Beauty Favourite for Me and My Girl

13 Dec

Me and Aimee

We all know there’s a huge difference between the skin of a 20 year old and that of a 47 year old – take me and my girl above. The skincare regime of a 40 something and a 20 something should differ quite dramatically – young ‘un would be wanting products for normal skin or blemishes and shiny patches whereas older ‘un would be looking for creams and potions that firm and moisturise and hopefully wipe the years away.  Very rarely have I come across a product that will become a must have for both my skin and my daughter’s – until now! And it comes in the shape of this unique little beauty baby – resurf.a.stic.

resurfastic

I was lucky enough to receive a sample of this in my goodie bag at Antonia Mariconda’s beauty blogging workshop which I wrote about here and, happily that goodie bags seems to have gone on and on and on (no complaints!).

My 20 year old daughter, Aimee (aka Drama Queen) came to meet me after the blogging workshop and, Antonia being the generous lady that she is, saw my girl eyeing up the beauty treats – well, her eyes were literally on stalks – and kindly gave a few samples of products to her to take away too!

A few days later I got a text: Mum, have you tried that exfoliation stick thingy yet? It’s amazing! I hadn’t, even thought I had it on my Products To Try List. But Aimee’s text piqued my interest and so I dove into the bottom of my goody bag to retrieve it.

Resurf.a.stic looks unique – in all my years of beauty writing, I’ve never come across an exfoliator in stick form. And I don’t know why because it’s such a great idea! Simply twist from the bottom and the product pops up in the style of an antiperspirant stick and winds down again once it’s been used. No mess. Handy and portable.resurfastic company shot

The instruction for us say to use the stick once or twice a week and that’s what I, like Aimee, began to do. Rather than a regular exfoliating cream or gel, the resurf.a.stic is branded as microdermabrasion crystals in gel stick form and what’s an interesting addition to this formulation is that it also contains bio-active hydrating moisturisers and healing Cactus and Orchid. So once you cleanse, then wet your face, you apply the stick in circular motions over your skin from forehead to cheeks, nose, chin and neck. The microcrystals which are expended in the gel stick get to work exposing healthier, smoother skin meaning the moisturisers have fresh, clean skin to sink their goodness into. 

I’ve always had a bit of an aversion to ‘exfoliators’ as I think I overdid the apricot kernels as a young woman and instead of making my skin look healthy and clean it just looked sore and red! Nowadays though, with technology in beauty products and treatments moving so fast, microdermabrasion in salons and skin sloughing products in the shops are much, much more gentle and effective. So, resurf.a.stic is staying in my cosmetics bag and my girl’s too!

aimee as cinders in gold

Resurf.a.stic has found its way to my daughter at just the right time. She’s playing Cinderella in panto this Christmas which means lots and lots of heavy stage makeup and she swears using this every few days really helps keep her skin super clean and blemish free. In the spirit of panto I would like to shout out ‘oh no it doesn’t’ but I know it’s more a case of ‘oh yes it does!’

It’s fairly expensive at £44 but it lasts for ages and ages and I would buy it again. Available here.

 

 

 

 

 

Skin Sparkling Facial: The Dermalogica BioSurface Peel

11 Dec

 Liberty xmas baubles

You can’t get much more Christmassy than the beautiful Liberty department store in London. It oozes Great British charm and its old fashioned façade and quaint wooden panelling and staircases are the perfect backdrop to festive decorations. That’s why each year I can’t resist dropping in and drumming up enthusiasm for the busy few weeks ahead by visiting the sparkle and glitter of the 4th floor Christmas Shop. This year I caught sight of my reflection in a shiny bauble and decided that my complexion could do with a bit of added sparkle too.

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The Fabulous Lash Lift Treatment

1 Dec

Lovely eyelashes

I’ve been lucky enough to be invited to try some great treatments and products recently and, as it’s always been the aim of Glowology to bring you anything that I feel will make you look gorgeous and feel fantastic, then I’m delighted! So, grab a coffee  – or, make it a glass of fizzy – it’s the right time somewhere in the world – and read about one of my best beauty treatment finds of the year… Continue reading

Instant Mood Lifters

26 Nov

Mood Lift Main

This post has been inspired by my life at the moment as I’m in one of those places – emotionally and mentally – that doesn’t make me feel great, but at the same time, I know I have to face it in order to move on and get out the other side and shut the door…with a bang! So, what’s the best way to feel those feelings – frustration, worry, insecurity, sadness – without allowing them to colour all the good things in life with a big black splash? Here are my strategies for turning the negative around – or at least facing it head on with a semi smile!

