Tag Archives: Beauty Review

Beauty: 5 Skincare Cult Classics

6 Feb

When it comes to skincare, there are a gargantuan amount of products out there. From anti-wrinkle busters to spot control creams, there seems to be a new must-have product that will solve all of your skin worries being introduced to us every day.

Whether it comes with flashy ads, Kate Moss as the ambassador or a quirky tag line – I’m only interested in products if they actually work. The best products out there are the ones that have stood the test of time.

Here are my top 5 skincare cult classics that do exactly what they say on the tin:

beauty skincarecult classics

1. Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream – Developed in 1930, this moisturizer has a cult following all across the globe. The combination of petrolatum as a skin soothing beta-hydroxy and vitamin E possesses countless applications. It’s the all-in-one master product that soothes skinburn, hydrates chapped lips and restores skin to a healthy, soft and supple state. I normally apply this all over my face just before bed as I know it’ll get a chunky amount of time to soak into the skin and work its magic. FYI: The name is said to have come from a loyal client of Arden, who noticed the balm completely cleared up her child’s skinned knee in just eight hours.

2. Vaseline – Pure petroleum jelly.  A little pot of petroleum jelly will get you a long, long way. Vaseline acts as a protective barrier to keep dryness at bay to leave your skin supple all year round. This is a multi-purpose wonder too. You can add a little lip liner to make a nice lip gloss, you can run it through your hair to use as a gentle serum to tame stray-aways, you can use it as an eyebrow gel to keep your unruly brows in place and you can rub onto your eyelashes before bed to help promote growth in lash thickness and length. You can even mix it with your lipstick to create a cream blusher and it’s also said to maintain your perfume scent for longer when applied at perfume points pre-spritzing. A beauty essential.

beauty skincarecult classics

3. Sudocrem – Another tub of joy that needs no gimmicks or pretty colours to sell out worldwide. The product speaks for itself. Although sold in the baby section as a nappy rash cream it’s also one of the best healing creams for spots. Pop a smidgen of this onto your spot before bed and you’ll wake up spot-free. It helps to dry out the skin and draw moisture to the surface to help the skin with its natural healing process. It helps with soothing bites and burns and prevents infection too. If you’ve got an open wound – Sudocrem is always the answer.

4. Coco Butter – Body moisturisers come in all different forms – from lotions to creams to perfumed to tan-enhancing; there are a ridiculous amount of moisturisers out there. If you’re looking for a reputable moisturiser that can be used every day, all over your body, won’t break the bank and will simply leave your skin hydrated and moisturised, Palmer’s Cocoa butter is the only option. Enriched with vitamin E, the thick consistency smells divine and soaks into your skin almost instantly. Perfect for keeping your entire body nourished, feeling soft and looking great!

beauty skincarecult classics

5. Cetaphil – I have yet to find a dermatologist who doesn’t rave about Cetaphil’s soap-free, ultra-gentle cleanser and lightweight moisturising lotion that refuses to upset even the most sensitive of sensitive skins. Its ultra-mild, non-comedogenic formula is hydrating without pore-blocking. This acne specialist, medical-based moisturiser is non-greasy, non-irritating and long-lasting. Clinically proven to bind water to the skin to prevent moisture loss and help maintain skin’s natural protective barrier, this is perfect for dry, sensitive, acne-prone skin types. to use pre-make-up application.

What are your skincare must-have’s that you cannot live without?

~x~

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Beauty Review: bareMinerals Prime Time

24 Jan

Primers are those secretive little creatures that many have heard of but few know their intentions. I’ve only recently been introduced to the primer world and my oh my what a wonderful world it is.

You may think it a gimmicky, nonsense tool conjured up by the beauty companies for you to part with yet more of your pennies pounds on purchasing yet more make-up products. I thought the same, until I tried it out.

I’ve tried some 2-in-1 type primers before; where you get a foundation or a serum which includes a primer base within it but it wasn’t until I went the whole hog that I realised the true benefit of these curious critters.

I heard some great reviews for bareMinerals Prime Time so popped it on my Christmas wish list. Luckily, Santa my sister listened and I received a whole host of make-up goodies on 25th December including the gorgeous little black box of magic.
bareMinerals Foundation Primer Review

I tried it out straight away on Christmas morning. After the daily routine of cleansing, applying eye cream and moisturising I then delved into the teeny package. I really like the pump bottle of this product. One full pump is all you need for a complete, even layer for your entire face and neck. So, you know you’re using the right amount each and every time. No wasters here!

The texture is silky smooth and ultra-lightweight. It’s a creamy, serumy consistency that isn’t sticky or greasy and soaks into your skin quickly.

Once applied, you won’t see a huge, if any, difference to your skin. It’s only when you then apply your foundation that the true magic of this beauty bottle appears like a genie from the lamp.

With Prime Time you need a lot less foundation than you used to. A little smidgen of foundation goes a long way thanks to the silky base. Your foundation appears a lot more smoother and diminishes dryness, fine lines, blemishes and excess oil.

