Sunday, 30 October 2016

13 Ways To Stay Healthy This Winter


Photo credit: via photopin (license) Changes Made

I really struggle to stay healthy during the winter especially as I have a low immune system but over the years I've picked up a few tips for staying healthy which may help you this winter.

1) Get the Flu jab
Flu jabs are free on the NHS for those who are considered more vulnerable. This includes women who are pregnant, those with diabetes, those with chronic respiratory diseases such as asthma (if on steroids) those with chronic Kidney disease, those with hepatitis and those with a weaker immune system due to medication or chemotherapy. The flu jab is also free for carers looking after someone else who is sick and disabled as well as for frontline health and social care workers. See the NHS page for more info.

The flu jab is available to everyone nationwide at most chemists, and it costs around £5-10. I recommend having one if you work with the public or in a setting with lots of people such as in a school, if you're self employed and can't afford time off or if you spend a lot of time on public transport. (I used to take a tram and then two trains to work in the morning & then same again in the evening and worked out that I was in close contact with at least 120 commuters a day in packed carriages.)

2) Use Hand Sanitisers and Wipes
Look for the antibacterial ones. Carex Complete Moisture Plus Hand gel is good because it also moisturisers your hands at the same time whereas continued use with some hand gels can leave your hands dry and sore. It also smells nice too and is small enough to pop it into your handbag and take it with you. I use these to wipe down my mobile phone too, because mobiles heat up creating the perfect environment for bacteria to grow. I often leave my mobile out on cafĂ© coffee tables and library desks and use them after handling cash etc, so my mobile probably isn't very clean. This also cuts down spots developing around the cheek/jaw area too. Be careful when cleaning mobiles to turn them off first and be careful not to get the speaker too damp.

3) Try Not To Touch Your Face
I'm definitely guilty of touching my face and resting my chin on my hand, or having my hand near my mouth. Most cold and flu viruses are spread by direct contact and enter the body through the mouth, eyes and nose. Therefore try not to touch your mouth, nose and eyes after handling things if you can't wash them first. At work this would be things such as an office stapler, photocopier or shared computer, on a shopping trip it would be cash and handrails on public transport. This should also cut down spots breaking out on your face as well.

4) Wipe Clean Your Desk First if You're Going to Eat
It has been found that the average workplace desk can be 400 times dirtier than the office toilet seat according to The Cleaning Services group (Medicare Daily.) Office toilets contain around 49 microbes, or “germs” per square inch on average, while office telephones can have over 25,000 germs per square inch,  keyboards and computer mice contain between 1,000 to 3,000 germs. Germs like the common cold can last on computer keyboards and mice for up to 72 hours and  MRSA can last anywhere between six weeks to seven months. Not washing your hands, eating at your desk, and not sanitising your desk at all adds to the high germ count.Wiping down surfaces with a anti-bacterial  wet wipe, soap or cleaning spray before you eat as well as a regularly wiping down the office telephone, keyboard and mouse will help.

5) Be a Savvy Shopper..Pay With Contactless.
As well as being quicker paying by contactless means that you don't have to actually touch the pin key pad which will have been handled by tens if not hundreds of hands belonging to people with coughs, colds etc. I would definitely recommend paying this way in a chemist.

6) Wrap Up Warm- Wear Scarves, Snoods, Hats, Vests and Thermal Underwear
If your job requires a lot of speaking such as call centre work or teaching I've found that keeping your throat and neck warm by wearing a scarf or snood really protects your from coughs and sore throats. Having asthma I find snoods great as they keep both your nose and mouth warm. Wool and fleece are good fabrics. Even wearing a vest or t-shirt under your shirt/top can make a difference. I'd say that thermal underwear is a good investment, silk is great as it's light but keeps you warm I've bought some from Patra they're a little bit pricey but they're worth it.

7) Drinking Hot drinks
I've found having a hot drink after being stuck in the cold or rain really helps to stop cold and coughs developing- mainly I drink hot Ribena and Barley Water once I've got home.

