Red Light

Happy Christmas everyone! 2018 is just around the corner – so I thought I’d finish the year with a make-up look for the festive period.

I love make-up, but I much prefer that low-key, no-make-up make-up kinda look for all occasions. This looks focus is very much the skin.

Keeping reading for more details.

 

 

For the base, I always make sure my face is exfoliated and well moisturised before applying my foundation. I usually gravitate towards Dr Russo Night Repair Exfoliating Cleanser and Skinceuticals H.A Intensifier.

When I can be bothered and really want my foundation to stay put, I use the By Terry Hyaluronic Hydra Primer.  For foundation, I use my favourite – NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation in Macao and then a darker shade of foundation, NARS Sheer Glow in New Orleans in the areas that I contour.

I love to highlight and contour, but I still like to look myself. Nothing overboard. Nothing too ‘beat face’ or drag. My weapons of choice are NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Caramel for the under eye, between the eyebrows, nose and chin. Then blend that all out with a Beauty Blender (cheaper versions of the beauty blender just don’t cut it in my opinion). I set these highlighted areas with Sacha Buttercup Powder – which is an amazing cheap yellow powder for WOC. I don’t apply too much as it’s very mattifying.

 

 

I then contour with Guerlain Terracotta Bronzing Powder in Intense 09 – the shade is just the perfect subtle contour colour with micro-flecks of sunkissed shimmer. I apply Glossier Haloscope in Topaz to the high points of my face.

 

 

When the skin is the focus of a make-up look, I always refrain from doing a strong eyebrow. I use Anastasia Beverly Hills Clear Brow Gel, then the Eyelure Brow Palette Trio in Dark Brown to fill out my eyebrows. I clean up under the brow with NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Caramel. I then set my brows with Glossier Boy Brow in Black.

For my glossy eyelids, I’ve used Eve Lom Kiss Mix – which doubles up as a super hydrating glossy lip balm. My lashes have eyelash extensions on them all year round. I don’t have the patience or expertise for strip lashes. My favourite place to do my lashes in London is at The Lash Lounge.

 

 

Red nails instantly makes me feel classic and sexy. Sadly, I don’t remember the exact polish shade – but it’s you’re standard bold red shellac from your local oriental nail salon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Okay, onto the star of the show….these red lips. I’ve used NARS Precision Lip Liner in Holy Red to line my lips, then NARS Powermatte Lip Pigment in Starwoman to finish off. 

 

 

See you in 2018.

Face Place

On a Monday Afternoon, I decided to be a lady of leisure and get myself a facial. After hearing lots of amazing reviews, I thought Face Place in Alex Eagle, Soho was to be the perfect place for 70 minutes of R&R.

Just to give you a bit of background, Face Place have been Hollywood’s trusted skincare experts for over 40 years, treating A-list stars in their West Hollywood clinic. They launched in the UK in 2015 and opened their second branch (in Soho) a few months ago. On an unassuming street in Soho, this branch is based in the downstairs of a super cool independent retail space – Alex Eagle Studio.

I went for their Signature Treatment – which according to their website is;

‘a clinical approach to skin care combining skilled extraction techniques with powerful Vitamin C and galvanic current. Your skin will experience improved radiance, firmness, fewer lines and a clearer lifted complexion’.

My skin therapist was the lovely Tanuja. After welcoming me with a Face Place branded water bottle (I’m a sucker for such cute details), I completed a skincare assessment – detailing my skin concerns and regime.

 

 

I went through a series of instagrammble leather masks – for facial steaming and galvanic current. Unlike, many facials this galvanic current had punch – there was a significant tingling sensation, but it was tolerable.

Secondly but importantly, Tanuja was thorough! I know a lot of ladies love surreptitious movements of nothing-ness, but I want a facial that gives me something that I can’t do at home.  She extracted every inch of my face, and I genuinely found the process enjoyable! I guess I’m just a bit sadistic when it comes to my skin.

 

Another sign of a great facial is when you fall asleep..and that is exactly what happened. Embarrassingly.

Once my facial was done, I was a more glowy chilled out, version of myself. And dare I say, that inner glow continued for at least 3 days post facial!

