Pellevé machine

Pellevé VISIA Analysis: The Initial Results Are In!

Harley Street Skin Clinic

For those of you who have read my previous pieces on the Pellevé treatment I have been receiving at Harley Street Skin Clinic, this will be the instalment you have been waiting for: the results!

Right from the start, I wanted to avoid presenting opinion-based, anecdotal statements on the effectiveness of the treatment. So after a consultation with the wonderful and extremely well-informed Lesley Reynolds, clinic co-founder, journalist and all-round skincare guru, she suggested that I try their VISIA Skin Analysis system to photograph my face in set positions, under controlled conditions before and after the treatment, in order to get a measure of the results.

Benefit Roller Lash Mascara News – Get Yours For Free BEFORE the National UK Launch

Other stuff

Small LipsBreaking News!

For all you eyelash curler addicts out there, brace yourselves: Benefit is set to launch a brand new mascara, Roller Lash, that has been designed to dispense with them!

Benefit Roller Lash Mascara: yours for free to trial pre- the national launch date in the March edition of UK Elle

Benefit Roller Lash Mascara: yours for free to trial, before the UK national launch date, in the March edition of UK Elle. For details of how to order your copy, see below.

Gucci Opulent Volume Mascara

Gucci Opulent Volume Mascara in Iconic Black: The Review


Small LipsThe Product

See my First Look post for the background on the Gucci Opulent Volume Mascara.

Small LipsThe Review


OK, let’s start with application technique. I look back fondly on the simple days gone by when you could just swipe ‘n’ go. But as technology in both the mascara formula, and in the design of the wand itself, become more complex – and each new launch is geared around achieving a particular type of look – we are often now given instructions on how to get the best out of the product. In this case, Gucci recommend applying their Opulent Volume Mascara with a rolling motion, starting from the top of the lash and then rolling the wand upwards, in order to separate and build volume simultaneously.

Top 5 Haircare Launches of 2014

My Top 5 Haircare Product Launches of 2014

Top 5

Well here is the third and final offering in my series of favourite launches in the beauty industry for 2014. If you haven’t seen them already, don’t forget to go back and read my previous posts on the Top 5 Skincare Launches and Top 5 Makeup Launches from last year. I have cheated slightly with a few of my choices in this category, as it includes a few products that launched at the back end of 2013, but grew in recognition over 2014.

Looking through my choices, volume and damage-limitation seem to be the buzzwords that feature pretty heavily in my top 5! Having fuller-looking hair and keeping damage to a minimum are attributes that help to keep hair looking healthy, full of vitality and therefore youthful, I believe, so I hope there is something for everyone in this list!

So let’s get started…

Pellevé machine

Pellevé Review: The Treatment Procedure


Small LipsThe Treatment

Harley Street Skin Clinic

A few weeks ago, I popped along to see the folks at Harley Street Skin Clinic to have my first Pellevé treatment.

If you read my previous piece on Pellevé, you will know that it is a radio frequency collagen-boosting treatment that causes heat to build up deep within the skin. This has two effects:

(1) Expected immediate term results

During the treatment, the heat denatures collagen fibres already present in the skin, causing them to shrink and therefore immediately tighten the skin. This combined with a mild swelling in response to the heat means you can expect noticeably plumped, tighter, smoother skin with fewer wrinkles in the period immediately following the treatment. Don’t get too excited by this, though – it really is only a side-effect and a temporary one at that, unfortunately lasting only days.

(2) Expected long term results

In the weeks and months that follow, the ‘trauma’ caused by the heat during the treatment stimulates the skin to up its collagen production in order to repair the damage. This results in smoother, firmer, tighter skin over a period of a few months.

According to the manufacturer, Pellevé, unlike similar treatments that preceded it, is virtually pain free and requires no downtime.

Small LipsThe Procedure

About the procedure

I had my treatment with Harley Street Skin Clinic. My practitioner was the charming and knowledgeable Bianca-Estelle Simpson, who started by clarifying what I should expect during the treatment, and carefully setting my expectations for the results.