8)  Use Cold Defence Nasal  spray
I haven't actually tried this but have heard that some people swear by Cold Defence Nasal sprays.

9) Exercise
Just taking a brisk walk for 30-45 minutes a day boosts the immune system and can reduce infections such as colds.

10)  Eat a diet high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and low in saturated fats.
A diet of fresh fruit and vegetables that vary in colour (e,g.  Red cabbage/red onions/aubergines, oranges, yellow peppers and greens) should give you all the vitamins you need. Proteins are important as well as eating food that is low in sugar and fat. Personally I think a good diet definitely helps but I find that it doesn't make much difference to me as my immune system is so rubbish. Obviously loading up on chocolate, pastries and sweets isn't going to give you the nutrients your body needs, leaving it vulnerable picking up viruses without a strong immune system to flight them.

11) Taking Vitamin and Oil Supplements
It may be a good idea to stock up on vitamin and oil supplements during the winter. I used to order them online from Healthy Direct which is now become Healthy Span, I found that they were good value for money offering higher strengths than Boots/Superdrug at reasonable prices. Alternatively Holland and Barrett's sell a variety of high quality supplements although I find them expensive.

12) Don't Light Up
Smoking a single cigarette can damage the hairs that line the nose for 30-40 minutes which means they aren't able to sweep cold and flu viruses out of nasal passages. Smoking also weakens the immune system even if it's passive smoking.

13) Get Some Rest
Try not to burn the candles at both ends. Although you may not feel stressed, late nights and early rises due to late night work or socialising can put a strain on your immune system and leave you feeling run down and vulnerable to illness. Make sure you catch up on your sleep and have a night/day in and have some me time- having a nice bath, cosy up reading a book or watching movies anything that makes you relax, slow down and rest.

Friday, 28 October 2016

Easy Halloween Mermaid Tutorial

This mermaid look is a lot easier than it looks and the results are stunning.  The secret weapon is a netted bag, mine came with some supermarket tangerines (which I washed first using washing up liquid.) Then I chopped off one end so that I could put it over my head. You can also use a wig cap which you can pick up at Claire's for £2  or from other costume shops.




  1. After applying foundation, I pinned a netted bag across my forehead with bobby hair pins.
  2. To create the scales I used MUA's Smokin Palette, you can use Urban Decay' s Smoked Palette or any purple, blue and green eye shadow. (Make sure it's not matte.) I grabbed a flat headed synthetic brush to pat on the eye shadow, starting with purple on the edges of my face, then green and blue.  
  3. Next I carefully moved the netted bag downwards. On a clean side, I applied the eye shadows down towards the cheekbones as if I was contouring or creating sideburns. I used blue and green from the MUA Smokin Palette. 
  4. For the eye makeup I first applied a eye primer. I used Too Faced Shadow Insurance in Candlelight. This is a gold shimmery colour which is good for highlighting the inner eye but I just applied eye shadow on top so a skin coloured primer would be fine too.
  5. I used a shimmery light green, the blue from the MUA Smokin palette and Bourois Turquoise eye shadow. I patted them onto the lid with Primark's double ended eye shadow and concealer brush.  Then I used a fluffy brush (Sigma E36) and used a window wiper motion to blend the colours together and used the blue shadow in the crease to smoke the eye. 
  6.  Then I lined my top lid with glitter eyeliner by Collection Glam Crystals Gel Liner in POW 10  Afterwards I applied Benefit They're Real Mascara and curled lashes with an eye curler. 
  7.  Next I added face gems from Primark these are self adhesive but you can use tweezers to pink them up so they don't stick to your hands. 
  8.  Then I carefully added Makeup Revolution Golden Lights Highlighter on my forehead and under the eyes across cheekbones. Then set the face with a setting spray.
  9. Finally I used No 7 Moisture Drench lipstick in Romantic and then used lip liner in Plum to fill in the lips for a stronger colour and definition. The lip liner is discontinued but use a medium pink red lipstick and liner instead.  
  10. To finish the look I pinned a beaded abalone shell necklace across my forehead. 

