Beauty and The Business

Janet Ginnings

The beckoning of the beauty industry’s buffed fingernails awaits 2013’s budding entrepreneurs. However, despite hitting an astounding valuation of £15 billion in this United Kingdom this year, one must not be blindly lulled by the siren’s song, as with all sector of business, the ugly prospect of failure remains. As Aldous Huxley once said ‘Experience is not happens to a man; it is what man does with what happens to him’, businesswoman Janet Ginnings personifies this quote, having not only made the most out of the opportunities given to her but also being quick to make opportunities when none could be seen over the horizon. From working as a beautician, to founding her own incredibly successful Mayfair salon in 1996, she is one whose wise words should be considered for anybody brave enough to test the turbulent tides of beauty business.

On average 80% of businesses will fail to launch, so remember if you fail to prepare, prepare to fail. Janet says ‘During the initial phase of setting up a business start up capital costs are incurred and at the very same time the client base is being developed’. A business plan is compulsory, cash flow must be watched like a hawk and especially with beauty effort needs to be maintained towards building a relationship with potential clients, to keep them coming back time and time again. Janet Ginnings hair and beauty salon has seen the likes of Elle McPherson and Sadie Frost pass its doors; furthermore the salon does not limit its client base, with male grooming treatments ranging from facials to body ‘tertucking’.

‘I’m passionate about my business…my aim is to provide an inspirational way of looking into skin and hair regime’. We all know that business is about unique concepts or a fresh way of approaching grounded methods. Janet has drawn from her heritage, from her life experiences, ‘I was brought up to look after my skin and hair by my mother and grandmother. This has always been my passion…being brought up at a farm, my mother used herbs and spices for body scrub and mask. Lots of theses spices have been used from the kitchen e.g chickpea flower was used for face wash, cracked wheat goat’s milk was used as scrub’. This has impacted her Indian Kitchen, which carries out treatments using Mother Nature’s very own produce.

If one thing is guaranteed when it comes to running a business, it is that there will be plenty of others trying to take your place. ‘One has to be on top of one’s business. There is always someone better than you around the corner. This must not scare you but make you aware and be prepared for competition. This is just part of life.’

Ambition and drive are the spices of life, always believe you can succeed and make it happen by working smart not just hard.

Treat Your Neck With Respect

turkey neck

With all the advertising campaigns going on about how to keep the skin on your face youthful, the most recognisable thing I have noticed with all the beauty hype is that there is little mention of the neck and yes the décolletage area (chest) is classed as the body but in “beauty therapy terms” the neck and chest are to be treated in the same way as your face.

If you’re in your early twenties or thirties you may think this article has nothing to do with you yet…. but it does, you need to take action before the skin around your neck and chest starts to show signs of ageing!

Remember the saying “prevention is better than the cure”. Well this is definitely the case when it comes to caring for your skin and keeping it young – especially in the neck and décolletage area.

Stress, smoking and sun damage all contribute to a skin that has nothing to do with the D.O.B on your birth certificate. The neck is one of the first places to show premature ageing as well as the chest. Skin is so much thinner in these areas, so a little TLC will go a long way.

How many times do you see a mature woman with – dare I say it “a turkey neck” or a crêpey chest trying to cover up with a scarf. Do you want this to be you in years to come?

With spring around the corner and lower neck lines starting to appear in the shops, we should all start to think about looking after this part of our body you will be so thankful in later years that you did.

Here’s how…

1. Collagen is the most important structure of the skin this keeps skin young, to keep it restored eat plenty of antioxidant foods such as fruit and veg.

2. Drink plenty of water throughout the day- water plump’s up the skin cells, giving it a more youthful look.

3. Cleanse your neck with a hydrating cleanser.

4. Use a mild exfoliator around neck and décolletage area.

5. Use a hydrating face mask to both areas.

6. Boost circulation around neck and chest area by splashing with cold water

7. Apply a rich hydrating/firming neck cream in both areas (if you’d sooner – after five minutes dab of the excess moisture with soft tissue). In the day time using a moisturiser with a sun block will be beneficial – never let the neck dry out, especially if exposed to the sun

8. Avoid spraying perfume directly onto the neck and chest area- as this is drying to the skin and over time will cause it to become crêpey.

9. With the top of your hand you can gently slap the underside of your neck 10 times, this will firm it.

10. Try reading a Carol Maggio facercise book. It will have neck exercises in it.

Come on all you ladies out there, start treating your neck with respect! If you ever run out of cream, don’t forget that there is always good old fashion Vaseline, so there really is no excuse for letting your neck and skin get old before it’s time.

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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!

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Sultry Smokey Summer with Versace Eyes

Bringing high fashion fierceness to your sexy summer self!

versacess13This Summer we have seen stunning makeup trends on the runway from pop colours on eyes and lips to back to basics bare looks.

Chanel and Dior were amongst some of the designers who sported beaming bold beautiful eyes. Every window looks better dressed with glorious curtains, so I’m going to tell you how to dress the windows to your soul with easy to do techniques!

Using a Versace SS13 look as a template and Urban Decay NAKED palette as a colour referral guide here is how to recreate it:

Start with prepping your eyelid with an eye primer (Urban Decay Eye Primer Potion), use your ring finger to work the product all over the eyelid area to the browbone. Also carefully apply the smallest amount of primer underneath the bottom lashes.

Eye Primer

Eye Primer Potion

Take an eyeshadow brush take a base colour (close to your skin colour) and apply all over eyelid. [The colour ‘naked’ 3rd in the palette].

With a small flat shadow brush take a light brown pigment and apply over the eyelid. [The colour ‘buck’ 5th in the palette].

Take your eyeshadow brush and apply a gold metallic colour on the middle of your lids . [The colour ‘half baked’ 6th in the palette].

Using another eyeshadow brush take a black pigment and place it on the outer corner of the lids. [The colour ‘creep’ 11th in the palette].

Take a fluffy brush and using a dark brown shadow go over the black blending the colours into each other softly and create a mid arch in the crease. [The colour ‘hustle’ 10th in the palette].


Urban Decay Naked Pallette

With the same dark brown [‘hustle’],use an eyeshadow brush and put this just before the inner corners of the eyes (so the brown should now be on both ends of the gold). Take the fluffy brush and blend all areas where the colours bleed into each other so it looks flawless.

To create the bolder brighter look, take a light gold/ivory colour and place on the inner corners of the eyes and also on the brow bone using your brow shape as a guideline to highlight. [The colour ‘virgin’ 1st in the palette].

Take a brown eye pencil and holding your outer eye taut, line the upper lash line.

With a small flat eyeshadow brush take a brown pigment eyeshadow [‘hustle’] and work this along your lower lash line.

Follow with a black liquid or gel eyeliner on top, bottom or both depending on your eye shape and the eye shape you desire.

Finish your look with a pair of false lashes to give you an instant glamourous high fashion look. Don’t forget to use a coat of mascara to help your lashes blend in with the falsies!

Smoulder with your bolder brighter eye enhancing, eye catching eye makeup this summer.

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Bronzed Beach Beauty

Planning a getaway to a tropical island or beautiful beach resort? Or just want to re-create a Victoria’s Secret look? Here are some tips on how to get a beach babe inspired ‘no makeup’ makeup face.


BB Cream
It is preferable to choose a BB cream with spf as you always want to keep your skin protected and also has a light texture so you feel hydrated and not so caked and baked in the scorching sun! (If the product does not have SPF make sure the moisturiser applied prior to BB cream does have sun protection).
There are various brands out there to try, so make sure you pick the perfect CCC – colour, consistency and comfort for your skin! Everyone will react differently to different products, so I recommend testing a swatch on a small area of your face before wearing it fully. This will help you tick off the CCC checklist. Prices vary depending on the brand. New products to keep an eye out for: 

HIGH END: Yves Saint Laurent Top Secrets BB Creme Skin Perfector SPF 20 for £38.00 (price found on website).


