Have you ever woken up in the morning and noticed that your skin looks all puffy and swollen?
Most of us have at some point and one remedy you can do in the comfort of your own home is facial massage. You will be surprised just how greatly your skin can benefit from a little TLC.
Your face is a complex system of nerves, tissue, blood vessels and lymph nodes and by taking a few minutes to massage your skin you will help improve the appearance and function of your skin, leaving it refreshed and glowing. Massage improves circulation which brings nutrients to the skin and by gently stimulating the lymphatic system massage will aid the reduction of puffiness.
Studies have proven that not only does your skin benefit but massage really does help boost your immunity and provide relief from stress, pain and tensions. Take a look at the diagram below and simply follow the arrows, applying gentle pressure, using your fingertips to get the most out of your DIY facial massage. Go on take a few minutes out, treat yourself and your skin. Get massaging and relax!
How To Do Eyebrows March 01 2017
Eyebrows... Quick Guide
There is a bit of an obsession at the moment for really bold brows, and yes they can look good but this look does not suit everyone. It is about finding brows that work and suit YOU. Eyebrows are there to complement your face and not be a stand-alone feature.
Trends change and quite often as a therapist you come across clients who have over plucked and having problems getting the hair to re-grow properly. If this is you and you feel they are mis matched and thin then leave them alone, let them grow then after 4 to 6 weeks visit your therapist who can re-shape and guide you on home care.
There are lots of amazing products out there now which can gently fill in sparse and fine brows, not just the standard pencils. I love using a powder for a soft look and colour building more easier. There are great brow kits available, brow waxes and even pens, don't be afraid to change your product and experiment. Another good idea is eyebrow tinting, giving you longer lasting results, especially good if your eyebrows are fine and fair. Eyebrows typically have soft arches but thickness and height will differ on each of us. So many times clients ask for a brow which just isn't achievable, as a therapist we can enhance, shape and colour but working within what we have available. You can have eyebrows waxed, tweezed and threaded so there are plenty of options to get the best out of your brows.
If you are going to go it alone quick tips are to follow your natural shape and only tweeze random hairs and not from the brow line. Often it is a good idea to use a magnifying mirror, enabling you to remove any fine fair hairs. Try not to worry if they are not 100% identical, most of us have slightly different eyebrows and it can be easy to over pluck when trying to get two the same! Always tweeze in the direction of your hair growth to avoid In growing hairs and hair snapping.
Tips For Perfect Waxing November 02 2014
To ensure you can get the best out of your bikini wax we thought it would be good to share a few tips so you can achieve the best results.
Come to your appointment with clean, dry skin without any creams or lotion. And come hairy!...if you are shaving, stop 2-3 weeks before your appointment. Your hair needs to lie flat on your skin, a quarter of an inch long. If you are having a bikini wax it is best to do it a few days before or after your period, the closer you get to your period the more sensitive your body becomes and waxing can be a bit more painful.
Once you have been waxed, it is important to remember to avoid (for 48 hours) the sun - as you can be more sensitive and prone to burning, avoid sauna/steam rooms - as extreme heat can overheat the skin and avoid synthetic clothing which can easily irritate post waxed skin.
Why Supplements? September 09 2014
Why Supplements?... with such busy lifestyles and being on the go, healthy food is often the first thing that we sacrifice. Ensuring you get a good balance of nutrients and the right vitamins can be difficult, especially when you are manic, and eating on the go. Due to this grab-and-go, fast food lifestyle, lots of us now take vitamin and mineral supplements, so that we can get optimum health.
As a beauty therapist I am always looking for key vitamins/mineral which can fight the dreaded ageing process and many clients too are also keen to try supplements which can benefit both general health and skin concerns. There are some great products on the market now which have had some excellent results, not just with ageing but skin problems such as acne, eczema, psoriasis etc… Different vitamins and minerals do different jobs when it comes to skin. Some nutrients serve as an antioxidant, which help reduce free radicals on your skin. Vitamin A, also found in cereals, eggs and milk are essential for maintaining healthy skin and helping it to repair itself. A good amount of Vitamin A will diminish the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.
