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Dehydrated Skin

Patchy makeup that separates on your skin is such a common problem! I hear so many people telling me that foundation ‘doesn’t work’ for them or ‘doesn’t look right’ on them. This inconsistent coverage is a result of dehydrated skin. NOT DRY SKIN! Don’t get the two mixed up because they are different. Dry skin is a lack of oil and dehydrated skin is a LACK OF WATER.

Dehydrated skin means that your skin becomes desperate to absorb any moisture that it can. So, when you apply your foundation, your skin will absorb all the hydration it can and leave you with whatever is left over, making your makeup look patchy.

Hydrated skin flushes out toxins and maintains its natural barrier. This results in the skin having a much more even texture and reduces any irritation or sensitivity, unlike dehydrated skin which is damaged and so can’t flush out toxins or maintain its natural barrier.

When your skin is dehydrated, it often produces more oil to compensate for the lack of hydration in the skin. Again, when your skin is dehydrated it is in need of water not oil so this excess oil builds up and makes your skin greasy and congested (which makes you more susceptible to breakouts). The annoying thing about this is that people often treat oily skin and acne with harsh products meant to combat these issues. This then worsens the dehydration which then makes the skin more oily and acne prone. As you can see, you can get stuck in a loop of bad skin. 

Things that will help combat dehydrated skin:

  1. Drink more water! It sounds boring and people will probably tell you to do this all the time! But honestly, it’s the most important thing to do to help separating and patchy makeup. 
  2. Concentrate on your skin care. Clean your skin AM and PM. Moisturise your skin AM and PM.
  3. Adding a little bit of hyaluronic acid to your skin care routine can make a huge difference to dehydrated skin. It can hold 1000 times its weight in water.
  4. Avoid drinking alcoholic drinks such as red wine that will dehydrate your body much faster. If this is your favourite tipple then for every glass of wine you drink, drink a pint of water.
  5. NEVER sleep with your makeup on. This will suck all the life out of your skin.

A Skincare Plan for Dehydrated Skin

AM

  1. Cleanse – Micellar water is the best type of cleanser for dehydrated skin.
  2. Serum – Use a hydrating serum with hyaluronic acid in. (Nip & Fab’s Dragon Blood Serum is great £19.95 from Boots.)
  3. Moisturise with a product that contains spf. (Preferably not containing oil if you are prone to blemishes)
  4. Then apply your makeup.

PM

  1. Cleanse – ensure all makeup has been removed first.
  2. Spot treatments, if needed.
  3. If the skin is feeling tight and scaly, use a night cream. 

This skin type can benefit from using hyaluronic face masks and overnight masks. Exfoliate with caution, at most once a week. Use a cleanser and flannel to exfoliate, rotating in circular motions. Avoid products with small beads in.

I hope that this blog helps a few people who have been convinced they have oily, dry, sensitive or combination skin, when really it’s been dehydrated all along! I’d love to hear how you get on six months from now if you decide to take on this skincare plan

Comment below if you were shocked to find this is your skin type!

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What’s Next?

I wanted to pause the advice, the top tips and the ‘How To’s’ and give you guys a little insight as to who I am, who is driving ‘The Beauty Umbrella’ forward and what’s next!

First of all, my name is Beth Hawker. I am 24 years old and I currently live in Bournemouth. I went to university to study ‘Makeup for Media and Performance’ at Bournemouth University of the Arts. I am the founder of The Beauty Umbrella and my inspiration comes from the two things I love the most in this world: helping people and all things beauty! 

I’ll let you into a secret you probably didn’t know… this isn’t my first time starting my own business! Yep, I tried a few years back but I just wasn’t in the right place in my life to get it off the ground. I’m back stronger this time, with a vision and a mindset that I can really work with. I wanted to let all my followers and clients know a bit more about that mindset and what’s next for The Beauty Umbrella! 

Whilst at university I had a job on a makeup counter which truly helped combine my customer service skills and my skills as a makeup artist. It was then that I realised, as much as I loved creating avant garde, fashion style makeup, I loved helping customers much more! I used to get in trouble for sending my customers to other counters as I would loose sales and commission! But I couldn’t help but show them the products I knew would work for them. I not only helped people find the right products for them, but showed them how to use them so they wouldn’t get home and wonder why they’d bought the hottest new product with no hope of knowing how to apply it! I would show them on one side of their face and get them to copy me on the other side, practising their new look. The amount of returning customers I had grew and so did the faith they had in the advice that I gave them. 

Skip forward a few years and I hosted a Tropic party for my friends and I. If you haven’t had one yet, book one NOW! It’s honestly the best skincare range I have tried and its made with all natural ingredients and produced in the UK!

Moving on! There is a prime example of how passionate I am about spreading the word about great products! At the Tropic party, the amazing ambassador, educated us on how to use and apply the products and customised our packages to suit our skin types. We had such a fun night, learnt loads, drank prosecco and had a laugh. That’s when I started to think about Makeup Parties! A fun night in with your friends, learning about makeup application with a glass of prosecco or two!

As I, very informally, started this side of the business, I started having so many more ideas about how to make them better. I was struggling to get people to know the differences between the brushes I was asking them to pick up and use. There was nowhere to put the brushes, so they were rolling around the table! There was makeup everywhere, not enough light… the list goes on! At this point I started to build my brand, my logo, my social media etc. I figured out if my brushes were numbered, they would be more easily identified! If I had brush pots or stands, it would tidy up the work space. I bought ‘ring lights’ for each person so there was no fighting over the best light at the table! It all started coming together and I decided that I needed to take the next step.

