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12 secrets of confident women we admire

12 secrets of confident women we admire

If you have low self-esteem, confidence can seem like something you’ll never get. However, there is a major secret to all confident women out there…

None of them were born that way. In fact, they’ve worked really, really hard to become confident and resilient. Fancy giving it a go? Here are some starters from some of our favourite confident women out there. 

1. They embrace failure

“Failure is an important part of your growth and developing resilience. Don’t be afraid to fail” – Michelle Obama

Don’t be afraid to fail at something, instead, use that failure to see how you can improve next time. It’s a life lesson, not something to be ashamed of – and all confident women have definitely had a fail at some point in their life.

2. They’re comfortable in their own skin

“You look how you look. Be comfortable. What are you going to do? Be hungry every single day to make other people happy? That’s just dumb.”  – Jennifer Lawrence

Confident women have learnt to love the body they’re in. Yes, this isn’t easy, but being on a constant diet isn’t either… If you need some help in this department, follow some of the many body positivity Instagrammers out there for a daily of inspiration. Our faves include @bodyposipanda@i_weigh@laurathomasphdand @nerdabouttown

madonna confident women quote3. They don’t apologise – unless they’re wrong

“I’m tough, I’m ambitious, and I know exactly what I want. If that makes me a bitch, OK.” — Madonna

How many times a day do you utter the word sorry? Way too many we’re betting. As women, we’re programmed to apologise for everything, even when we didn’t do something wrong. Confident women don’t apologise when asking for a pay rise. They don’t apologise for saying no to something. In fact, the only time they’ll say sorry is when they genuinely mean it. Try it today – it’s pretty darn empowering.

4. They look after themselves

“I remind myself to be kind to myself, and as slightly ridiculous as it may sound, to treat myself in the same gentle way I’d want to treat a daughter of mine. It really helps.”— Emma Stone

Self-care is super important for feeling more balanced. It’s easier to have compassion for others, but you need to treat yourself kindly if you want to feel better about life and become more confident – so don’t feel bad about booking in that manicure or a night out with friends, these are the things that all help on our journey to confidence!

5. They do things their way

“If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun.” — Katharine Hepburn

Following the herd is the safe option. Women who are strong and successful make their own rules and follow their own path. If you want to take up tap dancing, do it? Don’t let your friends or family tell you that you can’t. 

katherine hepburn confident women quote

6. They change what they can… And don’t moan about what they don’t

“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” — Maya Angelou

Confident women have the desire and energy to change those things in their life that they are not happy with. Making a life that gives you happy joy is a major step to confidence, however, there are often things you can’t change – an angry boss, a long commute, an interfering in-law. Moaning about those things doesn’t help anyone and just engulfs you in negativity – instead, make like a confident woman would do and change your attitude instead. That angry boss may be going through something awful at home, the long commute allows you to read and the interfering in-law is just trying to help… 

7. They have mentors

“Surround yourself with people and things that inspire you. Learn everything you can” — Jameela Jamil

While you can do a lot of work yourself on gaining self-esteem and confidence, most strong women don’t do it alone. They surround themselves with people they can learn from and feel inspired by. Whether that’s a boss at work, a group of positive friends or a life coach, find someone who will support you and help you grow.

8. They master their fears

“The key to my success has always been that my desire to succeed has always been greater than my fear. I’ve been scared to death about a lot of things, but then I think, ‘Okay, you gotta buckle up, girl. You’ve got yourself here, so get out there and just do it.’ — Dolly Parton

Yep, even confident women like Dolly are scared of things, but what do they do about it? They don’t run away that’s for sure, but they face their fears.

dolly parton confident women quote

Try it yourself one day. What happens usually is that whatever you were scared of is never really that bad, plus facing that fear gives you a hole heap of – you’ve guessed it – confidence!

9. They work on being confident

“It’s just something you have to continue to work on. It’s a growth and a process. As long as you take every opportunity to learn more about yourself and fall more in love with yourself every day, you’re doing good!” – Zendaya

While some celebrities come out of the womb with huge self-esteem and gallons of confidence, many of them have to work at it!

Promise yourself that every day you’ll do one thing that helps your confidence. It could be anything from visualisations, creating your own affirmation or pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. And yes, reading this feature definitely counts as one step towards being that confident woman you’ve always wanted to be!

10. They sometimes fake it!

“Just believe in yourself. Even if you don’t, pretend that you do and, at some point, you will.” – Venus Williams

If faking it is good enough for a world tennis champion like Venus Williams, then it’s good enough for us! Don’t just take her word for it though. 

A study done by two business professors from New York University and Columbia Business School proved that the way you think really affects how you act. Those people in their study who were primed with a confidence boosting exercise before joining a larger group, were seen as the most confident and were the most highly regarded overall in the group, proving you don’t have to be actually be full of confidence to appear fearless!

11. They turn their negative feelings around

“When I’m not feeling my best I ask myself, ‘What are you gonna do about it?’ I use the negativity to fuel the transformation into a better me.” – Beyonce

Yes, even Queen Bey has off days. The women who simply oozes confidence when she steps on stage, doesn’t feel like that every single day. However, her attitude is one we can all learn from.

On these ‘bleurgh’ days when your confidence is rock bottom, just think to yourself WWBD (What Would Beyonce Do)? While most of us can’t twerk or hit ridiculous high notes, what we can do is turn those negative thoughts around. Stop using them to beat ourselves up and instead, use them to see how we can improve something.

Beyoncé

So, if you’re wishing that you’d spoken up in a meeting, learn from that. Why didn’t you speak up? If talking in large groups is intimidating, is there any other way you could contribute? Or perhaps you could take some public speaking lessons? Either way, navigate away from negative feelings and turn them into kick-ass confident busting lessons!

12. They don’t care what others think!

“Don’t waste your energy trying to change opinions. Do your thing, and don’t care if they like it.” – Tina Fey

Have you ever had a day when you start out feeling on top of the world, like your could conquer anything and by the end of the day – and several opinions later – feel like the wind has been taken out of your sails?

Our confidence shouldn’t rely on how others view us, but sadly in this Instagram world, we seem to validate ourselves on the opinions of those around us.

