Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Hair be gone: Tria Hair Removal Laser 4x

The woe that is dealing with body hair, especially when you live in a warm climate and wear skirts/dresses all the time. No longer do I have the security of jeans, or the excuse of cold winters, to be lazy when it comes to hair removal. 
I've owned and being using on and off, the Tria Hair Removal Laser 4X for a year, an at-home machine you can use for the long-term removal of body hair. You can use it on your upper lip, chin, arms, underarms, legs and bikini area. 
Tria Hair Removal 4x review
I've mentioned in the past that I have had IPL on my underarms (link). I left the UK with it about 75% gone, growing slowly and weakly to the extent that I could ignore it because you would have to be very close to notice. The intention was to use this machine to finish the job, and work on my legs too. 
Briefly, laser hair removal works by using a “diode” laser to permanently disable the hair follicle. It relies on there being a colour difference between the skin and hair follicle, so the lighter you are with the darker the hair; the better. People with light and medium toned skin can generally use this, but any darker than that and you risk doing damage as the skin absorbs too much of the light. A handy function of the Tria is that it has a built-in sensor on it and if your skin is too dark or unsuitable it will not even switch on for you to able to use it.
The machine retails for around £375 – I got mine from QVC and took advantage of easy-pay. This, of course, is pricey, but considering the cost of laser hair removal in beauty salons, I was paying £60 a session just for my underarms, it quickly becomes apparent that it's actually quite cost effective. 
Although the literature on it says to use every two weeks, the presenters on QVC said you can use it once a week safely. The device is handheld and is really easy to use. Once you unlock it, you choose between the five intensity setting (I vary depending on the body area, and my pain threshold that day) and then you turn it on and meticulously make sure to zap the area of hair you want to get rid of. You need to shave the area first, I like to do this a day or two before (my theory is I want hairs to be in the active growth phase when I do the treatment). To make sure I cover all areas I use a white eyeliner to mark out boxes to work on and then cross them out as I go through. 
The downside? You need patience, not just when using it for each session but between uses too. Half a leg can easily take me an hour if I go about my super meticulous way and it goes from fully charged to flat in about half an hour. So you can see this quickly becomes a whole night activity.
Tria Hair Removal 4x review
I've never experienced any irritation after using the machine, and even after using the highest setting my skin has never burned, which I did experience with IPL treatment.

I'm currently in the phase where my lower legs are extremely patchy, in parts the hair has gone completely and I even notice the difference in treating these areas as, regardless of the setting, I don't feel anything when I pulse in that area. Presumably because there is nothing to work on.

It is rewarding to see that in so few treatments I am getting results and now it really is just a case of patience and making the time to keep treating the areas that remain. If you would like me to keep you updated, let me know.

The Tria is available to buy directly from Tria, and from Selfridges and Space NK

Thursday, 2 April 2015

NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer

Something happened as I neared 30: dark circles appeared. Actually, I think they were always there I just never noticed, or cared, and now concealing under my eyes is one of the things I can't skip on a daily basis.

This concealer from Nars is hands down the best I have ever used. The application, the wear, there isn't one area that it falls short for me.
I use the shade Custard (medium 1), which is a great match for my skin tone. It both brightens my under eye area and I can also use it to conceal blemishes.

There are a few things I love about this concealer:

1. It's creamy. Yes, the name gives that away and because it is creamy it is hydrating and easy to blend into the skin, which is particularly important for me for anything applied under my eye. Once it is there, you barely notice it, it looks and feels natural.

2. The colour doesn't oxidiseI hate to think of the number of times I tried to apply a concealer to blemishes alone only to end up highlighting them by having orange spots on my face.

3. It doesn't crease. This is a first for me with any under eye product, I was even told by a makeup artist trying to sell me her product that I wouldn't find a brand that doesn't crease under the eye (surprise, surprise I didn't walk away with that concealer).

4. It is buildable. On a day to day basis, I apply this only lightly and one layer for medium coverage, but it can be built up for a fuller coverage.

5. It stays put. On the most part, on particularly humid days I need a touch of powder to help.

I would recommend heading down to your local counter to have a colour match, there is a very generous shade collection so no one should be excluded. Having a colour match also gives you the opportunity to to just let it sit on the skin for a while, I was instantly convinced and had to purchase a back up since Nars is not available in the Middle East and it seems to frequently be out of stock in the UK with the much deserved hype that surrounds out.

Finally a brief note on the packaging, it is simple but elegant and most importantly the doe foot applicator makes it easy to apply directly on spots and under the eye. I use a brush to blend, but fingers work just as well.

The Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer costs £22 and can be purchased from Space NK, Selfridges and Liberty. I heard rumours that Nars was coming back to the Middle East, but only in Dubai (of course).

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Urban Decay Naked Skin Beauty Balm

Having stripped back my skincare and makeup routine I am trying to do my best to keep my skin in good condition. On the most part it is working, which means that when I do stray from the norm I can tell immediately what has affected me.

The culprit this week Urban Decay Naked Skin Beauty Balm a five-in-one beauty balm that is meant to minimizes the appearance of pores, lines, wrinkles, and redness instantly and result in skin that looks firmer after eight weeks of use (I'm doubtful).
I actually never intended to purchase this, I was actually after Urban Decay's face primer, but after a short chat with the sales assistant she convinced me this would be a better option since I am living in a warm climate and my skin is not dry. The inclusion of SPF a bonus.

I used it daily for a good few months after moving here then stopped for a few reasons. Rather than BB cream this falls into the tinted moisturiser category for me, it provides next to no coverage, and only a little reduction of redness. I also didn't notice much in the way of pore and line reduction.

It is tinted, and meant to be a universally flattering tone, but I am not convinced. When my skin was lighter it certainly didn't work for me and now with a bit of a tan yet its better, but not great. That said I have never used it alone, only as a primer for either my CC cream or Urban Decay's Naked Skin Foundation.

The texture is lightweight, creamy, and thin (but not runny), it doesn't feel immediately tacky on the skin, and it was easy to blend, but I was certainly aware that I had makeup on. Sadly as a primer I don't think it works that well. I didn't notice anything in the way of staying power of my foundation, if anything maybe that slick feeling it gives made it worse?

A product not doing much I can live with, if anything this is now acts as an overpriced sunscreen (£23.50 for 35ml), but having used it again recently I noticed at the end of the day that I had a lot more redness in the evening and small spots brewing, which suggests a few irritating ingredients in there: and I don't consider myself to have sensitive skin.

It's a shame because regular readers will know I am a huge fan of Urban Decay's Naked Collection, I own most of the products, but me and the BB cream just didn't hit it off. If you want to find out more info, or purchase, click the link!

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