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skincare

Product Spotlight – HALO by Dermal Hub – Sez Says

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I will never forget my first visit to a Dermal Clinic. I was 20, and suffering from some pretty severe cystic and hormonal acne.

My initial consult with the team at Victorian Dermal Group was eye opening to say the least. I was so enamoured with fixing my acne that I never stopped to consider my skin health overall.

The defining moment for me was when I saw my skin photographed under the Ultra Violet light displaying all sun exposure and pigmingation. I was shocked at just how much sun damage my 20 year old skin had endured, not to mention the risks of Skin Cancer and Melanoma. Thankfully most of it had yet to reach the surface and i still had time to correct . I vowed right then and there to make a change and have been a lover of all things sun protection since.

SPF 50+ Sunscreen, Sunglasses and Baseball caps are my go-to’s all summer long keeping me SunSmart and the UV damage at bay.

I’ve never been one to settle for mediocrity so when I heard about the launch of an innovative sun shield that offers 99% UVA and UVB protection I knew I had to give it a whirl.

Ladies and gentlemen I present to you..

HALO – By Dermal Hub


So what exactly is it?

The HALO face shield is a Sun protective visor. It encompasses a UV 400 Protective film – UV 400 is considered the highest form of protection provided by lenses against Ultraviolet Radiation .


Why do you need it?

The HALO works as a defence on the most sensitive part of your skin (the face). Blocking harmful UV rays as a first defence against sunburn.

Used in conjunction with sunblock, the HALO visor can minimise the risk of skin cancers and melanoma.

As an added bonus to your skin health, it also works to lessen wrinkles, spots and discolouration bought on by direct sun exposure.

Why do I love it?

In my opinion this baby is completely changing beach culture. It’s chic and fashionable but also super practical and most importantly SunSmart. It’s completely transparent when worn so enables me to sit and read a book or scroll ‘the gram’. It decreases sun exposure to not only the face and neck but also for my eyes and I’ve even been rocking it on my daily walks (copped a few stares I’ll be honest).

Overall, I highly recommend any product that encourages SunSmart practices coupled with  anti aging benefits, all while looking fashionable AF!

A Win/Win in my book and a fantastic addition to my beach bag used in conjunction with sunscreen.


.. and for the cherry on top of this SunSmart Sundae I feel it important to add HALO by Dermal Hub is designed here in Melbourne with all materials sourced in Australia.  #SupportLocal

Sez

Xx

For more info head to :
https://www.dermalhub.com.au

Boxing Day Best Beauty Buys #SezSays

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I’m going to keep this one short and sweet…

Because it’s Christmas time, presents need wrapping, roasts need roasting and ain’t nobody got time to be sitting around reading essays.

With the impending Boxing Day Sales I thought I’d share with you all my personal faves and the products you’ll find routinely used in my own make up kit.

While I’m a advocate for and user of drugstore brands, I do have my selects at a slightly higher price point. Many of the brands are rarely ever on sale with the exception of Boxing Day, so what better time to splurge with the Christmas money you got from Nana.

1. Charlotte Tilbury – Light Wonder Foundation


This is my go to when I need a foundation with a little more coverage than a BB cream but still want to retain radiant dewy skin. It also contains SPF making it ideal for day to day wear. Shop Here

2. BECCABacklight Priming Filter


If you love a dewy finish, then you’ll love this primer. I’m a recent convert after receiving a sample to try and I can say it’s my favourite primer yet. It even works great on its own to give skin a natural boost and glow and also pairs great with my drugstore foundation. Shop Here

3. Charlotte TilburyHollywood Flawless Filter


I love a product with multiple uses especially if it’s at a higher price point then I can justify it #BangForYourBuck. CT Flawless Filter is that for me. First introduced to me by a Makeup Artist friend this can be used on the face alone, applied before foundation, mixed in with foundation or even used to highlight key areas of the face. I have it in a range of light and darker shades and use accordingly throughout the year. Shop Here

