How To: Find Your Perfect Foundation Shade

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image via Instagram/maccosmetics

 

Finding the perfect shade of foundation is a struggle that many women know too well. This is in large part because it isn’t just about light and dark. To get a perfect match you also need to consider your skin’s undertones.

And here’s an easy trick to determine your skin’s undertone – look at your veins.

  •  If your veins are green, that means you have a lot of olive, yellow, and golden tones in your skin, so your foundation shades should have similar tones.

  • If your veins are blue and red, that means you have a lot of pink, red, and brown undertones, so your foundation should have similar tones.

To test the tone of the foundation swipe it along your jawline, where you’ll find your skin’s natural tone, and choose the shade which blends most closely with your natural tone.

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How To: Nail Contouring

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You’ve probably heard, or even tried, using make up to contour your cheekbones, nose, neck, jawline, collarbone, abs, legs — basically every body part in existence — but did you know you can also use this trick on your nails?

To create a longer-looking nail is actually easier than it sounds. Here’s our step by step guide:

  1. Use a clear base coat or lighter-coloured coat of polish onto your nail.
  2. Sweep a deeper colour down the middle. This is what gives you that contoured effect, just like how you’d use a highlighter above and below your cheekbones to make them look sharper.
  3. To finish the look, she used a semi-matte topcoat, since it’s not too matte or dull; regular topcoats will do too, but pure matte is too harsh.

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Manacurist Jin Soon Choi put this the genius trick to use at the latest Vera Wang runway show at New York Fashion Week, where she painted a base coat on the models’ nails, and swiped either a powder-pink white or a blackberry red shade down the center of their fingertips.

Sensitive Skin? How to deal with a change in season

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image via health.com

New season, new skin problems?

The transition from winter into spring should be a happy time of year. However, while you’re skin may have recently acclimatised to the cold and dry impact of winter, a change in season can spark redness, itching, tightness, and flaking.

Likewise, irrespective of the changing temperatures, there are a myriad of other triggers of sensitive skin. We can also experience times of sensitivity during periods of stress, pregnancy, menopause, long haul air travel and even after clinical facial treatments such as laser, microdermabrasion or chemical peels.

So how can we manage the effects of sensitive skin and prepare ourselves for the coming change of season? Flare-ups can be sparked by use of harsh skincare products, so if you start to notice a change in your skin texture or redness, swap out rich or overly active products with a gentle cleansers, restorative serums and simple, sensitive skin moisturisers.

Here’s some quick tips on how to treat sensitive skin, whatever the season:

1. Avoid harsh scrubs, AHA’s and retinoids if your skin is feeling irritated.

2. Avoid products that contain alcohol, fragrance, ammonium lauryl sulphate and sodium laurel sulphate. These can irritate sensitive skin and strip your skin of its protective oils. They can be found in many skincare products including cleansers, moisturisers and serums, so ensure that you read the label.

3. Avoid hot water and steam, opt for tepid water on the face, neck and décolletage.

4. If the weather is cold and dry, protect your skin by wearing a thicker layer of moisturiser and reapply throughout the day.

5. Avoid excessive sun exposure. Apply a broad spectrum UVA UVB, high SPF sunscreen to protect sensitive skin from harsh UV rays.

Fake it Till You Make It: How to look like you’ve had your beauty sleep

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Image via allwomenstalk.com 

Sleep recharges the body’s batteries for the day ahead. Cells are regenerated, repaired and rejuvenated and the mind rests and resets. And while these overnight processes go on internally, they will show up externally on your face the next morning. Enjoy six to eight hours of sleep and you’ll see bright eyes and plump skin in the mirror upon waking. Deprived of rest by sunrise? Your skin will look dull and dehydrated, dark circles will form and your eyes will not be nearly as bright.

Sadly, most of us don’t get the six to eight hours of sleep recommended for adults. With busy lives in and out of the office and myriad distractions, we tend to sacrifice sleep in order to find more hours in the day.

Obviously, the goal is to tweak our lifestyles to accommodate restful nights but until then, here are some beauty tricks to help you fake it until you make it.