The pink, almost glittery colour exemplifies the true meaning of the ‘light-reflecting particles’ phrase so many beauty companies try and fob you off with. It really shines through to create a bright, healthy-looking glow. It helps to create a more natural look whilst simultaneously helps to cover up blemishes and dark circles more easily.

As with all bareMinerals products, it’s a mineral based formula meaning it doesn’t sit heavily on your skin and lasts a heck of a lot longer than most other brands.

bareMinerals Foundation Primer Review

Although small, it’ll last a lifetime*. I’ve used this most days since Christmas and it still feels pretty full.

It really is foundation’s long-lost soulmate. I don’t know how I every coped without it before now. I will never use foundation without using primer first, and that is a vow. Think of them as Richard and Judy, Ant and Dec, Hayley and Roy, Leon and June (you know, off Gogglebox); one simply doesn’t exist without the other by its side.

* Ok, well not exactly a lifetime, but a really, really long time.

~x~

Beauty Review: Hair

29 May

The mane attraction.

There are three fundamental  elements to your look: 1. Make-up, 2. Clothes and 3. Hair. Style is all about successfully balancing these three elements.

1. We have to take each item of make-up step-by-step. The world of make-up and beauty is extremely complex so each product type will have their own blog post.

2. Fashion is ever-changing so clothing  is also extremely complicated. We’ll take each component within the fashion arena and un-pick it by looking at style choices for specific cases (occasions, body types, age, seasons), a review of fashion brands, and a selection of the best stylish pieces around.

3. However, hair is relatively simple. So we’ll aim to conquer this element in just one post therefore, by the end of this reading you’ll know all of the secrets to achieving the perfect mane.

Shampoo

Shampoo is used for the removal of oils, dirt, skin particles, dandruff, environmental pollutants and other contaminant particles that gradually build up in hair. It’s the first and most crucial part of your hair-care routine so make sure you get it right.

You should aim to wash your hair every other day. The longer, thicker, curlier, and more processed your hair, the longer it can go between washes. Do not wash it every day as this wills strip the hair of its natural oils. Because of this lack of oils, your scalp will respond by oil over-production, meaning that you then really do have to wash it every day.

You don’t need loads either. A quarter-size blob of shampoo is usually enough to for a good hair wash. When shampooing  hair never use hot water, always luke warm. Hot water can strip the protective oils that act as a natural conditioner, and your hair’s natural shine can disappear.

Consumer Reports tested products on 1,700 hair samples and found that pricy shampoos were no better than cheaper ones. So, what should you buy? Choose shampoos and conditioners designed for your hair type. I have thick, dry, long, dark, dandruff prone hair. My favorite shampoos that I’ve tried are:

1. Leo Bancroft – Gentle Care. Sulphate free shampoos don’t contain chemicals which damage your hair and therefore they don’t lather up as much as the shampoos which are brimming with harsh formulas but they do a much better job of providing you with clean, soft and healthy hair. You can grab this bottle for £5.00 and it’s just as good as the expensive ones.

2.  Neutrogena – T/Gel. Dandruff is a minor skin disorder in the scalp.  T/Gel is the best one I have found which treats and relieves itchy, flaky scalps while being gentle and pleasant to use, leaving hair shiny,manageable, clean and beautiful. Prices start from £4.89. Do not use head and shoulders. Ever. It’s so abrasive and harsh that it completely strips your hair from colour, nutrition and essential oils.

3. Lush – Rehab. Lush products are completely natural, hand-made using fresh and organic ingredients using no gimmicks in their packaging or marketing. Just simply, pure good-stuff using only vegetarian ingredients and telling you exactly when and where they were made. We’re always told chemicals are bad for our body, so we steer clear from smarties and head for the lettuce, it shouldn’t be different for our hair. Move away from the long words of L’oreal and head to Rehab from £5.10.

For those in-between days use dry shampoos (an essential) that contain cornstarch and/or silica to absorb sweat and oil. Apply to the under layers of your hair, your hairline, and the roots. Massage it in like you would a normal shampoo, then brush through, and voilà! Washed hair without washing. It can also be used to volumise your bouffant and there’s no damaging side-effects, so go on, spray away!

Conditioner

The use of shampoo opens the hair cuticle. What the conditioner does is close it over again so it stays hydrated and nourished; it coats strands with separate ingredients to support, nourish and protect. It’s best to go for the same brand as you used for shampooing, so if there’s a BOGOF offer go for a shampoo and a matching conditioner every time. I always condition my hair without fail, if you’ve got time to shampoo, you’ve got time to condition, your hair with thank you for it.

Look for conditioners with protein. They sink into the hair shaft and repair split ends. The fix only lasts until the next shampoo, so you’ll need to use them regularly.

Don’t go too heavy with conditioners they will leave hair limp. Just apply a 50p sized amount from the ears to the ends. I normally work it through the ends of my hair, comb, and leave it in for about 2 minutes while I see to my other bath duties (shaving legs, scrubbing toes, that sort of thing, zzzzzzzz)

Leave-in conditioner is also a must-have for me. My  favorite ones:

1. Aussie – Miracle Hair Insurance.  At £4.49 this spray is one of the best around. Australian Jojoba Seed Oil is a key ingredient in this vitamin-enriched leave-in conditioner that strengthens and detangles the hair. Just spray through damp hair before blow drying and your hair will feel beautiful for longer. There’s no sticky residue, hair feels light, and manageable.

