Whether you want a colour refresh or complete change, these are the best hair salons for colour

Whether you want a colour refresh or complete change, these are the best hair salons for colour

Your colour in very safe hands with this lot

best hair salons for colour

Most of us can hold our hands up and say that we’ve experienced some sort of dye disaster in our lifetime. It may be the more expensive option, but putting your trust in one of the best hair salons for colour (and their expert colourists) is without question the safest option for great-looking hair.

Whether you’re looking for a crazy colour transformation, refresh existing colour or need a bit of blonde maintenance, there’s an expert in the city just waiting to fix your locks up. Keep reading for the Marie Claire approved salons for colour across the capital. Just want a cut and styling session? All of the below are excellent for a new ‘do, but check out our guide to the overall best hair salons in London next for more recommendations.

Windle London

best hair salons for colour Windle and Moodie

One of the best London salons you’ll find, newly-rebranded Windle London is based right in the heart of the capital’s West End, tucked just around the corner from Seven Dials. Founded by Paul Windle, who started his career at Vidal Sassoon before becoming principal of their hairdressing school, the small and chic salon has been going for over 30 years. As well as all being super hard working and precise in their colouring – Pia in particular is meticulous – the whole team of colourists and stylists has a lovely, friendly family feel to it. Having your hair washed and head massaged in a darkened room is a game-changer; you’ll leave feeling super relaxed and in good spirits after every visit. Head here for the best blow dries that last for days, too.

Where is it?

41-45 Shorts Gardens, Seven Dials, London WC2H 9AP

Book now

Percy and Reed

best hair salons for colour Percy and Reed

At Percy & Reed salons (one in East London and one up West) they do things a little differently. Rather than having a colourist tend to your balayage, then a stylist getting to grips with your cut, each member of the team is fully trained in both. This means that no matter who you end up with, you’re with them from the moment you sit down in their chair at the beginning of your appointment right to the very end, so they really listen to you. Because they know that the cut and colour are integral to achieving the exact look you’re after. They’ll ask about hair history, condition, type, lifestyle, you name it. If you’ve got inspo pictures, show them. If you fell in love with a girl’s colour who passed you on the street six weeks ago, describe it. If you’re completely unsure about exactly what you want, trust them. Because founders Paul Percival and Adam Reed still work closely at fashion weeks and on shoots, the salon is often flooded with trend-led colour treatments and new approaches that are not to be missed.

Where is it?

Percy & Reed West is based at 157C Great Portland Street, W1W 6QS, while East is at 1 Fournier Street, E1 6QE.

Book now

Words by Katie Thomas

Zoë Irwin at John Frieda

best salons for colour Zoe Irwin John Frieda

Described as ‘the Stella McCartney of the hairdressing’ world, Zoë’s CV top line speaks for itself: ghd UK Brand Ambassador, Wella Professionals UK Colour Trend Expert, and now Creative Director of John Frieda’s Aldford Street salon in the heart of Mayfair. Zoe is known for having an eagle eye for spotting hair trends before anyone else. The woman is scrupulous when it comes to colour – you’ll probably be happy with your hair before she is, but that’s a good thing – and she won’t rest until your hair is perfect, whether you’re after trend-led blonde balayage or a natural-looking rich, warm brunette. Bonus: she’s super chilled and all-round lovely to be around.

Where is it?

4 Aldford Street, Mayfair, London W1K 2AE

Book now

Larry King

best hair salons for colour Larry King

Best for: Refreshing colour

Based around the concept of ‘a social life for your hair’, Larry King’s flagship salon isn’t even three years old yet but has made huge waves in the hair industry, with tonnes of A-listers flocking to Kensington to get their hair did. The man himself has hand-picked a team of expert colourists with decades of expertise and dab-handedness in balayage, beachy blondes, experimental hues, the works. Don’t have time to sit in a salon chair for half a day? We hear you. Fortunately the salon offers Redken’s genius new treatment menu, express Blow Dry with Benefits. In a smudge more time than it takes to get a blow-dry, you can add a pop of colour, neutralise any brassy tones, blend out your greys or add shine with a clear gloss using Shades EQ. If you’re growing out highlights, the treatment can soften the look so that it’s more of a gentle balayage. Or, go all-out and add peach or lilac tones to change up your look before a holiday or festival. The treament lasts for eight washes and, best of all, you’ll be in and out in less than 90 minutes.

