& Other Stories Sale // Bohemian Top Picks

I'm loving the sunshine at the moment but realise that we're inching closer and closer to autumn and you know what? it doesn't freak me out - I adore autumn but it's always sad to see summer end. This year I plan to introduce some autumnal pieces into my wardrobe early so the transition isn't so scary. 

I know I wanted some bohemian inspired pieces that were flowing. Ones that showed a little personality and could be teamed with absolutely everything and I managed to find the 'perfect' additions at & Other Stories of all places. Here's my top picks guys... 

& Other Stories

Moon Dress // a gorgeous silk printed dress with moons on it. I am seriously in love right now as I ''adore'' moons, maybe a bit weird but I can absolutely see this dress being teamed with a jacket for work, some cool accessories for the weekend etc... I realise this maybe a bit too modest for some but if you work in some leather and some heels that can't fail to make you feel sexy you're going to ooze confidence I promise. 

Brass Bracelet // Paper thin hammered brass bangles... I have never seen anything like this from any other brand and that's what interests me. I adore this although it may not look so great when it's worn? I really want to find out though. 

Sugar Crush Body Scrub // Bergamot and Jasmine scented body scrub, it's almost too dark and sexy for summer huh. I'm pretty sure this could be eked into the routine in time for autumn. 

Tassel Sandals // Simple black heels are perfect aren't they. I went through a phase of buying the most quirky heels only to find they went with nothing I owned as the patterns/colours clashed too much. I adore these because of those little tassels, these bad boys are never going out of style and with a £44 saving I know hubster will be pleased. 

Mini Purse //  A little leather - yes leather - purse bag with a £32 saving. 'Nuff said really. 

Strapless Bra // £14 saving on this multi-functional soft bra. This bra will leave you with a seamless look in any top. I actually purchased this exact bra and it's so-oo-oo-oo comfortable. 

Zodiac Top // Clean lines, a base of marl grey and the most awesome zodiac inspired print. It looks so soft but chic at the same time and will double as a dressier and casual top guys. Multi-function clothing! 

Wide Leg Shorts // What a con, I thought this was a gorgeous flowing skirt initially but was pleasantly surprised to find it was shorts. Shorts that look like a skirt in autumn - perfect combo, especially when it's windy. There's a £27 discount also and cream/beige goes with all shades, this teamed with greens, reds, golds, silver, deep pinks or yellows will look gorgeous. 

Cat Eye Sunglasses // These are a similar shape to the Ray-Ban Clubmasters but with a slight cat eye and I adore both types of frame style. These will look less harsh and poser-ish come autumn when most people are starting to put away their frames you can rock yours with style without any weird stares. 

Tarot Clutch // This clutch comes in three shades; black, red and mustard yellow. I ADORE this, it was this clutch that set off the rest of this wishlist guys and it screamed out to me - that rarely happens with clutches. There's a larger pic below... 

Asymmetric Blouse // Hear me out, the lines on this are going to suit all body shapes, it's the perfect blouse for teaming with any trousers from leggings, jeans to leather trousers - you name it! The cut is modest for sure but that deep slit gives it a bit of ooh-la-la. That colour is so autumnal, it's the perfect addition to any wardrobe, oh and there's £14 off! 

Let's just take a closer look at the Tarot clutch (which is in the sale guys). I am so in love with this as it's so quirky, it's easy to almost believe it could have been found in an old back street shop and previously belonged to a powerful witch eh. 

And a closer look at the moon print dress which has a whopping £31 discount on it at the moment *sigh* 

Everything is in the sale over on the & Stories website here but some items may sell out quite quickly. I'm just  trying to work out which items I purchase next because I am so in love with the dress, clutch and both tops. Did you see anything that took your fancy? 

