Friday, 31 October 2014

Behind The Brand: M·A·C


Date of Birth: 1984

Founding Fathers: Frank Toskan and Frank Angelo

History: M·A·C (Makeup Artist Cosmetics) - the Canadian beauty brand originally created for professionals - was founded by make-up artist Frank Toskan and beauty salon owner Frank Angelo. The Franks opened the first M·A·C store in New York in 1991 and ended up selling controlling interest of the company to Estée Lauder Companies in 1996. When one of the Franks (Angelo) sadly passed away, Estée Lauder purchased the remaining share of the company. The Estée Lauder acquisition helped to launch M·A·C into the globally successful brand it is today.

USP: M·A·C is fun, colourful and edgy and, best of all, it celebrates individuality. In addition to catering for all skin tones, M·A·C continuously launches creative, limited edition collections that are known to sell out in a matter of days, sometimes minutes. These collections see the innovative brand collaborate with everything from TV shows and cartoon characters to fashion designers and celebrities. Known for its innovation, M·A·C is often regarded as one of the main forces behind seasonal beauty trends.

Motto: “All ages. All races. All sexes”

Giving Back: In 1994 M·A·C founded the M·A·C AIDS Fund, a charity developed to support people who are living with HIV/AIDS worldwide. At the centre of the M·A·C AIDS Fund is VIVA GLAM, a lipstick and lipglass line in which every cent from every sale is donated to the cause. To date, VIVA GLAM has raised $250 million.

VIVA Glam history

Offerings: M·A·C sell just about everything to meet your beauty needs - from loose powder pigments and nail polishes, to cleansers and fragrances.

Hero Products: M·A·C Eye Shadow, M·A·C Eye Brows and M·A·C Lipstick.

Availability: M·A·C is available in 1,500 locations across 78 different countries worldwide. Aside from individual stores, M·A·C is sold Stateside in Nordstrom, Macy’s and Bloomingdales and across the pond in House Of Fraser, Debenhams and Selfridges.

Price Points

Foundations: Up to £26.00/$33.00

Single Eye Shadows: Up to £16.50/$21.00

Blushers: Up to £19.00/$25.00

Lipsticks: Up to £20.00/$22.00

Skincare: Up to £29.00/$40.00

MAC makeup history

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Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Wednesday Wisdom: Amy Poehler

“As you navigate through the rest of your life, be open to collaboration. Other people and other people’s ideas are often better than your own. Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you, spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life”

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Tuesday, 28 October 2014

The Tuesday Tip: Brow Precision

Brushing your eyebrows downward before filling them in will help you see the basic shape of your natural brow. This trick will also show you the gaps that need filling.

The ultimate brow filler is the SUQQU Eyebrow Liquid Pen (£20.00 Selfridges). Not only does this pen create natural and buildable fine lines, it is water and oil–resistant which helps it last throughout the day without smudging. The only problem with this product?? It is not available in the US...sorry dolls!

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Monday, 27 October 2014

Review: Rituals Hammam Hot Scrub

Rituals Hammam Hot Scrub

The Promise: "This scrub will leave your skin feeling ultra soft, refreshed, and with a gratifying warm feeling".

The Price: £19.50 / $29.00 450g

The Stockist: Debenhams / rituals.com

The Application: This is a body scrub like no other. Unlike its rivals, the Rituals Hammam Hot Scrub only requires the smallest amount of product per application. This is down to the gorgeous nourishing oil that helps spread the sea salts easily around the skin. The salts are larger than your average, helping them to wash away from the skin with ease.

This gorgeous scrub combines warming ginger and fresh eucalyptus, giving skin a warm and tingling feeling post application. These two ingredients also smell divine and help transform any bathroom into a serene spa.

Rituals Hammam Hot Scrub review

The Results: The second the scrub is rinsed off, skin is super smooth and deeply moisturised. The sea salts also polish the skin perfectly, removing dead skin cells to leave skin looking healthier and more radiant.

The Pro: This scrub is the perfect all-rounder - buffing the skin and deeply moisturising it, all at the same time.

The Con: There isn't one!

Are you a fan of Rituals? Have you tried any other products from the brand that you would recommend?

PR sample
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Saturday, 25 October 2014

Understanding...Facial Serums

A facial serum is an intensive hydrating skin treatment designed to deliver optimum performance directly to the cells beneath your skin’s surface. Serums are the most concentrated form of skincare product; designed to target specific skincare concerns. They often have considerably less filler ingredients and are known for containing a high level of active ingredients (antioxidants, vitamins and proteins).