Vitamin C is an excellent vitamin for helping to reduce the effects of sun damage. Vitamin C is also found in citrus fruits, tomatoes, broccoli and potatoes. Vitamin E also helps fight sun damage and helps keep skin smooth and supple. For this reason it is often added to many skin care products too! Minerals can also help with concerns, Selenium helps to fight the effects of free radical damage by protecting your cells.
All the above are essential for great skin, especially if your lifestyle is busy and your diet is a little on the to be desired side!
Travel Beauty Tips August 29 2014
Travelling? So many clients often ask about what they should and shouldn’t take when on their holidays… it can be difficult if like me you’re a product junkie and quite honestly – need them all! The trouble I often find; is space – shoes or jars of creams?! As well as trying to keep luggage weight within range… it’s hard.
But I am now getting this packing malarkey down to a fine art and you can too. I look at how long I am away for and more importantly what climate I will be in and assess my skincare from there. I aim to downsize my beauty products. I collect free samples off magazines, trial sizes from the beauty salon and hair salon – all of which save me lots of room. I also have on hand small plastic bottles which I fill with my ‘cannot do without’ products and de-canter these into them.
Some brands do travel sizes in your favourite products which again is useful and space saving. When on board a flight I have a face mist (normally purchased in duty free now!) which I use often as it helps to keep my skin hydrated during travel. Plane air is very dry and at high altitudes has very little moisture so misting your face is a must. I also try to avoid the beverages and aim to drink as much water whilst flying, again helping to curb dehydration and keep skin feeling/looking plump. I have read somewhere that you should aim to drink a litre of water for every six hours of flying… good luck!
These simple little tips should help you to pack more effectively and take care of your skin whilst travelling – oh and don’t forget if you’re travelling to sunnier climbs – pack a high SPF! Safe travelling.
How To Reduce The Appearance Of Large Pores January 22 2014
Pores… something as a therapist I hear clients moaning about. We all tend to be critical and over examine our faces, and I hear many clients saying things like…” I wish my pores were smaller, less noticeable, and my make-up looked more even when applied.” In recent surveys carried out between women aged 20 to 35, their pores came out as a top skincare concern, all believing that smaller pores equated to a more youthful appearance. Our faces each have about 300,000 openings that allow the healthy secretion of sweat and sebum, which provide a natural barrier from the environment. There are various issues that can cause pores to appear larger: oil, dirt and skin cells can clog them and expand their diameter (once the gunk has oxidised and darkened, create blackheads); and while they’re generally most noticeable on congestion –prone oily skin, they can also flatten out and look bigger when the epidermis is too dry, so do watch out for winter air!
There can be reasons why you may be noticing your pores more now than you did a few years ago. The most common reason (unfortunately) is age. As our collagen and elastin fibres begin to break down and gravity takes its toll pores become distended and more oval in shape, this process can begin as early as in our 20’s. When we are young, the collagen and elastin and hyaluronic-acid proteins in the skin fluff up and plump the dermis, which squeezes the pore opening tightly, making it tiny. As we age, smoking, sun damage, fatigue and stress all accelerate the ageing process and in turn the pores stretch open. Firmer skin will equal less visible pores.
There are lots of products on the market for pores, but the key treatment you can do for your skin is to keep it clean and well cared for the correct skincare products for your face. Keeping up hydration levels within the skin helps keep skin plump and fresh, and when skin has plumped-up cells, pores are going to be less visible, but you are also providing your skin with a protective factor, so any external factors which hit the skin wont degrade the cells as fast. Steaming the skin with warm, humid air softens the skin and primes it for clearing the pores of debris, and a cold plunge firms up the skin instantly, although just temporary. Regular facials and a good skincare routine, something your therapist can help you with, all help and will give you results you want. I have seen many faces, some unfortunately full of scars from pore picking and over squeezing, so this is a big no, no. Remember your skin needs oil and proteins to be healthy inside. Take care of your skin, trust it and leave it alone!