* Know it will pass: There are quite a few factors that are making me feel a bit down in the dumps at the moment, from everyday moans about the crappy weather and not having a car, to more serious worries about the health of my lovely parents. The fact that I’m living in a building site surrounded by rubble, excess noise and builders doesn’t help either. Sometimes it all comes at once and there’s nothing you can do but understand you won’t be feeling like this forever – it’s a passing phase and we all know time goes by so quickly that it won’t be long before there are other life’s niggles replacing these ones. It helps if we keep in mind that experiencing bad times are a part of life and if they help us appreciate the good times then that’s not so bad!

7875200_ml

* Tackle the problems: Hiding your head under the duvet might be what you want to do – and that’s fine if it’s for a day – I’m all for the odd duvet day for allowing us to live in our slump for a bit and ‘owning it’ (as seems to be the expression of the day). But, when you resurface – and sooner rather than later – it’s a good idea to write down what’s making you feel low and take steps to work out how to move forward and solve any dilemmas. Ask friends, family or outside experts for help if you need to. It’s so important that you don’t ignore anything that makes you feel bad as it could fester and grow, taking small steps to dealing with your doldrums will make you feel more positive and instantly give you a feeling that there’s light at the end of the tunnel.

drinking cup

* Embrace the good things: Getting caught up in your feelings of gloom and doom can make you miss out on those little things that beam those little chinks of sunlight through the clouds. I’m talking about that silly picture your friend emailed, the smile on your child’s face when she tells you about something funny that happened at school, that beautiful pair of shoes in your wardrobe that make you purr everytime you try them on. In my case, it’s celebrating the fact that my mum and dad are still able to make me laugh at their relationship which has stood the test of 53 years despite them not having had a quarrel free day (or even hour) and yet they still end the day snuggling up on the sofa holding hands, watching ‘their programmes’. So no matter how rubbish you might be feeling, grab those little chinks of sunlight and tuck them safely into your memory so you can call on them in the future.

keep calm

* Faking it to make it: That ubiquitous Keep Calm and Carry On slogan has bred a multitude of clever copycats from Keep Calm and Drink Champagne to Keep Calm and Eat Cupcakes – all good ideas as far as I’m concerned! But the sense of ‘just carrying on’ is probably the one that helps me the most. My thinking is: Life won’t stop – whether it’s good or bad, whether you’re happy or sad – so you do just have to carry on and you might as well do it the best you can. If you have to fake a smile, slap on your lipstick and those purr inducing heels, to make you feel a bit better, then do it! I find the act of simply getting on with things is enough to make me realise that – you know what? Things could be a lot, lot worse.

What tips have you got to help lift a dark mood – I’d love to know!

My Fab Five Beauty Greats

20 Nov

all the products

It was only when I noticed that I was being drawn daily to the same five beauty products that I realised I had to share their wonderfulness with you. I’m lucky to be sent products by some great PRs to review for features I’m writing for women’s magazines or for my blog which means I often swap and change – sometimes trying out as many as 3 or 4 moisturisers in one week. So when I find a product that I keep returning to – you know it’s got to be a goodie. So, without further ado, and in no particular order, I would like to introduce you to my latest Fab Five Beauty Greats…

Garnier Body Oil

Garnier Body Oil Beauty Lotion is my best friend after a shower. While my skin is still slightly damp, a few pumps of this lotion slathered onto the whole body is all I need to keep my skin feeling soft and smelling gorgeous! I love the pump action of this bottle – it’s so quick and easy to use and mess free. It’s great for when I’m in a rush as there’s no faffing around taking off and replacing lids so it means I’ve got no excuse not to just ‘pump and go’! It contains 4 nourishing oils: Argan, Macadamia, Almond and Rose which help to replenish the skin with moisture and protect it from drying out. On the back of the bottle it says that during a 1 week consumer test taken by 41 women, 95% agreed there was a noticeable smoothness to skin and 78% noticed a visible difference in radiance. What’s more, it’s only £6.99 and one bottle lasts for yonks!

excuviance cleansing creme

Next up is Exuviance Gentle Cleansing Creme. This is from a dermatologist developed skincare range which I hadn’t heard about until I received this product as one of the amazing freebies at the brilliant Antonia Mariconda’s Beauty Blogger’s Workshop which I wrote about here.