Unlike most skincare products that are formulated with large molecules, serums have a smaller molecular structure that enables them to penetrate the three layers of skin. This, coupled with the fact that serums typically contain a greater concentration of active ingredients, means they are able to target and treat skincare concerns more directly.

In addition to deeply hydrating the skin, serums can treat even the most specific skincare concern. Serums can even out skin tone, reduce the appearance of dark spots and discolouration, brighten skin, boost collagen production, boost the skin’s protection, firm and lift the skin and minimise the appearance of ageing.

Serums are traditionally water-based, as water is a very effective carrier of active ingredients. More oil-based serums are appearing on the market now, which work well if the oil blend is fine and therefore readily absorbable.

The F.A.Qs

Should I use a moisturiser as well as a serum?

The choice comes down to which best suits your skin. Serums can be lighter than a moisturiser and enable skin to breathe, especially in humid conditions. However, the best option is to use both: for example, you can use a serum before bed to target skin cells and apply layer a night cream over it to lock in moisture and help powerfully boost its action.

It is important to note that a serum should always be paired with a good sunscreen for the best possible protection.

Do you put moisturiser on before or after a serum?

As with all skincare products, the order in which you use products is simple – you should start with the thinnest lotion and end with the heaviest cream. Therefore moisturisers, in most cases, should be the final skincare product used.

How long should I wait after applying a serum before I add moisturiser?

It is advised that you wait 2-3 minutes to allow the serum to properly absorb.

Recommendations
  1. The Anti-Ager – YSL Forever Youth Liberator Serum 30ml (£65.00 House of Fraser / $155.00 Nordstrom)
  2. The Hydrator – SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5 Gel 30ml (£59.00 johnandginger.co.uk / $78.00 skinceuticals.com)
  3. The Corrector – REN ClearCalm 3 Replenishing Night Serum 50ml (£22.00 Liberty / $30.00 Sephora)
  4. The Brightener – Antipodes Apostle Skin-Brightening & Tone-Correcting Serum (£41.99 antipodesnature.com / $69.70 feelunique.com)
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Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Wednesday Wisdom: Helena Rubinstein

“There are no ugly women, only lazy ones”

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Monday, 20 October 2014

Ingredients 101: Kojic Acid

Natural or Synthetic: Natural

Origin: Kojic acid is a substance found in several species of fungi, such as mushrooms and rice malting.

Location: Everywhere, however kojic acid was first discovered in mushrooms in Japan in 1989.

Beauty Benefits: Kojic Acid is most famous for its skin-whitening properties. It does this by inhibiting the production of melanin (the brown pigment in our top layer of skin that gives skin its colour). As a result, when used correctly, kojic acid can reduce the appearance of sun freckles, melasma or other pigmentation.

Kojic Acid is also used in skincare for its antioxidant and antibacterial properties. Some dermatologists even prescribe kojic cream for treating acne.

Warnings: Kojic acid is considered safe to use topically, however if you are pregnant or breast feeding, please consult your doctor before using it.

Found in: SkinCeuticals PHYTO + 30ml (£65.00 Amazon.co.uk / $80.00 skinceuticals.com). This gel serum is designed to treat hyperpigmentation, combining four active ingredients to diminish discoloration and improve the overall health of the skin. It brightens, de-puffs and deeply hydrates the skin - we're talking super serum status.
SkinCeuticals PHYTO PLUS
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Sunday, 19 October 2014

The Beauty Myth: You Don’t Need To Use A SPF In The Winter

The Verdict: False

RealityTVGIFs animated GIF

You always need a good SPF! Although the winter months are often cold and dark, UV rays are always hanging around and, be warned, your skin will  absorb them. UV rays are as harmful in the winter months as they are in the summer months. You are not even safe when it’s cloudy, as UV rays can penetrate cloud cover. If that isn't shocking enough, UV rays can be even more harmful in snowy conditions as snow is a great reflector of light!

So make sure you have a SPF to hand at all times because UVA and UVB exposure can lead to skin damage, premature ageing and, in some cases, skin cancer. Look for a SPF that protects skin from UVA and UVB rays, I recommend the Clinique Superdefense Daily Defense Moisturizer SPF20 50ml (£39.00 clinique.co.uk / $40.00 Sephora).

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Thursday, 16 October 2014

Understanding...Acne

The most common skincare questions I get asked usually involve acne. What causes acne? More importantly...how do I get rid of it?

The Definition


Put simply, acne is a common skin condition (or if you want to be dramatic, disease) that is characterised by blackheads, whiteheads and pustules (aka our worst nightmares)

The Cause

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, of course, 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!).

