Saturday, 25 August 2012

Interview with Michelle Doherty: Alpha H

Longtime readers will know how much I love Alpha H (If not you might want to see my before and after pictures Here then you will see why I like it!)  I managed to pull a few strings and get the chance to interview Michelle Doherty, owner and director of Alpha H Skincare line.  I havent done many interviews on Computergirl's Musings so let me know if you enjoyed this and I'll look into bringing you some more :)

Computergirl's Musings: How did you come up with the idea for Alpha-H?
Michelle: Having suffered with a demoralising skin condition for many years, I was introduced to Alpha-H by a friend when I was 28, at the time Alpha-H consisted of a single two-step program of the Balancing Cleanser and Balancing Moisturiser. By just using these two products over a short period of time I experienced astounding effects resulting not only with happy, healthy skin but a personal boost to self confidence and esteem. Since then my mission has been simply to bring the very best skin care products and services to the world, not only just for a season or a specific reason but for a lifetime.

Have you always been into skincare?  If not what was the turning point?
My obsession with skincare started really when I began to suffer from painful acne at around the age of 14, I would save up to buy the best creams and lotions and was hugely disappointed when nothing worked. I was a sales representative for a well known beauty brand in New Zealand until I discovered Alpha-H. 

So many brands talk about routines-cleanse, tone, don’t use toner, pre cleanse, moisturise, serum, night treatments, eye cleanser, moisturiser for under the eye etc. – we all get a bit overloaded. What are the basic essentials to a routine?

At Alpha-H, following a strict ‘routine’ is just the opposite of what we want for your skin! I do agree that it is necessary to cleanse in the morning and evening, and essential to be using good sun protection daily. Keeping the skin as hydrated as possible is also important however so is keeping the skin ‘alive’ with constant change and a variation of products designed to target each individual’s skin concerns. Your skin is a living, breathing organ and when challenged in appropriate ways it can alter its behavior and further promote a more youthful, glowing complexion. Liquid Gold is our hero product as it has the ability to alter the skin’s pH and create waves of stimulation that last overnight, keeping the skin active all night long. The results from using this product on alternating nights are fantastic; a firmer, smoother, brighter and glowing complexion is expected every morning after using Liquid Gold.
Two of my skin saviours: Liquid Gold and Intensive night repair serum!.

To the nitty-gritty, blackheads and large pores. How should we treat them and can they disappear?

Large pores and blackheads are usually the result of dead skin cell buildup on the surface of the skin. By adequately exfoliating the skin you can clean out the pores which further tightens the walls of the pore, giving the effect of “zero pores”.  The debris in the pore, which displays a blackened appearance, is usually a mixture of oil and dead skin cells. Using a product like the Micro Cleanse which uses micro beads and 14% Glycolic Acid is the perfect way to tighten those pores. The micro beads physically breakdown stubborn debris trapped in the pore and the Glycolic Acid melts away the dead skin cells within and around the pore. 

Of course, we all know you for Alpha-H, and I am a big fan of the Intensive Night Repair Serum. I wish I had invented it! What other beauty product and makeup items do you wish you had invented?

Well that is the beauty of owning your own skin care company; I have the ability to keep inventing new and innovative products. I love finding out about new ingredients, skin technologies and different formulations and how they affect the skin.  For me, formulating and inventing is a journey, from an idea, to the different samples I personally test out on my own skin, to the final product and then seeing the results that that product is able to give to my customers. Flawless looking skin is a passion of mine and I have been on the hunt for years to find the perfect foundation. I would love to create a foundation that is as hydrating and caring for the skin as it is perfecting. Stay tuned later this year as Alpha-H is about to add some colour to our range … 

Finally, other than using great products, what are your essential tips for healthy glowing flawless skin?

Your skin is affected by what is happening with the rest of your body, for example; unbalanced hormones, problems with digestion, stress, alcohol, unhealthy diet and so on. For me, I believe that if you want your skin to be glowing and flawless, it starts from within. Focus on maintaining a balanced, healthy diet and lifestyle and you will find that everything else follows and reaps the benefits from these health conscious choices. 

A huge THANK YOU to Michelle for taking the time out of her busy schedule to answer some questions for Computergirl's Musings.  I hope you found her answers as interesting as I did!  For more information on Alpha H please visit my previous post which includes recommendations for retailers!