Now, this came at quite an opportune time for me because (and here’s where I tell you my sordid secret) I’ve been trying to wean myself off cleansing with facial wipes. Yep, I’ve admitted it. I feel like I should be thrown into a beauty editor’s prison alongside those who secretly forgo the SPF30 or trim their own fringes with toenail scissors! So, I grabbed the chance of trying this and you know what? It’s so lovely that I’ve finally given up those skin drying facial wipes for good…or until the next time I have a  late night and can’t be bothered…shhh.

My dry, sensitive skin has blossomed over the few weeks I’ve been using this cleanser. After applying it to moistened skin I massage it in so that the soothing ingredients like extracts of Cucumber Fruit, Rosemary Leaf and Aloe Leaf condition while the anti ageing ingredient Polyhydroxy Acid (PHA) protects and hydrates. It’s great for all skin types and if you’ve been looking for a gentle, anti ageing cleanser that can remove all traces of makeup and still leave skin feeling fresh, clean and soft, you can stop looking. This is it! It’s a bit pricey at around £39 but its a very high quality product which works wonderfully and what’s better is I’ve just found it on offer for £29.50 at www.effortlessskin.com.

mark hill shampoo

Mark Hill Little Hottie Does It All Everyday Shampoo is one of those handy little tubes that you can chuck in a gym bag or take away on holiday and it’s a formula that suits all hair types. It’s the ideal every day shampoo and all five of us in my family have used it and loved it – even my 18 year old son who is very particular about his haircare! I really like its light, slightly fruity fragrance and the fact that it contains a heat protector and seems to moisturise my dry hair enough so that I only need a small dollop of conditioner afterwards to leave it feeling in good condition. Being so small – and cheap at £1.99, I need to stock up and I think I’ll get a few for all the family

moisture serum

Rajeunir Moisture Serum is what I would term a ‘hero’ product. A hero product is what lots of women’s magazines and big beauty companies are now calling their favourite beauty finds – basically, it’s a product which rises above the rest. A bit like how some models have now become super rather than just models – but whatever, this is definitely one of mine! As you can see, I’ve nearly finished this tube. I fell in love with it on my recent American road trip and it’s been part of my skincare regime since then. I was asked by its lovely PR to try this and so I took it to America – along with another huge amount of creams and lotions – and found that by the end of the 14 day holiday, this was the one that I kept going back to. Why? Well, first and foremost it’s easy to use because it’s formulated to be a 5 in 1 product – day cream, night cream, eye cream, serum and primer meaning, if I’d read the label properly, I wouldn’t even have had to take all those other creams on holiday with me!

serum swatch

This moisture serum feels like a gel and lotion in one and smoothes on like a velvety textured primer. I found my skin – especially after having quite a bit of sun exposure – would drink this up and be left feeling supple and smooth. Its host of specially formulated ingredients are too many to name in one post but just some of the purposes they serve are to add plumpness to the skin, smooth fine lines, strengthen and neutralise environmental pollutants. It really suits my 47 year old skin and I think it’s a must-have for any over 40 to keep in their cosmetic drawer. Another pricey one at £42 from www.rajeunir.co.uk but I know I’ll be forking out for it once this tube is over!

vitage colour minerals blush pot

Vitage Colour Minerals Natural Lip & Cheek Colour in Love Poppy is one of those useful little double duty products (you can see this post has a theme – I love a product that can solve more than one beauty dilemma!) that my life is all about. It’s quick, easy and makes me look and feel better when I use it. Full stop. The Vitage range of makeup uses only natural minerals with no preservatives or chemicals and the strength of the colour pigment in this little pot is incredible. As you can see from the colour and swatch above, only a tiny little bit is needed to give cheeks a healthy flush. For lips I dab it on with my finger and use a clear gloss over the top and in an instant I look ready to go. The pots cost £16 and you can find them here.

So, I hope you enjoyed this round up of my Fab Five Beauty Greats as much as I’ve enjoyed telling you about them. If you’ve got any beauty must-haves please let me know – there’s always room in my makeup box for more! See you soon. x

 

Are You Ready For PROJECT FIT?

