Thursday, 29 May 2014

Image Skincare Clear Cell and Vital C

Image Skincare was new to me until Sharon of Sharons Urban Escape introduced me to it about a month ago when I booked in to get a facial done. I had a full consultation and Sharon recommended/prescribed a combination of the Clear Cell and Vital C range 

Their Clear Cell range is specifically designed for acne treatment:
 “Clear Cell fights acne, reduces inflammation, eliminates excess oil and purifies skin”.

From the Clear Cell range I have been using three products every 2nd day. 
The salicylic gel cleanser is applied to wet skin, it foams up, great at removing makeup and gives you a very clean feeling once washed off with a hot face cloth.

In the evenings I follow this with the medicated acne masque. I find this quiet harsh so have only been applying to areas where the acne is concentrated. It only needs to be left on for a minute and then rinsed off.

The medicated acne lotion has quiet a potent smell and to be honest I was a little surprised as to how harsh it felt on my skin. It stung for a couple of seconds but quickly settled.  

image from

Alongside the clear cell range I have been using some products from the Vital C Range
 “A product line high in anti-oxidants for ultimate protection and nutrition.

The Vital C Hydrating Cleanser which I use every morning and evenings (when I am not using the salicylic cleanser), its a cream cleanser, smells amazing, and great at taking off makeup. I massage it in to the face then remove it with a hot face cloth.

On the evenings I’m not using the clear cell I use the Vital C Hydrating Enzyme Mask. Its quiet a thick formula but I can almost feel my skin drinking it. I put if on for a good 30 mins before rinsing off.

The Vital C Anti Ageing Hydrating Serum is really nice on the skin too and I’ve been applying it every other day morning and evening to freshly cleansed skin.

Moisturiser wise I have been using the Prevention + daily matte moisturiser with SPF 32. This has the most amazing smell and sinks right in to the skin.

images from

I know you are probably thinking I spent a fortune on products here but I didn't (i’m not that loaded). I bought the travel size clear cell kit for €15 which contains the three clear cell products, and the vital c serum and enzyme mask. These five products are all sample size.
Sharon gave me a trial size of the moisturiser and I purchased a full size Vital C cleanser for €30 (it think!!)

Soooooo what you are all wondering at this stage is did they help my skin at all?? Well the answer is a big fat yes. I have seen a noticeable difference; breakouts have decreased to barely any and my face looks brighter. 

Long term I don’t think I will use the Clear Cell every second day as I feel I have the breakouts under control now, so twice per week for the medicated masque and lotion I feel would be plenty.

I am 100% going to purchase the full size Vital C Hydrating enzyme mask as I found it a very effective exfoliater and not at all harsh on the skin.  

Overall I am so impressed with Image Skincare and would defo recommend this combination if you are looking for some acne treatment or stick with the Vital C range on its own if you are looking to brighten and freshen up the skin.

Sharon is like a fountain of knowledge on Image so if you are in and around Newbridge pop in and have a chat with her. The Image facials she does are also amazing so why not treat yourself.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Eating Clean - Some Food Ideas

I spoke here about linking my food habits to my acne issues and since then I have been making a very conscious effort to ‘eat clean’.

I know a lot of people really struggle with ideas of what to eat instead of what they have been eating for the last 100 years (slight exaggeration) so I thought it might be useful to give you a few suggestions. 
(FYI - I am by no means an expert and I’m not trying to be)

Banana and blueberry pancake – 1 egg, handful of chopped up blueberries, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 teaspoon of nut butter, 1 banana. Mix altogether and cook on a pan with coconut oil. This can be a bit tricky to flip sometimes, so if it falls apart in the pan don’t worry, will still taste yum!

Porridge – I eat gluten free oats, use soya milk, and top up with blueberries or raspberries and some cinnamon.

Poached eggs – you can get those pans that are specifically for poaching, just grease up the little trays with a bit of butter and leave them cook for about ten mins. Will keep you full for a few hours!

