In the pursuit of glowing skin, glossy hair and flawless make-up, we need to put in substantial effort.
We’re all for time-saving tips and tricks – especially in our beauty routines – but going the extra mile can have major beauty benefits. For some, the standard cleanse, tone and moisturise regimen is already a lot to ask. However, when you weigh up the pros and cons of taking an extra five minutes a day to pamper yourself, the results speak louder than words. Here, experts share simple changes that we can make to our beauty routines to keep our hair, skin and make-up looking great every day.
Exfoliation is considered one of the most important techniques that you can perform on your skin. But why? “Exfoliating is crucial for our skin’s complexion,” says Tracey Beeby, head of global training for Ultraceuticals. “It removes the superficial dead skin that leads to dull, rough, uneven texture and clogs pores.” Smoother, clear skin can also improve absorption of skincare products and help to prevent ingrown hairs. Beeby recommends exfoliating both your body and face once or twice a week.
TRY: 1. Ultraceuticals Ultra Retexturising Body Complex, $99. 2. Environ AVST Hydrating Exfoliant Masque, $58. 3. Oxygen Crème Exfoliator, $43. 4. Dermalogica MultiVitamin Thermafoliant, $96. 5. Elizabeth Arden Skin Illuminating Retexturizing Pads, $79 (50 pads).
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again – priming before you apply make-up is crucial to a flawless application. If you’re not familiar with it, primer probably seems like an extra (maybe unnecessary?) step. But if you use it, you’ll know why make-up artists are obsessed.
Now, not just a make-up base, primers have the ability to temporarily ‘fill in’ fine lines, minimise enlarged pores and combat signs of fatigue, redness and dry skin, making them essential in your beauty regimen. “Many primers are formulated with silicone-based polymers because of their ultra-smoothing effects,” says Bobbi Brown cosmetics training manager Olivia Wild. “The key is to use the correct primer for your skin type.” If your skin is – and there’s no pretty word for it – dull, Wild recommends a peach or yellow-based primer. “These two colours are your best friends to neutralise dark circles under the eye.” Lilac tones neutralise yellow and are best for correcting sallow complexions, she adds, while green tones are wonderful for neutralising redness – especially if you have rosacea.
TRY: 1. Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer SPF20 with Dermaxyl Complex, $78. 2. Smashbox Photo Finish Colour Correcting Foundation Primer in Adjust, $76. 3. Revlon PhotoReady Color Correcting Primer, $37. 4. La Mer Perfecting Treatment, $360. 5. Benefit The Porefessional Face Primer, $57. 6. Bobbi Brown Illuminating Face Base SPF25, $75.
GIVE IT A BOOST
Much-loved in Korea, skin boosters and essences are a crucial product that your skincare routine may have been missing. “An essence is a concentrated water-based formula that replenishes hydration and contains high doses of active ingredients,” says Janet Curmi, vice president of global education and development for Elizabeth Arden. Skin boosters, on the other hand, “simply amplify the results of any products that you use,” she says. “They allow your own skin to work at its optimal level so that any product applied afterward works more effectively.”
TRY: 1. Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Youth Restoring Essence, $95. 2. Estée Lauder Micro Essence Skin Activating Treatment Lotion, $120. 3. SK-II Facial Treatment Essence, $204. 4. Prevage Anti-Aging Antioxidant Infusion Essence, $120. 5. Elizabeth Arden Superstart Skin Renewal Booster, $106.
THE EYES HAVE IT
I’m sure you’re wondering if eye creams are a necessary, carefully calibrated step in your routine or a skincare fad that you can disregard. According to the Skin Institute’s Dr Sarah Hart, the skin on and around our eyes is the thinnest on the face – and it’s one spot you don’t want to leave unpampered. “There is very little fat between the skin and the underlying muscle around your eyes, resulting in the creasing action of the muscle being visibly transferred to the skin over time,” she explains. “This area also tends to get sun exposure which degrades the elastin and leaves skin less able to recover from repeated squinting, smiling and blinking – even in winter.”
So, while your go-to boosters, essences, serums and moisturisers may work wonders for other skincare concerns, they’re often not formulated for use around the delicate eye area. “Eye serums contain special ingredients to enhance hydration and address the needs of the thinner, drier skin around our eyes compared to the thicker, oilier skin on the rest of the face,” says Hart. “Eye serums or creams also tend to be specifically formulated without ingredients that can cause irritation, like glycolic acid or high concentrations of retinol.”