Where is it?

34-36 Harrington Road, South Kensington, London SW7 3ND

Book now

Nicola Clarke at John Frieda

best salons for colour

Best for: Classic blonde

Think of a seriously famous blonde – Kate Moss, Madonna, Cate Blanchet, Kate Winslet – and Nicola Clarke probably does her hair. In the beauty industry she’s about as synonymous with blondes as red buses are to London. Awarded Best London Salon at our 2019 Hair Awards, Nicola is based at John Frieda’s super luxe Margaret Street salon, a seriously chic space. She has decades of experience and her status as a legendary colourist spans the globe, with an artistic eye for colour that’s almost unrivalled. And who wouldn’t want their hair coloured by the same person who looks after one of the biggest supermodels of all time?

Where is it?

58-59 Margaret Street, London W1W 8SN

Book now

Bleach London

best hair salons for colour Bleach

Best for: Every colour on the spectrum

Bursting onto the scene in 2010, Bleach has since transformed into the one-stop-shop for all things colour. And we’re not just talking your regular blondes, reds and brunettes; they’re the pros when it comes to experimental shades. Baby blues, pastel pinks, a complete multi-coloured rainbow – the choice is yours. First and foremost, the stylists are at the top of their game. Head to their Instagram @bleachlondon and you’ll see there’s nothing they can’t do, whether you want all-over highlighter yellow or a super natural blonde balayage. They also specialise in diplights; regular highlights that start an inch from the root for a blended look that’s perfect for anyone who wants their colour to look lived-in, or can’t commit to touch-ups every six weeks. Jada at the Soho branch is a wizard when it comes to mermaid hair (check out the before and after pictures below if you don’t believe us).

best salons for colour

At your patch test, they’ll snip off a tiny lock of your hair to test how it reacts to the colour, to ensure they can give you the unicorn mane of your dreams. Yes, it’s possible to take the leap from brunette to blonde in one sitting, but at Bleach their priority is getting you there without ruining your hair – they can take you from bottle copper to soft peach without sacrificing your hair health. No straw-like hair here – their two-part plex treatment ensures every strand is silky soft and healthy when you walk out of the salon. All their products are completely vegan and cruelty-free, so when your super-cool colour needs a top up, head to Boots and pick up a bottle of your favourite shade from their range.

Where is it?

You’ll find Bleach Salons in Dalston (42 Kingsland Road, E8 4AA), Brixton (195 Ferndale Road, SW9 8BA) and Soho (2 Berwick Street, W1F 0DR).

Book now

Words by Jadie Troy-Pride

Josh Wood Atelier

best hair salons for colour

The man behind the hair of Kylie and Elle Macpherson (to name but a few famous clients), Josh Wood is the man behind some of the fashion week catwalk’s biggest and best hair looks; you’ll always find him backstage putting his creative talents to work. He recently launched his own hair colouring line which you’ve probably seen around and, FYI, they’ll be doing in-store color consultations in the new look Boots store. But if you want the best results, put your faith in Josh and his ‘dream team’ in the Notting Hill salon, for a wealth of knowledge and a colour experience that’s tailored specifically to you and your look. They can do anything from ‘oil slick’ colour to candy floss pink, as well as perfectly blended classic shades.

Where is it?

6 Lansdowne Mews, Notting Hill, London W11 3AN

Book now

STIL Salon

best hair salons for colour STIL

Best for: Cool cuts and Scandi blonde

Founded by super cool Scandinavian Christel Lundqvist – three times winner of British Colour Technician of the Year award – STIL offers a super bespoke colouring experience that will simultaneously fuel your Pinterest obsession with Scandi interiors. Christel’s famous-faced clients have included the likes of Pink, Ellie Goulding and Pixie Lott, and her expertise has been drafted in to create all over the world. If effortlessly chic hair is your bag, this Notting Hill gem should be high on your salon hit list because, really, there’s nothing effortless about perfect ‘lived-in’ hair.

Where is it?

2 Chepstow Road, Notting Hill, London W2 5BH

Book now

Time for a colour change-up? We think so too…

For more great hair features, head to our Hair & Beauty section at the top of the page

The post Whether you want a colour refresh or complete change, these are the best hair salons for colour appeared first on Marie Claire.