So I’ll let you into my biggest secret yet! I am very excited to announce that there are Beauty Umbrella products coming out in October 2019! I took the plunge and The Beauty Umbrella will be releasing a collection of beauty accessories! Which is so exciting because I never thought I would get here and achieve one of my goals so early on. I can’t wait to share them with you so keep following and more information will be released in the coming weeks! Eeek!

Owning my own business hasn’t always been a dream of mine, but working in the beauty industry has. This way I can do what I love everyday and service my clients in the best way I can. Please, if you ever need some beauty advice and you’re not sure who to ask, get in touch. I’m not going to charge you for advice. In fact, one of my favourite things is giving it away for free! (Just dive into my blog library!) My dream now is to create an environment online where it’s okay to ask questions and not be the biggest makeup junkie on the internet. Instagram is an intimidating place full of beautiful, thin, women who have more than likely been photoshopped. There is nothing wrong with having an interest in makeup and hair and still be a complete novice. I’m not scary or intimidating I promise! I will never make you feel silly for asking a question or not knowing how to contour. I am here to help you feel good about yourself day in, day out.

And it’s as simple as that folks! 

Thanks for following me this far and I hope to serve you as clients, followers and friends from here on out! From hair styles to makeup, waxing to nails, hair dye to brow plucking and much more, The Beauty Umbrella has got you covered! 

Beth xX

 

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How to find your perfect foundation shade

Some on counter staff are better than others, but if you can, it’s better to try and match your self. You know better than anyone what colour your skin is and what you look for in a foundation. Now you may have heard many tips and tricks over the years, however this is the perfect guide to getting your perfect match!

You know how you can often look better in the warm glow of candles or the yellow-y lights in a restaurant bathroom? That is yellow light blessing you with warm golden tones that will complement your skin tone. There are probably only 5 in every 100 women who are so pale they need a pink toned foundation. Everyone else if you see any foundation with the name ‘rose’ or ‘blush’ in the colour name- avoid it like the plague unless you want to look embalmed. Keep pink to cheeks, lips and nails where it belongs. 

Sometimes your forehead is a different colour to the rest of your face, as that’s where the sun hits your face first. This is especially true for women of colour. Either buy and wear two foundations, or if the contrast isn’t too severe, try to find a shade that’s in the middle

Don’t be tempted to go up and down shades to ‘correct’ what you perceive to be faults. Foundation is there to be the same colour as your skin. It is not there to ‘warm it up’ that is what bronzer is for; and it is not there to ‘cool it down’ that is what highlight is for. It is simply there to match perfectly.

Oxidation is a chemical reaction that can occur in foundation. Just like apples and other fruit will turn brown when exposed to the oxygen in the air, foundation can turn a shade or two darker (or more orange) on your skin over the course of the day. Oxidation is a weird, commonly despised, yet not fully understood problem in the beauty world, because it seems to wholly depend on a person’s skin type, the foundation they’re using, and their skincare routine. Some cosmetic chemists say that it’s caused by solvents in the foundation evaporating on your skin, causing the pigments to look a darker color on your face, while others disagree, citing your skin oils or skincare oil to be the real culprit: “The oils on your face and the oxygen in the air…mix with the oils in your foundation and cause the oxidative process” It seems to be a combination of the two is most likely true. Oxidation definitely does happen, but I find that it’s almost always because of an SPF or a primer that doesn’t mix well with your skin or your foundation. If you fall victim of oxidation, then you need to trial and error some different SPF’s, skincare and foundation till you find what works well for you. Take full advantage of samples during this time!!

Lastly, You may need to adjust your colour depending on the time of year. Most women have darker skin in the summer. You can also get liquid bronzers you can mix with your foundation to help when you have a tan. See an earlier blog http://www.thebeautyumbrella.com/holiday-makeup/ for more detail.

So here is what you do:

  • Look at the spectrum of colours and pick 4 similar shades, (avoiding the pinks unless you are alabaster-white), that in your opinion are most likely to match.
  • Using a cotton bud, (most counter staff will give you these), create 4 stripes on your lower cheek and don’t blend. Repeat this on your forehead. Top tip: As you put each pot down, leave them in the same order as you applied them so you can remember which colour is which!
  • Now as painfully embarrassing as you may find this go outside and look in a mirror. A hand mirror or a mirror borrowed from counter staff will do. Don’t use your phone or look in it’s camera as it won’t be an accurate representation of colour. Then tah-dah- The one that is the hardest to see is your foundation colour.
  • Don’t be tempted to go up and down shades to ‘correct’ what you perceive to be faults. Sometimes oxidation is just a result of wearing a foundation too dark for your skin. Go with your true colour and the rest of your makeup will always look better!! Trust me! 
  • My last tip is that if you have never used that foundation before, always ask for a sample and try it out first. You’ll never truly know if its a good match in colour and formula till you’ve worn it for a whole day.

Let us know in the comments any colour matching dilemmas you have and we will help!! 

 

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Teenage Advice

My teenage years were difficult to say the least. “Finding yourself”, hormones, boyfriends, exams and group dynamics; are a few of the world ending catastrophes that trouble many teens. (Don’t get me started on friendship groups of three!!) And those are all things I can’t help with I’m afraid! However, hair, make-up, beauty, and general appearance, happen to be my forte!

 Although my teenage years aren’t far behind me, (I am 24) things have already changed massively since I was younger. I think I am part of the last generation that went through the blue sparkly eye shadow phase? However, that might not be such a bad thing! Lots of teenage girls are contouring from the age of 14 and could create a cut crease in their sleep! I have 3 sisters, two of which are teenagers and roughly the same age. Sister A, is like me- a total makeup addict and every time I see her, her face is painted like she is ready for a night out and she is really, really good! Sister B, is slightly older and reaches for a touch of concealer and mascara on a daily basis. They are both completely different teenagers, completely different people, going through completely different things, but… both interested in changing their appearance.

