Eyes: Windows to your soul

To all my female readers, I have a confession to make….I’ve been keeping a secret from you….for quite some time.  In fact, I’ve been keeping a few.  But for today, I’m spilling the beans about just one of them.  I know, I know, I’m a tease.  I’ve been meaning to tell you about this for awhile, but well, life got in the way.  I know some of you probably know about what I’m about to tell you, so apologies to the already initiated.  To the others who aren’t on this band wagon – then welcome!  You know when you’re flicking through a magazine, or are watching the television and see an actress or model claiming they’re not wearing a scrap of makeup?  Well, nine times out of ten, they are.  And the secret and the one I’ve been keeping from you? They’ve tightlined their eyes.  To the uninitiated you’re probably wondering, “what the heck is tightlining when it’s at home?”  Tightlining, or invisible eyeliner, for those who aren’t familiar, is where you apply eyeliner directly to your lash line – more specifically the underside of your top lash line.  This technique works for everybody; young, old, round eyes, almond eyes, pale skin, dark skin.  If you’ve got a pair of peepers, I promise you this make-up technique will make your eyes look brighter, bigger and more awake – who wouldn’t want that?  Once you’ve mastered the technique (it is a bit fiddly in the beginning, but it’s worth persevering) in a couple of minutes or less, you’ll have beautifully defined eyes and lashes that look longer and fuller.

I first tried tightlining about 10 years ago and was immediately hooked.  It is a natural, enhancing effect that is very hard to reason against.  My product of choice, being a Laura Mercier addict, for achieving this look, is of course Laura Mercier Tightline Cake Eyeliner. Tightlining can be achieved with various eyeliner products:  gels, liquids and pencils (although for me, pencils might be a bit too harsh for this area of the eye and not as long-lasting).  The Laura Mercier one is my favourite owing to its staying powder.  It comes in the form of a pressed powder, but is applied wet.  I use a flat eyeliner brush to apply this miracle product.  I dip the brush into clean water and then swirl it around the cake liner, creating a creamy type consistency.

The technique of applying eyeliner to your inner lash line, is actually quite simple.  Although saying that, for some inexplicable reason it took me FOREVER to master it.  Now thankfully I’m a dab hand at it, and can tightline my eyes in about 30 seconds (I timed myself for this post).

Here’s how to tightline:

  1. With one hand, gently lift your top eyelid so you can see where the lashes meet the eyelid.
  2. With your other hand, wiggle the brush (pen or pencil) back and forth between the lashes and the eyelid, really working the product into your lash line.  What you’re trying to do here is fill the spaces between your individual lashes.

Easy peasy, right?

Before & After tightline

As well as the LM one, there’s many others on the market at various price points.  Below is a list of a few others that I’ve come across.  I can’t confirm or deny how good they are though, as I haven’t tried them – sorry!  If you happen to use one of the below, or end up buying one, please pop a comment below letting me know what you think of it.

For the novice or if you’re struggling to get the hang of things, then give Clarins’s 3-Dot Liner Pen a whirl.  The three little prongs can be pushed into the roots of the lashes, so you don’t even need the ability to draw a continuous line – just a series of tiny dots.

Domestic Princess tips

  1. Probably goes without saying, but make sure your hands and brush are clean before starting.
  2. There is another method for tightlining that involves placing a mirror lying flat in front of you and looking down at it with your eyeballs while keeping your head up. In the beginning, this approach really helped me, however, I can now just pull my eyelids up and do it straight-on in front of the mirror.
  3. If you use a pencil try to use one that is waterproof to avoid smearing.

I consider tightlining to be somewhat of a miracle technique, as for a tiny amount of effort you end up with a tremendous difference in your look, one that can either be more on the au naturel side of things, or can be added to, to create a more dramatic look.

I’m curious, have you tried tightlining your eyes, or are you a novice?

