Min's Beauty Equipment: February 2015

Tuesday 24 February 2015

Professional Beauty Show at London Excel, 2015: Review and Highlights

Crowded at the Professional Beauty Show at London Excel
Professional Beauty Show in London Excel is one of the shows that every girl who has any interest in beauty should visit. The show advertises itself as a professional expo, i.e., the show for beauty practitioners and all those working in the industry, but really it's a great event for everyone. People in the industry can find beauty product suppliers, make connections with brands, learn about and acquire beauticians and beauty salons' software, attend educational seminars or simply watch live demonstrations of various beautification techniques that beauty professionals use in their practices.

The event took place on the 22-23rd of February 2015 in London Excel centre. I attended only the Sunday show, but it was enough to get an idea. The Show is a big and busy event with lots of stands of various sizes and exhibitors showcasing their products. In one end there were more beauty products such as lipsticks, hair extensions, eyeshadows, nail polishes and alike, the other end was dominated by skincare brands and large stands, which reminded me of the Anti-Ageing Health and Beauty Show in its nature. The only difference between the shows is that the Professional Beauty Show is a lot bigger and it is more varied, but I am sure everyone would find something interesting for them in both of them. From an exhibitors point of view, Professional Beauty seemed to be a lot busier, especially if I compare it with the Anti-ageing Show in Manchester, but I don't know how busy it is in the other cities where @pro_beauty has its presence. Maybe they are a lot emptier there too?

Let's see what I saw at the Professional Beauty Show in London. Obviously, I saw a lot more than what you'll see in the pictures, but I did not wear Google Glass to film it all!
  • When I turned up, there were some incredible models with spectacular make-up, costumes and hair art. The girls looked phenomenal. Professional Hair Direct were responsible for this outstanding show. 
Professional Beauty London Expo - Professional Hair Direct
Professional Hair Direct with their stunning models
  • Thanks to RejuveMe for the celebrity moment I had - when somebody you don't know comes up to you and says that they recognise you from your blog, believe me, it feels rather fab. I have been in touch with Nicki before through social media though, so it wasn't a completely random encounter. I have already tried their rejuvenating drink called EverGreen. More about EverGreen in the future, but below is a picture of their product in case you are curious..
Professional Beauty London Show - RejuveMe EverGreen
RejuveMe EverGreen drink that improves sports performance
  • Wonderful Shea butter products from Aviela. They felt really moisturising and had a very pleasant consistency.
Professional Beauty London Expo - Aviela
Aviela outstanding shea butter products
  • Zephorium Soul Tonic has a range of products to restore your moods depending on your concerns. They talked about chakras and how their tonic helps balance them. The dark purple one is the one that I requested to improve my mental performance and levels of concentration. You have to spray Sephorium Soul Tonic into the air and breath it in. You can do this multiple times throughout the day. It smells quite nice, so it might work a bit like aromatherapy, I guess.. 
Professional Beauty London Exhibition - Zephorium Should Tonic
Zephorium Soul Tonic balances chakras through smell
  • There were lots of devices and consultants to give you a free skin analysis test in case you wanted to know how badly your skin had been affected by exposure to sun, humidity levels and other factors that affect your skin quality.
Professional Beauty London Expo 2015 - free skin analysis
Free skin analysis
  • The Abnormal Beauty Company with they abnormal colourful energy drinks. They claim that their Fountain drinks give us energy in a very subtle way, i.e., they make us energetic like Red Bull does, but they do not give the rush and anxiety that is often accompanied by the mentioned popular product. Also, the drink can target specific concerns, such as aid sleeping, give us confidence, mental energy and so on. Pretty impressive!
Professional Beauty London Show - Fountain drink
Fountain energy drinks from the Abnormal Beauty Company
  • Also, for those that wish to have various treatments done there and then, there were plenty of options to choose from: semi-permanent make up, teeth whitening, eyelash extensions, nail art, micro current facial, massage and lots more.
Professional Beauty London Show - semi permanent make-up
Semi-permanent make up

