Dry skin with acne? Flaky skin? There’s a perfect foundation for it all…
Dry skin is a bit of a catch 22: you may want to cover it up, but more often than not putting foundation on makes it appear all the more obvious. That’s where the best foundation for dry skin comes in.
Armed with the right formula, your foundation can deliver a hit of moisture to your skin while simultaneously disguising it under a veil of pigment. It’s all about knowing what to look for.
Keep scrolling to find your new complexion hero, whether your dry skin is flaky or acne-prone. Because crumbly make-up is just not the one, is it?
Specially formulated for skint that’s on the dry side, this one will balance your skin’s moisture levels throughout the day with a satin-y finish – the opposite of the dry and flaky texture you love to hate.
This foundation has sheer but buildable coverage and is water based rather than oil-based, so won’t clog your pores. It contains moisturising Vitamin F Esters and peptides to keep skin soft without irritation but is formulated without parabens, fragrance or mineral oil.
Argireline® peptide boosts skin’s natural collagen production, while clary sage ferment strengthens skin’s protective moisture barrier. Plus, although the formula seems more like a tinted moisturiser, the coverage is pretty buildable.
Because it’s the one buy you need for truly flawless skin…
A quick poll of the office tells us that you’re probably one of two types of people: either you wouldn’t be caught dead applying your best foundation without putting on your best primer first, or you just cannot be bothered with it.
For those who can’t be arsed with one, perhaps we might be able to convince you? When you’ve spent time applying your make-up just so, wouldn’t you quite like it if it stuck around all day? Because some of the best primers offer 24-hour staying power. Whilst you mind not need the full 24 hours, you can’t really argue with that promise.
As for those who might fancy a new primer to play with, read on to find one that best suits your needs.
What is a primer?
In case you’re not already well-versed in why they exist; they ‘prime’ the skin and create the perfect canvas for your make-up, while simultaneously keeping it on your face for as long as possible.
But depending on the formula, a primer can also soak up excess oil, blur the appearance of pores, smooth out bumpy skin, neutralise redness and even protect your skin from sun damage. Not bad eh?! We’re yet to find a concern that the right primer won’t fix…
Hailed as one of the best primers for oily skin that money can buy, Laura Mercier’s Foundation Primer (Oil Free) is a classic in many a beauty lover’s make-up bag, offering maximum priming power, sans oil. The water-based, gel primer blurs the skin’s texture to create a kind of ‘airbrushed’ finish, while also protecting the skin against environmental damage by acting as a vitamin-enriched antioxidant barrier.
As well as applying the best moisturiser for dry skin, you need a primer that stops your make-up drying your skin out throughout the day. There’s nothing worse than spotting a dry, flaky patch when you pop to the loo half way though the day. This ultra soothing primer will keep your hydration levels up and has the added bonus of a high SPF, so you’re essentially getting two products in one. Yay.
If you have blemishes, you actually benefit from using a primer the most. Why? Because not only will a primer help to create a smooth base on any bumpy areas, but find one that contains spot-busting ingredients, like this one, and you’re also treating the issue throughout the day too. This one also mattifies any annoying oiliness that so often comes hand-in-hand with spots.
If you only use cruelty-free and vegan beauty products the Cover FX is an excellent brand to have on your radar. The products are hardworking and the ingredients completely clean. Their range of primers are also incredible, including this nourishing Anti Aging number.
If you have sensitive skin, you know the drill: you want to avoid anything that can irritate. So you’re after a formula that’s silicone, fragrance and alcohol-free wherever possible. Unfortunately, this can take a little trial and error, as what irritates one person’s skin could be another’s complexion saviour. Patch tests are key before slathering it all over your face. This one is a super-light solution, so not gloopy or pore-clogging and non-irritating. Hooray!
‘High-spreadability’ is the key phrase here. This serum-like primer glides onto the skin and makes make-up blending so much easier. Foundation and concealer will melt into skin, rather than accumulating. Can also be worn alone as it creates the most beautiful blank canvas. If you have dry skin, you’ll love using this.
Enlarged pores are a nightmare. If you have them, then you probably avoid magnified mirrors at all costs. Those giant craters stand between you and your flawless base and something must be done about them. Spoiler: Your pores will never completely ‘close’ – they are not doors. They also won’t disappear. Sorry. However, with a cracking skincare routine and the right primer you can reduce the appearance.
