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Makeup tips

HOW YOU SHOULD DO YOUR MAKEUP IN 2021 – ACCORDING TO YOUR HOROSCOPE

Do you need inspiration for your 2021 makeup? Don’t worry, Xlash Cosmetics has found the perfect look for you with the help of your horoscope for the year. Will it be colorful lips, a classic winged eyeliner, or maybe faux freckles?

Aries (March 21 – April 20)

2021 is, unfortunately, a bit of an intermediate year for you in anticipation of the next, but everything you do now will lead the way forward to success in 2022. The motivation and pace you lost in 2020 will finally return, which contributes to a new attitude and a more enjoyable life. You will be faced with many challenges, but with your problem solver nature, there will be no major obstacles. Look: Problems without solutions? No! Classic red lips give you the confidence to think in new directions.

Taurus (April 21 – May 21)

Okay, so 2020 was chaos and you started questioning everything. This means that you’re now looking for stability and security. At the same time, you feel a need to find your way out of your comfort zone. Look: To get you out of your comfort zone without feeling uncomfortable, we recommend a little splash of color. Maybe a colored eyeliner? Blue, dark green, or why not purple?

Gemini (May 22 – June 21)

You’ve been bored but this is the year you finally find your way back to yourself and your creativity. It allows you to build yourself and your self-confidence back up! At the beginning of the year you’ll be feeling cautious but towards the end, you’ll have found your way back to the point where you can truly be yourself. Look: Fake it ’til you make it! You need a sharp, carbon black eyeliner.

Cancer (June 22 – July 22)

The outside world may be trying to limit you, but despite that, you can find freedom – something you’ve been missing. Your newfound freedom brings with it a lot of question marks about what you really want and new, unexpected paths emerge. Look: Is there anything that expresses well-being more than a really good glow? No! Go for a liquid highlighter on the cheekbones, nose tip, brow bone, and Cupid’s bow for a natural look.    

Leo (July 23 – August 23)

This year, you’ll mainly be focusing on finding your balance between work or school and your private life. You want to succeed, but sometimes your private life is compromised. Structure, prioritize, and decide what you really want. Look: You don’t have time to put on makeup in the morning with everything you’re balancing this year! Go for a clean base and naturally long eyelashes.

Virgo (August 24 – September 22)

Last year, against all odds, you managed to find peace and routine in all the chaos. This year, you should scale up what you started last year, which will pay off in late 2021. Your insecure nature is trying to get the best of you, but stop doubting, you’re on the right track! Look: What says you’ve got the situation under control like colorful lips? Forget your classic, discreet tones and go for pink, orange and burgundy.

Libra (September 23 – October 22)

If you’re a Libra, this is your year! All you have to do is go with the flow and most things will work out. Your love life falls into place which is something you have longed for. There’s no drama, uncertainties, or quarrels. Only you! Look: Everything is going well, so why not invest in learning a really good smoky look? Brown, light tones for everyday wear, and darker colors for all the festivities of the year.

Scorpio (October 23 – November 21)

The year will be marked by hard work. You have the energy to do it and the result will be rewarded! Afterward, you start thinking about what you want in the future and familiarize yourself with new projects, plans, and goals. It might wear a little bit on your relationships, so remember to take care of those you care about. Look: You’ll be busy so go for a super-light base that lets your natural skin shine through and try some faux freckles (yes, you can fake freckles!).

Sagittarius (November 22 – December 21)

2020 was a slow year but 2021 will roll on and you’ll be able to enjoy your life! Amazingly, this applies to virtually all levels. When you get to the better period, some doubts may arise, but don’t worry! Look: You need to celebrate! Glitter and glamour next. A glitter eyeliner is a good addition to everyday life for a little extra something, and light shimmer shadows will work perfectly. There’s no stopping this party!

Capricorn (December 22 – January 19)

Previous years have been fraught with hard work and only now do you have time to stop and think. New ideas and thoughts help you find yourself again and relationships make you discover new things. Look: Color, color, color. You’re finding yourself now, so take the opportunity to invest in an eye color palette full of different colors and play around with it. Maybe you’ll find a new favorite?


Aquarius (January 20 – February 18)

You almost always know what you want but suddenly you feel lost, which can lead to an inner conflict. Remember that there are no trials that you can’t get through and there are very bright and glorious moments. Look: Cat Eye! It’s a classic that never feels wrong – which you might need this year.


Pisces (February 19 – March 20)

This year, you only need to do what you do best: go with the flow. There are new opportunities for your sign and you don’t have to make much effort at all to get ahead. You’ll also prepare for the year after which, to say the least, will be eventful… Look: Colored mascara. A bit of a new and exciting direction but not completely crazy either!  

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Makeup artists applies mascara

[ARTICLE CATEGORY]

MAKEUP MISTAKES TO STOP MAKING

BY: CLAIRE – DAYS [DAYS SINCE Today] AGO

Whether you’re an influencer with a makeup kit to make even the biggest cosmetic moguls jealous or your average Josephine who relies on a lick of mascara to get through the day, there are beauty rules that we should all be following to make the most out of our makeup and to keep our skin healthy and glowing at all times.

Makeup Mistakes to Stop Making

When it comes to actually wearing makeup, I’m a keen breaker of rules and I love to experiment with different styles and colours, but there are definitely a few rules that are more than just guidelines that even I shouldn’t break as some of them can cause havoc on the skin and eyelashes. Now these mistakes can easily be fitted into three categories – Preparation, Tools and the Makeup itself, and by covering all three means we cover all ground, so keep a few of these tips in mind next time you are prepping for a face full of makeup and you won’t have to worry about your skin again.

Preparation

Not Cleansing Properly – Probably one of the biggest mistakes people make is not removing makeup after a day of wearing it. Whether it’s a full face or just a bit of eyeliner, wearing makeup to bed can cause more damage underneath the skin and to the eyelashes than you would even realise. Not only that but it can look pretty unsightly too! Don’t tell me you’ve never woken up after forgetting to cleanse your mascara and caught your reflection in the mirror… That is one look that no one can get away with unless you’re going for the ‘partied all night and haven’t had a wink of sleep’ look.

Not cleansing your makeup each night isn’t just aesthetically displeasing, it can cause your skin to break out, become lumpy, inflamed and dry. The reason for this is that the dead skin and dirt that builds up stays on the face and in the pores, which can lead to pimples and blemishes. Our skin has a way of naturally repairing itself and it usually does this while we sleep, the outer layers of the skin are essentially dead and can become matted and stuck to the newer layers underneath. If you have even noticed your skin is a bit dull and lacks the smoothness it did previously, it could be a result of sleeping in makeup or not going through a cleansing routine thoroughly.

It is arguable whether a good bar of soap or the most high end cleansing products are the best way to get rid of the daily build up of grime from your face, but if you haven’t really given much thought to what you clean your face with then I say soap is always a good place to start! It is good to get into the habit of getting rid of your makeup at the end of the day and if you find it your skin needs a little extra care, keep it moisturised lightly and exfoliate it a couple of times a week gently with a scrub to be clear of impurities that sit on the top of the skin.

Not Using a Primer – So, this mistake works on a few different levels as priming your face before applying makeup can help with various issues. The main one is of course providing a base for your makeup that helps it stay put for longer and acts as another layer to your makeup without having to go heavy on foundation.

Primers are also good for evening out your skin tone, as you may well know the skin on your face is not the same colour all over, there are lighter parts, darker parts and skin that is thinner like around your eyes. By using a primer beforehand, it helps to even out the tones ready for a coat of foundation, and there are even better options now with colour correction which focus on darker circles around the eyes and blemishes on your face that foundation alone won’t cover. If that wasn’t enough for you, further options include mattifying and smoothing properties in primers. For those with oily or combination skin, this is a godsend as it not only helps the appearance of your skin overall but provides more base for makeup to adhere to.

Primers are also designed to smooth out skin, now they are not the same as intense moisturisers, but they do provide the same qualities and are light, so it doesn’t overpower the skin. Where there are thin lines, using a good primer will help so much to even the texture making your makeup look even better than before. If you are not in the habit of using a primer yet, have a look into one that suits your skin type and does what you need it to, whether that is colour correcting, mattifying or just for brightening your skin, as this it would be a real beauty mistake to not see the benefits first hand.

Using Concealer Incorrectly – Concealer can be confusing to those who aren’t really sure what to do with it and it can be a big makeup mistake if applied without checking what you are doing first. It used to be that if you bought concealer you did it to hide a blemish or an untimely spot that no amount of natural remedies could fix. Those teenage days from years past have thankfully gone now and there are more purposeful ways to use concealer to make your finished look very even and smooth.

There are a many tips about how and where to apply concealer and all of them may be true, but the main use is under the eyes where the skin is thinner and the tone tends to be darker than the rest of your face… especially after a long night and early morning. But this doesn’t mean you should pile on the concealer with no order to it, as this can end up looking waxy or uneven compared to the rest of the skin and finish your makeup look in a worse way than when you started.

When you apply concealer under the eyes, it should be dabbed or dropped on and then worked in with a beauty blender in a patting motion rather than rubbing or dragging it. Rubbing it in basically does nothing but move the makeup from where you want it to be and increase the look of creases in the skin in the one place no one wants visible lines or creases.

Another concealer mistake people make is using the same one as you use to cover spots. I think this one is self-explanatory, you don’t want to share the same brush, blenders or concealer that you would use for under your eyes as this is how infections can spread and lead to worse problems down the road. But not only this, you are dealing with different textures of skin and therefore should use different types of concealer. For under the eyes it is better to use something smooth to help with any lines or creases and won’t create an additional texture that isn’t there and for spots and blemishes you need something richer that won’t budge throughout the day. If used with care, concealer will help correct mistakes, not make them.

Makeup Tools

Not Cleaning Makeup Brushes or Sponges – This is such a crime in the makeup world, but also for anyone who even owns a makeup brush. Why is this a big makeup mistake? Unfortunately, once anything is out of its packaging it is susceptible to collecting dust, dirt and bacteria, even more so when it has had contact with the skin and any potential bacteria hiding out there. We can clean our faces five times a day, but there will always be something waiting to cling onto our brushes and sponges such as dead skin cells or oils. If these oils are transferred to your brush, then all you are doing is transferring it back to your face again each day, so do yourself a favour and give them a clean or purchase a new set.

The other downside to not cleaning your makeup brushes and sponges is that it has a negative effect on your makeup, not only the quality of it but the way it is applied to your face. Think about foundation and powders for a minute, and all those oils that have collected and even other shades of makeup. When you then use this to apply your fresh makeup for the day the colour and texture may not translate as well as it did when you first got it. If you are in the business of not making mistakes when applying makeup, then clean brushes are the best place to start.

Using the Wrong Lighting – When you think of the tools your use to do your makeup, you think of brushes, applicators and curlers, but did you ever think of lighting? If not, its time to start putting it up there with the best of them as its definitely one mistake a lot of people make. Now fine, we can’t all afford a Hollywood dressing room complete with mirror lights and our own makeup artist, but we should have somewhere planned in our houses that provides the perfect lighting for our own makeup rituals.

Bad lighting could be the difference between you thinking you look great and then stepping outside and actually looking like an Oompa Loompa! I’m sure at some point we’ve all had to try to get ready in a hurry, under the dim lighting inside our cars, stretching our necks to use the rear view mirror to apply what we thought was our favourite shade of blush to then get to work and find out it was actually a lot brighter than we expected. Its not a sin, but it is a mistake and one we can all avoid if we take lighting seriously when applying makeup.

The best lighting is soft and natural, so day time is ideal and preferable somewhere with face on natural light that doesn’t give you shadows These shadows can distort what you see against what it actually there and are more likely to make you misjudge lines and colours. If natural light isn’t available, then it’s a great investment to buy a ring light for your mirror. Sure, they don’t come cheap if they are good, but they do provide a perfectly even ring of light so that your face is shadow free, and you can see to it that you get even coverage from your makeup.

If you need to use any other lighting to apply your makeup, then just make sure you avoid bright yellows and florescent lighting. Harsh yellow lighting will give you’re a different impression of what you are putting on your face and they can get quite hot which is the opposite of what you need when you’re trying to get makeup to stick to your face! Florescent lighting is everyone’s worst nightmare as it shows up every blemish and imperfection which can lead to over-doing it with the foundation. Get your lighting right and avoid these mistakes for a flawless face of makeup.

Curling Lashes Incorrectly – Eyelash curlers are either your best friend or your worst enemy and even if they fall into the best friend category, they can betray you from time to time! But is this because you haven’t been using them properly? Who knows! All we know is there are many makeup mistakes out there and using eyelash curlers without proper care is definitely a mistake your eyelashes are not going to be happy about you making.

The number one rule when it comes to your eyelash curler is to curl BEFORE applying mascara and not after. So many people get this wrong because they don’t think about what harm it can do. Well actually, it can cause your lashes to become weak and start to break. Mascara is designed to hold your eyelashes in place and keep them firm until you remove it later on in the evening. If you try to change their shape while mascara is on you are essentially trying to make something flexible that isn’t supposed to be flexible. Do yourself a favour and get curling before mascara time and your lashes will start to feel stronger in no time.

Also, as with makeup brushes, this important tool needs cleaning too. Eyelashes contain oils and bacteria that can be transferred to your eyelash curler and then back to your lashes again. As there are tiny follicles to think of here, the last thing they need is to collect anything that may cause an infection on or near your eye. Healthy curler, healthy eyes and eyelashes! Simple.

Makeup

Not Throwing Makeup Out – So there are probably hundreds of makeup mistakes being made all over the world that are enough to have professional makeup artists cringing at the very thought. But there are a few of them that are very important, not just to the experts but to everyone who even wears even just a bit of foundation. Keeping makeup for longer than you should if a definite mistake and a lot of people tend not to even realise that it has a use by date. Foundation, mascara, eyeshadow, creams and lotions, they all have an expiry and it isn’t just there as a guideline.