Tutorial // {Royally Approved} No Loom Fishtail Bracelet

In the future kids will be taught about history, when they get to this era I'm pretty sure they'll have chapter upon chapter of 'Loom Band' info to read up on because the world has gone Loom Band Cray-Cray! Now that Kate Middleton has shown her love of the humble band there's no way the hype's ever going to die down, you can check the image of Kate with her royally approved band HERE

My sons also have gone wild for the humble dental band bracelets and as the doting mummy bear that I am I did feel it was my duty to learn how to craft these for my little dudes (plus I love crafting and bracelets are my 'thang'). A quick read up told me that these were initially invented by a doting dentist daddy who wanted to make something for his daughter so she wasn't bored, what a lucky little lady she must be especially now that daddies a multi-gazillion-billionaire eh. 

I've learnt how to do quite a few varied bands on the loom and off loom (because sometimes my dudes want to use the loom and I feel left out) but the fishtails my favourite as it's so easy to do, it doesn't curl up on itself and it doesn't snap easily, even with the cheap bands. If you're a lover of pattern the fishtail is the band for you, as you can see it really holds a good colour pattern if you stick to it (the neon band is the fishtail). So....... Here's the tutorial so you can be cool mummy or daddy too. 

You will need

You will need a selection of loom bands and a closure (either an 'S' or a 'C' closure is fine, they both do the same thing). I opt normally to use 2 official or thicker bands as my starter and end bands to give it some strength but you can use any loom suitable bands. 

You will also need 2 fingers OR a 2 prong item (folded fork, knitting needles, spool with 2 nails hammered in etc....). 

1. To start off the band simply add the band to both fingers in a figure of 8 as show above (right). 

I don't tend to use my fingers as I use my lucet - a lucet I suppose works in a similar manner to the loom band method but it's used with thread to create rope to make into bracelets, I've had it like, forever and absolutely adore it as you can put it down and come back to it if you need to go do something, you can't do that with your fingers. If you fancy getting a lucet you can do so here (it's functional even after the loom band craze ends). 

2. The figure of eight bands 'secure' the bracelets. From here on you will simply add bands, now that you have your figure of eight band you want to add 2 bands normally (no twist) as shown above with the pink bands. 

3. You're going to take the bottom band (silver) and pull it over the 2 bands above (pink) on both sides so that it sits in the middle. Now you have 2 bands on the lucet (or your fingers).  

4. The bottom band will attach to your closure. I chose the 'C' closure as I much prefer them for stability. You clip on your closure to both sides of the band (silver). 

5. 3 is the magic number with this band so now you want to add a buddy to those 2 lonely pink bands so you have 3 once again. Just like before you want to take your bottom band and flip it over on both sides as shown above, give the C clip a wee tug to tighten everything up. 

6. As before you add another band, then flip the bottom band over on both sides. Add another band and flip the bottom band over the other two on both sides. Keep doing this until you get to a length that's going to fit your wrist. 

7. When you get to your desired length you want to start finishing your bracelet. Notice I used a thicker silver band just as I did to begin with, this is my closure band. Pop on your closing band, flip over the bottom band (blue). 

Do not add another band - you will now have 2 bands only on your fingers (silver and blue). 

You want to now flip over the bottom band (blue) so you're left with only your closing band on your fingers. 

8. I tend to pull one side over to the other so your closing band is on one finger as shown on the left. Pop in another finger and stretch it so you can clip your C closure onto both of the silver closing band sides. 

Once you've secure the ends on the C clip you're good to go, take off your bracelet and voila..... you just loomed without a loom! Why not try making bands with your favourite colours, sports colours, your child's school colours or go crazy with randomness. I used a pattern of 2 colours each for the main image with neon loom bands, this bracelet above was created with one of each shade. You could try a pattern of 3 or 6 for a more banded look. 

Show me your bracelets guys... !

Benefit // New Products Updated - Majorette & Bathina

You know you're always going to get Benefit updates here, you just can't beat their packaging and marketing methods can you and I'm always drawn in. I know Benefit are popular with you lovelies so figured you'd want to know about the two new products that will be hitting the high street this September. 

