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IMEDEEN Anti-Aging Oral Skin Care

We are bombarded with countless new products every day with promises that x product will make us look younger, y product will give us plumper skin and so on and so forth. While some of these products still spark my interest, nothing quite makes my curiosity soar as much a totally new concept does.

This is the case with IMEDEEN which is the top brand in oral anti-aging skin care. I was invited to the product's launch which took place in the beginning of the month, by the brand ambassador for IMEDEEN Malta, fellow blogger, Caroline Paris on behalf of Vivian Corporation which is the company that imports the brand.

During the launch, which was held at the grand Palazzo De Piro in Mdina, we were given a presentation, explaining the difference between the products in the range and we just generally got to meet the people behind IMEDEEN and have fun and chat the night away.

With all the bloggers at the launch event

So what is IMEDEEN? Basically, IMEDEEN is a new approach to anti-aging skin care, the next best thing if you will, that comes in the form of pills which obviously you take orally. There are three main products which are currently being marketed locally, namely, Derma One (ages 25+), Time Perfection (40+) and Prime Renewal (50+). The first two can be thought more of as preventive while the latter is more of a corrective solution.

Although it is new to the local market, IMEDEEN is sold in 45 countries world wide and has been the pioneer of internal skin care since 1991. Clinical studies (10 to be exact) show that the products improve skin all over and it is more than just a supplement. In fact, IMEDEEN is the gold standard as far as oral skin care is concerned.

The products promise to nourish the skin from within (the dermis to be exact, where traditional anti-aging creams don't reach) and the first results can be seen after 90 days. Since the formula contains Vitamin C, it aids in neutralizing free radicals, thus protecting skin cells from oxidative stress, Vitamin C also helps in the natural formation and maintenance of collagen. IMEDEEN also contains an exclusive Marine Complex which contains elements that are similar to what naturally occurs in the skin. Furthermore, the Zinc content contributes to normal DNA synthesis. Moreover, IMEDEEN is manufactured under strict conditions at Pfizer, a top pharmaceutical company.

IMEDEEN Clinical Study showing the increased collagen and moisture levels in the skin after 3, 6 and 12 months

Following the launch, I was invited to the Vivian Corporation offices Wednesday afternoon for a free skin analysis to help determine the moisture and collagen levels in my skin, and subsequently determine which IMEDEEN product is the right one for me.

Basically, the skin consultation takes place in roughly 15 minutes and it involves an ultrasound scan of the skin on the top of your hand, thus its really not invasive and doesn't require the patient to take off their makeup or anything.

Allison explaining the results on the ultrasound scan to me during my consultation - pictures taken by Marija

The scan results are shown on the computer connected to the ultrasound machine and Allison, the specially trained advisor, explained the results in extreme detail. I am happy to know that I have adequate collagen levels and my skin is quite hydrated, though it does lack some moisture on the outermost layer. The dehydration is mostly due to me slacking on drinking enough water as well as the colder temperatures and environmental stressors.

The results of my skin scan - very good density overall!!

Following this consultation, Allison concluded that IMEDEEN Derma One is the right product for me and I was kindly offered a month's supply to try out and we will check back to see how the collagen and moisture levels in my skin have increased.

If you follow me on my Facbeook page, you'll know I have started my IMEDEEN journey on Thursday morning by taking 2 IMEDEEN Derma One pills with my breakfast. So far, I haven't experienced any side effects but we'll see how the product measures up in the long run.

In the meantime, if you want to take care of your skin from within, you can book a skin analysis at your nearest pharmacy (check back with Vivian Corporation to find out where) and you can start your IMEDEEN regime right away!

Furthermore, there are plans to market IMEDEEN for men as well as the Advanced Beauty Shots in the near future locally. The prices for IMEDEEN products are as follows:
- Derma One €45 for a month's supply
- Time Perfection €53 for a month's supply
- Prime Renewal €71 for a month's supply

A month's supply of IMEDEEN Derma One was offered to me as  PR Sample. All opinions are my own and are in no influenced by Vivian Corporation.

