The Art of Summer Nails

If you can dream it up, you can have it on your nails this summer! What an explosion of artistry there has been at the tips of our fingers. Geometric, tie dye, rainbows, fruit, negative space – these are all manicures that you can have to add a blast of colour and a lot of fun to your life this summer. So, get seriously creative and let your fingers do the talking!

Prepare your canvas

But, first things first, you need to take care of your hands! Make sure they are smooth, moisturised and that the nails don’t have ragged edges or uneven cuticles. The canvas for the art must be prepared! I absolutely love my Neal’s Yard Remedies Beautiful Hands Organic Collection. It contains three different hand creams, a Wild Rose, a Geranium & Orange and a Garden Mint and Bergamot hand cream. I keep one of these fragrant creams in my handbag, one in my office drawer and one at home in the kitchen, so I am never without a softening treat for my hands. 

Harden up!

And if your nails are not quite in tip-top shape yet, do not despair, start giving them a hardening and strengthening treatment now and in a week or two you will be ready for a masterpiece. OPI is a favourite nail brand, and their “Nail Envy” strengthener contains a powerful boost of protein and calcium to your nails, making them harder, able to grow longer and stronger and resist cracking and peeling – it’s a winner, try it out!

Get your color on!

Oh for the colour – well, if it’s a bright summer pastel – bring it over here! This summer the colours are candy, with a depth and array that boggles the mind and excites the eyes! One of the best nail art trends is the “ice cream” manicure – where you get to paint your nails to the point that you might want to eat them! It can take some time, but it’s worth the wait when you emerge with hands that you cannot tear your eyes away from!

Nobody’s got time for that!

Oh, and one last thing. I hate waiting, impatience is my middle name and I cannot begin to tell you how many times I have destroyed a carefully created manicure or paint by dashing off to do something with my hands too early, before it is properly dry! So, the perfect discovery for me was OPI Drip Dry nail lacquer. This is sheer magic – you just apply 1 or 2 drops to each nail and voila – dry in 1 minute! Even I can wait just one minute. At the same time the formula soothes the cuticles with jojoba and vitamin E.

So go wild girls, let nothing hold you back except your imagination and let your summer nails express the person you want the world to see!


Korean Dusty Make Up Look Tutorial ft. Carmen Layrynn

Want to get the elegant, vintage Korean “Dusty Rose” makeup look? It’s a flawless look that takes just the right touch to get exactly right. Carmen Layrynn has got this look down to perfection! Using her great expertise and products from Benefit, Make Up For Ever, YSL, Bobbi Brown, M.A.C, NARS, Innisfree and 3CE, she shows you exactly how to do it, step by step! Enjoy your dusty rose look!

Products Mentioned:


Favourite Korean Skincare & Makeup Products

If you can’t get your soul to Seoul, you might be feeling a little bit depressed! Unless you have been under a rock for the last few years, you will have heard about the rise of covetable Korean beauty products. So, why the hype, and what is it that the Korean girls are demanding that is bringing us this trend? Well, these ladies are clear – their products must be innovative, with gentle, natural ingredients, delightfully pleasing packaging; and no one wants to pay a small fortune for it. Sounds great to me – you go girls, help us all out and turn the beauty industry on its head while you’re there – ok?

When did this revolution happen?

So, when did this all happen? Eight years ago the cosmetics and beauty industry was dominated by American products, with some European ones making their presence felt. Do a hop, skip and a jump to today, and Korean products are all the rage. One of the things that women all over the world have moved toward is a holistic view of beauty, a penchant for the most natural products possible and wanting to be part of the solution to saving the earth, not the cause of it! But, don’t despair if you want yourself a little slice of this Korean beauty pie and it hasn’t come to your neck of the woods yet! COSME-DE.COM has all the Korean beauty products you could want, at great prices with free shipping to most countries, so settle in and check a few out with me, then choose your own to enjoy, delivered to your door!

A quick History lesson

It all started with the BB cream – while not a completely new invention having been around since the 1950’s, it was popularised in Korea in 2006, taking the West by storm by 2011. Following hot on its illuminating heels were CC creams, BB creams with ‘cushion’ compacts, brightening products, sheet masks, essences and oil cleansers; and plenty more followed suit.
And the Korean beauty market has grown more than the US and European markets in the last few years – why? It is the aspects I mentioned earlier that have us all going gaga over Korea – the innovation, ingredients, textures, affordability and packaging. All this is wonderful, but most importantly, do Korean products work? Well, therein lies the real secret – after all the cute packaging and fun, the products deliver results, and that is at the heart of what we all want from our beauty products!

