Sunday, December 20, 2009

Days 19 and 20...depilation and getting a glow

If you're thinking of getting your legs waxed now is the time to do it. It will last you through Christmas until the New Year and any redness will subside in a day or so.The best results are at a salon, but I've also had success with at home kits too. There are a few different kinds available at most drugstores although I prefer the pre-waxed strips that you press on and pull off. It does hurt, I can't lie, so unless you're used to it or can stand the pain of doing it yourself, get a friend to pull them off for you! There is nothing worse than stopping it half way and then trying to get the rest off.
 Another option is an epilator - I bought the Bliss Bikini Perfect Bliss-Philips Bikini Perfect Deluxe HP6378 Spa-At-Home Grooming SystemBliss-Philips Bikini Perfect Deluxe HP6378 Spa-At-Home Grooming System last year and it's one of the best investents I've made. It keeps you hair free for weeks and is incredibly easy to use.
Then there's the good old fashioned way - shaving! Just make sure you use a new razor and shaving cream or foam to avoid nicks or you could use a hair removal cream which lasts slightly longer than shaving and leaves legs really smooth. After any kind of depilation I like to use Tend Skin which prevents ingrown hairs and those unsightly red spots that can occur after waxing or shaving. For any kind of depilation I recommend exfoliating lightly beforehand to remove dead skin making it easier to get rid of the hair as close to the skin as possible and then moisturize well using a good non greasy body lotion.

If you are wearing an outfit that requires some skin baring and you don't want to be as white as the snow, I suggest doing a little self tanning now! You don't have to look like you just returned from Tahiti (unless you want to) as there are a lot of tanners out there now that give subtle results. I've tried and loved recently:
  • Fake Bake  Instant Self Tanning Spray Airbrush - this gives an instant tan and dries quickly. I blend mine with a large dry sponge to ensure there are no streaks,
  • Gradually tan with Xen-Tan's Transform Xen Tan Transform 6 fl oz.Xen Tan Transform 6 fl oz. which is a daily moisturizing lotion with their olive undertoned self tanner in it, that gives an incredibly believable color.
  • To get a dark result quickly, use Sevin Nyne's spray. This was created by Lindsay Lohan and develops into a deep, dark tan that leaves the skin moisturized too.
  • For the ultimate tan you can't get better than your own personal at home tanning airbrush! Luminess Tan is the easiest and most effective way to get your own professional looking tan at home. You can even add muscle defining contours to make you look slimmer - genius!
(some of the above products were provided to me and some I bought)

Gorgeous last minute gifts for under $50

If you're stuck for a gift to give last minute and are on a bit of a budget I highly recommend one of these:

For girls who love makeup and like to experiment with color, you can't get better than this:78 Color Eyeshadow & Blush Combination 78 Color Eyeshadow & Blush Combination and it's only $25.00!! The colors are amazing and go on beautifully. I have this and got one for my friend for her birthday too.

Give the gift of beautiful skin Murad Acne Complex Kit/ for problem skin ($80 Value) 60 day supplyMurad Acne Complex Kit/ for problem skin ($80 Value) 60 day supply. This kit is great value at only $45.00.

For calming down after the hectic holiday season how about this for the women in your family Serenity Gift by LUSHSerenity Gift by LUSH. They can escape to the peace and quiet of the bathroom for an hour and pamper themselves. $34.95.

For party hair, give them Jonathan Dirty and Flirty Kit this little beauty contains Travel size Silky Dirt Shine & Define Crème, Shimmer Silky Dirt in Soft Pink and in Golden Glow, perfect for New Years Eve hair and is on offer now at $20.00 (20% discount)!

This next gift is one I'd LOVE! I've bought these before and am hoping someone will give me a Sephora gift card for Christmas so I can get one! Sephora Favorites LashStash Mascara Deluxe Sampler ($104 Value) LashStash Mascara Deluxe Sampler It's $39.00 for 10 mini mascaras.

For a quick and easy tan (I used this before I went out last night and it was amazing!) get Fake Bake Instant Self-Tanning Spray Air Brush 207ml/7ozFake Bake Instant Self-Tanning Spray Air Brush 207ml/7oz. It goes on fast and dries even quicker giving an instant tan that deepens over a few hours. $29.95

Candles make a great gift, I love them and have many around my house (be careful to blow them out though!) I recently was sent this one Pacifica Tuscan Blood Orange 10.5oz Boxed CandlePacifica Tuscan Blood Orange 10.5oz Boxed Candle and it smells so good I want to eat it! At only $19.50 it's great value and they do a lot of other great scents too.

