Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Wednesday Wisdom: Ann Landers


“Let this coming year be better than all the others. Vow to do some of the things you have always wanted to do but could not find the time. Call up a forgotten friend. Drop an old grudge, and replace it with some pleasant memories. Vow not to make a promise you do not think you can keep. Walk tall, and smile more. You will look 10 years younger. Do not be afraid to say, I love you. Say it again. They are the sweetest words in the world”

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Tuesday, 30 December 2014

The Tuesday Tip: Honey Highlights


Glossy, healthy looking hair is every girl's dream and this week I have a cheap and natural trick that will make this dream a reality. The trick is very simple and only requires one thing...honey!

Add one tablespoon of honey to your conditioner to make hair strong and super shiny. Honey also lightens hair, which is an added benefit for those wanting to give highlights a real boost.

You can add honey to any conditioner, regardless of the type or cost. However I would advise pairing it with a shine-enhancing conditioner to get the most out of your wash! The perfect partner would be the Tara Smith Shine On Conditioner 250ml (£10.00 M&S). It is a vegan conditioner that contains five fermented, essential minerals to help smooth, moisturise and strengthen the hair.
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Sunday, 28 December 2014

Ask TBI: Protecting Skin On The Ski Slopes

Question: I am visiting Geneva next month and I've heard that you need to pay particular attention to your skin on the slopes. Is that true? If so, what do I need to do? - Megan, Manchester UK.

Answer: That is very true. High altitudes, intense sunlight and freezing temperatures on the slopes can leave skin dry, sunburnt, cracked and sore. So it is important to keep your skin in the best condition possible.

The biggest threat to skin on the slopes is the sun. Both UVA and UVB rays are intense - especially at high altitudes - and the snow reflects these rays, increasing their power by up to 83%. However, due to the cold temperatures, people don't feel the need to protect themselves. So remember to use a high SPF on the exposed areas of your skin.

I would recommend using a long-lasting SPF, such as Kiehl's Activated Sun Protector Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF50 150ml (£25.00 kiehls.co.uk / $25.00 Nordstrom). Whatever SPF you choose, be sure to apply it generously and regularly, at least 20 minutes before stepping out into the sunlight.
Kiehl's Activated Sun Protector Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF50
The second biggest threat to skin is the cold wind and dry air. Together, these conditions strip skin of its natural moisture, making it dry, chapped and flaky. So it is crucial to keep skin ultra-moisturised during this time and protect it by wearing specialist winter sports clothing. I would advise using creams and lotions targeted at those with dry skin, as these products not only nourish and moisturise the skin, they also help to lock in the moisture.
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Friday, 26 December 2014

The Beauty Myth: Shave In The Opposite Direction Of Hair Growth

rihanna animated GIF

Verdict: False

Shaving in the opposite direction of hair growth is actually the main cause of razor burns, redness and rashes, so it should be avoided. Going 'against the grain' may get you a closer shave, however it will also increase the possibility of irritation, cuts and ingrowing hairs. One reason for this is because shaving in the opposite direction of hair growth cuts the hair beneath the skin. As a result, hair struggles to find its way back out and ends up bending back into the skin - causing bumps and ingrowing hairs.

If you really don't want to compromise a close shave, I would recommend shaving in the direction of hair growth first and then re-lathering and gently shaving again - this time against the hair growth using light pressure and short strokes.

Shave against the grain
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Tuesday, 23 December 2014

The Tuesday Tip: Repair That Tear!

It may sound a little dramatic, however a broken nail can be a bit of a nightmare - especially if you have a big event approaching. Luckily there is a quick fix that not only repairs your nail, but makes it look as though it was never broken in the first place....magic, right?!

You will need:
  • Nail glue
  • One tea bag
  • Base coat
  • Nail lacquer

How you do it:
  • Cut open a tea bag and throw away the tea leaves until you are left with an empty paper bag.
  • Cut a tiny piece of paper out of the bag, making sure it is big enough to cover the entire tear.
  • Dab nail glue over the tear and, using tweezers, press the paper on top.
  • Once the paper is immersed in the glue, and is covering the entire tear, leave it to dry.
  • When the glue has dried completely, gently buff the paper until it has blended in with the natural nail. It is important not to buff too much as the paper is already very thin.
  • Once buffed, apply a base coat to the nail and finish up with a nice lacquer. Voilà! No one will ever know!

Now, broken nails can happen to the best of us, however if you find your nails are breaking more than usual, you may want to apply a strengthening treatment. The best nail strengthener I have ever used is the OPI Nail Envy Soft & Thin (£19.50 opiuk.com / $17.95 ULTA).

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Monday, 22 December 2014

Ingredients 101: Reishi Mushroom


Natural or Synthetic: Natural

Origin: The reishi mushroom (aka the ling zhi mushroom) is a polypore mushroom that grows wild in damp, dark forests on decaying logs and tree stumps.

Location: Reishi mushroom is commercially cultivated in East Asia and North America.

