Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Review: Urban Decay Naked Skin One & Done Hybrid Complexion Perfector

With the Summer months (slowly) approaching I always look forward to switching up my make up routine with brighter colours and lighter textures. So when the new Urban Decay Naked Skin One & Done Hybrid Complexion Perfector was sent to me for review I was immediately excited to try it out.

One & Done is a new base in the Urban Decay range that fits within it's Naked line up. It's an oil-free, hybrid complexion cream that aims to instantly and completely blur imperfections and even out skintone for a natural result. The innovative, lightweight formula provides coverage, hydration, and optical blurring. It aims to transform the look of your skin with light-diffusing spheres so that flaws seem to disappear. Over time it also aims to help pores appear smaller and skin to look noticeably firmer and more radiant. The formula is infused with nourishing ingredients (including peptides, vitamins and moisturizers).
(One pump in shade Light)
 
This product has very light coverage so rather than foundation I would compare it to a tinted moisturiser, BB or CC cream. While it adds a hint of colour it's blurring properties also help to hide imperfections and pores leaving the skin with a soft glow. It melts into the skin beautifully, feels very lightweight and looks extremely natural, almost as if you are not wearing makeup at all. I think it would work well on all skin types as it feels hydrating, but sinks into the skin quickly so it doesn't look too shiny or dry too matte.
(Blended)

With an SPF of 20 it's perfect for use in the sunnier months to protect your skin and give it a tint. I have been wearing it alone on casual/ no makeup days just to even out my skin tone and add SPF, but on work days I personally prefer a more polished look with more coverage so I have enjoyed using it as a primer before my foundation. It works equally well as a primer and makes my foundation last longer, while blurring pores and dehydration lines. It will definitely be a must for my makeup bag when I travel as it's super versatile and effortless!

Urban Decay Naked Skin One & Done Hybrid Complexion Perfector retails at £25 for 40ml here and comes in 6 shades.
 
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Thursday, 7 April 2016

Review: Face Place Facial at Rosewood London


Oh, what I wouldn't do for perfect skin! After posting the below photo on Instagram (@NatalyaFGM) I had so many of you getting in touch asking about the Face Place facial that I thought a proper review would be helpful! While it does look like something out of a torture chamber the Face Place treatment itself is very relaxing and definitely one I would recommend, mainly because it's something a bit different that may give your skin that little extra boost. Often skin can become accustomed to certain products and treatments so I always think it’s good to switch it up and try something new!
(My best impression of Hannibal Lecter)

The Face Place treatment at the Sense Spa at Rosewood London comes straight from LA (and those of you who love reality TV may have spotted it featured in RHOBH a few times). The facial consists of two main parts - first a deep manual cleansing of all facial pores, followed by the use of galvanic current to deliver improved skin tone, firmness, fewer lines and a clearer complexion. Each facial is bespoke to a client’s requirements, so mine concentrated on hydration and deep cleansing. I am always trying to keep my pores in check and find that this treatment leaves my skin feeling nourished, but also clear and blemish free. The facialist Rowan Hall-Farrise is amazing at adapting the facial to different skin types and is a source of so much skincare knowledge that I would definitely recommend addressing her with any of your skin concerns. She’s also absolutely lovely so we barely stop chatting throughout!
After a gentle cleanse the pores are softened using moist yucca root infused heated pads and a cone placed on top that acts as mini face sauna. Rowan then uses magnifying glasses and a vacuum machine taking away dead skin cells to make sure that every pore is squeaky clean. I am a big fan of extraction as my skin is oily and I do wear makeup most days so it is prone to congestion. At the same time my skin is very sensitive so any breakouts (which tend to be hormonal) take a very long time to heal and often scar. After the extraction, which is at times uncomfortable, but never too painful, a spray of collagen follows.
For the current treatment itself warm pads are applied soaked in a solution of vitamins and minerals including vitamin C that helps skin regeneration and stimulate collagen production and anti-inflammatory Zinc. A warm wet pad is also applied underneath you to help the conduction of the current. Once connected as scary as the mask looks all that is palpable is a slight tingling sensation on the skin and a strange, but not unpleasant, metallic taste in the mouth. While the current is working you can enjoy a hand and arm massage, which is incredibly relaxing. After the treatment Rowan applies a Skinceuticals hydrating mask, but in general this facial doesn’t use too many products as it is all about the extraction technique and the use of current to promote deep penetration of vitamins into the skin.

