Alright, there’s lumps and bumps on my back. What’s the deal? Just like on the face, our backs are covered in sebaceous glands and hair follicles. These release sebum that, when combined with bacteria and dead skin cells, can clog our pores and cause – you know it – ‘bacne’. Exfoliating with a salicylic acid treatment, or a ph balanced wash will help. If your hair is long, try tying it up more frequently to avoid oil transfer. Oh, and make sure to change out of work out gear post-gym, as soon as you can – no sweaty sofa chilling allowed.
Pores are the home of hair follicles. They produce sebum (oil) and sometimes they over produce the stuff (keen) causing them to get blocked. So… the key to reducing the visibility of pores is to clean them. The best way to do so? AHAs (e.g. glycolic and lactic acids) or BHAs (e.g. salicylic acid). These work to exfoliate, or ‘unglue’ the bonds clinging to dead cells on the skin’s surface. The cells will shed to reveal smoother, *almost* pore-free skin beneath. You can buy these over the counter. Easy.
A popped spot opens the skin, and as it heals, pigmentation and inflammation can occur. Yep, scars – tricky to eliminate, but we’ve got two treatments to try. Microdermabrasion uses a fine jet of crystals to blast, or vacuum, the skin and remove dead skin. A chemical peel encourages skin cells to multiply rapidly, pushing out pigmented cells. Both methods work to shed the top layers of skin, thus reaching the clearer skin beneath. It’s a long game, but worth sticking out.
2017, the year of the glow (thanks RuPaul). For a healthy-looking lift, try mixing liquid illuminator into your base. For heavy-duty ‘strobing’, take a fan brush – that’s what it’s for – and sweep a powder highlight across the top of the cheekbones, tip of the nose, brow bone and cupids bow. These are the ‘high points’ of the face. Body highlight is a dream for the summertime; try adding to your décolletage for a radiant collar bone (yes we want that).
Yes, Netflix is important, but so is sleep, so shut down the laptop and tuck yourself in – this is the best way to beat the bags. Avoid excess caffeine, salt and alcohol; these cheeky stimulants can cause dehydration and widen blood vessels under the eyes (emphasising dark circles and puffiness). Layer up the SPF, sleep deeply (there are apps to help), and drink all the water. Or, make like us, and accept that bags are probably a sign of a damn good time.
Exfoliating works on all skin types, and boy does it work. There are two types of exfoliators – physical; using grains to slough off dead skin cells, and chemical; using acids to ‘peel’ and replenish skin. Both will work on ‘degunking’ or clearing out pores for clear, bright skin. Though it’s best not to exfoliate every day (more than three times a week is too often), a salicylic acid-based cleanser will remove pore-clogging oil, without the heavy-duty action of a physical scrub.
Where there’s an important occasion, you know there’s a pimple a’coming, so how do we get rid? A damn good, consistent, skincare routine (FYI: that doesn’t mean expensive). Include a gentle cleanser, an exfoliant and a moisturiser suited to your skin type. Do it every day, no matter how many bevs you’ve had before bed. If you need a quick zit zap, apply a retinol – that’s a benzoyl peroxide/salicylic acid blend – like this one. Or hold an ice cube on top to calm the redness. Monthly facials will also help to regulate complexion (and who doesn’t love a cheek rub?)
Applying your lippy straight from the bullet will do the trick, but for a really cracking pout, there’s a little prep to do first. Exfoliate your lips to remove flakey skin – literally mix sugar with coconut oil, and your at-home tasty scrub is sorted. Layer up the lipbalm to moisturise the skin. Line the lips with a liner (try swatching on your hand to find a perfect colour match), then swipe on your lipstick. Blot with a tissue, then reapply. Nude, red, blue, if you’re feeling it, this technique always works. Prep your pout folks, here’s some extra help, if you need it.
Acetone, cuticle oil and a really good film (you’ll be sat down for a while). A salon trip will keep your nails in good nick, but if you’re braving it at home: clip the nails shorter, file down the polish, apply vaseline to the nail beds, soak cotton wool in acetone and apply to each finger tip. Wrap ‘em up in tin foil (yep, really) and leave for thirty minutes to soften the acrylic. Buff away the residue and moisturise. Then book your next manicure – it’s too hard to resist.
It’s in the tools. Build your brush kit. Choose a flat shader brush to apply a neutral base colour, a fluffy brush to blend deeper shades through the crease, a dense (wet) brush for glitter application, and an angled brush for smoked-out liner. Most importantly, you have to blend. And blend some more. Choose coordinating shades (brown tones work for everyone), and get applying. If you’re stuck, Youtube is your BFF – tutorials will take you from beginner to beauty guru in no time.
We answer Google’s 10 most-asked beauty questions
Retinoids, halo brows, baby scan nail art: the world of beauty is an intriguing place. Google helped us heaps with our beauty q’s last year, so we’ve rounded up the top ten into one location. From skin fixers, to lippy application, here are the most-searched beauty questions and our answers to all of ‘em. You’re welcome.
By Rachel Spedding
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