Beauty Benefits: Reishi mushroom has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for over 4,000 years. It is used to treat a wide variety of health conditions - ranging from arthritis to diabetes. However this magical mushroom doesn't just treat the body internally, it also does wonders for the skin and hair.

Reishi mushroom is anti-inflammatory and anti-allergenic and it helps to repair skin damage (e.g. sunburn, insect bites and cut and bruises). Now, as fabulous as healing is, it is the anti-ageing benefits of reishi mushroom that make it extra special. The hero ingredient is rich in antioxidants that promote cell regeneration and protect skin from environmental damage. Environmental damage is responsible for accelerating skin ageing, so protection really is everything.

Warnings: Reishi mushroom is safe to use topically. However if you are pregnant, I would recommend consulting a doctor before using it.

Found in: Dr. Weil For Origins Mega-Mushroom Skin Relief Advanced Face Serum 50ml (£60.00 John Lewis / $71.00 Macy's). This lightweight serum helps to calm and soothe the skin, reduce redness and even skin tone. In addition to reishi mushroom, this antioxidant-rich serum contains chaga mushroom and cordyceps mushroom, which both strengthen the skin's barrier and reduce inflammation.


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Sunday, 21 December 2014

News: The Estée Lauder Shopping Spree Continues

Estée Lauder Companies own some of the best brands in the beauty industry. Bumble and bumble, Bobbi Brown, M.A.C, Crème de la Mer, Tom Ford Beauty and Jo Malone London are just a few brands under the beauty giant's umbrella. However this clearly isn't enough, as Estée Lauder is about to acquire its fourth brand since October! That brand, my dear readers, is GLAMGLOW.

GLAMGLOW, the California-based skincare brand, was developed for backstage and professional use in Hollywood’s entertainment and fashion industry. The brand was founded by Glenn and Shannon Dellimore and it has been a massive success since it launched in 2010.

“GLAMGLOW represents the ultimate in innovative facial masks,” said Fabrizio Freda, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Estée Lauder Companies. “Glenn and Shannon’s vision – to create easy-to-use, effective products for camera-ready skin – has grown into an incredible success. GLAMGLOW is a top performer in specialty channels and effectively engages its devoted fans across digital platforms. Its unique focus on facial masks strategically complements our current prestige skin care offerings, and we are thrilled to welcome Glenn and Shannon to our Company.”

Sadly, the terms of the deal were not disclosed. However the acquisition is expected to close in January 2015.
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Tuesday, 16 December 2014

The Tuesday Tip: Puffy Free Party Season!

If you're anything like me, your next month will be full of parties, drinking and very late nights, so looking your best is sure to be a top priority. The problem with the late nights, drinking and parties is that they can lead to puffy eyes. Luckily I have a little trick that will help keep those peepers puff free!

To go from inflamed to fabulous, all you need to do is pop your eye cream, serum or gel in the freezer 10 minutes before applying it. The cold cream will act as a cold compress, reducing unwanted puffiness.

As to which eye product to choose, any will do. Lately I've been loving the Vichy Idealia Eyes 15ml (£23.00 Boots / $31.00 ULTA). This eye serum is light but deeply hydrating, which helps to smooth unwanted fine lines. It also contains illuminators which instantly brighten the eye area - great for reducing the appearance of dark circles.
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Monday, 15 December 2014

Ingredients 101: Kigelia Africana

Natural or Synthetic: Natural

Origin: Kigelia Africana is extracted from the bark, roots and fruits of the Kigelia Africana tree. The Kigelia Africana is part of the Bignoniaceae family and is often referred to as the 'Sausage Tree'.

Location: The Kigelia Africana grows throughout tropical Africa.

Beauty Benefits: Kigelia Africana has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties and it has been used as a healing agent for centuries. It is also great for reducing inflammation and redness. However this amazing ingredient is most loved for its ability to tighten and firm the skin! And that's not the only thing it firms - women in southern parts of Africa are known to use the fruit of the Kigelia Africana on their breasts as a firming treatment!

Warnings: Kigelia Africana is safe to use topically.

Found in: The Aurelia Miracle Cleanser 120ml (£34.00 urbanretreat.co.uk / $53.00 net-a-porter.com). This aromatic cleanser removes makeup and dirt completely, whilst keeping skin hydrated and soft. Hardly any product is needed per use and it smells divine!

Aurelia Miracle Cleanser
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Sunday, 14 December 2014

The Gift Edit: Boys

Gifting a man anything that is remotely beauty related can be a difficult task. Luckily there are some beauty products that even the toughest, manliest of men can benefit from. Below are not anti-ageing heroes or pretentious pampering products, but just gifts that are useful and fabulous.


First up is the Elemis Aching Muscle Super Soak 400ml (£31.50 John Lewis / $63.50 Amazon.com), a deep heat aroma remedy that is packed with therapeutic birch, juniper, clove, alpine lavender, wild thyme and chamomile. It is perfect for soothing overworked, tired and aching muscles.

