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Beauty – Liquid Collagen – does it really work?

July 13, 2015

You may remember that I had already tried a collagen supplement for a few months, aimed at improving the condition of hair and nails. The reality is, there are loads of different collagen supplements and treatments in the market these days and the majority will be designed to help alleviate the ageing process. You can find them in capsules or as a drinkable liquid and this is what I tried for a whole month this time. Do you want to know if it worked?

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June Beauty Roundup

June 20, 2015
beauty 02 copy

Every now and then I do a beauty roundup and as I’ve added quite a few new things to my beauty regime, an overview is now due. On my last trip abroad to Berlin, I had to exercise a great amount of self control to not go and spend too much money on makeup at the airport, as I realise I probably have enough products to last me a long time, but there’s always a few things you end up picking up here and there…

Revlon Parfumerie Scented Nail Enamel – Being the idiot that actually forgot to bring nail polish with me on my trip, I headed to Boots to get me some. This is rich, seeing the obscene number of bottles I already have. I didn’t want to walk around with bare nails the whole time so I had to bite the bullet and try to find a colour I didn’t yet have. This was a difficult exercise, because as you can see, I have plenty. I ended up settling on Wintermint (colour 040), whose shimmery mint with aqua glitter made me feel like I had mermaid nails. The selling point of this nail polish is that it has a light fragrance once it dries. I paired it with Revlon® Nail Care Quick Dry Base Coat and Revlon® Quick Dry Top Coat and it lasted me for around 5 days before it started chipping, so I would call it a great success. There was a promotion running and I ended up getting 3 for 2 in the end, which worked out really well.

Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette – I have a problem when buying makeup: I’m a total magpie and always get attracted to colourful and glittery palettes, which means that I buy them and then realise I wasted my money because apart from the drag queen parties with some of my friends, when can I get to wear them? With this in mind I decided it was time to invest in a more natural looking palette, that I could make the most of in my day to day life. The Urban Decay Naked palettes are just this – designed to be worn every day, with most of colours being quite subtle yet pretty, with a couple of darker shades thrown in for a more dramatic look when necessary. I didn’t have a particular reason for picking the number 3, as I couldn’t decide so the really nice lady at the Urban Decay counter at Debenhams kind of made the decision for me. I already tried  a few of the colours and I have to say that I’m quite satisfied with the results. The colours are pretty and give you that subtle polished look which is so important in a professional environment. The pigment payoff is pretty decent and it comes with a double edged brush that’s actually pretty decent, compared to some of the eyeshadow applicators that come free with some makeup. I’m totally hooked and now I’d like to get all the other Naked palettes!

Make Up Forever HD Powder* – This is a real must have, in my opinion! As you may remember, a few weeks ago I stopped by at the Make Up Forever launch party here in London. That was when I first tried on their HD Powder and got completely hooked. Thankfully it was one of the products included in the goodie bag we got, but seriously, it didn’t really matter because even if it wasn’t, I’d be buying it anyway. As a woman in my late 30’s, anything that helps improve the appearance of my skin is something I’ll happily be handing my money over for and this is one of such products. It mattifies and softens the skin making it look smoother and more even look. Apply it over the rest of your makeup for best results, with a wide brush.

Iluminage TOUCH elos Permanent Hair Removal / Reduction System * – Last week I attended the launch party for this new IPL hair removal system that seems quite exciting. Having removed my upper lip hair via expensive laser treatments and having had a home IPL system before that worked but was too time consuming, this comes as an interesting alternative. The Illuminage system is different in a lot of aspects: unlike other IPL machines, it can be safely used on dark skin and it is effective on lighter hair. It’s not painful and promises results after 6 weekly applications. I haven’t started using it yet, due to lack of time but as soon as I have an update, I will keep you all posted.

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Maybelline Superstay 24 Dual Ended Lipstick Red Passion – I was looking for a long lasting red lipstick, as I had to attend a wedding a few weeks back and despite not really needing new lipstick, I thought that a long lasting lip colour would be good to have to wear on such an event. I went to Superdrug and snagged these two colours by Maybelline, that are easy to apply – you apply the colour from one end and then top up with the creamy transparent stick from the other end. This is because being a long lasting colour, it can be a little bit drying. To be honest, this is not the longest lasting 24 hr lipstick I’ve ever had but the colours are gorgeous. I also find that for some reason, the lighter red has a lower pigmentation and seems to last for less time.

Nair Argan Oil Shower Power Cream * – While I don’t manage to have my hair removed in a more long lasting way, there is always a need to get rid of it. I usually shave my legs but lately it hasn’t been the best of experiences, making my skin irritated and giving me razor burns. Sometimes it seems like someone butchered my legs, such is the extent of the cuts. The opportunity to try out the Nair Shower Power cream came just in time, as I was looking for a less aggressive alternative. It is easy to use, just spread it on your legs, underarm or bikini line, leave for 10 minutes max, hop in the shower and scrape it off with the spatula. It works like a dream and the argan oil formula leaves the skin feeling smooth and pampered.

