These bad boys are an absolute essential for a cat eye or smokey eye
Few beauty products hold cult status in the same way as the best eyeliners. From Brigitte Bardot to Audrey Hepburn, just about every beauty muse from recent history wore eyeliner as part of their signature look.
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.
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.
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.
Award season is officially in full swing and whilst we would love a massive frock for our weekly trip to the local pub for a roast, it just seems slightly out of the realms of possibility.
However, what is it that all of these incredible stars have in common (apart from stunning gowns)? Bright, white teeth.
Unfortunately, us Brits have a bad reputation when it comes to teeth, but we say tosh to that. All you need to do is follow these simple tips and tricks for an Insta-worthy smile:
1. Cut out things that stain your teeth
Beetroot, coffee, tea, wine and smoking are all huge causes of yellowing on your teeth. Try to avoid them as much as possible.
2. Rinse regularly
If you can’t give up the above (and we understand that it’s hard), then rinse out your mouth with water after eating, drinking or smoking.
3. Use a (reusable) straw
If you absolutely, 100% cannot give up your morning coffee, then drink it using a straw. Oral-B’s ambassador, Dr Uchenna Okoye says: ‘I often recommend using a straw if drinking anything with colour so it stains your teeth less.’ This helps prevent the liquid from going anywhere near your teeth.
4. Brush to the beat
Not sure how long to clean your teeth for? Find a song that lasts for around two minutes and brush for the entirety of it. Might we suggest Kiss With A Fist by Florence and the Machine, which lasts for 2.04 minutes.
5. Go white
Seems pretty obvious, but use a whitening toothpaste. And make it a good one that can be trusted, such as the award-winning Oral-B 3D White Whitening Therapy Enamel Care. Dr Okoye agrees: ‘Tooth-whitening pastes are a great maintenance to remove staining, I like Oral-B’s pastes as they contain a product that not only removes surface stains but also helps prevent new ones forming.’
6. For goodness sake, floss
How many times has your dentist, you mum or a beauty editor told you to floss? We don’t do it for the joy of hearing our own voices. We do it because it’s effective. Plaque attracts stains, so if you remove more of it from between your teeth, you’ll help keep them looking whiter.
From moisturising dry skin to replenishing hair, there’s nothing shea can’t do.
Shea butter has long been hailed as an effective solution to dry skin, but the truth is, it’s a beloved ingredient for many more reasons. From offering a super nourishing, diverse top-to-toe regime, to helping communities of women in Ghana, here’s why you should be using shea.
It’s intensely nourishing for dry skin
Shea butter is a uniquely powerful ingredient, which nourishes even the driest of skin. Itchy legs? Sorted. Rough knees and elbows? Solved. So why is shea such a wonder product when it comes to tackling dryness? The main reason is that the shea nut contains a high level of fatty acids that help to keep things smooth and soft, as well as vitamins A and E to help protect the skin’s natural oils and maintain moisture.
Shea butter mecca The Body Shop is the place to head for all your nourishing needs. Its Body Butter is a bestseller for a reason; 100% vegan, it floods the skin with rich moisture lasting 72 hours while smelling irresistible. The range also has a new addition – multipurpose Shea Butter. Made with an incredible 192 shea nuts, it can be applied directly to your body, face, hair or lips. You could use it as a base for a DIY lip scrub by adding sugar and using a toothbrush, a hair treatment by mixing it with your favourite oil or even make a nourishing bubble bath melt by mixing with bath foam and freezing overnight.
The She in Shea: The Tungteiya Women’s Association
It helps support female empowerment
While shea’s moisturising properties alone are enough to convince us, it’s the story of where the ingredient comes from that really inspires. The Body Shop has been sustainably sourcing Community Trade shea butter from the Tungteiya Women’s Association in Ghana since 1994. As well as empowering women, making shea has a positive impact on the entire community.
An incredible 640 women handcraft 390 tons of shea butter for The Body Shop every year, using an 18-step process that’s passed down from mother to daughter. So every Shea product you use from The Body Shop allows female empowerment to go from strength to strength.