New Year: How To Look After Winter Skin January 15 2014
Yes… it is 2014. Resolution time?! I try not to bother personally and change if needed things throughout the year, January just isn’t the month! But what I do like to indulge in especially at this time of year when nights out are few and far between is my skincare. I keep to a good routine but really make the effort to do my exfoliating, masks, oils etc more regularly. Great to do on a Saturday evening watching the tv! January is (unfortunately) a time where we all feel a little bit deflated, so in a sense it is a good time to perk yourself up and what better way than making yourself feel gorgeous? Do you ever just look at yourself in the mirror and wish that was better or if only? I think we all do from time to time. Complexions are often a bit dull, flaky skin and dry patches can be bothersome during the winter months, so for this reason it is a great idea to change and add in a few extras to perk you up. Remember your skincare routine… cleanse, tone and moisturise. Speak to your therapist to make sure you are using the correct products. Some us need serums and oils to give our skin a boost.
Exfoliation is another important part in getting better skin, this usually needs to be done2/3 times per week, as well as your masks – best to use after exfoliation as they can work better for your skin then. In a previous blog I talked about facial massage, this really is a great way of feeding your skin and you don’t need to be a therapist to treat yourself to this. Once a week at least set some time aside and apply to clean skin and using your fingertips gently massage over your whole face, concentrating on areas of concern.
Aside from all topical lotions, creams, serums, oils etc… there are other things which you can do also to improve your complexion. Yes, I am sorry to say it… but exercise is great, it gets your circulation going, aiding the removal of toxins and brings new nutrients to the skin. Sleep is another, I know this can be difficult at times. But getting what you need each night does prevent dark circles, puffiness and aids a greater looking skin all round. Finally food and water – yes they are important, ‘we are what we eat/drink’ as they say! Try to aim for a varied diet, including lots of vitamins and nutrients and choose fresh where possible. Aim to drink 6-8 large glasses of water per day, don’t panic if initially you find yourself in the toilet more, your body will adjust and use it where needed. Your skin really needs plenty of water to help it glow.
Combine all these little tips and you WILL see great results. This isn’t meant to be a resolution or anything like that it’s about taking care of you, looking after yourself and feeling good.
Good luck… here's to a happier more gorgeous you.
How To Look After Your Skin At Christmas December 19 2013
Do you look at yourself in January and wonder "what's happened to me?" Well I know I do, there is nothing like the festive period and all it's excesses which can age you as well as wipe you out generally! If you're not in your 20's anymore you will know what I am on about... Gone are the days when you could work, party, eat and drink what you like and still wake up semi fresh. Why do we have to age?! I remember my mum giving me her pearls of wisdom and telling me about early nights, face creams and not to over indulge too much. Advice none of us really take on board till we start noticing how are skin changes and reacts to too many late nights and parties. I know I always need a face and eye mask the morning after these days to perk me up and see me through the day. This time of year is not a time to be lazy with your skincare, although we all often are as we are so busy with surviving December!
Been busy really does affect our skin, being constantly on the go makes the body release stress hormones that weaken the skin's protective barrier which allow moisture to seep out, and irritants and toxins to creep in, so you may find yourself with dry/flaky patches, red blotches,fine lines or the dreaded spots. All things which need addressing when you need to be looking your best. Ensure you maintain a good skincare routine, cleanse, tone, moisturise and don't forget your eye creams, exfoliators and masks! All these will help to keep you looking your best.
Lack of sleep is a miller in all areas, not only do you feel tired during the day but your skin really takes a battering. Sleep deprivation impairs the lipid barrier as well as the production of plumping, hydrating hyaluronic acid. Cell function is affected and micro blood vessels around the eyes ensure those not-so fetching dark circles. Again if you are a sufferer of this ensure a good skincare routine, try and fit some relaxation into your day, especially before bedtime, avoid caffeine during the afternoon, drink lots of water and try a little eye massage in your nightly skin schedule. Also an eye mask can really help perk up your peepers to keep your eye area looking at its best.
This time of year can be upsetting for some as many of us have emotional baggage to deal with. Families, friends and general life still carriers on and sometimes it unfortunately isn't all happy. The stress of pleasing everyone, being in two places at once and heartache can really play havoc with your skin. Stress is ageing, so if this is you look for products which help to calm your skin, help replenish lost moisture and hydration. Again keep up a good skincare routine and eat/drink the best you can and try and get your 8 hours of sleep in.