Hair

A loose knot is an easy style you barely need your eyes open to achieve. Just comb your hair to a centre part, brush hair back, wind it around itself, then pin in place. Adding a chic hair accessory like a cuff will add polish to your look.

Eyes

Lack of sleep is most noticeable in the eyes. The easiest way to open the eyes is by using an eyelash curler followed by lashings of mascara. Another trick is to use white eyeliner on the waterline, as this will make the whites of your eye whiter. Finally, you’ll need to do something about those dark circles. Don’t use a matte concealer – you really want to amp up the moisture as your skin will be feeling dry all over. Go for something creamy with a little highlighter and gently press it into the skin rather than wiping it on.

Cheeks

If you didn’t get enough sleep last night, your skin will probably be drier than usual. Dry skin doesn’t mesh well with powder, so opt for cream or liquid products instead. A highlighter along the cheekbone, brow bone, bridge of the nose and Cupid’s bow will catch the light and give you that lit-from-within look. Use warm shades of blush to give your skin a natural flush – you want to mimic the look of a healthy blood flow to the face.

Lips 

Again, you want to avoid matte products, as they will only highlight dry, sleep-lacking lips. A touch of gloss instantly makes you look ‘done’.

 

Inflight Hair & Beauty Tips

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image via beautifulviews.net

For those lucky enough to be planning a winter escape to warmer climes, here are our tips for stepping off your flight feeling and looking refreshed.

Skin care

Prior to your flight, exfoliate and cleanse your skin then apply a hydrating moisturiser to combat the drying effect of aeroplane air conditioning. To freshen up, spritz your face with a hydrating mist every couple of hours. On long-haul trips, a hydrating serum will give you an extra boost.

Hair care

Wash your hair the night before and apply a leave-in treatment before blow-drying. Carry a hair oil in your hand luggage and apply on the ends, avoiding the roots as it could make your hair oily. Braiding long hair will keep it out of your way and make it easy for sleeping. Before you disembark, undo the braid and add a light hairspray or styling cream for an instant loose curl. If you have short hair, spray a dry shampoo at the roots to create volume as styles often go flat during the flight.

Make-up

Try to wear minimal make-up on board to allow skin to breathe. If you need to apply cosmetics before disembarking, use a cream foundation or a BB cream as a base, followed by blush or bronzer and a slick of colour on lips. On a long-haul flight, cleanse your face with wipes and apply moisturiser, waiting a few minutes before applying your foundation or BB cream. (Hint: use an illuminator under your foundation for extra dewiness.) A concealer under the eyes will remove any dark circles.

 

 

How To: Great Lashes

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Photo credit: lifedaily.com

Mascara is a beauty basic that even the most low maintenance woman looks to when she wants to get glam. Getting your mascara application right can ensure longevity, definition and great lashes. With this in mind, we’ve put together a handy list of tips to ensure your application is smooth, your product long-lasting and your lashes are in good health.

1. Vaseline is a saviour for damaged lashes. Apply a little to a clean wand and comb through before bed, and soon enough your lashes will feel and look healthier and shinier.

2. When it comes to application, many make-up artists bend their wands slightly so that the brush is angled. This allows you to reach those tricky corners near your inner and outer lash line.

3. If you’re not a fan of clumps and prefer your lashes look spidery and defined, grab a tissue and wipe any excess mascara off the wand to ensure just the right amount hits your lashes.

4. To ensue mascara lasts the allotted three to six months before expiry or doesn’t dry out; when dipping the wand back into the tube, swirl rather than dunk.

5. Lashes need plumping? There are a few simple and straightforward ways to get fuller looking lashes. One, after your first coat of mascara and before the second dust a little baby powder over them. This will make your lashes appear thicker and often longer. Secondly, never forget to apply mascara to the top and bottom of your lashes; we’re so used to applying mascara to the bottom we forget about the topside. This will automatically make your lashes look voluminous.

 

Your Beauty Questions Answered

 

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Answers to some of the most common beauty questions.

How often should you cut your hair?

Regular haircuts – every six weeks for shorter styles, and seven to eight weeks for longer lengths – are a must for good hair days. The more you stay in routine and be punctual with your haircut, the better it performs.

How often should you wash your make-up brushes?

