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.

Five of the best beauty gift-sets

December 16th, 2014

Got a friend or family member you don’t know what to get for Christmas? Look no further…

We all have one – a friend or family member who we just don’t know what to get for Christmas. In our experience, pretty much everyone loves a gift-set, full of a variety of treats there is bound to be something in there they’ll love. It’s also a great way for people to try out new products without splashing out on the full-sized versions.

So if you’re stressing out over the last gift on your list – take a deep breath and read our suggestions:

PhilosophyFor the skin care enthusiast: Philosophy Glowing Days Ahead (£70)

A high-end skin care brand, Philosophy have created a gift-set with all their bestsellers. The box includes bottles of microdelivery exfoliating wash and peel, and the brand’s classic ‘Hope in a Jar’ day and night moisturising creams.

For the stressed out soul: L’Occitane Relaxing Lavender Collection (£45.50)

The beautiful box has a whole host of products to help you unwind and sleep. The box includes Marseille lavender soap, rich hand creams, bath salts and bath foam to help the receiver soak their troubles away.Elemis

For the man in your life: Elemis Multi-Active Men’s Collection Gift Set (£39.50)

Men deserve some pampering gifts over Christmas too. This box includes an aching muscle soak (perfect post-gym), a shower lotion, facial moisturiser and a refreshing gel.

For the bath lover: Aromatherapy Associates Relaxing Bathing Box (£35)

For those who love a relaxing soak in the tub, this gift could not be more apt. Containing the brand’s ‘Relax’ body wash and three essential oils for the bath/shower this gift will unwind both body and mind.Joules

For the secret Santa gift: Joules Cream of The Crop Skincare Kit (£14)

If you have a slightly tighter budget, go for this hydrating gift-set. Complete with a body scrub and nourishing moisturiser, these products will leave skin silky smooth all winter.

Do you have any tips for other beauty gifts? Let us know over on Facebook.

View and comment on the original Express article.

Tips for keeping skin hydrated this winter

December 12th, 2014

Tips for keeping skin hydrated this winterKeep your skin hydrated and radiant this Christmas with the following easy tips.

The temperature has really dropped in the UK recently, and this can cause our skin to suffer. The combination of cold, dry weather, winter sniffles and hardcore central heating all make our skin drier than normal. Here we look at some easy ways you can keep your skin supple and glowing whatever the weather.

Drink more water

It may sound obvious, but hydration really does start from the inside. Up your water intake (yes, hot drinks count too) and eat plenty of fruit and veg with high water content such as apples, pears, grapes and leafy greens.

Reduce your time in hot showers/baths

Yes, we know, when it’s cold outside sitting in a hot bath for hours is tempting, but all that hot water will only dry out your skin. If you want a long soak in the bath/shower, try and make the water lukewarm rather than hot and add a bath/shower oil to boost it’s hydration power.

Exfoliate your body, face and lips

Exfoliation should become a key step in your beauty routine come winter, and this means your body, face and lips. For your body try to get into the habit of dry body brushing to improve circulation and help moisturisers penetrate the skin better. For your face use a gentle exfoliator every couple of days and for your lips use a dedicated lip-scrub regularly.

Moisturise your body with oil

Oil is big news in the beauty world at the moment, which is great news for dry skin. Apply oil (coconut or jojoba are ideal) on its own after your shower or layer it over your usual moisturiser for a deep conditioning treatment.

Give hands and feet special attention

Our extremities often get overlooked in winter, so make sure you treat them to some TLC to keep them soft. Use a thick, rich cream and layer it on your hands/feet before covering up with cotton gloves/socks overnight. In the morning you should have softer, healthier looking skin.

Use a hydrating facemask

Give your face an extra hit of hydration with a moisture-boosting facemask – you can either buy one or make your own (avocado, Greek yoghurt and honey are all great ingredients for this). Also make sure you’re using a rich moisturiser every day after cleansing.

If you think your skin needs professional help, use our advanced search to find a dermatologist.

View and comment on the original Mind Body Green article.

Simple guide to applying false eyelashes

December 9th, 2014

Simple guide to applying false lashesFind out how to apply false eyelashes like a pro with these easy tips.

Christmas is an ideal time to play with bolder make-up looks – whether it be a red lip, glitter nails or metallic eyes. Another easy way to glam up your party look is adding some false lashes.

If you are a falsie virgin or are put off by the faff of applying them, take a look at this super easy guide to applying natural looking false lashes (minus the faff).

