If you've ever argued with your man over the space your beauty products take up in the bathroom, then maybe you need to get him involved in the fun. There are so many products that the men in our lives can use too, helping them look tip top without smelling like candyfloss and strawberries. We all know they cheekily use our face creams, steal our luxurious bath oils and even play with our hair products, but what little gems can we openly share with them and help bring a little beauty into their lives? Here are the top five products in your repertoire that your man can use too.
Did you know that UK shoppers spent over £91 billion online in 2013? The trend for buying our wares over the 'net doesn't seem to be going anywhere, as us Brits are set to spend over £107 billion in 2014. I for one find it exceptionally easy to click away when I'm bored, in need of a new outfit or simply don't have time to get out into a real life shop. Now you can buy literally everything from lemons to lipsticks online, there's no excuse not to make the most of your purchases and earn a little something extra. Because it's Easter (and we all have cravings for Mini Eggs,) I've teamed up with TopCashback to offer every single reader of London Beauty Queen a Model's Own polish (worth £5.00) of your choice. That's right, absolutely free of charge, just because buying stuff online is awesome. Let me explain a little more...
Until I met my boyfriend I had no idea how eczema could impact someone's life so much. I'm lucky enough to have pretty normal skin, not ever having suffered from anything other than a little heat rash. However, it's only in the last year I've become aware of a growing condition that affects millions of adults within the UK. Atopic Dermatitis (commonly known as eczema) is an inflammatory condition of the upper layer of skin that can appear all over the body. Painful and debilitating symptoms can include redness, blistering, oozing, crusting, scaling, thickening and sometimes pigmentation - all of which can have a significant impact on confidence. Not only can it be caused by irritants in the environment (including detergents, perfumes and even clothes,) but heat, humidity, extreme temperatures and even bathing can cause it to become worse. Anxiety and stress are also big factors within eczema flare ups, which causes a vicious circle which is hard to break. I've been working hard with my boyfriend to crack the issues associated with his eczema and find products that work for him (a more in-depth post at a later date,) but after a recent discovery Eucerin is definitely a brand he can now turn to for a little skin support.
I flossed my teeth for about a week when I was twelve and had removable braces. It was annoying, messy, uncomfortable and time consuming, so the floss got put to the back of the bathroom cabinet never to be seen again. However, few of us realise the long-term benefits flossing effectively can bring to our oral health. Unlike a toothbrush (which cleans the top and outer surface of the teeth and gums,) floss is an interdental cleaner, designed specifically to clean the tight spaces between the teeth, i.e. the places that a toothbrush can't reach. While mouthwash can kill the bacteria that forms plaque, it can't remove the stubborn tartar and bits of food that can lodge in these places and cause us issues. For those who don't floss consistently, Philip's new Sonicare Airfloss is the easiest way to start cleaning between teeth. AirFloss can be used with either water or mouthwash and features unique air and micro-droplet technology to remove plaque where brushing can't.
I've always been a huge fan of fragrances, using my perfume as an extention of my outfit and accessories. My current scent wardrobe is full to the brim with over fifty perfumes, each being used to fit certain moods and occasions. I've long believed that a great scent can enhance your mood and lift you up like nothing else, so it's great to see new brand on the block Valeur Absolue channel that idea with the launch of this trio of fragrances. Valeur Absolue have invented a completely new concept which they've called 'More Than Perfume.' The Valeur Absolue fragrances are not just scents, but well-being elixirs for the mind and body; enriched with natural ingredients and minerals, each perfume is one which will make us feel good as well as smell good.
New beauty brands seem to be ten a penny now, so I have to admit I'm always a little cynical until they prove their worth. Kiko Cosmetics launched last year and I ignored most of the buzz around it for some time; however, in recent months they've been launching some extremely interesting products and innovative collections. New for Summer 2014 is their 'Life In Rio' collection, which is bursting with colour and evokes the feeling of spending a month amidst a carnival. Although not all the products and their bright colours will appeal to everyone, there are a few worth picking up no matter what you're usual preferences. Kiko Cosmetics have definitely proved their credentials and have me (almost) drooling at some of these beautiful gems.
