The best beauty apps you need to download

March 5th, 2015

The best beauty apps you need to download The world of beauty is constantly changing, and now forward-thinking apps are taking skincare and make-up to a whole new level.

Every month there is a dazzling new product or leading piece of research that changes the tides of the beauty industry, but the app world has struggled to make quite the same impact on beauty lovers.

Over the years a number of disappointing downloads have come and gone, but there are some hidden gems slowly gaining steam – providing functional, forward-thinking technology that enhances how we use make-up and look after our skin.

Here are some of the best beauty apps you should try today:

The Color Genius by L’Oreal Paris 

Free – iTunes

Stuck in a make-up rut and nervous about trying new trends? This app by L’Oreal Paris is exactly what you need to brighten up your look and inject colour and creativity into your make-up routine. The app works by using the colour of your outfit, the location and time of day to suggest an eye, nail and lip colour that matches, blends or clashes with your outfit – depending on the look you are after. It will teach you what works well together and how to be more daring.

Virtual Makeover by ModiFace 

Free – iTunes, Google Play 

By far the most realistic and entertaining virtual make-up app going, ModiFace is a great addition to your smartphone app library. All you need to do is take a picture of yourself and try real-life beauty products and celebrity hairstyles. As it is an American brand you may not recognise all the beauty products, but ModiFace is a great opportunity to experiment without committing to the real thing.

Two magazine by Pixiwoo 

Free – iTunes

Paving the way for innovative beauty content, Pixiwoo founders Samantha and Nicola Chapman have invented this app to bring you all the latest from their beauty magazine. At the click of a button you can access news and tips from industry professionals, as well as video content.

Mirror 

Free – iTunes @Mirror and Google Play for Mirror

Forget relying on the blurry display of a forward facing camera, this mirror app creates a brightened and highly visible mirror for you to quickly and easily apply your make-up wherever you are. Handy tools include a zoom and freeze image option to increase visibility and precision.

World UV 

Free – iTunes

Hoping to revolutionise skincare, the British Association of Dermatologists have partnered up with the Met Office to bring you a highly advanced app that forecasts UV rays for over 10,000 locations globally. It also provides information about individual skin types, tips for sun protection and how to choose a good suncream.

If you have a fancy event planned and would like to get your make-up done professionally, please see our professional make-up page to find out more and to find a beautician. 

View and comment on the original Stylist article. 

Take charge of the ageing process

March 3rd, 2015

Take charge of the ageing processFind out which lifestyle factors can affect the appearance of ageing and what you can do to counteract them.

Anti-ageing has been a beauty buzzword for decades, with some turning to extreme measures to tackle premature ageing.

Before you turn to the scalpel, find out what external lifestyle factors could be causing your skin to age prematurely, and more importantly – what you can do about it.

Smoking

Smoking restricts the flow of oxygen to the skin by as much as 30% which leads to the breakdown of collagen. Collagen helps our skin retain its elasticity, so when this breaks down, your skin is more likely to sag and wrinkle.

What you can do about it

We hate to sound like captain obvious here, but quitting smoking is the only way to avoid this. Don’t hesitate to visit your doctor to find out what support you can get while you quit, your body and your skin will thank you for it.

Sun damage

Experts agree that as well as increasing your risk of developing skin cancer, too much exposure to the sun can cause your skin to age prematurely.

What you can do about it

Avoid over-sunning yourself on holiday and remember – the sun can damage you here in the UK too! Always use a sun cream that contains an SPF with both UVA and UVB protection and stay in the shade when the sun is at its hottest (usually 12:00 – 4:00PM).

Running

The motion of running can cause the skin to be pulled from certain facial muscles, increasing the chance of sagging.

What you can do about it

Running is a fantastic way to stay healthy, so there’s certainly no need to stop. Instead look to mix up your running routine with other exercises like spinning or strength-based workouts. You should also bolster your skincare regime with targeted products; we love Kiehl’s Powerful Wrinkle Reducing Cream (£42).

Sugar

Too much sugar in your diet speeds up the breakdown of collagen. This happens because of a process called glycosylation, which speeds up the degradation of collagen and elastin.

What you can do about it

Look at your diet and cut down on the amount of sugar you eat. A good way to do this is to avoid any foods that list sugar as one of the top three ingredients. Eating plenty of nutrient-rich foods instead will support collagen production and help counteract the ageing process.

To find out how a dermatologist may be able to help you avoid premature ageing, please read our fact-sheet on dermatology.

View and comment on the original Women’s Health article.

Product review: No.7 Match Made Stay Perfect lipstick

February 26th, 2015

Product review: No.7 Match Made Stay Perfect lipstick We try out the latest rich berry hue with a little help from Boots No.7 Match Made Stay Perfect lipstick range. 

