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Makeup tips

Hot Lipstick Trends for 2020

New Year, new lips! Well, not quite, but at least new shades of lipstick are in order? There are countless ways to revamp your makeup kit this season and if there is one staple that deserves to stay ahead of the game, it’s lipstick.

Whether you’re a lover of fiery red, deep cherry or passionate pink, there is always a shade for you and who knows, this year’s lipstick trends may just swing your vote toward another colour.

So, what is it about lipstick that draws us in every time? Is it the feel of it, the colour, the texture? Well most of the time it’s the way lipstick makes us feel when we wear it or how a certain hue can compliment our face and help us to exude confidence.

Lipstick and clever lip liner can also help change the shape of our lips and make them either look fuller or just show off their existing potential. Lipstick, lip colour and lip gloss contain all the magic we need to transform our mouths and with a little practice and experimentation with colour and texture, lipstick doesn’t just have to be saved for a big night out but instead enjoyed every day.

The Gamechanger

The thing with lipstick and makeup in general, is that it changes all the time. It evolves to be better and suit our needs of convenience, but it isn’t always enough. These changes need to consider the beauty aspect and how well it lasts and does the job it is supposed to. Convenience and purpose have to go hand in hand for the product to work and for people to buy into it.

The gamechangers in lipstick terms are the ones that don’t rub off or end up on your teeth within the first 5 minutes of applying them or even more daring ones with high glossy textures that don’t allow your hair to stick to them in the slightest breeze.

But there are also the other kind of game changers that don’t just consider beauty but lip health and enhancement too! We all want something that we don’t have, and a lot of the time we find it hard to accept our own features without wanting to improve them. Lips are commonly thought of when it comes to cosmetic treatments as they are relatively easy to enhance.

Lip fillers are extremely popular these days but not without risk and they usually require top ups to keep them plump. This is where a lot of people tend to get the bug and keep increasing their lip size a little more every time. The gamechanger here is Xlips Lip Plumping Balm. It is a relatively modern concept and as the years roll on, the science behind lip plumping serums and balms just gets better and better.

Designed to plump up your lips with just a swipe of the wand, it is harmless and non-invasive. Ok, so it doesn’t last months like lip fillers would, but it will certainly get you through an evening with lips that tingle and feel and look fuller than before. The active ingredients sink deep into the outer epidermis and essentially wake up the blood vessels to give a plumper appearance to your lips.

The reason I’ve included this as the gamechanger in hot lipstick trends? It acts as the perfect base for your next choice in lip colour. Natural and healthy ingredients keep the lips moisturised and hydrated without coating them with heavy or sticky gloss and its clear solution allows lipstick to sit firmly without compromising on colour.

So now you know how to make the most out of your lips and get them looking full and healthy, it’s time to have a look at some of the hottest trends in lipstick for this 2020 season as well as some classics that never get old.

The Bold and the Beautiful

Matte and low gloss red lips are huge going into 2020, and variations on the shade will allow it to be one trend that will stick around for a long time. The boldness of the red is toned down with the matte texture which makes this look perfect for the office as well as the office party.

This look is sure to make a statement and goes with minimal or maximum effect makeup, but red is always complimented by black eyeliner and mascara. Try this one with a thin line over the top lid and a subtle wing for the perfect minimalistic look.

But bold doesn’t have to be toned down all the time, gothic colours have certainly made a come back and are there to be enjoyed going into 2020. With a wintery feel, deep purples and plums with a high gloss make this look stand out and is perfect for accentuating curvy lips and a deep cupid’s bow.

Suited to dark eye makeup, bring this right into the new decade with less black eyeshadow and more dark greys and plums. These deep shades of lipstick don’t have to be too intimidating and if you’re new to dark lipstick, try a plum hue with medium shine to find your feet and work out just how much darker you want to go eventually. Dark haired beauties have the best luck with gothic inspired lipstick as it helps to frame the face and bring all focus to those luscious lips.

Bright pink is definitely another bold statement colour for 2020. Think fuchsia rather than barbie pink and make it classically sophisticated. This colour is just what a dark and rainy winter calls for, so going into the later parts of the season, instead of months of waiting and yearning for spring to arrive, try rocking this colour to brighten up your day NOW.

To make this look even more on trend this year, make it glossy and really give your lips a plumping balm treat to accentuate the curves of your mouth. This is one colour you don’t want to fall flat, so avoid the matte and gloss away!

Although it’s a very 1980’s inspired colour, you don’t want to take too much of a step into the past with bright pink/fuchsia so try teaming it with black eyeliner on the top lid only, small amounts of colour on the cheeks and a pale, matte foundation. As much as I love the eighties and blue eyeshadow, remember that less is more so let the lipstick do all the talking.

The Adventurous

Once you start to wear lipstick you find it becomes a bit of an addiction. Your lips start to feel naked without it and you become accustomed to certain brands, colours and textures. I definitely have my firm favourites, but it still leaves room for experimentation and these days there are plenty of options when it comes to lipstick.

So, for those who are feeling a little bit braver this year, it’s time to get adventurous with your lipstick! Take purple for example, its bright, it makes a statement and it can still coordinate with various outfits and hair colours.

The best thing about purple as a trend for 2020 is that it has a futuristic vibe without coming across too abstract and there are many shades to help you tone the look up or down depending on how daring you’re feeling. Apply purple lipstick to perfectly lined lips and clean up any smudged lines to keep it sharp and team it with cool lilac eyeshadow and plenty of mascara to keep the whole look on trend this year.

Metallic lipstick also carries the futuristic vibe really well but in keeping with 2020 trends it can look classic when applied well. For the less adventurous, add a metallic shimmer over the top of your existing lipstick so it really catches the light well, or if you are looking for more action in your lip life, go full metallic and compliment your own skin tone. Golds for warmer tones and silver for more pale or pink tones. Your lips will definitely be the highlight of a night out with the girls.

The Natural

There is absolutely nothing wrong with keeping your lipstick toned down in 2020, in fact there are more options than you may think when it comes to keeping it natural and these shades are right on trend in 2020.

Lipstick isn’t just supposed to be worn to events or on nights out anymore, and the modern woman wants to be able to wear lipstick to the office without feeling like they are about to hit the newest club in town. Neutral and natural shades fix this dilemma and give your lips the ability to look full all day and still scream sophistication.

Try taupe as a darker option in neutral shades but keep it casual with less gloss and softer lines. It is the kind of lipstick you can reapply easily if you need to but keeps your lips covered and looking classic. With this kind of lipstick, it is good to team it with a smoky eye and lashings of mascara as it will act as more of a base colour for your makeup look overall.

Natural pink is also a good day time option as it gives you the feel of lipstick without looking too obvious that you’re wearing it. It is right on trend this 2020 season as the barely-there makeup look never goes out of style and it gives your lips the slight blush they need to lift your face and highlight your skin. Team this one with mascara and light colour on cheeks to play on your face’s existing strengths but with a little more daytime glamour.

While natural pink may suit one type of skin tone, nude lipstick may suit others. Warmer and darker skin tones are matched well with a semi-nude lipstick with a slight shine that insinuates the presence of lipstick but without looking too heavy. Nude lipstick is high in the trends in 2020 and especially works well in these wintery months as it keeps your face looking warm and welcoming and is well teamed with brown eyeliner, shimmery eyeshadow and lengthening black mascara.

Now, stick with me on this next one as it will make you say, “That’s not natural!” but orange and coral are definite trend-setters in 2020 and definitely work well in the natural category. Orange is a relatively new arrival to the consumer lipstick world, so no one expects you to already have this in your arsenal. But believe me, it is a great shade to wear all year round and when done right it can look fantastic.

Find an orange with light pink tones that doesn’t just look like you’ve had your fill of Tango and spilled it all over your mouth. It should resemble a coral colour that is a nice balance between red and pink but with the warmth of orange and it works really well on tanned skin. Trust me, this trend will definitely be sticking around this year.

The Classic

There is one lipstick trend that will never go anywhere. Gaining notoriety and popularity way back in the early days of the Hollywood stars of the 1920s, red lipstick stole the scene on stage and as colour film was developing and has never waivered since.

Initially, red lipstick looked too dark in black and white movies, so when the world of colour TV opened its doors to the general public, it was the one colour film cameras captured so well and was lusted after by women everywhere.

Today in 2020, red lipstick is a staple in most women’s makeup kit and is the old reliable that everyone can count on. Looking fantastic on all skin tones, red lipstick is the sensuous and sophisticated option for evening glamour. The colour enhances the shape of your lips, while showing them off in all their glory and making you feel powerful all at the same time.

The classic red lipstick is best worn with in a light gloss or shiny form with sharp lines and a strong base. An even colour all round, it can be teamed with a slightly darker liner, plum shades to the corners of the mouth and even in matte form for a modern twist.

The vampy look took off decades ago and was a statement that oozed feminism, when teamed with black liner and a dark brow. I cannot get enough of red lipstick, the classic pillar box red is my favourite shade, but cherry red will always have a place in my heart too.

In 2020 expect to see more bright red lipstick high up in the trends and variations of the tone that bring this classic look right into the present and beyond.


Makeup tips

Let your Lips Lead the Way This Winter

Our faces get put through so much all year round and winter is especially gruelling. The cold, the snow and rain, or the dryness of the wind all contribute to the changes we have to make to our normal beauty routines.

In winter my skin seems to take a different turn and sometimes not for the best. It starts to feel parched and dry and needs more looking after than usual. And unfortunately, the same goes for my lips. Even the average cool winter day has them shrivelled up and looking pale.

The thing with lips is they are naturally delicate and the slightest change in temperature, eating and drinking habits and beauty routines can cause them to react in different ways. I’m sure we’ve all experienced cracked lips at some point and wow is that painful. Even trying to smile becomes the hardest work while they heal, making every attempt not to let them crack again.

But the good thing is, winter doesn’t need to be the destroyer of your smile and with a few changes to your normal routine and a couple of handy additions, you can get through to spring with smooth and silky lips and leave the chapped smile a thing of the wintery past.

Why do Lips get Damaged in Winter?

Winter evokes many positive pictures – from snowy walks, mugs of hot chocolate, Christmas and cosy nights in front of the fire. If only winter delivered on all of these promises all season round and it would be a much calmer and friendlier time. But unfortunately for many of us the reality is that winter can be filled with rainy days stuck in traffic, trying to get warm in front of the heater and dealing with chapped and scaly lips that don’t seem to let up.

It doesn’t actually need to be freezing cold for this to happen either, just slight drops in temperature or changes to the outside elements can wreak havoc on the already delicate skin on our lips. The skin there is actually so much thinner than anywhere else on our face and the reddish hue that you see is really from the near visible blood vessels that show through thin layers of the epidermis.

It is because the skin is so thin on our lips that it doesn’t provide much service in protecting them from cold, wintery conditions. Unlike the rest of our bodies, they don’t produce oil either which can act as a protective barrier against the cold or even the sun. So, basically, the motto here is to look after your lips as they essentially cannot look after themselves.

Why is it Important to Look After your Lips?

Apart from looking great, our lips serve more of a purpose than we realise. They can say an awful lot about underlying health issues or temporary problems we need to fix. You might experience dry lips from time to time and not think too much of it but if it lasts longer than usual then this can be a sign of dehydration.

Water is the key to life when it all comes down to it, and without getting enough of it our bodies react in typical ways. We feel like we have less energy, our skin starts to look tired and our lips develop tough patches with white cracks that appear less than attractive.

Not only this, but painful sores or dry corners can indicate a vitamin deficiency which if not taken care of can get worse. The issue with these sorts of lip problems is most people think the solution is to pile balms or petroleum jelly onto their lips without delving a bit deeper into the actual problem and looking after their body as a whole.

Lip fillers may look perfect when done well, but they can also be the cause of issues and can lead to discolouration and extreme dryness in and around the mouth. Any kind of lip filler stretches the skin on the lips and inserts foreign bodies under the epidermis. The swelling can cause an inflammatory reaction and cause them to dry out.

If lip fillers are your choice this winter, the main thing is to make sure they are hydrated and looked after every single day to keep them looking and feeling great at the same time.

How do you Look After your Lips in the Winter?

When it comes to the cold season, you can’t ignore the health of your lips. With planned outdoor trips, New Year’s Eve parties and even walks in the snow afoot, one thing that is sure to try and ruin your activities is dry and sore lips.

So the best thing to do is to try and prevent it from happening in the first place, but even if winter gets to your lips first, there are remedies that will make sure the rest of your wintery walks don’t make them feel the full wrath of the cold.

Don’t Touch or Lick your Lips

When your lips get dry it can be the most tempting thing to lick them. It provides a seemingly instant relief and its harmless, right? Unfortunately, this is so wrong and actually does more harm than good. Saliva isn’t the same as water, and the way it dries into your lips causes more moisture to be lost in the long run.

While we’re talking about it, picking or biting your lips can also cause dryness and sores and when they’re already a bit chapped it will only prolong the healing process and make them look unsightly for the next few weeks. Applying lipstick will become a pain and will only highlight how uneven the skin is on them. No matter how tempted you are, reach for other remedies before trying to peel off dry skin on your lips this winter.