Smoothie – i throw in a banana, strawberries, blueberries, a spoon of peanut butter and some dairy free ice cream (check out Nobó )and coconut mil k. Really quick and handy and if you are rushing out the door you can take it in the car with you.

Sausages – there are gluten free options available with a high pork content (get the highest you can).
Bacon/Rashers – same applies here, get the highest meat content you can.

Snacks / 11’s:
Rice cakes (unsalted) with peanut butter and banana.
Apples sliced with peanut butter and cinnamon.
Nuts - make sure they are good quality and unsalted.
Fruit – berries are your friends, top up with mixed nuts and real greek yogurt.

Preparation is key here, if you don’t plan your lunches you WILL end up eating shite.
The most convenient way of doing lunch is doubling up on your dinners.
I tend to make the following during the week as its easy, quick and tastes good:

Red Thai Curry (link here)

Fajita Mix – diced chicken, peppers, onions and mushrooms. Marinate with a teaspoon of cumin, tsp of chilli powder, tsp Worchester sauce, salt and pepper, and the juice from half a lime. If you prep this the night before you can cook it fresh in the morning if you have the time. I eat mine with some jasmine rice.  I tend to make some guacamole also to have with this.

Marinated chicken breasts – one of the easiest and nicest marinates I have had is lemon juice, oregano and thyme. Leave for as long as possible to marinate then either grill or oven bake the chicken. Team up with some cooked veggies of a salad.

Spaghetti bol – really easy to make from scratch with tomatoes, and various spices. Keeps really well and is really filling for lunch. Eat wholegrain pasta or else have sweet potato mash or fries instead of pasta altogether.

Marinated Pork Chops – soy sauce and honey is a good marinate, or any mixed spices either. Again i tend to marinate over night and cook fresh in the morning if I have the time. I will have with some salad or cooked veg.

Hope this was helpful for some of you out there, and be sure to follow me on instagram where I tend to share my food pics!! 

If you have any other suggestions I would love to hear them. 

Friday, 23 May 2014

HealGel Face: Review

As you know by know I’m always having some sort of trouble with my skin, and because of this I have been left with some mild scarring. I was looking for something to help fade these, and when I heard about Heal Gel I just had to know what all the fuss was about. 

HealGel is a range of products, face, eye, body and intensive; created by a team of plastic and cosmetic surgeons with the help of a dermatological biochemist in the UK. It is an aqueous gel, claiming to soothe, repair and protect the skin.

I have been trialing HealGel Face* for app four months now, using it twice per day.
The packaging is not dissimilar to that of clinque, in such a way that it is very clinical which I like, fancy packaging doesn’t do much for me. It comes in a pump action bottle which is great for those of us that get a little too enthusiastic!!

HealGel Face

The product itself is very soothing on the skin, is absorbed almost straight away, and a little goes a long long way. The redness and scarring has most definitely faded, and my skin in general looks like it has a bit more life to it. I have used different oils etc to help with redness reduction but none of them have lived up to this product.

The cost of the product is most defiantly reflected in the quality, RRP is £48, and I wouldn't hesitate to buy again as soon as I run out.

If you are struggling with acne scarring and redness I can’t recommend this product highly enough. It has done wonders for my confidence. 

You can check out all of HealGel products right here

Have you tried any other HealGel products?? Lemme know what you think if you have!

*PR sample gratefully received 

Wishlist: Slogan Gym Tees

So I blogged yesterday (here) about the diff pants I am wearing to the gym, 
but what I am really lacking are some good tops.

I love a good slogan tee, and wish there was someone in 
Ireland that was making these kinds of tops!

Pinterest is full of them, but a lot of the time they are coming from America 
and the postage is just way too high. 

Soooo if you know anywhere/anyone in Ireland or the UK that is making and selling slogan gym tees please let me know as I really really want/need ALL of the below!!

all images from pinterest
I'd love to see some of the slogan gym tees you are rocking or have on your wishlist too!!

