Instagram: Tips for Beginners

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It’s visual, it’s quick, it’s mobile and it’s simple to use.

There’s no better time than now to get started with Instagram. These tips can help you make the best out of your Instagram experience.

Post Colourful, Interesting Photos and Videos

Instagram is all about providing interesting content, especially if you want more followers and likes. To increase engagement, try to post photos and videos that evoke some kind of emotion – happiness, humour, motivation, nostalgia, love or anything else. High-quality photos with a lot of colours tend to get the most action on Instagram.

Don’t Overdo it with the Filters

Instagram provides a number of filters that you can apply to your photos to automatically enhance the look and style, but that trend seems to have already hit its peak. People want photos and videos that are colourful, but relatively natural looking. Although filter effects may be tempting, try to limit your use of them to keep the colour and contrast normal in most of your photos.

Use Hashtags Sparingly

Using hashtags is a great way to increase you reach on Instagram, encourage more engagement and even attract new followers. Unfortunately, some people take it way too far. Their captions are often filled with hashtags – many of which aren’t even relevant to the topic of their photo. If you do decide to use hashtags, make sure to keep it to a minimum, and only use keywords that are relevant.

Use the Explore tab (popular page) to find great new content

The Explore tab on Instagram is where some of the most popular photos and videos get featured. The photos that are shown here are tailored to you according to the photos and videos that have been liked or commented on by people you follow. You can find new users to follow or engage with by checking out this tab regularly.

Post often to keep followers interested

If you want to keep followers engaged, you need to post new content on a regular basis. That doesn’t mean you need to be posting 10 photos a day. In fact, posting once a day – or at least once every other day – should be frequent enough to keep your current followers interested. If you go long periods of time without posting, don’t be surprised if you lose a few followers.

Interact with your followers

Never ignore your most loyal followers who regularly like and comment on your photos!  You want to make your followers feel valued. To do this, reply to their comments or even go check out their account and like a few of their photos.

Don’t be tempted to purchase followers

There’s a lot of hype around buying Instagram followers. And it’s true that you can get some big numbers for pretty cheap. The problem with buying them is that they’re often mostly fake and inactive. Your account may look a little strange to users who see that you have 15K followers, but almost no likes or comments on your photos and videos. Stick to real engagement. It’s not all about the numbers.

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Our Timesaving Styling Tips

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Instagram/lovekevinmurphy

Are your mornings feeling rushed? Try these easy time saving tips.

PREP THE NIGHT BEFORE

Not everyone is a morning person and the same is true about hair. If you have hair that’s stubborn and frizzy in the morning, start with prepping the night before. For a wavy, textured look, apply KEVIN.MURPHY Motion Lotion to damp hair. Braid your hair in two plaits and leave until the morning. In the morning shake out with your fingers and apply a little Bedroom Hair for soft and flexible hold. Hairstyling done.

WASH YOUR HAIR WITHOUT WATER

No time to wash your hair? Dry shampoos like Eleven’s Give Me Clean Hair and KEVIN.MURPHY’s Fresh Hair remove excess oil from your hair and scalp, leaving your hair looking and feeling fresh. The dry shampoo also doubles as a styling product. By adding a bit of texture to the hair, you can create a whole new look.

 

DETANGLE HAIR IN SECONDS

Dry, damaged hair is almost always the cause of hair tangling. Using a leave-in treatment like Miracle Hair Treatment will not only get rid of knots and tangles but also promotes healthier hair. Simply apply to damp hair and comb through.

KEEP YOUR HAIR HEALTHY

Healthy hair is always easier to style. Adding an effective treatment to your weekly regimen can dramatically improve hair health, leaving it more manageable. Eleven’s 3 Minute Repair Rinse Out Treatment is a blend of protein and shea butter to strengthen and hydrate hair. Simply use instead of your regular conditioner once a week and leave in for just three minutes to see dramatically healthier, more manageable hair. No time to rinse? Try KEVIN.MURPY’s Leave-In Repair to add strength, reduce breakage and replenish damaged hair.

