Friday, December 19, 2014

Why I recommend Alpha H Liquid Gold to anyone with hormonal acne

Alpha H Liquid Gold review
This is a hugely personal post but I really do think that this post could be of use to anyone suffering the misery of hormonal acne.

My first disclaimer is that this is not a sponsored post (although obviously if Alpha H were reading this and wanted to send me a lifetime supply then G'day mates!) and this is probably about the 4th or 5th time I have written about Alpha H Liquid Gold on my blog-it was my holy grail discovery product of 2013 and now I just tend to use it when I need to. 

And recently I needed to.

As regular readers know, I was diagnosed with cancer in July and it was a hugely traumatic time.  I felt quite low for a while and didn't wear any make up for over a month because I just didn't see the point.  I wasn't really even following my usual rigorous skincare routine because I struggled to bend over the sink after my surgery for a few weeks and so I used a lot of micellair water to clean my skin in the evening.  And my skin was ok.  I remember thinking I was relieved because having bad skin on top of everything else would have very much depressed me.

As I have gotten better after surgery I went back to my normal skincare routine steps and wearing makeup and all was good.  Until the first week of December when my skin literally hated me.

All of a sudden I had terribly hormonal acne around my jaw line.  On the 1st December my skin looked like this (NB all these photos are taken directly after cleansing and toning in the morning).

Alpha H Liquid Gold review

Alpha H Liquid Gold review

It was out of the blue and they just kept appearing-spot after painful spot.  It was time to get out the Alpha H.

My second disclaimer is that you're not about to see perfect skin.  You're about to see real skin.

So that was my skin on the 1st December.  After using Alpha H Liquid Gold (and I will explain how I used it in a moment) on alternate evenings this is how it had healed up in the 4th December

Alpha H Liquid Gold review

And by the 6th December it had improved to this

Alpha H Liquid Gold review

Alpha H Liquid Gold review

Firstly, the relief was immense that my skin was improving.  And it's been 'back to normal' since.  My doctor has said that my hormones will be all over the place and I don't know why this bad breakout occurred but luckily Alpha H sorted the problem in a few days.  After I started using Liquid Gold on the 1st not one new spot appeared.

Ok so let me give you the lowdown-the what and the how

The what

Alpha H is a Glycolic Acid solution.  Glycolic acid exfoliates and helps to renew cell production as well as boosting collagen production.  The exfoliation helps remove dead skin cells, encouraging new ones to the skins surface faster and reduce pore size.  It contains licorice which helps reduce acne and hyper-pigmentation, and Glycolic Acid (derived from sugar cane) which jump-starts the skin's metabolism, improving the texture by dissolving the bonds that hold dead skin cells together, allowing them to be sloughed away during your morning cleanse.

The how

Liquid Gold has quite a specific usage for best results.  You apply it every other night, just apply to a cotton pad (not soak, just a few drops) and wipe it over your face-as if using a toner.  And it's recommended not to put anything on your skin afterwards. So literally just cleanse (or double cleanse) apply the Liquid Gold and then leave it.  The first few times you use it your skin will tingle.  But it shouldn't tingle for more than 30 seconds or so.  It's also recommended you wear SPF during the day when using Liquid Gold because your skin will be more susceptible to burning.

I didn't change anything else in my routine-I was sure it was hormonal rather than an allergic reaction to something, I just added the Liquid Gold every other evening instead of double toning and using my usual serum.

I said this in my first review and I am going to end by saying the same thing.  This is an expensive treatment.  It retails at £33.50 for 100ml and £44.95 for the 200ml size.  But I don't believe you can put a price on self esteem and I feel so so much happier with my skin at the moment.  I bought another 200ml size from Cult Beauty and will immediately repurchase when I finish it.


I would love to know if you have tried this product and what you think?






Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Tom Ford Matte Lipsticks-Pussycat and Plum Lush


Tom Ford Matte lipsticks

Whilst we're all still fawning over Tom Ford's lips and boys collection (did you snaffle anything during the first 24hr sneak preview on 1st December??  I did.....) there are also some new Tom Ford lipstick kids on the block-the Mattes.

Limited edition but still very much available, there are 8 new matte lipsticks in the range.  I kind of wanted them all but limited myself to two.