2. Vitapointe. I found this little gem while I was waiting for my prescription in Boots. I always think if a product has stood the test of time it must work. I’ve not heard of Vitapointe, there’s no adverts or viral marketing campaigns, and they’re clearly not bothered on making it stand out on the shelves to grab new buyers. For me, that intrigues me even more, they must just rely on knowing that their product works, they don’t need any fancy graphics. At £2.09 I gave it a go and I’m pleased I did, my theory was right. It works like a dream. Most leave-in conditioners have to be applied when wet/damp but this is used for dry hair. Work a pea-sized amount of the cream into dry hair and you get beautiful, revitalised and weightless hair within seconds.

3.  Bed Head – Ego Boost Split End Mender. This is a light-weight watery serum that is non-sticky and makes your hair soft and tangle-free. I’ve had this product for months and use it pretty much every day as it can be used on either wet or dry hair. You only need a little pea-sized amount, so you really get a lot for your money at £10.50. Apply on the ends to keep split-ends at bay and to maintain a healthy and strong mane. It’s not greasy at all and is able to mange frizz while improving condition on a long-term basis.

Treatment 

Once a week treatments or hair masks are also perfect for bringing your locks back to life and to make your hair feel soft, look shiny, and be healthy. Treatments can come in a variety of types (sprays, creams, serums..), to be used in a variety of ways (before shampoo, after shampoo, on dry hair, overnight..) Make sure you read and follow the instructions to the T. I always aim to have one pamper day a week, when I can have a nice soak in the bath, and get all my beauty bits done without any hassle. Home alone for the night? Get into your jammies, put a hair mask onto your hair, eat ice-cream, watch a Rom-Com, and enjoy!** Ahh no annoying, stinking boys, fabulous!

My favorite treatments are:

1. Umberto Giannini – Beauty Secrets Moisture Mask, £5.61. This is easy to use and lasts for ages. Scoop a handful out and apply all through the hair. This intensive, rich treatment deeply nourishes and strengthens hair, transforming it from feeling dry and flimsy to feather-light, strong and silky soft. You’ll notice the difference after just one use and your dry/damaged hair will be a thing of the past. Hello luscious locks.

https://i0.wp.com/images-its.chemistdirect.co.uk/LOreal-Hair-Expertise-EverStrong-Nourishing-Intense-Mask-186365.jpg 2. L’Oreal Hair Expertise  – EverStrong Nourishing Intense Mask, £6.99. This is a new range by L’Oreal using gentle ingredients specially designed for different hair needs. The EverStrong range is for fragile and brittle hair, enriched with botanical rosemary and juniper oils.  The mask is free from harsh sulfates and works to strengthen hair, helping it become more resistant to breakage. The smell is absolutely gorgeous and improves hair condition almost instantly.

3.Ojon – Damage Reverse Restorative Hair Treatment Plus, from £16.00. Yeah, okay so this is a lot more expensive than the other two but oh my, it’s heavenly! This has been reformulated with a new lighter scent and fortified with Rouge Oleifera, as well as nature’s golden elixir, Ojon oil. After just one use, it restores vibrant health to even the most deeply damaged hair. It also helps increase hair’s strength against breakage, so hair is soft, silky, and manageable with loads of volume and shine without being greasy or heavy. You’re getting a special product here so forget about the price tag.

You can also go for homemade options such as:

1. Coconut Oil – Apply a handful of coconut oil to your hair, concentrating on the tips. With your fingertips (never your nails) massage the scalp for about five minutes; this will stimulate the blood vessels there making the production of its natural oil more effective. gather and clip hair at the crown, and leave oil on for 20 minutes. Rinse thoroughly with warm water.

2. Gelatin – Dissolve a packet of gelatin  in a cup of hot water. Massage the gel-like liquid through hair and leave in for about 30 minutes. Rinse thoroughly with warm water. Alternatively, stir 1 tablespoon of gelatin powder into 1/2 cup of cool water until mixed. Add 1/2 cup warm/hot water, 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and 1 teaspoon of honey to create a thicker mixture. Pour into hair and massage through hair and scalp. Leave on for at least 5 minutes and rinse with hot water. Shampoo as normal.

3.Eggs – Packed with vitamins A, E and D that nourish hair, while the fatty acids add moisture and improve condition. Whip up a couple of eggs along with their yolks with two tablespoons of water and massage them into your dry tresses. Wrap some cling film round your hair, leave it on for 15 minutes and rinse out with cool water. Be careful your shower water isn’t hot so that you end up cooking some scrambled egg in you hair. That’s not the aim here.

Other remedies that I recommend include VO5 Moisture Soak Hot Oil Treatment as well as the increasingly popular Argon/Maroocon oil.  This is a rich emollient that adds moisture to your hair, with hydrating vitamins A and E. Simply apply it after you shower and before you blow-dry (the oil doubles as a heat protectant). It leaves hair glossy and silky to touch. You can also get these in treatment forms such as Lee Stafford’s Argan Oil Deep Nourishing Treatment.