With much love
The Domestic Princess

Know Your BBs & CCs

If you have even the slightest interest in beauty, or have picked-up a glossy mag within the last few months you’ll more than likely have come across this newish beauty phenomenon:  BB creams, and now CC creams too, and I hear that DD creams are not far around the corner too.

So, if you haven’t got a clue what a BB cream is, yet alone a CC, then I’m here to enlighten you.

BB Creams

BB stands for Beauty or Blemish Balm and have been a beauty staple in Asia for many years. BB creams promise to reduce redness, even out skin tone, camouflage pores and wrinkles, moisturise and offer anti-aging benefits.  Many BBs on the market also contain an SPF.  BB creams tend to be lighter than foundation, but heavier than most tinted moisturisers.  BBs promise to be a primer, a tinted moisturised and a sunscreen; basically an all-in-one product.  BBs are quite concentrated, so a small pea-like amount goes a long way.

Which BB to choose?

I’ve tried a few over the last year or so and I’ve been really pleased with these three:

Bobbi Brown BB Cream SPF 35

Dior Diorskin BB Creme

Dr Brandt BB Cream with signature Flexitone

CC Creams

CC stands for Colour Correcting and have been designed to address skin issues such as redness and/or sallowness.  CC creams are generally lighter in texture than a BB cream and provide a lighter coverage.  CC creams are more corrective than their BB cousins.  A CC cream will address more existing issues like age spots, acne scarring etc.

I haven’t tried any CC creams yet, but I have my eye on testing these two – I’ll let you know my verdict in a few months.

Nip & Fab CC Cream SPF 30

Supergoop SPF 35 Daily Correct CC Cream

Are you a fan of BB and CC creams?  If so, which one do you use?

With much love
The Domestic Princess

The Wonder Cream

There is one beauty product that I ALWAYS have to hand: in every handbag, in the kitchen, in the sitting room, by the side of my bed, in the car, on my desk in the study….pretty much everywhere.  So what is this much-loved product?  Elizabeth Arden’s Eight Hour® Cream.  This cult classic has been a beauty staple of mine for many, many years.  And I will wax lyrical about the benefits of it to anybody who will listen!  Being a beauty junkie whore, there are few products that I will buy time and time again.  Eight Hour® Cream seems a bit like Marmite – you either love it, or hate it!  I obviously fall firmly into the love it camp.

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour® Cream was created back in 1930, by Miss Elizabeth Arden.  It was the first cosmetic product to bear her name.  The cream was so effective, that Miss Arden used it to help heal the bruises on her thoroughbred horses.  The name was inspired by a customer who claimed that the cream had helped to heal her son’s scraped knee in just eight hours.

I hear about so many different ways that people use this wonder cream, that I thought it would be selfish to keep them all to myself!

  1. It’s great as a lip salve.  I put it on every night before going to sleep.
  2. I also massage it into my cuticles, which helps keep my nails healthy.
  3. I never board a plane without the travel size tube of Eight Hour® on me.  It really helps lock in moisture and keep my skin hydrated during the flight.
  4. It’s fabulous at healing and preventing scarring from burns.
  5. Brilliant at healing scars.
  6. For easing wind burn – really helps take the sting and redness out.
  7. Sunburn – on the very odd occasion I’ve been sunburnt, smothering this on the affected area has really helped.
  8. My sister-in-law swore by it for nappy rash with my two nieces.
  9. If you suffer with chapped, red raw hands in winter – this will work wonders for you.
  10. It’ll banish any dry skin patches.
  11. Since it contains salicylic acid, it’s great for helping heal blemishes and some even claim it’s helped with their acne.
  12. Can’t remove waterproof mascara? Rub a little cream on your lashes then wipe off with cotton wool.
  13. Once a week, I try to rub this all over my face before going to sleep, as when I wake up in the morning, my skin is brighter and more even in skin tone.
  14. Apply to cracked heels before going to sleep and you’ll wake up with softer heels.
  15. You know that awful “Rudolph” look you have when you have a cold? Apply this magic balm and the raw and red flaky skin will not be an issue.
  16. Applied over bare eyelids gives a modern glossy finish.
  17. As a hair serum to smooth down frizzy ends.
  18. For a dewy complexion I use it on my cheekbones, where I would normally put a highlighter.  It’s reflective but doesn’t add any colour.
  19. Great for taming eyebrows.
  20. Heals any cuts.
  21. Rub into ankles, heels and elbows the night before applying fake tan.
  22. Applied after waxing or shaving it can help soothe any irritated skin.
  23. Great at calming shaving rashes on men.
  24. Have heard that it can help treat heat rash.
  25. Sufferers of eczema have said that unlike the steroid creams their dermatologist had prescribed them, Eight Hour® Cream completely cleared up their eczema.
  26. Some people apply it to their skin before going swimming to protect against the chlorine.
  27. Can help heal cold sores – as a sufferer, I’ll definitely be trying this, the next time I get one.
  28. Use as a barrier in harsh weather – I know people use it under sunscreen when skiing.