The Beauty Balm Boom

So, let’s start with a product that has become a staple for me – the BB cream. Only this one comes as part of a ‘cushion’, meaning it is a delightful, easily transportable ‘pod’ that you can open up anytime and with a few stamps of the specially-designed ruby-cell puff you can moisturise, cover, reduce fine lines, whiten and protect against sun damage, for a flawless, glowing finish that can last up to 12 hours. What is this wonder product? Sulwhasoo Perfecting Cushion SPF50+ / PA+++ – you won’t want to ever leave home without it! Comes in medium pink, medium beige and light pink too.

Some biology…

So, talking about homes, which molluscs carry their shells on their backs? Yes, snails, well done – go to the top of the class! Why are you going about snails now? Yes, I know what you are thinking. Well, whether you like these slimy little critters or not, snail extract has major beauty benefits. Just try using Mask House Celebrity Series Snail Extract Moisturizing Gel Mask, and you will be so delighted with the results, you forget about any misgivings on the snail part of things!
Five regenerative ingredients include the friendly snail secretion, hyaluronic acid, acetyl hexapeptide-8, amino acids and adenosine. And if all these names sound a bit too much like chemistry class for your liking, then what you really want to know is that this will dramatically improve your skin’s hydration, stop aging in its tracks and lock in moisture day and night.

Hydration Pump System
And while we are on the subject of hydration, there is another Korean product that is amazing for this. It is Mask House Aqua Pump Instant Hydration System, a 3-in-1 product that packs a punch and doesn’t cost the earth! It can be used as a deep moisturiser in the morning and evening, a makeup base and an overnight mask if massaged into skin before sleep. The system contains Ceramide 3 (from yeast) that helps to rapidly penetrate deep into the skin to lock that moisture down and create a moisture barrier.

The essence of it all
So, one of the trademarks of Korean beauty products is the use of essences. What is an essence? It’s something in between a toner and a serum, but is neither of these things! An essence usually comes in a beautiful glass bottle, and is used after you have thoroughly cleansed your skin, to give your skin a very comforted, hydrated, nourished and cared for  feel. One of the most interesting brands coming out of Korea is The History of Whoo. The concept behind The History of Whoo, is a strong emphasis on the use of premium eastern medicinal herbal ingredients; in combinations and complexes that enable skin cell self-regeneration for powerful and effective anti-aging benefits. You also cannot help but fall in love at first sight with the regal, elegant packaging. With so many available, the choice is hard but I chose the Gongjinhyang Qi & Jin Essence. A lightweight essence that delivers a deep moisture, containing Gong Jin Dan, an ancient Korean court formula, in addition to Agilawood extract, Wild ginseng, Cordyceps Sinensis, and natural olive oil. It is best to apply gently with a massaging motion.

Keep it coming, Korea!

So, now you know why we are all rushing off to find Korean beauty products, I can’t wait to see what comes out of Korea next!


Celebrate Summer as the Solstice approaches!

Being outdoors is very, very good for the soul. You get fresh air, you connect with nature, you relieve stress and get new, creative ideas. And there is no better time than the Summer Solstice to get yourself out there and connect with the Earth!

The summer solstice heralds the beginning of summer in the Northern Hemisphere. The timing of the summer solstice depends on when the sun reaches its northernmost point of the equator. In 2016, summer begins with the solstice on June 21 at 12:24 a.m.

Connect to the Earth

And this is a time of celebration and connection to the natural world, which has been honoured and followed in many different cultures around the world, for thousands of years. The date of the June solstice was significant in that it was used as a calendar marker to decide when to plant and harvest crops. It was also a really popular time for weddings, so if you want to get hitched...nudge nudge!

In ancient China, the summer solstice was observed by a ceremony to celebrate the Earth, femininity, and the “yin” forces. It contrasted with the Winter Solstice – celebrating the heavens, masculinity and “yang” forces. In France, the midsummer celebration was called the Feast of Epona, after a goddess who personified fertility and protected horses. Native American tribes held sun-honouring rituals, and the Sioux went all out with a major celebration.

So, all this a great little piece of history, but has it got to do with you? Well, we might live centuries later in a modern world governed by commerce and technology, but that doesn’t mean we can’t use this time to connect with the earth and enjoy the warm weather. What is important, is to do it with style, flair and looking fantastic!
Summer skin, smooth, hydrated and glowing!
So, when you put on your sundress, or skip into your short shorts to go and play outside, you want your skin to look its very best. So, start now by exfoliating your body. You can use Malie Organics Koke’e Body Polish to exfoliate, nourish and hydrate – giving your skin that lovely, healthy, summery glow. The fragrance will transport you straight from your bathroom and onto the beach with tropical notes that dry down to a smell that is just like an endless vista of warm sand and azure water.

