Unicorn Cosmetics – omg.

A few weeks ago, I had an instagram DM from Unicorn Cosmetics (www.unicorncosmetics.co.uk) asking if I’d like to try some of their products out and see what I think. I nearly died, I love Unicorn Cosmetics, it’d have been an honour (and nice and easy because I have a lot of their things anyway, MASSIVE fan girl).

I’m pretty much like a child in a toy store with makeup brands, so when asked what I’d like to try specifically ‘anything and everything’ seemed the way to go. I have no chill.

What I didn’t expect was the mass parcel that I received with an entire set of unicorn horn brushes, extras, mermaid brushes and eyelashes. I could have wet myself at this point. The owner, Mel said she was glad I liked them, HOW COULD I NOT?! This brand, even if we look at individual products that they sell, are so well thought out, so beautiful and well made they’re an absolute dreamboat for all makeup users, whether you’re 7 and playing pretend, 24 (like myself) and magpie to beautiful things, or 52 (like me mam) who just thinks they’re wonderful creations.

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Things of beauty are all well and good, but there’s no point if they don’t do what they’re meant to. No shit, these are the best brushes I’ve ever used. The only ones I’d possibly not buy again would be the mermaid ones (photo: far right) because the handle is made from silicone which makes it super flexible. For me, (not a trained professional) I found I was wiggling the handle a bit too much for my makeup application to be the sheer precision I liked, the unicorn handle ones suited me a treat.

Let’s talk pricing – because that’s the most important thing -aye?
– Purple mermaid brush – ‘Delphie’ £17.99
– Pink mermaid brush – ‘Korali’ £10.00 (currently on sale)
– Original Unicorn Brushes set – 10 pieces £45.00
– Unicorn brush ‘Pro 015 Cream Dream’ – £7.99 (currently on sale)
– Unicorn brush ‘Pro 048 Multipurpose’ – £6.99 (currently on sale)
– Unicorn eyelashes ‘Clementine’ – £9.99 (faux silk lashes)
– Dragon eyelashes ‘IceFyre’ – £9.99 (faux silk lashes)

You can buy these directly from their website http://www.unicorncosmetics.co.uk or from Beauty Bay.

So as brushes go, these are super affordable. The 10 piece set including the diamond bag for £45 are a steal in terms of quality and quantity. You’d be hard pushed finding a set as good with as many brushes elsewhere. But let’s talk about elsewhere for a second, because I’ve seen so many imitations of unicorn brushes now, unicorns based items are currency at the moment so you have to make sure you’re buying the right things.I abhor imitations, I think it shows a great lack of creativity on your own part. Unicorn Cosmetics are the originals and the best and that’s all I have to say on the matter.

My skin is super sensitive so the brushes being hypo-allergenic really works for me, they’re something you can buy and not have to worry about whether or not they’ll break you out. They’re handmade from synthetic taklon hair so they’re super, super soft and flexible AND pastel rainbow coloured. I love them. Have I said I love them? Everything is cruelty free and the Unicorn Brushes are even vegan-friendly and they also stock a vegan range, they’ve got you covered. The big brush kit comes with an accompanying detail sheet which gives you the number of all the brushes and what they’re best used for, which is super helpful. Particularly if you’re not totally au-fait with what every single brush does. And let’s be honest, who is?

Should you be a professional MUA, you can join their Unicorn Pro scheme and receive a massive discount. Also if you sign up to their mailing list you get 15% off your first order.

To be summer & festival ready, they’re recently launched face and body jewel stick-ons and body glitter and I don’t think any festival go-er would be complete without it. (Or really good Friday night party, or trip to the local supermarket – depends how brave you want to be).

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Let’s talk eyelashes. The packaging on these really got me because they’re just so different and cute. Can you imagine walking into a shop and seeing these? You’d be a moth to a flame. I think in the makeup world, you definitely do judge a product on it’s packaging because that’s partly what you’re paying for too, right? And these don’t disappoint. The only thing I’d point out is that they don’t come with glue ( for me, that’s normal now but it was the first question I asked when I got my first pair of not-high-street lashes) however, they do sell glue on their website for £2.50 so you’d may as well throw some of that in your basket too. If you’re in the market for some new lashes and want to go all in, you can buy 8 pairs for £59 whereas if you’d buy them individually it’d be £80, and that’s money, ladies and gentlemen, you can spend on cocktails.

In short, I love Unicorn Cosmetics. I’d rate the Unicorn brushes a solid 10/10. The products and the brand itself are wonderful, because I think they shows massive creativity in the makeup industry which sometimes can be a bit uniform (black handled brushes with a silver rim, anyone?)

