Min's Beauty Equipment: 2013

Sunday, 29 December 2013

My Favourite Nude Lipsticks - YSL Rouge Volupte and L'Oreal Glam Shine

Today I was getting ready to get out and about with my family. I tried to be quick, but my husband was standing there behind me and kept telling me to be quicker. I got so fed up that I decided to make him take some pictures of me just to annoy him a little bit. I said I needed them for my post. So, this is how this post came about.

I am not wearing anything special on my eyes, but I am wearing my favourite nude lipstick by Yves Saint Laurent, which I thought would be quite cool to share with all of you. Also, I love to add a bit of shine on top of the nude YSL lipstick. L'Oreal Glam Shine is great. It adds just the right amount of shine and glamour to my lips, which I have struggled to convey in my photo.

YSL Rouge Volupte lipstick
Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Volupte lipstick
YSL Rouge Volupte nude lipstick with L'Oreal Glam Shine Eternal Beige lip gloss
YSL Rouge Volupte nude lipstick
with L'Oreal Glam Shine Eternal
Beige lip gloss
What do sellers of Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Volupte Shine lipstick say? The Selfridges website says that the lipstick "contains an all-in-one cocktail of lip care, for lips that are increasingly beautiful, comfortable and plump. Protection, comfort, wet-looking shine, homogeneous colour that does not smudge: Rouge Volupte Shine melts on your lips and stay with you for hours of pure pleasure, and unlimited seduction. " Beautiful words, but I have to agree with most of the things said. I love it. It costs around £24 in most shops. I do have to reapply it as it does not stay with you for hours without reapplication. I do not mind it though as nude colour is easy to apply - you don't need to be very accurate like you would with bright colour lipsticks. Most of the time I don't even use a mirror.

L'Oreal Glam Shine Eternal Beige lip gloss
L'Oreal Glam Shine Eternal Beige
lip gloss
What about L'Oreal Glam Shine Eternal Beige lip gloss? Sellers claim that this lip product lasts for up to six hours, which is a bit of an overestimation, but it does not matter that much as reapplying is as easy as applying a lip balm. The Glam Shine is a bit sticky and I don't like that sticky feeling on my lips, therefore, I use a combination of YSL lipstick with this gloss. It feels perfect and I love the way it looks. If you don't mind the stickiness L'Oreal lip gloss looks great on its own. It costs around £3 to £4 in most places online including delivery or £8.65 at Boots.

Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Volupte lipstick together with L'Oreal Glam Shine Eternal Beige lip gloss looks particularly good with dark eye make-up. It's my favourite combination and I always feel very glam when wearing all of this together. If you would like to see what this combination looks like in a video, you are welcome to watch me on YouTube. Please find the video here:

I have pale skin, but I wonder how does nude lipstick look with other skin tones? Do you like and/or wear nude lipsticks?

Monday, 23 December 2013

Micellar Water Bargains: Pure 3-in-1 Cleanser, Toner and Refresher

Yesterday I was walking past Savers when I decided to pop in for a couple of bathroom essentials. My eyes wondered off and I noticed a couple bottles of micellar water.

Pure Micellar Water
Pure 3-in-1 cleanser, toner and
refresher micellar water (150 ml)
and MICELLAR WATER (200 ml)
To those who don't know, micellar water is just another form of a make-up remover, but it is more gentle as it doesn't dry out skin, it is non-greasy and your skin does not require a toner afterwards.

So, the bottles were both priced at £1.99 each. I didn't trust them as I found them to be cheap. Nevertheless, I was curious enough to try these concoctions out. L'Oreal Paris Skin Perfection 3 in 1 Purifying Micellar Solution is the cheapest micellar water at Boots which sells for £3.33 at the moment. All the other micellar waters sell for around £10 at Boots, mainly above this price tag.

I picked up the micellar water by pure and another one. I am not sure what the brand name of this second one is. Is it an unbranded micellar water or micellar water is their brand name? If they are no good at removing make-up, I will mix them up with some oily cleanser of which I have plenty lying around at home. In the very worst case, I'll just throw them out. This is how the two bottles that you can see in the picture on the right appeared on my shelf.

The same night I put them both to test - I cleaned one eye with micellar water by pure, another eye with that other one. To my surprise, they both did a great job, better than L'Oreal micellar solution, which I never found to be outstanding, just good. They both left my skin feeling pleasantly soft and refreshed. I did not feel like I needed to use a toner afterwards. The only problem is that the micellar water on the right hand side of my picture has a strong soapy smell, which I kind of find unacceptable for a make-up remover. I will use it, but I might not buy it again if I can get hold of pure micellar water. It is still a good product though!

The micellar water 3-in-1 cleanser, toner and refresher by pure is amazing. It looks like I got some new favourite for a fraction of the price of my old make-up removers.

What is your favourite way to remove make-up? Do you have any favourite products that are simply a bargain?

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

How to Create Magical Christmas Atmosphere?

Christmas atmosphere
Christmas tree and decorations
Many blogs have been dedicating at least one post to Christmas, so now is my turn. I love the idea of spreading Christmas atmosphere as it brings us all closer and makes the festive season so special.

We must all know by now that it is not just the Christmas day that counts, but the whole preparation and excitement that comes beforehand. The earlier we start, the jollier it gets. Most of us hate winter and a third of it flies by in anticipation and preparation for Christmas.

So, what have I done to make December a jolly month?

