Even though you've just washed your face, there still can be trace amounts of dirt and makeup left behind — as your newly laundered white towels will prove. Or maybe your skin feels extra taught from dryness that can occur from cleansing. Whatever the case, toners are the next step to improving your skin before you even put moisturiser on. Learn what toner does and why you need it, when you read more.
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.
After spotting pictures of Candice Swanepoel at the Victoria's Secret Angel launch of Body by Victoria in New York yesterday, I couldn't help but notice how bright and glossy her hair looked. Although naturally fair, it's safe to say Candice foils her hair to keep it looking so blonde, but maintaining those highlights is a whole other ballgame! Now I'm no Victoria's Secret Angel (that actually makes me laugh out loud), but I do get my hair foiled every six to eight weeks so I'd like to see myself as a bit of an expert in maintaining a bright, glossy colour. A goldilocks yourself? Click through to see what type of products you should be using, and when.
What can a hydrating spray do beyond, well, hydrating and spraying? Glad you asked. Known by many names — hydrating mist, refreshing spray, purifying mist or flower water — hydrating sprays are more than just a fancy blend of ingredients in liquid form. Find out four ways you can use them to add a little spring to your step.
- As a toner: Help prep skin for upcoming moisturiser with a spritz of a hydrating spray. What you'll get is a plumped, more youthful-looking appearance.
- As a makeup setter: Ensure that your makeup will stay put with a spritz of hydrating mist before you leave the house in the morning. Simply let it air-dry or lightly work in by patting with a sponge. You can also use a hydrating spray after the application of mineral makeup to prevent a dry, overly matte look.
- As a touch-up: Need a makeup touch-up in a flash? Just mist on a hydrating spray and pat down with a sponge to refresh your makeup and redistribute it so that it doesn't settle into fine lines or wrinkles. For a velvety finish, dab on powder immediately after.
- As a recharger of spirits: With an invigorating feel, hydrating sprays are perfect for providing a little pick-me-up any time of the day — particularly when they're formulated with aromatherapeutic scents. For an invigorating experience, refrigerate your spray before using.
Diane Kruger is known for her flawless look and we've just found out two of her must-haves: Kiehl's Cucumber Herbal Alcohol-Free Toner (from $28) and La Roche-Posey Toleriane Riche moisturiser ($28). The beautiful actress revealed her skincare secrets, along with her signature scent, hairspray of choice and product pick for wow brows. Of the toner, Diane says: "This is extra kind for my face, and leaves it fresh and clean," while she praises the "lovely finish" of the moisturiser. We'll be snapping both up quick smart! And if you like to know what celebrities' go-to products are, check out what Lara Bingle, Kate Waterhouse and co. swear by now!
The easiest way to make your makeup look smoother and last longer is to first prepare your skin accordingly. Prep work was a big part of the beautiful dewy skin that we saw happening backstage at RAFW but if you're unsure what to do after you wash your face and pat it dry, we've compliled your go-to guide for getting the skin ready pre-makeup. Enjoy!
Once the face is washed with a cleanser appropriate for your skin tone, exfoliate with either a physical (like a grainy scrub) or chemical (such as a liquid) exfoliator that's gentle enough for daily use. Sloughing off dead skin cells will help create an even surface for makeup to glide onto. Bonus? Your skin will look brighter because of it. Tip: multitask and use an exfoliating cleanser.
The Sugar Spotlight crew have been keeping busy putting Simple skincare through its paces. They've been testing the travel-sized Kind to Skin Range, which features Refreshing Facial Wash Gel, Soothing Facial Toner, Hydrating Light Moisturiser and Eye Make-up Remover. You've heard what some of our BellaSugar readers have had to say about these little bite-size treats, and now here's some more reviews! Check out what Meaghan and co. had to say about the four products . . .
"My first impression of Simple was that the packaging is clean and has an eco-friendly feel to it. The product descriptions specify the natural goodness of the ingredients and the fact that there is no animal testing (very important to me as an avid animal lover!). The makeup remover thoroughly removed my waterproof mascara after a couple of applications, leaving my lashes feeling soft and light. The cleanser and toner renewed my skin, with my cheek and nose areas looking particularly clear. The moisturiser has a very lightweight texture, making it perfect under makeup. This four-step Simple regime has left my skin softer and clearer than it has been in weeks. As a user of expensive skincare brands, it's refreshing to find out that there is a skincare brand out there that is just as good, if not better, and a quarter of the price! Simple-ly beautiful!" — Meaghan
The Sugar Spotlight crew have been keeping busy putting Simple skincare through its paces. They've been testing the travel-sized Kind to Skin Range, which features Refreshing Facial Wash Gel, Soothing Facial Toner, Hydrating Light Moisturiser and Eye Make-up Remover. Find out what had they had to say, including how it held up with sensitive skin. First, we'll hand over to Maryanne, who is our very first reader to be in the Sugar Spotlight with her standout review. Congrats, Maryanne!
"I haven't ever used a gel facial wash so was quite interested to use this. A little bit really goes a long way and it does what you want — scrubs your face nice 'n clean without irritating. I found a huge improvement to my skin tone from using the toner — it has made a huge difference to the clarity and radiance of my face and it looks like I'm glowing. It must be said that I haven't actually used a toner as part of my beauty regime for many years, mainly because ones I've had in the past really stung my sensitive skin, but this one is really good and doesn't hurt at all. I wear eyeliner every day, so an eye makeup remover is an essential item. I've used a high end designer brand in the past and actually prefer the Simple one — mainly because it isn't greasy at all. My only criticism is that the bottle isn't very squeezable so it's a little harder to get the mixture out, but then again on the plus it means you can't really accidentally tip half of it out. I really like this face moisturiser; it's a real no fuss kind of cream. It ticks all the boxes when it comes to aspects of a moisturiser that I look for — it is light and not heavy, does not leave a greasy film over your face, isn't perfumed, doesn't sting your eyes. Overall a great budget moisturiser that does the trick!" I've used a high end designer brand in the past and actually prefer the Simple one." — Maryanne
Been crying for hours? Job stressing you out? Can't sleep? In a better, more perfect world, we'd get the week off to recoup, but ain't ever going to happen. Lucky for you, we've got five top tips to make you look HAWT even if you feel like, well sh*t. Here's to keeping up appearances . . .
If you've been crying or sleepless, meet your new BFF: flesh-toned eyeliner. Waterlining with a shade that's just slightly darker than your natural skin tone will nicely cover up the red that's currently rimming your eyes. Matte shades are more subtle, but shimmery ones have the most brightening power.
If your eyes are bloodshot from exhaustion and/or stress, try a touch of blue mascara. I know it's not the '80s but it makes the whites of your eyes appear brighter, counterbalancing unwanted red tones. See.
Cream blush is another wonderful fix if you're stressed or tired, as it lends a softer, glowier appearance on the skin. For cool undertones try a baby pink shade, and for warm complexions, opt for a peach.
Recently our Reader Review Panel tried the Clean&Clear® Advantage Pimple Control Kit. Was it clear skin all 'round? Here's what they had to say . . .
jeujeu, age 29, said:
"I found the pimple control cleanser left my skin feeling extremely clean. A little tingling around the sensitive eye area though. The toner was good and the moisturiser had a non-greasy feel and absorbed quickly. The Spot Gel was very handy for any outbreaks I could feel and rectified the problem with regular use within about 48hrs. In all a very affective pimple control routine that I would use and recommend."