The make-up brushes you need in your kit

November 21st, 2014

The make-up brushes you need in your kitWe look at the confusing world of make-up brushes and explore the essentials.

There is a myriad of different make-up brushes available, making it difficult for those of us who aren’t professional make-up artists to know which is best.

As you enter the world of make-up brushes, you’ll probably find yourself liking certain types more than others, but for those with no prior knowledge – we researched the best brushes to get you started.

For your eyes

The crease brush

Acting as a two-in-one tool, the crease brush is designed to add colour to the crease of the eyelid, while also working brilliantly as a blending tool.

The domed shadow brush

Tiny sponge applicators have nothing on the domed shadow brush; it’s unique shape helps to pack shadow on the eyelid for maximum impact.

The skinny eyeliner brush

A thin, pointed eyeliner brush will help you apply gel and liquid eyeliners with more precision than the standard applicators they come with.

The smudge brush

A must for the smokey eye look, a smudge brush has short rounded bristles to blend out eyeliner around the lash line.

For your face

The angled cheek brush

Working primarily as a contouring tool, the angled cheek brush also works well when applying blush to the apples of the cheeks.

The pointed foundation brush

Tapered to a point, this foundation brush is ideal to use with liquid foundations as it gets into all those hard to reach crevices.

For your lips

The precision lip brush

A precision lip brush will help you draw a flawless cupids bow and with it’s small head it makes it easy to fill even the thinnest of lips.

If you think you would benefit from a make-up lesson, you can search our directory for a professional using our advanced search tool.

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

Show your support this Movember

November 19th, 2014

Show your support this MovemberWe look at how Movember is changing men’s health and show you a quick way you can pledge your support.

In November men around the world let their moustaches grow out in aid of an initiative called ‘Movember’. Starting back in 2003 in Melbourne, Australia with just 30 men taking part, Movember now involves over four million participants across the globe.

The aim of Movember is to raise both awareness and funding to health issues affecting men, including prostate and testicular cancer. The end goal is quite simply to “change the face of men’s health” and since the initiative began, over £356 million has been raised worldwide for various men’s health initiatives.

In the past Movember has focused on physical health issues such as testicular cancer, but now many more are raising money for mental health initiatives. The idea behind Movember aside from raising awareness is to encourage men to talk about their health more.

So, what can us girls do to show our support during Movember? As well as sponsoring friends/relatives/boyfriends to grow a ‘tasche, you could have some fun with the theme and incorporate it into your beauty routine (and no, we’re not suggesting you glue an honorary moustache to your face). We’re talking about nail art! Take a look at the following ‘tasche nail art tutorial from Cosmopolitan:

Step 1: Prep and paint

Start by filing your nails into the desired shape and pushing your cuticles back. Then apply a basecoat followed by a neutral colour (we like pale pink).

Step 2: Make two large dots

Using a dotting tool and some black nail varnish, make two large-ish dots in the center of your nails, towards the tip.

Step 3: Make two smaller dots

Using the smaller end of the dotter tool (or the end of a toothpick) add two more smaller dots either side of the bigger dots.

Step 4: Connect the dots

With a striper brush, draw two arched lines from the larger dots to the smaller ones, creating the mustache’s handles. Fill in the lines and voila! You have a teeny tiny mustache. Repeat on as many fingers as you like.

Step 5: Add a topcoat

Once the design has dried, add a clear topcoat to protect and prolong your handy work.

If you would rather leave your nails to the professionals, you can find a nail technician using our advanced search.

Movember information sourced from Huffington Post.

Products to perk up your skin

November 14th, 2014

Products to perk up your skinBoost your inner glow with these skin care solutions for all budgets.

This time of year can make us all feel a little gloomy, especially when our skin starts to look dull and lifeless. The change in temperature and exposure to the elements can make skin appear grey, dry and congested. To help you bring back your inner glow, use a product that boosts radiance and renews the skin.

While many of the products with rave reviews are obscenely expensive, you don’t have to spend a fortune. Take a look at the following products covering any budget:

Splurge

If you’re looking to spend your hard earned cash on a skin care product, you can’t go wrong with the Gene Expression Lifting Serum at £190. The cooling serum is inspired by the science of how our genes can affect ageing and how we can protect our cells with the right ingredients. With a faint rose scent, the product plumps, lifts and hydrates.

