Tag Archives: ANTI-AGING

The Face Mask That is an Actual Mask: Olay Total Effects

22 Apr

Someone thought this was a good idea.
OLAY mask

I… I don’t even know where to begin. Unless it’s with the addition of a Nightmare on Elm Street tag to go with my Silence of the Lambs look {scroll down, you’ll know it when you see it.}

I… Okay, Olay 7-in-1 Anti-Ageing Total Effects Mask. Love the idea of a thing infused with anti-ageing stuff that you lay on your face, and it’s all like you’re in a spa. Except yesterday was a Working Sunday, and I can’t actually work with this thing on my face — was soooo tempted to put on my specs, total Invisible Woman vibe — and I needed to get this work done, and lying around even for fifteen minutes was not gonna happen.

I ended up converting RGB photos in Photoshop, to CMYK, because you don’t really need sight for that. I will say that the mask didn’t slip a’tall, so, that’s something, I guess.

I — the thing is, I bet this is great in the summer, when you want a blast of chilly on your weather beaten gob. This is cold, like it just came out of the fridge. I also realise that I have a large face, and the thing probably wasn’t actually going to fit anyway, and that the bridge of my nose is the one part of my face that doesn’t need any of the 7 benefits accorded by this BEAUTY Anti Ageing 4treatment, but this did not fit! And I kept trying to make it fit, until I got stuck into the file conversions and — well, I was going to say I forgot about it, but, no. Not possible.

The 7 benefits are: fine line minimisation, moisturisation, spot minimising, tone enhancement, brightening — these last three are very much akin to one another — pore minimising and exfoliation. After you’ve let the youth juice sit on yer face for the fifteen, you then massage the remaining nectar into your skin.

It felt sticky, and smelled of too much fragrance. I did feel refreshed, however, so that was something, too. Two things that were okay. Okay.

My only regret was that it was indeed a Sunday, and the chances of my doorbell ringing were nil. I’d say I’d get some fun running down to the postman in this yoke. I may give this another chance, one in which I am lying in a relaxed state — maybe the gravity will help the mask settle better — but seriously? Needs way more stretchy.

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RRP €19/£16.99

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Haiku Review: VOYA Organic Marine Eye Treatment

17 Apr

Voya’s seaweed treat:
The eyes have it, and also?
Hydrotherm mattress!

I have been fairly blasé about eye creams, eye treatments, and the entire eye area in general. This view {ha, ha} has been altered somewhat since the great Botox/Restalyne adventure. Areas that have been plumped up are now highlighting, in an averse fashion, areas that are not so plump. Which is the first step down the slippery slope to pillow face.

In a bid to delay injections of stuff into the eye area, which just makes me go ‘Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!’, it seems like a good idea to A} start using eye cream, and B} check out a treatment that targets the delicate area, and see what kind of improvements can be made organically.

Organic being the key word when it comes to VOYA. You can read all about their use of seaweed here, and as I’ve said in the past, I adore a good marine-based therapeutic experience. There is nothing like water for healing what ails you, from the physical to the emotional. I was delighted to avail of the leisure centre in the Rochestown Lodge Hotel before my Organic Marine Eye Treatment. Got some laps in, in the 15 metre pool, sat in the steam room, sat in the sauna, sat in the Jacuzzzzzz — ah, God, hot, bubbly water. Best. Thing. Ever.

Already completely relaxed, I entered the hotel spa, Thérèse R Wellbeing and Beauty. I chilled for a bit in the room on the left, and then in the room on the right:

Both proved to be excellent venues for putting up one’s feet and almost falling asleep.

The 45 minute treatment, like all good ones, involves more than the eyeball area. Whilst they were, of course, the focus {ahhhh}, I also got some decolleté action, and a scalp massage. A scalp massage!

Okay, I’m getting ahead of myself.

>First: general cleansing, of the face and the chest area, followed a misting-by-toner, which was great. Christine, the beauty therapist, sprayed it like, four feet over my head, and the anticipation of it wafting down on to my skin was half the pleasure.

>Second: lymphatic massage. Still haven’t really satisified myself as to what the lymphs are, besides glands. I am sure I looked this up before, and probs even posted about it. It has not sunk in. Whatever it is, it felt great when Christine administered it, all around my eye socket and then down to my neck and shoulders.

