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

Sarah Chapman Skinesis – facials fit for a Duchess

To get flawless skin like our newest Duchess of Sussex it takes commitment, a good diet, high quality products and lashings of expert facials.  Sarah Chapman is the lady behind Meghan’s incredible skin – through regular facials and her wonder products Sarah can work, well, wonders!  And Meghan isn’t the only Royal to utilise Sarah’s skills along with many a celebrity such as Victoria Beckham who books in once a month.

If your suffering from particularly difficult skin, or just want a bit of a luxury treat before your big day then I can highly recommend Sarah and her team x

When is it time to see a professional Dermatologist?

 The skin is the largest organ of the body.  Although it is one continuous layer covering and protecting your insides, it isn’t uniform. From the skin on your face to the skin around your nails, on your scalp, over your arms and legs, elbows, and feet, every nook and cranny has unique issues and potential problems.  Taking care of your skin and the various problems that may show up, can be challenging. Thankfully, whether it’s acne, dandruff, calluses, wrinkles, oily skin, dry skin, or red bumps (keratosis pilaris), these problems are relatively easy to take care of on your own with over-the-counter products. But, not every skin difficulty can be resolved without the help of a dermatologist.  But when the problem is not so easy to resolve – when is it the right time to see a professional?

If you’re wondering whether or not your skincare concern is something a doctor should evaluate, use the following criteria to determine if an appointment with the dermatologist is warranted:

1. Cystic acne or stubborn acne that won’t go away with over-the-counter products. An anti-acne product containing benzoyl peroxide and another containing salicylic acid (both of which are available without prescription), when combined with a gentle, healing skincare routine, can keep most mild to moderate breakouts under control. However, if after 2 to 3 months of consistent use, they aren’t working for you, then seeing a dermatologist is a must.

2. Red marks left over from acne or blemishes. Generally, red marks left over from a blemish resolve on their own, and gentle skincare products containing antioxidants and salicylic acid can absolutely speed the process. For unknown reasons, red marks sometimes do not respond to these wonderful over-the-counter products. A dermatologist can step in with laser or light-emitting treatments that can make a significant improvement, potentially eliminating the mark(s) altogether!

3. Itching and rashes that won’t go away. Eczema and other types of dermatitis are accompanied by uncomfortable or even painful inflammation, uncontrollable itching and irritation, or flaking skin that won’t go away. Be sure you aren’t allergic to or having a reaction to the products you use, and make sure you use fragrance- and dye-free products, which is really important for all skin types. If you’re doing that, but the problem still doesn’t go away, then see a dermatologist. A dermatologist can prescribe medications that may finally take care of these bothersome skin dilemmas. You can try applying an over-the-counter cortisone cream to see if that does the trick, but if not, then bite the bullet and make that appointment.

4. Skin disorders and skin that won’t heal. Psoriasis, chronic seborrhoea and dandruff, severe, diabetes-related cracked calluses that don’t heal and become infected, wounds that don’t repair themselves, and rosacea that gets worse are all issues that are best addressed by a dermatologist. Regular skincare products can help maintain the overall health of your skin, but prescription-based oral or topical drugs may be needed to ensure successful and continued resolution of these pesky, unattractive skin burdens.

Facials – how they work, how often you need one and where in the New Forest to get one done

My wonderful bridal clients will often ask my thoughts on facials, and whether having a regular treatment will improve the condition of their skin before the wedding day.  I LOVE a facial.  There’s something about the relaxing movements, gorgeous smelling oils and soft music that just makes me feel completely light headed for the rest of the day.  So I highly recommend getting one or two facials done before the wedding – if not just to chill out for an hour or so!

What I would say though is that facials, by their nature, are designed to bring toxins to the surface of the skin.  So don’t be surprised if a couple of days after your facial you have a breakout.  That’s why I often say to my bridal clients not to have a facial done too close to the wedding date.  2-3 weeks before the wedding is the perfect time frame.  The reason facials can cause breakouts is through the various applied massage techniques done by your therapist – the pressure stimulates blood to the surface of the skin, bringing with it all those naughty toxins.  Which is great if you’re wanting to have a thorough detox, not great if you have an important event coming up… so be warned!

A facial is essentially a multi-step skin treatment that is one of the best ways to take care of your skin.  A facial cleanses, exfoliates, and nourishes the skin, promoting a clear, well-hydrated complexion and can help your skin look younger.  You also receive advice on the best way to take care of your skin.  A facial works best when it is part of an on-going program of skin care.  Try to have a facial at least four times a year, as the season changes. You may need it more frequently if you are trying to clear up a case of acne, especially at the beginning.  Otherwise, once a month is plenty.

