Top 5 Mother’s Day Edit

The only thing better than treating yourself is treating someone else… or so I’m told, and who is a better candidate than your own Mam?

Mother’s Day is Sunday 31st March, put it in your calendars, tell Siri to remind you or put a note in your purse, but whatever you do – Jesus don’t forget. My mam hit me with the ‘oh no, I don’t need gifts’ one year and I’d like you all to know that if your Mam says this,  that this is a lie. I fell for it once, and I shan’t again.

Flowers are nice, chocolates are basic (and my mam is diabetic). Skincare is better.

I trooped around Birmingham to find the best picks and pulled in the big guns as I’ve enlisted the help of my own mother for this top 5 edit, quality content coming your way.

In no particular order we have:

Lush Bath Bombs

You have potential to go super over the top in Lush and get carried away (like I did), but what I really like about the BIGGEST LUSH SHOP IN THE WORLD in Birmingham is the catering for every budget. You could pick up a single bath bomb like the Incredible Mum or butterfly ones (£4.50/£4.95) which are gorgeous and always a crowd-pleaser for a budget. OR you could go big/if you’re sharing the cost with siblings and get a tin, these vary in price, but you’re looking at £20+. Top choices would be ‘Mum’ giftset (£32.95) and ‘Wham, Bam, Thank you Mam’ (£18.95). All of the labels tell you what’s vegan or vegetarian too which is super helpful if you’re looking for that. I don’t think my mam is arsed.

Mam’s opinion: ‘I think they’re lovely’. Quality input there.

The Body Shop gift sets

There’s three Body Shops in town, one in Grand Central, one in the Bullring and one on New Street, there’s literally no excuse for not seeing one.

Again, The Body Shop is a firm favourite for gift giving, and if you know which scents they like the world is your oyster in there. If you’re unsure of scents to choose from, they’ve recently relaunched their Shea butter collection which is my absolute favourite, it’s like a neutral but clean and comforting scent. I’ve bought pretty much everything from it. The range also helps to fund a women’s empowerment project in Ghana where the butter is made, which I think is really cool and is a great way to help mother’s all over the world as well as your own. Again, the range is vegan so suitable for all. The Shea butter body lotion, body butter and hand cream minis can be bought in a set for £12. I, personally would go for the shower cream (£5) or if your mam has super curly hair the 100% natural shea butter (£15). You can rub the butter into the ends of your hair, or straight in to your skin or use it to make your own scrubs.

Whilst I was there, I was kindly gifted some products from the Cactus Blossom special collection which has launched in time for Mother’s Day, which is nothing short of delightful. I didn’t know cactus blossoms were a thing before I saw them, I still don’t know much about them now, other than they smell a dream.

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Mam’s opinion: On cactus blossom -‘This smells lovely but I wish the pot wasn’t green’. ‘Oooh I like the Shea butter stuff, can I use this?’
Again, quality content.

Clinique Facial Soap

If you were born in the 90s your Mam has 100% used and knows of Clinique. I grew up knowing my Mam use the Facial Soap. You can pick it up from any counter for £15 – it is the ultimate blast from the past. If you’re after something maybe a bit more boujee if you have the budget, currently in Clinique in Boots you can pick up the ‘Party Pamper Set’ which is £117 worth of products for £42 I’ve added a helpful link for you here.2019-03-13

Mam’s opinion: ‘This is my favourite thing’, ‘yes I know, that’s why I’m putting it in’.

Burts Bees Tops and Toes kit

This kit has a little bit of everything in it, if you’re not sure if she likes hand creams or different scents or what not, this is a nice universal gift which looks like you’ve put in some serious effort to source. They’re nice size products that she can keep in her bag for whenever, or if your Mam really isn’t into all fancy skincare this is a great introductory set. It’s £12.80 in Marks and Spencer at the moment, but varying prices (I mean more expensive) if you buy it from Amazon or their direct website currently. It sells out pretty fast online, so you’ll need to swing by your nearest shop to see if there are any left!

 

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Mam’s opinion: ‘I quite like it’ on the brand as a whole, I hasten to add. She thinks it’s fancy.

L’Occitane  relaxing pillow mist

There’s nothing better than a good sleep, I think I could nap anywhere. My mam however, couldn’t. When she’s grumpy the chances of her ordering in Chinese food also slip to 0%, so it’s best to keep her sweet. She’s struggled a lot with a solid night’s sleep over the past few years and has tried all different kinds of sprays and bath oils etc. This spray goes directly onto your pillow (or wherever really I guess, the mist police aren’t going to show up) and has all your usual suspects in there; lavender, geranium, bergamot etc. and my Mam works down one bottle every two months which is pretty steep going. It’s £18 a bottle but it’s money well spent and my Mam swears by it. (They also do the most beautiful gift wrapping in store for free.

