The 10-Minute Laser Facial

I know what you’re thinking.

Why on earth would you purposely put lasers in the vicinity of your face?!

Say it with me: ‘eternal youth’

As anyone who has spent any amount of time around these here Blonde In Grey parts will know, I’m a sucker for each and every skincare craze I come across. From facials to microneedling (spoiler: it really should be left to the professionals) I love to try new things, especially when they promise to leave my skin looking healthy, glowing and any amount of years younger.

It’s no surprise then that when I heard about the Skin Laundry 10-minute laser and light facial I was intrigued (yes, even though it sounds like something that was created for the Fourth of July or a KISS concert).

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Skin Laundry promises that the treatment is the perfect amount of laser power and light energy to deep clean the skin from the first treatment and that the more you go the more dramatic improvements you’ll see – acne scars will fade, the skin surface will get more smooth and even, fine lines and pores will be reduced…the list is lengthy!

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So, how does it actually work?

From the website:

Our unique method involves using a YAG laser and IPL (Intense Pulse Light). The laser actively vaporizes excess dirt, makeup and bacteria from your pores first and foremost; the long-term effects of the laser can help with pigmentation and collagen production. The IPL works with the brown and red tones of the skin to even out the skin tone as well as stimulate the natural collagen that lies down in the dermis. The combination of laser and IPL clears tones and conditions the skin. The pores are also minimized so they appear less visible.

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What is the treatment like?

The first treatment (which is always free, that’s how sure they are that you’ll love it!) is a bit nerve-racking as you’re really not sure what to expect. The Skin Laundry ladies are really lovely though and talk you through the whole thing. First they cleanse your skin to remove any makeup and put on protective goggles (very similar to what you’d wear at a tanning bed, from what I remember of my misspent youth. My poor skin!!) They warn you before they start, using this scary looking thing:

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They start at the centre of your forehead and run the laser up and down one side and then the other. The sensation is a slight tickle – nothing painful at all – and it’s warm. From the forehead they move to one cheek, across the chin, across the other cheek and then over your nose. There’s a brief pause and then they start all over again. The only disconcerting thing about the laser process is the faint smell of burning. Don’t worry – that’s just dirt and grime being blasted our of your pores! (Gross)

Once the laser is done they apply a wonderfully cool gel across your face. They then start with the light portion of the treatment, which is a series of incredibly bright (even through the protective goggles) red-looking bursts as the light is dabbed all over your face courtesy of this beast:

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Almost as soon as it starts you’re done and the gel is being wiped off your face (though this is usually done with what feels like a spatula – I can’t tell, I have goggles on! – which I don’t love as it doesn’t feel like it’s all actually come off before they put moisturiser on). You’re then good to go as there’s absolutely no down time with the procedure!

Overall thoughts

I love that they give you the first treatment free (value: £60) and I did totally cave and buy a course of treatments because you get a discount if you buy them the day you have your free treatment (so sneaky!). My reasoning is that it takes time to really see a difference so making a judgement call after one won’t give you an accurate idea of what the treatment can do.

I have my fourth treatment in four weeks this coming Saturday as they recommend you going once a week to begin with (which I do realise is a bit of a cheeky money grab…) in order to see results more quickly.

I do feel like my skin is looking brighter and I do leave the appointment with the refreshing feeling of a facial in a quarter of the time it normally takes. There’s also the fact that with a normal facial I can never see a difference and so I’ve always just enjoyed them for the ritual of being pampered. But the laser facial? My skin feels cleaner, I like the promise of improved benefits over time and it’s fab to actually feel a difference in the texture and tone of my face. I really love it.

I’m going to stick with it and see what happens…at least until the next major skincare craze 😉

For another account of the laser facial from one of my favourite beauty information sources head over to Into the Gloss to read their thoughts.

Fair warning: make sure you have a lot of time because you will find yourself getting lost in the Into the Gloss archive of articles. The first time I ventured in I blinked and suddenly three hours had passed and my online shopping cart was filled with cleansers from France, a face mask from Korea made of snail mucus (it’s actually SO good for your skin!) and more moisturiser than I could possibly use in a lifetime. Don’t worry – rationality returned before I hit ‘buy’ – I just want to properly prepare you.

Natural Beauty with Tata Harper

 

Whenever I travel I’m all about packing light. Whether I’m out for the day or away for two weeks I scrutinise everything going into my bag(s) – what is its purpose, when and how will it be used while I’m away, how necessary is it really? My goal is always to take only what I’ll need…and if it’s travel size and takes up less space? Even better!

It’s no surprise then that when I saw Tata Harper’s Daily Essentials kit I snapped it up to take with me on my trip home. Unlike other sets which contain bits and pieces of my usual skincare regime this one ticks all the boxes with the added bonuses of being 100% natural – a side of the beauty and skincare industry I’m increasingly fascinated with – and available in teensy, tiny, travel-ready bottles!

