Beauty Is In The Eye Of The Editor

In the world of beauty, one year is almost an eternity. In that one year, faces age and advances are made.   We are all in the constant search for that elixir of youth, be it an anti wrinkle cream, serum or non-invasive or extreme surgical procedures. A year ago Stephen Handisides launched the Ultimate Beauty Guide.   I remember the event extremely well since it was full of people I identified with; people who wanted to stop the aging process dead in its tracks.

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One year later, and here I was again attending the launch of the second edition of the successful annual magazine. This time, however, I felt I had aged, despite vigorous endeavours to stem the tide of the inevitable. I just didn’t feel as great as a year ago. Why had I failed? After all, I know a lot more than the layman about how to keep yourself looking young and beautiful. It’s expensive and time consuming, and since buying a flat this year perhaps my priorities had changed. I seem now to prefer impulse buying in Peter Jones for the flat, rather than popping into Harvey Nichols for the latest cosmetic innovation. I have shifted from foundation to furniture. Money is tighter now, and I can no longer justify these indulgent high end products that don’t guarantee results. Also, the cosmetics counter is getting more and more complex by the day. The consumer is bombarded with a dreadnaught of science that the salesperson knows very little about. All they are interested in is the sale. The problem today is that there are so many vitamins and acids placed into our serums and creams, that when mixed they can either negate each other or, more seriously, cause a volatile reaction on your skin. They can burn and blister your skin if they are over applied. So I asked one very simple question:”Can I use Retynol and vitamin C in conjunction with each other?” To my astonishment, the shop assistant selling Philosophy in John Lewis said she didn’t know and would have to ask the representative of the company when they next visited the store. Don’t you know what you are selling? Some of these products are pushing the boundaries of cosmetics and have been rebranded as cosmeceuticals – not as strong as a prescriptive product but certainly packing a greater punch than a mere cosmetic.

Not getting the answers I want from the counter, I more often than not have to do my own research on the net or from magazines, or just use my own face as a science experiment! I love beauty DIY, but you really need to know what you are doing, otherwise you can burn or thin your skin, or even worse, accelerate the aging process! Even beauty therapists can be ignorant and dangerous with their treatments, by over applying glycolic acid or giving too many microdermabrasion sessions. There has been an alarming increase in the thinning of women’s skin from these procedures. And the industry is so unregulated that many companies make outlandish claims for products that do not work, but with clever advertising and wording fool the consumer into buying a fantasy.

It is a jungle of beauty out there, leaving the gullible consumer confused and duped. So, queue The Ultimate Beauty Guide. With a list of experts and proper research; they promote, list and advertise high-end products and services that are life changing. And how can I say that? Well, let’s take you to the launch party were I met the experts behind these products.

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Held at the stylish Marylebone club, Vanilla, on a sizzling summer evening, I was mingling with glitzy celebs and cosmetic surgeons and representatives from the high-end skin care companies. Between Bellini’s and hors d’ouvres, I took great interest in the science behind these products, as well as all the claims on display. But unlike being in Selfridges, they were medically trained people who actually knew what they were talking about and could explain in great detail about their products.   Chatting to the representatives of, they showed me their triple microdermabrasion face polish and Sheer Physical Protection sunscreen.   Then, of course, I asked my burning question, can I mix Retynol with vitamin C? And the answer was that if they are applied separately then yes, you could. At last! My question answered. They don’t work against each other, in fact, used together they will enhance the end result. At the end of the evening all attendees were given a generous goodies bag with samples of Neostrata, Exuviance, Nu Skin and bottles of. As soon as I got home I ripped open my samples and immediately started administering a home facial. It consisted of Neostrata Microdermabrasion, which interestingly, contains glycolic acid, which I love in products. I then applied their clay mask and Evening restorative complex. The next morning I used NeoStrata’s Firming Collagen Booster and Antioxidant defence Serum, followed by their Factor 50 sunscreen. It contains 7% Titanium Dioxide, 6% Zinc Oxide, Green Tea Extract, Vitamin E and no aluminium which a lot of sunscreens do. It made my skin look even toned and more importantly, since I sweat a lot, it didn’t skid of my face. Even in the middle of this heat wave I didn’t get a burnt face. So this product gets a resounding 10 out of 10. I have now been using Retynol with vitamin C and the additional serums, and have to say that just within a few days of using the products, people have said how fresh and young I’m looking. I haven’t tried the other products yet, but I am eager to. As soon as I do I will share my findings with you.

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So, getting back to Stephen and his Ultimate Beauty Guide, I have to say thank you so much for introducing me to some beauty products that actually work, and for which I don’t mind paying that little bit extra for. Goodies for the flat can now wait a bit longer; my face is once again my priority.

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