After the invigorating exfoliation, give your skin a hydration boost with a delicious body butter, like Bliss Lemon+Sage Body Butter, a spa-powered body butter for soft, superbly scented skin. Marvelously moisturizing, this fresh-citrus scented treat is incredibly effective that a single squeeze can make rough and scaly skin 'history'. It contains coconut oil that softens skin, sodium hyaluronate locks in moisture while vitamin E deeply nourishes.

And being outside means there is a good chance you could be taking a dip, in the ocean, a sparkling swimming pool or a refreshing stream! So make sure you protect and nurture your precious skin with a hydrating sunscreen that has an SPF of 30 or higher, like Sisley Facial Sunscreen (Colourless) SPF 30. Rich in essential oils and natural plant extracts, it really helps you to enjoy the sun safely. This is a fine, matte cream that offers optimal protection against UVA/UVB rays and perfectly moisturises skin. Here is a good place to spend a little extra, and reap the rewards for years to come! 

Prepare and protect your precious skin

So, prepare, protect and moisturise your skin, and you will be enjoying the Summer Solstice with gorgeous skin for many, many years to come!


Summer Time is Happy Time! 3 Best Foundations for Summer!

When it’s summer time it’s happy time! All those lovely green fields and bright flowers, the delightful, warm kiss of the sun on your skin. Summer is a mood booster, an energy enhancer, a time to look around and feel good about the world and all who inhabit it!
So, while you are waxing lyrical and getting poetic, it’s the perfect time to boost your self-esteem and your beauty routine. Make sure you look great, because when you look great, you feel great, and when you feel great you emanate that magnetic, magical energy that draws people to you! And, let’s face it, who DOESN’T want to be a popular people-magnet?

Summer and foundation – a match made in heaven?

And talking about facing it, how do you do summer and foundation at the same time? None of us want a pool of makeup collecting around our collarbone, beads of sweaty foundation on our upper lip or makeup that transfers off our face onto whatever we come into contact with!
So, what does our summer foundation need to do? Work hard! It needs to keep shine at bay, protect us from sun damage with an SPF, have a mattifying effect, ideally be water-resistant and on top of that, it must make the complexion flawless! It’s possible to do all these things, using certain products to help you out. Let your face glow with happiness, but keep the shine in your eyes and not your skin!

Apply with a damp sponge

When it comes to foundation, a silicone-based foundation works wonders for summer, by creating a barrier between your skin, and the humidity out there! Use a dampened sponge for best application, as this gets the foundation on light and sheer, and it can be built up as desired. Remember, the less there is on, the less there is to slide all over the show in your summer heat! Try La Prairie Cellular Treatment Foundation Powder Finish, a product that combines the creamy coverage of a foundation with the ultra-fine feel of powder for a lovely, light-reflective matte finish. You can apply dry or with the damp sponge. A dry application results in light to medium coverage, while wet works for maximum coverage. 

The lightest touches

Sometimes, though, you really just don’t need all that much coverage and want something lighter and brighter, something with skincare properties. Cue the amazing invention of BB and CC creams. They give you just a little bit of coverage that lightens, brightens and evens skin tone, often with an SPF and nourishing properties too. I love my skin when it is enveloped in a gentle film of Clinique Moisture Surge CC Cream SPF 30 / PA+++. This one is unbeatable – an SPF 30, colour-correcting technology and light-scattering optics to neutralise imperfections. And it comes in one of two skin tone shades or two illuminating shades to either freshen a yellowish tone or brighten a dull skin tone!

Airy Powder

For those who want enough coverage but wish their makeup stays lightweight in the summer, powder makeup is your ideal choice. bareMinerals Matte Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF15 gives you all the flawless coverage you want with a no-makeup look and feel that lasts up to eight hours. The lightweight minerals absorb excess oil without drying out your skin. You can adjust to suit your coverage needs by using the Flawless Application brush (for lighter coverage) or the Full Coverage Kabuki Brush for more coverage. Super neat! 

You shall go to the ball!

So, get your sensational summer face foundation, so you can enjoy those long balmy days and sultry summer nights as the belle of summer beauty!


SK-ll Facial Treatment Oil Review Video ft. Jennie Jiang

Jennie Jiang gives us her knowledgeable and ever-honest opinion of the new SK-II Facial Treatment Oil. After using it exclusively for two weeks, she shares her views on the intensive moisture oil for dry skin, how it feels, how it performs and how it smells. Her view is that it is well worth the price for the great comfort, skintone-improving, moisturising and aromatic properties. Get the full lowdown here!