Your best buy here is one of the most famous primers in the world, Benefit’s POREfessional Face Primer – the clue’s in the name. This little beauty makes short work of minimising the appearance of enlarged pores with its lightweight and velvety formula. It kind of blurs everything – a bit like your favourite Insta filter.
A mattifing primer does wonders if you have oily skin – especially around the t-zone area. This genius primer stick by Smashbox, arguably the most notable brand synonymous with primers, can be used under your foundation in the areas you feel you need it most and then over the top of make-up when you feel you need a top of matte.
Not only does this keep your makeup in place for as long as you’re awake, it also give you the most beautiful glowy sheen. It brings life back into skin. Whether you’ve had one hell of a heavy night or you’re a seasoned sufferer of dull-skin-syndrome, then this will instantly give you that much needed radiance boost.
If you struggle with introducing an extra SPF step into your routine in the mornings, then why not look to your primer as a way of getting it in? This Armani number goes on like silk, but turns to velvet when it dries down. Make-up stays put and you stay protected.
Of course, the world of primers doesn’t stop at your face – eyeshadow, lip and even mascara primers are equally as essential in our opinion. Once you’ve put all the hard work into creating a smokey eye or steely metallic shadow look you want it to last no?! Well duh. For this you need a concentrated formula that will stop unwanted smudging and creasing. Urban Decay’s Primer Potion is a firm favourite of beauty editors and bloggers all over the globe . Once you’ve tried the original formula, look out for the extensive shade range tailored to specific eyeshadow looks.
Balayage has been around for a while, but this timeless technique is creeping its way back into being one of the most popular hair colour requests in salons today. We’ve spoken to the some of the leading experts to get some professional insight into the booming hair trend, balayage.
What is balayage?
Balayage is a French word meaning to sweep or to paint. ‘It’s a freehand hair colouring technique that gives a really blended natural look with no harsh or obvious regrowth lines,’ advises royal and celebrity hairdresser, Richard Ward.
Balayage allows for a sun-kissed natural looking hair colour, with softer, less noticeable re-growth. The principal idea being less is more when creating a natural, multi-tonal finish. The technique uses patches of light and shade to create multiple dimensions to the colour.
It’s a great method if you want to refresh your colour but don’t want to go for a bold colour overhaul.
How is balayage applied?
Balayage is painted on the surface of the hair strand and not saturated through the section until the very tips. This ensures a smooth, blended stroke of colour. It can also be called a freehand technique because no foil or meche are used to create the highlights.
How long does it take to do balayage?
The depth of balayage can vary so much from a ‘few small highlights that will only take a matter of minutes to a full on, triple process look that can take up to 3 hours,’ says Josh Wood, founder of Josh Wood Atelier and Redken Global Colour Creative Director. Though it can take quite a long time to do a multi-tonal, layered balayage compared to regular colour the benefit of the application means you will be able to leave longer between your next colour appointment. If you want a few balayage babylights this may take as little as 45 minutes.
What sets it apart from traditional hair colouring?
Balayage is quite different to traditional highlights because no foil is used and the colour is painted on freehand. The finished result is ‘less uniform than typical highlights’ says Richard Ward. If you’ve ever been worried about having stripey colour after a visit to the hairdressers, balayage is a sure way to avoid that harsh contrast between colours – especially if you’re going blonder.
The colour created is totally bespoke to you and can even be placed in a way to compliment or distract attention away from certain features on the face.
What’s making it so popular recently?
Ten years ago balayage wasn’t the colouring phenomenon it is today, it’s quite a specific method of colouring that hasn’t been widely taught in the UK until recently. Balayage ‘is especially popular with celebrities and is a classic look for the red carpet’ says Richard Ward. After spotting it on celebrities like Gisele, Chrissy Teigen and Jessica Alba, there has been a surge in interest for the technique as people are requesting the look.
Some celebrities who love balayage include Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Olivia Palermo, Jessica Biel, Jennifer Lopez, Kim Kardashian and Amber Heard.