They’re an amazing gift for either your make up loving mate/daughter/partner/sister/treat yo’self. They’re undoubtedly going to make someone’s day and make them feel special, because you feel sparkly just using them, let alone what glorious creation you make with them on your own face. Buy them and you can thank me later.

Let me know what you get!

Love,

Ruby x

 

Estee Lauder my life

When I was in my early teens, my perception of Estee Lauder was that it was an old lady brand. Quite literally, my gran for her 70th birthday went to EL for a make up consultation and bought all of her products from there. So it never really crossed my mind to even look at it, I always walked by the make up counters in Boots and Debenhams because it wasn’t on my radar.

So let’s fast forward to 2015 and I’m at university in Bangor, Gwynedd and I’m milling about Debenhams and due to the lack of counters in there (sorry Menai Centre) I have a gander at the Estee Lauder counter. Quite frankly, I was shocked at how fantastic the products were. I’d heard whisperings of Double Wear foundation but that was it really. The ad campaign was ran by Kendall Jenner, the colours were poppin’ the range was diverse and high quality – it was aimed at me and my generation, but without the puns and gimmicky products. Instantly fell in love.

Staples in my make up bag for EL are the Gentle Eye Makeup Remover (£21) and Pure Colour Envy lipsticks (£27) I’m too embarrassed to tell you exactly how many of these I have, we’ll just settle for over 10. My favourite one at the moment, (at the moment being the key phrase because it changes like the wind, sweetheart) is 410 Dynamic, which is an English dusky rose.

After moving back to the Midlands my nearest counter is Estee Lauder in Debenhams, Merry Hill. I’ve religiously paid pilgrimage whenever I’m in the inTU Merry Hill Centre and, of course, like any good beauty girl picked up their Christmas bundles which are an absolute steal, annually.

My current favourites in EL are the Pure Colour Envy sparkle liquid lipsticks, particularly shade Limo Lights (£17) as they work perfectly on their own or as a lipstick topper, you need to be fast with this shade though because whenever I’ve been in, it’s never in stock. (sad face)

Recently, I was lucky enough to meet Estee Lauder’s Global Make Up Artist, Alan Pan. He was hosting make overs in Debenhams, Merry Hill as part of his UK tour. I had to be there. So I was.

(I’d like to take this point in my blog to thank all of the ladies at Estee Lauder, Merry Hill Debenhams for organising this and inviting me)

Alan gave me such a beautiful look, starting off with skincare because and to quote him, ‘skincare is key, you can put makeup on any face but if the skin isn’t good, the makeup won’t be good’.

He used:
Perfectly Clean multi action foam cleanser/purifying mask (£24)
Radiant Energy Lotion Intense Moist (£44)
Advanced Night Repair serum (£55)
Pore Minimizing Skin Refresher (£47)
Daywear Moisturiser (£26)
Daywear Eyecream (£26)

For my makeup, the stand out pieces used for me, were the Double Wear foundation in shade 1CO Shell mixed with Advanced Night Repair serum to make it lighter and the Pure Colour Envy Shadow Paint in shade Midnight Fury which we used as an eyeliner.

Whilst I was there, the lovely ladies suggested I booked in for their new Paris Facial, and I love a facial, so how could I say no? The first trial facial is free and then after that the facials are £30 which is redeemable against EL skincare products afterwards. It’s pure common sense then, that if you were in the market for some new skincare products you’d book yourself in for what is essentially a free luxury facial and grab your products at the same time.

I was a bit unsure of what the facial would consist of and where it’d be, as they’re based slap in the middle of Debenhams beauty hall. However, they have a lovely side room, exclusively for Estee Lauder which is like a spa treatment room, except kitted out with Estee Lauder from top to bottom. Heaven.

I talked through my skin concerns with the Beauty Consultant and we picked out some products that we thought would benefit my skin type the most.

The whole facial lasted around 30 minutes and as a trained beauty therapist, my facial and massage was top notch. I felt completely relaxed and definitely not in a large, busy department store.

We used:
Advanced Night Micro Cleansing Balm (£38)
Micro Essence Skin Activating Treatment (£68)
Revitalising Supreme Plus Anti Ageing Exfoliator (£41)
NightWear Plus 3 minute mask (£35)
Advanced Night Repair Serum (£55)
DayWear moisturiser (£26)
DayWear Eye Cream (£26)

The Debenhams Merry Hill Estee Lauder is one of only 5 counters in the country which can offer the Paris facial, which I would thoroughly recommend and one of even fewer which has it’s own treatment room. To book in you can contact them via instagram (@beautyrevealed8) or in store. Seeing as these facials have only recently launched, they’re going to be super popular, so I’d hurry if I were you.