FOR LESS: The Body Shop All in One BB Cream for £12 (price found on website).


So you want to make sure your skin has a gorgeous golden glow to match your tanned body, I would advise opting for a matte bronzer as it looks more natural. Too much glitter can highlight imperfections. My personal favourite is NARS Multiple Bronzer £29 (price found on


I think it is always paired nicely and looks more radiant when adding a little pink pigment to the cheeks to show a natural flush of colour. Should be applied lightly to the apples of the cheek or in between the hollow of the cheeks and cheek bones.

I would recommend lighter pinks for fair skins, medium pinks for medium skin tones and deeper pinks for darker skin tones. My personal favourite is Bobbi Brown Blush £18.00 (price found on


For the lips I would steer towards something light and glossy rather than a lipstick. It gives the illusion of sheer, effortless and natural and when it hits the light will draw attention to your pretty pout. My personal favourite is Bare Minerals Buxom Big and Healthy Lip Polish £18.00 (price found on


Eyes can be left bare but I always think it’s nice to go for a light sweep of colour on the eyelids to brighten the eyes. Opt for colours a shade or two lighter and brighter than your skin tone. My personal favourite:
MAC Pigment £16.50 (price found on


To finish the look curl your lashes and coat once with a long lasting mascara (Tip: always use an eyelash brush to separate lashes after application of mascara as it will look more natural, less clumpy and create volume as lashes will not be stuck together!) I would recommend Clarins Wonder Waterproof Mascara £21.00 (price found on


And there you have it – the effortless looking ‘bare-faced’ bronzed beach makeup look is complete!

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When Beauty Gets Ugly

‘Too much of a good thing can end up horribly bad’

As women and even men pride in our appearance takes a number of stages. At one point in our life the concept of looking ‘natural’ gets lost behind the montage of beauty adverts we see all around us, everyone wants to look and feel their best and indulging in makeup routines and products seems like the only answer at the best of times, not to mention the worst; However beauty sometimes comes at a more severe cost than the £25 we may or may not have spent of the latest miracle concealer.

Being a self-proclaimed make up junkie I have had first-hand experience in the good the bad and the ugly side of makeup. Hearing frequently that I ‘don’t need make up and I look fine without’ has never change my obsession with buying, admittedly, a load of junk to pile of my face. Most would agree that with makeup comes confidence and I’ve always believed that not one person NEEDS makeup as it is possible to live without but one chooses to enhance or change an imperfection in a simple step(s).

There are various horror stories that eerily lurk around the subject of health and beauty. Extreme cases of being partially blinded by lipstick, reported in the ‘get a life’ magazine are read, gasped and laughed at as we apply our own lipstick. Such displays keep everyday users of various beautifying products, like myself, distanced from a quite bleak reality… That we are possibly doing more harm than good to our bodies and our confidence.

Recently after having had one of makeup hauls I purchased a product that has indefinitely changed my ideology on makeup. After suffering from an allergic reaction post using the new product I was left in irony as this beautifying product made me in a blunt shallow term …Ugly?

Although it is probably just ill fate, it did leave me in a state of wonder as to when does it all start to become ‘too much’ for us women. As I looked over my room full of illusion (make up) I personally decided I had gone far enough. It’s just a shame I had had to have my face practically melt off before I came to my conclusion however. Being mutated wasn’t the only drive behind my epiphany… recent trends like the ‘Sharpee block eyebrows’ and the ‘moth like eyelashes’ dawned in my mind. Is it not too much?

For a fee we can boost and elevate ourselves into an ideal, almost dream like image but quite literally under the surface we unknowingly diminish our confidence, only making it replenish when we feed into our makeup bags. Weird I know.

Some of us are not are not naturally blessed to look good without makeup but as an observer and participant in the extent we go to look good, makeup weighs in as more of a curse than a blessing and making more than £160 billion a year it doesn’t seem like the curse or inception will be broken any time soon.

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Ten Tips for Happy Summer Feet

summer feetWith the weather deciding it’s not quite ready for spring, our poor feet have had to endure months of being covered up in socks, opaque tights and heavy boots, our feet are crying out for a breath of fresh air.

But as the warmer months arrive, so our feet could do with a well deserved overhaul. If your feet are in a bit of a sorry state at the moment and are suffering from callouses, corns,  athletes foot etc. then you should make an appointment with a chiropodist, or there are treatments you can buy over the counter at your local chemist. Sort the problem out first before you going to the next step of your foot care.

There are two ways you can treat your feet, you could go to a Beauty Salon and have a luxury pedicure, or give yourself one in the comfort of your home

Here’s how…

1. Remove any nail polish from toe nails

2.  Trim your nails, cut straight across (the reason being you do not want to create any ingrown toenails then use a nail file (filing straight across- you don’t want jagged edges)

3. Soak your feet in a warm  foot spa , then using a body or foot exfoliater – remove surface dead skin all around the whole foot area, if you have a lot of hard skin around the side of the toe, heels or balls of the feet – use a foot file or pumice stone to remove excess dead skin

4.  Apply cuticle cream massaging into the cuticles

5.  Place one foot back into the foot spa for a few seconds and soak then repeat with other foot

6.  With a hoof stick, gently push cuticles back using circular movements

7.  Give your feet a well deserved nourish by applying a rich moisturiser and massage the whole foot

8.  Before applying nail polish remove excess lotion from the toe nails with a nail polish remover

9 . Apply a base coat (this prevents any staining to the nails)

10. Now apply two coats of  your favourite nail colour ( leave enough time between each coat) and finish off with a super glossy top coat , this ensures your nail polish will last longer and nails look gorgeous. Nail colours on trend at the moment are pink, fuschia, mauve, tangerine, blue and green.

More Tips

Indulge in a paraffin wax foot spa, the end result is really smooth soft feet. Your hands would benefit as well.

If you’re a mature lady, fuschia pink looks youthful on toenails.

You should moisturise your feet after a bath to keep them soft all year round.

If you notice any nail discolouration/ridges/warts or anything that you’re not quite sure of, seek medical advice.

So go on draw attention to your feet in a good way, get your feet out and make them worthy of those sandals or gorgeous strappy shoes you have just invested in.

That goes for you guys out there too… but of course omit the strappy heels and nail polish!!!

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Foundation Versus Your Skin

As a make-up artist and skincare specialist something I am constantly asked (apart from, “Can you make me look ten years younger?”) is regarding foundations and their contribution to our poor, decaying skin.

foundation makeupEverywhere we turn there’s a magazine cover promoting a new wonder product promising a complexion worthy of Gwyneth Paltrow, or a billboard encouraging us to “get our glow back”.

Gone are the days when in times of need you reached for your trusty Maxfactor ‘Pan Stick’ (after washing your face with humble soap and water, of course). Now every time we have to shop for a new foundation we are faced with endless rows of possibilities; from tinted moisturisers to high coverage cream compacts, from BB creams to CC creams to XYZ creams; the choice is infinite not to mention confusing! And I say this as a woman whose bathroom resembles aisles 2,4 and 7 of Boots.

We are a nation on a mission to achieve perfect skin, whatever your interpretation of that may be. It’s the largest organ in the body, and one we spend a lot of time and money preening, scrubbing, waxing, buffing and moisturising in order to achieve a healthy and natural look, (oh the irony!). Arguably our face is under the most scrutiny, thanks to our three times magnified bathroom mirrors, and therefore is put through its paces with all our beautifying efforts. So surely it’s time to give our long-suffering skin a break?