Chemical vs Physical Sunscreens: How to keep your skin damage-free this summer

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image via Love Kevin Murphy

Just like any skincare product, when it comes to sunscreen there are dozens of different brands, SPF ratings, ingredients, and formulas that claim to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. Despite the huge array to choose from, finding the right sunscreen can be as easy as choosing between two simple sunscreen categories: Physical and Chemical. If you don’t know the difference between the two, don’t worry, here’s our rundown on physical vs chemical sunscreens and which one will best keep your skin damage-free this summer.

What are chemical sunscreens?

Chemical sunscreens contain ingredients like octinoxate and avobenzone. These are organic compounds that create a chemical reaction, changing UV rays into heat, then releasing that heat from the skin.

Chemical sunscreens are generally very lightweight and blend-able, and can layer seamlessly under makeup for daily wear.

It is important to not that while chemical sunscreen may offer more coverage against UVA and UVB rays than physical sunscreens, they can take up to 30 minutes to start working. For everyday use chemical sunscreens are perfect for layering with other skincare products and will offer a good amount of protection.

What are physical sunscreens?

Zinc oxide or titanium dioxide (or both) will be two of the first ingredients listed on the product packaging of physical sunscreens. In basic terms, these ingredients sit on the surface of the skin, forming a physical barrier, reflecting incoming UV rays.

Physical sunscreens work immediately after applied, are good for sensitive skin, and effectively protect against both UVA and UVB rays. However, the zinc oxide and titanium dioxide in physical sunscreens have a white-ish tint, and tend to be thicker and more apparent on the skin, which means they might be better for beach days and not-so-great for layering with makeup.

Which to choose?

Both sunscreen kinds are effective when applied correctly and safe. Whatever your personal preference, the experts agree that what matters is ensuring broad spectrum protection (from both UVA and UVB rays) and using whatever you choose diligently. One last tip? Never underestimate the sun-blocking power of a summer sunhat!

How To Wash Your Hairbrush

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Instagram/saratess

No matter what kind of brush you use, it’s important to take good care of your tools. Hairbrushes are often full of product, oil and often even dirt and dust, which can transfer onto your hair and affect your style. So today we’re sharing five tips for keeping your hairbrushes in their best condition.

1. Remove hair.
Removing hair from your brush is simple, and it’s the best way to keep it clean and free of any dirt or dust that will gather. Our advice? Simple take the pointy end of a hair comb and run it between the bristles of your brush. It should loosen, and you should be able to “peel” the hair off the brush. Keep repeating the process if you don’t get it all the first time.

2. Wash with shampoo.
Just as you wash your hair to remove product and oil buildup, it’s important to do the same for your brushes. Once hair is removed from the brush, use your favorite shampoo to gently wash the base and bristles of your brush. Remember: anything stuck on your brush can be transferred to your hair while brushing, so it’s important that it stays clean!

3. Air dry or blow dry.
To avoid damaging your brush, don’t try to dry it with a towel. Instead, let your brush dry naturally in a dry, bright place. If you’re in a hurry, use your blow dryer on a medium heat to effectively dry your brush.

4. Stay away from sprays and creams.
Although product will inevitably get in your brush through use, it’s important to avoid  applying sprays and creams directly onto the brush. It may seem like a good way to evenly distribute product, but it can cause damage to the brush itself.

5. Repeat every 1-2 weeks.
A clean brush is the secret to beautiful hair, so be sure to take great care of yours often!

How do you care for your hairbrushes and other hair tools?

The Best Hair Tie for Your Hair Type and Style

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image via Instagram/goodyhair

The wrong hair tie can cause snags, breakages, hair loss and even migraines. We’ve rounded up our favourite hair ties for different hair types and styles to keep your hair and style looking great.

Highly textured or curly hair
Those with highly textured or curly hair know that the wrong band will snag hair and pull any damaged strands out with it. To avoid knots and pulls, choose a hair tie that has no metal fasteners, and is made of silicone or another no snag material.

Wavy hair
To keep beachy waves in place, we recommend a scrunchy. With the current influence of 80s fashion there are so many styles and designs to choose from, and the casual style will pair perfectly with your windblown tresses.