What are your teenage years for, if not questioning who you want to be, what you want to look like and how you want other people to see you? I fully support ‘the tiny bit of mascara look’ and ‘the full face look’ in equal measures. It’s experimentation, it’s an art and it’s self-expression. I have been through so many different styles over the years, (including a short-lived Goth phase), that have all lead up to who I am now. I encourage all parents, friends and carers to allow teenagers to go through that right of passage; we all deserve the freedom to explore. Your teenage years are already filled with to many ‘don’ts’, if they are trying something new just let them! That being said, still be there for them with some great advice. It’s up to them if they want to listen to you or find out their own way.

Here’s a quick guide to some teenage advice you can have on hand, if your opinion is welcome!

  • Hygiene: I’m talking taking a shower everyday, always have clean hair, clean body, clean clothes, clean teeth. If you do nothing else with your appearance, please let this, at the very least, be your beauty regime. Clean hair will also help prevent a spotty face!
  • Don’t pluck your eyebrows!: Take it from me and probably every female adult you know, that it’s not a fashion statement you’ll want to sport forever. Luckily, we seem to be living in the age of the brows and not too many young girls are over-plucking. If you feel like you need some shape go to a professional eyebrow threader. It’s more delicate on the skin than waxing and more accurate. Try to always go somewhere that has good reviews or, get someone who you admire the look of their brows, to personally recommended somebody.
  • Hair Down There: Times are changing and so is the opinion of pubic hair. Boys and girls are trimming it, getting rid of it, styling it and shaping it. My personal opinion is to do whatever you want with it, it’s your body. My advice is to use a shaver responsibly and when the time comes that you want to try waxing, (if that day comes), make sure you see a professional beautician. First time waxing should never be tried at home!!
  • Limit your use of foundation: You have your whole life to wear foundation and your skin will never look as young as it does now. Save foundation for special occasions and focus on good skin care and a touch of concealer should you need to cover a break out. 
  • Don’t wear celebrity endorsed perfume or cheap body sprays: They are too sweet, overpowering and smell like a school locker room. Not to mention whichever celebrity is on the bottle will have had little to no involvement in developing the product. Invest in a lovely perfume that makes you feel gorgeous inside and out when you wear it.
  • IMPORTANT: CLEANSE: The most important thing you can do for your skin. Especially when you have teenage hormones messing around with the balance of oils and sebum in your skin. Cleanse, (clean!) your skin twice a day and NEVER sleep in makeup. Like EVER. You’ve been warned. 
  • Protect your skin: Sunscreen probably doesn’t feel that important to your right now, especially if you like to have a tan, but most sun damage occurs before your 21st birthday. It may seem like a boring chore that you don’t ever see yourself doing but believe me, you’ll save yourself hundreds of pounds in anti-ageing creams when you are older. Prevention is better than cure. To delve into the topic a bit more see my previous blog post http://www.thebeautyumbrella.com/the-truth-about-sun-cream/ 
  • Don’t go on a sunbed: Don’t be tempted. Sunbeds inflict TWELVE times the level of UVA (the skin-ageing rays) on your skin. It surprises me, in this day and age, that they are still legal. *Blog post about fake tan coming soon!*
  • Don’t use too much heat on your hair: Curlers and straighteners are great for styling but everyday use can create split ends and dehydrated hair. On days where you haven’t got much on, opt for plaits or let it dry naturally! 
  • Don’t Bleach your Hair: Changing your appearance will be at the top of your priorities but so should keeping your hair healthy. Whilst you are young, try not to use harsh chemicals on your hair as this will damage it, making it thinner, easily snapped and dehydrated- all of which isn’t easy to work your way back from.
  • Hair Extensions: Clip in hair extensions are a great way to change up your look but don’t wear them everyday. Trust me. Between the ages of 15 and 18 I wore them everyday and it thinned out my hair so much. I’m 24 now and my hair is still fairly thin and falls out a lot. Same goes for glue in hair extensions, bonds and weaves. Anything heavier than your natural locks will take its toll!!
  • Be kind to your skin: It’s your body’s largest organ and certainly the most attractive! Value it, look after it, respect it. Keep it hydrated, don’t scrub too hard, and please don’t start smoking! You only need to look at the difference between two people the same age, one smoker and one non-smoker to know why. 
  • Don’t get a tattooyet. I love tattoos, I have four. I love three of them. The ones I spent a long time thinking about, the ones I planned out, the ones I drew in different ways, the ones I got when I was older, are the ones I love. The one I got in a rage after an argument with my mum, only a few days after my 18th birthday, that one is embarrassing. Don’t ever do it in a rush or when you are angry. Wait till you meet the right artist, you have the money to pay for a professional and you are 100% sure that’s what you want on your body forever!
  • Experiment: Before the constraints of adult life start to make you feel self-conscious about your appearance, (I truly hope they never do) try whatever you fancy and get creative!

The Beauty Umbrella offers bespoke packages for teenage makeup parties and one-to-one lessons. We take age into consideration and focus on teen appropriate lessons such as finding the right shade of foundation and creating a skin regime that can help problem skin. This can be a great gift to inspire and educate teenagers in the world of beauty.

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Holiday Makeup

Knowing what makeup to bring with you on a sun holiday is always a struggle. Your normal beauty routine never successfully translates in a warmer climate. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Here are some make up tips and tricks that will have you feeling your best in every holiday snap.

