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NEW Vichy Liftactiv Advanced Filler

When I hit my 30’s my skin changed in so many ways but one of the more annoying changes was that I found a new line on my face almost every day which is quite scary!

Botox is becoming more popular to correct lines and wrinkles but if you either don’t want to go down that route, or want to use some good skincare that will compliment your treatment then I have the answer for you!

LIFTACTIVE ADVANCED1

Vichy Liftactiv Advanced Filler contains a combination of  two super anti-ageing  ingredients, pure retinol and LR2412 which work together to smooth out the surface of the skin and fill in the deepest of wrinkles.  Partcularly frown lines between the eyebrows, nasolabial folds on either side of the nose/mouth, wrinkles around the mouth and cheeks and the fine lines above the lips (the ones that make your lipstick bleed!).  These are the areas that show telltale signs of ageing first and give you that permanent sad, tired expression.

Now for the Science bit:

Pure retinol  is one of the most powerful anti-wrinkle products in existance and Liftactiv Advanced Filler contains this in a formula which has been adapted to sensitive skin. Vichy have managed to add the highest concentration (0.2%) ever used in a pharmacy brand skin care product.  It increases skin density and helps to fill in the deepest wrinkles.

In addition to this, 2% LR2412 enhances cell renewal and boosts the skins natural barrier:  skin looks brighter, its surface is smoother and fully hydrated. Deeper down, it accelerates epidermal repair and  reinflates and re-plumps the skin’s natural mattress.  Deep wrinkles are filled in and smoothed.

I have been using this every night for a couple of weeks now so I am still trying it out, but my skin seems to love it so far.  I didn’t have any reaction to it although it does warn that you should try it every second day until your skin gets used to the retinol as it can irritate sensitive skin.  I pop it on before bedtime and I have noticed my skin is softer and appears more radiant and hydrated which is a great result so far.  I’m hoping to see a wrinkle free face any day now 🙂  Although I’m sure Vichy don’t do miracles unfortunately 😦 😉

You can buy Vichy Liftactiv Advanced Filler at larger Boots stores and selected pharmacies and it will set you back a reasonable €35

Will you be trying this?

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Best of Beauty – Skincare Saviours

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So I recently signed up to a “Best of Beauty Blog Challenge” with the lovely Samantha from All The Buzz blog.  All the bloggers participating got a range of fantastic topics which we will cover every week for the next 8 weeks with topics such as “Hair Heros” or “Makeup Must-haves”.  So I’ll basically be sharing my fave products with you all every week.  I’m really looking forward to it 🙂

This weeks topic is “Skincare Saviors” and to be honest, it’s one I could go on and on (and on!) about because I have lots of favourites when it comes to skincare products that really transform my skin but I have managed to whittle them down to my absolute all time faves and here they are:

1.  Elizabeth Arden 8 hour Cream

elizabeth_arden_8_hour_cream

I am never without this fantastic product, I have a tube of it everywhere I go – in my bag, in work, beside my bed, in my makeup kit for my makeup clients.  It’s just a wonder product that really saves your skin, particularly in the winter.  It has so many uses but here’s what I like to use it for:

  • As a moisturising lipbalm – just slather on and it will really nourish dry flaky lips.  Also use this on your lips and then blot off before applying a dark or very matte lipstick and it will just glide on
  • As a nail/cuticle nourisher – you just have to massage a tiny bit into the base of each nail and it will help your nails grow strong and take away and hard skin around the nails
  • On any dry patches on your skin, just rub some of this on regularly, especially on knees and elbows, and you will be smooth and free from hard dry skin.
  • If your baby has dry skin or cradle cap, pop a bit of this on and it’ll really help clear it up and moisturise the area.  Plus it’s fragrance free so won’t irritate.
  • Dab a tiny bit through your eyebrows (or use on a clean mascara wand) to groom them and give them a healthy natural look

2.  Clarins Extra-Comfort Anti-Pollution Cleansing Cream

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This is a beautiful skin cleanser that feels so gentle and nourishing on your skin and I love using it in the winter-time.  It removes every trace of my makeup, including eye makeup and I find that using the Clarins suction method of removal really works and helps take away all the grime your face might collect during the course of the day (not just makeup!)  You basically rub the lotion together in your hands, apply to your face and cup your hands over your face and quickly remove them in a “suction” action then remove with damp cotton wool and there you go, clean skin!