Top 5 New Forest Places To Get A Facial:

1. Chewton Glen – Signature Treatment – Natura Bissé Diamond Life infusion

2. Lime Wood – Signature Treatment – Bamford Bespoke Facial

3. Careys Manor Senspa – Signature Treatment – Senspa Acu-Firm Facial

4. Balmer Lawn Saltus Spa – Signature Treatment – Age-Defyer Facial

5. Burley Manor Temple Spa – Signature Treatment – My kinda skin

REPOST//5 microbead-free facial scrubs

Everyone’s skin is different.  But what all skin types benefit from is a good exfoliate once a month.  Not only does it give the skin a good thorough clean, it also fights fine lines and removes dead skin cells to help the skin renewal process.

Microbeads are those harmful little plastic pellets found inside so many face scrubs, that don’t dissolve during water treatment and so end up in the ocean, causing major environmental nightmares and enough of an outcry to have them banned by 2017.

Here are my favourite microbead-free facial scrubs x

1. Alpha-H Liquid Gold

2. Epidermal Re-Texturising Micro-Dermabrasion

3. Bobbi Brown Buffing Grains for Face

4. Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant

5. Clarins One Step Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser

My top 5 fave sheet masks…

While they have been around on the market for quite some time now, sheet masks seem to be having something of a renaissance at the moment.  With top celebrities sharing their ‘scary’ sheet masks on social media this unusual trend is definitely catching on!  And who can blame them.  Sheets masks work effectively by holding the product in the fabric – drip feeding the skin whilst on.  Secondly they’re pretty hard to move around in, forcing you to sit down and take a few minutes to chill.  So here are my top 5 sheet masks currently available on the market x

1. Charlotte Tilbury Instant Magic Facial Dry Sheet Mask

2. Estée Lauder ‘Advanced Night Repair’ Concentrated Recovery Powerfoil Mask

3. Starskin After Party Brightening Bio-Cellulose Face Mask

4. NUXE Splendieuse Anti-Dark Spot Perfecting Mask

5. Crème de la Mer The Hydrating Facial

2 products that will rescue dry skin…

I am currently conducting a lot of bridal makeup trials in preparation for Spring & Summer weddings so of course, given the time of year I am seeing a quite a bit of dry skin, parched skin – which is not at all helped by the weather.  Constantly going from warm to cold places can cause havoc for the skin.  The cold wind can make skin feel dry and itchy, whilst the warmth of a house or office can leave the skin feeling tight, flushed and oily – so it is a hell of a battle!  The 2 products I always have in my arsenal are Elizabeth Arden 8 hour cream and MAC Complete Comfort Creme.

I find the combination of these 2 winter wonder products really help to pack in the moisture and create an invisible barrier that allows the skin to stay hydrated in the coldest of mornings.  I use the 8 hour cream maybe once or twice a week (depending on how thirsty my skin is) as a nighttime intensive treatment – applying the balm all over my face a couple of hours before bed and then leaving it on overnight.  My husband thinks it’s hilarious as it is so slimy, but he can’t argue with the results!  I then use my MAC complete comfort creme everyday before applying any makeup, or just by itself.  It’s not anti-ageing cream it is just purely for packing in the moisture – which at this time of year is all you really need to make skin appear healthy and revitalised.

So take good care of your skin during the cold weather and feel free to try this winning combination x

My top 5 face sheet masks…

While they have been around on the market for quite some time now, sheet masks seem to be having something of a renaissance at the moment.  With top celebrities sharing their ‘scary’ sheet masks on social media this unusual trend is definitely catching on!  And who can blame them.  Sheets masks work effectively by holding the product in the fabric – drip feeding the skin whilst on.  Secondly they’re pretty hard to move around in, forcing you to sit down and take a few minutes to chill.  So here are my top 5 sheet masks currently available on the market x

1. Charlotte Tilbury Instant Magic Facial Dry Sheet Mask

2. Estée Lauder ‘Advanced Night Repair’ Concentrated Recovery Powerfoil Mask

3. Starskin After Party Brightening Bio-Cellulose Face Mask

4. NUXE Splendieuse Anti-Dark Spot Perfecting Mask

5. Crème de la Mer The Hydrating Facial

REPOST//Skin oils and serums – the secret weapon when it comes to skincare

I am often asked what is a skin oil or serum and what exactly does it do by my clients.  I consider serums to be the secret weapon when it comes to youthful, line free skin and I often use these in my personal skincare routine.  If I know I’m going to have a lot of early mornings coming up, then I’ll start my week with an intensive course of facial oils and serums just to make sure my skin is packed with moisture ready for the 5am alarm call!

