Forever young: Top 10 tips for year round health and beauty, part 7.

So, in episode 6 we looked at hydration from the inside out and I spoke about the use and benefits of liquid chlorophyll as good skin comes from within as well as what is applied to the skin topically.

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Part 7: hydration, from the outside

As the seasons are changing and winter draws near our skin’s needs will change as a result. We will now start to turn on central heating, light fires and maybe use air-conditioning in our cars to heat them up faster. This, plus the harsh change in weather dries out the skin making it feel tight, uncomfortable and begin flaking.

If you can remember from a previous episode, I mentioned that dehydration can lead to premature ageing and wrinkle formation on the skin so it is important to step up our hydration levels over this coming season. 

In this episode I have chosen to make suggestions on what skincare products everyone can use to boost hydration and protect our skin from the effects of dehydration in a simple step-by-step guide.

For this…I have chosen the Néroli (Hydra Floral) range of products by Decléor, Paris. 

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Products courtesy of Decléor, http://www.decleor.co.uk. 

 Daily skincare

After cleansing, using one of Decléor’s cleansers such as the Micellar Oil or Water as seen in an earlier post if you so wish, it’s important to apply the correct product for your skin. Decléor’s Néroli range is perfect for instant hydration but also maintaining it throughout the day and night. It’s perfect for all skins, even mature skin and will leave your skin feeling soft and looking more radiant and youthful.

Start with your serum, an essential part of a sophisticated professional skincare routine. You only need 3 drops applied to your fingertips, this product is powerful and also a multi-award winner, so you only need a small amount. Warm it in the palms of your hands and gently massage into the skin. You can then apply your chosen companion moisturiser as illustrated below in 2 separate options.

Perfect for: ANYONE! This serum has no age limit!

Pro tip: if your skin is super dry you can use this underneath a mask and also underneath a night balm once a week and sleep in it. Pour a small amount into your palms and massage into the skin, apply your mask or balm and sleep tight. Cleanse face as normal in the morning.  

  

Option 1 here is the Hydra Floral Rich version. Perfect for super dry skin and doesn’t sit on the skin. Works in perfect harmony with the Néroli serum and is perfect for keeping the skin hydrated for longer during the harsh winter months.

Perfect for: dry and dehydrated skin, but also anyone needing that extra hydration boost!

  

Option 2 is the light version. This is perfect for a more oily or combination skin where the skin’s natural moisturiser…sebum or oil, is in abundance. Don’t worry about the use of the Aromessence Oil serum though! Even oily skins need hydration and these products are designed to work with the skin, so everyone benefits!

Perfect for: oily and combination skins. It makes a fabulous makeup base too!

  
Weekly skincare

The penultimate product in the line-up is your night time choice. The Néroli night balm is your perfect nighttime companion. This balm is special as you don’t need to use your Aromessence serum beneath it as it has all the wonderful properties built in!

Perfect for: anyone who is concerned with dryness and a poor complexion. Can be used once a week alongside another night balm or moisturiser to boost the complexion and draw out spots and impurities.

Pro tip: for super dry skin, use 3 drops of the Aromessence Néroli beneath it to boost hydration while you sleep!

  
The final product in the lineup here is Decléor’s Masque Expert, also part of the Hydra Floral range for dry and dehydrated skin. This mask is lightweight and creamy but packs a powerful injection of moisture to the skin.

To use: apply 3 drops of your Aromessence to the skin and follow with a small amount of mask over the entire face and neck. Leave for 5-10 minutes and remove. Follow with moisturiser. Use once to twice a week depending on the skin’s needs.

Pro tip: do as described above…and sleep in it! Yes, you can sleep in this…try it and see the benefit the morning after!

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Following the link to the website gives you access to more options for your skin. I have picked this range because I swear by it…and my skin is really dry and tight, especially in winter so it’s a must-have for me!

It’s also great for everyone, and I mean EVERYONE so if you’re stuck or unsure…you can’t go far wrong using this range.

