Turn to Turmeric for beauty

If you’re a fan of Indian food, you may be familiar with Turmeric, also known as Haldi, one of the country’s most widely used spices. A part of the ginger family, Turmeric adds flavor and a deep yellow-orange color to many dishes, mostly in curries and mustard. But for centuries it has also served as a main ingredient in medicine and beauty, mainly for skin and hair. Because of its anti-inflammatory power and numerous antioxidants, there are many uses for Turmeric in your beauty routine that can greatly improve your complexion.

Turmeric is greatly effective in keeping acne away, thanks to its antiseptic and antibacterial properties. It fights pimples and breakouts and reduces the oil secretion in your glands, thus preventing super oily skin. A simple scrub will do the trick, by adding a few drops of water and lemon juice to the Turmeric powder. Apply the paste to the affected areas and leave on for about 15 minutes then gently wash away with lukewarm water.

Turmeric is also an exfoliating agent, which means it can provide great relief to ageing skin. In fact, Indian brides and grooms have been incorporating a Haldi ceremony on the big day, since it makes your skin glow. By mixing the Turmeric with equal amounts of besan (gram/chickpea flour) and raw milk or water, you’ll be left with a paste to put generously and evenly on the skin. Allow it to dry, and rinse with lukewarm water. If you’re using the paste on your face, scrub gently in a circular motion to exfoliate properly.

You can also use that same paste to help lighten stretch marks and even out the skin tone. If you want to change the mixture up a bit, use rose water or yogurt instead of the raw milk or water to give the paste a different feel.

If you still have that paste left over, it can surprisingly be used to inhibit hair growth, thanks to a property called curcumin found in Turmeric. Curcumin can stop the activity of a growth agent which causes death of hair follicles resulting in hair loss. Reducing hair growth won’t happen overnight, and it usually takes about a month of consistent use to notice results.

Speaking of hair, Turmeric has been proven to also get rid of dandruff and other scalp issues. Apply a mixture of the Turmeric and olive oil into your scalp prior to taking a shower. Leave in for 15 minutes then wash off with a natural shampoo. After a while, the Turmeric helps to provide nutrition to the hair follicles and increases circulation on your scalp.

So the big question – will all these scrubs and exfoliators leave a stain on your skin? Turmeric usually stains fabric and clothing, but on skin, the simple answer is no. However, there is a possibility that you will see a slight yellow-tint to your skin. After a few washes, it will go away, but if you need the yellow to disappear sooner, wipe the area with a few drops of a mild facial toner on a cotton ball and you’ll be back to brand new.

Perfect your pink lip

While the red lip has reigned supreme, the hot pink lip is back for summer 2016, with everyone from Diane Kruger to Nicki Minaj making a statement with the bubblegum pink shade.

If red screams glamour, hot pink adds the promise of fun to your look and it works particularly well skin tones ranging from pale to dark.

Here are our top tips for making a statement with the perfect pink.

Check your undertone

Your shade of pink should go with your undertones. If you’re cool toned, look for a shade that’s got blue or purple undertones, like NYX’s Shocking Pink. For fair skin NARS Lipstick in Schiap is a semi matte lippy perfectly suited for this complexion. For warm toned skin, go with orange undertones like NARS Carthage or violet pinks like Laura Mercier Paint Wash Liquid Lip Color in Fuchsia Mauve.

Mint condition

Use a lip scrub to exfoliate like Bliss FabuLips Sugar Scrub to remove dry or dead skin from your pout before applying lip color. Or create a simple formula mixing brown sugar and honey, or olive oil for a homemade solution. Always keep lips hydrated while you’re not wearing lipstick with a moisturizing balm.

Use a lip liner

Lip liner can be incredibly flattering when applied properly. Make sure it’s super sharp so it subtly defines your mouth. It also makes a huge difference in your lipstick’s staying power if you line the whole lip then apply lipstick. Mac Candy Yum Yum is an amazing, almost fluorescent, matte pink which has a matching lip liner.

Go matte

Unless they’re sheer, glossy pink lips can look a bit too ’80s, so go for modern matte finishes like MAC’s All Fired Up, and Maybelline’s Color Sensational Pink Punch. Bobbi Brown’s Hot is a creamy shade, while Charlotte Tilbury’s Amazing Grace is a muted pink which will look amazing with a flush of matching blush.

