Blog Posts by Jane Cunningham

  • Five ways to fabulous, sexy eyes

    Research shows that attraction to the opposite sex always starts with the eyes, whether it's a shy glance or a full-on, I-can't-take-my-eyes-off-you stare!

    In fact, while we may not notice it, when we see someone that takes our fancy, our pupils react involuntarily by widening. So it makes sense to keep your eyes in perfect health and, of course, beautiful, for the day that you clock that special someone across a crowded room.

    1. Checks and balances: Regular eye checks (every two years) might eat into precious time, but they're important both for eye health and general health. An eye health check can spot signs of eye conditions before you are even aware of any symptoms, as well as advising whether contact lenses or glasses are needed. And, if you can't actually see across that crowded room, it's not going to help!

    2. Bright and beautiful: There is nothing prettier than bright, sparkling eyes, and there are a couple of tricks you can use to make them look fresh and twinkling. Few

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  • The beautifying power of flowers

    We all love a floral scented beauty product, but some flowers have the ability to boost both mind and beauty with their extraordinary powers. Flowers have been used for thousands of years in for healing: Buddhist monasteries still house large gardens to grow flowers for healing; the flowers are floated in water and given to people to drink. Whether or not you believe in that kind of petal power, beauty products are packed with floral fancies.

    Rose
    The rose is probably one of the most popular flowers in beauty; not only is the smell divine, but it's a skincare power player and takes thousands and thousands of petals to produce one ounce of oil. Rose extracts — water and essential oil — are usually obtained by a steam distillation process to keep as much potency as possible from the petals, although Rose Absolute needs a more sophisticated process called solvent extraction. Rose oil is rich in vitamins and flavinoids that are beneficial to the skin and high in antioxidants to protect

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  • Winter make-up you should ditch this spring

    It's time to put away those dark lipsticks, eye colours and foundations and brighten up with the changing spring light for a look that's radiant and washed with gentle colour.

    Flawless base
    Heavy foundations are a no-no for spring  - your make up should change with the seasons and as spring is about renewal and re-growth, a natural healthy glow is key. Start your mornings with a mini-facial using a cleansing oil to massage gently around your face for several minutes to help get your circulation going. Press a warm, clean cloth to your skin to open up the pores before wiping away the cleansing oil. Finish with a cool rinse to close up the pores again, and your skin will look immediately plumper and fresher. If you don't want to splash out on a tinted moisturiser, you can add your regular moisturiser to foundation to make a much finer blend that will look lighter in texture and give your skin a gentle sheen.

    Try: Boots Natural Collection Tinted Moisturiser, £1.99 www.boots.com.

    Eyes

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  • The secret to keeping hands soft this winter

    Looking after your hands all year round is essential to keep them looking and feeling soft, supple and beautiful. With Valentine's Day around the corner, our SOS guide to gorgeous hands will leave them ready for holding — or maybe even slipping on a ring!

    Get your gloves
    The first absolute rule for soft and supple hands is to keep them out of water as much as possible. Water is largely responsible for dry feeling hands as we are dipping them in and out all day without really noticing. Obviously, hand washing is important, but ensure you use a pH balanced or ultra mild soap. A pH level refers to how acidic or alkaline your skin is and a healthy skin level should be around 5.5. Commercial soaps tend to have too strong an alkaline balance that upsets skin, leaving it feeling dry and irritated, so using gentle soaps, such as Dr Bronners (approx £3.50), with a high natural ingredient content is less likely to upset the balance.  The same applies for any liquid hand-washes you may be using

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  • Your winter hair guide

    Although people mostly associate dry hair with summer months, winter can be tough on tresses. Fine hair goes limp, straight hair goes frizzy and dry hair gets even more dehydrated thanks to the combination of damp, cold and central heating. Follow our tips for a good hair day, whatever the weather.

    Do it daily
    Bearing in mind that it's how you treat your hair
    every day that makes all the difference, following tips from the experts
    who handle hair in all conditions every day is a must. Jamie Stevens,
    resident hairdresser on ITV's This Morning and How To Look Good Naked,
    says, 'Blondes are more prone to dryness in winter so should use a
    specific blonde shampoo to keep their hair bright — when there is no
    sunlight natural highlights can dull or go brassy."  Jamie also
    advocates using felt or plastic rollers if you wave your hair daily and
    allowing hair to dry naturally to cause the minimum of stress. Karine Jackson,
    former Hairdresser of the Year, says, 'Going outside with wet hair is

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  • The hairstyles you shouldn’t try

    A new hairstyle can take years off your face and get you out of a style rut immediately. However, with a multitude of literally thousands of different haircuts and styles, it's hard to work out which will suit you best.