If you haven’t already heard (where have you been?) this season in the beauty world it’s all about a bold lip, and berry hues are leading the way!

Eager to jump on this beauty trend, but unsure of what berry hue to go for, we headed to Boots No.7 cosmetics counter. Here you can find a brand new Match Made Lipstick Service.

For those of you who struggle to find perfect match make-up, No.7 has you covered. With an extensive range of 17 skin shades – from calico and cool vanilla, to soft rose and honey, right up to mocha and walnut – you are guaranteed to find your exact match.

Having been matched with cool vanilla, it was the plum Loganberry shade from the Stay Perfect range that caught our eye. So how did it fare?

To summarise, No.7’s Loganberry lippy has become a trustworthy handbag beauty essential we can’t live without. Shaped into a sharp, defined edge, the lipstick provides sleek coverage in a single sweep and it is really easy to touch up the corners of your mouth and define your cupid’s bow.

The texture is matte with a hint of moisture and it feels really natural on the lips. Better yet, if you would never consider wearing lipstick without your trusty Lipcote, the No.7 Stay Perfect lipstick range will change your mind! The Loganberry shade stays put all day, expertly battling the elements of a lunchtime sandwich and biscuits from the biscuit tin.

While of course there is always a need to touch up any lipstick over a 12-hour period, re-application of the Loganberry was easy, and with just a pat of tissue to set the colour, looked fresh and vibrant.

So if you’re keen to find the perfect lipstick for your skin tone, try out No.7’s Match Made Service tool and pick your favourite Stay Perfect hue.

For more advice on finding the perfect lipstick for your skin tone, check out our dedicated blog post

Beauty tricks to conceal tiredness

February 19th, 2015
Beauty tricks to conceal tiredness
One too many late nights? Here's the beauty lowdown on how to look instantly more awake in no time.

Even if it’s true, being told “You look tired” can feel like a dig – especially if you’ve spent ages trying to hide those giveaway under eye circles!

While there may be countless reasons why you look more tired than usual – such as one too many late nights, a stressful project or dehydration – there are several easy ways to fake looking great and conceal tiredness instantly.

We share some of our favourites below:

Make a splash

Splashing your face with ice-cold water may be one of the oldest tricks in the book, but it does really work! This is because the coolness of the water instantly tightens pores and shrinks little capillaries – making your complexion look brighter and more even. Try it out first thing in the morning for the best results.

Caffeinate – with your eye cream

Eye creams are a skincare essential, especially if they contain caffeine. Caffeine helps to break down dark circles by eliminating toxins and reducing puffiness, which can instantly make you look more awake. Choosing a roller such as Garnier’s Anti-Dark Circle Eye Roller (£10.49) is a great way to gently massage the skin under your eyes to promote lymphatic drainage.

Boost your brows   

Eyebrows frame and define your face, but ones that are flat or shaped straight across can create the impression of tiredness. If your brows need a tweak, make an appointment with an eyebrow beautician to have a gentle arch shaped to make you look more awake. When applying makeup, add a touch of highlighter under the brow for an instant lift.

Drink up     

Dehydration is one of the worst offenders of looking tired and can make your complexion look dry and sallow. Make sure you drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep your skin plump and hydrated, and for an extra boost, spritz your face with a refreshing face mist. We love Balance Me’s Skin Bright Hydrating Face Mist (£20).

Get cheeky 

If your complexion is looking a bit pale thanks to tiredness, blusher is a great way to add a touch of colour and a healthy glow. Choose a cream blush like No.7’s Pop & Glow Cream Blush Stick (£9.95) for a softer, dewy appearance.

To find out more about the benefits of eyebrow shaping for changing your whole look, please see our eyes and brows page.

View and comment on the original Huffington Post article. 

How to wear pink make-up (without looking like Barbie)

February 17th, 2015

How to wear pink make-up (without looking like Barbie)Pink is all the rage this season, but there’s a fine line between looking chic and looking cheap…

One colour we saw plenty of on the spring/summer 15 catwalks was pink – from the clothes to the make-up pink was abundant, signalling a major beauty trend.

Pink however can be a little tricky to work with, and requires a soft touch to avoid Barbie territory.

Below we look at some of the easiest and most flattering ways to embrace the pink trend into your make-up routine:

On the eyes

Wearing pink on your lids can bring out any redness and make you look less than healthy. To avoid this, look to use a pale, shimmery pink or experiment with deeper rose-gold hues. Pair with black mascara or a liquid liner for a sophisticated contrast.