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Image via Instagram/scrunchyqueen

Thick hair
Tame your thick hair with a heavy-duty elastic. To avoid hair breakage or drooping ‘dos, we recommend a soft, thick, and seamless band-style hair tie.

Thin hair
To keep thin hair safe from the annoyance of breakage, opt for a silky smooth hair band in a soft material.

If you don’t want a crease
There are few things worse than a good hair day being ruined by a ponytail crease. To avoid this annoying problem, try an Invisibobble. Not only does it prevent hair creases and breakage, it also does a fabulous job keeping a ponytail or top knot in place, even during a workout.

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image via Instagram/modemusthaves

For buns and topknots
When you want your updo to make a statement all on its own, you don’t want the hair tie to distract. The perfect way to keep your ‘do at the centre of attention? Choose a sturdy, metal-free hair tie in a shade that matches your hair.

For dressed-up ponytails
To spice up a ponytail for a fancier event, there are tons of options available. We love hair cuffs, beaded head bands and bows — you can never have too many!

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image via instagram/keoraavedasalon

Which type of hair ties do you prefer?

Share your favourites in the comments!

Five Easy Halloween Looks to Try

Need something easy for Halloween this year? Check out these easy makeup looks.

Red Tears

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Via Instagram/vermua

Get this look with just some a liquid eyeliner and a steady hand.

Ghoul

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image via Ellie Goulding/Twitter

Use an all-over ultra-light foundation and go heavy on the eyes for an extra spooky look.

Stitched Up

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via Instagram/Arianagrande

This look actually pretty easy; eyeliner, pale face, vampy lips and eyeliner for the stitches.

Spiderwebs

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If your handy with the liquid eyeliner, this is an easy look.

 

Bullet Wound

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via Instagram/Gwenstefani

Gory but effective. Just add some fake blood and you’re done.

How To Make Your Curls Last Longer

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image via KEVIN.MURPHY

We love beautiful, flawless, bouncy curls. But you know what’s even better? Beautiful, flawless, curled hair that lasts all day. Find out how to make your curls last longer with our five tips below.

1. Get Your Curls To Stay: Cool Them Down

One of the most effective tricks on how to get your curls to stay is to let the curl cool down and set before letting it go. Take each fresh curl (still keeping the curl shape) and secure it with a clip or a bobby pin. Wait till your curls have cooled before unpinning and brushing them out. Letting your curls cool allows the hair cuticle to close, making your curls last much longer.

Pro Tip: If you don’t have time to wait 10-15 minutes for the curls to set, pin them all to your scalp and use your blow drier to blow cold air on them from a distance.

2. Use the right hair products

Products designed specifically to enhance curls will amplify your hair’s natural texture and prolong the lifespan of your curls. We love KEVIN.MURPHY’s Motion Lotion which enhances curls while taming frizz. A light mist of hairspray after you’ve heat styled – we love KEVIN.MURPHY’s Bedroom Hair – will help to lock in your style for longer lasting waves and curls.

 

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Hint: Don’t hold the hairspray too close to your hair. A light mist will provide a flexible, natural looking hold.

3. Invest in good heat styling tools

Yes, good tools may be more expensive, but they heat up better (so you will apply heat for a shorter period of time), use technology to protect your hair while heat styling, and last much longer than cheaper tools. We recommend to set your tools at a heat temperature of 300-350 F to achieve an optimal curl.

4. Use the right barrel size

When using a barrel wand to create curls, many people think that a large barrel will give you those sexy Victoria Secret Curls. We find, however, that most of the time, a smaller barrel will do the magic. Depending on your hair, try using a 2.5 to 3.5 cm (1-1.5 Inch) barrel, and see what difference it can make! Not only will the curls look better, but they will also last longer.

5. Your hair still doesn’t curl?

This may be a sign that your hair is damaged. Overly damaged hair (including split ends) doesn’t curl well, as the cuticle is too damaged and can’t hold a shape. If you suspect this could be you it’s time to give your hair some love and get a trim! If you are worried about cutting your hair, let your Reds stylist know. Our stylists can offer treatments to repair damaged hair and are trained to work with you to achieve your perfect look.