You only need a small amount, so a tube lasts for ages!  Not a fan of the scent?  It now comes in an unscented version.  Although I’ve heard that the formula is slightly different.  I love the scent, so will be sticking with the original.  Elizabeth Arden have also developed other products in the range, which I’ll be checking out and will report back if they’re any good.

If the price is the only reason you haven’t tried this wonder balm, google for it and you can normally get it a lot cheaper than in department stores.  And Bangaloreans, good news!  It’s only around £8 a tube here – bargain!

Gents – this is not just for ladies to use!  I know plenty of men who steal this from their other halves!

I am currently slathered in my Eight Hour®, as I probably have the worst mossie bites I’ve had since living in India, I have yet another burn from cooking, and as anybody who’s seen me recently will attest, my skin is definitely not looking its best!  Here’s hoping that in 8 hours I’ll be looking much better!

So tell me, are you a fan of Eight Hour® Cream, or do you loathe it?  How do you use it?

With much love
The Domestic Princess

Lady Luxe vs Lady Less – Part 2

This is part 2 in my Lady Luxe vs. Lady Less series, and today I’m turning my attention to eye primers and mascaras.  These two products, together with a dab of concealer (more on this in a future post), and a slick of lip gloss can easily take you from drab to fab and ready to face the world.  As my friend, Cath says, it doesn’t even take two minutes to pop a coat of mascara on, so there really shouldn’t be any excuse to make a bit of an effort on the make-up front.

As in the first part of this series, to qualify as a budget buy, it needs to cost £10 /$15 and under.  So, without further ado, here are my luxe and less picks for eye primers and mascaras.

Primer for the eyelids is a pretty essential piece of kit to have in your make-up bag.  If you want your eyeshadow to go on smoothly, not crease and to stay put and last all day, then if you don’t already own an eye primer, I’d strongly suggest you consider purchasing one.

From left to right

High Definition Eyeshadow Base by NYX, is a great cheaper alternative.  If this is your first foray into eye primers, and you’re not sure you want to spend the money on the Laura Mercier or Urban Decay ones that I review below, or are on an economy drive, then I would definitely consider giving this one a whirl.  It comes in a tube with a built-in applicator, but only comes in one colour, so doesn’t have the dual capability like the Laura Mercier and Urban Decay one.  Overall, this is a good basic primer.  In my opinion it doesn’t perform as well as the Laura Mercier and Urban Decay offerings, but it’s around a tenth of the price and will help your eye make-up stay put all day, so does what it says on the tin!

Revlon’s PhotoReady Eye Primer is a bit of steal, because aswell as being a great primer for your eyelids; making sure your eyeshadow goes the distance, it can also be slicked on under your eyes to disguise dark circles and to brighten up and freshen tired eyes!  Two in one?  I love it!  It has a lovely, creamy texture, which blends really well and felt quite hydrating, which is great for any dry skin sufferers out there.