    But certain haircuts are universally uncomplimentary on certain face shapes. Thankfully, Terri Kay of Mark Leeson Hair in Mansfield and also Eastern Hairdresser of the Year, is here to guide you through going for the chop.

    Figuring out your face shape
    Certain styles suit certain face shapes, but how do you work out what your face shape is in the first place? Kay says, "start in front of a mirror with your hair pulled back from your face and use the closest match to the guide below."

    Heart: Your face is wider across the temple and hairline, narrowing to a small, delicate chin.

    Square: Your jaw line is strong and your hairline has a square edge.

    Diamond/Triangle: This shape is the reverse of the heart and features a dominant jaw line and narrows at the cheekbones and

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  • Post-holiday detox beauty guide

    So you partied through Christmas and saw New Year in with style, but is your skin and body suffering as a result? If you've lost your glow, follow these tips to look and feel fresh all through January.

    From the inside out
    Overdoing the alcohol definitely has an effect on your skin, leaving it dehydrated and dull. When you clog your liver — the body's filter — with things that make it work too hard, such as alcohol, it doesn't function to full capacity. Your skin is the last organ to receive nutrients so when your liver is sluggish, the chances are that your skin will show it.

    Nobody likes to detox, but on this occasion, it really does make a difference to cut down on caffeine and booze and replace it with water for a few days. It's fine to drink warm (boiled) water — add a spring of fresh mint, a slice of lemon or some honey if you find it too boring to drink as it is.

    Experts in natural remedies recommend milk thistle (a relative of the sunflower), the seeds of which are packed with

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  • An oldie but a goodie: most iconic beauty brands

    Some of the beauty classics may have sat on your grandmother's dressing table, but they're still just as popular today.

    Chanel No.5
    It's hard to believe that Marilyn Monroe's favourite scent dates back to 1921. Contrary to popular belief, it wasn't Coco Chanel herself who conceived the world's favourite fragrance, but perfumer, or 'nose', Ernest Beaux. His inspiration for the scent is surprising, too — a trip to the Arctic Circle! With top notes of ylang-ylang and neroli, a heart of jasmine and rose, and basenotes of sandalwood and vanilla, the perfume currently sells at the rate of one bottle every 30 seconds around the world! Nicole Kidman is a fan and has also fronted Chanel No.5 ad campaigns. 

    New classic: Chanel No.5 Purse Spray for on-the-go glamour.

    Pond's Cold Cream
    Pond's Cold Cream dates from 1846 and was
    formulated in New York by a pharmacist in a tiny home laboratory.
    Originally known as Pond's Golden Treasure, it contained witch hazel,
    and later became known as Pond's

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  • Keep your skin sparkling through the festive season

    Sparkle and Joy
    It’s easy to lose your sparkle at Christmas with the pressures of preparation and late-night socialising. A combination of stress and tiredness can wreak havoc on your skin just when you want to shine the most. Follow these tips to stay fabulous through the festivities.

    Just relax!
    Relaxing in the run-up to Christmas is easier said than done, but battling through the crowds to find that party frock or perfect gift is super-stressful, and stress causes damage to the immune system and skin. If you know you are going to be out late regularly, try taking some immune-boosting vitamins, such as Boots Vitamin C and Zinc, £2.85 (www.boots.com), and don’t feel you have to say yes to everything. You’ll end up enjoying the events you really want to go to so much more if you have energy to spare.

    Mistress of disguise
    If your face is looking tired with a lacklustre complexion and dark circles under the eyes, at this late stage the best you can do is conceal the evidence! Creams that

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  • Five ways to winter-proof your skin

    When winter truly sets in, your skin needs protecting from the elements in order to stay comfortable, glowing and healthy.                  

    All stations hydration

    If you’ve been using a light moisturiser during the summer, now is the time to swap for a heavier one – if your skin is really dry, you might want to also change your regular cleanser to a cleansing balm. It’s not so much the fact that the weather is cold that causes skin to feel dry , it’s more that you’re moving from hot to cold conditions and, of course, the biggest culprit is central heating that leaves the air around you hot and dry.  If your skin becomes sore, you should moisturise whenever you feel you need it and not just in the morning and evening. Facial oils made from pure botanical extracts are excellent for keeping skin balanced and hydrated – they’re full of essential fatty acids too, that keep skin supple and healthy. I like Barefoot Botanicals Face & Decolletage Oil, full of rosa mosqueta, a natural source

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