We hone in on one of cult brand The Ordinary’s best products…
Affordable brand The Ordinary came to the UK relatively recently, but already it’s kicked up a storm in terms of cult following – probably because it offers a no-nonsense, affordable approach to skincare.
The capsule line of skincare products (think serums, acid toners and face oils) puts exactly what’s in the bottle on the label, so you can source your products based on the element you’re looking for.
But, if you’re not much of an expert in terms of specific skincare ingredients, terms like niacinamide and hyaluronic acid may boggle your mind a bit, so allow us to hone in on one of the brand’s best and most beneficial products: The Buffet Peptide Serum.
At just under £13, this is the range’s most expensive product, but still clocks in far cheaper than the majority of higher end brands. So what makes it so great?
Peptides naturally occur in our skin, helping it carry out all of its functions. More peptides = skin that works even more efficiently, which is good news as this product is packed full of ’em.
The serum also contains 11 different amino acids, which work to plump and firm the skin, making it a great anti-ageing beauty product. Allow it to soak in completely before following up with a moisturiser, then admire your significantly softer and more even complexion.
So popular is this wonder serum though that it’s often out of stock, so you’d better nab it quick while it’s still available if you want to try it for yourself.
Use this serum every day and your skin will look healthier and glowier from within in no time; we’d go as far as to say you’ll save money on your foundation, because you won’t be using anywhere near as much.
Already a fan of The Ordinary? Let us know your favourite products by tweeting us at @marieclaireuk
Welcome to our Marie Claire Masters series, a regular beauty franchise that celebrates and utilizes the expertise of women who are bossing it in their fields. Each month these Masters will educate, demonstrate and impart some of their industry wisdom to you the dedicated Marie Claire reader. From current trends and hot topics to how tos and how not tos, these beauty whizz kids are at our beckon call. So get reading, you never know what you tips you might pick up. KT – Digital Beauty Editor
I’m Catie Miller, owner and founder of Xtend Barre’s London flagship studio, where we offer classes that combine dance, ballet and Pilates. I understand that not everyone has the time or money to attend regular exercise classes, and so in my new role as the Marie Claire Fitness Master, each month I will creating simple at home exercises based on the workouts at Xtend Barre.
These exercises are designed to sculpt your muscles through dynamic stretching and increase your heart rate for that cardio burn. You can do these workout moves anywhere, anytime. All you need is a chair and a set of ½ kilo dumbbells (if you don’t have any, use two 50cl water bottles). Start working on three exercises, then work up and combine the six for a longer dynamic workout.
At home exercises
The basic positions
Within the sequences, I mention various ballet positions. Don’t worry if you don’t know them, previous dance experience isn’t needed. Here are the basic positions…
Standing center of the floor, feet hip width distance apart and arms out in front in 1st position with dumbbells in hand. Brush the right leg out in front of you bringing the thigh towards your chest, not the chest to the leg. Keeping the back straight and arms strong continue this movement alternating leg lifts with fluidity and strength. (8 reps for each set—up to 2 sets).
Step 2: Make it a bit harder
Continue the leg lifts for another 2 sets with added arm movements to challenge the core. Swing opposite arms to legs. Arms should move in a controlled swing reaching to the sky and to the floor.
Step 3: Cardio challenge
Add a little hop with each leg lift and swing. I love to make hearts race.
Second exercise: Curtsy Plies
Muscle Focus: hamstrings/quadriceps/core
Standing centre of the floor with your legs open to a wide 2nd position. Make sure feet are turned out and the arms are stretched out to the side from the shoulders. Step one leg from 2nd to curtsy (cross foot behind), plié down in each position. The working leg is moving as the supporting leg is still. Arms open from 2nd (when the legs are in 2nd) and 1st (when the legs are in curtsy). 8-16 reps
Step 2: Make it a bit harder
Continue for another 8-16 reps. Curtsy the right leg as the right arm reaches towards the floor and the left arm extends up at a high diagonal. Step right foot to tendu side as arms come back to 1st.
Tip: Keep a proud chest, square shoulders and hips and even placement between both feet.
Step 3: Cardio challenge
To finish take your curtsy straight to a passé adding a hop at the top before you place it back down into curtsy. Feel the hamstring and quadriceps burn.
Third exercise: Hug and Carriage
Muscle Focus: deltoids and pectoralis major (with advancement quadriceps)
Standing center of the floor begin with your feet in 1st position (heels together, toes turned out) with a soft bend at the knees and arms in 1st position. Begin with arms in front of body (1st), step legs and arms to 2nd, close legs and arms to 1st, step again to 2nd. 8 reps in each direction.
