Beauty

Why Laser Hair Removal is The Way Forward

After years of putting up with painful waxing, I started Laser Hair Removal whilst I was living in Australia as it is super popular out there. Since returning to the UK, I have been going to Unique Laser Clinic in Greenford, London for my sessions and decided to team up with my Laser Specialist, Jade,  to share how it all works and the pro’s of laser hair removal- because let’s face it, who doesn’t want to be hair free?!

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Commonly, the first question that pops into mind when talking about laser hair removal is: “Is it painful?”

Laser Specialist Jade says– Laser hair removal session are reasonably comfortable. With our Soprano Ice Laser you can expect to feel a prickly sensation and warmth but it is a virtually painless laser. We also use the Gentle Yag laser and this can sometimes feel like a sharp sensation on the skin for a second but doesn’t last long.

I currently use the Soprano Ice Laser on my bikini area and it is definitely less painful than the Yag and a more comfortable experience. It kind of reminds me of what an ultrasound would be like, as Jade first applies a gel and then runs the laser head over the area to be treated.

How does laser hair removal work?
 Jade – The most simple way to explain how laser works is, when the laser energy leaves the end of the device, it is attracted to your hair follicle and the laser energy is transfered to heat which then damages the blood supply to the follicle causing the hair to simply shed within 14 days after any given session and over time reduce hair growth

How many sessions will I need?
JadeYou initially need 6 – 8 sessions to achieve a 60-80% hair reduction. If you are treating the face you will require a sess5 ion once every 4-6 weeks and for the body once every 6-8 weeks. Once you have completed your first initial 6-8 sessions you will require maintenance sessions, which can vary from individual clients but are usually anything between 1 session every 2/3 months to once a year.

Does it work on everyone?
Jade- Although laser hair removal is very effective, it is not always suitable for everyone. For example, laser does not work on white, grey, blonde, or red hairs as there is no pigment in the follicle for the laser to be attracted to. At Unqiue Laser Clinic, we can treat all skin types safely.

Pro’s of laser hair removal:

  • Permanent hair reduction
  • Long term cost effective -Whilst laser can be expensive initially, think about how the cost adds up for regular wax appointments over the years!
  • No more ingrown hairs
  • No need to go through the pain of waxing/plucking or threading!
  • Able to laser any body area

There are only really a couple of cons and that is that is can be a long process and uncomfortable but I truly think it is worth it in the long term!

Quote KATIE10 when booking in for 10% off your first laser hair removal session at Unique Laser Clinic.

https://www.uniquelaserclinic.co.uk/

https://www.facebook.com/uniquelaserclinic/

Love,

Katie x

 

 

Beauty

Bobbi Brown Skin Review- The Perfect Summer Foundation

After the gorgeous mini-heatwave we had last weekend (of course now it’s the Easter weekend, the weather wants to play games *eye roll*!), it got me thinking about the perfect make-up products for the summer and the first one that came to mind was this foundation!

Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation SPF 15

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I have been using this foundation for a few months now and I am in love. The last thing you want when it’s warm outside is a thick layer of make-up but this one really does just feel and look like skin- but better! It’s oil-free and so works for both normal and combination/oily skin types and feels really lightweight. It has just the right amount of coverage to even out skin tone and contains light reflective ingredients that give skin that fresh glow! The water based formula provides skin hydration, leaving a smooth and plump appearence. As an added bonus, it contains SPF which is always important to help protect the skin from aging UV rays, particularly in the summer.

I get an oily t -zone and whilst this doesn’t mattify, I do find the foundation itself pretty longwearing and because of it’s weightles consistency, it doesn’t go patchy or settle in areas throughout the day, like some do!

BEAUTY TIP- This foundation is best applied with a brush! ( I use Real Techniques Expert Face Brush) Also, it’s buildable, so for areas that need extra coverage, apply with your ring finger using a tapping motion until blended.

A  great thing about Bobbi Brown’s face make-up is that it all has a yellow undertone, which can be a bit of struggle to find! They also have shades to suit the majority of skin tones! Link to buy here.