    Christmas cards create great festive atmosphere
    Christmas cards with the tall ones received from Santa
  • My kiddies and I wrote letters to Santa. The boy, who is four, took writing his wish list very seriously and he came up with 10 items on the list. Maya, who is two, decided that the best present for her would be a kiss from Father Christmas! Very sweet! Thanks to the Royal Mail, we received a response from Santa!
  • We decorated a Christmas tree and created a few more decorations around the house.
  • Kept a few candles lit most of the time for the ambient and relaxing atmosphere at home.
  • Kept the Christmas tree lights lit in the evenings.
  • Attended a few Christmas parties. I believe that this is the time when we should attend as many parties as possible. Ordinarily, I reject some invitations just because it takes me too long to recover and I have my little ones to care for. It is different before Christmas as this is the time when we should all be together. Now I will make an effort for anyone who I care about as if I don't do it now, then when?
Christmas cards sent to our relatives and friends
Some letters sent to our friends and relatives
  • Sent postcards and a few gifts to my friends and family. Sending e-mails is great and receiving Christmas wishes by e-mail is lovely, but there is something special about hard paper traditional postcards. A lot of us celebrate Christmas because it is a tradition, often without knowing that it is the birth of Jesus that we celebrate. I have not ditched the tradition to celebrate and I don't want to ditch the tradition of sending postcards by post. Paper cards remind me of the people I love during the whole festive season as I often display them as part of my Christmas decorations. Also, other people often appreciate them more as it takes more effort to write a postcard that to send a card electronically.
  • To make it more festive the kids were allowed to eat more sweets than usual. The one thing I would like to improve on is some cookies. I would love to make my own home-made cookies, which I haven't done yet.
  • Played a lot of Christmas songs. One of my favourite songs is Living next door to Alice by Smokie (sorry for some explicit language). Although it is not a Christmas song as such, it always reminds me of Christmas, so for me it is a Christmas song. My music teacher at school would always play this song before the holiday during our music lesson. The teacher was outstanding; he always created amazing Christmas atmosphere in the music room for the festive season with loud music, darkened windows and lots of Christmas decorations. We all sang our favourite Christmas songs and it all felt like we were having a magical party. We always left the classroom feeling wonderful with big smiles on our faces.
  • Most of the time we had our little oil burner lit, Christmassy aroma permeating the room and filling the house with the wonderful scent of white cardamom and mistletoe.
  • Bought some presents early and wrapped them up so we could enjoy the Christmas atmosphere throughout December.
  • Read some Christmas stories for my kids before bedtime.

What else am I planning to do to spread the Christmassy atmosphere?

This beautiful example is from
  • Get some plates decorated with Santa, reindeer and other Christmassy stuff and use them throughout the remaining days of December until Christmas.
  • Wake up my kids with the Ho Ho Ho or a Jingle Bells song on Christmas day.

Final word

Do you celebrate Christmas? What are the things that made your run up to Christmas special? Did you get ready for Christmas early or you wait for the last minute?

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

How to Floss Your Teeth Properly?

As my head is spinning with all the Christmassy stuff and I am really struggling to cook up any great ideas for a post, I decided to talk about my favourite tooth floss and my oral hygiene experience from the past.

Dental hygiene in the old Soviet Union days

Dental care routine - smile
Some of you may already know that I am from Lithuania. I was born in the soviet era and I am a third and last child in our family, which means that my parents are quite old now. I don't know what it is but there is something wrong with the oral hygiene of those people who were born and/or raised in the soviet times. There is an incredible lack of knowledge about simple things that seem to be obvious to everyone else these days. When I was a kid, nobody taught me to brush my teeth. Toothbrushes were not used that often by anyone in our family and, believe me, my family was not that unique.

I was told that an apple would clean my teeth or using baking soda to rinse my mouth once in a while would kill all the gems. Nobody ever enforced any rules onto me, so I lived happily eating lots of sweets and… going to the dentist VERY often: with swollen cheeks, root canals needing treatment and so on. In the old days there were no anaesthetics and there were always VERY long queues to see a dentist. No wonder! While waiting at the reception you could always hear somebody screaming from pain of having their teeth drilled, and every time you heard a drill shivers would start going right through your body. Brrr… By the time you reached the dentist chair your clothes would be drenched with cold sweat from fear.

Once at the dentist, the dentist will fix all the holes, but everyone seemed to keep tight lips regarding any advice. I cannot remember a single practitioner ever giving me advice regarding dental care or oral hygiene. Given that I was a kid I think I would have benefited from a bit of bollocking.

Well, now this is the history which left me with a lot of fillings. Thank god, I was gifted with a set of teeth that are fairly well shaped, so I still have a reasonably looking smile.

In the old days it was an unheard thing that I would go to the dentist and have nothing done to my mouth. I always needed at least a few fillings. Now I still struggle to trust my dentist if he says that I don't need any work done and my teeth are fine. He says: "See you in six months" and I say: "Are you sure? Seriously? You're sure you checked my mouth properly?". Once I even went to another dentist just to check that the first one had done a good job at checking up my teeth.

What is my current dental routine?

I still eat lots of sweets, but I do try to brush my teeth as often as I can. Also, I am obsessed with flossing my teeth. I floss them after every meal if I have a chance. Sometimes I go to the toilet and floss my teeth there if I am in a place other than my own home. A mouthwash is a must in my teeth care routine, at least twice a day.

I haven't changed my eating habits, but thorough and diligent tooth care seems to be making a huge difference.

How to floss properly?

Colgate interdental tooth floss
Colgate Interdental tooth floss
Take a generous amount of tooth floss, wrap it around your index fingers, hold it tight between your thumbs and index fingers, move the floss up and down, gliding along the side of each tooth, curve the floss around the base of each tooth, making sure you did beneath the gum line. Use clean sections of floss as you move from tooth to tooth. Continue flossing until you have cleaned between all of your teeth. Rinse with mouth wash. This advice comes from Colgate website.

