Summer feels like it is actually here, well at least the past three days! It’s been scorchio, even hotter than our recent holiday to Fuerteventura by a couple of degrees! I’m not going to get too excited though as it looks set to drop ten degrees next week. The sun is simply teasing us and leading us into a false sense of hope. Don’t put those jumpers and boots away just yet! Whilst the weather is lovely and I’m so much more comfortable in less clothing with a little more skin on show, it does mean it’s time to get skin ready for summer. Skin needs exfoliating, nails need filing and polishing, but most of all it’s time to get rid of unwanted hair for silky smooth legs. I was a religious shaver until last year when I discovered the longer lasting wax and converted. But it’s still quite painful and expensive so I’m always looking for a better solution. I think I may have found that solution and in this blog post I’m going to look at the benefits of laser hair removal.
It’s a permanent hair removal solution. Many of the hairs lie dormant, so several sessions are needed. But the hair follicles that are zapped in each treatment won’t produce hair again.
In the short term it seems expensive, but in the long term it’s a cost effective hair removal solution. Especially when compared to waxing, just imagine how much money you spend on waxing each year or even buying expensive razors, gels and shave creams.
Relatively pain free
Some people claim it’s not painful at all, but others say there is a slight discomfort or feeling of little pricks. It can’t be as bad as waxing and ripping out the hair every 4-6 weeks. Plus, no pain no gain!
The lasers only target the hair follicles leaving the surrounding skin undamaged.
The lasers are super quick and as can be seen in the below video, an underarm treatment only takes around 3 minutes. It can even take place in your lunch break!
When hair regrows after shaving it can cause lumpy, sore, itchy and irritable skin. As the hair doesn’t regrow after laser hair removal there will be none of these symptoms.
No more ingrown hairs
Laser hair removal is the only effective way to both prevent and eliminate those peky and sometimes uncomfortable ingrown hairs.
It works on shaved areas
Unlike waxing, you don’t need to fully grow the hair between each session. You can even shave! It works on the hair follicles so no need to walk around with embarrassingly long hair anymore.
Where can I get laser hair removal?
If you are in or close to London then you can have laser hair removal treatment at Pulse Light Clinic. They have two clinics: Bank Clinic (1st Floor, Peek House, 20 East Cheap, London, EC3M 1EB, Tel 0207 523 5158) and Tottenham Court Road (5 Percy Street, London, W1T 1DG, Tel 0207 205 4085).
For real life experiences on five different skin types, check out their video below:
No matter how much time you spend on makeup, hair, clothing, and the other aspects of your appearance at the start of each day, most people will find it hard to see their own beauty. Finding it far too easy to fixate on the things which you would rather have different, it can be a battle to see yourself for what you are. Of course, this is a shame, as it leaves a lot of people feeling bad for no good reason. To help you out, this post will be exploring some of the methods which can be used to open your eyes to the way you look.
To begin this journey, it’s time to start looking at yourself in a different light. Mirrors are often deceptive, as they make it far too easy to choose the way you stand and position yourself, and a lot of people find themselves inspecting the parts they see as bad when using a tool like this. As a much more honest view, using video of yourself can be a great way to start you on the road to seeing your beauty. Using your phone, you should find it easy to take some shots of yourself completing normal tasks, and it will be surprising at how good these clips can make you feel.
Ask honest relatives and friends
Of course, looking at yourself is one of the things which got you into this mess, and avoiding it could be a good way to get yourself out. The people who know you best are those who are likely to be the most honest with you. Siblings and parents are best for this, as they are likely to be relentless when they think something looks bad, and supportive when they think it is good. Listening to compliments can be very hard. In reality, though, people don’t say these things if they don’t mean them, especially if they aren’t trying to impress you.
One of the worst things we do nowadays, especially due to social media and magazines, is compare ourselves to others. We look at images of airbrushed beautiful models and wish we could have their features. If this sounds like you, then stop. Comparing yourself to an airbrushed model who has had their hair and make up done by a professional and a thousand photos of them taken to find the right one, then even that photo is edited, is ridiculous. It's a pointless comparison. Embrace your natural and real beauty. Instead of focusing on the features you dislike about yourself, focus on those you do like and enhance them.
Giving yourself a confidence boost is often one of the best ways to start seeing the natural beauty you have on display. Companies like The Belvedere Clinic specialise in providing treatments which can enhance the way you look, without having to spend weeks working on daily routines. While this likely isn’t necessary, this sort of action can be worth it if you feel down about yourself on a regular basis. Body confidence is very important, but it isn’t worth pretending to feel good about this part of life if you simply don’t. Then it's time to take action and do something about the things that make you miserable if you genuinely can't change your perspective on them.
Hopefully, with all of this in mind, it will be a lot easier to start seeing yourself for what you are; a beautiful and radiant person. When you spend too much time looking in the mirror, it can be very easy to trick yourself into thinking you look bad. In reality, mirrors are often cruel in their depictions, and your imagination will almost always run away with itself. This doesn’t mean you should have to feel bad about yourself though and if something is really upsetting you on a daily basis then do something about it.
