About Beauty Bible

The first Beauty Bible book was launched in 1966, and since then there have been six bestsellers in the series, including The 21st Century Beauty Bible, The Green Beauty Bible and The Anti-Ageing Beauty Bible. Beauty Bible's mission is to help real women take a short-cut to products that truly work, and in addition to being a completely unbiased voice in the world of beauty, the books and website feature the real-life observations of over 20,000 women who've tried products for Beauty Bible since its launch, making this the biggest-ever independent survey of beauty products ever carried out in the world.

Posts by Beauty Bible

Natural Ways To Brighter Eyes

close up pink flower

You’ve probably noticed that D.I.Y beauty – whizzing up ingredients to make your own cosmetics – has become a bit of a trend. Well, with all respect to the millennials who are all over #Instagram with their home-made beauty treats, we’ve been doing it since we were teenagers ourselves. Here’s what we’ve always known: making your own beauty treats is fun. (Especially if you do it with a friend/child/goddaughter.) It’s easy. And because these little beauty treats are packed with lashings of botanical ingredients, they can  can be super-effective.

With hay fever a particular challenge right now (Sarah suffers terribly), puffy eyes are a particular problem. So this month, we thought we’d share with VH readers our top treatments for dealing with under-eye baggage and the eye zone generally. And, we thought we’d also share a little ‘beauty craft project’: making your own eye bags. Easy to do, even if your expertise generally doesn’t extend beyond sewing on a shirt button.

Chamomile Eye Bag Blitzer

  • 10g. (1/2  oz) dried chamomile flowers
  • Mineral, purified tap or rainwater

Chamomile has a near-miraculous effect on tired and puffy eyes. If you know you’re heading for a morning-after-the-night-before, make this chamomile infusion before you go out and it’ll be ice-cold and ready for bag-blitzing the next day. (It keeps for just a few days in the fridge.)

Place the flowers in the bottom of a mug and fill with boiling water; allow to cool and strain into a sterilised jar, which you should pop in the fridge. Soak cotton wool pads in the cold tea and place over the eyes. (Pads are better than cotton balls because they cover more of the eye zone.)

Relax for 15-20 minutes (we always love being told to do that!). During this time, use the pads of your fingers to tap outwards along the ‘orbital bone’ above and below the eye, to help the de-puffing action. (At a pinch, you can also use a cold chamomile tea bag as an eye compress; stew and cool in the fridge before use.)

Potato De-Bagger

  • 1/4 potato

Slice the potato in 5-to-10 very thin slices that can easily be moulded to the skin, rather than a couple of thick slices (which is the traditional advice).  I’ve found the thin slices are much more effective because they’re in contact with the skin. Simply spritz the eye area with plain water and arrange the potato around the eyes; leave in place for 10-15 minutes – and see that puffiness disappear, thanks to the potato’s decongesting action.

TIP: If eyes are puffy in the morning, take a leaf out of supermodel Linda Evangelista’s book and reach for a cube of ice. Wrap it in Clingfilm and use it to ‘massage away’ eye bags, working in an outward direction. The cold will reduce the swelling.

Eyebright Eye Brightener

  • 10g (1/2  oz) dried eyebright flowers
  • 225ml. water

Eyebright (Euphrasia officinalis) is the eye-friendly herb; it grows in natural grassland. You might be able to introduce seeds of this dainty, blueish-white flower into a wild, grassy corner of the garden, if you don’t pamper it too much – but if not, the dried herb just as effective.

Eyebright’s power was first recorded in the 14th century, when it was deemed useful for ‘all evils of the eye’. It’s rich in the mineral zinc, which helps repair skin tissues – probably explaining why it’s good at caring for the fragile skin around the eyes. Eyebright’s also a good skin disinfectant. (But be super-aware that natural cosmetics – made without synthetic preservatives – can become contaminated; immediately ditch any eye preparation that you make using eyebright if it starts to smell different or if you get any kind of eye infection – and always ensure your hands are clean when you use any kind of home-made eye treat. Never use a homemade infusion of eyebright directly in the eyes; it may not be sufficiently sterile.)

So: the how-to. Put the flowers in the bottom of a saucepan and add the water. Bring to the boil and simmer for five minutes. Cool and strain, then pour into a sterile jar. Store the eyebright infusion in the fridge, where it will keep for three or four days. (Don’t keep it longer than that.) When your eyes feel tired, soak a cotton pad in the mixture, squeeze to remove almost all the liquid and place the damp pad on the eyelids for 5-to-10 minutes.

