Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Laser Lipo - The Start of the Course

Which of us doesn't look at our body and find faults?  Too fat, love handles, jelly belly, thunder thighs, back fat, bingo wings....I've probably got all of these and more.

However, I've now lost a stone and with a stone and a half to go, I'm utterly bored by the whole process.  2012 was meant to be the year I lost all the weight I wanted to and 2013 is meant to be about the actual shape and condition of my body - firmer, more defined - you know the drill.

So, not having quite achieved the target set in 2012, I've moved onto 2013's target as it might give me the impetus to lose the remaining fat.

December is a tough time to start a body reshaping programme but in past years I've used this month as an excuse to start indulging in treats as early as possible before the party really starts.  Not this year.  If I'm to print reviews of treatments in January, they need to be completed before Christmas.  So here I am, starting my first Laser Lipo treatment with the lovely Teresa at
Not me, my stomach is so bad I can't bring myself to put it up here, but it gives you an idea.  On the left, before, on the right, after a course of 8 treatments (4 weeks)

Laser Lipo claims to be able to sculpt arms, backs, thighs, bottoms and stomachs without surgery but there is a downside, you have to put in some work.  You have to do fat burning exercise and the more you do the better the results.  You also have to be pretty sensible on the diet front, but it's not completely restricted, just very sensible.  Not much really after 6pm and no carbs after 5pm.  I'm unconvinced on the science of the no carbs thing, but I'll go with it for now.  What I do know is that eating late is bad for you.

So, after the humiliating photos in pants and bra (so awful I can't tell you) I'm on the couch, a belt is strapped around me, two pads placed on the problem areas and two much smaller ones on my groin (to help drainage into the lymph glands) and each area is blasted for 10 minutes.  So gentle is this treatment that I don't even know it's happening.  After 40 minutes (4 different areas), I'm taken off the machine and popped onto a PowerPlate for 10 minutes.  I'm now in bra, knickers and trainers...vibrating...a lot.  My husband and best friend laugh until they're nearly sick at the image when I tell them.  The PowerPlate is actually pretty unpleasant at first, but a walk in the park compared to surgery, so I keep this thought in my head.  At the end, I'm red all over from the circulation boost and Teresa tells me that my metabolism should be revved up but I need to get back and do some interval training for 30 mins.  She may have said more than 30 minutes, but 30 mins is the blast I'm giving it.

So, currently, I've lost 4 cm's off the stomach/hip area, but what it has told me is that I've got complacent with my exercise.  I need to seriously ramp it up for 2013 in terms of intensity - oh good...

The science behind Laser Lipo is quite good and there are no side effects, no potential of being burnt as you can with lasers during IPL (hair removal with lasers).

Here's the bumpf from the Laser Lipo website:

"Cell Breakdown
The breaking down of the fat cells starts when the laser penetrates the skin and makes contact with the fat cells. Pores form on the cells causing them to 'sweat'. The water, Glycerol and free fatty acids emerge from the cells and then occupy the space beneath the fatty layer in the skin.

"Lymphatic Drainage
The fat cells reduce in size and the lymphatic system then removes the fatty liquids through the venous system, where they are processed in the same way as fatty foods that are digested. Not only is the procedure quick, safe and pain-free, it is also healthy.

"After Care
After Care advice encourages clients to follow a sensible health and exercise routine. The Laser Lipo procedure does not harm the body in any way and will still maintain its ability to store fat in the areas where the work has been carried out. This is an important health factor as it prevents the fat being stored in different parts such as around the heart or other vital organs. If clients eat sensibly and regularly, combined with exercise, the body shape will retain the effects of the Laser Lipo treatment."

Treatment number 2 on Saturday - I'll let you know how I get on.

Saturday, 24 November 2012


It’s time.  Christmas lights are in the shops, I’m a Celebrity is back on TV and the family debates about who’s going where for Christmas lunch are in full swing, so dig deep and make a start.  This week, here are my favourite presents for Christmas.  Next week gifts under a tenner – enjoy.