After reading part 1 of Lade Luxe vs Lady Less, it’ll come as no surprise to anybody that my favourite eye primer is the Eye Basics from Laura Mercier.  I’ve strayed a few times to try other brands, but have always come back to this one.  It comes in 8 different shades, so can match-up to most skin shades.  I have it in buff and linen.  I use buff on it’s own with a couple of coats of mascara, as it’s got enough colour and shimmer in it to double up as a cream eyeshadow.  I use linen as a primer before applying my eyeshadow.  This product gives lids a flawless and bright look.  I can honestly say my eyeshadow stays put all day, even in the steamy, balmy climate I live in.  I can whole-heartedly recommend this for your make-up bag.

Make-up artists the world over can be found using this eye primer from Urban Decay.  It comes in a handy tube, which makes application very easy and is available in four different shades.  I’ve used the original shade, in much the same way I use the linen colour from Laura Mercier, and my other favourite from Urban Decay is sin, which gives a nice shimmer finish and can be worn on its own with a few coats of mascara.  Whilst the Laura Mercier primer is my favourite, Urban Decay comes a very close second, as my eye make-up stays put all day.  I just slightly prefer the colours and consistency of the Laura Mercier eye basics.  I’d suggest visiting each respective beauty counter and testing them both out to see which one you prefer before making a purchase.  You won’t go wrong with either one!

I love mascara; I think it’s probably my favourite item in my make-up bag.  I’m constantly trying out new ones.  It’s not unusual for me to have two or three on the go at the same time!  A couple of coats of mascara can make such a difference.  It really opens up your eyes and make them look bigger – and who wouldn’t want that?

From left to right

The Soap & Glory brand was created by the genius behind the Bliss spas and products.  So when I discovered that Soap & Glory had moved into cosmetics and not just body products, I really was quite excited.  The Soap & Glory Thick & Fast Mascara creates great volume, without any clumping or flaking.  It comes with a nice big brush that makes application quick and easy, and ensuring even coverage.  It does give lashes a bit of length, but it’s more a volumising mascara, than a lengthening one.  A good budget mascara that will give you thicker, jet-black lashes.

Maybelline Colossal Volum’ Express mascara both lengthens and volumises your lashes.  Like the Soap & Glory mascara, it has a big brush, so makes applying it very easy.  I didn’t find any clumping or flaking when I used this mascara.  In fact it lasted all day, without me needing to re-apply it.  Build-up layers for a more dramatic look, or just apply one or two coats for a subtler look.  Many reviews said they felt they looked like they had false lashes on when wearing this mascara – I didn’t find that, but it still created lovely, defined lashes for me.

My friends readings this post will probably be surprised to read that Yves Saint Laurent Effet Faux Cils is not included in my luxe choices.  A couple of months ago, it absolutely would have been my top pick mascara, however, I think YSL have changed the formula, as after a few hours of wearing it, I look like I’ve done ten rounds with Mike Tyson (and no it’s not after crying!)  So, after being a loyal devotee to YSL for I don’t know how many years, I needed to find a new mascara.  And I’m pleased to say I was successful.  My search led me to Diorshow New Look and Bobbi Brown’s Extreme Party mascara.

I’d been reading about Diorshow New Look mascara for a while before taking the plunge and I’m so glad that I did.  It’s quite a “wet” mascara, as opposed to the more creamy texture I was used to with the YSL Effet Faux Cils one, but the “wetness” helps create long, luscious lashes.  I was concerned that it wouldn’t thicken my lashes (I have quite long lashes, so lengthening isn’t really a top priority for me when using mascara), however, it plumped them up really nicely and helped create fantastic wow lashes.  I apply just one coat for daytime make-up and for a more dramatic eye, give my lashes two to three coats.  A great mascara all round!