The first is a gorgeous cream to powder blusher which aims to give the wearer the look of a natural flush, imagine a naughty 40's or 50's woman blushing after getting her bottom pinched - that's the look!! Majorette will be fragranced with a pom-pom peach and pomegranate fragrance so it may not be suitable to those with sensitive skins or those who dislike face fragrance, otherwise it looks incredible and sounds like something that's going to suit all skin tones and makeup application levels. 

Bathina is a moisturising hair and body mist that aims to hydrate gently. A few sprays and you're skin's suppose to be soft and smooth while smelling awesome - the scent was created with peach, Sicilian lemon, white blossom and a hint of velvet plum notes. 

Majorette will cost £23.50 and Bathina will cost £24.50. Both will be available at Benefit Cosmetics and Boots once launched. 

Lipstick Queen // Endless Summer Collection

The Endless Summer collection was inspired by the film of the same name which features two surfers based in the sixties - I mean sixties surfers! what's not to love right? The Endless Summer collection's was initially created with three shades but it lacked Poppy King's iconic red shade so Aloha was included into the mix recently. 

Summertime calls for SPF protection and a sheer wash of juicy colour - these lippies have exactly that. A smooth, non-sticky texture that glides on leaving you with an opaque pop of colour, Aloha however has a bit more colour than the other three and is absolutely a day to night shade. If you're a fan of tinted lip balms in the summertime for their hydration and easy application but miss the brightness of a lipstick then you're going to adore this collection. 

Pretty lipsticks aren't they. 

I adore Lipstick Queen's matte upscale packaging and really feel the inner pull to purchase all four of these. Pictured above is the initial three lipsticks that made up the collection, these shades are: 

Hang Ten // Warm sheer nude. 
Stoked // Sheer bright coral. 
Perfect Wave // Bright sheer, punchy pink. 

And the new baby is Aloha which is described as 'a bright sheer, fire red'. Here's the YT video showing these beauts in action guys... 

At the moment I can only find two online stores selling all four lipsticks in the UK - John Lewis and Space NK. I really want these because I know I would wear these for any occasion - casual, day, special occasions etc. I do have a tendency to purchase lipsticks but don't get much use out of them due to application being too fiddly (dark shades or matte formula's), or the occasion not being right, typically at these points I do pull out my tinted balms. These shades however I badly want to wear - I've never really got that urge before with a collection. 

What do you make of the new addition? 

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July 4th // Love & Celebrations

July 4th is a pretty big deal in America. Honestly, I didn't really know much about it prior to 2012 most probably because it didn't have roots in the UK. I've noticed that more people are making a big deal of it here in the UK and I really love seeing my American buddies online celebrating, getting into the spirit and having a great time. It's contagious. 

For those who aren't sure what July 4th represents this is what Wiki says... 
  1. We celebrate American Independence Day on the Fourth of July every year. We think of July 4, 1776, as a day that represents the Declaration of Independence and the birth of the United States of America as an independent nation.
Pretty amazing and you can see why it's celebrated. Over half of the readers of Sweet Elyse live across the big pond so this curated collection was done with you guys in mind...

1. The Cotton Bunting Company // Iconically American, this bunting would look awesome indoors or outdoors - bunting never looks wrong does it. 
2. Deborah Lippmann // Lady Sings The Blues is a gorgeous navy blue glitter, it's so precious huh. 
3. Clay Spray // White clay spray mask that's amazing!! I've used this before and it really is superb. 
4. Paul & Joe // Red Stiletto nail polish in a cute bottle, who needs a reason to purchase this?
5. Topshop // Vintage high waisted hot pants that are perfect for a July 4th barbecue, shopping trip or just chilling in the garden with some alcohol and nibbles. 
6. Sarah Hurley Designs // Frosted glass star earrings studs. You know I just want these because they're a bit different eh. 
7. OWL @ Topshop // Gorgeous navy silicone spray coated watch with rose gold details, this design looks good day or night casual or dressed up. 
9. I Love Retro // I've always adored rustic barn stars and this red is no exception. 
10. KS Jeweled // Star cut out ring, this is low stock so you can pick up similar versions HERE and HERE if it sells out. 
11. Too Faced // Colour intense eye shadow in Frilly Lilly, perfect for adding a bit of shimmer to the inner eye area, brow bone or wearing wet as a liner. 
12. Luna Lighting // Porcelain star tea light holders, so shabby chic and cute. 