Step 2: Make it harder
Repeat the above but on the last one, extend your inside leg to tendu and sweep arms through 2nd to high 5th. 8-16 reps each direction.
Step 3: Cardio challenge
Continue with the hug and carriage movement for another 8-16 reps adding in a little hop as you take the leg out to tendu.
Tips: Maintain soft knees throughout series. Move gracefully with control and resistance. Remember to pull your abs in and up.
Fourth exercise: Tricep Kick Backs
Muscle Focus: Triceps w/ lower body stabilisation
Square off the hips and shoulders. Reaching both arms above the hips with your palms facing each other, bend/extend the arms, keep the elbow lifted. The bend is small, concentrate on extending the arms to engage the triceps fully. 8-16 reps.
Step 2: Make it harder
Add a lunge when you bend the arms and straighten the legs when you extend the arms. 8-16 reps.
Step 3: Cardio challenge
Continue with the lunge/tricep kick-backs and add a kick of the back leg off the floor. Think about extending the leg longer, not higher to activate your core and glutes for an added burn. Hold the leg and arms off the floor for your final balance.
Tip: Try all 3 levels back to back to increase the heart rate. Try slowing it down or pick up the tempo!
Exercise 5: Xtend Teaser
Muscle Focus: Abdominals, shoulders
Begin seated on your mat. Reach arms out behind your body on the mat. Draw knees in to balance on tailbone. Draw one leg to table top and then alternate to the other leg focusing on lifting through the spine and the abdominals to balance. 8-16 reps.
Step 2: Make it harder
Add the opposite arm lift to challenge the core and balance. Alternate to the other side fluidly. 8-16 reps.
Step 3: Cardio challenge
Lift both legs and arms at the same time reaching to a teaser position. 8-16 reps. Hold at the top for your final balance lifting through the crown of the head, lengthening the spine and drawing the abdominals in. 8-16 counts.
Tips: Focus on lifting through the chest and drawing the shoulders down!
Exercise 6: Plank
Muscle Focus: Core, Hip Extensors
Begin with legs together in a plank position with your hands directly under your shoulders. Hold your plank for 8-16 counts.
Step 2: Make it harder
Continue holding your plank and add a passé with the leg to focus on core strength and lower abdominal connection. Alternate leg passé. 8-16 reps
Step 3: Cardio challenge
Continue alternating leg passé and pick up the tempo to a mountain climbing run. 8-16 reps.
Tips: Remember to focus on your core strength. Lower down to your forearms if you have any wrist injuries. Keep abdominals in and shoulders down.
It really is as easy as that. Repeat these moves three times a week, until I’m back next month with more easy to do at home exercises.
Beauty editors, make-up artists and the everyday woman cannot get enough and praise the brand for it’s innovation.
Now, people ain’t happy with the brand and it’s newest launch – Bounce the brand’s first ever foundation.
It apparently has 24 hour wear – great. It apparently has a velveteen matte finish – wonderful. It’s apparently vegan/cruelty free – mazel tov. And apparently it’s got no parabens, sulfates, phthalares or oils in it – fabulous.
So far, so good.
The thing that everyone is ticked off about? Despite there being 32 shades – according to many Instagram users – this is not enough. Like so many brands before this one, the darker end of the shade spectrum seems to have been left out.
One user asked: ‘where are the rest of the shades?’, another said, ‘that’s a whole lot of white’, whilst one particularly angry comment said, ‘This shade range is garbage af.’
The foundation isn’t even available yet, the official launch date is 24th July in the US, but the initial reaction is probably the last thing Beautyblender was hoping for.
We’re not sure when the foundation will be available in the UK, but this launch seems to reignite the argument for cosmetic brands to cater to all skin tones.
The ingredients list on the back of product bottles is so bloody confusing, unless you’re a scientist or a boffin, it’s unlikely you’ll know what it all means and what each one does to skin. Which is why, we decided to set the record straight and tell you exactly what some of the most common skincare ingredients actually mean. We teamed up with ZO Skin Health to demystify the confusing world of skincare ingredients.
You are most welcome.