Have you ever gone to put some mascara on and noticed the texture has ended up really clumpy and it doesn’t seem to apply like it used to when you first bought it? That probably means its time to throw it out and get a new one. In fact, you should try to stick to the three-month rule with mascara and things like foundation and concealers. The containers should tell you on the side how many months from being open your makeup will be good to use so definitely try to follow this.

As we’ve already covered, the transference of bacteria to and from your makeup brushes to your face is bad enough, but then to have it mix in with your makeup too means you are just constantly reapplying oils and dead cells to a clean face. Not only that, but most makeup stops having the desired effect after a certain amount of time once it has been opened. Foundations tend to lose their mattifying qualities, mascaras tend to lose the ability to glide over lashes, so if you want a flawless face of makeup, new items are usually the way to go rather than trying to squeeze every last drop out of something after six months.

Wearing Too Much Waterproof Mascara – Mascara is fine, we all love it and it is the perfect finish to any makeup look so we tend to wear it more than any other product. Its easy to get excited about different types of mascara that promises to do different things, such as volumise, lengthen and enhance. But waterproof mascara is different and is best saved for weddings, beach days and the odd rainy-day outing.

Wearing waterproof mascara every day is just going to damage your lashes in the long run so keep it to those occasions if you have to wear it and keep your lashes moisturised in between applications. As waterproof mascara is designed to stay put and not move until you really cleanse it, it can involve a lot of tugging and unnecessary stress on your eyelashes which will cause them to fall out earlier than they should in the eyelash growth cycle. This can then lead to your lashes looking less than full until new ones grow back in.

Eyelashes should really be taken care of in this respect as they do take around 6 weeks after the end of the growth cycle to grow back in and the only real way they can be faked is with extensions, which is a very expensive mistake, if you ask me, so try and leave the waterproof mascara to those special days that call for it and be really careful when cleansing before bed. Apply an eyelash serum after cleansing which will keep them strong, hydrated and healthy in the long run.

Matching Foundation to the Back of your Hand – Where did this advice even come from? Or was it a lack of mirrors in beauty stores that lead to people trying it out. We’ve all done it at some point, and unless you have sought advice at a beauty counter about what shade suits you best then you will probably do it again.

Skin tones are completely different all over our bodies, and the back of our wrists tend to be a different tone to our faces so you should only be matching colour there if that is where you are going to wear it. Your jaw is a better place to match your foundation as this is where you should see if blend in and not stand out at all, if it does then it is not the right shade for you.

Lighting is also important when finding the right shade of foundation, remember a shop’s florescent lighting can be very unforgiving so try and find a natural light source or somewhere that won’t create shadows and when it is lightly applied to your jaw, you should be able to blend it with your natural skin tone. Also, equally as important, but one everyone forgets is not to apply test foundation shades on top of your existing foundation. It seems obvious but as we tend to wear makeup when we go shopping, it is very easy to forget, and all you will be left with is a shade that falsely represents what you saw when you bought it. As far as makeup mistakes, streaky foundation that is too many shades darker than our natural skin is definitely up there with the worst of them.

Mistakes Corrected

Now you have some of the basic tips down, your new makeup, clean makeup brushes and fresh face are the perfect starting point for a flawless face of makeup. Don’t let mistakes from your past rule your future!

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Party season party prep

[ARTICLE CATEGORY]

GET READY FOR PARTY SEASON – PARTY PREP

BY: CLAIRE – DAYS [DAYS SINCE Today] AGO

It’s that time of year already! The bikinis have been put away until next year and the gloves have come out. It’s time for mulled wine and long wintery walks. Christmas lights and crisp mornings are upon us and the best thing of all? Its party season!

While my inner 23-year-old is screaming for joy, my actual 30 something self is mentally prepared but physically, I could do with a little help. Christmas parties, family gatherings, office get-togethers and dinner parties with close friends are some of my favourite things, but these days it’s hard to just step into a dress and stick on some lipstick and call yourself “ready to go”. It takes a little more to look good while feeling good and I’m definitely accelerating into the part of my life where comfort wins over fashion.

Maybe it’s the smell of cinnamon in the air or the twinkle of lights slowly appearing in house windows, but this year there is a really Christmassy vibe and I’m actually thinking about hanging up my UGGs and swapping them for a pair of Jimmy Choos and embracing the party season, even at the risk of falling off my 6 inch heels.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, party season isn’t just about sacrificing comforts for pain, it is a chance to shine and experiment with colours and fashion that complement the Christmas theme. Different eye shadows, brighter shades of lipstick and highlights of blush on the cheeks that give you the wintery touch are just a few of the things that can brighten up anyone’ winter and get you right into the spirit of Christmas.

Christmas Party Prep

In an idea world, office Christmas party prep would take ten minutes, but these days there’s things to thing about like outfit coordination, painted nails and a new hairstyle and these things take time. If you have been blessed with those extra hours, get your prep sorted so you can party the night away in comfort AND style.

Detox – To do this, you need a little more than a few hours, but if your busy schedule hasn’t allowed for that then on the day, to make sure you aren’t feeling bloated or sluggish, treat yourself to some green tea and plenty of water throughout the day.

Green tea contains antioxidants and helps flush out harmful toxins. Its known to have fat-burning properties too and keeps your energy levels up. It’s the perfect start to party day, so keep them coming!

As well as getting some of the good drinks into your body before all the bad ones start flowing, you should be mindful of your diet in the days leading up to the Christmas party. Chances are you will be indulging in rich foods and hearty cocktails before the night is through so prepare your body in advance to give you a head start on the day.

Stay away from fatty or stodgy foods and anything that will sit on you throughout the evening. We all love a good roast potato at Christmas, but these are better left until the big day itself. Be sure to get plenty of green vegetables into your system and keep your energy levels up by snacking on nuts and fruits throughout the course of the day.

On top of this, try and save the caffeine until the morning after. Leave coffee off your pre-party diet list if you can help it, it will seem to get your blood pumping in time for the festivities but will also help you crash and burn before the DJ has even played your favourite song.

Clear Skin – Most girls say there are three different types of showers. The quick body wash, the hair and body wash and the full hair and body, exfoliating and shaving wash. The latter is something we all wish we had time for each day, but we tend to save those long shower sessions for a big event.

The Christmas party especially calls for the full pamper. So, spare yourself a little more time than usual to feel prepped and fresh for the event. Start by relaxing in the bath or shower and get those pores open. Exfoliate your body and ensure all traces of makeup have been removed from your face.

Leftover mascara won’t make for great looking eyelashes on the night so be sure to use a gentle cleanser to step out of the bathroom clear and blemish free. While your skin is warm and moist, now is a good time to exfoliate your lips.

The skin on your lips is very delicate and thin, and at this time of year they can come under pressure to feel smooth and silky. Winter has its ways of making our lips behave in ways we don’t want them to – and that’s before the mistletoe mistakes at the office party! Use a textured cloth or old toothbrush to gently rub away any dead skin on your lips and leave them smooth ready for bright colours later.

Eyebrows – Now your pores are open, and hair is soft, it’s the best time to take to the tweezers if your eyebrows call for them. With any party prep, you may choose to get your eyebrows done well in advance of the big night but just in case time has not been on your side, you can do a little work to get those brows looking a little less unruly before you leave the house.

When you pluck your own eyebrows, you need to be careful that you don’t go overboard. It can be so hard to rectify mistakes in this department as once its gone, its gone! You probably won’t want to relive your over-plucking mistakes from the early 2000s and have to wait 10 years for your eyebrows to grow back in, so take it lightly, one eyebrow hair at a time.

Start on the outer edges and tidy up any loose ends that seem to be hanging around and any strays that sit underneath the inner corners of your brow. There are plenty of guides about how to shape your eyebrows based on your face or eye shape and committing to them physically is mostly best left to the professionals. But it is good to have a shape in mind before you even pick up your tweezers, so your aim is more sleek and less sloppy.

After you’re happy with the amount of plucking pain you’ve inflicted on yourself, be sure to use a cool and fragrance-free moisturiser to help with any redness. In the event that you’ve gone a little too heavy on your brows, there is a solution. Eyebrow serum is the way forward and not just for when you’ve gone a little too heavy on the tweezers.

Xbrow Eyebrow Serum is just what you need to keep your brows looking full, even when they are a little thin. It also helps cool and moisturise the skin under the brows so it’s perfect for Christmas party prep… especially when the reward is a Christmas present of great looking eyebrows!

Eyelashes – Once your eyebrows are under control, you can get to work on the rest of your pretty face. And your eyelashes are a fantastic place to start. If you are ahead of the game, you may have already planned for the big occasion and got yourself some eyelash extensions.

They are convenient, they immediately add length to your eyelashes, and you can carry off the 24-hour mascara look whenever you want. But they do cost a pretty penny with upkeep so if you are planning on being rich in the eyelash department all through party season, make sure your bank balance is ready to top them up when required.

If you decided not to go with eyelash extensions and are after a more one-off affair, then false eyelashes may be your way to go. Just be careful when using eyelash glue to not put too much on and not to get any in your eye! That won’t make for a good entrance to the big party.

For any damage we potentially do to our eyelashes, there is always a cure. Extensions or falsies, both have a way of sticking to our natural lashes and weighing them down which can help them fall out quicker and stop them from growing back so easily. Xlash Eyelash Serum has got your lashes covered when it comes to their health and if you are in full party prep mode, then put some of this on before any false lashes come your way and keep them moisturised and hydrated throughout the night. After a few weeks of this good stuff, your lashes will even look longer and fuller so by the time the next party comes around… you’ll be saying “false lashes, who?”

False eyelashes are great for an evening of Christmas pies and cheesy tunes but removing them at the end of the night is just as important as putting them on properly. Like any coating, whether makeup or adhesives, it can be harmful to your lashes and the skin on your eyelids if you keep them on.

Priming – So ok, we should be doing this day to day anyway, but can you honestly say you leave enough time for it to work properly? When I’m getting ready for a Christmas party, I like to take my time and give myself a couple of extra hours in the makeup department, but I do tend to make mistakes and/or change my mind from time to time so those extra hours are important!

Once your skin is clean and clear and if you so choose, moisturised, then its time to prime. You may have different types of primer in your arsenal so choose the one best fitting for the night. I go for a matte finish primer that helps keep the shine away. The only shiny nose I want to see at Christmas belongs to Rudolph! Once the primer is on, let it settle. This helps it stay on your skin, mattify and remove any greasy residue before you go covering yourself in foundation and concealer.

Priming your face and eyes before the festive party is crucial for keeping your makeup firmly in place for the night, so do it right and take your time with it. There are going to be plenty of photos taken throughout the night and you don’t need to look back over them to see the makeup isn’t where you left it.

Makeup Removal – If there’s one thing I’ve learned from years of Christmas parties, it’s to get your nightly cleansing routine ready before you head off to dance the night away. Even it if is just some cleansing wipes and a light moisturiser, it will make the hangover seem less of a chore in the morning.

This kind of prep takes some dedication, as who knows if you’ll be walking in your front door in your high heels or crawling from a cab with those heels hanging out of your bag. But this is why the prep is important. If you want to go the whole way, grab yourself a bottle of water and place it next to your bed. Your dehyrated self will seriously thank you for it.

The Dress – Probably the most important part of the night is the outfit. It can make or break you, or at least your confidence. You may be new at work or even been there so long you have become part of the furniture, but the Christmas party is one of the most important nights of your working year and you want to make an impression.

Everyone has their own sense of style and what they prefer to wear, so don’t feel like you have to change your own rules just to fit in or wear something you never thought you’d be caught dead in. But definitely consider adding a little sparkle even in the name of Christmas. Remember comfort is everything and as much as a tight fit dress may look great in the dressing room, just consider if your party is more of a liquid lunch or a three-course meal.

Nothing accentuates a figure like a pair of heels, and if there is one time of year to dust them off then this is it. My tip is to always have a cute pair of flats handy in my bag for when the dancing takes over and the balls of my feet need a break. If not, check if your venue has seating and plan your spot right next to the bar!

Christmas Party Ready!

Of course, this list isn’t the be all and end all of party prepping, but they are all on my checklist before a big event. As long as you have the dress that makes you feel confident and comfortable, the rest is all up to you.

There are a thousand ways you can get yourself ready for a big night, but if your eyebrows and eyelashes are on point and your skin is clean and clear, you can afford to let your hair down for one night and put the rest of the world behind you.

Feeling and looking awake

[ARTICLE CATEGORY]

FEELING AND LOOKING AWAKE

BY: CLAIRE – DAYS [DAYS SINCE Today] AGO

Sometimes being awake and feeling awake are two different things. Add looking awake to the mix and you’ve got yourself a triple whammy of challenges to deal with on a daily basis. There’s an awful lot to be said for a strong cup of coffee in the morning, but sometimes even coffee doesn’t cut it and trying to keep those eyes open after a long sleepless night can make you tired just by thinking about it.

As you get a little older, you start to notice things that didn’t happen or weren’t there 10 years ago – burning the midnight oil seems to have more repercussions these days and it’s almost like the only way to get past these niggly little age-inducing ailments is to get 10 hours sleep every night. Only that is rarely possible, if at all. Whether you’re a full-time worker, a parent or student, you have obligations, and this usually means a loss of sleep from time to time which can leave you feeling less than your usual alert self the next day.

If you have noticed a few more dark circles or pesky little lines around your eyes recently and haven’t been able to get your standard night sleep to help your body rest and rejuvenate, then these handy little tips may be just for you.

Get More Sleep

This one goes without saying, and trust me, I’m fully aware that there is no miracle fix to add a few more hours to a 24-hour day. If there was, we could all get a little bit more shut eye every night and looking awake in the morning wouldn’t really be a problem.

But sleep fixes so many things and if you are in a situation where your eyes are looking puffier than usual and you can’t even fake your way through the day by pretending to look awake then you might even want to consider a few power naps to get by in the short term.