4. NARS – Liquid Laguna Bronzer


2018 was a big year for me, it was the first time I stepped away from traditional Bronzing Powders and tried a liquid for the first time. What I love most about the Nars Liquid Laguna is that it allows you to create more definition. It’s not too heavy but is also buildable making it perfect for use both day and night. Shop Here 

5. Charlotte TilburyBrow Lift


Please excuse me while I get sentimental here for a moment.. but this was my first Charlotte Tilbury purchase and what made me fall in love with the brand. Powders have never really been a favourite of mine for brows so I always stick to pencils. I find the CT to be an incredible cream pencil that glides on well, and the triangle pencil shape mimicks fine brow hairs perfectly. Shop Here

6. LancômeGenifique Yeux Eye Cream


Good skin starts in the prep work. I’ve noticed in particular this year by regularly using a nourishing undereye cream my foundation glides on seemlessly and I require far less concealer. Genefique is my top pick for its gel like texture that your skin just drinks up. Shop Here

7. Giorgio Armani – Luminous Silk Foundation.


Luminous silk in my opinion is the absolutely OG of foundations. It glides on to skin to cover imperfections without flattening. I find my skin still looks like skin but at its absolute best; soft, supple and dewy. I could rave for days about how much I live for this foundation but it does have one draw back.. the price point. I guess you can’t skimp on quality. Trust me I’ve tried all the dupes but nothing can replicate this formula. So if you find this baby with even a subtle discount Boxing Day, jump on it (also please slide into my DM’s as I’m all about stock piling).

8. James Read Gradual Tan H2O Tan Mist


Sun Protection is my numero uno skin care tip and as a result my face never sees direct sunlight. SPF 50+ and Caps make sure of that, they also are responsible for my face permanently retaining a ghastly pale white shade. I adore subtle colour and find tanning mists to be ideal for the face. My current fave is the James Read; it smells phenomenal and can be built up over time, making it ideal for Summer through to Winter. Shop Here

9. NARSRadiant Creamy Concealer


Another holy grail favourite this concealer is one that has no replacement. It’s a unicorn among inadequate concealers and to date the only one I’ve found that covers and conceals without caking. I save it purely for special occasions and use cheapers ones day to day.  So I can say it’s worth the splurge. Shop Here

10. BenefitGimme Brow


For the perfect brushed brow look I can’t go past this beauty by Benefit. Used sparingly it adds a subtle colour, while setting brows making it the ideal finish for any brow look. Shop Here

Scents to splurge on.

If makeup isn’t your thing, or if Santa already stocked you up then here are my top 3 fragrances of the moment! 

All available at David Jones + Myer renowned for killer Boxing Day bargains.


Dior- Miss Dior

A subtle scent with a combination of Rose and Rosewood this is my pick if you love something feminine.

GIVENCHYL’INTERDIT

A white floral fragrance cut with darker undertones. If I were a fragrance it would be this. The perfect combination of light with a subtle edge.

Jimmy ChooFever

My newest addition to the repertoire. With top notes of black plum and grapefruit tied back with sandal wood it’s a welcome spin on the Jimmy Choo signature collection.

I’ve linked based upon where I usually purchase these brands from but recommend shopping around to grab the best deal. Or better yet embrace the sales in person to experience true Boxing Day Beauty Madness 

Happy Shopping


Sez

Xx

Sez Says – Aspect Dr

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About two months ago, I did something a little crazy..

I ditched my entire day to day skincare routine and replaced it with a brand I’d never used before.

I’m a creature of habit when it comes to skincare. While I’m always up for trying a new serum, mask or treatment here and there my go to basics pretty much stay the same. An advocate for routine and consistency some are shocked to know I havent changed my daily products in nearly 4 years.  If it ain’t broke don’t fix it… right? 

Previously I’ve battled some pretty tough skin issues #hormonalacnelyf which I’ve worked hard to correct overtime. As a result I’ve become quite vigilant in my day to day practices never steering too far from routine. 

So, when I decided to throw caution to the wind and replace my ENTIRE routine with the Aspect Dr range I did so with gritted teeth. 