3. Liz Earle Instant Boost Skin Tonic

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I’ve spoken about this gorgeous skin toner on the blog before, I really am in love with it.  It’s alcohol free and removes all the last traces of grime from your skin without drying it out and gets it really clean.  Fantastic product.

4. Bia Beauty – Moisturiser

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Again for winter skin, you can’t beat this moisturiser from natural Irish skincare company Bia Beauty.  It’s super nourishing and really feels like it’s protecting your skin.  Plus I love the size of the jar – 100mls –  which means it lasts ages.

5. Yonka Gommge Exfoliator

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Again, if you’re a regular reader here, you will know this is my “wonder product”.  I just love what this does to my skin, it exfoliates using AHA’s to gently strip your skin of dead skin cells and other impurities without drying it out.  It renews your skin and gives you a fresh smooth base for your moisturiser or serum to really sink in and do it’s work.  Plus you look more radiant and have a perfect base for makeup, what’s not to love there?!

6. Body Shop Shea Butter Bodybutter

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I love a good body butter and The Body Shop is ahead of the pack when it comes to the range and quality of nourishing body butters it has.  They come in all colours and fragrances but my fave by far is the Shea Butter one.  It really moisturises your skin with goodness and helps prevent it from drying out.  If you use this after exfoliating your body (it does have a matching exfoliator) your skin will be so smooth, soft and amazingly well moistursed.  Plus you’ll smell gorgeous 🙂

So there you have it, my Skincare Saviours.  These are more geared towards nourishing your skin in winter but can be used all year round too.  If you are on Twitter and looking to check out the other bloggers participating to see what favourites they have, just search the hashtag #BOBBlogChallenge

Also don’t forget to check out Samantha’s blog over at All The Buzz, it really is a great read and she covers all manner of topics, not just beauty & makeup so have a look 🙂

Which products are your skincare saviours that you absolutely cannot live without?  Let me know in the comments below and see you next week for more 🙂

Nuxe Prodigieux le Parfum – Review

You may be familiar with cult beauty product “Huile Prodigieux” body oil from skincare brand NUXE.  It’s certainly a favourite of mine, not least since you can use it to nourish your skin, hair AND your nails.  Also it has the most amazing fragrance which makes it feel totally luxurious and just reminds you of…holidays!  Well, NUXE have released a perfume with the very same fragrance which captures that same gorgeous smell.

Perfume

I was invited along to the launch of the perfume and was very generously given a bottle for myself.  Ladies, if you’re looking for a new perfume, you have to check this out.  It is absolutely beautiful and I can guarantee you will fall in love at first sniff!

It’s the most perfect summer fragrance with citrusy top notes of Bergamont and Mandarin as well as Orange Blossom.  As it settles down to the heart notes of the fragrance, you can really smell the floral scents of  Rose, Gardenia and Magnolia coming through.  Finally it fades to beautiful base notes of Vanilla and Coconut Milk.  This is one of those perfumes that really lasts, I recently had someone admire the smell on me, long after I thought it had faded.

The smell evokes feelings of being on an exotic beach somewhere with the warm sun on your skin and the feel of sand between your toes.  Hell, if I close my eyes I can even hear the waves softly lapping in the distance 🙂

God….I really need a holiday!!! But in the meantime I have this beautiful perfume to remind me of better days (and weather!) to come 🙂

NUXE Prodigieux le Parfum is available exclusively in Arnotts from 13th February and then nationwide from 3rd March and is priced at €48.60

Will you be trying this?

Kandigloss BEAUTY & BRUSHES Christmas Gift Guide

Here are some of my top picks that any beauty lover would be delighted to find under the tree on Chrismas morning 🙂

Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Set – €33.50 – larger Boots stores or Liz Earle website 

Liz EarleI’m totally in love with the Liz Earle cleanse and polish line of skin cleansers with their muslin cloths and this set comes with a full size Cleanser, 2 muslin cloths and a mini spray toner.

Boots No7 Restore & Renew Collection Set – €70, Boots Stores or Boots Online

No7 Restore & Renew Collection

These sets contain some brilliant skincare and it’s almost half the price of what it would be if you were to buy all these products individually so you’re making a good saving.  Great for any skincare lover.