As I said, it’s not unusual for me to have a few mascaras on the go and now is no exception!  The other mascara I’m currently using is Bobbi Brown’s Extreme Party.  The product spiel on this mascara says that it gives the effect of wearing false lashes, without actually having to apply them, with a claim like that I just had to have it!  I LOVE wearing falsies, but don’t always allow myself enough time to apply them, so this sounded like a good alternative.  It’s definitely a mascara that needs to be built-up.  One coat is perfect for opening your eyes up and for day wear.  But to create that false lash effect two to three coats are needed.  Unlike some mascaras, there was no clumping.  Instead my lashes were long, separated and even without curling, seemed to curl.  It’s safe to say I love this mascara.  I’ve also read that this is a great mascara for those who might suffer with sensitive eyes.

Do you use primer on your eyes?  And which is your current favourite mascara?  I hope you’re enjoying this Luxe vs Less series – please let me know in the comments section if you have any products you’d like me to cover in future posts.

With much love
The Domestic Princess

Screen Stars: how to stay safe in the sun

I love the sun, which is a good job since I live in India.  We’re lucky enough to see sun and blue skies most days (sorry UK readers!) and being in India means we’re closer to the equator and the sun’s rays are even stronger.  I’ve always been sun safe and a huge advocate of wearing sunscreen, (The Domestic Prince doesn’t call me Casper the Ghost because of my St Bart’s tan!), but now I’m in the sun so much more, it’s become an even more important part of my daily skincare routine.

I’m sure everybody knows how damaging the sun can be, but in case you didn’t, here’s a quick recap on why:

The sun gives off three different types of radiation: UVA, UVB and the less heard of / talked about, UVC.

Historically, it’s been the UVB rays that we wanted to protect ourselves against, as these rays were thought to be the most damaging and the ones mainly responsible for causing skin cancer.  This is because the UVB rays penetrate the outer layer of our skin and without protection, causes damage to the cells, which can result in sun burned skin and DNA damage.  The potential damage that UVB rays can cause depends on the time of day and time of year that the skin was exposed.

However, research in recent years has shown that the UVA rays penetrate far deeper into the skin than the UVB rays, and causes the collagen and elastin to breakdown.  UVA rays can also cause skin wrinkling and aging (photoaging), pigmentation damage and skin cancer.  Unlike UVB rays, the intensity of UVA radiation is pretty much constant throughout the day and year regardless of the season, and is not filtered by glass.

UVC rays are completely absorbed by the upper atmosphere and thankfully are not something we need to be worried about.  Phew!

And something to note, any sunburn that you’ve had, has permanently damaged your skin’s DNA, so you should look to apply SPF 30 to any previous sun burned areas, to help prevent further damage.

The most important thing to remember, is to try super hard to avoid burning, as it’s burning your skin and the subsequent DNA damage, is what can possibly lead to skin cancer.

What to look for when picking sunscreen

  1. Only buy sunscreen that offers UVA AND UVB protection.
  2. Just like food, beauty products have sell-by dates, so check the sunscreen is still in date.  Sunscreens typically have a 2 to 3 year shelf life.
  3. Make sure that your sunscreen protects against UVA and UVB rays – the more stars it has, the better.  It might have the words “broad spectrum” on the bottle.
  4. The SPF number is the protection the sunscreen offers against the UVB rays, and the star system is the protection the sunscreen offers against UVA rays.
  5. Look for the words:  avobenzone, titanium dioxide and zinc oxide in the list of ingredients.

Here are a few of my favourite sunscreens.

  1. Bronze & Protect sun cream, by Nivea
  2. Soltan Moisturising Suncare Spray, by Boots
  3. Uber-Dry Sunscreen, by Peter Thomas Roth
  4. Bronz Repair Anti-Wrinkle Cream for Extreme Sun, by Institut Esthederm
  5. Light & Silk Mist, by Ambre Soliare

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to scaremonger you about sun exposure, it’s not something to be feared, in fact the sun also offers many health benefits.  First up is vitamin D.  When our skin is exposed to the UVB rays in natural sunlight, our bodies produce vitamin D.  Exposing your arms, face and / or legs for around 10 to 15 minutes, (depending upon your location and time of year) twice a week, without sunscreen should be sufficient.  After that, slather on the SPF!