Retinol is the big name on campus for effective anti-aging. It is a derivative of vitamin A and if you want to desperately reduce the sight of fine lines, wrinkles and pigmentation, nothing will help you do that better than retinol creams and serums. ‘A widely used term within the skincare industry, Retinol based products can help improve the look of fine lines and wrinkles whilst also smoothing the surface area of the skin. You should apply a retinoid once a day, most preferably in the evening as skin will be sensitive to sunlight afterwards – use after cleansing and before applying your moisturiser.’
Because of the world we now live in, we, and our skin, are exposed to some pretty nasty outside aggressors and antioxidants are our defence system. They help combat the effects of free radicals (those nasty external stressers). ‘Antioxidants are an essential ingredient when it comes to anti-ageing and keeping your skin looking youthful and healthy. Antioxidants help target the elements responsible for signs of aging, but can also calm skin and help revitalize dull-looking skin.’
We’d say this is one of the less common skincare ingredients, but keep your eyes peeled, because you’re going to want it. ‘Niacinamide, also known as vitamin B3 and nicotinic acid, is a very effective ingredient that offers multiple benefits for aging skin such as improving the appearance of uneven skin tone, large pores, wrinkles and dullness. Niacinamide can be applied on the face of an AM and PM, just a couple of drops patted over the skin after cleansing and before moisturising.’
If you suffer for dull skin and all you really want is to look in the mirror and glow brightly, then this antioxidant should be your first port of call. ‘Vitamin C is most commonly taken orally; however, the ingredient also has varying benefits when applied directly to the skin. Vitamin C provides a range of benefits including evening out your skin tone, protecting your skin against pollution, improving hydration and keeping an overall youthful appearance.’
Oh golly acids for skin are so bloody confusing aren’t they?! There are so many different types and they’re always abbreviated (which we reckon is just to confuse matters more), but it’s worth taking note of what they do, because AHAs will transform your skin. ‘Alpha hydroxy acids, or AHAs as they are more commonly known, are natural acids which come from acidic fruits such as lemons and oranges. These acids reduce the look of wrinkles and can prevent future wrinkles whilst also making skin much smoother.’ If you spot glycolic, malic or lactic on packaging – these are all AHAs.
We all know that collagen has something to do with the skin and it’s always mentioned when people talk about fighting the signs of aging, but what exactly is it? ‘Collagen is a naturally occurring protein found in your body. It’s an essential component, providing structural support for your organs, skin, tendons, muscles, cartilage and bones. The skin loses collagen over time, so it is an imperative ingredient to add into your skincare routine, it can be found in many day and night creams as well as face masks.’
The first confusing thing about this skincare ingredient is how to pronounce it. We like to say ho-hoba oil. ‘Jojoba oil has some very powerful antioxidants which help in regenerating the skin cells, leading to a more youthful and glowing complexion. Jojoba oil is not only good for the face, but can also be used over the body instead in replacement of your normal moisturiser.’ Use when skin is warm and slightly damp after a bath or shower.
Probably the one that you’ll see most on product packaging and with good reason. It is the super duper hydrating ingredient that plumps skin and gives it one hell of a moisture boost. ‘The Hyaluronic Acid solution is able to work deep into the skin’s layers to improve and benefit hydration and elasticity. Hyaluronic Acid is commonly used for its ability to combat the signs of ageing and eliminate skin imperfections.’
You probably recognize this most from Nivea adverts. They bang on about Q10 all the time. It’s a super powerful antioxidant. ‘Collagen is highly important because it keeps your skin firm, while elastin gives your skin flexibility, when collagen is lost, this causes the skin to wrinkle and sag. CoQ10 helps the skin by acting as a strong antioxidant. It helps to banish those free radicals that promote premature ageing. It can be ingested, via foods like whole grains and oily fish or though supplements.’
Another punchy, yet really useful skin acid. Salicylic acid is a B Beta Hydroxy Acid or a BHA. It removes dead skin cells from the skin, both on the surface of your skin and deep within your pores, providing a deep exfoliation targeting the more clogged areas of the skin. Skin problems such as zits, blackheads and oiliness are all caused by excess oil and dead skin cells, Salicylic acid works in ridding the cause, which means you’re less likely to suffer with blackheads and spots. Salicylic acid is best applied in the PM, using only a small amount as it is a very strong solution.’
Guys, print this off and take it beauty shopping with you.
Let’s be completely honest with one another, how many times have you read an article or watched a clip on YouTube and a make-up artist has given you tips and tricks on how to do the perfect feline flick or how to apply your foundation correctly? Probably thousands right? And how many times have you managed to achieve that look? Less than 10? Yeah, me too.
