Here’s the Skinny on Skinade

Skinade-collagen-drink

Have you heard about Skinade? If you’re in the health and beauty industry, or you’re interested in reading about nutrition and all things body beautiful, you’ve probably seen or heard the buzz about this ‘liquid beauty drink’. When I received a parcel of the ubiquitous white plastic bottles with their stylish and simple black font – enough for a 30 day trial – I was intrigued and couldn’t wait to find out what the fuss was about…

My first thought was that it was probably a bit of a fad – but the brand definitely had an amazing sales team because I began to see Instagram images and blogs about these little white bottles of the ‘elixir of youth’ everywhere! I mean, how can one drink a day improve the skin – could it really improve my skin any more than my usual routine of slapping on an SPF, moisturising and regular facials?

But then I started thinking about it and, actually, nutrition plays a huge part in how our skin looks and ages, and we all know somebody who swears supplements are helping them with their skin, nails, hair or creaky joints, so why shouldn’t a drink help?

Credit: Skinade Instagram
Credit: Skinade Instagram

As I twisted the lid off my first bottle and took a long glug, I closed my eyes and prayed that 1, it worked and 2, that I would have the stomach to down one of these nasty tasting drinks every day. I really wasn’t taken with the taste from the start, no matter how many eye-catching images I saw on Instagram of pretty girls sipping their Skinade on the beach, dressing it up in a tall glass with lots of ice and a cocktail umbrella. Nope. The only thing that made it a little more palatable for me was to make sure it was icy cold and to hold my nose while drinking it as quickly as I could! 

So did I persevere with it? I certainly did! It took about 10 days before I started seeing a difference in my skin and there was definitely a big improvement in  hydration and plumpness. When a friend commented that she’d dismissed buying it because of the £90 price tag but, after seeing the effects on my skin, was having second thoughts, I had to fess up. Yes, I think the drink was somewhat responsible for my glowiness of late, but I’d also had a couple of really good facials during my Skinade trial – so I’m sure they also had a positive impact.

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So, what’s in Skinade? The bumf describes it as:  a peach and mangosteen anti ageing collagen drink containing a patent pending formulation of active ingredients that boosts your body’s natural production of collagen and hyaluronic acid. Hmmm maybe it’s the mangosteen that I found hard to stomach? But I do know that collagen and hyaluronic acid are skin goodies, so that makes sense. By drinking it, rather than using it topically, Skinade says its formulation of low molecular weight collagen and essential micro-nutrients ensures rapid absorption and nourishes skin from the inside. 

My verdict: £90 is a lot to pay if you already fork out for high quality skincare and, I admit, I haven’t put my hand in my pocket to buy it since I’ve run out of my press samples. However, my skin’s hydration definitely improved – possibly helped with the combination of facials too and once my bank account is safely back in the black, another supply of Skinade is top on my list of beauty buys.

Have you tried Skinade yet? 

The Instagram World of Glowology

I do love a bit of Instagram, don’t you? It’s a wonderful rose-tinted version of life as we know it with softly filtered pictures that somehow manage to make something quite ordinary, such as a cup of coffee and bunch of flowers, a simple lipstick or – in my case – a glass of fizzy, into a masterpiece. So, here’s my Instagram life lately…and the reality behind it!Screen Shot 2015-07-31 at 16.16.03 My gorgeous, leggy friend (let’s just call her Elle ;-)) is setting up an online accessories business called Barewith Accessories. She very kindly treated me to lunch as I helped start her off on the wonderful world of Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. Although she said it made her head ache as there was so much to learn, I know she’ll soon be a dab hand at it and her business will be flourishing – especially with a  little bit of blogging and social media love from moi! Although Barewith Accessories hasn’t officially launched yet, it would be lovely if you could reach out to her and say ‘hi’ on Twitter @LoveBareWith or on Instagram @barewithaccessories and Facebook.Screen Shot 2015-07-31 at 16.17.02Grooming isn’t all about the girls, is it? Here’s my lovely Stressed Husband getting splattered and soapy, making sure our precious black lab, Troy, gets his shine on! Loving the pinny – and it seems as if it’s inspired him to don one in the kitchen as he’s been cooking up a storm lately…who knew? Stressed Husband no more perhaps?

Screen Shot 2015-07-31 at 16.17.59Last weekend I attended the evening reception of the prettiest, quirkiest wedding I’ve ever been to! The young lovers partied the night away in a barn-cum-circus with all manner of fabulous ice- cream coloured, sparkly decor catching my eye. Despite the torrential rain, it was a truly breathtaking display of originality and, apart from the full size merry-go-round, my favourite thing was the bucket of pretty pink flip-flops adorned with a touch of pearl and glitter that the bride cleverly set aside for us girls. By the end of the night, those of us high in heel and wild on dance floor were very thankful to kick off the shoes and carry on boogying the night away in these!