Professional Beauty London Show - teeth whitening
Teeth whitening

Professional Beauty London Show - eyelash extensions
Eyelash extensions

Professional Beauty London Show - nail bar
Nail bar

Professional Beauty London Show - Nouveau facial
Micro current facial by Nouveau
  • Hair styling demonstrations on stage. 
Professional Beauty London Show - live hair demonstration
Hair styling live demo
  • Some of the stands that I enjoyed and took snaps of were: Clayspray, Elemis, Hammam Ritual. I think the winner was Elemis who brought a double decker to the show. The bus had a spa on the first floor and a shop downstairs - pretty impressive! People queued up to see what's inside.
Professional Beauty London Show - Clayspray
Clayspray stand

Elemis stand at Professional Beauty London 2015
Elemis double decker bus stand

Professional Beauty London Show - Elemic double decker stand
Elemis bus stand

Hammam Ritual stand
Hammam Ritual stand

  • I have been a fan of the French salon skincare beauty brand Guinot for a while. I have used their Guinot Technispa equipment for getting rid of cellulite, so when I saw their massive stand at the Professional Beauty London expo, I was hesitating to come up to them and talk. Nevertheless, I mustered the courage and I ended up having a very enjoyable conversation with the guys. Also, they kindly offered some products to try out, so you will definitely be seeing some reviews of Guinot in the future.
Guinot products received at the show

Did you go to the Professional Beauty London expo in Excel? Do you go to any beauty shows? If so, which ones?

Sunday 22 February 2015

How to Soften Up a Hard Face Mask and Why You Have to Do it

How to soften hard face mask - pressure spray
Unsuccessful attempt to buy
a water spraying bottle 
Recently I tried out a few face masks that got hard very quickly. Some of them state that you need to keep them on for 15 or so minutes, but they get hard within a minute or two. They start pulling skin so badly that there is no way you can last the recommended time without doing anything about it.

Clay masks go through three stages: the damp phase, start of the dry and the dry phase. During the damp phase skin absorbs all the nutrients, the start of the dry phase exercises capillaries and stimulates blood flow and the dry phase draws moisture out of skin. You don't want to reach the dry phase, you need to wash the mask off before then if you want to benefit from the product rather than cause dry and possibly itchy, flaky skin. I don't know if all the other masks draw moisture from your skin in the same way, but I believe that they do. Even if that wasn't the case, how can you possibly benefit from keeping a face mask for, let's say, one minute instead of the recommended 15 minutes? Most of the masks are too pulling!
How to stop facial mask from drying out
Toothbrush is a great way to spray water on your
drying out face mask

So, what do you do? How do you stop face masks from getting hard to get all the goodness out of them?

Don't buy masks that pull your face!!! No, I am only joking. The first mask that kept drying out very quickly was the mask that I received from Ogra. Luckily I read their instructions, which said that you need to keep spraying water on your face, and this is when I figured that I had to do the same with all the other masks that were drying out too quickly. At the end of it it was worth it, Ogra's mask and a few others all worked very well on my skin, leaving it beautifully smooth with that super clean feeling, so don't be put off by that drying feeling. Carry on reading to see what I do to solve this problem.

It can be a little bit tricky to spray water unless you have a special bottle spraying mist. My first attempt to buy such bottle ended up in failure as it doesn't spray mist, it sprays water like a hose as it's a pressure spray bottle, so no way I could use it on my face. The bottle will do a good job in summer though when we play water guns with my kids. I'll use the bottle as my secret weapon to unsuspecting children!
How to correctly use a face mask - add some oil
Add some oil to stop face
mask from drying out too quickly

Let's forget the guns for now. I use a toothbrush to spray water on myself when I am wearing a face mask. It gives very fine mist and it's perfect for applying a little bit of water on my drying out face. It keeps the mask moist and allows me to keep it on my face for as long as I want.

Thesis skincare brand has their advice regarding face mask softening. They say that in winter face masks get hard a lot quicker due to low humidity levels and one way to rectify this situation is to add a few drops of oil into a face mask. I haven't tried this method yet, but I am definitely going to give it a go next time I am using Thesis products.

I hope this gave you a few ideas. What type of face masks do you use if you use them at all? What's your favourite?