Let me know what your favourite Estee Lauder products are and if you’ve booked in for a Paris facial too!

Love,

Ruby x

Summer skincare goals

Hello!

A little while ago I was sent an ENORMOUS package of skincare from the gorgeous folk at Murad (I’ve never met them, but when I picture them, they all have perfect flawless skin). This is following my consultation I had with Murad in Debenhams, Bullring about how I can best utilise my skincare regime to boost my skin. My main concerns were pigmentation and hydration. And since then it’s been sunny for like 5 minutes, so sun protection too.

I’ve saved my PR unboxing on my instagram stories so if you’re as nosy as me you can catch up on all my excitement on @birminghambab

It looked a lot like this:

 

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(Quite clearly, I have zero chill).

I want to specifically take time to thank Murad Skincare for sending me such a generous package, particularly Miriam for all their support and kindness!

All of these opinions are my own however, and I’m not about to lose my loyalties to the truth.

So! Let’s get started.

I’m a big fan of Murad. It’s a sort of in between brand because it’s pricing is luxury/high end but it has a very scientific-factual no nonsense feel, which I quite like. You feel like you’re using something that’s come from a laboratory and is designed to work, over say, just look pretty on your shelf. Talking of #shelfies, if you’re into minimalism, you’re going to be in to Murad.

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From the City Skin collection I have:

  • Overnight Detox Moisturiser (50ml/£60) This is my favourite product that I was sent to try. It comes in a fancy pump and I apply it liberally before I go to bed and I wake up with princess pillow skin. I think that this is THE product which has made the most difference to my overall complexion. The product contains a lot of vitamin C and uses plant stem cells to neutralise pollutants. Who knew.
  • Age Defence Broad Spectrum SPF 50 (50ml/£55). It’s an every day sun cream to you and me. It’s just won the 2018 Image Beauty Awards and I can see why, it’s lightweight and 100% mineral. It also protects against blue light, pollution, UVA, UVB, Infrared and bell bottom jeans*. (*probably). It does smell like sun cream, which is weird, I don’t know what I expected but it keeps reminding me every day that I’m not going on holiday which is a bit of a bummer. I haven’t frazzled to a crisp over the past few days though which is a clear sign it works. However, and this is a big however, it’s a small bottle for £55 and the instructions say to use a lot, so I’m not entirely sure that this is the best suncream at the moment. I’ll have to look into it more.
  • Essential-C Day Moisture Broad Spectrum SPF 30 (50ml/£60). This girl is thick. Large and in charge. Not only does she hold moisture all day, but also protects against UVA/UVB with her SPF 30. This is the type of moisturiser that when you get to 40 you’d wished you’d started using earlier in your twenties. You probably should get this one.
  • Intensive-C Radiance Peel (50ml/£55). Now. This peel promises exfoliation, smoothing, hydration and an instant brightening to the skin. It uses glycolic acid so it does deliver. I use it once a week and it is a bit sore/stingy I can’t lie so just be aware of that when you use it. However, as my mate pointed out it does say peel so what d’ya expect? It’s a milky liquid that dries clear on your face over the space of about ten minutes and then you wash it off. It makes me go a bit pink, but I do genuinely feel so clean after it and my skin is super smooth.

From the Age Reform range I tried:

  • Hydro-Dynamic Quenching Essence (30ml/£65). This is such a dramatic name for a product it makes me giggle a little bit. In a nutshell, it’s a hydrating serum. I love it, I target it to problem areas on my face and use it just before my main moisturiser. I find it helps my moisturiser sink in more and keeps my face glowy all day. If you’re after a natural glow, this is the product for you.
  • Hydro-Glow Aqua Peel (4 pack/£40) You’d use one of these once a month. It’s a two step face mask and we all know I LIVE for a face mask. The first part is essentially a cotton wool swab stick which you swish all over you face which contains lactic and glycolic acid which exfoliates your skin. The second is a traditional sheet mask containing hyaluronic acid, aloe extract and vitamin B3 which helps moisturise and minimalise lines on the face. I actually think they’re a steal for £40 for 4 because you have 4 months worth of product where the results are more than what you’d get in a facial. It’s worth it.