The formula of the two I did choose is pretty consistent across both lipstick bullets-there is very good pigmentation, smooth application straight from the TF embossed bullet and the formula itself doesn't leave the lips parched.  Matte formulas are notorious for being the most drying but this year has seen a spate of excellent new matte formulas to suit all budgets-from the drugstore Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet to the mid range Clinique Soft Matte lipsticks to the upper end of the spectrum Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution, YSL Le Mat and now Tom Ford at the top of the price 'tree'.

So there is no excessive drying and the formula doesn't look overly matte on the lips, even when it's dried down.  They feel creamy to apply and leave a satin matte finish with a good 3-4 hour wear time. 

Tom Ford Matte lipsticks Plum Lush

Tom Ford Matte lipsticks Plum Lush

Plum Lush is a beautiful plummy pink with a smooth, opaque, satin finish.  I did use a lip brush with this shade but I always do with darker, bolder shades.  This shade would compliment cooler and warmer skin tones and gives a perfect year round pop of colour.

Tom Ford Matte lipsticks Pussycat

Tom Ford Matte lipsticks Pussycat

Let's face it, I was bound to buy Pussycat even if it was green given that I am a self confessed cat lady!  I've bought other lipsticks before just because they had a cat related name!  Luckily, Pussycat is just about lipstick perfection.  It's a mauvey pink-the sort of shade I love for daytime.  This shade is definitely more 'matte' on the lips than Plum Lush but is completely comfortable to wear and has great wear time.  The best all rounder of all eight shades (and perfectly named)

Did you pick any of these lipsticks up?  I would love to know your thoughts!  I bought mine from Nordstrom in the US (online using my Aramex Shop and Ship account) as these lipsticks are still not on counter in Dubai.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Lip......fourteen. The berry lips

So it's Monday which is usually Lip Six day but this week and next week I am going to mix it up a bit and do a seasonal variation-so here are my best berry lips!  Hopefully there is a shade and finish for everyone!

Top row (L) Giorgio Armani Lip Maestro in 502 Art Deco (absolutely loving this formula-non drying matte liquid lipstick (R) Tom Ford Violet Fatale/ Xavier (from Lips and Boys)

Middle row (L) Buxom lipstick in Menace (R) NARS Larger than Life gloss in Penny Arcade

Bottom row (L) MAC Mineralize lipstick in Lush Life  (R) Burberry Lip Cover in Oxblood


Top row (L) MAC lipstick in Rebel (R) Bobbi Brown Art Stick in Bright Raspberry

Middle row (L) MAC lipstick in Captive (R) Rouge Volupte Pearl in 113 Iridescent Burgundy

Bottom row (L) MAC lipstick in Plumful  (R) OCC Lip Tar in Strumpet


(L) Buxom lipstick in Moonlighter (R) MAC lip pencil in Magenta

Tell me which you love!!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Here come the boys-Tom Ford Lips and Boys


A quick post today-as many of you know I am on holiday in the UK at the moment so apologies for being a bit quieter than usual.  I am so happy at the moment, the happiest I have been all year and for the first time in a long time being in the UK has made me crave a move away from Dubai.  I am not saying we'll up sticks and leave Dubai-I definitely want to complete 10 years in Dubai next year but it's always good to have options.  If I could afford to live in the cottage we are currently staying in I would be very happy.

Anyway-todays post is about Lips and Boys.  Is there anything better?  Well we all know that the right boy and the right lipstick can make a girl very happy!

Here are the Lips and Boys picks I chose when they went on sale for 24 hours on the 1st December.
With regards to the formula, they are definitely 'Tom Ford' lipsticks.  Read my review here for the lowdown.

First up- JAMES



Even though James is a repromote of a lipstick I already own I had to get it!  I mean come on, regular readers will know James is my assistant at work and a constant source of hilarity and amusement in my daily life!  We all love James and I love this nude-y coral toned lip.

Next up ALEXANDER



Not so sure about Alexander-it's an almost lavender toned pink that I don't think works well on my skintone.  I was hoping it might be a bit more bubblegum pink but I guess that's the problem with blind buying (and that there were so little swatches on the internet prior to the 1st Dec sale)

Next we have MICHAEL



Another purchase based on the name as my other half is a Michael.  However I absolutely love this mid pink shade-it has that 'lit from within' quality on the lips that Cherry Lush has.