The other benefit of the sun is the effect it has on our mood.  I think everybody feels better in the sunshine.  I think we only have to look at the “summer” the UK is experiencing this year, to see how sunshine directly correlates to happy shiny people!  I know from personal experience that I’m a much happier person when there’s blue skies and sunshine.  There have been many a study carried out showing that people who suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) feel much better during the summer months.

Domestic Princess tips

  1. Nearly all dermatologists recommend that you never, EVER wear anything less than a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15.  An SPF of 2 only protects against 50% of UVB rays, whilst an SPF of 15 protects against 93% and SPF 30 gives protection of 97%.  There is a lack of evidence that those SPFs higher than 50 offer any additional protection.  No sunscreen can provide 100% protection.  On a beach holiday, I typically start out with an SPF of 30 to 50 and gradually move down to an SPF of 15, but I never go lower than SPF 30 on my face and chest.
  2. Apply sunscreen 20 to 30 minutes before going into the sun.
  3. Be meticulous when applying sunscreen:  between your toes, behind your ears, along your hairline.  All easy to forget, but burn easily.
  4. For sensitive skin types, opt for a mineral sunscreen.  The skin doesn’t absorb this type of cream; it just creates a barrier, therefore is less likely to cause irritation.
  5. Remember to drink plenty of water and to take your omega oil supplements, as these will help keep your skin plumped and hydrated and less likely to peel.
  6. It doesn’t matter if you use factor 15 or factor 50, if you don’t reapply regularly, it won’t provide the protection that you think it will.  A good guideline is to reapply every two hours, or if you’ve been sweating or in the water.  Even if your sunscreen says waterproof, I’d err on the side of caution and reapply.
  7. A higher factor doesn’t let you stay out longer; it just prevents less UVA rays getting through.  And applying factor 15 twice doesn’t mean you’ve got factor 30 protection.
  8. Most people don’t apply enough sunscreen.  A good guide that Cancer Research recommends:  for face and arms:  two teaspoons.  When on the beach in a swimsuit:  two tablespoons.
  9. Apply sunscreen when out and about in your everyday life.  It’s just not sunbathing when sun damage / burn can occur.  Domestic Prince – are you listening?!
  10. It’s just not your body that can be damaged by the sun’s rays, but your eyes too, so don a pair of sunglasses and ensure that they have UVA/UVB protection too.
  11. Supposedly, wearing a wide-brimmed hat, can offer an SPF of 5, so maybe consider investing in a hat.
  12. Seek shade between 11am and 3pm, when the sun’s rays are at their strongest.
  13. DO NOT use sunbeds…..EVER.  There are some amazing fake tans on the market these days, so opt for faking it, instead of raising your risk of skin cancer.

Do you practice safe tanning?  Do you have a favourite sunscreen that you can share with us?  Happy safe sunbathing!

With much love
The Domestic Princess

Sole Survivor – Seven steps to keep your feet in tiptop condition

Not a week seems to go by these days without it being a national, international, world day or week, for any number of varying topics.  From feelings to people, to inanimate objects, to raising awareness for great causes, like World Aids Day, it seems anything and everything can be the focus.  And this week is no different, as it’s Love Your Feet Week.  Living in a hot country, my feet are on show most of the time, they take quite a pounding from the hard marble floors in our house, and are frequently exposed to the drying heat of the sun.  So taking care of them has become a priority for me.

Each foot is made up of 26 bones and the skin on the soles of our feet has evolved to become thicker than anywhere else on our body.  The skin on our face is around 0.02mm thick, however, on the soles of our feet it’s on average 5mm, to help cope with the strains and stresses of everyday activities, like walking and running etc.

Just like on the rest of our body, the skin on our feet constantly renews itself; shedding dead cells and replacing them with new ones from underneath.  However, if we don’t show them a little bit of care and attention, they can become dry with cracked heels, which can be incredibly painful.  It’s not just ladies who need to look after their feet, men do too, so here’s how I try to keep my feet in tiptop condition!

