There are quite a few supplements out there which claim to help you achieve better skin, hair and nails. For years I have tried them on and off and never been too impressed. However, about 6 months ago I thought of trying them again and went for the Boots own brand supplement for skin, hair and nails. I have them next to my bed and every night (well, almost every night) just before I go to sleep I take on. It is probably because I am very impatient and like to see instant results, that I never stuck with them before and therefore didn’t think they ever worked, however, for whatever reason this time I did persist and I must admit I do believe they are having a positive effect.
I think the first thing I noticed was with my nails – I have quite weak nails that often break or split before getting too long. However after about 3 month of the supplement, I noticed they were growing longer and not breaking as often.
If you have read any of my other posts you will know that my skin is quite temperamental, but since being on the supplements, I do think my skin has been better and haven’t had as bad breakouts as before.
I am quite lucky, and have always had quite healthy hair, however I have started to dye it in recent months (which we all know isn’t the best for our hair). Just the other day I had a good look at the ends of my hair to find hardly any split ends – and I haven’t had it cut for about 4 months!!
For me, these supplements do seem to be working – not to an amazingly high standard, but working none the least. It is always worth talking to your doctor though before taking any form of supplement, but if it is something that you are thinking of trying I would say remember to stick with them for at least a month as you may not see any effect before this time.
I thought of doing a post on eye liner as there are so many different ones on the market now – different colours, textures, prices etc – that it can get a little confusing. I would say that if you are not too sure about which eye liner is best for you, just keep to the classic colours of black and brown and focus on ones which have the best staying power – Then you really can’t go wrong.
One thing I would say is that if you like to have definition around your eyes for the day but don’t like the harsh look of using black eyeliner, try a brown or a black/brown colour. This will give you the look you want without making you look like you are ready for a big night out. I specifically like this for an everyday work look. My favourite is Clinique Cream Shaper for eyes in Brown Sugar (£14). It is a pencil but has a creamy texture. It is quite a soft brown colour which looks great for a natural look. I have been using this for years and I love it! It lasts all day and even though it is not said to be waterproof, it is water resistant and I have had a tear or two with this eyeliner on and have not had it budge!! They have a few colours in this range and whilst writing this post I am actually thinking I really need to invest in another colour or two – why haven’t I before??
If I want to wear a black colour in the day I tend to go for Lancome Crayon Khol Waterproof in Raising Noir. This is waterproof yet still is good for smudging if you want the smoky look or to rub in to reduce any harsh lines for a softer, more day-time look. The staying power is good but I have found that if I have a strong line on the top of my eyelid, by the end of the day I can see a crease of black higher up my eyelid from where the liner has touched my lid when my eyes are open. Saying that, I have only noticed it after wearing the liner for many hours (usually already after I have finished work – so it doesn’t matter so much then!!).
Unless you are one of the lucky few, curling your eyelashes can really enhance your look. Many people think that just putting some mascara on will make a difference, but it won’t if you have poker straight, downward lashes.
I have very straight lashes and I find that the best way to curl the lashes is by using an eyelash curler. There are many different makes but I think it is important to find the right one for you as they are all slightly different in shape. You need to find one that suits your own eye shape to not only make it more effective, but it will be easier for you to do the curling. My favourite is the Tweezerman eyelash curlers. I find they are less curved than most and therefore fit my eyes, leading to less pitching. It also allows to me be able to move around easier – getting into those awkward lashes in the corners. My mum was using an old Vaseline top to curl her lashes for about 30 years, often trying eyelash curlers from time to time, but always going back to her Vaseline top as she never got on with them. After recently purchasing the Tweeserman curler, she is finally hooked!! She too agrees it is down to the fact they are less curved and so easier to use. She even had a moan as to why I hadn’t told her about them before!
Regarding the technique as to how to curl the lashes, please remember that there is no need to press hard. Your lashes are very delicate and you don’t want to damage them in any way. Also, you want a natural ‘curled’ look, not with a 90-degree angle to them. I like to start at the root, then gently curl the middle part and then the tips. You can also pick up extra small curlers for the corners, which may be difficult to get to. The ones pictured here are Ruby and Millie.
