Health & Beauty

Welcome to the Health & Beauty section on City Connect

From the latest beauty, fragrance and skincare must haves to reviews of tried and tested wellbeing products, our writers will guide you through everything you need to know about the world of Health & Beauty.

City Connect brings you articles and reviews in this section crammed full of great ideas to stay healthy and look your best including the best male grooming products, luxury spa treatments, innovative skincare, health foods, weight loss advice and much more.

For a list of all Health & Beauty articles, please see below.

Ouch, My Teeth! Top Tips for Avoiding Dental Damage

The teeth you have in your mouth need to last you a lifetime, so taking good care of them is important. Most of us know that twinge of pain that comes with a toothache a bit too well though.

When you damage your teeth, the pain can be a serious problem. So can the dental bills that come along with that pain and the restorative treatment you’re going to need.

Keep reading to learn more about how you can protect your teeth and avoid that pain altogether. After all, nobody wants a sore mouth when they can avoid it in the first place.

Stop Chewing Candy

Candy is a serious problem for some people, especially those that like to take big bites out of it. Doing that can really harm your teeth, especially if you like to snack while you’re on the road and away from a toothbrush.

If you have to eat candy, look for foods that aren’t sticky and gummy. You don’t want those bits of acidic sugar sticking to your teeth for hours at a time. They’ll cause some serious damage to your enamel if you forget about them being there.

Brush! Brush!

Brushing your teeth is something you probably already do every single day. If you’re like most people, you do it more than once per day. At least your Brooklyn dentist hopes you brush more than once per day.

The problem is that you might not be brushing smart. The best time to brush is about 30 minutes after you eat – not five minutes after.

That’s because the enamel on your teeth can be worn down when you brush after eating – especially if you ate highly-acidic foods or drank acidic beverages like lemonade or orange juice.

Floss More

A lot of people say they floss their teeth regularly, but what they really mean is that they floss when they remember to do so. Flossing once a week just isn’t going to cut it if you want healthy teeth for the rest of your life.

Try to make sure you’re flossing at least once a day at the end of the day. Put your dental floss in an obvious spot in the bathroom so you don’t forget about it or set a reminder on your phone.

You might also want to consider keeping some dental floss in your office drawer at work. Flossing after every meal is even better than just once per day.

New Nutrition Video and Support the OHC Foundation with Your Christmas Shopping!

We hope all is going well for you in the run up to Christmas?  It is still a very busy time here at the Optimum Health Clinic, and for those of you still thinking about our Practitioner Training Courses for next year, please do get in contact ASAP – further information at www.FreedomFromME.co.uk/scholarship.

In this week’s article we have a brand new video with Tanya Page from our Nutrition Department, talking about some of the complex work that goes on behind the scenes in the department.  If you have ever wondered how the department works, what we do with all of those questionnaires, and how we prepare for your consultations, this video tells all – you can view it below

For more information on how consultations work, please click here

Also, for those of you still doing Christmas shopping online, you may be aware of Easyfundraising, which is a great way for a small percentage of what you spend to be donated to our registered charity The Optimum Health Clinic Foundation.  It costs you exactly the same, but it means in the process of just doing your online shopping you can support the pioneering work we are doing in our charity (more on that coming early next year).  We’d really appreciate you taking a few minutes to do this, it is very easy!  The link is atwww.easyfundraising.org.uk and all you have to do is quickly register and then make sure you select The Optimum Health Clinic Foundation ( charity number 1131664) as your chosen good cause.  Any questions, please do contact fundraising@OptimumHealthFoundation.com

We hope you have a great week leading up to Christmas, and we look forward to sharing our final newsletter of the year with you next week, which will include a rather amusing “Outake” of Tanya and Alex attempting to film this week’s video!

Image reproduced from http://www.nutritionist-world.com

Parasite Die-off Symptoms: Here’s What You Can do to Fight Them

Parasites – organisms living off their hosts – feed upon and reside in them. These hosts are other living organisms such as human beings. There are several kinds of parasites found within the different organs and systems of humans, such as thorny-headed worms, flatworms, and roundworms. These parasites intercept the nutrients consumed by their hosts, and in effect, leave them with only the leftovers. This, in turn, gives rise to nutritional deficiencies and parasitic infections.

Here, we help you take a quick look at the die-off symptoms of human parasites and what you can do to keep them off.

Die-Off Symptoms of Parasites and Ways of Combatting Them

It’s seen that parasites die when an effective “eradication agent” is given to the body. The inflammatory toxins released by such agents are instrumental in giving warning signals to the body to pay due attention to the presence of parasitic symptoms. They alert the body to start their eviction mechanism as soon as possible. The article “12 Parasite Die-off Symptoms and How to Fight Them” from Microbe Formulas explains that teeth grinding and joint pains are two rarely thought of symptoms that can indicate that an individual is being affected by intestinal parasites. The intestinal and other parasites can be really uncomfortable. However, if the body is well-equipped to handle the reactions, then the host can deal with the parasites in an easier manner.

It is sometimes necessary for the hosts to endure the side-effects and symptoms of die-offs of parasites. This is because the cause behind the draining issues is often the parasites themselves. If you’ve been suffering from nutritional deficiencies and infections inflicted by parasites, then its time to start working hard to eliminate them at the earliest. The more you strive to get rid of them, the more bearable these reactions would become.