I could, and probably should, tell you to ditch the foundation, let your skin breathe (the beautiful, smog-infected city air) but before you choke in disgust on your coffee, I won’t advise something so hypocritical. Because as I sit here typing this, I myself am covered in a significant amount of high coverage foundation, as well as primer, concealer, and powder. Yes, every morning after spending a good half an hour on my beloved skincare routine I then decide to drown my pores and seemingly undo all my hard work in a few strokes of a foundation brush. And yes, tomorrow I will wake up, look in the mirror and curse a deity I don’t believe in for condemning me with such unfortunate skin when really I only have myself (and that sweet talking saleswoman) to blame. I’m sure I’m not the only one caught in this endless cycle and I definitely won’t be the last.

Many people will argue that generations ago people didn’t have the time and access to all the products and treatments that we do now, and survived just fine without them. However times have changed, and with all the pollution and radiation our skin is now exposed to, the circumstances are incomparable. There are skin conditions we suffer from now that just didn’t exist in our grandmothers’ generation. So who can blame us for reaching for the foundation bottle instead of the water bottle?

It doesn’t take a dermatologist to work out that our complexions would be far healthier if we ditched the foundation and introduced our skin to something called ‘fresh air’, but realistically can we change our attitudes so easily? And are we really prepared to? To me, my foundation is more than just a tool to cover blemishes; it’s my glamorous armour that makes me feel ready and confident to face the day. And to whose women who are reading this as equally covered in foundation as I am, but with naturally flawless skin? Keep your distance, or I might not be responsible for my actions…

Two Minute Make-Up

OK so the alarm didn’t go off, or you just fancied a lie in – either way you are LATE for that all important interview or special occasion or you’re a busy mum, you have got to look your best but just don’t have the time and you’re in a dilemma. Don’t panic… I can help you.

If you have been following my recent article Bare Faced Beauty you’re halfway there. Here is a quick and easy out of the door NATURAL make-up that takes only two minutes to achieve.

1. Apply a Tinted Moisturiser. This is a 2-in-1 product – a moisturiser and a light foundation. It hydrates skin but still gives a bit of colour & evens out your skin tone but leaves a natural finish.

2. Apply a concealer in areas where needed i.e. under eyes or any imperfections. If you have mature skin, put some around the nasal labial area (nose to mouth) as this softens the line.

3. Apply a face powder, swooping across the T zone, around the cheek area and the chin. Powder keeps your make-up looking fresh all day.

4. With the side of your eyebrow pencil with tiny strokes reinforce your eyebrows. If you’re very fair try using a soft brown eye shadow on the brows, when finished soften with a cotton bud. Then to accentuate the eye brows put a little concealer above and below the brow bone – this looks great.

5. Apply a rose coloured blusher, or near to a natural glow , apply on apple of cheek area using a medium brush and with circular movements. Apply softly and try not to load the brush with too much product. You can always repeat application if you need a little more. You don’t want an 80s harsh line showing. Keep it natural.

6. Apply an eyeliner / pencil as close to upper and lower lashes as possible, then soften with a cotton bud.

7. With your favourite mascara apply one coat to top of lashes then for speed using the tip of the mascara wand move it side to side on lower lashes then separate lashes.

8. With a lip pencil a shade darker than your natural lip colour, follow line of lips and then apply a little lip balm and blot excess with tissue then press lips together this gives a natural look but still accentuates your lips.

9. A lip stain lipstick is great and lasts all day if you don’t want to have to keep re-applying lipstick.

Other Tips

If your skin is dry, when your bathroom is still a bit steamy after your shower apply your tinted moisturiser – this locks in any moisture and keeps the skin hydrated all day

Cream blusher works well if you don t like powder blusher as it leaves a more dewy look. Apply this before your face powder.

Try an easy home-made tinted moisturiser by mixing a little of your face cream with a little foundation.

If you can’t be seen at the beach with no make-up on but still want perfect skin try adding a little bit of foundation to your SPF product and you have a little colour as well as protection.

For a quick style put your hair in a top knot, it’s a catwalk look and trendy and it only takes a few minutes to do but looks great.

If you don’t have time for your Starbucks coffee fix in the morning, a fresh orange juice is a great way to start your day. Your breath remains fresh and it is packed with vitamin C. Your skin will love you for it.

Good luck ladies!

High Maintenance: Does Beauty Matter?

high maintenance beautyIn a changing world, women are taking on more masculine jobs which do not include the daily ritual of makeup, perfume, manicures, etc. Well, you get the point.

It makes me cringe every time I hear the phrase “High Maintenance”. It’s a a term that has come about over the last few years, in my view it is a phrase you would refer to when describing perhaps a garden or an old classic car!

So does beauty matter?

In the surgical and non-surgical cosmetic clinics across the board, it seems it does matter! As demand has rocketed over the last few years, it is not just celebrities that are on the client list of many top clinics, it is everyday ordinary people that want to hold back the years, slim down or make a change to their lives and the way it would make them feel about themselves.

They do not necessarily fit the stereotype you would imagine. In a survey I carried out recently High Maintenance could also mean to some people – emotional, needy, materialistic, attention-seeking, someone that spends a lot of money on themselves or expects their partner to pay for lavish demands that they may not be able to afford. But for most I surveyed the finger pointed quite clearly to High Maintenance meaning a visual thing, a woman who had fake hair, fake tan, too much makeup, false eyelashes, acrylic nails and designer clothes. In fact, it’s things that fashionable women in the 1960s could not live without and nobody questioned or said a bad word against.

Would a guy still date a woman who spent hundreds on horse riding? Who still had her hair done every month and got Botox regularly? Would he call that High Maintenance? There are a few women out there that are secretly High Maintenance even though you may not think so to look at them.

So does beauty matter?

In my opinion, yes it does matter.

In the corporate world of fashion and design, these job roles demand a well-groomed look. I myself have been in the beauty industry a long time and would not possibly turn up at work looking like I was going out on my morning jog or a stroll along the beach. However some job roles you can be more relaxed in your appearance but who are we to judge. Certainly if you turn up at a wedding you would not wear tracksuit bottoms and a T-shirt! We all make the effort at special occasions.

Let’s just say through the decades men and woman have made a huge effort with their looks, for example 80s Punk fashion whose look would take loads of time and effort, but did we care? No.

Women have loved clothes, gone to the hair salon, manicured their nails, prettied up their toe nails, wore a little makeup since the early civilisations. It’s called being feminine.

In an article I read recently many British men are reportedly turning towards other nationalities because women are more feminine and demure in those foreign cultures. It is not that these women are weak in any way, many are high earners and don’t need any financial assistance. What it comes down to is simply the way they look and act which attracts these men.

I feel the word High Maintenance is somewhat used quite flippantly lately. If she has lipstick on then she is high maintenance. Although an attractive girl can look like a supermodel just getting out of bed, running a brush through their hair, putting on a good outfit and they are as good as done, there will still be people who could call her High Maintenance because she is naturally beautiful, but for most women we all need a little time to beautify ourselves and this tends to become longer as we get older.

Modern men these days love to look good as well. They want toned muscular bodies. They have a daily skincare routine. A far cry from a long haired hippie of the Seventies who didn’t wash their hair for days!

If today’s guys and girls want to spend their hard earned cash on looking good then why not? Nobody bats an eyelid at people that smoke or drink and spend money on this. Surely, it’s a matter of choice.

So does beauty matter?

YES it does. Where would we all be without TV shows like “10 Years Younger” and Gok Wan’s “How To Look Good Naked”. So many people on these shows have partners who want them to lose weight or care about themselves a little more, apply a little makeup or put a feminine dress on once in a while. It really does not take much more time to look good.