Top Red Lipstick Picks

I do love a red lip and I have always believed that red lipstick gives you a confidence boost - as long as you're wearing the right shade of course! If I have an important meeting or a big night out, more often than not, you will see me sporting a red lip for sure.

Of course, being a lipstick junkie and a beauty blogger, translates to being constantly on the hunt for more lipsticks to home. At this precise moment in time, I own 22 red lipsticks. There was a time not too far away when I owned way more but I had to clear out my stash for lack of space mainly.

Without further ado, here are my top pricier red lipsticks, their drugstore dupes and matching lip liners ;)

You probably already guessed the first one's MAC Ruby Woo. The cult favourite matte pillar box red needs no introduction as it suits a variety of skin tones. A dupe for it would be Catrice Matt Lip Artist 6hr in 050 Fashion Reditorial. It provides the same matte finish and the colour is pretty close. To seal the deal with these two, Make Up Store Lip Liner in Burlesque has a matte finish and is an exact match.

Next is one that I've had in my stash for a few years now and it is still one of my most used lipsticks. My parents had gotten me the Givenchy Rouge Interdit 20 Illicit Raspberry one Christmas, making it the first high-end lipstick in my collection. A less costly alternative is Max Factor Marilyn Lipstick, 4 Marilyn Cabernet. The perfect matching lipliner for this pair is Essence Lipliner 08 Red Blush.

Next is another MAC matte lipstick - D For Danger. This is one of the darkest reds I own and I love how such reds look paired with a classic smokey eye. The dupe? No other than Flormar Extreme Matte Lipstick 07 Haute Burgundy while for lipliner, I would recommend Flormar Waterproof Liner in No. 205.

I cannot not mention the Christian Louboutin Lipstick in Rouge Louboutin. Of course the price of this one may not be what everyone is willing to spend on a lipstick but I'm going to justify it by saying it is one of the most beautiful pieces in my collection and that the colour lasts throughout the whole time I wear it. A very affordable dupe come from Italian makeup brand KIKO - Glossy Dream Sheer Lipstick 206. Of course you will need to build up the colour to achieve the intensity of the Louboutin lipstick but they are a pretty close match. To achieve the look with a little less effort, applying Catrice Long Lasting Lip Pencil Waterproof 130 Prince Cherry all over the lips underneath the KIKO lipstick will definitely help!

Those were the top red lipstick picks from my collection. Are there any more red lipstick fans out there? 

Banishing Dry Skin with Yves Rocher | Bourbon Vanilla Sensual Sugar Body Scrub & 3 in 1 Nourishing Cream Lotion Review

Spring will soon be upon us, which means warmer weather, which in turn means more skin will be exposed. The effects of cold temperatures are manifested in a number of ways on our skin but mostly, they all result in dry, flaky skin which I think we can all agree is not a beautiful sight. Moreover, we tend to drink less water in winter which can lead to skin dehydration.

I am not immune to altered moisture levels in my skin but since the people behind botanical beauty brand Yves Rocher (Malta) reached out to me to try their Bourbon Vanilla Sensual Sugar Body Scrub and the 3 in 1 Nourishing Cream Lotion with Oat Extract I agreed to try the products and see how they work in restoring glowing and moisturized skin all over.

I couldn't wait to start using the products, thus I did so right away but more on the results later. Here are a few words about the packaging and products' texture first.

Bourbon Vanilla Sensual Sugar Body Scrub - €9.95 for 150ml 

This sugar based body scrub comes in a 150ml transparent plastic jar with a green lid bearing the Yves Rocher logo. The scrub is sealed with a protective foil. The commitment of the Yves Rocher brand towards the environment is truly visible with minimal packaging that can be reused or recycled. Back to the scrub, it is yellow in colour and has a thick, buttery texture with exfoliating granules. As soon as you open the jar, the smell of Bourbon Vanilla immediately takes over your senses and vanilla being my favourite scent, I found this scrub very appealing. 

