About Tiffany Rooney

Tiffany is an aspiring writer currently working on her first novel, as well as a self-confessed beauty junkie. An avid subscriber of fashion magazines, Tiffany loves nothing more than discovering a beauty must-have and experimenting with different looks. Follow Tiffany on Twitter @Tiffroon

Skincare: The Ten Commandments

1. Thou shalt not go to bed with the night before’s make-up on

OK, I admit there has been occasion where I have broken this one, but not very often I might add, and that’s because I fully appreciate the importance of letting my skin breath overnight (after all this is the time when it repairs itself). Plus, nobody wants mucky foundation stains all over their pillowcase, do they? Exactly.

2. Thou shalt take a skin-loving supplement

My particular favourite is Selenium which is rich in antioxidants and works miracles on fine lines. So powerful is selenium that if ever my lines are looking a little more pronounced I switch from my regular multi-vitamin to a selenium (with vitamins A,C & E) supplement and after a couple months it is literally like you’ve turned back the hands of time! Wonderful stuff.

3. Honour thy skincare routine      

This should involve cleansing and moisturizing as a minimum, but you can also try serums, face masks and treatments designed specifically for your skin type. Whatever you decide to do though, do it regularly. Your skin will thank you for it.

4. Thou shalt not squeeze spots

Squeezing a spot can leave a scar; it is much better to leave it be than take the risk. If you have a big event coming up and need to speed up the process you could always try a (small) dab of toothpaste on the little blighter to dry it out.

5. Thou shalt not tolerate dry, flaky lips

Gently buff flaky lips with an old toothbrush before saturating them with a creamy lip balm. Eh voilà – kissable, super-soft lips are yours.

6. Thou shalt have eight hours sleep every night     

Or failing that you can always cover up any tell-tale signs of a late night with a good foundation. Many modern formulas have built in skin goodies such as serums and vitamins for a flawless face which is 100% guilt free.

7. Thou shalt keep hydrated

It’s difficult to drink as much water as our bodies would like us to consume, but flavoured teas and well diluted cordial are good substitutes if you find it a struggle to get your eight glasses in.

8. Thou shalt keep squeaky clean

I used to wonder why I got blackheads until I read an article that said you should cleanse your skin until your cleansing pads come away clean. It seems obvious but I’d never thought to do this before (I wrongly assumed one pad would be fine) and now I hardly ever get blackheads. Result.

9. Thou shalt not rub your eyes

Because broken off eyelashes and premature crow’s feet are not a good look.

10. And on the seventh day, they rested   

We all need a day off every now and again and our skin is no exception. If you have a day of household chores lined up how about foregoing the foundation and letting it breathe a little, remember… healthy skin is happy skin!

Image reproduced from beautyeditor.ca

Beauty: The Math

Why it’s OK to splurge on the important stuff if you don’t mind scrimping on the essentials!

It is true to say that I do love me a beauty product. I’ve never quite got the shoe thing though, I know for instance that Posh Spice is quite happy giving herself bunions pouring her feet into stilettos which could frankly kill a man in her quest to be the most stylish woman on the planet, but I have a confession to make… I prefer flats. There I’ve said it! And for me browsing the likes of Boots, Superdrug and the various online purveyors of beauty products is what I can only imagine shoe-addicts feel like in Jimmy Choo. They are my Mecca and I could happily spend half my salary on products with scientific sounding ingredients in them that promise to make me ‘glow’, ‘sparkle’ and ‘baby soft’, and when I was starting out in my career and not earning very much money at all I probably did spend half my wage on them, and that isn’t sensible.

So, how do I manage my love of all things beauty related without going overdrawn every month? Simple, I do the math and it goes like this:

Add - the beauty products you can’t live without

I sometimes find myself using the term ‘false economy’ to justify my purchases to friends who have less disposable income than I do and would balk at the prospect of paying over £20 on a lip and cheek tint. This is because every other (usually cheaper) lip tint I’ve had the pleasure of using has been a letdown in comparison to my trusted Benetint. That’s not to say they were not decent tints, most were quite reasonable in fact, but for me Benetint is a legend amongst tints. It is the Godfather of all tints and I would rather be parted from my childhood teddy bear than I would my Benetint.