Friday, 14 October 2016

The Body Shop Honey Bronze Highlighting Dome & Lip Liner Fixer Review



The Body Shop Lip Liner Fixer is a transparent lip liner that is designed to keep your lipstick in one place and prevent lipsticks from bleeding into any fine lines. I'm lucky in that lipsticks rarely bleed on me, but I love using this for lip glosses that move all over the place and leave you looking like a toddler who's just eaten a strawberry lolly. You simply draw around your lips first and then apply lipstick or lip gloss and it shouldn't budge past the lip liner line.  It feels really soft and creamy since it contains moisturising marula oil, castor oil and Jojoba oil. It also contains beeswax to help to create the barrier effect but this ingredient might not suit vegans. Overall it feels lightweight on the lips and very comfortable and smells like honey. The Body Shop Lip Liner Fixer is retractable so there's no need to sharpen and waste product that way. In a pinch you could also use this to keep your brows in place as it contains wax. The price isn't bad for such a unique product (£8) and since it is transparent it will go with any coloured lipstick or lip gloss so it's good value for money.



There are three Honey Bronze Highlighting Domes, 01 a silvery highlighter, 02 a shimmery blush and 03 a shimmery Bronzer. I chose the shimmery blush because it seemed the most pigmented. The packaging is cute with a screw top lid and similar in size to a pot of lip balm. As part of the Honey Bronze line it's dark brown and gold and of course contains honey in it's ingredients. The colour is  a gorgeous pink with gold shimmer through it and pretty much the same shade as The Balm Hot Mama blush but in a cream form. (You can see the comparison photos on Monica's Blog Beauty In Five Minutes.) There is a slight golden sheen when applied to the face but it's very natural looking and not glittery at all, mostly it's a just got out from the cold red rosy cheek colour. You can apply the blusher straight from the dome but I found it best to use a finger to apply the product right where you want it and you can layer the product easier this way. The dome is hard to keep it's shape but the blusher is soft and warms up with fingers making it easy to blend. Best of all it's long wearing and so you don't need to lock in the colour by applying powder blush on top, it will last the whole day by itself, though it fades a little after 8 hours. It has a sweet honey, rosewater and fruity smell but the smell isn't overpowering. The price of this cream blush is quite reasonable at £8 for 6.5g, you get a lot for your money and I think it will last me a long time. I'd say that both these two products were a good buy and i'd definitely recommend them.


      What have you bought lately from The Body Shop? What do you recommend?

Both the Lip Liner Fixer and Honey Bronze Highlighting Domes are available from The Body Shop.








Saturday, 8 October 2016

13 Autumn Winter 2016-17 Makeup Trends

Fall 16 Makeup Trends

1. Red Lips
 You can never go wrong with a classic red lip, so buying a red lipstick will always be a safe investment. Joseph went for tomato red lips with makeup artist Lynsey Alexander describing the look as "Modern and fresh, with a nod to the Eighties punk lip." At Pringle, models wore Lord & Berry's matte red lip crayon in Vertige.  At Proenza Schouler slicked down masculine/androgynous hair was balanced by a feminine red lip.
Fall 2016 makeup red lip trend
Left: Schouler Indigital- Centre Joseph Imaxtree Right Pringle


2. Rouge Noir and Gothic 
In the autumn and winter seasons you can get away with wearing darker colours and this season the lady is a Vamp. Dark red, almost black lips in matte, satin or gloss finishes were everywhere. Over at Mary Katrantzou MAC make up artists went for a velvet 'stamped on' heart shaped lips. They used MAC lip pencil in Burgundy with a coat of MAC's Retro Matte Liquid lipcolour in Dance with Me on top. At Gareth Pugh, models faces were distorted by an elastic band under the cheekbones which gave the face a strange, fuller look. The dark lacquered pouts were created by using MAC's lip pencil in Burgundy and Lip Mix in Black Crimson and Orange mixed together. Louis Vuitton and Sibling, also sported glossy lips while Creature of the wind paired dark lips with Kardashian inspired corn rows.