Parasite Die-off Symptom: Headache

Once you start the process of detoxification, the very first symptom that’ll come to the fore relates to headaches. They’ll start taking place as and when your body falls in sync with the parasite cleanse diet initiated by you. These headaches may also occur courtesy the parasitic activities taking place within your head. You may want to try a healing oil or other formulas recommended by experts across your forehead, on the temples, and at the nape of your neck to get instant relief.

Parasite Die-off Symptom: Pains and Aches

Yet another agonizing detox symptom rests in pains and aches of the muscles, organs, or joints. These discomforting pains are a result of the toxic waste being ejected from the body systems as parasites face a die-off. You may try Epsom salt or baths recommended by experts to eradicate skin toxins.

Handle Parasite Die-off Symptoms Effectively

Regardless of the healthy eating habits of hosts, parasites prevent the absorption of minerals and vitamins into the bloodstream of their hosts. It’s very important to get in touch with experts in microbe and parasite eviction to take care of your health. You may want to start the process of natural parasite cleanse at the earliest, how about today?

Bath Scientists Secure £220k Funding Boost for Dementia Research

A major research project into the role of iron in dementia with Lewy bodies is getting underway in Bath, thanks to grants worth £220,500 from two charities dedicated to funding dementia research. Alzheimer’s Research UK and Alzheimer’s research charity BRACE have teamed up to fund a unique three-year project that could bring new understanding of the disease.

Led by Prof David Brown, the scientists at the University of Bath will study a protein called alpha-synuclein, which accumulates in the brain in dementia with Lewy bodies, as well as other diseases such as Parkinson’s.

Dementia with Lewy bodies is the third most common cause of dementia, affecting about 100,000 people in the UK. People with the disease experience distressing symptoms such as hallucinations, problems with movement similar to Parkinson’s disease and ‘cognitive fluctuations’ – variations in alertness, attention and thinking skills.

Until recently, the normal role of alpha-synuclein has been poorly understood, but Prof Brown and his team have discovered that the protein helps convert iron into a form that can be used by cells. Cells need a certain amount of iron to function properly, and the scientists believe that alpha-synuclein’s normal activity may help protect brain cells. They now want to find out what happens to this activity when the protein begins to accumulate.

One theory suggests that as the protein builds in the brain, it may stop working properly, leading to a lack of iron that can be used by cells. Alternatively, as the amount of alpha-synuclein increases, its activity may also increase, leading to a surplus of iron in the brain. By finding the answers to these important questions, the scientists hope to gain new insight into the chain of events that causes cell death in dementia with Lewy bodies.

Prof Brown said:
“We’re extremely pleased to have secured this funding, which will allow us to gain a much better understanding of some of the processes that occur as alpha-synuclein builds in the brain. Discovering this protein’s normal role was a crucial step forward, but this funding will enable us to investigate what goes wrong in this process. If we can understand what goes wrong in cells as diseases like dementia with Lewy bodies take hold, we stand a much better chance of finding ways to stop those diseases in their tracks.”

Dr Simon Ridley, Head of Research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:
“We’re delighted to be supporting this important project, which could bring us vital new information about a disease that has so far been under-researched. This study could greatly enhance our understanding of the causes of dementia with Lewy bodies, potentially giving us new clues for the development of treatments that could really benefit people.

“It’s especially pleasing to be able to work with such a well-regarded local charity to fund this project, and we hope this partnership could help us make real progress towards our common goal of defeating dementia. With more than 2,000 people affected by dementia in Bath and North East Somerset alone, there is an urgent need for research projects like this one.”

Mark Poarch, chief executive of BRACE, said:
“It’s wonderful to be able to partner Alzheimer’s Research UK and to fund this vital work at Bath University. Some of the most ground breaking research into dementia is being undertaken here in the South West. BRACE is proud to be helping some of the brightest minds in medical research beat this terrible disease.”

Image reproduced from http://www.pediatrics.med.ubc.ca

Walk Innovation – Step 4

This week Adam Shaw reports on the final step of Walk Innovation: Step 4 – Breathing. Read more about it here and watch his video.

Now that you know the value of the first 3 steps as you set off on each walk……

1.Commitment
2.Grounding
3.Setting a positive intent

It’s now time to talk about step 4: breathing.

Walk Innovation uses simple principles to get you maximum benefit.

Your breathing controls your mood and most people spend most of their lives not breathing properly, thus not energising their bodies. When you realise that you can regulate your breathing and develop this through walking, your energy will increase quickly.

For a 1min 45sec demonstration, join me as I walk and breathe

This technique alone will change your life forever, giving you extra energy every time you walk.

Breathe deeper, walk longer and have fun with this.

If you are interested in Walk Innovation and want to learn more, click here.

How Do You Go from Stuck to Flow?

When you start doing the more mundane tasks that have been building up it is easy to lose focus, energy and motivation as you feel yourself get progressively more stuck in unhelpful and unproductive thoughts. This can be debilitating and lead to stress, guilt and nothing getting done. When this happens it helps to do something that can improve your mood, focus, motivation and energy.

Image reproduced from http://www.agodman.com

Walk Innovation – Step 3

Recently, Adam Shaw reported on Step 2 of Walk Innovation. Now he talks about Step 3: Intent. Watch his video here.