Top 5 Makeup Launches of 2014

My Top 5 Makeup/Cosmetics Launches of 2014

Top 5

Well here is the second up in my series of favourite launches in the beauty industry for 2014. You can see my previous post on those that made it into the skincare category here. You may recall that I had little debate when it came to finalising my skincare list, but not so for this one: it very nearly turned into a top 10. After having a word with myself over it, I have just about managed to narrow it down to 5… well, nearly! So let’s get started.

REN Flash 1 Minute Facial: First Look

First look

Small LipsC for yourself

Fruit is another source of vitamin C

Another source of vitamin C – tasty, but not the most effective delivery method!

Vitamin C happens to be one of my favourite skincare ingredients. If formulated well (and that’s a big if), it has the potential to deliver the killer combination of both instant AND long term benefits to the skin. And that’s not just marketing hype: the benefits have been scientifically proven. They include:

  • instant radiance and clarity to the skin
  • more even skin tone
  • reduction in oxidative (free radical) and UV damage
  • increased collagen synthesis
  • increased skin elasticity and firmness

However (here comes the ‘big if’ I mentioned), there are vitamin C formulations out there that simply do not work. This is usually down to bad formulation, in one or both of the following ways:

  1. the vitamin C content is not protected from oxidising (i.e. degrading – which it is very prone to do) within the packaging or formula
  2. the percentage of vitamin C in the product is too low to produce results.


Small LipsThe brand


As I am sure you are aware, brands unfortunately do not always take product formulation as seriously as they should, instead relying more on the strength of marketing a feel-good factor and a product back-story. So when I buy a product that is making claims off the back of its vitamin C content, I look for a brand that takes product formulation seriously. A brand like REN, in fact.


Small LipsThe product

So I was excited and intrigued to learn that REN were launching a new vitamin C product called Flash Rinse 1 Minute Facial.

Top 5 Skincare Launches of 2014

My Top 5 Skincare Launches of 2014

Top 5

Firstly, Happy New Year to y’all!

So I thought I would start 2015 with a series of ‘Top 5’ pieces that look back at some of my favourite products of 2014. First up, we have ‘My Top 5 Skincare Launches’. Strangely for me, there was little debate when it came to finalising this list, because for once I had very clear favourites in this category.

Believe me, I trial a lot of skincare products, in the never-ending quest for those that truly deliver. In terms of anti-ageing, I do think the top priority for skincare should be sunscreen, closely followed by a topically-applied antioxidant. However, looking down at the list below as I was writing, it couldn’t be clearer that, for skincare at least, I am also drawn to products that achieve radiance and dewiness.

All of the products in this list pick the skin up in one or both of these ways. I believe that both attributes are the sign of good health and youthfulness, and if you have to fake it, fake it!  Better still if you find a product that instantly achieves this effect, but also goes some way to allowing your skin to pick itself up and achieve that look naturally too. I think each of my picks below go some way to fulfilling this brief.

So without further ado, let’s get started on the skincare countdown… (drum roll, please!).

Sarah Chapman Morning Facial: First Look

First look

SmallLipsThe brand

Having a background in scientific research, I often have to suspend disbelief when I hear the marketing claims being made as a new skincare product is launched. A cursory glance down the ingredients list is often enough for me to smile and walk away, wallet intact. There are certain brands out there who make the most ridiculous claims (I’ll say no more before I get myself into trouble!), consistently using active ingredients at well under the recommended dose, just so that they feature on the ingredients list (and can then be used to bolster the marketing hype).

"Look! The first active ingredient is marketing spin."

I am with Sarah: active ingredients should always be used at their proven optimal level, and formulated with other ingredients that do not affect their ability to get results

Sarah Chapman, celebrity facialist, who combines high-tech wizardry with massage to award-winning effect, is most definitely not in this camp. She is quite clear that, during product development for her Skinesis skincare line, she needs to see research, research, research before choosing ingredients. This is to ascertain both expected results, and, most importantly, the levels at which individual ingredients should be used at in order to deliver those results. Based on the research, she then works out the optimum level at which to use those ingredients.

Indeed, Sarah Chapman is a woman after my own heart, using a winning combination of cutting-edge science and high-potency ingredients in an attempt to come up with innovative and effective skincare solutions. So, on the rare occasion that she launches a new product, I feel a trip to Space NK coming on!