Other:

  • Hydrating Toner (180ml/£26) Again, this is a strong favourite. I’ve been using toners for a really long time and up until about a month ago I couldn’t tell you what purpose they served. Since I’ve introduced the use of acids into my skincare regime it’s important that the pH levels of my skin are as normal as possible to maintain a healthy skin (quite obvious really). To do this, the toner restores my natural pH through moisture and antioxidants so my skin is ready for the essence and moisturiser I’d use after. I love that it comes in a spray bottle. Literally anything at this point which reduces the amount of cotton pads I burn through is a blessing. It smells cute too.
  • Invisiblur Perfecting Shield (50ml/£80). This is the product that I wanted to like the most as I’d heard the most about it and to be totally truthful, I just didn’t ‘get it’. The unique formula of mushroom peptides (I’m dead serious) is used to reduce the appearance of lines, improve the texture of the skin and be used as a primer for makeup. It does feel like a thin veil across your face, and I can totally understand how this would be beneficial for more mature skin, but for me it just came out as a primer and well – I wasn’t overwhelmed. Definitely one for your mam and her mates, I’m not the target audience.

I’ve been using exclusively Murad skincare for just over 2 weeks now. My skin is glowing. Here’s a shameless selfie of how clear and sparkly it is:

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We’re going to ignore the glaringly obvious gap in my eyeliner. For having better skin I’ve completely knocked off using foundation. Most days I’ll only wear a CC cream. Previously, I had quite bad redness and mini-breakouts on my cheeks and that’s virtually gone completely.

In all honesty, I’ve always had rather problematic skin, not with acne or anything like that, but with severe dehydration. My face is super dry (eczema prone) and super sensitive to anything. The skincare that I’ve been doing has settled my face and I feel like I’ve found a rhythm with the products that will be easily, and actually enjoyable, to continue to use.

I’m not an expert though, by any stretch of the imagination, even if you stand far away and squint. So I can’t stress enough how important it is to have a consultation or even just a quick chat with a skincare specialist at a Murad store/stand. They’re easy enough to find in big Debenhams’ or by using their online tool: https://www.murad.co.uk/personalized-skin-care/

Please let me know if you guys try anything out from Murad and what your thoughts are I’m always interested to know how everyone else gets on!

Summer ready skin, here I am.

Ruby x

Doll Beauty Secret Masterclass

Hello!

Sorry I’ve been away for a while, if you’ve read my last blog post you’ll know April wasn’t my best month and it’s been busy, but I’m here now!

I’ve been really lucky in terms of events for May, and I can never get over how excited it makes me to be invited and how lucky I feel for it. Particularly so recently with Doll Beauty.

Doll Beauty are a brand that I’ve been following for about 8 months now (I was lured in by the packaging I’m not going to lie), and from there I’ve seen the brand take off and just gain success after success. They started as an e-commerce brand (so online only) and now they’re available in Topshop stores across the country and their line has developed and ugh. I’m just so happy for them, because they’re great.

Anyway. Flashback to a few weeks ago, I was invited to a secret masterclass by Doll Beauty in Topshop Bullring and I couldn’t say no. In fact, I switched shifts at work so I would have time to go, I’m not missing it.

The event was super successful, however, I think I was the only person there who wasn’t a trained MUA, so it wasn’t my crowd in that sense and I felt a bit out of place. But! Every day is a learning day and I picked up a lot of tips and tricks from the MUA of the event, @_styled.by.abrahams_ My top 4 being:

  • If you’re into carving in your eyebrows (I can’t say its something I’ve ever done) Nip+Fab concealer is, apparently, the best
  • YOU CAN USE GEL EYELINER FOR GLITTER GLUE (potentially a game changer)
  • Helen E glitter is The. One.
  • If you’re using a bronzer, go from the tip of your ear to the bridge of your nose.

In all honesty, the heavy make up look, isn’t for me, but I 100% appreciate the artistry, time and skill that goes into the look. It’s really current and super instagram-friendly.IMG_0307

The focuses for Doll Beauty have been lashes and highlighter and I am ALLLLLLL about highlighter. They have launched two highlighters Shine Bright and Like A Diamond. I have the Like A Diamond highlighter and it’s fucking brilliant. It’s only £15 for 12g which you can buy in Topshop stores, http://www.dollbeauty.co.uk or now via Beauty Bay. Don’t be surprised if you can’t get your hands on one for a bit, they sell out fast. Just sayin’.

Let’s talk about eyelashes. I’m going to make a confession. Never before Doll Beauty have I used eyelashes that I haven’t been able to buy in like Superdrug or Boots. I KNOW. I’ve heard a lot about about different brands through Instagram but I’ve never bought any because how will I know I like ’em if I can’t see them properly in real life? I mean, now you can so get yourself to Topshop. These lashes are drama from tip to tip. If you’re going out out, or just live for the dramatic look, these will give you life.

