Whether you're heading out tomorrow night for a romantic dinner for two, or you're hitting the town with your girlfriends to celebrate Valentine's Day, it's the perfect time to paint the town red — with lipstick, that is. It's an easy way to vamp up your regular makeup routine, and the fool-proof finishing touch for a special night out. With that in mind, we've found five of the best red lipsticks, suited to all budgets, but don't forget that it's one look that requires a little maintenance — make sure you reapply throughout the night!
Dewy skin has been popular of late, but come the hottest days of Summer, sometimes you just want to go matte — right? Matte-look skin is one-dimensional in the sense that the skin doesn't necessarily "pop", but it's a clean makeup look and one that gives that faux contoured look when applied correctly. The key is to start very slow, and build. Dip your brush on the palette, tap excess, and lightly move in a circular motion around all the highest points of your face and along the jawline. We've got five, firm favourites (go on, say that five times fast), and there's one at every price point.
Self tanning can be dangerous if you don't know what you're doing, and it's safe to say we've all woken up looking less bronzed goddess and more, well, streaky carrot. When self tanning in preparation for a big event like the races, it's best to have a test run first, so you know exactly what colour you'll be on the big day. There's a huge range of self tanners on the market so if you're feeling a little overwhelmed, trust us when we say you're not alone! Today we're featuring five we've actually tried and loved, and there's one to suit every budget.
Nude nails were a massive trend at the Spring 2013 international fashion shows, and we're predicting your nails will be permanently painted nude in the coming months. The nothing but everything shade is the perfect edition to every girl's beauty cupboard, but finding the perfect nude can be tricky. Some polishes look nude in the bottle but actually come out quite sheer, but we recommend a solid nude — one that disguises the whole nail — to rock this trend. You don't really want to have to do more than two coats, but three is absolutely fine. Just remember to let each layer dry completely before painting the next. Check out our top five nude polishes on every budget — these won't disappoint.
When used right, illuminator is a very powerful makeup product. You know those bright-looking glowy people? They (probably) use illuminator. You can apply this face-saving liquid on its own before your finishing powder — as a second last step — or you can mix it with your foundation. Either way, it will change your life and your complexion. When applying alone, take half a pea size on your ring finger tip and dab along the top of your cheekbone, and up around the eye and below the brow. Easy! Just remember, illuminator is not highlighter (technically), because most products labelled as an illuminator will have a pearlescent element to them. Want to see our top five liquid illuminator picks on every budget? Ready... set... wait for it... go!
Spring has arrived so now is the time to get those pretty pins and limbs out. That's right — wax, shave and IPL your way to smooth, pronto! At-home tanning has come a long way since those patchy, orange days (hey, we've all been there), but even with the mits, mousses and sprays, it can be time consuming. That's why we love wash-off bronzers. You can just slap on instant, golden goodness and run out the door. A quick shower when you return home and your skin will be back to its regular old not-so-glowing self. Good for the sheets, right? We've got our top five, wash-off bronzers on every budget, so click through to join us in one-day brown town.
If you've nailed the right foundation consistency for your skin type and taken things like your lifestyle and the climate into consideration, then you're probably after a good foundation brush to kickstart your complexion perfection. Makeup brushes come in all shapes and sizes, but a foundation brush's sole purpose is to blend the product into your skin so it looks at one with your face. Sounds pretty dreamy, we know, but there's nothing worse than caked-on foundation and the only way to avoid that is using the correct application techniques along with a brush. We've rounded up our top five, trialled and tested foundation brushes, so whether you've got a spare 10, 50 or more — we've got the brush for you.
It's no secret bold, straight boy brows are in, but don't be fooled into thinking the models on the runway are born with those power brows — they've had brow makeup applied to fill in any gaps and adapt their natural shape. Brow kits, powder, shadows and gels are all the rage right now, but we're taking it back to basics. An eyebrow pencil, when chosen wisely, will do just as good a job — plus you'll get a precision finish. The main thing you want to look out for is a spool brush on the end of the pencil, so you can brush your brows up and out to find the gaps in your natural shape. We love wind-up pencils, but traditional ones that need sharpening are perfectly fine, just make sure the end is sharp when you apply. Use soft, feathering strokes in an upwards motion to create natural looking hairs with the pencil — no drawing! Brows look better with slight definition (not heavily filled-in), and consider your complexion and hair colour before buying. Check out our five favourite pencils to suit all budgets.
Acne is a horrible thing to have to live with, and unfortunately, some of us are more prone to it than others. The positive point is that it is treatable with an acne-based skincare program — in conjunction with clean eating and drinking plenty of water. A word of warning: stay away from soft drinks and energy drinks that are often packed with tablespoons of sugar. But when it comes to skincare options, there is a brand to suit all budgets. The main thing is understanding the key ingredients, and then your choice will be much easier. Keep a lookout for foam and gel products with either glycolic, salicylic or lactic acids; and benzoyl peroxide is your friend, but only as a spot treatment. Click through to see our top five!
To tone or not to tone, that is the question. It's a hot debate in the beauty world, so we spoke to skin expert Emma Hobson, education manager Asia, Australia and NZ, for The International Dermal Institute, to find out the facts.
"Many people think it’s not important to use a toner and consider it a waste of money. The reason for this misconception is due to the traditional function of an old fashioned toner," she says.
"Toners originally were developed to 'remove' the mineral oil based cleansers. Since mineral oil cannot be washed off the skin and traditional cleansers were tissued off, a toner had to contain SD alcohol to remove the cleanser and mineral oil off the skin's surface. The issue that arose from this is that many people found the SD alcohol irritating and drying to their skin, so avoided using a toner."
So why should we use a toner these days? "New spritz toners were designed with skin function in mind; to boost the moisture content of the skin so reducing dehydration, to calm and freshen the skin with plant botanicals, to even out the skin’s surface porosity — meaning balancing out the dry patches — and to introduce water soluble active ingredients into the skin."
Mystery solved! Click through to find out our top five toner picks on every budget.