How To Create The Best Skincare Routine For Your Skin

multiple skincare products

Who doesn’t want gorgeous skin? That’s something every woman (and man) struggles to achieve, but there are just so many different types of products on the market that choosing the right ones for you can be really confusing. Do you really need them all? And once you’ve got everything you need, when should you use them?

Fret not! With these tips, you will be able to create a skincare routine targeted to your own needs. Here’s how:

Know your skin type

Before you go shopping, it’s essential that you know what type of skin you have. Skin types include normal, dry, oily, combination, and sensitive. Your skin may also be two of these things at once. For instance, it can be both oily, prone to break-outs, and sensitive. Knowing your skin type will help you choose the best products to target its concerns. Sure, there are many products that claim to work for all skin types, but that’s rarely true. If you have dry skin, for example, a moisturizer designed for all skin types may not be rich and moisturizing enough for you.

Once you’ve figured out your skin type, you’re ready to hit the stores. Here’s what you need:

Basic skincare routine

Morning

1. Cleanser: a gentle but effective cleanser, such as Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser, removes all traces of dirt and impurities from the skin, leaving it clean and soft, and ready to receive the benefits from the skincare products you’re gonna apply next, which will now be able to penetrate skin more easily.

2. Sunscreen: the sun’s rays, some of which can penetrate through clouds and be reflected on snow, cause premature wrinkles, sun spots and other signs of aging. Sunscreen is therefore the best anti-aging weapon in your arsenal. But make sure it contains broad-spectrum protection! Not every sunscreen does. If you use a physical sunscreen (one that contains only Titanium Dioxide and/or Zinc Oxide), such as Sunumbra Sunkids SPF 40, you can apply it after moisturizer. Otherwise, slather it on before you apply anything else.

3. Exfoliant: exfoliants remove the dead skin cells that accumulate on the surface, revealing the brighter and smoother new skin underneath. If you use the Liz Earle cleanser with the washcloth, you may skip this step. Otherwise, if you have dry, normal or combination skin, opt for a gentle Glycolic Acid exfoliant. Those with oily, acne-prone skin will instead benefits from an exfoliant with Salicylic Acid, which has the ability to get inside the pores, removing all the gunk that accumulates in them. My favourite exfoliants are from Paula’s Choice.

4. Moisturizer: a moisturizer prevents skin from becoming dry, rough, and even cracked. They contain ingredients such as humectants that attract water from the environment into the skin, and occlusive emollients, like mineral oil, that creates a protective barrier that prevents water loss. This helps skin remain supple, hydrated, and younger-looking. If you have oily skin, opt for a very lightweight formula. Drier skin types will instead benefit from richer formulas (although they too can use something lighter in summer).

Night

A nighttime routine is very similar to a daytime one, with the exclusion of sunscreen, of course. If your skin is very sensitive and can take only a little exfoliation at a time, you may skip the exfoliant too. But you will still need to use a cleanser to remove all the gunk that’s accumulated on your skin during the day, and a moisturizer to keep it soft and smooth during the night too.

Advanced skincare routine

When you’re young, a basic skincare routine is usually enough. But as you get older, and your skin starts showing signs of aging, you may need specific products to keep your skin healthy and younger-looking for longer. And, of course, you can develop skin conditions, such as acne, at any age. Here’s what you should use to target all these concerns:

Acne treatment: use a product with Benzoyl Peroxide, an ingredient that can kill the acne-causing bacteria and reduce redness. If that doesn’t work, you may need a stronger treatment that requires a prescription. In this case, consult your dermatologist.

Anti-aging treatment: moisturizers and serums chock full of antioxidants and retinoids can protect skin from environmental and sun damage, boost collagen production and reduce redness. The result is smoother, brighter skin that stays looking younger for longer. There’s not an ideal age to start using anti-aging creams, but don’t leave it till it is too late. With the exception of retinoids (which, however, work very slowly), anti-aging products can only prevent wrinkles, not eliminate those you already have.

Skin lightening treatment: these treatments can, by reducing the overproduction of melanin (the skin pigment that causes skin to darken), treat brown spots, sun spots, or any other type of discolouration.

All these treatments, unless differently specified by your doctor or directions on the packaging, should be used both in the morning and at night, before your moisturizer. The only exception is retinoids. Because they make skin more sensitive to the sun, it is recommended to use them at night only.