What foundations do you like for summer?

Love,

Katie x

Beauty

Hydration & Your Skin

Drinking plenty of water and staying hydrated is something that is drilled into us from a young age and yet despite this, for the majority, it just doesn’t happen. Keeping hydrated not only enables your body to function properly, the kidneys in particular but it also largely benefits your skin. Whether your skin is oily, dry, combination or sensitive- everybody can benefit from staying hydrated (and I’m not talking about fizzy drinks and sugary juices!)

What are the Benefits?

  1. Your skin will appear more radiant and plump 
  2. Skin becomes less oily – When skin is dehydrated, signals are sent to your glands to produce more oil, in order to compensate and help protect it.
  3. Less prone to wrinkling. (Your skin starts to age in your mid-20’s so whatever we can do to prevent the appearance, the better- right?!)
  4. Acne is less aggravated– Products used to help control acne can also be very drying and so staying hydrated will help to keep skin supple and soothed
  5. Helps strengthen sensitive skin– Skin that is dehydrated is less resilient and if you already have sensitivity, this can exacerbate the problem further.

As we lose so much water a day, it is important to apply products to our skin to help seal in water and keep it hydrated. Skincare products containing hyaluronic acid are perfect as HA holds 1,000 times its own weight in water, therefore attracting water to the skin and keeping it there. My favourite hydrating products are from Nip & Fabs Dragons Blood Fix range– I use the serum every day!

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Drinking More Water

I recently got my hands on a NATIV bottle which I have had my eye on for AGES! It’s a really clever plastic bottle (BPA FREE!) with motivational quotes, that encourage you stay on track by having set timelines for drinking water so that you can measure how you’re getting on throughout the day.  All you do is fill your bottle to 9am, drink down the left hand side of the bottle, refill and drink down the right and you’ve drunk 6 glasses of water! The recommended daily intake is 6-8 glasses so add on a couple cups of tea and you’ve done it!

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Also available in pink, purple and orange with varying quotes. Purchase here: NATIV

Try adding slices of lemons, lime, mint or cucumber for a detoxifying drink (because plain water is boring!)

Happy Drinking!

Love,

Katie x

Beauty

Make-up bag Essentials!

If I added up all the money I’ve spent on beauty products over the years, I would probably wince at the total! If you’re always on the hunt for products that ‘do what they say on the tin’, then this post is for you, as I go through the products that have a permanent place in my make-up bag!

Collection 2000 Fast Stroke Liner

I have been using this ever since I started wearng make-up and I probably will for the rest of my life (yes it’s that good!). The soft pen style tip makes it SO much easier to create the perfect flick and it lasts well, without crumbling off like many other liquid liners do!

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£2.99, Superdrug

 

L’oreal Volume Millions Lashes

People always comment on my lashes when I use this. It’s a great all rounder as it really seperates, adds volume and lengthens using a specially designed plastic brush which, helps you to get right into the root of lashes and aids with precision application for the lower lashes. I always buy the extra- black version for super dark lashes!

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£10.99, LOOK FANTASTIC

Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer

I decided to give this concealer a try a lttle while back, after blogger, Michelle from Beauty and the Blog, recommended it on her Instagram. I was not dissapointed and cannot rate it highly enough- I LOVE IT and it has been a recurring purchase of mine!  It has an under-eye smoothing, creamy texture that provides long lasting coverage and really brightens dark circles. Out of many others I have tried, it creases the least and doesn’t dry the eye area out due to its hydrating and skin repairing ingredients such as Vitamin E and Grape Seed Exract.  I love setting this with NYX HD Finishing Powder in Banana to boost longevity.  A bit of a splurge but totally worth it- a little goes a long way! * If you’re not willing to spend over £20 on a concealer, I’ve heard Maybelline’s Fit Me Concealer is a dupe of this and a fraction of the price!*

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£22.50, Space NK

 

Real Techniques Blusher Brush

I’m a big fan of RT brushes and this one is my favourite! The bristles are super soft and so not only feel amazing when applying product but also help to prevent patchy looking blusher and create a more flawless finish.