Work on a Healthy Diet

Eating healthily isn’t just good for your body but it’s necessary for your skin too. You skin serves as a protective layer against germs and bacteria and if it becomes damaged then infection can get in. Sore lips aren’t always caused by the bite of winter but the horrible bugs and illnesses that come along with it.

To keep yourself, your skin and your lips healthy you need to maintain a balanced and healthy diet with a vitamin and mineral intake being a priority. B Vitamins are what protects our skin from sun exposure and the elements, and they can be found in poultry, fish and beans. Omega 3 fatty acids found in salmon and seeds are good for keeping the lips healthy and plump.

There is a whole cocktail of ingredients that are bad for lips, especially in winter and assist with drying them out when they are already facing the cold climate for a few months. Caffeine, sugar, salt and alcohol should be avoided if your lips are having a bad time this winter, stick to water to keep them hydrated and silky instead of dry and sore.

Remove your Makeup with Care

Its all good and well thinking about winter and how much it can harm your lips, but the damage we can do to them with vigorous cleansing can be even worse. Applying makeup is all fun and games until it comes to removing it, especially when you’ve opted for some stay on lipstick that is designed not to move for 24 hours.

At the end of each day there comes the task of cleansing and it’s important at this stage to remember to be gentle. As I mentioned earlier, the skin on your lips is so thin that it can become damaged so easily that harsh cleansers and rough hands can make them sore.

This is the last thing you want is to step outside in the cool air and feel the rawness that you’ve inflicted on your poor lips. So, when cleansing stick to soft cloths or cotton pads, alcohol and fragrance-free cleansers or anything that can irritate the skin on your lips and go gently on them.

Repair your Lips with Balm

There are thousands of different balms out there that promise to keep your lips moist and hydrated year-round and it can be easy to reach for the first one because of its appeal. Fruit flavoured, added sparkles or colour are all additives that are designed to lure you in and keep you coming back for more.

The problem with great flavoured lip balms is they taste so good which as we talked about earlier, licking your lips is the worst thing you can do when they are already feeling dry. They also tend to contain ingredients that only work as a temporary measure and can be worse for your lips than just leaving them alone to begin with.

To really fight off the winds of winter, you should look into a repairing lip balm that doesn’t dry them out and keeps on working hours after its been applied. Xlips EGF Intensive Care Lip Balm by Xlash is a fantastic solution to winter worries as it sinks in deep meaning you only need to apply it once a day before going to bed and let it work its lip-fixing magic overnight.

The great thing about this balm is it isn’t sticky like most are so when you sleep it doesn’t end up sticking to your hair or your pillow, if you’re an active sleeper you’ll know what I’m on about!

For cracks and chaps, this intensive care lip balm works wonders in repairing them quickly. It isn’t scented and doesn’t contain any irritants or perfume so once its on, it just soaks in and leaves your lips silky smooth for the rest of the day. Keep this up through the cold months and enjoy a chap-free winter.

Keep them Plump the Easy Way

Its not just about how your lips feel but how they look and how you feel about them. Sometimes a little bit of confidence goes a long way in how healthy your lips are, and this may mean changing their physical appearance. Cosmetic treatments can be invasive and painful, and they also put a lot more pressure on you to look after them and keep them hydrated.

The craving for lips on the larger side started years ago, but with modern advancements in cosmetic procedures, it means that lip fillers or injections are widely available to everybody at semi-reasonable costs.

To a lot of people it is the cost of lip fillers that is off-putting, to others it is the pain, but if you are choosing to plump your lips this winter remember that the cost is a representation of the service you will receive as well as aftercare information. If you’re prepared to part with your pennies, then lip fillers may just be the choice for you.

The other option is to go for something a little less intrusive and a little more temporary but still with the aim of giving you the desired effect. Similar in ingredients to the Xlips EGF Intensive Care Lip Balm, Xlips Lip Plumping Balm is not also available and has a little added extra ingredient to promote collagen in you lips.

This stuff is great for a night out or a party as it lasts a few hours and keeps your lips looking puckered for as long as you keep applying it. It has a little tingle that feels minty fresh and is the perfect way to plump your lips this winter if you want something a little more short-term.

Treat yourself to New Lip Colour

No winter would be complete without a little treat for your lips and now that you have the self-care part down, it’s time to think about how you want to display those smooth lips to the world. And adding a little colour is the perfect way to do it.

Now for me, red is the sure winner every winter, it just has the right hue that stands out in dark nights and warms up any look. But it could be time to get experimental and try some stark corals or deep purples to really suit those winter nights.

Whatever your colour preference, make sure your lipstick has healthy ingredients that keep your lips hydrated and moisturised and as always, be sure to remove that makeup last thing at night.

Above all, don’t forget to moisturise them and put a little life back into your lips this winter.


Makeup tips

Eyelash Care for 2020

As we are about to kiss 2019 goodbye it’s the perfect time to reflect on what a year its been for beauty products and routines, and we can start preparing to make 2020 an even better one.

Everyone likes to make new year’s resolutions about dieting or fitness, but its just as important to take the little things with you into the new year, like your new eyelash care routine.

If like me, you have only recently taken your eyelashes’ health and beauty into your own hands this year, then you will know it is an easy resolution to keep up with next year and one you definitely won’t want to quit.

If you haven’t really given much thought or time into looking after your eyelashes this year but realise that you need to change things to get them back into full health, then read on and discover the secrets of eyelash care that will mean your lashes have longevity well past 2020.

Eyelash Growth Cycle

They say if it’s not broken, don’t try to fix it. But when it comes to eyelashes, I firmly believe the opposite. When you look at your eyelashes you might not even see anything wrong on the surface and it won’t be until you realise you are losing more than you are growing that you will see the need to do anything about it.

On the other hand, you might be having a really good eyelash month! And you’ll notice that they are looking a whole lot better than they did last month. It can spark fear in wondering what you did so wrong then to make them look less than lustrous and why they were falling out more than often.

Well, it might be that you weren’t doing anything really wrong, it could just be the time of year or your eyelash growth cycle.

Eyelashes grow and fall out in different stages and one general cycle can last around 4-5 months before it starts up again. There are 3 stages in the eyelash growth cycle, and each has its own lifespan so you will always have eyelashes growing and falling out at any one time.

The first is the anagen phase which is where they start growing into a full lash. It lasts just over a month or maybe 45 days if the follicle is strong and healthy. Eyelashes in this stage can be quite weak in the beginning as they are quite new and can’t resist a lot of pressure, so this is the time to keep them healthy, so they can return the favour by lasting longer.

The second stage is the catagen or transition phase which lasts around 2 to 3 weeks. Here the eyelash stops growing and the follicle basically prepares to shrink. The shrinking of the follicle is what will eventually cause the hair to fall out, but in this phase the eyelashes are at the longest they will get and are the most noticeable on your eyelids.

At this stage eyelashes may still fall out, but they won’t grow back in straight away as they still have to complete the full cycle as the follicle sees the full process through. If your eyelashes look more sparse than usual, it is most likely because of loss during this phase.

The last stage is the telogen phase which is also known as the resting phase. This is where the eyelashes start to naturally fall out and can last up to 100 days. It is totally normal to lose lashes during this phase and they will appear to grow back quicker as the follicle will have completed its cycle.

Cause of Eyelash Loss

So, as you can see from the eyelash growth cycle, there is usually no cause for concern if you start to notice lash loss. It is a normal part of the cycle and can vary at different points of the year depending on weather and different beauty routines.

But that isn’t to say to rest on the normality of lash loss. Going into 2020 you want to make sure your eyelashes are healthy, and you can stick to your new year’s resolution by keeping them that way. There are other causes that may be behind your eyelash loss that you should address before trying to hide behind mascara and hoping for the best.

Cleansing Routines – Sometimes vigorous cleansing can be enough to damage your eyelashes or cause them to fall out. Eyelashes generally shouldn’t fall out until they are ready, and it definitely shouldn’t hurt or cause any irritation, but from time to time in removing makeup you make catch some lashes that weren’t quite destined to drop out just yet.

Harsh cleansers and eye makeup removers can cause the follicle to lose natural oils and become dry and red which can be a pain for your eyelids but also bad for keeping hold of your lashes. Cloths and cotton pads should be soft and not rubbed harshly on your eyes, no matter how much you want to get that mascara off. Anything that puts intense pressure on your lashes could cause them to fall out so check your products before using them and make sure they are gentle on eyes and skin.

Hydration – If you’re a dedicated water drinker and get your recommended amount each day then you will probably notice if you skip a glass or two. Think about how your lips react to dehydration, I know mine can’t stand when I don’t get enough water each day as they dry up and feel sore and look less pink and more pale! Well, your eyelashes are the same, you need to keep hydrated regularly for your body to function as it’s supposed to so instead of skipping on the water, grab an extra glass or two each day to keep your eyelashes in check.

The same goes for salty foods and sugary drinks, they can dehydrate your body more than you realise, so things like fizzy drinks, alcohol with high sugar content and coffee are all known to dehydrate you. Your hair may even feel drier than usual if you substitute good old water for these drinks. Try going into 2020 with less sugar and more water for all round health and give yourself a head start when it comes to your eyelashes.

The Weather – I’m not the fondest of winter, I don’t mind crisp, cold days snuggled in my blanket or even a nice fresh walk wrapped up in a toasty scarf and hat. But winter tends to play havoc on my skin and hair. The same goes for my eyelashes too.

The briskness of cold wintery weather is enough to dry out skin and cause flakiness. This in turn can cause irritation on the skin around the eyes and therefore affect eyelashes. It also makes eyelashes more brittle and prone to breaking and falling out which means you will have longer to wait in the growth cycle for them to look full again.

The solution? Well apart from moving to warmer climates in winter or hibernating until the glorious sunshine has a chance to reach your eyelashes, there isn’t a whole list of easy fixes. But if you treat them well, keep hydrated and keep up with a good cleansing and moisturising routine you will definitely be in with a chance.

Another great option is an eyelash serum. This isn’t just for the winter months either, this is for year-round healthy eyelashes so get started for 2020 and keep them looking full and feeling strong.

An eyelash serum has the benefits of keeping the follicles healthy, the surrounding skin clean, clear and soft and the eyelashes strong and long. A good eyelash serum for strong and healthy eyelashes is Xlash Eyelash Serum. It assists with growth as well and as I mentioned earlier, if you can keep your follicles healthy during the anagen phase, this growth stage can last longer than usual.

Get a few bottles of this handy little serum ready for 2020 and have eyelashes that exceed your expectations in the first month.

Waterproof Mascara – Wet weather is also a downer in winter, it can last days or sometimes it feels like the whole season. While it might feel hydrating to have eyelashes that glisten in the rain, many of us tend to cover them with mascara.

This can be a problem none of us want… mascara running down our cheeks when we’ve just popped out to do some shopping! So then waterproof mascara comes to save the day, or so it promises. The issue with waterproof mascara is its designed not to move so it can take a toll on your eyelashes.

If you’re planning on going into 2020 with healthy eyelashes, it might be time to ditch the waterproof stuff and get used to staying out of the rain for a few months. Taking off waterproof mascara at the end of the day can be a nightmare, and you tend to lose more lashes doing this. It also coats them completely, so they become less durable and more likely to break.

Old Makeup – Eyelash care is easy to master as long as you have the right tools. Makeup can be expensive so it’s not ideal to just go and throw away everything you already have and start from scratch going into the new year, but in the interests of making 2020 a good year for your eyelashes, it might be time to sit down and check some dates of your existing makeup and check it isn’t doing more damage than good.

All makeup has a use by date, you may know this already but if not, check your bottle or pot and look for the little symbol that looks like a pot with an open lid and the number inside it. This will tell you how long your makeup will last once its been opened.

But even this is just a guide and probably best-case scenario in most instances. The surrounding temperature and what it comes into contact with can make this life shorter. For example, most mascara lasts around 3 months once its been opened but if you take this mascara with you on a hot, sunny holiday it will start to dry up and get clumpy. Putting it on your eyelashes won’t be a pleasant experience so it is best to say bye to it and grab yourself a new one.

The thing with mascara is the wand is being pumped in and out of the tube every day, it comes into contact with your eyelashes multiple times so it can gather dirt and oils which you then unknowingly put back into the tub ready for tomorrow’s application. Doesn’t sound too nice when you think of it like that, does it?

If you go into 2020 with one piece of serious advice for your eyelashes, its to make sure you don’t use mascara past its use by life or when its starting to act or smell a little off. Irritation on and around your eyelashes is not the great start you want next year.

Eyelash Curlers – Historically, I’ve always been a bit scared of eyelash curlers, but in recent years they are a great tool I’ve learned to embrace. Eyelashes are very delicate little things and in the spirit of having great eyelashes in 2020, I decided that eyelash curlers are some of the best things you can have when used properly.

A few decades ago, eyelash curlers resembled torture devices in a one size fits all kind of way and the problem with this is we all have different shaped eyes and eyelashes so the wrong curler can cause more damage than good.

