My First Experience With Microblading

I’ve always dreamt of having the perfect eyebrows, but brow pencil just hasn’t quite cut it for me. Whether it’s my technique or the products I’ve been using, I’ve never been able to get my eyebrows to look just how I’d want to them to; I’m sure every girl understands this struggle! For a long time waking up with ‘fleeky’ eyebrows was just an unachievable dream for me until I discovered the new latest trend – microblading.

What is Microblading?

Microblading is a semi-permanent tattooing technique that uses a handheld tool to make small superficial incisions into the epidermis layer of the skin, depositing pigment under your skin. Microblading strokes are finer and look more natural than a traditional tattoo. Additionally, techniques can also be customised to include a combination of microblading and tattooing to create more defined brows.

Picking the Right Artist

After trawling through Instagram for hours, days, weeks, account after account, I finally found the artist I was looking for – Chelsea Brows! During my search I’d come across a lot of shoddy work and ‘back street’ practitioners advertising their work on Facebook marketplace without having proper training. It’s really important to research the person you’re going to, because they are literally giving you a tattoo on your face which will take a lot of time and money to remove if you don’t like it. Even worse you could end up with a nasty infection and scarring if your practitioner isn’t trained in aseptic techniques.

The Procedure

I’ve always been someone who’s a bit of a wuss and terrified of needles, so the thought of having my eyebrows microbladed terrified me. But beauty is pain right? After hearing some horror stories from friends telling me that the procedure was extremely painful I headed towards Chelsea Brows in Birmingham afraid of what lay ahead of me. Almost certain that I was going regret my decision to get my eyebrows microbladed when I discovered how painful it was I lay down on the table awaiting my fate. My microblading artist, Chelsea, was lovely and assured me it wasn’t going to be as bad as I expected it to be and after the first stroke I felt stupid that I was even scared! The pain was no where near as bad as I expected it and strangely enough I quite liked the weird scratching noise the microblading tool made as it created the strokes. Yes it was a bit sharp, but no where near the pain level I was expecting after reading other people’s reviews of their experiences online. I’m the type of person who faints whilst having blood tests so if I can do it then anyone can!

After the first initial strokes Chelsea applied a numbing cream which meant I could hardly feel anything after and the experience was quite relaxing. I opted for the ‘combination brows’ which was a combination of microblading strokes and shading using a tattoo gun to create more defined look whilst still looking natural. After Chelsea had finished she showed me my eyebrows, to say I was shocked would be an understatement. They were better than I expected, they were the eyebrows I had always dreamt of! I had envisioned in my head exactly how I wanted them to look and she had created that vision perfectly.

The Healing Process

This was definitely the most annoying part of having my eyebrows microbladed. It was amazing having perfect eyebrows but I had to keep them from getting wet for two whole weeks, which resulted in me having to shower in some very unusual positions to keep my eyebrows dry. After the first week and a half my eyebrows started to scab up and itch, which is completely normal but it took extreme concentration to prevent myself from scratching my eyebrows every time they got itchy. Prematurely pulling off scabs instead of letting them fall off naturally can pull out the pigment and leave you with patchy eyebrows so it’s really important that you don’t do this! After 6 weeks when my eyebrows had eventually healed I went for my microblading top up session which was included in the price of my initial session. The purpose of the top up session is to re-shade areas which may had faded during the initial healing process and make sure your brows are looking perfect as they can fade slightly after the first session. After the top up session I had to repeat the whole healing process once again but at least this time I knew what I was doing!

The Results

Following my top up session when my eyebrows had finally healed I was left with the eyebrows I had always dreamt of. It’s crazy how a tattoo can look so natural! Everywhere I’ve been going I’ve had compliments on them which is a definite confidence boost. The best thing about having microbladed eyebrows is waking up in the morning with perfect brows and being able to stroll out the house without the stress of trying to draw them on. I even had a man ask me how I manage to draw my eyebrows on so perfectly, Chelsea Brows is how!

That’s it now, I will be hooked for life on having my eyebrows microblading. How could I ever go back to drawn on eyebrows when I could have beautiful natural looking eyebrows from microblading. It’s safe to say I won’t be picking up the eyebrow pencil anytime soon! For more information and pricing details for where I got my eyebrows microblading you can visit the Chelsea Brows website here.