>Third: Seaweed eye patches. Seaweed eye patches! Now these — I definitely want these for home. The patches are loaded with vitamins, and they were so cooling and soothing… just what I’d like to lay on my lids after a hard day’s blogging. They did their job during my scalp massage, which is just the next best thing ever, after hot bubbly water.

>>>Meanwhile, let us not forget the hydrotherm mattress, which gently supported me, warmly and whooshily, throughout the whole process.

>Finally, the application of VOYA’s Bright Eyes cream. Why does it feel so much more effective when someone else applies it? My eyes looked amazing after, and I never thought I’d ever recommend something like this, but this would be the perfect treatment to get on the day of a big event. I would never recommend doing anything after a treatment, apart from going home and napping, but this was relaxing without being completely … emptying, if you know what I mean? This would be an excellent bridal thing, on the Big Day.

I hope I get into the habit of this eye cream thing. I have, somewhat, since I am testing a bunch for the Herald, and I’m lining up a few that seem to make a difference. We’ll see. {Sorry.}

The VOYA Organic Marine Eye Treatment, €52, is available in spas nationwide, ring VOYA on 071 9168956 for more information.

Okay, Two Words: Hydrotherm Mattress

13 Apr

HYDROTHERM MATTRESS.

So, up I got, onto one of the massage beds in Therese R Wellness and Beauty, in the Rochestown Lodge Hotel, preparatory to receiving Voya‘s latest treatment, and holy wow: the plinth was warm and it was moving.

‘What is this?’ I gasped, and my consultant replied, ‘It’s a hydrotherm mattress.’

A hydrotherm mattress. A mattress that is filled with water that is warm. So you lay there, and whilst your face and decolleté are getting their treat, your whole entire back is warm and floaty.

I will write more after the weekend about the treatment itself, which uses the Irish brand’s Bright Eyes cream, and involves lymphatic massage and seaweed eye patches, but wow, seriously: the HYDROTHERM MATTRESS*.

*Clearly, I have a thing for therapeutic furniture: I waxed lyrical about Zeba Hairdressing’s massage chairs only t’other day. Also, click the link for info regarding their fundraising event this Sunday!

Irish for Youth: Preserve Your Looks with Peat

22 Feb

If there’s one thing about which I can wax lyrical, it’s the smell of burning peat. Out of all the places I have lived here, I’ve only enjoyed an open fireplace once, but I loved, loved, loved burning peat briquettes, and once, even got actual hand-harvested peat straight from a friend’s bog allotment. Or whatever it was called. There’s a special name for it, and I can’t remember.

What is peat, you ask? {Heathen!} It’s a really, really old by-product of decomposed vegetable matter. Which doesn’t sound very appealing, but trust me, once somebody digs it up — it’s mud, basically, but really complex and rich mud — and dries it out, it fires up like a dream, it smells delicious and homey, and it is one of the most relaxing fires to sit before, musing and dreaming.

Now, a company called Ógra {which is… Irish for youth} have brought out a skincare line that speaks to peat’s other amazing properties, that of preservation and healing.

Founded by Bill Kenny, the peat comes straight from the heart of Ireland in  Co Offaly, and has been incorporated across a range that includes all the usual suspects of cleanser, toner, moisturiser, eye, and body cream. For me, though, I am all about cracking into the face mask: not only because of the opportunity to take a scary picture, but also because being able to sit back and relax and let all the peaty benefits sink into my skin over a period of time — well, how relaxing does that sound? Plus, look! It’s a body mask as well! I think I am going to go run a bath…

Before peat is dried out for use in our hearths, the stuff is bursting with essential oils, fatty acids and lipods, all of which help the skin retain moisture, which in turn makes the skin look bloomin’ youthful.

And of course, we all know about the preservative qualities of peat, don’t we?

I don’t plan on keeping this on that long.

And since I need my glasses to type, I’ll catch you up on my opinion later.

Ógra 100% Peat Face and Body Mask, €30.00 (50mls).

The online store can be found here.

Update: Avon ANEW Clinical Resurfacing Expert Smoothing Fluid

16 Feb

I had two treatments after I began testing Avon‘s professional-style exfoliating, microdermabrasing fluid, so I felt like I couldn’t really tell what was going on with my skin.

Additionally, even though I have the hide of a rhino, I didn’t want to be piling on all manner of potions on, because who knew what was working and what was not?

