How to Choose the Right Sunscreen

Baz Luhrmann released a song in 1999 called ‘The Sunscreen Song’. The song contained many great pieces of advice but the most important was the one in the title – wear sunscreen! I know I don’t need to tell you this, who wouldn’t wear sunscreen? The alternatives are awful – skin cancer, skin damage, premature aging – I don’t want to depress you, just make sure you wear sunscreen, ok?

What is required?

OK, lecture over. Now we have all agreed we need to wear as much sunscreen as possible, which are the best, where and when? It’s important to protect with a sunscreen that is “broad spectrum”, which means it protects against UVB and UVA rays. You also need to choose your SPF – Sun (or solar) Protection Factor. The SPF must be an absolute minimum of 15, but most dermatologists recommend SPF 30 or higher, all day, every day, everywhere that is exposed to the sun.
The general rule is that the fairer your hair, skin and eyes, the more at risk you are. Blondes, redheads and people with freckles need an SPF of 50. Any skin condition you might have also means protecting with 50 or higher. Then there are waterproof sunscreens, which will protect you whilst swimming or sweating, but must be reapplied every 40 – 80 minutes as they do stop working after this time.
One of the most awesome, glamourous ways to protect against the sun is by wearing a hat and sunglasses, which also makes you look like a mysterious movie star – bonus!

So many products, which is better?

So, there are so many sunscreen products out there – so many different textures – which one is best? Well, contrary to popular belief, the texture does not seriously affect the SPF qualities in most cases, and is more a case of preference. I know I dislike heavy creams as they make we sweat and feel uncomfortable, but there are many excellent alternatives – sprays, oils, mists, milks, creams and sticks. So, lucky for us, the choice is there and we can get protected with products that suit us!
I don’t want to take any chances so I like an SPF 50, such as Natura Bisse Diamond White Oil-Free Brilliant Sun Protection Broad Spectrum SPF50 / PA+++. It contains the depigmentation action of Pomegranate Extract and protects against UVA/UVB rays. It delivers great luminosity and leaves skin velvety to the touch. You can use this under your makeup or on its own and it is powerful enough to use on a sunny day out to the beach. 

Double up on your cover

Being beautiful girls, we all know that many of our makeup and skincare products already contain an SPF. Our moisturisers, foundations and powders often contain an SPF factor. So, is this enough? According to those dermatologists again, the answer is “not really”. We should be wearing an additional SPF other than that contained in our makeup and moisturiser. The best way, is to apply your SPF first, under your foundation. It is a good idea to let it settle for a few minutes before applying foundation. We also need to remember to apply the sunscreen to places we don’t wear foundation – such as ears and the front and back of our neck. Then there are arms and hands as well that can be easily forgotten.
Yes, let’s not forget the rest of the body! Especially as we wear skimpy summer fashions in the heat! I love Exuviance Multi-Protective Day Creme with Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF20. It is a body butter that gives your skin a refined texture, is anti-aging and soothing and makes the skin on my body look healthy and glowy, while protecting. But if outdoors it needs to be re applied every two hours. 

So, look up the sunscreen song, heed all the great advice but most of all – wear sunscreen!


Easy Ways to Fix Your Makeup Throughout the Day

You know the story. You wake up and spend time applying your game face, ready for the busy day ahead. You look in the mirror and you like what you see, a beautiful face! So off you go into the world to make your mark for today. Only problem is that when you go to the bathroom a few hours later and look in the mirror again – well, that carefully applied makeup has disappeared, or worse, was not in the place that you originally put it. And we have all experienced the dreaded raccoon eyes staring back at us. It’s not the same face that looked at us in the mirror at home this morning!

But, fear not! There are some makeup tricks that mean it will stay in place all day, through the rigours of modern life. The heat, the humidity, the rain and sometimes tears, hopefully tears of laughter but we all have “those days”.

Fresh and clean, every day!

To start with, make sure your face is super clean. We all know that oil and water don’t mix, and the science applies to your face too. A face that is a bit oily will mean that the makeup comes sliding off before lunch time! Making sure you exfoliate a few times a week helps keep your skin super clean too. To cleanse my (slightly oily) skin I love Aveda Botanical Kinetics™ Purifying Gel Cleanser. The light gel foam cleans gently but thoroughly and leaves skin soft and refreshed. I love essential oils and this cleanser has 16 of them, in a lovely and unobtrusive aroma. 

