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Face Product Skin

Tips to give yourself the best at-home facial

5 September 2021
black woman with towel applying cream on face

Facials are one of the most relaxing and luxurious things that you can do for yourself. Right now, many of us need to take care of ourselves and destress more than ever. A facial means doing something more than your daily routine. Ideally, you can aim to do a facial once a week at home.

If you can’t go to the spa, you can bring the spa to you by creating some relaxing ambience at home. This may seem like a small step but erasing as much stress as possible to unwind will make your facial that much better. If you have time take a bath with Epsom salts,  adding a few drops of lavender essential oil with intensify the relaxation benefits. If you don’t have time for a bath and light one of your favourite candles.

Cleanse your skin well

You need to start with a clean canvas. Any makeup or product left on your skin will result in a less effective facial. To make sure your skin is as clean as possible before you start the facial process, give double cleansing a try.

Cleanse with an oil-based cleanser first.  The oil-based cleanser will remove makeup, products, and sebum, while a water based cleanser will clear your skin of any grime like dirt or sweat, leaving you with squeaky-clean skin ready for next steps. If you don’t have an oil-based cleanser, just cleanse twice with your normal cleanser.

Exfoliate to smooth and brighten

Exfoliation is essential to remove dead skin cells and reveal radiant skin. I would recommend using an enzyme or chemical exfoliator instead of a physical exfoliator (like a scrub). Scrubs can leave little micro-tears on the face. Micro-tears are little tiny scratches, which can get irritated and lead to breakouts and inflammation.

I highly recommend Paula’s choice when it comes to chemical exfoliants. The brand’s Resist Advanced Smoothing Treatment 10% AHA is an incredibly powerful exfoliant that works to reveal more radiant, younger-looking skin after just one use! It is a leave on exfoliant for normal to dry skin and the BHA (beta hydroxy acid) with salicylic acid helps to reduce breakouts, blackheads and redness while hydrating your complexion. So, ideal for oilier skin.






Mask
A facial wouldn’t feel right without some kind of face mask. You can pick whatever mask you want to use based on your skin’s needs.  For an oily, acne skin you will be looking for a mask with detoxifying ingredients that will help clean out your pores, since your pores will be open after exfoliating (think a clay mask or a charcoal mask). For a drier, more sensitive skin opt for a hydrating mask with ingredients like hyaluronic acid.

 
Serum
Serums are different to moisturizers as they deliver powerful ingredients directly into the skin. They target specific skin concerns. There are lots of them out there, so choosing wisely is always a challenge. A great one to opt for if you are finding it a challenge is Skingredients Skin Protein Vitamin A + C Serum – basically everything you need in one tub.
Skingredients Skin Protein is a vitamin A + C serum that revamps, re-educates and restores the skin for glowing, smooth, tight and plump skin. It’s an active formula of with two forms of vitamin A, two forms of vitamin C and vitamin E, good fats and tea extracts alongside a massive serving of potent antioxidants and a powerful, clinically-proven pro-collagen peptide. This AM + PM serum supports and balances your skin while protecting it from the environmental stressors that can cause it to age prematurely.
Lifestyle

Swans Sunflower Field Carlow

15 August 2021
Swans Sunflower Field Carlow

Swans Sunflower field is a new farm venture, where you can pick your own sunflowers and get some lovely pictures, surrounded by a sea of yellow sunshine.  The sunflowers stretch across 10 acres where you can wander on a kilometre-long path or the more adventurous can get lost amongst the sunflowers. You will see an abundance of bees, ladybirds and butterflies and it is natural beauty at its best.

Photo Credit Swan Family

Grown by the swan family to boost biodiversity. ‘Our sunflowers have been grown to help improve our soil and boost the insect population. The sunflowers have not been treated with chemicals.’ says Keith

The sunflowers were sown in May and the sunflower season typically lasts from July through early September, so you will need to be quick to snap up this memorable activity.  It will definitely brighten up your day.

Sara Ashmore Kehoe enjoying the sunflowers at Swan Sunflower Farm Carlow

Remember to bring sharp shears or scissors with you when you visit, I recommend wearing shoes that you don’t mind getting dirty because let’s face it, it’s a very large field on a farm! There is a small entrance fee of €5 per person or €15 for a family.  Get Stuffed Food Truck has been offering snacks and drinks.

The sunflower field is open from 10am – 7pm daily with parking facilities at the entrance gate until the last flowers bloom so keep an eye on their social media page for more information. They can be contacted on Instagram and Facebook at Swan’s Sunflower Farm Carlow.

