Back to school/Off to uni

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A new school year, or a brand new university, is the perfect opportunity for a beauty makeover. My school was incredibly strict and we weren’t allowed to wear makeup, dye our hair, or even fake tan. We also had to keep our hair tied back. The rules relaxed a little in 6th form, but my first chance for a real beauty makeover was university. So whether you are just being released from the tight grip of school rules, or you go to a school where you are allowed to express yourself through your appearance, here are some great tips for becoming the new You 2.0. 

Tan

Not everyone looks best with a tan, there are some lucky people who really pull off the alabaster skin look. Unfortunately, I am not one of them. When my tan fades I just look like a jaundiced Lord Voldemort. So having a tan is a great confidence booster for me and a great way to start the school or uni year looking healthy and glowing, like you spent the summer on a yacht instead of watching hundreds of hours of netflix (which is what I actually did). 

If you are not a fan of actual tanning, why not fake it with something that comes pretty close to the real thing. 

My favourite fake tan is Xen-Tan 

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This Dark Lotion Absolute Luxe is currently £25.24 in the feelunique.com sale and it is the one I use. It’s the darkest they do, but they also have a medium and fair range to suit all skin types. What I love about this tan is it has olive undertones, instead of orange. Like, for real, it comes out green. You apply the guide colour onto freshly exfoliated skin and leave it overnight. Wash off in the morning and you are left with the perfect tan.

If this isn’t dark enough, you can top it up with something cheaper, like St Moritz (£4.49 on feelunique.com)

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Yes, it’s very cheap so it doesn’t have great lasting power, it’s more of a wash off tan. But it goes on super dark and I used to apply this just minutes before going out, on top of my original tan. Even though it is cheap it is not orange. It comes out as a mahogany brown foam, and it stays mahogany brown on your skin.

TIP: to make your tan last longer, moisturise. Do not moisturise before applying your tan or it won’t absorb as well, but moisturising is crucial for retaining a tan, real or fake. 

Hair

Heat stimulates hair growth, which is why your hair grows more over summer. The sun also can lighten your hair. I am naturally brunette, but I died my hair blonde for uni, and kept it up until about a year ago. I loved being blonde but it killed my hair. But a few highlights are always flattering. Dark hair doesn’t suit me, and when I first started highlighting my hair I got so many more compliments. So why not try some honey or caramel toned highlights?

For light hair:

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For dark hair:

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Nails

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I would never have been allowed any kind of nails when I was at school. Neither was I allowed when I was nursing. It was so liberating when I stopped nursing just to be able to have the longest, most ratchet nails possible. I love a stiletto nail, a squareletto nail or even a simple square. So if your school allows nails, or if you are headed to the freedom of uni, why not treat yourself to a manicure before you go. You could stick with your natural nails with a cute gel polish, alla Kardashian

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Or go more gangsta with it, like Lil Debbie

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or Kylie Jenner:

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Whatever you choose, you will feel pretty much ready for anything with your new look. Good luck in the new school/uni year!

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Emmys 2014 Beauty Roundup

Last night, the 66th Primetime Emmy awards, saw the coming together of some of Televisions biggest stars (even if they did forget about Broad City). I could fill a whole separate blog talking about the shows, winners and nominees (I am TV’s biggest fan) but I’ll just stick to my favourite hair and makeup looks of the night. 

10. Edie Falco

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I thought Edie looked gorgeous last night. Her tan perfectly complimented her sunkissed highlights, and she kept it glam with some fluttery lashes and a nude lip. Very Flattering.

9. Mayim Bialik

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I love this grecian hair on Blossom – I mean Amy – I mean Mayim! 

8. Mindy Kaling

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Even though The Mindy Project didn’t receive any nominations, Mindy still won in terms of beauty. The sixties beehive hair (always shiny) plus blushing pink cheeks and smokey eyes equal one beautiful Mindy. 

7. Christine Baranski

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My personal favourite star of The Good Wife looked chic and classy last night. Her signature hair was as always coiffed to perfection and her makeup is glam but understated. 

6. Christina Hendricks

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I love this boho hair with the sheer blushed lips and coppery smokey eyes. Nothing could look better with her hair and skin tone. She looks beautiful. 

5. Julie Bowen

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Peng. I really like this edgy version of the classic bob. It looks fierce with her smokey eyes.

4. Keke Palmer

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Keke’s hair and makeup is ON. POINT. I love the double nose piercings and the sleek long ponytail, plus the smokey cat eye to top it all off. 

3. Kerry Washington

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This ombre grown out bob is everything! And who would have thought matte denim blue eyeshadow would go so well with an orange dress? I need to find out what eyeshadow her makeup artist used.

2. Sarah Hyland

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My beauty winner. The simple hair donut looks gorgeous with Haley’s blonde highlights. Plus we can see all of her beautiful face. Her eyebrows look full without looking fake, her lashes and golden brown eyeshadow on the upper outer corner of her lids accentuate her hazel eyes and her lipstick is the perfect ‘Kylie Jenner’ shade. This is my favourite look of the entire evening, bar one..

1. Bryan Cranston’s Moustache 

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VMAs 2014 Beauty Roundup

Last night/this morning (depending on what part of the ,world you’re in) it was the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards, nicknamed by Beyoncé fans as the BeyMAs. And you can see why, with her 17 minute performance and teary award acceptance. But enough people are talking about Bey today, so I’m going to focus on the other stars of last night. The BEAUTY stars.

The Ageless Beauties 

JLo

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Lets be serious, JLo never misses a beat when it comes to looking knock out gorgeous. So it’s no surprise she’s on this list. I love the purple smokey eyes with pink lipstick and a glowing cheekbone. And with the complexity of her dress, she is keeping it simple with her hair. It works. 

