April 17th, 2013
Described by Vogue as ‘one of the coolest brands around’, Ellis Faas is high quality, high fashion and high on our list of brands to watch this year.
The off-beat cosmetics brand was created by Netherlands-born Ellis Faas. In the ’90s she opened Amsterdam’s first make-over studio, combining a passion for fashion and photography with an extraordinary talent for applying artistic make-up. ‘Face Value’ soon became world-famous and before long gained the attention of renowned photographer Mario Testino, who swept Ms Faas away with him to Paris, London, New York and Los Angeles.
From these fashion capitals Ellis’ reputation grew and grew until she found herself suddenly leading an army of make-up artists styling Fendi and Chanel shoots for Karl Lagerfeld.
With creativity and vision fizzing in her veins, it was only natural that Ms Faas would go on to launch her own make-up range. She wanted to create products that solved problems, including:
First of all, she wanted to tackle the problem of ‘the handbag jumble’, where women spend longer sifting through their make-up bags looking for a product than they do applying it. To solve this problem, Ellis introduced pen-style applicators in place of the usual pots and pallets so they could be neatly organised with Ellis Holders and Ellis Clips.
Ms Faas’ second concern was animal testing. Her ‘only tested on supermodels’ policy ensures none of the ingredients used in her products are tested on animals.
While practicality and ethics are noble causes, they don’t exactly scream ‘style’ in the cut-throat fashion world. Ellis found her edge in the macabre yet creative claim that her colour pallets are inspired by the human body – including the blood in our veins, and the freckles and blemishes on our skin.
True, the colours on offer are demure with not a neon in sight, and demure certainly doesn’t have to be boring. With Ellis Faas the emphasis is in the texture, and the way the colours complement or contrast with the skin. Faas plays with natural beauty in a way that produces subtle yet extraordinary results.
We recommend Ellis Faas Creamy Eyes, a cream eye-shadow with coffee extracts designed to boost collagen and elastin production for skin protection. The product has a spongy mousse-like consistency that glides on beautifully for a soft, velvety look. Creamy Eyes colours can be layered and blended for a dramatic look, or blended at the edges for those who prefer to capitalise on their natural beauty.
Ellis Faas Creamy Eyes costs £23, available from Selfridges.
April 16th, 2013
With flip-flop season fast approaching, it’s time for that big beauty spring clean. Here, online directory Beauty Resource reveals pedicures and eyebrow tinting are amongst the top five beauty treatments for full body confidence in spring.
(PRWEB UK) 15 April 2013
Winter can play havoc with women’s bodies. Cold weather and central heating combine to damage hair, skin and nails, while protective layers of clothing and boots give girls a chance to relax on the hair removal and foot care regimes. The result, unfortunately, is that by the time spring rolls around women in the northern hemisphere are less than ready to bare their flesh.
According to a Nurture Skin Care survey , over half (53%) of women feel less confident about their looks in the summer months. True, the idea of sitting in a bikini on a beach full of bronzed, honed Mediterranean women can be a bit of confidence hit for an alabaster-skinned Brit who hasn’t exfoliated for six months.
Last year a Debenhams survey  revealed that the average British woman spends £475 on nearly 11 hours worth of beauty treatments preparing her body for the holiday season. The department store found that the average woman indulges in 13 beauty treatments before slipping into her bikini, which includes a pedicure, eyebrow tinting and nail treatments.
Not all women have the time or money needed for the full works. Luckily for them, Beauty Resource recommends just five treatments to prepare the body for warmer days and fewer clothes. Site statistics show that hair removal, nail treatments and eyebrow tinting were among the most highly searched beauty treatments in March 2013 , making these the top picks for a beauty spring clean: Read the rest of this entry »
April 13th, 2013
Even though right now winter seems never ending, spring is coming and its the perfect time to give your skin some TLC.
After months of freezing cold conditions your complexion is probably feeling dry, sore and may look dull and lackluster. This is largely down to harsh winds, indoor heating and general neglect. In colder weather water evaporates very quickly from the skins surface which stops skin shedding correctly. This often leads to dryness, giving us that dull looking complexion we try to avoid.
All is not lost however as there are ways you can get your glow back…
1) Diet – beauty starts from within so make sure you are eating a diet rich in healthy fats. These can be found in foods such as oily fish, nuts, seeds and avocados. In fact, avocados also contain vitamin E which helps to strengthen collagen in the skin, so try to include these daily.
2) Hydrate – drinking plenty of water will help to flush away any toxins and will keep skin looking plump and moisturised. If you have a serious coffee habit, think about switching it for herbal teas to cut down on caffeine.
