March 7th, 2014
The stars of the show were prepped to perfection following months of preparation and expensive beauty treatments. We share their secrets.
Dazzling the red carpet with their flawless skin, glamorous hairstyles and toned bodies, the celebrities of the 2014 Oscars certainly lived up to viewers’ expectations of looking very close to perfect.
Achieving this level of perfection however is no easy task – months of preparation, an army of experts and lots of expensive beauty treatments are required to get red carpet ready.
We take a look at some of the standard steps and secret beauty tricks the stars employ before the big event:
While professional makeup seals the deal – which usually takes two hours – stars will spend at least a week before the Oscars prepping their skin. Among the beauty treatments they will try include a deep-cleanse facial to expel toxins, along with seaweed wraps to detoxify and slim their figures. Fake tanning is also a necessity, as is commitment to body buffing – using scrubs and brushes day and night to improve circulation, exfoliate and keep skin glowing.
Hours of preparation are required to prep the barnets of Hollywood stars – especially if they want hair extensions. This is because individual wefts of hair are sewn together in a multitude of colours to get the exact look and texture of the star’s hair. Hair experts will even create a temporary eye-lift with the help of a lace-front wig. Using nylon thread, they will sew a patch of lace into tight pin-curls, which helps lift the brows and smooth wrinkles around the eyes.
Alongside a clean diet of juices and smoothies, many stars will be spending longer hours pounding the treadmill to burn excess calories in the lead-up to a big red carpet event. Last-minute slimming efforts will be boosted by treatments such as VaserShape – a treatment shown to reduce inches from thighs and bellies in about 45 minutes – and many stars will also seek botox and facial fillers.
Another popular surgical treatment sought by the stars is last-minute liposuction on areas such as just under the shoulder blade which may bulge over the top of a strapless dress. Others will also resort to underarm botox to prevent sweating on the night. Dr Peter Fodor estimates “at least 80%” of the stars on the Oscars red carpet have done something surgical to enhance their appearance.
How much time and preparation does it take for you to get ready for a big event or celebration? Tell us in the comments section below.
View and comment on the original Daily Mail article.
March 6th, 2014
From prep-work to picking the right colour – keep reading for the ultimate guide to eyeliner.
If you’re anything like us, chances are you’re stuck in an eyeliner rut. Black kohl lined eyes are one of the first things us girls learn when we start wearing make-up, and while this look can be great – there are plenty of other options out there. So whether you’re the queen of the 60s flick or a punk-princess with heavily lined eyes, keep reading for a refresher course on all things eyeliner:
Pick the right colour for your eyes
Classic black is a no-brainer when it comes to creating a dramatic smokey eye, but it can look harsh for everyday. Take note of your eye colour and try the following to mix things up:
- Brown/hazel eyes – most shades work well for you, but we love navy blues and deep purples on coffee coloured eyes.
- Blue eyes – brighten up those baby blues with a hint of copper or bronze.
- Green eyes – make your emerald eyes pop with a swipe of lavender, plum or khaki liner.
Gel, powder or pencil?
If you have round eyes, avoid harsh pencil lines. Instead try powder and gel formulas, these will smudge enough to give you that almond shape. If you have oval-shaped eyes, fine pens and pencils are ideal for enhancing your look.
Eyeliner typically smudges because the eye area is too oily. To overcome this prep the eye area; avoiding oily eye creams and adding a primer or layer of foundation will help keep the area oil-free. A dusting of powder will also help to absorb any excess oil and will help to make your liner last longer.
Aim to keep the eyeliner on top thicker than the liner on the bottom to help your eyes appear more open and awake. Finally, keep your liner on hand throughout the day and reapply as necessary.
If you think you could benefit from a make-up lesson, why not treat yourself to a professional make-up lesson? Read the rest of our back to basics posts.
March 1st, 2014
A new generation of treatment foundations aims to improve skin by combining make-up and skincare into one product.
One of the key beauty trends picked up from the spring/summer 14 catwalks was a flawless complexion. Ranging from matte perfection to dewy luminosity – skin, it appears, is in.
