Tag Archives: Skin care

Skin Couture

Right Now: Stimul8 Mask by Gr8ful Skin Couture

It’s been a loooong time in between mask uses for me – as in I think the last time I used one, Bridget Jones’ Diary was on at the movies and Beyoncé was still in Destiny’s Child. Definitely before I had children, that’s for sure. Having kids will do that to you – radically cut into your self-care and pampering time, that is! So given that my son is bigger, and I’m not getting any younger, let’s face it, I thought my skincare routine should pick up a bit.

Enter a fabulous all natural 100% vegan mud mask from the US called Stimul8, by Gr8ful Skin Couture. I love that it’s a natural alternative to some of the more, ahem, chemical anti-agers out there. It’s mud! All natural, and vegan, and it’s converted me back to mask use again.

The first time I used it, it was WARM – I have no idea what’s in that mud but it’s like chilli for your face! It doesn’t hurt but you can definitely feel a tingling whilst it works its magic. Rinse it off and your skin looks fresher, brighter and more rested. The best thing to do is use for three days in a row to make you look as young as you did when Bridget Jones was around (I’m talking pre-Facebook, so that’s pretty young). Although I’m still not one of those natural pampering types who loves getting her bath on, I liked the effects of this mask so much that I intend to do it again. And soon. And not leave it quite so long in between masks that Beyonce can have a whole solo career. And get married (to one of the world’s richest and most influential rappers, no less) And have five Number 1s. And get 11 Grammys. And have a sold out world tour. And star in three movies. And sing for the President. And have a baby. Damn, what that woman can do in a decade! The least I can do is make time for a mud mask.

But I digress. As it’s a dark mud it’s too messy for clients at work, but I don’t want to let it out of my bathroom anyway. Now for more time to relax with a glass of wine and some Skin Couture…

Check it out at http://gr8fulcouture.com/

PS I also love this product as it doesn’t test on animals, and every component is derived from plants – even the lactic acid she uses is sourced from sugar beets and cane sugar. It’s nice to know that choosing natural products doesn’t mean skimping on performance.

Florrie White for Nude Skincare

From the Front Lines – Celebrity Makeup Artist Florrie White for NUDE Skincare

I was very excited to hear that one of my favourite makeup artists (and mentors), Florrie White, is now NUDE Skincare’s brand ambassador. Florrie is an amazing makeup artist and has quite the celebrity clientele, working regularly with Alexa Chung, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Emily Blunt, Rose Byrne and Kate Bosworth – how’s that for a cool crowd of clients?

She has magical hands and would always choose exactly the right blend of skincare to address what her client’s skin required, unfailingly achieving a beautiful, hydrated skin as a base for her lovely makeup. I’m not surprised she is now working with NUDE as they are a wonderful luxury organic skincare brand, and perfect for Florrie’s effortless, cool aesthetic.

Nowadays it feels like every week there is a new “organic” or “natural” skincare range being released as people increasingly are becoming aware of the toxic nature of many products which we put everyday onto our biggest organ, our skin. But as NUDE started back in 2007, they were one of the first to market in this area. Synthesising all natural ingredients to create truly luxurious and effective skincare (and the packaging to match) wasn’t easy, but founder Brian Meehan insisted that they get it exactly right. Cult products from the range include the Perfect Cleansing Oil and the Radiant Day Moisturiser.

I can’t wait to see more of Florrie and NUDE Skincare!

www.nudeskincare.com

Dr Hauschka Sandalwood and Lavender Body Milk

Right Now: Dr Hauschka Sandalwood & Lavender Body Milk

Happy New Year! I love having a fresh start – and let me tell you, 2013 is only a few days old and already it’s looking like it’s going to be a good one.

I’m not going to talk about New Year’s Resolutions and all that business, although I have a few, “ahem” improvements that I’ll be making – namely, being less of a makeup pack rat and getting more into organic products. So I thought I’d use my first post of the year to tell you about one of my favourite new natural finds, which is Dr Hauschka’s beautiful new Sandalwood and Lavender Bodymilk. This is the loveliest body moisturiser I have tried in ages. I’m usually pretty loyal to standard old Nivea or Kieh’s Crème de Corps (the Rolls Royce of body moisturisers), but I’m telling you, Dr Hauschka’s might just be taking that crown. I love not only what’s in it (ie no nasties, and lots of good moisturising oils), but the packaging as well. It’s a beautiful glass bottle with a pump that actually works, so using it is enjoyable (unlike tipping bottles of moisturiser everywhere – not mentioning any brand names!)