  1. Wash feet daily.  If you shower in the morning, and not in the evening, make washing your feet part of your nightly routine to wash the sweat and dirt of the day off.  Pay particular attention to between your toes.  Dry your feet thoroughly, especially between your toes, as this will help prevent fungal infections.
  2. Exfoliate your feet everyday.  I use my foot file everyday without fail, which I’ve had for over 8 years, and is still going strong.  It wasn’t cheap, but it’s proved to be a brilliant investment.  If you have exceptionally hard skin, it might be worth visiting a podiatrist or chiropractor to have it removed.
  3. Apply a moisturiser everyday.  The moisturiser you use needs to be one specially created for the feet, as the skin on the feet is so much thicker than on the rest of our body.  I rotate between a few different ones, and use one specifically for cracked heels a few times a week.
  4. I try to trim my nails weekly, as if you leave them to grow too long, one, they can become quite painful when wearing shoes, two, they cause holes in my trainers! And, three, if not cut regularly nails can thicken and harden, growing into the surrounding skin.
  5. Healthy nails look pink and smooth.  To get them looking nice and healthy, gently exfoliate the area where your nail meets the skin with a toothbrush, whilst you’re having your shower.
  6. I once had the most incredible pedicure by Bastien Gonzalez.  My toenails were so shiny and it lasted for months!  To create such an amazing shine, he buffed my nails with a chamois buffer and a buffing cream.  Needless to say I bought both products (yes I am a marketers dream!), but I’m so glad I did, as I can now recreate the glass-like shine on my tootsies!
  7. Try and have a pedicure once a month, or if you can’t afford one, carve out some time and give yourself one.

Domestic Princess tips

  1. Keep a foot file near your shower/bath and give them a quick scrub as part of your daily routine.  To get best results, foot buffing should be done on dry skin.
  2. Keep your moisturiser by the side of your bed.  Massage a thick layer into your feet and pop a pair of socks on to stop the cream getting onto your sheets.  I love the softening socks from Bliss.
  3. When your feet are exposed to the sunshine, don’t forget to apply sunscreen, especially as the skin on top of the feet is extremely thin.
  4. If you want to avoid your nails yellowing, never wear polish for more than three days.  You (hopefully!) wouldn’t dream of wearing make-up for more than one day, so why would you wear polish for weeks on end?  Nails, like skin need to be able to breathe, and nail varnish is extremely dehydrating.  Wearing polish for extended periods of time can damage the nail.
  5. Don’t cut your cuticles.  The cuticle is there to protect the nail bed.  Just push them gently back with an orange stick.
  6. Make sure your shoes fit you properly.  Ill fitting shoes, can cause no end of problems for your feet.
  7. Choose a glass or diamond nail file.
  8. Cut nails straight across, not too short, and never cut down the sides, which will help prevent in-grown toenails.
  9. Don’t wear the same pair of shoes everyday.  Rotate them, to allow them to dry-out.

So, give your feet some tender loving care!  And on that note, I’m off for a pedicure to show my feet some love!

How do you look after your feet?  Are you religious about looking after your feet?  I’d love to hear from you.

With much love

The Domestic Princess


Lady Luxe vs Lady Less

I love beauty and make-up.  You could call me a beauty product geek.  I love nothing better than reading up about the latest beauty products to hit the market.  Although, to look at me some days you wouldn’t think so!  I’m not sure when I first became interested in make-up, probably during my teenage years.  But the real catalyst that galvanised my make-up buying addiction was the opening of the new House of Fraser store on King William Street in London.  My office at the time was a hop and skip from the main entrance, so on the night of the opening, I went along with two of my friends, to explore what delights they had inside.  Whilst walking around with a glass of champagne we discovered the fabulous make-up range by Laura Mercier.  Whilst perusing the goodies on the counter, one of Laura’s Global Make-up Artists, Abby Ireland (who counts Kylie & Danni Minogue amongst others her clients!) asked if we wanted a mini make over – well she didn’t need to ask us twice!  We were all completely wowed by the Laura Mercier products and ended up spending a small fortune!  This was nearly 10 years ago and my love for Laura Mercier make-up is still as strong as ever.  However, her range is not cheap, it most definitely falls into the “Luxe” category!  A friend in Bangalore recently asked if I could do a post on luxe vs budget make-up, so Georgina, this is especially for you!  To qualify as a budget buy, the item needs to cost around the £10 mark or less.  Look out for more luxe vs budget posts in the future.

