Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Perfect Pins.

As I’ve finished my holidays for the year, I can’t be bothered to constantly fake tan to stop myself looking pasty, especially as it takes so long for me to build up the perfect colour, so I thought I’d write about a product I can’t live without – the instant tan. I mainly use this for my legs when I go out and haven’t had problems with any I’ve tried but these are my favourites.

The one I’m using at the moment and my personal favourite for all over my body, not just the legs is Rio Blush City Girl Firming Leg Shimmer (RRP £40), as used by Kim Cattrall on set of Sex and the City: The Movie. It claims to firm and tone the skin whilst creating a natural, dewy glow but I can’t really feel that, however, the colour it leaves is lovely and natural and can be layered to go darker. There is a slight glitter in the lotion but this just makes the skin look really toned, and it washes off easily. Having said that, I did wear it on Saturday night in the rain, and had a few speckles on my legs where the rain drops had hit – not a good look but only noticeable to me!

Secret Beauty Verdict: Gorgeous but on the expensive side, very natural colour but beware of raindrops!

The first body shimmer I ever used was Ted Baker Divine Shimmer Body Lotion (around £5 RRP) which leaves a shimmery golden glow all over and washes off with soap and water, making it better for wearing out in the rain. Very similar to Rio Blush, but has a slightly less natural colour as it has a gold, rather than pink base.

Secret Beauty Verdict: Great Value for Money, I used this for years before Rio Blush came along and had no complaints!

St Tropez Perfect Legs (RRP £35) is a clever little product as it is one tube but split into two, with two separate pumps. One side contains a fake tan to put on the legs, while the other is an instant colour to put over while the tan develops. The first time I tried this I was shocked as the instant colour comes out really dark and I was tempted to wash it off, however, stick with it as after a couple of minutes it blends in completely and looks really natural. The fake tan is great too and after just one application the next day my legs had a very light, but very natural tan with no streaks.

Secret Beauty Verdict: Natural colour just for the legs without shimmer, which I feel is better for day wear when you need a little colour.

Although not strictly and instant tan, Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs (around £10 RRP) is my fave for when I don’t want to put colour all over or when the rest of me is too pasty to look right with tanned legs! This is pretty much foundation for the legs and sprays on in an almost powdery form to cover up imperfections and taking away the ‘I need sunglasses to look at your legs’ problem I so often get! The legs basically look the same as they do with clear tights on, it stays put until you wash it off and comes in four different shades.

Secret Beauty Verdict: Perfect for when tanned legs look too much, but tights aren’t quite right either (especially with peep toe heels!)

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Curls Allowed!

I, like many other women I know, find it very difficult to curl my hair with straighteners. I use the new ghds which now have a bevelled edge for curling, but I still end up with ‘squirls’ (I think I may have just made up a new word, but basically mean square curls). I have got curling tongs but I find that the curls done with straighteners stay in the hair much longer as there is more heat on them, this does mean more heat damage though so do be careful how often you do this.

Anyway, WAM very kindly sent me a pair of their hybrid styling irons to try out and they’re fab. They’re great at straightening but I absolutely LOVE them for curling. The barrel is completely rounded and has grips on it to stop the hair from slipping off and produces a gorgeous, natural curl. Once you get the hang of it, it is very easy, and these straighteners make it so much better. To be fair to other straighteners, how you prepare the hair does make a huge difference. Heat protection is important, but you do need to make sure the hair is dry, so when using a heat protection spray, wait until it has completely dried into the hair before using it.

Even better though is to use something on wet hair and dry it in, it will work just as well this way as if you put it directly on dry hair. ghd do a great spray specifically for this called Creation Spray which goes onto dry hair but then dries in quickly and keeps the style in place.

So, here's a bit of a step-by-step, no pictures though so I hope it makes sense!
1 – Section the hair into two parts, top and bottom. I take the section around from the eye line and pin the hair to the top of my head.
2 – Taking sections of hair around 1 – 1.5 inches thick, hold the straightener as you would normally, then twist your hand upside down, clamp the hair between the plates high up at the root if you want a strong curl or near to the ends for a loose wave and twist your hand back round to normal whilst pulling through the hair. The faster you go, the looser the curl. I usually do it so that the iron ends up vertical to my head so it can be smoothly pulled out of the curl.
3 – Then section the remainder of hair in two, each side of your parting and repeat this process. If you need to re - curl any of it, wait until it is cool first.
4 – Once all the hair is cool, run your fingers through it to break up the ringlets et voila! Gorgeous, shiny curls.
If I want my hair to have a nice, natural curl I usually do it the night before, cover it with hairspray and sleep on it, then just run some product through it to smooth the next day, I actually prefer it like this on me.

The must have products you need for this are:

Some kind of smoothing cream/serum to put on straight away after breaking up the curls. I use Schwarzkopf Osis Curl Me Soft Velvet Curl Cream (RRP £9.90) which gives a light hold but smoothes really nicely and leaves a gorgeous shine with really defined curls.

TIGI Curls Rock Curl Booster (RRP £10.80) is one of the best hair products I’ve ever used. I absolutely swear by this stuff when curling my hair, especially if I do it the night before and want to revamp the curls. Use this after smoothing and before hairspray, or on its own to revitalise curls.

I don’t really have a favourite hairspray but L’Oreal Professionnel’s tecni-art gloss control spray (RRP £9.45) leaves a lovely shine and holds really well, without being too sticky.

Senscience Silk Finish Hairspray (£10.95) is gorgeous, doesn’t even feel like it's on the hair but holds really well. It also lasts for ages so although it’s a luxury product, it is worth the money.

Of course, there’s also everyone’s favourite cheap ‘n’ cheerful hairspray, Elnett (RRP £2.25). Not much to say about this one apart from it’s as famous as it is for a reason, cheap and good!