It is very easy to employ this scrub to slough away dead skin despite it's thick texture as it spreads very easily over your skin without the granules being too harsh.

3 in 1 Nourishing Cream Lotion with Oat Extract for Very Dry Skin - €9.16 for 150ml

The next product I was offered to try is this nourishing body lotion. Again the packaging is environment friendly as the tube contains 25% less plastic than the previous one for this same lotion. This cream features a white, rich formulation that is easily absorbed into the skin to quickly hydrate the skin. It has a subtle fragrance and the oat extract contributes towards softer feeling skin. The lotion's formula contains more than 94% ingredients of natural origin, is mineral oil free, colorant free and paraben free.

Now for the results. I have used both of these products religiously for the past 10 days or so and have applied the lotion everyday after I shower and I have used the scrub twice a week. I have nothing but words of praise for both of these products as they do exactly what it says on their respective packaging, and I now have smooth, supple skin ready to face shorter skirts and sleeves!

Yves Rocher has outlets in Paola, Valletta and Sliema and they also house a Botanical Spa at their Paola outlet.

PR Samples

Dining at Armani Nobu Milano

Those who know me well know that I am not much a foodie in the sense that food is not usually the highlight of my day or a night out. However, when me and my better half plan on going out to eat, we always make sure to eat at some of the best places, and our weekend getaway in Milan was not to be an exception. I was more than excited to source out three of Milan's best eateries (one for each night we were staying there) for the perfect culinary experience.

In fact, while planning our trip, my boyfriend quickly pointed out that it's not everyday that I get too excited about food but I guess I did a good job with all three places we ate at. The place I was excited most about is without a doubt Armani Nobu Milano. Asian cuisine is easily a favourite with us so this experience was definitely a must.

We saved it for our last night which was a Sunday night. The restaurant is very easy to get to as from where we were staying (Best Western Hotel Mozart in Piazza Gerusalemme), we just had to cross the road to reach underground line 5 (lilac) from Gerusalemme station, make an interchange to the yellow line 3 from Zara station and stop at Montenapoleone station. The restaurant is located literally around the corner from the station within the Emporio Armani Store, overlooking the sophisticated neighbourhood of Via Pisoni 1.

We took a risk and went there without making a reservation and I have to admit that we were extremely lucky for them to have a place for us at the sushi bar upstairs. The moral of the story is to pre-book your table if you plan to dine here.

The receptionist greeted us upon our arrival and arranged for us to have a place at the sushi bar. The restaurant is tastefully decorated in warm hues of brown, orange and beige which provides a the feel of a Japanese house with a touch of Armani sophistication. The sleek, minimal design is one of the things which won me over as soon as I came across the restaurant website while carrying out my research and I have to admit, it didn't let me down. The dim lighting provides a very intimate atmosphere even if you're a big group. As soon as we made our way upstairs, the sushi bar chefs greeted us in Japanese and the maître d'hôtel invited us to our bar stools.

We were spoilt for choice with all the Asian food available on the menu. We ordered some water which was served in an Armani branded bottle while we settled on our first choice - my boyfriend had New Style Tuna (top) while I opted for a delicious Avocado Tartare (bottom). The tuna tasted very much like a tuna carpaccio but with a vinegary sort of taste. On the other hand, the avocado tartare was a fusion of fresh and spicy.

Next we settled for the Sushi Selection (left) which consisted of a delectable mix of nigiri, maki and salmon roe (caviar) prepared with the freshest of ingredients right in front of our eyes in the live-cooking sushi bar. Here I would like to point out the impeccable way each dish is presented. Following this we went for more salmon sushi rolls (right).

Lastly, dessert. Even though it may sound exaggerated, (I really am not) - this has got to be the best tasting dessert I have ever had! I opted for a Japanese Bento Box which comes with a deliciously soft-on-the-outside-gooey-on-the-inside chocolate fondant, accompanied by a serving of the freshest green tea ice-cream and some forest fruits served in an actual Japanese bento box (or lunch box for us Westerners). The explosion of flavours was out of this world and the hot and cold temperatures are strangely very complementing! A decadent and delicious combination I cannot recommend enough! On the other hand, my boyfriend opted for a ginger pannacotta topped with coffee ice-cream and sesame seeds which was equally delicious...and coming from a non-coffee lover that says a lot!