If that sounds like you, then you need to stop! You are your own person. As long as you’re acting on your morals, to your very best and realise that we all make mistakes, what others think of you should NEVER matter. Go forth and be you – and sod what anyone else thinks

Your confidence shopping list

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Start attracting the life you want in three simple steps

How to attract your best life
How to attract your best life

Start attracting the life you want in three simple steps

Step 1: Think about it

The first step to attracting the life that you want is to think about your dream life.

Asking yourself the following questions is a great starting point to keep you inspired and motivated. This is why I’ve implemented them in my technique to help you create your own daily visualisation practice.

Take some time to think about what you want your life to be like and write down the answers to these questions in detail. Imagine that you are already there and describe what you want to see:

1) What does my home look like and where is it?

2) Who are the people in my life?

3) Do I work? If so, what do I do for a living?

4) What do I enjoy doing in my spare time?

5) What do I look like?

6) How happy am I?

7) What is my financial situation?

8) How healthy am I?

9) What do I love the most about my life?

10) What would be my perfect day?your

Step 2: Feel happy now

Make sure you’re undisturbed, lay down or sit comfortably, close your eyes and take some deep relaxing breaths.

Take a minute to remind yourself of everything that makes you happy about your current life and what you’re grateful for. I know this isn’t always easy for everyone, especially if you’ve had a rubbish day, but for example, we can always be grateful for the basic things like the air in our lungs or a sunny day. The purpose of this is to train your brain to notice the positives in your life.

Practicing this will increase your feelings of happiness, raise your vibration and create the perfect environment to start visualising your future.

Step 3: Visualise vividly

“You don’t attract what you want, you attract what you are” – Dr Wayne Dyer.

The reason visualisation is so effective in transforming your thoughts into reality is because your brain cannot tell the difference between something you have experienced and something you have vividly imagined. By visualising the life you want to live and feeling the emotions that it brings, you are sending messages to your subconscious that this is already the life you are living.

Your mind and body will register this information as the truth which will then positively affect everything about the way that you think and behave on a day to day basis.

The most important thing is to to visualise as vividly as possible and feel the wonderful emotions that your thoughts and imagination create.

You can use your answers from the questionnaire to guide you – perhaps you’ll live out your perfect day, or you can simply let your mind wander to wherever it wants to go.

Remember to always engage all of your senses as much as possible to achieve optimum results – what do you see, hear, smell, feel and taste? If something feels particularly good, spend some time there exploring it some more.

Stay open to new ideas popping into your visualisations every now and again. You’re letting yourself be led by your emotions so who knows what wonderful things you will discover about your future life.

The happier you feel during and after your experience, the higher your vibration will become and the faster the law of attraction can work for you.

Your attraction kit

A journal is an essential piece of kit when you want to start visualising your new life. If words aren’t your bag, doodle, draw, make diagrams. Just make your vision come alive!

Motivational journal, £10, Paperchase

Being conscious of your happy thoughts and acknowledging them throughout your day will repeatedly lift your mood and help you to handle anything that comes your way.

Crystals For Happiness, £26.99, LOA

 

These crystals will remind you of your unlimited potential,  your ability to achieve every single one of your dreams no matter how big and to enjoy every exciting minute of it.

Dream Big Crystals, £26.99, LOA

A 10 minute meditation to set your thoughts into a positive outlook for the day ahead. Visualise how you want today to be and manifest in your mind the perfect day for you.

Your Beautiful Day Meditation, £6.99, Beautiful Thinking

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Mindfulness for people who think it’s nonsense

Easy mindfulness meditation
Easy mindfulness meditation

Mindfulness for people who think it’s nonsense

It’s something you’ve probably heard about and are vaguely aware that it has something to do with sitting still and not doing anything for a while. Who’s got time for that, right? If you’re too busy to do nothing, then you’re precisely the person that mindfulness meditation would help. And no, it’s not just for celebrities and hippies – normal people can do it too. Yes, even you!  Here’s how…

Find somewhere quiet to sit

Ideally, find somewhere that you won’t be disturbed for at least 15 minutes. I think mindfulness works best in the morning as it sets you up well for the rest of the day, but do it when and where works best for you.

Set a timer for ten minutes

I would recommend the one on your phone as it’s silent. A kitchen one ticking away next to you won’t work at all. If you can set the sound to something gentle, like a soft bell, then do that. You don’t want to jolted out of your reverie by a shrieking buzzer.

Make yourself comfortable

You can sit in a chair, or on the floor – wherever you are comfortable. I like to lean against something otherwise my back hurts, and as you don’t get extra points for being a hardy sort, I would recommend that you do the same.

Don’t sit on a squishy sofa or tuck yourself up in bed, as there are also no prizes for guessing what happens then and falling asleep is not the same as meditating.

You’ll be sitting still for a while. Rest your hands on your lap, you don’t need to do them any special way, just however is comfortable.

Start by taking a few deep breaths

You will be amazed at how much better you feel by doing that; just getting some air deep into the lungs clears your head and reminds you that despite the fact we do it from the moment we’re born until the moment we die, most of us are rubbish at breathing.

Inhale exhale: The benefits of meditation

Breathe deeply in through your nose, and out through your mouth. When you have done this a few times, close your eyes, and let your breathing return to normal. 

Pay attention to the sounds around you

Familiarise yourself with them so they don’t disturb you. It sounds crazy, but something as simple as acknowledging ‘That’s a dripping tap. That’s my neighbour’s dog barking. That’s a delivery van reversing,’ will stop them becoming petty annoyances that prod you in the face while you are trying to relax. You’ve acknowledged them, they have nothing to do with what you’re doing right now, so let them go.

Start to scan down your body

Starting at the top of your head, focus on what your body feels like, but in passing, don’t linger on any niggles.

Mine goes like this: “My head is fine, my face is fine, my neck is stiff, my shoulders are sore, my arms are fine, my hands are fine, my chest is fine, my stomach is sore, my thighs are fine, my legs are fine, my feet are fine.”

You can use whatever words work for you. You are commenting on how your body feels, in a matter-of-fact way, not lingering on it. You’re not having to do anything about any niggles or aches, you’re just seeing them for what they are and moving on. Work your way down in whichever way feel right for you.

Ask yourself “Why am I doing this?”

It’s probably best to leave the attitude and grumpiness behind when doing this! I tend to say to myself: “I am doing this today to make me relax, to help me cope with things better.”