Aromatherapy Associates Ultimate Collection of 9 Bath & Shower Oil blends, is a real treat that will last for months.  Expensive, but club together and she will love it!
Price:                                    £50.00 

L’Occitane’s Shea Butter Hand Cream is a best seller and not just for Nana’s.  This set contains three 30ml tubes, each just a joy.
Price:                                    £20.00

Anything from Jo Malone will ensure you are let off the washing up, but try this beautiful Fragrance Layering Collection - bath and body heaven.
Price:                                    £38.00

Caudalie’s Premier Cru Ultimate Anti Ageing Gift set is luxurious enough not to say, “we can see your wrinkles”, but rather “we love you enough to give you these beautiful, clever products”.  Created using the Polyphenols from wine production, this is fantastic skincare at a great price.
Price:                                    £49.00
Stockist                        SpaceNK or

This is an absolute no brainer.  Purchase any Jimmy Choo 60ml Eau de Toilette fragrance and get this beautiful Jimmy Choo shoebox as a free gift with purchase.
Price:                                    £44.00
Stockist:                        Nationwide, subject to availability

Kim Kardashian Miniature Kollection has just hit the shops.  It includes 4 of their best selling fragrances in miniature making them perfect for handbags.  
Price:                            £19.99
Stockist:                        Debenhams

Molton Brown’s Lyra Gift Set will set Grandad up a treat.  Over excited kids, chefs on edge and having to play with new fangled toys – all of this will fade into the distance as this three-step deep-sea regime washes, soaks and soothes his skin.
Price:                            £49.00

Not many dads retain their hair after seeing the bills for Christmas, so help him save money with this fantastic grooming tool to maintain a short haircut at home.  Easy Cut has unique rotary blade technology and a surround comb guide making it foolproof to use with a perfect even finish.
 Price:                                    £40.00 
Stockist:                        08705 133191

Cowshed’s Bullocks for Men Duo Gift Set features a Bullocks Bracing Body Wash and a Bullocks Soothing Moisturiser.
Price:                                    £28

Bulldog for your Mug is the perfect gift set for a teenager.  Natural ingredients to help keep skin in tip top shape and a mug in which they can bring you tea (you can but hope!)
Price:                                    £8.00

Monday, 12 November 2012


The billion pound beauty industry wants us to buy the latest, most exciting, most marketed products they have.  However, canny girls have been finding beauty bargains for years and these days there are more to be had than ever.  If you’ve more beauty demands than dollars, here’s where to look to maximise your hard earned cash with genuine product that’s just calling to you from the stores.

Location:  Bognor Regis, Crawley, Horsham, Worthing
Savers specialise in mass market branded goods such as Olay, Radox and Eylure, but if these are your beauty wardrobe staples then rush to Savers as you can save a fortune.  They have amazingly priced beauty box sets for Christmas too.
Olay Regenerist Eye Derma-Pod is a 3-in-1 anti ageing eye product.  A little squeeze resurfaces skin's appearance, fills in lines and wrinkles and reduces puffiness.
Size: 12 ml
RRP:£ 29.99
Savers Price:  £5.99

Online portal with very genuine stock. However, they don’t buy it until after the sale, which means you can place your order and then be disappointed, but that’s the risk you take to get a bargain.  Brands include Tweezerman, with up to 50% off RRP.

Online store, similar to Brand Alley hosting fashion and beauty bargains.   At the time of writing, Bellapierre Mineral Make Up is up to 60% off but just keep a check on the site, big brand names unload here regularly so there are bargains to be had.
RRP:£ £12.99
Secret Sale Price:  £6.00

Location: Crawley, Horsham
Poundland negotiate hard with their suppliers, but the benefits are all yours.  Look online to find their current beauty bargains including Schwarzkof, Alberto Balsam and Johnson & Johnson all at just £1.
Johnson & Johnson Baby Moisturising Bath
Size:  200ML
Poundland Price:  £1.00


