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.
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.
2 BANGSand Fringes
Fringes have also made a comeback and we’ll see more curtain bangs but with more texture and less length.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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’sAbsolute 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.
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.
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.
Lucy Zender is the creator and founder of Tweezerfile, anaward-winning and innovative new beauty product that allows you to sharpen your old blunt tweezers and bring them back to life. Hold your tweezers with the blades together, then slide the tweezer up and down the Tweezerfile, gently applying equal pressure on the top and bottom blade. After a few strokes, your tweezers will be back to their old glory, gripping even the shortest hair!
I caught up with Lucy Zender, creator and founder of Tweezerfile and she has given us the following tips and tricks to achieving a flawless brow.
Eyebrows out of control, following lockdowns and restrictions or do you just want to keep them as neat as possible until you can next get to an appointment? Or perhaps you have been taking a more do-it-at-home attitude to your beaty regimes over recent months.
Whatever your motivation, if you’re planning to do a DIY eyebrow tidy, you want to do it right. Here are my 6 top tips for getting flawless eyebrows in the comfort of your own home.
Pluck your eyebrows after a bath or shower, so your pores are open and your skin softer. If you don’t have time, hold a warm, damp flannel to your brows for a couple of minutes to achieve a similar effect. Make sure you’re relaxed and have everything you need to hand. Most importantly, ensure your mirror is completely clean and fit for the job and that you have good light – but avoid magnifying mirrors and very bright lighting as that can lead to over-plucking.
Determine your eyebrow shape
In order to pluck your natural line, you need to determine the three vital points of your brows. Then you can pluck around these markers. These points are:
Start – With your eyebrow pencil, hold it vertically against your ‘nasal wing’ (the fattest part of your nostril). Mark with your other pencil where it meets your eyebrow.
Arch – this is the highest part of your eyebrow and can be determined by holding your pencil against your nasal wing again but this time at an angle so that it runs past the outer part of your pupil. Where this meets the eyebrow is your arch point. Again, this should be marked.
End – With the pencil still on your nasal wing, turn it so it runs past the outward corner of your eye. Where it touches the brow, mark the end of your eyebrow.
Work from the inside, over to the outside then underneath i.e. first pluck the hairs between your eyebrows, then pluck the hairs above your arch, to properly define it. Next, take out any hairs that are on the outside of your end mark. When you have done this, pluck under your brow. This is where you can determine how thick or thin your brows are. Be really careful to keep the plucking underneath consistent in both eyebrows!
In fact, make sure you don’t do one eyebrow and then the other. Instead do a few hairs on one eyebrow and then even it up on the other side. Stop regularly and check that they are coming out even.
To make your plucking most efficient, stretch your skin tight and pluck from as close to the root as you can get. This makes it far less likely that you will break a hair and leave it too short to grab with your tweezers. Also, pull the hair in the direction it grows, to make it easier to pluck.
Once you have your shape, you may want to just tidy up long hairs that have a nasty habit of pointing out at odd angles. Take your brow brush and brush your hairs up, then very carefully use your eyebrow scissors to trim them to the right length.
Add finishing touches:
It’s likely the skin around your eyebrows will be inflamed and sore once you have finished, so have a soothing cream to hand.
Once they have calmed down you can go the extra mile with a couple of finishing touches.
If you still have errant hairs, use a specially-designed transparent gel to smooth them into place and keep them there.
If you did over-pluck or have small gaps in your eyebrow, use your eyebrow pencil to gently draw some tiny lines to replace the errant hairs.
Look after your tweezers:
After a few times plucking your own brows, you’ll probably have got the hang of looking after them. However, don’t forget also to look after the tools of your trade, namely your tweezers.
Many people simply throw their tweezers back in their makeup bag when they have finished with them. The trouble with this is that they are more likely to get the tips blunted and blunt tweezers are not effective. Blunt tweezers tend to bend and break hairs or simply not work at all.
So, when you have finished perfecting your brows, wipe your tweezers clean and store them either in a special storage pouch or point-up in a pot or other receptacle. If your Tweezers came with those little plastic covers on the tips, keep hold of them and replace them after each use to protect them from dust, etc.
However well you look after them, they will blunt eventually and what do you do then? Well, most people simply throw them away and get a new pair. Alternatively, look for a Tweezer file designed specifically for tweezers that is easy-to-use and will ensure your tweezers are always in tip top condition and will last and last!