Fun Facts about Sunflowers

  • The scientific word for sunflower is Helianthus, which comes from the Greek words of helios meaning sun and anthus meaning flower.
  • Sunflowers are from the same family of flowers as daisies.
  • Each sunflower is actually thousands of teeny flowers. The blossom of the sunflower is called a head. The yellow petals and fuzzy brown centers are individual flowers themselves.
  • There are over 80 species of sunflowers ranging in colour from bright yellow to orange, pink, and tawny red.
  • Sunflowers can grow to between 20 inches and 16 feet tall. The tallest sunflower recorded was in Germany in 2014 and had a height of 30ft 1inch.
  • Young sunflowers track the sun, moving their heads from east to west during the day before resetting at night. Older sunflowers only face east to get most of the morning sun.
  • Each sunflower can contain as many as 1,000 to 2,000 seeds.
  • Sunflower seeds are either black or striped. The black ones are used to make sunflower oil that we cook with, while the striped ones are sold as healthy snacks.
  • They are the national flower of Russia and Ukraine.
  • Sunflowers are often used to represent positivity, strength, admiration, and loyalty. In Chinese culture, they represent good luck and lasting happiness.
  • Sunflowers have been found to be good at absorbing toxins, too. Millions were planted after the devastating Fukushima nuclear power plant accident in Japan.

Everyone needs sunflowers in their life!

Sara & Abby x

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NUXE HUILE PRODIGIEUSE DRY OIL Review

29 May 2021

Why do people love Nuxe oil so much? It’s simple; Huile Prodigieuse has gained its cult-favourite status because it’s one of the most multi-purpose moisturisers you’ll ever use.

I love everything about it!

What is Nuxe dry oil?

Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse multi-purpose oil is a face, body and hair oil that repairs, protects and hydrates, but without a greasy or sticky feel. With an at least 95.5% natural origin formula and ingredient line-up of vitamin E extracts and fatty acids, this oil is one big antioxidant. It’s one of the most luxurious ways to fight against free radicals like pollution and cigarette smoke. Not to mention, re-boot, and revive your skin after UV exposure.

Free from preservatives, mineral oils and silicones, Huile Prodigieuse nourishes inside and out, giving your face, hair and body the supermodel glow you’ve always dreamed of. Intrigued?

This NUXE oil is made from 7 natural oils of the highest quality, including a precious new botanical oil – Tsubaki Oil from the Camellia plant, a Japanese beauty secret. Tsubaki Oil is rich in Omega 9 and Phytosterols, which has anti-ageing properties and nourishes and heals the skin. Argan Oil is renowned for its restorative effects, while Hazelnut Oil and Borage Seed Oil soothe and smooth the skin. It also  has 2 forms of Vitamin E, an anti-oxidant to help combat damaging free radicals and provide anti-pollution protection. As well as moisturising, softening and smoothing skin on face and body, this dry oil even helps to reduce the colour of stretch marks. It also softens and repairs hair, giving it a beautiful healthy shine. Suitable for all skin and hair types. Most importantly it is Paraben-free, Mineral Oil-free, Silicone-free.

The Original Dry Oil

What does the Nuxe dry oil smell like?

Huile Prodigieuse smells like summer. Notes of white flowers and vanilla give this oil a creamy floral aroma that feels warm and cosy.

How to use Nuxe dry oil?

For face: There are many ways to use the Huile Prodigieuse oil on the face. The most common way is to apply Huile Prodigieuse in place of your daily moisturiser. It’s the best beard oil! Other uses include mixing it with your foundation to create a dewy finish, or if you have oily skin, use this oil overnight to help rebalance sebum production.

For body: To get the most out of your Huile Prodigieuse Oil, apply all over damp skin. Although it’s a dry oil, wait a minute or two before getting dressed.

For hair: Huile Prodigieuse is incredible at repairing split ends, breakage and making your hair smell incredible. To use this oil to combat frizz, apply a small amount into your hands and work through your hair from the bottom upwards. You can also use this oil as a hot oil treatment too. Start by placing the glass bottle in warm water, wash your hair, then when damp, comb through the oil from lengths to ends and place your hair in a warm towel twist for 10 minutes and rinse.

The Shimmering Dry Oil

Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Or Multi-Purpose Golden Dry Oil

Shimmer body oils are having a moment, but, Nuxe was way ahead of the game with Huile Prodigieuse Or. This oil has a golden tint and a grown-up glitter finish that strikes the perfect balance between statement and chic; it’s an essential ‘occasion-wear’ face and body oil – I never go without it when going bare-legged.