And don’t think just because you don’t have long hair you can’t achieve the look. No matter how short your locks are, you can rock balayage. Case in point? Ruby Rose’s balayage pixie crop.
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Startraks Photo/REX/Shutterstock (9781830ac)
Does it require a lot of maintenance?
‘Typically balayage requires far less maintenance than traditional colour because it grows out beautifully and there are no strong regrowth lines,’ says Richard Ward. It also means you can wait for longer between appointments so it’s ‘the perfect technique for a modern, busy woman.’
‘If you want to make your balayage last as long as possible, opt for a babylight – it’s the most subtle type of colour you can go for’ advises Josh Wood. Investing in some good quality colour care styling products is also advisable to keep your colour looking fresh for longer.
If your colour turns brassy after a while you can ‘refresh it without going for a full top up with a toner or gloss to give your shine back.’ says Wood.
Is it suitable for all hair types/lengths?
It works on both light and dark hair depending on how much lighter you want to go and all hair textures. Whether it’s straight, wavy or curly the colour will still work well and look great.
‘Balayage works on all hair lengths apart from on very short or cropped hair (think Pixie crops),’ advises international hair colourist, L’Oreal Professional Ambassador and Marie Claire’s 2018 Colourist of the Year Jack Howard.
The technique is particularly popular amongst celebrities with long, textured hair as it creates a beautiful, beachy style.
If however, you have balayage on you short hair – let’s say a bob – and then want to try the long beach style, Hershesons recently launched a range of balayage tape hair extensions, that will seamlessly blend in. The 60-minute service includes a colour-matching consultation, fitting, cut, wash & blow-dry and the tapes should last you up-to eight weeks, and the hair can be re-used up to three times.
How long does balayage last?
One of the biggest perks of balayage is that “it doesn’t require as much upkeep as traditional colour” advises Josh Wood. The blended finish means you can leave longer between your salon appointments, depending on the style of balayage you go for you can leave up to 4 months between top-ups.
Balayage is a totally blended hair look, there are no lines or blocks of colour and the graduation between shades is much more subtle. Some lengths of the hair are kept darker for a seamless colour finish.
Ombre hair has a more defined contrast between the roots and tips of the hair with colour starting mid-way down the strands. Ombre colour ‘is a more noticeable, statement look compared to Balayage,’ says Richard Ward. Want to know more? Check out our round-up if want to find out more about ombre.
Does balayage work on grey hair?
Balayage works for all colours but ‘the only thing is it won’t cover grey hair,’ advises Josh Wood, ‘it will only help blend in the grey to disguise it so if you want full coverage for greys it might not be the right choice for you.’
What makes it timeless?
Balayage creates a totally bespoke, personalised colour finish. Healthy, natural looking hair will always be ‘in’ which is why the technique has remained popular for so many years. Depending on what you’re looking for the finish can be subtle or quite bold. It’s the ability to completely tailor the colour effect that makes this such a popular colour choice.
When it comes to mascara, these are the best in the business
Ah, mascara. Without a doubt the one item we’d hail as a ‘can’t-live-without’ in a beauty version of Desert Island Discs. There’s just something about giving your lashes a bit of oomph with the best mascara that no other cosmetic can quite match (not even your best liquid eyeliner).
Whether you’ve got stubborn, straight lashes, unbearably short ones, or you just want to add a bit of volume to your eyelashes, we’ve tried and tested a job lot of the best mascara formulas and narrowed it down to a few choice buys every woman should have in her beauty arsenal.
Walk this way for a tour through the best mascaras on the market, old and new, for just about every lash type, and keep your eye out for our Prix Beauty Award winner.
We’re sure you’ll leave here with a new beauty best friend.
Clinique’s waterproof mascara accompanies many to weddings, funerals and other important occasions during which crying might occur – because it just will not budge until you take to it with a good eye make-up remover. It has staying power we can only liken to that of a determined customer who camps outside department stores ahead of the Boxing Day sales. Adding just the right amount of length and volume, sensitive-eyed girls will also love it for smudge-free days. One of the best waterproof mascaras you’ll ever try.