It’s the end of another blissful day in the sun. You’ve showered the sand off and look in the mirror to find you’ve caught the sun. Your UK foundation is now two shades too light and your normal moisturizer is sliding off your face faster than you can put it on. Nightmare, right?! Well, not if you change things up!

Using an oil-free after sun or moisturizer will help take care of your skin after sun exposure without leaving you feeling oily. A personal favorite is an ultra-moisturising after-sun ‘Rescue Balm’ from Clinique, which contains aloe to help soothe sun-exposed skin. It also helps to reduce the look of peeling after sun exposure. It’s suitable for face and body, plus the balm is oil-free and non-acnegenic. Please don’t skip this step in a bid for a matte complexion, as your skin will need a drink after being out in the sun all day. There are several cooling, mattifying gels available to help reduce shine. These can be layered on top of an oil-free moisturizer or after sun. The best I’ve come across is Benefit’s Porefessional Matte Rescue.

That brings me onto the next ‘go to’ product that will make all the difference. Benefit’s Porefessional primer. This product is like poly-filler, making every fine line, pore or blemish instantly smoothed out. This is a great option for every skin type and will also look great when worn alone. It has no colour, so if you are someone who doesn’t wear a lot of foundation, (or none at all whilst on holiday), look no further than this product for your base.

If you are a foundation-lover, you need to make sure that your colour stays matched. This isn’t an easy job; especially when the light you find in hotel rooms is less than adequate. The quick fix for this is liquid foundation and liquid bronzer. Taking a liquid bronzer or a product equivalent will enable you to darken your foundation day by day as your tan deepens in colour. Benefit’s ‘Dew the Hoola’ does a wonderful job of illuminating your skin whilst deepening the colour. This can be mixed in with your foundation, added on top of foundation, or worn alone to give you an instant tan with sheer coverage. Using this with a large synthetic ‘buffing’ brush is the best way for even application.

When it comes to eye shadow, you should either go all-out with an eye shadow base that will lock that powder on or go for a cream shadow that will set and not crease. My recommendations for eye shadow bases are… Smashbox’s 24hr Primer for eye shadow beginners and P Louise Base for intermediate to advanced eye shadow artists. Below is an example of how this product helps your eye shadow application and staying powder.

For cream shadow, you want to make sure it isn’t going to separate and crease in the fold of your eye lid during wear. I don’t recommend using an eye lid primer with a cream eye shadow; they usually have this ‘built in’, which helps with faster application. The best ones I’ve come across are: Benefit’s Creaseless Cream Eye Shadow, (the shade ‘Birthday Suit’ is gorgeous on all skin!!) or Charlotte Tilbury’s Eyes to Mesmerise (The ‘Rose Gold’ shade is beautiful). These cream shadows can be applied quickly with your fourth finger and look effortlessly stunning.

 

 

 

 

A natural powder contour goes a long way on holiday and is a great way to accentuate your features and define your face shape. A dusting bronzer on the cheekbones, with a nice bright blush on the apples of the cheeks, will add dimension and a pop of colour whilst still not having a lot of makeup on. Personally, I love highlighter and would make myself shimmer as bright as a disco ball everyday if I could, but I know it’s not everyone’s thing! Optional: add some powder or liquid highlighter to your cheekbones, down your nose and on your cupids bow if you want some added sparkle!

My last couples of tips are that waterproof mascara goes without saying if you want to avoid smudging! Take a cooling spray or matte setting spray out with you in your bag in case you get a bit oily; it’s a great idea to cool yourself down. Urban Decay does the best setting sprays! (…and I’ve tried a lot of different setting sprays!) And finally, it wouldn’t hurt to match your lipstick to your outfit for a pop of holiday sass!

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For the bride to be…

If you are getting married soon, the chances are you’ve thought about hiring a makeup artist for your big day. There are pros and cons to doing it yourself and to hiring a professional. Doing it yourself is cheaper and is a great option if you are getting married abroad. However, hiring a makeup artist will help you feel pampered and take some stress out of the ‘getting ready’ process. Whichever you decide, this blog will help you navigate bridal makeup and the key things you will have to decide on.

First, what is your style? Are you a total bare-faced babe Monday to Sunday? Or are you someone who won’t leave the house without your brows drawn on? Whatever your day-to-day look is, you want to feel special on your big day, but you don’t want to look so far from your ‘norm’ that it freaks you out! You want to look like the best version of yourself, that is where you will feel at your most comfortable and this is what you should discuss with your makeup artist. Personally, I like to ask my clients to show me a picture of themselves where they really loved the way they looked. Then I ask them to show me a picture of some bridal makeup that they love and would like to try. This is where I first draw inspiration from and that is a good starting point.

False lashes are one of the first decisions you’ll be asked about. First, let’s cover your options:

  • No false lashes- use some eyelash curlers followed by lashings of mascara. Very natural look.
  • Temporary individual eyelashes- small clusters of 3-4 lashes can be glued on with normal eye lash glue to the lash line. These look natural and are easily removed the same as strip lashes.
  • Strip lashes- come in a variety of lengths, thicknesses and brands. They are glued down in a strip to the lash line and can be removed easily. They are for brides who want more of a glam look or wear them day to day anyway.
  • Eyelash extensions- these lashes are called a variety of names: mink lashes, Russian lashes, permanent lashes, but they are all the same technique. These must be applied by a professional beautician and last for several weeks. They will fall out sporadically after 2-3 weeks and can be ‘infilled’ or ‘topped up’ by a beautician. You can also go to a beautician to get them all removed. These are a great option if you are going on honeymoon straight after your big day.

