Thursday, 19 July 2012

MEET & GREET | LoveLula Talks to our new Guest Expert, facialist Abigail James

Several LoveLula staff members were lucky enough to be treated to a signature OSKIA facial last week, myself included, and I can honestly say it was possibly the most blissful experience I have ever had. The combination of luxurious water bed, soft lighting, angelic music and of course the sumptuous OSKIA products meant I left in a soporific haze of happiness and calm. Don’t believe me? Head on down to the OSKIA spa in Covent Garden and try it yourself.

And now we are thrilled to announce that Abigail James, the head facialist at OSKIA will be regularly blogging for us on LoveLula. Her years of experience and expertise in skincare means you are in good hands. Let’s get to know her…

Great to meet you! So tell us a bit about your background and what you are currently up to? 
I have been in the skincare and therapy industry since having my first child some 13 years ago. I had a total career change from the food industry and took myself off to night school to learn beauty therapy which was the beginning of what has become a lifelong passion of continued learning in many varied therapy modalities and a bit of a passion for products and helping people with their health and skin. I have worked in a number of really amazing venues and with some fantastic therapists who I have learn so much from over the years. I went freelance to work on a few projects I had been headhunted for and started consulting to skin brands, designing treatments, mentoring therapists, and honing my skills and knowledge as a more specialised facialist all of which I continue to do today. I am based  in London for treatments, most of the time in Chelsea, with a couple of other niche venues also. Occasionally I will be asked to work on a retreat abroad or I go and see private clients on location or in their homes which all sounds very glamorous but I do often live out of a suitcase sometimes which you get used to.  
We are so excited to welcome on board as our Guest Expert Facialist Blogger, what kind of topics can we expect from you?   
Oh so many, where do I start! Anything and everything, from tips for specific skin problems, dealing with acne, to ingredients to look out for, diet and nutrition relating to skin and any questions that might be thrown at me I am more than happy to answer.  
Tell us about the ranges you are currently working with? Dr Alkaitis is one brand we would love to hear more about? 
Dr. Alkaitis is a real favourite it has been in the US for 10 years and the UK for a couple of years now but still remains very niche. The ingredients they use are incredible and the way they create the products is totally unique: not heating above body temperature to maintain all active ingredients is very clever and still coming up with a finished product that feels great on the skin and actually works. I find this is a great range for all skins especially for treating acne and rosacea as naturally as possible. The guys love it as well, the Replenishing Serum is great post shaving and the packaging is so classical and unfussy, buy it for him but you can use it too! 
What is your favourite OSKIA product? I recently bought the Renaissance Mask
and I love it so far, the smell is just incredible. 
Me too, it is so easy to use but really does brighten up the skin, I like to mix mine with the Micro-Exfoliating Balm if I am short on time, I will massage them both into my face then leave it on for 10 mins before washing off. I think my current favourite is the Eye Wonder; it is so light and silky in texture but packed with anti-ageing ingredients, the vitamin p actually helps strengthen capillary walls which will have an impact on visible dark circles around the eyes. I like to keep mine in the fridge - the cold serum really brightens up sleepy eyes.
What are your top 5 tips for keeping your skin in the best condition this summer? 
1. Cleanse morning and night. Those SPF's are a little thicker in texture and harder to remove and will clog the skin, really important to keep the skin well cleansed so it can breathe
2. SPF, what more can I say! You could actually swap your traditional foundation to a mineral foundation which will have an inherent SPF15 - 30, dependant on the brand 
3. Exfoliate - dependant on your skin once or twice a week, this is going to keep the skin looking bright and fresh and allow other products to absorb well. 
4. Ditch the fizzy's! Water and lots of it please, it will help the complexion and the circulation especially the appearance of those legs and thighs.
5. Up the moisturisation, keeping the skin well hydrated is key especially if it has seen some sun and add in a hydrating mask in the evening, I really love the Weleda Iris Hydrating Mask, really gentle and so nourishing. 

Finally can you pick your top 5 essentials for the summer months from LoveLula please? 
2. Green People SPF 25 - for you and the whole family 
3. Dr. Hauschka Rose Day Cream - really soothing and hydrating 
4. Dr Alkaitis Cleanser - thoroughly cleanses without stripping the skin 
5. OSKIA Renaissance Mask - amazing for a quick pick me up 

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