Bia Beauty Feed your Face Gift Set €50 Avoca Stores or at the Bia Beauty Website

Bia Beauty Natural SkincareThis is from Irish brand Bia Beauty who are based in Cork and make the most beautiful natural skincare gift sets.  I have been trying out the cleanser and moisturiser in this set.  The Mellow Mandarin Moisturiser is so nourishing  and especially good for dry skin or as a good night cream.  The Orange and Grapefruit Facial Exfoliant and Cleanser is a real treat for the skin and exfoliates so gently you can use this every day.  The big draw for me is that both come in a 60ml sized jar which is double what you’d get in most face creams so they last for ages.  I also love the Lime Pie Lip Balm and all the products smell exactly as they are described so they are just gorgeous.  I am definitely a fan 🙂 Check out their other gift sets here

Clarisonic Mia2 Cleansing System – €140 Brown Thomas www.brownthomas.com

ClarisonicThe Clarisonic Mia2 is a facial cleansing device which uses patented sonic technology to gently remove the impurities traditional cleaning methods leave behind, cleansing six times better than your hands alone. And best of all it works in only 60 seconds to remove impurities from pores so that creams, serums, and moisturisers are more effective. And with regular daily use you’ll notice a reduction in dry patches, oily areas, and blemishes.  A must have for anyone with problem skin, male or female.

Pixy Indulge Gift Set Box €20 www.pixy.ie

LR PIXY INDULGE GIFT BOX €19.95Pixy Bath

Another Irish brand and firm favourite of mine is Pixy Natural Skincare and beauty products.  They have some fab gift sets for Christmas and all under €20 which is just fantastic, so if you know of any beauty lovers I’m sure they would really appreciate these.  I recently got to try the Indulge Gift Set (pictured above) and it was certainly a luxurious experience!  It comes with one of their beautiful handmade honysuckle soaps, moisturising Lavender bath bomb, some skin-softening Lime Body Scrub Cubes – ideal for exfoliating and brilliant for removing fake tan, and relaxing Lavender Bath Salts – to ease your aching body and wind down at the end of the day!  I tried all the products out and was so relaxed afterwards and I had the nicest sleep I’d had in a long time.  They have gift sets to suit everyone and some stocking fillers so check them out here

Nima Brush Elite Travel Gift Set €45 www.nimabrush.com

971576_514196048678355_691766288_nStaying with the Irish companies (as we really should be supporting our own this Christmas!) This is the limited edition Elite Travel Set from Nima Brush.  I’ve reviewed these brushes before here and they really are fab and very reasonable for the price.  Whether you’re someone only starting out in makeup or a complete pro, you would do well to have these in your kit so they’d make a great Christmas present for any lucky lady, young or old.

Madison Brushes, The Cosmetic Outlet €29.99 The Cosmetic Outlet Meath Street

Madison

This 7 piece brush set (again from an Irish company Madison Makeup!) have just been launched and will be sure to fly off the shelves for Christmas.  You can get these excusively at The Cosmetic Outlet Dublin but if you can’t reach there you can order over the phone.  Get them quick before they’re all gone!

Ted Baker Nail Polish Set €15

Ted Baker Nail Polish

I always love the nail gift sets that Ted Baker bring out at Christmas and this is no exception.  A great stocking filler!

Marc Jacobs Daisy perfume set €60 Boots stores or www.boots.ie

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Lastly, no Christmas gift guide would be complete without a perfume set and this Marc Jacobs one is defo on my list this year!  You get the body wash and lotion free with this one so it’s great value.  I love the smell of this, it’s perfect for day or night and you can really layer the fragrance.

So that’s it, some inspiration for if you’re doing any Christmas shopping this week.  Be sure to check out my makeup gift guide as well here.

What do you think, are you lusting after any of these?  Let me know below 🙂

Nimue – Rejuvenating Face Mask Review

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Nimue is a salon exclusive skincare brand which was initially developed in 1994 and aimed at the medical market for pre and post-operative application as well as for advanced results orientated skin rejuvenation treatment by skin care therapists.  The brand has since become known for its innovative formulations and cutting edge technology based on the effective combination of exceptional ingredients with scientifically proven delivery systems.

Nimue skincare’s unique philosophy is based on four treatment pillars:

  • Rejuvenation
  • Restoration
  • Antioxidation
  • Sun Protection

Nimue is also claims to be exceptionally effective in dramatically improving the signs of premature skin ageing, which include dryness, sensitivity and rough texture.

Rejuvenating Mask

The treatment mask that I tested, specifically promotes skin rejuvenation. The Rejuvenating Face Mask contains active ingredients including Alpha Lipoic Acid, Retinol and Vitamin C Ester, as well as Pentavitin for a rich moisturing effect.  It is especially good for environmentally damaged skin, hyperpigmented skin (occuring due to sun damage or pregnancy), and problematic skin.

