable - and am thrilled to announce that you can now book in with me at Teresa Tarmey's beautiful new space in Notting Hill.

I'm putting information about the facials on their own dedicated page within the blog and saving all related comments/questions for that one space, so if you do have any questions just give me a shout. The page is clickable at the top of the blog, and I have closed comments on this post. It just saves a lot of repetition. 

I'm looking forward to meeting some of you soon. And getting my hands on your faces. :)

*Facial slots are now full. 

Stylist Live 13-16 October

I will once again be speaking at Stylist Live this year, this time I will be on the Inspiration Stage, talking about beauty, blogging and building your business within that arena.

More information about this year's Stylist Live is here and reservations for my talk are available here:

Hope to see some of you there - last year was great fun!

Friday, 10 June 2016

Balance Me Facialists

Hi All!

Embrace their wellbeing roots, British-made, gorgeous skincare brand Balance Me has launched a signature facial to showcase their beautiful products. Skin is dealt with on an individual bespoke basis, and needs are addressed using smoothing fruit acid exfoliation followed by sculpting, radiance boosting massage techniques drawn from facial rejuvenation and acupressure, a collagen-boosting mask plus a layer of hyaluronic acid. The hour-long treatment is suitable for all skin types and ages and delivers excellent long-lasting results and a sense of wellbeing and rejuvenation.

Here's the fun part:

They're recruiting self-employed/freelance/private therapists with their own spaces to do the treatments.

The requirements are a minimum 3 years’ experience as a beauty therapist/facialist with own home, mobile or salon practice. You will need to be BTEC/CIBTAC qualified or equivalent. And fully insured (obvs).
All successful applicants will be required to attend a one day Balance Me training in London.

If you are interested in any further information and would like to apply you can email here. You need to send in your CV, proof of qualifications and two references, but they can answer any questions you may have in the first instance.

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Mixing up your Cult Beauty Box

I've had quite a few comments/questions from people that purchased the current Cult Beauty Box about how to best mix/match the contents so please forgive a quick post addressed primarily to them. 
(Regular service and LOADS of exciting announcements coming. :) EEK)

AM Cleanse:
You can use either Pixi, Tata or MV Organics as your morning cleanse - all skin types, no issues.
If you want to you can exfoliate with OSKIA as well.  I would cleanse first then exfoliate, then acid. (Not with these DG pads - your normal 'acid' toners.)
Then you spritz with May. 
For sensitive/reddened/annoyed skins you will get the most benefit from using MV Organics for the AM cleanse until it subsides a little. Once you notice a difference you can add in Tata if you want to.

PM Cleansing:
This is where you can really go to town and mix it up.

Please note: these are suggestions - if you are using the products in a different way and it's working for you, that's brilliant. As always, do what works for you.

Dry skins:
  • 1st Cleanse - Sonya Dakar on eyes if wearing heavy makeup, then Pixi or Tata
  • 2nd Cleanse - Tata or MV Organics
  • Exfoliate if you want to with OSKIA
  • Pads - twice a week - alternate with your normal acids
  • Spritz with May

Dehydrated skins:

For three days:
  • Use Sonya on eyes if applicable, then double cleanse with Tata
  • Pads - twice a week - otherwise alternate with your normal acids
  • Spritz liberally - Jasmine Garden is massively hydrating and wonderful under your serums and moisturisers
On day four:
  • Sonya if needed, then either Pixi or Tata for makeup/SPF removal
  • Exfoliate with OSKIA
  • Follow with one of the Dennis Gross pads
  • Spritz with May
  • Serum etc....
Continue using any of the products after day four.

Sensitive/Rosacea skins:

  • 1st Cleanse - Sonya/Tata
  • 2nd Cleanse - MV Organics
  • Dennis Gross Pads twice a week are fine on sensitive skins. The products aren't heavily acidic, they're anti-ageing.
  • Spritz liberally with Jasmine Garden - and keep it close by throughout the day

Once skin feels calmer, introduce Pixi as a 1st Cleanse on a rotating basis with the others.

Oily/Combination Skins:

All of the cleansers can be used in the ways above on oily/combination skins. The only exception is Pixi, if you have open, active acne, it will possibly be aggravated trying to remove with the cloths. You'll knock heads off and cause bleeding if you're too rough, same as with any oilier balm.
If you have spots that haven't come to a head or are past their 'angry' stage, you're good to go.

I hope that helps, but feel free to leave any comments below and I'll try and get back to you in a speedy fashion.