Wednesday 18 February 2015

Thesis Face and Eye Serum, Face Mask and Scrub Review

Thesis face and eye serum, face scrub and mask are a bit different products from what I am used to seeing. So, what's so different about Thesis products?
Thesis eyes and face serums, scrub and mask review
Thesis eyes and face serums, scrub and mask

First of all, the mask and the scrub come in a powder form and it's not something I have seen before. There is always the first time! Thesis face and eye serums are both in oil form. They are made from premium cold-pressed oils and organic essences, no synthetics. The ingredients in both serums are similar. Both contain jojoba, grapeseed, argan, rosehip, palmarosa and some other oils together with vitamin E.

Although I am generally not a huge fan of oils as they stay on my face without getting absorbed by my skin, I enjoy using these ones. Essences have been added to give the Thesis products a wonderful smell and not the usual smell of cooking oil, which I must admit is a big part of why I don't normally enjoy applying oils to my face. Like usual, these oils do not get easily absorbed into my skin, but they don't feel very thick like most of others, so I don't mind them too much. Also, the serums give my skin a wonderful glow, which is a big plus.

Thesis face serum claims to be a perfect nourishment for dry, damaged skin, which I perfectly believe as the only reason it doesn't get absorbed into my skin quite easily is because my skin is not dry (although it used to be!). I tried the face serum on my extremely dry hands at this time of the year and the serum got absorbed instantly. I like the fact that Thesis made it clear that the face serum is a lullaby for dry skin, instead of trying to convince that it's the best product for everyone, even though the person ends up with a layer of grease on their face for the rest of the day. Well, they have other products to match your skin type.

Thesis Face scrub and mask review
Thesis Face Scrub and Mask review
Thesis face mask and Thesis face exfoliant are great products too. The scrub gently removes buildup of dead skin and the mask revitalizes face as it's loaded with antioxidants, skin renewing vitamins and acids. A teaspoon or two of each has to be mixed with a bit of water to achieve desired consistency and then the products are applied on face. During the application the mask kept getting tight on my face, so I kept spraying water, otherwise, I would not have lasted the recommended 15 minutes. Also, they both have quite clinical smell. It felt a bit like I was at a dental clinic as the smell bore resemblance to the smell of fillings, especially those in the old days. Well, even though the products remind me of a dental practice more than a spa, they are effective and I felt totally content with the result after removing all of them from my skin. My skin felt more even and super clean, ready for a moisturiser before bed. Thesis face scrub and mask could be used to infuse some glow into your skin before a date night, for sure!

Thesis has kindly advised that the mask drying time depends on humidity levels that are normally lower in winter, so the mask dries out quicker. A few drops of oil could be added to the mask to remedy the situation.

Thesis face serum for dry skin and the eye serum both cost US$19.95 each, Thesis face scrub and the mask are also US$19.95 each. As mentioned before, they have other products to match your skin type, which is always a benefit.

Have you ever used any masks or scrubs in powder form? Have you tried Thesis products? Do you use any eyes to face oils?

Sunday 15 February 2015

Continuous Giveaway. This Month's Prize: Joe Coffee Scrub, Two Winners

The winner of the last month's giveaway prize, a set of ChiaDerm+ lip balms, is someone with the e-mail address that looks like this:


If the e-mail address looks like it could be yours, most likely it is yours then, please get in touch. You can find my e-mail address on the Contact Details tab on my blog. I only need your address so that we can send you the prize. Thank you for being on my subscribers list. Winning now does not preclude you from winning again in the future. You automatically participate in all my future continuous giveaways simply by being on my subscribers list.

This month's prize: Joe Coffee Scrub, Two Winners

Joe Coffee Scrub Giveaway
Giveaway prize: Joe Coffee Scrub, two winners
I am very pleased to announce my cooperation with Joe Scrub. The company is providing two sets of their outstanding coffee scrubs, one for each winner. I have already tried the exfoliant and reviewed it on my blog here. I am in love with this body exfoliating product as it leaves skin not only wonderfully soft, but also moisturised.

Joe scrubs cost $16 each, but there are two winners, so your chances of winning double!


