Acne plasters – do they work and which ones are the best?

Although they have the super cool nickname of pimple patches (or of course acne stickers), they’re actually called hydrocolloid bandages. If you haven’t heard of hydrocolloid technology, it’s what’s used in blister plasters to help cushion painful sores on the skin and “suck out” the fluid inside, so that the plaster absorbs it, instead of the blister popping and scarring the skin.

In pimple terms, this hydrocolloid technology works in exactly the same way. Their cellulose base not only helps to absorb fluid from the blemish, but also keep damaging bacteria and excess water out, so the spot has time to dry and heal.

Some of them rely on simply hydrocolloid technology (which absolutely works perfectly), but if you had some more stubborn spots you couldn’t shift, some of them also contain popular blemish-fighting ingredients such as Salicylic Acid and Benzoyl Peroxide. While some skin types can be sensitive to these ingredients, the good news about acne stickers is that they contain such tiny doses, they make a difference without irritation.

One product of choice has to be the CosRX Acne Master Pimple Patches, which have become a beauty blogger favourite. Not only are they super affordable, but they work brilliantly, and hail straight from the country who developed these little miracle circles.

A little more down the premium skincare line are the Peter Thomas Roth Acne Patches, which are also enriched with Salicylic Acid to help fight bigger and more inflamed spots at their source.

The Sarah Chapman Skinesis SOS Spot Stickers come from one of the most trusted facialists in the beauty industry, and contain Vitamin C to help fight dark marks and pigmentation; reducing the appearance of scarring post blemish.

UPDATE! Hairburst Chewable Hair Vitamins

Product description…

‘Hairburst Chewable Hair Vitamins are the tasty way to ensure you are getting the essential vitamins for, faster hair growth. We created this product for people who find it hard to swallow tablets but still want longer, stronger healthier hair.

Hairburst provides a different approach to hair maintenance, a professional product that works from the inside out, our chewable vitamins contain the vital ingredient for hair growth including Biotin, Selenium, Zinc, B5, B6 & B12

Our chewable hair vitamins work to combat the negative impact daily lives can have on your hair. We are all guilty of committing hair sins, whether that’s not having your nutrition on point, over styling with heat or chemicals , excessive dying or just simply age and genetics. We’re here to help’

So at the moment I am 4 months in using a mixture of the chewable hair vitamins and the capsule version. I am not too sure my hair has grown too much, although my nails and skin are looking very healthy! What I would say is that the hair appears thicker and shinier. I’ve got 2 more bottles of the capsule to take, so I’ll give you another update in a couple of months time x

5 tips for growing long, thick hair for your wedding day

These are my top tips (taken from my own personal experience) on how to grow gorgeous long, thick hair before your wedding day. It’s good to start thinking about growing your hair as soon as you’ve become engaged, as good quality length and thickness takes time. You may even need to start from the beginning with an especially short hair cut if your hair is thinning. Cutting the hair short will relieve the pressure on the scalp and allow new growth to be healthier and thicker.

  1. Tell your hairdresser you are wanting to grow your hair, and have regular trims every 6-8 weeks depending on your growth rate. Letting your hairdresser know your aim allows them to tailor the trim to cut out the split ends, whilst leaving the healthy hair to grow to its potential.
  2. Resist the urge to wash and brush your hair everyday. By simply running your fingers through your hair to get rid of knots, saves undue stress on the hair and scalp. It can also create a nice beach wave effect. Also, think about washing your hair every other day to allow the hair time to gain back its natural oils – which coat the hair in a natural protectant.
  3. Invest in a really good brush that is kind to your hair. Tangle teasers are popular for a reason, as they gently comb through the hair without pulling too much at the scalp. They are also very good for children’s hair too.
  4. I always start my day with a hair supplement taken with my breakfast. I find if I make it part of my morning routine then I don’t forget to take them. I personally love the Hairburst supplements and have been using them for half a year. I find the extra vitamin boost helps with hair growth, thickness and gives the hair a silky finish. Coupled with a diet high in fruit and veg this has made all the difference.
  5. Avoid over styling hair everyday with heat. I tend to do a lovely beach wave using my hair straighteners twice a week, with a heat protectant, some styling cream, leave in conditioner and a salty sea spray. Sometimes I’ll add some oil if the hair is particularly dry. Reducing the amount of heat and adding the correct products can make all the difference.

