Sudocrem – Not just for nappie rash anymore

Sudocrem as a beauty product may not be your first thought about this household staple, but they have just released a skin care cream (£2.11) that might just change your mind.

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Sudocrem has long been used for its healing properties. When I was a youth I used to use the antiseptic cream on my spots and I’m pretty sure I’m not alone there. Now they have released their Skin Care Cream specifically for spot and acne prone skin. I’m so excited about this product, because it is so rare to find an over the counter blemish clearing product that actually works. Let alone for such a good price.

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I applied it at night after washing my face, rubbing it into my skin (it can be left on as a face mask, which is what Towie star Lauren Pope does). I wasn’t expecting to see results for a few days but the next morning I could definitely notice a difference. I have oily, spot prone skin and even when my skin is clear, I can always feel bumps under the surface waiting to become spots. After using this those bumps went down, and after just two uses they were almost completely gone. My redness was also reduced. In general, my skin was much calmer.

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It is very thick in consistency so a little goes a long way. Especially if you are rubbing it into the skin. Or you can use a bit more and leave it to soak into the skin over night. (see picture above)

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I definitely recommend this product, even if you don’t have spot prone skin. Some people use it just for a glow. Lara Stone says she uses it on planes to refresh her skin before landing. And at £2, its a no brainer really.

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My favourite YouTube Beauty Gurus

I don’t watch many makeup videos on YouTube tbh, but when I do, its one of these guys.

First up is my girl Camila Coelho. Her English channel is MakeUpByCamila2. She is Brazilian so most of her videos are in Portuguese but she does separate ones for her English speaking fans. My favourite of her tutorials is the Valentine’s Day look

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Next is Huda Kattan. A beauty blogger based in Dubai who posts killer makeup and beauty tips. My favourite video is her Lipliner Tutorial where she goes over the basics any girl needs if she want to learn the secrets of overlining (alla Kylie Jenner)

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I learnt most of my makeup skills from drag queens, so its no surprise that my favourite makeup tutorials are by drag queens such as Vivienne Pinay, Miss Fame and Fendi Laken

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Of course, if you aren’t a drag queen you can skip a lot of the stages in the videos, and you don’t have to be as exaggerated with your makeup, but they are a really good source of tips and inspiration.

Happy YouTubing!

Christmas gift ideas for makeup addicts

Christmas shopping fever is upon us, and whether you are looking for a gift for a beauty loving friend, or just want to treat yourself, beauty brands have some great deals available this time of year. Check out my recommendations of gifts any makeup addict would love to receive.

NARS

NARS has a great selection of gift sets, limited to the Christmas period only. I love the Roman Holiday Lip, Cheek and Nail set

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£30 for 3 pretty in pink products. Normally the cost of all three would be around £65.

For lipgloss fanatics, the Tech Fashion Lipgloss Coffret (£25) would make the perfect gift

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These four great colours are limited edition so if you like the look of them, or have a friend who will, get them now because they might not be around in the sales.

Mac

Literally every Christmas gift set on Mac is sold out. So don’t even try. If you are determined however, some online stockists such as Selfridges have some Mac gift sets still in stock. Or you could try finding a Mac shop with some left. Airports tend to be the last to sell out, but obviously you have to be flying somewhere to shop there.

Bobbi Brown

BB also have a lipgloss gift set for Christmas

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These three super glam glosses are just £29

Or you could get a trio of Bobbi’s Long-wear Cream Shadow stick

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for just £29.50

And the best deal of them all…

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These 8 eyeshadows in a gorgeous case for just £26. These would make a great gift that looks like you spent a lot more than you actually did.

For those who love skin care, this Clinique Favourites Mini set contains 5 miniatures of their best selling products for just £25

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(mainly moisturisers, not to be used with oily skin)

And then for that friend who always has their nails on point, this WAH Nails Trend Kit (£23) has everything they need to create a fierce WAH inspired look.

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Available only at boots. If you are on a bit of a budget, just get them one of the WAH nail polishes like this Heart of Darkness matte black polish

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All polishes are £9.

I hope this post has managed to inspire some of you who are stuck with your Christmas shopping, or just given you an idea as to what to ask for.

Remember, tis the season to be fabulous.

The Best Beauty Moments of the AMAs 2014

I was not ready for the high levels of peng that were at last night’s AMAs.

First off, lets talk about Fergie coming out of nowhere and blowing us all away!

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That hair colour looks gorgeous on her and with all the long bobs around these days, it’s nice to see someone representing the long hair. Her soft natural makeup looks great with her loose waves. Surprising how such a natural look can be such a knockout, but it just works.