But for the sake of research and TBH blog content I took the plunge and changed every product in my skin routine. Having seen and heard so many positive reviews about Aspect Dr I was excited to take my skin on a new little journey. I believe it’s important to trial any new routine for a minimum of one month before passing judgement but I opted to double that to two months just to make sure 😉


When I first shared this range via Instagram story a few months back and my intention to trial I was undated with messages from ladies who either:

A. Had used the range before and were ‘saaah’ confident I’d love it

Or

B. Ladies who had also heard amazing things about Aspect Dr and were dying to know how it was. 

Well buckle up because you’re going to want to read this..

Having no major skin concerns or issues I opted for the ABC Essentials Kit which as a bonus is compact, easy to pack and air travel approved #winning. The Essential Kit is a skin management system containing 5 key products designed to work together to treat common skin conditions and concerns. Utilising key skin essential vitamins to treat aging skin. 


It contains:

  • Deep Clean – Exfoliating Cleanser – 30ml
  • Exfol A Plus Serum – Vitaman A Serum – 15ml
  • Multi B Plus Serum – Vitaman B Serum – 15ml
  • Active C Serum – Vitaman C Serum – 15ml
  • Resveratrol Cream – Hydrating Moisturiser – 15g

Deep Clean – Exfoliating Cleanse


Starting with 2-3 metered pumps dispensed into palms and massaged on to skin for 30 seconds. I found this cleanser to have amazing exfoliating properties and thoroughly cleansed my face. It left my skin feeling fresh and worked well over the congested areas on my skin.

If removing making I always suggest using a pre cleanse prior as I prefer to keep exfoliating cleansers away from the delicate eye area

Multi B Plus Serum –  This baby promises to virtually turbocharge your current AspectDR products by infusing your skin with Multi B Vitamins and a patented blend of skin fortifying sea plants.

Active C Serum –  works by lightening and brightening an uneven complexion utilising a non-irritant, ph neutral form of Vitamin C. Containing high concentrates of natural derived botanicals and high octane cosmeceuticals providing firming and tightening benefits. 


I LOVED these guys. Seriously they are worth their weight in gold. Both serums are used post cleanse and followed with moisturiser. I noticed a change in my skin immediately from the first use, my skin looked firmer brighter and more hydrated. I had become accustomed to the same products for so long I was shocked to see my skin physically glow in appearance. I think a huge change for me was the improvement texturally aswell, it felt smoother and more plump which can be attributed to the anti-aging properties. 

Finally the

Resveratrol Cream


My favourite product of the entire range. The moisturing cream is applied post serum. It contains resveratrol an advanced anti-aging ingredient coupled with calming agents and peptides. I noticed immediately how nourishing an hydrating the cream was and how it left my skin soft and supple. It sealed in the serums perfectly and worked well to hydrate and moisturise my skin especially over night.

Note: I used the Exfol A Plus Serum on an off for the 2 month trial period but was careful to stop use for 7 days post in clinic dermal treatments.

Therefore wasn’t able to gage an clear view on how it worked for my Skin as my use wasn’t consistent . I did find it gentle and non irritating which is a lovely bonus for those beginning to use rentiol as apart of their night routine. 

My verdict:

I BLOODY loved it! 

I’m actually kicking myself for not switching things up sooner. I guess now I can see clearly that I was stuck in a bit of a skincare rut. I was constantly using products designed for acne concerns that I no longer had and never opened myself up to products that could improve and enhance my skin quality. But let me tell you the hype is real, I’m officially converted! My day to day routine has been shook and I’m excited to trial more from the Aspect Dr range. 

I’m now finding myself switching back and forth between my old routine and Aspect Dr purely as breakouts occur as I know by old favourites will keep them at bay.

Ignorance is no longer bliss and it’s comforting to know I’ve got the power of choice. 

Ladies, if you’re in a similar situation to me and looking to shake up your skincare game I cannot recommend the Aspect Dr range more highly. The proof is in the pudding and the fact they are now a permanent fixture for me says it all.