And good luck girlies! x

REPOST // The perfect bridal pink lipstick shades

For a classic bridal makeup look there’s nothing more chic than a nude, pink lipstick shade.  But, like skin tones, nude lipsticks come in a myriad of beautiful shades.  Whether you like a ‘true’ nude in a beige colour or a subtle pink or orange hue to enhance the natural colour of your lips, one of my top 5 nude lipsticks will be perfect for your wedding day.  For those who are die-hard matte lipstick addicts, Charlotte Tilbury’s Pillow Talk is your NBF, but if you’re a satin-finish girl (and even like a bit of shimmer) you need a Nars Satin Lipstick in your make up bag! x

1. Charlotte Tilbury’s Pillow Talk

2. Mac’s Amorous

3. Nar’s Cruising

4. Chanel’s 54 Boy

5. Mac’s Modesty

6. Charlotte Tilbury’s Bitch Perfect

Perfect bridal pink lipstick shades…

For a classic bridal makeup look there’s nothing more chic than a nude, pink lipstick shade.  But, like skin tones, nude lipsticks come in a myriad of beautiful shades.  Whether you like a ‘true’ nude in a beige colour or a subtle pink or orange hue to enhance the natural colour of your lips, one of my top 5 nude lipsticks will be perfect for your wedding day.  For those who are die-hard matte lipstick addicts, Charlotte Tilbury’s Pillow Talk is your NBF, but if you’re a satin-finish girl (and even like a bit of shimmer) you need a Nars Satin Lipstick in your make up bag! x

1. Charlotte Tilbury’s Pillow Talk

2. Mac’s Amorous

3. Nar’s Cruising

4. Chanel’s 54 Boy

5. Mac’s Modesty

Bridesmaid checklist – things to do before the big day

You’ve been given the wonderful job of being a bridesmaid to your lovely friend, but sometimes the pressure of organising events, having outfit fittings and generally being there for your bestie can take it’s toll.  So here is my simple guide to easing some of that stress, meaning you enjoy the run up to the big day along with performing your duties on the actual wedding x

1. Buy/try on your bridesmaid gown, shoes and accessories with plenty of time…

You should try and aim to buy/try on your bridesmaid gown within plenty of time before the wedding.  Not only does this minimise stress of everyone involved – it also allows time for adjustments if needed and if the bride changes her mind on style and colour.  A brilliant place to get gowns from is Maids to Measure

Do not leave it to the big day to stitch loose straps, or mend a broken zip that you knew wouldn’t work – both of which has happened during weddings I have been involved in.  Not only does this look terrible in photographs, it will also mean you are constantly worried about how your gown looks and not feel confident at all.

Be organised on this one!

2. Confirm with the bride your travel/hotel accommodation if required PLUS timings!

If you don’t know what time you need to arrive or be available for the bride, ask.  Check timings – what time do you need to be with her for breakfast, hair, makeup or even changed into your gown.  Which car are you riding in and do you need to stay with her, or book a local hotel.  Take the initiative and confirm what is going on, as the bride will have so many things to think about she may need a little push to sort the little details with you.

3. Decide whether you want hair and or makeup, and tell the bride.

This subject is always a little touchy with brides as they usually always want to pay for bridesmaids to have their hair and makeup done, but financially this is not always possible (weddings are expensive!)  So really think about whether you want your hair and or makeup done, and if so are you willing to help pay for this?  Quite often I am involved in weddings where only one or two bridesmaids are having their hair and makeup done, and it makes the rest of the bridal group really regret their decision as they either don’t have the same products or can’t achieve the same professional finish.

If you do want either or both, then tell the bride in plenty of time and not a couple of days before the wedding.  That way, numbers and timings can be confirmed and any final bills paid in plenty of time.

4.  Don’t bring your hang-ups or personal problems to the bride on her wedding day.

This can sound really harsh but in practise I have seen so many bridesmaids verbally attack brides on their special day for not doing this, or not thinking to organise that.  Meaning that poor bride who has spent an enormous amount of money making it a special day for everyone, now feels like rubbish on her wedding day.  No one wants to see that.

Leave your hang-ups and personal problems at the door and be there for your friend.  It’s one day where you can just enjoy yourself and be with friends and family, so buck up and let your hair down!

5.  Make sure both the bride and yourself have a prosecco in hand for most of the morning x

L.A Girl – why I love to use their foundations…

In their own words…

L.A. Girl offers beauty without compromise and beauty for all.  Founded in 1985, the brands original ethos still stands strong – premium quality, on-trend, innovative beauty.  With their on-trend, affordable products, L.A. Girl provides the tools for everyone (from beginner to pro MUA) to express themselves through makeup application.’