It is a super versatile ingredient
Not only does shea butter keep skin feeling tip top, it also works everywhere else – including your hair. The Body Shop’s three-step replenishing shea range, which is 100% vegan, includes a deeply cleansing shampoo, richly nourishing conditioner and a special treatment mask for super smooth, silky lengths.
Inspired? The options with shea are seemingly endless…
Sir John, Beyoncé’s make-up artist, started work at 18 on the make-up counter with Mac. Later he was on Pat McGrath’s team working backstage at various fashion weeks, before assisting Charlotte Tilbury, who then introduced him to Queen B. From there it’s all gone a bit crazy. One of his career highlights was when Beyoncé was performing at Coachella and the crowd oogled at the fact that when she wiped her face on a white towel, not a speck of make-up transferred: ‘I call that Teflon make-up’ he says.
When I met him recently, he gave me such amazing tips that I barely had time to breathe, because I was ferociously taking notes. So here they are – Sir John’s tips on how to nail your base, choose the right shades and basically smash your make-up routine…
Base – skin is aspirational
‘For truly beautiful skin increase your heart rate for at least 30 mins a day as it helps with skin turnover. Put your moisturiser on just before you start your base, because you want to put foundation on damp skin. Only apply primer to your t-zone, because that’s the area your foundation lifts from. Always have two foundations – a darker one for summer and a lighter shade for the winter. Take a look at where you do your makeup. Natural light is always better, so if you do it in a bathroom with no light, it’s going to look so different in the real world. Step into the light to see exactly how much coverage you need. You really don’t need to lacquer and conceal everything; embrace you dark circles and veins. And definitely don’t cover freckles – they are hot. You also need two concealers – one for spots, one for dark circles. When you’re doing you’re concealer, beware of the deep V that YouTubers tell you to create under your eyes. It’s way too much product. Don’t use powder. Normal skin is not matte. If you have healthy skin, you don’t need powder. However, if you want to use a bit of powder under your eyes, never use pressed powder. It’s too heavy and dry and will age you. Always go with loose.’
Cheeks – highlighter should stay on your cheekbones
‘Always go for a cool tone bronzer; it’ll stop you looking orange. Highlighters should only be applied to the side of your face. Tap it into your cheekbones, but stop when you get to the eye. You don’t want to see your highlighter from the front – you want that to be a matte blush. Use your lipstick as blusher. Dab a bit on the back of your hand and use a fluffy brush to apply. We don’t contour, we sculpt.’
Eyes & Lips – add a Pritt stick to your make-up bag
‘No matter what your skin tone is, you can wear any colour on your eyes. Don’t use a tinted eyeshadow primer, use a sheer, invisible one so that you can see your natural eyelid colour. The best brow gel in the world is Pritt stick and a toothbrush. It lasts all day and you can still draw on top. A perfectly modern look is to just pop a bit of foundation on and then a red lip. A blue based red lipstick makes your teeth look whiter.’
Tools – don’t hold your brush like a pencil
‘Don’t use foundation brushes, they don’t create a seamless look. Use a Beauty Blender. If you make mistakes with your bronzer or blush, your Beauty Blender that you used to apply your foundation is like your magic eraser. Use a fluffy eye shadow brush to buff in your concealer. A stiff brush won’t blend properly. Fluffier and bigger brushes are more diffused natural look. The tighter the brush the fuller the application. Don’t hold your brush like a pencil hold it at the base for a lighter touch.’
Because they’re a must-have seven days a week, 365 days a year
Having one of the best SPF moisturisers to hand is a much bigger deal than you might think. Applying it everyday should become second nature, a bit like cleansing.
While the best sun cream is a no-brainer for hot holidays, ultraviolet rays can be damaging on even the cloudiest of days and so a moisturiser with an SPF is in fact a year-round beauty bag essential.
It may not seem like it in gloomy Great Britain, but even in the winter months you need to be slathering on some level of sun protection to stop your skin from getting damaged. Fact: if there’s daylight – wear an SPF.