In a world full of beauty hype and magazines promoting the latest health craze and must-have skincare product, who doesn’t want to look good and stay fit and healthy. There are even those who are obsessed with it all.

I say thumbs up to all of you out there who bother about yourselves.

There is a huge demand for gyms, spas, salons, nail bars, beauty clinics, health farms, pageants etc. so it seems that BEAUTY DOES MATTER and if it didn’t the world would be a very dull place without it.

Do you agree or disagree with Joanna that beauty really does matter? Let us know your comments.

Bare Faced Beauty

How do you feel when you look in the mirror each morning? Do you like what you see? What does your skin look like… how does it feel?

My aim is to help you ladies out there to feel confident within your skin. So many magazines promote all sorts of skin care products, your skin IS the most important part of any beauty routine.

Like an artist, his canvas must be flawless before applying any paint. Now I am not suggesting we wear paint, but you know what I mean. For years people have have come up to me and assumed I am at least 20 years younger than my actual age, I would love to let you into my beauty secrets, so you can forget about all the hype and nonsense that play on our insecurities, this is just plain back to the basics stuff.

Beauty really does start from within, trust me you will really notice the difference. Here are my tips for a beautiful bare face:

1. Firstly take at look at what you eat and drink. Eat plenty of fruit and veg every day. Drink plenty of water this boosts the skin leaving it looking replenished and radiant.

2. Exercise will tone your skin and reduce tolerance to stress.

3. Stop smoking, this ages your skin terribly. Smoking starves your skin of oxygen and will age it by ten years.

4. Try to get at least 7 hours sleep. This will help fight against dark circles uner the eyes.

5. Exfoliation is a MUST. It gets rid of dead skin cells that build up, evens your skin tone, brightens skin – I use an everyday one, there are some products you can use once or twice a week depending on your skin type. After exfoliating your face, use cotton wool and tone, then splash your face with cold water 15 times or gently shower your face with cold water for a few seconds. This will tone, tighten, and get rid of sluggish skin leaving it looking healthy and more youthful.

6. Apply your favourite daily moisturiser, use a different product around eye area as the skin around eyes is as thin as a postage stamp and too much moisturiser will leave this area puffy.

7. Apply a lip balm to the lips.

8. Treat yourself to a face mask once a week.

9. To improve your bare face even more, have your eye brows shaped and tinted, you WILL notice a HUGE difference, try having your lashes tinted if you are fair. With an old clean mascara brush, dab a tiny bit of Vaseline on it and once a week when you’re not wearing any eye make-up brush onto lashes – this conditions them and leaves them beautiful when applying your mascara.

10. With an old toothbrush brush lips to exfoliate them and before bed, just like a night cream, apply lip balm to moisturise lips.

Go on! Give it a go. You’ll be pleased with the results… even if I say so myself.

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Time for Body Detox

I can hardly believe it’s March already, I expect you are all looking forward to the coming spring and summer months and venturing abroad for your summer holidays or just looking forward to spending some time in the sun.

detox seaweed wrap

After the cold winter months we may have all indulged on rich food and perhaps been over eating and hiding under our big winter jumpers. Our skin will be in great need of vitamin D from the suns rays as it is likely to of become sallow/less radiant and it won’t be long until we expose our skin a little more.. So you ladies out there could all benefit from a great body detox treatment to prepare your skin for the warm season ahead.

When I worked as a Therapist at a world famous Spa, A detox treatment that lasted one hour was extremely costly. So I’m going to show you how to achieve a real deep down cleanse to your body and get rid of accumulated toxins in a more cost effective way.

1. Make sure your bathroom is warm, start off with an empty bath and step into it, exfoliate with a gritty exfoliater in circular movements and work all over the body.

2. Rinse off and then towel dry.

3. Apply a mud or seaweed mask to your whole body.. YES! It is a bit messy but worth it later. You can find mud or seaweed masks online or at a champneys shop- there is one in Chichester.

4. With a body wrap or a couple of thin bin liners, wrap your body in it.. For health and safety reasons be sure to keep your head well away.

5. This is where the mask will take effect. Now totally relax for 20 minutes.

6. Shower off the mask then run a warm bath

7. Relax in it for 10 minutes, and then blast your body with tepid or cold water to boost your circulation. Your skin will look and feel amazing

8. Drink a glass of water after any treatment to keep hydrated and help flush away toxins.

9. Do not apply any creams or other products to the skin as the treatment would have already done wonders to your skin.

body maskDetox Tips

– Make sure that you don’t mind using an old towel

– Before using mud or seaweed check you are not allergic to it

– Avoid detox treatments if you have highly sensitive skin

– Avoid this treatment if you have cuts/abrasions/open wounds (wait until healed)

– Do not detox if you have any heart or blood pressure problems

– If you are pregnant or epileptic do check with your doctor before using any products stated.

– Remember this is a body treatment so only apply products externally

Ladies, remember to check your diaries before starting this treatment - you don’t want to be opening the door to guests looking like a swamp monster!

Happy detoxing!

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Boyfriend Proofing Your Make-Up

The honeymoon period. Arguably one of the happiest times of any relationship. He picks the wine on your eagerly-anticipated date nights in romantic restaurants, giggling while sneaking into the back of the cinema like a couple of loved-up teenagers, and all his charming little habits like the adorable way he corrects your grammar. Even the way he forgets to call you back because he’s caught up in an incredibly important Xbox war with his mates doesn’t irritate you. And vice versa; he laughs it off when you’re late because your meeting ran over (AKA having a pre-date mental breakdown because you have NOTHING TO WEAR), and he only ever sees you looking your most fabulous.

Fast forward six months and it’s all trackies, Croydon facelifts and un-waxed legs. (Don’t pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about…) We’ve all been there, It’s the first time you’ve stayed over his house, you wake up in the morning knowing full well the pillow will be covered in foundation and your hair will have moulded itself into a style that even Russell Brand would deem offensive. And while you’re lying there wondering if he owns hairspray (and secretly hoping he doesn’t) and debating whether you could fashion some concealer out of his toothpaste, he wakes up and sees what he’s really let himself in for.

Call me old fashioned, but I think it’s nice to want to look good for your man. Granted it’s not always possible (acceptable excuses including: festivals- even the lucky few natural beauties amongst us struggle here, and long haul flights- too much air con and alcohol dehydration to contend with) but I don’t see anything wrong with trying to keep the spark alive for as long as possible. Now I’m not saying a full face of make up 24/7 is essential to do this, but a bit of strategically placed concealer here and there can never be a bad thing, right?

With this in mind, I started thinking about how to achieve this with minimum effort. Or as I like to call it; ‘Boyfriend Proofing’ (trademark pending). Boyfriend Proofing is the art of looking as gorgeous as possible for as long as possible for as little effort as possible. Trust me, it’s possible. Here are my favourite tried and tested (by yours truly) products to guarantee they’ll never be a Picasso style version of your face imprinted onto the pillow ever again.

smeared makeupStarting with foundation. There’s nothing worse than the above crime (pillow soiling) or even worse, leaving a cloud of powder on his nose every time you kiss him. The key term here is ‘transfer proof’! A lot claim they can do this but few truly can. It’s a tricky job trying to find a long wear base that won’t look too cakey, but lucky for you I’ve held a few experiments (and thrown away half a dozen pillow cases in the process). Here are my top 5:

1. Dior ‘Forever’ (£32)- Does what it says on the tin!
2. Bare Minerals Original Foundation (£25)- Very natural finish, but won’t clog your pores if you leave it on overnight.
3. Estee Lauder ‘Double Wear’ or ‘Double Wear Light’ (£28.50)- this is not for the feint hearted. Very full coverage but will not budge!
4. Lancôme ‘Teint Idole Ultra’ (£27.50)- Gives a very flawless, smooth finish and has serious staying power too.
5. B. Flawless Complete Coverage (only in Superdrug £9.99)- Slightly more purse-friendly, but just as good as its more expensive competitors.