They’re £10 per pair for a mink pair, £5 for human hair. I was given the mink lashes:

  • Jerri
  • Selena
  • Chloe Elizabeth (faves)
  • Eva
  • Jasmine

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If you’re a MUA or makeup enthusiast, I can’t recommend Doll Beauty enough, it’s sleek, it’s pretty and they’re bloody good products. (If you manage to get your hands on some of their lash glue please can you send me some, it sells out in seconds and is apparently, the best).

Other sweet little bits that came with the bundle I got from the lovely ladies was the Doll Beauty heart shaped compact mirror (£8), the gorgeous pink vinyl Doll Beauty make up bag (£15) and a Doll Addict t-shirt (£20) all of which can be bought online. The make up bag is honestly the cutest thing in my room right now. Even looking at it makes me feel like a princess.

Have a lovely day!

If you have any questions or if you’ve tried Doll Beauty before, show me what looks you’ve made so I can have some inspo for my lashes!

 

Love,

Ruby x

 

The lows and the lowers.

I’m talking about vaginas. And it’s very swear-y.

I’ve uhm-ed and ahh-ed a lot about doing this post. It’s rather personal and I had to pick apart why I didn’t want to talk about it and that was because I was embarrassed about talking about my ‘princess parts’. However, I’ve come to the conclusion that if this page of ramblings helps just one other person get checked out, then it’s worth it.

In my mid-teens I had anaemia really, really bad. At my worst I was fainting and on around 7 tablets a day to control blood loss. I was tired all the time, horrendously moody and just having a not very good time. Fast forward to 2018, and whilst the blood loss isn’t as bad, (or it is, and I’ve just gotten used to it) the pain is a lot worse and I decided enough was enough and that I needed to get it checked out. There have been days where standing up hurts because of the pain in my hips and legs, I’ve felt sick and blood is coming out fast from every orifice. EVERY SINGLE ONE.

Naturally, myself and Dr. Google came to the diagnosis that I was dying. I organised to see a consultant who specialised in gynaecology. Nearly crawled up my own arse talking to him about it and what was happening. He asked me why I hadn’t seen a doctor sooner given my severe symptoms. I didn’t have an answer. Embarrassment isn’t really a currency in a hospital, is it?

My consultation made everything very real. Words like ‘infertility’, ‘surgery’, ‘hysterectomy’ and the worst, ‘ovarian cancer’ were bounded about, and truth be told, I completely blanched. I was told that because of my previous blood disorder (anaemia) I wasn’t the best suited for exploratory surgery. Well Jesus be Joseph, man, I didnae remember asking for it.

The consultant asked about the removal of my reproductive organs. This hit me like a truck. I’m 24, I’ve not been out of full-time education a year yet. I’m not entirely sure what I want from the chip shop let alone if I want kids in the near future. It’s always something I’d just assumed I could do, should I want to, at some time in the vague future. I gave him a firm ‘no.’

The next thing to be tested was cancer. Jesus fucking Christ. I’d pride myself on being quite hardy but the triple whammy that this consultation brought, took me to my knees. I left a broken girl and with an appointment for an ultrasound scan the next week.

Ultrasound scans. They’re a funny thing aren’t they? Are you picturing a baby ultrasound scan like I was? Let’s take that idea and put it back in your pocket because holy fuck, was I mistaken. The correct term was a ‘transvaginal ultrasound scan’. Fuck my entire life. I mean, credit to the nurse and doctor that did it, they were great. I think my eyes nearly popped out from aggressively not making eye contact with the doctor as what can only be likened to a submarine’s periscope went up me whilst my stomach was moved about moving ‘the bowel loops’ out the way. My joke of ‘are you going to put them back?’ went flat. It wasn’t as invasive as what I was ready for. I’d heard ‘it’s like a big dick’ and thought that maybe my weekend would be starting early. But that wasn’t the case, it’s more like a twig with a lot of lube on it.

He told me pretty much straight away that it wasn’t cancer and the sense of instant relief was what I can only imagine taking heroin would be like. I’d hadn’t been sleeping properly the entire week before, lost my appetite, emotional and just a bit of a hot mess. I could have cried has his hand not been a good 5cm into my vagina. Idk, I just feel like it would have been weird if I’d have cried then.

Cancer being struck off the list left us with one culprit, and that was endometriosis. I hadn’t heard much about it either. After it was suggested that this is what it could be I became a leading UK expert on it within a week. It fucking sucks. It means that the lining of my womb is attaching to other parts of my body. Weird isn’t it? Obviously, I can’t feel that happening it just really hurts (think white heat). To cure it, you have to whip it all out. As appealing as it would be to pickle my princess parts and put them on a shelf. I feel it’s a bit premature. It doesn’t mean that I can’t have kids either. It just means that I’d have to try harder and be more careful. Every cloud.