The best face sunscreen
You have two options for protecting the skin on your face. You could swap out your current moisturiser, for one that has a high SPF. The best SPF moisturisers are SPF 20, 30 or 50, to ensure the sun’s rays aren’t wreaking havoc with your skin cells. The higher the SPF the better at fighting the signs of ageing.
Or if you’re 100% dedicated to your current moisturiser, which doesn’t have an SPF, then you could invest in a UV shield. A UV defender goes on top of your moisturiser as the last product before make-up. Yes it’s an extra step in your skincare routine, but if you find a good one it won’t feel like a chore.
I have worked in the beauty industry for eight years and in that time I have tested many, many concealers in search of the best concealer. I am particularly picky about them, because annoyingly rather than a one-of-a-kind heirloom that I can flog on the Antique’s Roadshow, the only thing that I have inherited from my family are dark and puffy under eye bags.
However, despite how many I’ve trialled, not one has replaced my favourite Clarins Instant Concealer. This wonder product is the best concealer in the world. In my eyes at least. It’s the only thing that I will use to cover up annoying spots, take down redness and, more importantly, disguise my pesky dark circles.
Then two weeks ago, something miraculous happened. I attended a dinner to celebrate the launch of the YSL Touche Éclat High Cover Radiance Concealer – the brand’s new concealer and an extension of the Touche Éclat family. I have a hunch that every woman I know has had the original Touche Éclat in their makeup bag at some point, and if not they’ve definitely tried it. It’s one of the world’s most iconic beauty buys. However, I also have a hunch that at some point, we’ve all used it wrong. Because, it is in fact a highlighter (some would argue it’s the best highlighter when used correctly) not a concealer. The brand listened to consumers and decided that ‘if you can’t beat them, join them.’ And so they created a Touche Éclat product that actually did conceal.
Ladies and gents, it is so brilliant it has officially dethroned my favourite.
Yves Saint Laurent Éclat High Cover Radiance Concealer, £26 Fabled
Buy from 27th February
What makes this concealer my new number one?
It’s high coverage, but doesn’t get flaky
It has light reflectors and soft focus fillers in the formula, so it brightens even the darkest of shadows, whilst also blurring
It feels so soft on, I don’t feel like I’m wearing anything
It has caffeine in it, which boosts micro-circulation, so should technically help with my dark circles
It’s that time again: Marie Claire’s Prix d’Excellence de la Beauté awards are open for business.
Innovation in the beauty world is happening at a furious pace, and we’re proud to be at the cutting edge of all the biggest developments. Now in it’s 33rd year, our annual beauty awards present you with the most amazing products in the world.
The winners will be chosen by our panel of beauty experts: Lisa Oxenham, Marie Claire‘s beauty and style director, beauty presenter Nadine Baggott, award-winning beauty journalist Alice Hart Davies, beauty director and entrepreneur Alessandra Steinerr, and beauty columnist and Editor of Weekend – The TimesLesley Thomas.
Winners will be announced at our fabulous Claridges ceremony on the 25th February and in the April issue; read on for the nominees for each category. Can you spot any of your favourites?
In a world of FaceTune, Snapchat filters and over-contoured complexions, it’s time to start celebrating the au naturel. Let’s put barefaced beauty back in the spotlight and encourage more people to #nofiltersmile their selfies.
We know that showing the world a completely bare face can be daunting to some people; perhaps you’re struggling with blemishes, you wouldn’t be caught dead without concealer over your dark circles or maybe you just wish your teeth were a little bit whiter. We totally get it. However, there are some simple tricks that you can follow to help make you feel more confident in front of the camera.
1. GET THE FULL EIGHT
We know you’ve heard it before. But getting a good night’s sleep allows your body, mind and skin to rest, recuperate and repair. Avoid looking at your phone for an hour before bed, spritz your pillows and duvet with a lavender pillow mist and pop on an eye mask. You’ll wake up feeling a lot fresher, more revitalised and it will show on your face.
