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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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…

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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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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Discover the Power of Prevage

It’s time to discover the power of PREVAGE – the revolutionary luxury skincare range from Elizabeth Arden. The world is full of skin-damaging assaults and free radicals, unleashed by the sun and the environment. Put up your guard and help protect your skin with PREVAGE high performance anti-aging treatments to address the effects of oxidation on the skin, a leading cause of visible signs of aging.

PREVAGE treatments bring your skin the benefits of Idebenone, a revolutionary new skincare technology that helps correct and prevent the look of the visible signs of aging. Environmental stressors like UV light, air pollution, ozone, cigarette smoke, and even oxygen create damaging by-products — called free radicals — during normal cellular metabolism. Antioxidants protect the body’s cells by scavenging these free radicals and bind to them before they cause damage. Idebenone is proven to be the most powerful and effective antioxidant available when compared to alpha lipoic acid, kinetin, vitamin C, vitamin E and coenzyme Q10.

Idebenone is an extraordinary antioxidant, first recognized in the medical field for its protective, restorative and corrective capabilities. Now in exclusive PREVAGE formulas, it has been proven as the only topical antioxidant that can act on all levels of free radical assault, working deep within the surface layers of the skin to restore skin cells. It helps prevent further damage and supports skin’s natural repair mechanisms to help address past damage, and provides the most effective and highest level of antioxidant protection available.

PREVAGE offers a high performance regimen to visibly protect, correct and repair skin’s appearance with dramatic results. As well as protecting the skin against all levels of free radical assault it also delivers:-

  • Visible correction to the appearance of sun damaged skin
  • Serious environmental protection from future aging signs
  • Clinically proven benefits to transform the look of skin
  • A high powered regimen suitable for all skin types

The number one product in the PREVAGE range is the PREVAGE Face Advanced Anti-ageing Serum. This is an all-in-one product that does it all. It is proven to reduce the visible signs of aging. PREVAGE Face also helps to re-energize skin, which results in a firmer, less lined, smoother look. Tests show PREVAGE Face helps keep skin looking younger than ever because it evens skin tone, increases the look of firmness, reduces the appearance of lines, wrinkles, sun damage, redness, age spots, minor scars and discolorations and brightens the look of skin. To use the product, apply a pea size amount onto your fingers and thoroughly massage onto cleansed face, neck and décolleté in the morning and evening.

To get the best results when using PREVAGE Face Serum it is also recommended that you also use the PREVAGE Day Ultra Protection Anti-ageing Moisturizer SPF 30 during the day.

PREVAGE Day will work in conjunction with PREVAGE Face to help fight ageing signs and diminish the appearance of existing sun damage – fine lines, wrinkles and discolorations. The moisturizer has broad spectrum UVA/UVB sunscreens with an SPF rating of 30 which means you are protected against sun damage – a major cause of premature ageing. It also contains Idebenone so provides the same powerful antioxidant protection against free radical damage that you get from PREVAGE Face. PREVAGE Day instantly moisturises the skin to create a brighter, more radiant look leaving skin feeling softer and smoother than ever before. PREVAGE Day has been endorsed by The Skin Cancer Foundation Seal of Recommendation Program as it meets their strict criteria for UV protection products.

Click here to see the promotional video from Elizabeth Arden on “The World of PREVAGE”.

The PREVAGE range also contains the following products which help to visibly protect, correct and repair the skin’s appearance and offer dramatic results:-

  • PREVAGE Night Anti-ageing Recovery Cream
  • PREVAGE Eye Advanced Anti-ageing Serum
  • PREVAGE Eye Ultra Protection Anti-ageing Moisturizer SPF 15
  • PREVAGE Body Total Transforming Anti-ageing Moisturizer

For full details of the range, click here.

Elizabeth Arden is so confident in the PREVAGE range that in July they gave women across the country the unprecedented offer of a full refund if they did not see any results or improvement in their skin after 4 weeks of using PREVAGE Face daily on its own or as part of a PREVAGE daily regime. This money-back guarantee was available from all Elizabeth Arden counters across the UK and Ireland.