For those little concave areas that are hard to reach with a tooth floss you could supplement your oral hygiene with Waterpik, which is a home device that uses stream of water to remove plaque and food debris from between your teeth and gum line.

Best dental floss

An unwaxed woven dental floss removes plaque best, but it can only be used between teeth that have lose to normal contact.

How to floss properly
Colgate Interdental tooth floss
Tight contact area between teeth requires a different kind of floss as an unwaxed floss would get stuck between teeth, tear or fray. All my teeth are very tight, therefore, an unwaxed dental floss is not an option for me. I use Colgate Interdental floss. In my opinion, it is the best tooth floss on the market for my type of teeth. I have tried most of the tooth floss in Boots and major supermarkets; Colgate Interdental floss seems to be the best for me by a big margin.

Some marketeers try to push the idea that Waterpik is the best way to floss your teeth, but the reality is that you will not be able to remove that heavily stuck meat in between your tight teeth with Waterpik. Also, if you use the highest setting you risk pushing the bacteria deeper into the gum line instead of out of the gum line. Waterpik can be a good complimentary product to your oral hygiene, but not a replacement for an ordinary tooth floss.

Final word

What is your oral hygiene? Do you floss? What oral hygiene products do you like or use?

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Scholl Express Pedi Hard Skin Remover and CCS Foot Care Cream Review

A lot of bloggers have been talking about pedicure and reviewed various products to keep their feet skin smooth and soft. It made me think about my own feet that probably have some dry rough skin that I have not removed for ages. Well, it's not summer now, so why bother? I can wait another few months before I start worrying about my hard skin on feet.

Feet before and after Scholl Express Pedi hard skin remover and CCS Foot Care Cream
My foot before and after sanding it with Scholl Express Pedi hard
skin remover and applying CCS Foot Care Cream
A few days ago I went to Boots and I saw electric Scholl Express Pedi hard skin remover and my opinion about my pedi changed. I wanted the device and I had to have it. If someone else looks after their feet, why shouldn't I? To deal with my rough and dry skin I also needed some foot cream, so I bought Swedish formula CCS Foot Care Cream.

The first reason for my purchase was the fact that Scholl Express Pedi is an electric device. I hate grating skin on my feet with anything that resembles sand paper. The second reason is that I had that wonderful shop assistant who had been helping me with my other purchases. The lady thought that the device was a good investment. It is not difficult to convince me!

How do you get hard skin on your feet?

The pressure on your feet from walking makes the skin harden. The body tries to protect itself that way as harder skin is able to withstand more pressure and friction.

There is nothing wrong with stiff skin on your feet, but most owners of such feet do not like the way their feet look.

There is no way to stop heels and soles from getting stiff. Thick hard skin will keep coming back, but the more standing up, walking or running you do, the quicker it will get hard again.

Using a foot cream or a moisturiser will help you keep soft and smooth feet for longer. Also, regular use of devices such as electric Scholl Express Pedi hard skin remover will keep your feet in good condition.

Scholl Express Pedi hard skin remover review

Scholl Express Pedi hard rough dry skin electric remover
Scholl Express Pedi electric
hard skin remover
So, today is the day when my feet received a makeover. I washed them, dried them out and got ready to use the Scholl Express Pedi hard skin remover. The instructions say that you need to soak your feet before using the device, but I didn't do that. Regardless, it worked perfectly fine.

It's a very gentle battery operated electric rough hard dry skin removing device for feet. Every time you press harder the head stops spinning, which I think is good as the device works perfectly fine without the need to apply any pressure. Unlike all my old feet care non-electric devices, using Scholl product did not feel like grating my feet, it felt totally natural.

Scholl Express Pedi electric hard dry skin remover in use
Scholl Express Pedi hard skin remover in action
Some people complain about the hygiene of Scholl Express Pedi hard skin remover as all the stiff skin that gets shaved off falls on the floor and the device gets covered with the dead skin dust, but I don't find this as a problem. Do your pedi in the bathroom and simply blow all the dead skin off the device, then there will be no problem.

I could do with this hard skin remover having an electricity plug as I hate changing batteries. As soon as the batteries run out for any device, it takes me ages to get them replaced, but it's not a deal breaker.

For those who want to know the price, it cost me £30 for Scholl Express Pedi hard skin electric remover at Boots. Two Scholl Express Pedi Replacement Rollers cost £12.50. Some people complain that it is too expensive as the rollers wear off too quickly. I don't have an opinion on this as I have only used Scholl Express Pedi hard skin remover once. After one aggressive use the rollers still look in perfect condition.

CCS Foot Care Cream for rough dry feet skin - review

CCS Foot Care Cream for rough dry hard feet skin
CCS Foot Care Cream
After I have sanded away the dead skin with Scholl Express Pedi hard skin remover, I applied CCS Foot Care Cream. This is an amazing cream. It's not too thin and it's not greasy. It's something in between, which is what I like. Feet felt fresh and moisturised. The skin after both the skin removing device and the foot care cream felt soft, nourished and smooth.

CCS Foot Care Cream is meant to manage and help prevent dry, rough and stiff feet, which, I believe, it does very well. The reviews of the product are very positive and confirm that it is the best product that most of the reviewers ever tried for their feet. The only complaint that people have is the price. It is one of the more expensive foot care creams. It costs £8 at Boots. It's not a big problem for me as I am not religious about applying foot care products on my skin, so one 175 ml tube will last me ages.

Here you can watch a demo on how to use Scholl Express Pedi on feet to remove hard skin:

Final Word

I found my perfect products to keep my feet in great condition until summer months.

Do you have any favourite foot care products? What is your foot care regime? Do you look after your heels and soles throughout the year or leave pedi only for summer months?

Friday, 29 November 2013

Nivea vs Estee Lauder Review or Cheap vs Expensive Skincare

Should teenagers use face creams?