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£9.99, LOOK FANTASTIC

Sleek Contour & Highlight Palette

This two in one make-up palette contains a matte brown shade for contouring and a shimery highlight shade for illumnating the face. This saves space in your make-up bag and also has a great sized mirror for touching up make-up through the day. The tone of the contouring shade isn’t too warm, like some others can be and as it’s highly pigmented, you only need a small amount of product, making it last ages!

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£6.99- Superdrug

 I would love to know which products have a firm place in your make-up bag! Please drop me a comment below to let me know!

Love,

Katie x

Beauty

Thinking about getting Lip Fillers?

If you are then this post is for you! I’m sharing my personal experience with lip fillers, pictures of my results and what to expect. I’ll also be answering those questions that those of you who are interested in getting them done, want to know! *

What are they?

Lip fillers are made out of something called Hyaluronic Acid, which can be found naturally in the body. This is a substance that can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water  and is found in many high street beauty products such as serums and face creams. In creams, it works on a superficial basis as it can’t penetrate deep into the skin however when injected, it can make a bigger impact and the gel like consistency will fill out and add volume to areas. This is due to its ability to attract and hold water which in turn hydrates and moisturises the skin, leaving a plumped appearance. ( One of my fav serums containing HA is Nip & Fab Dragon’s Blood Plumping Serum , which I use every night!)

Due to the fact that it is something your body also produces naturally, it commonly, doesn’t reject the substance ( As with any cosmetic procedure, there are risks involved but there is an antidote which will dissolve the filler if anything were to go wrong ). Over time, your body will start to dissolve the filler itself, which is why top-up appointments are needed and results are not permanent.

Many people have strong opinions on lip filler,  some good and some bad and its understandable why so many have negative views. People are quick to shout about horror stories of those who have either not done their research, gone to an irresponsible or unqualified cosmetic practitioner or celebrities/people that have taken it too far and don’t know when to stop! However, what many people do not see are the treatments that go fantastically well, the natural looking results you can achieve and the real confidence it can give to someone! ( Take a look at some of the work by the amazing Dr Tijon Esho, currently on Channel 4 Body Fixers) 

My Experience & What to Expect

 0.5ml injected into the top lip only. Above photos are before &  immediately after treatment when lips are slightly swollen
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2 months after treatment

For me personally, I had always been self conscious of the fact that my top lip was smaller than my bottom lip. I have large features and it seemed out of proportion, combined with the fact that I had quite a flat cupids bow. I was tired of over lining my lips to try and even them out and so after spending ages thinking about it, I  finally decided to get filler.  

I first had lip filler done when I was living in Sydney, Australia. I went to ‘ Laser Clinics’ a huge chain with over 68 clinics in the country that specialise in laser hair removal and cosmetic treatments such as filler and botox. I had 1ml injected to both lips with the majority into my upper lip to help balance them out. I was advised that I would need further treatments to help build up the cupids bow area and achieve the look I wanted.

Once back in the UK, I went to a lovely lady called Holly- a cosmetic practitioner, who runs her own business providing treatments in  Forest Gate, Bexley Heath, Bromley, Romford & Guildford. I was recommended to her by a friend and after stalking her Instagram profile to see images of her work, I booked in for a treatment of 0.5ml Juvederm ( the most common lip filler product used) in my top lip only. To check out Holly’s work, click here.

Before any treatment took place, a consultation was done so that I could discuss what I was trying to achieve and so Holly could assess whether I was even able to have treatment by checking through any existing health conditions/allergies etc . Whilst in consultation, a numbing cream was applied to the lips to help reduce the pain felt during treatment.