Set the scene

Next, it is worth investing in a good primer to use under your foundation. For four good reasons! It fills pores, blurs imperfections and your makeup looks smoother and lasts longer. Enough said! I can’t get enough of Christian Dior Pore Minimizer Skin Refining Matte Primer. It makes my skin and my makeup look luminous and amazing! I sometimes wear it on its own without foundation, to give my skin a more flawless look. 

Get the products that stay put!

Choose a long-lasting or waterproof foundation with a good SPF, and apply in thin layers and build up to your required coverage – a thick layer is more likely to look cakey and comes sliding off! In fact, if long-lasting makeup is your requirement, waterproof products can do the trick when it comes to eyeliner, mascara and eyeshadow too. Using a lip and cheek stain is also a great idea as it lasts longer and doesn’t go careering around your face into places where it is not welcome!

One of the worst culprits (a la the raccoon look mentioned earlier) is eyeliner. If you do curl your lashes, make sure you do so before you apply your eyeliner, so it doesn’t smudge. Also, if you have just had a bath or shower, do not apply your eyeliner in the bathroom where it is still steamy, because that will mean your look might not be what you wanted it to be, before you have even left home! My go-to eyeliner that comes in an amazing multitude of colours is Chanel Stylo Yeux Waterproof Long-Lasting Eyeliner. This baby is not going anywhere! A built-in sharpener adds a lovely, convenient touch! 

After creating your long-wearing makeup face you can set the scene with a translucent powder, and for the final trick, use a setting spray on top, just to make double sure it all stays where you want it!

So there you have it long-lasting, superwomen. Make sure your make up works as hard as you do!


Surf the Waves of Summer Fun with Perfect Waterproof Makeup

Summer is all about the outdoors, swimming pools, the beach and warmth. Warmth that can create a little sweat (oh, I know, you don’t sweat, you merely glow!). So, you need to keep your face of perfection while swimming, playing sport or just smiling happily on the beach. Get ready for the deep end because waterproof makeup does not have to be heavy and cakey on your face. I have picked out some of the best waterproof makeup products that last through all the activity, but are still breathable, with light textures and often a handy SPF factor to boot!

Eyes defined

So, let’s start with the obvious one, a waterproof mascara. There are plenty of these around so you will be spoilt for choice. I love LANCÔME Hypnose Star Waterproof Show-Stopping Eyes Ultra-Glam Volume Mascara. Yes, with a name like that I’ve got to love it!  It has a dual-sided brush that leaves lashes looking volumised and curled, and the “Black Diamond” shade has a glamorous intensity. 

Then – keep your gaze defined as you do glamour in the water. A waterproof eye pencil is perfect for this, and adds focus and intensity to your eyes. Try Christian Dior Long-Wear Waterproof Eyeliner Pencil. It is a long-wearing, smudge-free eyeliner that's not afraid of water! And it comes with a handy blending brush-tip and sharpener attached, in blue, brown and black. 

Flawless visage

Now, I don’t know about you, but I am a fan of the flawless skin look, ALL the time. So, when I am swimming around, I still don’t want any blemishes of dark patches showing, so the perfect product for me in summer is Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Flawless Wear Concealer SPF 10. It is a lightweight crème formula which creates the perfected look of flawless skin all day. It lasts 15-hours, feels comfortable and has a luminous finish. You just use the wand applicator to get it where it needs to be, then don’t worry again! 

Flushed mermaid

There is nothing like gently flushed cheeks to keep you looking pretty outdoors! Which is why I carry BECCA Beach Tint around in summer. It is a water-resistant crème stain for cheeks and also for lips with a natural wash of colour. Enriched with skin-soothing vitamin E, it stays put with a subtle, fruity scent, making sure you look lovely even in the unforgiving glare of direct sunlight! 

Keep the colour on!

And last but not least, let’s not forget to waterproof our pouts! Use M.A.C Lustre Lipstick in one of its many shades, I love a gentle pink for outdoors. The texture repels water so it stays on while you drink cocktails and dash off for a dip! 

So, there you have it my summer beauties! No need to go bare faced into the water! Happy swimming!


How to Apply Flawless Foundation ft. Krystal Atkinson

Have you ever wanted to know all the steps to absolutely flawless foundation? Me too! Krystal Atkinson from KrystalBeauty shows us how she used primer, her brushes, foundation, powder, bronzer and blusher to give her face dimension and highlights. Then, she blends it all to a natural finish and fixes it with spray, so it stays absolutely perfect. Definitely worth watching to get those professional makeup tips that make all the difference!