Serums are also great to tame hair – Frizz Ease by John Freda, £6.29, is one of the best ones going.  You can also get this as a treatment form too – John Frieda Frizz – Ease Overnight Serum, £6.99, is easy to use and allows you to wake up frizz-free. Miracle.

frizz
I am also currently using Umberto Giannini Frizzi 3 Day Frizz Free Hair, £5.99. This also helps to tame hair away from frizz, especially on those warm summer evenings when your hair refuses to enjoy the sunshine but instead protest against the humidity by flinging up hair stands like you have thousands of little antennas implanted on your head. This little beauty acts like an invisible shower cap to repel moisture and humidity.

 

Styling

olsen

So, it’s a fact. Women do not wake up looking like Rachel from Friends (massive hair envy). Even Jennifer Aniston doesn’t wake up looking like Rachel from Friends, it takes a f*cking long time to look good. You can have the cleanest, most nourished, healthiest hair going, but if you don’t bother styling it then essentially, it means nothing. You’ve put all that effort into preparation, now the finishing, yet fundamental, step is just in the styling. It isn’t as hard as many think, you don’t have to be Nicky Clarke to get your hair ready for the day ahead, you just need a few good tools and you’re set.

Straighteners – The easiest way to style your hair is to straighten it. Section your hair by working from the under-layers first. Clip the top half of your hair and divide the bottom half into segments that are 1-2 inches wide and only about 1/2 inch thick and straighten bit by bit. Then repeat the process with the upper layer of your hair. The best straighteners by far are GHD’s – a great investment, and an essential. Whatever you do don’t use an actual iron!***Also, remember to clean your straighteners when cool, and never, ever use on wet hair!

Curling tongs – You can also use GHD’s as curling tongs by clamping a small segment of hair right at the root, twisting the iron, and then pulling it down the length of the hair. Alternatively, invest in a curling tong if you aim to create this look regularly. The size of the curling tong barrel will determine how much curl or volume you want. The smaller the barrel, the tighter the curl, while larger barrels will give you more wave or volume. You want to choose a size according to length of your hair and the desired result.

When you style your hair with the above always properly prep your hair by making sure you use a heat protection spray. In order to prevent hair damage and breaking, it is crucial to apply some sort of heat protecting hair care product like a spray, serum, mousse or cream before subjecting your strands to high temperatures. There are loads available to choose from and (I think) they pretty much all work in the same way.

Rollers – To get a looser curl and to achieve big Hollywood hair, all you need is old school hair rollers. Their easier to use than curling tongs, and you get a longer lasting curl with more volume and less damage. If you’re using hot rollers, you should take them down after they are completely cooled. Velcro rollers should be first hit with the heat of a blow dryer then let to cool – usually about 15 minutes. Wet set should be taken down when the hair is completely dry. I normally wash hair and pop some rollers in before bed and then I wake up looking like Sofia Vergara**** without any effort required.

Ponytails and Buns – For glamorous up-dos create a sleek pony tail by flipping your head over, spritzing hairspray onto your comb and gather hair up by brushing through from your hairline to the base of the ponytail ensuring there’s no lumps or bumps, and secure with a hair band. Use a hair doughnut or a sock to create a gorgeous vintage looking bun and pin into place by using hair grips/bobby pins to secure. However, don’t secure up-dos too tight as this causes breakage and damages the roots.

Head bands, fascinators, clips, brooches, tikkas, Alice bands, claw grips, etc… There are endless amounts of hair accessory options to keep your style perfectly in place and offer a great and easy way to add some glamour to your hair with an extra little touch of detail, and complement your overall look.

Tips

Some other advice for hair heaven:

* Get hair cut every 6-8 weeks

* Don’t just protect against heat styling products, protect against the heat from the sun too. Sun exposure can dry out hair, especially if it’s colour-treated. Use a light hair spray with SPF protection, or wear a hat when the sun is strongest.

* Avoid chlorine damage by rinsing your hair before and after swimming. If your hair is already saturated with water, it won’t absorb as much from the chemical-laden pool. Use a pH-balancing hair product to further protect your hair.

* Want to highlight your hair? In the summer, drizzle some lemon juice on your hair.

* After you’ve washed your hair, rinse with cold water. This helps to seal the cuticle, making it harder for moisture to enter the hair follicle, which can cause frizz.

* Make sure your hair is completely dry before bed. If you blow dry, use a heat protection spray and make sure it is already 80% dry before blow drying. Never go for the hottest temperate on your hair dryer (mid is good), use it no closer than 30 cm, dry your hair in a downwards motion to avoid frizz, and blitz with cold air to finish.

* Bloat dry, not roughly towel dry. Drying your hair roughly with a towel will damage the structure of each individual hair, producing frizz and breakage over time. Leave your hair loose after you shower and dry it in sections, holding the towel on both sides and pulling down vertically but gently.

* Too much brushing will snap off hairs. To keep from losing any more hair than normal, use a brush with ball-tipped bristles. And never brush wet hair, use a comb instead.

