I rarely get time to look in the mirror and when I do it’s usually a quick glance to check I haven’t got seeds stuck in my teeth from the kid’s breakfast crusts. However, having been housebound recently boredom has led me into a skin squeezing, line inspecting, stomach prodding enthusiast and so it was last week whilst I stood in front of the mirror during inspection mode that I was taken by surprise. Jumping out at me was a smattering of pure white hair and to make matters worse when I pointed it out to my mother rather than tell me it was my imagination she uttered those immortal words ‘darling you’re turning into your Nana’ (my dear Nana died when I was young, but I do remember her shocking white hair!). Then when my 9 year old hesitantly pointed out that maybe I’m too old for shorts and led me towards some cellulite covering maxi-dresses, I knew it was time to take some action. So hastily gathering every latest anti-ageing product on the market I set about testing to see if they perform miracles – if they don’t they land in the bin! Failing that I will be throwing away my mirrors and go back to my trusted Denial, a product guaranteed to work!
Nothing ages more than yellow, stained teeth and whilst professional tooth whitening is expensive there are some home remedies on the market. I tested Billion Dollar Smile (www.billiondollarsmile.co.uk) Ultimate Teeth Whitening Kit £65. Simple to use just fill the tooth mould with the gel provided, place into the an LED fixing and apply to the teeth for 15 minutes, cleanse with the whitening foam and repeat the procedure immediately and then 24 hours later. For the following 15 days maintain your shade by brushing with the 2 treatment foams provided. My teeth were already reasonably white but with some staining and they have definitely lifted a couple of shades, best of all there was no sensitivity and with someone like me who winces with ice cream this is a huge bonus. The results weren’t dramatic on me but on someone who has more staining expect to see a definite improvement.
Ooh La Lift from Benefit £17.50 (stockists Debenhams Nationwide) gives you that ‘fake 10 hours sleep’ with a light dab of this pink highlighter under the eyes – an instant brightener, it’s a must for someone burning the candle at both ends. Brittle or sparse lashes will love MD Ultima Eyelash Conditioner £79.96 www.baronhb.com, the ingredients deliver fuller, thicker and longer lashes without giving any irritation. I’m still in the throes of testing but used regularly for 2 months 95% of testers reported an overall improvement of an increased length last of 53%!
As we get older lips lose their plumpness and mouth lines become more prominent and to help combat the signs of ageing, using a lip balm with added UV protection is a must. Bodhi Cacao Cocoon Lip Treatment £15.00 www.bodhi.uk.com offers not only protection with Raspberry Seed Oil but also heals chapped and dehydrated lips with antioxidants Vitamin A, C and E.
SkinMedica (www.skinbrands.co.uk) produce products for every skin type and condition. Their Skin Brightening Complex contains the equivalent of 4% hydroquinone, (an organic compound which whitens the skin only sold via prescription). This product colour-fades age spots and hyper-pigmentation and whilst expensive at £95 a little goes a long way as can be used directly on darker patches or all over. However, it contains added Retinol to speed up the process of whitening so you must wear an SPF20 or higher to reduce sensitivity. Skin Medica Sunscreen £33.50 is brilliant for the face and suitable for all skin types. Non-oily, fragrance free this SPF 30 is all you need for complete sunscreen protection and unlike most high sunscreens it doesn’t leave a white residue just melts into the skin leaving a slight radiant glow whilst the added Green Tea Extract also protects from environmental damage.
Thalgo Intensive Smoothing Cellular Booster £49.50 (www.thalgo.com) targets collagen loss for those over age of 25 (this is the age we start to lose that youthful ‘plumpness’). Native Marine Collagen stimulates production deep within the skin, thickening it and reducing long term skin damage. Apply under your face cream, this booster is a great addition to your skincare regime and it instantly left me with a smooth, soft skin base.
Richard Ward is a renowned hairdresser famed for primping the stars and having his own luxury hair care line and I tested the Wheat Nutrient Masque £23 (available www.richardward.com). My hair has gone through the mills with ill health, bleach and heat, so this mask is essential in keeping it strong. The naturally derived wheat proteins protect against cuticle damage and prevent colour loss, whilst the added lecithin made it so smooth I could forgo my usual serum!
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