I tried Sephora’s best selling mask and it was really good!

Glamglow Supermud Clearing Treatment mask

Glamglow Supermud Clearing Treatment is always listed as one of the best selling products at Sephora and has won numerous awards including Allure magazine’s Reader’s Choice Award for prestige Face mask of 2015.

I am always a bit weary of hyped up products as most of it is due to clever marketing but after trying this out for the last couple of months, I can understand why people love this so much.  In fact, in my opinion, this is the best face mask I’ve used.

Targeted at oily and acne prone skin, the Clearing Treatment was one of the first face masks in the market that contained charcoal.  It also contains a mix of patented ingredients including a blend of Alpha and Beta hydroxy acids (Mandelic acid, Glycolic acid, Lactic acid, Pyruvic acid & Salicylic acid).  These help to gently exfoliate and brighten the skin while activated charcoal and Kaolin draws out impurities, toxins and excess oils.  The mask also contains Eucalyptol, Peppermint oil and tiny pieces of Eucalyptus leaves.  These give the mask a earthy minty scent that I love but I’ve seen a few reviews where people have complained about it.  In my opinion, a bit of discomfort is worth it if a product works 😄

The mask is cooling and dries quickly.   You might feel a slight tingling sensation but it’s not an uncomfortable.

Glamglow Supermud Clearing Treatment review, Glamglow Middle East, Glamglowme
The mandatory mask selfie 😊

As it dries you might see darker patches (see above), which is supposed to be the mask drawing out impurities.

I leave the mask on for around 20-25 minutes and wash it off with warm water using light circular motions.  Make sure to use a moisturiser afterwards as it is slightly drying (I use La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo +).  The mask leaves my skin smoother and brighter.

I use this 1-2 times a week and I also use this as a overnight spot treatment, whenever I get painful cystic bumps. It stops them from getting bigger and has a soothing effect.

I have hormonal acne with a lot of  cystic acne around my jaw line and the Clearing Treatment has helped to reduce the frequency of the breakouts.  I’ve also noticed that my breakouts heal faster.  And the mask has helped to fade some of the marks left by old acne (Mandelic acid is supposed to be excellent for brightening skin).

A word of caution if you have dry / sensitive skin, try this out before buying as it might be a bit too drying for those skin types.

At around 320 AED for a pot, Glamglow Supermud Clearing Treatment is quite expensive. However, as someone who has tried numerous anti-acne treatments, the results are really worth it.  If you like the mask, there’s also a matching cleanser, which I will review in a separate post.

Have you tried any Glamglow products? What’s your favourite?

Glamglow Supermud Clearing Treatment is available from all Sephora Middle East stores,  Sephora.ae and some select salons.

Follow Gamglow Middle East on Instagram to stay updated on their new releases..

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Oily skinned? Bioderma Photoderm Nude Touch SPF 50+ might be the summer sunscreen you need 

Bioderma Photoderm Nude Touch SPF 50 swatches and review, Bioderma Middle East
Bioderma Photoderm Nude Touch SPF 50 +

Living in Dubai, one is exposed to the harmful effects of the sun daily so sunscreen is a must.  But as someone with oily acne prone skin finding the perfect sunscreen is quite hard.  I have quite a lot dark marks leftover from acne (post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation), which tends to darken even more when exposed to the sun so I am quite religious about applying sunscreen. However, most ones I’ve used tend (even one’s made for acne prone skin) to clogg my pores and cause pimples.

I’ve been using the newly launched Bioderma Photoderm Nude Touch for the past few weeks and I think I found my new holygrail sunscreen!

So what exactly is Bioderma Photoderm Nude Touch ?  It’s a mineral sunscreen (main ingredient is nano Zinc Oxide) with UVA/UVB protection that’s made specially for people with oily/combination & acne prone skin types.  The  patented formula contains Salicylic acid (a well known anti-blemish fighter) to help smooth and even out the skin tone while mattifying and soft focus powders to control shine.

This is available in 3 tinted shades (Natural, Light & Golden).  I have medium olive tones so I picked the darkest shade- Golden.  The tint is very light. So if you can’t find the exact shade match, don’t worry; just pick the closeset match.

