SKIN: IMAGE SKINCARE

I have always been blessed with good skin. Throughout my teenage years, acne was minimal, and I rarely had to invest too much in beauty products or treatments. I always got away with doing the bare minimum.  However, a few months ago I turned 26, and felt it was time to take control! Let’s be honest, I am not getting any younger, and I am forever reading about the importance of targeting anti-ageing from an early age. I realised I could no longer get away with doing the minimum. My routine at the time consisted of Garnier Micellar Water to remove my make up, followed by some E45 moisturizer. The odd week I would make a homemade exfoliator, but that was really it! Not to mention, the pollution in London is awful and has really affected my skin, causing it to breakout regularly.

There was just one problem – I didn’t know where to start! So I decided to contact one of my close friends, who is obsessed with everything ‘skin’ related. She immediately insisted that I go and get a skin consultation. I needed to find out what type of skin I had, and what worked/didn’t work for me. There was no point in investing in good products if they were not right for my skin type. She recommended I go to Iconic Beauty in Rathgar, Dublin 6 for a consultation (there is also a salon in Foxrock.)

 

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As I live in London, I decided to book in a mini facial while I was home in Dublin for Christmas. For €50 you get a full mini facial and skin consultation, with one of the salon’s beauty therapists (which I personally think this is fantastic value!) Iconic use IMAGE beauty products which, so far, I am loving! Based on your skin type, they recommend which products are best for you, what your daily skin routine should look like, and promise that you will see significant differences within just a few weeks. The staff are not pushy about investing in the products there and then, but instead, leave you with an IMAGE booklet/guide to take home, and allow you some time to think about it.

 

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I ended up purchasing the IMAGE gift set which was on offer at the time. This included all the products I needed for my skin type. A few of my friends have now visited Iconic, and have seen significant differences in their skin. So, if you are looking for a new skin routine and are willing to invest in some high quality products, then Iconic is the place for you!

LIZ EARLE

Alternatively, if you are looking for a more affordable option, then you can try the Liz Earle range. Their products are not overly expensive and are a great happy medium for those looking to move away from drugstore brands. I have used their Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser and found it super light on my skin, whilst also removing all my make up.

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P.S. According to the Iconic staff, Garnier Micellar water is one of the worst things you can use on your skin! So if you are using this product on a regular basis, you might want to consider re-evaluating your routine.

How I curl my hair

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I have always loved styling my hair. Whether it’s curling, straightening, a curly blow-dry or an up do, I love exploring all of the latest styling products and tools.
I have had my José Eber curling wand for about 3 years now and the tool is yet to let me down! I came across the product by chance while visiting a friend one day and decided to give it a go. The wand comes in a variety of sizes, based on the style of curl you want and the thickness and length of your hair. I went for the medium size (25mm) clipless curling iron as my hair is mid-length. Each wand comes with a heat protectant glove to avoid burns. Personally, I have been styling my hair for so long that I do not need a glove, but I would definitely recommend using it if you are a beginner.
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Step 1: Make sure your hair is washed and fully dry. Do not use any other styling tools (i.e. straighteners) before using the wand. This will affect the hold of the curl.
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Split the hair down the middle, based on where you wear your parting. From there, divide the hair into a further 2 sections, pinning away the upper layers.

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Step 2: Allow 1-2 minutes for your curler to heat up. Then take single pieces of hair (approximately half an inch to an inch, depending on the thickness of your hair) and wrap it around the wand. Wait 10-15 seconds and remove the wand. Hold the hair in its curl shape for 3-5 seconds and spray with hair spray (I recommend TRESemmé or L’Oréal Elnett.) Keep repeating these steps until the full head of hair is complete. At the end, take a wide tooth comb or a light brush and brush through the curls, for a softer, more natural look.

 

*For a daytime look, I use dry shampoo for a bit of volume. This also helps to create a very textured look. I use Batiste dry shampoo (original)  – it’ my favourite.
** For those with dry hair that is prone to frizz, then I suggest also using a hair oil or serum. Squeeze no more than a pea drop into your hands, and rub through your palms. Then run your hands and fingers through your hair. Don’t worry if the hair looks a little oily initially, this will go away after a few minutes. Any Kerastaste oils are amazing, but for a cheaper alternative the L’Oréal Extraordinary Oil is fantastic and does the trick!