Optional

Toner: the jury’s still out there on whether you need to use a toner. I believe that alcohol-based toners can do more harm that good, as they tend to dry the skin too much, which then compensate by producing even more oil. Toners with moisturizing and anti-aging ingredients, on the other hand, have some benefits for the skin. Personally, I prefer to invest my money in a well-formulated mosturizer filled with antioxidants, but if you’d like the extra boost a toner can provide, and don’t mind forking out the money for it, go ahead and use it.

Eye cream: this is another controversial product not every expert believes is necessary. Why? Because the ingredients that moisturize your skin, protect it from the sun, boost collagen production etc are the same in all types of skincare products, including both face and eye creams. That’s why I believe that, if the skin of your eye area is just as dry (or oily, or normal, etc), as that of the rest of your face, you can just keep using your usual face moisturizer. You’ll get the same benefits and save money. If however, the skin of the eye area has different needs, or if your face moisturizer contains fragrance, alcohol, or other irritating ingredients, then it’d be best to use a separate product.

Scrubs: some people dislike AHA or BHA exfoliants, preferring to stick to physical scrubs that remove dead skin cells with the help of little beads, grounded walnut shells, or sugar. These can’t be used daily. The frequency of use depends on how much exfoliation your skin can take. If you have dry skin once a week may be enough, whether those with oily skin may need to exfoliate three or four times a week.

Masks: there are all kinds of masks available. Some have anti-aging benefits, some help absorb excess oil (although none can remove toxins from the skin), while others simply moisturize skin. Masks should be used once or twice a week, or, if you have great skin, just on special occasions. It just depends on whether your skin needs the extra help or not.

Is your skincare routine basic, or do you use any special products to target particular needs?

Top 7 Misleading Cosmetic Claims

Cosmetic companies make all kinds of exaggerated, and even false, claims to attract our attention and sell us their products. Some are so ridiculously unrealistic that they’re easy to spot. But others are more subtle and cunning, bending and twisting the truth to make consumers believe that a product has some special benefit that makes it safer and more effective than the other options on the market.

Here are those that I find the most misleading.

1. Chemical-free

This is the one that irks me the most. It implies that there are cosmetic chemists that add all kinds of poisonous and toxic chemicals  to some products (although I can’t see why anyone would think that killing off their customers would be a good idea), and that therefore chemical-free cosmetics are safer. But chemical-free cosmetics don’t exist. Everything made of matter is a chemical or a mixture of chemicals.

That means that water is a chemical. Plants extracts are chemicals. The human body is made up of lots of chemicals. Any ingredient, whether natural or synthetic, in your cosmetic products is a chemical, and even its packaging is made up of chemicals. I admit I have sometimes, in the past, used the term chemical-free sunscreen for clarity reasons because it has unfortunately become a synonym with physical sunscreen, but I hate it. I don’t use it anymore, and neither should you.

2. Reduces the appearance of wrinkles

Pretty much every anti-aging cream and lotion on the market makes this claim, and it’s an accurate one. These products, usually thanks to brightening pigments or silicones that smooth out the surface of the skin so that it reflects light better, can really reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Appearance is the key word here. The claim simply means that the product makes wrinkles look less obvious, not that it gets rid of them (which is the way most consumers interpret it). When the effect of the cream is over, your wrinkles will still be there, as deep as they were before.

3. Helps reduce wrinkles/make hair stronger/boost collagen production etc

When companies don’t have any proof their products can address a certain problem, but want to make their customers think it does, they add the word “help” in front of it. Proving that a product can help do something is easier than proving that said product does that something. In other words, it allows companies to make almost whatever claim they want without getting in trouble.

4. Natural

When a company claims its products are natural, it implies that they’re safer than those made with “chemicals”, or, to use the appropriate term, synthetic ingredients. But natural doesn’t really mean anything. The term is not regulated, so companies can put whatever they want (unless it’s not harmful to health, of course), in these products.

But even when these products don’t contain synthetic stuff, are they really natural? What makes an ingredient natural anyway? A lot of natural ingredients undergo chemical processes that modify them and make them behave in a certain way. Would these ingredients still be considered natural?

