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

Post Summer Hair S.O.S.

cut hair close up

So, you fried it. Sun. Sea. Surf. Sand. Styling gunk. Salt spray, even! (What were you thinking? Well, beach-y tousled waves, probably.) And as a result, chances are that by now, you’re only too well aware that summer is very hard on your hair.

This is most definitely the time to answer your hair’s S.O.S. call, then. Because summer may be tough on tresses – but if you compound that with the ultra-dry environment we’re about to move into as soon as the central heating goes on, the damage just accelerates and you’ll find yourself heading inexorably haystack-wards. So this is the time to put back what summer 2017 took out – and get back on track with a hair rehab regime… Read More…

Double Duty Beauty

sliced lemons

Whether or not you are the travel-savvy type who manages to jet off with hand baggage only (something we aspire to but have never mastered), or travel – certainly, as Jo does – as if headed off on the cultural Grand Tour so beloved of our Victorian ancestors, there is a great deal to be said for products which perform more than one task, in order to free up valuable real estate in that suitcase.

The marketing departments of beauty companies would like us to think that the products they make perform but a single use. (With the exception of multi-purpose balms, which we’ll come onto, and which are actually pitched as multi-taskers.) But ever since we were first closeted away at a hotel writing our debut pink Beauty Bible tome, we’ve been playing around with products to see what other tricks they can pull off. (This dates back to trying Christian Dior’s Svelte anti-cellulite treatment as a hairstyling gel. It worked perfectly.)

We suggest you have a go yourself, seeing whether you can re-purpose favourite beauty products. There’s really only one rule, actually, when it comes to experimenting: don’t apply anything to the eye zone that isn’t specifically designed for that area; eye products undergo special ophthalmological testing to ensure they’re safe – and better safe than sorry.

Here, though, are some of our suggestions for space-saving beauty products for your suitcase. In some cases, store cupboard standbys – like the humble lemon – can do double- or even triple-duty, too. But with the extortionate amount ‘cheap’ airlines charge for extra bags, has it ever been timelier to find out just what else your favourite beauty products can do…?

  • Eyeliner… can work as brow-liner and even lipliner, in a soft, auburn-y shade.
  • Lemons… are one of nature’s great beautifiers: rub halves on elbows to brighten skin, use in a hair rinse for blondes.
  • Body oil… if it’s not too highly scented (or indeed if unscented), apply to a wet cotton pad and use it to remove make-up.
  • Facial sprays… work brilliantly to damp hair down before re-styling.
  • Olive oil… can be mixed with seasalt (one tablespoon of oil to one teaspoon of salt) as an instant exfoliant. Also brilliant massaged into dry hair; wrap with Clingfilm and leave on as long as possible before shampooing out.
  • Rose-tinted lipstick or gloss… makes a great blusher – particularly at this time of year when powder often looks too heavy.
  • Eye cream… works as a lip treatment.
  • Bottles of nearly finished scent… can be used to fragrance your bath; add a little baby oil (or unscented body oil) to the bottle, and shake.
  • Eye make-up base… is good for concealing blemishes.
  • Shower gel… can be used to hand-wash lingerie and woollens.
  • Moisturiser… at a pinch, can be applied to leather shoes and then polished to give them a gleam as bright as any upmarket polish. We often rub a touch of moisturiser between palms and skim over hair when it’s unruly.
  • Hand lotion… is great smoothed onto legs for shaving; it leaves skin ultra-silky. (Hair conditioner works, too.)
  • Lip balm… is one of our favourite multi-taskers: use it as a cuticle treatment and rub a dab between palms as a frizzy hair fix. (Our Beauty Bible Lip Balm is fab for this!)
  • Powder bronzer… can be applied as an eyeshadow – a great holiday look.

And a word about multi-tasking balms… We love a specific ‘all-in-one product’ – especially around the time of holidays, travel and festivals. Our favourites on VH?

Check out Lanolips 101 Ointment Multipurpose Superbalm (for lips, hands and all over).

This Works In Transit Turbo Balm is teeny, but fits brilliantly into a pocket to treat dry skin emergencies on heels, cuticles, elbows – and is a terrific brow-tamer, with its blend of cocoa butter, rose oil and heaven-scented monoi oil.

Pommade Divine rises to all kinds of dry skin challenges – we have friends it’s helped with psoriasis, eczema and various other rashes, but at a pinch we’ve also used it as a make-up remover (though do keep away from eyes, which aren’t keen on the camphor). Good for any dry bits, too. And just what is the word for a product that performs about 10 tasks, meanwhile…?

It should certainly be applied to Weleda Skin Food: a highly affordable, all-natural treat from the biodynamic beauty name, genius as a creamy cleanser, a moisturiser for day and night, a body lotion, hand cream (and more, more, more), with its blend of sunflower seed and sweet almond oil. We’ve heard of backpackers who’ve sawn off half a toothbrush to save space while hiking. If you’re one of them (and even if you’re not, actually), you definitely need Skin Food in your life.

July Kits

world map

We love a kit at Beauty Bible – for two very good reasons. One is the obvious travel factor: while we aren’t quite at the stage of sawing toothbrushes in half to make our luggage lighter (apparently backpackers do this regularly!), we do like to lighten the load with travel sizes of some of our favourite products. In many cases, packing ‘kit-sized’ items means we can get away with hand luggage, at least for short-haul.

