Looking for a seasonal makeover? Don’t buy into the illusion that it’ll save time if you head to the counter bare-faced. Better to wear your everyday make-up so that the artist knows your style. And tell them exactly what you want – a bolder lip, a stronger brow, a foundation match. And what if you’re still unhappy with the results? ‘It’s often a matter of fine-tuning,’ our friend Bobbi Brown once told us.
We like to carry tinted lip balm for a fast-fix double whammy: as well as adding a slick of sheer colour to lips, it works brilliantly as an instant, easy-to-blend blusher – just a smear, when you feel you’re looking a tad pale. Make-up artists often tell us lipstick can be used for this – but we can find that a bit hard to blend in. The texture of a tinted lip balm (NOT GLOSS!) is perfect.
Love this quote from Wallis Simpson (who lived by it!): ‘I’m nothing to look at, so the only thing I can do is dress better than anyone else.’
Never use cuticle nippers to cut your nails – you’ll end up with torn nails and dull clippers.
If you’re using a vitamin C product, apply after cleansing and before sunscreen. Advises skincare expert Debbie Thomas, ‘Don’t forget to massage it over lips and the outer corner of eyes where fine lines are prone to appear, to help protect those delicate areas.’
We’re interested in all things green as well as all things gorgeous, at Beauty Bible. So a tip from Sarah’s feature ’20 Ways to Help Save the Planet’ (from YOU Magazine): ‘Use organic cotton face/hand cloths rather than wet wipes and never put wipes down the loo. Most are made of polyester, a plastic that takes years to degrade and then releases millions of tiny fibres into rivers. The Department of the Environment now classes wet wipes with plastic bags as serious environmental hazards.’
If you’ve slipped outside the lines doing a manicure or pedicure, a few drops of cuticle oil will loosen the colour from skin after the polish is dry – and it won’t damage your nails’ finish.
There’s a rethink on salt and health going on. And Dr. Joseph Mercola, author of Effortless Healing, believes it’s good for gut health. ‘High-quality unprocessed sea salt will not only provide you with the chloride your body needs to make hydrochloric acid; it also contains more than 80 trace minerals necessary for optimum biochemical performance.’
If you live in a polluted area, consider putting some houseplants in your bedroom. According to NASA, English ivy is great for anyone with allergies, asthma or anyone looking for a better night’s sleep. (It is also known to reduce airborne mold particles.) Or go for mother-in-law’s tongue (a.k.a. ‘snake plant’), also one of the top 10 air-purifying plants.
Hair frazzled by summer? Hair oils are brilliant for repair, but if you don’t have one to hand, Philip B. suggests a mixture of olive and sesame oils. Wrap hair in a towel and leave for at least 20 minutes before shampooing and conditioning as usual.
Feeling stressed? Strange-but-true: a track or two of Bob Marley could calm you right down. Frank Lipman, author of Total Renewal and Revive! End Exhaustion and Feel Great Again, often prescribes music by the Jamaican singer as it has 60 beats a minute, which is optimum for calming. ‘Close your eyes, stay very conscious of your listening, and the music will begin to affect the rhythms of your bodily processes.’ Your breathing should slow and your heart rate come down.
When you’re concealing dark circles, avoid taking concealer too close to the waterline, as it can make eyes look smaller.
Drink a glass of water in the early evening, as dehydration causes a drop in the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin. Drink water or herbal tea late afternoon/evening – so you can hydrate without your bladder waking you up for a bathroom break in the middle of the night.
Forget that myth about keeping nail polish in the fridge to ensure it stays fresh. The texture can change if it’s cooled too much – and it’s harder to apply if it’s chilled.
Nail files should literally feel like the finest sand. Glass files have the right finish for nails, or use an emery board with the word ‘superfine’ in the name. Sandpapery files can tear and flake nails.
Nude nailcolours are more forgiving, as chips are less noticeable. But you need to make sure your nails are perfectly buffed and filed, as uneven nails – by contrast – are accented by nude shades.
If skin gets shiny soon after cleansing, or you have enlarged pores, blackheads or your skin often breaks out, look for products with salicylic acid. It’s great for blemishes because it can penetrate the upper layers of skin and soak up sebum.
If you wake up tired, it may be due to breathing difficulties in the night. Before bed, move your neck from side to site to stretch the muscles that aid inhalation.
Good news, as the autumn green veg start to hit the shelves: spinach, kale and cabbage, in particular, are rich in lutein – the best antioxidant for eye health.
Another way to tell if you have a ‘warm’ complexion (in which case you’ll suit olives, apricots, greens, browns, ivory and peach shades), or ‘cool’ (pinks, blues, reds lilacs and brighter whites can work well on your skin). Try looking closely at the palm of your hand or the underside of your wrist for the predominant tone. If it’s blue, pink (or even green), you’re in the cool family; if it’s yellow, golden or orange, you’re warm. (You can hold a piece of white paper under your hand, for contrast.)