Don’t forget to exfoliate once a week too, otherwise these lovely products won’t be going very far or doing very much to your skin…and what would be the point in that?!

There are more options for different skin types out there, including the newer Marjolaine and Mandarin ranges for more mature skin types. All can be used in the same way however, so there’s no need to worry about changing your routine again.

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We’re almost at the end, keep your eyes peeled for episode 8 coming your way in the next 2 weeks…its also Halloween soon and that means it’s my annual pilgrimage to Whitby Goth Festival so I’ll have some interesting stuff to post on here from that!

Happy skin!

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Studio Bleu School of Beauty

So on Monday I began a new venture offering fast-track beauty courses in Nottingham and surrounding areas. 

This has stemmed from the completion of my teaching qualification as I wanted to deliver high-quality courses for individuals who want to improve their skills, add skills to their menus or start a new career in beauty and spa.

All courses are Guild Accredited and insurable through the Guild of Beauty Therapists.

Right now, I’m in the process of building a website to host all of my information, but for now I have a Facebook page where I house everything.

Check out the information on the websites below, I’ll be including information regarding it on here regularly in between skincare posts.

I’m available for individuals, salons, spas and colleges for training so if you or anyone you know is looking for extra-curricular education then please point them in my direction!

Information:

http://www.facebook.com/studiobleusob

http://www.studiobleuschoolofbeauty.freeindex.co.uk

http://www.beautyguild.com

  

Forever young: Top 10 tips for year round health and beauty, part 6.

With obesity on the rise in many young people today the message “live healthy” or “live well” seems to be ever on the rise in the media. This is backed up with what we eat and what we do…good food combined with regular exercise to maintain all round good health for body and mind.

But what do we drink?

Water? YES! But water is boring…right?

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Number 6: hydration (from the inside first!)

Now, the government’s guidelines for drinking water is roughly 8 glasses per day…but how realistic is that for ordinary folks like you and I? Not very, with most of us (including myself) preferring something with more taste such as tea, coffee or alcohol (that one doesn’t include me this time!)

I get tired of watching what is good and what is bad on the television…it seems to me like one moment something is good and the next minute it’s bad and you should avoid it like the plague.

Over this past year I’ve been working very closely with a team of health experts and they introduced me to something very peculiar…

Liquid Chlorophyll.

For those of you who may not know, Cholorophyll is found in plants and allows them to absorb sunlight and convert it into energy through photosynthesis. It is also highly beneficial as a supplement for us humans too and comes with a wide range of benefits.

1. A natural deodorant from the inside. Claims suggest that taking chlorophyll regularly can reduce bad breath and other normally embarrassing body odours. It is also claimed that it helps to speed up the healing of wounds and combat any odours that come with them.

2. Detoxification. Chlorophyll has been taken for years to help detoxify the liver and flush out potential cancer-causing toxins. 

***3. Advanced hydration. When mixed with water, chlorophyll has the ability to hydrate the body three times faster than water alone. Drink it cold with some ice and it tastes fabulous! 😉
So what does this mean for the skin? In another blog I’ll highlight the importance of hydration for the body in greater detail, but hydration in short is the key to anti-ageing; if you’re hydrated, your skin will look brighter, feel softer and wrinkles will appear more diminished. 

Flushing out toxins will also help keep the skin looking clearer and more radiant, giving a youthful glow and fresh appearance. 
Are there any side effects? Nothing seriously detrimental has been discovered thus far. Digestive problems can arise when introduced to the supplement in the early stages but can easily be combatted. I suffered with this but altered my intake of the supplement. Some individuals I work with like to take a whole day’s dose in one go, personally I like to drink it in diluted amounts throughout the day. I found that helped me combat the digestive issue and also helps keep my IBS symptoms at bay…BONUS!