Add – your (non budget-busting) essentials 

For me it’s things like shower gel, sure there are brands and scents and even formulas I like more than others but I am happy to go with whatever is on offer to fund my tint addiction and ensure that I can buy the foundation which makes me look like I’ve had ten hours sleep every night.

Minus – lots of savings from being bargain savvy

Most stores regularly have great offers on like buy one get one free (BOGOF), 3 for 2 or ‘save 1/3’ etc. on tons of beauty products. This is a good opportunity to make some big savings on the things you needed to buy anyway. Even better, online stores often have an ‘offers’ page which lists the products that are currently on offer. Need antiperspirant and not fussy about which one you end up with? Go on the ‘offers’ page and see if there are any going cheap!

Plus, these days most online companies offer free delivery if you spend over a certain amount (check the website before you spend hours filling your basket to avoid disappointment though), so make yourself a list and do your toiletries shop monthly or bimonthly. If you are struggling to make the minimum order value needed to ensure you are eligible for free delivery (usually about £40) and you have a spare drawer, then think about stocking up on the items which you know you will use and that aren’t perishable – that way you won’t get stung on delivery charges.

Points are another great way of saving money and all the main loyalty schemes on the high street are free to join so there really isn’t anything to lose. I spend roughly £50 on toiletries and beauty products per month and I can sometimes amass £50 worth of points in a 6 month period (Tip: watch out for points events and make sure you use the coupons they send/give you for extra points and savings).

And so she lived happily ever after with perfectly tinted lips, no less

And so with beauty it really isn’t true that the more you spend the better quality product you get. Some of my favourite products cost less than a fiver (and even less if I buy them on offer), but sometimes you find a product which is a little bit more expensive but just works, and in those cases I’m happy spending more knowing I’m getting more. That’s the beauty of beauty though – it’s like a sweetie shop for grown-ups. So experiment, play with the testers and work out what you like…. Then wait for a points event and stock up!

Image reproduced from pmtips.net

Winter Ready in Five Easy Steps

1. Switch up Your Skincare Regime

In order to combat the drying effects of cold weather and central heating, as the seasons change, so too should your skincare routine. This may include swapping a foaming wash for a cream-based cleanser, introducing regular conditioning face masks to your routine or switching from a water-based moisturiser to one which is oil-based and slightly thicker. And don’t be too quick to ditch that sun cream… winter skin needs SPF too, you know!

2. Mask It

It’s not only your skin that can dry out in the winter months; your hair may also start to feel parched as a result of the sudden change in temperature. Inject some moisture into it by committing to weekly masks (twice weekly if you can manage it) for touchable hair throughout the party season. Tip: for even softer tresses try wrapping cling film around (or pop a shower cap over) your mask-soaked hair, for maximum absorption.

3. Pucker Up

Unsightly chapped lips are not only a sure fire way to miss out on those mistletoe kisses; they can also be very sore and extremely annoying. Apply a thin layer of lip balm whenever you’re out in the elements to protect lips and keep them kissably soft all winter long. And if that doesn’t work simply buff any dead skin from your lips (very gently) with an old toothbrush dipped in some petroleum jelly.

4. Be Suitably Supple

The skin on your body suffers just as much during the winter months as the skin on your face, so it is a good idea to invest in a thick, creamy lotion or body butter for those days when you’re feeling a bit tight or scaly. Unless you regularly indulge in piping hot baths (which are a bit of a moisture zapper), you shouldn’t need to moisturize every day; every other day or even once or twice a week if you skin is on the oily side should be fine. For a special treat before a big party or if you are feeling particularly parched and in need of a quick fix simply apply a generous helping of body oil (or baby oil if you’re on a budget) from tip to toe – just make sure to rub it in well or you could end up wiping away oily smudges from your surfaces for days after!

5. Unleash Your Inner Vamp

Bronzer and shimmer is great for the summer time, but make up which is slightly vampy and matte works well during the winter because daylight is at its weakest, and so you can get away with playing with stronger colours and more dramatic styles which would seem too harsh for bright, summer days. A dark lip (think burgundy, rust and chocolate) is very chic in the autumn and a strong, red lip screams party season! Nail colours, too, should be bold and dark, as should brows, which, if done right will frame your face and make even barely made up faces look ‘done’.