Invest

If you have a moderate budget, go for something around the £25-£30 mark. We love ‘in transit camera close-up’ from This Works (£30) as it is a primer, moisturiser and mask all in one. Helping to even skin tone, boost hydration and fight signs of fatigue, this multi-tasking serum will revitalise skin instantly.

Bargain

If you don’t have too much to spend, look for an energising mask you can use as and when your skin needs it. We recommend the No 7 Beautiful Skin Energising Mask (£12.50) as it helps to brighten, rehydrate and revitalise your complexion. Use it whenever your skin is looking a little dull.

If you really want to treat yourself, indulge in a facial. Find out more about this treatment on our facials page.

View and comment on the original Independent article.

Five tips to promote brow re-growth

November 11th, 2014

Five tips to promote brow re-growthBeen a little overenthusiastic with the tweezers in the past? Don’t worry – we have some tips to help promote re-growth for fuller brows.

We recently blogged about a new product that mimics the appearance of eyebrow hair to give you fuller looking brows, but how can you go about actually re-growing your eyebrow hair after over-tweezing?

The key is to nourish from the inside, give nature a helping hand and above all, be patient.

1. Put the tweezers down

We all know how tempting it is to pluck any stray hairs to keep your eyebrows looking neat, but if you are trying to grow them out it is important to give your brows a break from tweezing. During this in-between stage, use an eyebrow pencil to help enhance definition.

2. Eat well

Eating a diet rich in vitamins and minerals will help to promote overall health and hair regrowth. Try to eat more fruits and vegetables known for their antioxidant content and if in doubt, go for brightly coloured fruit and veg.

3. De-stress

When left untreated, stress can actually lead to hair loss. Counteract this by dealing with your stress in a healthy way. Gentle exercise like yoga can be especially beneficial, in fact the Times of India say there are certain postures that benefit hair growth as it boosts circulation of blood to the head.

4. Stimulate hair growth

Try to get in the habit of conditioning your brows every night before you go to bed. Using circular motions, massage an oil rich in hair-healthy ingredients like vitamin E and coconut oil into the brows themselves, focusing on sparse areas.

5. Wait!

The final step is to be patient and wait for your brows to grow. If you pluck your brows it can take up to two months for the delicate hair to grow back, but the results will be worth waiting for.

Once your eyebrows have grown back in you can use Beauty Resource to help you find someone to shape them – just use the advanced search tool.

View and comment on the original Mind Body Green article.

The ultimate wind-down routine

November 7th, 2014

The ultimate wind-down routineTake advantage of the longer evenings by treating yourself to a pampering wind-down at the end of the day.

Now the clocks have gone back, the evenings are getting longer, which usually means more time spent indoors. Rather than sulk and mourn the loss of summer, we see it as an opportunity to really pamper yourself. Ease stress and wind-down ready for a good night’s sleep with the following routine:

Light a candle

Nothing says relax like the scent of a luxury candle. There are plenty of brands to choose from, but we recommend treating yourself to a quality soy candle rather than opting for a cheaper, synthetic one. Once you’ve picked your candle, light it and set it in the bathroom, ready for the next step.

Try: Ecoya Sweet Pea & Jasmine Candle (£37)

Run a bath

Use a bath oil rather than your standard bubble bath for a truly decadent experience. Try to find one that is loaded with soothing scents and essential oils such as sandalwood and lavender.

Try: Aromatherapy Associates Deep Relax Bath & Shower Oil (£40)

Have a scrub

Slough off dead and dry skin with a body scrub that both exfoliates and nourishes. Use this with your hands, using circular motions and paying particular attention to dry areas such as your knees and elbows.

Try: Templespa Sugar Buff Mediterranean (£26)

Moisturise

To really lock moisture in after a long bath, use a moisturising oil for smooth, supple skin. Cocooning your body in gorgeous smelling oil will also help you feel more relaxed – why not give yourself a DIY massage at the same time?

Try: Neom Real Luxury Body Oil in Lavender, Jasmine and Brazilian Rosewood (£32)

Sleep deep

By now, you should be feeling just about ready for bed. To help you slip effortlessly into a deep sleep, try a pillow spray designed to promote sleep.