If you still are unsure what option will suit you best, try them out. Wear some lashes for a day for the same duration as you will be wearing them on your wedding day. If your eyes won’t stop watering, they slide off or feel uncomfortable, chances are they aren’t for you. However, wearing lashes is something you must get used to, so if you do want to wear them but have all these difficulties, persevere and you will become a pro. Same goes for application- practice makes perfect. If you are planning on gluing them on yourself make sure you practice a lot and if you want a makeup artist or a friend to do it, allow them to practice several times before the big day too.

What to wear on your lips another important decision to make. You want a perfect pout, but you also want to be able to romantically smooch your new hubby without covering each other in makeup! Here are some options:

  • Liquid-matte lipstick- You’ll need to try a few different ones out. They should hold throughout kissing and drinking but will require re-application after eating. Quite a glam, full-coverage lipstick.
  • Lip-gloss- A soft lip-liner paired with a gloss is a great option to give your lips a natural shine. Make sure it’s not a sticky one!! Not noticeable when it comes off and easy to re-apply.
  • Satin Lip Stick- Avoid!! This will come off when kissing, drinking and eating.
  • Lip Stain- My go-to product is Benetint by Benefit. It’s a bridal favorite! You put a few coats on to make it as light or dark as you want the colour to be. Then you add a nice balm on top, just a Vaseline or a tinted stick of balm will do. Keep topping the balm up throughout the day, which is very easy to do and the colour will stay. This is a natural look and it won’t smudge or come off.

I’ve had a few brides who have found it hard to find a natural bridal colour for their lips as their natural lips are quite red or pink in colour. If this applies to you, you need to find a colour that either matches your natural lip colour or go for a simple stain or gloss. (See above)

Foundation is hard to get right on any given day, let alone on your wedding day! Here are some things to know:

Ordinarily I’m a massive advocate of sunscreen, (just read my last blog post!) However, on your wedding day, (it’s literally the only day in your life I would tell you to do this) avoid foundations with SPF built-in or additional sunscreen on your face. Unfortunately, they’re just not photo friendly! The bulky particles within the composition of SPFs don’t always sit smoothly on the skin but more importantly, are a nightmare with cameras. When the camera flashes, the zinc molecules in SPF reflect the light, causing skin to look white and ghostly. For the sake of good pictures, forgo the sun protection and just stay out of direct sunlight if it’s a gloriously bright day.

My ultimate bridal foundation recommendation is the crème de la crème of cult favourites. Giorgio Armani’s dearly beloved foundation has been praised by editors, makeup artists and celebrities for years—and with good reason. Pros: Micro-fill technology, weightless texture, has an iconic silky finish and it doesn’t have SPF! Cons: It’s light to medium coverage, which isn’t even a con if natural is what you are going for! Perfect for mature, young, dry or sensitive skin types.

That brings me onto my second recommendation which is Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty Foundation. Fenty’s epic foundation made waves last year when the brand set the new gold standard for shade diversity, but this foundation without SPF also set the gold standard for super-flattering application and wear. Offering medium to full coverage and a plush matte finish, climate adaptive technology also ensures sweat and humidity resistance and an airbrushed result. This will be more suitable for a bride with rosacea, oily, or blemished skin.

 

 

A few more foundation top tips:

  • Wear a smoothing primer underneath (Recommend Porefessional by Benefit)
  • Apply it with a beauty blender, not a brush. (Promotes even application and no brush strokes)
  • Test in advance to make sure you have the correct shade.
  • Test shade AFTER you have trailed a spray tan if that’s your thing!
  • Blend into your neck!!!
  • Take some photos of yourself with it on, out in the natural light, to get a good idea of how it sits on your skin.
  • Try wearing if for a whole day and see how well it lasts for you.

Another factor to contemplate, is that you will have photos of your wedding day forever and styles will change. The more classic your look, the more it will stand the test of time. Winged liners and cut-creases are fashion trends that will eventually date your look. There is nothing more beautiful that a natural looking bride. This doesn’t mean you can’t play around with your look though! Match your blush to your bouquet, or your lips to his tie. Little hints of colour here and there will be picked up by your photographer and will be more subtlety appreciated than a smokey eye or a scouse brow!

At the end of the day you want to feel comfortable and a more polished version of yourself and your makeup is so important in helping you do that. And don’t forget, The Beauty Umbrella is on hand if you should need some help!

Here are some beautiful brides we’ve helped!…

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The Truth About Sun Cream.

Whether you live in Scotland or Singapore, sunscreen needs to be a part of your daily skincare routine. Sunscreen protects against solar radiation, in particular UVA and UVB rays. Other forms of radiation include infrared and high-energy light and some creams will protect against these also. Many people think that they only need to wear sunscreen in the summer, which could not be further from the truth. On cloudy winter days there is still ultraviolet radiation from the sun and up to 80% of ultraviolet light can penetrate clouds.

The two main repercussions of not wearing sunscreen are simple- skin cancer and premature ageing. Ever heard the phrase prevention is better than cure? Well in this case it’s cheaper too! Anti-ageing products don’t come cheap and a very small percentage of them are proven to be effective.

“Altruist Dermatologist Sunscreen SPF 50 is my family favourite, as my partner has very sensitive skin.”