I started using face creams when I was a teenager. The products I bought were always middle range on the price scale as I thought that taking care of my skin at this young age would keep me wrinkle free for longer. I did not have acne spots nor any other skin problems, so wrinkles were the only reason for my strict skin care regime. How I wish that I spent all that money on something else!

I am not against skin care, quite the opposite, but using a cream at the age of 14 is simply unnecessary, particularly when your only concern is delaying the ageing!

So, what does a face cream do to your skin?

Even later in life each time I started using a new cream I thought that it was amazing. It evened out my fine lines and made my skin look good, so I thought that it was fighting ageing. The result was always seen almost immediately, i.e. the next morning after application of the cream. How come it only took one day to make my skin wrinkle free? Did it rebuild collagen and elastin in one day? No, but I knew nothing about collagen and elastin at a time. I saw something happening and I thought it was doing that anti-aging thing. The truth is that it takes weeks to months for collagen to regenerate. If something is happening to my skin it does not mean that it is turning back the clock.

Estee Lauder The Idealist, Advanced Time Zone, Night Repair creams and serums
Estee Lauder skin care, creams and serums
So, what does a face cream do to my skin? Most of the time, a good face cream is just a well constructed moisturiser which smoothes down shedding cells and fills in the gaps between the remaining dead cells which creates the impression of smoothness. Also, moisturisers may make the skin feel smoother by filling holes in the top layer of the skin through swelling.

Nivea vs Estee Lauder or cheap vs expensive skincare

A month ago I decided to ditch all the expensive creams and serums and replace them with cheap Nivea creams, just out of curiosity. I wanted to see the difference between the lower end products and expensive skin care.

Nivea Rich Regenerating Night Cream and Moisturising Day Cream
Nivea Rich Regenerating Night Cream and
Rich Moisturising Day Cream
After I stopped using Estee Lauder serums and creams and replaced them with Nivea range my skin started to look noticeably worse immediately (I mean within a day or two). What it means is that creams only work on the appearance of the skin. Estee Lauder range was making my skin look prettier, but it does not mean that the effect was permanent. A better looking skin does not mean that it is renewed from within nor that the effect is long lasting, which is what I thought before.

So, what do I think of Nivea vs Estee Lauder? I definitely vote for Estee Lauder range of products, because they feel nice on my skin, they are non greasy, the consistency of the creams and serums is lovely and they do smooth out the fine lines. Unfortunately, it is all a temporary fix.

Some people swear by Nivea products. They love all their creams and think that there is nothing better on the market for any price. I personally think that Nivea's products hardly do anything to my skin, except for making it greasy (Rich Regenerating Night Cream) or give sun protection (Rich Moisturising Day Cream has SPF 15). Obviously sun protection should not be understated. My skin looks the same whether I use Nivea products or I use nothing. After application of Estee Lauder serum and/or cream my skin does look and feel better.

Who may benefit from my story?

I wanted to share this story, because I thought there were more people who correlated temporarily smoother skin with cream's anti-ageing qualities.

I am not against spending money on expensive creams and I am not suggesting that cheap creams are just as good, but I think it is important that people know what they are paying for. If temporarily modified appearance is a good enough reason for you to splash out, then there is no reason why you shouldn't do exactly that.

If you are a teenager and you want to delay the ageing, invest into a sun cream and this will be more than enough. Often money is a scarce resource at this young age, so it's worth knowing how not to waste it on something that is nothing more than a disillusion.

Final word

I hope you found this article interesting. If so, you may want to read more about anti-aging creams and moisturisers under this link Anti-aging Anti-wrinkle Creams - Do They Work?

Now I would like to hear your opinion. What do you think about anti-aging creams? What are your favourite ones? Anything else you would like to share?

Monday, 25 November 2013

Moisturising Bath Bombs Don't Dry Out Skin

Bath bomb from www.quinessence.com
Lavender bath bomb

What are bath bombs?

Bath bombs are a mixture of chemicals and sometimes essential oils that are hard pressed to form a ball (sometimes it comes in a different shape). They are used to add scent and colour to bath water, which creates ambient atmosphere, soothes away stresses and relaxes your mind. Once they are placed into water they start fizzing, which lasts for the duration of a few minutes. The fizzing effect adds to the atmosphere, creating amazing spirit in the bathroom. Some luxurious bath bombs have a moisturising effect.

My relaxation bath experience

When my husband went out to a gig last night, I invited my awesome friend around for a girly night. While sipping champagne and eating mouth-watering kebabs we were chatting about work and how much we needed to make more time for ourselves.

Lovely christmassy smell from my oil burner reminded me of my long anticipated relaxation bath experience with my lush bath bomb. We moved in to this new house more than a year ago and I have not had a bath yet, which is something that I did on a regular basis in the past. What a shame! This needs to change. Taking a shower all the time and not once a bath indicates how I started to neglect myself. I told this to my friend and she jumped in to tell me her story.

Lavender bath bomb from www.quinessence.com
Bath bomb
Sacha, who lives next door to me, has only a bath and no shower in her house, so she fills in her large bath every evening, lights up a candle and throws a bath bomb in. Every night she has this wonderful relaxing experience all on her own. She literally thinks about nothing, just stares into the burning candle and enjoys the moment. Unfortunately, recently she had to stop using bath bombs, because they were making her skin very dry and she couldn't put up with it anymore. She normally bought her bath bombs from the local shop.

I wondered what experience I would have from the luxurious bath bomb that is full of essential oils and is meant to moisturise skin.