So what causes the overproduction of sebum I hear you ask?? Well that can be a variety of things, including:

  • Hormonal imbalance 
  • Puberty 
  • Menstrual Cycle 
  • Pregnancy 
  • Stress 
  • Medications that effect hormonal levels 

Contrary to popular belief, there is actually no evidence to suggest that poor hygiene or diet causes acne.

The Solution

Unfortunately there is no miracle product or skincare ritual in existence that will guarantee we'll never suffer with acne again. However there are some useful things we can do to avoid encouraging it, such as:

  • Completely removing our make up before going to bed 
  • Making sure we’re getting enough sleep 
  • Being aware of what comes into contact with our face. Telephones, bag straps, our hair and even our hands carry harmful bacteria 
  • Avoiding the use of irritants such as oily or greasy makeup, sunscreens and hair products that can make our acne worse 
  • Not excessively washing our face as this can cause serious irritation to the skin 
  • Using skincare products that contain benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid and resorcinol 

For those of you who suffer with severe acne, I would advise you pay a visit to your doctor. There are a variety of prescription medications that can be used to treat acne such as topical treatments (gels, creams and lotions), antibiotic tablets and hormone therapies.

funny animated GIF
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Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Wednesday Wisdom: Pearl Bailey

“The first and worst of all frauds is to cheat one's self. All sin is easy after that”


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Tuesday, 14 October 2014

The Tuesday Tip: Give Them The Finger

Always use your ring finger when applying concealer (or any product for that matter) to the eye area. Not only does this put the least amount of pressure on the skin, it also ensures that the concealer stays put. Rubbing concealer into the eye area will just rub it off!

A great product for concealing discolourations and dark circles is the moisture-rich Laura Mercier Secret Concealer (£19.50 John Lewis / $24.00 Sephora).

Laura Mercier Secret Concealer
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Sunday, 12 October 2014

Weekly Worship: TRESemmé, Shiseido and Paul & Joe Beaute

TRESemmé, Shiseido and Paul & Joe Beaute

Price: £2.75 150ml

Stockist:
Boots

Speaking honestly, I'm not as clued-up on hair as I am on makeup and skincare. However, what I do know is that healthy hair starts with a healthy scalp. So, with this in mind, I always look out for products that promise to keep my scalp in tip top condition. Cue the TRESemmé Nourish & Renew Tonic...

I recently starting using the TRESemmé Renewal Hair & Scalp Range, which includes this trusty tonic. It is formulated with tea tree extract and sunflower seed oil, that work together to nourish the scalp at the surface cellular level. The results?? Soft, shiny and healthy looking hair! My locks are loving it! And these great results aren't the only thing I've fallen for. The tonic provides a lovely cooling sensation the second it's applied and the bottle features a long nozzle, which makes applying the water-thin formula easy and mess-free.

TRESemmé Nourish & Renew Tonic Review

Price: £23.50 / $25.00 6ml

Stockist:
feelunique.com / Barneys

When it comes to Shiseido, I haven't got the largest collection of products, I do however love every product I try and this Lacquer Rouge lip gloss is no exception. The colour is Ophelia (PK226), a gorgeous soft pink that compliments just about any makeup shade (have a peek below!).

The consistency is smooth with only a hint of tackiness - once applied to the lips, the lacquer feels more like a lipstick. It also packs a superior shine that is long lasting; I can go a few hours without the need to reapply!

Ophelia is just one of five new Lacquer Rouge shades Shiseido has launched this autumn. I'm already desperate to get my hands on the other four!

Shiseido Lacquer Rouge Ophelia PK226

Price: £23.00 / $35.00

Stockist: Selfridges / beauty.com

This Paul & Joe Beaute Eye Colour Trio in Stormy Weather is my new go-to palette when wanting to create the perfect grey smoky eye.

This sparkly trio combines shades of white, pewter and dark grey, which, aside from looking amazing together, can be used individually to highlight or add depth to just about any eye look. The colours are highly pigmented, easy to apply and buildable.

Paul & Joe Beaute Eye Colour Trio Stormy Weather review

I used the gorgeous Stormy Weather palette to create the smoky eyes below. This look also incorporated the Japonesque Velvet Touch Blush in 03 and the Shiseido Lacquer Rouge in Ophelia. I used DHC Liquid Eyeliner EX to line my lids.


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Friday, 10 October 2014

The Beauty Myth: Toning Is The Second Step In Cleansing

Verdict: False

RealityTVGIFs animated GIF

This myth is so common that some of y'all may not believe it's a whole bunch of bullshit. Many people believe that toners are intended for removing any dirt left behind after cleansing. But let me be clear, there should never  be any dirt or makeup left behind after cleansing. If there is, you better get your ass back in the bathroom and cleanse some more.