I have also found that using waterproof mascara helps to keep the curl all day. I am not sure if it just me, but if I use any mascara which isn’t waterproof my lashes drop almost imidianetly (yes, that is how straight my lashes are naturally!!).
It is very difficult to get a great result without the helping hand of a few handy accessories. Here are a few which I just can’t live without!
1) Makeup brushes – I know may people who still use their fingers or the little applicators which come with products to do their makeup yet wonder why it never gives a good finish. From foundation to eye shadow, makeup brushes are essential to help the makeup sit well on your face. They key brushes I suggest everyone should have are: foundation, powder, blusher and at least 2 eye shadow brushes. They don’t have to be expensive and a lot of high street stores now stock a range. Have a feel and see which ones you prefer. The softer the better for me.
2) Tweezers – I am sure no one can deny these are essential to get rid of those stray hairs on any part of the face, but specifically the eyebrow area.
3) Eyelash curlers – Depending on your eyelashes, some mascaras can help to lift and curl your eye lashes, but especially for those of us with poker straight, downward looking eyelashes, the curlers are a must have and I would be lost without mine! They can take a little time to get use to but once you do, they can dramatically change your look for the better – opening the eye out, making the eye look more awake and brighter. If you don’t like to wear mascara but still want to have a great looking eye, just curl your lashes as they will automatically look longer, yet natural.
As the weather seems to set to get suddenly warmer over the next couple of days I thought of quickly adding a post about how to get yourself ready for the nice warm sunshine!
If you are anything like me, you will be looking a bit too much on the white side than you would like, so desperate to get under than sun to get a bit of that lovely glow tan back. However, you should hold your horses ladies as there are a few bits we need to do before stripping of and jumping on the sun lounger….
1) Exfoliate your skin. We are constantly told to do this to our face at least once a week, but many of use seem to forget about the rest of our skin. If you want that tan you are going to work so hard to get to last and look its best, you need to make sure all those dead skin cells are no wear to be seen. I have tried a few body exfoliators but to be honest, the most effective, cheapest and easiest method is just to get a pair of exfoliating gloves! You can get these from most chemists, supermarkets and high street shops like Boots and Superdrug. Boots do some as cheap as £2.66. All I do is when in the shower (obviously you could do this whilst in the bath too) just pop the gloves on, get then really wet and then add my normal body wash to the gloves. Rub them together to get a bit of lather and then start scrubbing!!
2) Use a good body moisturiser. The new craze is body oils, but as long as you use something to hydrate your skin, that is better than nothing.
3) Don’t forget sun protection. An absolute MUST!!!!! In this day and age when we hear all the risks of sun damage, I just don’t’ understand why anyone would stay in the sun without any skin protection. Times like this, right at the beginning of the nice weather, when your skin has not been used to the sun rays for a while, I would say the higher the spf factor the better. I recently discovered Piz Buin suntan lotion and I really like it. I would start with the spf factor 30 until I felt like my skin was getting a bit used to the sun and then I will start using the spf 15. I would prefer to use a spf 20 but they only do those two factors in their oil-free range which I really like. You may want a specific face sun screen. Make sure you put plenty on as even if you aren’t worried about the help implications of not protecting your skin, at least worry you could get REALLY wrinkly!!!! Not a good look L
4) Sooth your skin after the sun. Pop on any after sun lotion you prefer after some time in the sun as this will help to reduce dehydrations, which leads to horrible dry skin. It can also be soothing if you have stayed out a bit too long and get a bit red.
5) Sort out your feet. When the sun comes out we all want to wear those lovely strappy shoes or flip flops we have had hidden away for months. However, we need to remember to sort out our feet first so they look pretty in those revealing shoes! Firstly invest in a foot file. It doesn’t have to be an expensive, branded one – any one will do. This is to get rid of the excess dry skin especially around the heal area which is often seen in summer shoes. Then every night (or as often as you can remember) before going to bed use the file and add a think foot moisturiser. I have found Avon’s Foot Works Heal Softening cream to be effective. Within a week your feet will look so much better and ready to be revealed to the world!
Now you are ready to go out and enjoy that wonderful weather!!