Fizzing bath bomb from www.quinessence.com
Bath bomb in water
Today I cleaned my bath, removed all the bottles of shampoo, conditioners and other stuff that tends to accumulate and clutter the bathroom. I brought in my oil burner, that with the lovely smell, and lit a few tea candles. It looked lovely, the atmosphere in my bathroom was very relaxing and romantic. I couldn't wait to get in.

Home spa with candles
Relaxation bath
The water was nice and warm, so I climbed in. Unfortunately, the bath was not full yet, so I had to keep the tap on. To my surprise cold water started running out of the tap. After I had been patiently waiting for the water to warm up the realisation kicked in that this was not going to happen, so I turned the tap off.

I already had my lush bath bomb in, which was gently fizzing and creating even more relaxing atmosphere. Could I have done with warmer water and a full bath? Definitely, but I was enjoying the moment anyway. The candles were making me melancholic and the smell of the water with a beautiful moisturising bath bomb inside was making me totally relaxed.

It took about 15 minutes for the bath bomb to fully melt. After another 10 or so minutes I felt fully rejuvenated and ready to get out.

Enjoying home spa with a bath bomb
Enjoying home spa with a bath bomb

My skin did not feel dry at all, quite the opposite, it felt well moisturised. The description of the product on the www.quinessence.com website was accurate and I was rather satisfied with my experience. I am comparing this product with the products that I have never tried before (this was my first bath bomb ever!), but this amazing bath bomb must be of better quality. I have very dry skin, especially on my legs. It always feels worse after the shower, but this time it felt totally moisturised and pleasant.

Do you use moisturising bath bombs or just ordinary ones? What is your bath bomb or relaxation bath experience? Did you ever have to have a shower in cold water? Please share your experience. I would love to hear.

Monday, 18 November 2013

Worst Addiction That Damages Looks - Your Vote

There was a day when I thought that plastic surgery was the most damaging addiction when we talk about beauty. Then I saw a picture of a woman who was injecting cooking oil into her face (well, it's also a consequence of her plastic surgery addiction, but taken to the next level), and then Patricia who thinks that looking like a brown leather bag from sunbed overuse is beautiful. I realised then that the list went on and on. The one thing I would like to know is which one of the addictions you would want the least - I know all of them freak most of the people out!

Some people gamble, others are addicted to sex and lots of other things, but these problems seem to be reversible if a person decides to change. I have compiled some pictures of the most shocking addictions that seem irreversible if too far gone. Please vote by saying which one you think is the most horrific. If you have anything to add to the list, please let me know in a comment. I am sure there are stories that I have not come across, and it would be great to hear them.

1. Plastic surgery addiction. Jocelyn Wildenstein invested millions of pounds to look like a wild cat in an attempt to stay attractive for her husband.

 Plastic surgery disasters - Jocelyn Wildenstein

2. Drugs. The beautiful pop star Whitney Houston did not look her former self after she became addicted to crack-cocaine. She passed away at the young age of 48!

 Famous drug addicts - Whitney Houston

3. Tanorexia. The world's first tanorexic Patricia Krentcil. This is not the worst picture of her!

 Woman addicted to sunbeds - tanorexic Patricia Krentcil

4. Alcoholism. I wish I had thought of this article when I was in Lithuania this summer. I could have taken some shocking photos, as there seem to be loads of alcoholics there these days. I didn't, so we'll have to be satisfied with this picture of Madonna's homeless alcoholic brother. Strangely enough this was the best picture that I could find when I typed something like "alcoholics pictures" into Google.

 Madonna homeless brother - alcoholic

5. Injecting cooking oil. The Korean woman who injected cooking oil into her own face to stay beautiful after her cosmetic surgeons refused to do further cosmetic surgeries on her.

 Model injects cooking oil - Hang Mioku

6. Food addict Ricky Naputi, one of the world's fattest men, is bed-ridden. Even if he loses weight, his skin will be permanently stretched.

One of the world's fattest men - Ricky Naputi

To be honest, I personally think that the cooking oil story is the worst, but then I think that it must be awful to be bed-ridden just because you are so fat! Then, what about the drugs and the fact that your life is under a constant threat? I am lost and I want your opinions, so please vote by ticking the box with the scariest addiction for you.

Pick the worst addiction
pollcode.com free polls 

Three more stories you will love

  1. story about a guy who swallowed a tooth crown and how he got it back. It's VERY FUNNY!
  2. weight loss pills - Hoodia and Fat Metaboliser.
  3. Chinese business culture. It's all a real story and it's quite funny too.

If you enjoyed any of these stories, don't forget to share them with your friends! Let them have a laugh...

There are little buttons at the bottom of each article for easy sharing!

Monday, 11 November 2013

Should I Wash My Hair Everyday?


Today I somehow remembered a middle-aged woman praising a young girl at a gym for having beautiful hair. Then the lady started telling her her story: Twenty or thirty years ago she used to abuse her hair by dyeing it and having a regular perm. Her hair became very dry and frizzy and to this day she blames herself for the mistakes that she made as a young woman.

I listened to this conversation and I knew that the old lady was wrong, just as it's incorrect to say that cutting your hair will make your hair grow faster. Obviously, there are myths going around. Therefore, I decided to investigate and share my findings.

Is damage caused to hair permanent?

Once the damage is done, it is done, you cannot reverse it, regardless of how great the shampoo or the conditioner you use is. Nevertheless, this does not affect hair quality in the future. Once new hair is grown and the damaged hair removed: voilé. So, damage is permanent, but only on the hair that is visually seen above the surface of the scalp.

Hair and nails need similar treatment
Hair works a bit like nails. Bad eating habits, exposure to sun will make the nails split; they will become brittle. However, make certain changes to your lifestyle, take some vitamin supplements, eat healthy food, and your nails will become strong and beautiful again. The same applies to hair - look after it and you'll reap what you sow.