I hope you’ve found these tips useful and that you can enjoy nice trim brows, whether this is a change for good or just until your favourite beautician is able safely reopen their doors! However good your DIY job, I suspect you may be glad to let them work their magic again when the time comes!
Tweeerfile is available in two beautiful colours, coral and petrol blue. Available via Tweezerfile.com and from Amazon.
HYDRATE: It really is important. Not drinking enough water is like running your car without fuel. Our skin is our largest organ, but we don’t usually think about it like that. Kidneys don’t work well without water so why would our skin? If you’re not sure how much water to be drinking every day, here is a super simple formula for you:
Body weight divided by 2 = The number of ounces to drink daily. So, if you are 140lbs, divide that in half=70, so 70 ounces of water daily.
CLEANSE: It really can’t be said enough! Clean skin is healthy skin. The thing is though, that we have to be careful not to get over cleanse the skin and end up stripping the natural oils from our skin and doing more harm than good. Also, use a product that is suitable for your skin type.
EAT A WELL-BALANCED, DIET: A good balanced diet will help keep skin clearer, as the skin will have supply of all the essential vitamin, minerals, proteins and other things needed to keep it in the best health.
CARE FOR AND REPLACE HYGIENE AND BEAUTY ITEMS REGULARLY: You should clean your makeup brushes and sponges every week due to the build-up of dead skin cells and debris and dirt. Additionally, there is a shelf life on makeup. Don’t use that mascara that you have had for 2 years and risk getting an eye infection! Just the same with washcloths (replace daily).
GET A FULL 8 HOURS OF SLEEP
MANAGE STRESS Uncontrolled stress can make your skin more sensitive and trigger acne breakouts and other skin problems.
EXFOLIATE and MOISTURIZE: Exfoliating once a week helps to remove dead skin cells leaving your skin with fresher, looking skin. Follow with a moisturizer for your skin type after cleansing your face.
PROTECT YOUR SKIN: Protecting your skin from the elements, especially the extreme heat, sun and cold, will go a long way in keeping it healthy. Use a SPF of 30 or more when in the sun, remembering to reapply every 2 hours.
EXERCISE: Regular exercise, can help to relieve stress, aids sleep which all contribute to good skin health. A brisk 30-minute daily walk is ideal.
The maskne struggle is real. As face masks are mandatory indoors, the prolonged and consistent use can contribute to a number of skin issues like irritation, blemishes and congested skin. Maskne is the result of constant friction of the mask on the skin, which causes it to become irritated, clog pores, lose water and allows bacteria in. The trapped air beneath the mask, creates a warm, moist environment which is ideal breathing ground for bacteria. Maskne is technically referred to as acne mechanica.
Prior to the pandemic, this form of facial irritation was primarily experienced by athletes, commonly due to the sweat, heat, and friction in their helmets and straps. We are seeing it more now with people wearing masks for an extended period of time.
How can you prevent and treat maskne?
Prevention is always best. If you are wearing a cloth mask, wash it daily and change it frequently throughout the day. If you are wearing a disposable mask, try to replace it as often as possible. The KN95 medical masks can irritate pressure points very easily so add silicone strips under the pressure areas.
If you start developing maskne, be gentle. Overdoing skincare can compromise your skin’s protective barrier. Instead, wash your face with a gentle cleanser like Neutrogena oil free face wash and avoid products that are too drying because they will cause the skin barrier to become more compromised. Another good cleanser is the Cerave SA cleanser as it contains salicylic acid which is a great ingredient for oily skin.
For hydration after washing, look for a products with hyaluronic acid and emollients like Cetaphil daily hydrating lotion, really good for dry eczema prone skin.
Treatment options for acne break outs over the counter products that help resolve the clogged pores are beneficial recommends products like Differan Acne gel or LA Roche-Posay Effaclar Adapalene Gel.
Avoid anything with SLS or sodium lauryl sulfate, which is a harsh sulfate that really strips the skin of its natural oils and impairs the barrier. Try to avoid any face scrubs, anything that feels like sand or grit as they damage the skin’s barrier. You can’t use powerful products like alpha hydroxy acids, chemical peels or Retin A to blast the acne because they will further damage the fragile skin barrier, making it more sensitive to the mask’s irritating effects. Don’t use heavy ingredients, like cocoa butter or coconut oil, and skip any kind of oil-based foundation
If you exercise or sweat during the day with a mask on, then you want to change that mask and put on a fresh, clean mask right away. Ensure your mask fits you correctly to give you protection, not too loose that it rubs or moves and not too tight that it constricts you.