Lastly... Party, party, party... Yes we will all be doing it at some point, the Monday drink after work, the Tuesday catch up with friends, the family gathering on Wednesday, the party on Thursday, night out on Friday and so on, you know how it goes! By mid week your batteries are dwindling and the one too many glasses of fizz (which are always good at the time!) have caught up with you, and the week isn't over! Alcohol really dehydrates your skin and breaks down collagen that keeps it plump. With skin which already is in a stressful state, alcohol will only add to it, and leave it looking dull and haggard in no time. But fear not, good skincare can really help a lot. The skin's top layer is the only one which is constantly renewing itself, so you can regain its glow and even tone if you stimulate and protect it. Look for products which boost cell renewal, hydrate and re generate. Again - and last time I will say it! A good skincare routine is a must, remove make-up and moisturise before you hit the sack. Make sure you exfoliate and use masks as these will improve the look and feel of your skin. Try and have non alcohol days at this time to allow your skin to repair and drink plenty of water - have a glass at the side of your bed too!
Good luck celebrating the festivities of 2013 in tip top condition. I shall start writing the detox blog for January 2014:-)! Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
How Old Is Your Neck? November 20 2013
Lots of us ladies don’t really take care of our necks and décolletage like we should. I have to be honest I look after my face far better and somehow miss out treating these delicate areas. Often the neck and the décolleté show signs of ageing before our faces as these areas are sun-exposed and over looked by most. It’s one thing to have a youthful face but a crinkly neck definitely will give your age away. Neck lifts have increased in popularity over the last few years because of this.
As we age our necks seem to shorten as the chin becomes heavier, so it really is important to take care of this area more. Prevention is better than cure, so when you embark on a good skincare routine is makes sense to get into the habit of using your face care products on these areas too. Most skincare ranges do now offer products especially designed to treat these areas of concern, as skin is less thicker also on the neck and décolleté.
If you are like me a bit slack on taking care of your neck and décolletage get into the swing of it soon as it really makes a difference and will keep you looking youthful for longer.
How To Look After Your Lips This Time Of Year November 07 2013
So… have you (like me) finally realised the count down to Christmas is on and accepted winter is here? I am constantly thinking about everyone else and presents, presents, presents! BUT I am also thinking about kissable lips, well I am hoping for lots of mistletoe;-)!
I tend to find this time of year my lips get dry and often flaky and if you’re like me a bit lazy with products in this area, then join my club and get them in tip top shape for the festivities. It is really important to exfoliate your lips when exfoliating your face. Use your regular exfoliator over this area too or even use a dry toothbrush gently over your lips to keep them smooth.
I am trying out a few lip products to keep them well moisturised, lips are very sensitive and have little in the way of sebaceous glands so they dry easily. There are lots of lip products available now. I use a moisturiser in the morning for the lip and eye area, which also helps to prevent any fine lip lines developing. During the day I use a balm, constantly to keep them shiny and supple and at night I like to pop my favourite anti-ageing oil on them for a bedtime treat. It really has made a huge difference and my pout is definitely improving! Join the club and get some lip products to help your lips stay young and youthful through Crimbo and into 2014!!
What Kind Of Face Mask Should I Use? October 08 2013
Face masks... I love them.
They are so important to help maintain beautiful skin. OK, I know you may be thinking, 'but which one?' as there are lots on the market.
Before you use any mask my top tip to ensure your skin is clean, exfoliated and warm, a steam over a bowl of hot water or hot towel will do this! Oh and don't forget your neck and décolleté as they are just as important. Generally masks are either hydrating, moisturising, deep cleansing or re balancing. So you need to know what type of skin you have and what you want to treat. Often in salon clients need 2 masks, one to treat an oilier t-zone and one to hydrate other areas. Ok this is sometimes not possible at home so if you are unsure your therapist can help you find the best one for you, so do ask.
There are masks now available which stay on all night and others which are 5 minute wonders. Ensure you read and use them as directed. Most are needed 2 or sometime 3 times weekly. Once you add these into your skin care routine you really do get to see great results. If your not an avid user yet, find the perfect one for you and get your skin in tip top condition :-)!
Should I Use A Serum? September 25 2013
Ok you may not be using one but you should... I have only just got into the habit religiously myself and it has made a difference!
