December, 2016

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A Week in Review (17th – 23rd Dec)

7 Foods for Clear Skin

Wednesday, December 21st, 2016

We’re sure many of you are still on a health kick. So we thought we’d tell you about food with a bonus. We’re bringing you the best foods for clear skin.

We’re willing to do whatever it takes to make our complexion glow with health. But, sometimes covering ourselves with the best cleanser after a day out or topping up your hydration levels with a great moisturiser simply isn’t enough. Instead, you need the best foods for clear skin.

It doesn’t matter what issue your skin has eating right can help it. Whether it’s wrinkles or spots, the right food could make the difference you want to see. A lot of benefits are colour associated too!

7 foods for clear skin

Orange vegetables; like carrots, sweet potato and squash, are rich in Beta Carotene. This converts to vitamin A in our bodies to help cell renewal and strengthen our skin’s barrier. Greens contain minerals like calcium, magnesium and alkaloids, which help to alkalise the body, preventing it from becoming too acidic. Berries are a good source of the anti-oxidant, vitamin C, known to protect our cells from free-radical damage like pollution. Foods rich in Omega 3 (such as salmon, tuna and trout) help hold moisture and plump skin from within. So better skin starts with your food shopping.

The 7 Foods for Clear Skin.

Tomatoes – Tomatoes provide a great source of antioxidants, which helps protect your skin from things like pollution. The antioxidants are most easily absorbed when the tomatoes have been cooked, which releases it from the plant cells. Eat them with some healthy fats, like avocado, to help absorb all the nutrients quickly.

7 foods for clear skin

Almonds – The Vitamin E contained in almonds helps guard your cells against free radicals, like pollution and sun damage. They can also help preserve your skin’s elasticity and reduce inflammation.

Garlic – Not only is raw garlic a powerful natural antibiotic, it also has anti-fungal and anti-viral properties. Cooking it kills its effectiveness, so try grated it raw onto a salad.

Salmon – Salmon is a rich source of Omega 3 fatty acids, which helps to fight inflammation. Not only is it one of the best foods for clear skin, it’ll also do wonders for you hair!

7 foods for clear skin

Sweet potato – Sweet potato is a great source of vitamin A, which helps to control your sebum production and reduce the amount of keratin your body makes, which can clog your pores.

Watermelon – We all know the importance of drinking water for clear skin, but you should really eat your water rather than drink it. This way, your body has more time to absorb it.

7 foods for clear skin

Chia seeds – Chia seeds are at the top of the list of plant-based sources of omega-3 fatty acids, a great anti-inflammatory. It’s also a great source of zinc, which has been shown to control sebum production on the surface of the skin. No wonder it’s one of the best foods for clear skin.

Will you be adding any of these foods to your 2017 diet? Or do you have any foods that we’ve missed? Let us know!

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How to Stay Focused When Working From Home

Wednesday, December 21st, 2016

I believe that I am lucky in having the opportunity to occasionally work from home.

On days that nobody else is coming into the Defacto office or if, for personal reasons, I require to work from home, I am given that opportunity to do so. Although, it may seem like the dream to work in entirely your own space, working from home is a lot harder than you may think.

working from home

It’s not for everyone; I imagine some people find the office environment more stimulating and productive. Some may enjoy the lack of time constraints from being able to work from home. I consider myself pretty versatile in this aspect. I enjoy both!

However, whether you’re a student studying from home or running your own business or anywhere in-between, I would like to offer you some tips! So, without further ado here are my tops tips on how to stay focused when working from home.

Create a workstation.

working from home

You don’t need to have your own office desk. Although, that may be a good idea! Create a space in your home where you can work. It can be easy to fall into the trap of working in your bed or on your comfy sofa. Don’t! You brain should associate these places with rest and relaxation and that’s not what you want on a productive work from home day. Create a space that your brain knows is for business. I currently share a desk with my boyfriend in our spare room, it allows me to be in a totally different space to work and I find that incredibly helpful in staying focused.

working from home

Set times for yourself.

If your working day is 9am – 5pm, stick to it. Or do a close variation. This should stop you from straying from what you’re meant to be doing. Sticking as close to my regular hours as possible is something I find ideal when I work from home. It means I finish up when I usually would and stops me from working into the night when I could have finished it earlier. Your commute is cut out too so you get a little longer in bed…

Eat and drink like you would in an office.

working from home

Usually in workplaces there are set hours for lunch and maybe even breaks. If you have those, stick roughly to those too! Breaks when you’re working are important. It gives your brain time to refresh. I take my breaks when I usually would to keep me in my routine. My body is used to having lunch around 1pm so I don’t like to disappoint.