* Do you know how to use bobby pins correctly? Make sure the grooved side of the bobby pin is facing down, against the skin. The ribbing is designed to grip hair and lock it in place, and you will capture more hair with the pin in that position.

*And, for the love of Christ, don’t do this to your hair, there’s just no need:

Or this:

Or this:

And definitely not this:

** Yes this is a massive gender stereotype but if you don’t like doing this then sorry, but frankly we just can’t be friends

*** Indeed I have done this. Me and my sister used to wake up at 6am to iron each others hair before school. And yes, I did end up singeing half her hair off and severely burning her neck. Not advisable!

**** Not strictly true.

~x~

Beauty Review: Eyelashes

23 Apr

Emphasize the eyes.

Many women seek to enhance their eyelash length, and do so daily, as part of their everyday make-up routine. This all stems from the fact that long eyelashes are considered a sign of femininity in many cultures.

There are an extensive range of cosmetic procedures which all aim to lengthen your eyelashes.

Mascaras:

Most popular is the trusted mascara providing a formula which may darken, thicken, lengthen, curl, and/or define the eyelashes. Available in a range of colours, a variety of wands, bristles and brushes, and can also come in a water-resistant remedy. I have tried and tested literally hundreds of different mascaras. A pick of the top 5 mascaras which do their job the best and truly provide you with long, luscious lashes:

Lancôme Hypnôse Mascara, £22.00

Lashes look separated and full, very buildable never clumpy or spidery and doesn’t flake or run. It perfectly coats and separates, swipe on one coat and go for a very natural look or give your eyes a boast with several coats for lots of volume and length! Can be quite wet and take a while to dry and is on the pricey side of the money monitor.

Natural Collection Lash Length Mascara, £1.99

Regardless of the amazingly cheap price, this mascara is up there with the very best. The brush glides over every eyelash to give you a dramatic length within seconds. It really shows that you shouldn’t be fooled by price, this is an absolute gem. Lashes appear longer, fuller, and curled, yet doesn’t ever leave you with clumps or spider legs. The bottle doesn’t last as long as some others but at £1.99 you can buy 10 brand new ones without feeling guilty and you’ll still save money. The winner for me by a mile. Try it, you’ll love it, trust me.

Christian Dior Iconic Mascara, £23.00

Dior really have nailed the mascara recipe. Both Iconic and Show mascaras give a real impact and are guaranteed to turn heads. This is the mascara made of dreams, a soft and creamy gel like formula, you’re lashes aren’t left crusty and hard. I think the secret is in the application brush, which is more like several staggered, fine toothed plastic combs, so the product is dispersed evenly and sparingly keeping each individual lash partitioned from each other. A tad expensive but worth it!

Maybelline Great Lash Mascara, £3.99

This pink and green little beaut has been a staple in our make-up bags since the 1970s and it’s clear to see why it sits firm in the top 5 best buy lists. Its creamy and wet formula makes it easy to apply and provides a very natural look that is also easily buildable for a more dramatic effect. The brush is excellent, the price is fabulous, and it lasts for ages, perfect. A make-up must-have.

Benefit They’re Real, £19.50

Benefit have upped their game. The BADgal mascara was good, but this is great. Its super-thick formula is perfect if you’re looking for a false lash look without any of the effort. This is the strongest weapon around to provide dramatic volume and a big impact. What makes this product really stand out is the unique spike at the tip to help separate your lashes and really make them look longer and fuller. Delivering that extra ‘oomph’ that makes putting on your make up every day a tiny bit easier, look no further. It’s easy to see why it’s flying off the shelves.

Other Mascara’s which just missed the top 5 mark:

Soap and Glory Thick and Fast Mascara, £10.00  – not known for their make-up range but this is a surprise treat and works well.

Clinique Lash Power Mascara £16.00 – very good but very wet, you only need a couple of strokes

L’Oreal Volume Million Lashes Mascara £10.99 – great mascara but wouldn’t recommend the waterproof version

Top Mascara Tips:

★ Don’t forget your trusty eyelash curler, they are a staple for every make-up bag. However, don’t curl after you’ve applied your mascara, that crunch you hear – that will be your eyelashes, being trimmed off. (Seriously, I’ve made that mistake and had to live with a half-bald left eye for a few months)

★ Mascara shield (also named mascara guard or eye makeup helper). A great little invention for on-the-run girls. You are guaranteed no transfer on the eye lids so you no longer have to be safe whilst applying; your hand can now be as unsteady as you wish, and you don’t need to pull any funny faces concentrating on carefully trying to put your mascara on successfully

★ Apply Vaseline on your lashes before bed, it promotes growth.

★ Don’t pump the brush in and out the bottle, it’ll force air into the tube and dry the whole thing out. Mix the brush around in circles whilst in the bottle to get the formula onto the brush. Treat the brush delicately to avoid any damage.

