Posts Tagged ‘beauty tips’

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:)


My Beauty Fix

It’s 6pm and I’m in my PJs already (I’ll not post a pic of this!). It’s been one of those weeks, things have been a bit busy, in fact, writing a blog when I was on holiday was bliss, writing after a day of hard work (and homework isn’t just for pupils!) and life as a mummy, is a little bit trickier.

So today I thought I’d share with you some goodies that help me feel like a normal human being at the end of the day.

First it’s the hair. My hair is longer now than its ever been. This is definitely because GHDs didn’t exist when I was growing up. I have very fine hair and its also a bit frizzy – not a good look. I love my straighteners and my Charles Worthington ‘Frizz Free’ to keep that smooth look throughout the day.

As for the face, I’ve a few essentials which are always in the make-up bag. I love thick, dark eyebrows. I use a matt eyeshadow in dark brown with my Benefit ‘Brow zings’ to create the look. My other essentials include a mascara that creates long, thick lashes (this changes regularly as I’ve never found ‘The One’), another Benefit product ‘High Beam’ for my cheeks to give a little glow, and my most favourite, a long living product, my Pout blusher (this company no longer exists so I’ve been using this sparingly and want it to last forever!) in ‘Pearly Queen’.

I’m a bit lazy when it comes to the beauty side – fashion is definitely more my thing! I generally buy haircare, cleansers and moisturisers etc. either in the supermarket or on a wander through Boots to check out the offers.

But when I have a little spare cash, or when a present opportunity arises, my favourite beauty spend has to be false eyelashes. It used to be getting my nails done, but after seeing an offer on a local voucher website, I tried out lashes and fell in love. The place I would definitely recommend is ‘The Lash Lounge‘ on the Lisburn Road, Belfast. For £40 you can have beautiful individual lashes which last around three weeks, £15 to get them fixed for another three!

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This is my beauty style that works for me. What’s yours?