img_9797

Venus Viva Skin Rejuvenation Review

I’ve always been a little apprehensive about any treatment that resurfaces your skin. In a way I’m lucky that I don’t have any residual scarring from pubescent acne or major skin issues such as Rosacea to contend with. I do however have a face that has aged rapidly over the last five years for various reasons, not least being the arrival of my three children. So when I heard about Venus Viva Nano Fractional Radio Frequency (RF) treatment I thought I wouldn’t mind trying it out.
Appointment booked, off I went to see Dr. Mukesh Lalloo at Cosmedics Medical and Cosmetics Clinic to which this treatment is exclusively available in Ireland. A promise of reduced signs of ageing, pore size and scar reduction, diminished lines and folds as well as the evening out of textural irregularities for a clearer and healthier complexion had me excited to start my session. A course of four treatments is recommended for optimum results however this varies from patient to patient.
Explained, the Venus Viva is an all-in-one treatment delivering impressive efficacy through NanoFractional Radio Frequency (RF) and one-of-a-kind SmartScan technology. It features a revolutionary new pin design for creating micro dermal wounds. These micro-needles penetrate the skin to the dermis layer encouraging the skin to create new collagen deposits. It’s this increased collagen production that keeps your skin looking plump and youthful. Also, as the wounds are so incredibly tiny, downtime is significantly reduced compared to other traditional fractional treatments which can often take 2-4 weeks recovery time compare to 2-3 days with Venus Viva. It is safe to use on all skin types, which is great news for those who haven’t been able to access fractional treatments before due to their incompatibility with darker skin tones.

Before and just after treatment with Venus Viva

Before and just after treatment with Venus Viva

The procedure itself was surprisingly comfortable and quick. A topical numbing cream was applied to the areas of my face that were to be focused on and left to work for half an hour before starting the treatment. The sensation was peculiar! The best way I can describe it is like tiny insects crawling on you skin with very hot legs that occasionally liked to take a nip. There was however no actual pain involved and Dr. Lalloo checked in with me throughout the treatment to make sure that I felt comfortable. You can see some of the treatment being performed on my FB page Kelliebbeautiful if you’d like to the a look. I left Cosmetics Clinic with a very flushed looking face but was assured this would subside within the next 24-48hours and I would be good to apply my usual skincare and makeup 24 hrs post treatment.

24 post treatment and s promised I was able to apply makeup to cover up any residual redness

24 post treatment and as promised I was able to apply makeup to cover up any residual redness

It’s been a month since I had my treatment and I have noticed some subtle but great changes to my skin. It definitely feels smoother. I had quite rough skin along my cheeks which seems to have disappeared. Some sun damage I had along my forehead has definitely been reduced and my complexion seems brighter overall. Bear in mind I had pretty ok skin to begin with so the subtle changes are great to see after just one session and may be more noticeable on someone with more significant skin issues.
I am definitely going to return to get at least one more treatment as I’ve been impressed so far with the results but am eager to see if the changes will be greater with the second treatment.

I’d like to thank Dr Lalloo Mukesh for allowing me to try this revolutionary new treatment and although I have received this treatment free of charge I have not been paid to endorse it. All opinions are my own and are in not any way influenced by outside parties.

VenusViva NanoFractional Radio Frequency Treatment, €400-600 per session.
Cosmetics Medical and Cosmetics Clinic, Block 3, Second Floor, Blanchardstown Primary Care Centre, Grove Court, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15, 01 8211807, Cosmedics.ie

how-to-get-glowing-skin-1014x487-1014x487-2

Top 5 Tips to Beautiful Skin

Employing a Mind-Body approach  should always be at the forefront of your mind when considering embarking on any new beauty regime. Your skin is the largest organ in your body and should be treated with the respect is deserves.

