Min's Beauty Equipment: February 2014

Friday 28 February 2014

Overcoming Sugar Addiction & Cravings

In my last post I talked about sugar damage to skin and I talked about how difficult it is to quit eating sugar.

I enjoyed reading all of your comments on my previous post. Some of you do not have a sweet tooth (lucky you!!!!) Others were saying that you don't even want to stop eating chocolates and sweets and you would rather put up with having worse skin than quit.

Quit sweets to keep beautiful skin
Sugar addiction can be treated with hypnotherapy
The problem is that people enjoy sweets and they don't want to stop having treats that they like. If we didn't associate eating sugary foods with pleasure then we would be happy to quit and we would have better skin without sacrifice.

So, how do we achieve that wonderful state where we don't fight ourselves to achieve more youthful skin?

Motivation and strong willpower may help, but what if you are a weaker soul?

Hypnotherapy is my answer. I have not tried it, but I think this is the least painful solution with the highest probability of success. I would definitely give it a go. It reprograms your thinking, so no sacrifice or willpower is needed. Obviously, you need to want to change.

I have made friends with a wonderful woman Chloe Brotheridge from www.easywaytochange.co.uk. Chloe is a hypnotherapist and she was very happy to answer a few of my questions about how hypnotherapy may help with sugar cravings, so please read on.

About Chloe Brotheridge, the hypnotherapist

Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself, such as where you learned about hypnotherapy, how long have you been doing it, why did you start this in the first place and something like that.

A: I started my career as a nutritionist working in weight management. I found that so often, there are emotional issues, stress and deeply rooted habits which get in the way of people losing weight. I trained as a hypnotherapist three years ago to help people overcome these.

Sugar addiction stands in the way of losing weight

Q: Have you ever dealt with sugar addiction case or something equivalent in your practice so far?

A: Sugar cravings and even sugar addiction are very common issues for my clients who wish to lose weight or get fitter and healthier. I had one client who was really in the habit of having 'something sweet' after meals, because since childhood, it was always expected that a sweet food follows the main course. It was a case of changing that habit and the idea that a sweet course was an essential part of a meal.

Why do people crave sugar?

Q: How common is this problem in your experience?

A: Sugar is a big problem, because it hijacks the brains reward system which hard wires us to want to eat sugar again and again. For years we were told that fat was the problem and encouraged to eat low fat, but often sugary, foods. Now the tides are turning and sugar is enemy number one.

Q: How does sugar hijack the brains reward system?

A: Sugar triggers release of dopamine [in a simplified non-technical way let's call it a pleasure and happiness hormone] in the brain. Dopamine is involved in the process of what makes smoking and cocaine addictive. Dopamine makes us feel as though we 'need' and creates the drive to seek it out.

Feeling of guilt or disgust is not enough to motivate to stop

Q: What exactly bothers people? (such as "I eat a bar of chocolate every evening right before bed, then I run back to the kitchen and grab a packet of biscuits… as a result of this I put on weight or my skin looks bad, or I run to the bathroom to throw up, or I hate myself for stuffing my stomach with junk food")

A: Often people talk about 'being out of control' when it comes to sweet foods. Or, it's feelings of guilt or disgust which are in themselves not enough to motivate people to stop.

Q: Why is guilt or disgust not enough to motivate people to stop?

A: This is an observation. It will differ for everyone but my guess would be that desire to use sugar for comfort and stress relief as well as the sugar addiction overpowers feelings of guilt or disgust.

How does hypnotherapy help in reducing sugar cravings?

Q: If you ever treated sugar cravings, how successful was the outcome? Did you receive any feedback? What was it?

A: Hypnotherapy is a great way to address sugar cravings. It can firstly help manage stress and any emotional issues around sugar. Then it can work by breaking down unhelpful habits and changing the way you think about sugar. I've worked with quite a few IBS clients who need to stay off sugar to prevent IBS flare-ups and it works very well.