The key factor here is that skin looked natural and healthy – not caked in products or airbrushed within an inch of its life. The beauty industry has been helping women achieve perfect looking skin for decades through various skincare products and high quality foundations to cover any imperfections. Now technology has evolved enough to combine the two into one product.
This new wave of foundations cover while they correct, combining a range of skin-saving ingredients we need with the concealing capabilities we want.
One of the first brands to introduce this idea was bareMinerals, who utilise the healing properties of minerals in their make-up. The foundations in particular have been a huge success as they help to reduce fine lines, improve luminosity and help to defend against environmental stressors all while offering natural looking coverage.
Another range of treatment foundations has just been launched by Maybeline called Super Stay Better Skin. Promising long-lasting coverage alongside the reduction of dull looking, irritated skin, this product improves your skin every time you wear it.
Beauty brand Pixi are getting in on the act too with their Flawless Beauty Fluid. Ideal for oily skin in particular, this clever foundation contains kaolin clay that absorbs excess oil from your skin, while glycerin keeps skin hydrated.
With make-up and skincare becoming more closely intertwined, the future looks bright for make-up wearers everywhere.
If you’re a novice when it comes to foundation, take a look at our Back to Basics post and familiarise yourself with the process. You can find out more about skincare on our dermatology page.
February 26th, 2014
There has been a surge of colourful and creative nail shades over the past few years, but making them work for your skin tone is key to polish perfection.
Just as some fashion trends don’t suit some body shapes, there are certain nail shades that look awesome on fair skinned ladies but not so much on darker skinned beauties, and vice versa.
Right now there’s some fabulous nail designs taking centre stage on the catwalks, including sophisticated nudes, vibrant reds, pale matte colours, and funky patterned and embellished talons. For nail polish lovers, this means lots of experimenting and playing around with colour, but finding the right hue for you is what matters most.
Follow our tips on how to find your perfect nude, red and bold nail shade to complement your skin tone:
Nude: A flesh-toned manicure elongates fingers, but only if you’re wearing the right shade. Choose a nail colour that has a pinky-white undertone to complement and brighten your skin. We love Opi nail lacquer in Don’t Pretzel My Buttons.
Red: Choosing a dark vampy red with a hint of pink will provide a gorgeous contrast against pale skin. Go for something like Essie in Lacy Not Racy.
Bold: A neon orange hue will really flatter a pale skin tone. Choose a colour-pop tangerine which will take you from spring into summer such as American Apparel Neon nail polish.
Other shades that flatter pale skin tones: Blues and greens.
Nude: Olive and tanned skin tones will suit a subtle nude with a hint of peach to add warmth. Snap up Butter London in Tea With The Queen.
Red: Berry shades and strong undertones of ruby red are the most flattering for medium skin tones. We recommend Butter London in Saucy Jack.
Bold: Monochrome nails will create impact without looking gothic. Paint your bare nails with a clear top coat and use a black nail art pen to paint on a black moon. Use Barry M Nail Art Pen.
Other shades that flatter: White, silver, and light and medium toned purples.
Nude: For an effortless nude hue, darker skin tones suit nail shades with hints of grey and mink. Buy Nails Inc Porchester Square Gel Effect Polish.
Red: Bright, light, ruby or vampy – any shade of red suits a dark skin tone. A cherry pop colour will make the biggest statement. We love Butter London in Macbeth.
Bold: The brighter the better. Dark skin tones suit all kinds of colour and neon creativity, so choose the most zingy shades you can find. How about Revlon Nail Enamel in Plum Seduction?
Other shades that flatter: Deep purples, dark greens and dark blues.
Do you have any nail shade tips you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments section below.
View and comment on the original Elle article.
February 21st, 2014
Your favourite make-up tricks could in fact be your biggest beauty blunders! Discover how to avoid looking like you need to catch up on ZZZs.
Make-up is designed to enhance our natural features – brighten eyes, boost lips and give skin an even glow. It is our go-to essential when we’re running low on sleep, have a terrible complexion or puffy eyes, but unfortunately there are times when the wrong techniques can leave us looking even worse!