Revealed are my top 5 tips for perfect glowing skin
Tip 1 Know that great skin starts from within. Your skin reflects the quality of the food that you eat and what you drink. If you’re blocked up on the inside your skin will most certainly have break-outs or other skin conditions such as dehydration or pre-mature ageing. Start your day with a cup of warm water and lemon, this natural antibacterial cleansing ingredient will help cleanse your system and build up your immune system.
Tip 2 Know that your skin may change through the year. It may become more dry and sensitive in Winter due to exposure to harsh weather and indoor heat. Change up your skin care routine in accordance with your skin. Try a Elizabeth Arden superstars Booster Serum (Net-a-porter.com, 30ml €58) to adapt your regular skin care product to suit your skins needs by just adding a few drops.

669370_in_pp
Tip 3 Stick to the basics the rest will follow. Although you may change up your skin care routine from time to time you should be consistent with the basic rule of three. Cleanse, Tone and Moisturize. Try Liz Earle Daily Essentials Kits, (€59.00, www.boots.ie).

203936_za-102

Tip 4 Allow yourself time to really take care of your skin. This is not indulging or pampering yourself . Your skin is the body’s largest organ, it deserves your attention. Taking off your makeup with baby-wipes at night or splashing your face in the morning with just water will not cut it if you really want your skin to look and feel beautiful.
Tip 5 Sleep. The restorative power of sleep should never be underestimated. When you sleep your body produces growth hormones which aid in cell and tissue repair. It also makes new collagen which keeps you skin strong and elastic. Many skin disorders have a mind-body connection, they can often flare up when stressed or over-tired. By getting enough sleep your body will feel more relaxed and de-stressed.

instant_magic_mask-2

Charlotte Tilbury #Glowmo

Well Hello there,

Straight into it…I’m loving Charlotte Tilbury at the moment. Pretty much everyday for the last couple of months I’ve used at least one of her products. From moisturisers to makeup this Lady has released some superb products of late and so I’m going to run through with you my top four faves.

  1. Instant Magical Facial Dry Sheet Mask (€24.00, Brown Thomas). instant_magic_maskUnlike most other beauty masks which are usually filled with glycerine and water this sheet mask is dry, making it super easy to use. You simply loop the hooks over your ears, smooth it over your skin and massage gently to activate the ingredients, then leave it do its magic for 15 minutes. It has a 5 skin solution IQ – or in other words it reduces wrinkles, smoothes, brightens, lifts and hydrates. Each mask can be used up to 3 times, but is it value for money? I would have to say yes. After using it my skin honestly did feel smoother, and brighter. It may take a few more goes to  reduce the wrinkles but I’m happy with the outcome so far.
  2. Overnight Bronze & Glow Mask (€48.00, Brown Thomas).  overnight_bronze_glow_mask I love not having to wear foundation everyday but often feel I can’t do without a bit of colour on my face so I thought I’d give this overnight facial tan a go. The one thing I love about this product is its hydrating qualities, yes you wake up with a subtle glow but your skin also feels nourished. It has oat kernel extracts known for its soothing properties along with blackurrant seed oil which conditions skin. You can also control the intensity of your desired tan by using it nightly or every other night. If I did have to pick a fault it would be the price point. There are other cheaper gradual facial tanners out there that do a good job however I have yet to use one that leaves my face feeling as cared for as this one does.
  3. Unisex Healthy Glow Moisturiser (€40.00, charlottetilbury.com) unisex_healthy_glow          Love, love, love this product. I have been using this daily and it has pretty much replaced my beloved Armani foundation. The description says it’s an all year hydrating summer tint moisturiser. For me it’s a little bit of magic in a bottle. Using it with the overnight bronze glow mask your skin feels and looks fresh and dewy, it really does give you that perfect post-beach sun-kissed complexion. Unusual in its formula, once dispensed onto the hand the liquid appears white. However as you begin to apply it to your skin tiny little pigment capsules are revealed morphing together to become the perfect natural tan tone as you massage them onto your face. Use your fingers to apply this moisturising face tint as a brush doesn’t seem to break down the pigment capsules properly. As far as price is concerned I think its pretty much on point. Ok it’s on the higher end of the scale but you kind of getting two for one – a moisturiser and a foundation. I will say though if you are looking for, or need a full coverage foundation this is definitely not for you.
  4. Instant Look in a Pallette (€69.00, Brown Thomas)                          instant_look_in_a_palette   If you follow me on snapchat (kellie.billings) you’ll have seen that I use this daily. It has replaced pretty much everything in my makeup bag as of late. Consisting of a bronzer, highlighter, contour and blush along with three shadows to take you from day to night this palette is pretty much perfect. Apparently it’s inspired by the wedding makeup that Charlotte Tilbury created for Poppy Delevingne’s wedding. Well if it’s good enough for her and all that! This one is a must buy, totally worth the money. If I had to throw all the others away and just keep one, this would be it.
Karora tanning range