There are two types of people in this world – morning people… and the rest of us. And if you fall into my category then sometimes, no matter how much sleep you get you wake up looking and feeling like a zombie and it can take a while to come around to the land of the living and get ready for the day. But always remember that a good night’s sleep will have done so much good for your skin and if you want to keep hold of your youthful complexion then you need to keep at it.

When you go to bed, remove any makeup you have on, use a light moisturiser to keep your skin hydrated and not caked which can prevent it from breathing, and turn your phone off. Blue and white lights from phones are not good for us at night anyway, and the distractions on your phone that can put you off sleeping will only halt your bid to stay looking and feeling alert in the morning.

Water and Hydration

In other efforts to get your body into an alert and awake state of mind, you have to keep yourself hydrated above all. Now this isn’t to tell you to work yourself up into a frenzy if you miss a good helping of water, but just to say be mindful of how much of the good stuff you are putting into your body.

Water helps us in thousands of ways, so much so, you probably haven’t even given any though to the fact it helps you feel more awake. It’s about as close to a miracle cure as you can get and yet most of us don’t drink nearly as much as we should on a daily basis. Dehydration is what makes us feel more fatigued and have less energy and when you feel tired, your eyes and your skin will show it.

If you want to feel and look more alert and awake in the mornings, then you need all the energy that you can get so you don’t have to spend hours hiding it with makeup. If your muscles are dehydrated it makes it harder to do anything, so staying awake is a harder chore than it needs to be. Have you ever pulled an all-nighter and tried to last until the day is over and noticed that your skin feels rougher or blotchy? That will be a lack of water in your system, and simply trying to correct it with a quick glug of water before bed won’t do you many favours, you need to try to incorporate more water into your lifestyle to really feel the benefits (and look more awake in the mornings!)

Swap Coffee for Green Tea

I can actually vouch for this one as a tried and tested method for making you feel more awake in the mornings. Green tea doesn’t quite give you the same kick as an espresso, but it has more benefits than just drinking coffee, so grabbing a few green teabags on your next outing to the supermarket is definitely not going to hurt.

Although green tea contains caffeine, it has no where near as much as a standard coffee, so when you need that kick to help you feel more awake in the mornings, this magical potion is the way forward. It is loaded with antioxidants too so helps with impurities and clarifying your body inside and out.

Green tea is also said to help boost metabolism and gives you an energy kick just when you need it, so if you are feeling a little sluggish every now and then, this drink may be what you need to kickstart a healthy detox and even prompt a visit to the gym. And we all know there is nothing better to wake you up in the morning than a long run or some other form of cardio to really get those endorphins flowing.

Take a Break

There could be a million reasons for you feeling a little under the weather or less than your usual alert self, and no matter what the reason, it is usually down to over-exertion or even burnout. No one is saying that you have to stop completely but taking a break from your usual grind will have an amazing effect on your body.

Book that holiday you’ve always been wanting to go on, or a mini break for a spa weekend in the country. Whatever your break of choice you will find that your body responds by saying thank you in wonderful ways. Have you ever worked so much that you haven’t even had the chance to think about yourself? You may find your temperament changes toward those around you and you become even snappier in the morning than with the usual drill. The feeling of already wanting the day to be over before it has even begun makes you feel tired and caffeine dependant and your skin and eyes will show it quite obviously to everyone around you.

If you are serious about looking more awake, you need to feel more awake first, and it could just be that a getaway from everything is just what the doctor ordered for you to get that perfect night’s sleep. Trust me, you’ll wake up feeling so much more refreshed and it will reflect in your appearance.

Get Some Cucumber

Ok, so this one has been around for years and some question cucumber’s abilities to keep you feeling fresh and alert but if it was really an old wives’ tale would it really be so popular still to this day? Cucumber has many redeeming qualities that people don’t really understand and I think once you get to the bottom of it, using cucumber as a source of goodness in your life will change things.

Cucumber, like green tea has antioxidant properties and it is also mostly water so there’s really no reason not to give it a try. In the mornings or even after a hard day at work, popping a couple of slices over your eyes will do wonders for you if you are feeling a little more worn out than usual.

Keep them on for 10-20 minutes, kick back and have a great soundtrack in the background to keep you company and in no time, those naughty eye bags will look far more reduced than they did before as well as any redness or inflammation practically disappearing right before your eyes – pun intended. Oh, and one more thing, make sure the cucumber has had a few hours in the fridge before you put them on your eyes, the coolness is exactly what will help reduce any swelling.

Cucumber is a sure fire way to make sure you look and feel as awake as you can almost instantly, so keep one handy in the fridge so you can have a little pamper session before a big night out and give your face the VIP treatment so you don’t have to rely on makeup alone.

Try an Eye Serum

There are a lot of different eye serums out there that promise to do different things and until you’ve tried one, its impossible to comment on how it works. But instead of looking for a miracle lotion that gets rid of wrinkles and smoothens the skin on a permanent basis, it can be best to look at eye serums as a helpful hand in keeping your eyes and the skin around them looking sharp and awake.

There are serums that may help to smooth out lines around the eyes, but they are usually more heavy moisturisers that actually aren’t the best solution for skin around the eyes. The skin there is really thin, and this is why you see darker circles more and you can pinch the skin easier than anywhere else on your face. Heavy moisturisers should be used on concentrated areas like the forever-dreaded crow’s feet and the thin lines under the eyes.

A good eye serum will have ingredients that are lighter on this part of the face as it is so much more delicate than anywhere else and if it contains cooler ingredients such as cucumber, it can help you out at night or in the morning to get that sleepy feeling to disappear from your eyes. Just be careful when applying it not to get it in your eyes or you will end up looking like you’ve pulled an all-nighter!

Get a Great Concealer

If all else fails in your quest to look and feel more awake in the morning, there is only one thing for it, fake it. If used well, a good concealer can hold back the tiredness from those over-exhausted eyes and you can go about your day like you’ve had the best sleep.

These days, concealers aren’t just your average flesh coloured goop that you have to slather on until your skin no longer resembles your own, and there aren’t just one or two different types out there. If you use concealer as part of your normal makeup routine but suffer with early morning syndrome like me, you probably need a little bit more to make yourself look awake before you head out to work.

Colour correcting concealers do a fantastic job of covering up dark circles and hiding shadows that are tell tale signs of a late night, and getting one to match the skin tone you need to achieve with foundation is the key to making it look natural and like you haven’t even thought twice about how tired you really are.

Get Clever With your Makeup

Once you’ve had your concealer fulfilment for the day, its time to go smart with your makeup so it doesn’t just look like you are covering up a heavy night. Eye shadows that compliment your eye colour and clever use of eye liner can do more than just cover up a wrinkle or two, they can draw attention elsewhere so that even the most tired looking eyes can sparkle in no time.

Foundations to match your skin type are great things to have in your makeup arsenal but sometimes it can translate differently on the face than it does on paper so watch out for these things if you are trying to hide tired eyes. Matte foundation might be the stuff of dreams for the oily or combination skinned persuasion, but by making your face look dry first thing in the morning, the flat surface can highlight the lumps and bumps of a bad night sleep. Creases will sit firmly under your layer of foundation and there will be nothing you can do to hide the fact you had a bit of a late night.

Something a little dewier might be in order to give you that fresh, ‘just woke up’ look but in a good way. Foundation is just one of the tools that can help you look more awake and using a matte primer might be the answer if your skin needs a little help to keep your makeup firmly in place.

White eyeliner across the waterline is another little tip for looking awake in the morning. It opens up your eyes and makes them look wider and if white is a little too much for you in the daytime, a nude shade works just as well and will hide any redness that is lingering.

Other Tips to Make you Feel and Look More Awake

The above hints are all fantastic, but just remember that it doesn’t stop there and you know your own body and how it reacts to certain things, so keep the below in mind when you have had a few less Zs than you planned for the night before.

• Teabags over your eyes – Much like cucumber, popping a couple of these over your eyes is known to reduce inflammation and help to neutralise skin tones.

• A cold shower in the morning – I’m not in favour of plunging into a freezing cold shower first thing but setting the temperature to be a bit cooler will help your skin and reduce puffiness.

• Wash your face at night – Whether you have a full-on beauty routine at night or just basic makeup removal, washing your face is essential to rid your skin of any dirt or grease that can cause breakouts.

• Sleeping in makeup is a big No if you want to look alert and awake the next morning.

• Use your eyelashes to fake it – If your eyelashes look great, you may just have people fooled into thinking you feel great too. Start with an eyelash serum to keep them nice and healthy, then the next morning they will be ready for curling and a touch of mascara to widen and frame your eyes.

• Add some colour to your cheeks – When foundation isn’t enough and you are not a fan of contouring, a little rosy red blush will be enough for that fully awake and put together look each day.

• Change the focus to your lips – Lips can look dry or tired themselves, but not in the way the eyes do, so sometimes just taking the focus off them can help you look more awake. Go as bold and as bright as you want, or keep the tones simple and classic, but just make sure that your lips are in great shape first by using an intensive care balm regularly.

Halloween makeup tricks and treats

[ARTICLE CATEGORY]

HALLOWEEN MAKEUP – TRICKS AND TREATS

BY: CLAIRE – DAYS [DAYS SINCE Today] AGO

It’s coming up to that time of year again where we swap our summer wardrobe for cosy jumpers and welcome the colder nights as they draw in for the winter. But before we all start getting too excited to start the Christmas shopping and hanging up baubles and stockings, we can look forward to Halloween in all its Spooktacular glory!

Halloween is becoming more and more popular all over the world and becoming a great way to break up the cooler months where stresses can rise as a result of the change in seasons, heavier workloads and panic buying Christmas presents. Apart from my annual summer holiday, Halloween is fast becoming my favourite time of year as more and more people get into it, as it is a great excuse to go extreme on costumes, makeup and decorations. You can literally be anybody you want to be and experiment with colours and styles that you wouldn’t usually wear. The best thing, is even if you aren’t into face paint and fancy dress costumes, you can make a few subtle (or really out there) changes to your make up and they might just stick with you for the rest of autumn and winter and not just one night. You can really have it all over Halloween and your makeup may even show a side to you that you never thought existed!

Whether you are fully into Halloween and have your costume planned months in advance, or whether you have obligations to make a less enthusiastic attempt to go in theme for the day at work, there are plenty of things you can do that don’t take up too much time and will have you embracing your inner Morticia Addams in no time!

Eyeliner Tricks and Treats

The Trick – The ever-famous cat-eye! Mastering the flick when it comes to drawing on your eyeliner can be a chore for some and may even be something you have yet to consider. But for the perfect Halloween look that subtly tells everyone you have made 100% effort on your eye makeup, getting to grips with the cat-eye may just be all you need to do. Most eye shapes suit this style too so it can be just enough to elevate your whole look with only a small amount of effort required.

There are many tutorials and master classes in eye makeup application now, but they only work if you share a similar eye shape to the person helping you. For Halloween if you are just embracing a little goth culture or want to vamp it up for a casual evening, my greatest tip would be to use a gel liner or a pen liner that can give you the precision you need to amplify the darkness your eyes crave for this event. If need be, you can also use a stencil or a handy piece of card to draw the outline and then fill it in once you are happy with the shape. You may only want a little flick of eyeliner at the outer edges of your eye or you may want to take the line higher so it should angle toward the end of your eyebrow. This look can work perfectly with so many Halloween costumes, such as a black cat, mystical witch, or naughty devil as it accentuates the eyes and is really on theme.

The cat-eye or winged eyeliner can be a tricky one to master, but once you have it down, this may just be a look you start rocking regularly and not just Halloween!
The Treat – Coloured Eyeliner is a festively fearless treat when it comes to Halloween. Now, there is no need for this kind of eye makeup to make its one-off debut at Halloween alone, but remember this is the perfect time for experimentation and if you are willing to give it a go then putting the black eyeliner away for a couple of days may just introduce you to a whole different world of eye makeup.

At this time of year, I adore brighter colours with a hint of darkness, like emerald greens and deep turquoises that can lift any look and enhance the colour of your eyes in almost an instant. For a real Halloween twist, you could use the eyeliner on the top lid with a cute but daring line under the waterline and highlighted with white liner over the water line and toward the inner corners. This look would be perfect for an under the sea theme or dark fairy tale where you can use the colour theme of your eyes to match your costume for a party.

The Trick – Gel Eyeliner is definitely the trick when it comes to all eyeliner, and it requires some patience if you are venturing into this world for the first time. But Halloween is the time to get creative so a gel or liquid eyeliner is just the right stuff for the job and all you will need is a good brush with a slight angle and a steady hand. Gel eyeliner is best to create lines whether thick or thin and shapes that are mostly unachievable with a simple kohl eyeliner pencil. It is known to last as well, so once it is on, its there for the night, which is just what you will need for that big Halloween party.

With a thin brush, you don’t need to just stop at lining the eyes either. Halloween means you can use your eyeliner to create various shapes and patterns to give yourself a temporary accessory for your trick or treating ventures such as spider webs or intricate spooky designs. For the low-key halloweenist, gel eyeliner can become your best friend (or fiend) when it comes to last minute fancy dress.

The Treat – If gel eyeliner is the trick, then and Eyeliner Pen is the treat! With one of these handy little pens, you can have all the precision and the definitive lines as you could with gel eyeliner, but with the ease of using a kohl pencil, making it a lot more fun and easier to use. I’ve been using the Carbon Black Eyeliner by Xlash and it is my favourite go to item for getting experimental with my look. This particular eyeliner pen is smudge proof and dries really quickly so you can have defined eyes in seconds. For Halloween this handy little number is perfect for going from daytime subtlety to all out sexy vamp, or vampire if you really want to make a statement this year!

So, if you are a bit indecisive and still haven’t got your costume sorted, keep a black eyeliner pen in your makeup kit for those last-minute plans and stun everyone at the party with your artistic flare this Halloween!