Next up; Mascara. Morning panda eyes is an unflattering affliction to say the least. However nowadays mascara formulations have advanced so much that this need not be an issue. There exists a breed of mascara that can only be removed with water and comes off in ‘tubes’ as opposed to smudging under your eyes. Here’s my top 3:

1. Shu Uemura ‘Tokyo Lash’ (£20)
2. Blinc Mascara (£19.50)
3. L’Oreal ‘Double Extension Beauty Tubes’ (£11.29)

So there you have it ladies, the tools for waking up as much as of a goddess as you looked the night before. Now there really is no excuse is there?! As for the trackies, Croydon facelifts and un-waxed legs? That’s all on you…

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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!

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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’.

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Welcome to the Oxyjet Set

As a Beauty & Health Advisor, I almost jumped out of my seat with excitement when out of the blue I received a call from Mrs Kiran Kohli, one elegant part of the professional management team that forms Bradford Laser Clinic, a modern and purpose built salon based in the heart of Bradford city centre.

Karin the centre Director offered me the opportunity of reviewing the salon’s Oxyjet facial treatment. The fully laboratory tested cosmetic skin and body care system has been especially designed to significantly reduce wrinkles and freshen the skin. The treatment is very popular with the likes of beautiful celebrities such as A-listers Madonna and  Cameron Diaz and is taking the clinic by storm as a new innovative skin care method not widely available in many other clinics in the city yet.

The treatment relies on principle substances such as; Vitamins, Phytohotmones and Hyaluronic Acid all being released into the skin by means of gentle controlled oxygen pressure. This natural source oxygen pushes the nourishing and hydrating serums into the skin to create long lasting results. The unique system differs in specific ways from other salon available treatments in that its active ingredients penetrate the basal skin layers in as little as 2 minutes effectively bonding the cells together which consist of Linolinic and Gamma Linolic Acid. All the products that are used in the Oxyjet facial and body system have been tested at the Frauenhofer Institut Medizinische Technik using Perma Skin, which are human skin samples from plastic surgery.

The system is a scientifically proven treatment that can help with problems such as; skin rejuvenation, cellulite areas, anti-ageing and reducing age pigmentation. As a cosmetic beauty treatment it cannot be compared with other systems as it relies on an individual technique.

My experience of the treatment

Shireen the pretty salon therapist who warmly welcomed me into the bright and spacious clinic led me into the comfortable treatment room and after taking a detailed skin history, prepared my skin by cleansing it with the revolutionary safe solutions NORA BODE enzyme exfoliating cream. As she did this she explained the Oxyjet treatment to me and confidently listed the many benefits to expect from it:

  • Fine lines and wrinkles disappear
  • Improves the skins capability to hold moisture
  • Healing
  • Gives a healthy fresh glow to the skin
  • No allergy test required
  • No downtime
  • Increases cellular mitosis, circulation and lymphatic drainage.

With the obvious benefits in mind, Shireen suggested that to start in the mid 20’s was a good age to start treatments to help prevent premature ageing as the substances used in the Oxyjet system reach the Epidermis by going around the cells and not through the pores. The system works with the NORA BODE treatment range to deliver solutions for practically every skin problem. i.e. hyperpigmentation, acne and impure skin. A variety of skin problems and conditions depending on the skin area, can be treated simultaneously by different serums being applied at the same time and shot into the skin.

As I have combination skin, Shireen applied a ‘cocktail’of products into my face and treated the entire area. She explained that a treatment of specific problem areas is also possible. i.e.  just the eyes to treat eye bags but the effects can then only be seen within the treated area . To see significant improvement and achieve regeneration of the skin, treatment of the whole face is necessary. In as little as 4 weeks Scientific Researchers have proven that the depth and density of wrinkles reduce by up to 50% as the Oxyjet system impacts on the muscles directly under the skin where the product is applied. The regenerating effects activate the substance Matrixyl which stimulates the skin.

As a treatment it is not tested on animals and treatment poses no risks but in general, pregnant clients should not be treated. To maintain results and improvement, Oxyjet treatments should be continued only using the NORA BODE products which are specifically aligned to each other and guarantee a long lasting improvement of the skin. The products provide a barrier against secretion of the active ingredients and are essential for long term effects.

My session involved blasts of concentrated oxygen applied to my skin. This was done to vitalise and act effectively against irritations and impurities by its disinfecting action. In combination with the Oxyjet clear lotion my skin was cleansed deep into the pores. The special cosmetic formulations and oxygen penetrating the epidermis left my skin appearing smooth and firm, with impurities reduced. My skin looked fresh and healthy. To finish off Shireen applied the NORA BODE moisturising fluid. I would rate this wonderfully relaxing treatment 9/10 as a perfect treatment for the face -safe, gentle and yet very effective. All treatments are carefully carried out following health and safety considerations under the professional eye of the Director’s son Mr Avadh Kohli who is a fully trained Laser Technician.

If you would like the talented Bradford Laser Clinic team based at 5 Piccadilly. Bradford. BD1 3ND to help turn back your physical time clock then you can contact them at: or by emailing them on:

Other treatments offered at the new clinic are:

  • Laser hair removal
  • Tattoo removal
  • Weight loss
  • Injectable fillers
  • Stretch marks
  • Thread veins
  • Psoriasis -  and many more.

Happy Jet setting!

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Fresh Faced Fun in the Summer Sun!

Show off your glow at awesome bbqs with the bffs and beach parties with bonfires this summer!

Summer can be the most tricky of times to get your skin looking perfect because of the humidity! So let’s take a look at some steps to achieve a more flawless look. With options for high end products and/or for less!

washing facePrepping Your Face

Step 1 – Cleanse tone and moisturise! To perfect the skin as a base for your makeup you  MUST always do this step! Be careful not to be so harsh with your skin and use the products that are most suitable for your skintype (oily/combination/dry) and be cautious of any conditions you may have (sensitive/mature/dehydrated).

During the summer your skin is likely to get more prone to breakouts, whether you have oily skin or not. This is due to the glands producing more sweat and sebum, leading to dirt and excessive moisture falling into the pores thus creating pustules, papules and comedones. For this reason I would advise a daily cleanser with microbeads. It works as a gentle exfoliator which is not harsh for the skin.


Dermalogica Precleanse(£33.20) followed by Special Cleansing gel (£27) and Daily Microfoliant (£40.30) – prices from Dermalogica website.


Neutrogena ‘Visibly Clear’ Spot Stress Control daily scrub (£4.79) – price from Superdrug.

Toner is important because after cleansing and scrubbing dirt from the open pores you need to tighten and close them up again before applying moisturiser. Also helps your skin stay refreshed in the heat!


Dermalogica Multi-active toner ( £26.40) – price from Dermalogica website.


Botanics 100% Organic Rosewater Toning Spritz (£3.49) – Price from Boots.

After toning your face it will feel tight, not only does moisturiser make our skin feel supple and smooth but also provides the skin cells with the nourishment that it needs. Most of the time we get confused with moisture and sebum. Excessive Sebum/sweat is the cause to breakouts and icky sticky faces! It is also beneficial to purchase a moisturiser with SPF to keep hyperpigmentation and age spots at bay!


Chanel Ultra Correction Line Repair Anti-Wrinkle Day Fluid SPF 15 (£80 for 50ml)- price on Debenhams, Chanel website.


Boots Essentials Fragrance Free Moisturising Lotion for all skin types 150ml (£1.50) – price on Boots website.