3) Cleansing products – try to avoid any alcohol-based cleansers or toners as these can irritate dry skin. Exfoliate twice a week to help shift dead skin, but if your skin is inflamed or irritated exfoliating may make things worse. If this is the case, stick to creamy facial cleansers instead.
4) Moisturisers – while it may be your natural instinct to reach for a thick, heavy moisturiser, this may not be the best option for dry skin. These types of products are often so heavy that they sit on top of the skin forming a barrier. Instead, try lighter creams, serums or oils which will penetrate deeply into the skin.
5) Try a treatment – if you really want to indulge your skin, treat yourself to a professional facial. A qualified beautician will be able to diagnose your skin type and come up with an appropriate treatment. For dry skin a treatment that helps to increase blood flow, flushes away toxins and rehydrates skin is ideal.
6) Tone-up – face and neck exercises will help to keep the muscles in your face firm as well as encouraging blood flow to nourish skin and flush away toxins. Next time you moisturise, place fingers on either side of your neck, under your ears. Gently push the skin in a sideways motion towards the back of your neck ten times.
Facials are great for your skin whatever the weather, if you want to find out more, take a look at our Facials page.
April 10th, 2013
Winter’s clearly not budging and neither is last season’s monochrome nail trend (every cloud has a silver lining!)
Don’t pack up those black and white polishes in favour of summery pastels just yet, because rumour has it the minimalist look is here to stay for a little longer.
Dark and pale contrasts in geometric patterns are both fun and sophisticated, and celebrities have been loving the look on Twitter (most recently singer Jessie Ware, who posted a photo of her nails painted with Art Deco style white triangles on a black background).
But don’t worry, you don’t have to be on a celebrity salary to rock monochrome nails – there’s something for every budget.
Strapped for cash…
For a salon-standard nail polish that doesn’t break the bank, try Revlon Colorstay Nail Enamel. This formula is based on salon gel nails (a combination of resin and high molecular weight polymers) making it strong, chip-resistant and glossy. We love the wide-angled brush too, because it allows for smooth, streak free application.
There’s a number of monochrome shades to choose from, including:
- Stiletto – black with midnight blue undertones
- Jungle – black
- Stormy Night – dark grey
- Sequin – lighter grey
- Porcelain – creamy white.
Each Revlon Colorstay Nail Enamel is £7.99.
The best mid-price nail range out there has to be Nails Inc., the London-based nail experts. Mad About Monochrome is a ready-made collection in four ultra chic shades, including:
- Black Taxi – as black and shiny as a London cab
- Colville Mews – a delicate beige
- The Thames – classic cool grey
- Maddox Street – gun metal grey.
Considering each polish alone would set you back £11, Nails Inc. Mad About Monochrome Collection is great value at just £25.
Looking for luxury
For women who don’t want to scrimp when it comes to nails, it has to be Dolce and Gabana. Intense Nail Lacquer from this iconic Italian fashion house come in tall, elegant bottles. On the nail it looks rich, shiny and strong. Try True White combined with Peacock, an almost black blue for a modern take on the monochrome trend.
Each bottle of Dolce and Gabana Intense Nail Lacquer costs £18.50.
If professional nail care is more your thing, head over to our Nails page for more information about what to expect and how to find a nail technician near you.
April 6th, 2013
A clamp down on the use of injectable fillers and laser treatments will see that only fully qualified therapists will be able to offer these services.
NHS chief Sir Bruce Keogh has reviewed the beauty industry and discovered the sector of non-surgical treatments like fillers are being performed by unqualified practitioners. Currently there are no regulations in this sector and an alarming amount of cowboy practices are in operation.
While operations like breast implants, facelifts and other surgical procedures are the ones that often grab the headlines, 90% of the £2.3 billion business is made up of smaller, less invasive procedures like dermal fillers – when substances are injected into the skin to help reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
Keogh’s review revealed that despite there being few controls over who can and cannot perform these treatments, some clients are coming to serious harm when procedures go wrong. Reports of skin necrosis (when the skin tissue dies due to blocked blood vessels) and even blindness have been documented due to ill qualified therapists.
Keogh points out that even though these procedures aren’t strictly speaking surgical – they are certainly medical and require someone with adequate training to carry them out and treat the patient should there be complications.
“I am concerned that some practitioners who are giving non-surgical treatments may not have had any appropriate training whatsoever. This leaves people exposed to unreasonable risks, and possibly permanent damage.”
The review will recommend that anyone who offers these types of treatment must be adequately trained and qualified to perform the procedures, if not they must perform the procedure under the supervision of a clinically trainer supervisor.