5. Hypoallergenic

A lot of people purchase hypoallergenic products believing that they are gentler and won’t cause irritations or allergies. But that’s not true. Again, this term is not regulated in any way, and so cosmetic companies can add any ingredient they want in a product and claim it is hypoallergenic. This means that these products could still cause a negative reaction so, if your skin is prone to allergies or irritations, always check out the ingredient list to make sure it doesn’t contain the offending ingredient instead than relying on this claim.

6. Ph balanced

Another term used to make you think that these products are better and safer than other alternatives on the market. The truth is that pretty much any product is made in a range that is compatible with the neutral ph of the skin. And why would it not be? Should a product not be ph balanced, it would be too drying or irritating to use and no one would buy it. Unfortunately, because companies don’t add the ph balance information on the label, consumers don’t know this, and tend to fall more easily for the ph balanced claims.

7. Makes hair stronger

Most hair care products claim to make your hair stronger, but what does that mean? It’s not like your hair needs to lift any heavy weights or something. If you interpret it to mean that it can make your weak and damaged hair strong and healthy again, then I’m sorry to disappoint you. Once hair is damaged, it is damaged, and nothing can fix it. You’ll just have to cut it off and wait for it to grow out again.

Instead, products that claim to make hair stronger just make it less it prone to breakage when you comb it. How? Usually, it is thanks to silicones, which smooth out the surface of the hair so that the comb will glide through your locks more easily. And that’s something that any products that has conditioning properties does.

What misleading claims bother you the most?

How To Care For Your Skin In Your 30s

skincare tips 30s

I’m one of those lucky people who has always been blessed with nice skin. Only during my teens, I would experience some breakouts every now and then, but these were due to the wrong, and comedogenic, skincare products. Once I got rid of those, my skin was fine again, save the occasional pimple during that time of the month (ah, the perks of being a woman…).

But when I reached my 30s, I noticed some subtle changes. Some small fines lines are starting to appear around my eyes, and, as cell turnover starts to slow down (after your 30s, your skin takes 30 days, rather than 20, to regenerate itself), my skin is less bright and a bit more rough than it used to be.

I’m only 31, so these changes aren’t very visible yet. A lot of people still react surprised when I tell them my age, even when they see me without any makeup on at all, and say I still look like I’m in my mid-20s, which is quite nice. But, still, this made me realise that, when you reach your ’30s, it’s time to start thinking about anti-aging seriously (if you haven’t already). Here’s how:

1. Use a gentle cleanser

Using a gentle cleanser that removes dirt, makeup and other impurities effectively, but without stripping the natural oils that keep it moisturized, is something that you should be doing at any age. My favourite is Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser. It comes with its own washcloth, which also performs a gentle exfoliating action, although I sometimes use it without it. It works well both ways.

2. Add Niacinamide to your skincare routine

When you choose a moisturizer suitable for your skin type, make sure it contains niacinamide. This powerful ingredient reduces water loss and increases moisture levels in the skin, keeping it moisturized and soft. In addition, it helps reduces wrinkles and sallowness, is effective at treating hyperpigmentation (sun spots may start to appear around this time too) and acne, and can soothe rosacea too. And you don’t need to spend a lot to get your niacinamide fix. This ingredient is found in most Olay products. My favourite, for my combination skin, is Total Effects Day Cream SPF 15, but their Regenerist line is pretty good to.

3. Opt for serums or moisturizers chock full of antioxidants

Antioxidants such as vitamin C, vitamin E, green tea, and coenzyme Q-10 help fight free radicals, which are one of the main causes of premature aging. There is not an antioxidant that’s better than the rest, though. Instead, a combination of them is usually more effective at keeping fine lines and wrinkles at bay for longer. The Olay Total Effects line contains vitamins C and E, and green tea too, but I also use Paula’s Choice Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum. Whatever you use though, make sure it comes in an airtight, opaque tube or bottle (no jars!). That’s because antioxidants lose some of their effectiveness whenever they are exposed to light and air, and, eventually, become useless.