Q: How do you break down unhelpful habits and change the way you think about sugar?

A: During hypnotherapy relaxation, suggestion and visualisation methods are used to break down unhelpful habits and change the way you think about sugar.

What happens during the hypnotherapy session?

Q: Would you be able to give a brief description as to what happens between you and the patient during the appointment right from the beginning to the end (such as I meet my patient at the reception, I offer a cup of tea or coffee, offer them to sit down in a comfortable chair, say a few magic words :))

A: The first session lasts for an hour and a half. During the first part of the session I find out exactly what you would like to achieve and some details about your lifestyle and history. Then after you've asked any final questions about how hypnotherapy works, I guide you into a state of relaxed focus and make suggestions to you as to how you can become happier and healthier. I'll also ask you to use your imagination in ways that will help you. You'll open your eyes at the end feeling refreshed, alert and positive.

Q: How would you approach a sugar cravings problem if there were no other issues such as weight gain resulting from it?

A: Firstly I'd be interested to know about any emotional issues or stress you might be experiencing. This is so that we address the root cause. Then I'd look at other issues such as your habits and attitudes towards sugar.

Self-help advice for quitting sugar

Q: Any advice to those who would like to try some self-help?

A: Stop buying food with sugar in, start to replace sugar with natural sweeteners such as stevia or Xylitol. After about 3 weeks you'll notice sugar cravings dramatically reduce.

Q: I guess this would fall into the category of where people are unhappy or repulsed with themselves, but the feeling is not strong enough to change the habit, so this tip would not work?

A: Doing things like making sure sugar is not in the house makes sugar less readily available during the moment of impulse. Also, not going shopping hungry when your willpower is depleted (studies show that willpower is a finite resource that is fuelled by glucose in the body. Less glucose, i.e. when hungry, can make lessened willpower). If people are in a cycle of being repulsed by themselves they should seek support such as having hypnotherapy, counselling or CBT [Cognitive Behavioral Therapy].

Hypnotherapists often replace bad habits with good habits

Q: I heard that often hypnotherapists try to replace one habit with another, such as unhealthy habit with a healthy one, is it true? Any examples?

A: It is often said that habits cannot be 'removed' but only replaced. For example, a craving for sugar could be replaced for a craving for fresh, natural foods, or sugary drinks for water with lemon.

People remember everything what happens during the hypnotherapy session

Q: Do people remember what they were talking about while they were hypnotised?

A: You remember everything and are always in control during a hypnotherapy session. It's not like what we see on the TV. It feels like a relaxing daydream.

We know sugar is bad, but it's the subconscious mind that controls our actions

Q: How does conscious and subconscious mind affect the habits and how that changes during the treatment?

A: Think of the subconscious as being like a computer and habits being like computer programmes, that we have picked up along the way in life. Some of these computer programme are unhelpful and can therefore be 'reprogrammed' to more helpful ones. During hypnotherapy the subconscious is more open to taking on board new ideas about things.

Q: Is it the subconscious mind that makes us act one way or another as conscious mind knows what is good and bad?

A: The subconscious mind controls 90% of our actions, thoughts and feelings. Most food choices are unconscious. We may consciously know that sugar is bad for us, the same way a smoker 'knows' smoking is bad, but it may have little impact.

With smoking the aim is to never smoke again, with sugar it is to reduce its intake

Q: I know you use hypnotherapy, NLP and Emotional Freedom techniques to address the smoking problem, would you use all of these for sugar cravings too?

A: The techniques used for weight loss and sugar cravings are very similar to those used for smoking. However, with smoking, the aim is to never smoke again. You obviously can't give up eating, and for most people their aim would not be to 'never' eat any sugar again, but to reduce their sugar intake.

Trance vs hypnosis

Q: What's the difference between trance and hypnosis?

A: Sometimes hypnosis is called trance, however that really just means a state of relaxed focus, whereby your subconscious is more open to taking on board new ideas about things that are going to help you.