Next we have the Vichy Homme Hydra Mag C Invigorating Hydrating Shower Gel 200ml (£9.00 Escentual.com). It hydrates the skin, protects against dryness and  smells amazing! Talking of amazing scents, a good fragrance is an ideal gift. My favourite of the moment is the Hugo Boss Bottled Night 100ml (£54.50 Boots / $75.00 Macy's). This eau de toilette contains tops notes of bitter birch leaves, aromatic lavender and citric lemon leaves, middle notes of cardamom, jasmine and African violet and base notes of musky louro amarelo, vanilla and sandalwood.

Origins Fire Fighter review

Moving on to a more tradition gift set, I recommend the Rituals Pure Refreshment (£17.50 John Lewis). It contains the brand's Blue Dragon Shower Foam, Dragon Scrub, Ice Shower Gel and Cool Deodorant - four gorgeous smelling beauty essentials that are bound to appeal to just about any man. Last but not least we have the Origins Fire Fighter (£17.00 Boots / $18.00 Origins.com). This little miracle takes the sting out of shaving, thanks to hero ingredients chamomile, cucumber and winterbloom. It is the perfect present for men with sensitive or easily irritated skin!

Rituals Pure Refreshment
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Friday, 12 December 2014

Ask TBI: Save My Brittle Nails

Question: In the last few weeks my nails have become brittle and dry. What can I do to fix them? - Camille, Wisconsin.

Answer: Brittle nails can be attributed to ageing and frequent exposure to water or various cleaning products.

To avoid brittle nails, wear rubber gloves when you wash up and/or use harsh chemicals. You can also try incorporating green vegetables and oily fish into your diet as these ingredients are high in nutrients that will strengthen nails and encourage growth. Taking vitamin B supplements will also help to strengthen the nails.

To treat brittle nails massage a nail and cuticle oil into your nails at least once a day and start using a good strengthening treatment.
Oil wise, I would recommend the CND Solar Oil Nail & Cuticle Conditioner 15ml (£11.95 amazon.co.uk / $12.99 amazon.com) and when it comes to nail strengthening treatments, it doesn't get much better than the OPI Nail Envy Nail Strengthener 15ml (£18.65 Boots / $17.95 ULTA).
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Thursday, 11 December 2014

The Beauty Myth: Chocolate Causes Acne

Verdict: False

The idea that chocolate causes acne is complete bullshit. This popular myth has been circulating for absolute years, however there is just no scientific research to back it up.

Although a poor diet can exacerbate skin conditions, eating chocolate alone does not cause acne. What causes acne is the overproduction of sebum (oil) in the skin’s sebaceous gland. When an excessive amount of sebum is produced, it travels up the hair shaft and out through the pores. This then blocks the pores causing whiteheads and blackheads to appear. To make things worse, when pores are blocked, the (normally harmless) bacteria that lives in the skin joins the party and infects these blocked pores, leading to pus-filled papules or cysts (ewwww!). The overproduction of sebum itself can be caused by a number of things, including hormonal imbalance, menstrual cycle and stress.

So chocolate lovers rejoice! And, if you really want to stick it to the myth, treat yourself to a chocolate-based beauty product. One of my favourites is the Karin Herzog Finest Chocolate Cleansing Gel 50ml (£42.00 feelunique.com / $55.00 dermstore.com). This cleanser smells gorgeous and removes all traces of makeup and dirt, whilst leaving the skin soft and radiant.
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Monday, 8 December 2014

The Gift Edit: Makeup Palettes

Makeup palettes are, personally, my favourite type of gift to give a beauty girl. Although palettes are released throughout the year, I find those launched in the winter season particularly special. Palettes make great gifts as they are packaged beautifully and always contain something for everyone. I have selected four of my favourite palettes this season, each made up of soft pinks and earth tones and that suit just about anyone.

Christmas makeup palettes

My first favourite is the Benefit Cheeky Sweet Spot (£29.50 Boots / $36.00 benefitcosmetics.com). Described as a 'box o’ blushes', this palette is made up of six of the brand's most loved blushers. When you pop open the tin - designed like a Christmas candy house Hansel & Gretel would kill for - you will find Hoola, Dandelion, Coralista, Bella Bamba, Rockateur, Sugarbomb and Watt's Up. Benefit is celebrated for its blushers, so to be able to access all of these favourites in one tin - for just £29.50 - is pretty freakin special.

Aerin Weekend Palette (£48.00 esteelauder.co.uk / $70.00 aerin.com). To start with, this palette is absolutely  gorgeous! It's protected by a blush pink cotton pouch and the palette itself comes packaged in a sleek gold compact that would slide into the smallest and thinnest of clutch bags. Inside the compact is a Pretty Bronze Illuminating Powder, Eyeshadows in Simplicity and Cocoa, Rose Balm Lipsticks in Whisper and Cabana, Multi Color for lips and cheeks and Highlighter in Glow. The neutral colours work across all seasons and will compliment all skin types and colourings.