Finally the cold harsh winter and surprise March snowfalls we’ve had this year will soon be behind us. I cannot wait for the warmer weather and neither can my body. The cooler months play havoc on my skin with cracked lips and dry rough hands. It’s never something I suffered with in my twenties, but now I’m in my thirties just a brisk walk outdoors in low temperatures is enough to split my knuckles. Transport me to a sun drenched summer and my skin will soon glow.
Here are my top tips to prepare your skin for the warmer weather of spring and summer:
It will be soon be time to reveal those arms and legs that have been hidden for months, so there’s no better time to restart your hair removal routine whether that’s shaving, waxing or treating yourself to professional laser hair removal at a clinic like Dore Aesthetics.
The winter may be known for causing dry flaky skin, but don’t stop exfoliating in the summer. The skin sheds more in the summer and regular exfoliation will help to speed up renewal and give the skin a healthy glow. Too much can damage the skin so stick to one or two times per week for best results.
Use sun protection
The sun is much stronger in spring and summer and it’s important to cover up with loose lightweight clothing and a strong enough natural based sun lotion. It is also vital to get enough vitamin D from the sun so aim for at least 10 minutes in the sun per day without any protection, just make sure you don’t burn or this will damage your skin.
Change to a BB cream
If you wear heavy foundation and powder in winter, consider changing to a BB cream for the summer months. These are more lightweight and natural looking which is great if you have a glowing tan to show off. Some even have built in SPF so you’ll be getting two products for the price of one.
Scrub your lips
Lips get a good old battering in the winter from dry to split to chapped. Revitalise them with a natural based lip scrub and used SPF lip balms and gloss for glowing kissable summer lips.
It’s not just about what you put on your skin, but what goes inside. Parched skin looks dull, tired and aged, so stay hydrated! Drink plenty of water every day and use a hydrating moisturiser to lock in the moisture.
Eat plenty of fruit and veg
It’s always important to be healthy and eat the most nutritious foods possible, especially if you want healthy skin. The best vitamins for skin are A, C, D, E, K, B3 and B5. So pretty much all of them which means you need to eat a plentiful variety of fruit and veg.
Have a cool shower
Hot showers can dry out the skin, so take a warm shower instead. Even better is a cool shower to tighten pores and help prevent clogging. If you can’t bear the thought then start with your usual temperature and finish off with a cooler blast before quickly wrapping up in your cosy fluffy towel.
With extra hydration, more fruit and these tips, you’ll have glowing summer skin in no time.
Over the past few years I’ve been living a more minimalist and simple lifestyle. For me this makes an already busy life a lot less hectic and stressful. I never set out to be a ‘minimalist’ or to follow a particular lifestyle, it just happened. It probably began as I moved house around ten times in ten years. To save lugging all my belongings every time I just cut down on what I had. Before moving in with my husband Ben, I lived in a bedsit for three years. This is where I really had to cut down on belongings and only live with my essentials as there was no room to store anything else. Now we have a three bed house, but I still enjoy only having what we need. I’m regularly selling items we don’t need or the children have grown out of and my obsession for only having what we need has stretched to my beauty routines too. I no longer have an overflowing make up bag, but just the items I use every day. I also used to use a whole bunch of hair care products, but there really is no need. I’ve reduced my hair care regime to the bare essentials and I honestly don’t think my hair looks much different! I’m just saving a small fortune on products as well as saving time every day. Here are the essential items you need for a minimalist hair care routine:
Now, you could even go totally minimal and not have one at all, letting your hair dry naturally all the time, but if you have work to go to or important events, then you’re probably not going to want to turn up with soaking wet hair! The best thing about a hair dryer is it can double up as a straightening tool. A minimal routine is about making the most of everything you have and using items for more than their intended purpose. If something can have two uses and you don’t have to buy two separate items then that saves space, money and time. If you dry your hair in a downwards motion then you’ll straighten it at the same time. My hair is pretty straight anyway, but on the days I don’t wash it I do wake with a kink here and there, so a few minutes blast with a hair dryer and my hair is smooth and straight once again.
Unless you’re going for a pixie cut which must be the ultimate minimal hair style, then you’re going to need a bush. I recommend a detangling style brush if you have hair that easily knots. This will save on having to buy detangling sprays or shampoos. I’m sure there are so many products out there screaming at us to buy them when we don’t need to. I used to have such an extended hair routine and use so many products I thought I needed, but when you strip back to the bare essentials you’ll realise you didn’t need half of them and you won’t even miss them. A brush, however, is an essential for anyone with long enough hair. You can even get a brush which helps to shine the hair so you can do away with any shine sprays you might have been using.
Shampoo and Conditioner
I did try to go super minimal and eco-friendly by trying the no poo hair washing method. This consists of just washing hair with water only and no products at all. Unfortunately my water is hard and so it just didn’t work. I gave it a good go for three months, but had to go back to using shampoo. Conditioner definitely softens my hair and I do notice the difference. I’ll either use just shampoo or I’ll buy a 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner to save time and keep it simple. I recommend only using natural based hair care products as they’re better for you and the environment.