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Workout/Gym Gear

Aloha All,

Finally feel myself getting back to blogging so thought I'd craic on with something I am currently obsessing over: Workout Gear - more specifically the most obnoxious/bright/patterned pants I can get my paws on!

Lets clear something up though before we start, I am not, I repeat, I AM NOT one of those people who goes to the gym with a full face of make-up and fancy labelled clothes and pretends to workout. I wouldn't be winning any beauty awards leaving that's for sure, but I do like having nice gym gear hence all the ridiculousness you are about to see!!

I've been adding to my collection over the last few months and wanted to share with you some of my favorites:

Top L-R adidas
Bottom L-R adidas & ellesse

The top right, and bottom left adidas pants have a little pocket small enough for a key which is handy, and are both clima-cool material. The top left adidas are cotton but still feel very cooling, as do the ellesse (not sure what material they are made from). 

The quality of all four is just fantastic, they are getting washed all the time and have not lost their shape at all, and are great at keeping the sweat off the body too! (nothing worse than looking at someones sweaty arse in a gym!!)

I bought all of these off Littlewoods Ireland  with prices coming in at €20-€35. 

There are so many more on my wishlist that I need/want so I will keep you all updated with any new purchases on instagram and twitter (@coco_oscarwells)...

If you have any rec's please let me know cause I am als keeping an eye out!!


Monday, 3 February 2014

Linking my food habits to my acne issues.

I have never really been one for putting on weight, I've probably been the same weight since I was 19, so I've never really concerned myself with what I eat and how it effects my body.

Well at 27 (28 in a few days) years of age I have come to the harsh realization that I know f all about food and nutrition. Don't get me wrong I would always of eaten well enough, even in college I was never one for noodles, I suppose the fact that I like cooking helps, but christ am I a fiend for sweets like haribo, skittles, bickies, give me any shite food with e numbers and I'll eat it.

Sometime before christmas after reading Caroline Hirons blog I started to link my acne issues to my food habits, the bad ones that is. For the first time in my adult life I have finally accepted that no matter what product I use, if I don't decrease my refined sugar and dairy intake and dramatically increase my water intake, my skin is never going to look better. 

Since then I have pretty much cut out dairy, as I mentioned before if I have a drop of milk in tea I am not going to crucify myself over it but I have stopped drinking milk in cereal, pints of milk with lunch and dinner, yogurts are no longer part of daily life, and I am not putting half a block of cheese on everything I eat. Don't get me wrong this is not an easy thing to do, the cheese cravings I am having are out of this world but I figure its for the greater good and I would rather have the clear skin. 

"You are what you eat!"

However hard the dairy is to give up, the sugar is a complete bitch. I really am not exaggerating when I say I could easily eat a bag of haribo a night, and any one who knows me well enough will back me up on that. Since Christmas I have cut down on the eating shite. I no longer grab five bags of haribo at the que in pennys, I no longer dream of skittles and cans of coke. To help counter the sugar cravings I have been taking magnesium for the past 2 months. I have been told that when you crave something it is usually because the body is deficient of something, and a lot of the time that is magnesium. Whether it is just in my head or not, this is defo working. I am no longer sitting at my desk everyday at three o'clock with the shakes.  Again having my head right is so important, I know cutting all this shite out will make me feel and look better so I am willing to stop. 

Another thing I have cut out purely for 'feel good' reasons is gluten. It really wasn't that hard tbh. I don't eat bread anymore, and if I have a craving for bread, there are some nice gluten free ones in Lidl. Gluten free pasta is grand (not amazing) but grand! I have discovered fantastic dark choc brownies that I can make with gluten free flour, although the do contain some butter so not dairy free I'm afraid. Google is your best friend when it comes to finding alternatives for your fave eats. 