Happy 4th of July guys. I wish you and your loved ones lots of love, hugs and kisses. 

Riddle // What's Your True Fashion Style

I love quizzes and when Laura from A Daisy Chain Dream blog let me know she'd created one for Riddle I knew I had to try it out. This quiz asks you a few questions such as your favourite colour, who your fashion icon is and how specific clothes makes you feel, while they do seem like pretty normal questions I actually had to stop and think for a moment and some made me realise more about my own style than I actually realised. 

Laura has long been one of my favourite bloggers and honestly she's such a beaut', you never read about her being snotty or thinking she's mightier than other bloggers (so many bloggers do this and it can be off-putting, it has put me off commenting on my favourite blogs before). She constantly changes up her features and I have to admit, I LOVE everything she buys - I may just hire her to buy all of my stuff if I win the lottery - Laura, you up for that if I win the lotto chicky? 

Show your support for Laura by visiting  Riddle here, if you want to test it out to see if it's en-point then you can do so by answering the questions directly above. What answer did you all get? I got RELAXED

JASON // Gluten Free Product Range & Review

It's no secret that I suffer from celiacs and I have been having a skin and hair care issue for so long, it's actually still on-going and really upsets me. I've tried changing my products, I've tried using little to nothing to using the most scientific products around. I've tried antibiotics, herbal treatments, liquid skin antibiotics (currently still using) and even apple cider vinegar (when you get that desperate walking around smelling like a chippy isn't the worst thing). 

I've cried over my skin, I've cried over my hair loss and I've had appointment after appointment with doctors with each giving different reasons, it comes down to hormones and allergies to simplify it. When I use a shampoo that my body doesn't agree with it affects me in a range of ways depending on the offending ingredients strength, symptoms range from itchiness (which drives me crazy), face ulcers, boils, face swelling, blood blisters, huge weeping sores and hair loss. 

For the past month or so every single day at bath time I've broken out in a flat rash on my stomach and my inner arms. I literally looked like a crazy woman in ASDA, crouching down reading the ingredient list on ALL brand they stocked when I ran out a few weeks back - the only product that didn't contain a whole paragraph of nasties was Timotei Pure (£1 ASDA's). Timotei Pure doesn't contain parabens, silicones or colourants but did contain SLS (which most high street stocked shampoo's do). I wasn't happy about the SLS but I was desperate! 

Trying it out I found my rash wasn't as bad, still faintly there but not as bad. It cleaned my hair but not as well as the Vosene did and I struggled to get the bubbles out, only noticing them when I was out and brushing my hair (after rinsing multiple times). Anyhow my hair looked clean, healthy and shiny and my fall out never increased. I was worried though because most brands such as this one do really well for one to three weeks and then my body ATTACKS! as though it enjoys me falling into a false sense of security. 

I decided to keep searching for something that would really work and work for longer than a month. I wanted the rash to be gone and further down the line, I wanted my clear skin and healthy hair back. This search lead to JASON's new Gluten Free range, I have been avidly searching for a gluten free range that look equally attractive. I literally spoke about this to my cousin six months back and I'm sure I mentioned it on here about the lack of brands taking into consideration gluten and wheat allergies and conditions especially given the amount of ingredients that come from these sources (Vitamin E, wheatgerm, butters, corn ingredients and keratin's etc). 

The JASON range is certified gluten-free but the GFCO and all are fragrance free. I picked up the shampoo and the body lotion for obvious reasons.  The shampoo costs £6.49 for a mahoosive 480 ml bottle and contains Babassu Oil, Vitamin E, Rosemary and Chamomile to help soothe the scalp and give shine back to the hair. 

