Best Budget Skincare: NIP+FAB Dragons Blood Fix Hyaluronic Shot Review

As the years tick on, I don’t mind admitting that I am on a continual quest to keep my skin looking youthful and the best that it can be.  The key for me is therefore really good skincare.  Like many, however, I have been guilty of assuming that if a product is more expensive, it is more likely to deliver results.  I have therefore spent an eye-watering amount of money over the years on luxury brands such as Sisley, La Prairie and Natura Bissé.  And, yes, whilst I shudder at the hole they have left in my bank balance, I have found some amazing products within these ranges, which I would – and have – highly recommended to those who have the budget for them (see my reviews here and here).

HOWEVER, more recently, beauty bloggers – such as the excellent Caroline Hirons (here), Nadine Baggot (here) and Stephanie Nicole (here) – have switched my focus from a product’s price-tag to a product’s ingredient list.  This has led me to do a bit of research into drugstore brands that bring great ingredients and formulations at a more affordable price point.

Enter NIP+FAB, the drugstore sister to the luxury brand, Rodial – both founded by Maria Hatzistefanis.  Now for those who do not know Rodial, they are an excellent brand that I have found to work well for my skin.  So of course I was intrigued to start digging around in the NIP+FAB line to see what I could find that might work equally well on my skin, but without leaving such a dent in my wallet!

Taking a look at the ingredients, and knowing what has worked for me in the past, I was immediately drawn to their Dragons Blood Fix Hyaluronic Shot.  This is because the product contains not one, but two ingredients I find to work wonders on plumping up my skin: Hyaluronic Acid and Dragon’s Blood.  Both are great at hydrating the skin and this serum did not let me down!

Since discovering it – and I am now on bottle number three – I can safely say that this is probably one of the best serums I have used on my skin in a long time!  You use it morning and night, two pumps into your moisturiser, and that’s it.

It has worked marvels on my skin.  For instance, I used to have light texture between my eyes on the forehand, and this has now gone.  My fine lines are plumped and my complexion is glowing.  And the best part?  Although this product retails for £24.95 in the UK (in the US), it can often be found on offer in the drugstore, such as Boots, for as little as £12, making it well worth the investment!  I would not be without it now, and it has single-handedly turned my skin around.  Highly, highly recommended.

In the UK you can find it here , and in the US, here

 

Happy anti ageing xxx

Can Supplements Help With Hair Growth: My Take on the Tati Halo Beauty Drama

 

 

 

My take on the Tati and Halo Beaty drama over whether hair supplements really can make your hair grow faster. 

Hair has a very simple composition – it’s 97% protein and 3% water. Each hair has about a 3 to 7 year life span depending on age and genetics and it grows through three distinct phases: Anagen (where the hair is actually growing), Catagen (where the hair follicle prepares for the transition to the resting phase, this takes about 7-14 days) and finally Telogen (where the follicle rests for between 3 and 4 months, at the end of this phase older hairs are shed to be replaced by new ones).

Once the hair pushes free of the follicle, it is actually dead – there is nothing more that can be done with diet that will improve the health of the hair, that would need to be done manually with treatments and avoiding products that negatively impact that 97:3 blend of protein to water within the hair (for example anything with silicone or dimethicone).

The rate at which our hair grows through those three phases is purely down to our genetics, some people will have a longer growing phase or have hair that grows marginally faster than others, but changing the rate you are naturally able to maintain by taking supplements is just not a reality. 

It’s not all doom and gloom though, because what you can do with supplements and good diet is improve the health of the follicle, giving the hair the best health possible while it is still inside the follicle gives it the best chance of not breaking prematurely.

Look for products high in vitamins B, A and Biotin. My favourites are:

One other thing to watch out for is the impact of stress on your hair. When the body is stressed, it effectively shuts down non-essential systems, meaning the blood flow to your outer skin is reduced, diminishing the nutrients available to the hair follicles. This is why hair can actually fall out because of stress.

In today’s stressful world, it’s all the more important to keep up our nutrition levels to ensure the body has sufficient available to keep our skin and hair looking lustrous. Try introducing things to your diet like Avocado and Salmon which are high in essential fatty acids.