Nimue claims that your skin will immediately feel well-hydrated, extremely smooth and rejuvenated.  So, I put it to the test to find out if actually works!

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I followed the directions and applied a thick layer of the mask evenly over my face and neck avoiding the delicate eye area.  It’s a thick textured cream with a medicinal smell which dried  on my face.  I could feel the active ingredients working straight away, my skin felt tingly but not irritated. I then let it do it’s thing for 10 minutes and then rinsed it off with a wet muslin cloth.  They recommend that you do this once or twice a week.

Before after

Afterwards my skin was glowing and it did feel renewed and like as if I’d exfoliated it so it must have done something good!

I’ve been using this once a week but I always find it hard to make the time even though I really should!  I have a bit of sun damage on my skin and I haven’t really noticed the pigmentation fading, but maybe if I keep using it regularly it might help.  Based on my experience with this mask, I would definitely check out their other products that might suit my skin. 🙂

Have you heard of Nimue products?

Nimue skincare can be found at selected salons or if you’re in Dublin and looking for stockists, you can contact:

Nimue Skin Technology Ireland (01) 219 0292 or email nimueskin@eircom.net

Give Joy with The Body Shop’s Christmas Gift Collection!

Last Wednesday night, I was invited to a bloggers event at The Body Shop on Grafton Street to reveal their fabulous Christmas Gifts.  They really have something for everyone and every budget this year and the sets are absolutely gorgeous.  There isn’t anyone I know who wouldn’t be happy to find these goodies under the tree on Christmas morning that’s for sure!

Myself (middle) Yaz from Glittermama Blog (left) and Deborah Leonard from Closer2Fabulous Blog (right)

Myself (middle) Yaz from Glittermama Blog (left) and Deborah Leonard from Closer2Fabulous Blog (right)

Just some of the goodies on display at The Body Shop event

Just some of the goodies on display at The Body Shop event

There was so much to choose from so I’ve picked a few of my favourites below and broken them down into price range:

Under €40

The Body Shop’s signature scent, White Musk, has been given a bit of a makeover and now comes in two other fragrance types along with the original & classic White Musk scent.  Even the men in your life are included here with their own masculine range of White Musk gift sets to choose from.  They come with an Eau de Toilette perfume plus a body lotion and/or body spritz to really layer the fragrance enough to last the day.  This is one of my faves and I got to take a lovely set of the Classic White Musk home and try it out and it really is as gorgeous as I remember it.  The fragrance lasts for absolutely ages too!  Check out the full range of gifts in this price range, here

White Musk Sets

Under €30

Just who could resist these gorgeous little sets with Christmas themed fragrances such as Ginger, Cranberry and Vanilla?  Not me that’s for sure, they’re just too cute! They range from body scrubs and body butters to shower gels and body puffs encased in the cutest little keepsake tins and boxes.  I’m a big fan of The Body Shop Body Butters, (they have a whole range with every type from Chocolate to Shea Butter) and these sets come with the limited edition Christmas Body Butters.  You don’t have to wait for Christmas morning to open these beauties, imagine the joy of having a nice shower using your deliciously smelling shower gel and then slathering yourself in the matching body butter on Christmas Eve to snuggle into your comfy new PJ’s and wait for Santa to come 🙂  I love the fact that you can smell Christmassy as well as feel it! You have to check out the range here.

Gift Sets

Under €10

If you’re looking for a few little stocking fillers then look no further than these lovely little treats.  They range from Chocolate body shower cream and soap to little mini manicure sets.  Check out this bargain range of goodies here.

10 gifts

At €99, this next goodie goes in the “Money no Object” category!  Following the latest trend for beauty brands to bring out their own Advent Calendars packed with lots of beauty goodies, The Body Shop has come out with this little beaut stuffed with 24 of their best selling products, check out what’s included here.  Isn’t it amazing?!  Try restraining yourself to one treat a day, I dare you!