You know what....? 

I got no rashes from this product whatsoever. It left my hair clean, shiny and soft although you have to use slightly more product due to it not having SLS in it - I'd rather use more product to get a good lather than use a little product with a ton of nasties in it, wouldn't you?

The Hand and Body Lotion costs £7.99 and also comes in a decent sized 250g tube. Again my skin has gradually been improving I do feel due to the liquid antibiotics, normally the addition of a new cream 'may' have left it breaking out of inflamed but this has soothed my skin so well, I also use this on my three sons and we've had no dryness, flakiness, rashes or other dodgy side effects which I do feel is due to the addition of Aloe Vera and Avocado Oils. 

JASON also offers conditioner, body wash and hand soap which are all sold at affordable prices. I am so in love with this range because it looks pretty left out (I know, I'm so sad huh) and it does what it's suppose to without causing upsetting side effects. 

I'm also impressed at the sheer size of the products - if you're a thrifty, mindful mama *high-five* or an avid skincare user you must give this a try as you will without a doubt see a positive change in your skin and scalp. Those with celiac disease or even wheat intolerance, don't hesitate to purchase or consider this as a viable and safe option because you do not want to leave it until the point of having to deal with a face and head full of ulcers. It's not nice guys - You may not have symptoms now but this doesn't mean things can't change quickly. 

If you want to check out the range you can do so on the JASON website

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The Environmental Toothbrush // Not So Environmental, But How Does It Compare?

Hippy mum alert - I'm very aware of beauty and hair care ingredients and really do care about what goes into the products I use because ultimately what goes into them will go into me. I became even more aware of these after having children when the realisation hit that I could have been steeping my children in a bath of carcinogenic ingredients *eek* While I realise that these ingredients won't cause major issues straight away I didn't want to leave it to change and have my sons deal with the repercussions of these products years down the line - to me they're pure little dudes and I do feel it's my duty to protect them as best as I can, if that means spending more on products that are better for them then so be it. When it comes to your health and your children I think it's absolutely allowed for the parents to be a bit cray-cray. 

So... that leads me to dental health. Without causing too much of a debate because I know it's a hot-topic I do purchase fluoride free toothpaste, we do use a Brita filter to get rid of any nasties from the tap water and if I could afford it I would absolutely get a fluoride filter. I also decline the fluoride brush on treatments that are offered to younger school children - the reason why? well, I make sure my children's teeth are cared for so they do not need to rely on the addition of chemically reproduced fluoride chemicals, after all it's in our water, food, toothpaste, air, dental treatments and it cannot be governed as such. There's no way to tell how much each child or adult for that matter is getting in a day but I can hedge a guess that it's way above the recommended daily allowance of...

Babies | O-6 months - 0.01 milligrams  & 7-12 months - 0.5 mg per day. 
Children | 1-3 years - 0.7 mg,  4-8 years 1.0 mg & 9-13 years 2.0 mg per day. 
Teens | 14-18 years 3.0 mg per day
Adults | 18 years and over 4.0 mg per day. 

There is around 1.5 mg of fluoride in a litre of water (estimation of course, it may be slightly higher depending on rain, build up etc or less depending on area etc). If you were to drink your daily allowance (2 litres) that's a teenager already at their recommendation without factoring in toothpaste, mouthwash, foods, medications etc. It's easy to see how most will be taking in far more than what's acceptable and causing untoward unnecessary side effects down the line. Fluoride to treat cavities? why not just brush and care for your teeth adequately taking into account your diet and health? If you're overly worried about teeth and bone health for your child you can add flavour free Vitamin D drops to your child's drink without the possibility of causing any further issues down the line. 

While looking for new toothpaste brands to try I came across these environmental toothbrushes and thought they'd be great to try out. These are akin to using natural bristled, soft hairbrushes in comparison to using hard factory reproduced plastic hairbrushes, chances are if you had the money you'd go for the brush that was going to do the job but not damage your sensitive and easy to damage hair, right? 

