Collezione with David Gandy

M&S – Collezione with David Gandy

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The Dior Nail Artistry Box Review

nail art gems and stencils

There are people who can “do” nails and people who simply can’t. I fall into the latter category; the very height of my nail-painting capabilities is applying a bright colour without going over the edges. I can just about do that now – first time – without having to spend ten minutes fixing my mistakes with a remover-soaked cotton bud! But a whole Nail Artistry set? With gems and stickers and complicated patterns? I’ll leave that to the girls who know what they’re doing – with steady hands and the patience of a saint. This week I asked Martha from @NailTechMartha to create something beautiful with Dior’s Nail Artistry box. Here’s the lovely Martha:

dior nail artistry box review

There’s a link to Martha’s Instagram below – her page is a colourful scrapbook of the different nail designs that she creates for clients, from the most natural French mani to the more outrageous, hot-pink pointy extensions! It was no wonder that the Nail Artistry Box got her pulse racing – the set included stencils, gems, tweezers and two polishes; a chrome effect one and a gel top coat. Like a dressing-up box, but for your nails. I would have absolutely no idea what to do with that lot, but it seems that Martha had a bit of a field day! Chromed nails, sparkly nails, little glittery stars…

nail tech martha

I particularly like the diagonal pink-and-chrome nail and the fully-gemmed accent nail. Perfectly done. Martha is a pro nail technician, but she said “the stencils are fun and easy enough for anyone to apply, though patience is key when you’re waiting to peel the sticker off”, and she was also impressed with the chrome polish – “quick to apply and dried fast”. Martha loved the gel top coat – “very shiny, and again, quick drying. It sealed in the manicure beautifully” and was surprised that it gave such a professional gel finish without the need for any UV light. The only really tricky part was the gem application, Martha said that the gems are quite difficult to handle. (I suppose that’s where the “patience of a saint” part comes in handy!)

This set would make a great gift for nail enthusiasts; I like the fact that Martha has been able to create so many different looks and that they all look chic and sophisticated rather than the usual glitz that I associate with nail artistry. I’ll definitely be investing in a bottle of the gel top coat – you can buy it individually here, it’s £19 – and I might even be tempted by an accent nail or two! You can find the Nail Artistry box at Selfridges here – it’s £46. The pink that Martha has used in the shots is not included, but I love it – it’s shade 547, Bouquet. You can find that online at FeelUnique. I’ll be setting Martha another nail task soon, in the meantime make sure you’re following her on Instagram.

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The Clear Skin Experiment.

At the end of January I began a two-month-long clear skin experiment with Viridian Nutrition. As you will probably know (because I simply never shut up about it) I’ve been battling with quite severe hormonal cystic acne for over a year and a half now. My skin has been a real sore point for me both emotionally and physically and I’ve tried countless methods looking for help to battle the acne beast, from antibiotics and avoiding dairy to holistic methods, juicing and taking every superfood possible.

Someday soon I’m going to sit and write down my full acne journey for you, because I really feel like this spotty chapter of my life is coming to an end now, and I have a lot to share about what has and what hasn’t worked for me. For now though, let’s get back to Viridian!

I’ve been taking the Clear Skin Complex capsules and Clear Skin Omega Oil for over two months now and the results have been amazing. I’ve been taking pictures of my skin for the past year and I really wanted to show a before and after from taking these, but I’m not ready to show them yet (sorry!), they make me cringe so badly because they’re just so awful, and even though I can see the major improvement, my cheeks are peppered in scars from the war zone it’s having to recover from.

I take two Clear Skin Complex capsules every morning with breakfast, these capsules are described as ‘a specially formulated blend of targeted minerals, botanicals and fat-soluble carotenoids in a base of probiotics’.

The capsules contain:

  • Probiotics
  • Burdock Root
  • Gotu Kola
  • Lutein
  • Natural Beta-Carotene/Carotenoid complex
  • Zinc
  • Astaxanthin
  • Selenium
  • Lycopene.
This blend, along with taking their Vitamin C daily, seems to have been working a charm. Burdock root is cleansing, anti-inflammatory and flushes the system of toxins. Gotu Kola is another skin beneficial herb that speeds up wound healing, stimulates collagen production and is also anti-inflammatory. Lutein is an important nutrient found in green leafy vegetables, it is mainly taken for eye health but has also been found to increase skin hydration and UV protection. Zinc is another important mineral for overall wellbeing and is extremely beneficial for skin health, including speeding up healing and controlling inflammation, you can never have too many anti-inflammatory supplements when you suffer from acne. Meanwhile selenium helps with acne by increasing antioxidant levels, helping protect cells from damage and fight infection. Lastly, lycopene (found in tomatoes) protects skin from sun damaging rays whilst offering a gentle lightening effect for hyperpigmentation.
The Clear Skin Omega Oil is the second part of this dream team and provides essential omegas for skin health.

“There are numerous research papers indicating the use of nutrition in skin health and consistent through this research are three factors: Inflammation, Free radical damage and Digestion. Organic Clear Skin Omega Oil provides a reliable source of omegas 3, 6 and 9 essential fatty acids. Dominant in omega 3, this oil also contains a range of fat-soluble antioxidants including vitamin E and carotenoids plus phytosterols and flavonoids.”

The oil contains:

  • Organic Golden Flaxseed Oil 79%
  • Organic Perilla Seed Oil 7%
  • Organic Avocado Oil 4%
  • Organic Pumpkin Seed Oil 3%
  • Organic Argan Oil 2%
  • Organic Sea Buckthorn Oil 1%
  • Organic Pomegranate Seed Oil 1%
  • Organic Blackcurrant Seed Oil 0.5%
  • Organic Elderberry Seed Oil 0.5%
This oil is beneficial in two major ways, firstly the essential fatty acids improve skin health with hydration and healing leaving it looking calmer, plumper, more hydrated and smoother. The EFA’s also encourage thinning of the sebum in clogged pores, and redness, itchiness and painful acne all responds well to the anti-inflammatory benefits. Omega-3 is also amazing for healthy hair and nail growth.
Secondly, flaxseed oil contains phytoestrogens which help stabilise our estrogen-progesterone ratio that can have beneficial effects on the menstrual cycle and hormonal acne (yes!).

To take this oil I’ve simply been adding 2-3 teaspoons into my smoothies. It adds a slightly nutty/earthy taste but it’s nothing major and I barely notice it now.

So what about results?

By the end of month one my skin was so much softer and calmer, it was smoother and looked brighter. I had a huge cyst on my cheek just as I started taking the supplements which was just starting to heal and has left a quite a large, deep scar but other than that I noticed nothing but steady improvement, especially on my perioral dermatitis and the overall texture of my skin.
By month two things were really starting to look up. I haven’t had any cystic acne since month two. That time of the month has just been, which is usually the worst and when I get my worst cysts, but this month I experienced only one spot on my chin and what felt like a tiny cyst on my cheek that never came to be anything and disappeared after a couple of days without leaving any red mark!!
My boyfriend even commented on how much better my skin is looking lately, so the changes must be noticeable and not just in my head 😉

My scars are finally healing without new additions every month and my left cheek which is the better less heavily scarred cheek almost look normal these days. I’m still working on the texture and indentations left behind which will take much, much longer to correct but it’s progress. My skin is nowhere near perfect, I still have little spots popping up here and there and quite oily skin but hey, rome wasn’t built in a day.
I’m now starting month 3 and I’m hoping by month 4 I can start taking just one capsule a day to make it more economical and just maintain the benefits, as well as purchasing Viridians’ Organic Flaxseed oil instead which is cheaper than the Omega Oil.

Do you take any supplements for your skin? if so which?

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