Location:  Horsham, Worthing
Brand driven, TK Maxx only buys quality products and gets a great price for their consumer.  The beauty buyers are driven by quality and this store consistently delivers.  However, once it’s gone it’s gone.  Current bargains include Chanel Cristalle EDT Fragrance.  One of my favourite Chanel fragrances, Cristalle is fresh with citrus and floral tones making it the perfect everyday fragrance.
Size:  100ML
RRP:  £64.99
TK Maxx Price:  £49.99

If you’re after a spa day treat, here’s where I’d start.  You need to choose the “50% off spa days” tab and none of the West Sussex spas are currently offering deals, but there are other spas not too far away that would make a great girlie day out, so dive in.
West Sussex Spas:  Alexander House, Ockendon Manor, Park House Hotel

Mainly a travel site, I found my spa bargain of the year here.  I got an overnight stay in a beautiful 5 star spa, supper, breakfast and a treatment for two for just £59.00 in January this year– bargain of 2012!

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Night Workers

Wouldn’t it be great to have someone work on your beauty problems overnight to create a perfect canvas for the morning?  I’ve chosen some of the most innovative products on the market that work on specific tasks rather than simple night creams. 

Bare Minerals Pure Transformation Night Treatment
This dust-on powder works at night to visibly reduce pores, increase firmness and improve skin elasticity.  Interestingly, there are four shades to choose from so it’s a great excuse for “make up” in bed and it’s packed with vitamins to condition skin and Emblica Fruit to brighten your complexion.
Price £45.00

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair
We all know that skin works hardest to repair itself at night, so it makes sense to put the most powerful repairing ingredients on your skin before sleep.  This award-winning product works to repair the damage from pollution and lifestyle with proven Hyaluronic Acid, which is one of the best ways to attract and retain moisture in the skin.  Many, many people swear by it.
Price £45.00 for 50 ml

Renewal Lash Serum by L’Oreal
Lash serums are the perfect night worker.  Apply to the lash line at night, sleep and within a few weeks you have longer, thicker lashes – absolute bliss.
Price:  £10.99

Redken Argan-6 Hair Oil
Argan oil has been one of the big beauty success stories and this delicious hair oil contains omega-6 enriched oil that provides deep conditioning and lasting suppleness to intensely nourish dry, brittle hair. Apply to slightly damp hair to intensely soften hair overnight, safe in the knowledge that this oil is designed not to come off on your pillow.  In the morning, simply wash hair for super shine all day.
Price:  £24.95

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Jasmin Martin Makeover

Jasmin Martin, 20, has just been promoted to a new role at the West Sussex County Times.  Jasmin felt it was time for a makeover of her style and said, “I’m thrilled that I’ve been promoted to Reporter, but it’s meant a whole re-think of how I look.  My job now means instead of being behind a desk all day, I can be called away at a moment’s notice to report on local news.  One minute I’m in a muddy field, the next at an awards event so I felt I needed a makeover of my style to fit in with the demands of my new job.”

Jasmin’s regular style is smart/casual and she said “I like looking smart, but not too over the top.  Usually, I shop in New Look, H&M or Primark but I wanted to try different styles to see what worked.  My hair, frankly, needs smartening up and usually I wear very little make up.”

We sent Jasmin off to see Huw and the You by RUSH Horsham team to get some TLC for her hair.  Her stylist, Marcos Garcia, discovered that Jasmin wanted to maintain many elements of her current style, but also wanted to make the fringe more of a focal point.  Marcos proposed that keeping the length, but creating more shape around the face, to be softer and more stylish. 
 Jasmin’s hair was washed and given a Kerastase treatment specifically for her hair type to give strength, shine and conditioning.

Marcos said “Jasmin had a very definite idea in her head as to what cut and style she wanted which made my job much easier.  Through listening to her ideas and then combining them with my own we managed to agree on a haircut which not only kept all the length which Jasmin had asked for, but also created a much more fashionable style with the stronger fringe and looser curls.”