I’ve found my Karora GLOW

Karora tanning rangeOne of THE top selling beauty products in Ireland is self tan. Is it any wonder, what with our summer usually lasting about a day, often in May, before the schools are out and then again maybe for two days just as the kids go back to school (poor kids!). Anyway, I’ve tried and tested a lot of self tanner over the years and have never really found one that I love. There are usually a number of factors that have to come together in order for me to use a self tanner more than once.

  1. There needs to be very little prep needed (I like to be able to whip it on and be ready to go).
  2. If I am going to use a gradual tanner over a few days it has to work like a body moisturiser for me. In other words it has to go on smooth and evenly with little fuss and smell great.
  3. It CANNOT BE ORANGE or too dark. Dark tan looks great on some people, for me it’s a natural glow all the way.
  4. Finally it needs to fade well. There’s nothing worse than a tan that fades terribly and then you’ve to wait nearly two weeks before you can start all over again.

I know, I’m very fussy! I do believe however that I have found my holy grail of self tanner.
Karora tan (who by the way are an Irish brand, yay!) recently sent me out a selection of their self tanners to try out. I wanted to make sure that I could review them properly and so gave myself a month trying and testing all of the following products. But first, before I talk about the tan itself I have to give a little nod to the Karora packaging as it’s quite simply beautiful. It’s not often that you could keep a bottle of self tanner on your dressing table but with its cute gold insignia against a purple background with accents of pinks, blues and orange they definielty brightened up a corner of my ensuite!

Glow Glamster – Instant tan

FullSizeRender_1
The first tan I tried was the instant tan as I could obviously try this straight away and wash it off to get testing some of the other products. It’ called Glow Glamster which is said to give you fuss free flawless colour with superb coverage that washes off. And it did not disappoint. In fact this is the one of all of the tans that I tried that I loved the most. It has ticked all of my boxes. It is fuss free, smells great (probably thanks to its ingredients of grape seed oil, sweet almond and macadamia oil). It also doesn’t dry out my skin which I find other instant tans can do. It has a slight hint of shimmer in it once dispensed but this is not noticeable on application. It’s best applied using a mitt like all tan is. The result is the most natural looking subtle glow I’ve ever seen using an instant tan. It also doesn’t rub off as it’s water resistant but washes off easily in the shower.

Skin Sensation – CC Cream

Skin sensation - CC Cream
Ok so this is not necessarily a tanning product. It is however a multi tasking skin perfecter. Not all of us like to use tan but many of us have uneven skin tone on our legs, arms, face etc. that we would like to even out. In a nutshell this CC cream (colour correcting cream) will allow you to even out any blemishes you have on your skin, such as thread veins, blotchy patches etc without tanning. It can be used on the face and body and will reduce the appearance of hyper-pigmentation. I have to say, I liked this product but wasn’t in love with it. I first used it on my face as an alternative to foundation but found it a little thick, it didn’t settle well on my skin. It did however blur out imperfections and magically adjusted itself to my skin tone which I found incredible. So I gave it a second chance and tried it on my legs. As I’m pregnant I’ve noticed I’m getting more and more little thread veins on my legs which I’m fine with but would rather they weren’t there. And as if by magic they disappeared! The Skin Sensation really did work like makeup for my legs without the tanning effect. One to try depending on your needs.