When it comes to ingredients, Hart highly recommends looking for products containing hyaluronan and neuropeptides. “Hyaluronan is an extremely potent hydrating molecule that is naturally present in the skin,” she says. “It hydrates and soothes the delicate skin around the eyes without causing any greasiness.” Neuropeptides are tiny strings of amino acids (the building blocks of protein) that enhance collagen production.
TRY: 1. SkinMedica TNS Eye Repair, $173. 2. Shiseido Bio-Performance LiftDynamic Eye Treatment, $129. 3. La Mer The Lifting Eye Serum, $370. 4. Linden Leaves Intensive Repair Eye Cream, $50. 5. SkinMedica Hydrating Complex, $156. 6. Shiseido Vital-Perfection Wrinklelift Eye Mask 12PK, $139.
Ridding our skin of heavy make-up, excess oils and dirt can be complex, with residue often left on our faces overnight. The answer to this cleansing conundrum is double cleansing. “The first cleanse removes superficial debris, while the second assists in balancing the natural oil flow,” says Ultraceuticals’ Beeby. She recommends using either a quality micellar water or cleansing oil for your first cleanse. While using oil to help lift make-up off your face may sound counter-intuitive, oil has great cleansing properties and can breakdown oil-based products like foundations and mascaras more effectively.
However, oils have to be followed up by a lathering product to rid the skin of impurities. For your second cleanse, the product should ideally be matched to your skin type. “Dry skins have a preference for hydrating milk cleansers and oily and combination skins are more suited to gel or foam-based cleansers,” says Beeby. “Sensitive skins work well with micellar water and problematic skin is best treated with an antibacterial cleanser.”
TRY: 1. Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Oil, $54. 2. Dior Instant Gentle Cleansing Oil, $77. 3. Ultraceuticals Ultra B2 Micellar Solution, $49. 4. Environ Pre-Cleansing Oil, $49. 5. Burt’s Bees Intense Hydration Cream Cleanser, $37. 6. Linden Leaves Skin Refining Cream Cleanser, $40.
THE GOOD OIL
Hair oils are a favourite of beauty experts and for good reason. They are full of essential fatty acids that can help seal in moisture, detangle, tame and treat split ends. “The popularity of oils comes from our desire to mimic the best hair oil ever, a natural substance we all produce called sebum,” says Matrix’s new creative director Hayley Pullyn. Oils like argan, coconut, grapeseed and moringa bring all hair types back to life.
You can use hair products that contain oils or you can use cold-pressed oils straight from the kitchen. “Post colouring and pre-haircut, it’s great to do a pre-shampoo oil treatment to nourish and plump the hair,” says Pullyn. “Also, adding a few drops of an oil serum before and after your blow-dry will give more shine and nourishment and act as a smoothing agent. “Generally the drier and frizzier your hair, the more oil-based products it can handle.” Even fine locks can handle oils. “Fine hair lacks the elasticity and suppleness that thicker and denser hair naturally has, so you need an oil to help nourish it.”
TRY: 1. Joico K-PAK Color Therapy Dry Oil Spray, $33. 2. Matrix Biolage Exquisite Oil, $32. 3. 3 More Inches Magic Oil, $64. 4. Matrix Biolage Oil Wonders Indian Amla Strengthening Oil, $24.
Even make-up novices have surrendered to the fleek-seeking brow trend and know the importance of a good, strong brow. We spend plenty of time drawing on, filling in, and shaping them, so preserving all that hard work makes sense, right? Unfortunately, the majority of us are missing the last crucial step – applying an eyebrow gel. “Brow gels are the ultimate styling product when it comes to setting and sculpting,” says Benefit Cosmetics’ global brow expert Jared Bailey. “Think of a clear gel like a top coat for your other brow products,” he says. To apply a clear gel, always start where the hair is most dense. “You want to direct the hair in the direction you want it to stay.”
If you’re after a multi-purpose product, try a coloured brow gel with added fibres. “Fiber gels are like the ‘little black dress’ of brow products because they do it all – tint, tame and volumise. The formula glides right over the hair and creates a glaze while filling in bare spots.” Just as easy to apply, start by backcombing the brows to wrap the product around each hair. “This will look messy at first, but then redip the wand for more product and style the brows in the direction of the hair growth,” explains Bailey.
TRY: 1. Benefit Gimme Brow, $45. 2. MAC Brows Are It Brow Set in Girl Boy, $36. 3. Nars Brow Perfector, $40.
For more of this season’s hottest beauty trends check out the latest issue of Simply You and look out for our Body & Beauty issue on sale October 3rd.