Avoid distraction.

So you’re at home. You know there’s a bunch of housework sitting there, or a pet to play with or a TV show to catch up on. Don’t give in to yourself. It’s so tempting to pull up Netflix and see what’s on or do that washing that really needs done. However, it’ll be three hours later and you’ll wonder where the day went. I always find it hard not to do some general tidying up when I’m at home. But, it’s going to be there when you’re finished for the day and you’ll enjoy it more when you’ve finished your work!

working from home

Get up and get dressed.

Much like working from bed, working in your PJs is a recipe for laziness. Im not saying you need to get up and apply a full face of make-up and do your hair. But, it’s always good to get up, have a quick shower to wake you up and put on some clothes you’ll be comfortable in for the rest of the day. Staying in my pyjamas for any amount of time when I’m working from home keeps me in that groggy, post wake-up stage. Rip the plaster off and get up and ready for the day!

Do you have any tips on working from home? How do you stay focused, let me know!

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Why You Shouldn’t be Washing Your Hair at Night

Wednesday, December 21st, 2016

It’s always so tempting. Washing your hair at night for that extra amount of time in bed. But, apparently you shouldn’t be washing your hair at night!

washing your hair at night

Well, you can wash your hair at night but you can’t go to bed with it wet. People have always speculated that sleeping on wet hair is a little wrong (but the lie in feels so right!). Turns out they’re right to think that.

Not only does sleeping on loose wet hair mean that you’ll be covering up some serious kinks the next morning, but it could also be damaging. Washing your hair at night and sleeping on the damp hair can cause breakage. Your movements throughout the night are likely to cause knotting and this can lead to long-term damage. This is because hair is prone to breakage when it is wet.

washing your hair at night

The main issue with washing your hair at night and going to bed with wet hair is that the cuticle (outer layer) of the hair is more raised when wet. Which is why often some women find their hair is impossibly knotty when wet but not so when dry. Sleeping with wet hair could cause it to tangle more particularly if you move a lot in your sleep. And come morning, it could be difficult to comb through. There is also the fact that as your hair dries in the night, kinks and shape will set into it as it dries. So, like we said, who knows what you may wake up looking like in the morning!

So, what if you’re not a morning person?

You can still wash your hair at night, but either dry it before getting in bed, or loosely braid it. This will prevent it knotting and becoming tangled as you sleep and when you take it out in the morning your hair will have soft waves. But, it’s probably best to dry it. You’ll find out why.

washing your hair at night

It’s not just the damage we have to worry about when washing your hair at night…

The second issue with going to bed with wet hair is fungus. It likes moist warm conditions to grow and consistently sleeping with wet hair could contribute to an overgrowth in fungus or scalp ‘yeast’. Potentially leading to scalp problems or dandruff. Spores could also develop in your pillow due to the same damp warm conditions, which could contribute to breathing issues, rhinitis and allergies.

So you can wash it at night if you like, but you’re better drying it before you settle down.

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Foundation Mistakes You Might be Making

Wednesday, December 21st, 2016

Our need for foundation is in the name; it’s the base for all our make up and when you find the right one it can change everything. However, when things don’t go right, maybe it’s not your base that wrong but foundation mistakes that you’re making.

foundation mistakes you might be making

There are so many ways to apply it. There are different types of foundation and different coverage levels. When you find your foundation soulmate you’ll know about it and you’ll preach to everyone about how amazing it is! However, you may already have a perfect match but it’s not working because you’re not treating it right. You may think you’ve mastered it but you could still be making these foundation mistakes.

Too much product.

We all have areas we want to cover up, like fine lines, wrinkles and blemishes. So, you apply more foundation than you should. The problem is, when your foundation builds up, it will draw attention to that area. Or it’ll settle into creases. Instead of building up product in these areas, dab the area with a make-up sponge or tissue to absorb excess product. Don’t forget to take it down your neck a little bit too, we don’t want a obvious jaw line. Blend, blend, blend!

foundation mistakes you might be making

Shade matching with your hand.

