Posts Tagged ‘beauty’

Afternoon Tea with Benefits


When the girls get together, there is often little time for silence.  It’s my favourite thing about friends – the constant chat, generally with food in hand, catching up on all life’s trials and new opportunities.  I don’t know about you but unless I set aside time, life gets busy and my friendships end up a text chat.

So of course I have the perfect t remedy for that;). In fact, it’s the perfect place for you to have that much needed catch up (over some delicious snacks) and get a little bonus make up session thrown in too!

Admittedly, I don’t love Afternoon Tea.  I love the idea of it, and of course, as mentioned, the get together, but the actual food doesn’t really appeal to me.  I am a lover of savoury food so the sweet layer is wasted on me, I’m not even interested in the take home box!  So for me to recommend an Afternoon Tea is a big ask…and I’m recommending this one!  From the milkshake to begin, to the perfect chocolate brownie at the end (and a bonus glass of champagne in the middle!), this Afternoon Tea provided balance – you came away feeling full but not too full, and even though I only had the one sweet thing…well, that’s what friends are for;)

We made our booking for 1.30pm, just enough time to enjoy each part of the Afternoon Tea with lots of coffee refills, a quick refresh at the ladies in between, and then off to claim a seat at the make up masterclass.

The first class required two volunteers – one day and one night.  The girls took us through step by step, introducing us to new products each time.  The second class had one volunteer and while one make up artist chatted his way through the products, bringing them around to demonstrate, the other applied to the model.  Personal preference – I liked the first method as I feel I learned more strategies for application and could ask the MUA’s questions in between. My mum, who was with me the second time, liked how she got to chat about the products as they came around and explore them a little more independently.  The make up artists are all from the beauty department In House of Fraser, so you can and speak to them individually at any time too.











Of course there is no obligation to buy any products (not that you can do this at the session anyway), but both times, we went to the counters in House of Fraser for a browse and finally, a shop!  Within the package offered this time, you receive a £10 voucher to spend with Benefit.

Looking to get together with the girls, or a much needed catch up with your mum? This Saturday (22 July) from 1pm-5pm, Malmaison is having another afternoon tea – forget the texts and the social media and get together for a catch up with friends – I would definitely recommend!





Starting 2017 with Bliss and Dermalogica

Is it too late to say Happy New Year?!

I’ve never been one for new year’s resolutions but this year I tried to set myself a few goals (inspired by The Mummy Makeover, more to follow!) and taking time for myself to do the things I enjoy was at the top of the list.  We all know how the daily routine, the job, the home, everyone else’s needs but our own take priority!

So of course it was essential I kicked off this new year goal properly.  And just in time, Michelle from Bliss contacted me to see if I would like to try out a new product and enjoy a facial to help get my skin routine sorted.

Michelle at Bliss, Dromore

So first up, let me tell you about Dermalogica’s latest product, Daily Superfoliant. Designed to fight biochemical and environmental factors which lead to skin ageing, while giving you your smoothest skin ever.  I cleansed my skin before pouring a little of the Superfoliant onto my hand.  Expecting a lotion, it came out in little tiny particles with charcoal as one of the key ingredients.  As I moistened it and rubbed it on my skin, it was definitely not the time for the postman to arrive at the door;)  It is called ‘Daily’ Superfoliant but Michelle recommends it’s use every 2-3 days (but this also depends on skin type so seek advice!).

And of course, most importantly you want to know how my skin looked and felt the next day?  Well, I was up bright and early so it was hard to see if I looked perkier but it most definitely felt better.  That dry feeling that lingers over the winter, gone…and gone for a few days, ready for my next use!

The bonus of buying this product before the end of January is that you can also choose a free treat – and who doesn’t need something for free in January?!  Choose either a three piece Age Smart Set for a home treatment, or head in to Bliss for a Post Party Peel.

Dermalogica Superfoliant

In the relaxing surroundings of Bliss Skin and Beauty, with hassle free parking, and a knowledgeable beautician who makes you feel like you are her number one priority, I enjoyed the Post Party Peel.  Michelle tested my skin for moisture and then began the treatment.  The products used are designed to give intense hydration to your skin – at points you feel like you have pins and needles on your face, not really in an uncomfortable way but more a way that it really feels the product is working!  This is an express treatment but you don’t feel rushed and your skin gets the boost of hydration it needs.

Go check out Bliss Skin and Beauty and get your orders in before the end of the month to enjoy this treat:)  Now, I’m off again to rushing around, doing all those jobs, until that next slot when I can take a little time to myself!


Beauty Bootcamp

Anyone who reads silverbrogues regularly will know that I will happily spend my hard earned cash on new clothes or shoes, but it takes an arm twist to invest in beauty products.  I have my beauty routine, I style my hair pretty much the same way every day – some may call it habit, but if it works, why change it?!

Well, that is where Beauty Bootcamp steps in. Started by TV3’s beauty editor Liz Dwyer after spending time behind the scenes and watching  transformations happen, she decided she could provide an opportunity for all women to have a taster of the techniques needed for the everyday transformation.  With a team of international make-up artists and hair stylists, help is on hand to give you the opportunity to learn the techniques you know you want to learn and a few more besides!