Another bathtime treat that is sure to transport you to the tropics (if only in your daydreams) isPure Fiji Spa Pure Fiji Coconut Milk Bath Soak-Coconut Infusion (16 oz)Pure Fiji Spa Pure Fiji Coconut Milk Bath Soak-Coconut Infusion (16 oz) I love this line of products. The coconut smell is gorgeous and they make your skin sooo soft. $29.95.

A great and inforamtive beauty read is Liz Earle's Natural Beauty Kit $35.00 and is the gift that keeps on giving - giving great skin that is!

(some of the above brands were provided to me and some I bought)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Day 18...Eyebrows

Sorry it's a day late, I've been busy! Anyway here is a quick guide to getting your eyebrows looking good at home - after all they do a lot to define your eyes and face.

I don't recommend waxing at home as this can go wrong all too easily and you could end up without any brows at all - to my UK readers this is very Benidorm girls holiday circa 1989! A good guideline to tweezing is to never reomove above the browline and only take the stragglers out underneath. The thin line of tweezed brows is not a good look and you don't want to have to spend all your time drawing them back in. If you tale a pencil and put it straight against your nose, where it touches your brows is where they should start and if you angle it towards the end of your brows this will give your a rough idea of where they should end. To make tweezing less painful use a good pair of tweezers that won't slip or pinch your skin like Anastasia Tweezers 1 eaAnastasia Tweezers 1 ea and just before you do it, put a hot cloth over them for a minute to open pores and then dab dry. You can also get a few things at the drugstore to numb the pain, look in the aisles that sell eyelashes etc.
After you've got them in shape unless you have perfectly colored and thick brows you may still need some help. There are a lot of options out there for filling in and keeping them in shape. I love Shu Uemura EYEBROW MANICURE 01 FOREST BLACK  Shu Uemura EYEBROW MANICURE 01 FOREST BLACK for my own brows. It comes in a lot of different shades and not only colors but keeps them in place all  night. If you prefer powder for filling in there is a great set by Clarins called Eyebrow Kit Pro Palette. This contains black, brown and blonde powders, wax to shape, highlighter and mini tweezers and tools all in one sleek case. For most brows, fill in with a lighter powder for fullness and then define with the darker shade to give shape. Brush through with a clean mascara brush and then either comb through with brow gel or wax to set.

(products provided by brands above)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The morning after!

If you've had a long night partying and want to look like you haven't the next day, there are a few things you can do to make you look like you've had 8 hours sleep and only been drinking water!

Here's how to do it:

No matter how tired you are or how many drinks you've had it's important to take your makeup off when you get in. The easiest and most effective way is to use a makeup remover on a cotton pad. One of the best I've tried is Lancôme EAU FRAÎCHE DOUCEUR Micellar Cleansing Water Face, Eyes, Lips, 6.8 fl oz.Lancome's Eau Fraiche Douceur which removes all makeup easily and thoroughly. Splash your face after with cold water and dry gently then apply SAMPAR Nocturnal Lifting Mask 1.7ozSampar's Nocturnal Lifting Mask which firms and smooths overnight. Believe me this really does make a difference!
In the morning rinse the mask off and then put a few drops of Orlane's Morning Recovery Concentrate. This revs up the circulation and brings color back into your face. Leave for a few seconds to absorb then apply your regular moisturizer and a depuffing eye serum like Arcona's Peptide Eye Serum. ARCONA Peptide Eye Serum 9 ml If you have red eyes try Naphcon-A eyedrops (check with your Doctor first). I buy these in bulk as they are the only ones I've found that really work. While these are woking and your moisturizer settling in, have Bradford Tonic's (available at most Wholefoods) Irish Moss and Roots drink as a meal replacement, it really helps a hangover and if you are feeling nauseous sip the B-Ginger one during the day.
Now on to makeup to conceal the effects of overdoing it! Start by patting a highly pigmented concealer like tarte Dark Circle Defense with Concealer Brush, Light to Medium 1 ea  under your eyes to erase dark circles and minimize puffiness. Sweep a luminizing foundation powder Guerlain Parure Compact Foundation with Crystal Pearls SPF20 # 01 Beige Chic 9g/0.31oz (I love Guerlain Parure Compact Foundation) all over your skin to disguise sallowness and even skintone and top with a dusting of matte bronzer and light pink blush.
Blend a light satin finish lilac eyeshadow over the eyelids to brighten eyes instantly and line inside the lower rim with a nude eyeliner like Pixi'sEyebright Liner   to cover redness and make the whites look whiter. Put a couple of coats of navy mascara like NYX Doll Eye Mascara-Volume!  on to finish the whitening effect.
Give your lips a healthy flush and some much needed moisture with Benefit's Benetint Lip Balm Benefit Cosmetics Benetint Lip Balm SPF 15
and no one will be able to tell you've been out all night!