Other times, I just say to myself that I’m doing it because I’m feeling stressed, or low, or anxious. Or I say I want to be a more patient mother and partner.  Sometimes I just say I’m doing it because it feels good. There are no rules.

Ask yourself “How do I feel?”

Now this is interesting. Usually, we are so programmed to say ‘fine’ when asked this question, we don’t really ask ourselves how we are feeling at any one moment. But no one is going to hear you, this is just for you, and I can’t tell you how liberating it is to say, “I am pissed off today, I’m in a really bad mood”, when you’ve just done the mum thing and smiled and waved your kids off to school or had a really bad day at work. No one is going to judge you.

how do I feel - ask yourself this in your meditation

It’s actually interesting to pause for a moment and think about how you’re feeling, and it can be as liberating saying you’re annoyed as it is to say: “I’m feeling calm today. I’m feeling happy”. You’re not trying to change it, or do anything about it, or trying to impress anyone. That’s just how you’re feeling right now, and that’s fine.

By now, you should be feeling a little more relaxed.

Start to focus on your breath

Feel the air coming in through your nose, going down into your chest, and notice how it feels as it expands and contracts as the air comes in and out of your body. Do this a few times, and then start to count each breath, counting “one” as it goes in, “two” as it goes out, and so on. Do this until you get to ten, and then start over again.

Now that sounds very simple, but this is where the mindfulness bit comes in. This is the point where your brain decides it would rather drip feed an annoying tune into your head. Then you’ll remember that you forgot to buy that birthday card you were supposed to. And who was it you were going to call this afternoon about that funny smell coming out of the bath? What number was I on again?

You get the gist. This is where the breathing and the counting come in; to give your mind a rest from all this stuff. It’s all important stuff obviously – you just don’t need to think about it right now. 

When this happens – and it will, every time, this bit doesn’t stop, you just get better at stepping away from the chatter – I like to think of these thoughts as annoying children. I have children, so I am very well versed in this!

Think about this from a grown-up’s point of view: you know that thing when you are in the middle of doing something, and a child rushes up and tugs your arm because they must show you (a) a stick they found (b) the hole in their sock or (c) their favourite YouTube clip of a cat? You are right in the middle of (a) a phone call to work, (b) cooking dinner or (c) a juicy bit of gossip from a friend. Either way, you are busy, so you can’t stop and admire the stick, hole or cat. So you say “Not right now, in a minute.” If you are the kind of parent who drops everything the moment your child sneezes, then this method may not work for you, but I’m quite good at saying “not now, in a minute” to mine, especially if the reason is (c) some really juicy gossip. You haven’t said, “No, go away! I will not listen to you, stop it, I won’t look… ARGH! I’m looking! I’ve forgotten where I was!” But that is exactly what you do when you try and force your brain to ignore the annoying thoughts as they pop up, tugging on your mind’s sleeve and demanding instant attention.

Thoughts flounce around in your brain like hyper toddlers wanting someone to play with, and just need a bit of parental guidance.

So, when you are breathing in and out, and counting, and a thought pops in, acknowledge it, but don’t stop what you’re doing. Recognise it for what it is; it’s a thought, and you’ll deal with it later. It will drift off, then sure enough another thought will arrive. Keep breathing, and counting, and acknowledge this thought, and let it drift away.

It sounds like an awful lot of work doesn’t it? All that sitting there breathing and counting and telling your thoughts and feelings to get lost! But here’s the thing. You would have had all those thoughts and feelings anyway, but you’d have them mooching around your head while you were trying to get on with your day and cope with the things that really needed to be dealt with, on top of all of that. It explains why at the end of every day, you feel knackered and ratty with everyone, because your brain is worn out from dealing with real stuff on the outside, and nonsense on the inside. 

This is your chance to let your brain have a rest and switch off or a while. And when it does, amazing things happen to your body. Your stress levels drop, and the stress hormones in your body reduce. Even if you only manage to get to ten a handful of times, your mind and your body can feel the benefit of having a rest, just for that short space of time.

Do it every day, and it will get easier, because you will know how to shush the annoying thoughts and feelings. It won’t work every time; some days they will keep banging on and on and you can’t help but stop counting and give in to them. That’s fine. Try again later, or the next day, and don’t beat yourself up about it. Sometimes the kids win. But eventually you can train them so that they are seen, but not heard.

Let your mind wander for a few moments

When your timer goes off, don’t think about counting, or your breath, let it do whatever it wants. It will probably be quite happy just to stay where it is, and will normally sit quietly in your head, awaiting further instruction.

Bring your awareness back to the room

You’ll be amazed at what you’d blocked out while you were busy focusing on your breath – the drippy tap and neighbours dog were there all along.

Then, focus on your body and start to notice how heavy it is; the weight of your body on the chair or the floor, your hands in your lap, your head on your shoulders. Again, you’ll be amazed how you hadn’t noticed them.

Slowly open your eyes and let yourself readjust to being back in the room. Notice how you feel. However you feel is ok, there is no right or wrong, it’s just how you are feeling at this moment. Once you feel ready, slowly get up, and carry on with your day.

And that’s it. It’s simple, but it can be tricky, and you do need to keep trying with it. But trust me, it works. It won’t make it all go away, or make you “better”, but it really will help. Sometimes all you can do is stop, and let it happen. 

Extract taken from Confessions of a Menopausal Woman by Andrea McLean

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The 9 best skin and hair supplements for women 2020

The best skin and beauty supplement
The best skin and beauty supplement

The 9 best skin and hair supplements for women 2020

When it comes to our skin and hair, we’re willing to spend the money to make them look good. In fact, it’s estimated that us women spend over £250 a year on skin, hair and makeup products!

While most of us think nothing of slathering on an expensive moisturiser or slapping on a pricey hair mask, there are other ways to ensure your skin is glowing and your hair has that glossy, just stepped out of a salon feel.

In fact, what we put into our bodies can impact on both of these things as much as what we put on them, and while most of our diets are full of the vitamins and minerals our skin and hair need, sometimes they may need a little boost. That’s where supplements come in.

How long do hair and skin supplements take to work?

Good things come to those that wait – and it’s no different with supplements to boost your skin and hair health!