Jasmin’s verdict?  “Marcos was really friendly and I felt like I’d known him for ages.  He genuinely listened to what I said and has given me a fantastic cut that I can do loads with.”

We brought Jasmin into the studio after her cut and set about her make up with Karen Loraine of the Make Up Box Studio.

Karen chose to blend purple shadows with soft highlights on Jasmin’s eyes, adding soft pink lips, concealer and an airbrushed foundation and blusher.  She used a silicone primer before applying foundation in order to diminish the appearance of fine lines and a rose blush, to bring out Jasmin’s great skin.  Karen’s assistant Claire Cook applied Jasmin’s lipstick to finish the look.

Jasmin said, “I loved the make up that Karin Loraine did on me.  I usually wouldn’t spend that long on my make up and I wouldn’t try purple lipstick but her skills are fantastic and the result was brilliant.”

Jasmin was styled in a glamorous cocktail top from Georgedé, the Paris-based fashion house, with a flattering cut and trimmed with French lace and tiny sequins.  The lovely green and pink colours set off Jasmin’s beautiful skin a treat.

“I loved every minute of the makeover!  Trying new make up and a new fashion style were brilliant and pushed me outside of my usual choices and I think the results were great.  Thank you so much to everyone for their help, it was a wonderful experience!”
You by Rush Horsham 01403 887 713
The Make Up Box Studio 07810 848208

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Dark & Stormy - Perfect Autumn Palettes

Winter is setting in with the skies and seas filled with beautiful, moody, changeable colours, as are the cosmetic counters.  Take a look at my favourites.

The PREMIER REGARD palette exemplifies dark and stormy: intense Chanel black, beige, tender pink and slightly scintillating taupe grey offering the contrasts of the season all in one beautiful palette.
Price:                        £37.00
Stockist:             020 7493 3836

A heady mix of deep violet, crimson and fuchsia grounded with a sensual pale pink and a powerful matte black shade makes this palette one of the season’s most on trend. The formula allows for complete two finish options: apply wet for a vibrant-chrome charged flash of colour or dry for a subtle shine finish.
Price:                        £40.00
Stockist:             0870 034 2566

Tom Ford Noir Absolute RRP£25.00
This dramatic black gel formula sweeps over the entire lid for a smouldering eye or can be used to fluidly and boldly to line the lid.  Enriched with blackened pigment, infused with a spark of blue optics the colour catches the light and brightens the eyes for an unusual dimensional effect.
Price:                        £25.00
Stockist:            0870 034 2566
Hypnôse Star creates intense, mysterious eyes, with fully amplified lashes and a Hollywood curl.   With a new, flat edged brush and “Black Diamond” effect formula fluid this mascara effortlessly sculpts and smoothes lash adding length and colour.
Price:                                    £21.00

Deep, dark and moody, this beautiful lipstick by Illamasqua will see you through stormy seascapes and moody moorlands.
Price:                        £20.00

Beautiful, moody pink that’s also a lip care product.  Rich in essential fatty acids to nourish, soften and keep lips supple whilst a blend of ceramides and waxes protect against dehydration, smooth the lip surface and increase colour adherence.
Price:                        £17.50

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Teeth Whitening - THE RESULTS!

OK, I've got "The Stuff" and am about to embark on my teeth whitening but let's have a look at professional treatments.

There are two key professional whitening treatments on the market; in-surgery treatment with a light which is carried out by a dentist giving instant results and home whitening with custom made trays for your teeth (much like gum guards but thinner) and whitening gel which takes up to a fortnight. Arvin favours the trays saying, “In-surgery whitening with the light is great if you want your teeth to look significantly whiter immediately, but the agent used on the teeth is much more concentrated than the product we give patients to use in the trays.  The light treatment can draw water out of the teeth as well as stains.  Then, as the teeth rehydrate, the new white colour can sometimes fade very quickly.  For my patients, this method is too aggressive and can cause long-term sensitivity which is why at Vitality we favour a slower and more gentle process for great, long-lasting results.”