★ Close the lid tightly after use

★ Clean the brush regularly

★ Don’t just assume black is best

Fibre:
 

Three easy steps:

1. Apply Mascara

2. Apply lash fibres, wait 30 seconds

3. Apply Mascara

Yes it takes more time than just putting on mascara but if you’re anything like me, I put on a variety of different mascaras on at once to enjoy the effects of each, slowly mounting up to about 5 minutes of eyelash prep. With these three easy steps, you rarely need to build up your mascara by re-applying additional coats, the candy-floss lash fibres does everything for you. It pays to devote a little extra time to your lashes. I would fully recommend lash fibres it really gives you that extra pizzazz than solely using mascara does with very little effort required at all. I can verify their claim of being ‘brush on false eyelashes’. It provides both thickness and length and offers a natural yet full effect with instant volume. The breakthrough formula means it’s the single thing you need for your full eyelash routine. It may be an expensive route if you do the process daily but it will save you heaps of cash (and time) from going to salons and having lash extensions done! Subtle enough for day time but offers you that alluring power for night-time glamour – without any of the hassle.

Top Fibre Tips:

★ Look downwards whilst applying lash fibres to ensure that no fibres fall into your eyes

★ Only a few strokes are necessary

★ Do not let dry between coats

★ My personal faves are Lash Fibres, and Cherry Blossom.

Falsies:

The twentieth century saw the beginning of convincing-looking false eyelashes, popular in the 1960s. You can now get a full range of false eyelashes in all different shapes, sizes and colours by a variety of brands, even Katy Perry herself has got her own false eyelash product out there (so you may not be able to get her skin in an instant, but you can borrow her eyelashes). It’s easier than ever to get glam eyes fit for the red carpet. You just pop these little bad boys on and voila, huge eyelashes in an instant. It can be tricky to align the false eyelashes with your natural lashline but once you’ve got it mastered, that’s it, done. No smudging, no flaking, no clumping, no drooping, just great eyelashes, all night long. This is pure femininity at your finger tips!

Top False Eyelashes Tips:

★ Cut your false eyelashes to suit the shape of your eye, it’ll look more natural

★ Use tweezers to apply the eyelashes, along with a magnified mirror

★ False eyelashes should be the last part of your make-up routine – after you’ve applied eye shadow etc.

★ Apply the glue but wait till it’s tacky before applying onto your lashline

★ Apply mascara onto the ends of your false eyelashes to secure it and blend the natural with the fake.

★ Take them off carefully before bed and place back in the packaging – you can re-use them!

★My personal favorite is the eylure brand.

Eyelash extensions:

Permanent eyelash tints and eyelash extensions have become popular procedures, even in fairly basic salons. Single strands of synthetic eyelashes are applied to each individual natural eyelash one by one to give a natural yet striking result. The treatment takes around an hour for each eyelash to be glued and secured, and you are left with a major transformation for at least about 2 weeks. Definitely recommended especially for the dramatic look it gives you for big events or nights out, and for the ease of maintenance and morning laziness it secures you so you can truly relax and enjoy your summer holiday.

Top Eyelash Extensions Tips:

★Don’t rub your eyes

★ Only use water-based mascara as this won’t interfere with the glue, (do not use oil-based or waterproof mascaras as these can dissolve the bonding agent and shorten the life of your eyelash extensions).

★ Similarly, only use a water based eye makeup remover

★ Avoid the root of your eyelashes if applying mascara

★ When wanting to remove your extensions, apply baby oil onto a cotton pad and gentle rub your eyes until they fall off (do not pull off the lashes!)

***

Mascara is an essential tool to have with you on a desert island. Your eyes are the first thing which people notice, so make them beautiful, mascaras are the easiest and quickest way to do this.

False eyelashes are perfect for a night out when you need that little bit extra to feel special, look fabulous, and get noticed.

Eyelash extensions are what you need for holidays, weddings, and trips away; when you need to impress without looking obvious and when you can look good just coming out of the pool or if you’re getting photographed at 6.30am on your big day in your jammies, pre-make-up.

The revolutionary fibre lashes are great for that in between, a little more than mascara, a little less that falsies, and without the constant presence and potential subsequent annoyance of eyelash extensions.

I’ll continue to try out new products and procedures and keep you updated on the good, the bad, and the ugly, in the glorious world of eyelashes.

Batting Eyelashes

Beauty Review: Acne solutions

19 Apr

Acne is a massive issue for both boys and girls, and effects adults as well as teenagers. Even though I’ve not got severe or chronic acne, having a breakout of spots day-in, day-out is irritating and upsetting. Especially, when your monthly subscription of Comso comes flying through the letter box, and you STILL don’t have flawless matte skin like the gorgeous Katy Perry.

I have tried countless amounts of acne solutions to try and rid of these pesty little blighters.

Treatment:

1.Benzoyl Peroxide (peeling agent)

Cream, gel or face wash. You can get this on prescription as well as over the counter. I got a prescription cream and had heard this is remarkable in killing off any bacteria on your face. However, all it did for me was dye my dark eyebrows blonde, and change  my red towels into pink towels. You may as well pop along to your nearest Tesco, purchase some Cillit Bang, and squirt that all over your face* It’s a strong cream which can feel like it’s literally burning your skin away. I tried it for three months. No change.

2.Differin (peeling agent)

differin

 

 

Cream or gel. This can be obtained via prescription from your GP. Differin contains the active ingredient adapalene, which is a form of vitamin A, it’s just as easy to use but nowhere near as harsh on your sensitive skin. You have to avoid sunlight and persist with it for at least three months. I did. No change.