Do you use Alpha H?  I asked Michelle so I'll ask you- what beauty product and makeup items do you wish you had invented?  Who else would you like me to interview?

P.s. Don't forget my £150 silver earrings giveaway is still open!

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Travel Makeup and Airplane Essentials

Home- again :) After my post on Italy and what I bought, and what accessories I took I thought I would share with you what makeup I took and what travel essentials I took on the plane.  I always love reading about space saving ideas and seeing what others take on the plane.  Most places restrict the amount of liquids you can take on an aircraft to small bottles under 100ml so you really have to plan what to take!

Here is what I took!

Airplane essentials!

  • Clockwise from Top: Gum/sweets.  Great way to force pressure out of your ears.  I hate haveing fuzzy ears on the plane.
  • Wet wipes!  I use Carex anti-bacterial wipes.  Great for spillages (especially useful when my gelato melted all down my hand during the 35+ degree heat!
  • Mini Fan.  Smaller than a credit card (but obviosuly thicker!)  Purchased from House of Fraser's Go section (link) £7.99 and a god send!
  • Compeed: This case is packed full of all sorts of plasters, but I needed them when I sliced my hand open in departures!  The compeed ones are great to protect blisters (especially when hot sweaty feet rub against shoes (link)
  • Handbag security hook.  Unclips and balances on a table to provide a hoot for your clutch handbag.  Essential in busy areas to help protect your bag from thieves.  Also keeps your bag out of the way of puddles and dirt on the floor (link to similar one on ebay)
In my carry on clear plastic bag I have;
  • Carex anti-bacterial gel.  Perfect for use in departures, arrivals and on the plane.  Especially if the guy next to you falls asleep and you cant wash your hands before you eat!
  • Insect bite treatment.  Bugs LOVE to bite me so I needed this on hand to stop me from scratching the whole plane ride home!
  • Optrex eye mist.  All that air con on the plane... Just close your eyes and spray on to eyelids to relieve tired, dry eyes and help take away the need to scratch and rub! More info at Boots where they also do their own cheaper version, which is just the same I'm told.....
  • Clinique Superbalm lip gloss in Currant.  An small mini size just for plane use!  It was a magazine freebee and I didn't really like it but it was perfect to keep my pecker moisturised during the plane flight (and beyond) (link)
  • Weleda Citrus moisturiser!  Perfect to relieve dry hands/skin on the plane!More on this later!
Very proud of light packing!
Now on to the makeup!  I always try to keep things minimal but change things each trip depending on the destination and reason.  Italy = dry, hot, heat.  So hot 'glowy' skin and potential tanning which will affect base products.

All products open- but I forgot two so keep reading!
Clockwise from top left: The Body Shop travel brush kit, Boots mini emery board inside, Estee Lauder Extravagent Gold palette, (behind) The Body Shop  Lightening touch concealer/highlighter pen, Clinique Chubby stick in Graped up, Daniel Sandler blush in peach puff, MAC studio sculpt concealer, ELF complexion perfection powder,  Boots No.7 mauve eyeshadow trio, (above) mini Bourjois Blush/highlighter, Aveda nourishmint gloss in casis, Chanel vitalumiere aqua 30, MAC patisserie  and Viva Glam VI, Crown Kabuki, Urban Decay 24/7 dual ended black and brown pencil.

Of course I forgot that I had stashed two products elsewhere for the trip home.
Urban Decay Primer Potion and Avon supershock mascara.

In a hot climate we tend to 'glow' more so the Elf complexion powder helped to reduce redness and pigmentation while reducing the shine.  The Primer Potion helped to fix eyeshadow, eyepencil and the under eye concealer pen.  I also used this pen as a liquid concealer on spots, before using a bit of blush to bend it.  I normally have to use a heavier foundation but in an average 30-38 degree heat this was not going to happen, so I switched to the lighter Vita Lumiere Aqua and was quite impressed.  I didn't wear it all day but it held up quite well.  Of course the lip colours changed according to outfit and event, but I stuck to neutral colours so I could play up my eyes.  If you have the extravagent gold palette then just try wetting the brushes a little before application... a useful tip to create a bolder night time look!