Introducing: Tata Harper

Tata Harper skincare is 100% natural and non-toxic and grown on a 1,200 acre farm in the heart of Champlain Valley, Vermont, USA. Unlike most of the rest of the beauty industry they manufacture in small batches to ensure products are as fresh as possible, with all processes being led by Tata herself (I love it when there’s a real person behind the name – it gives a brand credibility and makes it more interesting!)

From Tata (and her website):

My founding mission was to give the skincare industry a fresh start with highly effective and luxurious beauty products that are completely free of synthetic ingredients. I believe people deserve beauty products that deliver the results they want, without synthetic chemicals of concern. As a company we seek to challenge the assumption that ‘natural’ means less effective. I’m passionate about promoting a modern, health-conscious natural beauty lifestyle that’s committed to safety, honesty and sustainability.

An amazing ethos!

So, now that I’ve converted you all to natural beauty lovers and savvy packers (not yet? Give me time…) I’m sure you’re all dying to know: What’s in the box!?*

* If you don’t understand this reference you need to go and research it and watch the movie** and then come back.

** Blonde In Grey is not responsible for any sleep lost tonight.

The Products

  1. Regenerating Cleanser – a daily exfoliating & clarifying treatment to get your skin squeaky clean and primed
  2. Resurfacing Mask – a weekly mask for when you need a bit of extra glow
  3. Hydrating Floral Essence – an essence and moisture boosting toner in one – gotta love a product that effortlessly multitasks!
  4. Rejuvenating Serum – your new age-defying superhero
  5. Repairative Moisturiser – silky, smooth – your skin’s new best friend!
  6. Restorative Eye Crème – another superhero – this time for your eyes
  7. Replenishing Nutrient Complex – a face oil for all skin types packed with multivitamins

The How To:

  1. Regenerating Cleanser: Massage on to dry skin then rinse with warm water (AM & PM)
  2. Resurfacing Mask: Apply 1-2x per week to dry face, neck and chest (how low you go is up to you, daredevil!) Leave for 15-30 mins then rinse with warm water
  3. Hydrating Floral Essence: Spritz all over face and neck after cleansing (AM & PM)
  4. Rejuvenating Serum: Massage on to skin after Floral Essence (AM & PM)
  5. Repairative Moisturiser: Massage on to skin after Rejuvenating Serum (AM & PM)
  6. Restorative Eye Crème:  Using ring finger pat around the eye area (AM & PM)
  7. Replenishing Nutrient Complex: Massage on to skin as final step (AM & PM)

Yes, this looks like a lot but it’s actual quite straightforward and you’ll have the steps memorised in no time. (Or you can do what I did and line them up in the correct order in the medicine cabinet to take the guesswork out of it.) I know there are people out there who can’t fathom spending more than a couple of minutes on skincare morning and night (and some who *gasp* go to bed without even taking their makeup off!) but I promise you it’s worth the time investment. It’s a chance to take some quiet time to wake-up/unwind and the long-term benefits are massive – for your skin and your mental well-being!

My Review:

The packaging it gorgeous, the size is right and the products are amazing. They aren’t overly fragrant, they absorb quickly without leaving any greasy residue and they leave your skin feeling smooth and refreshed.

My hero product was, without a doubt, the Hydrating Mist. It was like wafting myself with the essence of a refreshing spring rainfall. It felt great, smelled great and made me look great. Ideal!

The only drawbacks? The eye cream is actually only good for one use (easily fixed though by bringing another eye cream), the roller ball on the Replenishing Nutrient Complex make it difficult to apply (I’m guessing the roller ball was chosen to help prevent spills while in transit so can’t really fault them for it) and if you forget the directions (like me) you may end up using the Resurfacing Mask wrong (like me).

Ultimately, a set like this is a great way to ease your way into a new line or product as it gives you an opportunity to sample a bit of everything. Though you could certainly get samples of them all from the beauty counter they won’t be large enough to allow you to use the products over an extended period of time – the only true way to test how a product reacts to and impacts your skin.

Tata Harper – you exceeded my expectations and have earned a place on my Top Shelf!

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The Biologique Recherche Facial

It’s no secret that I love Liberty and tend to spend (too much) time there but I only recently learned that there is a secret wing…where magical, beautiful relaxation and transformation takes place!

Hidden away behind a secret door lies a warren of rooms where you can indulge in all manner of spa treatments courtesy of the brands found in the beauty hall below.

To kick off my birthday week I booked in for a facial with my newest cult find – Biologique Recherche. Having read so much about their products and sampled P50 for myself I thought it would be fun to go all in and splurge on a Soin Lift C.V.S facial which promised to be ‘the ultimate facial to accelerate cell renewal, restructure, firm, hydrate and protect against exterior aggressions. Using the Jacquet-Leroy massage technique to stimulate elastin and collagen whilst lifting and defining facial contours. Contains diatome powder, amino acids, silk proteins and hyaluronic acids. Lifting, exfoliating and nourishing.’

I arrived at the counter a bit early and was swiftly escorted up the stairs, through the hidden, magical door into the hallway of dreams. I need this wallpaper and design aesthetic in my life!