Here are the top five beauty mistakes to steer clear of in order to leave the house looking fresh as a daisy, rather than someone in need of more ZZZs:
Mistake 1: Using plain, monotone colour foundations and shades. This is the ultimate beauty disaster for making your complexion look flat and lifeless.
Rectify: Define your features – eyes, brows, cheekbones and lips – to add colour and shape to your face. Choose warm, fresh shades that complement your skin tone and don’t overdo it on the bronzer!
Buy: Urban Decay’s Naked 2 make-up palette.
Mistake 2: Over powdering your skin. This can make your skin look dry, older and tired.
Rectify: Choose translucent setting powders that are light and colourless to take away shine. Make sure you blend well and avoid eye creases.
Buy: SmashBox Photo Set finishing powder.
Mistake 3: Using the wrong under-eye concealer. This will enhance your eye bags rather than cover them!
Rectify: When buying concealer, test the colour on the palest part of your inner wrist. On application, make sure you’re in a well-lit room to ensure you blend correctly and that the colour looks natural.
Buy: Clinique All About Eyes Concealer.
Mistake 4: Skipping moisturiser. Applying make-up to dry skin will make your complexion look tired and flaky.
Rectify: Choose a moisturiser that suits your skin type to ensure the best surface for make-up application.
Buy: Garnier’s Moisture Match collection.
Mistake 5: Heavy, dark eyeliner. Yes, Kate Middleton can carry it off, but for many complexions – particularly pale skin tones – thick, black eyeliner will add years and signs of tiredness.
Rectify: Line your eyes with brown, bronze or gold eyeliners to add warmth and softness. Applying a slick of white eyeliner in the lower rim of your eyes will also help them to look brighter.
Buy: Clarins Crayon Kohl.
If you’d like a professional to give you a fantastic makeover, take a look at our professional makeup page to find out more.
View and comment on the original Women’s Health article.
February 20th, 2014
Find out why beauty brands are turning to Mother Nature for inspiration.
When it comes to what we put in our bodies, many of us seek out a healthy diet full of fresh natural food – but when it comes to skincare, nature is often forgotten in favour of chemicals. Synthetic ingredients are usually added to beauty products to help extend their shelf life, but the repercussions of using such chemicals on our skin are largely unknown.
Nature has a whole host of pampering ingredients at its disposal and beauty brands are starting to wise up. Thanks to advancements in technology, natural and organic brands can now integrate science and nature for toxin-free products that produce incredible results.
If you’re keen to avoid a chemical overload, consider skincare that contains natural ingredients such as:
Plant stem cells
Plant stem cell technology has been around for a while now, but its use in the world of skincare is relatively new. Containing powerful regenerative properties, plant stem cells can stimulate collagen and elastin.
Try: Malvina Skincare Eye Lifting Serum, £75
Seaweed has been a key ingredient in beauty products for hundreds of years, but now researchers are keen to source seaweed rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. According to experts, red algae can help to purify the skin while brown seaweed can restructure the skin’s protective barrier to improve moisture retention.
Try: Phytomer CC Crème Skin Perfecting Cream, £27.99
Again, many of us will have seen clay used in facemasks (usually to help combat oily skin), but now the beauty industry wants to harness other properties from this natural skincare wonder. Utilising clay’s hydrating properties, new products are able to retain up to 800 times their weight in water.
Try: Montagne Jeunesse Red Earth Clay Spa, £1.49 a sachet
Green tea in particular is full of antioxidants and amino acids, making it ideal for fighting free radicals and regenerating the complexion. Beauty brands are including green tea into their products to help boost radiance and prevent sun damage.
Try: Sampar Paris Urban Express Mousse, £22
If you want to take advantage of nature’s beauty treatments, get in touch with a beautician who offers facials and ask if they include the above ingredients.
View and comment on the original Express article.
February 14th, 2014
Discover how to get all the skin boosting benefits of cocoa without the calories!
It’s Valentines Day and we all know what that means – lots of chocolate, flowers, heart-shaped sweets and whatever else our boyfriends have nabbed from the supermarket at the very last minute.
While for many of us the idea of more chocolate so soon after Christmas is the best thing since sliced bread, for others the sweet-factor is just too much. So why not try using your chocolate supplies to give your skin some TLC with a little DIY chocolate facial therapy?
