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.

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!

Gucci Opulent Volume Mascara: First Look

First look

I must confess, I have rather been running amok with my spending on the new Gucci cosmetics line. Having been into their flagship store on London’s Sloane Street to view the range in person, the line has left quite an impression on me – and an even larger impression on my wallet! Not to mention the poor UPS driver, who has tirelessly been dropping parcels from Gucci Italy on an almost daily basis recently!

So where to start? Where to start indeed….

Gucci: The Haul Part I!!

Gucci: The Haul Part I!

SmallLipsThe product

I remember reading that, of the entire range, the Opulent Volume Mascara was a particular favourite of Frida Giannini’s. Signora Giannini, as you may know, is Gucci’s creative director and co-creator of the entire cosmetics line, along with legendary makeup artist, Pat McGrath. So, decision made: we’ll start here.

Pellevé Treatment: A First Look

First look

Our constant battle against ageing can be fought on many fronts: skincare regime, diet, avoiding the sun (and other enemies)… or by simply staying in soft lighting at all times!

There is of course also an entire industry devoted to both surgical and non-surgical anti-ageing procedures. On this particular battle front, the trend has certainly switched lately to a less invasive, more natural “you, but better” approach.

The many faces of the Botox Babe

Have we become too frozen in time with the likes of Botox?

I myself think this is a change for the good, and I most definitely have a preference for procedures that stimulate a physiological ‘boost’, such as increasing collagen production, as opposed to, say, Botox or fillers.

Although wrinkles and thinner, more fragile skin are an inevitable part of ageing, boosting collagen production helps to smooth and plump the skin, allowing for a more youthful appearance.