Aerin Weekend Palette review

The next palette on my list is the Elizabeth Arden Beautiful Color Eye Shadow Quad in Chic Brown (£26.00 Debenhams / $40.00 Macy's). Unlike the Aerin palette, this one is all about the eyes and is made up of the most gorgeous soft browns and shimmery nudes; staple colours that look great on their own, as well as paired with other makeup looks.

Keeping up with all things eyes, the next palette I love is the Bobbi Brown Limited Edition Mini Eye Palette (£26.00 bobbibrown.co.uk / $35.00 bobbibrowncosmetics.com). This sweet little palette showcases a selection of eight matte, shimmer and metallic shadows than can be used to create everything from a shimmering smoulder to a smokey eye. Included are three Eye Shadows in Cool Ivory, Saddle and Nude, three Sparkle Eye Shadows in Opal, Pink Rose and Gold, one Shimmer Wash Eye Shadow in Bone and, finally, one Metallic Eye Shadow in Sugar Plum.

Bobbi Brown Limited Edition Mini Eye Palette review

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Sunday, 7 December 2014

Ingredients 101: Ceramides

Natural or Synthetic: Natural and synthetic

The Science: Ceramides are a major component of our skin's surface. They are a family of waxy lipid molecules that hold skin cells together, forming a protective layer that plumps the skin and retains moisture, keeping skin supple and healthy.

Unfortunately ceramide levels decline with age, so over time our skin becomes drier and signs of ageing become even more apparent. If that's not bad enough, declining ceramide levels will inevitably cause a weakening in the skin's barrier function, making skin more susceptible to damage.

So you won't be surprised to learn that beauty boffins eventually created synthetic ceramides that replicate those found in our own cells...

Beauty Benefits: These synthetic ceramides are used in skincare to replenish the natural lipids lost with age and exposure to free radicals. When applied topically, ceramides restore moisture, strengthen skin’s natural barrier and help protect it from environmental damage.

Synthetic ceramides make the perfect skincare ingredient as they replicate a natural component already found in our skin. So, as a result, our skin is less likely to reject the ingredient and become irritated or inflamed.

Warnings: Ceramides are safe to use topically

Found in: Elizabeth Arden's Flawless Future Caplet Serum 30ml (£48.00 Debenhams / $60.00 Macy's). This gel-like serum applies easily, absorbs quickly and feels weightless on the skin. It deeply hydrates the skin and noticeably brightens it, leaving you fresh faced and fabulous!
Elizabeth Arden's Flawless Future Caplet Serum
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Saturday, 6 December 2014

The Gift Edit: Beauty Sets

If you are looking to get a gift for a true beauty addict this Christmas, I would recommend a gift set. There are a huge number of different sets available this year, ranging from makeup to skincare. Below are four of my current favourites...

Christmas Gift Set

The first comes from one of my favourite skincare brands, Dermlaogica. The set is Active Moist (£44.00 Selfridges / $58.00 dermalogica.com) and it contains 100ml of the much-loved Active Moist, along with 30ml of the Soothing Eye Makeup Remover and 4ml of the Intensive Eye Repair. These hydrating heroes will give all skin types a massive moisture boost that will leave them with soft, plump and glowing skin. Who wouldn't love that this festive season?

We then have the Rituals Tao Treat Collection (£17.50 uk.rituals.com / $31.99 bathandunwind.com). This bodycare set contains four hero products from its Tao range, including the Shower Foam, Body Scrub, Body Cream and Deodorant. What I love about the Tao range is the scent, it is not too overpowering, just fresh, simple and subtly sweet - the kind of scent that would be loved by just about anyone. The set cost £17.50, so it is perfect for those looking for something more affordable.

Next up is the Benefit Sexy & Scrumptious Gift Set (£29.50 Boots). This set contains everything you would need to put on a full face! It's got High Beam, Posietint, They're Real, Fauxmance Lip Gloss, Coralista Blusher and an eyeshadow palette with fluff shadow/hard angle brush. Benefit have a large collection of Christmas gift sets this year, so it's worth popping in to one of their stores or going online to see what else you can get your hands on.

Benefit Sexy & Scrumptious Gift Set review

Swiftly moving from makeup to manicures, the final gift set on my list is the Nails Inc. Autumn Winter Collection (£29 nailsinc.com). This gift set contains a trio of limited edition nail polish shades that include Battersea Park, Grosvenor Crescent and Uptown. Each colour is highly pigmented, chip-resistant and provides a high shine finish. Considering each Nails Inc. polish is £14.00, the cost of this set is pretty impressive - we're talking a £13.00 saving!

Nails Inc Autumn Winter Collection review

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Friday, 5 December 2014

The Gift Edit: Candles

I have a slight addiction to candles and consider them to be a perfect gift for just about any gal. Candles look great in all rooms, fill living spaces with beautiful, mood altering scents and are essential to any quality pampering session.

