Spring into the new season with red and pink make-up

It might not feel like it but Spring is in the air – fashion’s even moved on to the Autumn/Winter 16 collections now. That means there are a range of new cosmetic ranges hitting stores, and many of them have a couple of things in common: red and pink. It seems beauty mavens are going wild for this pairing, with models on the Nina Ricci catwalks rocking a bold red lip and Dior and Lanvin women sporting a subtle wash of pink on the eyes.

Bobbi Brown can be relied upon to be on trend, so the writing is on the wall when the company releases its Pink and Red collection. The range consists of full coverage lipsticks, lipglosses and nail polishes all in deep red of bright pink – pretty self explanatory really.

It’s probably not surprising that many brands have used the trend as a jumping off point for lip ranges, after all these are two of the most iconic pout colors going. Clinique’s Pop Glaze sheer Lip Color + Primer offers bold color which is also see through, so it’s perfect for days when you want to look ‘done’ but not covered in make-up. Also new is the company’s Pop Lacquer Lip Color + Primer, which is a brighter and shinier way to coat the mouth. The product has moisturizer in it too, so you get a good hit of color which isn’t too drying.

Gwen Stefani’s latest Urban Decay offering boasts a plethora of red and pink lip shades, hardly unexpected seeing as those are the colors she’s famous for rocking. Also interesting is her blush palette, which has a bright pink product in it and one which is redder. You might not think about adding red to your cheeks but it makes a refreshing change to pink or coral, especially if your skin has a dark tone. Ramping up the options is the Love Flush blusher palette from Too Faced, which sports six different shades ranging from nude to bubblegum pink and a shade which is a dead ringer for the iconic NARS Orgasm. They all last for 16 hours too, so it’s a lot of bang for your buck.

Those wanting a more high fashion look should invest in MAC’s Cranberry eyeshadow. It’s not a new shade but the rich red is perfect for this trend, especially when paired with a delicate pink gloss on the lips. Red is hard to pull off on the eyes, but not impossible. The secret is to go for a wash rather than a thick layer, blend out the edges and use black liner and mascara, so the red doesn’t contrast too much with the white of your eyes.

Almonds = weightloss

Another day, another weight loss tip – this time it seems almonds could be the answer to our slim-down prayers. Many of us want to drop a few pounds, but it can be tricky to dedicate yourself to a diet when there are so many delicious treats winking at you from supermarket aisles. If that sounds familiar, switching some snacks to a handful of almonds daily could be what’s needed.

A team of researchers at the University of Florida in America have looked into the impact the seeds have on diets. Data was taken from 28 pairs of parents and their children, with the mothers or fathers munching on 1.5 ounces (400grams) of almonds a day for three weeks. The kids got half an ounce, or the same amount of almond butter.

Before this, each of them were measured on the US’ Healthy Eating Index, which shows how good someone’s diet is. Scores under 51 show a poor diet, 51 to 80 means things could be better with some tweaks, while over 80 indicates a healthy food intake.

When things kicked off, the adults’ average score was 53.7, with a fluctuation of 1.8 either way. The children came in at 53.7 too, with a change of 2.6 in either direction.

After the almonds were introduced, the results changed dramatically. The mothers and fathers saw their diets rise to 61.4 (with a fluctuation of 1.4), with the kids’ climbing to 61.4 plus or minus 2.2.

Everyone ate more protein, which is known to keep you full for longer, and saw the amount of empty calories (ones which don’t offer any goodness or nutrients to the body) reduce.

“The habits you have when you are younger are carried into adulthood, so if a parent is able to incorporate almonds or different healthy snacks into a child’s diet, it’s more likely that the child will choose those snacks later on in life,” author Alyssa Burns explained.

One issue was that the children sometimes got bored with almonds and wanted more variety. It’s suggested that parents should get creative in the kitchen to guard against this, meaning using the seeds in porridge or sandwiches.