 

Thank you Face Place.

 

 

Face Place @ Alex Eagle Studio

6-10 Lexington Street

London

W1F 0LB

 

The Hermes Of Facials

Biologique Recherche is described as the ‘Hermes of skincare’. Not by myself, but by its founder Dr Allouche. Similarly to Hermes, you cannot find their products at your local drugstore, or even any high-end skincare outlet. Its presence in a select few locations (such as Liberty, London) reflects the luxury and exclusivity of the brand.

Biologique Recherche prides itself in its clinical approach to beauty, through the use of pure, highly concentrated ingredients. Their products contain botanical, marine and biological extracts. This probably explains why many of their products have a distinct ‘fragrance’ – which I find quite tolerable, it’s just the Masque Vivant that smells like…..yeah.

Now onto the facial.

The first surprise was that there was not a face steamer or hot cloth in sight. I thought that this must either be some gimmick or an attempt to save the planet. Silly assumptions asides. Interestingly,  BR facials purposely exclude steam or warm water. The rationale is that increasing the temperature of the skin can cause irritation. Furthermore, their products are cold formulated to preserve the original structure of active ingredients.

This is probably the point you reflect on how you’ve been using BR’s products, as it’s very likely you’ve been misusing them the whole time.

Secondly, there were no extractions! Am I the only one who actually enjoys the thrill of squeezing the heck out of my pores in the shower? Sadly, extractions are forbidden at Biologique Recherche.

The highlight of the facial came through the magical hands of Dominika (my facialist). She used a range of lymphatic massage and lifting techniques. I have never had my face and decolletage massaged so thoroughly.

If you can’t hop over to the Biologique Recherche Spa on the Champes-Elysee for a facial, EF MediSpa, Kensington is a closer alternative.

Keep reading for the insightful conversation with Dominika during my facial.

D: We have five different skin boosters at the moment. These skin boosters all have a different method of application. They enhance the skin – specially treating the skin condition and skin concerns. Our boosters are very results driven; you will see the results straight after the treatment

We have:

  • Soin Lissant Facial – which is more for repair, regeneration, healing treatment. It’s also good for rehydration of the skin – for dry, dehydrated, sensitive skin.
  • Soin Lift CVS – this is good for lifting, toning of the skin. So it’s a face lift within 60 minutes.
  • Soin MC110 – which is great for anti-ageing and plumping for the skin. Also, it helps to purify the skin.

We also have ‘peels’, but we call them; Masque aux Acides de Fruits and Masque P50 – is the stronger version of the lotion P50, which is very good for uneven pigmentation of the skin.

You will see the difference in the skin because we work from one side of the face at a time. This allows us to show you how we can shape the face.

The Soin Lissant Facial has a liquid and powder component. The liquid is applied first then, the powder. The liquid component is hyaluronic acid silk extract, with Omega 3 and 6. The powder contains milk proteins and royal jelly.  Very lifting, and shapes the cheeks and face. Much more of a focus on lymphatic drainage techniques and massage.

Why are your facials ‘cold’? 

D: Because our products are cold-formulated, we don’t want to interfere with the structure of the ingredients. Also, because they are active products, containing active ingredients. We don’t want to stimulate the skin or increase the temperature of the skin. We aim for balance of the skin. For example, warm facials might trigger redness and an increase in temperature of the skin.

BR is all about the personalization and different techniques. French skincare is very specific, and it has to be prescribed. Because BR is so highly personalised and prescriptive, we do need to tell you what we believe are the best products for your skin. I believe customers are looking for skincare like this.

Whats the difference between the P50 lotions?

D: Lotion P50W – contains arnica, so it is more for sensitive skin. This is the one we recommend to start with because with BR it doesn’t mean that you have to start from the strongest (most potent) product, you can start from Lotion P50W. P50 lotion is based on cider vinegar. The ingredients for Lotion P50 include alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs), cider vinegar and sulphur.