Gwen Stefani 

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I think it’s fair to say these women look even better now than they did in the noughties. Gwen looks great matching her lips to her outfit and with her signature blonde hair. Of course, she has one of the most perfect faces of all time so I don’t think it is possible for her to look bad. 

The Model Chicks

Jourdan Dunn

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That wig though. Such a cute style. 

Chanel Iman

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Again, a beauty rocking some shorter locks. Is this going to be the new trend? And Chanel is giving us her signature smokey eyes and barely there lips. I’m not disappointed. 

Ireland Baldwin

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I couldn’t find any close up pictures of Ireland’s makeup last night, but these two shots really capture her glow. She is also sporting a full pair of top lashes, sixties style. Again, Ireland is one of those girls who always look stunning, makeup or no makeup. 

The Talent

Iggy Azalea 

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BAM! That’s the sound of Iggy knocking us all out with her body-ody-ody. I love this hair on her, and with all her natural beauty all she relied on was a pair of fluttery lashes and let her beauty speak for itself

Holland Roden

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I don’t even know who this girl is except that she is some kind of actress, but this look blew me away. Her coppery brown smokey eye with her natural matte lips perfectly compliment her hair and skin tone. This girl got it 100% right. 

‘Other’

Kylie Jenner

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Kylie’s many makeup artists always get it right. Whether those lips are surgically enhanced or it’s just the effects of a good lip liner, she looks stunning. Her hair is in her usual bob, and her lips are a slightly darker shade of her normal nude, and from the neck up she looks fantastic. 

‘Muva’ Rosebud (aka Amber Rose)

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Her dress may have been a little controversial, but she kept it simple and classy with the face. 

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A nice glow, some pink lips and cheeks and a couple of sets of eyelashes. Can’t go wrong. Let’s hope it was nice and warm in Hollywood last night. 

So those are my beauty favourites of last night. Join me tomorrow to discuss the Emmy’s! 

 

Ditch the tights: Get your skin ready for Spring!

Spring time is upon us, and even though the weather is still fluctuating, there are some days (like today) where you feel like it’s just about acceptable to start baring your legs. But after a long British winter, our skin is left feeling dry, pale and dull. Hopefully this post will help prepare you, and your skin, for long sunny days to come and help you to look and feel your best.

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I am a self confessed goo hoarder. So I have tried to narrow this list down to just one of each different type of goo…there may be a couple of overlaps..

The first thing you will want to do to get your skin ready for show is moisturise it. If you are anything like me, you haven’t moisturised much over the whole winter period because who is going to see your skin in winter? This is where the overlap occurs because there are three different moisturises pictured above if you exclude the coconut oil and aloe vera. Which can also be used. But they all have their different times and places. First of all, the Bathina Body Oil by Benefit (£26.50). This came out at the end of last summer so I haven’t had many opportunities to use it, but when I am having a pamper evening, I’ll apply this all over after a nice long bath just to feel soft and smell nice, winter be damned. You spray it directly onto the skin so you don’t have to get your hands oily if you just want to spray it on your legs and chest before you leave the house.

The Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Body Oil is, yes, another oil but it is much cheaper (£4-ish). I love cocoa butter so much, it is a classic and it smells like chocolate so why would anyone not love it? I use this oil in tanning. Moisture is essential in maintaining a tan – natural or fake. So in the summer I apply this every morning and evening to make my tan last longer.

Then there’s the Agent Provocateur L’Agent Silk Body Elixir (£30). This exact product is now discontinued which is a huge shame because it is an exact smell-a-like to Chanel No.5. And it leaves the skin unbelievably soft and silky. You can still get the Body Elixirs but with different perfumes. I use it very sparingly so I don’t run out. Basically only on special occasions, like those parties where even your skin needs to dress up.

So that’s moisturisers. Now for those of you who need a bit of help with your tan or who don’t like to damage your skin, Xen-Tan is my all time favourite fake tan. And believe me, when it comes to tanning I know my stuff. I was bleach blonde and caramel tanned from the ages of 18-20 and over that time I tried all the different fake tans, but this one is the best for your money. These days I sun bed (it is my only vice) so I don’t really use fake tan but I still keep a bottle for emergencies. I have a tanning mitt but because Xen-Tan goes on with a guide colour it is easy to wash it off your hands after application, just use a bar of soap and hot water. Once you wash the guide colour off it is streak free and because the undertones are green, it is olive toned, not orange.

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See how tanned! I miss those days 😦

For those of you who are sun worshipers like me, I love to use Aloe Vera gel as an after sun because it has an instant cooling effect and works really well on burns. Aloe Vera can also be used as a moisturiser AND as a hair treatment, but read my post about hair porosity because if you have low porosity hair, this will dry it out. Another sun essential is SPF for the face. I have to admit I don’t really use sun cream (which I don’t condone, unless you are a naturally dark skin type like I am and don’t burn) but I do apply factor 15 to my face on holidays and because recently I have been doing lots of acid peels on my skin, I have to use factor 30 even in England to protect the lower layers of skin that are now exposed. In general using an SPF on your face daily is a great way to protect your skin from ageing.

Finally, Coconut Oil. This has so many uses, it would need to do another post just to list them, but the one I recommend it for in this article is shaving. I know it sounds weird but it has to be tried to be believed. You can use coconut oil for shaving and because it leaves a residue on your legs, you don’t even have to moisturise afterwards. I would just advise rinsing the bath out thoroughly afterwards so it’s not slippy. Or keep it au naturel and don’t shave at all. Whatever you prefer, both are good.

And the most important rule to look amazing for spring…smile! The sun’s out! 🙂