After the treatment my skin is left pink for about an hour and a few hours later it already looks clearer and smoother and feels plumper. The treatment is great for sensitive skin as it doesn’t use any harsh products and I don’t experience any dryness afterwards.

Have you heard of Face Place before? Have you experienced any treatments using galvanic current? I would love to hear your thoughts!
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Friday, 18 March 2016

Review: Zelens Lip Treatment Oil and Power A High Potency Vitamin A Treatment Drops

About a month ago I had the pleasure of meeting Dr Lens, plastic surgeon and creator of the Zelens skincare brand. Having never tried any Zelens products before I was interested to learn about his philosophy of combining active biotechnology ingredients with pure molecules derived from botanicals, as well as quiz him on a few of my skin concerns such as sun exposure – do we leave the SPF off to gain some vitamin D or is protection from the sun more important? While the jury is still out on this issue I have been trying out a few of the products from the Zelens range!
The product I have used every day since opening it is the amazing Zelens Lip Treatment Oil (£40). I didn’t initially like the idea of a lip oil as I thought it would feel unpleasantly greasy and would either be too thick or smear too easily. However, this oil is light, with a wonderfully smooth and comforting texture that stays put on the lips, giving them a beautiful gloss. The Zelens lip oil contains 9 plant oils infused with powerful botanicals, vitamins, peptides and other anti-aging ingredients. It has a very subtle fragrance and no taste. It hydrates lips, delivering instant moisture, strengthening the lipid barrier and protecting against environmental damage. It also helps to smooth and fill in fine lines and wrinkles while improving lip texture, plumpness and shape. I absolutely love it, especially for use in the morning – I apply it straight after foundation and by the time the rest of my face is done my lips are soft, smooth and primed for the day! It’s great to use under lipstick as a base or over lip products as a gloss and sealer of moisture. 
The second product I have used with equal enthusiasm is the Power A High Potency Vitamin A Treatment Drops (£115). Being new to retinol and having very fair, sensitive skin I began to use this cautiously, but am happy to report that my skin hasn’t reacted to it at all. I have seen no dryness or irritation and am super impressed by how gentle it has been on my delicate skin! Zelens Vitamin A concentrate contains a powerful combination of pure, encapsulated retinol and two retinoids. This time-released, oil-free retinol treatment promotes skin renewal and improves skin tone and texture with minimal or no irritation. It aims to reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and dark spots resulting from aging and sun damage. Additionally it helps to clear blemishes and diminish the look of enlarged pores. I have definitely seen an improvement in my skin after a few weeks of use. I usually apply a few drops at night (and while this product is quite pricey I’m happy to say that a little really does go a long way) and my skin feels smoother by morning.

I am excited to have found a new skincare range that works so well with my skin and also answers many of my skin concerns and look forward to trying more Zelens products in the future, and as ever, sharing my experience with you!
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Thursday, 17 December 2015

Review: The Balm Mary-Lou Manizer Highlighter and NUDE'tude Nude eyeshadow palette

One of the best things about moving house is having the opportunity to reorganise! I took full advantage of this, especially in de-cluttering my makeup. It has been so much fun being able to try new things from my stash!
One of the products I have really enjoyed recently is the Mory-Lou Manizer from The Balm. I have no idea how long it was hiding in the hack of a drawer, as it is by no means a new product, but I thought I would give it a chance when I cleared out some of my older highlighters.
This highlighting powder comes in a round mirrored compact. It is super soft and smooth and applies absolutely effortlessly. I would describe it as a warm champagne colour that is very reflective, but with no glitter or sparkles, just a satin sheen.
A little definitely goes a long way as the pigmentation is very good.
I use it as a highlight on my cheekbones, with a thin fan brush and a very light touch. It's also great as an eyeshadow - either an all over base lid colour, a brow or inner corner highlight.

