Skin Care for all ages

skincare

One of the really nice things about running a social media group on Facebook and also my blog is that you get to interact with a wide range of people from a number of backgrounds.  All with different issues, constraints and questions.   It’s a lovely way to share knowledge, learn, test yourself and hopefully help some people along the way.

Take this weekend for example, I was running a question and answer session on skincare following an enquiry from an older member in the group.  Inevitably one of the younger girls felt this wasn’t an issue for her and wanted to steer the session in another direction towards her need, but with a little persuasion, we were all able to join in and talk skin care regimes, treatments and products for all ages and the benefits of starting sooner rather than later.

Take a look at where we got to and let me know what you think – does it fit in with your experiences ?  Perhaps I missed one of your favourites ?  Let me know !!! I’d love to hear from you !!!

 

15 to 25

When we’re young (yes I can remember…….) we’re predominantly concerned with spots. At this time, our skin regime is primarily concerned with controlling the bacteria and oiliness which leads to spots, rather than moisturising.  (Remembering the ingredients commonly used to treat spots can often lead to dryness)  If you have oily skin, you should look for products which contain an anti-bacterial ingredient.  Whereas if you’re suffer with drier skin you should choose a product with a low content of moisturiser so as not to block pores.  It’s also important to exfoliate regularly to help remove dead skin cells.

Another key feature of our skin regime when we’re younger is that it needs to be affordable. When I spoke to some teenage friends of mine, they explained that this was their most important feature in a product, over brand name or fancy advertising.  Denise explained “Affordable doesn’t mean cheap, it just means that I don’t want to pay more for the results I’m looking for”  Her preference is to cleanse with the Body shop Tea Tree facial wash, skip toning and to finish with a light moisturiser, her preference being  Moisture Match from Garnier .  She rounds off her routine by taking vitamins which contain Zinc Gluconate and Salicylic Acid, which help regulate the production of Sebum which is oily/way matter which lubricates and waterproofs the skin.  “Multi Vitamins are boring though” she says “So I look for Cereals which have these added as a supplement”

Denise’s favourite products are shown below which works out to about £12 per month (just click on an image to be taken to the site)

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25 to 40

Once we’ve passed out mid 20s, the bodies production of Sebum starts to slow down and with it, the first signs of skin aging appear.  Therefore at this our priority changes from controlling bacteria to protecting the skin and moisturising to help prevent aging.  The importance of cleansing becomes more significant in our regime too, as it can help maintain the skins moisture balance and PH level.   The initial “fine line and shallow wrinkles” of aging will tend to appear earlier if your lifestyle choices include smoking or regular sun bathing as well as diet choices and the regular intake of water.

Claire laughs when she tell me “Looking back, cleansing has now become a more regular part of my regime, I certainly don’t go to bed without taking my make up off any more !!” “I also take more care around of the area around my eyes, as I’ve noticed this area is different to the other areas on my face, its more delicate and needs a different cleanser. “  Claires preferences for skin care are below, why not check them out ?

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In addition to Claire’s choices, it’s important to keep up your exfoliation regime, because another tell tale sign of aging is an uneven dull skin tone which is caused by dead skin cells, particularly on the cheek and forehead areas. You may also find that using a primer and liquid foundation as opposed to a powder based foundation helps reduce the appearance of fine lines.  Two really good products to consider are

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40 to 55

As Becky said to me recently when I was researching this article “Sweety, it’s not the years, it’s the mileage !” Scientifically speaking, what I think she meant was that at this time, we start to develop pre-menopausal skin, which is caused by a decline in the amount of oestrogen and elastin we produce.  Also, a decrease in Melanocytes leads to reduction in natural protection, which all combine to cause the skin to decrease in both thickness and suppleness.  The net effect is an increase in the skin becoming more susceptible to damage from the elements, in particular the sun and an increase in the signs of aging.