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TAN TAN TAN

For the past 8 years, I have been wearing fake tan on a regular basis. Over time, I have tried and tested a variety of different brands to figure out what product works for me. I have quite dry skin and always found that tan does not always go on very easily. I hate when tan looks too orangey, so I am constantly looking for the most natural looking tan, with the easiest application.

Here are my current favourite tanning products that I have used in the last 6 months (links below):

 
1. HeShi: This tan is absolute favourite tan. I use the liquid tan, but the product also comes in a gel and mousse. I find the liquid version works really well on my dry skin, as it is not too thick and is light in application. It is super easy to apply with a mitt and comes up very naturally. Like most of my tans, I usually apply this before I got to bed, and wash off the top layer in the morning. Unlike most tanning products, HeShi encourages you to exfoliate ahead of application, but does not recommend moisturizing before putting the product on. This tan also works very well on your face, if you are looking for both a face and body product.
This is not the easiest product to find in Ireland. It is available in most Boots (but not all) and in several pharmacies. However, for those who love shopping online, the product is available to order both on their website and on the Boots website (can be limited).

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For the UK: This product can be bought in Boots, Superdrug, FeelUnique, Amazon. (Please note that the product is not available in all Boots/Superdrug stores, so it is best to check in advance with your local store).
For an on-going glow, put on a layer of tinted moisturizer daily, to keep the tan looking fresh and smoother for longer.

 
2. Bondi Sands: This product is also excellent! I have used their dark mousse for a few months now, and find it very easy to apply. For those who don’t like their tan too dark, keep the layers minimal on this product, as it can come up quite dark. Like HeShi, I would recommend putting on this product before bed, allowing it to come up over night, and rinsing off the top layer in the morning. However, with this product it is important that you have exfoliated AND moisturized before applying. This tan is also one of the few tanning products that actually smells NICE!
Warning: The one downsize to this product is that it is particularly bad for staining bed sheets, so I would recommend wearing long sleeve pyjamas after application,

 

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This product is available in Boots, Superdrug and online on Pretty Little Thing, ASOS, Boots, Superdrug, FeelUnique, Amazon and BondiSands.co.uk

 

3. Bellamianta: This is one of the more recent products I have tried. I came across this product by chance before Christmas and decided to give it a go. It is similar in texture and application to Bondi Sands, and again works best when left to build over night. This tan also comes up quite dark, so keep the layers minimal if you don’t want to be too dark.

 

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Other: I have also used Vita Liberata before, which many of my friends swear by. Available in Boots, Superdrug, John Lewis, Amazon and FeelUnique.

 

 

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Tanning moisturisers: I have used Garnier Summer Body moisturising lotion for as long as I can remember, and it never lets me down. Rather than using it as a tinted moisturizer, I use it as a way of keeping my original tan. I generally will apply a layer of this every day for up to 5 days after I put on my original layer of tan (HeShi/Bondi/Bellamaniata.)
TIP: I often find when I wash my original layer of tan off the morning after application, a good bit of the tan can come off. If you put a layer or two of Garnier on directly after you get out of the shower, it can help bring up the original tan over the course of the day.

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Mitts: Unless you are super fussy, any tanning mitt (within reason) will do the trick. I recommend Boots or Superdrug (if you are in the UK) as their mitts are always reliable, regardless of the brand.

Low-Price Drugstore Options: For those looking for a slightly cheaper alternative then Coco Brown and Rimmel’s Sun Shimmer  self tan mousse are great drugstore options. Rimmel’s Sun Shimmer Instant tan (MATTE) is also great instant tanning fix.

 

Links:

Boots: http://www.boots.com/

Superdrug: https://www.superdrug.com/

FeelUnique: http://www.feelunique.com/

For stockists: http://bellamianta.com/stockists

ASOS: http://www.asos.com/women/face-body/?nlid=ww|face+%2B+body|shop+by+product

AMAZON: https://www.amazon.co.uk/

John Lewis: https://www.johnlewis.com/beauty/c50000296?rdr=1

House of Fraser: https://www.houseoffraser.co.uk/beauty/01.0.0.0.0.0