Hair bands are a must for anyone with shoulder length hair or below. As a busy parent I often need to tie my hair up out of the way to stop it falling all over my face whilst cooking and doing household chores. I’m also a regular gym goer so need it all off my face when working out. A bunch of black elastic ties is all that’s needed – they’re cheap and do the job. Again, nothing fancy or unnecessary to stick with a minimal routine.
My final minimal hair care essential are Kirby grips, just make sure you’re wearing them the right way round. I have a pack of black grips that can hold my hair to the side and out of my face when down, or can pin up loose fallen hairs when in an up-do.
These 5 items are the only hair care items I have making for a quick no-fuss haircare routine every morning. Keeping things simple means I spend less than ever before on hair care and save a ton of time each day too. It’s also much better for the environment to not be spraying so many chemicals into the air or washing them down a plughole. Take a look at your hair care routine and see if you can cut costs and get some valuable time back each day too.
One of the most off-putting reasons for a person to convert to a natural beauty regime is usually the expense. It does tend to cost more to choose natural based products, but for a good reason. Natural beauty products use only the best quality and purest ingredients available. Many of these types of companies have strong ethics behind their brand and source ingredients from Fairtrade practices and organic sources. Companies are usually less mainstream and commercialised, but rather small businesses and individuals either hand making the products or making them in small batches. Even those natural beauty items that are starting to line the shelves of regular supermarkets often come from humble beginnings and are still not mass produced on the same scale as the well-known conventional brands.
Even though they are more expensive, I now only choose to buy natural beauty for me and the children. Not only do I believe it is more beneficial to our own health (everything you put on your skin ends up in your body), but better for the health of our planet. After all, everything we use eventually ends up in the environment whether it’s washed down a plughole or thrown into a bin. We should be making a conscious effort to use only the most natural ingredients to protect ourselves, marine life, wildlife and the Earth.
For me a little extra expense is worth it. However, here are several ways to save money when shopping for natural based beauty products:
Check for discounts on Groupon
Did you know Groupon offers discounts on beauty websites as well as on experiences, treatments, products and meals out? I didn’t, but I do now! I assumed they were just about getting a day out for a bargain or a hotel night away, but there’s an entire section of discount codes for well-known brands including Cult Beauty (as I write this) who stock a wide range of beauty products including natural items.
Make your own
By far the cheapest way to save on natural beauty is to make your own. Plus you can use the same ingredients to make lots of different items. You can even just use whole ingredients as they are, such as coconut oil which makes a great hair oil, lip balm, moisturiser and mouthwash. You’ve probably got some great ingredients already lying round the house such as sugar and coffee to make scrubs and olive oil which is a fantastic overnight moisturiser. Just search Google or Pinterest to find lots of homemade recipes.
Never underestimate a sale for finding a bargain on natural beauty products. Holland and Barrett often have BOGOF deals and a penny sale, so take the opportunity to stock up on the products that usually cost you the most. Make sure you sign up to all your favourite websites mailing lists so you know as soon as the sales take place. You rarely need to spend full price on natural beauty if you shop smart.
Buy the biggest versions you can as you should get more for your money. The price per gram should always be lower on the larger packs, meaning you’ll pay more upfront, but save money in the long run. Shopping in bulk is also a good idea. Try Amazon for multipacks or wholesale packs. This can seriously reduce the cost per item.
Try a wholefood or vegan market
Small handmade beauty businesses are often found at local markets, especially wholefood and vegan type markets. Many stalls will have special offers for the markets only and you may be able to pick up a discount card for ordering online at a later date. It’s also the perfect opportunity to find out more about all the natural ingredients and try some samples with in-person advice.
Use the right amount
Natural products are often a lot richer than cheap mainstream products, so you usually don’t need to use as much. Make sure you only use as much as you need to. This will avoid waste and ensure the product lasts as long as possible before needing to buy a replacement.
Sign up for loyalty schemes
Check if websites offer loyalty schemes and sign up to them if you plan on being a regular customer. Larger companies often have points cards, but even smaller companies might offer something to retain you as a customer. If it’s not clear to see a scheme on the front page, scroll to the top and bottom of the website to see if there are links to anything in the menu.
Before wasting money on a product that won’t be right for you, do your research. Check online ratings and blog reviews to see what others think of the product. There’s no point in buying a product willy-nilly and ending up with something you never use or dispose of. That’s just throwing money down the drain. Follow blogs of those who use products you like and see what they recommend.
Try auction sites
Auction sites such as eBay are great for grabbing a bargain. Some big companies will sell their end of line stock and clearance through such sites meaning you can get it much cheaper than in their normal store. Regular folk also use the sites to sell unwanted gifts or mistaken purchases, so a fellow shopper might list a brand new beauty product as an auction from 99p. Set up some searches and save them to be alerted any time your favourite products are listed.
Before ever purchasing anything online, you should always see if you can get cashback. It amazes me how people I know still aren’t signed up to cashback companies. It’s so simple to do and you can get hundreds of pounds a year back into your bank account with very little effort. Just shop as you normally do, but find the retailer through the cashback site and shop through their link before making your purchase. Simple. In two years of getting cashback on our normal purchases I’ve received over £500 cashback and my husband has received hundreds too.