When it comes to the best mascara for a lengthening job, this is a super pigmented game-changer. The thicker brush combs through your lashes to build the length volume of each, unlike a lot of volumising mascaras which clump lashes together for a bolder lash look. The result? Spidery, jet black lashes that are the best finishing touch to any eye make-up look – but especially a smokey eye.
A mascara called ‘Better Than Sex’ has got a lot to answer for and, fortunately for Too Faced, this one does. We’re talking standout lashes that are both thick and lengthy. What’s more, the helix-shaped wand is great at reaching into those tiny inner corner lashes and bumping up the outer ones. Great for nights out with your best eyeshadow, but is it really better than sex? We’ll let you decide on that one…
Fed up of using several different mascaras to lengthen, volumise, and darken respectively, Charlotte Tilbury wanted to bring an ‘all in one’ mascara to the masses. And, being Charlotte Tilbury, she did exactly that. The cleverly designed brush catches hold of even the shortest, finest lashes, pushing them up and outwards to enhance your eyes to the max. When it comes to the best mascara for short lashes, always go for Full Fat.
Avon don’t have shops or concessions in department stores, which means they save so much money on rent, staffing etc and they’re able to keep prices low. Where does that spare money go? Straight back into researching formulas and developing incredible products, like this mascara. It’s been created with this whizzy elasto-stretch technology, which means that it curls your lashes and keeps them curled. If you feel that they’ve straighten later in the day, using your index fingers push your lashes up and back to re-curl them.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that sensitive eyes water and, unfortunately, streaming eyes lead to under-eye smudge. As well as your traditional, run-of-the-mill fibre mascara there are also tubing formulas, which are a whole different ball game for sensitive, weepy-eyed mascara users. These wrap your lashes in sweat resistant ‘tubes’, and the brand has tested the formula to ensure it’s appropriate for sensitive eyes, contact lenses, active types, the works. The slogan says it all: ‘Stop painting your lashes… Tube them.’
Legendary make-up artist Pat McGrath helped create this punch-packing mascara little over ten years ago during fashion week, where she resorted to applying it with a toothbrush on models for proper fluttery lashes. And so it was that DiorShow, the inky-black mascara of dreams, was born. It’s about as close as you’ll get to dramatic lashes without buying a pair of falsies (and a hell of a lot easier to apply, too), so it’s really no wonder that it’s such a crowd-pleaser.
Another tubing formula, legendary MUA Kevyn Aucoin’s curling formula lifts lashes for lasting emphasis and definiton and is a great everyday wear; if you want more volume, the Volume Mascara is also excellent. Like all tubing formulas, this won’t come off until you press a hot, wet flannel against your lashes to soak the tubes off, so you can bet your bottom dollar it’s going to stay put all the day long.
This is without a doubt one of the best mascaras you can bag at a drugstore counter. Not only does it promise added volume and length, but the curved brush grabs them all to give the ultimate lift. Easy to use and gives results, meaning it’s less than a tenner very well spent.
This mascara is to lashes, what a cashmere jumper is to weekends – the perfect accompaniment. It won’t give you the fluttery false lash effect, but it will slightly lengthen your natural lashes for that elusive ‘no make-up make-up’ look. Pair with a dab of cream blusher and groomed brows.
If you have long, luscious bottom lashes (first of all, you lucky biatch) then you don’t have to keep reading. But if you have quite short lashes that when you try to apply mascara with a normal wand you look like you’ve been crying for a week solidly, then this is going to be a revelation for you. The brush is thin, yet still long, and it coats every last lash. The dream.
Let us begin by saying that there is absolutely no shame in having back acne. It’s perfectly normal and you’re not alone if you do.
But it’s totally understandable if having it makes you feel self conscious and, as a result, you want to get rid of it.
We caught up with a skin expert Consultant Dermatologist Dr Justine Kluk, to find out everything you need to know about managing back acne.
What causes back acne?
‘The reasons for acne appearing on our backs are similar to the reasons acne appears elsewhere,’ explains Dr Kluk. ‘Firstly, excess sebum production; sebum is the natural oil produced by the sebaceous glands in our skin. These glands are particularly sensitive to hormones known as androgens, even at normal levels.
‘Secondly, a build-up of dead skin cells. These dead skin cells mix with the sebum and get trapped in our pores. The skin on our backs is extremely thick, so the potential for blocked pores is very high.