J Lo (as always) looked fantastic.

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I love the sleeked back wet look hair, because it’s very easy to do with greasy hair (which mine always is). You can just tell people it’s product. The eyeshadow under her lower lash line is smoked out to perfection and she’s rocking some killer Louboutin nails (when the underside of the nails are painted red)

Jordin Sparks

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BAM! Look at that glam, Studio 54 hair. Jordin looked great channeling 1970s Diana Ross.

The Jenner Faction

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Both of the Jenner sisters looked great. Kendall went for a sleek long bob while Kylie contrasted with her signature blue hair in a messy bun. Their makeup was by Rob Scheppy and for Kylie he used:

Makeup Forever Palette foundation set in Medium Beige with Translucent Natural Powder

Charlotte Tilbury FilmStar Highlight and Contour

Eyeko Lash Wardrobe Black Magic Mascara and Eyeko Brow Liner and Brow Gel

And the one we all want to know about; Mac Lip Liner in Burgandy with Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Lip Balm over the top.

For Kendall he used all Estee Lauder products, because Kendall is now the face of Estee Lauder:

The foundation was Bare Creme

Ivory Powder on the eyes

Star Pink lipgloss

Lovers Blush on the cheeks.

They looked beautiful.

Jhene Aiko posted this picture of her getting ready:

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Of course she’s already a stunningly beautiful woman, so obviously she looks great, but I particularly like her grecian plait with the curls.

I’m normally not a fan of Rita Ora‘s makeup, personally I don’t like really dark eyebrows with blonde hair, but she did look nice last night:

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Her makeup looked a lot less severe than usual, because she opted for a more natural lip colour, and her spidery lashes actually go with her spider earrings! That wasn’t shade, spider lashes are having a moment.

And finally, Selena Gomez

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Selena looked so chic on the red carpet. Her smooth centre-parted chignon with the burgundy lipstick made her look mature and elegant.

So that’s the AMAs for another year. Now it’s just waiting for the Golden Globes and then, my favourite night because I’m a film nerd, The Oscars!

AmfAR Gala 2014 Beauty Roundup

The annual amfAR (The Foundation for AIDS Research) Gala is a black tie event thrown to raise money for the foundation and awareness of AIDS/HIV. Many celebrities attend and often it is a time for headline grabbing outfits, as this gets the foundation even more attention in the press. Celebrities are often criticised for their daring outfits but it is all to draw attention to the foundation and the good work it does.

This year the headlines were mainly about Rihanna and Miley Cyrus. This post with similarly be mainly about Rihanna as she looked, as always, fan-bloody-tastic.

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That makeup. Come on. Flawless!

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She has the perfect 80s orange lipstick to match her skin tone and her eye makeup, which is a burnt orange colour. All this makes her green eyes pop, and the chronic lashes for days add glamour.

The Hair

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I LOVE the sleek ponytail look. It’s something I do a lot to instantly solve a bad hair day and it’s really easy to recreate. They look great with a centre or a side parting. Rihanna is rocking hers with a side parting which adds a bit of retro glamour to her look.

Next up, Miley’s makeup was actually really cute:

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The feline flick eye liner complimented her pixie crop and works really well with her elfin features. I would like to see this look on her more often,.

Lea Michelle looked FIRE

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Lea Michelle has the best beauty team. She always steals the show for me on the red carpet. I love the brown smokey eye, it works so well with her chocolate brown eyes and caramel highlights. Her hair is big and beautiful, and even though I don’t think the bronzer is the right colour for her, it does match her highlights.

Alessandra Ambrosio

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Another example of a great sleek ponytail, this time with a centre parting. When you have an intricate dress and makeup, it is always best to go for simple and elegant hair. This ponytail works perfectly for that purpose.

Kelly Osbourne

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I like this makeup because it reminds me of one of my staple looks. I often like to go for an edgier bold liner with that barbie pink shade of lipstick. It works really well with Kelly’s unique style and it’s very youthful. I used to use the Lady Gaga Viva Glam lipstick but as it’s limited edition and mines running low, a look-a-like is Mac’s Saint Germain (£15.50).

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I can’t wait to see what these guys do for Halloween tonight!

The unsung hero that is Nivea Creme

Nivea crème has been around since 1911 and since then it hasn’t stopped being a beauty staple. It is an all over beauty crème that can be used as many different ways as there are parts of the body. It is one of the cheapest products on the market yet it has beaten products ten times the price in tests. So what can you do with it?

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Moisturiser

You can apply is as a day or night cream in place of your fancy moisturiser or serum. It reduces appearance of wrinkles, redness, scarring and dryness.