So how does it work? A full day includes tips on hair and beauty.  We began the morning with coffee in hand and a browse of the make up and styling products on offer.  I had actually signed up to go alone, but ended up going with a friend.  However, there were many mixed groups of people – some alone, some part of a family, some friends, all ages, all females looking for a little guidance whether they had lost their way or never really got started.

We were given the choice of which area we would like to begin with. We chose hair with many of the group interested in curls. The last time my hairdresser cut my hair, she left it a little longer so I could style it with curls but of course my hair remains straight everyday.  I ultimately wanted to know the quickest way to curl my hair so it was an everyday option and what to do if it went wrong!

Beauty BootcampBeauty BootcampBest tips learned when curling hair?  If a strand goes wrong, let it cool before you try again.  After you have curled, don’t be afraid to put your hands through it – you can always go back and make a few changes.

Next up, make-up.  We were going to learn both how to chose products and how to apply them for an everyday look into an evening look.  Having a hands on approach definitely meets my learning style – if I don’t practically try it out, I will always find it hard to apply it.  The make-up products needed were available for us to use including brushes.  Naomh took us step by step through the layers, with a final focus on the eyes and lips.  I love heavy evening make-up but was unsure of how to soften this for the day.

Beauty BootcampBeauty Bootcamp

Best beauty tips – first up, buy yourself a beauty blender sponge.  Great for blending your foundation and concealer, but also useful for fixing mistakes! Using when it is damp is best; recently someone mentioned applying your primer with it first so it doesn’t soak up your foundation.  Secondly, you know when you are applying liner to your top lashes and then you get to the gap between your lashes and your nose. On that part, apply the liner along the inner eye line to make it look more natural. And finally, when putting on lipstick, apply, blot and apply again. That way, your first application should encourage a longer lasting hold.

Ultimately I think however, practising the techniques is the essential component to finding out how to make it work for you.  Time consuming, but true.  And again, that is what a day at Beauty Bootcamp offers.  Time to explore, try out and also to get expert advice.  The girls were great – they showed different techniques on you and then gave you the chance to do the same.  The professionals were  there to help with any questions or to guide you when fixing any mistakes.  You also came away with a handbook which gave a round up of all you had learned.

My conclusion.  Beauty Bootcamp offers a great day out with the girls where you come away relaxed, having learned an array of new skills.  At a price of £65 it seems a bit steep for anyone who just wants to ‘try something new’, but a £20 discount comes with a friend.  And it is a whole day where you can literally revamp your beauty regime.  My tip – go with a few things you really want to learn, write down any questions, and photograph or video what you learn on the day.

Thanks to Liz and CMPR for the chance to attend Beauty Bootcamp and Naomh for organising the day.


Fixing My Skin with Martina Collins and Obagi CLENZIderm M.D.

A few years ago I began to suffer from a condition I never had to deal with before, in fact I spent most of my teenage years avoiding it and now heading into, okay, well past 30, acne struck.

I have always had those spots that feel like they are pulling all of your skin to one location on your body.  You may know the ones I mean, the ones that only an ice pack will help because of the intense throbbing.  Now if you have never experienced these before, you may think I’m exaggerating, but don’t be fooled!  The fortunate thing was they only came at certain times of the month.  Now however, these spots were here to stay, and once one was gone, a new one popped up in its place.  And so began my adult acne.

The fixes I had been offered in the past hadn’t worked. I had been on various antibiotics which made no difference, I had been offered a contraceptive pill (Dianette) which ultimately turned me into a hormonal mess, and then changed to another pill (Yasmin) which, although it worked, seemed to become my final option.

I followed the usual tips of watching my eating, cleansing my skin, ensuring my conditioner was thoroughly washed off my skin and so on, but nothing changed.  Taking advice from a dermatologist, it seemed to become clear that the acne was as a result of changing hormones as the pill had been so effective, although I feel that it may have either been set off by, or continued to the degree I experienced because of, stress factors. Regardless of the cause (which I feel will never actually be identified), I didn’t want to be on the contraceptive pill to tackle a skin problem, so I decided I needed another option.

After visiting Martina Collins in her clinic on the Lisburn Road, she introduced her solution. Martina’s underlying thought process was ‘Why treat your skin, one of the largest organs in your body, by first diverting through your whole system, before finally accessing your skin?’.  And the option offered?   Obagi CLENZIderm M.D. – An Acne Therapeutic System.

Martina CollinsComing as a box of three lotions, I was to use them each in different ways for optimum results. Martina, having experience of this product, was convinced it would work, and Lyndsay, who was on hand for any extra help I needed, had actually also used this product on herself (and with a different type of acne to mine) with pleasing results.

At this point I had a decision to make. Every time I had come off the pill before now, the acne was back in a matter of weeks. And not slow and steady, but all there, all over my back, with the same amount of physical and psychological pain. I wasn’t prepared to deal with that again, but I didn’t want to be on the pill forever. So, I decided to trust Martina’s advice.

I went off the pill and began the Obagi treatment. And the process went as follows.  Each morning I used the Daily Care Foaming Cleanser. Once dry, I used the Pore Therapy.  The pack also included Therapeutic Lotion to use every 3 days to spots or areas where you knew a spot was on it’s way!