It just adds the most amazing glow to the face and goes with most blush colours I have tried as it is neither too warm/ gold toned or silver/ cool toned. Sometimes highlighters can look a little off on very light skin like mine, but I find this one to add the perfect amount of radiance, without adding too much colour.
The Balm Mary-Lou Manizer is available from Superdrug here for £17.49.

I am also currently trying out The Balm NUDE'tude Nude eyeshadow palette (£29.99), which has a great selection of neutral, wearable eyeshadows. The texture is super smooth and they have great pigmentation. My favourite eye shadow is stand-offish - a nude, pinky toned shimmery colour that is perfect as an effortless all over lid colour!
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Friday, 11 December 2015

Making a House a Home: Bedroom

One of the reasons we fell in love with our new (old) house was that it had a spacious master bedroom that felt airy and light. As much as I still love my old flat, living on the lower ground floor did mean that our bedroom wasn't the brightest. So we decided to keep the spacious feeling and make the bedroom very simple - white walls, white furniture and a statement kingsize bed with matching ottoman.

I had always wanted a canopy bed, or at least one with a really high headboard that felt super cosy and enveloping. After weeks of researching a number of styles the most sensible and budget friendly was from MADE, especially with the added storage under the bed.
 

I was pretty set on the Bergerac, but as we were buying various pieces from MADE I was yet to place my full order when I came across a gorgeous fully upholstered customisable winged bed in Barker and Stonehouse.

 
This was not the sensible option both in terms of price and the lack of storage. However, I loved the button detail, their wide selection of fabrics, the matching storage ottoman and the fact it was on sale just sealed the deal! The only negative was the 10 weeks waiting time (though I begged and in the end it was just less than 8 weeks).


 
Having splurged on the bed, and being very aware of our multiple back issues (mine from birth and the hubby's numerous rugby injuries), I was very surprised by the cost of a king size mattress. I had never had to purchase one before and was shocked that some cost more than our bed! When Leesa contacted me to see if I would like to review one of their mattresses I decided to be open minded, though my natural scepticism was still there. Having seen the hundreds of glowing reviews on their website it sounded a little too good to be true that one mattress could be comfortable for everyone. Especially given the hubby and I couldn't decide on one between us as every mattress we tried was a bit like Goldilocks and the three bears' porridge... not quite right.


The Leesa mattress arrived (less than a week after I ordered it) packaged in a narrow cardboard box. This was exceptionally useful as it took up very little space and could be safely stored in our loft while the renovation works were being done. As Leesa has no springs and is made entirely of foam (top layer of cooling avena foam, middle layer of contouring memory foam and base layer of dense core support foam) it is not as heavy as a traditional mattress and therefore much easier to manoeuvre.

It took just seconds to unpack it, as it is coiled in plastic that can be cut away, and after leaving it overnight it had decompressed evenly.


The Leesa mattress is soft enough to feel comfortable, yet supportive enough that you don't feel like you are sinking into it. One of the main things I love about it, especially compared to my old mattress, is the lack of springs making it quiet and also ensuring there is no transfer of movement. So when the hubby is getting into bed (often long after I have fallen asleep) I don't get woken up by squawky springs or bounced out of bed as he sits down.

 The Leesa mattress fit perfectly into our kingsize Wiltshire bed in pewter velvet.
 
I wanted to wait a little while before writing my review and now that it has been a few weeks of sleeping on the Leesa mattress, both on the floor and our luxurious new bed, I think we are ready to join all those excellent testimonials on the Leesa website! Our experience was great - easy to order, quick delivery in a convenient box, simple unpacking and above all else it has given us a great night of sleep! So much so that my bed time has slowly been shifting earlier and earlier!
 
Bed: Barker and Stonehouse, Bedsidetables: Dunelm, Lamps: Wayfair
 
If you are looking for a new mattress I would highly recommend Leesa - and you can now get £50 off using the code SLEEP50. Prices start from £390 for a single and shipping is free. Sweet dreams!






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