Most toothbrush bristles are made with nylon which can scratch and damage the enamel especially if you're a hard brusher and the plastics they're made from can cause BPA (more on that here). Natural toothbrushes such as this Environmental Toothbrush are made from bamboo which is a natural cellulose fibre, the bristles are soft but they really get into all the nooks and brush away any build up or stains on the teeth. 

First use I had to wash this as it tasted somewhat fragranced, I'm sure it was just the wood but once washed it was fine. I noticed straight away that I was getting more off when using this than with my older toothbrush and my teeth felt cleaner for longer - all day to be honest. Normally once I brush a few hours later I feel the squeaky clean feeling disappear. The head of the brush is larger but for some reason the it gets into the back of the teeth far easier than any others I've used also (electric, children's sized, dual brush and circular brush heads). 

I won't use another brand now I can assure you that, I may try other wooden-biodegradable-natural brushes to compare them towards this brand but as far as going back to plastic, nope I won't be doing that as I love how clean my teeth look - it's as though I've went for a scale and polish at the dentists each morning and evening. 

While this is recyclable, made from sustainable products and works exceptionally well, and I mean exceptionally well - I wouldn't class this as environmentally friendly given that it was designed in China, created in Australia and flown all over the world; the air miles alone dwindles it's chances of being really environmentally friendly. Maybe I'm just being precious but I do feel they should have marketed it more as a 'natural' toothbrush given what it's created from rather than it being environmentally friendly. 

If you want to give this a go you can pick it up on Amazon for £2.99, that's where mine was from and it was this exact listing that I used HERE. There are child versions and medium bristle options too. 

Maturing Beauty // Swaps & Tips

As we age our skin changes but our habits don't tend to change with us. So many ladies stick to what they know rather than assessing their skins needs and changing along with it which results in poor cosmetics application which can, depending on what's been used dates us *gasp* rather than enhance our natural beauty. I've spoken to so many older ladies who have emailed asking for tips and tricks for makeup application on maturer skins and after finding out what products they use I'm constantly told 'Oh I've used that product forever, it's always been a really good one' or 'I can't change from what I use' or 'Really, I don't think anything other than shiny eyeshadows would work on my skin

Ladies, it's time to throw out the old you. Forget what you used in your twenties on wards and start to use what suits you now! Walking into a shop you see an absolutely awesome crop top - one you remember having when you were younger, would you buy it? Chances are you'd never wear a boob skimming crop top even though you had one similar in your youth, why? because it doesn't suit you as an woman in this day and age; the same goes for your cosmetics. Just because something looks incredibly pretty, celebrities have worn it, bloggers have worn it and it's been touted as the next best thing in the magazines does not mean it will work for you. I know my heart broke slightly when I finally accepted that concept *sobs* but I promise you that these small changes will leave you feeling positive, confidant and sexy. 

You maybe wondering why I'm writing about maturing beauty, after all I look like a little kid in my photos and you'd be right. Although I am mistaken for being really young I am in my thirties, while I'm still young I'm no teen and years upon years of medications, poor health and stress have aged my skin more quickly than say my friends. Going through the menopause also resulted in my skin and body acting as though it was on par with many fifty year old and as soon as these changes happened I started to change my routine. I really believe that these changes can apply to all ages of course they're not going to be super exciting to a young teen or young adult but they will be beneficial to keep in mind for when they're skin 

I've notes some tips and swaps that you could easily do to change up your cosmetic routine to really enhance your natural beauty. Although if you feel you can go without cosmetics, and you're comfortable doing so I say rock your naturally gorgeous, bad self. 