A common misconception is that that skin on your hand is that same shade as your hand. It’s not. So if you test the shade here, you’re bound to get quite a big surprise when you use it. But that doesn’t mean you should test it on your face either. If you want it to blend completely seamlessly, you need to go for a shade that works with the skin tone on your neck. One of the more basic foundation mistakes but one a few of us in the office still make.

Applying concealer underneath your foundation.

We doubt most of you do this. With the age of YouTube tutorials and instagram everyone can learn how to apply make up pretty easily. But, if you do still do it, it’s not the best. If you apply foundation over the top of concealer, you’ll end up moving the concealer from the area you need it when you blend. Apply your foundation first and then your concealer on top where needed.

foundation mistakes you might be making

You don’t use primer.

Again, something the ladies in the office admit to. “Isn’t moisturiser enough?” Sometimes it can be but not always. Does your foundation seem to change colour throughout the day? Perhaps go a bit orange? This happens when too much of the pH in the oil of the skin mixes with the pigment in the foundation. Otherwise known as oxidation. Primer provides a barrier, so this doesn’t happen.

Too much setting powder.

Not completely one of our foundation mistakes but it counts all the same. Setting powder is excellent at absorbing excess oil and controlling shine. However, you can have too much of a good thing. When applied too generously and not properly blended it bounces enough light from a flash to show up in photos. Something you’ve probably seen happen a lot on the red carpet. The problem is that you can’t tell it’s too much and not properly blended until a flash hits it.

foundation mistakes you might be making

We hope you don’t make these mistakes, but at least you know for the future! Do you have any mistakes you’ve made with make up in the past? We’d love to hear about them!

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How to Hide Your Hangover

Tuesday, December 20th, 2016

It’s the festive season. Christmas parties and New Years parties are going to take a toll on you. So how to you hide your hangover?

Christmas lunches and dinners that turn into nights out often happen mid week. So it’s likely that you’ll have to drag yourself into the office the next morning and suffer. If you’re party is on a Friday then lucky you! You might still find these tips useful though.

hide your hangover

The usual hangover cure involves lots of water, lots of carbs and even more being horizontal. If you don’t have the option of ordering food in and lounging around feeling sorry for yourself, you’ll want to liven up your skin. It can be easy to pretend you’re feeling fine but you cannot prevent your hangover from showing on your skin. So here’s how to hide it.

Moisturise.

The first step to being able to hide your hangover is moisturising. Your alcohol-ravaged skin needs hydration. If you remembered to remove your make up the night before, bravo. If not, take a clean flannel and soak it in warm water before placing on the face and slowly massaging. Do this a few times to get rid of all the grime. Remove eye make up with an oil-based remover to nourish the lashes. Then take some time to massage a generous blob of rich moisturiser into your skin.

hide your hangover

Prime.

After a good moisture-massage your face should be looking plumper and hydrated. It’s still going to need some help to look alive so a face primer is a must. It will smooth the skin making it ready for foundation application. You can’t hide your hangover without foundation after all.

Choose the right foundation.

Invest in a hydrating, youth-boosting foundation for skin that looks like it had 8 hours sleep. Pick a foundation that promises you a dewey glow. This will make the skin look healthy and hydrated. Obviously, it’s best to invest in this sooner rather than later. Don’t forget to add some blush as well!

hide your hangover

Focus on the lips.

Your lips can look chapped and pale after a night of drinking. One of the best ways to hide your hangover is distract with your lips. Try a statement red lipstick. Choose a shade with cool blue undertones to help calm the skin. Another (and slightly grosser) sign is sour alcoholic breath. Yes, you scrubbed your teeth this morning but booze can make a very unwelcome return throughout the day. Go for a minty gloss for added freshness.

Before you do all of that, make sure you’ve woken yourself up with a big, cold glass of water and a shower. This will immediately make you feel more alert and a lot cleaner. Try some dry shampoo to give volume if you don’t have enough time to wash your hair.

hide your hangover

We hope your festive party season is off to a good start, hangovers be damned! We’re sure we’ll need this list at some point ourselves. How do you hide your hangover? Let us know.

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How to Get Shiny Hair

Monday, December 19th, 2016

We all want healthy, shiny hair but some of us just can’t seem to make it work. It could be your hair type; it could be your diet. However we think there’s a way for everyone to get shiny hair.