Christmas gift candles

The first candle I've selected for gifting this festive season is the Fornasetti Flora Ortensia Scented Candle (£99.00 Selfridges / $158.00 amara.com). No brand on earth creates beautiful candles to the level of Fornasetti. This Italian masterpiece features Fornasetti's iconic design of the mythical fertility goddess 'Flora'. Gorgeous isn't she? Now, if you think this candle is more style over substance, you couldn't be more wrong. All Fornasetti candles smell amazing - thanks to an eclectic mix of quality oils - and burn for 50-60 hours. At almost £100, this candle is on the expensive side, however the stunning jar can be used even after the candle comes to an end. The scent is feminine and floral with notes of lily of the valley, white rose, jasmine, orange blossom and sandalwood, to name but a few.

My next recommendation goes to renowned candle brand, Cire Trudon. Cire Trudon is the oldest candle brand in the world and once provided candles to the royal court of Louis XIV. Cire Trudon consider candle making an art form, blending unique and often surprising ingredients together to create one-of-a-kind scents. I've been enjoying the Bryon Scented Candle (£60.00 John Lewis / £96.00 amara.com), a candle that sticks a middle finger up at the idea that candles are just for women. The candle, inspired by the famous British poet, features notes of black pepper, mugwort, brandy, patchouli, vetiver, leather and opopanax, which create a heavy, masculine scent that it unbelievable enticing. So if you are looking for something to get a stylish, modern man, I couldn't recommend this more.

The final candle in my edit comes from NEOM, a Brit brand I've loved for some time. NEOM only use natural and ethically sourced ingredients in its candles, resulting in a clean and even burn. Every NEOM candle smells divine, with the scent remaining in a room long after the candle has been blown out. The brand has launched two festive candles this year, Prefect Peace and Christmas Wish. I would recommend Christmas Wish (£45.00 neomorganics.com / $72.00 beautyhabit.com) as the scent - which combines notes of mandarin, tonka bean and cinnamon - smells absolutely divine. The candle itself comes in a beautiful, gold-washed glass jar that will look gorgeous in just about any living space. If you would rather move away from the festive theme and gift a candle that would suit all seasons, check out the NEOM website. There you will find an extensive range of candles that suit just about every mood.

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Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Wednesday Wisdom: Nancy Willard

“Sometimes questions are more important than answers”

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Tuesday, 2 December 2014

The Tuesday Tip: Combat Oily Skin With Corn Starch

If you ever find your face on the oily side and have no primer to hand, grab yourself some corn starch. Corn starch (also known as cornflour) is a thickening agent produced by milling maize seeds. It is a hero ingredient for those with oily skin because it is highly absorbent.

Dusting your face with corn starch before applying foundation will help absorb any excess oil and give your skin a matte finish. Some people choose to dust corn starch on their face after  applying foundation and some go further by mixing it in with their foundation. Regardless of how you choose to do it, introducing corn starch into your makeup routine will help keep excess oil at bay!

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Monday, 1 December 2014

Ask TBI: Can You Use Hair Oil If You Have Fine Hair?

Question: I have fine hair that is very dry. I have been advised to use a hair oil to help combat the dryness, however I am worried that using one will just make my hair greasy. Are there any good hair oils available for fine hair or should I just avoid hair oils altogether? - Angela, Manchester.

Answer: Like you, I have fine hair and was once very weary of using hair oils. However fine-haired girls like us can use hair oils, we just have to be careful about how  we use them.

When it come to applying hair oil post-wash, I would advise rubbing a pea-size amount of oil between your hands, running it through your ends and then drying your hair as normal.

However, my favourite way to use an oil is to leave it in overnight or use it as a pre-wash treatment. When doing either, I would advise applying oil from root to tip, however stick to using a pea-size amount of oil and keep the amount applied to the roots to a minimum. When using an oil as an overnight mask, wash the hair in the morning as you normally would. When using it as a pre-wash treatment, leave the oil in the hair for 15-20 minutes before shampooing.

As to which oil is best for fine hair, there are a variety of different oils you can use. I have been using the PhytoSpecific Baobab Oil 100ml (£22.50 feelunique.com / $40.00 Sephora) and have been getting great results. This botanical blend of eight beneficial oils helps to hydrate, revitalise and nourish the hair, as well as support hair strength and protect against sun damage. The oil is incredibly lightweight, so if I stick to using the correct amount, I never experience any greasiness. It just leaves my hair unbelievably soft, shiny and healthy.

PhytoSpecific Baobab Oil review
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Sunday, 30 November 2014

Weekly Worship: Ardell, Rodial and Elizabeth Arden


Price: £3.99 / $3.99

Stockist:
falseeyelashes.co.uk / ULTA

Ardell is the best affordable false eyelash brand on the market. The brand have a crazy amount of styles - ranging from natural to fashion forward - and each one blends in with natural lashes seamlessly. However the best thing about Ardell lashes is that they are very  easy to apply. The bands are thin, flexible and soft, so they mould around the eyelid easily and, if glued correctly, stay put for a long time.

If you struggle applying false eyelashes, I can't recommend trying Ardell lashes enough. Wispies are my favourite of all the brand's styles, look at how gorgeous they are!!