Joe Scrub is responsible for delivering the prizes to the winners. Although I totally trust the company to deliver the prizes, I cannot be held responsible in case things do not go according to the plan.

How to enter the giveaway

This giveaway is part of my continuous giveaway, which I started a few months ago and you can find some more details about it here. You only need to join once and you will automatically participate forever without ever having to enrol again provided you stay on my e-mail subscribers list. So, being on my e-mail subscribers list is the only compulsory condition.

Simple conditions to join:

  1. Become a subscriber of my blog. Find the subscription box on the righthand side of my blog. It says "Join My Email Subscribers!". Make sure you verify your subscription by clicking the link that gets automatically sent to your e-mail address. (Compulsory condition)
  2. Like my Facebook page here. Don't worry if you don't have a Facebook account, you can still participate in a giveaway as number 1 is the only compulsory condition to be included. (Optional)
  3. Like Joe Scrub Facebook page here. (Optional)

Scope of the giveaway

Open internationally to people over the age of 18.

Winner selection

The winners will be selected randomly from the active subscribers list as of 15th March 2015.

End of the giveaway

This month's prize winners will be announced on the 15th of March 2015.

Final Word

Thank you again for participating and for reading my blog. You rock!

Tuesday 10 February 2015

How To Treat Hormonal Acne - the Cream that Cured My Skin

All right, maybe a better title for the post would be "How I Successfully Treated MY Hormonal Acne" as, obviously, we are all different and things that work for one person do not necessarily work for another. Nevertheless, I found something that worked for me right after reading an article in the Daily Mail about a mysterious dissapearance of a miracle acne treatment called PanOxyl. Clearly this is a product of choice for a lot of other people. I didn't research about this topical product as I trusted the source which claimed that the gel had actually disappeared from the market. Also, I never believe anything until I get to experience it for myself, so why would I think that this cream was better than any other acne cream or treatment that was sold over the counter that I had already tried?
Hormonal acne spots are often located on your chin
Hormonal acne spots are often located on your chin

Let's go back to my story. Approximately a week before my period I get these nasty spots on my face. they usually stay there for approximately two weeks or sometimes longer. Occasionally they do not even go away in a cyclical manner as they are that big and annoying, to say the least. I am still totally confident that it's all to do with my hormones as the pattern is obvious and all the other symptoms are there too, such as pimples form around my mouth and lips, chin and jawline; my acne spots are often cystic and sometimes take ages to go away.

I am a creature of habits and I struggle to change my routine for the sake of getting rid of pimples or even to balance my hormones. Plus, although I like the idea of things being natural, I don't often find natural treatments to be very effective.

Totally accidentally I found a cream in my drawer which I knew was there for ages, but I never picked it up nor had a look at what it was for. Recently, somehow the cream ended up in my hands when I was looking for some other medicine for my sore finger. It read "Quinoderm for acne". "Wow" - I thought as I didn't remember buying any cream for acne such a long time ago. Acne spots were something fairly new in my life, i.e., something I acquired after having my two kids, together with the "much loved" hormonal imbalance. Anyway, I looked at the expiry date on the acne cream tube and it said that it was September 2011. Should I use something that expired such a long time ago? Well, I had an awful spot on my chin and a couple of other smaller pimples in the same area and somewhere on the bridge of my nose. What do I have to lose trying? Quickly I applied the cream and went to bed without thinking too much.

In the morning, to my big surprise, the smallest spots were already gone, the medium spot had somehow started to dry out and the huge pea sized monster on my chin somewhat started to look a little bit less monstrous. Wow! This is the first acne cream that actually worked on me. Previously, I noticed that Skinceuticals retinol cream which I infrequently, but regularly applied on my face, had some positive effect, but certainly not even close to this magic!
How to get rid of acne vulgaris - topical pimple product
Acne vulgaris topical medicine Quinoderm

I quickly went to google for Quinoderm for acne cream and I found that all suppliers had run out of it without any further information as to when exactly they were going to have the miraculous acne cream back on the market. Now, no way I am getting rid of this wonder product even though it was four years past it's expiry date. I carried on using this cream three times a day and it cured all my pimples beautifully, even the massive pea sized spot on my chin. This is by far the best treatment I have had for acne. To be honest, I didn't even believe that it was possible to cure acne vulgaris with topical over-the-counter medication.