Screen Shot 2015-07-31 at 16.12.50Yep, flip-flops and rain again. Seems to be a theme going on! Here I am on a journey with Stressed Husband after just having visited the salon. My pedi was fresh and sassy and there was no way I was going to allow a little rain get in the way of showing it off! Oh, and as an aside, to the guys who keep liking and commenting on pictures of my feet on Instagram – I do NOT want you to regram the pictures on your account and NO, I will not allow you to do anything else with them either! Go. Away.Screen Shot 2015-07-31 at 16.11.55

I like to update my social media with the odd positive message – and on a Monday, I sometimes find it’s essential to get my head in the game (as Zac Efron so beautifully put it in  High School Musical…remember? Swooooon). This was a particularly fine, kick-ass quote I thought.

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And finally….although this picture was taken on a Sunday, it wouldn’t be Friday without a glass of fizzy would it? Scrolling through my Instagram and Twitter feeds, I think a glass of bubbles is possibly my signature post and I guess, it’s the perfect symbol for the way I’d always like my life to be…fizzy, fun and intoxicating :-)

Have a lovely weekend and long may it be flip-flop, fizzy drinking weather!

Wellbeing and Beauty Tips from Women Like US

Liz-Bennett-beautiful-woman

Liz-Bennett-beautiful-woman

To kick off my new blog series that I’ve called Wellbeing and Beauty Tips from Women Like Us, I’d like to introduce you to my friend and fellow glam girl, Liz Bennett. I chose Liz as she’s one of those lucky women who always looks fabulous whatever the situation. Honestly, I remember when we’d both be in the playground with colicky newborns, toddlers at our ankles and, whereas I’d still be in my maternity dungarees (yep, I went there) and hair scraped back in a ponytail, Liz would be floating around in a boho style creation with her silky black ringlets bobbing healthily around her glowing face. Annoying? I guess so, but I’ll let her off because she’s such a fabulous friend :-) So, over to Lovely Liz… Continue reading

How to Get Perfect Skin: Top Tips from Expert Mimi Luzon

Mimi Luzon

Mimi Luzon

When you’re given the chance to meet the highly regarded skincare specialist from Israel, Mimi Luzon, who has worked her magic on the faces of  international celebrities including Victoria Secret’s model, Alessandra Ambrosia at the world’s glamorous fashion shows and awards, what do you do? Apart from wonder whether, after treating such beauty Goddesses, she might wither at the sight of my 47 year old very mortal face, I thought “Let me at her!” If anyone knows the secrets to fabulous, youthful looking skin, she does. Here’s what we chatted about:

The ageing process starts younger than you think!

Did you know that the human growth hormone which is produced in our pituitary gland and is responsible for keeping us youthful, healthy and vital in both body and mind, begins to decline around the age of 14? Yep, 14! One of Mimi’s latest products, HGF Youth Serum has been developed with this knowledge and is enriched with a peptide that emulates the action of this hormone to boost the skin’s immune system, provide deep hydration, encourage cell rejuvenation and protection which will help lead to a fresh, radiant complexion. It’s not available in the UK yet, but Mimi gave me a little sample to take home with me. I’m thinking of employing a bouncer to watch over my cosmetics bag to stop my girls getting their hands on it…now they’re not quite as young as they think they are :-)

So, Mimi explained that we need to teach our girls (and boys) to start looking after their skin from a really young age. Clean away impurities, protect it from the sun as much as possible and keep it moisturised.

The worst skin spoiling culprits are…

Hot water, air conditioning/central heating and touching our faces! Mimi says she can’t believe how many women go to her with a break out and congested skin complaining that they don’t know why their skin is misbehaving. She watches as they talk – putting their bacteria riddled mobile phones against their cheeks and constantly touching their skin with dirty fingers. She stresses to them: “Leave it alone!” Keep skin as clean as you can and wash hands and wipe phones regularly to prevent bacteria getting onto the face.

Extremes in temperature such as very hot water or too warm central heating can really sap the skin of its goodness and play havoc with the skin’s natural PH mantle, so no matter how horrendous our winter is, avoid too hot baths and hogging the radiator!