Bioderma Photoderm Nude Touch SPF 50 swatches and review, Bioderma Middle East
Bioderma Photoderm Nude Touch in Golden
Bioderma Photoderm Nude Touch SPF 50 swatches and review, Bioderma Middle East
Can you see the light tint?

I use my regular moisturiser and let it absorb a bit before applying this.  Remember to shake the bottle well to activate the powders.  The formula is ultra light and very silky.  The liquid to powder formula instantly mattifies my skin and adds a light soft focus effect (very much like a primer).  The coverage is very light and it’s not enough to cover my blemishes or marks.  However, this makes an excellent primer for my foundation.   And it does an excellent job of keeping my face matte in the burning summer heat of Dubai.

I’ve been wearing this non stop for the few months and I am happy to say that this did not cause any breakouts.   So if you are like me and have trouble with finding a non pore clogging sunscreen, do give this a try.

Bioderma Photoderm Nude Touch is available from all Bioderma counters in the UAE.

For more information and the full ingredient list, please click here

Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencils – new shades – review and swatches 

My first ever Nars purchase was a Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Dulce Vita.  I tried on the beautiful mauve pink shade and fell in love with the silky smooth formula and it’s great lasting power.

And now,  just in time for Summer, the brand is launching 10 new shades. The shades range from a moody blue, a bright fuchia to a sultry purple.   I got my hands on 7 gorgeous shades which are swatched below.  

Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencils new shades review and swatches
From top to bottom – Get Off, Let’s go crazy, Famous Red, Do me baby, Endangered Red, Dirty Mind , Lonely Heart

Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencils new shades review and swatches
Check out the swatches along with their cheeky names 😉

It’s hard to pick a favourite but I love “Endangered Red ” – a deep wine hued red, that would great with all skin tones.

The lasting power of these lipsticks are pretty impressive.  They last around 6-7 hours and most of them leave behind a light stain (except for “Get Off” which is too light to show up on my pigmented lips).  If you have dry lips, I would advise moisturising your lips prior to applying these (apply lip balm, leave it for a little and blot before applying lipstick).

The new collection is available from the Nars boutique in the Dubai Mall and Nars counters in the UAE. 

So, which one is your favourite shade ? Please do leave a comment below..

Glamglow Dreamduo Overnight Transforming Treatment review

Glamglow Dreamduo Overnight Transforming Treatment review, Glamglow Middle East

Would it be wrong to say that Glamglow has become the world’s most popular face mask brand ?  The brand offers a range of masks to suit different skin types and now they are expanding their skincare empire with the introduction of a collection of moisturising treatments including this intensive overnight treatment. 

Dreamduo is a two step treatment that’s suitable for all skin types and it’s designed to provide the skin an intense boost of hydration while plumping it up.   

Glamglow Dreamduo Overnight Transforming Treatment review, Glamglow Middle East

Step 1 (Dreamserum) – contains a pearly, lightweight serum with Coffee and Green Tea Leaf Teaoxi (a patent owned by Glamglow for their Real Leaf technology), antioxidants and vitamins. 

Step 2 (Dreamseal) – a gel cream that contains a blend of Hyaluronic Acid and Mozuku Green Algae .

How to use – Apply step 1 let it absorb for around 30 seconds and then follow up with step 2.

Most skincare products have a hard time living up to their lofty promise and this was the first time I’ve used a Glamglow product so I didn’t know what to expect.  I’ve never tried a product like this before but I was curious about it.  

I have very oily skin, however, my acne treatment regime and a bout of Influenza had left it dry and irritated. 

I applied the step 1 on slightly damp skin and patted it in until it was absorbed.  Then I followed it up by step 2.  Both treatments are quickly absorbed in to the skin and are very very light. Almost immediately, I could see a difference in my skin.  It looked plumped up and had a lovely glow to it.  And best of all, the glow was still there the next morning ! 

I’ve been using this treatment for the past few weeks (2/3 a week) and I love the results.   It hasn’t caused any clogged pores and my skin looks healthier.  And my foundation goes on smoother.  And I forget to mention that this treatment smells like Oranges and Vanilla , which makes applying it such a pleasure !

At $59.00, it is quite an investment, but you might want to consider adding this to your skincare routine if you are looking for a product to add that extra little boost to your skin.   And as you only need a small amount every time, the 20g jar would last quite a while.