Now that you are committed to DOING this programme and you know to ground yourself regularly, we will now talk about intent.

In everything you do in your life your intent will determine your outcome. If you intend to find fault – you will. If you intend to improve your life – you will. If you intend to love – you will.

As non-positive intent yields non-positive outcomes we will only ever be focusing on POSITIVE intent

Being aware of your intent at any given moment is the fastest way to move towards positive outcomes more often.

Intend for what you want – or you will get what you don’t want.

Have fun walking now that your intent is positive.

Read more on Walk Innovation here.

Walk Innovation – Step 2

Recently, City Connect introduced Adam Shaw and Walk Innovation. Read now more about Walk Innovation. This week Adam Shaw talks about Step 2 and you can watch his video here:

Welcome to Walk Innovation’s Active Energy System – Step 2: A technique to help you get more motivation, focus and health.

Step 2: Grounding…

“Grounding is to working with energy what water is to a swimming pool.”

Adam Shaw


Once you have made the first step, the most important one of all, it’s time for the second most important step…..

Grounding is essential when working with energy as it connects you to the energy of the earth. If this doesn’t mean anything to you yet then I ask you to trust this process and be curious.

It only takes a second to do this and can be done anytime at anyplace.

Have fun walking now that you are properly grounded!

For more information on Walk Innovation click here.

Your Heart Attacks When Your Head Doesn’t Get It!

Your heart has a separate intelligence to your head and it will attack you if you don’t get the message. In this step we look at how to tune into the message of your heart.

Tune into the message of your heart or it will attack you eventually!

You can never be truly happy on any sort of consistent basis until you understand how your head and heart work.

Both have different functions.

Your heart communicates to you through your emotions. How you FEEL is your heart’s communication to your head.

Only by getting your head and heart in alignment will you truly optimise your energy. Your ability to tune into your emotions and act accordingly will determine how much happiness you allow into your life.

Tune into your emotions and trust them

Image reproduced from http://www.doctorsecrets.com

Eyeliners

Mariska Veres wearing eyeliner to great effect

Eyeliners are one of those products that can complete or completely ruin a make-up look. They are available in such a wide range of types and styles – it’s a product worth experimenting with, anyone can wear them, I would say the only market not suited for them would be children.

Glitter eyeliners usually come in ‘different colours’ – this is actually what fools a lot of people, the base of most glitter liners is actually clear and the glitter has the pigment. What gives you the best colour pay off would be to apply it over a coloured eyeliner or eyeshadow and layer the product if you can. Urban Decay did make great thick glitter liners, however, they now test on animals so I’m on a new product search. Barry M also do great glitter eyeliners – the glitter is smaller in their tubes.

Urban Decay Glitter Eyeliners

Colour liquid liners are a fun, funky and fab product. They can be used to make the eyes pop or really going OTT. Usually the consistency is a thick liquid and is often quite difficult to remove – which is great in terms of staying power but if you make a mistake it might mess up your look, so keep the eyes closed for a few minutes after application so it doesn’t print on the eye lid.

Liquid eyeliners for ‘everyday’ use (black or brown) are made by possibly every make-up company out there and must be one of the most used make-up products ever! The brushes can range from foam tip to a brush but the best kind to use for most control would be a firm short foam tip or brush simply because with a longer brush you don’t have the same amount of control and it’s more likely for the brush to go all over the place.

Kohl pencil eyeliners (also known as Kajal) have a little longer staying power than the average black eyeliners. Some people in the Western world have concerns about it because of its lead content but Kohl pencils in the UK do not contain lead. If you purchase a kajal pencil from overseas it might contain lead, I have some from Pakistan and they are absolutely fine for me. This type is used a lot by males, and is most popular in the East and usage dates back to 3100 BC when one of its uses were as a protectant – either from the sun or the ‘evil eye’, rather than as a cosmetic item.

Stila Smudge Pot Gel Eyeliner

Gel liners are a great product if you have a steady hand. You apply the gel eye liner with a very dense angled short-haired brush, this gives you the most control. They don’t yet come in every colour under the sun but this is the most ideal product for black eye liner as it lasts a very long time, doesn’t smudge easily and has more control on application, it is also a little easier to remove if you make a mistake as opposed to using a thick liquid black eyeliner. Also like the coloured liquid eyeliners, you should ideally leave your eye closed to wait for it to dry otherwise it will print and smudge, and it is always harder to remove those mistakes, and just saves time to allow it to dry.

Pencil eyeliners were once the popular choice. I remember being at school and the girls solely using pencil. These are great to line the rim of the eyes. Use white or a pale flesh tone to open the eyes and make them look bigger or use black for the smouldering smokey look. These are also available in a wide range of colours but I feel if you want the best colour pay-off and longer wear you should use the liquid ones and stick to using pencil liners for the common colours like black, white and greys as I think it’s better to invest in really good coloured liquid eye-liners. I personally find that pencil colours are not as strong and do not last even half as long as liquid colour eyeliner.

I use all kinds of eyeliners and love to experiment with each type however I mainly use the gel eyeliners at the moment because they really last a lot longer and I can do detailed flicks better with these kinds.

Images reproduced from galanisrock-diaries.blogspot.com, temptalia.com and shopchicks.com

Lip Primers

Gwen Stefani and her coveted red lipstick

This week I will be looking at lip primers which do the same as face and eye primers. They are designed to keep colour on for longer and making colours a little more vivid. I will also go into how to make your lips appear bigger and enhance their natural shape.