‘Thirdly, bacteria. In those who are prone to spots, the accumulation of oil and dead skin cells in our pores creates an ideal environment for a particular bacteria called Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes) to thrive. Exercise and heat are good examples of this because the bacteria that cause acne thrive in sweaty, moist conditions.
‘Inappropriate skin or hair care products can also contribute if left in contact with the skin of the upper back for extended periods.’
Follow these tips and you’ll be able to work the backless trend in no time
Back acne treatments
It might feel like having back acne is largely out of your hands, but there are several things you can try to help take back control of your skin in terms of acne treatments.
Below, Dr Kluk explains five lifestyle changes you can make to help manage bacne.
‘Cleanse your skin thoroughly in the shower every day. Use a body wash containing ingredients such as salicylic acid, glycolic acid and lactic acid to prevent dead skin cells from building up and blocking your pores.
‘If you’ve tried all of the at-home self care tips and skincare products and you are still struggling to get on top of your back breakouts, or are aware of developing cysts, nodules, post-inflammatory pigmentation or scars, a consultant dermatologist can talk you through the various prescription treatment options to bring your acne under control definitively.’
Want frizz free, super sleek hair? You’re in need of the best straighteners that money can buy
If you battle frizz on a daily basis, the best hair straighteners are absolutely essential to your beauty arsenal – along with one of the best hair dryers and a hair serum, of course.
The perfect pair of straightening irons will transform your hair from frizzy to super sleek, über curly to poker straight, in a matter of minutes.
No doubt you’re here because your current pair of straighteners are knackered, or you’re fairly new to the hair iron game and want to treat yourself to the best hair straighteners the market. Or, you want to put your curling tongs to bed and switch your signature style up for a straighter look.
So how do you pick the perfect pair for your hair type? Keep scrolling for all the intel…
These days, quite a women prefer to use a heated ceramic hair straightening brush over a classic pair of the best straighteners. These do exactly what they say on the tin, straightening your hair into the glossy, smooth locks of your dreams with just a few strokes of a brush.
We love DAFNI’s Go Straight Hair Straightening Brush, which heats up to a hair-safer temperature of 185 degrees and leaves your tresses super glossy and sleek after using.
The most practical advantage of hair straightening brushes? As well as being easier to use, by using a brush you’re far less likely to burn yourself (because how many of us have grabbed the wrong bit of our straighteners/clamped down on our ear before?)
Admittedly we’re stating the obvious here – but straightening curls takes a lot more time and effort than transforming slight waves into poker straight hair.
The keys to turning curly hair into poker straight perfection are: 1) section, section, section and 2), choose a pair with wide, flat plates. Hair straightening heroes ghd offer both thin and wide versions of their classic styler, the latter of which is perfect for flattening out super curly sections one by one. Slow and steady does it.
Shorter hair requires smaller tools, and so this Cloud Nine pair, which are just six inches long, are ideal for getting hold of shorter layers and styling them. They might be small, but they certainly don’t compromise on effectiveness.
For a less-expensive buy, this pair by Nicky Clarke does the job and does it well. Featuring black pearl plates, tourmaline technology for smooth, frizz-free hair and a three-metre cable to boot, they’re a great buy for anyone who doesn’t want to break the bank.
Before you tackle your mane with the straighteners, the first thing you’ll want to do is create a smooth, frizz-free base when you dry your hair. Bumble and Bumble’s blow dry cream specifically designed for straight hair is a winner here, smoothing and sleek-ing out your hair with a heat activated formula that loosens hair’s natural curve. It’s an essential first step if poker straight hair is your goal.
We’ve put them to the test and here’s our select edit of the best eye creams out there. It’s time to wave goodbye to tired eyes, banish bags and beat puffiness for good…
Trying to find the best eye cream for you can be an overwhelming, and frankly exhausting, experience.
How do you know what concern to target? How often should you use one, and what’s the right way to apply?
Don’t panic though, we’ve scoured the beauty halls and trialled an almighty selection of the latest offerings to bring you a select edit of the best out there. So you can rest assured that your hard earned pennies are only spent on the ones that really work.