Try: This Works Sleep+ Pillow Spray (£25)

If you are finding it hard to wind down, why not visit a professional for a de-stressing massage? Find out more on our massage page.

View and comment on the original Express article.

Benefits of facial massage

November 4th, 2014

Benefits of facial massageFind out why treating yourself to a facial massage could do wonders for your skin.

Our faces are full of nerves and pleasure points, making a facial massage a truly pampering experience. As well as making you feel relaxed, facial massage is also fantastic for your skin and overall health. Take a look at the following benefits of facial massage:

Prevents wrinkles

When we are stressed, our muscles become tense. This can lead to lines forming on the face, otherwise known as wrinkles. A gentle facial massage regularly can help to relax tense muscles, decreasing the appearance of wrinkles. To help fight against ageing even more, try a DIY massage when you apply your moisturiser, this will keep your skin hydrated to minimise lines and dryness.

Eases congestion

When you have sinus congestion, a build-up of mucus can result in pressure, puffiness and headaches. One way you can help counteract these symptoms is through facial massage. Gentle manipulation of the facial muscles helps to mobilise secretions, improving drainage and relieving congestion. If you suspect you have a more serious sinus issue, such as an infection, be sure to visit your doctor.

Detoxifies

Facial massage stimulates the lymphatic vessels, helping to promote toxin elimination. Our lymphatic system plays an important role in our health as it carries toxins away from our body. Muscle movement is needed to push the lymph fluid through the body and a lack of movement can result in a build-up of toxins. There are several lymph notes scattered throughout the face, especially along the edge of the chin and jaw, so facial massage can be extremely beneficial.

To book yourself a massage, please browse your directory to find a beautician near you.

View and comment on the original Live Strong article.

Halloween beauty treats

October 31st, 2014

Make the most of this spooky holiday with some gothic make-up purchases.

Whether you’re going all out in a costume, or simply want to add a gothic touch to your usual look, Halloween is the perfect excuse to experiment with your make-up. Keep reading to find out what products to buy for instant Halloween chic.

Urban Decay Smokey eyes

Nothing says Halloween like a good smokey eye. Try a pallet with different hues to play with the traditional grey smokey look. Urban Decay do a pallet called Smoked, which is perfect for this.

Crushed velvet nails

Plush, matte nail varnishes are a great way to add a gothic touch to your everyday look for Halloween. Try the new Rimmel Velvet Matte range which dries matte in seconds, no top coat required. We love the Purple Opulence shade for gothic glamour.

Bitten lips

When it comes to Halloween lip colour – go bold or go home. We love Nars’ range of velvet lip liners as they offer fantastic colour with a rich matte finish. Try the Train Bleu shade – it’s a deep berry colour that will make quite the statement.

Stained cheeks

For a Vampire-like flush, try Topshop’s cheek jelly in Museum. Dip your finger in the jelly-like formula and apply to your cheekbones for a sheer, subtle colour.Eyelure

Bewitching eyelashes

If you want to be festive without wearing a costume – why not experiment with some spooky eyelashes instead? Eyelure have two limited-edition false lash kits out for Halloween – ‘Spooky’ and ‘Batwing’. Batwing is the bolder of the two, while Spooky offers a more delicate take on the trend.

To learn more about make-up from the pros, why not book yourself a lesson? Find out more on our professional make-up page.

View and comment on the original Express article.

Three ways to use salt in your beauty regime

October 28th, 2014

Three ways to use salt in your beauty regimeFind out how you can use humble sea salt to power up your skin care regime.

Our bodies have the same concentration of minerals and nutrients as sea water, so it is unsurprising that sea salt is our natural ally when it comes to protecting and restoring balance for our skin. Compared to regular salt, sea salt is packed with minerals such as calcium, magnesium and potassium – all of which play an important role in our skin’s health.

When your skin’s mineral balance is off, you may experience symptoms such as dullness, dryness or irritation. This can be especially true as the weather becomes colder and dryer. To take advantage of sea salt’s skin-boosting properties, try the following:

1. Balancing facemask

Sea salt has anti-inflammatory properties which help to soothe the skin and calm any irritation, making it an ideal ingredient in facemasks. Adding honey will boost the anti-inflammatory properties even more while adding a boost of moisture.