To enhance the natural shape of your lips there are a few easy techniques to follow before you make a knee-jerk reaction to get botox or fillers.

Lip primers either come in liquid form or solid like a lipstick. They really need to be moisturising for the lips which is why those kinds are more successful and popular with lip primers. Application is applying a small amount to the lips and making sure it has been fully blended out, sometimes lip primers are a nude colour and the application on the lips can give a pale effect, it’s just creating a base for the colour, most are colourless on application – but is for your information. A primer would go on just before you put lip liner & lipstick/gloss on. There are a variety of things you can do to enhance your lips just before you apply the primer.

Different Lip Primers on the market

Lip plumpers can be fabulous but I feel if you were to apply everyday you would build a natural tolerance to the sensation on the lips they give, which could make you think that it’s not working as well anymore, so for best results try not to apply it daily and stick to it being between special occasions or just use it now and again. Mint is a common ingredient in plumpers giving them a minty scent. Lip plumpers get the blood ‘rushing’ to the lips which gives off that pouty plump look. The texture of lip plumpers is often a thick liquid consistency.

Lip Plumper

Another tip to help smooth out the lips and prepare them for a lip plumper would be exfoliating. Please consider if you do this daily it may cause dry, cracked lips. Exfoliate when needed as this will get rid of the dead skin cells and the exfoliating beads will improve blood circulation to the lips, creating a slight plumping effect itself.

Lip Scrub by Sara Happ

Highlighting is a great effect that will make a difference. Applying and blending concealer out around the lip-line brings out the lips and gives an illusion of making them bigger. It’s a small and very easy tip, remember to line your lips with a lip-liner if you can as a little extra make-up around the lips might make your choice of lipstick bleed. Another tip – using white eyeliner does not work in this case, I have tried and it is not cute that’s for sure!

Lip liner is a product for delicate hands. What colour you use is up to you, keep it on the lip line especially after highlighting around the lips as this will create a very defined look and enhance the natural shape of your lips. Feathering the colour into the lip from the line will help blend the colour of your lipstick and have a more seamless effect. If you’re using similar lip colours, I wouldn’t advise you to do that for dark brown lip liner and a pale lipstick.

Blistex

Matte lip colours do look beautiful in red but they can sometimes make you look dehyrated or have a chalky appearance. Adding a tiny bit of a natural lip balm can blend the lip colour where it’s needed to stop the chalky look. Glosses made from natural ingredients or SPF like Blistex are the best choice because of their qualities. Sometimes gloss is used as another layer of colour and that can really make the lipstick come off after a short period of time. Lipcote, and other products like it, do a good job of keeping lip colour on for longer but it makes the colour bleed very easily so try to use minimal amounts.

Glitter glosses can enhance the appearance of cracks in the lips and they are a hard one to pull off at the best of times. For best results, use these glosses on smooth, plump lips. If you have dry or mature skinned lips, place a lip plumper on before using glitter glosses. Primers do have a tendency to help moisturising lipsticks last longer.

Images reproduced from fashionstylebeauty.com, strictlyesthetics.ca, jaleesajaikaran.com, bellasugar.com, makeupconnection.com, product.madeinchina.com, lipexfoliator.net and eyecandybeauty.blogspot.co.uk

Primers: Is Your Face in It’s Prime?

Firstly – welcome to my first beauty post!

I will be posting weekly tips, tutorials and advice on things to do with beauty – topics that fall into that are make-up, hair and miscellaneous beauty products! Reader input is always welcome, be it questions, opinions etc, anyway, I digress and shall get on with this week’s post!

So, here we are, almost summer and the weather is hotting up, and you know what that means… sweat! Rather than having to touch up your make-up countless times in the day that it becomes the OCD of the season, you can try using primers – I know, these are one of the Marmite products in the make-up world, and I’m going to type-talk you through face primers today.

For those unaware what a primer is, it’s a make-up product designed to keep foundation on for longer by being a base for the foundation, smoothing the appearance of the skin and filling in fine lines.

There are many questions about whether these products are actually beneficial to keep foundation on for longer. If you’re one of the people that are worried it will cause break-outs, clog pores or sit heavy on the face – the real answer to this would be to assess the factors that affect your skin – everyone is different, common factors to think about are your skin type (are you oily or dry?) and your location – the skin is different if you live in the country as opposed to a very busy city.

There are a variety of primers out there for different skin types. When introducing a new product to your routine it can throw your skin off balance because for the first 2 weeks the skin trys to get accustomed to the new product – we’re talking about very small changes. However,  if you go bright red, itchy and sore on the first application, I don’t think you need telling twice to put the product down, step away and get yourself a cold compress!

Smashbox Primers

Primers cost between £7 to in excess of £30 and finding the right one for you can be expensive if not done properly, so here are a few tips for the various skin types. Mature skin suits gel primers more than liquid, it’s smoother and applies better to this type of skin. Dry skin (with exfoliating and moisturising depending on how dry you are) would also benefit with gel primers because dimethicone (polydimethylsiloxane) is a silicon based polymer found in gel primers that does wonders for smoothing the skin and makes gel primers a little more gentle on the skin as opposed to liquid ones. For areas that have a rougher skin texture, gel primers could help a smoother application of foundation with less irritation. Smashbox do a wide range of primers aimed at covering most skin types.