Color me bold

Pick your color according to your mood. Go for a hot pink like Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Volupte Shine Lipstick 06 Pink In Devotion or Christian Louboutin’s Pluminette when you need a little extra confidence to face the world or switch to a barely there pink lip gloss like Dior Addict Ultra-Gloss in Paradise Cruise or Bobbi Brown’s barely there Ballet Pink for a youthful carefree look.

Keep eyes simple

To make a statement with your pink lip keep eye make-up simple for maximum impact and modernity. A full face will look too Barbie-like so make a statement with a bright lip like Estee Lauder’s Pure Color in Pink Ambition, groomed eyebrows, eye-brightening concealer and a few coats of mascara.

Get your locks summer ready with dry hair treatments

The days are getting longer, the weather’s getting warmer and summer is fast approaching. It’s been a harsh winter though and the likelihood is that your hair has suffered because of that. Follow our tips to get your hair back in peak condition.

Let’s start at the very beginning

It might be time to invest in some more expensive shampoo and conditioner to take your hair from damaged to downright fabulous. Luxury organic skincare brand VOYA includes hand harvested seaweed enzymes in their products to masterfully restore brittle, dry and damaged hair. Give their Silky by Nature shampoo and Forget Me Knot conditioner a go and watch your hair condition improve. KMS California also has a fantastic range for damaged hair, with their MOISTREPAIR Leave-in conditioner a firm favorite. As well as detangling your hair quickly and easily, its combination of aloe and vanilla helps to restore moisture balance in the hair. It also has IOPS, the inside out perfecting system, meaning that it penetrates deep into the hair, making it vibrant and healthier looking in just one use.

Go nuts for coconut oil

Always a good option for injecting some moisture into parched tresses, hair oil has come a long way in recent years, with coconut the top choice. From eating, to skincare, to teeth whitening, the benefits of this product are endless. And slathering it on your hair is a good way to make your barnet look healthy and luscious once again.

“Coconut oil is a love of mine that I discovered whilst in Thailand some years ago, but now it’s everywhere. It will revitalize your hair with natural goodness leaving it feeling nourished, shiny and it also smells good,” Matthew Curtis, runway and celebrity hair stylist told Cover Media.

While there are countless products with coconut oil a major ingredient, there’s no reason you can’t use the oil in its purest form. Try Vita Coco’s Coconut Oil, and Matthew advises: “It’s perfect for rubbing through your mid-lengths and ends on a rainy day at home and letting your hair soak up all the goodness.”

Magic masks

Masks are a really good option for anyone who wants an intensive injection of moisture. Choose a day when you have some time to play with, so you can leave it on your locks as long as possible to ensure you’re giving it a real chance of infiltrating right down to the root. The Kerasilk Intensive Repair mask is perfect for those suffering with extremely dry damaged hair. Mark Leeson, Goldwell Global Creative Ambassador, told Cover media: “Kerasilk Reconstruct mask is gentle on the hair, but leaves it in amazing condition. Goldwell have pumped it full of Keratin and Hyaloveil which will nourish dry and damaged hair back to a healthy state.”

Another, slightly pricey, option is Christophe Robin’s Regenerating Mask. This might be one to wait until payday to purchase, but its unique feature is that it contains seed oil extracted from the rare Prickly Pear, which helps restructure and strengthen hair from the inside out.

All that glitters is rose gold

Shimmering gold and silver shades are great makeup bag staples but with spring just around the corner, it’s time to take your metallic game to a new level and try the season’s hottest shade – rose gold. With its ability to bridge the gap between paler winter complexions and sun-kissed summer skin, rose gold is the perfect transitional hue to invest in right now.

For a seamless glimmer, dust Urban Decay Eyeshadow in tint Midnight Cowboy across the lids or for a subtler effect Nars’ Soft Touch Shadow pencil, in smoky rose quartz shade Iraklion, can be traced along the lash lines or lightly dotted in the corner of the eyes as a highlight. Laura Geller Eye Dew Cream Shadow Crayon in Rose Gold is also a great option for those wanting a sheer wash of creamy color.

Yellow gold makeup often has a lot of green undertones, which aren’t always flattering. However, rose gold strikes a balance between warm and cool undertones which means it works on most skin tones. For a pretty blush, try bareMinerals’ READY blush in nude pink shade The One. Or give Benefit Cosmetics’ High Beam liquid highlighter a whirl, use the satiny-pink liquid to add an ethereal glow that can be used over makeup or underneath for subtle luminescence.