Sometimes I wonder if it might just be easier if someone told me what not to do. Which is why when I got to sit down with Caroline Barnes, Max Factor’s UK Ambassador and celeb make-up artist, I ask her what her big make-up no-nos are.
This is what she had to say…
Don’t wear too much powder
‘If you wear too much powder on your skin it looks cakey and skin becomes more obvious. As you age skin gets drier, you get more fine lines and wrinkles – wearing a tonne of powder is only going to accentuate those things. Traditionally the powder brush is the biggest one in your kit, but actually you should downsize it to a blusher brush-size. Because, unless you have super oily skin, all you need to do is mattify your T-Zone – so between the brows, either side of your nose and under your chin. You want skin to look as natural as possible, which means you need a little bit of glow/shine to be seen in the right places.’
Don’t be lazy with make-up
‘What I mainly mean by this, is just doing eyeliner around the eyes to try and define the eyes. So many women take an eyeliner, mainly kohl, and think I won’t bother with my brows or lashes and my skin looks ok today, so I’ll just put some eyeliner around my eyes and smudge it in. It’s mainly older women, not so much savvy twenty-year-olds, but it puts a lot of colour around the roots of your lashes and without any mascara it actually shrinks your eyes and makes them look a bit piggy. People think they’re defining the eyes, which I understand because as we age we do lose definition in our features, so it’s natural to want to define them. But without adding in mascara, it goes all wrong.’
Don’t wear pink berry lipstick
This is so ageing I can’t tell you. Pink berry lipstick is so mumsy. I’m talking about those pink lipsticks that are a classic fuschia shade, with a bit of brown tone to it. It’s probably one of the bestselling lipsticks shades in the UK; it’s a classic English Rose colour, but if you have light-skin, with red undertones (like many of us do) then that actually brings out the ruddiness in your skin. To look healthy, polished and modern, you actually want a creamier texture to your skin, as it’s much more popular and flattering. If you look more contemporary, you therefore look younger.’
So there we have it. Avoiding these things will make you three times better at make-up.
Calling all social media fans! Here’s how to get your smile prepped for every (unexpected) scenario…
Let’s face it: we’re not always prepared for everything life throws at us. Especially when we’re all about looking about our best for the social media feed.
And if you’re the type that likes looking her best all the time, making sure your selfie super-smile is on point is a top priority – even when you’ve found yourself in a last-minute scenario.
You know the kind of situations we’re talking about, right? Those texts that come through from your colleagues on a Friday afternoon that call for a post-work shopping splurge or a hurried locker rummage – hands up who doesn’t stash a pair of emergency heels alongside their work cereal? You know who you are.
So if one of these occasions has left you in a bit of a flap, chill, because Pearl Drops Luminous Bright White Toothpolish is about to become your newest beauty saviour.
The date night desk makeover
Swiped right on the bus: matched by lunchtime. Now dream profile wants to take you for romantic sundown drinks on some hidden rooftop. This calls for some serious washroom action – thank heavens you’re prepared. As every desk dater knows, dazzling teeth need to be squeaky clean in case of any unexpected close-ups, which is why we suggest you make Pearl Drops Luminous Bright White Toothpolish part of your quick-fix beauty routine. Not only will it freshen your breath, but the instant whitening effect will give your signature red lipstick a chic finish.
The festival guestlist you weren’t expecting
Grab the glitter, you’re off to that boutique festival with only a few moments to pack. But before suffering that familiar ‘where did I leave my wellies’ panic, grab five minutes to make sure your smile is ready to rock the main stage. For immediate shimmer to complement those face jewels, Pearl Drops Luminous Bright White Toothpolish, will finish your Coachella-inspired festival look. Using illuminating ingredients, this pink paste is perfect for enhancing the natural glow of your teeth and gets to work fast.
The SATC-style VIP club opening
Remember when your best friend said that her wardrobe was your wardrobe? Now is the time to raid it. You’ve scored a ticket to the hottest launch in town and you’ve set your sights on her gorgeous vintage wiggle dress. The finishing touch? An A-lister smile to seal the deal. Perfect for keeping in your bathroom cabinet, Pearl Drops Luminous Bright White formula contains Pro-Shine complex for VIP-ready instant gloss. Add some bling, then work the room Bradshaw-style.