If you’re dubious about the necessity of an eye cream in your regime, consider this – the skin around your peepers is around 40% thinner than the rest of your face, which is why it’s so important to use a cream tailored to the area. It’s this delicacy that makes your eyes prone to crêpe-ness and crows feet long before the rest of your face follows suit.
International Facialist Abigail James explains: ‘the eye area is the most expressionate area of the face, meaning it’s the first place that fine lines appear.’ Not only is skin thinner but research has shown it’s also subjected to ‘repetitive stress from micro-eye movements’ – AKA blinking, which we do on average over 28,000 a day.
Keep scrolling to see our edit of the best eye cream for every concern and, remember: when it comes to application, pat, don’t rub.
For a two-pronged attack on fine lines try Murad’s Renewing Eye Cream. The anti-ageing powerhouse retinol (otherwise known as Vitamin A) combines with powerful peptides that help strengthen the paper-thin skin around your peepers so skin looks firmer and wrinkles are noticeably reduced.
If dark under eye circles are the result of lifestyle factors like lack of sleep or a poor diet (rather than pigmentation or skin structure), then the good news is you can do something about them. New York based Derm Dr Dennis Gross advises ‘choosing an eye cream that contains caffeine to help decrease puffiness and Vitamin-C to help brighten the under eye area.’ The C + Collagen Brighten & Firm Eye Cream does both. We’re sold.
Founded by cosmetic surgeon and skin expert Dr Marco Lens, Zelens is the go-to for skin worthy of the red carpet. The smoothing Triple-Action eye cream targets crow’s feet, fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes with a potent, botanical-enriched formula containing marine collagen and hyaluronic acid.
From La Roche Posay comes a recipe for relief suitable for even the most sensitive skin with Toleriane Ultra Eyes. The gentle, fragrance free formula is perfect for the delicate eye area and instantly relieves soreness and irritation. Keep one handy if you suffer from flare-ups as this lightweight lotion has been granted a coveted Allergy-UK seal of approval.
From cult beauty brand The Ordinary comes a true game-changer in the battle against puffiness. The potent Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG is like rehab for tired, swollen eyes. Testament to its efficacy is the speed it’s flying off the shelves, at some 50,000 units per month. Get it before it’s gone.
If the skin around your eyes is so dry it drinks up every lotion you’ve tried and ends up looking cakey under makeup you need this. The rich and creamy balm formula absorbs quickly, targeting visible dehydration while aloe vera and vitamin E help nourish even the thirstiest of under eyes.
Feeling like an oily mess come lunchtime is never ideal, but these will ensure you stay matte all the day long
Is that midday shine your beauty nemesis? Do you battle with breakouts? If you haven’t got the best foundation for oily skin in your arsenal already, then look no further.
Dr Ross Perry, cosmetic doctor and managing director of Cosmedics Skin Clinics, has words of caution when it comes to pairing oily, acne-prone skin with makeup. ‘Before thinking about makeup, review your skin regime. Getting one of the best face cleansers and a moisturiser for oily skin is key, so experiment to see what suits your skin.
‘Don’t be tempted to ditch the moisturiser as your skin still needs hydration, but choose a formulation which suits oily skin,’ he continues. ‘Exfoliate regularly to remove excess sebum as well as dead skin cells. Sleep, drink water, and eat your fruit and veg – do everything you can to improve your skin from within, making you less reliant on foundation.’
First up: prep responsibly. ‘Try one of the best primers that’s a mattifying water-based gel underneath your foundation to tackle oiliness and absorb shine, hiding pores and leaving skin looking and feeling smoother,’ says Dr Ross.
Next, evaluate what exactly you want from your foundation.A full-coverage formula will mask hyper pigmentation from previous breakouts, while something designed to mattify will keep your skin shine-free all day. Oilier skin types often get along well with powder-based foundations like BareMinerals, while a liquid will glide on seamlessly whilst strategically locking in oil.
No foundation will keep you matte until the end of time, so choose a powder foundation that’ll help fight shine throughout the day. “It’s tempting to load on lots of powder to absorb the oil, but this approach can tend to leave the skin looking chalky,” warns Dr Ross. “Choose a matte, translucent, loose powder and apply with a brush to avoid it looking too heavy. For day-time touch-ups, oil blotting sheets are a handbag hero.”