As well as smelling – and tasting – absolutely delicious, chocolate masks are excellent for hydrating, lifting, rejuvenating and toning your skin. Using good quality dark chocolate with 70% or more cocoa solids is even better, especially as cocoa has therapeutic and soothing qualities.
According to a study published in the Journal of Nutrition, the flavonoids found in dark chocolate absorb UV light, help to increase blood flow to the skin and thus boost complexion. Cocoa is also rich in antioxidants, which makes it a great anti-ageing ingredient. Better yet, it can be used on all skin types (except of course if you have allergy) making it an all round beauty sensation.
Here’s how to create your own fabulous chocolate masks:
- Hydrating chocolate mask – Fancy giving your skin a moisture boost? Take 50 grams of high cocoa percentage chocolate and put it in a plastic wallet. Place in a warm bowl of water and leave to liquefy. Then mix 1tbsp on the melted chocolate with 1tbsp of olive oil (you can use almond or grapeseed if you prefer) and 1 egg yolk. Mix well then spread the mask over your face and neck. Leave on for about 15 minutes and then rinse with lukewarm water.
- Dry and sensitive skin chocolate mask – To make this chocolate delight, you’ll need to mix a handful of dark chocolate cocoa powder with a dollop of curd, and a splashing of honey or olive oil. Mix together well and then slather on your face and neck. Leave for 15-20 minutes and then wash off with lukewarm water.
- Regenerating chocolate face mask – Inject some vitality into your skin by mixing 1tbsp of melted chocolate with 1tsp of almond oil and 1tsp of rose hip oil. Mix the ingredients together and after making sure the mixture is lukewarm, apply it to your face and neck. Leave for 20 minutes and then wash off with lukewarm water.
Find out more about the fantastic skin boosting benefits of facials and face masks by visiting our facials page.
View and comment on the original Health India page.
February 13th, 2014
New products that last 24 hours+ claim to be the future of make-up.
One of the oldest and most faithful beauty secrets told to us by superstars and mothers alike is: ‘Take off your make-up before you go to bed.’
Even when we have a late night and have perhaps had one too many glasses of wine, most of us diligently remove our make-up before hitting the hay (even if it is just a swipe with a cleansing wipe). But now, revolutionary products claim to last all day and night and won’t clog up your skin – is this too good to be true? And more to the point, would we want to sleep in our make-up?
Sure, being able to sleep in your make-up may have it’s benefits – those of us who are in the early stages of a relationship for example may relish the fact that their new beau doesn’t have to see their bare face just yet. But aside from the odd date night and festival weekend – when would we want to wear make-up to bed?
According to manufacturers, the products are made for women who “work late, party late or travel a lot – or just can’t bear to be without their make-up.”
Intrigued? Here are a few of the products designed to keep you beautiful all night long:
Seventeen Stay Time Foundation, £6.49
They say: ‘Gives a flawless smooth skin finish and stays put for up to 25 hours.’
We say: Great for long-lasting full cover throughout the day, but sleeping in it may not do your skin any favours.
Bare Minerals Pure Transformation Night Treatment, £45
They say: ‘Clinically proven to help dramatically reduce the appearance of pores, increase luminosity and deliver faster cell turnover-resulting in miraculous skin-renewing benefits.’
We say: The skin saving benefits of this powder makes it a must-try, we’re just worried about how our pillows will look the next morning.
Max Factor Lashfinity 3 Day Mascara, £18.99
They say: ‘Lasting multiple days enabling you to live your life through sleeping, showering and rubbing. A brand new technological advancement that brings long wear lashes to cosmetics.’
We say: This product could be helpful if you are heading to a festival or camping and want to look that little bit polished.
Fancy treating yourself to getting your make-up done professionally? Take a look at our professional make-up page.
View and comment on the original Daily Mail article.
February 8th, 2014
A new poll uncovers the nation’s latest hair obsession, and it tops some of the most glamorous celebrity manes.
Kate Middleton has beaten the likes of Beyonce and Kim Kardashian to be named the nation’s biggest source of hair envy in 2014.