Herbal Eye Pillows

  • 25cm/ 1/yard of silky or natural fabric (cotton or linen)
  • 150g (5 oz) dried lavender flowers
  • 6 drops lavender essential oil (optional)

Cut two rectangles of fabric, around 22 cm. by 13 cm. With right sides together stitch a 11/4cm/ 1/2inch seam around the two long sides and one end of the pillow, either by hand or using a sewing machine. Turn the right side out. Put the flaxseed and the lavender flowers in a bowl, add the lavender essential oil, drop-by-drop, swirl to mix – and (using using a funnel) pour the mixture into the bag. With a hand stitch, neatly sew the remaining side closed.

These eye bags are wonderfully relaxing – helpful for getting to sleep, during an at-home spa treatment or any time you need to relax;  the weight of the grains seems to quiet the eyes – and in turn, the mind.  These make wonderful gifts, too. Your herb pillow should last for about a year;  when the next lavender harvest is in, renew it. The herbal eye pillows page can be made of almost any natural material, but silk is particularly soothing and gentle on the skin.

The Ultimate Leg Guide

legs in bath

Boy, summer’s taken its time, hasn’t it? But at last, it is time to peel off some layers – and reveal the skin beneath. And – in the case of our legs – possibly shriek in horror, and retreat straight back into a pair of jeans. Not sure what it is about legs, but most emerge from winter looking like they’ve been under a stone somewhere. Hideously pale. Often dry and flaky. Definitely not worthy of a can-can, that’s for sure…

But since most of us are just longing to stow away our opaques until autumn rolls round, emergency action is required. The good news? Fortunately, there are some short-cuts to bare-able legs which can transform them fast enough for you to reach for a short dress or a pair of shorts in just an hour or two from now, without scaring the horses. (Highly relevant, in Sarah’s case.) Read More…

The Beauty Bible Spring Skincare Edit

Pink Tutti London

As some of you may know, for aeons now we have been sharing products that Beauty Bible loves every single weekday on Beautybible.com, having sifted through the literally thousands of products which land on our desks each year to find the gems.

It probably will not come as a surprise to VH devotees that many of our finds happen to come from this very website. So – in case you missed them – here are some of our recent faves and our spring skincare edit… Read More…

How To Find The Perfect Foundation

foundation on black and white stripes

Foundation can be the best friend in your make-up bag – or your face’s foe. Quite simply, that’s the difference between ‘getting it right’ – in which case, your skin will simply look like a beautifully enhanced version of its natural self – and getting it wrong. Which could mean: foundation that’s basically wearing you (rather than the other way round – usually because you’ve got the shade wrong), or which cakes, or simply disappears by elevenses.

 

We know plenty of women who can get away without foundation. Mostly, they’re under the age of 30. Beyond that, foundation can make a huge difference: it’s a brilliant canvas for other products, and it evens out imperfections. As our make-up artist friend Trish McEvoy once told us: ‘As we get older, we lose evenness (principally due to cumulative sun damage), clarity, colour and definition. That’s the difference between a young face and an older one. Your aim should be to recreate these as naturally as possible.’   Read More…

Nail Clinic: How To Stop Bad Nail Habits

nail polish container

Flaking, breaking, snapping, peeling, biting: many of us are afflicted by nail ‘woes’ which stand between us and and manicure ‘perfection’. In fact, nail woes rank very highly, when it comes to advice requests to beautybible.com. (If there’s a woman out there who’s 100 percent happy with her nails – particularly as the years roll by – we’ve yet to meet her.) So here’s our wisdom on tackling some of the most common nail habits. Read More…

Winter Warmers

winter-warmer-jan-17

For once, we’ve had a ‘proper’ winter. Plenty of blue skies, sub-zero temperatures – and snow, across much of the country. (To do battle with, once the childish thrill’s worn off.) Jo – as you may have read in her editorial last month – loves the cold. But even she loves coming IN from the cold and warming up again – that contrast is central to her enjoyment of winter, actually.

So we thought that right now is a good time to focus on ‘winter warmers’ – products, drinks, tips and tricks (and even a delicious soup) to ensure we feel toasty, no matter what the wind-chill factor.

Let’s start with things to sip – because there’s really nothing like warming your hands on a hot cup of something delicious, when you come in from the cold. We love turmeric lattes – which are super-easy to make, and delicious with it. Use any kind of milk you like – though almond is particularly delicious. Add three-quarters of a teaspoon of turmeric powder, a tablespoon of coconut oil, a quarter of a teaspoon each of ground ginger and ground cinnamon, three whole peppercorns, and a splash of vanilla extract. Whisk until well-combined and wait until the milk begins to bubble at the side of the pan. (Don’t boil – simply heat the milk). If you’ve got a hand-blender, you can use this to whisk the mixture further, creating a froth – but if not, don’t worry; it’ll still be delish. Fish out the peppercorns, and add honey to taste – we find a teaspoon is sweet enough, but you might have a sweeter tooth. Read More…