Call this a liquid re-toucher, OR’s subtle tint lightly airbrushes the appearance of your body and limbs with mini shimmering mineral particles, but fear not, the finish is subtle; the more you layer, the more of a statement you can create.

What does the Nuxe shimmer dry oil smell like?

Huile Prodigieuse Or smells the same as the original dry oil. The only difference with this formula is its subtle shimmer and golden tint.

How to use Nuxe shimmer dry oil?

For face: Or is very versatile. Create a glowy day cream by mixing this in with your moisturiser, or squirt a few drops into your foundation to make more of a dewy finish – this works particularly well during summer. I also like dabbing any excess where I would apply my highlighter.

For body: The application method for OR is very similar to that of the original. Focus on using this oil on areas that you want to enhance, such as the centre of your legs, decolletage and arms. Make sure you wait a while before getting dressed to avoid its glittery contents transferring onto clothes.

For hair: This shimmering oil adds a mirror-like shine to hair while repairing any damaged areas over time. One for a night out rather than a pampering mask – brunettes will love it!

 The Floral Dry Oil


Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Florale Multi-Purpose Dry Oil

The newest member of the pack is Huile Prodigieuse Florale, and it’s completely different to everything else in the Huxe Prodigieuse line-up. It comes in a pink botttle, but its musky-floral scent is the most significant change to take note of. Rest assured, it’s made from 96.9% natural origin ingredients, and the moisturising formula you know and love still feels same. The floral dry oil has a citruses smell from grapefruit as you first spray Florale, but as the oil blends into the skin, creamy florals start to prevail. Finally drying down with warm wafts of smooth white musk.

Sara’s Top Ten Beauty Products from Irish Beauty Store TRND BTY

18 April 2021
person holding white round ornament

TRNDBTY.com is an online beauty and makeup store that has an extensive shop of on-trend, high-quality brands. It is co-owned by Grace Reed Carroll and Karen Dempsey. Karen is originally from New Oak, Carlow and now living in Killeshin. I spoke to Karen about the business and how it’s surviving through the pandemic.

    

Sara: Why did you decide to set up an online beauty shop?

Karen: We had the distribution company, ‘Kare Cosmetics’ that supplies pharmacies, salons and stores but also knew that the world of ecommerce was also an important part of business. We set up trend beauty and used this channel to test or market brands, to see what is suitable for distribution or if it was only a brand for ecommerce. This has been an amazing tool for buying new brands.


Sara: What brands do you sell on TRNDBTY.COM?

Karen: We have many brands available on TRND and are growing every day.

We love to stock and support our Irish brands too such as: ELLA & JO, REBELUNA, BELLAMIANTA, ICONIC, BPERFECT, CODEX, BIABELLE TAN, LMD, SASS +BOHO, SCULPTED BY AIMEE, SOSU and SPOTLIGHT.

We have lots of other international brands such as Declare, Inkey List, PLouise and Inglot and lots more with more brands always being launched.

Sara: Has your business been affected by the pandemic?

Karen: The day to day running of the business was hugely affected as we had to put all departments on temporary layoff inline with government guidelines, even though the ecommerce site and the distribution of products to pharmacies were still running. We have a great team and look forward to the full team coming back very soon.


Sara: What is your best beauty advice?

Karen: Start at the foundation, which is the skin. If the skin is good, makeup will be much easier to apply.

Also, use products that suit your skin, not what some influencer that you like following is using. If the brand that has been advertised interests you, get the appropriate product for you, as everyone’s skin is different. Good routines always makes a difference too.

Simple things like:

-Cleansing the skin everyday twice daily

-cleaning your phone regularly

-cleaning your brushes regularly 

Look after your skin, you only get 1!

Sara’s Top 10 Products available from TRND Beauty

Use code Sara10 to get 10% discount from www.TRND BTY.com. This was hard, trying to narrow it down to ten as so many good products available on the site.

Rebeluna Brushes 7piece starter set €65.00

You can only be as good as your tools. So a good Irish makeup brush set like this starter set from Rebeluna is perfect.

Declare anti-pollution Cleansing Balm €25.00 for all skin types

This a new product from Declare and I love it. It is a gel that turns into a milk in contact with the skin. Your skin feels really clean after and its smells divine.

Cerave SA smoothing cleanser for oily skin €26.00

This is my favourite cleanser for oily skins as it contains salicylic acid which is one of the key ingredients for drying and heling spots and blemishes. It also has a very affordable price tag.