The week where my own imagination was left to worst case scenario of ovarian cancer has really resonated with me. We all know to check regularly for breast cancer or any irregular moles/bumps. What do you look for with ovarian cancer?

  • feeling constantly bloated
  • a swollen stomach
  • discomfort in your stomach or pelvic area
  • feeling full quickly when eating, or loss of appetite
  • needing to wee more often or more urgently than normal
  • persistent indigestion or nausea
  • pain during sex
  • a change in your bowel habits
  • back pain
  • vaginal bleeding – particularly bleeding after the menopause
  • feeling tired all the time
  • unintentional weight loss

These were taken from the NHS website. It’s probably nothing, but if you’re having a few of these symptoms just bring it up with your GP. Endometriosis and ovarian cancer don’t discriminate based on age, ethnicity, size, health, whether or not you wear crocs. If you’re having extreme pain, it can be managed. If you’re bleeding so much you’ve gone through 5+ pads a day and would laugh in the face of a tampon, you can get it checked out. You’re your own makers, ladies, and you don’t have to suck it up all the time. I also think you’d be surprised at exactly how many other women this happens to.

As always, if you have any questions or want to talk to me about it more, just ask.

M-urrah for Murad

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I thought I knew a fair amount about skincare, I’ve been trying different products and fashionable fancies for years now both high and low end to find the perfect products for me. However, I’ve never found the ‘just perfect’ fit, one of my favourite parts of blogging though is being able to try a whole host of new brands or products, so I take it on the chin a lot.

Now, being a self-professed Indiana Jones of skincare, you can imagine how excited I was to be invited to Murad in Debenhams Bullring to try a Hydro-Glow Aqua Peel facial. I didn’t really know what it meant but it sounded fancy, so last Friday I skipped along. It was also nicely timed as the launch of their new Rapid Age Spot Correcting Serum was happening, and I fancied a look at that! They’re also a fully vegan friendly-PETA approved brand who don’t use fragrances, so that’s a double thumbs up from me.

I met the lovely Murad team, Shaz and Joseph and sat down to have my skin consultation. I’ve never had one before, so I was keen to see the results. Shaz asked me what I thought my main skin concerns were and I have really dry, sensitive skin and I thought I had big pores, so this is what I try to target the most in my skin care routine. However, what hadn’t occurred to me which the consultant brought up, was the fact that I have freckles and that these are pigmentation. I don’t know why but it had never even crossed my mind, so we popped this into the computer too.

For my skin consultation I rested my chin on a stand and two photograph-like shots of light were taken to read my skin. Shaz explained to me that the results would be read on a scale of 1-100, 1 being ‘girl you’re winning at life’ and 100 being ‘yikes’. (I mean she didn’t say it like that, obviously, that’s my interpretation). So let’s see how my results came in:

Wrinkles – 11/100
Redness – 9/100
Inflammation – 22/100
Pores – 5/100 (porefect)
Pigmentation – 40/100. What the actual.

I nearly croaked at my pigmentation score, let me tell you. I was all ready to be told that I was a red inflamed mess and was 100% not prepared for pigmentation. When I think of pigmentation I think of Michael Jackson and Winnie Harlow, definitely not, Ruby, 24 from Birmingham. Panic set in (and maybe a slight competitive streak) of how could I improve my score? SPFs and blue light protection.

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(guess which on the pigmentation screen is 😦 )

I kicked myself a little at SPF, because I know this. We all know this. The UV rays from the sun will damage your skin even when there’s no sun out. I remember pledging to myself months and months ago after a bout of sunburn that I’d wear sun cream every day (which to be fair lasted for about 2 weeks, and in my books that’s longer than some boyfriends, so y’know). Getting back on topic though, blue light caught my attention – what on earth is blue light? Shaz explained to me how blue light is the emission of light from screened devices, like this laptop screen is I’m looking at now, my phone and tablet screen etc. I freaked (again) a bit at this because how hadn’t I heard about this before how is this damaging my skin? Turns out, after I read a bunch of articles on it, we still aren’t sure. There have been many links between blue light and skin damage, but the jury is out over a definitive answer. Genuinely considered going out in a mask at this point. Please raise your hand if you’ve ever felt personally victimised by life and the environment.