If I have one of those dreaded sugar cravings I will have a Nakd bar which are dairy, gluten and wheat free, or one of my home made paleo bars. Instead of having toast in the morning I have rice cakes with peanut butter and banana (this is simply amazing), and the latest 'nice' thing to have in our house is a dairy free shake made from Nobo icecream, a banana, almond milk and peanut butter blended together!! AMAZEBALLS!! I have been flashing pics all over my instagram if you wanna have a nose by the way @coco_oscarwells 

Hand on heart I can notice the difference in my skin, and the difference in my energy levels since changing my eating habits. Preparation is key. Plan out your meals and snacks so that you are not caught short. Every sunday I make a list of what I will eat for the week from this make my shopping list. I try make my 'treats' at the weekend so they are on hand during the week so I've no excuses.

I know I still have so so much to learn and I have a lot more to share with you which I will go in to in my next blog post but for now I urge you to try some Nakd bars, some homemade paleo bars, and some Nobo dairy free icecream. You can thank me later!! ;)

Có x

Fit Feb 03.02.14

So my last post back on Jan 10th I had just joined a crossfit style gym. I have just finished my first four weeks and can say that I am 100% addicted. I had originally planned on just doing two nights a week because of hockey and other commitments but two weeks in and I had already upped it to three nights. I don't know what it is but I just feel so motivated when I am over there and even though it is sooooo sooooo tough, I keep telling myself I will feel great in an hour so suck it up, and I always do. If you are looking for a new challenge and are in the Kildare area be sure to have a nosey The Peformance and Fitness Academy

Hockey is still going great too btw, and as I have said over and over again, if you are thinking about joining a team sport, just do it. Seriously you will not regret it. 

As I work in the sport sector, my brain is always ticking away thinking of  how to get people involved in different types of physical activity, and this year I feel more passionate about it than ever before. I have trouble understanding how people simply sit back and let themselves become so uninterested and uninvolved in their own health. I in no way mean this in a condescending way, it really does baffle me.

I was lucky to grow up in an active family, GAA football was pretty much religion in our house. We cycled, we ran, we climbed trees, we fell out of trees, I danced, my brother not so much, and we walked everywhere, our dog used to even take himself for walks! I know that some people will be reading this thinking well that's all good an well if you have the money to do these things, but heres the thing, we didn't have the money, and you do not need money to be physically active so please don't use that as an excuse cause it really is a shit one. Ditch the lift in work, park a bit further away from the office in the morning, walk to the shop instead of driving. You do not need to be sporty to be active. 

Operation Transformation and Irelands Fittest Family have really seemed to capture the imaginations of people across Ireland this year. We have realised how sedentary we have become as a nation. There are so may walking/running groups popping up around the place, I have seen so many between Naas and Newbridge alone. If you are looking for a bit of motivation why not locate a walking group through the OT facebook page or twitter and take those first few steps toward becoming active. If you don't fancy going out with a group of strangers get your family and friends involved, round up people in work. There are ways around everything, you just have to be willing.

Inspirational words and motivational quotes

The family unit is particularly important in terms of ensuring kids are active, don't assume that one hour of PE they get a week is enough, cause it simply isn't. Find something fun to do with your kids such as going to the park at the weekends, walking the dog together, going for bike rides, play hurling in the back garden. Be proactive in your children's health by being involved in your own health. No one ever regretted getting themselves and their families healthy and active. 

In work we have recently set up whats called the 7x30 club. Its essentially an excel spreadsheet that we can record our physical activity on, based on the guidelines that we should be getting at least 30 minutes a day of physical activity. Anyone who wanted to get involved simply records their activity and time. At the end of the week you can see the total time you have been physically active. Its such a simple but effective idea. Tracking your activity gives you a real perspective as to if you are doing enough or not enough.

Basically what I am saying at the end of this long post, is if you are sitting at home wondering what you can do to get yourself healthier and fitter, get up and go for a walk and brainstorm out in the fresh air. 'but its raining out' is another crappy excuse, put your rain jacket on, a bit of water never hurt anyone. 

Its your life, its your health, don't waste it. We really do only get one go at this life, and I can 100% guarantee you will NOT regret getting physically active this year.