Anti-ageing serums that will completely transform your skin

Anti-ageing serums that will completely transform your skin

A great anti-ageing serum can take your skin from so-so to super. Read on for our favourite buys

best anti-ageing serums

We all now know how important the best face serum is. It’s the hardest working product in our skincare routine, packed full of amazing skin replenishing and boosting ingredients. Introducing one into your daily regimen will do wonders for the condition and appearance of your skin. So imagine how fantastic the best anti-ageing serums must be…

As with most products that suddenly gain hype there comes a slew of different products to choose from, which can make it quite difficult to choose one that’ll work for you. But, if you’re in the market for one, you’ve come to right place as we’ve done all the hard work for you.

Over the course of time, through a lot of beauty editor trial and error, we’ve pulled together a list of the most effective and subsequently, best anti-ageing serums out there. There are serums that will help protect and prevent wrinkles and lines in the early stages and some ingredients, like retinol, can even reduce the appearance of existing damage.

When to use the best anti-ageing serums

Anti-ageing beauty products, particularly those with antioxidants, can be used as early as in your 20s, but the most important thing is to use anti-ageing products that are appropriate for your skin type. Remember that serums contain the highest concentration of active ingredients that you can get without a prescription, so it’s important to get the right one for you.

If you’re acne-prone, look for vitamin C serums. If you have dry skin, look for vitamin E. And if your skin appears dull, look for antioxidants, which will help protect your skin from free radicals like pollution.

How to apply face serum

After cleansing your skin, smooth your anti-ageing serum over slightly damp skin. Then, press the serum into your skin with an open palm instead of fingertips to release the active ingredients. Leave it to sink in properly for at least five minutes.

If you’ve come across the best moisturiser for your skin type, apply it afterwards. But, if your skin feels nourished enough just from using the serum, simply add a sun protection product (SPF) and you’re ready to go.

Scroll through the best anti-ageing serums below to find your perfect match.

The post Anti-ageing serums that will completely transform your skin appeared first on Marie Claire.

The best eyeliners money can buy in pencil, liquid and gel form

The best eyeliners money can buy in pencil, liquid and gel form

These bad boys are an absolute essential for a cat eye or smokey eye

best eyeliners

Few beauty products hold cult status in the same way as the best eyeliner. From Brigitte Bardot and Audrey Hepburn, to Amy Winehouse and Alexa Chung just about every beauty muse from recent history wore eyeliner as part of their signature look.

It’s a make-up bag staple all over the world and, combined with the best mascara and best eyeshadow palettes, is essential in creating red carpet-worthy eye make-up looks.

Sometimes it’s pretty tricky to nail, which is why tutorials like the below from Lisa Eldridge are so good to use when applying the best eyeliner.


Keep scrolling to shop our edit of the best liquid, pencil, gel and pen choices below.

Best drugstore eyeliner

Bourjois Couture Waterproof Clubbing Eyeliner, £3.74 Fabled

best eyeliner

Considering this eyeliner comes in under four quid, it’s a total steal for how good it is. The colour is a true, inky black stays put. (Don’t worry, you don’t have to go clubbing to wear it.)

Buy now

Best eyeliner pencil

Chanel Le Crayon Khôl, £20 Harrods


best eyeliner chanel

We know it’s quite boujie to take a Chanel khôl liner out of your makeup bag, but it is such a brilliantly simple but effective product. The colour payoff is excellent, it smudges enough to create a cooler-than-cool smokey eye, but not enough that it’ll end up down your cheeks by lunch. Worth it. It totally deserves a plane on this best eyeliner list.

Buy Now

Best waterproof eyeliner

NARS Larger Than Life Long-Wear Eyeliner, £18 Fabled

best eyeliners NARS

Described as ‘budge proof’, NARS’ Long Wear liner is exactly that. Each of the pencils is richly pigmented for a true colour pay off that lasts a whole working day or night out (none of this watery, transparent business). If you’re fed up of reapplying eyeliner to your waterline a few times a day, this one is for you.

Buy now

Best eyeliner pen

Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner, £16 Fabled

best eyeliners

Smudge proof, sweat proof, heck, we’d go as far as to say that Stila’s waterproof liner is actually life proof, and without a doubt one of the best liquid eyeliner formulas ever made. Inky, dense black and with a super sharp felt tip, you’ll find no smudging or printing on to your upper lids here.