Think about make-up brushes like you would your hair – if they don’t get washed they can quickly become dirty and matted. A weekly clean with a quick-drying brush cleanser is the way to healthier brushes and be sure to dry them with the bristles over-hanging a bench or table: they’ll dry more quickly and the water won’t settle into the wooden stem.

Do lash extensions compromise the health of your natural lashes?

Yes – if done incorrectly. To prevent lash loss see a qualified lash technician who can ensure appropriate length and weight of the lash extension and the correct amount of glue. Post-extension, always keep the lash line clean.

Do beauty products have a ‘best before’ date?

Yes even your beauty products have a used by date that should be adhered to. Mascara, sunscreen and eyeliner have the shortest lifespan of three to six months, and generally skincare should be switched out annually.

Should you avoid brushing wet hair?

For many, a post-shower comb through is commonplace, but this may be doing more harm than good. Your hair is at its most vulnerable state when it’s wet, so essentially if you brush it at this time you will cause damage to the delicate shaft and severely split and break the hair. If you do need do brush when wet use a wide toothed comb or the amazing Tangle Teezer Aqua Splash shower brush.

Should you be using a toner?

In short, toner is not a necessity. Toners are generally designed to remove excess oil and the last traces of grime, make-up or residue left by cleansers, so if you have dry skin or cleanse thoroughly toner is not a necessity.

Do you really need to exfoliate?

Exfoliation should be a core factor of any good skincare regimen as it lifts dry, dull skin and allows products to penetrate and work more effectively. The general rule of thumb is to always do it with steam (such as in the shower) as it warms the skin and adds hydration.

Does sleeping in make-up actually affect your skin?

While clogged pores and irritation are expected when you don’t cleanse at the end of the day, make up can also produce free radicals, which actually speed up the ageing process.

The One Hair Straightening Mistake You’re Probably Making

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If you’re straightening your hair by dragging your straight styler downwards, then you’re doing it wrong. This method causes hair to lose its body, resulting in flat, lifeless locks. It can also cause indents where the flat iron is placed by the roots if the hair is not elevated properly.

Instead, hair should be held out away from the face horizontally, like this:

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This technique helps prevent indentation marks from the straightener’s plates, which usually occur when clamping the tool on strands that are hanging straight down. A fine-toothed comb should be used to detangle knots and guide the straightener along.

Before straightening,apply a heat protectant like L’Oréal Professionnel Mythic Oil or Moroccanoil Treatment to minimise damage. Applying heat to locks that aren’t moisturized causes the hair cuticle to break.

If your hair is coarse or curly, be sure to separate into 1 to 2-inch sections to ensure an even and smooth finish. Finish by smoothing the crown area with a polishing wax or pomade like L‘Oréal Texture Expert.

Alma Jodorowsky: French Beauty Secrets

SHE’s Parisian, she’s beautiful and she’s one of the faces of Lancôme so who better than actress Alma Jodorowsky to share her secrets to French-girl beauty?

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Create a Balance Between Beauty and Fashion

“I like to keep my make-up pretty natural – what I choose depends on what I’m wearing. If I have a long dress, something glamorous, then I won’t want make-up that’s too extravagant. I always try to have a balance between the make-up and the way I dress. So if I’m wearing jeans and a T-shirt I like to wear red lips to create that kind of contrast.”

Have The Right Attitude

“It’s difficult to comment on Parisian beauty from the inside but I think there is maybe something more effortless about it than in other countries. It’s also in the attitude of the girls, to accept the way they are and not try to be someone else. I guess it’s something about the confidence, rather than the way we look.”

Listen To Your Mother

“My mother has eyebrows like me – she used to come at me before I went to school and tidy them. At the time it would really piss me off but now I see it was important! Now all I do is spray a bit of L’Oréal Ellnet Satin Hairspray onto a brow brush and brush my eyebrows with that, it fixes them – they get really messy otherwise. She wouldn’t let me pluck them either, but now I am thankful.”

