Invest In... Yourself! With Image Skincare

You might invest in a good pair of shoes. You may have invested in a designer handbag, destined to last you and stay on trend for years and years. You might even invest in a business venture you believe in. What about investing in the largest organ you own - your skin? 

I was given the opportunity to visit Revitalise Rejuvenate Mediclinic in Exeter, Devon and speak with Dr Pradnya Apté about Image Skincare - a brand for which Pradnya became an Official Stockist earlier this year. I love learning about the science behind the products I use - see my post about keratin and SLS's here - so I was intrigued to hear about the ingredients used in some of the Image Skincare products, such as glycolic acid which I'd heard of but never really understood.

Pradnya generously gave me a week's supply of four of the products they supply from Image Skincare. They were (from left to right in the picture above): the Vital C hydrating anti-aging serum; the Prevention+ daily hydrating moisturiser; the Ormedic balancing facial cleanser; and the Ageless total facial cleanser. Before describing how they worked for me, I'll tell you a bit about each collection. The Vital C collection is high in antioxidants to help soothe and provide the skin with nutrients. The Prevention+ collection provides built-in UVA/UVB sun protection to prevent the ageing effects of the sun (which I mentioned briefly here in my last post). The Ormedic collection combines organic ingredients with medicinal effectiveness to balance and restore all skin types. Finally, the Ageless collection helps to prevent rhe signs of ageing and rejuvenate older-looking skin. 

Now onto what I thought of the products! Pradnya advised me on when to use each product: the Vital C serum twice a day after cleansing, the Prevention+ moisturiser once a day (in the morning), the Ormedic cleanser twice a day, and the Ageless cleanser three times a week. I understand that these products should be used long-term to see the full effects, but I'll give you an overview of my first impression. I'll start off by saying that I love the scent of these products, perhaps with the exception of the Prevention+ moisturiser (but the built-in SPF makes up for that)! The others, however, smell fresh and sweet. Individually, my favourite product has to be the Vital C serum - I love how smoothly it applies and leaves my face feeling fresh and silky. The Ormedic cleanser was so refreshing and really cleansed away any dirt and grime without being harsh to my skin. The Ageless cleanser I could really feel working from the first time I used it. Finally, I love a moisturiser with SPF in it and this Prevention+ moisturiser glided on flawlessly as well.

Of course, these products come with a higher price point than your average skincare range. "But Charli," I hear you cry, "your blog focuses on HIGH STREET prices - I can't afford this"! I mentioned earlier about investing in your skin. To me, skincare like this isn't just an impulsive Nivea shop down at Superdrug. This skincare range will be an investment. We all know that when we feel good about ourselves, we come across to others as more confident. For me, as I've gotten older and my skin has changed over the past few years, I've come to realise that if I feel good in my skin, I feel better about myself and therefore feel more confident. Image Skincare is definitely an investment I'll be considering in the near future now I've had a taste of what it's like!

A BIG thank you to Dr Pradnya Apté for giving me the opportunity to try out these products. If you live in the South West and want to learn more about Revitalise Rejuvenate's services, check out their website here, or follow Pradnya on their social media - on Twitter and Facebook
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My 8 Steps To Happy, Healthy Hands & Nails!

You may have heard people say that you can tell a person's age by looking at their hands. Tell-tale signs such as age spots (due to sun exposure), more prominent veins, wrinkled skin and stained, brittle nails can make you look older than you actually are. Starting to have a regime in your 20's to look after your hands and nails can delay all of this, and let's be honest, we put our hands through a lot in a day - they can do with a pamper every now and then! I'm going to go through the eight steps I take to make my hands and nails look and feel their best, and which products I'm loving using right now. These products include an Australian brand called Sasy n Savy, who kindly gifted me some of their products recently, and so I'll be talking through these too.

1. After taking off my unsightly chipped nail varnish, I simply shape my nails with a nail file. One of the products that Sasy n Savy sent me was a nail file with a cute travel case. I think the case is a great idea as when I chuck one in my bag (which I try to do every time I go out - nothing worse than being caught out with a sharp, broken nail) the file always scratches everything and gets dirty easily - not ideal!