Buy now

Best gel eyeliner

Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner, £17.55 Fabled

best eyeliners Bobbi Brown Gel

Fun fact: Bobbi Brown first decided to create a gel liner when she had none to hand ahead of a photo shoot; instead, she applied waterproof mascara using a cotton bud without the fuzzy head. It did not budge one bit, and so the Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner was born. Today it’s still one of the brand’s best sellers with a velvety finish, and is available in all sorts of shades as well as classic black.

Buy now

Want to shop even more of the best eyeliners? We’ve charted five more hero buys below.

Happy smokey eye-ing.

The post The best eyeliners money can buy in pencil, liquid and gel form appeared first on Marie Claire.

Not a splurger? These are the best drugstore foundations to grab at Boots or Superdrug

Not a splurger? These are the best drugstore foundations to grab at Boots or Superdrug

Because a great complexion doesn’t have to cost the earth

best drugstore foundations 2019

If spending a tonne of money on make-up isn’t your thing, it’s high time you wised up on the best drugstore foundations.

These days more affordable make-up formulas are so good that they can rival their designer counterparts; a tenner is more than enough to settle you with a great foundation.

Keep reading for the bargain beauty bases you need to know about if you’re not quite prepared to splurge (you’re welcome!).

Best drugstore foundations with full coverage

e.l.f. Flawless Foundation, £7.50, Boots

A relatively new brand to the UK, e.l.f.’s Flawless Finish formula is a go-to for beauty junkies on a budget all over the world. It’s super buildable, meaning you can get excellent coverage when you need it and a lighter finish on the days you want something more toned down. Either way, you’ll have a super healthy-looking and smooth complexion.

Buy now

Best drugstore foundations for dry skin

L’Oreal Paris Infallible Pro Glow Foundation, £11.99, Amazon

best drugstore foundation L'Oreal Pro Glow


Buy now

Best drugstore foundations for oily skin

L’Oreal Paris Infallible Matte Foundation, £8, Fabled

This is the holy grail of matte foundations for oily skin. It covers up blemishes, has full coverage and stays matte even on the oiliest of skin types. No sliding off your face with this one, folks.

Buy now

Best dewy drugstore foundation

Sleek MakeUP Vitality Foundation, £8.99, Boots

best drugstore foundation Sleek

Although it’s oil-free, Sleek’s lightweight foundation is packed with hydrating ingredients like bamboo, water lily and lotus flower extract, to keep your skin soft, supple and dewy while you wear it; build it up for that healthy glow. It’s available in 24 different shades, spanning a pretty broad range. Not bad for £8.99, hey?

Buy now

Best drugstore powder foundation

NYX Stay Matte But Not Flat Powder Foundation, £11.50, Boots

best drugstore foundation powder NYXIt says it on the tin: Matte but not flat is exactly what you’re after if a lasting shine-free complexion is your bag, and NYX delivers on that front. Good coverage with a smooth non-cakey finish, it ticks all the boxes.

Buy now

Keep scrolling for a few more of the best drugstore foundation formulas we ever did see…

The post Not a splurger? These are the best drugstore foundations to grab at Boots or Superdrug appeared first on Marie Claire.

What is bakuchiol, and how does it work? These are the products to stock up on

What is bakuchiol, and how does it work? These are the products to stock up on

Scared of using retinol? Listen up


If you follow any beauty-related Instagram accounts then you’ve probably seen the word bakuchiol popping up all over the place. It’s kind of a big deal.

That said, you may not be clued in on what it actually does, or why people are raving about it. That’s where your Marie Claire skincare experts come in with our handy need-to-know guy on the skincare ingredient of the moment.

Keep reading to find out more about the ingredient that might just knock retinol off the top spot…

What is bakuchiol?

‘It’s an ayurvedic treatment from Asia that is a naturally-found alternative to retinol, extracted from the seeds of a Babchi plant found in Asia,’ explains Mark Curry, co-founder of skincare brand The Inkey List. ‘Like retinol or vitamin A, it reduces the appearance of wrinkles and uneven skin by stimulating the regeneration of skin cells.’ So, smoother, more even complexions all round.