To experience the power of PREVAGE for yourself, make your way to your nearest Elizabeth Arden counter. If you live or work in Cambridge you can purchase PREVAGE from either Debenhams in the Grafton Centre or John Lewis in the Grand Arcade.

Images courtesy of Elizabeth Arden UK
Text reproduced from UK Press Release and

Goodbye Acne… Hello Murad!

Acne and problem skin is not solely an issue for teenagers. Some adults also suffer from blemishes, breakouts, oily skin, inflamed skin and enlarged pores.  If you suffer from spots, pimples or acne then help is at hand from the blemish control skincare range developed by Dr Howard Murad. The Acne Complex 60 Day Kit from Murad tackles problem skin and clears blemishes through Murad’s trademarked Science of Cellular Water.

The Science of Cellular Water was developed by Dr Howard Murad based on the ability of cell membranes to hold water within a cell as the fundamental marker for healthy youthful skin. Dr Murad uses his extensive expertise as a dermatologist, pharmacist and researcher to ensure that his topical products and supplements help to make your skin as healthy as it can be and look as youthful as possible. Dr Howard Murad is a respected authority on skin health and works as Associate Clinical Professor of Dermatological Medicine at the University of California in Los Angeles.

Murad Blemish Control products work in a number of ways. Salicylic Acid exfoliates dead skin cells to clear the skin and prevent future breakouts. Anti-inflammatories reduce redness and calm angry irritated skin. Oil-free moisturisers help control excess oil and mattify the skin. Finally, a patented Hydrogen Peroxide delivery system reduces bacterial infection without drying out the skin.

The Murad Acne Complex 60 Day Kit has been clinically proven in over 90% of users to reduce blemishes in just 4 weeks. The Kit cares for the skin in three stages. First, the Clarifying Cleanser is used to cleanse the skin thoroughly by washing away blemish-causing impurities and reducing 99.9% of irritating surface bacteria in less than 60 seconds.

The second stage uses two products to treat and repair the skin. The Exfoliating Acne Treatment Gel is applied to the face and neck to reduce pore clogging bacteria and restore skin clarity by eliminating blemishes and breakouts. Both the Cleanser and the Treatment Gel are stronger than you may think so only a very small amount of product should be used – Murad recommends that only a “dime size” amount be used. This would be equivalent to a 5 pence piece.

The third stage in the Murad Acne Complex Kit uses the Skin Perfecting Lotion to hydrate and protect the skin. Again only a small amount needs to be used – we’re talking pea sized. The oil-free lotion will restore hydration and soothe the skin in addition to controlling shine and minimising pores. It is important to remember that even oily skin needs to be moisturised to stay balanced.

To immediately treat blemishes before they turn nasty, the Kit also includes the Acne Spot Treatment to be used the moment you feel a pimple forming. Once again, this Murad product is very powerful so you only need to dab a pin drop onto the blemish. You can reapply this on-the-spot treatment two to three times a day as needed. However do not apply to the entire face as this should only be used as a targeted medication.

If you apply the products as described morning and night then you should see a visible difference in as little as 3 days and skin should be much clearer after 4 weeks. Bear in mind that the skin’s healing cycle takes anywhere between 4 and 12 weeks so it is important to be patient – although you will start seeing results after the first few days of using the Murad Acne Complex Kit.

Depending on what’s going on under your skin, don’t be alarmed if you experience an increase in the appearance of acne and blemishes in the first couple of weeks. This is because your skin “purges” buried impurities and pushes them up to the surface from deep within the skin. If you have an unhealthy unbalanced diet then your skin will have more to purge. It is recommended that before you start using the Murad Acne Complex Kit, you improve your diet by eating more fruit and vegetables and less sugary processed foods. It is also important to drink 1 to 2 litres of water a day to flush out impurities and hydrate the skin.

No matter how tempted you may be, do not over-use the products. Applying more than the recommended amounts will not speed up an improvement to your skin and actually may make the appearance of your skin worse as the Salicylic Acid and Sulphur compounds will bring out more blemishes if over-used.

Murad signature treatments and skincare products are available at the UK’s finest spas and salons nationwide. You can call 0844 472 7053 to find a salon near you. Find out more about Murad by clicking here.