If you want to read up on any of these products then I have done plenty of individual reviews, posts or mentions of msot of them.  Just search my blog :)

Don't forget I am giving away a pair of £150 silver earrings (link!) Part of several 3rd blog birthday celebrations!

Do you travel light?  What are your ultimate dual purpose travel makeup items?  What do you take on the plane?

Saturday, 11 August 2012

My 3rd Birthday! Jewelleryby £150 Oria Silver Earrings Giveaway

Computergirl's Musings is 3!  It seems like yesterday I started writing a diary documenting my bad skin... and look where it has taken me!  My blog naturally evolved and has lots of topics and products (and fashions) under it's belt.  Most importantly it lead me to a lovely blog family.  Thank you!

I was chatting to Jewelleryby ( regarding a completely separate topic and was gobsmacked when they offered me a pair of silver £150 earrings to giveaway to you guys.  Jewelleryby are an ethical, small company based in Yorkshire- so right up my street.  No nasty mining processes, and unique beautiful designs.  All their pieces are hand crafted and build to last (one thing high street jewellery could learn from!!)  Their staff are lovely and willing to help you choose the perfect piece for your collection or gift for a friend.   I wanted to have a special giveaway to celebrate three years of this blog and so this is one of 3 different giveaways.

These beautiful earrings are designed by Oria.  They feature a pair of hares diving .  I love how their ears are little hearts!
Gorgeous, beautiful, delicate designs that dont harm the earth.

This giveaway is open internationally so anyone can enter.  Please don't forget to thank Jewelleryby as this is very generous of them.

To enter just do three things:
  • 1. Leave a happy birthday message to Computergirl's Musings below!
  • 2. Have a look at and tell me what your favourite piece is (maybe link it in the comments?)
  • 3. Make sure you are a follower of this blog via GFC/Blogger dashboard as this is only for blog followers.
For an extra entry or two
I think this Alex Monroe baby bumblebee necklace is cute (link)
  • Follow this blog on bloglovin and like a few posts.
  • Follow me on twitter and tweet 'Wow @computergirl200 is giving away a pair of £150 silver Oria @Jewellery_by earrings at '
  • Like my facebook blog page
  • Post this giveaway on your blog (don't forget to link below)! 
Because I verify entries, dont be surprised if your comment doesnt appear straight away.  No 'compers' please!  Both Jewelleryby and I reserve the right to amend, change or disqualify or suspend this giveaway.

Best of luck! Winner drawn early September!

Friday, 10 August 2012

Jewellery Haul and Holiday Accessories!

Before I went to Italy I treated myself to a few new accessories.  Sometimes the best way to pack lightly is to take few clothes and lots of accessories.  I was taught that by a girl I met years ago who was from Australia.  She always packed VERY lightly but had a sandwich bag full of accessories- broaches, earrings, necklaces etc. Her style was amazing and I have been inspired to a) pack lightly and b) change outfits by accessories!

While deciding what to take to Italy I unintentionally set a colour scheme.  I will be going into that more on my fashion blog.  Here I though I would share the jewels I took with me!

I'll state now that the bracelets were spotted on Tali's blog Glossy's Wardrobe She is a lovely lady and a friend of mine so if you don't know her blog(s) then please check them out.  The Gloss Goss (makeup/beauty) is now in retirement but certainly worth a look at the archive of posts there!  Glossy's Wardrobe is still going strong and worth a subscription!

Lovely bright holiday jewels!
Bracelets: Two sets from Accessorize (see below)
Earrings: Accessorize (link) £5 and perfect for evening elegance without too much glitz.  I wore these out for early evening drinks and evening events.  Perfect for my dark hair/pale skin complexion!
Forever21 Earrings:  Neutral bargain discs.  Will go with most outfits day and night! These are an older season but I found some similar here for £1.65 Bargain! (link)
Necklaces:  Both of these I blogged about recently (here) but they came from Dorothy Perkins for just over £4.50 each for my birthday!  Having worn them a little the star one has lots quite a bit of the outer gold layer, but it is silver underneath so sort of has a duel gold and silver feel to it.  Just a word of advice- never spray your perfume (or deodorant) when you have your jewellery on.  The alcohol in it can settle and erode or tarnish metals so always spray this on well in advance.