Recipe: Mix two teaspoons of finely ground sea salt with four teaspoons of raw honey and apply to clean, dry skin (be sure to avoid the eye area). Leave the mask on for 10-15 minutes and lay a warm washcloth on your face for 30 seconds. Use your fingers to gently exfoliate the skin while rinsing off the mask with tepid water.

2. Softening body scrub

Salt is a natural exfoliate that helps to slough off dead skin cells. On top of this it has minerals that help to soften the skin and restore healthy moisture levels.

Recipe: Mix half a cup of olive oil or softened coconut oil with a quarter cup of salt. If you want, add a few drops of your favourite essential oil. Apply is the shower, gently scrubbing your skin in a circular motion.

3. Salt bath

Salt naturally draws out toxins while protecting the skin’s moisture barrier, so it is a great addition to your bath.

Recipe: Add one-third cup of salt to a tub of warm water and swish around to dissolve the salt – again, feel free to add a few drops of essential oil.

If you need expert advice when it comes to your skin, you may find it useful to visit a dermatologist. Find one in your local area using our advanced search.

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

Skin care myths busted

October 24th, 2014

Skin care myths bustedWe look at some common skin care myths and tell you why they aren’t true.

When it comes to skin care, there is so much hype offered up by the media and popular culture, that it can be difficult to know fact from fiction. In an attempt to uncover the truth, we look at some common skin care myths:

Myth 1: You don’t have to wear sunscreen when it’s cloudy

For many of us (especially those of us living in the UK) it is easy to think our skin doesn’t need protection from the sun unless it is the height of summer. The truth of the matter is that the harmful UVA and UVB rays can penetrate clouds and can damage your skin if you fail to use protection.

For this reason, you are advised to apply a product with sun protection every day – even when it’s not sunny. We recommend using a moisturiser with SPF to ensure you are always covered.

Myth 2: Popping your spots will get rid of them

Using force to pop acne spots is the worst thing you can do to your skin. Doing this leads to irritation and can even cause scarring. Furthermore, acne spots usually have deep roots in the dermis, meaning that even though you’ve popped the surface, the inflammation travels deeper into your skin and can spread infection.

Myth 3: Expensive products are best

While of course, there are some products with a hefty price tag that work brilliantly; you shouldn’t expect a product to work just because it is expensive. Try a variety of products to see what suits your skin – ranging from cheaper brands to more expensive ones. You may find that the simpler, less expensive products suit your skin type best.

If you are struggling with problem skin and don’t know why, you could benefit from seeing a dermatologist. Find one in your local area using our advanced search tool.

View and comment on the original Mind Body Green article.

Product spotlight: Silk Fibre Brow Enhancer

October 21st, 2014

Product spotlight: Silk Fibre Brow EnhancerWe take a closer look at a new product that claims to give you ‘eyebrows in a bottle’.

As most of us are now well aware, thicker, fuller eyebrows are all the rage at the moment. This may be great news for those with naturally bushy brows, but what about those of us who used to be a little over-enthusiastic with the tweezers?

Thankfully, there are plenty of products to help you fake it, from eyebrow pencils to powders. The latest creation to help fake the appearance of thicker brows is a revolutionary powder called Silk Fibre Enhancer. This powder contains hundreds of tiny fibres that mimic real hair.

The fibres are made from nylon and come in four different shades. The way the product works is by clinging onto the existing hair or skin, thickening up sparse brows and offering a more natural look than other powders/pencils.

What sets this product apart is the fact that you don’t need any hairs at all for it to work. This means that those with no hair (for example those with alopecia or undergoing cancer treatment) can use it to create eyebrows.

The fibres are suspended in a very fine powder which is waterproof and lasts up to 12 hours. It can be applied every day and washes off just like regular make up.

Fibre Brow Enhancer was launched in Australia last year and is already a best-seller. This reaction is expected here in the UK when it launches later on this month at £19.99 per 4g bottle (around 120 applications).

If you are struggling to tame your brows, you may find it helpful to see a professional. Take a look at your options on our eyes and brows page.

View and comment on the original Daily Mail article.