I asked if Chloe would be interested in offering any discounts for my readers on her hypnotherapy sessions. She kindly offered a 20% discount on the first session.

If interested quote the promo code 'Min's Beauty Equipment'. The offer is valid for one year after this post comes live, so take advantage of it. Don't keep your problems to yourself, get help and resolve them. Chloe is based in central London, so all londoners don't waste your time!

Final word

Have you ever used hypnotherapy to solve any problems? Would you use it? What do you think of hypnotherapy?

Monday 17 February 2014

Ditch Sugar To Keep Skin Beautiful

Reasons to quit sugar

Sugar degrades collagen and elastin
Sugar degrades skin's collagen and elastin
We all know that sugar is bad for our teeth. It makes us put on weight. We often feel guilty after eating it or even while eating it. Some people are so addicted to sweet things that they eat a massive tub of ice-cream or a big pack of sweets and chocolates in one go, then they feel depressed. And who does not feel guilty after consuming lots of empty food?

Apart from the mentioned reasons, there is another important reason to ditch sugar: that is our skin - sugar ages out skin a big time.

AGEs role in skin wrinkling and sagging

Sweets react with protein amino groups and form irreversibly bound advanced glycation end products (AGEs). AGEs contribute to collagen and elastin degradation. These proteins are the two main building blocks of skin, so when they start degrading, the outer layer of our body loses its elasticity and starts to wrinkle and sag.

Food that is cooked on high temperatures, such as barbecued meat, is full of AGEs too. Whether AGEs are consumed exogenously or are formed inside our body makes no difference. They have the same effect on our skin. Cigarette smoke is also able to react with protein to form AGEs. All advanced glycation end products are bad and that's why smokers are said to have worse skin in the long term than non-smokers.

Carbohydrates or sugar is part of a healthy diet and we need some of them to supply our bodies with energy, but excess sugar binds with protein and ages our skin. What's worse, it is believed to play a role not only in ageing, but in some diseases too.

AGEs accumulate in the body as a function of age and body weight. The older you are the more AGEs you have and your collagen is more degraded. AGEs modify skin's biomechanical properties, which is associated with the increase of skin's brittleness and stiffness. Also, the more overweight you are the more your skin is affected by the same glycation process.

How to neutralise AGEs damage to skin?

One way to slow down the glycation process is by using some topical anti-oxidative products that help neutralise the damage of AGEs. Drinking green tea or consuming other anti-oxidants may help too, but most important of all is to stop using sugar or minimise its intake as much as possible.

How do we ditch sugar?

This is a complicated question as everyone knows how bad sugar is, but very few stop using it. Right now as I was writing this post I ate a bar of chocolate. It's so hypocritical of me to write about sugar damage to skin while eating sweets at the same time. The problem is that the logical part of us wants to quit, but there is another inner voice inside us which tells us that we like biscuits, cakes, ice-cream and we don't really want to stop eating them. It's an enjoyable pleasant experience that people don't necessarily want to ditch.

Many times I have tried to reduce my sugar intake, but every time my efforts lasted only a few days, then I was back to where I started.

So, you either accept that it's bad for you and you stop fighting your cravings or you look for help. Unfortunately, motivation and determination to quit is the only free help that I can think of, but there is some very realistic help to those with an open mind and a few quid to spare. I will be talking about how to overcome sugar addiction and cravings in my next post. We will be interviewing a qualified hypnotherapist to resolve this issue.

Final word

Do you have a sweet tooth? If so, do you embrace your sweet habits or you fight and try to quit all the time?

Tuesday 11 February 2014

Sammydress GIVEAWAY (Closed)

The Giveaway Winners Announcement (updated on Tuesday, March 11, 2014)

The Sammydress coat goes to Ruth Marianna Tesdale (If you are reading this, I have sent you a direct message through Twitter)

The necklace goes to Cristina Popescu (I have sent you an e-mail)

Update on 13 March 2014

The necklace has been sent to Cristina, however, I have not received any response from Ruth yet. If I don't hear from her until 24 March 2014, I am going to announce a new winner.

