Disclaimer: you do not need a date to buy yourself a fabulous present this February
Valentine’s Day. It’s a bit like Marmite isn’t it?! It divides people. You either embrace it with every fibre of your being (think: red foil heart balloons and rose petals all over the house) or you avoid it and go about your life as though it’s any other day in the year.
No matter which camp you fall in to, why not treat your loved one, best friend, father, sister or even yourself to one of these dreamy beauty products?! Not just because it’s the 14th Feb, just because these are some damn fine gifts and if you don’t buy them, we will.
Scented drawer liners are not old fashioned. We repeat: scented drawer liners are not old fashioned. When they are from Diptyque, they are in fact incredibly chic. Plus they make your clothes smell divine. What’s not to like?!
Never is it more appropriate to wear a sexy fragrance that on the 14th February and Boss The Scent Private Accord For Her is just that. At first it’s sweet and citrussy, but it dries down leaving a rich scent, thanks to the roasted tonka bean and cocoa absolute. Perfect for date night.
The SAG Awards 2019 best beauty looks did not disappoint, as anticipated. The red carpet is a great place to try out a new look, and from Lady Gaga‘s matching deep berry lipstick and nails to Laverne Cox’s brilliant plait, the SAGs was where it was at. So without further ado, let us present the best beauty awards…
Best dynamic use of graphic eyeliner goes to… Lucy Boynton
Lucy Boynton, co-star and girlfriend of Bohemian Rhapsody actor Rami Malek, wore her bleach blonde bob in a half-up, half-down ‘do and played with graphic eyeliner, making her a modern muse.
Best dark lips and tips goes to… Lady Gaga (ofc)
Gaga has been nailing it this awards’ season, and her beautiful white dress, platinum hair and gothic berry lips and nails just WORKED at the SAGs.
Best shade of red goes to… Kate Nash
We’re big fans of the Glow star’s vibrant shade of red, and she wore it perfectly in a messy bun on the red carpet. Nailed it.
Best use of lipstick goes to… Emily Blunt
Can Mary Poppins – sorry Emily Blunt – do no wrong? Her bright, bold lipstick choice matched her dress and suited her perfectly. We need to know what shade that is…
Best use of rose gold goes to… Yara Shahidi
From her beautiful outfit to her shiny rose gold lids, we were all over Yara Shahidi’s look.
Best ever curls goes to… Julia Garner
Ozark star Julia Garner has the most enviable curls in the ‘biz, and they were looking seriously great paired with a fiery red lipstick shade at these awards.
Coolest plait on the red carpet goes to… Laverne Cox
Awards season is all about the updos, and Laverne’s epic plaited look stole the show for us.
There are times in life when you need your lips to pack a proper punch – with the colour and the staying power. In such instances, even the best lipstick or best lip gloss just won’t cut it. What you need is a product that provides long-lasting colour that won’t budge no matter what you throw at it – drinking, eating, even snogging. What you need is one of the best lip stains the beauty industry has to offer.
You would be forgiven for thinking that lip stains and lip tints are the same thing, but friends you would be wrong. Let us enlighten you – a lip tint gives more of a wash of colour, whereas a lip stain looks and acts very much like your favourite lipstick, you just don’t have to top it up as often. So in a way it’s a pretty handy money-saver.
What lips stains have in common with the best lip tints is that you really have to prep your lips before applying your stain.
The best lip stains: pre-application tips
Whenever applying colour to your lips it’s important to have a good base. Central heating, cold and windy weather conditions can leave our lips looking and feeling dry, cracked, flaky and rough.
‘Perfect skin’ doesn’t really exist – we all have our own issues that we’re dealing with, everything from bags under our eyes and adult acne to rosacea and pigmentation. However, there is something that we can all do to ensure that our skin is looking and feeling better: keep the skin’s pH levels balanced with some pH balancing skincare.
What is pH?
You would have learnt about pH in Chemistry class back in the day. It’s a figure that shows whether something is acidic or alkaline, based on a measurement of 0-14. Anything below seven is acidic, anything above is alkaline and bang on seven is neutral (water is 7).