Nevertheless, I do have a few things to say {shock! horror!}, and they are:

> That stopper, there in the cap? I think it has  mind of its own, which is all to the good. No matter how much product I tried to pump into the cap, it only dispensed like, a drop and a half. Which is really all you need. And the directions say as much. But who uses only what they need? Huh? Who? Not me, because if one drop is good, then six must be amazing! Uh, no. And since this really is pro-style, I don’t think using more of something this active is a good idea.

>How do I know it’s active? It makes my face itch. Not in a bad way! In a Hey! I think this is working! way. In the way your skin responds to treatments. That way. Frankly, this is why I stopped using it during the two weeks of many treatments, because it felt as intense {in a good way!} as the product used in the salons.

Hmm, I thought I had more to say. Guess not! Oh: you can use this day or night, and I’m not sure which is best. Use it on fresh, rejuvenated skin in the morning? Or slough off those dead skin cells in your sleep? Obviously I’ll have to give both a try. As ever, will let you know!

Haiku Review: Human+Kind Anti-Ageing Cream

3 Feb

Oh, my God! Oh, wow!
Nature’s Botox how are ya!
Firmness on contact!

There was already a lot to like as far as Human+Kind were concerned:
> They are an Irish brand
> They are deeply interested in making multi-tasking products so that people don’t have to spend a lot of time taking care of their skin
> They have really beautiful packaging
> And last but not least, their products are made from highly concentrated active, natural ingredients.

Me, I don’t care so much that I have a rather complex beauty regime, but I am beginning to give some of the stuff I’ve got a bit of the side eye. What exactly is it made of? What exactly am I putting on my face and hands and body? And is it really working, or just making me smell nice?

At a meeting with the H+K fellas — co-directors and founders Rene van Willigen and Jeroen Proos, and scientist John O’Sullivan — I was impressed by their passion for their product. I mean, you know when someone’s just sellin’ ya something, and when some others are fully invested in their gig. These guys are definitely the latter. The vibe overall was enough to make me interested, especially when I tested wee samples of the various products. Everything felt good, but most importantly, they smelled good. I’d use more all-natural products if they didn’t smell so weird, like the interior of a health food store. You know? That oat-y smell. It’s so unappealing.

I was tidying up today, and since I’m so behind, I was going to put the sample of the  Anti-Ageing Cream in the queue, and get to it whenever; instead, I decided to put some on my face, because I was just standing there, and my face was not otherwise employed, so why not? A pump or two, and I moved to go make some more coffee, and I swear to God, maybe three seconds had passed, and I felt instantaneous — instantaneous — tightening and firming everywhere I had applied the stuff. I think I actually stood stock still for a second? In disbelief? Or, as if my moving around had affected, what, rate of absorption?

The secret ingredient is achmella oleracea, which would have made a killer second line to my poem had it been just one syllable shorter. The flowering herb is found in South America and it’s known as ‘nature’s botox’. Now, I’ve never had Botox, and I’m feeling confident that with stuff like this available, I won’t be lead astray by my vanity to the Botox office, or wherever you get it.

It’s all I can do to not just sit here all day slapping this stuff all over my face.

Then there’s the multitasking aspect, meaning you can use this as an eye cream, a moisturiser, an anti-wrinkle cream and a night cream. Because I’m in the process of testing a couple of other face things, I’m going to concentrate on using this on my neck and decolletage — I’ll let you know how I get on.

As far as the science-y bits go, I’ll get back to that later as well. H+K have a great blog, full of info on their all-natural approach. Why not get it straight from the horse’s mouth?

So, Human+Kind: it looks nice, smells nice, and works considerably more than nicely. Can’t want to try the rest of the line!

€29.95

Vitamin See: Jan Marini C-ESTA® Rejuvenating Eye Treatment

30 Jan

Oh, the world of punny, eye-related headlines is vast, but this one is a natural, as is the treatment itself.

There is nothing, if you’re me, and maybe if you’re you as well! like walking into a spa. Everything about a good spa is designed and organising to the n-th degree of relaxation and rejuvenation: muted, clean colours, the burning of aromatherapy candles, the mellow yet friendly demeanour of the staff, the light chatter of women who are taking some time out for their self-care.