PicMonkey Collage

The Body Shop is well known for it’s ethical fair trade and cruelty free products and following its “Beauty With a Heart” motto this Christmas, $300,000 from the sales of all their gifts will help build 5 new schools with their Community Fair Trade partners from around the world.  So not only are you buying gorgeous pressies for your loved ones, you’re contributing to a good cause too, even more reason to treat the ones you love – or yourself! 🙂

At the event, we were also treated to a makeup demo from their new improved makeup line, I will do a separate post on the makeup as it’s just amazing and I really want to give it a good test run 🙂  We were also treated to an eyebrow threading demo.  Threading in The Body Shop costs just €12 so I’ll be back to have that done.  I also like the fact that the area where you have the threading is private in the Grafton Street store.  I’ve seen the chairs out in full view of passers-by before in other stores and that is something that would put me off having it done if I’m honest.

Threading

What do you think of this collection?  Will you be buying some Christmas Gift Sets from The Body Shop this year?

Bridal Series – Getting your Skin in Good Condition for your Wedding

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I do a lot of bridal makeup and one thing I always advise my brides is to look after their skin in the months leading up to their wedding.  Notice how I said MONTHS and not WEEKS!!  Yes – that’s how long it takes a good skincare regime to really start benefiting your skin!

You can hire the best makeup artist for your wedding day but if you’ve not done the preparation on your skin, there’s only so much they can do to make your skin look its best.  A makeup artist can cover redness and spots but they can’t do much about the texture of your skin, i.e. if your skin is dry and flaky, your foundation won’t sit well and your makeup artist can’t achieve a flawless look.  So that’s why it’s vital to ensure you’re doing all you can to look after your skin in the run-up to your wedding.  Plus the stress of planning a wedding can really take it’s toll on your skin so you should really make the effort to look after it.

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Your Skincare Regime from 12 – 6 Months prior to wedding:

  1. Find the right  skincare regime for you and stick to it.  Religiously!!  A good makeup artist should be able to advise you on your skincare needs also so don’t be afraid to ask for recommendations.  What you use will depend on your skin-type & condition but some of the best skincare products I’ve found are from La Roche Posay, Vichy, Liz Earle, NUXE, Clarins and Yon-Ka.  Yes, some of these brands are expensive but believe me it’s worth it for the beautiful glowing skin you’ll have on your wedding day.
  2. Every morning and night, get into the habit of Cleansing, Toning and Moisturising your skin, also use a light eye gel or cream first thing in the morning.
  3. If your skin is particularly dry use a good rich night cream or serum to restore and revitalise while you sleep.
  4. Twice a week, exfoliate and use a face mask specified to your skin type.  For a good exfoliator, I prefer a peel one that uses AHA’s to take off the dead skin rather than grainy particles which can irritate your skin.  One I used in the run up to my wedding was the Yon-Ka Gommage which is a clear gel that you leave on your face and then gently rub off, it has no grainy bits and your skin is, literally, like new afterwards.  So I love it for that reason.  It also lasts a long time too so it’s a good investment.

Gommage

Special Care for your skin:

You may also decide to book a course of Facials leading up to your wedding.  I’d highly recommend this as it leaves your skin in such good condition.  Again, I’m a huge fan of Yon-Ka facials (I swear I don’t work for them or am not paid to promote them, they’re just my favourite type of facial/luxury skincare brand 🙂 )and I booked a course of 5 facials for myself a few months before my wedding and I’ve no doubt that this was responsible for the lovely glow I had on my wedding day!

I had a mixture of the Le Grand Classique which is a deep pore cleansing facial and the Hydralessence which is a long-lasting deeply hydrating facial which plumps out any fine lines you may have.  Plus the products have a gorgeous relaxing scent which really helps you to relax and feel pampered, something every bride needs!  You should have your last facial about a month prior to your wedding as they can cause some spot outbreaks (which isn’t a bad thing, as it’s just drawing out all the impurities) and you want to give your skin a chance to get over that prior to your big day.

Body Skin Care:

Don’t forget your neck and décolleté in your skincare regime also.  This area is often neglected and needs to be cleansed, gently exfoliated and moisturised too since it will be on show on your big day.

Also remember to exfoliate and moisturise the skin on the rest of your body, especially the parts which will be on show such as the shoulders, back and arms.  If you plan on wearing false tan on your big day, this will also help the application to be smooth and streak free.

Beauty from the inside:

It never does any harm to start taking vitamin supplements, Omega 3 oils and various skin, hair and nail preparations are good ones to supplement your diet with also but again, you need to be taking these for months prior to the wedding.

Drink as much water as you can to help keep your skin hydrated from the inside.  8 glasses a day is recommended so keep a large water bottle filled at work and sip on it regularly through the day.

If you have any questions just let me know and watch out for other helpful wedding makeup & beauty tips to come on my blog!