Bakuchiol can reduce inflammation, improve elasticity and help stimulate collagen, so it’s a pretty impressive little ingredient.

Can everybody use it, we hear you ask? That’s where it’s different to our much-loved retinol: everybody can use it without fear of irritation. ‘It’s suitable for all skin types, even the most sensitive, including pre and post-pregnancy women who should not be using retinol.’

View this post on Instagram

We’re excited to introduce our Oil and Water Double Cleanser and Bakuchiol Moisturiser, available now on @feelunique . Plant derived, and with antioxidant properties, our Bakuchiol Moisturiser is a natural Retinol alternative. It helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and even skin tone. Formulated with the Omega-3 packed Sacha Inchi Oil and Squalane it also works to hydrate and nourish the skin. Can be used AM and PM. . A 2 in 1 daily cleanser, our Oil and Water Double Cleanser is formulated with naturally derived Sea Buckthorn and Sweet Almond oil, to gently remove make-up and skins impurities. Added Panthenol works to help improve skins moisturise levels for a non-drying and thorough cleanse. . Which one are you most excited to try?🖤 . #theinkeylist

A post shared by The INKEY List (@theinkeylist) on Jun 10, 2019 at 11:58am PDT

When to apply bakuchiol

This will depend entirely on the form you buy your bakuchiol, as it’s available in both serum and moisturiser options, but usually you’d apply after cleansing and toning your skin. Our guide to the order you should apply skincare products will help you work out where your bakuchiol buy best fits into your skincare regime (and clear up some confusion around all those other products).

Liking the sound of it so far? Keep scrolling for Marie Claire‘s favourite products containing the ingredient of the moment.

The post What is bakuchiol, and how does it work? These are the products to stock up on appeared first on Marie Claire.

How to treat dandruff, from home remedies to the best shampoos

How to treat dandruff, from home remedies to the best shampoos

Scratchy scalp getting you down?

Knowing how to treat dandruff is a bit of a minefield. With so many differing opinions on the internet, we spoke to some of the most in-the-know experts to determine the best course of treatment, and to reveal everything you need to know about the condition.

What is dandruff?

‘Dandruff is a pretty common skin condition that causes flakes of skin to appear on the scalp,’ explains Adam Reed, Hair Stylist and UK Editorial Ambassador for L’Oréal Professionnel.

A common misconception about dandruff is that it produces dry flakes, when they are actually oily; an important factor when deciding how to treat dandruff. ‘Dandruff is almost always oily, and not dry,’ says Anabel Kingsley, Trichologist at Philip Kingsley. ‘Dandruff flakes can also be slightly sticky and yellow in colour, whereas a dry scalp will produce dry and white flakes.’

In addition, an itchy scalp can be a sign of dandruff, as well as a sign of dryness

What causes dandruff?

Kingsley describes dandruff as both a long-term and a chronic issue, as well as a recurring one, that can crop up really at any time. It is however most common ‘when you are stressed, when hormone levels fluctuate, and when you eat certain foods such as full fat dairy products,’ she explains.

The condition is actually caused by an over production of a yeast naturally found on the scalp, which is called Malassezia furfur. ‘When levels rise (which is commonly due to stress and hormones), skin cells on the scalp divide too rapidly. Cells are replaced much faster than they can be shed, leading to a buildup of telltale flakes and itching,’ says Kingsley. 

How to treat dandruff

If you don’t fancy going down the traditional route by trying anti-dandruff shampoos and specific targeted products, there are some home remedies you may want to try. These include single ingredients such as tea tree oil, coconut oil, apple cider vinegar, or aloe vera.

If you believe your dandruff may be stress related, obviously the most effective form of treatment is to try and reduce stress levels — but this is often easier said than done. 

For a more head-on approach (pardon the pun), we recommend opting for a targeted anti-dandruff routine. There are some amazing shampoos, conditioners, and treatments out there now that look so chic on the outside, no one will even suspect you are treating dandruff.

Kingsley recommends keeping styling product use to a minimum, so as not to aggravate a sensitive scalp, and applying an exfoliating scalp mask once a week in order to lift away flakes gently. As for a daily routine, she suggests the use of ‘a soothing, antimicrobial shampoo and a targeted post-shampoo scalp toner.’