Another possible side effect is increased sensitivity to sunlight. This is nothing that a good quality sunscreen can’t handle so not to worry…you should be using it anyway 😉 

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As with any supplement it is important to seek medical advice before use, but in my opinion I would recommend a supplement such as this to boost hydration levels. I use a brand called Nature’s Sunshine but there are many other brands out there and it can be purchased from health food shops or private health centres and gyms. 
One last thing..!!!

It can also be mixed with smoothies and juices…if you need some help with this Liz Earle has written a fabulous little book, ‘Juice’, which gives guidelines to juicing in order to achieve beautifully perfect skin. 

You can buy it from Amazon by clicking right…Here

Or visit her website by clicking Here
In instalment 7, I’ll be discussing the importance of hydrating the skin from the outside and will give you some perfect products that will help you achieve flawless skin ready for winter 🙂

Blog update: a long time gone but now back in force!

It’s been over a year since my last blog post and much has happened since.

I moved house! From Mansfield to Newark, UK…one of the most stressful things I’ve ever had to do as the house needed a great deal of work doing to it. 

I’ve recently graduated from my PGCE (which has undeniably taken up a vast majority of my time) so now I’m a fully qualified teacher and hope to be doing some freelance teaching work very very soon!

I demoted myself as head therapist at Clumber Park Spa and went to work in management and freelance therapy work up and down the UK. I also maintained close contact with Clumber Park and work closely with them on a regular basis.
With all that said its time to get back to business and I’ve learned so much from my break from writing that I have an array of product reviews, skincare tips and tricks to share with you all.

So watch this space!

Taking beauty by storm: micellar technologies

As a therapist, I know that it is important to properly cleanse the skin and it should be done twice per cleanse, tone and moisturise session to ensure the proper removal of grime and to help with the absorption of products that follow.

There are a variety of types from creams, clay based and foaming skin washes, but what about oils? What about waters?

Skincare companies such as Decleor and Dermalogica have created and widely use a new micellar technology within their products, which means that an unlikely consistency can be used by all skins to remove dirt, grime and makeup.

Micellar technology encapsulates particles of dirt and makeup and quickly loosens and removes it for a smooth, clean finish. They have an oily texture so are incredibly nourishing to the skin, but this does not mean that oily skins are exempt from this.
Oil attracts oil, so any excess oils on the skin are also removed along with the dirt.
Another top benefit of micellar technologies are that they do not strip the skin of it’s vital pH 5.5, which means that toning afterwards is not necessary.
It maintains skin balance and is therefore anti-ageing.

Examples of micellar products are as follows:

Decleor’s micellar oil and micellar water.
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The oil is quick and simple to use, you only need 1 pump so in reality this should last up to 6 months with 1 person using it.
You apply the product to a dry face and massage all over, including the eye area to really loosen the dirt. Once ready, you must then emulsify with water to loosen even further. Finish by removing the dirt with warm clean water, warm flannels or mittens. Apply your serums and moisturisers to finish the treatment.

The waters are also similar in their usage and should last a similar length of time to the oil. Apply to a dry cotton pad and wipe the face, including the eye area to remove all the dirt. No other water is required, just wipe with the pad and you’re done! Once again no toning is required and you can then complete the service with your serum and moisturiser.

The products can be used both morning and night but they are recommended to be used in the the evening before your night treatments and products are applied.

They can be purchased from here, http://www.decleor.co.uk

My experiences have been incredibly positive, I’m in love with the oil and use the waters to quickly cleanse if I have been lazy with my nightly cleanse.
The combination of the 2 work perfectly, the waters in the morning really clean and refresh the skin whilst the oil deeply cleanses and nourishes leaving my skin silky soft and clear.

Try them for yourselves, if you’ve struggled with cleansing then these are the products for you. You can cleanse in confidence knowing your skin will be cared for!

For great hair…say Wen?

Something a little different today, readers.

After having coloured hair since I was about 11 years old and having countless issues with my hair including alopecia I decided to try something different, something new.

But this is a skincare blog…so why are you doing hair?!

Hair and skin both contain the same protein, keratin; they both contain pigment, melanin; and hair is a component of the skin itself in terms of beauty therapy studies.