In my dream to have longer and curvier lashes, I started to use an eyelash serum which was great for adding length and keeping them healthy, but I didn’t really have that curl that is so desirable. So, eyelash curlers became my friend.

If you’re venturing into this world for the first time, shop around first and make sure that the curler you want is something that will fit your eyelashes. By that I mean check the length and the depth of the curve. If your eyes are round and your lids protrude more than they are flat, then a straight curler could be risky. You want to clamp it down close to your lids and sort of shuffle it up to the end of your eyelashes to get that curl in motion but being careful not to go too close and catch your eyelid. Ouch!

The thing with eyelash care is when it’s done right and in a constant routine, you won’t ever have to worry about them again. Mascara will become and accessory rather than a necessity and your eyelashes will start to look and feel fantastic.

Going into 2020, make one of your new resolutions to look after your eyelashes and you’ll be able to see the benefits right into 2021 and beyond.


Makeup tips

Hottest Christmas Makeup Trends

So, the festive season is almost upon us and I can almost smell the fruity scent of mulled wine and cinnamon. It is the most exciting time of year and the perfect chance to get festive with your makeup.

A lot of makeup trends come and go, but at Christmas there are staple hits that work on all faces and can elevate your look with little effort. Afterall, it’s time to go Christmas shopping, not just panic about makeup for hours on end.

Of course, there is no harm in putting a little treat for yourself in your basket this Christmas. And we’ve got just the stocking fillers for you.
Go Green!

Even the least makeup savvy know that green is one of the key colours at Christmas. It might be a little cliché, but I love adding a splash of green to compliment any outfit during the festive season, especially just to show a slight hint of Christmas spirit.

When done correctly, adding green to your eyeshadow palette is the perfect way to lift a dark outfit and stops it from looking too over the top cheesy.

The perfect way to wear it? Go messy and bright. I like blurred lines and eyeshadow on the top and bottom lids. Team it up with some jet-black, lash-lengthening mascara and a nude lip and you are good to go.

Add a little glitter if you’re heading out to your work Christmas party to inject some sparkle and you have nailed Christmas makeup look number one!

Glossy Lips

As far as lips go, sometimes it feels as though keeping up with the latest trends is near impossible. One thing becomes popular, and before you know it its last years news. But rest assured, as long as you aren’t stuck in 2002 where heavily lined lips with pale lipstick was all the rage, you are safe in whatever you choose to put on those kissers!

These days a heavy gloss is right on trend at Christmas time, especially for parties and events or anywhere a photobooth might pop up!

Luckily, glossy lipstick doesn’t mean sticky anymore. There’s nothing worse than your hair getting caught in the wind and sticking to your freshly applied gloss, so make sure you invest in a solid shiny lipstick and go for a nude hue at this time of year, leaving room for you to concentrate on your eyes and cheeks.

Cheeky Christmas

Nothing says winter more than rosy cheeks and you can use this to your advantage at Christmas time to stay on trend.

Hopefully your Christmas party will be indoors so you don’t have to endure the frozen cheeks all night long, but you can recreate the look with clever use of blush to compliment your skin tone.

Instead of going heavy on the contour, make it cute with light pinks and peaches on the apple of your cheeks with a little bit of shinnery highlighter to give them shape.
If you are feeling especially coordinated, match the tone in your blush to your lip colour and accentuate your features with this subtle statement.

Cat-Eyed Girl

Whether you have mastered the perfect wing or not by now, Christmas is the perfect time to get practicing your skills. Always a timeless classic, winged eyeliner is perfect at any time of the year, but also great for something a little different at your Christmas gathering if it is something you never usually wear.

Make yourself stand out and stretch your eyeliner wing outward toward the end of your brows to keep the focus on your eyes.

All eyes are different shapes and some suit the classic cat-eye more than others, but that doesn’t mean you can’t achieve it with practice. For down-turned eyes it is the perfect method for bringing them up a little. Your eyes appear to completely change shape with just one sweep of eyeliner.

Mastering the cat-eye can be a present to yourself this year and it will be something you can carry on into 2020.

Matte Red Lips

Never one to stick to one trend, I love bright red matte lips at Christmas, and it is always one of the hottest trends you will see. The classic red lip is easy to master, and all most skin tones can pull it off.

For a Christmas office party, keep your eye makeup colours toned done so you don’t take focus from your mouth. If you have full lips, keep your outlines sharp and the colour even throughout.

If you have lips on the thinner size, you can use lip liner in the same shade or slightly darker to outline your shape, accentuate your cupid’s bow and add volume to your lips without the need for lip fillers or injections.

The classic red can even be turned up a notch during the festive season with an overcoat of shimmer or glitter. Nothing says Christmas like glitter! Turn your lips into the perfect present for your next big party.

Copper Party

Not everybody favours the typical Christmas colours of red and green, which is understandable. Sometimes it can be a bit overkill if not executed well. And you know what they say about too much of a good thing!

So, if you are in search of a hot Christmas trend but can’t seem to put your finger on what it is you’re looking for then start with some coppers and bronzes by switching up your normal colours for these at Christmas.

Eyeshadows, highlighters and blush in these bronzy colours can warm up your skin tones and add a touch of shimmer when your face hits the light. Perfectly understated, the copper and bronze movement is great for this time of year so even when you don’t feel warm, your face will tell a different story.

Messy Brows

Look, after all the time you are dedicating to your makeup this Christmas, no one can expect you to free up even more time to turn your eyebrows into geometric perfection.

It’s a good job messy eyebrows are on trend this season rather than the polished look that most of us can only dream of upkeeping. Team a slightly overgrown eyebrow with those golds and bronzes I mentioned before by making your eyeshadow and your brow bone meet in perfect Christmas harmony.

Don’t worry about too many stray’s underneath, just keep your brows brushed upward and outward and add a little gel or powder to separate the hairs and keep the main body of your eyebrows looking sleek. Keep a pair of tweezers on you in case of emergencies, but with this trend, the only emergency you’ll have is not having enough time to admire your brand-new look.

Add a Little Sparkle

This may not be new to the makeup scene, but adding a little sparkle to the inner corner of your eyes is a hot trend and I personally love it as it achieves two things: It gives you the Christmassy feel in a subtle way and it also opens up your eyes.

Go for a light sparkle such as pale golds and silvers to compliment the rest of your eyeshadow by dabbing a little to the inner corner of your eyes before applying your eyeliner or go heavier with a brighter shade and heavy pigment.

The lighter shade acts as a way to create more space between your eyes so is perfect for narrow eyes to make them appear wider. But the bright colours just make a statement this Christmas and the colour is the perfect accessory to your outfit.

This year I’m a massive fan of gold for this little technique as it helps to bring out the gold flecks in my brown eyes with next to no effort and it really doesn’t take a steady hand to accomplish the look so you don’t have to be so tidy when applying it.

Statement Eyelashes

For a good old Christmas party, it’s time to go all out, and what better way to do it than with a good set of eyelashes.

Whether you choose to fake it or go with your natural eyelashes, the hot trend is long and thick eyelashes. Now, you may have naturally full lashes that are the envy of every Christmas party, but just in case, there are a few tips to help you get there and make your eyelashes the statement accessory to finish off the perfect Christmas outfit.

First, eyelash serum! Eyelashes can never look their best if they aren’t healthy to begin with, so get them in shape with an eyelash serum a few weeks in advance of your Christmas event and they will be ready for whatever it is you’re going to throw at them.

Apply it nightly after cleansing your makeup and just let it soak in. In no time you’ll feel a lot more confident in your own lashes so faking in might not even be on your radar anymore. Xlash Eyelash Serum is a great option to get those eyelashes looking and feeling health while adding some length for good measure.

Even if you do decide that eyelash extensions or false eyelashes are the way forward, then the serum won’t hurt alongside it, in fact it will help keep them strong so that they aren’t weighed down by glues and adhesives.

Once you’ve got your eyelashes in check, time to get some volumising mascara that doesn’t leave your lashes looking clumpy but add a seductive and sultry element to your look. No Christmas makeup trend would be finished without mascara so if there is one thing you can’t neglect this year, make it your eyelashes!

Beat the Christmas Blues

Traditionally, red and green are the Christmassy colours of choice, but this year, one major trend is to explore your blue side. I don’t mean to stand outside in the cold until your lips turn a certain shade of blue, but to swap out your warm eye makeup for a little bit of cobalt.

Cobalt blues and electric blues are definitely statement colours and can be worn in different ways to make your eyes stand out. If you are already a blue-eyed girl, go for bright shadows on the top and bottom lid with lashings of mascara to finish the look. The blue will help bring out the brighter flecks in your eyes and single out your eyes as your most valuable features.

If you have brown eyes, my favourite look is bright blue eyeliner. Give yourself a smooth line on the top lid and wing to your heart’s content. If blue is a little too much for you, lean a little more toward the green side with turquoise blues and soften the look overall.

Christmas Corals

Bright red lipstick is always going to be a fashion staple and is not going to go anywhere any time soon, but it isn’t for everybody. There is no way to make a statement this Christmas like red lipstick, but if you don’t want to go too bright, swap it out for coral red or a dark peach.

It is quite a new trend to colour your lips in more orangey tones, but I definitely think it is here to stay. It gets the traditional trend on point, while changing it up to keep it modern. Try it with different tones and vary from matte to gloss to find your perfect look for your Christmas party and don’t forget to keep some in your purse for touch ups later on!

Go for Gold

If all else fails, gold is the way to go. Always on trend and always looks good with any outfit. To warm up even the coldest of hearts this Christmas, add a little gold to your makeup.

Whether it’s in your eyeshadow, a little glitter or flecks in your lipstick, gold makes your Christmas party outfit look and feel richer in warmth. Go light on it with a base eyeshadow and add heavy gold to the centre of your top eyelid to create the illusion of depth, if you have smaller eyes it’s a great way to make them look wider.

If full on gold isn’t your thing, switch it up for rose gold and really bring out your feminine side. It says cute Christmas without going full Barbie!

Feeling Festive Yet?

I don’t know about you but the thought of getting ready for my big Christmas party is getting me in the mood for the festive season.

There are no set of rules that say exactly how to decorate your face this year, but these hot trends might just give you a good idea of how to rock your Christmas party with style and a big old splash of colour!


Makeup tips

Makeup Mistakes to Stop Making

Whether you’re an influencer with a makeup kit to make even the biggest cosmetic moguls jealous or your average Josephine who relies on a lick of mascara to get through the day, there are beauty rules that we should all be following to make the most out of our makeup and to keep our skin healthy and glowing at all times.

When it comes to actually wearing makeup, I’m a keen breaker of rules and I love to experiment with different styles and colours, but there are definitely a few rules that are more than just guidelines that even I shouldn’t break as some of them can cause havoc on the skin and eyelashes. Now these mistakes can easily be fitted into three categories – Preparation, Tools and the Makeup itself, and by covering all three means we cover all ground, so keep a few of these tips in mind next time you are prepping for a face full of makeup and you won’t have to worry about your skin again.


Not Cleansing Properly – Probably one of the biggest mistakes people make is not removing makeup after a day of wearing it. Whether it’s a full face or just a bit of eyeliner, wearing makeup to bed can cause more damage underneath the skin and to the eyelashes than you would even realise. Not only that but it can look pretty unsightly too! Don’t tell me you’ve never woken up after forgetting to cleanse your mascara and caught your reflection in the mirror… That is one look that no one can get away with unless you’re going for the ‘partied all night and haven’t had a wink of sleep’ look.

Not cleansing your makeup each night isn’t just aesthetically displeasing, it can cause your skin to break out, become lumpy, inflamed and dry. The reason for this is that the dead skin and dirt that builds up stays on the face and in the pores, which can lead to pimples and blemishes. Our skin has a way of naturally repairing itself and it usually does this while we sleep, the outer layers of the skin are essentially dead and can become matted and stuck to the newer layers underneath. If you have even noticed your skin is a bit dull and lacks the smoothness it did previously, it could be a result of sleeping in makeup or not going through a cleansing routine thoroughly.

It is arguable whether a good bar of soap or the most high end cleansing products are the best way to get rid of the daily build up of grime from your face, but if you haven’t really given much thought to what you clean your face with then I say soap is always a good place to start! It is good to get into the habit of getting rid of your makeup at the end of the day and if you find it your skin needs a little extra care, keep it moisturised lightly and exfoliate it a couple of times a week gently with a scrub to be clear of impurities that sit on the top of the skin.

Not Using a Primer – So, this mistake works on a few different levels as priming your face before applying makeup can help with various issues. The main one is of course providing a base for your makeup that helps it stay put for longer and acts as another layer to your makeup without having to go heavy on foundation.

Primers are also good for evening out your skin tone, as you may well know the skin on your face is not the same colour all over, there are lighter parts, darker parts and skin that is thinner like around your eyes. By using a primer beforehand, it helps to even out the tones ready for a coat of foundation, and there are even better options now with colour correction which focus on darker circles around the eyes and blemishes on your face that foundation alone won’t cover. If that wasn’t enough for you, further options include mattifying and smoothing properties in primers. For those with oily or combination skin, this is a godsend as it not only helps the appearance of your skin overall but provides more base for makeup to adhere to.