Cleanser

As it is oil based you can use it with water to remove your makeup

Lip Balm

Apply it to lips if you are caught out without a lip balm. It does the job just as well as most medium strength balms.

Body Lotion

Apply it to any part of the body that needs extra care. If you have dry, cracked heels, cover your feet in it and apply a sandwich bag over the top and just let it soak in while you watch TV or overnight for brand new feet in the morning.

Cuticle cream

Applying this to your cuticles heals them and can prevent infections caused by hangnails

And apparently…

According to the youtube account macshadowcombos you can even use it as a polish for leather goods such as bag and shoes. She demonstrates how to uses a dab of cream to get rid of a scuff on a shoe and it’s like magic.

I just felt like it needed a whole post to itself because it’s often underrated and for £1 for 50ml you can’t go wrong. Especially as it could competently replace several items in your makeup bag.

5 Great Drug Store Brands

1. Batiste

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As in the dry shampoo. I have tried some of the most expensive, high-end dry shampoos out there, and none compare to the cheap and cheerful Batiste range. My hair gets greasy almost 12 hourly. But because I want my hair to be healthy, I try not to wash it everyday. Which means dry shampoo is a staple in my beauty regime. (£2.99)

2. Eco Tools

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Get the Gloss recently did a study into the best foundation brushes and the Eco Tools Bamboo Foundation Brush (£7.99) made the cut with a 9 out of 10 score! Despite it’s low price, it didn’t shed and was great for blending. So now we know, great makeup brushes under £10 DO exist.

3. Nyx

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Nyx Cosmetics have a wide range of products from every kind of makeup to tools, to nail polishes. They even sponsored RuPaul’s Drag Race a bunch of times. Their hero product is their Matte Lipsticks (£6) and they also do a Soft Matte Lip Cream (£5.50), which applies like a gloss but dries matte.

4. ELF

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Eyes Lips Face (or ELF) are an online stockist with drugstore prices. In fact, less than drugstore prices. When they started, their attracting gimmick was all their products were £1.50. That is still their baseline price, but for some larger palettes or kits, prices are a little higher. You can get an 100 (!) eyeshadows palette for £15. Which is roughly the price of one Mac eyeshadow.

5. Sleek

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Sleek are an underrated high street brand, best known for their NARS dupe blushers. For just £4.49 these 11 shades offer quite a good imitation of the famous NARS blushers. They obviously aren’t as good NARS, but for a quarter of the price they are more than worth the money. Priced at twice as much, they’d still be a good buy.

Spotlight on Flint+Flint: A new hero brand!

Flint+Flint is an exciting new beauty brand, home grown right here in the UK. Skincare experts, Adam and Maxine, developed the brand after finding that none of the skincare products available on the market really did what they promised. They set out to make their own brand that really works, and developed entirely in the UK.

These are some of my favourite of their products, all available on their website

The Everyday Wash £27

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Sometimes washing your face can seem like a bit of a chore, but with the right cleanser it can be my favourite part of the day. I love that feeling of clean scrubbed skin. This cleanser contains glycolic acid which I swear by for healing and renewing the skin. And unlike other glycolic cleansers I’ve used, this one actually smells nice! One of the other active ingredients in this cleanser is something called Vital ET which a form of vitamin E that has anti-erythemal (anti-redness) and anti-inflammatory properties. After using this cleanser I did notice my skin redness seemed reduced.

The Lip Hero £12

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I am so excited about this product. Not only does this balm plump and volumise, it also improves the shape of your lips, making the outline clearer and is supposed to even have an anti-ageing effect. I didn’t know a product could do this! I will monitor it’s effects over the next few weeks and keep you posted about my lip condition. It has a gloss like feel to it going on to the lips and a rose scent. At £12 it’s a no brainer.

For my american readers, they do ship internationally (yay!). I suspect big things for this brand, so snap these products up while you can!

 

Miracle Product of the Month: March

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I am starting a new feature called Miracle Product of the Month where, as the name implies, I review my favourite product of the month.

This month the snaps go to Ole Henriksen’s Lemon Strip Flash Peel 50ml (£35)

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This is a face mask which is advertised as being good for fine lines and wrinkles. What is doesn’t mention is how amazing this product is for scarring and pigmentation. It contains all kinds of acids (lactic, glycolic and fruit acids) that help ‘resurface’ the face. Basically in lay terms, it burns off all your horrible flawed skin to reveal new baby skin after JUST ONE USE! The science side is to do with increasing cell turnover etc but all you really need to know is it works. For basically anything.

