Naturopath Elizabeth Peyton-Jones believes there’s a strong connection between what we eat and how we look. (And oh, how we agree with that.) And here’s a good place to start. ‘In winter,’ she suggests, ‘it’s nice to have something warming for breakfast. I make oatcakes, which I put in the toaster like bread. Top them with avocado, tomato and an egg and that’s a really delicious, full breakfast.’ And so darned good for your skin…
Feeling stuck in a make-up rut? Love this tip from India Knight. ‘Buy a load of cheap make-up for teenagers and scribble on your face until you find a new look you like. (YouTube videos are your friends here.) There’s no point buying a £30 emerald eye pencil if you decide it doesn’t look quite right; practise with a £3 one first.’
Don't ever compare yourself to women you see in magazines or movies. If you had 15 handlers making sure your hair and make-up were perfect, you’d look pretty glamorous, too.
Don’t start an anti-ageing regime too early. (Except sunscreen. It’s never too early for sunscreen.) Using heavy-duty products on young skin can do more harm than good, some experts believe – like ESPA founder Susan Harmsworth, who comments: ‘By using anti-ageing serums too young, twentysomethings are creating needy skin and even speeding up the ageing process.’
If your eyes are tired and puffy, try a cold milk compress. Temperature is key: soak two cotton pads in very cold milk, speeze out excess and apply to the eye zone. The cool constricts blood vessels, which helps decrease redness and reduces swelling, while the fat in the milk also soothes dry, irritated skin.
Don’t be shy to ask about a hair or beauty salon’s sterlisation and hygiene practices before you go there. Do they clean brushes between clients? Nail tools? (Manicure and pedicure tools can easily pass on fungal infections.) No truly professional therapist or salon will mind being quizzed (and should have adequate answers).
If you’ve ever had a masseur knead shoulders that have spent too long hunched over a computer – well, it’s agony, isn’t it? Practice shoulder rolls at your desk to help guard against kinked muscles. This particular movement helps relieve tension in the upper back and shoulders where the trapezius muscle is located. Sit upright, inhale as you lift your right shoulder to your ear. Exhale as you slowly roll your shoulder round and back, dropping it away from your ear. Continue these shoulder rolls three more times, alternating right and left. Now inhale as you lift both shoulders up to the ears. Exhale as you release them. Repeat five times and then relax your shoulders.
From the eternally fascinating Angelica Huston: ‘Contrary to conventional wisdom, the older you get, the less make-up the better. Plus: baby oil is genius and always has been.’ (Agree – or not…?)
Having trouble sleeping? Try a blend of essential oils, swished straight into bathwater: three drops of clary sage, two drops of vetiver and a drop of valerian. (You can also add these to a cup of milk, then add that to the bathwater and disperse with your hands.)
Cooking, believe it or not, is a great time for handcare. When you’re making a salad or frying a dish, put a teeny slurp of the oil in the palm of your hands and massage into skin. (Be sure to avoid using knives before it’s sunk in, so your hands don’t slip.)
Just the simples of all skin recipes: apple juice contains a fruit acid called malic acid, which is naturally exfoliating. Simply take a small glass of organic apple juice; dip a cotton pad or two in the juice and sweep over skin. (We suggest you then drink the remainder!) Leave on for a few minutes, rinse off and moisturise.
When using a new depliatory cream, always do a patch test 24 hours before – and never, ever leave it on skin for longer than recommended. (Set the timer on your phone, to be sure.)
Suffering from flaky scalp? Include in your diet foods with plenty of B vitamins (brewer’s yeast, soybeans and wheat), as well as vitamins A (carrots, green and yellow vegetables, fish liver oil and yellow fruits), E (wheatgerm, soya products, leafy greens and wholegrains) and F (sunflower, safflower and soya oil, together with peanuts and avocados). The mineral selenium is also important: find it in wheatgerm, bran, tuna, onions and broccoli.
No matter what the formulation, it’s the wand design that affects how a mascara boosts your lashes. Fat brushes with widely-spaced spirals deposit more mascara on each lash for a thickening effect, while skinny brushes deposit less colour and give greater definition. Curved brushes make it easier to reach shorter lashes on the inside corners (and there are now special ‘dinky’ brushes specifically for these hard-to-reach areas). A brush that’s tapered on the end, meanwhile, gives great control of combing through colour. As for the new generation rubber brushes? We find they’re great for women with sparse or stubby lashes, as they beautifully grip each one.
Make this the year you move away from negative people in your life. It’s possible quietly to see less of certain people who constantly complain about how they don’t do this or can’t do that, or who are like a broken record talking about negative events, both in their lives and globally. Not saying you need to cut them out entirely – but maybe meet for a coffee rather than a long dinner, and seek to surround yourself with people who buoy you up, rather than drag you down.
Happy New Year to you! And a little inspirational wisdom from Audrey Hepburn, who said: ‘Nothing is impossible. The word itself says “I’m possible!”’
Looking forward to a fit New Year? If you’re a gym bunny, make an appointment to check in with your instructor to check that you’re using the equipment in the optimum way and haven’t developed any bad habits.
If you’re suffering from static hair (a side-effect of a centrally-heated atmosphere), add a drop or two of vitamin E oil to the palms of your hands, rub together and skim them through your hair before bedtime.
Stuck outdoors on a cold day? Keep moving. Whether you’re cheering on a family member from the sporting sidelines or waiting for an overdue train, try to keep moving. Walk up and down the pitch or the platform to boost your circulation, rather than allowing the cold to rise through the soles of your shoes.
If hands are cracked in the cold weather, don’t merely slather on more lotion; exfoliate with a gentle scrub, too, to improve cell turnover and stimulate collagen and elastin production.