4. Reduce premature aging with Retinol

Retinol, like other forms of Vitamin A, can improve “fine wrinkles associated with natural aging“, stimulate collagen production, speed up cell turnover (thus helping reduce discolourations), and treat acne. Retinol too can become ineffective when exposed to light and air, so, again, opt for products packaged in airtight and opaque containers. Retinol can also be irritating, especially for people with sensitive skin, so start with a low amount and apply it only every other day. As your skin gets used to it, you can increase the frequency of application and dosage. Retinol can also increase sun sensitivity, so use it at night only. My favourite retinol product? At the moment, I’m loving Paula’s Choice Resist Intensive Wrinkle-Repair Retinol Serum, which is also chock full of antioxidants.

5. Exfoliate with Glycolic Acid or Salicylic Acid

As mentioned above, cellular turnover starts to slow down when you reach your ’30s, so using a good chemical exfoliant is more important than ever. Glycoli Acid removes the dead skin cells on the surface of the skin, revealing the brighter, smoother and even-toned layer underneath, giving you a fresher and younger appearance. If you have oily, or acne-prone skin, though, Salicylic Acid would be a better option. Unlike Glycolic Acid, Salicylic Acid can penetrate inside the pores, removing all the gunk that’s accumulated in them and that could, if left there, cause breakouts. Again, my favourite exfoliants are from Paula’s Choice. I think they are both well-formulated and reasonably priced.

6. Don’t forget the sunscreen!

Sunscreen is the best anti-aging product out there. There’s not much point in following all the other tips if you’re gonna skip this step, as you will simply keep inflicting new damage to your skin everyday. As we all know, UV rays can cause wrinkles, sun spots, and even cancer, so apply sunscreen daily, even in winter whem the sun is nowhere to be seen. UVA rays, the type that cause premature aging, are very sneaky because they can penetrate through clouds and glass and get reflected on snow, damaging your skin unseen. It can take years for the damage to show up, but when it does, it’s not pretty! So, protect your skin with  a zinc-oxide based sunscreen, like Sunumbra Sunkids SPF 40, which works by creating a shield on the skin that reflects UV rays away from it. Zinc oxide is also very gentle on the skin, and can be used by everyone, even those with sensitive skin that gets irritated easily.

Do you have any more tips on how to take care of your skin in your ’30s?

Why I Prefer Chemical Exfoliants

why prefer chemical exfoliants

I’m not a big fan of physical exfoliants. You know, those exfoliants with beads, walnut shells, seeds, or even sugar. I would use them a lot when I was younger, but I was never wholly satisfied with their performance. Then, I was introduced to chemical exfoliants, which work thanks to acids, such as Glycolic Acid or Salicylic Acid, that dissolve the “glue” that holds skin cells together, and I fell in love.

Although I still own a few physical exfoliants (I guess old habits die hard), I find myself reaching for them less and less often. I don’t feel the need to. Chemical exfoliants are so much better for the skin. Here’s why:

1. Chemical exfoliants are gentler on the skin

Don’t let the word chemical fool you. Not all chemicals are harsh and damaging to the skin. And when it comes to exfoliants, it’s the physical type that causes real damage. Some scrubs contain particles that are too big or have rough, uneven edges that can scratch the skin, leaving it red, irritated, and even bleeding. But even when these beads or shells are properly made, they can still irritate your skin if you scrub too hard.

A lot of people think that the harder they scrub, the better. More dead cells will come off and the brighter and smoother their skin will become. But if you scrub too much, you will be exposing the red and raw skin underneath that’s not ready to come to the surface yet. And that will be painful. And, unfortunately, chances are that you won’t notice the damage you’ve done to your skin until it’s too late.

Chemical exfoliants can cause irritations too. But, because they take more time to work, you can see your skin starting to slowly flake, or even become red. When that happens, you can wash them off immediately, before the damage becomes severe. And, next time, you’ll know that you simply have to use an exfoliant with a lighter concentration of Glycolic Acid (or whatever other ingredient the product is using).

2. Chemical exfoliants produce more precise results

How effective physical exfoliants are depends on what kind of particles they contain, how much strength you use to scrub skin, and how long you rub them in for. As mentioned above, if you use uneven, rugged particles, or scrub your skin too much or for too long, you will just irritate your skin. Physical exfoliants can still produce great results, but you need to be more careful both in selecting the right product and in how you apply it.