Next up, and very similar to Michael is GIACOMO



Such a beautiful shade and literally just one tone darker than Michael, I absolutely love Giacomo.

Finally we have ALEJANDRO



Alejandro is a great pink toned red-it reminds me of Cherry Lush which I also love.


The lipsticks are definitely on the 'mini' side.  Here's a size comparison with a regular size Tom Ford lippie.  The regular size looks like a giant lipstick!


The shades go back on sale again for a limited time on the 26th December-I think I need to definitely add Patrick to my collection and will be actively seeking out reviews of all the other shades (Temptalia has them all!)

Some of the collection are repromotes of old shades or, permanent collection shades renamed for this collection.  The renamed shades are......
  • Holden = Vanilla Suede
  • Beau = Blush Nude
  • Henry = Warm Sable
  • William = Pink Dune
  • Addison = Pink Dusk
  • James = Twist of Fate
  • Richard = Negligee
  • Cooper = Pure Pink
  • Adriano = True Coral
  • Alejandro = Slander
  • Leonardo = Smoke Red
  • Xavier = Violet Fatale
  • Collin = Indian Rose
  • Cary = Casablanca
  • Didier = Moroccan Rouge
I would love to know what you picked up or are planning to pick up when they go back on sale.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Chanel Rouge Allure Gloss-the review

Chanel Rouge Allure gloss review

Chanel Rouge Allure gloss review

Chanel Rouge Allure gloss review

Chanel Rogue Allure gloss £26 // $34

I was patiently awaiting the launch of the new gloss version of the Chanel Rouge Allure lipsticks and they have finally hit Dubai.  They may have been in Dubai longer than I thought because I was thrown at the counter by the 'tester' glosses not being in the same packaging as the actual gloss.

When swatched initially I have to admit I wasn't blown away-the gloss seemed extremely thick and sticky on my hand but I did end up buying two-for research purposes.  I really wanted an almost clear pinky shade  but they all seemed to be quite pigmented.  I picked up one coral-Affriolant and one brighter pink-Supreme Sensible looks like the kind of shade I was looking for but it didn't seem to be on counter so I may pick it up in the UK.  I am kind of tempted to pick up Chanel's signature red Pirate too as it now comes in this formula and I don't own many red glosses.

So yes, I am saying I would pick more up because I really do like these glosses.  Briefly covering off packaging, these tubes have the same 'push to click, pop out' opening as the Rouge Allure lipsticks.  It's actually kind of cool in one way as the packaging is so sleek but on the other hand it's slightly irksome as you can't see how much product is left in the tube.

The applicator is really good to use-it has a tapered pointy end with a flat paddle that seems to draw out the exact amount of gloss needed for one application.  I have also tested out the ease of use of this after 3 glasses of vino and it passed!!

Onto the formula-it is on the thicker side.  And it's kind of tacky when you apply it but actually once it's on the lips it feels absolutely fine.  It's more of a liquid lipstick texture than anything else and reminds me of the MAC Pro Longwear lipglosses but with a glossier, wet look finish.  It applies very evenly which I love and has decent lasting power-it's a gloss, not a stain so don't expect miracles.  But the fade is pleasantly even and because of the slightly heavier texture it doesn't wander off round your face or settle into lip lines nor does it gather in that less than attractive ring of gloop.  It also does not highlight any dryness on the lips which is a major bonus point for me-I am really struggling with this at the moment-I put a lipstick on and all of a sudden it's highlighting dryness and flakiness but these don't at all. 

Chanel Rouge Allure gloss review Affriolant

Affriolant-A warm pink with a definite coral undertone and a glossy, wet look finish.  When I am in the mood for gloss this is pretty much what I am reaching for at the moment.  Lips don't look too overdone but have that polished, glassy look that I personally love.

Chanel Rouge Allure gloss review Supreme

Supreme-A brighter fuchsia with a glossy, glassy finish.  Loving it.

Final thoughts? Really lovely and I am glad I did purchase them.  Whilst writing the review have convinced myself I do need Pirate and Sensible.  There are 10 shades in the range and the Chanel website lists these as limited edition but they're still very much around.

Have you picked up any of these new glosses from Chanel?  Would love to know your thoughts!