Make bath time a ritual

January 23rd, 2015

Make bath time a ritualSoothe your body and mind with these relaxing bath products.

Author Sylvia Plath got it right when she said, “there must be quite a few things a hot bath won’t cure, but I don’t know many of them”. A long soak in a warm bath on a winter’s evening is nothing short of luxurious.

As well as creating the perfect moment for ‘me-time’, bathing in warm water is known for its healing properties as it soothes aching muscles. Even if you’re a shower fan day-to-day, schedule in one bath a week and turn it into a ritual with the following products:

Aveda Stress-Fix Soaking Salts (£31)

If you struggle to sleep at night, run yourself a bath with some salts containing relaxing scents such as lavender and vertiver. Aveda’s Stress-Fix Soaking Salts contain real lavender, helping to melt away stress and promote sleep.

Bodhi & Birch Rosemary Chi Himalayan Detox Salt Scrub (£35)

Containing unique mineral ions, Bodhi & Birch’s Detox scrub helps to equalise the body’s bioenergetic fields to induce a meditative sense of calm while effortlessly exfoliating the skin – bliss.

The Body Shop Honeymania Bathmelt (£8)

To truly recreate a spa experience at home, we recommend The Body Shop’s Honeymania Bathmelt. Lathering up into creamy, fragrant bubbles, this product will nourish the skin while relaxing the senses.

Burt’s Bees Therapeutic Bath Crystals (£10.99)

These bath salts from Burt’s Bees are perfect for a post-workout bath as they contain sea salt, helping to reduce built-up lactic acid. This helps your muscles recover faster and reduces that dull ache you get the next day.

Jo Malone Wild Fig & Cassis Bath Oil (£40)

For skin that has dried out in the cold winter weather, Jo Malone’s Wild Fig & Cassis Bath Oil is ideal. Containing rich avocado and almond oil, this product will hydrate the skin and protect it against the elements – and of course as it comes from Jo Malone, we know it will smell heavenly.

Philosophy’s Coconut Frosting Bubble Bath (£7)

Doubling as a shower gel and shampoo, this coconut scented bubble bath from Philosophy is the ultimate multitasker – perfect for those feeling the pinch after Christmas.

In need of some relaxation? Why not treat yourself to a massage? Find out more and find a beautician near you on our massage page.

View and comment on the original Psychologies article.

Protect your lips this winter

January 20th, 2015

Protect your lips this winterKeep lips kissable and soft with these simple hints and tips.

This week temperatures have really started to drop in the UK, and cold weather means one thing – dry skin. The skin on our lips is particularly susceptible as it has very few oil glands and can therefore get dry, sore and flakey easily.

To help you keep your lips hydrated and happy all winter, take a look at these easy tips:

Use a lip scrub

Scrubbing your lips a couple of times a week will help to remove dead, dry skin to avoid that dreaded flakey look. Make your own lip scrub with a pinch of granulated sugar mixed with olive oil.

Be careful of cleansers

The cleansers you use on your face may not be great for your lips – especially if they contain ingredients designed to regulate oil production such as benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. Coat your lips with a layer of protective lip balm before cleansing to avoid dry-out.

Keep a lip balm to hand

Keep one in your bag and another on your desk at work. Knowing you have a lip balm nearby will prompt you to use it more and will help to keep your lips supple and soft. Read our blog to find out our top five lip balms.

Protect from irritating foods

Spicy and salty foods can irritate the skin on your lips, making them sore and dry. Coat them in a non-flavoured lip balm before you eat to avoid this.

Cover up

When the wind picks up, cover your mouth with your scarf. Cold wind breaks down your skin’s protective barrier and can make it more prone to dryness, your scarf will provide a temporary barrier.

Change your lipstick

We know matte lipsticks are ‘in’ right now, but switching to creamier formulas will really help to boost moisture.

If your winter skin is in need of some TLC you may want to book yourself in for a facial. Use our advanced search feature to find a beautician near you.

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

Beauty trends for spring

January 16th, 2015

Beauty trends for springKeep reading for a sneak preview of next season’s key beauty trends.

Yes, we know it’s only January – but rather than get down about the grey skies and drizzle, we want to look ahead to spring. Luckily, so does the fashion world. Here we look at some of the top trends heading our way this spring, giving you plenty of time to try them out.

Bare-faced chic

For the first time ever, models walked the catwalk completely make-up free in the Marc Jacobs show. Sparking a new trend, barely there make-up is set to be big for spring/summer 15. The key to this look is letting your natural skin show, so brush up your skin care regime for a glowing complexion.

Purple passion

From pastel lilacs to deep grape, purple was seen at a variety of shows, including Derek Lam, Matthew Williamson and Sally Lapointe. Experiment with different shades or use amethyst hued eyeliner as a subtle nod to the trend.