Product mentioned:


Treatment Oil Recommendations

Ok, I am going to put it out there. I am an oily girl! I know that sounds a bit strange, but I love treatment oils. Not the ones that sit on top of your skin and hair and make you look like a seal (much as I adore cute seals) but the ones that sink into your skin and hair and impart comfort, softness, nourishment and a radiant, glowy sheen. So when I say I am an oily girl, I mean I am a well-moisturised girl with soft skin and hair that smells great!

Many of the treatment oils that give this softness and moisture are plant-based. It may seem counter-intuitive, but natural plant-based oils are even very good for acne-prone skin, as they sink gently into your skin and nourish from within, helping your skin to regulate and not over-produce sebum in order to try and nourish the skin.

Facial Oils

So, there you have it, oils are an absolute treat for your face, body and skin and it is worth having a shop around to find the ones that suit your skin, your pocket and your preferences! For face, I am an SK-II Facial Treatment Oil fan. 

This oil provides immediate moisture, with 6 different types of natural plant oils including olive, jojoba and avocado, and the scent is faintly dominated by a soothing lavender, which is lovely. It is particularly great and putting back the moisture that air conditioners, dry weather and in-flight environments take out of you, so one to try if you are a jet setter who is often in air-con environments, or live in a dry climate. You only need apply 5-7 drops after cleansing, enjoy the comforting lavender and soothing skin experience, then follow with your standard moisturiser, essence or serum.

Body Beautiful

When it comes to a treat for the rest of the body, an oil gives your skin elasticity and a firming and toning function. I find treatment oils on my body also give my skin a lustre and sheen, great for summer dresses or short shorts! Clarins has a lovely range of body treatment oils that really are a treat! My classic favourite is Clarins Body Treatment Oil (Contouring & Strengthening). 

It is made from 100 % natural plant extracts and aromatic essential oils, and if you ever get that tired, heavy feeling in your legs, it helps to relieve that. It reduces any “sponginess” in your legs for a more refined look and lighter feeling, by naturally stimulating your natural circulation process.

Silky Hair

And lastly, a good hair treatment oil can do wonders for your tumbling tresses! ‘’Dear hair – sorry I give you such a hard time, with colour, with hair dryers, straightening irons some days, curling irons the next. But you do know I really love you and make up for it with hair treatments oils, don’t you?” Yes, that is me talking to my hair. A good treatment oil can make sure you have less of the straw, and more of the silk.

Olioseta Oro Del Marocco Oil Treatment for Hair, with Argan and Linseed Oil, is a great product that loves my hair and suits my pocket! My hair becomes shiny, bouncy, soft and manageable. Best of all, it is no-rinse (time-saver bonus), you just massage a few drops into towel-dried hair, gently comb through, do whatever styling you want (or none!) and you’re ready to rock! 

So, take my advice and join the oily girls group! You will never look back!


Keep Your Skin Moisturized After The Sun

Well, if you ladies have been listening recently, you will know that sun damage is no good, and wearing sunscreen is vital (you can read the post here). However, sometimes there really is just so much fun to be had in the sun, and despite wearing your sunscreen (and reapplying regularly) you might have a little burn going on.

Moisture, moisture, moisture!

You can give your skin a helping hand by rehydrating thoroughly after sun exposure, by using an after sun lotion, milk or gel. These seal in moisture, and if they contain aloe vera, they have a soothing, cooling property that can stop that burning feeling. You should apply immediately after sun exposure to lock in moisture, and you can keep reapplying until the burn has gone, and even then, keep going, to really protect your skin’s moisture.

An after sun treatment can even stop peeling and flaking and extend your golden tan, as good moisturisation stops the dreaded flaking! And, even beyond an after sun lotion, you can make sure you apply a good moisturiser all over after a bath and shower, to further lock in moisture.

Don’t get caught out, get your Summer products ready now!

The Lavera range has a great set of after sun products that is worth stocking up on so you never get caught out after a day of sunning yourself! And the price means that you can buy all three products, as each product is really reasonable.
To start with, Lavera After Sun Lotion contains only organic and natural ingredients, with shea butter to prevent drying, and aloe vera and calendula to cool and soothe. The lotion leaves your skin soft, moisturised and delicately scented.

And let’s not leave our precious hair out of the picture here! Make sure you have a Lavera After Sun Intensive Hair Treatment handy, to deeply moisturise and prevent breakage after the sun and the water that have depleted the moisture in your hair. This hair mask is silicone-free and improves elasticity and manageability of your hair instantly.

And just to make sure your skin, the one you’re in, is completely protected and taken care of after the sun, you can use Lavera After Sun Shower Body Milk!

This is a lovely in-shower treat, you apply all over body and rinse off for a soft, soothed and moisturised after sun skin. Yes, glowing, golden and silkily moisturised! No flaking, peeling or redness.

Now, that is sun sense!

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