The effectiveness of physical exfoliants, on the other, hands, depends on the strength of the ingredients. Even if you apply too much, it’s the layer that’s in contact with the skin that does all the work. When a chemical exfoliant causes problems for your skin, it’s usually because the concentration of the exfoliating acids is too high. 20% Glycolic Acid, for instance, is not a really a good idea. But at a much lower dose, it will give you smoother and brighter skin without any side effects.

3. Chemical exfoliants are better for acne-prone and sensitive skin types

Physical exfoliants are so not a good idea if you suffer from acne. The friction they create when you rub them in will just irritate your already inflamed skin, making things worse. Instead, opt for an exfoliant with Salicylic Acid, such as Paula’s Choice RESIST Weekly Retexturizing Foaming Treatment 4% BHA. This ingredient doesn’t just exfoliate the surface of the skin, but also penetrates inside the pores, removing all the gunk that’s accumulated there. This helps keep oil production under control and reduces the risk of breakouts.

A washcloth is the only type of physical exfoliant gentle enough for those with sensitive skin. Anything else is very likely to cause irritations. If you don’t like using a washcloth, you can try a chemical exfoliant with a low concentration of Glycolic Acid, such as Paula’s Choice RESIST Daily Smoothing Treatment with 5% Alpha Hydroxy Acid, which is both gentle and effective.

The Bottom Line

Chemical exfoliants are gentler and provide more precise results than physical exfoliants. They are also more suitable for those with sensitive or acne-prone skin. If you’ve found a physical exfoliant that works well for you, there’s no reason why you should stop using it. But once you try a chemical exfoliant, you won’t likely go back. Not often, anyway. ;)

Do you prefer chemical exfoliants too?

Skincare Tip: Don’t Forget The Neck!

neck skincare tips

Did you know that your neck ages faster than your face?

That’s because the skin on your neck is thinner and contains fewer melanocytes and sebaceous glands.  Melanocytes are the cells that produce melanin, our natural defence against UV rays, while sebaceous gland  produce sebum. Far from being an enemy, sebum is simply the skin’s natural moisturizer. It’s what helps to keep it naturally soft, hydrated and supple.

Because it doesn’t produce enough of them, the neck is more prone to damage from the sun rays and environmental factors, such as harsh weather. That’s why, even when we diligently take good care of our faces, keeping the signs of aging at bay for that little bit longer, our necks will give away our real age.

So, what to do? Simple. When you apply your usual skincare routine in the morning and at night, slather the products on your neck too. And I’m not talking just about anti-aging serums or moisturizers. You neck needs to be cleansed and exfoliated too. But, most importantly, it needs sunscreen too.

You don’t need to spend a fortune on products specifically designed for the neck, like Clarins Advanced Extra-Firming Neck Cream, though. You can, if you like how they work, but neck creams aren’t that different from face creams. Your skin needs products loaded with antioxidants, UV filters and moisturizing ingredients, and these can be found in any well-formulated product.

Whether that product is called a facial moisturizer, a neck cream or an eye cream, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that it contains ingredients that are beneficial for your skin and a texture that doesn’t bother it. You don’t want anything too lightweight if your skin is dry, whether those with oily skin should stay away from anything that’s too rich.

So, next time you apply your skincare routine, don’t forget your neck. When you’re older, you’ll be grateful you didn’t. :)

Do you take good care of your neck? Do you use your favourite facial products or do you prefer to use something especially designed for this delicate area?

Does Waxing Make Your Hair Grow Thinner?

waxing

Waxing is not my favourite hair removal method. It’s too painful for a wimp like me. But if it could make hair grow back thinner, I’d suck it up and do it anyway. Unfortunately, that’s just a myth.

When you wax (or tweeze, for that matter), you pull out the entire hair, root and all. When that happens, the hair follicle starts creating a new hair. This new hair is exactly the same width as the one you just removed. And yet, it looks finer and thinner than a hair that grows back after shaving does. Why?

WHY WAXING SEEMS TO MAKE HAIRS GROW THINNER

The tip of a hair is fine and wispy. When you wax, the hair has to grow back from scratch, so when it reaches the surface, that’s exactly what you see. A thin tip. But when you shave, you simply remove the tip. The rest of the hair, which is thicker, will keep growing back from where it was cut off. Therefore, you see a thicker hair.

