Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Disposable Wipes - a costly convenience?

As a make-up artist, face wipes and wet wipes are a staple in my kit. They are quick and convenient to remove make-up after a job and are great for mopping up spillages and helping to keep the kit clean. With a huge amount of skincare brands offering their own facial wipes, they are also a favourite for many women to use at night and on holiday. Wipes are also fast becoming a regular in handbags and such as an alternative to washing hands on the go.

I recently found a very interesting read, 'Behind the label' is a column in The Ecologist, written by the editor Pat Thomas, he looks at everyday household products and their ingredients. For one issue he focused on Wet Ones Ultra Soft with Camomile Extract which are one of the highest sellers in the UK for adult wipes. Thomas says the wipes are meant to be effective against E.coli, Salmonella and Listeria on the skin, but once an unwashed hand touches the inside of the packet the germs can start breeding inside the packet. To deal with this, eight of the 25 ingredients are preservatives and antibacterials which can cause skin irritation, sensitisation and dermatitis as well as breaking down the skin's own protective barrier. Propylene glycol is high on the ingredients list, this is found in many cosmetic products as it alters the structure of the skin therefore allowing better penetration of products, it is also a main ingredient in anti-freeze and as you can imagine is a known skin irritant! I had a look at the ingredients in a few of the different wipes I had in my kit and it wasn't good, with many of the long listings featuring the whole of the paraben family, as well as propylene glycol and a whole host of other unpronouncable chemicals.

On top of the fact that these wipes are not great for our skin, they are also not good for the environment. Thomas' column also said "Figures from North America suggest that if you were to load all the disposable wipes purchased there last year on to 18-wheel lorries, the convoy would number 9,000 trucks, stretch for 68 miles, and would be carrying 83,000 tonnes of used convenience cloths". That is a lot of cloths! They also take a long time to biodegrade so although a quick cleanse for us, not for the environment, who knows how long they will be in the ground after they have been used.

Now we are used to the convenience of wipes it would be hard to stop using them completely, luckily there are alternatives available. I have been using baby wipes from Nature Babycare, these wipes have minimal chemicals and are biodegradable too. Beaming Baby also have a good range of wipes including facial cleansing wipes. So we don't have to give up our wipes just yet, as long as we make good choices in the ones we use and don't use too many!

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Purity search for two brand ambassadors

Purity Organic Skincare are on the search for two beauty and brains brand ambassadors to spread the word on organic skincare. If you've got a passion for all things organic, love this range and think you've got what it takes then have a look at their site for all the details on how to enter.

How green is green?

Here is a recent article I wrote for Clique magazine, exploring the 'greenness' of products.

With the green revolution still going strong, the interest in organic and natural cosmetics and skincare is ever growing. Is it just a trend to be green or are these products better for us and do they actually work?

What makes a product green? Is it the inclusion of organic ingredients, the exclusion of certain ‘nasty’ ingredients or is it the ethos of a company? How do we decide which ones are best - is there a shade chart to help?!

Click here to read the rest of the article.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Black Hair Magazine - Beauty SOS

I was delighted to be asked to answer some beauty dilemmas from some of the readers of Black Hair Magazine, one being on ways to tackle blackheads.

I think a good cleansing routine is essential in the fight against these little blighters. If you wear make-up and live in a city then cleanse twice, the first to remove make-up and daily grime, then the second to get deeper into those pores getting rid of any excess oil which can cause the blackheads. Try using a hot muslin cloth in your routine, after massaging the cleanser into your skin, soak the cloth in hot water (not too hot, you want it to be comfortable on the skin) and hold to the face. The heat will open the pores allowing your cleanser to really get to work, remove the cleanser with the cloth and then splash with cold water. The muslin cloth is also a gentle exfoliant which will help shift any dead skin which can contribute to blocked pores.

Exfoliating is a must when dealing with blackheads, using a muslin cloth daily will help but try something a bit stronger once or twice a week. Also invest in a good purifying mask to help decongest skin, I really like the one from Elizabeth's Daughter, this great mask only takes three minutes to work it's magic!

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Wahanda MobDeal

If you don't already know about Wahanda's MobDeal, you need to know now! Everyday Wahanda offers a different deal with up to 80% off spa treatments, haircuts, teeth whitening, gym memberships and yoga classes, if enough people sign up to the deal everyone gets it! I just bagged myself a Dr Alkaitis Skin Food Facial at Content Beauty and Wellbeing for £20 - usual price £75.

Check it out at Wahanda

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Spring Brights

The sun seems to be teasing us with spring this week, hopefully we can soon say goodbye to the winter and welcome the new season in. To help it along we can get in the mood with some new make-up taking inspiration from the spring/summer shows.

This season the runways were awash with bright lip colours. Vivid pinks were seen at Marc by Marc Jacobs and Topshop Unique, at Paul Smith they were multicoloured including blue and green, Dior went for a classic red while the girls at Prada sported a bright orange. So lots of fun to be had with colour this spring/summer!

Before you hot foot it down to the make-up counter, here's a thought. On average, a women will ingest between 4-7lb of lipstick in her lifetime. Not such a good thought. Make it better by trying a lipstick from a natural or organic range, with nicer ingredients these lipsticks are kinder on our lips, and if we must ingest them are definitely a better choice! If the thought of a natural lipstick conjures up boring browns and earthy tones, think again. Companies are now investing more time and technology into these brands giving us better quality and choice.

Garnet Red lipstick is certainly not a boring tone, this bright red matt is perfect for making a colour statement this season. Another bright to be seen in is Plant Love's Eve Pinky, this hot pink would not look out of place on the runway. If you're drawn to the orange side of the spectrum try Jane Iredale's Nicole or C.J. for a gorgeous spring pout.

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

This month I'm loving ......

This month I'm loving Korres Cherry Lip Gloss.

These gorgeous glosses come in 13 shades from nude to a lovely bright coral, perfect for the new spring/summer season. They smell divine and add a lovely shine without being too sticky. You'll also be pleased to know that they are free from parabens and mineral oil but do contain cherry oil which helps to hydrate lips and added vitamins E and C to help protect them.

Korres is a greek company with homeopathic roots, using natural ingredients in their products and avoiding synthentic ones where possible.