Here are some of our favourite anti-dandruff products to try: 

The best dandruff shampoo

Head & Shoulders Clinically Proven Solutions Anti-Dandruff Shampoo, £4.99, Boots

how to treat dandruff

Head and Shoulders is undoubtedly the best known anti-dandruff brand, and while their everyday range is great for mild dandruff, their Clinically Proven Solutions formulas tackle stubborn, severe dandruff that normal shampoos struggle with. This one contains Selenium Sulfide, which powerfully takes on dandruff symptoms, while at the same time being safe enough to use everyday.

Buy now

The best dandruff conditioner:

Oribe Serene Scalp Balancing Conditioner, £45, Net-A-Porter

how to treat dandruff

Expert haircare brand Oribe does everything brilliantly, so it comes as no surprise that their dandruff-fighting conditioner is one of the very best. Enriched with the brand’s signature complex, this is lovely to use after shampoo to soothe, nourish, and calm. It also comes in a seriously Instagrammable pale pink tube.

Buy now

The best scalp treatment for dandruff:

Living Proof Dry Scalp Treatment, £25, Space NK

how to treat dandruff

This innovative product is a first from Living Proof, and promises to soothe dry, flaky, and irritated scalps. It features a hyaluronic acid based molecular patch, which floods the scalp with instant and sustained hydration, as well as a Vitamin B3-based Microbiome-Balancing complex that rebalances the scalp for long-lasting relief.

Buy now

Keep scrolling for the best dandruff-busting products we’ve ever come across.

The post How to treat dandruff, from home remedies to the best shampoos appeared first on Marie Claire.

The best lip plumpers that actually work

The best lip plumpers that actually work

No need for injections

best lip plumpers

Do you want to put your mouth in a suction cup? Because we certainly don’t. Can you imagine putting something over your lips that sucks all the blood to the surface to make them appear swollen? Grim. But lip pencil can only take you so far, and we’re not quite ready to lie on the surgeon’s table and get lip fillers. So, the obvious solution? To find the best lip plumpers out there.

Blame it on the models of the moment or call it the Kylie Jenner effect, either way, a plump pout is on almost everyone’s wish list. And according to Instagram, people will go to any lengths to make their lips look bigger.

Take, for example, one beauty blogger’s recent dabble with wasabi. After noticing that her lips tingled when they touched wasabi, she decided to do a tutorial about how to make your lips plumper by rubbing them with… you guessed it, wasabi.

Problem is, when we tried it, it didn’t last quite long enough. So back to the drawing board we went.

Luckily, these days, there are so many lip plumping products on the market that you can play around until you find the right one for your skin type. Some use ingredients like glycerin, to help hold more moisture on your lips, while others spice up your life with things like cinnamon oil, which mixes with the natural compounds in your skin to create an almost irritated effect (that fortunately doesn’t hurt).

It’s all about shopping around to find the right one for you, and trust us, once you’ve found it, you’ll never let it go.

So before you resort to something you may regret in the near future, try one of the best lip plumpers from our round up of the ones that actually work.

The post The best lip plumpers that actually work appeared first on Marie Claire.

The best fake tan for pale skin, as tested by a shade zero

The best fake tan for pale skin, as tested by a shade zero

This way for a subtle, sunkissed glow please

best fake tan for pale skin

Confession time: I used to loathe fake tan. I could never find one that didn’t go orange against my skin’s pasty backdrop. In the end, I came to the conclusion that I couldn’t be arsed with the faff of it – until recently, that is. Thankfully, times and technologies have changed since the 00s, and now the best fake tan for pale skin can be found on beauty shelves far and wide.

‘Never be scared to tan [if you’re pale], as there are so many formulas now that are perfect for every skin type and tone,’ says Jules Von Hep, master tanner and founder of Isle of Paradise. ‘Choose a light, hydrating formula that you can build up over time.’

Ok, ready for a tanning masterclass? Read on for everything you need to know from the experts to create a subtle, non-streaky glow with absolutely no hint of orange.

Get that streak-free finish

‘The trick to a truly flawless glow is all in the prep. Shave or wax at least 24 hours prior to application and ensure skin is exfoliated with a dry brush or scrub,’ Jules says. ‘This means your skin will have an even surface, so the final result will be even, AND, more importantly, it will fade evenly like a natural tan would.