I’m not going to tell you which end of this age range I fit into (a girl has to have some secrets) but, in a nutshell, its all about moisturising, toning and exfoliating, with a little night cream thrown in too. My fave products to use are (You should try the Elizabeth Arden crème, as recommended to me by Zoe – its lovely !!!)

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The reason why I take a vitamin supplement is that they help to strengthen and regenerate the skin as well as having anti-oxidant properties. All good to know !!!

55 and upwards

Speaking to Shirley, who proudly fits in the “Upwards” section of this range, she has found that as she has got older her skin has tended to become more sensitive. The science behind this sensitivity says that the skins metabolism slows down as the production of collagen and elastin reduces. Shirleys preference is therefore for Hypoallergenic products, ideally those which contain natural ingredients.  When I asked Shirley what was in her skin care locker, she told me “I love natural products and would be lost without my night cream too, but one of my favourite things to do is a body and face massage where my therapist uses an almond based oil which really helps with the dryness of my skin”

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Shirley also recommends using Jojoba oil instead of a crème at night which she finds helps seal in moisture.

 

 

Clean your makeup brushes !

WP2016_07_23_011Be honest, when was the last time you cleaned your makeup brushes ?  When I told Laura I was thinking about writing this, she confessed to me – “I don’t think I’ve ever even done that – I usually just throw them away……”

Does that sound like you ?  You can’t be as bad as Laura surely ?  (She even buys cheap brushes to make herself feel a little less bad when she throw them away)  But Laura aside, did you know how important it is to clean your makeup brushes regularly ?  Besides being a basic hygiene routine, leftover makeup in brushes particularly foundation, can be a cause of skin irritation leading to redness, stop you getting a matt smooth finish to your look and change the colour of what you’re applying.

Also, when you pay for quality in your tools, you want to look after them so they last, particularly those made from natural materials like fitch or squirrel (yes you read that right !!!)  so a regular cleaning regime not only protects your investment but helps to prevent them shedding bristles when you use them and keeps them soft and supple for the next application ensuring your makeup always looks flawless.

So why don’t we  clean them more often ?  Well, the most common reason my friends gave me was that “they didn’t have time”.  This was closely followed by “I find they lose shape if I clean them” and “they shed their bristles quickly if I clean them too often”.  All valid reasons, but if you follow my top tips below – you’ll find that it won’t take too long and you’ll keep your brushes in tip top shape !!!

  • After you’ve used them, spend a couple of minutes just wiping off any excess from the brush.  I personally use a tissue to do this, but one lady I spoke to suggested using a microfiber towel to do it as she felt it was more environmentally friendly.  Sounds like a good idea to me !!!  Remember natural hair brushes aren’t so porous as synthetic ones, so should release pigment a little easier, so you won’t need to work them too hard.
  • Next, like the photo shows, mist your brushes with a no rinse spray cleaner.  I personally use BeautySoClean Conditioning Brush Spray but there are a number of others out there.  Having just started as a makeup artist I can’t speak highly enough of this product, its an alcohol based cleaner which sanitizes the brush whose emollients keep the hairs soft between uses.
  • If you use natural brushes, deep clean them every 1-2 months with a gentle brush “shampoo”. A friend of mine uses Clean Apothecary Brush Shampoo which removes dirt, oil, makeup and bacteria—all without stripping your brushes !!!  I’ve included her tips for using below !
    • Gently moisten the bristles under lukewarm running water, making sure you angle the brush downwards to ensure the metal ferrule of the brush doesn’t get wet. (Water in the brush’s ferrule can lead to the glue holding the handle and the bristles together breaking down – Yuk !!!)
    • Give your brush a gentle “swoosh” across the your Brush Shampoo block to create a delicate lather. Easy !!!
    • Next, using the palm of your hand, ease the brush in gentle circles to create a foam, after a few short moments , you’ll begin to see makeup pigment release.  (Apparently, this is really relaxing too !!!)
    • After you see all the pigment release, rinse your brush just like you did in the first step, using your fingers to gently move the hair around  to ensure that all makeup and soap has been removed.
    • Once you’re done, squeeze out any excess water and place your brush in a Brush Guard.  If you’re on the move as often as I am, these guards are an absolute godsend for keeping your brushes in great condition – literally a must have !!!! These breathable mesh sleeves help to maintain your brush’s shape and keep bristles in like-new condition.
  • Lastly, allow your brushes to dry upside down overnight so that water doesn’t leak into the ferrule and loosen the bristles. The Benjabelle Brush Tree is absolutely perfect for this !!!!