The Glamglow Dreamduo Overnight Transforming Treatment is available exclusively from Sephora store’s in the UAE and from sephora.ae 

Kat Von D Lock-it Makeup Setting Powder & Mist review

The Kat Von D Lock-it Makeup collection

For anyone who has a lot of acne marks and scarring (like me), the Kat Von D Lock-it liquid foundation is a god send !  While it does not cover everything, it does give me enough coverage to stop worrying about my face.  The only drawback was that after a couple of hours, foundation would start breaking down and give my face a patchy appearance.  After a couple of failed experiments, I was ready to give up but two new releases from Kat Von D completely changed my foundation game 🙂

Kat Von D Lock-it Makeup Setting Powder and Mist review
Kat Von D Lock-it Makeup Setting Powder and Mist

Kat Von D Translucent Setting Powder 

Kat Von D Lock-it Makeup Setting Powder and Mist review
The Setting powder – Can you spot the Star pattern ?

This Mica based powder is my favourite setting powder at the moment.   It’s weightless on the skin and gives it a slightly matte soft focus effect.  And it works very well the Lock-it foundation.   The traceless formula sets the foundation without appearing cakey or heavy.  And it stops the oils in the skin from seeping through the foundation.   I apply it with the Powder brush from Sephora, focusing a bit more on my t-zone.

Kat Von D Lock-it Setting Powder
Kat Von D Lock-it Setting Powder – unblended

Kat Von D Lock-it Makeup Setting Mist 

This Cucumber scented setting mist is cooling and refreshing.  It’s suitable for all skin types, I can wear the spray without any clogged pores.

Along the setting powder, this works really well to extend the life of the Lock-it foundation.   If you have ever worn the Lock-it foundation, you would know that sometimes it can be a little too matte on the skin.  But with a few spritzes with this and the my skin just comes back to life ..

These have helped my foundation routine so much and I highly recommend both these products, specially for anyone who’s already using the Lock-it foundation.   I use the foundation, follow it up with a dusting of the loose powder. Then apply blush / bronzed and finish it with a few spritzes of the setting mist.

As with all Kat Von D products, both are cruelty free and are made without Parabens, Sulfates and Phthalates.

These are available in the Kat Von D counters in the Middle East and from sephora.ae . For more product details, please follow the links below.

Hope this post helped you and if you have any questions, please ask away:)
https://www.sephora.ae/en/lock-it-makeup-setting-mist
https://www.sephora.ae/en/brands/kat-von-d

My first facial peel with PCA Skin

PCA SKIN  Peel at Anantara the Palm Spa Dubai
The PCA Skin products used for my peel

For me, the term “facial peel ” conjures up terrifying images of peeling bloody skin and couldn’t imagine going through such torture just for the sake of better skin.

Then, a few months back PCA Skin was launched in Dubai and I found out that they offer a range of facial peels that are quite different from the regular chemical peels. These peels rely on a combination of Lactic acid, Salicylic acid, Kojic acid, Citric acid and Resorcinol and are much more gentle on the skin rather than the traditional chemical peels.  PCA Skin even offers a peeling treatment for people with sensitive skin.

I went for my treatment at the beautiful Anantara the Palm spa – a lush green resort that’s far removed from the hustle and bustle of Dubai..

PCA SKIN  Peel at Anantara the Palm Spa Dubai
The gorgeous spa at Anantara the Palm

PCA SKIN  Peel at Anantara the Palm Spa Dubai

Before my treatment, I had a quick consultation with my lovely therapist who questioned me about my skin type, the products I use and allergies etc. She assured me that that the whole process is relatively painless and the reaction would depend on how sensitive my skin was.  I have very oily skin with hormonal cystic acne on my jawline and it’s not sensitive at all. I was recommended the peel for acne prone skin, which promotes and accelerates the healing of acne blemishes and relives congestion.

The whole process was very quick and took only around 30 minutes !  My skin was cleansed and toned  (using the PCA range for acne prone skin) and the peeling solution was applied.   As soon as it was applied, I could feel a intense stinging sensation and my eyes started watering.  Thankfully it did not last that long.  