So why not I say! Let’s begin!

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So, about the product. I don’t want to delve too deeply into this because it can be researched here: http://www.wen.com/ but basically…

Wen was created by Chaz Dean, a well known haircare professional and stylist to the stars. Originally starting out in photography, Chaz’s passion turned towards the hair industry and he soon made a name working with another haircare brand developing their products. This was, until, he started developing his own brand in 1996, which we now know as Wen haircare.
He currently resides in Hollywood at Chaz Dean studios continuing to offer top quality services to whole host of celebrity clientele.

Chaz’s new product, the cleaning conditioner is a 5 in 1 system, which replaces the need for a separate conditioner. You can also purchase masks and styling products to accompany the cleansing conditioner but it’s nice to know you don’t have to if you don’t want.

How to use: this depends on the length of your hair as you do end up using quite a lot. I have long hair so it didn’t last me very long, but my mum has much shorter hair and she’s still on her first bottle over 2 months later.

Rinse hair thoroughly, this step is a must.
You need 10-16 pumps for short hair, 16-24 for medium length hair and 24-32 pumps for long hair. If your hair is longer/thicker you may need to increase the amount of pumps used.
Rub the product in the palms of your hands and apply to the scalp and lengths making sure it’s evenly distributed. This can be achieved by adding more water. Make sure to massage well so that the product can work properly. You can leave it in for a minute or two if you have any stubborn dirt build up, then rinse very very thoroughly with tepid water so no product is left.
You can usually tell if it’s all out by running your hands through your hair and feeling if there’s a slimy texture in your fingers. If so, rinse more.

If you need to repeat you can, but it’s not always necessary. It is also claimed that you may not need to wash your hair as often.
One last thing, this product contains no sodium lauryl sulfate so it will not lather.

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The following images are from a session dedicated to the use of Wen that I did with 10 level 1 hairdressing students at work. The images are before and afters of those who had their hair cleansed with Wen and were taken with flash on my smartphone. They all used the cleansing conditioner in Pomegranate.

Before using Wen, this student had greasy, knotty hair and has it coloured regularly.
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After using Wen and having her hair blow dried and straightened. No styling products were used.

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Before, this student had greasy hair that was full of styling product. She colours her hair pink, which has faded drastically and looks dull.

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After, student had 2 cleanses and the mask to accompany the conditioner. She had it straightened first then curled with irons. No styling products were used.

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Before, a male student. Student has the sides shaven with the top left thicker. He colours his hair and has naturally greasy hair.

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After, the student’s hair felt thicker and had more life to it. His blond also looks more vibrant and shiny. Blowdried and straightened, with no styling products.

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So what did my 10 students think?

I asked them 4 questions after using the product and here’s an overview.

When asked, how would you rate the use of Wen haircare?
8/10 stated that is was very easy to use compared to traditional methods of cleansing.

When asked, how would you rate the results when styling after using Wen haircare?
7/10 students said it was very easy to style but mentioned that the hair was too smooth to create a curly style.

When asked, the product costs around £20 to purchase, how would you rate the value for money?
10/10 students stated they would not pay that much, despite the good results.
Though bear in mind, these students are 16/17 years so may not be able to afford a product such as this.

When asked, would you recommend this product to a friend or client?
9/10 students said YES!

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So what do you think? These results are from ONE use of Wen cleansing conditioner so it would be interesting to hear what you all think when using it for a prolonged period of time, if you decide to of course!

I concluded by asking the students one final question, for great hair…can we really say Wen?
In this instance, they said yes we can!

My top 3 product picks for sensitive skin.

Sensitive skin is the most common self-diagnosed skin type with combination being a very close second, but what products are out there that can help mask the visual signs but also treat the symptoms of those suffering with sensitivity?

Here are my top 3.