Products Mentioned: 


Lay The Right Foundation For Flawless, All Day Beauty

While I am an absolute fan of the ‘barely there’ no makeup look that has been popular for a long while now, there are some situations where it just doesn’t cut it! Like, when you need to take over the world, or get married, or win an Oscar, or globe trot from boardroom to boardroom. Or just get through a long, hot, rainy, cool, sweaty, busy day. You don’t really want makeup migration in all directions all over your face. You don’t need a little meltdown at the wedding. What you do need, is a handy long-lasting foundation, there for you through thick and thin, something with a bit of backbone!

Beauty Tech is our friend!

Some long-lasting foundations had a bad reputation in the past, for being cakey and drying out the skin. Well, technology in beauty and makeup is definitely our friend and the formulations are silky, smooth and lightweight, they don’t dry out the skin and yet last and last when you need them most!
So, whatever is on your skincare ‘be gone with you’ list – be it dark circles, scars, blemishes, pigmentation, redness, visible pores or any other gremlins, it’s worth finding yourself one of the foundation friends that does not abandon you after a paltry couple of hours!

Prime spot

One of the best ways to ensure your makeup stays put while you get around, is to use a primer under your makeup. Primers don’t have an immediate visible effect, but they do work hard for their money – minimising the appearance of pores and keeping the foundation on top firmly in place. Laura Mercier has a winner with its Foundation Primer. A colourless, lightweight creamy gel that creates an invisible layer that acts as a buffer to outside elements. It keeps your makeup looking fresh and colour-true all day. As an added bonus it contains Vitamins A, C, and E, which are antioxidants and protect the skin from harmful, aging effects of the environment. If you are in a warm weather climate, you can keep it in the fridge before applying for a refreshing blast that reduces puffiness.

Once you have done your preparation, it’s time to choose your hard worker! A product that stops me from doing a Cinderella and leaving at midnight is Guerlain Tenue De Perfection Timeproof Foundation Ultimate Lasting Perfection SPF 20 / PA++. It is a delight when it comes to colour and texture, with a velvety soft finish. It blends into my skin for a perfect-looking complexion, and then it lasts, and lasts, and last! After-party anyone? 

Another favourite long-wearing foundation is Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup SPF 10. Like Estée herself, this foundation is hard working and innovative. A worry-free 15 hours of staying power that stays fresh and natural-looking for all the activity we can dream of getting up to! It also comes in a wide range of colours so you can match your skin tone perfectly! 

Magic mist!

So, you’ve primed your face, used a long-lasting foundation and done the rest of your makeup and you can’t help a little ‘wow’ as you look in the mirror! You need your makeup to stay EXACTLY like this all day! There is one more trick, used by catwalk makeup artists everywhere – it’s fixing spray! These are fine mists, often with nourishing and cooling properties that set your makeup ‘just so’. Yes! A magic mist that keeps your game face on all day! A brilliant fixing spray is Clinique Moisture Surge Face Spray Thirsty Skin Relief. It helps set makeup, replenish thirsty skin, and restore moisture equilibrium. Its gentle texture provides an immediate feeling of freshness and well-being, leaving the skin soft and supple. Just spritz and be merry! 

So, it’s easy to keep super girl’s makeup exactly where she wants it – all day, and right into the club! Hear hear!


Choosing Exfoliators, The Nitty Gritty For Radiant Skin

Exfoliating your skin promises wonders that sound like music to my ears. Words like radiant and glowing just make me want to shout ‘Where can I get this? Well, my friends, exfoliation is one of the best ways to get that beautiful, healthy, radiant look.
But, like anything, not all exfoliators are created equal, and some are good for certain skins, while others – not so much! It is important to understand the different types of exfoliation, and which one might be the best for your gorgeous visage!

What is exfoliation, exactly?

Essentially, exfoliating your skin means you are removing dead skin cells that clog your pores and dull your complexion. Taking away the dead stuff reveals the fresh, bright, young cells beneath. It also means that darker patches are lightened and your skin has more clarity. On top of that, exfoliating means that any other products (such as moisturiser) that you use after you have exfoliated can sink in quickly and be more effective. Bonus! But be wary – you don’t want to hurt or irritate sensitive skin or end up with red, painful skin because you overdid it. Gently does it!

Three ways to a radiant glow

There are three basic types of skin exfoliation – physical, chemical and enzymatic. So let’s check them out!

Physical exfoliation can be a scrub or rotating sonic brush, and also includes treatments such as microdermabrasion. A scrub often contains various small solid grains made from natural substances, that gently ‘scrape’ or slough away dead cells. I love to use APIVITA Brightening Face Scrub with Bilberry. This can be used by everyone – those with sensitive skin, teenagers and men included. This scrub combines fine almond grains as well as mild fruit acids and bilberry. It also contains organic ingredients that sooth, nourish and moisturise, leaving my skin feeling unbelievably soft after using it. 