2. NAIL YOUR ROUTINE
If you want healthy looking skin you need to look after it properly. What does properly mean? It means cleansing every single day, then using a toner that’s suited to your skin type. If you don’t use a serum – introduce one now, it’ll supercharge your routine and help make your skin look lit from within. Once that’s done, follow with an SPF moisturiser for daytime protection. Repeat in the evening, but switch to a night cream that boosts the skin’s repair mode, like retinol.
3. DRINK, THEN DRINK SOME MORE
Another obvious step, but one that so often gets overlooked despite the benefits to your skin and health: drinking water. The NHS EatWell Guide recommends drinking between six and eight glasses a day, which is easy when it becomes a habit. Here’s a little tip: aim to drink two glasses when you’re having your breakfast, keep a glass on your desk and try to get through around four during the working day, then when you sit down to dinner try and drink two more, before finally ending with one before bed. Easy peasy. Your skin will thank you.
4. BE PICKY ABOUT WHAT YOU PUT IN YOUR MOUTH
Don’t just use any old toothpaste, use one that you’re actually going to benefit from. Oral-B’s 3D White Whitening Therapy Enamel Care Toothpaste is designed to remove surface stains and strengthen and nourish your enamel. The loss and weakening of enamel is what causes yellowing and stops you having a brighter, whiter smile.
5. WORK WITH WHAT YOU’VE GOT
They say the eyes are the window to the soul, so treat them with kindness and care and accentuate them. Get your eyebrows shaped at a brow bar and you’ll notice that your face is instantly framed. Curling your lashes opens up your eyes and makes them pop. Take down any puffiness with a cool flannel over your eyes for 15 minutes.
From longevity and how much it costs to exactly what the process entails, here’s everything you need to know before getting a NanoSmooth Pure treatment…
You may have heard of Keratin hair treatments and Brazilian blowouts, but the latest taming trend to take the capital by storm is the NanoSmooth Pure.
As someone who struggles with thick frizzy hair and unruly curls, I have tried every de-frizz treatment imaginable, and so I was eager to find out how the NanoSmooth compared, and if in fact it helped me in any way.
Seeing as it usually takes me over two hours to straighten my whole head of hair, it seemed worth a shot, if only to give me a bit more time each day. And with my hair usually erupting into ringlets at the slightest drop of rain, winter seemed like the perfect season to test it out.
I headed to Fitzrovia’s Hare & Bone salon one evening and got a NanoSmooth Pure treatment, just to see what all the fuss was about – and I emerged five – yes five – hours later.
Here is everything I can tell you about my experience…
Hare and Bone
What is a NanoSmooth Pure treatment?
The NanoSmooth Pure is a chemical-free smoothing treatment created by Hare & Bone and Nano Keratin. The treatment targets the hair’s DNA, smoothing the internal structure of the hair instead of coating its surface, and according to its creators, making it 80% more manageable to maintain (something I can definitely vouch for). There are four variants of the NanoSmooth: Revive, Refine, Replenish and Refortify – I went for Revive – essentially a Keratin smoothing treatment without all of the chemicals.
Is the NanoSmooth Pure a straightening treatment?
I wouldn’t describe the NanoSmooth Pure as a straightening treatment. It is more of a smoothing treatment that removes the frizz whilst relaxing the curl. If, like me, you have strong curls, you will still have to straighten your hair as you would before, but the results will just be better, stronger and easier to both obtain and maintain.
How is the NanoSmooth Pure different to a Keratin treatment?
NanoSmooth Pure is similar to the original Keratin treatments, but it differs in terms of ingredients. Instead of containing higher levels of chemical that would form a layer of product over the hair, the NanoSmooth Pure is completely free of chemical gasses, formaldehyde and aldehyde. And results-wise, you not only get more movement and strength, but the results are immediate, with no washing or styling restrictions straight after the treatment.
Hare and Bone
How long does the treatment take?