With hair supplements, it can take years to transform your entire head of hair, as hair only grows at about half an inch per month, so persistence is key.

The same goes for skin supplements – although you should see the benefits a bit quicker, perhaps four to six months. In fact, vitamins on the whole only work for as long as you take them, so this is a long-term solution. As soon as you stop, you’ll stop reaping those benefits as well.

Can supplements alone transform your skin and hair?

One thing to keep in mind is that there is some debate about whether taking supplements, such as collagen, can improve skin on their own.

Dr Shaaira Nasir, a Consultant Dermatologist at sk:n says that while there is evidence that collage supplements can increase elasticity and collagen density, more research is needed in this area.

“Collagen supplements are generally safe and have no adverse effects,” she says. 

“Amino acids are the building block of collagen, therefore a diet rich in protein will provide amino acids needed for collagen production. This can be found in food such as meat, nuts, beans, egg and dairy products.”

Dr Nasir says that topical treatments such as dermal fillers, micro-needling, retinol and products containing antioxidants will all help the condition of the skin, however, it’s also important to remember sunscreen.

She recommends choosing one containing SPF30 and covering both UVA and UVB. 

“This will prevent photo-ageing from the sun,” she says.  “I would recommend Heliocare 360 Sunscreen Gel.”

 

And with that in mind, here are some of the supplements we’ve tried and tested in 2020.

Perfectil hair and nail supplement1 Perfectil Original, £9.15

As the number one beauty supplement brand in the UK, these were an obvious choice to try. They’re packed full of skin and hair loving vitamins and minerals such as zinc, which helps with the growth of healthy hair and nails, and Riboflavin, which contributes to the maintenance of your skin.

Our verdict: These are a great all-rounder, however, while our tester noticed a bit of a difference to their skin (less dull, more glow), they had little to no effect on their nails and hair.

Pukka glow skin supplement

2 Pukka Herbs Glow Organic Supplement, £12.69 

Turmeric has long been a buzz word in health and beauty – and in fact has been used for centuries has a weapon in the search for glowing skin. It’s packed full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatories that contribute to healthy, glowing skin and help fight acne.

Our verdict: Our tester definitely saw the difference in taking these herby wonders. She reported that she had lots of comments on her glowy skin and that her dull lockdown skin had been transformed into that healthy, just got back from holiday skin.

Biotin skin_hair_supplement3 Holland & Barrett Biotin Tablets, £7.49

Biotin is a vitamin B that is found in foods such as pulses, nuts and fish and supports the maintenance of hair and skin. It’s especially useful to take a supplement like this if you don’t use those Vitamin B boosting foods or if you take HRT or the contraceptive pill as these can both be depleted by those medicines.

Our verdict: Our tester didn’t initially notice a difference until she finally went for a much-needed manicure and her beautician commented on the length and strength of her normally weak nails. She also saw a difference in her chemically treated hair, which was much shinier than normal. 

patch_it_sleep_patches4 Patch it Sleep Patches, £4.99

While not actually a supplement or anything to do with beauty, getting a good night’s sleep is essential if you want gorgeous skin. If you have disrupted sleep, this can raise your cortisol level, which in turn depletes essential collagen. These patches, which contain a blend of essential oils known for helping relaxation, are worn on the feet overnight.

Our verdict: These were a bit of a pain to use and our tester had to wear socks to keep them on – not ideal during a heatwave! While she said they didn’t take immediate effect, and she took a while to get to sleep, once she was asleep, she didn’t wake once and felt instantly refreshed on waking. The only downside is the cost – at £4.99 for one night’s worth of patches, it would be expensive to use these every night.

boots_maca_root5 Boots Adaptogens Maca, £8

If you suffer from hormonal breakouts, then it may be time to reach for some Maca root. Added to smoothies or baking, it works to regulator your hormones, which will hopefully put an end to spots. One study also found it can help protect the skin from UV rays, which makes it a great anti-ageing choice as well. 

Our verdict: Our tester added the supplement to her breakfast smoothie about a week before her period and reported that she definitely saw an improvement to her monthly breakouts. While she still got the odd spot, they were less ‘angry looking’ than usual and also went quicker. 

6 Collagen Peptides, £16garden of life - collagen powder

Many skin products contain collagen as it has known benefits for keeping skin plump and healthy looking. It can also help improve hair condition, especially thinning hair, and may even slow down the greying process. While there has been much debate as to whether it helps when taken as a supplement, if you go down this route it’s better to choose a grass-fed variety to ensure it’s clean and free and of any anti-biotics.

Our verdict: This supplement got the instant thumbs down from our tester because it was so disgusting when mixed with water – eventually she worked out that it’s best taken with smoothies or used in baking such as pancakes! However, after taking for a couple of months, she saw little or no difference in her complexion, so is sticking to a less yucky collagen moisturiser from now on!

MRL Coll-Force 60 Caps, £24.997 MRL Coll-Force 60 Caps, £24.99

A more palatable way to take your collagen is in a tablet form! These capsules by skin expert Marie Reynolds, not only contain collagen but also a huge variety of skin-loving extras including Vitamin C, zinc, copper and biotin. The collagen in these tablets come from marine sources, so isn’t suitable for those with fish allergies.

Our verdict: Our tester said their nails were much stronger and their thinning hair seemed much thicker after taken these tablets. They didn’t make much difference to her skin, however, she felt less tired than normal and attributes these with giving her a boost!

8 Philip Kingsley PK4 Soya Protein Boost, £30Philip Kingsley PK4 Soya Protein Boost, £30

Philip Kingsley is the doyenne of all things hair. A tub of his infamous hair repair Elasticizer is sold every two minutes worldwide and what he doesn’t know about follicles isn’t worth knowing. This supplement has been created by trichologists and contains soya, which provides hair follicles with a concentrated protein boost and is especially helpful if you’re on a low-protein diet.

Our verdict: After taking these for a couple of months, our tester found their very chemically damaged hair to be much softer and shinier. The new hair that was growing in also seemed thicker. Her only negative comment was on the price and that it would be too expensive to continue taking these in the long-term.

Ancient and Brave Cacao and Collagen9 Ancient and Brave Cacao and Collagen, £20.99

If you want a tasty collagen drink, try this delicious chocolate drink, which contains skin-boosting collagen, as well as Siberian ginseng, beetroot and vitamin C rich baobab. It’s the healthiest hot chocolate you’ll ever drink.