Update on 26 March 2014

I received a reply from Ruth on the last day before I was to announce the new winner, so all good, Ruth is already wearing her new coat.

Original post (published on February 11, 2014)

I have been blogging for a few months now, so I decided that it's time to have the first giveaway on my blog. I tried to do a giveaway on Twitter and on Google+ just as an experiment, but I had no success, so I decided to incorporate my prize (the necklace) into this giveaway instead. Nevertheless, a few people that did enter before are automatically included into this giveaway, so you don't need to enter again.

Two prizes and two winners

  • The first person that I am going to pick randomly is going to win a Sammydress stripe colour block cowl neck bat-wing sleeves loose-fitting style coat. It's the coat that you can see in the pictures below. Although I was wearing one for the photos, I have another one unopened for the winner. The coat is not a winter coat, but it is fairly warm and it is suitable for anyone. It's one size fits all. The quality is brilliant. The material is thick and warm, but very soft. It's too cold in the UK to wear this coat outdoors right now, but I can't wait for spring to show it off. 

Sammydress loose-fitting style coat for women
Sammydress stripe colour block cowl neck bat-wing sleeves loose-fitting style coat

Funky necklace giveaway
Funky necklace
  • The second prize is a funky necklace that I bought in a local shop near where I live. I absolutely love the necklace, but I have not worn it as I bought it as a prize for the winner from myself.

The end date of the giveaway

This giveaway is going to end on the 11th of March, regardless of the number of entrants and its success. I will notify the winner through social media sites or through your e-mail address if provided.

Conditions to enter

  • Please visit Sammydress.com, browse around and leave the full name of any product that you like in the comment below.
  • 'Like' my Facebook page and any one of my posts. If you are already 'liking' my Facebook page, then 'like' two posts instead. Also leave your name that you are using on Facebook in the comment below, so that I can identify you. Here is the link to my Facebook page.
I am NOT asking you to leave your e-mail address, but if you think I am going to struggle to contact you through social media sites, please leave your e-mail address in the comment too. If I don't know how to contact you, I will pick another winner on the same day.

Some facts about Sammydress

First of all, thank you to Sammydress for providing me and the winner with that beautiful coat.

Sammydress is an online shop selling fashion items worldwide. They sell quality products for very low prices that rival Ebay.

The company's goal is to provide their global customers with quality items at very low prices.

They have a huge range of products with over 200,000 product lines. The items range from clothes, shoes, handbags, jewellery, bags and accessories to home and living, men, children's clothes and toys.

Sammydress also provides wholesale prices for professional large buyers.

They take customer service seriously and they are working towards eliminating even the most trivial customer dissatisfaction.

Final word

Have you ever bought anything from Sammydress? What's your experience? What other low price shops do you buy at?

Friday 7 February 2014

Rimmel Match Perfection Light Porcelain Foundation Review

Rimmel Match Perfection foundation & Fix Perfect Pro Primer 002
Rimmel Match Perfection foundation
and Rimmel Fix & Perfect Pro Primer
A few weeks weeks ago I ran out of my favourite products for covering face. I went to Boots to look for them, but they were out of stock. I kept going back to see if my favourite foundation and concealer was there, but they weren't, then I decided to be more adventurous and get something else instead. I bought a few new products for making my skin look more even and radiant.

One of the products that I bought was Rimmel Match Perfection Light Porcelain 010 foundation for £6.99. It's a very light perfecting radiance product, which also came with Rimmel Fix & Perfect Pro Primer 002. The primer came for free when you buy Rimmel foundation, otherwise, it's £6.99.

What does it say on the bottle?