Because the above does not have spf it is essential to find a primer that does!

Step 2– Primers act as a barrier between your skin and makeup, it also helps your makeup stay in place longer and fills in pores and fine lines.


Creme De La Mer, The SPF 30 UV Protecting Fluid (£60 for 40ml) – Price on La mer website.


Victoria’s Secret PRO Airbrush FX Perfecting Primer SPF 20 ($18/£11.59) – price on Victoria’s Secret website.

Now you’re ready to apply your preferred makeup!

Next article: step by step application from runway makeup trends.

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,,, and

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!)

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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.

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Make My Brown Eyes Blue

Not to be confused with the 1977 super hit Country-pop song sung by the beautiful Crystal Gayle 35 years ago, “ Make my Brown Eyes Blue” is the appreciative mantra being voiced by the very happy and lucky international patients who have bravely faced public scepticism to courageously undertake breathtaking permanent eye colour change surgery with great success.

The miraculous cosmetic procedure which is sweeping the world is an affordable procedure which has been consistently carefully and painstakingly developed by a team of dedicated pioneering professionals whose spokesperson is Mr Spencer Vessa. I have been privileged to be in close contact with Mr Vessa for the past 2 years, in which time I have been researching and following the results of his eye colour change procedure and can confirm that his team is made up of only the very best and brightest qualified medical eye experts that you would wish to meet anywhere in the world.

Light Baby Blue eye colour change

I came upon Spencer by complete accident. One evening whilst trawling a cosmetic surgery forum for an article that I was planning to write on rhinoplasty I stumbled upon a page that shocked me. It was written by the ex-patients of a disastrous doctor who was practising in Panama and had sadly blinded his patients by performing incorrect eye colour changing procedures. He was using inferior products and practises criminally misleading individuals and eventually ‘avoiding’ dealing with what he had done by running away.

Outraged and being a woman on a mission I vowed to catch the culprit and started reading everything I could find dealing with the subject. That is how I had the good fortune of finding Spencer Vessa, spokesperson for BrightOcular. I contacted and confronted him by sending him an e-mail through his website. I had mistaken him for the unlawful doctor and sent his office my message. I was very surprised when he answered so quickly with extreme politeness and professionalism, patiently explaining to me that he was not that notorious doctor and that he was happy to answer any questions that I had about the work of BrightOcular.

Interested in what Spencer had to share and keeping an open mind I started to research the BrightOcular website. Fascinated by their ingenious and innovative work I continued to keep in contact with him which thus led me to write this article.

BrightOcular is a United States patent intraocular implant made of special coloured biocompatible medical grade silicone which has been created to change the appearance of the iris for both cosmetic and medical reasons. This implant has been thoroughly researched and developed as an easily affordable option to offer helpful support for patients suffering from iris-related abnormalities such as heterodromia, ocular albinism and individuals suffering from photosensitivity.

Smokey Grey eye colour change

The BrightOcular artificial implant can be used for different purposes ranging from medical to cosmetic, BrightOcular treats patients with medical conditions such as coloboma and iris trauma.  Stellar Devices LLC is the first US based company to successfully change the colour of the entire eye using the United States 2012 recently patented BrightOcular implant. They have a vast network of doctors inEurope,Middle EastandLatin Americaeagerly waiting for BrightOcular to obtain their CE Mark. There has been an attempt in the past by a different implant made in Panama to achieve similar cosmetic outcomes as BrightOcular but which does not allow aqueous flow to pass through which causes glaucoma (patent number 702578 filed by Kahn in Panama).  After many years of research and development on finding a solution to prevent complications such as glaucoma, Stellar Devices designed and manufactured its patented implant structure (U.S. patent number 12767527 just issued in 2012). The BrightOcular implant was specifically designed to reduce such risks as intraocular hypertension, glaucoma and inflammation. BrightOcular will obtain CE Mark approval in approx 18-24 months for medical use in Europe. The next step after obtaining the CE Mark approval is to file for FDA approval in the US.

The operation takes approximately 15 minutes per eye and has been tested safely on animals and will be widely available in the UK as soon as FDA approval is granted. It is already being carried out by selected doctors in specific countries. There has been no reported complications or visual impairment from any patients since the procedure was offered in 2010. Patients must undergo extensive eye testing before any consideration and consent can be granted to undertake the simple procedure. Indeed the reputation and respect that BrightOcular is enjoying  is demonstrated by the compliments the team continue to receive from their grateful patients.

Olive Green eye colour change

Here are a few of the comments made by patients happy with their new eyes:

“I have been wearing colour contacts for the past 25 years ( since 1987) and I have worn just about every colour.But what I noticed was they never really looked natural. Then I heard of this procedure that could give me the grey eyes I always wanted. I was kind of nervous at first, so I investigated further. I saw pictures on BrightOcular and knew that was the look I was after. So, I set a date to have it done. WOW! I am so glad I did.The colour is great! The surgery was quite quick with no pain or discomfort. My doctor gave me excellent follow up care. He even came in on his day off to check the progress of my eyes. I am very pleased with the results. If you are looking for a natural look, this is it. Trust me, you will be glad you did.”  Dave from UK 29/02/2012.

“I am not a stranger to cosmetic procedures but this has been the most fulfilling procedure I have ever had and probably the last I will ever need. I have been wearing colour contacts since my early teens which are very popular in Asia. Now people can look into my baby blues that are really mine. I really feel that I have now found my own unique special identity that sets me apart from the world.” Chizu from Japan 10/02/2012

“I have always wanted to change my eye colour since I started wearing colour contacts at a young age. I am a freelance model in California and since I have had the procedure I have been booked for more jobs and I just feel more confident taking photos knowing they will not look unnatural as they did when I wore colour contacts. I was nervous initially when I was about to have the procedure but I did not feel anything during the procedure and I was able to go back to my hotel the same day with my eyes wide open. Waking up in the morning and looking at myself in the mirror knowing these are really my eyes is a feeling I cannot explain with words.” Brian from Los Angeles 19/01/2012

The artificial iris implant allows for permanent eye colour change cosmetically and comes in a range of tempting beautiful natural looking colour shades such as: Ice grey, Baby Blue, Sea Green, Olive Green, Smokey Grey and Amber with new colours and variations on the intraocular lens constantly being improved and introduced to choose from. As well as offering stunning and safe eye colour change the artificial iris implant has been designed to cover up iris defects such as iridoschisis and severe iris atrophies.

You will be interested to learn that BrightOcular has a great initiative called Operation Happy Eyes which is providing free surgery world wide to patients suffering from iris-related medical conditions such as coloboma, ocular albinism and aniridia. Their surgery is funded from the proceeds taken from those patients who have chosen to change their eye colour cosmetically. This way everyone can finally have the beautiful eyes that they all deserve.

Let us wish Stellar Devices and Mr Spencer Vessa, their spokesperson, well in their new groundbreaking field of ophthalmic aesthetics. Other patents that Stellar Devices are working on are the first extraocular subconjunctival limbal ring in the world which makes the natural eye colour stand out more and make the eyes appear bigger. The ring implant can also be performed in conjunction with BrightOcular intraocular eye colour change implant

For further information and detailed frequently asked questions please see for more stunning patient pictures and positive testimonials. Finance is available and you can contact the team by emailing:

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.