Our verdict: This was a great alternative to coffee and helped our tester wean herself off her eight cups of coffee a day! While she didn’t notice a huge difference to her skin, she did notice a big difference to her mood – thanks to the ginseng – and also her dodgy knee joint, meaning she could exercise once more

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The best SPF makeup that makes sun protection easy

The best SPF makeup 2020 that makes sun protection easy
The best SPF makeup 2020 that makes sun protection easy

The best SPF makeup that makes sun protection easy

We all slap on the sun cream when we hit sunnier climes, but how many of us protect our skin – and in particular our faces – all year round? A sun screen with a 50 SPF is actually one of the best things you can have in your arsenal against ageing but it does mean adding another step to your skincare routine every single morning. This is where SPF make up comes in.

While experts say the SPFs in this hybrid makeup alone won’t really help protect your skin, layering them up will add some protection against those ageing rays.

Don’t go lower than a SPF 15 and remember that while this SPF makeup can help look after your skin when you pop to the shops or go for a quick walk, if you’re lazing around in the sun, even if it’s just your lunch hour, you’ll need a higher SPF sun cream with both UVA and UVB protection.

With that in mind, here are a few of our favourite makeup products with added sun protection.

Facial sunscreen

Every dermatologist will tell you that the one thing you should splash your cash on is a SPF50 sunscreen – not only does it help prevent your skin from getting burnt, but regular use helps reduce all the signs of sun damage and ageing.

Some creams though are really heavy and can clog pores but new formulations mean that there are some that are all brilliantly light and a great daily addition to your daily routine.

Skin Defence Lotion SPF 50+
£18, The Body Shop

Having tried many, many facial sunscreens, this one is now my absolute favourite. It’s super light, so doesn’t clog up you pores – who needs summer acne? – and sits well underneath makeup. The Body Shop have now released a bigger size, which brings me much joy as I slap this bad boy on every single day – yes, even in winter!

360 Fluid Cream SPF50+ 50ml 
£17.96, Heliocare

This cream is a staple in our founder, Andrea McLean’s, makeup bag. Not only does it protect the skin but adds an extra wallop of hydration, which is never a bad thing if you’re after glowy skin! A little also goes a long way, so the tube lasts a long time.

Garnier Ambre Solaire Ultra-Light Sensitive Sun Protection Face Fluid SPF50+
£7, LookFantastic

While this may be the cheaper of our favourite SPF sunscreens, you’re still getting a quality product. Not only does it protect you from UVA and UVB rays, but it also comes packed with the beauty buzzword of the moment – Hyaluronic Acid – to add moisture to your skin. It’s a great budget buy.

Foundation with added SPF

Using a tinted base with SPF is a great idea in the hotter months as there’s less chance of a foundation sweat slide happening. 

Many foundations and tinted moisturisers only contain a SPF of 30, but we’ve happy to report that this is gradually changing. 

Don’t forget about powder either – The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends applying powder with a sponge as the particles in it do provide a little protection from the sun, plus it will help keep your base products in place.  

SPF makeup IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream

IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream Original SPF 50+
£32, Boots

I always love a recommendation, and this gorgeous CC cream has been recommended to me by three separate people – so you know you’re onto a winner. It makes your skin look like yours but better! It feels super light on the skin and has a high SPF factor so you can relax knowing your skin is being protected against those rays.

Powder-me SPF Dry Sunscreen
£36, Jane Iredale

I’ve always steered clear of tinted moisturisers as I find in the heat, they just slip off my combination skin! Thankfully, I’ve discovered this powder, which comes with SPF30, and can be used on the face, body and hair. Yes, I’ve got fair hair and my scalp burns easily so I’ve used this on my parting before! A good product for travelling as well as there’s no chance of spillages.

SPF makeup No7 Protect & Perfect ADVANCED All in One Foundation

No7 Protect & Perfect ADVANCED All in One Foundation
£17, Boots

We all have those days when we need a little bit more cover, which is where this foundation comes in, but it doesn’t stop there. Not only does it have a SPF 50 built in, but it also contains anti-wrinkle peptide technology (whatever that is), which helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It’s my go-to foundation – wear a little for every day, build up the coverage for a night out! 

Eye makeup

Have you ever had burnt eyelids? Trust us it’s not pleasant! An easy way to protect your eyes is to apply a SPF cream on your eyelids and then apply makeup over it, but if that feels like too much faff, there are products with added SPF in them. All the SPF eyeshadows we’ve found come in really light, easy to wear shades, making them perfect for when you’re posing poolside. 

And don’t forget your under eye area as well – this area is very thin and delicate and prone to burning, so a concealer with added SPF is always a good summertime buy!

SPF Makeup Studio Finish SPF35 Concealer £16.50, MAC

MAC Studio Finish SPF 35 Concealer
£17.50, Lookfantastic

The skin under the eyes is really fine and delicate, so you want a concealer that glides on and doesn’t drag. Thanks to the added Vitamin C and E in this Mac concealer, applying it is a dream! Plus the added SPF35 means you won’t burn those delicate areas. I’d also suggest using it as a base for your eyeshadow and on your nose for extra sun protection!

Supergoop! Shimmer Shade SPF 30
£22, Revolve

Touted as the very first eyeshadow with SPF30, this shimmery delight is the perfect holiday accessory. Just sweep over your eyelids for a subtle shimmer and more importantly, protection from a hybrid of mineral and chemical actives that protect from UV rays.

No7 Anti-Ageing Shimmering Lip and Eye Screen
£4, Boots

I love a double duty beauty product, especially when going on holiday! This beauty by No7 adds a subtle shimmer to lips and eyes and helps protect them thanks to the built in SPF30. I used it non-stop on my holiday last year, and the shimmering texture is super pretty day and night.

Lipsticks that prevent burning

Cracked, sunburnt lips are not a good look, however, while we might slather our face and body in SPF, we often neglect our poor old lips. Sun destroys collagen – the stuff that keeps our lips nice and plump – and not only does this not look so great, but it also can lead to skin cancer, thanks to the skin thinning. 

While there are plenty of non-coloured lip balms with SPF, choosing one with a bit of colour is a nice way to protect your lips and up your pout game – plus save space in your makeup bag.