InstaNatural Scar Gel Cream – For Old & New Scars * – This is a product that has been designed to help minimise the appearance of scars. Claims to be better than scar oils, which have somewhat recently become quite popular. I have been applying it to some minor scars I have from a laparoscopy I had a couple of years ago and it’s been helping with the appearance a little.
The texture of the gel is actually more on the liquid side and despite having a brownish colour, it’s not noticeable on your skin after application. It’s easy to spread and quickly absorbed by the skin.
If you are concerned about the type of ingredients on your beauty products and are looking to use something natural, than this is the one to use, as it’s based on natural ingredients such as sea kelp and green tea. The only turn off for me has been the scent. Even though it’s not an unpleasant smell, it’s a very active sweet smell that lingers for a while. If you are putting on perfume as well, it might be a bit confusing for the nostrils. Apply twice a day for best results.

Pure Gold Collagen* – Having tried other collagen products before in tablet form, I have now been given the opportunity to try the liquid treatment. I have been sent a 30 day programme of Pure Gold Collagen and I have started it a week ago. My skin has been a bit dull and with a tendency to get blocked pores and a few zits and my nails kind of falling apart, nail wraps are great but can destroy the nail’s top layers. I am hoping that by the end of the treatment, my skin looks glowing and my nails stronger.

Ella Henderson’s Limited Edition Batiste Dry Shampoo * – Batiste’s dry shampoo is of undisputed quality and is definitely a leader in this market, to the point that my sister, recently visiting from Portugal, bought a few to take back home, as unfortunately it’s not yet sold there, but is already a well known brand! (hint hint, maybe Batiste should be made available there too?). This time they have partnered up with Ella Henderson of X Factor fame, to make a special edition dry shampoo, that promises to freshen up your locks and leave you feeling like a star.

Note: Items marked with * have been received as samples.

Beauty, London

Make Up Forever UK & Debenhams Beauty launch party

June 8, 2015

I’ve been meaning to finally post about the Make Up Forever UK launch party. This is a brand that will be known to anyone who pays any attention to makeup and one that we’ve been all anxiously waiting to have available in a store. The day has come and after all these years, Make Up Forever is now stocked and available in Debenhams.


As we arrived we were greeted by a model in fantastical makeup. This is a reference to the origins at the brand – which was started in 1984, when its founder Dany Sanz, an artist, realised no one was making appropriate make up for theatrical purposes.



“Life is a stage”

– Dany Sanz

Dany Sanz was present at the event and it was a privilege to hear her talk about her vision and the path the brand took from humble beginnings to now have become one of the top brands preferred by makeup artists around the world. I can also tell you that she is as nice as she seems, as I had the opportunity to have a very quick chat with Dany.



I also got to have a quick consultation with one of the makeup artists present – David, who was actually Portuguese, just like me. He retouched my makeup and taught me a trick or two. The best one was being introduced to the Make Up Forever HD powder. How can I have lived without it? David applied it to one half of my face and asked me to touch both sides and feel the difference. It’s incredible!




You can go meet David at the Oxford Street Debenham’s Make Up Forever counter, I’m sure he’ll be happy to advise on the best products as much as he did with me.

Make Up Forever is now available in Debenham’s stores all across the UK and online.


art, Beauty, Lifestyle, London, Style, travel

The Best of the Month – April 2015

May 1, 2015

The month of April is now done and dusted and it feels like I haven’t been able to accomplish much. Life hasn’t been the easiest this past month – in terms of health and mood. Thankfully the weather seems to be improving and the sun brings a lighter perspective on things (how did you like that turn of phrase?). Anxiety and stress have been plaguing me as of late and I am coping the best way I can, by eliminating sources of tension and finding hobbies to make me happy. Sometimes the brain plays tricks and distorts reality and it’s terrible when it does so in such a negative way, like a mirror in a funfair house of mirrors.


I have now taken up embroidery and if you follow me on Instagram you will have seen some of my attempts. I am now anxiously (of course) awaiting the delivery of the colouring books I just ordered. It would appear to be a new fad, colouring books for adults as everyone seems to have discovered how relaxing colouring can be. I’ve been doing it for years, being a failed artist and all, but now I can do it on fancy books. Result!


To relax and get my mind of work, I also read stuff around the internet, some more serious than others… Here’s a selection of the best of the month, along with some photos I took on the London Underground. Enjoy! (And if you have any suggestions of things to do that are relaxing, please leave me a comment).

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Laser Hair Removal – does it actually work?

April 10, 2015

“Sometimes I wonder what I would be like if left to revert to nature,” she writes. “With a full beard and handlebar moustache on each shin, Denis Healey eyebrows, face a graveyard of dead skin cells, spots erupting, long curly nails like a Struwwelpeter …”

– Bridget Jones Diary

Hair. That thing that you tend to get annoyed with when it grows in other places other than your head and a few other selected places.

Despite a few women these days now foregoing hair removal in favour of a more natural look, the majority still worries about out-of-place hair, myself included. I am aware that the desire for smooth skin surfaces on women is a social construct but somehow I can’t avoid preferring a groomed look.

When it comes to hair removal, I must have tried most techniques available in the market: plucking, bleaching, shaving, waxing, IPLing and all sorts of hair removal machines, that have felt more like torture devices than anything else.

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