Chemical exfoliation typically involves alpha hydroxyl acids (AHA’s), hyaluronic acid or salicylic acid. Now, acid on your lovely face sounds a bit harsh, but quite the opposite is true in these cases. These mostly originate from milk and fruit sugars and penetrate the skin very well. When I have some time on my hands and I want to relax and watch some TV, I love to give my skin a treat with Origins Never A Dull Moment™ Skin-Brightening Face Polisher with Fruit Extracts. If I have a few uneven patches, Origins is my go-to girl! After cleansing and toning, you apply a thin layer to your face and leave for a few minutes. This face polisher exfoliates lackluster skin cells and restores a youthfully radiant, alive look to the skin. 

Enzymatic exfoliation uses enzymes from fruits and plants to break down the dead skin cells. Most commonly used are enzymes from papaya, pumpkin and pineapple. The enzymes break down the bonds that hold dead skin cells onto the skin, while simultaneously strengthening the underlying healthy cells. An enzyme exfoliant is recommended for those with sensitive skin or who experience a tingling or stinging sensation when using any of the chemical ingredients.
Many products will use a combination of these methods along with moisturising and soothing ingredients. One of my all-time favourite skincare brands, Dermalogica, has such a product, that you will love! 

This product combines AHA’s, fruit enzyme extracts and conditioning and moisturising botanical ingredients. You apply a thin layer for 10 – 15 minutes before rinsing and following with moisturiser.

Smooth sailing
So, as I ‘smoothly’ close off this blog post, don’t forget to find yourself an exfoliant that is perfect for your skin and use weekly for the skin that is the envy of all!


Summer Skincare Lighten Up!

Summer skincare can involve a complete change from the cooler winter months, or it could entail just a few tweaks. It all depends where you are on the globe, and how hot and humid your summer weather is. It also depends on you – as Dr. Seuss says “No one is youer than you”. Your skin will have its own needs and sensitivities, so the best guide is to listen to what your skin is telling you.

Can you take the heat?

The obvious change is the glorious addition of sunshine and warmth that comes in summer. This heat can make the natural sebum that your skin secretes melt inside the pores, which means that liquid oil then ‘floods’ the skin’s surface. This causes several reactions for you - your face looks shiny and possibly even greasy, and the oil mixes with sweat, and this feels really uncomfortable.

Every action has a reaction

Your actions and what you choose to do outside of skincare products can have a great effect on your ability to sail through summer looking amazing! Rule no. 1 – drink water! Even more in summer. This will keep you hydrated and feeling fabulous on the inside as well as keeping your skin clear. Along with summer comes a great variety of seasonal fruits and vegetables. If you make these the staples of your diet, your skin will thank you and your energy will soar!

Squeaky clean

There are a few ways to minimize the shiny, sweaty face by changing your skincare routine. Let’s start with cleansing, always important, and even more so in summer. You need to clean all that excess oil away, and ensure we don’t add more. In summer you can lighten up! If you usually use an oil or lotion cleanser, now is a good time to switch to a foam or gel, and see if that helps with the summer shine.
My skin is very sensitive to additional heat, I have a tendency toward a shiny skin with a combination / oily skin type and I live in a hot and humid summer area! So, I switch my cleanser to Clarins Gentle Foaming Cleanser with Tamarind Micro-Pearls for combination or oily skin. I love the refreshing feeling, awesome scent and silky texture. The tamarind fruit acids free my pores of trapped makeup and oil and the rinsed effect is that of a refined, matte complexion – just what I need!

Another summer favourite for me when it comes to cleansing is Aveda Botanical Kinetics™ Purifying Gel Cleanser. I absolutely love a gel texture (in just about anything!) This cleanser is so gentle, and with 16 certified organic essential oils, it smells absolutely divine. I could stay in the bathroom all day sniffing it, if it didn’t mean I would then be missing out on all the fun of summer! 

Don’t clog the system

Next, let’s look at our moisturizer. It’s the same deal as the cleanser – especially if you live in a humid climate. If you use a creamy or rich moisturizer, now is the time to reduce, change or stop altogether. One way to give your skin the ingredients and vitamins it needs to stay young without adding oil or emollients is to switch to a gel or serum-style moisturiser.
Herbfarmacy Divine Light Face Cream is the ideal moisturiser for summer for an oily or young skin. Lovely, organically grown herbs and essential oils soften, clarify and hydrate the skin.

