8 October 2015

Soprano Laser Hair Removal | Session 1

Last month I mentioned that I was going ahead with laser hair removal of my bikini area. I know . .I know, the thought sounds incredibly painful, but stay with me as I take you on this exciting journey.
So I booked a package which consists of 6x sessions, at 4 weeks apart. Usually this wouldn't be the case (usually stretching to every 6 weeks). But because the hairs are dark, my skin is dark and the hairs grow quick, the practitioner and I decided to treat every 4 weeks. Fair enough, I thought.

Preparation prior to session 1

A week before my first session I 'upped' my exfoliating game; going from once a week, to three times a week. I figured this was a good head start to getting use to doing this once the treatment had started as I want to minimuse ingrowing hairs as much as possible.
So the day of treatment had arrived and I was advised upon arrival for the first session to ensure that I had shaved as much as I could of the area. Now let me tell you this, shaving your 'foo' yourself is the hardest thing EVER, whilst trying not to 'cut' your delicate region! The precision and focus on my face was an utter picture (tongue to one side, slow and careful). I did however decide that I didn't want the bald / plucked chicken look, so opted for a Hollywood finish, so left a 'line' which I thought looked ok. Because we're not all brilliant, there were some bits I could not reach, so I left that for the practitioner who was happy to shave off.

At the clinic / preparation before session

When I arrived, I was greeted by the Director of the business, Tara McCullough, who was friendly and so welcoming. Before treatment could get underway, Tara briefly went through my notes and etc, explained what would happen and I was asked to sign on the dotted line confirming I was happy to proceed. I was then handed a pair of disposible knickers / thongs to put on and hop onto the couch. The areas that I was unable to reach shaving, the practitioner kindly tidied the area, ensuring no hair was visible / on the surface of the skin. Using a white crayon pencil the area was marked out so the practitioner knew how much of the area was being treated. I was given some safety glasses to wear to protect my eyes, clear cold conductive gel was applied to the area, the machine was 'fired up' and the session was about to commence.

During the treatment

Because this was the first session, it was hard to know exactly what setting to use on the area. Using the figure of 8 motion the practitioner focused on one area of the bikini area, upping the setting bit by bit to a setting that was tolerable, but not excruciatingly painful. Doing this for a certain amount of time ensured the laser was targeting / killing as many of the hair follicles as possible. I was always asked how did the area feel, often asked to give a rating out of 10. Once I hit the rating of 6/7 the practitioner knew at that stage it was at the right setting which was tolerable, but not to a point I couldn't bear it.

How did it feel?

Because the hand-held gun of the laser has a cooling system which is ice cold, this helped to keep the skin cool making the treatment a lot more tolerable. Not going to lie, it is not completely painless, it is more of a discomfort but quickly eases. The sensation is more of a prickling which is the root of the hairs being zapped, but it's not sore / painful.

After treatment

The session lasted for approximately 40-45 minutes, which is a bit longer than usual due to the skin type that I have and the area being treated. Once the treatment had finished, I was given aloe vera to apply, to help soothe the area and also help with the healing process. Surprisingly my skin was not red or irritated which I was very happy to see. I was informed however that in the coming weeks, especially weeks 2/3 the hairs would begin to fall out, but I was to make sure I exfoliated 3 times a week to prevent ingrowing hairs.

Post treatment - weeks 1 - 4

A day or 2 after the first session, I immediately noticed the hairs were growing back slowly. I noticed I wasn't suffering with ingrowing hairs which I suspect is because I have been religiously exfoliating 3x times a week. I was also expecting the area to be incredibly itchy during the regrowth stage, however I have to admit, it hardly bothered me. I did however ensure I applied aloe vera every day, morning and night, wanting to make sure the area is cared for well during the treatment process.

Overall: A good first session which surprised me, and I cannot wait for the end results.

I have had my 2nd session however I am currently 2 weeks post treatment, so will review in 2 weeks time.


7 October 2015

Gift ideas for the Fashionista on your Christmas list

It's only October, but as we all know, the last few months of the year often tend to be the fastest. With the holidays approaching, cold weather setting in, and family and friends preparing to gather, there's always a feeling of relaxation. You may get a little more time off work, enjoy a few flavoured lattes here and there, and find yourself curling up and reading more often. But as all this cosiness sets in, the time flies by, and before you know it the shopping centres / high streets are packed and you have a full shopping list for christmas giftst on your hands! 