SoSu Coconut Wonder Water €10.00

I recently purchased this tanning water and I love it.

Bperfect Carnival 111 Love Tahiti Palette €39.95

For any makeup lovers or professional MUA’s, this palette is a good multi-use palette.

PLouise Base Shade 2 Rumour €30.00

My favourite base for the eyelids. Used to create a flawless base and cancel any imperfections for a long lasting finish.

Inkey List Hyaluronic Acid €7.99 to hydrate the skin

I am a fan of Inkey List as its super affordable and has some really good ingredients backed by science.

Sculpted by Aimee Second Skin Foundation €27.00

This foundation is becoming a firm favourite and you can get it in matt or dewy.

Isoclean 110ml makeup brush cleaner €9.95

My favourite prodcut for cleaning my makeup brushes.

Jcat Stay Surance Concealer in Buff €12.50

Perfect for under your eyes as it has great coverage.

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Beauty Trends That Are Going To Be Huge In 2021

27 March 2021
photo of topless woman

Like most things, beauty has been in a weird place these past months. It the early days of the pandemic, our homes became our office, day care, and beauty salon.  We will have another few months of mask wearing so it’s no surprise that eyeliner is going to become more popular. Also, expect to see more curtain bangs and fringes and retro nails. So, in the spirit of looking forward, I’ve rounded up five of the biggest beauty trends to get excited about for 2021.

  1. SKINMALISM

Skinmalism is all about embracing your natural skin and super-minimal makeup. It makes sense, since many of us are wearing less makeup and spending more time on skin care than ever before. Social media searches for ‘natural makeup’ and ‘fresh skin’ are up on last year.

photo of topless woman
Photo by Gabb Tapic on Pexels.com

2     BANGSand Fringes

Fringes have also made a comeback and we’ll see more curtain bangs but with more texture and less length.

woman wearing white shirt
Photo by Mateo Almendares on Pexels.com

3     UNCOMPLICATED EMBELLISHMENTS

The simplified approach to everyday styling is going nowhere fast. Messy buns, ponytails have been the focus this year and we’ll see a continuation of the casual styles in 2021. For 2021, expect to see those laid back looks accentuated with accessories like crystal bobby pins and extra-large scrunchies. Clips of every kind are trending now, expect them to get more elaborate as the year goes on. 

4     ‘80S EYESHADOW

We’re traveling back to the ‘80s for its bold, eye-catching colours. Think, royal blue, bright yellow and even rich black. This is the chance to try those the over-the-top colours in your palette that have always caught your eye.

alluring woman with bright makeup against ribbed wall
Photo by Rachel Claire on Pexels.com


5          Coloured Liner

Lots of coloured liner and unexpected takes on classic eyeliner will dominate 2021. If you want to ease into the trend, stick with a classic cat eye, but swap black for a bold colour.

Image result for coloured eyeliner
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My Top 10 High Street Foundations

18 March 2021

Times have changed; the technology of makeup and skincare has advanced rapidly for both the high-end and high-street market — so much so, that often two vastly different brands will use similar ingredients that work to the same effect. This has resulted in an array of foundations that work as well as their more expensive counterparts but cost half the price. So, whether you’re looking for some serious coverage, a radiant dewy complexion, or a way to help fight that midday shine, there’s a low-cost option for all. Thankfully, in 2020, you don’t need to spend big to win big when it comes to foundation.

Here’s my pick of my 10 favourite’s:

L’Oreal Paris True Match Foundation €14.99

L’Oreal’s number one selling foundation became an overnight cult classic for its blendable, buildable coverage and satin finish. An excellent option for those with drier skins, the formula won’t settle into creases or go patchy throughout the day; if you’re oiler you may need a setting powder to touch up as shine develops. The shade range caters to warm and cool tones with 28 shades available. This range contains both yellow and pink tones which is quite rare in budget foundations. The top three shades we go for in Ireland are Golden Beige (3W), Beige (W) and Rose Vanilla (2C).

Maybelline Fit Me Matte & Poreless Liquid Foundation, €8.99

Having oily skin can be a nightmare when it comes to a foundation that covers but doesn’t clog pores. Happily, this one is non-comedogenic, so won’t clog pores or cause breakouts, and its micro powders are designed to stop shine in its tracks. It’s light enough for all-over coverage but pigmented enough to cloak blemishes

Rimmel Match Perfection Foundation, €9.99

200-lasting-finish_product

Rimmel’s Match Perfection has a silky, satin texture with a medium coverage leaves you with a dewy finish, and the shade ranges are superb. 

