Category Archives: Beauty

Hylamide SubQ

FAIIINT Deciem Hylamide SubQ Anti-Age Advanced Serum & Eyes Advanced Serum.

A lot of my favourite buys, of both the fashion & beauty kind, are often brought on impulse as they catch my eye whilst I walk past on my way to buy other things and this was exactly the case with these Hylamide serums from Deciem. I’d only gone into Boots to buy shampoo, but their bright, clean, scientific looking box packaging boasting long lists of active ingredients drew me right in, and then I saw the prices £30 and £27! I’d expected them to be much more considering all the claims and quality ingredients, so I knew I had to try them out.

I don’t read an awful lot of beauty blogs, but I was surprised I hadn’t come across these sooner as I checked for reviews on my way home and saw how glowing and positive they all were, hyping them up as ‘game-changers’. I’m usually pretty sceptical when reading phrases like that, however after trying them out for a few weeks I can honestly say that I think both fully live up to their hype. Consider me highly impressed!

Hylamide SubQ Anti-Age Advanced Serum:
“For multi-depth rehydration and visible reduction in lines and irregularities. A highly active concentrate of advanced hyaluronic complexes, next-generation peptides and biotechnological technologies to target rehydration on and below skin surface, while visibly improving lines, wrinkles, sagging skin and textural damage.”

This is a lightweight, clear and slightly gel like liquid, it sinks into the skin so quickly and immediately makes my skin look plumper and hydrated. I don’t think I’ve ever tried any other skincare that gave such an obvious effect this quickly – other than a facial! Thankfully this isn’t just a quick, temporary trick, I’ve definitely noticed an improvement in my skin since using it, my face looks glowy, smooth and well rested. It’s continued to improve my skins hydration and seems to have helped balance it out too, my t-zone is a little less oily and the dryness on my cheeks is completely gone.

Hylamide SubQ Eyes Advanced Serum:
“For immediate and longer-term visible correction of under-eye aging, puffiness and dark circles. High-strength serum concentrate uses a wide array of peptides, plant saccharides and active technologies to rehydrate the fragile eye area below and above the surface, while targeted technologies visibly improve fine lines, crow’s feet, puffiness and dark circles. Offers results immediately, within days and within weeks.”

I didn’t notice as immediate of an effect with this as I did the facial serum, however I do think that it’s had a bit of an impact on my dark circles over the past few weeks, they seem lighter and I think I look less tired as a result too. This is a creamier, thicker liquid than the serum, and it tingles quite a bit when you apply it! I was unsure if this was my eyes being sensitive to it at first, but it doesn’t seem to be irritating them at all & from other reviews it’s something a lot of others have mentioned also. I’m just going to assume it means something is working! The best thing about this one for me is that it absorbs nice and quickly and leaves no greasy residue behind, it’s perfect for under makeup (no smeared eyeliner!) and I don’t wake up with puffy eyes when using it at night, as is often the case with other eye creams that feel this nourishing.

I have to admit, I can’t really comment on how well either performs in the claims about wrinkles or sagging skin, as I don’t really have those worries just yet. I’m a big believer in prevention being better than cure though, so I take care of my skin as much as possible, avoid too much sun & hope that products like this, packed full with beneficial ingredients, are helping to keep those inevitable things at bay for a little while longer.

I’m now eagerly awaiting the launch of their Booster Series, which includes serums targeted at improving problems such as radiance and sensitivity, plus the seriously intriguing sounding ‘transparent foundation’. I’m all about a light base recently, so I’m dying to find out what exactly that is!

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Barrie Stephen

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A few weeks ago I paid a visit to Barrie Stephen‘s King Street salon to finally get my hair sorted out before my cousins wedding. I’m pretty low maintenance with my hair, but it hadn’t been cut for close to 6 months and it was starting to get a little scruffy and in serious need of a good trim. I’d left it a little late, but they were so good at getting me in at pretty short notice despite being busy.

I sat down with the lovely Olivia in the upstairs Colour Lounge (which is beautiful!) and she advised me that the length and colour really suited me so to stick with those, but maybe run some subtle highlights through it to give the impression of more body and movement. I haven’t had highlights or bleach on my hair for many years now, after it went like straw from too much (home!) bleaching as a teen I spent a long time growing it out and getting it back into a nice condition. We both agreed that it could easily handle a little bleach now, and I liked the idea of having something other than a flat dark brown for a change. I really appreciated that she listened and took into account the fact I admitted I can be quite lazy with my hair, so she kept the highlights subtle and my layers long so it’d be nice and low maintenance for me.