Can hair be repaired?

Once damage is apparent, nothing can be done to repair your hair - not even the best of conditioners or any other hair care product can fix it.

Sometimes we hear that a shampoo will repair damaged hair, strengthen it, repair split ends, give a vitamin therapy and etc. It's is impossible to repair damaged hair (maybe only under laboratory conditions). Hair care products and, particularly, conditioners reduce the magnitude of the forces associated with combing and brushing of the hair, especially when it is still wet. Conditioning makes hair feel softer, more moisturised and reduces flyaway hair, thus, increasing shine. This effect is temporary, no permanent change occurs.

So, repairing the damage of your hair and alike is a marketing term, which is not entirely correct.

The surface of a healthy hair

What is the structure of a hair?

A hair consists of a cortex that is surrounded by a few layers of overlapping cells, called "cuticle". The cuticle affects the feel of the hair, i.e. hair shine, combability, etc.

The surface of unhealthy hair
A healthy strand of hair is smooth like baby skin, whilst the damaged hair has cuticle that sticks out like flaking skin. This flaking hair increases combing forces, thus, making combing even more difficult. What's worse: it increases damage caused by combing even more.

How to prevent hair damage?

It is important to use a conditioner after shampooing, particularly if you have chemically treated hair. It can be a rinse-off conditioner, leave-in conditioner, a cream, gel, mousse, lotion, spray mist or anything else that is meant to condition your hair.

How does a conditioner work?

Let's look at this in a very simplified way. Hair is negatively charged. A conditioner is positively charged. The positive charge of the conditioner binds to negative sites on the hair surface, thus stopping the hair from flaking and resulting in a coating of hair fibers.

The more damaged the hair, the more negatively charged it is. This determines what type of conditioner one needs.

The major function of a conditioner is to protect the hair cuticle from grooming damage.

Natural dreads that you get if you don't wash or
comb your hair

Should I wash my hair every day?

Ideally, you wouldn't wash your hair or use hair curlers or straighteners. You don't dye, perm or even comb your hair; it's all bad for it. What would be the result? The result would be: healthy, ugly looking hair that eventually turns into dreads. If this is what you are aiming for, then this is fine. Otherwise, wash it as frequently as you like, but use a conditioner in whichever form you like to minimise damage.

On the right you can see my awesome tour guide in South Africa, who claims that he never washes his hair nor combs it. His hair is slowly turning into naturally forming dreads.

What type of conditioner should you use?

Intensive treatment or deep conditioning gives a higher degree of conditioning. These kinds of products contain higher concentrations of active ingredients that are kept on your hair for longer periods of time prior to rinsing. 

Leave-in products are lighter, but may provide more significant benefits than the rinse-off products as they stay on your hair until it's next washed.

How often should deep conditioning treatment be used?

I thought that deep conditioning hair more frequently was good for me, but I may have been wrong. It's best not to use intensive treatments too often. Obviously, you should follow the provided instructions and use your own common sense. On some hair types positive charge can build up, resulting in limp, unmanageable hair. This is particularly true for untreated, fine hair.

Final Word

I'm hoping this has struck a cord - any personal experiences, don't be shy. :)

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Motivation to Look Good

There are no ugly women

Today I came across this article about Adele in the Daily Mail. It reminded me of something that I heard as a child: "There are no ugly women, there are only women that look after themselves and the ones that don't." This sentence stuck with me to this day.

Daily Mail: Adele on a shopping trip and on the red carpet
It must be true. If we look at Adele's picture on the left we will never think that she is a beautiful woman, but if we try to analyse her face features, a rather attractive woman appears in front of us. A little bit of make-up, better hair style, nicer clothes will turn her into a princess in no time. Obviously, her red carpet looks are a bit more than a little bit of make-up.

How do we motivate someone to look after herself?

So how do we motivate women to look after themselves? I am sure it is hard to find time for make-up when you have a little child like Adele does, but there must be something in between her shopping-trip look and the red carpet appearance.

Reading lesser known blogs may help

For me, reading a lot of small beauty and fashion blogs helped. It is not usually the same with popular blogs. Big names often talk about celebrities and sometimes they forget normal people. It is nice to dream about fairy tales, but at the end of it we all want something better for ourselves. It is pointless to compare oneself with a celebrity as you will always find an excuse as to why they have a better shot at looking better. Small bloggers are often more down-to-earth and more personal. They are just like you and me, so there is no excuse. When someone picks a nice outfit, you can see yourself wearing it too.

I noticed improvements in my ability to pick an outfit that works. Before, I would have to spend hours trying various combinations of clothes to find a reasonable match. Now, my intuition works a lot better.

What about you? Do you prefer a famous blog with millions of readers or a smaller one?

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

How to Get Rid of Frown, Glabella or Furrow Lines on Forehead - Alternative to Botox

I wrote an article about derma rollers where I shared my experience in keeping my frown or furrow lines on forehead at bay. Glabella lines are usually the first wrinkles on our forehead that we start to notice. They don't just make us look older, they make us look angry, therefore, I thought those forehead lines or the two number 11 furrows deserve an article of their own.
Frown, furrow and glabella lines
Furrow or glabella lines

If you are happy to age gracefully, you don't need to do anything, but if wrinkles do bother you, then there are a few things for you to try out.

One of the solutions that we all know about is Botox. It relaxes muscles which results in smoother skin; the wrinkles soften and once they reappear they return as less severe.

The next possible solution is training your muscles. This will not reverse the effects of ageing, but it may help keep the muscles relaxed; the deep forehead wrinkles will become less noticeable and the new ones will appear to be less sharp.

When I type in the words "get rid of frown lines" on YouTube these are the results that I get:

Training the muscles is the most popular advise, whether it's by using a sports tape, frownies or some sort of facial exercise. 