How To: Caring For Your Luxury Candles

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image via Instagram/annacatherinejohnstone

They say that of the five senses, our sense of smell is the one that evokes the most emotional response, and is most tied up with memory. From freshly-baked bread to the smell of the sea, or just one whiff of a certain cologne, there’s no question that scent is a powerful thing.

For many of us, scented candles are a go-to when creating a relaxing ambiance to relax unwind. While often you get what you pay for – the luxe ones contain 10 to 15 per cent perfume oil, while the cheaper ones can be as low as one to two per cent – whether or not you love the scent is more important than the price tag.

To extend your burn time and get the best fragrance ‘throw’, here’s our tips for caring for your scented candle.

  1. To ensure an even and smoke-free burn, the wick should be trimmed to a length of 5mm each time before lighting and discontinue when 10mm of wax remains.
  2.  In order to get the most out of your candle, burn it until the entire surface of the candle melts. Wax has ‘memory’ so it will follow the first burn so make sure not to extinguish the candle until the whole surface has melted.
  3. To preserve the fragrance, do not burn your candle for more than six hours at a time and turn the wick into the wax to extinguish so that there is no smoke created.
  4. Do not leave candle burning unattended. Keep away from children, curtains and pets. Always protect the table or surface on which the candle rests.
  5. Ignore people who say scented candles make for a rubbish present – they couldn’t be more wrong 🙂

Micellar Water: French Women’s Favourite Cleanser

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image via instagram.com/radiantskinsentientbeing

This product may be the secret to French women’s hydrated-but-never-oily complexions. Micellar sounds just like the gentle, hydrating cleanser we’ve been searching for our entire lives—and lucky for us, a trip to France is no longer required to stock up on them.

What exactly is micellar water?

Micellar water contains small particles called micelles. These work like a miniature sponges, mopping up dirt and makeup while hydrating your skin. Micelles have an oil-loving ‘tail’ that traps dirt, oil, and makeup and a water-loving ‘head’ that allows the micelles to dissolve impurities so they can easily be wiped away.

French women’s obsession may stem from the notoriously hard water in Paris, which can be extremely harsh on skin. On the other hand, the oil droplets in micellar water are hydrating to dry skin and don’t disrupt the natural pH of skin like foaming cleansers. All skin types can benefit from micellar water, but it is especially recommended for those with dry, sensitive, or acne-prone skin.

How do I use micellar water?

To use micellar water, simply pour it into a cotton pad and rub it over your face, like a toner. Then carry one with your skincare routine as normal—no need to rinse afterward.

Where do I get it?

Bioderma’s much-loved CréalineH Micelle Solution (a model favourite) is available at strawberry.net, and brands like Avène, Nivea, Simple and Garnier have come out with their own versions you can pick up at your local department store or supermarket.

How to Use Flat Irons Like a Pro

The flat iron is an essential hair styling tool. From straight, to wavy, to even natural looks, this tool can handle it all. While we all think we know how to straighten hair, we could all do with a refresher. And while this tool can be a lifesaver, by using it incorrectly you are causing more trouble in the long run. To avoid inadvertently damaging your hair, check out our three simple tips for using flat irons like a pro.

Protect Your Hair

Always start by prepping hair with a heat protectant like Eleven Miracle Hair Treatment. This will make sure hair stays healthy and easy to style.maxresdefault.jpg

Use Even Sections

The key for polished flat iron styles is even sectioning. When styling hair, keep sections the same size for a consistent and balanced hairstyle. Generally six even sections, illustrated in the image below, is sufficient. If you have very thick hair you may need to create more, smaller sections to keep things manageable.sections.png

Get Your Temperature Right

Finally, make sure you know what flat iron temperatures suit your hair and style. If your flat iron doesn’t have temperature settings, it’s probably time for an upgrade.

  • 80°C          Smooth frizz and flyaways
  • 105°C        Styling damaged hair
  • 130°C        Styling fine hair
  • 160°C        Styling loose waves or natural styles
  • 185°C        Standard styling and straightening
  • 210°C        Coarse, unruly hair

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