  • Lotion P50 Pigment 400 – so that’s our latest addition. So treating the pigmentation and brightening the skin. (this was used during my facial).
  • Lotion P50 V –  contains walnut extracts, vitamins and it’s more plumping and rehydrating for the skin.
  • Lotion P50 – is the purest, strongest formulation.

Why is it that you can’t just pick the BR products that you want as a customer? And how do customers react to that?

D: We only sell the products in clinics and also Liberty. At Liberty, the BR counter always has to be covered/staffed. You can not just pick the products you think are good for you. We need to prescribe you the products because sometimes you might be wrong with your product choice. You think that ‘ah that would be good for me’, but actually we might find something better for you.

Our regular customers, especially, know that they have to go through the consultation every single time that they come to buy something. The new clients learn that they have to be prescribed the products. Again, customers like it because it’s personalised and for them. The products are active. Therefore we want to make sure that we are giving them the best products for their skin. Many of our regular clients travel between London, Paris and New York to find BR.

Are there any new BR products we should know about?

D: Lotion P50 Pigment 400. Sérum A-Glyca (one of our quintessential serums) was released last year. We will have some more coming, but I’m not allowed to speak about it! (laughs).

Into The Gloss

The pandemonium on the lead up to the Glossier launch replicated the same excitement seen on a Boxing Day Sale. Unsurprisingly, there was a seismic flurry in #glossier #bodyhero posts on Instagram and other such social media handles.

I’ll admit, I was one of those frantic females who kept on refreshing their page at 8 am on launch day to make sure that I got a slice of the Glossier pie. Let’s say I probably ordered more than a just slice!

Here’s my opinion on most of the products after a least a week of use.

 

SKINCARE

Balm Dot Com – in Original and Birthday Cake

 

Glossier.com describes this as the ‘do-everything skin salve’, and I couldn’t agree more! I found this great for adding a bit of long-lasting hydration to my lips and areas of dry skin on my face.

The first ingredient listed is petroleum. So it’s essentially premium petroleum jelly.

I say premium because it’s magically much more moisturising than your standard petroleum jelly balm. Note – my lips can get quite dry to the point that Carmex just doesn’t touch it!
Also, the SMELL or should I say TASTE of Birthday Cake is divine. Every so often I slyly find myself licking my lips just to get a taste of it! Birthday Cake has glitter particles – so you probably don’t want to smear it all over your face, unless that’s the look you’re going for. Use the Original instead.

 

 

Milky Jelly Cleanser

Okay, this is one of my first standout products from Glossier! I’m still quite surprised at how much I love this product.

Firstly, it has a strange sludgy-slippery consistency. I’ve never used a cleanser with this kind of texture. But it’s strange in a great way – it allows the product to slide on with minimal effort. I prefer using it on dry skin. I just feel like added water makes it too slippery. It’s not a cleanser for heavy-duty make-up; nonetheless, it removes a good amount of dirt without stripping your skin of its natural pH and oils. The easy dispensible pump stops you from faffing when trying to get cleanse on.

 

Priming Moisturizer | Priming Moisturizer Rich

Another product that has impressed me is the Priming Moisturiser Rich. This product is genuinely as premium in quality as creams double the price! It gives the perfect glowy finish without being greasy. There’s minimal scent and is yet to have broken me out. As the name suggests, it is the perfect base for makeup. Even without makeup, my skin looks better with this on!

The Priming Moisturizer is a lighter version of the Rich. Those with oily skin should consider this as an alternative.

 

Moisturising Moon Mask

This is the another one of my favourites.
I’m usually rolling my eyes when a brand brings out a hydrating mask..because quite frankly a lot of them aren’t particularly impressive. But this! This delivers smooth baby skin in abundance!

Moisture-boosting ingredients include hyaluronic acid and squalene. I find this works even better if you wear it during a shower or sauna session.

 

Soothing Face Mist

Facial mists for me is one of those products that are almost unnecessary for skin health. With that being said, nothing beats a refreshing spritz in the middle of a busy, sweaty day! This rose-scented mist gives my skin a subtle sheen. Be careful not to get this in your eyes or put it on broken skin, as it contains citric acid – so it might sting a bit if you do!