So there you have it – my thoughts on what you can really do with hair supplements. Don’t forget to like and subscribe to get more content like this.

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How to make yourself look good.

Want to look fresh and bright, glowy and radiant every day in spite of the daily assault on our skin – working hard, gym, socialising, they can all take a toll on our skin, and as men we often think that using make up will leave you looking like you’re wearing make up, when in fact there are loads of great products out there that can be used to create a perfectly natural look, just you on your best day!

To keep the look clean and avoid any oiliness or caking, all the products I am going to talk about are liquid rather than powder based, which is great for if you rock the stubble or beard look like me.

So here’s my make up routine for looking fresh after a long day before heading out for the evening!

To start off, make sure you’ve washed and cleansed the skin and followed up with a good quality moisturiser. It’s really important to start with hydrated skin. https://gustavfouche.com/2018/04/06/do-you-want-to-look-young-forever/

I’m going to work on getting rid of the dark circles around my eyes, a few blemishes here and there and generally make me look radiant, just enhancing my natural skin.

Start with a just a dash of the primer, worked lightly all over the skin. I’m using Prime Time from Bare Minerals – BB Primer Cream (SPF30)… it’s very light, allowing the skin’s natural pigment to come through. 

Next I use just a tiny bit of concealer under the eye – the Bobbi Brown Pro Kit in a light tone just dabbed lightly under the eye and worked in to cover a little more of the dark circles.

Moving on to foundation – I use the Bobbi Brown 4.5 stick, lightly applied with the tip of a finger over any area that you feel needs it most. I’d apply it around any imperfections in pigmentation and a little around the concealer to help ensure it is blended seamlessly. The idea here is that it shouldn’t be possible to tell that I have make up on.

I love creating a subtle but impactful eye, nothing too much, just enough to make the eyes “pop”. I’m going to use the Studio 10 pencil in a light tan colour to draw just inside the water line to make the eyes appear wider and more awake and if, like me, you have redness in the waterline this neutralises it so well. For me, no eye make up would be complete without a dash of Chanel. I’m going to use the Chanel eye liner which I use through the lashes rather than on the outside of them, this makes the lash line look really thick and lush without being too obvious. And to finish, I love (mis)using the YSL Touch Eclat highlighter just on the inside of the eye to open them up even more.

Now for the lashes… If you’re going for a really natural look, you could visit your beautician to have your lashes tinted or lifted, I personally use both and can highly recommend it. For me though, I’m going to go ahead and use eye-lash curlers – as scary as they look they really lift the lash out and away from the eye, I’m also going to use Mali mascara (though I love the Clinique one too). I put the mascara wand right at the root of the lash, wiggle just a little and draw out to the edge to avoid any of that clumpy look you can get with mascara.

So that’s it – my natural look make-up. Even the longest day at work can’t stop me from looking fresh faced and ready to start all over again!

Do you want to look young forever?

As a fond follower of all things fashion and fabulous, I know how important it is to take the best care we can of our skin to keep looking fresh faced and youthful.
Stay tuned for my own daily skin care routine.
Over the years I have tried many products, ranging from traditional to cutting-edge and through all price points with varying degrees of success. When you’re making your product choices I can definitely recommend ensuring that the ingredients in the product are of a high quality.
So what do I recommend?
Natura Bisse Cure Serum – Perfect as a night time treatment to freshen the skin, even after a great night out you look clear and bright in the morning.
Natura Bisse Diamond Extreme Eye – I love this product. Unlike some eye creams, this soaks in so easily and leaves the skin feeling plumped and hydrated.
Kiehls Reviving Concentrate – I always try to avoid using products with any silicon derivatives in them, and this is my absolute favourite as an alternative to a regular cream based moisturiser. As a dry oil you need only a few drops to moisturise the whole face, and you can really feel the skin just drinking it in.
Repêchage Hydra 4 – pure hydration, I apply this at the end of my skin care regime to lock in all that lovely moisture.
Tips for applying eye-cream:
The skin directly under the eye is very fine, so eye cream should be applied with a light dabbing motion using the ring finger along the cheek bone line. As the product soaks into the skin, it will travel upward towards the eye through the fine skin. No more tingly eyes as your eye cream travels!