Fix fake tan blunders

A good tan is the perfect accessory for any event – as it can make you look healthier and more radiant. Unless you have the luxury of being a natural English rose, it’s likely you’ve experimented with a faux glow in the past.

Luckily, you don’t have to resort to sunbeds to get a tan, as there are numerous products on the market to help you achieve a post-holiday appearance.

But while there are new products hitting the shelves every day, things can still go wrong – resulting in orange palms or streaky skin. Traditionally, fixing such a blunder could see you in the bath covered in lemon juice, or ferociously scrubbing yourself with a sea salt mixture. However, there are now a host of products that enable you to return to a normal shade without resorting to such drastic measures.

One of the most effective products is tan guru St. Tropez’s Tan Remover Mitt. Like a glove, this is worn over the hand and can be used to buff away any tan build-up, ensuring an even surface for any further fake tan application.

“Run a bath and fill it with a bath oil and soak your skin – the oil will soften the tan. Take St. Tropez Tan Build Up Remover Mitt and work in circular motions around your body to encourage the tan to fade,” Jules Heptonstall, St. Tropez Tanning & Skin Finishing Expert, told Cover Media.

“Or go swimming – the chlorine will break down the tan, again take those exfoliating gloves and work in circular motions in the showers afterwards. Steam rooms and saunas also soften the tan too.”

Another option is Superdrug’s Sunkissed Exfoliating Self Tan Remover, which contains fruit AHAs to help get rid of any streaky tans. Or, Sienna X’s celebrity tan ambassador James Harknett advises that the brand’s Polishing Body Scrub is a perfect exfoliator.

“A quick fix solution to remove unwanted tan lines would be to first fade down the natural color,” James told Cover Media. “Body brushing is a gentle alternative to a harsh body scrub, I recommend using the Sienna X Polishing Body Scrub for quick and easy exfoliation that is kind to the skin.”

Of course to avoid any fake tan mistakes, there are several steps you can do before applying your tan lotion of choice to prevent unsightly streaks. St. Tropez’s Jules lists them for Cover:

1. Make sure you’ve exfoliated your skin 24 hours prior to application

2. Ensure you’ve completed any hair removal 24 hours prior to application

3. Have you moisturized dry areas directly before application – hands, elbows, knees and feet (and eyebrows and hairline if fair haired)?

4. Have you got an applicator mitt to hand?

5. After application make sure your palms, nails and between fingers are wiped to remove residue tan.

Follow these simple steps and you’re unlikely to make any mistakes. But if you do have a slip up, don’t despair – you can fix it!

Beauty problems solved: Hydration

Skin looking dull? It could be lacking hydration. Worried fine lines are becoming more pronounced? You need hydration. Have dry patches, a tight feeling or find your make-up disappears during the day? All signs you need more hydration. One of the problems with skin which is lacking in water is that people presume it’s dry, so start piling on rich creams. This actually does nothing to solve the problem because dehydrated skin already has enough oil in it – it’s water that it’s desperate for.

One of the key things you can do if your skin has lost its plumpness is to address your diet. Drinking enough water is key to keeping your skin looking clear and full because your body’s organs need H20 to function properly. If there isn’t enough swilling around your body it’ll pull it from your skin, as that’s deemed an area which needs it but not vitally, causing the tight feeling we’ve all suffered from at some point.

So what can be done? First up, pick the right products. Dehydrated skin is best treated using a serum for the condition, as these creams are lighter than moisturizers and are able to penetrate skin better. Vichy Aqualia Thermal Serum and Avene Hydrance Optimale Hydrating Serum are both reasonably-priced options which do the job well, even on sensitive skins. Then you should try a treatment to supercharge the moisture in your skin, so a hydrating mask – SuperFacialist and Clarins have good ones – is a good idea. Verso’s Deep Hydration Mask promises moisture for 120 hours, and contains a vitamin A complex which should help with collagen production and fine lines.