When looking for a good sun cream, it’s important to understand what the numerical values mean. Sun Protection Factor (SPF) is simply a measure of the ability to protect against UVB radiation. UVB damages the outer layers of the skin, (which we know all too well is called sun burn) and is very painful and uncomfortable… not to mention bad for you. The SPF is a theoretical multiplier of the amount of time you can stay in the sun without getting burnt. So if your unprotected skin starts to go red in 10 minutes in the sun, an SPF 20 will theoretically allow you to stay outdoors for 200 minutes. Understand? So, twenty times the original duration of ten. Factors can contribute to this figure being inaccurate, such as what condition your skin is in, distance from the equator, altitude, time of year and the most common factor- people simply not putting enough on! Then you have to remember that swimming, clothes coming on and off and towels will rub the cream off, so regular re-application has to be maintained.

With that in mind, please read this bit because it’s important! Using an SPF 30 will not provide twice as much protection as using SPF 15, the same as a factor 20 is not twice as good as a factor 10.

  • SPF 15 blocks about 93% of UVB
  • SPF 30 blocks about 97% of UVB
  • SPF 50 blocks about 98% of UVB

So as you can see, there is very little difference between an SPF 30 and an SPF 50. There is also no sunscreen that gives 100% protection against the sun. Another common myth about sunscreen is that you won’t get a sun tan if you wear it. This is not true. You will get a tan, and it won’t make a difference if you are wearing factor 15 or factor 50- as we’ve just proven there isn’t much in it. So slap on factor 50 if it does the same thing and enjoy being able to stay out in the sun longer than you could if you had only put a factor 15 on! In essence, the lower the factor, the more you will have to re-apply to stay safe. Some people tan quickly, some don’t. Don’t put yourself at risk to rush something that will come at its own natural pace. (I promise to do a blog post on fake tan very soon!)

SPF also never gives you any indication whether a sunscreen is also offering you protection against UVA. UVA rays penetrate the skin deeper than UVB and are the rays typically associated with ageing of the skin. Sunscreens sold in the EU have a ‘star rating’ for UVA or ‘UVA logo’ on the label. It is becoming more common now for sunscreens to contain both UVA & UVB protection so always go for that option where possible. In the UK, whilst UVB levels fluctuate with the seasons, UVA remains relatively static throughout the year. UVA can also penetrate windows so if you spend a lot of time driving or sitting by a window it’s worthwhile wearing sunscreen all year round.

“This is my everyday facial sunscreen, it’s hard-core sun protection but dries quickly.”

Moving on to your face. You want to make sure you are wearing a minimum of SPF 15 with UVA cover, on your face everyday. SPF 15 is fine for those with olive or darker skin types and SPF 30 is suitable for most white, Caucasian skin. Very fair, pale skin could benefit from increasing to an SPF 50. Lots of products such as moisturiser and foundation have SPF added, as you have probably already noticed. However, the truth is that most of us do not use enough of our cosmetic product to achieve the same SPF as a sunscreen alone. Generally living in the UK, combined products are fine to use in the winter, but come summer switching to using a separate sunscreen is a must.

If you regularly exfoliate or you work outdoors, you are definitely better off with a separate, regular sunscreen. If you spend more than twenty minutes a day outside or live nearer the equator, the same applies. If you do exfoliate regularly, always remember to do it at night and not in the morning. If you scrub off all the dead skin cells in the morning, your skin is fresh and more vulnerable to burning and being damaged in the sun.

  • Oily skin types should opt for sunscreens with a matte finish and light gel or fluid texture
  • Dry skin types should opt for rich creams and balms
  • Sensitive skin types might find sunscreens with titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are better than those with chemical filters.

Sunscreen is the last skin care product applied before makeup. Sunscreen goes on AFTER moisturizer. You should use about half a teaspoon of product to your face and neck. This needs to dry for three to five minutes before applying primer or foundation. So slap some on and go and brush your teeth- that’s what I do!

Thanks for reading this blog! Sun protection is something I think is so important to educate our children and ourselves about! I get most of my scientific knowledge and research from what I learnt during my degree and also from reading The Skincare Bible by Dr Anjali Mahto, a UK dermatologist. Please like, share and learn!!

*Due to the nature of today’s blog, here is a ‘no makeup selfie’ with my crew enjoying the sun, with little Esme laying on the cuteness factor 50!!

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Are you wearing the right foundation?

Choosing a foundation is a mixture of finding a product that works for your skin type, your beauty regime and your application ability.

  • BB Cream- suitable for young, oily and combination skins. Suitable for fans of a low maintenance beauty regime and those with little time for grooming. Not suitable for dry, dehydrated or mature skin. I recommend Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream.
  • CC Cream- suitable for most skin types and ages. Not suitable for very dry or dehydrated skin. It’s supposed to help blend sunspots and, pigmentation problems but I’ve never found one that actually works. For  that reason, I won’t even recommend one- Foundation works better.
  • Tinted moisturizer- is suitable for most but if you have oily skin, use an oil-free version. Good for summertime, holidays, and casual wear. Not suitable for severely blemished skin or uneven skin tones. I recommend Laura Mercier oil-free Tinted Moisturiser. 
  • Sheer Foundation- suitable for most people with clear skin. Also great for anyone who wants a natural look- for instance it’s great for women with freckles who don’t want to cover them up. Not suitable for severely blemished skin. Light liquid coverage, I recommend Benefit’s Foundation- I worked on the Benefit make-up counter for many years and this works great as a sheer foundation. The only bad thing about it, is that Benefit try to market it as a medium foundation, and it quite simply, is not!
  • Liquid foundation- suitable for everyone (oily skins should opt for an oil free liquid formula for better staying power.) Medium coverage and is a great first time foundation. It will blend out unevenness, cover small blemishes and there are different ones for different skin types. Great recommendation is YSL Touche Eclait, as it is light reflecting and looks gorgeous on 90% of people. For a fuller coverage foundation and staying power for nights out, I recommend Smashbox Studio Skin, which also comes in a refreshingly large variety of shades.
  • Mineral Foundation Powder- is suitable for most. People with sensitive skin, those with rosacea, acne or women who have neither the time nor inclination to cleanse thoroughly before bed. Not suitable for dull skin tones. I recommend Bare Minerals Original.
  • Cream foundation- is suitable for dry, normal, combination or heavily blemished skin. Not suitable for oily and young skins. Heavier coverage and great for “out, out” makeup. Chanel’s cream foundation is the one I would recommend if you needed a cream foundation.
  • Powder Foundations- are suitable for oily, normal or combination skins. But not suitable for mature, dry, dehydrated or dull skin. Can be used on top of a liquid foundation for extra coverage and staying power. There are so many products I would recommend for powder foundations. For translucent, loose powder to set make-up, it would have to be Kryolan or Huda Beauty. For pressed powder, I recommend Benefit, Smashbox, or Mac Studio Fix.