Fall 16 makeup trends dark lips
Left: Louis Vuitton Getty Images Centre Mary Katrantzou Getty Images Right Creature of The Wind. Getty/Nars 

Fall 16 Makeup Trends Dark lips
Left Sibling Imaxtree Centre Bottega Veneta Getty Images Right: Gareth Pugh Getty Images
 At Dior lips were also lacquered, with make up artist Peter Phillips first outlining the lips with Dior Contour Lipliner in Poison, filling them in with black eyeliner and applying Rouge Dior lipstick in Poison 962. He then used a kleenex to blot the lips, reapplied the lipstick and added Dior Addict Ultra Gloss Bulle for a mirror finish.  Even pale girls can pull off the look, just look at Rodarte. Celebrated makeup artist James Kaliardos wanted to create a "beautifully romantic (look) with a contrast of deep colour." He applied Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Train Bleu and Nars Audacious Lipstick in Liv. Although the lips look black at Nicholas K, makeup artists used Stila's All Day Liquid Lipstick in Chianti which is actually a dark purple.

fall 16 Makeup trends Gothic lips
Left: Nicolas K Getty Images Centre:  Dior Getty Images Right: Rodarte Nars


3. Illuminated Skin
At Mcqueen makeup artist Lucia Peroni used a rose gold highlighter RMS Master Mixer. Eye makeup was kept smudgy to keep the look contemporary. Over at Valentino legendary makeup artist Pat McGrath applied iridescent powder across the cheekbones, eyelids and cupids bow. Makeup artists at Alexander Wang used Nars Sheer Glow Foundation for a fresh faced, radiant glow.

Fall 16 Makeup Trends highlighted skin
Left: Alexander McQueen Getty Images Centre Valentino Indigital Right Alexander Wang Nars








4. Full Brows
To achieve the 'ethereal tough girl' at Rodarte, brows were brushed up and then darkened with black mascara. James Kaliardos explained that it was important "to only get it on the hairs, not the skin; it thickens the brow and shapes it and gives a strength that's important." At Topshop brows were kept natural and brushed up with Topshop Sculpting Brow Gel. At Ralph Lauren brows were kept thick and natural looking.
Fall '16 Makeup Trends Full Brows
Left: Rodarte Nars Centre Ralph Lauren Imaxtree Right: Topshop Unique Topshop Unique
5. Flushed Cheeks
The concept behind the look at Marchesa was as if the model had come to life from an 1800's John Singer portrait. 'A retouched one' makeup artist Bobbi Brown added. She used Bobbi Brown Retouching powder in Rose and Pink to give a watered down pink blush and a luminous finish to the skin. The look at Prabal Gurung was inspired by Lord Byron's poem 'She Walks In Beauty.' Blush was used to achieve a wild, romantic windswept appearance. Rosy cheeks were also spotted at Tanya Taylor.
Fall '16 Makeup Trends Flushed cheeks
Left: Tanya Taylor Nars Centre: Marchesa Isidore Montag Right: Pabal Gurung Isidore Montag



6. Lashes
Attention seeking lashes still maintained their popularity on the catwalks. At Jason Wu, makeup artist Yadim gave models clumpy lashes using Maybelline The Colossal Spider Effect Mascara paired with glossy eye lids. He said to skip the roots of the lashes and instead "swish the tip of the wand back and forth across the ends so it bunches the lashes together into four or five really thick ones then leaves a bunch of long separated ones. It gives them a punk rock edge." Volumising mascara as well as double sets of false lashes were applied at Anna Sui. Makeup artists at Carven layered waterproof mascara because it is thicker and stiffer, on both upper and lower lashes to get the thick spidery look.