GOSH Gel Primer

Dimethicone can also be found in other non-primer products such as anti-chaffing gels. The Monistat anti-chaffing gel was creating waves on the primer scene a couple of years ago and, when compared to gel primers like the ones from Smashbox, was a third of the cost! Whether Monistat was a surprising multi-purpose cosmetic or a placebo due to price I shall leave up to you to decide.

Monistat Anti-Chaffing Gel

Oily and acne prone skin would better suit liquid and oil free based primers. Oil free primers in liquid form settle better on oily skin rather than gel primers which can sometimes add to the shine and make-up feels like it’s sliding off. I would advise those with acne prone and sensitive skins to also go for natural, perfume-free and oil-free primers so you don’t irritate the skin. NYX HD liquid primer is a US brand similar to GOSH and MAC and available to purchase online in the UK.

NYX HD Liquid Primer

As for myself, I fall into the combination dry/oily skin type. I do use a primer when I am going out to special occasions and/or gigs but sometimes I do not use a primer on days when I’m short of time and obviously I wouldn’t use a primer on days when I do not wear make-up. If the weather is really hot or wet, I will always wear a primer as it works wonderfully to make my foundation last longer and it helps make my skin look flawless.

On the whole primers are a great investment if you love to have that flawless look everyday or even just on special occasions. Primers – like all other make-up – are not gender specific. Both men and women can use them.

What are your opinions on primers? Do you wear them daily? Do you think they are a go-to beauty product? I’d love to hear about your experiences – good or bad!

Beauty Tips for Shaping Eyebrows

The eyebrows are what frame the face and to shape them ‘correctly’ gives your face a little more pizazz, I am a huge lover of shaping eyebrows and filling them in and a firm believer of doing your own thing, so if you want Gothic mehndi style eyebrows or ‘scouse brows then go for it, I’m here to talk you through the products that are available to experiment with those brows!

First of all when it comes to shaping them you need to pluck them first, remove make-up and pop witch hazel on and wipe off to remove any oils and the plucking can almost begin, if you want the best from your natural shape then place the tweezers in a straight line aligned with the side of the nose, mark where it is on the brow (side of the tweezer that is closest to the brow) and that’s where they should start, then angle the tweezers in a 45 degree angle with the end positioned still against the nose, that is where the brow should stop, and then for the arch of the brow angle the tweezers or pencil another 45 degrees between the last angle, that is where the arch should start. You can also highlight the shape you want by using a white eyeliner as a guide, so you know where to pluck/thread. If you prefer to wax the lot off and draw them in then use that same method, or if you want avant-garde brows then experiment away.

Some people opt to have eye brows the same colour as their hair and seeing as brow pencils only come in natural colours it leaves the un-natural colours to use a replacement, that can be eye-shadow or eye-liner, when using eye-shadow you make it damp so it applies easier and doesn’t create a fall-out all around the eye brow area, you basically have more control over it when it’s damp, pencil eye-liners have a tendency to not be as long lasting as the eye-shadow technique and rub off a lot easier and have a slightly shiny appearance – try to set the pencil eye liner with powder if you have no eyebrow hairs and have solely used pencil.

Eyebrow pencils come in natural shades, there’s most variety in these kinds to suit natural tones, easiest application out of them all just sharpen and apply, when applying you apply from the bottom of the eyebrow and flick up gently for a less harsh block-brow look, making the pencil brows last longer and harder to smudge, apply a clear mascara over the top.

Eyebrow powder is a lot like the eye shadow, but it’s usually formulated to be water resistant and smudge proof, comes in a wide variety of natural colours and able to mix and match to your desired coloured a lot easier. The Urban Decay powder comes with a brow wax to hold the brows in place.

Eyebrow gel is a longer lasting than the pencil, it ‘stains’ the skin more and doesn’t rub off as much onto clothes or smudge easily, these are possibly the most expensive product for filling in and shaping eyebrows, and the downside is that they come in a smaller variety of colours, often sold in trios available in blonde, brunette and auburn. When applying with gel or shadow you use a firm angled short-haired brush, and apply on the underneath of the eyebrow and flick up for a hair look-a-like application and a natural finish, it is optional to use clear mascara over all types of these products but it does help a lot.

Images reproduced from hairremoval.about.com, amazonaws.com, candlelightmist.blogspot.co.uk and media.zenfs.com

Powder Power

Cosmetic powders are a classic item that has been in many a make-up collection for hundreds of years and through the years and with cosmetic science there’s now lots of different varieties available (and not containing lead anymore!) It is the cosmetic that can give you an over-all matte finish or a dewy glow. Some people can’t live without, some are indifferent and some don’t use it at all. The uses of powder are quite extensive, the main uses are to set foundation and concealer and mattify the skin and take away shine – a definite use in the media TV and film industry, other uses are cover-up, highlight, contour, dewy are just a few to name some of them. I have previously talked about highlighting and contouring so check my other articles out for that information.