Botulinum toxin, or Botox, is the other popular solution in getting rid of lines on forehead which was talked about before. I have not seen anyone suggesting to use a needle though, therefore, let me call this recipe my little invention. I like the look of surprise on my friends' faces when I mention the treatment, but then they ask for what I did, because they want to give it a go (even my husband, but ssshh about it…)

I got my inspiration from derma rollers. They work by stimulating production of collagen and elastin, thus, making skin renew itself. So, I decided to have a go, but with a needle.

All you need is an ordinary sharp sewing needle and a sterilising solution. Make sure the treatment area is free from make-up and clean. Sterilise the skin and the needle, then gently puncture the wrinkles multiple times. You don't need to go deep as this would sound scary and might have some unexpected consequences. It's worth applying a serum and a moisturiser after the procedure. Skin is particularly permeable after needling, therefore, if there is any goodness in your skin care products then this is the time when your skin will absorb the most of it. Make sure you do the treatment before going to bed as the needling will make the treated area temporarily red. Wear sun cream with high SPF the next day.

Befor and after pictures
My forehead lines four years ago
(at the top) and now (at the bottom)
I did this a few times a week for a few weeks, then stopped, and did nothing for a few months. I wanted to see whether the result was temporary or permanent (the skin swells temporarily, thus, causing it to even out). Some of the furrow or frown lines on my forehead are still visible, but only to me, whereas before anyone could see the number 11 wrinkles on my forehead. So, I am convinced that at least some of the result is permanent.

There are some mixed views as to how often derma rollers should be used. Some people claim that one should use them less frequently than once a month to give skin a chance to renew itself instead of hurting it without letting it heal properly; others claim that a couple times a month or, if needling is done on a very superficial level, then as frequently as one likes. I used it a few times a week and it all worked fine for me, but you must use your own judgement if you decide to give it a go.

Here I am sharing my video that I uploaded on YouTube. It's called "How to get rid of frown lines between brows, glabella wrinkles, alternative to botox". There is nothing there that I have not written about in this article, however, if you prefer to watch a video instead of reading, this is just another option.

Upon finishing my article, I would like to ask if you have heard of any weird or unusual ways to get rid of your wrinkles, whether it's crow's feet, forehead or glabella lines.

Also, do you find my tip strange, weird, unusual or absolutely normal? Would you give it a go?

Update to the article on 17 December 2013

I have prepared another video on YouTube where I demonstrate how I do the needling in the area between eyebrows. You are welcome to watch it. The video is below.

Update to the article on 7 March 2014

This is a video where I show that I don't have Botox myself. I got blamed for having had Botox, so I wanted to prove that I don't. Also, I am making one more important point that I want you all to know. This point is important for maintaining your forehead area free of wrinkles.

To make your lives easier I have found this amazing device and added it to my blog so that you can purchase it straight away without leaving the site. This derma stamp is a real time saver and it's perfect for someone starting out with skin needling - not as harsh as a derma roller can be, but not as fiddly as a single needle; definitely worth some consideration. The picture is of a 3mm needle size derma stamp, so your needles are likely to be shorter.

Monday, 21 October 2013

Dermaroller Therapy and Skin Needling

What is a derma roller?

Derma roller vs medieval torture device
A derma roller compared to a medieval torture device
Derma roller is a hand-held rolling device with lots of needles. It is used to rejuvenate ageing skin, reduce the appearance of scars, improve the texture of the skin and for a lot more.

According to Daily Mail, it resembles an antiquated torture equipment, which I found rather hilarious. If we zoom in to a photo of a dermaroller, the similarities are obvious.

I cover a lot of things in this post, however, please read the other article which discusses things you need to know BEFORE buying your first skin needling device.

How does skin needling work?

Skin needling or micro needling works by making tiny wounds in the skin. As the outer layer of our body heals, collagen and elastin production is stimulated, which helps us fight ageing. Appropriate size needles must be used for this to happen. If only very short needles are used, production of collagen and elastin may not be effected. However, it will then allow deeper penetration of cosmetic products, such as serums or anti-aging face creams, which in turn may produce some positive results.

What should you use a derma roller for?

A typical derma roller

Micro needling can be used to smooth out scars, wrinkles, improve the texture of the skin, i.e., minimise the pores in some cases. It can also be used to reduce stretch marks, cellulite and even thinning hair. Rather impressive!

When should you NOT use skin needling?

You should avoid using the device if you have one or more of the following:
  • active acne
  • active herpes infection
  • fungal infection
  • eczema
  • psoriasis
  • moles
  • skin allergies
  • any open wound, etc.
Do not use a dermaroller if you have any problems with skin healing.
Follow special instructions if you are pregnant or lactating. Always consult a doctor if you are not sure about whether you should be using the needling device or not.

How frequently and how to use a derma roller?

1mm titanium microneedle derma stamp,
usually used for more difficult to reach
and delicate areas, such as around eyes
Do your treatment before going to bed as your skin is likely to be very red after the needling. You certainly do not want to go out for at least a few hours after the needling session. You may need to use makeup to hide the redness in the morning, but it depends on how aggressive your treatment was. If you roll the device gently a few times only, your skin is likely to be fine in the morning.

After you have sterilised your dermaroller and the outermost layer of your flesh, some numbing cream may be applied on the treated areas, but it is optional. Personally, I have never used any numbing cream, but a sterilising solution is easy to acquire. I got mine at Boots for approximately £5.

The procedure does hurt a little bit, especially if a derma roller with longer needles is used, so the aggressiveness of the treatment depends on your tolerance to pain. Usually a derma roller will come with instructions on how to use it, but you can just simply roll it on those areas that you want to rejuvenate the most. It is advised to roll up to ten times in each direction: up and down, and across.