After the peeling treatment absorbs in to the skin, a strong sunscreen is applied on top and you are done.  I was so surprised to see that my face looked normal (I thought it would be red) and a few painful cystic acne bumps had completely disappeared !

I was also expecting my skin to start peeling straight away but I was told it would start in a day or two.  
I was told not to wash my face for 7-8 hours so that the peel has time to work it’s magic.  

It’s important to remember that with a peel aftercare is very important (as the skin that emerges from a peel is fragile and sensitive).  I was also told to use a gentle cleanser (Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micellar Cleansing Foam) , a healing moisturiser (La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Blumenthal B5) and sunscreen (Eucerin Sunday Gel Crème SPF 50). And I was advised not to wear any makeup until the peeling subsided.  

As my therapist predicted, my face started peeling on the second day.  It wasn’t so bad then but by the 4th day, my face looked like it had spiderwebs hanging off it 🙂  There peeling wasn’t painful but I couldn’t go out because of it (I get enough stares as it is thanks to my acne).  Thankfully I got this done over a long weekend so I could hibernate at home..

On the 4th day – not a pretty sight (no filter🙈). And please ignore my expression, I hate taking selfies 😶

And by the 6th day, the peeling stopped and my skin was back to normal.  After the peeling stopped,  I could see a visible difference in my skin.  I’ve got decades old pitted acne scarring on both my cheeks and they looked much more smoother.  Also some of my post acne pigmentation had faded and my skin had a healthy glow.  However, I got a few more cystic pimples on my chin & forehead after a couple of days.  I guess it was due to something called purging (deep exfoliation brings out whatever that’s underneath your skin, including blocked pores)

All things considered I am pretty happy with this treatment and I was told that for best results it should be combined with regular facials.  The only negative is the peeling that one has to endure for a couple of days.  If you have problematic skin like mine, the results are worth it.  But if you have ultra sensitive skin, first check with the therapist to see if it’s suitable for your skin type.

The PCA Skin peels are available at a couple of places in Dubai including Anantara the Palm.   Please call +97144370669 for more information

PCA SKIN  Peel at Anantara the Palm Spa Dubai
These PCA Skin products were recommended for my aftercare

Anantara the Palm Spa Dubai

 

Anantara the Palm Spa in Dubai
After every treatment, the guests are taken to a lounge where they can relax and munch on dates and sip ginger tea

Not your average liquid lipstick ! Nars Velvet Lip Glide – review and swatches 

Nars Velvet Lip Glides review and swatches  ( Playpen and No 54)
Nars Velvet Lip Glides in Playpen (Peachy pink) and No 54 (Raspberry red)

I love liquid lipsticks but they aren’t the most easiest thing to wear.  I have quite dry lips and most liquid lipsticks tend to dry them out even more.  But my lips loved the formula of the new Nars Velvet Lip Glides !  

These are a hybrid between lipstick and lip gloss with a hydrating formula similar to a lip balm.  The lipsticks contain a infusion complex keeps lips smooth and they have the colour pay-off of a lipstick and the shine of a lip gloss.

Nars Velvet Lip Glides in Playpen (Peachy pink) and No 54 (Raspberry red)
Playpen (on top) and No 54 (on the bottom)

Just as the name suggests , these feel plush and velvety on the lips.  Though these look quite gloss at first, it soon settles down to a slightly less shiny finish.  Depending on the intensity of the shades these lipsticks will stain your lips and the wear time is around 5 to 7 hours.

Nars Velvet Lip Glides in Playpen (Peachy pink) and No 54 ( Raspberry red)

Though the Internet seems to be divided about these Lip Glides, I personally love them.  The formula of these are unlike any other lip product I’ve tried.  They plump up my lips and makes them look pretty good 🙂  There are some really beautiful shades in the collection ranging from a vampy purple  (Toy) to a dusty rose pink  (Bound).

If you love these as much as I do, I suggest you check out the new Sarah Moon collection,   which has a set of 6 mini liquid lipsticks.

Nars Velvet Lip Glide set from the Sarah Moon collection
Nars Velvet Lip Glide set from the Sarah Moon collection

The Nars Velvet Lip Glides cost AED 145 each and is exclusively available in Sephora Middle East stores and online  (click here)

Have you tried these Lip Glides ?  What are your thoughts ?