For the last ten years I’ve worked in the beauty industry and been surrounded by beauty products. In that time I’ve picked up a fair few ‘tricks of the trade’ and insider secrets. With this is mind I thought I’d share some of my beauty tips with you all. So sit back, get a cup of tea and indulge yourself in my top 10 beauty tips…
1) The Cheekbone Illusion
Make your cheekbones appear higher and give them more structure by apply bronzer directly underneath your cheekbone. You can also add a little highlighter to the cheekbone itself for added affect . Try it and see!
2) Dry Out Spots
You don’t need to spend money on spot creams, simply dab some toothpaste onto your spot before going to bed and by morning it will be on it’s way. Believe me this is a tried and tested trick.
3) Blot Your Skin
The easiest way to clear your skin of oil and prevent your make-up from sliding (especially during the summer months) is to use blotting papers. They’ll soak up any excess oil from the top layer of your skin – and prevent breakouts. I like these ones from Boots.
4) Don’t Fade Away
Lock in your new hair colour by using a deep-conditioning hair treatment every two weeks. This is a great two-in-one tip as you’ll obviously also benefit from super soft, well condition hair. My current favourite is this one by Kerastase.
5) Have Oily Skin? Use A Face Oil.
I know this sounds ridicules but using a face oil can help your skin produce less natural oil. Why? Using a face oil will trick your skin into thinking it doesn’t need to produce more oil. I really recommend Clarins Lotus Oil. It’s been my skin saviour for years.
6) Use Eye Cream on your Cuticles
Don’t waist money on cuticle cream, when you can double up by using a moisturising eye cream. I love a multi-purpose product and this tip works a treat! Bonus tip, keep your eye cream in the fridge, this will help reduce the appearance of dark circles and ‘bags’. You can also apply a think layer of eye cream under your eyes while soaking in the bath – as an amazing eye mask! I like Eucerin AQUAporin Active Moisturising Eye Cream
7) The Reverse Wash
If you suffer from thin hair, try the ‘reverse wash’! This means conditioning your hair first and shampooing second. Many of my old colleagues swore by this tip to increase volume.
8) Keep Your Makeup Brushes Clean
Clean your brushes using a little shampoo and warm water after every couple uses. They become a breeding ground for bacteria, which can cause breakouts and other skin conditions. Prevention is always better than a cure!
9) Seasonal Changes
Our skin needs different things depending on the time of year. So it’s important to change your beauty routine depending on the season. During the winter months your skin needs more moisture and comfort, while in the summer months you should use a lighter hydrating cream or lotion with an SPF.
10) A Body Beautiful
Immediately after stepping out of a shower or bath, apply a body lotion, cream or oil. Water and soap washes away your skin’s natural oils, so applying a moisturising product will prevent your skin from drying. Also, apply your cream or oil to slightly damp skin – not only will it be easier to rub in but it will also be more effective.
Let me know if you enjoyed reading these tips as I have plenty more up my sleeve.
I may be a chocaholic but when it comes to cake, I’m not too fussed. I can quite easily say no to a slice of Carrot Cake or a Victoria Sponge. However, once I tried a Leon Better Brownie I was hooked. They’re gooey and moist with a subtle orange flavour – and totally delicious.
If you’re not familiar with the Leon chain, their focus is on good quality fast food, that’s organic and fresh – they also cater for special diets. These brownies are flour-less, so are great for those with an intolerance to gluten or wheat, which is obviously a bonus.
After falling in love with these brownies (while working in London) and going on and on about them at home, my husband bought me a copy of their cook book so that I could attempt the recipe at home. Since then I’ve made them quite a few times, including today!
The original recipe is a little fussy, so I’ve simplified it a little (taken out the coffee and toasted almonds, and substituted some of the other ingredients). However, it’s important to follow the order in which the ingredients go in or you might end up with a scrambled mess.
This is my version
- 180g unsalted butter
- 200g 54% chocolate
- 1 teaspoon orange oil
- 4 free range eggs
- 100g ground almonds
- 100g 70% chocolate chunks
- 150g caster sugar
- pinch salt
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees
- Melt the butter and allow to cool slightly.
- Separately, melt the 200g of chocolate in a bowl over warm water until fully melted and glossy, then remove from the heat.
- Add the orange oil to the butter and stir.
- Break the eggs into a large mixing bowl and beat lightly.
- Add the ground almonds and stir well.
- Add the cooled melted chocolate, the 100g chocolate chunks and the caster sugar to the egg mixture and stir well.
- Stir in the salt and vanilla, followed by the butter mixture. Mix until just combined.
- Spoon the batter into a well greased baking tray (30cm x 30cm) and bake in the oven for 20 – 25 minutes. It should end up slightly crisp on top and soft in the middle.
Do test with a knife before taking it out of the oven though, as I’ve had to increase the time to 35 minutes on a few occasions. You want the middle to be gooey and not raw.
Give it a few minutes to cool, then cut it up and transfer to a cooling rack. Enjoy!
My word of the week is Shopping! Like most women, I love shopping. Before I had kids I liked nothing more than spending a Saturday afternoon going from one shop to another – but lets face it shopping with little ones is just not fun!
I have two daughters (age 4 and 1) who at the moment hate shopping. They don’t mind popping to the grocery shop if they think they might get some sweats as a ‘reward’ for being good but clothes shopping, forget it! Having said that, this week we were shopping with my mum – Poppy was being very quiet in her pushchair and Lili was happy as she’d just had an ice cream at Pizza Express. At the risk of pushing my luck I decided to venture into Monsoon Kids, as I hadn’t done any sale shopping and saw some cute pieces in the window.
And boy am I glad I did! Lili was in excellent spirits and for the first time ever, she picked up a dress and said “mummy I like this, do you like it?”
The sale was amazing, the jacket was £9, skirts £6 and playsuit £11. If you like a bargain and let’s face it we all do, head down to Monsoon or head over to Monsoon.com. I’m over the moon with our finds.
Plus, it was lovely to have a little glimpse into my shopping future with the girls.