The Ordinary Serum Foundation, €6.70

For those that want a lighter-coverage formula, this ticks all the boxes. The serum foundation is everything you could want from a low coverage foundation offering a natural, fresh finish that enhances the skin. Available in 21 shades, I’m especially impressed with the paler range of shades. 

Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Foundation, €14.99

French beauty brand Bourjois never fails to provide products that rival that of their high-end counterparts – and this Healthy Mix Foundation is of no exception. This vitamin-rich, fruit therapy formula glides onto skin and blends seamlessly for a truly flawless finish with long lasting results.

No7 Instant Radiance Foundation, €17.50

Concealing imperfections and smoothing the appearance skin without covering it completely, the light reflecting particles ensure your complexion will look luminous leaving you with a dewy finish. What I love about this one is how it enhances your own skin, rather than simply layering foundation. Winner for mature skins. The shade range is poor, but boots are due to release more shades soon.

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LA Girl Pro Coverage Foundation €12.95

If you struggle with extremely oily skin and foundation slides off within a few hours, this could be a purse-friendly foundation for you. The water-like consistency goes on smoothly but will dry to a matte finish – so if you have any flaky patches, ensure you moisturise! But if you’re on the hunt for a base that stays put and lasts all day with a matte, medium-full coverage.

Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation €10.99

This foundation is perfect if your skin needs a serious pick-me-up, this Rimmel Wake Me Up foundation works absolute wonders – and regularly makes the cut above more expensive options. Created with a 100% pore less coverage formula and radiance boosting pearls, this is one of the best products I’ve tried for lifting and illuminating tired and sallow skin. 

Max Factor Facefinity All Day Flawless 3in1 Liquid Foundation €17.99

 

This was my very first foundation to use and Max factor is making waves again.  Overtaking all the others in terms of technicality and superior performance, this foundation works by priming the skin with a flexi-hold technology that creates a strong, yet lightweight film on top of the skin. Next, micro-correctors within the formula operate like little mechanics to defend against external influences such as sweat and sebum, while the added presence of SPF20 delivers a perfectly protective, matte finish. A multi-purpose product that acts as a primer, concealer and a foundation. 

Catrice Even Catrice Skin Tone Beautifying Foundation €8.50

CATRICEEVENSKINTONEBEAUTIFYINGFOUNDATION€8.49(1)_WEB

I’ll just start this by saying that Catrice foundations are great value for money. I wear the HD foundation a lot and the quality is very good. This is this newest addition to the range which provides medium to full coverage without looking cakey. If you have oily or combination skin opt for, ‘All Matt Plus Shine Control Makeup’ (€6.95).

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Common Beauty Mistakes You Might Be Making

17 March 2021

A lot of us are keen to learn everything about beauty and make-up, but the sheer volume of information can be intimidating and daunting for some of us. We’ve all had those nights where we sleep in our make-up or haven’t washed our make-up brushes in over a month! I have been guilty of some myself! While some of these are obvious no-no’s, there are some common mistakes you may not realise you’re doing.

1 Going To Sleep with Your Makeup On

This is fine every now and again but if done repeatedly it can cause damage to the skin, causing make up to settle in your pores, stretching them out resulting in rough, aged skin. Night time is when the skin renews itself so wearing make-up at night prevents the renewal process.

2 You’re Not Using Products to Suit Your Skin Type

Don’t settle for any old cleansing, toning and moisturising routine – addressing your specific skin type and concerns is a must, because using the wrong products for your skin can exacerbate the problems you already have. Think about what products you buy and be careful to choose your products carefully rather than sticking to that same cleanser that you have been using for years. 

3 Not Cleaning Your Make-Up Brushes

Admittedly this is a time-consuming process that every make-up artist agrees is probably the least favourite part of their job. Dirty brushes are the ideal breeding ground for bacteria that can lead to acne and other infections. It can also affect make-up application, as the bristles become overloaded with pigment making precise application difficult. Washing your brushes once a week is recommended.

C:\Users\Sara\Pictures\Press\brushes.JPG

4 Ditch the Applicators That Came With Your Eyeshadows

Most eyeshadows come with handy mini applicators, making it easy to apply on the go. But, for a blended finish, you really need to use a make-up brush.  Sponge tips provide a lot of pigment at once while a brush allows you to gradually add product and blend as you go.

C:\Users\Sara\Pictures\Press\beauty mistakes 4.jpg

5 You’re choosing the wrong shade of foundation

I always recommend testing foundation on your cheek, which will give you a more realistic idea of whether the foundation matches or not.