Primers are also designed to smooth out skin, now they are not the same as intense moisturisers, but they do provide the same qualities and are light, so it doesn’t overpower the skin. Where there are thin lines, using a good primer will help so much to even the texture making your makeup look even better than before. If you are not in the habit of using a primer yet, have a look into one that suits your skin type and does what you need it to, whether that is colour correcting, mattifying or just for brightening your skin, as this it would be a real beauty mistake to not see the benefits first hand.

Using Concealer Incorrectly – Concealer can be confusing to those who aren’t really sure what to do with it and it can be a big makeup mistake if applied without checking what you are doing first. It used to be that if you bought concealer you did it to hide a blemish or an untimely spot that no amount of natural remedies could fix. Those teenage days from years past have thankfully gone now and there are more purposeful ways to use concealer to make your finished look very even and smooth.

There are a many tips about how and where to apply concealer and all of them may be true, but the main use is under the eyes where the skin is thinner and the tone tends to be darker than the rest of your face… especially after a long night and early morning. But this doesn’t mean you should pile on the concealer with no order to it, as this can end up looking waxy or uneven compared to the rest of the skin and finish your makeup look in a worse way than when you started.

When you apply concealer under the eyes, it should be dabbed or dropped on and then worked in with a beauty blender in a patting motion rather than rubbing or dragging it. Rubbing it in basically does nothing but move the makeup from where you want it to be and increase the look of creases in the skin in the one place no one wants visible lines or creases.

Another concealer mistake people make is using the same one as you use to cover spots. I think this one is self-explanatory, you don’t want to share the same brush, blenders or concealer that you would use for under your eyes as this is how infections can spread and lead to worse problems down the road. But not only this, you are dealing with different textures of skin and therefore should use different types of concealer. For under the eyes it is better to use something smooth to help with any lines or creases and won’t create an additional texture that isn’t there and for spots and blemishes you need something richer that won’t budge throughout the day. If used with care, concealer will help correct mistakes, not make them.

Makeup Tools

Not Cleaning Makeup Brushes or Sponges – This is such a crime in the makeup world, but also for anyone who even owns a makeup brush. Why is this a big makeup mistake? Unfortunately, once anything is out of its packaging it is susceptible to collecting dust, dirt and bacteria, even more so when it has had contact with the skin and any potential bacteria hiding out there. We can clean our faces five times a day, but there will always be something waiting to cling onto our brushes and sponges such as dead skin cells or oils. If these oils are transferred to your brush, then all you are doing is transferring it back to your face again each day, so do yourself a favour and give them a clean or purchase a new set.

The other downside to not cleaning your makeup brushes and sponges is that it has a negative effect on your makeup, not only the quality of it but the way it is applied to your face. Think about foundation and powders for a minute, and all those oils that have collected and even other shades of makeup. When you then use this to apply your fresh makeup for the day the colour and texture may not translate as well as it did when you first got it. If you are in the business of not making mistakes when applying makeup, then clean brushes are the best place to start.

Using the Wrong Lighting – When you think of the tools your use to do your makeup, you think of brushes, applicators and curlers, but did you ever think of lighting? If not, its time to start putting it up there with the best of them as its definitely one mistake a lot of people make. Now fine, we can’t all afford a Hollywood dressing room complete with mirror lights and our own makeup artist, but we should have somewhere planned in our houses that provides the perfect lighting for our own makeup rituals.

Bad lighting could be the difference between you thinking you look great and then stepping outside and actually looking like an Oompa Loompa! I’m sure at some point we’ve all had to try to get ready in a hurry, under the dim lighting inside our cars, stretching our necks to use the rear view mirror to apply what we thought was our favourite shade of blush to then get to work and find out it was actually a lot brighter than we expected. Its not a sin, but it is a mistake and one we can all avoid if we take lighting seriously when applying makeup.

The best lighting is soft and natural, so day time is ideal and preferable somewhere with face on natural light that doesn’t give you shadows These shadows can distort what you see against what it actually there and are more likely to make you misjudge lines and colours. If natural light isn’t available, then it’s a great investment to buy a ring light for your mirror. Sure, they don’t come cheap if they are good, but they do provide a perfectly even ring of light so that your face is shadow free, and you can see to it that you get even coverage from your makeup.

If you need to use any other lighting to apply your makeup, then just make sure you avoid bright yellows and florescent lighting. Harsh yellow lighting will give you’re a different impression of what you are putting on your face and they can get quite hot which is the opposite of what you need when you’re trying to get makeup to stick to your face! Florescent lighting is everyone’s worst nightmare as it shows up every blemish and imperfection which can lead to over-doing it with the foundation. Get your lighting right and avoid these mistakes for a flawless face of makeup.

Curling Lashes Incorrectly – Eyelash curlers are either your best friend or your worst enemy and even if they fall into the best friend category, they can betray you from time to time! But is this because you haven’t been using them properly? Who knows! All we know is there are many makeup mistakes out there and using eyelash curlers without proper care is definitely a mistake your eyelashes are not going to be happy about you making.

The number one rule when it comes to your eyelash curler is to curl BEFORE applying mascara and not after. So many people get this wrong because they don’t think about what harm it can do. Well actually, it can cause your lashes to become weak and start to break. Mascara is designed to hold your eyelashes in place and keep them firm until you remove it later on in the evening. If you try to change their shape while mascara is on you are essentially trying to make something flexible that isn’t supposed to be flexible. Do yourself a favour and get curling before mascara time and your lashes will start to feel stronger in no time.

Also, as with makeup brushes, this important tool needs cleaning too. Eyelashes contain oils and bacteria that can be transferred to your eyelash curler and then back to your lashes again. As there are tiny follicles to think of here, the last thing they need is to collect anything that may cause an infection on or near your eye. Healthy curler, healthy eyes and eyelashes! Simple.


Not Throwing Makeup Out – So there are probably hundreds of makeup mistakes being made all over the world that are enough to have professional makeup artists cringing at the very thought. But there are a few of them that are very important, not just to the experts but to everyone who even wears even just a bit of foundation. Keeping makeup for longer than you should if a definite mistake and a lot of people tend not to even realise that it has a use by date. Foundation, mascara, eyeshadow, creams and lotions, they all have an expiry and it isn’t just there as a guideline.

Have you ever gone to put some mascara on and noticed the texture has ended up really clumpy and it doesn’t seem to apply like it used to when you first bought it? That probably means its time to throw it out and get a new one. In fact, you should try to stick to the three-month rule with mascara and things like foundation and concealers. The containers should tell you on the side how many months from being open your makeup will be good to use so definitely try to follow this.

As we’ve already covered, the transference of bacteria to and from your makeup brushes to your face is bad enough, but then to have it mix in with your makeup too means you are just constantly reapplying oils and dead cells to a clean face. Not only that, but most makeup stops having the desired effect after a certain amount of time once it has been opened. Foundations tend to lose their mattifying qualities, mascaras tend to lose the ability to glide over lashes, so if you want a flawless face of makeup, new items are usually the way to go rather than trying to squeeze every last drop out of something after six months.

Wearing Too Much Waterproof Mascara – Mascara is fine, we all love it and it is the perfect finish to any makeup look so we tend to wear it more than any other product. Its easy to get excited about different types of mascara that promises to do different things, such as volumise, lengthen and enhance. But waterproof mascara is different and is best saved for weddings, beach days and the odd rainy-day outing.

Wearing waterproof mascara every day is just going to damage your lashes in the long run so keep it to those occasions if you have to wear it and keep your lashes moisturised in between applications. As waterproof mascara is designed to stay put and not move until you really cleanse it, it can involve a lot of tugging and unnecessary stress on your eyelashes which will cause them to fall out earlier than they should in the eyelash growth cycle. This can then lead to your lashes looking less than full until new ones grow back in.

Eyelashes should really be taken care of in this respect as they do take around 6 weeks after the end of the growth cycle to grow back in and the only real way they can be faked is with extensions, which is a very expensive mistake, if you ask me, so try and leave the waterproof mascara to those special days that call for it and be really careful when cleansing before bed. Apply an eyelash serum after cleansing which will keep them strong, hydrated and healthy in the long run.

Matching Foundation to the Back of your Hand – Where did this advice even come from? Or was it a lack of mirrors in beauty stores that lead to people trying it out. We’ve all done it at some point, and unless you have sought advice at a beauty counter about what shade suits you best then you will probably do it again.

Skin tones are completely different all over our bodies, and the back of our wrists tend to be a different tone to our faces so you should only be matching colour there if that is where you are going to wear it. Your jaw is a better place to match your foundation as this is where you should see if blend in and not stand out at all, if it does then it is not the right shade for you.

Lighting is also important when finding the right shade of foundation, remember a shop’s florescent lighting can be very unforgiving so try and find a natural light source or somewhere that won’t create shadows and when it is lightly applied to your jaw, you should be able to blend it with your natural skin tone. Also, equally as important, but one everyone forgets is not to apply test foundation shades on top of your existing foundation. It seems obvious but as we tend to wear makeup when we go shopping, it is very easy to forget, and all you will be left with is a shade that falsely represents what you saw when you bought it. As far as makeup mistakes, streaky foundation that is too many shades darker than our natural skin is definitely up there with the worst of them.

Mistakes Corrected

Now you have some of the basic tips down, your new makeup, clean makeup brushes and fresh face are the perfect starting point for a flawless face of makeup. Don’t let mistakes from your past rule your future!


Makeup tips

Get Ready for Party Season – Party Prep

It’s that time of year already! The bikinis have been put away until next year and the gloves have come out. It’s time for mulled wine and long wintery walks. Christmas lights and crisp mornings are upon us and the best thing of all? Its party season!

While my inner 23-year-old is screaming for joy, my actual 30 something self is mentally prepared but physically, I could do with a little help. Christmas parties, family gatherings, office get-togethers and dinner parties with close friends are some of my favourite things, but these days it’s hard to just step into a dress and stick on some lipstick and call yourself “ready to go”. It takes a little more to look good while feeling good and I’m definitely accelerating into the part of my life where comfort wins over fashion.

Maybe it’s the smell of cinnamon in the air or the twinkle of lights slowly appearing in house windows, but this year there is a really Christmassy vibe and I’m actually thinking about hanging up my UGGs and swapping them for a pair of Jimmy Choos and embracing the party season, even at the risk of falling off my 6 inch heels.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, party season isn’t just about sacrificing comforts for pain, it is a chance to shine and experiment with colours and fashion that complement the Christmas theme. Different eye shadows, brighter shades of lipstick and highlights of blush on the cheeks that give you the wintery touch are just a few of the things that can brighten up anyone’ winter and get you right into the spirit of Christmas.

Christmas Party Prep

In an idea world, office Christmas party prep would take ten minutes, but these days there’s things to thing about like outfit coordination, painted nails and a new hairstyle and these things take time. If you have been blessed with those extra hours, get your prep sorted so you can party the night away in comfort AND style.

Detox – To do this, you need a little more than a few hours, but if your busy schedule hasn’t allowed for that then on the day, to make sure you aren’t feeling bloated or sluggish, treat yourself to some green tea and plenty of water throughout the day.

Green tea contains antioxidants and helps flush out harmful toxins. Its known to have fat-burning properties too and keeps your energy levels up. It’s the perfect start to party day, so keep them coming!

As well as getting some of the good drinks into your body before all the bad ones start flowing, you should be mindful of your diet in the days leading up to the Christmas party. Chances are you will be indulging in rich foods and hearty cocktails before the night is through so prepare your body in advance to give you a head start on the day.

Stay away from fatty or stodgy foods and anything that will sit on you throughout the evening. We all love a good roast potato at Christmas, but these are better left until the big day itself. Be sure to get plenty of green vegetables into your system and keep your energy levels up by snacking on nuts and fruits throughout the course of the day.

On top of this, try and save the caffeine until the morning after. Leave coffee off your pre-party diet list if you can help it, it will seem to get your blood pumping in time for the festivities but will also help you crash and burn before the DJ has even played your favourite song.

Clear Skin – Most girls say there are three different types of showers. The quick body wash, the hair and body wash and the full hair and body, exfoliating and shaving wash. The latter is something we all wish we had time for each day, but we tend to save those long shower sessions for a big event.

The Christmas party especially calls for the full pamper. So, spare yourself a little more time than usual to feel prepped and fresh for the event. Start by relaxing in the bath or shower and get those pores open. Exfoliate your body and ensure all traces of makeup have been removed from your face.

Leftover mascara won’t make for great looking eyelashes on the night so be sure to use a gentle cleanser to step out of the bathroom clear and blemish free. While your skin is warm and moist, now is a good time to exfoliate your lips.

The skin on your lips is very delicate and thin, and at this time of year they can come under pressure to feel smooth and silky. Winter has its ways of making our lips behave in ways we don’t want them to – and that’s before the mistletoe mistakes at the office party! Use a textured cloth or old toothbrush to gently rub away any dead skin on your lips and leave them smooth ready for bright colours later.