As I waited for my highlights to develop I had a little wander around, the interior of the salon is just perfect, it feels slick and modern, but with lots of little quirky touches. I loved the newly opened Barbers Lounge which is across from the Colour Lounge upstairs, it has such a great retro feel with the old school chairs and dark wood, even the guys working in there fit in with the whole look! The huge photo wall showing off their achievements, milestones and memories is such a nice feature too, I love all these little bits of personality that really come through when you look around. Barrie is also the ambassador for Woodside Animal Center and has been doing an incredible job over the past few years helping them to raise much needed funds and awareness. The Care4Paws appeal is still going on, and you can still donate to help them reach their target for the veterinary facility they desperately need.

It’s easy to see why they have won a whole host of awards over the past 10 years, the service was excellent and I was made to feel super welcome by all the friendly staff who made sure I was never without a fresh drink and something to read. I felt totally at ease with Olivia and happy with the suggestions she made about freshening my hair up, and that’s pretty rare for me when I visit a new hairdresser for the first time. I absolutely love my cut and the colour, it feels so fresh, bouncy and healthy again. I think you know it’s a good hair cut when people tell you that your hair looks nice but they’re not quite sure what’s different, like they assume you’re just having a really good hair day, and I’ve had that a lot these past few weeks!

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Diane Pernet Fragrances

FAIIINT Diane Pernet Fragrances at Liberty London perfume samples Shaded, Wanted, To Be Honest & In Pursuit of Magic.FAIIINT Diane Pernet Fragrances at Liberty London perfume samples Shaded, Wanted, To Be Honest & In Pursuit of Magic.

I have long been a reader of Diane Pernet’s blog A Shaded View On Fashion, so I’ve been looking forward to the launch of her new range of perfumes for quite a while now. After getting my hands on some samples to test out, I’m happy to be able to say they are as wonderful as I imagined they would be. Though, I would expect no less from someone with such well refined taste & distinctive sense of style.

I never usually like to just copy out press release info, but the descriptions sum each of the scents up perfectly & are so beautifully written that I had to share –

Time to confess. Be bold. Brave. And utterly reckless.

To be honest captures the experience of stumbling upon an ancient church while walking through the woods. The green and woody fragrance follows you inside. Candles burn silently, their lights still flickering. A waft of incense lingers high above the altar as if the congregation has just vanished. There are notes of myrrh, black pepper, cedar wood, patchouli, vetiver and amber.

Yearn. Crave. Worship me. But leave me breathless.

Wanted is reminiscent of an oriental garden as the mist rolls in. Slightly dishevelled and overgrown, moss clings to stone statues obscured by twisting trees and shrubs. Bursts of exotic scents are elevated by a delicate cloud of steam. There are notes of clove, juniper, leather and nutmeg with a little musk accord in the air.

Beyond convention. In another dimension. Spellbound.

In Pursuit of Magic makes you feel as if you’ve entered a familiar yet parallel world. Standing atop a hillside temple, time is lost in a moment of sensory overload. The refreshing citrus air simultaneously invigorates and purifies you. Tart, clean, intense, restored and protected.

Lose yourself. Infinitely. Intimately. Into the darkness.

Shaded evokes a nocturnal bath in the sea. The salt on your skin, a subtle incense and new-found sensations await a secret lover’s encounter. Lightly caressed in the ocean mist, every feeling is shaded by an intense plume of vetiver and surrounded by the deepest touch of musk and guiac wood.

I found it hard to pick a favourite, as I fell in love with all but one of them instantly. They are all unisex, deeply layered & linger on the skin, seeming to evolve throughout the day, as you get a trace of something new each time you find yourself noticing the scent. After trying each of them out for a few days I settled on Shaded as my favourite, to me it smells of warmth, it’s comforting and sensual, and there’s a lovely contrast between the salt, smokey wood & a certain underlying sweetness. Whenever I wore this one I had people asking what I was wearing as I wafted by, it’s a unique, distinctive scent and perfect if you like your fragrances to feel personal & memorable. I like to keep my perfume selection very curated & small, I stick to the same ones like a signature, but this one is so special that I’ll definitely be adding it to my collection.