Sun damaged hair

 

Hi there, and welcome back to my channel!
Growing up in sunny South Africa I used to love being outside soaking
up that glorious sunshine… as we all know *now* though, the sun can be
damaging to our skin.
But what about our hair? Should we be concerned about sun damage?

Absolutely!

In today’s video I’ll talk about how the sun’s rays can damage our
hair, and what that damage means for those of us with colour treated
hair, and how we can protect ourselves from the sun and keep our hair
healthy and looking just gorgeous.

I’ll show you a couple of my absolute favourite products for sun
protection a bit later so stay tuned for those, but for now – what
actually happens to hair when it goes in the sun?

I often talk about how important hydration is for keeping hair healthy
and feeling fabulous. But the sun’s rays can have a seriously drying
effect on the hair

It’s all down to how the hair holds on to moisture. Cuticles that run
the length of the hair that ordinarily hold onto the moisture are
damaged by the sun’s UVA and UVB, meaning they open up and lose their
moisture, drying out the hair.

Have you noticed your hair feeling drier in summer? Do you have any
favourite tricks for keeping your locks looking luscious when you’re
out in the sun? Let me know in the comments below.

Hydration aside, even the colour of our hair can suffer from being out
in the sun. Unlike our skin which turns darker as we tan in the sun,
our hair is bleached by the sun making it turn lighter. And this
bleaching effect increases as the cuticles of the hair open up more.

Colour treated hair often has the cuticles of the hair left open,
making them even more susceptible to being bleached by the sun.

What can you do to protect against the unwanted changes in colour of your hair?

Well – here are my absolute favourite products for protecting your
hair from the sun’s damaging rays.

As always, these really are the products I use, I’m not endorsed so
you’re getting my honest thoughts. I’ll add links to them both in the
info below

For me, you can’t go wrong with either the 3 More Inches Lifesaver
Spray with UV Protection or the Philip Kingsley Sun Shield.

Both can be applied to either wet or dry hair and left in without the
need to wash it out. Not only do they both protect against the UV in
sunlight and salty sea water, they can also be used as a styling aid
by scrunching into the hair to leave a really sexy wavy Giselle
Bunchen kind of beachy look.

My top products for a perfect blow-dry

 

Hi everyone and welcome back to my channel.

Last week I was talking about the blow dry, my salon secrets for getting a beautiful blow dry every time and really making the most out of your drier. Today we’re taking that further and I’m going to share with you my absolute favourite products for keeping your hair healthy, feeling full of body and looking just fabulous.

When I’m blow drying my clients’ hair, there are three things I I look for in the products I use.

  • One: Heat protection – over dried hair doesn’t just lose its natural shine, it’s more brittle and prone to breaking, and that will just not do.
  • Two: Body – even on the finest hair we can still choose between sleek and big bouncy blow dry finishes
     
  • Three: Hold – once we’ve got the perfect look, we want it to be held in place all day but don’t want to lose movement in the hair, no one wants to look like they’ve got helmet head!

So what products do I rate and recommend? Well, these three are my absolute favourites that I use day in and day out. As always – my videos aren’t sponsored and these are really the products I love to use. 

First things first – heat protection. For me, The L Oréal Tecni ART constructor spray is just perfect. It’s a thermo active spray that has a medium hold in it. Spray onto the hair while it’s still damp and run it through with your fingers, then you’re all set for the drier. The heat protector in it helps prevent your hair from losing too much of its internal moisture as its dried, so it’s great for those of us who are using heat on the hair every day and with its medium hold your blow dry stays in place for much longer.

Are you using a heat protector at the moment? Let me know in the comments below!

Now for body. I love using the 3 More Inches thickening spray. For fine hair, it’s great for adding a bit of extra bounce throughout the hair, it even works well for those with thicker hair to add a bit of volume to the crown. Just spray it into the roots of still damp hair in one inch sections then massage through to get an even coverage. It does have hold in it, but it keeps the hair feeling light so it won’t feel as though it’s got too much product in it.