Supreme Bronzette – Express bronzing mousse

Supreme bronzette
This promised and exotic colour in just one hour! I was expecting a lot. I was also a little dubious as I dispensed the mousse onto the mitt. It looked a little grey? You have to be quick with this one as the mousse dries quite quickly. You can decide yourself how deep you want your colour to be. Leave for one hour for a light glow, two hours for a deeper colour and three hours for a rich dark bronze. I’m never organised enough to leave a tan developing for more than an hour and so I washed this off within the hour. I was a little dismayed as I saw all my tan rinse off in the shower but pleasantly surprised when I emerged and my tan was 1.even, 2. natural 3. still had the potential to get a little darker as the tan still develops even after rinsing. There was not a hint of grey in sight, my skin was left beautifully glowing with a natural tan I haven’t gotten before with any other tanning product. Thumbs up for the fade too, I barley noticed and wasn’t left with any dirty patches or grubby elbows.

Golden Girl – Gradual tan

Golden girl
Gradual tans (besides instant) are something I tend to use more often than quickly developing tans. As I said before I use them like a body lotion and so they cannot have an unpleasant tanning smell. As a tanner I really liked this one. I’m not sure what the science behind the tanning colour is but Karora have nailed it with each of these tans. Once developed this tan was again beautifully golden leaving my skin sun kissed with not a hint of orange or muddy brown in sight. This also smelled divine on application. It has extracts of vitamin E, jojoba, coconut oil and orange for a blossoming scent. I do need to point out while it smells great on application there is a slight (very slight) self tanner smell that lingers a few hours after you apply it. I for one can live with that though as the results are the best I’ve come across for a gradual tanner.

So there you have it all four products tried and tested. Thank you Karora for sending them out to me and for allowing me to review them. My legs have been out more then ever since your package arrived and I’m loving feeling all sun kissed and glowy. You can find Karora on Facebook here or check out their website here.

Karora is available buy in McCabes Pharmacy’s, Lloyds Pharmacys, Sam McCauleys and other leading retailers nationwide. RRP start from €15.00

 

readysetsummer

Ready, Set , Summer

Are you ready? Summer is literally around the corner, and while it may be raining and wet outside (it is Ireland) our never ending optimism of glorious summer days will not be dampened. Short shorts, micro skirts and dare I say it bikinis are slowly but surely creeping their way out from the back of our wardrobes begging to have a day out. Sounds wonderful but to answer the question are you ready, admittedly we may have to say no. If peeling off your winter wardrobe sends shivers down your spine and induces a little mini panic attack please take a minute and breathe. We still have a few more weeks before the big reveal, it is after all only April, just enough time to prep our skin for Summer and become that glowing goddess we all know we can be.
Look at the next few weeks as a skin detox. We all know the importance of a good and balanced diet, clean eating and exercise and its effects it has on our general well being. If we apply the same rules to our daily skin care regime in no time at all we’ll be skin summer ready. Want to give it a try? Tackle one thing at a time by following these simple steps to reveal the skin you should be in.

Skin Issue: Bumpy Arms

lyconantibump
Ketosis pillars or chicken skin which it is commonly referred to is a mild, harmless skin condition which affects the back of the upper arms. It leaves them looking dried out with small hard pimples on the surface. It is caused by firm little plugs forming in the hair follicles. The plugs themselves are made of keratin, the main protein found in the outermost protective layer of skin (thus the name keratosis). The best way to treat this condition is to wash daily with a cleansing and calming body wash to help unclog pores. Try Lycon Anti Bump Foaming Gel (Brazilia, €15.00). Enriched with lemon tea tree, arnica and calendula, it protects the skin’s pH balance, leaving skin feeling clean, soft and smooth.

Skin Issue: Bumpy Thighs

garniersugarscrub
Cellulite can be the bulgy bane of even the most svelte and clean eating individual, and may still throw the perfectly sane into a tizzy as winter pants and coats are doffed for more revealing spring and summer styles. A barrage of products and procedures promise to seek out and destroy the lumpy fat on thighs, bottoms, arms and tummies, but a miracle cellulite assassin has still yet to be uncovered. While diet plays a huge role in reducing and preventing cellulite you can do your bit to help reduce the appearance of the dreaded dimple by using a good body exfoliator along with a nourishing antioxidant body lotion. Try Garners Body Tonic Sugar Scrub, (Boots, €10.69), loaded with 6 natural high performance active ingredients to fight against cellulite. Apply it to your problem area using upward circular motions towards the heart to increase blood circulation. Wash off in the shower finishing with a blast of cold water, this will cause your pores to get small, which can also make cellulite less noticeable. Finish with nourishing body lotion loaded with shea butter and jojoba oil, to leave skin feeling soft and silky smooth from head to toe.

