Take care of yourself

You might have heard through my cryptic Twitter updates, or just through the grapevine, that I am getting married later this year. Since I began planning the all important aspects, ie, dress and shoes, I have also embarked on a beauty buzz — that is an all-encompassing term in my mind to include skin prep, fitness, and my overall wellbeing. My skin has been a long standing enemy of mine. We do not get on and upset each other on a regular basis. It hates make-up, although wearing make-up on a daily basis comes with the territory in which I work, it has a penchant for turning a horrendous shade of red at the sight of any form of body moisturiser or deodorant, and when I really don't want it to, it decides to break out. Some might say that these are small problems but when you have been trying for a lifetime to find and stick with products which maintain a balance in skin tone and its temperamental behaviour, it gets a little bit stressful. So on the wedding planning adventure, I have found some great products for all kinds of beauty emergency or general routine to share.

The dreaded breakout

I have had problems with breakouts and adult acne since my early twenties. Whoever said that you grow out of these things was telling a big lie. Piling make-up on every day does not help, but if you are anything like me, make-up makes you happy and not wearing it is unheard of. To look after my skin, underneath foundations and powders, I have been trying serums for the first time. Just new to the market is Elizabeth Arden's new range, Visible Difference; a range developed for every skin type from combination to dry. The Visible Difference serum (€49 ) has been hailed as a revolutionary new product and having used it for a few weeks now (twice a day under moisturiser ) my skin feels soft and looks even. Make up is actually going on easily after trying this. Accompanying this side of the range is the Hydration Boost masque as well (€29 ), which I have been applying on a weekly basis to give an extra boost of moisture. This is a great product, and if you want to prepare your skin for winter, try these. I'm no beautician, but looking at the results from using this one is enough for me to talk about it.

The breakout is not only limited to my face, my back and shoulders flare up from time to time as well. This I really hate, as during the summer I am reluctant to wear anything which exposes it. However, having done some research and scanning the aisles of the chemist to look for products, I have found a great shower gel from Imperial Leather called SkinKind. I tried the Refresh shower gel which contains cucumber and aloe vera, both ingredients known for their calming tendencies. The large bottle lasts for weeks and it is changing the texture of my skin; it feels healthier and looks clearer too. The best part about this product is that it is so affordable and available in the supermarket. Next time you need to replenish your shower gel, try this one.

The locks

I have really dry hair; all the result of years of going blonde, then dying it brown, deciding I hated that and returning to being Goldilocks. My poor locks have been through the wars. With regular trimming, home and professional treatments, and not overdoing it with the stylers, it is much better. To complement the trips to the hairdresser, I have been using not one but two brands of hair care products. Firstly, I have a new found love for Aussie shampoos and conditioners, and not because they smell divine, they leave my hair unbelievably soft. Then once a week, I give my hair a treat with John Frieda Full Repair masque; a must-have product for your shower tray. I cannot emphasise enough, having been rather mean to my hair with overstyling, that leaving a masque in for five minutes really makes a huge difference. If you are staying in one night, leave your hair to dry naturally too.

Looking after myself

I like to keep fit, but have never been a fan of the gym until recently. I go just once a week, but top this off with three 5k walks a week as well — a bit of fresh air always does my brain and body the world of good. All of the above products and treatments have worked a treat because I am also looking after my wellbeing. I also love yoga and have been practising this for about six years — now that is well worth a try. So, to get ready for any special occasion, or just for winter, take a look at the products you are using and see if they are doing what they say on the tin. If not, there has never been a better time for change with so many great products coming out just in time for next season.


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