My beauty cheat sheet: 36 years of beauty and makeup life-changers

After 36 years on this planet, this is the beauty wisdom I am passing down to you. Yes, I am old and wise, like an owl (although I’m sure you would call me more of a panda with the undereye makeup that’s rolling down my face at 12:30am in writing this…).

1. Adopt a skincare advocate

After turning 36 last year, the best advice I was given and followed, was to find a skincare advocate.  Enter Dr. Vicky Dondos – aka my certified skincare guru. When I first met Vicky she was brutally honest with me, like no one had ever been before. But, she delivered her message gently and in an informative manner. There isn’t much I’ll do to my skin without first running it by this lady. And when it comes to the more serious stuff in the future… yes, I’m sure they’ll be botox and beyond… Vicky is going to be the only one I trust. While I’m a little scared to freely give out her name, I’m also proud to have found someone that I feel I can scream and shout, loud and proud, about. Get an advocate, and if you’re in London call Vicky. 

2. H2O

Backstage at Victoria’s Secret, three years ago, one of the supermodels told me her biggest secret to success was water and admitted to drinking up to six liters a day to keep her skin in top form. I’m not sure how healthy that much water really is (and my goodness she must always be in the bathroom), but two liters a day can make all the difference.

3. Hey, fishy.

Omega 3s, lovelies! Eat salmon as much as you possibly can. Victoria Beckham has admitted to eating it every meal after receiving this as a top skincare tip. They say beauty comes from within, well they weren’t lying. Start your skincare regime with how you feed yourself. 

4. The power of double cleansing

I’m not even going to go into this in detail, I’ll let Caroline Hirons, the mama of beauty itself, tell you all you need to know. And I’ll just say that this lovely lady has released the product we’ve all been waiting for after her advice on the double cleansing issue – a double cleanser with Pixi, out January 10th!

5. Cold Plasma

I swear every time I mention the name of this product people all think I’m doing something rather complex and tricky with my skincare. While Dr. Perricone’s Cold Plasma is in fact a miracle worker, the application is anything but tricky. It’s a simple slap on and run and it is the one product I have used for my skin since I turned 30. Every other month I invest in a bottle and not a day, in six years, has gone by when I haven’t used this product. It’s my one beauty constant and I’ve recommended it in every beauty interview I’ve ever done, to every family member I have and even to random girls with common skincare problems on the tube. Yes, they probably think I’m demented. 

6. The Hair Stylist

Again, this comes under the guru section of your life. You need a haircare advocate. This is the person that’s close enough to you that he or she will tell you when you are being ridiculous in a hair request. Fancy going platinum blonde or chopping it all off? This person should be the one to say, “you’re crazy and I won’t do it.” Everyone else on this earth is just around to earn a paycheck. Find someone that has your best interests at heart and only see them! My love affair with hair is with Josh Ress Hole at Urban Retreat at Harrods. We met at a press launch and I’m hopelessly obsessed. It also doesn’t hurt that he is devastatingly good looking. 

7. Keep all your hair

In the age race, our hair is usually, sadly, one of the first things to suffer. We start to loose more of it, it becomes harder to manage and, well, it goes grey. While I can’t stop time, or colour change, I can recommend a line of products that I have been using for a year now, that’s helped me get the best out of the head of hair I’ve been given. It’s called Aveda Invati. It’s an investment in time and money, but my hair has never felt more optimistic about its future. Oh how ridiculous that sounds, yet truthful. 

8. Sleep on silk 

I remember as a kid always thinking that sleeping on silk would be the most decadent thing ever. Well, these days you can get a great silk pillowcase anywhere and it’s the easiest change in your beauty regime. It’s literally just sleeping on a different pillowcase, which will lead to less wrinkles on your face and happier and healthier hair in the long run. Bliss. (also check out the Silke Hair Wrap, if you’re more interested in just keeping the hair on the road to happiness)

9. Brush it out

This one’s for everyone, but in particular for those with unruly hair (and for those who have children with such problems). The best thing I ever bought for my hair was a Wet Brush. This can get through any knot or tangle without as much as an “ouch” from the user. It’s magic. I’m not kidding you. They should rename it. I always put this in stockings and it ends up being the unexpected highlight of Christmas. But people, wet brushes aren’t just for Christmas!

10. Rough dry your hair with an old t-shirt to banish frizz and dry hair quickly!

11. Sleep 

Well this one’s just easy. Get eight hours of sleep. They don’t call it beauty sleep for nothing and I promise you, the late nights will one day show on your face. Get thee to bed!

12. Avoid Tanning beds

Do I really need to say more? If you are using a tanning bed you are not only frying your skin’s future, you’re also risking your life! Say goodbye to tanning beds this year.  

13. Fake it!

You don’t even need a tanning bed anymore anyway, ladies and gents. There are so many beauty products now that give you a tan in a bottle that we don’t even really need to go outside. Oh if it weren’t for the pesky need for Vitamin D, eh? For those looking for that summer glow all year long, I swear by Jergens gradual tan, that you can buy at any drugstore. For my face, I spend a little more money and mix in St Tropex Luxe Facial Oil once a week for a nice glow to my skin year round!

14. Let’s say you need to remove fake tanner from your palms- try whitening toothpaste!

15. Speaking of teeth…

Do not neglect the teeth. Floss, brush, see a dentist regularly and keep an eye out for any wear and tear that might need immediate attention. Trust me, you don’t want to mess with having to repair teeth that haven’t been managed properly. It’s expensive and painful! (also… if you are in the USA grab some Crest White Stripes. They really do work.)