Ardell Wispies review

Price: £24.00 / $48.00 13ml


Rodial, the brand famous for surgery-mimicking skincare, launched an amazing makeup range a couple of months ago. The new collection features just about every product you need to get glam, however one of my favourite products is the Glamolash Mascara XXL. This mascara creates amazing volume with only a few strokes and the lashes stay luscious until this magical mascara is removed. The wand is quite big and bushy and it combs through lashes easily, helping to separate them and avoid clumping. It is one of the best mascaras I have used in a long time. I am in love.

Rodial Glamolash Mascara XXL review

Price: £17.00 / $18.00

Stockist: John Lewis / Macy's

This Elizabeth Arden Beautiful Colour Luminous Lip Gloss in Sweet Pink is fast becoming a handbag essential. I'm not a big lip gloss fan as I often find them sticky and uncomfortable to wear, however this one feels more like a balm than a traditional sticky gloss. This is due to the inclusion of mango and shea butter, two ingredients that help to nourish the lips and keep them cushiony soft.

The lip gloss is vanilla scented and features a handy mirror on the side of the tube. It is also is equipped with a big, spongy applicator that evenly dispenses the perfect amount of product.

Now the colour is a gorgeous soft pink and it's quite transparent when applied, which I love. However, if you want more of an opaque colour, I would recommend priming the lips with concealer before applying the gloss. This high-shine gloss is also packed with tiny gold speckles, which helps to give an appearance of fuller lips.

 Elizabeth Arden Beautiful Colour Luminous Lip Gloss review
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Thursday, 27 November 2014

The Beauty Myth: Olive Oil Can Remove Stretch Marks

television animated GIF

Verdict: False

Stretch marks are a form of scarring on the skin; they are caused by skin expanding quickly, usually due to pregnancy or weight gain. The problem with removing stretch marks is that they form below the top layer of skin, so topical treatments simply can't reach them to remove them.

Now although olive oil can't remove stretch marks, massaging olive oil into the skin can help prevent further ones forming. This is because olive oil softens the skin, making it easier for the skin to stretch. I love the nourishing benefits of olive oil, however I am not big on applying it directly to my skin. For these reasons I use gorgeous smelling body oils that contain the ingredient. One of my favourites is the Origins Calm To Your Senses Lavender and Vanilla Oil 150ml (£24.00 Selfridges / $25.00 Macy's). This super skin saviour contains soybean oil, olive oil and jojoba oil, which all work together to deeply nourish, soothe and soften the skin. If used daily, a body oil as nourishing as this will be sure to keep stretch marks at bay!

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Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Wednesday Wisdom: Helen Gurley Brown

“Good girls go to heaven, bad girls go everywhere”


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Tuesday, 25 November 2014

The Tuesday Tip: Maintain The Moisture

As you all know, body lotions and moisturisers are great for treating dry and flaky skin. However, the way in which you apply these products after washing can provide an additional benefit to the skin. I am talking about the 'pat dry and apply' technique and it couldn't be easier.

After showering or bathing, pat the excess water from your skin using a towel and then apply moisturiser before your skin is completely dry. Doing this will ensure that you lock in that last bit of moisture, keeping skin hydrated and super soft.

The Body Shop Mango Body Butter 200ml (£13.00 The Body Shop / $20.00 The Body Shop USA) is the perfect product to use, as it contains ultra-moisturising cocoa butter and mango seed oil. I also love the Dove Intensive Cream Oil Body Lotion (£3.33 Boots / $5.97 Walmart).
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Monday, 24 November 2014

Ingredients 101: Black Cherry Juice

Natural or Synthetic: Natural

Origin: Black cherry juice is extracted from the black cherry plant (aka prunus serotina), a woody plant species belonging to the genus Prunus.

Location: This black cherry plant is native to eastern North America, including the mountains of Mexico and Guatemala.

Beauty Benefits: Black cherry juice is packed with antioxidants, as well as vitamins C, A, B1, B2, B3 and 150 phytonutrients that fight free radicals and protect the skin from premature ageing. Black cherry is also a great anti-ageing ingredient due to its ability to lighten and brighten the skin, reduce the appearance of age spots and give life to dull and ageing skin.

Black cherry juice is also anti-inflammatory, which is just one of the reasons it's considered a great acne-fighting ingredient. Black cherry juice not only reduces the size of a pimple, it destroys bacteria and speeds up the skin's natural healing time.

Warnings: Black cherry juice is safe to use topically. However, if you are pregnant, I would advise talking to your doctor before using it.

Found in: The Dahliana Overnight Fruit Lift Crème 42ml (£56.00 abeautifulworld.co.uk / $145.00 dahliana.com). In addition to black cherry juice, this ultra rich cream contains rosehip oil, green tea extract, aloe and citrus oils. All of these 100% natural ingredients work together to activate cellular turnover, brighten and lighten pigmentation and dullness, hydrate the skin and treat any skin damage. This dream cream soothes my skin the second I apply it and the morning after it's applied, my skin is plump, soft and more radiant. It is a real skin saviour!