The Trick AND Treat – Smudged eyeliner or smoky eyes are the treats we never knew we needed and the trick that had us all fooled into thinking it was easy to pull off. Until you have your colour palette down, rocking the smoky look can end up looking like you have spent the night in the bathroom crying, but perseverance is key as I always say, and at Halloween anything goes, so it is the perfect time to get spooky with those smudges and hey, if it doesn’t work exactly how you want it, you can claim it was part of the zombie look.

I said earlier about switch up your black eyeliner for a different coloured one to give your eyes a bit of Halloween glam, but if you are set on black, then make sure you start out with a really good jet-black kohl pencil. Once you have your choice of Halloween colours on your eyes from your favourite palette you can finish the look with kohl around the top and under the waterline with a smudge stick to blend it in and get rid of those sharp lines. The smoky or smudged eyeliner would go perfectly with devilish reds and midnight blues to make for a bewitching Halloween look that others will be envious of. Sometimes less is more, but not when it comes to Halloween so go for it and get smudging!

Eyelash Tricks and Treats

The Trick – Curling Your Eyelashes can be scary if you are not used to doing it. These weird contraptions closing in on your lashes so close to your eye are not for everyone but the only thing to fear at this time of year should be the ghosts and ghoulish costumes that take over the town at Halloween! For those who believe less is more, it may actually pay off to invest in a good eyelash curler and get practicing before the big fright fest as it can help to give you a temporary little boost to those lashes ready for mascara to help keep them in shape.

The trick with eyelash curlers is to get a great one that works with your natural eye and eyelash shape, so if you have wider eyes, make sure you get one with wider pads that won’t squeeze your eyelashes into a closed in shape, you want to help them look longer, not damage them. Also make sure you get one with soft pads that you can manoeuvre up your lashes with ease, so they don’t stick or pull on individual eyelashes. Once your curler becomes damaged in any way, it is always time to go get a new one and not hold on hope that it will still work. Eyelashes are precious and although Halloween is a fun time of year to get experimental with your makeup, it is not worth losing lashes over!

The Treat – Good Mascara is not hard to come by these days, but it does come with hundreds of choices that may be a great option for a standard day at the office but not necessarily for the over the top dramatics required for your Halloween costume!

Mascara, in my opinion is the one thing that finishes off a full face of makeup, it could be the only thing you wear on your face and it will still add a touch of glamour and wakes up even the most tired of eyes. For Halloween, I like to use a volumizing mascara that I sweep to the side when applying it as I find this accentuates the eyes more and I am all about basing my costumes on my eyes and not the other way around.

The Trick – If good old mascara isn’t floating your ghost this year, then False Eyelashes may be the way forward. They have gained notoriety over the years for looking over the top and flamboyant, but isn’t that what we were aiming for this Halloween? I love a false set of eyelashes when I want to create a disguise as part of my costume and usually aim for longer and curvier lashes to get a sense of theatre with what I’m wearing.

The trick with false eyelashes is getting them into position and then keeping them there for the night, so on Halloween I always say to put some time back to get yourself ready and leave enough time for the falsies so you don’t end up getting stressed out with them and ditching the idea. No matter what your costume is, false eyelashes can really finish off the look, whether it’s a witch you’re going for or a sexy skeleton… they can have eyelashes too, can’t they? Its Halloween so anything goes!

The Treat – Now, if you are super prepared for Halloween this year, you may have already got this down, but if not don’t fear as there is still time! After all we put out eyelashes through day in, day out, its time to give our eyelashes a treat for once, and that treat is eyelash serum. No tricks, I promise, but you won’t regret trying this out even if it is after Halloween and your eyes have simply had enough of false lashes, mascara and makeup as it is designed to care for your individual eyelashes and the skin surrounding them to make them healthy and strong. Xlash Eyelash Serum is a wonderful option as it is designed to promote growth of the eyelashes, strength of the follicles and to accentuate volume and colour so that your lashes are ready for whatever you throw at them next.

It pays off to have eyelashes that people will wonder if they’re false, especially if your finishes Halloween look in centred around your eyes, but with added health benefits to boot, you may even decide not to go in costume this year!

The Trick and Treat – Eyelash Extensions may just be on your trick or treat list this year, as they have benefits as well as pitfalls and it can be a bit of a decision as to whether you go for them or not. For your Halloween party, they may just be the perfect option so eyelashes are already crossed off your list when it comes to fancy dress and makeup. If you like to spend time on your look then the bonus of eyelash extensions is that you will have more time to work with not having to worry about mascara and false lashes. The downfall is that you will have to fork out a little more money than usual to get your new eyelashes and if you are just doing this for a one-off event then you may be best to stick to the more temporary stuff!

If you do decide to look into eyelash extensions, seek out a trained eyelash technician who can advise you on when to get them, how long they will last and what shape lash to get to suit your existing lashes and look natural. The good thing is Xlash Eyelash Serum goes well with eyelash extensions as it is applied to the roots and helps the growth of your own eyelashes while hiding under the new ones. So, are you saying hello this Halloween to eyelash extensions or are you creeping it real?

Lips Tricks and Treats

The Trick – Mastering the art of perfect pouty lips can be a tricky part of doing your makeup and it doesn’t have to be as long as you can be patient, get your colour right and remember that Halloween is the perfect time to experiment with tones and shapes. Now, usually if its an average day or night, I wouldn’t usually go heavy on the lips if I have put all the attention to my eyes, a nude shade does wonders just to create the visual lines of the lips without overpowering the rest of my face. But throw a costume into the mix and you can’t hold me back from more daring shades of lipstick and I say, if you’ve got it, haunt it!

Lip colour is up to you and really depends on what choice of costume you have gone for, you may be playing it safe in an all black ensemble, in which case, I would definitely choose a bright cherry red or brighter pink if you have the guts. To get the perfect pout or to create the illusion of bigger lips, it is easy enough to do with brighter colours and the right lip liner. Make sure if you are using a pencil that it is sharp enough or you will end up with blunt and smudgy lines, this is ok for eyeliner but for lips? Not so much! For Halloween, feel free to go a little more overboard than usual with colour and shine. A matte lip might be to die for… but add a touch of gloss to the centre and it will elevate your look and create fuller looking lips in no time.

The Treat – Cheat your way to bigger lips this Halloween with a lip plumping serum! You can still fake it on top with lip colour and liner but have a plumper pout in minutes underneath. Lip plumping serums may seem like they are too good to be true, but they actually work and keep your lips healthy at the same time. So, if you have permanent resting witch face, you can turn that frown into a devilish smile with a pout that could give all the other ghouls a run for their money!

If you haven’t come across it before, Xlash Lip Plumping Serum is another staple for year round plumpness but its good to pull out all the stops for a good old Halloween party so if you pop this onto your lips just before the scare fest starts, you will have plump lips throughout the evening without even having to try. I love this serum as you can still wear your lip colour on top and it makes your lips tingle just nicely so that you know it’s starting to work. The blood vessels in your lips start to wake up and it feels like new life is being born into your pout just in time to rock the party.

The Trick and Treat – Lip fillers are not for the faint of heart, but they are a tasty treat if you want to go the whole hog this Halloween without having to move a muscle. They do what plumpers and lipsticks can’t and that is last a very long time. If you are in the mood for a more permanent solution to fuller lips, then these might just be the treat you were after. The trick? They can over time cause excess dryness to your lips as they need extra hydration and care while you have them.

But when all is said and done and Halloween is over, there are worse things to be left with than lip fillers… you could be the poor soul who has to clean up the mess from the most successful Halloween party ever! So happy haunting and have a Spooktacular Halloween!

[ARTICLE CATEGORY]

HOTTEST EYE MAKEUP TRENDS RIGHT NOW!

BY: CLAIRE – DAYS [DAYS SINCE Today] AGO

For a long time, you had to look no further than a fashion magazine to find out what the latest trends were, these days you are more likely to see the hottest looks all over Instagram as the models and influencers look flawless and almost too good to be true. You may have wondered if you have what it takes to achieve the same look and if it was more than just a good filter. Well, it should be simple, but times change very quickly, and fashion trends come and go faster than you can wave your mascara wand. So, keeping up with what is on trend right now may be your number one priority, you just need to know how to execute the right look for you, and we’ve collected some of the hottest looks in eye makeup in one place so you can make Instagram your reality!

The thing to remember is that we all have different shaped and coloured eyes, eyelashes and eyebrows, so what might be a current fashion trend in eye makeup might not be what suits you best. Now, this isn’t to say don’t go all out when you want to! I love to be experimental with eye makeup and the only way you will know what suits is to try something out, right? So, I’m definitely all for reaching out to new territories in makeup and see if any of these hidden gems become your own go to trend in future.

Prime Time!

Before you even start to play around with your new eyeshadows and eyeliners, it is key these days to get priming. Makeup primers have been around for years now, but it is only quite recently really that the trend of using a makeup primer has taken hold due to the vast array of primers on the market and what they can do. A primer is exactly what it says, it primes the skin ready for whatever makeup you are going to put on top of it, creating a smooth canvas perfect for foundation, powders and eyeshadows so that they hold properly and look as bright and luminous as they can.

But nowadays it is not enough to have a simple primer, it is good to select something that does a specific job for each part of your face. Primers are available to smooth out lines, mattify the skin or add sheen in places you would want to highlight. On top of that, you have the choice of colour correcting and tinted primers. But when it comes to your eyes, there are many benefits from picking out a primer that isn’t harsh on the skin, smooths out lines and holds eye makeup in place as that is the one part of your face that is constantly moving. If your eyeshadow can last a day without priming first, then you must be the queen of not blinking!

So, this trend isn’t exactly a fad that will disappear any time soon, and for that we are all eternally grateful. But if you ever wonder how the models and influencers of Instagram get their skin and makeup looking so flawless and effortlessly bright, look no further than this hot new trend. You won’t turn your back on primer once you have found the perfect one for your skin!

Go Thin with Your Lines!

One of the hottest trends seen this year all over catwalks and in editorials was the use of gel eyeliner to draw on thinner lines above the eyes instead of the usual thicker shape leading into a wing. Thin lines are definitely for the steady-handed, but achievable once you have had a few practices. Priming is key to keep lines smooth and unbroken from the inner corner to the outer edges and it can still open the eye up by providing definition.

Thicker lines are favoured to give the illusion of bigger or wider eyes while thin eyeliner over the top lid still widens them and draws attention upward. The look is both natural and understated yet adds a touch of glamour for any occasion and is hitting the top trends big time this year. The trick is to invest in a really good eyeliner if its kohl or pencil and treat yourself to a good brush for gel eyeliner and don’t be tempted to thicken those lines as much as you may want to. Finish the look off with mascara over your top row of eyelashes to add some star quality.

Understated Eye Makeup

Right of the back of the thinnest eyeliner ever, a top trend amongst top models is the barely-there makeup look. Going even further than drawing on almost invisible lines and subtle colour, doing your make up to look like you are wearing none is a skill that I definitely have yet to master, however it is everywhere on Instagram right now so it looks like this trend is here to stay.

The secret again is to invest in a good primer for your face and your eyes to keep the skin looking smooth and matte, with highlighter used sparsely in zones of structure such as cheek and brow bones. Eyeliner can still be your friend with this almost nude look as you can swap your jet black for smooth and subtle browns, mauves and even golds to compliment your complexion. A simple sweep over the top lid with light and natural eyeshadows and finish off with some light mascara may be just all you need to get this trend firmly stapled in your own makeup hall of fame.

White Waterlines

A lot of people will be familiar with white eyeliner, but for those not in the know, it is definitely on trend to have a white or nude pencil in your makeup kit these days. White eyeliner is designed to open up the eyes and make them appear bigger and wider so if you have eyes on the smaller side or are just looking to cash in on the latest trends then investing in a white eyeliner could just be your new secret weapon in your makeup collection.

White eyeliner is mostly used along the waterline and not just to make your eyes appear bigger but it can help you look more awake and alert which, if you are like me and cannot seem to get the hang of how to get a full eight hours sleep at night, will help you fool everyone into thinking you not only had a great night sleep but you even managed to get up in time for breakfast and prepare in full for the day’s important meeting!

Finding the right white eyeliner and practicing how to use it may just be your saviour if you let it, so, to give yourself the full effects pencil in a thin line across the waterline from the inner corner to the outer crease of your eye and really go to town on the inner corner if you want to as this creates more space between your eyes and gives the illusion of them being wider than they are. Sold yet? Well, if you need more convincing, white eyeliner doesn’t just have to be used on the waterline, it can be used playfully as you would on the top eyelid to go for a dramatic wing or sixties inspired thick line to balance out any brighter colours of eyeshadow. The possibilities are near endless, so grab on of these pencils on your next shopping trip and be one with the current trends in eye makeup!

Stop Your Eyeliner Short

We are all familiar with the cat eye or wing when it comes to eyeliner and these days there are so many variations on the trend that keep it up to date and one of the hottest looks around. Seen on models and on Instagram is the shorter and sharper version of the cat eye. This look is great for those just starting to experiment with their eyeliner as it doesn’t require you to be as steady as usual and if it goes wrong, you can simply turn it into the standard cat eye by increasing the amount of eyeliner you use.

The trick with this is to start the line from the middle or the last third of the eye, this can change depending on the shape and width of your eye. If you have eyes already on the wider side, then stick to starting the line on the top lid only from the outer third and then sweep it out into a wing to add sultry length and if you are looking to add more height to your eyes then start your line from the middle and finish off with a cat eye.

The look is certainly a statement but with mascara to finish it off it actually blends perfectly and looks like you are the master of eye makeup. To go subtle with it, try changing up jet blacks for softer black and browns which will still create the hottest statement but toned down to suit your preference.

Smudge That Wing!

I love this look and it is definitely one of the biggest trends that has real staying power and just looks great on anybody. The amazing part is that the lines aren’t supposed to look perfect so there is room for experimentation and error, and it can be corrected easily.