Do you clean your brushes ?  How do you do it, do you have a routine ? I’d love to hear !!!

Micellar Water – what’s all the fuss about ?

Micellar water 2In between binge watching your favourite series on demand (It’s game of thrones isn’t it ? I’m right aren’t I ?) You’ll probably have noticed adverts publicising a product called Micellar water (or as my children say missile water – don’t buy that by the way, its an entirely different product, VERY tough on spots I’ve heard though)

But what is  Micellar water and why should you be interested in it ?  Curious myself about what people were raving about, I did a bit of research and this is what I found out !!!

Pay attention – here comes the ‘science bit’

Micellar water originates from France where it was initially used by women as a substitute for hard water. Far from being rare, the name micelle is actually given to a wide range of spherical liquid crystals which form spontaneously when you put them into water.  Close up, they resemble ice cream cones (yummy) and agglomerate into a shape with all the tips pointing inwards.  The end result is a sphere enclosing some water inside.

Because they’re formulated to be compatible with the skins natural pH balance micelles and reduce the irritancy of some detergents, they’re a must have for those of us with sensitive skin.  They can reduce some toxic effects but also stop actives you want to work from working.  But the thing that micelles are really good for is trapping small quantities of oil, Sebum, dirt, call it what you will.  So they make ideal mild makeup remover, which you can even leave it on your skin after application.

But so what ?

It’s a fair question, I mean, you’ve already got your skin care regime sorted out haven’t you ? Cleanse, tone, moisturise – what more do you need ?  Is there even room in your bathroom cabinet for another bottle ?  How can they realistically replace your skin wipe ?Well, it’s worth considering, somewhere in-between your toner and cleanser in your normal daily routine would be perfect – it’s also great for travel when you don’t have access to your full bag of tricks or are looking to cut down on weight.  I personally prefer to use it for double-cleansing in the morning, approximately 30 minutes before using doing my daily make-up routine.  Don’t forget too, while there are many pros to the ease of using a face wipe, they’re often saturated with chemicals that can leave a harmful residue. Micellar water on the other hand is just as convenient for a swift cleanse, but is less stressful on the skin. And from an economic standpoint, it’s a more cost-friendly option as a bottle will last you waaay longer than a package of makeup wipes.

How do you use it ?

As women, can we all agree that there’s no bigger feat than motivating yourself to get up and wash off your makeup after you’re already in and in front of the TV ? (Remember that Game of thrones bit earlier ? I Totally understand). But it’s a much more realistic and achievable goal when you can wash your face and remove your makeup, foundation, eyeliner and lip colour ALL in one fell swoop. It’s gentle and gets the job done, plain and simple.

Cotton pads are micellar water’s natural friend as they’re  cheap, easy to use and Hydrophilic (meaning they attract fellow hydrophilic heads that contain oil and bacteria, drawing them out like a magnet)  You simply pour a little product on a cotton pad, then wipe your skin clean. It feels amazing !!!  I tried using it a few different ways in the two weeks I tried it and found the following the best ways