  • It's a traceless coverage foundation with advanced Smart-tone technology for perfectly flawless skin under any light. Enhanced with Sapphire Radiance for an illuminating glow. Lasts all day.
  • Rimmel Perfection foundation before and after pictures
    Top pictures - bare skin with no products, middle pictures - after application
    of Rimmel primer and foundation, bottom pictures - after adding
    some extra different foundation on top of Rimmel Match Perfection
  • Has SPF 18.

What are the pros?

  • Adds some radiance to my skin; the skin reflects light better and looks a bit smoother.
  • It has SPF 18, which is a perfect SPF factor for me.
  • It comes with a pump, so its convenient to use.
  • Rimmel Fix & Perfect Pro Primer came free with the product.

What are the cons?

  • The formula is a bit too thin to my liking. It covers up my skin, but I need something thicker to get better coverage. I use Rimmel Match Perfection foundation as the first coat and I add something thicker on top.
  • The Light Porcelain colour makes my pale skin even lighter. The foundation could be a touch darker, but given that all the other colours would have been too dark for my very fair skin, I decided to go for Light Porcelain colour. 
  • My skin looks a bit grey or white after application. It's a bit like a chalk. It takes away the natural yellow or pink tones and turns me into a mild version of geisha or a vampire.

My verdict

  • I am using this product, but I would not settle with it. I will definitely look for a more suitable foundation for myself.
  • Rimmel Fix & Perfect Pro Primer is reasonable, but not amazing. I have tried better primers, so I would not buy this again.

Updated on 3 June 2014 - YouTube video

Please watch my Youtube video and a little demonstration about Rimmel Match Perfection Light Porcelain 010 colour.

Final word

Have you tried Rimmel Match Perfection foundation? What foundation is your favourite? Do you use a primer? If so, which one?

Also, please read a review of Rimmel Match Perfection Skin Tone Adapting Concealer on Lia's blog FashionHappenss.

Monday 3 February 2014

SENZIMI - The Best Moisturiser For Sensitive Skin

This is an article about the best sensitive skin moisturiser that I have come across so far. The brand is called SENZIMI. All their products are specifically made to help reduce side effects of sensitive skin. The sensitive skin moisturiser and the facial cleanser are the two samples that I tested with the moisturiser leaving a particularly good impression.

Sensitive vs resistant skin

The best sensitive skin moisturiser and facial cleanser SENZIMI
SENZIMI is a new brand that specialises in sensitive skincare
Very often people self-identify themselves as having oily vs dry, sensitive vs non-sensitive (or resistant) skin and so on. But what is sensitive skin's definition?

Before I can talk about it, first it would make sense to explain what resistant skin is.

Resistant skin has a stratum corneum (the top layer of the skin) that provides reliable protection to the skin. It makes allergens and  irritating substances harmless. People with resistant skin don't normally experience erythema or acne, but they don't normally see any difference in skin care products as they are often ineffective on such skin due to its high threshold for penetration and effectiveness.

Sensitive skin is more complex and it is most prevalent among healthy women of childbearing age. Its prevalence is increasing, but as the person gets older sensitive skin becomes less common. Ideally, people with such skin should use products, such as a cleanser and a moisturiser, that are specifically designed for sensitive skin. Best moisturiser for one person may not necessarily be the best for another, but if you read the label and see which skin problems the moisturiser is trying to address, you have a good shot at picking the right one.