Have you ever contemplated having your eyebrows microbladed?

Laura 

Disclaimer: I paid for the treatment in full, all opinions are genuine and my own.

 

Thēmaē Exfoliant Pur Théïshu Review

Being a skincare junkie I can never have enough products, especially my favourite product for achieving perfectly soft and clean skin: exfoliator! I thought I’d tried every exfoliator you can think of until I recently came across a brand called Thēmaē. Thēmaē is an independent French brand that are unique within the skincare market as they combine the pharmaceutical benefits of tea with natural ingredients and spring water to create a pure product that have amazing effects.

The Thēmaē laboratory developed a unique technology where the precious mixed blend of green tea, black tea, white tea and blue tea produced a product with exceptional antioxidant effects. This new technology is the Complexe des 4 Thés. What I love about this company is that they rely on the natural power of biotechnology where formulas of natural ingredients are used in combination to create products suited perfectly for the skin, instead of using the lab-made chemicals found within many other brands.

Not only does Thēmaē produce amazing skincare products but also premium teas that provide an extra dose of polyphenols, one of the most powerful antioxidants in the world; the perfect accompaniment to the antioxidant effects within the products themselves. Surprisingly I also found out that Thēmaē has renowned spa in Paris and exclusive face & body treatments using their products are available at other spas too!

Exfoliant Pur Théïshu

After hearing about Thēmaē I was excited to try to the Exfoliant Pur Théïshu, which is a creamy facial exfoliant. Usually I am reluctant to try exfoliants that aren’t chemical exfoliants as they can be quite abrasive however this wasn’t the case with Exfoliant Pur Théïshu. The exfoliant component used was an very finely ground organic rice powder, micronised so it would be suitable for the most sensitive skin without causing the damaging abrasion associated with many exfoliants. I found that the product also contained other key ingredients to help promote the skins appearance which included:

Complexe des 4 Thés – Thēmaē’s trademark complex of 4 teas, with high concentrations of polyphenols which protect the skin from the effects of free radicals and delay the appearance of signs of ageing.

Macadamia virgin organic oil: due to its amazing ability to penetrate the skin this oil not only moisturises and reconstructs, but repairs the the most fragile skin.

Organic water young barley sprout: a concentrate of multi-vitamins and trace elements, helping to maintain vital functions of the skin. It additionally has a high vitamin C concentration which give the skin radiance.

Olive squalene: strengthens the hydrolipidic film of the skin for more comfort and protection.

Results

My first impression of the product was that I couldn’t believe how creamy and moisturising it was. With many exfoliants my skin is left feeling a little dry after but this creamy texture of this product left my skin feeling so smooth that I couldn’t stop touching it! I continued to use the product for a few weeks to see if it really lived up to its claims and was pleasantly surprised. Over the period of time I used it my skins appearance improved looking smoother and my pores looked a lot smaller. The rice powder which is the exfoliant in the product is so small in particle size and fine that it gives you a really gentle exfoliation which is perfect for my skin. Overall, after using this products for a few weeks my skin was glowing! I actually got a few compliments off friends and even my beautician about my skin. The Exfoliant Pur Théïshu will definitely be replacing my usual chemical exfoliant in my skincare routine because I can’t get enough of its moisturising effects. Also recently, reaching the age of 25, I think it’s important to start thinking about preventative measures against the signs of ageing and what better than using Thēmaē products, with their strong antioxidant effects to help prevent it.

If your looking for smoother skin and preventative measures to stop the signs of ageing then I’d definitely recommend Thēmaē’s Exfoliant Pur Théïshu. Being paraben free, using natural and also organic ingredients where possible, in addition to being cruelty free Thēmaē’s products are the perfect addition to your skin care regime, because if anything…your skin deserves it!

The product itself retails for £33 but using code LAURA10 at checkout you can receive 10% off your order at www.themaeuk.co.uk

Have you tried any Thēmaē products?

Laura 

Disclaimer: the product I received was complimentary however all opinions are genuine and my own.