Find Your Perfect Products, and Stick To Them

“If I’m just meeting friends I’ll usually just wear foundation, mascara and concealer. I don’t use a lot of make-up but I like to use a little bit of foundation. I just tried the Lancôme Miracle Cushion Foundation today, it’s a strange texture but it’s cool – it’s a fun way to use make-up. I also love Lancôme Hypnôse mascara – I’ve used it for a long time. My mother had it, and I remember as a kid trying to use hers! I love eyeliner too – I like Lancôme Artliner and MAC Fluidline. For me, mascara and eyeliner are my two basics. I like to have a red lipstick in my bag too – if I’m going out all day and then in the evening and don’t have time to go home I’ll use Lancôme L’Absolu Rouge in shade 132.”

Look After Your Hair

“I use good products on my hair. I try not to blow-dry my hair very much, I leave it so I get natural waves. Sometimes I’ll use a cream at the ends if it needs it.”

Be Healthy

“I had to start doing exercise – I used to be really lazy and bad with sport. But now I go to the gym and I run. I live near the Canal Saint-Martin in Paris so it’s really nice to run there as there aren’t many cars and there’s a lot of people running so it’s motivating! I don’t have a trainer or anything. My mother and father always have been really healthy so I do eat well – I used to hate it as a kid though. Everyone used to make fun of me and say: “Ah you’re so bohemian, eating your seeds…” It was a big joke when I was younger but now everyone’s doing it! For me it’s not anything new, I’ve always eaten this kind of food. But I’m glad that now it’s trendy to do it, it’s good for your body so whether you’re doing it because other people are doing it or not, it’s cool.”

Mid-Winter Beauty Tips

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Dropping temperatures and cold winds don’t have to go hand-in-hand with frizzy hair and dry, sullen skin. Don’t miss our top winter beauty tips to stay glowing and gorgeous – even when the weather isn’t!

Lip Service

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You won’t want to pucker up if you’re feeling self-conscious about a dry, flaky pout. Try an exfoliant on lips to get rid of flaky patches and fight the temptation to constantly lick your lips (it only dries them out more). Choose a moisturising, natural lip balm – we love Lucas’ Papaw Ointment – and avoid ingredients like camphor and menthol, which tend to worsen dry and cracked skin.

Fight Hat Hair

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Avoid matted or frizzy-looking locks by swapping your wool hats for less clingy cotton alternatives.  Experimenting with new, tighter hairstyles, like a bun or plait, will help to eliminate that dented, flattened hat-head look. While a finishing product like L’Oreal Tec ni Art anti frizz spray will eliminate static cling and hold your style in place.

Add Some Zest

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Adding an exfoliator to your facial skincare regime in the winter months will help to remove dead skin cells and prevent clogged pores. Exfoliating oily skin two to four times a week, and less often for dry/sensitive types, will keep your skin glowing. Because lemon juice contains citric acid, an alpha-hydroxy acid that dissolves the glue that keeps dead cells stuck to your skin, adding a little to your facial scrub will boost its brightening and exfoliating properties.

Heat Styling

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It can be tough to resist reaching for the heat styling tools, but heat styling and dried-out hair aren’t exactly the best of friends. We recommend using low-heat settings and a heat protectant like Kerastase Thermique styling products to achieve silky styles without damaging your hair. Removing all those damaged ends by getting them trimmed regularly will also reinvigorate your tresses. As for colour, adding highlights in the fringe or opting for a rich, darker colour will energise your hair and improve its condition.

Drink Up

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We tend to feel less thirsty in the winter months, but it’s absolutely crucial that we keep ourselves hydrated, inside and out. In addition to drinking plenty of water, herbal teas and clear soups are more creative ways to get your daily H2O and flush out toxins.

Rescue Me

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Seasonal elements are damaging to your hair as it makes it become prone to chipping, tangling and breakage. To combat dehydration and leave hair feeling soft and sleek, it is essential to nourish hair and smooth cuticles. Investing in strengthening products like Kerastase Vita Cement and applying serum like Kerastase Elixir Ultime to the hair ends will help protect your hair from the elements and prevent split and faded ends.

Feed Your Skin

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Oily fish like salmon and tuna, vegies like spinach and avocadoes and vitamin C-rich foods like tomatoes and citrus fruits, will help you glow from the inside out. Sugar doesn’t do any favours for sallow winter skin, so get snacking on seeds and nuts for a zinc boost, essential for preventing rashes and unwanted skin irritations.