Why do you need to keep your skin’s pH levels balanced?
Skin’s ideal pH is 5.5, which is slightly acidic. When it’s balanced on 5.5, then skin is working to it’s optimum. Throw this balance out of whack (by using the wrong products or eating the wrong foods) and your pH levels will suffer resulting in sensitivity, wrinkles, inflammation or acne. Mega dermatologist, Dr Colbert of Colbert MD products, tells us that the phrase ‘pH balanced’ is more than a marketing ploy. “Our body and skin require a balance between alkaline and acidity for our acid mantle – the barrier that keeps moisture in and germs and toxins out. Anything over seven is considered alkaline. Skin that falls on this end of the scale tends to be drier and more wrinkly, while skin that’s too acidic can appear red, irritated and itchy. Slightly acidic, around 5.5, is epidermal heaven.”
How do you keep your skin’s pH levels balanced?
The easiest way to keep skin’s pH balanced is to use products that don’t muck the pH around. Here’s is our roundup of the best pH balancing products…
Rumour has it that Cameron Diaz uses Evian to wash her face. Whilst this might seem to be fairly excessive (not to mention super spenny), she might actually be on to something. Nichola Joss, facialist and Decleor ambassador tells us why: “Hard water has a high mineral composition containing heavy metals like iron, copper, zinc, and nickel that can lead to irritation, inflammation and itchiness and it can even breakdown collagen and elastin. It can also contain chlorine, which is drying so it strips the top layer of the skin of its natural oils.” Yikes! To her patients with hypersensitive skin, she recommends not using hard tap water. If there’s a build-up on your shower head you know your water is hard and this is the same residue that ends up on your face. Shock horror. French women are spearheading the anti-tap-water movement. In its place they’re using their favourite micellar water, which was developed in France in the nineties to combat their harsh water.
“To maintain a healthy balance in the skin, it’s best to avoid harsh cleansers that have an alkaline pH and instead use neutral or slightly acidic ones with alpha or beta hydroxy acids, these especially help the bacteria/pimple cycle,” says celeb facialist Anastacia Achiellios. “I have seen thousands of skins transform from just making changes to cleansing routines.” Though lathering up might help you feel squeaky-clean, harsh cleansers dry you out, leaving skin feeling tight.
Another way to help keep your pH in check is watch what you eat.Your body is a machine, and the things you put inside it affect the way it looks on the outside. “When your body is functioning at its best, your cells are able to maintain healthy blood pH easily,” explains Nutritional Therapist and Founder of GP Nutrition Gabriela Peacock. “However, when our bodies have to work to filter the foods you eat to maintain blood pH, then you could be more susceptible to illness and our diets sometimes tend to be on the acidic side.” Acid-producing foods include meat, poultry, cheese and dairy and, sadly, baked pastries, white bread, caffeine and processed foods. “Alkaline foods balance the body and allow our blood to absorb more oxygen to aid digestion, which will in turn lead to clearer skin,” says Peacock. Eat plenty of pH balancing kale, cayenne pepper, garlic, carrots, cabbage, and apple cider vinegar. Dalton Wong founder of TwentyTwo Training recommends drinking green juice, which is like a ‘salad in a glass’, with spinach, kale, lemon and cucumber. Give yourself a hand; avoid fizzy drinks and swap your morning coffee for green tea, which is more alkaline.
We’ve all had to remove fake tan before. Whether it be a tanning disaster – obvious tell-tale lines on your wrists, stripes that make you look like a tiger or fingers that are so multi-tonal you consider wearing gloves to work (in July). Or you might just need to get rid of a patchy four-day-old tan. The art of fake tan removal is something that everyone should know.
Even if you’ve invested in the best fake tan out there, and you’ve swotted up on all the fake tan tips we could possibly give you, chances are you’re not going to get it right 100% of the time. But don’t worry you are not alone.
Luckily there are ways to remove a terracotta disaster and give yourself a more naturally sun-kissed glow. We spoke to Jules Von Hep, fake tan guru and founder of Isle of Paradise, who gave us all the tips and tricks on how to remove fake tan.