Skin Issue: Bacne (Back acne)

teatree
There is something quite sensual about showing off the curves of your back, there is also something quite terrifying about it too if you suffer from bacne. You may have or be in the process of prepping your body in the gym for summer but beware! Sweat soaked clothes can play a major part in the fight against bacne. To help reduce any further breakouts make sure you shower as soon as you finish working out. If this isn’t possible remove your gym bra straight away and change into a breathable cotton t-shirt to inhibit the growth of bacteria on your back which is a major cause of bacne. When you do shower, combat existing bacne with a antibacterial body wash, like Lycon Tea Tree Total Wash (Brazilia, €15.00). Infused with Tea-Tree Oil, a natural anti-bacterial agent,  it helps minimise blemishes, prevent blocked pores and is a gentler more natural alternative to other harsh acid based cleansers available.

Skin Issue: Chalky knees, elbows and ankles

no7dryoil
Covered up all winter theses areas are subjected to tight clothes and socks rubbing the already thin skin causing irritation and redness. Because of this constant rubbing off fabric they can become dry and parched looking. Not a great look for glowing summer skin. The best time to treating these problem areas is post shower. While your skin is still damp apply a good oil based moisturiser and allow to soak in, try No.7 Beautiful Skin Pampering Dry Body Oil (Boots, €17.00). While you don’t want to exfoliate already irritated skin around the elbow and ankle area you may need to gently exfoliate your knees. The skin is often thicker here and if like many of us you use a self tanner it can quickly build up over time leaving your knees dark and unsightly, using a sugar scrub and dry oil to gently exfoliate and moisturise in no time at all your pins will be perfect and ready for another round of self tan.
Skin Issue: A whiter shade of pale

bronzexpress
Nowadays we all now know the dangers of excessive sun exposure. While it’s nice to feel the sun on your skin, sitting around basking in the suns harmful rays should really be a thing of the past. Or if you are going to do it make sure you wear a good SPF of at least 30. The best option however if you really want a summer glow is to fake it. Applying a great self tan like Bronz Express Radiance Drops (Pharmacies nationwide, €24.95), not only gives your skin a wonderful glow it can have a slimming effect on your silhouette too, so bonus points all round. Unlike conventional self tanners you control the intensity of colour you want. You simply add a few drops of this concentrated formula to your regular skincare product and massage in as usual. This smart self tanner delivers a sun-free, streak-free tan fast, with built-in moisturisers for the face and body. A unique combination of advanced tanning agents ensures an even, long lasting, natural looking golden tan.

So lets ask the question again. Are you ready? Start your summer skin care regime today and without doubt you will be ready by the time those hazy summer days hit.

TA DA...

Shush! I got Gold Fever Hair Extensions

A little anxiously I headed out to north county Dublin on a cool and cloudy March day. The reason for my anxiety well it’s silly really, I was going to get Gold Fever hair extensions in. Now I know you’ll be thinking ‘Why the hell would you be anxious about that?’. My reasons are simple. My sister, a hairdresser (well former one) warned me off them, or more to the point told me under no circumstance would she maintain them for me. Me and maintenance are not friends and so as I pulled up outside the salon in Rush I wondered what had I gotten myself into, again!