The trick is to pick your eyeshadow carefully to match your wing. For dark eyes, browns and golds work really well and for lighter eyes variations in shades of blues, greens and greys work really well. Trace your lines on the top lid and outward from the corner as you usually would over your shadow, sweeping upward toward your temples and the end of your eyebrow, then with a cotton bud or eyeliner smudge stick, carefully blend the lines in the same direction as your wing. Do the same on the bottom of your eye in the outer corner only and blend it up to meet the eyeliner and shadow keeping it smudged but without looking like you have had an accident with your palette. Aim to look polished but without sharp lines and remember to build on your layers of eyeshadow so it doesn’t look too defined. Fix any mistakes with concealer and highlight under the bottom of your sweep to really accentuate the look. Hot!

Add More Lines

In complete contrast to the smudged eye, this particular look is for the experimental and the brave but that is not to say that you shouldn’t try it out if you haven’t quite climbed out of your shell of confidence yet. This look will definitely pull you out to be proud of your eyes and pave the way for further bold looks in the future.

Models on catwalks and on Instagram have figured out one of the latest trends is to add more lines or patterns to really make a statement and it definitely is! Now, you might be wondering how to achieve this without looking like you are trying to dress up for Halloween or perhaps modelling for a new piece of pop art, but it is simple and achievable with the right tools.

The best eyeliner to use for this look is gel eyeliner with a fine brush that creates definition and is absolutely smudge-proof. The trick is to work with your eye’s natural shape and crease to draw in an extra line above your top line, that should look like it’s ‘floating’ above the top eyeline. Go a little heavier toward the outer eye and get creative with another flick or wing, again heading in the direction of the end of your brow so it keeps the cat eye shape flowing and isn’t perfectly perpendicular.

You don’t have to follow an exact template with this hot trend as it should be bespoke to your own eye shape and you don’t even have to stick to lines only, little beauty dots gradually getting smaller over your wing or small flicks to mimic eyelashes underneath the bottom lashes can create a real statement and are great looks for festivals that don’t involve carrying around pots of glitter and can be worked into any outfit. Save this trend as one of your top ten as it is absolute fire right now!

Electric Eyeliner

It is always a pleasant surprise to see colour making its way back into eyeliner and it is one of the hottest trends of 2019. Swapping out jet blacks for electric greens and cobalt blues are welcome on most eyes as the colours suit most shades and can be worked into any look to create a statement that has the wow factor.

If you can get your hands on one of these colours then you are giving yourself permission to step out of your comfort zone and bring your eyes to life, so grab your eyeliner and get creative. With any of the looks mentioned above, it is mostly assumed that black eyeliner would be the first colour anyone would go to, but that little fleck of colour is complimented by the deepest black mascara and can open up the eye almost like white eyeliner can.

For a simple statement but all the while stepping out of your comfort zone, keep to your normal sweep of eyeliner over the top lid, keeping as close to the eyeline as possible and straight into an angled wing following your bottom waterline and finish with a second coat to really seal the deal. For the real festival look add in a subtle floating line or small dots at the end of the wing being careful to keep the look classy and not like you have just joined the circus. Models such as Kendal Jenner and Gigi Hadid have rocked this look on their own Instagram profiles this year proving it is a staple in makeup trends this year.

Spider Eyes

I’m pretty sure you may be thinking this is one look that was in and out faster than your mascara could dry about 20 years ago and how could this be back in top trends in 2019? Well the trick with this is less is more. Remember I mentioned the no makeup look and how to achieve it to look like very little time was spent on making the face look smooth and flawless? Well, this goes hand in hand with that and can look damn fine if executed carefully.

The trick is to keep lines on the face smooth, so get priming and use concealer and highlighter favourably instead of lashings of foundation so that the lines of your eyelashes are the only things anybody is focused on. Highlighter is key here as it keeps the eyes looking bright and wide and means that you don’t require lashings of eyeliner. Use mascara heavily to mimic the effects of eyeliner toward the outer corner and go carefully on the bottom set of lashes so that they don’t clump together and look bulky.

What this look does is give the illusion of longer eyelashes instantly as they are not bombarded with other makeup that can detract from how good your eyelashes actually look. Brown mascara is highly fashionable in this trend as it keeps people guessing if they are your natural eyelashes and it doesn’t overload or look too bold. Subtlety is the key here and this low maintenance trend can knock precious minutes off your make up routine in the morning all while making you look as awake as possible.

Contrasting Colours

From the barely there to the bold and beautiful, this trend is bright and colourful and has no limits. For eyes that really stand out, adding one splash of colour isn’t always enough so its great to experiment with a few different ones until you look as adventurous as you feel.

Mix greens with blues and reds with yellows and work the colour from the centre of the eye to the outer corners, layering darker as you get toward the crease. Using a lighter colour eyeshadow or highlighter at the centre of the eyelid give the illusion of bigger eyes and adds shape where there may not be as much as you would usually hope. Keep lines smooth yet blended for the perfect evening look and line with black eyeliner and thick mascara for that rich texture to this modern take on the timeless trend and it will ensure you look fabulous without the risk of falling flat.

Set the Trend

Keeping up with the hottest trends of 2019 may seem like hard work sometimes but you may actually find that a lot of what you have in your makeup kit may do the job if you are open to experimenting and trying something new. A lot of us dream about having the confidence to wear bright colours and bold patterns on our eyes and it can take a lot to get out of our comfort zones to begin with. A good tip is to visit a beautician or local beauty store where the people in the know can help you with the basics before you get into the heavy stuff.

Having a smooth face and a blank slate to start any eye makeup look can be the beginning of something great, you just need to see the potential in yourself. That’s when the real fun can start, and you can start to get adventurous with colours and styles that suit your eyes. Sometimes it can just be a case of your makeup kit needing a little revamp, investing in a better eyeliner and mascara and adding a couple of new colours to the mix. You’ll be amazed at what you can achieve and how you can be part of the hottest trends of 2019.

[ARTICLE CATEGORY]

TIME SAVING BEAUTY HACKS

BY: CLAIRE – DAYS [DAYS SINCE Today] AGO

Life can sometimes get in the way of everything including how much time we dedicate to ourselves. You go to work, you try to enjoy a social life, you deal with family commitments, all while remembering to eat and stay hydrated each day. Thoughts of self-care may always be present but then in reality unless you can put some time aside for yourself, those thoughts can sometimes remain unrealised.

The dream solution is to have all the time in the world, or to be able to wake up flawlessly ready for the day with next to no effort involved. Well why not have the best of both? There are a lot of hacks that promise to save you time in looking your best, and I decided to explore them to see if you can really have it all even when time is not on your side!

Ok, so first thing in the morning I figured there are two different types of people. Those that set an alarm early enough to get up, get ready and get breakfast, leaving just enough time for that all-important cup of coffee before leaving for work with plenty of time to spare. The other type is, well, far less organised, craving those last few minutes in bed and wondering if they just cut out one part of their morning routine, can they afford to have another five minutes snoozing their alarm. The second type of person is me. I should be ashamed to say it, but the reality is sometimes I am so busy that grabbing any amount of extra sleep is vital to my day. So for someone like me, the only way to deal with this morning dysfunctionality was to either change my routine, learn how to get up earlier and embrace the amount of time I now had to make myself look and feel great and prepared for a day at the office OR see if there were any shortcuts I could take that would leave me feeling equally as good and my co-workers none the wiser!

Hack Number One – Cleansing

I fully expect cries of “That isn’t a hack!” when going into this one but hear me out. When you can barely find time to put makeup on your face, cleansing in its deepest form isn’t really a priority. I would usually just use soap and warm water to cleanse my face each morning and it did the job I needed it to. But when I started to realise my skin was drying out and the actual condition of it wasn’t benefiting – it wasn’t bright or dull, but somewhere in between – I started to look into my own skin type and what would help me in the long run.

I started using a proper cleanser at night and some light moisturiser designed for combination skin and saw huge differences when I woke up in the morning. I still think less is more when it comes to moisturisers as my skin type can go one way or the other and in finding the perfect balance, I now wake up with skin looking dewy and smooth and definitely brighter.

And how is this a time saving hack? Well, it saves me so much time in the morning fretting over my dry cheeks and eyes, scrambling for the extra-hydrating moisturiser that I know is only going to leave my skin looking greasy by the end of the day. Those minutes I spend doing this at night save me countless minutes in the morning and that is why it is my number one hack!

Hack Number Two – Moisturising Masks

This one is a no brainer, as face masks for moisturising and hydration have been around for some time and they can help with all different skin types to keep faces looking smooth, skin look full and pores cleansed. I have tried hundreds of different masks and find it fits in so much with my day that it has become a time saving hack. I use a cucumber face mask as it isn’t oily and suits my own skin type, the smell is really fresh and they coolness really helps when I feel hot and bothered, especially in the summer months. As they take minutes to apply, they are perfect as once it’s on, you can carry on with your day or evening and leave it to do its all-important work while you prepare lunch or read a book.

But face masks are important, not just for cleansing and moisturising but for self-care. I keep mentioning self-care as I really believe that whether you are looking for time saving hacks or whether you have all the time in the world to spend on your beauty, self-care and taking some time for your own self is not only great physically but mentally too. When I apply my face masks, I choose whether to carry on with daily tasks or whether to sit in the bath and enjoy a glass of wine and unwind from the week. I can try to cut every corner possible but doing this at least once a week is really important for mental wellbeing and 30 minutes is really not that long to spend on yourself when the rewards are relaxation and clear skin. This one is a great hack, whether you use it to save time or not.

Hack Number Three – Sleep

So, the cleansing and moisturising hacks are all so important, but sleep will always top everything as far as beauty hacks are concerned. You would be surprised just how much a good night sleep can do for your skin and hair so its worth looking into if your skin is feeling dull, you have dark circles under your eyes and your face looks puffy in the morning. A time saving hack works over the long-term and not just in the short-term so sleep is the one that will save you hours in the future when it comes to your skin care.

How? Well, it’s quite simple really, while you sleep your body is recovering and your cells are regenerating to get you back into top physical condition for the next day. Think about when you are ill and you are told to get a good night’s rest or when you have an injury, it starts to feel better with each day after you have rested and slept. There’s also a reason they call it beauty sleep!

Getting into a good sleeping habit can be easy for some, and I definitely envy those people. I have always had trouble getting enough sleep at night but in recent years I have come to appreciate just how much it helps in the long run so I aim to get 7-8 hours of sleep a night to make sure I look and feel my best and perform to a high standard at work each day. If you can try to change a few things in your sleeping routine, you may just find that in the morning you start to save more time on your own beauty routine as you don’t need to worry about heavy concealers and dark makeup to disguise those eye bags. You can almost get up and go once you have been well rested and that is a hack you cannot put a price on!

Hack Number Four – Eyelash and Eyebrow Serums

This little hack has changed my beauty routine for the better and I wish I had my hands on some of these wonder serums before. I talk a lot about preparation for the next day and how if you can rework your nightly beauty and cleansing regimen, you can see the benefits over the long term and save yourself precious minutes each day and hours each week. And when I discovered Xlash Eyelash Growth Serum and Eyebrow Serum it basically saved me so much time when it came to applying mascara or painting on my eyebrows every day.

What do they do? Well, they both contain ingredients that encourage growth of the individual eyelash or eyebrow hair and keep the skin underneath as well as the follicles happy and healthy. My eyebrows especially started to suffer years ago when I gave in to the tweezer and the unfortunate trends of the last decade and since then they have never looked as full or shapely and quite frankly became a sorry mess that I could only hide under mountains of makeup that took me ages to get the hang of and even longer to apply. It was safe to say my eyebrows were not in great condition at all.

My eyelashes weren’t too far off either. Years of waterproof mascara had taken its toll on my lashes and they came out more often than they should and the only fix I could think of was actually damaging them even more. Curling eyelashes is good if you know what you are doing and keeping them healthy at the same time and I was just curling them and applying more mascara each time without thinking of the consequences.

Then someone suggested I try an eyelash growth serum and Xlash Eyelash Growth Serum soon landed in my beauty kit. Soon after that so did the Eyebrow Serum and I have never looked back. The reason that these wonderful little tubes are time saving hacks is because it literally takes seconds to apply and you can do it straight after cleansing at night and forget about it completely until you start seeing the results. My eyebrows and eyelashes started to look more vibrant, fuller and longer within weeks and all I had to do was spend mere seconds on it every night before bed.

I have naturally very dark eyelashes and eyebrows, so it was really noticeable and the changes in my attitude toward myself projected the change even further. Everyone has things about them that they dislike or are even ashamed of and mine were my thin and sparse lashes and brows. Now, I just need a little boost with mascara and maybe some pencil on my eyebrows to tidy them up a bit each day. Its crazy to think that I worried about these parts of my face so much and now I get compliments on my eyelashes and how long they are. If you’re after a time saving hack that helps you build confidence in yourself again, then these serums are definitely the way to go.

Hack Number Five – Eyelash Extensions

This little hack is becoming more and more popular all over the world now due to its convenience and how real eyelash extensions can look. The beauty of getting eyelash extensions is that when it comes to your morning routine, it is the ultimate time saving hack. Now, they do cost a few of those hard-earned pennies and to keep up with them and repeated appointments to fill them in as they start to fall out will set you back each time, however they are the quickest way to obtain natural (or extreme) looking eyelashes and usually are great to get just before a holiday or a big event so you don’t have to worry about that one thing in your regime.

I mentioned the confidence factor earlier, and if getting eyelash extensions can boost yours or make you feel that little bit better about yourself then it is definitely worth looking into. One of the great hacks is to use the eyelash growth serum at the same time, Xlash Eyelash Serum is perfectly safe to use with lash extensions and doesn’t harm them or have a negative effect on the adhesive that is used. What you may find is that after a couple of months, your natural lashes start to grow into their own and that you may not need that next appointment after all!