The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) welcomes the news, agreeing that all procedures of this type should be regulated and restricted to medical professionals. BAAPS also say many of their member surgeons have had to fix botched jobs and a recent survey has revealed that a shocking 69% of surgeons have seen patients suffer from complications from these kinds of fillers.
View and comment on the original Guardian article.
April 4th, 2013
Emerald green is Pantone’s colour of the year for 2013 – but while it may look great on the catwalk, does it translate easily into everyday life? We look at ways to dazzle with products from the high-street.
World-renowned ‘colour authority’ Pantone has teamed up with make-up giant Sephora to create a power collection in 2013′s colour of the year, emerald green. Unfortunately, Sephora is only available to clients in the U.S., so we’ve tracked down some great alternatives available here in the UK.
Long gone are the tangerine tones of 2012. This year it’s all about this bold, attractive shade of green associated with prosperity, growth and renewal – making it the perfect colour for reviving our hopes and fortunes in a difficult economic climate.
Now there’s no hiding when you wear emerald so you have to wear it in a way that suits you.
Instead of heading right in with an emerald green outfit, we suggest starting with the eyes. Get hold of NARS Duo Eye-Shadow in shimmering ecru and emerald green. This palette promises to enhance and invigorate eyes for a bold, supernatural look. The pale ecru contrasts with the bold emerald, adding a new dimension to the colour. The eye-shadow itself is silky soft and easy to blend for a more natural look that suits all skin tones and iris colours.
Powder too light for you? If you’re looking to really wow the crowds with an ultra-modern look, choose a combination of MAC pigment in teal and olive green, a super strong shadow offering highly pigmented colour and stain-level staying power. This product creates a vivid, energised look which burns with intensity and looks incredible on a night out. Use your own creativity to wear the pigment – try geometric patterns or dramatic flicks for a feline feel, or opt for thick block colour over the top lid to emphasise blue eyes.
If you want a taste of the colour of the year but you’re not looking to stop traffic then adding a shock of colour to an otherwise nude look can be very effective. Use creams, ivories and beiges to add a little definition to the top lid before drawing a small flick of emerald with the Rimmel Exaggerate Eyeliner. This is a long-lasting, liquid liner with a silky texture that glides on effortlessly and looks subtle enough for the office.
March 30th, 2013
Extracts from plant stem cells are sent to the front line in the war against ageing.
The beauty world has been looking for a way to slow the ageing process for centuries and now it seems science has made a revelation. Stem cells from plants have been tested for their effect on our skin and are being added to anti-ageing creams to help reduce the signs of ageing in one of the beauty worlds most innovative breakthroughs.
This new generation of skincare products are designed to stimulate our own skin’s stem cell production with the use of plant stem cells. The products boast dramatic results that help to keep skin looking plump and youthful. The following products all use this technology and promise great results…
Plantscription Anti-aging Cream by Origins £46
Complete with over 300,000 raspberry plant stem cells in every jar, the latest addition to Origins’ Plantscription range is set to be a real power player in the battle against ageing. The brand has a long history with plant-derived ingredients and worked tirelessly to find the best stem cells for the job.
The chosen cells come from red raspberries, harvested from the Italian Apennine Mountains and are known for their ability to re-grow and self-renew.
Youth Code Luminize Super Serum by L’Oreal Paris £16.66
A lightweight serum created with a subtle highlighting effect, Youth Code Luminize Super Serum is perfect for brightening up dull skin. The Luminize range has 10 years of stem cell research behind it and is well known for its more purse-friendly price tag.
Applying a thin layer of this super serum will help to give skin a boost of luminosity while the stem cell technology gets to work on your skin for the long term.
Firm Baby Firm Dual-Action Lifting + Volumizing Serum by Bliss £55
With a creamy texture, this water-free serum adds a boost of hydration to dried out skin. Using gardenia stem cells, this serum is designed to seek and repair any damaged collagen within the skin.
As soon as these damaged cells have been repaired, skin appears plumper for a more youthful looking complexion.
If you want to find out more about your skin and what you can do to improve it, you may find it helpful to see a dermatologist. To find out more and to search for a dermatologist in your area, please see our Dermatology page.
March 27th, 2013
Market-style bath and skin care shop Lush is branching out into the cosmetics world for the first time.
The eco-friendly brand has already made a name for itself on the high-street with its pungent-smelling array of handmade soaps, bath bombs, lotions and potions that look good enough to eat. Lush claims only to use vegetarian ingredients sources from companies with a no animal-testing policy.
Now stores nationwide are launching ‘Emotional Brilliance’, a fun new make-up collection featuring 30 products in a huge array of colours. The range is typically no-frills but fun, arranged on in-store colour wheels so you can mix, match and try on for the perfect fit.
