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.”

Thursday, 4 October 2012


Name: Sue Jones  
Home: Southwater
Story: Lost two and half stone in weight

“When I was younger I was in proportion, active and healthy but my challenges started, like many women, when I had children.  It’s difficult to lose baby weight with a young family and over time more weight gradually creeps on.

“Ten years ago I lost a stone, but over the next decade two and a half stone sneaked itself onto my frame and when my husband needed to get fit I took a long, hard look at us both and what I saw wasn’t great.  Not only did we look overweight, but also our health was suffering so we made a decision to get active together and go on a diet.

“We chose to join the Slinfold Golf and Country Club, mainly because they had an open day that we went to, it was very friendly, we knew a few people there and they had a good variety of activities and exercise classes.  To be blunt, it was also really clean, both in the gym and changing rooms which was important to me as if I had to exercise, it could at least be a pleasant experience! 

“I went to the gym and classes for a couple of months and the weight loss just wasn’t happening so I was offered a free session with one of the personal trainers, Toby, and I never looked back.

“It took me six months to lose the weight.  I did a calorie-controlled diet of 1,400 calories a day, which, along with the exercise, meant I lost around 1lb per week.  The first stone seemed to take forever to come off even though I was exercising 4 days out of seven, but I also made new friends at the club who really encouraged me to stick at it.  It was quite hard cooking for my family of four as they like lots of food, but I cooked meals, including vegetarian, that we could all enjoy.  I also craved cheese and bread but I’ve stopped missing them now and can’t remember the last time I had a biscuit!

“Today, I feel much better, much healthier and I have a lot more energy.  I can’t get my head around the fact that I am now a size 10-12 and still pick up 14-16 clothes.  I even got into a size 8 the other day but I’m sure the sizing was out!

“Once I reached my target weight I yo-yoed a bit but have now got my meals down pat and my weight is stable.  I’m really grateful for all the help and support I got in achieving this goal and I wanted to have this makeover so that I can look at the photo and see for myself the physical difference in the size I was to what I am now – maybe then I’ll believe it!”

The team at Rush Horsham, led by Huw James, invited Sue in just before the shoot.  Sue wanted to maintain her current graduated bob style, but was also looking for something easier to manage on her upcoming holiday. Sue’s stylist Emma Fitzpatrick decided that a signature RUSH undercut would be perfect for Sue’s thick, curly hair, removing the weight through the underneath while giving her a much more modern shape and style. 

 After the consultation Sue’s hair was washed and she chose a Kerastase treatment that was specifically chosen to give her long lasting moisture and shine. 

Emma said, “Sue has lovely thick, shiny hair so we wanted to build on this and enhance it by creating a full, more structured shape.  Her hair had previously been over-layered through the top, so we left this heavier and removed weight internally.  This will make it easier for Sue to straighten and style at home as well as giving her a style much more in line with current trends’. 

Sue said “I’m absolutely thrilled with my new cut and I think it takes years off me!  I can’t thank Huw and Emma, and all the Rush team enough for getting me to try something different with amazing results!”

Karen Loraine of the Make Up Box Studio in Horsham is an expert make up artist, well known throughout Sussex, Surrey, Kent and London for her work in helping women transform their look.  “Sue has lovely natural skin and her usual look is for minimal make-up, which works well for her.  For this shoot we’re giving Sue party make up so that she can see how to glam-up on her holiday!”

Karen chose to blend gold eye shadows with soft autumn highlights on Sue’s eyes, adding blood-red 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 peach blush, to bring out Sue’s naturally good skin tone.  Karen’s assistant Claire Cook applied Sue’s lipstick to finish the look.

Sue said, “I love the eyes and Karen’s foundation has smoothed my skin beautifully.  The lips are a much stronger colour than I would usually go for but I can see how well it works in the photos.”

Parisian fashion house Georgedé sent across their Autumn/Winter 2012 collection for Sue to model.  This beautiful range contains occasion wear for all ages, created in soft fabrics with matching jackets, skirts and trousers to offer great design, uncompromising attention to detail and a perfect fit. There are four distinct patterns that it uses for the range which, for this season, are Flowery, Wildlife, Abstract, and Black & White and Sue chose a chiffon and jersey dress and jacket from the Abstract range, packed with colourful and eye catching colours to create a delicious tapestry of hues. 