‘Remove any make-up and deodorant prior to application, but don’t use a cleansing oil to remove make-up as this will act as a barrier to the tan.

‘Prime your skin using Isle of Paradise Prep It Spray – this will lower your pH and will help the tan penetrate deeper into the skin. You wouldn’t put make up on without a primer, so why tan without one?

‘Spray this liberally and allow to absorb into your skin while you apply an aloe vera based moisturiser to your hands, elbows, knees and feet, including the heels. If you are fair haired, apply some to your hairline and eyebrows too.’

best fake tan for pale skin

Now you’ve got your prep nailed, you need to master the technique for that streak-free, natural-looking glow.

‘Remember to always apply your tan in sweeping motions over the body, never circular,’ Jules continues. ‘This ensures that product is distributed evenly for the most natural, even looking tan. When it comes to tanning the back – you CAN do this alone! Just turn your mitt backwards and apply product directly onto skin, sweeping from side to side.

‘With all tans, apply two coats to the body and one to face. Starting at the ankles and working your way up means that tan will be dry enough to apply a second coat after a couple of minutes. Just start again from the ankles for the second layer.

‘Use what is left on the mitt to apply to hands and feet and remember to wipe in between fingers and over finger nails with a damp cloth or make up wipe after application.

‘Lastly (and my favourite trick of all) – hang a towel onto the back of your door and rub your wrists together. This removes those pesky, tell-tale tan lines.’

How to maintain your tan and prevent patchiness

So, you’ve managed to get the perfectly finished fake tan. But half of the bother is keeping it that way, without the dreaded patches that can appear after a couple of days time. What do you do to keep this from happening?

‘Keep hydrated,’ advises Jules. ‘Drink that water – happy hydrated skin won’t shed and will hold onto the colour for longer. If you’re going away and are on a long-haul flight, try to not drink alcohol as this encourages the tan to fade due to the dehydration on the skin.

best fake tan for pale skin


‘I love maintaining an everlasting glow (I know, cue hair flick) by applying self-tan to my entire body, following with two consecutive days of rich moisturiser onto my skin. Then I apply a hit of Isle of Paradise Happy Tan to my body to lift the colour back up.

‘Two days after I will begin the scrub process, lightly exfoliating the top coat of tan off, and then applying my next coat of self-tan.’

What to look for when shopping for the best fake tan for pale skin

‘Try light/medium tanning products, rather than going straight for the darker shades,’ says Bondi Sands brand manager Tiffany Whitworth. ‘These are likely to suit your skin tone better, giving you the most natural result,’ says Tiffany. ‘But if you want to embrace your darker side, there’s nothing stopping you.

‘Self Tanning Foams are the perfect product for beginners. They’re super easy to apply and quick drying, leaving you bronzed and delicious in minutes. Using a tanning mitt, apply the foam in long sweeping motions, working from the legs up, following the colour guide to make sure you don’t leave any white patches.’

best fake tan for pale skin

‘Tanning waters are the most hydrating tan possible, we are quite literally giving our skin a drink, and they are SO easy to apply,’ adds Jules. ‘The trick is to apply liberally. Your skin should be drenched after application and then blended with a mitt, swept gently over skin. The peach tones are perfect for a paler skin tone, as it will just brighten your skin and give you a sun-kissed glow.

‘We only use organic DHA in Isle of Paradise, which won’t dry out the skin and ensures a beautiful, even glow on every application. All of our formulas are packed with organic tanning actives and avocado, chia seed and coconut oils, for a happy, hydrated glow.’

Ready to take on the world of tanning? Read on for our top five buys for pale skin below.

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Lactic acid for skin: The complete guide for beginners

Lactic acid for skin: The complete guide for beginners

When it comes to skincare, not all acid exfoliators are equal…

lactic acid for skin

Like many other chemical exfoliants, lactic acid is an increasingly popular skincare ingredient in many a beauty lover’s regime. Here’s everything you need to know about it, and whether it’s right for your skin type.

What is lactic acid?

‘Lactic acid is one of the larger molecules of the alpha-hydroxy acid family, water-soluable like glycolic acid, but stays more on the outer layers of the skin,’ explains The Inkey List co-founder Mark Curry. ‘Our lactic acid acid comes from milk and fruit sugars.