I thought of sharing with you some of the products I would not be able to go without. If you are someone who doesn’t have a lot of time in the morning to get ready, or just doesn’t know where to start, then these are some things I urge you to make sure you have at home:
1) A good moisturiser which suites your skin – this can take a little time to find, but once you do it will make all the difference. Where possible try to get one which has spf in it as this can provide you with an extra layer of protection to keep those wrinkles under control!
2) Foundation – No matter how great your skin is naturally, if you want ‘perfect skin’ you need to go out hunting for a suitable tinted moisturiser or foundation. If you are lucky enough to have good skin all you need is something light; a tinted moisturiser or a light covering foundation will do the trick for you. If your skin is good but you still suffer with shine, a power may be all you need. If your skin is not so great, there are a range of foundations which go from light to heavy coverage. Only go for heavy coverage if you REALLY need it as a concealer can always hind the odd imperfection and then it doesn’t look ‘caked on.’ I would suggest to everyone to go for oil-free foundations/powders as these won’t clog your pores.
3) Concealer – I would suggest investing in two. Get one which is lighter than your foundation for around the eye area to get rid of those dark circles. Make sure this is not a drying concealer as this is a very sensitive area and if dry can emphasis those horrible fine lines of ours. The second one is for the odd blemish. There are a number of concealers on the market which are great for this and actually have ingredients which help to heal the blemish whist providing great coverage. Make sure you get one which is the closest colour to your foundation. Even though many people use just one concealer I really feel two are best as they are needed to do completely different jobs! The one around the eye could very well have oils and other ingredients which do not help with other skin conditions, such as blemishes.
4) Blusher – We all need a little helping hand when it comes to having that ‘healthy glow.’ A slightly shimmer powder blush is perfect for this. Don’t be afraid of the bright pink colours! You only have to put a tiny bit and it can make a real difference.
5) Mascara – Good mascara can really help to emphasis your eyes. I prefer waterproof mascara because I find they don’t smudge as easily as non waterproof mascara – the panda eye look isn’t the best! The second reason is because you never know when you might have an ‘emotional’ moment. If are in such a situation, at least you don’t have to worry that your mascara is running down your face! If you want an ultra-natural look, try using brown/black or brown mascara rather a black.
I always take off my makeup before going to bed (yes, even after a big night out!) however, I totally understand how sometimes it is the last thing you want to do. If you have these nights, then I would definitely say to invest in some face wipes as they are a very quick way to, at least, take most of the makeup off before you go to sleep.
My favourite is the Simple Clear Skin Oil Balancing Cleansing Wipes.
My routine involves taking off my eye makeup, then using a face wipe to just take off the majority of my foundation. I don’t rub my skin but just gently wipe it. I then take the remainder off with an oil-free face wash. I have found in the past that if you wear very long lasting foundation, like I do, just using a face wash to remove the foundation can take at least 3 washes! This extra step of getting the top layer off with a wipe can speed up the whole process and you can be sure that your face is squeaky clean!
The first thing to be aware of to keep your eye makeup intact all day is to use a good quality eye shadow. This does not have to mean expensive eye shadows!
To test eye shadows before you buy, rub some on your finger and then rub it on the back of your other hand. Keep rubbing it for a few seconds…if it seems to disappear, don’t buy it! If it doesn’t seem to budge easily, it seems to be a good one!
There is also no need for eye primers. I never use them and my eye makeup stays put all through a tough day at work. All you need to do is use a foundation brush to blend in a little liquid foundation onto your eyelids (right up to the brow). Then dust over each eyelid with a little loose power. Your eye is now set to add your eyeshadow. This technique also helps to prevent the dreaded creased look!
It is important to clean your makeup brushes regularly. Leave them to soak in the cleaner for a few seconds, then stir the brush in the cleaner to really make sure all the makeup is dissolved. Then rinse it thoroughly. Most would just leave to dry then, however, I would advise to then wash the brush with an oil free face wash (if you are using an expensive one invest in a cheep oil free face wash for this job as you don’t want to go through your expensive one quicker than you need to!). Then rinse again and leave to dry. The reason for this is that makeup brush cleaners contain oils to make the makeup dissolve. However, this is hard to wash away with just water. If you do a second wash with a face wash you are minimising the risk of those oils going onto your face the next time you use it – leaving you with those evil spots!