The red lip returns

After a slew of lipstick-free looks in autumn, spring sees the red lip return. Ranging from bright orange colours to deeper berry hues, there are plenty of shades to suit all skin tones. Not normally a lipstick fan? Now is the time to experiment.

Graphic lines

Taking the cat-eye look to new heights, this season eyeliner starts from the middle of the eye and extends past the outer corners in a straight line. Play with some different colours and pair with a muted lip for a truly on-trend look.

Shine on

Illuminated skin was rife on the catwalk this season, so say goodbye to your powder and reach for your highlighter instead. As well as dewy skin, many designers added a glossy eyelid and glossy lips too; perspiration-like beads were even added to models faces at Teatum Jones, so don’t shy away from the light.

If your make-up technique could use some help, why not invest in make-up lessons? Find out more on our professional make-up page.

View and comment on the original Vogue article.

Beauty detox

January 13th, 2015

Detoxing your diet this January? Do the same for your beauty regime too.

During the Christmas period we tend to indulge – this usually means too much food, too much drink and too much partying. This can be bad news for our skin and hair as we’re left with a congested, dull complexion and product build-up in our scalp.

Luckily, there are plenty of products out there that can help us recover. So while you’re stocking up on fruit and veg and hitting the gym, give these products a go too.

Kératase Metamorph'Oil Prepartory Oil Balm Kératase Metamorph’Oil Prepartory Oil Balm (£22)

Great if you’ve overdone it on the hair products over Christmas, this pre-cleanse balm gently removes product build-up when used before shampooing. The oils in the formula purify and prime the scalp and follicles for a real deep clean.

Caudalie Polyphenol C15 Overnight Detox Oil (£29)

Gently regenerating and detoxing the skin, this dry oil works overnight to give the complexion a boost. This works especially well when your skin is in need of some TLC (i.e. after a few too many chocolates) but many love it so much it becomes a nightly essential.

Clarisonic Deep Pore Kit (£140)

A little on the expensive side, this kit is an investment for clearer skin. Thoroughly cleansing pores, this kit contains a daily pore cleanser, a deep pore decongesting clay mask and of course the Clarisonic Mia 2 brush.

Nourish Kale Enzymatic Exfoliating Cleanser (£16.50)Sanctuary Spa Ultimate Salt Scrub

While this is a cleanser, the multi-tasking formula works well as a mask too. Pomegranate enzymes gently exfoliate, while kale extract helps to boost suppleness.

Sanctuary Spa Ultimate Salt Scrub (£11.50)

Give your body some attention too with this moisturising salt scrub from Sanctuary. Use this in the bath after your workout to help soothe tight muscles.

Why not treat yourself to a detoxing treatment? Browse our treatment section to see what’s available, then use our search tool to find a beautician near you.

View and comment on the original Express article.

Keep your skin clear while working out

January 9th, 2015

Keep your skin clear while working outHitting the gym hard? Read this to ensure your skin stays clear and healthy.

Is one of your New Year’s resolutions to work out more? It goes without saying that working up a sweat is great for your health, but all that sweat can cause havoc for your skin. Sweat contains bacteria, and if this is left on the skin it can clog pores and lead to blemishes.

Take a look at the following tips to ensure your skin stays clear:

Before your workout

Removing your make-up before you exercise is really important, no matter how cute your personal trainer is. If you leave your make-up on it will combine with the sweat to block pores and cause both irritation and blemishes. Ideally you should take the time to remove make-up properly with a wash-off cleanser, but if you’re pushed for time just pack some antibacterial face wipes in your gym bag so you can cleanse on the go.

During your workout

On average we touch our faces every minute, transferring bacteria as we go. When we’re at the gym, we tend to touch our faces even more – and we may even be transferring other people’s sweat and bacteria to our faces too (yuck). To avoid this, make sure you carry a clean towel around with you to wipe down machines and mop your brow. Carrying hand-sanitising gel can also be a good idea when using communal equipment such as boxing gloves.

After your workout

Jumping in the shower and giving your face and body a good wash with an antibacterial cleanser will help keep blemishes at bay. If you don’t have time for a shower, use some wipes containing salicylic acid. This will remove any debris lurking in your pores that would otherwise cause spots. Remember to use this on your chest and back too, as these are the areas where sweat tends to collect.

Fancy a facial to give your complexion a boost? Use our advanced search to find a beautician near you.

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

Five New Year beauty resolutions

January 6th, 2015

Five New Year's beauty resolutionsFind out which beauty resolutions you should be making in 2015.