Hair-obics: Shape Up Your Hair

Regular exercise does not just benefit your body and mind. Believe it or not you can actually improve the condition of your hair too through exercise. So shape up and get your hair working out for a change. By stimulating the hair supply, which carries vital nutrients to your scalp, you will also help to promote healthy new hair. The better the condition of the hair coming out of the follicles, the more your hair will be able to withstand the stresses and strains of daily life. So give your lacklustre locks a treat with a ‘hairobics’ home routine!

hair sweep hairstylingtoolsinfoDOTcomThe best way to exercise your scalp is by manual hand massage. Just a few minutes per week will make a noticeable difference, increasing the circulation to your hair and scalp bringing nutrients, oxygen and beneficial hormones to the hair follicles. It can even make it grow faster. An added bonus is that you will stroke away the tension that can cause headaches. Include the back of your neck and forehead too for full benefits. If you have dry hair you can combine the massage with a nourishing hot oil hair treatment to help penetrate the cuticle ( outer layer) of the hair. For maximum effect with the minimum amount of effort sit on a chair and lower your head between your knees. Once you feel comfortable, put your hands on your knees and hold this position for five minutes.

Keep a Clear Head

There is a lot you can do to keep your hair in good condition and prevent disorders. Such as; Eat a well balanced diet, Avoid dairy produce, nuts, bananas and fatty foods if you suffer from a scaly scalp or dandruff. Do not go on crash diets. Plan sensible low-calorie menus and take vitamin or mineral supplements. Do not worry if you lose hair in autumn, it is normal seasonal loss due to the change in weather. Do not use heated styling appliances too often and avoid using metal toothed combs. Always protect your hair in the sun with special conditioners and sun hats. Make sure you get your hair trimmed regularly and have a deep conditioning treatment regularly.

Keep Your Hair On

If your hair is coming out in handfuls and you are starting to look like your balding male relative then you may have to get straight to the root of the problem! 90% of all women’s hair loss is only temporary and not as serious as you may first think. Every hair has a life cycle of its own which ends with it falling out to make room for a new one. At any one time only 80% of your hair is growing. The growing phase lasts two-six years, and the length of time your hair takes to grow will determine the length you can grow your hair. This explains why some people can grow very long hair while others cannot get their hair past their shoulders. It is normal to lose 50 to 100 hairs per day. This sounds a lot but it is not when we realise that we each have a total of 90,000 to 150,000 hairs on our heads! The longer your hair is, the more you will notice the loss because the length makes it look more in a brush. If you are seriously losing your hair you will notice a loss of over 10-50% of the hairs on any one area of your head.

Quick Check

Make a quick diagnosis of the possible cause of your hair loss by looking closely at the roots of the hairs where it is thinnest. If the ends are blunt-your hair is breaking off rather than falling out and you need to look at the general condition of your hair. Over processed, bleached and permed hair is more susceptible to breakage. If the ends are tapered-your hair has been falling out from the roots.

Loss Causes

There are several common causes of hair loss. Lack of vitamins B and C and the minerals Zinc, iron and sulphur may be prime causes, and so it follows that crash diets can often result in more hair loss rather than weight loss! Severe shock and bereavement is another common cause. Menstruation, taking contraceptives and pregnancy can also contribute. Short and long term illness as well as some drugs and medical treatments can also result in hair loss.

What You Can Do

Daily scalp massage, take extra mineral and vitamins, use gels and mousses as a temporary way to make your hair look thicker until it recovers. Keep your hair in as good condition as possible. Cut down on the amount of colouring and heated straightening to avoid drying it out. Check your combs and brushes are not too fine and always brush your hair gently. If you are feeling self-conscious about excessive hair loss try using a fake hairpiece like a ponytail or bun etc until your hair grows back but be very careful when attaching them with grips and pins as they can pull out fragile hair.

Good luck!

Simply ‘Brilliant’ – A Revolutionary New Anti-Ageing Treatment

We could say that Guisely an attractive and enterprising suburb in the North West of Leeds has two significant landmarks of interest to the great British public. The first being the world famous Harry Ramsden’s Fish & Chip Restaurant and the second being the new Good Skin Days skin rejuvenation beauty clinic. The only clinic outside of London to offer beauty-wise clients the amazing Clear & Brilliant fully FDA approved fractional laser device created by Solta Medical to help rejuvenate skin that displays signs of wrinkles, lines and other symptoms of ageing.

The decision to offer the revolutionary treatment is the brainchild of father and son team John and Chris Gill who have over 25 years of professional experience in developing aesthetic laser clinics. As a family they have bought over 150 lasers and remarkably never once have they bought an IPL- intensive pulse light system, simply because it is not in the same league as the class of medical grade lasers. The highly qualified team is led by a Medical Director, laser therapists, registered nurses, specialist practitioners and a consultant dermatologist. All staff have undertaken extensive training on the laser equipment as well as in house training and written exams.

The Clear & Brilliant gentle laser treatment that works from the inside out, is literally turning heads with impressive results being achieved even with a single treatment helping to replace any damaged skin with younger, healthier, smoother skin. Clients can expect to receive a host of compliments on their glowing skin as soon as they step out of the clinic and are advised to complete a course of at least 3 sessions for optimum results and regular maintenance treatments. The laser energy creates millions of microscopic treatment zones in your skin and can be classified as a cross between a less aggressive topic peel and a strong microdermabrasion treatment which has minimal downtime.

Clear & Brilliant is effective and affordable as a preventative treatment with benefits that offer your skin; improved softness, reduced pigmentation, illuminated skin tone and surface radiance. It can be enjoyed by both men and women of all ages and skin types and treatment sessions take approximately 45 minutes depending on area and condition. After having the face treated it should be kept free of make up and swimming and sauna avoided for a day as your face will be slightly red and sensitive . During an in-depth consultation your treatment regime will be worked out for you by an expert skin therapist.

My therapist Rachel Smith was very reassuring and attentive throughout my treatment and invited me to fill out a detailed medical questionnaire encouraging me to share any concerns I might have had. One look at the stunning clinic and spotless treatment rooms relaxed me immediately and offered me the opportunity to test out the treatment for myself. I was doubly reassured after hearing that Rachel had tried the treatment herself and looked great.

At first my face was cleansed, then an aesthetic was applied which took effect within a few minutes and we were ready to begin. A warm tingling sensation could be felt immediately as the laser travelled across my face. After the treatment was finished my therapist applied a soothing face mask and washed off to apply a SPF 50 factor sunscreen to protect my skin from any sun. My skin felt a little hot and tight and looked amazing.

It is important when experiencing Clear & Brilliant for yourself that you make sure that you use a high SPF factor quality sunscreen such as Heliocare 50 and good hydrating moisturizer and use tepid water to cleanse the treated area/s for the first two days at least. After 4-5 days your skin will start looking even better and feeling ultra soft and smooth. I tried the Eau Thermale Avene range of products for the first time also offered at the clinic and was suitably impressed by the natural gentle formula of both the hydrating cream – SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5 Hel and skin repair cream Cicalfate that Rachel had recommended. I found the cream to be one of the best that I have ever tried and will be recommending it to friends.

Clear & Brilliant is safe enough to use alongside other popular anti-ageing treatments such as Botox, dermal facial fillers, laser hair removal and those who have undertaken semi permanent make up. Results can last for months if you protect your skin properly. If you are tempted to achieve fabulous skin for yourself in a state of the arts skin clinic manned by caring professionals then why not try Clear & Brilliant for yourself today. You can find the price of affordable packages at or call 01943 882 010.

Happy Birthday Cheryl Cole

On 30 June, City Connect celebrates the birthday of Cheryl Cole (née Tweedy) who was born on this day in 1983. Having divorced from her husband Ashley Cole, the singer has decided to be professionally known as Cheryl. She’s had a rough ride in the last couple of years so we wish Cheryl all the best at 29 and hope she finds commercial and critical success with her new solo album A Million Lights which was released earlier this month.