The glamorous royal’s luscious blow-dry has even seen off competition from Jennifer Anniston, after voters placed her mane as more desirable than the infamous Rachel cut.
Overall the Duchess of Cambridge secured 19% of the vote for best hair, followed closely by Beyonce who fell just a little behind on 16%. Kim Kardashian came in at a respectable third.
While the stars and K-Middy can afford regular salon professional blow-dries to achieve silky smooth tresses, we normal folk tend to be limited to DIY.
That’s why we’ve come up with these great tips on how to blow-dry your hair like a pro, to help you on your way to taming your mane and creating enviable volume, shine and silkiness:
Get the angle right
Make sure you know how to correctly position your blow-dryer so that the air can flow effectively. For sleek, smooth tresses the airflow needs to point down, from root to tip – preferably with the thin diffuser head attached to ensure concentrated heat. For voluminous blow dries, target the roots by getting underneath each section of the hair and lifting it up away from the head.
Whether you prefer to use a paddle brush or chunky bristle brush, make sure all are vented so that you hair can dry faster and you can better achieve the style you want more effectively.
Applying products to you hair before you blow-dry is like applying milk to porridge oats before you cook them – essential. If your hair is fine and thin, ensure you use lightweight products – like sprays – with thickening benefits. Medium length styles that have more thickness will benefit from mousses and gels, while really thick hair will require strong, heavy products.
Dry with care
Blow-drying is a great hair trick, but it can also be quite damaging. Always make sure you have some protection spray handy for the ends of your hair, and if possible don’t use the high heat settings of your dryer. Also try and keep your dryer at a distance of eight inches from your scalp, and leave a few days before blow-drying your hair again. Invest in hair masks and conditioning treatment to keep on top of your hair care.
Do you have any hair tips you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments section below.
View and comment on the original Instyle article.
February 6th, 2014
All the best hair and beauty trends of the 90s that have taken a leap into the 21st century.
Just as fashions come and go, hair and beauty trends of old are always making a comeback, and this season it’s all about the 90s.
As one of the most defining decades of our lives, with some of the world’s much-loved TV shows, starlets, fashion designers and bands taking centre stage, it’s no surprise that we love taking a trip back down memory lane.
So let’s take a look at some of the leading 90s beauty trends currently making a comeback:
Deep vampy lippy
Back in the day, dark velvety wine lips and vampy tints were everywhere, and if this years’ Grammys Awards were anything to go by, it seems this 90s trend is well and truly back for 2014. Lorde made the biggest impact at the event rocking super smooth pale skin and a contrasting dramatic plum hue on her lips.
Anne Hathaway and Jennifer Lawrence are currently making a style statement with their edgy cropped ‘dos, but back in the 90s this hairstyle was in its element thanks to the likes of Demi Moore (Ghost), Kate Moss and Winona Ryder. It’s a cut that requires guts, but the cropped style is far less maintenance and a fantastic way to show off your facial features.
Deep side parting
Whether rocking the grungy tousled look or a sleek and sophisticated cascade of waves and curls, celebrities can be found everywhere in 2014 rocking the deep side parting. This 90s hair trend screams effortless chic, and is the perfect way to reinvent your style for one night only – providing lots of luscious volume.
Back in the 90s girls were trampling over each other just to get their hands on the special edition Spice Girls body spray cans released by body spray giant, Impulse. Throughout the noughties however we swapped out body spray obsession with celebrity perfumes (Curious by Britney Spears, anyone?). Fast forward to 2014 and it seems the body spray is back in business, thanks especially to lusted-after designer, Tom Ford who is launching his Neroli Portofine scent in an ‘all over body spray’.
Who didn’t stock up on these magic hair wands in the hope of transforming your style in a simple slick of a brush? Well, even though the effects were never as good as hoped, hair mascara was a popular beauty favourite in the 90s, and today hair chalk has taken the reigns to bring rainbow coloured highlights to our manes in the 21st century.
If you’d like to know more about makeup tips and tricks, why not take a look at our professional makeup page for professional beauty advice.
View and comment on the original Cosmopolitan article.