Dahliana Overnight Fruit Lift Crème Review

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Sunday, 23 November 2014

Weekly Worship: Hairfinity, OGX and Crown Brush

Hairfinity review

Price: £24.00 / $24.00

Stockist:
hairfinity.co.uk / hairfinity.com

I've been hearing about Hairfinity for sometime now. The brand is so popular that one bottle is sold every 20 seconds - impressive, huh? Hairfinity is a clinically proven dietary supplement from Brock Beauty. The supplements are designed to improve hair health and strength - resulting in longer and thicker hair. Now as a fine-haired girl, this is obviously something I had to try; luckily Hairfinity has just launched in the UK and I've been able to get my hands on a bottle!

I have been taking the pills for just over a week. There isn't much to report yet, as I've only just started taking them, however I have noticed that my hair looks and feels slightly thicker at the roots. I have also noticed stronger nails which is an amazing (and unexpected!) benefit. I will give you an update when my monthly prescription is finished but for now, I'm loving it!

Hairfinity UK

Price: £6.99 / $7.99

Stockist:
Boots / ULTA

This week I was luckily enough to enjoy a lovely lunch with haircare brand OGX. In addition to finding out lots about the American brand, I was luckily enough to take home some of the new products launching next year. I have since fallen in love with one of those products and it goes by the name of Weightless Hydration Coconut Water Conditioner.

This miracle conditioner smells amazing, applies easily and works wonders on my locks. It leaves my hair hydrated and super soft and gives it the most gorgeous, healthy shine. Another huge benefit is that it is affordable, costing just £6.99 a bottle!

Sadly, although this hydrating hair hero is currently available stateside, it won't actually be launching in the UK until 2015. Trust me though, it will be worth the wait!

Weightless Hydration Coconut Water Conditioner

Price: From £1.29 / $1.49

Stockist: crownbrush.co.uk / crownbrush.us

I have a huge obsession with makeup brushes and sadly this obsession costs me a small fortune. Now, I have used budget brushes in the past, however they have never worked as well as those from premium brands. Luckily, I have recently discovered Crown Brush, a budget brush brand that really rivals the likes of MAC and other cosmetic giants.

Crown Brush is an American brand that has been manufacturing brushes for over 20 years. The brand produces just about any type of brush you can think of and each one is rich in quality and made with expertise.

I have been using a handful of brushes from the brand for the past few weeks and I am absolutely obsessed. Each brush is easy to use, affordable and does its particular job perfectly. Although I love everything I've tried, my favourites are the C405 Contour Blush, C441 Pro Blending Crease and C433 Pro Blending fluff. If you are in need of some new brushes, head on over to Crown...you will not  regret it.

Crown Brush C405 Contour Blush

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Saturday, 22 November 2014

Faithful Four: Face Creams


Kiehl's Super Multi-Corrective Cream

Promise: “Multi-targeted anti-ageing moisturiser that corrects the most visible signs of aging”
Price: £48.00 / $62.00 50ml
Purchase: John Lewis / Nordstrom

The first face cream on the list is Kiehl's Super Multi-Corrective Cream. This wonder cream applies well and absorbs incredibly quickly. It actually absorbs better than any other face cream I've tried and it isn't greasy or remotely sticky after application. It provides an ultra smootheven finish that makes subsequent makeup application a dream.

This Super Multi-Corrective Cream is fragrance free, safe for sensitive skin and paraben free. What makes this cream particularly special is that it is packed with hyaluronic acid, which deeply moisturises the skin and locks in moisture. This face cream is lacking in a SPF, so you will need to apply a SPF primer and/or foundation over the top of it, to ensure your skin is protected.

Kiehl's Super Multi-Corrective Cream Review

Benefit Total Moisture Facial Cream

Promise: “Say good-bye to dry skin and hello to "total moisture." This facial cream provides concentrated immediate & long-term hydration for a radiantly refreshed complexion”
Price: £28.50 / $42.00 50ml
Purchase: Boots / Sephora

The Benefit Total Moisture Facial Cream is the perfect face cream for just about any skin type. It is formulated with mango-seed butter and caprylic capric triglycerides which work together to deeply moisturise the skin and create a barrier on the skin's surface that locks in moisture. The cream is not too heavy and absorbs quickly, leaving behind a soft, even finish that is perfect for subsequent makeup application. As only a small amount of product is required per application, this 50ml pot will lasts a loonnng time. It doesn't have a SPF, so be sure to protect your skin with a SPF primer or foundation.

The only downside to the Total Moisture Facial Cream is the scent. It has a strong perfumed scent that I find a little off-putting. However the smell goes within a few minutes after application.

Benefit Total Moisture Facial Cream Review

Antipodes Vanilla Pod Hydrating Day Cream

Promise: “A light but intensive hydrating cream that feels beautifully fresh and alive on your face”
Price: £26.99 / $48.00 60ml
Purchase: feelunique.com / antipodesnature.us

The Antipodes Vanilla Pod Hydrating Day Cream is the most moisturising face cream around. It is 100% natural and is packed with avocado oil, manuka honey and rosehip oil. These skin-benefiting ingredients work to deeply moisturise, repair and protect the skin.