16. Batting those lovely lashes

My greatest discovery in 2014 was Claire at Eyelush. During the summer months, I go full on fake with lashes because I absolutely hate the panda look when you come out of the water. It’s the best money I spend as I find I go to bed and wake up looking like I’m an actress on a film set… perfection. I wear less makeup, spend less time getting ready and just generally feel absolutely fabulous.

17. Buy into eye cream

Don’t believe the hoopla around eye cream? One of those people who thinks they can slather the same cream all over your face and be just ok? Wake up and smell the moisturizer! Eye cream is essential as the skin around our eyes is uber delicate and is, in reality, the first place we show signs of age. If someone could give you a magic solution to this area, why wouldn’t you take it. Three words for you – Carita Eye Programme. Check it out. 

18. Eyebrows – shape and shift

Again, you need a good brow lady in your life. It’s all about the experts in this stage of life, I reckon. Brow ladies are easy. Go to a Benefit Brow Bar. These ladies have never let me down. Nothing lifts a face better than a clean and full brow. Make it happen. 

19. Cult Beauty

There’s a reason Cult Beauty has the name it does. Their products are all the latest and greatest in beauty finds and each and every new edition is accompanied by a full description on why it’s cult and how it can be a part of your daily life. Oh the money that could be spent here. Be careful. It is, however, my favourite beauty website on the planet. Sephora who? 

20. SPF it up

I’m not going to go on about how important SPFs are in your daily regime. You know this already. Just make sure it’s the last product you put on your face and it’s applied about half an hour before you leave the house. And remember, if you have darker skin, you aren’t exempt. Everyone needs an SPF in their lives!

21. Keep it in the home

Let it be known that beauty professionals are now hirable to the home. I can’t remember the last time I had a manicure, pedicure or blowout that wasn’t done in my living room. It’s the best thing since sliced bread. A beauty emergency isn’t an emergency anymore when there are 12 different apps that can have a professional standing on your front door within an hour. Get into at-home beauty now. 

22. Cuticle Oil

The introduction, of cuticle oil, came after my latest at home manicure where my manicurist nearly ripped my head off for having terrible looking cuticles. She gave me SolarOil and I have used it every night before sleeping and find myself waking and admiring the oil’s overnight handy work with my nails. I did not need another beauty step in my nightly routine, but this has definitely been worth the effort. 

23. Signature Scent

Get one. It’s as simple as that. This is a beauty trick that’s often overlooked. A great scent can be key to beauty. Jo Malone was telling us the other night that the best way to apply your signature fragrance is with a paint brush. Spray the brush and paint the backs of your legs, around your wrists, and beyond. Genius, she is. 

24. Start exercising, not just for your body, but for the health of your skin as well!

25. Razor health

Again, this is a newbie for me for 2017. I just read this last week – never ever leave your razors in the shower! Apparently this is horrendous for your health. The razor is worn down faster and there are all sorts of risks with bacteria, etc. Take your razor out after every shower, dry it, clear it of debris (you know what I mean), and store it until the next time it requires use. 

26. Try adding a few drops of beauty oil to your foundation for dewy supermodel skin.

27. Don’t smoke

Need I say more? Worst thing on earth you can do for your face, not to mention the rest of you. Give it up now, or better yet don’t ever start!

28. Invest in socks and gloves for bed

This might not be the most attractive thing in the world, but putting on heavy moisturizers, like vaseline, and wearing socks and gloves to bed to seal in the moisture, will leave your with the softest hands and feet of any human being ever. Maybe leave it for when the boyfriend’s out of town? 

29. Don’t forget your neck

They say you can tell a woman’s age by the back of her hands and neck – no matter how much plastic surgery she has had. So why are these after thoughts in our beauty regime? We’ve talked hands, but we haven’t mentioned necks. I’ve been using Sisley Paris’ Neck Creme, specially put together to lift, moisturize and battle the general effects of time! It is a much heavier cream, but then again it has a lot more work to do in keeping wrinkles at bay, hence the reason you need yet another step in your nightly routine. 

30. The power of the red lip

Let’s talk makeup here and the essentials you need, kicking off with the red lip. You need a perfect red lipstick. To each their own on this one, but spend the time finding it. It’s a power player in instant beauty and sophistication. 

31. The Naked Palette from Urban Decay

Another staple here. For everything from a simple look for day to a serious smoke for night, this eye shadow palette has travelled the entire world with me. I’ve yet to find anything else that rivals it. 

32. Charlotte Tilbury Natural Beauty Instant Look Palette

If you’re looking for a complete look, in your pocket, you won’t find better than Charlotte Tilbury’s Instant Look collection. Not only does this palette have it all, it’s all numbered and outlined to remind you exactly how to apply it. It’s as if Charlotte is there with you. Well, nearly. 

33. The importance of washing

Of course I’m talking about your makeup brushes. They need a regular wash just like you do! So many people swear by washing them with baby shampoo, and I have to say it’s my personal favourite too. Make sure you do this. Your sudden breakouts may just be coming from the bacteria build up in your brushes! Shock horror!

34. Colour can solve all

If all else fails in your beauty regime, never forget that there is a great power found in a colorful ensemble. Distract the eyes away from your face, brighten your complexion or compliment a tan, all in the right choice of clothing!

35. Never ever go to bed or workout without taking off your makeup first.

No more to say. This is a rule. Don’t break it, ever, no matter how many gin and tonics you had!

36. Work what your momma gave you

At the end of the day, we all have our own recipe for success. But, you have to be happy with what you got going on. The most beautiful people are the ones that love themselves no matter what. So just be happy in you, everything else is just superficial.


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