How to remove fake tan
‘Don’t panic scrub. You’ll end up taking the tan off in patches and it’ll become a snowballing effect,’ Jules warns.
Instead, try using a light body polish (choose from the best body scrubs) mixed with a tiny amount of bath or massage oil and repeat this a couple of times for an even all-over fade. (Oil breaks down the DHA in tanning fluid – a good thing to remember if you’ve just had a cracking spray tan. Don’t moisturise your body with anything containing oils, use a body cream instead.)
Alternatively, make a trip down to your local swimming pool if you don’t mind being a bit stripey in public (yes, really). ‘Go swimming,’ Jules recommends. ‘The chlorine will break down the tan. In the showers afterwards, take a pair of exfoliating gloves and work in circular motions. Steam rooms and saunas will soften the tan, too.’
If it’s all gone to pot and you need to get rid of your tan straight away, then look no further than Bondi Sands Self Tan Eraser. When this super product first launched it sold out in three hours which goes to show how many of us want to know how to remove fake tan. It can be used on old tans or freshly applied bronze. Simply pump onto skin, smooth over the area you want to diffuse, leave for five minutes, then wipe away with a damp cloth. It’s that easy.
If your self-tanning session has turned into a streaky mess, don’t panic. The easiest way to wave goodbye to mismatched colours on your limbs is to run a bath and fill it up with a bath oil, which will soften the tan. Whilst you’re in there, use a remover mitt in circular motions – it will ensure that any stubborn patches are evenly removed.
How to remove fake tan from hands and feet
Orange, patchy hands and blotchy feet are often the biggest giveaway that you’ve been hitting bottle, but luckily there’s a kitchen cupboard staple could be the answer to your prayers.
Add two tablespoons of baking soda to some water and mix to create a paste. Then rub this it over your hands or feet, leaving it on for a few minutes and ensuring you haven’t missed any particularly bad creases before washing it off.
How to remove fake tan patches before applying more
If you’re a regular, self-confessed tanning addict who can’t go a day without a bit of colour, then it’s actually so important that you are removing your old tan before applying your new one. Jules, being the clever chap that he is, created Isle of Paradise Over It Magic Self-Tan Eraser, which works best on three-day old tan. It contains glycolic acid to exfoliate skin. Mist your entire body, until skin is saturated, wait five minutes, then jump in the shower and buff it off with a sponge or a flannel.
Vaguely remember hearing something about lemons and brushing it off as an old wives tale? Turns out there’s something in it. ‘The old faithful combination of lemons and sugar mixed together will work to an extent but you really need a mitt or glove to get deeper,’ Jules advises.
It’s also worth investing in ModelCo’s Exfoliate Double Sided Body Wipes – they’re an essential item in the at-home tanning kit. First you use the granulated exfoliating side, which breaks down the tan, then the smooth side for the final bit of removal.
Getting fake tan stains on your favourite, goes-with-everything, white shirt or your super spenny The White Company bedsheets can be an absolute nightmare. You need to try and remove the stain while it is still wet.
Reversing the fabric and running it under cold water will help to loosen the product, but try not to rub it as you could end up smearing it and making it far worse. Instead, mix warm water and some detergent and sponge onto the affected area, repeating until the stain has disappeared.
So there we have it. We have just solved all future fake tan disasters from happening.
The ultimate mask (or moisturiser if you use a thin layer and massage it in), this 2-in-1 formula is ultra soothing and smells amazing. It features Japanese green tea, algae extract and comfrey root for deep rooted moisture.
If you love all things pimple popping – from the viral videos to sorting out your own spots and getting a noticeable amount of enjoyment out of it – we’ve just found the ultimate pimple popper set to appease your deepest, darkest skincare desires.
Although these tools look insanely irresistible to the likes of us who love a spot squeeze, it’s important to consider that extractions are something that should really only be done by professionals. You can risk scarring and infection, so buy the set at your own risk!
The company recommends the following to make it the safest experience it can be:
‘Before treatment you should clean your face and disinfect the equipment. Once the pimples are removed with the extractor, provide a soft and nourishing cream to the skin for a soothing relief.’