For this reason, I'll now give the same warning that most of us hear every year whether we like it or not: get your shopping done early! It's just so much more relaxing to have the bulk of your list out of the way before the shops even put up their Christmas lights (which, of course, they do in mid-November at the very latest).
To provide a little bit of assistance with this initiative, this article will highlight some cute, affordable gift ideas specifically for the fashion lovers on your christmas list.

A New Bucket Bag

If there's a trendier item in women's accessories for this autumn and winter season, I haven't found it yet. Almost a combination between a deep purse and a rucksack, the bucket bag has ample space for anything you may need to carry, is convenient to hang onto, and is large enough to inspire designers to have fun with various materials and styles. Big, small, light, dark, leather, or even denim there are plenty of looks helping to keep these bags versatile, but the style in general is as hot as can be. This is a perfect gift for the girl who always appreciates a new bag or accessory.

Statement Jewellery

That's a broad category, but what I mean here is to go big and bold with jewellery gifts this season, as opposed to settling for a thin golden tennis bracelet or a standard set of faux pearls. This season's popular styles are making elegant but loud statements: there are jewel-encrusted bib necklaces, sparkling pin-on brooches, and layered sets of chokers or stacked bracelets. One of the perks of these types of pieces for gift giving specifically is that unless you lead a particularly high-end lifestyle, it's more or less understood that they're "fake," so to speak. In other words, not many people are receiving bib necklaces shimmering with crystals and assuming they're real diamonds! It's a season facilitating budget pieces, which means an affordable gift can still be perfectly in style.

A Smart Watch Band

I know, I know... It doesn't sound like the most sophisticated option to gift a fashion lover. But at the same time, smart watches are only becoming more popular, and in particular the Apple Watch offers just about limitless customisation. That means there's plenty that can be done to turn what basically amounts to a tech tool into a fashion statement. If you know someone who either has this kind of watch or is considering buying one, a band or two could be the perfect gift. They are interchangeable, after all, so a girl who cares about her style could never have too many. There are plenty of fashionable bands to choose from, and not all of them are Apple products. Do some digging and see if you find that perfect piece for the lady on your list.

A Comfortable Scarf

If purchased lazily, a scarf can be one of those gifts that may as well come with a card admitting, "I didn't know what else to buy!" But that's only because the average scarf picked up or re-gifted at the last minute is pretty much interchangeable with any other basic piece. A comfortable, stylish, and seasonally appropriate scarf, on the other hand, shows some real thought and will almost certainly be appreciated. In other words, don't just grab the first dull, unembellished black cotton scarf you see at the store. Take some time to look at the season's styles in 2015, oversized wraps, chunky knits, and a few others and find the perfect thoughtful item. 

Those should give you a few nice ideas to consider. It's always tricky to give actual clothing items as gifts, because most people particularly those concerned with fashion, like to pick these out for themselves. But these accessories will be greatly appreciated as gifts by the same people.


30 August 2015

The Hampton Clinic | Soprano Ice Laser Hair Removal

Hello all

Gosh it has been quite sometime since I last blogged, but those of you who follow me on twitter will know this past year has been a bit crazy; leaving the family home, buying a property, decorating, changing jobs, babysitting (I now have a baby niece) and etc. As a result blogging has taken a bit of a back seat while I concentrated on life and the ups / downs that come along with it. But I am now back, with a bit of a 'bang'! 

A few weeks ago I mentioned in a tweet that I was contemplating having my Bikini area lasered. I have recently completed treatment with Sk:n  on an area I wanted sorted for years. The treatment has been successful, 80% reduction, however it became quite painful throughout the course of treatment (I had 8 sessions), which made me rethink having my bikini area lasered maybe wouldn't a good idea. However the lovely Ashley over at AshlyLondon told me about a laser I had never heard of before, Soprano Ice Laser Hair Removal. She informed me this form of laser is amazing, and is much more suitable / friendly to my skin type which is dark (Afro Caribbean). I immediately 'fired' up my laptop in preparation for in-depth research, and I was amazed at the results and the testimonials from clients all over the world, who had had laser treatment with this machine. 

