I’m not usually a nagger when it comes to beauty. I really believe that it’s each to their own and cosmetics should enhance your life, not make you a slave to them. However, there are a few preening practices that I try to do religiously because I know that they make a big difference not only to how we look, but to how we feel, as well. Here they are…
1. KEEP YOUR HAND CREAM BY THE BED
And a cuticle oil, too. I know that you know that hands really reveal our age. So it’s obvious we want to keep them in good nick. But when I skip the hand cream I really notice how rough my digits get – they start to rub up against fine fabrics and they look shrivelled and kinda sad. As my friends at The Nail Lab constantly tell me when I go for manis there – it also makes a HUGE difference when you apply cuticle oil like The Nail Lab Cuticle Oil nightly. I can attest my nails seem about 256 times stronger and my manicures last twice as long. Hand creams I rate? Clarins Super Restorative Hand Cream is lovely, I also like Lanolips Rose Hand Cream.
2. CLEANSE NIGHTLY – NO MATTER HOW TIRED YOU ARE
Another obvious one, but it’s not to be ignored. If you’re leaving gunk on your face and smudging it into your pillow and sleeping on it night after night, you’re going to get breakouts. Simple as that. Washing with a cleansing oil like Burt’s Bees Cleansing Oil is super fast (they actually EVERYTHING rinse off!), but if you can’t even face the sink then get thee a micellar water. (side note – I prefer these to wipes which can be pretty drying) I have loved Bioderma Sensibio for years. It’s great no matter how sensitive my skin is. I’m also enjoying the new generation of cleansing pads like Sante by Enjo, which are made of microfibres that whisk everything away using only water.
3. USE AN EYELASH CURLER – AND MAYBE A LASH SERUM
For the uninitiated they can look like instruments of torture, but I promise you, lash curlers are actually the key to coquettishness. They will make your lashes look twice as long and your mascara stand out against your eyelids. Get a decent one like the Shu Uemura or the Eyeko Velvet one – there’s something about their springs that I really like. If you REALLy want to amp those babies up – try a lash boosting serum. I’m currently loving Lilash and have seen incredible results- you have to be religious with a nightly application but after about 8 weeks of use my lashes were seriously, noticeably longer.
4. APPLY SPF EVERY MORNING BASED ON YOUR DAY’S ACTIVITIES
For some people sunscreens can cause sensitivity and can block their pores, so unless you are going to be outdoors all day I don’t think you need to apply a heavy duty SPF every morning. If you’re going to be outside then, yes, make sure you do and it’s broad spectrum. I like physical sunscreens like Moo Goo Natural Sunscreen SPF 40. If you’re desk-bound then you can get away with mineral makeup with zinc dioxide like Synergie Mineral Whip or a BB with 30+ or 50 + added to it like Bioderma Photoderm.
5. BE CAREFUL WHERE YOU PUT YOUR PERFUME
Newsflash… Perfume contains alcohol. When you put it on the delicate neck area and you go out in the sun it’s a recipe for a wrinkly, sunspotty disaster. I’m sure it’s one of the main reasons there are so many women with damaged décolletages out there. And yes, it’s another area on the body that really gives away a woman’s age , so when applying your perfume in the morning please proceed with caution. I do love perfume, but when I use one of my old favourites, like Diptyque Do Son, I’ll spray my clothes, under my hair at the nape of my neck and my wrists. A safer option is perfume oils like Aromantik The Blossom Thief and The Ayu Souq, which I just pop a dab on pulse points, which heat up the scent and let it permeate through the day.
6. USE A MICROFIBRE HAIR TURBAN WHEN YOU WASH YOUR HAIR
Are you still roughly drying your hair with your towel? I promise you, you will not regret trying a hair turban. I actually won’t even travel without mine, because they literally cut your blowdrying time in half, while also protecting your hair from being damaged by rough towel fibres. Microfibre absorbs water so much more effectively than your body towel. The best part? They’ll cost you less than a sandwich on Priceline. If you want a fancy one you can get the Aquis Lisse Luxe Turban from Mecca, which is very soft and luxurious, or you can find some cute prints like the polka dot from Turbie Twist.
7. DRY BODY BRUSH BEFORE YOUR SHOWER
This is truly a game changer when it comes to skin health. Not only are you sloughing off dead skin cells but you’re also boosting circulation which, in turn, increases blood flow and flushes out stagnant fluid and toxins beneath the surface of the skin. It will help with cellulite and make your skin glow. It will also mean your body is better primed to absorb all the nutrients you feed it by way of a delicious oil like Jurlique Lavender Body Oil or the incredible Alpha H Firming Body Therapy – I swear this combined with the body brushing has helped tone up the skin on my thighs. Look for a body brush with really firm cactus or sisal bristles like this one by Aromatherapy Associates. When you brush, it should be rough enough to feel uncomfortable but it should hurt. Always use long strokes towards your heart – this is the direction that better aids lymphatic drainage.
8. EAT THE RAINBOW AND TRY SOME SUPPLEMENTS
I don’t need to tell you that skin is majorly impacted by what we eat and how much water we drink (I know, I struggle getting to eight glasses a day, too.) A good way to train yourself to eat for your skin is to think about incorporating as many colours into each meal as possible – this will give you a wider range of nutrients, vitamins and minerals that can help scavenge free radicals as they attack your cells internally. Next time you’re making a salad or stirfry try and introduce orange, red, dark green, purple and blue into the mix, and you’ll be boosting the skin-benefits five fold. Another way to help up your glow is to incorporate beauty supplements – I’ve been testing out The Super Elixir and The Beauty Chef Glow Powder and Swisse Hair Skin and Nails for several months and seeing amazing results – my nails are stronger, my hair is shinier and my skin is glowing all on it’s own (no highlighter necessary).