Everyone deserves perfect skin:

This is Mimi’s motto. I asked her about the role stress plays on the condition of our  skin and she says that women today often take on too much, reaching levels of extreme fatigue and this is where she often sees them turning up with ‘premature aging’ asking for her help. Mimi believes we should seek help for our skin problems and try to prevent them in the first place by looking after ourselves from the inside out.

Try to eat healthily and exercise but don’t forget that you should also spend time on looking after your skin as much as you can. Professional skin treatments and high quality products are an investment.  “After all” Mimi said “You wouldn’t take your car to get fixed but tell the mechanic not to worry about replacing the broken light” So, she says we should look at ourselves as a whole and don’t think of skin as an ‘add on’.

As Mimi was in London introducing the latest Alma Impact Expert™ laser to press and skincare clinics, she allowed me to experience its effectiveness by trying it on me.  Using a variety of products chosen specifically for my maturing, dehydrated skin type, the gentle acoustic waves emitted from the handheld laser help advance active ingredients into the skin’s layers for enhanced results. It felt warming but quite comfortable even though the sounds were a little strange – a bit like squeaky radio signals (sort of how I’d imagine aliens sounding!). 

Without a doubt my skin looked fresher and more youthful immediately after – Mimi said this is one of her celebrity favourites, so it’s got to be good!

At the moment this treatment is available The Mayfair Practice but you can find out about other stockist from ABC lasers on 0845 170 7788.

Mimi’s No1 Quote: “The confidence a lovely complexion gives us is priceless.” I agree!

It was a pleasure to meet Mimi and talk to her about her obvious passion and expertise in skin. It was also lovely to find out that she has a teenage girl and boy who also keep her busy – just like me! 

For more information on Mimi Luzon and her wonderful work and research on skin, click here.

Over 40 Beauty Bloggers – Keeping it Real!

photo-27

photo-27

There has been a lot of talk in the blogsphere about the lack of representation of the over 40s. Most recently, stellar beauty blogger, the lovely Hayley AKA London Beauty Queen was spot on with her Lancome #LoveYourAge post when she wrote: Beauty is relevant at every age – it’s not the monopoly of the young. If anything it becomes even more important as we get older, as we rely on products to keep us looking our best; it’s not even about keeping those signs of ageing at bay, but embracing a new life stage and understanding the needs of our bodies as a result. I honestly couldn’t have put it better. Thanks Hayley!

What was great about Hayley’s post was that it received a flurry of comments to let us know that there are already some wonderful post 40 beauty bloggers out there * but we feel there is still room for more! Because, with respect to the fresh, funky beauty bloggers in their teens and 20s – I don’t want to read how to have hair like a mermaid (beachy – yes, fishy – no!) And I’m sure they don’t want to read my posts – but you know what? I bet their mum or gran would find them interesting and I bet their mums are always looking for ways to stay looking and feeling great as they age.

I know that more 40 plus blogs are needed as my friends in their 40s, 50s and beyond, have started to put down magazines on the basis that they can’t relate to many of them. I actually love a glossy magazine – well, I would because I write for a few – and I still enjoy reading some. But not many anymore though, because I guess I feel like many of my friends, that the writers behind the beauty features aren’t really ‘known’ to them. They are, I suppose, faceless compared to bloggers who actually interact with their readers and mostly – well, the bloggers I admire – give their hand on heart opinion of a product whether it’s been sent to them from a PR or whether they’ve invested in it from Boots.

I’m happy that many of my readers tell me they enjoy reading my blog and often invest in the products and treatments I write about because they know that if it works for me and I recommend it, then it will probably be a good fit for them. Maybe. And if not, we can discuss it in the comments – or on my Twitter/Facebook and suggest other options and start talking beauty and wellbeing. That’s the beauty of blogging – getting a conversation going!

So, I’ve been thinking about how we love to get real, hand on heart opinions, ideas and feedback from real women – just like us. And it has encouraged me to develop a new series which I am going to call Feel Great Look Amazing: Tips from Women Like Us. For this, I will be speaking to women over 40 that I know, asking them what products they swear by, the best tips they’ve had that work for them and the wellbeing and fitness advice that makes their lives – and their looks – sparkle.

I’ll be kicking this off at the end of the week and I can’t wait to share the lives, makeup bags and cosmetic cabinets of these fabulous women with you!

* If you’re looking for more great beauty and wellbeing contents for Over 40s  you should check out my favourite bloggers: Iheartbeauty, jenonbeauty, britishbeautyblogger,fighting fifty, fortyfiedbeauty 

UPDATE: Find more wonderful over 30 and beyond bloggers here at London Beauty Queen’s 30+ Blog Collective

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My Super Balm | Rodial Stemcell Super-food Glam Balm Multi

Rodial-Stemcell-Super-food-glam-balm

Rodial-Stemcell-Super-food-glam-balm

When I come across a brilliant little beauty buy like Rodial Stemcell Super-food Glam Balm Multi (take a breath); it often becomes as close to me as my iPhone. This means that at any time during the day – or night – it will be found either in my pocket, clutched in my hand, on my desk, or safe in my bag de jour.