Soprano Ice Laser Hair Removal in a nut-shell:

  • Newest and most effective version of the famous Soprano hair-removal laser
  • Award-winning technology
  • Pain free
  • Most effective laser technology available
  • Requires fewer treatments than IPL
  • Delivers consistent hair-free results
  • Safe for all skin colours
  • Can treat fairer hair types
  • Can be used on suntanned skin
  • Fast and effective

After researching and finally making up my mind to go for it, I came across The Hampton Clinic, which is based in Bristol. Although the clinic is not 5 / 10 minutes down the road from where I live, I really did not mind going further afield, seeing as in the long run, it's something that I hopefully will not have to bother or stress over anymore. Before confirming I wished to go ahead with treatment, I spent a good while browsing the website before calling to discuss my issue and book in for a test patch. I also spent some time browsing online forums to read about other peoples experiences whilst undergoing treatment with this device; all of which appeared very positive.

Not sure what the policy is like at other clinics, but when I attended it was free, I was not required to deposit a fee to secure my appointment. It is an opportunity to discover whether or not the treatment would be suitable, discover if my skin would tolerate the laser, a chance to view the clinic and to ask as many questions as I wanted. As with most consultations I was required to complete paperwork; personal information, medical history and what area I want treated, which is fairly standard for any treatment you are intending to do on your body. This was then discussed with the practitioner, who provided a very thorough in-depth consultation, along with recommendations for other minor issues I mentioned. Once that part was done, I was taken into the clinic room and prepared for the test patch.

To begin with I was a little anxious because I did not know what to expect, especially as the Bikini area is incredibly delicate. The practitioner went into get lengths at explaining the laser to me; how it worked, the settings and etc, which gradually did make me feel a bit more settled and less anxious. Prior to attending I did not remove any of the hair, as I wanted the practitioner to see what my hair was like and how thick the hairs are, giving a good indication of what we were dealing with. Before the procedure started I was given a 'sexy' paper-like thong to put on, some glasses to protect my eyes from the laser, a small chunk of the hair was shaved, and aloe vera gel was applied to the area, and off we went! The hand held device, which has a blue tip (which was ice cold) was waved over my skin whilst beeping and flashing, every so often.

Was there pain? What did it feel like?

Due to the hairs on my bikini area being thick, I was informed there will be a bit of discomfort but nothing severe to the point of it being intolerable. I did feel a bit of discomfort, felt like prickling needles, but that was simply because of the hairs being so thick and the laser killing the hair follicle. Different motions were used (figure of 8, back and forth movement, strokes) in a bid to find a method that was comfortable / suited for me. Once finished, aloe vera gel was applied to the area and I was done. I was expecting to be red and sore, but to my surprise the skin looked no different to before the procedure started. Win /Win! I was told to give it 24 hours, see how my skin would react before deciding whether or not to go ahead with the procedure.

Did you know . . .
  • Soprano ice laser can be used on any skin type, including tanned skin
  • You can begin treatment 24 hours after test patch
  • It stops hair becoming ingrowing as it changes the direction of how the hair grows. For example, the bikini area hairs grow curly, they are flat. Once you start lasering they will begin to straight up (which I noticed on my patch test, amazing). 
  • You cannot have laser hair removal over tattoos
  • Two weeks after the first session hairs will begin to fall out (looking forward to seeing this happen)
  • It is imperative to exfoliate . . . exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate. 3 times a week with a granulated scrub
  • You can still shave in between sessions, however you cannot wax, pluck or epilate

24 hours had passed and my skin was absolutely fine. No soreness, redness, nothing so I thought ''Brilliant, I can go ahead with treatment'', scheduling in my first session for one weeks time. I did find myself thinking however ''What are you doing, it is so much money?'' but I thought if this is something I have to pay the price for to be happy, more confident in my body, then so be it. Laser hair removal treatment is not a cheap option and can be very expensive depending on what area you are wishing to treat. I have opted for the 'Hollywood' which comes in at Band D; £100 per treatment / £500 for a course of 6. However there are flexible payment plan options which help to spread the cost, which is what I have opted for (4 x £125).

Eeeeek - so at long last an issue which I have battled with for god knows how long is a bout to get sorted once and for all. Bye bye waxing and shaving of the bikini area. Ta-ta.

I will be blogging each session (I have a course of 6), so please do stay tuned for my session updates.

Soprano Ice Laser Hair Removal | The Hampton Clinic

© Serenity of Beauty. All rights reserved.
Designer Blogger Template by pipdig