Beauty: Alphabet Soup
If you’ve been anywhere near a beauty counter lately, you will have seen a bewildering array of BB and CC creams. Before the new DD creams – which stands for Daily Defense – arrive (and yes, they are coming), we thought it was time to clear up any confusion around these alphabet products.
BB cream, which stands for beauty or blemish balm, was originally meant to be an all-in-one product. So instead of needing to apply serum, moisturiser, primer, foundation and sunscreen, you can just apply BB cream and be good to go. Thanks to the moisturiser, serum and sunscreen, you also have the added benefit of protecting your skin from the sun and decreasing damage withanti-ageing properties.
BB creams are best for women with normal skin that doesn’t require a lot of coverage. A firm favourite is Elizabeth Arden’s Visible Difference Multi-Targeted BB Cream, SPF 30, $50.
CC cream – the CC stands for colour or complexion correcting – is similar to BB cream, but with added skincare benefits. It’s a little harder-hitting on anti-ageing, helping with uneven skin tone, age spots, wrinkles and other common concerns. It’s designed to treat, cover and correct your skin before foundation. They’re also perfect for mature skin which has lost its natural undertone. They instantly counteract any sallowness and also offer long-term skincare benefits. Most also come with a decent SPF so they act as a great sun shield, too.
Revlon’s Age Defying CC Cream, $28.50, is another goodie and next month you apply makeup. Some of the best CCs also offer enough coverage to be worn on their own for a better bare-faced natural look – perfect for weekends.
I’ve been impressed by L’Oréal’s line-up of Nude Magique CC creams, $29.99, designed to correct redness, dullness or fatigue. They target a specific need and work to create a flawless canvas before you apply luxury beauty brand Lancôme will release its first CC cream, Lancôme City Miracle, $79. It’s lighter in texture than Clinique’s also very good CC cream, but still offers great coverage. I’ve been wearing it on its own and it gives my skin a really healthy, warm glow. Just be warned: in my experience, CCs tend to be a little on the dark side so opt for a shade a tad lighter than you might normally.
Weleda Pomegranate Regenerating Hand Cream, $23.90
A decadent hand cream loaded with antioxidant-rich pomegranate seed oil to help protect against environmental damage. Its easily absorbed formulation also contains extracts from golden millet, rich in silicic acid, to improve the skin’s appearance and texture.
Ecoya Hand Cream in Sweet Pea & Jasmine, $29.95
There are six stunning scents in this lineup of hand creams from Ecoya and all act as a true barrier cream to protect, nourish and moisturise skin. They are the perfect size for your handbag and all leave a delicate fragrance, without making your hands feel greasy.
Skin Food Hand Cream, $9.99
Manuka honey and aloe vera juice in this hand cream work to heal and soothe your hands, while the avocado oil gives immediate moisture. The subtle scent of orange oil is a bonus in this fast-absorbing, well-priced product.
NAIL KNOW HOW
Nail art is taking a high-tech turn – think iPhone-friendly manicures, touch-screen talons and disco nails. Japanese company Takara Tomy Arts has given the humble mani a high-tech makeover by adding flashing LED lights to nail wraps. The lights on the nail stickers connect to android-powered smartphones, causing the wearer’s fingernails to glow at the touch of a mobile phone button.
Exactly why is anyone’s guess, but it seems high-tech nail wizardry is de rigueur right now, with two US Masters students integrating wearable technology onto nail art. To avoid having to strap a smart watch on your wrist, Kristina Ortega and Jenny Rodenhouse came up with the idea of attaching sensors and devices to their nails instead. Their vision is that nail salons of the future will be capable of outfitting you with customized devices on your nails, whether you want to track your workout or your health, or just trip out dancing with LEDs on your fingers.
Then there’s the Nano Nail – a false nail that contains a microchip and performs the same tasks as a traditional smartphone stylus. The brainchild of US businesswoman Sri Vellani, the press-on Nano Nails can be painted to match your existing mani and are designed to make it a whole lot easier to accurately use any touch screen.
Another high-tech nail collaboration by NYC-based digital artists Sarah Awad and Dhemerae Ford, also known as the Laser Girls, has seen the pair create 3D nail art using a 3D printer. The pair create colourful, textured patterned nail adhesives using this new printing technology.
So if you thought nail art was over, it’s not. It’s really only getting started.
TIPS FOR LIPS
Fuller, prettier lips are available to all – no painful injections or prickly plumping products necessary.
Prep: Keep your lips super soft and lipstick-ready with a simple weekly lip scrub. By all means, treat yourself to a proper lip exfoliator, but a gentle rub with a damp facecloth or light buffing with a baby toothbrush will do the job just as well (if less glamorously). It will also promote circulation, resulting in a non-permanent plump.
Lube: Wear lip balm when you’re not wearing lipstick to keep your lips in tip-top condition. A tiny bit of light-coloured gloss applied to the centre of your top and bottom lips will also make them look lusher when you’re lipstick-free.cupid’s bow above your top lip. This will reflect the light and make lips appear bigger. Create another illusion by penciling soft brown eyeliner sparingly under your lower lip to create a ‘shadow’.
Make it last: For extra staying power, blot your lipstick with a tissue then shake a small amount of loose powder onto the tissue and blot again. The powder will absorb the excess moisture of the lipstick and keep it in place longer.
Line up: To prevent your lipstick bleeding, trace around your lips with a concealer before applying lipstick. This will help to create a perfect line and stop your lipstick smudging. It also provides a blank canvas for you to extend the perimeter of your natural lip line with pencil and draw in bigger lips.
Caution: This trick should not be attempted by novices.
Lancôme Visionnaire(1 Minute Blur), $85
This new luxury blurring product is designed to correct and enhance the skin by blurring imperfections almost instantly. Blur fans who like the silky texture and pore-refining benefits that blur creams offer will love this one. Manuka Doctor Api Refine Targeted Wrinkle Filler, This beauty brand enjoys cult status in the UK and is slowing gaining momentum here with its purified bee venom products. This product tightens and firms the skin to help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Benefit The POREfessional: Agent Zero Shine, $58
This shine-control powder not only fights shine, its clever packaging makes it perfect for touch-ups on the run too. The brush screws into the base of the canister and the powder can be tapped into the lid for easy application.
Essie Nail Enamel in Warm & Toasty Turtleneck, $22.99
The name of this polish alone had me dreaming of sipping hot chocolate by a roaring fire. The colour is a pretty, dusky suede and is part of Essie’s gorgeous new winter collection.
Designer Brands Extend Lash, $19.99
There’s no longer any need to fake it to make it when it comes to lashes. This new two-part product includes mascara to coat the lashes and lash fibres to give you instant lash extensions in a tube. The more coats applied, the longer, fatter and more fabulous the lashes.
MAC Alluring Aquatic lipstick in Goddess Of The Sea, $44
We may be in the depths of winter but MAC’s latest collection has us seduced by the sea. The limited-edition compacts, in aquatic teal, are elegantly accented with sheer water droplets which have us dreaming of summer.