Suddenly I remembered the article in the Daily Mail and I quickly ran to check for the name of the cream to see if it was Quinoderm for acne that Iona Bain was talking about. No, she was talking about PanOxyl, an over-the-counter topical gel, however, the main active ingredient there was benzoyl peroxide which is the same as in Quinoderm cream.

You will probably struggle to buy the product that I have, but I have checked PanOxyl out and it doesn't seem to be a problem to buy this one, regardless of what the DailyMail stated. I haven't tried it out myself, but, given that it has the same main active ingredient and some reviewers on various sites said that they had switched from Quinoderm to PanOxyl with at least as good or even better results, I believe it will kill acne spots just as effectively.

The only warning is: be prepared to a bit of dry and flaky skin in the area where you are using the cream. Also, make sure to use the cream only on the spots and not on your whole face unless your whole face is affected. Your face needs to be squeaky clean or it won't work, at least for me it doesn't unless the pimples and the surrounding area are very clean. Don't use any moisturiser on top. Apply the acne product two to three times a day for maximum effect and always follow the instructions.

If you are struggling with acne or hormonal acne like me and still haven't tried Quinoderm nor PanOxyl, I think these are your best shots and you have no excuse not to try them, especially given that the former one costs approximately £2-3 and the latter only £4-5. Make sure that you buy the cream with benzoyl peroxide of 10% for maximum efficiency.

I am quite pleased to say that I found my favourite product that cured acne spots on my face and I hope that some of you will benefit from this information as this chronic skin condition can lead to depression, negativity and in more severe cases even suicidal thoughts, so it's not something to be taken lightly.

Have you ever had acne? How did you treat it? Did you manage to cure it, any advice?

Monday 2 February 2015

SkinPep Collagen Renew Growth Factor Night Cream Review

SkinPep is a fairly new cosmeceuticals brand with an active participation in various beauty shows such as Professional Beauty Show, Anti-ageing Health and Beauty Show. They have their own YouTube channel and work hard trying to build up their brand which already has a lot of products to choose from, most of them being anti-ageing orientated.

SkinPep Collagen Renew Growth Factor Night Cream Review
SkinPep Collagen Renew Night Cream
I have been kindly offered to test Skinpep Collagen Renew Growth Factor Night Cream, which I will be reviewing in this post.

Recently I have been experimenting with a few new skincare products, so it was quite difficult to separate the effects of the mentioned cosmetic, however, I got the idea of what it's like and I will tell you whether I like it or not in my review.

SkinPep Collagen Renew Growth Factor Night Cream has an awful lot of great ingredients such as growth factors, matrixyl, retinol, hyaluronic acid, collagen peptides, CoQ10, green tea and lots more. It offers delivery of antioxidants and growth factors in an airless way.

It claims to help reduce fine lines and wrinkles while you are sleeping, ensures excellent skin moisturisation, provides powerful anti-oxidants to your skin. It is best used with SkinPep Ultra Retinol for night time only.

Well, the product has a very hygienic dispenser and I like to use it with Skinceuticals Retinol cream. I mix them up together and apply before bed. The retinol preparation that I have is too strong for me, so I dilute it with the mentioned SkinPep product and it works wonders on my skin. I only use retinol cream once a week or sometimes even less often, on the other days I apply pure SkinPep night cosmetic and it also feels great on my skin.

Although I struggle to separate the effects of the mentioned cosmeceutical from the other products I have been using, I like the consistency of the Collagen Renew night cream and I think it benefits my skin by making it a bit smoother and providing it with moisture while I am asleep. Also, it is great that the product can be applied to the delicate area around eyes.

SkinPep cream costs £5.99 for a 2ml sachet, £39.99 for a 30ml bottle and £64.99 for a 50ml bottle. The brand constantly has some promotions and sends out some discount codes to their subscribers. Once I managed to find a 50% discount code online which I tested and it worked, so keep your eyes peeled if you would like to try their products out!

Do you test a lot of new skincare products or stick to the same old ones? Have you heard of SkinPep?