Give your manicure the Midas touch with rich rose gold metallic polish such as China Glaze’s Meet Me In The Mirage or Nails inc Chelsea Square Nail polish, a full cover glitter polish, that works well on an accent nail. If you’re looking for a minimal look, Essie Nail Polish in color All Tied Up is a rustic bronze lacquer with golden shimmer that complements all skin tones as well as being office appropriate.

For those who can’t get enough of this luxe metallic, there are several ways to use rose gold to make your lips stand out. Steer clear of products that are too much shimmer in the formula and can draw attention to chapped lips and instead look for lipsticks that have a rose gold fleck or a rose brown tone like Charlotte Tilbury’s K.I.S.S.I.N.G in shade Stoned Rose. To glam it up for the evening, use a rose gold highlighter like the Stila All Over Shimmer Liquid Luminizer to accentuate the Cupid’s bow.

Sheet masks made simple

Face masks have certainly come a long way from the sachets of goop you could buy in the supermarket for a girls’ night in. Now it’s all about the sheet mask. These have long been popular in the Asian skincare market, but have only recently become a worldwide phenomenon. Countless celebrities relied on sheet masks to get them red carpet ready over awards season, thanks to the instant injection of product benefits it gives the skin. They’ve also become an unusual selfie accessory, with stars including Adele, Rita Ora and Alexa Chung all snapping pictures while wearing them. You don’t have to be a celebrity to splash out on a sheet mask though – high street shops are stocking their shelves with different options that can make you look Instagram ready without the need of a filter.

STARSKIN’s masks are the perfect choice for celebrities and regular folk alike. The company worked with dermatologists, aestheticians and celebrity make-up artists to create their Bio-Cellulose Sheet Masks, which are packed with naturally fermented coconut juice. This enables the mask to effectively fuse to the skin for the 20-minutes it’s recommended to be used for, and leaves the complexion flawless and radiant. They come in options for blemish-prone, dehydrated or ageing skin among others, as well as versions for your hands and feet.

From coconut to charcoal – Timeless Truth use the carbon product as the basis for their Charcoal Detox Brightening Mask. It’s the perfect choice if you have congested or acne-prone skin as the Bamboo Charcoal Extract is freeze-dried and impounded into the cloth to ensure the skin really gets a good dose of beneficial ingredients. If stressed skin is more your issue, try the Timeless Truth Calming Revitalizing Multipeptide Mask. This is infused with negative ions, which can help boost circulation and relieve tension in the face.

Green tea isn’t just something that you brew in your kettle – Masque Bar have used it as the main ingredient in their innovative new sheet mask, which is designed to reduce the appearance of dark spots and pigmentation on the skin. It contains vitamin E, collagen and green tea, which all contribute to leaving the skin soothed, refreshed and moisturized.

The newly-released MEDER BEAUTY Hydra-fill Masque contains the beauty buzz ingredient hyaluronic acid, as well as tranexamic and thioctic acids, seaweed extract and minerals, to hydrate skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines – giving a “Photoshop effect” finish.

The final of our tips of the best sheet mask options is GOLD COLLAGEN’s Hydrogel Face Mask which has been formulated with a special technology that causes the mask to melt as it reaches body temperature – then causing the ingredients to be released into the skin to help restore radiance in the complexion

Control your bangs

When getting a short fringe in it’ll either take a lifetime to grow out, or you’ll find yourself blowing hair out of your eyes after two weeks.

What’s most important is that you go for a style which won’t go out of fashion quickly, which is where senior hair stylist Michaela Galvin of Jo Hansford comes in with some of her expert tips.

“With fringes, it is important to blow dry them regularly to keep them tame and in shape,” she told Cover Media. “To keep your fringe updated, try varying the width or adding some rounding at the edges. You can revitalize a heavy fringe by taking weight out and creating a textured look. For the more adventurous, short fringes that sit above the eyebrows are becoming increasingly popular.”

And if you’re having trouble keeping your bangs at bay during the awkward in-between stage, where it’s too long to wear down but not long enough to ignore, we have some quick and easy fixes for you.