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Tarte ‘Dollface’ Amazonian Clay Blush


I usually refuse to buy new makeup online without swatching it first, especially when it’s something like a base or blush where you really need to get a shade that suits you or risk it having been a huge waste of money. Tarte’s Amazonian Clay Blush has been on my wishlist for such a long time now though, the formula is always being touted as one of the best & I’ve seen so many pale skinned beauty bloggers raving that the shade ‘Dollface’ is the perfect blush for pale skin. I’ve been holding out waiting for it to be stocked somewhere I could see it in person, but with no luck. When I found that to my horror my staple everyday blush (MAC Pinch O Peach) had been discontinued though, it was my first thought in the search for a replacement.

It’s not often I find myself saying this about beauty products, but it completely lives up to the hype & I am so happy I took the risk buying it online! It’s heavily pigmented meaning you only need a little to create a natural flush, but it also blends out easily if you go a bit overboard & pick up too much. I’d describe it as a pale, bright pink with blue undertones & it’s extremely flattering on my pale skin. I usually pick up more peach or warm toned blushes as I thought they suited me more, but this has me converted, the cool tone adds a real freshness & brightens my whole face but looks totally natural too. The only point I was a little disappointed on was the ’12 hour’ claim, this is definitely long wearing & easily outlasts many of the other blushes I have tried, but 12 hours is really stretching it, I’d say it’s closer to 6-8 hours.

I really like that all of their products are free of parabens, mineral oil, phthalates & other nasties, and are cruelty free, so I now have my eye on quite a few of their other products too. For us in the UK a small selection, including the blushes, are exclusively stocked by QVC. Tarte’s Lights Camera Lashes mascara is going to be first on my hit list, along with the waterproof version, as it’s another product I’ve seen raved about countless times & I must confess, I am a bit of a mascara hoarder, I have a whole drawer full! Have you guys tried any of their other products that you’d highly recommend? Let me know so I can add them to my list!

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Malcolm Murphy Hair

FAIIINT Malcolm Murphy Hair award winning Leicester hairdressers salon FAIIINT Malcolm Murphy Hair award winning Leicester hairdressers salon coffee & biscuits FAIIINT Malcolm Murphy Hair award winning Leicester hairdressers salon FAIIINT Malcolm Murphy Hair award winning Leicester hairdressers salon FAIIINT Malcolm Murphy Hair award winning Leicester hairdressers salon FAIIINT Malcolm Murphy Hair award winning Leicester hairdressers salon FAIIINT Malcolm Murphy Hair award winning Leicester hairdressers salon FAIIINT Malcolm Murphy Hair award winning Leicester hairdressers salon FAIIINT Malcolm Murphy Hair award winning Leicester hairdressers salon FAIIINT Malcolm Murphy Hair award winning Leicester hairdressers salon

Last week I was invited down to Malcolm Murphy Hair for a cut & colour with the wonderful Shelley. I’d heard great things about the salon, having won a whole bunch of awards & so I was excited to check it out for myself. Situated on Hinckley Road, I loved the location away from the business of the city centre, it gives a much more relaxed vibe & stepping through the door this continued too, crisp white walls, dotted with opulent furniture & fresh flowers creating a welcoming, homely feel, I felt right at home as I waited with my coffee & biscuits, all served on a golden platter.

When I arrived it was almost full with customers, but not once did I feel rushed, as I’ve found all too often at busy hairdressers & every member of staff was super friendly & laid back, it was a really nice atmosphere. Shelley chatted with me about my hair, and told me she thought it really suited me the way it was so she didn’t want to do anything too drastic, which I was happy to hear. I said how I’d spent the best part of a few years growing it out now & though I’ve gone through phases where I’ve considered something a bit more dramatic I feel like I’ve spent too long getting it to this point to go chopping it off just yet! We decided to just freshen it up, putting some of the layers back in that had almost grown out, to give it a little more shape & sticking to the same dark chocolate colour, but one with a high gloss finish – it feels so bouncy & healthy again, and look at how shiny it is!

As I waited for my colour to develop I had a little wander around to take some photos & spotted Rocco, Malcolm’s incredibly adorable pup sitting on one lady’s lap having cuddles whilst she was having her hair cut! You know I’m a crazy dog lady at heart, so this was like the icing on the cake for me, he was so sweet & well behaved too.

If you’re in Leicester I couldn’t recommend paying Malcolm Murphy Hair a visit more, I came home feeling relaxed & totally pampered, I was actually a little sad that I had no plans for later to show my hair off, so I went into town and treated myself to some retail therapy & a coffee, then took Nico for an extra long walk afterwards!

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