Eyebrows – Now your pores are open, and hair is soft, it’s the best time to take to the tweezers if your eyebrows call for them. With any party prep, you may choose to get your eyebrows done well in advance of the big night but just in case time has not been on your side, you can do a little work to get those brows looking a little less unruly before you leave the house.

When you pluck your own eyebrows, you need to be careful that you don’t go overboard. It can be so hard to rectify mistakes in this department as once its gone, its gone! You probably won’t want to relive your over-plucking mistakes from the early 2000s and have to wait 10 years for your eyebrows to grow back in, so take it lightly, one eyebrow hair at a time.

Start on the outer edges and tidy up any loose ends that seem to be hanging around and any strays that sit underneath the inner corners of your brow. There are plenty of guides about how to shape your eyebrows based on your face or eye shape and committing to them physically is mostly best left to the professionals. But it is good to have a shape in mind before you even pick up your tweezers, so your aim is more sleek and less sloppy.

After you’re happy with the amount of plucking pain you’ve inflicted on yourself, be sure to use a cool and fragrance-free moisturiser to help with any redness. In the event that you’ve gone a little too heavy on your brows, there is a solution. Eyebrow serum is the way forward and not just for when you’ve gone a little too heavy on the tweezers.

Xbrow Eyebrow Serum is just what you need to keep your brows looking full, even when they are a little thin. It also helps cool and moisturise the skin under the brows so it’s perfect for Christmas party prep… especially when the reward is a Christmas present of great looking eyebrows!

Eyelashes – Once your eyebrows are under control, you can get to work on the rest of your pretty face. And your eyelashes are a fantastic place to start. If you are ahead of the game, you may have already planned for the big occasion and got yourself some eyelash extensions.

They are convenient, they immediately add length to your eyelashes, and you can carry off the 24-hour mascara look whenever you want. But they do cost a pretty penny with upkeep so if you are planning on being rich in the eyelash department all through party season, make sure your bank balance is ready to top them up when required.

If you decided not to go with eyelash extensions and are after a more one-off affair, then false eyelashes may be your way to go. Just be careful when using eyelash glue to not put too much on and not to get any in your eye! That won’t make for a good entrance to the big party.

For any damage we potentially do to our eyelashes, there is always a cure. Extensions or falsies, both have a way of sticking to our natural lashes and weighing them down which can help them fall out quicker and stop them from growing back so easily. Xlash Eyelash Serum has got your lashes covered when it comes to their health and if you are in full party prep mode, then put some of this on before any false lashes come your way and keep them moisturised and hydrated throughout the night. After a few weeks of this good stuff, your lashes will even look longer and fuller so by the time the next party comes around… you’ll be saying “false lashes, who?”

False eyelashes are great for an evening of Christmas pies and cheesy tunes but removing them at the end of the night is just as important as putting them on properly. Like any coating, whether makeup or adhesives, it can be harmful to your lashes and the skin on your eyelids if you keep them on.

Priming – So ok, we should be doing this day to day anyway, but can you honestly say you leave enough time for it to work properly? When I’m getting ready for a Christmas party, I like to take my time and give myself a couple of extra hours in the makeup department, but I do tend to make mistakes and/or change my mind from time to time so those extra hours are important!

Once your skin is clean and clear and if you so choose, moisturised, then its time to prime. You may have different types of primer in your arsenal so choose the one best fitting for the night. I go for a matte finish primer that helps keep the shine away. The only shiny nose I want to see at Christmas belongs to Rudolph! Once the primer is on, let it settle. This helps it stay on your skin, mattify and remove any greasy residue before you go covering yourself in foundation and concealer.

Priming your face and eyes before the festive party is crucial for keeping your makeup firmly in place for the night, so do it right and take your time with it. There are going to be plenty of photos taken throughout the night and you don’t need to look back over them to see the makeup isn’t where you left it.

Makeup Removal – If there’s one thing I’ve learned from years of Christmas parties, it’s to get your nightly cleansing routine ready before you head off to dance the night away. Even it if is just some cleansing wipes and a light moisturiser, it will make the hangover seem less of a chore in the morning.

This kind of prep takes some dedication, as who knows if you’ll be walking in your front door in your high heels or crawling from a cab with those heels hanging out of your bag. But this is why the prep is important. If you want to go the whole way, grab yourself a bottle of water and place it next to your bed. Your dehyrated self will seriously thank you for it.

The Dress – Probably the most important part of the night is the outfit. It can make or break you, or at least your confidence. You may be new at work or even been there so long you have become part of the furniture, but the Christmas party is one of the most important nights of your working year and you want to make an impression.

Everyone has their own sense of style and what they prefer to wear, so don’t feel like you have to change your own rules just to fit in or wear something you never thought you’d be caught dead in. But definitely consider adding a little sparkle even in the name of Christmas. Remember comfort is everything and as much as a tight fit dress may look great in the dressing room, just consider if your party is more of a liquid lunch or a three-course meal.

Nothing accentuates a figure like a pair of heels, and if there is one time of year to dust them off then this is it. My tip is to always have a cute pair of flats handy in my bag for when the dancing takes over and the balls of my feet need a break. If not, check if your venue has seating and plan your spot right next to the bar!

Christmas Party Ready!

Of course, this list isn’t the be all and end all of party prepping, but they are all on my checklist before a big event. As long as you have the dress that makes you feel confident and comfortable, the rest is all up to you.

There are a thousand ways you can get yourself ready for a big night, but if your eyebrows and eyelashes are on point and your skin is clean and clear, you can afford to let your hair down for one night and put the rest of the world behind you.


Makeup tips

Feeling and Looking Awake

Sometimes being awake and feeling awake are two different things. Add looking awake to the mix and you’ve got yourself a triple whammy of challenges to deal with on a daily basis. There’s an awful lot to be said for a strong cup of coffee in the morning, but sometimes even coffee doesn’t cut it and trying to keep those eyes open after a long sleepless night can make you tired just by thinking about it.

As you get a little older, you start to notice things that didn’t happen or weren’t there 10 years ago – burning the midnight oil seems to have more repercussions these days and it’s almost like the only way to get past these niggly little age-inducing ailments is to get 10 hours sleep every night. Only that is rarely possible, if at all. Whether you’re a full-time worker, a parent or student, you have obligations, and this usually means a loss of sleep from time to time which can leave you feeling less than your usual alert self the next day.

If you have noticed a few more dark circles or pesky little lines around your eyes recently and haven’t been able to get your standard night sleep to help your body rest and rejuvenate, then these handy little tips may be just for you.

Get More Sleep

This one goes without saying, and trust me, I’m fully aware that there is no miracle fix to add a few more hours to a 24-hour day. If there was, we could all get a little bit more shut eye every night and looking awake in the morning wouldn’t really be a problem.

But sleep fixes so many things and if you are in a situation where your eyes are looking puffier than usual and you can’t even fake your way through the day by pretending to look awake then you might even want to consider a few power naps to get by in the short term.

There are two types of people in this world – morning people… and the rest of us. And if you fall into my category then sometimes, no matter how much sleep you get you wake up looking and feeling like a zombie and it can take a while to come around to the land of the living and get ready for the day. But always remember that a good night’s sleep will have done so much good for your skin and if you want to keep hold of your youthful complexion then you need to keep at it.

When you go to bed, remove any makeup you have on, use a light moisturiser to keep your skin hydrated and not caked which can prevent it from breathing, and turn your phone off. Blue and white lights from phones are not good for us at night anyway, and the distractions on your phone that can put you off sleeping will only halt your bid to stay looking and feeling alert in the morning.

Water and Hydration

In other efforts to get your body into an alert and awake state of mind, you have to keep yourself hydrated above all. Now this isn’t to tell you to work yourself up into a frenzy if you miss a good helping of water, but just to say be mindful of how much of the good stuff you are putting into your body.

Water helps us in thousands of ways, so much so, you probably haven’t even given any though to the fact it helps you feel more awake. It’s about as close to a miracle cure as you can get and yet most of us don’t drink nearly as much as we should on a daily basis. Dehydration is what makes us feel more fatigued and have less energy and when you feel tired, your eyes and your skin will show it.

If you want to feel and look more alert and awake in the mornings, then you need all the energy that you can get so you don’t have to spend hours hiding it with makeup. If your muscles are dehydrated it makes it harder to do anything, so staying awake is a harder chore than it needs to be. Have you ever pulled an all-nighter and tried to last until the day is over and noticed that your skin feels rougher or blotchy? That will be a lack of water in your system, and simply trying to correct it with a quick glug of water before bed won’t do you many favours, you need to try to incorporate more water into your lifestyle to really feel the benefits (and look more awake in the mornings!)

Swap Coffee for Green Tea

I can actually vouch for this one as a tried and tested method for making you feel more awake in the mornings. Green tea doesn’t quite give you the same kick as an espresso, but it has more benefits than just drinking coffee, so grabbing a few green teabags on your next outing to the supermarket is definitely not going to hurt.

Although green tea contains caffeine, it has no where near as much as a standard coffee, so when you need that kick to help you feel more awake in the mornings, this magical potion is the way forward. It is loaded with antioxidants too so helps with impurities and clarifying your body inside and out.

Green tea is also said to help boost metabolism and gives you an energy kick just when you need it, so if you are feeling a little sluggish every now and then, this drink may be what you need to kickstart a healthy detox and even prompt a visit to the gym. And we all know there is nothing better to wake you up in the morning than a long run or some other form of cardio to really get those endorphins flowing.

Take a Break

There could be a million reasons for you feeling a little under the weather or less than your usual alert self, and no matter what the reason, it is usually down to over-exertion or even burnout. No one is saying that you have to stop completely but taking a break from your usual grind will have an amazing effect on your body.

Book that holiday you’ve always been wanting to go on, or a mini break for a spa weekend in the country. Whatever your break of choice you will find that your body responds by saying thank you in wonderful ways. Have you ever worked so much that you haven’t even had the chance to think about yourself? You may find your temperament changes toward those around you and you become even snappier in the morning than with the usual drill. The feeling of already wanting the day to be over before it has even begun makes you feel tired and caffeine dependant and your skin and eyes will show it quite obviously to everyone around you.

If you are serious about looking more awake, you need to feel more awake first, and it could just be that a getaway from everything is just what the doctor ordered for you to get that perfect night’s sleep. Trust me, you’ll wake up feeling so much more refreshed and it will reflect in your appearance.

Get Some Cucumber

Ok, so this one has been around for years and some question cucumber’s abilities to keep you feeling fresh and alert but if it was really an old wives’ tale would it really be so popular still to this day? Cucumber has many redeeming qualities that people don’t really understand and I think once you get to the bottom of it, using cucumber as a source of goodness in your life will change things.

Cucumber, like green tea has antioxidant properties and it is also mostly water so there’s really no reason not to give it a try. In the mornings or even after a hard day at work, popping a couple of slices over your eyes will do wonders for you if you are feeling a little more worn out than usual.

Keep them on for 10-20 minutes, kick back and have a great soundtrack in the background to keep you company and in no time, those naughty eye bags will look far more reduced than they did before as well as any redness or inflammation practically disappearing right before your eyes – pun intended. Oh, and one more thing, make sure the cucumber has had a few hours in the fridge before you put them on your eyes, the coolness is exactly what will help reduce any swelling.

Cucumber is a sure fire way to make sure you look and feel as awake as you can almost instantly, so keep one handy in the fridge so you can have a little pamper session before a big night out and give your face the VIP treatment so you don’t have to rely on makeup alone.

Try an Eye Serum

There are a lot of different eye serums out there that promise to do different things and until you’ve tried one, its impossible to comment on how it works. But instead of looking for a miracle lotion that gets rid of wrinkles and smoothens the skin on a permanent basis, it can be best to look at eye serums as a helpful hand in keeping your eyes and the skin around them looking sharp and awake.

There are serums that may help to smooth out lines around the eyes, but they are usually more heavy moisturisers that actually aren’t the best solution for skin around the eyes. The skin there is really thin, and this is why you see darker circles more and you can pinch the skin easier than anywhere else on your face. Heavy moisturisers should be used on concentrated areas like the forever-dreaded crow’s feet and the thin lines under the eyes.

A good eye serum will have ingredients that are lighter on this part of the face as it is so much more delicate than anywhere else and if it contains cooler ingredients such as cucumber, it can help you out at night or in the morning to get that sleepy feeling to disappear from your eyes. Just be careful when applying it not to get it in your eyes or you will end up looking like you’ve pulled an all-nighter!

Get a Great Concealer

If all else fails in your quest to look and feel more awake in the morning, there is only one thing for it, fake it. If used well, a good concealer can hold back the tiredness from those over-exhausted eyes and you can go about your day like you’ve had the best sleep.

These days, concealers aren’t just your average flesh coloured goop that you have to slather on until your skin no longer resembles your own, and there aren’t just one or two different types out there. If you use concealer as part of your normal makeup routine but suffer with early morning syndrome like me, you probably need a little bit more to make yourself look awake before you head out to work.

Colour correcting concealers do a fantastic job of covering up dark circles and hiding shadows that are tell tale signs of a late night, and getting one to match the skin tone you need to achieve with foundation is the key to making it look natural and like you haven’t even thought twice about how tired you really are.