Wherever it is, it will be in close proximity and never out of my sight!

Why do I love it so? As you know, most of my biggest beauty loves are multi purpose, time saving and easy use and this is no exception. Having recently been revamped from ‘glam balm’ to ‘glam balm MULTI’ its bumf says it has ‘been redesigned with with High tech Alp Rose Stem Cells and 3D Hyaluronic Filling Spheres to increase cell vitality and quickly reduce the look of fine lines.’

This, plus its skin protecting vitamin C, smoothing salicylic acid and softening shea butter means I use it as a deep hydration boost at night, on nude lips as a salve or as a glossy top coat over lipstick, to nourish hands and cuticles and as a touch of sheen over lids. I even mix it with a not-quite-dewy-enough-for-me foundation.

before and after using Rodial glam balm.
before and after using Rodial glam balm.

As a comparison, it’s a less balmy balm than Elizabeth Arden’s best selling Eight Hour Cream – I think it feels more like a mixture of moisturising cream with just a  touch of waxy balm, if you know what I mean?

It worked particularly well on my sun drenched skin while I was away in Spain recently and it will take pride of place in my cosmetics bag on my girls weekend away (coming soon!).

As Rodial say, it has 100 different uses making it your handbag beauty must-have with a difference! And I really couldn’t have said it better :-)

It costs £35 from here and I think it’s totally worth it.

My Top Beauty Bargains | Saturday Savers

Kate-Moss-St-Tropez-Gradual-Tan-in-Shower

Kate-Moss-St-Tropez-Gradual-Tan-in-Shower

If my own habits, and the sight of heaving stores and malls is anything to go by, I guess that Saturday is probably the busiest day to get your wallet out and hit the shops. Before you do, check out the latest and greatest beauty bargains that I’ve found just for you…

St Tropez Gradual Tan in Shower: I’ve been waiting for feedback on this easy peasy bronzing method and latest news in as that it’s great – subtle, easy and foolproof, so I’m bagging it! Luckily, Boots have this gradual tanner with £4.83 off it’s usual price and it’s now just under a tenner at £9.67. Click here.

Davidoff-Cool-Water-Scott-Eastwood

Father’s Day Fragrance: If you’re looking for something last minute for your very own Super Dad, then Superdrug have come up trumps with their Star Buys. There’s a whopping 50% off the refreshing and classic Davidoff Coolwater Man Eau de Toilette Spray 75ml, now £20 down from £40. Click here. Or if you’re after a more sultry scent, BOSS Bottled Night Eau de Toilette 200ml is down to £40 from £80. Click here.

Solait-Moisturising-Sun-Lotion-SPF50

Solait Suncare Super Saver: Superdrug are really coming up trumps lately. I really like their Solait range of suncare products and this 200ml bottle of Solait Sun Lotion SPF 50 is worth stocking up on to keep all the family protected – if and when the sun shines! It’s just £3 from its usual £7.99. Click here. And it’s worth checking out the other suncare offers while you’re there!

The-Body-Shop-Virgin-Mojito

The Body Shop Summer Special: The new Body Shop special edition skincare range got my attention just with its name…Virgin Mojito. Always one to be tempted by anything with the name of a cocktail, I’m even more impressed with the refreshing sounding ingredients…extracts of zesty lime and fresh, crushed mint from the Caribbean mmmmm! Better still, at the moment there’s 30% off when you spend 10 and use the special code. Click here.

Feelunique-Summer-Sale-50%-off

Feelunique.com Summer Sale: When I’m looking for some lovely beauty brands at super prices, I often log onto feelunique.com – it really is hard to beat if you’re looking to nab a deal on a higher end brand. So, I had the shakes when I logged on and saw it has up to 50% off in its Summer Sale! There’s too many treats here to mention to you and I’m sure you’d like the enjoyment of looking around and seeing what’s there yourself, but I must flag up this little favourite. I love facial oil and Trilogy 100% Natural Certified Organic Rosehip Oil is one of the best I’ve used and there’s 10% off. It’s now £14.85 from £16.50 and there’s also free delivery. Click here.

I hope you liked my little round up of beauty bargains and if you find any I don’t know about, please let me know! Happy Shopping :-)