Hack Number Six – Two in One Products

This hack may be quite general but still important if it helps saves you those important minutes each day. One of my favourites is foundation or tinted moisturiser with SPF as this saves time especially in the summer months when you are out for a sunny lunch or a short trip and still want to look your best without the hassle and the added greasiness of sun creams and lotions.

It is so important to protect your skin from the sun and most people don’t even realise that even cooler but sunny days can still negatively impact your skin. And when you think about it, if you have been following any of the above or your own time saving hacks to get your face and skin looking and feeling silky smooth and even toned, the absolute last thing you want to do is ruin it by coming home lobster red and needing to stay indoors for the next week while you wait for your skin to calm down! Applying a safe tinted moisturiser or foundation with protection from the sun will save you plenty of time and from plenty of damage!

Another two in one product that I adore is a kohl eyeliner pencil with a built-in smudge stick or sponge to give you the option of a smoky eye everywhere you go. I don’t know about you but when I’m in my early morning rush to get ready, I like to look great but spend as little time doing it as possible. Eyeliner is a must have for me and this handy little option is great as when I make an inevitable mistake, I can just correct it with the smudge stick, and no one will be any the wiser that it wasn’t the look I planned. Sneaky.

Hack Number Seven – Gel Eyeliner Pens

What a godsend these products have been! I really cannot live without my eyeliner, and when I leave the house each morning for work, I like to make sure my skin is clear from blotches and blemishes and that I have some definition to my eyes. I just don’t like to spend too long on it and need the convenience that allows me to look good and feel like I have invested plenty of time instead.

It is definitely an easier feat when it comes to liquid eyeliner pens and I would shout it from the rooftops if I could. Eyeliner on its own can be a hard thing to master, but once you have it down, it tends to be natural to stick to the same colours, shapes and styles without room (or time) to experiment. With a Kohl eyeliner pencil, you can make as many mistakes as you want if you are after a more raw and edgy look as it is not so defined but adds the shade needed to make eyes pop.

Gel or liquid eyeliners are fantastic for definition and you can create a cat-eye look or a dainty wing depending on what look you are feeling that day. If I’ve had enough of the accidental smoky eye for one day, I tend to lean more toward a gel liner but with limited time in the morning, the best way forward is a liquid pen eyeliner. As well as specialising in eyelash and eyebrow growth serums, Xlash have also developed a carbon black eyeliner pen that is so convenient for rushed mornings or even preparation for a night out when you have more time to be precise. I find it really easy to use the pen to draw out the shape that I want and then fill it in, leaving me with a defined wing that tells everyone I have perfected the art of eyeliner when it actually did most of the work for me!

Get your hands on one of these eyeliner pens if you are like me and in a rush all the time. And take it with you for a bit of a glam extension to your winged eyes for those last-minute decisions to grab some after work cocktails. Perfect!

Hack Number Eight – Dry Shampoo

I can happily finish on this one hack as the face is taken care of so now its time to think about your hair. I don’t understand how I see women everywhere with hair that looks like they have had their own personal stylist follow them around all day. Hair that is full of life and bounce and looks like it is freshly washed at every minute of the day. Impossible! But maybe they have learned their own hacks that I just haven’t discovered yet. My only hair hack is my beloved dry shampoo and some creativity with a messy bun.

Dry shampoo is great for people like me who have thick hair and washing it too frequently takes up way too many hours of the day. For those in between days where I need to give my hair a little boost, I grab my dry shampoo and give a little bit of life to see me through the day at the office. But sometimes those spontaneous after work cocktails are too good to turn down and dry shampoo alone just won’t cut it. So, my little hack is to get creative with messy up-dos, top buns and plaits, this way, when you are getting into your night and you want to let your hair down, you can really let your hair down! The dry shampoo leaves it looking silky and not greasy and the up do helps fix the style into place, so you get left with beachy waves to see the night through! Just don’t forget to set some time aside to give your hair a good scrub as dry shampoo won’t last forever and it can get irritating on the scalp.

Without these time saving beauty hacks I would be turning up to work looking like a dishevelled mess every day, and I do need to start working on my preparation more so that my hair, skin and lashes don’t only look in great condition but are actually in the best condition. Maybe one day I will learn but until then, it’s more fun to leave everyone guessing as to how long I spend on my look each day!

[ARTICLE CATEGORY]

AUTUMN EYES

BY: CLAIRE – DAYS [DAYS SINCE Today] AGO

As summer quickly fades away faster than it even arrived this year, it is time to say goodbye to certain trends and accessories that we so heavily relied upon to keep us feeling and looking cool over those hot, sunny days and hazy sunset filled evenings. But this is good news for our eyes as now they have the chance to shine without the cover of our favourite pair of sunglasses.

We all know the deal with summer prep, especially in the build up to a big summer holiday; booking a lash appointment, a leg wax, getting the hair done, nails shaped and skin exfoliated. (Wow, I never realised just how much work goes into getting the perfect summer bod in time for a holiday before!) Well, the great thing about summer coming to an end is its time to put the legs away (wax, who?), reach for darker shades of nail polish and throw our hair up in a messy bun to escape from the blustery, autumn winds – the windswept look with long hair may suit some, but I end up looking like Cousin It from the Addams Family!

Autumn is a time for hot drinks, oversized jumpers and cosy nights on the sofa, but as it is a transitional season, it is also a good chance for you to get your body, skin and hair back in shape after a summer of hard work and even harder play, and to prepare yourself for the crisp days of winter that lie ahead. Your skincare and makeup routine may not change too much but there are a few little things you can do to keep your eyes, eyelashes and eyebrows looking fabulous all through the long autumn nights meaning you are always ready for a night out with friends, a spontaneous post-summer holiday to beat the blues and whatever else life throws your way.

Summer Recovery

If you were to ask any of my friends what my favourite season is, they would tell you its summer without any hesitation. A lot of people cannot stick the heat or the long days, but summer is the season I thrive in. I become more active and think about my food intake more, I drink more water and I love the effortless feel of wearing playsuits and sliders for a casual day out.

Of course, it is not totally without effort though, as I mentioned earlier, but once you have got your summer body ready it takes little upkeep, really. The things that only come to light after the summer comes to an end are actually how much you have put your skin, eyelashes and eyebrows through over those few months and how much recovery you now have to do. The sun of course, is fantastic and can make you feel mentally ready for the day, but it also leaves behind traces of damage in its wake and you could have been so prepared for it but it still insists on letting your body know it was there.

Sun creams with high SPF are always recommended when stepping outside in the sun, especially in the summer months and it should be applied at least half an hour before you go outside and topped up regularly, but how many of us are guilty of just applying once during the day, or worse, not at all! Getting a nice tan can make you feel great on the outside, but the damage to your skin is lasting as the sun removes moisture from the skin and the elasticity that helps it spring back to its firm self can start to disappear. If it does all this to your skin, imagine just what it is doing to your eyelashes!

If you weren’t an avid fan of sunglasses this summer, you might find at this time of year that your eyelashes are looking a little faded and dry and more susceptible to breakage. But it isn’t just the sun that can damage your eyelashes, if you decided on eyelash extensions before your summer getaway, your eyelashes are probably now in need of a little TLC as they start to fall away and as the adhesive continues to cling to your existing eyelashes.

The recovery from the summer months doesn’t just stop at eyelashes either, your eyebrows will have also been put through their paces every day by just being out in the sun and with all the pre-summer holiday preparation to get them threaded into shape, they may just be in need of a break too.

If you found yourself in one or more of those categories above and are feeling a little dried out and in need of an autumn lift, read on. That tan may be fading fast, but there are ways to get your eyelashes and eyebrows back on top form so that you can shift the focus to your eyes this autumn.

Eyelash Growth Cycle and Seasonal Shedding

First thing is first, getting to grips with your eyelash growth cycle so you know when to stop worrying about your eyelashes and fall into its flow nicely. This way you are better prepared for the results of your next eyelash extension appointment and you know just what you can do to help repair summer damage.

Eyelashes have a cycle of three stages, and they grow individually at different times of each phase. This means there are approximately 100-150 eyelashes on the upper eyelid at any one time. They grow, rest and then fall out and the cycle restarts again. The first stage is the Anagen phase. This is where the eyelashes grow, and the follicles are getting stronger. The second stage is the Catagen phase. This is also known as the transitional phase and this is where the follicles start to shrink and get ready for the individual eyelashes to fall out. The last stage is called the Telogen phase which is also known as the resting phase. Here, the follicles weaken and the lash rests for around 100 days waiting to fall out.

The growth cycle is important to understand as it can have an impact on your newly applied eyelash extensions, so it is important to seek trained professionals for extensions so you can keep your new set looking full and long for extended periods of time and not have to endure the emotional fall down of paying for a brand new set only to have them start to fall out after a week.

But don’t be too disheartened if your lashes start shedding a little more than normal during certain times of the year. It is said by a lot of people with lash extensions and eyelash technicians that spring and autumn see more lashes falling out and top ups being requested. As the seasons change so does the way our hair grows and that includes eyelashes unfortunately. If you have been prone to this, it may be a good chance to have a little break after summer to allow your natural lashes to get back to their usual cycle and grow strong so that they are fully ready for your next appointment.

Dietary Solutions

When summer has taken its toll, and your eyelashes are feeling the post-summer blues, there are things you can do to get your eyelashes back into shape during this cooler season so you can show off those eyes with pride.

First of all, as tempting as it may be to reach for a hot coffee instead of a bottle of water now it’s a little colder outside, don’t forget to keep up with your water intake every single day. Hydration is key when it comes to our skin, hair and eyelashes and while the summer has been so hot, it’s probably done a little more drying out than all of us are used to. So, pick up a bottle of water every morning and try to make it to at least 6 bottles by the end of the day to get your recommended daily amount.

Apart from being a great thirst quencher, water is one of life’s great fixes to most things, its just harder to appreciate it as you don’t necessarily see the results instantly, you have to have a little patience and wait for your body to start feeling better and your hair to start looking shinier than usual.

Diet also plays a huge part and eating salty or processed foods does little for your immune system or the naturally occurring proteins in your body and don’t help encourage healthy hair or eyelash growth. Have a look into the good fats that are contained in nuts and olive oils and certain fruits that will help promote healthy cell growth and release the right oils from the skin and follicles. This is what can be the difference between dried out summer lashes and healthier and fuller looking eyelashes ready for the next step.

If food and drink can have such an effect on eyelashes, whether positive or negative, then you may wonder why more and more people aren’t just grabbing the opportunity to do something about it. I mean, if I swap out a handful of M&Ms for a handful of cranberries and almonds, shouldn’t I be noticing the difference in my eyelashes? Well the truth is yes, you will notice the difference but no, you won’t notice it overnight. This is why so many people opt for eyelash extensions before giving anything else a chance first as we are all human, and mostly impatient beings that need to see the best in themselves immediately.

But, have you ever changed up your diet for the good stuff and stared at your eyelashes in the mirror? No, you look at your body in the mirror and try to see where the pounds are falling off and the skin starts to tone up. Checking out your lashes may be the last thing on your mind, so you only notice it one day when you go to book your next appointment and realise your eyelashes are starting to look fuller and healthier than they did before.

So, if you are still fighting for that summer body and have taken the right steps with your diet over the last few months (congrats if you made it this far!) then go and have a look at your eyelashes next time and you never know, you may have already been doing the right things all along!

Eyelash Growth Serum

If your eyes have been screaming out for an autumn makeover and your eyelashes are looking less than lustrous since summer started to come to an end, then you don’t need to just look at your diet as a fix to get your lashes looking healthy once more. For the less patient but equally willing to do something to get results, you could look into the world of eyelash growth serums. Latest formulas are relatively new to the market so you may not have heard about them until now, but they are definitely a force to be reckoned with when it comes to your lovely lashes!

Eyelash growth serums do more than just speed up the growth process in eyelashes though and are so much more than just a growth encouragement serum and one such product that delivers on all accounts in Xlash Eyelash Growth Serum. It promotes healthy eyelashes as well as giving you the power of longer lashes as it uses natural ingredients in its formula that are known to have stimulating properties. If the follicles are happy, then your eyelashes will be too, and a summer long drought may just be the reason you need to have a look into this amazing stuff.

One of its magic ingredients is Rhodiola Rosea root extract which comes from a flowering plant that has been used for centuries to treat many disorders as well as used in skin therapy to promote healthy boosts in the production of collagen as well as being a protector of harmful UV rays. Well, don’t you learn something new every day! Another benefit of the natural ingredients in Xlash Eyelash Growth Serum is the Helianthus Annus Seed Oil or a type of sunflower oil. This stuff is great as it contains those nutritious fatty acids I mentioned earlier, and the oils help to keep the individual lashes hydrated and nourished. When you can get all of this from a serum and it contains stimulants to help your lashes grow longer, stronger and fuller, it would be a shame to let the summer damage stick around when the potential for your autumn eyes lies at your fingertips.

This growth serum is also so good to use as it lasts ages as its all about the quality not quantity! It takes a minimal swipe of the wand over the top row of eyelashes each day to see results after as little as three weeks, although the eyelashes will actually start to feel stronger and healthier before this. So, when you do the diet thing for your body, do the serum thing for your eyelashes and maybe next time you go to look in the mirror you will start to see the full package is staring back!

Get into Routine

It can be hard to keep up with all the things you need to do to look after your body on a daily basis. Afterall, there are pressures to get enough exercise, eat well, drink water all day, the list goes on! But getting yourself ready for the upcoming season needn’t involve too much change to your regular routine, although that can be a blessing in disguise. If you can get used to changing things up a little bit every few months, your body will react to things differently and you might just be impressed with the results if you give them a chance. For example, I have my favourite shampoo and conditioner, but every couple of months I switch them up for a luxury product that I wouldn’t usually use. I always find, this little change makes all the difference and my hair feels like silk afterward. Routine is great but nothing wrong with a little switch up from time to time.