1. Think small

For a natural look that is still show-stopping, opt for clusters of lashes instead of a full strip.

2. Curl

Use an eyelash curler to give your natural lashes a bit of oomph – doing this before you apply your false lashes will stop you accidently ripping them out.

3. Add mascara

Use a couple of thin coats of mascara on your natural lashes and de-clump with a lash comb.

4. Apply

Put a few drops of eyelash glue onto tin foil and use some tweezers to pick up a cluster of falsies. Wait for 30 seconds or so until the glue becomes tacky and then dip the root into it. Nestle the small strip into the base of your lashes (it should not touch your skin).

5. Line

Keep applying the lashes, using shorter lashes near your nose and longer ones towards the outer edges. Once they are applied let the glue dry naturally. Finally use a liquid liner to fill in the gaps and help hide any glue.

If you think you could do with a helping hand in the make-up department, why not treat yourself to a lesson? Find out more on our professional make-up page.

View and comment on the original InStyle article.

Make-up application mistakes to avoid

December 4th, 2014

Make-up application mistakes to avoidMake-up is designed to enhance our natural looks, but simple application mistakes could be doing the opposite! 

Great make-up, is, I think you’ll agree, pretty great! Today we’re transfixed by the latest runway looks, stocking up on ever-improving beauty products and learning to contour like Kim Kardashian, but amongst all this, some make-up mistakes have gone unnoticed.

Learning to avoid these is key to making sure your efforts to look beautiful are not in vain. So below we have outlined some of the most common make-up application mistakes that are best avoided to make sure your love affair with make-up is as good as can be.

Forgetting your eyebrows

While they may have been getting a lot more attention these days thanks to a certain bushy-browed model, many of us are still forgetting our eyebrows! A well-groomed brow is essential for completing a beautifully made up face. If yours are quite bushy, keep them well trimmed and have regular eyebrow waxes to maintain a flattering shape for your face. When applying make-up, use a matching brow pencil to gently fill them in. We love Seventeen Brows That! Brow kit (£5.99).  

Not blending your make-up

We have all spotted someone with badly blended foundation, so be careful to make sure you’re not the next victim by investing in a decent blending brush such as No.7’s Foundation Brush (£14). Contouring is all about blending and making the most of the natural lines and bone structure of your face. For a great guide to contouring, check out this Youtube tutorial.

Lipstick that is too dark

Lipstick that is too dark for your skin tone is very unflattering and can make you look older – especially the vivid matte products. For a natural, younger look, we have a special guide to choosing the right colour and using the right tools to make sure your lipstick perfectly enhances your complexion.

Too much bronzer

It can be very easy to overload on bronzer, but bear in mind bronzer is designed to provide a subtle, natural sheen to your complexion – not an all over orange tan. Apply bronzer sparingly and refer to the contouring tutorial on acing the best application. For a great buy, try Urban Decay’s Baked Bronzer (£20), which you can apply to the face and body.

Using too much black eyeliner 

Applied correctly, black eyeliner can enhance your eyes. Applied incorrectly (i.e. too much) it can leave you looking tired and your eyes looking smaller. Avoid this unnatural look by using dark eyeliner only your top lash line and a light or nude eyeliner on the inside of your bottom lash line. For a sultry, intense look, try Clarins’ Waterproof Eye Liner Pencil (£17).

For more advice on expert make-up application, please see our back to basics make-up blogs. 

View and comment on the original Beauty and Tips article. 

Christmas party make-up must-haves!

December 2nd, 2014

Complete your festive party look with these fantastic beauty buys.

The Christmas party season is finally here, and this means lots of preparation for a big festive bash with work colleagues and friends.

Finding the perfect dress, matching shoes and accessories is one of the most enjoyable parts of Christmas party preparation, but there is no denying the thrill of beautifying the look on the final day.

To help you complete your stunning party look, we have found some merry make-up buys for you to try this season:two faced 2

Two Faced Snow Bunny Luminous Bronzer 

It may be cold and dreary outside, but with this colourful bronzer you can give your complexion a gorgeous sun-kissed glow with the sweep of a brush. Featuring four different shades this product is suitable for all skin tones.

Ciaté Glitz Fix ciate

For an easy runway look, Ciaté Glitz Fix has you covered. Shimmery lips are bang on trend this party season, and all you need to do is dust glitter onto a transparent sealer, which you can then roll directly onto your lips for a glamorous nighttime look. 