Based in Baggot Street, essentials Beauty & Skincare have all that in spades. They’ve also got several floors of an elegantly appointed building and unlike many days spas in which I have been treated, they saw to the soundproofing and be extension, to the comfort of their clients. Seriously, there is nothing more annoying then one’s mellow harshed by continually closing doors, chatter in the hallways, and one time, the sound of a fellow bliss-seeker taking a shower. There was no singing involved, but still.

Anyway! None of that nonsense at essentials. Additionally, the introduced me to a product line that I’d yet to come across, that of Jan Marini. Loads of celebs use her products — Cher, who I adore, is a big fan — and so I reckoned that the products hail from the West Coast. I was right! I love being right. When I was offered the chance to review the C-ESTA® Rejuvenating Eye Treatment, I happily accepted, keen to learn about a whole new bunch of products. When I was told it was only 30 minutes, I thought, ‘Feh, what’s the use of that?’

In this case, I am more than happy to be wrong.

The C-ESTA® line takes vitamin C as its main ingredient. Also involved is DMAE, which is short for Dimethylethanolamine,’a potent anti-oxidant, cellular mediator and product penetration enhancer.’ To parse: anti-oxidants wipe out free radicals, which inspire chemical reactions that are not beneficial, in this case, to the skin; cellular mediator, OMG, don’t even go down that WIki rabbit hole {scarred for life}, but let’s logic it and say that it gets the product to the cells that need, and doesn’t it waste its time with those that don’t?; and the last, well, this makes sure the product really gets down under the surface of the skin.

I said I was going to make more of an effort with this science-y stuff, so there you go.

The pleasure upon entering the warm, lowly-lit, and utterly relaxing treatment room needs not be parsed. Yay, for the warm towels; yay, for the terry-cloth boob-tubey thing I wore beneath the towels; yay, for the pleasant, lute-y music that played.

And yay hurray for the treatment itself, which, as delivered by Martha, was comprehensive, soothing, and did all the rejuvenating as promised. My skin was cleansed with C-ESTA® Cleansing Gel, followed by a ten minute micro mask for the eyes. While the mask did its thing, I got a massage to aid lymphatic drainage with C-ESTA® Cream; this was follwoed by applications of Eye Repair Concentrate and Intervention Eye Cream, respectively. Lastly, Antioxidant Face Protectant was swept on, and the interlude was at an end.

At some stage, there was a shoulder and upper back massage. Sigh.

Now, when I was in the States for the holidays, I saw endless commercials for this product that makes your eyes bigger? It’s like tape that you put on your eyelids? Whoa. As someone who has a very thin lid, I could understand the motivation behind this product, but: tape on your eyelids?!?! After this treatment, I looked like I had had an eye lift, the same sort of look the eyelid tape was producing. That is pretty amazing.

I will say that I felt some serious tingling during part of the process, and if you have sensitive skin, I would make sure that I got a patch test or something. The thing is, my skin can take just about anything, and if I felt an intense tingle, than those of you with more delicate complexions might like to ask a few questions first.

I was dewy and bright-eyed for days. I also felt like my skin didn’t need anything else doing to it for at least three of those days, so that is pretty impressive.

If you’d like to brighten your outlook on life, I recommend this, and the whole essentials day spa experience.

The Jan Marini CESTA Rejuvenating Eye Treatment is priced at €45 for one 30 min treatment with a recommended package of six treatments to be carried out over 6 weeks, usually priced at €270 but on special offer at €225

For further information on Jan Marini treatment and products, please contact essentials Beauty & Skincare Clinic, 7 Upper Baggot Street, Dublin 4, (01) 6683036 / info@essentials.ie

Haiku Review: Avon ANEW Clinical Resurfacing Expert Smoothing Fluid

25 Jan

Microdermabrasion!
A more perfect haiku word
Has never been known.

Oh, words: I love words, and one of my favourite words is ‘slough’. Oh wow, I am saying it over and over to myself and it is just the most amazing feeling. Slough slough slough. It’s the owwwwwwww part, and the visual of the silent ‘gh’ that gets me. {This is turning out to be a week of strange posts…}

Oh, but it is so satisfying. Other faves include: waft, bedizen, and smooch.

I’ve been researching microdermabrasion, and that’s how I came across slough, as in: sloughing off dead skin cells. I went a’googlin’ because I got some Avon ANEW Clinical Resurfacing Expert Smoothing Fluid {whew! What a mouthful!} yesterday and was immediately taken by the notion of being able to self-treat my complexion in a microdermabrasional kind of way.