“I love it!  Rush were really lovely and welcoming in the salon and I love the twist they’ve put on my hairstyle.  Karen’s make up looked beautiful and the Georgedé is really flattering to wear.  Thank you so much for the experience and maybe now I’ll believe how good I can look!”

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Acne At All Ages

  Acne.  If you’ve ever had it you know just how much it can make your life miserable and how it can come to you at any stage in life.  In fact, adult acne is one of the fastest growing skin complaints, plus there’s Acne Rosacea, a treat awaiting some women during the menopause as well and Bacne, acne across the shoulders and back.  Acne  is a combination of surface pores getting clogged and hormones.   Every pore releases oil onto the skin to keep it soft, but if it becomes clogged by dirt then bacteria builds up into an outbreak.    Statistics say that 3 out of 4 teenagers have acne but even babies can get it.  Triggers include hormones, certain drugs, pollution,  humidity, sweating, greasy personal care products and sugar, but interestingly high fat diets are not necessarily the cause.
  I went to meet Anna of Mobile Beauty Therapy by Anna to review her teenage facial.

Teenage skin is notoriously tricky.  It veers from unscathed to full blown acne, a combination of hormones, lifestyle and environment.  A famous actor – with perfect skin – usually gives teenagers TV advice about skincare but actually, the best guidance is probably from a beauty professional.

I love mobile therapists for several reasons:  they are really good value for money, they’re pretty good or their business wouldn’t survive and they come to you, which is brilliant.  Mobile Beauty By Anna has been established for 5 years and Anna has a great client base covering Horsham and surrounding areas.  Her passion is facials and so I asked her to come and give my 16-year-old son both a facial and a lesson in skin care, as he won’t listen to his mum!

Anna started by relaxing my son who had no idea what to expect.   After giving his skin the once over, she gave her diagnosis of what he was doing well while chatting about his skin concerns.  Anna has a brilliant manner with teenagers and lets them talk in their own time so that she can make a correct assessment on how she can help.

As the cleansing, toning and exfoliating got underway we discussed teenage skin in depth and it’s clear that Anna knows what she’s talking about.  We chatted about how acne needs to be really carefully handled and how she doesn’t give acne sufferers facial massages, as this would be too painful for them.  Likewise, she uses gentle products that don’t strip the skin saying that this is the biggest mistake teenagers make.  Oily skin problems need to be cleansed, but if you strip the oils out with harsh products the skin goes into overdrive to produce more oil, compounding the problem.

Anna used a skin care tool to extract a few blackheads and we discuss day-to-day challenges for teenagers.  For girls, Anna thinks it’s taking make up off at night so that the skin is really clean.  For boys, it’s keeping hair products off the face (as these can cause spots) and washing their faces after sport.  Apparently, the sweat does several bad things to skin including helping dirt physically stick to the face, the salt in swear aggravates skin irritations and sweat blocks pores, none of which helps keep skin clear.

She finishes with one of her favourite products for teenage skin, Hit The Spot by Dermalogica, a sulphur based cream that helps clear breakouts while reducing redness and inflammation. 

Once Anna’s left I ask my son what he thought of the experience.  Clearly he won’t talk about it with his friends – not cool – but he does volunteer, “Anna’s nice.  That was better than I thought”.  In teenage speak, that’s a result.

 Anna shared her top tips:
  • ·      Teenagers – watch shirt collars on school uniforms as the rubbing around the neck can create acne
  • ·      Antibiotics – consider seeing your doctor as antibiotics and creams help shift stubborn acne
  • ·      Don’t put your fingers in pots of face cream at any age – you just transfer finger dirt into the cream to be rubbed into your face.  Use a spatula
  • ·      The menstrual cycle can create spots on the chin – try reflexology to help move this pressure.
  • ·      If you have bad acne try a pressure point massage that doesn’t pull the skin but will help release blockages
  • ·      Diet, water & cleanliness can help but true acne is a law until itself.