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!)

REPOST//5 Best Selling Eyebrow Growth Serums

We’ve all over plucked our eyebrows at some time or another.  Whether for fashion or perhaps just accidentally, it can be highly frustrating and a little embarrassing trying to grow them back.  Here are my top 5 faves for saving those poor brows! x

RapidBrow Eyebrow Enhancing Serum

Eyebrow Lipocils Conditioning Gel

RevitaBrow Advanced Eyebrow Conditioner

NeuBrow Brow Enhancing Serum Duo

Grande Cosmetics GrandeBrow Brow Enhancing Serum

REPOST // How to get Meghan’s flawless skin…

Meghan stunned us all on her wedding day, not just with her beautifully elegant Givenchy gown, but with her simple barely there ‘no makeup, makeup look’.  Whilst this worked so perfectly for her and her utterly flawless skin, I would only recommend doing this if the skin is in tip top condition.  So here are my tips for getting a Meghan Markle complexion x

1.  Preparation, time and hard-work is key to getting clear skin that is naturally radiant.  The first thing you will need to practise daily is a facial workout.  Like our bodies, where we exercise to stay strong and slender, so does our face need a little workout now and again.  Meghan famously loves a good facial workout – favouring this method as opposed to surgery.  Search your local Saks salon for this treatment and many others favoured by Meghan.

2.  Get rid of the dry skin… pronto!  Meghan is a prime example of what the right kind of moisturiser can do for your skin.  Moisturising is a product that must not be skipped.  Ever!  Moisturising literally wakes up the complexion, plumps and boosts circulation.  Ditto for the eyes – use a balm or cream to lift the eyes and improve dark circles.  Try Dior Hydra Life Hydration Rescue Intense Sorbet Creme and No7 Early Defence Eye Cream.  And get as much sleep as you possibly can!

3.  Meghan is unique in the fact that her skin requires no colour correction and has a smooth surface area with no unsightly texture.  She is very naturally blessed – although like many actresses Meghan understands that what you put in your body has a direct connection to your skin.  So it’s no surprising she eats healthy for her body and skin, coupled with drinking plenty of fresh water.  Drinking water helps to plump the skin smoothing out lines and wrinkles, it also combats uneven skin tones with patches of redness.  This, used with the moisturising, will help to give you that even complexion.  It is also important to exfoliate once a month to help the skin’s renewal process and remove any dead skin cells.  Try Alpha-H Liquid Gold.

4.  You can tell that Meghan has been very good in the past with not picking her spots as she has no marks or scars.  Or if she had any, she has quite wisely had these professionally treated.  If you do suffer from breakouts it’s important to treat these either with a cortisone gel or red-ness reducing eye drops.  If you have suffered from spots in the past and are left with some scars think about booking yourself into your local Sk:n clinic to see about a re-surfacing treatment.

5.  Meghan’s teeth have that Hollywood effect of being perfectly straight and whiter than white.  If you think your teeth are looking a little sub-par, it is always best to consult your dentist to discuss options of professional teeth whitening and corrective adult braces.  Be prepared though… it can be a little pricey! x

Repost // Why everyone is going gaga over Dior…

Since the news broke that makeup artist Daniel Martin was the master-mind behind Meghan’s bridal look – everyone (including myself) have been speculating which products he must have used for the design.  Dior Brand Ambassador & Honest Creative Colour Consultant – Daniel is rumoured to have mainly used Dior’s newest collection of products called ‘Backstage’.  For the lip shade Daniel is said to have used a combination of Dior Addict Lip Glow in 004 Coral and Dior Addict Lip Glow 001 Pink, as he wanted to make sure the lips were super moisturised and just had the most subtlest hint of colour.  This was truly the best option to go for considering how dazzling bright and hot that May day was!