Anyone can wear powder, unless you have an allergy to it, for darker skin the setting ‘translucent’ powder can look dull and ghostly on the skin I believe this is because of the clay ingredient in most white based translucent powders. Translucent powder is used to set make-up, it is applied over foundation and concealer to set the make-up, and also over creme blushers (applying over powder can make it hard to blend out and look cakey.) You can purchase mineral compact powders to give the face a healthy glow and a pearlescent look, the compacts are really beautiful as well as the effect it gives on application – if you apply this all over the face you may look very shiny so perhaps apply it where the light would naturally hit for that beautiful radiant glow.

Powders can also be used as a foundation, the options available in this variety are or creme-to-powder, heavy coverage and light coverage. The sheer cover range are probably the most popular for cover-up as a powder foundation, it’s use is to give the skin a flawless look and to hide any blemishes, popular with those that have scars or birthmarks, however, everyone can use this product and the form of this range is mainly loose powder. The other foundations that are compact ones are the creme-to-powder range, it is basically a creme foundation but has a powder finish. Foundations that are solely just powder give a light coverage, and a brush is needed to apply this type of foundation.

Take into consideration, if you steer clear of powders and powder foundations because it breaks you out, see what the factors affecting you other than the product itself, if the powder comes with a sponge applicator – you must clean it daily if you use it daily as the bacteria will absorb into the sponge and because it’s a sponge it’s even more prone to absorb and hold into it, so every time you re-apply with a dirty one it’s putting that bacteria back onto the face and back into the product. You can use a powder-puff, sponge or brush – just remember to keep your applicator of choice clean.

Image reproduced from makeupmole.com, beautifulmakeupsearch.com and cdn-ugc.cafemom.com

Get Cheeky With Blusher

Blusher is a less is more product, main use to give your face a bit more life and a fresher appearance, if you over-do it you will look like you’ve rolled around in your make-up bag.

You can get a variety of finishes and types of blush, from powder to cream – don’t forget to keep that blusher brush clean as you’re going over the same part of your face (possibly daily) and if you wonder why your skin breaks out it could be a need to clean your blusher brush.

You can apply blush and bronzer, mainly powder with a simple angled brush, preferably sized between a big eyeshadow brush and a powder brush, the angled brush can give you a great contoured effect on the cheek-bone because it is angled slightly and you really blend out the product neater and apply it better, I would say that an angled brush is perfect for highlighting and shading the face – you can apply down the sides of the nose, forehead, chin and cheekbones to give that (forgive me as I know it sounds ridiculous) ‘dimensional’ look.

Bronzer usually goes all over the face for a sun-kissed look, and blush is kept on the cheek-bone or apples of cheek, depending on face-shape – or your preference. Bronzer mainly comes in a shimmer finish, contouring powder comes in matte (so it doesn’t attract the light, making features thinner) and blushers come in shimmer, matte, glitter and finish, I personally think glitter blush should be kept for fun events as the glitter specs look like enlarged pores, matte blush can sometimes look chalky but can look really natural too, darker skins should make sure there’s no chalk in it so it doesn’t give a dull look on application, shimmer suits pretty much all skins – gives a glow too, powder blush comes in a wide variety of colours, from neon to the palest peach.

You can get blush in the form of a cheek-stain, these ‘stains’ are a great product they give long-lasting colour – I guess hence the name, ‘stain’, usually in blood red and shocking pink – the colour should dilute a lot when applied on the skin and definitely use sparingly! Gently apply and blend with the ring finger, try to avoid touching your face repeatedly with the applicator in the bottle, the stain works very fast so please make sure to give it a test-run if you’re new to the product. Stains usually are just applied on the apples of the cheeks. This applies really well on normal, combination and mature skins.

Creme blushers are like the happy medium between a stain and powder, it’s easier to apply than a stain but isn’t as easy to apply than a powder, this is also great for a dewy complexion and really only on the apples of the cheeks, you can slightly extend up the cheek-bone – more-so than with a stain, mainly because you have more control over application. Colours come in a slightly wider variety than the stain, and more to suit darker skin tones too, these apply really well to mature or dry skin because it’s more of an emollient than a powder blush that may go chalky.

Highlighters come in powder, liquid and creme form, and possibly other new forms I am unaware of, however, these are the ones I have used – my favorite to use is a creamy liquid, these types give the best dewy glow and fresh appearance – best applied on the cheek-bone and brow-bone. Powder high-light comes in matte and shimmer – best for the brow-bone, I would say matte highlight is best in theatre/stage conditions for areas like the cheek-bone as it’s not the most natural for day looks. Highlight usually has flesh-tone colours mixed with the ‘white’ because it comes across a lot more natural than bright white applied onto the skin.

I want to keep this as rule-free as possible and let you have a play about with the different types available, I mix and match mainly between powder blush and contouring but I do love to use stains and creme blushers, I just can’t use these kinds daily because the product builds up on my skin and just can’t ‘handle’ a daily application.

Image reproduced from avonteens.com

Lip Balm

This week’s article is a little shorter and sweeter than the others, but it is important nevertheless. Last time I spoke about lip glosses but I feel like I needed to mention the all-important product to use on those magnificent pouty facial features… lip balm!

Lip balm comes in varieties of a gloss form, squeezy tube or the most common – the pot! Lip balms are designed to keep the lips smoother and crack-free with products ranging from gloss-balm hybrids to emollient lip balms.