Now the Vanilla Pod Hydrating Day Cream is very rich, so it wouldn't be ideal for those with oily skin. It glides on to the skin easily but takes a little while to fully absorb. However, when it does, you are left with soft, plump and deeply hydrated skin. After a couple of weeks of using this face cream daily, you will also see a reduction in pigmentation. This has been my go-to moisturiser for the past few years, I'm beyond loyal! Oh...and it smells amazing.

Unfortunately this face cream is also lacking in SPF, so make sure your skin is protected by applying a SPF primer or foundation over the top of it.

Antipodes Vanilla Pod Hydrating Day Cream Review

SK-II Essential Power Rich Cream

Promise: “This lavish facial cream addresses signs of ageing and keeps the skin nourished to perfection. It contains a key plant-derived ingredient that protects the skin from harsh environmental conditions, leaving skin moisturised and healthy”
Price: £143.00 / $260.00 50ml
Purchase: Harrods / blissworld.com

I know what you're thinking? F**k, this is an unbelievably expensive face cream! Now, you're right, however it is as amazing as it is expensive...I promise!

The SK-II Essential Power Rich Cream is a ultra nourishing cream that has a gorgeous  silky texture. To apply this cream is nothing short of a dream. It glides on to the skin effortlessly and only a small pea size amount of product is required to cover the entire face. It sinks in relatively quickly, however I always leave a good five minutes before applying anything over the top. It is worth the wait though, as once this is fully absorbed, the skin is left plump and soft, with an even texture - setting the perfect base for makeup. This cream is also the perfect anti-ager, firming the skin and reducing fine lines. Like the other creams here, the Essential Power Rich Cream is also lacking in a SPF, so you will need to apply a SPF primer and/or foundation over the top of it.

The only downside to this product has to be the price, it is one serious splurge!

SK-II Essential Power Rich Cream review

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Thursday, 20 November 2014

Understanding...Parabens

Often, just mentioning the word ‘parabens’ is enough to freak a beauty gal out. So you’re probably wondering, “WTF are parabens and why all the fuss?!”.

Well, parabens are chemicals widely used as preservatives - they are the most common preservatives used in cosmetic and pharmaceutical products. Using preservatives in cosmetic products is very common and very beneficial as they prevent the growth of bacteria and other germs, helping the products to last longer.

The reason 'parabens’ is such a big buzz word in the cosmetics world is due to the implied link between the use of parabens and breast cancer.

This implication comes from the fact that parabens contain tiny levels of estrogenic activity, activity that can be attributed to certain breast tumours. However the estrogenic effect of parabens is incredibly weaker than that of natural estrogens like estradiol. Even when parabens are included in cosmetic products, the concentration of parabens is always extremely low. More importantly, although past research has suggested a link between parabens and breast cancer, direct evidence of this correlation has yet to be shown.

I personally think parabens are given a bad rap. However, if you’d rather err on the side of caution, I’d recommend using paraben-free beauty products. There are a number of great beauty brands out there that do not include parabens in any of their products, Jurlique is a personal favourite!
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Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Wednesday Wisdom: Louisa May Alcott

“I'm not afraid of storms, for I'm learning how to sail my ship”

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Tuesday, 18 November 2014

The Tuesday Tip: Get More From Your Mascara


If your mascara has dried-up waaaay before its expiry date, don't throw it out! A quick trick can bring it back to life...

All you need to do is add 2-3 drops of saline solution to your mascara tube, screw the wand back on tightly and give it a good shake! You'll be good to go for another few weeks.

Just remember to never  buy that shitty mascara again!

snl animated GIF
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Sunday, 16 November 2014

Ingredients 101: Dragon’s Blood

Natural or Synthetic: Natural

Origin: Dragon's blood is a resin that is extracted from the Croton lechleri tree. It got the name dragon's blood because it is bright red in colour.

Location: Dragon's blood is sourced across the world, in many tropical and subtropical climates.

Beauty Benefits: Dragon's Blood is a powerful healing ingredient that has been used by various tribes for centuries. It is anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and contains healing properties that repair and protect the skin. It is able to help treat everything from cuts, bruises and burns, to eczema, rashes and acne.

In addition to repairing the skin, dragon's blood creates a protective shield that helps to prevent environmental damage. This antioxidant-rich ingredient also helps to fight ageing, through assisting in the formation of collagen and regenerating skin cells.

Warnings: Dragon's blood is safe to use topically. However, if you are pregnant, I would advise talking to your doctor before using it.

Found in: The Nip + Fab Dragon's Blood Fix Plumping Mask 50ml (£14.95 nipandfab.com / $29.00 ASOS). This is a hydrating gel mask that plumps and brightens the skin. In addition to hyaluronic acid, this miracle mask contains salicylic acid and TEGO Cosmo C250, which work together to exfoliate the skin and correct pigmentation.

Nip + Fab Dragon's Blood Fix Plumping Mask review

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