Growing up, I devoured the pages of the Beauty Bible. It was my first insight into all the incredible beauty products, hacks and techniques out there and since its launch in 1996 (!), it has taken a unique approach to helping steer women towards beauty products that really deliver on what are quite extravagant promises. To mark the booj celebrating an incredible 25 years since its launch, its writers Sarah Stacey and Jo Fairley, have shared their 25 best-ever beauty tips with GLAMOUR. Plus, they just hosted the Beauty Bible Awards where over 1,200 women took part in testing products that address beauty concerns from wrinkles to pigmentation problems via blemishes, flaking nails – and ‘pandemic hair challenges’. Trust us, they know their stuff. Prepare to lap up their every word…
Pinpoint the five make-up items you can’t face the world without. In our first Beauty Bible, Bobbi Brown said, ‘Decide what’s the most crucial and make that your everyday, two-minute regime.’ You can always add in more but deciding on your make-up musts is a face and time saver. Sarah’s musts are tinted moisturiser, concealer, brow pencil, lip tint and blush. Jo’s are concealer, tinted lip balm, lip ink (over the balm, for endurance), brow pencil and mascara.
Apply tinted moisturiser or foundation from the centre of your face outwards. Use fingertips – or a brush – to dot on evenly from your nose to your hairline/jawline then blend in. That stops the product clogging round your hairline; often you don’t need much coverage there anyway.
Take a hand mirror to try on foundation in store. Lighting is often deceptive even in the best stores so apply stripes of possible shades down your lower cheek to your jawline and trot off to the nearest source of daylight to identify the correct shade for your skin. Saves costly mistakes when you get home.
Test a new lipstick colour on the inner pads of your fingertips. They have a natural rosiness not unlike lips, giving a much better impression of how a shade will appear on your lips. You can also extend the lippie and hold it horizontally in front of your mouth to see what it looks like with your skin tone.
A magnifying mirror is useful to pluck your eyebrows (but please don’t overpluck). Otherwise avoid looking at your literally larger-than-life face. It can be distressing and honestly, no one is going to see that version of you unless they’re looking through a microscope (or they’re so close they don’t mind anyway).
Make your own tinted moisturiser. Add a touch of self tan/gradual tan to your usual moisturiser to up your skin’s glow factor – we’ve done this for decades. Now you can buy dedicated tanning drops, which make it super simple.
NEVER. EVER. EVER. SUNBATHE. WITH. YOUR. FACE. IN. THE. SUN. This is a fast-track to a complexion like a leather suitcase, in your 50s. (We are still astonished when we see women do this on a beach.) Wide-brimmed hats, parasols, shade – by all means get some vitamin D on your body, but keep your face out of the sun.
Choose sunglasses with really wide, Jackie O-style arms to prevent lines around the eyes and crow’s feet. Absolutely the best way to stop sunlight from ageing this so-vulnerable zone.
Best ever-ever-ever way to combat under-eye puffiness: use an ice cube to smooth away the under-eye excess baggage. If you’re prone to broken veins, wrap it in clingfilm first. Use an outward movement, towards the temples.
Nothing in the world revives your ‘glow’ like facial massage. Try to incorporate two minutes of facial massage into your nighttime ritual, either while you’re removing cleanser, or applying a facial oil.
Try gua sha, literally skin scraping, with a jade, rose quartz or amethyst specially shaped tool. Apply something oily to the skin, could be cleanser (gua sha is brilliant for getting that deep down) or face oil, and dedicate 60 seconds to scraping your skin and digging into your face, neck and shoulders.
After a manicure or pedicure, avoid soaking your hands/feet in a bath the same evening. Hot water softens polish, encouraging peeling – so if you are going to bathe, keep your newly-varnished extremities above the water-line.
Eat plenty of healthy fats. We’ve seen what happens to women’s skin on a low-fat diet: it’s parched, it’s dry, and by 40, it looks like a 50+ woman’s skin – as ageing as sun damage. Consume oily fish, avocados, nuts and seeds, olive oil – and we recommend an Essential Fatty Acid supplement to keep levels topped up, as it’s so difficult to get all the fats that skin (and hair and nails – and brain!) need in a busy life.
Double cleanse. Nothing like it if you wear make-up, particularly if you’re in an urban setting. Use two different types of cleanser eg micellar water then balm or cream cleanser or vice versa if you prefer. Use a wash if you like the feeling of water but be careful if your water supply is very hard; sploshing hard water over your skin is one of the quickest ways to upset it.
And double serum. Older skin particularly loves the concentrated nutrients in serums and layering two different ones – leaving a ‘sticky’ minute or two in between and after applying so they absorb properly – can make a real difference to skin.
When you’re cleansing or applying skincare, use both hands, mirroring the actions. Most of us tend to use one ‘dominant’ hand, but get into the habit of using both, to ensure even pressure and that products are applied in equal quantities, on both sides of the face.
Keep lip balm near your toothbrush. Toothpaste is incredibly drying for lips so always slather on balm generously after brushing your teeth.
Look after your hair. Glossy, healthy-looking locks are a guaranteed way to look great, whatever style you choose (however short or long…). So choose appropriate products for your hair type. Treat your crowning glory to a weekly mask. Give your scalp a massage while you condition it. And brush it! Granny really did know best with 100 strokes a night (well maybe 50, 25…).
Dry your hair upside down to increase volume. Brush it that way too if it’s a bit limp. (It brings oxygen to your face so you look rosy – double duty beauty.) And when you put in rollers, comb the tress right over in the opposite direction before rolling it up so you get maximum lift.
Take a good probiotic. Not just to help your digestion (though it will) but also to clear your skin: we learnt a long time back that your skin is your gut on the outside as one expert put it. Balance your gut flora and your skin will look healthy.
Keep your computer screen at eye level. Tech neck is a real thing, leading to jowls and sagging, and this will do more to keep your neck from developing lines than any neck cream. Also keep documents you’re working on at eye level by hitting the space, rather than following the words down the screen.
Get your eyesight checked regularly. Frowning is often the result of not quite being able to see your screen. So if you notice lines, particularly vertical ones between your brows, book into an optician.
Always remember to take your chosen nail polish shade to the salon when you have a professional manicure or pedicure. Otherwise you a) have to buy theirs, or b) accept your manicure won’t last as long, because you can’t touch it up at home.
To whisk away the hard skin on feet, use a foot file with a very light touch, as hard whisking will compact the skin’s layers. (The best we’ve ever found is Ruby Hammer’s new glass foot file.) Our superpedicurist friend Bastien Gonzalez recommends deeply massaging any areas of hard skin, to break them down – and it works.
So you’re tired and look it? Shake your body all over like a wet dog, with each limb too, to get the energy pulsing. Now apply concealer to brighten your eye area, including the violet shadows in the corners, then a pop of blush, and a slick of sheer lippy. Think of something that makes you happy – or a good joke. Abracadabra!
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