The same applies to treatment frequency; some sources claim that a derma roller with needles of up to 0.5 mm may be used as often as one likes, but frequency of needling with longer needles needs to be around once a month. The longer the needles, the less frequently a derma roller should be used.

You can apply a serum and/or a moisturiser during or after the derma rolling treatment. This will give you maximum benefit as your skin's permeability is particularly high during or immediately after the procedure.

In the morning a sun cream with high SPF is a must, i.e., SPF 30 or more. If it's a hot sunny day, then a sun block should be used, or, even better, plan your treatment when the sun is not at its hottest: on a cloudy day or in winter.

Do not use a derma roller with irritating products, such as retinol cream, especially of high concentration. Avoid steam, sauna rooms and high temperatures after your treatment. Do not use scrubs, exfoliating products, microdermabrasion for around a week after skin needling.

Do not share your derma roller or stamp with anyone.

Needle sizes

Different uses attract different needle sizes:
  • Any size needle can be used for cellulite reduction. 
  • Needles of size starting from 1mm should be used to reduce stretch marks.
  • 0.5 to 1.5mm needles used for anti-ageing. 
  • 0.75 to 1.5mm - for acne scars.
  • Deep scar removal from 1.5mm needle size.
  • Hair restoration 0.2 to 0.5mm.
  • Pigmentation treatment 0.75 to 2mm.
  • For increased nutrient absorption for face needle size up to 1mm should be used.
Ideally, derma rollers or stamps with 1.5mm needle size or even longer needles should be left for physicians' use.

Does it work? Dermaroller results, before and after pictures

I am a huge fan of derma rollers, and became one before even acquiring my first device. How can this happen? Well, I'm impatient, and figured that any sharp needle should be a reasonably good approximation of the genuine article. There was no specialist treatment involved and I did not have a derma roller, but I could see the technique was working.

Dermaroller before after
Before and after pictures: my forehead four years ago(at the top)
and now (bottom picture) after using a needle and a derma roller
to smooth out the wrinkles
I had these annoying two lines (glabella wrinkles) in between my eyebrows which had started appearing when I was only 27, so I targeted them. You are welcome to read my other article called How to Get Rid of Glabella or Furrow Lines Between Eyebrows or watch my YouTube video on How to Get Rid of Frown Lines Between Brows. After sterilising the needles and the treatment area, I punctured the problem wrinkles multiple times. I did this a few times for a few weeks, then I stopped. After a couple of months of not doing anything the wrinkles did not come back, so I was in awe. I cannot say that the lines are fully gone, but they've definitely faded, and no one, except me, can notice them now, whereas before they were easily visible.

Now a dermaroller and a derma stamp are permanent fixtures on my make-up table. I love these skin needling devices. Given my sensitivity to pain, I usually have only a short session once or twice a week before going to bed. My skin looks smoother and I believe at least some of the effect is permanent.

Botox alternative

For those who have never considered botulinum injections for line smoothing this may sound crazy, but I know at least a couple of girls that have been addicted to Botox since their mid or late twenties.

So, for all those young Botox fans I would h
ighly recommend to replace that expensive habit with skin needling or a derma roller.

Firstly, the needling smoothes out the wrinkles. Some of the dermaroller effect is temporary due to swelling, but there is also some genuine anti-ageing effect, which is permanent.

Secondly, you will save yourself a lot of money and you will reverse some of the effects of the ageing process; botulinum toxin injections, however, only produce temporary results and they are very expensive.

Here I have added my favourite device that you can buy straight from my blog. This derma stamp is a real time saver if compared to a single needle, but it's not as harsh as a derma roller can be. It's perfect for someone starting out. Definitely worth some consideration if you are serious about getting rid of your lines.

Friday, 11 October 2013

French Women Skincare Routine and Tips That Keep Them Gorgeous

I came across the article in Daily Mail about French women, their skincare routine tips and tricks, and why they always look so chick. Below you will find the parts that I thought were particularly interesting and relevant to my anti-ageing skincare and beauty blog.
French women skincare
French skin care routine: article from Daily Mail

It is no news that French women always look very elegant. Surely part of the elegance may be attributed to their good choice of clothes, hairstyle, make-up and cosmetics, but there is more to it. So, what's the secret?

The biggest secret ingredient is their discipline. Right from an early age they are taught to look after their skin. They are not taught beauty routine at school, but it goes from generation to generation - from mother to her daughter.

At the age of 12 French females start to properly cleanse their skin and start applying anti-ageing moisturisers and creams at 30.

All French ladies go to a dermatologist. Annual appointment is a necessity, not a luxury. After they are examined for melanomas, they are given tips and advice about the best skin care cosmetics and products.

Many of the doctors recommend baby products because they are gentler on the skin.

Here in the UK everyone is led to believe that we need an eye cream. There, across the Channel, no woman uses it, nor their skin doctors ever recommend it. [Sadly, I spent a fortune on eye creams. Some of them were given as a free gift with a purchase of an expensive moisturiser]

Vitamin C and Retin A that are prescribed by a dermatologist are very effective and they are a must in fighting ageing for every French. You can read about Retin A effect on skin under the section called Active ingredients. Retin A is nothing else but vitamin A.

Don't ignore the decolletage area. If Retin A does not work, have a mesotherapy treatment. A therapist pumps some vitamins and hyaluronic acid with micro needles into the problem areas. Typically, the procedure should be repeated annually. It reduces crow's feet and wrinkles in other areas.

French women skin care regimen often involves making their own exfoliators by mixing almond oil with sea salt. And most of the ladies have a bottle of argan oil that they use all over.

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