Joseph was ready for me and my facial at this stage and Shaz said she’d give me the Murad Healthy Skin Guide and mark-up which products would help me with my skin whilst I relaxed in the facial area. Ladies and Gentlemen, I love a facial. It’s my all time favourite and I mean Favourite (with a capital F) kind of treatment. Needless to say then, that I have a lot of them, both professionally and at home with a plethora of different kinds of masks. Joseph showed me how to use the Hydro-Glow Aqua Peel mask and how I’d go about using my own at home (yes, folks, you can buy this off the shelf and use it at home!) He prepped my skin and popped on the face mask which comes in two parts:
– Firstly, it’s a ‘retexturizing swab’ which is, in other words, a cotton wool baton coated in lactic and glycolic acid which exfoliates the skin (this is where the brighter and more youthful glow comes in). Joseph said that this part could tingle, but it didn’t for me, maybe it’s because I use glycolic acid a fair amount on my skin anyway, but it’s something to bear in mind for you guys, should you get one yourself.

-Secondly, the Moisture Infusion Mask, which is a sheet mask that you keep on for 15 minutes. The mask replenishes and locks in moisture by using hyaluronic acid which is key to minimise lines and wrinkles. For me though, the main use of this mask was the hydration aspect as it adds 400% more moisture into your face. And those kind of numbers, my lovers, give. me. life.

The masks come in a pack of 4 single use treatments and cost £40, however, you only use one a month and let me show you how bangin’ my skin was immediately after and then the next day:

 

As you can see I got a truckload of information out of my consultation with Murad, and I’d recommend getting your skin looked at to anybody and everybody. Particularly those of you who think you don’t need it. It takes a maximum of 10 minutes, do it on your lunch break or whenever you’re next bimbling along through town. You can find your nearest Murad store here: https://www.murad.co.uk/spa-locator/show there are concession stands in most large Debenhams beauty halls and large Marks and Spencer’s, just double check before you go that if you want a skin consultation the one you are visiting has facial facilities.

I’m actually looking to go back to Murad asap to have a glycolic facial (which I saw another couple arrive to do whilst I was there) which costs £35 and gives you brighter, baby-like skin. For those of you that haven’t heard of glycolic acid, it’s often used by celebrities before red carpet events or parties and that’s how they achieve the ‘filter’ skin look without using snapchat like the rest of us…

The products that I’m currently using from Murad are:

Advanced Active Radiance Serum – £80, this has the environmental shield as I work in the city centre every single day, this helps sack off the pollution effects on my skin

Invisiblur Protecting Shield SPF 30 – £60/£80, there’s a reason this has won so many ‘best in beauty’ awards. Not only does it provide you with SPF protection it blurs and corrects fine lines and imperfections.

Retinol Youth Renewal Serum – £70, to only be used at night, the retinol gives my skin a smoother and more youthful glow.

I appreciate that these products are on the higher end of the price spectrum, but these are investment pieces that last a long time and genuinely work. I’d always recommend trying out samples first before going all in and buying the entire range (like I used to do) and definitely speak to the skin consultant about your specific skin needs. Murad specialise in anti-aging, anti-blemishes, pores, sensitive skin and pigmentation. It’s a well trusted dermatological brand founded in the eighties by Dr. Murad that have so many things to offer, that whatever your concern or results they’re able to help and provide you with solution options!

 

All product information is available online at: https://www.murad.co.uk/

Sharks with frickin’ laser beams attached to their frickin’ heads

Right. Let’s have a frank and open chat about not head hair.

I’m writing this and I’m almost embarrassed for myself. I remember a time when I’d have read an article like this and cringed for the author but have read it through perverse curiosity and compared notes. So this article is for you guys. I’ve just had my three year anniversary of laser hair removal and I bloody love it.

So y’might be wondering why, or more specifically where, I had the treatment, and it was my face lads. I’ve the whitest skin and dark hair, it was all fun and games until I hit high school and all I had was what is affectionately referred to as ‘peach fuzz’. One of the biggest regrets in my life (to date) is that I messed with it. If you’re living in the land of milk and honey that is only peach fuzz, please understand that the grass is greener your side. It only took a lingering stare and a bitchy comment in an argument with my first boyfriend and it became the forefront of my mind. In my mind I was the bearded lady and some kind of circus freak. In short, I was mortified. Why the fuck was this happening to me? The thing that I became most embarrassed about was that I thought it didn’t happen to anybody else. I thought I was the sole bearer of this burden. The only lass in the world with a pre-pubescent lad ‘tache and a 5 o’clock shadow.

I’ve come to realise that this is not the case. My Southern Asian and Southern European and trans sisters, I believe, feel me deeply in my pain. After many imposing questions I realised most of my friends and family did too. And probably so do you, curious reader. I’m here to tell you it’s alright. I’m also here to tell you that you are no less feminine/attractive/validated because of it. It’s also massively common. Everybody has hair on their face, this is a wee fact, as humans this is what we have. It helps do a thing or something I don’t know the science behind it, all I know is that we have it. More to the point, it has a variety of variables that make it different for everyone. If you have more testosterone in your body, the chances of you having hair is higher. It’s also higher if you’re on certain types of medication or as a side effect to a medical condition like Poly-cystic Ovary Syndrome. Different races have thicker and darker hair. Or, if you’re like me and just have a shitty gene pool. It’s the luck of the draw.