6 You’re using too much powder on the wrong places

I am a fan of powder to mattify the skin and set your look, but you don’t need to use it all over your face. It can end up making you look older. Try dusting just a little bit of translucent powder over your T-zone to reduce shine without making it too matted.

7 You’re not blending your foundation into your neckline

It seems like a rookie mistake, but it still happens a lot, and results in a mismatched face and neck. Make sure to blend your foundation into your jawline.

C:\Users\Sara\Pictures\Press\beauty mistakes.jpg

8 Using A Bobby Pin Incorrectly

 What? There is a wrong way? Yes, there is a proper way to use bobby pins. I only learnt this a few years ago!

The correct way to use a bobby pin is to insert it into your hair with the wavy side down. The wavy side is designed so it will grab your hair and situate it properly.  The flat side, is what pushes the hair into the groove, holding it in place. So there, you have it, simple yet powerful.

9  Neglecting Your Neck
A lot of people forget about their neck when applying products to their face. Treat your neck, the same way you would treat your face. Go right down to the collar bones with your products.

10  Using Expired Makeup

 Holding on to your favourite makeup can be a big no, no.  Unfortunately, makeup and skincare does go off! 

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My Complete A-Z of Beauty

17 March 2021

My A-Z guide of beauty, from ingredients and qualities, to products and brands.

 A is for… Acne 

1 in 20 adult women suffer from acne, and even more get the occasional spot or blemish outbreak. Clay, Charcoal and Oil based products are all great for tackling acne and spots. It is not caused by poor hygiene, contrary to many things you may hear.  Outbreaks can be due to your lifestyle; diet, stress etc as much as your skincare regime, so whilst treating or responding to spots with 

B is for… BB creams 

BB creams are short for beauty balms or blemish balms. They were first developed in Germany by a dermatologist who wanted a single cream that would protect skin and provide coverage after laser treatments.

C is for… Collagen

Collagen. Is responsible for the skin’s plump and youthful appearance, and begins to deplete at the age of 25. Be vary of companies that claim that their products can plump collagen into the skin, as collagen molecules are generally too large to penetrate into the skin. We can feed the skin with nutrients that can trigger production. Treatments such as needling, radio frequency and ‘HIFU – High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound’. 

D is for… Dark Circles

We’ve all had dark circles under our eyes, whether we are a bit run down, tired, or naturally have a darker ring under our eyes, it’s a common problem, but there are measures we should take to help.  The 3 most important tools to have are; a good eye cream, sleep and a targeted dark circles product for those particularly bad days. The area around the eyes is very thin, a specific cream for your eyes should always be used, not a regular face moisturizer. TIP – use a concealer that is 1-2shades lighter than your foundation to brighten the under eye area.

E is for… Expiry Dates

 The expiry date on a product is from the time that the product is opened. This is usually indicated on the back of the product, which will indicate how long the product is viable once opened. It can vary from 6-18 months from time of opening, depending on the product.

F is for…Facials

 Facials can have numerous benefits from improvement in skin tone, texture and they are just pure bliss. So go on treat yourself!

G is for…Glycolic Acid

Derived from sugar cane may sound scary, but it can work miracles on the skin. It’s molecular make up is so small, that it works deep into the skin, treating lines and wrinkles, brightening skin and rejuvenates skin cells. 

B&U Oct Nov1721.jpg

Ren’s Glycolatic Radiance Renewal Mask tackles lines, brightens skin and combats congestion.

H is For… Hyaluronic Acid

This naturally occurring molecule is right up there in the anti-ageing stakes – it works to lubricate the connective tissues in your skin, keeping pores plump and hydrated. Our own reserves reduce as we age so applying this ingredient topically is vital for preserving a youthful glow.

I is For… Inflammation

Symptoms of inflammation in the body can be numerous and vague – ranging from fatigue to headaches – and your skin is no exception. Triggered by poor nutrition, pollution, sunlight and stress, dermatologists agree inflammation is the real culprit behind pretty much every skin issue, including wrinkles. Gluten, dairy and processed foods as well as excessive sugar and alcohol are the biggest offenders.

J is for… Juices

An easy way to give your skin a daily boost, start every day with a fresh fruit or vegetable juice. Berries are packed with antioxidants, while citrus fruits are packed with vitamin C which slows down the skin’s ageing process.

