Beauty Bible

Shelf-Life Of Cosmetics


You wouldn’t dream of eating food that’s gone past its ‘use-by’ date – but maybe you’re still trying to eke out a Jurassic Age mascara…. But at Beauty Bible we get many e-mails asking: how can you tell if cosmetics have gone off…?

Helpfully, though you might not even realise it, cosmetics do now generally come with a ‘Use By’ date. Thanks to a European directive, manufacturers now have to offer guidelines about how long a product can be kept after opening, for safety reasons. But you’d be forgiven for not knowing this, because the EU have made zero attempts to communicate this to the consumer!

And the trouble is, you probably need a magnifying glass (or at least some specs) to spot it on the packaging: a little symbol (it’s called a ‘pot’ symbol because it looks like a jar with the lid open), with a number beside it. ‘6’ means six months. ‘24’ means two years. And so on. (3, 6, 12 or 24 are the numbers you’ll most commonly see.) So if you open it in March, and it says ‘12’, technically it should still be good till the sun goes down on February 2009. (Before opening, products aren’t exposed to light and air, so the clock really starts ticking the minute you unscrew the lid.) And in reality, most of us hang onto make-up for longer than we should: a recent study from the College of Optometrists found that despite recommendations to throw away mascara after three to six months, 92% admit to keeping it longer! Read More…

Tips For Trips


Over the years of Beauty Bible, we’ve done a fair bit of travelling: Jo has countless relations in the States and Oz and now even Sarah (who once upon a time only went as far as a horse, car or train could take her) has been to Australia twice! (Her about-to-be-husband has a home in Fremantle.)

Our mission, however – whether it’s a short train hop from Hastings to Charing Cross or a major trans-Continental flight across multiple time zones – is to travel happily, so that we can arrive gorgeously. So as the holiday season looms, here’s what we shared on the subject in our last-but-one book, The Green Beauty Bible – which happens to feature many travel beauty-boosters that you’ll find on VH… Read More…

Great Hair Secrets


Really, it’s a wonder that we all manage Good Hair Days at all when you think of the number of factors that can affect hair health – from eating poorly, sleeping badly, and not drinking enough water (Beauty Bible’s eternal look-good mantra!), to hormonal imbalances. At this end of winter, too, hair can be parched and dried-out simply from having had the heating whacked up for what feels like way too many months now…

But the only option is not a paper bag: there’s an enormous amount that we can all do to boost hair health, year-round – and we’re not talking about wonder products you can apply: lifestyle and diet can have a much bigger impact than you’d imagine.

Of course by the time it becomes visible, hair’s actually ‘dead’. Which is why it’s so important to keep the scalp – where the hair is still alive and kicking, within the follicle – in good nick. So: what can we do to keep hair and scalp in peak condition? First of all, feed your follicles. Hair is made of a protein called keratin (the same as nails and skin), and protein – not surprisingly – needs to be nourished by a protein-rich diet, plus plenty of vitamins and minerals. That doesn’t mean a diet of huge steaks every day (though a little lean red meat, twice a week, is good for iron levels – which also help hair). But it does mean eating a good helping of protein daily. Read More…

Nail Tips


OK, so we’re beauty editors. But it’s always been a bit of a mystery to us that our hair and skin can be strong and lustrous while our fingers – which are made of the same protein as hair (keratin) – still tend to be weak, flaky and dry. However, over our years of research, we have just about managed to find a (multi-pronged) solution – and this month, we’re sharing it with you.

We long ago decided that the reason our nails are ‘challenged’ is the tough life our hands endure – because despite our tendency-to-raggedness fingernails, our toenails are just fine, thanks. Just reflect on a day in the life of your fingernails: constantly exposed to water and paper (wetting them makes nails swell, while paper is drying, so they shrink) – a cycle that repeated enough makes them brittle and fragile. Add to that pollutants of all kinds, plus the harsh chemicals in polish and remover. Well, no wonder they show the strain… Read More…

Roses: The Blooming Wonders of The Beauty World


On 14th February, most women will be fantasising about roses. Red ones. Pink ones. Fragrant ones. Giant bunches of them, so that the delivery person looks like a walking rose bush, with luck. (We can dream, can’t we…?)

But actually, at Beauty Bible, we’ve become pretty interested in a different aspect of rose-power. Because over the past 16 years we’ve been trialling products for our series of books, we’ve discovered something extraordinary: they push our testers’ buttons in a way that few other ingredients do. Consistently, we hear absolute raptures about rose-scented, rose-based, rose-infused products – to the point where we can put a small private bet on a rosy body cream, or eye treatment, or face mask, scoring well. (NB Despite every product going to 10 women, scores are almost invariably astonishingly consistent.) Read More…

10 Natural Ways To Boost Your Immune System


All year round, you need to keep your immune system in the best possible condition so it can work at its very best to keep you well. But at this time of year – when bugs seem to be flying around and our immune system can be challenged by getting chilled at a freezing bus stop, or simply running on empty after Christmas – it’s very easy for the immune system to take a dip, and for us to wind up in bed. So this month, we’d like to share some tips from our book The Green Beauty Bible, to help you stay well through the year’s early, health-challenging months. Read More…