  1. Final cleansing step
    It’s a great cleanser after you’ve removed your makeup. If you double cleanse, let this be the second product you use and don’t rinse after using it. It’ll double up as a toner and all you need is to moisturize after cleansing your face with it.
  2. For washing your face in the middle of the day
    I always recommend a maximum of two face washes a day in order to retain your skin’s natural lipids but I know some people prefer to wash their face in the middle of the day. If you belong to this group who feel a need to wash your face in the middle of the day for whatever reasons, consider using a micellar water based cleanser. It is not only convenient to use, it is much gentler on your face and will not strip your face of excess lipids. Definitely beats using a foaming cleanser and having water splashed all over your face.
  3. For use in place of cleansing wipes
    If you examine points 2 and 3 that I’ve discussed earlier, it’s not difficult to see that a micellar water based solution can replace cleansing wipes. Not only is a micellar water based cleanser gentler because it usually contains lesser ingredients, I would even say it is more beneficial as compared to using cleansing wipes.
  4. For washing your face during the morning
    Finally, for those of you who want to wash your face in the morning but do not want to use anything harsh, micellar water might be the way to go. Not only is it gentler, it is most convenient. You probably will save some time too especially when you are in a hurry. Plus it’ll double up as a toner, which means your face would be ready for your moisturizer and sunscreen right after your cleansing. No rinse. YAY!

Personally, I’m beginning to warm up to the idea of using micellar water as a final cleansing step. It’s very convenient to use and no wonder so many women are hooked on it. But I think it’ll probably yield better results for those who live in countries where the water is harder. The water supply in Singapore is not so harsh and is still quite kind on our skin. So the difference might be less apparent.

So that’s it a nutshell – But before I go, I’ll just leave you with a photo of the products I tried in my two week period.  My personal favourite ?  Simple.  literally !!!

micellar-water

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Perfumes

Perfume 1I thought I would write a little today about perfume. As women, when we think of beauty, we tend to automatically think of skin care regimes and make up.  But for me, an essential that you should also consider as part of your beauty regime is perfume.  Why would I say that ? Well, I think that perfume is something that augments our image, in a different way to makeup.  When I get made up, I’m putting on a face for the world to see (and hide my wrinkles) but perfume has always seemed to me to be a more personal affair, something that I wear to express my personality in a subtle way and something that I carry around with me, for me.  I guess what I’m saying is that its more about how you look, it’s about how you smell !!! Scent is strongly linked to our emotions as women and the right perfume can make us feel anything from incredibly feminine to alluring sexy.

Continue reading “Perfumes”

Younique highlighting – really !!!

Younique highlighterI’ve always been a little sceptical about highlighter as a product, preferring just a flat, neutral complexion, its always seemed to me that your face is shape it is (and probably born with) and that no amount of trickery with colours would be able to change that.

Add to that that one of my friends tends to wear it so that she can highlight her cleavage when she is wearing a low top dress, or even an open fronted one and you can see why it’s not really been high on my list of things to do or try………

That said though, with so many “beauty hacks” being published about highlighting this summer, I thought I’d give it a go and where better to start than this beauty pack ?  As you can see, it takes a lot of the guess work out of the process with the pictures that are included, comes with a handy, good quality mirror and best of all, as part of the May Kudos offer – also comes with the perfect makeup brush to help you make the most of your new gift !!

But how to use it ?  Well, It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3 !!! Read on !

 

 

 

We’re going to use the cream contour  to start with – so taking the angled end of your contour brush, apply the cream from the corner of your mouth up towardhighlight 1 your ear. This has the effect of drawing the eye down to your mouth and raising your cheekbones subtly.  Some ladies also like to go for a little “sculpting” around the sides of the nose,  (which helps make the bridge of the nose appear a little narrower) You can also apply a little to the tip of your nose, which will prepare it for the highlighting stage, helping light reflect off it, which can make it appear a little more “pointy”.  Be careful not to overdo your application in these areas though, otherwise you’ll end up with a heavy look which will look like you have over applied your concealer.  another favourite place for application is around the edges of the chin, which can give the effect of slimming your face by contouring around your hairline and below the jawline under your chin.  Blend all areas where you applied the Contour Cream using the angled end of your Contour Brush for a flawless finish.