3. Lymecyclin (antibiotic)

Tablets, one a day. This is an antibiotic, it is also a teratrogenic meaning it can interfere with the development of a fetus, causing birth defects.  So if  your boyfriend is aiming for a “goal” when you are playing “football,” make sure he is wearing the right “kit”. This attempts to not kill the bacteria which is sitting on the skin, but to stop the body’s ability to produce bacteria in the first place. With tablets, you aren’t directly applying product to your skin which can often feel like you’re not doing enough in the acne fight, you just have to be patient, knowing it’s all going on inside.. I persevered with these tablets for about a year, and have read that antibiotics can have a positive effect on the clear up of spots but the effectiveness trails off as people build up a resistance to low dose, long term antibiotics like this. No change for me. Still not Katy Perry.

4. Erythromycin (antibiotic)

Tablets, two, twice a day, with food. The doctor then prescribed me a different type of antibiotic which is similar to penicillin. The principal is based on ye olde tale of killing bacteria (by this time these bacteria are so clingy that I’ve started to feel sorry for the poor guys not wanting to leave my face). I was on these tablets for about 5 months but didn’t see any effect.

5. Doing Nothing

I then went through a stage of wearing very little to no makeup, washing my face with just water, no moisturiser, no products, no tablets, no anything. Nothing lead to no change either.

6.Vitamin B, and  Multi-vitamin tablets

Tablets, one a day. I then popped to Tesco thinking that a simple host of Vitamin supplements was all that I needed. It’s never a bad thing to take vitamins, if your body doesn’t need them, it’ll just flush them out, but if it does, it’ll use them. You can’t go wrong. No change in my face though, Whitney Whitehead and Billy Blackhead were still very much present.

7.Skin, hair and nails tablets

Tablets, one a day. It’s amazing what can be squished into a tiny pill. You take this little fella once a day and BAM! gorgeous hair, long/ strong nails, and beautiful skin. Didn’t happen for me.

8. Clinique

Cleanse, Tone, Moisturise, twice a day. It certainly is a good thing to have a beauty ritual, it can be time-consuming but your skin does pay off. There was no dramatic difference but this is a good basis for your beauty regimen, acne or no acne.

9. Cetaphil

Non-comedogenic moisturiser: an acne specialist mositurser. I then substituted my beauty based moisturiser for a medical based moisturiser. My skin clearly produces too much oil, hence the spots, yet if I don’t use moisturiser it is dry, flakey and tight. I needed something that was hydrating without pore-blocking. Non-comedogenic moisturiser is said to have a non-greasy formulation that is mild, non-irritating and long-lasting. However, I found Cetaphil very sticky and didn’t absorb well. Nonetheless, there are loads more brands of non-comedogenic moisturisers out there, I’ve got my eye on Avene and Dermalogica next, I’ve heard some good reviews from them.

10. Proactiv

Soap. An American revolutionary over-the counter treatment. I bought the £15 bar of soap. A lot of money to spend on soap. I found this really good.  Small little beads within the soap, you can feel it cleanses deep into the skin. However, I often found that when I use a new product it’s great for the month when I introduce  it, then my skin seems to get used to it and protests its boredom with abuse in the form of a big pimple at the end of my nose appearing right in time for my best friend’s wedding. I’ve not been using this long, so we’ll re-evaluate at a later date.

11.Changing contraceptive pill

Hormones play a massive part in oily skin and therefore acne. A change in your oral contraception may be the simple answer. This is my most recent attempt. I was on microgynon and have been transferred to ethinyl estradiol/desogestrel and have to test this out for six months.

12.Roaccutane

This is an extremely strong and abrasive treatment for severe and relentless acne and should be only considered as ‘the treatment of last resort’ for unique cases.  I’ve not been offered this, but everybody I know who has suffered from acne, this has been their hero. When you are taking this you have to avoid alcohol, all forms of UV light, and as it may harm a baby during pregnancy as well as increasing the risk of miscarriage, it should not be taken whilst pregnant. It has recently been reported in the media that there is a proven link between Raccutane and depression, suicidal ideation, suicide attempts and suicide. There have been huge criticisms that this has been over and wrongly prescribed with severe and tragic consequences. I am not a candidate for this type of drug, and most people won’t be. Be careful.

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Looking back from when I first started addressing my spotty T-zone, my skin has definitely improved but it’s still not Katy-Perry-esque; I still have acne spots. I’ll keep trying new things and testing pharmaceutical recommendations as well as over-the-counter beauty buys and keep you informed and updated.

Don’t expect overnight results, it’s a long process and it is extremely frustrating, especially when you have to give them a go for several months.  The most important part of your treatment plan should be patience, it can take a long while to see an improvement in your skin. But rest assured that through trial and error, you’ll soon find the right combination of products that lead the way to clear, glowing skin. There are literally hundreds of acne cures out there offering different treatment for different skin types. However, there is such a thing as ‘treatment resistant acne’.  The best thing is to ask for a dermatology referral. They know skin, inside and out!