So, that’s why when you wax hairs seem to grow back thinner. But if you were to compare the widths of the new hairs that grow back after both waxing and shaving, you’ll find that they are exactly the same. Thinner at the tip, and thicker at the shaft.

If you like waxing, keep doing it. But if you’re thinking of starting because you heard it makes hair grow thinner, don’t bother. That’s just a hairy myth.

Do you prefer to wax or shave?

Product Review: Senna Do You Dare? Winter Collection

senna do you dare collection

Name: Do you dare collection?
Brand: Senna Cosmetics
Size: Eyeshadow 2g; Eyeliner 1ml; Lipgloss 4.28ml; Lip Liner 1.08g; Lipstick 3.4g
Price: Eyeshadow and Lip Liner $18.00; Eyeliner, Lipgloss and Lipstick $20.00

From Senna’s website:
Eyeshadow: beautiful light reflective finish gives buildable coverage that can be soft on the eyes or richly intense.
Eyeliner: the extremely fine tip makes lining smooth and easy for anyone. The quick drying, high payoff true black formula gives 14 hour transfer-free and smudgeproof wear. Curved grip pen gives total control so color applies evenly without bleeding or skipping. Easily create a very fine line or bold, thick dramatic looks.
Lip Liner: the soft and superb texture gives perfect crisp and clean definition that looks natural and lasts exceptionally long. Full textured formula provides a barrier to help keep lip colors from feathering.
Lipstick: this creamy cushion lipstick formula is velvety smooth, hydrating and comfortable with maximum color impact and long lasting wear.
Lipgloss: This moist and smooth vanilla flavored lipgloss formula applies high shine and color.

What I liked:
- eyeshadow has a sparkling finish and a soft texture that blends easily; lasts long with a primer
- eyeliner is very pigmented, longlasting and glides smoothly on the lid
- lipstick has great colour payoff and a creamy texture that lasts for hours on the lips
- lip liner is pigmented, creamy and longlasting; prevents lipsticks from feathering
- lipgloss has great colour payoff, a very shiny finish, a fairly moisturizing texture and impressive staying power

What I didn’t like:
- eyeshadow produces some fallout and, without a primer, the colour payoff is very sheer
- lipstick is not very moisturizing; after an hour lips feel a bit dry unless you apply lip balm underneath beforehand
- lipstick fades a bit if you have a light snack
- lip liner felt stiff and hard on the lips at first; fades if you eat or drink
- lipgloss has a thick and slightly sticky texture

Do you dare to wear a bold red lipstick or an intense cat eye look? Then, you’ll love Do you Dare?, the new winter collection from Senna Cosmetics. The collection is simple but daring, featuring only a handful of products that will help you achieve a glamourous look that won’t make you pass unnoticed.

senna silver lining glow eyeshadow

Let’s start with the eyeshadow. Silver Lining Glow Eyeshadow is a silver shade infused with shimmers. It’s very sparkling, but also very sheer. The colour is barely visible when used on its own, so I recommend, especially if you have a darker skintone, that you apply it on top of a primer. A primer will also make it last longer, ensuring the eyeshadow won’t crease throughout the day. Despite the shimmers, the texture is quite soft to the touch and easy to blend, but some fallout does occur.

senna pinpoint micro tip eyeliner

Instead, I didn’t find the Pinpoint Micro Top Liquid Eyeliner too easy to use, but that has more to do with my total lack of skills at applying liquid eyeliners than with any fault of the product itself, which is actually top notch. It has a thin and fine tip that glides easily on the lid, and leaves behind an opaque and dark black line of colour. Both its pigmentation and staying power are amazing. Once applied in the morning, it remains put, without budging nor smudging till night.

senna cream lipstick venetian red

The Venetian Red Cream Lipstick isn’t as creamy as the name implies. It does have a creamy texture that glides smoothly on the lips and hydrates them, but only for an hour or so. After that, I start to feel the need to apply a thin layer of lip balm. If you apply that before the lipstick, though, your lips will feel fine for the 5 hours it lasts (although it fades a little if you drink or eat). The colour is a warm brownish red with a nice, natural sheen and impressive colour payoff. It’s opaque in just one coat.

senna crimson lip liner 01

The Crimson Lip Liner could be creamier too. The first time I used it, its stiff tip didn’t apply smoothly at all and kept tugging. Luckily, I tried it again. Once the tip had been smoothed out, it turned out to be quite creamy. Not as much as I would have liked, but enough to glide easily, allowing for a flawless, smooth application.