On the lips

The lips are probably the easiest and most fun place to wear pink. As our lips are naturally pink, deepening this colour helps make your teeth look whiter and your skin look more radiant. Try a bold fuchsia for a fun take on the trend or a soft, English-rose for every day.

On the cheeks

Pink blush is nothing new, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enjoy it. Sugary blue-toned pinks look best on pale or dark skin, while warmer-toned pinks flatter all skin-tones. Try topping your blush with a touch of highlighter for a naturally dewy look.

On the nails

Your nails are the one place you should feel free to go a little crazy with the pink trend. A pale shade will offer a subtle nod to the trend, while brighter pinks will look great against a summer tan.

If you think you could do with some help in the make-up department, why not book yourself in for a lesson? Find out more on our professional make-up page.

View and comment on the original Marie Claire article.

DIY ritual for clear, glowing skin

February 13th, 2015

DIY ritual for clear, glowing skinHaving a bad skin week? Try this easy, all-natural skin care trick.

Our skin is generally a reflection of what’s going on inside our body – this means when we’re eating right and looking after ourselves we are usually rewarded with a clear and ‘happy’ complexion.

Sometimes however there are environmental and hormonal factors at play, which requires us to take extra care of our skin.

Seeking help from a dermatologist is ideal and if you can, get yourself a professional facial to tackle any ongoing skin problems. For those times when you can’t get to a dermatologist, try this easy DIY ritual instead.

The issues:

  • dehydrated/flakey winter skin
  • hormonal breakouts
  • congested and clogged pores.

The ritual:

Use coconut oil (or your favourite make-up remover) to cleanse your skin while a pot of water boils. Add the water to a large bowl and pop in a few drops of lavender oil. Carefully place your face over the water (about six inches away) and use a towel over your head to trap in the steam. Stay here to steam your pores for a couple of minutes taking breaks if needed.

Pat your face dry with a clean towel and rub half a lemon all over your face (taking care to avoid the eyes). Lemon acts like a natural microdermabrasion and helps your skin to grow new cells. Apply a clay-based mask and relax for about 15 minutes. Gently wash off the mask, dry your face and apply coconut oil as a moisturiser.

This simple ritual helps to clear pores, reduce the size of any blemishes and leaves you with glowing skin.

For those times when you need the help of a professional, use Beauty Resource’s advanced search to find a beautician near you.

View and comment on the original Mind Body Green article.

Choosing the right red lipstick for your skin tone

February 10th, 2015

Choosing the right red lipstick for your skin toneThink you can’t wear red? Think again.

Red lips are huge news this season, but if you’re a red lippy virgin the prospect of picking the right red to suit your skin tone can be a daunting task. Your first port of call is to take a good look at your complexion and decipher what skin tone you have. Once you have this down, you can use this simple guide to picking the perfect red…

Skin tone: Fair with pink undertones

The perfect red: For paler beauties with a hint of pink in their complexion, a matte red with a hint of orange will help bring out the undertones.

Skin tone: Fair with yellow undertones

The perfect red: Warm, brick-hued reds look striking against fair, yellow toned skin.

Skin tone: Beige/sunkissed

The perfect red: Beige skin tones can get away with a lot; try deep reds with gold undertones or brighter orange reds.

Skin tone: Golden

The perfect red: Coral colours look lovely against golden skin tones. If you have green eyes, a darker brown-red will complement your complexion.

Skin tone: Bronze

The perfect red: Those with a bronze complexion can pull off just about anything. If you have warm undertones try a bright coral-red for a high impact look.

Skin tone: Olive

The perfect red: Pinky reds suit olive skin tones perfectly as they really make the undertones of your complexion pop.

Skin tone: Coco

The perfect red: Darker skin with golden undertones look stunning against matte orange-reds, keeping the look in the same warm-toned family.

Skin tone: Dark

The perfect red: For deep, dark complexions try a blue-based cool shade of red. The contrast of this and your skin makes for a truly modern look.

If you want a professional’s advice when it comes to make-up, why not book yourself in for a lesson? Use our advanced search to find a make-up artist near you.

View and comment on the original Total Beauty article.

Caring for combination skin

February 6th, 2015

Caring for combination skinKeep reading for an easy regime to balance combination skin.

Combination skin can be tricky to care for – you want to reduce your oily T-zone, prevent breakouts all while nourishing dry, flaky areas… not an easy feat! The key to regaining control is to use products that balance the skin and to be diligent in your regime.

Take a look below for some combination skin care tips:

Exfoliate

Exfoliating your skin regularly helps to manage oil production, clear pores and remove flaky skin all at once. If your skin gets irritated and red, look for products that use a natural ‘chemical’ exfoliate (like lactic acid). If not, try a gentle manual exfoliator regularly.