Identifying skin type and treating it appropriately is key to maintaining gorgeous skin under any circumstances.

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Lifestyle and beauty routine changes:

1.Exercise

Exercise is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle, it can help you feeling and looking refreshed and revitalised. It’s essential for the body, and is beneficial for your skin. However, sweat can have negative consequences on a person’s skin if it’s left to fester in post-gym clothes. Women can prevent the pore-clogging effects of the build- up of sweat while maintaining a regular exercise regimen by simply clipping your hair away from your face, removing make-up before your workout, using a clean towel to remove sweat, and hitting the showers once your gym session has finished to wash off the dirt, oil and bacteria that if left behind will encourage new acne.

2.Sleep

Sleep deprivation affects most, if not all, the causes that lead to acne. It increases inflammation (the main cause behind acne) and increases insulin resistance (another bad boy behind acne). It can also increase stress levels. You need sleep to give your skin ample time to repair itself, so if you lack sleep time it  results in tired looking skin that reacts harshly under stress. Your body does everything from stimulate collagen formation to reduce inflammation and encourage healing while you sleep, so when you deprive your body of essential rest as well as nutrients, you are only contributing to your acne problem. So get more sleep! Try also sleeping on your back, and make sure your pillowcase is clean. Oils and other products in your hair transfer onto the pillowcase, which when brushed against your face, it then gets into your pores, causing breakouts.

3. Diet

What goes into your body affects everything. Remember, “you are what you eat”. Eat clean, look fresh. Water is king. Get 6-8 pints of water a day and you’ll notice a massive difference. It helps to flush out bad toxins and keeps skin dewy and hydrated from the inside out. Alcohol is a toxin, it affects your insides and out.  Alcohol can make existing acne worse, aggravating it and bringing additional heat to the source. Try to cut down your frequency and amount, Move away from the Rose (or at least add a splash of sparkling water to it). Try to increase your intake of dark green, leafy vegetables, such as Kale or Spinach. They are known to provide lots of fiber (for clear skin) and plenty of vitamin A and C (for wrinkles and discoloration). Fruit and veg is key to feeling and looking revitalised, try and eat between 5 – 7 portions a day, especially those which have a high water content. Cleanse your digestive tract with probiotics in food or via a supplement. Skin will appear clearer and more luminous. Try substituting a daily snack with a Soy Protein Shake that contains vitamins B6, B12 (for stress and anxiety) zinc and biotin (for clear, healthy skin) and vitamin E (for skin repair). There is a link between dairy and acne so try eliminate dairy products from your diet and see how your skin reacts.

4. Stress

Acne severity correlates highly with increasing stress levels. Address the source of your stress and take good care of your body. Get more sleep, exercise and set aside time each day for reflection and relaxation. This will enhance resistance to stress and nurture the skin to combat the effects of day-to-day stress. Stress relief techniques include deep breathing, meditation, rhythmic exercise, and yoga. Fitting these activities into your life can help reduce everyday stress and boost your energy and mood.

5. Beauty routine

Taking make-up off before bed – it’s the single easiest and most important way to prevent your acne.

Old make-up – expired make-up products can clog pores and  invite infections, also use brushes rather than fingers to apply make-up, and clean them regularly.

Dont pick – Picking and squeezing spots leads to infection, scarring, and the spread of bacteria, simple it exacerbates  blemishes. However, I definitely have acne excoriee where “patients pick at their blemishes compulsively because they’re worried and embarrassed about their skin. Every little thing that shows up on a person’s skin, every small pimple, they pick it. They can’t make themselves stop.” I do this ceremonially every morning, every night, and the hours in between. I can’t stop picking at my skin but I’m now doing everything in my power to stop. Acne Excoriee is actually categorised as a mental disorder. I wouldn’t go that far..

Face Scrub. You may think your bacteria infected skin needs a good old scrub to rid of it all. However, granular facial scrub can make acne worse by aggravating the skin. Acneic skin is sensitive by nature, and when skin is irritated it becomes inflamed and can trigger further breakouts. Treat your skin with sensitivity.

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Understanding triggers can help create an effective skincare routine for all skin conditions, ages and seasons.

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Acne friendly Cosmetics:

Clean pores are the gateway to radiant skin. While many women try to hide acne with concealer and foundation, this often compounds acne issues. Makeup can clog pores, which only worsens acne breakouts. How can women still wear makeup without affecting pores? Which cosmetics and beauty products are specifically designed for adults’ acne-prone skin?

Non-acnegenic makeup is formulated to not clog oil-producing pores and let skin breathe. Brands with the non-acengenic and non-comedogenic labels include:

MAC, Clinique, Lancôme, Bare Minerals, Almay, Arbonne, Shiseido.

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Look out for foundation reviews coming soon!

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There is no such thing as a guaranteed acne cure. If it works for you, use it, and then tell me about it ;-)

Remember, you’re not the only one! So many people suffer from acne, even the seemingly fresh faced beauty queens that are Victorian Beckham, Megan Fox, and even… Katy Perry. You know, the one who started this whole article, and my subsequent skin obsession! Typical.

*please, don’t do that

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