Blot it out

Once you have adapted your basic skincare routine, what else can you do to remain cool and beautiful in summer? You can look at using an oil-absorbing product that minimises pores. A little helper comes in the form of thin oil blotting papers that you can slip into your handbag and use whenever you feel that shine coming on. I love the stylish Anna Sui Oil Control Paper in a rose-pattern case. No need to redo your makeup! And, you can purchase refills that go into the case once you have used them all. 

Spray sunburn away

Now that it is summer, we need to heed the sunscreen mantra more than ever! Sometimes it feels like the last thing we want to do – put on another layer of greasy lotion or cream. Luckily, sunscreen comes in a variety of forms that are light and even mattifying! I specifically look for a spray, which I find easier to use and less cloying than a lotion or cream.  Banana Boat Sport Coolzone SPF 50 is instantly cooling and refreshing, with a high protection and great scent. In fact, I always have to buy more as all my friends want to use it instead of their own sunscreen when we are at the beach! 

Pure, old-fashioned glamour

A wide-brimmed hat and generously-sized sunglasses are not only super glamorous, mysterious and wildly cool, they also protect your face, neck and chest from overexposure – keeping you young and beautiful.

So, going back to the beginning of this post, there might, or might not, be the need to change your skincare products to suit the climate you live in and your specific skin needs. The most important aspect is to enjoy the season, remember that lighter is better, and most importantly, stay as beautiful as you are!


Lily Collins Inspired Makeup Look Tutorial

Lily Collins is the ‘IT’ girl right now with her bold, beautiful and ever-changing makeup looks! In this video, the equally gorgeous Kirsty Leigh shows us how to get a beautiful ballerina look that was inspired by Lily. Let Kirsty demonstrate how to get the subtle, smoky eyes, flawless skin and ultra-glossy pink lips. She uses products from Benefit, Laura Mercier and Dolce & Gabbana, all from COSME-DE.COM.

Products Mentioned:


Skincare Experience: Galactolift Skin Treatment Lotion

Why do celebrities always get to walk around with that glowy, dewy skin?

Do you ever look at pictures of celebrities – actresses, models, pop stars – and wonder about something? I know I do. I wonder how on earth they always manage to have skin that just radiates with health and glows with beauty? It’s like they have an extra little light function inside their skin that makes them look so very lovely. I mean, think of the Jennifers (Lawrence and Lopez), or Miranda Kerr, or Katy Perry, or Beyonce. I’ve always wanted me some of that!

Daily facials with diamond dust?

And I have often thought that maybe it is because they can afford daily facials with real diamond dust in them, or the fact that they have personal trainers and chefs that keep them so healthy they never have anything to eat beside a kale smoothie.

There is another way, the Galactolift way

But, there is another way that I have found, yes, gather around! I have been using Galactolift Skin Treatment Lotion, a Japanese product that is made from 97% Galactomyces, which is a yeast extract. 

This comfortable miracle lotion/toner penetrates deeply into your skin, and combats all those signs of aging that I don’t want to even talk about – like wrinkles, dryness and sagginess.

I smell skin success

Now, yeast extract, I see your cute little nose wrinkling up! Doesn’t that smell awful? Yes, I am afraid it does. Which is why I am so excited about this product! Galactolift manages to contain all the goodness of the yeast extract, in high concentration, but has absolutely NO ODOR! Marvelous. No one wants a face that smells like an uncooked loaf of bread, do they?

But I don’t have a bucket load of spare cash lying around!

My other great bugbear is this. Do I need to sell my car or mortgage my home in order to get some of this miracle in a bottle for myself? With many other face treatments over the years, the answer would be yes, you do. However, there is a new kid in town that is totally affordable! Galactolift is for everyday beauties, who would love to have a superb product that shows real results, at a real price!

Save on packaging!

The Galactolift packaging is simple and functional. Which is part of the reason that the price is more affordable compared to other miracle lotions/toners! Hurrah to that, I say!

The science bit
It also contains some super awesome ingredients that produce amazing results – like that red carpet, cinema screen glow! So, here’s the science bit!

Galactolift also contains:

Matrixyl 3000: an anti-aging peptide with micro particles that penetrate easily into the skin, promoting metabolism, reducing wrinkles and firming saggy skin

Argireline: also known as Botox cream, it inhibits the secretion of substances which form expression lines

Hyaluronic acid: provides abundant moisture not only for the surface of skin, but also the stratum corneum to create suppleness from within

Allantoin: extracted from snail slime, this anti-inflammatory ingredient helps improve skin texture, calms rashes and acne, promotes skin regeneration and prevents pigmentation

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