‘Staying on the outer layers of the skin, it un-glues dead cells to reveal brighter, more even skin, as well as provide additional moisture to the outer skin layers.

‘It suits all skin types who want brighter, more even and hydrated skin. This should be one of the first exfoliating acid people go to if they are more sensitive or cautious about exfoliating.’

Lactic acid peel

Max-strength chemical peels are performed by a professional, but it’s possible to buy slightly weaker AHA peels you can perform in the comfort of your own home. Kate Somerville’s ExfoliKate Treatment, for example, is a mega tingling formula that sloughs all the dead skin cells from your face, leaving you positively glowing.

Don’t fancy the fuss of applying a peel and sitting around waiting for it to do its thing? Peel pads, like those made by Skyn Iceland are an easy way to exfoliate fuss-free both morning and night.

Lactic acid serum and cream

These are leave-on formulas enriched with AHA exfoliating prowess and can be left on overnight to smooth out the skin, or applied as a 10-15 minute wash-off treatment.

Similarly, creams gently resurface the skin while you moisturise for a smoother finish to your complexion over time. If you have sensitive skin, higher concentrations of lactic acid may still cause your skin to become irritated, so always do a product patch test beforehand.

Keep scrolling for team Marie Claire‘s top five favourite lactic acid skincare products you can shop now. Happy peeling!

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The best waterproof mascara: tears, swim and sweat-poof formulas

The best waterproof mascara: tears, swim and sweat-poof formulas

Not all waterproof mascaras are created equal, but rest assured that these are the best

best waterproof mascara

Mascara – an absolute essential in any make-up bag. It frames the face and accentuates your eyes – a desert island beauty product. But if you’re alone on a desert island, a normal mascara is just not going to cut it, you need the best waterproof mascara. It’s going to be hot, so you’ll sweat a lot. It’s going to be lonely, so you might shed a few tears. And you’ll be on the beach, so you’ll probably kill some time swimming. The best mascara will see you through all three.

These days, the best waterproof mascara is just as good (if not better) than your run-of-the-mill smudgeable one. While waterproof formulas of days gone by didn’t always make your lashes look anything exceptional, in 2019 they can lengthen, curl and volumise just as well as the best mascara.

Lash tinting is another great option for holidays, but waterproof mascara is much more affordable, so rifle through our hand-picked favourites below to find the right one for you. You might never use the regular stuff again.

MAC In Extreme Dimension Waterproof Mascara, £20 John Lewis

waterproof mascara MAC

Who better to ask for a formula that’s good enough for make-up artists than Make-up Art Cosmetics themselves? Think In Extreme Dimension mascara, but waterproof: expert definition that withstands the smudging effects of day-to-day life in an ultra-black, eye-enhancing formula. Cheers, MAC.

Buy now

Max Factor False Lash Effect Waterproof Mascara, £8.20 Feelunique

waterproof mascara Max Factor

We love Max Factor False Lash Effect, you love Max Factor False Lash Effect, we all love Max Factor False Lash Effect. Guess what: you’re gonna love the waterproof version too.

Buy now

Clinique High Impact Waterproof Mascara, £19.50 Fabled

waterproof mascara Clinique

Clinique is renowned for excellent mascaras (bottom lash, anyone?) and their waterproof one also has a brilliant reputation; it’s the go-to in my family for funerals, which says it all really. It won’t flake down your face and it’s available in brown if you prefer a softer colour than black.

Buy now

Benefit BADgal Waterproof Mascara, £19.50 Cult Beauty

waterproof mascara Benefit

Our favourite Benefit BADgal mascara also has a waterproof counterpart, and it’’s long-wearing, smudge-proof and volumising. What more could you ask for, really?

Buy now

Best waterproof mascara remover

Last but not least, you’ll need something that actually has the power to remove these moisture-resistant formulae, because warm water ain’t gonna cut it. Our two top buys are Lancôme Bi-Facil, £21.50 at Fabled, or La Roche-Posay Respectissime for Sensitive Eyes, £11 at Boots. No waterproof mascara is a match for these potent potions. If you’re looking for something with a smaller price tag though, try out Simple’s Kind to Eyes Eye Make-up Remover, £3.80 at Boots.

We defy you not to find a waterproof mascara you’ll fall in love with in our picks; keep reading for more of the best waterproof mascara buys out there.

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