I would always steer everyone to use the natural lip balms (made from natural ingredients or mostly natural ingredients) simply because of its purpose, it’s meant to be a care product to the lips and not a heavy-shine, glittery product. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with those hybrids but if you want to care for your lips then make sure you use a product that’s going to nourish them and keep them hydrated rather than strip them of their goodness.

When applying products to your lips you usually have the option of an applicator or your fingers. Both are going to an area of the face that will be higher in bacteria so make sure you have clean hands and keep an eye on the applicator – if it’s a stick applicator it might contaminate the rest of the product so try to apply as hygienically as possible!

If you suffer with painful cracked lips then avoid lip gloss-balms if you can as these will just make the issue worse. Try to keep to using natural lip care products.

If you have flakey lips then please exfoliate them. You can do this lightly with a toothbrush and make sure to apply balm afterwards to protect the top layer and almost mattifying the skin.

The weather can affect your lips greatly so pay attention to the changes and you may solve any issues you might have or are having. Also lack of nutrients or fluid in your system can cause the white line around the lips so take care of yourselves and keep those smackers nice, smooth and fresh.

They are a product that I really do need to use more of. I tend to use them a lot for a few days/weeks and then forget about it! However I don’t get insanely cracked, painful lips but I do get that annoying white line on the inner part of my lips (usually a sign of dehydration, so perhaps it’s drinking more water for me!)

Images reproduced from askafashionmodel.com, skintasticbeauty.co.uk and fabulousonabudget.com

False Eyelashes: Fake It To Make It

False eyelashes is like clothing for the eyes it can enhance and widen the eyes so much, but if worn incorrectly or too many pairs will be extremely bold and a little OTT.

Strip eyelashes are the ones that are, well, the strip kind and these are the most commonly used false eyelash product, and surprisingly come in so many different varieties from natural to disco-fever, and when I say that I mean I own a few pairs of gold falsies! Always feel free to experiment and have a gander at what’s around, if you really look around – chances are you will find what you’re looking for. Prices of these can range from £1.99 – £10.00+ and my advice is if you’re looking for a standard natural pair, try looking at drug-store (Superdrug or Boots) brands (collection 2000 etc.) as they usually do their own and it’s a lot cheaper! Also look out for deals, usually you can collect bargains on eccentric styled lashes because they are harder to sell!

Individual lashes are more a product that’s used for weddings and special occasions, probably due to the time and effort to apply, not to mention that super strong adhesive you need! They are used loads by beauticians, and is one thing we trained with whilst doing beauty therapy. These come in the bog-standard naturals and vary in shape – small, medium and large so you can apply all around the eye effectively. These do give a much more of a natural look and are a closer alternative to eye-lash extensions.

Eyelash extensions are a cosmetic procedure made to last for a longer period of time than that of the other types, they can last up to months! They are a time-consuming process that must be applied by a professional, it is your choice where to get these procedures done but please take into consideration that one case went to a non-professional in a shopping centre and they used super-glue which almost blinded the client and they had to have their lashes cut off! Not ideal just before a wedding. The eye-lash extensions are a fabulous go-to for holidays or just if you want a break from all that curling and mascara applying, this is something I would love to try one-day as I think it looks stunning!

With false eyelashes, strip and individual, you can curl and I would advise you to apply mascara to blend the natural lashes with the false for a more natural look, clear, brown or black mascara is your choice for whatever type you have on! The lash adhesive available is also quite mixed, I love ones where you can apply to the lash with a tiny brush (remember to keep products like this clean and what your applying to clean) my reason for this is that’s the main style I’ve used for years and I like the control, the one I currently use a lot is the latex-free lash glue by DUO, it dries clear and also makes my life a lot easier if anyone was to have a latex-allergy! To test if you have one do a patch test on the bend of the arm or behind the ear and wait up to 24hrs, a reaction will usually be instant.

There are also lash glues in tube form and that’s the most common I find, just remember to squeeze the tube very lightly as it comes out quite quick! Some lash glues are black so match the eye-liner and to make application ‘easier’, I have not actually ever used this type but I hear it is effective. Try to avoid the little applicators that come with the eyelashes because they are a bit pants, sometimes they’re okay but it is easier for you to purchase a separate adhesive.

For individual lashes you usually use a stronger glue, this is so the tiny delicate few lashes will stay on better, this glue isn’t good to use for strip lashes, as it’s a strong glue in larger amounts will make the eyes water, and you don’t want to ruin that make-up! Remember if you get any in your eyes – remove immediately!

Image reproduced from capitalhairandbeauty.co.uk, gigibeauty.com, eyelashextensionshq.com and pauls-hair-world.co.uk

Pr-eye-mer: Eye Primers

This week’s edition is brought to you by those bare canvases around the eyes, known as the eye-lid, with a wonderful range of different types of make-up to make this area dazzle like disco balls or colours giving luminous neon lights competition, eye primer is a product to keep these products on longer, making brighter and giving dimension.

Like primers for the face eye primers come in different consistencies, there’s liquid, gel and mousse varieties and it is used as a base – applied before eye-shadow/liner and optional to apply concealer first before the base or just go ahead with the primer application.