Image reproduced from fashioncentral.in

Kitchen Cupboard Beauty

I never fail to be surprised by how multi-tasking some of our kitchen staples truly are, and whilst some of the so called ‘natural remedies’ are arguably a bit barmy (beer as a hair conditioning treatment, anyone?), some really do work! Here are a few of my favourites:

Cooling Cucumber For a bright-eyed look when you’re feeling a bit puffy, take two slices of fresh cucumber (which has been chilled in a refrigerator for at least 2 to 3 hours) and place over closed eyes. Leave for about five minutes before removing them to reveal sparkly, wide-awake peepers.

Honey Soother Honey is well known for being deliciously sweet, but did you know that it also has antiseptic properties? Well it has, and it’s these antibacterial properties which make it ideal for soothing sore skin affected by acne. Just apply a thin layer straight from the jar and leave it on for around ten minutes (tip: honey masks can get a bit messy and drip when it starts to warm on your skin, but lying down helps to reduce this). Used daily it can significantly reduce the appearance of unsightly pimples. Lemon Aid Lemons are a true beauty hero, and can help with everything from dry skin to lack-luster hair. To refresh skin when you’re feeling a bit grimey from pollution or excess oil rub a slice of lemon over your face (like you would with a cleansing pad soaked in toner) and follow with a splash of cold water before gently patting dry. Lemons can also be used to lighten hair in the summer months, so if you want sun kissed locks without the expensive of paying for professional highlights just comb in some lemon juice before you hit the beach. Dry patches? Rub a lemon on them! The enzymes in the lemon remove dead cells on the skin’s surface. Salt Scrubber Flake away dead skin the cheap way by mixing a grainy sale (such as sea salt) with a dollop of petroleum jelly. Use in the same way you a high-street scrub, for baby soft skin at a fraction of the price (do be careful though, salt scrubs can be a tad abrasive, so best to avoid if you have very delicate skin)! Olive Oil I swear by treating my hair to a soak in olive oil every couple of weeks. All you need to do is pop a few tablespoons in a microwaveable bowl and zap for about a minute or so. When it has cooled a little carefully massage it through the mid-lengths and ends of your hair (the longer you leave it marinating the better), then a good wash and hey presto, baby soft tresses are yours! And that’s not all olive oil is good for (besides the obvious cooking-related uses, of course); it can also be used to condition your cuticles. It takes round thirty minutes of soaking to get them nice and soft (the perfect excuse to catch up on your favourite TV show – guilt free). Images reproduced from worldoffemale.com, healths-tips.info, ladyspeak.com, beautycc.com and sheknows.com

Fight the Frizz!

A couple of things you really don’t want to do with your frizz-prone locks, and a few you just might….

The very first memory I have of trying to tame my unruly locks came aged eleven, when attempting to straighten my hair using the discount iron my mum had bought a few weeks earlier from our local supermarket and an old, scratchy towel I somehow managed to burn a great big blister into my forehead, and quite badly I might add – ouch. Frustrated with my hair’s inability to lie flat for more than a couple of (very dry) days a month I decided to embrace the frizz and aged 12 purchased a crimping machine, yes you read correctly, I crimped. I’m not proud of it, nor do I recommend it to anyone save a follically challenged poodle.

So, needless to say I’ve tried it all and sometimes despite my best efforts I still don’t win. However when it comes to my hair I will never surrender to the elements and here are some of my favourite ways of minimising the appearance of the frizzies:

Olly Olly Olly, Oil Oil Oil!

Olive Oil is cheap as chips and multi-tasking. Cook your sausages in it, rub it on your dry patches (as an alternative to expensive body butter) or even treat your tresses to a feed with it! I suggest popping a few tablespoons in a microwaveable bowl and zapping it for about a minute or so. When it has cooled a little carefully massage it through the mid-lengths and ends of your hair (the longer you leave it marinating the better), then a good wash and hey presto, baby soft tresses are yours!