Twist it out

Rocking a side parting at the moment? Now’s the time to get central, as you can pin both sides of your fringe back effortlessly. Simply split your hair down the middle, bunch together and twist at the roots with strands from the rest of your hair then secure with a pin or clip. Use neutral toned accessories if you want to blend the hair in, or pick statement pieces for a cute touch.

Side sweep it

Turn your full fringe into a side fringe when it’s too long to sit on your forehead. After choosing which direction you want your hair to flow in, create a diagonal parting and using a fine-toothed comb, tease your hair across your forehead. Again, keep in place with a slide or clip – maybe two if you have a lot of tresses to control.

Half-knot

The top knot has become a go-to hairstyle, and it can include your fringe. Gather your hair as though you were to wear it half up, pulling your bangs into the mix, and twist it up starting at the roots. As you twist you’ll see a natural circle/bun finishing beginning to form, and all you need to do is loosely form the shape and secure – keep it messy for a relaxed look! We suggest using spiral pins to keep everything in place as they will also keep the volume to your bun.

Cover it up

Arguably the easiest, but also the boldest. Simply stick a bandanna/hair band on over your bangs – doesn’t matter what they look like underneath, as long as they’re hidden! Or you could wrap and tie a scarf around your hair for a retro vibe.

Don’t reach for the bleach – turn to charcoal for whiter teeth

The properties of charcoal for skin are both well known and wide ranging. From acting as a magnet to pull out impurities to absorbing excess oil; looking like a miner really is great for your face.

However the earthy material works wonders on your teeth too and more and more mouth-related products containing charcoal are now popping up. From off the shelf toothpaste to homemade mouthwash, we have your charcoal teeth needs covered.

Toothpaste

At home whitening kits are more popular than ever and many of us reach for whitening toothpaste during our weekly shop in our quest to get a dazzling smile. However some whitening toothpastes have been known to make teeth darker after use – so maybe going back to black is best.

While squeezing a blob of black toothpaste on to your brush in the morning and evening may look extremely daunting, it actually has major benefits for teeth. Activated charcoal binds to everything in its path, meaning stains, tartar and bacteria are removed. It’s a cheaper and painless way to get your pearlys looking white without having to reach for the bleach.

Curaprox’s White is Black has fast become a cult favorite, and because it uses no bleach it’s a gentle choice for those with sensitive teeth. It also protects from tooth decay and remineralize tooth enamel thanks to its enzymes.

Beverly Hills Perfect White Black and Ecodenta Organic Black Charcoal Whitening Toothpaste are other options to try.

Toothbrush

As charcoal is known for its natural whitening and absorbing powers, adding it to the bristles of a toothbrush means your daily clean just got a lot more effective. Charcoal infused bristles are already common place in South-East Asian countries, and now the Western world is getting on board too. Again the charcoal will draw out impurities, giving you a whiter, brighter and healthier smile.

Mouthwash

Much like the craze for oil pulling, when you swish coconut oil in your mouth, charcoal mouthwash can have similar effects, only this time it targets your teeth rather than your overall health. The ancient technique of oil pulling is intended to draw out toxins, especially in your mouth, but gurgling with charcoal is aimed at those after a whiter smile. Some coconut oil mouthwashes even include activated charcoal to give users a double dose of oral goodness.

It’s easy to make your own, just remember it’s activated charcoal you need, not any old BBQ coal!

Mix 1/8 tsp of activated charcoal with 6 to 8 ounces of distilled water and essential oils (optional). Swirl around and spit.

Extras

Lush’s Boom! Toothy Tabs are little charcoal wonders that will give your mouth an instant hit of freshness. Made from gunpowder tea and charcoal, these tabs are designed to be nibbled between your teeth. They can be used as an alternative to toothpaste, or just pop one in if you’re on the go, chew and then quickly run a toothbrush round for a smile pick-me-up.

Tried and tested: Body exfoliators

Dry, rough skin is normally a by-product of the winter months, especially when your body is soaking up lovely, warm central heating while indoors. There are countless products out there designed to banish and buff dry skin, so we road tested three to see which came out top.

Soap and Glory Pulp Friction – 4/5

First things first, this body scrub smells divine! The witty brand has coined the phrase Fruitigo fragrance, comprised of fig, peppermint oil and a whole load of vitamins. It’s really creamy, which is rare for a scrub, but also full of pumice which exfoliates the skin gently but effectively. I tried this on my right arm so I could compare it with the I Love… sugar scrub used on my left.