What you may be even more shocked to realise, is that toner should actually be left on the skin. You see, toners are meant to be applied after cleansing, to restore and repair the skin. There are several different types of toners, each designed to address a variety of skincare needs - from reducing the appearance of pores to moisturising and refreshing the skin.

My go-to toner is the Pixi Glow Tonic 250ml (£18.00 pixibeauty.co.uk). This aloe vera and ginseng toner helps to firm, tighten an tone the skin, leaving it looking fresh and healthy. I am also a huge fan of the Fresh Black Tea Age-Delay Instant Infusion Treatment Toner 120ml ($48.00 Sephora).
Pixi Glow Tonic review
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Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Wednesday Wisdom: Sheryl Sandberg

What Would You Do If You Weren't Afraid?

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Tuesday, 7 October 2014

The Tuesday Tip: Super Soft Lips

Gently brushing your lips with a toothbrush will help make them super soft. As well as exfoliating the lips, this trick will also stimulate blood flow, making lips appear more plumped.

After brushing I would advise using a good lip balm to ensure the lips stay nourished. I recommend Burt’s Bees Ultra Conditioning Lip Balm 4.25g (£3.69 John Lewis / $3.99 ULTA)
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Monday, 6 October 2014

News: Into The Gloss Goes Onto The Beauty Shelves

Yes, you read that right. The holy grail of beauty blogs, Into The Gloss, have put all of their beauty knowledge and experience into creating their very own beauty line. The name is Glossier and it looks gorgeous...

Into The Gloss beauty line

Pinned as a 'modern beauty brand inspired by real life', Glossier products are inspired by what readers and influencers want. As Into The Gloss founder Emily Weiss put it, "Over the past four years running Into The Gloss, I saw the need for a beauty brand that speaks to its consumers directly, offering them a chance to engage beyond the traditional touch points of purchase, use and mass marketing,".

The Glossier journey starts with the Gossier Phase 1 Set, a collection of skincare essentials which include the Soothing Face Mist, Priming Moisturizer, Perfecting Skin Tint, and Balm Dotcom. Priced between $12 and $26, Gossier products are available directly from the brand’s website.

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Sunday, 5 October 2014

Weekly Worship: bareMinerals, Dermalogica and Paul & Joe



Price: £26.00 / $29.00 30ml
When bareMinerals announced it was releasing a liquid foundation, I was intrigued. The brand is famous for providing gorgeous natural coverage with its mineral powders, so I had to find out if they could work the same magic with a liquid. They absolutely  can.

The bareSkin® Pure Brightening Serum Foundation promises a seamless, natural-looking finish and it makes good on that promise. The foundation feels lightweight on the skin and blends like a dream. It feels runnier than other liquids, however as it's so pigmented, there is no comprise on coverage. I have been using this foundation for months now, so it has become a firm favourite. It has all the qualities a great foundation needs and  it benefits the skin.

bareSkin® Pure Brightening Serum Foundation review

Price: £36.36 / $46.00 30ml

Stockist:
lookfantastic.com / ULTA

There are many skincare products out there that claim to remove spots quickly and effectively, however - as I've just discovered - none seem to do it quite like the Dermalogica Special Clearing Booster. Containing 5% Benzoyl Peroxide concentrate, this zit zapper is pretty powerful. When I apply it to a spot before bed, the spot is significantly reduced in redness and size by the morning and, after one to two further applications, the spot disappears completely.

Now it is on the expensive side, however only a tiny amount is needed per treatment, so it will take a while to get through a 30ml bottle.

Dermalogica Special Clearing Booster review

Price: £12.00 / $20.00

Stockist: beautybay.com / beauty.com

The Paul & Joe Lip Concealer Duo is so amazing that I struggle understanding why so many brands haven't produced something similar. It is far from your average lip pencil, as it not only keeps your lip colour in place, but corrects and defines the lip line and helps lips to appear fuller.

I achieve the most well-defined red lip with this lip pencil and always have it on hand to correct any mistakes I may make when applying lippy. The one thing I really love about this lip pencil, is that it's perfect for blocking out the natural colour of your pout - a necessity when wanting to achieve a nude lip.

Paul & Joe Lip Concealer Duo review
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Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Wednesday Wisdom: Elizabeth Taylor

“The problem with people who have no vices is that generally you can be pretty sure they're going to have some pretty annoying virtues”


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