After around 15mins, the area was numbed and I was ready to be injected. Holly was extremely gentle when working on my lips.  She constantly checked with me along the way to ensure she was able to achieve the results I was looking for, by strategically placing the filler. For example, I wanted to define my cupids bow more , so she injected vertically into the ‘peaks’ to help build them up. Holly then gentle massaged my lips to help spread and smooth out the filler and prevent any lumps. 

After the treatment, a Vitamin A+D ointment was applied, which aids the healing process and hydrates the lips.  I was also given an ice pack to hold to my lips intermittently, to help reduce the swelling. Immediately after treatment, your lips may feel a bit tender and  appear red/pink. They will start to gradually swell and may bruise but this is normal.  It is advised to wait  a week to two weeks before judging your lips as by this time any bruising, small lumps or swelling has subsided and you will see the long term result clearer!

FAQ’s

  • Is bruising normal?

    Yes, some bruising is common with filler, particularly if it is your first time or you are injecting a large amount of filler to a small area. The bruising will go down within than a week and can be covered with lipstick until then.

  • How long does the swelling take to go down?

    So I’m not going to lie, within the first 24 hrs, your lips will swell- A LOT!! You will probably wake up in my morning, resembling a duck and think what an earth have I done, they look AWFUL! However, the swelling is totally normal and will gradually reduce over the following few days. Also, I would definitely not go straight to work after treatment like I did the first time though….(awks!)

  • How did you find a good place to get them done?

    I was recommended by a friend who had been a long term client of Holly’s. Recommendations are great because you know others have had great results with the cosmetic practitioner. However, always do your own research on the person you are going to and ensure they are reputable and qualified. Many clinics in Central London have Dr’s/Nurses who provide cosmetic injections.

  • How painful was it during and after?

    I really didn’t find it very painful at all but I have a fairly high pain threshold. Numbing cream is used and if your practitioner is good then you shouldn’t feel too much more than a slight prick when the needle is initially put in. (If you can have your eyebrows threaded or have tattoos, you can definitely handle this!) After treatment, your lips may feel a bit hard and tender for 24-48 hrs but this will subside. 

  • How long does it last and how often do you need to top them up?

    This really depends on many factors such as the individuals metabolism ( if you are on the thinner side and have a fast metabolism it can dissolve quicker), whether it is your first treatment and the results you are trying to achieve. As a guide, it can last around 6-12 months and topping up can prolong the effects.  Depending on how much you want to enhance your lips , you may need to gradually build up the area and so more than one treatment is needed. I had my first treatment at the start of May and it has taken me two treatments to get to where I wanted to be. 3 months down the line from my last injections, I am still very happy!

  • Is it worth the money?

    If it is something that is going to boost your confidence then the answer will always be yes!  Lip fillers can start from around £200 for 1ml in London.  It is a costly investment, however if it is something that is ultimately going to make you feel good then its worth it. (Think about it like this, you probably spend more than that on two nights out in London and the effects of this will last a lot longer!)

*Please note: Views and research are my own and it is always important to book a consultation with a professional if you are interested in fillers.

Holly’s Instagram: The_Art_Of_Beauty

I hope you have found this helpful. If you have any other questions, feel free to comment!

Love,

Katie x

Beauty

Subtle Mulberry Smokey Eyes

Using the Paul & Joe Beaute Limited Edition Autumn/Winter Collection

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Creamy in texture, with a gorgeous sheen, due to its Glossy Fit Oil formula which contains Cocoa Seed Butter, Jojoba Seed Oil  and Lavender Oil, I really like the new Limited Edition Lipstick!  With a smooth finish, its incredibly moisturising, which I a big plus, particularly at this time of the year when the weather is getting colder and skin gets drier. The floral print embossing in the stick is super pretty too!! I’m wearing shade ‘Snuggle Up’ which is a warm pinky-beige and very wearable.