Having had something of a health epiphany in 2012 I’m now keen to find more gentle and non-toxic alternatives to some of my every day makeup and beauty staples. But they need to function AND be as fun to use as their more chemical cohorts, so this year I’m planning to explore some more organic brands, and I’m happy to report there is lots of gorgeous, non-toxic and chemical-free products out there. I want my outsides to be as healthy as my insides!

The Dr Hauschka Bodymilk a mix of macadamia nut, apricot kernel and avocado oils with wood sorrel and lemon balm to heal parched skin. And, as its name suggests it has sandalwood and lavender oil so it smells divine, and it melts into the skin leaving it non-sticky, non-greasy (even in pretty hot weather as I’ve been testing it through summer. My legs get a delicious lizard like appearance without daily slatherings of some sort of body unguent), and it even, as an added bonus, makes the skin look sort of sheeny and expensive. Unfortunately it can’t make you thinner – but that’s what those New Year’s resolutions are for.

www.drhauschka.com

Kiehl's Rosa Arctica

Kiehl’s Rosa Arctica Youth Regenerating Cream

Kiehl's Rosa Arctica

In my line of work, I get to try a LOT of skincare. Some good, some OK, some breaks me out. Some goes in my kit, some goes next to my bed, some goes in my makeup bag and some goes in a drawer for a rainy day.

This is my winter skin savior this year. I get super-dry and even (dare I say it) a bit flakey when it’s really cold. Kiehl’s new Rosa Arctica cream has been my base for makeup for myself all winter long. It’s really thick and creamy – and if you have dry skin you know how key that is.

It’s made with Haberlea Rhodopensis, which is also known as Resurrection Flower and it grows in extremely dry conditions. As it is able to survive 31 months without hydration, it was this hardiness and its regenerative properties that intrigued Kiehl’s and encouraged them to look more closely at the properties of this unique flower. When proper hydration is restored, it returns to life within hours. The nutrients responsible for the regeneration of this flower are enriched the Rosa Arctica cream. All I can tell you is it works!

You have to sort of push it into the skin, but once you get it in there, it’s intense hydration. And the hydration stays all day, which you don’t get with a lot of skincare. It also gives the skin this amazing glow – I don’t know how as there’s no luminisoity in the cream itself, but it must be the power of those arctic flowers!

www.kiehls.com.au - www.kiehls.co.uk

mac matte

Secret Weapon: MAC Matte

I have had this incredible mattifying gel in my kit for about a decade now, and it’s what I rely on for clients with oily skin. It’s the best product I’ve ever used for eliminating shine (and believe me, I’ve tried a few). It’s a clear gel in a small tube that you pat onto the skin either over moisturiser or instead of (for very oily clients) through the T-zone. Voila! No more shine.

It’s a must have for makeup artists for male grooming as well (or for male MM readers who struggle with shine). For women it’s great to throw in your handbag for those hot summer afternoons when your forehead looks like a disco ball. Foundation then goes on like a dream as this primer seals the surface without looking fake or heavy, and it means you can use a lot less powder. No more afternoon cake face!

Mac Cosmetics UK
Mac Cosmetics Australia

 

Alpha H Skincare

Right Now: Alpha H Skincare

I have pretty sensitive skin, so I tend not to mix up my skin routine too much, and keep it simple. I cleanse, and then I rotate my moisturiser depending on the weather. At the moment my skin feels like an old dessicated sea sponge, so I’ve been getting into Liz Earle’s Superskin moisturiser, as it’s very rich and emollient. It has lots of calming Shea Butter and Avocado, and my skin just drinks it in. The Liz Earle range isn’t strictly organic (as it has parabens to preserve the ingredients), but it’s organic enough for me!

However sometimes when one gets to a “certain age” *cough cough puts on Miss Havisham creaky voice, starts calling people “dear”* – your skin needs a little extra kick to get it glowing. And lately I’ve discovered a little Aussie wonder company, called Alpha H.