If you’re brave enough to give it a go, and follow the instructions, this is pretty much the ultimate pimple popping set on the internet!
We all know that when it comes to makeup and skincare, most things have expiry dates. But can we count on our hair tools to last us absolutely forever? Do hair straighteners have an expiry date, for example? Well, we have some bad news for you…
Hairstylist Jackie Dove revealed to Daily Mail Femail that actually, hair straighteners do not escape expiry dates. She suggested buying a new pair every two to three years, and picked out three key signs to know when your pair has reached its limit:
Scratched plates: While this sounds simple and easy to detect, Jackie told the publication what you should really be looking for is ‘lifted plates’. ‘If you turn your hair straightener to the side you can generally see the plate lifting.’ She continued: ‘If they’ve lifted, your hair is likely to get caught in it.’
Flashing lights: Yep, apparently it’s a bad sign if after your straighteners are ready to use (and the light comes on), there should be a constant light with no flashing.
Effectiveness: This sounds like a simple one, but we often ignore it. If you’re having to go over the same piece of hair more than once, it probably means your straighteners aren’t nearly as good as they were at styling.
This advice however can sound a little frustrating; forking out for a new pair of straighteners every two years?! Luckily, there are ways you can prolong the life of your pair, mainly by taking care of them and always storing them in a heat proof carry case that’s useful for travel, too. There are also plenty of at-home cleaning hacks on YouTube to keep your plates as fresh as possible.
It’s also good for your straighteners – as well as your hair – to occasionally take a break from using them; try having certain days off.
We’ve done all the hard work for you and separated the studs from the duds
When it comes to choosing the right hair supplements, the health market can feel a bit overwhelming.
There are endless tablets, tonics and chewables on offer all claiming to be your one-stop fix for just about every concern under the sun.
The problem is that they don’t all work. And when you’re hoping for thicker, stronger and fuller hair, or to combat hair loss, you want a pill that pulls the punches.
Allow us to step in and fix that; we spoke to some of the best experts in the business to find out which hair supplements are worth taking, as well as exactly why they’re are the best of the best. And when you’re done here, be sure to read our similar guide on effective skin supplements, too.
Known for being one of the best supplements to take if you’re trying to grow your hair out, Viviscal’s max strength supplement is fortified with Biotin, Zinc, vitamin C, Iron and Niacin to strengthen your hair as much as possible. You’ll need to take for a few months to notice a difference, with the brand recommending six months as the optimum. Trust us when we say that it’s worth the wait for that enviable, full and bouncy mane.
‘Stress, hormonal imbalances and insufficient nutrients are key players in poor hair quality and hair loss,’ says Harley Street nutritionist, Yvonne Bishop-Weston. ‘A good diet along with a top up supplement of key amino acids, vitamins, minerals and plant extracts, can help give you the luxurious locks that signal well-being within.’ You can also incorporate one of the best shampoos for hair loss into your haircare routine.
‘Perfectil Plus Hair contains a number of nutrients that support healthy hair; vitamin C, which is important for collagen production, helps to keep nails and hair strong and supple, while vitamin E helps protect hair follicles from daily damage and premature ageing, also supporting circulation and delivery of nutrients to the scalp,’ Yvonne adds. ‘Perfectil Plus Hair also contains magnesium, low levels of which can lead to hair loss.’
Legendary hairdresser and trichologist Philip Kingsley was (and still is) one of the most trusted names in hair, so you can be sure his hair supplements cut the mustard. Tricho Complex contains 100% of your daily iron intake and biotin, known to promote hair growth and strength.
This is important because iron deficiency is in fact the leading cause of hair loss. ‘Even if you are eating well, iron and ferritin (stored iron) deficiencies are common, especially in menstruating women as blood and therefore iron is lost every month,’ says Anabel Kingsley, trichologist at Philip Kingsley and yep, you guessed it, his daughter.