As it is for many things to do with skin or hair, diet will have a lot to do with the condition of your hair. If you eat a lot of unhealthy foods and drinks, it’s likely it’ll show on the surface. Shiny hair is a sign of health.

get shiny hair

We’re not going to give you a diet plan but focus on stepping up your game with healthier meals. Protein rich foods will aid in the health of your hair and foods rich in Omega-3 will be brilliant for shine. So stock up on fish and flaxseed!

However, sometimes our hair needs a bit of a helping hand and that’s where products and styling come in…

Damaged hair.

Improving its condition is the only way to get shiny hair. When your hair is damp, apply leave-in conditioner to damaged areas. Invest in a quality deep-conditioning treatment and use it once a week. Although blow dryers and straightening irons may add to the damage, they’re the only things that will make your hair look sleeker in the mean time. Your hair needs heat to smooth the cuticle; these are the tools that can do it. Put the blow dryer on a high setting and use an iron on hair ends. Apply drops of frizz-taming serum to dry hair.

get shiny hair

Try adding a spritz of hairspray to your brush before running it through your hair to control static and hold the style!

Straight hair.

It is the luckiest hair type of all when it comes to shine. The flat cuticle of straight hair is highly light reflective. To get shiny hair, wash and condition your hair, then blast it with a cold-water rinse for about three seconds. This helps seal in conditioner, making hair easier to style and adds a ton of shine. Blow-dry while brushing with a natural boar-bristle paddle brush. Apply a bit of light finishing serum to frizzy areas (like ends). Finish with shine-enhancing hairspray.

Try a clarifying shampoo if your hair still looks dull. You could be experiencing a build up of product and this will sort that right out!

get shiny hair

Curly hair.

Curly hair tends to have more shine-reducing short pieces and split ends. This becomes really noticeable when it’s blown straight.
Use a moisturising shampoo and conditioner and a straightening gel. Detangle with a wide-tooth comb. As you blow-dry, wrap 2 sections around a round brush to straighten. Apply a finishing cream from 1 below the roots to the ends.
To get super-glossy curls: After conditioning hair, don’t rinse completely, leave a little in. Apply a gel to damp hair and twist sections around your fingers. Let hair dry naturally.

Dos and don’ts!

To get shiny hair, use heat-activated shampoos, conditioners and styling products. The heat of your hairdryer releases the moisturisers in these products. Also treat yourself to a weekly deep-conditioning treatment or hair mask. This will do your hair the world of good. If your hair is curly, use your fingers to separate your curls once your hair is dry. A brush will cause your hair to frizz. If your hair is coloured, try a shine-enhancing hair-colour product.

get shiny hair

You should avoid applying finishing products too close to your scalp, your hair will look greasy. Don’t weigh down fine hair with a heavy serum formulated only for very thick hair. Avoid heavy product before heat styling. You might end up cooking you hair! Don’t use a plastic vent brush to detangle wet hair. It stretches and eventually snaps the hair. Use it to brush as you blow-dry, to give your hair a sleeker look.

Hopefully, with these tips you’re well on your way to get shiny hair you’ve been dreaming of. If you have any tips you’d like to share, we’d love to hear them! Let us know by leaving a comment.

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A Week in Review (10th – 16th Dec)

The Most Googled Beauty Questions 2016

Friday, December 16th, 2016

There have been a lot of beauty fads and hacks in 2016. So it’s no wonder there’s an actual list showing the most googled beauty questions of this year!

most googled beauty questions 2016

In no particular order we’ll tell you what beauty lovers were searching for the most this year. Hopefully we’ll be able to tell you how to do some of them too! Without further ado, here are the 10 most googled beauty questions 2016.

How to remove gel nails.

The best way to remove your gels or acrylics is by soaking them in a nail removal acetone. It takes a while, sure. But, at the end of the day you’re nails will be healthy. You can usually go back to wherever you had them done and have them removed there. Do not peel them off whatever you do!

How to curl hair.

most googled beauty questions 2016

We’re surprised that this is in the list of most googled beauty questions, but here we are. With such a wide range of tongs and non-heat methods on the market, you’re spoiled for choice. Curling with staightners is a bit like curling ribbon with scissors, but if you’re looking for tongs you have to identify what kinds of curls you want. Check out this list of tips from Total Beauty to help you on your way to the perfect curl. 

How to make hair grow faster.