I’ve seen a few articles and YouTube videos now where women are refusing to remove their facial hair and part of me is like ‘fucking yas, you do you’ and I’m jealous of their self-confidence and liberalism. I truly understand why they do it, looking in the mirror every morning and seeing something that is so rejected within society, really fucking gets you down. It made me feel ugly and like some kind of burly bloke. But it’s a part of who you are, whether you choose to love it or hate it. They chose love it and embrace it, and that’s something I fully support. Personally though, I couldn’t wait to give it the final fuck off a moment longer.

I went through a variety of methods. I tried waxing, shaving and threading before laser. Those viral make-up videos I’ve seen going around encouraging young girls to shave their faces before they apply make up is the biggest lie and most misleading thing I have ever seen. When they say ‘the hair doesn’t grow back’ or ‘it just comes back the same’. Fucking bullshit hun, just ask anyone that shaves their arms what it comes back like. Or any bloke. It’ll come back darker (or ginger, hair colour dependant) and brittle. You’ll be sporting a full beard, maybe not a wizard-esque one (which is kind of a shame really) but stubbly bits will be there. I’ve no reason to lie to you, all self-preservation and dignity at this point is out the window.

Waxing and threading really fucking hurt. The skin on your face is sensitive (obvs) and whilst the hair comes back maybe softer or less, it’s not a permanent solution. Shaving damages the skin and as it doesn’t remove the follicle of the hair entirely, the broken hair where it’s cut off BY RAZORBLADES ON YOUR FACE  makes the regrowth quick and the hair stronger and more brittle. It’s fighting a losing battle, and I’m not doing it for life, lads. I’m too lazy. Talking about female face-shaving is the most difficult part of this that I’ve written so far. The big taboo that girls don’t talk about. We’d sooner own up to shagging some minge-cringe of a lad at uni than picking up a Gillette. But there you go, I’ll take on for the team.

I started looking at more permanent forms of hair removal and bar cutting off my face, laser therapy sounded like the most effective and reasonable solution, but it sounded painful and expensive. With a few very close friends I talked about it and they all assured me that it wasn’t necessary and they couldn’t see what I was on about, ‘you don’t need it, Ruby’ they cried. But they hadn’t seen me pre-8am.

January 2016, when I found myself physically upset over the state of my face, I was just getting more and more self-conscious. I called The Laser Clinic in Menai Bridge (http://laserclinicnorthwales.co.uk/) just to enquire because enough was enough. This is going to sound like an outrageous advertisement/endorsement for them, and it is, in a way, I guess. Ruth and Ellen changed my life. I had a consultation and my first treatment on the same day and I haven’t looked back. I was so preoccupied with how embarrassing it was to go there and the state of me, I didn’t realise everyone else was in the same boat. For my entire lower face I paid around £60 a pop, because that’s the bit we all wanna know right? That and ‘does it hurt’ – well. Yes. Like the title of this post, I have frickin’ laser beams pointed at my face. (It was an Austin Powers reference, if you missed it).

‘But what does it feel like?’ My openness about the whole situation with those I’m around when I say ‘I’m off to get my face lasered’ is often met with curiosity and then being used as a confidant. ‘Wait? Do you have a moustache too? Is that how you get rid of it?’ I’m no Houdini, ladies, it is indeed an achievable super power, me and my aerodynamic skin. But back to the main point. What does it feel like? Hm. It’s hard to explain. You’re made very comfortable, lying on a treatment table, eyemask and goggles on – I can only imagine I look like an FHM Top 100. They pop a thick gel over the area that going to be treated and then the laser is like hot pokes with an elastic band (?). Really hot. That move periodically across your face. And you start to smell like burning hair, because that’s what it is. It only takes 5-8minutes to do my entire lower face, some areas are worse than others. Upper lip really fucking sucks.

To put it into perspective though, I would have my upper lip done 400 times in a row for the results it gave and the difference it made to me in my day-to-day life. I had to pop back at first every 4 weeks, then 6 weeks and now I’m on 12 weeks, and then I’ll be done. Maybe a top up every couple of years, if needed.

Laser treatment isn’t just for hair removal (and they can do it anywhere by the way) but it also treats acne. A top tip for any of you out there. Also totally ok for lads too.

A solid two thumbs up from me. If you’ve any specific questions hit me up.