A good mascara is hard to come by. Nearly every woman I speak to is on a continuous search for that 'holy grail' product that lengthens, volumises, separates and darkens her lashes, but there are few products that deliver on all accounts. I'm a big fan of Clinique, but generally speaking I have a love-hate relationship with their mascaras: some are the best thing since sliced bread (such as High Impact Curling Mascara,) but others leave my lashes looking a little limp (like High Lengths Mascara.) It's a tricky act to balance, getting lashes to look full of volume and length without the clumpy or gloopy formula causing that spider-legs effect. However, with their newest launch they seem to have ticked all my boxes whilst delivering qualities I didn't even know I wanted.
It's been a while since I got excited about a beauty advert. Now that Lady Cole is set to return to our television screens and her judges chair on The X Factor, she's once again hot property. When she announced her part on the panel during a round of press interviews, all I could think about was her new blonde hair. A few weeks on and all is revealed, as Cheryl has dyed her previously dark locks a honey shade of blonde for this fab new Feria commercial. It embodies what dying your hair is all about: having fun, shouting loud, expressing yourself and looking fabulous. Cheryl is very much 'doing her thing' in this special TV spot, dancing around and strutting her stuff to one of the most addictive tunes I've heard in some time. Take a look, have a peek at the behind the scenes footage and let me know if you've got the sudden urge to dye your hair...
Our beauty shelves and bathrooms are awash with products labelled with the phrase 'dermatologically tested,' which on some level puts our minds at ease and helps us file them away in the 'good for my skin' category. However, do we really know what this means and are we being mislead into believing anything with this statement is better for us? In an attempt to uncover what consumers really believed, Which? surveyed over 1,000 people about label claims on cosmetics and toiletries. Asked what they thought the term 'dermatologically tested' meant, only a quarter believed the product had been tested on human skin.
I'm forever on a mission for glossier, knot free hair. You know when you see those girls with perfectly polished, swishy hair? I want that! Instead, I usually have a barnet full of flyaways, frizz and tangles. I have fine hair, but lots of it - a menacing combination that requires a lot of maintenance to keep it looking (half) groomed. However, my quest for hair worthy of a Herbal Essences advert has led me to discover a handful of hair care gems that, along with my trusty Tangle Teezer, make my life a whole lot easier. Here are my top three must-have hair heroes.
Makeup is about having fun, being creative, testing new ideas and pushing your own boundaries. We're not all in a financial position to be filling our collections with expensive high-end brands, which is why I'm a huge fan of budget buys and affordable products that can really keep makeup accessible for all. Makeup Revolution are the newest brand on the block, offering good quality products that cost less than your morning coffee. Filled to the brim with colour and texture, their website offers everything from foundation and blusher, to eyeshadow and nail varnish, with a touch of lipstick and highlighter to boot. When a new brand launches and it's all so cheap, it's hard to see the wood for the trees and take note of where you should really be placing your bets - so I've put the products to the test and have narrowed down three that would be a great addition to any makeup collection... As well as those you should avoid.
There are few products that are as polarising and controversial as 'intimate hygiene' brand Femfresh. Marketed as a range of washes, wipes, powders and deodorants for your lady garden, many believe it condemns our natural scent as something to be ashamed of. As many beauty brands capitalise on our insecurities to make a fast buck, it becomes easy to become obsessed with 'outing' those we object to and shaming their approach to body maintenance. Only this week, hair removal brand Veet has come under fire for suggesting having leg hair makes a woman a 'dude', while Dove has been celebrating our beauty and trying to increase our confidence - it seems that beauty is a more complex issue than we've ever been brave enough to talk about before. So what about Femfresh? Is it a brand that should be praised for helping women maintain their intimate areas with targeted products, or one that should be left lingering on the bottom shelf of Boots?