K is for… Keratosis Pilaris

Keratosis Pilaris is a genetic skin disorder and affects 40% of adults (and up to 80% of adolescents). These painless tiny bumps usually on the upper arms, thighs and cheeks, can leave the affected area dry and rough. People often don’t recognise them as a skin condition, but just a case of bad skin. There are many products designed to reduce the appearance such as Creams containing alpha hydroxy acid, lactic acid, salicylic acid or urea help loosen and remove dead skin cells. They also moisturize and soften dry skin. Depending on their strength, these creams are available over-the-counter or with a prescription. Creams derived from vitamin A (topical retinoids) work by promoting cell turnover and preventing plugged hair follicles. 

L is for… Lines. 

We all hear the expression ‘fine lines and wrinkles’ almost daily. It’s everywhere. You have all heard it but, sun exposure is the biggest culprit in terms of skin ageing. In terms of prevention, SPF is your answer. Retinol will synthesise collagen and elastin and Ingredients like hyaluronic acid will plump up your skin.

M is for… Moisturisers

Moisturisers are one of the most important parts of your skincare routine. Replenishing moisturise and hydration into the skin is the key to healthy skin. Think of all the elements and things you expose your skin to that takes its natural moisture; weather, foods, face washes, make up. Look for ingredients that contain humectants and emollients. 

N  is for… Natural

Up to 60% of what we put on our skin ends up being absorbed in the body and when the products we use are made from harmful artificial ingredients these place an unnecessary burden on the body’s detoxification processes and on the entire immune system, including the skin. We have lots of home grown natural beauty brands making waves at home and abroad which include Voya, Seavite and newcomer Ripe by Roz. Kinvara’s  Absolute Cleansing Oil, another natural product that has won over beauty editors (and acne sufferers too).

O is for… Oils 

 Often feared by many particularly those with oily skin. Face oils return moisture and elasticity to your skin, smoothing wrinkles and soothing irritation in the process. The right face oil can help clear pores of excess sebum, and can reduce inflammation and irritation, as inflammation itself is actually one of the primary causes of acne.

P is for…Parabens 

Parabens are the most widely used preservatives in personal care products. Parabens stop fungus, bacteria and other microbes from growing in your favourite creams. 

Q & U – Lets just skip those for a while 🙂

R is for… Rosacea 

Rosacea is a skin condition that typically affects the face, usually around the nose and cheeks.  It results in redness, pimples, swelling, and small and superficial dilated blood vessels. It usually occurs in people over 30 and is often referred to as acne rosacea. Laser can be successful in treating this condition.

S is for… SPF

Sun Protection Factor. The number that follows is a measure of the time it will take for your skin to burn with the sunscreen applied, in comparison to unprotected skin. . Example: If your unprotected skin would burn in 10 minutes, an SPF30 product (correctly applied) would give her 30 x 10 minutes in the sun before burning. 

T Is for… T-Zone

 If you have oily or combination skin, chances are good you struggle with the area on your face known as your t-zone. If you’re unfamiliar with what exactly your t-zone is, imagine drawing a “T” on your face. Your t-zone consists of your forehead, nose, and chin.  An oily t-zone requires a little bit of extra care and protection. Even so, it won’t go without saying that t-zone area may also get dehydrated.

U is for… Ultra-violet Rays

The sunlight that reaches are skin  is made up of two types of rays, UVA and UVB. UVA causes premature ageing to the skin and

UVB rays that cause the skin to tan and burn. Protect your skin with a SPF of at least 30. 

V is for… Volume

 We spend thousands of euro’s on beauty products throughout our lifetime. But how much of that is wasted? For moisturizers and night creams, aim for the volume and length of one almond. When it comes to eye cream, less is best,  a sunflower seeds worth for each eye is sufficient. 

W is for… Water

Making up almost two thirds of our body, water plays a vital role in everything from regulating body temperature to keeping our skin healthy. And when it comes to skin health, drinking at least two litres is essential for a youthful complexion. Keep your face hydrated throughout the day, especially if you work in an airconditioned office or flying with a plumping face mist. I love Uriage Thermal water mist €7.98.

X, Y and Zzzz…

Make an effort to get your beauty sleep – when we sleep, our skin goes into rest mode, repairing damage caused by the sun’s rays and harmful pollution. Adequate sleep will restore luminosity to the skin while improving tone and texture – there’s a reason beauty experts call it the best-kept anti-ageing secret.

Beauty Hack Brows Product Skin Treatments

Sara’s Beauty Hacks

17 March 2021

Thicker Eyebrows

Thicker eyebrows are in and a natural and budget friendly way to grow your brows is pure pressed castor oil. You can get this in most health food shops. It contains fatty acids and protein that hair needs to grow long and strong. 