Thankfully we wrote an article on this! The quest for longer lengths can be slow, draining and irritating. Most of us focus on finding a miracle cure to our short hair. The thing is if you want longer, thicker, healthier hair, it takes commitment. Check out our article to find out how to get the hair of your dreams! 

How to clean your make up brushes.

There are various tools and mits you can buy for this. We recommend the simple method of baby shampoo, warm water and scrubbing til their clean.

most googled beauty questions 2016

How to apply concealer.

As easy as this might sound, we’re not surprised it’s on the most Googled beauty questions list. While most people apply it only under the eye, you should apply it in a ‘V’ shape under the eye. Instead of just concealing, this also brightens the face.

How to shape eyebrows.

Call us biased but we do think you should be going to a salon or a professional for this one. However, if you’re looking to shape them with product then we can help you out. To get the perfect arch, try this blog from Elle. To get the right product, give one of our past blogs a shot.

How to do a fishtail braid.

Looks impressive but is actually pretty simple. Once you get the hang of this method, it can make a bad hair day, a great one. Check out this blog from Cosmo to get you on the right path. 

most googled beauty questions 2016

How to fill in eyebrows.

The Instagram brow became a bigger deal than ever this year! Some love it and some hate it (we love it!). You can refer back to ‘How to shape eyebrows’ to find out what you need to know.

What is balayage?

At this point we’re surprised when someone says they haven’t had balayage at some point. Balayage is a style of hair dying. The hair will be dyed to give the impression that it is fading into a different colour (could be a lighter colour or a totally different colour like a blue or a grey). The official Google description is “A technique for highlighting hair in which the dye is painted on in such a way as to create a graduated, natural-looking effect.” Here are some of our favourites from our featured salons!

Catherine did a balayage followed by some loose curls on this stunning client #CLHQ #happyclienthappystylist

A photo posted by Charles Lewis (@charleslewishair) on

Did you Google any of these questions in 2016?

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How to Grow Your Hair Quickly

Wednesday, December 14th, 2016

While we think pixie cuts are just as beautiful as lengthy locks, there’s no denying that a lot of us still love having long hair.

The only problem is how long it takes to grow. Some people’s grows faster than others and that we can’t change. But, there may be some things that you could change or do more often now, for the future pay off…

growing hair quickly

Visit the salon regularly.

No, not because cutting it makes it grow faster. Unfortunately that’s a myth. But, when hair is freshly cut the ends will appear thicker without their damaged, tapered points. Plus by trimming it regularly and managing damage you’ll have to cut off less hair in the long run, so indirectly you’re speeding things up!

Deal with your diet.

grow hair quickly

Diet is very important for hair growth; you need to be eating sufficient levels of iron, B vitamins, zinc and protein. An idea would be to try spirulina in smoothies! As well as greens like kale and iron. Spirulina is a blue-green algae that is high in iron (a very important mineral given that the deficiency condition, anemia, can be a major cause of hair loss). Taking supplements containing a combination of Vitamin B, Iron, Zinc and other minerals can also help to contribute to the maintenance of healthy locks if your diet isn’t well balanced.

Give your hair a break.

Washing, styling and chemical colouring, that is. Daily shampooing can compromise the scalp’s natural essential oils that stimulate growth, while excessive heat-styling, backcombing, brushing and chemically processing the hair can leave it brittle, appearing to shorten the length from the bottom-up when it breaks.

growing hair quickly

Don’t clog your follicles.

Dirt, oils and product build-up can clog your follicles, hindering healthy growth. To avoid this, try to give your locks a rest from overloading the root area with styling products – dry shampoo and volumising powders are common culprits.

Your scalp needs exfoliated too.

If your scalp is the gateway to healthy hair, it makes sense that exfoliating it helps promote growth. Use a detoxifying shampoo once a week to thoroughly cleanse and remove excess sebum from follicles – as well as the product build-up mentioned above.

Try some Caffeine.

Caffeine has been found to stimulate the hair shaft by blocking the effects of DHT, a chemical known to damage hair follicles. According to German scientists, it can speed up growth by 25 per cent. Unfortunately drinking it might not be the best way to getting growth. Instead try a caffeine shampoo. You may commonly know Alpecin Caffeine Shampoo as a method of hindering hair loss. Think similarly to that, but many brands stock caffeine shampoos.

Hopefully these tips help you on the way to the length you want. Do you have any tips for growing hair? If you do we’d love to hear them, let us know!

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