13 Nov

Project Fit sign

Shaking up my fitness routine is always a good idea – it stops me making excuses not to exercise and keeps things more exciting. So when I had the opportunity to review a new class, I thought it could give me the kick up the butt I need to get my body into shape in time for flaunting my festive finery! Continue reading

Milk Mobile Beauty Service | Review

3 Nov

moving home

If any of you have been following my Instagram or Twitter account (why aren’t you? – get over there now!) then you’ll know that prior to our fabulous USA holiday, we moved house. I know. Again! So a couple of weeks ago (pre holiday glow) my stress levels were through the roof. How high? Let’s just say that, on a scale of 1-10, I was hitting a 12 plus. Alongside work deadlines and busy family life, throwing in a house move which went horribly wrong at the last minute leaving the five of us (including doggy do dah) living out of bags in a hotel, you can imagine, right? Thankfully, we’re in the new home now but – because Stressed Husband seems to like living up to his name – it needs a lot, and I mean a lot of TLC (we’re talking gold walls, red granite worktops with shiny black tiled floor, very weird upholstery) to bring it up to Glowology scratch.

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Meditation for Calm and Happiness

26 Oct

Glowology:

Remember to take a breath when life gets stressful! These tips will help :-)

Originally posted on Glowology :

mediation pic

Always on the lookout for things to help give life a little extra glow, I went to a meditation workshop at the weekend with a good friend. At first I was a bit worried because this friend and I have been asked to leave exercise classes before due to uncontrollable giggling, so we are perfect partners for catching a comedy show or having a good night out, but a meditation class? Well, it could’ve been a disaster, so we had to promise each other we would act like the proper grown-ups we are. We also sat ourselves near the exit so we could make a quick getaway if we had to chant, as we knew that OM-ing would probably tip us over the edge. Surprisingly enough though, we were very sensible and floated out of the workshop on an air of calm serenity.

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Antonia Mariconda’s Beauty Blogging Workshop

12 Oct

 

Indigo Room Soho Hotel

To say that winning a place on the Cosmedic Coach’s The Build a Beauty Blog Workshop last Saturday morning was one of the the highlights of my year, is an understatement. I was thrilled to be invited along for free to the beautiful – very pink – Indigo room at the stylish Soho Hotel to meet other like minded beauty and cosmetic fanatics. Meeting Cosmedic Coach Antonia Mariconda, was a treat in itself (let me tell you, what she doesn’t know about cosmetic surgery, anti-ageing, beauty and marketing a successful beauty blog, isn’t worth knowing!) Her online presence on Twitter is astounding (she has over 40,000 followers) and to get a chance to talk to her and listen to her words of wisdom was exciting and inspiring. Lucky old me!

Antonia Mariconda and me

As well as the fascinating story of how Antonia got to where she is today – blooming hard work, tenacity and plenty of savvy – we got to hear from Mark Bugg – Web Marketing Consultant, or to me, Tech Wizard Extraordinaire who spoke about getting your blog noticed for the right reasons: choosing the right blogging platform (WordPress – yay!), hosting, why you should be Google Plusing and You Tubing (I will, I will, I promise…) and how to make sure it looks good, is easy to navigate as well as giving us plenty of tricks and tips to get readers looking at your blog and then staying to look around. What I loved about Mark was he didn’t use complicated jargon and he was the sort of guy you could ask a question (our audience asked lots) and he didn’t look at you as if you just asked him if 2 plus 2 equals 4 – other tech types take note – you can be condescending and down right intimidating! Antonia interjected every know and then to ask Mark her own questions – things that she thought we would want to know and so it made for a really informal, friendly session which helped us glean a lot of well worth knowing stuff.

quotes

When lovely PR, Jenny Pabila from Niche PR came up to talk to us about how we can build up relationships with PRs I had an inkling I knew her already, and when she mentioned her past career, I realised that our paths had crossed many times over the years. We’d both started out in the beauty industry (her PR and me, journalism) at around the same time – too many years ago to mention! Although I already have quite a good relationship with many PRs because of my writing for magazines/online, it was still interesting and useful to listen to Jenny giving us her invaluable advice – she reaffirmed my belief that it doesn’t matter who you are, or what stage of your career you’re at, friendliness and good old fashion manners will always be the number one way of getting yourself noticed and is the best way to move forward in any career and, I’d say, in life in general.

writing from the workshop

As well as the fabulous speakers and all of the brilliant advice and personal career stories that they had to share – there was more…much more! The goody bags we left with were amazing – filled to the brim with beauty and wellbeing goodies kindly donated by companies who were happy for us bloggers to try and hopefully review. What a great way of making new contacts! And what with me being the lucky winner of the workshop – I got an extra large beauty hamper! In fact, it was a good job that my daughter was passing by the area as it took the two of us to carry it all home :-) And yes, she had her hands in it picking out her favourites before I had time to leave the hotel!

beauty freebies

I’ve been trying lots and lots of the products we were given that day and so will be reviewing them in posts to come – can’t wait to feed back the news to my lovely readers. And, if you’re interested in finding out more about Antonia and other workshops that she will be running, you should check out her blog here.

