The skincare mistakes you’re making

March 20th, 2014

The skincare mistakes you're makingFind out what common skincare mistakes you’re making and how to fix them.

There are several areas of beauty where it’s OK to skimp – your manicure, your make-up and even your haircuts can be put on the backburner when life gets too busy. Your skincare routine however, should be sacred – your skin has to deal with a lot more and is more prone to problems.

There are plenty of elements of skincare we all know (such as cleansing our face regularly), but even the best of us make the odd mistake. The following list shows some of the most common skincare mistakes and what you can do to fix them:

Not using a moisturiser with an SPF

Protecting your skin should be a priority, and one easy way to do this is by using a moisturiser with an SPF of 15 or higher. Even in the UK, where sunshine is rare – protecting yourself against harmful UV rays is essential.

Fix it: Use a moisturiser with SPF – we love Simple’s kind to skin protecting light moisturiser SPF 15.

Not patting your face dry

This is especially important if you have sensitive skin – rubbing your skin dry with a towel can cause irritation and even cause dark spots under your eyes.

Fix it: Be careful to pat your skin dry after cleansing and be gentle around your eye area.

Not washing your hands before washing your face

When you wash your face or apply make-up without washing your hands you are effectively spreading bacteria and oil, which can cause skin problems like acne. It is also important to avoid touching your face during the day as, again, you risk spreading bacteria.

Fix it: Wash hands thoroughly before cleansing your face, applying lotions or applying make-up.

Not cutting down on sugary drinks

Too many fizzy drinks, energy drinks and even fruit juices could be taking its toll on your skin. This is all down to the sugar content of such drinks; the sugar and acidity goes straight to your skin and can cause irritation, redness and acne.

Fix it: Cut down on sugary drinks and increase your water intake.

Find out how a dermatologist could help you keep your skin looking and feeling great on our dermatology page.

View and comment on the original Beauty High article.

Revitalise your complexion with these beauty-boosting products

March 15th, 2014

Get the spring back in your step with these refreshing skincare picks.

As we shake off yet another long, grey winter it is time to embrace the new season with a quick refresh in the skincare department. If winter has left your skin looking tired and dull, there are a number of products out there to revitalise and rejuvinate. Take a look at our top picks.

Crystal Clear Revitalising Tonic For your skin:

Crystal Clear Revitalising Tonic (£20)

This wonderfully refreshing mist is alcohol free and packed full of revitalising ingredients including cucumber and mineral salts. Keep on hand for whenever you need a hydrating pick-me up for lacklustre complexions.

Clarins Beauty Flash Balm (£29)

A cult classic in the beauty world – Clarins Beauty Flash Balm is award winning for good reason. Eliminating signs of fatigue in an instant, the balm tightens and brightens skin with olive and witch hazel extracts while soothing bisabolol helps to restore skin’s natural glow. Use this instead of your usual primer when your complexion needs a boost.

For your eyes:

Liz Earle Eyebright Soothing Eye Lotion (£10.75)

We love this lotion as a morning refresher for tired eyes. This non-oily formula contains witch hazel, aloe vera and cornflower to help cool and tone tired, puffy eyes. Working as a gentle eye make-up remover too, this is great for getting rid of any any stubborn mascara smudges.Dr Andrew WEIL for Origins Mega-Bright Dark Circle Minimiser

Dr Andrew WEIL for Origins Mega-Bright Dark Circle Minimiser (£32)

Banishing dark circles, this cream contains extracts of Japanese ume, molasses and Rosa roxburghii (full of vitamin C). Helping to strengthen fragile, dry skin – this hydrating formula also works to prevent the appearance of discolouration from circling back.

If you think your skin is in need of some professional assistance, take a look at our facials page to find a beauty therapist near you.

Hair dye D.I.Y – Master the purple hue

March 12th, 2014

Create the shiny purple locks of Nicole Richie and Kelly Osbourne with these top tinting tips. 

Back in 2012, Katy Perry ditched her long raven locks for a shade of purple, sparking a trend that would sweep through Hollywood and right into our own kitchens – D.I.Y style that is.

The simple truth is that we just can’t get enough of the purple hue, and with Nicole Richie having recently debuted her sleek purple mane, we’re keener than ever to jump on the rainbow.

So here are some top tips on how to turn your locks into the perfect purple hue.

Preparation

Dying your hair such a vivid colour requires a lot of preparation – both mentally and physically. Before reaching for the bottle, make sure you are prepared for the attention your new hair colour will bring. Then arrange an appointment with your hairdresser to find out what is possible for your hair condition and colour. They will be able to suggest the best shade of purple to complement your skin tone and to match your expectations. If you want a long-lasting result, pastel purple shades are unadvisable, while bright, deep colours tend to stick around for a lot longer.

Set your base with bleach

For those with hair darker than mid-blonde, you will need to bleach your locks to ensure your new purple hue actually shows up. It is crucial that you have your hairdresser bleach your hair, rather than attempting to do so at home to ensure the best and safest results. If you do not have your hair lightened professionally – and finished off with toner – it could not only wreck your hair but may also leave the purple colour looking blotchy due to uneven coverage. If your hair is already coloured, your stylist will need to strip that out first.

Perfect purple   

Once your base is set you can move straight on to your purple hair dye and this step can be done easily at home. For a super vibrant colour, why not try the Fudge Paintbox range, which consists of several colourful semi-permanent dyes to suit all tastes.

Before applying the colour, it is recommended that you mix a tiny amount of contrasting colour into your chosen dye to add more depth and vibrancy. For example, mixing a drop of Blue Velvet with Clockwork Orange and a small amount of Red Corvette creates a unique burnt orange colour. Only mix tiny amounts and spend time experimenting – dabbing the mixture onto cotton wool to see what colour you’ve created. Once you have found your perfect purple hue, get creative!

Will you be dying your hair a vibrant shade of purple any time soon? Tell us what you think in the comments section below. 

View and comment on the original Yahoo article.

The Oscars 2014 red carpet beauty secrets revealed

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:

Flawless skin

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.

Glamorous hair

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.

Hot body

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. 

Back to basics: Eyeliner

March 6th, 2014

Back to basics: EyelinerFrom 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.

The application

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.

Foundation, meet skincare

March 1st, 2014
bareMinerals

bareMinerals foundation

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.

Nail shades to suit your skin tone

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:

Fair skin

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. 

Medium skin

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.

Dark skin 

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. 

The top five make-up mistakes making you look tired

February 21st, 2014
The top five make-up mistakes making you look tired

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. 

Natural beauty wonders

February 20th, 2014

Natural beauty wondersFind 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

Marine life

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

Clay

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

Tea

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.

Sweet sensation: Chocolate makes a fantastic skin boosting face mask!

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.