But secondly, we always love to sample new products (yes, despite the fact that we get sent about three truckloads of stuff to try over the course of a typical year). And a kit is a low-risk way of doing that, letting us/you decide whether to spring for a bigger/ginormous version. You get to sample the smell, the texture – and in some cases, you’ll experience the instant benefits. Read More…

The Magic Bath

Bath

We recently gave a friend who was having a tough time a bottle of the utterly amazing Aromatherapy Associates Inner Strength Bath & Shower Oil – only to be met with a slightly confused glance as the person declared: ‘Gosh, well, I can’t remember the last time I had a bath…’ Resisting the urge to wrest this sensational aromatherapeutic treat from their hands, we took a deep breath, smiled and said: ‘Well, maybe this is time to rediscover the pleasures of bathing…’

Yes, showering does the job – and it’s certainly possible to apply that brilliant product before jumping under a raging torrent, and enjoy the spirit-soothing powers of its oils of clary sage, frankincense and cardamom. But truly, soaking in scented waters and feeling every atom of stress melt away is one of the things that keeps us sane. Or whatever passes for sane, in this crazy, speeded-up, how-did-it-get-to-be-June-already? world. Read More…

Small Changes In Difficult Times

light

Nobody reaches adulthood without discovering that life is a rollercoaster. Sometimes we’re up – elated, overjoyed, beaming ear to ear. But unavoidably, we all face challenging times, facing sadness, grief, frustration, depression or simply fear. (Certainly, pick up any newspaper right now and the world can definitely feel quite scary.)

We’ve long believed that small changes can make big differences to how we feel – and that’s definitely true when facing life’s challenges. So when you’re on the low of that rollercoaster, here’s what we know works – on a physical, emotional, mental and spiritual level. Read More…

Striking Oils: The New Argan (And Other Oils…)

striking-oils-the-new-argan-and-other-oils

We love oils. Can virtually hear our skins slurping them up, from top to toe. Oils provide serious skin nourishment – which healthy skin needs, alongside moisture. (For which we turn to our old friend hyaluronic acid, among other ingredients.) They tend to be wonderfully skin-compatible, too – so no wonder the Beauty Bible team has a veritable arsenal of them on our bedside tables and bathroom shelves.

But the Indiana Joneses of the beauty world have been out there with their machetes and their GPS devices, tracking down ‘new’ oils. Of course, they’re not really new – but they’re new as beauty ingredients… Remember all that fuss about argan oil, a few years back? (And now argan’s a mainstay of the beauty industry.) And then coconut…?

We still love, love, love those oils. But here are some lesser-known discoveries on the oil front, which you’ll want to keep your eyes peeled for.

Marula oil. Marula is packed with antioxidants (60% more than argan!), vitamins and omegas and is regarded as a ‘cure-all’ by the Ovambo women in Namibia, where it hails from. It’s a great multi-tasker – soothing and smoothing every skintype, even greasy. One of these days we might persuade oily-skinned women to use oils – we’re still hoping, but they would do well to start here – because marula oil is actually good for blemishes and scarring (as well as stretch marks). Personally, we really like this oil for ‘locking in’ moisture, applying a couple of drops or so over night cream (in particular). It leaves it silky, but traps the dewiness inside, too. Also good, we’re finding, for smoothing through hair – add just a drop or two to the palms, then rub these and your fingers together and skim through hair, for instant ‘texture’ but also gleam and nourishment. (And no, it won’t leave your hair looking greasy. Promise.) Check out The Ordinary 100% Cold-Pressed Virgin Marula Oil.

Moringa oil. Moringa is extracted from the seeds of Moringa oleifera, also known as the Drumstick tree. Nutrient-dense, it’s chosen for its anti-ageing properties, packed with free radicals. Interestingly, as well as helping to boost glow and fight skin fatigue by combating the effects of pollution, moringa (like marula) is also great for fighting acne and blackheads. It makes a wonderful scalp massage oil, ideal for dry scalp, delivering minerals and vitamins to hair follicles. We also take moringa as a supplement, by the way, blending it into delicious smoothies and juices. Find it in de Mamiel Botaniques Restorative Cleansing Balm, and (for those drinks) Aduna Moringa Green Superleaf Powder.

Cacay oil. File under ‘one to watch’: this South American oil is also very lightweight and swiftly-absorbed (this seems to be the trend in oils) – one for people who don’t like any feeling of greasiness that an oil can give. Cacay nuts are the size of a small orange, and contain kernels from which an oil is extracted that delivers three times more retinol than rosehip (so we’re told), 50% more vitamin E and twice the vitamin F (Essential Fatty Acids) of argan oil. Great for skin irritations and for soothing and healing minor burns, its fans attest.

Maracuja oil. Shabir was one of the first people we know to write about this (read his in-depth article here), but maracuja is now quite a ‘buzz’ in beauty circles. Derived from the seeds of the passion fruit plants, this non-fragrant oil is a rich source of antioxidants and helps reduce inflammation; in medical tests, it was found to stimulate production of the cells that create collagen. We suggest using a drop or two as a serum, or mixed it with your regular moisturiser or serum. It’s also great for nails, hair and scalp: another one-bottle-wonder for the bedside table (albeit not in the sexiest packaging you’re ever going to get your hands on…) Pure Maracuja Oil.

Rosehip oil. Not so new – but it’s gaining so many fans and making its way into so many different products, now, that rosehip is worth reminding ourselves about. This oil is actually one of nature’s wonder-healers: great for redness, wrinkles, pigmentation and for balancing complexions. (It’s another of those oils that is good for oily/problem skins – and is also effective at alleviating post-acne pigmentation.) Many people we know have reported improvements in scar tissue (and indeed stretchmarks) via regular application of rosehip oil. We’ve heard good first-hand reports, too, from sufferers of rosacea – one of beauty’s toughest challenges. The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rosehip Seed Oil

Striking oils, every one…