So, if you are ready for your autumn switch up, get yourself into the habit of drinking more water, incorporating more fatty acids and oils into your diet and try getting rid of old creams and makeup that may be causing your skin and hair more damage than good. Mascara that has survived the hot summer months may not be the thing you carry through to autumn with you as it can get clumpy and dry and won’t work like it used to. The wand has probably seen better days too and may have also collected some bacteria along the way with multiple applications in the heat.

To prevent clogging your pores and follicles with out of date mascara or gel eyeliner, go and treat yourself to new makeup and make sure your cleansing routine is on point going forward into autumn! As we’re switching it up for the new season, it might be worth taking a closer look at your nightly cleansing routine and making sure you are doing everything you can to protect your eyelashes, especially as they are going to be the big focus now. After cleansing, all you would need to do is take your brand new Xlash Eyelash Growth Serum and with a quick flick of the wand over the base of your eyelashes on your upper lid, apply a light moisturiser over your face and eyes and then go and get some much deserved sleep! Hey presto, your eyelash and skin care routine is done for the day.

Embracing Autumn Colours

I don’t know about you, but I love buying new makeup and laying everything out ready to try it out for the first time. I’m not on about my trusty foundation or concealer, but my mascara and eye makeup. Buying a new palette with so many shades to experiment with is an absolute dream and I love how you can create a different look with eyeliner or mascara as the template for your preferred aesthetic.

I especially love trying out new colours and really matching my look to the seasons and there really are no rules around what colours you should follow but as I have very dark eyes it is fun to play with auburns and deep mustard colours and really defined smoky eyes in autumn. It is easy to get caught up in what colours you want to wear which is where I get lost sometimes, but I never forget to keep my eyelashes in check and make sure that I use a mascara that is healthy on my eyelashes, really enhances how long they are and has colour defining properties. Xlash have also created a carbon black mascara that perfectly compliments my eyes now that the serum is firmly in my beauty kit and really enhances the length and volume without being sticky or leaving clumpy residue. If summer is about getting compliments on your summer body, then autumn should definitely be about getting compliments on your eyelashes and this brilliant product together with the eyelash growth serum does just that. Imagine being asked if your eyelashes are fake! Ultimate compliment in my book!

The Key to Autumn

It is sad to say goodbye to summer for one more year and I know that as the winter months creep up it can get harder to stay motivated, especially with your beauty routine but hopefully these few tips on how to transition into a new, cooler season will do the job in seeing your eyelashes through until next summer when you can start the cycle once more. I think I’ll embrace autumn this year, especially now knowing there are products out there that are designed to make sure my eyelashes stay healthy and long all year round.

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Make your Eye Shape and Colour Work For You

BY: CLAIRE – DAYS [DAYS SINCE Today] AGO

I don’t know about you but when I look on Instagram or the various makeup bibles on the internet, I see these girls in perfect makeup and their tutorials make it look so easy to repeat their look, but when I try it I end up looking like I’ve put on some face paint and am just about ready for the circus! I adore makeup and am fascinated by what can be achieved with simple tools these days to go from the natural look to the all-out party look, but sometimes I fall short on my own vibe because I don’t exactly know what suits me and how to pull it off.

A lot of it is confidence, and for that I can hold myself accountable. I’m used to what I’m used to and any variation of my makeup style can throw me off and where I think I look terrible, I may actually have found a half decent look that I’m just not familiar with so it doesn’t come across well. If you are going to wear anything, from makeup to out there clothing, you have to wear it like you really own it to pull it off and this is something that all of us can learn at any point in our lives.

The issue isn’t always confidence though, it is being shown tutorials and being given advice that isn’t bespoke to me. As much as it would be great to be naturally blessed with the face of a Kardashian, we don’t all share the same face shape, eye colour or skin tone, so various looks you might see on top models or Instagram influencers just may not suit everyone. Half the battle is finding out what works for you and what compliments your tones before you can even think of a bright palette of eye shadow or shade of lipstick, but once you have this down, it really should be time to party! Get experimenting, even in the comfort of your own home, you can get used to having a certain style of makeup on your face and when you catch a glimpse of yourself walking past a mirror, it might just start to make you smile to see the different colours and styles making themselves at home!

Eye Shape

I’ll start with the big one, eyes are beautiful in whatever size and shape they appear, but they can either become swamped in makeup or shine brighter than they have before with the different styles of makeup. I’ve never really known what shaped eyes I have; I just know they are big and dark brown and make it near impossible to hide my true emotions, so when I wear eye makeup on an average day I tend to make it more subdued to shift the focus. But I am very lucky, in having wide eyes and more prominent eyelids, I have a lot of room for colour and shapes of eyeliner, the trick is just knowing how to execute it to make the best out of the eye shape I was blessed with.

Almond Eyes – This particular eye shape is seen as universal, not because most people have it but because it suits pretty much any style of makeup and can be worn in so many different ways. Lucky almonds include faces like Beyonce, Jessica Alba and Mila Kunis and the decider is in the position of the iris in the eye and the shape – which quite obviously is almond shaped. Almond eyes have a definite point and a more rounded inner corner, and the iris is never in full view as it is partially covered by the eyelids. Almond eyes also tend to turn up slightly at the outer edge and this makes for ideal cat-eye liner or the perfect wing as they are usually quite symmetrical eyes and the lines follow along very smoothly.

Those with almond eyes can carry off a lot of different styles of makeup and so they should, but due to the already defined shape they are always great candidates for the ‘less is more’ makeup aesthetic. Some well applied mascara can be all they need to life the shape and make them stand out, without the need for heavy eyeliner and white waterlines. If you have almond shaped eyes, you are also the luckiest when it comes to a smoky eye as the crease in the corner and the angled lines from eye to eyebrow provide a perfect space to layer dark eye shadows and really emphasise the shape of the eye.

Round Eyes – This eye shape is usually very bold and very beautiful and is recognisable by usually being able to see the whole or most of the iris. The width and height of the eye are quite similar, and this alone can make eyes really pop without makeup in the first place. Think celebs like Katy Perry or Zoey Deschanel and how striking their big round eyes are.

Those with round eyes can easily create longer looking eyes with different shades of eye shadow and carefully applied eyeliner, a wing drawn outwards rather than upwards can mimic the length of almond eyes and keep them looking wide and open with shadows that intensify near the corner. Makeup on the bottom lids and lashes should be kept to a minimum or it will just outline the eye and emphasise the roundness if you are quite heavy on it, especially with eyeliner. Best to just stick to the top lid and even be adventurous with some colour under the outer corner of the bottom lid to draw people’s gaze outward.

Hooded Eyes – This particular shape tends to have more upper lid visible and less crease. This doesn’t mean that the same makeup tips don’t apply, it just means you can have a bit more fun working out colours that can really make them pop. Hooded eyes can be very intense which is great for working in an intense colour that will not only look fantastic but will lift the eyes up and create the illusion of almond eyes.

People with hooded eyes swear by using a great primer before getting started as there is a lot of surface area and a deep crease that can smudge or collect makeup just when you have it down to perfection. Eyeshadow should be applied while the eye is open and really ensure coverage is over the lid and extended above the crease. A strong colour works really well as opposed to a few different ones as the contours can change the shape of a particular pattern and it can really open the eye up to put some shadow under the eye on the bottom lid. Strong eyeliner can add to the intensity and create a really bold look.

Upturned Eyes – Similar to almond eyes this shape slightly points upward at the outer corner and is already such an interesting shape that working with it rather than adding to it can be enough. But hey, they are interesting for a reason so you may not want to hold back if this is your eye shape.

Those with upturned eyes have plenty of choice when it comes to makeup, the smoky eye works, bold colour works, heavy or light liner works, but due to the shape of the eye, it would be a waste not to expose it and get the best out of them so using a gel eyeliner really carefully along the upper lid very close to the lashes will follow the eye shape and emphasise their bold shape. Perfect for a wing that just continues the same line and flow of makeup, upturned eyes are basically a shape that we all try to replicate with clever makeup trickery so if you are the proud owner of a pair of these, flaunt them!

Downturned Eyes – They are definitely not as sad as they sound, but downturned eyes do tend to have the almond shape but slightly turn town toward the outer corner To establish if this is your shape have a think about it you drew a line directly across the middle of your eyes would the corner sit on the line, above the line or below the line. If it is below then these are downturned eyes and I think they can be the most playful out of all the different shapes.

It is very easy with downturned eyes to replicate the shape of upturned or almond shaped eyes with a steady hand and a decent eyeliner, plus there is more surface area to work with again like hooded eyes, so shapes can be created with selective eyeshadow contouring. Primer is again your friend if this is your eye shape as you don’t want to spend time on faking your way to upturned eyes for it to smudge or move about on your lids. Using a few shades of eyeshadow going from light to dark toward the outer and upper crease can bring focus upward and you have the choice of using a wing of black eyeliner to bring them up further for dramatic effect or to go for a creamier and softer eyeliner in a deep brown so it looks more natural. This can trick the eye into thinking your eyes extend outward further than they actually do, so it’s a really good eye shape to get experimenting and even switch it up from time to time to suit your mood and style.

Eye Colour

There is a lot to be said for how your eye shape can determine your makeup styles but another factor is eye colour and as easy as it would be to just wear any colour of eyeshadow or style of eyeliner at any time, we have to admit that there are certain tones and textures that really compliment and accentuate different eye colours. If we want to feel and look our best, exuding confidence wherever we go then it might just be time to learn just what colours are suited to you.

Brown Eyes – People with brown eyes are generally very lucky in the colours they can wear and the versatility in which they can style their makeup. Although it may not seem that way to all brown eyed girls out there, wishing for naturally light eyes that pop even without a hint of makeup on, there are plenty of ways to make brown eyes stand out.

Plums and darker red tones of eye shadow are very complimentary as by contrast they bring out the lightness in even the deepest brown and have a natural tone that can look rich in texture when layered with darker makeup for smoky eye looks. Golds and bronzes have the same effect and bring out even the smallest flecks of gold and yellow tones in the eye which can be perfectly rounded off with some strong black eyeliner on the top lid, a sultry wing and some volumizing mascara. This creates the illusion of lighter eyes and is a good daytime look as the sun helps naturally bring out the lighter colour in brown eyes.

Natural shades that sit nicely on fairer skin tones are an easy solution to bringing forward really dark brown eyes. These shades that are subtle, almost like blush for the eye, like rose, mauve and lighter oranges, basically set a backdrop for the eyes to sit on rather that swamp. It is also a way to look like you are wearing minimal make up but to maximum effect. Finished off with a deep brown eyeliner in a kohl pencil with a very simple flick, is just the right amount of makeup for anyone with brown eyes to feel like they are wearing just enough but not too much, while packing a very cute punch at the same time.

Shimmery eye makeup is a crowd pleaser as it doesn’t have to be perfect and can also hide imperfections. This goes back to eye shape and having a deep crease or downturned eyes with a lot of lid to cover, shimmery golds and greens add dimension to brown eyes and can be worn really easily with a neat line of gel eyeliner to finish it off. Autumn and winter especially call for these colours on brown eyes to bring depth and warmth to the mix.

Blue eyes – Whether they are baby blues or sparkling turquoise, with the right makeup blue eyes can look like they hold the secrets to the universe, and it is very easy to fall into their almost hypnotic power without realising. Blue eyes have next to no limits on what eye makeup they can wear and how they can wear it. To really go for striking blue, it is always recommended to have a sharp and jet-black eyeliner to hand and mascara is a must to really make them pop.

Monochromatic eyes have a very sixties vibe about them and look fantastic on blue eyes when applied creatively. Using white eyeliner on the bottom waterline and heavy black liner adds width to all shaped eyes and provides a perfect frame for blue eyes. But for those in search of a little colour, even light golds and rose golds are perfectly suited to blue eyes to soften them and add a touch of innocence.

Peaches and smooth oranges contrast the colour blue so well that it actually works and look striking on blue eyes. This eye shadow colour is good when applied to the top eyelid but great when applied to the bottom one as well. Finished off without eyeliner but with some simple length enhancing mascara, this look is definitely a winner any time of year and for any occasion.

Smoky eyes on blue eyes doesn’t have to be as dramatic and dark as it is on brown eyes. Now, there are sometimes calls for dark greys and black eye shadows to create a smoky eye, but for the less daring and more low-key events, the smoky eye can be created with greens, teals and turquoises to compliment the blue. Adding these little shades of green too is the magic ingredient to highlight specs of green in the eye. It can create the illusion of green eyes very cleverly so I definitely think all blue eyes girls should try this look our at least once.

Glittery blues look great on blue eyes. Back in the day, this was the colour that a lot of people thought was the only thing that suited blue eyes and it isn’t seen as much now as it can look a little dated if not executed properly. Blue eye shadow on blue eyes can be quite subdued or bright depending on the occasion but I absolutely adore galactic blues with a hint of purple. The shimmer from the glitter can make this look out of this world and add to the sparkle that naturally occurs in blue eyes. Teamed with a heavy black line over the top lid and a wing that sweeps upward in the direction of the waterline brings this look right into the future.

Green eyes – The rarest colour of all eyes, only around 2% of people have green eyes, but there are variations in hazel, hazel green and blue-green that make it a lot more interesting to play around with eye shadow colours and eyeliner.

People with green eyes have the versatility to play with colour in the same way those with blue eyes do as well as being able to switch up black eyeliner for browns and golds in a bid to soften any look. Green eyes teamed with brown eyeliner just look so smooth and inviting whereas the heavy black line forms a striking visual for anyone to see.

Pink eyeshadow on green eyes looks fantastic when blended to perfection and with less brightness as far as pigment goes. Teamed up with a light pink blush, most skin tones of those with green eyes support this look and highlight the green with clever contrast. Pinks, taupe and light violets all have the contrasting effect and make green eyes pop without making them look to overbearing for the shade of eye shadow.