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The room itself was just as gorgeous.

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There’s something about a spa treatment room that just instantly relaxes you. The soft lighting, the gentle background music, the subtle scent of the lotions and potions they’re about to use to turn back the clock and have you walking out looking 5 years younger.

I got comfy on the table and the specialist got to work using the wide variety of products to address everything going on with my skin.

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For the next hour she massaged and sculpted my facial muscles in what can only be described as a ‘unique’ way. There was undulating pressure, feather-light application and firm pressure to work away any remaining tension in my shoulders and arms.

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After she had applied what felt like 9 layers of oil onto my face she abruptly announced that we were done which left me feeling more than a little confused. Surely she needed to….remove said oil so that it didn’t run off my face as soon as I stood up?

I could have voiced these concerns, sure, but whenever I’m having a beauty treatment (skin, hair, nails – doesn’t matter) my internal dialogue is always a lot more assertive than what I actually say and do out loud. So my response was a very polite ‘thanks so much!’

As soon as she left the room I was up and across to the mirror to see what state my skin was in – and I was pleasantly surprised! My cheeks were smooth and supple and though there was a faint dishevelment to my overall appearance I attributed this to the brief scalp massage and lack of makeup.

I emerged back into the patterned hallway feeling revived and relaxed, anxious to hold on to the feeling for as long as possible as I knew the impending rush hour tube journey home was likely to put a damper on things.

Overall my skin was in excellent shape in the days that followed and the relaxation (with minor moments of weirdness – I refer you back to the mention of undulating pressure) was lovely. I’d say that a facial at Biologique Recherche is worth a try but with a somewhat steep price tag you may want to limit it to special occasions, as there are plenty of spas in London with fantastic facials at a more affordable price point.

If you are going to book in though, make sure you do it well in advance and be warned that the treatments are only available on certain days at certain times because all of the Liberty beauty brands share the treatment rooms.

Thanks for stopping by today – hope you have a relaxing rest of the week!

In The Buff

Considering skin is the largest organ in (on?) the human body I’m constantly amazed at how little attention people pay to it – especially the delicate skin on the face and neck. For instance, how many of you put sunscreen on your face this morning? How many of you take your makeup off every single night? How many of you use a moisturiser every day? I have a feeling that were we all in the same room and you could see each others raised hands you’d be surprised.

Though I was never overly concerned about makeup and beauty a chance ad in a magazine (so old school!) 10 years ago led me on the start of my skin care journey when I went to an event at Kiehl’s. I left that night with a cleanser, a toner, a moisturiser and a curiosity about a world I hadn’t paid much attention to up until that point.

Things have gotten a bit more…involved…in the years since and I think G would love to see me revert to that simple 3-step process (it would certainly clear up more counter space in the bathroom!) but the more I learn the more my appetite for testing new and different skin care products grows.

The new kid on the block these days? A custom face oil from The Buff.

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What it is:

The Buff was started by wellness and beauty editor/writer Jasmine Garnsworthy who, in trying to find a cure for chronic acne issues, learned about the secret dark side of what’s in most skin care products. Determined to move to all clean products she started researching ingredients and learned about jojoba oil – the key ingredient in The Buff’s products – which is a true hero in nature. In less than two years The Buff has grown exponentially, expanding into body oils and personalized face oils* targeted to individual skin needs.

*For those of you with oily skin. Don’t panic! Oil actually draws out oil so one of the very best things you can use is oil…even if it seems very counterproductive.

How it works:

Each face or body serum is individually tailored based on whatever ails you – from acne to dryness, pigmentation, fine lines or scars. In addition to jojoba they use oils like tamanu, rosehip,raspberry seed and argan, blending a serum that’s bespoke for you and your skin. All you have to do is complete the online form on their site and your journey to clear, beautiful skin has begun.

How to use:

  •  After cleansing your skin in the evening (and toning, if you’re so inclined! We’ll save that debate for another day…) pour a dime-size amount (5p, UK folks) into the palm of your hand. Let it settle for a moment to warm to your body temperature.
  • Rub your palms together and then gently press the oil onto your face. I normally go: cheeks, forehead, nose, chin, neck.
  • After you’ve pressed it in, go back over the same areas using gentle, massaging strokes to evenly spread the oil.
  • Wash hands, go to bed and wake up radiant!

It really couldn’t be simpler and at only $36 USD for a 120ml bottle (BARGAIN!) clear, bright skin really is affordable and attainable for everyone.

The ingredients for the ‘LM Remix’:

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I love the minimalist, clean, classic lines of the shape and label. They’re made even more beautiful by the fact that they’re personalised. I never knew I’d waited my whole life for monogrammed skin care until the opportunity presented itself!

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As to whether or not I think it’s working? I’ve been using my customised oil for nearly a month and in addition to not having had a single breakout I’ve definitely seen a reduction in the appearance of old acne scars.

The proof, as they say, is in the pudding…

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