Each colour comes with its own name, so you can match according to the personality you want to exude. You can try ‘Ambition’, a pillar box red lipstick; ‘Calm’, an on-trend bright blue eyeliner, or ‘Lifted’, a butter yellow cream eye-shadow – among countless other shades and products.
All Lush make-up is made with soothing products like rose petals, almond oils and jojoba for optimum care. Looking after the skin is one of Lush’s top values and they’ve made a fortune creating ever-imaginative products for the body.
The new make-up bottles are simple and a little medicinal-looking, each with its own Alice in Wonderland-style tag on a string. The lack of packaging means when you’re done with the make-up, you can recycle the pot, making this a guilt-free purchase!
You can find out more about ‘Emotional Brilliance‘ by following the link to the Lush website. Here you can also play a fun colour ‘game’ where you select three colours that stand out most to you (without thinking for too long). Lush then tells you what these colours signify, giving you a cute insight into your choices.
Products start from £14.50.
March 23rd, 2013
Embrace the new season with these tips for a spring-ready look.
It may not feel like it, but spring is on its way and what better way to shake off the last dregs of winter than with a few simple make-up updates.
The season of heavy bases, dark lips and dark eyes is over and it’s finally time to make way for lighter looks and (hopefully) warmer days. If your make-up routine is feeling a little stagnant, these easy tweaks to your routine will have you feeling as fresh as a daisy.
Time to ditch your heavy, matte foundation and embrace a lighter, fresher look. Make your own tinted moisturiser by mixing your favourite foundation with face cream for an even skin tone without the mask-like finish. Alternatively, give BB cream a try to prime, moisturise and even out skin tone in one easy step.
Inject a bit of life into your look with a highlighter to create a subtle, dewy look. Apply a little highlighter to the tops of your cheeks for cut-glass cheekbones or beneath your brow bone to enhance your eyes. For a wide-awake look apply small dots to the inside corners of your eyes. Remember with highlighter – less is more, so only pick one area of your face to highlight, any more than that and you’ll look more shiny than dewy.
If coloured eye shadow scares you but you want to add a little colour to your look for spring, why not experiment with coloured eyeliners? Try a deep green or turquoise blue along your lower lash line for a subtle pop of colour. Give your liner a little smudge for a more laid back look.
This spring calls for matte colour on the lips, so ditch your nude glosses for now. Matte styles tend to be drying so be sure to give your lips a good scrub and coat of balm before reaching for your new lipstick. Pair bright lips with low-key eye make-up and dewy skin for a stunning spring look.
Great news for those who struggled with the nail art trend, simplicity is making a comeback. Keep nails minimal with a coat of clear polish or neutral taupe for the ultimate low-maintenance look.
If your make-up skills are lacking, why not have a lesson from a professional? To find out more, please see our Professional Make-up page.
March 20th, 2013
This coming spring is all about colour – the bolder, the better.
‘Deep Throat’, ‘Orgasm’ and ‘Strip Tease’ are all best selling product lines by edgy New York-born brand NARS. Now the less-than-conventional label has released its latest Spring 2013 Color Collection featuring a rainbow of shades that wouldn’t look amiss in David Bowie’s makeup bag.
This collection will shock, seduce and turn heads. Take the new Mad Mad World Duo Eyeshadow in Vivid Cyan (bright blue) and Parakeet Green (sea green). These conflicting shades can be worn either on their own in bold block colours, or blended together with contour shading for a smouldering look. The micro-fine powder offers strong, crease-free colour that glides on smoothly and stays intense all day.
Team your planet Earth-coloured lids with the new Soft Touch Shadow Pencil in Corcovado, a beautiful golden shade. This jumbo-sized pencil is versatile enough to be used either as an eyeshadow or as a liner. We suggest you use this bold, creamy pencil to highlight the lower lash-line so it contrasts vividly with your upper lid for a real ’80s look.
Of course, Bowie wouldn’t be Bowie without those exaggerated cheekbones and NARS certainly doesn’t disappoint in the blusher department. Team your wild eyes with Seduction Blush, a deep sangria shade of red exclusive to the spring 13 collection. Apply generously to the hollows of your cheeks for high-intensity definition, or blend carefully for a more natural look.
Complete your arresting look with Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil in Cytere, a soft metallic rose. This glossy jumbo pencil is created with the latest in moisturising technology, offering moisture-rich hyaluronic spheres which promise to soften and plump lips, making them look fuller.
You can buy this whole collection, including products we haven’t mentioned, for £158 over at NARS Cosmetics.