Skin is smoother, with bumps and dry patches visibly reduced. Soap and Glory promise smoother skin, and they definitely deliver on that. The smell lasts long after the shower too, making it a real winner.

I love… Lemon Meringue Whipped Sugar Scrub – 3/5

Usually sugar scrubs are really effective at buffering away dead, dry skin but this whipped version from I Love… lacked the power I needed. That’s because the sugar crystals were minimal, but it does only claim to give a gentle exfoliation, and so it stays true to that. However, where it does work well is on the moisturizing front, with the creamy formula quickly foaming on the skin and locking in hydration.

LUSH body scrub – 4/5

LUSH products never fail and this bar of body scrub is no different. I used it all over and dry, rough skin was quickly eradicated. A great exfoliator for getting rid of old fake tan too, easily buffering it off of elbows and ankles.

Eggtastic beauty

Egg on your face? Don’t worry – the humble egg white has a lot more to it than you may realize, containing around 69 different proteins to benefit your skin. Eggs are currently taking the Korean market by storm as they are also high in collagen and vitamin A, which will help soothe out lines and help heal scars or burns. Add to that egg whites’ ability to ease/get rid of large pores, rashes and rosacea – they’re a real secret skincare savior.

The great news is that you can put egg whites straight onto your face, simply whisk them up until light and foamy, apply to clean skin and leave for around 15 minutes. Your face will eventually feel tight, which means it’s time to rinse it off with a warm cloth.

There are ways to mix things up though, all the while keeping things natural. Mashed avocado is a good option for those with dry skin thanks to its nourishing nature, and those with an oily complexion can benefit from a squeeze of lemon juice. Those with sensitive skin should keep things simple, so natural yogurt can be added to the mix for a richer finish.

However, there are plenty of choices for people who don’t feel up to making skincare products themselves. Skinfood have done it for you with their Egg White Pore Foam Cleanser, or you could tackle spots with TonyMoly’s egg-shaped blackhead gel.

The benefits don’t have to stop at your face; Egg Mousse Body Oil starts as a foam but quickly transforms into an oil – just remember to shake before use. This product includes avocado too, which as we mentioned above will do wonders for dry skin.

Afraid of liquid eyeliner? Don’t be

She’s been wowing fans with her incredible make-up at various events, with the most recent coming at the Grammy Awards earlier this month (Feb16). It’s Adele’s eyeliner that’s really the standout of her whole look, with the feline flicks perfectly shaping her almond shaped eyes. Of course, Adele isn’t the pioneer of this look – with Old Hollywood stars such as Brigitte Bardot and Audrey Hepburn previously showing their love of sexy eyeliner flicks. It’s the perfect look for a big party or even a glamorous day look if you have the time to do it in the morning. Achieving this look is no easy feat though, and requires more than just a steady hand.

Make sure you apply a primer to your eyelids first, ensuring that the eyeliner won’t slide off during the course of your day or evening. Urban Decay’s Eyeshadow Primer Potion is a cult classic or Rimmel London Undercover Shadow Primer is a slightly cheaper option. Once you’re all primed, you can move on to starting the eyeliner.

While eyeliner pencils are undoubtedly easier to use, your best bet to creating the perfect Adele look is to use a liquid eyeliner. Shu Uemura Calligraph: Ink Liquid Eyeliner is a popular choice among make-up artists, as it has a bristle brush based on calligraphy pens, and means you can create a thin or thick line with complete precision. For an entirely liquid eyeliner, try MAC’s Liquid Eyeliner.

If you really don’t want to use a liquid liner, you could give one of the newer marker pen style liners a go. Benefit Cosmetics’ they’re real! push-up gel eyeliner is a good choice. Be aware though, this won’t give you the same sharp look as Adele’s.

When it comes to actually applying the liner, you don’t want to be messing around with a mirror and the eyeliner brush, so the best way to ensure a straight line is to place the mirror on a table and look down into it.

Holding the edge of your eye to pull the skin taut can help if you are a novice applier and don’t try and get each eye exactly matching before you start. Give it a go on one eye before moving over to the other.

The other thing to remember is that any errors can be easily corrected. Either wipe off the whole look and try, try and try again until you get it right, or dip a cotton bud in eye make-up remover and use to get rid of any minor slip ups.

One thing you can be sure of though, if you get this look right, you’ll have all the boys saying, “Hello!”