For many of us, the New Year signals a fresh start and is the perfect time to come up with some resolutions for the year ahead. You probably have all the usual resolutions down (eat healthier, exercise more, spend less time on Candy Crush Saga), but have you thought about your beauty resolutions?

Now is a great time to reassess your routine and shake it up a little. Take a look at the following five suggestions:

1. Use SPF every day

Protecting your skin from the sun (yes, even here in England) is perhaps the best thing you can do for your skin. Not only will your skin look better, you’ll also reduce your risk of skin cancer. Rather than worrying about adding another step to your skin care routine, simply swap your usual moisturiser for one that contains SPF.

2. Be brave with your make-up

It is all too easy to fall into a make-up rut, so why not change things up? Make a resolution to be braver – try that lip colour you think you can’t pull off, wear different nail colours and experiment with coloured eyeliners. Small changes like this can do wonders for your confidence.

3. Exfoliate once a week

Exfoliating helps to even out your skin texture, fights the signs of ageing and even prevents breakouts. Aim to exfoliate once a week in the evening. Skin goes into renewal mode over night, so this is the perfect time to slough off dead skin.

4. Update your night-time skin care routine

Check your night creams are working with the way your skin is behaving now – what used to be perfect for your skin may no longer be right. There are plenty of night creams on the market, if you’re unsure take some time to read reviews online or consult a dermatologist.

5. Take up body brushing

Dry body brushing helps to stimulate the lymphatic system, increases your blood circulation and even helps to tackle cellulite. Try to get in the habit of spending just three minutes every morning dry body brushing before you shower and follow up with body oil after.

If your skin is in need of professional help after the indulgence of Christmas, use our advanced search to find a dermatologist near you.

View and comment on the original Express article.

The most Googled beauty questions of 2014

January 2nd, 2015

The most Googled beauty questions on 2014We answer the most asked beauty questions last year.

Where would we be without Google? Providing instant answers with a single click of a button, it’s no wonder we go to the Internet with our beauty woes.

Apparently – we’re not alone, we found the following list of the most Googled beauty questions of 2014 over at Red magazine and thought we’d answer them for you:

1. How do I get rid of my acne?

There are several things you can try to help clear acne, including dietary changes, lowering your stress levels and avoiding unnecessarily harsh products. Read our blog about clearing skin naturally and consult a dermatologist for professional advice.

2. How do I get rid of stretch marks?

While sadly stretch marks tend to stay with us forever, there are ways you can reduce their appearance. Improving your circulation through massage, exfoliating the skin and moisturising affected areas can all help the process. Read more about reducing stretch marks.

3. How often should I wash my hair?

This will depend on your hair type and how often you touch/style your hair. Ideally you should wash it enough to keep it clean, healthy and to reduce product build up, but not so much that you’re stripping the hair of its natural oils. Read more tips for healthy hair.

4. What is BB cream?

BB stands for ‘blemish balm’ and is hailed as an all-in-one skin care product. Working as a primer, foundation, concealer and moisturiser all in one, BB creams were all the rage last year. Find out more about BB creams and CC creams.

5. How can I get rid of under-eye bags?

Under-eye bags are a common problem and in many cases are hereditary. Having said this, there are ways you can reduce them – avoiding salty food, getting enough sleep and using products designed to reduce puffiness is a great start. Find out more about reducing puffy eyes.

6. How can I minimise my pores?

Large pores are typically caused by excess sebum, stress or pollution. Luckily there are plenty of products out there to help refine pores, take a look at our top six pore minimisers.

7. How do I apply foundation?

There are a few options when it comes to applying foundation – you could use your fingers, a sponge or a dedicated make-up brush. Everyone has a personal preference and each tool offers different results. Read our back to basics blog on foundation for more tips.

8. How do I shape my eyebrows?

Going to a professional will ensure you get the brow shape you want; you can then maintain the shape at home. Deciding which shape to go for will depend on your face shape – to find out what shape would suit you, read our guide to the perfect brows.

What beauty questions have you Googled? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter.

Five of the best lip balms

December 26th, 2014

Keep your lips kissable and soft this winter.

Cold weather is well known for making our skin drier than normal, and this includes our lips. Wind and biting temperatures tend to ravage our lips this time of year, leaving them chapped, flaky and sore – not a good look.

To help keep them smooth and nourished you’ll need a hydrating lip balm. Below we list a few firm favourites, catering to all budgets.

Vaseline Lip TVaselineherapy Tin, Cocoa Butter (£2.18)

Your favourite cheap and cheerful lip balm with a hint of cocoa butter to help condition your lips even more.

Burt’s Bees Pink Grapefruit Lip Balm (£3.69)

A cult classic, all of Burt’s Bees lip balms are well revered but this flavour complete with punchy grapefruit seed oil is our favourite.