Swap: Face powders  // Hydrating mineral based products (BB, Foundations & Concealer)

Why: Face powders were pretty huge in the eighties and nineties heading into the noughties as they gave the appearance of a smooth, matte base with only a quick dusting. These face powders do mattifying as they absorb excess oils in the skin, when you're young and natural oils are abundant it's OK (not ideal, but OK) to use face powders - as we age our skin dries up, gets loser and wrinkles. Powder can settle in wrinkles leaving your skin looking patchy and every fine line can look deeper and worse than it actually is *eeek* The maturing skin also looses the amount of natural oils it produces and adding a drying powder is only going to dry it up even more, not sounding so great now is it? Changing to a mineral based product will give you a sheer translucent look which will brighten the skin leaving you looking illuminated, healthy and youthful. 

If you don't need full coverage but still want to cover specific areas why not consider a mineral based concealer or light BB cream (which can be used as a concealer and a full face product if anything changes). 

Suggestions:  Jane Iredale Glow Time Mineral BB Cream | Artdeco Mineral Fluid Foundation | Artdeco Mineral Fluid Concealer | Bare Minerals SPF15 Foundation 

Swap: No base // Start using primer. 

Why: Primers create a base by smoothing the skin and giving any applied cosmetics something to adhere to - think of it like Polyfilla for the face (not glam I know, but it makes sense). It's fantastic for mattifying without completely drying out the skin, balancing the colour tone and temporary erasing the look of fine lines and wrinkles. Unlike face powders it's typically made from a silicone which still leaves your skin looking soft, dewy almost so you're never going to look aged while using this type of product. Normally I'd say forgo it if you can, especially if it's not needed as it's simply another layer but I'd absolutely recommend primer for maturing skins - if you can forgo foundation but still want a little something to enhance your skin I absolutely recommend using a base of primer as it will work wonders. 

Suggestions: Benefit POREfessional Primer | Maybelline New York Baby Skin Primer | Bare Minerals Prime Time Primer | Clinique Superprimer 

Swap: Go easy on the concealer // Change your application methods. 

Why: If you have a tendency to conceal most of the area under your eyes chances are you're highlighting your fine lines and wrinkles, or using a colour that's not correct drawing any passers by to your eye area (and those laughter lines). 

Prior to applying any concealer make sure you moisturise, moisturise, moisturise and allow that hydration to really penetrate your skin, this means apply and wait ladies. When your under eye is hydrated it enables you to apply and blend concealer easily before it settles into the lines and you actually use less product as you can work it over a larger area without it dragging. 

Another positive of changing your concealer is you can actually buy concealers that have a highlighting effect which is great to use on the inner corners of the eye, the brow bone, the sides of the nose and as you guessed, the line between your radiant skin on your cheeks and the border to your under eye that's looking a bit fatigued. When you apply dab a little onto the border and tap it gently into the skin with your finger and outwards towards your temple; don't go all the way up to the lower lash line as this will age you. 

Suggestions: YSL Touche Eclat Radiant Touch Concealer | Estee Lauder Double Wear BB Highlighter | Bare Minerals Well Rested Face & Brightener | Clinique Airbrush Concealer

Swap: Black eyeliner // Lighter shades such as brown eyeliner

Why: Black eyeliner can look very harsh on the skin especially as we age and everything 'softens'. As we age it becomes less about fashion and more about enhancing what our mamma's gave us and 

SuggestionsBare Minerals Round The Clock Eyeliner | Urban Decay 24/7 Glide Pencil | Artdeco High Precision Liquid Liner | Paul & Joe Liner

Swap: Over plucking & eyebrow abuse // Take care of those brows

Why: I know I keep banging on about the eyebrows being hugely important but let's face it (no pun intended) they really are so important as they frame the face and are initially one of the main focal points that everyone notices. As you age over plucking can lead to bald spots, irregular or weird shapes or thinning patches. Gently shaping and defining your eyebrows gives you a finished look while making your eyes the main focus.  

Try using a natural shade for your brow colour - it's advisable to go one or two shades lighter than your current brow shade so you don't end up looking like a HD Brow horror story. Pencils are great for darker eyebrows although I do feel felt liners look so natural and offer the wearer the opportunity to build up colour rather than a one shade suits all effect. Gels also offer a pop of colour and are perfect for all shades especially lighter brows, they help to keep your brows in place all day and enhance your natural colour, brushing your gel upwards will also give the effect of thickened eyebrows. 