 

highlight 2Next, we’re going to apply the highlighter powder (see how quick this is ?) You’re looking to apply the highlighter under your eye, the bridge of the nose, forehead, chin, and cheekbones.  This part is pretty tricky though – remember ladies, LESS is more !!! You can always add more powder if you need to later on……..

Its worth taking a little time with this step in my opinion and definitely worth practicing before you wear it out.  I’ve seen a few ladies over apply powder a couple of times, thinking it hasn’t gone on (particularly after applying the first one which is easier to see) If you find yourself in this position, taking it off is a little tricky but you can do it gently using a lint free cotton wool ball.  Don’t be tempted to work it in if you have over applied it – it will just make your foundation look weird and artificial.

highlight 3Now this last bit is going to seem a bit weird, particularly after you have gone to all the trouble to buy a proper highlighting kit and brush, but bear with me !!! The last powder in the kit to apply is the 3d cream (the one on the right) and its at this stage that you’ll get to see the benefits of all your work in stages one and two.  Using the pad of your index finger, you want to dab spots on all the bridge of the nose and around the edges of the eyes then carefully blend it in , up and down the nose and left to right around the eyes.  Using your finger might seem a little odd for this stage, but, the benefit of it is that it slightly warms the powder, which helps to work it in.

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             Before – all products applied
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                  After – all products blended

 

And that’s all there is to it – check out my other more detailed post about highlighting here if you would like to know more about the technique.  If you would like to buy some of Younique’s excellent Trio highlighter, you can get some here.

Alternatively, if you have another favourite product, why not let me know ? That’s what the comment section is for !!

Benefits of using Rose Water

rose water

It’s time to blossom like a rose !!!! Just in case you haven’t heard about this new offering from Younique, I thought I’d write a short blog about the product, its benefits and how you can get the most from it as part of your daily beauty pamper.

If you’re anything like me, you occasionally browse through the beauty pages of your favourite magazines looking for inspiration for gifts for friends as their birthdays approach and just occasionally buy “one for them and one for me” if there is an offer on.

That’s how I came to get my own bottle of this little wonder.  “But” I hear you say – what’s it for ?  What are its benefits ? What’s the point? What’s it used for ?  I can feel a list coming on !!!

Read enough articles and you’ll believe it can be used for pretty much anything, but leaving aside some of the more outrageous claims I read while doing my research, the ones I’ll be talking about are

  • Healing
    • Rose water has antibacterial properties which help in controlling or reducing acne breakouts.
    • It also has anti-inflammatory properties which can help in reducing redness caused by irritated or overheated skin, such as what happens after going to the gym, sauna or steam room,.
  • Aromatherapy
    • It has an aromatherapic quality, which can enhance and refresh moods, relax, promote emotional well-being and help sleep. (try keeping it in the fridge and spraying it on your face on a hot summers day.  Amazing !!!)
    • You can also use it as room freshener, really nice to come home to after a hard day in the office.
  • Face cleansing
    • Younique Rose water works as a cleanser or toner if used after washing your face. Its anti oxidants aid in removing oil, dirt and help clear clogged pores.
    • It  also has astringent qualities help tighten large pores, capillaries, reduce redness and blotchiness.
    • Helps control shine on oily skin.
  • Make up supplement
    •  It helps set powder foundation, control shine and it gives skin a natural glow as opposed to cakey appearance that we often get after using some powdery cosmetics. Apply it to your eyelids before smoothing on some moodstruck mineral powder for long lasting makeup wear.
    • You can use rose water spray on a make-up brush to moisten it before applying your Younique minerals pigment powder.  This simple tip makes the powder smoother to apply and gives a more even finish.
  • Make it yourself cosmetics
    • Rose water makes a great addition to do it yourself moisturiser products.  Try it for yourself and see !!

 

What are you waiting for ? You’re just a spritz away from a revitalising treat !!  Order here !!!