So it stands to reason that everyone is adding Dior to their makeup shopping baskets, and in particular… Dior Addict Lip Glow.  It’s a must have if you want that subtle shade that mimics natural lip tones, along with providing a balm to the lips.  It’s just that perfect, fresh and modern lipstick that every girl should have in their handbag and that is why I actively encourage all my bridal clients to seek out Dior x

My personal faves: Dior Addict Lip Glow 001 Pink, Dior Addict Lip Glow 010 Holo PinkDior Addict Lip Glow in 004 Coral and Dior Addict Lip Glow 007 Raspberry

 

REPOST//Touching or topping up your bridal makeup throughout the big day – what will you need…

My bridal clients often ask me what they will need throughout the wedding to keep their makeup looking fresh, especially if any tears are shed during the ceremony or speeches!  A good tip is if you do feel a little emotional and the tears start to well in the eyes, have a tissue on hand and just dap don’t wipe across!  This will save your eye makeup.  This goes for if the tears that have made it down your cheeks.  Below I have complied a list of useful items to have to top up your bridal makeup throughout the day.  Give them to a trusted bridesmaid to look after for you x

1. Lipstick and lipliner.  Be prepared to talk continuously throughout the day to friends and family!  This natural action can result in the lipstick being warn off.  Think carefully about your choice of lipstick – a neutrally toned shade is less obvious when it comes to fading.  Drinking and eating will also mean the colour fades.

2.  Pressed powder.  Make sure not to go for a loose powder to avoid any upset if opened incorrectly, and powder ends up all over your gown!  A little bit of powder may be needed just under the eyes in case of tears, and if you’re feeling particularly flushed and just need to take some of the oil out of the complexion.

3.  Blusher.  A little bit of pressed blusher can be useful if a lot of people have kissed your cheeks and worn of your ‘natural’ glow.  Think about quickly topping this up before photographs.  Don’t be tempted to use too much though!

4.  Mints.  Breath mints are really useful if you want to feel fresh quickly.  With the wine and different foods you will be consuming, having some breath mints can just give you a little more confidence when talking to your guests.

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How to get glossy, strong and long wedding hair

You’ve booked the wedding venue, found the perfect gown, Pinterest the hell out of your bridal makeup and hair inspirations – now it’s time to fully take charge of your skincare routine AND… your haircare regime.  Often neglected on the run up to the wedding (and who can blame you with everything going on!)  Spend a little bit of time on your haircare needs, and believe me your ultimate bridal look will go from ‘girl next door’ to ‘red carpet glam’ in no time!  Here are a few tips for getting glossy, strong and longer hair before your wedding.

1. Eat Smarter

Diet is the most important thing to consider if you want thick and healthy hair. While genetics determines hair texture and curl, our diet plays a role in how genes can get expressed.  Be sure to get plenty of good quality protein and good fats like olive oil and Omega 3.  Foods such as salmon, avocados, nuts, vegetables, and fruit to get the nutrients and fibers needed.

2. Use The Right Shampoo & Conditioner

Different hair types require specific products that cater to different needs.  Those with fine hair should look for building shampoo and conditioners, such as the Redken High Rise Volume, to create thickness and shine.  For those with coarse hair, products that tame frizz, enhance shine, and moisturize, like Ouai’s Smooth Conditioner.

3. Start With Your Scalp

The scalp has a rich micro-biome of bacteria and fungus necessary to keep the skin healthy.  When we don’t shampoo enough or use harsh chemicals on it, it leads to scalp problems that negatively affect hair growth.  You have to take care of your scalp because it is an extension of your skin.  The skin has immunity functions and is our first line of defence against toxins and environment aggressors.  When the scalp is compromised, the scalp cannot defend itself.  Keeping a healthy balance of moisture and natural oils is important on scalp just as it is on your face.

4. Ditch Hot Tools

I know it can be hard to break up with your hair dryer or flat iron.  But if you want thicker, shinier hair, you might have to.  Keeping hot tool use at a minimum will lessen hair damage.  It will make a huge difference.  If you cannot stay away from your favorite hot tools, it’s an absolute must to use a heat protectant spray, like the Cutler Protectant Treatment Spray, and a hot tool brand that regulates heat and temperature, like the T3 Single Pass Straight Iron.  I’m also a fan of the new Dyson Airwrap Styler, a styling tool and dryer hybrid that uses air and minimal heat to dry and curl hair.

5. Brush, Brush, Brush

Yes, even brushing can affect your hair’s thickness.  Brushing your hair helps distribute the natural oils that will help protect it from damage and add shine.  Regardless of hair texture, brushing everyday will exfoliate the scalp and remove dead hair.

But it’s only helpful if you’re using the right brush.  Using a boar brush, like this Mason Pearson one.  You will polish the hair and it gets its natural glow because you are dividing the natural oils from the scalp into the hair.  As for the biggest hair brush faux pas? Using a plastic one.  Don’t use a plastic brush.  It will damage the hair and make it static.