senna crimson lip liner 02

The colour is a classic red with good colour payoff that could be used underneath a lipstick to prevent it from feathering, or with a clear gloss on top to give it some shine. This too lasts a few good hours on the lips, but doesn’t survive a meal.

senna maraschino lip lacquer 01

Last, but not least, the Maraschino Lip Lacquer. It’s my favourite product in the collection. It’s a warm cherry red with gold shimmers and a shiny finish that looks absolutely gorgeous on the lips. It has great colour payoff, so one coat is all you need, but it doesn’t look harsh or too bold on. It’s just right.

senna maraschino lip lacquer 02

The thick texture is fairly moisturizing for a gloss, and just a little bit sticky, but I don’t mind that. It helps the gloss last longer and Maraschino lasts up to 5 hours on my lips too. It can even survive a light snack, but not a full meal. And did I mention that it is infused with a sweet vanilla scent?

The collection also contains the Voluptulash Mascara, a volumising mascara that provides length, thickness and definition to lashes. However, it can clump if you apply more than one coat. For a full review, click here.

Available at: sennacosmetics.com

Summary
Senna Do You Dare? collection features bold red shades for the lips, an intense black eyeliner and a sheer but very sparkling silver eyeshadow. All have impressive staying power, creamy textures and are easy to apply. However, the eyeshadow produces some fallout; the lipstick and lip liner may feel a bit dry on the lips after an hour if you don’t apply lip balm before or after application; and some people may find the texture of the gloss a bit too thick and sticky for their taste.

Rating: Eyeshadow and Lip Liner 3.5/5, Lipstick and Lipgloss 4/5; Eyeliner 4.5/5

Disclosure: this item was sent by PR for consideration. The review is based on my own personal and honest experience with the product. For more information, please see my disclaimer.

5 Skincare Habits That Can Damage Skin

shower bath

We spend a lot of time taking care of our skin. We cleanse it. We tone it. We moisturize it. We exfoliate it. We protect it with sunscreen. But despite all our best efforts, our skin still doesn’t look its best.

Before investing lots of money in new miracle products and treatments that rarely deliver, take a good look at your habits. It may be that something you though harmless is instead damaging your skin.

Here are five nasty habits to avoid:

1. Popping that pimple

Pimples are so ugly that when one rears its head (and they always do so in the most noticeable places, don’t they?), all you want to do is get rid of it as soon as possible. And so you pop it. But that could lead to infection and, in the worst cases, even permanent scarring. Not worth it, is it? So hands off!

2. Taking hot, long showers and baths

When the weather is freezing cold outside, it’s just so nice to come back home and take a long, hot shower, isn’t it? Unfortunately, hot water is not your friend. Its strips the natural, protective oils from your skin, leaving it dry and itchy. It’s better to take shorter showers in lukewarm water instead. They may not be as pleasant, but your skin will thank you!

3. Licking your lips

When our lips feel dry (or our lip balm or gloss taste delicious!) we’re tempted to lick them. But doing so will only bring some relief for a few short minutes. And then, your lips will feel even worse than before. That’s because licking lips causes water to evaporate. And a loss of water means less hydration. So, resist the urge to lick your lips, and apply a lip balm instead.

4. Using dirty tools

We wash our face twice a day to get rid of all the gunk that has accumulated on it during the day (and night). But what about the many accessories – towels, tweezers, makeup brushes etc – that come in contact with our skin every day? If those aren’t probably cleansed too, then the dirt (and maybe even bacteria!) on them will transfer onto our freshly-cleaned skin, leading to infections and breakouts. Not to mention that dirty tools don’t perform as well as clean ones do. So, give them a good wash regularly.

5. Drinking too much alcohol

There’s nothing wrong with having a drink every now and then. It may even be good for you. We all know that drinking a glass of wine at dinner has some health benefits. But you should never drink too much. Alcohol dehydrates your body, including your skin, which then becomes dry, rough and itchy. Plus, it can also increase inflammation, which is one of the main causes of premature aging. So, drink only in moderation.

Are you guilty of any of these mistakes? And do you have other habits that are bad for skin?