Use a balancing toner

Some toners contain harsh ingredients like benzoyl peroxide that can dry out the skin. Look for a toner that contains anti-inflammatory agents like vitamin C and soothing ingredients to nourish and re-balance your complexion.

Embrace oils

If you suffer from breakouts you may feel put off by facial oils, but all skin types can benefit from a nourishing oil. Our skin is made up of oils, so it makes sense that it likes to be treated with oil too. Look out for botanical oils formulated for combination skin.

Use natural, mineral based make-up

Mineral make-up is ideal for balancing out combination skin while reducing congestion. Look for organic brands that contain few toxins and keep your make-up brushes squeaky clean.

Adjust as needed

As your skin has two personalities, it may change according to the season. If you find your skin gets dryer in the winter, invest in a richer moisturiser. When summer comes around switch to a lighter formula and use products to manage oil production.

If you’re struggling with your skin, a professional could help. Take a look at our dermatology page to find out more.

View and comment on the original Daily Makeover article.

Lava Shell massage – what you need to know

February 3rd, 2015

Lava Shell massage - what you need to knowWe look at the latest spa treatment celebrities are raving about.

When celebrities like Ellie Goulding, Pixie Lott and Sir Richard Branson start recommending a beauty treatment, you know it’s worth investigating. The treatment they’re loving? It’s called the Lava Shell massage, a new alternative to the popular hot stone massage.

The massage uses 100% recycled, natural tiger clam shells sourced from the Philippines, heated up for a luxurious, warming treatment. A combination of algae, sea water, minerals and essential oils are placed inside the clam shells causing a chemical reaction that produces heat.

This natural reaction allows the shells to stay hot for over an hour, allowing the massage therapist to perform a deeper massage and effectively loosen tense muscles. The shells are also designed to mimic the human hand which makes for a seamless massage with no loss of contact.

The warmth, constant contact and tropical oil scent eases tension and allows clients to melt into their own version of paradise. Fans of the hot stone massage may be wondering what the difference is, so here’s the lowdown:

Shells stay warmer for longer

The stones used in a hot stone massage normally have to be re-heated during the treatment as they cool down quite quickly. The shells used in a Lava Shell massage however stay warm for over an hour. This means there is no loss of contact and allows the therapist to give a deeper massage.

Shells take less time to heat up

Hot stones typically require around 45 minutes to heat up which means a longer lead-up to massages, but shells only take five to 10 minutes. This means if you walk in to a salon for a massage without an appointment, you won’t have to hang around too long for the heating process to take place.

Shells copy the angles of the human hand

The shape of the shells makes massaging easier for the therapist as they can change angles easily to fit to the natural curves of your muscles. This helps the therapist get to more muscles and penetrate deeper for a more effective treatment.

To find out more about massage and its benefits, please see our massage page.

View and comment on the original Express article.

Four best illuminating products

January 30th, 2015

Give your skin a luxurious sheen with these highlighting products.

Just because the weather is dull and dreary outside, it doesn’t mean your skin has to be too. In fact, according to next season’s beauty trends – an illuminated complexion is a must. If you’re finding it difficult to find your inner light, let these products do it for you.

(Note – it’s probably best not to use them all at once, there is a difference between having a glowing appearance and a sweaty one…)

Murad's White Brilliance Illuminating Night Moisture The moisturiser

To get luminous skin with little effort, look no further than Murad’s White Brilliance Illuminating Night Moisture (£69.50). The formula is packed full of skin-beautifying treats like vitamin C and shea butter. Simply apply before you go to bed and let it work its magic for a brighter complexion.

The primer

Primers are fantastic for helping make-up stay put, and if you get the right one it can add a subtle radiance to your face too. We love the Cover FX Illuminating Primer (£29), which smooths out imperfections and uses a mineral complex to bounce light off the skin.

The foundation

After a flawless finish with a hint of light? Try Pürminerals Liquid Veil 4-in-1 spray foundation (£20.80) from Marks & Spencer. Infused with liquid crystals and hydrating properties, this foundation will create dewy, youthful looking skin in a single spray.

The highlighter Mac's Mineralize Skinfinish in Lightscapade

If you’re trying to avoid layering too many creams or you simply want a more obvious looking sheen, reach for Mac’s Mineralize Skinfinish in Lightscapade (£23). Metallic powder particles sit perfectly on top of the skin to highlight cheekbones, under the eyebrows or anywhere you want a little shimmer.

If your skin is looking dull and unhappy, a professional facial may be in order. Find out more about facials and find a beautician near you to book an appointment.

View and comment on the original Express article.