I first heard about it through Twitter via lovely London makeup artist, Kenneth Soh, as he swears by Alpha H. So when my skin started to look more troglodyte and less Giselle, I decided to call in the Glycolic Big Guns.

I’ve used glycolics before, but not like this. They were usually too much and after two days used I looked like someone had flayed me with a paint stripper. But Alpha – H should be called Amazing H as that’s exactly what it is.

I used their Liquid Gold, the Clear Skin Wash and the Hydrator Gel and I didn’t react badly to anything – no breakouts or weird skin responses. On the contrary my nasty dry sea sponge skin started to look younger and behave better – I got my glow back!

Their Liquid Gold product really is as miraculous as everyone says – I just use it at night when I need it, and it takes off all the dead skin cells, and leaves it feeling soft and plump. I also use the Clear Skin wash, which even though I don’t have acne prone skin I really like from time to time as it has tea tree oil and eucalyptus in it which is a great disinfectant and really boosts my skin. I’ve been alternating that with my Aesop cleanser, depending how my skin feels that day.

The Hydrator Gel would be fabulous for those with combination or oily skin – my skin is very dry, so I can use it for a day or so before I need to dive back into a vat of Liz Earle Superskin. I think it would be a great moisturiser for the hotter months as well as it is very soothing and provides moisture without extra grease (good when you’re already feeling like a greasy bear, first thing in the morning). I plan on bringing this back into my routine in summer.

For me I found using the products for a month and then having a break for a couple of weeks is the best way to use them. That way I can have fresh Giselle skin, and not get too dry. Alpha H is a bit like a spa in a jar. No need for a holiday!

www.alpha-h.com

Right Now: Aesop’s World Domination

Aesop SkincareMy favourite Aussie skincare brand, Aesop, is basically taking over the world at the moment with a gorgeous new counter at Selfridges in London, and four new stores to open in New York by the end of the year. Look how beautiful this installation in Selfridges is – if this doesn’t make you want to go and dive in to their skin loving treats, I don’t know what does.

I am currently loving their Geranium Leaf Body Scrub – it’s one of the few body products I use on a regular basis. It contains pumice and bamboo plus geranium which smells amazing first thing in the morning, let me tell you.

I’m not generally a massive body product fan, mostly due to lack of time. The products in my shower have to be quick and effective, and this not only polishes my skin, it’s even managing to compensate for the fact that I’ve given up coffee (and you know anything that can do that, must be good).

www.aesop.net.au

Aesop Selfridges

In My Makeup Kit: Biotherm Aquasource Skin Perfection Moisturiser

Sasha Pivovarova BiothermI think I mentioned before what a skincare orgy it is at the moment at MM HQ. From being distinctly unimpressed about most skincare and sticking to my faves, I have discovered some absolute gems lately – Aesop as you all know, and also Biotherm’s Aquasource moisturizer, new to my kit.

I actually worked on the commercial for this in London, with Kay Montano doing makeup on the unbelievably gorgeous Biotherm spokesmodel, Russian Sasha Pivarova. Statuesque, gorgeous and glamorous in towering boots, Sasha was everything you’d like your supermodel to be. At lunch I discovered she was lovely as well – very down to earth and nice, an unexpected bonus. Two things I will tell you – she loves her coffee, and yes, her eyes really are that blue!

When I got a chance to try the new Aquasource moisturizer I was slightly trepidatious as often moisturizers that have offered a high water content actually leave your skin feeling drier than it started, as the water evaporates and seems to take more water from the skin. But new technology has radically improved these and Aquasource not only feels like water on the skin (which is lovely and refreshing in summer), but my skin really retained the moisture and in the morning it still felt hydrated, and not like a dried up old walnut. And happily, no breakouts which I can sometimes get when I switch skincare. In addition, it’s such a nice base for makeup that I’ve slipped some in my kit (sorry Kiehl’s, for the first time in nearly a decade, you’ve been relegated!)

Here is the lovely Sasha P in one of her European Biotherm campaigns (I love it when she talks about kung-fu! So awesome with her Russian accent.)

www.biotherm.co.uk