Using a cotton bud or your finger tip and apply the oil to your brows. Leave the oil overnight, wash it off in the morning and repeat as regularly as you can for best results.

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Body Scrub

If you want to scrub your skin naturally while you are in the shower all you need to do is add a little sea salt to your shower gel. Exfoliating is important if you want your skin to look bright and fresh but if you want to save the pennies, take the natural route and exfoliate while you wash. 

Spotlight on … Exfoliation

While daily cleansing and moisturizing is needed to maintain great skin, the not-so-hidden beauty secret to glowing skin is through exfoliation. Exfoliation treatments can help with skin rejuvenation, elasticity and collagen and removes dead skin cells from the surface. It will help tired, scarred or old skin look fresher, softer and smoother . You can exfoliate your face and body, and you can either do professional treatments or DIY at-home treatments.

I recently tried Declare’s soft Cleansing enzyme peel €26.95 which uses enzymes to gently exfoliates the surface of the skin. Because it is not a mechanical exfoliant, it is perfect for all skin types even the most sensitive of skins. It leaves your skin feeling really smooth straight after the first use. It get a thumbs up from me. 

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How to Layer Your Skin Care Products: A Step-by-Step Guide

10 March 2021
The order of application of skincare products is very important. If you don’t apply products in the correct order, you will not see the best results from your skin care routine. So which product goes on top of what? An easy rule of thumb to follow is to apply your products with the thinnest consistency to thickest, since thinner products can’t penetrate thicker products.

STEP 1: CLEANSER 

For products to penetrate you need clean skin. Skip the makeup wipes  and opt for a cleansing oil, which dissolves all makeup without stripping your skin. Then follow up with a gentle, creamy cleanser. 

Neutrogena Ultra Light Cleansing Oil

STEP 2: TONER

A lot of people choose to skip toners, partly because in the past  most toners contained harsh ingredients like alcohol that can irritate the skin. Fortunately, that’s not the case anymore. The new breed of toners can serve multiple purposes, like act as a delivery system for antioxidants, vitamin B derivatives and even toning acids. Additionally, each type of toner is intended for a different skin issue, so it’s important to use the right kind for your skin concern. If you have very oily skin, look for a toner filled with either BHA (beta hydroxy acid, like salicylic acid) or AHA (alpha hydroxy acid, like glycolic acid or lactic acid), which work to unclog pores, prevent breakouts, and dissolve blackheads over time. 

STEP 3: SERUM

A great ingredient to look out for is Vitamin C which is frequently found in serums. It is like an energy drink for your skin, protecting your skin from the inflammation and damage caused by free radicals during the day while also brightening skin and lightening dark spots over time. 

SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic Serum

Another great ingredient is hyaluronic acid which attracts water to the skin. Great for all skins.

STEP 4: EYE CREAM

Use an eye cream at least once a day starting in your 20’s. Increase it to am and pm in your late 20’. Eye creams tend to be lighter and thinner than face moisturizers, so make sure to apply them before your creams and oils.

Regular use of eye cream over time will keep the eyelid skin elastic and can improve or prevent against some fine lines or collagen loss.  Nothing is magic. Results don’t occur overnight.

Olay Brightening Eye Cream

STEP 5: MOISTURIZER

Everyone needs a moisturizer, even if you have oily skin because it’s the only thing that’ll keep your skin barrier. It also infuses your skin with hydration but also helps trap in all the products underneath. Some people use the same moisturizer for day and night. However, night creams are generally thicker and heavier and designed to be absorbed over the course of several hours.

RoC Retinol Deep Wrinkle Night Cream
No7 Lift & Luminate Triple Action Day Cream SPF 30

Step 6: Face Oil

Face oils are occlusive, meaning they seal in all the ingredients and moisture you just applied to your face to keep them from evaporating as quickly. When you layer oils over products, they help increase your routine’s efficacy while also leaving skin soft and smooth. Just make sure to always, always, apply them last. No product can penetrate an oil, always applied last.

Trilogy Rosehip Oil

Step 7: Sunscreen

Ok, sunscreen is the absolute last step. Oils are still working to penetrate and treat your skin, which is why they would go last in your skincare routine, but sunscreen isn’t trying to penetrate anything—it’s there to protect your skin.

Unfortunately an SPF 15 in your foundation or moisturizer isn’t good enough, the absolute bare minimum SPF you need on your face is SPF 30. You will thank me for it in a few years’ time!