Spring has arrived!
We’ve finally seen the back of those long bleak winter months … Daffodils, Snowdrops, blossom, new buds on the trees, everything starting to come back to life after the rain and cold and the clocks going forward. And then there’s that wonderful feeling of warm sunshine on your face. Is it just me, or does life seem so much better when the sun comes out and the days get longer? – After all who doesn’t love warm days and long summer evenings? I know I do!
But just because the sun isn’t shining and the skies are rainy and grey, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t protect your skin.
You should always use a good moisturiser on your face with a high SPF and UVA protection in it! It really is so important to use this throughout the year and not just in the summer months. So, if you haven’t done so before, it’s not too late! Now’s the time to make absolutely sure you have one to hand and use it to protect your skin for the sun’s harmful rays. It’s so vital to prevent sun damage from happening to your skin, and certainly to your face; no one wants leathery looking skin, wrinkles and age spots, skin cancers and pre cancers have far more serious implications.
There are some fabulous moisturisers available now for all skin types – Tinted, oil free, mattyfing, hypo allergenic. Ensure you buy what you need to suit your skin type best. But more than anything, get one that offers you a high SPF content, one ideally that contains an SPF of more than SPF30.
www.glo-minerals.com – RRP £27
This moisturiser contains peptides for anti aging benefits and improving the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Initially white, it turns clear after application and has a high SPF40 protection.
NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser SPF30
www.narscosmetics.co.uk – RRP £28
This oil-free tinted SPF30 moisturiser is dermatologist tested and fragrance free. It’s available in 11 colours for a perfect tint and helps reduce the appearance of hyper pigmentation and dark spots in just four weeks. Nars say it’s infused with lush, naturally derived botanicals and ingredients to immediately help thirsty skin feel hydrated. It contains Kopara from French Polynesia and mineral rich seawater revive and re-mineralize skin for a softer, smoother, and brighter natural glow.
L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Day Cream with SPF 30 and Advanced UVA protection
www.loreal-paris.co.uk – RRP £12.99
This power moisturiser helps help reduce the appearance of premature skin ageing, by making skin feel firmer and making wrinkles appear reduced. But most importantly, it shields your skin against harmful UVA rays that can pass through cloud and even glass, the No1 cause of premature ageing. It’s enriched with L’Oreal’s highest concentrate of Pro-Retinol A + Elasti-Flex
Alpha-H Daily Essential Moisturiser SPF50+ (50ml)
www.alpha-h.com – RRP £27
This non whitening light weight moisturiser helps prevent premature ageing and is suitable for all skin types. It leaves a matte finish and is perfect as an under base for makeup, providing effective protection from the sun’s harmful UVA/UVB rays.
Kiehls Ultra Light Daily Defense SPF 50
www.kiehls.co.uk – £31
A fabulous oil-free, ultra light moisturiser with a high level of sun filters(Mexoryl SX and Mexoryl Xl) to provide the skin with effective UVA and UVB broad-spectrum sunscreen protection. This gentle lotion is also suitable for sensitive skin.
It’s amazing what makeup can do, and how much it can change your face, change your personality and let you be something completely different
I’m sure you’ll have heard the phrase ‘putting on my face’ – it’s often used! Putting your face on can make you feel like someone new and give you confidence to face the world and hide what you may not want others to see. It’s like transforming yourself into who you want the world to know.
And ‘war paint’. War paint is another term used, albeit more tongue in cheek! But war paint was exactly what warriors wanted – a mask painted on, and often with body paint too, applied to frighten their enemies in battle, giving them a monster like appearance and making them appear more fierce.
From history we know that makeup use is ancient. And we know that it was used around 4000 BC in some form by the ancient Egyptians, by both men and women for spiritual and magical practices. The discovery of makeup equipment (palettes, applicators) have been found in ancient burial sites, even in the most humble of graves, and hieroglyphic pictures have given us this insight.
Makeup in ancient times would have been made from pigments taken from vegetables and berries to create colour for lips and cheeks, whilst the Egyptians used Udju, made from green malachite (green ore of copper) to create green eye shadow and kohl for black, used around the eyes, creating the almond, cat eye shape favoured by this civilisation.
And makeup use has continued throughout our history. In the Elizabethan era it was a sign of good health and prestige to have a fair complexion, as the poorer classes would have to work outdoors, and only rich women would have fair skin. We know of the Elizabethans using Ceruse, which was lead based, to whiten faces, which often resulted in death from lead poisoning!
But makeup as we know it today, really started to get going in 1909/1910 with the launch of L’Oreal, Elizabeth Arden, Max Factor and Helena Rubinstein. And since then developments in the cosmetics world mean that it’s not just available for film crews, or the rich and famous who can wear it, but it means we all have access to a fast growing variety of makeup brands and products. Today the UK cosmetics industry alone is worth approximately £2.25bn (source CompaniesandMarkets.com Aug 2013), with the L’Oreal Group being one of the leading cosmetics brands in the world.
One of the best examples we know for transforming someone into something different, often completely unrecognisable from how the original person looked, using makeup is special effects (SFX) makeup.
This is used widely in films and TV to create Sci-Fi characters, horror film monsters and zombies as well as to create bruises, wounds and cuts from the simple to the most horrific. If you’ve seen the film Mrs Doubtfire (1993) you may know that the main actor, Robin Williams was famously made up with eight separate pieces of prosthetics and underwent four and half hours each day in makeup to have the prosthetics applied to transform him from the actor we know into his female film character.
But makeup alone, without SFX and any prosthetics, can still transform a face completely!
By using dark to shade and light to highlight specific areas, you can appear to change the actual face shape entirely. We see this with talented drag artists who use the technique when applying their makeup to change the shape of their male face into a female one – male and female bone structures are slightly different, and makeup can help them create the illusion of being female. Have a look at this image (Leland Bobbe) – the artist is half made up so you can see more easily where dark areas appear to create hollows or deep set areas and the whiter highlights make the area appear more prominent.
In makeup, we use the terms ‘dark takes back and light brings forward’.
And here, this step by step picture of highlighting and shading a face using makeup alone transforms the model’s face. The model looks totally different at the end with shading, highlighting, eye makeup, blusher and lips all applied.
Try it with your own makeup. Use a dark matt shade to contour your face, creating hollows under your cheek bones. This makes your cheek bones appear more defined. Apply light to the actual cheek and brow bones and these areas are considerably more prominent.