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The Limited Edition Eye colour in ‘September Song‘ is a pretty gradient of romantic blush shades and is makes it easier to create a smokey eye as it provides you with a highlighting shade, base colour and a darker shadow for smokiness. To recreate my look, use the lightest shade all over the lid as a base and also in the inner corners of the eyes to make them look brighter. Then use the middle shade all over the lids, blending into the socket line blending upwards and outwards and bringing the colour under the eyes using a small eye shadow brush to create a smokey effect. Use the darkest shade in the socket line and along the upper and lower lash line, to add a depth and definition. Finish with a cat eye flick using liquid liner and black kohl pencil in the lower water line and then your fav mascara (mines Rimmel Glam Eyes Mascara!)

I’m super impressed with how rich and long lasting the pigments are. They adhere well to the eye lid and don’t give you that annoying fall out that messes up the rest of your make-up!

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I’ve recently been going off my dip brow pomade, its dried up and I want a lighter product to use with my eyebrows. The eyebrow pen definitely ticks my boxes and is now a stable in my make-up bag!  The tip is super fine so you can have lots of control and use it to draw hair strokes to fill in sparse area in the brow. Alternatively, you can use it all over for a wash of colour, which is what I have done. It kinda gives you that freshly tinted brow appearance. Most importantly, it literally doesn’t budge, so no more embarrassing eyebrow smudge marks when you accidentally rub your face or leaving arched imprints in your other half’s face (awks!!)

How cute it the packaging by the way?! You can purchase the range here: ASOS

Love,

Katie x

Beauty

My Top Tips & Products for Oily/Combination Skin!

AKA BATTLE OF THE SHINE!

Those of you who have oily/combination skin, will appreciate that the battle with facial shine, is not an easy one! You can do your make-up perfectly in the morning, leaving the house feeling like you’ve got your s*** together. But then lunch time hits (or earlier usually!) and your face is already looking shinier than a bald mans head (soz!)

I have spent years trying different products  out to keep shine at bay  and so wanted to share with you the ones that actually worked for me, along with some top tips!

LA ROCHE-POSAY EFFACLAR MAT MOISTURISER

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Use this morning and night after cleansing and toning. It’s light in texture and leaves your skin feeling instantly matte.

PIXI GLOW TONIC

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This toner is amazing! Suitable for most skin types, this isn’t really for oil control. However, I use this day and night and it really does make your skin glow! It contains glycolic acid which brightens and evens out skin tone due to its exfoliating properties. It’s also oil free so won’t leave you with a greasy residue.

BENEFIT POREFESSIONAL PRIMER

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One of Benefit’s best- sellers, this takes me back to when I used to work on the make-up counter. You can apply this before foundation to smooth, mattify and minimise the appearance of pores, often common with oilier skin types. 

BOOTS SKIN CLEAR OIL ABSORBING SHEETS

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These are perfect to keep at your desk or in your handbag when you need a quick shine fix!

URBAN DECAY DE-SLICK SETTING MIST

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A make-up setting mist that actually works! You can purchase this in a travel sized bottle for £9 which is great for make-up bags.

DERMALOGICA DERMAL CLAY CLEANSER

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A purifying clay based cleanser, this has a really nice cooling effect due to menthol and refines oily skin due to oil-absorbing, Kaolin and Green clays.

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  • Invest in a mattifying makeup primer . This will increase longevity of make-up and provide you with a base for foundation 
  • Make sure your foundation is oil-free. Powder foundations often work well however, if you’re more of a liquid lover, it will usually say on the label whether they contain oil or not.
  • Use a facial cleanser that contains salicylic acid . Salicylic acid will break down the oil your skin produces without over-drying your face. It also has exfoliating properties and will help to unclog pores and get rid of blackheads and spots!Avoid  consuming lots of dairy, sugar, refined carbs and greasy foods.
  • Drink enough water- being dehydrated can cause your skin to over produce sebum to compensate for the lack of hydration, this leading to oilier skin!
  • Manage your stress levels as this can have a  big impact on your skin. When someone becomes stressed, levels of a hormone named cortisol increase. This then causes an increase in oil production. Now you have an excuse to treat yourself to a spa day!

I hope these products help you and if you have any other recommendations, I would love to hear from you!

Love,

Katie x