GLAM 970X66 AND 728X90

September 10, 2016

benefit brow collection + before and after





















  Ready, Set, Brow! | £18.50
Brow Zings | £24.50
3D Browtones | £18.50
Ka Brow! | £18.50

As dramatic as it sounds, it has taken me years of dedication to grow my brows into a shape that only needs the slightest of touching up to end up looking natural once filled in. I've been through every stage with my brows, the first of which was the resembling caterpillars, the next was the other end of the spectrum from over-plucking and last of all was some strange hybrid of the two which left them looking a rather strange shape. I've also been known to commit the ultimate sin of overfilling with shades that were far too dark, but thankfully all of those faux pas are now far behind me and I think it's fair to say that my brow game is strong. 

For the past few months I've been putting Benefit's new(ish) brow products to the test and have discovered a few favourites that I now use on a daily basis. As I already have fairly thick brows (holla castor oil) I opt for "precisely, my brow pencil" to fill in any sparse areas and then brush over with "3d browtones" and finish with "ready, set, brow!". I'm a huge fan of the natural yet defined look that these products give to my brows and find that blending out any harsh lines with the spooly on the end of the pencil makes creating beautiful brows foolproof. 

If you prefer a strong, dramatic brow, then check out "ka brow!" or if you need a little extra coverage then give "goof proof brow pencil" a shot. My ultimate favourite of the whole collection has to be "precisely, my brow pencil" (christ these names are a chore to type) and the setting gel comes in at a very close second due to both the formula and genius brush.

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September 06, 2016

laser hair removal: consultation and first appointment

A few weeks ago, I decided that I'd had enough of hearing everyone rave on about laser hair removal without trying it out for myself so got in touch with sk:n clinics and headed down to their Norwich location for my consultation appointment. 

I'd done around an hours worth of research on laser hair removal beforehand as I wanted to be fully prepared for what I was about to let myself in for, though was still left with a handful of questions to ask at the consultation. I'd found out that the laser works best on people with fair skin and dark hair as it targets the pigment of the hair follicle to then damage the bloody supply to the root. With this in mind, I had to leave my dreams of having the baby fuzzy hairs from my face and arms removed at the door and focus on patches of denser, darker hair. 

Without a doubt, the area I had in mind from the get go was my underarms. It's by far the most dense hair on my entire body and not only do I never manage a clean and smooth shave but it grows back into stubble stage the very next day. I've even resorted to weekly epilating which only made the problem worse as I'd end up with ingrown hairs and that's not to mention the immense pain. I just never feel squeaky clean unless the whole area is baby soft and hair free so after trying shaving, waxing and epilating, laser hair removal seemed like the way to go. I also chose to go for the sides of my upper lip where a few pesky hairs creep in now and then, and my lower legs, which probably goes without saying. Next to cleaning make up brushes, daily shaving is just another chore that my life would be far enhanced without.

Consultation 

I won't lie, stepping into a clinical looking room with a huge laser machine situated next to a therapy bed felt rather daunting at first, but minutes into my consultation I felt at ease and at the end was raring to go for my patch test. The laser lady (not the technical term) answered all of my questions before I even needed to ask and ran through both the science behind laser hair removal, the outcomes to be expected after the first treatment to last and what kind of pain level I'd be enduring. 

After half an hour so of chatting, I took a seat on the bed next to the laser and put on a pair of protective glasses all ready for my patch test. The lady talked me through every stage and first zapped the laser onto bare skin before moving onto the patch with hair. I've previously had almost every hair of my body waxed and epilated and even though I consider myself to have a high pain threshold I was still nervous at the thought of experiencing a new type of pain/sensation. It's really tricky to describe exactly how the laser feels, it's almost like a quick pin prick to the skin that only hurts for a fraction of a second. As the laser covers an area of roughly the size of a ten pence piece, small-medium sized patches are over and done with in a remarkably short amount of time.

Four days after my patch test, for research purposes I decided to let my underarms go for a few days to see if I could spot any difference and was truly astounded to see the change after just one go. The laser zapped patch was barely growing back and looked as if it had been freshly shaved compared to the rest. I did also notice that the area was ever so slightly bumpy and had the appearance of teeny tiny ingrown hairs, but nothing that would be noticeable without using the torch option on your phone to get a super close look.

First appointment

My first appointment came a week after my initial consultation and took around an hour in total. First off was my upper lip, then underarms and finally lower legs. All of which was fairly free of pain apart from a particular area right at the bottom of each leg which is apparently closest to the bone. Although I did find it hurt a fair amount, that particular area was over and done with in just minutes so I was capable of just gritting my teeth and bearing it.

Straight away my legs looked bright red and bumpy, almost like I'd fallen into a patch of stinging nettles. Oddly enough I was assured that this was the perfect reaction and it was just my body showing that the treatment was working properly. The redness and bumpy patches were soothed once the laser lady had applied aloe vera gel and on leaving the clinic my legs looked straight back to normal.

Just under a week later and I've noticed some slight bruising on my legs along with bumpy feeling underarms but no noticeable side effects on my upper lip. My leg hair is growing back much slower and in patches rather than all over. 

Whilst I realise that body hair isn't a huge deal for some people, as trained beauty therapist and all round perfectionist, it is my nemesis. The thought of never having to shave daily again or endure the horror of epilating is like a dream come true and truly I just wish I had thought of getting it done sooner. I will be back with updates throughout my treatment and will of course let you all know my final results in around eight months time.

sk:n is currently offering a huge 40% off when two or more courses of laser hair removal is booked, or 30% off one course until September 11th. To find out more, head over to www.sknclinics.co.uk.

August 08, 2016

repairing damaged hair



Redken Pillow Proof Primer Cream (£13.60): I so often forget to bother using a heat protectant before blow drying my hair but have found that as this primer by Redken makes it take far less time using the hairdryer, I always remember to use a pump just beforehand. It's super lightweight and doesn't add any heaviness to the hair whatsoever.

Aveda Shampure Shampoo (£12.15) & Conditioner (£14.40): Before I even knew what beauty products were, our shower at home was always stocked with Aveda haircare products. I'm talking well over ten years ago. It's always been a favourite brand of mine, not only for nostalgic reasons, but because I have tried so many of their products and still not one has failed to impress. I love knowing that my hair is in safe hands as none of their products contain parabens or synthetic sulfates. If you have a sensitive scalp then Aveda have your back.