Fall '16 Makeup Trends Lashes
Left: Jason Wu Moroccan Oil Centre Anna Sui Imaxtree Right Carven Imaxtree



 7. Statement Liner
At Kenzo, Lynsey Alexander described the concept as "naughty Japanese schoolgirls meets Sailor moon." Graphic lines were drawn with MAC Chromaline Liner in Black Black. Then MAC Superslick Liquid Eye Liner in On the Hunt was painted on top. Finally MAC 3D Glitter in Silver was added to the inner corners of the eyes to give a futuristic feel. Ryan Lo opted for 60's inspired lashes and graphic double liner. Tom Pecheux decribed the look at Altuzarra as “Street, graphic, sculptural Picasso." Mac's Fluidline pen in Retro Black was used on the eyes and lips were kept minimal with lip conditioner.

Fall '16 Makeup Trends Statement Liner
Left Kenzo Getty Images Centre Altuzarra Indigital Right Rylan Lo Getty Images


8. Graphic Eyes
Topshop Beauty Consultant Hannah Murray fused '60s and punk. Graphic eye flicks were first drawn on with Topshop Black Kohl in Coal and over-lined with Topshop Liquid Liner in Black Cab for the 60's wet look. Kohl was applied under the lower lashes for an edgy, all night partying look topped with Topshop Party Proof Mascara. At Oscar De La Renta makeup artist Dianne Kendal created a graphic eye by drawing a rectangular shape from the centre of the eye towards the outer corners. Then she went upwards into a point like a cat eye and then along the crease of the eyelid. She used MAC Powerpoint eye pencil in Engraved, then layered cream shadow and black shadow to set it. For the lips concealer was with mixed with lipstick for a matte, neutral finish. Eye makeup at Giamba wasn't as precise for a rock and roll vibe.
Fall '16 Makeup Trends Graphic Eyes
Left Topshop Unique Getty Images Centre: Giamba Indigital Right: Oscar De La Renta Indigital
9. Glitter 
Eyelids with just a wash of glitter were seen at Jenny Packham using Bobbi Brown Sequin Eye Shadow.  Generously applied yellow gold glitter was spotted at John Richmond. For Emanuel Ungaro, makeup artist Val Garland created a "rock revolutionary party girl in green" inspired by the '70s.  She applied MAC Eye Shadow Pro Palette in Bottle Green onto lids. Then using MAC's Mixing Medium as glue she applied MAC Glitter in 3D Brass Gold on the top eyelids and MAC Creme Liner in Black under the eyes.
Fall 16 Makeup trends Glitter

Left: John Richmond Imaxtree Centre: Jenny Packham Rex Features Right Emanuel Ungaro Getty Images

Glitter made an unusual appearance at Burberry where Burberry's Shimmer Dust showered from the outer eyes onto the cheek. Val Garland's take on Giambattista Valli's triumphant celebration of women was that  "every woman should have a silver lining in her life." She took this literally with bold silver glitter liner drawn underneath the brow. MAC's Silver Pigment was added to MAC's Mixing Medium to create the silver liner. Once that set more mixing meduim went on top to act as glue for MAC's 3D Silver GlitterAt Tommy Hilfiger, Val Garland applied gold glitter over a taupe cream eye shadow.
Fall 16 Makeup trends glitter 2
Left: Giambattista Valli Indigital Centre Burberry Indigital Right Tommy Hilfiger Getty Images

10. Peach Eye Shadow
Pastel peach was a surprising choice for the autumn-winter shows since pastels are usually associated with spring and summer. At Prabal Gurung lids were peachy and the skin had a peachy glow to it as well. For BCBG Val Garland used Jay manuel Ultimate lipgloss in Desire, a peach lipgloss over a cream eye shadow to achieve a molton effect. She then lined eyes with Jay Manuel Creme liner in Captive on lighter skin tones and in Outlaw for darker skin tones. Peach was seen on both eyes and lips at Rochas.