And as an aside, and in answer to your questions, yes Cult Beauty have their Goodie Bag promotion on at the moment and yes the Box is included in the promotion. The Goodie Bag is added automatically into your basket at checkout.

The Cult Beauty Box is available here: 

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Bobbi Brown Pro Online

Just a small queue at the Bobbi stand on Friday. 

Well this is very exciting for Pro/Student Makeup artists. Bobbi Brown are moving their pro discount programme online. You can now apply online, send back supporting documents to validate your credentials electronically and shop online to receive your discount.

The discount is 35% for Make-up Artists, Industry Professionals and 20% for Students. The Pro discount can be redeemed on or at Free Standing Bobbi Brown Stores. The discount will not work in department stores.

I picked up these Pro Palettes on Friday at IMATs - if you're going today remember that these are massively reduced for the event. 

To see if you qualify for the pro status there is more info here:

IMATS London 2016 Buys

I went to IMATS this year with a list. I've lost out so many times in previous years by being distracted talking to friends that I literally always come home thinking 'I wish I'd bloody bought that.'
This year I had three things on my list - all of which I did get hold of, but I also bought some extras - as you do.
First stop was Hakuhodo. The Rolls-Royce of brushes and the only ones I hadn't yet bought. I usually use a mixture of Royal & Langnickel, Real Techniques, Charlotte Tilbury and Zoeva for day-to-day and some coveted older Shu Uemura brushes that Ive had for over 20 years. I tend to keep those to look at now, sad as I am.
The Hakuhodo stand is completely non-descript, it's all about the product. They don't need the pomp & ceremony. A quiet, long line of people ooh-ing and aah-ing and stroking the brushes. And what beauties they are. I only bought two. I decided to be sensible and go for two shapes that I use every day. The larger B100 will do for powder/highlighter and the smaller G503 is blush/contour.

Viseart had been on my list since Kevin James Bennett raved about them on his FB group. They're his first choice for eyeshadows and when it comes to makeup, there is nothing KJB does not know. The man sticks his finger in a palette and tells you what lab it was made in and who else bought the same product off the shelf. Viseart are handmade in Paris and the quality is insane. The colours above are Cashmere (6 pan), Paris Nudes Eye Palette 06 (top) and Neutral Matte Eye Palette 01 at the bottom.
They're available in the UK from

Kevin's favourite concealer is Makeup Atelier Paris's Waterproof Liquid Corrector and Concealer - I picked up two to mix the shades - the teeniest amount gives an insane amount of coverage and it does not budge. At all. Perfect for redness, breakouts, scarring. And the best part? It's £12.50 normally and only £8.00 at IMATS. GO GO GO.

The beautiful Louise Young has been in the industry for over 30 years and has great brushes and product - either in a palette or as singles. Must-haves include the foundation brushes LY34, LY48 and the LY51A buffing brush. Available from PAM Makeup and

This Nanshy set is great for everyday basics. Without doubt the brushes I use the most are face, of all shapes, sizes and 'roles'. These are perfect for that. Also vegan for those of you on the lookout. Available here:

Screenface were selling off these leather brush rolls for £5.00 so I bought two. I can't find them anywhere online so I think these were end of line and they were just selling them off.

I grabbed this Charles Fox brush in "Big Mama' for face masks, not body paint.

I picked up a small Get-Set-Go bag - primarily to hold my everyday favourite makeup so I can do my face around the house depending on who is asleep/around/annoying me just by grabbing one bag. Anything to save me going back and forth from the bathroom to the bedroom to the kitchen carrying everything in my hands. Available here from Screenface:

The Kryolan Brush Roll is perfect for travel - especially if I'm putting some in my hold luggage and I want them to stay intact and not get squashed. On arrival you break it in two and use them as holders. Perfect.

Bobbi Brown BBU Pro Palettes were the third thing on my list. The lip and foundation/concealer palettes are a must-have for pros and strong 'enthusiasts'. ;)
More on these in my next post, but if you're going today, know that they are usually £190/200 and are £130 at the show. Available here:

IMATS is on today until 5pm. More info here:

Saturday, 4 June 2016

VLOG 28 - Half Term, IMATS and Cate Blanchett

Happy Half Term vlog :)

Popped to Mum's this week, picked up some bits in Trafford (as you do), met Cate Blanchett (although that is off camera - you get to see how gorgeous she is IRL though :), went to Soap & Glory's 10th Anniversary dinner, and IMATS yesterday. If you're going to IMATS make sure you pick up some Viseart palettes and brushes galore....

See you soon! 

Next on the blog:
Bobbi Brown
Festival Skincare