We've already done the moulds and on the first night I’m asked to use a desensitizing gel to ensure that my teeth are comfortable during the whitening process.  I suspect this is also a dummy run to see how I get on with the trays.  I fill, put in my mouth and go to bed.  They are very well made and a snug fit. Night 2, I try the 16% mix, which is mid-strength.  The active ingredient is Carbamide Peroxide, a precursor to Hydrogen Peroxide, which makes the result and experience better for the patient.  

Grim look at my teeth before we started
My teeth are slightly sensitive when I wake up so Night 3 I move back to the 10% mix that is more comfortable.  However, by Night 5 I’m back up to the mid-strength and by Night 6 everyone in my family can see the difference.  By Night 10, the difference is unbelievably good.  My teeth tingle slightly (but nothing a paracetamol can’t take the edge off) and the sensitivity goes within a day of finishing the course. 

Vitality’s service is outstanding.  During the 10 days of treatment I’m seen a total of three times to check that it’s all going well and to see how I’m doing.  Nothing is too much trouble and I’m not surprised that Vitality has never had anyone fail to get a result.

Arvin and I talk about who has teeth whitening these days and I’m told that while it’s people of all ages, the over 55’s are exceptionally keen to have this procedure.  We also discuss over-the-counter home whitening kits and Arvin says “If I’m asking you to make an investment in professional whitening, under my supervision and with my experience how can products for £30 possibly produce the same results?”  Point well made. “The whitening products that we provide at Vitality cannot be sold to the general public but are only available on prescription from dental professionals.”
Grim look at teeth after whitening
Actual shade change in a lovely easy-to-see-and-less-scary way

Post-treatment, the reaction is amazing.  Friends want to know what new cream I’m using, have I changed my hair or have I lost weight, as they simply must know.  Me? 
I just smile.

For patients interested in finding out more visit

Whitening Wednesdays – All new Vitality patients having tooth whitening on Wednesdays can get it for just £200 – that’s Half Price!   Offer ends 31st December 2012.  Free no obligation consultation for new patients.

There are plenty of home teeth whitening options; I asked Dr Arvin Mirzadeh to give me his opinion about which are worth the money.

Pearl Drops Beauty Sleep Overnight Serum
Designed to work overnight this serum contains a liquid calcium technology to help strengthen tooth enamel whilst the vitamin E nourishes and protects your mouth for healthy gums.  Arvin said “The ingredient list includes pearl powder and may help remove some surface stains, possibly creating a glaze on the surface of the teeth.  I’ve no reason to think this is the best way to whiten teeth.”
Price:  £3.49

Oral-B 3D White Toothpaste
New on the UK market, Oral B has recently introduced quite a few new toothpastes onto the market to meet the growing demand of whitening.  Arvin said, “This is an interesting range.   The toothpaste itself has no Hydrogen Peroxide in it and no actual whitening ingredient, but rather works as an extrinsic abrasive and anti staining agent.”
Price:  £3.49

Crest 3D Whitestrips Professional Effects 
An adhesive strip containing Hydrogen Peroxide, the active ingredient in whitening.  Arvin said, “These are very popular in the USA and there are lots of UK websites that import them.  These do work as they have Hydrogen Peroxide in them, but the disadvantage is that it’s on an adhesive strip that is not bespoke, not custom made and is therefore likely to give patchy results.  If you accidentally get the strip on your gums it could make them quite sore temporarily.”
Price:  £44.99
Rapid White Blue Light Tooth Whitening System
Rapid White Blue Light Tooth Whitening System claims to whiten teeth up to 5 shades whiter with 2 hours of blue light treatment.  Arvin said, “Professional tooth whitening with a light does work, but this simply isn’t anything close to a professional tool.  I would also be worried about the acidity of some of the ingredients which could damage tooth enamel.”
Price:  £30.00

Arvin’s Conclusion
“For everyday whitening use a standard whitening toothpaste as the abrasives and whitening agents will help to lift some surface stains.  However, everyone should take advice from their dentist before embarking on any whitening programme to find out what is best for them.”