Get Clever With your Makeup

Once you’ve had your concealer fulfilment for the day, its time to go smart with your makeup so it doesn’t just look like you are covering up a heavy night. Eye shadows that compliment your eye colour and clever use of eye liner can do more than just cover up a wrinkle or two, they can draw attention elsewhere so that even the most tired looking eyes can sparkle in no time.

Foundations to match your skin type are great things to have in your makeup arsenal but sometimes it can translate differently on the face than it does on paper so watch out for these things if you are trying to hide tired eyes. Matte foundation might be the stuff of dreams for the oily or combination skinned persuasion, but by making your face look dry first thing in the morning, the flat surface can highlight the lumps and bumps of a bad night sleep. Creases will sit firmly under your layer of foundation and there will be nothing you can do to hide the fact you had a bit of a late night.

Something a little dewier might be in order to give you that fresh, ‘just woke up’ look but in a good way. Foundation is just one of the tools that can help you look more awake and using a matte primer might be the answer if your skin needs a little help to keep your makeup firmly in place.

White eyeliner across the waterline is another little tip for looking awake in the morning. It opens up your eyes and makes them look wider and if white is a little too much for you in the daytime, a nude shade works just as well and will hide any redness that is lingering.

Other Tips to Make you Feel and Look More Awake

The above hints are all fantastic, but just remember that it doesn’t stop there and you know your own body and how it reacts to certain things, so keep the below in mind when you have had a few less Zs than you planned for the night before.

• Teabags over your eyes – Much like cucumber, popping a couple of these over your eyes is known to reduce inflammation and help to neutralise skin tones.

• A cold shower in the morning – I’m not in favour of plunging into a freezing cold shower first thing but setting the temperature to be a bit cooler will help your skin and reduce puffiness.

• Wash your face at night – Whether you have a full-on beauty routine at night or just basic makeup removal, washing your face is essential to rid your skin of any dirt or grease that can cause breakouts. Sleeping in makeup is a big No if you want to look alert and awake the next morning.

• Use your eyelashes to fake it – If your eyelashes look great, you may just have people fooled into thinking you feel great too. Start with an eyelash serum to keep them nice and healthy, then the next morning they will be ready for curling and a touch of mascara to widen and frame your eyes.

• Add some colour to your cheeks – When foundation isn’t enough and you are not a fan of contouring, a little rosy red blush will be enough for that fully awake and put together look each day.

• Change the focus to your lips – Lips can look dry or tired themselves, but not in the way the eyes do, so sometimes just taking the focus off them can help you look more awake. Go as bold and as bright as you want, or keep the tones simple and classic, but just make sure that your lips are in great shape first by using an intensive care balm regularly.


Makeup tips

Halloween Makeup – Tricks and Treats

It’s coming up to that time of year again where we swap our summer wardrobe for cosy jumpers and welcome the colder nights as they draw in for the winter. But before we all start getting too excited to start the Christmas shopping and hanging up baubles and stockings, we can look forward to Halloween in all its Spooktacular glory!
Halloween is becoming more and more popular all over the world and becoming a great way to break up the cooler months where stresses can rise as a result of the change in seasons, heavier workloads and panic buying Christmas presents. Apart from my annual summer holiday, Halloween is fast becoming my favourite time of year as more and more people get into it, as it is a great excuse to go extreme on costumes, makeup and decorations. You can literally be anybody you want to be and experiment with colours and styles that you wouldn’t usually wear. The best thing, is even if you aren’t into face paint and fancy dress costumes, you can make a few subtle (or really out there) changes to your make up and they might just stick with you for the rest of autumn and winter and not just one night. You can really have it all over Halloween and your makeup may even show a side to you that you never thought existed!

Whether you are fully into Halloween and have your costume planned months in advance, or whether you have obligations to make a less enthusiastic attempt to go in theme for the day at work, there are plenty of things you can do that don’t take up too much time and will have you embracing your inner Morticia Addams in no time!

Eyeliner Tricks and Treats

The Trick – The ever-famous cat-eye! Mastering the flick when it comes to drawing on your eyeliner can be a chore for some and may even be something you have yet to consider. But for the perfect Halloween look that subtly tells everyone you have made 100% effort on your eye makeup, getting to grips with the cat-eye may just be all you need to do. Most eye shapes suit this style too so it can be just enough to elevate your whole look with only a small amount of effort required.

There are many tutorials and master classes in eye makeup application now, but they only work if you share a similar eye shape to the person helping you. For Halloween if you are just embracing a little goth culture or want to vamp it up for a casual evening, my greatest tip would be to use a gel liner or a pen liner that can give you the precision you need to amplify the darkness your eyes crave for this event. If need be, you can also use a stencil or a handy piece of card to draw the outline and then fill it in once you are happy with the shape. You may only want a little flick of eyeliner at the outer edges of your eye or you may want to take the line higher so it should angle toward the end of your eyebrow. This look can work perfectly with so many Halloween costumes, such as a black cat, mystical witch, or naughty devil as it accentuates the eyes and is really on theme.

The cat-eye or winged eyeliner can be a tricky one to master, but once you have it down, this may just be a look you start rocking regularly and not just Halloween!
The Treat – Coloured Eyeliner is a festively fearless treat when it comes to Halloween. Now, there is no need for this kind of eye makeup to make its one-off debut at Halloween alone, but remember this is the perfect time for experimentation and if you are willing to give it a go then putting the black eyeliner away for a couple of days may just introduce you to a whole different world of eye makeup.

At this time of year, I adore brighter colours with a hint of darkness, like emerald greens and deep turquoises that can lift any look and enhance the colour of your eyes in almost an instant. For a real Halloween twist, you could use the eyeliner on the top lid with a cute but daring line under the waterline and highlighted with white liner over the water line and toward the inner corners. This look would be perfect for an under the sea theme or dark fairy tale where you can use the colour theme of your eyes to match your costume for a party.

The Trick – Gel Eyeliner is definitely the trick when it comes to all eyeliner, and it requires some patience if you are venturing into this world for the first time. But Halloween is the time to get creative so a gel or liquid eyeliner is just the right stuff for the job and all you will need is a good brush with a slight angle and a steady hand. Gel eyeliner is best to create lines whether thick or thin and shapes that are mostly unachievable with a simple kohl eyeliner pencil. It is known to last as well, so once it is on, its there for the night, which is just what you will need for that big Halloween party.

With a thin brush, you don’t need to just stop at lining the eyes either. Halloween means you can use your eyeliner to create various shapes and patterns to give yourself a temporary accessory for your trick or treating ventures such as spider webs or intricate spooky designs. For the low-key halloweenist, gel eyeliner can become your best friend (or fiend) when it comes to last minute fancy dress.

The Treat – If gel eyeliner is the trick, then and Eyeliner Pen is the treat! With one of these handy little pens, you can have all the precision and the definitive lines as you could with gel eyeliner, but with the ease of using a kohl pencil, making it a lot more fun and easier to use. I’ve been using the Carbon Black Eyeliner by Xlash and it is my favourite go to item for getting experimental with my look. This particular eyeliner pen is smudge proof and dries really quickly so you can have defined eyes in seconds. For Halloween this handy little number is perfect for going from daytime subtlety to all out sexy vamp, or vampire if you really want to make a statement this year!

So, if you are a bit indecisive and still haven’t got your costume sorted, keep a black eyeliner pen in your makeup kit for those last-minute plans and stun everyone at the party with your artistic flare this Halloween!

The Trick AND Treat – Smudged eyeliner or smoky eyes are the treats we never knew we needed and the trick that had us all fooled into thinking it was easy to pull off. Until you have your colour palette down, rocking the smoky look can end up looking like you have spent the night in the bathroom crying, but perseverance is key as I always say, and at Halloween anything goes, so it is the perfect time to get spooky with those smudges and hey, if it doesn’t work exactly how you want it, you can claim it was part of the zombie look.

I said earlier about switch up your black eyeliner for a different coloured one to give your eyes a bit of Halloween glam, but if you are set on black, then make sure you start out with a really good jet-black kohl pencil. Once you have your choice of Halloween colours on your eyes from your favourite palette you can finish the look with kohl around the top and under the waterline with a smudge stick to blend it in and get rid of those sharp lines. The smoky or smudged eyeliner would go perfectly with devilish reds and midnight blues to make for a bewitching Halloween look that others will be envious of. Sometimes less is more, but not when it comes to Halloween so go for it and get smudging!

Eyelash Tricks and Treats

The Trick – Curling Your Eyelashes can be scary if you are not used to doing it. These weird contraptions closing in on your lashes so close to your eye are not for everyone but the only thing to fear at this time of year should be the ghosts and ghoulish costumes that take over the town at Halloween! For those who believe less is more, it may actually pay off to invest in a good eyelash curler and get practicing before the big fright fest as it can help to give you a temporary little boost to those lashes ready for mascara to help keep them in shape.

The trick with eyelash curlers is to get a great one that works with your natural eye and eyelash shape, so if you have wider eyes, make sure you get one with wider pads that won’t squeeze your eyelashes into a closed in shape, you want to help them look longer, not damage them. Also make sure you get one with soft pads that you can manoeuvre up your lashes with ease, so they don’t stick or pull on individual eyelashes. Once your curler becomes damaged in any way, it is always time to go get a new one and not hold on hope that it will still work. Eyelashes are precious and although Halloween is a fun time of year to get experimental with your makeup, it is not worth losing lashes over!

The Treat – Good Mascara is not hard to come by these days, but it does come with hundreds of choices that may be a great option for a standard day at the office but not necessarily for the over the top dramatics required for your Halloween costume!

Mascara, in my opinion is the one thing that finishes off a full face of makeup, it could be the only thing you wear on your face and it will still add a touch of glamour and wakes up even the most tired of eyes. For Halloween, I like to use a volumizing mascara that I sweep to the side when applying it as I find this accentuates the eyes more and I am all about basing my costumes on my eyes and not the other way around.

The Trick – If good old mascara isn’t floating your ghost this year, then False Eyelashes may be the way forward. They have gained notoriety over the years for looking over the top and flamboyant, but isn’t that what we were aiming for this Halloween? I love a false set of eyelashes when I want to create a disguise as part of my costume and usually aim for longer and curvier lashes to get a sense of theatre with what I’m wearing.

The trick with false eyelashes is getting them into position and then keeping them there for the night, so on Halloween I always say to put some time back to get yourself ready and leave enough time for the falsies so you don’t end up getting stressed out with them and ditching the idea. No matter what your costume is, false eyelashes can really finish off the look, whether it’s a witch you’re going for or a sexy skeleton… they can have eyelashes too, can’t they? Its Halloween so anything goes!

The Treat – Now, if you are super prepared for Halloween this year, you may have already got this down, but if not don’t fear as there is still time! After all we put out eyelashes through day in, day out, its time to give our eyelashes a treat for once, and that treat is eyelash serum. No tricks, I promise, but you won’t regret trying this out even if it is after Halloween and your eyes have simply had enough of false lashes, mascara and makeup as it is designed to care for your individual eyelashes and the skin surrounding them to make them healthy and strong. Xlash Eyelash Serum is a wonderful option as it is designed to promote growth of the eyelashes, strength of the follicles and to accentuate volume and colour so that your lashes are ready for whatever you throw at them next.

It pays off to have eyelashes that people will wonder if they’re false, especially if your finishes Halloween look in centred around your eyes, but with added health benefits to boot, you may even decide not to go in costume this year!

The Trick and Treat – Eyelash Extensions may just be on your trick or treat list this year, as they have benefits as well as pitfalls and it can be a bit of a decision as to whether you go for them or not. For your Halloween party, they may just be the perfect option so eyelashes are already crossed off your list when it comes to fancy dress and makeup. If you like to spend time on your look then the bonus of eyelash extensions is that you will have more time to work with not having to worry about mascara and false lashes. The downfall is that you will have to fork out a little more money than usual to get your new eyelashes and if you are just doing this for a one-off event then you may be best to stick to the more temporary stuff!

If you do decide to look into eyelash extensions, seek out a trained eyelash technician who can advise you on when to get them, how long they will last and what shape lash to get to suit your existing lashes and look natural. The good thing is Xlash Eyelash Serum goes well with eyelash extensions as it is applied to the roots and helps the growth of your own eyelashes while hiding under the new ones. So, are you saying hello this Halloween to eyelash extensions or are you creeping it real?

Lips Tricks and Treats

The Trick – Mastering the art of perfect pouty lips can be a tricky part of doing your makeup and it doesn’t have to be as long as you can be patient, get your colour right and remember that Halloween is the perfect time to experiment with tones and shapes. Now, usually if its an average day or night, I wouldn’t usually go heavy on the lips if I have put all the attention to my eyes, a nude shade does wonders just to create the visual lines of the lips without overpowering the rest of my face. But throw a costume into the mix and you can’t hold me back from more daring shades of lipstick and I say, if you’ve got it, haunt it!