Sez Says 5/5

The Aspect Dr ABC Essential Kit– Retails for $195 and it’s a fantastic way to trial the range without committing to full size products.
Sarah

Xx

Dupe off – Hydration Serum Edition

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Are all hydration serums created equal?

Like most gals I love a good bargain. The thought of paying full price for something never sits well with me. I’ll always troll online looking for a coupon code or sign up to a mailing list subjecting myself to constant spam if it means I can score a minimum 10% off. To me a wins a win and every little bit counts.

So when a makeup artist alerted me to what he viewed as an exact dupe for my beloved  MEDIK8 HYDR8 B5 LIQUID REHYDRATION SERUM that was less than half the price, I had my shoes on out the door ready to give it a go. HYLAMIDE LOW-MOLECULAR HA BOOSTER is a multi depth rehydration booster which claims to plump skin leaving it more youthful and radiant. 

So how do the two compare?



Price:

  • MEDIK8 HYDR8 B5 SERUM retails for around $80 give or take which pains me a little as I seem to go through it quicker than my other serums. 
  • HYLAMIDE BOOSTER SERUM retails at $29.99 however I snapped this up when Priceline was having 20% off so it only set me back $23.99. #sorrynotsorry 

Appearance + Texture:

Both come in a 30ml Pasteur pipette bottle.
**That’s fancy talk for dropper bottle. Don’t worry I had to google it too. 

Both serums are clear in nature so in terms of appearance they are identical. Texture is where they differ..  

  • MEDIK8 HYDR8 B5 SERUM is of a very light consistency and easily spread and absorbed into skin. 
  • HYLAMIDE BOOSTER SERUM is of a more thick texture. It is almost a cross between a gel and a serum and as a result takes longer to absorb into the skin.



Hydration factor:

Once again I did notice a difference in the HYLAMIDE BOOSTER SERUM’ability to hydrate my skin. I feel that it was quite surface level and I often had to reapply. This was something I never have to do while using MEDIK8 HYDR8 B5 SERUM.


Ingredients:

Both serums contain Hyaluronic Acid an ingredient which works to retain hydration and aid collagen synthesis. HA also contains antioxidants which contributes to anti-aging benefits for the skin.

Ingredients for both serums are listed below:

  • MEDIK8 HYDR8 B5 LIQUID REHYDRATION SERUM–   Aqua (Water), Panthenol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Calcium Pantothenate, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Citric Acid.
  • HYLAMIDE LOW-MOLECULAR HA BOOSTER-   Aqua (Water), Hydrolyzed Yeast Extract, Pentylene Glycol, Tamarindus Indica Seed Gum, Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer, Hydrolyzed Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Tremella Fuciformis Sporocarp Extract, Ahnfeltia Concinna Extract, Lecithin, Glycerin, Betaine, Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-6, Cetyl Hydroxyethylcellulose, Polyglucuronic Acid, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, PPG-26-Buteth-26, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Caprylyl Glycol, Hexylene Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin.

As a personal preference I do prefer to choose products with a minimal ingredient list. With reference to the HYLAMIDE BOOSTER SERUM perhaps the higher amount of ingredients could account for the difference in texture.

I would also like to note that neither product lists any fragrance in their ingredients which is a big thumbs up from me!
 


MY FINAL WORD.. 

Upon review do I believe HYLAMIDE BOOSTER SERUM is an exact dupe for the MEDIK8 HYDR8 B5 SERUM?

Short answer.. no

The product just failed to hydrate my skin to the same level that the MEDIK8 Serum does. Leaving me to to reapply multiple times to achieve a similar result as it was not as effective at improving hydration.

However

At $29.99 per bottle it’s less than half the price and although the MEDIK8 HYDR8 B5 SERUM reigned superior, HYLAMIDE still does a dam good job.

It’s a perfect addition to my post skin peel routine when I need to apply multiple times per day and far more cost effective. It also works great pre and post flight as well as before makeup application. So while MEDIK8 to me is the clear winner and cream of the crop HYLAMIDE BOOSTER SERUM is certainly a great budget friendly alternative, just not an exact dupe.


I will continue to purchase for my own routine and do recommend it especially to those who are working within a budget.