Anyway, off I went in to the lovely Shush Hair Design Salon and met with the wonderful Rachel Byrne owner and hair extension master. Let me give you a little background on the salon and Rachel herself.
Shush Hair Design was set up back in February 2014 by Rachel. She started her career in hairdressing at the tender age of 13 where she worked in a local salon sweeping up hair and general housekeeping. From tiny acorns mighty oaks trees grow. Rachel trained under the world renowned Toni and Guy, finished her training in the Hairdressing Academy, Dublin. From there Rachel freelanced but soon wanted a more permanent residence, something she could call her own. It was then that Shush was born. Tucked away at the very end of lower main street in Rush, Shush salon is a little oasis by the sea. Beautiful ornate mirrors imported from Egypt adorn the walls, while the small but perfectly formed salon welcomes you as soon as you set foot in the door.

I was immediately seated at a basin to have my hair washed. Rachel explained to me that it’s important to remove all dirt, grease and build up from the hair by using a cleansing shampoo so that the extensions bond to your hair correctly. I then took my place infront of one of the exquisite mirrors where I was to remain for the next four hours!. If you’re planning to have these babies done, clear your diary they take a while! My hair was blasted dry and the process of extending my hair began.

Check out these mirrors!

Check out these mirrors!

The week before my appointment I had popped into Rachel so that she could colour match my hair and discuss the process with me such as how long it will take, what length I was looking for etc. I was getting 125 Gold Fever Keratin bonds with a few customised ones also places strategically in the areas where my hair was very fine. This pretty much meant I was getting a full head of extensions. I’d heard a lot of great this about Gold Fever hair extensions and the fact that the bonds are full Keratin bonds. What make them different form other bonds are that many other brands have a glue in them which doesn’t conform to the natural state of your hair. In other words when you wash your hair your hair swells, with Gold Fever bonds the keratin swells with your hair minimising the chance of your hair snapping and breaking at the point in which the bonds are set. So when the time comes to remove your bonds your natural hair will have little or no damage and you can return to your natural hair state straight away, unless of course like many who have had extensions put in you get another set straight away the love for them is so great. There are lots of reasons why keratin bonds or protein tips as GoldFever call them are superior, if you want to know just click the link!

Perfect colour match

Perfect colour match

And we're off

And we’re off

Almost done!! (Don't mind the head on me ;)

Almost done!! (Don’t mind the head on me ;)

A few hours in and I was already in love with my new hair. Gone were any feelings of anxiety (stupid I know!), I was just excited to see the end result. Rachel had also talked me through the after care which didn’t seem as daunting as the picture my sister had painted. The main thing I needed to remember was not to put conditioner on the roots of the hair, just on the mid-lengths and ends which was fine with me as I have slightly oily hair and never put conditioner on my roots anyway. I also could only use sulphate free shampoo, again fine by me it’s something I use also too. My one concern was that I had to make sure that I dried the bonds as soon as I got out of the shower. No more leaving my hair to dry naturally. If I did that the chances of damage to the bonds would be increased and the longevity of the extension short lived. I usually wash my hair every day but I’ve found with my new hair this isn’t necessary as my hair doesn’t get as greasy as quickly. I’ve now invested in a lovely new pink spotty shower cap and the time I usually spend washing my hair is now the time I blast dry my bonds. So worrying about maintaining them was time wasted really. I will say that I’ve invested in an Instyler, a little wonder tool which allows me to recreate that just out of salon curly blow dry effect with minimal effort, perfect for managing my new mane. The last ‘new thing’ I’ve had to do is to make sure to brush my hair with a soft bristle brush twice a day to stop any matting and put my hair into a plait every night, non of which bother me.IMG_5287

TA DA...

TA DA…

The results as you can see are nothing short of beautiful. It has definitely given me a little confident boost. There’s something very feminine about long lustrous hair that you just can’t beat. So if you’re thinking of getting hair extension done I’d say just go for it. They can always be removed if you really don’t like them but believe me you won’t want to, they are simply just too good to miss out on.

One last thing, and one I know everyone wants to know. The price. My full head cost €750 including the customised and perfectly colour matched bonds. Bear in mind these will last 6 months or more depending on how well they are taken care of, a small price to pay I think for a definite boost in confidence.

Shush Hair Design
109b Lower Main Street
Rush
Co. Dublin
Ireland
Phone: 01 8430927
Email: shushairdesign@outlook.com