Four main types of sensitive skin

  • Acne type. It is the most common type of sensitive skin that has four causing factors: increased sebum production, clogging of pores, presence of P. acnes bacteria and inflammation. All these four factors need to be targeted to eliminate acne. 
  • Rosacea type of sensitive skin has a tendency to get facial redness, flushing and experiencing hot sensations. It is typically characterised by getting dilated blood vessels, so avoiding the triggers is an important part in controlling the redness as well as using anti-inflammatory ingredients to reduce blood vessel dilation. The most effective ingredients in controlling inflammation are aloe vera, arnica, chamomile, colloidal oatmeal, cucumber extract, feverfew, licochalcone, niacinamide, quadrinone, salicylic acid, sulfacetamide, sulfur, witch hazel and zinc. 
  • Stinging type. People who experience stinging sensation in their skin should avoid these ingredients: alfa-hydroxy acids, benzoic acid, bronopol, cinnamic acid compounds, Dowicel 200, formaldehyde, lactic acid, propylene glycol, quaternary ammonium compounds, sodium lauryl sulfate, sorbic acid, urea, vitamin C.
  • Allergic type. Around 23% of women and 14% of men have adverse reaction to skincare, hair, nail care and other beauty products. People with this type of sensitive skin are prone to skin redness, itching and flaking. Patients get allergic reaction when exposed to certain ingredients in skin, hair or nail care products. Fragrances and preservatives are the most common allergens. 

Why is Senzimi moisturiser and cleanser the best product for all four types of sensitive skin problems?

Senzimi is the best moisturiser for sensitive skin, because it:

  • Soothes irritated skin, encouraging rehydration
  • helps regulate sebum production
  • helps promote cell growth and healing
  • pH level matches the skin
  • helps promote cell growth and healing
  • helps reduce the effects of UV damage and the formation of age spots
  • specifically formulated for sensitive, dry and troublesome skin
  • full of antioxidants that help combat the effects of dirt, dust, sun and pollution
  • full of other ingredients that help skin deal with the symptoms of acne, eczema, redness and itching by reducing inflammation, controlling sebum production, cooling, soothing, protecting and moisturising
  • synthetic paraben free
  • 99.77% natural.

Senzimi is also the best cleanser for sensitive skin, because it:

  • removes dirt without stripping skin of natural oils
  • helps regain the skin's natural pH
  • leaves skin feeling soft, plump and smooth
  • helps sooth and moisturise inflamed and dry skin
  • sulphate and paraben free
  • 95% natural
  • specifically formulated for sensitive, dry and troublesome skin
  • contains ingredients that clean clogged pores of oil and dead skin cells, help restore skin's natural pH balance
  • contains anti-bacterial and anti-fungal ingredients that fight infection, thus, helping with acne
  • contains ingredients that reduce inflammation and swelling, thus, helping with eczema and psoriasis

Senzimi is the best product for someone with a few subtypes

Due to complexity of sensitive skin, sometimes products that are good for one sensitive skin subtype are not necessarily the best for the other sensitive skin subtype, however, with the right combination of ingredients a balance may be achieved. For someone like me who has skin prone to acne, redness or rosacea and allergic reactions to some cosmetic ingredients as well as hard tap water, I can't pick and choose a moisturiser and a cleanser that is only good for one sensitive skin subtype. I need something that addresses all sensitive skin problems at once. I only tried a little sample of SENZIMI moisturiser and the cleanser that you can see in the picture above, but I must say that during those few days while the samples lasted my skin seemed to feel and look much better. I didn't understand why it was feeling and looking better, but once I ran out of my samples and my skin went back to it's usual state, I realised that it may have been something to do with the best sensitive skin moisturiser and cleanser products SENZIMI. I would highly recommend to try them out.

For those who are interested you can find SENZIMI products under this link senzimi.com. The price of the best moisturiser for sensitive skin is £15.99 and the cleanser costs £13.99. The company offers international delivery. Shipping costs are added to the price during the checkout process.


For those who have problematic skin like mine I would highly recommend to request free samples. You have nothing to loose to try out, it will not cost you a penny and you don't need to like the whole bunch of social media sites to get hold of the samples. All you need to do is to fill in this simple request form which you can find here and the samples will arrive straight through your letter box.

The offer is limited to the number of samples available, therefore, do not delay.

Final word

Do you have sensitive skin? What are your best products? Do you have a favourite moisturiser and a cleanser? What do you do to address any skin problems that you may have?

This is NOT a sponsored post.