 

Serums

Super Glow | Super Bounce | Super Pure

I wanted to love these serums, but a week of use just generally left me feeling quite underwhelmed. Don’t get me wrong, Super Bounce and Glow do give an added boost of love to dehydrated skin, while Super Pure did minimise the appearance of a breakout… but I’ve just used much better-performing serums. Nonetheless, for such a price point (£24) it’s a good option – especially if you’re a bit of a newbie to serums.

 

MAKE-UP

 

Before I get started on the make-up products, I just want to highlight Glossier’s philosophy – Skin First. Make-up Second. In other words, the makeup line is not for those who want a ‘beat, contoured’ face, with super high coverage. It’s just not the brand for that. But that’s what makes the brand perfect for those days that just want to look like the better version of yourself.

 

Boy Brow in Black

I can see why this is a cult product. It’s cheap (£14) and holds the brow hairs without a sticky residue. Even for someone like me, who isn’t naturally blessed with full brows – this product GAVE me brows. I love using it as quick brow product for my non-makeup days.

Tip – wipe off the excess product from the brush, then apply and layer. This will give an even distribution of product to the brow hairs.

 

Cloud Paint in Haze

Less is more! Remember that when using Cloud Paint – if you want to avoid looking like you’ve been slapped red. Cloud Paint is super blendable and creamy. I love how it gives me a natural flush with a glowy finish.

 

Haloscope – in Topaz

Standout product number 4! Haloscope has become my everyday low-key highlighter. It is a balm, and a glow-stick rolled into one. It doesn’t have large glitter/shimmer chunks (as seen in some cheaper highlighters) – so it looks natural and doesn’t accentuate my pores.

Did I mention that it spreads like butter?!

 

Wowder – in Dark/Deep

As a brown girl (despite it being 2017), I’m still pretty cautious when it comes to trying new foundations/powders, especially when they come in a few select shades. I guess it’s the fact I assume that it won’t be a colour match until proven otherwise.
I’m still not sure whether Wowder has proven me wrong. I feel like my skin looks better without it. However, in my experimentation of the product – it works well as a finishing/blotting powder. I would repurchase it for that use only to be honest.

 

Strech Concealer – in Deep

I love the concept of this concealer. It’s sheer, very moisturising and it can be worn by itself. I would say though for those with oily skin – you may want to avoid a potential oil slick situation by wearing it with a primer. I find the colour match is much better than Wowder.

 

Generation G in Leo

The idea behind this lip colour is to replicate the look of ‘just blotted lipstick’. It has a lip balm texture, with a hint of coverage. I found myself having to reapply it a few times throughout the day, as it does rub off easily. The shade Leo comes off as a beautiful nude tone for me.

 

BODY

 

 

Body Hero Daily Perfecting Cream | Body Hero Daily Body Oil Wash

“Expensive” was the first thing I said when smelling the product! The hint of Neroli gives it a smell of an expensive body wash you only use on special occasions. The scent lasts for a few hours when used with the cream. As in the name, it’s an oil that lathers up – but not too much, which I like. I will definitely be repurchasing this on those occasions, I want a fancy smelling body wash but don’t want to pay the price for it.

I have an ambivalent relationship with the perfecting cream. It feels like a thick moisturising primer for your body. It has a great slip and dissolves into the skin without much effort. However, make sure you dry your body before using this (as product instructions recommend)! – If you’re lazy like me, you’ll probably want to skip this step.
When I haven’t dried my skin, I’m left with patches of white flakes. I suspect its all the silicone (dimethicone) in the product. Also, if you have lizard-like skin (like me), you’ll probably have to double up with another thicker hydrating moisturiser or body oil.

 

 

In summary, Milky Jelly Cleanser, Moisturising Moon Mask and Priming Moisturizer Rich are my favourite skincare products in Glossier’s offering.

Why? – because they are premium products at a cheap price that I would recommend to my skincare clients.

In terms of make-up, make sure you get your hands on Boy Brow and Haloscope!

 

Here’s a 10% discount code – http://bff.glossier.com/gHr2x and they are currently doing free delivery on orders over £25.

What products did you end up purchasing? Which products are your favourite?