Number 1: Dermalogica’s redness relief SPF20

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http://www.dermalogica.co.uk/uk/html/products/redness-relief-spf20-137.html?type=function&cat=moisturizers

Number 2: Decleor’s harmonie calm duo concept

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http://www.decleor.co.uk/harmonie-calm-soothing-milky-cream.html
http://www.decleor.co.uk/aromessence-rose-d-orient-super-serum.html

Number 3: Elemis’ daily redness solution

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http://www.elemis.com/SkinCare/ProductDetails.aspx?pid=22

If you wish to read more into each of my top picks, click the links provided where you can also purchase too.

Happy reading!

Leah x

Forever young: Top 10 tips for year round health and beauty, part 5.

Time for another instalment, it’s been too long but it won’t be a long instalment…something quite short and snappy this time!

If this series has depressed you somewhat so far then perhaps this one will pick you up a little.

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Number 5: over exercising

Now, as a disclaimer I’m not suggesting that we all become couch potatoes and become completely inactive, that would be unwise as we still need a small amount of exercise each day.

Children need an hour of exercise everyday and adults, just 30 minutes.
It must be something of moderate exertion, something that makes the heart rate and breathing increase a little. Activities such as brisk walking, jogging and swimming would be ideal but small daily inclusions such as taking the stairs instead of the lift will suffice too.

So what happens if we exercise too much?
Factors linking to ageing include loss of muscle mass, eating disorders such as anorexia, weakened immune system and lack of sleep.
We also loose vital salts through excessive sweating and this sweat can also contribute to clogged pores and spots if we wear makeup when working out.
On the flip side, gentle exercise can be beneficial to our skin. It can promote blood flow to the skin creating a rosy complexion, stimulate hormones and endorphins to make us feel good but also improve muscle tone leading to a smoother appearance on the skin’s surface.

So skincare wise, we need to ensure we’re replacing anything vital lost through exercise and if we’re more active outside, ensure we’re protecting our skin from the sun’s rays with an effective SPF product.

A wonder product that is great for tired and ageing skin but also a great all-rounder product that has more than one use is Decleor’s gel prolagene.

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A true wonder product, or did I already say that?
This is multi-functional and can be used for face and body as a treatment serum, mask and even over the eyes. It’s fantastic for after weight loss and perfect for use in pregnancy to help prevent and improve the appearance of stretch marks. It works most effectively with a full Decleor skincare regime but can be inserted into any regime for an extra kick.
Click on the following link to purchase and read a full description and see what others have to say!
http://www.decleor.co.uk/body/prolagene-gel.html

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A quick episode this time but perhaps something we’re not so familiar with when it comes to ageing and that we can do and have whatever we like so long as it’s in moderation.

Wondering what’s next in the series? Stay tuned, there may be some more surprises coming your way!

Beauty UK purchase review, NEC Birmingham Sunday 18th May 2014.

So yesterday I was fortunate enough to head on down to Birmingham to check out what the NEC beauty UK show had to offer that was different from the other shows I’d attended in the past.
This was a new one for me, despite it being the closest as I’ve always gone further afield and stayed over at the other shows I’d attended.

I found it quite informative! I managed to get loads of advice and information regarding new treatments from brands such as Elemis and Crystal Clear and also managed to get my hands on some products whilst I was at it!

So what did I buy? Here’s an overview of 2 of my favourites!

Elemis’ stand had lots on offer, on one side they had demonstrations of their new machine-based treatments and on the other, the retail stand.
I only bought one item, as my main focus for going was to obtain information to take back to the college but what I did buy I was more than happy with :).

Elemis’ hand wash and hand cream duo in lavender was a sure purchase. The RRP was £17.50 but I was lucky to get it at £14 only for the set of 2 at 195ml size, which was a complete bargain!
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The duo is a luxurious collection for your hands and is perfect to show off to your friends in the bathroom when they come to visit!
The main ingredient is lavender and is apparent by the strong but not overpowering aroma, which is great for relaxing the senses. Perfect to use at night just before bedtime!
The hand wash alone does not leave your skin dry and flaky. It contains skin softening ingredients such as soy, wheat and milk proteins and when combined with the hydrating ingredients of jojoba and gold of pleasure oil in the hand cream you’re sure to achieve great hands for get summer and beyond!
I’m not sure if I really want to put it out for my friends to use though…it’s far to nice for them so I will most likely end up saving it all for myself!

