Top tips for hair, and beyond

TRACEY STRANGE
Last updated 05:00 02/03/2014

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Beauty

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OPINION: From braids to barrier creams, we have the latest news from both the catwalk and the counter.

PIGLETS AND PONIES

Redken's global styling director Guido Paulu must have a thing about pigtails and ponytails. At least three of the looks he created for recent New York fashion shows featured either braids or modern ponies.

At Marc by Marc Jacobs, the plaits were tight and clean, more Wednesday Addams than Elly May Clamplett. At Hugo Boss the look was all feminine sophistication, with hair wide-parted and pulled back in to a sleek tail. And at Alexander Wang, it was sculpted and almost helmet-like.

TESTING BOUNDARIES

Colder weather can put extra stress on the complexion and result in increased sensitivity. If you generally do notice a difference in the feel of your skin once temperatures drop, now might be a good time to start considering a barrier cream to help create a blockade between youand the elements.

Try creams containing high doses of antioxidants, and humectants that not only prevent water loss but also absorb moisture into upper layers of the skin.

Our favourites include: Clarins Hydra Quench Intensive Serum Bi-Phase,$91, Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant Nighttime Miracle Moisturiser, $59, and Estée Lauder Hydrationist Crèmefor Dry Skin, $91.

SEVEN EASY WAYS TO GET GLOWING

Exfoliate: Smoother skin reflects more light. Full stop. We love Dermalogica's Gentle Cream Exfoliant, $97.

See the light: Vitamin C is proven to brighten the skin and help fade sunspots. We're hanging out for Clinique's new Repairwear laser focus, $160 (on counter March 10), which employs vitamin C (among a host of other skin-benefiting ingredients) to smooth the skin and correct skin tone.

Buff with oil: Botanical body oils are packed with a fatty acids and help the skin look like they're lit from within.

Try Dr Hauschka's Rose Body oil, $49. Consider ceramides:Combat any dullness caused by dry skin with a moisturiser that is rich in ceramides. Ceramides not only hydrate the skin but also reinforce its natural moisture barrier.

Roll out the retinoids: Retinoids help stimulate collagen and firm the skin. Like smooth skin, firm skin better reflects the light. Try Shiseido's Benefiance wrinkle lifting Concentrate, $121.

Fake it: Give the impression of luminosity with highlighter. Choose a champagne-coloured one (the experts agree it's the one colour that's almost universally flattering) and dab a cream formula lightly onto cheekbones, the centre of your chin, and the tip of your nose and brow bones. If your skin is oily, swap cream for a powder illuminator. Ysl's flower Crush Rosy Blush Collector Palette, $114, is at the top of our wishlist.

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Consume wisely: Caffeine, booze, sugary drinks and treats and not drinking enough water can all make your skin dull and lifeless-looking. If you are properly hydrated, and are getting enough nutrients, your skin will radiate health. But you knew that...

STAR INGREDIENT: HOPS

Beauty always plays favourites. One minute it's peptides, the next it's papaya extract. One of the latest 'it' ingredients to hit the beauty counter is hops.

Antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and packed with plant oestrogens, hops help soothe, protect and revitalise the skin.

They play a big role in Elizabeth Arden's Skin Illuminating range, a collection that employs a potent botanical extract made from hops, vitamin C and a host of otherantioxidants, collagen-boosters and light-reflectingpowders to addresspigmentation and dullness.

Skin care brand oxygen also mines hops' antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties in its teens 2 in 1 Cleanser, $27.50; Dr Hauschka puts them to good use in its almond st John's wort Body oil, $47.

- Sunday Magazine

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