They may not be a new product as they have been around for ages but many of us don't really feel the need to add them into our routines. More recently serums are gaining more popularity as technology is evolving and these add in products really do work wonders. Serums are high concentrations of certain active ingredients. They differ from moisturisers as they are formulated to penetrate deeply into the skin to deliver key ingredients whereas a moisturiser helps keep skin hydrated and provide a protective barrier. The molecules in serums are smaller than those found on a moisturiser, which means it can deposit ingredients deeper into the skin.
Serums are generally used after cleansing and toning but before your moisturiser, and don't forget to incorporate your neck and décolleté in your facial routine! Depending on which serum and brand you choose results can be immediate but most require about 4 weeks of consistent use for visible results. Try Aromatherapy Associates Rose Radiance Skin Serum (renew rose intensive skin serum)
I am addicted to mine now, try one if you haven't yet!!
Ways To Get A Good Night's Sleep September 01 2013
Sleep... Something I definitely want more of and many of you too! Sleep is essential to our well being, bodies and yes you've guessed it, our skins! It's whilst we sleep our bodies are busy repairing and regenerating.
Studies have shown if we don't get enough sleep on a regular basis it can impact on our immune systems. Lots of things can effect our sleep patterns, stress, life changes and travel. I am still yet to understand how one of my friends is happy with 5 to 6 hours a night while in an ideal world I would love 10! It seems what we each need varies greatly but research suggests 6 to 8 hours of sleep is essential.
Apparently it's important to have a fixed wake up time... This is because your body starts to prepare for waking up an hour before you actually do, I know you're probably thinking like me... Do Saturdays and Sundays have to be included?! Again apparently so!! Having a quiet, dark and cool room is also important as are shifting out the tv and computer. Making sure you are sleepy and ready for bed will help you drift off quickly.
Ensuring these steps should help you have a great nights sleep, and allow you to wake up feeling refreshed and glowing.
An Easy Way To Clean Makeup Brushes July 23 2013
How clean are your make up brushes?!... Many of us use them but how many of us actually clean them on a regular basis?
I remember being little and watching my gran wash hers routinely every Sunday without fail and thinking she was a bit obsessive! But really she had the right idea… and I am still trying to keep on top of cleaning mine as often as I can. Brushes harbour bacteria, old make-up residues and dirt so it is really important to keep them in good condition as not only will it expand their life span but also protect your skin from any flare up’s which can be caused by dirty brushes! Like my nan I did try to have a make-up free day and its normally on a lazy Sunday - so I figure this is a great day to clean those brushes.
There are products you can specifically purchase to clean your brushes but it isn’t always necessary, all you really need is a good foaming cleanser and warm water. Run a bowl of warm water and apply some cleanser to the bristles of you brush/es and run gently, adding the water as you go to create a foam. Try to avoid getting more than the bristles overly wet as constant water getting onto the handles and area where bristles are attached can cause them to loosen and come away.
Sometimes you may need to wash the bristles a couple of times until no make-up and dirt is coming off onto your hands. Once you feel satisfied they are clean, rinse well and gently squeeze as much excess water out as you can. Dry with a clean cloth, and place brushes out to dry on some kitchen towel. Leave them to dry naturally and out of direct sun light. Sometimes I pop mine in the airing cupboard to help them dry that bit quicker! They should dry relatively quickly and in no time you will be ready to re-apply your make-up, knowing your brushes are in tip-top condition!!
Review: Overnight Repair Mask Gives Great Results June 27 2013
Overnight Skin Perfecting Mask?... Yes Please!
Think we all would love to wake up with skin to die for, and now we can. Masks that work while you sleep are sweeping the market and are proving to be very popular, as they are easy to use and give great results.
There are lots of different ones available to suit your skin type and concerns – there are ones for sensitive skins, dry skins, anti-ageing concerns, dull skins and oily skins – so there really is no excuse for anything less than perfect skin!! Head to your therapist or skin care consultant who can help you find the best one for you. Generally these types of masks are best used overnight, twice a week, enabling to even out your skin tone.