Skin oils and serums are basically moisturisers that are more intense in their ingredients so do not need to be used daily, but rather once or twice a week before bed.  Because of the complex blend of oils they often take a while for the skin to ‘drink’ but once into the skin the full benefit is gained.  Skin oils & serums are fabulous for fine lines, dark age spots, dry skin and creating an even skin tone that is also firmer and smoother.  For those reasons I always recommend them to my bridal clients, as the preparation they put into their skin now makes for a better makeup application on the day of the wedding.

Here are my favourite skin oils & serums.

1. Bobbi Brown Intensive Skin Supplement

2. Bobbi Brown Extra Repair Nourishing Milk

3. Bobbi Brown Extra Face Oil

4. MAC Prep + Prime Essential Oils Grapefruit and Camomile

5. Elemis Superfood Facial Oil

REPOST // Mini Series 1: A practical guide to healthy skin for your wedding…

Ok, here is the hard truth when it comes to makeup.  Not everything can be covered successfully using foundation and concealer.  Makeup application is only as good as the skin it’s adhering too – it’s a bit like wearing a beautiful gown that is close fitting, but wearing awkwardly fitting underwear underneath!  I often get asked as a makeup artist to cover this patch of dry skin or that freshly picked pimple, and the fact is it’s not going to work.  You have to have a good foundation, to well, apply a good foundation!  So as boring as it is, taking care of your skin should be as much a part of your daily routine as having breakfast or washing your hair.

Now granted having a wedding isn’t going to happen every year of your life but the effort you put into your skin now will pay you back not just for that one day, but will guide you for the rest of your life.  So here are is my practical guide to healthy skin for your wedding day…

1. Kick start your skin into gear with taking a high quality skin supplement.  The earlier you can take regular supplements before the big day the better to get the full benefit.  My personal favourites are Imedeen Derma One and Perfectil Plus Skin – always check with your GP before taking any supplements.  Now and again I like to give myself an extra boost with Imedeen Advanced Beauty Shot.

2. Now is the time to tackle dry skin.  Often dry skin is caused by either not drinking enough water, using a low quality moisturiser not formulated for dry skin, or by poor weather conditions i.e going from cold to hot areas in quick succession.  The fast way to combat dry skin is to apply a balm such as Elizabeth Arden 8hr Cream before bed, and keep this up regularly for at least a week.  Avoid using an exfoliator during this time.

3. Treat yourself to a daily moisturiser that is specifically formulated to your skin type.  Often a skin complaint is caused by using the wrong type of moisturiser, either by using something that is too strong or too weak.  Clinique have the best moisturisers formulated for skin type, whilst MAC do a moisturiser which is good for all.  Avoid supermarket, or drugstore moisturisers which are not as good quality and will do nothing for your skin.

4. Avoid consuming too much alcohol, and if you can, try and reduce or even better give up the smokes!  Alcohol is so drying to the skin and literally depletes the skin of vitamins and nutrients – so all your hard work can amount to nothing if the skin doesn’t have what it needs to look bright and beautiful.  The same goes for smoking – it’s sad but I can always see the subtle differences in clients that smoke and those that don’t.  Kick the naughty habit now and give your skin time to recover – it will love you for it!

5. The best thing you can do for your skin is to leave it alone.  Don’t pick, scratch or squeeze!  If you’re unsure if you have a pimple, or blackhead leave it alone to make up its mind!  If you do constantly pick at the skin you’ll just be spreading that bacteria everywhere else, plus you run the risk of scarring and ‘pot marking’ – which are not easily rectified without resorting to laser therapy.

6. Try and up your intake of water or squash – tea and coffee are also fine but in smaller amounts.  Ultimately you should aim for 8 glasses of water a day, but not all at once!  Also try and add fruit or veg that is also beneficial to the skin.  I personally love strawberries with a little bit of mascarpone – eating healthily doesn’t mean you can’t make it exciting and add a little bit of naughtiness!  Other fruit good for the skin are Bananas, Grapefruit, Oranges, Watermelon and Passionfruit.

7. And finally… after all that effort a little relaxation is needed!  A clay mask is the best way to both relax and lift the impurities (dirt, sweat, pollution) out of the skin.  I am totally in love with Bobbi Brown’s new range of face masks and the best I’ve come across is BB Instant Detox.  Apply this every two weeks before the wedding to have wonderfully clear skin.  Also avoid having a professional facial too close to the big day, as a facial is designed to bring impurities to the surface x