We consider ourselves blessed to have many of the world’s greatest hair, make-up and health experts in our Little Black Books. (Even if our ‘Little Black Books’ have now morphed into ‘Little White iPhones’…!) Every day on www.beautybible.com, we share a little nugget of wisdom that we’ve come across in our research. Here are some of our favourites…
- To instantly de-puff eyes, using your middle and ring fingers press and glide a bit of eye cream around the bones of the eyes, moving towards the temples of the eyes. Repeat three times on the bones above the eyes, and then below. It will help drain fluids and reduce puffiness.
- To avoid overloading your brush with loose powder, remove the lid and swirl your brush around this. The traces of powder are usually just the right amount for ‘setting’ your make-up and creating a velvety finish, without looking dusty.
- Don’t have time to wait the prescribed ten minutes between applying moisturiser, and putting on your make-up? Dry your face with a hairdryer on the cool setting for a minute.
- Try applying eyeliner after mascara: you stiffen the lash-line, giving liquid liner something to hold onto.
- Listen to the radio or iPod while you brush your teeth. Most people only brush for about 45 seconds, but it takes two minutes to remove plaque from teeth – close to the length of most songs.
- To whiten fingernails, rub a lemon wedge over nails. (Then moisturise thoroughly afterwards.)
- Never use a plastic comb on hair that has a tendency to frizz: these overstretch strands and can cause them to snap. A wide-toothed wooden comb is best (and we love a Tangle Teezer, too!)
- Use hands-free for your phones whenever you can. (That means a headset, if you’re using a landline a lot.) Because of dirt and friction, cradling a receiver between the shoulder and chin can cause comedones (clogged pores in their pre-pimple stage) to rupture – and that means a breakout. (Also use anti-bacterial wipes to clean phones regularly.)
- Blink often! We spend so many hours in front of screens these days, we can forget to blink. Flutter your eyelashes often to keep eyes bright and sparkling: it keeps irritants at bay and ensures a moist surface. The front of the eye – the cornea – is particularly prone to the drying effects of air; dryness means less oxygen getting through so the blood vessels dilate to compensate – leading to redness. You should blink every ten seconds, minimum.
- To get every last drop of lotion from a near-empty tube, warm it for a few seconds in the microwave.
- Run out of remover? To take off polish in an emergency you can apply a clear topcoat over the entire nail, and immediately rub with a tissue to wipe off all layers of polish.
- Frankincense essential oil is brilliant for calming the mind if you’re feeling stressed, or are panicking. Says Geraldine Howard, our friend and founder of Aromatherapy Associates: ’I never travel without it. It is brilliant for collecting your thoughts: I call it my ‘meditation oil’. Just put a couple of drops on a tissue and breathe it in. Vetiver is not as commonly used, but is also great for calming the mind.
- Don’t wash your hair the night before you colour it. A little bit of oil will keep it in good condition and actually makes it easier for colour to ‘take’ than super-shiny hair.
- If skin’s itchy, make a little pouch out of muslin (one of your cleansing cloths is fine), and fill with a handful of porridge oats. Run it under the hot tap as you fill the bath, and swish in the water. The oats soften the water, leaving skin comforted – and softer.
- Use a fabric conditioner sheet to take the static out of hair – simply smooth over the flyaway bits.
- Quit the spit! The best way to wet a brush you’re using around the eyes is to squeeze a drop of eye drops into a dish, then dip the brush: it’s completely antiseptic and hygienic.
Make-up artists tell us that women who want to avoid shine should pat a little Milk of Magnesia on the T-zone in the morning, to help stay oil-free. (Apply gently with a cotton pad.)
To turn a favourite powder into a cream formula, mix a few sprinklings with a dot of of vitamin E oil.
- Never waste an avocado. Once you’ve scooped out the flesh, roll up your sleeves and work what’s left on the inside of the skin into your skin. Promise it doesn’t make you look like Shrek!
- Any rich (non-clay) face mask can be left on overnight, to sink in. ’By morning you’ll have plumped, refreshed skin and have hydrated any lines and wrinkles,’ says superfacialist Anastasia Achilleos.
- If your lashers are super-straight, Charlotte Tilbury recommends using waterproof mascara, after lash-curlers. ‘It holds lashes up much better than a regular formula’.
- If you suffer from splitting nails, try cutting and filing them while the polish is still on – the polish acts as a cushion between the clipper and the nail, helping to prevent splits.
- Always tweeze brows in natural daylight. It illuminates all the teensy hairs you’ll miss in bathroom lighting. And never tweeze using a magnifying mirror: it’s way too easy to overdo it.
- If you’ve had a pedicure or manicure, try to avoid bathing that night – or keep your hands/feet above the waterline. Otherwise polish is more likely to chip and flake, sooner.
- If you suffer from flaky lips in winter, avoid balms or lipsticks that contain SPFs. These can feature chemicals that dry out lips. (We prefer all-natural balms, ourselves – and best of all, our own Beauty Bible Lip Balm, of course!)