MAC Studio Nail Lacquer in Soiree 

Give your nails a rich shimmery coating with this dazzling high-gloss shade. Infused with cream, pearl and glitter, MAC have the perfect formula to make your manicure stand out without taking attention away from your dress.

NARS Laser Cut Eye, Cheek & Lip Palette 

narsInvest in this sleek pigmented palette and you have your eyes, cheeks and lips sorted. NARS have included three limited edition eyeshadow shades, as well as a Dolce Vita lip gloss, a bronzing powder and blush. Perfect for popping into your clutch bag for evening touch ups.

Bourjois Intense waterproof metallic eye pencils 

For maximum impact, this party season is all about highlighting eyes with intense metallic shades. Bourjois’ collection of waterproof eyeliners range from jewel-blue to rich, chocolately black – perfect for making those peepers stand out.

If the idea of doing your own make-up for a special event is a bit daunting, there is the option to have it done professionally. To find out more, please see our professional make-up page. 

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

Tips to help your make-up brushes last longer

November 28th, 2014

Tips to help your make-up brushes last longerFind out how to keep your make-up brushes in top condition for longer.

Last week we told you which make-up brushes you need in your kit, so this week we wanted to tell you how you can make them last longer. Taking care of your make-up brushes and keeping them clean will not only save you from costly re-purchases, it will also help your make-up go on smoother.

Take a look below for some expert tips:

Opt for synthetic brushes

Generally synthetic brushes last longer than more delicate natural brushes. Synthetic brushes can be made from taklon or nylon, which are great for applying liquid products and can handle a little more wear and tear.

Wash brushes regularly

Keeping your brushes clean is not only hygienic, it can also help them to last longer. For synthetic brushes you can use washing up liquid or brush cleaner, but for natural brushes you are advised to use a more gentle formula such as baby shampoo.

Store them correctly

Once you have washed your brushes, ensure they air dry completely before storing. Try to keep them away from direct sunlight and dust; most professionals use a brush roll, but you can also store them in a cup with the brushes facing upwards. As long as they can maintain their shape and breathe, they should be fine.

Use your brushes for the right product

Natural hair brushes should ideally be saved for dry products, while synthetic brushes should be used for liquids. This is because of the way the hair absorbs the make-up, and going against what they are best suited to could shorten the life of the brush.

Don’t apply aggressively

If you are rough with your application the bristles of your brush can spread and bend over time. This can make it difficult to apply make-up and will end up ruining the brush for good. Instead try to use a light hand when applying make-up as this will help your brush last longer.

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

DIY hand scrubs

November 26th, 2014

DIY hand scrubsKeep your hands smooth and beautiful this winter with a DIY scrub.

With its cold temperatures and harsh conditions, winter can play havoc on our skin making it dry and chapped. This is often especially the case when it comes to the delicate skin on our hands which can take a battering in the winter months.

One way to help keep skin smooth is by treating yourself to a hand scrub. There are many hand scrubs available to buy in shops, but why not make your own? Here are three easy recipes for effective hand scrubs:

1) Lemon and ginger hand scrub

The ginger in this hand scrub will give your skin a radiant glow, while the acid in the lemon will gently exfoliate the skin. The epsom salts will remove dead cells and revive your skin. Once you’ve made the scrub, massage it into your hands using small circular movements and then rinse with warm water.


  • 5 tablespoons jojoba oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup epsom salts
  • 1 inch peeled and finely grated ginger.

 Method: Combine in a bowl and store in a cool, dark place.

 2) Coconut and coffee hand scrub

The coffee here will gently exfoliate and revive the skin, while the coconut oil will moisturise and soften. Perfect if the skin on your hands has become hard, you can use this scrub on the rest of your body too.


  • 1/4 cup coffee grounds (allow to cool and dry before use)
  • 1/2 cup softened coconut oil.

Method: Combine coffee grounds with the coconut oil and allow to firm up. Store in a cool place or in the fridge.

3) Lavender and honey scrub

As well as being an antiseptic and anti-fungal, lavender is also incredibly relaxing, making this scrub feel like a real treat. Honey is known to accelerate healing, which will be especially helpful if you have cracked or damaged skin.


  • 1/3 cup finely granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 4-5 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 10 drops lavender oil.

Method: Stir all ingredients together and store in a cool, dark place.

If your hands need a professional touch, you can use Beauty Resource to find a manicurist in your local area.

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.