You apply it with a brush (included) over the offending areas and leave for 10 minutes (not a second more) and then wash off thoroughly. The reason you should not leave it on for longer is because due to it’s acidic contents it tends to burn slightly. I have very thick, un-sensitive skin and I left it on for 11 minutes once and I completely regretted it. It burned the lower part of my face so it looked like I had a red beard. It then started to peel..it was not very attractive. So use with caution and if you have sensitive skin maybe only leave it on for 5 minutes.

I wash it off using my clarisonic brush and an exfoliating cleanser just to really get all those dead skin cells off. Afterwards it recommends using a moisturiser, but I recommend some Aloe Gel as this is great on burns and it has a lovely cooling effect.

I know £35 seems a lot for only 50ml but you don’t need to use a lot. The packaging recommends only using a teaspoon amount. And it really is worth it seeing as the effects are immediate and if you have facial scars like I do, seeing them instantly diminished is priceless. And it’s cheaper than a chemical peel and it’s basically the same thing.

So there you have it, my Miracle Product for March. Stay tuned for next months Miracle.

The only list of serum’s you’ll ever need

So 2013 seemed to be the year of serums. Suddenly everyone wanted them and every brand claimed to have the best one. It became a beauty must have seemingly over night. I blame YSL and their Forever Youth Liberator serum (£65-97). The buzz surrounding this product was In. Sane. But was it worth it? What does it do? What does any serum do? 

Basically a serum is another step to your beauty regime similar to and replacing your moisturiser. A serum is different to a moisturiser in that it doesn’t just hydrate the skin but it treats it for almost any specific problems. Anti-ageing, dark spots, dry skin – there’s a serum for it. A serum’s particles are smaller than those of a moisturiser meaning it penetrates deeper into the skin. A moisturiser will just sit on the top layer of the skin, which is why people with oily skin can’t use it, but a serum will deposit it’s nutrients, etc, deeper. 

So was the cost of the YSL serum worth it? Well according to my mum who bought this product, she didn’t really notice a difference, but then again she says she wasn’t really paying attention to whether it made a difference or not. But to be honest, at £65 for 30ml, you should see a difference whether you’re looking for one or not. So this one might be slightly overrated and overpriced. A good serum should be so effective that even a lay person can tell it’s working.

The next serum my mum tried was Clarins Double Serum (£55) featured on many a best buy list including Glamour, Grazia and Cosmo. This miracle juice claims to get rid of the appearance of pores, wrinkles and return a glow to your skin. Now this one my mum did like and would have bought it again if it wasn’t for the price. 

But what about the lesser known brands? Which serums are secretly changing people’s lives but we just haven’t heard of them?

A brand that is renowned by beauty writers, makeup artists and bloggers but I still think is underrated is Alpha-H. Their Liquid Gold Intensive Night Repair serum (£49) is the most affordable so far. It uses all kinds of sciencey ingredients to “reduce age spots and discolouration, soothe redness and rosacea and increase collagen synthesis by up to 119% for firmer, plumper skin”. I don’t tend to go in for serums because they all tend to be for anti-ageing which can be bad for young skin, but this has me tempted. 

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The only downside for mums to be is that this product cannot be used during pregnancy. 

Another favourite brand of mine with an award winning serum is Mario Badescu which has a range of serums that seem to cater to every skin need. Their most popular however is the Vitamin C Serum (£43.50) which is on the Elle Magazine 2013 best buy list. The vitamin C in this product helps encourage collagen production, protect the skin from free radicals, reduce discolouration therefore brightening the skin.

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This next “gravity-defying” serum was featured on both Elle and The Independent’s best buy beauty list of 2013. It is Caudalie’s Vinexpert Firming serum (£42.75 for 30ml). This is specifically an Anti-Ageing serum so not for young skin. This baby claims to restructure the skin so that it regains its firmness and elasticity. To cite the product itself: “contours are re-sculpted, wrinkles are reduced, skin is redensified. Instant firming effect.” This product has 5 stars on feelunique.com and very positive customer feedback. 

All these products are over £40. It seems to get good results you have to pay. I have always been a believer in you get what you pay for so this makes sense to me. However I can’t leave this post without mentioning a more affordable brand that does seem to get good results. That is No.7. Their 3 main types of serum are Lift and Luminate, Protect and Perfect and Restore and Renew. These are all around the £23 mark. When a patient’s wife asked her husband’s surgeon what product they should use on his post-op scar he replied No.7 Restore and Renew, so we can guess that one is particularly good with scarring and dark spots. 

So that is my definitive list of serums, dedicated to my mum who still hasn’t found her perfect serum. I hope this helps, Mummy.