‘To improve and maintain iron and ferritin levels, take an iron supplement alongside a diet that includes iron-rich foods,’ she advises. ‘I recommend Tricho Complex as it contains iron, vitamin C (needed to absorb iron), vitamin D and vitamin B12, all nutrients that are essential to hair growth and that we commonly have deficiencies in.’
We’d put money on you having already heard of Hairburst, or at least recognising the bottle from your Instagram feed, because they’re the best-selling hair supplement in the UK. ‘Hairburst adds all the vital vitamins and nutrients (Biotin, Selenium, Zinc, Collagen) to your diet that your body needs to grow stronger, longer hair. Our unique formula has produced fantastic results for our users, reporting hair that appears healthier, thicker, longer, shinier, more manageable and faster growing.’
CBD has officially hit the main stream, with industries including beauty and wellbeing embracing the ingredient for its many potential benefits. But what is CBD Oil? And how are you supposed to use it? Keep reading for the complete Marie Claire guide…
By Rebecca Fearn.
What is CBD Oil?
CBD, short for cannabidiol, is an oil derived from the cannabis plant. It is different to THC (tetrohydrocannabinol), which is the part of the plant that creates the ‘high’ associated with smoking weed.
‘THC is the compound in cannabis that gets you high but CBD alone won’t get you high at all,’ explains Charlotte Ferguson-Quilter, psychotherapist and founder of Disciple skincare.
‘It is important to check that your CBD products contain minimal THC if you don’t want to feel high – also any products with >2% THC are considered psychoactive in the UK and are therefore illegal.’
What are the benefits of CBD?
Let’s start with how CBD works. We all have internal Endocannabinoid System (ECS for short), which affects things like our mood, appetite and memory. CBD can support the ECS, helping with things like anxiety.
‘The popularity of CBD says something about how stressed and anxious we are as a society,’ says Charlotte.
‘By far the most popular benefits are pain relief and anxiety. It’s thought that CBD interacts with receptors in the brain and immune system to reduce inflammation and alleviate pain.’
‘CBD is also great for sleep issues and insomnia,’ she continues.
Indeed, studies conducted in recent years have suggested CBD oil can help with a range of problems. Recent studies cited by Medical News Today are an interesting read, highlighting the effectiveness of CBD Oil with anxiety, arthritis and a whole other host of symptoms.
How can you take CBD?
On board with CBD? There are a number of ways to try out the trend, from sipping a smoothie to smothering it onto your skin.
Several boujee health food cafes now serve smoothies or coffees with CBD extract in the ingredients list. Glow Bar, for example, serves a moon milk (golden, available hot or iced) that contains Wunder Workshop Golden Mylk and CBD. Planet Organic also offers CBD Oil Coffee, which features espresso, butter, coconut oil and CBD oil. While drinking your CBD at cafes is a treat, it’s not ideal for daily usage due to money and time constraints. Another option is to eat your CBD; Green Goddess Wellness now offer a ‘Bliss Bar,’ which uses vanilla flavouring, dark chocolate and CBD oil. Delish.
Perhaps the most versatile way to incorporate CBD into your life, CBD oils can be taken orally or applied topically onto skin. We’d recommend checking out Disciple’s new range of Miracle Drops, which offer CBD levels of 1%, 3.5% and 5%. All you need to do is swallow half a dropper’s worth (of the actual glass dropper, not just half a drop), or mix it into a drink to take it orally. Alternatively, you can apply it directly onto skin as a face oil, which will be absorbed into your skin.
Skincare is another realm of the beauty and wellness industry that is embracing CBD oil. CBD Oil has great moisturising properties, notes Charlotte, making it great for dehydrated complexions. It’s also good for acne-prone skin:
‘CBD creates a highly effective sebostatic effect ( this essentially means that it is amazing at balancing sebum and skin oils.) Both of which are catalysts for the series of issues that result in skin breakouts and acne,’ explains Charlotte.
While many brands are taking time to perfect CBD formulas that we hope to see in future, there are a few options you can already buy. Revolution’s Nourishing Oil – CBD Oil is perfect for dry, dull skin that needs soothing, while MGC Derma has a whole range of CBD Oil-based skincare, from creams to serums.