I don’t think I’ve ever had a clinical treatment — surely I’d remember? It involves machines, which is both scary and thrilling; one can go so far as to buy oneself a machine for at-home use. I have worked professionally as a gadget reviewer, and I am a techno-magpie: I use stuff for a while, and then I get bored, so I can’t imagine that a machine would do me any good in the long run. So in Avon’s offering we’ve got a little bit ‘o’ complexion transformation in a bottle, which seems as simple as could be.

Too simple?  The whole point of microdermabrasion {I am getting tired of typing that word} is to SLOUGH off those dead skin cells, in turn reducing the appearance of fine lines, increasing the softness of your skin, and eradicating acne. Can a mere lotion deliver the same benefit?

We’ll see, because I would very much like this to work. According to one of the Avon R&D bods, the product ‘mimic[s] the physical action of microdermabrasion treatments, with less irritation.’ Or, to hark back to my favourite word, less owwwwww.

Will keep you posted.

€32.50/£28/$38

Haiku Review: Perricone MD Cold Plasma

17 Jan

Eek: it does feel cold
Plasma: that’s to do with blood
Why’s it smell like fish?

Whenever I try a product for the first time, I always assume it’s a new thing entirely. Like, never been seen before on this earth. Tiny bit arrogant, I’ll admit, but since the existence of this site pretty much declares my obsession with beauty products, I can kinda see why I’d be so surprised to know that Perricone MD has been around since 1998. I’d never heard of them before!

Uh, maybe I didn’t know about them because their products are not exactly going to be found in the bargain bin. I recently got my paws on a serving of Cold Plasma, and as you’ll see from the prices below, this stuff ain’t cheap.

It is perhaps worth reiterating that it lasts longer than most products that come in a jar that holds 1 fluid ounce/30mls. It’s a truism, and I think I said it yesterday, too, but stuff that costs more lasts longer. Having said that, I quail at the thought of having to buy this for myself.

The thing is, though… it feels good on my face. You get a wee scoop with which to apply the prescribed amount; the coverage is is perfect, and it really does feel cold, every single time! The product is purported to be something of a miracle worker and is designed to tackle ‘wrinkles, enlarged pores, dryness, redness, discoloration, uneven skin tone, impurities, loss of firmness, loss of smoothness, and loss of radiance.’ Whew! if it cooked my dinner, I’d marry it.

When I use it, I have to chase it with moisturiser immediately. As the label recommends this anyway, I don’t see that it’s problem, or a flaw in the product. Despite earnest googling, I can’t find out why the stuff feels cold, or why it smells slightly fishy. The latter may be because it’s natural, and natural products smell a bit funky, because of the lack of chemical intervention. I’ve also used the brand’s No Foundation Foundation SPF 30, which is terrific, but also has a bit of a pong. {It is terrific because it is the sort of foundation that makes it look like you are not wearing any foundation at’all. I am inspired to go into depth on this at a later date.} Anyway, the unique fragrance takes some getting used to. I’m not sure about the plasma part either, something to do with the Universe and ionic suspension? Here’s a link to Vanity Fair that may help. My takeaway from that is the everyone’s cells will use the product to its best effect, which is super cool.

The philosophy behind the brand is a sensible one: you can’t improve the quality or your skin, or indeed your ageing process, by topical alone. Perricone’s got a whole system, including healthy eating, and supplements {hmm..} Honestly, self-care doesn’t make sense unless it is holistic. I’m personally interested in these ideas, and if you are too, can read all about the good doctor here, and on his blog, thedailyperricone.com.

Plus! If you like quizzes and flawless interface, go take the quiz here!

^See what I did there?

€150/£120/$150

Sweet Sixteen: Lancôme Visionnaire Advanced Skin Corrector

28 Dec

I don’t believe in Santa. I don’t believe in the Tooth Fairy. And I don’t believe in products that claim to make your skin younger and radiant. I simply don’t. I believe that if you start on a regimen early enough, you can tend to your skin in such a way as allows it to age gracefully, but this whole thing about ‘making’ your skin look younger? Feh.

{We’ll get into peels at some later stage, because they do the business, but for now, let’s sit up here on the high horse, ‘kay?}

I mean, the skin is deep and complex, and I’m no scientist, but a topical that makes a measurable difference? Yeah, right; and next you’ll be telling me that boob creams work. Continue reading

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