Along the treatment lines but slightly different is Sarah Chapman’s Skinesis Intense Hydrating Booster, which is designed to help with wrinkles and skin crepiness which are telltale signs of dehydration. It’s also good for stressed, dry and unbalanced skin – basically anyone who’s been suffering with the chilly weather in winter.

Finally, it’s good to prep skin properly before you apply make-up. If your skin is really dehydrated you’ll notice your foundation goes patchy during the day as your skin sucks all the water out of it. To combat this use a lightweight and hydrating primer underneath your base, such as the new Dermalogica Hydrablur Primer.

Volume waves

It’s one of the hottest looks right now, but achieving the perfect volumised waves can be a somewhat lengthy process without the right tools and products, especially if you have fine hair that just wants to lie flat.

But with revolutionary products hitting shelves on a daily basis, there are now new and quick ways you can achieve the look showcased by stars including Jennifer Lopez, Kerry Washington and Jennifer Lawrence.

Here we run down the best ways to get the look at home.

Prep, prep and more prep

This look is all about making sure the hair is pliable to hold the waves in the best way possible. Due to this, it’s best to try it on hair that has not been freshly washed – the morning after a shampoo is the perfect time to give it a go. If you suffer from greasy hair that needs to be washed daily, then spray on a bit of dry shampoo. Batiste’s Heavenly Volume dry shampoo is excellent for this. Make sure you brush it out afterwards to ensure you don’t leave any telltale white signs in the hair.

Protect and perfect

One of the most important things to do before using any kind of heated hair tool is to make sure you protect your hair from sudden burst of heat. Our top picks are Moroccanoil Heat Styling Protection Spray, or the more purse friendly TRESemme Heat Defence Styling Spray. KMS California ADD VOLUME Volumizing Spray gives you two for the price of one, adding volume and also protection hair from heat damage. Whichever you choose, make sure you coat each section of hair before hitting it with the tool.

Tantalizing tools

Here’s where it gets really interesting, as there is an endless supply of new volumizing tools. If you’ve opted to wash your hair in the morning then don’t despair – you can still achieve the perfect waves. Instead of drying your locks with a traditional hairdryer, try the Revlon Perfectionist 2-in-One Dryer. This combines the power of a traditional dryer with the effect of a paddle brush, meaning you can brush the hair upwards as it dries to add some more volume. It also stops hair from being frizzy.

Once the hair is dry and ready for styling, break out the EGO Professional EGO Twist – the next generation of curling wand. With four ‘bobbles’ on the wand, it enables the heat to be distributed evenly, meaning the waves will stay in place for longer. Or if you want more of an actual wave rather than a curl, try the Diva Professional Styling 4x Vari-Waver, which has adjustable wave depths.

All about the finish

When you’ve worked hard on achieving the perfect look, you need to make sure it stays in place. The celebrity favorite hairspray remains L’Oréal Paris’ Elnett Satin range which has variations such as Extra Strength or Volume Excess, is perfect for your wavy look. KMS California’s HAIRPLAY playable texture spray is another good option, as it’s the perfect multi-tasker. It’s lightweight and not sticky so it feel natural on your hair rather than making your locks stiff and lifeless.

Fight off dry skin for winter weddings

Summer and early autumn are usually considered the main wedding seasons, which means there are many more guides for warm, outdoor ceremonies than the colder months. Winter weddings are growing in popularity though, and the weather plays just as an important role as the heat does in the summer. Specifically, there are more challenges that occur in the winter beauty-wise for brides especially when it comes to dry skin, so here are a few tips on how to stay cool for a winter wedding.

If you’re a bride or bridesmaid prepping for the big day, it’s a good idea to start early and not just the day before. Start using a night-time moisturizer for your face – creamier solutions often work best – but the bottom line is to choose a product that won’t make you break out and will keep your skin feeling fresh.