 

Garnier Ultimate Blends Hair Food

Garnier recently debuted a new product to their Ultimate Blends hair range – the Hair Food 3-in-1 Hair Mask, and they definitely proved to be popular. I’m not the biggest fan of hair masks from ‘drugstore’ brands, but on offer for £3.50 each I couldn’t resist purchasing some to see what all the hype was about.

The range consists of four different masks:

  • Moisturising Aloe Vera & Coconut (for normal hair)
  • Repairing Papaya & Alma (for damaged hair)
  • Smoothing Coconut & Macadamia (for frizzy and unruly hair)
  • Nourishing Banana & Shea (for dry hair)

As someone whose hair is more on the dry and damaged side, I opted for the nourishing Banana and Shea mask, as well as the repairing Papaya & Alma mask.

Initial Impressions

I felt the packaging of the product was a change to the standard garnier packaging, really giving emphasis on the ‘natural’ feel. Unlike other products, the ingredients are actually explained down the side of the packaging which is really useful if you want a better understanding of the products you’re using! The products also displays a few claims on the side of the packaging which include:

  • 98% natural origin
  • 100% vegan
  • 98% biodegradable formula
  • No silicones for a natural feel
  • Many ingredients being from botanical origin

The Garnier Ultimate Blends Hair Food boasts many benefits to hair, but one of the main reasons I decided to buy this product was the smell. They honestly smelt good enough to eat. The conditioner itself has a thick, silky consistency which in my opinion is perfect for a hair mask.

Two Week Update 

Leave in conditioner – I used it on both wet and dry hair, but found it didn’t not really make my hair any softer and it felt quite heavy.

Conditioner – I used it like a standard conditioner leaving it on for a few minutes and then rinsing. I found this was more effective than using it as a leave in conditioner and it did leave my hair quite soft.

Hair mask – I found this use to be the most effective at making my hair silky soft. After washing my hair with shampoo, I’d leave the mask on for around 2 hours, and then rinsed. Not only was my hair super soft but the fruity smell was a lot more aromatic- which I loved!

Is this product cruelty free? 

The packaging clearly says it’s a ‘vegan formula’ but this product can’t be classed as 100% cruelty free as Garnier is owned by the L’Oréal brand. Garnier themselves do not test any of their products on animals, and their products are not sold in China. However, some products made by their parent company L’Oréal are in fact tested on animals in China as it’s a legal requirement there, so most people will still see Garnier as a company that tests on animals.

What’s good to hear though is that L’Oréal are actually currently working with the Chinese government to introduce their new innovation ‘Episkin’, whereby human skin is lab engineered to be used for product testing instead of animals. Hopefully this will be something that’s implemented in the future to finally stop all testing on animals.

Final Thoughts 

Will I be repurchasing this product? YES! I can’t resist the amazing fruit fragrance of these hair masks and how soft they leave my hair. I will be permanently adding these hair masks to my hair routine and will hopefully be able to try the rest of the Garnier ultimate blends hair food. If you’d like to try it for yourself you can purchase it here.

Have you tried any of the other 3-in-1 masks in this range?

Laura 

Mario Badescu Oil Free Moisturiser Review

Big news – after years of searching for the perfect product for my spot prone oily skin I think I have FINALLY found it! Since a teenager I’ve suffered with hormonal acne breakouts and blackheads, trying nearly every product you can think of to combat them. Whilst some products did seem to work for the spots, I couldn’t find anything that actually managed to get rid of my stubborn blackheads until I discovered the Mario Badescu oil free moisturiser.

The Low Down

The bottle isn’t that large at 59ml, however a little bit goes a long way. The moisturiser is SPF 30, meaning it does have a thick suncream consistency and smell, but it soon dries off once you’ve applied it. I was worried about my skin feeling oily after application but after leaving it a few minutes to absorb fully my skin was left feeling fresh and awake! Some of the main ingredients are:

Glycerin – hydrates your skin and acts as barrier, working well for oily skin types.

St John’s wort – soothes and repairs delicate skin.

Green tea extract – a powerful antioxidant giving protection against environmental pollutants, UV radiation and premature ageing of the skin.

Aloe Vera – hydrates and softens the skin.