A few days before the big day, add nourish troubled tresses by treating them to an intensive hair mask.  Whether you pick your favourite store bought remedy or mix up the best of your kitchens’ offerings, this should help keep your hair smooth and shiny on the special day.

REPOST// The big questions – No. 5: Will I look overdone and not like myself?

A very common worry among brides (when considering to hire a makeup artist) is that they will not look like themselves, or that they will be too heavily made up.  There isn’t a bride alive who doesn’t want that pleasant in-take of breath when she enters the room, and see’s her guests and partner for the first time.  You want to be breathtaking for all the right reasons, and any makeup artist worth her salt will always strive to help create that moment for you.  Here are a few myth busters to help you make your choice.

1. One of the most common fears surrounding hiring a makeup artist, is that you will be made to look too heavily ‘made up’ and covered in foundation.  Believe me, no one wants that!  True, we will use slightly more products than than your usual everyday look, but that is only because the makeup design has to work well for meeting guests, different lighting effects, professional photographs and lasting the distance on what is a joyful – but long day.

2. At the makeup trial you will be asked what is usual for you in terms of your everyday look, and what products you like to use.  That way we can design something that is very typically you, yet slightly tweaked to be the very best version of yourself.  A makeup artist is not there to experiment and try out the latest trends on you (only if you want to though!)  We’re here to give a guiding hand to create something that is uniquely you, yet translates well to all mediums.

3. Ok, yes we use a lot more products than you’re used to.  There are eye primers, facial primers, an array of eyeshadows, setting sprays, vitamin sprays the list is endless.  But we only use what we need to, to achieve that flawless base or that gorgeous smokey eye – the key is thin build-able layers that just looks seamless in it’s execution.  Basically, don’t panic when I open the makeup kit!

REPOST // The big questions – No. 3: How much?!

Today’s question revolves around the vulgar subject of money.  While the hire of a makeup artist is properly going to be your least expensive purchase, a lot of brides are still curious to know what they’re getting for their money.  A fair question.  So without further ado:

1. Training.  Any makeup artist worth his/her salt will have received a level of training when starting to develop their necessary skills and will continue this training whether by attending more courses, events or seminars to expand these expertise.

2. Experience.  This is probably the main factor in how much a makeup artist will charge.  Over the four years I have been in the wedding industry, I have worked with many different bridal clients, their bridesmaids and mothers – meaning I have experience working with different skin types, ethnicity and varying ages.  I know what will look gorgeous on a bride in her 20’s and sophisticated on a lady in her 60’s and the differences required in products and technique.

3. The makeup kit.  I spend about 80% of any earnings on maintaining my makeup kit.  This includes regularly purchasing new products, replacing short term usage products such as mascaras, the constant buying of false eyelashes and maintaining the brushes.

4. Travel.  Not the most glamorous part of the job but obviously a necessity.  Please note I would be more than happy to travel to your wedding if you’re getting married in the Bahamas!

5. And finally, you wouldn’t believe the time I spend filling out paperwork! x

Touching or topping up your bridal makeup throughout the big day – what will you need…

My bridal clients often ask me what they will need throughout the wedding to keep their makeup looking fresh, especially if any tears are shed during the ceremony or speeches!  A good tip is if you do feel a little emotional and the tears start to well in the eyes, have a tissue on hand and just dap don’t wipe across!  This will save your eye makeup.  This goes for if the tears that have made it down your cheeks.  Below I have complied a list of useful items to have to top up your bridal makeup throughout the day.  Give them to a trusted bridesmaid to look after for you x

1. Lipstick and lipliner.  Be prepared to talk continuously throughout the day to friends and family!  This natural action can result in the lipstick being warn off.  Think carefully about your choice of lipstick – a neutrally toned shade is less obvious when it comes to fading.  Drinking and eating will also mean the colour fades.

2.  Pressed powder.  Make sure not to go for a loose powder to avoid any upset if opened incorrectly, and powder ends up all over your gown!  A little bit of powder may be needed just under the eyes in case of tears, and if you’re feeling particularly flushed and just need to take some of the oil out of the complexion.