Lanolips Tinted SPF30 Balm in Rhubarb
£8.99, Lookfantastic

I love Lanolips and have them secluded in various parts of the house (and handbags!) so I always remember to use. This tinted one is a super glossy, super cute pink, which is perfect for those lazy summer days. I’ve been known to use it to add a subtle sheen to my cheeks. It’s a must-have in my makeup bag!

SPF Makeup FRESH Tinted Lip Treatment Sunscreen SPF 15

FRESH Tinted Lip Treatment SPF 15
£19.50, Cult Beauty

I love a bright lip in the summer, so this tinted sunscreen in Sugar Coral makes it to the top of my must-have summer makeup list. This beauty not only protects your lips but provides super hydration and is available in a range of gorgeous summery shades. 

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Sheer Tint Sunscreen SPF 15
£20, Boots

Elizabeth Arden’s Eight Hour Cream is a classic for a reason and their tinted lip version, with added SPF, takes it to another level. Don’t be afraid of the bright hues it comes in – it goes on with the sheerest of tints and makes lips feel so soft.

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5 secrets for a successful energy boost

5 secrets to a successful energy boost
5 secrets to a successful energy boost

5 secrets for a successful energy boost

Our life-force is precious currency, yet many live in energy poverty. We can own expensive bags, cars, watches but we cannot consider ourselves wealthy if we do not own our energy. 

Many people struggle to live a full enjoyable life due to chronic energy deficiency. The problem is widespread despite the increased availability of treatments, supplements, yoga studios; sadly people are still trapped in their exhaustion, continuing to drag their feet trying a vitality promising practice from one to another. Perhaps it’s time to ask if something is wrong with our energy-boosting approach so we can get off the never-ending carousel of energy boost-sabotage-lethargy

“Throughout my 25 years of energy healing, many people have asked me how to boost their energy level, but hardly ever anyone has asked about the prevention of losing it in the first place”

Yet, the upkeep of energy is one of the fundamental pillars of a successful energy boost. Before contemplating ways to increase your energy and vitality, you must, first of all, identify where and how do you waste it. Otherwise, it’s no different to putting money into a pocket with a hole.

It’s important for you to identify the energy ‘thieves’ in your life; don’t be surprised if that thief is actually you! Remember, every time you commit to something that goes against your inner truth, it will rob you of energy.

For example, we often choose to see people socially or keep them as friends even though we’ve grown out of resonance with them. This can be a very expensive habit for our aura. It’s essential that we surround ourselves with people with whom we connect or ‘click’. In short, we need to find our tribe. 

Find your tribe this girl is on fire

In my book “Own Your Energy“, I provide a comprehensive list of the most common “wellness saboteurs”.  For instance, many live in a state of chronic energy deficiency because their quest for wellness is fuelled by the fear of disease or ageing. 

“Fear will prevent you from healing as it’s a very low-frequency emotion that will often attract the very same thing you are fearful of.”

Your motivation for wellness should be a positive one. Choose wellness rather than an escape from suffering.  Instead of being motivated by the statement: ‘I do not want to become ill’, choose ‘I deserve being well. I love the feeling of being well’ or ‘I choose wellness as a natural state for my body’.

Many carry a subconscious belief that they don’t deserve an abundance of energy. They use their energy to prop somebody else up while having accepted their place is in the shadow of somebody else’s light. Your aura will be a forever donor for someone else. It doesn’t matter how much energy you will acquire, it will never be for your own benefit.

During the Covid-19 lockdown a number of people are commenting on how much more relaxed and energized they are feeling by the absence of the fear of missing out (FMO); the need of being seen at the right parties; or at the trendy holiday spots.  Many have realised the extent they have been investing their energy just to impress or please others. ‘Keeping up with the Joneses’ lifestyle carries a very expensive ‘energy price tag’ because your energy is controlled by somebody else’s approval; by some imposed template of expectations of how you should ideally look. I hope the lockdown will wean people off this energy-zapping race to impress.

 

“Our approach to energy boost must be holistic. We are often unsuccessful in our quest for more energy because we focus only on one area of our being, completely overlooking another. “

Our energy field, the aura, has a multi-layered structure encompassing: physical, emotional, mental and spiritual energies. These layers are interconnected and affect one another. In seeking to boost your energy you must simultaneously find a way to lighten up your body, emotions, thoughts and to uplift your spirit.

Take care of your diet. Pay attention to the quality of the food. I do not like deconstructed produce, such as: decaffeinated coffee, fat-free dairy, ‘almost butter’ spreads. I feel these products possess a ‘Frankenstein’ type of energy.  I would always advocate for real and best quality unprocessed food. It’s good to remember that your intuition is one of the most valuable tools in creating an authentic lifestyle and vitality. However, intuition is the first to leave the body when you become toxic. Maintain respect for your body with a good diet so the inner compass of your intuition can navigate you towards the healthy choices.

“Take care of your energy daily not only when you are in the SOS mode!”

Start to improve your energy levels by attending to the channels through which you leak your energy and see how much better you will begin to feel!

Tips:

  1. One of my tips for protecting your energy during energy vampire’s verbal attack is to slow down the up-flow of your inner energy. To do this, hold your breath or significantly slow down your breathing while the insults are being thrown at you. This will act as metaphysical earplugs for your aura and will prevent energy loss.
  2. Every morning commit to being radiant -look at your eyes in the mirror, put the palm of your dominant hand on your solar plexus and say: I am in charge of how feel and today I choose to glow”.
  3. You attract not only what you wish for yourself but also what you wish for others.
  4. Let go of always having to be right- choose peace over the worthless fight for being a winner in an ego game. It will save you so much energy.
  5. Simplify your life to amplify your energy.
Alla Svirinskaya

Alla Svirinskaya is a medically trained, fifth-generation energy healer who was coached secretly in Soviet Moscow by her mother and is now considered one of the world’s top experts in holistic wellness. She has acted as a senior consultant to leading spas around the world, and counts numerous celebrity and royal clients among the thousands of people she has helped. www.allasvirinskaya.com

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8 simple steps to a nutritious life post lockdown

healthy eating post lockdown
healthy eating post lockdown

8 simple steps to a nutritious life post lockdown

As the current lockdown measures are slowly relaxed and some of our freedom returns, what does that mean for your old routine? Personally, I’m looking forward to seeing friends while savouring the taste of my favourite ramen. You might be feeling a bit nervous about venturing out and worrying about the risk of infection still. Are there any steps you can take to adapt to this new norm, and support your immune system too?