If you have really thin brows and are a bit self conscious I absolutely recommend using Rapidbrow to help regrow these thinner areas and to get your natural brow shape back, it works really quickly and is so simple to use as it only requires you brush it on as you would do a mascara or eyebrow gel. Pluck away any stragglers and tidy up your shape but try to keep them as thick as they naturally are so balding and thinning areas don't worsen. 

Suggestions: Rapidbrow | Rimmel Professional Eyebrow Pencil | Tweezerman Slant Tweezers | Benefit Gimme Brow Gel 

Swap: Metallic and overly bright eyeshadows // Skin suitable shadow formula & shades.

Why: Metallic eyeshadows, especially in cream formulations highlight every-single-line in your eyelids. There really is no hiding with an overly metallic shade, similarly anything that's too pearlescent will give the same effect. To soften and blur the look of your eyelids try using a velvet or cream to powder formula that's going to work at evening out your colour tone and brightening up your look. Soft reflective pearls and shimmers are great for using on the inner eye area or higher up the eyes but as an all over colour, try sticking to satins, mattes or formulas with a small amount of shimmer. 

Suggestions: Laura Mercier Baked Quad | Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette | Benefit Sexiest Nudes Ever | Bare Minerals Ready Eyeshadow

Swap: Old mascara & over coated spidery lashes // Natural mascara shades. 

Why: Black mascara gives the lashes that long enhanced look but more often than not you're left with lashes that resemble spiders legs. As we age, drawing attention upwards to the eye area is ageing, ideally you want to enhance your lashes but naturally, you want to lengthen your lashes, naturally and you want to try and stay away from the overly faux look that black brings. During the day using a mascara in browns and warm shades gives the same lengthened lash look but without it looking too harsh - keep your black for evenings and special occasions. 

Suggestions: Clinique Lash Power Mascara | Guerlain Cils D'Enfer Mascara | Yves Saint Laurent Effet Faux Cils Mascara | Bobbi Brown Pretty Power Mascara

Swap: Not using cheek colour // Start using a natural toned blusher. 

WhyThat rosy pop of colour we get in our cheeks fades with age, adding that colour back synthetically will enhance your glow and radiance and yup you guessed it, give you back some of that youthfulness that most people want. Stick to neutral or natural skin shades for a sheer wash of colour that enhances but doesn't take over your overall look - ideally you want it to lift your face and not be hugely noticeable.    

SuggestionsLancome Subtil Blush | Sleek Blush by 3 Pink Lemonade | Bare Minerals Ready Blush | Rituals Magic Blush

Swap: Coloured liners // Nude and natural liners. 

Why: Let's face it, heavily pigmented liners are so nineties! That look does not look good now and honestly lip liners have come so far that you no longer need to purchase a ton of matchy matchy liners to go with your lipsticks. Heavy liners also highlight fine lines and because they tend to be darker than the lip colour it can make your lips look aged. 

There are so many nude shades and even invisible liners that work so well with mature skins, actually they work incredibly well with all skin types but are more useful in those who are a little bit older. Nothing looks worse than seeing an older lady who's worn a lipstick (tend to be a darker shade though doesn't it) and no liner, see the issue isn't with the lipstick it's with the bleeding it does into all of those fine lines and creases that seem to pop out of nowhere as we get older, highlighting the fact that they're there! Liners prevent the lip colour from bleeding out on to your face. 

Swap: No lip colour or dark lip colour // Start wearing colour. 

Why: Just like our skin, the pigmentation starts to dwindle in our lips and pale lips and pale skin can leave you looking washed out - not such a youthful look is it? If you have small lips dark colours can draw attention to your lip making yours look smaller while enhancing fine lines (especially in satin or matte formula's). Changing to a nude shade or a hint of shade will brighten up the area, choosing your formula well can also enhance a small lip and give you the impression of fullness where it maybe lacking.