Remember to pop the mask over your décolletage as well as your face as this area is prone to dehydration and damage too. If your skin is ever feeling a bit partied out and tired you can mix a small amount of mask with your regular moisturiser to give it an extra kick.
Wedding Planning Help June 10 2013
Planning your 'Big Day?'
I know a few that are and as a therapist many clients ask how they can get their themselves in the best shape so that they can look and feel extra special on their Wedding Day. Once you have set the date you can then set yourself a ' TO DO' list. These are great for just about everything but never more than now! I recommend that 6 months prior is a good time to look at your skin, body and health issues. Take a moment to really look at your skin and establish your skin type/condition/s. Once you have done this, check out products that will suit and work for you. But is not the only answer!! If you find this hard speak to your therapist who should be happy to assist you and guide you on the correct regime.
One of my earlier blogs touched on diet, and this is really important. Aim for a well balanced diet, full of fibre - think fruits, vegetables, oats, brown rice, beans nuts and seeds. Water - for hydration and good digestive health. Cut back on saturated fats, alcohol and sugars - all these put added stress on your liver and can result in unbalanced skin. Oily skin types are often caused by hormonal imbalances, so to help balance these choose foods high in phytoestrogens, such as soya, beans, peas and chickpeas. Dry skins usually lack essential fats, so avoid a very low fat diet and add a serving of omegas to your daily diet - a good way todo this is to sprinkle flaxseed onto your cereal. If your prone to breakouts, zinc and vitamin A are the two key nutrients for you. These immunity-boosters will help to repair skin cells. You can find zinc in shellfish, green leafy vegetables and whole grains. Vitamin A can be found in carrots, sweet potatoes and butternut squash. Flushed skins and rosacea can be a nuisance and real concern for some, but by cutting out caffeine, spicy foods, alcohol, chocolate and cheese can often really help.
Now your skin is on the road to perfection, most brides dream of getting body beautiful and again 6 months before wedding is a great time to start. If you need to lose a few pounds access your diet and see where improvements can be made, a dietician can help if your clueless and want a healthy diet and not just a quick weight loss plan. Look into your exercise routine, do you have one? What do you enjoy doing? Getting active is a great way to have fun and see results, grab your bridesmaid/s along and get fit.
Finally right before the day itself, look at booking yourself into your favourite salon/spa for a days pampering, again bring mums and bridesmaids along. Most salons/spas offer great packages to accommodate bridal parties. Think about what you want, some brides are happy with nails and make-up, others want tans, eyelash extensions, waxing, facials... The list is endless. My advice is to discuss your treatment requirements with your therapist and make a plan! Remember lots of brides have monthly facials for a few months before to really see fab results. It's all up to the individual, but this day is special and so are you... Happy planning.
How To Prevent Ingrown Hairs April 22 2013
These happen to the best of us at one time or another and can be painful if left. It is really important to regularly exfoliate your skin which will help to prevent them.
But if you still get the odd one/few apply a product which contains azulene or witch hazel to help reduce swelling and redness. From there, coax the ingrown hair from its location with a pair of tweezers (don't pull it out though, this will only make the ingrown hair regrow in the same way later).
Expert Beauty Tips March 19 2013
- Remember... Not to use too much moisturiser as it can make your foundation slip. A great idea is to blot your skin prior to applying foundation to ensure a long lasting finish.
- Quick glow required? A great tip of an all over healthy glow is to mix a drop of your summer foundation with your regular moisturiser and instantly you will look and feel healthier. Great not only for your face, but all over!
- Brush your way beautiful... Dry body brushing is one of the cheapest and best ways to enhance your skin. When done 2-3 times a week, prior to shower/bath on dry (not damp) skin, it provides a gentle internal massage, which speeds up the elimination of toxins, while topically leaving you with super soft, glowing skin. Get your brush ASAP!
- Just out the shower/bath, quick pat yourself dry and smother on your favourite body product. Whether it is a serum, gel, cream, butter or oil, they all will work and penetrate better on damp skins, leaving you seriously hydrated and smooth.
- Very important, always remember to use your skincare products on your neck and décolleté, as these areas show signs of ageing too and are often missed out in our daily routines. Treat these areas the same as your face, and any excess of product left over - quick rub on the backs of your hands, these again are another area often neglected!