I simply love their products!  L.A Girl is one of the fastest growing makeup brands currently on the market, and in my opinion easily out-does some of the more well known established brands such as YSL, especially on foundation.  I came across L.A Girl after reading many of the favourable reviews and thought I’d give their pro long-wear foundation a try.  Well a couple of years later and many happy bridal clients on, I am still using their products.

The models I work with are always asking what foundation is in my kit, as they love the way the skin is able to breath yet is fully covered with an even skin-tone.  The weightless, hydrating formula glides onto the skin imparting gentle hydration and incredible coverage.  It allows the skin to be camera ready whilst it cares for the skin x

Non invasive chemical skin peels – how to instantly rejuvenate your skin

Clients often tell me that they feel as though their skin looks tired, dull and lifeless.  Drinking plenty of water and catching up on some much needed sleep can work to reverse this.  However, water and sleep can only go so far.  If the skin has started to show signs of pigmentation, acne, wrinkles or an uneven skin tone then you may want to consider a non invasive chemical skin peel.

Skin peels have come along way from the grizzly looking peels often associated with face lifts in the early 90’s.  Now there is a skin peel for different depths, skin complaints and required end results.  There is only one thing that is important to consider before having a skin peel – who to get it from.

I personally can recommend any Sk:n clinic.  Their staff are medically trained to provide a range of non invasive cosmetic procedures including facial peels.  Meaning you are in very good hands.

What to expect from a skin peel

1. Rejuvenated and brighter skin
2. Revival of dull skin
3. Removal of dead skin cells
4. Even skin texture and tone
5. Reduced appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
6. Smoother, softer skin
7. Eliminated pigmentation and reduced effects of sun damage
8. Reduction of inflammation and breakouts caused by acne
9. Hydrated and nourished skin
10. Stimulated collagen production for plump and youthful looking skin

REPOST//Tips for growing beautiful, healthy nails for your wedding

I have a confession to make.  I am a former nail biter!  I’m not going to lie it took a lot of patience and time to kick this lifetime habit.  And it all started with starting to plan my wedding and wanting to make sure my nails (which were in a sorry mess at the time) were not going to let me down.  Especially as my good friend and wedding photographer Mia mentioned that she would be taking a few ‘wedding ring’ shots, which immediately spurred me into action!  Don’t get me wrong there were plenty of relapses on the lead up to the wedding, as no wedding is completely stress free!  I learnt a lot of things along the way that helped me kick this naughty habit and now I’m going to share them with you x

Let’s get started!

1. Buy the wedding nail polish you want to wear and get excited about putting on that first coat of polish!  Often if you can visualise what your nails are going to be like by the end of your journey, then it makes it all the easier to make a good start.

2. Often our hair and nails need a little help in getting the right vitamins to them, so try adding a supplement to your daily routine.  I personally love Imedeen Derma One teamed with Imedeen Hair & Nails so my skin and nails get a kick start.  Also Perfectil is a wonder and slightly cheaper, but still as good.  Always check with your local GP before taking any supplements.

3. Get off to a good start by having a professional manicure to improve the cuticles and shape of the nails (be that with tiny nails for now!)  This will ensure good habits and make you want to keep up the good work.

4. Avoid the temptation to have false nails applied for your wedding.  I honestly don’t know why these have not been banned yet!  False nails are incredibly bad for your own nail bed – cutting off the air supply to your nails can make them brittle, yellow and left with unsightly ridges.  All those chemicals are not good for the nails, or your lungs!  There’s a reason why they all wear masks in nail salons…

5. Regularly paint your nails in expensive nail polish, or top coat it in special nail biter polish which tastes awful!  Why expensive nail polish?  Well, knowing how much it cost often made me not want to bite it off at all (I definitely wanted to get my monies worth!)

1-2-1 Bridal Makeup Training NOW available!!

Are you getting married abroad, volunteered to do your friend’s bridal makeup, or are simply doing your own makeup for your big day but need a little hand in the basics?  My 1-2-1 bridal makeup training sessions are tailored to your skill set and individual concerns.

Working with real models or with a friend (of your choosing) we will work through a full makeup look that you want to achieve.  I will aim to work at your pace and will slow down any technique that you want to master.

Get in touch to book at hello@francesmooremua.co.uk, or by using the Contact form on my website x