It's easy to get the best out of your cosmetics when you start using makeup brushes. Your fingers and foam applicators can only do so much, often leaving a heavy finish on skin that's not exactly precise. Investing in a great collection of makeup tools will not only save time, be more hygienic and help create a more flawless finish, but it makes the whole experience a little more luxurious. Barry M aren't known for professional makeup, but they're great at bringing budget buys to the masses and allowing us to dip our toe in the water of something new. Launching into Superdrug stores imminently, Barry M's latest addition is a range of seven makeup brushes that provide a touch of fun with a sprinkle of makeup artist expertise.
Your alarm goes off super early. You check your smartphone for any notifications and news you may have missed overnight, before starting another hectic day in the office. After a few essential coffees, lunch scoffed on the go and afternoon cake, you either head to the gym or out to meet your friends for dinner. Once you're home there are emails to answer, plans to organise, television to catch up on and social media to peruse. Before you get into bed, there's even more checking of the smartphone and an attempt to catch up with the message you've been meaning to send to your mum. We all leave hectic lives and juggle numerous different roles every single day, as well as exposing ourselves to the elements of city life, late nights and early mornings. Every second of our turbo-charged day generates tiny invisible aggressors called 'free radicals,' which become harder to fight off as we age. As soon as we hit our thirties, our skin begins to weaken and therefore takes a lot longer to repair or recover from damage; these free radicals can cause our skin to become dull, wrinkled and pigmented - all factors which we associate with the signs of ageing. In order to help minimise this and keep our skin looking radiant, French skincare brand Caudalie have developed a trio of products that block 100% of free radicals, as well as offering an instantly plumping effect to help our skin looking great.
It's very rare to find a wonder product. One that gets you excited, makes a difference and has beauty enthusiasts universally praising its performance. HealGel has become somewhat of a wonder product since its launch in the UK, providing consumers (who were previously at the end of their tether) with a solution that helps dull and dry skin become radiant and healthy looking. I previously put the face and eye versions to the test and loved them... So much so that I'm still using them within my routine months later. Their gel-like formula provides a soothing solution that's easily absorbed, plumping skin and helping to create a smooth texture both in the immediate and long-term. I really noticed a difference to the delicate skin under my eyes and a reduction in sallowness, so when I found out HealGel were adding a 'Body' product to their range I really wanted to get to grips with it and put it to the test. Could a body product be as effective as a targeted skincare solution?
Arguing with your boyfriend about how much space your makeup takes up; feeling like a fool because you've just tripped over another lipgloss lurking on the floor; struggling to find that one mascara that makes you look awake at 7am because you chucked it back in one of many bags yesterday. Sound familiar? Makeup storage and organisation can become a massive issue if your collection bulges as much as mine, causing more issues in your life than you ever thought was possible from a few eyeshadow palettes. Although the current trend of perspex stationary boxes helps our storage issues to a certain degree, they're not fit for the purpose we're trying to make them serve. Clunky stacking boxes may offer a large amount of space, but it's not easy to find the one eyeliner you're looking for without unstacking your entire collection. If you're looking for the holy grail of makeup storage, then the new collection of Illuminate by BARE may be the solution. I was lucky enough to meet the founder, get a preview of the unit soon to launch and find out why Illuminate is soon to become the must-have for beauty bloggers and makeup enthusiasts alike.
Since I made the switch from a manual to electric toothbrush, it's impossible to go back. Using an electric toothbrush not only helps your mouth feel so much cleaner, but it makes a good routine easier to manage. Although I've tried many electric toothbrushes in the past and been extremely satisfied with their performance, until I tried the Philips Sonicare Diamond Clean I simply hadn't experienced teeth cleaning at its best. If there was a gold plated, sports car equivalent in the world of toothbrushes, then this would most certainly be it. It doesn't just look great, but the Diamond Clean provides an oral experience to leave you almost speechless - partnered with the most technological advanced system available on the high street today.