3.  Blusher.  A little bit of pressed blusher can be useful if a lot of people have kissed your cheeks and worn of your ‘natural’ glow.  Think about quickly topping this up before photographs.  Don’t be tempted to use too much though!

4.  Mints.  Breath mints are really useful if you want to feel fresh quickly.  With the wine and different foods you will be consuming, having some breath mints can just give you a little more confidence when talking to your guests.

Image ikonworks

REPOST // Face Mapping – What are your spots trying to tell you?

It may seem a bit primitive by today’s medical standards, but face mapping (the idea that where spots develop on the face is closely linked to organs around the body) is still often used by Dermatologists to examine clients to ascertain exactly what is going on underneath the surface of the skin, and to root out anything more sinister as to why the skin is behaving the way it does.  I personally have always referred to this map whenever I have a breakout, as it is usually always linked to how my body is performing at the time.  It also serves as a little comforter, knowing there is always a reason behind the mysterious spot, and it’s not just because I ate that small piece of chocolate!

Face mapping or reading, traditionally stems from ancient Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine.  Back in the day, it was used as a diagnostic tool for prominent leaders and scholars. They believed that the face represented the fortune, health and energy of a person and that by closely examining the condition of the skin and facial shape, like a sleuth you could suss out a person’s character including their physical, mental and emotional state.  You could also have the necessary tools and requirements to change your fate and direction.

It works by having the face divided into three main zones – upper, middle and lower.  Any malfunctions within the organs and the systems – immune, excretory, endocrine, digestive, circulatory, nervous and respiratory – will show up on the face in the form of breakouts, redness, dryness or irritation.

***

FOREHEAD – BLADDER AND INTESTINES: The upper part of the forehead reflects the bladder, and the lower part, the intestines and digestion. Issues in this area could relate to constipation, irritable bowel syndrome and urinary tract infections.

WHAT TO DO:

  • Change sleep cycle, this is ideal for your liver. Ideally go to bed regularly before 10pm and wake up early around 6am
  • Drink plenty of water to flush out toxins
  • Eliminate alcohol or consume less
  • Eliminate sugar and carbonated beverages
  • Eat more raw food and take probiotics – think kimchi, sauerkraut
  • Chew food well to improve digestion
  • Practice 30 minutes of light exercise every day – outdoors is particularly beneficial. Yin Yoga is ideal.
  • Practice relaxation or meditation techniques for 20 minutes each day
  • Make sure hair products are not irritating the hairline

EARS AND TEMPLES – KIDNEYS: Dehydration, poor lymphatic circulation. When the kidneys are involved, it indicates a deeper level of ageing and stress.  Nourish the kidneys with proper hydration.

WHAT TO DO:

  • Drink plenty of water – add a squeeze of lime or lemon
  • Avoid smoking and alcohol
  • Eliminate sweetened and caffeinated beverages
  • Make the salt switch from processed table salt to sea salt
  • Cooling foods like cucumbers and melon are ideal
  • Eliminate processed food, fast food and junk food
  • Practice better skin hygiene – cleanse regularly especially during summer and when perspiring.

BETWEEN THE BROWS – LIVER AND STOMACH: Too much boozing, fatty liver, diseases like hepatitis, jaundice, gallbladder problems and dehydration could show up here.  Acne in this area can also be the result of eating too late at night, especially heavy, fatty foods.  Flaking and dry skin are linked to dehydration and overworked kidneys.  The liver is working too hard to remove toxins from consumption and pollution.

WHAT TO DO:

  • Exercise, but avoid overly strenuous exercise that can be heating
  • Yoga is ideal and brisk walking
  • Get more sleep 7-8 hours
  • Avoid alcohol and smoking
  • Eat lighter foods and cut back on dairy and red meat
  • Avoid late night snacks
  • Get plenty of fresh air

NOSE & UPPER CHEEK – HEART AND CARDIOVASCULAR SYSTEM: Acne and oiliness can be connected to circulation, blood pressure and cholesterol.  Skin conditions like rosacea tend to show up in this zone.  Indoor and outdoor air pollution, bad circulation, and high blood pressure can all play havoc with this area of the face.  Maintain healthy cholesterol levels and blood pressure.