Now that we’ve got all the facts covered, allow us to help you find the best foundation for oily skin for you, and finally keep that shine under control.
This lasts for hours and hours, offers great SPF protection, conceals pretty much every blemish and dark circle and locks down any excess sebum production. It’s a total all-rounder and an absolute must for oily skin.
This lightweight, oil-free formula conceals blemishes whilst actively tackling them and preventing them from returning. Plus, its cooling sensation and skin-soothing ingredients help calm flare-ups and inflammation.
If you think long-wear foundation sucks the life out of skin, meet NARS’ game-chaning Natural Radiant Foundation. This gem has it all: desk-to-drinks staying power, a glowy finish sans shine, extracts of raspberry, apple and watermelon to boost elasticity and mineral powders that mimic your complexion’s most natural hues. We’re unofficially calling it ‘dream skin bottled’.
The oil-free formula is super hydrating without leaving you looking overly shiny, as well as the benefit of SPF 15 – which you still need during the winter months. Think youthful, radiant skin in a bottle.
Double Wear is pretty full coverage, making it perfect for anyone who wants a completely flawless base – but it can be easily lightened up when mixed with a dot of moisturiser. What’s more, it mattifies skin and lasts all day and into the night, without smudging or needing any touch-ups at all.
Nothing really beats a powder foundation when it comes to oil control, and BareMinerals’ is a timeless favourite for a reason – the mineral formula is completely non-comedogenic, so there’s no risk of pores becoming blocked.
We break down one of the biggest buzz-words in beauty.
The Olaplex hair treatment is the one of the biggest advances in hair technology for years – but does it really live up to the hype when it comes to repairing damaged and brittle hair?
Kim Kardashian reportedly swears by the Olaplex hair treatment (it’s apparently how she goes to platinum and back again without wrecking her tresses), saying: ‘When your hair is really damaged, if you sleep in that, it really works. I notice a huge difference.’
But what do the experts think? We spoke to two top stylists and a trichologist to get the low-down on the beauty buzzword.
What is Olaplex?
Olaplex was founded by Dean Christal, who teamed up with scientist Dr Craid Hawker and Dr Eric Pressly to cook up a new molecule that works from inside the hair strands to strengthen and repair damaged locks where the structure has broken down.
Nicola Clarke, Creative Colour Director at Color Wow and John Frieda Salons elaborates for us. ‘For colourists, the biggest game-changer in hair colour is Olaplex. It maximises the strength of hair by reconnecting broken disulphide sulphur bonds in the hair, which gives hair a thicker look and healthier and stronger feeling,’ she explains.
‘The hair bonds break when hair is coloured and subject to regular heat and chemical treatments. It allows you to rebuild the strength, structure and integrity of hair and it is compatible with all hair types.’
When should Olaplex hair treatment be used?
For best results, it’s important to use it during a colour treatment, rather than after it.
This is where some of the confusion around the hair treatment comes in – the Olaplex hair treatment is not a cure-all for dry or damaged hair. It is a scientifically-developed treatment that works on hair condition from within, as opposed to a conditioner that improves only the superficial condition of damaged tresses.
Trevor Sorbie Manchester’s Creative Director, Vincent Allenby clarifies: ‘Olaplex is invaluable in maintaining the disulphide bonds within the hair structure during the colour process. These bonds are normally broken down during the colour process and can sometimes result in breakage and candyfloss results mainly in high lift situations such as balayage, highlights or lift tints. It’s a must for anyone heading lighter.’
Olaplex is also split into three stages – and when you use each one differs.
Stage 1 –
Olaplex Number One goes on your hair whilst you’re getting your hair coloured. It is mixed in with the hair colour and applied directly onto the hair.
Stage 2 –
Olaplex Number Two is applied when you’re at the back wash sink. Once the hair dye has been rinsed, it’s applied to the hair and left on for around 20 minutes, then rinsed out. A little bit like a deep conditioning hair mask.
Stage 3 –
Olaplex Number Three is your turn. It’s an at-home treatment that you use once a week. Pop it onto damp hair, comb it through so that it reaches every strand and then leave for at least ten minutes. Do it for as long as you can – make like Kim K and leave it in whilst you sleep. Then wash out afterwards.