There are of course so many more products that are great- these are just a few to mention to give you an idea of what to start with. Each face is different and something that works for one person may not work for someone else. However, with trial and error and a little help from us, we’ll help find something that works for you!

Get in touch via info@thebeautyumbrella if you need help finding the right foundation for you!

*As promised a picture of some makeup I was proud of and l loved how my foundation looked here. So a perfect match to the blog topic!

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Don’t get fooled!

This week’s blog is all about the terminology that catches us out. Most labels are there to look pretty and entice us to buy the product. But how much of what is written is true? How much of what we read has real meaning or value? And how many products are we buying under false pretenses?

The first thing to remember when shopping for skin care, hair care or makeup is that magazines and advertising have close relationships with PR companies. PR companies work for beauty companies. So, beauty companies pay PR companies lots of money to promote them, therefore most of the quotes you read in the speech bubbles by this ‘expert’, or that ‘celebrity’ are indirectly sponsored. The truth, is rarely posted in big bold letters. The point I am making is, that the ‘experts’ are rarely actually ‘experts’ and this does make it super confusing to ever get sound medical or scientific advice about what you are buying. I recommend to anyone having trouble with their skin, read Dr Anjali Mahto’s book called ‘The Skincare Bible’. She is one of the UK’s leading dermatologists and this book has been my bible whilst learning about skin care over the years. Link below, Amazon £9.76.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Skincare-Bible-No-Nonsense-Guide-Great/dp/0241309107/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1539788941&sr=8-1&keywords=the+skin+bible

Brands take advantage of the fact we don’t understand the long scientific terminology they print on their packaging and therefore usually baffle us. I will reference some quotes that have helped me through the minefield that is the skincare aisle.

“Hypoallergenic: This is a manufacturer claim that a product will cause fewer allergies than others. It is not, however, a legally binding term; there is no minimum industry standard to prove the product causes fewer allergic reactions.” Mahto, A. (n.d.). The Skincare Bible. p.47.

“Non-comedogenic: The literally means ‘will not block pores’ and is often found on the label of skincare for those with acne or oily skin. If an ingredient is comedogenic, it will encourage blocked pores and the formation of black heads. Traditional gold-standard testing for comedogenicity was carried out on rabbit ears. Chemical ingredients were simply applied to the rabbit’s ears and scientists would look to see if comedones or blackheads developed. Many cosmetic scientists and dermatologists felt it was inaccurate and misleading and many influential dermatologists later discredited its use. The EU has now banned animal testing and comedogenicity test commonly take place on humans.

The main problem with products labelled as ‘non-comedogenic’ is that, yet again, there are no industry standards or regulation… therefore, it can still clog pores.” Mahto, A. (n.d.). The Skincare Bible. p.48-49.

“Clinically proven: This means it is almost NEVER a robust clinical trial with a sound scientific methodology, an adequate sample size or appropriate statistical analysis.” Mahto, A. (n.d.). The Skincare Bible. p.49.

“Dermatologically tested: Another term deliberately meant to lead you astray. In the UK, there is NO legal definition of the term. According to the EU guidance, the implication is that a dermatologist has supervised the testing on humans. However, there are no standard tests for the safety of efficacy of cosmetic products.” Mahto, A. (n.d.). The Skincare Bible. p.49.

“Natural: Some have suggested that ‘natural’ should mean that at least 5% or more of the ingredients are found in nature. It’s definition, however, is not regulated in the US or UK. The biggest mistake I see is that people equate natural skincare with somehow being safer than products lacking the label. Botanicals’, herbs and essential oils can still cause irritation and allergies, and these are commonly documented in scientific literature.” Mahto, A. (n.d.). The Skincare Bible. p.51.

“Organic: The organic label in skincare is also not regulated in the UK. It loosely means a product with ingredients that are grown without the use of artificial chemicals. The majority of these types of products that are certified organic have non-organic ingredients also. As there is no legal definition and the various certification bodies have different criteria to meet for product labeling, there is no beauty industry standard.

Things are a bit better in the US, where the USDA (United Department of Agriculture) provides guidelines for organic labeling in cosmetics. For a product to be labelled ‘organic’, 95% of its ingredients must be certified; ‘organic-derived’ products need only contain 70%. Ingredients are listed in descending order of their percentage of a products composition.” Mahto, A. (n.d.). The Skincare Bible. p.51-52. So it’s always important to check the label.

“Some have concerns about having products with ingredients that are pesticide-free. However, there is little evidence to show that pesticides in skincare products can penetrate the skin barrier.”- Mahto, A. (n.d.). The Skincare Bible. p.53.