Lip colour is up to you and really depends on what choice of costume you have gone for, you may be playing it safe in an all black ensemble, in which case, I would definitely choose a bright cherry red or brighter pink if you have the guts. To get the perfect pout or to create the illusion of bigger lips, it is easy enough to do with brighter colours and the right lip liner. Make sure if you are using a pencil that it is sharp enough or you will end up with blunt and smudgy lines, this is ok for eyeliner but for lips? Not so much! For Halloween, feel free to go a little more overboard than usual with colour and shine. A matte lip might be to die for… but add a touch of gloss to the centre and it will elevate your look and create fuller looking lips in no time.

The Treat – Cheat your way to bigger lips this Halloween with a lip plumping serum! You can still fake it on top with lip colour and liner but have a plumper pout in minutes underneath. Lip plumping serums may seem like they are too good to be true, but they actually work and keep your lips healthy at the same time. So, if you have permanent resting witch face, you can turn that frown into a devilish smile with a pout that could give all the other ghouls a run for their money!

If you haven’t come across it before, Xlash Lip Plumping Serum is another staple for year round plumpness but its good to pull out all the stops for a good old Halloween party so if you pop this onto your lips just before the scare fest starts, you will have plump lips throughout the evening without even having to try. I love this serum as you can still wear your lip colour on top and it makes your lips tingle just nicely so that you know it’s starting to work. The blood vessels in your lips start to wake up and it feels like new life is being born into your pout just in time to rock the party.

The Trick and Treat – Lip fillers are not for the faint of heart, but they are a tasty treat if you want to go the whole hog this Halloween without having to move a muscle. They do what plumpers and lipsticks can’t and that is last a very long time. If you are in the mood for a more permanent solution to fuller lips, then these might just be the treat you were after. The trick? They can over time cause excess dryness to your lips as they need extra hydration and care while you have them.

But when all is said and done and Halloween is over, there are worse things to be left with than lip fillers… you could be the poor soul who has to clean up the mess from the most successful Halloween party ever! So happy haunting and have a Spooktacular Halloween!


Makeup tips

Hottest Eye Makeup Trends Right Now!

For a long time, you had to look no further than a fashion magazine to find out what the latest trends were, these days you are more likely to see the hottest looks all over Instagram as the models and influencers look flawless and almost too good to be true. You may have wondered if you have what it takes to achieve the same look and if it was more than just a good filter. Well, it should be simple, but times change very quickly, and fashion trends come and go faster than you can wave your mascara wand. So, keeping up with what is on trend right now may be your number one priority, you just need to know how to execute the right look for you, and we’ve collected some of the hottest looks in eye makeup in one place so you can make Instagram your reality!

The thing to remember is that we all have different shaped and coloured eyes, eyelashes and eyebrows, so what might be a current fashion trend in eye makeup might not be what suits you best. Now, this isn’t to say don’t go all out when you want to! I love to be experimental with eye makeup and the only way you will know what suits is to try something out, right? So, I’m definitely all for reaching out to new territories in makeup and see if any of these hidden gems become your own go to trend in future.

Prime Time!

Before you even start to play around with your new eyeshadows and eyeliners, it is key these days to get priming. Makeup primers have been around for years now, but it is only quite recently really that the trend of using a makeup primer has taken hold due to the vast array of primers on the market and what they can do. A primer is exactly what it says, it primes the skin ready for whatever makeup you are going to put on top of it, creating a smooth canvas perfect for foundation, powders and eyeshadows so that they hold properly and look as bright and luminous as they can.

But nowadays it is not enough to have a simple primer, it is good to select something that does a specific job for each part of your face. Primers are available to smooth out lines, mattify the skin or add sheen in places you would want to highlight. On top of that, you have the choice of colour correcting and tinted primers. But when it comes to your eyes, there are many benefits from picking out a primer that isn’t harsh on the skin, smooths out lines and holds eye makeup in place as that is the one part of your face that is constantly moving. If your eyeshadow can last a day without priming first, then you must be the queen of not blinking!

So, this trend isn’t exactly a fad that will disappear any time soon, and for that we are all eternally grateful. But if you ever wonder how the models and influencers of Instagram get their skin and makeup looking so flawless and effortlessly bright, look no further than this hot new trend. You won’t turn your back on primer once you have found the perfect one for your skin!

Go Thin with Your Lines!

One of the hottest trends seen this year all over catwalks and in editorials was the use of gel eyeliner to draw on thinner lines above the eyes instead of the usual thicker shape leading into a wing. Thin lines are definitely for the steady-handed, but achievable once you have had a few practices. Priming is key to keep lines smooth and unbroken from the inner corner to the outer edges and it can still open the eye up by providing definition.

Thicker lines are favoured to give the illusion of bigger or wider eyes while thin eyeliner over the top lid still widens them and draws attention upward. The look is both natural and understated yet adds a touch of glamour for any occasion and is hitting the top trends big time this year. The trick is to invest in a really good eyeliner if its kohl or pencil and treat yourself to a good brush for gel eyeliner and don’t be tempted to thicken those lines as much as you may want to. Finish the look off with mascara over your top row of eyelashes to add some star quality.

Understated Eye Makeup

Right of the back of the thinnest eyeliner ever, a top trend amongst top models is the barely-there makeup look. Going even further than drawing on almost invisible lines and subtle colour, doing your make up to look like you are wearing none is a skill that I definitely have yet to master, however it is everywhere on Instagram right now so it looks like this trend is here to stay.

The secret again is to invest in a good primer for your face and your eyes to keep the skin looking smooth and matte, with highlighter used sparsely in zones of structure such as cheek and brow bones. Eyeliner can still be your friend with this almost nude look as you can swap your jet black for smooth and subtle browns, mauves and even golds to compliment your complexion. A simple sweep over the top lid with light and natural eyeshadows and finish off with some light mascara may be just all you need to get this trend firmly stapled in your own makeup hall of fame.

White Waterlines

A lot of people will be familiar with white eyeliner, but for those not in the know, it is definitely on trend to have a white or nude pencil in your makeup kit these days. White eyeliner is designed to open up the eyes and make them appear bigger and wider so if you have eyes on the smaller side or are just looking to cash in on the latest trends then investing in a white eyeliner could just be your new secret weapon in your makeup collection.

White eyeliner is mostly used along the waterline and not just to make your eyes appear bigger but it can help you look more awake and alert which, if you are like me and cannot seem to get the hang of how to get a full eight hours sleep at night, will help you fool everyone into thinking you not only had a great night sleep but you even managed to get up in time for breakfast and prepare in full for the day’s important meeting!

Finding the right white eyeliner and practicing how to use it may just be your saviour if you let it, so, to give yourself the full effects pencil in a thin line across the waterline from the inner corner to the outer crease of your eye and really go to town on the inner corner if you want to as this creates more space between your eyes and gives the illusion of them being wider than they are. Sold yet? Well, if you need more convincing, white eyeliner doesn’t just have to be used on the waterline, it can be used playfully as you would on the top eyelid to go for a dramatic wing or sixties inspired thick line to balance out any brighter colours of eyeshadow. The possibilities are near endless, so grab on of these pencils on your next shopping trip and be one with the current trends in eye makeup!

Stop Your Eyeliner Short

We are all familiar with the cat eye or wing when it comes to eyeliner and these days there are so many variations on the trend that keep it up to date and one of the hottest looks around. Seen on models and on Instagram is the shorter and sharper version of the cat eye. This look is great for those just starting to experiment with their eyeliner as it doesn’t require you to be as steady as usual and if it goes wrong, you can simply turn it into the standard cat eye by increasing the amount of eyeliner you use.

The trick with this is to start the line from the middle or the last third of the eye, this can change depending on the shape and width of your eye. If you have eyes already on the wider side, then stick to starting the line on the top lid only from the outer third and then sweep it out into a wing to add sultry length and if you are looking to add more height to your eyes then start your line from the middle and finish off with a cat eye.

The look is certainly a statement but with mascara to finish it off it actually blends perfectly and looks like you are the master of eye makeup. To go subtle with it, try changing up jet blacks for softer black and browns which will still create the hottest statement but toned down to suit your preference.

Smudge That Wing!

I love this look and it is definitely one of the biggest trends that has real staying power and just looks great on anybody. The amazing part is that the lines aren’t supposed to look perfect so there is room for experimentation and error, and it can be corrected easily.

The trick is to pick your eyeshadow carefully to match your wing. For dark eyes, browns and golds work really well and for lighter eyes variations in shades of blues, greens and greys work really well. Trace your lines on the top lid and outward from the corner as you usually would over your shadow, sweeping upward toward your temples and the end of your eyebrow, then with a cotton bud or eyeliner smudge stick, carefully blend the lines in the same direction as your wing. Do the same on the bottom of your eye in the outer corner only and blend it up to meet the eyeliner and shadow keeping it smudged but without looking like you have had an accident with your palette. Aim to look polished but without sharp lines and remember to build on your layers of eyeshadow so it doesn’t look too defined. Fix any mistakes with concealer and highlight under the bottom of your sweep to really accentuate the look. Hot!

Add More Lines

In complete contrast to the smudged eye, this particular look is for the experimental and the brave but that is not to say that you shouldn’t try it out if you haven’t quite climbed out of your shell of confidence yet. This look will definitely pull you out to be proud of your eyes and pave the way for further bold looks in the future.

Models on catwalks and on Instagram have figured out one of the latest trends is to add more lines or patterns to really make a statement and it definitely is! Now, you might be wondering how to achieve this without looking like you are trying to dress up for Halloween or perhaps modelling for a new piece of pop art, but it is simple and achievable with the right tools.

The best eyeliner to use for this look is gel eyeliner with a fine brush that creates definition and is absolutely smudge-proof. The trick is to work with your eye’s natural shape and crease to draw in an extra line above your top line, that should look like it’s ‘floating’ above the top eyeline. Go a little heavier toward the outer eye and get creative with another flick or wing, again heading in the direction of the end of your brow so it keeps the cat eye shape flowing and isn’t perfectly perpendicular.

You don’t have to follow an exact template with this hot trend as it should be bespoke to your own eye shape and you don’t even have to stick to lines only, little beauty dots gradually getting smaller over your wing or small flicks to mimic eyelashes underneath the bottom lashes can create a real statement and are great looks for festivals that don’t involve carrying around pots of glitter and can be worked into any outfit. Save this trend as one of your top ten as it is absolute fire right now!

Electric Eyeliner

It is always a pleasant surprise to see colour making its way back into eyeliner and it is one of the hottest trends of 2019. Swapping out jet blacks for electric greens and cobalt blues are welcome on most eyes as the colours suit most shades and can be worked into any look to create a statement that has the wow factor.

If you can get your hands on one of these colours then you are giving yourself permission to step out of your comfort zone and bring your eyes to life, so grab your eyeliner and get creative. With any of the looks mentioned above, it is mostly assumed that black eyeliner would be the first colour anyone would go to, but that little fleck of colour is complimented by the deepest black mascara and can open up the eye almost like white eyeliner can.

For a simple statement but all the while stepping out of your comfort zone, keep to your normal sweep of eyeliner over the top lid, keeping as close to the eyeline as possible and straight into an angled wing following your bottom waterline and finish with a second coat to really seal the deal. For the real festival look add in a subtle floating line or small dots at the end of the wing being careful to keep the look classy and not like you have just joined the circus. Models such as Kendal Jenner and Gigi Hadid have rocked this look on their own Instagram profiles this year proving it is a staple in makeup trends this year.

Spider Eyes

I’m pretty sure you may be thinking this is one look that was in and out faster than your mascara could dry about 20 years ago and how could this be back in top trends in 2019? Well the trick with this is less is more. Remember I mentioned the no makeup look and how to achieve it to look like very little time was spent on making the face look smooth and flawless? Well, this goes hand in hand with that and can look damn fine if executed carefully.

The trick is to keep lines on the face smooth, so get priming and use concealer and highlighter favourably instead of lashings of foundation so that the lines of your eyelashes are the only things anybody is focused on. Highlighter is key here as it keeps the eyes looking bright and wide and means that you don’t require lashings of eyeliner. Use mascara heavily to mimic the effects of eyeliner toward the outer corner and go carefully on the bottom set of lashes so that they don’t clump together and look bulky.

What this look does is give the illusion of longer eyelashes instantly as they are not bombarded with other makeup that can detract from how good your eyelashes actually look. Brown mascara is highly fashionable in this trend as it keeps people guessing if they are your natural eyelashes and it doesn’t overload or look too bold. Subtlety is the key here and this low maintenance trend can knock precious minutes off your make up routine in the morning all while making you look as awake as possible.

Contrasting Colours

From the barely there to the bold and beautiful, this trend is bright and colourful and has no limits. For eyes that really stand out, adding one splash of colour isn’t always enough so its great to experiment with a few different ones until you look as adventurous as you feel.

Mix greens with blues and reds with yellows and work the colour from the centre of the eye to the outer corners, layering darker as you get toward the crease. Using a lighter colour eyeshadow or highlighter at the centre of the eyelid give the illusion of bigger eyes and adds shape where there may not be as much as you would usually hope. Keep lines smooth yet blended for the perfect evening look and line with black eyeliner and thick mascara for that rich texture to this modern take on the timeless trend and it will ensure you look fabulous without the risk of falling flat.