These are my 8 simple steps to a nutritious life:

1. While there is evidence in the laboratory that corona virus 19 can survive on food packaging, so far there have been no reported cases that have actually been caught by contaminated food. This is most likely because the heat of cooking kills the virus, and so does the low pH of stomach acid if you were to ingest it. Instead it is important to regularly wash your hands, so that if you do touch any contaminated surfaces you minimise accidently touching your face and risking infection.

This might be a great time for you to buy a reusable cup, to reduce any possible risk of contamination, while also being more sustainable for the environment. Likewise taking a packed lunch has the benefits of being cheaper, more environmentally friendly with less packaging, and you have full control over the ingredients. Instead of a takeaway sandwich, why not treat yourself to a trendy new lunch box, (I love https://black-blum.com), and take a healthy salad out. This brings me onto my next step.

2. Eat a wide range of fruit and vegetables. Not only are these packed with polyphenol chemicals, which are antioxidants and protect against damage, lowering your risk of death, cancer and heart disease, but they also are key factor in gut health.

 

healthy eating post lockdown

3. Your gut plays a vital role in immunity and general health. Inside your gut, you have trillions of micro-organisms, including bacteria. Aim for 30g of fibre a day to help nurture your friendly gut bacteria and support your immune system. Fermented foods such as vegetables, kefir, kimchi and kombucha are also a great way of helping your microbiome.

4. Vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin, is primarily produced in your body with exposure to sunshine. Deficiency is common during autumn and winter in northern latitudes above 20 degrees (including the UK) and southern latitudes 20 degrees below the equator. The NHS and NICE advise all adults living in the UK should take a daily supplement throughout the year of 400IU, while younger people with known deficiency and those older than 60 should take 2000IU during winter as well. There are side effects of taking prolonged supplementation at higher levels, so this should be avoided.

While there is evidence that vitamin D deficiency might play a role in progression to a more severe illness with corona virus 19 infection, there is not yet evidence as to whether vitamin D supplementation could reverse this. However, given vitamin D plays such a crucial role in our bodies, it seems sensible to ensure that you have sufficient levels.

vitamin D

5. Terms such as ‘boosting your immunity’ are unscientific and generally used as clickbait. Serious infection with covid19, is thought to be due to an inflammatory cytokine storm, produced by an over active immune system, that causes collateral damage, while overzealously attacking the virus. Imagine then if you could ‘boost your immunity’ through food and supplements, the end result might be rather different to what you hoped for. Instead you can support optimal functioning of your immune system, by ensuring that you have a healthy diet. There is no evidence that items such as bone broth affect your immunity, (hear more about this on my myth busting course).

6. As well as eating a range of fruit and vegetables, enjoy whole grain carbohydrates (brown bread, brown rice, bulgur wheat, buckwheat, spelt, and millet), lean protein, a handful of nuts a day, legumes and pulses (beans, lentils), sprinkling of seeds, fermented food and healthy unsaturated fats such as avocado, and extra virgin olive oil.

7. From the current evidence, the people at greatest risk of serious consequences of covid19 are those with high blood pressure, obesity and type 2 diabetes. Improving your diet and following the tips I’ve outlined, can help improve these conditions.

8. It might be tempting to stock up on supplements such as vitamin C in the hope that they might prevent you from getting sick, but do they reduce your risk of getting a cold, or you to get better quicker? Sadly, for the general population there is no evidence of preventing infection, but it might help reduce the duration by approximately half a day of illness. More vitamin C does not equate to better protection, as excess vitamin C is not stored, but eliminated in the urine and may also cause abdominal cramps, nausea, headache, diarrhoea, and a possible increased risk of forming kidney stones.

Dr Harriet Holme – The Healthy eating Dr – studied medicine at the University of Cambridge and only deals in the science around food, not the fads.

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The 5 Sense Method to feel calmer and happier

5 steps to be calmer and happier
5 steps to be calmer and happier

The 5 Sense Method to feel calmer and happier

Feeling out of sorts but can’t quite put your finger on why?

Think about yesterday, last week or even the last month.

The 5 sense method is a tool Dr Sarah Vohra Consultant Psychiatrist has developed to try and work out what might be going on. It will help you pinpoint your life stresses more easily, develop a toolkit to manage them and help you feel calmer and happier.

Pinpoint your stresses

 You experience the world through your senses: your sight, hearing, smell, sense of touch (feel) and taste. So it makes sense that when you are feeling on edge or down, you use these senses to ask yourself if there is anything you may have seen, heard, smelled, felt or tasted (not necessarily all at once) that could possibly provide an explanation.

It may be that you have seen something negative on social media (SEE) or spent the afternoon with an overly critical boss (HEAR). Maybe you overlooked your usual daily breathwork (SMELL) or woke up feeling less than perfect (FEEL). Perhaps it is only mid- morning but you’re on to your second double espresso to get you through a particularly busy work shift (TASTE).

By doing this simple exercise, you can slowly piece together the jigsaw of the day and identify possible stresses.

Ask yourself:-  what have your senses come in to contact with that could explain why you feel the way you do?

1. SEE – Anything you have seen? This may include:-

a) Spending too much time on your screen

b)Scrolling highlight reals on social media

c) Seeing an ex partner.

2. HEAR. Anything you have heard? This may include: –

a) Your inner monologue telling you that you’re not good enough

b) Struggling to listen to your internal no

c) Criticism from a boss or partner?

3. SMELL. Anything you have smelled. This may include:-

a) Not managed to go outside and smell the fresh air.

b) Struggling to smell the BS. Are you getting pulled into people’s ideals on social media?

c) Not taken any time out to practice self-care?

4. FEEL. Anything you have felt? This may include:-

a) Feeling worried constantly?

b) Feeling under pressure? Have you taken too much on?

c) Feeling less confident adjusting to a new way of life?

5. TASTE. Anything you have tasted? This may include:-

a) Recent change in diet? Are you eating more than usual?

b) Consuming more stimulants like caffeine or energy drinks?

c) Perhaps you have not been eating enough?