(some of the above products were provided to me and some I bought)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Day 16...A formal party makeup

There are a few types of makeup looks that depend on the event you are going to. For a formal event the best look is understated but classy. Here is how to achieve that:

  • Start with freshly cleansed and moisturized skin. If you have the time use a face mask to brighten and lift the skin, giving it even more of a glow. I like ARCONA Wine Hydrating Mask, Replenish AM/PM 2 oz (59 g) which leaves skin so soft you may not even need moisturizer.
  • Next prep skin with a primer. This fills in fine lines, evens skin texture and enables your base to last longer. A good one is Alison Raffaele Face Forward Primer, Age Response, 1-Ounce Bottle Alison Raffaele Face Forward Primer, Age Response, 1-Ounce Bottle. This is especially for aging skins, they also do a great one for blemished skin. Blend the primer as you would a moisturizer and leave for a minute to settle before applying base.
  • Using a foundation brush or a clean sponge, dot foundation on your forehead, nose, chin and cheeks and blend outwards and downwards. This technique concentrates foundation on the T-zone where most people need help and feathers it out towards the edges of the face so you are not left with a mask like effect or any in your hairline. My favorite foundation and the one I use on my clients is Veil Fluid Makeup, 4
  • Apply a creamy concealer where needed under the eyes and blend with your ring finger using a patting motion. To conceal blemishes I prefer to use a small brush and just a little concealer on top of the actual spot. Set the whole face with a light dusting of face powder Mineral Essence "Magic Finish (Net Wt. 9 grams)" is exceptionally fine and natural looking, concentrating on the oilier areas. If you like cream blusher, use this before powder. Put a dime sized amout on the apples of your cheeks and blend both inwards and out over the cheekbone for a natural looking flush. I find pinks, reds and peaches work best. If using red, just use a tiny amount or you'll look sunburnt instead of Snow White ish! The colors in the Kevyn Aucoin range work particularly well Kevyn Aucoin The Creamy Moist Glow Cheek Color, Pravella (Soft Pink) .14 oz (4 g) Kevyn Aucoin The Creamy Moist Glow Cheek Color, Pravella (Soft Pink) .14 oz (4 g)
  • For the eyes, keep it simple but add drama with a liquid liner. I start by using a matte cream or bone colored powder shadow all over the lid and up to the crease. Add depth by brushing a soft brown or taupe matte powder shadow in the crease and blend it until it's just a hint of a shadow. Now line the upper lid with a true black liquid liner Maybelline Lash Stiletto with Line Stiletto - Black is a good one. Holding the edge of the eyelid, pull it taut and then draw a thin line from the inner corner to the outer, slightly winging it out and up at the ends. Let dry then go over it with a thin brush and black powder eyeshadow, this will set it and also blur any slightly wobbly lines.
  • Add two coats of volumizing mascara Benefit Cosmetics BADgal Lash Mascara is ideal, to the top eyelashes only to complete the cat eye look. Leaving the bottom lash line without makeup makes the effect more dramatic.
  • If using powder blush, dip a medium fluffy brush in to your desired shade and swirl it over the apples of the cheeks. One with a slight sheen gives the illusion of high cheekbones and brightens the whole face. I use Urban Decay Afterglow Blush QUICKIEon myself, which is a gorgeous pink shade with a satin finish.
  • Now the focal point of the look is the lips. First line with a nude liner and fill in the whole of the lips. This ensures you don't end up with just a line around your lips at the end of the night. Next fill in with a red gloss or lipstick. Hourglass Cosmetics Siren lipgloss is an amazing metallic red shade and gives your look an immediate wow factor Hourglass Extreme Sheen High Shine Lip Gloss Siren
  • Complete your look with simple hair. just straight and shiny or up in an elegant chignon. This whole look is very elegant but will definitely make you stand out from the crowd.
(Products provided by all the above brands)