Sez Xx

HYLAMIDE LOW-MOLECULAR HA BOOSTER- Purchased from https://www.priceline.com.au/hylamide-booster-series-low-molecular-ha-30-ml

MEDIK8 HYDR8 B5 LIQUID REHYDRATION SERUM- Purchased from https://www.adorebeauty.com.au/medik8/medik8-hydr8-b5.html

Sarah’s Staples – My daily skin care routine 

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Skincare loyalty isn’t something I’ve always adhered to.

In fact, I believe that with the plethora of skin care products readily available and the ongoing changes in our skin it’s impossible to meet all your needs using just one brand.

A gals gotta have options right?

I’ve always had the approach that if you have your skin care basics locked down, following the same routine day and night your skin will benefit from the consistency. This then gives you the freedom to cycle in and out products on a trial basis dependent on changes or arising skin concerns.

With that in mind allow me to introduce you to my Go-To basics which without fail I use everyday morning and night and just so happen to be all the same brand.

MEDIK8

I was first introduced to the Medik8 range 4 years ago by the lovely ladies at Victorian Dermal Group.

Their entire range of cosmeceuticals is developed by biochemists and pharmacologists and has been beneficial for my skin in terms of hydration and addressing the early signs of aging #preventioniskey

I’m not going to bombard you with too much information on the Medik8 range but as a girl who battled early 20’s cystic acne and is now working towards slowing down the aging process these products have got you covered.

First cab of the rank is…

MEDIK8 SURFACE RADIANCE CLEANSE

(formerly Pore Cleanse Gel)

This puppy is infused with AHA + BHA making it perfect for gentle exfoliation and removing dead skin cells leaving skin more radiant. From personal experience this cleanser is fantastic when it comes to removing makeup and foundation with no double cleanse required.

The added inclusion of glycerine helps to hydrate skin and doesn’t leave me with that tight feeling most cleansers do.

I’ll then go in with my serums.

First is the…

MEDIK8 HYDR8 B5

This serum is an absolute GODSEND I tell you! This time of the year particularly over winter my skin needs an added boost of hydration so I use this serum both morning and night. It contains Vitamin B5 which helps diminish dehydration and leaves my skin feeling plump and smooth. The presence of hyaluronic acid is an important one to not only boost moisture retention but to also soften the appearance of fine lines. Hyaluronic acid is fast becoming my new BFF and is a key ingredient I always lookout for when testing new products #TeamAntiAge

I’ll then follow up with my second favourite serum…

MEDIK8 C-TETRA SERUM

Before we go any further I have to say this serum smells AH-MAZING in fact the whole MEDIK8 range has a vibrant citrusy aroma about it.  It contains Vitamin C (if the product name wasn’t already a give away) the power house or ‘Mac Daddy’ of the anti-aging game. Aimed to stimulate collagen production and repair free radical damage. Along with anti-aging benefits I’ve found this serum leaves my skin with a nice radiance and glow.

Final step moisturise!

As this is my #BASIC routine I wanted to keep things #BASIC and finish with my fourth and final step.

If I’m heading out in the AM ill opt for a moisturiser/ sunscreen combo as we all know sun damage is one of the leading causes in premature aging.

MEDIK8 HYDRATE 360 DAY

…is perfect for this and acts as a great makeup primer for daytime use.

At night time when my skin requires something more nourishing I’ll opt for the…

MEDIK8 HYDR8 NIGHT

It’s very rich, and contains botanical antioxidants to help reverse the signs of skin aging. Applying this at night helps to redensify the upper layers of my skin and works to repair damage while you sleep.

So there you have it,

My little basics which I can credit for helping my skin look the little brighter every day.

These are just the tip of the iceberg for me in terms of my beauty routine and recommendations.

So keep your eyes peeled for blog updates highlighting of all the products and treatments I use and the different brands I recommend.

While I don’t consider myself an expert I LOVE trying new products and exploring the benefits they can have on addressing certain concerns and improving your skin overall.

Watch this space…

Sez xx

Xx