“Organic and natural skincare products are a choice. Some will prefer to use these as they feel like a healthier lifestyle option, and that’s okay. But remain mindful that they may not be any better for your skin. The label itself may not be the halo you first took it for.” Mahto, A. (n.d.). The Skincare Bible. p.53.

“Fragrance Free: This should mean exactly what it says on the tin but this is not always the case. The only way to be certain is to check the ingredients list.” Mahto, A. (n.d.). The Skincare Bible. p.51. Refer to book for list of fragrance ingredients to look out for if your skin reacts to fragrance and also be mindful that essential oils fall under a different category but will also contain fragrance.

“Free from chemicals: Now, this one is definitely a label to ignore. Technically speaking, everything is made from chemicals.” Mahto, A. (n.d.). The Skincare Bible. p.55.

Ah, we reach my favorite term we are seeing more and more of… “Vegetarian/Vegan: In the UK, there is no legally binding definition of a vegetarian or vegan product and you are very much relying on the manufacturer to not be making unsubstantiated claims. Organisations such as PETA provide a list of animal-derived ingredients to avoid; the Vegetarian Society has several approved products. It can be difficult to be entirely certain whether manufacturing process uses animal-derived agents that do not appear in the final product.” Mahto, A. (n.d.). The Skincare Bible. p.56.

This also depends on what you are looking for because cruelty-free products are different to vegan/vegetarian products. One is about whether that product has been tested on animals and the other is whether that product contains any ingredients derived from animals. It’s worth remembering also that just because a product hasn’t been tested on animals doesn’t mean that the ingredients haven’t been tested on animals individually.

“Preservative free: Preservatives are an important component of skincare and are added to beauty products to enhance their shelf-life by preventing the growth of bacteria, yeast and mold. Clearly, this is a good thing (and it would be far worse to not have them); smearing germ-contaminated products around the face or near the eyes is likely to lead to infection.” Mahto, A. (n.d.). The Skincare Bible. p.57. For more details on common preservatives see page 57 of the skincare bible.

So, take it from the dermatologist expert and not me. I have done a fair bit of research and can say I have found lots of evidence to back up everything she says in this book. Next time you go to the shops to buy a beauty product and you decide to buy a product that is £150.00 because it’s ‘Clinically tested’ or ‘organic’ make sure you know what you are buying. Also make sure a product isn’t being sold for a fraction of the price with the exact same ingredients on a different aisle!! I frequently go from high end to low end comparing products of all different prices and by doing that you can find some fantastic low budget products! I hope this blog has helped your understanding of label lingo!

As it’s October, here is a slightly more scary selfie from last years halloween!

 

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Why Do We Wear Makeup?

Why do we wear makeup? This is a question that I feel we don’t ask enough. Equally, I feel it’s a question that society presumes to know the answer to. Even someone who wears makeup regularly will judge other makeup wearers. Have you ever seen someone with what, in your opinion, looks like a lot of makeup on, and presumed they must have low self-esteem? Common misconceptions that people who wear makeup suffer from vanity, self-confidence issues or promiscuity need to stop.

Feeling your best often means looking your best, and this general rule of thumb counts for men, women, children and all whom are in-between. I have a beautiful step-daughter who is 6, and if she has a pretty dress on, some clip-on earrings and something sparkly, the way she carries herself noticeably changes. She will dance around confidently, with a smile on her face, and will enjoy catching a cheeky glimpse of herself in the mirror and she skips past. Is this vain? No, of course not. This is the most innocent image of self-confidence, self-worth and happiness. Now imagine doing this as an adult. You may laugh at the thought but isn’t this what we strive for? Wearing the right outfit, the right shoes, the right makeup can bring out the best version of ourselves and we can channel confidence, body positivity and happiness.

Anyone who can stand there and say, ‘God I’m glad I don’t have to spend hours putting that s**t on my face!” obviously has no idea of the joy makeup can bring to someone. Personally, my favourite thing about makeup isn’t even wearing it- it’s putting it on! The presumption that we drag ourselves out of bed earlier than we want to, to paint our faces just to try and impress other people needs to stop, as in most cases, this just isn’t true. Also, the notion that not partaking in skin-regimes, makeup trends and manicured nails somehow makes you better and less self-absorbed than someone who does do all those things, is just stupid.

The word feminism to me means two things; equality and freedom. Possessing the ability and freedom to create different makeup looks every single day makes me happy. I can go for a 50’s style one day, to Gothic the next and all that’s between, and quite frankly I feel sorry for the people who don’t exercise that right who want to! I feel that men may have the least amount of ways to change their appearance and more power to the ones who find a way that brings them variety and happiness!

Makeup is in the eye of the beholder and it is a tool to be used as armour, to be used as art and to be used however we damn well want it to be. I’m fed up of people assuming I only like makeup because I’m female, or because I’m vain, or because I want attention from men. I wear makeup because I love the way it makes me feel about myself and it creates a version of me that I want to show the world each day! I enjoy the quiet time I spend putting it on; I enjoy going to the makeup counters and buying beautiful products that come in beautiful little bags; I enjoy seeing my partner’s face when I’ve finished getting ready; I enjoy following makeup bloggers, artist and influencers and sharing ideas.

But most of all, I love sharing my knowledge with others and showing other people how to make the most out of their make-up bags!!
I hope you enjoyed this blog post – feel free to share on your social media and, as promised in my first blog post, I will upload a picture for each post of some makeup I am proud of. This was the first time I contoured my collar bone successfully!!