That goes for all your cosmetics – avoid anything that will make your skin any drier than it already is. If you’re not incorporating moisturizing products in your oils in baths and/or showers, now is the time to do it. Soaking your entire body in hydrating products will not only help your skin, but can also help soothe your stress before the big day.

Daily application of lotion will help as well. If you know that certain parts of your body will be prominently showcased with your dress and in pictures, exfoliate and give more attention to those parts. Of course, dry lips are something you definitely don’t want before you exchange vows and kiss your soon-to-be spouse. Ideally, pick a lipstick that is also a moisturizing one, so your lips aren’t cracking through the color. Keep some chapstick or moisturizing lipstick/lip gloss handy – or have one of your bridesmaids hold it for you. That’s what they’re there for!

And remember that one thing that always helps with fighting off dry skin is hydrating with plenty of water, that way you’ll be refreshed but also keep that radiant look in the cold winter.

What you need to know about skin peels

Have you ever been tempted to have a face peel? Many women are, mostly because the procedure promises smooth skin which looks young and fresh. It’s certainly true that the peels have moved on a lot in recent years, but they should still be approached with caution. According to skincare expert Dr Marko Lens, the main area for concern is when people become too dependent on the procedure.

“Go to the US and you see the American ladies with thin skin. Why? Because they have peeled and over peeled and over peeled,” he told Cover Media. “The reason why (their skin looks bad is) because the skin barrier function was never repaired.”

What’s crucial to understand here is the role vitamin D has within the skin. This vitamin is responsible for the normal cell cycle of the epidermis; it fortifies the skin barrier function, meaning the skin is able to protect itself from environmental aggressors and microbes. Put simply: a weak skin barrier means sensitive, unhealthy looking skin.

Aggressive washing and over applying products can harm the skin’s barrier function, so imagine the effect a peel has. Obviously caring for the face after such a process will eventually allow it to be repaired, but if you constantly opt for severe peels your skin never has time to recover.

“If you check the levels of (these women’s) vitamin D they will all be depleted and they all have more chance of getting skin cancer, because by destroying the lipid barrier they are more sensitive to the sun damage,” Marko explained.

“It’s kind of a circle that we see that they’ve created by depleting the barrier function – probably in a couple of years people will realize that you don’t have to be harsh to your skin to realise that something is working. Technically, I never understood and will never in my practice use aggressive peels and aggressive abrasion – rollers than put holes in your skin and stuff like that. Why do you need to traumatize your skin? I understand that they think, ‘OK, a little bit of trauma will boost the collagen production’ and all this stuff. It doesn’t work that way because each time, yes, it’s logical that if you traumatize a little bit – like if you have a wound, that’s a trauma, the skin acts immediately, but there’s always an inflammation component. Whenever you activate that inflammation component you also activate the ageing process.”

This is because as we age, we lose lipids (such as fatty acids which are part of the barrier function) in our skin. Therefore, getting rid of them with a peel could result in the same outcome. “Protecting barrier function is the (most important thing),” Marko added. “That will lead to transepidermal water loss, more aged skin, more sensitive skin, skin more prone to sun damage and definitely thinner skin.”

Applying make-up to dry skin

Nothing is worse than trying to make yourself look good for a night out in the winter, but your skin is just too flaky and dry to apply make-up properly. This doesn’t mean you should throw in the towel and give up though, as there are ways to tackle this.

It all starts with your base, which you need to get as smooth as possible before anything. Exfoliate your skin with a gentle facial scrub to get rid of any excess dry skin – rub too hard and you’ll only irritate your complexion.

Then you want to apply a hydrating moisturizer that caters to your skin type – flakiness is a sure sign of sensitivity so you’ll want a face cream that doesn’t have any harsh chemicals or ingredients. Let the moisturizer sink in and absorb naturally so your skin gets all the nourishment.

Or, a good tip you may not know about is to apply your moisturizer before you shower, so your pores open up and absorb the cream better. Rub in properly, especially targeting your extra dry spots.