The length of the treatment differs depending on the thickness, length and curl formation of your hair. I have uncharacteristically thick and curly hair so while it took me five hours, it should usually take between two and four hours. I wouldn’t try to squeeze a NanoSmooth treatment into a busy day though, it’s not the kind of process that you want to rush – and make sure you bring a good book or a big glossy Marie Claire with you.
Are there any after-care rules for the NanoSmooth Pure treatment?
There are after-care rules for getting a NanoSmooth treatment. Unlike the Keratin treatment, there are no restrictions in terms of washing, tying up or styling your hair for fear of long-term kinks. The only real after-care recommendations surround product choice. You are advised to wash your hair with a sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner – giving the effects of your treatment longevity and strengthening your hair. I’m using NanoKeratin shampoo and conditioner, but there are plenty to choose from. Other good sulfate-free shampoos are Living Proof, L’Oreal Ever Strong Sulfate-Free Fortify System and Aveeno Pure Renewal Shampoo.
How long do the results last?
The treatment results can vary, depending on the formation of your curls and the after care. The treatment should last between three and five months, with a sulfate-free post-treatment helping the results to last longer.
Before the NanoSmooth Pure treatment:
After the NanoSmooth Pure treatment:
Should I get a NanoSmooth Pure treatment?
There are both advantages and disadvantages to getting a NanoSmooth Pure treatment. I have found that the treatment has made my hair A LOT more manageable, and in terms of de-frizzing (especially around the hairline) it has been a real game changer. Three months in, I’m still receiving lot of comments about how sleek my locks are looking, and while it hasn’t cut down hugely on my straightening time, once it is straightened, it takes a lot to mess up. I can now walk outside with my hair down in the rain without it frizzing up – something entirely new to me – and very useful in the wintery months! There were, however, a few drawbacks that I didn’t foresee. I struggled with my sudden lack of volume and found that my hair got greasy much quicker than usual, two things that I have never experienced before. The treatment is temporary though, so if you’re considering it, I would recommend giving it a try.
How much does a NanoSmooth Pure treatment cost?
The NanoSmooth treatment prices vary depending on the length of the treatment and the level of the Stylist, but they start at £250.
Where can I get a NanoSmooth Pure treatment?
I went to Sam Burnett’s Fitzrovia salon, Hare & Bone, known for its excellent service and styling for my NanoSmooth experience. The staff were friendly, the salon was Instagrammable, the hot drinks were delicious (I sampled A LOT as I waited) and my treatment was top quality. If I get another treatment when my current results fade, I’m definitely going back.
HARE & BONE
69 Great Titchfield St,
Whether you prefer two steps or seven, we’ve cleared the fog on skincare routines and other FAQs
With approximately a bajillion products on the market (ball park), it’s safe to say that skincare order has got a little confusing lately.
From glycolic acid to vitamin C serums to retinol and more, for a lot of us our skincare routine is no longer a case of simply cleansing and moisturising. So if you find yourself constantly asking yourself ‘what order should I apply my skincare products? Am I doing this right?’, then keep reading.
‘The order and steps depend on your skin type, which is why when reading blogs and online articles you have to keep in mind the person writing might have totally different skin needs to you,’ explains Ksenia Selivanov, co-founder of skin consultancy Lion/ne.
‘For example, dry and reactive skin will not need a toner and oils aren’t suited to every skin. A good way to remember how to layer product is: thinner, water-based products first followed by oil-based, thicker products, and always ending with SPF [during the day].’
Below you’ll find a handy ‘cheat sheet’ for the order you apply skincare products as advised by the experts. We recommend you bookmark this for future reference.
Daytime skincare order
First thing’s first – wash your face morning (and night) as your first step, using your best cleanser and a hand-hot flannel or muslin cloth.
If you choose to use it, do so after cleanser, but whether toner is really a necessary step is widely debated. ‘I’m not a big fan of toners as they often irritate the skin,’ says consultant dermatoligist Dr Justine Kluk.