Cheryl in L'Oréal Elnett Advert


Cheryl rose to fame in late 2002 when she auditioned for the reality television show Popstars: The Rivals on ITV. The programme announced that Cole had won a place as a member of the girl group, Girls Aloud. The group’s debut single “Sound of the Underground” peaked at number one on the UK Singles Chart, becoming the 2002 Christmas number one. Girls Aloud hold the record for the shortest time between formation and reaching number one.

Since 2003, Cheryl Cole has been part of Girls Aloud twenty consecutive top-ten singles, with all but one charting within the top ten, and 15 reaching top five positions in the UK. Their singles “I’ll Stand by You”, “Walk This Way”, and “The Promise” have charted at number one. All five of their studio albums have been certified platinum with their greatest hits album The Sound of Girls Aloud and 2008’s Out of Control, both of entering the UK Albums Chart at number one. Girls Aloud have earned five BRIT Award nominations from 2005 to 2010. In 2009, Girls Aloud won “Best British Single” at that year’s Brit Awards for “The Promise”.

Girls Aloud have become one of the few UK reality television acts to achieve continued success, and had amassed a fortune of £25 million by May 2009. The 2007 edition of Guinness World Records listed them as “Most Successful Reality TV Group”.

Cheryl began dating England and Chelsea footballer Ashley Cole in September 2004, announcing their engagement after he proposed in Dubai in June 2005 and the couple were married on 15 July 2006. The couple were hit with Kiss and Tell stories about Ashley’s infidelities but they reconciled and stayed together.

In June 2008, it was announced Cole would replace Sharon Osbourne as a judge for the fifth series of The X Factor alongside Dannii Minogue, Simon Cowell and Louis Walsh. Cole was given the girls category (made up of female contestants between 16 and 25) and subsequently ended up as the victorious judge when Alexandra Burke was crowned the fifth winner of The X Factor on 13 December 2008.

Cole returned for the sixth series of The X Factor in 2009 and was given the boys category (made up of male contestants aged 16 to 25). Cole emerged as the winning judge for a second consecutive year after Joe McElderry was crowned the sixth winner of The X Factor. Simon Cowell, the show’s creator, said, “I knew she was going to be good because she speaks like normal people speak. People can relate to that. And I think that is the best sign of a judge.” Cowell has referred to Cole as “one of the best I’ve ever worked with.”

In 2009, Girls Aloud announced their musical hiatus and Cheryl Cole went on to release two solo albums, which both went to number one in the UK: 3 Words (2009) and Messy Little Raindrops (2010). She achieved a number of hits, including two number one singles: “Fight for This Love” and “Promise This”.

In early February 2010, news broke that Cole’s husband had cheated on her with five more women. On 23 February, Cole announced she was separating from her husband and subsequently filed for divorce at London’s High Court citing “unreasonable behaviour” of estranged husband Ashley as the reason for their break-up. She was granted a decree nisi on 3 September 2010.

On 3 July 2010, Cole was admitted to hospital with suspected acute malaria after a visit to Tanzania.

Cole returned for the seventh series of The X Factor in 2010 to mentor the girls category once again. In this series, Cole faced intense scrutiny from the public and the media after she rejected popular contestant Gamu Nhengu to go through to the live shows in favour of Cher Lloyd and Katie Waissel, even though both had fluffed their performances at judges’ houses. Cole also receive more criticism after she refused to vote for an act in the fifth week, which resulted in claims that the show was fixed. This series would also mark the first that Cole was not the winning mentor, after a contestant in her category, Rebecca Ferguson, lost out to Matt Cardle, who was mentored by Dannii Minogue.

On 5 May 2011, it was officially announced after months of speculation that Cole would appear as a judge alongside Simon Cowell, L.A. Reid, and Paula Abdul on the American version of The X Factor. However, after only three weeks as a judge and completing the auditions in Los Angeles and Chicago, Cole departed the show following rumours she had been sacked.

Cole is set to release her third solo album A Million Lights on the 18 June 2012, with lead single “Call My Name” released on May 18, 2012. The single was written and produced by Calvin Harris and the music video for the single was directed by Anthony Mandler and shot in Downtown Los Angeles.

Cole has become a recognised and photographed style icon; referred to as a fashionista by the press. She has been photographed for the covers of British Vogue, Elle and Harper’s Bazaar, while also becoming the new face of cosmetic company L’Oréal in late 2009. However, her recent advertising campaign promoting the L’Oréal Elvive shampoo and conditioner range attracted criticism amid claims that she had deliberately deceived persons wishing to buy the product, since it shows Cole with hair extensions.

Cheryl has been involved in a number of charitable activities. Most notable were in March 2009 when she climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in aid of Comic Relief with a group of other celebrities. The trek raised £3.4 million for the charity. Between 3 February and 23 March 2009, Cole raised money for Comic Relief by providing the voice for the BT Speaking Clock. In February 2011, Cole launched her own charitable foundation with The Prince’s Trust following a meeting with The Trust’s President, HRH Charles, Prince of Wales. The Cheryl Cole Foundation will provide vital funds for The Trust in the North East, helping disadvantaged young people from Cole’s region. On 13 June 2011, she auctioned 20 dresses with ASOS to raise funds for the foundation.

Images reproduced from and
Videos reproduced from YouTube / helpingyousave and YouTube / CherylColeVEVO

Biography text reproduced from Wikipedia under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License

Guide to Healthy Nails – Part 2

Following from Part 1 of her Guide to Healthy Nails, Shahnaz Khan gives more information and tips on keeping your nails in the best condition.

handsOnychophagiststhat’s the official name for nail biters – cannot do any long-term damage to their nails but half-chewed fingertips can look unpleasant. Beat biting them by trying one of the specially-formulated nail biting solutions which are made to taste horrible to stop you nibbling. Or apply two thin coats of good nail hardener which toughens up soft nails and makes them much harder to bite. Yellowing nails are caused by wearing heavily-pigmented darks colours without a base coat. It depends on how porous your nails are as to how much they absorb. Whiten them up a bit by soaking them in lemon juice for a few minutes. Prime your nails for colour first with a clear or pale pink protective base coat. Smoking will also discolour your nails since they can become coated with nicotine.

Allergic reactions to the formaldehyde which is added to some brands of nail polish is common and can lead to skin irritations. Rashes and redness around the cheeks and mouth can be caused by touching your face with painted nails.

Contraceptives like the pill which depletes the body’s iron supplies can affect the way the nails grow. Check out health shops for supplements specially for nails and hair that help put back missing vitamins and minerals. It’s a myth that chewing gelatine can make your nails grow stronger.

The development of horizontal ridges and grooves can be hereditary or due to a severe illness. Once the ridge has formed there is nothing you can do until the nail has grown out. Buffing will help smooth the surface of the nail, but manicure clippers and take small snips working carefully from one side to the other. Cutting off the tip straight across can severely weaken your nails.

Short nails look best painted in pale colours which can make them longer and slimmer. Choose pastels and leave a thin strip unpainted at the sides of each nail to give the illusion of a slimmer, longer shape.

Regular exercise helps get the circulation going and speeds up nail growth-that is why typists, surprisingly, are often able to grow long, super-strong nails. Try simple hand exercises once a day, hold the tip of each finger with your other hand and work it up and down quickly five times for each finger.

A broken nail before an important date does not have to be a complete disaster, ail glue will bond a split nail in a matter of seconds or if your nail has snapped off entirely replace it with a substitute, plastic press on tip and no one will ever know the difference.

Nail polish lasts longer if you take time to apply it. Start with a base coat then apply two thin coats on top and then apply a top coat to fix your polish. Plunging your nails into icy cold water when they are touch dry will also help harden your polish.

Finally, always finish off your polished look with rubbing hand cream into your nails and hands and hey presto you will have perfect nails each time!