Do you have a favourite thickening spray? I’d love to hear your recommendations too in the comments below!

With healthy, heat protected hair looking just gorgeous with the perfect body, how do we keep the look for as long as possible? I always recommend my clients use the GHD Final Fix spray. It does have a strong hold, but it has a soft touch finish so the hair still has the ability to move and it can be restyled and set back into place throughout the day. Keeping that movement in the hair is essential for a style that feels natural – gone are the days of those solid, fixed blow dries of old!

So there we have it – protection, body and hold – my three recommendations for a beautiful, healthy and long lasting blow dry!

I hope you’ve enjoyed my video today. Subscribe to my channel for more of my salon secrets and recommendations. I love to hear how you’re getting on with your styling and any questions you may have in the comments. Don’t forget to share with your friends, see you next time!

Top tips for the perfect blow-dry

 

Today we’re taking things back to basics and we’re talking about the blow dry – how to make sure you keep your hair hydrated and healthy while blow drying, and a my salon secrets for how to make best use of the drier itself.

It sounds like the most simple of devices – point it in the direction of your head, and your hair is dried off… but is it all that simple?

I’m going to let you in on a few of my salon secrets for creating volume or smoothing out frizz all while preventing the heat damage that can leave the hair fragile and prone to breaking.

But before all of that, I need to talk science.

I go into much more detail in my silicone treatments video, but for now I’ll just say that healthy hair is a combination of 3% water and 97% protein… when it is dry.

Using too much heat forces some water out of the hair, a bit like it’s being roasted in an oven.

When hair is in this dehydrated state, it loses its flexibility meaning it will break much more easily, it also loses that lustrous shiny look that we all love so much.

Stay tuned for my tips on how to make sure you’re not over-drying your hair.

So, now for those salon secrets…

First things first, remove the nozzle.

The nozzle directs the heat into a concentrated area which is great for smoothing the cuticle of extremely curly or frizzy hair. For the majority of us with anything from straight through to curly hair, removing the nozzle will mean the hot air can diffuse through the hair to dry more evenly and most importantly it keeps the heat concentration down which prevents drying off too much of that moisture.

Are you still using a nozzle? Give it a try without – I’m sure you’ll see the difference after just a few blow-dries. I’d love to know how you get on with the change, let me know in the comments below.

Up next – volume.

Whether it’s adding big and bouncy volume or smoothing down for a sleek finish, blow drying hair can change your look dramatically.

A friend of mine was telling me just the other week how frustrated he was that he couldn’t blow dry his hair to look the same as when I’d finished styling it for him. He wanted a soft, wavy quiff – like mine – but couldn’t get the hair to stay standing up.

He showed me how he was blow-drying the hair and he was making the classic mistake. He wanted to add volume, but just by holding the hair dryer in the wrong place he was actually straightening out his  hair, effectively removing the volume he naturally had.

Whether you have long or short hair, you can easily add volume by holding the drier at the root of the hair, blowing away from the head on a high heat and with low speed. For the more flexible among us, you can tilt your head upside down… or you could just use a brush to hold your hair up, and think about signing up for a yoga class or two…

For a sleek finish, blow the hair downwards running either a comb or your fingers through the hair as you do so to smooth the cuticle and reduce any frizziness.

Do you ever have trouble getting your volume right? Don’t forget to leave me a message in the comments for how you’re getting on.

And last but by no means least – how close to the hair should we hold the drier?

The tip of the drier can become really hot, actually touching against the hair can cause permanent damage to the individual strands.

I always recommend holding the drier no closer than an inch from the hair. Make sure you always direct the airflow in the same direction and the hair cuticle. This will help to keep the hair smooth.

So there we have it – my three top salon tips for keeping your hair healthy and hydrated just by using your hair drier as best we can.

I hope you’ve found these useful, give them a try and let me know how you get on. Stay tuned for the next video in this series where I talk products to go with the blow dry.

And don’t forget – if you’ve enjoyed my video today, please like and share, and leave me a comment below, I love to see how you’re getting on.