Martina Collins Obagi CLENZIderm MD

All you needed was a 20p sized spot of the Foaming Cleanser over the affected areas – for me it was the face, chest and top of my back.  Once out of the shower and dry, I used a water spray container to apply Pore Therapy across the troublesome area and wiped excess with a cotton wool pad.  Most days that was it.  Any time I felt a slight pulling of the skin I applied a tiny squirt of the Therapeutic Lotion directly to the area.Martina Collins Obagi CLENZIderm MD

May has just begun.  I have left this post for as long as possible to write as I wanted to be sure the treatment was actually effective.  I began to use CLENZIderm at the end of January. As I had been on the pill, my skin had been clear with the occasional spot here and there. After about six weeks I began to reduce the treatment, first using every other day, then using once a week, now using intermittently.  This week in fact I had a random spot pop up on my arm and two on my neck so I used the Cleanser and the Pore Therapy again.  I left the one on my arm too long before applying the Therapeutic Lotion so it has taken a bit longer to calm, however the ones on my neck never came to anything.

Three months and three spots, that’s a pretty good record!  So how does it work?  Using benzoyl peroxide (Theraputic Lotion) in combination with salicylic acid (Daily Care Foaming Cleanser and Pore Therapy), the products fight excess oil, clogged pores and acne causing bacteria.  Priced at £167 for the 3 products (can be bought separately), I would actually pay double!

Martina Collins Obagi CLENZIderm MDMartina Collins Obagi CLENZIderm MDMartina Collins Obagi CLENZIderm MDI was advised if my acne was due to hormones the treatment may take a little longer to work.  Personally, I didn’t want to take any risks so I continued using the product for this length of time, but the information says you should be seeing results within two weeks.  The instructions that come with the pack also gave slightly different guidelines to follow – that is where Martina and Lyndsay came in with their specific advice.

Martina CollinsI honestly could not recommend this product enough for anyone dealing with adult acne.  Obviously a consultation with Martina to determine if this is the right product for you is essential but for a small price, my acne seems like a distant memory!

Thanks to Martina for the product and Lyndsay for all your help in getting me started.  Thanks also to CMPR!


Debenhams Beauty Hall at Foyleside

I know I won’t get any sympathy but I’m going to say it – my two month holiday is over:(  So to finish the holidays in style, I spent my last day off enjoying some fashion and beauty.

First up, Fashion Week Launch (more about that later…), then off to the relaunch of the Beauty Hall at Debenhams in Foyleside.

I am a bit of a stickler for the same products – I spent so long buying brands on offer when doing my weekly shop, but since sorting out my beauty regime and actually spending money on products, I now find it hard to divert from what I like!  I love getting pushed into trying something new – it’s laziness I stick, and a lack of knowledge.

The first thing I noticed on entering the new beauty hall was the space – not only was the floor so open, but the counters are laid out in a way to make it easy to wander and find something new.  The lighting was also perfect for a beauty department – I hate coming away after testing products and feeling caked!

But also, and very importantly for me, the staff were more than happy to help with the most basic of questions – and my questions are generally pretty basic!  They were full of knowledge about not only the history behind the brand but the development of the products and therefore what best suited me – at this point I am sucked in and ready to buy!

We got to spend a bit of time with the girls at the Benefit Counter…

We were shown how to create the perfect Benefit Brow – I currently use Brow Zings along with a powder but now plan to purchase Gimme Brow for a perfect finish!  We were also shown Air Patrol, a new product offering sticking power for eye shadow along with hydration for your lid and protection against the sun and pollutants.  This was part of our fantastic goodie bag so I’ll let you know how I get on!  We also got a tour of the new treatment room which offers a waxing service – shop and beautify all in one go!

The Urban Decay Counter…

On our approach to the counter a slash of colour from the Naked Flushed palette decorated our arms and to that the girls sprayed the All Nighter Make-up Setting Spray which stuck the make-up in place! Perfect for a night out, I’d like to test it after a bit of dancing;)  We were then given a demonstration of what is offered to customers whether you are going for a night out or you need some help with application.  Some of the services offered are complimentary and some come at a price.

And the Clinique Counter…

The Clinique girls were showing off the Sonic Cleansing Brush which transformed the feel of your skin, my hand just drank the moisturiser added!  But  most of all I loved Clinique Take the Day Off Balm, a lightweight cleansing balm and make-up remover that changes from a solid balm to a silky oil when applied.  This I plan to buy with the very generous voucher given by the Debenhams team!

And then a little treat from Clarins and for Debenhams…

The only problem now, is that this space is a little further away and cannot be visited by me on a regular basis.  But on a plus point, I have already planned a visit to Derry/Londonderry for a whole day of shopping – I may add in some waxing to the shopping and hopefully get my make-up applied for dinner before our journey home!  If you live a little closer – take advantage!  This is an amazing space and with the help and advice given, anyone (even me!!) could become a make-up pro!

Thanks to the team at Debenhams and Sasha and Vicki at ASG for organising such a fantastic and very generous evening:)


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