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/