Tuesday, 22 January 2013

HD Brows


If you were to ask me what makeup product I couldn’t be without, it would be an eyebrow pencil. Aside from the fact I have worms rather than caterpillars, the eyebrows frame a face, they make eyes stand out and give the biggest impact to features – in fact 70% of  facial expressions depend on them!  Pick up any magazine and look at the models and you will notice they all have one thing in common – perfectly groomed brows, so much so that a few years ago brows took on the media all on their own - they got their own status with every celeb hankering after the perfect brow and this perfect brow acquired a name – High Definition Brows (HD) founded by Nilam Patel.  This was not to be confused with the more unflattering  ‘Scouse Brow’ which took centre stage for a while, unlike HD this heavy, dark and uniformed look trended amongst young teenage girls with a penchant for daytime shopping in rollers. 


I’ve always wanted to try the HD Brow, I regularly dye my own but they last literally a few days and I’m too busy with the children to paint my face every day.  Luckily for me I happened to personally know the HD Brow guru – aka Michele Offering HD Brows who’s legendary for her eye shaping work. With an impressive CV of teaching at the renowned Brentwood Academy for the last 8 years - she currently teaches 2 days a week, previously owning a salon for 14 years at the Brentwood Centre and being a therapist for over 24 years, Michele is highly thought of amongst all the top therapists in Essex and I knew that she could add, sculpt and perform miracles on my sparse, non-existent brows.


Michele sent me a dye patch test to check for any allergic reaction which was applied 48 hours prior to the treatment, she also sent lots of information on what to expect on the day.  Her salon based in in Brentwood is warm, welcoming and fully of serenity which also reflects Michele’s nature.  As I sunk into her extremely comfortable therapist bed, we began the treatment with an in-depth consultation.  The beauty of HD is that each brow is individually tailored with a variety of colours and we discussed the thickness, shape and depth I was hoping to achieve - I was advised to go for the lightest colour to compliment my skin and hair tone.  As I relaxed further, Michele explained the following:-


HD Brows is a combination of seven steps which include waxing, tweezing, threading, tinting as well as using specialist HD products such as their tamer ‘Brow Beater’. As HD state, this is not eyebrow shaping or tidying, this is eyebrow artistry and specific training is required for HD Brow therapists, which is personally given by the founders (Michele was trained by Nilam herself).  Unlike a normal wax and tint, the dye is pressed into the eyebrow hence results usually last around 3-4 weeks but each person varies and if, like me your eyebrows have been over-plucked then HD sell products that actually stimulate growth and with regular use and a course of visits eyebrows can be trained to appear fuller and more defined. The results are usually immediate but with sparse eyebrows a few visits maybe needed, although using ‘Grow Baby Grow’ can be used to encourage growth.


The treatment took about an hour and the results were brilliant - my eyes stood out more and my face even appeared slimmer. I took home some fantastic products to help me maintain the shape including one of the best eyebrow palettes I’ve come across as well! So it’s a huge thank you to Michele, I am a full HD convert now and will definitely be back to maintain them!


 To book with Michele call 07595 220502, a discounted price on HD Brows for £25 is valid until 23rd February 2013. Follow on Facebook at Michele Offering HD Brows or Twitter @Brows_Michele.


Follow me on Twitter @askmollybeauty or if you have a business in Essex you would like featured Email me at askmollybeauty@gmail.com

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

KeraStraight - your daily hairdresser

My hair has been dyed every which way but green – literally!  My obsession started age 14 when I discovered a colander, knitting needle and some bleach – fast forward 30 years and I actually don’t know what my real hair colour is, I’m so indecisive that I usually let my PMT dictate what colour to dye it – note avoid me when it’s black this usually reflects the last week of my cycle!

Unfortunately years of chemicals have taken their toll on my tresses so off I went in search of some much needed TLC, not in the form of a deep conditioner but something that would revive my locks and give the much needed strength it desperately craved.  Luckily for me I didn’t have to look too far, I’d read about the celeb favourite KeraStraight and knew exactly where to head - The Vanilla Room - owned by Kerry Larcher and launched in 1995 with branches in Hornchurch and Brentwood, and with an average client base of 450 per week, I was eager to see for myself why friends raved about this 5 star award winning salon.

There are lots of different types of Keratin treatments on the market but it’s the quality of the product used that determines the result and price. The Vanilla Room’s philosophy is to use the very best in hair care and I was about to be treated to the ultimate Hair Facial!  My hair would be fed with the nutrients lost through years of dyes, perms and blow-drying.  The treatment is not to be confused with the more commonly known Brazilian Blow Dry – it’s completely different.  Firstly it doesn’t contain any chemicals as it’s based on the hairs natural protein Keratin, it doesn’t alter the structure of the hair so maintains natural movement and whereby chemical straightening is for untreated hair, KeraStraight is perfect for coloured and bleached hair.  The whole process takes from 2 hours but is based on length and hair type.