From left:  No. 17 Photo Flawless Primer.  Whilst at £4.99 this might seem an absolute bargain, but with only 15ml in the tube, it actually works out more expensive than the Laura Mercier primer.  However, if you don’t wear foundation or tinted moisturiser regularly, this is probably an ideal purchase.  It creates a great even palette for applying your foundation or tinted moisturiser, and helps minimise the appearance of pores.  It goes on really easily and smoothly.

Avon MagiX Face Perfector.  This is a fabulous primer for oilier skins, as it keeps the oil at bay. It gives a brilliant matte base and completely fills in pores, giving a very smooth palette to work with.  Skin feels extremely soft after it’s been applied and makes your skin look so lovely, you actually don’t need to wear anything else!  Oh and it contains SPF20 sunscreen – so no pesky sun damage!

Trish McEvoy Even Skin Face Primer.  A brilliant primer for instantly correcting any redness or blemishes.  Unlike many primers out there, this doesn’t dry your skin out and if you’re prone to breakouts, don’t fear, this product won’t cause an eruption!  It’s oil-free, so works really well with all skin types.  It completely fills in pores and creates a great protective layer over the skin.

Laura Mercier Foundation Primer.  If you haven’t tried this, then where have you been? When doing my research on primers for this piece, the Laura Mercier one constantly came out as the best primer on the market. It was one of the products I bought way back when on that trip to House of Fraser, and whilst I’ve tried a few others over the years, this is without doubt, my favourite and probably the only one I’ll buy from now on.  It’s lightweight, easy to apply and keeps my make-up in place all day or night, which is quite amazing in a hot climate!  I think it even helps make some of my fine lines disappear….In addition to the original foundation primer, there are now four other varieties:  mineral, oil-free, hydrating and radiance.  I can’t wait to try the radiance version.  It is such a renowned primer that it has made the InStyle Best Beauty Buys Hall of Fame – a true accolade!

From left:  L’Oreal True Match Foundation.  This is ideal for ladies who are looking for an even and natural coverage.  With a choice of 20 colours, you’re bound to find the perfect shade to match your complexion.  The texture is very light and creates a sheer finish.  Mix with your regular moisturiser for a dewy finish.  If it’s good enough for Beyonce, it’s good enough for us! Oh and an Instyle Best Beauty Buys 2012 Winner – what’s not to like?

Max Factor Lasting Performance Foundation.  This foundation is made with silicones to give a lighter and less greasy feel than some other foundations on the market.  It provides great coverage that lasts all day and doesn’t require any powder, as it leaves a matte finish on your skin.

Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation.  Make-up artists around the world love this foundation. Available in 18 different shades, it gives (as the name might suggest) a gorgeous luminous finish.  It’s super easy to apply and stays put all day.  It even manages to cover the redness from any blemishes you might have, without the need for concealer!  Using this foundation will make your skin look perfect!  A staple in my make-up bag.

Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua.  This is another Instyle Best Beauty Buy 2012 Winner and creates a perfect finish without you feeling that you’ve got a thick heavy layer of foundation on.  It’s a water-based foundation, so make sure that you give it a good shake before applying.  It can be used as either a sheer/light coverage, or by building it up, you can create a much heavier coverage.  Unlike lots of other foundations on the market, it can be applied with your fingers, which will create a lighter satin finish.

So, lovely readers, which are your favourite less and luxe make-up buys?  Do you have any of the products listed above?  And are there any products that you feel should be a luxe buy?

Pop your comments in the box below.

With much love

The Domestic Princess


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