Fall 16 Makeup Trends Peachy Eyes
Left: Rochas Imaxtree Centre: BCBG Imaxtree Right:Prabal Gurung Imaxtree


11. Smoky eyes
At Alberta Ferretti, makeup artist Diane Kendall was inspired by  'girls in the morning after a night out' and she made this 'morning after look' much more sexy than in real life! She used MAC Kohl Power eye pencil in Feline on the lash lines layered with Mac's Mixing Medium Shine for this lived in look. For Chloe, make up artist Aaron De May teamed the "worn in look" with "a slight toughness." He used MAC Modern Twist Kajal Liner in Squid along the waterline, dragging it down under the eyes before wiping the colour away with a cotton bud dipped in gloss. Sixties icon Talitha Getty inspired the look at Lhuillier. The look represented the girl that is "so cool the only thing she does is her eyeliner." This "little black eye" is a vinyl finish created by layering a cream liner MAC Creme Liner in Black then a gel liner MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack then a clear lip gloss and rough mascara only on the bottom lashes. MAC Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour in Divine and Mademoiselle were worn the lips.

Fall 16 Makeup Trends Smoky Eyes
Left: Alberta Ferretti Imaxtree Centre: Chloe Imaxtree Right Monique Lhuillier Imaxtree


Over at Vin & Omi makeup artists Sam Chapman and Nicola Haste (Pixiwoo) used Collection's Eyebrow Kit as eye shadow for their smoky look. For Moschino, Tom Pecheux went for a "sexy 90's" smoky eye. In contrast, the look he created for Ellie Saab was more rock and roll. He applied MAC Taupe Blush on the lid taking it all the way up to the brow and under the lower lashes creating an large oval shape. He then drew a darkened an almond shape inside using MAC Fluidline gel liner in Backtrack. Finally MAC Pigment in Dark Soul was dabbed on top of the gel liner. Pechaux explained that "It was important the eyes look big and to feel like there's a dark circle inside the taupe oval, otherwise it becomes a makeup commercial in the '90's."
Fall 16 makeup Trends Smoky Eyes
Left: Vin & Omi Danny Collins Centre: Ellie Saab Getty Images Right: Moschino Imaxtree




12. Textured eyes 
For Chanel Tom Pecheux was influenced by the famous Chanel quilted bags and used Chanel Soft Touch eye shadow in Midnight to produce a quilted effect to match the quilted jacket worn by the models. Thick mascara and pink lips completed this look. At Vaccarello, Pecheux was inspired by the earrings from the collection because they had "the shape of a cat's eye" and re-purposed them. He filled in the lids with L'oreal Paris Infalliable Gel Lacquer Liner and set it with L'oreal Paris Colour Riche Eye Shadow in Noir C'est Noir. He then glued the deconstructed earrings onto the outer eyes with spirit gum.To bring the look together he traced cream liner along the bottom edge of the earring. At Holly Fulton eyelids were given a broken glass effect. To achieve this look makeup artist Sam Bryant wet eyes with MAC's Mixing Medium, added adhesive in the crease and placed a sheet of silver metal leaf on top using a buffing brush to break it up in random pieces for the 'shards of glass'.

Fall '16 Makeup Trends Textured Eyes



13. Colourful Eyes
Jeremy Scott's makeup artist Kubuki described his look as "pin up girls with a pop twist." Crystal studded silver stars were placed under the right eye and MAC Acrylic Paint in High Def Cyan was drawn over the arch of the eyelids. MAC's lipstick in Candy Yum Yum completed the look.
At Fendi, inspired by the concept of "posh girl goes to Burning Man," makeup artist Peter Philips used purple, green, yellow, blue and pink around the eyes. Mugler showcased fiery colours in his collection so Clarins International Artistic Director Eric Antoniotti mixed an orange Clarin's eye shadow with Blue Orchard oil on the back of his hand. He then used his fingers to apply this to the eyelid for a fuss free, bold look.

                                Which is your favourite look? Let me know in the comments.

Fall '16 Makeup Trends Colorful eyes
Left: Jeremy Scott Imaxtree Centre: Mugler Getty Images Right Fendi Getty Images





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