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! 🙂

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Spring Trend: Coloured Liners

As seen in my last post, this season is all about colours. The brighter the better. One trend that was all over the faces at the various fashion weeks was coloured eye liners. Yes, really. Apparently the early naughties are back. But there are ways to do it that can actually look quite chic (cringe at the word chic).

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The top picture is actually an eyeshadow – Tangerine Dream by Mac – used as a liner with a liner brush. The bottom is from Spanish Fashion Week but the liner isn’t named.

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A couple more from Fashion Week. The top is from Paris Fashion week and the bottom is from the Kenzo show. Again both Mac, both unnamed liners. However I suspect that the bottom one is the mac Fluidline gel liner in Waveline.

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Fluidline is a great gel liner, Blacktrack being one of my every day staples. These are some of the more adventurous colours they do. As you can see some are already sold out due to the popularity of this trend. But Mac aren’t the only people who do great liners in fantastical colours.

For my american readers, check out Lime Crime Makeup. They are a 100% vegan and cruelty free makeup company that specialise in the big and bold. Here are some of their looks that I just love.

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The orange liner used here is called 6th Element. I absolutely adore this orange. And you don’t need to just be limited to using it as a liner. You can use it as eyeshadow or a secondary liner as shown in this look.

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This Blue Milk liner is to die. The top pictorial is from @jennhunny83 and the bottom picture is of @priscillaono who is the absolute don of makeup artistry. Her Ono beauty classes in LA are the best in the game and her regular clients include Amber Rose and Iggy Azalea. She loves a bright colourful eye and this liner looks great with blue hair.

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This white liner look by @ashleyswagnerxo is using Lime Crime’s Lunar Sea liner. This look also fits in with the white eye shadow trend I wrote about earlier this year. It’s fresh and cute and simple. Exactly what we need for spring.

For my UK readers, you can buy Lime Crime cosmetics from UK stockist cocktailcosmetics.co.uk or you can visit the Lime Crime website (limecrime.com) and pay the shipping costs and tax.

But if you want something you can get hold of here, Urban Decay have always had a great stock of coloured liners. My favourite Kohl liner I’ve ever used is Urban Decay’s jet black liner in Perversion. It is the blackest black and it never runs or bleeds. You can get a pack of 6 Urban Decay Kohl liners on beautybay.com right now for £18.20. Click here.

All in all I think this is a really fun trend and I can’t wait to try it.

Spring 2014 Beauty Highlights: What to look forward to

As the 1st of March brought us sun and daffodils, it also brought the best of the new beauty spring collections. I love this time of year because everyone is so happy to see daylight and us beauty nerds can look forward to wearing colour again and getting our skin ready for summer. One of my favourite releases with this spring is the new YSL Gloss Volupte (£21). Their Rouge Volupte has always been a staple of theirs and this new collection of lip glosses brings us some beautiful new colours for spring, and the recognition that gloss is BACK. 

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I particularly love the orange shades because as we saw at the various fashion weeks, orange is the lip colour to wear this spring. 

The next big product on everyone’s lips (and eyes) is the new NARSissist eye palette from, obviously, NARS. This palette of 15 classic NARS shadows is not yet available in the UK but you can buy it from Sephora at $79 and they will ship to the UK for a flat rate of $10 for all orders over $75. You can convert to GBP at the checkout. 

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Nordstrom also carry this product for £49.97 in GBP and they will also ship to the UK. However there is always an international shipping tax. 

For a colour blast Urban Decay’s new Electric palette looks In. Sane. (in a good way)

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The US release date is the 18th of March, no UK release date as of yet. This palette features Chaos, one of my favourite all time shadows. This is definitely going to be on my list. I am excited to see colour in makeup back in fashion again. Because makeup should be fun! 

So those are my ‘to watch’ products for spring. Watch this space for more spring trends. And enjoy the sun!