Both these bracelet sets matched and complimented my pale skin tone.  I can see me wearing them for many events both daytime and evening.  I like these because the elastic means they wont slip on my thin wrists.  Also very important when sitting at a computer as I find bracelets really get in the way when typing- maybe that is just me?

3 Evening sparkle bracelets (link) £12 from Accessorize.  My photos dont show up the true colours.  I had so many compliments on these sparkles!  I mixed them with the set below and so I didnt feel I was wearing the same bracelets day in day out!  I hope they bring out more in this range!

6 Discy Stretch Bracelets.  Perfect to layer, mix with others or just wear 3 or 5.  The colours are hard to pick up but you can see them better on the Accessorize website (link) £8
Owl get these too!
Another Accessorize purchase.  These were ticking the boxes for me.  I love a statement pair of earrings and peacock colours really suit me.  Quirky and colourful!  These are big so be careful if you order them online. £8 (link)
Flying over the Italian coastline.  Stunningly beautiful!

What I didnt photograph was my trusty Oasis watch.  It's chunky and went will with the bracelets to create a statement but without looking too maculine!  You can read about and view my watch in my older post (link).  I also normally wear a few small sets of sleeper and stud earrings but didnt photograph those as I am currently wearing them!

Do you like these items?  How do you organise what accessories to pack?

Dislaimer: all bought by me!  Just in case you missed that part!

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Italy & Haul

So I'm back from the land of sunshine (Italy) to the land of rain (England)!  I had an amazing time.  Managed to visit quite a few places on downtime.  The one downside about traveling places on your own is that no-one takes pictures of you!  You can ask random strangers but I always think they will run off with my camera!  So here is one shot I took myself, at a weird angle that makes me have a double chin- oh and it was 37 degrees so my makeup has melted off!  I'm sure you all know what that landmark is behind me!

So hot! Guess where I am?!
 So might as well do a run down of my FOTD!
  • Sunglasses Anna Sui Brown AS820. They have a cute butterfly on the side (link)
  • White top: French connection old season (similar here although Ebay has a few too)
  • Vest Top: Forever21 (Link).  Great for longer bodies who dont wish to show their belly!  And cheap too £2.50.  More coming up on my other blog!
  • Bag: You can just see the strap.  It's a great airplane bag by Brantano.  Reduced in the sale to £9.  4 zip outer pockets, 3 inner pockets, zip top to protect from pickpockets plus a strap that will go across the body or just over one shoulder (so great to help avoid back pain).  Plus the design is retro surf chick cool! (Link)
So what did I buy?

  • Two silk and wool scarves from the market in Florence.  These will really brighten up the dark winter!  Hot magenta pink and bright turquoise!  I bartered and they cost me around £10 each!
  • Two bottles of Bioderma.  We can't get this in the UK easily.  If you are in Italy go into a pharmacy and ask for this.  They normally keep it out the back and, unlike UK chemists, you have to ask for most things rather than help yourself and take it to the till. I think these cost around £10 each bottle, but absolutely worth it!  See my previous post (Here).
  • Weleda body lotion.  I needed a moisturiser and picked this up in a chemist.  I dont think this has hit the UK yet so I will post on it separately.
  • Rosary bracelet.  I'm not catholic though I am a spiritual person.  I saw this in the shop under the Duomo in Florence and had to get it.  It's wooden ovals with pictures of the saint on it- and the pope!!  It was around £2.  I love wooden jewelry, and I like how different this is to most the stuff we have in the UK.  I wont necessarily use it to pray to each saint (as I dont know who half of the pictures are of) but it will remind me of a beautiful place and achieving a personal goal.
Bracelet :)
I looked at lots of other things (including makeup) but couldnt really settle on anything.  I visited Kiko and Sephora and while there were some bargains, I had to think about luggage space and nothing really grabbed me.  I settled for some food and limoncello to bring back home as gifts, and treated myself to the things above.
The mother ship!

I have taken pictures of some travel essentials and what makeup I took but I will save those for other posts.

In other news Computergirl's Musings is THREE! Time flies!  Of course I have some extra special giveaways to help celebrate over 1000 days of CM, many friends and lots of fun!

Are you going away this summer?  What is your favourite holiday purchase?

Other posts you might like.....

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