Strictly an 8 Hours Kinda Girl

My hair just doesn’t behave the way it ought to if it doesn’t get a good night’s sleep every now and again (a bit like me then)! So to appease the hair gods I try and give it a rest from time to time by wearing it up in a top knot or a pony, in fact any kind of ‘up-do’ really just as long as it is tied back. Depending on the weather conditions (read: torrential rain) this does not always work but at the very least the exercise will have given you the opportunity to show off those fabulous cheekbones!

Another good tip if your hair is long is to it tie it in a (comfortable) bun low on your head before you go to bed. If it’s anything like mine the next morning you might just wake to a full head of wondrously smooth waves which should stay put all day!

Serum is a Girl’s Best Friend!

Don’t get me wrong I like diamonds, but I can live without diamonds; I cannot, however, live without serum! And whether it’s from a supermarket or bought at a fancy hairdresser’s I find it’s pretty much all the same so don’t sweat the quality too much. But if you have frizzy hair and don’t use serum then you are doing your barnet a great disservice because it really does banish frizz in an instant (but may need topping up during the day so you’d be wise to stash one at work, in the car and anywhere you might need a quick top-up). Word of warning though – go easy with it, if you overdo it might all go a bit ‘chippy chic’!

As any good frizz fighters know, besides maybe a scalp transplant there is not much you can do about frizz long-term. It is true to say that there have been days when I have seriously considered going all Demi Moore and whipping out the shaver, but then I remind myself that when I do have a good hair day it is a good day, and suddenly it all seems worth it and you forget that you ever spent hours straightening and re-straightening that wavy fringe (that your hairdresser talked you into, promising you that it was really cool and “just like Alexa’s”) and just enjoy it.

Party Season Sparkle for Grown-ups

I wish to make a confession: my inner child loves anything that sparkles. Sequins, glitter, and beads – I love them all! But the problem is that sparkly make up is really difficult to do without looking like an extra from the set of Twilight, or being mistaken for a member of an ABBA tribute act. When you think of sequins and glitter what are the first things that spring to mind…. cheesy 70’s girl bands, disco balls and panto season, I’ll bet. And whilst those things are fun, they are neither cool nor sexy. However, I truly believe there are ways to incorporate a little sparkle into your party look in a chic way, and I’m going to show you how.

Nail It

Painting nails with a glittery polish (which come in both light and dark colours) is the simplest and most fool-proof way to do sparkle this party season, whatever your budget. From BarryM to Nails Inc there’s a shimmering polish for everyone. Glitter not your thing? Why not try a metallic polish; they are a little more sophisticated, but just as much fun and range from shiny and bold to matte and muted.

Line It

Scared of glittery eye shadows? Think they are only for the young and eccentric? Me too. But there is a flattering alternative to full on sparkly peepers. Using glittery eyeliner puts a twinkle in the eye without being over the top and the good news is they come in both kohl and liquid form. To use draw a line close to your lashes, on the upper eyelid only (glitter on the lower lash line looks a bit fancy dress, so best to give it a miss). For an even more dramatic effect layer the glittery eyeliner over a strong line of black khol and you’ll be party perfect in no time!

Shimmer It

Give your skin some sheen and invest in a body lotion with built in shimmer. The light reflecting particles in these creams highlight the areas where you are the smallest (i.e. your collarbone and shoulders) which means that as well as having gleaming skin which is supple and party-ready, you’ll look like you’ve shaved a few pounds off too (bonus!). Alternatively, using a big, fluffy brush, gently sculpt the areas of your body you love to show off with a power-based highlighter or even a shimmery bronzer, which has the added bonus of adding a bit of colour without the hassle and staining which often comes with using self-tanning lotions.

Highlight It

Using a liquid highlighter to illuminate your features is the prettiest way to sparkle this winter. Highlighters come in both pens and pots, and can be mixed in with your regular foundation for a subtle glow. Alternatively, for a full on sculpted look dot highlighter into the parts of your face where the bone is closest to the surface of the skin (the centre of the nose, cheekbones, brow bone and chin), here the highlighter has the greatest chance of catching the light. Want wide awake eyes? Smudge a little pearly highlighter into the inner corners of the eyes for a fresh, ethereal look.

Image reproduced from porcelainandpink.blogspot.com