Beauty band-aids: Some helpful tips

TRACEY STRANGE
Last updated 05:00 16/03/2014
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Beauty

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Hair in a tizz? Skin having a fit? Need to look good in a photo - fast? Try our quick fixes for common cosmetic catastrophes.

Your goal: A radiant complexion.

Your strategy: Fight inflammation. Integrated-medicine expert Dr Andrew Weil calls it "the fire within", skin inflammation caused by constant exposure to sunlight, pollution and climate extremes. Part of the body's healing system, and often associated with free-radical damage and oxidative stress, inflammation usually provokes a reaction in the skin such as redness, pain, swelling and heat. But it can also be more insidious, occurring within the skin's layers where it causes wrinkles, tissue damage and even disease. Most beauty companies have a response to inflammation so check with your favourite brands to find products that intervene at a cellular level, inhibiting inflammation and boosting the skin's defences against collagen and elastin breakdown. 

We love Dr Hauschka's Normalising Day Oil, $56, which has been developed to calm the skin and normalise oil production.

For those on a luxe budget, try La Mer The Regenerating Serum, $565, which contains the antiirritant benefits of colloidal gold. 

Your goal: Softer, smoother heels.

Your strategy: Rasp off the rough stuff. Dry feet and cracked feels are an unfortunate consequence of summersandal-wearing. But cracks are not only ugly - and sometimes painful - they can compromise the body's immune system.  The sorry truth is that once feet get to the cracked stage, they usually require a podiatrist (a foot specialist) to revive them, rather than a pedicurist. If, however, a podiatrist isn't in the budget, try a foot rasp or file (we love Scholl's Velvet Smooth Express Pedi Electronic Foot File, $49.99, which is battery operated), backed up with a non-greasy heel balm.

Your goal: To look good in photos.

Your strategy: Take advice from a professional. Makeup pro Rae Morris spends her time making models and celebrities look good in front of a camera. Here are her 10 top tips for facing the flash:

-Always match your foundation to your décolleté, never your jaw line. The skin on your neck is much whiter than the skin on your face and chest. Matching foundation to your jaw means you'll look chalk-faced.

- Shimmer eyeshadow is best when applied to the inner corners of your eyes as a highlighter. You can also use a small dab smack in the centre of your upper eyelids, or apply a tiny amount to the bow of your lips to make your top lip appear fuller.

- Never pluck your eyebrows into a high arch, unless you want to look like you are wearing 'McDonald's arches' above your eyes. The best place to pluck your brows is sitting in your (stationary) car, using your rear vision mirror.

- Never apply shine product to the brow bones. It makes eyes look puffy.

- Apply foundation sparingly, pressing it in completely with warm fingers.

- Always apply foundation to the eyelids before shadow - it evens out the skintone, providing a much better canvas for colour.

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- Never use an eyecream just before applying makeup if you want to avoid smudged mascara.

- Bronzer or blusher applied sparingly to the temples can frame the face flatteringly.

- Never apply bright lipstick directly from the container. Always use a brush to define your lip line.

- Shimmer product applied in a thin line down the centre of your nose (high on the bridge to the tip) will make you look sunkissed and healthy.

Your goal: To tame your tresses - fast.

Your strategy: Fight frizz. When it comes to frizz, the roots of the problem are likely to be lack of moisture, humidity, towel drying and weakened hair leading to breakage. To help fix it, start in the shower with a hydrating anti-frizz shampoo and conditioner combo, which will help seal the hair cuticle and stop it from drawing in too much moisture from the air (which causes frizz). Follow up with a gentle towel-dry (dab rather than rub) and a leave-in conditioning serum like Redken's Extreme Anti Snap, $35. Detangle with a wide-tooth comb, and style with anti-humidity, frizzfighting products.

Your goal: Full, lustrous locks.

Your strategy: As counter-intuitive as it sounds, consider a good chop. Hair tends to thin with time, losing volumeand therefore its ability to perform the all-important 'cascade' over the shoulders. Flat, thin hair - along with dry, poorly conditioned hair - will always look better short. (This isn't necessarily the case with curly or thick and wiry hair, which often benefits from the additional weight that length provides.) But if you do want to grow it, maintenance is key, and that means starting out with a trip to the hairdressers. "Get your hair cut into a shape that will look good as it grows,"says top stylist Jennifer Morgan, of Auckland salon Morgan and Morgan. "And don't even think about growing it without regular conditioning." 

She recommends swapping your usual six to eight-week haircut for a professional conditioning treatment. "If you aregrowing your hair past your ears and want to keep it there, you will need to treat it gently."

- Sunday Magazine

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