Of course, this is a fine-dining restaurant so the experience comes with a price tag to match. Having said that, all prices are available on the online menu and we knew what were going for. I highly recommend visiting Armani Nobu if you happen to be in Milan for it offers an unparallelled dining experience as soon as you put your first step through the door.

Check out what I wore for this special night out in this post.

The Best Of Me With CHIC Med-Aesthetic Clinics | Medik8 Beta Facial

My skin was in desperate need for a facial so I opted to treat my skin to a Medik8 facial at CHIC Med-Aesthetic Clinics last Friday.

I met Jessica, the beautician which was to take care of my skin for the next 45 minutes and after asking me about any skin concerns I might have, I was invited to the couch so she can begin my treatment. I was provided with two plush towels to cover myself with and Medik8 poreCleanse Gel™ was first applied to my skin so that my skin could subsequently be thoroughly analyzed. The poreCleanse Gel cleanses the skin while providing anti-ageing benefits, with both AHA and BHA acids. It contains L-Mandelic Acid, which has been shown to offer similar exfoliation properties to glycolic acid, but without the same level of stinging. In fact, my skin proved quite tolerant to this cleanser as I didn't experience any burning sensations. Furthermore, the cleanser prepares the skin for subsequent product through deeply cleaning the pores.

The CHIC facial treatment room

Following this, JessicaMedik8 Beta Facial. Here is the description of the chosen facial from the CHIC website:
recommended the

Recommended for oily, congested and acneic skin types

Intensive anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory treatment utilizing the benefits of the earth’s natural purifying and healing matter – Kaolin and Bentonite as well as a fine ground natural bamboo scrub. This treatment is designed to normalize oil production, alleviate inflammation and reduce irritation whilst improving the skins hydration, texture and tone.

Next, the Medik8 Bamboo Micro Polish face scrub was applied to reveal a brighter complexion, followed by a toner to prepare the skin for blackhead extraction. I was relieved that the procedure was not painful bar from the areas near to my nose. I also had a few whiteheads which were carefully and painlessly removed by a very fine needle.

Subsequently, it was time for the Medik8 clayMask™ to be applied to my now squeaky clean face. The Medik8 clayMask™ is rich in natural clays to draw out impurities and to absorb excess oil, and help prevent pore clogging. It is also enriched with Allantoin and Vitamin E which are known to aid in soothing the skin. The mask was left on my face for a few minutes and when the time was up, the mask was removed with lukewarm water and a pleasant facial and shoulder massage ensued. Lastly, the Medik8 Hydr8 Post-Treatment™ was applied to finish off my facial experience.

One thing which CHIC do differently is that the beautician even asks to take care of your eyebrows and upper lip if need be. I skipped both treatments as I had already had my brows thread and I treat my upper lip with laser hair removal (also at CHIC).

Medik8 products used for the various facials offered at CHIC Med-Aesthetic Clinics

Before I left the premises, I was given a few product samples to try out as well so I shall be sure to let you know how that goes. 

I waited for a few days to publish this review just to see how my skin would react to the treatment and the products used. Well, I was happy to say this was another positive experience at CHIC as I didn't have any reactions and my skin looks really glowing. Also, I had a minor breakout which seems to be in check now and the redness around the pimples has subsided.

Apart from the Medik8 Beta Facial, CHIC offers various other Medik8 facials tailored to address different skin types and concerns. Also, with every treatment booked at CHIC, you always get 1 hour free parking at the airport car park. 

Do pay CHIC a visit and experience yourself a pampering and caring facial to reveal your best skin yet!

All opinions and experiences are my own and are in no way influenced by CHIC Med-Aesthetic Clinics.