However, toners that contain AHAs or BHAs (like glycolic acid or salicylic acid) are a different story as they provide an exfoliating step in your routine. These can help if you struggle with breakouts, clogged pores or slow skin cell turnover, depending on the acid.
In the morning, it’s a good idea to use something antioxidant-based, like Vitamin C serums, as these will offer additional protection against pollution. Hydrating serums can be used at any time of day; skincare brand The Inkey List recommends using treatment serums first and hydrating serums (like hyaluronic acid) second.
Sun protection should be used every day, especially if you use acids and/or retinol in your routine; view our edits of the best SPF moisturisers and best sun creams for recommendations.
Evening skincare order
Start by removing make-up and washing the day’s grease and grime away, double cleansing if you wish, again using your trusty muslin cloth or flannel.
A frequently asked question is, where do masks fit into the cleanse-tone-moisturise shebang? The short answer is: after cleansing, before all your other skincare steps, about twice weekly.
‘Masks, if used, can be applied once or twice a week,’ says Dr Kluk. I would suggest applying a mask after cleansing in the evening, then following with the rest of your usual skincare routine.
Retinol (not to be used with AHA/BHAs)
Retinol is known for being a pretty potent potion, so on the days you apply it, swap out any acid-containing products to avoid any reactions. It can make your skin more sensitive to the sun so always apply in the evening and use SPF the next day.
Depending on your skin’s sensitivity, you may want to avoid any acids at all on the days you’re using retinol (more on why later) and if you’re new to it, be sure to introduce it gradually and begin with a low concentration.
‘Following retinol with any other topical skincare will dilute the active ingredient, vitamin A, and reduce its effectiveness,’ Kate adds.
Again referring to The Inkey List’s earlier advice, apply treatment serums first – this includes retinol – and hydrating serums second.
Finish your nightly routine with your usual moisturiser or the best night cream for your skin type. And if your skin is particularly dry, layer an oil over the top to lock in moisture.
Are there products that can’t be applied together?
More and more of us are using potent skincare ingredients, like acids and retinol, on the regular, so it’s important to know which of the strong stuffs don’t mix.
‘I would avoid using multiple products with irritant properties at the same time,’ explains Dr Kluk. ‘An example of this would be avoiding the application of AHAs, such as glycolic acid, and retinol or any of the prescription retinoid creams together. Many people can’t even tolerate using these on the same day, so my advice would be to choose one or the other unless advised otherwise by a dermatologist.’
Kate agrees: ‘I don’t like to mix acids and retinols at the same time; some skins are highly susceptible to retinoid reactions and mixing too many actives in one go is asking for trouble.’
Which products should you not use during the day or at night?
‘Vitamin A creams, such as retinol or retinaldehyde, may increase sensitivity to the sun and so should be applied at night – and SPF should be applied the following morning. The same goes for acids,’ explains Dr Kluk.
‘Antioxidants like vitamin C can be used both morning and night, but as they provide a form of protection against UV and pollution, it seems sensible to me to use them in the morning before heading out the front door.’
How many acid products is too many?
These days acids come in just about every skincare form, from cleanser to toner, serum and moisturiser. So what’s the safe limit for how many AHA/BHA products you can use in one go?
‘It depends on how reactive your skin is and also on your individual skin needs,’ advises Dr Kluk. ‘Acids are potentially quite irritating to the skin and can cause redness, peeling and sensitivity, so it’s best to select one product and only add others if there is still a clinical need and your skin is able to tolerate it. You don’t need to use every acid just because you can!
‘If you have oily skin or breakouts, choose salicylic acid. If you want to smooth and hydrate the skin, choose lactic acid. And if you want to brighten dark spots or treat wrinkles, choose glycolic acid.
‘For those who can’t tolerate any of the above acids, mandelic acid may be less irritating to use as the larger molecules don’t penetrate as deeply.’
So, to recap the correct skincare order…
Cleanser Mask (evening, max twice a week) Toner Retinol (evening) Serum Moisturiser/Oil SPF (daytime)
For more skincare advice and product recommendations, head to our Hair & Beauty section