All that’s left for me to say is a massive big thank you to Antonia, Mark and Jenny for having inspired me more and given me more useful advice and things to think about in just a few hours than any other workshop/course I’ve attended that’s lasted days!

Fitness Review on SpeedFlex 30

23 Sep

Speedflex fitness

I’m fortunate that as a beauty and wellbeing journalist, I’m often asked by PRs to try a variety of products, treatments or classes that might be suitable for review in one of the publications I write for – or also on my blog. And with Glowology beginning to pick up the pace and get noticed in the industry thanks to my lovely followers and readers – that’s you! :-) – I can report back on the things that I’ve enjoyed and that I think you – as 40+ gorgeous, glam women (and men) – would be interested in knowing about. So, last month I was asked to try out a revolutionary new fitness class, Speedflex 30 and here’s my take on it…

Disembarking at Bank Underground Station at lunch time felt a bit like walking onto the set of Wolf of Wall Street. I felt decidedly under dressed in my Sweaty Betty day glo vest and sporty capri pants and hoped the SpeedFlex HQ wouldn’t be too far away. With the smartly dressed throng around me and with my rather ample thighs and tummy not quite under control in all that lycra, I felt as if I was doing the walk of shame! So, sunglasses on, I power walked the 5 minutes to the gym to give myself an air of confidence.

I soon realised that this was a gym like no other I’d visited before – there were no free weights, Stairmasters, rowing machines or bicycles but simply 2 spacious studios each housing seven black, rather stylish machines which looked totally unfamiliar and fairly space-agey. I found myself humming the theme to Star Wars as friendly fitness instructor, Hayley got me set up with a strap on heart monitor which would display my heart rate on a studio screen in order to check my progress during the workout. I was intrigued!

After a comprehensive consultation and a demonstration of the machines, the class began to fill up with such a wide variety of types I felt I could almost have been standing in a supermarket queue rather than a trendy studio in the heart of London. My surprised expression, prompted Hayley to explain that because the machines are hydrolic – meaning they respond to the force of the user as opposed to the addition of weights – the system allows for a professional athlete to train alongside a pensioner and there is no risk of injury. Ahh, that explains it! And the major benefit of these machines means there is no damage to muscles and little to no soreness after workouts. That’s a major plus for me as I’m often known to be limping around moaning about aches and pains for days (weeks) after a hard fitness class.

speedflex crunch

I enjoyed the atmosphere of the small group class – especially as we were all so different in shape, size and age that there was a feeling of friendliness and encouragement rather than competition. The athletic fitties haven’t been overlooked at Speedflex though as I noticed a beefcake competition in full force in another studio…well, it was hard not to look!

My thirty minute class consisted of circuits using each machine for a duration of 20 seconds with a buzzer indicating when to change. I huffed and puffed my way around, pulling and pressing, squatting and stretching against my own resistance, realising I could work as hard or as little as I wanted depending on the effort I put in – the machine matched my resistance. Moves such as arm lifts with kettle balls and crunches were interspersed between machines to ensure a full body workout. There was a point when I looked up at the class screen only to see my heart rate was blank – I knew I’d been working hard but I didn’t feel like I was a gonner quite yet, so I was relieved when I realised my monitor had simply unhinged itself! Phew…

phew

After the thirty minutes was up, Hayley congratulated us all for working so hard and called out our progress statistics – the monitor showed us how hard we’d worked individually in which particular section of the workout as well as how many calories we’d burnt. I had squatted, lunged and military pressed my way to burning up a whopping 500 calories in 30 minutes with the proof in black and white. I’d heard Speedflex could become addictive – and now I understood why!

This is the ideal exercise for people who have a lot of weight to lose but don’t know where to start, those who have been injured and are trying to get back to health as well as those who just want to work as hard as they can without the risk incurring or aggravating injuries. The fact that the class was only 30 minutes was a bonus as I felt it eliminated the excuse not to give it a go due to time restraints.

For information contact www.speedflex.com. Each class costs £30 or £150 per month. 33-36 Lombard Street, London EC3V (0844 543 363)

Let me know if you give it a try it!

sofatsothin

The journey from an invisible fat girl to anonymous thin chick.

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