Lucas’ Papaw Ointment (£13.75)

The celebrity pick (Jessie J and Holly Willoughby are reported to be fans), Papaw Ointment contains fermented pawpaw and can be used to heal minor burns, cuts and sunburn.

Clarins HydraQuench Moisture Replenishing Lip Balm (£18)

This balm contains shea butter and rose wax, giving your lips a lovely hint of pink.

Crème de la Mer The Lip Balm (£42)

One of the more luxurious lip balms out there, the Crème de la Mer lip balm is also one of the more effective. Just a light coating will keep lips soft for hours.

Do you have a favourite lip balm we haven’t mentioned? Give us a tweet and let us know.

View and comment on the original Glamour article.

Eight steps for the perfect smokey eye

December 23rd, 2014

Eight steps for the perfect smokey eyeParty season is well and truly upon us, so there’s no better time to finally master the smokey eye look.

Wearing dark eyeshadow when you’re not a make-up whizz may sound like a recipe for disaster, but given the right guidance anybody can master this technique.

Take a look at this eight-step guide to creating the perfect smouldering, smokey eye:

1. Use a primer

To help keep your eyeshadow from smudging halfway through the night, use a primer specifically designed for eyeshadow.

2. Conceal dark circles

Dark circles will make you look more bruised than sultry, so make sure you conceal them with a creamy concealer. Use a translucent powder under the eye too, this will catch any loose particles of eyeshadow when you apply it so you can simply wipe away any excess with a tissue.

3. Curl your lashes

Using your favourite eyelash curler, give those lashes a big squeeze for around five seconds. This will open up the eye area and add a little drama.

4. Apply the dark shadow

Use a small brush to apply your dark eyeshadow of choice from your lashes to your crease, taking a little of the colour under the eye too. Remember, you don’t have to stick to black – navy, dark greens and purples are perfect for Christmas.

5. Smudge it out

Next, use a blending brush to softly smudge the edges of the eyeshadow, the key here is to avoid any harsh lines.

6. Line your lashes

Use a black eyeliner for added definition, applying it along the top and bottom lash lines. Ensure you use a long-lasting formula to avoid it smearing, and blend out with a cotton bud for a smudged look.

7. Add a pop of highlighter

A touch of highlighter under the arches of your eyebrows and in the inner corners of your eyes will add a little sparkle to this look, ideal for special occasions.

8. Mascara

To complete your look simply apply a couple coats of mascara for definition and volume.

If you think you could do with some make-up tips, why not have a lesson? Use our search tool to find a make-up professional near you.  

View and comment on the original Cosmopolitan article.

Desk to bar make-up in a flash

December 19th, 2014

partyAfter work dinner or work Christmas do coming up? Find out how to refresh your make-up at your desk in ten minutes.

When we have an evening social event coming up, most of us prefer to go home, remove the day’s make-up and start from scratch. While this is ideal, this isn’t always possible.

For those times when you have to hot foot it straight from the office to an evening do – try the following tips for fresh, night-time appropriate make-up…

Clean up any smudges

Have some make-up wipes handy to fix any smudged eye make-up, remove dried out lipstick or take away foundation build-up.

Refresh and revive

To revive your foundation use a hydrating mist and a make-up sponge. This will even out any caked on areas and make your base like new again. If your face is oily, use some blotting papers to reduce shine.

Even out your complexion

There’s no need to carry around a big bottle of foundation, use a concealer instead to touch up any uneven areas. Pay particular attention to around your nose, under your eyes, your chin and between your brows.

Add some warmth

Use a dab of cream blusher to give your face a bit of colour. Cream formulas are easy to use and if you find one with a shimmer formula it can work as a highlighter too.

Open up the eyes

Use an eyelash curler to open up the eye area and if possible add an extra coat of mascara. This will bump up the volume needed for an evening look.

Emphasise your lips

If you choose to emphasise your lips, stick to highly pigmented liquid formulas. You won’t need to be quite so precise with these formulas and it’s quicker to apply when you’re in a hurry – just remember to take it with you for touch ups.

Or, emphasise your eyes

Alternatively if you want to play up your eyes, use a cream shadow in a dark colour (greens, purples and charcoals look great at Christmas). Again, this can be applied using your finger, simply finish off with a slick of liner.

Keep it all in place

Finally, to help keep your make-up in place all night long, use a make-up fixing spray. We love the Urban Decay’s ‘All Nighter Long Lasting Make-up Setting Spray‘ (£20.00).

Have a really special occasion coming up? Why not get your make-up done professionally? Use our advanced search to find a make-up artist near you.

View and comment on the original Total Beauty article.