My treatment was carried out by Art Director, Kay Doel an expert in the field of hair technology. She took me through the process of how my hair would be cleansed, dried, application of product before being sealed with heat via the use of hair straighteners, it would then be washed and conditioned before a final blow dry. She also took me through the 3 different types of Keratin as depending on condition would determine which one was used - I had the Colour Protect especially as I had only just gone from dark to blonde.  I explained I didn’t want my hair straight and she assured me how my hair would remain wavy but without the frizz and generally more tamed.   

The whole process took just over 2 hours and the results were amazing.  I often remark I wish I had the condition of my daughter’s hair, that youthful shine only possible on ‘virgin uncoloured’ hair and now thanks to Kay’s excellent skills, this hair was staring back at me in the mirror. It was glossy, super soft and gleaming and all this achieved without my usual dollop of serum!  I was advised that with the use of the sodium chloride and sulphate free shampoo and conditioner results would last up to 4 months. The treatment is suitable for any hair type and eliminates the need for daily blow drying, so perfect for those with busy lifestyles, who like to travel or even just had a baby, it’s like having your own invisible hairstylist and I want to thank Kerry and Kay for giving my hair a new lease of life.

The Vanilla Room is located at 1a, Wilson’s Corner, Brentwood (01277 263360) and also 123-125 High Street, Hornchurch (01708 452245). Find them at www.thevanillaroom.co.uk and facebook.com/thevanillaroom. 20% off all hair services are being offered by quoting Askmollybeauty until end Feb. One voucher redeemable per client – not valid against hair extensions, retail products and not to be used in conjunction with any other offer. No cash alternative.


Follow me on Twitter @askmollybeauty or if you have any business you would like me to feature (I cover all of Essex), email me at askmollybeauty@gmail.com.

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Winter Skin Care

I always start the New Year by giving my skincare regime an overhaul. Having to deal with the wet, cold, icy and windy weather usually means by end of January my face has more lines than my A-Z (this of course has nothing to do with alcohol and sugar consumption at Christmas). So I start January with a weekly DIY facial - if you want to join me here are a few tips to get you started!

1.       Start by cleansing your face – any cleanser will do, its job is to remove not add to the skin so you don’t have to spend a fortune – however, avoid soap which can be drying.  For the ultimate in luxury though try Espa’s Nourishing Cleansing Balm, a skin softening beeswax that contains oils of Sweet Almond, Orange Peel, Rosewood and Geranium and when massaged onto damp skin turns into a rich cream which cleanses the face without stripping away any natural oils, simply remove with the muslin cloth provided to allow for a clean base for the next step.

2.       Exfoliation is a key part of a beauty regime to help prevent the formation of blackheads by unblocking pores and getting deeper into the skin to lift any dirt and grime. Apply a small amount to your face whilst avoiding eye area then massage in gently. Again Espa’s Refining Skin Polish is gentle enough to use on sensitive skin and will brighten a dull and congested complexion.

3.       Using a face mask is a good way to feed the skin with active ingredients.  Dermalogica Skin Hydrating Mask contains Hyaluronic Acid to help trap moisture making the skin feel soft and supple. It also helps protect the skin with lycopene rich Tomato Seed lipids - lycopene is a natural compound that can actually block UV rays one of the skins biggest enemies. Generously apply twice a week to relieve dry, stressed out skin conditions.

4.       Finally it’s worth investing in a good moisturiser. During winter central heating, cold, harsh air and even heating from your car can play havoc with your skins moisture levels causing dehydration.   If you’re going to splash out on any part of your skincare spend on a product which gets results - I love Estee Lauders Revitalizing Supreme Global   it’s cost productive as can be used day and night.  The 10 patented formula of IntuiGen Technology is inspired by genetics and derived from natural ingredients such as Black Bamboo Extract, which is said to revitalize skin cells. Thirsty skin will drink in the ingredients which combat signs of ageing and whilst it doesn’t contain Sun Protection Factor, it does contain a selection of anti-irritants including caffeine and Vitamin E to protect and soothe.


 There are also lots of other tips you can do, to help you keep skin savvy during winter.

·         Get outside as much as possible especially if the sun makes a rare appearance - we all need our quota of Vitamin D!

·         Place bowls of water near radiators to help humidify the air and stop the dry heat from sapping the skin of moisture.

·         Always use a Sun Protection Factor in addition to your face cream if it doesn’t contain it.

·         Dehydrated skin is not a type but a condition and is treatable. However, left untreated those lines will become more permanent! Water helps,  but to really feed the skin increase your intake of Essential Fatty Acids and Omega Oils with a diet rich in oily fish, such as salmon, seeds and protein rich nuts – essential for repair and building skin cells.

·         My best tip of all is to watch re-runs of your favourite comedies and have a good old giggle. It’s only a few months until spring and the best lines are definitely laughter lines!

Estee Lauder available at The New Pharmacy, Brentwood

Dermalogica available at Tres Chic, Brentwood

Espa available at www.espaonline.co.uk


Follow me on Twitter @askmollybeauty or if you have any queries or would like a business review please contact me via email askmollybeauty@gmail.com