The product itself is dispensed through a ‘flip out’ style nozzle applicator, which can actually be a bit of a disadvantage at times, because product gets stuck in the applicator and dries out, meaning that when you squeeze some product out upon next application you get some of the left over hard residue come out.

The Results

Suffering from very oily skin I’ve always been scared of wearing moisturiser daily, as I’ve never really found one that agreed with my skin. However I thought I’d give this one a shot, and for the FIRST time ever used a moisturiser every morning and night for a month. I wasn’t expecting much but the results shocked me. The blackheads which I’ve had for over 15 years and haven’t been able to get rid off had completely disappeared! My skin was glowing and I felt confident for the first time to leave my house makeup free. Not only did it leave my skin spot and blackhead free, but I was also left is super soft glowing skin. The only downside I found to the moisturiser was that if I wore it under makeup then my foundation didn’t last as long. This was a slight inconvenience but it was nothing some blotting paper and a bit of powder couldn’t fix, it was definitely worth it for the results I was getting!

During the month I had university’s exams I became so stressed that I let my skincare regime slip and forgot to apply for moisturiser for a few weeks. Low and behold the dreaded blackheads returned, so you have to be consistent with the moisturiser to make sure they don’t reappear. Overall I can finally say that I’ve found my holy grail product! Although a little pricey at £25 a bottle it’s worth every penny in my opinion. If you want to try it for yourself you can purchase it here.

What’s your holy grail product?

Laura 

Lush’s Mask of Magnaminty

In February I decided to buy my first EVER lush mask. As a brand I love Lush and their strive to use organic natural ingredients in all their products, as well as being cruelty free. After discussing my skin issues with the sales assistant, she advised me to opt for the mask of magnaminty. This was a self preserving mask so did not need to be refrigerated like many of Lush’s other masks. Priced at £12.50 for a large tub (315g) it was an absolute steal, and I couldn’t wait to get home and try it out.

Initial Thoughts

I couldn’t believe how good this mask smelt, it reminded me of mint chocolate chip ice cream! The peppermint oil gave it a lovely refreshing feel and left my face feeling very cool. The mask has a very thick texture which is from the ground aduki beans and evening primrose seeds which act as the exfoliant in this mask. One of the main ingredients in the mask is honey, which acts as a natural preservative which is why this mask does not need to be refrigerated. In the past I’ve found clay masks to be very drying on my skin, but I was pleasantly surprised that this mask left my skin feeling soft and moisturised. My skin as a whole looked less red and was so soft that I couldn’t stop touching it! I was so impressed with this mask that I started using it 3 times a week; I found a lot goes a long way, so the larger 315g tub that I opted for will last me at least 3 months!

2 Months Later

So how did I get on? My main skin concerns were oily skin and outbreaks which this mask is supposed to combat, without drying your skin out too much. I still got outbreaks whilst using this mask, but they were massively reduced! I could tell this mask was actually working because when I stopped using it for 2 weeks I had a bad outbreak, which was them calmed by the use of this mask. I additionally noticed the blackheads around the corners of my nose were reducing in size which was an added bonus! I found it was great to use in the shower, and applied it to my back also as I sometimes get spots there. I found it be as effective on my back as it was for my face, so if your looking for a product to combat your ‘bacne’ also then give the mask of magnaminty a try!

Final Thoughts

This mask is a great addition to your skincare routine if like me you suffer from oily skin or outbreaks. It contains natural ingredients mean that it’s not that harsh that it drys your skin out, whilst effectively reducing the amount of outbreaks you get. It is a self preserving mask it, you can only keep it for 4 months but I’m sure if you did decide to keep it in the fridge then you could keep it a little longer. Because a lot goes a long way, I found that the large tub lasted me quite long whilst using it on both my face and my body. I’d advice if your only going to use it on your face once a week then to opt for smaller size. The overall effect of this mask was clearer and brighter skin, without the over drying effect that I found many masks which combat acne have. It is well worth a try if your looking for something new to revamp your skincare routine and give your skin the love and care it needs! If you’d like to try it for yourself you can purchase it from the Lush website here.

Have you tried any of the other masks which Lush sell?

Laura