Murad is already one of my top fave brands, so it was very hard to select a kit. The kits include the Complete Renewal Christmas Kit, which is anti-ageing (£52 worth £107.45!); Shake-Up Your Makeup Christmas Kit (the Hybrids range - £36 worth £56); Hydration Sensation Christmas Kit (£73.50 worth £123.30); Radiance Rescue Christmas Kit (£58.50 worth £137.31 and contains the amazing Active Radiance Serum featuring Resilient-C Complex, 30ml. This really works to even out skin tone and radiance!) and finally the kit I went for, the Perfect Balance Christmas Kit. (£42.50 worth £89.70)
I almost chose a more moisturising anti-ageing kit - but the truth is that with Murad products, they are all inevitably anti-ageing due to the ingredients. The star product, T-Zone Pore Refining Gel, 60ml, retails for £50 alone and has single-handedly made my skin spectacular. At my facial (more on that to follow...), the lovely Marianna complemented my skin and I beamed with pride. Reviews on makeupalley praise the magic of this formulation and I would agree with the many who say that the promise of "smaller pores" never made sense until this product! It is almost like it 'dissolves' the skin and any blocked pores or enlarged pores just clear right up. Within a week my skin was looking markedly brighter and clearer. This contains the miracle Glycolic acid and also antioxidants and Salicylic Acid and zinc to kill off spots virtually on contact. The other
amazing product in the kit which is an instant Must Have for anyone who like me suffers from shiny skin, is the Oil-Control Mattifier. You get a small 10ml sample but it's been enough for me to use it several days consecutively and realise that now I just don't think I can cope without it! The full size is £37 but it should last a while. I just smoothed it over my T-Zone and it was a godsend. You also get a concealer - it's in shade Medium so it was slightly too dark for me - and although I tried it on spots to check if it did heal them, I didn't really fall for this product myself. The eye cream, Hydro-Dynamic Ultimate Moisture for eyes, comes in a little screw top sample pot with 3.5ml and I finished it very quickly. I did really like this product but I don't know if it is as unique as the other items. At my facial in fact I was recommended the Essential-C Eye Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 15 which does seem more my thing.
OK now onto my indulgent Murad facial...
We know Murad is high end and seen in luxury spas, but a little known secret haunt where you can get discounted facials is The London Esthetique Student Spa and Salon in the London Barbican area. Marianna gave me a very relaxing facial called the 'Resurgence Renewal': "Restore the Luminous glow you used to know with our most indulgent facial. Luxurious and lasting hydration restores suppleness, texture and tone. After one treatment, you’ll instantly unveil a more youthful, luminous skin." I enjoyed the consultation and the expert recommendations. The facial lasted around an hour and a half and even included a shoulder massage! Very soothing after a long day. The prices are much lower than the typical rates as treatments are carried out by students - but if my experience is anything to go by, the students are incredibly professional and learned! Facials start from only £19 for an hour and 15mins! Great value. They also offer in salon waxing, hair appointments, laser hair removal, nails etc. Check out the price list here.
My skin was glowing - I hadn't seen it look so bright and smooth in a while. It was a sad fact that this weekend rather than showing off my rosey and luminous face, I had to go to a fancy dress party as a deathly pale zombie... I aim to continue with regular facials and Marianna's advice to "avoid stress" (would that it were so simple!) and of course the Murad belief that you should 'eat your water' (Dr Murad famously suggests that water is best absorbed via fruit and vegetables.) I definitely believe diet and exrcise and emotional well-being is key to looking younger, but with Murad facials and a few carefully selected key products, I feel hopeful that I will see my skin maintain the best condition it can. I would highly recommend a visit, if only for the chance to forget your woes and indulge yourself - the wonderful skin will be a bonus! My facial included a glycolic peel, a pineapple mask and a rich moisturiser. For possibly the first time, I travelled back on the tube make-up free - and didn't have a panic attack thinking I might be spotted bare faced by someone I know!!!