If a primer is part of your routine, invest in a hydrating one for the winter months like Too Faced Hangover Face Primer – don’t just use it after a boozy night out! A hydrating product will nourish your skin even more before applying foundation.

As for what cover up you choose, you’ll want to avoid anything that will dry your skin up even more like matte, oil-free or powder options. Cream foundations will maintain a dewy finish even if you do feel flaky and dry, and they will hold more moisture in as the day goes on.

Or you could mix the one you already use with a spot of moisturizer or primer to hide blemishes and keep your complexion looking fresh.

Hair’s to Aloe Vera

Aloe vera can be found in many beauty products – from off-the-counter brands to luxury items, this much-used ingredient is clearly beneficial for your beauty routine. The aloe vera plant contained many natural ingredients that are good for your body, including Vitamins A, B, C, and E, as well as a crucial element, a complex carbohydrate called acemannan. This allows nutrients to reach the cells in your skin, nourishing them and relieving them of toxins at the same time.

While aloe vera can be found in many skin products, it can also be used for your dry or damaged hair as well. Just as it affects your skin, aloe vera can nourish, cleanse and protect your tresses, and has a host of benefits when used on your locks regularly. Since aloe vera is a natural plant and not man-made, it’s been around for centuries, even dating back to the ancient Egyptians, who used the plant to cure hair loss, according to research conducted by the University of Hawaii. Aloe vera contains enzymes that can get rid of dead skins cells on the scalp which could be clogging the hair follicle, thus not allowing the nutrients to properly penetrate into your hair. When aloe vera is applied, it breaks down the dead scalp cells, allowing for further hair growth. It can also bring your scalp and hair back to a normal pH balance, which allows your hair to retain more water and moisture and therefore promote hair growth.

Relatedly, the same enzymes in get rid of dead skin cells also help with reducing dandruff. For a simple dandruff treatment, add a few drops of tea tree oil to aloe vera gel. Mix in a few drops of rose water to get a serum-type consistency. Then cover your scalp with the serum, let it sit for about an hour, and rinse out normally.

Aloe vera also contains anti-bacterial and antiseptic properties to help get rid of an itchy scalp. Just like putting aloe vera on a sunburn, it gives your scalp a calming and cooling sensation, as well as reducing the scaling, inflammation and itching of the scalp.

Manly winter skincare tips

When it comes to skincare, women tend to have it down. As a guy there isn’t as much advice available, so we’ve compiled some top tips for the boys to follow this winter.

Fact: face scrub isn’t just for girls! It may seem strange to scrub your face when the weather is cold and your skin is dry, but by exfoliating you’ll be removing dead skin cells and creating a smoother, healthier surface. You can use warm water and a cloth to make the process gentler; simply massage your face in small circles, giving extra focus to any cracked or dry patches. No need to do it every day; once or twice a week will be enough. We suggest trying Kiehl’s Facial Fuel Energizing Scrub or Bulldog Skincare For Men Original Facial Scrub.

After a thorough wash your face will be craving moisture before you step outside into the chill. A good cream is vital, but you’ll want to make sure you choose the right one for your skin type. Lighter options suit oily skin, while heavier creams are best for dry. Or if you’re an aftershave user, purchase one which is nourishing enough for you to skip using a moisturizer after shaving.

You and your razor need to tread carefully in winter and if possible, we suggest hopping into a hot shower as soon as you’ve finished your shave (alternatively douse the clean areas with warm water). It will help open up your pores and produce softer hair – the last thing you want is icicles hanging off your chin.

This is where beard shampoo enters; it may sound made up, but it will keep your facial hair nourished throughout the colder months. Grizzly Adam Beard Wash and Shampoo and Murdock London Beard Shampoo are just two of the options.

Rather than laughing at your girlfriend or female friends offering you a swipe of their Vaseline, take advantage! Or if you need a manly one to tackle chapped lips, EvolutionMAN Lip Balm or Tom Ford Hydrating Lip Balm are highly recommended.