Does Olaplex hair treatment really work?
With such rave reviews and celebrity endorsements, does this treatment mean we don’t need to worry about over bleaching and styling our hair any more? Not exactly. We asked trichologist Sally-Ann Tarver for her thoughts on the process.
As a hair expert, Tarver has had both personal and professional experience of the Olaplex treatment. ‘Olaplex is a brilliant product, I actually purchased my own to take to my colourist and have used it for my last three sets of highlights. My personal experience of it is that my hair feels stronger after colouring than it normally would.’ So if you’re partial to a blonde hairstyle, and regularly get your hair bleached it’s a winning choice. Incidentally, if you want to tone down brassiness ensure to use one of the best purple shampoo.
But she does warn that it’s not a miracle fix for damaged hair: ‘My professional experience of it is that it cannot rewrite the rules of chemical processing. Unfortunately using Olaplex does not mean hair can be bleached multiple times without disintegrating.’
Olaplex before and after
If you’re worried about the condition of your hair, next time you’re headed to the salon for a lightening colour treatment, ask your stylist whether Olaplex might be an option for you.
There are moisturisers and then there is the best moisturiser for dry skin – because yes, they differ from regular lotions, especially when it comes to the best moisturisers for oily skin. Packed with things like hyaluronic acid (which can hold 1,000 times its weight in water) and fortifying hydrators, moisturisers for dry skin don’t just inject your skin with the hydration it needs.
These clever formulas also attract moisture from the environment and draw it deep into your dermis as well as defend your skin’s protective barrier against environmental aggressors such as pollution, which then works at locking in any moisture. ‘Choose a good quality light moisturiser that soaks in readily, rather than just sitting on the surface of the skin,’ advises Dr Ross Perry, cosmetic doctor and managing director of Cosmedics Skin Clinics.
But there’s more to keeping your skin hydrated than simply applying moisturiser. One of the common causes of dry patches is due to dead cells adhering to your skin, so invest in a good face cleanser containing ingredients like salicylic acid, then chemically or physically exfoliate to break down the bonds that hold those dead skin cells together. Then, when it comes to putting your moisturiser on, you know it’s going to sink in to your skin and be as effective as it can possibly be. Finish off with one of the best foundations for dry skin and your complexion will stay healthy and glowing throughout the day.
Scroll through for our round-up of the best moisturiser for dry skin and find one that suits your skin, budget and lifestyle…
Simple Kind To Skin Replenishing Rich Moisturiser, £4.29, Boots
Simple’s Kind To Skin Replenishing Rich Moisturiser wins hands down as our best budget dry skin product, not even breaking the £5 barrier. Simple does exactly what it promises, delivering a light, fragrance-free cream that gives intense moisture, without making skin greasy. Your skin will be smooth, soft and you can splash out on another beauty buy to boot, thanks to its cheap as chips price tag.
Not just for nappies, E45 has earned its place in every sensible person’s bathroom cupboard – and for good reason. Treating dryness, flakiness, eczema, itches, sunburn and psoriasis, it really does fix a myriad of skin woes.
Aveeno’s ultra-rich formula injects a shot of moisture to any rough, scaly patches your pins might be affected with. Eczema-sufferers should also reach for this one; the colloidal oats soothe any inflammation and help repair broken skin.
L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream, £19, John Lewis
This has won too many awards to keep count, really, and we have zero doubts as to why. Shea butter is heralded for its ability to nourish and cocoon dry skin, and the inclusion of it in this hero hand cream (along with honey, and almond and coconut oils) means that dry hands are a thing of the past. It really is one of the best hand creams, ever.
Elemis’ Pro-Collagen Marine Cream is backed by impressive scientific evidence which shows that after just two weeks of use, wrinkles can be reduced by up to 78%, thanks to its hero ingredient, the marine extract Padina Pavonica, which mimics the skin’s own function. We’re no scientists, but the light gel-like cream sinks in quickly, skin feels firmer and instantly more supple on application.
The combo of dry skin that also happens to be sensitive is a killer. This pared-down vial from cult-status brand Hylamide will not only fix dry, tired skin, but it’ll be sure to reduce redness and other indicators of sensitivity.