The impromptu girls night out
Quiet weekend? Pfft. Saturday’s smugness (morning yoga class followed by a juice-based lunch) is quickly replaced by excitement once the party bomb has been dropped in your girls’ WhatsApp group. Yes, it’s the weekend and you are ready to dance. Use your Pearl Drops Luminous Bright White Toothpolish to ensure your selfie smile is gleaming – yes, even if you’ve only been given an hour’s notice. Containing essential ingredients to accelerate brightness, this low-abrasion smile saviour can deliver up to 2 shades whiter teeth in just 1 week, so you’re always guaranteed to be gram ready.
Just when I thought I’d seen all the beauty industry had to offer, I recently discovered that there is a team of people in Sweden who have developed a line of skincare for your vagina.
Yep, you read that correctly. This is not a hoax. The Perfect V is a 8-piece luxury skincare collection designed and formulated for your foof.
Last year, we revealed that we had discovered a lipstick for your fanny, but clearly someone out there decided that we needed a more comprehensive regimen for our nether regions.
The range includes a wash (fair enough), cleansing wipes (which they suggest carrying around in your pocket for on-the-go needs), an exfoliator (cue the gasps), a hydrating cream (I didn’t realise my lady garden was dehyrated), a highlighter (your guess is as good as mine), a soothing cream (this I can get on board with as it calms irritation from hair removal) a firming serum (WHAT?!) and wait for it: a mist.
Each product is PH Balanced, has been rigorously tested by dermatologists and gynecologists, and is paraben, SLS and fragrance free.
I’m all for caring for my friend down there, but what’s wrong with a bottle Femfresh and water?!
Oh and they have also coined and trademarked the term Vanicure, so yep put a fork in me for I am done.
What do you think? Leave us a comment on our Facebook page.
At first she kept quiet about how her pout had gone from subtle and thin to full-on voluptuous within a couple of months, but then she admitted that she had had some help from someone with a medical degree and easy access to syringes and hyaluronic acid. The cat was finally out of the bag that the ‘star’ had in fact had lip fillers.
So it came as quite a shock yesterday when Jenner responded to a comment on her Instagram that she had in fact ‘got rid of all my filler.’ Fans had spotted that her appearance was reminiscent of the old Kylie with natural lips and most of them seemed pretty chuffed with her decision: ‘beautiful without filler’ said one. ‘We love this natural look more,’ said another.
Dr Nick Milojevic, a leading British aesthetic doctor believes that Kylie probably ‘skipped a few sessions meaning her pout as gone down naturally.’ But for those who followed in her footsteps and want to copy Jenner again and have them removed, Dr Milojevic says, ‘If the patient wants a quicker way to remove their lip filler they can have Hyaluronidase injected directly into the lips, and they will go down within 3 – 4 days.’ However people should be careful about jumping too quickly to follow suit, ‘there is a very small risk of an allergic reaction, and this must be considered by the patient and doctor before undoing the procedure. I advise my patients to let their lips go down naturally to avoid any risks. There is also a small chance that if the patient chooses to have these injections, it could mean the lips go even thinner than anticipated, this is due to the breaking down of the hyaluronic acid within the lips, which could lead to the patient being unhappy with the results. It is best to let the filler dissolve naturally over the 6-12 months.’
So there we have it. Has the youngest Jenner started a new trend for natural looking lips? Only time will tell dear reader.
If there’s one thing that’s true about hair, it’s that it’s great at holding on to scent.
But although we all like our hair to smell great, you should never spray regular perfume directly on your hair.
This is because perfume contains alcohol, which is incredibly drying for hair and can leave it brittle, haystack-like and more likely to suffer breakage.
Hair mists on the other hand are still perfumed, but with a much lower concentration of alcohol, so you can spritz away to your heart’s content. Plus they last ages, due to your hair’s ability to trap the smell, so no need for top-ups throughout the day.
With this in mind, we’ve picked some of our favourite hair mists from the perfumery world we’re obsessed with (and you will be too).
Tulips are actually scentless, so this gorgeous floral scent is founder Ben Gorham’s imagination of what it would smell like. It’s the perfect balance of sweet florals without being too sickly, combining freesia, rhubarb and blonde woods.
Baccarat Rouge 540 is a delicious combination of cedar, saffron and amber gris, combining for a rich, slightly fruity overall scent – so you can imagine our delight when it was turned into a scented hair mist. It’s the perfect fragrance to wear all year-round.
Recently revealed as the most popular perfume of 2018 so far, it’s only fair that we give a shout out to Chanel’s fresh hair scent. A timeless classic, this is the perfect buy if Coco Madameoiselle is already your signature scent.