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Mam’s opinion: ‘I LOVE that a lot, it’s a 10/10, but I’ve lost mine somewhere in the wardrobe’.

 

There are SO many beautiful products out there geared towards Mother’s Day, this is merely the tiniest of insights of what you can get, but it’s very easy to be carried away in a marketing frenzy. Stick with one main thing like the mist or body shop set and dress it up nicely in a gift bag (always check they do wrapping in store, it will 100% look better than yours – these are professionals, people) and you’ll be the golden child.

 

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Clinique iD is changing the game – are you ready to play?

If you’ve had your eye open recently, you will know that Clinique have been DOING BITS. Their new iD moisturiser has been something that has literally slammed into the skincare market and has changed the way that we can use targeted skincare.

Your individual moisturiser is fully customisable compromising of a moisturising base and then a treatment cartridge. I bang on regularly enough about the importance of a solid skincare routine and I’ve been recently getting into Clinique’s skincare range (hello moisture surge, luv u) so when iD came about it’s something that I couldn’t unsee and needed to try ASAP.

Big C

Clinique are running a series of pop up sites across the UK at the moment canonically (they’ve just been to Birmingham, if you missed it – there’s Clinique counters in Debenhams, Selfridges AND Boots), and this week they’re in Bluewater Shopping Centre. You can’t miss them; the sites look gorgeous.

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The whole experience of choosing your iD I thought was incredible, you have full control over how you want this product to make you feel.

Let me take you through the steps:

  1. Choosing your moisturiser base
    If you have super dry skin like myself, I chose the dramatically different moisturising lotion+ my skin absorbs it as if it’s water and it lasts all day. They also have oil control gel for more of an oily/combination-based skin texture or hydrating jelly which is for dry skin also. I nearly picked the hydrating jelly as it provides 24-hour moisture over 8 hours, but I prefer a lotion-based cream to a jelly one. I’m splitting hairs here.
  2. Choosing a cartridge
    I loved this bit. It was the first time I’ve seen treatment products which weren’t the ‘old but golds’ choice like pores and anti-aging, there was something in there for everyone. You can choose from:
    Irritation: Which calms skin, particularly if you’re sensitive to everything (like me) such as the weather or pollution.
    Pores and uneven texture: So, this cartridge contains AHAs which are your exfoliants used to give you the polish needed to retexture the skin. Very exciting to see this in a moisturiser, this is what I’d recommend if you wanted more of a glow finish.
    Uneven skin tone: If your only skin concern is uneven skin tone, you’re doing pretty well and I envy you massively. The Japanese Angelica Root in this cartridge targets those tiny areas of dullness on your face to make it even more perfect. Get out.
    Fatigue: I reallyyyy wanted to try this one, but I have other…. pressing issues. The overall polish this gives you to make your skin shine and reduce the signs of a tired face. It contains taurine so isn’t suitable for vegans.
    Lines and wrinkles: The whey protein in this cartridge reduces the lines and wrinkles and gives a smoothing effect over the skin. Love the idea that this contains whey protein, I’m imagining it to be like going to the gym but for your skin.
    Cartridges

I chose the irritation cartridge as there are days where my skin looks red and patchy and I’m not into it one jot. I’ve got a bit of a tin foil hat on when it comes to my skin and pollution, I hate the idea of the dregs of the city air invading my skin, it genuinely freaks me out a little bit, particularly when it makes my skin patchy.

Now, if you go to a pop-up site there is the option to customise your bottle and that is something I could not resist. If you can’t make your way to a site, you can go in to your nearest counter or order it online (there’s a cute 10% off your first order if you sign up to their newsletter). Mother’s Day will soon be upon us and if there is a brand your mam is going to recognise the name of it’s going to be Clinique because it’s a classic.
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I also want to quickly mention something, as I think it may resonate with more than a few people. I think I have been traumatised by beauty counters in the past. My teenage days where I was awkwardly tall and finding my feet with the whole makeup thing, I’d go into Debenhams or wherever and the counter girls would put the Fear of God into me and I wouldn’t talk to a soul. Even now, as a full-grown adult, counter assistants can put me off! But I have never, ever met nicer assistants than the Clinique group. If you’re a little bit nervous or have some questions about what would be best for you whether it’s makeup, skincare or how to get a certain look, Clinique is the place to go.

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Clinique iD moisturiser is £36.
Mine was PR gifted because I am hashtag blessed, and as always, very thankful

Have you tried it yet? You can also pick up samples to try from your local Clinique counter before you go all-in, if you fancy.

#cliniqueid #myclinique

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

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.