So I also managed to find these little treasures after many many times searching my local stores but finally we got some! The sleep-in rollers usually RRP at around £30-35 in most highstreet shops, but here I managed to snap them up for a mere £10, and with extras included in the package!

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The sleep-in rollers seem to have taken the market by storm! Almost everybody I saw at the show was carrying a bag of them and I wanted in on the action. You get 20 rollers in the kit plus a large carry bag, small carry bag, instructions on a DVD, hair grips and a small bag to keep the grips safe.

I’ve slept in rollers before when I used to compete with my dancing and can say that in previous years they kept me awake most of night just because they’re so uncomfortable!
These, however are perfectly named…you do indeed sleep! The soft foam cushion inside the rollers provide a layer of comfort and with that fabulous sparkle you’re sure to look (almost) like a movie star on awakening!
The results are great too, you get great root lift for longer hair and natural curls if your hair is shorter, like my mother’s.
I’d definitely pay the full price if I couldn’t get them any cheaper and they come in a choice of 2 colours, pink with silver sparkle and black with gold sparkle.

Grab them and more by checking out the websites:
http://www.elemis.co.uk
http://www.sleepinrollers.com

Beauty snips and money saving tips: Sandwiching Vs Mixing.

All of us skincare savvy folk will use several products in our skincare arsenal to help get the best results possible for our skin. These components may include:
– cleanser
– toner
– moisturiser
– exfoliator
– serum or elixir
– eye cream
– lip cream
– mask
Certain products can be either mixed together or sandwiched, depending on preference and tends to be the serum/elixir and moisturiser.

Now, if you’re not sure what I mean, let me explain.

Mixing is a no brainer, you mix your serum with your moisturiser and apply to clean skin. Easy!

Sandwiching is where you apply one first then the other, in this case the serum first then the moisturiser to seal it down.

Contrary to popular belief, moisturiser isn’t responsible for many major skin changes. It moisturises yes, but it’s main job is to provide a 2-way shield for the skin such as, preventing trans epidermal water loss (moisture lost from the skin) and protection from external assaults such as free radicals.

The serum itself is the treatment that gets right down into the deepest layers of the skin and works on giving the promised results, the moisturiser just seals it all in.

So where am I going with this?

We spend lots of money on these products and want to get the most out of them. Now this all depends on how dramatic the results are that you want to achieve and how much cash you have to splash when your jar runs dry.

The most cost effective method is mixing the products together as this creates a richer texture meaning it can go further in one application and you’re not tempted to use too much unnecessarily.
It does however, lower the effectiveness of the treatment serum used, so results may take longer to be seen on the skin.

Sandwiching is great for those who are careful (unlike me) and who want to see results faster. To do this you should apply your serum first, wait at least 5-10 minutes for it to absorb then apply moisturiser. This way, the treatment can penetrate and do it’s job in the the skin and then be sealed in by the moisturiser so it can continue working.

Decleor’s ‘duo concept’ highlights this fantastically as they release lines of skincare with a serum or Aromessence with its partner moisturiser. Now there are so many it would take aaaaaages to put on here and would mean lots of reading for you! So here’s a link for you to look at:
Www.decleor.co.uk

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Nutridivine and Aromessence Angelique, the perfect combination for dry and dehydrated skin.

So the verdict, if you want to save money and make products last longer then go with the mixing method. If you’re not worried about saving so much and want faster results then the sandwich method is your method!

Last tip before I go…apply your serum and moisturiser between the hours of 11-3am. This time period is the optimum time for cell renewal and will make your products work more efficiently!

Enjoy your fabulous skin! Stay tuned for more…soon!