Set the Trend

Keeping up with the hottest trends of 2019 may seem like hard work sometimes but you may actually find that a lot of what you have in your makeup kit may do the job if you are open to experimenting and trying something new. A lot of us dream about having the confidence to wear bright colours and bold patterns on our eyes and it can take a lot to get out of our comfort zones to begin with. A good tip is to visit a beautician or local beauty store where the people in the know can help you with the basics before you get into the heavy stuff.

Having a smooth face and a blank slate to start any eye makeup look can be the beginning of something great, you just need to see the potential in yourself. That’s when the real fun can start, and you can start to get adventurous with colours and styles that suit your eyes. Sometimes it can just be a case of your makeup kit needing a little revamp, investing in a better eyeliner and mascara and adding a couple of new colours to the mix. You’ll be amazed at what you can achieve and how you can be part of the hottest trends of 2019.


Makeup tips

Time Saving Beauty Hacks

Life can sometimes get in the way of everything including how much time we dedicate to ourselves. You go to work, you try to enjoy a social life, you deal with family commitments, all while remembering to eat and stay hydrated each day. Thoughts of self-care may always be present but then in reality unless you can put some time aside for yourself, those thoughts can sometimes remain unrealised.

The dream solution is to have all the time in the world, or to be able to wake up flawlessly ready for the day with next to no effort involved. Well why not have the best of both? There are a lot of hacks that promise to save you time in looking your best, and I decided to explore them to see if you can really have it all even when time is not on your side!

Ok, so first thing in the morning I figured there are two different types of people. Those that set an alarm early enough to get up, get ready and get breakfast, leaving just enough time for that all-important cup of coffee before leaving for work with plenty of time to spare. The other type is, well, far less organised, craving those last few minutes in bed and wondering if they just cut out one part of their morning routine, can they afford to have another five minutes snoozing their alarm. The second type of person is me. I should be ashamed to say it, but the reality is sometimes I am so busy that grabbing any amount of extra sleep is vital to my day. So for someone like me, the only way to deal with this morning dysfunctionality was to either change my routine, learn how to get up earlier and embrace the amount of time I now had to make myself look and feel great and prepared for a day at the office OR see if there were any shortcuts I could take that would leave me feeling equally as good and my co-workers none the wiser!

Hack Number One – Cleansing

I fully expect cries of “That isn’t a hack!” when going into this one but hear me out. When you can barely find time to put makeup on your face, cleansing in its deepest form isn’t really a priority. I would usually just use soap and warm water to cleanse my face each morning and it did the job I needed it to. But when I started to realise my skin was drying out and the actual condition of it wasn’t benefiting – it wasn’t bright or dull, but somewhere in between – I started to look into my own skin type and what would help me in the long run.

I started using a proper cleanser at night and some light moisturiser designed for combination skin and saw huge differences when I woke up in the morning. I still think less is more when it comes to moisturisers as my skin type can go one way or the other and in finding the perfect balance, I now wake up with skin looking dewy and smooth and definitely brighter.

And how is this a time saving hack? Well, it saves me so much time in the morning fretting over my dry cheeks and eyes, scrambling for the extra-hydrating moisturiser that I know is only going to leave my skin looking greasy by the end of the day. Those minutes I spend doing this at night save me countless minutes in the morning and that is why it is my number one hack!

Hack Number Two – Moisturising Masks

This one is a no brainer, as face masks for moisturising and hydration have been around for some time and they can help with all different skin types to keep faces looking smooth, skin look full and pores cleansed. I have tried hundreds of different masks and find it fits in so much with my day that it has become a time saving hack. I use a cucumber face mask as it isn’t oily and suits my own skin type, the smell is really fresh and they coolness really helps when I feel hot and bothered, especially in the summer months. As they take minutes to apply, they are perfect as once it’s on, you can carry on with your day or evening and leave it to do its all-important work while you prepare lunch or read a book.

But face masks are important, not just for cleansing and moisturising but for self-care. I keep mentioning self-care as I really believe that whether you are looking for time saving hacks or whether you have all the time in the world to spend on your beauty, self-care and taking some time for your own self is not only great physically but mentally too. When I apply my face masks, I choose whether to carry on with daily tasks or whether to sit in the bath and enjoy a glass of wine and unwind from the week. I can try to cut every corner possible but doing this at least once a week is really important for mental wellbeing and 30 minutes is really not that long to spend on yourself when the rewards are relaxation and clear skin. This one is a great hack, whether you use it to save time or not.

Hack Number Three – Sleep

So, the cleansing and moisturising hacks are all so important, but sleep will always top everything as far as beauty hacks are concerned. You would be surprised just how much a good night sleep can do for your skin and hair so its worth looking into if your skin is feeling dull, you have dark circles under your eyes and your face looks puffy in the morning. A time saving hack works over the long-term and not just in the short-term so sleep is the one that will save you hours in the future when it comes to your skin care.

How? Well, it’s quite simple really, while you sleep your body is recovering and your cells are regenerating to get you back into top physical condition for the next day. Think about when you are ill and you are told to get a good night’s rest or when you have an injury, it starts to feel better with each day after you have rested and slept. There’s also a reason they call it beauty sleep!

Getting into a good sleeping habit can be easy for some, and I definitely envy those people. I have always had trouble getting enough sleep at night but in recent years I have come to appreciate just how much it helps in the long run so I aim to get 7-8 hours of sleep a night to make sure I look and feel my best and perform to a high standard at work each day. If you can try to change a few things in your sleeping routine, you may just find that in the morning you start to save more time on your own beauty routine as you don’t need to worry about heavy concealers and dark makeup to disguise those eye bags. You can almost get up and go once you have been well rested and that is a hack you cannot put a price on!

Hack Number Four – Eyelash and Eyebrow Serums

This little hack has changed my beauty routine for the better and I wish I had my hands on some of these wonder serums before. I talk a lot about preparation for the next day and how if you can rework your nightly beauty and cleansing regimen, you can see the benefits over the long term and save yourself precious minutes each day and hours each week. And when I discovered Xlash Eyelash Growth Serum and Eyebrow Serum it basically saved me so much time when it came to applying mascara or painting on my eyebrows every day.

What do they do? Well, they both contain ingredients that encourage growth of the individual eyelash or eyebrow hair and keep the skin underneath as well as the follicles happy and healthy. My eyebrows especially started to suffer years ago when I gave in to the tweezer and the unfortunate trends of the last decade and since then they have never looked as full or shapely and quite frankly became a sorry mess that I could only hide under mountains of makeup that took me ages to get the hang of and even longer to apply. It was safe to say my eyebrows were not in great condition at all.

My eyelashes weren’t too far off either. Years of waterproof mascara had taken its toll on my lashes and they came out more often than they should and the only fix I could think of was actually damaging them even more. Curling eyelashes is good if you know what you are doing and keeping them healthy at the same time and I was just curling them and applying more mascara each time without thinking of the consequences.

Then someone suggested I try an eyelash growth serum and Xlash Eyelash Growth Serum soon landed in my beauty kit. Soon after that so did the Eyebrow Serum and I have never looked back. The reason that these wonderful little tubes are time saving hacks is because it literally takes seconds to apply and you can do it straight after cleansing at night and forget about it completely until you start seeing the results. My eyebrows and eyelashes started to look more vibrant, fuller and longer within weeks and all I had to do was spend mere seconds on it every night before bed.

I have naturally very dark eyelashes and eyebrows, so it was really noticeable and the changes in my attitude toward myself projected the change even further. Everyone has things about them that they dislike or are even ashamed of and mine were my thin and sparse lashes and brows. Now, I just need a little boost with mascara and maybe some pencil on my eyebrows to tidy them up a bit each day. Its crazy to think that I worried about these parts of my face so much and now I get compliments on my eyelashes and how long they are. If you’re after a time saving hack that helps you build confidence in yourself again, then these serums are definitely the way to go.

Hack Number Five – Eyelash Extensions

This little hack is becoming more and more popular all over the world now due to its convenience and how real eyelash extensions can look. The beauty of getting eyelash extensions is that when it comes to your morning routine, it is the ultimate time saving hack. Now, they do cost a few of those hard-earned pennies and to keep up with them and repeated appointments to fill them in as they start to fall out will set you back each time, however they are the quickest way to obtain natural (or extreme) looking eyelashes and usually are great to get just before a holiday or a big event so you don’t have to worry about that one thing in your regime.

I mentioned the confidence factor earlier, and if getting eyelash extensions can boost yours or make you feel that little bit better about yourself then it is definitely worth looking into. One of the great hacks is to use the eyelash growth serum at the same time, Xlash Eyelash Serum is perfectly safe to use with lash extensions and doesn’t harm them or have a negative effect on the adhesive that is used. What you may find is that after a couple of months, your natural lashes start to grow into their own and that you may not need that next appointment after all!

Hack Number Six – Two in One Products

This hack may be quite general but still important if it helps saves you those important minutes each day. One of my favourites is foundation or tinted moisturiser with SPF as this saves time especially in the summer months when you are out for a sunny lunch or a short trip and still want to look your best without the hassle and the added greasiness of sun creams and lotions.

It is so important to protect your skin from the sun and most people don’t even realise that even cooler but sunny days can still negatively impact your skin. And when you think about it, if you have been following any of the above or your own time saving hacks to get your face and skin looking and feeling silky smooth and even toned, the absolute last thing you want to do is ruin it by coming home lobster red and needing to stay indoors for the next week while you wait for your skin to calm down! Applying a safe tinted moisturiser or foundation with protection from the sun will save you plenty of time and from plenty of damage!

Another two in one product that I adore is a kohl eyeliner pencil with a built-in smudge stick or sponge to give you the option of a smoky eye everywhere you go. I don’t know about you but when I’m in my early morning rush to get ready, I like to look great but spend as little time doing it as possible. Eyeliner is a must have for me and this handy little option is great as when I make an inevitable mistake, I can just correct it with the smudge stick, and no one will be any the wiser that it wasn’t the look I planned. Sneaky.

Hack Number Seven – Gel Eyeliner Pens

What a godsend these products have been! I really cannot live without my eyeliner, and when I leave the house each morning for work, I like to make sure my skin is clear from blotches and blemishes and that I have some definition to my eyes. I just don’t like to spend too long on it and need the convenience that allows me to look good and feel like I have invested plenty of time instead.

It is definitely an easier feat when it comes to liquid eyeliner pens and I would shout it from the rooftops if I could. Eyeliner on its own can be a hard thing to master, but once you have it down, it tends to be natural to stick to the same colours, shapes and styles without room (or time) to experiment. With a Kohl eyeliner pencil, you can make as many mistakes as you want if you are after a more raw and edgy look as it is not so defined but adds the shade needed to make eyes pop.

Gel or liquid eyeliners are fantastic for definition and you can create a cat-eye look or a dainty wing depending on what look you are feeling that day. If I’ve had enough of the accidental smoky eye for one day, I tend to lean more toward a gel liner but with limited time in the morning, the best way forward is a liquid pen eyeliner. As well as specialising in eyelash and eyebrow growth serums, Xlash have also developed a carbon black eyeliner pen that is so convenient for rushed mornings or even preparation for a night out when you have more time to be precise. I find it really easy to use the pen to draw out the shape that I want and then fill it in, leaving me with a defined wing that tells everyone I have perfected the art of eyeliner when it actually did most of the work for me!

Get your hands on one of these eyeliner pens if you are like me and in a rush all the time. And take it with you for a bit of a glam extension to your winged eyes for those last-minute decisions to grab some after work cocktails. Perfect!

Hack Number Eight – Dry Shampoo

I can happily finish on this one hack as the face is taken care of so now its time to think about your hair. I don’t understand how I see women everywhere with hair that looks like they have had their own personal stylist follow them around all day. Hair that is full of life and bounce and looks like it is freshly washed at every minute of the day. Impossible! But maybe they have learned their own hacks that I just haven’t discovered yet. My only hair hack is my beloved dry shampoo and some creativity with a messy bun.

Dry shampoo is great for people like me who have thick hair and washing it too frequently takes up way too many hours of the day. For those in between days where I need to give my hair a little boost, I grab my dry shampoo and give a little bit of life to see me through the day at the office. But sometimes those spontaneous after work cocktails are too good to turn down and dry shampoo alone just won’t cut it. So, my little hack is to get creative with messy up-dos, top buns and plaits, this way, when you are getting into your night and you want to let your hair down, you can really let your hair down! The dry shampoo leaves it looking silky and not greasy and the up do helps fix the style into place, so you get left with beachy waves to see the night through! Just don’t forget to set some time aside to give your hair a good scrub as dry shampoo won’t last forever and it can get irritating on the scalp.

Without these time saving beauty hacks I would be turning up to work looking like a dishevelled mess every day, and I do need to start working on my preparation more so that my hair, skin and lashes don’t only look in great condition but are actually in the best condition. Maybe one day I will learn but until then, it’s more fun to leave everyone guessing as to how long I spend on my look each day!


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