Copper and bronze shades of eye shadow are an easy pick for those with green eyes as it is the colour that compliments them the most. Making sure to warm up tones in the skin, copper or bronze is like a match made in heaven for green eyes as they are the magic highlighters that make the bright greens and gold flecks in the iris stand out. Teamed with just some mascara and some light eyeliner in a light colour, these are the shade that compliment green eyes the most.

Silver shimmers on green eyes are what dreams of becoming a real-life Disney princess are made of! It has been a really popular look for the big celebrities on red carpets and a cemented look of summer on Instagram. Silver is to green eyes what nudes and bronzes are on brown eyes, it doesn’t have to be perfect, but it just provides a pedestal for green eyes to sit on and shine their brightest on their own. With light use of eyeliner and lengthening mascara, and a little extra emphasis on the silver or white at the inner corner of the eye, this look oozes glamour and sophistication all while showcasing what green eyes can do almost naturally.

All Eyes Are Perfect

It is clear to see that the options are nearly endless when it comes to eye make up and we are so lucky to be living in a time where we have access to so many different colours of eye shadow. There has been a lot of advice on what to do when to comes to your eye colour and shape but not much on what not to do. The reason for this is that I believe we can all achieve beauty with a lot of confidence and a little makeup, not everyone wants to try a certain look, not everyone has the confidence to do so, so hopefully with a few tips and a quick glance in the mirror, you can find your inner confidence and get ready to experiment with your own eye shape and colour.

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Eyelash Care – Lets Spell it Out

BY: CLAIRE – DAYS [DAYS SINCE Today] AGO

E is for Eyelashes

Everyone has them, they all grow in different lengths and colours and we don’t always know how to look after them, but eyelashes are fabulous in every single way. Individually they seem so insignificant when they fall out as they are so small, but with the right care and a few handy tips on how to keep them looking and feeling long and healthy, as a collective our eyelashes can be so full of impact and really change the way we see ourselves and the way others view us. From low key, laid back looks to sophisticated glamour and even an over the top, lash extravaganza, follow the eyelashes guide to get your own lashes in shape for the perfect occasion!

Eyelashes are not just pretty eye decoration, they do serve a purpose that help keep the eyes protected from the sun, dust and small particles that can get into the eyes on a daily basis. It’s ironic in fact that the one thing they can’t protect our eyes from are eyelashes themselves! Don’t you just hate it when you get one of those little rascals in your eye! You can kiss that freshly applied eyeliner and mascara goodbye and say hello to a red and watery eye instead. But never fear, eyelashes are designed to fall out when they are good and ready, to make way for a brand-new eyelash in its place that you can help to grow strong and healthy, so you are always rocking a full set. That may be worth the odd one falling into your eye when you least expect it!

The eyelash growth cycle is responsible for this little annoyance but don’t worry, it is completely normal to lose an eyelash or two every now and then. What happens is the eyelash grows in the follicle, starts to get stronger, enters its resting phase where it can sit happily above your eye for a few weeks, then as the follicle weakens, the eyelash will just fall away and the cycle repeats. There are around 150 eyelashes on your upper lid at any one time though, so never fear, they are all in their own cycle at different times, so you won’t have to go eyelashless completely while waiting for a full new set to grow in.

Over time and with age the cycle can change, slow down and even stop for some follicles, but there are things you can do to keep ahead of the game and make sure your eyelashes look fantastic at every occasion!

Y is for Your Self Care Routine

First thing is first, when you are an expert in your own eyelashes, you will be able to tell when something isn’t right or when something has changed. Only you know your body well enough to notice when things change or don’t play ball the way they used to. Eyelashes can be a good indicator that something isn’t right or a sign that you need to make a few changes to your lifestyle.

But you don’t have to be an expert in eyelashes to know when something is up, you can just take a good look in the mirror and see if they look healthy and not dry. You can compare them to photos of yourself from a few years ago and see if they are still looking full or if they have started to look a little sparse and you could even compare how they look in mascara compared to without. Mascara is a girl’s best friend, and don’t let anyone tell you different. But to make sure you don’t fall out with your mascara, you need to make sure you are using it correctly. Ok, so there isn’t a rule book on mascara use but a few tips are to make sure that you use a mascara with a good wand that brushes through the individual lashes and doesn’t clump them together and also a wand that suits you and has a good grip. Sometimes beauty brands tend to go a little crazy over the shape of the mascara wand and they start to get so fancy that they become impractical! Sometimes the basic but classic wand will do your eyelashes just fine.

While we’re on the subject of mascara, one top tip for self-care is to make sure you get rid of that stuff after a few months and go out and buy a new one! It doesn’t have a very long use by date when it comes down to it and shouldn’t really be kept past three months from opening it. All mascara starts to go clumpy and may even start to smell funny, but mainly after months of using it, bacteria from the eyelashes can be transferred and then sealed into your mascara tube and then being reapplied to your lashes again. Not the best step when trying to look after your lashes so I may be best to ditch it before it even gets to that stage!

E is for Eat the Right Foods

What does food have to do with anything, you ask? Well actually diet and nutrition is so accountable for the health of our skin, hair, nails and you guessed it… eyelashes! Most of what we consume is converted into some sort of energy or protein, some good and some bad and some should just have a “Never” sticker on them. So, a few handy tips here are based around the good stuff, the bad stuff and the stuff you should just avoid if you want your eyelashes to remain in good health or try and get them back to health again.

Salmon is on the good list as it has too many benefits to count. As well as being good for your heart and your bones, it is a sturdy favourite in helping eyelashes and hair stay thick, long and full. As it is rich in Omega 3 which can only be gained through food, it allows moisture into the skin cells, stimulates follicles and helps your hair grow naturally! So, get a nice salmon dinner ready for later and keep the good stuff coming in!

Grab a handful of nuts for a daytime snack instead of reaching for the bad stuff like cake and sugary goods. Nuts are amazing for hair and eyelashes as again they are rich in Omega 3 and fatty acids and Vitamin E and nutrients like biotin which is commonly used to combat hair loss. All these nutrients combined will feed your body with the right stuff to promote your eyelash growth faster that you would realise. So, swap your usual snack for some nuts and keep an eye on those lashes over the next month or so and watch them transform into long and luscious eyelashes.

Spinach should move to your good list. And no, it isn’t just for Pop-Eye! Although the story that it made him stronger came from somewhere and there is a lot of truth in it. As spinach is full of good nutrients and Vitamin C and iron, they all work together to keep skin and follicles healthy and cells regenerated for healthy hair and eyelash growth.

So, stop snacking on those crisps and ordering takeaway with lashings of salt and sweeteners in them. The best thing you can do for your eyelashes is to feed them healthy foods like you would feed yourself. Think about how good you would feel after a nice cranberry and almond salad as opposed to a stodgy pizza packed with grease and dairy. Remember if you feel bad, your body parts will start to feel it too. Keep yourself hydrated and take control over how your eyelashes grow with some amazing new recipes!

L is for Love your Eyebrows too

Ok, so this was supposed to be about eyelashes but if you are in the neighbourhood, there is definitely no harm of checking in on your eyebrows at the same time! It doesn’t always go the way you want to when it comes to eyebrows, after all there have been so many trends over the years that we have been putting them through hell and back to achieve a certain look. But they can start to look unhealthy or sparse and even full but unruly. So how do you fix this? Well, you’re in luck because there are loads of options now to keep your eyebrows looking full, health and personally styled.

No one should be without a pair of tweezers, so make sure you invest in a decent pair with good grip and a slightly angled end for precision hair grabbing. Even if you are not a fan of plucking, they are handy to have around to get rid of the strays that become bothersome from time to time. There’s nothing wrong with a little tidy up here and there. Using a cooling gel, or maybe aim to go for the tweeze after a nice hot bath or shower when the pores are open and eyebrow hair can be pulled out easier and with less pain. If you are more a fan of threading, then make sure you don’t cover the area with creams or lotions after an appointment as you need the area under the eyebrows to breathe and heal without risk of clogging the pores and causing infection or sores. The same goes for sun creams and lotions, try to keep your face shielded from the sun directly after getting any treatment on your eyebrows to make sure the skin stays healthy and smooth as the area will really be open to sun burn at this time.

If they are looking a little thin in the bulk of the eyebrow you could try an eyebrow growth serum that encourages the hairs to grow back faster and fuller so that you can just sit back and wait while they start to grow in. Xlash Eyebrow Growth Serum is a brilliant option as it goes on with ease and doesn’t leave any sticky residue so you can feel free to carry on filling in your eyebrows with a colour kit or pencil until you are happy with the results and barely need to use make up to draw them back in anymore. Simple! Ok so that’s the eyebrows taken care of, back to eyelashes!

A is for Ask About Lash Extensions

One of the best things about living in the time we live in now is that we have so many fixes for things we want to change about ourselves without just resorting to painful surgeries and unwanted permanent procedures. So, for eyelashes that look a little on the sparse side lately, or even just because you have an event or holiday coming up that you want the convenience of the mascara look without mascara, there is the option of eyelash extensions. So many people are opting for extensions these days as they last long enough for them to be worth while and they look like they are your actual eyelashes as opposed to false eyelashes that always have that tell-tale evenness that no eyelashes are lucky enough to have.

A good set that lasts a few weeks won’t cost too much and they are tailor-made to your eyelid shape so that they look natural. One of the growing reasons for getting eyelash extensions now is convenience. Waking up in the morning and not having to worry about that part of your makeup routine is priceless, so if your lashes are in need of a boost and you can’t wait for serums or nutrients to do their job then go for a consultation and see what your options are.

S is for Serum

Serums, creams and lotions promise to do a lot for our bodies, and we are always concentrating on how to slow down the ageing process when it comes to our skin, but what about our eyelashes? Surely there is something that can help them stay healthy and full that helps fend off the ageing process all in one go? Well Xlash Eyelash Growth Serum is just an all rounder when it comes to eyelash care. As it includes natural ingredients and plant extracts containing vitamins and biotin, it helps to promote healthy growth of eyelashes and works deep into the follicle to work with the eyelash growth cycle and give you longer and fuller eyelashes in just a couple of weeks.

The benefits of using a serum for eyelash growth are plentiful. You can apply it with ease and still carry on with eyelash extensions for the meantime if you wish, you can still wear mascara on your lashes and it will still get to work and serums are kind to your skin, keeping your eyelids healthy and soothed every day. If you have a little more patience and are willing to try something natural, then give an eyelash growth serum a go for healthy and long eyelashes.

H is for Homemade Remedies

On the flip side, there are other remedies for promoting eyelash growth that various people swear by. They may have some benefits in giving them a try as they are healthy options for your eyes, but as they aren’t formulated with eyelashes specifically in mind, they might work differently for different people.

One of these remedies is coconut oil, and this one has universal uses in cooking, skincare and hair care so it may be worth giving it a try. As it has the right kind of oil that penetrates the hair and the follicle it can leave your eyelashes feel smoother and softer and hydrated for extra growth.

Petroleum jelly is another option for a lot of the same reasons as coconut oil, but it also has protective properties that keep the eyelashes and eyelids clean and clear of mites and dust and relieves the dryness that can occur.

Aloe Vera gel, castor oil and green tea are also amongst the various remedies people have tried to get their eyelashes back into good health or to make them longer and fuller once more. All have healthy and healing properties that in theory should work but the only way is to give them a try! Just remember to drink the green tea and don’t try putting that one near your eye or you’ll end up with bigger problems that your eyelashes!

E is for Eye Makeup Removal

Removing makeup at the end of the day can be such a tedious task and a lot of us can’t be bothered to do this every day, but it is really important for your eyelash health that you remove your makeup and especially eye makeup carefully and properly.

We’ve probably all been there where we have applied a stubborn mascara that refuses to budge, and we still end up with black circles around our eyes the next morning even though we were so sure we got it all! Well, as annoying as it is, this mascara has to go, and we all need to learn a lesson or two in makeup removal.

Coconut oil again has another use here as it really gets into and under mascara to help it slide of the individual eyelashes without tugging at them so that could be a good thing to keep around you. But if not, always use a separate eye makeup remover to your cleanser as ones designed for eyes are less harsh on your actual eyes but know just how to get rid of that suborn makeup leaving your skin and lashes clean and clear.

Sleeping in mascara is a huge cause of breakage and awkward growth as it coats the lashes and doesn’t allow any wiggle room while you sleep. You can accidently sleep on your eyelashes and they may stick in a funny position by the time you wake up, leaving them uneven and pointing in all kinds of directions! If you get into the habit of cleaning off your mascara and eye makeup, you will soon see the benefits of it as your eyelashes will look and feel as fresh as a daisy the next day and provide a clean slate to re-apply makeup on.

S is for Stop Making Excuses

As I mentioned earlier, there are hundreds of ways to look after your eyelashes and even more reasons why. They are the protectors of your eyes and they deserve the same attention as you would give your hair and skin. Eyelashes can be long or short, light or dark and they will still cry out for attention when they need it so you should see it as a nice treat to keep them healthy and looking fantastic.

While you’re at it, there is no harm done in experimenting with your makeup and learning what looks good on you. For example, I always love the winged eyelash look along with a smoky, cat-eye with the help of a clever gel eyeliner and a dark eyeshadow palette for parties and events so I might go for a mascara that really accentuates the outer edges of my eyelashes, but sometimes for work, it just calls for a simple flick of the wand against my lashes to give my eyes a little more definition – and to hide the fact that my tired eyes couldn’t sleep last night!

But I also keep up with my applications of eyelash growth serum to ensure that no matter what, my lashes are healthy underneath the glitz and glamour of my choosing! Even with longer eyelashes, a little mascara still doesn’t hurt and I for one, cannot leave the house without a little bit on them.

As serums are designed with healthy eyelashes in mind, the fact they are so convenient and easy to use just makes them that bit more appealing. So, now we’ve spelled it out for you, what are you waiting for? Go get those healthy eyelashes that you’ve always desired!

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