WHAT TO DO:

  • Increase cayenne, garlic, and reishi mushroom
  • Increase green tea and chlorella
  • Eat less pungent foods
  • Eat less meat and salt
  • Eat temperate foods that are not too hot or cold
  • Get more exercise and fresh air every single day
  • Massage the area around your nose to improve circulation
  • Check vitamin B levels and maybe take a practitioner recommended supplement.

RIGHT CHEEK – LUNGS AND RESPIRATORY SYSTEM: Relate to issues with sinuses and allergies. Pollution, smoking, and asthma will damage this part of the skin.  Get plenty of exercise, stay away from pollution, and stop smoking.

WHAT TO DO:

  • The lung meridian is strongest at 7-9 AM so this is the ideal time for cardio exercise
  • Drink lots of green vegetable juices including dark leafy greens kale, cucumber, celery
  • Drink lots of water with lemon
  • Avoid fast food and junk food and hydrogenated fats
  • Avoid sugar, mango, taro root, wine, and seafood or other foods you may be sensitive to
  • Get more fresh air
  • Use a toxin free and fragrance free laundry detergent
  • Change pillow cases frequently and ideally sleep on a silk pillowcase
  • Clean cell phones regularly
  • Practice proper cleansing hygiene, especially if you live in a polluted city

LEFT CHEEK – LIVER AND STOMACH: Exposure to air pollution and smoke, gum issues or inflammation in the mouth or tooth sockets.  Lower left cheek acne could represent dental health, so have your teeth professionally cleaned every six months and keep your gums and teeth healthy by flossing and brushing after you eat.

WHAT TO DO:

  • Maintain a normal daily routine
  • Keep a positive mood by practicing meditation and relaxation techniques for 20 minutes each day
  • Eat more cooling foods such cucumber, melons, and green beans
  • Don’t overeat and avoid processed and junk foods
  • The liver is the strongest from 1-3 AM so this is when you should be sleeping
  • The liver is weakest at 1-5 PM so make your workload easier at this time
  • Rest your eyes by palming them for 5 minutes every hour if you work in the afternoons
  • Practice proper cleansing hygiene, especially if you live in a polluted city
  • Use a toxin free and fragrance free laundry detergent
  • Change pillow cases frequently and ideally sleep on a silk pillowcase
  • Clean cell phones regularly

MOUTH & LIP AREA – ENDOCRINE SYSTEM: Breakouts are associated with hormonal imbalances and issues.  Menstrual problems or increased stress levels will trigger the release of cortisol.

WHAT TO DO:

  • Consider food sensitivities and toxic build up
  • Eat more fibre by including more fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet
  • Avoid spicy and fried foods
  • Massage the abdominal area in a clockwise motion
  • Use a natural and organic toothpaste and lip balm

JAWLINE AND CHIN – STOMACH, KIDNEY AND REPRODUCTIVE ORGANS: Pimples in the middle of the chin are associated with the digestive system.  Eating too much fat and sweet food can cause problems in this area as well as excessive caffeine and alcohol consumption.  Try to maintain a balanced diet and eat plenty of fruits and demulcent fibre (chia, marshmallow, slippery elm, aloe vera) to improve stomach health.

WHAT TO DO:

  • Reduce the habit of eating before bed
  • Avoid hydrogenated fats and processed sugar
  • Eat plenty of fibre from fresh fruit and vegetables
  • Get adequate rest and nap during the day if possible
  • Reduce stress as much as possible by practicing yoga and meditation
  • Get 20 minutes of exercise each day
  • Sleep early and wake up early and get at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night
  • Massage your body for relaxation, particularly the abdomen
  • Practice proper hygiene
  • Check toothpaste, mouthwash and lip products
  • Drink spearmint and peppermint tea

NECK – THYROID: Good cholesterol production from saturated fats is the precursor of your most important hormones.  Eating the wrong foods, being under artificial lights and disconnected from nature can disturb healthy hormone levels and balance.

WHAT TO DO:

  • Get fresh air and avoid artificial lights
  • Eat grass fed meat and avoid hormone injected meat
  • Increase saturated fats like organic ghee
  • Drink adequate water
  • Sun gazing every day in the early morning barefoot on the grass or sand is beneficial for grounding
  • Get your hormones checked for imbalances
  • Take omega 3 supplement to help regulate hormones
  • Take vitamin D and magnesium supplements both are needed for proper hormone function
  • Avoid hormone disrupting chemicals like phthalates