5 steps to be calmer and happier

The 5 sense toolkit; empowering you to create ways to feel calmer and happier

Depending on what stresses come up for you, create yourself a 5 sense survival toolkit for each day. Here are some suggestions on things that might help.

See – do you need to set a limit on your screen use? Curate your social media feed? Or say no to meet ups/Facetime with certain individuals? You might choose to Facetime a positive family member/ friend, read a book or curl up with a good box set


Hear – do you need to practice regular positive self-talk? Exercise your inner no so you’re not feeling overwhelmed? Perhaps call a friend, listen to an inspiring podcast or audiobook?

Smell – do you need to set regular time aside to go outside and take in some fresh air? Have some time out to run yourself a nice bath, light a candle or practice mindfulness or meditation?

Feel – is there anyone you can call upon to lighten the pressure you put yourself under? Can you delegate tasks so you are not taking on too much? If you are feeling worried, Dr Vohra has a helpful tool “The Worry Dump” over on her Instagram Page and within the book which looks at how we can park our worries and stop them from snowballing out of control.

Taste – take the time to plan out your meals and snacks for the day. Think about cutting down your caffeine and alcohol consumption which may be ramping up any negative feelings you may be experiencing.

Be sure to check in with how these changes have made you feel at the end of each day, week and month of consistently putting them into practice.

Dr Sarah Vohra Consultant Psychiatrist, Author of ‘The Mind Medic’

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Essential mindful walking tips you can use now

what is mindful walking
what is mindful walking

Essential mindful walking tips you can use now

We’re all currently allowed out to exercise as much as we like, so why not replace a jog with a mindful walk instead?

 

Mindful walking is tuning in to the environment around you. It’s time to ditch the headphones and start paying attention to what’s around you. Listen to the birds tweeting. Pay attention to how the light catches the tree. Hear what you don’t normally when you’re rushing between place to place. Take your time to truly appreciate your surroundings.

Mickey Monroe, founder of yoga brand Active Pada, is a big fan of mindful walking and how it can improve your mental health.

Mickey says “Mindful walking is essential as it not only means you’re getting some exercise, but it also ensures you enjoy the same benefits of a meditative practice that you might otherwise do indoors

It’s about stepping away from all that noise – whether it be the negative news or too much social media chatter – and literally grounding yourself in nature.”

The benefits of getting outside

Getting out and about in nature has not only been proven to release stress, it’s also been found to strengthen immunity, something that’s essential right now.

A 2010 study evaluated the effect of forest bathing – a popular Japanese past-time where families all spend time in the great outdoors – on immune function. It found that those that did this had elevated white blood cells, crucial for a healthy immune system.

There are also many other proven benefits from increasing your concentration, which many people are struggling with while in lockdown, to improving your memory.

And breathe

Puressentiel, who create gorgeous essential oils, conducted a survey that showed that two out of three adults had experienced changes to their breathing when stressed.

GP Dr Gill Jenkins, an advisor for Puressentiel, says “it’s important to pay attention to your breathing in times of stress. She says that taking deep controlled breaths, especially while out for a walk, is beneficial to both our physical and mental health.

Achieving a more relaxed state of mind brings a host of beneficial changes in blood pressure, heart rate and body chemistry,” she explains.

“It also means our muscles and joints can function properly. Often when our bodies are stressed, our muscles and joints can get stiff, causing movement issues and this sometimes can lead to minor injuries as a result.”

If lockdown has got you feeling strung out, try this NHS recommended breathing exercise next time you’re enjoying a walk outside.

  • Let your breath flow as deep down into your belly as is comfortable, without forcing it.
  • Try breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth.
  • Breathe in gently and regularly. Some people find it helpful to count steadily from 1 to 5. You may not be able to reach 5 at first.
  • Then, without pausing or holding your breath, let it flow out gently, counting from 1 to 5 again, if you find this helpful.
  • Keep doing this for 3 to 5 minutes.
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The ‘must have’ accessories for your next Zoom call

The best accessories to wear for zoom calls
The best accessories to wear for zoom calls

The ‘must have’ accessories for your next Zoom call

If you’re working from home, or just socialising with distant friends and families, chances are you’ve already taken part in a fair number of video calls. There’s something inherently weird about looking back at your own face so much, especially with bad lighting and bad roots. It’s nothing however, that a good accessory can’t fix. 

In this case we also recommend you ignore the infamous advice from Coco Chanel of ‘Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off’ because a) you’re not leaving the house anytime soon and b) more is more when it comes to video calls.

And, don’t be afraid of being a bit quirky with your accessory choices either – they can be great conversation starters!

Hair accessories

A good hair accessory can not only make you look more together, but it can also help hide a multitude of hair problems created by not being able to get to your hairdresser. 

Cover up your pesky roots with a large, turban style headband. Use over-sized hair clips to get that over-grown fringe out of your face. Not had time to blow dry your hair before an emergency work Zoom call? Whack it in a ponytail and plop a headband on top for a totally polished look that says ‘I so meant to look like this’…

Statement earrings

If you’re someone who loves to get dressed up, then lockdown is not your friend. it seems wrong to wear your best clothes to the supermarket and let’s be honest, while a pastel suit may be the ultimate in cool this summer, it isn’t  the comfiest thing to wear while working. 

Thankfully there’s something that can dress up even a T-shirt and jeans. Yes, we’re looking at you statement earrings. Go large or go home! Oh yeah, you’re already there…

Colourful necklaces

For necklaces to make an impact on video calls you need to ditch the long, boho pendants. Instead, you’re looking at cool collar necklaces or smaller pendants. The one thing that can help drawn attention away from your dodgy lockdown skin is a super bright necklace.

Rainbow colours will light up the screen and show your support for the NHS, while if you choose the right shade for your skin, it can even take a few years off you. BONUS!

A bright lip

Unless you’re a twenty-something influencer, it seems pointless rocking a full glam makeup look, even if you do have 15 Zoom calls to be on. It doesn’t mean though that you can’t inject a touch of colour and fun into your everyday look. 

A bright slash of lippie can really be your friend, glowing out of the gloom that is the eternal bad lighting of a video call. This is no time to be timid – bright pink and red look great on the screen, make you look younger and will make you feel cheerful.

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