2. Next, I use a cuticle stick to push back my cuticles, to make my nails seem longer and increase the surface area of the nail. You can buy cuticle sticks really cheaply - I get about 20 for £1 at Primark. I tend to run the other side of the stick under my nails once I've pushed back the cuticles to get rid of any dirt under the nails.

3. Sasy n Savy also sent me a nail buffer, which takes me to my next step - buffing! I use the rougher side first and then the smooth side to gently buff away the harshness. This buffer left my nails ridiculously smooth - possibly the smoothest they've ever been - so I'd definitely recommend this particular Sasy n Savy nail buffer. 

4. Next, after washing my hands to get rid of any residue, I pop a little drop of Viridian Organic Nail & Cuticle Oil onto each cuticle and massage in. I received this oil at a blogging event last year and it's so good - it smells like a spa and feels really luxurious. Moreover it's a cruelty-free product, so can be used by my cruelty-free friends too! 

5. After the oil, I moisturise my hands to keep them silky smooth. This hand and nail repair creme from Sasy n Savy smells and feels amazing; a real indulgent, quality product. 

6. I tend to wait a while for this next step so that the oil and moisturiser has time to sink in. Once this is done, I coat my nails with a base coat from O.P.I - you can buy this at a really reasonable price on eBay (although I bought mine at a nail salon so the price was pushed up!), and I'll definitely be repurchasing it once I've used it up.

7. When the base coat is dry, I apply my current favourite nail polish which is Fiji by Essie - I've spoken about my love for Essie on the blog before (you can read more about this here and here). I love the consistency of the polish, and for me it has great lasting power. The pale pink colour is also so flattering in the summer with a tan. 

8. Lastly, I apply the same O.P.I clear polish over the top of my nails once the Essie polish is completely dry. I have very weak nails and applying the O.P.I polish helps to keeps them feeling stronger and less brittle. 

Before and after!

So that's it! I love a pamper session - especially for my hands and nails - and I really would recommend all of the products mentioned to leave you feeling fresh and luxurious.
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I've Started The Results With Lucy Student Plan!

Exams are finally over, the sun has started shining through, so it's time to get my ass into gear! I was approached by the Results with Lucy PR team recently asking if I'd like to trial their student plan (fronted by Lucy Mecklenburgh's little sister Lydia who also understands the struggles of keeping up a fitness regime whilst studying!) and of course I said yes. I love going to the gym a couple of times a week but this isn't always possible (especially while I was revising as I found it so hard to motivate myself to leave the house to workout). I also love eating healthily when I can, but often find that healthy foods are more expensive and it's sometimes just easier to go for something unhealthy! So I'm excited to try out this plan which gives you a huge range of home workouts (which you can do with or without exercise equipment, and gives you suggested alternatives such as filled water bottles if you don't own the equipment needed), and also suggests recipe ideas perfect for students on a budget!

I guess I should probably write a short introduction for anyone currently thinking "what the hell is Results With Lucy?!" - well, the brand was created by TOWIE's Lucy Mecklenburgh and is comprised of many plans tailored to your needs - whether you want to tone your tummy for summer or you just want a nutrition plan to eat yourself healthy - there is pretty much something for everyone. Moreover, you can get a free 3-day trial to see if Results for Lucy is really for you! The student plan which I will be trying out for 3 months is tailored specifically for students BUT WAIT FOR IT. Unidays are offering students 25% off any of the plans so it's even more affordable! So with the discount, you can get the student plan for just £10.50 a month - pretty good for a plan complete with recipes, workouts and the ability to track your progress throughout your fitness journey. 

I'm starting my plan today and will keep you guys updated with how I'm getting on! So far so good - the website gives you an interactive tour when you begin which is so helpful as it can look a little confusing at first (it's really not though!). I'm already planning my next meals and hoping to ease myself in gently for the first few days. It's important to enjoy what you're doing otherwise you'll not be motivated to keep it going! I'll still be enjoying the odd meal out whilst still following the plan and allowing myself occasional days off. Watch this space as I'll be adding before and after photos later on in my progress! 

My first (slightly modified!) attempt at a Results with Lucy recipe - subbed in sweet potato mash (to please the masses) instead of roasted sweet potato and I used chicken thigh fillets instead of chicken breast just because of personal preference - FYI it was delicious!
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