Liquid primers I find are best to suit all types of skin and ages but it is ideal for dry eye-lids, mature skin and sensitive thin skin, the texture of this is usually creamy and thicker than what the liquid name would make you assume, it’s creamy texture makes it very easy to apply and to make sure to rub it in and keep eyes closed for a few seconds for it to settle into the skin (sometimes it can crease – simply rub and blend any crease lines out) any eye primer that’s the equivalent to fluid and very watery I would say is a no-go, chances are the product’s off or it’s just not going to be ‘strong’ enough as a base. The same attributes can be applied to cream primers, the only thing is that they are thicker so it depends on how smooth and creamy it is to how it will suit you, cream to powder ones I find go cakey quickly so try to find ones with a blend-able and creamy texture.

Thicker primers like mousse ones I find are a little harder to apply, you need to blend more and prolonged rubbing of the eye-lids just isn’t great, they also are more likely to make the eye-shadow/concealer or foundation to cake as it doesn’t settle as well into the skin and creates more of a layered effect. Thick cream primers like Urban Decay Primer Potion (before they changed the formulae & packaging) was great at doing its job of a base and improving the look of eye-shadows etc, but it was very hard to blend on the eye-lids, it would dry very quick on the lid and it went chalky in areas that weren’t blended as well or little parts that were unnoticeable until it dried (also the product itself would dry-out fast) hence eye-shadow being stronger in different places and if you’re precise with make-up it will annoy you, also the chalky appearance makes it a little harder for darker skin tones to use.

Primers can also just be worn alone and just used to conceal veins or improve the colour of skin around the eyes, but they can come in colours like white and black to enhance colours, white would be used more for making bright colours stand out more and black to be used for smoky looks and really making blacks, greys and any dark colour very dark and deep, a lot of mineral make-up companies do make the coloured primers and my first black primer was from ‘The She Space’ many moons ago, the only issue I have with coloured primers is that it can get heavy and is quite likely to crease after a long period of time, e.g. going out dancing will probably make it crease more as being more active makes you sweat more and this will obviously affect the make-up.

There’s a massive range of primers out there and I am sure there’s a few I’ve not come across yet, go out, have fun and experiment all you want with them to find what’s right for you. As for myself I use eye primers, I don’t use it daily as I don’t wear make-up every day the times I really make sure to use it is if I am going out and long social occasions, I’ve done my experiments with primers and I am sure I have the one for me right now and that’s a creamy liquid one and it does the job of making the shadow last longer and being more vivid and bold, even if I’m using nude tones. Whether or not you think this type of make-up product is useful or not it is worth an experiment with once and remember the skin around the eye is a very delicate place, it is its thinnest around the eyes and try to keep application of eye-primers using the ring finger – ideally, as this applies the least pressure.

Product Image reproduced from beautynomics.com, buy-her.com, community.sephora.com and mahyacosmetics.blogspot.co.uk. All other images courtesy of the author.

Exercises to Deal with Back Pain

The Rossiter System Workouts explained:  fast, safely and effective therapy for back pain

This revolutionary stretching technique was developed by and named after the American, Richard Rossiter, a couple of decades ago and only came to England about 3-4 years ago. It is a fast, safe and effective method to help people with back pain!

Since 2003, I have been very passionate about helping people with complementary therapies: and I feel that this is by far the quickest way I learnt to help people to literally step out of pain.

How do Rossiter System workouts work? All you need is a Rossiter System coach who will put one clean socked foot on a part of your body, depending on where your pain is. You work as a team; you, the person in pain, are in charge. The warmth of the foot,  a bit of weight that  is put on your limb and the movement that you will be instructed to do under the foot, will stretch the connective tissue – a network of ligaments, tendons and fascia that holds everything together – in a way that it has probably never been stretched before. The Rossiter System workout gives the body  the space it has lost over time either through injury, overuse, bad posture or a mixture of those.

What happens in a session?

Let’s imagine that we are dealing with a client who suffers from back pain. The client gets to lie on a yoga mat on the floor, face up. The Rossiter System coach will put one foot on the side of the client’s leg. This may sound strange as we are addressing back pain but it works. If it’s an acute problem in the back, we will do the exercise on the leg of the same side, if it’s a chronic problem, we will do the exercise on the opposite side. The coach will put as much weight on the leg as the client can take at this point. The client needs to move the limb under the foot as well as the opposite leg according to the coach’s instructions. After 3 repetitions, the client may get up and walk around the room for a bit. After a few “laps” the client stands still and checks out the back, i.e. s/he does a few movements that were painful or restricted to do before this exercise. What happened? Is the movement easier? is there more range of movement? how is the pain? Then the client goes back on the yoga mat for the next challenge. We do 3 different exercises on the same leg and then the client decides which of these 3 exercises s/he felt benefited the most in terms of his/her back. That would be the one that we are going to do on the other leg to balance things out.

Let’s face it, people don’t necessarily like these exercises – as they will be somewhat uncomfortable to do – but people love the results! People don’t mind going through that bit of discomfort to finally be out of pain/discomfort in everyday life!

I often see people with rounded shoulders – due to too much work on the computer, too much driving etc – tennis or golfer’s elbow, knee pain, sciatica, frozen shoulders etc. They usually feel the benefits and changes from this workout almost instantly. The improvement is also quite visible for those with rounded shoulders. You can see the shoulders drop down and move back in just one session! We do one arm first, have a look in the mirror and then do the other. It’s usually noticeably improved.

This workout may well save you time, energy and money in the long run!

 This article was written by Elke Hausler, a practitioner at Salus Wellness Clinic in Cambridge

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

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